The fun of hindsight! There was this bit at the end of last year’s birthday post that read:
Next year (14 Jul 2013 is a SUNDAY), I am so gonna plan a getaway. Me time, period.
I’m typing this post at home, so you can tell how this idea worked out.
This was how keinday 2013 went:
- Drove out at 0130hrs because Stan’s car broke down, and he needed a lift home.
- Balled in the morning, thanks for the birthday wishes guys.
- Had lunch with Stan and Clifton.
- Drove Stan out to grab Lester’s car, which didn’t go so well because his car battery was flat.
- Dinner at home.
- Entertained my dear daughter: roughhousing
- Put her to bed.
- Work, work and work while composing this post.
Just another Sunday, in short. Not the best, could be tons better. Oh well. Here comes next year’s proclamation: next year is a Monday, I vow to take leave and get the eff away from work! (If I have a job.)
Got a birthday cake the next day thanks to Stan and V, yum.
Not forgetting the birthday dinner on the 16th for Stan and me at T.G.I Fridays with V, Jasmine, Bill and Doris. Thanks for taking the time out, appreciate it!
As it is, another year has passed and it’s time for the annual birthday post. Every year brings new experiences, and this year has been no exception. Change, growth and learning, always a part of life these days.
What the hell has been going on this year?
Since stopping full-time employment, work has been subdivided into three categories, SAHD work, the IT work kind of work, and the everything-else-that-I-do-for-fun-work.
Being a full-time dad has its own days in heaven and hell, and I have learnt a lot from being one. This has however, come to an end for now with mum being a full-time carer for her overactive grandchild. That being said, the entire family’s happiness level literally rides with little Elly. When she’s upset/crying/unwell, everyone gets thrown into Shitville.
The IT sort of work offers its own challenges. Working under my own freelance business, I had to learn to meet clients by myself, figure out requirements, do invoices, chase payment, a lot of which I hadn’t had to do previously. I’m very thankful for the exposure that I got during the Netbay years though, as it definitely helped prepare me better for this stage. Great eye-opener, meeting new people, very fun at times.
Everything else, which has mainly been writing. I worked with several places, most notably US Sports Down Under, which was instrumental in helping me with the experience of a lifetime: getting a media pass to a Boston Celtics game.
Writing at US Sports Down Under somehow led to my creation of Celtics Down Under, and I’m really pleased with the way everyone has come together and supported our growing brand, from writing articles to posting updates on the Facebook page, to having our own Celtics PS artwork done and shared for everyone’s enjoyment. Love the way this has taken off; it’s not a raving success, but rather a quiet little movement that’s slowly gaining traction.
One thing that’s not really work, but fun nonetheless: I was using a Nokia N9 last year, and my writings about the Nokia N9’s unofficial WhatsApp app (known as Wazapp) exploded like wildfire and drove pageviews way up, simply because no one else on the internet had properly documented fixes and patch downloads the way I did. Ahh, the power of the intarwebs.
Thanks to Chris, I also had the opportunity to work on content sourcing as a freelance assignment. It’s good experience, and I’m always happy to have a shot at trying new roles that are usually inaccessible.
And how about the latest venture I’ve been working on? Stay tuned, more details to be released. It’s secret for now 😉
The last bit: jobhunting has proved to be way harder than I thought it would be, and I’m getting a big fat zero for job applications so far. Zero, as in zero interviews. How exciting is that? Economy’s bad, guess there is a shitload of better qualified blokes out there working the lines for the same jobs. No shame, just gotta endure. Plus, it’s a learning experience too.
One big event that sticks in my head – the time when V had vertigo. It was hell for her, it was hell for me too, especially when I had to juggle Elly and her while driving to a GP, then to the hospital, whilst looking for parking in between. Such a long, awful day. I’m just glad it’s all behind me.
My body wasn’t holding up so well in the second half of 2012 too, I suspect it came from accumulated fatigue and strain from having to carry Elly all the time. It got so bad, I was resorting to a standing desk experiment at one time. It took a few months of acupuncture and remedial massages before my back recovered. I thought I had problems with my rotator cuff and ulnar nerve at different times, things that healed by themselves – thankful.
Got to watch Mayday live in Melbourne once more, it was a great night. Not forgetting Kings of Convenience for the second time, love their carefree style of music. And my first ever concert watching Hanson, after rediscovering their music. Too many fangirls. The wait was bad, but the performance was well worth it.
Being so busy with random work stuff has sadly killed a couple of other pursuits I used to enjoy, namely PS3 gaming and photography. I still am keen on them, but the energy and time required is simply not there. As things stand now, happy to get time to maintain my reading habit.
Once more, very thankful to the friends who have stayed in touch. Also very thankful to have my family around. A mother who helps out without complaint plus a supportive brother, a wife who has always been a pillar of strength, and an amazingly smart daughter who’ll probably outfox me very soon. The older I get, the deeper the feeling of appreciation.
Two (or three) trips, depending on how you look at it.
Flew back to Singapore in November and attended the weddings of two great friends, caught up with as many friends as I could during the rest of the free days I had.
While I was in Singapore, I also took the opportunity to go on a short getaway with the FG to Bangkok. Easy destination, and it was good to see Marc again. Likely the last holiday the two of us’ll ever take together. It was tough enough to get this trip done, and I’m happy that I had the chance to travel with my best friend once again before circumstances made it impossible.
The best trip? It’ll have to be my trip to the States with V. An awesome long haul flight courtesy of Air New Zealand (the best legroom ever), the best destinations ever (love New York and Boston, especially the burgers!), the NBA games (!!!), the opportunity to catch up with a couple of friends, especially HQ whom I hadn’t seen in years! Much thanks to her and Robert for their hospitality in putting us up during our stay in California. Glad to have had some couple time with V too, we had been taking turns to go on holidays ever since Cookie came into the picture. Also, this was a good long break away from the family, something the two of us needed badly – time, space, and sleep. I dubbed this trip the belated honeymoon, simply because we hadn’t had one after our wedding.
Biggest bummer of the year: spraining my ankle in Singapore while blocking some guy’s layup. It’s healed, but it’s never going to be as strong as it was without extensive rehab. The answer? Taping my ankle before every session has become a necessary evil.
Recently, somehow found a way to shoot (and make the shot) consistently, much thanks to that morning session with Clifton at NMRC. The trick is in setting my feet, and releasing the shot in the most natural form (to me). Setting feet = half the battle won.
Also started playing without contact lenses as a way to save money, then realised I didn’t need them anyway. How do you spell win-win?
Stopped playing league on Sundays, largely due to monetary issues. A lack of income does bring you down somewhat. I was beginning to find stagnation in my role within the team though, it’s been largely reduced to “on offense: dribble the ball upcourt slow, pass it off to the wing and get ready to play transition D while committing minimal TOs”. Man, but do I feel like Dooling without a jumpshot.
Two new initiatives that I started this year, and am really happy with: a long-term booking at Caulfield, and another at Carlton. The Caulfield one has always been popular, and I’ve always had no problem finding guys to play. The Carlton session though, is another bag of tricks altogether. It was meant to be a training session, but the lack of numbers has made it relatively difficult to sustain. It’s degenerated into casual pickup ball at this point which improved the numbers somewhat, but the pricing is still something that needs to be worked out, or else.
Aim is to improve on my right hand’s finishing, and to develop a more aggressive mindset on offense.
I do feel older this year, and likely it’s because I’m effing 32 years old! It was funny when I went for an interview the other day and got mistaken for 22. It might have been possible a few years back, but I reckon I have aged a fair bit since.
One suggestion that I will do my best to work on this year, is to be more expressive of appreciation for work done.
Another thing that comes to mind, is to improve my focus on getting things done, and not get sidetracked from multitasking.
Number 1: As always, the brother is the first to kick this off. This year’s kickass Celtics present:
A book about the Celtics’ 2007/08 NBA championship run, and a DVD on Kevin Garnett – sweet. If he’d asked me about the book though, I would’ve told him that I’d bought the Kindle edition off Amazon last year and saved him some dough. Still, it’s a great book to keep. E-books are handy and all that, but a hardcopy has a different feel to it altogether. Thanks for the presents!
In transit. Got a Star Wars Jedi bathrobe WOOOOOOOOOT! Mucho thanks to the FG for getting me this love it.
Number 3: A $50 Amazon gift card from Nanzhen. Easy to use, easy to give. Like. Thanks so much brother!
Number 4: A Kevin Garnett swingman jersey in white/green, thanks so much to Bill and Doris!
Number 5: A Stay Real T-shirt, also from the FG! Two words: love it. Already cost a bomb by itself, plus the expedited shipping, hell of a bomb. Love the gesture, the effort and of course the dough spent on me.
Number 6: A book on the history and famous athletes in basketball, bound in basketball leather. Thank you Benny and Wing!
Number 7: An Iron Man Mark 42 Hero’s Edition figure. Cute! Thanks to breadpapa Neo for the belated present.
Number 1: I got an e-card from the FG that reads:
Dearest Kein, Sorry for the cardless birthday this year! So here’s an ecard on behalf to wish you a joyful, eventful 32nd birthday… All the way from Singapore!!! Haha. As usual, glad to have you as my friend. The one that understands me the most! And stands by me no matter wat. Cheers to our friendship!!! Big hugs! P.S. your present is otw!! Only standard shipping choice so you gotta wait awhile!
Number 2: The ACTUAL birthday card from the FG! One of the things I so look forward to every year, one of the things that I think of as a part of an unchanging tradition, always and always. One can always hope!
Dearest BFF, Sorry for the super duper late gift (2nd one) & birthday card. But like they say… Better Late Than Never!!! HaHa
Sorry for the late birthday present… Well at least you received sth you wanted already! Kept you waiting for THIS; and I meant the card.
Although we don’t talk much these days, you would still be the person I would turn to & I know you will be there. Thank you for standing by me no matter where you are! So impt to me!
Alwayz so emotional when I write to you. Haha. Miss the good old days… Ohh speaking of which TQ for the keychain. Hope you like the 2nd gift too!
See you around soon I hope. Miss You!
- Sharon: (assorted emoji: beer, party favour, smiley, camera, cake – I’m thinking that’s a birthday wish!)
- Peiru: Happy birthday, Kein!
- Lishi: Haha Happy birthday!!! Card coming with another surprise!
- Nanzhen: Happy Birthday Kein
- Nick: (a huge ASCII emoticon that I think is a birthday cake)
- Erwin: Happy Bdae Kein!
- Meishan: Nn n stuffy says happy birthday Uncle Kein!
- Meng: No happy birthday Kein (I know he’s saying the opposite deep inside!)
- Lester: Eh forgot to wish u happy birthday!
- Zhiming: How can I forget … Happy Birthday my worst friend ever! Without you my life would never be complete! Hahaha Have a wonderful “new” year ahead & get a great job real soon 😉
Shijie: Hi di, here’s wishing u a very happy birthday! All the best!
Fulin: happy bday man (^)
- Tommy: Birthday shoutout to @kein! Happy birthday bro!
- Justin: Happy Birthday to @CelticsDownUnd creator and all around great guy @kein !! #MasterK
- Matt: RT-ed Justin with “2nd”
- Andrew: RT-ed Justin with “I second that. Happy b’day champ.”
- Dave: RT-ed Justin with “All hail Master K!”
(a lot of my Celtics Down Under folks with the birthday wishes, love them! Same to the other fantastic folks who dropped a line)
That’s all for this year, time to look forward to the days ahead, stay positive and keep on grinding. You’ll notice I used the word thankful a lot, because that’s the one word that always sticks in my head every day. One can never have enough humility to overshadow our pride, and enough gratitude for the lives we lead every day. Stay healthy and happy everyone.