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the prettier the pictures, the sadder the life

you are the only person who can make me feel guilty about being angry, you constantly remind me of how worthless, ugly and underachieved i am. thanks, i really don’t need that reminder. you make me feel like im trapped in this prison called home and i wish and pray that somehow things will change for the better. but it doesn’t. and its a viscous cycle that makes me sick. i just want to leave it all behind and start afresh somewhere new.

i don’t think i remember how not to hurt anymore. its something that has built its home in my heart. most of the time it’s kept inside and suppressed, but when field day comes, i really just wanna rip it out and toss it into the ocean. 

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Perplexed

The more I can’t have it, the more I want it.
But once I’ve gotten it, somehow it’s isn’t quite the same anymore. 

Perhaps what I like is the idea of a “you”, but not an actual “you”. Sometimes, it really does feel like I’ve completely lost it – the ability to feel – joy, pain, anger, anything, something real. I’m not talking about annoyance, or happiness anything temporal. 

Perhaps I don’t even know what I want anymore. I do know what I don’t want though. Or perhaps I really do, I just don’t dare admit it. Singlehood is annoying, like some sort of a disease and it hits you like a plague and somehow everyone just steers clear and magically finds love. Clearly something I can’t seem to get. And if that’s not all, things actually do spiral downwards from there. It’s actually starting to sound more like a rant.

Underachievement – how is this one measured? Sometimes I feel like my career is at a standstill, it’s stuck and I don’t even comprehend why the heck I am still stuck here when everyone around me seems to be travelling the world. Opportunity doesn’t just come knocking when you sit on your bum – but why does that contradict the fact that there’s a right time and space for everything? 

Appreciation – they say as you grow older, the people around you get fewer and fewer. and woe to the one who is unlike the norm of having just one group of friends they can hang with week after week. sadly, i can’t, don’t have one, don’t know how to have one either. once a free spirit, always a free spirit. they forgot to tell me that a free spirit is also often alone. and yet, no one ever wants to be alone. 

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2012: A Year in Photos

2012: A Year in Photos

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January 2, 2013 · 12:28 am

Thank you, what’s next?

City of Dreams – Alesso & Dirty South

It’s the time of the year that is supposedly the peak once again. The last few days of the year that everyone tends to obsess over. Plans for countdown, throwing the biggest parties, attending the biggest parties, or on the other end, it’s basking in the stillness, reflecting on the past year and making resolutions.

It’s been a good 1 year plus since I last wrote, and perhaps its my way of wrapping things up for 2012. With all these free time on hand, you can’t help but think, so what?

So what if your countdown was a total blast and you have the best time of 2012?
So what if you reflect on every good and bad thing that has happened?
So what if you set amazing goals and resolutions for 2013?

Perhaps it sounds a little jaded. But at the end of the day, what do all these count for? Our pursuit of happiness is but temporal, at most short lived. Maybe it’s the bitterness and regret that I should have taken the first flight out for NYE earlier this week. Even then, that would be a temporal escape. Instead here I am in bed penning my wrap up, my final catharsis of the year before an exciting 2013.

To sum up my 2012 – it would be: Thank you, what’s next?

I’m thankful for all the experiences that have happened. The spontaneous travels, unexpected parties, new friendships. Yes, the way I see it, planning tends to take away most of the fun. Experiences should be lived out, not predicted. And that was how most of 2012 went. It was great, no regrets, and I’d  do the same for 2013, this time, with less procrastination.

Yes, that caused my NYE abroad. Sometimes, I fall into the cycle of “What ifs” – What if things happened differently? What if I was daring enough to do what I really felt? Or say the words that were in my head? That’s regret.

Perhaps there were many things that could have gone differently, but I believe God has the right timing for everything. I can feel it, 2013 – it will happen. Call it faith, self-fulfilling prophecies, motivation what nots. What’s going to happen next is what you make it out to be. With faith on the big guy above of course.

I can’t wait. I can’t wait to get out of Singapore. To start a life in a new country, a new job, new experiences. Even if I can’t move out of this place, things will definitely be different. No more being passive, over analyzing stuff or procrastinating. Someone once told me, if you have all these ideas in your head and you are not going to use them, then when will you ever?

 

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bright lights and adrenaline

the temper trap – love lost

blinding lights, drum beats as heartbeats
the world begins to fade with the pump-mutings
the crowd screams

the music, that voice, it speaks to you
as if you were right there on stage
belting your heart’s tune to the world at your feet
you float, astral project and rise above all

for a moment, nothing seems to matter,
for a moment, it was just you against the world
for a moment, that world was right under your feet
for that moment, you were dancing to the right beat

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The Black Sheep of PR: A PR Nightmare of a Survey

 A PR nightmare of a survey

Published April 23, 2011
By JOYCE HOOI
REPORTER

IF you were among the 500,000 people worldwide recently that a certain PR firm had chosen to annoy, you would have stood a 1-in-500,000 chance of winning an iPad 2.

All you would have to do is answer 15 questions in a survey called ‘What Journalists Want From PR’.

I suppose that after figuring which end of the phone to speak into, the hardest task is figuring out what journalists could possibly want from PR professionals.

But you would have thought that what journalists do not want would have been obvious: an e-mail like this.

The questionable nature of offering a freebie this shiny and coveted to a journalist aside, the survey gets a little bit ahead of itself by asking a barrage of questions about social media such as ‘Do you follow and friend corporate communications or public relations professionals on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook?’.

‘What, they think the answer might be ‘yes’?’ a horrified colleague had asked.

That the question even had to be asked means we can assume that these are the PR people who are not already friends with the journalist in question, who have no legitimate reason to want to be their ‘friend’ on a site where people do overly friendly things like ‘poke’ each other.

To be sure, such a question needs another kind of survey instead – one of your Facebook friend requests and every journalist who has not accepted yours.

It is baffling that anyone would think that someone else would welcome being followed around on Twitter and harassed in 140 characters or less. ‘hi when is the story cmg out? tks!’

In any case, the survey gets ahead of itself because it does not ask the most fundamental questions that PR people ask on nose-to-the-grindstone days. While the survey might fail to ask them, I will provide the answers:

  • No, you may not read the story before it comes out in print.
  • No, The Business Times and The Straits Times are not the same paper even though we have the same parent. Would you like us to run a story on your sister instead of you and ask you what the difference is?
  • No, you may not have the questions beforehand. It’s an interview, not an exam, and your CEO is a big boy.

Growing numbers

These questions are bound to be asked over and over, and in much greater frequency. In a cover story for the Columbia Journalism Review last October, Dean Starkman said with a tinge of foreboding: ‘We are living in a time of PR ascendance.’

He cited figures showing that the ratio of PR people to news reporters has grown drastically in America. In 1980, that ratio was 0.45 PR folks to 0.36 journalists per 100,000 population. Today, that ratio is 0.90 PR people to just 0.25 journalists per 100,000 population.

Mr Starkman estimated that since 2000, the news business over there has lost 15,000 journalists, all of whom were presumably too busy to come into work after rejecting friend requests from PR people on Facebook became a full-time job in its own right.

‘While journalism has withered, PR has bloomed like a rash,’ he noted morosely.

To be fair, there are many PR people on the island who are a dream to work with, are intimidatingly competent and make navigating unfamiliar territory a less onerous experience.

But this survey unwittingly reveals that some only signed up because they thought they would be a PR person the way Samantha from Sex and The City is a PR person – with exclusive parties every week, lots of air-kissing and utterances of ‘Dahling’.

They hadn’t bargained for having to jump up and down in a suit, yelling, ‘Off the record!’ to drown out their client’s answer to anything not in the press release or suffering the indignity of pitching news about people sitting in the dark for an hour every year in a bid to save the planet.

Some of them must not have foreseen the tedious reality of writing press release after press release on matters they neither understand nor care about – which would explain one of the questions in the survey: ‘What elements should a press release contain so as to make it most helpful for your writing/reporting?’.

In responding, you are invited to check any number of available choices which include, ‘Clear and concise facts about the ‘who, what, where, when, why’ of the release’.

English, please

No, please, forget the ‘why’. It’s heaps more fun to make that stuff up. And please, if you must include a ‘why’, such as why a certain executive is stepping down from the board, being ‘clear and concise’ is overrated. You should, in the words of a certain MNC’s press release, say that he did it because of ‘diverging views on the future strategic focus of the company’.

Then, we get to call you up to ask that you translate it into English. We might eventually fall into such a rich and rewarding conversation with you that we add you as a friend on Facebook and spend the rest of our days blissfully exchanging Farmville requests.

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$5 for a travel pillow

Grapevine Fires – Death Cab for Cutie

It’s about 1.23 in the morning and I’m curled up on a plane bound for Melbourne. Usually I’d be heading out for some snacks with the midnight buddies or tucked away in bed either knocked out from the exhaustion of work or passing the time watching some silly sitcom.

Instead, I’ve just awoken from my countless attempt to get some shuteye on JQ8. It’s my first long haul flight on budget. I’ve not flown more than three or four hours in a couple of years, and definitely not on economy. I’m fortunate enough to have not one but two seats to myself on this flight, and located next to the window near the front – which means easy access to the loo. I personally don’t enjoy long flights, 1hr into it and I’m bored outta my wits. I’ve now watched two episodes of Gossip Girl’s re-runs, one and a half movie, and read a magazine. And yet, I still have about 5 more hours to go. Dear God help me. I’m wide-awake and my body is aching as if I am 99 years old.

So here I am, up and writing and thinking, and seeing ancillary services take place live before my eyes. It’s funny how much we used to talk about it while I was working on Amadeus, and the countless articles I’ve researched and read about it. The online debates, trends and what-nots.

As the carts go down the isle, something different is offered each time, be it food, in-flight entertainment, a wine or two, and even pillows and blankets. Everything you can possibly think of to make your flight more comfortable and enjoyable. I can’t help but think about how these components and services offered to airlines gives travellers a new sense of transparency to what they are paying, and allow low cost carriers to create a whole new market share in the airline industry.

To my right is a big Caucasian dude, probably in his 60s or so, curled up fast asleep. Lucky for him, he has the whole centre row all to himself. A few hours earlier, as the various passengers peer into the pushcarts and browse through their menus, Mr BigGuy whipped out a foot long Subway sandwich from his bag and gobbled it down like it was the best steak sandwich he’s ever had. As I flipped through the menu, glancing over the price of each items, AUD$3.50 for a bottle of water, AUD$4 for a pack of crackers etc., I saw how these ancillary components start to take place. If you’re stuck up above the skies, with 5hours or longer in the plane, you’d do anything to make yourself feel better and more comfortable. Even if you have set your mind to not give in to these extra charges and inflated prices. I couldn’t help but feel ripped off for having to pay such inflated prices for items you can grab off a convenient store before hopping onto the plane.

Like Mr. BigGuy, I had just finished my tiny pack of petit Danish that I grabbed off Starbucks while running for boarding. That and a small pack of Ritter Sport and I was all set to go – yes, you always have to have chocolate. If its anything, that will keep you happy. So now I’m sitting here craving for a glass of ice tea to wash it down, or perhaps something a little stronger, Whiskey perhaps to put me back to sleep. And I contemplate about having to fork out that extra ridiculous amount, and having less shopping money. Yes, it’s always fashion over food. So for people like me, does ancillary services work? Anyone can easily grab a bag of chips and some soda before entering the gates. Laptops, iPads, iPhones can easily replace inflight entertainment. Most unfortunately, nothing can replace the uncomfortable seats.

These little add-ons, are as easily avoidable, as they are readily available and convenient to travellers. Perhaps if these costs were actually hidden within the ticket price, as per a normal air ticket, we might not feel that ripped off after all. Then why break up these costs? Why give people the option? Do airlines make a profit from these ancillary goods? With the demand for low cost carriers constantly being on the rise, especially in APAC where travel is often relatively short distanced, it does prove that people would pay for choices and transparency. Maybe it is a matter of camouflaging the hidden costs by making them ‘transparent’ and separate. Either way, the more comfortable you want to feel on board, the more you’ll have to pay, whether you see the costs or not. 

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