Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[Random] Up Do

I've been planning to get a haircut but because of the busy work schedule, i had trouble fitting it in. Earlier tonight though, I was finally able to.

I get my haircut from Monsoon in Novena. Before it was in Monsoon Tampines. I thought of cutting my hair short, but realized that if I did, then it's the same style like always. So, I just told the stylist to do whatever he wants, so he suggested to cut it really short by the sides and keep the length at the top and I can style it with an up do or spikes after however I want.

Preliminary cutting done. And no, I don't have my hair colored. Those brown  highlights are natural. Or maybe, i'm malnourished that's why my hair is turning brown.

[Review] Gotye: Making Mirrors Album

I find myself listening more and more to Gotye's album Making Mirrors - alongside with Madonna's MDNA album.

My initial reaction during my first run through of the album was how it didn't seem to be one single body of work. Or maybe to explain it better was how it didn't seem to jell. It wasn't intact or it's hard to understand the storyline of the whole album -

After contemplating for the day and thinking of the right C word to describe what I wanted to say, I finally realize I was trying to say that the album doesn't feel "COHESIVE."

The songs individually are good...I would say that some are the kind that's poetic - the kind of music that gets you thinking and reading between the lines. It's the kind of "indie" music I expected. Although, as I mentioned, it doesn't feel cohesive. Or maybe it's just me and my expectations created from their popular track "Somebody that I used to know." Then again, I can be pragmatic.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

[Random] Housekeeping

I was a bit weirded out because of a totally unexpected SMS:

"Hi dear Stephen this is Takumi from easyroommate currently I have rent one master room in a landed property. I wish to share this room with someone (living without house owner). This place is at West Coast, Pasir Panjang which is very near to NUS Kent Ridge Terminal. OUtside the house there is a bus stop where you can take bus 189, 51, 143, 30 to Clementi MRT within 15 minutes. Boon Lay, Jurong East, Bugis, City Hall, Chinatown, Orchard and other downtown places are also easy to get to. Circle Line MRT Station is also near the adjacency. The place is equipped with refrigerator, washing machine, toaster, microwave oven, kettles. Room is air-coned, clean, quiet and tidy and with two big wardrobes where you can put all your clothes in a big two-basin washroom. We hire the contract service to maintain the house regularly. Cooking is allowed but you need to clean the kitchen. LIfe here is very convenient, there are two places to eat nearby and West Coast Plaza, Sheng Siong supermarket are within 8 min walk.

"I am an NUS working professional easy going: I prefer one healthy, quiet male, roommate with good sleep pattern (sleep before 12 most of the time) and respect each other's privacy. Rental fee is 500sgd per person exclusive of utilities and PUB (not much). Short term also accepted but price varies. Thanks and look forward to becoming roommate and good friend with you!"

After reading the very extensive message, I was like....OHHHHHHKKKKAAAAAYYYY (?).

My reply was simply:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

CH86: Work Is What It Is

After two weeks of working on a project, you know whether it will work or not.
Bill Budge
So, by tomorrow EOB, I will have worked for IBM Singapore under the BHP Billiton for 2 weeks.
Here's a quickie information about BHP from Wiki.

"BHP Billiton is an Anglo-Australian multinational mining, oil and gas company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and with a major management office in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mining company measured by 2011 revenues and as of February 2011 was the world's third-largest company measured by market capitalisation.

I've only worked for 2 weeks, but there's already work piling up. I didn't even get to experience some adjustment period. Since my second day at work, I was assigned to perform some patching, post configurations and add-on installations on a system that's under the Build Phase. The work for it is not finished yet as there are documentations to be performed after. The work landed on my plate as the person assigned is on leave in India and I've worked with the one who assigned it before for a different project (also under IBM).

Just this week, I was assigned to work on an Oracle upgrade. I'm halfway through the 130 page document. I had to put it on hold because the "root" access to the server is not yet provided.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

[Review] Kitkat GreenTea

Yesterday, when I was strolling through Marina Bay Link to walk a bit of what I ate off, I happened upon this Japanese grocery store. I went through the aisles looking for something sweet to buy to get rid of the greasy feel/taste I had in my mouth. I saw a Japanese Green Tea Ice Cream and wanted to try so I bought one.

But at the cashier, I saw the display of the KitKat Green Tea. Having just gotten the Green Tea Ice Cream - I assume the Cashier associated the two and told me that the Kitkat Green Tea is seasonal and quickly runs out of stock so I should try it.

I decided to buy one as a gift for my highschool friend visiting SG. I figured since I haven't seen any of my highschool friends for a long while now, I should give a token of appreciation. LOL. No, just kidding, I was just being the hospitable guide.

I didn't expect though the outpour of reaction on the first photo I posted on Facebook. A lot and mostly all of which were affirmation on just how good the dessert is. So I resolved myself to get a pack today before they run out.

At the store earlier, I already had 1 pack with me. Then a woman came by (I assume she's a senior executive of some sort by how she was dressed) commented on how good Kitkat Green Tea is. She told me as well to get more pack otherwise, she's going to get all the stocks displayed on the shelf. Reluctantly, I took another pack - and she was honest enough and did empty the shelf of the stock.

I took a bite earlier and my first reaction was ANG SARRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPP! My eyes got a bit watery and all I could think of for a few seconds was "This is so delicious this is so delicious this is so delicious this is so delicious." It is. In all honesty, it really is. It captures the flavor layers of Japanese Green tea (Matcha) realistically. It doesn't taste formulated.

Monday, April 16, 2012

CH85: High Up

The picture above was taken from the 43rd, hmmm maybe 45th or no, I think it was the 50th floor of the client's office that I am working in right now. The building is Marina Bay Financial Center Tower 2. And the client is BHP Billiton.

Time has gone by so quickly. It's been a week already since I started working here. I'm not going to say anything about the work - like how I enjoy it so much, how I look forward to working here, or how I'm sure I'm staying here long. I've said those things before and they weren't really true. Hahaha. I think I must have "usog" or spoke too soon and preempted things. Or I think it's also party because this is already my 5th employment since being in the industry exactly 4 years now.

Friday, April 13, 2012

CH84: Hey You


I was honest enough to stay true and open a letter (scheduled to be read on) for the 11th of April. Thankfully, in my new work, I'm already loaded - as in doing productive things - so I had time to distract myself from a letter itching to be opened.

In other news. I turned 26 the other day. If my 25th year was spent on conquering fears and pushing myself further, for my 26th, my mantra is: "If I need to think of a reason not to do something, then I should probably do it. Minimize excuses." Just do it in short. Or the tagalized version, Go lang ng Go.

***Start Composition
So, hey! It's me. Thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to craft up something personal. Thank you for the presents. It's not often that I get such sweet surprises. I was asked by someone what I like about you and it took me some time to answer. I thought of your face, your eyes, your lips, your everything - and the only answer I could come up with was, there's just this chemistry. It's not explainable in the sense that it's not quantifiable nor qualifiable for me. It's either that - or I'm just not good with words when it comes to you. Or perhaps, I was being guarded by nature.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SS4: Bangkok Experience

The intersection between Silom and Rajanagarindra, Bangkok Thailand
Expectedly, I could not help but compare the Philippines to Thailand. I did mention before that the tourism industry of Thailand is way ahead of the Philippines. It's very systematic and the infrastructure which serves as the tourism backbone is strong.

Myself at the SkyBar @ Lebua State Tower where a scene from the Hangover 2 was shot

I went to Bangkok just recently, and city wise, I am quite amazed how progressive it is. And you have to only wonder how much longer will Bangkok become a step higher into the world classifications that are 1st, 2nd, etc etc.

One of the things I observed was how convenient the transport system is. They have the MRT lines similar to the Philippines, but they are not as crowded. And the interchanges between the lines are also convenient. Queuing for tickets and getting into the trains are, i must note, very organized. I did not experience any pushing or whatnot. It's very much comparable to Singapore save for some differences like they are mostly above ground. Maybe because they don't have the same constraints as Singapore's land area.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

CH83: Dip and Dive

If a stranger came knocking on your door, what would you do?

A raven came knocking at Robert Frosts' door. Was it by random chance? Or was it preordained? How would you know when to welcome a stranger? Do they bring harm or good?

Chance. Gamble. That's the thrill of playing the game - the game of life? Or perhaps the other four letter L word. Lust is it?

You came knocking and I took the dive. The plunge was initially warm then gradually cold as the distance grew , and time moved forward, but I stood still. My grip became loose and I almost lost you.

But as I confessed, was it my lacking? When do you know if the game is lost and you've gambled too much away? How do you know if you've lost when you haven't gambled anything? Do you just go all-in, or do you check and bet - poker face?

Perhaps not all games are meant to be played with strategy. Some games are better played one step at a time. As the saying goes, live life one day at a time, one hour at a time? One minute at a time? One second at a time? The devil is in the details.

For now, I wait. The fire is rekindled stronger. I know what I want. I know the price to pay. I know what it would be like to lose. I know.

So, after the initial dive. I dip my toes in to test the waters. You thread lightly in this game. You do

Saturday, April 7, 2012

[Review] A Separation

Weird. The entry I saved as a draft on my IPhone blogger app is gone.

Anyway, to cut that long entry short, A Separation is a must see film. I highly recommend it. It's not artsy-fartsy in the sense that it thrives in vagueness, ambiguity and thought provocation as you go along the film. It's drama. It's real and possible. Not like the drama I grew accustomed to seeing in the Philippines both in the TV and theaters. It's not far fetched drama. Although the story is 'just' okay (in the sense that it's simple), but how the story was told and the decisions taken to capture the story through the camera are amazingly executed.

I was gripped by curiosity and drama that was unfolding before my eyes. It was a film whereby after it ended, only then did I review scenes in my head and went oohh and ahhh. The details in the plot were nicely woven together. I have to admit though, I wasn't expecting the ending. Only at the ending did the film turn the artsy-fartsy route. Yes. It's open ended.

That final scene of the film was what blew me away.

Note: If you haven't seen the film - [SPOILER TO COME]

Monday, April 2, 2012

[Review] MDNA: Album Verdict

For contextual reference, I would put Madonna's latest album a notch below Katy Perry's last album Teenage Dream but a little bit above or almost at par with Lady Gaga's Born This Way album.

Above Lady Gaga's album partially because Lady G's album was not pop pop per se, but she transitioned to a darker theme with heavier rock and electronic incorporation. I got tired of the album in less than 2 months. Her first album and second pseudo album - 8 singles (Monster) lasted more than 2 months. And my forecast for Madonna's new album is lengthier.

My favorites from her album are Girl Gone Wild, Gang Bang, Beautiful Killer and Give Me All Your Luvin'.
They are my favorites because I liked how they sounded right off the bat. The other songs are good, but it's either a bit preppy for me or too pop like Katy's song California Girls - which for a lack of better word - can get "nakakaumay" quickly.

I read some reviews by critics on Madonna's album, and they were right to say that it's not a revolutionary album that could steer pop music into a different direction. In fact, when I listened to it, I can't help but compare it to a blend between Gaga's first album and Katy's last one. I can't compare to Britney Spears though because the last album I liked from her was Circus. I haven't been following her after that.

In my opinion, Madonna is just cashing in right now. Replenishing her coffers - thus the need to release the album. Or perhaps maybe she just genuinely wants to work? But, as I agreed with the critics opinion, she doesn't make a huge impact or mark for me in pop music culture.. The target market is the long time followers - and perhaps the club goers.

In my opinion, the current power figures in pop music culture are Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry. They have a distinct formula for me. Although, it is widely believed that all solo female performers that came after Madonna are following her path, Madonna in her current incarnation is lagging. She could have made more tracks like Gang Bang and Girl Gone Wild (obvious favorites?) to make the album stronger. But sadly, IMO, the other songs although okay - feels too formulaic. But, overall, the album is good enough to "unhook" me from listening to a 60+ Avicii playlist.

Final word: I just realized that if she released her album with remixes of some of the songs that were just blah okay, then it would have been better.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

SS3: FDS Acquaintance Party

I've uploaded all the pictures from the acquaintance party we just had in Facebook and in the private group of the team.

FDS by the way stands for Filipino Dragons Singapore. It was a fun night of getting to know people - like going to a pub drinking and socializing and meeting random people that turns out to be not random at all given the degree of separation. The social gathering happened after the Saturday training we had - and in several hours from now, another training - which I should be going to. I don't feel like doing my Sunday training with running or swimming. After all, it has been 2 weeks since I was last able to paddle since there wasnt any training last week because of the competitive race the team joined.

Enough talk, and more pictures.