Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | By: VenWizard

Aspirations

There is no doubt that I have been spending a lot of time on my own these days. Yes, I used to be all sad and rush into the whole I-hate-my-life self-pity. But as I aged, and as positivity stepped into my life, I realised that being alone deserves being credited for as much as being surrounded by good companies. It is just a matter of the angle from which you are seeing the situation, you see! Anyway, one of the good things is definitely the rare opportunity that you get to explore yourself even more. Usually, people we hang out with--whether you are aware of it or not, or whether you like it or not--influence you in many ways. The way you think is, therefore, affected, and a lot of good new fresh ideas that pop up in your head are usually compromised to serve the best interests of the entire clique. However, after some time of being literally detached yourself from the people you used to hold dear and near, you are able to sit down and spend a lot of time to get to know yourself even better: your likes and dislikes, your inspirations, your aspirations, and the list goes on. A lot of people take a look at me, and they get into the whole dramatic mood, expressing concern and sadness over my solitude, but the truth is that they have no idea how much freedom I am actually having, and that for the first time in a long time, I have known myself so well. 

The following are the aspirations that I have, and that I hope to fulfil--as a result of the journey of self-discovery:

-Publishing a book: I know that this has always been a dream, and I am just two stories away from having a complete compilation. Following the book publication, I would love to host a number of workshops on creative writing, aiming to give insights to university students who have the flair for novel writing so that they can be inspired and they too can take it to the next level and start publishing their own works. Of course, I am going to start from IFL, and I will see how well it will be received!

-Owning a pub: Yes, a pub! A pub born out of my creativity and passion and commitment! I have already talked about this in my previous post. 

-Owning a Wedding Planner Company/Agency: My passion for this dated back way way before my brother's wedding. Again, with this, I think I can pour out my creativity, and turn someone's wedding into a day even more memorable than it already is. The thing I have noticed over the years with the weddings is that they do not really go outside the box with all the preparations.

-Owning a boutique hotel: This has something to do with the hospitality field. And this project is going to be scheduled a bit further away than the rest mentioned here because first, I need enough money, and second, I need to learn more about the hospitality business before I can venture into this, and hopefully, my pub business can pave the way. Phnom Penh is not going to be the targeted place. 

-My government thing? Well i would like to keep it as a secret. 

Okay, I believe that people grow and evolve, and as I grow older and more experienced in the business field, I may probably wanna embark on other projects as well. I think people should dream. These dreams make waking up each day meaningful and keep you on the right track! 

What are yours?
Thursday, December 11, 2014 | By: VenWizard

Business

Being in your 20s, especially your late 20s, after you have graduated from your college for 5 or 6 years, career-wise, you are still in the middle of nowhere. Even if you are unfortunate enough to land with the kind of job that you love at your dream workplace, it is likely that 5 or 6 years is enough to put you in a position where you feel that you have outgrown what you have been doing for the past 5 or 6 years.

Likewise, in my case, I am at a point in life where I feel I have passion for business. I know it might come across as "wildly random" for some people who have never got to know me well, but deep down I think I have the brain for business! The prospect of the high level of creativity it allows excites me! And i am the kind of person who loves to be one step ahead of others in terms of creativity, who thinks outside the box. 

And yes, because I have started my work as a government official for some time now, i start to realise how little room there is for creativity when it comes to dealing with "government tasks". Will I give it up? Nope, I won't! But I have to look for other means to sustain the creative side of mine.

This leads to my intention to open up a pub in town! Right! I have talked to a few friends of mine who share similar passion and interest, and we have brainstormed pretty much the basic concept of what we want our pub to be like. Despite the fact that pubs are mushrooming all over the city, there is nothing like ours (and yes, I can't disclose the key concept here). We want to set ours apart from the existing one. I mean, there is no point opening up a pub just to follow the trend. We open the pub and we set the trend!

Just thinking about the possibility of owning a pub where I could put my own effort and creativity psyches me! Of course, we do not wish to go big as a start-up! Also, we do not want to venture into this business without being much prepared. So, we would like to give ourselves 1 and a half to two years before anything materialises. I know that business is risky, but we would like to take this risk!

I hope everything will go well!
Thursday, November 27, 2014 | By: VenWizard

The Head

Suddenly it feels like i'm being back at one again!

I'm talking about the whole pieces of business and career ideas that are randomly floating around in my head. Well, it is not that i am not sure about what i'm doing, but the problem with me is if i keep doing something, i am a workaholic! That is to say, I am crazy into it! But … the moment something happens that interrupts the flow, it sends me back into the whole dreamy lazy state. Yes, it has been 10 days since the wedding, yet things haven't fallen back into place on my part yet--the mental part! I don't know … I just can't focus and drag myself back to work. Apparently I have been on leave for 10 days now (how ridiculous!), and yes, i do need the transition for my part too. I know it sounds absurd since I am not the one getting married and having to start a new chapter of married life! But still, I need some time to clear my head.

Anyways, I'd like to share this lovely photo. Love it so much!

Monday, November 24, 2014 | By: VenWizard

The Wedding and What Follows

So … my brother finally stripped himself off the single status he had been carrying around for 32 years. To say that he was lucky to be able to tie the knot with my sister-in-law was an understatement! What a perfect match they made! I couldn't be happier for him! 

The wedding they hosted was beautiful and amazing. Well, I don't mean to take credits for making everything go according to the plan, but as far as everyone is concerned, I managed the whole thing. Yes! You heard me right! There were times along the way when I was really on the verge of losing it, but I managed to pull myself together and kept reminding myself that I did it all for my brother and my sister-in-law … out of love!

The strange thing is how I felt after the wedding was over! I don't know whether any of you have felt this way, but right now I am kinda feeling a little lost and disoriented. I used to feel that way when I lost a few close friends and my dates. I know all my brother was to move in with his wife to his wife's house, but I couldn't help but sensed the emptiness somehow. It's not that he won't visit. But still … this is probably because of how close we had always been as brothers, and I had always been pretty much attached to him. I sorta feel embarrassed to even think of sharing all this with my friends. They will just probably think I am making a hill out of a small mole or something. The truth is my parents are the most affected! Mum is more quiet, and yes, she keeps saying she is still worn out from all the wedding fuss. but deep down, I know she misses her son. So does my dad--though he tries to act tough.

I just don't know whether we ever get to be accustomed to the way things are at home in the absence of my brother. But hopefully whatever it is exactly we are feeling, which weighs quite heavily on our heart, will wear off soon, so that we can get on with our lives!
Monday, September 29, 2014 | By: VenWizard

Phobia

Let's talk about phobias! Yes, phobias! I believe everyone has phobias! I do too, but I am not sure whether it is just me or there are actually some others out there who have the phobias I am going to talk about too!

Height? Insects? Defeat?

Nahhhh … not really! I mean, admit it, everyone is afraid of height! Don't you dare tell me you are not! I think everyone is scared of height. I mean, who wouldn't? Just imagine standing on a glass floor of a glass cable car 200 meters above the sea level!!! It scares the poop out of you, i'm sure! And then we have those who are scared of insects? And when I ask them why, they start trying so hard to make insects look scary by talking about how those tiny wiggling things have the ability to squeeze their way through the ear holes!!! Well, to be honest, I am NOT scared of insects!! And admittedly, I find it ridiculous, but well I try not to judge them because it is phobia we are talking about here--it can be stupid and ridiculous, yet it is scary to some. Ok, so what about defeat? Does the prospect of failing or losing something I have been working so hard for scares me? Yes, it does! But living in this world where everyone fails at one thing or another, I have learnt to make peace with defeat. I know at one point i will fail or I already have at something, but instead of seeing it as a scar for life, I view it as a lesson learnt! Yes! A lesson! And I move on from it and live my life because I think just because I fail to get something I desire at one point doesn't define me as a loser unless I give it all up. In fact, you can say whether someone fails or succeeds only at his funeral when you are listening to or reading the eulogy. But even then, it really depends on what area of life we are talking about!

Anyway, the phobia I am going to talk about today is none of the above. It somehow sounds crazy, but it is my phobia!

Ringing phone! Yes! I know some of you go, "Seriously? A phone? A ringing phone?" Exactly! A ringing phone! Let me explain.

People who are close to me and therefore know me better can tell you that I love texting. There are times they call me yet I do not pick the calls, and instead text them back. They come up with all sorts of reasons why calling is a lot easier, yet I still find texting a lot more convenient. Isn't it crazy? I have tried to ask myself why, and I think mostly it has something to do with the fact that I am better at writing than speaking? Because when I talk on the phone, of course, I have to think about topics first before I get to the point. Weather. Well-being. The cliche Hey-how-are-you-? question. When texting, we can just cut to the chase, and say exactly what we want. Also, sometimes there are strange numbers! I hate strange numbers! They keep calling and calling despite my attempt to ignore the calls because I have no idea who it is talking on the other side. And what really annoys me is that they won't stop calling! I mean, isn't it common sense that you text the person after he does not pick up the calls? Because I rarely call strange numbers back and because they do not leave text messages after the missed calls, some information is lost. 

I know it sounds psychotic! But it is my phobia! And when we talk about phobias, we most of the time are not able to explain them.

Do you think I am a psycho or something?
Monday, August 25, 2014 | By: VenWizard

Are you a HATER?

Imagine you are snatched from your dreamland and back into the reality by the most nerve-wracking noise in the world: the alarm clock. You curse the alarm under your breath. You toss and turn a bit in your bed. You stretch your body. Then you extend your arm to reach for your phone, which has apparently been asleep by your side the whole night as well. You scroll here and here, and when you see "Facebook", you give the icon a gentle touch with your index finger. It is just a matter of seconds before your entire phone screen is engulfed by people's statuses, pictures, and videos. You have no idea what you are looking for exactly, but you just keep on scrolling down. At this point, what greet your heavy puppy eyes in the morning are: a very personal status of an old-time high school friend who describes how much she is missing her ex, a video clip of a sassy-looking contestant on The Voice Cambodia, and an "Ice Bucket Challenge" video in which a girl in her pyjamas pours a bucket of iced water over her head in response to the challenge put forth by her best friend. 

The question is: how will you react to the status, and the two videos?

The question could be instrumental in figuring out whether or not you are a HATER!

As far as I am concerned, a number of people tend to subconsciously put negative labels on people and things by basing on their perceived standard norms, which define what is normal and what is desired. As a result, chances are these people love to criticise rather than critique. Also, they retreat into very comfortable assumption that if anything or anybody is perceived to be "weird", there is nothing positive worth mentioning. The truth is they need to embrace differences and learn to accept the differences! Just because people do or say things contrary to their expectations does not necessarily imply the negativity on the part of those people or things. As a matter of fact, I believe there is always a lesson that can be learnt from everyone, no matter how "weird" they are. 

The moment you start updating a status about your personal thoughts or heart-felt experiences, some people will just emerge out of nowhere and stick a label to your forehead: "DRAMATIC". Just because they do not undergo the same experience or have the same way of expressing their thoughts does not make updating personal emotional statuses awful in any ways. They should learn to accept and embrace the fact that their way of dealing with their emotions is not any better. The same goes to people who are negatively critical about The Voice Cambodia. First, it is an international franchise, and therefore along with the licensed TV show comes expectations from the pioneer producers. Second, the fact that the coaches get a little playful with the contestants and a little vocal about trying to have the desired contestants on their team does not make the show or the judges bad. Yes, almost anything about The Voice Cambodia is different from what we normally see on TV: uptight, cold, and old judges; lack of encouraging physical contacts with the contestants in the form of a handshake or a hug; and very boring MCs. It is time they learnt to be more open, or Cambodians in general will be far behind because the first thing we do is to say "NO" to the slightest alteration or change. Then it brings me to the whole talk about "The Ice Bucket Challenge"! I believe there is nothing bad in accepting it as long as you know clearly what it is for or you feel genuine in doing it for a good cause. I was told by a friend that she would never accept the challenge because "it was too mainstream". It got me thinking, "What is wrong with being too mainstream? Does this whole mainstream idea have anything to do with making the speaker any less awesome?

It frustrates me when I am surrounded by a lot of people who react very quickly to new changes just because they are not familiar with them. All I am asking for is for them to be more open to new changes, embrace them, critique if they have to--but don't criticise, and learn to see the good in everything they label as "bad" or "weird".
Friday, August 8, 2014 | By: VenWizard

The Movie~entirely fictional

"Can I have F15, please?" I pointed at the tiny screen displaying the seats for "The Ugly Ghost", which would be screened at 7: 50 PM.

"Just one seat, sir?" The beautiful, pink-bloused counter lady with the ponytail beamed widely.

"Yes, just one! This new place is pretty quiet, isn't it? Apparently, I might be the only one watching this movie at 7: 50PM." I attempted to be a little bit more friendly, strangely feeling sorry for her. After all this place looked almost deserted, and for someone as stunning as she was, with her oval-shaped face, her black silky hair that was tied at the back into a ponytail, and a smile that could virtually melt your heart, it was undeniable that she belonged to a more decent place worthy of being more frequently visited by enthusiastic movie goers.

"Just watch out! It's Pchum Ben, after all! You never know what is in store for you ... in addition to the movie, sir!" She smiled again. My knees almost turned to jelly. 

"I can't wait! Just wish me luck, alright!" I smiled. Before she could get any more flirtatious with me, the man in the black suit, holding a walkie-talkie, marched in our direction, his eyes darting to the smiling counter lady, to me--apparently beaming like an idiot, and then back to the lady again.

Sensing the approaching presence of the man, she quickly typed here and there, and produced a ticket for me.

"3 Dollars, sir! Enjoy your movie!" She smiled again, and I returned the smile, stole a glance at the man, and walked in the direction of Hall 3.

After having my ticket inspected at the entrance of Hall 3, I took slow careful steps on the carpeted floor before my eyes could adjust to the darkness that engulfed the entire hall. F15, I reminded myself as I climbed up the steps, cautiously scrutinising the lighted letter at the beginning of each row. Once I found Row F, it was just a matter of seconds before I spotted my assigned seat. I settled down comfortably, swivelling around to see whether there had been any earlier arrivals. However, I was the only one in the hall. Chill ran down my spine and arms, giving me goosebumps. It was just the air con, I reassured myself, letting my thoughts wander off to the lady's joke. Pchum Ben … You never know what is in store for you. I shook the thought off my head.

The lights of the hall dimmed, and the gigantic canvas screen came into life. First, it was the teaser of Lucy. Then it was Sex Tape. Then … blackout. Dead silence hung over the hall. The only sound I could discern was from my heart that was beating more rapidly than usual. Pitch darkness swallowed up the entire hall. I reached down inside my right pocket for my phone as the source of light, but I found nothing except for some pieces of paper, which I assumed were the money notes. Then I reached down inside the left pocket, only to find nothing was there. I gave a long sigh of frustration in the total darkness and then bent forward, my fingers trying to feel my bag that had been positioned there after I took a seat. My fingers then felt the rough texture of the bag, and continued to run up and down the canvas material until they found the zip. Without further ado, I zipped it open, reached further down inside the bag, and withdrew the phone. I fumbled clumsily on the buttons of the phone, which as a result, projected some light.

I held my phone up in the air so that the light would cast its effect further into the darkness before where I was perching. To my surprise, three rows down, I could make out the outlines of some heads here and there, covered in black hair, some short and some so long that it went cascading down all the way to the waist. My heart was hammering against my chest. My pulses quickened. I swallowed hard. Don't be silly, Vendy, I reassured myself. They were late for the show, and that's why you didn't see them coming in. 

Then my hair stood on end. All of a sudden, I felt … breathing on my neck. It was warm. It smelled like rotten food. The stench stung my nostrils. Despite my inner effort to calm my nerves, my hands started trembling. Without turning around to investigate the source of the breathing, I snatched my half-opened bag forcibly off the floor, and with the little light the phone was shedding onto the carpet, I took to my heels. I ran so fast for my life. I bumped into sharp corners, yet I bolted so quickly for the entrance where I had come in earlier.

<>

The <> sign was flickering green as if waiting to spit me out of the nightmarish experience. With all my might, I ran towards the closed doors without thinking twice about how such an act could land me in a hospital for weeks. It's ok. It's ok. Run for the door and it's all over. Before I could reach the doors, they suddenly flung open from the outside. I came to an abrupt halt, gasping for air, and casting the light from my phone onto the sight before me.

I clutched my phone so tightly as if it was the last hope I had for survival, and raised it up high in the air to get a clearer view of the entire place. I turned around a few times to look for the cinema staff. The counter lady. The walkie-talkie man. Anyone at all.

There was no one!

My heart sank. My knees began shaking. It wasn't the lobby of the cinema! It wasn't the same place! It was … an abandoned building!

My phone shed light on the pile of the rubble before me. I shut my eyes tightly, opened them again, grit my teeth, and took a few shaky steps towards the pile to get a close-up look. Apparently, the pile was the result of the fallen ceiling since the light from my phone revealed a rather uneven hole in the above ceiling.

"Hello?" I cleared my throat and shouted out, attempting to conceal the fear that was creeping its way up and was ready to eat me up alive. The only reply to my question was its echo, reverberating throughout the deserted building. And then I felt something was … moving.

The pile of the rubble started stirring itself, stones at the top rolling down all the way to the bottom. No, no, no! Please, please, please! I wanted to run, yet my feet were rooted to the ground. My entire body was shaking like a leaf. Cold beads of sweat formed over my upper lip. My heart was palpitating so fast I knew it would burst out of my chest any moment. Yet my eyes were fixed on the rumbling rubble. Then I saw … it.

A crooked hand, bashed by the mighty force of the fallen ceiling, made its way out of the rubble pile. Then a head. The blood was gushing out of the hollow skull, streaming down the disfigured face. Slowly the figure rose to its full height. A smashed-up head, attached to the  still-intact body wrapped around in a pink blouse, legless and one arm dangling, swinging lifelessly midair.

I screamed at the top of my lungs, but no voice came out. The figure zoomed towards me until its face was only inches away from mine. Then …

"Just one seat, sir?"

I slowly opened my eyes. The disfigured face was gone. I was back in the same lobby I had once come in. I was still shaking from head to toe, and I was staring into the same eyes of the same beautiful, pink-bloused counter lady.

"What's going on?" I tried to conceal my fear, but my voice faltered.

"Just watch out! It's Pchum Ben, after all! You never know what's in store for you … in addition to the movie, sir!" She smiled at me.

Then the same man with the walkie-talkie walked in our direction, looking first at the counter lady, then at me, and finally back at the counter lady again.

I summoned all my might, and without another word, dashed out of the lobby, down the stairs, and towards my car parked on the ground floor … the only car on the ground floor. I fumbled for my car key in the pocket, and then tried to steady my shaky hand. Once I successfully opened the door, I jumped in, inserted the key, and started the engine. But something in the rear mirror caught my attention.

In the back seat, the beautiful, pink-bloused counter lady was smiling broadly at me, handing me a crumpled sheet of paper in her hand.

"3 Dollars, sir! Enjoy your movie!"

THE END.