About Me

My photo
We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Brother Ties The Knot

(Initially, I wanted to title this blog "Another Brother Bites The Dust" but nah, I'll save the drama for another day. Don't let that scare you off, married life is great when there's communication, a sense of humour, mutual dieting™ & lots of healthy creative sex)

I knew Raymond when we were working our first proper job at VM in the IT distribution sales industry. By proper, I don't mean ideal, it was still a shitty job but an essential stepping-stone which helped pave the way for our future careers in the distribution sales industry, all the way to our current jobs which we could finally consider not perfect but ideal & proper. There were duds in-between for me though. Raymond was luckier. The man's always lucky.

So yeah, that meant we already knew each other for... *counts fingers while summoning memory bank power*.. 7 solid years. Even though we went to different companies after VM (and I actually became a colleague of Raymond again for a brief 2 days before I decided to change course & dive headlong into the Pharmaceutical industry when the opportunity came my way), we kept in touch all the way & met up for drinks & some yuppie merriment. I've lost count of how many times Raymond gave me free rides. May his tires keep going strong, we always have a need for speed.

So this night is the night of his wedding at The Grand Copthorne Waterfront. Needless to say, I'm feeling a milestone achieved for my bro. Photo below: That's Raymond & his lovely bride Faustina whom Raymond ought to be amused over my incessant insistence about how she looks like a Korean beauty queen. She's just perfect for Kimchi endorsement.

Exercising Marriage Free Speech

And this night, I feast my eyes because lots of the couple's friends invited are arty-farty people and they turned the wedding into a fashion show as well. There are rockers at the table behind me, Jap fashion strutters, funky hairstylists.. you name it.

One dude caught my attention & he's the guy with the hat in the pic on the right. That's not Slash from the former Guns & Roses. I like his long overcoat & his chick is dressed in Rocker Babe outfit and that's pretty cool. And I like the funky hairstyle of Henri, the man sitting 3 seats to his right. Henri worked in Japan for some years, so put 2 & 2 together to figure out why he escapes the dinosaur Sinkie man image.

You can find something similar in the sewers

And no wedding night would be complete without a sabotage drinking session for the bridegroom. Every dude I'm sharing the table with are some of the closest buds with Raymond & naturally, that translates to mean the naughtiest & noisiest table. And which table could brew the nastiest concoction for the bridegroom but the naughtiest?

So in the end, everybody couldn't figure out what exactly went into the concoction we brewed for Raymond since everybody poured everything within grabbing distance into the glasses willy-nilly. And for a finishing touch, we covered the evil brew with a red cloth and made the whole drama seem like a magic show, waiting for Raymond to come our way so that we can present formally to him our creative skills.

Suffering snakes, I hope Raymond has a stomach made of stainless steel.

The price of Love:
Our Hero of the night downing shite
So did Raymond survive the baptism by liquid fire in the end? Let's just say that it took him forever between sips to finish the poison. And by the end of it all, Raymond had to be manhandled back to his hotel suite. Raymond was a hero for being able to down that whole glass of monstrosity which made my stomach churn at the sight of it. Damn.

I messaged him the next day to ask if he managed to find his way out of the bathtub he was dumped in the previous night & if he was ok. He called me back to tell me he knew I wasn't one of those who forced him to drink the concocted liquid poison (I actually did volunteer myself to drink half of it since I practice Kamikaze but I was let off), so he gave me his assurance that I will be immune to his upcoming vengeance, ha.

So here's to my buddy Raymond & Faustina. You have to be a good boy from now on, brother. Well, most of the time would be good enough. Take great care of each other.

- De Lion Speaks

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Manga Galore

If you were a prisoner in a cell & the key to your cell door as well as a computer connected to the Net are just right in front of you within reach but you are too lazy to pick up the key & use it or too lazy to research on the Net about how to use a key, then you have nobody to blame but yourself as you continue rotting in your prison.

Just like how a friend commented she's bored with her iPhone while knowing that her phone is still doing time in its jail. At the same time, she's aware about the possibility of breaking the shackles of her mobile but still, she lets her phone continue staying in prison.

Thing is, a prisoner can never tell how big the outside world actually is & how much more one can do with the vastness & variety outside. But she's just a bimbo & bimbos are supposed to be dumb while complaining about their predicament which they actually have the ability to pull themselves out of if they bother to work the grey matter between their ears. So of course she got bored with her phone, tsk.

Sure, she can literally buy her 'freedom' for her phone but I digress. Suffice to say that if you have to pay for every single step you take out of your prison, sooner or later, you'll burn out. Either you or your wallet first. Caught my drift?

Alright, down to business. So this week, we talk about manga! Looky here:

What you see above is just a small section of the A-to-Z listing of the app 'Manga Depot'. It's an app that allows you to download & read manga. For the uninitiated, manga is not some exotic mango from the Solomon Islands. Manga is Japanese comics.

So Manga Depot allows you to download & read Japanese comics in English, as you can see in the pic on the right (click it to bloat it). The picture shows the portrait view and reading Manga in portrait view on your phone can make you develop wrinkles around the eyes before the 5th chapter. But don't fret, tap the screen once and you'll go straight to landscape view mode. So, are we good here or what?

Why Manga Depot? Well, I've experimented with other manga apps but this is my favourite thus far. Some other manga apps don't even have complete chapters, leaving you hanging like an Otaku lost in Akihabara (uh, if that's even possible).

And this pic shows how the interface looks like when you select the manga you would like to download & read. All you'll need to do is to click the 'download' tab on the left of specific chapters and once downloaded, just click 'read'. You can download subsequent chapters while reading at the same time.

Say what? Multi-tasking is so here already? Well, no shit, Sherlock.

But there's a wedgie, er, I mean con to the whole matter: not every manga can be found here. For example, Death Note and Bleach. Bugger that. But still, there are too many other titles to read. So give & take even more, don't bitch overboard about it.

And here's a hint: once you have found the manga title you like within the app's alphabetical or search list, click it, then click the heart on the upper right corner up-top to favourite it. Then when you are ready to read, just go into your favourites list; a simple procedure to prevent yourself from going all over the place and creating a mess, but an easily overlooked one on the first go.

You make the choice about whether your phone is just a boring brick or a very much alive multimedia tool. Manga is just one out of many goodies in the mobile world.

Just so happens that reading manga can make you miss your train stop, so watch out. Speaking from experience.

- De Lion Speaks

Monday, December 27, 2010

Better Late Than Never

And oh, Merry belated Christmas. Wish I could have been appropriately on time for the season greeting here. So some carol sings about there being 12 days to Christmas, but who are they kidding? But still, I wish Christmas consisted of 12 days. Too bad the corporate slave machine will never agree to that.

Anyway, I came across White Zombie's Thunder Kiss '65 & it rocked my holiday season. Here's the music video & I totally TOTALLY love the 60's dance moves of the chicks; never knew such moves could gel so well with Metal and you just gotta love Sean Yseult, the very first female in a Metal band.

- De Lion Speaks

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Juice For More Mobile Time

Do you know what it's like to be on MSN on your iPhone and just when your friend was about to reveal a deep dark secret to you, your battery dies? Or when you are about to hit level 12 in Ravensword after some hard grinding and your battery goes kaput? Then you would be left twiddling thumbs in the train for the rest of your long journey as suicidal thoughts that only geeks without their gadgets working could understand come flooding in.

So yeah, I abuse my iPhone everyday to the point that on some days when I reach home at the end of the day, only around 20% of its battery life would be left (if I get lucky). And to think I've even disabled everything that I will only turn on as & when I need them, like 3G, WiFi, location services & notifications (except for WhatsApp and eBuddy).

Extra Juice In A Casing (click to bloat)

Therefore, my new backup-power casing pictured above is a much needed purchase for me (courtesy of my Lioness since this is our 5th anniversary & Christmas present from her). Let's see now, it says:

Extra 5 hours talk time
Extra 7 hours video time
Extra 28 hours music playback time and
Extra 210 hours standby time

The manufacturer must be a sad no-life douchebag because there is no 'extra gaming battery time' indication, but no biggie because the extra video playback time is a close estimate for gaming time after you shave off 30 minutes or so if you are playing a 3D graphic-intensive game.

I've so far found 3 types of such iPhone 4 power casings locally: this one from Apple's premium reseller, this one by Energizer (both above $100) & my no brand brand ($88 from Mobile Fashion at Jurong Point). I don't need the brand names in this case, I just need the extra power.

The section on the right of the pic above shows how my phone looks like after installing the casing on it & I'm quite relieved it didn't turn out all fugly. I think I will only use the casing when my iPhone is low on juice anyway. Other than that, it stays in my bag. Best thing is, it doesn't weigh a ton. It makes the phone heavier, but only by a tad.

I don't think I'll be having withdrawal symptoms during long flights from now on.

- De Lion Speaks

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebrating A Buddy's Tying of The Knot

Derrick is not just my ex-colleague from R, he is also one of my buddies whom when I address as 'Bro', I'll mean it. Perhaps the fact that he's a Capricorn helps; not only do Cappies tell the best jokes which talent my funny bones do appreciate, but us Scorps' best get-along buddies are also supposed to be Cappies. The goat's unexpected angles of perspective from which they spring their spontaneous jokes never fail to impress me.

Picture a scorpion riding on a goat's back. Peachykeen & so becoming, isn't it? Can't think of anything else that can conjure up a better image of camaraderie. Not even an image of George Bush & Osama tearing at each others' throats while chuckling "Heil Hitler" comes close.

We came quite a ways, both of us having worked together in the same nonsensical company with a nonsensical boss. Derrick joined the corporate meat-grinder a couple weeks or so after me & along with Cheryl & Ming Er, we all suffered together. But to make up for everything, we played together to make merriment out of the senselessness of it all. You know what they say about how people caught together in the same dire straits can become close.

So the years flew by & before I could mutter a 'lo & behold', today is the day I attended Derrick & his lovely bride Regina's wedding dinner at Hotel Rendezvous.

I thought to myself that I must have been the last guest to turn up since upon reaching the venue, nobody was stationed at the guests reception desk, not to mention the time then was already past 8pm.

So I put on a 'lost' expression on my face as I rifed through the guests seating list myself DIY-style, and that seemed to work because 2 ladies standing outside the ballroom started walking towards me. I didn't think they were impressed by my initiative and were just coming over to congratulate me.

Turns out they were part of the guests reception team and they helped me find my table number. So remember folks, a lost expression can be as good as slamming your palm down on those silver bells that summon the service crew, if not better, since high-pitched 'ding's at sharp octaves aren't that healthy for the eardrums.

Walking towards the ballroom, a familiar figure stood before me ahead with his back facing me and I knew that must be Derrick. When he saw me, we greeted each other like 2 little kids and when I asked him whether anyone else from R made it there, he answered: "No man, you are the only survivor."

Bugger that. Makes me glad I went to support him & Regina even if I had to do it myself without the rest of the gang. I made a mental note to wring their necks when I see them next and how I'll freaking wring in a way that will make ragdoll physics look like child's play. For the meantime, that will be a story for another day as I just wanted to share in Derrick & Regina's joy and immerse myself in the mood.

So I was seated with strangers at table 20 who immediately made me feel welcome and I appreciated that a lot. They cared about whether I could get to the food and such and it was nice for a change to attend a wedding dinner that nobody asked me why I told the waiter not to serve me any sharks' fin.

Throughout the dinner, I took
pictures of the lovely couple and I even went over to their table with their immediate families sitting there and just snapped away as if I owned the place. I told myself this is my buddy's once in a lifetime event so shyness can just take a backseat this evening. I didn't tell you I'm actually shy by nature?

I so very much wanted to catch up with Derrick but this is his big day and he had to focus on the whole ballroom, so I limited myself to popping over to where he was once or twice to remind him that I still exist. And when he could, he came over to my table to remind me that he exists too. When I saw the tiredness in his eyes, I told him to hang in there since this is a once in a lifetime event.

So I'm elated for my buddy & his bride. Guess what, there is a plot of land next to my block where a new apartment block is currently being built. Derrick & Regina have already bought and reserved an apartment for it. Nothing like having a longtime buddy as your neighbor, yo?

+1 to another drinking buddy within grabbing distance.

This blog entry is dedicated to the lovely couple.

- De Lion Speaks

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Good News Nippon-Style

My manager asked me yesterday if it would be alright if I report to the office today instead of tomorrow for this week. Since flexibility is a sound strategy endorsed by Sun Tzu & I can toggle between my planned areas of visit according to the call of duty, I replied 'sure'.

He was really nice about it, leaving the authority regarding the matter in my hands. If your manager treats you kindly, you cater to his needs to the best of your ability. Harmony at work both up & down the rungs of the corporate ladder is a vital thing that political corporate idiots don't know how to value.

Even though I was grateful for my manager's gentlemanly mannerism, I couldn't help but have a nagging worry about what the whole thing entails. So I asked him what the issue was about & he said he just wanted to catch up with me before he goes on leave this Thursday & Friday. So naturally, I concluded that he probably wanted to handover some work stuff to me.

Turns out he discussed with me about upcoming promotion activity plans for my customers for next year as well as the details of my upcoming task for training Jacelyn, Angela, Ken & a new sales rep by the name of Lester who will be joining us soon.

I'll need to train them on merchandising on the retail front since they will be helping me out to service the neighborhood stores under my care. I'm not worried about this because I get along well with my fellow sales reps. Goes to show the importance of having your colleagues as friends & allies; something which people who go around playing black politics & stabbing everyone in the back in the office or have zilch empathy don't have.

Sucks to be them. There's a price to pay for the grabbing of power at the unfair expense of your fellow troops or taking on the role of the office snob. Most end up not knowing how to deal with the price.

Anyway, the highlight of the day is that Jason has announced to Eileen & me (after we sort of interrogated him about it) that our upcoming company incentive trip in February next year will be 3 days in Hokkaido & 2 days in Tokyo if everything goes well!

Me & my Lioness at Otaru (March 22, 2010)

Zowee! Imagining myself going back to Hokkaido again (especially Otaru & Sapporo) causes me to have that fantasizing dreamy look in my eyes. All expenses paid too except for the binge drinking my guts tell me Lily, Jace & me will surely perform over in Nihon. I can even foresee that i'll be bringing them to that pub in Tokyo where I experimented with the local liquid poison during my previous trip there. Hope our planned trip will become a reality. February is gonna be snowing over there & I miss the snow & cold.. with a Passion.

And finally, I went running again at Jalan Bahar tonight. The original plan was to go at 23:30pm but I only managed to leave the house after 00:30am. Wish I could stop time since I can really dilly-dally sometimes. Too much to do, too little time. What's new?

So after I finished my run & workout, I had Mee Hoon Goreng for supper at the only coffeeshop at Jalan Bahar since I was hungry. I know, I know, you're saying 'wasted effort'. Oh shuddup. My appetite always shoots up the charts after exercising. The same goes for my sexual appetite. My physical appetitite & sexual appetite have a direct correlation just like two soldiers in the same foxhole who cooperate with each other like their lives depend on it.

Mid-life crisis.

As is my self-created tradition, everytime I come to Jalan Bahar, I'll buy a packet of coffee & go to the playground to enjoy the quiet night. I like Jalan Bahar, it's a place which is remote & seems surreal & separated from the rest of the country. Yeah, I need my frequent moments of isolation. If I'm not mistaken, this is the smallest estate of the country.

Makes for a perfect place for pilgrimage, meditation & reflection. I've had quite enough of the hustle & bustle concrete jungle life. Yeah, this remote little place is closer to Nature & being close to Nature is good.

So to conclude this blog entry, I'll now share with you the lovely view before me right now at one of the many benches here in the playground I use as my resting place where I'm sipping my coffee & listening to 95FM:

Simplicity at its best

Oh, and if you happen to spot anything otherworldly in the pic, do let me know as this place is quite haunted.

- De Lion Speaks

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cornered. Again.

Three times in a row today, I was asked by 3 of my dear Pharmacists customer-friends about when I'm gonna start working on a kid with my Lioness (and one of them is 5 months into her pregnancy). Ever since I went past the age of 30, friends & relatives have been asking me that.

So I've derived a default answer to that question: "See when you are free." I'm so used to that question that it doesn't really bother or intimidate me, but being asked 3 times in a row in one day? Well, that did get me pondering about the situation.

Ok, I'll secretly admit that everytime I'm being asked that, a little small corner in my mind fidgets a little due to a bit of... discomfort & apprehension. It's kinda akin to a little wedgie. See, my Lioness is of age for child-bearing.

So for anyone, like my 3 Pharmacist friends today who bother to dig into the matter with me a little further, I'd explain that it's not that I do not wish to have a kid, it's just that I'm not emotionally ready yet because I am not yet ready with the prospect of giving up my personal time for my hobbies & pursuits at the moment.

See, having a kid is like deciding to get a pet; if you think & feel that you cannot afford the necessary time to take care of a pet, it'd be better not to have one. Not only would you pressurize yourself but your pet will suffer due to inadequate care & focus.

But I always add that I am aware of myself being a little selfish in thought here, since my Lioness cannot remain young forever. Thus, everytime I really think deeply about this issue, I cannot help but feel cornered by life & time.

It's like a tug-of-war: I know that since a meaningful marriage ought to climax by reaching the ultimate fulfillment of setting up my own family with my spouse by sowing my seeds & creating little lion cubs in our den, my requirement for personal time is at odds here, since whether I like it or not, time is indeed catching up on us. Age.

Anyhow, I always conclude by telling everyone that I hope to have a daughter some day. I've even decided on the name of my future daughter already.

Oh well..

Anyway, I have just finished work & am standing outside Great World City. The time now is coming to 8pm. This is the first Friday that I've worked till this late because the heavy downpour earlier today trapped me in my house & I had to wait for it to subside before I could get out of the house for work.

Notable events that happened today: The Pharmacist who is with child gave me 2 tubes of Ketoprofen gel when I told her I wanted to buy one for my dad-in-law whose knee has swelled up & he's in pain. Bless her generous soul.

And I was quite taken aback by her cynicism regarding her description of how becoming pregnant made her & her hubby realize & experience a different & harsher reality from pre-pregnancy flowery thoughts of the joys of having a baby. Things which used to be a breeze like work & the traveling to-&-fro to the work place have all suddenly become a tiresome burden now that she's with child.

Fancy a cynic like me being taken aback by cynicism. Sometimes, we just hate our own poison.

And she even mentioned that on many occasions, nobody would give up their seats for her in the train. Society here has gone to the dogs.

So I'm here outside Great World City sipping strawberry milkshake from Mac and the condominium before me across the street looks lovely what with all the lightings about on this damp night but I wonder why there are really tall rooms that take up like 2 stories on several of the floors. Here, see for yourself:

- De Lion Speaks