Despite having just returned from a long vacation (technically), I still took the day off. I was pretty sure I could clear work up in time by Friday, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
First off, thanks to Alana and the folks at work for the shared birthday cake – yum.
Onwards to the actual day. Got up as usual, took the kids off to the daycare and did a U-turn back home, sauntering right back into bed. Bliss.
Post-nap: I finally managed to catch up with Andrew, after a seeming eternity – always good hanging loose and just talking about everything and anything.
My plan to meet Jack up for coffee however, fell apart. And so it came to be, that I spent the better part of three hours at Melbourne Central by myself. Sprawled on a couch outside Party World – reading. I was doing a GRR (Great Re-read, borrowed from WoT fandom) on Piers Anthony’s Adept series, and it just felt so good to read, listen to the songs in the background, and take a break, only to realise I could keep on reading. Simple pleasures of life.
Dinner was with Warren, and taking a walk down to Hisense for the Boomers game that night, and heading back home for a cake with the family. Stan’s interstate this year, so it’ll be the first in years that he’ll actually be absent from our annual celebration. It’s interesting to see Keilen actually enjoying this little tradition – the singing and clapping probably gets him a little more excited, and let’s not forget the cake. The kids were absolutely slavering, I learnt yesterday chocolate is their fatal weakness.
Let’s move on to some thoughts on the year, since the last keinday.
You wouldn’t think someone in my field travels a lot, but I managed another overseas trip last year – this time, over to our headquarters at North Carolina. Absolute fun to be able to meet a lot of the guys up close and in person, and huge thanks to Jared for being such a good host throughout the trip.
Outside of that, work hasn’t been too exciting. There’s a slow but definite increase in responsibilities, but that’s basically happening to everyone in the team, so I’m not too fussed.
Final S/O obviously, to the wonderful people at work. From my manager Andy, to the team (Jared, Crystal, Ravi, Tyler), and everyone at the Melbourne office, but special thanks to my mates at the sales team who always make me feel like I’m part of the gang – cheers Mono, Simon, Pete, Greg & Gibbo. Looking forward to many more great days ahead!
The Pick and Roll
Let’s talk about my favourite distraction after work. Relativity and all that applies here – a year feels like three, in PnR metrics.
Compared to twelve months back, I think the biggest visible improvement has been in the strength of the team. We’ve gotten some really good people on board, in no particular order: Alanna, Warren, Luke, Lachy and Matt. Having committed, passionate folks who know their stuff and can handle their own without micro-management, allows us to take another step forward in broadening and improving the quality of our coverage. I’ll elaborate a little here, to give credit where it’s due; it’s things like Alanna and Lachy’s knowledge/commitment on women’s basketball, Warren’s expertise and ceaseless effort in research, interviews and constructing storylines for feature pieces, and Luke’s prolific (almost effortless) writing on multiple areas, and Matt’s solid contribution on the FIBA end of things, that’s made the site take a big step forward.
I’m not forgetting our veterans of course; Jayme’s taken it upon himself to do not only writing, but also video/GIFs and graphics, whilst Winston and Hayley have continued to put forth the consistent effort and quality that’s made these guys so important to AITNBA. Warren’s presence here has given us a different voice; having both news cycle coverage and feature pieces visibly enriches the site’s content.
Our multimedia skills have also grown since last year. Alistar used to be the only one who did video, but we now have multiple folks (Warren, Jayme, myself) who can do video, and Winston’s also picked up the basics of nabbing a GIF. Our video skills in turn, have translated into growth on the YouTube channel. It’s not just our writing, but our videos provide another outlet for people to know us – they are embedded into pieces from other sites (including Basketball Australia for example), that gives us added exposure.
How about Instagram? It was an abandoned project that Darrel started initially, but Hayley’s taken complete ownership and grown it from ground zero. We’re closing in on our thousandth follow this year, and it’s Hayley who’s curated the mix of Aussie hoop snaps and videos (not forgetting hashtagging) that’s allowed us to gain notice.
Obviously, not forgetting Damo and Stevo, who have continued to steer the helm together, our third year running. There’s something to be said about knowing the unquestioned commitment all of us have, and reassurance in the fact that we’re all in this journey together, no matter what. And for that, I’m thankful.
OU left when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join Fox Sports Australia presented itself. Ironically, I was the one who made the recommendation. His departure scuttled our coverage somewhat, but life is full of choices like that – you can’t be selfish and deny lifechanging moments like these, just because it doesn’t benefit your end of the scale. I’m glad I was able to pull the string and get him onto a dream career, something he’s thoroughly enjoying these days, for obvious reasons.
It’s a blessing that things have gone the way they have. My time this year has been severely curtailed; two working parents with two kids and no help, calls for a lot of juggling and mad scrambling, especially in the mornings and evenings. I’ve honestly only managed to keep doing what I’m doing at PnR without burning out, because I know for a fact that these guys can be counted on.
The past months have cleared my vision considerably too; I came to terms with the talent drain. The end goal is still for us to grow into our own as a legitimate, big-time media organisation, but I now see us also as a springboard to grow budding journalists, and extend our own network that way. It’s also sharpened my desire to only invest time and effort into grooming people who are committed to us in turn.
Enough of this, let’s move on. But I’m excited as always, to see what the next twelve months bring.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, life is more of a mad scramble these days. I like to think that we’ve adapted our routine decently, the only real downside being a lack of personal time. I do my best not to head out on weekdays, because I know how tough it is getting the kids to bed alone. Basically: things you have to be mindful of, when you’re one half of a team. That’s limited my time to catch up with friends very severely, but I guess it is what it is – this year’s just tough.
V has been a champ throughout, and the kids are well, kids. Elly’s still got her diva/princessy moments, but she’s a trooper most days, just a cheery little beam of sunshine. Lenny on the other hand, is a typical mule-headed wrecking ball most days, and a savant of street smarts sometimes. He hasn’t quite learnt to speak yet, and I’m really curious to find out what his ceiling is, to borrow a term from NBA sports talk.
The big three-week “vacation” we had in Singapore, was a masterclass in understanding I didn’t belong in Singapore’s climate anymore. Humidity + heat? No thanks, I’ll pass. Lenny didn’t take things very well either – the poor boy was having a heat rash most days, and would only exist in comfort when an air-conditioned room presented itself.
V and I managed to sneak a sidetrip to Thailand in between. A week of enjoying ourselves as a couple, and forgetting about being parents for a bit. We really needed it. And huge, huge thanks to Marc once more, who’s taken it upon himself to show us so many hidden gems. His hospitality and warmth is undoubtedly the highlight of every Bangkok holiday I’ve ever had.
The other thing I enjoyed during this trip to Singapore, were the seemingly endless conversations and meetups I had with all the friends who took time out. A big thank you to everyone! I’m obviously not doing the conversations any justice with these one-liners, but here we go.
- Endless suppers with LS, a great pool session, shopping, and what could likely be my biggest achievement in 2016 – successfully taught her to cycle (again). I’m pretty sure she’ll remember it for good this time.
- My old mate ahlong, where no topic is ever off limits. Just a couple of old geezers having fun over murtabak, and yakking our heads off.
- the HOTL3 folks: Adri, Andrew, Aloy and CL, YB – so good to see everyone again, kids and all. Especially Aloy, whom I’ve not met in years. Like, many years.
- ex-Melbourne folks Honda, Benson, Steph, catching up over good food at Bedok 85
- Kenneth at Yoshinoya for lunch – thank you for coming all the way down!
- my buddy from the NS days, WJ who’s still valiantly grinding along the road of entrepeneurship, life and romance.
- Brian, another pal whom I’ve got along with brilliantly since that fateful BBQ in East Coast, love our talks about life in general. He’s just one of those guys I can talk with and not have to worry about words being taken the wrong way.
- my basketball folks (Alan, ZY, JH, YL, Victor, CL, even JW’s unexpected appearance). It seems like we ended up eating more than we did basketball.
- Winston of the PnR gang, who got me back down to Chomp Chomp after countless years of absence. And yes, I got the satay I was aiming for a year ago.
- QL, who managed to squeeze a quick catchup at a void deck, while disembowelling a late lunch of chicken rice, before rushing back home
- basketball with my man TX, and getting my wedding album at long last!
- good old “Uncle” Lester, who came by for dinner and even took us to the airport on D-Day. Always nua, but never fails to deliver.
- breakfast with WY and Pat at their lovely home, along with little Gracie. Thanks for getting breakfast together, and spending the morning with us
- sporadic time with NZ, from basketball to the MRT to his place – just getting chats in whenever we can.
- breakfast as usual with good old Nick – I love this guy.
- catching up with my 1-Net guys: ZM, Alvin. Thanks for coming over, and especially to “breadpapa” ZM & “breadmama” XX for taking such good care of Elly at your place.
- potluck at CT+Momo’s place with ZM, XX, Jack, Megane, Alvin. Riot with the kids trying their best to deep six themselves, with me as the only line of defense. Good seeing everyone again, and much thanks to CT/ZM/XX for helping with the kids especially on the way back
- my brother and ex-steward now turned master leatherworker Lawrence, who gave some solid nuggets of wisdom on selling.
- SJ jie, who came down and had so much fun with Elly,
- LK, the only one of several poly mates who turned up in the end. All the best for the big journey ahead!
- Bedok 85 (again – I ate there thrice in two weeks) with Erwin, XQ, Meng, ahlong and Nick. So good to see my buddy XQ, and it’s unnerving how quickly he grasps the finer threads of conversation – never doubted the guy’s intelligence, but damn is he a smart bugger.
- my trusty KTV mates (SC, HY but especially HJ, who came through in the clutch and sang with me twice!)
- and not forgetting my old RCY mate SP, who hosted us at his house with his wonderful kids.
- lastly: I’m glad I got to see little QQ! congratulations again to NZ+MS on their third little bundle of joy.
- Thanks to all the folks who sent us off at the airport too: Lester, ZM, XX, Meng, Nick Really appreciate it!
Abysmal failure. I’ve played on a few weekends, and twice in Singapore – that’s it. My shooting’s so bad, I could build the Three Little Pigs several mansions and have spare bricks to show for it. My stamina’s not as bad as I thought it’d be though – that’s a plus.
My crowning glory of 2016, obviously. And I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished in half a year. I’ve written a crapload of words about this already, shall not go into excessive detail.
I went from 63kg and peaked at 72kg, before my trip. I then proceeded to lose 3kg by exercising minimally, and eating unhealthy, delicious food in an uncontrolled manner. Wait, what? I know right.
Anyway. I’m currently hanging at 69kg, and will slowly work my way back to the grand 70. the goal right now is to gain slow, gain muscle, and not get fat.
I haven’t been obviously aware of a perspective shift this year, but there’s the one mantra that I keep saying these days: managing expectations.
It’s all about setting expectations right, and making sure people aren’t disappointed/underwhelmed by what you’re promising. Communication is the key, and seriously, this applies to everything in life. The sooner you realise this, the better.
The brother dug through my wishlist and came up with a DVD box set for How I Met Your Mother, plus Liz Climo’s Lobster is the best medicine. Can’t complain!
Also got a bunch of Esprit T-shirts, courtesy of LS when I was in Singapore. Love my favourite shopper.
Elly made one at school, a yellow-hued, feathery-fronted creation that showcases an orange/black heart inside – my favourite colours, she says. At least I didn’t get a drawing of myself this time! I’m looking forward to next year’s card already.
And of course, there is the usual card on the way, courtesy of LS. I’ll update when it gets here.
LS: Happy bday to my dearest Fren!!
Hope u gonna have an awesome day ahead^^ 😘
Nick: Happy Birthday Bro ^^ hehe go have a good day (ｏ￣∇￣ｏ)♪
Stan: Happy birthday kor. Hope this year will be better than the last, and that the DSL will continue its streak
SC: Have a great day ahead my fren. 🎂🎉🍾
Adri: Oh yes happy bdae to my jul babies 😘
Andrew: Happy birthday kein !
PR: Happy birthday, Kein!!! Stay fit and active!
ahlong: Happy 35th.. many happy returns..
NZ: Happy Keinday! Hope you had a good one! Didn’t get to hang out much with y when u were in SG. Sorry abt that.
Bill: Happy birthday brother
HJ: Happy Belated Birthday my fav K-partner!! :)) Hehe sorry this is late, kept meaning to message ytd but missed it still in the end 🙊 Hope you had a great one!
Avi: Happy birthday my friend! God bless
Cousin Noelle: Happy birthday
Jim: Happy Birthday KM! I can’t believe you actually tried to slip this one by me. Like that would ever happen! Keep kickin’ ass and takin’ names Kein! You are the future!
Benny: Happy Birthday Lao Da !!!
Damo: Happy birthday mate!
Nash: Wish you many many happy returns of the day batman. Stay blessed
Lukas: Happy Birthday Kein Chua!
ZM: Happy Bird day Mr Kein
Estee: Happy birthday! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Jack: Happy Birthday!
Dad: 遲来的祝褔，兒子生日快乐，步步高升，心想事成 😙😙 ！
Jas: Happy birthday IT guy!!!! Catch up soon drinks
Allanah: Happy Birthday Kein!
CP: Happy birthday!!
MS: Blessed birthday! Lovely photo!
Mum: 🎂 生口快樂！差点忘了！哈哈哈胡塗的娘
SJ jie: Happy birthday di! Woo hoo~ enjoy yourself!
Mono: Happy Birthday Keino! Have a cracking day
Kim: hey! your birthday was yesterday right? happy birthday!! :) sorry it’s late!
Damo: Birthday shout-out to @kein !🎂
Hayley: Happy birthday @kein!!!
Winston: You stealthy sonofagun. Happy birthday boss man 🎉🎉
Warren: Happy birthday!
Thanks to Ravi for the well-wishes over email too I didn’t forget you bro!
What’s ahead? I have no bloody idea, but I’m sure everything will turn out fine. After all, I’m the god of DSL (Dog Shit Luck aka 狗屎运) and fortune favours the bold. ONWARDS!