Monday, December 29, 2008

A Christmas dinner to remember

On Christmas day itself, I finally get to meet Nyk and SK at 3.00 pm. I was a little upset that I didn't get to spend more time with him, as he arrived in Singapore on the day before. The irony, so near yet so far. I know he has to spend time with his family and all and I shouldn't be so selfish but still ....

Anyway, it was better than nothing. One should be grateful for life's little blessings, no?

We just walked around a bit in Marina Square. I showed him the jacket that I wanted from Zara, which was on sale. Sat down for coffee and then it was time to meet with Will and his boyfriend Stan for dinner.

Will brought us to this place near Outram Park MRT called 8 Cafe. It was a nice and cozy little restaurant. There was a Christmas set and all of us ordered different main courses.

The food was great and we also had a bottle of wine. The food was a fusion of Chinese and Western. I would definitely go there again.

Of course, the company for the evening was the highlight. Will was his usual charming and funny self, regaling us with stories of his hot students. Besides, it was wonderful to know more about him. Stan was a little quiet, but I suppose he is just shy.

This was the first time Will met Nyk and I together. Previously, he had only met us on separate occasions.

Thanks again for an excellent dinner, Will!

With that, I bade Nyk farewell as he has to return to KL the next day. It was short, but it was sweet.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas eve miracles

What little festive cheer I had this year happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

For Christmas Eve, I was given a half day off. Initially wanted to do some last minute shopping, but it occurred to me that everbody would have thought the same thing. No, no, no, I don't want to be shoving around with everyone else.

So what I planned to do something different, something no one else would be doing, something ..... boring but needs to be done.

I had a dental appointment at 3 p.m. and facial at 4 p.m. Both of them have been delayed long enough, with the usual reason of No Time.

On Christmas Eve morning itself, I was thinking hmmm what should I do between 1 and 3 p.m.? Aha, I shall go to the bank .... the blood bank to be precise.

It was a pretty last minute decision and I was worried that I might not be able to make it for either the dental or the facial appointment. Usually, blood donation takes almost 1 and a half hours.

But with the spirit of Christmas in the air, I was in and out of the bank in an hour! No, there wasn't less donors or they took less blood; there were more nurses that day. They probably should have done this more often.

Hence, I finished my good act for the day at 2.30 p.m., went to the dentist and came out at a quarter past three. I even have time to squeeze in a late lunch and then stroll to my beautician at 4.

Usually, my facial takes almost 2 hours. But it's Christmas eve after all, so another miracle happened. I had my black pores extracted and mask taken out in 90 minutes! I do hope the quality has not gone down. Thankfully, my face is not for the worse.

I was headed for my dinner appointment with the gang. It was at Charcoal, a restaurant run by trainees hospitality students. When I made the reservations, I was told that there would be ala carte and a Christmas set menu on the day. I was also informed that the set cost $23.

On the 23rd, I was told that there was no ala carte menu for Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, I found out that the Christmas set cost $52.

Hey, enough with the miracles already!

Anyway, we ain't gonna pay so much for dinner. It's Christmas eve, not Valentine's day for Christ sake. We just wanted to have a nice dinner without paying an arm and a leg.

Hence, we decided to change our dinner venue to this place called Aerin's at Raffles City. The food was pretty decent and the portion was sufficient. The latter depends on what one orders though.

After the meal, I watched Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler. Pretty formulaic feel good end-of-the-year kind of movie. There were some laughs here and there. Pretty good for a couple of hours of escapism. I would rate it a 2.5 out of 5.

And so that was how my Christmas eve went.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December musings II

Usually year-ends are time to slow down, unwind and take stock of the previous 12 months. A time to take leave from work and enjoy the festive season.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for me.

Year-end is like a busy period for me. Heck, it is busy from December till March. So instead of winding down, I am gearing up.

Besides the more than usual workload, I have been loading up in kilograms too. Aargh!

No time to take in the festive mood of Orchard. Or to take advantage of the Christmas sales.

Since Nyk is coming down next week for a very short trip, it will definitely help brighten things up for me. Yay to that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December musings

As the year draws to a close, I am beginning to wonder where all the time has gone to.

It is with a pang of regret to say that it feels like work has taken up most of my time. The late nights, working on weekends; they seemed to be one continuous reel of film that keeps on playing and playing.

Notable events were the Bangkok trip with Nyk and the other bloggers in July and the recent trip to Kuching. I suppose what people say is true, the farthest thing you would remember is the time you spent in the office.

My life is passing me by ....

One of my ex-colleagues said that, going on holidays is like bookmarking a year. As time passes by, the years would all be the same; they are differentiated only by the vacations you took in that particular year.

If I try to recall harder, this year was the year I learnt how to ride a bicycle. Yay me!

It has been two and a half years now that I am Singapore. It felt longer than that. I wonder if that means something ....

Anyway, Nyk will be in town during Christmas, which is something I really look forward to. It will be great to spend time with him to mark the end of 2008.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happiness and unhappiness Pt III

Let's say that you are going to sit for a major exam in 3 months. Obviously, you need to study hard for it. There are times when you would feel stressed or frustrated at a particular chapter. Some activities have to be given up or reduced, like watching TV, playing football, online games, etc.

It is all about balance; you can't lock yourself up in the room mugging everyday. There are other things which you would indulge in to keep yourself from going crazy. Life is not totally unbearable or miserable.

Another scenario. Let's imagine you have cancer but it is in its early stages. The doctor said that you would have to go through chemotherapy. As such, you have to go the hospital every 2 weeks for the session. Besides the inconvenience of travelling to the hospital, vomitting, wearing a cap to cover the thinning hair and feeling lethargic, you still go about, as much as you could, with other things like shopping, watching movies, hanging out with friends, chatting online, walking the dog and bullying your younger brother.

Now, it's after the exam. You feel very relieved, as if a big boulder has been lifted from you. You feel elater and can't wait to do all those things you missed doing. Still, the feeling will probably last a couple of days to maximum a week.

For the second scenario, fortunately the chemotherapy worked and you recovered after a year of chemotherapy. In a couple of months, you have regained your strength and back to doing everything you had been doing before that. It was as if you never had cancer at all.

Let's do an experiment. Assuming you are a reasonably happy person, not those who always whine and why-does-it-happen-to-me-God kind of person, your normal happiness should be more than 5, say 6 range on a scale of 0 to 10. The perpetually unhappy people would below 5.

If you, the exam-taker, were asked how happy or unhappy during his pre-exam preparation, you would probably say you were stressed, but not too bad. You still have online games and MSN when you need a break from revision. You would probably say 5.

If you were the cancer patient, you would probably complain about the tedious and painful process of chemotherapy, but those do not take up a significant part of your life. Probably another score of 5.

Now if you were asked how happy you were 1 day after your exam or after you are cancer-free, you would probably answer 8 or 9 or even 10. This makes sense, as you would be very happy with the end of the exams or conclusion of chemotherapy.

A few days later, your happiness would have fallen to your normal happiness level of 6. But if you were asked to rate your pre-exam period, you would think of the stress, no television watching, the late nights and all the negative things. You won't recall how you were reasonably at the time, but instead would now rate that period as a 4 or less.

Similarly for the chemotherapy period, you would quickly think about the pain and nausea, the trouble of going to the hospital and feeling weak and mostly all the bad stuff. You would probably rate that period as miserable as give it a 3 or 4.

The point is, you could not imagine how you could be as happy now as you were previously, when the circumstances were bad. Surely, you would think that you were so miserable then and things are much better now. Hence, my happiness should be lower than it is now.

An experiment was indeed done to demonstrate the above. Our memories are not accurate. We could never recall precisely what our feelings were. We could only remember certain things and that would override the rest of it.

Therefore, it is entirely possible for one to think that he is happier now than he was previously. Of course, it is also possible that you are actually happier than before. No one knows that for sure, not even yourself.

I believe many would not find this interesting. I know this and yet I have not find any application of its use. I used to think that I was not as happy as I am now, but now I am not too sure.

No matter, it is better to live in the present and be happy as you could be.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happiness and unhappiness Pt II

I thought of something related to what I had written in the previous post.

In yesterday's the Star newspaper, one of the articles mentioned a sighted woman who married a blind man. She read a magazine ad which said ‘blind man looking for love or companionship’.
Angela was looking for a platonic relationship, rather than a romantic one.

However, after speaking to him every day for the next few months, she realised her feelings went much deeper.

“We made plans to get married then, despite fierce opposition from all sides — family, my friends, even his family. Everyone was scared and worried sick about how we would turn out,” Angela reminisces.

But she went ahead anyway, just to prove them wrong: “After a while, my mum saw that my husband is a dignified man who manages himself and his home well. He can do so much compared to many other normal-sighted men.”

Sagayanathan, who works as a telephone operator, also happens to be the sole breadwinner of the house since Angela left her job. The lovestruck couple plan to have children as soon as they get their finances in order.

Tears well up in Angela’s eyes as she says, “Who says that I’m my husband’s caretaker? It’s the other way around. He is the love of my life. Without him, I cannot live.”


So you see, being disabled in whatever way is not a the end of the world or means a life of hardship. The disabled themselves don't view life that way. It is only us, the "normal" people who think like that.

This relates to a question which a colleague was asked: If you knew that your child will be handicapped, would you still bring it into the world?

I don't see why not. In not having the child, are we actually doing a favour to the child or ourselves? Are we making life easier for the child by ending it before it starts? Or are we making our lives easier?

Who are we decide for the child that a life of darkness or without limbs or with the HIV virus is actually a terrible thing and that they would never savour happiness?

Even if the child were to die at a young age from the disease or disability, I think it is better that he has been loved and known what is love in this world.

To know what it means to have parents who love them (assuming they are nice parents of course and not treat/abuse him badly!), to experience the sensation of the warm sunlight or cooling breeze, to play with other kids, to experience joy and sadness, elation and pain and basically live as normal a life as can be.

There will definitely be some bumps in the road for the kid, but whose life doesn't?

And that concludes my thought for the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happiness and unhappiness

I was reading this book which says that happiness is genetically predisposed. Not predetermined or hardwired, but has a tendency to be. This is quite clearly demonstrated by people who seem to be perpetually happy no matter what happens around them, good or bad.

On the other hand, there are people who seem to be always miserable and can look at the downside of everything, even when positive things happen.

It is due to the fact that they look at things differently. Apparently, unhappy people tend to take things personally, that somehow the bad things that happen are connected to them.

Just some food for thought. I don't know where this post is going anyway.

Another point is that external factors influence on our moods are seldom over-estimated. We always think that winning the lottery, dating that hot guy, getting a high paying job, owning that sleek car and having to-die-for body would make us much happier.

True, it will. But only for the short term. Then we would revert to the original level of our happiness (or unhappiness). And we would mistakenly think that the next better car / job / guy would make us happier and the cycle repeats itself.

Basically the point is, people generally stay at their normal level of happiness or unhappiness in the long term. Something like mean reversion (too technical, anyone?). There may be occasional spikes and dips, but sooner or later, we would go back to the previous level.

I still don't know where I am going with this.

Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one day without your eyes blind. Or you were to have kidney failure and need to undergo dialysis for the rest of your lives. We would think that we would be pretty miserable, won't we? Some of us might even think that it is better to die than to suffer for the rest of our lives.

However, if we talked to dialysis patients we would find that they are actually quite happy. In fact, as happy as normal people are. How can that be? It is because firstly, we only focus on one aspect of the disability, forgetting to look at the big picture. We only look at the bad and forget about the good.

You see, we would still have our friends and family. We may be inconvenienced for a few hours a week to go to the hospital, but generally the other aspects of our live wouldn't change too drastically.

Secondly is the reverting to the normal mood thing which I talked about earlier. After a while, you would somehow adapt or cope and the disability would become just another part of your life. Of course, some people never recover from their depressive moods but for most of us, we do.

The point I am driving at is that it is not the end of the world when misfortune strikes. The human spirit is far more resilient that we give it credit for.

The end.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kuching Day 4

The second last day was mostly spent in the city. We planned to do souvenir shopping. We were at the Waterfront, walked a long the river and took some pictures.

We hunted for souvenirs at the row of shops parallel to the Waterfront. I know that it is a tourist area, but the prices were not too expensive. There are many things that has a local flavour, like wood carvings of cats, monkeys, tribal masks, paintings, etc. Spent the whole morning shopping for souvenirs and spent about RM50.

Next destination was the Sarawak Museum. It is actually a few museums collectively, namely Islamic Museum, Ethnology Museum, Art Museum and (Stuffed) Animal Museum. I managed to take some pictures from Ethnology Museum.
Taken at the Ethnology Museum

A painting from the Art Museum

A model made from recyclables

It was time for lunch. We headed to this circular-shaped hawker center and ordered laksa, siu mai, some vegetables and meat soup noodles. Finally I saw one stall which sells White Lady a.k.a. Snow White in Chinese. It's basically ice kacang, but with condensed milk, sago, pineapple and lychee with a twist of lemon. Very smooth and refreshing, but the rest said it was just OK / bland.

There is a famous fish ball noodles stall within walking distance, so we decided to try it. I know this was becoming more of a food vacation than a sightseeing / R & R vacation. But really, the fish balls were excellent; very authentic fish taste and good texture. We also ordered a plate of pork satay. It was also delicious.

After all the eating, we went to the Civic Center. It is one of the taller buildings in Kuching, with a very interesting design. It looks like a spaceship to me.

From the highest floor of the Civic Center, we could see the whole city of Kuching.
View from the Civic Center



One last stop to buy some snacks before dinner. No, not for ourselves but to bring back home. Bought some pepper for an ex-colleague, some biscuits and titbits.

Dinner was good. We had steamed red talapia fish which was very fresh. Had pork knuckles and another dish of miding vegetables.

Another day well spent. The next day was our flight home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kuching Day 3

We headed for the cultural village early in the morning. We got lost a little on the way there (there is absolutely no signage to the place!) and arrived at 10 a.m.

The place is quite huge. Entrance fee was RM60 and we got a "Passport" each, where we were supposed to get a stamp at every traditional house. There were also some notes on the different tribes, their cultures and history.

I will let the pictures do the talking.
Making "kuih bahulu". We bought them and they were good!

Inside the Malay house.

Things used in the olden days, from the Chinese House

The Melanau Tall House

The verandah of the Melanau Tall House

Tools to make blowpipes

Iban Longhouse

Inside the Iban Longhouse

There are two cultural performances daily, at 1130 and 1645. It was very interesting to watch the traditional dances, with the dancers wearing their tribal costumes. The dances were lively and the music was quite pleasing.




Two thing that irked me during the cultural performance. The MC's accent was terrible unidentifiable, hence what he said was impossible to understand. The other thing that I didn't like was this one dancer whom I felt was cocky. He wanted the audience to keep on applauding and applauding his spinning-on-a-wooden-pole stunt *rolls eyes*

We managed to finish the whole tour of the Cultural Village by 2 p.m. As we still had time, we visited the famous Cat Museum. There is everything and anything that are related to cats on displayed, from dolls, pictures, stories, teapots, sculptures to Doraemon, Hello Kitty and Cats the Musical. I don't remember seeing anything about the Pussy Cat Dolls though.

Quite an interesting museum actually. Some of the exhibits are really beautiful and unique. But Nyk commented that it seemed like a cat fanatic's exhibition of his vast collection of memorabilia from the interesting to the weird.



















When we were about to leave, it started to rain again. We had dinner with Lloyd's mum at this restaurant called Fook Xing. The dishes there were cheap and good. One of the unique dishes which we ordered was the duck wrapped with yam. Definitely unusual but it was great.

The mom mentioned a famous "kway chap" (mixed pork innards with kway teow) and Nick's eyes lit up. So we headed to the market where the stall is right after dinner. Nyk and I shared a bowl. It was good, but nothing spectacular. Nick loved it a lot though.

Feeling satiated and sleepy, we headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kuching Day 2

The next day was fine weather, just perfect for our trip to Bako National Park. According to the websites I have read, it is a must-go.

And I agree.

We had to take a boat ride out to the island. The river bank was lined with mangroves and we even spotted a crocodile sunning itself.







There were a few tracks to choose from and we decided on Telok Pandan trail, which is not too long. It is expected to take us about 90 minutes to complete the trail. There are two trails actually, one Teluk Pandan Kecil and Teluk Pandan Besar.

Both track overlaps except for the last part of their respective trails. Our main one is actually Kecil; Besar is just a 10-minute detour from the Kecil track.

Some of the sights which I saw:










At the end of the Pandan Besar trail, the view was beautiful. We were standing on top of a cliff and this was what I saw.





We turned back to the Pandan Kecil trail. It took us another 20 minutes before we reached this wonderfully tranquil and white-sandy beach. We also saw a dead jellyfish washed on shore (picture 2 below).








A boat came to pick us up from the Pandan Kecil beach. On the ride back, it started to rain and once again, we were drenched. That's twice in 2 days.

We went for lunch at a restaurant in a Malay kampung and ordered miding (local vegetable), chicken (fragrant and yummy), steamed white pomfret and hor jian. The hor jian is a little different from the ones that I have eaten. It's dry and there is crunchy prawn crackers around it.

I quite love it. Nyk didn't; he prefers them to be wetter. There is no starch but lots of eggs.

After that, we visited a temple nearby. And then it was time to head back to the hotel.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kuching Day 1

Nyk and I arrived in Kuching on 8th November (Saturday) at about 1500 hours. The flight was pretty uneventful and there wasn't many passengers on board.

Kuching International Airport

Lloyd and Nick were at the Kuching International Airport to pick us up. First thing we did was to check in at this hotel called Hung Hung, which is right next to the General Hospital. Hmmm, so in case anything bad happened, we would be extremely safe.

Why did we choose this hotel? It was the most affordable one that I could find online, at RM70 per night.

Next up was to visit the Sunday Market. This market actually opens from Saturday afternoon till Sunday afternoon. There were some things which one doesn't usually see in a open air pasar, like cats, dogs, DIY hardware stuff like screws and hammers, plants, etc.

We were there for less than half an hour when clouds opened up and there was a heavy downpour. We were all wet under our tiny 1-person umbrellas. We spent another 20 minutes to get back to the car and we got more drenched.

Dinner was at this place called Hong Kong Noodles. We ordered roasted duck, some local vegetable (I forgot the name) and toufu. The food were all great and I enjoyed it.

Kuching shops closes at about 2100, so there wasn't much to do after dinner. I didn't know that the people here have such wonderful work-life balance. But actually the sunrise and sunset here are an hour earlier than West Malaysia. That probably explains why.

And so we retired for the day.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kuching

I am blogging now from Kuching, in Sarawak. It has a very nice old world charm to it, with not many high rises. Most of the people here live in semi-detached and terrace houses in stark contrast to the HDBs and condominiums in Singapore.

I would be back in KL on Wednesday, so there will be no updates till then. Enjoy the weekend guys and gals!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The U.S. elections and Prop 8

This is indeed a year of surprises. First, it was the March 8 political tsunami in Malaysia and now, a black man would be the President of the most powerful nation in the world.

To look at it another way, it could be because the people are just sick and tired of the current administration. In Malaysia, there are corruption, racism, NEP, etc. For the U.S., there are issues of the economy and Iraq war. So it could be that it was more of a push factor than a pull factor.

I think there's where the similarities end. In terms of thinking and achievement, the two countries are vastly different. A non-Malay could never achieve what Obama did.

African-Americans in the whole country celebrated. The victory could be read as achievement for civil rights. A very quotable quote which I read was this, "Rosa sat so that Martin could walk. And Martin walked so that Obama could run. And Obama ran so that our children could fly". Wonderful and inspirational words indeed.

Obama message of change brought hope and optimism to the people. His victory is well-deserved. Congratulations to him.

Now that the election is over, another issue which also hogged the limelight was Proposition 8 in California. Proposition 8 seeks to outlaw gay marriage in California . Proponents and opponents of the it raised more than $70 million from all over the country, which is more than the federal funding that McCain received for his election campaign from federal funds.

This shows how monumental and significant Proposition 8 is. It is an issue close to the hearts of Americans which they feel strongly for, besides guns and abortion. It is either you're for or against the respective issues. Generally, the liberals and Democrats are for gay marriage, against guns and for abortion. The other side would be the conservatives, evangelists and rural folks.

The results are being closely watched all around the U.S., as California is the largest state and the outcome would have influence over future legislation on gay marriage in other states.

Of course, I really hope that Proposition 8 fails. But the results are not out yet and initial polls show that the proponents are leading. The chances are slim that it would fall through. If it doesn't, it is a huge step backwards for gay rights in America.

The fight for equality was and is never going to be easy. March on, brothers and sisters!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Avenue Q

Finally watched Avenue Q the musical today. I have heard about this musical for about two years. When I found out in July that it was going to be performed in Singapore, I was quite enthusiastic to go watch it. Unfortunately none of my friends were keen (Huh? What's that?).

Somehow, Nick suggested last month that we go watch it. I was like, yeah, finally!

I had downloaded the all the songs for more than a year and only listened to it last week. Yeah, nothing like a live performance to get the gears going.

I am not sure whether because I have heard the songs or I was just tired, but I found the musical ok. It was fun and the songs were great, but I didn't enjoy it as much as my friends. They have no idea what to expect (refer to paragraph one) and seemed to enjoy it more.

In the first half hour, the ever famous song Internet is for Porn was sung. Judging from the reactions from the audience, it was as if they were listening to it for the first time. Or maybe the actions by Trekkie Monster were hilarious.

I was like OK, uh-huh. Maybe my sense of humour was not with me this afternoon.

There were some spot-on lines especially in the current economic conditions:
Trekkie Monster: Here! Me give you $10,000,000!
Princeton: Trekkie! where did you get all that money??
Trekkie Monster: In volatile market, only stable investment is porn!

Another one, which is still relevant but not for long:
Only for now! (Sex!)
Is only for now! (Your hair!)
Is only for now! (George Bush!)
Is only for now!

Still, I did enjoy it. It deals with things like racism, bigotry, finding love, finding Jesus (briefly) and finding a purpose in life, all packaged in a nice and thoroughly enjoyable musical.

The songs were catchy, the mostly Filipino cast were excellent, the actor for Princeton was yummy. There was even a happy ending!

What is there not to like?

After the show, the only song that was stuck in everyone's head was The Internet is For Porn. No surprises there.

My favourite was There's a Fine, Fine Line.
There's a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There's a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know 'til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there's a fine, fine line between "You're wonderful" and "Goodbye."
I guess if someone doesn't love you back it isn't such a crime,
But there's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Two movies and clubbing

QR was in town for a week and he was staying at a hotel near City Hall. That would explain why I was commuting to City Hall for 3 out of the 5 weekdays after work hours. As usual, he was a hoot to be around with. Since he was posted to an oil town in East Malaysia, he has missed all the entertainment of civilisation and the bright lights of cities, so the main itinerary for him were shopping, movies and clubbing.

So yesterday, we went to watch a movie. Two movies actually. First was Burn After Reading, for its high reviews. It was quite good, but I don't think that it is my cup of tea. I had a WTF? at the end of the film, like was that all? Apparently it's a parody and a commentary of the times we live in, but on the whole it was a a little screwball for my liking.

Still, the big name cast of Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tilda Swinton seemed to be having lots of fun. I did laugh at some parts, especially when the contraption Clooney was building turned out (spoiler!) to be a rocking chair with a dildo (end spoiler). Overall, above average but not my cup of tea.

After that we watched The House Bunny. Now, this was hilarious! Call me low brow or unsophisticated or whatever, but this had me laughing out loud. The plot was typical and nothing to shout about, but the dialogue was riproaringly funny. Anna Faris delivered her lines with such earnest and innocence that it was impossible not to like her. She practically carried the whole movie through.

Next on the list of to-do was clubbing. But before that, time for some chow. We met up with a friend of his, who drove all the way to Changi Village. We had a pleasant and delicious dinner of nasi lemak and stingray. The latter was a bit too spicy though; I couldn't taste much of stingray.

The friend was kind enough to drop us off at Tanjong Pagar. It was my first clubbing for the year. The night apparently was still young at half past 11, as the dance floor was completely empty. So we chatted with James, who introduced us to Andy and Wilson.

An hour later, we were all on the dance floor, boogeying to the beat. As usual, the music was inconsistent, as noted by QR. There were danceable ones punctuated by not so danceble ones. We shared a Bourbon Coke and vodka cranberry to lower the inhibitions.

James had some fun dancing with a cute guy towards the end, but the weird thing was the guy kept his friend dancing beside him. It was like a threesome, but James was only interested in the guy. I was like WTF?

Overall, I had a good time. No one hit on me (unfortunately?).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy 28th

Birthday my dearest. Wishing you to be happy, healthy and handsome always.

With a year older, you are wiser, with more fine lines appearing and all, but I still love you ;-)

I love who you are now and I promise to love you for who you would become (hopefully better!), as we journey on together.

Though I am far away, I hope you could feel my presence and love by your side always.

You should have receive the gift and card today, and I hope you like them.

Again, a very happy birthday to you sweetie! I love you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Final three months of 2008

Another 3 more months and it is adieu to 2008. How time really flies.

I just realised that I need to go on leave for 2 weeks straight as part of the company's policy. This is so that anyone could not do any fraud stuff, as it is assumed that it would need someone to be continuously monitoring it and two weeks away from the office would be a hindrance.

Initially, I thought I need not comply as I just joined the company this year. Apparently, the policy applies to me as I joined in the first half of the year. Those who joined in the second half need not.

As I already planned to take a week of in November to go to Kuching, I now have another week of leave. Which I have no idea what to do with all that free time.

Well, an extra week of relaxation is always welcome. I suppose it is would be a wonderful opportunity to spend time with my family and catch up with all my KL friends. And hopefully, more time with my dear Nyk.

After that, I don't have any more off days until 2009. Furthermore, Christmas and New Year's are busy period for me, so I couldn't take leave even if I wanted to.

By the way, any suggestions on what to do or places to visit in Kuching? I have some short-listed some places to go to like Bako National Park, Cultural Village and the Sarawak Museum.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tien ba ba

Clay Aiken is gay. Like it's damn big news, as most of us would have known since he became famous on American Idol.

Simon Cowell said it best.
The "American Idol" judge reacted in typically sarcastic form, telling the entertainment news show "Extra": "Wow. That's a shock. It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable."

Taken from Newsweek:
Aiken's coming out was met with widespread applause—GLAAD was among the first to congratulate him this morning.

But why should Aiken deserve to be praised for coming out at the age of 29? You could say that a person's sexuality is nobody's business. But unlike other gay celebrities who have come out recently, like Neil Patrick Harris or Lance Bass, Aiken denied that he was gay long beyond the point of ridiculousness, and he did it in a way that bordered on homophobic.

When the Advocate asked him if he was gay during an "American Idol" press conference, he simply turned the other way, as if he never heard the question. In 2006, a sexually suggestive video of Aiken leaked from a gay dating Web site, but that same year, he gave a big interview to People where he implied he was straight. He even offered a cover-up for the video: it wasn't him, it was just somebody who looked exactly like him.

But to me, this is the best words ever said, written on EW.com.
I wish we lived in a world where Aiken's announcement wasn't considered brave, but rather mundane. I wish we lived in a world where the only message-board debates about Mr. Aiken involved the quality (or lack thereof) of his music, rather than what pronouns he selects when he's singing a love song.

I don't know whether I should punch him for coming out only now or to applaud him for finally doing it. Though I do admit that he is doing it because of son is kind of admirable.

Other interesting news. Last Sunday, after dinner at Suntec, my friends and I saw a young guy (probably in his late teens) with someone much older, who could have been his father. The older person has a few streaks of white hair.

Nothing interesting about that, except that they were holding hands.

Nothing exceptional about that either. I mean there is nothing wrong with a father and his son holding hands, right?

Except maybe the way they held hands. Hand in hand, with fingers interlocked.

Now, that's something, isn't it?

And what's more, just as I was looking at them, the teenager let go of the other guy's hand.

Coincidence or something more?

I may be reading too much into it and I may be wrong, but who would hold their dad's hand in such a way? The most intimate is probably a clasp.

Daddy? Or sugar daddy?

P/S The title means "sweet daddy" in Mandarin, which sounds better than tang ba ba (sugar daddy). It is a literal translation. I don't know what is the correct term. Please let me know if you do.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Most cherished person

Last week, my colleague was pouring her complaints out about her husband. How he demands that she cooks, cleans, irons and does all the chores while he does not lift a finger. How his wishes and needs supersedes hers.

I could understand where she is coming from. The MCP (Male Chauvinist Pig) strikes again.

I blurted, yeah straight men and rolled my eyes.

Then she retorted and said, "What? Who knows, you might be an MCP too to your darling."

Now, as modest as I am (ahem!), I know that I am not an MCP. I treat Nyk well. Yes, there are disagreements and hurtful words spoken, but it is and will be never my intention to hurt his feelings. And he knows that too.

In fact, I do my best to make him feel loved, appreciated and taken care of.

Coincidentally, just a few days ago, he was upset because he thought I was pressuring him to spend time with me. This was actually not what I meant. I had wanted him to take a couple of days off, but he is not sure of his work schedule yet.

Of course, I understand his predicament and said well, it's fine. But if possible, do take leave so that we could spend time together.

My sweet dear felt pressured because he thought too much. On one hand he badly wants to spend time with me and on the other, there are other factors involved. He felt as if he was being pulled in different directions.

For that, I apologised to him. I really do understand his situation.

If I am an MCP, let me be the most cherished person instead.

Remember that you are never pressured to do anything, OK?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The rule of law - Section 377A Pt II

Due to the article published on Monday, the gay debate continued on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A letter from the conservatives:
What’s next? Same sex marriages?
Anton Chan
Mr Ho Kwon Ping is wrong to propose the acceptance of gays into Singapore society because accepting a gay lifestyle would have a tremendous impact on society as a whole in terms of religious beliefs, social well-being and families.

As a Christian, I oppose legalising a gay lifestyle in Singapore because it’s against my beliefs. As a father of three teenagers, I care because I don’t want my children to be affected by such a lifestyle.

Imagine if we allow the acceptance of such a lifestyle in Singapore. What next? Legalise same sex marriages? Legalise adoption of children for gays?

Where are we as a socially-conservative society heading towards?

Soon gays will claim the right for social acceptance in all areas including education, welfare et cetera. What effect will this have on the next generation of children and parents who wish that their children will grow up normally and produce children in the normal course of their being?

The only strong contention in Mr Ho’s proposal is the so-called gay leading edge in the “creative class”. Doesn’t our society have many other people to develop and nurture? Why are we so eager to promote creative class talent in Singapore? So that we can become a more tolerant society to accept whatever lifestyle these bring? Definitely no.

I would like to borrow a similar argument by Attorney-General Walter Woon regarding the Human Organ Transplant Act (Hota). In “None above the law” (Sept 8), he said: “If Dr Lee (Wei Ling) disagrees with Hota, she is at perfect liberty to campaign to have it amended … But until Parliament amends or repeals the Hota and the Oaths and Declarations Act, they remain the law of Singapore.”

If anyone disagrees with the law for gays as enacted by Parliament, he/she is at perfect liberty to campaign to have it amended … But until Parliament amends or repeals the law of Singapore for gays, it remains the law of Singapore.


What irks me most is when people start of their argument with "As a Christian, I oppose ...". How come they never say "As a thinking Christian" or "As a logical and rational adult"?

Because they don't think and they're not logical. If they do, they would realise how stupid and flawed their arguments are. It is as if being of a certain religion precludes the usage of the cerebrum.

When a person claims to be a Christian, it is implicitly saying that they are just taking the Bible word for word, no questions asked. More than 10 years of education down the drain.

If someone were to follow the Bible to the word, then why doesn't he ask for laws to make an offense for adultery? Why not push for and make it a punishable offense for anyone who works on Sunday?

Why not impose one's beliefs on everyone else? Because apparently, there is no such thing as live and let live in the minds of the narrow-minded religious. It is "I am right and they are wrong" kind of mentality.

Of course, I am only referring to those so called "educated" people who can't think for themselves. There are pastors and Christians who believed that everyone is God's creation and each of us deserves happiness, freedom and love. But unfortunately the latter number less than the former.

In addition, the writer totally went off tangent and did not rebut from the rule of law perspective.

I am not sure why I keep giving blogspace to these kind of letters. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The rule of law - Section 377A

Here I am back in Singapore after a short weekend back in KL. It was quite a memorable one as I get to spend some time with Nyk.

We visited the KLCC Aquaria. I felt it was a bit small as compared to the Singapore one. One could go through the whole place in less than 40 minutes, including time to read the information of the various fishes and reptiles.

On the plus side, the animals look healthier and better taken care of, than those that are in the Singapore's Underwater World.

Anyway, my colleague in Singapore was pretty excited about an article on 377A (the one that criminalises gay sex). That article was written by chairman of Singapore Management University, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and chairman of MediaCorp.

So, it's not just anyone who wrote it, but someone quite important and credible. I am actually surprised that it got published.

The full article, titled Stop Making a Mockery of Rule of Law: Let's Accept Gays can be found here (thanks to TNT).

Basically, the article says that it is pointless to have something in spirit but not in practise. The Singapore government has publicly said that the law would not be enforced, but still be maintained in the Penal Code.

As the writer says, it's schizophrenic. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder categorised by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thoughts/speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and apathy.

In other words, the rule of law is not being followed. The government is in a bind; they have no idea what to do. The government wants to appease the Christian right but at the same time wants to ensure that the gay community does not feel marginalised or leave the country.

Of course, the writer made a very good and coherent argument for the repeal of 377A. It is very true that "most Singaporeans (except, perhaps, the most fervently fundamentalist Christians or Muslims) don’t care that much about one way or the other; which the police, courts, and legal community would welcome simply to remove an archaic, Victorian-era statute; and finally, which the gay community would embrace as an important signal that their right to privacy — a fundamental human right — is considered to be more important than the right of anti-gay groups to proselytise about morality".

And of course, the fundamentalists would reply, which I would write on the next time.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Exercise

Here I am back in KL for the weekend. It has been quite a slow week for me at work, thus allowing me to leave work on time. Though busier weeks are expected end of the month, due to third quarter closing.

With me being able to get off work on time, I managed to go to a commercial gym for group exercises. Yes I know, I am in the remaining 10% of the community who do not frequent the gym.

Anyway, I had a go at pilates on Tuesday, gym ball on Wednesday and Bodystep on Thursday. The pilates class was not too bad, though I felt the instructor was a bit too quick and the whole session felt rushed.

The gym ball class was very good. I was with Lloyd and at the end of the class, I was aching all over. The good kind of post-workout pains. We worked on the abs, arms and shoulders. Even though there were no exercises targetting the legs, there were some effects felt too. I suppose it was due to the gym ball used, where the leg muscles were engaged to stabilised my body.

Bodystep was quite fun too, though there were a lot of jumping, hopping and complex choreography stepping involved. I reckon I didn't too bad on my first try.

The pace was fast and I don't think I got the right movements, in terms of how to step. As in the knee-bending, up-stepping and ankle-lifting had to be done correctly or else it would be quite bad for the knees and ankles. And I have less than strong knees and ankles.

I also attended the Bodypump and RPM classes too.

So now I have had a taste of what all the hype is all about. Some of my gym-going friends have mentioned all those group exercises in conversations and I have no idea what they were talking about.

Overall, those classes are quite fun and it does look like an enjoyable way to be healthy and shed some pounds. Definitely beats running on the treadmill at my condo's gym.

All of the classes above were made possible thanks to Nick's and Lloyd's free 1 week pass. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wall-e and some reminiscence

It has been raining these past few days. The cool weather is perfect to just lie and laze in bed, under the covers. Better still if there was someone to cuddle with.

Anyway, just came back from watching Wall-E. Pixar has done it again with its excellent storytelling and plot. Sure, the graphics are great, it is almost a given. The story is more important as without it, no matter how good the graphics is, the latter could never compensate the former. Case in point is a certain story set in a far, far away galaxy.

How Pixar managed to humanise a story about two robots and to slip in a message on preserving the environment is indeed remarkable. Congratulations again to Andrew Stanton, the same guy who gave us Finding Nemo (I still love this the most and because of the movie, the clown fish has become the most recognisable fish) and Toy Story.

At work, things are ok. Though I find it unsettling when I become the center of attention about my love life. A colleague seemed particularly interested in it, asking probing questions. The frequency of the questions seem to have increased.

Oh well.

There is a colleague who is meeting someone from online for the first time tomorrow. From URL to IRL. I still remember what it felt like when I met someone for the first time, back in 2002. The anticipation, expectation, trepidation. Good luck to her!

Think Nyk would have felt the same when he first met me. There was a little shyness initially, but that quickly faded away.

And now, look at where we are now! LOL

Happy 51st National Day, Malaysia! (though I do think that 16 September would be the more accurate one)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

AIDS in Asia

The article below appeared in a Singapore free newspaper about 3 weeks ago.

1 in 5 Asian Homosexuals Has HIV

UNITED NATIONS — HIV infection rates among gay men in many parts of Asia are as severe as those which devastated homosexual communities in the United States in the late ’80s, said top officials of the United Nations Aids agency UNAIDS.

Launching his agency’s 2008 report on the global Aids epidemic, Mr Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, urged more action to prevent the spread of the disease among gay men who have unsafe sex. He also stressed the importance of working with affected communities.

Mr Piot said: “All over Asia there are now epidemics of HIV in men who have sex with men, at the same magnitude that we saw in this country 25 years ago. That is something that has been detected fairly recently. There is not enough action yet but we are now starting programs,” he added.

Paul De Lay, director of Evidence, Monitoring and Policy at UNAIDS, said the HIV epidemic among gay communities in Asia was not new, but that it had recently reached the levels seen in cities such as San Francisco at the end of the 1980s when HIV infections reached their peak.

He said it could be due to a number of factors, including less funding for programs that target men who have sex with men and the fact that there were new groups who were less aware of the risks of unprotected sex.

“Asia has recognized populations of men who have sex with men for quite some time,” he told AFP. “The epidemic in these populations started in the mid-1990s. What we see now is a resurgence.”

“There are countries where the percentage of people infected are similar to what we were seeing in San Francisco or in Berlin or in London where up to 15 to 20 percent of men who have sex with men are HIV positive,” he added.

The report meanwhile noted that unprotected sex between men was a “potentially significant but under-researched aspect of the HIV epidemics in Asia,” citing countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

“Recent study data from several major cities in the region, from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, show increasing HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men,” the report said.

In China, unsafe sex between men could account for up to seven per cent of HIV infections, it noted.

De Lay said there were also high infection rates among gay populations in cities such as Chennai and Mumbai in India and in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.

He added that these communities often faced homophobia from the wider population, as well as discrimination from health care providers, which discouraged them from seeking information and getting tested.

“Even without blatant national laws that criminalize homosexual behavior, you can still have a gradation of policies and practices that can be almost as bad,” he said.

De Lay pointed to a similar resurgence of HIV infections among gay populations in the US and western Europe, which he said showed the need for constant vigilance.

The report said higher risk unprotected sex among gay men in several countries in western Europe, such as Germany, appeared to be linked to the increasing numbers of new HIV diagnoses among that group.

“It’s disturbing because it’s this sense that we can never let our guard down as far as prevention, that the epidemic will come creeping back if there isn’t this constant attention being paid to it,” De Lay said. -AFP

I believe the same report appeared in quite a few other news publications as well.

But there was something that didn't seem quite right. Could you guess what it was?

Read the title again.

It wasn't mentioned anywhere in the article that 1 in 5 or 20% of gay Asian men is gay. It only said that up to 15 to 20% of gay men are HIV-positive.

I am not trying to nitpick here, but there is a difference. And a huge difference at that.

It's like a sale which says up to 20% discount, which could be only 5%, 10% or whatever amount below 20%, as compared to a sale of 20% discount, which means ALL items are 20% cheaper.

If someone were to read the title of the report only without reading further, he or she would have the wrong idea that one-fifth of gay men are HIV-positive.

I am not trying to underestimate readers intelligence, but stereotypes and discrimination abound. The human brain is programmed to categorise and pigeon-hole things neatly into little boxes. As such, reading the misleading title would likely lead readers to think that only gay men contract AIDS or that it is a predominantly a gay disease or straight people are less likely to contract the disease.

All of the above are not desirable or positive outcomes. It probably would have done some damage to the hard work and effort of HIV education programs to change public perception about the virus.

In my opinion, there are two concerns regarding such inappropriate headline:
1) it reinforces the misconception that it is a homosexual disease and only homosexuals get it. This would make other segments of society believe they are not at risk and thus may erroneously think that they do not need to take precautions like practicing safer sex

2) it paints a picture of doom and gloom for homosexuals, that one in five gays are likely to become infected. Being gay doesn't doom a person to a life of suffering and HIV. It is about being true to yourself and loving yourself for it. There is hope, optimism and happiness and those are not in the domain of heterosexuals only.

Actually, I had written in an email to the newspaper stating my concerns and the reasons, but it was not published. I have also sent it to Straits Times and it was also declined.

Just for readers information, the original headline reads "AIDS hitting Asian gays at high rates: UN".

So is it a case of deliberate anti-gay propaganda or just plain sensational reporting?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The swordfish, then the Concubine

The OCBC Singapore Theatre is currently on and we watched this play called The Swordfish, then the Concubine. Ignoring the weird title, it was written by Malaysian playwright Kee Thuan Chye and directed by Ivan Heng.

The synopsis for the play:
Swordfish attack Singapura, terrorising its citizens. A boy saves the kingdom by lining the beach with banana stems. But the Sultan, at his ministers’ advice, has the boy executed.

A generation later, the Sultan’s successor, his son, breaks the covenant between subject and ruler when he has his concubine publicly executed on trumped-up charges, bringing untold shame to her family. Sure enough, an armada of ships from the Majapahit empire soon appears on the horizon, and threatens Singapura’s supremacy.

Conspiracy and trump-up charges? As you can see, the play is very apt indeed in the current socio-political climate in Malaysia.

There were a lot of Malay cultural influences in the play, something rarely seen in Singapore theatre. There was dikir barat, gamelan and Malay costumes.

The play started off with the trial of the concubine, Nurhalisa. The judge was obviously not going to be impartial. She was charged with one, to conspire to overthrow the king by associating with a sect deemed "deviant" by the government and two, attempted to murder the consort to the Sultan.

About the deviant sect, Mat Zin, it was portrayed as a sect that teaches its followers to love fellow human beings, that all religions are equal as they are all from the same supreme being, to appreciate diversity, etc. Apparently, there was a giant water container on the compound of this religious commune.

Of course, this reminds me of a certain giant tea pot somewhere, which was smashed by the "righteous" government for being "deviant".

Other things that raised questions, how does one prove that there was a conspiracy against you? If I have no spies and I don't have money to bribe people, how do I fight against those who want to bring me down, especially if they were powerful? Especially if their words hold more weight? It's basically their words against mine.

When the play flashback to when Singapura was attacked by swordfish, there was a scene where the National Service was poked fun off. Just because the soldiers attended NS, doesn't mean they could solve every problem like a sea of psycho swordfish.

And then the boy came to suggest that they should plant banana stems to halt the siege. He was immediately killed the next day, to preserve the peace of the state. How does one boy equal to causing harm to the society? Well, politicians like the Bendahara has a way to justify things like this and it went like this - the boy would one day grow up to be very clever, too clever with his ideas which that influence the people around him and therefore cause riot in the kingdom.

Especially when the media is the controlled by the government, through seen or unseen hands, the people would believe what they read and hear. That is why I don't buy newspapers anymore, at lease not for the news and editorials.

In the second act, the reigning Sultan who was a spoilt brat who always wanted things his way, offended his cousin, the ruler of Majapahit. For that, Singapura was again attacked. The Laksamana helped the invaders and for that, he was turned into stone, what was termed as divine justice.

However, the another boot-licking pembesar who served the Majapahit became a hundreds time richer. And he died peacefully, so where is his divine justice?

The part where the Sultan's niece become his daughter-in-law and the Bendahara's wife's brother become his son-in-law, that was so true. Ths Sultan and the Bendahara were already in-laws became further in-laws. They're related and elated. So incestious.

Acting all around was quite good, though no one particularly stand out. The two commentators cum narrators were funny, playing it to the hilt with their antics.

Overall, I think it was quite funny. There were too much talking in some parts and the pace was a bit inconsistent, but those are minor flaws. Though I did find the section where they searched for the best singer, voted by the people, to sing for the Sultan ala Singapore Idol quite jarring to the whole play.

Highly recommended to go watch, if the play is staged in Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

X-Files: I want to Believe

I went to watch this at 10.45 last Saturday morning. I had no other choice as the movie is close to the end of its run at the cinemas.

First off, most reviews about it was negative. SK said it was bad. A review said that it was offensive to gays, as the villain in the movie was gay.

Thus far I have only seen one positive review in the papers. The other positive review came from Lloyd.

My opinion. It was like a typical episode of X-Files. Which is not to say it wasn't great. It was good and I felt satisfied when I left the cinema.

*spoilers ahead*
It has been five years since they left the FBI. Scully is a doctor at the local hospital and she is personally attached to this boy who has been struck with an incurable disease.

And guess what? Mulder lives together with Scully. They shared two passionate kisses and they sleep on the same bed.

But of course, they are not married. They still call each other by their last names.

The plot was about healthy young women being abducted and killed. Their body parts were found buried everywhere.

The person who led them to the body parts was a convicted paedophile priest called Father Joe. At one point, Scully said, "If God was trying to tell me something, through a paedophile priest no less ..... "

Anyway, no one believes that Father Joe (FJ) was really psychic. But he led them to another body and cried tears of blood, which had Mulder believing in him.

I think what I found interesting about the film was the familiarity of the themes from the TV series. Father Joe could be really psychic, but in the end was proven otherwise. There was a lot of ambiguity there.

To me, it was pretty clear that he was, just not he was not a very good one. He claimed to be given visions by God. This was his way of serving God and entering back into the arms of Jesus after his heinous crimes.

Which is highly possible. Probably he was redeeming himself by helping the FBI with his visions.

The other theme that was recurring was "Don't give up". For no reason, FJ told Scully that and it stuck in her mind. She did not give up and tried a new radical procedure on the dying boy, even though everyone has given up and wanted the boy sent to a hospice.

It was also relevant to Mulder, as he was not giving up on finding the latest missing girl alive. The FBI was pretty closed to solving the case and Scully wanted Mulder to let them finish the job.

But Mulder would have none of it as he believed that the latest missing girl was still alive. And he had to find her fast.

Scully accused him of being stubborn, followed by "that was the reason I fell for you". Mulder then said that was why it is impossible for them to be together. She still thinks that part of it is due to the fact that he can't stop looking, he can't stop believing even though he knows his sister is dead.

So that was why I find it satisfying. I am quite a fan of X-Files and to see all these development between the two characters, how much they have grown since but still very much the same.

Scully wanted a normal life, to come home everyday, to not chase monsters in the dark anymore. Mulder couldn't stop because that is who he is and that is his life.

But still, the darkness finds them.

About the villain. It's actually this organ transplant transportation guy who was killing people to harvest the body. His employer / husband was dying from cancer. He wanted to keep his boyfriend alive by transplanting his head to the victim's body. One body could probably last a few weeks and then a new body would be needed.

And the there was a relationship between the dying guy and Father Joe. Apparently, the employer was one of the alter boys that Father Joe "buggered", to use Scully's choice of words.

*end of spoiler*

Basically, I would think that the movie is good simply because it was good to know what has happened to my favourite FBI agents. The chemistry was still there and all the ingredients that made the series great were there. For me, the plot was secondary to Mulder and Scully's motivation and evolution since the last time we saw them.

Probably it wouldn't be as good to non-fans. Even the guy who sat behind me said "Quite good what. Who was the one who told us it was lousy?"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bad habits

With the exam over, I went to watch this movie called Bad Habits. It was a movie about, well, bad habits.

Warning, spoilers ahead.

There is nun who believe so strongly in Jesus and that faith can overcome everything.

The context. Throughout the movie, it was raining and some parts of Mexico was flooded and many have died. The nun sees herself as the saviour; she even dreamnt of herself walking on water like Jesus did.

Thus, she began to starve herself and pray whole day long asking for the rain to stop. She refused to eat even when other nuns tried to bring her food. Till one day, she collapsed and needed to be hospitalised.

Another intertwined story was about this girl of around 12 years, whom the nun taught in her religious classes. Her name was Linda and she was a little on the chubby side, though according to the doctor, she's in the normal weight range.

Her mother is skinny like hell. There was a scene showing her bag of bones body, standing on the weighting scale at only 40kg. She was obsessed about keeping her body thin; she runs everyday, have only a bite or two a day and smokes a lot.

The sad part was that the mum wanted Linda to be thin like her. She forbade Linda from eating cake at her friend's birthday party and things like that. Linda does love to eat and so she had to resort to hiding cookies in her teddy bear and bring it to the toilet to eat.

Other tortures she endured include being sign up for a health clinic where one could supposed lose weight by eating delicious stuff like blueberry sorbet and chocolate. Linda didn't make any progress and so she was booed on stage.

Linda's mother is so thin that her husband complained that there was bone sticking out when they were having sex. So he had an affair with a Peruvian girl half his age, who is more buxom. Linda's mom was so thin that her breasts were almost flat, like a guy (I wonder whether she is actually like that or did she lose weight just for the film).

After trying all sorts of methods and Linda hasn't lost a single gram, the mother wanted to her stomach stapled. Linda was so terrified and resorted to poisoning her mother.

The mother died, but in fact was due to some disease which she had. What disease it was not made clear in the movie. But I think should be something related to her diet or lack of it.

And poor Linda thought that she actually killed her mother.

Back to the nun. The rain finally stopped and she was discharged from the hospital. Standing at the church rooftop, she was enjoying the clear morning sky. The movie ended with the clouds bursting again and she took off her nun headscarf.

I suppose that means that it finally sunk in that she is not Storm.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Overdue II

I know this blog has been neglected yet again, since I came back from the KL trip. But this time it was due to my exams, which just ended yesterday. Ninety six hours of torment finally over. Woohoo!

Anyway, the first week back was quite uneventful. Though there were some stronger than usual yearning pangs for my dear, to be separated again after a wonderful week together.

But two weeks ago was our 18th month anniversary. It was another milestone for us. This is my longest relationship ever. Even the sum of all my previous relationships is less than this.

Of course, a relationship is not measured by the time that we are attached. It is measured by the quality and time spent together.

As a sidetrack, let me put down what my colleague actually said.
MJ: So how did you celebrate your anniversary? Got fireworks or not?

Me: What fireworks? He's in KL and I am here. I am supposed to deliver it by mail is it?

MJ: No la, I don't mean fireworks physically. It could be figuratively hahaha

Tsk, tsk.

First off, I am extremely glad to have him as my boyfriend. It is true that no one is perfect and a relationship is what you make of it.

We take the effort to listen and understand each other. There are times when I need emotional support, to have someone to care for me and relieve my stress and the is the one I go to.

He has been sending me cards every few weeks and every time I read them, I would go awww, so sweet. He knows he can't be everything to me, but he tries anyway.

For that, I am a lucky guy.

Sometime I don't really want to think too much about the future and just enjoy and cherish what I have with him now.

And yes dear, I did notice that I am no longer genderless on your blog. To finally know that I am guy is a relief.

I am proud and glad that you have taken the bold decision.

I have never really watch you sleep, as it always seems to me that you were already half awake when I opened my eyes.

I just wanna say this. I promise to always be by your side.

I would like to be the one who could douse your anger of fire when it burns, who you could turn to when the chips are down, who would provide you a shoulder to lean on when you need it and to catch you whenever you fall.

A belated happy anniversary, dear.

P/S And for the last time, there is no domineering one in our relationship. I don't see it that way and neither does it work as such.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My week with Nyk

We reached back in KL last Tuesday evening on a 30-minute delayed flight. Nyk and I had dinner together at a coffee shop near his house and all too soon, it was time to say goodbye.

It was our first trip together and it was memorable. We took many photographs together or in the words of Ritsuka from the anime Loveless, "create memories". I get to see him for 24 hours a day, with him beside me all day long, seeing him smile and cheery, never a dull moment.

The main reason probably is due to our distance and hence our time together is still exciting and treasured.

I got to see him on Wednesday night and on Friday for lunch karaoke. It was another first with him and we kicked off our duet with If We Hold On Together by Diana Ross. Not really a love song but it was a song we are both familiar with as it is always sung in leadership camps.

He went back to work and I watched Hellboy II. I have been a fan of Guillermo del Toro's work since Pan's Labyrinth. And I was not disappointed as Hellboy was a visual feast of weird and fantastical creatures.

After work, we went to this restaurant called DainTi Hill. It serves Japanese and Chinese dishes. We ordered pork, frog's legs, chicken, dragon roll sushi etc. Food was quite good and it was a good choice of eatery by Nyk.

On Saturday, SK, Nyk and I met up again for one last time. I needed a haircut and he brought me to his hairstylist for a quick snip snip. We headed back to my house as we were too tired to go anywhere else.

Surprisingly, my mum never mentioned anything about Nyk during and after his visit. She did seem to take a liking for SK though LOL

Nyk and SK were invited for dinner but they declined.

I headed back to Singapore on Sunday. After a week long break, it was finally back to work on Monday.

A very relaxing week away from work and more importantly, with my dearest. I came back refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated.

Looking forward to our next trip in November.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The cat is out of the bag Pt II

Me: That I am actually a serial killer on the 10 most wanted Interpol's list?

MJ: Should we be scared? Anyway, whatever that we know, we assure you that we won’t tell anyone. We swear.

Me: Ok.

PL: Shall we say out loud what it is that we know or do you know by now? Or shall it be an unspoken?

Me: You can just say it. It’s up to you.

PL: We know what happened in June 2005. And I have to say, I really admire you for that.

Me: Thank you.

PL: So you won’t suddenly resign tomorrow, since that we now know?

Me: No la, just because of this ... I would probably just have to kill both of you haha

PL: So now we can blackmail you ... haha

Me: Well, it’s up to you how you want to use this information. It’s your conscience, I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do ….

PL: Actually I feel bad knowing also. Since you didn’t tell us earlier when we asked ….

Me: It’s a bit too late for that isn’t it? So kepoh (busybody) ...

MJ: OK, OK. We won’t tell anyone. Think we are stupid is it?

PL: You totally had us fooled you know. You told us you have a girlfriend. When I was reading your blog, I was like oh my god, oh my god, oh my god ...

MJ: No it was more like OMG, OMG, OMG with caps!

PL: We were on MSN and we were copying and sending snippets of your posts to each other, like did you read this part? Or look at this paragraph!

MJ: So with that out of the way, I have hundreds of question to ask you.

Me: I wouldn’t expect less from you. Shoot.

MJ: Who is the dominant one in the relationship?

Me: Huh? *try to not roll eyes*

PL: Who is the girl and who is the guy?

Me: There is no guy or girl. We’re both equals in the relationship.

MJ: There must be someone who is more caring and loving …

Me: We take care of each other. We care for each other. There are times when I would care for him more and vice versa.

PL: Quite different from us .....

MJ: It’s so exciting. This other whole world that was unknown to me before this.

Me: I am just like you, I have flesh and bones, blood in my veins, I can feel pain, I cry. Though I am glad this has expanded your worldview. That is always a good thing.

There was so much more to talk about, but it had to wait as lunch time was almost over and we had to get back to the office.

Thus, the cat is out of the bag. I have been discovered. I don’t actually mind them knowing, but the disconcerting fact was that it wasn’t on my schedule and on my terms.

I would probably have told them anyway, but in my own time. What happened was totally out of the blue and definitely way ahead of schedule.

Though come to think of it, they are not the most ideal people to know, judging from their reactions when I sang M2M's Pretty Boy with lyrics that go "Oh my pretty pretty boy I love you, Like I never ever loved no one before you."

Still, it has already happened. It is a kinda a big deal, but not that big a deal. I am glad that the result of them knowing wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. Their acceptance and understanding is much appreciated. It demonstrates their understanding of the issue and its consequences.

We even had another discussion about it three days after the incident. They were supposed to type out a word document of questions that they would like to ask.

I should probably come up with an FAQ of Common Questions from Straight People Once They Found Out You’re Gay.