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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year in retrospect

For the year end blog entry, I usually take a look at the blog entry I wrote a year ago to see what has changed since then.

The funny thing is, that blog entry a year ago says exactly what I could have said about this year too!

Read:

"The party went great, thanks to all who came, saw, and demolished the turkey ;) You guys are the reason why my mom still likes to go crazy and strangle disemboweled birds every year. We had another great party, with another poor bird that got strangled, disemboweled and demolished. -_-!!

Thanks to all who played along the Twister game and for embarrassing yourselves in the name of mass entertainment. Now I know why Twister is still the classic party game. ;)Ok, this we left out, partly due to popular request... heh

Thanks to those who took the effort, and braved the Xmas crowds to buy gifts for the gift exchange. Your gladitorial bravery is commendable.Another gift exchange, but with the Secret Santa twist, more meaningful, I think. :)

And even if he doesn't read this blog, thanks to a DF who flew by and made an attempt to socialize with my friends, something that I've been bugging him since, well, the start of the relationship. :S hey, it's a start.And to my pleasure, he continued! Well done!

Thanks for the gifts, the cards and the reaffirmation of friendship, the greatest gift of all. Says it all. :)

Here's then to next year, and to more of the best, less of the rest!"

That's not to say everything remained the same as it was in 2009....

I passed my JLPT4, went on to take JLPT3. ( Still waiting for results -_-!! ) I finally took French, but only for 2 months, and now the only thing I remember from the class was a children's song. -_-!!!!!

I gained weight, lost it, and subsequently gained it back. (argh!) the good news is that I made a net loss over the year, so, one resolution slightly accomplished. -_-!!!

I spent more money than I ever did. (argh! argh!) But the more important saving, for the two of us, is going on swimmingly. I have more money in that one account than both my other accounts combined. -_-!!!!!

I did slightly more art, but I took tons of pictures. Now considering how to load everything onto photography twitter account.... [http://twitter.com/clicknsnap]

And of course the big stuff. I'm on the way to getting married. As in with the church, the white dress, and everything. Considering how the relationship was in the early stages, it's almost a miracle we got this far. But amazingly he stuck through it, met the friends, met me more, and now I have 3 photos and a ringbox on my desk that shows how much we progressed through the year.

That part... is the crazy fairy tale part... The part where I'm not sure this is even really happening.

Reflecting on the year past means acknowledging that there was a load of crap, and there was a whole bunch of good too. I suppose the luxury for me now is that I can afford to look back on all the crap stuff, and say to myself, "That sucked, but it's done and over. I have other things to look forward to now."

So... 2009... It's done and over. I have other things to look forward to now. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And the foetuses danced all night...

Ok obviously I don't mean that literally, but it was a thought that crossed my mind at Zirca on Ladies Night...

One night at Clarke Quay, Krystal and I did some overdue clubbing. We headed to Zirca cos none of us had been there yet since the old MOS there had closed down.

Now, the reason for the foetuses...

Maybe I haven't been in a club for ages, cos the girls and even the guys looked young. It wasn't just the physical age but the way they behaved.

For eg, shaking your body wildly with a rhythm out of sync with the music and shrieking with your group of friends. No matter how, it always sounds bimbotic...

Getting drunk or walking unsteadily with a friend propping you up. I don't care that this is a common sight at clubs but I haven't yet seen a girl that managed to make getting drunk look hot and glam.

Wearing midriff torn shirts and gyrating against the furniture and fittings in the club. Krystal said it best: and they wonder why guys think they're cheap. Hey just because I'm doing my best porn star impersonation doesn't mean I want to take it off for you. Really? Cos with you dancing like that your shirt is almost off anyway...

Of course the guys are no better. Best example is the guy who came with no date and who pretends he's hooking up the girls by dancing behind them when they can't see him. *rolls eyes* and who comes back for a second round!!

Not that im a seasoned hardcore clubber ( I swear I'm not ) but watching the wide eyed faces on the dance floor and listening to the girls giggling and encouraging their friends thrusting the fittings... I just realized how innocent they were. I wondered if they were aware of the hounds, sorry, guys who were eyeing them as sex prospects. I wondered if the girls who were cuffing the cheap vodka flavoured orange juice and subsequently getting drunk *roll eyes again* knew just how awfully unglam they looked. And I wondered if the guys knew what losers and posers they looked like to the girls.

Maybe I am getting old. I'm past the stage ( or maybe never reached it ) where I feel as if I have to act sexy to make myself feel good. And to me these antics just look like people trying too hard in a competition for a prize that's not worth it.

That being said, I think I still like to club. I like to dance, and there is always an allure in the dark smoky club room surrounded by a crowd dancing along with you that makes the dancing that little bit more on the edge.

Just... Leave the foetuses at home.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Malacca is a place with no watches, and too much food.

In just 2 days, I felt as if the point of the whole trip was really about the food. Even before I went, people didn't say, "You must see this place!" but "You must try this! You must try that! You have got to eat this or you never went to Malacca!"

So... the food. :) First signature dish: Peranakan food.

Our lunch stop was a last minute resort. We had driven all the way there, reaching there at 230pm, only to realise that most of the good places closed at 2pm for afternoon siestas. -_-!!!!! So we had no choice but to drive around till we found a place that was open.

Bayonya is a Peranakan restaurant. We ordered a few Peranakan dishes for Yenn and Candle to try. Chicken pongteh was a rich chicken stew in soy gravy [which really caught my eye because on the menu it mentioned potatoes, haha!] and buah keluak, a sort of stewed hard-shelled fruit, Yenn realised, was a taste that really had to be acquired. [I haven't acquired it either]

The food was ok, but the part that brought it down was the fish, which had been frozen, so when it came to us, the meat was hard. Note: Peranakans are picky about food, as observed when my mother complained to the staff about the state of the fish upon payment.

Our dinner place, Aunty Lee, was much better. Aunty Lee was a nondescript little restaurant a bit further from town. The towkay neo of the place was a bossy little woman, who insisted the 5 of us sit at a table for 10, despite us asking for the smaller table. Some dishes we asked for, she said, "dun have." and overall she had the impression of a rather aunty-ish mother. -_-! [Not that unlike my own mother, so I'm wondering if this is another Peranakan trait...]

But when the sambal prawn came..... Shiiioookk....

The prawns, though small, were lathered in a rich sambal sauce that looked like it would sear the tonsils off, but was actually sweet and delicious. The lemongrass chicken was tangy and juicy. The omelette and kangkong came in a huge heap upon their plates. And all this for 77RM.
When leaving, I reminded father: Put this place down on the GPS. :)

Another signature dish: Chendol.


My parents pooh-poohed the many chendol stalls around, including the supposedly famous ones, and, in the afternoon, led us down Jonker St to a little shop selling titbits, and that had a little chendol stall in the front.

I don't know if the chendol was necessarily better or worse than the famous ones, but it was slurpingly good, after walking around in the hot afternoon sun, and had one advantage over the rest.








Free flow of gula melaka!


Yes, if the coconut milk was not flavorful enough, little jars of gula melaka were sitting pretty on the table for you to scoop as much as you wanted!


Contrary to the name 'gula', it really isn't that sweet. [And no, it's not just by my standards] Gula melaka really has a particular taste, that tastes like syrup, but it isn't clingingly sweet. So when you mix it into a lot of coconut milk... shiok... :)


And last stop before heading home: Baba Charlie.


[Ya, I know. From Aunty Lee to Baba Charlie, but bear with me...]


Baba Charlie wasn't a restaurant, or a cafe. We went far out from town, drove down a nondescript little side lane, entered someone's house....


To find a kitchen cooking for an entire army barracks. [Or it seemed that way to me]




We walked into another room....




To find a huge kitchen table covered with baskets of nonya kueh. Kueh, kueh and more kueh. Yes, Baba Charlie is a wholesale supplier of nonya kueh, who opened up his kitchen for the hungry greedy hordes to come in.


We bought a number of the stuff to eat for lunch on the way back to Singapore, and then Yenn realised that she couldn't stomach them because of the generous amounts of coconut shavings in each kueh. :)





As I said, a trip characterised by food.


The interesting part about the food, though, was that due to my parents' experience, we managed to avoid most of the tourist traps, and found hidden gems like Aunty Lee or Baba Charlie, both of which we would not have found unless we were in a tour group. (ew) If we had to eat chicken rice balls and western food [?] for 2 days, I don't think that the trip would have been very interesting.


Rather it is the out of the way places that make it fun. Making you feel as if you know something that the rest of the populace doesn't. That makes you feel as if you're sneaking out of a boring party to head to where the real fun is.


And that, was the fun part of the trip. :)


[for future references, please refer to father's GPS...]


Epilogue: But after all that good food, there was still something I sorely missed, and that I just felt I had to eat before going back to Singapore......



I just couldn't resist. ^-^!!



Monday, December 07, 2009

These are the comments Yenn and I have after watching 'New Moon':

"The whole point of it is to see 6 packs."

"I heard a visible gasp through the audience when Jacob took off his shirt."

"Before the movie even started, my head was molested by someone's butt. F**K off!"

"If some guy tried those lines on me, I'd want to slap him silly."
"Stony faces. I've seen better acting by primary school kids."

"My god, did he actually say that? *Guffaws*"

and the best line of all:

"Seeing that how you already have a bunch of guys running around only in their shorts, the director had to satisfy the rest of the fans by having Edward take his off as well."

Don't get us wrong. It was a kind of entertaining movie, just probably not in the way the director or the rest of the Twihard fans would have thought. ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ever since my first camera phone, I've been bit by the shutterbug.

I've always loved photos and the taking of them. I like the idea that you could capture a moment of the past and preserve it for the future, with one press of a button. Video never had the same appeal, because firstly, of technical loading issues, and secondly, because it was the very passing moment of photography that appealed to me. Video captured a few minutes of your life. Photography captured a second, reminding you that the past would never come back, and by doing so made you treasure it even more because it was lost forever.

I have had 2 digital cameras, but the most convenient for me was the camera phone. The digital camera could take some pretty breathtaking pictures on the right settings, but the camera phone won out in portability, making it easy to document every precious [and embarrassing] moment.

Of course, one of the greatest advantages of digital also turned out to be a drawback. Because you could take as many photos as you wanted, you didn't have to think about how to take a proper shot. You just snapped and snapped till you got what you wanted.

Something which I realised today to my chagrin, when I brought Kenny out to my alma mater's open house. I wanted to take good pictures. I ended up taking... a lot of mediocre ones. -_-!!!

Now I realise I may be comparing myself to the many pro photographers whose work I've seen. Lightedpixels and Mario Testino I am not, for sure. But still I can't help but look at the stuff I took, on my good Kenny, and think: This was the best I could take?

Disappointing really. I've better stuff on my camera phone. [well, too much stuff anyway. I spent over an hour backing up over 700 photos.]

Maybe good lah. This is a sort of wakeup flash. Kenny's feeling neglected, and took away my inspiration as a kind of revenge. I need to build back that creative sense again...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

After the previous wedding rant... I think I somewhat cooled down. No throwing of rings and yelling "I've had enuff of this!" ( much to the relief of the DF I might add... )

I talked it over with people and in the end... I guess it's somewhat inevitable that the whole extended family tree would get involved in the wedding. In a way also better, since I'd rather not have people keep feelings simmering under the surface.

I also feel lost because advice has been coming in from everywhere. It's all good advice, but hopeless to try to follow every single one. ( example: one telling me to do things my way and another telling me to give in to relatives. !!! )

I also felt out of control because his side seemed to be doing all kinds of stuff, eg telling us which ballroom to take. I have to take back the control for some of the things I want, not for control sake, but also to make it feel like my wedding after all. If others are going to decide everything for me, then aren't I just a common Barbie doll?

So I'm going to plug for certain things. I want to decide church. I want to decide gown and shoes. I want to decide on the photographer. The things important to me, I want to have the final say. This way, I have control over the things that really matter to me. And I won't feel so like a fish out of the sea.

A day for a lifetime, a day for a lifetime...

Friday, October 23, 2009

I want to have a marriage, not a wedding.

I know this puts me squarely out of the comprehension of 99.99% of girls in Singapore. Which girl has not planned her wedding from the start of every relationship? Which girl has not dreamed of walking down the aisle dressed in a pearly white princess gown, all eyes on her and how gorgeous she looks?

Well, guess who?

Helping others in their wedding did not quite prepare me for the complexity of preparing my own. Other than the overseas factor, -_-! there are other dozens of little details that I never even imagined possible

The gown itself being one of those perplexing 'details'. I hate the whole idea of shopping at bridal studios for two reasons:

1. Sales tactics, ranging from the oily wheedling, to the army-style guerilla tactics that some salespeople will employ in order to get you to sign their package. Theirs, of course, being the cheapest, most comprehensive, most bang-for-your-buck package compared to all the other loser boutiques out there. *rolls eyes*

I hate this part of the process. This is ironic, because I love shopping. I love shopping for clothes. But I do particularly hate shopping at places where the salespeople tail you everywhere, and push stuff in your face. They either think you're about to shoplift half their entire merchandise, or that you're about to take out waddles of cash to buy half their merchandise. Irritating.

2. Size issues. Yes, size matters. I have a painful enough time trying to find shirts/pants/underwear and every other form of female apparel in my size. It sucks when they just don't have it in your size. And I don't want to extend that sucky feeling to the wedding dress. It literally fills me with dread to think of stepping into the studio, filled with gorgeous gowns, and being told that they 'don't have it in your size'. F**k to all the stupid skinny women spoiling market for me!

So I decided to custom make the gown. Then I realised I have to extend this shopping process to the designers. Then I realised I have to find an evening gown as well for the dinner.

That's 2 dresses I have to find, me who hasn't worn a skirt since JC days!!!!!

And maybe this is the key issue for me here. [Now I sound all Oprahish] I don't wear dresses PERIOD. I don't even wear a skirt. And now I have to search for one that I'm going to have to pay money for and wear for maybe 2 days in my life. *faint* And possibly pay extra in order to find the one I want in my size. *faint*

Why does everyone keep saying that I should do it because it's my special day? If it's my special day, shouldn't I be doing something I like, instead of something that I dread? I feel like some Barbie doll that's being primped and dressed for some girl's tea party. Why does the bride have to do all these things for the behalf and face of everyone else, even if it's to her own discomfort?

I always believed that the most important part of the wedding was the whole marriage that lay after that, not anything on the day itself. I always wanted a simple wedding that I could have fun in. And now I feel as if the entire affair is about to be turned into one giant circus affair, with me as the main clowning event. SIANZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

OK, I know someone is going to tell me to go into ZEN mode at this point. Everytime I feel like punching out a wedding coordinator, I'm going to think ZEN: A day for a lifetime, a day for a lifetime.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A short cartoon about the perils of love.... Tres cute!

http://ping.fm/zoA6F
Cute video.... garbage bags sing about a song about the impact of garbage on the river.... :)

http://ping.fm/ubauD

Friday, October 16, 2009

Most inappropriate Halloween costumes

You have to wonder at the kind of douches that will wear some of these costumes. 2 weeks to Halloween! 

The Most Inappropriate Halloween Costumes Possible


Sent from my iPod

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If I asked you to write ddetailed character profiles about 26 people in your office, could you do it? I just did something like that in half an hour... New record in 3 years... -_-!!!

A combination of office stress and Jap tests and cravings leads to some interesting conversations between Yenn and I:

We start by walking from Orchard mrt through Ion to Borders. On the way, we pass by Bread Society and pop in to take a look:

- man, all this looks good.

- uh huh

- in fact it looks real good. I'm getting cravings for something in pastry!

- ok, out, now!

We walk to Marks and Spencers where we see more buscuits, cakes, chips.........

- oh man my craving for pastry us getting stronger ( said after looking at packs of all butter cookies with cranberries, blueberries and the dieting nightmare, chocolate )

- out, now!

- let's go to Borders. At least I won't chew on the books there.

And we head there. After I get some magazines, I realize that Yenn has picked up a cookbook titled '500 chocolate treats'

Die.

Now there's a book I may actually feel like chewing.

- out, NOW!

- hmmm, your arm is actually starting to look kind of tasty.....

- ??!!!

No books or arms were hurt in the production of this blog post.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Now where do I find me some molten potassium chlorate?

http://ping.fm/9UIKQ

( note: apparently it can also be used as a disinfectant. Now where's my bottle of chlorox...? )

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wednesday night I'm sitting with Yen on the rooftop of esplanade. We sip beer, eat chips and gaze at the hazy outline of the impending IR.

Which of course makes me want to compose bad poetry.

Now one hobby of mine that irritates the heck out of Yen is my penchant for bad poetry writing in scenic situations. Last time I gave it to her ( a musical rendition of the chuang qian ming yue guang ) I nearly got a bowl of beancurd on me for my efforts.

I suppose that would have been a better fate than the poets who drowned, were persecuted, exiled, but...

Anyway that night, I decided to try haiku.

Three towers stand tall
Blurry in the hazy fog
How foggy it is

Which got one response from her: "Argh."

How misunderstood
The poet's friend listens not
Lonely is her art

"Argh, my ears, my ears."

You see, the thing I realized that night is that my friend is a highly auditory person. So she is incapable of blocking out my voice, whether she likes my poetry or not.

Her ears tuned finely
To the lilting poetry
She takes it all in

After a while, she got into the act, because we did a poetic collaboration.

How misunderstood

"Fuck off"

The poet has no audience

"Stop it"

How lonely is she

"Argh!!!!!!"

I think it shows the poet-audience relationship sublimely, you? ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I don't work at home






This is my schedule when I do work in the office:

130pm - Leave for lunch

230pm - Finish lunch and go back to work. Start doing work.

230 - 430pm - Do main work and several items off the to-do list. Go home or for dinner without guilt.




This is my schedule when I decide to bring work home:

130pm - Leave work in order to finish work at home.

200pm - Leave coffeeshop after short gossip with colleagues.

230pm - Reach J8 and eat lunch at MOS.

315pm - Finish lunch.

345pm - Finish walking around J8 after lunch. Go to library.

415pm - Reach home after using toilet at library, switching on iPod in library, checking for Twitter and Facebook updates. Then finding out it was low in battery, and take short bus ride home.

430 - 600pm - Frantically do work. Never mind quality, get it done!!! More improvements can be added later. [interrupted by periodic curses when laptop is not working fast enough for my liking]

6pm onwards - Close up file and proceed to Facebook without guilt.

And this is why I leave work in the office. -_-!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Have you realized that our average attention span is getting shorter?

Consider: we divide our daily hours between our work, family, friends and four cats. But we only have 24 hours a day. So how?

Solution: multitask, the new skill of our generation. With us, it's become more socially acceptable to receive work calls while eating dinner, or read smses while at the gym.

( hmm, what effect does that have on eroding social mores? File away for another blog entry )

I, too, have noticed this shortening attention span in myself. Once I used to sit for hours and read the same book till I was done. Now, I find myself skimming text to get to the better parts.

( which reminds me, I haven't finished my library book. When is it due? Lemme check online... )

Not surprising after all. We are the generation that first grew up with SMSes and e art of squzin as mny wrds we cld in2 160 char. You could say we invented a totally new form of shorthand.

( SMS beep! Hmm, J says he'll meet me soon, where to go fir drinks...? )

The Internet served to fuel this further. Broadband taught us that information should be fast, fast, fast. Unacceptable that a website should take 5 mins to load! 10 mins for a Youtube video? Out of your mind.

2 guys then brought together the dual sins of shorthand and the want-it-now greed and came up with Twitter. Now you could have it short and sweet. And since the tweets are so short, they load fast. VoilĂ ! The rally flag of the Net generation!

( I should tweet about this post when i'm done )

But with all this, I wonder if, as in the words if the poem, we have started to live a life full of care, but no time to stop and stare. As the vast majority of Tweets show, how is it possible to compose thoughts into a coherent line of thought when you are thinking in 5 minute bursts? There are some things, art, music, literature, heck blogging, that need periods of intense self-concentration if one is to produce anything great. ( or even worth reading ) Take away this ability and yes, you may have many writers. But how many Shakespeares? How many Beethovens? How many people, in other words, who will not settle for mediocrity and will doggedly pursue a standard of excellence?

( oooh good phrase. I should file that away)

Maybe it's time we realized... The world will recognize us more for one great work... Than for a million little tweets.

( should I write more? nah, good ending! Ok, what next? )

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two cars of which I have the longest memories are a Subaru WRX and a Kelisa Perdua. These cars belonged to Juls and Quetz respectively and both cars, for many, many times, brought the girls and I safely [or seemingly safely] home.

Especially in the case of the Kelisa. Imagine the circus act, where the absurdly small car drives into the ring, and regurgitates a seemingly infinite number of clowns from its interior. That was what the Kelisa was like when our entire girl gang, and one or two boyfriends, would crowd into the car for a lift home.

[I especially remember one time when one of the girls in the car literally regurgitated her drinks when the rest of us were inside. Ask me about it when you see me ;) ]

The white Subaru WRX also saw us home, but in a different style. The white Subaru would drive placidly most of the time, but when wilder impulses overtook it, would grind its pedal to the floor and blast to infinity and beyond. Or just to the next red traffic light.

Both cars have been safely retired from their owners. One was passed to another party and the other.... went to the Great Big Scrapyard Somewhere, bless his spoiler and his pig nose of an air vent.

Both owners also changed to European cars, with marked differences. For one, both new cars are safer than the old ones. They also boasted better sound systems, especially in the case of the Renault that replaced the Kelisa.

I started this post because of what the owner of the ex-Subaru was saying. I mentioned to him that his Subaru was so distinctive in appearance that even now, whenever I see a white car with a spoiler drive by, I turn around almost expecting to see him at the wheel.

"I know what you mean," he sighed, "The other day I saw a car that looked just like Jay [name of ex-Subaru] It looked exactly like him, and was even the exact model!"

"What did you do?"

"For a while, I cried out, 'J-a-y...' and then I knew it wasn't him." and he wiped an imaginary tear away.

Men and their cars............

But then again, it wasn't really the car that mattered. It was always the people inside. I suppose no matter what you change the car to, as long as the driver is always willing to have friends inside, as long as everyone is willing to crap together in the car, the good times will remain, whether they be in a Subaru, Kelisa, Benz, or Renault.

That said, I did think of a fitting tribute to the Subaru tonight while in the Benz. As a tribute to the old beng car, why not we girls all dress in our spaghettis and tanks, wear sunglasses, and play Juls' cantopop CD at full blast volume with the windows down? In a way, I can't think of a more fitting tribute. ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One bright side of insomnia: your favourite radio station playing while every inch of your skin gets to feel how soft your newly laundered bedsheet is. When I die, this just may be my version of Heaven.
It's almost 12. Stuffed with carbs and sugar I am still unable to sleep, despite an alarm set for 530am the next morning.

How screwed am I?

This is most irritating. When in this kind of situation one would usually lie in bed, toss, turn, plan your next vacation in vain attempts to fall into slumber. ( i got as far as to where to book the bus tour ) And yet science will tell me that such methods will not help. That I should try doing something else other than sleep in order to fool my brain into sleeping.

In order to sleep, therefore, one must try not too sleep. Right.

( there must be some profound philosophy in that last statement, but I'm too insomniac to think about it in depth. )

Yenn and I just had Jap class tonight. We've been taking a prepartory course for the Japanese proficiency test, only to find out the extent of our deficiency. -__-!!! The upside, though, is that ifnwe are ever stranded in Japan, we know enough to take up temp work as waitresses in a tonkatsu store or some other food. Imagine us in French maid outfits running around going, "sumimasen!"

On 2nd thought, skip that thought.

Ok I'm logging off before insomnia makes me type more crap. Till the next time I cannot sleep...

( this post is courtesy of Yenn who commented that my blog was getting dusty. How do you like them potatoes? )

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My work day was spent being a dictator over lesser beings, chucking aside work that I could not do properly, and daydreaming about what to buy with my salary during a meeting.

Dang, I'm getting better at this employment-shit.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here I am, thinking I should have done *some* work and I'm struggling to stay awake while waiting for some files to be backed up. -_-!!! Waiting for something to happen can be just as boring as having nothing happen at all!

Came home today feeling tired, the kind of tired where you feel depleted of physical energy. Also intending to do some kind of work, but procrastinated and pushed it to tomorrow. -_-!! Please to god 1) this lethargy lasts only until today 2) it's not a sign of the hini.... although if I get it, it'll probably be due to power of suggestion from last week...

Ok, too sloth to continue this post.... another time!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Would that the day would never end...



Due to privacy issues, and threats of death if I ever published photos without the consent of the subject, I can only offer a short photo diary of my 2 day weekend:

This was a more lazy weekend, one more for lazing at the park rather than any kind of frenzied activity. The weather was hot in the morning, but eased off towards the afternoon.

This was not a day for frenzied urban activity. This was a day for staying in, and reading a good book.

If the photos seem lonely, that's kind of the mood I was in during that short Saturday afternoon. Lonely not because of want of company, lonely because of a much-needed solitude after the hassles of the week before. A restful period of quiet meditation.

If only all days could be like that. Would that the day would never end...

and no, those weren't the only photos I took, but as I said, there are certain parties that would hunt me down to death if I ever published some of the photos that I took of her, so be it. :p

No need for holidays... for now



I was remarking to several friends about how the weekends have taken on the tone of a 3 day 2 night holiday.

Day 1, Friday night

- Leave airport, arrive in new country, and party the night away, reveling in newfound freedom.

instead

- Leave workplace, arrive at dinner or drinking destination, and eat, drink and make merry the whole night, reveling in newfound freedom.

Day 2, Saturday

- Eat good breakfast. Spend the day walking around, seeing the attractions, and doing some shopping.

instead

- Eat good breakfast. Spend the day walking around, seeing some friends, and doing some shopping.

Day 3, Sunday

- Pack everything to get ready to go back to home country. Shop at a few last stops before going to airport and mentally preparing one's self to get back to work.

instead

- Mentally pack everything to get ready to go back to work. Shop at a few last shops before going home and mentally preparing one's self to go back to work the next day.

See? No more need for short trips to KL, Bangkok or anywhere else. Every weekend is a staycation. ;)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I never thought I'd say this, but after 4 days of isolation, I'm missing my own little munchkins... sigh...

I'm also missing my cubicle, my laptop, and the various other books, knick-knacks and geegaws I have on my table. I miss my hugeass bag taking up half my space on my chair. I miss my chair.

And the weirdest thing is that after all this, I suspect I may be actually getting sick, but not full-blown sick. I just hope it's not the hini, but if I get 7 extra days off work, I won't be that upset. :)

Sigh..... at least on the work front, the worst of my self-inflicted crisis is over and the market is bottoming out, so to speak. I'm trying to pick myself up, and get motivated to go to work again, but it's been a bit harder this week, with the inflicted isolation and all. ( plus, my work laptop could have just crashed, but at least the data was saved )

So I have to tell myself:
Complete as many of the little things as you can, so that they don't overswarm your desk.
Take time each day to complete some of the bigger things, so that I have time to do other things, and still get things done.
Never procrastinate. Complete whatever can be done in that day.

3 years on and I still struggle in Productivity 101.... :S
Here is another conversation between Yenn and I on Wednesday. Decide for yourselves who said what. ;)

( A gesture in front of the other )

"What are you doing?"

"Sorry, accident."

"I thought you were going to touch my breasts."

"Oh yea, I'm just checking that they're still there. ( waves ) Yup, they are."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hai, I was wrong about one thing... Working away from work doesn't make it necessarily easier. In fact in some ways, it makes it harder, because of the thousand distractions around.

I thought of doing this during June, because I was so sianz of being at work. The idea is for me to periodically take work out of the workplace and do it in a more comfy environment, so that I won't get so stressed out.

Apparently it works best for activities involving red pens. -__-!!! That was easy for me to settle outside. It does NOT work when I am desperately trying to think of some astounding new activity that will simulate their growth, their learning, their socialization skills and amaze my superior at my superior intellect.

OMG I gotta find some way to write this up and NOTHING is coming to mind................

Ok, this is mainly because I am stuck in a kind of writers' block. Being in a new environment doesn't help, since I'm in the same brainfunk I would have been in if I was at work. The only bright side is that at least if I get totally fed up with this, there's an easy place to get a milkshake............

Update:

Reading through my colleague's superior report, I noticed there were some holes in the way the activity was organized. Did I download the wrong file or something? Because how was it she could have handed this up and gotten it past but when I do something almost like that, I got shot down....?

Well, at least after the 2nd round of doing, if I still get shot, I can say, "Well, I did what you told me and looked at her report and practically copied it from her and if you still don't like it, what the heck do you want from me?"

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Bollywood cures all



An explanation for the title will follow...

Today was just one of the days.... everything just started to fall around me.

This is the lesson I learnt from the day: Never clear a bunch of work appraisals, project approvals and other assignments in the same session with your supervisor. The workload that arises, plus the mental workload that arises, is just too much.

Work appraisal was what I roughly expected. The rest of the work was something else.

Project had to be rewritten [as in, totally] due to lack of substantial activity, rubrics for assessment had to be revamped [as in, totally] because of lack of substantiality, lack of organization, other work that had been done and observed could have been better.

In the end, my supervisor looked at me and asked, "Just how interested are you in your job?" or something to that effect, anyway.

Hm. How to tell her that frankly I'd be happier taking a pay cut if I never had to do all this kind of work ever again? That my one burning ambition in life is to go on contract status and leave all the paperwork crap to someone else?

Sometimes, I don't think I like being promoted very much. Others see a rise in status and a rise in pay and material benefits.

Me, I see the game getting harder the longer I play it. It's as if at the moment that I got the hang of the game, and started to figure out the rules and methods of playing, I got bumped to another level and suddenly I'm running around trying to learn everything from scratch again.

It's as if, just as I got the hang of how to do the main part of the job, other things got bumped onto me and now, having settled one part, I'm now dashing forward again, because the finish line was moved forward before I managed to reach even one foot of it.

She asked me how I considered my abilities, and whether I considered myself 'competent'. I said I still don't understand what are the standards for 'competent'. I said I still considered myself 'developing' because although I was better at some things, I couldn't consider myself 'competent' just yet. 'Competent' implies that you are fully equipped with the abilities to tackle your tasks at hand. It does not mean that you somehow get things done while running around trying to hold everything in your hands at once.

Was it my imagination, or did she had a faint "Hm, I thought so" air as she signed the rest of my appraisal form?

Looking at the stuff I had on my to-do list, the stuff that I was supposedly 'competent' to perform by now, but yet could not perform competently yet, I had to wonder if there would ever be a time that I would be 'competent' to do all this. I wondered what was it about me, that seemed to be perpetually making mistakes in places where others less experienced than me were just breezing through. What am I doing wrong, that even after the experiences I had, I still could not do some things right, while others had no problem performing the same task?

Why was it that even after I made some attempts at efficiency, even then I was still behind everyone else in work performance? [well, perchance it's because my attempts at efficiency are too feebly... inefficient.]

And if I'm stuck in this line for now, then what the heck do I do to level myself up, as they say in gamespeak? What do I do to get myself up to everyone else's standards? What should I do to finally rank among the 'competent' instead of....well, you know.

And finally, what can I do to get myself out of the game? I've learned all that I'm interested in. I've learnt all that I want to ever know. I want to play a different game. I want out.

In the end, I knew I could not answer all these questions in one night. I also knew that I was probably one step closer to hypertension if I kept pondering things that I could not easily solve soon.

I could only think of one thing to do to make myself feel a bit better.

Go for Bollywood dance class at Amore.

Jai Ho!

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Manifesto to Glass Trombones



Why does it usually take a narrow and painful brush with death for society to give us the permission slip to pursue our dreams, no matter how unconventional? Why can't we do this for people who are surviving very well physically? Was just reading an article on another cancer survivor in Reader's Digest and thinking if she was not afflicted with cancer, if she had lost all her money, or if she had failed in her venture, her story would have never been printed.

Think about it: How many stories do you see of people who are young, energetic, who forgo a real job, who put all their energies into pursuing crazy passions for, I don't know, glass trombones, and who lose all their money, their girlfriends, and end up living with their parents but yet never regret what they have lived?

Because these people we regard as failures in our sense of the word. We don't want to read or know about people who dedicate their lives to making the most elaborately sculpted glass trombones, because we don't like glass trombones. We don't want to read or know about people who lose all their money and their girlfriends and their reputations for mental sanity because in our sense of the world, they have failed. They came into their lives and left with nothing in their hands. To us, they have wasted the precious resource that is life and have left with no tangible or intangible [at least to us] gains.

We want to read about people who beat the odds and survived and nyet, flourished in what they loved to do, because that is what we want for ourselves. We like the stories about cancer/leukaemia/heart disease survivors who nearly died and because of that, spent the rest of their lives fighting for other dying people/made loads of money because that ties in so nicely with what we believe our lives should be like. And the world readily fans that by feeding us more stories of the latest person who added 10 more years to his life, because he got diagnosed with a life-threatening syndrome, so he quit his job, and spent the rest of his life cycling around the world.

1. Life is not a zero-sum game. You don't have to always get something out of it.

2. Even to fail at something grand is to achieve something out of life. A grandiose failure or a mediocre life?

3. Stop waiting for the world to give you permission to do what you want to do.

I think I also know that I'm writing this kind of post today because this is something I have to remind myself of every now and then. How easily does life suck you up in its vacuum cleaner! Only when you get stuck in there do you realise that the 'blow' button is almost unreachable. When you get caught up in the everyday scrambling for the bus, for the next paycheck, or worrying about your hospitalisation plan, too easy to forget how, if you were about to die in the next 3 months, none of this would matter anymore to you.

So I have to remind myself, to live life, to pursue lofty ideals, instead of sober realities.

1. Skip work if you have to blog.

2. Even if you have to work, surround yourself with beauty and music.

3. In a matter of time, nothing you do at the office will matter anymore.

4. And if the world laughs at you, laugh back. After a while, they will worry if they are the ones that are the really mad ones. And then you can really laugh.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photo Diary

Before I forget myself in the drudgery of work, here's some shots of my last 2 weeks of June:



1. Went to an art exhibition where I hardly understood anything that was there. -_-! Though I did think the wall decor stickers were cute... ( 8QSam museum )



2. Laid in a womb of polysthrene furniture and imagined my whole room being like this. ( Verner Panton exhibition at National Museum )



3. Put plastic bags on my feet to prevent spread of H1N1 + Hand Foot Mouth disease.



4. Drank a lot of lychee juice with girlfriends ( with maybe 2 obligatory drops of vodka )



5. Admired some flowers.

Its been a more relaxing holiday, that I have to admit. Managed to read more, blog more, and top at least one facebook game. (Heh) And still managed to go out to some places.

I only wish it could have been longer...... but that would have to go into the bin together with my wish for striking first prize in Toto and losing 10 kg in a month. -_-!!!!!

It sucks but....... we have to grow up eventually and accept the rest of real life.

Here I go then.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There is something very twisted at the heart of the society in which we live.

Firstly, over this June period, we have seen people panic and subsequently calm down over a virus that seemed worse than it actually was. But yet the preventive measures taken have left me scratching my head at times.

For one, temperature taking as a precaution. Why are we still insisting on checking for high fevers, when the WHO has said that a high fever is NOT a symptom of H1N1? What does it matter even if you check for it anyway? The person could be riddled with the virus, and yet have a normal body temperature. By the time he shows symptoms, you would have already let him loose to spread it around.

And this preparation of closedowns of classes, levels, and schools. Is the replication rate of the virus so strong that you have to come down to that? What if your students get infected with the ordinary flu instead? Are you going to do the same?

I suppose I'm piffed at the measures because they seem so typical of the kiasee mentality, to overreact at things. What I don't like about it is the atmosphere of delusional fear that it creates. To talk to some people, you'd think that we were all going to die of the virus if we didn't walk around wearing N95 masks 24/7. And that anyone who so much as coughs in public is a socially irresponsible misfit of the highest order. [Someone should be able to identify with this, heehee]

The kiasee mentality is an offshoot of the kiasu mentality. Which is why MOE has also called for e-learning classes to take place. Never mind that the affected children could be sick with flu, and all its associated symptoms. They cannot fall back in their work! Otherwise they will fail exam at end of year! So even if you are too sick to sit up, as long as your parent can make you hold a pencil or bring the laptop to you, you should still do whatever schoolwork you can! Then go back to school will know what teacher is saying. -_-!!!!!

Of course teacher must also prepare lesson and prepare extra lessons for these kids who may not come back. Otherwise if the kid fails his exam at P1/2/3/4/5/6 his whole future will be ruined, he will be reduced to either sweeping garbage/selling pirated Blu-rays/joining gangs because you didn't put in enough effort by giving him those extra 1 or 2 measly worksheets.

And all this is ok in our society. Because we are a nation where people are so weak a single virus can wipe out our entire population. Because we are so stupid that if we even miss out one day in school we will all because retards by the time we're 50, fully dependent on social security.

*Sigh* I know I'm on the point of really ranting and I don't make a lot of sense, but sometimes I grow so sick of all of this......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yesterday In A Nutshell



1. Mango sale: Saw a slack top that I regretfully let go last time go on sale at 50% off! Needless to say, said slack top now part of my wardrobe... :p

2. Note to Clubbers: Nobody has Ladies Night on a Thursday, so any website that tells you so is woefully outdated. -_-!!!

3. Conversation with friends will outweigh any diluted drinks the bars serve you.

4. Slept at 1am only to be waken up by some groom horning and declaring his love for his bride..... from the carpark at 7am. -_-!!! Suddenly weddings don't seem so fun.....

5. Briefly considered yelling in Hokkien for him to pipe down for people who want to sleep, but decided against the karma.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How the truth gets distorted



"How was your trip to Hongkong?"

"Great."

"What did you do?"

"Oh... some shopping, and Jules and I went for the jacuzzi in the hotel one time."

Brain hears: Jules and Yenn shared a jacuzzi.

"Is it?? What did you wear?"

"Swimming costume and he wore trunks lor."

Brain hears: Juls and Yenn shared a jacuzzi half naked!

"How long did you stay in the jacuzzi?"

"Not long. After a while Jules found it too hot and he had to get out, so we went back to our room."

Brain concludes: Juls and Yenn shared a jacuzzi half naked, then Juls got too hot under the collar, couldn't control himself and they quickly went back to their room!!!

"Waaah!!! You two so exciting ah???!!!"

"Huh?"

And that, ladies and gents, is how you distort the truth.

[special *request* by Yenn... or maybe I'm distorting the truth too... hahaha]
Funny thing about this holidays, it's been the most amount of time I've spent at home.

I've been reading, facebooking, and er, playing a lot of online games. -_-!!! which is why for today I have to banish myself to the use of my I-touch so that I don't end up hooked to the games again.

It's something like what I read in a book: you gotta have a job or at least something to keep you getting out of bed every morning, so that you don't become a total slob and spend your entire morning trying to beat your friend's bejewelled scores. -_-!!

The challenge, of course, is finding something worthwhile doing with your time. And then trying to hang on to that something worthwhile when you have to go back to the real world and face all the crap again.

Sigh... At very least lemme try to finish my library books before I go back....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Most Strikingly Obvious Instructions for Eating

My apologies firstly for the disastrous formatting on the Time articles I posted up... I didn't realise they were going to make a mess of the tables on my blog like that... next time will be better....

Anyway, as part of my June Holiday Photo Diary, here is something I saw while out for lunch with Yenn:

MOF hands out little slips of paper together with their food, with instructions on how to maximise your enjoyment while eating them presumably. Now if it was some exotic food like fugu, maybe I can understand the need for explanations, but for salad??

Their unagi salad, and the following are the instructions for eating:

Huh????

What will they put for tempura then? "Dip in sauce and insert in mouth"?

Friday, June 12, 2009

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live

 
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Most fascinating is the way Twitter can be used to update real news events in real time.

So it isn't just to update people about what you're eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper after all...... :p

 
   
   
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The Internet's Short Attention Span

 
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Interesting.... Because the more I surf on the Internet the more I find my attention span shortening. Anybody else think the same too?

 
   
   
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Photo Diary

If you've been seeing the strange headlines with no text or pix attached... I've been trying to email/MMS photos from my phone, but suddenly nothing works... :( So here they are:

After one shopping trip with my mother, here are the winning finalists.... ( one of them is my gym bag by the way ) She finally chose the pink one, the one that I was originally eyeing for myself...... -_-!!!

I love Cold Rock. That's the only text I can think of for this picture. :)