[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: January 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Are manbags... manly?

Before I rant, I need to make perfectly clear the difference between a 'messenger' bag and a 'manbag':
Messenger Bags are the ones you strap over chest and hangs over one side of your arse - a natural evolution of the briefcase, and idolised by the iconic Jack Bauer!
Manbags however, hang vocariously over a man's shoulder, and you don't know whether he's just being a gentleman by carrying his girlfriend's handbag or what...

First of all, I abhor social conventions that exist in the mainstream about gender roles. Things like, "oh, a guy should be older and taller than his girlfriend" or all girls are destined to be shoe addicts... Who invented these? And yet, why do both genders continue to stereotype themselves? A female friend was teasing me about getting shot by a girl at an upcoming game of paintball... I was like, "so what? Are you saying I'd lose dignity because I got shot by a member of the opposite sex? Or that I'd be embarrassed because females can't shoot well? Or what?? What are you trying to say???" She was quite taken aback. I had a right mind to introduce her to my ex-army compatriot, Private 3-star Stacey Whelan, one of the best sharpshooters of Charlie Company! God knows where they're all now...

Anyway, without sounding hypocritcal and homophobic, and while I'm sure manbags are a very fashionable statement, I just don't see the attraction of it. Out of curiosity while waiting for some underpaid dope getting me a new pair of shorts, I did try on a manbag and looked at myself in the mirror. Didn't look anything special and I just thought, what the hell will I put in it??

Seriously, I never need to carry any sort of bag when I go out except for work. And even then I carry a backpack... a small and non-threatening airtight and waterproof bag that's designed to carry photographic equipment and a laptop... It even has those cooling cushions on the back to absorb sweat. Perfect! It's not the most haute coutre, but damn it's handy and fits my work life.

I mean, how many items does an ordinary guy need to bring out on a casual day? Phone, cigarettes, keys, wallet, change and maybe a bottle of water... You see, now these 'manbaggers' are just carrying them for the sake of fashion. And that's what eats me... these fashion victims carrying a big feckin' shiny bag on one shoulder with items they could easily fit in their pockets. Do you see the fickleness?!

I'm not saying all men who carry them are gay or necessarily infeminate (I couldn't care less)... it's just unncessary and feeding into a fashion trap! Damn you Joey!!


On a personal note, I'm doing fine. I think my withdrawal symptoms of my Xmas holidays in Ireland are wearing off now. The drudgery of podcast work is getting less weary.

My resumption of cardio training and weight lifting is going along smoothly and I bought a new acoustic guitar to re-learn all those songs I once knew.

I also think I'm finally able to stop thinking about 'her'.... regularly. Still, when you know someone so enchanting and wonderful like she is, it's hard not to get awashed with emotions.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Democracy delayed is Democracy denied"

"Waiting and waiting"... that was the general sentiment of democrats today.
Saw a lot of familiar faces.
Hopefully they can arrange another route next time, getting so sick of the same buildings and streets! Let's rampage through Lan Kwai Fong!!
For more less artistic photos, check them out here


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cheesy acting got me thinking...

I was flicking back and forth on the 5 channels of my TV so fast it'd give you a seizure. Cantopoppy dramas on the home channels, some sappy business programme and horse-racing coverage on the English channels. Oh, and Bloomberg on the other. Enough said about that.
I was slouched on the sofa and waiting for my water to cool (yes, I only drink boiled water) so I had the luxury of channel surfing, even though there's feck all to surf with. But to my bemusment I stopped on one of the cantopop dramas on Jade about this young married couple talking about their future plans - the husband proclaiming his vision for their future, business and their children. The young wife beamed with happiness at such a confident and visionary

As cheesy as the acting was, I don't know why but that got me thinking about my future too. I threw myself on the bed and just stared at the ceiling for who knows how long. "Where am I headed? What future do I want for myself? Is this the industry I want to be in? Am I living life to the potential?" Perhaps it's just a mini premature case of a mid-life crisis. I didn't really know how to answer my own questions, which kinda made the whole experience irrelevant. I always wondered what life I'd have if I stayed in the military. Would I have become a UN Peacekeeper like I had wanted to by now? That would be just so cool if I can re-enlist and get propelled to some godforsaken country. Everyday expecting the unexpected, being there on the field.

I don't wanna live an aimless life, earn an income, spend it, socialise and just call it a day. It's not that I don't enjoy my job, but having been settled in and used to it, I know it'll be time to look for new opportunities soon. But I yearn to 'get lost' again like I did after finishing school. Just pointed in a random direction and see what happens when I get there. No support, no one to expect when I get there. It didn't solve all my problems but the freedom and solace I gained is something you can't buy with money.

Perhaps I'll do it soon enough. Can't live life too comfortably, gotta always keep moving and improving or else I'll take things for granted and get stuck in a rut.
Gotta stop falling in love with the wrong person. I don't want to go through that gauntlet again.

Monday, January 07, 2008

2017 or not two-oh-seventeen

Well, what can be said about Donald Tsang's affirmation of 2017 chief executive universal suffrage? Also for Legislative Council in 2020? He is after all a puppet of the Chinese government and so has to relay the wishes of his Communist masters.

The pan-democrats are reeling of course, remembering the previous promise of UV in 2008 just afer the hand over, now this time delayed till 2017. I can understand why they're pissed! Who's to say it won't be delayed again?

After all, only 18,000 submissions out of the entire population bothered to take part in the green paper consultation. Sure, you don't expect every literate person to be involved, but that's still a meagre 0.2 percent of the population. I'm sure even less than that took part in the last 7/1 rally... don't think many will turn out for this Sunday's rally either. Jaysus, it's gonna be another organisers vs police stats again. I wonder how big the difference will be this time?

I admit I'm getting a tad tired of the debate. Let the government give a definite date - assuming it is 2017 for CE - and let's all just sit down and enjoy the coming nine years and see what happens. Holy shit, I'll be 33 by then. I wonder how many jobs I'll go through!!


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Best photos of 2007

As much as I liked to have done some war photography, I was pretty much stuck in Hong Kong most of the time. A short stint in Shanghai at least gave me a bit of variation.
All taken with a Nikon D80 w/ Tamron 17-50mm f2.8

Best shot of me - taken by Graffiti Research Lab
Best Emma-Jade Li

Best obscure

Best landscape: Nam Sang Wai

Best shot of the parents
Best portrait

Best out-of-place expression

Best band shot: Los en Found

Best object: A knob in Shanghai (haha)

Best hobo/poignant shot: An old beggar in Shanghai

Best spyshot: A hawker in Shanghai

Best hot chick! At Cathay Pacific's Lunar New Year thingy

Ushering in another 365 days...

Instead of celebrating another new year with yet another mundane hangover, one should take solace that we've survived yet another 365 days. What with all the global turmoil, airborne diseases, economic fickleness and stress-related illnesses, we in the First World are lucky to have made it through to 2008.
The biggest thing for me in 2007 was my first foray into a full-time job, and man, I'm glad to have started it in Hong Kong of all places. For a naive European like me who values spot-on 8-hour shifts and tea breaks, I feel like I can handle any workplace after having survived in HK. The jobs I had in Ireland is nothing in comparison to HK - the hours, aggro and rush is like no other. One must be ruthless to succeed in a competitive environment, although I never let it get to me. Money is just a currency to buy goods & services, it is not a way of life. Hence, working is not a way of life either, and I won't let myself be a workaholic!
For the second-half of the year, the Chinese doctor I'm seeing now seems like the real deal (for now). My skin condition has improved leaps and bounds and I've enough confidence to resume my exercise routine, jogging and other rigorous activities that have eluded me for the past 3 years.
I've no real classic resolution made this year, and besides if I did, they wouldn't be made on the novelty of the new year - I'll do it when it's needed. But as I said above, I'm revisiting a lot of my old hobbies and exercise routines. For the past 3 years I felt like I had to drop everything and adapt to my skin problem. Which invariably means less exercise, social mood and forays into relationships. Plus, more anxiety, frustration and sheer pessimism.
It's time to pick up where I left off.