Tuesday, 30 January 2007


The Italian barber motioned me that it was my turn. I was disappointed as I was getting to the juicy parts of the article entitled 'how to test if your girlfriend is a lesbian' on this month’s FHM issue. I swore to myself to stop reading such trashy material, but it was the reading material in the waiting section and I needed to pass time.

The short Italian barber looked to be near his sixties. His almost-maroon skin looking especially dark with his pale yellow shirt, bright red tie and cream pants. His face a cross between Mario and a prune.. minus the hair on top. It’s kinda funny asking someone who's losing hair to cut your own. Kinda like asking Ugly Betty for fashion tips.

Now I used to think talking to barbers was the right thing to do. With both of you sharing each other's personal space, it's only right to try and socialise and ease such foreign tension. But I’ve decided not to talk to pruny Uncle Mario today. I'd rather him concentrate on my hair than him stressing his very Italian vocabulary in answering my silly question of ‘how often do people ask for their nose hair to be trimmed?’

I took my glasses off and stared at my blurry reflection. Dam I look good when I can't see my reflection properly.

I sat there watching blurry Uncle Mario trim my blurry hair. The foggy peripheral of my thoughts fading into memories of when my dad used to take me to the barber.

If I had to recall happy memories with my dad, it would include the times he brought me and my brothers to the barbershop.

The barbershop in Malabon Philippines was located four houses left of my grandma's place which we visited almost every day (my grandma, not the barbershop). The barbershop is a small square shop with a smooth cement floor and four hair cutting chairs. The back side of the store led to someones house and smelled of cooking, the opposite a metal folding gate, entrance to the lime green barber shop. The mirrors on opposite end of the walls made the illusion of an infinite abyss which never failed to dazzle our young minds.

The barbers gave great hair cuts at very cheap prices. It’s no wonder all the blokes around the place had clean, well trimmed crops. The barbers were a trio, with Mang Nestor (Mr Nestor) my late grandpa’s friend, leading the other old timers. They're just your stereotypical old guys who talked of politics and boxing and smelled of baby powder, pomade and four day old body odour.

What made the barber trips particularly interesting were the posters of near naked women covering most of the lime green walls. The pics were of young models, similar to the viva hot , babes only of the eighties. In such a male oriented den, it seemed only fitting to have degrading arresting display of feminine beauty. Sadly back then my hormones have not kicked in and I didn’t’ know what the big fuss was with women. I stared at them posters with as much gusto I would a Snell chart.

But the barber trips always put a cheer on my dad’s stride. It was just us boys with dad. We didn't speak much, but that's how we communicate.
On our way home, my dad would be happy to do a side trip to a nearby store and buy our favourite drink - this with very little nagging.
When he’s happy, were happy. Life was good.

Uncle Mario has finished his job.
I awoke from my daze and put on my glasses. The haircut is much shorter than expected. I look like a dried up chiapet.

Oh well. It will grow back.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Seven Different Kinds of Smoke

The following bursts of text were inspired by the movie You, Me and Dupree. It wasn't a particularly outstanding movie. It wasn't that funny nor was it very romantic. But what the movie did do was conjure random themed thoughts in my head.

Why didn't you tell me you wrote poetry?
I dunno, maybe 'cause of fear that you'd call me gay
Steve (obviously not his real name!) left our work place after eight years of service. During his farewell shin-bag the boss gave a short speech including the trials and tribulations of young Steve. A story that caught my attention was when Steve requested to take a short course on literature.
This was during the time the boss suggested everyone do something completely different to stretch their mind and mix their creative juices. And so Steve selected literature. Everyone laughed at how funny it would be if Steve wrote novels of love and romance – an image you’d not associate with his balding head and weightlifter figure.
What you did in the bathroom last night was disgusting
I know I know. I'm never eating Buffalo wings again
The problem with public toilets is that most people use it only during emergencies. And I hate it how they make it known that it was an emergency.

Brown stains, walls, dripping.
Horrible. *shiver*
I got news for you, Dupree. You're not that lovable
I’ve come to expect that not everyone can be satisfied. Not everyone will find my blog funny or amusing! That’s fine. I wasn’t writing this for you anyways! Lazy bastard! Write your own blog!
For those who somewhat enjoy me blog – thanks for dropping by :P
I absolutely insist in enjoying life
An enjoyable life must be a short life. A prolonged life must be a dull one. I think this is the undeniable law that governs the balance between life and enjoyment. It can only be broken with the invention of healthy Big Macs.
So he beat you with a candlestick. I bet it happens all the time
I’ve always thought of myself as a video game guru. I’ve spent countless hours in front of the PC and PS2. Surely I'm an expert by now!
Yet after playing Tony’s Wii – I discovered I totally sucked at playing Wii tennis.
I think it’s because I’m crap with racket sports – not because I’m bad with video games. That has to be it.
Nothing like someone completely trashing you on something you thought you were really good at to send you back to earth.
(Talking about Vasectomy) Its also 100% permanent.
No. Its reversible 70% of the time
You’re faced with a problem and you have to make a choice. You make a decision because you believe that’s the best solution at that time. You make your choice and you go your merry way.

Then along comes someone who says “oh – you did that? Maybe you should have done this this and this…” Fair enough. I was misinformed.

But when they add, “You should have told me, I would have advised you better!” or
"you should have come to me, I know better.." It brings blood to a boil.
I can't see Audrey Hepburn getting buttered up to "Funky Cold Medina"
I can
When I was working for an engineering firm, the company was made up of mostly 50 year old men. They were all very knowledgeable in their respective fields and I admired them for that. But what I did find disturbing was their attitude to women.

Every time a woman passes by our desks they would hoot and jeer like frat boys.They would whistle and make funny body movements similar to the dance steps of Kylie Minogue's Locomotion. I thought it was very offensive...!

Simply because the women were old enough to be my mom!!

It’s kinda similar to finding your dad’s porn collection. It's simply disturbing! Different strokes for different folks.
I’m not dying. I’m just getting married!
I asked my folks if they've always been like that – irritable and nagging, before they were married. It was a unanimous no.
‘He used to be a lot sweeter before we were married. Look at him now. He farts all the time, snores and does weird things.’ Living and coping with each other’s shortcoming. It must be a humongously enormous force that makes people want to get married. I’m still not sure what that force is, but I think it makes you fart.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Corner of Lost and Confused

When someone says "meet me in front of the CD shop"
My brain thinks "meet them in front of the CD shop"

When someone says "let’s go have fried kway teow"
My brain thinks "were gonna eat yummy fried noodles with little chunky chicken/cat meat"

When someone says "meet me at the corner of Havelock and Ord street.."

My brain thinks " .... .... .... .... .... .... * insert windows screen saver* ..."

I'm completely hopeless when it comes to street directions.

With street directions, my brain goes completely blank - like it encountered one of these. Just the whole orientation of places and streets and which is north and south is all too confusing for me. Ask me to optimise a deterministic trinomial Eigen function there’s a good chance of me solving that. Ask me to design a fuel-efficient engine for cars that runs of the fart of cows, possible. Give me directions by streets names and I’m absolutely 100% sure that I won't know what you're talking about.

Now it’s something I’m not proud of. It’s actually quite embarrassing.

I hate asking 'where do I turn from here' seventy six times even when I’m just dropping people off two blocks away. I can imagine it getting irritatingly annoying for my passengers.

Imagine you're driving a car full of people, driving during peak hour traffic and you're twenty minutes late to the last movie screening and the air-conditioner is not working you're hungry and you're in the wrong lane and if you miss this exit, the next one is 30kms away
and the truck driver in the car next to you is giving you funny winks and you haven't taken a shower for three days and your hair is itchy and your socks are wet AND you don't know where you're going? It all combines to start affecting your driving. I get nervous when I'm not sure where I'm going and that makes for errors while driving. Which is not good.

To correct this deficiency I sat down one evening, took out a road map and studied the roads around the city. The evening was filled with "oooooOOOOoOOOhhs' and 'aaaaaaaaahhh'. Satisfaction from the discovery of road names for places I frequently visit like restaurants, sporting facilities, adult stores and shopping malls. Sadly after 20 minutes, the information sublimes to nothingness and I’m back to being forever lost in this wilderness of street names. *sigh*

What’s funny is my dad knows street names really well. He's like a GPS navigation system and Goggle earth morphed into a fatherly figure. When my dad meets someone new, they would talk for a bit, then my dad finds out where they live, then my dad starts on this scripted dialogue, reciting all the roads and places of interest around their locality. It’s really quite amazing and impressive and depressing all at the same time.

I guess I got my mother's gene.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Doing the distance

We’re doing the long distance thing.

I’m a pessimist to long distance relationships when there’s no goal or end point. When its just two people doing their own thing separated by a great distance and there’s no plan to see each other in the future. I thinks thats simply holding on to memories without the promise of better, brighter new ones.

I’ve learnt this from my former relationship with Jessica Alba. It didn’t work out because she did her thing in LA and I did mine here. I was really sorry but I had to let her go.

This time it’s only for a year. I’ll definitely see her every ten or so weeks when she comes down and visits me and her family during the holidays. And I’ll find my way to where she is in between those times. So it's really not so bad. I've heard of worse.

Still, it’s going to be a hard slug. I’m going to miss her so much.

This little sacrifice will go a long way in the future. She's following her dream and I can see her blossing already.

Lucky are those who don’t have to go through with this, but luckier are those who get through it. She'll be alright because I know she's a tough cookie. Will'll be alright because I'm a tough cookie too. Two tough cookies doing the distance.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Fight Club

On the way to meet a friend I passed a bar in Northbridge where something was stirring. I badly needed to pee so I paid little attention to ruckus across the street. I walked quickly and thought only of dry happy things.

What made me stop was the scream of a young woman and a sudden eruption near the bar entrance. Then, a clump of men spilled out of the bar and rolled unto tile pavement. There was about eight of them, all huddled closely. Two of them obviously very upset, as they spat and swore at each other. Their faces red like tomatoes, yells accompanied with swinging arms restrained only by the group friends surrounding them.

What followed took me by surprise.

A third unknown guy previously just standing and watching ran towards one of the restrained men and drilled a right punch on the guy's face. Even the friends couldn't stop the victim falling to the ground. The third guy followed the punch with a knee but another has now darted towards him with swinging fists. The third guy tripped over and he was now being kicked in the stomach by a forth guy. Their fight so close to the road, cars have stopped to watch the ruckus.

One of the restrained guys had gotten loose and had started punching and kicking on the first that has fallen.

I’m about a fifty feet away and I can hear the thuds of the kicks and punches being exchanged. The sight of raw blood spilling unto the ground was awful.

What I thought was a common two-man bar brawl has now turned into a small riot with around 8 guys going one on one. Me and a lot more just stood there and watched.

The perimeter of their fight was getting bigger. Some bystanders have run away and I found myself dangerously close to the daylight fight club.

Standing there, I was no longer thinking about my bladder or my friends or family or hits on my blog site. I didn’t know what was going on but I felt the impending danger. My fist clenched, thumbs tucked in.

Fight or flight.

What would have made this an an interesting story was for me to Bruce Lee my way through the group of strangers. My fists flicking their faces and my kicks depressing internal organs. The finale would be a match up with the biggest and strongest of all. I would ask him to surrender because he killed my master, (with a voice slightly off synced with my lips) before I unleashed my dragon-butterfly-praying-mantis-palm-of-the-white-tiger kung-fu technique on him.

But in reality, the brawling stopped when bouncers stepped out. The bouncers didn't really do much, but their black jackets and burly bodies was a presence striking enough to stop them fighting.

And suddenly, it was back to normal again. Bystanders hiding in nearby stores came out, people started walking again and traffic flowed again.

Friends consoled the injured. I got a better view of the guy who was pounced. His blonde hair now stained with blood, his shirt bandaging his head.

It’s really impossible to tell what happens in a street fight. There is no code of honour or rules or practice runs. Anything goes. You find a lead pipe, you use it. You kick them in the crotch then you knee them on the head. You can get lucky and get a few swings in and you could get unlucky and rupture your kidney and die a few hours afterwards. A fight is a scary thing.

I wanted to stay and see what happened next, but I needed to pee.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Happy New Year from Google

What a great start to the new year!

I garnered enough courage to sort out my increasingly steep pile of letters. My phobia stemming from the words "BILL INSIDE" stamped on most of them.

But then I found a letter from Sweden! I don't remember subscribing to a Swedish porn site.

I opened it to find a pleasant surprise!

Google sent me a cheque for US$100. WOOOOOHOOOO!! Only a few more to go until I have enough for a PS3!! Bhehehehehe. Happy new year indeed!!

Above: Google adsense pays out! Its not a myth!