30 September 2008

Searching for Peace

In my ongoing pursuit of happiness and tranquility of mind, I must keep reminding myself of the unpredictability of life:
  1. Do not be happy for good news as it may still turn sour
  2. Do not be sad for bad news as it may turn out to be a good one

I know all this from my Buddhist studies years ago!! Why have I not been practicing them anymore??

Guess I'll start by reducing the number of excited punctuations I use.


I quote this ancient Chinese fable story: A Loss May Turn Out to Be a Gain

Long ago, near the frontier lived an old man. One day he found his horse missing. It was said that the horse was seen running outside the border of the country. The neighbors came to comfort him for the unfortunate loss. But the old man was unexpectedly calm and said, "It doesn't matter; it may not be a bad event, on the contrary, I think it can be a good one."

One night the old man heard some noise of horses and got up to see. To his surprise, he saw another beautiful horse as well as his own. It was clear that his horse had brought a companion home. Hearing the news, the neighbors all came to say congratulation on his good luck. At the greetings, however, the old man was very calm and thoughtful. He added, "It is true that I got a new horse for nothing, but it is hard to say whether it is good or bad. It may be an unlucky thing."

What he said was testified right. The son of the old man was very fond of the horse brought home, and one day, when he was riding the horse, he fell down from the horseback and terribly hurt in his left leg. Since then he was never able to walk freely. "Nothing serious," the old man said, "perhaps it is going to be good."

A year later, many of the youth there were recruited to fight in a
war and most of them died. The son of the old man was absolved from the obligation for his disability, so he escaped death. The old story tells us that good and bad, disaster and happiness can be converting objects to each other sometimes.


Unrelated note to Malaysian Les Mills instructors who might drop in: The upcoming Q4 2008 Quarterlies will be on 5th and 6th December! See you there!

29 September 2008

Searching for Peace

In my ongoing pursuit of happiness and tranquility of mind, I must keep reminding myself of the two types of criticism:
  1. Criticize to put someone down
  2. Criticize to make someone better

I must learn to accept the second one, and not speak the first one (out loud).

17 September 2008



So I finally got the charcoal iPod Nano yesterday. When it was first announced I was interested in the Product (RED) version but they don't have it here in Malaysia so I went for the next best thing. I'm actually quite disappointed that the other colours looked really bad. It was all so delicious in the poster but the actual device colours looked either dull or Ah Beng-ish.

Anyway... it only took me an hour to fill up my 8 gigs of space. Should I have gone for the 16gb version?

I would say a minor downside is the slightly curved screen. Screen protectors will never be able to stick properly on it! Ever! Luckily it's made of glass so it won't scratch easily *crosses fingers*

12 September 2008

BodyJam 46 Review

Here's a teasing, non-spoiler review of BodyJam 46 for all you junkies out there waiting for your gym's launch.

First of all, check out the new release posters! The guy in the BodyJam poster is none other than Arnold Warren, my Jam trainer. Undoubtedly I couldn't recognize him very much because of the severe Photoshop-ing that picture went through but yes, it's him.

When I first listened to the warmup music without seeing the choreography, I was a little discouraged. It was such a mellow sound to start a Jam class with! It did not have the instant kick like New Day from 44 or Boogie 2Nite from 42. But all is forgiven when I saw the masterclass video. The armline is super simple but looks really cool and fits the music very well. Again, I'm amazed by Gandalf's musicality in choreographing Jam tracks.

The isolations track fares much better with the fun and simple chorus combo. It is not as hard hitting as the music would suggest but the combo is interesting.

The Latin track is ok-lahhh. I'm not gushing over it yet. It feels like a mutant child of 41's La Bomba. Except much faster and with less hip wiggling! When the thing goes into double-time, new people will find themselves stomping all over the place and not really feeling the Latin furore as what Gandalf promised. Could be better...

The Tribal Explosion block is great! I like the fusion of different music and experimental moves that are a little contemporary-like. The key is to let the beat help you, and to stop thinking about technique and just melt into some of the moves. Great musicality movements here too!

Recovery follows that and just like Latin, it's not really impressing me. If you don't know how to snap your fingers, this release will teach you as there's schnapping in almost every track including a tonne of them in this recovery! The Elvis twist is inspired, the rest not so. Maybe it has something to do with all those urban hip hop tracks. I can't figure out what he's singing/rapping, so I can't really feel the theme of the music. And you know-lah, most hip-hop/rap has the same aggressive beat behind them.

The final Big Phat Aussie House block is my favourite. I'm a sucker for arm lines and there's plenty in this block to keep me happy. The first 8 counts are the hardest but once you get past that just groove into the house music and release your inhibitions! Don't even get me started on the last track - I feel like flying everytime she says "I need a miracle"! Oh, don't we all?

The groove down is rock inspired and you get to be a rockstar for a few minutes. I appreciate a different feel every now and then and this is definitely something different, though I find the music so-so.

I would say it's a solid release, but pales to 45 by just a little bit. I'm saying this even though I've done 45 so many times until it has the faint sour smell of stale garbage. The highlights for me is the Tribal Explosion and Aussie House block, which is already 70% of the release, so I would say a good job to the LM team!

So that's BodyJam 46, where everybody can get their kicks! Launching soon at a Les Mills-licensed facility!

Praise is Not Cash

Well, yesterday came and passed. With no promotion in sight. I did, however, get praised by my boss. Praise won't pay bills, but it did lift my mood.

The major change you see is of course, a new template! The sexygeek thing was becoming pretty hilarious for the wrong reasons, so I shifted to something a little more serious. Not to mention some promises were not kept. But bygones are bygones, eh?

10 September 2008


The only questions is: which colour? The Product (RED) version is eye-catching and helps a good cause, but the charcoal is sleek and orange is all the rage on the web. The blue and green ain't bad either.

Go read one of the many reviews and hands-on now. It was worth waiting!!

09 September 2008

I Desperately Need Good News

I'm lost in a haze of disappointment and sheer -_-"ness. Seems my car problems are more serious than predicted, and worse, the mechanic cannot give a deadline on how fast it can get fixed. That means more days of telecommuting with Dad, a prospect that gets me down. Not only the fact that I have no freedom to go anywhere, but my office is really out of his way (15km, to be exact). And I really hate to impose my needs on other people. I'm selfless that way.

So I'm hoping 9/11 will be a good day for me. It may be a day of mourning for those affected by the 2001 terrorist attacks, but this Thursday also marks my 2nd anniversary at this company. I can't believe I've been working for two years already! Anyway, my manager made an appointment for a one-to-one meeting on Thursday, and I'm expecting good things.

I don't think it was a coincidence to schedule the quarterly review on my working anniversary, so I'm hoping it is.... a promotion! A couple of my colleagues recently got a small step up the career ladder after working here for two years so I think it's my turn. I'm not really a power chaser aiming to conquer that proverbial ladder, but promotions are usually accompanied by a significant pay rise, and I'll certainly need a pay hike to cover my car repair bills!

Conversely, I'd be severely disappointed if I didn't get that promotion. I know I shouldn't set myself up for possible disappointment but I deserve some good news in this mound of manure that I find myself wallowing in.

(On the bright side, I read through this post and find that I write more poetic stuff when I'm brooding)

07 September 2008

Option B

Tow truck. *grumble*

The Great Penang Flood

Instead of any Great Merdeka Sale, we're celebrating a damn big island-wide flood instead:

This is the scene that would welcome me if I stepped out of the house now - almost 2 feet of brown, murky water floating with wooden debris. How do I know? Coz I waded through 2 feet or brown, murky water while returning home. But that's not the best part! The real kick in the balls is that my car died 500 meters away!

I'm surprisingly upbeat about this, I know. But we always see pictures of poor people's car half-submerged in floods and we go, "Ouch!" Now I know how that feels. Yes, it sucked but the adrenaline rush kinda toned down the suckiness factor.

To the car's credit, Dad and I both think it cut itself off before permanent damage was done. We didn't suspect it would be so deep in that area where we passed (a shortcut we usually took) but we just kept going down and down until a big red STOP appeared on the information panel and the car rolled into a frightening halt in the middle of the lonely road.

Dad didn't dare restart the car and we sat for a minute processing the situation. I was very clear on what we had to do - we had to push the car to higher ground and hope for the best.

I rolled up my jeans (it got wet anyway) and stepped out onto the brown, murky water I'd get so accustomed to. The water didn't get into the exhaust, so there must be a sensor in the engine to cut the vital parts off. From there, we pushed the car about 50 meters (it was a long 50 meters, trust me). Talk about a late night workout!

We put the car under a lone street lamp, locked the car, and walked home in the rain. Now all we can do is hope that the car killed the engine, and not the water. Tomorrow morning we will go check on the car again and hope for the best. There are only 2 ways this could go - we drive it home or we call a tow truck. Hmmm....

05 September 2008


[Warning: This post is a brag-fest]

I've been teaching my free Thursday class (Cardio Fit) for a year now and last night, for the first time, they gave me a thank you gift!! They came up after class and presented me with a bag of goodies, to my amazement.
I teach that class for free as a "community service" of sorts, so I do not expect anything except gratitude in return. I was especially thankful that they thought I was worth giving an expensive gift for. I hope, in a small way, that I've created Fitness Magic for them (told you today was a brag-fest).

Anyway, I opened up my gifts as soon as I reached home. The pictures say all:

They were thoughtful enough to leave the Nike tag on so that I could exchange it if I didn't like it. Well, personally I find the design a little odd but I never reject people's thoughtfulness so I'll stick with the design. But it's a Large so I'll still need to get it exchanged with a Medium (or a Small, depending).

All in all, last night turned my mood around! I am still sombre about my BodyJam efforts at the gym, but that's for another post.