Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Slacker for a day

It's nice to call in sick, without actually being sick (there is that hint of a cough), and sit around at home, pottering around the entire day.

It's nice when no one calls you to ask for that impertinent status report, or bug you about that deliverable you owe.

It's nice not to be able to retrieve your email, cos the client is so sensitive with their information and stuff that they don't allow vendors to VPN into their network. Ah, such is the bliss of isolation.

I asked myself what I achieved for today? Nothing. Zilch. I've done nothing, no work, no nothing. Well, I did make some progress in that old game I've been tinkering on, but that's not real work. I've totally wasted (let me see...) 8 hours of the day doing absolutely meaningless stuff.

And the best bit? I love it. Well, I don't think I can do this for a really long time. The problem with having worked in a job like mine long enough is that you're conditioned into looking for things to do. It's this little itch that gets to you in the worst possible way - like when you really need to scratch your pubes but you're in public (and in full view of a lot of genial old ladies).

Anyway, I head back to the grind tomorrow. Hey, perhaps the best bit is having been able to update this blog. Not a total waste of a day then.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Traffic Woes

This site isn't generating much traffic eh? :)

It got me thinking - what's the point in blogging if you aren't attracting the kind of hits those big blogger boys (or girls for that matter... sidenote: girls make more interesting bloggers) are getting? After all, most bloggers are doing it for the attention. Oh yah, forget that crap about writing their inner thoughts and feelings, and not being exhibitionist. You do not publish your thoughts online if you weren't into some attention. (another sidenote: use less double negatives, it confuses readers and the folks here aren't your dumbass clients).

Maybe its because I just feel compelled to write (oops, I like to do this don't I? sidenote: every goddamn blogger is compelled to write too, so what say you?). Maybe I just need an outlet to talk to myself. Maybe its just to talk shop therapy - you write what you think you want to write, and feel better as a result.


Its weird - the compulsions we feel. Sometimes, those little voices give you little ideas about what to say. You feel that little tug to do something - clean that table, say a compliment, write your thoughts down. Sometimes you act on the urge. Sometimes you don't. But those little buggers never go away, and you're left with that empty feeling that having done some things somehow make your life somewhat improved.

Sometimes, the sum of your somes dilute the somehows somewhat. And then some. Urgh...


I was in the zoo two weeks back (screaming kids and hassled parents; avoid the zoo during June hols!) and do you know what's the best part about being a zebra?

Ans: Having colour co-ordinated ass.

Now I know what a tail's true function is...

Of all the animals in that stinking zoo, I think I liked the zebras best. They have the most composure, and are real cool to the folks gawking at them.

Oh, and I didn't know zebras come with hair on the neck.

I think I like the fact that they come in black and white.

Frankly though, I think the whole zoo thing is kind of disappointing. I think I enjoyed it more when I was a kid. I remembered a screaming kid and his fascination with the kangaroos at the zoo. He was yanking on his mum's arm and excitedly yelling that he's seeing kangaroos.

His mum's reply in Mandarin would have killed any young eager tendencies to be a zoologist: "I see until don't want to see already lah."


She'll be back soon and needs the table space. I go now.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Two much is too much

For two nights straight, I had buffet. Two different groups of people, two different places, two different kinds of food available, two different kinds of conversations.

One wallet that bled cash, both days.

Thursday was dinner with the small group from church. Usually we would be doing our bible study stuff on Thursdays, but due to poor attendance last week, Vincent (the leader of the group) decided to have a catch-up eat out session instead. Not surprisingly, attendance was much better for the pig out session. Even less surprising was the fact that it was buffet.

Vincent likes his usual catch-up talk - it was a roundtable of what-have-you-been-up-tos, and how-have-you-beens. I usually talk about work and I told them about how busy things are, and the kind of shit the client just dished me. We talked about the upcoming IOC meeting, seeing as it is that one of us is going to be covering the event (for a kid's magazine).

We chatted and ate - buffet is not my forte alas. I found myself unable to do thirds or fourths - it was meat stuff first, sashimi stuff later, and dessert stuff sat nicely on top, leaving no room for more.

Then, conversation drew towards movies and TV. It is always about movies and TV with Singaporeans; how paltry our entertainment scene. Let's see what's hot: War of the Worlds (all I need is the air that I breathe...), Batman Begins (oh yah, 'thanks' for telling me Liam Neeson's the real Ras-a-Gul), Lost (think Gilligan's Island crossed with Jurassic Park crossed with Survivor), Arrested Development (bail disallowed) and Battlestar Galactica (I must be the only guy out there who doesn't know what a Cylon is).

Amazing isn't it - we watch so many TV shows and movies.

Friday's buffet was a lot more expensive. This time, it is The Line at the Shangri-La hotel. It came to 80 bucks a pop. 80 bucks for dinner!

Well, the food was fantastic though - the oysters and lobster, the chocolate fountain, the sashimi, and more. I'm real bad at describing foodstuff (and besides, this is not a food blog) so that'll be all I'll say about the food. Oh, but I'll say this though - all I ate was seafood (sashimi, lobster etc) and dessert (chocolate coated strawberry and marshmellows - heavenly!). Little else. I'm a small eater and I really lose out whenever buffet fever strikes my friends.

Friday's bunch of buffetholics is my start group - these are the guys I started work with at my first and only job. And Friday marked our fourth year in the firm (some of us has left).

Meeting my start group is always a unique experience - our conversation always end up isolating some one within the group. Invariably, I ended up the one isolated the most. My demographic just doesn't fit in with the others too well: I'm not from RJC, I'm not from the same operating group, I'm not interested in golf, I'm not a foodie, I'm blase about the food I eat, I'm not so into my job, I've not travelled all over Europe (only parts of it), I don't drive a car (don't own one that's why), I don't work the same shitty hours, I can't gossip about the people you guys do (that's to do with that different operating group thing) and I'm quite tired of the rat race.

I want out. No, not out of the start group, out of the rat race that is.

We went into reminiscing mode - that time we went to Malaysia, our first day at work, the projects we were at. War stories and spooky tales. Talking is a consultant's prerogative, and we talked as consultants do - that sly, more than it actually seems kind of talk.

We also gossiped - why did that high flying executive leave under such mysterious circumstances? It makes for interesting conversation to indulge in tales of conspiracies and office political skulduggery. The things we do to get at each other, the little petty jealousies we bear.

Tired. I'm so tired...


I miss the more innocent days - we were once fresh faced and out of school, looking to make something of ourselves in this world. We're now jaded folk, eating over-priced food and telling each other stories about life and work.

Anxious about the immaterial

Have you ever felt like there isn't a point to anything you're doing? Does it strike you that when you die, all that you've ever attained in life has no bearing on your afterlife? Does it seem like all that you have in this world means little spiritually?

Of course you have, but you still act the same nonetheless.



People I know are consumed by the material - that car, the latest handphone, the wealth creation strategy. Much of our status in this society are tied to that: the cash value of what you've attained. Perhaps it is the simplest way to rank yourself - in a civilized world, our only measures of each other's worth are through that simple denominator known as money.

I don't know if that is a sad state to be in. It does drive one to succeed though, and I know that one of my main motivators where my job is concerned is the money I get. Getting that house and car just seemed so much more important when you know someone else is getting it too. And they're telling you about it.


It's worse when it bites you - you're letting it get to you that you don't have that car, house, phone, and what-not the other person has. The little voice says "its a fabrication, you're being sucked into that dimension known as envy again". But why do you feel like it is natural, even acceptable, that you desire those things too? What's with those pangs of desire when a friend waxes lyrical about his latest acquisition?


Desire is such a coy toy - it teases you and entices you. It mocks you for your lack of courage. It sucks your energy in mindless pursuits. You want it, and you think that it wants you too; but what it really wants to you is to reward you if you're worthy, and destroy you when you're not. And when you finally realised that Desire has played the inattainable game with you, her twin Despair engulfs you in waves of anguished pain.


So has it struck you that when you die, none of it really matters? Of course it has, but you're too young to care - you think you'll live forever.

A sick game, and we're none the wiser.