Tag Archives: life

Smoking makes for a happier life

For the past two weeks I’ve made the effort to smoke one of my lovely Sampoerna cigarettes a day – though I have forgotten on a few days – but I feel like part of me is back, and my digestive system runs smoothly, and I just feel overall more satisfied!

I did stop smoking for six months or so, for health reasons, but now I’ve started again I feel better than ever. Goes against conventional wisdom, huh? I think it shows how powerful the mind is (and possibly how powerful nicotine is… haha), and how it can lead you to believe that doing an enjoyable activity makes you feel more creative, more alive and better at singing. Ehem. Besides I’ve had a carton of Sampoerna for like, a year – someone’s gotta go through it!

Anyway, I’m speaking as if I’m a chain-smoker – I’m definitely not; in fact I feel a bit sick in smoking rooms (who doesn’t…) and find any cigarette other than Sampoerna pretty rank, and one cigarette a day is enough for me, maybe two if I feel like it. Like wine, maybe one dose a day does have its benefits…

I’m also taking daily doses of Michael Jackson – the more I watch him the more amazing I find his moves. His acceptance speeches always contain a motivational, inspirational and above all, wholesome, humanitarian message, with a genuine attitude that is not simply paying lip service to charitable causes. Oh yes, the Invincible album actually has some really good songs on it. And I’m desperate to get a dance floor in my flat so I can practice some dance moves!

P.S: I’ve recorded a cover of Rock With You. I’ll upload it on Soundcloud some point soon…

Michael Jackson: the best performer in the world! RIP.

This whole post could be summed up in one expression: “Doh.” However I just would like to take a moment to remember pop’s greatest performer.

Today I watched the This Is It DVD, lent to me by a friendly colleague. I can’t help feeling, why do you have to go? It would have been so wonderful if he’d been able to play even one night. Then we would have seen the splendour of his show in full.

Performance is his soul. He is truly unsurpassed, in fame, star power and talent and very very rare if not one of a kind. It’s very rare to see a performer that good yet so kind and humble. I don’t know, I think of other big artists, like Madonna, Bono, those kind of people, and while of course they are no doubt charismatic and entertaining, there’s something quite ‘egoistic’ about them. You can see this in 99% of performers, even the so called ‘shy’ ones. It’s probably called being human.

But with Michael Jackson, you are just entranced. It’s just art embodied, channeled through his being. He manages to exude sexiness without actually being sexy, despite having a strange plastic face, unnatural complexion and lately, an extremely skinny body.  His passion just comes through his voice, his music and every jerk and jolt of his body. Just like an all singing, all dancing robot. Watch this!

And every live show of his you see on Youtube, there will be tons of girls and boys screaming. I won’t be and have never been one of them, but I cannot deny he is one incredible, selfless performer that lives purely for his music, and all that he loves. Talent, genius, hard work, selflessness and genuine concern for the world  all rolled into one. What a life. How inspirational!

Happy new year!

Hello! I got The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Bottton for Xmas, and it was such an absorbing read that I finished it in 2  days. It is quite a slim book. I learnt more about Epicurus – he says that the most important thing in life is to indulge, to indulge in friendships/relationships and food. That’s why I’ve been very happy the past eight days. I have spent it with great company and eating lots of nice food!

Jamie's Italian restaurant

Jamie's Italian restaurant

I would also add ‘spectacle’ – nice spectacle that is, not horrid or macabre ones. For NYE 2008 I saw on a big screen at an East End pub how wonderful the London fireworks were. Since then I harboured a wish to be close to the action, in relative comfort. I’d have to be on a boat. So I got entry tickets to a boat/floating pub on the Thames right in front of the London Eye. Wow! The fireworks were so amazing, it was the best! It felt like heaven! Like I could walk amongst the sparkling stars! 10 whole minutes of fantastic pyrotechnic action! Then we danced to some great music. Although the journey home was quite apocalyptic, I will treasure my NYE experience forever!

Fireworks on the Thames

Fireworks on the Thames

Epicurus got a house and filled it with his friends, dining together most of the time. I think he also said never to eat alone; you should always enjoy food with company. He and his mates also tried to be as self sufficient as they can – growing veg and rearing farm animals. That would be fantastic I think, to be able to buy a great big house with enough privacy and space for everyone and share one big kitchen and hire a part-time maid to keep communal areas tidy (rota system is a bit… student-like). Even if we are not in the same house, living close by to friends/family is so helpful. I recall being able to cross the road and visit my collegemates when I fancied a chat.  That alleviated many a lonely time!

So anyway, happy new year… I am starting to read Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis – another Xmas gift and recommended by Tim Ferriss,  The 4-Hour Workweek guy, I think!

World’s Strictest Parents

I’ve been an avid follower of this show, World’s Strictest Parents (UK version) – it’s very interesting to see how other cultures bring up children and also to learn more about their way of life. I came across this interesting blog post about how there is a lack of adult solidarity in the UK and how it is affecting UK’s children. Also it’s not just about the individual family – it’s the whole society that shape the children. One only has to watch how the naughty teens’ bravado gradually crumble in the face of local kids shaking their heads and saying how uncool they are, and how the vision of the parent and the school authorities tend to be along the same lines.

Blog post: What we can learn from the World’s Strictest Parents

Rightmove real estate fun, and organic thinking

I’ve recently (re)started wasting hours of my life going through the rightmove website. It’s a fun hobby I tell you.

“Can I find a house/flat for less than £60,000 within 40 miles of Waterloo?”

“Where can I find the cheapest flat north of Crewe that isn’t in a shithole (haha)”

“What can I afford for £900,000 up my street?”

It’s amusing to see listings saying “Studio flat” alongside a picture of a garage. In Mayfair. Or anywhere in the South. Taking “future potential” a bit too far, like Enron.

So what I have resolved to do is, instead of letting my youth slip away amongst pictures of decrepit and luxury houses, I’m going to blog instead. About anything. In fact it does appear that my mind thinks best while walking or on the train in the morning or about to sleep at night. Anywhere but in front of the computer.

That is exactly what Richard Watson said recently in his speech Future Minds. Amongst other things he says the best place to think is not in front of the computer. Although I have spent more than half my life in front of a computer, I agree with him. I can think of doing specific things on a computer, like emailing, buying, or saying impulse stuff like leaving a comment. However new thoughts I find are generated elsewhere – because when I’m on a computer I’m invariably doing something. Which is not conducive to clear thinking.

The unfortunate fact is that all my wonderful thoughts are forgotten once I’m in front of a computer… or even a paper notebook. I’ll try harder next time… for my sake…

For a wonderful Asian food blog, visit the Catty Life. Wonderful pics, and unsurpassed Asian foodie.

A snapshot of my day

Today I:

  • read History of Western Philosophy (yes, still reading it… very thick!)
  • helped put together a sofa-bed – just arrived today, thanks made.com
  • worked, of course
  • wrote one page-r recommending Zmags, a really cool digital publishing platform
  • texted lots of friends. My mobile’s normally forgotten
  • chatted with sis
  • bought Pet Shop Boys tickets
  • a bit of grocery shopping online
  • recorded myself singing Winter Wonderland. Don’t ask
  • cooked for Hari Raya Haji, without oni0ns (Salam Aidiladha everybody!)
  • prayed
  • booked appointment to do a presenter headshot for Spotlight finally!
  • scheduled to put a little bit of money in Aberdeen Asia Pacific fund – I love Asia so much I want to invest in it. Almost a quarter of it goes to S’pore companies so that’s good for me
  • renewed library books.

My happy, chilled out life, low stress no strife! 🙂

Books books books

I’ve been reading a lot more lately. I’ve been trying to stick to one book at a time but it’s hard! Esp since I have a great library at my workplace. I just come downstairs and choose some swell books.

Like Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. I think it’s a copy from the 40s or smth. I’m not sure I’m going to finish this one. I’ve learnt a lot just from the intro! Maybe it’s just my modern brain but some paragraphs could be much shorter really. I’m up to the chapter about Wages for Labour, smth like that.

Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy – I’ve just finished Socrates, a bit of Plato and delving more into Aristotle. The cover of the book I got is a painting by James Barry that can be found on across all four walls of the great hall where I work. It truly impressed me first time I saw it.

I also finished How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson and How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis.

How to be Idle is arranged by chapters demarcated by time and the significance of it in an idlers’ day. Like for example 3am is a perfect witching hour as it’s long enough to forget the happenings of the day before and before the new day is born. The first half of the book seems much more informative than the second half. I’m guessing that his little children must be distracting him.

How to be rich is a great read. According to Felix Dennis, it is an ‘anti self-help book’, in that it lays bare what is truly involved in getting rich and does not indulge in ‘anyone can do it’ type BS. It is written purely from his perspective, and my what an insight. I suspect that this book has put some people off from pursuing their dream of ‘being rich’, judging from a couple of Amazon reviews. Some passages which warn the reader about the dangers (and perks of course) of being rich are really insightful, and he encourages the reader to learn from his mistakes and successes. I think it is rare to find a book on this subject by a bestselling poet.This is one of the books I will keep and re-read.

I just borrowed some Germaine Greer from the library; wanna know what all the fuss was about… and also a children’s French book as that is my French reading level – I gotta start somewhere!