27 May 2008

IF - Rudyard Kipling

I was browsing through some web pages and a particular line caught my eye - "which is more- you'll be a Man my son" and I remembered a placard - you know those inspirational ones- with messages on them that my Dad gave me when I went overseas to read Law. I remember that he wrote a part of this poem on the back and I thought then as well as now that it is a truly inspirational poem. So here you go...

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

14 May 2008

Heng Tai's and Chi Mui's

I recently attended a friend's wedding and was roped in to be one of his "Heng Tai's". Whats that you say? Well... literally its a suckers job... The Heng Tai's (There were 8 of us) are supposed to support our fellow marrying brother to get him into the bride's house and into her arms so that she can be whisked away to be married. Who's gonna stop us rite? Well... the "chi mui's" for one and there was also a little faux pas with the little virgin boy who was supposed to open the door for the Groom to get out of the wedding car. No virgin boy opening door... no come out my friend! :)

This traditional banter or more of a tug of war or even more apt - the Fear Factor challenge has to be undertaken by the heng tais for the benefit of the Groom. Where else can you find 8 fellas willing to go through Fear Factor challenges for you man!!

You wanna know what we had to do? Well... the day started really early! Up and about by 7 plus cos we had to get to the house by 8 a.m. Of course it didn't help that we went home only at 2 plus am the night before drinking and of course (refer to previous post) - gambling! hahaha... :)

Once there we were feted to a dim sum breakfast (paid for by the fellas who lost but bought by the winner! ) and then we were all bleary eyed (not wide eyed yet - that would come later) and ready to go!!

Once we reached there, we realised the Groom could not get out of the Porsche 997 he came in because "little virgin boy" (henceforth known as LVB) was no where to be seen! No LVB no get out my friends. So in the car he sat for a while before LVB rode up in his SUV (dad driving of course) and rescued the Groom in Distress!

No having done that, the games were about to begin! First up some light banter and then challenge no.1 was up. Wasabi Sandwiches. Everyone had one! To be fair they were all bite sized only (yippedidooda!) Took my piece found it surprisingly good (Now I was wide eyed!!) found that some of the heng tais had shirked away from their duty of eating it though. There were 3 pieces left. Damn it!! Who didn't eat it! I dunno why I did it but what the heck, some stupid (probably drunk) part of my brain said just do it! Pick the plate up and eat it! So I did! It was fine but the bread was dry so I took a drink... and CHOKED!!! cos it went down the wrong passageway! Arrrggghhh... I choked for the cause Ian!! U better appreciate it!

Next was the drinking challenge. Blended bittergourd was the flavour of the drink and thick and lumpy was the way to go. Thankfully I was still busy choking on wasabi sandwiches so I got to skip that! Phew... I hate bittergourd!! The heng tai's finished that in no time! Bring it on Chi Muis!!

Up next was the eating challenge again! Eggs with Red HOT Chillis and Wasabi was the way to go. Everyone MUST have a taste! I remember mine... no eggs only chillis. So wat did I do? I asked for more!!! YEAH!! WHO THE MAN!! - er.. ME! in case you didn't know! :) I was actually asking for more eggs but what the heck... I got a bit more eggs and a whole lot more chillis and wasabi. Thanks to the Chi Mui known as Kim! I will remember u!

Having done that, the Chi Muis decided to "ease up" on us and let us have 2 drinks. One Sweet THick Honey (mmm..... good!) and the other sour lemon/lime (mmm... good too!! ) :P That was easy peasy!

Now we were through the main door. Only the bedroom door to go!! This is where the "fun" began! What do hairy ppl fear the most? WAXING!!! and all the heng tais got a wax job. Heck I even asked them for more cos the job was uneven! Heh heh... Proof that I did it? Here you go:-

so smooth!

After the waxing... well some had no hair so no problem. One did his belly button area! OUCH! :P It was time for the next challenge. One Heng tai was selected to hang 2 apples around his crotch area (YEs I know... eeewww....) and the guys had to each take a bite of the apples hanging there (double eeewwww....). I pray that the fella didn't get a hard on cos it would be really worrisome!! heh heh

With that out of the way, the final hurdle was price negotiating. Chi Mui's wanted red packets as payment for entry into the room. So I was in charge of negotiation! AND I think the guys did quite well here thanks to some savvy negotiation (thank you thank you!) We were in and the groom had finally found his bride! YAY!!!

All that was left was the destruction of pride and growling of wasabi stomachs. Hope we made a good impression on the chi muis! :P All in all, we did wat we had to do to secure our buddy his bride! You deserve it buddy!!

CONGRATULATIONS IAN and JOANNE! May your life together as husband and wife be very productive and fruitful and joyous one filled with LOVE, LAUGHTER and HAPPINESS FOREVER!

08 May 2008

I'm a poker addict!

"Hi! My name is Ken and I am a poker addict"

"Hi Ken, welcome to Poker's Anonymous" would be the chorus of voices I hear in reply...

Ok... that would be the case IF there was a Poker's Anonymous AND IF I was really a poker addict (Still in denial!!).

By Poker here I mean the most popular game in recent times - Texas Hold-Em Poker. Its like the most exciting game out there rite now. Made popular of course in movies like "Rounders" and more recently in James Bond and the new series "Tilt".
Best starting hand in Texas Hold Em poker game

It has to be immensely popular if there is a world Series of Poker. Now on a side note, when you hear the words "world series" you would know for a fact that its an american thing and most likely 90% of the players would be Americans and no one else in the world is so excited about it nor do they play it. E.g. World Series Baseball, World Series Football (American Football and not the beautiful game of "soccer" - p.s. When u use your hands to throw a ball it CANNOT be called FOOTball!!!)

However, when it comes to Texas Hold Em poker... it is the exception rather than the general rule. Everyone plays it now or at elast knows how to do so. :) and fortunately or unfortunately I know how to play and I enjoy it too! (Damn! The chinaman gambler in me comes to fore!!)

The purpose of this post? Nothing much except to issue a warning to my fellow poker players (who recently took my money!) I'll be back to get my money... just you wait!! hahahhaa... now you've heard it here first! Gambler Ken is gunning for you.

Maybe I should change the blog's name to Gambler Ken Lai instead of Dragon... hmmm... food for thought!? :P

Probably it should have been,

"Hi, My name is Ken and I am a gambling addict!"...

sigh... what can I do? Its in my blood... I'm chinese... We LOVE gambling! rite? :P

02 May 2008

She Walks in Beauty

Recently I have been re-reading some of my poetry from my college days and I have sort of have this poem stuck in my head for a while now... I have always thought it to be strangely captivating... tells of perfection I believe...

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

~ Lord George Gordon Byron