Monday, October 31, 2005

KLDA Gala Ball 2005

Yesterday I went for yet another Dinner & Dance event with Tang and Li Mun, the KLDA Gala Ball 2005. This event is probably the most Grand I had ever attended (1 out of 3), held at the Manhattan Ballroom of Berjaya Times Square Hotel (no more community hall or sports centre, YEAH!). Jeremy and Irene joined us as well, together with the cool couple Pheng and Corine. We arrive on time, and the place is indeed grand. Most people dress up nicely, with pretty evening gown and penguin tuxedo to be seen. Our table is number 35, which is not bad at all.

The night started with speeches from a chairman (forget his name and position), followed by a dance by him and his wife. I like the way he say it, "This is not a dance demonstration, but is how dance is supposed to be enjoyed by everyone". Looking at their dance and listening to the ever classic Chinese song in the background, I suddenly felt this is the way we should grow old. They look so elegant and happy, and the mood just feels good. I want spend my old age like them. The man seems like quite a gentleman and humble person.

The night is filled with performances of all kind. First of all, we have some dances (not sure what kind is it, seems like have some element of Waltz) from 4 middle age couple with Tuxedo and pretty evening gown. It is followed by performance by Malaysia Cheerleading Champion, the Dynamitz. This is an energetic all girls group, with very nice uniform as well (remind me of how Mei Ru might look like in her cheerleading years). Their voice sounds grouchy, and they perform a few carry, flip and throw as well. They have very happy looks on their faces, and I am sure they enjoyed themselves. The next in line is Cowboy/Western line dancing by 2 groups, the 20's and the 40's (their group name are Western Babes and Dude, and Bells). Then we have the Latin and Ballroom dances, which is ever so enchanting and admirable. It is just amazing to partner someone and come up with such amazing performances. But sometimes when you go too professional, it might just bring all the fun out of dances itself. It seems like the price to be paid if you want to be a champion. The rest is followed by various Latin dances, which I missed some or couldn't remember the name of their performances.

At the end, we have Tan Soo Suan and Dama Orchestra. She is an enchanting and powerful singer, where she is at her best singing Chinese oldies and some romantic English songs. She did a few Malay and Latin songs as well. The entire performance is superb, and I manage to have 2 dances under the present of her enchanting voice. All the performances ended with the floor opened for dancing, which is my favourite part. I did Cha Cha Cha with Li Mun, and Rumba with Tang. Thomas brings the girl out as well, but he is not concentrating (perhaps too boring for him, he need his professional partner). Somehow Jeremy left at a hurry with the excuse to feed his cat, thus not dancing. Irene avoids dancing as well and left. The dancing session is pretty short, but we manage to have our opportunities.

Tonight we have 3 very pretty girls: Irene, Tang and Li Mun. Irene had a hairdo with her hair tight-up with a few front drop (not very good with describing hairstyle), black mini top and knee-length skirt. She did quite some makeup, so she did look pretty amazing. Tang has a pink-white-flowerish full dress and some makeup, and I think tonight she looked the best for as long as I have known her. Very sweet and lady-like, and the style suit her as well. Li Mun looks ever cuter tonight, with a very cute black evening dress and side way tight-hairdo. Pretty light and simple makeup, with black boots as well.

The night ended well with supper at "Remember to Eat", where the girls dress too well and caught many attention. Reminds me of how young Li Mun actually is at heart, and how Tang had matured and how old I had become. It is a good night :)

PS: Photos are still with Irene, I hope she will pass us some softcopy.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Great Week Ahead

This week is a lucky week, as I had won a 512 MB Thumb drive for an interesting piece I had written. I quite like the article, as it is so true yet inoffensive (though not all might feel the same). Nothing much happened this week for update, but next week would be great.

Next week I am on one full week holiday, YEAH! It had been quite a while I have such a long rest without any plan for vacation. The only planned activities are Dinner & Dance on Sunday night and Ice Skating on Wednesday morning. The rest of the week is pretty much free with much time for various activities. Hmm, what do I have in mind?
  • Blogging, and lots of them. Not sure whether I have so much to write about by staying at home, but it does help to keep the time occupied and make me happy.
  • Clearing backlogs of freelance work. Hopefully I can clear one or two of them, lessen the burden and anxiety a bit.
  • Making Movies. I have 2 tapes of unprocessed video, one for Rock Climbing and another for Karaoke Birthday celebration. Ops! I have another 4 tapes for KK Trip yet to be processed. So much work :( Perhaps I could spend a day or two on it.
  • Pet Project. Probably start working on a prototype for one of my pet project which could shoot me to stardom and richness within 3 years, muahahahaha.
  • Lots of online and chatting, but not sure who might be online.
  • Sleep. This is outta my control, nevertheless I must allocate time for it as well.
  • Working on the ICT teaching syllabus for my cousin’s academy, never imagine one day I might do this for the kids.
Seems like awful lot to do in a mere one week. I hope I have time to rest and survived the onslaught happily. Happy Holidays!

PS: I had tender in my resignation, but Rock is reluctant to accept it. Perhaps after the Holidays.

PS: Rock might be a Papa (Rocky Junior) during this Deepa Raya holidays, I pray for his family's wellness.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Recently I picked up "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" from Borders, as I have been wanting to read it but didn't quite have the time. I keep this book in my bag all the time, so I have the time to read in between, especially after breakfast.

Basically, this is a good book and must read for all couples (especially when you feel that you don't understand your partner and feel disappointed with them). It sort of tells the different working of mind between men (Martians) and women (Venusians). Though I haven't read the entire book, below is some quick preview of the essence of the book (I always feel that the essence of a book lies within the 1st quarter, the rest is just reinforcement of the idea).

I hope I manage to get it right, as I am shuffling my memory and I don't have the book by my side. Basically, a man is a problem solver. When a woman talked about her problems with a man, she was actually looking for a listener for her to discharge her emotion. To a man, he thought she was seeking a solution from him, thus trying to give her advice and suggestion. The man's action will be interpreted as "not listening", as he is more into solving her problem rather than listening. When woman complaint their problem, they just need a listener, not a problem solver. At the same time, woman like to offer unsolicited advise to man, which is interpreted as "nagging" or "complaint". Saying things like "I think you should do this and that" is not appreciated, unless the man specifically asks for advice. If a man don't ask for it, any advice of good intention (woman have a natural tendency to make their man a better person, thus giving unsolicited advice) will be misinterpreted as hostile or untrustful complaints. Women handle their unhappiness by talking with others, while men stay away for some quiet time during hardship. So man must respect her needs to talk, while women must understand his need to be alone and let him go off for a while. There are many other subtle ideas and behaviour, but the main idea is here.

The book is a good read and quite an eye opener. Don't be lazy and get one for yourself. We do need to understand our differences and learn to talk each other's languages.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Friendship-Love-Friendship Deathtrap

Given my past experience and recent encounter, I conclude that there is such a phenomena named "Friendship-Love-Friendship Death-trap" a.k.a FLF Death. Here is how it goes:

Firstly, a boy meets a girl, and they become friend. Then the boy kinda like the girl, thus he decides to make his move and tackle the girl. But at this point of time, only the boy has feelings towards the girl, but the girl might not have the same feelings. The girl might be kinda like him as well and feel comfortable with his company, thus did not reject him, neither did she accepted him. The boy decides to play cool and take it easy, thus he didn't rush things (he couldn't either, even he wants to). As times passed by, the boy find it difficult to deal with all the emotions and feelings, as he likes her but there is no venue to unleash his feelings. To him it is time to move on to the next stage, to be in a relationship and be lovy dovy. Since he can't move forward with the girl he likes (as she had not like him yet), he have no choice but to suppress his feelings. The best way is to kill all hope, thus treating her only as friend, with no hope or expectation for anything more intimate. Then he starts to feel more comfortable being with the girl, putting all intimate feelings aside. After sometime, the girl started to like the guy, as she understand him better and did spent quite sometime together. She enjoys his company, his openness and his sharing. At the time when the girl opens her heart, the boy had already closed his heart. He had stop the flow of feelings as it hard been difficult for him to handle in the past, liking someone without expectation. He stop being sensitive to the girl's feelings, and treat her as a close friend (though close, but just a friend). Even though someday he realise the girl did have feelings for him, but he found that it is kinda difficult to light up the old flame and bring up the feelings again. The feelings had changed form, loosing its hope and expectation. Thus, they will always end up as just friend.

Perhaps a guy can easily fall for a girl, thus liking her and show his affection. For a girl, maybe she requires more understanding for built-up of feelings, thus only like the guy at a later stage. If the gap between the feelings built-up for a guy and a girl is too large, then they would easily fall into FLF Death. You start with a friendship, then the feelings developed (at different time) and it end up as friend again, with no returning back or repeating cycle. Guy and Girl are more easily in sync when they are young, as both party are eager for love and can start a relationship easily. As we mature, we start to think a lot, letting our logical mind work harder than the emotional side (we are no longer that naive, and we learn to protect ourselves as this is a dangerous world after all). The gap started to grow and it started to favour FLF Death.

I still remember the 1st occurrence of FLF Death for me as during secondary school with the first girl I like, Fun. I courageous admitted I like her, but the relationship did not start off instantly. We start by some small dates, many phone calls and I even manage to befriend her mom (their relationship is close, and her mom is an open-minded person). Somehow, we just didn't step into a serious relationship, though we are very close. Though I felt that she is ready for me at a later stage, but I am just not motivated to act on it. Perhaps the feelings had changed, from intimacy to friendship.

Beware of FLF Death, as feelings developed which are not in sync with each other shall not bear any fruits :)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Pulling Long Leg

As I grow older, it is known to be a brutal fact that most nice girls are already taken (or at least it is probabilitily correct, and believed so). Usually they would have high school sweetheart boyfriend or boyfriends since god knows when. It would easily cross my mind to go for girls who are already engaged in a relationship instead.

For me, I found it extremely uncomfortable to go for girls who already had a boyfriend. First of all, I feel quite uncomfortable with the idea (thus came the stupid principal). It just doesn't feel good; it is kinda gloomy. Why would I want a girl who like/love her boyfriend? A very strange question in fact, which shouldn't be asked with a thousand reasons. We human are not perfect, and are never meant to be.

Second of all, girl who is engaged cannot admit openly they like you (not that single girl do that very openly and often as well). You shall always end up in guessing state, where did she actually like you or you misunderstood the whole thing. Though there are feelings and body language, but we need some sort of reassurance as well. They can't tell you they actually like/love you, but neither do they say they don't like you. So, you are left hanging in mid-air, WEEEE!

Lets say you are a lucky bastard who manages to capture her heart and she truthfully admitted that she like/love you as well. Then came to next big challenge: Getting her to leave her boyfriend so that both of you can be together. Personally, I feel it is kinda difficult for a girl to leave their boyfriend (unless they are being treated like shit and needed to be rescued). Theoretically, you can only be in one relationship at a time. Thus, she can't commit to you before she left her boyfriend. Yet, she might be reluctant to leave him as they had been together for so long, and he is not that bad after all (and can be sweet at times). Besides, being with you is actually a risk and there is no official commitment yet. In one hand she had something concrete with commitment, on the other she had you with nothing. She might enjoy your company and might even like you a little bit, but being with you is a whole different ball game. The fear of lost is greater than the joy of gain.

So, what it takes to make this kind of relationship successful? Probably you need to be very sure she is the one, and go all the way (I mean ALL THE WAY, THE WHOLE MILE, NO HOLDING BACK), in a big way. You need to take on a very proactive role and be very aggressive. Once you are sure, you no longer ask, you just do it. Is like you don't ask for a kiss, you just kiss, and action should work much better than words in this case. You need to have courage and be a man of action with 100% faith and no return. I hope I am not giving a very bad advice here.

Basically I have no idea how it should be, but I believe the above way is the way. Either it is done, or it isn't at all. I always felt it is wrong to do such thing, but someone once told me, "You only live once. There is nothing wrong is chasing what you love". Perhaps there is some truth in it, and after all, it took both hands to clap. Sometimes I also hope that I am a man of courage and action, but too bad I am a man of words instead (look at the number of words I had typed). If only I know...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

SS2 is Vibrant

Today we went to SS2 for lunch, as Muscle Man Chim wanted to pay for his car installment. Again, we are faced to the dilemma of where to have lunch; cheap mix rice or ala HK style small restaurant/cafe. We settled for the later.

Somewhat we choose Boon Tong Kee (Hokkien Slang, as it is Singapore-themed after all). Two things you shall notice about this shop: colors and cry out uniqueness. The place is pretty small, but the crowd is there. We went into this nice cool and dim shop, with very colorful wall and so so deco. The menu is very colorful and nicely done. But it is pretty darn hard to read the menu, as everything is too colorful. They even use those special girlish star stickers to tag recommended food with 4/5 stars. I ordered Salmon Rice and Lemon Coke, while Chim got himself Chicken Rice and Coke Float. The place look hip and trendy (though they can improve on the deco and wall pictures a bit), but the crowd is family and working class. Perhaps it is lunchtime on weekday, as I was expecting it would appeal to youngster and couple. Again, it might not appeal to poorer youngster and couple, as the food is above average. My salmon rice and coke cost me about RM 15 (plus 15% tax minus 20% discount).

The first dish that arrives is 2 cookies look-alike packet, where it is actually wet mini towel. Then came the chicken and salmon rice that look identical, except the chicken and salmon. They have sups in the cup. The came the surprise, Chim's float coke is a super big cup together with cocoa-crunch and Leong Fun. We got a good laugh over it. The food is pretty okay, not much complaint. They have funny IKEA spoon, fork and knife, and square plates. They use color paper to fold a special holder for the fork and spoon, and another big piece of color paper as tablecloth. After we finished our food, they offer us free Leong Fun dessert with honey (heart-shape somemore, but seems so wierd giving it to us). Chim don't like Leong Fun, so I have it all. When we call for the bill, we have 20% discount as well (hurray!). Perhaps this shop is very new. Conclusion: The mood and atmosphere is pretty okay for young people and couple to hangout, they food is okay but the price is above average.

While waiting for Chim to go to the bank, I walked around SS2. I found SS2 to be much vibrant nowadays, with many modern eatery and shop. She is transforming and adapting well with modernization, and shall not be left out for a long time to come. The wind is strong and cooling, and much cloud covers sunshine. The weather is just nice, perhaps SS2 have nice Feng Shui as well.


DF9803, my diploma class code when I am in my college. DF means Diploma Fulltime, 98 is the year of my intake (non Y2K compliance), and 03 signify the 3rd intake. I think some lecturer proclaim us to be the nosiest class of all, not sure izzit Raj Kumar or the other local Indian lecturer. Come of think of it, the class is actually kinda cool and fun, with a variety of people. We have a few genius, a handful of hardworking outstation guys, a whole bunch who doesn't like to study, while another bunch just come to college to kill time, and of course we have the usual party dudes and gangster wannabe.

I remember John and Shezan, as most of the time they sit behind me. I was wondering whether they are millionaire by now or mafia lords. These guys are actually pretty cool and funny, where they already strike their million dollar deal selling hand phones while in college (wonder why they didn't gave me some free hand phones). Somehow, they match each other, like the two host in Ar-Ha.

Then we have the good local boys club, where excellent hospitality is provided by Foo Ming Siang. He is really a very nice chap, and I kinda regret for didn't appreciate him more as a friend by then. We did projects together, have lots of supper and watch footballs. He had another 3 good friend, while one of them is Troy Khoo. This guy kinda nice and cool as well, where he likes cooking and is good at it (a good man for the ladies). Ming Siang is a bit geeky by then, but thinking back, he was really a very kind and great friend which I have lost contact at the moment.

Then we have the chicks, Yvonne and Michelle. I think they are cousin, where Michelle came from Ipoh and stay at Yvonne's house. They are pretty nice girls as well, but they are with the party crowd at the moment. I just came from a small town and couldn't quite adapt to their fast and furious KL lifestyle, and they like ciggies (no no). But I think they are good people, and I kinda like to hang out with them (as long as not in the fast lane). I did a college project at their house once, where Yvonne's dad brought us to have supper in some back lane in KL, I think it is beef noodle. Somehow, I think I like the night and the setting, thus still able to remember it. Not sure if Michelle have a thing for me at that time (ignore this if you are Michelle), but somehow the atmosphere or lifestyle just doesn't match.

The we have the Magdeline, Irene and Kim gang. They are locals as well, and are friends since god knows when. They are kinda funny, and are good people. Somehow Magdeline manage to get quite a good results in her SPM as well, genetically smart or hardworking? They are pretty alright to hang out with. Then we have Kay Bee the super modal. She is tall and quite pretty as well, but her boyfriend is not exactly tall and the couple looks interesting together.

Now we have the outstation gang. People like Chen Siang and Kim You are usually more hardworking than the locals, as they leave their home and come all the way to KL for college. We have Joey a.k.a "Art Designer", who is a art designer (just kidding! but I think he may want to be one). Sam the handsome chap, speak softly and should be a ladies' man as well, left for Australia after diploma.

My gang mostly consists of Kenneth Lim, Andrew Keith (jwalker) and Theng Yong (Bush). We hang out most of the time for games, and sometimes for project as well. I can't quite recall how do we spent time together, perhaps mostly on Starcraft and Atomic Bomberman. Kenneth had started his own company even before he left college (never steps into the corporate world). Andrew Keith is talented, but might have some attitude issues when working with others. Theng Yong is cash rich and had his own company as well. Gun stop study after diploma, and venture into the "underworld" (muahahahaha).

They are still many more of them (don't under-estimate us). DF9803 is really a very interesting class, which I am more amused by it now than then. DF9803 RULEZ!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wait Till You're Older

I am a HK movie freak, and "Wait Till You're Older" is quite a good watch for quite a while. The movie is simple, funny, touching and understanding. It shows us both sides of the mirrors of family matters, from the parent's perspective and the children's perspective as well. The movie fast forward the time by accelerating the growth of the main character, thus putting emphasize on appreciation of time and life, and always do the best with what you are given.

Why do I like this movie?
  • I am quite okay with Andy Lau (sometimes good performances, sometimes lousy), and Karen Mok is a very interesting actress
  • I like the way Kong Zhai (Andy Lau) grow up from a rebellious kid to be an adult and manage to have a adult conversation with his father, understand his father and realise his own mistake and regretting it (he learns appreciation and found happiness, though not much time is left for him).
  • The love scene between Kong Zhai and Miss Lee is very interesting and funny, for at least it is not too stereotype. If only real life courtship could be so simple and happy, without all the artificial barriers we created for ourselves.
  • I like the last scene where the old Kong Zhai ask his girlfriend, "Are you still going to wait for your boyfriend if he is not coming?” The girl answered, "I'll. Because I have time". Perhaps there is no deadline and no urgency, thus everyone takes their own sweet time before saying "I Love U" to your loves one. Sometimes, we might not even say it for our entire life.
At the end was quite a sad ending, as he hopes to turn back (getting older and dying), but there is no turning back. He regretted for being playful, but sorry no cure. The old man told him, "Too bad life cannot be repeated again. Yet, luckily it doesn't need to be repeated again". Not quite sure what it means, but somehow it sounds good. I guess he is trying to create the built-up for his next wisdom, "Knowing your fault now is still not too late. Life is filled with happiness, you just need to do the best with what you have". Kong Zhai accepting the brutal facts and knows his limit, he make use of the remaining time to see his girlfriend, to mend his relationship with his father and help to restore the relationship of his step mother and father (which he indirectly spoilt).

The movie did manage to squeeze a tiny bit of tears out from me, and it is a good reminder of things we always neglected and bring different perspectives to us. A good movie with eccentric music always manages to touch our heart, at least for the moment.

Go watch it and remind yourself of appreciation.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A playful child, Am I?

I never considered myself a playful child, as I thought I was pretty much a boring person. Not very adventurous, laws and rules abiding, and perhaps not very creative as well (though I like to think I am). I focus much of my energy to studies during school time, as I am not very good in sports and club activities. I would like to be good in sports as well, but just don't have the agility and talent. I wish I could be both a smart kid and be active in sports and school activities (a modal student), but I just can't and accepted that. I am glad that I am at least good at something, and I want to be really good at it.

How playful can I be? I am not playful; I don't play tricks on people or crack jokes easily. I am quite woody, dunno how to initiate a conversation or praise people smoothly. I don't take initiative in events, and I am definitely not the sporting or adventurous type. Somehow, I just like dancing and clubbing, and perhaps go for trips once in a while. That is very normal right? Perhaps lately overwhelming with clubbing and some super expensive Latin D&D (entertainment expenditure is on the super high side). But these are really fun, and do bring me a lot of happiness. It is not like this kind of activities come along every year and every month, where you have a bunch of friends in the mood to go out and have fun. I have experience "draught" seasons for a few years, and luckily I am "blessed" now (not doing evil really helps).

Perhaps in someone's eyes, I might be a playful child. I always think of myself as an Introvert and a Simplistic person, but no one believes me. Perhaps I have changed on the outlook for the past few years, but I think I am still fundamentally the same (just different presentation). Perhaps I had learned to be a bit open and know how to have fun besides working hard. I believe I had turned to become a better person (more flexible, cheerful, talkative, understanding, less stubborn, selfish, close-minded, shy and cowardly), but not everyone understand or think the same. I have to be myself (remind me of my accusation to Ah Tang of her being too self-focus of being herself). Perhaps, believe in my transformation and myself. I believe it is for the better, and I could be playful after all (though still an introvert).

Blue Dragon 100th Postings

Today I had marked my 100th postings for my blog, freak’ in amazing! I decided to celebrate it a bit, by creating a 100th postings banner for Blue Dragon. Since I haven't got the time to draw a cute little blue dragon, I have to get it from somewhere for the moment.

I had enjoyed writing, as much as I enjoyed dancing, and both is equally new and exciting to me. Not sure if I could ever reach the next 1000th postings mark, but hopefully I would enjoy myself along the way. I like Blue Dragon to be a place to discharge my emotional pressure (rather than just talking to myself pointlessly), to immortalise my memories and to share my most intimate thoughts and feelings with my close friends (as much as I could). I am glad some of them are taking up blogging as well, and I am thankful they are interested with me and read my blog as well (as much as I like to read theirs). Though I am not ready to share this with everyone I know at the moment, but hopefully someday I would be able to do so.

Blue Dragon knows of my ups and downs for the past few months, my happiness and grumpiness, my pointless thoughts and brilliant ideas, and I enjoyed reading them back once in a while as if I am reading someone else’s blog. Blogging is just crazy and phenomenal, both reading and writing is enjoyable and addictive. Probably one day I would look back and laugh at what I had wrote and done here.

Let’s celebrate, YEAH!

Tang's Birthday

The biggest event for this week is Tang's birthday. Suddenly I want to something extra to celebrate her birthday, buy her a gift or something like that. It had been a long time since I last bought a gift for someone's birthday, excluding those where you shared with a bunch of friends and colleagues (I mean personal gift). She had been a really close friend and we share a lot together, which prompt me to do something for her (besides, I am in the mood).

My first choice was a miniature statue, where an artist would create a comical figurine of you based on your photo, with a certain theme. I was thinking to create a Tang with Hip Hop style. The sample shown there is pretty nice (I would like one too), but it is pretty expensive as well. It cost RM 168 for a 6 inch tall figurine plus another RM 18 for the base. They have very nice couple figurine as well with nice background environment, seems like a good and memorable buy for boyfriend-girlfriend as well. At first I was thinking of getting the colleagues to share it with me, but somehow I felt reluctant to organise the whole thing (plus giving myself a whole other bunch of excuses, LAZY pig).

After some thought, I would like to go for something cheaper, simpler and nice as well. Something she likes but don't usually spend on, perhaps with some personal touch as well. I decided to utilise my decade old Photoshop skill to create a Haagan Dazs DIY Voucher cum Birthday Card (a.k.a Tang Tang Haagen Dazs Birthday Voucher), offering her unlimited scoop of ice-creams :) Since the colleagues are celebrating her birthday with Karaoke on Friday night, I decided to give the voucher to her earlier on Wednesday instead. After dinner at her place, we went for the ice-cream. She claims only one scoop for herself and other for Li Mun (she kinda feel sad for failing her VISA interview to visit US in November). After that, we scout Star Hill for her potential birthday dinner treat, but the restaurant had yet to be opened.

Friday is the big day, where we are supposed to meet at 6.30 in New Way, but everyone is late due to the Ramadan Traffic Jam (and because it is Friday as well). The Karaoke session only start after 7.30, with dinner and lots of singing. Since Tang is a playful girl who always plays tricks on people's birthday, you could probably expect some "special" arrangement for her tonight. It started off with some minor party spray and pop by Kok Wai, followed by asking her to wear cup bra (bra made with a pair of cups) and a big lips (big red delicious smooching paper lips) together with hip hop performance as well. As usual, Tang being her sporting self can handle all these with ease (sap sap sui). There was actually a pair of male underwear meant for her by Kenny, but he didn't make it. The play session ended with more party spray and cake fight (until we were warned by the management for potential RM 200 fine). We left for Hip Hop class about 9.30, not sure how the rest of the group ended. It was quite a rush. Kok Wai seems to learn to enjoy singing as well and there this guy Eugene who sings like Power Station (动力火车), freaking amazing! BTW, for those who celebrate birthday at New Way with membership card, you will get free entrance and quite a good cake with sparkling juice (not bad!).
Makan Cake

Why so close ge?

Sabo in Action 1

Sabo in Action 2

Sabo in Action Final Piece

Sabo Complete

Another new girl joined us for Hip Hop tonight, so the class is actually getting pretty full. Kenny was here for the class, so he handed Tang the underwear. Tang said it is very ugly (it is a white male underwear with comic sexuality). The class mainly consist of practicing, as Thomas is quite dissatisfied with our performances. I do realise guys have a more solid steps, while girls' steps are more floatatious. While the night is still young, we plan to let it live on with more partying after class (it is kind of sad to let the birthday celebration just end like that). Kenny didn't join as he had something on the next morning, while Mei Ru probably feel tired or not interested. Jeremy ditch his midnight movie partner to join us, haha.

At first we kinda plan for Zouk, but end up at BarFly. Perhaps Zouk are meant for younger people, and we are no longer that young. BarFly is pretty okay, with more R&B songs (less Techno) and working class people. Not much of a dance space, but still a pretty okay party spot. Steve seems like a good boy who doesn't party much though he dance Latin very well, but he manage to blend in nicely. Jeremy is not much a party person as well, and I wonder why sometimes he invite us to Thai club? (just for drinking or ...). Derrick is really a hustler, someone who can sweet talk, be cool, spontaneous with superb pool skill. As usual, we have Fion and Li Mun the party girls, and Tang is pretty alright as well. The night is quite enjoyable, with lots of dancing and being crazy with lots of fun. I think a lot of people try to pick up Fion all night long, and we have the usual sexy waitress with skimpy dress and dance occasionally. We even manage to dance Rock & Roll in the club, not bad at all! Li Mun bought a cute cow doll cum flower from a flower girl as Tang's birthday present, a really hardworking and business-savvy flower girl she is. Steve had the same symptom as Kok Wai, where his face will turn instantly tomato red after in contact with alcohol. The nigh ended at 3 plus, with supper while strategising path to avoid road block.

The night is pretty awesome; I hope Tang had fun :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Tai Kor Lui la, Sang Sang Seng Seng ar!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mounting Pressure

I could actually felt the mounting pressure by the following symptom
  • Heavier breathing & faster heartbeat
  • Phobia of picking up my hand phones
  • Phobia of checking my emails

It had been mostly work related. The more you desired, the more challenges you have to take up, the more problem will look for you, the more pressure will built up and the more you have to learn to cope and handle them. As usual, there is no free meal in this world (as everything comes with a price, either knowingly or unknowingly). Even for climbing corporate ladder, the higher you go the more responsibility you have to learn to handle. Unless you adopt the "bo chap" (don't care) attitude until everyone hate your guts out, where you could take your monthly big fat salary by just coming late to work and go home early (not as if you need to do any work in between).

Since I am a serious and hardworking person with anxiety thread, guess I would have to deal with all these. There is only so much which is within my control, I just hope for the best for the rest of things. Things shall turn out nicely in the end and I shall survived with minor bruises :)

* Take a deep breath * Help!!!

Best Night Out in Ages (Part II)

The night is still young and we start planning our next destination, clubbing. After much discussion, we settle for SODA in Desa Sri Hartamas. Surprisingly, Pheng and Corinne joined us as well (golden and happening couple). SODA is quite alright, packed with the usual youngsters (suddenly felt old again). We bought 3 bottles of wine for entrance (someone gonna finish those, definitely not me). We got a nice spot in the upstairs (VIP treatment). We hit the dance floor soon as that is the only thing left to be done (unless you enjoyed drinking and watching young girls dancing on stage). Corinne and Fion are quite a party girl, so is Li Mun. Derrick and Pheng not quite a party guy, but luckily I managed to blend in nicely. Finally, after so many years, I am back to the clubbing scene and hitting the dance floor again, with 3 pretty girls. The music kinda sucks at first (playing some meaningless and dry techno sounds), but it sort of got slightly better after that (got even better when we leave the dance floor, sucks!). I lost count of how many hours we spent on the dance floor, but it was just great. I felt much at ease, especially after all the dance lessons. The girls are a playful bunch, and we have lots of fun. There is this weirdo guy who try to hit on Li Mun and Fion, and Corinne’s sister and boyfriend/husband doing something weird (no detail, I even have to close my eyes). Clubbing and dancing with Li Mun is really fun and enjoyable, and we have our moments.

We got back to upstairs after tiring ourselves with our craziness. We have our wines, doing our hip hop moves when we heard the Usher's Yeah! song, mimicking the Thai Latin dancers' movement, more light dancing and ended with the girls trying to finished up all the wines (the guys are driving, no drink and drive). Li Mun got challenged into bottoms up, as Corinne and Fion is quite a hustler drinker. We left the place soon, with Li Mun getting slightly high. We stop at the Mamak to have a drink before sending her home. Fion was suggesting I take this opportunity with Li Mun (Yeah baby!), but somehow just couldn't do it (perhaps I am too conservative, crap! or it is just not my style - idiot). This is a really an awesome night, something I had missed for centuries. I really had lots of fun, hopping this trend will continue ;)

Too bad no photos for the entire nite out :(

Mental Note: As my blog involved more people besides myself, I can't really write truthfully anymore without affecting others (without their consents). Perhaps it is the end of "truthful" era for Blue Dragon, this really sucks.

Best Night Out in Ages (Part I)

I bought a Latin Dinner & Dance (Desmond School of Dance - DSD) tix from Thomas on Monday, where my "date" for the night would be Li Mun. There is a long story and various explanations on how we decide to go together; to keep the story short - a sequence of chain reaction and blessing in disguise. We shall tag along with Fion and Derrick for that night. The rest didn't join as Thomas had limited tixs, and it is not cheap as well (a whooping RM 120 per tix). I decide to go since I didn't joined a real Latin dinner before (William & Luisa D&D not counted as it is filled with Line Dancing, and I only manage to get a minimal dosage of dance from there) and I enjoyed the company as well.

On Saturday, I get to wear another "cold storage" shirt (lack of social life) which I bought a few months back. White colour "party" long sleeve shirt with navy blue Dockers, and my working shoes (haven't got my dancing shoes yet). Leave the house at 6 and pick up Li Mun at 7. She had a simple hairdo with a pink colour one piece short dress and her usual dual-purpose pinkish dancing shoes with cute little berries. Still look as adorable as ever, and light/no makeup is just nice for her. It was drizzling when I picked her up, so I wait for her at the exact exit instead. Then she start talking her hairdo rushing experience at the saloon and how she manage to get prepared within 15 minutes after rushing home. She guide the way while I drive, since I don't know the venue. For a girl, she is pretty good and precise with direction (a rare thread).
Upon arrival, we felt a little bit of disappointment as the venue is an indoor sports centre (we were hoping it to be a hotel ballroom kind). It had many tables (with plastic chair) surrounding the two badminton courts, slightly better than William & Luisa's D&D. It is only half as bad, where we have table and air-condition, and no line dancing (hip hip hurray!). Fion and Derrick are already there before us, while Thomas and his partner arrived much later. The night was pretty alright, with many Latin songs and we get to dance a lot. A minor complaint is they played too many oldies (I mean Chinese oldies where it wouldn't turn you on for Latin dancing) with many Waltz songs as well (we don't know Waltz, sucks). The night proceeds with the usual speeches, Chinese Food (like wedding dinner kind of food) and the highlight of the night: performances by two pairs of Thailand couples.

The first pair of Thai couple (young husband and wife) is very young and beautiful. The guy is tall and handsome with nice penguin tuxedo, while the girl is pretty and elegance wearing a very nice white dress. This couple focuses of ballroom dances, especially a variety of Waltz and quicksteps (the couple bring a whole new meaning to the Waltz which I understand). My undivided attention was captured by them for the entire performances, as it is so elegance and nice, and it makes them seems so much like fairy tale couple. It was just superb, and everything from appearance (looks and cloths) and dances (elegant and hypnotizing) are just speechless. The second pair is Latin expert, where you could felt the fire and passion in the air. The couple are pretty people as well, where the man is a hunk while the lady is a seductress. The Latin dances are very exciting and fire-ry (hot hot hot), with much fun and energetic movement. The guy had a cute butt (comment by Li Mun) while the girl had perfect demonic figure (absolutely no extra fat on her - chicky mama). Both Ballroom and Latin are great watch.

The night continues with many dances, where we manage to get ourselves at ease dancing among expert aunties and uncles. Though we are an only beginner (bronze level) who knows very little dances, but it was nevertheless enjoyable. Besides, Li Mun is my favourite dance partner. Looking at so many old couples dancing together, we kinda felt that dancing is really bonding activity for couple (perhaps even more significant to retired couple). So much to share and enjoy. It would be quite a pity if only you enjoy dances while your other half didn't (for those who had boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife learning dances join them now and you shall not regret - take the 1st god damn step and break your artificial boundary).

To Be Continued ...

Monday, October 17, 2005

I am Alive again

Last Saturday was the best night out I had experience in ages, as I had gone through quite a long dry seasons. I still remembered the 1st time I went for clubbing in 2000 together with my R&D colleagues. They are a cool bunch, extremely fun and friendly. I was quite a late bloomer for the clubbing scene, as I am a small town boy after all. I came to KL to study in 1998, somehow quite resist joining the "in" crowd for clubbing and drinking, as I felt couldn't quite blend in. I felt comfortable being with my fun colleagues, thus decided to join them for the night out in clubbing for the 1st time, at the now defunct Bali in PJ. This event seals my love for clubbing until now. I considered myself pretty much an introvert which pretty much handicap in socializing, not to mentioned dancing. But somehow, I really enjoyed the environment, the crowd and the dance. We continue the clubbing spree almost once a month, while my personal favorite that time is Emporium (too bad it is replaced by sucky Espanda). This was my clubbing prime time, where everything went straight downhill right after that.

Somehow, the cool ones start leaving the company and being replaced by geeks whose only weekend entertainment is playing free games in the office. Don't get me wrong, I like playing games in the weekend as well, but I was hoping for some night out as well. No more clubbing, no more dancing, only headshots with Counter-Strike (and Quake 3 Arena as well). I left the company after working there for four years (where half of it is extremely enjoyable), and decided to start my own business with a friend. The 2nd batch of R&D colleagues is good dudes, just that we are too geekish (I can be quite geeky as well) and not cool. When I went into my own business, all entertainment went downhill, totally. Just pure work and anxiety, absolutely not cool. After 6 months, I gave up and joined my current company.

The entertainment part had improve slightly, with some dinners, minor trips, movies and most enjoyable of all, yearly company trips. Clubbing is nowhere to be seen, as I am one of the youngest staff there. Most of them are above 30s with family life to attend to. But my new colleagues are fun dudes as well, as we have quite a lot of outdoor activities like Taman Negara Trip, Climb KK, Rock Climbing, Roller Blade/Ice Skating, and a few more Makan trips as well (though nowadays are just Birthday cum Karaoke session). I really missed clubbing. Knowing Li Mun and her frequent clubbing life made me felt old, so lifeless (felt like reaching "uncle" stage already). My ex-boss once told me, when your are 20s, you go for clubbing and pubbing. When you are 30s, you just do pot luck or go for dinner and chitchat. 4 more years to go before the end for me :( Anyway, last Saturday I had a really fantastic night out. It seems like I talked too much of old schools history. I shall save the rest in the next blog :)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I am a Flower-Heart Carrot (花心萝卜)

By Mei Ru's definition, I am a Flower-Heart Carrot 花心萝卜 (someone who likes people easily, probably liking many of them at the same time and might be labelled as "unfaithful" as well). Compared to the level of dedication and commitment given by her boyfriend, you could probably label me as a "flirt" and an unserious person (too far away from him man!). I think I am not, perhaps too much of a serious person who is learning to take care of relationships.

I am single, and it is only naturally of me on the constant lookout for a potential gf. And at any point in time, we would probably like or have feelings for more than one person. I don't find this to be a problem as I am still single, didn't harm or hurt anyone and most important of all, didn't give commitment or promises to anyone of them. They are just people which I like, which I usually keep them in my heart, and perhaps sometimes I told them how I felt. Not all affection and "declaration of like (love is a bit heavy for me at this stage)" will end up to my favour as well. But I do believe when I am in a relationship, I should really take care of the feelings of my other half, and just treat everyone else I like as friends (no thinking further than that, no more analysis). There could be only one to be loved as gf/wife (only one spot), the others will be parents, siblings and friends.

How do I get labelled as "Flower-Heart Carrot"? Probably because I speak too much truth, or have shared too much with close friends. I remember when I was young, I was very shy and don't dare to share my affections and feelings with anyone else. I have problem admitting that I like them. Though now I still considered myself as a shy person, but I tried to "improve" myself. Whenever close friends asked me who I actually like, I usually would tell them the truth slowly, because I don't want to include lies (or at least, withholding of truth). I want to let them understand me, and perhaps criticise me and feel at ease talking to me. I don't want to spent time holding back the truth, making the friendship less sincere and even become more difficult to be truthful in the future. If the one asking is someone I like, I would slowly try to convey my feelings to her directly or indirectly as well. Of cause, these only apply to very close friends (not for everyone). I assume in this world, we human do always end up liking more than one person at a time, just that some of them end up as our partner, some as friends, and some never knows (in our heart only). What makes me different from them? I just don't want to keep everything in my hearts, thus I don't mind sharing some of it. The only difference is I talk about it, while most of the others don't (but the internal feelings are probably still the same). If they don't talk about it, it doesn't means they don't like someone else (just that no one knows besides themselves). If my future girlfriend know of my blog and read about Dream Girls, Ah Fun Jai and some other similar articles, I will be damned. Somehow it might make me seems like not a good potential boyfriend, for admitting my liking for others easily. But if she is someone who read it and understand me better yet still accept me, then she is really someone really special. I am trying to be as open and as truthful as I could, as carrying too much secrets in my heart is quite a heavy load. I hope I am right.

The Rock

Few days ago I have my usual discussion in the car with Rocklon about our division’s direction and how to go about regarding the product development. He needed to strategise and report to the CEO, and included me as part of the plan and asked for my opinions. I felt that it is time to tell him of my intention to leave the company seriously (I jokingly told him about it one week ago), as I don't want to disappointment him in the last minutes. I could sense that he felt quite a shock when I break the news to him, which makes me feel bad as well. I enjoyed working with Rocklon, but it is the company's culture and strategy which pushes me away.

When I first joined the company, the 2 seniors in the division are Rocklon and Cham. Cham is a chatty person, which could become quite nervous at times. Rocklon is the cool one, man with few words. Though they might have different personalities, but they are very good friends. They acknowledge my capabilities soon and we became very close friends, together with Weng. Though Weng and I are not very closed, but Rocklon and Cham becomes the mediator which glued us together. We were quite a team, with good understanding and co-operation, and work as a team seamlessly. Soon after Cham left for a much better offer, hopeful of us to join him. I couldn't join him at that time due to uncertainties and worry of too much of work pressures (which he is in now). Cham is really a great person, and I enjoyed his acknowledgement and appreciation, not to mention his chatty personality and jokes (and seriousness). I think Rock felt quite a shock and sadden when Cham left as well, so do I. Less one person who understand and appreciate us.

Today is my turn to leave the Gang of Four. I never quite felt sadden about leaving the company, but it hurts me a lot for leaving my friends. I kinda felt like betraying them, for not be with them when they need me the most. I believe in my friends, but I have no faith with the company who doesn't listen to us. It really hurts me when I break the news to Rocklon, trying to cover it up by explaining the many reasons of my departure. "Sorry Rock! Perhaps there are better ways and environment for us to work together". I really like Rocklon, as he is a humble, talented and hardworking person. We have a lot of synergy, discuss a lot about work, with many common understanding and excellent teamwork (not to mentioned driving me home for so many times, thanks). I appreciate your friendship and kindness, and really hope we have the chance to be a team again in the future.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What to get for your man's birthday

Today I saw a posting on Miss Addie's blog where she bought her hubby a 17" ACER LCD. I was thinking, "That was really nice (I want one too). How could she have known?” Let's explore some conventional gift options and what is wrong with them:
  • Tie. Unless your man is a big time corporate person, don't buy him tie. How often do we wear tie in this hot tropical country? (Unless it is compulsory during office hours). Even when you have bought one for office wear, if might not suit his taste (unless you knows him like the worm in your stomach). Besides, I just don't find tie useful nor have any emotional attachment to it. Unless he is a tie person or tie freak.
  • The usual wearable - shirt, pant, belt and perhaps, shoe. Perhaps you can't go very wrong with shirt, but I don't think it is a good gift either. Just in case you bought something, which we absolutely don't like, we have to wear it as well with an unwilling heart (sob sob!). "Dear, why are you not wearing the shirt I bought for you ar?". Spare us! The same goes with pant, belt and shoe.
  • Small little goodies - cute figure, picture frame, pencil holder, mug, and etc. These things might be nice to look at, but it just doesn't have much impact. Those are more like normal gifts given by friends, unless you do something creative and personal with them. Probably a nice couple photo of you two with a few lines of personal writings might do the trick.
So, what go guys really want? Toys for big boys, gadgets and gizmos, muahahaha. On top of my head, I could think of quite a few things:
  • Lego Mindstorms: cool programmable lego toys.
  • XBOX 360 or PS3: the ultimate gaming consoles, and it would be PERFECT if both of you could play together
  • iPod (the original, nano, shuffle - probably there is better and cheaper alternative than shuffle): the coolest mp3 player
  • Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard: the most ergonomics and high quality keyboard, protect your men from RSI.
  • 17" LCD Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster perhaps? 17" is just nice, where 19" have too much screen real estates to look at.
  • Any other cool gizmos
It all these toys sounds a bit on the pricy side, try the following alternatives:
  • Cook a nice meal of Italian good, followed by watching DVD under dim light environment
  • If you can't cook, pack his favorite food home, warm it up using the microwave, and proceed with DVD watching
  • If you are more adventurous, perhaps a Thai or Balinese massage, together with aroma scents and soothing music
  • Anything else which don't require us to get out of the house.
Disclaimer: If your man don't use much computers, don't go online, don't play games, please ignore this posting entirely.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Now I feel happy every morning

Today while I was having breakfast, I found that I had been feeling happy in the morning ever since I had been stationed at the client site at Bukit Kiara. I enjoyed reaching my workplace within 30-45 minutes drive without much traffic jam, and still got another 30 minutes to spare for breakfast enjoyment. Lately I had been having breakfast at Devi's Corner in Desa Sri Hartamas quite frequently, watching some sports replay on Astro and read my book (Mars & Venus) peaceful. Though it is simple, but I really enjoy the moment of having breakfast outside before heading to work. It seems so relaxing and enjoyable, not to mentioned I could prolong the moment a bit by going go work a bit later. Now I recalled the moment where I was stationed at a local bank and have the opportunity to have breakfast at KLCC and start working at 10 A.M. Ahhhh ... such simplicity in enjoyment. There is something to do with morning and work late.

Today is procrastination day. I start by visiting my favourite blogs and checking emails. I spent the entire morning helping Rocklon looking through some documentation he prepared, and before I know it, it is already lunch :) We meet Yek for lunch at SS2, where our main topic of discussion is talking bad about a very lousy person (office gossip?!!). Since I think I am ahead of schedule, procrastination starts to take over me completely for the rest of th day. I suddenly have this urge to undertake one of my pet projects. Though my schedule is very tight, but it would be so much FUN! I begin researching and start the project planning. It doesn't sound easy with many concerns, but it should be fun :)

I was supposed to attend dance practice session today, but it got cancelled (go home early should be nice as well, a little break perhaps). I left work at 5.50 P.M, anticipating bad traffic like yesterday and start taking many shortcuts. I manage to travel from Bukit Kiara to Puchong within 40 minutes during rush hour, not bad! Just by not getting stuck in the traffic already made my day better. I called my mom for dinner, but she had already eaten. I plan to pamper myself further by going to this Pizza & Pasta place. At first I want to have pasta, but then I saw this Apple Pizza for only RM 10, so I decided to go for it since it is cheap and special (should be delicious too, since it had this little chef recommendation mark there). This is a very nice little restaurant, though I have no idea what's her name is (Cafe something ... not very helpful huh!). She is beside Kopitiam in Bandar Puteri Puchong. Nice and quiet, not many people around. I wanted to take some pictures to post in my blog, but I don't own a digital camera. I took out my book-in-the-bag and start reading again, the atmosphere is really nice. It didn't take long for the Apple Pizza to arrive, and it is DELICIOUS! Really a good choice, nice smell, crispy thin crust, soft apple, cheese and perhaps some custard. Oh man! This is really my day. I have a wonderful dinner for just RM 11 (1 buck for distilled water).

Since I reach home early, I decide to go to my mom's place to enjoy some Internet access, and start blogging this. I also wanted to do some work on my pet projects, and perhaps some chatting before calling it a day. Then comes the spoiler for the perfect day, I couldn't find the key to my mom's house. I try to look for it for a while, but no luck. Thinking this could easily spoil my mood (No Way!), I decided to quit for the moment (I'll look for it later). That's the fact of life, it can’t be too perfect and spoiler must kick in hard or softly. My perfect mood is kinda tainted already :( Anyway, it had been a good day. 今日是好日。

I really found the Mars & Venus book quite an eye opener, probably a must read for all couple having relationship problem. Probably will write a sneak preview of this book, based on the first 30 pages.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Uneasy Feelings

For the past days (or probably week), I had been strike with the feelings of uneasiness. I just don’t feel comfortable, sometimes having faster heartbeat and worrying feelings. I usually have this when there are too much to think about, or rather, too many unfinished business. Sometimes I tell myself; probably I inherit this tread genetically as well. When I was young, I always wonder why my father is such a worrisome person. He worries a lot, and always advice against everything that might have a small risk of bringing harm to me, be it psychological or physical. He worries when I skate, when I go for camping or trip, when I come home late, when I went for studies in KL, when I quit my job, when I start my business and a lot more. I can actually see the worries on his face clearly, physically, with all the twisted wrinkles and eyebrows. I will always be the cool one to ask him not to worry too much, saying I can take care of myself.

I still remember my brother always says that my father is a “cowardly” person, who don’t dare to take risk. According to him, fortune favours the bold and dad can't be rich. At that moment, I do agree with his thoughts as it sounds logical, but I didn't bother too much about it. Though I want to get rich as well, but I am not determined. My brother says he will become a millionaire by 30, and this year he is already 31 and no where near the target. From what I can see, he sort of inherited the very tread which he dislikes. He has a "better safe than sorry" style, and definitely not a risk taker. For that reason, he never become a businessman, at least didn't even try to be one before. I am currently 26, and I have the same dream of becoming a millionaire by 30 as well. I carry the same tread, which carry the symptom of uneasy feelings of me today. I face a lot psychological barrier and pressure whenever I try to achieve a lot with many things in hand and mind. I start to understand my father's behaviour more now, and I am thankful of what he had offered me. If he had done all the risk taking, there would be nothing for me to do now except spending his money :)

I think I was first struck with anxiety a few years ago when I try to venture into starting my own business. I am not sure is it really anxiety, but I'll assume it is as I feel worrisome, mentally paralysed without the ability to work, fasten heartbeat with heavy breathing and extremely uneasy at all times for various matter. Sometimes when it started, it would take weeks or months to fully recover. Thus I need to learn to take one small step at a time, where I know I don’t quite belong to the fast lane. There are many ways to achieve the same things; I need a path where I am comfortable with. I can live with slower progress, but I can't tolerate with no progress. Sometimes I overstep a few steps, bringing upon myself more worries and pressure which I have to learn to handle them. I get agitated easily by small matters, or matters which I could not comprehend. Though I had improved a lot, but the lessons are far from over.

The things that caused my uneasy feelings usually consist of many things, both big and small. Though I don't know exactly what the actual causes are, but I can make the following guesses
  • About quitting my job. No matter how many times I try to reaffirm my decisions, I will keep worrying about it until it is over.
  • Starting of new business. Though I have many plans, but there is simply no guarantee. There is risk, and as human we can only plan and pray hard it get executed properly. The rest is really out of my control. At the same time, I felt uneasy as well for not starting yet. Too many plans, too little execution.
  • My freelance work. I have many backlogs, which kinda bothered me from times to times. I feel uneasy with unfinished business.
  • About Tang's birthday present. I felt that she had been a very good friend to me, and I should do something for her birthday this year, something extra. I had thought of giving her a very specific gift, but it kinda require quite a sequence of steps (Complicated. How complicated can buying gift be?!!!!) Then I thought of something nice, simple and affordable. But unexecuted plan always worry me.
  • What else? Blogging. It is really fun blogging, but at the same time it is really taking up a lot of time. This is really quite a difficult situation dealing with blog addiction.
  • The Skill Academy. I am sort of worry about my commitment with my cousin as well, as I am required to come up with the ICT syllabus for the children at the moment, which I expect would be quite time consuming (time is a limited commodity at the moment). Websites, brochures, presentation materials, dealing with kids, arghh!!!
  • Fun or Money? Sometimes I feel like taking on some projects which bring more fun than money, and the problem is I only have a limited finite time. Can't get the best of both worlds! Make the god damn decision, you MORON!
  • Ambition vs. Relationship. Though I spent quite a lot of time in my work and ambition, and perhaps some pet projects, I do worry about my relationship health level. If I continue to be like this, I would probably end up as a lonely dirty old man.
  • And for some reason, I am worry for a person as well.
Wow! That's quite a long list, never actually counted that I have so many worries. "Bulked up man! You need to tackle all these one by one when the times come". Give me strength, as I sure need lots of them at this moment. I remembered from Good to Great, where one of things to learn is Confront The Brutal Fact. I need to know and understand my problems (acknowledge the root of evil), before I can cure them. I am glad that I blog about this, as I am already feeling a little bit better.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Malaysia Blogosphere

After quite sometimes into blogging, I start wondering about the Malaysia Blogosphere. Who is the most influential blogger in Malaysia? Google seems to favour Jeff Ooi, as a lot of links and articles point to his blog. Though he might be the most influential blogger in Malaysia, but he is not the one I am looking for. Jeff is a serious journalist and blog much about current and domestic affair from a critical view point (I am not a big fan of his blog, as it is kinda too serious for me, so I can't introduce him properly, but I like to see blogger like him to stick around for a better tommorrow for the community perhaps). According to Jeff's blog, Star Two features 4 most popular blogs, mainly Peter Tan, Claire 'Minishorts' Khoo, Tew Hui Suan and Kenny Sia. Perhaps I am not too fond of the older bloggers, so probably I am looking for someone like Minishorts and Kenny Sia. I have yet to read much of Minishorts, but Kenny Sia's blog is pretty much light and entertaining, talking about simple and funny thing in life (my kind of blog).

After some further digging, I found Project Petaling Street: A Malaysian Blog-tal and MalaysiaTopBlog which keep track of all Malaysian blogs. As of 09 October 2005 1:42 A.M, Lim Kit Siang is the top blog in MalaysiaTopBlog, followed by Sultan Muzaffar and Shoalin Tiger. Though I am suspicious how these pages are ranked, as Total Votes and Total Hits doesn't quite go in sequence. It is pretty hard to find the most popular blog in the Project Petaling Street, as blogs are categorised and ranked based on ratings and click-through. Aizuddin blog should be quite popular as well (I think he maintains Project Petaling Street).

Next question, which are the hottest Malaysian Babe Blog? I have yet to have time to research more on this, but I have some clues from Kenny Sia's "Babes of Malaysian Blogs". He had quite a detail description of each of them, but I had just roughly glanced through some of them. Below is a simple list from his site, just in case you decide to go for the goodies directly. Of cause, his site got a more complete previews and pictures as well :)
This gave me another idea. Kenny (kennyf, not Kenny Sia) and I wanted to create a website of all the Malaysian street beauties, but we don't have the resources and connection to get hold of all the pretty girls and conduct interview with them. An easier alternative to this project would be to list all the babe blogs in Malaysia and tag them, thus giving more depth to these girls (it is your writing after all) and still be able to do what we intended to. Then probably we could work further on this project from here. Sounds good to me.


Rumours had it that PPS is facing some technical difficulty, thus Rojaks suggested the following sources for your daily dosage of Malaysian Blogs:
  • blogsmalaysia (a supposingly refinement of PPS, the new uber Metablog, look promising)
  • Project Kacang Kuda (cover a few SEA countries as well)
  • SARA (Southeast Asean Blogs - a Community RSS Aggregator)

Hip Hop Friday

Adding Hip Hop on Friday does make it my favourite day. Usually I does not particularly like Friday just because it is nearing the weekend, but I does like it now because I really do look forward to it. Be it because of Hip Hop, be it because of dancing, be it because of meeting all the people I like.

Work does not end particularly well on this Friday due to some communication problem with the client. Some people are just naturally more difficult to be dealt with, and perhaps it is the weaknesses on our communication aspect as well. But, I am not gonna let that spoil my Friday. I leave at 6.00 P.M and reach KL at 6.30 P.M. I hang around Lot 10 to kill some time before meeting Tang at her place around 7.00 P.M. She accompanies me to pick up some books from Borders at Timesquare. I am back in reading craze again and had just finished Crossing the Chasm, and am looking forward to pick up 2 books, mainly Peopleware and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Peopleware is an IT Productivity book which is quite difficult to find, I had tried Kinokuniya and Borders but does not prevail. Borders can order it for me for a whooping RM 150, so I put it on hold (Amazon would cost me USD 33.95 (RM 130) as well, excluding shipping cost, so the book is indeed expensive). I try looking for the Mars & Venus book from the Borders's Book Search System, and the result return does not quite reflect their current stock. Somehow the system at their counter is more accurate, why is that so? But one thing for sure, their staffs are extremely helpful. I have been wanting to read about Mars and Venus for quite sometime, probably because it is a best seller (can't go too wrong with it) and learn my fair bit about relationship between men and women. So, I got my book and we go back to Tang's house for dinner. Li Mun is back by then. Tang's Grandma (a.k.a Li Mun's Mom) cooked some steamed chicken and a vegetarian meal. The food is pretty good, but I still feel awkward eating in their house. I help to wash up the dishes, that's the least I could do after having two free meals there. Kenny called me for dinner, but I had already eaten, sorry man.

We left the house at 8.45 P.M for ice cream, a very expensive ice cream treat. Somehow I kinda promise to treat Li Mun, and somehow I cannot remember why I promise to treat Tang as well. Anyway, the reasons are not very important, as long as we are all in the mood and every felt happy. Haagen Dazs ice cream, something I had never bought in my life until now :) one scoop is RM 8, two scoops is RM 14 and 3 scoops is RM 18, so we go for 3 scoops. I roughly remembers the flavours are Cheese Strawberry (my choice, and a good one), Rum Raisin (Tang's) and Mag-something (Li Mun's). This is the 2nd time we have ice cream together, and the girls do enjoy it, and I am happy because they like it. I found out Mei Ru will not be coming tonight, so Kenny is alone now? So I called him to come over and join us. Once he arrived, he keep blabbing and complaining about work at a very difficult customer site, and that bored Li Mun very much, but Tang is a big listener. We went for the class after that.

Today we have 1 newcomer, Fion (I thought she is busy as wel for this week). Li Mun's friend is still unable to join us this week. The new girl from last week didn't make it, as she had went back to her hometown. Just found out the new girl and the hip hop boy is from Ipoh. Somehow Jeremy didn't quite make it, and we speculate he is not quite into Hip Hop. Somehow Mei Ru made it, though a bit late and without shoe. And surprisingly Jeremy made it as well at the end, 10 minutes before the class ended. Hip Hop is quite a fast class with many steps to remember, but it is fast, fun and challenging. You must really have the energetic Hip Hop feel to really like the dance, and Thomas (the tutor) is much strict and demand us to perform better. He had built up some expectation on us. There are 2 songs we are using, one is by Usher and I have no idea what song is the other one (I am no good with songs and title). Today is pretty tiring, which is good. Hip Hop is very different from Latin, and I like both of them for different reasons. Hip Hop had more character and attitude, more of personal confidence and style. Latin is more elegant with more body twisting, and synchronisation with your partner. Jeremy tried to get us to join ballroom dancing, but no one is interested (bad timing man, Hip Hop already took up the extra cash and time).

After the dinner, I sent Li Mun and Tang home, while Mei Ru followed Kenny. I though of asking Mei Ru and Kenny for supper as well, but they seems tired. We went for supper near Tang's place again, this time at the Mamak stall. I think we kinda tried all the spot around this area, maybe we should go further the next time (probably Cheras or PJ). We have our usual topic about dance, Jeremy, childhood, college, career, characters and gossip. It finished at 1.00 A.M (Tang need to go to the toilet) and I sent them home. I reach home about 30 mins later, had a bath and read my new book for a few pages and feel asleep easily. Many small happiness for me in a single day :)

Change of Job?

The biggest event for this week is probably the company's decision to switch become more product centric. The company started as a System Integrator, and slowly involved with Product Development by churning out quite a number of products. Now, they want to become more products centric by being value partner for 3rd party products, abandon their forte of System Integrator and Product Development behind. To me, it sounds like the company had turned from bad to worse. She had abandoned her stronghold and opts for some quick and easy short term business solution, which could potentially destine the company to its downfall in the near future. A whole bunch of companies can become a value partner for a 3rd party product, a handful could become System Integrator and very few would end up as Software House. By being just product centric, we are actually reversing our progress and do something which we have no competitive advantages, and competiting in the mass market where there are already many established players.

When the CEO made the decision to take on such direction for the company, he consulted a few seniors in the company to get feedback from the rest of the staffs. At first glance, the seniors (including me, though not too senior) sort of decided this is actually quite a bad news, as most of the staffs in the company are developers with strong programming background and it would sort of discourage them or affect team morale if they were asked to be product technical and consultant. My first response is, "If this is the company's direction, I would agree and resign. I am a developer who appreciates much of the skills I have, and product consultation is not something I neither am good at nor interested to do. Perhaps it is good for the company, but I do strongly believe there are better alternatives which the company is not bold or strategic enough to embark on." The first thing which crosses our mind is "Probably it is time to seek alternative job", and we kinda worry that the rest of the staffs might feel the same and affect the team's morale. But, we were wrong, almost 100% wrong.

We held a meeting with all our department's members, to seek their view and feedback on this change of tide. I don't want to be the first one to voice out my comment, as I don't want to have influence on others' decision (though at the same time I would like to do so, but it just isn't right for me to manipulate the situation). Tang is the first to voice out her comment, and the answer she provided is exactly as I expected it to be. Tang had become more business savvy and less technical over the years, thanks to the apprenticeship under CL Wong. So, she strongly agreed with the company's direction as she believes it is more important for the company to do whatever it takes to increase profit and recover from losses at this stage. Subsequently, all the team members agree with the new direction, with not even a single person objecting to it. I am the last to voice out, and I kinda disagree with the company decision. Wynn clause I as being extremely "negative", as I am not open minded with the new direction, unwilling to change and voice my intention to resign. The rest is pretty supportive and willing to learn (which is a good thing). I sense no objection at all, though there are some doubts and uncertainty. I still remember when I first joined the company, my manager asked me which projects would I like to be involved, I answered "Which ever the project which need me the most". During that time, I am extremely determined to support and contribute to the company, perhaps this is what others are doing except me. I think I understood the company's style and culture too well, sensing something would turn bad out of this, just like everything else.

I was thinking, are we (the seniors and me) the old hacks who are too stubborn to change, or we totally understand the situation and the hidden consequences. I really like to know if the rest really support the new decision, or are they afraid to voice up, or they do not have any preferences. Am I really that wrong on other's people thought? Actually, I was hoping Amir and Kenny would be someone who might object to it.

I will try to compile why I disagree with the new direction:

  • The company are becoming from bad to worst, abandoning our forte and venture into already crowded market by jumping into the product partnership bandwagon. We are actually trying to do something where almost everyone else is capable of, making us vulnerable, at the mercy of others and loosing our uniqueness and competitive edge.
  • In software industry, being a developer is the most flexible and open-ended job which pays quite well at the moment. Other job such as System & Network Administrator, Technical Support, Product Support and etc either suffer from lower pay and the lack of jobs, or being close-ended (the opportunity is limited in the niche market, but the pay could be quite good as there are not many skilled personnel around). Being a developer, there is abundance of jobs to choose from, always in demand and you could even do some freelancing or start your own business. The salary is not the best, but the possibility and opportunity is unlimited. Besides, only the good ones end up as developer.
  • I have loose faith in both the company's management and business strategy. The company is run by a salesman, thus he does not focus much on management and restructuring to increase productivity. He is neither knowledgeable in software development and what it takes to become a great software house, thus this is just a path he couldn't be possibly embark on. But I have to give him credit for being quite an excellent sales person, and probably he is more suited to become the Sales Director instead. In terms of business strategy, I am disappointed too many times. We are always sales driven which makes us lost focus, becoming Jack of all trades and master of none. We wanted to do too many things at one time, but still unable to give commitment and take risk. We never look or plan long term, as it always have been meeting the numbers before end of financial years, as someone's head is on the chopping block. We are desperate with no vision and plan, and hoping for one big sale to drop on our lap and save the day. This is the company's strategy.
  • I had always fixed my mind to become a developer, and have thought of becoming a developer for life as well. I preferences is always a Software House, if my current company is no longer one, then there are nothing left for me. Though I might not always need to work primarily as a developer, but I would still prefer to work in a Software House, perhaps taking other position such as Software Architect, Project Manager or Product Manager.
  • Lastly, I have given enough time for the company to improve, and I had contributed whatever I could to make it a better company. But the culture is so fixed, and the management just doesn't seem to be in sync with me. With the financial crisis (not a very bad crisis anyway, just that not good either) we are facing now, I am afraid the management does not have the open mind and margin for risk taking at this moment. They want a quick and cheap fix. Besides, I don't think I have much influential power on the management (I am just a young chap who talk too much).
  • I ask myself; shouldn't I stick with the company at this troubling moment and turn the table around? Yes, I should. There any many ways to turn the table around, but the path chosen is not the path which I have faith in. I can't work for the company if I don't believe in its course. If I can't make the company listen to me, I would need to find someone who would or prove it myself.

It seems like I had pretty much made up my decision, and the company had manifest to something which I am not very keen on. I am not saying the company's current direction is a total failure, there is still possibility of great prospect which might really restore the company growth, just that I have no faith and interest in it. I pray for her survival and health, as I don't want to see a company which I used to work for go down the drain as well.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

flickr photo sharing

I am in the midst of making more additions to Blue Dragon, as mentioned in my previous post. I have decided on using Flickr to store my digital photos.

Why Flickr (more FREE marketing) and some criticising as well
  • The site is powered by Yahoo!, thus I can be quite sure it shall be available for quite a long while and hopefully remain free (as long as the competition says so)
  • It allows me to upload a lot of photos at a time (batch upload), and Tag them. But it doesn't allow me to modify the title/description of these photos using this tool.
  • It offers 20 MB of monthly upload limits, which should be sufficient as I am not storing printable quality photos (I am storing them as 800 pixels).
  • Only 3 Photosets? Meaning I can only create 3 named album, which is too little :( a marketing trick to get me to upgrade to paid version once I am hooked to it
  • Allow linking on photo to blog site such as blogger, which is a plus for a blog addict like me :) (not sure I'll be using this feature, but it is an extra anyway).
  • And just in case I have some extra cash to spend, I can upgrade to the Pro Account for USD 24.95 per year (about RM 95). It offers 2 GB monthly upload limit, unlimited storage, unlimited photosets (shitty marketing strategy), permanent archiving of high-resolution original images and ad-free.
There are a whole bunch of Flickr competitors out there, but I just don't have them to evaluate them, thus settled for the big name. Mei Ru uses Sony's Image Station, but the site kinda force me to pay after one year, else they will delete all my photos (a big No No in terms of marketing strategy, Mei Ru told me they didn't do so after one year, but I don't feel safe either). Michelle tried WebShots, but I am not convinced either. My choice of Flickr is based on limited research, assumption that it is famous among bloggers and a good hunch. I added His Photo Albums on the left panel :)

PS: Flickr only allow you to view your last 200 photos only (There seems like no way to retrieve the rest, unless u pay for upgrade)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Outdoor Rock Climbing

At this moment, I am typing using 2 fingers and both my hands are in pain when using force. Yep! That's the result of outdoor rock climbing for beginner. Both my hands are totally forceless when opening the door, holding the chopstick and zipping up my pants. I can't even grasp a firm grip. I am sure muscle pain will kick in by tomorrow, and I am already having a headache (strenuous exercise plus lack of sleep). This is the result, but there is much more fun before the side effect kicks in.

Wira Damai at Batu Caves

Close Up View of the Lime Stone Hill

Charlie's Angel Imitation

Today Michelle organise a rock climbing trip with Ah Long from Mountain Goal Malaysia at Batu Caves. We are supposed to gather at the BP petrol station and head for breakfast. I woke at 7.30 A.M (Mei Ru didn't gave me a morning call); left the house at 7.45 A.M and reach Batu Caves at 8.30 A.M (I was late). The Journey from Bukit Jalil to Batu Caves using Middle Ring Road took longer than I expected, though it is highway all the way with smooth traffic (Batu Caves is really far far away from Puchong). Today we have me, Tang, Mei Ru, Chee Hong, Michelle, Chim and Kenny. Lim joined us only for the breakfast session. Ah Long the guide leads us through some small road across a small kampung to the back of the Batu Caves' lime stone hill. The climbing spot looks nice, with straight lime stone wall of more than 15 storeys high perhaps, and with shady tress below it. The guides (there are 2 of them, but I forgot the other one's name) start to show us the basics, such as figure 8 knot, safety harness and nothing about climbing techniques. Kenny and I are the first to go, where I took the longer route. At first, everything seems quite doable, until my arm ran out of strength. Perhaps I depend too much on my arm rather than my feet, and I don't have extra strong arm to carry the weight of 70 KG. I was perhaps 1.5 metres away from the destination, but I just ran out of strength to make the last swing up (you need to put on a firm foothold, use your arm to pull yourself up a bit and apply further upward force with your feet right after that). Perhaps I am not very creative in finding ways to climb up either. I came down with both hand feeling totally stength-less, and many minor bruises.

Preparing to Go Up

Already Up

And Up Again

Up Again?

And Down with Tired Arms

Chim seems to be able to make it up pretty easy, probably due to his strong arm (he is muscle man, go to gym 3 times a week for body building, and not to mentioned his constant protein intake). Chee Hong makes it to the top as well. Michelle is a bit cautious and makes it as well. Tang and Mei Ru seem to be able to climb with much ease. I gave it a 2nd try with the shorter route, but couldn't make it either due to the weaken arm (I used up too much strength on the 1st climb). Somehow, I manage to make it on the 3rd try, probably after various tips from the guide and some "help" perhaps. I also wonder how did that happened, but, VICTORY! I think most of us have quite a lot of fun, with Tang, Mei Ru and Chim making the most climbs and enjoyed themselves very much. Chim seems wanted to have some serious follow up with rock climbing. At the end, we learned belaying as well. We took many photos and videos as well, will post it up as soon as I get my hands on them.

Muscle Man Chim

Monkey Tang

Fantastic Mei Ru

Rock climbing is fun, but the strength of the arm plays an important role for the climb. Of course, techniques and balance is important as well, but arm strength is the main obstacle for me. Probably need to put more effort to train up the arm before I can fully enjoy the next climb, but there is so much to do with so little time. We went for lunch together after that, while Chim went back for movie (The Myth) with wife/girlfriend. I have some difficultly handling the car on the way home with stength-less hand, but it is a safe journey home. I have problem pulling the gas knob when I stop for petrol and almost gave up on it. Reach home and have a bath, finding my bruises on the arm (Tang had blue black on her knees) and fall asleep right after that.