Sunday, April 8, 2018

Thoughts of Mortality During Qing Ming

The Hengfam did our yearly Qing Ming Saturday just, with us completing our run quicker than previous year’s actually, much quicker in fact, along with a vegetarian luncheon at our last stop (first time we did so), a light drizzle and we ended our day earlier than expected, and planned. As exhausted as we were (I woke up this Sunday morning thinking it had been a Monday and trotted around fo a good 20+minutes thinking so too :p) - I'd certainly felt it had been one of the more "stress-free"/"strapless" Qing Mings in recent memory...

Every year we - or at least myself - is faced with thoughts of “mortality” (from varying modes of "being humbled" to "severe fear"), and the sombring truth that we tend not to focus on throughout the reminder of the 364 days on, or perhaps we do so more than anyone realises, but do not ask, because us Asians in Asia might be “sensitive” that way.

I have been a mess since my Dad’s passing five years ago, and I do not hide that fact, nor does Stroke have colored my every day since 8 years ago - but that is my burden to bear, and for most other folks to avoid asking about, innit? But that’s fair fact in life, and I am neither asking for help nor seeking sympathy, innit? I just blog about it LOL

It's my own mechanism to cope, I surmise, and I am grateful for the ability to, as much as "social media" has since given everyone a even chance to share/air their own opinions (when not one his asking for them specifically), it too has allowed a platform for folks - like myself - to air "feels" and thoughts, however mundane or sensitive they might be, IMHO ... but I digress :p

But then again, conversations about “mortality” might not necessarily be the common “water-cooler banter” folks like to concern themselves with, in lieu of a “heavy conversation” - which to me, in my current state of life, is a literal “fact of life” - saddened though they may be, but not needing to be avoided, innit? Like “sex education” is to folks and their kids, perhaps? LOL

Different strokes to different coping mechanisms, I insist, and that's alright, innit?

Be that as it may, I’d managed to keep a decent straight face throughout it all these years, but alas broke today, when I over heard an older aged uncle - who seemed the rough and hardened type of older gentleman (“profiling”, I know) - sing a Hokkien song to his beloved at the crematorium niche.

#qingming #singaporelife #hengfam #henglifesg

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How I wish I could comfort that uncle, but perhaps in our Asian-context, we might well be “butting-in” to another person’s personal life, unwelcomed … and everyone is entitled to their own sorrows and ways of coping … just feel that sometimes we do not need to do it alone by ourselves, don’t we?

NO, this is not “a cry for help” (I constantly say, as if anyone would ever think the way LOL), but perhaps a call for compassion beyond our own fortunes and fate?

“Mortality” should not be only about “tears” and sadness … it could also include “compassion” beyond the suffering, and the chance to move forth with life, a step by a slow step, doesn't it?


Saturday, March 31, 2018


(One of my fav anime-songs: “The Girl in Byakkoya” by Susumu Hirasawa FTW)

What started out as digging up my DVDs for a weekly Friday Night Movie (at home with my trusty $10 earphones) - specifically looking for Satoshi Kon’s PAPRIKA - ended up dredging up an entire collection (that were NOT in boxes), and subsequent devoured with great delight (ending at 2AM did not leave me much time to savour it before I collapsed in bed :p).

Having been started on the anime-film-groove from the previous week’s delicious viewing of Mamoru Hosoda’s SUMMER WARS … and looking thru my humble Japanese-anime films and projects, wishing I had more of what I desired - like REDLINE, More Studio Ghibli, all Mamoru Hosoda’s films … actually the “older” films - and hoping one day I could physically descend unto a actual brick-n-mortar shop (in japan) and choose and buy DVDs for myself, as opposed to buying them online, or even converting to Blu-ray … of course by being able to go to my dream destination in Japan, would also meant I could afford to buy things by then, so … yes, I am the “weird old man” like that … as much as I appreciate folks’ obsession with “high-def” crispiness, I really do not need the 4K clarity that people get caught up with, to enjoy a good film, thanks :)

Wow. I really sounded like THAT old man, didn’t I?



Monday, March 26, 2018

#Journal - SocialMe

New life start.

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Thanks to Facebook, I’ve had a “reminder” today about my online/offline presence, by way of a "name-card", specifically one I had printed back in 2012, where I had not listed my Instagram account on - for which ironically an image I had Instagrammed - because I had signed on the platform after the cards were printed!

(ASIDE: Quite "scary" that FB remembers EVERYTHING you've posted, innit?)

Not for the lack of "interest" in Instagram though, but for having the lack of opportunity to do so before, but because I could after receiving a hand-me-down iPhone 3 from my younger brother! "Delayed by Technology", alas, was my excuse ~ LOL #truestory

Fast forward to today, nearly six years later, I am addicted to my Instagram, which is primarily one of my main source of cyber-contact to the wwworld-at-large - with 17.5K organic follows, and having a absolute blast IG-ing out to said-wwworld (versus my personal IG at less than 500 follows, which is all good and dandy :p) - and has become a source of pride, and an example of "success" in my little notebook, in my little corner of the wwworld.

And no, not "monetary"-success, I insist (I am not smart enough to monetise my cyberlife)... but admittedly in a more "selfish" aspect of my own personal life...

I've always been looking out for fellow like-minded folks, since teenhood, with drifting in and out (unsuccessfully) of cliques and circles that I've always felt I never truly belonged in/to, but "had" to belong "somewhere", because "peer pressure", and abject crippling lack of "self-confidence".

It was not really until my last years of studying Interior Design, and doing my National Service subsequently when I grew out of the need to "belong" and have instead grown into being comfortable with myself and what I liked - be it thru circumstance or self-preservation - then powering thru working-life in the decades following, regrettably holding onto my selfish "likes" and unfortunately not keeping a whole lot of friends through the paths I'd chosen ... aaaahhhh but the ones that chose to remain "friends"? #GOLD.

I've never been known as the "popular guy", nor have I ever mastered the social aspect of "friends", or even deal (understatement), having focused my energies thru the decades on picking-up and (selfishly) buffering my own "self-confidence" - and for a period, my evolved self-arrogance powered and fueled me through my own career too.

I've become and perhaps remain still, a "All-In" sort of wannabe-achiever, but alas I had let my self-doubt return pot-Stroke, and have since accepted it as my "mistress" than being a mortal nemesis ... aaaand the #sobstory never ends, does it? hahahahahaha ... but how can it? When I am living it every day, innit? :p

These days, the "clique" I had always been searching for in my youth, has evolved into "like-minded hobbyists", and folks who populate my Instagram and Facebook - beyond my own small group(s) of (decades old) friends, and I am every grateful for the chance, no b.s. :)

Social media has allowed me the chance to "connect", with the notion of "clique" (a word since vanquished from my vocabulary)! Okay, perhaps regulated into a darker corner at the back of my mind lah ... or at least not something I'd actively search for? Heh.

I have been told I "should make more of an effort", to which I can only say "friendship is a two-way road" ... I remembered times when I had to double my efforts to keeping up my pace to match folks walking in-front of me, in group outings - not long after surviving Stroke - struggling hard to do so, pushing myself ... and remembered some folks would actually turn back, and stopped to wait for me to catch up, and I will always remain grateful, not for the "pity" I would demand from folks (NEVER pity), but of the conscientious consideration for folks who are not up to pace with the world, someone whom I've become.

And if I cannot keep up, even after pushing myself, then perhaps I'd be less disappointed in both myself, or people around me, if I kept to my pace. Blessed be the folks who chose to lessen their speed to walk beside me, even of only for a short time :)

No, I do not think folks can survive "without friends", but sometimes I do think "folks can survive with me"... and they do! I am not disillusioned to think the "world revolves around me", FFS! hahahaha ... but I do not think that "the world should wait for me", and it is up to me to choose to catch up to the world, or maybe sometimes slacken my pace whenever I need to :p

Perhaps that is one of the appeals that social media holds for me. There is never truly a "real time" attached to what you do (besides "live" streaming etc), and that folks can indeed visit your stream at anytime to visit/see images you've uploaded/status shared, and still enjoy/like them.

I've never been on Snapchat, and hence never been addicted to the need to constantly find content to present within a 24hour period (*stress*), so rambling on IG and FB has become more my speed, at my pace, and that appeals to me muchly :)

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Serendipitously, I had opened up my Vero account today - out of curiosity and before finding out the FB-reminder - to "find out" it has been nearly 2 weeks since my last upload on the new social platform, which I had actually forgotten about its existence :p ... Actually how could it be that I am not following anyone? LOL

Then I am reminded of my since-long-abandoned Ello account, and of my cyber-squatting ways, starting with my LiveJournal blog, my MySpace, Multiply and other defunct www-locales ... and how can we ever forget "Friendster"? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

“Social media” has become and is indeed a time consuming effort, whether you like it or not, even if it means a post a day, a post every few, or even multiple posts a day. I’ve always felt it has become a “job” by itself - the curation of the image, the proper description of the image - of course this is not for the true-blue unplanned snaps ... do these even exist anymore? LOL ... so much so it may well be a “side-job” ...

Thinking about the evolution of blogging as a "news-site" style of online venues, I have seen (as TOYSREVIL) the days where folks promoted themselves via toy-forums and their own MySpace, and of course blog-sites - which thankfully included mine, for a period of time - my "blog heydays", as I lovingly remembered, and seeing folks going back to promoting themselves again via their own personal social media streams (and lesser inbox headsup for my blog), is no longer much of a surprise, I reckon (*I believe in "cycles" - NOT "bicycles", but of the cycle of actions and reactions humanity makes and is engaged in :p).

But I guess the appeal to be in control of "their" own promotion(s) at their/your own time and speed outweighs having news platform sites like #TOYSREVIL feature them/work for them/promote them, for “free” no less :p ... but hey, the beauty of social media, is that it provides folks a “choice” - to either ally themselves to specific sites, or shoring up their own foundations, so it’s all good in da toyhood hahaha

For myself, the “ease of upload” outweighs the need to be “instantly seen” - as in the case of the algorithms be tweaked and re-tweaked, as I’ve always considered that if your stream and content has images to retain the attention of both existing viewers, and for new folks who discover your channel/stream, then its a venue worth retaining and promoting. I truly appreciate all the folks and their support on My IG and Facebook streams! xoxoxo

Also, nothing is ever for "free", and I've since chosen to not stress over what essentially is a "service" I am not (directly) paying cashmoney for .. well, except with my info-data and cyber-life being harvested and farmed hahahaha #funnynotfunnyatall

Be that as it may, we continue to invest time and effort (not money, except for paying for wifi and bandwidth :p) and upload personal images and status-changes while continuingly being sucked deeper and deeper into the cyberwwworld, willingly and with abandon MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... now if only my YouTube stream could be more effective than his younger wwwbrother lol

#wwwlife #bloglife


hahaha yo! got me a hand-me-down iPhone 3 from my younger brother - so gotta get with the Instagram! lol

Sunday, March 25, 2018

World Outside My Window 2018

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Sudden Sunday rain at 10:15am on 25.3.2018 with light drizzle and breeze, the morning after a late night movie, feeling under-rested and moody like a "little boy" ... or as old and grumpy as a (very) near-middle-aged man can be lah knn ~ hahahaha! :0

I’ve always been somewhat fascinated in taking snaps out of my house window - be it from my bedroom(s) or living room - in a way sharing a very limited view of the world outside of my own chosen solace, especially since I live on a second floor - which I have since come to really appreciate, as there is a sense of relevance to the ground, especially after Stroke.

In fact, I have been taking snaps outside my window ("World Outside My Window"), since even before my TOYSREVIL-blog days (even before 2005), and had been posting in my now defunct Multiply account! Without a doubt, my sense of solitaire begun more likely (slightly) over a decade ago...

Funnily I've never since accepted that I could not really "capture" the image of rain or raindrops in camera - not that I have been using any fancy super-zoom-lens SLRs or DSLRs, besides my digital snap-camera or my phone camera, of course :p

Having constantly walked on clouds since teen hood, I find myself staring on the ground in front of me whenever I walk these days, ever looking out for uneven surfaces and ever conscious of falling down, a mental barrier I have not been able to overcome for the past semi-odd 8 years since Stroke.

The "fear of falling down" cripples and governs my enjoyment of travelling and seekingdiscovering new worlds and possibilities, which is a total change from the wanderlust I’ve regretted suppressing for most of my adult-life, actually :p

Where once it was "fun" and "magical", I avoid travelling out on "rainy-days" these days, for fear of slipping and falling, unfortunately. One can argue "non-slip shoes soles" and umbrella-protection and the like, and I believe them too, but try telling my muddled-mind that LOL

Not THAT "drama" lah, don't worry LOL

Sob-story aside (#reallynotareally), the only time I get to look UP these days, is looking out the window at the leaves and trees outside my windows, as I stay immobile and sat sloppily on my chair. Oh but what a peaceful view tho... :)

Cheers and have a peaceful Sunday,


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Thursday, March 22, 2018


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I’ve never “always” been a kiasu person, but became such due to years of wrong choices, taking things for granted and general self-fraught arrogance due to not knowing but pretending to ... Case in point, a mini comic digest I had drawn, inked and completed in the early-90’s, ready to be printed (in black and white), but was stalled and stopped at the printing stage, the reason being that there had been a “change of focus”, and publishing/printing this digest was no longer a priority then (Or so I remembered being told such...).

To be utterly fair, I had already been paid in full my page rates, on time and without fuss, but the thing was, I was so ignorant that I had given all the original artwork to the client, even without making even a full photocopy for myself (*if memory serves*!), thinking I was going to use the printed book as my “portfolio” lor!


(EDITED: But I'd actually DID take a few photocopies of select pages, featured below :p)

I've never been that disillusioned about the "quality" of my work - then til now - but at the very least, it would have been a step towards my (then) dream of drawing comics for a living! But alas, I did not have the tenacity to persevere, and instead let other avenues distract and engage my attention - like interior design and media design LOL

And this video is the only a “record” of what I had done - a roughly cobbled up sole issue I did to gauge the page layout and page count - of something that no one this side of my peeps, 2 decades plus later, would ever get to “see”, much less know about its existence ... :p ... so I could only count myself as a #neverbeen and be a whiney biatch decades later lol


Of course being “kiasi” was after surviving my Stroke lah, but that a WHOLE other story lor hahahaha