Saturday, April 30, 2005

looks different

This is no ordinary Risotto. This is duck risotto from The Lounge Bar in The Docklands.

what's so special you ask?

well, it LOOKS like risotto, the menu says it *is* Risotto, but this,

is a true example of looking one thing and being another.

because this risotto TASTES like duck rice.

Yes, duck rice.

I was there celebrating my ex-neighbour-in-college's birthday, and there were giant serves of food! The lamb looked like it could be GM given that it was about a quarter the size of my femur (now now, no midget jokes please)

She paid for everything in the end, and we polished off dessert at the gelati place opposite after dinner before taking rides to her place in MURRUMBEENA.

I got a helluva kick watching The Dictator's GPS system TALK. I'd seen GPS systems before (and thought they were the coolest thing ever) but to see it talk was fun and annoying all at the same time.

We got to see her new pad she shares with her fiance and her best friend, and watched her neighbour's cat eat a rat.

It was DISGUSTING. When we were there, it was still literally playing with its food, batting the rat with her paws and the rat fighting back before she simply picked the rat up. EW.

To make us all feel better, we decided to go all girly and see what her engagement outfit looked like and watched Russell Peters before driving home along Princes.

Friday night, Princes Highway. It can only mean one thing.


We were entertained all the way from Murrumbeena to the Chapel St turnoff by Chapel Kids drag racing each other Chapel Style.

Unlike traditional drag races (usually held out in the country and the outskirts), or even the Indonesian ones (held in some strange area in the city), or even the old traffic light challenge, this is traffic light challenge with a difference.

The kids line up at the lights, rev, and then start off, but before they even hit the speed limit, they break. The race is over, the competition based purely on acceleration. Well, I lie. They don't hit the speed limit because there are traffic lights.

Once these kids hit Chapel, they will proceed to do extremely slow drive-bys round and round and round the block, revving their engines, watching people on the curb watch them and they themselves keep their eyes peeled watching other cars. What's the latest in modifications, what's the latest in car fashions.

This may go on for hours, and fights have broken out before. Elite shopping district by day, this place is a car show by (Friday and Saturday) night.

The Dictator chose a safe distance, (we caught up with the racers at every single traffic light anyway since they were staying within legal limits) and we watched with much bemusement.

Here's a modified Corolla, not a good shot, but from our perspective (and the rearview mirror) this one looked like a bug. A blue-eyed bug.

so that was my night in a nutshell. Although I have to say the highlight still is duck rice-risotto.

and if you want to see photos of us, well then, you'll have to look for them in my albums. :)

Friday, April 29, 2005

sheet vs watchamacallit lightning

I was having a conversation one day about lightning (don't ask me why, just accept).

and I said that Singapore had one of the highest rates of lightning strikes (rumour has it as the most- even the Singaporew Science Centre says so) in the world. Something to even out the whole injustice of being impervious to most natural disasters in our region. (You name it, we don't have it)

We don't have floods (our roads, storm drains and general infrastructure are simply too efficient), earthquakes (general swaying, nary a glass broken), volcanoes (closest one is in Indonesia, or perhaps Lake Tahoe), gales, freak snowstorms, and of course, NO TSUNAMIS.


well, except for the lightning.

and we don't really care about it either, because Singapore's power has surge protectors built into the system and our engineers are all trained on lightning in compulsory modules.

So this guy (I'm pretty sure it was a guy, can't remember who, but it was a guy) started going on about how because it rains so much in Singapore it can't be that big a lightning strike since those huge ones only come about in storms.

I guess he didn't realise that in Singapore, every "rain" is a storm.

I remember arriving in Australia, hearing people comment on it 'raining cats and dogs' and me looking out and thinking this was drizzle status.

Well, it would have been drizzle status by Singaporean standards anyway. A "big rain" (as we call it) is when you can't see the car in front of you when you're driving.

Anyway, he didn't believe me when I said I'm pretty sure they were big and enough to kill people because I'd mentioned they were yellowish in colour.

"Those big lightning strikes are blue. Yellowish lightning is sheet lightning. Small kitchy stuff"

I don't know dude, but here's proof.

Yellow, and BIG.

and yes, it's not a one off. Here's more.

and no, I don't know why our skyline looks so puny either.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

how many more times?

Neil Gaiman once imagined (and wrote) that Lucifer quit being boss of Hell. (if you believe in the whole Christianity/Islam version of hell)

He (Lucifer that is, not Neil) then went on vacation, plonked himself down on a beach in Australia, and watched the sunset while drinking wine and having a little picnic*.

Offering a toast to the sunset, he smiled to himself and said something along the lines of "the bastard sure knows how to make 'em" ...referring to the sunset.

Random insert: Lucifer (meaning morningstar) is meant to be in charge of sunrises, and God is in charge of sunsets. Which I personally find quite poetic since morning is supposed to be when all the evils go away, and night is when all the evil comes out to play. It's like their farewell present to the world before retiring for the er, time being. (again, if you go by the whole Christianity/Islam thing) Although, Jesus apparently refers to himself as the morning star as well. Now there's a funny pickle. AND. "Lucifer" isn't in the original Hebrew texts. Now there's a funnier pickle.


There's this whole big soliloquy about how no two sunrises or sunsets are ever alike, and how each one is special, yet each and everyone breath-taking in their beauty.

And if you read this blog long enough, you'll know that I have a fondness for sunsets, and that I try to capture a few of them on film, when I get the time to even watch a sunset, or even raise my head enough to realise the sun is indeed going down the horizon.

Apart from the fact that they are beautiful, never the same, and are a joy to capture in half the glory they were at on film, I cherish each and every sunset I ever see.

As I cherish many things. And yet our memories are so fragile.

Because we don't know when we will die, we gets to think of life as an inexhaustable well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really.

How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that so deeply part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it?

Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that.

How many more times will you watch the full moon rise?

Perhaps 20.

And yet it all seems limitless.

-Peter Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

Listening To: Natalie Imbruglia- Shiver, which has just changed into Fiona Apple- I Know

don't start on why he needs to eat. He probably doesn't and does it for the sheer evilness of it ok- I mean what with gluttony, temptation, drunken debauchery and all

Monday, April 25, 2005

Soul Mama @ St. Kilda Sea Baths

I'm such an ad geek

EDIT: I think I remember the word for that crap they play in elevators and lift lobbies circa early-90s. Muzak. I THINK that's what it is. Or is Muzak something totally different?

I just thought I'd tell the world how much I love the new ad campaign for the Toyota master brand, "Can't Wait For Tomorrow".

In simple English, this means the new Aussie ad campaign for Toyota in general. Not a particular model.

The last car ads I liked so much were the Jaguar S-class launch with Sting in it, and the Mitsubishi overall one. (I think it was The Wallflowers on the sountrack) I think there was a Jeep one I liked, but I can't remember which 4WD it was really.

It's so good! And I've seen....4 executions of it. And how they all interlink among a mass of people. Publicis Mojo has done it again!

In other news, I may be going to Sydney for the weekend in an attempt to volunteer for Mercedes Fashion Week. All burglars are advised that I will be gone till Monday. (Gosh I'm already buying into the crazy lifestyle of ad execs. Scary)

LISTENING TO: Timmy Perez singing a cover of Dishwalla's Counting Blue Cars acoustic style. The girl should really consider going pro.


The world in black and white is infinitely beautiful. The contrast between darkness and light, the expressions of the people frozen in that second for all eternity, the way the light reflects off glassware. Everything is highlighted with intensity, and everything is all the more beautiful for it.

Everyone talks about the beauty of childhood. How the world was good, the grass grew greener, and butterflies flew in pairs around their heads like halos. Children see the world in black and white, defined along those strict lines. You were either cowboy or indian, wicked witch or fairy godmother, hideously evil or angelically good.

It makes children see the world as sanctified, and it also makes them very cruel.

Then we all grew older. And the world wasn't all merry and shiny anymore. Disneyland had been pulled from under us. And somewhere along the line, black and white began to lose its focus.

Things weren't bad or good anymore. And there were so many things to try. So many things to explore. So many things to live for, so many things to die for. The intensity of the world we saw seemed to have been internalised, the beauty sucked into the vortex that was us, transformed into the intensity and the beauty of emotion.

The beauty of the world outside was lesser, the intensity inside so much deeper.

We began to realise the world wasn't black and white, that everything was in fact, greyscale. So many more details to notice, so many mitigating reasons behind a choice.

We began to draw moral lines we would never cross. Draw ourselves a bigger playing field. And then we found out they didn't really work.

And that people who had crossed these lines, friends or yourself, really had reasons, entire stories behind their actions. Humanising aspects. No longer were they lofty ideals to be upheld, but ideals that simply hadn't worked out for these people. People who knew it wasn't "right", it simply happened anyway. People who knew it was "wrong", but did it because there were bigger "rights" involved.

Yes and No were dissolving before our eyes, leaving behind their stillborn child of maybe.

And with maybe, the world burst forth in technicolour glory. Even more details, as if intensity of emotions pent up within a tiny human body seemed to compress itself and burst forth with the outward visual expression we had missed since childhood, cocooned within us to return more beautiful than ever.

And yet the most beautiful things are beautiful because they are intriguing. Something sad, tragic, mysteriously hinting at something. That beauty can only be born of great sadness. And it seems that the world in technicolour is beautiful in its detail, but also its sadness.

A sadness of swirling uncertainties. Of 'yes's and 'no's, of rights and wrongs. Of reasons and excuses. Of understanding that behind everything seems to be an archive of reasons, that behind every action lies an ocean of experiences that led to that final choice.

Some people try to go back to the days of black and white. The world is in colour but they force it back, to evenly divide the world, to allow their decisions to be made so much more easily.

And there are those who are lost in the colour, too lost among the fushias and the rubies to notice the larger masterpiece, convinced they have found everything in the diamond-like reflection of the ocean or the wonder of the ever-changing sky.

And yet, everything moves along as it always has. Our line of vision the only outlook we have of the world, ever changing as we constantly change courses and lines of thought.

LISTENING TO: Frou Frou- Let Go

(ok ok, I'll enable comments)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

bad girls have more fun

Popping into work today, one of my friends announced he's starting a comic book based on his life, starring all of an alternate universe.

This means that all of us have SUPERPOWERS!!!!!!

For effect, I shall repeat that.




while I was envisioning Mystery Men all over again (the Blue Raja in particular), he has something much more Exciting! Mind Blowing! in mind.

so of course, all of us want to know what our superpowers are.

He himself has the powers of dastardly charm. (of course)

Everyone's wanted to know what their character is...and when I asked, he simply looked at me and said "how about Sexy Nurse?"

I just stared at him for a while.

"Sexy, yes. Nurse, NO"

then I said

"can I be a femme fatale? I'll be really nice on the outside and really really evil on the inside."

"What you mean like you are already?"

"Yeah. but with Super! Powers! I mean, maybe I could have the superpower of constantly walking into anything, even if it's out of my way or something"

he's eventually decided I shall be evil anyway. (I forsee his comic book having me falling for his Dastardly! Charm! and hence being led away to jail in handcuffs- but I digress)

He has decided I can be evil, and that I shall be a femme fatale. He was like, secretary by day, catwoman by night. I was like...jeez, be more imaginative!

So we came to the final conclusion.

I get to be a high class call girl.



(sub-division of Dysfunctional Heroes of The Universe*)

*other Leagues include Mystery Men, The Endless siblings, Pinky and The Brain, and includes individuals such as Swamp Thing, Hellboy, Nicholas Cage and John Constantine

Thursday, April 21, 2005

oh ok

here. talk.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

we need a new playlist at work

One of our glowing reviews (The Saturday Age I believe) cites our fugging playlist as one of work's plus points.


It may be well and good and even 'romantic' (ChinaDoll, 2005) but to listen to the same damn thing for 6 months a year is TORTURE. Especially if you're only working mornings.

Mornings are the quietest times, hence maximum listening pleasure. Also, despite our expansive playlists (morning, noon, afternoon, night), it can't be more than 100 songs on each. AND the best songs are all either in the Night playlist (our busiest times when we're too busy and it's too loud) or NOT on any playlists? Why? Beats me.

I liked Norah Jones. I even bought her CD. Then I started work there. And now, like every other member of staff, we hear Norah and let out a simultaneous "ARGHHHHH!!!!!"

I've started to miss her again, because my boss has figured out that if you turn off the shuffle, and start at Jewel's Swallow The Moon song you end up bypassing all the Norah songs. (Unluckily for me, it contains several songs I absolutely DETEST including Kings of Leon, Belle and Sebastian and Kings of Convenience) That remake of The Stranglers' Golden Brown drives me up the wall, and we really don't need a lithium induced version of Scarborough Fair. Or all these other songs that really really make me chop strawberries extra quickly, clean the waffle machine extra efficiently, or thump my coffee milk extra hard.

If you play me some bloated dramatic French song by some overenthusiatic version of Rufus Wrainwright without the passion and class, I will throw a tiny tiny strawberry in strawberry fondue, make you bad coffee, and go easy on all your chocolate. (and if you asked for soy milk, I'll make sure I accidentally on purpose make it full cream)

I don't care if Derek Zoolander thinks it's so hot right now, I do not care.

We have extended conversations about the playlist.

People sit round discussing how "Three is a Magic Number" really makes everyone laugh, how "This is Not a Love Song" seems to form a love/hate divide amongst the staff, whether Air is all that great, etc.

BUT. We are united in our love of Damien Rice, and our hatred of Come Away With Me by Norah.

As my boss puts it, "I live in fear of hearing the opening bars of that song. That playlist on shuffle makes me edgy all morning. The moment I hear that song, it just wrecks my day."

and he isn't kidding either.

Then we have what White Trash and I affectionately call the "elevator music series" which sounds exactly like that drivel they played in hotel lobbies in the early 90s. That whole "ambient" thing, like the shopping section of The Sims. You know, that music played in the era before Kenny G, Yanni and Kitaro, after Richard Clayderman.

Songs like those really make me feel like I'm trapped in a gigantic elevator, slowly suffocating amidst the smell of coffee, chocolate and waffles, surrounded by Toorak Mothers with their designer-clothed babies and toddlers and kids- hands adorned with rocks that look big enough to wipe out third world debt. (and the occassional staff member screaming blue murder at the soundtrack)

I mean, I love work. I love the people there, and I do know that I probably will never ever work at a place with such a great work dynamic ever again...and I have got to have one of the best work mp3 collections ever, but if someone made the morning playlist magically disappear I would be most grateful.

ON THE HUNT FOR: Unfinished Symphony- Massive Attack (homework from my boss- he's giving me music education)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


The lady was very nice about my narky email. yay.

I was so pissed off last night I actually vowed not to cook until they turned up, so I wouldn't create a mess that they'd percieve as "dirty". I mean, if it's show kitchens they want (half the damn students here don't cook) then it's show kitchens they get.

Then I realised I had food in the fridge. So I cooked the last of it tonight, and that's it. I'm not cooking. It's out for food I go.

anyway, here's my submission for Sein Und Werden. The theme's muse.

Monday, April 18, 2005


I had a dream a few weeks ago that my landlady was about to throw me out because my apartment was too messy. So I started cleaning it.

Unfortunately, I messed it up again.

Today, I recieved a letter stating that my apartment is "untidy and unclean" and that if it is considered "tidy and clean" by Friday that it was be cleaned by cleaners at my expense.


In fact I was so pissed off I shot off this email.

Hi Maragret,

In your letter dated 18 April, it is stated that my apartment is "untidy and unclean" and that I "have been burning candles".

While I will definitely acknowledge that I am untidy, I object to the status of "unclean", by which you were probably noting the unwashed dishes.

I would like to point out that I had just been told that my best friend's cousin has been murdered and that I had gone to meet her without washing my dishes, or throwing out my trash.

While I understand that you were not to know this, the idea that unwashed dishes can constitute "unclean" still disturbs me.

The "untidy" and probably assumed unclean clothes on my couch are actually quite the opposite- they are freshly laundered, put there for me to fold before I return them to my cupboard. Again, I left the house without doing this.

There are also groceries in the hallway- again, left on the spot due to a hasty exit.

My apartment does not smell, nor have stains, and I do not even put pictures up on the wall...and my bathroom is certainly well kept. Again, it is (and I acknowledge this) untidy, but definitely not unclean.

As for burning candles, I would like to note that these are candles brought in from the time I moved in (2 years ago) and were used previously. Many of them do not even have wicks lighted; the lamps/candles are there purely for decorative purposes.

I understand and have read the YMCA House Rules and have not lit candles within the YMCA premises.

Since I am graduating in July, I will be throwing out most of the mess (mostly books and magazines I have collected due to my course requirements) and while I can get rid of most of them by Friday, certainly not all of them will be disposed of by the time you come and visit.

I will however, make the effort to tidy the house up in expectation of a visit, and perhaps arrange things in a more presentable manner.

If you would like to come back on Friday as stated, then I would be grateful if you consider the circumstances. (and the fact that everyone doesn't wash their dishes immediately every once in a while)



ANGRY!!!!!!!!! INSULTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BAH!!!!!!!!!!

p/s I'm bloody allergic to dust!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

Apparently our dear LKY is in there....under scientists.

While I think the man is a frigging genius and really should be in that list, a listing under "scientists" is a rather scary thought.

It brings to mind the image of LKY as a mad genius with Singapore as his lab and guess what, Singaporeans are his lab rats.

I mean sure, he's a great social engineer. But under scientist?!?

I feel myself caving in to an overwhelming need to squeak on command.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I'm sure you enjoyed those ads

Disturbing? What disturbing? Wait till I show you the stuff I really find disturbing.

I am blogging to relieve stress. You see, about 10 minutes ago I ws convinced I was going to DIE. Right there and then.

I have a presentation tomorrow. I am doing the slides. I want quotes. Can't find my book. Look for book. Still can't find book. Get antsy. Look at ads. Look for book. Get antsier. Look all over for book in improbable places. Get even antsier.

I finally give in to the little voice in my head screaming at the top of her little lungs "I'm Going to DIEEEEEEE!!!!!!"

Perservere. Find book RIGHT WHERE I LEFT IT.

Need to blog to restore inner calm.

Prospect of 7-1 work plus 1.30 presentation plus class till 4.30 plus graduation party dinner at 6.30 is not appealling especially after 4 hours sleep last night. I love my life.

Still convinced will die because just dawned on self that there is no way in hell I will manage to print out 30 copies of presentation between 1.15pm and 1.30pm.

I'M GOING TO DIEEEEEE!!!!!! *hyperventilates*

oh. alright. I'll stop being such a drama queen. Just feed me coffee.

tell me stories boss

my boss is actually quite entertaining when he isn't being a grump. He's been telling me lots of stories about Israel of late, and this morning, he told me he grew up in a kibbutz. I wanted him to tell me more but he didn't want to talk about it, saying he found it too traumatic.

He says little things about his time there though. Little kiddy things, or minor everyday amusing things.

I've decided the man watches too much TV, but otherwise, he's honestly the coolest boss. AND he puts up with me whining in the morning.

"Boss, I haven't woken up yet. Make me a cawfee!!!!!"

"FREAK. What coffee"

"Anything. It's the caffeine that counts. Oh make it skinny"

*boss pulls face*

he considers skinny coffees to be an abomination punishable by ugly coffee foam. He makes me a nice one anyway.

"Why do you even bother?" he mutters

"I've been drinking skinny milk since I was 3 Boss, I genuinely don't like the taste of full cream"

"WHAT! Since you were 3? WHY?"

"Because I was a fat kid. My parents put me on a diet"

"FREAK. No wonder you turned out like that"


I later got my revenge...

"I have to go home for my brother's wedding"

"Whoa! you have a BROTHER? I never knew that!"

"I have 2. One older, one younger."

"Ha! Middle Child! No wonder you're like that!"

He tries very very hard to look angry, but you can see a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.


He tries again

"What are you doing here, FREAK"

"Having coffee with gerri. It's the only time I could fit in this week"

Gerri: "You changed Boss! AND you've had a haircut since this morning!!!!"

he goes on about not being able to find DKNY shoes in Melbourne, and we try to name places.

"You have good taste Boss, and you love your brands" says Gerri

I laugh "yeah, but then he goes out and buys about 10 of the exact same thing! 5 of those black polos, 2 of this very shirt (I yank at his shirt, he mock glares), 3 of those jeans he's now wearing"

"TWO." he cuts in.

"yeah. TWO."

"Well at least he can coordinate colour!"

"Yeah silvermyst, what kinda colour coordination is all black anyway?" he looks at me with a look.

"It's called work clothes Boss. Remember I was here earlier????"


He's a toasted marshmallow this guy. All gruff and curt on the outside, soft and squishy on the inside.

I'm getting bloody old

and I know it when I seem to be the only person who knows that DJ Sammy's Heaven is a remake of a Bryan Adams rock ballad. I also seem to be the only person who remembers that Summer Rain and Boys of Summer are remakes of 80s hits.

Yeah. Even the Ataris didn't do it first.

I also seem to know that Comfortably Numb by the Scissor Sisters is a remake of Pink Flloyd, AND that it is a very very very good remix (with a very very very bad video clip)

Gosh I'm old. and it's only getting worse.

Monday, April 11, 2005

all this Hofstede bullcrap is messing with my head

even more than Magnolia Mango Milk TVCs

or in fact, Japanese Schoolgirl Panties worn by sweaty poledancing men

although Mulit and Russell Peters do amuse me quite a bit

I find it quite affronting that we can be boxed into such minute detail. Such vast generalisations!!!! Then again, I have to say that many parts of it are quite true if you really *have* to box people up into little takeaway chow-sized containers (despite the fact that I'm preparing a presentation that's challenging Mr. Hofstede) and it'd be in character for a Singaporean to mutiny on a BLOG.

Still. It's messy. And it's messing with my head. I'm starting to relate everything back to international advertising. Which is plain disgusting. The advertising more than the international.
Who said advertising wasn't evil. Take it from me. I'm the advertising student.

Also messing with my head: Lauryn Hill's To Zion

oh yeah. apparently there's a chiobu listing of bloggers going round. They somehow managed to miss angela, karen cheng, silentgirl and cheryltan. HOW COULD THEY!!!!! someone complain!!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

pretend the pictures are here I'll post later


I can never put pictures up unless using hello!

stupid IE. what's wrong with you.

This was SUPPOSED to be a picture post

And it was to read like this: (so just imagine)

I made the gulab jamuns, and I think I put in too much milk because they're way too soft. At least they're not breaking apart though, and they look delicious! (and taste pretty good)

Also, I had my hair cut by lyrical philosopher today so I've gone from



brunette with blonde streaks,

and hair down to my waist



yep. I freaked out myself when I saw it. I think I'm too fair for my natural hair colour! but it's tres dramatique non?


Hush little baby don't say a word mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird. If that mocking bird don't sing mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring. If that diamond ring turns brass mama's gonna buy you a looking glass. If that looking glass gets broke mama's gonna buy you a billy goat. If that billy goat won't pull. Mama's gonna buy a cart and bull. If that cart and bull roll over. Mama's gonna buy you a dog named Rover. If that dog named Rover don't bark mama's gonna buy you a horse and cart if that horse and cart fall down. Don't forget your the greatest baby in town.

-the original words to Hush Little Baby

and here's Eminem's Mockingbird


It's amazing what the change in key from major to minor can do. It's one of the best known things in music- I learnt this when I was 6, without having undergone any music lessons at all. And yet to hear it used to such effect is still....heart-wrenching.

I woke up in a melancholy mood yesterday- perhaps due to a lack of sleep. Then switched rage on to find Mockingbird playing, and it made me so so sad.

Sad because the song is so sad, but also sad for his daughter. He sounds like he's trying his best and yet he's failing. And it's horrible.

I never want kids because I fear I will fail them.

creatures of habit

It was easy till I was 14, with the small town mentality. Grow up, get a job, work around the world perhaps. Spend the weekends chilling.

All of a sudden, I was given 2 weeks notice. I was going to Australia, and I wasn't coming back for 7 years. I couldn't tell enough people that I was leaving. All the dearest people in my lives. I still managed to miss a few people- people who would call months later to hear I was now studying overseas.

Everyone reacted with shock. People cried. I recieved boxes of letters with email addresses attached. When my mother saw the sheer amount of people at the airport to see me off, she jokingly told me it looked like I was going on haj.

Back then, I had the naive belief that I would somehow keep in touch with everyone. Of course, it never happened.

As I met more and more people from all over the world, I realised that these people would all be moving on to someplace else, or to where they or their parents came from. Very few would be staying in Australia permanently.

I made friends with them at different times, and they left at different times. As time went on, It got easier to come to terms with the fact that you would lose contact with these people. Or that you would never see these people again, because as with all things, we let it slide.

It got easier to understand the concept of keeping these people in your hearts, without contacting them.

There are some people I dearly wish I could see one more time, just to see if they're alright. Or people who cross my mind every once in a while, and I smile wistfully, wondering if they remember me at all.

I took a rough count and realised I've said my goodbyes to more than 600 people now. perhaps 150 of them were close, or I was fond of.

It's been close to 8 years since I said my first goodbyes. I keep in contact with so few of those people now.

Perhaps we are more nostalgic because it was time, place and circumstance that we drifted, and not of natural "drifting". They had to go. I had to go. It was never an option.

I ought to be flattered that people are so desperate for me to stay they're offering me their hands in marriage. But all it does is make me sadder that soon, my wandering soul will leave them all behind.

It may get easier, but it never feels any better.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

conversations in my head

wearing my contact lenses today, (I'm trialing these newfangled thingys) I had a mild stress attack about bumping into RMcD today, and started making up little excuses.

RMcD btw, is this guy who's been erm, contacting me for about 6 months now, despite hints the size of elephants being thrown at him. His most recent SMSing rampage ended with "are you still here?" which I didn't reply.

Bitchy, yes. Mean, definitely. Do I feel bad? no. well, except that I'm avoiding him. Which means I do, in a roundabout kinda way.

Well, look. He has 2 (count that with your fingers- TWO!) Masters Degrees and a Bachelor's from some of the best unis in the world, a high school pedigree even snobs would find hard to shake a stick at, yet can't get his act together in terms of job OR movie venue hunting. And unless you intend to live in theory, you're not gonna get anywhere (or have a life in real life)

SO. anyway. I. Do. Feel. Bad.

which is why I'm avoiding him like the plague. I think I saw him once, and was actually walking in the middle of the road already, towards the tram stop, saw him, and crossed back and walked to the superstop 10-15 minutes away.

Neurotic? Yes. If you could pick up that scene and stick it into a movie, it'd make for great laughs.

I thought I saw him again today, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

But I sat there trying to make up stupid excuses just in case he, I don't know....suddenly appeared from nowhere (like unwanted people often do, and in your face too) while I was lost in thought thinking about excuses on what to to say when I saw him?

Anyway, it seems I look REALLY different in contacts. One of my colleagues was so afraid it was my sister he'd seen at the train station that I had to go up to him first.

So I decided, I shall be my evil sister in contacts.

I contemplated using the name I usually give guys when I don't want them to know my real name, and finally decided on an 'R' name instead....

You know, in keeping with all these siblings named Patrick and Paul; Hans, Henderson, Henry and Hannah, Zhiming and Zhiqiang (these are real families I'm naming) blah blah blah....

Rachel? nah. my parents wanted to name me that. And one of my best friends has that name.

Rowena? Knew a girl with that name. Nope.

Regine? er, no.

I then I smirked. Raine.

Raine. To confound the ah bengs (and somehow make myself mysteriously sexier because I'm just so kantang), and then I could prissily tell them I was "Raine, short for Rhiannon" not "Rain" the weather element that could pass for the new hippie fad (or a Hong Kong native).

Besides, Rhiannon and I sounded like we could come from the same parents.

Rhiannon would be prissy, bitchy, possibly like pink ( I was wearing a disturbing amount of pink today), a total spoilt princess. She would also be helpless, vapid, petulant, vain, self-absorbed, have a penchant for OTT and very very blonde.

I was so amused for awhile, imagining my evil twin.

"And some days, Rhiannon comes to school instead of me"

and I realised, that in many ways, even the "real" us is blatantly fake anyway. And deep inside we know that to an extent, we are all fakes of ourselves.

Poor imitations of what we really are, watered down by ourselves.

We're all our evil twins.

Hey everybody. My name's Rhiannon. What's yours?

cooking up a non-controversy

I've got apple sauce all over my hands at the moment because I'm baking apple and cinnamon muffins, and in the process of making some gulab jamun.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you an update.

I spoke to my lecturer about the whole lush fm presentation thing because I needed to get copyright release from my uni in order to provide dear mediacorp with my material.

After speaking about the issue, he told me not to bother, because copyright release would take ages, and if mediacorp were to keep my stuff "for filing", then (in his own words) "things have a bad habit of coming back to bite you in the arse". ( I suspect he fears for my safety given my track record of markedly more Aussie behaviour than Singaporean)

I told him I'd already written in saying that I'd agreed not to use the material in a negative light (his reply: "and what exactly is a negative light?" me: "well, I said there was no right or wrong in the essay anyway" him:"yes. but they can make an issue of it years into the future. As in, literally MAKE an issue.")

and "I suggest you write into mediacorp and tell them you're not using the material because you never know. IN WRITING.".

So I agreed.

I really don't want to get bitten in the arse. I like my arse thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

singapore claustrophobia and mediacorp

I was talking to my boss today about Israel, Israel's stance, the rest of the world's stance, his personal stance, Palestinian occupation, Islam and well, Singapore at the end of it all.

I was arguing that perhaps it was as he himself said "too much of a focus" on the religion to the point of becoming dogmatic that brought about so much strife.

And then he said he'd read an article comparing Israel to Singapore which of course piqued my interest, as well as the fact that I'd never heard an Israeli opinion before on well, anything. Especially since I don't claim to be a genius on Middle Eastern politics and/or history.

So anyway, I said that in terms of political management, the Mahatir leadership specifically, it was extremely similar to Singapore- and Singapore was hardly Muslim, and Malaysia for that matter is extremely moderate, and due to culture, is a little bit more difficult to compare to the Middle East.

Somewhere in between that point, and asking what the article had said comparing Israel and Singapore (very small secular and relatively better off states surrounded by much larger more populous muslim nations) he asked about why I'd compare Singapore to Malaysia in terms of leadership. (he'd just called Malaysia's Anwar case a result of a dictatorship)

And I said that well, if you really want to clasify Malaysia as a dictatorship, then Singapore wasn't much different. And that we are in fact a democracy, but we aren't a liberal democracy. (where have I heard that one before?) I swear I'm not covering my ass. I actually said that.

"Well you can't be a liberal democracy with compulsory military service can you?" he smiles

yeah well.

we went on....but basically I started whinging about my LushFM ads.

The guy in charge would only give them to me if I did not portray Lush in a negative light ( I said I wouldn't- and I won't. Whaddaya take me for???!!!???!!!). So I said yeah hell, there's no good and bad in this essay anyway. It's a study about how advertising REFLECTS the culture. Not that Lush FM is crap. (I reckon if it plays nothing but chillout all day it's pretty good)

So anyway, my sweet dear friend RenaissanceMan actually went all the way to Mediacorp to pick it up and Fedex it to me...and was told by the dude that I'd have to submit a copy of my presentation AND my final paper for filing purposes.


I don't know about you. But despite my decidedly non-negative spin on ANY advertising I'm going to be using, I'm already feeling iffy. IFFY IFFY IFFY.

If I don't blog in the next few months, you know what happened to me. I got bankrupted, had to leave the country, got thrown into jail for my.......errrr......PREVIOUS ESSAYS ON CABLE TELEVISION IN SINGAPORE!!!! oops. I shouldn't have written that should I. Now I'll have government infrastructure ministry or something come after me. DAMN.

Monday, April 04, 2005

ahhhh....the facts

this is apparently the real story. which makes my paternal side of the family even more ahead of time.

It wasn't gran's feet that weren't bound, but her mother's ("ah tai"). And it
was Ah Tai's mother who insisted, saying that "who'll marry our daughter if she
has big feet", and Ah Tai's dad vetoed it, saying that "if no one marries her,
I'll provide for her all her life". He was very ahead of his time. And clearly,
he must have loved her very much...

Thanks cuz. :) My dad told me it was gramps!

and people wonder why our family is full of strong willed women. ha. we were liberated earlier. on both sides. *amused*

Posted by Hello

I find my cemetary peaceful at times.
Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 03, 2005

happy birthday gramps

My grandma's been the only surviving grandparent I remember.

I say this because my maternal grandmother was alive until I was about 1 or 2 (I think) before she passed on.

This paternal grandmother though, is now celebrating her 87th hale and hearty year. She travels round the world on her own, even has a flat kept for her in Guangzhou for whenever she decides to pop in, and indulges in the odd philanthropic move- like donating an ambulance to the local hospital or something.

She's a phenomenal woman, and not one who's perfect - there's plenty of things I can pick fault with, but one thing- she's essentially a very strong and highly intelligent woman.

She comes from a family of insufferably intellegent people. College professors who have become HODs, doctors, the odd knight of the British Order, ambassadors...the usual garden variety. It seems her (warning! pic could be distressing!) feet weren't bound not because her doctor father decided not to, but because her mother said N.O. I guess their family was a little ahead of the times.

She's written 3 books, had a TV program, does life drawing, potters in the garden and oh yes, speaks at least 3 languages on an almost everyday basis: English, Cantonese, Mandarin. She may not speak English well, but she understands it perfectly and manages to get her point across clearly. Her mandarin is in fact almost on par with mine.

All this is great. Except that I seem to have lost my knack for understanding Cantonese.

Somewhere in the depths of suburban and metropolitan Melbourne, I seem to have lost it. So when my gramps speaks to me, I nod. And get equally startled and distressed that I can't seem to understand a word she says anymore.

There's so much I want to ask her, but can't. And she thinks I can still understand her while she rattles on in Cantonese because I used to answer in Mandarin and/or English and/or both in one sentence. And it's the most awkward feeling to have someone talking AT you in a language you used to understand and are supposed to still understand.

I called her to wish her happy birthday today, and spoke in Mandarin. She replied in Mandarin and English while I heaved a sigh of relief. However, it was obvious she couldn't sustain the conversation for long due to her difficulty with both languages. Perhaps my father has told her.

I'm sorry gramps. And happy 87th.

and so...

the pope passes.

Let's hope the next leader does as much for the world.

D'ror yikra I'ven im bat.
V'yin-tzar-chem k'mo vavat
N'im shim-chem v'lo yushbat

-Traditional Hebrew song

He shall proclaim freedom for all and protect you,
Rest and be contented on the seventh day