Sunday, 26 August 2007

First Kisses

The gentle sea breeze stroked our faces, as we sat in silence gazing out at the calm waves. The moon was noticeably missing from the night-time sky, and the stars seemed to have shyed away behind the clouds as well. It was a quiet moment, with little movement or sound from Mother Nature; or any of us for that matter, save for the sound of our breaths. You know that they say, "Once the talking stops, the kissing starts." And speaking of which, this scene, this moment was probably more than a perfect setting for a kiss, a first kiss (between us at least).

As my opportunistic-self realised that the circumstance was perfect to breach the physical barrier between us, I looked up in thought, and an idea came to my mind. "Hey, you know what, let's play a game, if I can find a star in the sky, you'll have to kiss me; if not, I'll kiss you." I asked cheekily.

"Hey, no... What's the difference?" she said. "Either way I end up losing out."

In my usual dogmatism, I ignored what she said and started looking up in the sky for a twinkling glimmer of hope. In a distance, I saw one tiny sparkle, glimmering faintly. "Hey there, I found one," I exclaimed pointing to it triumphantly. "You lost."

"Where? I don't see it," she said.

I tried pointing to its exact location, asking her to concentrate on it to see it, but denial after denial of its existence followed. I will never find out if it was genuine or not, but my usual dogmatism took over. "I don't care, whether you see it or not, it's there and you lost. So..." I smiled cheekily and raised my eyebrows at her.

"Hey, its not fair, I really don't see it. So, no I didn't lose," she rebutted. I tried pointing out the location of the faintly shining star again, telling her to wait for the clouds to roll by and maybe she would get a better view. The general heuristic of being a gentleman is give the lady what she wants if she insists on it after 3 times of asking, and knowing that she was not really willing to compromise, I let the topic rest.

Later, on the way back to the car, a possibility suddenly struck me as to why the vehement refusal to my dark invitation despite the magic of the moment. So I asked, "Hmm, honestly, did you refuse to kiss me because it was your first ACTUAL kiss?"

She paused briefly, nodded and responded, "Yeah, partially."

"Well, honestly, I think that it was a waste... I mean, everything about the moment was so right for a kiss; the mood, the ambiance, the beach... I mean if there's anything that would have made a memorable first kiss, that would have surely been it. And seriously, if the beach can't convince you, then I guess nothing can," I argued.

"Well, to me, I think its more about the person that you're kissing that's important, the rest is not that important," she responded.


Memories of my first long kiss in my teenage years came flooding back into my mind: it was at MOS burger at Bugis, we were just having a lunch then, when a sudden surge of emotion came over me as she (OBVIOUSLY a different she from the she mentioned above) was feeding me fries. I bent forward, and she picked up the cue, bending forward too... we kissed, a long and hard kiss supposedly full of love and passion (or so I thought).

Yes, it was in the public eye; yes, we didn't seem to care; yes, we probably thought that we were being expressive of our love and yes, I would probably have smirked at the foolishness or cringed in disgust and went over to beat the living crap out of myself, if the present-I were a passive onlooker of the scene that the then-me was participating in back then.

I am sure it meant something back then, when I was in love; maybe it was important to remember how it came about, the date and maybe even the damn time of which it occurred, the bloody table it took place at, the emotions back then, all the damn mushy details you would look back on and laugh about as a couple when you relive the moment. Maybe all the details meant something "she" meant something.

But now that the cold reality of the matter is that "she" doesn't anymore, how much of it still matters then? How much of the details actual amount to anything now when I look back at it? Which part of the unimpressive ambiance, or the mood, or the location means anything on an emotional level anymore? Honestly, none of it. And so, looking back at my first kiss in retrospect, what about it actually matters? Probably nothing except for the facts, and that probably boils down to this: it happened at MOS burger. It's MOS burger, for Christ's sake, and how bloody romantic can losing your First Kiss at MOS burger be?

At the end of the day, when its all said and done, the "who" is only a passing element, and is only as much as a part of that which constitutes the Immortalization of the Memory as are the "where" and the "how." Of course its ideal to lose your First Kiss to someone that you know you loved at least at the moment to make the kiss really special, but that alone is not enough. The setting, mood and story behind it that contribute most in making the First Kiss a memory to remember, more so than the "who" in the long-run.

For when the feelings fade, and all you're left with are the facts of the matter, its better to look back at your First Kiss and be able to tell yourself that at that moment, it was perfect to kiss or be kissed; even if it is with someone you might not be sure of whether he/she is "The One" or not, but AT LEAST you know that you were attracted enough to him/her to make him/her part of the memory. Compared to holding out for someone you might THINK is "The One," and solely focus on the "who," totally ignoring the "where" and "how," only to left with the memory of a greasy First Kiss at a fast-food joint when it ends.


I explained my stand to her (the original her), but the look in her eyes were more than telling that I wouldn't be able to change her idealistic notion of her world coming to a complete stop and she will see fairies and fireworks when she actually does kiss "The One." Oh well, I hope she likes MOS burger.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Graduation: Moment of Glory

6th July 2007

"Are you here for the afternoon ceremony?" The middle-aged man at the counter asked as I walked through the gates of the UCC carrying my robe in its cover. I gave a firm nod and a resounding "yes, I am," before panic ensued and all hell broke loose.

"You'd better hurry, the ceremony has started." He directed me to the corridor I needed to be at and the group of minders were all flustered when they realised the situation. They ravaged my robe-cover of its brand-new contents, and in a matter of 3 minutes, I was all-dressed ready to graduate.

The national anthem ended as the door opened and I stepped into the hall. Yup, so typical of me to miss my National Anthem. I took my appropriate seating amongst familiar not-so-surprised faces. "You're finally here, how come you're so late?" quipped one of them. Yup, fashionably late as usual; regardless of lectures, tutorials, exams and even graduation; old habits die hard.


Lining by class along the corridor, I giggled to myself about how I managed to scathe through with a Second Lower. If the start of my Uni life was any indication, it was already amazing that I was even standing among the Honours students in the first place; and yet, I went a step further and managed to save myself from the jaws of 3rd-class twice.

Stepping up to the stage, waiting for my name to be called, I saw my HYP-Professor, looking at me. He smiled and I gave him an acknowledging nod, as memories of the entire HYP-disaster came flooding back into my mind. It was one of those things that gave me a clear indication that I wasn't meant for academia. True, I squeezed 1-year's work into a month, but I can safely say it was a heart-and-soul 1 month, and yet, it wasn't nearly enough. But all that faded into insignificance at this very moment, for I knew that it wasn't going to matter much in the greater plan of my life, anyway...... I smiled back.

Academia is a weird thing, it seems that higher you climb on the academic scale, the more ridiculous you're meant to look. I thought that the idea of dressing like a dick in an over-sized gown with a severely impractical square hat after 3/4 years of studying was quite stupid in itself. But I when I gazed upon the professors in their even more outrageous outfits with accompanying flat and deflated headgear, I suddenly didn't feel so stupid anymore.

My name was called as I approached the President of NUS (which I had no idea what he looked like prior to this moment) to wrestle my academic rights from his aged-hands. 4 years of effort, or lack thereof, summarized into one moment, one sheet of paper. 4-years of skirting the system, minimalist effort, parasitic teamwork and vampiric study-months, bore fruit in the form of a modern day scroll; a passport that is said to take you places in the working world. Sure, I STILL don't believe that most of what was learnt is going to be anywhere close to relevant for my working life, but reality would have it no other way that I needed that sheet of paper to open the necessary doors.

Intensely Sizing up the President

Prim and Proper


The end of the ceremony took all of us by storm, as the MC announced its closure after a good 45-minutes, a vast contrast to the 3-hour ceremony that I mentally braced my poor family members for, as we were given our own ceremony for being stupid enough to study an extra year; it was the least they could do if you ask me. Celebratory music played as gaudy balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling to mark the end of the ceremony. Yet, alpha and omega, that was when the REAL celebration started.

The Graduate


Naturally, the first people I wanted to see as an official graduate were members of my dysfunctional family. After all, Father paid the bills, Mother did the motivational nagging, and Assclown constantly reminded me that being in the army sucked more than taking exams. It was only fitting that I let them relish the pride of bathing in the glory of a graduate first, and naturally immortalizing the pride of the moment.

Family Portrait: First-Class Honour of Basking in the Presence of the Second-Class Graduate


Deserving special thanks as well is Christy, my soul-mate and confidante for the last 5 years. As penance for putting her through my incessant bitching about school life and work, she was basked with the honour of goofing off with The Graduate.

Too Cool for School; but apparently not for Cliches


The surprise of the day came in the form of a semi-distant, semi-pleasant memory. While I emotionally-muscled my way to drop by her graduation a year before, to give her a photo that probably would have meant more to her than it did to me then; its ironic how the Fates play a role-reversal, and it was a rather pleasant surprise, I must say (even though she was here for Ryan's sake more so than mine, but well, whatever works I guess).

The Bear looks AMAZINGLY recycled


"Where were you? We were looking for you and called you and you didn't answer," nagged Sujun, as I ran into the entire gang lying in wait for full attendance for our brief moment in glory. People say that there is comfort in company, and as far as company is concerned, there was no better company to graduate with. All the countless memories, putting up with some of the most boring old men this side of the world lecturing about stupid things that are probably irrelevant in the real-world; the late evenings, weekends and overnights in the lab just to make last minute deadlines.... Yup, agonizing moments definitely, and boy was I glad that had the best form of comfort alongside.

Jason (my parasitic-buddy and carrier of my dead-ass-weight in so many programming modules), Siwei, Kimsheng (the gay-buddies I saw too often), Ling Xiang, Sujun, Alvin, Wilbert, Xin Wei, Zhen Feng, Andre and yes, Bob; one way or another, each of them were drops of colour on the slate of my colourful varsity-life; and hopefully they'll continue to add their individual hues to my life from here on out.

Prior to heading off for a well-deserved graduation dinner, we braced ourselves, took deep breathes and upon a timely cue, threw our symbolic hats; representing our academic ascension and sealing our Moment of Glory in time.

Moment of Glory


As a finishing touch to the entire ceremony, I decided to take shots with me, myself, my ego and I (which makes for a nice family portrait of 4, by the way), and I just couldn't help adding a personal touch of my usual dark flavour to such a pompous ceremony. Considering that I personally don't pay very much respect to academia, my form of "personalization" here was probably more like a desecration, to say the least.

"Hey, I help you take a solo shot of you throwing the hat," barked the ever commanding Princess Christy, prior to leaving for the Merchant Court . But she had a point, it made sense to immortalize this moment in time and take one-for-the-road.

I closed my eyes, knowing that the throwing of the squarish-crown would signify the end of my academic journey.... memories of the life in the last 4-years rushed through my mind; no more vampiric study months, no more (not so much at least) overnight gaming, no more lab-project meetings, no more 3-day weeks, no more 3-month long vacations, no more orientation camps, no more 4-4-10 sleep cycles, no more Uni-chics, no more classes with the company.... in short, no more leading the carefree life of the student.

Things were going to be very different from this moment on, and as much as I was unsure of the impending uncertainties that awaited me in the next phase of life; what I was sure of was that I had relished almost every moment that had strung me along to this point in time. I took a deep and satisfying breath, knowing that I had fulfilled my academic destiny, looked towards the heavens, and...........

One for the Road

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Clubbing Inertia

1st August 2007

For as long as I can remember, I've always been plagued by pathetic social-luck when it comes to clubbing. Back when I was a fledgling clubber, when I tried to organize a guys' night out during the scarce Saturday nights we had, I have had growing men turn into weekend-eunuchs and probably hid their hand-phones in their balls-pouches as they suddenly went missing when the time came.

Uni came and went, and apparently my luck got better for a while with the Clubbing Trio (which hence automatically excuses Beng and Flo from any insults in this post), but the brief stint of hope was ruthlessly shattered in the years that followed.

I've become rather jaded I must say, about organizing club outings, always having people pull the lamest stunts this side of Jackie Chan whenever the moment arrived. Excuses and excuses piled up with each idealistic attempt of giving it one more shot. Repetition is the order of the day as the worst excuses get repeated and repeated.

When school's in, its ALWAYS, "cannot lah, got lessons the next day." Well, poor excuse, since I club when I had lessons the next day, and I still do and would now that I have work the next day too, as long as its nothing TOTALLY essential. But yes, you are not me, which means you ain't half as cool, or happening blah blah; and I can forgive you for being a tight-balled-freak for putting books before booze and babes.

So I grow smarter and I pop the question during the holidays, when there is no excuse for school. And the template response is normally two-tiered. First, "who's going?" which somewhat translates to "I got no backbone of my own and assess if it is socially sound for me to go, lest I miss out on anything cool," and then followed by "see how." Of course we ALL know, "see how" is a terrible terrible lie, it is what the politicians use to dangle some false hope in front of you, leave a back door open for themselves, before deciding on a "no."

The worst part of the answer comes when you try to obtain a confirmation from these fuckers, they ask you "so who's going?" again, and after wasting a bloody sms straining your brain to try to list the people going, these pricks tell you at the last minute that they "don't think [they] will be joining you [me]. Have fun! =)" Yeah, I'm sure the smiley face makes me wanna bitch-slap you any less, but I digress.

But I get smarter and smarter, so I learn to avoid this last minute asking thing. The most recent time, I sent out my invitations 3, yes THREE, whole weeks before the actual event, so that I gave all the asses a very huge heads-up before the actual event, to psyche themselves up or whatever these losers need to do to actually step in a club... and yet... I still have to deal with incredible nonsense.

"Oh, I'll go if [so] and [so] go," she said. Apparently, [so] was more than keen on going, but contrary to what was said, she messaged [so] 1 night before to say she didn't feel like going, and [so] conveyed the message to me. My take? I love the transparency of the matter and the weight of the words. Politically well-played perhaps, but deserving of no respect.

Another particular Lazy-Fuck just didn't want to commit up till the last moment, with the excuse of "clubbing is the kinda thing that is dependent on mood, and its better to leave it till the last minute to decide." 2 points, why is it that only clubbing, and not dinner, or movie is mood dependent? And secondly, the "last minute" thing is a fucking lie. Going by the logic, if there is an allowance for backing out at the last minute if asked previously, means that there should be an equal chance of appearing at the club if asked at the last minute right? Considering its a "last minute" decision. But from what I know about Lazy-Fuck, that is an impossibility. So the chances were skewed from the start and she just wanted to leave a backdoor for herself.

The sum of all these parts?


Clubbing Inertia.

According to Dr. Jer-kyll, Clubbing Inertia is the condition where a person feels a very weak will to club, compared to all other social outings, e.g. dinners or movies. Under the influence of this condition, victims are known to display a fickle sense of will (maybe, see how), form delusional thoughts of self-justification (next-day fatigue, break the sleep cycle, last minute decisions, school, work, etc.) to keep them away from the clubs.

Its still a mystery why some specimens (e.g. cool SMU kids) can make clubbing part of the life and part of their culture to have fun and all, yet others (e.g. lame NUS kids) place artificial restrictions on themselves to keep them away from the clubs. But the current theory in the exploration of Clubbing Inertia points to it being a matter of will. While sometimes it is due to circumstantial and physical reasons, studies have shown that a majority of the time, Clubbing Inertia is self-induced and a totally mental disorder that the victims trap themselves in.


This theory has been recently proven to be true as the Count and 7 others decided to head down to Zouk for Mambo on the faithful Wednesday, 4 of which (including myself) had to wake up early the morning after. While the road there was a bumpy one, filled with doubt and hindrances (Jeff's IC, Guan Ze's Hair Dye Debacle), in the end, spontaneity and will prevailed as we executed the plan.

While 8 to go is a lot less than what was originally anticipated or projected, in itself, it is quite a good number to go, and the fact that we had a sausage-party-percentage of only 62.5% made the deal even sweeter. Good music (after 2am at least), booze-drinking and wild dancing, is already a winning formula that brings joy to the Count's soul; but with good company as the icing on the cake: priceless.

I had fun, needless to say. And regardless of whether the rest of them truly did or not, to each and everyone of them: Perry, Guan Ze, Jeffrey, Charmaine, Qiuhan, Lay Koon and Beng (yes, you too); eternal thanks for being part of the realization of a long-abandoned ideal.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Shot Through the Heart, Stabbed in the Back

Its a large irony when people think that I am the flirt and I am the one playing people out, when oftentimes, this is a frivolous assumption, and I am the one left with the knife in the back at the end of the day.

The issue comes to my fundamental pillars of belief in relationships being built on TRUST and HONESTY. While ABSOLUTE TRUST has led to my downfall in the last 2 relationships, it is a decision that I never regretted as the lesson of having someone you put your absolutely trust in betray it is a worthy penance to pay to take a step out of a relationship before you commit to that Tornberry (Backstabbing Monsters in Final Fantasy series) any longer. More shockingly however, I just learnt that I can actually get Tornberry-ed for honesty. I mean yes, people have said that my brutal honesty hurts people and possibly myself in the long-run (if I so believe in Karma), but I always held the opinion that in a form of emotional exchange, HONESTY is the order of the day... yet apparently.. not today.

It's amazing, that the aftermath of a transparent emotional honesty brings you down from grace further that than of a convenient lie. (Times like this makes me feel like being an outright jerk and just lie my way to get into the pants of my victims, but I won't, despite all that I say that I am).

It's amazing, when the willingness and freedom of opening your heart and soul to the possibility of a potential, is caged-in by a heart of broken pieces waiting to be picked.

Its amazing, how your rare specks of sincerity used to buy a few pounds of trust, are quickly sold to the highest bidders of insecurity, disparity and inequality when there are signs that the market is not a monopoly.

It's amazing, how the dripping afterthought a remote possibility is enough to penetrate the progress of the an emotional whirlpool waiting at the tides to be set into full motion.

It's amazing, that a showhand-wager of emotions with expectations of nothing more than a fair game at the prize, is conned by an expectation at exclusivity without the cashing of emotional-chips.

It's amazing, that the distances and differences that can I can mend with a silent chemistry, is diluted by mixture of loose-reasoning, fickle-mindedness and empty-promises.

It's amazing, my careful considerations under my callousness is undermined by your convenience, cowardice and callousness under your cheerfulness.

It's amazing, and I'm saying a prayer, for my desperate heart tonight.

by Aerosmith

I kept the right ones out
And let the wrong ones in
Had an angel of mercy to see me through all my sins
There were times in my life When I was goin' insane Tryin' to walk through The pain

When I lost my grip And I hit the floor
Yeah,I thought I could leave but couldn't get out the door
I was so sick and tired Of livin' a lie
I was wishin that I Would die

[Chorus:]It's Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It's Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright
It's Amazing And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

That one last shot's a Permanent Vacation
And how high can you fly with broken wings?
Life's a journey not a destination
And I just can't tell just what tomorrow brings

You have to learn to crawl
Before you learn to walk
But I just couldn't listen to all that righteous talk, oh yeah
I was out on the street,
Just tryin' to survive
Scratchin' to stay Alive

Desperate hearts, desperate hearts

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Dating is Like Murder...

"So what's the difference between dating casually and simply going out as friends?" she asked cautiously, before wanting to commit to a (stupidly obvious) "Yes" to an exhilarating night out with The Count.

This..... is a question that I have been asked by too many gals, too many times; and every time, I give the same consistent analogy. The difference between "just going out" and "dating casually" is like the difference between man-slaughter and murder: INTENTION. Just like how a person is charged with murder ONLY if he / she harboured the intention to kill; the difference between dating and going out lies in the intention behind the outing.

In this case, the intention would be exploration, to know the person better, to gain a deeper insight into his mind and his soul (and optionally body as well), to gauge the level of conversational chemistry; at its essence, the intention to explore the possibility of the potential, or the potential of the possibility (whichever sounds more right to you).

However, sadly, in our conservative society, the element of INTENTION tied to the word "date" is often held in too high a regard, leaving the young (or at least a fraction of which I know) placing a taboo on the word "date" until things are firmly set in stone. Guys often have balls a little too small to give them the necessary intestinal fortitude to admit that they are "dating" a gal until things are a little more "stable" and "official" (whatever these terms mean to them); anything else will simply be regarded as "going out." Over-grown pussies, is what I think of these "better-safe-than-sorry" fuckers, who need the security of acknowledgement before commiting to the admitance of interest or intention.

The gals are deserving of burning in conservative-hell as they often avoid the word "date" as if "dating" is an obligatory prelude to bearing a child for the guy that intends to date them. Somehow, for one reason or another, to "date" in Singapore, somehow implies a level of commitment, one that preludes the budding of a romantic relationship, it seems.

The atrocity of this misconception often garners me raised eyebrows of skepticism and alien stares when I attempt to introduce the term "Casual Dating." Perhaps the connotation of the word "casual" in "Casual Dating" implies the same negativity as the "casual" in "Casual Sex", to these closed-minded fools, leading to a wringing of eyebrows and the twisting of lips in when the phrase is mentioned.

But seriously, the concept of the word "casual" in both contexts are not that far off, and as standalone words, are not negative in their own rights. Thus, the essence of the negativity probably lies in the pairing of the word "casual" and its subsequent word. On its own, casual implies something not too serious, with little or no obligation, with virtually no level of commitment. And essentially, that is what Casual Dating is.

Casual Dating is going out with someone with the intention of exploration of the possibility of the potential for something more, but with no form of commitment or obligations involved. And I cannot see in what way would that actually be bad, negative, or give people the wrong impression or false hope of any sort in any way, especially if the intentions are clearly spelt out. I would think that the ambiguity of silence of intentions would lead to more harm, actually.

Going by this train of thought, I should also bring in the fact that going by these rules, there is nothing wrong to be casually dating different dates in the same time frame. I mean, does multiple intentions to explore multiple possibilities in the same time frame make one a Flirt or a Serial Dater (notice the Analogical Reference here again)?

Personally, I just think that it makes One a smart investor, the diversifying of one's resources (in this case, time) to consider all viable options before planting down your emotional capital on one that you are confident of; and there's hardly anything wrong with that. Moreover, if there is a transparency of the extent of the situation for all parties to know, then there should not be any liability towards wrong impressions for dating someone. So yes, Casual Dating does not make you a despicable flirt, or a loose bitch, contrary to the belief of conservative China-minds.

So for guys, the next time you wanna ask a chic out, don't be afraid to let your intentions be known, most gals would dig the honesty of the confidence in the expression (unless you look like Quasimodo or you continuously drool as you speak or something); just remember not to scare the gal off and make it sound too serious before you even get anywhere. And for gals, the next time someone (especially me) tries to "date" you, don't let your imagination run wild and think that the person (ESPECIALLY me) is taking a step towards asking for your hand for all eternity. Just open your mind, free your soul, and explore your options... Welcome to the real world.

The above advice does NOT apply to people who are emotionally entangled in messes generally term as "relationships" and are for singles only, or at least for the most part.