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44 reasons why I love my fiance


I asked my fiancé what present he wanted for his 44th birthday present. He couldn’t think of any. So we kinda make a discussion if I can find the list of 44 things about him. Let’s do it now!

Below is the 44 reasons why I love him (in random order) :
1. He has the loveliest green eyes
2. He is a genius
3. He knows the history of indonesia so well
4. He sucks at lying and ends up making fake excuses and lame names such as United Clean Sand organization
5. He’s funny – 3 stooges funny
6. He has a sexy morning voice when answering my daily wake up call
7. He sings rawhide much better and funnier than one in Blues brother
8. He has a pepsodent smile
9. He sends me flowers
10. He bought me an Ipod for no reason
11. He works really hard to make me happy
12. He likes dogs
13. He likes mountain climbing and hiking
14. He doesn’t mind that I don’t dive
15. He bought me a camera for my birthday
16. He has so many shoes
17. He tells great story
18. He doesn’t mind having more than one wedding reception
19. He likes to wake up late so I can have my morning yoga session undisturbed during holiday
20. He bought me a new ipod after the first one is broken
21. He jumps off the plane – parachuting
22. He creates a rhyming nicknames for me
23. He made the first approach
24. He stands by me
25. He always calls our immigration lawyer right after his payday
26. He doesn’t realize that I snore
27. He’s a great kisser
28. He gets along well with parents
29. He thinks all my pictures are cute and my songs are pretty. I think he’s lying but I love him for trying
30. He’s a great analyst
31. He’s a great athlete
32. He bought me a nicer camera after my boss ruined the first one
33. He encourages me to try new things
34. He’s so patient
35. His idea of being pampered is me plucking out his facial hair
36. He prays every night for me
37. He always gives me clues that I should have a cooler gadget (iPad, kindle) although I’m not a gadget freak
38. He appreciates classier things in life (yes, classier means expensive)
39. He’s a generous guy
40. He says thanks to strangers
41. He’s open to new ideas
42. He likes to give me pop quiz about him
43. He trusts me blindly
44. He loves me -an uptown girl- just the way I am

Happy birthday baby bear! Mwah

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, List of things

 

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SELF PORTRAIT


I have taken so many pictures of myself. I took a picture of myself after coming home from a party. If the make up still looked fresh then doubtless it would be my latest Facebook and/or BBM profile picture. If the make up had already faded, then I would call my dermatologist friend and complained about my oily skin (sigh) Those pictures however are not self-portraits, those are proofs of Narcissism.

Then I read about self portrait. And literally, on Christmas eve, ten minutes after reading that article, I decided to give it a try. How difficult is it anyway? Like I said, I have taken a lot of pictures of myself. So there I was, taking out the tripod, picking up which cameras to use, making a concept of the self portrait photo session, taking out clothes to wear.

Now, more than 24 hour after my first trial of self portrait photography I can say that although intriguing and fun, it’s far from easy. I clicked so many (too many?) shots and only get a few good pictures.

Here are ones of them. Which one do you like?

Image

Mirror image.

I can't be without my earrings

Ashtanga yoga

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Dailies, Photography

 

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They Can’t Take That Away From Me: the Fiction (part 2)


The Invitation: Timm’s story

“The way you smile just beams
the way you sing off-key
the way you haunt my dreams”

The driver politely told me that we were at terminal 3. I told him to drive around first since I had an important email to reply.
I didn’t. I was just surprised to see Jade’s name in my inbox. I hadn’t heard from her in years. Of course I blamed this whole grown-up world where I have to be either on the plane flying somewhere, in a meeting, lobbying some hard-to-meet politicians and have to be home for my girlfriend in weekends.

From: Jade
To: Timm
Subject: just open it will ya

Hallo Timm,
Wie geht’s?2
Gee, I had to open translate Google for that very simple ‘How are you’!  Can you believe it? Well, I’m sure you can believe it.
The last time I met you my German was non-exist, why should it get better now that I live in London. (Yes, I’ve been living in London for a year now, you arrogant bastard who actually live less than three-hour flight from me and never reply my email. Wow it feels so good to actually say that!)

I know that you’re still an important Sales Director for some big name company (I know that you’re still very much handsome) and hence you’re busy. I’m not asking lots of your precious time. Now, you see that little tiny attachment icon in the corner (or is it the bottom?) of this page? You gotta click it, as in now, jetzt.  It’s my wedding invitation. Enjoy reading it.  And don’t forget the RSVP. The bride to be needs to set up the seating arrangement.

Please please please come, Timmo.
Ich vermisse dich so sehr3. (I’ll make sure something Barry White will be playing in the reception)

Xoxo
Jade

I knew now how Julia Robert’s character’s felt in My Best Friend’s Wedding when she learned that the guy is marrying Cameron D. I was glad that I was not standing up when I read that email. Even so, I felt disoriented I didn’t know where I was. Only after reading it several times did I realize I was supposed to be at the airport terminal checking in to my flight back to Hamburg. Out of habit I tipped the driver generously, silently praying that he wouldn’t tell anyone in the branch office that Timm Neumann had an awkward moment with him.

My flight from Singapore to Hamburg was a little bit more than 16 hours. How much sleep did I get during this flight? Nil.  Der Flugbegleiter4 was kind enough to never let my drink get empty and let my mind do their wander.

If there was one thing I thought I can be certain of, it was that Jade remain single until she was at least 40. It is so unlike her that she is marrying some guy in her 30s. There’s no picture of him in the wedding invitation but I am sure I’m better in the looks department than him. How do I know? Because Jade wrote that I’m handsome. Oh but Jade is always good with words with the guys.

We met in a remote place in Northern Thailand in our early 20s during an international volunteer camp. Her outgoing personality and her laugh attracted me. The icing on the cake: she was easy on the eyes too. We were inseparable during the camp; it was the best time in my life. She didn’t have time to maintain a serious relationship at her age, she told me when the end of the camp was approaching. She had to be more serious in pursuing her degree in journalism. We promised that we would keep in touch, though.

We did keep that promise. We always met 2-3 times year for 4 years. She even travelled to Germany to visit me twice! Optimist (and good-looking guy if I may add) that I am, I somehow knew that she would eventually follow what her heart would tell her and be with me. For that reason, I always made sure that I was always single at least a month before and after our holiday together.

And Barry White, we love him so much. We could sing every song perfectly from any singer, but for our love to Mr. Barry White, we always sang off-key (except for the obviously sing-able part like “Let the music play”5).  We know Barry White’s lyrics by heart and we applied it in our daily lives (Example: a friend asked me if Bali was THE place to go, I’d reply by singing “satisfaction guaranteed6”. Followed rolled eyes were inevitable). When we were together it was crazier. We were stuck in 1970 disco music in the 2000s. Those were good old days, the post graduate days. I blame my grown up world for losing her.

I’ll make sure something Barry White will be playing in the reception.
Well Jade, I’ll make sure I’ll come to your wedding. I’ll come to dance to Barry White’s song and of course to really see what kind of guy is this William that you’re marrying.

Note :
2. How are you doing?
3. I miss you very much
4. The flight attendant
5. Let the music play. Album : Let the music play. 1976.
6. Come On. Album : The Icon is Love. 1995

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, Fiction, Music

 

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They Can’t Take That Away From Me: the Fiction (part 1)


The Facebook Chat: Chris’s story

“the way you wear hat
the way you sip your tea”
“Do you remember Jade?” I asked my wife
“The one who lives overseas and always moves away? The one you often lose track of?”, she replied.
“She’s in London now. We just chatted over FB. She’s getting married in July”
“Good for her”
“She’s inviting us. She knows we’ll be in London in July for my sister’s graduation”
“How does she know?”
“Well, I told her”
“So are we going to her wedding?”
“Yes, of course. Why shouldn’t we?” I replied, “She’ll be sending the actual invitation next month”

My wife then gave me a lecture about the importance of discussing important matter with your spouse.
She’s like that, my wife. She thinks that going to London a week earlier is “something important”.  She must be thinking about the extra expense for the UK trip. I know that she’s been eyeing a new handbag from some designer whose brand is difficult to pronounce (and with a more difficult to digest price tag on it).

The lecture continued into our bedroom right up our bed time. She now thinks that “something important” is related to going all to London to attend a wedding of a woman she hardly knows, a woman who doesn’t mean anything to us.
“She’s not even your best friend right, Sayang1?” she asked me.
I turned off the night lamp above my head and closed my eyes.

The image of Jade is more vivid with my eyes closed. She’s not my best friend alright, but I always wish I were one of hers.
I have adored that gal ever since we went out hiking together my junior year (her freshman year) in university.  She was still the only gal on that 3-day trip and she really amazed me. She didn’t complain despite the trail we picked out was pretty hard for a petite girl like her. She was a great cook – she put other stuffs when cooking the instant noodle so it didn’t only taste like MSG and fake chicken flavor. And she made good tea.

Ha ha ha, the tea thing. She is a tea-lover and made a fuss in making and drinking it.
She snapped at me the first time I drank her tea, “That’s not how you drink MY tea. My tea should be sipped, not gulped down. Can’t you be a classier guy?”
She then showed me how HER tea should be drunk.

Jade had never dated anyone exclusively before that hiking trip (yes, I did some thorough research) and alas, not after the hiking trip either. We went out to movies and concerts a couple of times but nothing happened afterward. I thought she’d fall for me, but no. I was just one of her many “victims”.  She pointed out to me after one late jazz concert that I am one of her go-to guys. A guy she could really count on. Damn. And I thought she with all the charms could be my something special.

Well, after all I guess she’s right. I’m her go-to guy. She could really count on me coming to her wedding despite my wife’s complain.

Note : 1. Sayang : darling

==to be continued to THE WAY YOU WEAR YOU HEART : The fiction (part II)


 
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Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, Fiction, Music

 

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Casablanca (1942) : As Time Goes By


When you're watching a movie produced by Warner Bros, do you notice the melody plays as Warner Bros logo appears on the screen? Yes, those 13 notes belong to As Time Goes By. The main soundtrack from the film Casablanca.

Casablanca Poster

As time goes by, when I'm asked what's my favorite old movie I always reply -not The Sound of Music given how musical I am -, "Casablanca". It was made in 1942 with great stars like Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.

Basically it is a normal romantic film. What makes it so extra-ordinary is the ending. It doesn't have a usual happy ending a la current Hollywood films. It makes the film is even more 'real'.

Setting in Casablanca in 1941 with NAZIS, Italian and Vichy French soldiers, we get a war-film impression. But with the bar and the people who are at the bar (may it be the singers, the bartender, Sam the pianist) and the jokes makes the military people less frightening. Come Ilsa Lund as Rick's old lover in Paris onto the screen, and I'm in love with the film. And alas that beautiful woman is married to the Hungarian activist.

The lines in this film, some of them are touching ("I wish I didn't love you so much"), some of them are darn funny ("Ten watch"), but most of them are smart – you have to watch it, really.

Anyways, I am so impressed that a man can fly to a safer place than Casablanca with the woman he was once in love, but then he'd rather stay in Casablanca and let the woman's husband fly with her. The line in this scene is one of my favorite lines ever, "If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life." I personally think this scene makes this film great.

Note : Just in case you're renting this film, beside popcorn please prepare a box of tissue.

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Dailies, Uncategorized

 

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To climb or To run, that is the question


Would I rather climb a mountain or run a marathon?

UTMB 2008 (231)

To answer this question, I need to ask popular opinion if one should stick to do what one does best or one should keep trying on new things?

I’ve climbed mountains throughout my university years (and boy was it a loong years). Some of the classes required us in climbing these mountains, the student union required us in climbing other mountains, and for some others I did it for fun. Mountain climbing was like going to the dentist when I first did it (Hell no. My dentist is very kind and I’m never afraid to be with my dentist, not so good comparison this one) : I didn’t like the preparation, the breath panting, the extreme weather, the pain in my legs.

But then I got used to it. It became a ritual and I got smarter in preparing myself (mentally and physically), storing oxygen, and wiser clothing (No, I could never get over the pain in my legs). Mountain climbing was no longer a challenge, it was just an option for my weekend.

I run of course : Every morning with my dog (every day from reality?? -kidding).  But I never run a marathon. Is it that hard really?  Or is the secret to run a marathon like Barney Stinson of HIMYM once said : “Step one : you start running. There’s no step two” Hahaha.
Seriously, for the sake of my life reputation I should run a marathon. People will surely think I do try everything in life, “What a fun life that gal has”

Now. Se-Ri-Ous-Ly.
To answer that question sincerely. I’d climb a mountain. Why? Because I forgot to tell you how wonderful feeling I had being on the top on any mountain.

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Dailies

 

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My Handwriting – featuring Billie Holiday's lyrics


It looks nice.

A bit unstable for 't', 'w', 'I', 'l' but it still looks nice.

If it were a font it would be called 'skylark' because skylarks don't care if your handwriting looks nice or preppy, as long as you can write and others can read the writing.

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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Music

 

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