gambitch - now available in blue
Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Illness consumes me at the wrongest of moments.

I fell sick overnight after punishing my body with a ridiculously low amount of sleep in this past week, so as a direct consequence, something I was supposed to have finished before sun-up only got completed minutes ago. Yet even before I was able to start work, people were sending me messages asking what had happened to my work.

I was initially a little upset about it, actually. I fell sick for the first time in a little while, and you're more concerned about work? But then I sat my heart down and realized people simply didn't know, that it didn't cross their mind that something might have happened to me. Not a surprise, actually. After all, I've been playing the iron man, a role I take with as much weight of responsibility as lightness of relish.

Iron men aren't supposed to fall and succumb to illness. Iron men are supposed to be invincible. Iron men are supposed to be so reliable they could do anything for you. I tried to be just that, and when I end up being too successful doing it, I forget myself, as I so easily do.

I didn't have to, and no one asked me to. I volunteered, and I'm responsible for volunteering in the first place. It's a responsibility I chose, for reasons I and only I understand. Nobody else does; nobody else can put themselves in my shirt and shoes. Because nobody else is this innocently dumb, stupid and silly.

I'm fighting for my wallet, somewhat, but more importantly, I'm fighting for a cause far greater than my wallet. It's silly, but I stand for those things no one else stands for, and in that way I am an idiot.

Fact is, I yearn to be understood. It's because so few people have bothered to understand me over the years that, year on year, I get more and more frustrated with myself. And that kills me, you know that? I've only got a few guys who understand me somewhat, yet even with them I cannot tell the full picture. It is that difficult.

Maybe I'm sick somewhere up there. Maybe I need medication. Or maybe all I need is someone who will stop looking at me as a colleague out to cause others stress and trouble, and start looking at me as a person who's got my own tears and fears, hopes and dreams, and everything in-between.

Somewhere, beneath everything I project on my exterior, there is a dark child inside. A dark child overly enriched in nerves and synapses, who responds to every little thing, so much so that music that people just listen to without paying attention to sends chills and tremors of resonance right down my spinal cord. Or that images that pass people's eyes in a flash end up catching my attention for maybe full minutes and trigger the strangest of reactions.

Somewhere, far beyond where anyone else is caring to see, I am spiritually residing on a stage inside an unlit concert hall, with nothing but a flute, a violin and a piano, and wanting to play all three at once. And dance to that harmony of sounds too. Because I believe life is about being able to express myself without worrying about what others make of my expressions - although I'd quietly wish someone else would turn on the lights and see me.

Somewhere, in the shadow of that frenzied workaholic who's grabbing assignments left, right and centre, is a little soul who's making it ever harder for himself to be understood, yet ever more wanting people to understand and realize that all I'm trying to be is a dependable ally and a decent friend. Not just one, not just the other, but both.

There is, as an Oriental philosopher once said, no louder voice than silence. But there's no one who hears it, is there?

Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.

I fear myself too much to live as one with myself.

I should really be resting, with the throbbing headache I've still got and my throat not doing very well. I should be getting some sleep to make up for what I lost out on.

But I can't. Not because there is work this time - I'm freezing my backlog until after midnight - but because I just have to go out there and let it all out. Even if it means carrying my frail and illness-ravaged body. Because staying home is going to make it worse.

When will I implode under the weight of all these things coming down on me?

Or will some kind souls help me out and turn that 'when' into the unlikely 'if'?

Even as I type, I'm feeling my muscles twitch just below the right eye. Is that a sign?

We are as two pod occupants in a hi-tech Yokohama hotel
Separated by a blindingly white plastic wall
Together, yet apart

gambitch [ 3:10 PM]

Friday, May 26, 2006

I've just gone about reorganizing my bloglinks. There have been many changes, to be sure, so I just thought I would put up a quick summary.

Under the News section, I've dropped a paper that now requires subscription, because I suppose it is not fair to readers who don't want to subscribe to read older publications. I've stopped referring to it anyway when doing online reading.

Nothing's changed under the Sports section, but I just thought I should remind everyone that the French Open is coming soon. In fact, it starts in a couple of days. So remember to go to the website and check out the updates. And yes, I'm NOT including a link to the World Cup itself.

An Iron Chef fansite has been dropped from the Television section after the site itself went dead. The other site, IronFans Online, has stopped updating since the start of the year, but it remains accessible for people to look up the archives. Isn't the Internet great for that? To compensate, I have inserted a link to an American news-type show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. It's pretty interesting, especially with the Worst Person In The World segment. I just love it when he whacks Bill O'Reilly.

Nothing's changed in the Gaming and Web Literature sections, so that's good for you guys out there.

Ooh, the largest number of changes can be found in the Other Bloggers section. Bonny's killed his blog. Pink's stopped updating here and moved goodness knows where. I've also slashed away blogs linking to some people I used to guide in "the profession", as well as their friends. I don't think they actually remember me anyway. Whiteout is no longer white, and has gone for another design based on hexagons, hence the new name Hexxed. C&B's cut back on updating after realizing he's not up to it on a regular basis, but I'm keeping him on the list. Semidi's stopped doing whatever he used to do, which is a shame.

A few other people have received promotions, mainly Nyanko and a Lawyer friend. Also, Seafood's musically-inclined blog has been included in the list. But two significant additions: a football-watching acquaintance based in Singapore, a little island in the Asia-Pacific, and someone who I shall for now name as Source, for reasons left undisclosed.

A warm welcome to all the new bloglinks. You're all part of gambitch's reading list now.

To the ones I've had to kill off, I'm sorry. Currency matters.

gambitch [ 2:42 PM]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I just bought this new book. Actually, it's a really old book. It's based on this relatively well-known personality test and people management thing called Kingdomality.

I first took the test about five or six years ago when I was working with some mentorship programme. I think I turned out to be a Prime Minister according to the test back then. I just took the test, and I turned out to be... a Prime Minister, again.

Funny how some things don't change. But I thought, upon reading the book, I might be simultaneously one of five or six personality types.

Wanna try it for yourself? Click here for the test.

Oh, and if anyone's bothered, please fill this Johari window. Yes, I've been flogging it for a while. Now go do it.

gambitch [ 4:39 PM]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I just thought it a little interesting that, while conversing with a friend on the train ride back from field work, we sort of hit the topic of The West Wing. I know I haven't been watching enough of it, and I really should get around doing the second season in all earnest, but I just cannot get the show out of my head.

All those years ago, I took a Quizilla test, I think, on which White House person I am most like. Turns out I was Toby. Which, by the way, is still about right.

So I was sort of doing a bit of a straw poll among some friends just to figure out who they really like. We've got CJ, we've got Josh Lyman, I think, but no one else went for Toby. But of course I'd be the one to go for Toby. I am Toby much of the time. I have many points, I choose when I want to make them. And I will stand pretty firm on them, and ruffle some feathers along the way. But that's because I'm Toby. The guy who goes up and tells the unpleasant things because I'm not out to make people happy.

That's me. Like it or not, you guys are going to live with it.

I just thought I'd share the story of the "frog in the cooking pot". Now, some of you here familiar with Oriental culture may have heard of the "frog in the well", a little creature who unfortunately just knows too little based on what little it sees. That's not what I'm talking about.

Basically, a frog that jumps inside a pot of boiling hot water, if it can, will immediately try to jump out. So you usually find it hard to cook a frog in the pot. The trick to do it is to leave the pot cold, leave the frog in there, and slowly and steadily raise the temperature so that the frog doesn't realize immediately that it's being cooked. By the time the water is hot enough and the frog realizes the danger at all, it's screwed, big time.

The flip side of the story is this: If we're not careful, we can be slowly and subtly killed by a gradual rather than sudden change in environment. Little things changing one by one adding up to one dramatic shift, just over a long period of time. The point, then, is to step up on the vigilance thing and make sure even the slightest alterations in temperature are detected. And then, once that happens, to deal with them and reacting with the appropriate alarm.

That's why I adopt a zero tolerance policy to whoever tries to mess around with me or my stuff, without trying to talk to me or doing whatever would make the exercise constructive. If you're not willing to talk to me, don't expect me to listen to you. I know who I work for. And that's all that matters.

That's all I have to say about that.

In other news, someone's been outed. Hee!

gambitch [ 11:57 PM]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I really need to sit down and reorganize my list of links soon. So many of them are getting so outdated. Unfortunately I've been busy with work, so much so I have not been able to tend to my personal things.

Big apologies to BlogShares, especially. Should've turned up more often, but I haven't got the time when there's so much work to do, online or offline.

Let's hope things get better next month. I need to plan this.

gambitch [ 8:12 PM]

Monday, May 22, 2006

What exactly is this thing about Bush wanting to make English the official language in the US? Somehow this leads me to recall the issue being covered somewhere in the first season of The West Wing. Which goes to show how good Sorkin was in dealing with issues, however much in the back burner they were.

But that aside, I don't like the whole idea of Bush wanting to impose a national language, coupled with supposedly tighter border controls designed to "keep out the Mexican illegal immigrants". Make up your mind, George. What is the problem? Mexicans coming in and stealing jobs no American would want to do? Or the Mexican economy failing because you focused all your energy on securing the Middle East, and thereby raising oil prices from all that effort?

Seriously, Bush needs to sit down and think. Oh, that's a little beyond him, I know. Then again, I don't really care. I'm not American.

gambitch [ 7:13 PM]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

So, here I am, still in the house because the regular Sunday football game's off. Something to do with someone else booking the ground for some competition thing. Ack, whatever.

I still remember last week's game. Mainly because I scored two goals, which is about two more than I normally do in any given week. I usually play goalkeeper, but I figured I needed to start pushing myself a little and making myself run here and there. So I came out and played dummy striker. I'm not any good; in fact I'm slow as anything. And I'm lazy in tracking back once I move up to the front. (I defend well when I stay back.) Mostly because I have no stamina either.

So you can imagine the surprise when I get to score two goals, and missed many more. Hey, the chances don't even come my way most of the time.

Would have been nice to know if the run would continue this week. But since that's not going to be possible, I have to go take a break this week.

Last week's Champions League final was a pretty okay affair. This little song I saw just about sums it up. And I love the British for daring to do these things. We need some creativity like this out here in the Asia-Pacific. Right now it's concentrated mostly around Aussieland. It needs to be spread out.

Oh, the song?

Chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cheree
Who's a big loser?
Thierry Henry!
Chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cheroo
Nayim from 50
Belletti from 2
Jens Lehmann's sent off!
And that's funny too!

Like I said, you've gotta take your hat off to them. Wonder if we'll see singers like that in Asian stadia any time soon.

Then again, I haven't been visiting the grounds at Korea and Japan. So maybe I'm missing out on something here...

gambitch [ 3:46 PM]


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