Monday, July 27, 2009

Clips & Chocolate Splat!

First before I begin, all you Singaporean bloggers on Singnet would probably have been puzzled and extremely frustrated by the sudden weird layout when trying to post a new entry due to the missing buttons, inability to load pictures or amend your post in general. In other words, a blogger's nightmare. A quick google search quickly pinpointed Singnet as the problem and a blogger thread on Google help quickly provided the solution (thanks to Yennwee).

If you're using Internet Explorer simply do the following :-

Under Tools -> Click on Internet Options
Click on "Connections" page tab
Click on "LAN Settings" button (if you are using Broadband)
Check "Use a proxy server for your LAN ..." checkbox
Click on "Advanced" button
Under HTTP type, input "" for proxy address and "8080" for port.

For Firefox, do this:-

Tools -> Options
Click on "Advanced" tab
Click on "Network" page tab
From the "Connection" frame, click on "Settings" button
Select "Manual proxy configuration" option
Under HTTP proxy, input "" and "8080" for port.

That'll fix your problem in a jiffy, though it does make one wonder why we need to go through a proxy to be able to blog... hmmm. Perhaps some form of Big Brother surveillance or censorship of sorts eh? Keeping a tab on Singapore's netizens. On to the meat of the matter.

Grabbed a couple of hair clips from Chomel for JL before meeting up for another devastating bank-breaking round of shopping with her (for some reason every other time I shop with her I go on a rampage and when she shops with others, she goes on a rampage. Strange but true.) I'd wanted to get them for a couple of weeks now but never really had the time to do so.

The salesgirl, unsurprisingly ignored me when I strode into the shop and made a beeline for the hair clips section despite the fact that she was less than 2 meters away from me. After settling on the design, classy with a bit of bling but not too much, I asked the statuesque salesgirl whether the size of the clips were sufficient to hold up the fringe.

Ms Sotong blinked in surprise as if registering my presence for the first time, turned to look at me and went, "Er, they are but are they meant for...." And her voice trailed off as she looked at me, seemingly lost for words. The impact of her words were not lost on me. I was astounded. Which part of me, sporting a two hour old QB 'spiky' hair cut, pink Fox polo shirt and fresh out of the gym looked like I needed a pair of bling-bling clips for my inch long fringe? Like hallo woman? And for a moment, I was tempted, very tempted to go, Are you stupid or what, do I look like I need a hair clip? But I settled for a 'Thats-a-dumb-question' look and told Ms Sotong that it was for a female friend whereupon she looked very relieved. Seriously, not very bright.

Thankfully, the clips were acceptable :) JL also bought a pressie, a very unique liquid-like chocolate looking bookmark which we'd seen at the Chocolate Research Facility at Wheelock Place a few weeks back. I'm usually not a fan of book marks, having dropped too many by far or forgetting to wedge them in the correct places when reading. As a result, I'd often commit the book-lover's cardinal sin of folding the page corners to mark where I'd left off (for my or library books haha) and endured many tirades from the said book-lovers/neat-oids, JL included, on the ills of doing so. But old habits die hard and stiff book marks do not help.

I was thrilled and highly amused by the dark cacao liquid bookmark by Kouichi Okamoto, each bookmark supposedly being a unique design made by the said designer. The bookmark which looks rather like a delicious chocolate splat (hence the name), is attractive not so much due to it's unique design but really due to its shape, form and texture. I did say I was a tactile person. Besides, the image of the Chocolate Splat seemingly oozing out from the pages of the book is both amusing yet comforting, like excess chocolate cake batter dripping from the side of the pan. And at certain angles, the Splat looks like some sinister organic blob. Thanks for the Splat, JL! Hugs. :)

Now this is one book mark I'm not junking anytime soon. Heh heh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Ramblings 6: Just Read and Shut Up.

Today is one of those days where I'm like one of the walking dead and remaining lucid and coherent required an almost 'herculean' effort. Amazing how one can proceed on auto, drafting pleadings, dispensing advice to clients during meetings while remaining conscious. Surreal because it's like you're undergoing an OOBE (out of body experience), hearing the disembodied drone of a voice before realizing with a start that it belongs to you.

The fact that blogger seems to have screwed up and I'm typing this entry in a pathetic box no larger than 6 cm x 4 cm is not helping. Most of the buttons are missing with the exception of the publish post and save now ones. While I like my entries unadulterated, I still want a certain level of functionality when I blog.

Bloody annoying. If you're expecting coherency, you should have stopped at the first line.

I cannot comprehend why people enjoy reading things when there's nothing to read, things which never existed. If there's some hidden meaning, some subtle allusion I'll acknowledge it. Heck I'll probably even tell you unless you're some dense prick.

Reading between the lines is a tiresome exercise best reserved for situations where you want to tell a person he/she is fucking retarded but can't do so due to the circumstances. So you suck it up.

Why make people read between the lines when you can say it like it is? I don't waste my time and the point gets across. So most of the time, Black is Black and White is White. It's not some charcoal tinted light grey kind of shit. Seriously. Good grief.

Labels suck. Don't go all emo on me. And friendship is not a dog treat, imparted as a favour and received with gratitude tail-a-wagging.

Not talking about a person is neither a measure of my affection or disaffection for the said person. I just haven't seen/felt a need to.

I dislike being analysed. Especially when the analysis is all wrong. Read and understand. Or not.

All these late nights are taking their toll. Time to reset the bio clock.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I don't think it's going to work. Sorry.

Such a convenient, oft-used phrase of dismissal. The death-knoll of countless relationships, relationships conceived in hope, still-born in birth, leaving shattered dreams in its brutal wake. All with one flippant statement. Nonetheless it continues to remain a phrase that is often brandished about with little thought. Nowhere is this more evident than in the gay circle, where guys who are attracted to guys hook up with each other.

By nature, guys are certainly a more promiscuous bunch, visual creatures hard wired for sex and driven by a primal instinct to satisfy that raging hard on even if it means abandoning all higher order thought processes to that turgid member in doing so. There is some truth to the perception that gay relationships can be more 'superficial' than heterosexual ones, this perception fuelled in no small part by guys' inherent horniness and the ease with which we can hook up and break up without any untoward consequences. Blame our psyche if you will. An unpleasant observation but true nonetheless. Though I do not think it's something we should be apologizing for. Put two guys together and you have a whole different ball game. After all, while many gay guys dream of harmonious & blissful monogamy, all but the most imbecilic or delusional gay man understand that the average gay guy is horny and susceptible to straying. Fidelity is a concept that is easy to grasp but hard to master.

This understanding does not make this dismissive phrase any more agreeable. It evokes a sense of stark finality that brooks no reconsideration and rejection is seldom, if ever, palatable. Still, the phrase remains widely used, sometimes after tortured considerations, sometimes with scant thought. I have said this. Guys have said it to me. Less so the latter, not because I am some Adonis but for the simple fact that more often than not, the guys I happen to be attracted to are likewise attracted to me. But by and large it is mutual. Every one says it. Careless and feckless though it may sound, it remains a necessity, almost a ritual of sorts. To disengage so that you can re-engage.

You cannot be friends with everyone. This was one truth I realized early on in my journey as a young gay boy, even though I attempted to be sociable and personable. The concept of being friends with the world or everyone you meet is one which rapidly loses its appeal when confronted with the drudgery of mundane life. It's not that the people you meet are hateful or detestable or jerks you want nothing to do with. No, by far most of the time, people are equally cordial, well-meaning and amicable. The fact that you can’t be friends with the whole world or at least the people you meet is boils down to a single but fundamental reason; sometimes you just aren’t able to get along. Either you can't communicate as there is nothing to talk about, the person bores you, or you just find the person utterly uninteresting in the sense that you have absolutely nothing in common or things to talk about.

There are of course the jerks, braggarts and sods with an ego the size of our Milky Way. People who just rub you the wrong way (not the correct way...which can be very pleasant indeed) because the two of you are destined by the stars above to be eternal rivals/ are fundamentally incompatible in bed/ ran over each other’s pets in a drunken tit for tat brawl/[insert random reason]. They are irritants but saying ‘goodbye’ is never very difficult when the other party is a jerk and/or there is mutual disaffection.

Ironically, it is the well-meaning ones who bore you but do not get the hint that end up being the most annoying. Why? Because unlike the undesirable jerks who are just out to get into your pants or other annoying buggers whom you just cannot get along with and can easily buzz off; well-meaning people (and gay guys in particular) are unfailingly polite and cordial, adept at engaging in polite small talk, rarely according the chance for you to cut them off abruptly without looking/sounding rude. Granted, some of these ‘well-meaning’ ones are well-meaning because they have certain ulterior motives such as getting into your pants or seeking some form of help or to cultivate their own sense of accomplishment (oh look i have a friend who is a so and so). By and far though, most aren’t and even if they are, they conduct themselves in a manner which makes it impossible for you to buzz them off curtly in a pre-emptive strike.

So because their current behaviour does not merit a drastic dismissal, you are left with various options including but not limited to non-committed responses, polite but un-stimulating superficial small talk and a tendency to come up with excuses to decline further meet ups. This usually works after a while, not always and it is annoying, almost exasperating when you wonder why some people just cannot take the hint. Are they truly oblivious or are they incredibly optimistic? But when all else fails, there is always the phrase ‘ I don’t think it’s going to work. Sorry.’ and heartless or flippant though it may sound, it works. The aftermath is seldom pleasant but the desired message is communicated and the person desists.

The truth is seldom pleasant but that does not detract from the necessity or effectiveness of the phrase. Because some times (if not most of the time), you need to say it like it really is.