Monday, June 23, 2008

Floating in mid-air

Wow...It's been quite a while. Though much has happened, it didn't feel as exciting and fulfilling. Since the day I took the vacation for rest and relaxation, it has been a non-stop action-packed, mountain-loads of work waiting. The drama, the tension, the pressure and the suspense is too much for even what I can tolerate. It's one after another and the accumulation is just overbearing. I dare not fill in to my crib as it will put negative aura to the good things I have had starting this year.

Anyway, my current state of mind is like a blank. Vacuum. What I used to be able to do is not as sharp or deft. The feeling is like a speck of dust floating in mid-air, aimlessly drifting, not knowing where to go or what purpose it serves. I am lacking in inspiration, motivation, encouragement and companion. Maybe all these years of being alone without a loving partner has shown its bare reality, that a man needs a great companion to get through any things. I long for someone who can share all my joy and sadness. me a sensitive paranoid, but it seems what I am lacking had been there, but just not felt clearly. I had been able to deceive myself and get through with it, but when the mind is blank, all these inferiority surfaces with incredible speed and ease.

Now now...all my life I always had a positive outlook no matter what the situation behold. I know I can and will get through this cycle. I need a new inspiration - a muse if u need to call it. As sagitarians are very well known, we are adventurers. We yearn for freedom and exploring new avenues. We do not like to be tied down, and going through routine things. This may seem I need to start a new journey, a new expedition. I shall pack my bags, leave behind my burdens, and embark on a fresh new ride. Whatever it may be, I am ready, I am prepared and I am confident that it will again unleash a new me. A me that everyone will be glad to have back as it is someone who they had known and not seen for quite a while. I will be back, better, stronger, more determined. Just you wait and see and you will want to leave the old me as part of a chapter that you have engraved in your precious journal called life.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Escape from Singapore Island

Work, work and more work. This is just the typical daily life of my miserable past 2 years here in Singapore. So, when a chance came upon for a long weekend plan, I'm game!

Initially, the plan was to go to Bintan for a weekend of massage and spa with my 3 female colleagues (1 of them ex-colleague now). Then enjoy activities that are found around the resort. But sadly, the space is fully booked, and all other options for the Bintan accommodation is just too expensive for the budget. So, we had to choose a plan B and it was either Batam or Thailand. Thailand was just too expensive and we chose Batam instead. Even for Batam, we couldn't get the resort we wanted, the Harris Hotel. I guess our planning was too late and then it also fall on the holiday weekend, so it makes it that much harder.

Anyway, I needed the break - heck, I needed to escape from my work. I know I was going to pamper myself. Think - spa and massage. Think - fun and games. Think - no more work. Wow, this is absolutely a great proposition to treat myself for once. So then, we're set and off we go to Batam!

First day, we got to the hotel to check in. Got the rooms upgraded to a deluxe suite. But sadly, it's a king's size bed for each room. We tried to change the rooms, but the ones left was not as good since it's not deluxe suite (duh!). So, we opted for the deluxe suite and I shared my room with Shengni. (well, this was supposed to be discreet, but hey I guess we're all mature and sensible adults and nothing bad is gonna come from 2 consenting adults) hahaha...okay...down good.

Once we settled our things, we went off to the city with our Batam counterparts (one of the suppliers who is a close acquaintance with my colleague, Margaret). They took us for lunch and then recommended us for one of the massage place to go. We went there and checked out the price and it's a good deal compared to the ones from the hotels. So, we took the package and spent 2 hours there.

Wow! My first experience for a full-body massage. I don't know what to expect. I was thinking a nice, relaxing massage. What I was treated to was quite horrifying! Hahaha...maybe since I had never gone for one, I didn't know what was I being treated to. The masseuse was all strength and tested my endurance to the very end. My calf was aching after 2 rubs she applied. She can't help herself to a couple of laughs since I was so tensed. She kept telling me to relax, but I can't stand the pain of her strength as she massaged my lower legs. As she went up my thighs, it's a mix of ticklish and arousing feeling. What's a man to do when she's being rubbed near his groin? Haha...Not that I'm thinking it sexually, but I was trying to enjoy the treatment, but I can't stop from bursting in ticklish and laughter. for the rest, it was okay though. The back, the arms, the shoulders and the chest. It was quite good, although I was expecting more for the back since I don't get that relaxed and loose feeling after it was all done. The scrub was also refreshing as I can feel that I'm rejuvenated after it was all done. So then, it was all over...time to take a shower to wash off the scrub and the oil. It was cooling and feel relieved, except for my poor aching calves.

My 3 friends, had theirs too and an ear-candle wax treatment. So, theirs took a bit longer, and I helped myself to a good sleep after the massage. After that, we went for a nice seafood dinner.

Next day, we were all up in excitement anticipating the day of activities that we will be doing. First off, we went for bowling games. In the midst of the game, my friend was treated to a very nice surprise. She was so glad and excited she jumped around. I'm happy for her and I do wish that it's gonna make her more happy and more fulfilled in her career quest. I can only wait for my chance. But it's happening folks. Just u wait and see. I know I'm capable of so much more. After bowling, we went for the sea activities. We took up the banana boat and canoeing. Banana boat was quite boring, until I decided to monkey around to make the boat swerve and finally overturn, throwing all of us to the sea! was refreshing and makes it more fun than just sitting idly as the boat pull us around. What made it more memorable was seeing how Margaret was being pulled back up to the boat. The guy took all his strength and with the help of my 2 other colleagues to pull her up after a few attempts. She was angry as to how she was being helped as she suffocated a bit in breathing (since her life jacket took the lungs out of her as the guy try to heave her up). But we came back up on the boat and made it back to the jetty without another splash. Canoeing was okay as we played around, but I was itching to try the para-sailing and we finally went for it. The feeling of being flighted in the air, hovering as the boat pulled the chute and feeling the breeze. It was one of kind experience and it would have been more exciting if it goes a bit faster. After seeing me pulled back to the boat, my friends also went for a go and they enjoyed it. We ate lunch and then went back to hotel before going to town for the girls appointment with the hair saloon.

It took a while to get their hair done (more than 4 hours!) but we made it back for a mahjong session. Yes, better believe it. It's mahjong! Hahaha...we went through the nite and couldn't finish one round when my body and brain finally gave in. I asked to retire back to my bed and asked to finish off tomorrow.

Last day in the hotel, we ate breakfast and went on to finish our mahjong game. We did it in time before check out and I ended up winning about $23. Not bad for someone who always loses. :) Anyway, we killed off some time waiting for the ferry by playing card games and when the time comes to leave, we took a picture to capture the memory we had after spending the past 2-3 days in Batam.

Overall trip score:

1. Relaxing - attained (checked)
2. Massage - got it although not so comfy (checked)
3. Eat - enjoyed the food (checked)
4. Fun and games - bowling, banana boat, para-sailing (checked)
5. Go-Kart - didn't go (no check)
6. Swimming - didn't go (no check)
7. Mahjong - yes and won (check)
8. Find attractive lady - didn't get to see one (no check)
9. Fun times with my friends - yes (double check) priceless!

Total score card - 7/10 (not too shabby)

Guys, let's plan the next one early and hope we enjoyed it even much more for the next one! Hong Kong, Thailand, Jakarta? Anybody?

Well, enjoy the pics below from the trip. ;)

Margaret with Susan and Juliana

Me, Shengni and Daphne

At the entrance of Holiday Inn

After the banana boat

At the boat for para-sailing

Clowning around at the boat

Look at me fly!

Came back safely. Fun flying!

At the Holiday Inn lobby before leaving

We had fun didn't we?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Golden Year - Happy Birthday Mom!

Yeap - the golden age. My mom hit the big 5-0 today! It's both joyous and a little sad. I can't imagine my mom would hit 50 already. It's been quite a long journey for her and all the love and sacrifice she had done are immeasurable. I really hope my mom stays young and youthful, but time is always our biggest enemy. People say you shouldn't go against it, but rather embrace it. Mom, even though you are getting on with your age, I hope you stay cheerful and keep those bountiful of love for us forever more. Love you always!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweet Sixteen...Keep Smiling Bro!

Well well, my youngest bro just turned 16. It's hard to imagine what was I like 10 years back. I was still in Sec 3, preparing for the coming O Level in the next year. On top of that, I was preparing for my TOEFL and SAT to make sure that I can get into school in US after the O Levels. Anyway, I don't think my brother would be as worried as I was. He is going through a rather normal and ordinary pace of life. In any case, he would want to serve for his NS, so he does not have to choose his career path that early.

Let him enjoy the occasion. It's his 16th Birthday after all. He has many lady admirers...hahaha...but I doubt any that is seriously considering it.

Tough week ahead for me. Have to keep strong and have faith in my own strength!!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Leap Year - Gone and will back in another 4 years

Sorry folks. I have been away again yet for far too long. In the space of 3 weeks to 1 month, I've again seen a few people leaving the company, attended a wedding, went to the T3 for the first time and to the IT show. The past month was also an emotional roller-coaster ride where I was from one extreme to the opposite end - depressed to the point of blowing up.

That sums up a pretty eventful first month of the Lunar Rat Year. As the book saying goes, this is a busy month for me and I will encounter lots of issues at work. How true! I was busily scrambling to make ends meet...screaming at my suppliers, and also screaming at my own people. Well, not really screaming, but quite temperamental compared to my usual calm, composed, care-free character. Anyway, I'm glad it's over, and like what it mentioned - whatever hardship may come, it will eventually pan out. How scary is that!! Maybe I shouldn't think about it too much as I know that I am in control of my own actions and emotions.

On 3rd March my colleague, Amanda, had her wedding. She is one of the more attractive ladies in the office and can't believe she'll be married. But, I'm happy for her as she found her lifetime mate. And I truly wish her all the blessings of a married life. I'm sure her husband will cherish her and treasure her throughout the lifetime. She looks gorgeous with the wedding gown and even more so with the evening dress. Unfortunately, the wedding dinner took a bit tad long and I was exhausted as I still had to go for work the very next day.

The following weekend, I had the chance to have a first look and experience the grandeur of Terminal 3. It's huge, transparent, and uniquely calming. I mean it looks spacious with the glass facade and the natural growth inside makes it feel naturally pleasing. Then when I got to B2, it's like a mini-mall in the airport. There's a full-size food court, with a couple of small shops, reflexology and even a NTUC Fairprice! It's basically self-sufficient to house people and they will not get bored!! Later that day, went for a bite of Pizza at Timbre. It happen that the day was a day to showcase SOMA students. What caught our attention was the alumnus who had a lovely and strong voice as she belted 3 songs. I believe she sang 2 covers and 1 of her own song. We even had the chance to have snacks in Raffles City Shokudo. What a day! All eating and all spending! Hahaha....but I really had quite a blast that day.

Lastly, I know I have been scouring for the past 3-4 IT show for a camera and I had my eye fixed on that Panasonic Lumix brand. Finally, I decided to buy. I forked out over $300 but I think it was worth the money spent. It's compact, it's fool-proof and I hope to snap lots of pictures with it. The IT show was an eye-opener as I got to see some eye-candies that really make me imagine I'm in dreamland. Never before I see so many pretty and gorgeous looking ladies, let alone in the past IT shows.

So folks, here I am now...sulking again as I dread going back to work. These days it seems I'm very unmotivated having to face all these mountainous work waiting for me. I scringe and I piled through it, yet at the end of the day, I still don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes I wonder how long more I have to tolerate this before I can dig out of my own grave. How I wish I can tolerate longer, but I think I'm slowly losing my own battle and my war. I guess I can only find out day after day how long I can last.

As I said...what a month! Looking ahead for the coming leap year!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

V Day: P.S. I Love You

Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate and remember Saint Valentine. There is a lot of version about his story but it all leads to him being proclaimed a saint owing to his declaration of love. He would send love poems, flowers and confessions of love until his death on 14 Feb.

Yes, his tradition lived on and it became what we know as expressions of love to our special someone, showering them with flowers, gifts, and other romantic goodies. A romantic dinner, followed by a number of romantic surprises normally follows before it ends with the couple ends up with a great night topped off with kisses all around. Alright...maybe I'm being a little melodramatic.

What we now know in this modern age, where convenience is the keyword with internet and commercialization of this special occasion, lends its hand to a big $$ making industry. Abundance of choices and thousands of new innovation to pacify the special someone to make them feel super special for this 1 particular day. Most guys felt obligated to pamper their ladies with lavish gifts and willingly spend the extremely pricey flowers, jeweleries, and dinner packages.

To me, the tradition is lost with hungry businessmen trying to make money out of this lovey-dovey period. Where is the distinct originality where guys frustratingly piece together a love poem to wow our ladies? Flowers sent personally instead of those deliveries and couriers making the trip. And even guys messing up the kitchen to concoct the romantic, heart-filled effort into making the meal for our special ladies. Where all these go? That's why I hated V-Day for it has lost its charm as a day where love is earned, and not given easily by exchange of cash. Okay...the real reason is that I also feel jealous, well maybe I should put it in another softer word - envious. Envious that the guy and the girl have each other to celebrate; envious that guys (or me) would go all the way to please the lady. And envious that guys will be able to get the lady to reciprocate the love and confirm the commitment to each other.

Anyway, I watched this movie - P.S: I Love You. It's got to be the V-Day movie of the year. It tells the story of a married couple who was having a crisis -sort of- in going ahead with their relationship. Talks of having kids, bigger apartment, better living, doing their own things. These are common to the early years of marriage. Then tragedy stuck and the guy died of brain tumour and began the story of how he planned to have his wife carry on with her life. So imagine getting letters and instructions on what to do after the guy died? It almost feel like the ghost of the husband is telling the wife what to do. It unfolds into romantic flashback of how they got to know each other and all the good things they cherish together. It then shows how the wife gets through the pain and the loss of someone who is the love of their life. It feels suffocating knowing that the husband is gone and will never come back. Thing is, life goes on and if you are stuck in that moment, you will not only lose yourself to insanity, you will lose your family and friends who cares for you. This taught me to not only treasure your family and friends, but also treasure your life partner as you will never know when she will be leaving you. Bickering is normal and happens to any couples, but I hope that after the bickering they know that they still have to rely on each other and it's better to kiss and make up quickly. I'm a romantic fool. There'll never be a happy ending. There can only be a compromised ending. Otherwise, it will not be a real life, it's a fairy-tale. We don't live in fantasy, but a world filled with egotistical people who will always think of themselves first. It just depends on how much they focus on themselves and what they think of others.

So to all my family and friends - P.S.: I LOVE YOU ALL LOTS AND LOTS!! I know it's hard to say in person, but I hope with this you will feel it and embrace it.

Last note: I feel my blog is getting some newfound interests and readers. So I hope if you do stop by to have a look, please leave some comments so that I know you popped by. It's the pooch house and it's always welcome any visitors with warm, open hands.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CNY! Rats and celebrations...

Woah...almost 2 whole weeks past since my last update. The last one I threw up. This time, I feel like throwing up! Hahaha...well, it's just because I can't resist all those cookies, candies, bak gua (dried beef), drinks, sweets, etc. I know I'm gonna gain back those weight that I incidentally lost when I was sick during Christmas! Aarrghh....

Before the company shuts down for the Chinese New Year, the usual makan group had a lunch at Cafe Cartel. We wanted something more special to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year! So, it was cozy and we had a filling lunch and even topped off with ice cream. Hmmm...I feel quilty as I was still coughing slightly. :p Nevertheless, we enjoyed the lunch and even had the chance to take a good picture courtesy of the waitress who took a great shot.

During reunion dinner, we had a steamboat/grill meal which was almost what we always had for this day anyway. But, somehow, this year it feels like there's not much appetite for everyone. We wanted to experience the spirit of "lao hei" which is mixing of fish salad for good fortunes. As the chinese saying go, every year has to have fish and that the higher you go, the more successful you are. But my mom did get too big of a package that I think it fits more to 12 people's share! Hahaha...anyway, it was good and we enjoyed the dinner. It feels a bit more special coz I usually eat dinner on my own at most working days nites.

My brother with the kids at my house. My mom was fishing for the prawns. :)

So, first day of Chinese New Year come! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Wan Shi Ru Yi! Huang Jin Man Man! Hahaha...all those greetings come and go. We all welcomed the rat year with mixed feelings. Rat year was not as glorified as the Dragon or Pig year. So, this year we felt that there's something missing...something that makes it less festive and great. The year already started off with economic downturn and bleak prospect of a good and healthy year. We just hope that the Rat Year can have something positive to look forward to. I woke up in the morning to go the temple with mom and dad and pray hard that there'll be lots of good fortune, pay raise, promotion, good results for my brothers in their studies and of course the health of all my family members.

Second day was Mahjong day! It was at Margaret's house and there was Shengni and Daphne, as well as Eileen and Eve. The itinerary was supposed to be Mahjong and dinner. We started at about 4 or 5 in the evening and I can't believe that we actually played until 7 in the morning the next day! It was only stopped by the dinner (another steamboat) and the occasional pee break and rats catching session! Yeah, you heard it right...not only it's the rat year, I get to see rats running around...well, they're so tiny anyway that it looks more fun to see them running around rather than being petrified of their presence. At the last few rounds of the last wind, we were speeding it up so much that it really wasn't that enjoyable and I manage to win some money in the end. I had my luck in the earlier round but lost quite a bit after the dinner.

To make things worse, I was supposed to go visit my boss's house at 2 PM. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the rest of the guest list had a last minute change of plans and we scrapped the plan. I was so exhausted and tired but I couldn't sleep much. In the end, I only got about 5 hours of sleep before another round of late nite outing. This time, I went to St. James along with a friend who is visiting from US. He's been working there for 2 years now but we were secondary school buddies. So, along with another friend, the 3 of us were hunting and gleefully looking at the hot babes as they danced and get wild to the beat of great tunes being played by the awesome DJs. Live music also entertained us in the Boiler Room and the DragonFly. We finished at about 4 in the morning and I told myself I'm gonna shut down for Sunday before heading back to work on Monday. Shutdown I did and I spent my Sunday in the border of lazying around and falling asleep on the sofa every now and then.

What a way to celebrate the Chinese New Year! I hope the next one will be even better!