Blog Refresh 2010

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The new template for the blog has been successfuly implemented and modified. Hope you guys like the look and feel. It is now easier to navigate than ever, with my facebook and contact information easily accesible on the upper right menu.

There was a small glitch in blogger and I lost the right pane where I normally had a list of friends blogs. I am currently working to get the links back up.

The Return Of The King

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The Return Of The King is the final volume of JRR Tolkien's famous trilogy. In it, one of the main protagonists of the storyline was prince Aragorn (pic^). Raised secretly with great privillege by the elves of Rivendell, he lived amongst the deposed people of his father's once glorious kingdom. When all hope seemed lost, he took charge of his destiny, and rallied his peoples to victory, reclaiming what was rightfully his.

Alright, all my pictures are back in melbourne so im using a picture grabbed from the internets. I've taken new pictures but i also left my cable back in melbourne. I like this picture (or screenshot...whatever) as I find Aragorn's story inspiring. When you're in a rut, and everything seems like it's going the wrong way, you need to take a long hard look at yourself and rise above it. Look at the priviledges that you have, what is available to you, and use them to your advantage. Prejudice and negative thoughts will only hold you back. I used to tell myself alot of negative things about so many things in life that now I take for granted.

Possibilities open up when you have a positive outlook on life. It's dangerous to keep thinking about the negative side of things as it makes you withdraw to your own deluded thoughts...forming preconceptions and untrue ideas about what may really hold the key to your destiny.

2009 (2008 reflection click here)
...shall come to pass with an unexpected twist in the story of my personal development. It will be remembered as the year that I came to realize my greatest shortcoming - the predesposition to form negative thoughts in my head about all sorts of things I have no real experience about. A series of events that transpired in 2009 made me realize this. Some were personal and involve family, but others I can share publicly. Take the gym for example. I take it for granted now, but merely two years ago I was telling myself that it was pointless and that playing badminton twice a week was all the exercise I needed. There are countless other missed opportunities and half hearted initiatives that failed because of too much negativity. This is what will have to change in 2010!

2010 Prelude
To approach things with a positive mindset sounds simple enough, but is really not so easy in practice. Just like weight was a major issue in 2009, this would be the major issue in 2010. Now that I am aware of it, how I go along implementing this change is yet to be determined. If anything, I do need a more contemporary approach to fashion and the kinesthetic arts.

This holiday, up till January 13 when I return to melbourne, I am undertaking an extensive program for personal fitness that would hopefully provide me with the fundamentals of kinesthetic knowledge on a solid platform of an able, physically fit body. Long story short, right I now have subscription to not one, but TWO gyms (ok, one expires soon so i had to start another that ends on Jan 13). A new gym opened up just downstairs in my condo, and it has a really awesome program going. Here is my schedule for the week:

Monday: Krump, NYC Hip Hop, USMC Kettle Bell Circuit
Tuesday: Badminton, Oz Hip Hop
Wednesday: Capoeira, Strength Circuit
Thursday: Badminton, Seoul Hip Hop
Friday: Bounce, Tokyo Funk, Vogue and Wack In
Saturday: Strength Circuit
Sunday: BMW Program

It's pretty packed. Between sessions, I steal the occasional set at the cable fly machine or do dumbell exercises. I only effectively do a body building circuit twice a week (strength circuit). The focus is not go have bulging muscles, but to have a nice toned body. Capoeira is heaps of fun. It's a brazillian martial art that feels more like a dance. I really like the new gym that opened downstairs, they have a very contemporary approach to bodybuilding and their USMC (military style) kettle bell circuit tones just about every muscle in the body. I only go to Celebrity Fitness twice a week now for strength training. Love the LifeFitness wide/narrow/medium pullup bars.

Dance classes are done by StreetNation, and all the instructors are veteren professional dancers. Kudos to to Eddy, Eric and Seven. I have no experience whatsoever in hip hop and dont even listen to it but I found dancing it interesting. It has a basic groove that involves more of the abs and shoulders and a bit less of the hips unlike Salsa. The Krump is an awesomely macho dance, while the different flavours of hip hop all have their own feel to it. Tokyo Funk is interesting...think Jackson 5 or MC Hammer.

New Perspective

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I am back once again for the holidays, and as I have done in years past, it's time for a review of my life...and what needs to be done, in the never ending quest to become a better man.

Site Progress (2008, 2007)
A big thank you for visiting my blog. This site now generates around 30 pageloads a day, 5 of which are individual return visitors, with roughly 50% of unique hits coming from google. As this site matures, the frequency of new posts will decrease, but in turn the length and quality of the posts will increase and cover a broader range of topics each under it's own bolded subheading.

Fundamentals Review

#1 Basic health and nutrition...Check
#2 Proper regular exercise, both strength and cardio...Check.
#3 Sleep cycle...Needs improvement.
#4 Social Connectivity...Needs improvement.

Given what I have been blessed with - a stable family, stable finances, a freaking million dollar scholarship, and a car to do the groceries, it's so so unbelievably stupid that I actually failed miserably at #1 and #2 throughout much of my youth. There are reasons for this, but they are too personal to share.

The End of 2009
2009 marks the end of a long spell of negative thoughts that clouded my mind with useless things not worth thinking about. It's better to live in the present, thinking and devoting mental effort to things that are really meaningful in life. I have to think about myself and what's best for me. And once I have taken care of myself appropriately, a solid platform from which to reach out ot others develops. It's easier to remember things about other people (naturally empathizing) if I myself am in a healthy physical and mental state. I had realized this by late 2008 (and blogged about it in Jan 2009), but didnt really have the fundamentals in place to ensure success in outreach initiatives - they ultimately did not go very far because of a lack of followup and true empathy (i was forgetting lots of things about people).

Outreach
I really do not have any excuse for being socially isolated. I have had, and still have all the opportunities in the world to click and connect with people, but until I find the drive to reach out and truly connect... to "bond" so to speak, remembering things about people will be difficult. For to truly remember and think about others requires me to drop my ego and (mentally) accept/tolerate/understand/approach others. Outreach attempts throughout 2009 met with varying degrees of success. I tried to spend time with varying social groups but it proved to be too much to (mentally) handle, asides from the usual problems of time constraints.

E V O L U T I O N
Better outreach should give me more flexibility in the game of love. I have to find someone worthy. I want someone who has traits that I sense will be successful in the game of life. For the apple doesnt fall far from the tree. Physical, mental and emotional attributes are all considered, though being a guy I have to say that I am strongly biased to notice the positive abstract (ie. non-physical, mental, emotional, cultural) attributes of women who are physically attractive (subconsciously or consciously perceived to be fertile. ie. "hot"). I make friends with anyone and everyone without any racism, prejudice or bias but when it comes to the game of love, I simply cannot say the same. Feminist bigots like to criticize men for placing too much importance on looks yet are themselves every bit as judgmental on men who are perceived to be losers in the game of life. One reaches out to everyone. Boy and girl. There is no descrimination. No bias. No prejudice. Cherry picking is selfish. It is judgmental. It is biased. It is prejudiced. No mother tells her daughter to marry an ugly, frail, short, obese, wanky loser in life who couldnt hold a job. Every girl wants her prince charming, acceptably able bodied, a leader and a winner in life. This is the darwinian theory of natural selection in action. Good genes and good traits are valued in the game of life. Relevant to me at this moment in my life is the fact that men who are losers are unwanted in the game of love.

Project Vanity
A lil bit of vanity will do me good. I've worn khakis and "uncle" shirts (slang for old outfashioned clothes that you'd find a middle aged man wearing) and plain white T's for long enough. I have completely neglected fashion for far too long. Underweight for many years, I had grown accustomed to wearing baggy shirts and khakis. Project RAM was a glowing success, and I had put on over 20kg this past year. Coming back to malaysia, I can now afford (clothes are too expensive in melbourne) to splurge somewhat on fashion. I am going to find clothes that highlight my developing secondary sexual characteristics (read: toned body). The idea is that by the time I return to melbourne, I would have refreshed my wardrobe to something more 21st century...and have the body to wear it with pride.

Of course, I will have to hit the gym, and throughout my stay in malaysia, I will be going to the gym every day. One day strength (barbells, dumbells, pullups etc) followed by one day of high powered aerobics (USMC circuit or swimming laps). The gym below my condo just opened. It's a really progressive place that places emphasis not only on strength but joint stability - with kettle bells and a few other exercises (one of which looks conspicously like manual labour). This is something I have been looking for since progressing from using strength training machines to free weights. Joint stability is very important!

Fifteen
Hanging out. "Lepak". Whatever you call it, there is no other way to building a social network. I am stuck at home this month. Friends are either working or not around...So it's imperative that I go out and mix and mingle. It's surprising how you meet new people. Mix and mingle with everyone FTW! A really pretty girl introduced herself to me recently. We clicked, but more importantly I also sense that we are compatible culturally and in matters of faith. Problem is, she's 15. Alarm bells went off in my head (Jailbait!!!). Kept on telling myself "no ezra. no." and didnt even ask for her number (though she asked for mine later). But the point is...15. So tempting. Must resist!

Livestrong
I just feel that I am on the right track. I need to take control of my life...kill the demons in me...expunge all the negative thoughts in my head...and live life to the fullest. Spiritual issues have also been completely resolved as 2009 came to an end, and from that solid platform I can focus on a healthy body, mind and social life.

A positive outlook on life.

A new perspective.

Over It

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Song adapted from "Over It", by Rufio.

NOTICE

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Until 23/11/09, I will not be replying to any messages on facebook or lyn. This blog is also on hiatus till the aforementioned date. As of yesterday, I have voluntarily blocked facebook, gizmodo, and lyn along with a few other online forums and content providers from being accessed on my computer. Productivity is up 300%.

The Dilemma Of Ugly

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I am 23 and I notice a worrying trend. For the women whom I deem attractive are quickly becoming unavailable. My life used to be in shambles...I was pathethic, and quite reasonably stood no realistic chance of garnering romantic interest from women whom I deemed worthy (pretty girls had far better options).

Five years too late. It is only recently, almost three years after being forced to fend for myself - have I been able to take care of myself properly. My physical being is starting to thrive, but the reality is that I am still far behind in the race to become a truly eligable bachelor that could cherry pick whom he dates.

I understand now why some parents are worried that their children have not found a partner - for those who remain single for long will be left with scraps in the game of love. Marry a tall black person and your children are unlikely to be short and white - The apple does not fall far from the tree and this is why I absolutely cannot lose in the game of love.

I was once too self-centered to realize the importance of friends. I am from a stable family and have never really needed to build strong social connections outside home. At the end of the day, friends are important - for a healthy social life is the prelude of empathy, the fundamental building block of human relationships, both platonic and romantic. I cannot emphasize the importance of building social relationships (social networking) - for it is food for the mind and soul. It keeps one's life in balance. It let's your inner self know that your life is in order. It gives you emotional security and mental strength. Friends are important!!!

Looks really dont matter when it comes to love.
BUT
Men hate falling in love with ugly women.
Women hate falling in love with losers.
So be not a loser.

I have only been moderately successful in my career path, but that means only so much in the game of love. A healthy career gives me the financial means of taking care of myself, but ultimately it will not compensate for my physical, social and mental flaws. I resolve to not have to compensate for anything in the game of love. I must have the raw physical attractiveness, mental/social wellbeing, and charisma to win in the game of love - to build a meaningful relationship with an attractive woman who is worthy.

To have a healthy mind, healthy body and healthy outlook on life. To thrive and to win in the game of life. It's the dynamo of volition that pushes me to be a better man. That is my inner drive

I live every day like it is my last.

Awesome FTW!

Demons

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Continuations of my dreams seduce me.

Darkness looms beneath the surface.

Demons of mine.

Cant sleep, think.

Mind in disarray.

Fight my demons.

Glimpse the light of day.

Sense dark clouds looming.

Succumb NEVER!

Friends guide me through shadows.

Battle lies within.

Expunge my demons all alone.

Live righteously, strong and mighty.

Check Yes Juliet (Solo Acoustic Cover)

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Check yes Juliet are you with me?
Rain is falling down on the sidewalk
I won't go until you come outside.

Check yes Juliet kill the limbo
I'll keep tossing rocks at your window
There's no turning back for us tonight.

Run, baby, run
Don't ever look back.
They'll tear us apart
If you give them the chance.

Don't sell your heart.
Don't say we're not meant to be.
Run, baby, run.
Forever we'll be...you and me.

Check yes Juliet I'll be waiting
Wishing, wanting, yours for the taking.
Just sneak out and don't tell a soul goodbye.

Check yes Juliet here's the countdown
3... 2... 1... now fall in my arms now
They can change the locks
don't let them change your mind

We're flying through the night
Way up high,
The view from here is getting better with
You by my side

Check Yes Juliet, by We The Kings


This is my first cover ever since starting guitar from scratch six months ago. Took quite awhile to improvise the strumming pattern to make it similar to the original powerpop/rock version. The accoustic version done by the band is totally different as it is in a different key and is played using two guitars.

It is the best of four recording attempts one lazy afternoon. Apologies for the crappy sound quality as I used a cheap digital recorder. We The Kings are relatively unknown and very underrated. This song is a perfect companion to Love Story by Taylor Swift.

Warming Up

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"It is my perception of others that needs to change. I just sense that a bit of isolation will do me good; to create an inner desire/want/impetus to click, connect and put mental effort towards other people (ie. becoming more extroverted). This, combined with a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet, healthy body, and healthy mind should hopefully lead to a healthy social life, come 2009." - The Big Red Chilli, Oct 2008

"I am glad that I am finally feeling lonely. Thank god. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. Anyway, I am now starting to feel the urge/compulsion/desire/want to interact with others. It took a few weeks of social isolation but I think it was well worth it." - Unemployed, In Pain, Lonely, December 2008


Warming up

Months ago, I felt like I had lost my humanity. I wasnt able to warm up to people. To approach with empathy - to click, so to speak. But now that I have my life sorted out, I find myself warming up to people. I am 23, and this is long long overdue. I find that it comes naturally, I dont have to put any conscious effort into remembering things about people anymore. I go with the flow, and see where it takes me.

Randomness
It's time to roll the dice. Riding on smiles. People are friendly. People are nice. It's good to meet new people. Random people. They are playing the game of life, just like yourself. And these people have friends too. And friends of friends. And acquaintances. Sheer randomness. As I mix and mingle I feel my character, my personality developing. It is my own. It is based on nobody. I am truly myself. Finally..

Loss of the "la"
An acquaintance told me she didnt think I was Malaysian. Apparently, I dont have any detectable accent - neither Malay, Chinese nor Manglish...and I dont use "la" when I talk. Hmm, I never noticed myself change, so I guess I must have changed slowly since coming to Australia. My English accent has never been like the English accents of the Chinese or Malays. I grew up on a diet of Sesame Street and Electric Company and had a flawless American accent...until primary school where I picked up the Chinese-Malaysian-English accent. In secondary school, i moved to a predominantly Malay school, and my accent changed again. Now people say that I dont have any detectable accent. I speak neutral English so to speak. I dont speak like the Malay Malaysians, I dont speak like the Chinese Malaysians, I dont speak like the Indian Malaysians. I speak like Ezra.

The Turning Of The Tides

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Through darkness I found my way.
Charting my own path.
My way.
My destiny.
I am in control.

I am thankful for sustenance.
My physical being thrives.
I feel myself growing.
Yet I never loosened my belt.
I feel awesome.

I embrace the world
And the realities I once avoided
Soothing lies exposed
Childish fears expunged
Escapism nil.

Unchained from the shackles of mind
My sense of self grows.
My personality.
I am myself. Yes.
And I will do all I can do to keep that.

The tides have changed.
I taste it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
It is time to shine.

Game of life - Win.

Day, One.

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"It's like I've known you forever..."

I only knew her for a day. Of a different nationality, upbringing, and mother tongue. I once thought that cultural compatibility was what really mattered in the game of love. Perhaps not.


Angel

My friends said I changed. No dirty jokes. No antagonism. No sarcasm. Just me. For a day at least. It came naturally. I did not intentionally try to be anything im not..and for some reason that day I was just different. Perhaps she changed me, temporarily at least. I've got to be like that more often.

Friend of Friends
Easy to approach, unlike a stranger. If there is chemistry, empathy ensues. I need to expand my social circle. For friends have friends.

To Whom It May Concern
It's unfortunate that we should meet at such a late hour. You are different from others...and I wish I had a chance to say goodbye. Time will tell if our paths shall cross again. I hope they do. Till then, I wish you the best in your endeavors.

The Primitive Mind

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NOTICE: the contents of this post may likely hurt some people. read with discretion. you have been warned. read carefully before commenting so you dont end up putting words in my mouth. I have made every attempt to make it as non-sexist and politically correct as possible. The next post will (likely) be related to this one, so please dont read too deeply into this post just yet. I write from experience and observation. I have not read any books on the topics raised in this post. If you detect any similarity with what you may have come across, it is purely coincidental.

The Primitive Mind and Inner Calm
The primitive mind knows when you are in control of your life, and you are taking care of yourself well, and you have a stable circle of friends. You will have inner calm.You may not see the connection between social activity and healthy eating habits, but it is real as the primitive mind is intrinsically involved in your eating habits. They are all inter-linked. Let's take the example of someone who is socially isolated: The primitive mind panics when it senses social isolation. You go into sympathetic overdrive and your health falters. You lose sleep. You lose the ability to focus and empathize. Your social wellbeing suffers. Your personality deteriorates. Your life's balance is thrown out of the window, you start eating less and your ability to provide for yourself suffers as well. You will have no inner calm.


The Game of Life

What does it really mean to be successful? To own lots of stuff? To feed oneself and one's family? To be spiritually strong? To fuck go forth and procreate with someone worthy to bear successful offspring? The apple does not fall far from the tree. Different people will have different agendas, but at the end of the day it serves to satisfy one primitive desire - success.


The Lie Of The Mind
Truth hurts. The reality of the world is that everyone is trying to be the best they can be. There can only be winners if there are losers - High paying jobs exist because they are low paying ones; Singles exist because nobody who was acceptably* attractive wanted to be in a relationship with them.

Of course, everyone also likes to think that they are right - or just playing along in the game of life. The rich executive doesnt think twice to pay his poor low level worker the "market rate". The attractive guy/girl doesnt give any chance to an unworthy girl/guy to empathize (and thus risking falling in love) with him/her.

At the other end of the spectrum, the low level worker may think to him/herself that "money doesnt buy happiness" to feel better about him/herself. True, money does not buy happiness...but it sure as hell doesnt buy sadness. The unattractive person on the other hand may say to himself/herself that "attractiveness" does not guarantee one would find love. True, attractiveness does not guarantee you will find love...but it sure as hell doesnt make it more difficult to do so.

"Happiness" cannot be quantified, but if we take suicide as an endpoint measurement of happiness, then we could quite conclusively say that poor people are less happy than rich people. The role of attractiveness in finding love is a bit more complex as people have different definitions of love and attractiveness. Sure, read the tabloids and you will find a zillion stories of attractive celebrities breaking up with one another. That is the rationale that some single people use to feel better about themselves. It is non-sequitur. Sure, attractive people break up - but they were in a (loving?) relationship to begin with; and they dont stay single for long! If us humans didnt prize/value/admire attractiveness, then the cosmetic surgery industry would close down...and the same people reading about the zillions of celebrity breakups would not be interested in celebrities in the first place! Yeah, I think Jessica Alba, Beyonce Knowles, and Miranda Kerr are attractive. Face the truth: Being attractive is pretty damn important to getting a partner you consider attractive. Show me one hot girl who is with a guy who is shorter and lighter than she is. I rest my case.

Some unattractive people eventually settle for what is available to them as they approach the age of desperation (30 and never been in a relationship). ie They did not have their choice selection of a partner. To feel better, they tell themselves that looks dont matter when it comes to love. This is very true though. Attractiveness really does not matter when it comes to true love. However, humans are picky with who they fall in love with. And dont forget that these people would have very much liked to have fallen love with a more attractive person...and only settled for who they did as they were desperate. Hence, attractiveness not mattering when it comes to love does not change the fact that people value attractiveness. There is a reason all the guys wanted to get to know more about the girl with the great set of TnA (tits and ass) who has a acceptable personality, in the same way all the girls wanted to get to know more about the guy who has proven that his genes are successful in life and he is thriving: healthy body. healthy mind. healthy social life. There is nothing more unattractive to girls than a short, shy, loser who cant seem to keep a job, feeds himself crap (his body will reflect this), doesnt seem to have any friends, wanks to tentacle porn every night, and cant seem to hold a decent conversation.

Let's not lie to ourselves. No, time is not an excuse. "Career" is not an excuse either. "Fate" is not an excuse for all ya religionists out there. It boggles my mind how some people tell themselves these things to justify why they are single. It's really quite sad because with such excuses excludes themselves from the dating game, and increases the chances they will remain single for longer. For girls, attractiveness/fertility eventually fades, making it even more difficult to find someone willing to fall in love with them - even though love is blind and looks dont matter. For guys, there is nothing more pathethic than the 40 year old virgin. Nuff said.

Everyone wants the best career they can get, and the best partners to produce offspring that are successful. Ok fine... you could probably exclude some people who generously chose to eliminate themselves from the gene pool. Such as monks and nuns, and the winners of the darwin award.

The primitive mind wants success.
The primitive mind values attractiveness.

You cannot deny this. It is human nature. To deny this would be to live a lie. To deny this publicly while secretly pursuing success/attractiveness...is bloody selfish hypocrisy. Sad to say I do know some people are like this. I have no respect for them.

*different people have different standards and ideas about this, so im leaving it open to whatever you, the reader considers attractive.


The Return Of The King.
It took me over two years living alone to realize the above, for some things have to be learned through experience. Through malnutrition I came to see the importance of providence. Through isolation I learned what it really meant to empathize. Through sleep deprivation I have taken to heart the importance of a healthy circadian rhythm.

The rose tinted glasses that shrouded my realities were finally shattered this year. As I overcame the lie of the mind, I found myself with the willpower, strength and vigor to make real changes to my life, my being. For the truth expunged the lie, and now, my mind is set. No more lies. I want to succeed, both romantically and in my career.

I want to find a nice girl to fall in love with. Someone whom I can relate to and who is also reasonably attractive. I want to be all I can be in my chosen career.

The primitive desire to succeed in life runs strong within me. It is the dynamo of volition that drives me to make myself a better man. I realize that the real goal in life is to thrive and be at the top of my game - and that is exactly what I intend to do.


So what does it really mean to "be a man"?
Over the next couple of months I will be blogging about the following themes:

S E C U R I T Y | empathy, humility, career progression & stability, family.
P H Y S I C A L | providence, exercise
C I R C A D I A N | sleep, arousal, light, (!) stimulants
C O N T R O L | (!) sympathethic/parasympathetic, (!) vices
S P I R I T | core, calm, purpose
K N O W L E D G E | kinesthetic, time management, deep learning, artisan.

The HEAVY Post

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"Run! Cowards! Hahahahaha"


Team Fortress II: The Most Awesome Match Ever!
It was near midnight on cp_fastlane. Red team had a bunch of clan mates and were dominating the blue team. Suddenly, all the blue team guys decided to go Engineer and built 12 level 3 sentries at their final capture point!!! I was with the red team. We decided to all go spy. For a few rounds in a row, we were all playing as the same class. The most epic battle took place when both teams, all 24 players, went Soldier. The rocket war was spectacular especially during the initial charge to the mid-capture point. I've played over 100 hours of TFII and this is the first time I've ever experienced such an awesome stacking of the same class.

Mission Possible: Project RAM Interlude
With Phase I complete (raise lean mass by 20kg), I decided to go for the Mission Possible challenge at the gym. The rules were simple, hit the gym 15 times in the month of May to stand a chance to win a bicycle or ski trip. I managed that in just 20 days. Now I'm pretty much burnt out (overtraining) so I'm going to rest for a week before starting Phase II, that will focus on cardiovascular health, an area that was neglected in Phase I. Free weights will also replace many machine based exercises.

Fever For The Flavour
Proper nutrition is within my grasp. I can finally say with confidence that I could feed myself consistently. Two years fending for myself and a _lot_ of failures in the kitches has taught me what works and what doesnt. For cooking is an art. I follow no recipes and start with the end in mind. Hmm, I have a tomato. I wonder what I can do with it... and go from there. I've also acquired a wonderful professional heavy bottomed saute pan for less than half price that enables me to cook seriously good sauces. I've binned my Gravox and shoved my teflon pans into the darkest corner of my cupboard. Deglazing FTW!

Russel Peter Say: "Be.A.Man"
I feel it in me. I cant explain it. I dont feel intimidated by life anymore. I feel like I'm up to the challenge. I know that I will triumph in the face of adversity. I know I can take care of myself. People interact with me very differently now. I feel that I have a much increased affect? Confidence in oneself. A healthier outlook on life. The dynamo of volition runs strong within me. I see it in the mirror. I see it in the smiles of others. I see the tattered social fabric of my life coming together. And if there ever was a judge of my character... I no longer stutter and lose words in the presence of the most beautiful woman I've ever known.

P R O V I D E N C E

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"You are what you eat"

A man's mettle is really determined by how good a provider he is. If a man cannot provide for himself, how can he possibly provide for others? When you provide for yourself, your body thrives, and this is reflected not only in your physical build, but also in your personality. I've never felt so alive. I feel good. I want to interact with others. I feel like it. I feel awesome.

Last year my diet was pathetic. Over summer break, I managed to push up my caloric intake from 1300 to 2500 a day. I shopped almost every day and had lots of fresh produce. Importantly, vast advances were made in food storage and preparation. I did not really learn to cook from my mother. I cook what I've discovered from experimentation and looking at what others make in the communal kitchen of the halls.

An unexpected event has forced me to shop weekly once again. I find it really obvious how much my diet has changed. From consuming about 3 proper meals a week, I now consume at least 10 proper meals a week. More importantly, those meals are balanced, with a healthy daily serving of carbohydrates, protein and ruffage. I consume about 80g of protein a day, and even with a pretty heavy gym/pool schedule, I do not require any supplements.

This week's menu: Ginger beef w/ spring onion on rice (3 meals). Cream based pasta w/ heaps of fish (4 meals). Couscous bake with beef and cheese (2-3 meals). Spag Bog (1-2 meals). Mash and grilled salmon steak (2 meals). *note: I buy my lunch at work.

Protein:
3L 2% milk
1kg full cream yoghurt
2 x fresh tasman salmon fillets
3 x vietnamese basa fillets
1kg beef
300g cheese
1/2 dozen eggs

Carbohydrates:
Rice, pasta, couscous and mash. White bread for breakfast.

Ruffage:
200g leafy greens (italian mix)
5 large navel oranges
2 x 1L fresh squeezed low acid orange juice.
1kg muscat grapes

Dietary Supplements:
approx 2L Sanatarium Up & Go - I dont always have time for breakfast. 500ml of this has the same amount of protein from 2 eggs, fiber of 4 weet bix, 400 calories (low GI) and less than 2g of saturated fat! It's also very low in salt. I'd reccomend this to anyone.

This Year's Gear: A generic heavy bottomed non-stick cooking pot. A ss aluminium soup pot. A george foreman grill. Proper 15" chopping board for greens and foods consumed raw. 10" board for meats. A santoku and a standard fillet knife. Light Correlle plates and bowls. A full set of containers: plastic roll caps for meals and fruit servings. Pyrex tubs for oily foods.

Last Year's Gear: A thin bottomed steel pot that was impossible to clean. A thin bottomed frying pan that kept on burning my food. No chopping board - i used paper towels. One standard fillet knife. A really heavy earthen bowl and plate from the dollar shop. A few plastic tubs from the dollar shop.


Awesome FTW!

Easter Break

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Easter Friday was the day the first phase of Project RAM (14 weeks) was completed. I am now at a healthy weight for a person of my gender and ethnicity - a full 20kg heavier than I was just a year ago.

Over here in Australia, Easter break lasts for a week. I had a blast. It started off with a 2N3D camp organized by the Malaysian Society at Phillip Island. Met heaps of new people, had lots of fun activities. More importantly though, I feel that my self confidence is returning. I cant explain it, but since maintaining a ~2500cal diet, I find that I have a lot more drive to socialize and empathize with others. That said, the social neglect in the gloomiest of times have not left me unmarred. There is still much that needs to be done in the area of people skills.

Got back the following monday. Exhausted. Rested on tuesday. Went for a party at Panorama st with some people I met from camp on Wednesday. Crashed for the night.

Got a parking ticket the next morning. Monash City Council only allows HALF HOUR parking during the day (from 8am)... what a bloody rip off. The street was so clear and broad and empty (it was a dead end street!) that there is no reason to have such restrictions other than to make money. Other city councils (such as Maroondah) are much nicer and are alot more lenient on parking (free in most residential areas with wide roads). To the people who are behind this bastard1zed parking system: I hope that you are disfigured and maimed in an accident, and that your children are born retarded, and that you die a slow painful death, and rot in the seventh layer of hell for eternity.

Friday was the first Lazer Tag event organized by ME! THe final tally was 14 people. If you are reading this, thank you so much for participating. The event was a complete success. Played 3 games on a 6th gen LaserForce system. It was awesome!

The next day, I visited the sand sculpture exhibition down at Frankston beach with the photography club. It feels good to start taking pictures again. Made some new friends and all in all we had a good time. Real heavy dinner at Sofia's before heading back. Still not tired enough. So we went to play pool at Princes. Was back shortly before midnight.

Sunday shall be known as the day of washing. I washed the most clothes I have ever washed before... in addition to a sleeping bag and a windbreaker.

And so the Easter "break" ended. I was more tired after than I was before.

..with no regrets.

Phillip Island Camp - $165
Party at friend's place - $15
Parking ticket the next morning - $60
Lazer Tag - $25
Sand Sculpture Exhibition - $12
Dinner at Sofia's - $15
Pool at Princes - $7
Feeling that my life is back on track... PRICELESS.

"Creeped"

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Update (14/6/09)
Guys, many people seem to have misinterpreted this article. Please do not put words in my mouth. NOBODY is saying that a guy has to be buff to get a girlfriend. Not me. Not anyone. What I did say was that girls dont like guys who are frail (or two physically deficient) for potential romantic (non-platonic) relationships...in the same way girls simply dont like falling in love with guys who are shorter and lighter than they are. Call me a romanticist, for I believe that love is blind - money/looks dont matter when it comes to love. That said, people are picky with who they fall in love with. There is a reason why some people get all the attention, whilst others are ignored...especially when it comes to romantic (non-platonic) relationships. What I am effectively saying is: Ugly girls and guys who are pathethic losers* will find it difficult to find a date on a Friday night.

*failing in life. Opposite of thriving in life. Physically, mentally, socially...etc.



"Creeped"

Humans are hypocrites by nature. They all want to believe that they are doing the right thing, and twist the truth as much as they can to feel good about themselves. In no other aspect of life is this more apparent than in the game of love.

Have you ever wondered why some really pretty girls appear to be arrogant? They avoid eye contact and may even shrug you off if you try to chat them up. Ok, not all pretty girls are like that but you know what Im talking about. At the end of the day, many of them are "creeped" out by random guys approaching them. SO what does it mean to be "creeped"?

"Creeped" is the natural human response to being approached by potential partners who are perceived (even subconsciously) to be of an unacceptable standard (too unattractive). The pretty girls who have a wide selection of guys who want to date them thus have a higher standard by default, and are hence more likely to be creeped when approached by a random average Joe. It's very politically incorrect to say this, but being "creeped" is simply natures way of telling you not to potentially reproduce/make_babies with inferior genetic material. For guys chasing girls, good genetic material means shapely tall, fertile hourglass bodies. For girls chasing guys, good genetic material means a reasonably buff physique (from good nutrition/exercise), success, and social dominance in life. Social dominance is invariably tied to money in the modern world.

For example: All girls like to tell themselves that they are going to settle for a "nice" guy. But have you ever considered that girls only notice the "niceness" of the so called "nice" guys who are reasonably financially stable and physically attractive? If a "nice" guy who's reasonably good looking and financially stable shows interest in a girl (short 2s eye contact and a small smile), she is likely to reciprocate... but if a poor, short, ugly-as-fvck, shy, pushover kinda guy shows the exact same interest in a girl (short 2 s eye contact and a small smile).. she would be "creeped out" - even IF the second guy has a much nicer, more humble personality. This prevents a person from empathizing with people whom are perceived to be genetically inferior. Empathy is the foundation of any relationship.

Everybody wants a "nice" partner. But will only empathize and realize the "niceness" of others who are attractive. Many set their standards too high and will eventually have to settle for less...and start noticing the "niceness" of people they have not previously considered. This group of people tend to "fall in love" as they approach 30... They tell themselves that they settled for someone "nice"... but face it... many of them could not have done any better and had settled for less. Spend enough time with someone (even if you dont find them attractive initially) and chances are you will start to notice the "niceness" in them...

Let's not be sexist. Being creeped applies to guys as well. Last summer a half drunk woman started coming on to me, pushing her shoulders together to emphasize her cleavage and pouting her lips trying to look cute as she approached and tried to rub against me... I'm not a very attractive guy and that was the first time anyone has come on to me like that. Good for me? NO! She looked like she had been beaten with an ugly stick. I swear that I nearly threw up. I got goosebumps and felt like leaving the room.

Some of my friends wonder why I am suddenly so interested in going to the gym. Well, the answer is really simple. I dont want to creep girls out. It is the same reason why I pursue knowledge and studied very hard to get into the course of my choice. I study to secure my future and have a successful, fruitful career. I hit the gym and eat well for the same reason. I am reasonably financially secure but to succeed in the game of love I also need a reasonably masculine physique. Hence, I hit the gym to increase the odds that I will be successful in the game of love. To be successful in the game of love means not settling for less and ultimately building a loving relationship with a woman who is worthy and will bear successful children (with good genes) whom in turn will be successful in life.

Aim for the treetops, you'll land on the floor.
Aim for the sky, you'll land on the treetops.

I am 23 and single. It is time to aim for the sky.

Face The Truth™

The Dynamo Of Volition

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The continuations of my dreams seduce me.
I see, I acknowledge, I realize.
My inadequacies, my weaknesses, my flaws.
No excuses!
For truth expunged the lies that soothed me.
Facing adversity I shall not cower
Not lowering my standards.
I will fight to the bitter end.
I will be awesome.

Legendary.

Lim, Lim, Limm, Singh, and Flavell.

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During the ward rounds the names of the team members present would be written on the patient's history. In my ward round last friday, the heading read: "WR: Lim, Singh, Lim, Flavell, Limm". Yup, that's right, there are three Lim's. THe first Lim is Andy Lim, the consultant heading the team. Rajesh Singh is our Registrar. Mei Lim is the intern. Adam Flavell is a fifth year. I am last on the pecking order. Whoever this Lim guy was back in the day in China he must have been a real hit with the ladies judging from the number of Limlets around. Lim's are everywhere!!! But my Lim is special. I am Limm. The extra M is for Magnificent. Macho. Manly... ok ok... let's not get carried away. Lim (林) simply means forrest.

My middle name Iskandar is a malay transliteration of the turkish name Iskander. The English know Iskander as Alexander. But Alexander is really just a latinized form of the greek word Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros) that means "defending men (n.)".

Finally, my first name Ezra provokes a lot of interest for some reason. Apparently it isnt very common. Ezra ( עֶזְרָא عزير ) is about as biblical a name as any. He was one of Moses' groupies. "Ezra" means "help" in hebrew.

So yeah. My name actually reads:
Help Defend Forrest.

Hmmph, maybe I was an elf in a past life or something. Currently I do not have the long blond hair, blue eyes, natural archery/riding skills, eagle eyesight and pointy ears. I do however have the same awesomeness as said elves.

woot.

Falling Into Place.

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I feel like everything is coming together...falling into place.

And so the third year of my course begins. I am now at Monash Medical Center (MMC), and the people there are just amazing. I feel like a sponge. Everywhere I go there are new things to learn. The fifth year students, interns and doctors are all very helpful and pleasant to work with. It is a patient centered learning environment and I am enjoying every minute of it. We are taken on ward rounds and are being exposed to the ways in which patients are being managed. There is no real "work" to speak of. What I learn depends almost totally on my prerogative - the course handbooks only gives an outline of what we need to know. Medicine is not about memorizing drugs, it is really about clinical reasoning. How well I manage integrate clinical reasoning, people skills, and procedural skills will determine how good a doctor I become. Streams of thought must be coherent, and in the face of a medical problem, I must be able to connect the dots.

I am very happy to be placed at MMC: It is a big place with all the different types of wards (eg. Neuro, Resp, GI, Cardio, etc). I will spend four weeks in each of the eight wards - being exposed to as much as possible... sponging up knowledge as I go along. Schedules are made on the fly to accomodate the packed schedules of the doctors and consultants who give us tutorials. Third year is pretty much an 8am-5pm job. The very big differennce is that there is alot of homework things that require further study and mental effort. I wake at 6.30 to be able to make it on time. There is simply no time to cook. I have lunch at the MMC cafeteria and dinner at the mess hall on weekdays. The food at MMC is really good, if a little on the pricey side...and the coffee is one of the best I've had in Melbourne. The people are awesome. The course is awesome. The food is awesome. The coffee is awesome. What more could I ask for?

Last friday, I finally managed to get my hands on the album of a band that I have been listening to for months. Only one store in australia had it, and what do ya know... It was in Ringwood, just a couple (ok, maybe more than a couple) of suburbs away. Took a nice long drive after class and snapped the last two copies of their album just before the store closed.

The icing on the cake is that the most beautiful woman in my cohort happened to be placed in MMC as well. My personal benchmark for female beauty. I pray that one day I will be in her league, but a little eye candy to motivate myself to get out of bed in the morning and be all that I can be in my relentless effort to be a better man couldnt hurt.
Confident. Knowledgable. Respected. Well groomed.

In the words of Barney Stinson: L-E-G-E-N-D-A-R-Y

40 Degrees

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After what was a very pleasant, unusually cold summer, things started to get hot. Very hot. Melbourne has never been this hot in over a century. More than 60 trains were cancelled due to buckling tracks. Power grids crashed under the load of everyone turning on their air conditioners.

The body is 37C.
The wind is 40C.
My room was 45C when the sun was shining in.
Hot. Really, really hot.
Fans are more like hairdryers.

But not was all bad. Due to the drought the soccer pitch is only watered at night. Playing in the 'rain' was unbelievably awesome. It was past midnight and the sprinklers at the sports oval were being turned on one by one. Four of us were playing football in the semi darkness of the dimly lit oval at 2 in the morning. Drenched, a thought crossed my mind.

Me: Hey, isnt there a drought right now? Isnt this illegal?
John: Well maybe, but I think it's only during the day that it is not allowed cuz far less water is wasted at night.
Krish: Yeah, and it's not tapwater they're using. It's probably grey water.
Me: Grey water?
Krish: You know, the stuff that drains from the sinks and showers.
Me: ...
John: I think we better shower when we get back.

woot.

Flush On The River

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I am glad to announce that the theme of this blog is no longer reflections of humanity. I am tired of writing about why I think life is the way it is - I want to focus on life itself. All the colors and subtle nuances. All the experiences. And most importantly, all the people that make it meaningful and colorful.

The one and only game begins.
Two cards lay before me.
A three and a ten of hearts.

The clock ticks.
A seven of hearts lay before me.
A jack of spades looked at me.
A king of clubs led the flop.

I felt the fear within me.
My enemies plotted against me.
I had nothing.

I had no choice in this one and only game.
I had to call the bet.
The stakes were raised.

In the glimpse of an eye, the next card was dealt.
It was the five of hearts.
Everyone bet in equal parts.
The stakes were raised.

Not a pair. Not a straight.I had nothing.
I despaired.

Then came the river.
With bated breath I took a look.
The number four just lay there...
Laughing at me,
Mocking me.

My enemies grinned.
The stakes were raised even further.
I wanted to fold and leave the game.
Defeated. Lost.

In that moment of darkness,
I listened to the words of an elder,
Who made me realize that all was not in vain.
I had five hearts.
Flush on the river!

There was a time when I felt defeated. Social ties were left to collect dust. I stopped dancing. I (unintentionally) starved myself. My health; my wellbeing; faltered... In retrospect, the difficult periods I faced in the two years I have been away from home were not in vain. I grew as a person. It gave me resilience and thought me how to take control of my life.

Asides from my study commitments, 2009 will be all about building/maintaining social networks and attaining peak physical form. I really hope to start dancing (salsa) soon. Everything is falling into place. Things are looking very bright. I had a flush on the river...

No Such Thing

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______Welcome to the real world; She said to me kind of condescendingly; Take a seat, take your life; Plot it out in black and white; Well I never lived the dreams of the prom kings; And the drama queens; Id like to think the best of me; Is still hiding up my sleeve.
______So the good boys and girls take the so-called right track; Faded white hats grabbing the credits and making transfers; They read all the books but they cant find the answers; And all of our parents, theyre getting older; I wonder if theyve wished for anything better.
______While in their memories, tiny tragedies; They love to tell you stay inside the lines; But somethings better on the other side. I wanna run through the halls of my high school; I wanna scream at the top of my lungs; I just found out theres no such thing as the real world; Just a lie youve got to rise above.. -No Such Thing, by John Mayer.


Values. Inherent in everyone and available in all shades of colors. Some are to a person's detriment. Some are fundamental to success. We grow up absorbing our values from those around us. From society. From people.

Society wants us to conform. To stay inside the lines. To live according to it's values, for good or for worse. As time passes, we develop our own values. We learn what values are good for us and what are to our detriment.

It is time for me to shed the values that have tainted my perception of the world..and to nurture the values that would make me a better person. Humility is just a word. To be humble of mind and actions will be the ultimate test of my character. Humility of actions is easily achieved by those who are (physically) weak, but humility of mind is a totally different matter. The temptation to resort to arrogance of mind to feel good about myself in the face of adversity is strong...but there is hope. For the light of truth shines through the lie; humbling an arrogant mind.

Where The Advice of Others Failed...

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This post was drafted on 1st Jan 2009, but was only published five days later as I was looking for a suitable picture and new border style. *thanks to anonymous (10/1/09) for pointing out the inappropriateness of the use of the word "elder". The post has been edited appropriately to make it more politically correct.

(1) A socially retarded person who spent his youth as an outcast once told his brother: "Friends are not important, they come and go..". But he did not tell his brother that it brought him much suffering during his youth. Through the pain of isolation, he had learnt to cope by telling himself that friends were not important to feel good about himself.

(2) An ugly person who only hooked up in his mid 30s and married when he was 39 told his teen friend: "Dont worry, someone will come along. Just focus on your work and dont be too concerned". But he did not tell his disciple that he had suffered years of loneliness, and at the end was so desperate that he had to settle for an unattractive girl that other guys had shunned. Married out of desperation... but called it love after awhile. He never experienced loving sex in the prime of his life... but his disciple never learnt this... and was doomed to follow in his footsteps.

(3) A fat person has been battling obesity for as long as he can remember and tells his friend: "Eat less. Dont eat so much. Eventually your stomach will expand and your appetite will become uncontrollable. You will become fat so fast. Look at me. Look at what happened to our friend who was once slim". But he forgot that his disciple was not a glutton. His disciple avoided overeating like the plague. He got used to suppressing his appetite. When times were rough, he missed meals but never bothered and never felt hungry. He lost weight to a point where he was a walking stick. When he realizes the fallacy of the advice he was give, precious years at the prime of his life has been wasted.

(4) A religionist is proud of his religion and regularly blesses marraiges. He tells his friend: "Marraige protects you against disease and increases your longetivity". But he didnt tell his friend that that was only a statistical correlation. Humans want to reproduce/marry/lay/make_babies with other humans who are worthy. Beautiful girls with hourglass figures and socially dominant men are at the top of the gene pool and are attractive and thus more likely to marry. Those that remain single all their life are likely to be those whom are not _thriving_ (a subject of a later post) and are thus so unattractive that they couldnt find someone who is willing to marry/make_babies/lay/bang them. People who are not thriving tend to be less attractive to the opposite sex. Hence, the real reason why people who never marry have shorter lives is that they are more likely to be less healthy. Healthy people tend to be more attractive and are more likely to marry.

Just because they have more experience than you does not mean that they are wise. They are wise only behind rose tinted glasses...believing what they want to believe. What makes them feel good about themselves. They are human beings and do have flaws. Im not saying that their advice is useless; quite often, it is to the contrary. What's important is to realize that prejudices and bias that can work against your development as a person may rub off on to you if advice is not taken with a pinch of salt.

(1) I will put more heart and mind into others for empathy is the prelude of friendship.
(2) I will open my heart to others, for it is better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all.
(3) I will eat well and in moderation.
(4) I will put effort into making myself body beautiful.

Most importantly, I will break the rose tinted glasses that have tainted my realities. I will not see what I want to see out of arrogance. In the face of adversity I will approach bitterness and pain with humility and calm. May god give me the strength to face my weaknesses and insecurities.

It is 2009, and this is my resolve.


Where the advice of others failed...I will succeed.