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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Journey of our waste"

Well, after 3 months of shooting I finally managed to get my head together and crank out the first episode of my environment series.

I know I could've given it a bit more VO but the idea was a detached observation of waste disposal, and the immense logistics required to keep our rubbish neatly tucked away from view. I'm not preaching, just letting people know where our rubbish ends up... and if you see all those mountains in the landfills covered with green sheets, they're made up of rubbish. That's right. 20 years ago that area was just flat land.


Monday, February 25, 2008

"An Emotional Coma"

While cleaning up my DVDs cabinet, I stumbled upon a film I bought awhile ago called Paris, Je T'aime - a collection of short films about love in Paris - and I do use that term loosely as it's not just about 'boy meets girl' kind of stories. One of the shorts titled Bastille, and because it was subtitled, part of the dialogue goes "when she died in my arms, he fell into an emotional coma and never recovered." And as I thought about the phrase 'emotional coma', I think I finally found the term to describe myself for those 3 years with 'G'. It's kind of odd and satisfying that I'm able to label it now after all this time.

Loosely defined: the emotional coma is a condition caused by experiencing too many emotions, so the sufferer has to shut down all emotions in order to regroup and be able to once again function at a normal level...

Back then I was so overwhelmed that I was in a constant state of shock. No amount of time spent with friends and family or activities was able to really put my feet back on the ground firmly. Sometimes I wish I never met her. She really put a spell on me. I promised myself to never feel that way again. At least I could say now that I woke up from that coma, ironically replaced by a more physical (at times psychological, too) medical condition. So I ask, how can I let myself fall into another self-induced coma again? I feel as if it's a test: has she fallen upon me so I can rectify the mistakes I made with 'G'? Or can fate be so cruel to let inflict me once again with the same wounds?

Unfortunately, it's not just about her - lately I've been asking myself a lot of questions about career, finance and life in general. For it to resolve I need to settle these perequisite questions:
1) I've made a life here in Hong Kong but do I really want to settle here? After all, I never intended to if it wasn't for my medical condition. Yes I'll miss the friends and contacts I've made here but still... nothing here's really worth tying me down, all assets I own can be sold off. If a great job opportunity came my way and I had to move overseas I would gladly take it.

2) What field do I want to work in? Is the media industry really fit for me even though I abhor commercialism and the fickleness of news reporting? I always say I want to be involved in documentaries but in what way exactly?? And besides, one can hardly make much money in that industry unless you're really talented... something I do not doubt on my part.

I fear the more time I spend idling, the bigger chance I'll fall into this so-called emotional coma again. In fact, who's to say I'm not already in it? I have no enthusiasm anymore and every night I struggle to sleep... the problem compounded by the fact that I for no reason wake up half-way and cannot sleep fully afterwards. It's been like this for almost 2 months and it's starting to take a toll...

I wouldn't dare use the 'D' word, though... i.e. depression. That's when you're locked in a room with no light. In this case I've got a window. Just need to get up off my lazy arse and climb through it. Yet, I'm ashamed of being like this, and letting people know me like this lately. Not that I'm afraid to show weakness, but because no matter how much they offer to help or try to reconcile, in the end I'm the only that can help me. And the very person who might also help, can never know. At least for now.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Public apology or acknowledgement?

As much as I feel detached and fiercely disinterested from this so-called sex photo scandal, ironically I had to begrudgingly host a quiz show based on the topic, and today I even got an early call from my editor to get my butt to Edison Chen's press conference at Kowloon Bay.

As the taxi swerved into the HITEC every Tom, Dick and Harry reporter were already staked outside to catch a few shots of Edison's soon-to-be exiting vehicle, while the rest were already fortified in the press con froom.

I was in the front row and when I spotted him coming out, I immediately identified his swagger and cockiness. The man barely showed any emotion. I mean, he could've at least memorised his damn speech...

I admit I was a little surprised when Edison said he'll be quitting Hong Kong showbiz. Then again when I think of all the films I've seen in him... meh. I'm sure Albert Yeung is already grooming (or rather cloning) another overseas-Chinese hunk wannabe for the masses.

Rumours have it that someone shady has priced one of Edison's hand for HK$500,000, hence the presence of the Emergency Response Unit.

I seriously laughed when I heard he wanted to do some 'charity' work. That's why I told them not to use the audio from my camera... not to mention the constant fucks coming out of me because some twat photographer kept clipping me. Does he want to wash off the guilt? Improve his image? Absolute bollocks. Bet he's already counting down till his comeback.

Here's what I think he should've apologised for:
I'm sorry for being a dumbass and leaving those pictures on my laptop.

And he might as well have apologised on others' behalf:
I'm sorry that all those girls I bedded were idiots for letting me taking pictures of them.
I'm sorry for all those cheap, pathetic tabloids making money off my pictures.
I'm sorry for all those celebrity-obsessed pervy fuckers for spreading the pictures.
I'm sorry for all those starry-eyed naive teens who would take me as a role model.
I'm sorry for all those pompous academics because nobody needs to give a shit what they say.
I'm sorry for the police being mongoloids.
I'm sorry to call Hong Kong an international city.

Tell ya one thing though, thanks Edison for not doing your presser on the weekend...


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Crap crap crap crap...

With less than 3 weeks to go till the big race, and just 2 months of measly training I managed to bust my hamstring last week, and it's only starting to get better now!

I am seriously shitting myself! I haven't even had a swim in almost four years. But am gonna give 'em hell that's for sure.

Details on the race


Friday, February 08, 2008

Happy CNY and all that...

I'm just glad all those big family dinners are over... I avoided the shopping and carnival areas like the plague. Yes, I'm still weary of big heaving crowds... Now my mom's making me wake up at 5am to visit the temples and appease the gods... aiya
Been playing guitar a lot lately, as I've taken it up again after a 3-year hiatus. And I'm glad to say that I can now strum some of my old favourites again: Stand Inside Your Love, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 1979, Mayonaise, Zero, Disarm, Tonight Tonight and a new song I learned today, Galapogos and the Lord of War theme. I don't intend to join a band or write my own songs, I just find it very satisfying to play and sing my favourite songs.
I think I'm starting to miss home, not just friends and family, but the idyllic quiet suburban surroundings and the quaint pub atmosphere. More importantly the open sky! Perhaps the chilly weather reminds me of dreary 'aul Dublin? Or maybe I'm getting weary of uber-metropolitan life - there's always something to do and everywhere's within distance, so you really have no excuse not to go out all the time! After all, I was never mentally prepared when I first moved here. Seemed I just flung myself into the throes of Hong Kong life and never really settled on my feet yet. It's just been just over 2 years but man there's been enough ups-and-downs to make it feel like a second life already.

I've been pondering whether I'll stay in Hong Kong in the near future. There's been many instances where that issue has come up in conversation, and every time I end up with conflicting resolutions. Looking at it right now, if I just got up and left, there wouldn't be anything to tie me down here. Sure I'll miss my new-found friends, but that's what keep in touch is for right? And this job? I don't want to sound disloyal, but recently I've been spiralling into a severe case of inertia and apathy, and I've begun dreading going to work. And yes it's partly interconnected with a recent unrequited secret love-interest. The process in getting over it while maintaining that friendly composure is what's bringing me down lately. I really have only myself to blame, to let those feelings sink deeper than they should have and ignoring all those warning signs. I'm still debating whether I want the 'final nail in the coffin' treatment or just give it some time to pass. I'm not trying to be cold and calculating with all this, but these things can be quite overpowering sometimes... and when I think of 'G', I regretted not being able to keep it in check, and I was too afraid of what'll happen if I spilled the beans (of which I did recently, of course now it's irrelevant). Maintaining that close friendship was what mattered and I have to admit it was so tough and distressing for those 3 years. So that's why it's so important to not let that happen again, it's just not worth it. Sure, 'go out and meet new people' and all that jive... it's not that I don't (but not too much lately), but what I'm going through is not some juvenile superficial crush that can simply be replaced... Like 'G', I believe it's those rare people you meet in life that seems pre-ordained, or to sound more corny - like finding a soulmate, and one that's worth loving too. The stages of getting to know one another was blissful and enchanting. But like 'G' again, there never was that romantic spark, of course the boyfriend was one obstacle. But even so, I respect their relationship. And even though this girl has issues with hers, I sincerely do hope she can settle for the right one after a rather convoluted love life. Am I self-abasing? Perhaps it's my subconcious way of getting over it.
As for work, I shall soldier on till at least whether I can get to go to the Beijing Olympics. It'll look damn good on my CV don't you think? The ideal job I would love right now is to get hired onto a film/documentary crew and work in some godforsaken faraway place... and get paid!
So happy new year to all of you, and don't rely too much on joss sticks and prayers... because shit happens anyway.
Is taking cocaine OK when they'll say they won't become an addict? Seems self-defeating doesn't it? Seeing a close friend spiral in that direction is heartbreaking. Her anti-depressants mask her true nature and it's really hard to see what she's really like. It's only recently I discovered she harbours a self-destructive personality which stems from emotions like I had suffered, only she had them a lot longer. I can't blame her for this vicious cycle she's in - I know if I hadn't stayed off the alcohol for the past 2 years I'd be getting pissed all the time like a true Irishman (pardon the generalisation!). But hard drugs? Nah, I've witnessed too many horror stories to rub my nose in that shit.
She's off to warmer pastures for the time being, and had promised to look after herself. Of course, she'd have no qualms to tell us to fuck off and do whatever she likes - to her maybe we're too square or narrow-minded on drugs. Or maybe it's the pressure of living too close to Central and surrounded by all those expat twats who have nothing better to do than show off their wealth and drug connections.
Emma, 'for every chemical, you lose a piece of your soul'. You don't need that shit.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Sham-Shui-Po boy of Hong Kong Blogs Review describes my li'l online world as this:

This blogger is not afraid to speak his mind and he has a lot of fire in his belly, whether it's on HK politics, or controversial public issues. Perhaps, all that comes from his Irish side. As for his Chinese side, or HK Chinese side, he sometimes uses profanity as an all-purpose adjective like some people at the rough part of Sham-Shui-Po Boy's neighbourhood. It's possible that some of his potential readers could get turned off by that. However, he does have some admirable traits that are uniquely Hong-Kong.

Sham-Shui-Po Boy says, this bicultural blogger has some thought-provoking things to say, and he possesses some of the better qualities of his two worlds.

While a agree with the whole profanity use - it is after all a way of life - I'm afraid I've misplaced that fire in my belly. I seem to have hit a state of apathy and self-lingering for the moment. Sorry, SSP dude.


Since I've rediscovered my love for fitness training, I've been out running as much as I can. But for a long time I haven't had to endure a long run - a 12km route from The Peak to Aberdeen in the nippy cold. My mind was so clear and aloof after that gruelling but rewarding experience. Unfortunately I had only a few hours sleep the night before so I scurried home for a quick nap. For some reason 'G' popped back in my head... and if you haven't read my recent posts, she's a close friend I was madly in love with for 3 years - an unrequited love. For one thing I never confessed it, hoping that it would fizzle out eventually. You can never say how quickly one can fall out of love, but anyway it took me 3 years and a strange skin condition to succesfully distract me.

Fast forward nearly 3 years later today, I can safely say I don't feel that way anymore, but always consider her a good person and friend. Besides I've escaped thousands of miles here to Hong Kong. Yet, if someone asked me in the future if I had any regrets, I would think of what I had went through with 'G'. Not that I regret those feelings, but never divulging how I really felt, even if it was unconditional and just for the sake of saying it - besides she had a boyfriend. For me to have went through those 3 years in such a confused and blurred state was unfortunate to say the least. It came to be because she's the first one to have made me felt that way. Before it was just all casual and play, never wanted anything long-term. I can only count a few happy memories during those 3 years. For the most part, I drank and smoked a lot, and was so wrapped up in self-woe. Near the end of university I managed to pull myself together briefly and passed my exams. No one said getting a certificate was this difficult.

When I think of me - Edwin Lee aged 19-22 - I see someone quite different from who I am now. Don't know how exactly, but I feel I changed after that ordeal. Now I can talk about anything and am constantly goofing and joking around. I am still a tad melancholic though. One thing I missed about Ireland was stargazing. A lot of times I would lie on a beach chair in my garden and just smoke away while staring above. Why? I just found it soothing. Alas that's something I can't do here.

I decided to give 'G' a call since I haven't spoken to her in ages and she didn't go back home for Christmas. After telling her how I've been feeling about this other girl, I managed to sum up the courage to tell her how I felt about her for those 3 years. I was apologetic and aloof about it and careful not to sound too gloomy. After a long four-second pause, I think she reacted calmly so I guess not much damage was done. When we hung up 1.5 hours later, I sat back to see if anything changed. Initially, not much. But I know deep down this issue has finally been resolved and these long, subconcious thoughts have finally dissolved into oblivion. It's subtle relief.

So what's been bugging me for the past 3 months is a case that's becoming eerily familiar. I promised myself to never fall in that trap again like with 'G'. I can't be bogged down like this again... not at a time like this in my life - and my skin condition improving - when I'm now beginning to make up for all that lost time and re-prioritising my goals and objectives... She is someone like 'G', but definitely not a substitute - yet equally wonderful and enchanting in their own ways. And yes, she has a boyfriend too. Perhaps it's because I've been out of the game for so long, or maybe the fact she's unavailible is what I find so appealing, just like with 'G'? I avoided any relationships since coming to HK because I'm still self-concious about my skin condition (and the whole medicinal aspect) and have been unfit since, hence the revival of my fitness training.

I can say she's the first one since 'G' that I've had any strong feelings for. Ironically as well, I want her to be happy with who she's with. But I may be deluding myself at times. Though I keep my composure every time at work or socially, secretly I've been slowly sinking. Work is getting more dreary, can't sleep, nothing's of interest and been out of touch with friends lately. I'm sorry guys. It's also due to my work attitude... it's no secret I don't enjoy doing podcasts. While I long to get out on the field to do some video work, it's not as exciting as it used to be. I feel this is just becoming more like a 'job' rather than a passion to produce creative visual content. I secretly desire to do some dangerous work, like dropping into a warzone or a crisis event. That'll get the creative juices running.

If I've got one advantage, it's the fact that I got dealt a harsh lesson after 'G'. I know what the outcome would be like if it drags on. I hope to find my way again, work hard on my dream to be a successful documentary filmmaker and travel the world.