HOLEYBALONEY

1 Step Forward, 10 Steps Back

So once again, Singaporeans discuss homosexuality. However, this time round, it’s not a discussion about repealing Section 377A (which I still maintain is archaic and should be abolished), but about our very own Health Promotion Board posting a FAQ on sexuality, and touched specifically on issues / topics surrounding homosexuality.

Screenshot from HPB:

hpbscreenshot

 

Other than an obvious filter for gays/bisexuals (where are the lesbians in this FAQ?), I was rather glad to see this type of information being available online with a neutral stand. Taking a sample question on “How and when will I know if I’m gay or bisexual?” The answer that was provided is neutral and provides simple & good information. 

hpbscreenshot2

 

So we can now all look to the sky with tears running down our faces, thinking how much of a progress this is for our nation.

BUT OF COURSE, WHO AM I KIDDING?

A Minister of Parliament has to feel ‘disappointed’

A magic-wielding pastor is shocked and deeply upset

Online petitions to take down the FAQ

Online petition to restore the FAQ

And more discussions online as usual, since this is the internet.

At the end of the day, there really isn’t anything different whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. I don’t even care if you are into bestiality if that’s what floats your boat. (I do judge pedophiles very much)

In a way, I’m glad we are having this type of conversations or discussions, or even moving one step forward at all.

Personally, I see Singaporeans as rebelling teenagers to their archaic parent / government. Some teenagers rebel and fight because they can, and for no particular reason. Most teenagers fight back because they finally see that things are not the way their parents say they are, and they are refusing to just swallow everything that their parents say without questioning. They are finally coming into their own skin and very eager to cultivate their own personality and be themselves for the first time. Those who succeed at changing their parents go on to become strong men and women; those who fail simply slide back into their personal oblivion. Most of us, however, find a middle road and pick the battles that actually matter to us, and let some things go. I think we will get to see who we truly become in the next couple of decades. It took us 50 years to get to this stage, I do not expect us to grow up as a nation in one or two elections. I just hope to see progress before I leave this world.

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9 years of blogging

Amazingly, it has been 9 years since my first blog post. The first time I wrote something and posted it for the world to see. The first time I’d shared my thoughts with people I don’t know, and will possibly never get to know. Isn’t it quite incredible? That there are people who are interested in what you say and your thoughts and opinions. I will always be thankful that even though I’m just a little voice in the world, the internet is big enough to accommodate me.

Happy birthday to the blogging me.

 

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再見了,我都不用的無名

無名要關啦。

wretch1

我記得無名開始紅起來的時候,我已經有了自己的部落格,這平台就都一直被遺忘著。記得當初開個無名也不過是因為要去看看吳青峰的網誌。只是看著看著也覺得無聊便漸漸遺忘這個地方。今天偶然得知無名終於要關閉了,就上去看看我以前的無名到底長什麼樣子。

最近的一封竟然是2008年!這期間發生了好多事情啊,真的是歲月不留人,轉眼5年就這樣子過去了。這5年我也成長了不少,但卻並沒有我希望的成長幅度。接下來的5年只好更加加油了。

wretch2

再見啦,無名。

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Pawnshops: Sign of the times or just bad spending habit?

Pawnshops hit paydirt as Southeast Asians sweat before pay day | Fox Business.

Sign of bad times? Maybe. I think there is a certain amount of living beyond your means and spending all you have instead of saving when times are good. Thus, when times fall bad, these people lose their ability to maintain their previous lifestyle. However, not being able to adjust immediately, the cab rides continue, the new clothes, expensive restaurants, specialty drinks instead of plain old water… Thus the spending remained high, while the income is not coming in like before.

I still believe that everyone needs to have cash savings that is 2-3 months of our monthly salary. If anything befalls us, like loss of employment etc and we lose a regular paycheck, we need to know that we can live the same way for 3 months, or stretch it out by a few more months if we watch our spending. Before we buy that expensive watch, have we stopped to think if we can afford to pay that if we lose our job tomorrow? Or when we buy that 2,000 dollar bag, do we stop to think if that cleans out our savings? Or if we whip out our credit card to pay for that manicure & pedicure package, are we spending money we don’t actually have? I ask, because folks who have things to pawn, obviously once had the ‘ability’ to purchase these items. I just question if that ability is real or an illusion.

With the credit card companies offering loans and all, or giving the consumers the ability to pay a large sum by installment (with a 5% fee), it is very easy for Singaporeans to get into the easy mentality that it is only a few hundred dollars a month, so it works out to be a small amount monthly. However, when there is no income, a few hundred dollars a month is a massive amount of money, in comparison.

Even though I’m not the most thrifty person in the world, and I do love my little indulges, I do make sure that I have a separate savings account that I transfer money to every single month as soon as my salary comes in. If I intend to travel to somewhere far, like Europe or USA, I draw up a budget, and save up for the balance. I admit, I fall off the bandwagon every now and then and spend a larger sum of money and deplete my funds a bit, but I very quickly replenish them.

I just hope that Singapore do not become like Taiwan, where a majority of the country’s citizens are drowning in debt.

 

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Hurrumph

I got a bit annoyed when I saw this in my inbox.

Pandora, if you’re not opening your services up to my country, don’t send me this email! boohoo

Pandora

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Random JCNet Pride

I’m just randomly feeling proud of myself today. Not for my groundbreaking ability, but because I was, at some point in my life, involved in www.jay-chou.net. The people I have met and kept in touch from there is just incredible. There’s even a Whatsapp chat group now with some of the Singaporean JCNetters, and we go out every so often. I’m floored every time I think of what we have accomplished in and with JCNet.

Before anyone starts to think I must be this massive Jay Chou fan to even join a Jay Chou forum, I am not. A friend of mine was and she raved about how fun the forum was and how they don’t all just talk about Jay. So I decided I was going to try it out and see what it gives me. To my absolute joy, it was the best decision I ever made! There was camaraderie, it was fun and entertaining, and it taught me a whole lot about internet etiquette. I always smile when I remember how we would throw sarcastic remarks on trolls until they crash and burn. BURN!

This was how it looked like when I first joined, back in 2004.

jcnet2

Personally, the best thing that JCNet was known for is their news and translations. We had all the best translations of Jay’s lyrics for every single album, in Han Yu Pin Yin and English. Our translations went far and wide, pilfered left and right, all over the internet. Folks would email our web administrator and demand for the translations if we are a bit late. We were the first place folks who did not understand Mandarin came to as soon as Jay released a new album. We were known. 🙂

Translating lyrics was always hard work and it would never have happened if we didn’t have translators who were dedicated to what they were doing, even though it was entirely voluntary. I’m so proud to have been able to contribute to that team. All the lyrics translations you see on this blog were done by me, and posted on JCNet. Google the translation for 青花瓷, you’d still find my work all over the internet (Over 250,000 results by searching the first line of the English translation). This simple thing just makes me want to puff up my chest and walk with a smug smile on my face. It’s not a fantastic translation, but it was the best I could have done at that time. It’s something like a legacy that I’m leaving in the internet world.

Good things never seem to last, and when Jay stopped producing enough news-worthy albums and all the news and information we could find about him was really the same piece, recycled, the forum sort of died. Plus, most of us just, well, grew up. We were no longer University students with plenty of time on our hands. We graduated, got jobs, got married, had kids! Life outside of JCNet caught up and that phase of our lives just faded into non-existence.

This was just before it was taken down.

jcnet1

Now it’s just gone.

jcnet3

I’m a little sad, but it had its good times and I guess I’d rather have it go when it’s still good, than let it die a cold sorry death.

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Why can’t relationships be simple?

Very often I wonder, why can’t relationships just be simple and straightforward. Why does interpersonal relationships have to be full of lies, avoidance, skirting around what is thought to be ‘sensitive’ topics. Sometimes I think I spend so much mental effort trying to second guess what the other person is thinking, feeling, intending, that sometimes I have nothing left for myself. And most times all the extra effort spent on trying to pre-determine what the other person’s reaction to a situation or words are all useless, because the results are the exact opposite of all that scenario running that I’ve done in my head. All that torture, just to realise that, at the end of the day, maybe it would have been better to just sit down face to face, and have a good honest chat.

It also baffles me how people are proactively plotting against other people, even those who have done nothing to harm them, just to ‘get ahead in life’. Why do we feel the need to elevate ourselves (in our own eyes) by putting down others? Is our society to such an extent that we are no longer able to feel honest joy for the accomplishments of others?To others we may even call our friends?

Even in love, things are complicated. Whatever happened to being honest about your feelings instead of being constantly afraid? We all fear rejection to some degree, but it’s my opinion that the fear is always greatest in your mind. Say it out and you might just find that the situation isn’t as bad as you expected. Yet, we are so frightened of the imaginary scenarios that we’ve played out in varying horrifying degrees in our minds.

Maybe I’m just naive, and think too lowly of the complicated human emotions. Maybe I’ve been living in a greenhouse, unexposed to the traumas of hardship and other such terrible things in life. Ironic that, as a Psychology student, I’m lamenting the complications of humans. After all, that is what makes human behaviour interesting enough to have an entire discipline around it.

I think I’m probably just jaded from all the games I have to play, just because society seems to demand that I play these games. I think this is also the primary reason the pool of people I actually call my friends has been shrinking over the years.

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關於PTT上的一些言論

已經萬年沒在ptt發文 要怎麼發我還找了很久 囧
看了好幾個人的發文有點想法也說說

chun3581否定那些對打綠不熟悉的人是個我很不贊同的想法
是的 一場個唱會有很多不熟悉打綠的人來看
有可能是贈票有可能是抽獎或者被別人逼來看的
這些人搞不好就只聽過小情歌而已
但是如果就因為他們不熟悉蘇打綠而覺得他們不在乎
太一根竹竿打翻一船人了
新加坡場之後我在twitter看到很多新的打粉
他們就是被live表演吸引而喜歡上的
我看到這些比我看到那些本來就是打粉的tweet來得更開心

說真的 蘇打綠有什麼歌 我還真的不清楚
青峰唱喜歡寂寞之前說我們都知道這首歌吧
我前半段還想了很久 直到副歌才想起
這麽說來是我不在乎打綠嗎?
(但是點白日出沒的月球這種冷門歌的人是我)
如果你認為只有極度熟悉蘇打綠所有歌曲才堪稱在乎他們的人
那我只能感嘆你怎麼那麼高高在上
蘇打綠什麼時候變成一個只有某個level才能聽的樂團

再來 關於點歌的環節
他們要怎麼點歌如何選人也是隨意的吧?
搞不好會偏心常去看或看起來像不選她她會去撞牆的
(因為有時候看熒幕有些被選到的人一副快中風的樣子)

tearanne說點歌牌是成功率最高的
我是很後來才知道點歌牌到底是什麼東西
點歌牌雖然很有效率
但是它會把整個點歌的FU打斷
青峰在台上跟那個人說什麼大家都聽到
可是對方回應我們只能靠熒幕上他的嘴形來判斷
其實點歌環節最好玩在於青峰和想點歌的人的互動
其次就是那個人到底會點什麼
點歌牌給我的感覺很像蘇打綠去KTV唱歌的感覺

其實在台下大喊也是演唱會的情趣之一啊
我們一起去看的都會先想好我們要點什麼歌
然後等待時機1,2,3一起大喊歌名
即使沒被選中也是自己玩得很開心的啊

其實每一次大家點非蘇打綠的歌的時候
我和我朋友在台下都非常擔心
擔心他們唱那麼多句到底需不需要付版權費
他們多唱兩句會不會被人舉報沒付版權
(記得王菲在巡迴演唱會演唱傳奇之後被版權擁有者告嗎?)
所以如果不是他們的歌
我情願他們就只唱一兩句
我最不想看到的就是他們因為讓我們開心而惹上任何麻煩

最後我想說一些我覺得很感慨的事情
我曾經在劇場工作過 能大略了解表演者的心情
因為我們幕後工作人員也是同樣的情緒
表演者的能量很大部分是從觀眾來的
觀眾給多少能量 台上的就會翻倍還給觀眾
這樣的來來回回才是好看的演出
讓我很不捨的是很多人漸漸覺得在台上表演的就是來娛樂觀眾的
大家只為了自己著想
但是沒選中你要的歌有那麼晴天霹靂嗎?
當大家一味覺得‘我’是最重要的
那誰去理會表演者?
It’s not all about you

青峰有段回文說常來的他都知道
也會偏心花比較多時間站在那邊
你們真的沒發現他有時候會刻意停在某個地方唱幾句
然後跑到另外一個地方唱幾句
有時候他會特別偏心於某邊
最近是有改善 剛開始巡迴比較嚴重 (摳鼻)
新加坡場下台的時候他刻意停在我們那排唱幾句我們知道是福利我們的
(搞不好我是自我感覺良好 而這一切不過是偶然)

其實不只是青峰吧
我相信常出現的人團員都會看在眼裡
(或許小威除外 畢竟他離觀眾席很遠 XD)
有時候會注意到阿福和某位觀眾隔空互動
或阿龔突然對著某個人微笑
喜歡的樂團知道你是誰已經很好了
我想我站在彩虹面前他們都不知道我哈他們很久了 (嗚嗚)

當然沒有說演出絕對完美
高雄和朋友聊天太久
新加坡斷點感覺太多不夠一氣呵成
但是看演唱會嘛 開心就好
不用想太多

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Thoughts about Americans

This article is an interesting read, whether you agree, disagree or neutral about it like I am. Of course it generalised too much. Yes, it’s stereotypical. It is definitely the perception of one person who’s traveled to a few countries.

Some of the comments that I read harp on the fact that America (or USA as they’d prefer) is such a large geographical area and everyone is different (duh). A few even mentioned that Americans from different states are totally different. I was tempted to reply that unfortunately, I can’t tell the difference. You can, because you’re American. To a non-American, honestly, I don’t quite know the difference nor care which state you’re from. Like Americans probably wouldn’t know (or care about) the difference between a Singaporean and a Malaysian.

There are some points I agree with the author about, and that mainly applies to those that discuss the narrow view of the world that most Americans have. Granted, their country is large and technically they don’t really need to care about the cultures in other countries, but sometimes it gets so ridiculous that it makes me laugh.

I work in a global organisation headquartered in the USA so I deal with folks from all over the world on a fairly regular basis, be it over the phone, emails or even face-to-face. Again, it’s a limited subset of folks I’ve met and only from the East Coast (since it is apparently a big difference) so by no means are my observations universal.

The number one thing that I’ve absolutely hated about Americans is their lack of empathy or understanding for time zones. Either they believe that everyone lives in the same time zone as them, or they think that everyone around the world needs to adhere to their timings. I’ve had meeting invites sent out for 3.30am my local time even though I’ve specifically stated that it’s GMT+8 where I live. Yet when I asked for a time that is more suitable, like 7pm their local time (which is still 7am on my end of the world) I’m requested to do the meeting where it’s 9pm for me. I guess this fits into the generalisation of “It’s not all about you, baby”.. 

I always feel the love when I visit the USA, especially when they ask me where I’m from (expecting some state in the USA) and I say I’m from Singapore. The exclamations of “You speak such good English”and “Is Singapore part of China?” amuse me very much. However, the best ones are always those comments about the ban on chewing gum (which is false by the way – you can chew. The ban is on selling, not chewing), or the excited remark of “Oh will I get caned for this?” whenever they do something mildly naughty (like throwing a cigarette butt on the floor). And in case you think that they are just being cheeky, trust me, they think it’s true.

Another amusing thing that often happens to me is that when I ask wait staff to repeat what they’ve just said, they automatically assume I couldn’t understand them because I’m Asian and so my English is very poor. They. Thus. Begin. To. Speak. Very. Slowly. Until I tell them in fluent English (and with a big smile) that I actually understand what they are trying to say, I just didn’t hear them in the first place. The looks on their faces were priceless.

I’ve always been glad that I was born and raised in Singapore, a small nation-state with no natural resources, as it’s allowed me the opportunity to travel overseas more often and see the world. I’m also glad I spent my teenage years around technology as I got the chance to understand the world via the internet. 😀

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Blogging

A part of me misses blogging. Penning down thoughts and observations. Have I been so caught up with getting through each day that I am no longer able to just sit down, stare at the sky and just think?

What happened to the girl who could just sit in front of the computer and just write chunks and chunks of text?

Maybe I should just force myself to start writing and it will all flow again.

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