Thursday, December 17, 2009

I bring myself to life as Susan Boyle lives her dream

I have not posted very much lately, for most of the past few months real life has gotten in the way. Not that I have been unmotivated but rather I was dancing in the rain embracing whatever that suppressed the flow of creative juices for the moment of time. Since the banned of Facebook plus a few others in China, I had the pleasures of indulging with outdoor activities during the few months of absence. Don’t get me wrong, the ban has not been lifted.

The year end is filled with reflection and introspection; as my fingers embrace this dance of life reflecting the many blessings of the last twelve months. Soon will be the New Year with hope, and inevitably with change. I adept to change with motion so swift, the transition to let go of the old 2009 in order to embrace the new, 2010. Before the old slips away, let’s review and reflect the mirror of blessings, the challenges; the hardship or the many changes in our lives.

Time passes by imperceptibly, changing like the seasons but in some aspects I found it slow in the very beginning of the year. I constantly remind myself of who I am; I am open to the vulnerability of being painfully honest. In this thoughtful contemplation, I look within myself for courage, for strength; and I allow the unfolding of the events to "be" whatever lies ahead of me.

Someone once asked me, “What are you grateful for right now?” The question was extremely timely for me and since then I have decided to reflect upon my life each night before I go to sleep; whether it be my daily activities, professional goals or business objectives; the evaluation offers me an opportunity to review if my chosen path is working for me, if I am accomplishing what I want for myself, with my partner, or sponsors with eternal loyalty, how I can continue with my indulgence, self pampering, and what I would change or maintain. It only takes me a few minutes to quietly reflect but it has provided such clarity to my world.

The simple quiet time actually makes my sleep more restful, my life less stressful and my outlook much more focused the following day. One of the things I appreciate is the people around me since I came to China and I value the quality of friendships rather than the quantity of friends. Acquaintances are important and I maintain quality relationships with many but true friendships are invalid in my lifetime and I guard them to the death.

I have dreams just like Susan Boyle and I dreamt of becoming a published author. In June 2008, I sold my first script, ‘Being Known’ for very little money. The little bit of money I made for my efforts as a ghostwriter was inconsequential in comparison to the lessons I learned along the way. Now, I am writing with a companion, getting paid for my efforts and soon to become the script writer for films I always knew I could be.

As you will discover in an earlier blog, I mentioned the game of life which I play to win. I remember the life lessons of Be-Do-Have to achieve my accomplishments. You have to be before you can do, and you have to do before you can have. If you don't, nothing you ever get will be enough. I know with absolute certainty that I can achieve my goals when my desires are greater then my intentions. For as they say, “It doesn’t matter if you take big steps or small steps as long as you keep moving toward your goals“.

A toast to the New Year……

May you embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

“The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have“

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Being Creative and Being Happy

Do we know what really make us happy? Most often I do and there are times that I don’t know. With a background in psychology does help me to connect and piece the concept of happiness; understand mind over matters that filled my thoughts with confusions and the experiences I have seem oddly connected.

A college professor of psychology once said, "Happiness seems less a matter of getting what you want than of how you feel about what you have."

Happiness means different things to different people; many people may agree that things that make us happier like money, physical beauty, and social prominence do matter but that there are also other things that cause that little bounce.

Imagine just for a moment, put yourself first. You can’t be in the backseat to become Mother Theresa. You cannot love others if you don’t love yourself first, so start loving yourself instead of someone else. One most important thing which I’ve learned in life is not to short sell myself. When I hear my friends determine their own life's priorities, I am amazed at how many forget to make themselves a priority. If we do not take responsibility for our own happiness no one else will. If it’s to be, it’s up to me; if we are not happy, our relationships will not be satisfying and our other priorities will suffer. Don’t be sucked into the can-I-get-it-all-done daily hustle and be buried under an avalanche of concerns. So really knowing what makes you happy is as important as how it affects your whole life. In basic 101 coaching philosophy is "extreme self-care."

I have observed my youngest boy in physical pain and emotional stress while sparring with kick boxing and realize he is enjoying every moment. His enjoyment is a mix of spiritual and emotional while his happiness is rational judgment of physical conditions. So happiness is very subjective. I love the abstract of context and content of living in which it allows me to enjoy my life more with what I like to do which is more important than asking if I’m happy.

Ask me what makes me happy or sad and I’ll tell you these:

1) Happy: My two boys. Because the eldest is so full of life, graduated with a degree, financially independent and has a girl friend while the youngest is almost a young adult, makes good grades, is intelligent beyond his years, is respectful, isn't mindlessly gal crazy, stays in touch with me on a regular basis (a single dad), and asks me questions about life (everything!!).
To give and receive is a huge word with less effort. Happiness to me is to be constantly connected with friends and buddies, good music and someone to share it with. A quiet place to find myself when I get lost in the world.

2) Sad: People being killed and maimed in ridiculous wars. Wars occasionally have their place, but there are too many childish, greedy folks leading countries nowadays. Losing a friend to an accident. Knowing that a friend with cancer and just waiting for time, knowing I cannot truly save those people I love.

Happy may be as obsolete as the gold standard. Psychologist would argue that happiness is all about everyday activities but I believe we also need to understand how we can increase happiness too. I tend to apply creativity while finding the strategies to increase my own happiness.

I have a personal take that is influenced by creative terms like inspired by something, hit by an idea or struck by a thought. What these have in common is the idea of something coming from an outside thought that leads to a bigger idea. First, it’s the orientation that leads us to start seeding the thought with an idea and then the energy to magnify the channel of ideas. Creativity doesn’t occur in a vacuum. How it works for me is from conceptual to realization; I can feel the words, images, thoughts, forms, structures, relationships, notes or rhythms are coming from every corner and else where.

When I need to start something like writing a brief or develop a concept from nothing, I try to locate a creative hook, line or sinker. I would stare at my computer screen and wait for a muse to visit me, an idea to strike, or some other vaguely conceptualized kind of inspiration. Usually it doesn’t work. I end up feeling frustrated or leaving my computer and the blinking cursor, still looking for an inspiration. The truth is, there is no muse, there is no right frame of mind and there is no perfect moment. There is only now, here, right in front of you.

The language of inspiration has to do with excitement, being taken over by a strange force, which is when you can feel the creative juices flow through the self conscious self, enabling a beautiful flow of expression.

Nowadays, my way of approaching creativity is not by waiting for inspiration to strike but simply by starting with whatever I've got right here, right now. Creativity is all about action and the end result is happiness. I know there are some who enjoy drawing nudes in crayon that makes them happy or write poetry. Do whatever makes you happy and, as Maria von Trapp knew, simply remembering a few of your favourite things will bring a lilt to your step and a smile to your face - and then you won't feel so bad after all!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friends and lovers

Let the rain wash away our footprints and clear our past. Let the light shine and brighten our lives. Let the sea calm us and the trees give us shade to protect us. You see love surrounds us, maybe not in the conventional way. It is not always a person, but the world that loves us; the beauty and love in the world.

He can toss a dish and clam your appetite
I wait and ask when it’ll be ready
He alone decides who writes the recipe
While I write a symphony
He lights the candles and prepares the wine
I make our darkness bright and select the tune
He keeps watch and practices his foreign language
I compose my notes to watch each long and lonely night
He still finds the time to hear the concertos
I prefer to hear a child's first prayer.
Saint or sinner call and always find Him there
Absent minded and mindless, I’m everywhere.

My wish is granted and a dream comes true
Watch the clouds turn from grey to blue;
I wish to find where the rainbow's end
Only he can see what lies beyond the bend
Let me hold your hand and lead you to our father, “How great thou Art”.

I began to have feelings for my best friend, who is with someone. I couldn't help feeling this way because of the kindness and caring to me, more than my friends ever have. I was told that the friend had feelings for me also, I had to write this as my gift for being best friends.

I live through my dark existence
only to bask by your charm
your face shows full of wit and mischief
the smile of your lips
makes your dimples go deep
I have a glimpse of you from my screen
I long to touch you
to hold you in my arms but I cannot
for your heart belongs to another
so, I can only long you from afar
your friendship means more to me
than anything this world provides
but like an angel you touched my heart
in a way that I've never felt before
cause I've never known inseparable buddies are until this day
I know that we are only friends
but my heart wishes it to be more
so I will still hope and dream
that one day I can feel your lips pressed to mine
to hold you in my arms and say, "I love you"

Platonic love is very much a part of any close friendship. But such a love doesn't always stay platonic. Sometimes it turns into passionate love. Crossing that line, between friendship and love, can be both beautiful and extremely difficult. Friendship is a marvelous gift but sometimes a friend can also be a lover. Oh, what a beautiful combination; BEAUTIFUL CONNECTION!

A SONG FROM MADONNA from the movie,"EVITA"
Where do we go from here?
This isn't where we intended to be
We had it all, you believed in me I believed in you
Certainties disappear
What do we do for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive?
As we used to do?
Deep in my heart I'm concealing
Things that I'm longing to say
Scared to confess what I'm feeling
Frightened you'll slip away
You must love me
You must love me
Why are you at my side?
How can I be any use to you now?
Give me a chance and I'll let you see how
Nothing has changed
Deep in my heart I'm concealing
Things that I'm longing to say
Scared to confess what I'm feeling
Frightened you'll slip away
You must love me
You must love me
You must love me

click to hear the song:

The three haiku by Ryokan

The thief left it behind -
The moon
At the window.

Counting days is like snapping
One's fingers -
Every May passes like a dream.

Have you forgotten the way to my hut?
Every evening I wait for the sound of your footsteps
But you do not appear.

The moon is a common metaphor, especially among the Zen poets, to represent enlightened awareness. In this haiku Ryokan is laughing at the absurdity of the theft. "The thief left it behind," he foolishly couldn't recognize the one great treasure the poor monk possessed -- "the moon," enlightenment -- and, instead, took an armload of worthless junk. (To point out what a petty haul it was, Ryokan even ran after the thief with the missed cushion.) Any sort of theft of Ryokan's possessions was a pointless act because, of course, who can take the moon from his window? Ryokan is amused and invites us to join in his laughter.

The Zen poet Ryokan was born in 1758 in the remote and snowy province of Echigo, located in northern Honshu, bordering the Sea of Japan. His father was the village headman and a haiku poet of some note, and Ryokan received a thorough education in the classics of China and Japan. Shy and studious as a boy, Ryokan was the local Don Juan for a brief period in his youth. Following a spiritual crisis around the age of twenty, however, he renounced his patrimony and entered a Zen monastery.

Ryokan wrote thousands of poems and poem-letters, both Chinese and Japanese style, and scattered them about. These were treasured by the local folk and later lovingly studied and collected by scholars. The first edition of Ryokan's poems, titled Hachisu no Tsuyu ("Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf") and compiled by Teishin, appeared in 1835. Expanded collections of Ryokan's work have continued to be published over the years, and he is likely Japan's most popular and beloved Zen poet. As mentioned in the tale above, Ryokan's delightful brushwork, totally unaffected and free-flowing, is also highly esteemed, and Ryokan is venerated as one of the greatest calligraphers of all time in East Asia.

The practice of Zen and the appreciation of Zen art is now universal, and Ryokan's life and spirit speak to lovers of poetry, religion, and beauty everywhere. The selection of poems presented here reflects the range and depth of Ryokan's Zen vision. He focused on "things deep inside the heart," and his poems cover the spectrum of human experience: joy and sadness, pleasure and pain, enlightenment and illusion, love and loneliness, man and nature. Like those of his counterpart Cold Mountain (Han-shan), the legendary Zen poet of T'ang China, Ryokan's poems reveal the full, rich texture of Zen.

Ryokan lived a very simple, pure life, and stories about his kindness and generosity abound. On his deathbed, Ryokan offered the following poem to the person who was nursing him:

"showing their backs
then their fronts
falling maple leafs" (1758 - 1831)

If we are to learn from Ryokan, who is Japan's most famous and beloved poet, our premises about poetry must shift radically from technique to inspiration.

If poetry is to breathe vitality, to offer an authentic and passionate voice that is nevertheless insightful and reflective, then Ryokan is a preeminent model. True poetry, like life itself, presents the entirety of what is in the mind and heart.

Tadashi Murakami - A note to a friend

I may not have been in touched with you or really seen you for a long while, it has been ages and in years, but I know this will not be unappreciated. Even though we are out of sight does not mean we are not in spirit to remember.
You were popular from Saint Martins College of Arts to our days at the School of Economics; it was everyone’s dream to have you in their life. You chosen the path that I was treading; soon after graduation we moved to Hong Kong for a few years and then to Kuala Lumpur to continue building our career paths. Then, with nature's destiny you decided you need to start a family back in the land of the rising sun. I did not follow but headed on to Pakistan, I do not know why, till today I still do not have the answer but all I know was my instinct telling me to stay behind and continue the journey on my own. You were disappointed when I had to refuse the two job offers to move back to Japan. I was a rebel without a cause; not willing to succumb to the pressures of cultures and traditions. I have changed and I am renewed.

Every gesture of love and human kindness makes me crave for the good times we were together. I pray that our path will meet again one day even though you appeared in my shadows for a reason and made an impact in my life for a season. I pray that you will remember the happy moments we spent on the social fa├žade, with our families, in our holidays and the pain in orientating to new places on unfamiliar grounds. You struggled with the diverse culture and people with different believes; yet you proved that you were worthy of your deliverance. All the fuss was because of me. You listened and you did not object to my suggestions. You contributed and you did not complain. You were vulnerable but not fragile. I wish you strength, though I do not doubt your courage. I wish you patience, though I do not doubt your steadfast will. I wish you success, though you have everything you need to have a comfortable life. I wish you happiness, though I know this happiness may not come from me but from your own family which I could not give. But I know your core and I know you more then any mothers and parents who feed and raise their own child. I do not know you today, but I know your foundations. I know what made you, I know you.

I believe in who you must have become to be the beacon of strength and the pillar to your growing family. Today, we are merely a shadow of the past. I am merely having a play back of the silver screen that was created. I co-directed and wrote the script while you produced the final play. I watched today. I do not pretend to still be a friend. I know a shared past does not guarantee a shared present or future. But we shared a life and built a relationship that was meant to be at that moment in time. We share memories of ‘Things Japanese would do’. We share memories of George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ and dancing to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive". We spend our quiet moments with Edith Piaf and we learn of her story from London West End that we both agreed that Elaine Page was superb in her role. It was my first time listening to her. I remember how grown up you were and yet you sang in your perfected French accent of Edith Piaf’s infectious songs. I was glad that Ms Page was around to provide me the English version to make me understand and mesmerized the tunes. As adults, you were slightly older at college and I was always referred as the pampered one amongst our peers. I cannot help it if the college decided to throw me to an express class and later made me a super freshman but all I can say that I was thankful for coming out earlier than I expected. I might be younger but I had the maturity to drive the relationship that lasted. I might have the experience and you had the choice to be in or out of the relationship. They say a day older in age is a year older in maturity. Well, you certainly seemed younger, not even a year older, then.

I saw who you would become. I saw wisdom and intelligence beyond your years. I saw wit, speed and charm I could only dream of possessing. I saw the grace and determination you continue to plow through the world with. I saw the tools you need to survive this. You have the tools to survive this. You will. Never doubt your ability to persevere, to heal, and to prosper. I know that even though time and distance have come between us and robbed us of the friendship that may have been, we share that young adulthood. I will always be your friend. And I will always be here if you need me.

'Whenever God Closes One Door, He Always Opens Another, Even Though Sometimes It's Hell in the Hallway'

Edith Piaf's 'Non, je ne regrette rien' (1961) bring's back refreshing memories

Burried in self

I've been totally buried in work and other things so I didn't have a chance to "celebrate" with friends in Shanghai. However, I managed to squeeze time to the most interesting invite at the Malaysia ambassador’s home for a festive celebration last weekend. I met many people from cities across the North and East coming together to the open house celebration that reminds me of Kuala Lumpur.

Well it’s officially cold here in the North of Beijing. It’s like 2 degrees chilling to freezing. Soon I’m planning a visit to Osaka in the cold winter, where friends, buddies and relatives are expecting me. Not sure if I should surprise them with my visit or should I expect a big warm welcome and give everyone the hint. I have been planning a trip to Osaka for some time. The last time I was in Kyoto, I could have visited my buddies in Osaka but I had to rush back to Tokyo then. On the other side, I also got to make time to visit my precious aunt who is too old to travel any where. In between these planning, travels and resting, I need to find time for wushu and tai chi. The garden at the parks are getting cold. Not sure if my instructor is willing to don his thick track suit in the early mornings, catching the subway after a 2 hour ride to reach the park and coach me. I started taking wushu and tai chi lessons and I’m so excited about it. I like the way that when you’re done with one lesson you’re ready for the next, but I like the fact that it’s not something easily learned. It gives you a chance to slow down and actually learn something. Fifteen months was a long wait and finally I started to learn some kicking and flicking. I was impressed with myself that I was in my form so quickly. I believe the most important aspect for anyone who is interested in wushu is to have basic stances and physical structure. Proper coaching and monitored training is extremely important. The first thing that I did was the ma bu (horse stance) which I stood for many hours in the beginning, and still does to this day. Leg strength is crucial in building a strong foundation and protecting yourself against injuries.

Life is more than just pushing hands. Wushu is my foundation of change. It's a scary world where the people don't understand the need to change things. Make them how we want. But it's a basic desire. The desire to create. The desire to make things better. The fact that people have created Bullshits and Fools. I hope that more people will put effort into trying to understand things that they don't. Fear of things that aren't understood that is the root cause of terrorism and idiocy. Until more people start thinking for themselves and stop letting the government or media tell them what is the truth. I'm afraid we are stuck with that fear. Government and Police can only write laws and try to stop those who break them. Then they can publish stories of their "Success" and hold press conferences to make us think we are safe. But we aren't. Rely on yourself. Rely on Community. Live your life. Be aware of your surroundings. The only thing worse than loosing one's life is giving it up for false safety.

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things."

When the creative juices flow

How do we usually get our ideas across to colleagues or friends and even more importantly, if we are in the creative industry, how do we convince our clients to buy-in?

I have come to a point and even guilty of thinking that my ideas are the best thing than toasted bread because if it’s so brilliant there can’t possibly be any downsides. It may be true, but in most cases we haven’t looked at the idea from any other position but our own. To some, great ideas come from the bedroom to the bath, while to others during drive time in the car or out walking. I get restless when ideas start ejaculating when I’m about to sleep at night. The creative juice starts to overflow that I always have a pen and note beside me when I sleep. Think about it, a great idea missed is like a million worth's gone. Wouldn’t it be nice to choose when to have your best ideas?

Many tend to believe that they need to hire creative people while some think that if they sit on the bean-bag and remove their shoes, ideas will start flowing. How do we generate new and unique ideas? The reality is that we can learn how to generate ideas by looking at things around us. Just like learning to play a new sports or planning a celebration, creativity is a skill you can learn, develop and improve. Ride on a basic idea that we happen to see and expand that thought. The idea maybe as raw as an egg and when you crystallize it, and polish till it becomes a gem.

Communication and selling the idea across to another is equally important. I learn this simple word, ‘Enrolment’. We need to enroll people to see our point of view before they buy-in to our idea. I often preached to my clients that people do not take action if they can’t see the value.

I've been thinking about the "nature or nurture" debate in regard to myself a lot lately. I feel I have a somewhat unique experience to relate, but the experience has left me sitting on the fence with regards to orgasm. When excitement explodes, then it’s only natural we let it flow and collectively bottle up the ideas and build connotation; implicit or whatever, nurture them. I love to spice up ideas just like sex. We create the lust to last.

Am I the only person on earth that thinks male orgasms are extremely beautiful? I hear my girl friends talk about how stupid guys look when they let loose their juices. I just cannot understand how anybody cannot appreciate it. Watch how the shoulders tense up, the low grunts, and the sweat that seems to be more prevalent near the time of ejaculation. The male orgasm is a beautiful thing.

Just like an idea, it might not be beautiful or handsome in the beginning or isn't the worlds most attractive, but when it shoots, you can tell if it’s a good one or not. Then you know your body stiffens, hands tremble a bit, and then you let go. Here’s to the perfect orgasm of creative juices that’s worth a million. I rewind and watch this one bit of footage at least once a week, more if I feel like pleasuring myself a little more often and get my creative ideas moving. Lo and behold the creative juices began to flow again. The fog is beginning to lift. I am starting to sleep....Yeah! I can take that step back and see flow in strange ways. But in practical, down-to-earth fashionable way, it is a relief to see raw ideas coming to life bringing something from a wellspring of inspiration, rather than just making regular seen-heard-done before ideas.

Some days, which second memory of mine hits me, and it's so strong that I just can't believe it's not orgasm in nature. But that feeling will be balanced out a few days later by the image of people, telling me what I did with my creative flow were in avertedly wrong, dirty, disgusting, and no correlation. It's very easy for me to understand how a mind, if crafty enough, could continue a certain orgasmic behavior, but ensure that the chance of discovery is minimized by selecting views or images and circumstances far from disapproving eye.

Thus, I'm forced to conclude that even with all the evidence I've accrued in my life that creative juices flows with orgasm, it's still too close to call. When the creative juices flow, just do it!

Everybody just wants to sleep with me. Do I look like a slut?

We all have in our lives at least one or more good friends and perhaps one or more best friends? Having one amongst the many good friends is good enough, not in my world. I have more than one BEST friend although people tell me that you can have only one for the best, so I decided to defy best with the ‘bestest’ friend. We make friends with new people we meet along the way whom we befriend or through something that brought us closer. Some we just leave them aside when they can’t even trust anyone or even themselves. That’s when we need to know when to let go and move on. My friend, Chris, to make sure that his other buddy would not be forgotten; he got a tattoo in his honor. It was an 11-inch tattoo being permanently inked on his left calf. I heard it’s quite common for marines to get tattoos to show honor for pals.

We whisper secrets with our best friend, in the dark. We look for comfort where we can find it. I wonder how I got through it all, of my past when I was once very boisterous, very flashy, flamboyant, and I love to pose challenges to people. I was always saying something out of the ordinary, to get myself motivated to keep the friendships going. We break the rules we make for ourselves. We throw tantrums when things don’t go our way. Against all logic, against all experience, I still have many friends who pamper me, even till today. It’s my gift of the gap; the deep throat that slices your thoughts too sweet for desserts or words that blend well like smoothie that lubricates the throat. If there’s anything I detest will be my mouth. It’s such a powerful feature that soothes the soul and the ability to have selective pleasure.

Nourish good friendships and dump unappreciated ones. At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines that are way too dangerous to cross. Letting go and moving on is necessary. Recognizing when to let go and move on is a gift.

So really tell me what you think when you know people want to be your friend just because they want to sleep with you. Lust always focuses on an object to fulfill its desire. Then you wonder will there be love or in most relationships, you're feeling all three (love, infatuation, and lust) all at once, to some degree. Lust is all centered on your 'sexual compatibility’. It’s because of your face and physique that fits the mind of what's gorgeous; the way you talk, move and communicate in a way that pushes his buttons. If you know it, why complain. Its God’s gifts to you for having the looks to attract and to kill, and I know how fantastic that feels! Don’t complain when there is more than one who fancies you, better to have the chemical reaction then to feel the lack of chemistry. That was a testimony of my gorgeous looking buddy. Thank goodness not all good looking fellows behave like sluts.

When the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me.
Shine on until tomorrow,
Let it be.

It hurts

Life is like an ebb and most often it’s no accident when things happen in the way that flows kind of setup, sometimes life just hurts and we don’t know why. Sometimes, we have our wonderful rides and everything falls into place like walking in sunshine. I know too that life can turn on a cent and nothing is a guarantee. I also know that bad things don't last forever. I know that while they do last - they hurt. I believe in a Higher Power so that gives me hope.

Last night, I pondered to think of the people I hold dearly in my life and it was incredibly beneficial to me in so many ways. Spending the time to remember the list of names that I wrote and also to appreciate the ones I love dearly. I have a special friendship that transcends time and that no matter how long it had been since we had seen each other; it had not been too long. Who would know the friends we meet who would change our life forever? Who knew that as life changed and we all grew, that we would still be in contact and who would have nurturing friendships that lasted?

I just kept thinking that I am so blessed to have many trusted friends since coming to China. It’s not easy to find people that I could just relax and be myself with. I felt so trusted and accepted for just who I am. It was such a sharp contrast to the friendship that was abruptly ended with someone whom I cannot continue when he doesn’t even trust anyone or even himself. I am amazed that people can consider others "disposable" and just keep moving on. It explains a lot on why this person doesn't have many friends and even though I am terrible grieved at the apparent ending of our friendship I hope he will build more interesting relationships with others if he were to remain ‘Les Manes’. I do wish him well and hope that perhaps there will be some one out there who can be the kind of friend he needs.

Last night was a good night. The cold winter in the city was bearable, which is normally caused to steal you away with a blanket on the couch. But instead, my buddy was visiting, and we had tapas with few Wushu partners, meeting people who know you but you know them as married and closeted with dual lives is an interesting phenomenon, but the weirdness dissipated rather quickly. I'll gush about all these dual-peeps another time though instead I'll just say this: Tony has got a nice taste of why I call my apartment the crack shack when we got to my kitchen he knows where to find the utensil as is everything in my little sphere at the moment is bare minimum. I live in two cities with two homes and I can’t possibly keep a full kitchen when I just dismissed the maid. Would you have a maid who is interested in you, plus with the hope to have a better life with you? Fears of her living in her wild fantasies over my bedroom were enormous. I was very disturbed and glad I made the right choice and decided to handle the cleaning myself while I still have another maid who does the cleaning in Shanghai.

I know this is not even vaguely interesting, but believe me, it's better to read my kitchen and maid rants compared to my social rants. Lately, I have been feeling disappointed in myself, for taking advantage of people that are nice to me. I can kick my own ass but this might make me easygoing in some ways but then I find myself in an interesting conundrum, when pressure exerts when I try to suppressed lust and confuse them with love. I fear I am going to implode, but I would not even know how to go about asking for help but to pray that someone will poke a hole in my exterior.

To the person I love, I think part of the reason that we enjoy each other so much is because we know how valuable our time together is. I hope you know how special you are to me and how much I appreciate that you are a giver who is able to receive and not a taker who isn't able to give. If you have a friend that you can spend time with and not even talk or one who really values you, make sure they know how much you appreciate them.

The butterfly lovers

You can now hear world-renowned musicians performing the works of the butterfly lover which was brutally buried by the Cultural Revolution. This is a melody I love both the recordings, and the performance on the Chinese 2-stringed fiddle (erhu). I heard this song when I was very young and never paid attention of its authors or history. Now I come to appreciate the importance of this masterpiece and want to know more about it.

I accidentally caught part of a program in a hotel in Beijing which was a special on the "Butterfly Lovers Concerto". The Butterfly Lovers is a composition with a pretty incredible history. It's an orchestral adaptation of an old Chinese legend of that name, written by two Chinese composers, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao, in 1959 while students at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The music did not acquire popularity before the late 1970s, when China loosened its restrictions after the Cultural Revolution. Once released from censorship, it became an embodiment of China in transition.

It was a huge hit but many of the people associated with the concerto were jailed within five years of its premiere. The story itself is a kind of Romeo and Juliet tale of thwarted lovers, only in this case it's also about reincarnation; the lovers as butterflies. A beautiful music for me that was once suppressed, and has now been set free; the Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto is one of the most famous works of Chinese music and certainly one of the most famous outside of China. It is an orchestral adaptation of an ancient legend, the Butterfly Lovers. Written for the western style orchestra, it features a solo violin played using some Chinese techniques.

The butterfly has a keen sensitivity
It is sensitive even to the lightest breeze
It flutters above the ground where it can get a panoramic awareness of its surroundings
It notices the beauty of even the tiniest flowers
Because of its sensitivity, it is constantly aware of all its changes going on around it and is able to react to the slightest variation in its environment

I’m the butterfly that flutters and seek beauty in mankind.

Here is one song of a truly beautiful melody:

Why people flirt more when they know you are attached?

It takes two to tango, some may have the courage and guts to 'wait' despite the other party is rightfully attached. Isn't it funny, it happens to all sexes and types of relationships, even in my experiences. Here's an excerpt from December's edition of Men's Health that might shed a light or two on this matter: WHY A WOMAN FLIRT MORE WITH A MAN WHEN SHE KNOWS HE'S ATTACHED?

It's just like playing the nickel slots: lots of fun, little risk. Some women love flirting with a taken man precisely because the stakes are so low. They'll engage in racy banter and maybe even get a little touchy-feel. Then they'll walk away with a clear conscience while the guy cooks in his shoes. Hitting the jackpot is never an option. Of course, if the committed guy makes a move, she can always open her eyes wide in protest. She'll declare: "I'd never be the other woman". And, for good measure, add: "How could you?!" Then she'll spin around on her stiletto and walk away with a grin. For guys, perhaps we can safely add the sexual equation into it, perhaps that's the jackpot that most guys would like to have. The rest, we could digest ourselves.

Wonder if anyone out there faced the same situation when people come calling and knocking when you are into a relationship with someone. The sexual overtones and innuendos that makes you wanting to go astray at times when your weakest is ranting you. For the love of my other half is always the greatest test of love, "Till death do us part". I am grateful that even till today we are still together as one.

Many things about me that you may not know

Here are the rules - post this list on your profile in "NOTES", replacing my answers with yours.

Tag 25 people to do the same thing....or what ever number you are comfortable with.

If I tagged YOU, it's because I want to know more about YOU! ... wink wink!

So, If you're on this, it's because I want to know more about you! So, post this in your notes replacing my answers with yours.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, I'm named after an actor Raymond Burr from Ironside that's why I'm so strong headed.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Just this week when I was flying back from my 2 weeks break but it wasn't the end of my vocation that made me cried but thoughts of my parents who have passed away with memories that lingered on.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, I used to think it's the neatest than the ones I've seen but maybe lesser now.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH? Sashimi and anything Japanese that's less oily.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 2 adopted boys that are old enough to be my brothers.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Definitely I would since I'm so in love with myself and I would like to make love with this person Ray, just to see if he would respond to me as another person and would make me feel wholesome, and completely giving myself in to him.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? I wouldn't call it sarcasm but strong choice of words that would make one look silly when they think they are more superior than others.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes and all my parts are still intact with nothing replaced as of today.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No and definitely not. I saw this in NZ for the first time and I could feel my balls shrinking when I saw others doing the Bungee Jump. Worst was when I saw that the rope was made from rubber bands tied together just like the skipping rope I used to do when I was a kid.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Corn flakes with toasted almonds and fresh bananas.

11. DO YOU PREFER UNDER WEARS OR BOXERS? I love both because it gives me the flexibility to choose what I need to be comfortable; traditional classic versus freestyle.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? This sounds like a cheeky one; not a fan of sweet fattening foods unless you are referring to the no calories self pleasurable stuff that Hagen Daz is insinuating.


15. RED OR PINK? None but if there has to be one answer, I go for PINK but I still hate it.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My age that goes with everything that's drooping and skin that's sagging.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Too many to complete and of course my other half, my twin buddy, my ex,ex, ex and ex; all married. No, I don't have just one but many as also in my many bestest friends.

18.DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? I don't dictate, we have a choice to choose.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue and white; both Adidas.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sound of silence from the freezing cold winter.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Green or Orange. Something pleasant or outrageous. Reminds me of Bette Miller or Jim Carey; my two favorite actors.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Lavender, Lemongrass and the scent of a baby.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My most expensive Shanghai Bitch.


26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Diving, Gymnastics and Ice Skating. My favorite team is from China and Japan.

27. HAIR COLOR? Dark brown, with random white hairs! Only when my hairdresser tells.

28. EYE COLOR? Brown.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to but now I have a 20/20 vision.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc...damnit I like em all, I love good food!

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Of course happy endings but sounds too cliche because they are so predictable and not much fun to watch but I love comedies...but I'm a sucker for dramas too; big time dramas but I'm not a drama queen myself.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? I can't remember but definitely not Mama Mia.


34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer but then it's so hot I rather stay inside than sweat as though I'm in a sauna but not when I'm in Tokyo.

35. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses first followed by hugs; although I know I usually received more hugs than kisses and now that you know, please switch them to get the sequence correct.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Hong Kong Cantonese Desserts, anytime.

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? A note from my bestest friends and buddies.

38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Eclipse of the soul by Eloise Helm.

39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't use a mouse

40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? None. I try not to watch too much TV which is very unhealthy.

41. FAVORITE SOUND(S): Tribal/electro/ambient/R&B
; sound of water trickling, raindrops and the wind.


43. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Not very sure which is the farthest since I have traveled to many countries and visited many cities; and from which continent should I measure from since I have a few homes. At one point I thought it was from London to New Zealand. I will have an answer when I decide to retire in a country that I will call it my home.

44. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes, when my creative juices flow and I love intellectual masturbation.

45. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF: Pragmatic and down to earth. I'm also a rebel who loves to break rules. Rules are meant to be broken. There's always the creative license to create things the way I want it to be. I'm a loving, caring and honest man.

46. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Anyone who's just as bored as I am.

The pain that cuts the deepest

A buddy reminded me that he found a long lost friend.

Is it strange or is it pathetic to find friends that they have not spoken in 20 years?

None of that seems significant. None of it should be.

And I’m babbling again.

I know.

The problem, for me at least, is that I cannot hear the word “old friend” without thinking of a buddy that I have not seen in decades. Would you ever think of someone without wondering if that person thinks of you?

I have once been holding on to memories of this long lost buddy that I was so afraid that one day I may not be able to hold on to this any longer and till the day when it slips away; so much of my social lubricant - an easy slip off.
If I have a chance to live again I would like to relive my past when I was 12 years old. It was the best moments of my life till the day I graduated. It was the biggest crushed I had and they called it puppy love and that love would mean the world to me.

I was so sure, so absolutely certain, that it was meant for us but then again we were too young to know. Even after a broken heart, it was years before I ever entertained the idea that anyone else had ever possibly loved the way we had. It started when we both were at twelfth and it is the twelfth of never.

But that puppy love is a fundamental part of my history.

Now, decades later, sitting in my studio apartment listening to songs of Donny Osmond, my chest physically burns as I struggle for my next breath. I have to stop for a moment and refocus on the screen, find my bearings again in a wave of emotion that threatens to crush me if given free reign.

Why am I still feeling the touch as though it was a playback of the past?

Why am I holding on the memories? Why am I holding on to this damn tight … something that should be so… meaningless?

I was only 17 years old and that was the last of the memories that were made.

I would be lying if I said the name didn’t spring to the back of my mind while I told you about my other half.

I feel so pathetic and the other person with memories that I’m still holding on is not.

That old flame is sane and whole and healthy. Not sure if the same of me as it is of the opposite, aching for closure or curious. Not sure if I’m the only one that is holding on to a handful of memories. While my puppy love is such an integral part of my story, I am nothing more than a footnote to the other. A face to be named in an old year book or school picture at best.


There it is.

The pain that cuts the deepest.

The thing you can spend a lifetime trying to avoid, and find yourself leveled by it anyway. The knowledge that you cared more. That you were the needy one. That you were the one who loved more, who held on more, who remembers the details that are insignificant. Forgettable. Maybe forgotten.

That the words “Always. And Forever.” said in exactly that way don’t hold a deeper meaning. The Ray Conniff music that stops you in your tracks is just an old country song for everyone else but me.

‘If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me; you take away the very part of me….how could we let it slipped away’.

That all the inside secrets and jokes and pet names and symbols that you remember as clearly as the day they meant everything to you - are completely forgotten by the person you shared them with. That the more you remember, the more ridiculous you look.

I just rest and listen to the Ray Conniff singers playing, ‘Send in the clowns’ makes me appreciate such beautiful arrangements. Nostalgic and bittersweet at times flash across my mind.

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer,
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.

Rediscover and rekindle

Bad times never last. We’ll see our fortunes reversed again. However, I urge you my friends to use this time to discover the true foundation of joy. It will never be your financial wealth. Yes, money can make you happy, but not the deep down soul driven pure joy that comes with happiness. That joy comes with a connection with people or from the highest above that is when you believe you have one, and the comfort you receive. I have no idea, who will read this entry. However, I already know that you are the real treasure. You’re existence is so much more than your money. I hate for any of you to stay in a worried state or fearful state over this financial uncertainty that most countries are in. It’s troubling. However, the real you is so much bigger and better than any money woes. Worrying in the world about tomorrow will never make anything change…except for the fact that your body will pay a toll. My intention is certainly not to write this as a preachy note. I’m writing to encourage and remind everyone that times like these provide a wonderful chance to do a self-evaluation. True success is never about money. It’s about your influence and the love you give others. Take a short break from worry tomorrow and just enjoy the moment of now while you can.

Take this time to rediscover who you really are and see yourself apart from your relationship with money. Rekindle a relationship with yourself and with friends. You will lose access to your money when your life is over. I like using picture metaphors to examine my thoughts and to try to understand why and what is going through when we are in an auto mode, and what am I experiencing now. I wake up each morning, contemplating life and listening to the soft sound of wind as I walk to work. I hear the gentle breathing rhythms of the earth and universe, appreciating the rebirthing of the beauty and wonderment of the world. I feel good and people always ask me why. I tell them it’s because every morning I spend a few minutes of dedication and I connect with the person of the highest above. I have a very strong relationship with him that holds my thoughts together of who I am and what difference I want to make each day. A new day with a new thought that brings us closer to a new relationship with self and with a new season like Spring.

Spring is my favourite season and is just around the corner. No more winter coats. Less of the days getting shorter, the weather colder and soon it will be over. I can feel the evenings are getting brighter and the weather is warming up for spring. Although the winter season was not all that bad, compared to some of the winters in the past, still I look forward to the balmy days of spring when the birds and flowers and soft winds make me feel that a new start with our lives and attitude may be in order. I love the spring. After a cold winter of being stuck inside, it’s time to go outside and take a deep breath. It is not too hot and not too cold. This creates tons of possibilities for romantic outdoor dates and quality time with loved ones. Now that things have warmed up, I can do many splendid things. Maybe, next on my list is to rekindle special relationships. What do you like to do in Spring?

If it's to be, it's up to me!

The most important words of personal responsibility are as follows:

The 10 most important words:
I won't wait for others to take the first step.

The 9 most important words:
If it is to be, it's up to me.

The 8 most important words:
If not me, who? If not now, when?

The 7 most important words:
Let me take a shot at it.

The 6 most important words:
I will not pass the buck.

The 5 most important words:
You can count on me.

The 4 most important words:
It IS my job!

The 3 most important words:
Just do it!

The 2 most important words:
I will.

The most important word:

Dance in the rain

"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain."
~Vivian Greene

This beautiful quote gives inspiration to me and it’s the power of thought that changes the way I see and feel the happenings around me, the challenges and the downturns of my life. Struggles with my personal life, no, but it’s more of a struggle at work and with my team. We all face adversity in our work and how we address the challenges and the way we react to it that will determine the comfort and learning curves that makes work interesting. During tough times, it challenges me to feel with utmost regrets for making the wrong choices, feeling sorry for the misfit. Then I came across a reading that lifted my soul in knowing that with gratitude…. I should learn to dance in the rain?

It almost sounds too simple to feel important, but one word...gratitude, can change your attitude, and thus, your life forever. An excerpt taken from my reading would describe best..."When we choose not to focus on what's missing from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance that's present...we experience heaven on earth."

Here’s a short chapter written by BJ which is about the weather report:


"Any day I'm vertical
is a good day"
...that's what I always say.
If you ask me,
"How are you?"
I'll answer, "GREAT!"
because in saying so,
I make it so.
When Life gives me dark clouds and rain,
I appreciate the moisture
that brings a soft curl to my hair.
When Life gives me sunshine,
I gratefully turn my face up
to feel its warmth on my cheeks.
When Life brings fog,
I hug my sweater around me
and give thanks for the cool shroud of mystery
that makes the familiar seem different and intriguing.
When Life brings snow,
I dash outside to catch the first flakes on my tongue,
relishing the icy miracle that is a snowflake.
Life's events and experiences
are like the weather -
they come and go,
no matter what my preference.
So, what the heck?!
I might as well decide to enjoy them.
For indeed,
there IS a time for every purpose
under Heaven.
And each season brings its own unique blessings.

Windmills of your mind

I had this idea last summer about selecting an emotion, and trying to script it or even put it on canvas…let anything that arouse me to flow out from my thoughts. Then knowing myself, when my cup’s overflow, I need the outlet to release and what if I were to start my oil paint and paint my emotions. The emotions would flow through the paintbrush, into the oil paints that emerge on the canvas would take days or even weeks to complete. So, I decided to start scripting it instead. I started with two scripts, one called, ‘Emotionally Altered’ and the other called, ‘Mosaic Mind’.

‘Emotionally Altered’ was completed last autumn while ‘Mosaic Mind’ is half-finished. I have been editing it over and over again and decided maybe I should put it aside till the next summer. Staring at it page by page doesn’t help but feeling the lack of depth in getting it across is something I need to achieve; I need to convey the story by keeping the truth of the content as close to how it was told to me, by people with dual lives. In my mind the works are representational of real lives and that is conveyed. The more I dwell into their lives, the more I want to reveal the emotions and the burden levied by their culture and governance, which sometimes is so unfair to these people living in the closet.

There is so much uncertainty even with people of such lives. In actuality, the one thing I discovered as I was constructing the script is when people speak and willing to share what they are going through, I see the light bulb flashes across me with images running on my screen. I hear dialogs and see lights flickering, the sun blindingly breaks through blackness and music blast. These are my thoughts that one day, yes, one fine day; this would turn into a movie. I will wait for the day that someone is willing to produce it since I have success with my earlier scripts and with ‘Emotionally Altered’. Seed that thought and let it harvest, I truly believe in it when I share the seed of thought with people who can support me in making the harvest.

‘Mosaic Mind’ can be a little subtle and yet mind provoking. It’s very human that connects with people. It’s pretty tentative. I am sure when completed, the light bulb that momentarily lights up, the orgasm that makes my creative juice flows out of darkness will soon glow up ahead and appear a thousand frames. I still have plenty of work to do to complete the script and probably some things still to clarify.

My mind beckoned a quicker pace as the flow of thought falls and the mind follows the fingers as I type, while listening to the Windmills of your Mind by Alison Moyet.

Windmills of your mind: