Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010...Not a year to look forward to

31st December 2009, Thursday

New Year Resolution?
Try to stay out of trouble, stay healthy and no leakage of money.

Very pragmatic and unelaborative plan for the coming new year as I do not have much expectation of 2010 to be a blast despite the World Cup is hovering on the horizon.

On domestic front, the missus is bugging me to conceive, literally.
Well heading into our 4th year of marriage life, perhaps it is due time especially now that my sister is moving out soon, we should have enough room to welcome a new member to the family.

On work front, I am virtually in no mood to handle Shitty Green's project at the moment but that should keep me preoccupied for the first quarter of the year
2010 looked to be pretty much filled to the brim, in actual fact it is better to be swamped than sitting around idling.
Doubt I will bring up a promotion, which perhaps I might try for the 2011 appraisal.

On personal relationship, I thought 2009 was a good year to catch up with people.
Haven't been sticking closely to my relatives, both maternal or paternal or my in-laws, but truth is I am not a relative kind of guy but I just hope I do not project myself as a stuck up.
Friends-wise, I tried to build the cohesion with the few valuable close friends I had.
It might take some mending with some friends who you might have read over the course of the past year but there was no real alterc
ation, just seems to drift apart slowly.

2010 might see me fulfilling a local in-camp training before a loathsome one in 2011.
There would be another Japan trip for the Wreckers reunion in the pipeline but truth is Foo was still very much in the dark about it and unlikely will be interested.
TW and spouse are yearning for Europe instead, so it might be us bringing CS and wife-to-be over if plans allowed.

As for things to keep me occupied on my own leisure time, I might really need to cut back on some things like attending live football matches and what not.
Console gaming might make intermission appearance over the course of the next year but I doubt it will abstain me from my PC for long.
There still look to be many unfinished business here and there I might look forward to tie up.

So in conclusion 2010 is a year to fulfill some wishes though one can be life defining as well as tying up simple tasks, and try to be less multi-tasking.
Time is not of the essence but health as of late I do fear for the worse as life look fragile, should take precedence in any cases.

2009 had been a year of marriages and funerals, let's hope 2010 steered away from that if possible....

Memorable Personal Happenings of 2009

1. HT's suicide
2. Eriko & Sou s' Wedding
3. TW finally got hitched
4. Letterman returned to local TV

Memorable Events at Work of 2009
1. Slaying of the Shitty Green
2. Closure of the Gym
3. Jason's Resignation
4.. HB's Proposal to XY

Memorable World Events of 2009
1. H1N1
2. World recovery from worst financial crisis since Great Depression
3. Japan Finance Minister's drunken slur in the G8 meeting
4. Obama winning Nobel Peace Prize for nothing
5. World Calamities which increase by several folds

Memorable Local Events of 2009
1. Temasek Holdings losing billions in investment
2. Telcos war on EPL and iPhone
3. Passing of MC King and Chew Chor Meng's illness

Memorable Footballing Events of 2009
1. Real rebuild Galacticos
2. Robert Enke's suicide
3. North Korea making into World Cup

Memorable Movies of 2009
1. Avatar
2. District 9
3. Star Trek

Memorable Songs of 2009
1. Sotto, Zutto - SMAP
2. Shukanshutto - Hilcrhyme
3. Bulletproof - La Roux

Memorable Events in Entertainment of 2009
1. Passing of MJ
2. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi's Scandal
3. Emergence of Kato Seishiro

Japanese word of the day:達成(Fulfillment) Have your 2009 been fulfilling enough?

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Not The Festive Season I Had Expected

22nd December 2009, Tuesday

This the season to be jolly...well not exactly.

Just as I closed in on my final day of work with a long break in view, I got the unfortunate piece of shocking news from my Secondary School chum, HC about the passing of a fellow mate of ours, HT.
I had not been keeping up with almost all my Secondary School chums and had last seen HT years ago, I believed still in the university.
His passing really shook me, especially at our tender age when life barely started.

The following day I hitch a ride in HC's Mazda down to Rivervale Link where the wake was held.
I refrained from having a peek of HT's cold corpse after offering my farewell at the alter and the revelation of suicide really raised a lot of eyebrows though I thought it was not appropriate to probe further as his grieving mother might not be in the right state of mind to tear open that grievous scar again.

The wake did offer a rare opportunity for me to catch up with HC and Zan who was globetrotting as a SIA pilot these days.
The former claimed that I would only get to meet them for occasions like weddings and funerals which I could not refute.
Both were speaking about stocks and living the high lives these days but the same level of caramaderie existed between us; if only HT could thought things over and not resort to ending his fragile life.
The news report stated no cause of the trouble that led to his planned death as the police as they usually would, suspected foul play.

Despite seeing the last of a good friend from the yesteryears, I was still upbeat of a jolly festive season until Vincent called on Friday night that EK and Reedy s' old man who had been en route to recovery after his car accident months ago, suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest and passed on.

Unlike HT's situation, the signs were foretelling for a while, still it drew alot of sadness from the entire La Tendo clique.
There would be no yuletide partying as scheduled which was not totally a bad thing considering the element for laughter, Mr and Mrs Lim, could not make it in the first place.

The pair worked their magic when we gathered at at the wake, the second in 3 days for me, on a very soggy Sunday.
With the exception of Chan who was preoccupied with his booth at China Square on that day, the whole crew made up for the lost time we would have for the X'mas eve despite the fact that we ought to mourn for the senior Tay, perhaps he would like to see us doing our usual banter.
Vinny was constantly soliciting our mutual acquiantances from Iwate, Fure and Kumiko, to Karen and Reedy respectively and slowly drew the other swinging bachelors and bachelorettes into the equation as the topic then osmosized into homosexuals.

The weekend started pretty bright and early on Saturday as we headed to town as scheduled to beat the ERP gantry before 11.
It was going to be whirlwind time shopping the Orchard Road belt although at the end of it, I had the biggest haul and even contemplated on capping my burgeoning budget which spilled that of the intended amount with a pair of cool looking jeans which cost an even cooler price of $600 at "Bread & Butter".
Fortunately there had been some sensible restrain for us as the missus nearly succumbed to temptation at the Burberry's boutique as well.

The movie of 2009 or at least the latter half of the year surely was James Cameron's 13 years in the making extravaganza "Avatar"
It was my first foray into watching 3D film and was overall impressed with the technology despite GV being overly protective of their hefty 3D glasses which tend to slip of the bridge of the nose.
The film which banked on a whole new emotion capture technology and what not had a good storyline and smooth flow to it.
Its strong characterism tends to grip its audience who were captivated by their emotions near the end that one tends to forgo the high definition shit at that juncture.
The storyline had alot of rib on the American military policy and their constant invading of other people's lands and culture at the same time Cameron took a leaf out of Miyazaki's "Princess Monoke" with all the in-sync with the nature theme.

During the dinner after the movie, Bryan gave Chan the early X'mas present as he had chosen him with the Japanese edition of "Final Fantasy XIII" which came with his FF13 edition Playstation 3.
This was followed by my gift to Vincent and Karen's to Miyano the following day as it would be scattered for this time period due to the many little reasons about everyone's whereabouts this period.

While we are planning to meet up for X'mas eve since that day was vacated just for the party, my own family X'mas dinner was a blast as Mom and Sis cooked up a storm and we certainly had our fill for this time of the year...

Well still need to instill some jolliness despite a sullen end of 2009...
Japanese word of the day:かなり(Jolly)Sure hope 2010 will be a much more jolly year to be in

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Orchard Road, Almost Unrecognisable

14th December 2009, Monday

Heading down the final stretch before basking in my alone time at home, no usual hustle and bustle in the train, no gay sashaying from the Beautiness, no unreasonable bullcrap from Shitty Green etc.
Seriously I had not been looking forward to a period of clearing leave as of this year with workload almost asphyxiating at the tail end of the year which drove me to the wall.

One lingering problem would be that I might not be able to complete the things I set out to do during my "retreat" especially since I starting to adopt a laissez faire attitude and let things unfold daily as I welcome the new year.
I definitely need plenty of discipline and maximise the limited amount of time at hand.

Over the weekend, there was supposed to be a mini La Tendo clique meet up at Kinokuniya main branch in Ngee Ann City which imploded as none of them showed up as it transpired, leaving me and the missus just have a glimpse of the chances in the facade of the new lease of life in Singapore's premier shopping street.

It was well documented that a lot of attention drawn away from the road that people expended wads of preciously-accumulated dollar notes rather than just plucking apples and other fruity contemporaries.
However since the exciting development of ION Orchard which really changed the landscape at that part of the Orchard road for me, it was soon joined by the likes of Orchard Central, the reincarnation of Specialist Shopping Center, soon to be complete Mandarin Gallery, a prime shopping stretch before Mandarin Meritus Hotel, the extension for Paragon and now the new boy in town Somerset 313.

The newly constructed malls were aggressively as they leaned precariously close to the main traffic unlike the older siblings like Ngee Ann City and Wisma Atria which were receded inwards.
By better making use of the land, these malls actually have more space for the big boys in retailing to hog their square feet of space.

The whole feel as I think I mentioned about ION Orchard definitely ascended Orchard Road to be comparative to the well known shopping districts in Asia or even the World, the immediate one that I had thought of would be Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

However while the external was glistering (especially with the Christmas ornaments), the real deal as in the choice of retailers had not been too swashbuckling.

The new wave of retailing focus on the premier brands as the Nouveau riche from China and of course Indonesian expats can pour their wealth without the need to travel great distances, only to be despised for their crude behaviours by the Europeans.
Of course the local caught on the fever in this materialistic climate but seriously how many can afford a diamond-studded Franck Muller timepiece which worth half a million?!

The second wave was to bring in novelty brands which had been rousing in other parts of the world, sometime back to Singapore.
GAP tried its best but not good enough, Muji somehow reached his plateau in terms on recapturing the local buyers but the star of the moment definitely belonged Uniqlo.
The ambitious affordable clothing line which made its staple stronghold in Japan looked to win the hearts of fad-crazy Singaporeans who definitely was allured by the slew of megastores opening around the island.
I had been a big advocate of Uniqlo, known for its durability and offering good style at a reasonable price; but even now I just abstained of visiting a branch when I head to Japan.
From the papers, while new food business ventures are sprawling around town, others like Wendy's and TGI Fridays are making a comeback to give us more selection over time.

While it is good to see new faces in the retailing market, the shopping option in Singapore is still very limited in terms of selection which really became exhaustive once you get around.
The usual Mac Donald. Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Watson, Guardians, City Chain, City Optics, G2000, Comic Connection, Old Chang Kee , so on and so for really left little for imagination and Singapore shoppers, being highly conservative yet the fad chasers do not wince at seeing the same shit over and over again.

Nevertheless it's the season to splurge even though we ought to stay frugal and be stringent with the expenditure but one can't help himself/herself, the real damage will come this Saturday when we actually take the time to search for the suitable purchases...
Japanese word of the day: 流行 (Fad) Are you a newborn Uniqlo sucker?