Friday, May 25, 2012


It is Friday night. I am sitting here watching the footie. Well, maybe not concentrating on watching the footie because I am obviously typing this at the same time. Point is that I am not going out partying. I am having a night in and I am happy. Or perhaps, content is a more appropriate adjective.

I don't quite know what the deal really is, all I know is that as I age, I find more contentment in solitude. Some calls it quality time, others call it me time. I just call it solitude, because it is what it really is. Some people find it uncomfortable, others find it rejuvenating. I belong to the latter category. I like it, treasure it, look forward to it.

I think the best moments in conversations happen when you get to pause and be silent for a while, without feeling uncomfortable with the silences. These periodical pauses allow me to step back, enjoy the moment while listening to what my conversational partner is saying. These short bursts of contentment are the moments in life worth living for.

Have a nice weekend! x

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Ultimate Sloth

In a few hours I would be flying back to Sydney. I have been spending the past few days in Queensland and Byron Bay, basically, taking a holiday. I am the ultimate sloth when I am on holidays. I don't do make up. I don't do my nails (and now I am dying to have a manicure!). I don't want to do anything. I want to sleep as much as I can and eat as much as I can. I don't want to do anything else. I guess I don't mind internet shopping, but despite browsing extensively, have not bought anything just yet. The weather has been exceptionally beautiful, the sun shining everyday. The nights were cold but the house that we are staying in has central heating (!!) so I am deeply thankful. Food has been fantastic and two nights in a row, I am fortunate to have someone cooked for me and doing the dishes. It has been a very nice, very relaxing long weekend.

This place is quite literally in the middle of no where. If you don't drive, then you are basically toast. I realise how spoilt I have been, living right smack in the middle of the city where I can walk everywhere I want to. I paid the price for my lifestyle and it is ok because I enjoy it very much. I miss Sydney whenever I have been away from it. There are so many things there that I take for granted. I think it is partially because home is in Sydney these days. Yet even if my home is not in Sydney, I have a feeling that I would still miss it just as much.

One of the things that I am most thankful for in my life is the fact that I can do most of the things I want to, no explanation needed. I don't need to justify my choices to anyone. I don't need to explain myself to anyone. Sometimes people ask, and depending on who they are and what the questions are, I may or may not answer. It is not that I don't want to share, or connect, it is just that from past experience with some people, the reason they are asking is not because they want to connect, but because they have unsolicited advices that they feel I should follow. Overtime, I learn to ignore these people, and in the interest of keeping peace, actually ask them what they wanted to say, listen, nod and call it a day.

I am happy to be on holidays, and I am happy to return to Sydney and resume my daily grind. There are definitely certain aspects of my life that I miss quite a lot, and maybe in my next holiday, I can try to be less of a sloth than I am in this one. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Last night I was at the Jupiter Casino in the Gold Coast. This casino is smaller than The Star in Sydney (which is smaller than the Crown Casino in Melbourne). There are plenty of poker machines in Jupiter.  Gambling tables start at $5, which is a lot lower than the minimum at The Star ($25, I think). Jupiter was not filled to the brim – plenty of tables were not in use, and plenty of vacant machines too. Most of the patrons were of the older generation. White hair and all. Most were fat. My guess is that they don't have any other form of entertainment available to them.

Sitting down in front of a poker machine is pretty mindless, I reckon. I don't know how the game works, but from what I could see, you just sat there and pressed a few buttons, while putting some money in. These days, casinos use membership cards. I bet this is because they want to dissociate gambling with money by removing the necessity of putting in real money in the machines. The same reason applies as to why they use casino chips. Everything feels so detached from real life. It is like the casino is offering a world of its own, whereby it is very possible that your luck will change in a snap.

I always wonder what the appeal of the casino is. I think this is mostly because I am not a gambler. In fact, I guess I am not a risk taker at all. Or maybe I am, just not in the casino gambling sort of way. In short, I don’t find the gambling floor in a casino appealing  at all. I find the restaurants and shopping areas in the casino complex more exciting. The hotel and/or apartments are fine. The food tends to be cheaper. I guess all those revenue from gambling is being put to good use after all.

I reckon casinos must be one of the most depressing places on this planet. Or maybe I should say, Jupiter is. I did not see a single patron who was happy. Everyone had this gloomy look in his/her face. No one was happy. No one was smiling - because no one was winning (ha!). At Jupiters, though, a lot of ladies were dressed to the nines. Full make up, highest heels, shortest, tightest dresses. By 11pm, the one of the bars at Jupiters become a night club – DJ playing some awful techno and middle age ladies conquering the dance floor. I was not an eye witness to this, quite unfortunately, but I could hear the music from my room in Level 10. If I had not changed and started my trip down dream land, I would have probably joined them. But, my laziness took over and after listening to a few terrible technos, I faded away.

Whenever I write about things like this, I always revert back to this thing called human connection. I think we all crave for human connection, the kind of connection with other human beings that make us feel alive. What this boils down to for individual persons are different from one person to the next, from one time to the other. These days, with smart phones and social media, Facebook, emails and everything else, we are made to feel like we are so connected. However, are we really connected? If it is true that we are, then why do we feel so empty inside?

I don’t know why people go to casinos, my guess is that they are bored and they want to be entertained. A deeper version of this guess goes along the lines of people feel some form emptiness inside and they want to fill this void with instant gratification, or at least, the possibility of an instant gratification of earning a massive amount of money without having to work hard. This emptiness, I think, is the resultant effect of a lack of human connection – the kind of human connection that we yearn for on a day to day basis.

Sometimes we have so many people in our lives, and we spend a lot of time with them, yet we don’t feel satisfied with the connection. I think this is because we are not connecting in a way that we want to be connected it. For example, my preferred connection is one that borders on being too intense for a lot of people. But I like that because it makes me feel like I can finally understand them; when they share the things that I cannot observe, like their dreams, their aspirations, what motivates them, amongst other things. Some of these people are so courageous and brave that they are willing to share their fears and tears. I call these high quality connections, the kind of connections that I look forward to in life.

Of course how you prefer to connect can be different than how I prefer to connect. There are other ways that I like connecting – discussing fashion, clothes, jackets, shoes, handbags. Some people think that this is superficial, that’s fine, and that’s their prerogative. For me, that’s just my hobby and it is nice to share that with someone who is as enthusiastic about it as I am. Some people bond over sports, others bond through music. The key is to find the thing that makes it work for you.And I don't think this sort of things can be substituted by a machine or robot. Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I cannot think about you
I cannot write about you
without shedding an invisible tear
without feeling this never-ending pain

I don't know whether I love you out of desire
or out of obligation and guilt
I don't know if I can love you
like I am meant to love you

The memory of us is forever dancing on my mind
I have no faith
I don't know how to believe anymore
I don't want to play your games anymore

The shadow of your past lingers on my mind
... but you are no longer in my heart.

A case for spending your money

I think one of the nicest problems to have in this life is the problem of having too much money. Of course right now this is just a thought on my part because I have never actually had this problem before. So let's just say that this problem really does exist, then I think it would be something along these lines.

You are filthy rich. Rich as in Chuck Bass kind of rich. You are driven around in a limo, portfolio of companies that you own. You don't think in millions anymore. You think in billions. This really brings home the concept of relativity. As I have always said, when you are a billionaire, you would not think twice about getting a 100k handbag. You would buy the art that you want. Heck, you can even ask people to create art for you. Chance is that you would become their muse, and instead of just creating one piece, they create a whole collection for you.

So you don't have a problem in buying things - in fact, you may discover that there are so many things that money can buy. You may even come to the realisation that everything has a price and you can pay that price. I mean, it's like this. (Sorry, this is going to be digressing a little.) A while back, my friend asked me if I would have sex with an old rich guy for a million dollars - I kid you not. My friend was and still is a male. In case you haven't figured this out, I am a female. There was no one else in this conversation. I said  no. I am way more expensive than that. Not because I don't want a million dollars - I do, I just prefer to attain it by exercising my brain rather than my body. So if I were to let my body be used for sexual exploitations of a transactional nature, then my price is way higher than  that. But point is this: there is a price. And when you are rich, as in stinking rich, you may be able to buy it without thinking too much about it.

What is the problem of having too much money? Now that I am like 3 paragraphs down, I am not even sure that this actually qualifies as a problem. I guess you can always have the sort of gold-diggers (both male and female) who pretend to be your friends, but they really only want access to your lifestyle and of course, your money. Yet when you are stinking rich, you will be hanging out with other people who are in similar boats, so the chance of this sort of problem occurring should be very little. I guess another problem would be that, you don't know what to do with your money. I refuse to believe that this is a problem because quite frankly, money is meant to be ... er... spent. At least in my opinion anyway.

Anyway, the real reason I am thinking about this is because of what happened on Friday. I went to the bank that day. I hate going to places where the receptionist is always on the phone, or too busy to be a receptionist because she was too engrossed in typing out her documents. I hate even more the person that I am supposed to meet who needs to be called into the meeting room, instead of being there on the dot. Yes, this is somewhat extreme, I know, but when it comes to the bank, trust me, they don't treat you like a person. They treat you like you are a walking $. Maybe with the exception of NAB - but I was not at NAB on Friday.

After waiting for about 5 minutes, we walked into this meeting room and started talking about a structured product, that basically goes like this (in summary): put a minimum of X amount with us for 18 months, and in exchange for that, you get 8% pa return and you stand to lose all of your initial investment if A, B or C happens in the next 18 months. Are you fucking kidding me? If I were to lose all of my money like that, I much rather spend it all and enjoy it right now rather than giving it to you in exchange for a measly 8% pa if I am lucky. (My risk free rate, for all of you nerds out there, is 5.51%.)

I don't even know where to begin in explaining why I found the structured product so offensive. I guess I find it offensive because it clearly doesn't match my risk profile. Or it clearly does not meet my expectations. Or both. Or maybe it is just logically wrong to me. This is precisely why I think money should be spent. Because at least you are in a position to dispose it the way you want to, however you see fit. Buy shares and watch the price tank, for example, but you still have the shares (ok, they worth less, but you still have them). Buy foreign currency and watch it depreciate, ok, they worth less, but you still have them. Buy a car and suffer massive depreciation expense over the years, bla bla bla, but you still have the car. Buy anything and watch it loses its value, but you still have it despite it not having a market value altogether.

So yeah, I guess either way, the chance of you "losing" your money is very real. Yet the fact that a bank is expecting me to do that, I find that fact most offensive.I think this is because the additional rate of return of 2.49% in exchange of potentially losing the initial investment sounds like a joke-that-doesn't-make-me-laugh to me. Of course the bank would structure deals like this, because it wants to make money. At your expense. This is how they get rich. (They then spend that money to attract new customers - I swear at this rate, I should be switching banks every 6 months. Why the fuck can't you spend that money on making your current customers happy? Do you not place a value on loyalty?)

If I am starting a business, I am going to start a business that make people switch banks every 6 months. In fact, I would automate that process for them so that for a small fee, they get these benefits that every bank seems to be showering their new customers with (think like $50 versus $500). Heck, I might even do a groupon on this and negotiate the terms with the banks every time I am organising a massive transfer of potential clients. This business model will crumble as soon as the banks start rewarding their current customers, which is the right way to do business, I think. The chance of having the banks change their business practice - very slim. But NAB is already doing this apparently, so let's see if the others would follow suit.

Despite references to NAB, NAB is not paying me to write this post out. Furthermore, whatever that I say about NAB is just my opinion, so feel free to disagree. Speaking of NAB, by the way, a while back I got a call on my mobile from a person who claimed to be a NAB representative who asked me to identify myself. Now, whenever someone from the bank calls me and ask me to do this, I always say no. My reason: how do I know you are from NAB. You can start by identifying yourself. Afterall, you called me. In this instance, the response I got was, "I don't know how to identify myself". To which I said, "well, that's your problem." Then he said, "I am afraid I have to terminate the call if you don't want to identify yourself." I said "It's fine, bye."

The story did not end there. I called NAB back and after pressing so much random keys, I got to speak to a representative who was laughing her ass off when I told her the above story. I guess it must have been a funny story. Then she said, I have to ask you to identify yourself. I said, it's fine, because I called you. I know you are from NAB. This is different, you see. Then she laughed again. I don't know what she typed on my file that day, but I imagine it must have been somewhat rather hilarious.

Long story short, after checking the ten thousand possibilities of the endless departments that could have possibly tried to get in touch with me (with my account manager being on holiday, so there was no way he could have made the call), turns out no one from NAB was making the call to my mobile earlier. This freaked me out. Was I the potential subject of an identity theft? I swear sometimes I am not being paranoid when I don't want to identify myself.

Moral of the story - you can either be semi-paranoid like me and refuse to identify yourself (some people call it prudent, by the way). OR you can just spend all of your money so that you don't have to worry about anyone stealing your money.

Of course when I say spend, what I really mean is to assign a purpose for every dollar that comes your way, not necessarily having them leaving your hands. When you do this, of course you have to exercise precautions, like my semi-paranoia above. I mean, really, it might end up saving your life in ways that you would never have imagined.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why you definitely cannot be my husband and we probably can't be friends

Sometime ago, I declined a marriage proposal. For a good reason. Or two. First, I have not dated this guy. Second, he was (and still is) on the other side of the ocean. Third, he confessed to me, in private, that he is gay. 

Nothing wrong with that, of course. In fact, I don't care what his sexual orientation is. Should I? I can only care about my own sexual orientation, and as much as I love women because they are beautiful, I prefer making love to men. 

Anyway. Back to the story. 

Before I declined, I had the opportunity to ask why he asked me to marry him. His answer: (1) his mother has been pressuring him to get married; (2) you (meaning me) are smart, so you are someone who would be good for our kids (gawd, kids already?); (3) because you are open minded, so you would not mind me being gay. 

Gulp. Whatever happened to this thing called love?

There are some friends who are male whom I have no trouble confessing my love to. Not that I love them in the romantic sense or anything along those lines, rather it is more like just loving another human being for what and who they are. And as much as I love these people, I know that deep down I do not wish to marry them. I would love to be friends with them because I know they make good friends, but as life partners, I have a feeling either I am going to drive them nuts, or they are going to drive me nuts, or both. This is why we don't date each other. 

This friend who proposed to me is not one of those people. In fact, as I am writing about this right now, I wonder if I'd like to remain friends with him. I prefer to have a handful individuals that I talk to on a regular basis that I can call friends rather than having a bunch of familiar strangers that I talk to once a year on my phone list. So it is only natural that I ask myself, periodically, whether I'd still like to be friends with some people. This is an exercise I highly recommend by the way, if not only to stop and realise what wonderful friends you actually do have in your life. 

The reason why I am questioning whether this person is my friend or not is his attitude towards marriage. Don't get me wrong, please. I am a child of divorce, so I know that I should not be judging people on their marriages, or their attitudes about marriage. Under ordinary circumstances, I would not give a shit about this. It only becomes an issue when I am involved in it - like helloooo, being asked to marry him, carry his children while he is busy fucking other guys? 

Ever since this particular incident, we hardly talk. How do you recover from a conversation like this? I am not sure I have found the rule book for people in these situations. 

I guess, it might work if this guy is stinking rich and swimming in gold. Then again, I have my own moolah and I am capable of working myself, so his wealth is really somewhat irrelevant to the grand scheme of things, although I do admit that the temptation of money can be rather seductive. His wealth might be able to buy him a life partner eventually, the one who would carry and raise his children, and eventually have an affair with ... err... whoever. And that person, is not me. 

I think I love myself way more than that.

Plus the idea of a husband fucking other men while technically being married to me on paper is extremely revolting. I don't care if he wants to fuck other men, he just cannot be my husband.