Here Comes The Push

I guess I’ve always been one to push the limits.

I used to push to see how much I could get away with, push others around to get a reaction. Then I realised the only real person I needed to push was myself.

And so I pushed myself, pushed myself to get out there, to try new things, to push myself out of my comfort zone. Push myself to see how far I could reach, how much I could take, how low I could go. As a wise man said, what a shame it would be for a man to go his whole life without knowing the true limits of his strength and beauty that he could have achieved.

But I never would have thought I’d be pushed this far, to be stretched so thin, to be so worn out and dejected. And yet I am thankful for the experience, thankful that I endured and survived and have come out of it stronger and wiser.

Of course it wasn’t without scars. Metaphysical scars, perhaps. But these too shall pass.

And what is is you favourite tea?

Responsibility.

I have to take responsibility for my actions and the consequences, and learn from my mistakes. Things were said and done, some outside my control, but the damage was done nonetheless. Things were missed, people were unhappy. However, these too shall pass.

There were many sleepless nights, constantly pondering what should be done, what could have been done. And leading up to it, there were many things done, a frantic flurry and fiery fusion leading up to the critical mass.

I was tried and tested and pushed to my limits, meeting the demands of others, trying to please others. And through it all I learned and rediscovered that true lasting happiness comes from within.

Yes, there were setbacks and last minute madness that could have been avoided with a little better planning, but I cherished the experience, the wild ride and rollercoaster of emotions.

And yes, in spite of the fatigue and the pain and the physical and mental exhaustion, I am thankful to have gone through it all. I am taking the good with the bad, and holding on to those that made me a better person, that made me feel better and be better. And the bad…it helped me to remember and to cherish the good.

And I would be remiss if I said there wasn’t anger and rage and gnashing of teeth (but mostly a figure of speech). However, I bear no resentment or hate, no lingering lust for revenge or to see others fall. Just a sense of relief and gentle sadness that accompanies an eventful period of time spent in good company.

As life goes, seasons change and things move on. I will not be left behind. The good that I have taken with me will bear fruit, perhaps not now, but someday. There will come a day when I will prove that I can do it, that I have what it takes, that nothing can stop me. And I will have done it not to spite others, or to win anyone over, but to prove it to myself that it will all worthwhile. The sacrifices were all worth it.

Wait, that’s not a real tea!

Audacity – to take a leap of faith, to take that step outside, to not be afraid to fall. To go where you’ve never been before, to feel what you’ve never ever felt, to push yourself to limits you never knew you had.

It has been a good year, and I look forward to many more interesting ones, inshallah. These scars I shall carry and cherish, but they will not weigh me down, they will not stop me from soaring. It matters not if others no longer have faith in me, as long as I have faith in myself.

And no, I’m not going to bloody jump off a building. At least not without a flying fox suit.

Hm…maybe it’s time I give one of those a try.

Feelings – A Haiku

Do I not speak of
My feelings because I am
Trying to be man?

Do I not speak of
My feelings because of my
Asian upbringing?

And so are feelings
Not manly or improper
For certain ethnics?

Do us men not feel
Not feel sadness or sorrow
Happiness and joy?

Do us Asian folk
Bottle up our guilt and hurt
Show no affection?

Do I not speak of
My feelings because I will
Be vulnerable?

Do I not speak of
My feelings because only
Rejection awaits?

Do I not speak of
My feelings because I am
Still empty inside?

How can I express
Say that which I cannot name
No labels for them?

How can I tell you
What I am feeling if I
Do not know myself?

Do I not speak of
My feelings because I fear
That you will hate me?

That you will lash out
With your tongue and mighty words
Of judgment and truth.

Or that my feelings
Mean absolutely nothing
Mean nothing to you.

Feelings are fleeting
They come and go like the wind
They fall like the rain.

As rain hits the earth
Teardrops perishing to mist
And forever gone.

So too do feelings
Strike and fade upon the skin
Gone in a moment.

But some feelings stay
They linger on deep inside
Churning in our gut.

Like raging hunger
They boil inside our belly
Consume from within.

And if we do not
Give them voice and let them out
Grow inside they will.

Like a seed without
Beautiful rays of sunshine
And warmth of a hug.

So too will the seeds
Inside us wither and die
Warping in the dark.

Perhaps there will come
A day when we can learn to
Talk about feelings.

To begin telling
Of the story from the heart
With two words: “I feel…”

Someone Amazing

Once in your life (or perhaps twice, if you are fortunate) you will meet someone amazing, someone who will make you nervous, someone who will shock you and surprise you, someone who will turn your world upside down, who will challenge your world view and share your world. Who will make you see things from a new perspective, make you realise there are so many other beautiful things out in the world.

You will meet someone who will make your heart flutter, your brain freeze, who will make you want to sing out loud, will make you see the music, and hear the colours of the rainbow. Someone who will laugh at you and with you, who will tell it to you like it is, who isn’t afraid to take your shit (no, not literally, ew). Someone who gives a damn about you and who you are, who you really are.

And suddenly, you’re not alone anymore. Your time is no longer just your own. You are swept up in a grand adventure, a wild journey drifting through time and space. For once, your life has a sparkling new direction, you have found a new muse, a new joy; your very being has renewed meaning, your life has a new purpose. You may not know what exactly it is, but you know it will never be the same again.

And you know deep down, somehow, that this, all this, will come to an end.

Not the feelings and fanciful experiences that you had, the conversations and chagrin that you shared. The little moments and memories you had together. Those quiet intervals between adventures where you could just be, where you were comfortable knowing there was someone else there who wasn’t trying to steal your shit or cause you harm. The cozy feeling in your inner being of warmth and contentment. No, not those. Those memories will haunt you forever.

There will come a time when your togetherness will cease, when you will have to be apart. Whether it be long or short, voluntary or not by choice, one thing will remain the same: the pain.

And yes, even the pain will end. Eventually, someday. And everything will be alright.

Yes, everything will be alright. Your lips quiver and your chest falls away in slow motion, like a cold rock spiraling downward toward the void, the all-embracing darkness. As you come to accept the inevitable future, a future now devoid of purpose, of joy, of hope, of warmth, you can’t help but wonder – what the fuck were they thinking when they wrote those fucking fairy tales?

Those lies built up over generations of propaganda and brain washing, that there is a happy ending, that there is a hope of redemption, a hope of peace and retribution. A hope that happiness can last for a lifetime. That there is hope. Lies.

Human existence is messy and convoluted and disappointing. It is a world full of rejection and indifference and hate. It is pain.

And you cling to the pain, the fleeting flashes of emotions that you find in your bleak existence, living on with the hope in your heart. The hope of impending doom. The hope that maybe you will be reunited with those who have left, those who have gone from your life, even if it is for that brief split second before your soul leaves your body.

And in your despair you recall those fleeting feelings, those moments when you glimpsed happiness. At least you had that, no matter how short-lived. And you will always have that, those happy memories and bittersweet moments of peace and serenity without a care in the world.

And that is why you must soldier on.

Because these are but feelings and thoughts. Like people, they will come and go. Life is unfair, life will have its ups and downs. You will not always be happy, and you will not always be sad, and you may no longer be that innocent, carefree, shiny-eyed little rascal, but what you are now is a fighter. What you now have is a will to go on, a will to live and breathe and take what this world has to give and roll with the punches.

As cliched as it sounds: what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Your belief in yourself becomes stronger; your belief in better days becomes stronger. Pain makes you stronger.

You begin to realise that at the end of it all, everything will be alright. And even if it isn’t alright, who’s going to be around to care?

And perhaps there is the hope that one day, you will meet someone amazing, someone who will make you nervous again. Maybe it will be that same someone. Maybe it won’t. But it matters not, because you will be alright. Because you are that amazing someone.

When They Don’t Come For You

Have you ever had a meeting or date set with someone, only to be left hanging or left sitting there waiting for their ever impending arrival? What do you do when they don’t come for you?

I’ve been told it’s all about managing expectations.

The toughest part is coming to the crestfallen conclusion that you have indeed been stood up. The uncertainty and excitement, the fleeting glimmers of hope, the long wait, the bitter disappointment and embarrassment.

Does it make it worse to not have any expectations?

So what do you do when this happens to you?

Cotton Candy Chords by Top Combine

棉花糖 Cotton Candy Chords
by 至上励合

Verse:

C
回憶着初次相遇
Em
坐在你身旁
F
是誰曾經說
G
太幸福會缺氧
C
愛情已種在心裏
Em
自由的生長
F
童話裏的浪漫
G
需要用心去培養
F______G
想帶你一起流浪
Em_Am
沐浴陽光
F_____G ____ C
去完成溫暖的想象
F ______G
喜歡你任性時候
Em_Am
可愛模樣
F________________G
好像失意時投下的陽光

Chorus:

C
你就是我心中的棉花糖
G
甜蜜的夢想
Am
彼此牽起的雙手
Em
誰都不要放
F______G
去眺望 去遠方
Em_______Am
悉數快樂和希望
F___________________G
展開翅膀我們自由飛翔
G______C
你就是我心中的棉花糖
G
甜蜜的夢想
Am
有你世界都變了
Em
就算天太快亮
F______G
能不能就這樣
Em_____Am
自由的去遊蕩
F________________G
愛在我們心間悄悄綻放
C
許下願望

Rap:

F_______________G
在寒冷时候我们难免会徬徨
Em________________Am
爱总会守在某个地方 建造起围墙
F_____________G
心需要更坚强 不退让不绝望
Em_________Am
有时候等待 慢慢代替了感伤
F___________G
需要去付出 多一些互相体谅
Em____________Am
想一起去等待着 那道曙光
F___________________G
将风雨之中那盏烛火 慢慢点亮
C
未来的时光 有我的肩膀

A Kind of Sorrow 有一種悲傷(Male Acoustic Guitar Chords)

The chords for this acoustic male version of the song are in a different key to the one by A-Lin. I kind of prefer this version better.

Eb _______ F
我不羨慕 太陽
Dm _____ Gm
照不亮你 過往
Eb _______ F _______Bb Bb7
有些黑暗 我們 都一樣

Eb _______ F
我太嫉妒 時光
Dm ______ Gm
能離開的 大方
Eb _______ F ________ Bb Bb7
不用開口 也就無需躲藏

Eb
有一種悲傷
F ________________ Dm
是你的名字停留在我的過往
Gm ______________ Eb _____ F
陪伴我呼吸 決定我微笑模樣
F ___ Bb Bb7
無法遺忘

Eb
有一種悲傷
F ______________ Dm ___________ Gm
是笑著與你分開 思念卻背對背張望
Eb _______ F ________ Eb
剩下倔強 剩下合照一張

The chords are for this version of the song

Top 10 Wacky Things To Go With Your Half-Boiled Eggs

Watery Half Boiled Eggs

For those of you that don’t know, this is what half-boiled eggs look like (albeit rather runny ones).

And this is how you make them:

Half Boiled Egg Cooker Maker

But I’m not here to tell you how to make the perfect half-boiled eggs (the cooker does that for you all on its own). I’m here to do more than that. I figured half-boiled eggs don’t get enough attention, they don’t get enough love.

Now I’m an avid half-boiled egg consumer, and so I figured why not spice things up a little and create or discover a brand new half-boiled egg combo? Because frankly the ol’ soya sauce and pepper routine gets a little stale sometimes, no? And as they say:

Variety is the spice of life.

– Dalai Lama (not really, he doesn’t take spice)

So here are some wacky combos that you can try (if you dare)!

Feel free to play along at home!

Half Boiled Eggs Olives
It may look like bubble tea with a side of egg (hey, I never thought of that!), but it’s actually a whole avalanche of olives. If you’re not a fan of olives, please avert your eyes. Oh wait, too late.

If you like olives like me, then I would definitely recommend these salty little critters to add that tang as well as a bit of bite to your eggs.

Half Boiled Eggs Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are great for eating raw, but somehow they don’t really add that much to half-boiled eggs. I would recommend at least sauteing or grilling the tomatoes first to soften them up and release some of that umami goodness.

Half Boiled Eggs Beetroot

Who likes beetroot?

One of my favourites, beetroot is a nice sweet sour addition that’s not that uncommon to be found with eggs. Perhaps usually more with poached eggs and some bread, but that’s too cliched, no?

Fun fact: Did you know beetroot contains a compound that naturally enhances your aerobic performance? I’d cite the paper, but I can’t be bothered.

Half-Boiled-Eggs Paprika

If you prefer something not too chunky, then perhaps you can try a smidgen of paprika on your half-boiled eggs instead!

Paprika is a fragrant and versatile spice, and it’s hard to go overboard with it. If you experience difficulty breathing, then you probably want to stop.

Half Boiled Egg Apple
Whaaaat…?

Ok, now it starts a get a bit weird.

Yes, that is an apple. And yes, it is roasted so it is soft like pudding.

And no, it doesn’t really work with hard-boiled eggs.

You’re welcome.

Half Boiled Egg Chicken
That’s…just cruel.

Ah, nothing like a novel take on an old Japanese recipe – the Oyakodon!

For those that don’t know, the Oyakodon is a Japanese dish whose name literally translates to “parent and child rice bowl”. It’s fried chicken with egg on top, on a bed of rice. I’m hungry now.

So yeah, have some crispy fried chicken with your half-boiled eggs! If you can be bothered to fire up the deep fat fryer first thing in the morning.

Actually, just don’t do it. It’s average at best.

Half Boiled Egg Bakgua Jerkey
What in God’s green earth…?

Nothing like starting your day off with some sweet, chewy pork jerky!

Traditional Chinese sweet meat (known as bakgua in Malaysia and some say Singapore) actually goes quite nicely with half-boiled eggs, if you can fit the darn thing inside the bowl.

Half Boiled Egg Fish Skin

Crispy fish skin! Pretty good stuff, although somewhat pricey.

Highly recommend.

Half Boiled Egg Fish Skin
Just pour it right in!

They even come in big bagfuls! Cheaper that way.

Half Boiled Egg Pomelo

Ok I tried to get all fancy with this one, but it’s actually just a combination of shredded carrot, pulled pomelo with a hint of paprika and pepper.

It was…interesting. The pomelo is a nice touch, especially if it’s chilled, but otherwise it’s a little strange, even by my eccentric standards.

And that leaves us with our new reigning champion, hands-down the best companion to half-boiled eggs since soy sauce and pepper:

Half Boiled Eggs Kewpie Sesame Mayo
The winner!

I do not work for nor was I remunerated in any way by Kewpie to do this, but seriously their stuff is so good!

The Roasted Sesame is one of most commonly used dressings now for salads, so why not half-boiled eggs?

Their Spicy Sesame range is also just as suitable for those that like a bit of kick in the morning. Nothing beats starting your day off with a couple of half-boiled eggs!

And so ends my half-boiled egg experiment…until next time. That’s all for now, folks!

Have an egg-cellent day!

The Malaysian Dream

All our lives we have been brought up to believe in a dream – the great American Dream. To own a house and a car, to have a family, to be financially free. But does that apply to us here in Malaysia? What does that mean to us – what is the Malaysian Dream?

Growing up we are told to dream big, to be ourselves, to discover who we are and what we’re good at. And then shortly thereafter we’re told to throw that away and be a doctor or lawyer or accountant; quickly complete our education and jump straight into a higher level of study for a piece of paper that will guarantee us a slot in a prestigious position that pays good money.

And we save up, and accumulate wealth and assets, and invest in shares and properties and family members. All so we can retire early and enjoy the rest of our lives doing nothing.

Would you be truly happy with that?

Is that the Malaysian Dream?

I have always believed that we should always be happy in the here and now, no matter our situation, no matter how shitty life is. Perhaps content is a better word.

Of course that doesn’t mean accepting crap when it can be changed, or settling for something just because it is the path of least resistance.

Aim to be better – to earn more money, to be a better person, to be happier. But don’t forget to find joy in where you are now.

Every step you take on your journey to finding happiness should be filled with many little moments of happiness, because each step contributes to your big balloon of happiness.

Person in 5 years

Yes yes, you are what you do.

I know, it’s all super cliched – happiness is in the journey, not the destination. It’s been said to death, what else you got, bro?

How do we interpret this in Malaysia? What is the Malaysian Dream?

Is the Malaysian Dream the 5 C’s (Cash, Car, Condo, Credit card, Career or something along those lines)?

Will that alone bring you happiness?

What makes Malaysians happy?

Certainly there needs to be some social aspect – good friends and family, an upstanding member of society, lavish donations to charitable causes in the community. Malaysians are very charitable people.

Maybe one of the C’s needs to be Charity.

Do Malaysians subscribe to this pathway to happiness? Or are we simply parroting what our colonial subjugators imprinted upon us in their brief stay here?

Of course there is no one single path to happiness. The American or Malaysian Dreams are merely constructs that we use to impart a sense of direction to our future generations of loyal peons, so they will continue to slave away at the system that supports our precarious society instead of leaving for greener pastures (a.k.a. someone else’s system that works much better than ours).

Still, there is power in dreams. There is hope in dreams.

Do Millennials still speak of dreams? Or simply of crippling debt and overwhelming prices?

What is our modern Malaysian Dream?