Wednesday, December 31, 2008

No Expectation for the New Year

31st December 2008, Wednesday

So we came to the final day of 2008...seriously 2008 doesn't feel like a complete year to me, more of like a few months which juxtaposition 2007 & 2009, well we'll see if 2009 itself feels like a year in 365 days...

On the macro, 2008 saw a new American president and more importantly the historical first black president to be elected.
In this time and age, the color of our skin as well as gender has reach a level of equality yet somehow there are still classes between the wealthy and the poor which increased exponentially with the financial turmoil.
The Bush regime left the States as well as the rest of the world in major debt and the subprime situation had caused such a tsunami experts were saying it will take the latter part of 2010 to see us back to the good days....so plenty to be pessimistic about 2009.
Though my sector had been given reassurance from the government, we can never rest on our laurels could we...to cut cost , the HQ might come out with drastic measures, so I better prepare for the worst.
As for now the employment status of me, the missus as well as the rest of the family remains status quo, and I hope it will stay so come the new year.

There are been alot of chaos in recent months for our fellow Asian nation and our attention had always been with our Japanese cousins.
Aside for the incredible hike in the yen rate, everything seems fine over there, though not as rosy as the new Prime Minister Aso had wanted it to be.
In Taiwan Ma Ying Jeou toppled the Green power while the out-going president Chen Shui bian is now facing the wrath of his corruption behind bars.
In Thailand we saw 3 PMs taking the seat of Thaksin who went from owner of Manchester City to a seeker of foreign asylum.

In local aspect, 2008 gave us plenty of excitement with our 1st silver medals from the Olympics as well as the inaugural F1 night race which received plenty of accolades.
Our Lions had a good showing in the 1st ever 3rd Qualifying round of the World Cup but sorely missed our 3rd Asean Cup.
We saw increase in price of public transport, telephone bills, electrical bills due to the erratic price of crude oil while COE dropped to the unheard of level of $1 for below 1600CC vehicles (while my missus' interest in owning our own car was not subjected to changes in COE of course).
Mas Selamat was still not to be found while Venerable Mingyi followed the footsteps of T T Durai.

In sports, Man Utd did the double while Spain got alot of reprieve with a spectacular year with the Euro 2008 victory, Nadal winning many Grand Slams and their cyclists doing well on Tour de France.
Michael Phelps won unprecedented 8 golds in the Olympics while Usain Bolt is really a bolt of lightning on the tracks.
Lewis Hamilton just barely beat Felipe Massa in F1 while Boston Celtic claimed the NBA title but not for long.
Heath Ledger joined the likes of Paul Newman & Bernie Mac in the obituary this year but The Dark Knight took the cinema by storm.
While Mariah got married again and Madonna got divorced, Britney made a comeback well so did Boyzone...
In the Asian scene, Lydia Sum would be missed but not really will Edison Chen who is now the unofficial hero to many testosterone-driven guys.
A pretty good year for Japanese movie scene with Studio Ghibli's "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" and "Hana Yori Dango F" drawing big crowd to the cinema while Taiga dorama, Atsuhime once again drew the younger demographic to watch the yawn-inducing (not to yours truly) history lessons.
Tetsuya Komuro got arrested for swindling while Koda Kumi got into trouble over some quick words which offend the feminists.
People are still wondering if SMAP would still be a group come 2009 while their predecessors could jolly well be Arashi who had a great 2008 with many chart topping hits including the number hit on the year end Oricon chart.

On the domestic front, I bought Playstaion 3, a new iPod, a new CPU, a new home theater system, a really dear Shure earphones a new mobile and won an iPod shuffle while the missus topped the IT spending with a new laptop.
It also spelt a year of bad luck we had with our gadgets which is well documented.
Not to be outdone, my old man got a new LCD TV for the living room which also saw the previous CRT one got burnt to non-existent.

My parents enjoyed many trip to Genting as well as a short escapade to Hainandao while the missus enjoyed none for the year as she looked at me begrudginly for my 4 days stint to Japan for the Wonder Festival in February.
In April I went Kao-hsiung again for ICT and hope to not see the gloomy southern Taiwan pcity but seems like the Navy just wouldn't let me go for the new year again.

At work, the likes of BY and my French supervisor left for greener pastures while I was changed my work scope after the 1st quarter which see me working in sync with His Beautiness, yes he is still around.
Shitty Green became slightly more tolerable but he would not be around much for the new year.
While my previous employers saw major axing of lab and staff who many jumped ship over here, I look forward to my 7th year of employment (riciculously long in Singapore standard) in 2009, seemingly rather contended with my wage package, benefits and even my designation.
One of the main attraction at work, the gym is rumored to be closed in the future and I am crossing my fingers it would not be realized...I don't want to be lerthagic at work again.

Though we had not meet up as much due to the distance required to traveled to the new shop at Kallang, the La Tendo clique is still as closely knitted as ever with several new inductions, hope for more in 2009.
Had alot more of good times with my buddies especially ranting about movies, TV shows and local soccer with Foo while moaning at our luck with supporting Sengkang Punggol.
For most of 2008, I had been hounding CS to fix my PC but he was truly glad I join the PS3 community which see an exponential growth this year with the likes of Foo and Ferris being "baptised" into the knighthood as well.
As for TW, he pop the question to his lass somewhere in October or November but it took him a trip to San Diego to have the epiphany about getting hitch.
It's been a while since I last saw the likes of Selina and Cheryl but both seems well with their respective hubbies and their new homes.
Lastly lost much contacts with my University friends though the occasional meet-up on wedding banquets, same for friends from the Secondary schools.
Overall I had grew to be much more a hermit if I was a major one previously in the year of 2008...sad but true

While most of the spending had been on IT products, I had tried to curb spending on my hobby which see the reduction for figurines channeled to perhaps console games as well as my new found love for amazon and their great offers in DVDs.
Had not wander into any major investments though my current CPF ones are giving headaches as the government change some ruling which embargo transfer of funds unless a minimum of 20K is met in each acocunt.
As I felt most of 2008 just zooms past me without a squeak, my time might not had spent as useful as I hope them to be; then again no point remorsing over loss time...perhaps 2009 will see me making better use of whatever time I have.
Health wise, being pretty fit for the past year which is a blessing but there were several niggling issues which I hope will not make a return in the new year.

Finally marriage... Over the past month, my lack of basic husbandry had been exposed time and again. And the missus' grumble about me seems creditable.
I have to be one of the worst husband of all time but I am really glad my wife tolerate with my nonsense all these while.
I know I have to improve or I might lose someone so dear to me like her...Let's hope 2009 will be a year for me to change, though I still cannot change my personality to suit the company of people who I felt to be wasting my time.
The 2 major investment she had yearn so dearly, cars and babies had always been the first agendas I tried to dodge but not any longer I supposed.
However we can only focus our time and money on one and the latter seems more viable and it would bring much more life to everyone around us; once again my lack of preparation especially in the mental aspect is holding me back.
I am already such a lousy husband, what make you think I would be a a father...I shudder at the thought.

All in all, as much as I am not having great anticipation for the new year, I still have to face it dearly.
A rather hectic 1st 2 months awaits and I just want to get the ICT out of the way, hope everyone I love stays healthy and happy while I would gain more satisfaction in everything I do...
Seeya'll in 2009!

Japanese word of the day: 羞恥心~shu-chi-shin~ (Shame) The biggest surprise J Pop hit of the year and sometime I ask myself whether I have any Shuchishin

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