climb

31 things: a few material things

a lot of people who do not know much about my past might be surprised when i talk about how i have lived a life of little luxury, and how my poverty has driven me to seek financial success. in a way, my history has influenced me in different ways: on the one side, i want to do something about the current state of humanity, to do something for the less fortunate, to focus on an advocacy. but on the other hand, i've also desired comfort for myself and for my family, which is something i didn't have for many years. so it's been a struggle between wanting to do something meaningful, and doing something that'll get me what i want. until lately, it's been an either or affair. when i look back on my life, deprived of even some of the simplest joys of growing up, i realize now why i am, despite my limited resources, very eager to share. i have been blessed by the generosity of many, having survived the travails of life due to the selflessness of others, and i really really want to give back. for this list of things, i enumerate a few material things: tangible, real, and personal.

11 things i'm happy to own
over the last few months, i have come to acquire a few objects which i cherish dearly. i have also been gainfully employed for the past 4 years after slaving it out at school for over 8 years. since i have managed to buy things on my own, i have invested my money in things that by themselves diminish in a very short time, but these are acquisitions which i am very proud of.
1. my altec lansing speakers - great outdoor companion.
2. deuter aircontact pro 50+15 backpack - i told liza of dynamic sports that i was very interested in this specific bag, and although they didn't have it on stock at their warehouse, she made sure that they acquired it and sold it to me at a premium discount. ha! it has had only 1 training climb so far and i've really liked it. it should serve me well for the next few climbs.
3. osprey atmos 65 - love this bag. it's the most handsome backpack i have ever laid eyes on.
4. zara, nautica, springfield - these aren't really the most expensive brands out there but i've never owned any of these previously not only because i can't afford them but also because it think it's pretty silly to be wearing anything priced more than P1000, unless if they're for the outdoors.
5. TNF and columbia - there hasn't been a weekend when i'm not wearing something from these brands. love them.
6. sennheiser earphones - i still remember the first time i got a pair of sennheisers. someone asked me: don't you have an iPod? why are you wearing cheap black earphones. i replied: these are sennheisers dummy, and they sound way better than those white earbuds. i now have a pair of green sweat-proof sennheisers (MX 70 sport). perfect for my runs.
7. timberland messenger bag - perfect for my macbook pro, it makes me look a bit more professional compared to a regular backpack.
8. nikon F80 - my second camera after the nikon F60. i upgraded to this model as a gift to myself when i passed the bar. and i still have it. didn't give it up when i got number 9.
9. nikon D70s - my first digital camera. i still love it but i'm keen on upgrading.
10. black iPod nano 8GB - i still have my now vintage 3rd generation iPod (non click-wheel), but this small thing is amazing. it's so small i'd probably lose it; good thing it's clipped to me always.
11. macbook pro - mmmmm... i could eat this machine. i love it.


12 things i hope my friends would get me for my birthday
pretty straight-forward, and not very expensive. i hope my friends -- or at least those who lurk -- get the hint
1. a new victorinox swiss army knife - my old one isn't so sharp anymore
2. a big bag of reese's peanut butter cups - i absolutely love this (alternative: a lot of snickers almonds - favorite trail food)
3. a pair of crocs - i think they're fugly. but if a friend buys them for me, hey, why not? i'm a size 10
4. a sigg bottle - i couldn't find this in any of the outdoor shops in HK
5. a new card from timezone with at least P550 load - i lost my second one just the other day... so i can play lots of super trivia
6. unruled notebooks - i have an obsession with unruled notebooks
7. a full body massage GC (or maybe two) - i badly need one
8. a portrait of myself - this could either be a caricature, a painting, a photograph. sorry, but i'm very narcissistic!
9. a high-speed 4GB CF card - for my digital camera -- so i can just bring one card instead
10. a french-english dictionary - since i already have free french lessons, might as well beef up my vocabulary (alternative: german-english dictionary or an idiot's guide to german)
11. a book - well, not just any book. i probably won't have much use of a harry potter book. i'd appreciate a work by gabriel garcía márquez, but i have all of his books except news of a kidnapping
12. a bag to store and transport my new mares fins, mask, and snorkel


13 things i hope to get within my 31st year
these aren't just for me. they're for my loved ones as well.
1. the iPhone
2. a suunto vector or the polar AXN500
3. a mont blanc fountain pen
4. a viable and sustainable business for my parents
5. a dental makeover (a brit just told me last monday in HK that i had really nice teeth -- it made me feel really conscious because, well, my teeth can do some work)
6. a mountain bike
7. a pair of glasses (probably from oakley or rudy project)
8. a microwave oven or a gas range (better yet, a complete teflon pot set or even a kitchen showcase!)
9. a PSP (will i still need one once i get the iPhone?)
10. a samsung slim fit or flat-panel TV
11. a new bed or a sala set
12. a desktop (i'm looking at the iMac)
13. an SUV