Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dinner date.

Just had our 6 month anniversary dinner (love you babe!) at Viva, which is this nice little Italian place in Applecross.

We got there pretty early (6:15pm?), so the place was quite quiet. Quite nice and friendly sort of ambiance, lots of yellow lighting... and surprisingly comfortable chairs! Actually, the chairs sort of remind me of the old cane garden chairs. A little nostalgic... and creaky! Food is pretty good, and the portions are big. Then again, you get what you pay for, and things are a little on the pricier side after all.

Food was simple, hearty fare. Char ordered roast goat, which came on a very savory rissoto. The goat itself was quite nice, although I'd imagine you'd get a little blah after eating the rissoto after a while. It's very heavy! I had a steak. Medium rare. No complaints there! I feel fat now though.

And they have a very interesting sounding salmon on the menu. I'll definitely try that next time I'm there.

(Sorry to the foodies out there. No pictures! Haha. Maybe next time!)

Finished dinner right around the time it was starting to get busy (and a little noisy too!), and ended up taking a little drive through Freo before finding a nice quiet spot along South Beach to just sit and talk and listen to the sound of the sea meeting the shore.

I had a great evening.

Love you Char!


G/W Elves will smash your face.

I'm supposed to be writing more story today (editing! takes! forever!), but my mind wandered. It's not pretty or innovative or even remotely elegant, but I did put together the following Magic deck.

Yes Joe/Daryl/Ming Yang, I know it's gay.

The Deck (Green/White Elves):


4 x Llanowar Elves
4 x Wren's Run Vanquisher
4 x Imperious Perfect
4 x Elvish Champion
4 x Wilt-Leaf Cavalier
4 x Wilt-Leaf Liege
4 x Chameleon Colossus
2 x Boreal Druid

Other spells

4 x Oblivion Ring
2 x Loxodon Warhammer
2 x Overrun

4 x Brushland
4 x Wooded Bastion
14 x Forest

Yes, I know there's no Garruk Wildspeaker or instant speed removal in the deck. I could have gone Priest of Titania, but keeping the deck standard legal was too appealing a notion to give up. Well, that and I don't own any Garruks.

Ideal play for me will be something along the lines of:

Turn 1: Forest, cast Llanowar Elves
Turn 2: Forest, cast Imperious Perfect or Elvish Champion
Turn 3: Forest, cast second Perfect, Champion, or Wilt-Leaf Liege. Attack for 6.
Turn 4: Forest, cast Chameleon Colossus. Attack for 9.
Turn 5: Forest, cast Overrun. Attack for 30. GG. :p

Okay. Distraction over! Back to work!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And then, and then, and...

Went out for a spot of shooting yesterday. God, I wish it was summer. Open blue skies are so welcoming versus this curtain of perpetual grey. I guess my shooting skills have really anthropied since the last time I seriously picked up a camera for any extended period of time(circa 2002).

Went for a 2 hour long blood test too. Kind of ridiculous, but it can't really be helped. The doc wants to check for diabetes, which means drinking a cup of sugar water and being poked every 30 mins to check glucouse absorbtion over time.

Wrote out a timeline for the story though. And I got some reading done.

Speaking of writing, I slogged through the last bits of chapter four of my 'novel' (to borrow Cheryl's term), but got pretty smooth at chapters five and six. I think the main reason why chapter four was such hard going is because it's a set up for subsequent character arcs. It's necessary, but not all that exciting to write about.

Plus I do write short chapters, so it's not really all THAT much words.

I think Wally's getting a bit antagonistic though. I know he's just hurting, but I really should try and rein him in a bit.


For what it's worth, getting the paperwork ready for a job is as much of a pain as is getting a job proper. I've spent around $120 getting all the requisite clearances and identity checks and what have you in order to start my new job. Apparently it's claimable on tax. Well, at least I hope so.

Tax this year is going to be a headache, I've had 4 seperate jobs this financial year!

And I really need to sort out superannuation stuff.

I'm still pondering when I should tell my current boss that I've got a new job. It's a little more complicated when you're working for a family friend. I'll give him a month's notice, I guess. (Meaning I'll tell him in a fortnight)

Personal recommendation: do not work for family friends if you can at all avoid it. I've tried asking for more work hours (denied), but am expected to stay back and finish work should my workload not get done. It's not fun when you're paid by the hour, but don't get paid for anything beyond the "official" work hours.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Random things.

Haven't shot anything yet. The on again/off again rain is really irritating, plus the cloud cover means pretty bad lighting. I have been rummaging through my stuff, and have taken pictures of a whole bunch of items which I'm now attempting to flog off on Ebay and make some cash!

Written some story, here's a list of characters populating my little world. Some have made an appearance, some haven't. The ones I've already written about are in bold.


Wally - He owns and runs a comic cum hobby store. Is obsessed about comics and Magic: The Gathering. He's a little emo.

Amanda - Wally's high flying lawyer ex-girlfriend who's just broken up with him. She's very demanding and aggressive.

- Works at the comic store. He's overbearing, pushy, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of comics which he likes to flaunt. He's also quite desperate.

JD - Also works at the store. He's intelligent, sarcastic, and gets the job done with minimum fuss. He's also quite intuitive when it comes to people.

Liz - Wally's best friend. She used to be very into comics and stuff, but gave up 'trivial pursuits' for a career (she regrets the decision). Smart and speaks her mind a lot. Secretly loves Wally, but knows that they'll never work out.

Barry - A guitarist from the store next door. Loud, arrogant, and dislikes 'nerd culture'. Bully who goes out of his way to aggravate people. Barry seems driven by a need to 'one-up' everyone else. Wally and him hate each other.

Abby - An indie musician. She's soft spoken and from out of town.

Melisa - An ex-girlfriend of Wally's.

EDIT: Abby is now named 'Marie', she's an indie/folk musician who's in art school. She's currently working with Barry to produce an album. She's got an amazing voice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


My nerves are shot to bloody blazes. 120 minutes of football and a nerve-wracking penalty shoot out. Oh God. It's just hard to recover. Finally at long last, we've won it again. I can't sleep. It's a combination of stress and excitement.


Bill Shankly once said that football isn't a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that. And oh God, on nights like this I absolutely agree. I'm absolutely overwhelmed. It's taken nine long years to get to this night once again. Nine years of near-misses and heartaches. Only football fans would understand.

I'm trying really hard not to yell and scream here. Oh God, YES!

Two moments really stand out, and they've got nothing to do with football.

First, after Ronaldo missed the penalty, Gary Neville walked out into the rain - suit and all - and picked him up off the ground, and brought him to where the rest of the team was. That's leadership. Even if you're not on the pitch, you're leading your team from the bench. That's something I respect.

Second, when Man Utd won, Paul Scholes didn't join in the celebrations, but instead walked over to John Terry - Chelsea captain - to console him. That's sportsmanship. Think about it. Here's a guy who missed the last finals, finally played in one and won it, and the first thing he does is to console the opposing team. That, I respect.

Say what you want about great goals, young players and championship moments. For me, it was the old guard who stepped up and were counted. Did the things that truly mattered.

That's what's this game is about. Moments like those. These are the things that stick with you. The stepping up. The kind of examples that only legends can set. Somewhere, some kid is going to see those images and think to himself "that's the kind of man I want to be", and it's going to stick with him his whole life. And I'm one of those kids.

Good job well done, lads. And full lauds to Chelsea for giving their 110%. It could really have swung either way.

I love this game!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trying not to bounce.

Bought my camera yesterday, and as you can tell, I'm finding it hard to contain my excitement. No, I'm not quite bouncing off the walls and hanging from the rafters yet, so calm yourselves (although I wouldn't put it past me after I've had a few drinks!).

(Who am I kidding? I bought a fucking dSLR! WHOO HOOO!!! THAT'S FUCKING SWEET!!!!)

I think I've gotten a pretty sweet deal with the camera. Paid $1300 for it, plus accessories. Breakdown's like this:

Nikon D60 twin lens kit: $1399.99
Tripod : $59.99
4GB Memory card : $79.99
Flash : $249.99

Total price : $1789.96
Price paid : $1300.00

Saved : $489.96

I'm pretty pleased with myself; so if you come across a better deal, don't tell me about it! Ignorance is bliss, and my pocket DOES hurt after all.

Been fiddling around with the camera all night, and I hope to get a few shots in later today (hopefully I'll have the time!). First things first, I need a camera bag! I think a five million dollar home will suit my new toy rather nicely eh? Okay, so I do have expensive tastes with a rapidly emptying pocket. But it is a rather nice home, don't you agree?

(And no, Amelia, I am NOT going to name the camera anything!)

EDIT: I'm gonna grab the bag tomorrow before shooting. Walking around taking photographs without a bag just feels weird. Plus I don't want to walk back with the the camera around my neck when I'm done. There's the danger of it getting damaged. First shoot's tomorrow late arvo then. Rar.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New story idea.

I just got back from a quick drive around town. I was doing research for a story I'm writing, and I wanted to get some places fixed firmly in my mind.

I'm writing a story about a thirty-something-year-old guy who's never really had to grow up. He runs a comic cum hobby store and doesn't have any real goals or ambitions besides slacking off and cruising through life. Plus he's a massive geek. In short, he's never been able to hold on to romantic relationships. The story will revolve a lot around his love life or lack of one.

He's surrounded by a couple of quirky uber-geek characters. They don't really help him much in his quest for the next shag, but they're awful fun to be around. And I anticipate that they'll be awful fun to write!

The story opens just after he gets dumped by the latest girlfriend. I'm looking to follow him over the course of a year, and see where his story goes.

I think it'll be an interesting journey both for my characters and I.

I'm determined to finish this story. Got a bad habit of putting things aside, and I think it's high time I sat down and actually finished a story I started writing. Wish me luck!

Oh, and my lead character isn't named yet (although the rest are). Trying to find a name that feels right. Suggestions anyone?

EDIT: It seems that calling my character a 'geek' is a wrong choice, as he isn't a full-on geek. He's not exactly a nerd either, and he's not just another slacker. Guess I'll need to define him a little better.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trying to write.

I can't write with all this noise around me. I do wish Mum would just quit complaining about things. The walls of this house are thin enough that I can hear almost anything that happens anywhere in the place. All this talking and puttering around is absurdly distracting.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

An update.

Spent most of today hanging around with Mingyang. I miss days like that, just walking around, doing stupid things, cracking lame jokes and just hanging out with a dude you practically grew up with. It's great.

Trawled through town looking for camera prices, deals, and alternative methods of payment. Found a few packages that interest me, and it pretty much boils down to whether I want a flash, or a bag and tripod to go with my camera. Decisions, decisions.

(I've decided to go with the flash. Tripods are cheaper, and I already have a bag in mind)

It's still a lot of money. I've talked to the folks about it; they've agreed to pay first, and I can pay them back in installments. I hope to get the camera paid off in under six months (at say, $50 a week?).

Hit Little Creatures and downed a couple of pints while talking about life, friends, Singapore, and where we've come in the past four years. I'm always amazed at how much he sees to the heart of things. His simple solutions and explanations are often the best.

I'll always appreciate that Mingyang's been there with me through my entire academic life. I'm really going to miss him once he goes back at the end of this semester. Unless he gets his bridging visa and stays and works here, that is.

I guess he's always been a constant in my life since Primary One. That's nineteen years that I've known him. God! It feels like forever hey? From drinking ribena in school canteens to beers in Little Creatures. That's quite something.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Post Scriptum.

On Saturday, May 10, I wrote "And I don't give a rat's arse who I have to stab or step on to get there."

I'm sorry for saying it. And my saying it hurt and disappointed more people than I knew. I don't mean it. I was angry, and when I am angry, I say lots of extreme things that I don't mean. I know that stabbing and stepping don't earn you friends, and I don't intend to to that just to get ahead.

I know I'm an asshole when I'm angry, and that's something I have been trying to work on for a very long time. Aggression comes to me too easily.

Guess it goes to show how much of a good person I'm not. I'm really disappointed in myself.

I'm really sorry that I've said harsh things that I don't mean. I'm making an effort to stop being like this.


I backslide into self-absorbed emo-ness when I get angry or irritated. That's a problem. I can either try to not be angry or irritated, or I can remove myself from the source of irritation.

Attempts to curb the temper aren't enough. In the spirit of being upfront, I tend to be more blunt and direct in approaching people, provoking them. That in turn provokes me, so that's obviously not working as well as I would like.

It's difficult for me to speak my mind tactfully without resorting to indirect methods. Need to work on that.

Moving out will be a great boon to me because it gets me away from Mum (primary source of irritation). Looking at the finances, I need to keep working and saving in order to get there. First things first, I do need a (personal) vehicle before I can think of renting a place of my own. Transportation demands in Perth being what they are.

I realise that I'm too shackled by familial obligations and my mother's whims and opinions both financially and personally. It's hard to break away, but I'm trying to care less about that and focus more on myself and what I want without being selfish or self-absorbed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Money woes.

(Ironic that this post comes hot on the heels of a 'I want this cool expensive thing abso-fucking-lutely now!' post, isn't it?)

Finances are a bit tight at the moment, so I'll be terse because I don't want to bore you. (And yes, I have no problem disclosing exactly how broke I am)

Weekly expenditure

1. Guitar lessons : $40
2. Petrol: $50
3. Gym membership: $15
4. Camera payments: $20

Total expenditure/week: $125
Current salary per week: $203.41 (after tax)
Disposable income per week: $78.41

Factoring in food and other necessities, I'll barely break even. Considering that I sort out most of my meals despite living at home, I eat cheap. Trying to cut carbs (indomee's out), so I'm eating protien (chicken or eggs) and frozen veggies for each meal (works out to abour $4/meal). Surprisingly, I'm still fat.

And let's not even get to mobile phone bills and other recurring costs like toiletries and such.

Travelling less (or simply not going out) to reduce fuel costs as well. Gym's necessary though. It's too cold out, and the dry air makes my nose run. Seeing as I don't appreciate having a perpetual runny nose, gym is a better option. Plus I get to meet people, which is half the reason for even going to the gym.

The camera's a hobby more than anything else, and a guy does need hobbies before he goes insane - even if he is broke.

I really should stop guitar lessons. Although it'll be foolish to call it quits so early. I need the lessons and my teacher IS good, $40 is just more than I can afford right now. I'm trying to talk my folks into paying for it, seeing as they DID offer. However, mum's notoriously good at forgetting about things like that, and even asked 'why should I? It's your lesson!' when I broached the subject.

I'll try guitar for another couple of weeks and reassess the situation then. No point rushing into things.

The new job will pay about $538.46/week after tax. I really can't wait.

I figure that if I continue my current expenditure, I can probably save about $200 a week ($3200 by end of contract). Only trouble is the parents insist on going back to Singapore over December, and insist on going on a 'family holiday'. There goes whatever I can save. Looks like I'll be back to square one when I head back to school next year.

I have been protesting going back to Singapore/family holiday based on the grounds that I can't afford it AND go to Kuching with Char. No luck so far. Mum always promises to pay, but never pulls through when the time comes to put the cash down.

Guys, it's not personal. I just really can't afford to come back and see you fellows for anything longer than a week. Ideally, I'd go back to Singapore for a week, fly to Kuching for a week, then get back to Perth and work.

Camera dreaming.

I'm going to get a DSLR. I've one wanted for ages, but have never had the financial capability (or rich or generous parents) to pull off. In the spirit of not waiting for bloody forever to wait for things to happen, I'm going to get a camera on installment.

I'm looking to get Nikon D60 (see picture). Firstly, I do have an old Nikon 401X, and my lens is shot. So the new lenses can be used with the old camera, should I want to shoot film.

Secondly, I like the 'feel' of the Nikon versus other options on the market (I've fooled around with the Nikon D40, Canon 350D and a Pentax whose model I can't remember). I'd get a Canon, but it just feels too light and 'plasticy'.

Thirdly, I can't find a place that sells the Canon 450D at a lower price ($1.5k on average) than the Nikon D60 ($1.4k on average) for a twin lens kit. I might be wrong though! If you've seen it going for cheaper, please let me know!

So pretty much I'm going to buzz around town on Saturday and see what options I might have available (I'll visit the huge departmental stores too, just in case), and see how we go from there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Minor irritations.

Some minor things which have tried my inexhaustible patience today:

1. Persons who stand around when you're busy and expect to be served immediately without at least politely coughing, or saying 'excuse me'. The customer may be 'always right', but at least be polite!

2. Telemarketers who refuse to shut up to the point that you just hang up the phone after pretending to listen to a 10 second drivel-splutter.

3. People who try to push products and services on you (even though they're not promotion staff) and insist that you must buy this because it's such a fantastic deal, etc. The enthusiasm's appreciated, and I'm sure whatever company will thank you profusely for trying to push their products. Your cheque's in the mail, by the way.

4. Insurance claims forms which are carefully designed to make getting your money back such a monumental effort that you probably spend more man-hours filing the claim than the claim's actually worth.

For all the above problems, my doctor prescribes a large heavy mallet to the head of the offender. Sadly due to a patent dispute, we are currently unable to administer said treatment. Plus there is that inconvenient trifle sometimes known as the law. Such an inconvenience, eh?

Saturday, May 10, 2008


It all boils down to the bottom line. When I started down this career path, I wanted to help people and make a difference. Today I want to get into Masters of Psychology because it helps the bottom line, not because of any great desire to actually chase that path.

In an ideal world I'd be a counsellor and a writer. That's all I want to be. But this world isn't ideal. I need to pay the bills.

Yesterday I met a guy working behind the counter at the post office. He graduated from IT the same time I did. How the mighty have fallen.

It sucks to be compared to people who are either already rich, or getting there. Maybe I'm materialistic, but providing for myself and my family is important. I like the cool and interesting things. I like sharp clothes, cool gadgets and fast cars. I'm tired of looking at other people getting those things ahead of me.

I am jaded. I'm looking to survive. I might be turning twenty-six, but in terms of where I am in life, I'm still twenty-three. The best years of my life were conscripted. I never had years nineteen to twenty-two to better myself. In that, I'm way behind a lot of other people.

But damnit, I need to stand on my own and make my way. I want to be financially secure. I don't want to be beholden to my parents. And I don't give a rat's arse who I have to stab or step on to get there.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Checking in.

Just went for my guitar lesson (yes, I'm actually taking lessons), and I'm amazed at how crap I am. I'm starting on playing the blues, since they're the basis for most music out there today. Not so wild about that though, I'd rather jump straight into the rock I so love. Then again a guy has to start from the basics, right?

Still trying to feel my way around the guitar a bit. Technique's shaky, but that's something that only practice can cure. Trying to break a few bad habits too.

Popping out in a bit to mail out/settle things for my new job. It's a pain. I'm spending around $116 in total to run all these federal checks in order to be eligible for the job (working with children, police records, etc, etc). Thankfully I can claim that back at the end of the tax year.

In related job news, Life Without Barriers called me this morning for an interview. I'm really not keen on this job, but I'll go for it just to keep my options open. Took their bloody time though. The information session I went for was a month-and-a-half ago. Ridiculous, no?

Okay, I'm off again! No rest for the weary, eh?

EDIT: Got back from sorting out the job stuff. Apparently all the clearances will take another 3-5 weeks to process. Crazy shit. Good thing the job doesn't start until July.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have a problem with my anger, I am short-tempered and I get aggressive easily when irked. To me, anger and aggression come hand-in-hand. I've tried to deal (unsuccessfully) with the anger.

I think the problem lies not so much with the anger itself, but with that feeling of being irked that preceeds the anger. In my mind, being irked is related to being threatened, which is itself related to being hurt, eiter by myself or by others.

My anger is primarily a response to being hurt. That response has been blown out of proportion. I don't like being hurt, and I go out of my way to avoid being hurt. I avoid it to the point where anger becomes a defensive response, hence I get angry easily where there's no point in being angry.

So I'm tackling the root problem - fear of being hurt - as opposed to the temper. Plus, growth often comes from pain and if I don't allow myself to experience it, I will not grow.

Firstly, I accept that I have a problem that needs to be fixed. Secondly, I accept that hurts will occur in my life. Hurt is unavoidable and is not to be feared. Thirdly, I make a conscious effort to not allow myself to be hurt by the tiniest things. Fourthly, I make a conscious effort to not get angry defensively.

I want to be the best that I can be.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What makes a man?

It feels like a time for a change. I confess I do tend to write for myself more than for others, and it alienates people. Most persons who stop by my spaces are friends I know personally, and once in a while the occasional stranger.

I've been wrong in expecting people to read or comment when all I'm doing is writing for myself.

Where I am now in life is a crossroads, and I admit I have not been coping very well. I have gotten self-indulgent and self-pitying. That's not something I am proud of. I haven't thought things through. That's something I really need to be doing.

In a way that's what this space is all about. A new start.