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Thu, Jun. 22nd, 2006, 01:56 am
Ich bin ein berliner

Well it takes me fucking long between entries doesnt it. lot has happened between then and now. Keeping this short. I'm in Berlin. Yeah, the German one. Fucking great city, I love the fact that no one gives a fuck about anything and it sits somewhere between laid back, trendy and grungy. Still about for three and ahalf weeks left here.

The office is fantastic but processing these matches can get tedious and very tiring, especially over the lsat couple of days when 4 matches have been on every day. I didnt care much for soccer before this but find myself getting swept up in the fervor. You can buy beer anywhere anytime and drink it anywhere anytime. The kebabs are great. German girls are tall and sexy and ride bicycles in heels at 3am. The bars are fantastic. I'm going to shut up because i have a tendency to write very random stuff after long absences here and it never makes much sense. My typing has gone to shit... after so much of it at work i dont care much for the niceties of english at the moment (which is very unlike me).

A few things since last time, I've
- moved out of club normanton
- moved into a new place with another flattie
- made it to europe and loving it

um
been ddrinking so much since i got here. every bloody night. beer and cocktails. bloody marys at work - russell made horridly strong ones tonight and had to do the last half of the last match drunk, the bastard. beer is beautiful and full of flavour and doesnt give you bad hangovers as the productions methods are strictly controlled and you dont get all that shitty additive stuff they put in things like xxxx and tsingtao. am discovering im a bad drunk, much to my own surprise - i make drunk phone calls, sometimes rude ones, get rowdy, and completely lose any sense of tact.
this is a compltely random entry isnt it. i should end it here else it will get more nonsensical.

Sat, Jan. 7th, 2006, 10:20 pm
When it rains, it pours

I've been told by many people here that Singapore has two seasonal monsoons - we're in the midst of one of them right now.

The days have often been  wonderfully overcast, less humid than usual and wet from thunderstorm after thunderstorm. I'm really enjoying it - the rain has been making it easier to get proper sleep and to exercise. The only drawback is that the laundry is taking a lot longer to dry at the moment.

I went for a long walk yesterday - left home in the mid-afternoon and walked for almost two hours, from home to New Bridge Road. I worked up a good sweat, but wasn't as uncomfortable as you can get at other times of the year. I've just returned from an hour-long powerwalk - everything is still wet out there, but it was great. Took my iPod and listened to Radio National podcasts the whole time. It means that I'm getting decent exercise, getting some quiet "me" time, and keeping my mind swimming in ideas in the same way listening to Radio National while cooking in our kitchen in Sydney kept my mind sharp, argumentative and interested in the news of the world.

I've cooked two medium-sized bittergourds in south Indian style, have defrosted one of the zip-lock packs of dhal I'd frozen a few days ago, cooked some hot rice and packed it all up for work; I'm wide awake after the walk and feeling pretty good. This is a nice feeling.

Right, time to shower and shave, put the washing out to dry and head off to work.

Fri, Jan. 6th, 2006, 03:10 pm
Waking the bear

Dad was in transit for around 12 hours, so I met him at the airport a couple of nights ago and took him out to dinner, went shopping at Mustafa's for a while, then slept for about 3 hours, after which I took him to the airport for the connecting flight to Sydney. A bit tired through it all, as I'd slept all of one hour since waking up at 10pm on the 3rd. Nice to know I still have it in me.

Over the last week and a half or so, I've been pushing myself to be a little be more active.

I've got a reputation as a bit of a bear with people I know here - hibernating for large parts of the day. This isn't anything new ofcourse, it's just one of those things that started in the mid-90s when I was clinacally depressed (insane?) and have never managed to get over. It's a reputation that's followed me ever since then, and while it isn't entirely untrue, I think it's a bit unfair sometimes. It's not that I dont wake up, it's just that I'm usually awake when eveyrone else is asleep, and since I'm never around when they are they naturally asume I'm some sort of hibernating animal. For example, I finish an 11pm-7am shift and the usual drill for people is to go to bed pretty much straight away after getting home - but I find I just can't do that. I'm usually up for another five or six hours, and it's unusual for me to be in bed before mid day or 1pm.

I'm not denying though, that my preferred level of sleep is somewhere around the 9-10 hours per day mark, otherwise I tend to be a bit cloudy.

So, anyway, before I stray too far, I've been forcing myself to stay up, go out during the day even if it is just to do small, meaningless things; I've been catching up with friends and starting to exercise again.

I went around to Akio's place around 6 yesterday - it's been months since we had a good catch-up, and it's a friendship I don't want to throw away. Met his wife and his kids for the first time, such lovely people - his kids are frighteningly energetic - I don't know how kids at that age manage it - 2 years old and a toddler, but by god they give your energy levels a run for their money. Had Japansese food cooked by Akio's wife Rie, and when the kids went to bed the two of us stayed up late, drinking sake and talking through a lot of things. It was really nice to spend quality time with a good friend.

Came home around 1am, tired from doing a lot of things and not sleeping enough; Corinne dropped by and just sat around, talking rubbish and watching awful 80s movies on cable until around 4am, when she went home and I went to bed.

I've been listening to The Sleepy Jackson a lot lately - this album, Lovers, has been around since mid-2003 and the tracks did get a lot of play on Triple J in 2003-04. I somehow hadn't paid much attention, dismissing it as another one of those bands the kids are into - but was recently hooked by a couple of songs and now I can't stop listening to it repeatedly. It's nice, if you're looking for something a bit different but still fits comfortable into alt-pop.

Wed, Jan. 4th, 2006, 12:19 pm
Conservation Project

Just want to say quickly that over the next many weeks I'll be using this lj to archive most of the old Loosetongue journal I used to keep on springbound 's old (very old) site beetween mid '00 and late '01. I wish I had the discipline to write in '02 because I really enjoyed that year. Oh well.

I haven't really decided if it will be friends-only or not. I suppose it used to be public back then so I should leave it public now - a warning though, that if you do decide to trawl back through it, you and I are both likely to be embarassed by some of the rubbish I'm sure I've written. Woe is he, who is compelled to express teenage angst.

I'll start by trying to do most of 2000 today.

Wed, Jan. 4th, 2006, 11:58 am
A list

"I miss this dance we do around each other in the kitchen," she said the last time she was here.

In funny ways, I miss the domesticity of building a life with her.

Pots full of bubbling liquids being artfully carried around your partner's body to some bench, her neck moist and frangrant from the condensation of cooking vapours. Arms that reach around me in search of salt and alyways find time to tease on their way. Kisses that taste of garlic and fresh basil.

The simplicity of living with someone who gets you close to perfectly, the comfort of feeling at home. Her body in bed on a cold night; beer, scrabble, landing aircraft and stuffed mushrooms on the balcony as the sun sets on endless summer evenings.

The wireless playing in the background, lying with her in the day-bed, watching light fade to dusk - that peculiar feeling of falling asleep with her and then staggering into our bedroom in the middle of the night, having lost track of the time. Watching inane telivision together only to take the piss out of it. One too many nights on red wine and african food.


Just a list of things I miss.

Wed, Jan. 4th, 2006, 11:37 am
The big '05

Well as usual I'm late in hopping on the bandwagon du jour, this being the one where everyone has a trawl through their debris for the meaning of 2005. What the hell. Let me jump on.

Things happened very quickly this year; I remember the beginning clearly but everything else has been a blurred in movement.

Thirteen months ago, I was in Jakarta, attempting to get away from my job at AAP and figure out what my next move was going to be. I lay somewhere inbetween wanting to throw in a job that was frustrating me very quickly and just giving in and accepting my fate - which at the time, I thought was being bound to that job and that space in my mind - somewhere on the verge of giving up any hope of delivering on all those things I'd always said I'd do. I was wanting more and not at all convinced I was going to get it. How quickly things change.

Barely a month later Jacinta and I were going through some pretty tough times - she bore the brunt of my decision to leave at a time when health, starting university again and work changes placed additional stress on her -  around 11 months ago I abandoned Sydney, and her, for what must be one of the most staid cities on Earth.

Well it's been a trial being torn away from her like this, but I think I made the right move. Things are going reasonably well at work. I'm doing well in my job and doing okay in areas I want to push into. A year and a bit ago I never would have dreamed of being in this position - including the being away from Jacinta - I'm happy to be somewhere that takes journalism, my other true love, very seriously indeed. My performance review went much better than expected; I'm one of six being sent to Germany in June-July to help process pictures from the Soccer World Cup; I have been getting chances to shoot when things are happening locally. All of it utterly unimaginable even in December '04.

I finally made it back to India this year after an eight-year absence - not once but twice. Somehow managed to travel a fair bit in the areas of Asia that surround Singapore. And I'm heading back to Sydney for 10 days next month. Having re-read all of the above, I suppose I'd have to conclude things are pretty peachy - except, of course, this living apart business.

It's been good, for me and for her.
What's not easy, and I hate it - is that the short amounts of time we get together never seem like enough.

For all of that, here's to a big, fast, blurry '05.

Wed, Jan. 4th, 2006, 09:31 am
Christmas week

The last couple of weeks were good ones. I can't remember exactly how they went, but it was something like this:

17 December
Work 3-11. Corinne's end-of-year bbq kicked off at 7; I saunter to the poolside bbq pits with fellow evening shift people Kerk and David Loh and spend a nice few hours have a few quiet drinks. Party gets interrupted by the Normanton Park branch of the Singapore Gestapo (fun? we'd better put an end to that!), so we move to Corinne's place. Crowd dissipated. 6:30am, it's just Corinne, taitse  and me left - I think we all got to bed around 7am.

20 December
I did something with Corinne which was a lot of fun, but I can't quite remember what. I think it was watching cricket, but I'm not too sure. Some memory of sitting on her couch watching cricket and having a beer, smoking and talking Kashmiri politics. Am glad to know Altaf and have suddenly gotten to know him well.

23 December
Cameo appearance at Corinne's place before overnight shift. I leave with a large box of Spaghetti Bolognaise. It was good. My new 30gb iPod with video is waiting at work, I fiddle with it most of the night.

24 December
Went around to Altaf's place with Dave and Corinne. Diana is hosting a christmas party which I had no intention of participating in at what is being referred to as "Club Normanton", so this provided a suitable escape from one more party I don't want to be at. Incidentally, have decided that I'm over living in a club, or in any other frathouse-like situation, for that matter.

Altaf cooked two Kashmiri mutton dishes with rice. Spicy and delicious.
Kashmiri tea; we looked at exquisite Kashmiri rugs, carpets, throws, clothes and carved furniture. Amazing stuff. Finished the night by playing cricket in the living room with the bat and real cork balls i bought in Madras, and then went to work. A nice way to spend christmas eve.

Wine, cheese, bites as we work.


25 December
Finished work at 7am. Woke shortly after 11am, and went to christmas brunch at Equinox with Corinne, Candida, Dave and Alexia. The attraction was an unlimited buffet (all that lovely cheese!) and an endless flow of moet. Staggered up to New Asia bar when brunch finished at 3; went home at 6:30 drunk as hell, slept from 7 til 10, then went to work at 11pm, still very drunk from champagne. It was a tough night, with a sharp post-hangover headache setting in by 7am, when I finished, came home and crashed.

Tue, Jan. 3rd, 2006, 08:55 am
Cricket, Srikhand and Dhal

Spent the whole day at Corinne's - me, Altaf and her watching the whole first day's play of the Australia vs. South Africa test cricket match. It's nice to be discovering cricket all over again - I'd forgotten how much I enjoy watching it. There is a lot of cricket coming up over the next few weeks - Australia/SA, NZ/Sri Lanka, India/Pakistan, and more. God bless that woman for getting the cricket channel installed.

Corinne leaves for work at 3; we stay until the day's play finishes at around 4, then Altaf and me head off to Mustafa's for some shopping. Shopping at Mustafa's still excites and amazes me - virtually everything from washing machines to spices to expensive gold jewelery spread over six stories under one roof. One of the few places in Singapore where I feel like I'm actually in the heart of Asia. 24 hours, 365 days. Messy, disorganised, with tourists, locals and fearsome Indian mamis all jostling for position in the aisles and checkouts. It's fantastic.

Come home with fresh vegetables and Amul Srikhand - I love indian sweets and desserts - Mustafa's is one of the few places outside India where you can buy Srikhand off the shelf. Lovely. The saffron version this time.

Finally cooked in the kitchen, Diana finally got around to cleaning the remnants of the party, which were starting to go a bit insipid - the kitchen is still pretty messy area but I've pretty much given up on it, however it is now clean enough to cook in. Made spinach dhal for the first time in 10 months - the first time since leaving Sydney, with enough for a meal to be taken to work
 and plenty left over - leftovers were put in ziplock bags and put in the freezer, for 3 more quick meals.


Went to work. Uneventful.

Sun, Jan. 1st, 2006, 05:04 pm
What a night

Fuck, what a night.

I worked last night, coudnt sleep properly during the day thanks to the idiots upstairs prancing around and walking real loudly on their floors - my celing. Woke up about 6:30, went to Holland Village and bought a few things to take into work tonight to ease us all into the New Year - salami, bread, olive tapenade, two types of cheese, crackers, sundried tomatoes, and a bottle of red.

Dropped the aforementioned off at work, then headed off to Louis' NYE/birthday party around 8:30 - where i stayed for a couple of hours before heading off to work. It was nice and laid back, in a space that used to by Louis' darkroom/studio/shop/space until recently. Lots of food catered, but unfortunately didn't have the appetite to eat too much. Kicked off the night with a couple of beers and some wine.

10:30 comes around and I head to work. The 11pm crew has arrived and primed for handling the NYE file. Fortunately, this holiday period has seen the flow of pictures dissipate to a trickle and we've had many an easy shift, with no alarms and no surprises.

The 3-11 crew leaves. We plug in my ipod, dim the lights, and turn the music all the way up. The five of us are the only people in the building, apart from the security guards dozing downstairs. Someone has organised shiny party hats, cheap cardboard masks and horns - oh, and those whistles that unfurl as you blow them - I love those things. We start with red wine.

Midnight comes around. The champagne is uncorked. Much siliness ensues with quick champage drinking, music, idiotic dancing, the blowing of carboard horns, glowsticks, partypoppers and such.

The champagne finishes. We uncork more red. Still 3 bottles to go. The music is being turned down only to answer phonecalls, lest someone think we're unprofessional, wine-guzzling journalists.

We're still handling the pictures file surprisingly well, given our advanced state of inebriation.

By 4am, it's just me and 2 others. I head to the couch on the text side of the office and have a bit of a snooze; wake 35 minutes later; another guy goes home. Head honcho editor goes to sleep on the couch, I push pictures for the next 40 minutes or so. He comes back just before 6; we're still drinking down the final bottle of red.

7am. Morning crew arrive to a rather messy sight. Head honcho buggers off home; I heat a slice of 12-hour-old pizza (I must have been VERY wasted), apologise for the mess (neither of us in any condition to clean it up) and proceed to swagger home and stumble into bed.

And you know what? No major mistakes made and no major delays in transmitting pictures. As a side note, what the hell is up with Americans and their college football on NYE?!? Like, get a life?!?

Sun, Oct. 30th, 2005, 03:19 am
Fuck i love her

I should say also,\
that shortly after smsing jacinta to know about the blasts, she emailed me to tell me that's she'd heard about it and also about the train derailment due to floods in Andhra Pradesh in India.

We are going to be in Delhi in about 3 weeks, and going to travel about 5,000km by train around India.

Says she,
"On the upside, we might get a cancellation on those flights we're waitlisted for."

Fuck I love her.

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