- Intimacy issues and . I have trouble trusting people and getting close to them until they’ve been around me for a while. Most people don’t spend enough time in my life for me to start to see them as a real person.
- High standards. I may be sad and lonely, but at least I’m not desperate. I want to date someone who’s kind, attractive, andbrilliant. Anything less than this would disappoint me.
- Self-esteem issues. I want to be the perfect boyfriend. I want to be stable and reliable. I want to be a good provider, a pillar of strength, who gives things out instead of taking them. I’m none of these things, and it bothers me. I don’t likely doing anything halfway. I can get jealous when people are successful. I constantly feel like I’m unattractive and I’m not living up to my potential.
- Social incompetence. I’m not the most socially intuitive person. I focus on details instead of seeing the big picture. That is, I try to beright sometimes when I should just be there. Moreover, I want to be loyal, but I’m constantly moving through a world of mixed signals, or at least signals that are below my threshold of sensitivity. I’m not certain what it means when people want to hang out with me. As a result, I’m not sure what my obligations are at any particular moment. When I give mixed signals, it’s because I’m sensing mixed signals, and rather than shut down altogether, or risk humiliating myself by asking, I just try to split the difference and put off actually figuring it all out until later.
- Obliviousness and distractability. Want someone to focus just on you and cater to you like you’re the center of the universe? That’s not me. No matter how good things gets, I’m always thinking about something else. The ceiling could fall in right next to me, and I wouldn’t notice because I’d be too busy staring off into space, thinking about something else (verb conjugation or noun categories of a language spoken deep in a jungle somewhere, probably). Unlike most people, it takes me a lot of effort not to concentrate on something, but what I’m concentrating on is rarely what I’m actually supposed to be focused on.
- Awkward romance. What’s worse than not being romantic? Trying to be romantic and being bad at it. Approaching every date like that episode of Community where Abed tries to recreate My Dinner with Andre. Think back to the last romcom you watched and just think how badly things could have gone if someone had completely misread the situation. Imagine wanting very badly to fall in love and feel passionately about something and being utterly incompetent at it. How do those people in the movies do it? How do they seem to read each other’s minds? I don’t know. I’ve discovered it’s pointless to try to apply the narrative structure of a romantic comedy to real life.
- Poverty and lack of ambition. I’m the furthest thing from a yuppie. I don’t make a lot of money. I’ve never in my life made enough money to file for taxes. I sort of bum around. Most of what I’ve done have been non-jobs, just sort of dipping my toe into the economy on the gig-side. Although I’m nearly thirty, right now I’m teaching English overseas for the second time, a stereotypical gap year career move if ever there was one. If you have a plan for your life, I probably don’t fit on it. If you want long term earning potential, something to pay the mortgage on your cottage in the countryside and food and clothes for your two and a half children, or support you in the lifestyle to which you’re accustomed, tipping baristas $25 a pop, or even just paying the cover charge at that trendy club located down an alley in some famous city where the fog and the sky scrapers conspire to hide the sun from you, don’t be fooled. It’s not me.
- Effeteness. In general I’m not very manly. I don’t watch sports or drink beer or pick up women in bars. I brag, sometimes. Not very convincingly and not often, but sometimes. Although I can reach things on the top shelf and open pickle jars, I’m bad at lifting heavy objects and anything relating to cars. I don’t play as female characters online or anything, but I do regularly watch, read, and otherwise consume media with female protagonists.
- Melancholy. A lot of what’s wrong with me could be forgiven if I were vivacious and uplifting. But I’m not. I’m not the sort of person you want around you to cheer you up. I can be charming. I can be funny, when I need to. But it’s draining. It’s not that I’m an introvert who’s drained by being around people in general. I’m drained by trying to do anything. As they said in Office Space, It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s that I just don’t care. Most of the time it’s pretty dark in the mind, and the stuff that other people find so inspiring or meaningful, especially the New Age-y stuff like the Secret or Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, just bore me.
- Incorrigibility. I don’t take criticism well, and I don’t easily learn from my mistakes. I have to make a mistake at least twice before I learn from it, and trying to steer me from my course can be like talking to a brick wall. It’s not that I’m that stubborn or that convinced of my own righteousness. I’m just that cut off. I hear people, but I don’t understand, or I analyze what they say on a shallow level without taking any lessons from it.
Month: June 2013
Open Letter to McDonald’s Singapore
I urge you not to hold any more of such campaigns in future. This episode has lead to an ugly chain of events because of this Hello Kitty soft toys.
1. People who wanted to eat McDonalds only are forced to join the long queues before they can buy their food and eat.
2. People fight and quarrel with each other and McDonalds staff just because they cannot get their soft toys.
3. People waste food after getting the soft toys. They buy the food for the soft toys, not for eating. In the end, these people throw the food away, lead to tons of food wastage.
4. People bought more soft toys than they needed and deprive those real collects who only need 1 or 2.
5. People who brought in large quantities, holding the supplies, deliberately sold these sets at ridiculously high prices in the black market, to those real collectors.
6. Why do MacDonalds allow one person to buy more than one in the first place? It should only allow one person for one soft toy in the first place.
7. Why did McDonalds allow people to queue for the soft toys in the first place before the time starts to sell the soft toys? Leaving those who wants to buy food only into confusion, whether to join the queue or form another queue for food only? The latter may leave some accused of cutting queues instead. McDonalds should have allowed queuing after the time promotion starts.
8. What is the rationale and business nature of McDonalds in the first place? It’s selling food, not soft toys. McDonalds should ensure quality food and service, not come up with such promotions that bring its service and quality of food to another lower level.
9. Why did McDonalds puts its front line staff into such crazy promotions at such late wee hours at nights and early mornings to deal with various kinds of absurd requests? Shouldn’t it be a company that takes care of the rights and benefits of their staffs instead? Should be the starting time for the soft toys fixed at timings like 9am to 9pm only instead? Which is more manageable by the staff because the absence of the working crowd.
10. Shouldn’t McDonalds stop the promotion completely once fights breakout and once and for all cease the promotions to prevent further of such misbehaviors of such people which affects other people who really want to eat in the restaurant and affects other shoppers around the outlets?
Thus I am completely disappointed with McDonalds this time as it is more focused on selling soft toys more than food, and the quality of food and service go down with this promotion, which is simply irrelevant to the company nature of business.
So I seriously hope that McDonalds will not hold any more of such campaign and will not sell any more merchandise related to Hello Kitty in future. And focus more on quality of good and service instead.
Mid-Year Recap – Kiva Loans
Perhaps talking about bi-curiosity might be pushing the boundaries of comfortable conversational topics. But what hurts the most is that she is accusing me of ‘taking advantage of her ignorance’. Like seriously, she thinks Fun Run is a sex game or something?
Chins up, Brian. Some people are just not worth your time and energy (:
On another note, the haze just hit 401 just as we wrapping up our rehearsal for the Talent Showcase. The view from The Plaza on Beach Road at 11.15am on June 21, 2013.
Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.
– Winston Churchill
Singapore’s Version of Iron Dome
I just had a random brainwave today to build portable air defence systems atop HDB flats around Singapore. Perhaps this can form the basis for a future research project at CMU! 😀
An interesting article from Haaretz.
A Paris-based online magazine covering intelligence and security issues this week called Singapore one of the most important customers of Israel’s defense industry, laying bare the active, though secret, relationship between Israel and Singapore that began more than 40 years ago – a statement that comes after years in which Israel censored all local articles on the subject.
Intelligence Online, which is published in English on a bimonthly basis, states that the Southeast Asian island state helped finance the Iron Dome system designed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to intercept short-range missiles and rockets, in exchange for which it is supposed to receive several Iron Dome systems to deploy on its territory.
Even more interesting is the possibility the article raises that Iron Dome was designed first and foremost for the benefit of Singapore – not for the protection of Sderot and the southern communities in Israel that suffered from Qassam rocket attacks and mortar fire for seven years and are still suffering (though Iron Dome is not capable of intercepting mortar shells).
Israeli media have previously hinted at this, but the Defense Ministry has vehemently denied it.
The suspicions were bolstered by the fact that after the system was developed and one battery had been deployed as an Israel Defense Forces base, it turned out that the Defense Ministry had no budget for additional batteries. In that case, why was there a need to develop a system for which there is no budget and which the IDF does not intend to deploy?
According to Intelligence Online, which focuses on arms transactions between countries and corporations and on appointments of intelligence personnel and their clandestine activity, the Iron Dome transaction is the latest between Israel and Singapore.
The Web site, whose articles are available only to paid subscribers, has thousands of readers, including Israelis.
Iron Dome, which its developers said was tested successfully a few months ago, as Israeli media have previously reported, cost roughly $250 million to develop.
One battery, whose production cost is about $50 million, has already been deployed at a base in the south of the country, but so far has not been readied for operational purposes and has not yet been activated.
The anti-aircraft division of the Israel Air Force, which is responsible for operating Iron Dome, is training teams at a base in the north.
They will be operating the system in Israel, with the aim of intercepting Qassam and Katyusha rockets up to a distance of 40 kilometers.
Vulcan-Phalanx: cheaper and more accessible
Intelligence Online also repeats an argument published in recent years in Israel to the effect that if the Defense Ministry had really wanted to protect the residents of the south quickly and cheaply, it could have acquired a cheaper and more accessible defense system than Iron Dome: the batteries of the Vulcan-Phalanx cannon system manufactured by Raytheon.
The land-based version of the batteries, called Centurion, are deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are used to protect American and NATO forces.
Although Defense Minister Ehud Barak has told Haaretz several times that Israel will acquire the Vulcan-Phalanx system, that has yet to happen.
In other words, the Defense Ministry may have given Rafael a development budget as a way of positioning the project as an Israeli military system that is ostensibly being used by the IDF but is really aimed at improving Israel’s chances of selling it to Singapore and other countries.
Small country, hostile population
The cooperation between Israel and Singapore rests on the two small countries’ shared sense of being under threat, since both are surrounded by a hostile Muslim population and want advanced weapons systems to maintain a qualitative advantage over their neighbors.
The Intelligence Online article argues that the fight against fundamentalist Islamic terror over the past decade has increased the cooperation between the two countries, as well as their sense of a shared destiny. In recent years, Singapore has confronted threats by Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist group that operates in Southeast Asia.
The island state, a neighbor of Indonesia and Malaysia, has arrested dozens of the group’s operatives and exposed plans to attack the Israeli, American and Australian embassies, along with ships from those countries. One of Singapore’s main sources of income is the Port of Singapore, which claims to be the busiest port in the world.
According to the article, immediately after Singapore declared its independence in 1965 it asked Israel to help it establish an army. IDF officers including Rehavam Ze’evi (who became a right-wing cabinet member assassinated in 2001) and Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (now the industry, trade and labor minister) were sent to Singapore to head large delegations of military advisers, and helped build the army on the model of the IDF. Israeli military representatives have been active since then at the Israeli Embassy in Singapore, which was opened in 1969.
One of the issues the IDF representatives deal with is promoting large arms deals. Transactions mentioned in the article include Singapore’s purchase of Barak surface-to-air missiles manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and Israel’s upgrading of fighter planes belonging to Singapore’s air force.
In addition, Rafael supplied drones for naval missions and Israel’s Elbit Systems supplied its Hermes drone.
Intelligence Online also says there is naval cooperation between the two countries, and notes that the commander of Israel’s navy, Admiral Eli Marom, had previously represented Israel in Singapore.
As well as from UPI
Singapore is reported to be acquiring Israel’s new Iron Dome anti-missile air-defense system under a once-secret military cooperation pact with the Jewish state that dates to the 1960s.
Indeed, according to the Paris Intelligence Online Web site, Singapore helped finance the development of the system by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
It says that Iron Dome was always intended for the island, a key Asian shipping hub and one of the richest per capita states in the world, because of its strategic location as a trading center.
The Israeli air force, which runs the Jewish state’s air defense network, completed test-firings of the system in January and the first battery is currently becoming operational.
Israeli media reports say the missiles, designed to shoot down hostile missiles with ranges of up to 25 miles, are being deployed along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
There are growing fears of a new Middle Eastern war and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiite movement in Lebanon, has an arsenal of up to 45,000 rockets and missiles, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has claimed.
Israel’s defense links with largely Chinese Singapore go back to 1965, shortly after the island city-state, a former British colony off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, split from the Federation of Malaysia.
Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, wanted to establish a military to defend Singapore, which has a landmass of only 274 square miles, since it was ringed by Muslim nations — as is Israel.
He turned to the Jewish state, through the Israeli ambassador in Thailand, for help. Israel sent a military mission led by Maj. Gen. Rehavam Ze’evi, then deputy head of the military’s operations branch. (Ze’evi was assassinated in Jerusalem by Palestinian gunmen in October 2001.)
Lee insisted on secrecy because he didn’t want to antagonize his Muslim neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia. The team of Israeli instructors arrived in October 1965. Lee wrote in his 2000 autobiography: “To disguise their presence, we called them ‘Mexicans.’ They looked swarthy enough.”
Today, Singapore’s armed forces, 72,500-strong, are considered one of the most advanced militaries in Southeast Asia.
Iron Dome will be a crucial element in Singapore’s drive to build a defensive shield around one of the world’s biggest and most important ports.
Israel is determining how many batteries of Iron Dome and two other systems that will make up its planned multi-layered missile shield, will be required. Each battery, which costs $50 million, can cover an area of around 60 square miles, which means 13 of them would be needed to cover all of Israel.
The Arrow-2 high-altitude anti-missile system, the only tier to be fully tested and established, cost some $2 billion to develop, largely with U.S. funds.
Israel shunned buying already developed U.S. systems, which would be cheaper. So far, the Defense Ministry has budgeted for one Iron Dome battery but will clearly need several more.
“So why develop such an expensive system, instead of acquiring Raytheon’s cheaper Centurion system?” Intelligence Online asked.
“Some Israeli arms programs are too costly for the local market and are developed principally for export. Iron Dome is a typical example.
“From the outset, Iron Dome was always intended for Singapore, which helped finance its development,” Intelligence Online explained. “Iron Dome will be battle-tested in Israel ahead of export to Singapore at a late date.”
Singapore has bought Israeli weapons systems extensively over the years and Israeli defense companies regularly participate at the annual Singapore Air Show.
Israeli Aerospace Industries, state-owned flagship of Israel’s defense industry, has sold Singapore the Barak-1 naval anti-aircraft system. Rafael’s electronic warfare systems are widely deployed with the Singapore navy.
IAI upgraded the Singapore air force’s old 1960s-era Northrop F-5 Tiger fighters, and with Elbit Systems and Singapore Aerospace won a contract in 1997 to modernize Turkey’s fleet of F-5A/B and NF-5A/B aircraft fighter jets.
Singapore has also acquired unmanned aerial vehicles from Elbit and Rafael for surveillance to enhance maritime security in the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea.
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