Saturday, January 30, 2010


There's some law that states that expenditure is directly proportional to income. Am drooling after a weekend of car showroom viewing... Why are my toys getting more and more expensive?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Yet even as the audience is drawn into a tale, we must pause to ask: who is the story-teller? How far can we believe and trust the story? After all, a storyteller may entral, educate, entertain - or deceive - and sometimes all at the same time. Whose reality can we trust?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sometimes, getting a break gives us time to reflect on the things we do and why we do them, and sometimes inspiration comes in different forms. Tonight, it was in the form of a late night DVD marathon of "Damages: Season 2".

I WANT to do this. I just need to keep myself motivated.

Monday, January 25, 2010


"Our work will at least have distracted us, it will have provided a perfect bubble in which to invest our hopes for perfection, it will have focused our immeasurable anxieties on a few relatively small scale and achievable goals, it will have given us a sense of mastery, it will have made us respectably tired, it will have put food on the table. It will have kept us out of greater trouble."

Alain de Botton, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work"

I will take on a new role in my career, as in-house counsel, starting this week. This will be the pleasurable distraction that I was seeking.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


In this place, not everyone in a leadership position leads by example, the men are lazy and unmotivated, and those who give a damn find themselves shouldering more and more of the burden that everyone else tries to avoid. This is obviously not the place I want to belong to, and I am more than glad to say "adieu" after this two week sojourn.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Grief subsides over time, but I carry on with me the things that you have taught me, and I live my life to the fullest, because I know that is how you would have wanted me to. My only fear, is that I may one day forget the memory of your presence.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Metaphors used to describe the human mind have ranged from "fertile ground" to "half filled glasses". If I may add one more, it would be "photographic negative".

Watched "Case 39", a horror movie starring Renee Zellwegger on my camp mate's laptop this evening and went to shower after that. Upon closing my eyes as the water hit my face, I saw the hideousity that was the face of the monster from the movie.

What does that say about the human mind? That it is but a reflection or product of our experiences?

Which brings me to the question, what were those people thinking when they attacked the churches (6 hit so far, and counting) after a Malaysian Court ruling allowing the word "Allah" to be used to refer to the Christian God in the Malay language, a common practice in the middle east and neighbouring Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country on earth. Whatever justifications they can think of, including such indefensible ones like "Muslims will be confused, and this will promote conversion to Christianity", or even more ridiculous "Malaysia is different, so what applies in Indonesia and the middle east cannot apply here". Fine. Even if I choose not to attack the intellectual reasoning behind these, surely it cannot be right to attack churches just to display discontent. If Malaysia is serious about racial and religious harmony and the preservation of the freedom to worship, more has to be done to prevent this from escalating.

This cuts way too close to home. Surely we can choose to believe in what we believe without violence, right?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


What kills the desire to write? Contentment, inertia, and a lifestyle numbed by the clockwork of work, deadlines and living up to expectations. What inspires writing? Accumulated feelings of being torn and a general sense of being very, very lost. Tonight, as I sit typing at Chills Cafe at Stamford House sometime after midnight, this post will be dedicated to a day less ordinary.

Book-out day. Endured hunger so that I may have dinner with someone who I have not met for quite awhile. She was supposed to knock off at 10 pm, so I hung around and amused myself until then, when I found out from her boss that she left at 9 and was uncontactable by phone. In summary, hunger and abandonment does not make me a happy man.

So I sat, stunned and absolutely lost by the Clarke Quay riverside steps, and imagined myself to be by the Thames, the Danube, or the Seine (yes, I am a hopeless dreamer) while gazing thoughtlessly at the night scene. I had wanted to share some good news with her tonight. Be that as it may, I told myself, half an hour to wallow before I snap out of this ridiculous emotional state, and I tried my best to make myself happy by laughing at the morons taking the GMAX reverse bungy. I must have looked pretty pathetic sitting there by myself on a Saturday night because this bubbly girl (by which I mean below the legal age to smoke) came up to me and said hi.

Hold your (wayward) thoughts.

"Hi, I am.. erm.. conducting a survey, can I have a few minutes of your time", she ventured, in heavily accented English.

"Yes, how can I help?", said needy, emotional me, who would, at that time be glad to speak to a multi-level marketer or a zealous seventh day aventist, so long as it was a human voice.

"I am conducting a survey on the current market conditions and job opportunities", she continued.

I laughed silently (yes it is possible). So now I look like a jobless loafer stoning by the riverside. I replied, "wo hui jiang hua yu" (translation: I can speak Chinese), to which she gladly switched to Malaysian accented Chinese. Aha! Bingo. I pinpointed the source.

So the conversation continued, and she came to the "Expected Salary in these uncertain times" question. I told her honestly that I was extremely greedy and wanted as much renumeration as possible and asked her to tick the box at the bottom. Out of curiousity, I asked her what the box read. ">$5,000". Hmmmmmmmmm. Somehow that piqued my interest and I asked her what would her answer be. She replied "$1,700, for poly students like me after graduation", and she confessed that it may not be enough as she liked to buy tons of stuff, and after which we ended up talking for what may be more than an hour.

Incidentally, I read a book today titled "Nowhere to Run", a true story about a woman abused and left homeless by her loveless parents only to be abused and raped by her abusive husband. This, coupled with my conversation with survey girl and my general feeling of being lost and abandoned somehow amalgamated and crystallised into a thought. I will not be noting this thought down, but may this post jog the memory of tonight and the abovementioned thought to myself as I read this again in the future. Be content, be content, Jared.

A Chinese New Year medley that I heard today contained the lyrics "Don't waste youth". Tonight, I have not wasted mine, despite waiting 6 hours for someone who I will try to love a little less from today onwards.

Friday, January 8, 2010


"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

So even though I have already made my personal choice in the face of two major options, I stand guided by His plans, which never fail to surprise me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I undeniably prefer night, wherein I am free from the shackles of responsibility and labour, and given the opportunity to ponder the day that passed, as well as life and its deeper callings. Today's was "judge less, give more". Equity is but a concept invented by us to smooth out the inescapable inequities inherent in our daily lives. Today, I have learnt how to be more flexible on my beliefs of what fairness and justice entails. On another note, the pink clouds rolling across the dark sky inexplicably led me to recall a dear friend new year's greeting a week ago that I may find "what I am looking for" this year. Another rainy day has come and gone away, and I daresay I don't think I have come any closer to finding out what that is, and it is innately a terrifying thought. What if, given my propensity to indulge in inertia, I have this same question, just that I will be a graying old man and still an emotional aimless vagrant. Push and Pull, it's all about Push and Pull factors.

Now playing: "Home" by Michael Buble. No, I am not homesick, but I do want a home, wherever that will be.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


"Mediocrity, I discovered, was the great camouflage, the great protective colouring. Those boys who did not fail, yet did not excel, were left alone, free from the demands of the master who might wish to groom them for glory and of the school bully who might make them his scapegoat. That simple fact was the first great discovery of my life."

Alan Bradley, "The sweetness at the bottom of the pie".

Abovementioned quote to be used mercillessly during my two week army reservist stint. Ah, the pleasures and woes of wearing green.