Sunday, 27 May 2007

The Tale of the Two Shoppers

Shopper One

C is what I call an ultra power shopper.

The type that will go to a department store and try and bargain 50 cents off the $2.00 Timtam sale. She will make every last cent count when she shops.

I mean its good that she's trying to save. But sometimes, she gets so caught up in trying to save, her honesty becomes.... questionable.

C bought a lamp from Target. She put on a desk at her house and was pleased with it. Unfortunately, for some clumsy reason, the lamp ended on the floor shattered to pieces.

C took the broken lamp and her receipt and returned it to Target. The reason was 'It was broken when I got home'.

Its okay to do this she says.

'Big department stores set a budget for these kinds of things - so really, no one gets hurt'.

Shopper Two

I was packing the grocery into the car. M was looking through the shopping receipt. He looked confused.

"They forgot to include the rug."
"Thats good then! Free rug! :P "
"No... They forgot to charge us for the rug.. I have to go back.."
"What?!! Why are you going back?! It was their mistake - so you get a free rug for their mistake!"
"But its not honest.."
"What?! Its like Mcdonalds - if you get free nuggets - you get free nuggets. You don't return free nuggets!"
"I'm going back... its not right.."
"Will... the money you take away from these stores they get back by jacking up prices. I'm going back to pay for the rug."

The other extreme. Super honest citizen.

Anyways, the department store appreciated M's honesty, but corrected him that we've paid for the rug already.

It was just called "Sale item #453" rather than rug.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Third Time Lucky

You know when you say you're going out fishing I don't actually expect you to catch anything

I've finally done it!!!

The capture of a monster! It took five mintues of intense reeling in and nearly broke my rod in half.

Watta fish!

Mission accomplished!!

And even though I paid $10 for bait, it was well worth it. :)


I haven't always been a fishing fan. When I was a kid, I've gone fishing many times and I didn't get excited about it.

That was until around four years ago when I worked with Hoang.

Hoang was this small guy at work who helped me heaps during my time as a test engineer. He's a small Vietnamese technician with a friendly easy going attitude to everything.

In between testing circuit boards, he would talk to me about fishing, fishing, fishing, chickies (our code name for porn) and then more fishing. We spent countless hours a day talking about fishing.

Every morning he'd sip coffee from his blue mug that had a marlin picture. He'd dream to me of catching a giant marlin one day.

Giant Marlin.

Marlin Marlin Marlin.

When you hang around someone long enough, you end up picking their interests, manners and habits. And maybe even their dreams.

I think its important to never lost track of your own dreams. It might put you in different territory to everyone else, but then thats why its called your dream, your goal.

Hoang's asked me many times to go north with him to catch Marlins.

I went south to catch salmon.

we organised this trip. we dealt with all the drama. we did the hard mile.
how come the one who least deserves it, gets it always?
Life is horribly cruel sometimes.

Especially when the bad guy gets the prize.

Most often, the one who's doing it right, who's sacrificing and doing it hard, goes un-rewarded.

When I saw the sad look in her eyes I badly wanted to catch a salmon.

She wanted to be with someone who she can be proud of, not one who was making sure everyone was alright.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Building a Mystery

How come you're not talking to me?
Because I’m being mysterious
What d'you mean?
If I don't tell you what I’m thinking, doesn't that make me mysterious?
At this point she starts laughing until her stomach muscles started hurting
I don't know why I even bother. I know that understanding women is impossible. Actually it’s probably a myth. A

A woman that makes sense is probably a man.
He's so hot
Huh? Why? What’s so hot about him?
Ooohh, his voice, his eyes.. his eyes. So sexy
What’s so sexy about them?
(seductively) I dunno.. Its so deep.. So mysterious.
... I can be mysterious.
At this point she bursts out laughing and starts rolling on the floor. She was laughing so much she started farting in rhythm with her chuckles.
Okay, maybe she didn’t' fart, but she did laugh quite a bit.

I guess the thought of me being mysterious can be quite funny. But I know it hasn't always been that way.
You're unpredictable and you fascinate her a lot. You fascinate me as well!
I quote from a past e-mail.

When you're mysterious, you're attractive.


When there's something contradictory and puzzling about you, that provokes a challenge. It makes people want to learn more about you. They want to figure who you are, how you think.

And chipping away those mysteries can be quite rewarding.

So what happens when the mystery is gone? When you've finally solved that last puzzle and have gotten to 'know each other'.

When opening up a birthday or Christmas gift, there's that mystery and surprise when everything is still wrapped up. You start opening it and you struggle with the ribbons and you rip through the layers of paper and the sticky tape that 's held the wrapping together.

And when you finally discover what you've been given....

It may be the very thing you've always wanted. Or it may be a dud just wrapped up in a lot of fancyness.

When you're honest and trustworthy, you become the exact opposite of mysterious. You're always available, you're always there and you give yourself away.

I've given myself away.

I’ve served myself whole, rather than being tiny chunklets on a tasting platter.

And that can be quite overwhelming if you’re not hungry.

Everyone else around me has his or her own agendas. Only a few are unclouded and sure to.
But me? I’m always there. As reliable, dependable and un-mysterious as ever.

Sarah McLachlan sings,
You’re so beautiful, with an edge and a charm
but so careful, when I'm in your arms
Building a Mystery is an awesome song. I've been trying to to play it for ages now. Listening to its lyrics, I think I found where I want to be.
I like you in black.. kinda makes you mysterious

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Happy Feet

I'm so shocked.
"Don't push me, coz I'm close to the edge"

I saw the movie "Happy Feet" with the expectation that it was going to be another feel good kiddy movie like Disney's Cars or Toy Story or Ice Age.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Sure it had the elements of a kiddy movie - ultra cute characters, catchy tunes and lots of funny, comical moments (the visuals and the musical score in this movie is superb by the way).

But no way did I expect the movie to sparkle discussion about traditional versus modern day thinking.

I think the movie touched on the upbringing of disabled children. But I think they were talking about homosexuality, because they placed quite a bit of importance in conforming to norms of reproduction and traditional family structures.

Evangelic worshipers were prodded with "Lovelace" and his mindless followers. And the movie even threw shots at the Japanese whaling fleet!

I was just so shocked by the underlying message that I found it hard to enjoy the sugar coating of this thematically deep movie.

I wanted a simple movie with a nice fuzzy-wuzzy, warm bring home message. But Happy Feet ain't that kind of movie.

I think children who watched this movie will grow up as activists.

Thursday, 3 May 2007


I’ve posted it on the wall at work. Finally, after a year! A piece of paper that authenticates my capability of doing something completely unorthodox, crazy and extremely dangerous.

I think its quite amusing that its my boss who noticed it first. He chuckled 'I guess we're all a little crazy to work here'

I stuck the skydiving certificate exactly a year after I've done it. There’s no sentimental reasoning behind this. I've always wanted to post it up at work. Everyone else has diplomas, degrees and accreditations to various societies and institutions.

I have a certificate which stands for 'this guy is capable of doing insane stuff' . And I must admit, it fuels more conversations than a university degree or two would ever do.

"Was it scary?"
is pretty much the first question I always get asked.

The jump was scary. There’s no denying that. You can see it on my face in the video! My heart racing, hands sweaty, body odour of the tandem master. And no way did I anticipate it being that cold 14000 feet above ground. So yes, it was scary.

But I didn't think that was the scariest part. I’d put the dive in the same category I would for a roller coaster or the octopus ride in a theme park. You do it, its scary, thrilling, exciting and fun and then you go abouts your normal routine afterwards.

For me, what was scarier, are things I do for my girl :P

But honestly, I've always wanted to go skydiving. The same way I want a Mazda Rx-8. I wanted to do it, but its not in my ‘ things to do in the next 10 years’ list.

But there was an urgency for me to jump. My girlfriend was jumping - with or without me.

Never mind the stress and worry I drove my poor mom to when I told her of the jump. Never mind that at that time I had no money and I needed to sell things to afford it. Never mind that an asian guy died doing skydive with the same company just a few months before.

I took all of that, put it aside and told my girlfriend, 'Nope, you are not jumping alone'.

If she ever had to go through something terribly scary or outrageous or troubling in her life, I am going to be there by her side.

Just like the song, 'anywhere you go, I’ll follow you down,'

I would have forgotten about the skydive if it wasn’t' for events of last week that ended up the exact same way it did last year. It humoured me that most people have changed and that those that I wish had grown up a little, remain exactly the same.

This in turn reminded me of the worry, anxiousness and loneliness that plagued me the days counting down to my birthday. The days after the skydive, the most stressing time in my life.

Never did I think that I would be a heartbeat away from losing the one person I’d never want to lose.

My heart still races when I think of that day. I remember everything spiralling downwards in insane speeds.

And there was nothing there to catch the fall. Nothing.

That was scary.