Saturday, June 25, 2005

Me 06/2005

I realised I've never really talked about myself. Here, I shall dedicate a post all to talking about myself. Me, myself, I. After all, most blogs are really ego trips - why shouldn't mine be one as well?

I am 29 years old, male, and Chinese. I live in Singapore, on the western part of it, in a little known area called Teban Gardens. Teban Gardens is mainly known for housing foreign workers, its MP Tan Cheng Bok, and celebrity blogger Wendy Cheng aka Xiaxue. Quiet little neighbourhood without the pretensions of places like, oh, Jurong East.

Oh, this isn't about where I live. Its about me. In any case, I work in the consulting line (one of my earlier posts should have made this obvious). I don't think I'm particularly good at what I do, but I get by. Its been my first and only job, and come 2 July, it will have been 4 years to the day that I started work. 4 fricking years spent at the same firm, slogging away so somebody else can get rich. My work really goes to pay that big boss's salary, and I get some slap on the back for doing good work.

Woah... steady tiger. This is not the forum to get pissed with work. Its about yourself. I live with my parents (most Singaporeans do, until they get married; or die; whichever happens first. Of course, we all know marriage causes death as well, but...). My parents are getting crankier by the day. My father should be retired, but he took out all his CPF money and gambled on a business that tanked. Now, he is wrecked by that failure, and spends his nights watching TV to sleep on the sofa. My mother shows more gumption - she reinvented herself into a masseuse, from being the housewife that she is. She now kneads the necks, feet and shoulders of JAL air stewardesses and ang moh men. I wouldn't mind touching air stewardesses all over either, but that's my mum's bread and butter.

Me. Focus. Me. Of course, my personal life is kind of shot - since I hardly have much of it outside of work. One saving grace (hehe) is my girlfriend. We've been together for a year and 4 months (and counting). The relationship goes well - its kind of on some kind of plateau (I know you read this, but you know what I mean). She shows lots of spunk, juggling many responsibilities at the same time. I myself cannot struggle with holding a demanding job, a part-time scheme, two bickering grandparents, and a family dependent on your income. My universe was very empty until yours decided to collide with mine. It feels like we're like two revolving stars, headed for a messy collusion of lives.

Finally, me. I like to read. I'm a Christian, though I wished I was a better one - largely, I'm not apathetic, but I'm not proactive either. Kind of like sheep. I watch movies voraciously - certain scenes from movies stay stuck in my head (just as certain lines in books do too). I can instantly recall important scenes from movies I have liked. I used to keep a journal, but it only contained mostly my sad thoughts - so I put it aside. I confess that I mine it occasionally for inspiration.

I'm not a smoker. I sometimes drink when I'm with friends. I'm a Gemini, but it doesn't make a twat of a difference. I like to take pictures - my digital SLR is my biggest investment in this area and although I do not expect to ever be a pro, I do enjoy taking beautiful pictures. I love sunsets. Raising my arms and forming a cross with my body while facing an on-rushing wind gives me a cheap thrill. I enjoy playing Mahjong - and beating the crap out of my friends at it.

I am me, and now you know too.

PS: I don't think that's all, but its kind of late. Maybe I'll update next time yah?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Week in Review

Ha I haven't updated in a while. Been busy. Work. It's not like I'm sitting here just thinking of things to say.

Alright, I am sitting here thinking of things to say, but hey, it's while I'm at work thinking of things to say. I guess I've got enough to say, especially with the rubbish I've spouted so far. So I shall keep saying it. Hehe...

Work is the shits (what else can it be?). I'm practically swimming in shit. Imagine being stuck in a cesspool, and you're given a little bowl. All the while you're in the cesspool, some celestial being is dumping shitloads of ... erm... shit on you. You're busy scooping shit and getting them out of your cesspool. But it keeps coming. Oh hey, after all, what's a cesspool for, right?

So you're shovelling shit. And nobody cares that you are. (Some do, but when they care, they give you more shit, even if they don't know it, and they apologise about it).

I don't need more shit - just some peace of mind will do.


So, life takes a turn this weekend - a new member in the house (not by birth though) and new tussles over bathroom priviledges. Wardrobe space got cut in half - I finally managed to dump those old clothes - into another part of the house.


Stuff never gets thrown away where I live. They just relocate to another part of the house. Mum has this thing for never throwing away stuff - they get re-stuffed into other parts of the house. That old set of books gets boxed up and stacked on top of the cupboard. The old bed is dismantled and lined up nicely under the new bed. My sister's old toys fill up those cupboard drawers which lie unused.

It's a karang guni paradise - frankly, 50% of the stuff should go - can you imagine living with a broken down TV for more than 2 years? Ok so there's a replacement set from a relative (still working, has colour, and works with our cable). But hey, that old TV is spoilt. It's beyond economical repair (haha... where I work, we call this BER). So throw it away. Dad says he might be able to fix it. When he has time (he never does, he's busy watching TV).

I've never felt more like moving out.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Memory - or the lack of it

I write to remember. I write to forget.

I pen things down so I can recall them later, like the notes I write when I listen to people speak. They're there so that I can later recollect the thoughts that went behind what they said. It helps to reinforce information that I've filtered through, my thoughts and my analysis of its arguments. That's why I write. The day I turn an amnesiac (and it isn't far off), what I've penned down will serve to jog my memory into recovery.

I also want to forget. If I were to write it down, it is as if the thoughts were channeled through my thin arm, tingling nerves in my fingers, and finding release through pen and ink. Thoughts flowing freely, black ink on paper. Thus these children of mine leave me, and I can forget. I can free my mind for other things - it is unencumbered by the past, the truly trivial (though I seldom write anything I consider trivial down). Oh yes, I can also forget the hurtful memories.

I write so I don't need to write no more. I write so I don't hurt from remembering. I write so that I can fly free - my thoughts can leave me, and rejoin me later if need be.

I write because I write - when life offers you little else, what you write leaves others a legacy of stars. Writers are unselfish people, for they willingly expose their bare flesh to the reader's torment. Writers are deceitful people, for they lie and hide their real thoughts, obscure the facts.

I regret that I started writing, for it will never stop. No wait... it did.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

When work sucks you in

A new guy finally joined my team of one (now its two! - a master and his apprentice) last Friday.
Colin my young padawan: much to learn you have. The dark side of the force beckons, and we are few in number. The enemy assails us relentlessly. We have to be vigilant (or quit caring). We have to fight the good fight.

Much to learn...


It is a welcome relief - the addition of a new team member takes some of the pressure of me, allowing me to do what I do best: design the solution. Seriously speaking, I love designing an IT solution, especially when it is totally customised. You have so much room to be creative, solving problems and figuring out means of handling exceptions. Also, the knowledge that your design will bear down significantly on your client's revenues (and its staff's efficiency) does add that slight hint of pressure to what you are doing.

Oh, and having Colin in the team doesn't mean I have someone to bully - the onus is on me to develop his potential. So far, he's been showing initiative, and has strived to add value every step of the way. Sighs - I'm getting old. It gets hard to keep up with young punks like Colin when you know they can do your job at half the price and twice the speed.


In other news, I finally published some of the pictures I took in Myanmar online. Of all the things I liked about my trip to Myanmar, the best has to be the children I encountered. Here's some photos taken while stopping over at a nondescript village (I think it was somewhere near Lake Inle).

Keep your clothes on please!!!

These kids have never seen a digital camera before. Seriously...

Long road home...

Check out the rest of it in my Flickr if you can. I think they're pretty decent pictures. :)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wow its nice to be regarded as an expert

People who know me know me well. I think they do anyway, cos I don't know myself at all.


It feels good when someone wants your opinion on a matter. Of importance. To a whole lot of people. Whose job scope depends on that comment you're going to make.

So you don't screw up and say something stupid. Like "Hey, you have snot clinging to your moustache".

You're conscious that there is audience, hanging onto your words, your actions. After all, you are a consultant. After all, they can blame you if things go wrong. After all, you're paid a load of moolah for dishing out half baked knowledge.

"Clients I have worked with generally do not use that functionality." Friend, don't bluff lah. You have worked at only 3 client sites, and you screwed up at that last one. Which is why you have learnt your lesson, and can say with mock confidence that it doesn't work.

"This is not the best practice. The best practice is to do it by..." Uncle, that is not original man. You think you can fool me? You obviously checked in your knowledge database to get that shit, most of which are derived out of some business school. Oh, thanks for telling me what is common sense. Hope you're not saying I'm lacking it.

"That won't happen 99% of the time. We should not be building too much to handle exceptions." Riiiiiiight... See how you feel when you're that guy who has to deal with that 1% of cases, and no one knows what to do, and that half-baked design you did up seriously screws up any hope of salvaging the situation. Oh, thanks for leaving us that shit - we really love shovelling it out of the way.

Sorry guys - I'm a con and I know it. You don't know it yet because I'm a real hardworking con - I actually bother to look and sound intelligent when I'm meeting you guys. And half the time, its the use of the right words at the right time (and of course, avoiding the wrong words at wrong time thing). I'm no genius in this area - I just happen to have had learnt what went wrong, and am trying not to do it again.

Anyway, you guys love me - when I speak, you actually listen. Oh yah, I do say the wrong stuff, but when corrected, I know how to make myself sound good (eh, easy... just repeat what you said, with authority and lots of gravitas).

Hehe... my job is so much fun...


I feel lighter all of a sudden. Oh. Wait. That's cos I just lost my soul.