Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thought of The Day

There I was, trying to catch up with my breath sitting on the bench panting. My T-shirt was being given a pre-soak with salt water before laundry. There's really no feeling more alive than oozing out sweat like the faucets are broken in a hot Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon is one of my favourite times of the week, playing games of badminton with a group of friends. But it's also times like these that I realise I'm middle-aged. But that's not the thought of the day. That thought announced its grand entrance a few years ago when I hurt my back lifting something I lifted with my little finger way back then.

With no regular exercises in the past, fifteen minutes of running and hitting the shuttlecock is all I can afford before passing out on the court.

So there I was, panting and celebrating the survival of another round of 'gruelling' game of badminton - of which running is to what the youngsters call strolling, and smashing is to what they call stroking - outside the hall. There were a few guys from another group chatting not far away from me. Some of them were drinking, and two of them were smoking (yeah, beats me too). But that's not the thought of the day.

Then a few of them stood up and walked towards the hall. It's a badminton hall, so all doors would be closed to prevent any draft into the hall. But some of them were left unlocked and unlatched to let the players in and out. The doors opened outwards and there were no handles on the outsides of the doors, probably to prevent unauthorised breaking in or whatever.

After the first few of them entered the hall using a slightly ajar door, they closed the door. A few minutes later, the last two followed. And before they reach the door, my fingers were feeling a bit tingly thinking how they would try to pry and pull open the doors with their hands. But that was me, definitely not the smartest guy in the world. No, that's not the thought of the day either.

As the guys approached the door, one of them raised his hand and, to my surprise, gave the door a slight push. The laws of physics are the laws of physics, they stick. As the door was pushed, it hit the frame and bounced back, leaving it slightly opened, and in they went.

There I was, panting still, hitting an imaginative slap on my sweaty forehead - "How clever!"

As in many other cases, little things in life can teach us a lot of other things about life. It would seem obvious that if we want something in life, we would think of all ways to pull them towards us. But sometimes, the most effective way is not the most obvious way, and it might need a little out-of-the-box thinking. From this observation, it would imply that sometimes, to pull something towards us, we need to first give it a little push, like ..., or as in ..., you know, in those situation where ... hmm ...

I'm very sure the above lesson can be applied in some real life situation, but my thinking train was a bit slow, especially when I was trying to chase back my breathes. As I said, not the smartest guy in the world. And that's also where my train of thoughts was derailed by the thought of the day. The one that gave the light bulb above my head a ten-thousands-watts glare -

"Hey, I have a subject for a post in this blog!"


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The day turns; the night nears.

A day fulfilled; a night unveiled.

Setting sun; rising moon.

A tiring satisfaction; a soothing anticipation.

Twilight, the in-between.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Mind-numbling Mondays

Monday sucks.

The most difficult part of Mondays is waking up. Yet physically, it's the easiest - all you have to do is open your eyes and get out of bed. But really, it's like pulling a ten tonnes wooden cart towards the light ahead. If you had an early Sunday night, two steps forward and you're there. If you had spent the night at your favourite pub, then you would probably have to sweat it out a few more steps. Should you accept the one-for-the-road-drink once too often, then it'll be half a mile ahead, on a forty-five-degree slope, upward.

Hard as it is, it's the first thing that needs to be done. The good thing is, if you manage to get through it, you would have lifted off from the lowest point of the week. Better, but still sucks.

I try to get through most Mondays like a robot - emotionless - which I think is the best way. I would blank out my thoughts and just do what need to be done, one step at a time. Brushing teeth - personal hygiene. Done. Eating breakfast - energy to get through the day. Done. Driving - to go to work. Done. Work - livelihood. C'mon, let's go! Wait ... that's a Friday battle cry. On Monday, it's more like, OooooK, let's do it.

The method of execution is important. Focus.

Brushing teeth is nothing more than rubbing my teeth and gum with a toothpaste-topped toothbrush. Breakfast is simply putting edible stuff into the mouth and chewing and swallowing. Driving is merely stepping on the right pedal to go, and the left pedal to brake - or is it the other way round? See what I mean about focusing? Get the job done, nothing more, nothing less.

The same principle applies at work. For example, there's an activity that I need to repeat through the day for about seven or eight times to get my job done. So while I'm doing it, I would blank out the numbers, forget about the frustration on how many more times that I need to do it. Focus on the job and just do it. Nothing more, nothing less. Before you knew it, it will be the last time I'll be doing it for the day.

Hopefully, nothing that requires more time and effort than deciding on whether to chew my food twenty times or twenty one times during lunch would pop up during work, and I would be done by the time my work needs to be done. If anything does pop up, curse for a few minutes and get into it again. Focus and just do it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Driving home after work on Mondays is probably the best part of the day. One down, and <number blanked out> to go. My spirit is starting to soar.

Once I reach home, my mind will start to wonder a little bit. It is allowed to wonder a little bit. It will attach more emotions to dinner, tv programs, my children's homework, the blogs I read, etc.

On a reflective thought though, I wonder if that's not the way to live our lives? Focus and just do it. Nothing more, nothing less. But that's probably too much grinding for my brain on a Monday night, so is editing this post for the n-th time.

That would leave the next best thing to do to be done - hitting the bed early to get the day dusted and done with.

Sweet dream ...


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whatcha Doin'?

Jeremy is probably a bit bland. Candace is slightly better. But Doofenshmirtz? Now, that's a name! It'll twist your tongue silly, but it's still a hit. Then there are Phineas and Ferb.

There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes along just to end it ...

Did you just read the words above, or sing them?

I don't really get Cartoon Network. Not all of them anyway. I can probably understand why Ben 10 or The Powerpuff Girls are favourites of my kids. Cow and Chicken? Courage the Cowardly Dog? The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy? I fail to see the cuteness in them. Hardly adorable.

I find Nickelodeon slightly better. But my kids don't watch them that much.

On Disney Channel though, my kids can watch the same episode of Phineas and Ferb for the fifth or sixth or the thirteenth time and still get glued to the tv. Even though they can already blurt out lines of the characters, they would still laugh at the same scene. So would I.

I can't always remember the exact words the characters said, but I still get a good laugh and enjoy the show the fifth or sixth or the thirteenth time. There are plenty of adult humours and pop-cultural references in the show. I can't remember Scooby Doo, or Popeye the Sailor Man having those back in my childhood days. Perhaps unlike the old days, parents nowadays spend more times with the kids in front of the tv, and the networks are trying to cater for that. Whatever the reason, as long as I don't have to elaborate too painstakingly to my kids why I'm laughing and they're not, and I reckon I need to join them in one of their favourite pastimes, I'm not complaining one bit.

Apart from the fun and humours, what I admire most about the show is its creativity.

The plot of the show is simple - a sister who is obsessed with busting her younger brothers' outrageous and fun inventions to her mom; a secret agent who doubles as a pet platypus to the kids' family trying to foil the evil plots of an evil, but lovable scientist; and the eventual coming together of these two story arcs which leaves both the sister and the evil scientist in frustration over their endeavours.

The show repeats the same plot every episode with different way of carrying out the plot. Throw in some well-timed amusing catchphrases like, "I know what we're going to do today", "Whatcha doin'?", "Hey, aren't you a little young ...", "Yes. Yes I am", etc and catchy songs, and some hilarious reactions to the ending - my favourite is Candace, in all helplessness, going, "b-b-b-b-but, b-b-b-b-but ...." - and it's a very enjoyable fifteen minutes.

When I can put anything I fancy in this blog of mine and yet fail to make regular posting like even once a week, it's really a joy to watch the show and admire its creative creativity (see what I lack?).

Hey, where's Perry?

Phineas and Ferb - are they even real names?



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