Archive for July, 2007

2 years with the big O

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

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Diana, the art director sitting within extreme proximity of me (40cm to be exact), wrote this for me and stuck it on my computer sometime back. But every time if look at it, I’m surprised all over again at what I’ve grown up to become – a copywriter.

Of all my childhood ambitions – artist, poet, porridge seller, brick layer, SIA girl, mountain hermit – I’ve ended up with a pen in my hand and a head full of unrelated ideas.

It’s really not a bad thing, if you look at it from the outsider’s peeking hole. I get to saunter into the swanky Ogilvy office just 2 MRT stops away from my place. Sometimes, I get to cast really hot models for our projects, and make them do takes over and over again if they don’t get my script right.

On this exact day 2 years ago, I walked into Ogilvy rather happy after a Brewerkz afternoon pint and was offered a job. Over the past 365×2 days, there have been times I feel I’m the luckiest person alive to love what I do and get paid for it. And there have been times I feel like a prisoner bound to the swanky office chair, toyed to death by the sadistic guards. There are many days in between, and they are the hardest to get by.

Back to the Drawing Board

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

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Drawing Board: Isabel, myself, Samantha, Simon (clockwise from top left)

We called ourselves Drawing Board, and indeed, back to the drawing board we had to go – several times throughout our final year project (FYP) together.

We were an ambitious bunch. Two years ago, the four of us wanted to organize a wakeboarding event for the wakeboarding vendors at Marina Country Club. We knew it was going to be hard work, but we didn’t see the details darting our way.

We did everything. Literally everything. And that included the whole lot from late night meetings in school, spending copious amounts of cab fare traveling to Marina Country Club in Punggol several times a week, talking to vendors who frankly didn’t give two hoots what we wanted to do for them, badgering people to sign up for the couple’s wakeboarding competition, soliciting friends to strut down Orchard Road clad only in their board shorts and bikinis, applying for a police permit to parade half-naked people in broad daylight, persuading different acts to appear during the festival, begging friends to come for the event, petitioning for money from the CDC to finance the event, scout for a guest of honor and persuade her to try wakeboarding, pestering the press to cover the event – while trying not to die of exhaustion, embarrassment or frustration in the midst of it all.

I remember thinking to myself when I was in the thick of it, “One day I’ll look back and have a good laugh.”

I’m glad that day came – sometime back to be exact. And I never would’ve made it without those 3 others in the pic. The four of us had a meet-up finally, after a year of scheduling and rescheduling. I guess

What if I fall?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

In every climber’s mind, there’s always a nagging thought when they’re on the move.

 

“What if I fall?”

 

Maybe it’s not fair for me to say this, for to say that I know what goes on in every climber’s mind is like saying I own Everest. But for me at least, “What if I fall” always clings to the back of my mind. It makes my palms perspire, my heartrate go up – but I’d go so much to say that it also keep me cautious, reminds me to check and double-check every foothold I intend to step on, every anchor point I clip in to, especially when I’m lead climbing.

 

But falling isn’t my forte. Sure, I’ll get up and climb again if I’m not dead, but I really hate the feeling of falling. It’s a helpless sensation. The free-fallers can call it ‘liberating’ or ‘weightless’ but for me, it’s scary as hell. After doing the jump-off-a-perfectly-good-plane-and-pretend-to-enjoy-it thing in New Zealand, I’m pretty sure the way to go for me is up.

 

And as luck would have it, I was on the ice wall for our technical training session today, and I fell. Got plucked right off the simulated ice wall at Yishun SAFRA about 15m into the climb. Naturally, I got knocked down like a ton – what with ice axes and crampons on me.

 

You know what they say about your life flashing before you when you’re about to die? Buncha bollocks. When you’re falling, there is no time for such thing. Adrenaline kicks in and fear fills your mind, mixed with panic, until the belay ropes stretches tight and catches you – if there is one.

 

It wasn’t my first time falling, whether during training and in the mountains. But it reminded me again of the fatal consequences me should I slip on the real thing. Mountaineering is a deadly sport. I’ve chosen it knowing the dangers that lie waiting for me. Which is why I’m going to get on that rope and face my next climb – even if fear is sniggering in my face.

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Sky diving in Wanaka, New Zealand. The guy behind me is my insane instructor who refused to pull the chutes unless I smile into the camera and force my fingers into a thumbs-up.

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Climbing with campons and ice axes on the simulated ice wall in Yishun SAFRA.