Monday, March 28, 2005

same old, with a twist of retrograde

the danger with watching romance movies is that they suck you into a romantic worldview. and as my dvd companions tonight noted, i am (in their eyes, surprisingly so) such a one. we watched the prince and me, and guess what? i've written more haiku...
edvard and paige could succeed
why not me and you?

- - - - -

closet romantic
many things i'd planned for you
they shall remain dreams
i decided to actually find out if i'm really doing this right (in terms of the haiku writing i mean), and i think i'm sort of not really. hard to say, a preliminary search seems to show that there are different "rules" around. i'll just settle for not calling my efforts anything other than basic and simple.

anyways, back to my elementary poetry and their inspiration. have been realising over the last day or few that a "bitter root" seems to be growing, with said source of inspiration being a significant contributing factor. this is partially reflected in the third haiku for today (though it was actually composed before today, and is, relatively speaking, fairly tame).
my little princess
knows not what it is you want
i cannot help you.
it's like playing snakes & ladders, getting up through a few small/short ladders only to encounter a majorly long snake. i really shouldn't be in this place. how did i get here? how do i get out?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

haiku hiking part 1.5

part two is finished (insofar as i don't think i'll go back and do any more edits etc), but don't know if i'm ready to "publish" it yet. meanwhile other compositions are still coming in. here's a product of some mulling today:
angst -- frequent and deep
is what you're causing in me
when will this pain end?
or how about these... composed while trying to blog about the first effort above[1]:
"beautiful", you said
your next BGR will be
i thought: could be me.

alas, i was wrong -
i'm not in your plans, i see...
i guess i'm not he.
i'm not so sure whether this therapy theory is holding much water, eh? maybe i need to give it more time to work...

[1] makes me wonder... am i just suddenly getting really good/proficient at haiku? or have i actually become an expert in copying diamonds by spitting out cubic-zirconias?

Monday, March 21, 2005

haiku hike (part 1 of maybe 2)

i thought i'd try to climb back into the black with my burgeoning sleep debt (or at least halt the hastening slide into a deeper negative!) by going to bed before midnight last night. failed by a few minutes, so thought that was a reasonably good effort compared to what's typical. all that good work went to waste when i found myself awake before 6:30am the next morning, hearing the sounds of the neighbours (note to self: sleep with the window closed in future) over breakfast, and experiencing half a blocked/stuffy nose and a slightly sore throat...

after lying in bed for a while trying to get back to sleep, i made it through to a few snoozes of my alarm before getting out of bed. by this time, i was sufficiently lucid and unexpectedly inspired to proffer some verse. not that i've ever written any haiku (except when required to in high school english??), but all my creative juices seemed to flow in that direction today... and bilingually too! actually i'm not sure if i'm hijacking the format a bit... the only thing i'm conforming to is the syllabic structure, can't remember if there's something like an "essence" factor i'm missing... but oh well. this is part one (in chinese), a single haiku. part two may be posted if i finish it, as it's still wip atm - it's a multi-stanza collection of haikus (what's the plural of 'haiku'??).

some people find writing prose/poetry a good outlet. i hope it has the desired therapeutic effect...
stay tuned. maybe...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

i'm finding...

  • 不管向左走还是向右走,都是寂寞。
    • it's the case when i wake up (cos i'm housesitting, and i'm the only one there)
    • it's the case when i go out, and am in the crowds
    • it's the case when i come home (to my family, but everyone's doing their own thing and now everyone's gone out)
  • i catch myself doing things like (all of which i can do without fear of anyone giving me weird looks, because i'm in a house all by myself!)
    • talking to myself
    • staring at my reflection in the mirror
    • walking around, back and forth
    • sometimes pausing to lean on doorframes wondering what i'm doing, or where i'm going next
    • occasionally banging my head against a wall or other hard surface (only lightly - i'm not that much of a masochist :p)
    • make unintelligible sounds - some closer to singing/humming, others closer to groans
  • i've been blogging a fair bit in the last 24 hours!
  • i still want to ask "why", even though
    • i don't know the answer
    • i might never know the answer
    • the answer might not even exist
    • assuming it does exist, even if i did know the answer, i may still not understand
    • whether or not i understand, i'd probably just ask another "why" (you know, like those annoying conversations with little kids who keep asking why...)
i feel that God is saying to me: my stubborn and rebellious child, why do you kick against the goads? (oh look, there's another "why"!)

ahh... so many dreams, and an equal number of burst bubbles.

dust will eventually settle if you don't stir it.

sorry, wrong address...

looking for canaan? sorry, wrong address...

guess i won't be needing this anymore, huh? thought i'd take a photo for posterity before i took it off...

not quite ready to break out in verse (which is too rare a thing to logically expect anyway), so in the tradition of all good cooking and similar shows, here's something i prepared earlier! hmm... looks like it was some 6-7 years ago! gee i prepare well ;)

i suppose so far it has stood the test of (at least some) time, which could be considered a mark of greatness? hehe. oh the memories... :p

(and oh the pain/heartache/sorrow/self-doubt/[insert favourite melancholic word/phrase]...)

why is it that


- when you need to wake up, all you want to do is sleep for a few more hours;
but when you need and have the "time" to sleep, you inexplicably wake up early?

- when you want to be strong and brave, your eyes well up and tears flow; but when you want to have a good cry, the ducts run dry?

- broken dreams are the hardest to let go of, to leave behind and move on...


fools have dreams too, but who dares doesn't always win.


when you think about it, "why" isn't really the right question to be asking, is it? that can be hard to get past/wrap your mind around too. guess it means this grasshopper ain't yet ready to leave the monastery.


if you go basejumping sans chuteware, i wonder what sorts of thoughts run through your mind in that span between take off and landing? (yes this is a random-ish sort of thought; no i am not suicidal :p)

"hmm... i think i forgot to turn the stove off this morning"?
"note to self: remember to buy milk and bread on the way home"?
"air is good, i should plant more trees"?

or maybe something more along the lines of

"uh-oh, this is gonna hurt something serious"?
"i hope i blank out before i hit - they say this increases your survival chances"?


not all crash landings are rough and tumble affairs though. while a "lesser" pilot (again, not that i know *anything* about flying planes!) might focus on the lights and alarms going off all over the instrument panel, the smoke pouring out of the engines, the stuck landing gear, the hole in the fuselage, screaming passengers (well, those who are still conscious anyway) in a rapidly depressurising cabin, the concussed copilot and the persistent thought of "why me?!", a good pilot would focus on scanning the horizon to ascertain the best landing spot available, to control the impact vector and approach as horizontally as possible, to glide/slide upon impact, and generally think about how best to manage the given situation (rather than focus on the situation itself).

methinks 'tis time to clock up a few more hours on the old flight sim.

abort, abort!

not that i know anything about flying combat jet planes... (except the vicarious sorties via the likes of top gun etc :p)

in a dogfight, having gained lock on your bogey, taking too long to fire your weapon gives the enemy a good chance to shake you.

maybe that was where i went wrong. then again, maybe it's not about doing things right or wrong - the "me" isn't really sovereign.

and why am i even talking about it like it's good vs. bad? anyways, there is no more sniping mission. no bank. no desert.

oh wait, the desert is real(ity) - it's still there. i mean, i'm still there. there are just no more mirages.

i don't think i fully feel it yet, but i'm sure it'll catch up to me. maybe when i wake up in the morning.

for now, i'll just try to get a nice, long sleep. no alarms. rest. chill. and try not to think too much :S

Lord, help me to trust in You.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

hitching a ride on the gadget express

ever wanted a hi-md minidisc walkman with mp3 support AND a built-in camera? well look no further...! all this convergence stuff is getting a little out of hand i think :o

- - - - -

a shift of my usual tuesday plans resulted in a free night and a chance to take advantage of BCC's current $5 tuesday specials by going to watch hitch with two people who i don't think i've actually ever been to the movies with before. (hmm... that grammar sounds awkward. meh...) wasn't overly sold on hitch beforehand, but found it to be pretty ok in the romance stakes and probably funnier than i expected. bring back the cheap(er) movie prices i say!

actually i don't think my recent diet of rom coms is the best thing to be feeding my mind at the present, but they've all been pretty good! :p it's enough to inspire one to "go skydiving" :)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

open louvre

i have been following the current series of my restaurant rules since about the second episode (having never watched the first series), and had been looking forward to checking out the brisbane entry, restaurant louvre.

i had tried to organise a group to go because dining out is always more fun in the company of friends, but i encountered an 80% pike rate with the friends who initially were keen on the uptake. nevertheless, one person stayed true to his word, and together with another late ring-in, our party of three arrived in milton to a small queue - thankfully so because we had feared that getting there too late would mean a 2-3 hour wait for the first lot of customers to finish their meals.

there was some delay getting in, but only because francesca (left) was personally greeting each diner and showing them to their seats - a nice personal touch i thought. and thus we were seated and perusing the menu a half hour after the scheduled opening time. the atmosphere was moderately buzzing, and soon the place was filled to capacity - save one table of 4 (more on that later).

the first waiter who attended to us gave us some recommendations. we only saw him once or twice more the whole evening, but that was fine because the waitress who we did see more of was pretty friendly and chatty. anyway, we decided to start with the harissa and palm sugar cured ocean trout, cucumber sorbet and sea salt tuile. besides not having much of an idea of what this dish would be like (let alone having ever come across some of the words in the name!), i was just a bit non-plussed at just how small a $19.50 appetiser could be when it arrived some 15-20 minutes after ordering... anyhow, we picked at the small mounds of food and were very pleasantly delighted at the reception our taste buds gave to the combination of the trout and the sorbet. who knew cucumber could be made into a sorbet! hehe...

another 20 minutes later and our mains had arrived. by this time, so too had the MRR judges - turns out the spare table was reserved for them. i'm sure this lifted the buzz/atmosphere a notch or three :) but back to our table... our three choices here were (from L-R above) the oven-baked kingfish, fennel puree, lychee and citrus salad, the stockyard short bone rib, red onion tarte tatin and cafe de paris butter, and the moreton bay bug and chorizo risotto, cress and lemon oil. all rather scrumptious and well received by the happy diners (we shared a bit so we could sample as much of the menu as possible). our first side dish (the truffled mash potatoes) was served with the mains, but the other side dishes (the rocket, pear and walnut salad) arrived 10 minutes late (after we chased its whereabouts), and also came with the fork (handle) nestled against the salad itself - i thought this was a bit below par, as one normally expects to use the fork to dig through the salad, not dig through the salad to get at the fork.

earlier in the night i had inquired as to whether francesca would be singing at all, and she indicated she may do requests. not being all that musically cluey, i couldn't really think of what song to request. in the end i settled on "moon river", and she promised she would sing for me after i finish my main course. true to her word, she came by our table as we were thinking about dessert, and gave a little private performance - i had hoped to hear her voice filling the whole restaurant, but hey... a little private session has that personal touch :D i'm not sure if she gets badgered much to sing, but i appreciate her willingness to fulfil my request and to do it all with a smile. unfortunately i didn't manage to get a nice shot of her in action... oh well.

an hour after starting on our mains, we were staring at a vacherin with banana parfait, banana beignet and roasted cinnamon ice cream for dessert, which was again shared for taste testing. the vacherin was already falling off the ice cream by the time it arrived at our table, and you can see from the photo evidence of it having been repositioned (by us) prior to the shot. this was, as with pretty much all of the food we had, quite nice. the only real exception was for the rocket, for which i didn't care much, but then again i've never been into bitter tastes...

our bill arrived shortly after, along with some chocolates, a postcard (complete with a recipe on the back for their signature dish which was way too technical for us culinary simpletons!), and a $30 gift voucher redeemable at a neighbouring beauty salon - this we unanimously consented to leave for the sole female on the table to enjoy :p (i was pretty surprised at the "size" of the complimentary gift... and even though it's not something i could really use myself, receiving it does take a bit of the psychological sting out of our bill). we stayed chatting away while waiting for someone to collect our payment, which none of the staff seemed in any particular hurry to do, and finally left the venue satisfied with an enjoyable night out :)

other miscellaneous thoughts/comments:
  • there is quite a mixture of styles of seating, which i found slightly odd. so where you got seated determined your level of comfort (whether your seat has a back, and whether it is cushioned). there is also a communal table in the middle of the main section, so you could well end up sitting next to some complete stranger(s)! could be a good thing, or could be a bit off-putting if you want some privacy/personal space/elbow room...
  • the storage unit for the cutlery/linen is quite funky! irregularly shaped surface, with unconventional and stylised knobs. interesting piece. didn't think to get a photo...
  • the toilets (which we didn't actually go use/see) are apparently very small/crampy.
  • also didn't get to peek at the kitchen, for fear of getting in the way of the staff and tv crew.
  • there's another side section which we didn't know about until we left and saw it from the outside! quite separate from the main area, so probably good for more private group dinners etc, but you could also feel cut off from the front.
  • forgot to look for the confession booth and record some comments! darn... miss out on my 5 seconds of fame (assuming it would have made it to air :p). now i have to settle for looking for myself in the background when francesca was standing between our table and the cameraman, while talking to the judges table...
  • speaking of the cameraman, boy he was literally dripping sweat! must be hot and hard work... :o
  • i'd swear that the original pitch for the restaurant included todd in the kitchen, and francesca out front, occasionally singing (for the entertainment of diners). but there's really no dedicated space for her to do this, as far as i can see. this was a bit of a disappointment, as it was part of what i expected of the complete louvre experience.
  • the food, while delightful to eat, is rather on the expensive side (if not completely over the border!) maybe i don't fit the market they're targeting, but take away the tv (show) and the novelty factor, and i don't think i'd ever consider dining at a place like this... maybe once every few years at the most, for very very special occasions??
  • on a related note, the servings are not what you would describe as "generous". i've heard it said that the food is designed to be consumed as a 3 course meal. that would make it a $70+ per person affair (for food alone) if you all had the full 3 courses and a side.
  • it's good having friends to share!
  • it's disappointing when they pike.
  • i had fun :)

Thursday, March 10, 2005


in the desert of reality,
where dreams are but a mirage,
i pray for a miracle...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

a banking analogy

it's like waiting in a queue at a bank, and you look up at a teller window, and the person is busy, and the sign says "closed" or "next teller".

then repeat for all possible teller windows within sight.

my advice? don't do your banking here... seriously. i don't think it pays any interest hey?

i should have just gone to sleep early like i keep telling myself i would...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

white collar marksman

a running update since my last entry...
  • sisters night 2005 - not without its share of problems, gremlins and just good old miscommunication and lack of adequate preparation, but i thought overall the night went reasonably ok with all the boys pulling together playing different roles (and being different "parts of the body") to make it all happen. i think it's safe to say that our guests had an enjoyable and memorable evening, and both us and them should be thankful to our common Lord for the gift of fellowship made possible through the giving of His Son. and i gotta say it was quite a bit of fun getting into the spirit of things with items like the "k-ci & jojo" ripoff (pictured) and our rendition of the "lord of the tight pants" routine (courtesy of some zany folk at can't wait to watch the video :p
  • entering the public service - a fair few people have been asking me how the new job is going. well i haven't really started working yet, in the sense that i'm still only about one-third of the way through my induction/training program. i've started with 7 other recruits, and so far it's been verging on the information overload plus struggling with consciousness during the less mentally stimulating sessions. i gotta say that i do feel the part somewhat, dressed in my "business attire" and with the photo id (technically it's not an id card, just a building pass) on a neck strap and clipped to the shirt ;) am tentatively looking forward to doing some actual work, but not altogether relishing the thought of a full call centre workload. i'm sure i can hang in there long enough to see a good window to climb out of... and make a vertical or horizontal move away from the phones. well, one step at a time. can't complain too much... it's good pay, good conditions and good location - except for the fact that there's about 200+ carparks for a 1000+ employee office, and the only staff carpark available fills up within 15-20 minutes of opening!
  • pounding the pavement - so i did a bit of walking (from home to work and vice versa) the first few days, before getting in on a very temporary and tenuous parking arrangement with a nearby restaurant... guess i'll just have to take what i can, when i can! it's a bit warm at the moment and i don't particularly like getting hot and sweaty in my business clothes... plus it doesn't help that my shoes aren't really made for a lot of walking. either that, or my feet have been too spoilt by wearing sports shoes almost every day for the last 4 years! so i decided to give my feet a bit of a treat and cover them with a pair of hush puppies :) so far i'm fairly happy with them :D
  • ironing - bah... 'nuff said. haven't had to do this on a regular basis since 1999... and i fully regard the return to be a retrograde step :p thank goodness for wrinkle-free shirts, of which i have a few. that, plus casual dress fridays... anything to cut down on my need to "dress up" on a daily basis and to iron shirts. don't really see the point, given that the only people who are going to see much of me during the day are my fellow employees, and some/many of them dress down to varying degrees. i think i'll start sliding that way fairly quickly!

ok this has turned out to be a longer post that i originally thought... gotta stop with my serial late nights and get into a better sleeping pattern (ie getting to bed earlier, and thus getting more sleep). one last comment, since some people (ie. the very select few who actually read my posts :p) have asked me how the sniping is going... it's not. it's like i'm walking down a hallway, trying doors left and right to check the rooms beyond the doors for windows. some rooms are window-less. some rooms have windows but a second look shows them to be barred, or otherwise inaccessible/unusable. then there's the odd room with a window that looks like it could be opened. but once i enter and approach the window, it recedes! so bottom line is... no available windows in sight (and i've resolved to not force any windows). so i wait for a good shot. one bullet - use wisely. that's what snipers do.