Thread Revival

March 15, 2010 at 9:38 pm (Informative, Personal) ()

At the behest of my lovely other half, I’ve been convinced to start blogging again.

I had originally intended this to be a therapy/ranty blog (as you plainly saw) but I guess it can take a different tack now.

Although it may not seem like it, much has changed since you last read about me.

I’ve spent a wonderful (just) 9months with my new partner in life.
Worked just over 6months in a new job at a dealership of one of the more famous German Car Makers (most importantly with driving privileges!)
Developed a newfound love of plastic hobbies, both gun and model car related.
And perhaps one of the most important of all, put together a scrapbook of the things I’ve held onto as measure to combat this forgetful and fragmented mind of mine.

But still, life, is never complete. Or at least I thought I was? It’s funny how you need an outside influence in life to make the pertinent observation that perhaps you’ve become too complacent…

I have a set of uprated sway bars for my car that were purchased late last year that still haven’t been installed, and the spoiler I purchased round the same time is still awaiting the final coats before it can too.
Add to that one model car (among a whole pile that haven’t even been opened) that I haven’t completed and you get the picture that there is alot of unfinished business to be taken care of…

So here’s to the posts ahead, hopefully updated frequently enough with new and exciting blahblahblah “But wait! There’s More!” said with the flash of a toothy grin.

Stay tuned next week for a short story I’ve been cobbling together…

Permalink Leave a Comment

A star is remembered best when it dies brightly; and Asian Parents (again)

July 21, 2009 at 9:59 pm (Informative, Personal) (, , , , , )

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and if you’re a regular follower, I apologise. If you know me well enough you can probably guess why I’ve had less to rant about.

Either way let’s get stuck into this post. There are two topics that I have a fondness for, that is asian movie stars, and parents, and recently, an interesting link between the two has surfaced.

When you are famous, you need to die young, or at least move out of the spotlight quietly to save your dignity. Bruce Lee is a great example of this. Aside from the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, passing away at the height of his fame means he doesn’t succumb to the human condition of feeling that longing for the spotlight. Humility is a sometimes is a good word to use when describing such situations. On the opposite side we have Elvis, stories of him being obese in later years dying on the seat of a toilet, and more recently Michael Jackson, the less said about his tortured later life the better. Do I need to mention Tom Cruise? Cassius Clay is also a frail shadow of his former self. I guess we shouldn’t judge them for it. As humans we are all victim to showing bouts of pride. But in his case especially, “keep your words soft and sweet, for one day you may have to eat them.” I’m not blaming the stars for their fame, but they’re there to illustrate a point. Remember them for the reason they were famous, as no one can hold on to that forever. Growing old I guess sometimes cannot be graceful.

Most of you would know that I am a huge Jackie Chan fan, or at least you did, because I was. I’m not so sure anymore. Recently I read a blog post from http://www.LoveHKFilm.com and as it is in tune with popular asian movie star culture, snippets of Jackie Chans slippery slope into some embarassing twilight years surface from time to time. There was one such incident including his comments on China and Communism, and now what inspired me to write this post. While rehearsing for a new movie he has a part in, he has been coaching Jaden Smith, son of some… famous actor… I think his name is Will? In writing his own blog post about the experience, well, let the words speak for themselves.

“If I couldn’t get my own son to train in martial arts, how could anybody else succeed?”
Oh Great one… how can we ever be worthy of thee…

“He put my son to shame! I provided my son with the best martial artists in the world, and he could not be persuaded to try it.”
Giving someone things doesn’t guarantee they’ll use it, nor does it guarantee they need it…

Seriously after reading that stuff I’m dumbfounded. Here is the seminal, hero, good guy icon of the 80’s and 90’s… Teaching Lecture 1 on How to Hurt your Children…
Actually on second thought it’s textbook Asian parenting. Your child is always wrong, what they want for themselves is always wrong, and what you want for them is always right, for the best. You may remember from my previous posts that as a typical asian child we all live under the weight of expectation. But this is something I cannot bear having grown up innately Aussie. As a result my relationship with them is quite strained. For that I am sad, but there is not much I can do, when people like Jackie Chan, so great that he is cannot be encouraging. How can one expect the average asian parent to be anymore empathetic?

Here’s a confusing one… he turns it around by saying this…
“When a person is not interested in a subject, no matter how hard you push them, they will not pick it up. Even if they do, it will be with disinterest and lack of passion.”
Really?
Do you actually believe that Jackie?
You wouldn’t be ashamed of your son if you did…

Now excuse me while I go re-watch a Drunken Master…

Permalink 1 Comment

I’d forgotten how this feels…

July 12, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Personal)

I may have said to a certain someone that if this was covered by any means of social networking… that I would be terribly disappointed, but I just can’t help myself so don’t think less of me. Today was just, one of those special days, where you just don’t feel any need to ask for anything more. A little more time perhaps but really not much more beyond that. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything like this and I’ll count the days where it stays with me. It’s facinating to see just where you find the things that turn you around.
The things that wake you up earlier,
that make you stay up later,
that make you push yourself that little bit harder.
I can only hope to give you a small insight into what I’m thinking inside; also that I may be able to give you back a little bit, as much as I can manage.
So to you dear reader, keep on looking, don’t lose hope. It is held out for you by a benevolent hand (hawhawhaw) but just be there to take it.

God Rays (cropped)

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Cult of Superficiality

July 7, 2009 at 12:54 am (Personal) (, , )

There are many other things you can chase instead of money, you can go on sitting in a cubicle like a drone being a slave to money, but at the end of the day the most common words I hear are that there is no sense of fulfillment. Fulfillment is one thing that is deeply personal and something like this has much more meaning than mere monetary value. But money makes the world go round you say, this is so you can buy yourself nice things, buy other people nice things, spoil your children rotten and have them inhabit the earth like the selfish and disrespectful Gen Y that currently fills it.

If you know me well you know that I don’t particularly take to materialism. Because these things are empty, they are surface, not substance. But this is just my opinion, some people live long lives of chasing the next big thing and if that’s all it takes then good for you… I wish happiness was really as simple as that. It may seem fairytales and gingerbread but it really doesn’t take that much material to build happiness, a simple change in mindset is all that we need. Do we really need that 1239” TV? Do we really need a 4 storey house with 26 bedrooms for a family that we don’t even plan to have because our careers allow no time for it?
Then what for?
To show people you have?
To rub their noses in their relative squalor?

Money can certainly buy happiness. That is until it gets old, the novelty fades, and the next big thing comes along. Then you can buy more of “that” happiness, and the cycle keeps on going. And what if you need to take it in for a warranty claim? This kind of happiness is transient and fleeting.
Should it really be that fickle?

Is your happiness that conditional? Take the time to examine  yourself and you may stumble upon something  you truly delight in and when you do, you will delight in it no matter what. That happiness will be unending. Look for that. Not only will you find happiness but you may even find a shred of contentment in this bleak and hopeless world.

Here is where it gets a little difficult, you’ve earned your money and it’s your God given right to spend it isn’t it? But think about this, what do we really need to survive in this world? Spare a thought for those less fortunate. True, there are no such things as free handouts in this world, you must earn all that you get. How about some philanthropy? For those born into less fortunate circumstances,
thrust into them,
stuck in them.
Even if they had the heart to earn they have not the means to flourish, they don’t even have the means survive. It has been said that something like this is tantamount to communism. Tall poppy syndrome. That is nonsense. There simply is no need for the excess.
Be happier with less, and it will take less to be happy.

I know at this point some of you will be saying you can be happy with less because it’s easier. Open your eyes, look at the world around you. Do  you really believe that?
Look at those people aspiring for the better car, replacing one that still works, only because it’s not an appropriate status symbol
Look at those working for a bigger house, moving out from one that’s perfectly liveable, just to make the next door neighbour jealous
Look at those throwing away long time relationships for a boy/girl who is richer, prettier, “better”
Look at all those things and tell me that being happy with less is “easy”

More, More, More,
Greed is good,
all for me, none for you

Permalink Leave a Comment

A man I aspire

July 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm (Personal) (, , )

I am loathe to have idols but if there was one man that could come close to getting the job, it is Jeremy Clarkson. I love his wit and humour in his writing and it’s evident he isn’t even trying. He is distressed denim and “pube hair” hair in a world of Versace and coloured & permed & “$200 thank you very much” coifs.

He is un-PC in the world of the nanny-state; in a world where “You can’t say that!” He just did. As a sensibly reared asian I can only aspire to be so daring. How does this translate at all into real life? He mustn’t have many friends you would think. I would disagree, when people describe the things they like about their partners and friends, one word that always comes up is “genuine”. I am sure you never hear of someone say they like someone because they are cunning and underhanded. In a world that tells you to improve yourself with the things you wear, the things you own, the things you do to your body, why not try giving them the real you? Warts and all. If they like you only for what you make yourself out to be, what happens when you present them with what you are?

Clothes/possessions you can change, but not your nature. I should let you know at this point that I love all things car related, and have my own car that I have duteously dressed up. So I hear you say, what about you then? Isn’t that superficial? Yes and No. I do not do this to be accepted, believing it somehow enhances my being (or my cars being). Yes they are cosmetic but this is a form of self-expression. It is as much a choice as how I might like to wear a blue shirt today while someone else would have chosen green. I do not do it because it is what everyone else is doing, or to impress other people. There are some people who may not accept you for who you are, but in a world of 6billion people, a country of multiple millions, a city of hundreds of thousands, I’m sure you’ll stumble across a few that will. It’s been known to happen.

Above all, he possess the brilliant mindset that, he is there, take him or (leave him?) No, you take him or you don’t. It just doesn’t bother him at all

Clarkson - Atom Review

Permalink Leave a Comment

Lifes Affirmation/Forgive and Forget

June 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm (Personal) (, , )

I stumbled across one of those things that you just can’t be told enough…

banquet2009 064

So what do you think? Did the driver make it out alive?
He lives to tell the story
read about it here, http://www.edgeofsomewhere.com/Journal/trauma-t1571,
disbelieve it here http://gallery.me.com/textbound#100114,

Being this close to death always teaches the person who goes through the experience a new found appreciation for life. The most wonderful thing is that the man who went through this all carries no malice towards the driver of the truck whatsoever. It’s just heart warming how people can live through these moments and carry no enmity whatsoever, any lesser man/woman would be livid as soon as they woke up from their hospital visit, suing for compensation, sticking pins in voodoo dolls etc.

Mum accidentally cut off someone in traffic one day through sheer lapse in concentration and the man she cut off then decides to go road rage. He caught her up at the next set of lights, verbally abused her, and he even dared to lay his hands on the car mum was driving at the time. It sickens me that the world takes small inconveniences so seriously as to lash out like this. Don’t be angry at the inconvenience. Be thankful that you live to be able to abuse the person that wronged you… I can only hope you were having a very bad day Mr. Road Rage or else I’d expect you to lead a very exemplary life.

There are so many more important things in this world. Can you not let someone go for a small mistake? A small mistake that you yourself may have fallen victim to at one time or another. Or can you honestly claim that you have never made a mistake in your life? It is very depressing to be brought up on every mistake that you make in your life, and this helps no cause than to cement your own ego, this treading on other people. Put the pride away.

This is by no means an excuse to go keeping on making mistakes as you see fit, not to have standards. One mistake is one thing, but the repetition of such things is less forgivable. Be the best you can be in this world of despair and selfishness because clearly no one else is going to bother. Set a path so that others may follow. You cannot change the world, you can change only yourself.

Alas, all these things are human, our self preservation is what’s most important yes, but you must realise it’s human to make mistakes, and it should be so to forgive them. Find it in your heart to forgive, because this is letting it go. Not holding on to it and not letting it fester inside of you. It will only rot you from the inside out. Having a forgiving nature is difficult, but let that be something to aspire to.

It is said many many times over you don’t appreciate anything until it’s taken away. Why does this have to be so? Must it be human nature to take the things we have for granted? You shouldn’t have to have your life snatched away before you appreciate it because I assure you, some of us we will never see it coming, and that will be the real tragedy.

Permalink 2 Comments

Asian Movie Review (kinda)

June 22, 2009 at 2:03 am (Personal) (, , )

I am abit of a stickler for Asian cinema, contrasted to Hollywood, the low budget nature seems to make sure the movies have a certain, genuine-ness. Because of this, they all have very little window dressing to distract you from their true intent. They aren’t really there for you just to sit through and enjoy for 2 hours (I love a good popcorn flick as much as the next person but palp is palp). They make you stop and think as the author puts across their message. One of the recent Q movies is Ann Huis, “The Way we are”. A movie showing a few days in the lives of your typical Hong Kong residents. At face value this premise seems downright boring, but it was executed so well that the title won numerous awards at the last Hong Kong Film Awards. I have not seen it yet as I fear it is too arthouse for me, maybe one day. A movie that I have watched however, and recommend is “The Detective” starring the lovable/laudable Aaron Kwok, I may one day write about this one too, but let me jump to the movie I intended to talk about in the first place, “Men Suddenly in Black” directed by Edmond Pang, starring Eric Tsang and Jordan Chan. The films concerns are, debauchery, philandering, and most of the story hinges on adultery and deception. If you know me at all you’d know that I tend to be a bit high and mighty about these things, and at times the film is utterly gutter dwelling. But don’t dissmiss it for these things, you’ll miss out.

Men Suddenly in Black

Eric Tsang reminisces about the time he threw away Anthony Wongs takeaway dinner

Two of the most beautiful quotes I took away from the movie, were spoken by Teresa Mo playing Eric Tsangs wife

It is often said that the imprints left on the mind are longest lasting, but try telling this to a person suffering from Alzheimers and you will realise how much of a lie this sentiment is. Thus Teresa Mos character believes,
“What you can hold on to is what lasts”
. The reality is, through one reason or another, memories will fade no matter how strong. Just like physical scars, they will fade, and eventually be forgotten. Yes the depth of the wound will define how long it stays with us. But it does not decide whether or not it lasts. I may have ignored the fact that some wounds leave behind scar tissue, but it is exactly this that reminds us, the physical manifestation of the trials survived. For some of us there is nothing else.
I identify with this quote especially as my memory ain’t what it used to be. In fact it never really used to be. One of the saddest things I have come to realise is that I have very little recollection of the years that have passed. Some scant memories persist that in time may leave me, but it is the photos that I take, the souvenirs I savour, the material things that stay with me. Lord help me if I ever lose them. (A movie I am reminded of at this point is the Japanese Movie Gachi Boy, also recommended, but girls, keep a box of tissues handy)

“Destiny is unchangeable, but the events put before you are what you can control” This one is much more philosophical and it’s hard to explain it without having watched the movie. It is admirable that, even when faced with doom and gloom, some people have the resolve to stand up and fight. No ones destiny is ever revealed to them until they have lived them through, but resigning to fate is to let it take control over you. Fight for what you believe in because no one will fight for you. And in the end there is no greater cause

I leave you with one last quote spoken by both Eric Tsang and his wife,

“The way you walk this path is up to you”

Permalink 2 Comments

A View on Perspective…

June 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm (Informative) (, , , )

Through my 20 years on this earth, I have figured out that there are two things this world has a very weak grasp on; Opinion and Expectation. More specifically, confusing opinion with fact, and the assumption that expectation leads to ability. A person who is victim to these two frames of mind will certainly lead a long life of infuriation and disappointment. Remember that all the things I say in this blog, are usually opinion. Especially when it is prefaced by “I think”. You’d think this is obvious wouldn’t you? But you’d be surprised how many times I have to explain myself to other people that think I’m “wrong”. “Wrong”? What… my opinion? You’re kidding right… see… the one thing I am definitely entitled to as a human, is my opinion (same as everyone else). And that is shaped by my character, the things I identify with. To say that they are not right is… complete ignorance.

If perhaps you say that I don’t agree with the norm however, I can almost agree. But think about this… do you identify with things just because they are the norm? If you do, don’t you want a little more depth on your life? No? People can tell you what you want? You won’t ever figure it out for yourself? That’s fine, just don’t force your complacency on me.

Opinion and Expectation are more alike than you think. Growing up in Asian culture means you are very aware of the expectations placed upon you. “I hope one day you will become a dentist, or a lawyer (at best both)” Translation? If you don’t grow up to be one of these two things I will be deeply disappointed in you. Surely you can place expectations upon people and what they do, but whether or not they end up acting upon your expectations is entirely up to them. Not up to you. What about what I want? The funny thing about life experience is that it is not common to all of us. Yes we may live through the same situations, but what we take from them can differ greatly. Through our own personal traits, you take from those individual experiences things that speak to you personally, those sentiments may be shared by some people but I can guarantee you not everyone will see it the same way.

I give you a simple illustration, in recent surveys the Hyundai i30 has been judged as Australias Best Car. Looking at the criteria, sure I would agree with the verdict, but I don’t have to like it. I personally believe that any car weighing under 1100kilos is for the smart, rear wheel drive is only for the good looking, a manual transmission is only for the brave, and who the hell needs a roof anyway? What are you scared of sunlight? Oh no… it’s 25 degrees outside and sunny… better wind up the windows and turn the air-con on…
See, the beauty of what I have just said is that you don’t have to agree with it. And nor do I claim these things to be fact.

I clearly:
a) have written these things to offend
b) am being facetious
c) am a Car Enthusiast, and because of this I look for different things in a car, simplicity. And a little hardship does not bother me. Some people see their cars as white goods and I am well aware of this.That is up to you, but don’t come back to me and tell me your car is better than mine because I can come up with as many reasons as to why it isn’t.

At the same time I may not appreciate tennis as much certain friends, will not spend as much on my bicycle, may not spend as much on my computer, but do spend every waking moment dreaming about what next I can do to my car (not my wardrobe). Do not be so quick to claim your opinion as fact because sure enough as you think it is valid, the sentiment may not be shared. Are you so vain as to think that you are the authority? How can you claim to have the right to judge? You are entitled to your opinion that’s for sure, but it is by no means the final word on the situation.

Because I’ll definitely have something to say on the matter…

Permalink 4 Comments

The Myth of the “Girls Car”

June 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm (Informative) (, , )

The term is often bandied about in front of me as I own one of these questionable cars. There are a few cars that this tag is leveled upon, but let me get something straight, through their development, none of these cars so labeled were ever developed to be female oriented. The image that was made of them was largely manufactured by the public receiving them and always as a result of being largely misunderstood.

First I address the super-compact car. The Mini, the Fiat 500, the Renault Twingo, the Suzuki Swi….. err… Twin. In any country that suffers with congestion on an epidemic scale, small cars are the solution. Japan has their Kei Cars that are barely bigger than a mail box, and Europe treads down the same automotive evolutionary path. The traffic problem there is very real, it’s like Epping Rd. at peak hour at ALL times of day. The one defining difference is that the Europeans crave style and cannot live with something as utilitarian looking as the Japanese offerings – if you don’t know what I mean let me show you a Fiat 500,

Fiat 500

Compare this to a Daihatsu Move

Daihatsu Move

Differences in styling notwithstanding, these cars are one in the same in their intent. Both will fit 2 adults and 2 children, while sipping petrol like a sensible Japanese person sips sake, or like an Italian sips his/her latte. They are not intended in any way shape or form exlusively for females. They address the problem of congestion, and packaging, and anything else you read into it is… misread. Their basic principles are of economy and practicality, but these characteristics are feminine right? Only for those egotistically inclined. So now I move on to cars that were made specifically FOR females.

Throughout history there have been two of such notable cars. There was the Dodge La Femme, and the Volvo “Your Concept Car”, and if these cars prove anything, it is that sexism is not dead. If you are a feminist in any sort of way, be warned, the following images may be deeply disturbing.

Dodge La Femme

Article One, the Dodge La Femme. The story goes that in the 1950’s, as car ownership was commonplace in America, car makers needed special models to entice fickle new buyers, and what better market is there than women? Thus it came equipped with a makeup compact, matching purse and umbrella and all the places to hold them Oh and the cigarette igniter was replaced by a tube of lipstick. Lastly you could have it in any colour you’d like so long as it was pink and white – with requisite period chrome trimmings.  With a car aimed at a market of eager young females, it flopped. Production ran for 2 years and the concept has never been revisited since. I am no chauvinist so I am not surprised.
So what about that Volvo I talked about? This one was much less patronising (kind of).

Volvo YCC

Volvo, in 2004 asked a team of females to design a car that would best suit their needs, so it was not a car designed by men for women as was in the case of the Dodge(y) La Femme, but a car designed by women, for women. The car itself as a production model has not seen the light of day, but a few of the technologies it employed are beginning to see implementation. On the mechanical side, It was one of the first cars to showcase self – parking self – driving (stopping at least) technology, features the infamous run – flat tyres and guess what guys? an Automatic Gearbox with a sequential “manual” shift (no… that doesn’t count I’m afraid).
On the inside, it was designed with fully customizable interior in soft colouring and even a ponytail notch in the headrest… yes you read that right… for your ponytail. One of the more notable features is that it has a hatchback with a fully flat rear floor. Shopping bags anyone?
Strangely enough, this car designed by women is not so much perfect for women but seems perfect for the consumer in general, as this sector of the market only view the car as an appliance, ultimately it is only a practical proposition. The Volvo doesn’t even have a conventional bonnet, as opening the bonnet was not determined to be of the owners interest. So with this, at its most elemental, we can conclude that a girls car is, an automatic (as in automatic everything not JUST transmission), hatchback, never mind how it looks…
What is the conclusion here? That men are only allowed to like cars as cars and women must like an appliance?

Pull your head out… if you are an enthusiast, all these things go out the window as these such impracticalities colour the experience of the car. The car you own is a form of self expression for enthusiasts. Not a form of self extension.

Don’t even get me started on “Gay Cars”.

Permalink 2 Comments

This marks the Anniversary

June 6, 2009 at 3:30 am (Personal) (, , )

Just a word in edgewise. (I haven’t even made a 2nd scheduled post and I’m breaking tradition)

tankmanOne Mans plight against an Evil Engine

This is one issue that’s been heavy on my heart for the last week. If you follow the news at all you would have heard reports of Chinas response to the upcoming (and now past June 4 FYI) Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In preparation, China blocked all international media seeking to cover the event, and blocked off basic networking sites on the internet like twitter and Hotmail. Hotmail for crying out loud. This is without mentioning the forcive imprisonment of people that did so much as participate in the original protest… it all sickens me. How can we tout the nation behind this as the worlds greatest superpower?

Let me once again speak from the heart (I get a little poetic too…)

Nazi Germany, White Australia, Tiananmen Square,
the Demons inside of us must be exorcised,
containing them does naught but let them destroy us.
War is a terrible thing,
but the ideals they are waged upon are sometimes the most noble,
the evils they are waged against must be held to account.
On these days, remember the ones who have at the least suffered,
at the most paid their lives as the price to gift us the freedoms that we take for granted.
Don’t let them have died in vain.

Ghosts of Tiananmen Square,
you may be in limbo now,
but you will find your solace one day.

I just feel sorry that these words may never reach anyone where it really matters, blocked behind a Red Firewall

Permalink 5 Comments

« Previous page · Next page »