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you gotta
swing swing swing
like a handkerchief
in the wind


:: Friday, January 25, 2002 ::

I love to jog.
The world is my own, as I
Sprint to the winds, and they
Sprint back.

And my troubles are
Left behind, behind, in a
Breeze of what my quick footsteps
Threw behind, behind.

The end is not too far, but
Not too near, and
At that moment, just
That moment, I have
No intention of reaching it.

It hurts too much to
Stay around.

:: Seedy 2:20 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, January 21, 2002 ::
I havent really talked about my job attachments with a design firm and then an architecture firm during the December holidays. Incidently I did pen everything down in my journal so here it goes, right here:

In December, I worked first at a design firm on Club Street for a week, and then an architecture firm on Duxton Street for another. Both were situated in the Tanjong Pagar area, also mildly known as the architecture-cum-design-cum-art hub. Obviously, being the architect wannabe that I was, I was pleased to start work at such an arena, for it made me feel a little professional already.

The first day at Design Asylum, I was mildly amused to find the firm located directly above the pub pinKK on the third level. The whole shophouse was painted a welcoming fuschia. Maybe the whole working fiasco wasnt goig to be as duddy as I thought it would be. Beforehand, the boss, Chris had told me it was perfectly fine to dress myself in any manner I wanted. I greeted him in a yellow T shirt and a denim skirt and slippers. I think it could have been too informal, for everyone else, except for Chris, were dressed in nice white shirts and trousers perfectly pressed the night before. Then I was introduced to the other 5 women of the firm (it's a small 7-man firm really), but I forget their names now because they are not very impressionable. I cant say the same for Chris. He was dressed in cargo pants and a bright retro T-shirt. He is the perfect epitome of the man-who-never-grows-old, because at 31, as I had learnt from our conversations, he is still very much energetic and 25. He told me there was not much I could do because i was after all just 17 and fresh out of J1 with no knowledge of design. So I could just watch and learn and read design magazines and laze around. It was perfectly fine with me, because that was what I had intended to do when I had asked for the no-pay internship at Asylum. Later, I met Kai, whom I was to jobshadow over the next 4 days. He is a nice chap of 24 and amused me because he had a lopsided smile and wore quirky army pants. Anyway, Chris treated all of us to lunch at this swanky Chinese restaurant. Dim sum. Not my favourite, and we exchanged useless chatter about Chinese stars over lunch with the girls. Not my favourite either, I got quite bored. Starbucks was our next stop for coffee and talk. Everyone drank lattes while I had an ice cream. The same kinda latte, even. Could they all have the same taste?, I wonder. When we returned I was made to slice paper for brochures. As I sliced, Kai told me about what went into a design brochure. First they meet up with the clients and discuss what is wanted. Then Kai goes back to his computer and starts brainstorming ideas and putting them on paper. He then makes mock ups like the ones I'm slicing now. The client gets the perfect mockup a few meetings and discussions later, and it goes through a series of printing and copyrighting. My first day ended at 6.30. and that was half an hour overtime. But since the days start at 10 am, it's quite a deal.

The next few days, I spent alot of time reading and flipping through design mags and art books that they shelved in abundance in their corridor and toilet. I had many conversations with Chris, who knew I was bored and did pretty little work himself. Any work he did he did it together with me, asking for ideas and shite, at the little recess area. I loved that area. It was about 3m by 2m, a fifth of the whole company space (small company). The 100 CDs that were placed in front of us on the shelf were of jazz, dance and progressive rock. They were all Chris' and he stored 3000 more back home. He also displayed different-coloured-different-shaped liquor bottles high up on two shelves. The place was neat, white and simplistic. I have to mention that Chris' apartment was featured in Life! It is a minimalistically-designed condo unit, very simple but elegant; bright but cosy, much like one a loft, without barrings, wihtout walls. Anyway many times through our conversations Kai would pop his head in and gesture me to his workspace. He taught me how to use the Mac programmes that most designers used, like Freehand, Photoshop, and Quake. He let me watch this short video done by his friend in the poly. It was a cheesy music video set in the 1940s of retro looking people dancing in shophouses. Kai didnt do much work either. Chris allowed him to do almost anything he wanted at his own time, "as long as he gets his work done, I'm very flexible one. You see we all just come here ann make noise only. Hahaha.... " Quite the quintessential happy-go-lucky already..

On Wednesday, Kai brought me to the MTV Studios after lunch at Silkroad, this swanky Shanghainese cuisine restaurant. No guesses who paid. That was probably the highlight of the whole week! His friend was working at the studios so he had access to all grounds. I visited the area where the MTV editors worked. They are the ones who made the advertisements and wacky moving designs on MTV. I saw this advert about Enrique Iglesias and lo behold it had appeared on TV yesterday. I also caught MTV VJ Donita Rose recording. I met her outside a little while and chatted about how pretty she was in reality (god, she is). I'm sure I positively embarrassed myself in front of Kai and his friends, teeny bopper Nicole right at her peak! Donita invited me to watch her recording but I was unjustly barred from her workspace, only allowed to view it from the editing room. Nonetheless, Kai waited for me to catch her in her recording. After a while we left because it was taking much too long for her to finish just one shoot. Thats one hr plus that goes into just a 15 minute segment on TV.

On Thursday, my friend John came to sit in with me for the whole day. Chris said it was perfectly fine. In fact, he asked for John to come in so we could all go drinking after work. He made it out to seem fun, but I really am not into conversatoin over alchohol, so I just told him I wasnt interested. But after work the whole firm plus me and John dropped by his house still for a few drinks. The girls were obviously very tightknit. But the guys were in another world of their own. Chris was a partner of the prestigious FALLON advertising firm. This firm was situated just below Asylum and were made up of 5 partners. Anyway, one of the partners Lawrence joined us awhile later. He was one heck of a kaya-man, delivering kaya bread from god-knows-where to Asylum always after lunch. He did little work too, spending much time chattering with me and Chris on those nice 4 days.He was another of those advocates of youth, albeit being probably 30-plus or something. I liked him, as I liked Chris. I'm not saying they would, but they probably might be what I'd wanna be at, say, 35. Professional, rich, still able to blend in with youth culture, and also the more mature adults who flick the cigarettes and hold, well, conversation over alchohol.

In terms of fun, APCO paled in comparison to Asylum. This architectural firm was also in a shophouse at Duxton Street. Right across the road from club street. It was much bigger though. It was 4 storeys in all. I hold a different note as I describe this company . It was a true blue large scale firm that had two other units in Shanghai and Indonesia. I had peeked into the place, called in for a job, spoke to Mary the secretary who told me to come in at about 9 am, and there I was that bright Monday morning dressed more appropriately in proper work pants and a white shirt neatly pressed the night before. I was greeted very warmly by everyone who eventually referred me to Mary. She brought me on a tour through the whole 4 storeys. The first was where the library and the secretaries were. The second floor was where the draftsmen worked. The third story had the architects, and the fourth, the designers.

Draftsmen, architects, designers. I was to the learn after this week that they all, in fact, held BArchs or perhaps even MArchs. These labels were just allotted to them because now, they did different assignements altogether. The architects are the major project planners, meeting up with the clientale, and then planning out deadlines, visiting the sites and making sure everything goes as instructed. They conceptualise designs of buildings and then those designs are passed to the designers for execution. By this I mean the designers put the designs on paper. The 3D drawings you see on condominium brochures? those are done by the designers. And then the draftsmen, those are the folks doing the actual measured computer generated graphs and drawings. All I want to do is build.

EVERY phase is as much interesting as I had wanted it to be. Every drawing can be imagined to be beautiful and built. I visited a construction site with the boss' son Sheng on a day and sat in for a "site meeting" (as they call it) there. They were building the new Presbytarian High School, and discussions about the water, pipes, security, law, etc took 3 hours. They held one twice a week for all of the 24 weeks they were to build the place. I felt like the only kid in boots as 15 well built men and I strode around the entire site for inspection. Sheng even instructed the security supervisor to be beside me in case I get hurt by some flying block or something, and tag along he did. I think he thought I was bored, making futile attempts to make me laugh with unfunny jokes. I laughed anyway, but I was more interested in the brick, the stone, the dirt and how Sheng was in touch with none of them, only giving orders and being followed by the rest.

Later for lunch, he and the other architects were trying desperately to dissuade me from being an architect.
"You work much for peanuts."
"The industry is really bad."
"Architecture at NUS is extremely conservative"
"The hours are damned long."
"The live and die an architect."

Except for the last statement, I was willing to accept the rest.

:: Seedy 9:17 AM [+] ::
I dont enjoy working in groups for projects. Most of the time I just get tired and start acting totally crazy, cranky, like im high or sumthin. But its different when I'm on my own. I either procrastinate (in most cases) or if I'm downright head on to the project I'll leap in forthright and give 100 percent or nothin. I mean, if I wanted to act crazy and all, I'd might as well have fun and lay off projects. You get the gist, I do hate em. Assignments seem a better word. Today was devoted entirely to IPW. I loathe it. Most of us do.

Two days ago I had a dream. As with most times, I knew I was dreaming as I was dreaming. I told myself (as I was dreaming), come on you have to rem the dream so you can write it down when you wake up and keep that creative journal going. but fuck, I forgot again, I only remember snippets of it. Well, better than most times, forgetting everything. But I tell ya, I have the damnednest dreams. They're action packed, as this one was. I cant remember who I was with, only a couple were my good friends Julia and Cheryln. I THINK Lynette was there. I remember Aaron Loh was there. He's this school lecturer I think holds the most interesting Lit lectures, probably due to the way he emphasizes his words and acts as though he's a class above the rest. I feel like slapping him. Also, he looks like a tiny piglet. a tiny studious piglet. Whtever. The point is the dream was great. We were travelling through waterworlds amongst other fantasy arenas. The most prominent aspect I rem was this place in front of a dam that we were supposed to cross over through a tunnel. That was when we were all thinking of a way to pass through when I woke up. I hate waking up from my dreams. ALWAYS ALWAYS never get an ending. I swear I never do. There are ordeals, and I have to pass them, and when I do, I just get thrust with more ordeals. Why dont I ever reach an end. Most of the times I try to relate my dreams to my life. Reality. Like maybe getting sliced on my fingers means I'm in pain or something. But Im never am in pain. And thats why my dreams are a treat. Maybe I have a secret inclination towards violence I dunno.

I love taking the bus really. I rarely do because of the more convenient taxi services. But when I do, I love taking the top deck, just sitting somewhere in the middle, on the side with the shade, legs up, aircon blowing, staring out of the windows, pretending I'm on a trip to nowhere. Pretending that despite small Singapore, I'm here on a bus, like a silent backpacker without the bags without much money with little to care about, careening careening and looking for a nice place to stop, preferably with open air with ice kachang, where I can sit and do more people watch.

Last Sunday, I stopped at Chinatown. I was with a friend Joel though. This can get a hassle sometimes if he gets whiny and minds exchanging body sweat with the mingling bodies between the crowded shophouses, so most of the time I prefer walking alone. To Chinatown only at least. I like the place really. The shophouses store old wooden Chinese furniture and paintings and I like guessing the extravagant prices of the furniture because they do look cheap to me. But I like the smell of sandalwood, and teakwood. Also, I like visiting the Chinese medicine shops because a few store my Dad's products. I like to go and think "aww! There's what my Daddy does." I like weaving in and out amongst the kiasu Singaporeans who are fighting to stay in line in front of their favourite food stalls. But I dont really dig Chinese food so I stay away from the food. Most of all, I like walking past the mosque and peeking in, telling myself "next time I'm going to go in when my shoes arent that expenive and I can leave them outside the door".

:: Seedy 1:46 AM [+] ::
Speed high, windows down. I was lost in the world of him beside me, of the bare silence of the winds whispering in my ears, and carassing my thick hair, and bringing coolness in the otherwise warm, damp night. I leaned my head upon the car door, and my eyes were half-closed, just enough so I could see the coloured lights.. red, blue, green, yellow that outlined the office buildings, condomimiums and shopping complexes beneath us... and then reflected upon the midnight rivers which made it romantic for the weekend lovers who sat and admired what's least of the night scenery. Were we weekend lovers ourselves? In that moment I chose to believe so, for I couldnt neglect the unspoken chemistry and mutual longing that brewed between us, as he placed his hand on my lap all of the half hour we were cruising upon the lost highways.
:: Seedy 1:45 AM [+] ::

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