Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Men are expensive

Damn…Damn….damn, damn!

I so want a Ferrari Enzo. The lines are just so amazing. If there’s one car that can make me abandon self-worth and humility (which I have), it’s that car. I also want to take up photography. There’s something about holding a camera and directing your family or friends in order to take a picture that may or may not turn the way you want it to. I would also like to have an expensive and expansive sound system therefore my dream system is a Marantz but realistically the most I think I’d be able to afford is Bose is which more than enough. I’d love a Kerry King BC Rich Warlock and a pair of Marshall amps. I’d also love a 42’’ LCD screen with the latest DVD player (preferably one that plays all formats, screw format wars!). But I just can’t afford it.

A guy can always dream right?

Developing an interest in something at times can occur in many ways and forms, intentionally or purely coincidental. Like for instance my interest in automobiles. I grew up knowing zilch about the mechanics of cars. I only knew that certain shapes are ugly for a car. Beyond the aesthetics I was like a woman, only I drive much, much better. What sparked my interest was when I went to Sepang for a few local competitions (not F1, I’m not a fan of that at all). I saw cars modified beyond their original look and made to perform well above the initial specifications. After awhile I got the hang of it, the screeching tyres, the billowing smoke, the smouldering heat, the scantily clad girls in reflective clothing, the whole shebang.

Enthusiasm is most contagious especially when the person who exudes it is very passionate and isn’t afraid to ask questions. And you never know when or where you might contract it. Like the time I accompanied my good friend Irwin (no more commenting ah?) to Singapore. We stayed with a friend of his, Imelda, and friends of his dropped by. From the bedroom I could hear loud voices and even louder laughter. I came out and was greeted to Marz and Lawful (dude, if you’re reading this, all the best in the States). After exchanging pleasantries, the party resumed their discussion on cameras and such. So me being the only person there who knew nuts about cameras just sat there and listened to their highly animated talk about apertures, bodies (hmm, bodies) and lenses. Damn, these people are good. The next day, us manly men went out for lunch and headed to Singapore's premier IT mall to find Lawful’s camera. We scoured many shops searching for the best camera within his budget. Looking at all the cameras, the lenses and what you can do with them made me wish I had more money (don't we all?). In the end, Lawful ended up getting a beautiful Sony camera and began snapping away the minute we set foot in Imelda’s place. From then on I’ve been having lofty thoughts about getting myself a DSLR (Nikon!) and start snapping away.

Women have equally expensive hobbies as well but I'll save that thought for another post. Women love to shop and shop till they drop whereas men tend to buy expensive goods to satisfy unfulfilled childhood fantasy. I know I’m living the childhood I always wanted albeit with the occasional beer in hand. I know that as I get older priorities will take over the way I spend my salary. Bills and more bills will obviously take precedence.

Sometimes being a guy can be so hard. But sometimes, sometimes it’s just so fun.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I don’t think I’d ever get into RC (radio-controlled) cars. It seems so…dorky. (You, yes, you, I’m calling it dorky!) Sandman for life!

PPS: How's the new look? Is it too bright or too red or too something? Let me know! Thanks!

PPPS: Here's the previous colour scheme and you'll know what my friend's comment means.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Them black buttons scare me now…

The best children's book ever.

How’s everyone’s year been so far? I hope it’s been good. As for mine, it started off pretty all right. As usual, I did not celebrate it. Why? Simple, it’s just another day in my life. I do not see the need to surround myself with people who are sweaty and have the look of someone who’s just celebrating the New Year just because it’s an excuse to get drunk and party till the break of dawn.

Truth be told, I wasn’t invited to any New Year party celebration thingy and frankly, I didn’t care. I was sober and guess what, I saved money. Yep, parsimony indeed rules.

A few days later I went to the local bookstore to take advantage of the 20% discount card I had. Even though I have a backlog of about a small library to finish off, I decided that such an opportunity shan’t be wasted. I saw the new Terry Pratchett book and decided to give it a pass and focus on other books (I did buy it a few days later). I remember distinctly to look out for Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, which came highly recommended by Marz, who has proclaimed that she will never, ever, read this to her children. Neil Gaiman + frightening as heck (the Lemony Snicket blurb on the cover is so apt) + Dave McKean (who’s illustrative work is abstract and creepy to say the least) = why the hell it took me so long to get it?

As soon as I got home, I tore off the plastic wrapping of the book and read the first chapter. In typical Gaiman style, he sets the setting early on and it being a children’s book (though which parent would want their child to read this at an early age is beyond my understanding) isn’t as “deep” as his more mature works. This makes it even all the more enthralling. I won’t go into detail but in summary the story revolves around a girl who discovers a secret room, finds creepy versions of her parents, with black buttons for eyes, who seemingly to genuinely love her, something her real parents show a lack thereof. (A review will be up soon, I hope, so keep your eyes open for the update.)

The story got me thinking of a parents’ love. My life isn’t what I had hoped for but it’s my life nonetheless. People who know me on more a personal note, know that I have another face behind the one I show them and others. Initially, this surprised them, because they only ever see the other side of me: highly animated when talking about anything, daft about most things, and relatively capricious that when I tell them my real self, they find it hard to believe.

Just the other day, while I was waiting for my turn at the post office, I saw this little boy sitting quietly, looking at people with a happy face, including me. For a moment I felt weird, normally little children would be frightened at the mere sight of me, but this lad was practically beaming. It’s one of those moments where I forget to be this pseudo, wannabe, macho, subscriber of upturned collar guy.

I have vowed that—while I didn’t get the childhood that all children deserve—I will try my best to give my children (I say children because I’ve always dreamed of four children, two boys and two girls though with inflation and escalating costs I’m thinking very hard about even wanting to get married let alone have children) the childhood they deserve. I’m only 22. I have the world ahead of me. Youth is by my side, as many have pointed that out to me. So why am I thinking about the age in which people start to lose their hair and see their waistlines expand perilously?

Maybe it’s because I’m older and slightly wiser. And perhaps, perhaps, knowing what I want in my life.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I definitely will read Coraline to my children.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

This ain’t another New Year’s Resolutions folks

Actually this is Things That Chris Will Do to Improve Himself and Banish the Bad Things He Does So That He Can Make Another List Like This to Annoy People Around the World By Not Calling This A New Year Resolutions List When in Fact, Is a New Year Resolutions List Masquerading As Something Else Just to Annoy You.

But in truth, what this really is an attempt to do things that will hopefully improve myself. To better myself. To become an exemplary citizen of this green Earth. It’s…ah, it’s a bloody list!

Before I go further, I would like to say that it’s feels great to be back blogging. When the earthquake hit and caused the big ruckus that it did all I could say was Ugh. I decided to take an even longer break from World Wide Web and I must say it felt pretty weird not checking my mail for more than 7 days (it’s now almost two weeks). Papers reported that some bloggers were so upset that they could barely post a sentence let alone a whole article so much so it made them feel that their life has lost its meaning. What a bunch of nutters I say. Go read a book. Watch TV. Take up gardening. Talk to people face-to-face for a change. There’s more to life than an Internet connection.

So let’s go back to the topic. Why do people create a list just before the clock ticks its last tick of the year on the eve of a new one? Is it because people are doing it so I’m going to do it because it’s ala mode? Is it because you want to tell your friends that hey, I have a list and you don’t, nyeh nyeh nyeh! Or is it a genuine case that you feel in order not to repeat the mistakes that you’ve committed the year before, a checklist of sorts will help to not repeat them?

I do it because I’m bored to death and Oprah is espousing spiritual twaddle. Again.

So here is Chris’s New Year Resolutions That Really, Please, Isn’t a New Year Resolutions List (told you I’d annoy you):

  1. Get a better job.

I’d liked that. Really.

  1. Improve my guitar skills.

I still can’t seem to tune my bloody guitar! And it’s been 5 months already!

  1. Run for more than five minutes and not pass out.

The current time is 4 minutes. Ah, the ignominy!

  1. Stop my mouth from spewing out rubbish.

I remember reading an interview with Deftones once and one of the band members said to the singer, “Your mouth is like a shit making machine. You keep talking shit.” I think that pretty much sums it all up. Think first you dolt!

  1. Write better.

Damnit, I’d do anything to write like some of you guys.

  1. Finally get me some Mandarin lessons.

China girls, beware! And all you Mandarin-speaking, peace-sign lovin’, silly dressing gals out there too!

  1. Get me Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels.

I’m eyeing the obscenely huge, tome-like, 20-episodes-in-1 bonanza that would cost me a quarter of my pay. Actually, what I mean to say is, get me the rest. Behold!

  1. Listen to more jazz, preferably guitar-based ones.

I have to let my Marc Antoine CDs rest. They’ve been spinning non-stop. Trumpets, saxophones and other instruments that require one to blow into them need not apply. That sounded somewhat disturbing…

  1. Read AND understand better.

I love to read but I tend to do it fast as though the words might run away if I took my time to really understand them. Darn. I feel dumb now.

  1. Attract more girls with my wit and charm.

LOL! (I’m not much a LOL! fan but I felt that that was appropriate.)

There you have it. A simple wish-list. Hope your 2007 will bring more luck and joy than previous years. Cheers y’all!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: There’s going to be some changes to the design in the coming weeks so don’t be surprised to see a new colour scheme every now and then. Yee haw!