Friday, May 22, 2015

Random hello...



A few days ago, I decided to go for Pump at one of the gyms not too far from the office. To get to the gym, I had to take a short train ride.

Once the train doors opened, I went in, walked over to a not so crowded spot and did a quick scan of the people around. I had quick eye-to-eye contact with one guy and nonchalantly looked elsewhere. Then I found myself looking at the guy again and blurting out, "Hello." Lol!

It was the instructor of the Pump class I planned to attend. I've attend a few of his classes. I think he's a good instructor. But as with most of the gym instructors, I would usually just say a quick "Thank you for the class!" after the session and I wouldn't really engage in a real conversation.

This time, I found myself in a conversation because 1.) I already acknowledged his presence and he saw me acknowledging him; 2.) I just found myself saying "Hello!" and; 3.) I thought it would be weird that I ignored him in the train only to see me at the front row of his class later on. Lol!

So yeah, I ended up having a friendly chat with him.

The price I had to pay for this was having my name called out during the class. Lol! The tracks I always find challenging are Biceps and Chest. Throughout those tracks, the instructor called out my name two or three times. It felt awkward because that has never really happened before. Haha!

As expected though, it was a good class. Immediately after, I just said thanks and headed to the lockers to shower and get ready to go home.

Last night, I had a difficult Japanese class and I was feeling frustrated. On the way home, I was just too focused on reading some articles on difficulties encountered by language learners. When the train doors opened, I was on auto-pilot mode so I just stepped in, looked for a not-so-crowded area with my eyes locked on the article I was reading.

I was really disconnected from my surrounding so I was a bit surprised when I saw someone get up from his seat and walk over to where I was. It was the instructor. Lol. I think he mentioned where he stays but it escaped my mind. Hehe!

Anyway, I apologised that I didn't say hello and it was because I really didn't see him. I also used as an excuse that I just came from a challenging class that gave me a headache. Haha! Again, we ended up chatting until the train arrived at the station where he usually alights.

I just thought I'd write about this because I was amused by the whole incident. I'm amused because I usually just keep to myself when I'm in the train. I read a book or the news or I stare out the window and just take in the Singapore view. Hehe. The only incident I would maybe strike a conversation with a random stranger is when I'm on holiday overseas or when I'm really buzzed. Haha! But in this case, because of an unplanned blurting out of "Hello," it seems I made a friend at the gym. Hehe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nice view during this morning's run...



Since I slept at 1030 last night, I managed to wake up this morning and do what I planned - to go for a short run.

Because of museum training tonight and Japanese class tomorrow night, I won't be able to go to the gym at all. Last night, I was not able to go to the gym as well as I spent a few hours at the library studying for the class this Thursday.

That's why I decided to sleep early so that I can wake up for a run this morning. I'll be honest. I rarely go for runs at 630 in the morning. In fact, it was still dark when I stepped out of the house. Hehe!

Surprisingly, I didn't feel like I was going to faint when I started my slow run. 3K. That's the distance I decided to do today as I did not want to feel so tired after the run. According to Runkeeper, I did 3.66K. Not bad, eh?

Omw back to my starting point, I had to stop because I couldn't help but notice the beautiful sky. I had to take a photo. For morning views like the one above, I will gladly wake up early.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Busy Sunday but not as tiring as Saturday...




Saturday was very packed with activities, very tiring and left me very much wanting my bed by the day ended. Sunday was equally packed with activities but without the fatigue. Hehe!

Thanks to 7 hours of sleep, I managed to still wake up early. Around 630AM, if I remember correctly. I wanted to hit the gym to do cardio. Instead, I decided to go for a run at the nearby park connector. It was rather late when I stepped out of the house, around 8AM. The sun was already high up and it was starting to get really hot. There were still quite a number of joggers, cyclists who were going for their morning fitness activity. I was quite happy with my run. I managed to finish a full 5K without any stops. The pace was also good, I thought, for someone who rarely runs.

I finished my run and reached my house a little after 9AM. I decided to not have breakkie since I was meeting a friend for lunch. Instead, I just settled for iced Milo that I made myself. Hehe!

Close to 11, I left the house. First stop was Chili's. Good thing my friend agreed to have lunch at Chili's. I didn't mind eating at the food court at Tanglin Mall. However, I do try to eat better during weekends. Since I had a wonderful dinner last Saturday at Sakunthala, I was happy that the "eat well" weekend continued the day after.

From Tanglin Mall, we walked over to St. Regis. The first time I went to St. Regis was during @RKGreg's birthday bash a few months ago. The lobby was already impressive, but what I really found jaw-dropping was the art pieces showcase at the hotel's lobby. I couldn't resist taking photos. This time, I went back to take photos of the art pieces as part of training for museum guiding. My groupmates wanted to practice "guiding" using the art pieces at St. Regis as an example. I volunteered to go to St. Regis to take the photos.

I completely enjoyed myself as I was able to spend quite some time with the pieces. I took photos of 2 works by Cheong Soo Pieng, 2 works by Chen Wen Hsi, 1 piece by Liu Kang, 1 piece by Georgette Chen. These are the superstars of early Singapore art scene. I also took photos by works of second-gen artists such as Ong Kim Seng, Eng Tow, Chua Ek Kay, and Chen Kezhan. I was definitely one happy boy.

The last agenda for the day was hearing Mass at the Church of St. Ignatius in Farrer Road. I'm really liking the church because the priests can give a very good homily.

After Mass, I just headed back home, spent a few hours prepping for Monday and then finally called it a night.

What a good weekend! Thank you, Lordy!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tired, really tired, lol...




What a looong Saturday it was! How I am still able to operate at this hour, I have no idea. Hehe!

Just a quick recap of the day, and then I'm going to hit the sack.

After closing the issue (finally!) at 1AM, I turned off the lights and jumped into bed. The problem was it took me some time before I finally got to sleep. I'm not sure if it was because of the coffee I drank or because my mind was still awake. Even with my sound machine that played chirping birds, crickets and evening rain (seriously!), I only fell asleep after 15 minutes. I was hoping I would get at least 6 hours of sleep. Well, no surprise, I was up at 6.

Aware that there was no way I can go back to sleep, I just decided to get up and start the day. First stop was Jollibee at Lucky Plaza. I've been craving for tocilog or tapsilog. Jollibee was the only Filipino food place open when I reached LP. I was that early. Haha!

From LP, I took the bus to go to YMCA. The first agenda for the day was a continuation of the museum training. For three hours, I sat through a lecture on Chinese ink and calligraphy, and a bit about the artist named Wu Guanzhong. Tipz should know the man because we visited his exhibit ages ago.

After museum training, I grabbed a quick bite with my fellow docents before heading to the National Museum. I volunteered to help man the Museum Volunteers booth for two hours. There's a call for volunteers for next year. I hung out with fellow docent and good friend Lionel. We managed to get a few signups and I was also interviewed by a Thai student on the Philippine national anthem and flag. By 4PM, I was so sleepy.

I was tempted to go home but I had plans to go to the library. So.... from Dhoby Ghaut, I took the train to Bishan. There were books I meant to borrow and they were located in Bishan. Also, I asked PG Boy to help me borrow the books. I really should consider getting a library card and pay the annual $50 membership fee since I spend so much time at the library, anyway. We'll see.

While waiting for PG Boy, I managed to do some of my extracurricular work. Around 5 plus, Richie messaged to ask for dinner. He initially suggested The Rice Table. I was craving for Indian food. He suggested Sakunthala in Farrer Park. I asked PG Boy if he had plans. After telling me that dinner was with his best friend WC, I just told him to join us instead. Thankfully, WC was okay with it.

From Bishan, we took the train to Serangoon. At Serangoon, we changed to the Purple Line and headed to Farrer Park. I felt like I've been on my feet the entire day and I was just really tired. Lol!

It was a gooooood diner at Sakunthala! I will admit that I ate more than usual. I figured since I'm at a good Indian food place, I might as well eat the food that I want. After dinner, we passed by Mustafa where Richie hoarded several bags of different types of nuts. From Mustafa, PG Boy and WC headed to City Square to catch Mad Max, Richie went his own way to catch a cab, and I made my way to the MRT to head back.

What a tiring but productive day!

Friday, May 15, 2015

...anything or everything for the picture



Image from here

In the documentary "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye," fashion designer/ex-Vogue sittings editor Vera Wang said, "...anything or everything for the picture!"

I completely understand what she means and I can relate to those words, having been in the magazine industry for two (or was it three?) years. That was the time when some friends and I just went "crazy" and said, "Let's put up our own LGBT magazine!" The next thing we know, ICON was born.

Tonight, I am having that "...anything or everything for the picture!" moment. The only difference is this time is that I'm working on a complete issue and not just one photo.

This past two (or three?) months, I've been working with editors, typesetters, copyeditor, proofreader and authors putting a special issue together for one of the journals I handle.

It has been quite a challenge to shepherd this particular issue because we have a very short working period to complete the issue.

Tonight is a very crucial point because the issue needs to be sent to press by this weekend in order to meet its publication deadline. I have never had an issue miss its deadline and I don't want to tarnish that record. Lol!

This past week has been extremely challenging as I have been repeatedly hounding my editors for their final set of corrections for the issue. Up until this evening, I was corresponding with one of the editors. The thing is two editors are in the US, one editor is in Amsterdam, the series editor is in the US. Add to that a typesetter who is in another timezone and then there's me in another timezone. Thank goodness for the World clock feature of iPhone. I had to find out the local time for everyone so I can properly set deadlines. Haha!

Right now, I am waiting for the typesetter to send the final files of the issue so that I can have one final look. Hopefully, hopefully, there are no more corrections because the issue already needs to go to press. I can't afford to have a late night as well because I have a morning training tomorrow for the museum. Need my proper sleep.

But at this particular moment, "...anything or everything for the issue!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Superhero Fight Club...



Two series I'm really addicted to at the moment are Arrow and The Flash.

It started with Arrow. Later on, I got addicted to The Flash as well. Hehe!

I love how in some episodes, characters from both shows cross over to the other show.

Anyway, the show's producers put together this Fight Club-inspired promo for the final episodes of the two series.

I love it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I'm going to tell you a secret...



I'm going to tell you a secret.

From late January/early February of this year up until yesterday, I was dating someone.

JKT Boy is two years short of turning 30, graduate from one of Singapore's top university, holds a PhD degree (and he's not even 30!), and works for a health sciences-related government agency.

But I guess one of the best things I like about JKT Boy is that he is also a practicing Catholic. Yup, a practicing Catholic. In fact, I think he is even more devout than I am. Hehe!

So, for the past three months, I've been seeing him regularly. We've been attending Sunday Mass together. We talk to each other everyday. We do pretty much what couples usually do...

except we don't have the title of a couple.

Right from the start, I made it clear that I'm not ready for a commitment, that I'm not sure I'm ready for a relationship.

Yesterday, that became extremely clear. I told him we should just be friends.

He asked me if it had something to do with him or if it was because of my current situation--the lack of a sense of permanence. I told him it was a mix of both. I told him I need to work on my own situation first before I get myself into a relationship or some kind of serious commitment. To him, he felt that I was pushing people away from being too close. He was adamant about keeping things going, saying that two people can help each other out with each other's issues. But I know myself. And I know I don't want to drag someone into my own issues because I would end up thinking about my issues and I would end up worrying about the other person thinking about my issues.

He had his own issues as well. At first, I was hesitant to tell him about it because it was his own issue and it's better for him to work on it and figure it out on his own. But he was persistent. Basically, I told him that I don't want to get into a relationship or any commitment whereby I will be introduced as the "best friend," the "friend from the Philippines," or worse, where I will be the secret. I don't want to the double life of the person whereby he has a life with his friends, and then he has his life with me. I don't want to not be known by the family. I know that I am now capable and ready to introduce someone to my own family, to friends in Manila, in Singapore or anywhere. I somewhat expect something similar.

Bottomline: I have my own issues that I want to sort out on my own. He has his own issues to sort out as well.

Looking back at our conversation right now and the past three months, I am confident to say that JKT Boy is a keeper. He and I don't have a lot of things in common but the past three months have been working because we meet halfway. And under different circumstances, I would be happy be in a relationship with him. Ours was really just a case of "right emotions at the wrong timing."

Last night, omw home, we were still chatting lightly over WhatsApp. He sent the above message. That made it even more clear that yeah, this guy is a keeper. And who knows? Maybe when I hit 42, things would be better for both of us and if we're bound to meet again, it will happen.

On another note, another lesson learned from all of this is that I really should just take a break from dating or at the very least, not get myself into serious dating. Although I am leaning more towards the former. This is the second time since PG Boy that I almost got myself into a relationship. First there was NB Boy, then there's JKT Boy. In both cases, including PG Boy's, I got out because of the same reasons. Sp yeah, I think I should just stop dating for now.

Anyway, as it is, my plate is already full with work, gym, volunteer work, Japanese lessons, to name a few things. It gets lonely at times, yeah, but I have faith that I have been blessed with enough good friends to keep me happy and sane. Haha!

Last night, I messaged Richie and Mon, "I'm going to tell you a secret." I gave them a gist of the JKT Boy story.

Richie asked, "Why did you keep it from us, friend?" I said, "Hmm, I wanted to spare you guys or any other friends from another 'almost a relationship' story."

I can write about it now because it is over. I will maybe hang on that WhatsApp message above.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What a Saturday night...



What an insane night last night was! Haha!

One hotel room, 30 plus people, a mix of Malaysians, Singaporeans, HongKongers, Filipinos, good food, good booze, lots of laughter and good conversations.

That's basically a very short and very simplified description of how the birthday party was.

There were crazy moments as well. Let's just say that the number of Merlions the island has doubled. Lol! I dunno how I ended up playing Nurse Jackie to a few, haha!

It was a really fun and memorable night! I guess my favourite was the when we sang for the birthday boy. It started out in English. By the time the song was coming to an end, I yelled, "Okay, in Mandarin!" Followed by, "In Tagalog!" Then it was, "In Cantonese!" Followed by, "In Malay!" It was just amazing how everyone was game! Haha!

Congrats to Tian3X for the success of the birthday party!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Both tiring and relaxing Saturday so far...

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It's been a tiring week, both because of work and my extra curricular activities.

This afternoon, I had some sort of break. By that, I mean I was able to stay at home and just take a nap for the past two hours. Haha!

Before that, I was already out of the house at 7AM and was in the city up until 2PM. My agenda this morning were museum volunteer training and brunch with PG Boy.

Museum training continues to be exciting and interesting. I definitely cannot wait for the opening of the museum later this year. At the same time, I'm a bit anxious because I have to write two papers before I become an official docent. Hehe!

After museum training, which thankfully finished on time, I walked over to the nearby Kith cafe. Since it was still before 12 noon, I didn't have to wait long to get a table for two.

It was good seeing PG Boy. The last time I saw him was during lunch with him, his best friend and Mon at a Peranakan place. I'm happy that things seem to be going okay with him and I'm happy to hear the updates about him, his fam and his circle of friends who I also know. Though there was a particular topic where he raised his voiced at me. Lol! It caught me by surprise. Lol!

Brunch with PG Boy was because I had to borrow a shirt for the birthday party I'm going to in a few hours. The birthday boy's favourite colour is green and he requested that people wear green. Hehe! More on that party tonight or tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tanoshii kurasu...



I just got home from Japanese class.

Tonight was one of those nights whereby I had a headache by the time the class ended. Haha!

Every class is three hours, but divided into two sessions. Each 90-minute session is handled by a different teacher.

The first 90-minute session is handled by my favourite Japanese teacher. She was also my teacher during the first 10 classes of the course and I must say that she is really good. I am able to follow her lessons well and I am able to fully understand the lesson.

My headache starts once the second teacher comes in. Haha! That is because she speaks in Japanese 80-85% of the time. The challenge is not that she speaks in Japanese. The challenge is that she speaks in the usual pace that Japanese pace = read: very fast. Lol!

On one hand, I think it's a good opportunity to improve my listening skills and get used to the natural Japanese pace. On the other hand, I can't help but sometimes feel stupid during the second half of the class as I am really struggling to understand what the teacher is saying. I have somehow figured out how to do better in the second-half. And that is to study, study, study days before the class. It has been working well because I am able to participate better in class. At the same time, I think some of my other classmates also struggle with the second-half. I know this because "Wakaranai" is uttered several times during the second-half. Lol! Sometimes, I am tempted to just skip the second half of the class because I do know the activities for the second half. I can just study on my own.

But I stay back and persevere because I paid for the class. Lol!

Just got to keep telling myself, "がんばって ね!" Haha!

Whoever said that Nihongo is a simple A wa B desu is fooling everyone. It gets complicated as you learn more. Lol!

It is tanoshii but also muzukashii!