Sunday, December 25, 2005

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum ... Wie treu sind deine Blätter[*]

And that's the extent of my German. Ooo I lie, I can also shout "der ist mein Hamburger!". Helpful if you are the Hamburgler, otherwise not so practical. Luckily we experienced Germans with exceptional English when we were in Berlin. Speaking of which, Berlin was an experience of a life time, and I don't say that just because it was YDG's bday city. Talk about perspective! You will certainly get a dose of it, and THEN SOME in Berlin. It was also the city I met a member of Marissa's Golden Hand of 5, i.e. top 5 most impressive people.

1) The gang standing outsdie the Reichstag (German Parliament House) where there sits a clear dome above the parliamentary chamber. This is meant to embody the idea of transparent demoracy as visitors can view down the chamber where their elected representatives debate, i.e. people over politicians and hence the supremacy of demoracy.

2) The Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of Germany's unity.

3) Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp with the words "work will set you free". This was an amazing experience.

4) Fragments of the Berlin Wall

Anyway, it is Christmas Day! YAY! I am big fan of xmas. It's not everyday you get to spend an entire day with family being merry and jolly. It's heart warming to see collective smiles. This year we are hosting an extended family affair. The house has spent xmas eve preparing, prepping, cleaning, moving, cooking, steaming etc etc. It wasn't too bad. I at least got the opportunity to mock Mindy's satay sticking abilities. They are terrible. Amazingly, we will have approx 20 presents under the tree. This is an amazing feat for this household.

Everybody should be happy HAPPY today ... so have a wonderful christmas everybody.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your branches green delight us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Go Get Some Perspective"

A few of my closest friends have been imploring my conscience to "get some perspective". They haven't quite reached the stage of using starving kids of Ethiopia/Uganda or other such third world countries as comparators, but I sense that it may come to that soon through sheer exasperation.

I am grateful for having friends that have personas that are the direct antithesis to mine. I don't think I could ever be friends with myself. It would be a chore.

Went to the phsyio the other day. Turns out I need to get an xray of my neck - think he is concerned that the pain is still sticking around despite the passing of a year and a half. I am more concerned with the fact that every time I go to this physio, I am always ALWAYS wearing some dodgy undergarment. It's rather embarrassing. Just like that time when I was talking ever-too-loudly on the bus about something rather personal - the guy sitting in front of us turns around and says "you should make it into a movie".

I was mortified.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Bruised, Battered and Boohoo

Bruised & Battered
Port Macq Touch State Competition came and went. As expected, we lost every game, the worse result being against the No. 2 seeded team (Port Macquarie) 15 tries to 1. Nevertheless, I enjoyed: wearing those hideous 'groooowl' pants; getting hideous tan lines (now looking like a leper due to onset of peel-age); suffering from, at one stage, 6 injuries (who's counting) including major groin issues; being subject to racial slurs such as "half of Chinatown is here", to which I responded, "its Japan!". No doubt these Liverpool kids are too ignorant to appreciate the nuance between nips and chinks. Throw in gooks and it would be equivalent to educating them about Einstein's special relativity theory.

The weekend was lots of fun, I learnt a whole heap about the game of touch and hopefully managed to secure permanent physio treatments moving foward - thanks Lynette. The sense of solidarity within a team is always a nice fuzzy feeling, and I am glad I was able to participate in such an experience.

Here's a picture of our coach Robbo (his name is not Robert) and the girls. For more photos, click here.

The 'boohoo' bit of this entry is that today was my manager/mentor's last day. Indeed an inauspicious occasion, but perhaps this will prove to be the impetus for the next little step.

I have gone doraemon mad

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Port Macq Here we Come

Tumultuous! Tumultuous! Tumultuous week!
And it ends perfectly with 3 days of attrition on the touch footy field where mutual feelings of enmity will be played out in 25 minute games (no stoppage). Was intending to go on a week long cleansing diet to prepare my desperately ineffectual body, but that ploy came to a grinding halt when someone baked cookies and Sesame Street decided to bring me the letters P M & S.

If only Van Nguyen was a woman, I think his pleas of clemency may have had better chances. With the recent upsurge in the newbread of sexy, minx-like female criminals, including Schapelle Corby, Michelle Leslie (with her new agent - see what crime can do for you) and that lesbian Bali 9 ringleader (who cares who the men were) - this trend may prove that it pays to be a female on the wrong side of the law.

Here is my paris picture

Friday, November 25, 2005

Roley Poley and Bike Pants don't go together

Fact 1 - I have never owned a pair of bike pants in my (ever-increasing) life time. I think I have an untapped fear of bike pants.
Fact 2 - Constant abuse of ≈€1 1/2L beers + gorging have culminated in mysterious additional kilos, which also means severe lack of tautness creating a ripple-like effect on skin (aka grandma skin).
Fact 3 - Skin has be devoid of sunshine which means I have yucky Singaporean porky-white skin pigmentation. I'd be prime meat for a BBQ at the moment.

So with much trepidation and slight moxie, I put on my 1st ever pair of bike pants on last night. Why? Our rep touch weekend is approaching and I thought I better try on the uniform (pictured) to check for size and fit. The result? A few problems. First, there are these elastic-y things around the bottom of the bike pants which gives the illusion of thigh-sausages, i.e. pinches bits of the thigh and makes area between end of pants to knees bulge out. Second, what is THE DEAL with the concentration of leopard print around the crotch area?!? And to add to the pain, Cherie didnt wash the top after borrowing it for the entire weekend - poor form Cherry. The moral of the story is that you will have a little porky pig in a tiger suit running around in Port Mac.

The most bizarre thing occurred during lunch yesterday. I was whinging, as I do, to Sharlene about the injustices of life (e.g. pig in tiger suit, having a pimple right in the middle of my forehead Indian style, having to walk from Central due to appliance-led terrorist attack on Town Hall etc) when this man in a soccer jersey who had been eating lunch on a nearby table, gets up, walks by, gestures a thumbs up, mutters something that I couldn't quite hear, then walks away. I promptly asked Shar what the hell he said and she reckons he said "you are sexy". My 1st response was 'are you serious'?!?!? And then I said, 'ARE YOU SERIOUS'?!?!?!?!? Then I said 'Nooooooooooooo'. Then I said 'You can't be for real'?!?!?!?! If what she heard was true, I think he may have been mocking me because: a) I was in a dishevelled state (collar tucked in, shirt hanging out); b) my hair was incorrigible; c) I had an Indian pimple; d) Just before he made that comment, I was shouting 'undervalued' at Sharlene. Upon reflection, I'm kinda offended by his wayward comment. One does not expect to be scrutinised during relaxing lunch hour, especially when deep in contemplation about the vicissitudes of life. I feel slightly violated.

Lastly, what is going on with our criminal justice system. First you have the instance of beauty contests in prisons where the winning female inmate may receive a reduced sentence as the prize. Then you have the judge that sentenced a lady to a night alone in the forest for abusing kittens - they are just kittens! Then you have Michelle Leslie (who still looks good with tears and snot all over her face) donning a burqa in hope of a reduced sentence - which worked. Someone told me that a large percentage of Muslims actually receive a significantly reduced penalty in Bali. Makes me wonder whether I would consider changing religion if I was faced with her situation.

Check out my Doraemon shoes ... so cute!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ricky Martin says "Go Go Go"

How fantastic was that game last night between the Socceroos and that "You Are Gay" mob. They are touting it the game of a lifetime. My lifetime may now be less significant since I was only able to catch the 1st half and the penalty shootout. Why? We had a game of many lifetimes on our own hands, i.e. bball. Donning the #10 jersey a la Harry Kewell, I naturally equalled his razzle dazzle on the court ... fooling everybody but the referee.

It was a riveting end. I tried to scream so many times but nothing came out of my voicebox. I may have reconsider the answer to the question - would you rather be deaf, blind or mute.

There is no getting around the fact that Viduka is a world class choker. You can't be a striker AND the captain and choke in the most important penalty shootout ever. Don't get me started on Emerton ...

So I went down to the Domain today join the fanfare - joining the bandwagon is a little pathetic but hey, Harry Kewell was going to be there. Check out my pics. Don't ask me for names because I will not be able to supply names. One of them might be Guy Pearce.

Last but not least ... the "yeah yeah" man himself

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

5 weeks of travelling ... all but a blur

I am back, albeit without a functioning voicebox & a nasty cough. Of course Murphy's Law dictates that this be the only outcome after 5 weeks of reasonably good health - free of diseases and plagues that struck most of the travelling group e.g. diarrhoea, hand disease, extremely irritated skin, gastro etc. I am 'survival of the fittest' personified.

Been pretty cruisy at work going through my 400 emails and delegating all meetings to colleagues due to lack of voice (very effective excuse). It's weird being back home. So much so that ever since coming back, I've had episodes in the middle of the night where I haven't been able to figure out where I was. Fairly scary feeling.

So the last 5 weeks have been pretty awesome. Travelling is such a beast in itself. It really does enrich your life in many ways. It is a true learning experience: the history of a place, the culture, the politics, the art, the language, the architecture, the transport system, the anecdotes, the lives. You also tend to develop a better understanding about yourself and the people around you. No doubt this enlightenment will disappear in a flash when stuck in the confines of 'reality'.

Lots to holiday memories to share - shall leave it for another day. Suffice to say that it was a fantastic month and a bit. Shout outs to the Bubbles the toothless tiger, Nazi the spew cleaner, Shotglass the mugged tourist, Eyebags the Rome advocate, Gaunty the sweet-talker, Flopper the crazy drunk, & Whiteboy hubby the cycling schoolboy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tokyo - soon to depart to Her Majesty's (i.e. YDG's) abode

I'm typing to the snoring symphony of Wayne & Sharlene. Amazingly, their snoring melodies are playing off each other ... the crescendo occurred a few seconds ago. Now they are moving into the recapitulation part of the movement.

It's been a taxing day on the legs - guess it's good training for rep touch at the end of the year. We visited several cities today including: Shibuya, Roppongi and Shinjuku. All involved catching the train, getting immensely baffled by the train system (there are a few wasted tickets sitting in my pocket), and walking galore - which ain't so good when it was raining the entire day.

These cities are dominated by neon lights and shopping. If you've seen Serenity, Tokyo often reminds me of that scene where River Tam becomes mesmorised by the cartoon figure on the TV screen and mutters "Miranda". Except here it's probably more "sumimasen". People are terribly subservient and wonderfully clean here. The public loos are a treat! Today's experience was the toilet flushing audio aid - to conceal any unfortunate sounds that may inevitably occur during your business. Leaves you riding on a wave of calmness (as depicted in the picture) apparently.

Visited a few of Japan's finest conglomerates today: Toyota and Sony. Crappy little shits wouldn't get off the cool PSP and PS2 demos. Do they want thicker glasses?!? Showrooms were pretty cool ... burns deep holes in your pockets though.

Also went on the rollercoaster that goes through a shopping centre. The ride reaches a max speed of 130 km/hr and the incline up truly felt like a 90 degree pull. Lucky I went to the ladies before hand. And in typical Japanese fashion, the ppl in queue would clap as the carriage pulls back into home base. So easy to feel famous and loved in Japan.

Last, finally found a Peko product so here's the self indulgent photo:

Dreading the horrors of British Airways tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tokyo - Day 2

Free Internet amounts to another entry.
Today was a fantastic day, predominately because of the Harajuku Girls (of Gwen Stefani video clips fame).

It's quite a spectacle, and I am not entirely sure what motivates them to go to so much trouble (especially on a Sunday morning). They completely act the part and put on quite a show for the photographers/bystanders. Most of them, from my limited experience, are inspired by goth. In fact, and I didn't know this at the time, we were standing behind 4 Harujuku Girls while waiting for the Peter Pan ride @ Disneyland (biggest waste of time). We were in the line for about 40 minutes and in that time, they must have spent about half of it fixing up their makeup, orange contacts, hair etc. Tell you what though, they had BAD BAD teeth ... and it wasn't because they painted it black.

We had 2 lovely Japanese locals take us out today - Sharlene's work colleague (Masaru) and his girlfriend (Hatsumi).

They were great ... brought us around everything, including Akihabaru (Electronics Town); Ginza (fancy smancy town e.g. Brioni, Hermes etc); and Shibuya (trendy teenage town). All very different and interesting. Got around via trains. The train stations have THE COOLEST door closing/train leaving warning melodies. Unlike dodgy cityrail which has your one standard *bom bom bom* (you know what I mean); Japanese train stations have really cute polyphonic cartoon-esque melodies. And there's a few of them too. Might record one and use as my ringtone. There are the most literal signs in the train as well e.g.:

People really can't live out their Bidet i.e. after toilet washing function.

Had my first experience this morning. My reaction? I shrieked both times I tried it. I think it takes some getting used to.

Public holiday in Japan, which means more crowds and probably more Mickey Mice. Hey did you know Doraemon had a girlfriend called Mimichan. I didn't!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

In Tokyo

Hi all. Never got around to a farewell, good riddance blog. However, I suspect that an entry on the 1st day of my holidays will suffice. I am currently in the land where broadband connection of up to 100mbps is rife - sweet I say!

I am not sure if that makes up for the lack of personal space - I have taken one to many inadvertent elbows today. Today was mostly spent on the truly confusing subway and Disneyland. Here are my observations:

Usual practice, from observation, is to get on and sleep. Even those that don't get sitting room sleep while they are standing. Either people don't get enough sleep around here, or there must be something in the air conditioning on the trains

Never have I seen so many people congregated en masse in what was a fairly gigantic ground. It was literally like witnessing swarming ants, except I was also an ant. It was amazing. People were lining up everywhere for hours on end for anything and everthing, e.g. waiting 40 mins for soda flavoured popcorn. Is that MAD or what?!? We assumed that the crowd would retreat back home by about 5pm/6pm but alas how wrong we were. People were still going strong at about 6pm (park closes @ 10pm) and still willing to wait 40 mins for their curry popcorn.

I walked away realising that Japanese people are SICK for their Disney, to the point of obsession. Nearly everybody had some kind of Mickey Mouse paraphernalia on them. I nearly succumbed ... but logic and cash got the better of me.

Here are a coupla pics:

Shar & Wayne on the train to Disneyland. It was a case of Mickey Lau Shu everywhere. Who would have guessed that a rodent could be that palatable.

If you can't beat them, why not join them. This would come in handy for next snowboard season.

Jason Wong is famous in Japan, well only to those who catch the trains anyway.

Getting a tour guide tomorrow (phew). Will be hitting the shops and visiting a few of the local hangouts apparently. No more elbows please.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Disastrously Disorganised

Why is it that things start going out of control at the most inopportune times? Bloody Murphy's Law. Impending Fri 7 Oct departure date rolling around way too fast for comfort. There are things that must occur prior to a 5 week holiday, and none of these have been completed.

Feeling overwhelmed and ever so slightly frazzled.

Have you ever noticed that in most romantic comedies, the female counterpart is always employed in a customer service centric role. Recent examples are: Monster-In-Law (J-Lo has jobs ranging from receptionist to waitress); Wedding Date (Deborah Messing is a airlines customer consultant). I guess it's the Cinderalla idea perpetuated over and over again. If only pumpkins did turn into modern day equivalent of carriages ... my head would be worth alot.

Will attempt to blog one final time before I leave our shores that is girt by sea.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Political Satire

Anything that makes a mockery of George W. Bush is GOLD in my books - this picture cracks me up. Artistic licence should be heavily encouraged when it comes to the follies of American politics. Only Americans would legitimately advocate a Governor, who was previously a body builder/(bad) actor, even after the comment: "To those critics who are pessimistic about our country, I say: Don't be economic girly men". The quote is bad enough, but add Arnie's accent ... it's just THE WORST!

And how poor form is this Mark Latham character? Talk about lack of allegiance. I may need to re-examine my staunch Labor stance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bday Week!

It is officially over - woe am I. Even more woe is that I have now entered the era where I will perpetually be 21.

My birthday cake (pictured here) certainly left much to be desired - it looks more like a giant, slanty cupcake than a bday cake. Apparently Mindy interpreted my instructions of 'a cake that's not too heavy or sweet' to meaning a dodgy giant slanty cup cake. Next time I will be slightly more specific I think.

Nevertheless, birthday week was very fun and I felt very loved - thanks to everybody who contributed - this 21 year old is very appreciative. It all culminated to nearly $200 worth of winnings on perfect pairs blackjack on my actual birthday! Perfect pairs was GOING OFF for me. Perhaps bday luck does exist after all. Should have given Pandemonium a go too!

Visit my pics page to see some of the activities that occurred. While your are there, please vote for your fave video clip in the Thredbo album.

Meanwhile, here's a contest for you. Match the photo with the person (these are meals that occurred during my bday week). Your choices are: family, manager, bball team, Sharlene, Jason, rowing crew.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Friday, September 02, 2005

Birthday Month

The novelty of birthday month is starting to wane - possibly a correlation with entering the post-25 era. However diminishing interest certainly not critical enough to stop extorting gifts. Har! 12th September folks!

As the above conveys, last weekend was spent at the snow where, amongst other things, the Modern Australian Woman lived on (with the aid of a board); I discovered "ahh the serenity" à la The Castle; I gained insight into just how much of a wally throwing action I possess (that 3rd frame is terrible muriel).

The snowboarding was good. Managed to take out a few people (including my own sister); managed to upkeep my excellent T-bar record of taking out whoever was fortunate enough to ride up with me (tried to 'molest' you Dougie, but you were too sturdy); managed to spend nearly an entire afternoon by myself after losing everybody (being nigelated is the WORST!); witnessed Malinda make the biggest fool of herself on the funbox (right underneath the chair lift ... muahhahah); managed to stuff both my knees, my right ankle and incur a few bumps on head. But as they say, no pain no gain. Though I'm not entirely sure what I gained - perhaps extra kilos from all that spicy spam for lunch.

Well New South Wales is suffering from 'premier' crisis at the moment. I discovered something quite exciting the other day. My cousin (who works for the NSW Labour Govt) happened to mention that Bob Carr (one of my all time fave polly) favoured the font 'bookman antiqua' in all his correspondence. And GUESS WHAT??!?!?! That's the font that I use! YAY! So glad that Bob and I are on the same wavelength, regardless of his maybe mail order bride. So apparently your choice of font gives an insight into your personality/character - graphology tweaked for the 21st century I guess. For example (as sourced from the internet):
  • Kylie Minogue (the sex kitten) - Shelley
  • Ian Beale (the cheapskate anorak) - Courier
  • Richard Branson (professional yet appealing) - Verdana
  • Anna Ford (trustworthy and respectable) - Times
  • *new* Bob Carr/Marissa Wong (friend of Merrick & Rosso and fan of "I really really really love Sydney) - Bookman Antiqua

    I will soon have to start countdown to Europe trip ... woohoo

  • -------------------------------------------------------
    Further to above, Jay 'my body is a temple' Sun forwarded a very funny photo - sorry to do this to you Bob - but it cracked me up.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    Time is of the essence

    Notwithstanding the present exception of wasting time blogging at work (ack contradiction already!), the weekend proved that time is of the essence.

    Normal Saturday routine comprises of midday wake-up, then mandatory kaya + peanut butter on toast, complemented with coffee + condense milk = YUM! Probably also tantamount to fat on thighs and bum. However, last Saturday required an early morning trip to Kerby - friend of Alan's and all things Honda. Eric if you are reading this, Prelude is still in good knick *why is my eye twitching uncontrollably*

    (Here is Kerby fixing up my brake pads in my rear wheels) Had I stayed in bed that morning, I would have missed the opportunity of being enlightened re: Holden vs Ford. Did you know that Holdens are comprised of a mish mash of parts from a myriad of manufacturers i.e. you won't be able to go to a Holden dealer and ask for Holden engine. The treachery goes as far as the V8 supercars. Apparently Holden V8s use Ford components (I forget which ones, it got a bit too technical for me). This is why all the quality drivers have switched camps to Ford. So essentially what Holden have done is piece together various car parts and whacked a lion badge on the front. I am now a newly converted Ford fan, although I must commend the marketing department @ Holden for doing so effectively what they've been paid to do. Oh! And I also discovered that I have tools in the boot - enlightenment century!

    Had I stayed in bed, I would have never met The Veronicas @ Hurstville shopping centre. Buggered if I knew who they are. Apparently they are twins and currently have a single titled "4ever". I always feel a twinge of sadness for the fatter/uglier twin - isn't it just 'unfairness' personified considering twins are supposed to be genetically identical. Some may be aware that I have a penchant for B-grade celebrities so joined the undersized, under-aged teeny bopper crowd - most of whom could sing 4ever word for word (way to go Kumon!). Also had the new Cajun chicken nuggets @ McDonalds (2 thumbs up) and assisted Sharlene pick out new mega stylo glasses (even though her ultimate choice was different to my selection).

    Then it was time for touch footy near Haberfield, where random individuals were chasing after an 3D oval shaped ball - similar to how dogs behave but perhaps in a more co-ordinated fashion. Bec and Kathy's dogs were having a go at each other. Bec's dog (CoCo) was spewing everywhere, while Kathy's dog (Polo Bun) had a nuzzle on. He looked like the canine version of Hannibal Lector. I swear I heard him bark 'Clarice', or may be it was '(C)athy'.

    While mulling around, the skyline decidedly metamorphosised within the space of 10 minutes. It's somewhat awe-inspiring to consider that time can move so swiftly and have such an impact on our environment - and meanwhile, we were still standing there ... doing nothing.

    Had the (not so) pleasure of going to the Collector Hotel in Parra-doesnt-Matta on Friday night. Eclectic music, eclectic crowd, majorly seedy guys, big dance floor, cheap drinks. Probably won't revisit in the short-long term. Also visited the Roxy - that place has certainly changed since the last time I was there (in High School watching 'A League of Their Own'). The Roxy had 'Notes' printed on the back of their coasters, presumably to aid patrons in their spading activities. Could be an idea to get into the business of gimmicky coasters.