Monthly Archives: February 2010

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The One With The Very Hectic Week

The One With The Very Hectic Week

This might sound obvious to you after reading the post title, but I am having a very hectic week.

With a mountain of looming deadlines threatening to engulf my whole being together with my fellow partners in crime, we fought fire after fire, built list after list, badgered people after people, all in the hope that the end result (a website which will see the world come Friday) will not be a disaster.

I was telling a friend on what a tough week it was, when all of a sudden an unfamiliar sensation engulfed my heart. What was that? I wondered. It felt like… like… pride.

Pride that all of us have come this far in this project. That we have mounted too many obstacles I care to count. That despite everything, we remain steadfast in our purpose and true to our heart.

Hold on, comrades, for the end is near. And I can see a creature of beauty created by us.

Be still, my heart.

(Photo Credit)

Avatar the Movie: How To Be A Na’vi & Make Pandora Your World

Avatar the Movie: How To Be A Na'vi & Make Pandora Your World

Imagine living in a world of vivid, technicolour. Where flora and fauna flourish in abandon, bursting with life at every turn. Where men and women (well, almost) live not only in perfect harmony with nature and its past, but totally dependent on each other for mutual survival.

Enter Avatar, the epic animation movie by James Cameron which has recently trumped Titanic as the highest grossing movie ever made in history.

The movie sparked far-fetched imagination in many people, including yours truly. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to tap into the history of his kind simply by “tying” his hair into a tree? Or to be able to command a flying creature by mere thoughts?

But like all things fanatic brought about by great but fictional movies, some people just went a tad too far.

I don’t know about you, but I think gathering in group to speak in tongue around a toilet-paper-strewn tree speaks of total craziness, not mere fanaticism. But in case that’s what float your boat, here’s five ways on how to become a Na’vi. And if you don’t know what a Na’vi is, probably you shouldn’t read any further.

#1 – Convince yourself that, yes, it is possible to get an Avatar for yourself. Though we might be years away before that technology can be developed, one can always hope miracles could happen within one’s lifetime, doesn’t one?

#2 – Imagine yourself as a Na’vi. I mean, get a preview. Probably you will be astounded how strangely blue you will look as a Na’vi, but hey it comes with the (crazy) package, no?

#3 – Get up to speed with the culture, history and appearances of the Na’vi community you are about to become a part with. If you can’t grow up as one, then at least read on how to be come one.

#4 – Of course, you have got to learn the Na’vi language; here’s an authoritative guide, and you can even download a pocket guide to learn as you go around your (soon-to-be-demolished) human ways. As guttural and animalistic as the language appears to be, I am sure you won’t expect many English-speaking Na’vis as you enter that fictional world… then again perhaps there will be enough English-speaking lunatics like you to make a tribe.

#5 – To be a true blue Na’vi, you gotta love your nature, and animals – ranging from the tame to the ferocious – come in all shapes and sizes. So learn up which one will kill you before letting you ride them… only then you can hope to last longer than a night in Pandora. I mean, not everyone is as militant as Jack Scully.

I don’t know about you, but the furthest I would go as much as I worship the incredible movie would be to purchase the collector’s edition DVD. Apart from everything great about Avatar, there is a promised sex scene between two Na’vi in it.

Oh, be warned though – in the world of Pandora, once you fucked a Na’vi, you are bonded for life.

Now go on and get a life.

(This blog post was inspired by Live Avatar)

If You Have Ten Million Dollars… And A Dream Job

One day.

The clock rings at 7 a.m. You open one eye, hit the snooze button, and sleep on. You repeat the process a couple of times more until you realise you will be late for work. So you scramble your way around the house and got into office in the nick of time… to find yourself totally exhausted and longing for the day to end, when you have not even open your emails yet.

Yet another day.

You open your eyes, looked at the daylight in wonder, and it is not even 7 a.m. yet. Whistling your way getting ready to work, you mentally build a checklist of things to do when you get to work. By the time your Outlook loads your emails, you are all fired up to get your to-do list crossed and checked, and to end the day feeling all contented and productive.

Sounds familiar?

Of course it does. We all have our good and bad days at work. Sometimes we couldn’t wait to get into office, yet on other days we literally have to drag our sorry asses to work.

The question begged to be answered would be – are you doing what you enjoy? If not, why are you doing it? If yes, why were there bad days at work?

An interesting way to look at this is… if you have ten million dollars today, and taking rest & relaxation out of the equation, what would you be doing?

We work because of money. And if money is no longer a factor, it would be deeply insightful to know what you would be doing, apart from resting and relaxing.

For me? I will travel the world in no hurry, and blog about my tales in leisure. I will share what I found on my journeys, so my friends can benefit from my experience. I will make new friends all over the world, and will be proud to call myself a seasoned traveler.

The Dancing House in Prague

I can work for Lonely Planet. Not because of the money, but because I could.

What would you do if you have ten million dollars? What would your dream job be?

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Listen To Ris Low When It Comes to Safe Sex

If you are from Singapore, chances are you would have heard of Ris Low. The beauty pageant contestant became famous after an interview on Miss World Singapore was published online and much circulated.

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Listen To Ris Low When It Comes to Safe Sex

The reason? Her bad English. I have to admit that I laughed myself silly while watching her clip. However I did not blog about her infamous episode, partly because the backlash has been horrible enough for the girl, and I did not think that she did anything wrong.

But that, my friend, is about to change. Today, I am going to blog about her.

Today I came across another hilarious video of Ris Low published by (via Justin Jap). This time, the controversial topic was on safe sex. After watching her demonstrating how to use a condom properly, I feel alarmed. Not because of her getting yet another backlash (she would have totally deserved it this time), but the erroneous way of her safe sex practices.

Safe Sex With Ris Low from clicknetwork on Vimeo.

Here are some reasons why you should not follow her advice on safe sex:

#1 – The most important reasons for safe sex? Unwanted pregnancies? I don’t know about you, but I could live with unplanned babies (though I know some friends of mine will disagree). But if you got HIV, that’s the end. Literally. I would rather have a baby in my arms than oozing sores all over my body.

#2 – When you put a condom on, you don’t push it against the tip of the willy and try to scroll it down. You pinch the tip of the condom, place it on the head, then roll it down in one swift motion. Not lose control of the whole damn thing and went “oops” when the condom when aflying. That is just not on.

#3 – I am supposed to use with it with warm jelly? And what brand of lubricant were she using? I hope to God she is not using a petroleum-based one from her (undoubtedly) large collection of skin care. And you put the jelly on the condom, not on your hand. You don’t fuck using your hand (unless your man like it that way… I am just saying).

#4 – You can use the lubricant on your nails? Supposedly a fashion tip? Errr… do you want your man to smell your fingers, thought of KY (assuming that she was using the right lube), and want you to jump his bone immediately?

#5 – Speaking of finger nails, if you have those ridiculous looking and sharp (fake) nails on, let your man be the man he is and put on his own condom. One cut on the condom and you’ll have a baby in your arms nine months later. Or you could hurt his tool. Ouch.

#6 – Even with a small penis, you don’t roll your condom all the way. It is an impossible feat… have you seen a pair of testicles, Ms. Low?

#7 – How do you remove the condom while it is hard, and erected? I don’t know about you, but if I have done my job properly, I think my little brother will go a little soft once the load is… unloaded.

#8 – The skin is coming off when you peel off the condom? You might say oops. But I would say OUCH, get your ridiculous nails away from my willy!

#9 – Thanks for thinking that sperm is damn disgusting. I don’t think your stain on me is that great either.

#10 – It is okay to roll up your used condom into a ball and dispose it somewhere, but I thought you think sperm is disgusting. One tip for you – just pull of the damn thing, wrap it with tissue paper and be done with it.

The only tip I agree with her is that you shouldn’t “recycle” a used condom. It is way safer to just use a new one if you want to continue. Don’t be a cheap skate. On average I use an average of ten condoms per session.

Ooops, I shouldn’t have said the last line.

Now, what safe sex tips do you have? Please don’t say abstaining from it, unless you are a monk.

The One With The Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year Props @ Times Square, Hong Kong

It is time of the year when you avoid the throngs of shopping-deprived aunties in town, deftly sparing yourself from the insanity caused by festive tunes on incessant repeats, and wish it is still Christmas.

I was browsing through the archive of my blog – a stroll down memory lane if you will – to recall how I spent the previous Chinese New Years. Apart from the homage I paid to my sister last year, the last few years have been spent in Singapore.

Not that I hated going back to Malaysia, mind you. But since hardly any of my family members was at home, and the bus tickets were astronomically priced, it made more sense to return only when the madness subside… and when gastronomical meals were cooked and ready for my inspection, hehe.

Now that I am in Hong Kong, it is even more difficult for me to return home, be it now or later. I have to think hard what I could do here – new friends (the few of them) will be busy with their families, and many places I frequent would be closed. I guess it is inevitable for me to spend time at home and cook for myself, seeing that I am still a single swinging bachelor at this time of the year, every year.

But hey, I am not complaining! Sometimes it is great to have some me-time, and seasons like this is as good as any others.

Have a great lunar new year, everyone. May the Tiger year ahead be a roaring one for you!

The Joy of Skype for the Stranded Foreigner

Ah… the joy of technology. What would we do without them?

When one of my longest friends returned to Singapore for a holiday (she lives in London now), I was devastated for being unable to join the reunion of our university gang. Well, sort of. It is not every day you get to see your university mates who have been your friends for ten years in one place at the same time, is it?

Enter Skype. The beauty of being able to join in the bickering session from the comfort of my living room in Hong Kong, while they sip over steaming cups of coffee in Singapore.

It felt somewhat surreal. Being stranded as I was as a foreigner in a foreign land, times like this made me closer to my old friends as never before.

Coffee Teleconference HKG - SIN

Coffee Teleconference HKG - SIN

Coffee Teleconference HKG - SIN

Thanks guys and gals, for the fun night! It was an honour to be called your “old friend”. Now get your collective asses over to Hong Kong!

Photos courtesy of Terence, whose photography skills seem to get more and more awesome everytime I see him!

The One With The Bed & Breakfast

(Since moving to Hong Kong, I have been hosting quite a number of friends from Singapore visiting my new home country. I have been coordinating the logistics of their “arrival” so often that I decided to come up with the following email auto-responder for just such an occasion ;) )

Razlan's Bed & Breakfast

Dear [Your Name],

Thank you for your reservation with Razlan’s Bed & Breakfast located at Hongway Garden, 8 New Market Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. We noted that you will be staying for # nights, from [your check in date] to [your check out date].

Not much of a bed but at least it is clean, and not much of a breakfast either unless you order from McD (though we knew for a fact that they deliver within 20 minutes).

This is to confirm your room will be available on the stipulated dates. Your host will be Mr. Manjaji, and he will do all he can to skive off work and be with you for all things wonderful about Hong Kong*

Your total cost will be [my desired favour in kind], and should be paid immediately upon arrival.

There is no definite timing for check in and check out, but we do ask you to take good care of your house keys. Our full house facilities will be at your disposal.

We look forward to welcome you to our B&B soon!

Staff @ Razlan’s B&B

*This include and not restricted to unlimited beer, foot massage, shopping, dim sum, seafood and the like, and other unmentionables not suitable for public domain.

P.S.: (If my boss is reading this) No friend was important enough for me to skive off work so far! They took care of themselves while I am slogging in the office.

P.S.S.: (And if my boss is still reading) And I do mean, really really!

The One With The iPhone (No, Really)

My new iPhone 3GS, 32 GB

And so it happened. My new iPhone arrived today. It seems like only yesterday when I ordered one through a corporate subscription plan. Apparently, few ordered the 32GB version, hence stock is in abundance and mine arrived in record time.

My new iPhone 3GS, 32 GB

What do I know about the start of an iPhone love affair? Apparently, close to nothing. It took me a good half an hour figuring out how to insert the bloody SIM card – a hint: search on YouTube. After which, I remembered I need to wait until this Thursday for my number to be active.

My new iPhone 3GS, 32 GB

Not knowing what else to do with my still-charging phone, I snapped away and put a collection of photos of my new love on Flickr. Friends already suggested various apps for me to try. I would, surely.

What would you suggest?

The One With The iPhone (Almost)

The One With The iPhone (Almost)

When it comes to gadget, I am almost one generation behind everyone else.

No, I don’t mean one version. I do mean one generation. Like, when everyone is enthusing about the newly launched iPad, I have only placed an order for an iPhone.

(Side track here: Can anyone think of a more stupid name for iPad? It sounded like the latest sanitary pad from Apple, only that it isn’t compatible with most women)

And so to my iPhone. It was a corporate plan, with a reduced subscription fee, and a 32GB iPhone 3GS for HK$800. Unlimited data transfer. Incoming and outgoing call minutes which I am sure will be under utilised in my case.

And most importantly, the self-satisfaction that I am finally venturing into the mobile world. Internet on the go.

How connected can you be? In my case, so connected I am about to be that I dreamed about my new iPhone last night. The whole gizmo; getting excited, hours spent zooming in and out of its applications, sending texts (on my touchscreen keyboard) to my friends announcing my latest best friend.

I didn’t know I am so crazy over iPhone, deep down. It is just that… a phone.

Perhaps I am about to prove how misled I was.

ETA uncertain, but I will let you know when it happens.

(Photo Credit)

A Fitness Journey Worth Remembering

(Recently I was asked to write a testimonial for Crix, my personal trainer at Fitness First while I was living in Singapore. This was what I wrote)

I remember vividly how it started. It was the beginning of 2008. My friend was rummaging through my wardrobe looking for something to wear, and in total incredulity he lamented that I needed a (fashion) makeover!

Only then I realised I have not bought new clothes for years. I had always wanted to, but told myself to wait till I lose a little weight. Of course, that never happens, and years flew by.

Dennis & I

(Me, at the beginning of my two-years regime, in January 2008)

Gripped by a fear that I will be a total telly tubby by the time I hit my 30s, I rounded up a friend who recently signed up for Fitness First. One week in, I got myself a personal trainer, Crix.

It wasn’t an easy process. I am the most unfit person I know. Crix has the patience of a saint to show me the rope and correcting my wrong techniques. A grueling combination of cardio work, muscle training and sensible diet saw itself paying off as I shave off one inch after one slow inch.

When I got started, my pants measured 40″ and I was a whopping 88 kg. Two years and two packages of 30 sessions later, I am the proud owner of pairs of 30″ jeans, while my weight dropped to the vicinity of 74 kg.

Crix, girlfriend and I

(My trainer, Crix at my 29th birthday party in June 2008, half year since we got started)

I learned that the body can take as much pressure as you wish to take on, and most of the time, the difficulty is a mental one. Yes, every now and then I slipped – a plethora of excuses, like work stress, travel schedule, birthday dinners – but the most important thing to remember is that, if you slip, it is not the end of the world. The right motivation and the help of a dedicated trainer go a long way.

Now that I reside in Hong Kong, I never forget some of the discipline and techniques Crix has instilled in me. Yes, I am still with Fitness First, and a firm believer on one-to-one training.

Crix, I have you to thank for in making part of who I am, today!

Museum of Music History at Táncsics Mihály utca, Castle Hill

(At Budapest, Hungary in December 2009)