Defining Happiness

Happiness. My quick checklist.

1. Happiness is when people you care about are in good health.
2. Happiness is when you have someone you can share everything with.
3. Happiness is when you can wake up to that same someone’s smile every morning.
4. Happiness is when you see the goodness in people.
5. Happiness is when those people see the goodness in you.
6. Happiness is having faith and belief in the things you stand for.
7. Happiness is understanding other people have different faiths and beliefs that they stand for.
8. Happiness is not judging anyone.
9. Happiness is not taking to heart how others judge you.
10. Happiness is working hard for your dreams.
11. Happiness is laughing to a funny movie when dreams don’t work out.
12. Happiness is giving without expecting.
13. Happiness is loving without defenses.
14. Happiness is full trust in someone.
15. Happiness is someone trusting you fully.

This post is simple, understated and easy to practice. Like how happiness should be.


The crazy economy, the crazy environment and why should I care?

Oil prices dipped below $62 bbl (finally) but the Arabs think the remedy to recession is cutting their output. Logical. And the sissies in the financial markets are wetting their pants and getting their clammy fingers on whatever “investments” they have left, leaving a large vacuum with a “schluuup” sucking sound not unlike the wind of poetic justice swooshing between their ears.

Some might argue there’s no point throwing good money after the bad. Methinks it’s more of throwing dumberness after dumbness. And out of all this the USD grows stronger than ever when its economy is on the verge of a meltdown. The logic behind finance is mind-boggling. Sure, oil’s tied to USD, hedge funds are tied to USD, food is tied to the USD blah blah blah. Come to think of it, even my neighbour’s dog’s leash is tied to USD, which explains why the entire world is being sucked into the whirlpool of US shitty debt down the proverbial hellhole.

And how does this affect me? It’s always the older-than-thou selfish mentality, and I’m the grubby unfed child who has to clean up after their alcoholic dad’s puke. So here I am, 6 months shy of graduation, which beautifully coincides with the anticipated (i’m not even sure if anticipated is a good word) trough of the worst recession in recent history, and soon to appreciate that reality is a big wet kiss from a whazzitsname-fish that looks like this . And eBaying’s no longer cheap with increase freight and poorer SGD-USD conversion. And I think I’m falling for a person who’s probably over me. F***.

Timing, timing, timing. My greatest enemy.

A personal diatribe

I feel happy. I feel sad. I feel bothered. I feel nonchalant. I feel lost. I feel purpose. I feel emotional. I feel rational. I feel hope. I feel helpless. I feel jealous. I feel generous. I feel chill. I feel needy. I feel you. I feel me.

All in a day. ACE you are one of a kind.

Breeding a Fire

Breeding a Fire

How to breed a fire, not easy,
deceptive as this may sound.
It’s infamously finicky,
so make sure you jot it down.

A lean diet of oxygen –
three parts exact, neither more nor less.
That’s not adequate, not to burn;
Dash of tinder, sparks complete the mess.

Even so the recipe be known,
only the foolish conceit, people.
A trickle of rain and effort’s blown.
Trust me, it’s never at all simple.

– sq, 8 April 2008, 2.37a.m.



Long Time No See

I really should stop doing this. Leaving this blog decrepit and running off for months on end, to come back again like a contrite lover. I’m irresponsible, emboldened by the fact this blog will always be here, a patient scribe eager for the next insipid thought I’d rather put in words.

 I’m back this time not because life turned sour, although that can be one of the common facades life choose to present itself. No I’m quite the optimist, admittedly prone to reading too far into issues, but an optimist nonetheless. I guess I just missed writing, blogging, stringing a bunch of words into a sensible structure, whatever you call it. Ever since I absconded my EIC throne following the coup, I’ve not written anything creative (read: non-report/essay).

I was browsing through the submission I made for last term’s creative writing class, reminding myself how bloody smart I was to come up with 10 original poems in two days, and how bloody stupid the prof was for giving me a B+. I’ll never take it lying down, giving me an average grade for a piece I stripped my emotions stark naked trying to inspire. Damn him, and to let this matter pass, I’ve decided to put some down here, one piece a day, for the whole dang cyberworld of Robert Frost wannabes judge whether it deserves a dang B+. Call me a narcissist.

Field at Lorong Gambir 

For ten years I walked that field;

How it shrunk as I grew, when

My increasing strides made each

Journey appear shorter than the previous.

Many would agree to

This growing convenience,

Not me.

We shared ups and downs,

Akin to a friendship, some days

The bogged mud splattered up

To the collar of a shirt for a dinner

I hadn’t attended. And

I would curse such

Bad days.

Other times I enjoyed its companionship.

It gave me special access on nights

When the stars were particularly unabashed.

I would sit on its soft, prickly back

And finish a tub of ice cream

Like I was in an outdoor cinema,

Only better.

As I age, time seemed to move faster,

In tandem to what’s considered “progress”,

A bane to relationships in my own opinion,

And I neglected the field, largely

Because I knew its patience,

Which I’ve come to take

For granted.

I should’ve paid more attention;

Recently strangers with hardhats caged up

My friend in zinc fences and put up signs

To discourage the few who tried

Making contact, and I was late;

I didn’t even manage to

Bid farewell.

Economic Models Explained with Cows

This is so amusing I couldn’t not put it up. To think I try so hard to pursue a finance major. ROFL.

You have 2 cows, and you give one to your neighbor.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you
some milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you
some milk.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the
other, then throws the milk away…
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.
You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
You have two cows. You go on strike, organise a riot, and block
the roads, because you want three cows.
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the
size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called Cowkimon and market
it worldwide.
You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100
years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the
owners for storing them.
You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity, and arrest
the newsman who reported the real situation.
You have two cows. You worship them.
You have two cows. Both are mad.
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you
have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the shit out of you and invade
your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a
You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons
You have two cows. You sell 3 of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank.
Then you execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all 4 cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping 5 cows.
The milk rights of 6 cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder.
He sells the rights to all 7 cows’ milk back to the listed company, and proceeds from the sale are deferred. The annual report says that the company owns 8 cows, with an option on one more.
Meanwhile, you kill the 2 cows because the feng shui is bad.
You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.
You have two cows. You scold each one everyday before and after milking.
You teach one of them to scol the other.
You instruct them to moo only on command.
You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

Farewell, Spangled Banner & All Your Idiosyncrasies

It’s been mighty long since I last posted anything, something which shouldn’t come as a surprise, however painful the absence was to my endearing fans, for I had been travelling on so packed and budget-tight a schedule it was beyond me (or anyone else for that matter) to blog, much less get an internet connection that’s free (and decent).

I would say this trip had been a very fulfilling one, in terms of both the expectations of our planned itinerary and what emotional gratifications I had hoped to derive.

I have cycled the coast of San Francisco, taken in all its nostalgia and the preservation of everything that was once and still is beautiful; everything from its cable cars to the elevators with handdrawn grille gates.

 I have gone and went two natural wonders of the world, the roaring Niagara Falls and the incredible serenity and grandeur of the Grand Canyon.

I have gambled and lost, both my money and gaze by the intoxicating allure of Las Vegas, very aptly coined Sin City, which one was prone to commit no matter how short the stay there be.

 I have experienced the eclectic NYC culture and society, every street told a different story. As some New Yorker on the street mentioned to me, if you can’t find something in NYC, it probably doesn’t exist.

I have seen the enchanting side of USA ingrained in our minds by great Hollywood films, but I have also seen its debauchery and self-victimising citizenship enough to shatter the fantasy of the former. You see perfectly able-bodied men and women alike begging for spare change, in one instance even asking for money to point us in the right direction. When it becomes possible to survive by just hustling people on the streets and not exchanging labour for remuneration, it’s time to rethink the welfare system.

You see advertisments on every channel by lawyers asking for potential clients to carry out petty collateral lawsuits. The abuse of the legal system climaxed with a ludicruous case; an administrative law judge, Roy L. Pearson sued a family-owned laundromat, in a lawsuit that sought USD53m in damages, all for losing one pair of his pants. The fact that such a clearly laughable lawsuit actually took 2 years of litigation to dismiss underscores the failings of a highly mature legal system overburdened by the sheer number of lawsuits -many of which are baseless- that were ironically incubated by its own “democratic” beliefs and constitution.

That being said, I still believe New York City and San Francisco are wonderful places to live and work, you’ll get what I mean when you’re there. In any case, with only very slight bias, I can tell you something – Singapore is really one of the best few places in the world to live. Prove me wrong otherwise.

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