Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What a Waste of Rationalisation

there was once a man and woman, who met each other and sparks flew, they congealed into one emotional being and lived happily ever after, never looking back (or elsewhere).

fast forward to our age, that's so outright laughable, a facetious, incredulous situation that even fairy tales find hard to accommodate.

i've finished reading Lionel Shriver's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and realised why it deserved its Booker Prize a few years back. its treatment of love, parent-child especially and relationships packs so much emotional intensity and perceptive clarity that it's no mere mortal feat to reduce these difficult matters into words and language which often fail us when we need them most. it was almost ironic because i thought that because what she could do so well with words, using it to connect her readers to this topsy-turvy world of negative parenting, perceived or otherwise, it was the very thing that doomed the relationship between Eva and her demonic son (eponymous to title). and love is a duty, no matter how quixotic one sees it and with it comes a whole package of responsibilities and necessary executions that set in once love takes its place. it's never easy but absolutely necessary. in the end, Kevin is changed by Eva's love no matter how he rejects it because by the very act of him consciously rejecting it, he is gaining knowledge of this power and this matters.

but how love becomes the eventual goal is an easy process, contrary to what many think. and no matter how much one rationalises, if one cannot get past a feeling so immense, the feeling will override all reason and rhyme. and the more one employs his arsenal of defence mechanisms, the more claustrophobic he becomes as his ability to feel becomes an increasingly larger trap and he may just miss the very thing that validates his existence as a feeling human being. i've done my fair share of over-analysis but have convinced others to do the opposite, just fall and follow your heart. experience tells us not to trust our heart too easily but life will teach us that our heart is often the most trustworthy ministry where interpretation of feelings are concerned.

i wish i could fall just like that as well, but to fall alone, often means that the injury will be the deepest and most protracted.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mere Furtive Observations

ok i'm back. it's been awhile since there has been activity here. it's not that there had been nothing to talk about, but sloth got the better of me. and plus i have friends around to execute instantaneous opining/social critiquing.

life's been relatively pleasant and gracious to me. there's been fun, travelling (restless me can't stay still) and friends there are always there when i need them. but dating has been quite a chore, or rather things don't quite work out somehow. and it's getting tiresome going through the entire process from scratch everytime a new person comes along. being acquainted, getting to know the person better, be it a dog or cat person, etc, and basically coming to a conclusion if a future is even vaguely remote. it's not that i'm punctilious with people, but like i tell a certain close friend, you can't help who you get horny over. and that sexual dimension is tremendously important (dun act coy now). i tell myself i'm done- that dating's not for me, too laborious and i'm simply happy in my comfort zone of people i'm comfortable with. and the hope that gets risen is very damning on mental health. once you think someone's right for you and bam, you get slammed back to reality because you know something's just not right.

that brings to point a book i'm reading now and finding it cosmically interesting. it's Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. it speaks of that split second blink moment that affects one's perception and impression of things/people that sticks and hard to erase. i think it's pretty true with dating. imagine a person that just doesn't wipe that salad dressing off his lower left lip, imagine a person that has a laugh of a shriek of a hyena, imagine that person with the mole on the right cheek. it's true that first impression matter, i stand by jane austen when she first decided to name Pride and Prejudice First Impressions. it becomes very entrenched and it takes much to reverse your decision on something/someone. and with this internet age that we're situated in, things become more perversely superficial. because you know there are plenty of opportunities out there and one is not in lack of choices. so once first impressions fail, you know that you can move onto another person. patience is soooo underrated nowadays. that's why things become very dismal- people simply move on and have no patience to try things out. moving on is very in these days. relationships become a furtive object- if it works, good, otherwise i'm gonna move on to some other person.

tonight was fun with dandy D around. but at the end of the night, there was a sense of loss involved. company was great but the sense of purpose was questioned- what's clubbing all about, especially in that sort of situation. but no more am i perturbed by it- i just simply go home and have a sound sleep.

another day, another set of circumstances.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Left me a cold Hkurkey

next time i quip 'those were the days', i shall fondly remember this Hong Kong trip. it has been quite a while since i partied hard for 4 days in a row, met up with some wonderful friends and made others in the process that might be just that for some time to come, and one that i almost knew who uses another as his spokesperson. i crazed myself out, drenched in unadulterated, hedonistic fun, without a shred of earthly worry, and came back paying back my dues. but what the heck, it was all worth it and some people really made this wildly wonderful, i can never thank enough. you know yourselves, give that hearty pat on your back once more.

funny thing is shopping did not do me in this time- i think the general populace must be fanatically shocked/proud of me, since all i bought were stomach fillers and a lacoste limited edition polo tee and there's that! i've signed my brand new visa at a grand tally of one, solitary time. yes you still have me, unflinching die-hard HK shopper, the most vocal advocate of HK shopping tourism, but this time i just couldn't bring myself to spending unnecessarily. and still yes, we're talking about ethan in HK, alice in wonderland and what allegory of me have you not in good ol' HK. but part of the reason is because i just needed the time to get my system up and running again for more partying, hence not much time allocated for shopping. within the span of 4 night-become-day days, i've been to Volar and Drop (the members' only clubs which S was so kind to saunter me in so carefreely), and the 2 rave parties which were downright diiirrrty, the way parties on a vacation should be anyway. dragged myself to meet family on Sunday for dim sum lunch and that was pure torture. i was still reeling from certain medicated effects plus alcohol and everything was a daze to me. my cantonese was in barely functional mode and all i really wanted to do over lunch was to plunge my head into the table in front of me. lucky the baked cheese cod fish rice, macau style was not too shabby. good food helps a tad even in the most desperate of moments.

wish i had photos of anything really but i only realised i didn't take anything when i was on board home. i guess that's indication enough of how much fun i had huh? and now as i cold storage my fun in the fridge of financial accounting, evidence and securitization, i am left stranded a cold turkey waiting for my next injection of miss kong.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Complexity is so simple

we all need something to work with. be it that little concern, that illusive look or that hello at the start of the day- we need something to work with. the concept of selfless giving escapes me. maybe it's all me but it's really hard to know if that person is interested or not if nothing is done. nothing stems from nothing, zero multiply by a million remains tragically zero. life is hard as it is, and to suppose and second guess really doesn't help at the end of the day. i have reiterated infra time and time again but i don't understand why things cannot be as simple as they get- or simply as good as it gets. more often than not, such things are obfuscated by emotional entanglements and unnecessary mind games. minus all these and we will have a bare enough understanding of the human-dating psyche. if life is supposed to be made exciting by all these intrusive elements, i will be made a better person without all these, thank you very much.

i stand saddened and heartened, with what i am presented with. as my dearest mich will know by now after a most sombering evening (i do apologise), too many things are being said. verbosity does spell that dearth of an action we should have taken if not hesistancy be that very devil of execution. and also just launch forward if the heart says yes. of course that in itself is idealism at its apogee. it's rather depressing that we are made cynics by the very age that we live in, when everything moves at internet speed and expectations are presupposed on the factum that since search is so simple, there must be someone better. when are we going to stop looking? when are we going to be satisfied with what fate presents? but really, we are mere humans eh? a perennial easy excuse out.

oh sandy rocks, like a bottle of divine rosso montalcino, she just gets better with age. and she's just pure 1997 with this album. bless that woman.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Etching Anniversaries

a day etched forever into the blood-stained, painful history of mankind, and i thought it an almost human obligation, to remember.

september eleventh, since the metaphysical and symbolic (of course the woefully obvious physical accounted for) collapse of the twin towers and its addendum damages at the pentagon and a pennsylvanian field, has taken on a life of its own. it became the mother of anniversaries where the hyperboles of pain, terror, evil and misery were dispensed at will and ever so readily. it became the day when evil started wearing a tudang and Machiavellian took on a Muslim middle name. this in turn evolved into a constant state of fear/suspicion, which today we still fight an unwinning war against, fuelled by a taken-for-granted-incompetent and naïvely-hegemonic bush presidency and people who are only philosophically boldened to challenge this. the inconveniences of flight check-ins are one thing but to be inconvenient with our should-be-brazen actions against a poor leadership cannot be condoned. the threat that evil might manifest itself again in the ugliest of human form is hardly a versimilitude but the threat of perpetual talk or taking actions not germane to our cause in defeating what we set out to defeat, is more potent.

why do people celebrate anniversaries? of course if they are felicitious occasions, i'm all up for it. but otherwise, it seems like a annual masochistic exercise to mentally hurt oneself into forcefully remembering that that painful day is here.

'oh this is the third year since i broke up with that thug';
'i've lost [insert formerly-adorned item] on the same day exactly one year ago';
'it's september eleventh today'.

before accusations are shot at me for being a blithe unsentimentalist, i'm all for sentiments and memories. but i guess i'm more private than most people are. we don't need the physical embodiment of this vigilanting of memories- the whole shebang is almost entirely unnecessary. i always believed that when one's at the apogee of calamitous sadness, tears do not properly enunciate the impact anymore. when one has energy to outwardly manifest this, it means the impact has not done its job. it should completely destroy you, till a point where it is almost impossible to breathe and your insides are wrecked and your mind a complete disarray that normal anatomical processes become redundant. i think that's happened to those who have lost someone at a gross tragedy as such. and combined with a complete bewilderment at something so incredibly nefarious could crash right into the human heart so effectively and with such haste, i would have thought that i, myself, would not feel more 'mere human' than this. sometimes i wonder why being humans and thus applying the common axiom of 'i'm only human', we're put through such gargantun emotions that proves so much bigger than life.

then i slap myself awake, and realise the faculties of hope, concern, spiritual anchors in the form of blind faith/religion and the ever-propounded concept of human love. as cliché as they come, these are things that make life that little bit better, and if managed properly they can indeed overcome plenty of hurdles that proved insurmountable. not forgetting they mitigate the effects of painful anniversaries. and alleviate the crumbling weight of the burden of ashes.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rare catharsis

In White

It starts with white, somehow.
Stuttered stanzas with limps of words
the black of ink roaming this
maudlin pasture of imagination
To tell this tale
grey as the heavy sky
soaked in the tears of the clouds
and the thunders that never made sense

White that were the rose petals
Eager to fall back to earth
as the purest forms of sorrow
its innocence kissing away their fears
of their looming fate of black.

Lest the omnipresent dawn breaks
The iridescent calm
that comes as the hardest pill to swallow
but slowly unfolds itself
to reveal that the clarity of love
is never spoken-
capsuled in the linguisitcs of memory.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sun-soaked Fun

it does seem that vacation breaks bring out the sloth in me. Amsterdam, followed by Yenz's foray to Scotland and swiftly continued by the Andalucian trip does not provide a condusive environment to blog update. but i do owe everyone a quike update, with a focus on the southern Spain trip, which was beyond gorgeous.

Amsterdam was good, but only with the company i serendipitously amassed. otherwise i thought the city lacked that omph that gives say Edinburgh and Paris that extra appeal you can't quite place a finger on. spacecakes and purple joints can only get one thus far, and a bad trip is going to make it all worse anyhow. even with the ubiquitous canals snaking through the city, i still felt it lacking in something that venezia has (even though it might be overrun with tourists of all sorts). however the lovely accommodation of Hilton helped, and as mentioned, the company made it all good.

Some reasons why Andalucia is so much fun and memorable: FOOD! Best food goes to La Sacristia (immediate right) with the winning grilled prawns wrapped in aubergines. The most 'haute cuisine' we went is to your bottom right- my monkfish and prawns in saffron sauce (pictured below and proceed to salivate). And of course what is Spain without its mad array of tapas.

Of course food wasn't the only thing preoccupying me, although Yenz would probably put her life on the line to argue otherwise, what with the incessant whines to meal and constant obsession with snacking on random stalls walked by. Malaga was passable and as chilled as we were we didn't feel quite prepared to waste another day in this slow-town. We proceeded to Marbella where white-washed boats are harboured aplenty and the beaches more welcoming. It was such a gorgeous day, we just enjoyed a leisurely day on the beach with semi-cold froths of water washing up our sun-beaten bodies. It was a magnificent feeling, one that you won't get to feel a lot, even in Singapore where the humidity just takes the kick out of sunbathing/beaching. Marbella, ah- my mistress of a beach resort. We had a wonderfully good day there, nothing short of hyperbolic relishing of joy. And after a terribly hard day's work of sunbathing and Mediterranean Sea forlicking we thought we might well deserve a popsicle to tame the heat but pictures turned out to be more suggestive than we thought,
especially since we were seen by passerbys to indulge in the 'eating action' and ferociously taking pictorial evidence of ourselves while the sticky fruity flavours dripped down our clumsy hands. Still, happy times.

I think both of us were rather taken aback with the architectural beauty and never-ending polaroid-worthy views of the city of Sevilla. Everywhere we turned we found something most extraordinaily sumptuous to human sight and marvel at the intricacies of the Moorish tiling or the symmetry of designs that make them all so pretty. The Sevilla Catedral and La Giralda humbled us and shut us up completely, even all the obscenely-repeated 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'. It was just that little crazy to see something so immensely grand, every single nuance in architecture, art and religious symbolism were all taken care of and each altarpiece, each nave, each sacristry were just overwhelming in their own rights and league. one has to be there to witness the looming beauty of it. La Giralda brought us to such heights that to catch the Reales Alcaraz and the Catedral all in a single breath, was a subsuming feeling. it definitely lives up to its affectionate nickname of Sevilla's Effiel Tower, only with more meaning and allegorical depth. This really brings our insight into Sevilla to new heights (pun unintended), a city highly recommended to anyone planning to visit anywhere in the Mediterranean really. Just keep practising at holding your breath.

Oh did i forget to mention Sevilla is also home to Zara. thus on the main shopping street alone, there was 3 Zara Women, 1 Zara Mens and 1 Zara Home. imagine how flighty Yenz got when she found 'home'. shopping in general was great as well, let's just say we returned poor but very happy people.

This trip was great really, some fantastic memories to keep and great anecdotes to share over wine and cheese. I think a good travel companion is vital in the impression of the trip overrall and thanks to mine this time round, our foray into Andalucia has been more than gorgeous. so here's to us, and more to come.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Invidious updates in an attempt to prevent a fall into desuetude

the otiose, academically-beated-but-now-arisen-and-about-to-launch-into- logorrhea me will now attempt to endeavour to say something here before i force this little space of mine to fall into desuetude, as with my former literary agogness and relevant linguisitic attainment.

after a rather rewarding vacation placement at the oh-so-mentioned Magic Circle firm complete with Mayfair dinner clubbing and expensive social events (where is the work bit?), a mad frenzy, head-first into academic catching-up was guaranteed, considering i took the chance to go to the Balkans + Venice for 2.5 weeks and blankly staring at my text in London, relegating it to bedtime hypnosis reading. well life is all about chances, the excitement comes with the unexpected result that is consequent- i need a blind woman from nip/tuck to tell me that. (Commercial: nip/tuck season 2 is the most lurid medical-human drama/soap on television hitherto, catch it and you will forever think twice about undergoing a comestic procedure) Well i was bored like that see, got hooked onto the Sainsbury's DVD rental services and trying to maximise it whilst i'm still on the 30-day trial. And can you not help yourself from falling hopelessly for Famke Janssen? That oneiric beauty, combined with a matured patina of feminine aura and downright raw sexuality that oozes like *rude analogy censored*... I do digress but can you quite blame me? Not that i need any sort of pictorial representation to remind myself of her, but beauty never hurts, or too much actually:

i CANNOT wait for x-men:the last stand, someone restrain me. And i'm getting hooked to this image attaching capability.

Moving along (i think i'm able to now), spring has finally arrived proper. apart from the rather annoying slaps of cold winds that would make you regret perambulating in your surf shorts, it is otherwise getting rather hospitable and proves to be quite that succor to the biting, dreadful winter not too long ago. i managed to trot up part of Arthur's Seat just to read my notes on a carpet of grass (flies and crawlies taint the lovely experience somewhat), under the glorious sun that refuses to play secondary to cumulonimbus- it was a gorgeous feeling. not that it was exactly a fruitful academic outing, but hey we need to feel good without unnecessary encrumbrances. i would proceed to attach another picture here but i really don't have one.

well thereafter were a series of wine sessions at mates' and catching up, having not seen them for quite a bit. also did catch MI:3 which turned out not to be quite the pablum of a 2. pace was good, suspense was biting at times and plot was tight, albeit still no comparison to the first instalment. but one can definitely see j.j.abrams casting out his own league in the action-mystery-thriller sphere. 2 claps.

not everything is quite that invidious as proclaimed. there were/are some menial errands to be executed, details of which i will not venture to bore you with. but what is the most invidious could be my plans for the next few weeks, leading right up to my eventual prodigal return to good-ol' Singapore. a string of trips and friends that give me that wee rush everytime i think about it. i see verdant patches clouding over some faces, so i will leave it at that.

well not quite, swallow this baby: munich (getting me some ball action, *wink*), paris (oh love me the same way as i love you), salzburg (the prodigal meeting the dead prodigy), malaga (think beach whale and liking it), sevilla (some Moorish jingle-lings), london (the future speaks), cambridge (friendly obligations) and amsterdam (stone me up). and company to beat. bite me.

with this salmagundi of activities that i leave you to digest and crunch over, i take my leave but i (semi) promise to do this more often, now that i don't have recondite concepts that i need to grasp but don't care about and i have regained my inner-equipoise (sorry tim, your time will come- with you in spirit though). Balkans pictures next chance.

Monday, April 17, 2006

the trip with a thousand rainbows and too many cheese-stuffed steaks

So I am currently embarking on my slavic trip now (save Bratislava in Slovakia which had little or no slavic ties) and it is regrettable that I am only updating it now, what with the end in sight. can't blame me really, it has been such the whirlwind trip and lack of virtual connectivity in most of the hostels that I was putting up with. And now some Slavic dance music comes on and I feel obliged just to type faster so mind not my rambling and prolix updates. Also to set some minds at ease that I haven't been shot by some Serb nationalist and dragged off to Kosovo to be a human flag post.

I am currently in Ljubljana, Slovenia after a almost 9 hour train ride from Split down on the Dalmatian coast. It was a rather welcome, even more so considering we had almost perfect weather the whole 5 days in Croatia. my regret was just that I couldn't quite be that beach whale given it was still rather cold and even the water sports centre was closed until May. at least there was the sun to give some comfort. Seafood! it was as if no one back home knew the trick to perfect calamari is fresh squid and the fish was so nicely grilled, you won't feel how much you are actually downing. However by territoral feel, Split was more compact and more historical to feel that much less touristy than Dubrovnik which felt like it was built just for tourists. given its beaches and weather, it had to be in a way. but the peopl here were the friendliest- maybe it really has a direct correlation with the amount of sunshine, considering the Hungarians were rather minimalist with their services and help rendered.

Budapest was probably the prettiest thus far though, the Danube dramatically splitting (pun really unintended) hilly Buda and flat Pest, oresenting a most varied and memorable landscape which was atopped by neo-Gothic and neo-Baroque architecture that was on the brink of being truly breathtaking. Bratislava was a depressing piece of post-Communist blues and the picture of the cafe selling 'Depresso' will agree with me. I haven't seen much of Ljubljana but judging from its petitness and bland landscape, it wouldn't be terribly exciting but the general feel of the city at first experience was rather comforting.

More to come and pictures of course, meanwhile back to my cell of a hotel room: I'm staying at a converted prison. for experience sake.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Grandeur of Gratitude

i just have to word down how it feels to be on the verge of being wasted and sober..just dangling by that ever so fine line yet knowing exactly what you are enunciating. that sort of elucidation of once-mystified memories or surpressed feelings that you just can't face up to because they are too real and large for your consciousness to relate to.

the times i've been here, out of asia, has been quite a turbulent experience, in more a good way than otherwise. friends and company have been absolutely amazing, as with the people back home, who go all the way to make me feel remembered. i think through and through, i've been blessed with the best quotients of this world we live in- people, that become larger than life with what they contribute to my quality of life and to my culmination of memories that i will look back with fondness and forlorness as M is so wildly flattered by. as this past birthday testified (exact quantity of senescence withheld for mental health reasons), i really couldn't ask for more. i'm coming back in 3 months or so and someone at the flat party just posed me a rather difficult question: 'how would u feel on your last day in edinburgh?' i went cold for an instant and thought i would be leaving behind fantastic memories and people behind yet i'm looking forward to seeing people i love and miss back home, whom i'm dying to reunite. this tension is hard but i guess it's just part and parcel of an exchange stint since you can't expect to ship everyone home from your exchange place back home. nonetheless i've gotten the best of both worlds and i'm dying to share it with anyone who's ever so keenly in knowing. so till then, it's been a blast and watch out for the next update!