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God, Marie Digby, EOY & Aoki Misako

It's been a mad 4Q... I haven't been updating because I was so caught up with work and such. Only today did I manage to find some time to do up some of my old personal stuff. 

On 18 Oct, we did the concert for Marie Digby at the Esplanade Concert Hall, and it was probably my proudest achievement ever. I kinda wished that I had spend more time with Marie... she's so nice to be around with. I hope that I'll get the chance to fly to US, and get to see her again.

A picture of her concert:


I did my reservist for 2 weeks in November, rushed like mad for a lot of work for EOY... it was perhaps one of the craziest seasons of my life. Unfortunately, due to poor interest and turnout for our EOY J-POP Live, our concert was cancelled. It was one whole year of planning, executing, liaising, but all had to be shelved at the last minute.

Nevertheless, our cosplay festival still goes on by 2012, and will be held Sunday, 9 Dec at the Marina Barrage:



I spent the last few days catching up with my friends; a big thank you to everyone who texted me, emailed, drank and even asked me out. I really appreciate having you guys around. It is indeed that only through tough times, do you discover the people that really care about you.

Thanks to Leah, Heng Lee, Terumi, Yuyuan, Raymond Leong, Suzume, Benedict, Yuan Kang, Yuan Le, Chloe, my wonderful parents, Ling and everyone else whom I might have missed, for your time and encouragement.

I really had a very good time drinking with Raymond the other day... like me, he is a business person, and runs his own pool. We share so many similar struggles, and we have so many stories to tell. 

You know... we were just sharing with one another..., that as business people, we are very lonely people. Yes, we make use of our mouth to convince, persuade and talk to peoeple, to make things happen. However, when we are fearful, we cannot tell our staff that we are fearful. When we lose our direction, we cannot tell others we don't know where we are heading. There are so many challenges that we face that people around us cannot understand.

Occasionally, I will meet people that tell me that they "understand". But one thing for sure, if they are not a business person, and have never gone through the things that we go through, they never be able to understand us. Sometimes, we do the lowest of things... like distributing flyers, pasting posters, climbing under a stage to desperate things like even sharing a burger, all so because we want the business and the people around us to prosper.

But it is a rewarding process. I have never met anyone business person that does not have a failure in his life. All businessmen go through challenges as part of their journey. Even the government acknowleges that and gives us barriers and protection from commercial companies who want to sue entities, to promote entreprenuership. That's the reason why Private Limited, Limited or Limited Liability Partnerships exists.

Nevertheless, 2012 has been an interesting year for me. I met many new people, made many new friends in and out of my industry. It was the year that I learned to put aside my prejustices against other entities and work towards a common goal. I never thought I was good at PR, but I secured the most number of deals in 2012 then the whole of 2009-2011. I learnt.

On a happier note, this was also the year which I met Aoki Misako, Japan's ambassador of cute, and also popular Lolita fashion model for the Kera magazine, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT and Putumayo. It is in my bucket list, to meet and have tea with her. I didn't get to have tea with her, but I did manage to talk to her briefly, and took a picture with her.

I have no idea why I like her so much as well. Maybe it's just because Loli's have a special place in my heart. I found it so embarrasing to queue up to take a picture with her (the only guy!), but I did it anyway. It was so funny because I was spotted by Trina and she was giggling at me.

There are times when God doesn't always give me what I want, but usually He does. I cannot understand nor fanthom the myseteries of God, but He is still good to me.

He told me that although we may think that we have grown up, but in the Father's eyes, just like your earthly father, you will always be his little kid, the one that never grows up. And because of that, you can always run to your Father's arms, no matter how old you may be, or how much you may think you have grown.

With Aoki Misako.


Tim n Aoki Misako

Shows This Year

Busy season for me, I guess.

Been rushing work at the office since morning, with more things to do in the afternoon. Need to head off to my printer to get some posters done.

Upcoming shows that I'm involved in:

Marie Digby



120,000,000+ views, 270,000 subscribers. I love her vocals. I like artists who can play instruments and sing at the same time... in Marie's case, the piano. I'll be arranging a Steinway grand piano for her to use.

Tickets are priced at $88, $68, $48 via SISTIC.

===========================================================================

EOY J-POP Live 2012




Oh yeah Danceroid is back with us once again for this year. It's the 1st time Yuzuki and Maam are here. The 3 of them are really very nice ladies. We managed to have dinner together back with Yumiko (aka. MTP Sensei) in Nov 2011.

And we have Sayuri Sugawara, the singer for FF13's "Kimi Ga Iru Kara". I really love her vocals, and she's really talented. She can play the guitar too. Kinda reminds me of YUI. Think I'll ask her if she wants to bring her guitar along. She'll be doing some Final Fantasy songs.... BANZAI!!

We have another artist that has not be announced yet, but will be soon.

Keep a lookout for it~

Esplanade... is a great place for a concert. Pictures here:
http://www.esplanade.com.sg/about_the_centre/venues/concert_hall/index.jsp

Shows, Life, Marie Digby & EOY

I’ve been getting busy lately, due to the school reopening at Tanglin Trust, and also because of the upcoming concerts. My reward for working hard is Phantasy Star Online 2 at night and in the mornings.

On 18 Oct, we’re having Marie Digby’s “Your Love” Asian Tour here at the Esplanade Concert Hall.



Tickets are now on sale via SISTIC at:
http://www.sistic.com.sg/portal/dt?dt.isPortletRequest=true&dt.action=process&dt.provider=PortletWindowProcessChannel&dt.windowProvider.targetPortletChannel=JSPTabContainer/sEventsCalendar/Event&dt.containerName=JSPTabContainer/sEventsCalendar&dt.windowProvider.currentChannelMode=VIEW&dt.window.portletAction=RENDER&contentCode=marie1012

On top of that, we’re also doing our annual JPOP live also at the Esplanade Concert Hall. It has always been my dream to bring EOY there, and finally we’re here. We first were in Expo, then moved to Drama Centre, then to the Republic Cultural Centre, and finally this year to the Esplanade Concert Hall.

It’s an exciting 3Q-4Q, and I’m looking forward to having a blast. No doubt running shows is extremely high risk, but it is also extremely fun and rewarding. I’m really blessed to have a strong team.

On a side note, my last day at Tanglin Trust will be on 28 September. I tendered my resignation earlier yesterday. They promised me a pro-rated AWS, as well as the 0.75 variable bonus, so I guess that it isn’t too bad.

The new guy has come, and I’ve been guiding and teaching him a little as well.

I hope to get a few more teaching assignments in October. There were a few in August, but am unable to get them because of the conflicting school schedule. Teaching and inspiring secondary students is so much fun.

And I’ve not forgotten about my book as well. I’ve actually finished it, and am waiting for my editor to finish looking through it. I don’t wish to bug her as well, since she is really, really busy with her work and our shows this season as well.

If all goes well, my book should be out in Dec 2012, or in 1Q 2013.

Talking about 2013, we have some exciting shows as well, but we’ll discuss them after our 2012 shows are over.

Busy!

God is good to me, as always. He is truly amazing.

Why I quit Diablo 3



Diablo 1 and 2 were great games. I played D1 (offline online), and then moved to Battle.net in Diablo 2, together with good friends Yuan Kang, Heng Lee and Bing. Not that D3 isn't a good game; it is truly pretty enjoyable when you first start, but things start to get boring once you hit level 50+ onward, and when you proceed into Inferno mode.

D2 was really addictive because it gave you the ability to custom your hero's skill set, and your stats. Depending on what built you are making, you would allocate different stats into different places, vary from Str/Dex/Intel/Vitality. If, like me, you love playing magicians, I had a lot of fun planning for my Frozen Orb/Lighting Storm/Hydra sorceress, though the one that I played most often was my Amazon. She had the block rate of 70%, with super high dex, and just enough strength to wear the required armor. She was a multi-shot/strafe hybrid with Lighting Fury, which a quick switch "W". One second I can be splitting 10+ arrows in one shot across the screen; next second I can be throwing lighting spears that split.

D2 also allowed the customization of almost every single skill onto your keyboard, which you can cast to your heart's content. D3 limits it to just 6 skills at any one time, even in elective mode.

6 skills?

Worst still, the game penalizes for switching skills (Nephalom's Valor) for your magic find. I mean, isn't switching skills supposed to be fun and enjoyable? D3 gives you no control over your stats, and no control over the skills you learn. You just learn everything if you have the levels for it, and builts are all cookie cutter.

There is no "% chance to cast frost nova" on striking, % chance to hit, % hit rate, no mana leech. Light radius disappeared, with a silly 30 sec potion cooldown. I understand that they are trying to make the game tougher, but one thing that really irk me is the butcher fight in Act 1 Inferno mode.

If I am unable to kill him within a certain set of time (3 minutes), butcher goes into enrage mode, and sets the whole ground on fire, which means you are GUARANTEED to die if you don't kill him by then. 

I was like... what?

Just because I don't have the DPS, nor the gear, but yet I have the skill to survive the boss with kiting, the game punishes me for that? I mean, blizzard/hydra/teleport is the gold standard for juking bosses and tough mobs. 

Why should I be forced to die if I can't kill the boss within 3 minutes? It just means that I am trying very hard. It makes having skill useless.

Then what does that bring us to? The auction house and the real money auction house. You shop around, and buy items for your hero, until she/he is strong enough to kill the boss that you require. The truly good items are on the RAMH, and you must either have cash, a lot of gold in order to buy really good equipment.

The auction house totally destroyed the joy of monster hunting and farming. It was as though all you needed to do was to collect gold (which drops from every monster), to buy the equipment that I need. If I don't get it from a monster drop, it's alright. Gold will save me.

In turn, the lack of customization (skills), treasure hunting (replaced by auction house), there is little or no attachment to your character. It is fun initially, but once you hit Inferno, there are just some mobs that you just cannot clear. Don't ever get me talking about Vortex/Wall/Shielding/Arcane combination mobs. Even teleport can't save me. 

In D3, you either have the gear, which is almost ALWAYS the same things like stat bonuses to Str/Dex/Intel/Vit, and nothing much else. In D2 you have a ton of those things, and... RUNEwords! Those were like the awesome. All the affixes on items are so predictable. The drop rate is silly, and in my hours of gaming, I have only seen 2 lengendaries ever dropped. They were not even powerful, and ridiculously under-powered, compared to all the rares that you see around.

D3 is a fun game, if you have never played D2 before. It is a great as a RPG, but because it is named as the successor of D2, I am greatly, greatly disappointed. I could play for so many levels and characters in D2, but playing just a wizard and a little bit of a few other classes bored me out. It is still fun with a party. But solo play is ridiculously boring.

Blizzard has given me a refund for my game, and my character will be deleted soon. I'll be moving on to play Phantasy Star Online 2, my favourite MMO of all time, and perhaps back to a little bit of DOTA in the meantime.

In short... I think Blizzard destroyed the game by building the game around the auction house, rather than concentrating on what truly makes gamers happy. No wonder all the original developers of D2 (Blizzard North) have left. 

It makes me wonder if there will ever be a D4.

Hacking Sleep

Been a while since I can sit down and pen my thoughts down. I think I love writing and expressing myself. It’s a pretty busy season for me, and I’m busy with 2 upcoming concerts, so there’s really quite a bit of work to do.

But nevertheless, it’s an exciting year for me with many changes. 2012 has been a pretty interesting year for me so far. Like last year, it is probably my craziest year, yet.

Today I shall talk about hacking sleep, which is something I sometimes do.

Sleep is something that we, as humans, understand very little about. What we do know is that we feel the most rested when we fall into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase, and these are very short bursts of sleep periods.

Throughout a typical 8 hour cycle, you normally fall into REM phase about 4-6 times, each about 20-40 minutes long. Do you know that you can actually sleep 6 hours, with a 20 min nap in the day to trick your body into REM?

That’s what I do. On days when it is more extremely, I occasionally hack my sleep with 4 hours core, with 2 naps of 20 minutes each. Preferably, the naps need to be spaced out, in order to be effective.

The most extreme is the Uberman Sleep Method, which consists of 8 naps of 20 minutes each, with no core sleep cycle. Apparently, the founder of Dropbox did that, and he mentioned that it was his most productive period ever. However, you cannot miss a nap, else you’ll end up feeling like crap.

For me, I usually try to exercise the 6 hour core with 20 min nap, which reduces my sleep requirement by 1 hr and 40 minutes. It is sometimes through this method that I increase the number of hours that I have a day. And yes, I do get more productive at times.

However, for this to be effective, you cannot oversleep (i.e. your naps cannot be longer than 35 minutes). I found it to be most effective when I sleep 20 min, and snooze for the next 5 minutes. After that, I wake up feeling very refreshed and recharged, with my mind cleared for thinking.

I didn’t try Uberman because it’s too disruptive for sleep schedule because if you miss a nap, everything gets thrown off balance. However, the 4 hr/2 naps and 6 hr/1 nap is a very effective way of extending your time.

Ah yes; these are some of the crazy things that I do.

Hack my sleep and tricking my body into REM.

6 hours and 1 nap of 20 minutes is probably the easiest for most people. I believe this is called the Siesta Sleep Method.

Perhaps you wish to try hacking your sleep as well?

Church and Stuff

I've been a long time member of City Harvest, since I was 14 years old. My pastor and a few others have been charged, and will answer in court next week. The entire saga has been really uncomfortable, but what really bothers me is...

The church is not a charity organization, and does not solicit funds from the public. In contrast to that, I have probably given thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in tithes, building funds and the like. It does not make sense to me that some people should criticize, get upset, when they have given nothing to my church?

I think, if anybody, I should be the one that is angry. 

In Singapore, there is no specific cluster registration for religious organizations, so they must either be registered as a society (where you can sued for all that you have) or a public company limited by guarantee. These are commercial frameworks for proper-business operations, which can be complicated for religious organizations, because they have to conform to commercial laws. 

While there is a chance that the people charged may be acquitted, it may or may not happen, considering the court must have some form of conclusion evidence, in order to bring a case up.

Also, prior to a court hearing, these are charges and are NOT conclusive, until the judge passes judgement.

Also, as a business owner myself, I do know that whenever something goes wrong, the head always answers for it. For that, I feel very sorry for Kong since he is responsible for the mistakes of others in his team, if someone really made a mistake or deliberately mishandled funds. There were many times where I have to apologize, make amends and restitution to people, when my staff make a mistake. It is not my fault, but because it is my company, I have to answer for it.

I am also anxious about the results of the court hearing next month. If they are truly innocent, I pray that they be acquitted, and if someone really mishandled funds, then the law should deal with them accordingly.

I love my church; this is like family to me. Just like you, you have a family too. Even if someone in your family is being charged in court, you would still stand by them, even if they made a mistake.

King David was probably one of the greatest man ever lived, but yet, he committed murder during his time. That doesn't change the fact that he was still a man after God's heart, and that he really loved Him and his people.

Similarly, even if Kong and the rest are all charged as guilty, I can live with it. I can forgive. Because in my last 15 years here, I have seen my life changed. I made friends. God and the church changed my life. I am who I am today, because of God. Even if they are guilty, it doesn't change the fact that they love God, and gave their life and time to build the church, God's Kingdom and reach out to so many countries around the world. One bad does not discredit all the good done.

Lastly, the charges are against the individuals, not the church. Labeling the church members as "brainwashed" is just plain stupid. Do you think the people who work at NKF or Ren Ci are brainwashed? I'm sure they have a heart.

Though I have given quite a bit of money over the years, I'm at peace with it. It's onto God anyway. If anyone misuses my money, that is between God and them, which I am sure He will deal with.

Please keep my church, its pastors and people in prayer. 

We are human too.

Church and Stuff

I've been a long time member of City Harvest, since I was 14 years old. My pastor and a few others have been charged, and will answer in court next week. The entire saga has been really uncomfortable, but what really bothers me is...

The church is not a charity organization, and does not solicit funds from the public. In contrast to that, I have probably given thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in tithes, building funds and the like. It does not make sense to me that some people should criticize, get upset, when they have given nothing to my church?

I think, if anybody, I should be the one that is angry. 

While there is a chance that the people charged may be acquitted, it may not happen, considering the court must have some form of conclusion evidence, in order to bring a case up. Also, prior to a court hearing, these are charges and are NOT conclusive, until the judge passes judgement.

Also, as a business owner myself, I do know that whenever something goes wrong, the head always answers for it. For that, I feel very sorry for Kong since he is responsible for the mistakes of others in his team, if someone really made a mistake or deliberately mishandled funds. There were many times where I have to apologize, make amends and restitution to people, when my staff makes a mistake. It is not my fault, but because it is my company, I have to answer for it.

I am also anxious about the results of the court hearing next month. If they are truly innocent, I pray that they be acquitted, and if someone really mishandled funds, then the law should deal with them accordingly.

I love my church; this is like family to me. Just like you, you have a family too. Even if someone in your family is being charged in court, you would still stand by them, even if they made a mistake.

King David was probably one of the greatest man ever lived, but yet, he committed murder during his time. That doesn't change the fact that he was still a man after God's heart, and that he really loved Him and his people.

Similarly, even if Kong and the rest are all charged as guilty, I can live with it. I can forgive. Because in my last 15 years here, I saw my life changed. I made friends. God and the church changed my life. I am who I am today, because of God. Even if they are guilty, it doesn't change the fact that they love God, and gave their life and time to build the church, God's Kingdom and reach out to so many countries around the world.

Lastly, the charges are against the individuals, not the church. Labeling the church members as "brainwashed" is just plain stupid. Do you think the people who work at NKF or Ren Ci are brainwashed? I'm sure they have a heart.

Though I have given quite a bit of money over the years, I'm at peace with it. It's onto God anyway. If anyone misuses my money, that is between God and them, which I am sure He will deal with.

Please keep my church, its pastors and people in prayer. 

We are human too.

Life, Travel and Everything Else

June is crazy month, packed with many activities and shows from Tanglin Trust, including some late night shows. I'll be staying until mid-end September, and then I'll be leaving once their new guy comes in. I'll do a proper hand over then; hopefully the new guy has a good attitude and is willing to learn.

I went to Korea with Ling for a week, and had lots of fun. Prior to the trip, I learnt a little bit of simple Korean, and it was pretty useful, not to mention, fun when you speak to the locals in their language. We did shopping, fly to Jeju, saw many natural landscapes; we basically did a whole variety of events. Oh yes, we even went to a love hotel in Seoul, where they had a Hello Kitty room!



I also rented a Hyundai 2.0 Turbo Genesis Coupe with 270+ bhp and flew all around in Jeju:



More Korea pictures here:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151803784080291.859965.775650290&type=3

I'm also in the final stages of doing a show for an American YouTube artist in Oct 2012, and details should be out in 2 weeks if everything goes well. We're also getting busy with our Jpop Live in Dec. Both shows will be held at the Esplanade Concert Hall. It's always been my dream to do a show there... I can't believe that I'm doing 2 shows there this year.

On a side note, I'm also planning for a couple of major shows for 2013 as well, and another small recital for another YouTube singer. Plans are still very raw at the moment, though I hope to be able to finalize them in 3Q 2012.

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I got quite a few nice birthday presents:

My wife bought me a Raspberry PI (due to arrive in August '12), and brought me out to a nice dinner at KHA in town. My good buddy got me a Samsumg 23" LED monitor! I was surprised, because I was only intending to go for a 21.5" inch LG one, which would have cost me $179. He bought the Samsung (a better model) for like $50 more.

Cell group also got me a Razer Vespula mousepad (my old razor was fraying a little) and I bought a Google Chromebook for myself. In fact, I bought it through eBay during my Korea trip. I looked for it in Seoul, but it was available, and some vendors told me that it was sold out already.

It's an extremely challenging and packed 2012, but I'm hoping that things get even better from here. It's another year filled with many changes and challenges. It's all very fun, but it can be a little nerve wrecking at times. With all that has been happening, I really feel that it is time for me to move out of Tanglin. I've learnt enough, and probably have also contributed my part to the school. Though as a techie, sometimes view you as the lowest form of support for shows, I'm always very proud of what I do, and like to do things with standard.

I'll go take more teaching assignments when I'm out, to keep myself occupied. I really want to teach more, but my schedule from Tanglin really doesn't allow it currently, unfortunately. September is the time where they give out the salary review, small bonus, and as well as a pro-rated AWS when I leave, so I guess that's for the good anyway.

Anyway, the Chromebook is great for cloud based work with internet connection. It's really fast; has a full keyboard, and is relatively cheap. If you live on the cloud like me, and often have to work across several computers, then this device is for you.

Onward with 3Q 2012; God, please guide me and take care of me during this period.

Thank you for blessing my life with everything that I want. You are really, really amazing. The fact that I got to teach secondary school kids with my kind of qualification, was just nothing short of a miracle.

Tags:

TTT: Teacher Trainer Tim

Teaching was tiring, but it was lots of fun.

I cannot believe that I really got to teach, and at a secondary school. I arrived around 7:45 am, only to be told that my class is 39 people big, and my facilitator was not there yet, which means that I was all alone to handle the class. It was certainly no joke.

I could almost feel myself trembling as I stood outside the class. I briefly rehearsed what I was going to say, and went in to deliver my lesson. I settled and calmed myself in like... 3 minutes. Just like before meeting an artist, I always act and pretend that I'm very chilled and relaxed; but deep inside I am so nervous!

The kids were crazy; so loud and so enthusiastic at times. Being new, I'm definitely not the best, and there are areas which I can improve, but the general feedback from the forms filled in by the kids was that the class was fun, they learnt a lot and thought that I was knowledgeable. Thank God!

I was so scared that the kids wouldn't like me. 

For so many years I tried all sorts of ways to get into teaching, and once, I was even rejected when I wanted to give volunteer teaching/tuition to students. They said that I had no experience, but asked me whether I want to help organize their teaching projects instead.

I rejected them. I mean, I manage and organize projects as part of my everyday life. I just wanted to teach and impart something to the young people. Don't ask me why I want to do that, even I myself don't know too. I just know that I like to work with them, teach them, inspire them and they too, can live the kind of life that they dream of.

It has been a crazy journey, but it was worth it. I get to teach my favourite subject on business, entrepreneurship and money; subjects which I love the most, and also the key strength of my career. Plus, it was secondary school students!

I have no teaching experience, though I have lead people for many years. MoneyTree, my company, believed in me and gave me a chance and put me in front of 39 secondary 2 kids.

And I did it.

And so, I make webpages, produce concerts, design sound/lights, write and now..., I teach too.

And we're working towards July 2012 for my book's publication, titled:
"WORK-LESS: From IT Programmer to Concert Producer"

2012 is really quite an exciting year, though it is filled with challenges. I think that if I didn't have the job at Tanglin Trust, I probably would never have gotten to chance of my life to teach.

I guess 2012 marks a year where I finally get to realize my teaching dream.

All thanks to the crazy drama, Great Teacher Onizuka.

Maybe, just perhaps, I can be a GTT too.


Finally some time to blog. April and May has been a time of making decisions, especially on what to do for this year. Every year seems like a life-changing one, and this year is no different. 

I've been serving Tanglin Trust for almost a year now, and I got news recently that my position will soon be converted to a full time, so I would have to decide on whether I will be staying, or leaving. I was contemplating on quite a bit, since the money is really quite good, considering this is a position of a tech. The job nature is, pretty fun too. Compared to my colleagues, I *think* I probably have the best job scope, though my pay may not be as good.

I thought about it quite long, and... 

I decided to leave. It is actually the more difficult, more challenging and more uncomfortable route, but it is also the route that I will be happier with. I love my part time position as the sound engineer in school, but once it converts to a full time, it'll be a different ball game altogether. I would consider it... a downgrade. Whoever likes being a full time sound engineer and lighting tech, please do apply if you see the job posting appear. It should be anytime soon.

On a good note, I'll still be going back occasionally to help rig lights and all, since I like to get my hands dirty once in a while. It also lets me remember how it is to work on the ground. It's pretty fun too, when you don't do it too much.

Anyway, I'll use the time to focus back on building my online store business, and use the free time to plan for shows for this year. Apart from our EOY 2012 Jpop Live at the Esplanade Concert Hall this year, I also need to plan for the cosplay festival, which is to be held on Sunday, 9 Dec 2012. In fact, I just went down today to have a meeting with them..., a good one, in fact.

A picture for you, so please mark down the dates!



EOY will go through a big change this year, with a split of 2 days across 2 different venues. We're planning for the artists to appear for the live, as well as some possible content for our cosplay festival. With the change in venue, there is also a change in direction. Xin Yu has kindly returned this year to help us with interpretation once again, and we also have 2 new staff on the team. I'll be meeting them in June to discuss and give everyone an update.

I've also bought some new items for my online store, as I wish to expand in different sections, especially games, and phase out sections and items that aren't popular. 

On a more interesting note, I have also finished writing my book, and Angie is my guest editor for my book. She will be helping and advising me on how to improve my manuscript. Vincent, has kindly accepted to design the art for the cover of my book. I've also gotten my ISBN for both written and e-Book versions, and I'm hoping to make publication in June/July this year. It will be published under Amazon's Create Space, and will be available on Amazon, Kindle with e-versions of the book.

The book's title is "W♥RK-LESS, from IT Programmer to Concert Producer". In the book, I share about how I started off in my secondary school days, how I worked to become what I'm doing today. It talks about the challenges I faced, how I overcame them, how to work less, and I also share on how exactly I made money using simple steps, and I touch quite a bit on how to use cloud technology to maximize productivity so that you can achieve more, make more money and free your time.

I also touch about the benefits of assistants, how they can be hired for low cost, and how wonderful they can be. Assistants are the best thing in life, and sometimes I forget that I have 2 of them. They take care of my emails, orders, re-orders, customer service, plan appointments for me, pay bills, settle my rents, and a lot of other things. They save me so much time, and are such amazing staff. You should get one too, and I write on how to get one for a good hourly rate. In fact, my appointment this afternoon was planned by Cassandra, a fantastic assistant of mine.

I never expected one day that I would write and release a book, and it's really amazing how our lives can change. 

Speaking of life-changing, I'm going for a training tomorrow, and I'll be starting to teach from this Sat onward on an assignment basis, and this week, I'll be at Hwa Chong Institute.

So, what would I be teaching?

Financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

You see, besides business, doing shows, sound, fashion, I've always wanted to teach. I recall that there was once I signed up for volunteer teaching, and they rejected me because I had no experience. They didn't even gave me the chance to try. I also signed up to be a lecturer in Poly and ITE, but being just a diploma holder, I did not have the sufficient paper qualifications.

I also applied for secondary school relief teaching, though I was never called. I tried all sorts of things in order to teach, but was never given the chance to teach... until now. So why do I want to teach? 

This is going to be damn dumb, but it's because of this guy:



For those who recognize it, that's Great Teacher Onizuka. In the drama, I know it is completely ridiculous. But like Onizuka, my desire was just to teach, even though it didn't make sense. Growing up, I was always the rebellious student. I defy my teachers, but I still give respect to those who can speak the same level as me, but yet, still knowledgeable.

I wanted to be a GTO.

Alright, dumb things aside, these are part of the dreams that I inspire to get... but I would not have been able to get this, if I didn't decide to terminate my job at Tanglin. It was slightly after that when I looked around, and decide to apply for this. Surprisingly, I got an interview.

I thought I failed it. 

But I was selected. I remember seeing in JobStreet that at least 40+ applicants applied, and only 6 got it. I was one of the 6 people that was finalized. Amazing.

I went the entire round, and I finally got to teach. And best of all, I get to teach secondary and JC students. I don't have as much desire to teach primary school (though they are probably more fun), but probably because I really love to work with young people, even though they really do stupid things sometimes. I mean, just look at EOY. I get the occasionally comment from the random idiot that knows nothing. 

But sometimes they are just ignorant. They need to be educated and showed the way. I really hated studying, and I constantly skipped lessons in my poly days. But there was one teacher that didn't give up on me, and spoke to me in my language. She mixed rebuke with love. 

I changed... a bit.

But I remember her, and I hardly missed her lessons since then.

I want to tell the kids that entrepreneurship is not a difficult thing. It just looks like it is. You just have to find the correct people, don't overspend, market it socially and it'll all work out. I want them to know that they can pursue their dreams and their passions, and yet make money out of it. I really enjoy my work, and I want them to experience this kind of life too.

I still think that it's amazing how far God has brought me to, and how I managed to become a trainer, teaching my favourite genre of students, teaching my favourite subject... the art of business.

Indeed, you'll never know what God brings you to.

I think 2012 will be a great year. I still have an unconfirmed show in Oct 2012 for another English artist, and the Jpop live for EOY in Dec. I was supposed to do another Korean show in July, but the show fell through.

I guess... this is the really fun part about life. Unpredictable, packed, but lots of fun.

God really blesses my life. He really gives me everything I desire. He really blesses me in all that I do. Even when I am in the rut, he always saves me. The favor of God is really so tangible sometimes.

Starting Sat, I'll be a trainer. Here makes a milestone of another one of my dreams being fulfilled. If I can live my life to the max, you should do it too. Consistently persist in your passions and never give up. If your passion changes, change with it. 

Alright, it's time for sleep. I have training tomorrow.

Never despise the day of small beginnings. We all start somewhere.

1Q 2012 Update

It's been a long time since I updated. Really long.

I'm typing this from the computer in Kranji Camp 3, and have been serving my reservist duties since Monday. We're going outfield next week, though it has been a pretty relaxed week so far.

Also be awarded a new cosplay project at Liang Court for next month, and I'll be handling some of the content and production aspects for the show. On top of that, I'm also currently advising on the technical and production aspects for Mother Africa, which is a circus production to be held at the Esplanade Theater next month as well.

Feb was a mad month for me, as school's schedule was totally crazy then. I had very little weekends, so serving reservist here is actually quite a good change for me. I had time to reflect on my thoughts, work, read and even write a little.

I hope I get to do more shows in this year, possibly with some exciting artists for this year's EOY.

Life is really full of challenges, though it is through these challenges that sometimes put you in lucky situations.

Alright, it's time to go. Going to meet my friends for dinner in town.

A crazy week, indeed.  

Tags:

2011 in a Post

And 2011 has just passed, and we're already halfway into 2012. It's amazing how time flies. Every year holds its own challenges, and nevertheless, 2011 was another life-changing year for me.


In Jan 2011, I became father to baby Zack. Parenthood really changes your life, and I really respect all the parents (including my dad and mom) for bringing their children up. It is certainly not an easy thing.

In Feb 2011, Ling and myself celebrated our 2nd year anniversary at Le Bistrot, and I played "Kirara" for her on their grand piano:


My good friends, Billy and Gloria got married, and I played "Theme of Love" on the baby grand at Shangri-la Hotel (Orchard):


In March 2011, I went for in-camp training (reservist), bought a Blackberry, and was invited to the be the guest cosplay judge for J-Obsession:


In April, I did sound as the engineer for the Start of Year Cosplay event:


And also had a really pretty Black Alice tea party at Lawry's:


In May, I caught up with the guys from Comic Fiesta to discuss on how we can work together, despite our dates clashing for EOY / CF. I was also offered the job at Tanglin Trust School as their theater technician / sound engineer.


I started work at Tanglin Trust in June. It was also Cosfest, and my birthday. We (Ling) also had a short 1-Day trip to Batam. I spotted Elise wearing Sugary Carnival during Cosfest, my favourite AP print of all time.


In July, I went to KL to the Sepang F1 track for hot laps with my Civic Type R. A truly enjoyable experience:


I also did a cosplay show production at Marina Barrage for the Singapore Children's Society:


August was the month of celebrations; Natsu Matsuri and STGCC. It was also the time where I met and became friends with Kipi, a very famous cosplayer in Japan.


In September, I was the production manager for Drum TAO at the Esplanade Theater for a 3 day show:


I was also involved with a cosplay talk-show at Scape:


I also went to Chiang Mai with my good buddy, Yuan Kang. Rock climbing was one of the highlights of our exciting and crazy trip:


In October, we had another nice Black Alice tea party:


November was a crazy and extremely fun month for me. I caught LiSA during the Anisong concert (Anime Festival Asia) and was also involved in the Cosplay Idol, Seniors Edition event at Hougang Mall:


I also went Japan with Vincent and Wilson, and it was a total blast. We attended 2 concerts (SCANDAL, Live5pb), met with many people, and traveled all over the place. Maid cafes are love. We caught up with Kipi (cosplayer), Epic Records / Sony, DANCEROID, Tocco (Baby, The Stars Shine Bright), Junne, Ferlyn and Xin Yu. One picture with DANCEROID:


And in Dec...

It was EOY 2011, one of the highlights of every year. It's always my biggest show, and this year we had lots of fun. We invited Hitomi from @home maid cafe, and she was our guest artiste for this year:


I also played "Persona 4 - Poem of Everyone's Soul" on the stage, to thank all the guests for coming to EOY each year:


It was another great year, and another blast. Despite clashing with CF, the bad weather, the breaking down of the MRT, the far location, it was still a great EOY. I had lots and lots of fun.




I think it is very hard to explain why I work and spend so much time on EOY... it is really very fun running your own production, and leading a team of people to deliver an event... it is an indescribable experience. Meeting artistes, planning for stage productions, running sound, leading people, running a business, cosplay, meido, lolita are all things that I truly love in my life, and they all come together under one thing called EOY.

As with any event, there will never be a perfect one, and also being an organizer, like what Emerson says, is usually a thankless job. I so agree with that. Most importantly, is that I had fun in process, and tried to relay those feelings to as many guests for EOY as much as possible.

Lastly, in Dec, I also announced and decided to graduate Black Alice, and will stop all major activities for BA in the end of Jan 2012. Our graduation tea party was held end Dec 2011:


Thank you Loli's, for all the happy memories of Black Alice.

It was an amazing 4.5 years, and I'll never forget about them. Thank you for giving me a chance to be the owner of Black Alice, and for changing my life. These memories will stay with me for as long as I live... and even when I die, I'll bring them all to heaven with me.

2011 was a great year. It was challenging, but God brought me through.

He is truly amazing, and I'm looking forward to 2012. Each year, God always outdoes what I expect myself to do.

I relentlessly pursue my dreams each year, and I hope that you will, too. It is never easy, but life is too short to have regrets.

Graduation of Black Alice: Final Tea Party

Dear Loli's,
Perhaps some of you might have already heard the news already, but Black Alice will be graduating on 31 Jan 2012. Though I will still retain the name "Black Alice", we won't have any major activities after Jan 2012. During each year, if there are exciting activities to participate (i.e. EOY's annual Lolita fashion runway), we will make announcements for those.

I thought it very long, and very hard, before deciding to graduate Black Alice. It was a very exciting 4 years, and I learnt many, many things through Black Alice. I lost a few friends, but I made many, many new friends. When we first initially started BA, we wanted to upgrade the standard of Loli, because there were so many Ita-Loli's those days. We really loved the idea of sharing this fashion with people, and educate them on how to carry themselves well.

We did many tea parties, conducted make up classes, did movie screenings (Shimotsuma Monogatari & Alice in Wonderland), to even more non-conventional things like ice-skating and scrap booking.

During the past 4 years, I really had a very enjoyable time running Black Alice. We started off as a small booth in Cosfest, then moved out to Bugis, before settling at Cathay for 2 years. We're still currently at Far East Plaza, sharing a space with Dark Royalties now.

It has always been my dream to open a Loli retail store, and Black Alice exceeded what I imagined it to be. I never thought that one day we will get to be the distributor for BABY, Angelic Pretty, Innocent World, Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden and even Putumayo. These were brands that I never thought I would get to work with. I met up with Akinori Isobe, the owner of Baby, and also visited the offices of BABY, AP and IW. It was really a very magical experience.

Back in those days, I still couldn't speak Japanese, but recently I went to Japan, and met up with Tocco, our account manager at BABY, and I was so happy that I could converse with her in simple Japanese. Together with Junne, we talked for hours in Japanese at the Alice in Wonderland and Criston cafe at Shinjuku. They really treated me like old time friends.

Over the years, I've watched and seen Loli's come and go, and I've seen how regular girls transform into the pretty ladies that you are today. For some of you, I remember the day I first saw you at Black Alice, when you bought your first dress, when you attended our first tea party; but you eventually graduated to become the pretty Loli you are today. Your coordinates got better, your make up skills improved and you made many friends.

Among the many things I got from Black Alice, the friendships I made with some of you were really one of the best. The days that I had lunches with you all, hear about your lives and see the challenges you go through. I've also seen quite a number of you through your dating times, right all the way till you got married.

Seeing how close the Lolita community has become has made me very happy. It made me feel that everything that me and Ling have worked so hard for, was worth it. In a way, when I look at all of you, it makes me think that hey..., perhaps my job is done. My dream and desire has been fufilled, and perhaps it is time for me to go, for me to move on.

Opening Black Alice was one of the best things that ever happened in my life. It proved to me that we can pursue what we love in life, against all odds, even when other people think that it is ridiculous. Without Black Alice, I would never have gotten the chance to run EOY, where running stage productions became one of my passions.

I was just doing an interview with Grace the other day, and she asked me what I'll like to do again, if I were to be able to live my life all over again.

I will still marry Ling, buy the same cars that I own, live in the same house, and I will still open Black Alice, and I'll still do EOY. I will live my life exactly the same way again, even if I am given another chance.

In this same notion, I hope that I have inspired you, also, to pursue your dreams and passions in life.

The upcoming Doll's tea party (26/12) will be the last tea party for Black Alice, so please do RSVP to Sheryl, and I really, really hope you can join us for our graduation tea party.

Next, the current consolidate batch for BABY (http://www.babyssb.co.jp) will also be the final one, so please browse whatever order you would like to make for this one by this week. For the final consolidation order, we will extend a 10% discount on all orders.

Also, as a special preview to our sale, there is a 40% discount of all existing Black Alice items if you are joining us for our tea party this coming week. You may browse our site (http://www.blackalice.com) and get Sheryl to reserve the items for you (by Thursday 23:59 pm). Once you have reserved an item, I will bring it down during the tea party.

In closing, I want to thank you for being part of my life, and for being part of Black Alice's. It has been an honor serving the Lolita community; sometimes I feel that you're all my little daughters, and it brought out a bit of a fatherly nature in me.

Perhaps I might have changed some of your lives, but deep inside, I am very, very grateful that you, have changed mine. Because of you, I was, and still am, the very, very proud owner of Black Alice.

Just for you, my lunch will always be open to you, because Loli's will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for being part of this family, and I'll never, ever forget this. Even when I die, I'll bring all the happy memories of Black Alice to heaven with me.

I'll see you at the tea party.

And with that, my calling for Black Alice has been fulfilled.

Love,
Tim

Life & Japan

It's been a long time since I've updated; the past few weeks have really been busy with the auditions for EOY. This year, there were more registrations, so we had to use 3 sessions to clear everyone. 

On another note, Grace has left Black Alice as she has graduated from university, and Sheryl is the new brand manager for Black Alice currently. She's been a great help to me so far, and she recently helped to organize the recent tea party. I think she's a really lovely girl, and does her job well.

AFA is just round the corner this week; lots of exciting happenings this year. Hao and myself will be going for Lisa's live on Saturday. We initially decided to go for Miku, but later switched to Lisa instead. I guess it's no surprise that they didn't put Kalafine and Lisa together, since those are what I (most people too, I believe) would want to see the most.

On another note, Wilson, Hao and myself will be flying off to Japan next Tuesday for a week. We'll land in Haneda in the late evening, chill out, and then go full force the next day onwards. Some highlights of our trip will be a day trip to Nikko, SCANDAL concert at Shibuya (http://www.scandal-4.com), cutting our hair/shampoo at Moe Sham, a meido hairdressing saloon (http://moesham.com), Afilia Saga East Live w various artistes (http://5pb.jp/afiliasaga/) and multiple dinners at Cosplay/Mei-do cafes.

We'll also be making a trip up to Epic Records @ Sony Music Studios to discuss some work stuff, hopefully we'll able to have some collaborations for 2012. I'll also be catching up with Tocco, a good friend from BABY, The Stars Shine Bright (http://www.babyssb.co.jp). Most probably as well, we'll be catching up with Yumiko (aka MTP Sensei), and hopefully with Kozue and Ikura as well. I really hope to meet them again. By some weird chance if I'm able to meet Marisu...... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UOUKRbRiww)

I'm not sure if the calendar allows it, but if possible I'll like to catch up with Nagayama from Angelic Pretty (http://www.angelicpretty.com) and Reinnie. Before I die, I want to have tea with Aoki Misako (http://aokimisako.net/) as well, though I have no idea how that is going to happen.

After AFA is over, it'll be EOY. It'll be a busy period for all of us then, and Japan will be a good time to chill out, gather ideas and make some arrangements for next year.

Looking at this year's auditions, I'm really looking forward to an even greater EOY this year. Some of the performers this year are really outstanding. I'll post some audition videos on a later date. Although we had the least number of people auditioning on #3, it was one of the most stellar ones I've seen in 3 years.

Also, we've scored another project to handle the production and some content for the "Cosplay Idol Competition (Senior Citizen)" at Hougang Mall at the end of this month. There's also another pending concert project; let's see if we manage to get that as well.

Hope we'll get even more shows to do after EOY is over~
So fast; it's been 6 days since I've stepped foot into Chiang Mai, one of the places in Thailand that I've always wanted to go. It's a city that I fell in love with; people are generally very hospitable and warm. I can't say that for all of the city though, as I felt some of them weren't too polite to us.

Out of the city in the rural areas, the experience was fantastic. I had lots of fun talking to locals, eating local Thai food, practicing what little Thai I know, and hearing the lovely Thai ladies in trying desperate to make conversation with their limited English is so "Na Luck Mah" (very cute).

We stayed about 50 km away from the city centre at Mae-On area (it's really far), and cost us 800 baht each way when we want to go to town, though fortunately we rented a motorbike for like only 200 baht/day. We stayed at Tharnthong Lodges, where it's a beautiful chill out place with cataracts just outside our small villa. Kitchen also served excellent food.

Our total stay of 6 days, 1 motorbike and with meals at our villa amount to 9,290 Baht, which only amounts to S$200/person for the entire duration. Unbelievably cheap. Though far, I love staying in rural areas because people are generally nicer, and they really treat you like guests. Our host, Prim, taught us Thai for 2 days with... no charge at all. Try finding that in town. She was really warm and nice. The only downside was that our internet was a little slow, and that I have no mobile reception on the mountain.

Most of our other money was spent on new experiences such as one day tours, rock climbing (this was an awesome experience) and a little bit of drinking. Our total trip, including airfare was about S$730. Yes, everything in, including airfare, trips, food, transport, drinks and accommodation. That is pretty unbelievable, for a 6 day trip.

I think one of the things that I accidentally discovered was that I really love talking to the local people in their local language. I never knew that it would be so fun and interactive; and the Thai's love it when you talk to them in whatever little you know. It makes you appreciate their culture and people more.

In addition to Jap, the next language that I'll like to pick up is Thai. It appears that speaking isn't really that hard (no tenses and such), though writing can be a bit more of a challenge. I also want to learn Spanish eventually.

Chiang Mai was more of a time for me to rest up, especially from my super packed hours when I was doing the TAO production a few weeks ago. With all my trips, I always try to make them "business leisure", so that I get to do a bit of work, and have lots of fun while at it. Every time I travel, my assistants help to ensure that all of my businesses run well.

I slept very well, traveled to many places and tried many new things, one of which I thought was really enjoyable was rock climbing.

We went for one at the Crazy Horse Crag, and even did rappelling into one of the caves, which was like 130ft/25m deep. I think that was at least 10 storeys high, which was kinda scary. Our virgin climb was also about 100 ft or so; really high up. That was one point while I was reaching for a rock and climbing up when... I saw a gecko STARING at me just where my right hand was. I nearly freaked out. It was bright white/orange in colour.

It was super tiring, but I made quite a few friends from USA and England from the climb. They were all beginners, just like I was. And everyone had lots of fun~

I'm actually typing this on the plane, and I love it probably love because there is no internet access. You can't do much, except reply some of your emails and probably... write. It's a good place to consolidate your thoughts, and pen them down in words. After all, writing is a form of expression, which I like to encourage my friends to do. It's also a form of remembrance for the things that you do, since our memories tend to fade over time. My memory isn't that good, so I always make use of pictures and my blog to recall my memories when I need to access them. Best of all, or worst of all, depending on how you look at it, the internet isn't around to distract you.

Some random things that we did this time in Chiang Mai:
* Basic conversational Thai lessons for 2 days.
* Riding motorbike all around town and in the rural areas. On some nights, we were riding in complete darkness. Kinda dangerous, but we took every possible care, especially navigating up the mountains at gay hours.
* Tried rock climbing and rappelling for this first time. It was totally crazy.
* Eating at random restaurants and practicing our Thai.
* Riding into the heart of the city with some prior GPS planning on Google Maps. I love Google Maps. It's an amazing tool, and I think Google contributed a lot to the world that we live today.
* Random foot massage after a long day of climbing.
* Drinking at a bar in town.
* One day tour to visit the Lost City, and the biggest waterfall. Did about an hour of trekking there, and got my foot yanked into a pool of water. Totally nuked my shoes from white to brown.

Over the course of a few days, we got to know many friends, and it was a great experience. Rested well, had fun, and I think I've brought back quite a lot of happy memories of Chiang Mai. I hope that if/when they visit Singapore, we will be able to meet up again. Facebook is such an awesome tool; I think that like Google, it changed the world. It makes keeping in touch with friends so much easier.

Yuan Kang was a great travel companion for this trip, and I think he had a lot of fun too. We're a little sad to leave, but we have more important and fun things waiting for us back home too.

My impression of Thai girls have also changed during the course of the trip, and I think I finally understand why I have friends who marry Thai girls. I've always thought that there are nice, and this time, I've discovered that they generally have a very sweet and pure nature in them.

In short, Chiang Mai was a blast.

Whenever I travel to any country, I always try to live like one of their citizens, because I feel that through in this way, you can truly experience the culture, and how it feels like to be one of them in a foreign land.

I also try to avoid all the tourist-y stuff (or at least minimize it), attempt to speak their language, eat their food, drive on their roads and try new things. I really hate tourist traps. No one likes to be sold to.

I love holidays. Looking forward to Japan in Nov 2011. Now that I've been a Thai for a week, it's time to be a Japanese for another then.

Pictures of Chiang Mai trip: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150805995165291.733127.775650290

From IT Programmer to Sound Engineer

It's been a while since I sat down and wrote... as in, really write. I recall that I still have an unfinished book of about 30% to complete. Although my English isn't that great, I like writing, and blogging is one of my ways in which I express myself.

Growing up, my dad was always different from most dads. From young, I never really quite understood the notion of working for people, because my dad is a businessman, and showed me a very different lifestyle. On most weeks, my dad will bring me to his office, have breakfast together with him, buy live fish/shrimp to feed his fishes and just chill out. I recall most of my childhood days feeding fishes, learning how to rear them, playing games on my dad's com; it was pretty fun.

The introduction of the internet was something that really influenced me. After my Ah Beng years in Sec 2, I started doing a website called "FantasySquare" (http://www.fantasysquare.com). It used to be one of the most popular Final Fantasy related websites back in the 90's. It was also the site that incidentally led to my current online store "My Import Store" (http://www.myimportstore.com) to be developed, something that I still own till today. Maybe web designing became more appealing than Ah Lians.

Because of FS, I grew an interest in web development and programming, and picked IT as my course of study during my polytechnic days. At the end of my 1st year, I had the chance to pick either programming, BIS (a little bit of business+a little bit programming), networking or design.

I picked BIS because I had an interest in programming and business at the same time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you see it, BIS was also the course for rejects. People who couldn't get in into design, networking or programmer got thrown into my course. My year 1 classmates who were really good at programming got into the programming courses.

Looking at the standard of "programmers" in my course, I can safely say that the standard of the most of programmers in my course... leaves much to be desired. And that includes teachers. A couple of us can program better than our teachers. Isn't that... ridiculous?

Still, the BIS taught me a lot of things that were useful for my work, and part of my online store success comes from it. Business as a youth was interesting probably because no one else was like that. I became a little proud of my own achievements.

Until I went for my 1st reservist back about 5 years ago. I thought I was good, but I was grouped with aircraft engineer leads, director of law firms, owners of underwriting companies, owner of busing companies. Have you ever seen an owner of a underwriting company scold another Ah Beng reservist in the same platoon in fluent hokkien until he apologized? I had. It was an amazing sight.

The owner of the underwriting company was like a civilized, professional Ah Beng. He had the language capability to converse to lawyers, and also the ability to reason with Hokkien soldiers. He was freaking cool. "Zai" is an understatement.

During my 2 week reservist with these people, I learnt many things. It was also one of the most humbling experiences in my life. These people were so successful, but yet, they behaved so humbly, and were so free to share their experiences and edify one another. It was really an eye-opener for me, because it taught me that hey, I aint that great as I think I am. It was one of my life-changing moments.

I've always loved Lolita fashion, and a few years after that, I attempted to start Black Alice (which now I still own), and opened our first brick and motar shop at Bugis Street in 2007. We tried a short term lease there for 3 months, before moving to Cathay for 2 years.

Opening Black Alice was really an awesome experience. Despite the many challenges that I faced, I learned many, many things. Through BA, I made many friends, but I did, however, lose a few of them. We started with the initial vision of upgrading the standard of Lolita, by educating the public about Lolita fashion and how to graduate new Loli's from ita's (painful-to-the-eye Loli's) to full fledged, pretty Lolitas. We conducted make up classes, did workshops, organized tea parties and even movie screenings.

It was one of those things that I have always dreamt of doing... opening my own Loli shop, and selling BABY/Angelic Pretty stuff. Although we no longer are at Cathay, we have a small physical presence at Dark Royalties / Far East Plaza. I really miss Black Alice at The Cathay though; I have so many fond memories there.

I moved from doing online business to retail, which is a totally different market from what I studied. I had no experience in running a retail business, nor studied it, but still did it anyway. It was difficult, but it was really, really fun.

In Dec '08, I inherited EOY. It was my favourite cosplay event then, and the organizers decided to cease it in 2008. I had some experience in business, but zero in events. Still, I felt that it was a waste to let the event die and dissipate as a memory. Sound and stage were things that really intrigue me, and I've learnt a little on how to handle stages through sound ministry in church.

2009 was my first EOY, as it was really difficult. We persisted, and here we are 3 years later. In these 3 years, I met Yui Makino, one of my favourite singers, Mikuni Shimokawa, another one of my favourite singers, and Kozue Aikawa/Ikura, which are 2 of my favourite YouTube/Nico Douga Dancers. This year? Maybe we'll get to meet someone special again.

Earlier this year, I saw a sound engineer position opening at Tanglin Trust School for their performance hall. I love running stages, and being part of a school environment was one of my dreams as well. I can never teach secondary school because MOE doesn't allow a diploma holder to.

This position happened to be a part time one, and fits well with my businesses that I own. The school knows and acknowledges that I owns my own businesses, and they still gave me the sound engineer/tech position. I've been with them for almost 3 months, and have just been confirmed. It's a little weird, but I'm a permanent part-time, which means I get entitled to bonuses, leaves, CPF, and other staff benefits.

These days, for EOY, periodically we get to run shows for external parties, some which are cosplay in nature. We did a cosplay production at Marina Barrage last month, are going to do another talk show next month, and I'm also involved in another production at Esplanade Theater. We're discussing for another event in Oct, though that is not confirmed yet.

I never dreamt that one day I'll be running stages and producing shows. Neither did I dream that I would one day own a Lolita store, much less become the distributor for BABY, The Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty and Innocent World. I met the owners of BABY (Akinori Isobe / Fumiyo Isobe), talked with their staff, visited Angelic Pretty at their office, met Innocent World's owner and designers; it was just an amazing experience.

I studied IT, moved to retail, moved to events, and now became a sound engineer/producer for events. I got my position at Tanglin Trust simply based on my portfolio; I have zero qualifications in sound. I just had an interest in it and learned.

I moved from industry to industry, but I totally didn't expect that I will land in sound. Perhaps 5 years down the road, I would have shifted again, perhaps to something even more fun.

Life is full of surprises. Sometimes we spend so much so much time wondering what we should do next; whether we should study this, whether we should change our job. Sometimes, the biggest problem is us. Our reluctance to move because we are so afraid to change sometimes.

The past 5 years have been really difficult for me, and though I've been through many challenges, I've learned a lot.

I have heard countless advices from people on not driving to foreign lands, not owning a performance car, not taking risky moves, but... the things that people told me not to do, are often things that they themselves do not dare to do.

Some of the most exciting and memorable experiences of my life were driving in from Tokyo to Osaka, sprinting through B roads on the opposite side of the road in Taipei, driving through mountainous trails and riding a bike in Phuket during peak hour traffic.

Contrary to popular belief, driving in foreign lands is extremely fun. Just that... some people will never dare to try it. The same stupid advices that you hear every so often. What people do not understand, they criticize.

It was a big jump from IT to sound engineering, but the journey was tons of fun.

You'll never know what to expect, so just keep chasing the things you like in life.

I really, really love my life, and I hope you can experience the joy that I have as well.

Embrace change. You can do it.

I want to thank the former EOY committee for giving me the chance to run EOY; it was something that really changed my life. Like Black Alice, it added colour to it.

For the people who stood by me, supported me, gave me a chance and believed in me, thank you so much.

And for the idiots waiting for us to fall, please...

Go get a life.

Life & Happenings

Man, it's been a month since I last updated.

Earlier last month, we (Vincent, Wilson, Chin Leong) went to the AKB48 cafe at *Scape to have a look, and the place was pretty good. Service was great and it's a nice chillout location. Although food is average, the pretty waitresses/hosts made up for it. Kiyomi and Yui were very warm to us.

Before we left, I opened my mouth and asked, and we all got pictures:

Yui on the left, and Kiyomi on the right.

On the same weekend, we had our Black Alice Masquerade Tea Party at Sixth Ave. I don't have a group shot as I needed to leave early for church service, but I did manage to get a picture together with Grace:

Grace is the brand manager for Black Alice, and she's an extremely great help to me.

I drove to KL on 15 July for the Honda Civic Type R track day special; I love track days! It's been a while since I last went for one, and I can VTEC to my heart's content. Although I spun out of a couple of times, I got to know my car a little better. I mounted my Flip camera and took a video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyTnzDJbeD0

Also went for "Ballet under the Stars" at Fort Canning with Ling on the same weekend:


We did a stage cosplay production for Singapore Children's Society on 24 July at Marina Barrage, and got some of our performers and Chris' band to do up a show for them:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93lai98DBlI
That's Momo, dancing to "Sweet Magic".

Last week, I went to the SKE48 live with Vincent, and it was amazing. I didn't expect too much because the equipment at *Scape is not that great, but they brought in a lot of new rigs, subwoofers and moving lights. The lighting designer was very good.



Unfortunately, the girls were lip-syncing though. Fortunately though, we were there to watch the girls dance, not so much to sing. Though because of my job nature, I tend to be very particular with I see artistes lip-syncing. But they danced really well. They treated us with a hand-shake session after their live. Moe~ <3

Vincent wrote a nice entry about it here at:
http://sg-kawaii.com/cutepop/2011/07/ske-48-stage-1-performances/

Since he mentioned that his favourite was Shiori Takada; mine was Haruka Ono. I think she dances really well.

I also met up with the people from Drum Tao at Forlino, a french restaurant at One Fullerton last week. It's a Japanese martial arts Daiko/Drums performance to be held at Esplanade Theater from 1-4 September, and I'm the production manager for the event, where I will be handling the sound, lights and other show matters for them. You can get tickets from SISTIC at:
http://www.sistic.com.sg/portal/dt?dt.isPortletRequest=true&dt.action=process&dt.provider=PortletWindowProcessChannel&dt.windowProvider.targetPortletChannel=JSPTabContainer/sEventsCalendar/Event&dt.containerName=JSPTabContainer/sEventsCalendar&dt.windowProvider.currentChannelMode=VIEW&dt.window.portletAction=RENDER&contentCode=taod0911

That's about it! I initially wanted to write about another topic, but I think I'll save that for another time, since I've written quite a fair bit today.

Life is good so far, and I bought a new Apple iPod Nano 8GB, which will be delivered next week.

Yay! Damn fun job(s) I have.

Tags:

Life, Work & Everything Else...

Been a couple of busy weeks, finished the drama productions, and a few other assemblies (they had some performances). It's the school holiday season for Tanglin Trust now, so it's kinda like the lull season now. Recently we've been doing maintenance work, with upgrading software, tweaking speaker settings and rigging lights. I prefer running shows.

I guess it'll be more of a slower pace till end August, when activities will probably start again.

Part time work aside, I'm negotiating for another project; hopefully we can get it for this time. It's a smaller event of about 200+ people or so.

The technical rider for Tao: Art of Drums is also pretty complex, but I guess being challenging makes it fun. It'll be my first show at the Esplanade Theater.

For Black Alice, we have a Masquerade theme party coming up, and I'm looking forward to it!

I was supposed to be involved in a few more other projects, but not all came true, unfortunately.

Life has been good to me so far; God has been good.

Will be going to the AKB48 cafe this Thursday; I hope it'll be a nice experience.

Catch up with you guys soon.

Tags:

Work, Life, Holidays

Woah~ been quite a while since I updated, and I've been pretty busy with my new workplace, as they have a major drama production coming up next week. As I'm on a part time basis, my hours are not fixed, and some weeks I come in 3 times, on other weeks I may come in everyday from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm.

This leaves me to still do my stuff at MIS, BA and EOY, which is actually more fun.

As part of my job, I get to plan speaker placements, run mixers, and decide/design how to mic/plot sends to the mixer. It's basically what a sound engineer does... design and make the production sound good. Been tweaking the performance hall speakers recently, and Ling bought me 2 new mics (Shure SM58, AKG C1000) for my birthday, and will probably get to use them very soon.

Earlier this week, I also shifted BA from Haji Lane to Far East Plaza; hopefully response will be better in our new location, as it should be slightly more convenient for everyone as well.

Next tea party is also coming up, and I'm pretty excited about it as well. It's been a while since our last tea party.

Over this week, I also went Batam with Ling, and we had a short getaway for a very cheap price. We paid about $100/person, including all taxes, ferry rides, seafood lunch, dinner, 60 min massage as well as a new 5-star hotel stay, including buffet breakfast. The only downside is that they brought us to various places to "shop", which is probably how they make money to cover for the shortfall.

Was still a pretty nice break though.

Speaking of holidays, I'm going Chiang Mai for a week with Yuan Kang in September, and then Japan for a week with Hao in November. I definitely will not have enough leave to cover for that period, but we'll work something out.

Looking forward to my holidays, and 2011 is going to be a great year.

Each year just brings so many surprises.

Good night all, it's time to sleep.

Tags:

Comic Fiesta, Sound Engineering & Changes

Setup two weeks was good, and I've been offered the sound engineer/theatre technician position at Tanglin Trust School, and I'll be starting work this coming Wednesday. It's on a part time basis, so I'm contracted to go down about 3 times a week, though the hours might shift if there are events going on.

Will probably be pretty interesting, since I'll still be juggling my businesses, and doing some part time assignments at the same time. The Esplanade show in September would probably be very interesting as well, as I'm tasked to handle the stage productions for them.

Had a great trip to KL with Shi Hai to meet up with the Comic Fiesta folks last Wednesday:


It was a great time of catching up, getting to know new people and exchanging ideas. They're really awesome people.

Prior to that, managed to have tea with Hermes and Aiko too:


Has been pretty fun recently.

Alright, it's time for dinner at my mom's.

About Tim

Tim is married to Ling, and father of Zack. He is the producer of Events of the Year (EOY), producing Jpop, anime, cosplay and non-Japanese events.

He produced a concert for Yui Makino (Sony) in 2009 and a dancical for net idols, Aikawa Kozue & Ikura from DANCEROID in 2010.

In 2011, he produced a live for Hitomi, the #1 maid from @home Maid Cafe.

In 2012, EOY will be held at Marina Barrage (09.12.12).

He also owns My Import Store, an online store that he started when he was secondary 2.

He enjoys inspiring young people, and teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship in Singapore primary and secondary schools.

During his free time, he freelances as a production coordinator for concerts, stage productions, advising them on lighting, sound and stage matters.

He loves writing, playing the piano, Japanese language, maid cafes, having lunches with friends, cars, and is currently driving a JDM Honda Civic Type R.

Before he dies, he hopes to own a Lotus/Ferrari, have a date with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Ai Otsuka, see an aurora and do extended world travel.


Wishlist

Nexus 7 Tablet
Orange TPMS
Microsoft Surface
Lotus Evora
Meet Aoki Misako
Google Chromebook
LED Monitor 23" HDMI
Raspberry PI
Razer Vespula Mousepad

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