After a year of committee-ing

Earlier in the year I wrote a bitchin’, whining post about being arrowed to be part of the recreation committee at work this year. My opinion of my circumstances has not changed all that much, but it has changed a little, yes.. I’ll admit it.

The year is almost over and we’re a few days away from the annual dinner and dance, where as usual, for all such parties for companies in Singapore, there is no dancing. But I think I’ve gone through enough of the year to follow up on my original whine-fest.

Was it terrible? Did I have to do a lot of shit? Yada, yada, yada? 

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Well actually it was not as bad as I expected. My main role was that of idea stirrer, propaganda machine, opinion testing, and to be the “young” mind. I don’t even recall having to stay back much at all to do any work for any of the events. Barely lifted a finger, only made it to one site visit, damn lepak.

Of course that wouldn’t have been possible if my other committee members were not as willing to do things as they were. I’ll admit I have the least heart for this shit, so I’ll sign in blood that I’m guilty of not doing enough physical work. But that’s what I was hoping for, so score!

Another plus side is that I got closer to one of my friends at work through all the planning and bitching sessions with her. If it wasn’t for this committee, that wouldn’t have happened because we don’t work together at all and I got usual curfews in my life.

However, I’m still in the committee. No matter how I slice it, I am still in the frickin’ committee. I only stayed for that friend of mine, else I would’ve quit. I don’t like planning stuff in general, and being assigned to help plan stuff for people I’m not that close to is even worse..

So I just went along with most ideas unless they were not so good. I wrote emails to brainwash people as necessary even if I felt no potential for the event. 

Did I genuinely have fun at some of the events? Sure. I mean, no truly sucky event should ever be allowed to materialize and why would I dread events that I’m willing to push through, right? The coming dinner may not be exactly what I hoped it would be, but I’m still excited to go with my friends.

It’s like getting a pizza of flavour you don’t really like. Sure, it’s not what you wanted, but hey, it’s still fucking pizza.

Darn awful, but it's still pizza.

Darn awful, but it’s still pizza.

Did I get a sense of warmth and accomplishment watching people have fun at events? ..Well.. Only my friends, not the general staff count of the company. I mean, yes it’s great that people had fun, but like I said at the start of the year, I care more about my own people, so the bias is there. But always nice to see people have fun, just that I’m focusing more on a specific bunch lah.

All in all, it was not as hard and dreadful as I expected it to be. There were the occasional humorous moments.

I did learn a thing or two from being part of the committee though. The main one being that I do need to be more firm and assertive about stuff if I’m willing to whine about it back-stage.

Sure there were times where we were discussing stuff (big or small) that I personally did not agree with. Instead of sounding out a firm no, my usual style is to laugh a little, say “huh?? Wha??”, and explain with a bit of humor that it’s a bit weird of an idea and hope that sways people’s opinions.

Then I bitch about it if the odd idea I don’t agree with gets pushed through.

I’m like that lah, I don’t want to bulldoze people into my camp. Partially because it’s a defense mechanism and well, I never liked being shut down while giving ideas I believed in, so I don’t like to do it too harshly to others.

Treat others as you would like them to treat you, right?

But as committee, and as being the guy who gathers people’s opinions and has been pretty accurate about which events would work, I think I should’ve been more adamant about some of the things this year.

I’m not gonna say which ideas the people don’t really like. If you’re close enough to me, you’ll know which, what, and why. But as the guy who has this sort of info, I should’ve stood up more.

Need to learn to shove rocks around more.

Need to learn to shove rocks around more.

It’s like.. It’s like I’m the MP that went to lots of meet the people sessions but doesn’t say enough in parliament because he wants to be nice to his fellow ministers.

Bull-fucking-shit, right? My job is to make my staff happy, not my committee.

Not that any of the events so far have been a disaster lah, but I think it might have been possible to save some effort, have more fun, or just be better in general.

So, lesson learnt. If ever I’m in such a position again, I should say something. Even if I’m wrong, at least I get my opinion fixed. If I’m right, more people benefit. Nike has the right slogan.

My 5 Shameful Musical Indulgences

Ahh, music. Even if you’re the sort that says you don’t really listen to music, you’ve probably had a song stuck in your head every so often, once in awhile. Sure, you might not know what that tune you can’t help but hum is, but you certainly enjoy it.

Regular folk do listen to and enjoy music in general. That’s why there’s pop music. Then there are the purist sort who are dedicated to their genre. Or the fuckers who call everything but their own preferences crap. If you’re such a person, go eat shit!

I believe that regardless of what sort you are, there has to be a sort of music, or a song, that shames you to enjoy. Like the rock guy who likes Miley. Or the cellist who has stashes of hair metal albums. I’m going to share with you 5 of mine, from least shameful, to most; combined with how much I enjoy them.

5. Love Psychedelico

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Just look at that name~ It’s hip enough to interest most people and I promise you that their music is pretty infectious. Delico is a Japanese band, made up of mainly a girl and a guy. Their sound is described as “reminiscent of the British Invasion”. All good stuff. This is basically female vocals, with actual instruments, based on a genre that blew the world away in the 60’s, in duo language.

The Shame:

It’s duo language.. Some of their more popular songs have these mediocre lyrics that are pronounced in a way that, to the new listener, would be hard to tell if the chick is carrying on in Japanese of English. It’s not that her English is bad, which would send me cringing, but it’s that the way some of the songs are sung are just weird, a little whiny, and sort of cringey. Lady Madonna

The Delight:

Ignoring some of the weird-ass vocal styles, the instrumental music is fantastic. I admit that if I hear Asian artists do English slightly badly regardless how of much I love them, I rather them just stick to their own tongue, ‘cuz it’s just embarrassing to listen to. But Delico’s tunes are groovy enough that I’ll bear the cringe nonsense to bop along to the guitars. Aha! (All we want)

4. Kid Rock

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It’s hard to describe motherfucking Kid Rock. The accurate categorisation of him would depend entirely on time frame of his career you’re talking about. But in general, his brand is about being a sort of hillbilly that raps, rocks, and prays. I have a strange appreciation for country in general, so I think that’s sort of why I get his cowboy-ish marketing.

The Shame:

Country-rap-gospel-cussing-rock is not exactly something that’s usually heard here in Singapore, and is probably not too appreciated, so I can’t play his more expressive, identifying songs in the car while giving people a ride. It’s hard to say why it’s a bit embarrassing to play his songs, but I think it’s just that it’s hard to find someone here who I could share with it. This song I’m linking isn’t his worst, it’s the first I heard, at 13. It’s memorable, but I just can’t play it here. American Bad Ass

The Delight:

Kid Rock encompasses a lot of things, quite a few of them I have some strange affinity for. And when he has his band go into the church-going country mode, it is actually pretty damn good. I mean, godammit, the steel string guitar twang, the gospel choir feel, the raspy white trash sound, it comes together very nicely, even if it doesn’t seem like it would make sense. Give this next one a listen to hear how different he can be. Lay It On Me. Heck, try another. Born Free

3. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Remixes

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Yes, if you hadn’t realised by now, I watch MLP and enjoy most episodes thoroughly. Like Disney, one of the best things about it is the music. Daniel Ingram writes awesome songs, but the thing about writing songs for children shows, even if they are awesome, is that they’re relatively short. If you’ve never heard the Find a Pet Song, you have no idea what this guy can do. That’s on a fucking cartoon on television!

The fandom of MLP expresses itself in many ways, some creepy, some great. I like some of the fan art, but I love the remixes of the songs. I have a special love for trance music, so this is a weird, but incredible marriage of the two.

The Shame:

Let’s face it, no matter how you cut it, a Brony is always going to raise a few eyebrows when they are first discovered by people who aren’t in the know. So my playing trance pony music is going to raise even more eyebrows. It’s not that it’s an awful genre, but it’s that the whole situation tied with it makes it hard to bring it up to people. I have no song in my playlist that I cringe to. It is that solid! But to illustrate the potential kiddiness of the songs, here’s the kiddiest in my list. Let’s use that song I mentioned as a reference. Find a Pet Song (Aftermath Remix)

The Delight:

The songs are already genuinely good thanks to Daniel. But like I said, I got a special love for trance music, and all these musical bronies that do work on his already good songs just tweak it in the direction that makes me love it even more. I mean, come on! It’s music for a children’s show that is a ton better than most of the rubbish wub wub wub they play in clubs. Listen! Becoming Popular (JayB’s Pegasus Trance Remix)

2. Initial D Eurobeat

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God fucking dammit, this shit is the best! Whether you are watching the anime, or playing the game in the arcade, ID is NOT ID without the accompaniment of Eurobeat. It is a rule and a law of the universe that overly lengthy races on Japanese mountain passes be paired with thumping Eurobeat.

The Shame:

Like.. all of the songs are in English, by people who are terrible with English. Both in pronunciation and lyric writing. So while the shit may be a helluva good mood booster, it is just sometimes VERY embarrassing to listen to the vocals. REALLY bad sometimes. Speed Car

The Delight:

Omg..! No matter how bad some of the tracks are lyrically, the mood boost you get is insane! It is honestly rather dangerous to go driving with ID Eurobeat blowing your head off in your car. But I’ve made good time in picking the wife up sometimes while listening to the stuff. Up your headphones by a little when trying these two out. I Won’t Fall Apart. Forever Young

1. Bubblegum Pop from around Y2K

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This one holds an especially dear place in my soul. And it should be the same for you if you and I were peers around the year 2000. I’m talking about songs from Aqua, Doctor Bombay (racist mofo), Toy Box, fucking Fast Food Rockers! Not just the generally nostalgic pop from acts like Britney, or BSB, or A1. I mean real senseless shit that is even more senselessly infectious. The songs in both Shame or Delight for these are evenly shameful AND awesome.

The Shame:

Fuck.. some of this stuff is sooo embarrassing that when your player decides to shuffle onto the song, you cringe at the thought of how people will perceive you. I mean seriously.. singing about curry or fastfood is really nonsense. You might enjoy it, but people are judging you!! S.O.S. (The Tiger Took My Family). Fast Food Song. Tarzan & Jane

The Delight:

The songs are stupid, but they are even better mood boosters than Eurobeat. Maybe because they are nostalgic and have special meaning to me, but ask anyone roughly my age, when the stuff gets played some place in public, they may go “wtf??” but somewhere deep within, they are high-fiving everyone else in the area who is smirking their secret shame. Butterfly. Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. Rice & Curry.

Got any musical shames of your own? Stuff that’s unpopular, or makes you cringe while you enjoy it? Are any of mine shames of yours~?

Zodiac and us

Le Chinese Zodiac is basically asking each other the question “what animal are you?” in relation to the year that you’re born. It can be as simple as that or a ton more complex, depending on how deep you go and whether you tie elements into the equation too.

How do I, a cultural, traditional, linguistic shame to my yellow-skinned ching chong ling longs know this? Why, through self-reading brought about by an actual interest of course, how else? It’s not like I grew up with a clan of con-men or geomancers leh.

fortune-teller

I think it’s established enough that I am considerably kantang (potato – banana, white without being genetically white) and am no longer religious, but if I had to pick a metaphysical field to know about, it’d be the Zodiac and the Wu Xing. Because it’s a good table convo topic and spirit psyching people about themselves is always fun. That’s part of why I took up tarot a few years ago.

I’m not saying I take the regular predictions for my sign seriously. You must be plain stupid to do so.. Seriously. Because, well, most of such things are ox-shit anyway and it’s all way more complicated than it seems.

Interpretations cannot be equal across the board

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Most Chinese would love to have a dragon child, or maybe a horse, because of the qualities that come with that particular animal, but you can’t honestly expect every damn baby born under a dragon to have the same qualities as the others can you..?

We’re not models of cars or phones leh. Just because you’re released in 2012 doesn’t mean that you and all your classmates are going to be exactly the same. Where’s the individuality in it??

But..

You and your fellow dragons may not be exactly the same, but you do share a birth year, which means you’re going to share many formative years together, which means an influence on each other.

If by some damn chance that all these animal signs does have an influence on what sort of person you are, then soaking for years amongst others that share that same animal sign with you is bound to have some effect. People say that your peers influence a big ton of shit about you, and that’s pretty true. Birds of a feather do tend to flock together.

I don’t think all dragons or horses will have a huge similarity when it comes to personal qualities, but perhaps people believe so because of all the hanging out together they do while growing up. Plus, even if all rats, dogs, and snakes share similar traits within their own animals, it won’t work that way because..

There’s more to it than just animals

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Every 2 years, the element of the time changes. So it’s like Fire, Fire, Earth, Earth, Metal, Metal. This is why a person’s 60th year is a huge one because that’s when they come full circle and return to a year where it’s both their animal and element.

This is why you cannot compare your 24 year old dog friend with your 12 year old dog sibling. One is influenced by say, Water, while the other is influenced by Wood. Both may be loyal, friendly, and enjoy peeing on trees, but one is supposedly more adaptive while the other is more about growth.

Imagine that for a bit, your friend might be very accommodative to you  about chilling at home but your sibling just wants to go out and do stuff, whereas your Metal Dog cousin likes to stick to his own methods all the time it bugs you. Yet they are all dogs..!

Heck to do all this metaphysical stuff properly, we should be looking at what hour you’re born in, which direction, what colour condom broke, etc. It’s all unprovable con-nonsense, but it’s the logical reason why people born under the same sign can be so different, because there are actually a ton of factors to consider.

Even if you find someone who is well versed in all this stuff and is truly honest and not out to scam you of a few bucks..

Interpretations can take different forms in different people

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Both my wife and I are Fire Tigers, but we’re very different people. I often say it’s because she’s born in the night and I in the afternoon, you know, cuz of the sleeping patterns of tigers, but like I said earlier – a ton of factors to consider in actuality.

K, so, Tigers are in short, charismatic, dynamic, impetuous, leaders, willful, courageous, passionate, and (not always) somewhat have the capacity to be fierce.

The element of Fire is one of energy, enthusiasm, warmth, creativity, charm, dynamism, and if not controlled, impulsiveness and aggression.

How fire isn’t the natural element of the tiger, I have no fucking idea..

But anyway, looking at all that for those of you who know us or at least one of us, does that sound like us..?

In some ways yes, in some ways no. After all, horoscopes and zodiac interpretations have to be generic enough to apply to most people, or else no one would be able to relate to them and be conned. But seriously look at it hard and think. If you’re a fire tiger think for yourself too.

For example, I think looking at my life now I would pick charismatic and impetuous as some characteristics. In a comfortable setting with people I really like, I’m more outspoken and can hold most group conversations with multiple points of engagers, like a warm fireplace, but I do have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth and say some wrong shit at times, like the cat that gets stuck in a tree.

My wife is more enthusiastic and driven than I am in a general span of things. I’m a lazy cat, while she’s more willing to go prowling. One prime example would be family events. I can’t stand most house parties, but she feels them to be important. And for those of you who think I’m good at planning and organizing outings, I learned most of that from her, I just apply it in my style.

So while I would not ever take such stuff literally or super seriously, I think knowing some of it is useful.

It makes for a good party trick, and it does help you understand stuff about yourself.. Lemme explain.

Back to my being impetuous. I may not think it at first, but after reading about my sign and element, it may make me think about whether or not I am impulsive, and if I realize that I am, I can do something about it.

If you had to pick someway for such stuff to be a guide to your own life, I think drawing understanding and inspiration from their content is the way to go, not doing stuff like “don’t wear blue socks this year cuz your inner pig hates footwear”.

All this stuff is relatable to anyone. Just don’t get conned.

The Dating Game

As a kid, the opposite gender was probably stupid to you. As a teen.. well, we know how that turns out (depending on you). As an almost-adult, these days, it’s really in full swing. As a young adult, I think it gets better, wiser, more flashy since you’re more independent and should have better spending power. But as a time-drained working adult..? The dating game is hard..

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Ok, that’s just my general assumption. But let’s look at it as a technical spreadsheet and you tell me whether or not dating as an adult with a full-time or service-industry-timing sort of job is daunting or not.

5-6 days in a week, you’re at work for at least 8 hours. Outside of that, you probably have to juggle family, friends, other commitments like further studies, government-forced fitness levels, religion perhaps. Maybe you’re just tired from juggling all the stuff in your life and need a little bit of down time before going back to the invisible, but obvious world concept of economic slavery.

And you still need to set aside some extra time to go out and find love? And we know that the success rate of that game isn’t a high one. Even after you tie the know, it could go to shit.

I’ve always told my friends that finding someone or spending energies on casual dating should be done before your final graduation as a full-time student. Because once you’re stuck working, there goes your time..

I don’t mean “get engaged before graduation” is a must. I mean it’s probably going to be more fruitful finding options when you’re in a stage of life that has more time for stuff in it.

There’s 3 ways to go about finding a life partner, IMO.

Fate and Destiny

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By using this picture, I mean the idea of fate and destiny, not finding a rich guy.

When it comes to finding your special someone, I never thought that actively hunting was the way to go, because it always seemed to me that people who went hunting never got anything, and someone who has a thing for them appears only when they stop hunting. It’s ironic.

But then, I never realised that I had the groundwork for my relationship with my wife laid out for me when I was in kindergarten, so I’ll admit I’m fortunate. But still, fate and destiny is a thing that happens to lots of people.

Nothing as cliche as a Disney true love’s kiss, but meeting the right person at the right place, at the right time, right circumstances, that sort of shit? That sort of shit does happen. I mean, if you live long enough, you’ll realise, looking back, that some people might’ve been the one for you, just that being with them at the time that you did screwed it up.

I think if I really did date my wife as we nearly did when we were.. 13, 14, it probably would’ve ruined it quite a lot. What do we know of being real partners as a fresh teenager? Low on maturity, low on spending power, low on freedom. Just the urge, and urge isn’t enough.

So fate is one way to go, but fate doesn’t happen to everyone. That’s why there’s..

Hunting

L-L-Lookin' for lurve..

L-L-Lookin’ for lurve..

It’s the task of actively looking for love. Not necessarily in the manner of crazily looking for someone to marry, but actually going out and doing stuff, perhaps with the intention of looking for someone that you could grow something with. Though the spectrum of it can be pretty wide.

It could be as healthy as jogging along your usual route and seeing someone attractive for the 20th time and going up to them to strike up a conversation that seems casual and derived from the shared jogging path, but you know you did it because they’re cute and etc etc.

Or it could be as straightforward as hitting up the night scene in your city and getting plenty of numbers or hookups with whoever you like and if it works out, then great for you!

Regardless of your weapon of hunting, hunting ground, and hunting methods, it all requires one thing – confidence.

Hunting was always a scary thing for me. I’ve never asked a random girl for a number and I’ve always had the tendency missing the mark and turning into sister-John instead, so hunting freaks me out, maybe it freaks you out too.

If you can’t hunt in the wild, you can still hunt..

Controlled Hunting

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You know those places where you can go fishing or prawning in a man-controlled small body of water and you’re guaranteed to get something? That exists in the dating game too, but the success rate isn’t as high as that lah.

I liken dating agencies of all sorts to this – controlled hunting. It’s like going to hunt in safari. The sort of animals you want are there, and the conditions are more suited to you.

You might be wondering, how’s this different from joining a group that does an activity you like so you could meet someone who might be looking for someone too? Let’s use hunting again.

Let’s say you want to go hunting for a polar bear. You know where to go, roughly what gun to bring, bullets to load, what to do, but remember that you’re basing all your tactics off what you know about hunting polar bears already and Google. Now, that might be a lot, or not a lot at all, but in the snow, and with a gun, your chances of hunting down a polar bear is definitely there, sure.

But you won’t have as much success as someone who has a guide with them, a hunting mentor, gear and weapons that’s been recommended for them, all tactics planned out for them, in an environment that benefits them, and they’re given a depressed, suicidal polar bear with painted markings on it. Chances of success are much better for that person.

No, not everyone who goes for controlled hunting is as sad as that second polar bear I described, but you see my point, there’s a better chance there.

As we get older, busier, and get more commitments from everywhere I have no idea how single folks find love. I have negative ideas on how single folks with zero experience or game can find love. That’s why I think dating agencies can be a good thing.

Sure, not everyone needs them, but if you’re in a point of your life where you can afford the time to try one out and you already have been thinking about it, I say to you, “Go ahead lah!

Awkward Lessons – Kids and Folks

Remember when you’re a kid growing up and there were always things that were taboo, or never truly explained to you because you were too young? Heck, now that we’re as old as we are we know that it either was really no big deal, or really inappropriate for kids to learn certain stuff, thus making it awkward for parents to talk about it.

Ever since my K-9 moved in across the street and turned from ex-colleague to new neighbour, I’ve been spending more time with kids. Not teenagers. Kids.

Kids know stuff, sure, but they don’t really know everything. But they think they do. I remember watching Friends and was able to get some jokes and found the show entertaining. Once my dad asked me if I could really understand all the stuff going on, I think I said “yes” because I got the general idea, and I did.

But having watched the show again rather recently, I realize that the sex jokes went completely over my head when I was a preteen. Thus I realized that I had a ton of good parts of the sitcom zip right by me and I didn’t even know it.

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Sigh.. to be clueless and when swearing was blind, simple fun.

But how could I? I picked up the F-bomb when I was.. 5 I think, from watching an uncensored version of Terminator 2. I know that it’s a swear word, but I had no idea of its actual meaning. And my folks didn’t stop me from using it initially because, well, I think I’ll get to that later.

I’m sure the kids who take care of my dog now face the same thing. Probably overhear something they know is taboo, or entertaining, or something, but they don’t truly get it yet, and it’s weird to explain why to them.

I swear a fucking lot, and if you know me personally, you know that’s true, so I watch my mouth when I’m around kids so I don’t drop the inconvenience-bomb on their folks by making them explain what Fuck is, and why they can’t say it and etc.

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“This is how you Jack-off, son..” “Don’t touch me, Dad.. back the fuck away..!”

Like mentioned earlier, my folks didn’t stop my from cussing initially, because there are a ton of ways to deal with it (this could apply to even sex-ed, or whatever taboo stuff):

  • If you forbid it, kids may just repeat it more simply because it’s forbidden, while continuing to be clueless as to why.
  • You could explain it, but be so awkward in doing so that the gawkiness and shamefulness of the idea grows with the kid, and that’s how you get giggle-filled sex-education classes.
  • You could also brush it aside and hope that the nonchalance will disinterest the kid and they’ll learn it themselves in future anyway.. in a safe way.. you hope..
  • Or you could explain it rationally and treat whatever the weird thing is as the natural thing it is and have your kid grow up thinking it’s normal, which.. let’s face it, almost no parent can do.

It was brought up by a friend of mine recently that the best time to talk to your kids about the horny-ass birds and the bees is when they’re like 3.

No. Not with explicit details. But when your toddler asks you where babies come from, we apparently shouldn’t cook up some rubbish story about a stork and just generally explain the idea of intercourse and genitalia so that the kid doesn’t grow up feeling it’s a taboo topic and that private parts and all giggly bags.

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Or you could try teaching the birds and the bees with ridiculous SFW porno.

Heck, such an attitude could then lead to more mature children and therefore a society where people objectify the flesh of others so crazily. I mean, I like skin, especially on shoulders, but I don’t go whacking off to every good looking lady who wears an off-shoulder, that’s insane..

I can’t say for certain how I’m going to raise my wife’s and my kid in future, but I’m certainly not going to blatantly try and make her first word be some form of cussing, but if they pick up the F-bomb early, I’m in no shining example to chide them for that, and I don’t think it’s wrong to know the word, because, let’s face it, kids will learn it in time.

But I would rather teach my kid in a sound way what it’s about and explain why it’s a controversial word as best I can. It’ll be tempting to use the “I’m your fucking father, you listen to me!” card, but I think I’d like to try explaining stuff first.

Plus, a kid who knows how to properly use and time the word “Fuck” is tons more awesome than a kid who stupidly blurts it out anyhowly just because it’s taboo.

Thicker than Water, Thinner than (some) Compounds

Blood. Or well, blood relations, to be exact. One of the most overrated things or linkages that people overuse in certain situations that are somewhat controversial or non-conformist-ish. Just because someone is related to you, or part of the same group, or works with you does not mean that you’re that obliged to be loyal to them.

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Now, before you get all judgemental on what I just typed, think about it a little.

No, think about it a little more.

K. Not every family is ideal, or nice, or loving, or warm, or even fucking civil. Some people come from broken homes, with completely fucked up family members. You’re telling me that you should give chances to a father who rapes his daughter? To a mother that leaves her spouse and kids to chase a fantasy with a young hot boy? To a kid who leeches his family dry, as in totally bad fucked up situation sort of dry, to suit his selfish needs, be it drugs, gambling, irresponsible fun, etc?

Well, in most cases no. In a rare case or so, yes. That depends on your level of tolerance, niceness, and capacity for bullshit. But I’ve given somewhat exaggerated examples. Those are common-enough examples, but not realllly common either.

Let’s put it another way – Lunar New Year’s coming to an end, that means you’ve probably visited relatives and friends. Most visits you’ve done as a kid were to people you probably see only once a year. Heck, most Chinese New Years I just eyeball people I vaguely recognise, have no idea how the flying fuck I’m related to, and I have to be in the living room with them while the old prunes talk away because its the polite thing to do. (I never liked CNY much)

Would you go out of your way to do something, for that semi-disconnected cousin of yours? They might be nice, pretty, a generally good soul. Sure. But you have zero connectivity and history with them, how are they different from some damn stranger?

But they’re your famil..” NO! Fuck you, no! ..Sorry, sorry,  lol. I’d rather take a bullet for one of my old friends, or my favourite colleague, or my buddy neighbour than do stuff for people who are literal strangers to me.

Why? Because of chemistry, that’s why.

coke

Time spent together, effort to bond, history, going through good and bad bullshit together makes the bonds that you ought to be caring about, because those are the people you care about already. Isn’t it?

Spending hours at a McDonald’s after school, goofing off at each others’ homes, surviving some nonsense camp together, just wanting to hang out together, that’s tons more worth than strangers who are “blood”. These folks are not “water”, they’re “compounds”.

But time spent stirring a mix doesn’t always mean that it’ll mix out right. Some things just don’t mix – like oil and water. They’ll never go together. So to be fair, some acquaintances of yours will be like that, while some family members will be like coffee powder and hot water, mixing soo nicely.

But remember that such a bond with a favourited family member is only so because you click well with that person and have genuine chemistry, not just because you’re bloody related!

If this still doesn’t make sense to you, think of the military, or work. Someone may be your superior and you must pay respects in whatever way is expected of you whenever required, but if the fellar is a complete asshole, you definitely would have no genuine respect for the dickhead, right? So apply that logic to blood. Same thing.

If your rebuttal to me is like movies where the young brat is forced to spend time with his grandparents and then he ends up loving them.. that has nothing to do with their family ties, it’s because he fucking spent time with them and they managed to click! That’s time and effort, not predetermined bonds!

It’s just silly to hear people tell each other, “Eh, don’t like that leh, s/he’s still your ____ after all..” Like that is supposed to make any sort of bullshit automatically better.. Yeah..

Wanna think about something else? K, this is for you bible-based people – Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Your spouse isn’t blood now is s/he? If they were then.. that’s just inbreeding lah. (Unfair point, but hah!)

Blood is thicker than water, sure, but it’s most definitely thinner than some compounds, or solutions, or mixes.

And remember, Friendship is Magic.

my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic

2014: Green Wood Horse

The Lunar New Year is just a couple of days away. Apart from hoarding up on the annual treats, waiting or dreading the flow of ang baos, and the pointless visiting of homes of the people who just visited you, it also means that we get a new animal, but along with it, this year we get a new element and colour.

So, just like how I did last year, I’ll play self-proclaimed zodiacologist and bring up some stuff we can channel from our new mammal, the Green Wood Horse.

Green

A colour which is largely linked with the eco stuff.

A colour which is largely linked with the eco stuff.

As the caption states, Green is a colour whose name is also extensively used with environmental friendly stuff. I’m sure you know a ton of that already, and this post is meant to be about coming up with meaningful advices from horseshit pulled from the air, so forget that eco stuff for now.

Green has been used as a colour of Safety plenty in our society now. Green traffic lights, safe signals, exit signs, whatever, it’s the colour you look for when you want to find a door you can use, to be sure that your electronic devices are working right, that you can cross the street without being run over right away. Be green and be someone people look to for that feeling of security.

Then there’s that old saying about how looking at green stuff can improve your eyesight, or at least slow down your ruining it. Be it fact or myth, it’s still a good idea to take a break and do something for your Health. Exercise, eating veggies. Heck, I’ve started taking the occasional drink of avocado juice too. I don’t love it, but it’s supposedly scientifically great for the internals and your skin. So do stuff like that.

While we’re talking about edibles, Green always brings some Balance to the colours on your plate. A big ol’ plate full of meat or pasta may be pretty good, but it’ll look nicer, more presentable if there was some garnishing to it. Be it luscious looking parsley or chopped up spring onions, food usually look more delectable and less like a big digestive challenge if it’s balanced out with some greens.

Wood

Panda food.

Panda food.

Now, despite it being literally the character for wood, the element is referring more to stuff like trees and plants instead of planks of chipboard, very different stuff. We’re talking about living, growing trees, not hacked up, dead pieces of drift wood.

Nay, wood is a fairly impressive element when you realise that we’re not talking about just the stuff that your table’s made of, but what it comes from.

Trees grow and give everything a ton of benefits. Be it shade, oxygen, food, or building materials, trees  give us and our critter friends much. Heck, even just by being rooted in the ground trees save us from the potential mudslide. Flora is therefore Generous.

Wood is a strong thing too. Don’t say that martial arts practitioners can bust planks of wood, we’re not all Bruce Lee. But while wood and healthy trees are strong, they are also Flexible. Plants grow according to what suits their needs best in relation to sunlight and whatever else they use. And bamboo for example, is stiff to stand on but bendable enough for people to pole vault with.

And just like how your neighbour’s trees might grow to shade and shed leaves all over your yard, plants and forests grow, grow, and Grow. Ever expansive, if we didn’t hire foreign workers folks to trim our flora once in awhile, we’d be covered in the green stuff. But growth is a good thing to channel from Wood. One needs to grow every so often.

Horse

Horses can be fuzzy wuzzy as well.

Horses can be fuzzy wuzzy as well.

Horses to us are probably one of the most useful creatures ever. Ask any cowboy, riding a big dog isn’t going to be the same thing. Intelligent and strong as they are, horses, as I’ve minimally-researched, aren’t very confusingly-amazing creatures, but they are definitely good beings.

I mean, it’s pretty common knowledge that horses can stand within an hour after being born and can start running not long after that, which makes our little meatballs seem pretty helpless, but that’s just how these equines work. Still, the Eagerness and energy that those baby horses show is something to learn from them. To have some sort of drive and passion in doing things.

I never knew that when herds of horses went around in the wild and when it was nap time that one would stay up as a look out. It’s like the stuff you see in movies when they’re out in the wild and in danger and someone needs to be on guard, same idea. It’s a sort of natural Compatriotism that we can take on to care for and look-out for our own herds as humans.

While we’re on the topic of looking out for others – people say that chivalry is dead. If that is so, then perhaps this is the year to bring it back.

What’s this got to do with horses? Apparently the word “Chivalry” comes from “cheval”, which is the French word for horse. So instead of chewing on hay and leaving manure wherever you go, be a chevalier as best as you can be a good sir, or lady, to people around you more often.

So that’s it. Have a good 2014. Heck, I think I should. After all, the horse is supposed to be my friend, and Wood feeds Fire too. Here’s to all you other Fire Tigers out there~

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I'm John. This is my blog, which I'll update occasionally with my thoughts.




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