looking for baudrillard, boorstin, or eco?

dare to hope for what is good
instead of what is merely good enough.
Dead in sin | Saved by grace | Living in hope | Walking by faith | Surviving on a prayer

+ sola scriptura + sola gratia + solus Christus + sola fide + sola Deo gloria +

samedi, janvier 31, 2004

 Hello Joshua Harris

According to Joshua Harris's website, I can get a free copy of his new book Not Even a Hint if I promise to write a review about it on this space. I don't really think the offer extends outside of the USA (except maybe if celebrity Iraq blogger dear_raed asks for one), but I emailed them anyway. :)

What's it about?

Yeah, it's a book on lust.

Why would anyone want to read it?
I don't know, when the book arrives in the mail, I'll tell you.

Why do you want to read it?
I don't know, cos the cover looks damn cool? Why not judge a book by it's cover? In this case (and in many others), I think it's fully justified.

Who's this guy anyway?
See JoshHarris.com for more details.

[addendum: No, this ISN'T the review, of course. Durh.]

[Hello Joshua Harris]
Sngs Alumni @ 31.1.04 { }

vendredi, janvier 30, 2004

 What's up with me?

I am finding the trouble with me is that I want to do everything! Life is just so full of stuff to do that I find myself often wide-eyed with wonder - the sheer panorama, the buffet spread of activities to do... what's going down, man? For those who have been asking me "what's up?"... :

7th February 2005, 8-11pm

Actually... Love

Space 21, above Mox Bar, at Tanjong Pagar Rd.
Behind Fairfield Methodist Church
Tix@$10/12, buy at door

- Not too sure if I'm performing in this or not, but probably not, unless I misunderstand something... I'm doing graphic design and a little but of publicity for this event.

19th February 2005, 7:30pm

Workplace stuff
Piano Concerto

University Cultural Centre Hall
Tix from SISTIC

- I'm doing ticketing and mainly handling box-office for this event. As well as being a morale-booster - "Hey, you guys sounded really good!"

26th-28th February 2005, various times, 4 shows perhaps?

Poetry In The Flesh II

Siglap South Community Centre
Tix at $10-12, buy at door

- Performing for this one, though in a small capacity because I want to concentrate on marketing this properly. I'm already a few days behind schedule.

4th March 2005, 7pm
Free admission
[Campus Crusade for Christ NUS]

- Directing a play/musical

5th March 2005, 7pm
Workplace stuff
Singapore Art Museum
Tickets at $15 and $10 (students) from SISTIC.

- No idea what I'm doing for this. Yet.

25th March 2005, 7:30pm

Workplace stuff
Violin Concerto

University Cultural Centre Hall
Tix from SISTIC

- No work on this yet, but I'm sure something will come up.

[What's up with me?]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.1.04 { }

 Night of macho posturing

Ooh... met many fun people today. First, Estee's cousin, who has a chinese name and I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Then, the legendary Hwee Yee, in the flesh, with her brother (again, forgot the name). Then Mr and Mrs Eileen-Adrian Tan, a couple married happily ever 2.5 years. Then Yen/Yan?, Estee's roommate, plus Jeff and Evan. Did I miss out anyone? Probably...

Have been trying to download pictures off my phone into my work computer, but the USB infrared thingy/Dongle isnt' working very well, and I have yet to make a successful transfer of anything between the pc and the computer. I'm sure everyone would like to see pictures of Evan doing push-ups on the bar floor.

[addendum: here they are.]

Evan doing his six-thousandth-and twenty-fifth push-up.

stee and me!

[Night of macho posturing]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.1.04 { }

 White teeth?

Ever since I mentioned Zadie Smith's White Teeth on here, there seems to be an increase in the probability of two ads appearing at the top of my page: White Teeth in 4 Days and Hollywood Whitening. Talk about marketing.

[as for the book: Adeline brought it to church last week to pass to me, and I (terribly disgusted with myself), left it there. We got it back though.]

[White teeth?]
Sngs Alumni @ 30.1.04 { 0 comments }

mercredi, janvier 28, 2004

 Good Bye Fujitsu!

Spent yesterday a little droopy because of the weather, plus a feeling of blah-ness brought on by the lack of things to do (it's one of those days where it's not good to feel useless). Plus the fact that my computer was dead as a doornail. Bought it to the NUS Comp Centre, where the guys spent a good half hour trying to fix it. They finally booted up the comp on a different OS (the geeks wrote it themselves!) from my CD-rom drive, connected to my work computer (majik!), and dumped the contents of my d:drive into my workstation's c:drive. That way, I still have most of my crap, just that quite a lot of email is now lost forever.

After recovering my data, I had to bring the Fujitsu to the Fujitsu care centre, which is now located in a dreary little dungeon-looking corner in the PC co-op. The (rather-cute-but-has-the-flu) guy there told me that I had to bring my invoice to show that the computer had been bought within the last 3 years. If I didn't, then the repair would cost $200. However, I could go to the MPSH to print my invoice out again, which would cost $20. (I found the invoice at home, thankfully, which saved me not only $20, but a trip down to the MPSH). So now I have a brand-new physical drive, thanks to NUS. I'm starting to wonder if I should actually leave my job - the perks are pretty damn good! (Though not as good as Estee's $41K/annum's NSW!)

Went to catch Good Bye Lenin! with Estee and Jeff (his first appearance on this space!), where she had a rather dramatic reaction to the movie. ("I'm a bleeding-heart Marxist, so sue me," she said, between sniffles.) Pretty good movie - I liked it mainly because it told an engaging story, without any one particular theme coming too sharply into focus (and thus poking your eye out.) A boy who loved his mom, set in Berlin, against the fall of the Wall. Sure, there was the East-West ideological tension in the background, but (for me, at least), it stayed in the background a lot, or was used as a prop (images of the boy rooting through the garbage to find an empty bottle of East German pickles after the supermarkets stopped carrying them, and one of him jubilant after discovering a stockhold of leftover East German products remain to me, the most poignant scenes of the movie.)

[Good Bye Fujitsu!]
Sngs Alumni @ 28.1.04 { }

mardi, janvier 27, 2004

 The Worst Thing

One of the Worst Things That Can Happen To Me has Happened. My harddisk crashed. Or rather, the OS refuses to boot up. According to my diagnosis (as learnt from this page), the computer itself is okay, nothing fried or anything, but (I think that) boot.ini cannot be found or something. It's all very depressing, made even more so by the weather. I'm quite upset. :~(

[The Worst Thing]
Sngs Alumni @ 27.1.04 { }

samedi, janvier 24, 2004


Ooh! Everyone should read Estee-gotten-from-Mark's test!

Had a fun but sticky time with Estee and Mayee yesterday. I don't know what madness prevailed upon me to suggest that we go to the River Hongbao, I thought all I wanted was a chat over coffee! Sorry guys, guess I don't know myself very well. Anyway, upon hearing that I had finished Neverwhere, Mayee prevailed upon me to read White Teeth by Zadie Smith, so I'm blogging it here in case I forget. White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Forever entombed in these hallowed archives of Blogspot.

Hmm. Maybe my mom would like to read it too. (She's a dentist.)

Sngs Alumni @ 24.1.04 { 0 comments }

vendredi, janvier 23, 2004

 Christian music that doesn't suck like an old Hoover

Are you cynical as me? (Well, okay, I'm not exactly the poster-girl for cynicism, but still, there's enough inside here to go around at least once...) Christian Music that (apparently) doesn't suck like an old Hoover - Cliquez-ici!

[Christian music that doesn't suck like an old Hoover]
Sngs Alumni @ 23.1.04 { 0 comments }

jeudi, janvier 22, 2004

 Holy Cow!

Me and my brother were fooling around with
his new digital camera, his bible, and my necklace.

[Holy Cow!]
Sngs Alumni @ 22.1.04 { }

 march of the sinister ducks

Apparently there's an mp3 going around called The March of the Sinister Ducks. I am determined to get a hold of it. Anyone who has it, please email it to me.

Addendum - you can download it LEGALLY here. (The maker gave permission to release the track on the net, and said - "The world must be warned about those ducks," he said. "It's all true.")

Fuzz, I have a strange feeling you will like this. Hoot!


Nasty and small: undeserving of life.
Ducks. Ducks. Quack-quack. Quack-quack.
They'll sneer at your hairstyle and sleep with your wife.
Ducks. Ducks. Quack-quack. Quack-quack.
Dressed in plaid jackets and horrible shoes,
Getting divorces and turning to booze.
Ducks. Ducks. Quack-quack. Quack-quack.
Ducks. Ducks. Quack-quack. Quack-quack.

[march of the sinister ducks]
Sngs Alumni @ 22.1.04 { 0 comments }

 My hobby is reading.

Do you remember when you were younger, and owned one (or a few) of those autograph books? Some of them came with pre-printed info pages, where you could write your name, your address, telephone number, hobbies, best friends... all the spaces would inevitably, of course, wind up being insufficient for huge primary 1 handwriting. I would always list down "reading" as my main number 1 hobby when I wrote autographs for friends.

Over the last couple of years, my recreational reading tapered off in lieu of studying literature texts and doing research on technology. I didn't realise how bad it was until some kids asked what my hobby was, and I was hard-pressed to say. But now that I've started work, and have little pockets of nothing to do (such as this Chinese New Year holiday), I've started reading again. My find of the year is (surprise, surprise), Neil Gaiman. I'd always known the Sandman series was good, but I bought a couple more novels from him, and yesterday, I started and finished one of the best alternate reality stories I've ever encountered, and that was Gaiman's Neverwhere.

Set in London, England, Neverwhere is about Richard Mayhew, who helps a stranger out, and as a result, falls between the cracks of society. People see right through him, taxi-drivers won't stop for him, his fiance� doesn't know who he is, his job and apartment aren't his anymore. He belongs to another place now, one called London Below, where there are Earls at Earl's Court, Ravens at Raven's Court, Black Friars at Blackfriars, where Night exacts a toll on (k)Night's Bridge, and an angel called Islington... of course, there's the quest to take, an ordeal to undergo, a family to avenge, but it's all written so well, the cliches don't intrude. Anyone who's ever been fascinated by the London Underground should read this - it rocks!

[My hobby is reading.]
Sngs Alumni @ 22.1.04 { }

mercredi, janvier 21, 2004

 Happy Birthday Kris, and Happy New Year everyone!

Here's Kris getting her super-duper-(as-usual-what-can-you-expect)-late birthday-Christmas present from me and Ron - Mango black pants with good leg/butt-grabbing abilities and pocketses! Nice pocketsessss! The pants made her into such a diva - check out her adoring newly-made fan bowing down in homage. Or was she paying obesiance to the pants, and not Kris... ?

Today was also quite a fun day at the Con - thank God truly for some of the colleagues I have, who are really quite fun, and who make working fun. We decided that we wanted to take pictures today, just for fun and to get into the spirit of things, so we told students to dress nicely today, and here we are all decked out... student pictures are in someone's camera, these are only my phone photos.

[pictures removed]

And I just got dissed for applying for masters by my relatives ("Wah, you want to study some more? Study so much for what, no need one lah...etc etc"), dissed for working in NUS ("Why you work there?" in a derisive tone), dissed for not bringing a boyfriend of marriagable age to the reunion table (you really don't want to hear the comments on this one, but I think some of you should know what I'm talking about) because my cousin of the same age brought her boyfriend whom she's been dating for the past 5 years... this after being dissed for staying in Singapore and going to NUS, and not being smart enough to get a scholarship with some civil service stat board.

It's the year of the monkey, and I guess my monkey's really on their back.

[Happy Birthday Kris, and Happy New Year everyone!]
Sngs Alumni @ 21.1.04 { }

mardi, janvier 20, 2004

 Claim Your Wings


You are a PHOENIX in your soul and your wings make a statement.

Huge and born of flame, they burn with light and power and rebirth. Ashes fall from your wingtips. You are an amazingly strong person. You survive, even flourish in adversity and hardship. A firm believer in the phrase, 'Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger,' you rarely fear failure. You know that any mistake you make will teach you more about yourself and allow you to 'rise from the ashes' as a still greater being. Because of this, you rarely make the same mistake twice, and are not among the most forgiving people. You're extremely powerful and wise, and are capable of fierce pride, passion, and anger. Perhaps you're this way because you were forced to survive a rough childhood. Or maybe you just have a strong grasp on reality and know that life is tough and the world is cruel, and it takes strength and independence to survive it. And independence is your strongest point - you may care for others, and even depend on them...but when it comes right down to it, the only one you need is yourself. Thus you trust your own intuition, and rely on a mind almost as brilliant as the fire of your wings to guide you.You are eternal and because you have a strong sense of who and what you are, no one can control your heart or mind, or even really influence your thinking. A symbol of rebirth and renewal, you tend to be a very spiritual person with a serious mind - never acting immature and harboring a superior disgust of those who do. Likewise, humanity's stupidity and tendency to want others to solve their problems for them frustrates you endlessly. Though you can be stubborn, outspoken, and haughty, I admire you greatly.

*~*~* Claim Your Wings *~*~*
brought to you by Quizilla

[Claim Your Wings]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.1.04 { 0 comments }

 To the girls.

In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question "What kind of man are you looking for?"

She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye and asking "Do you really want to know?"

Reluctantly, he said "Yes." She began to expound...

"As a woman in this day and age, I am in a position to ask a man what he can do for me that I can't do for myself. I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man...or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, "What can you bring to the table?"

The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought and stated, "I am not referring to money.

"I need something more. I need a man who is striving for perfection in every aspect of life."

He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, and asked her to explain. She said "I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection mentally because I need conversation and mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man. I am looking for someone who is striving for perfection spiritually because I don't need to be unequally yoked... believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster. I need a man who is striving for perfection financially because I don't need a financial burden. I am looking for someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded. I am looking for someone who I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive ..he just has to be worthy. God made woman to be a help mate for man. I can't help a man if he can't help himself."

When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, "You are asking a lot."

She replied, "I'm worth a lot."

[To the girls.]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.1.04 { 0 comments }

 To Amanda

Life is sexually transmitted.

[To Amanda]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.1.04 { 0 comments }

 Pastor Chang

Sudden email from Issac via David:

Dear all brothers/sisters-in-Christ of TRBC,

Some of you may have already known that Rev. Chang met with an industrial accident in church this afternoon. His left hand last 3 fingers were crushed by the fallen gate and was admitted to TTSH. He'll be undergoing an urgent operation tonight to fix up the injured fingers (bones/nerve/veins etc...). Perhaps the operation is going to be quite tedious.....

Please pray for Rev. Chang's operation and ask God to bless the surgeon with wisdom while he is attending to him.. Also, pray that Rev. Chang has a peaceful soul as he commits the operation to the medical team. Also, pray that his hyper-tension (high-blood pressure) be in-control during this stressful period he is undergoing.....

Also, pray for Mrs. Sarah Chang as she needs to take care of Docas (Ping) & Titus (GuangRong) while attending to the needs of Rev. Chang in hospital. Pray for their 2 children as they may be emotionally very stirred by Rev. Chang's accident....

Let us commit Rev. Chang & his family in God's hand..... Your prayers are important!

In Him, Isaac (for further updates/details, you may want to contact our church office or our church leaders/pastors...)

[Pastor Chang]
Sngs Alumni @ 20.1.04 { 0 comments }

dimanche, janvier 18, 2004

 Report: Poetry In The Flesh

Not too bad, about 30-odd (odd) people showed up - a pretty good turn out, considering the venue was Siglap South Community Centre. Check out some rehearsal pics:

Hey, my phone-camera pictures turned out quite passable! Hur, technology might actually excite me again one day... Anyway. We had a blast, it was pretty fun. We had a last-minute installation poem at the end too, with water and live fish. Very cool stuff. Question is - was it cool and fun enough for me to perform again in February? Food for thought.

[Report: Poetry In The Flesh]
Sngs Alumni @ 18.1.04 { }

vendredi, janvier 16, 2004

 Poetry in the Flesh (Part I)

In conjunction with the first Singapore International Poetry Festival, WORDFEAST, there's this little theatre company putting up a programme called POETRY IN THE FLESH at the super ulu Siglap SOUTH Community Centre (not Siglap CC, Siglap SOUTH CC please.) Yep, I'm performing. (Why you think I announce so late?)

Romance is for the unf**kable.

Let's skip words - just screw me, do me,

ram it through me until i forget my name.

No procrastination.

Funny, poignant, sexy and unpredictable - STAGES has been bringing poetry to throbbing life through performance for years, and for Wordfeast 2004, we are proud to collect our favorite pieces plus some new works into an all-new performance of the word made flesh. Dead fish, maggi noodles, rainbow flags and army drill - all become accessories to the word in this lively, provocative romp through Singaporean poetry.

love is a welcome intrusion

an invasion you wanted

a violation we need

Featuring new stagings of text from past shows such as Cybercum (Perth), Toy Factory's White Sails Over Blue Blue Sea and Action Theatre's Poetry In Action 2 (where the team was nominated for Best Ensemble in the 2002 Life! Theatre Awards).

Simple soul asks as little as possible -

just someone to love me forever and never let me go,

and to give meaning to my life.

First-timers welcome.

Poems featured include works by Gui Wei Hsin, Alfian Sa'at, Paul Tan, Leong Liew Geok, Jonathan Lim, Ng Yi Sheng, Cyril Wong and others.

When : 16 January (Friday) 7pm
Where : assorted venues within Siglap South Community Centre, 6 Palm Road. (meeting point in front of the CC office) Tel : 62411925
Tickets : Pay-as-you-want at the door
(careful hor, it's not Siglap CC, it's Siglap SOUTH CC!)

A love on its own terms

Readme.text enclosed

Toolbar hidden

Help dialog box deactivated

This show is actually a preview of another larger poetry festival we'll be having at the end of February. Will announce more, and earlier when the time draws nearer, then people can think about coming to support support :) It's been quite exciting so far, and not too shoddy! I'm doing Leong Liew Geok's "Farewell to Sumana" as my main; the rest are ensemble pieces.

[Poetry in the Flesh (Part I)]
Sngs Alumni @ 16.1.04 { }

mercredi, janvier 14, 2004

 One of the poems I'm performing this Friday

Urban Rememberance [Gui Wei Hsin]

the city remembers you for me
I gently caress the passing day
to recollect a memory

by morning light I pour coffee
in the mug you bought for my birthday
the city remembers you for me

your sunny weekend shopping spree
makes me reflect in shop displays
to recollect a memory

at dinner on your evenings free
you smiled so softly in the way
the city remembers you for me

I find faded late night movie
stubs, and tck them carefully away
to recollect a memory

as time erases what I see
of you in flickering brevity, may
the city remember you for me
to recollect a memory.

[One of the poems I'm performing this Friday]
Sngs Alumni @ 14.1.04 { 0 comments }

mardi, janvier 13, 2004


The trend of meeting old friends/acquaintances continues.

First, Joshua from AJC, at Tiong Bahru. Then Johanna from AJC, beside my church. Then a couple of days ago, Aiwen/Wendy from St Nicks, who apparently has been Shao's friend like, forever, at Robertson Walk. And then the very next day, Aiwen/Wendy again, with Ailing at Wisma's Coffeeclub.

I hope this keeps up. It's so pleasant to get re-acquainted, and very exciting to see how everyone is doing.

Sngs Alumni @ 13.1.04 { 0 comments }

dimanche, janvier 11, 2004

 The Lover and The Dumb Waiter

I'm quite tired, and I know I should sleep because there's church tomorrow, and it's a full week of rehearsals for Poetry In The Flesh (Pt I) next week, plus french, but I'd better write about luna-id's The Lover and The Dumb Waiter before everything goes clean out of my mind.

First things first: should you watch it? Is it worth the $30 bucks? Is it worth risking getting caught for asking your school-going friend to buy you a ticket at $22?

Yes, yes and yes. I really enjoyed this production - mainly because it was Pinter - but I was pleasantly surprised that luna-id hadn't butchered the script, nor given the set a more modern interpretation. Although they did promise pure Pinter, but you know cynical me, I didn't really believe them, so I watched without any expectations. Apparently that's the way to go.

The first thing that strikes you when the curtains go up and the stage lights on, is the sheer amount of stuff that's on stage. They had these 1m wide wooden partitions which looked like ladders reaching all the way to the top of the stage. They had a queen-sized bed, with a real mattress. A couch. A coffee table. A vanity table with mirror. Two cabinets. A door. And many, many metres of folds of cloth, which served as curtains and partitioning room walls.

Suddenly, Tan Kheng Hua bustles in, and starts fussing with the newspapers. (Real-life) Husband Lim Yu-Beng walks in, and he starts fussing about with his coat and tie. Kheng Hua pours coffee into the mugs, and then walks over to the sofa, and bends over to neatly lay a bunch of magazines on the coffee-table, giving the audience a down-her-blouse peek. All this done in 5 minutes of silence, the audience wondering: "When is whatever, if anything, happening?" There begins the mindf**k that is The Lover.

For those who don't know, The Lover is about a husband and a wife. The husband knows the wife has a lover, and the wife knows the husband has a mistress. The twist: the husband is the lover, and the wife is the mistress. Fun huh? Make-believe and fantasy games made weirdly voyeuristic, because what's to say that Yu-Beng and Kheng Hua don't play these games at home?

The interval allowed for a set-change - or rather, a set-reconfiguration for The Dumb Waiter. Elegant English apartment transformed into a dingy basement drippy-looking place, with all the stuff that was in the apartment strewn around like debris. Not too bad a change, except that the props, especially the wooden ladder-like partitions, spoke too loudly over the action in The Dumb Waiter. It got a little distracting, and made the actors look a little cramped: because of the ladder-partitions and the other strewn stuff, they were limited to moving around on three little islands of space between the beds, the toilet, and the dumb waiter. Perhaps a little more space (just a little more) would have been nice. However, I have to say that the partitions created an opportunity for the lighting designer to play about with very interesting shadows. Lots of eerily-coloured lighting from off-centre, and lots of shadow-play and light movement (used often to show the passing of time) gave the production just that little twist more.

Rather unfortunately, the dumb waiter itself also could have been positioned a little better - if you were sitting facing stage right, the dumb waiter would be hidden from your view because it was placed at a 90deg angle to the audience, effectively preventing about half the audience from seeing it.

Other than my bugbears with the rather cluttered set, the production was really great - Lim Yu Beng, Tan Kheng Hua and Gerald Chew: fantastic stuff. I especially take my hat off to Yu Beng for memorising all those lines - two Pinter plays! That's some personal achievement. And an unadapted script! Hip-hip-hooray!

Some other random thoughts:
- The box labelled "boxing gloves" sitting behind Gerald Chew in The Dumb Waiter was a little distracting.

- What's with Kheng Hua and Yu-Beng lighting up half a pack of cigarettes in The Lover? Kheng Hua doesn't even look like she's really enjoying the smoke. (Shao was traumatised by the sheer decadent waste of cigarettes.)

- The man in front of me had a really large head, which blocked my view of centre-stage, resulting in me TOTALLY MISSING the part where Lim Yu-Beng and Gerald Chew shift from being bumbling idiots to trained, professional killers. Whoever this man is, I hope he gets seats where he doesn't block views the next time, or something.

- HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY GET SO MANY SPONSORS?!? Their pre-show "please turn off your handphones and pagers" was recited was a long litany of people they had to thank, including:
Official TV Station: Arts Central
Official Restaurant: Coq n Bull
Official Hair Salon: Action Hair Salon
Official Suits: National Tailor
Official Magazine: IS Mag
Official Make-up: Cosmoprof
Official Printer: Print at Work
Official Photography: Cactus Studio
Official Ticketing Agent: Sistic
Official Stunts and Effects: The Stunt Production Singapore
The last time I heard so many "official"s mentioned was... never! I've never heard so many "official"s before!

- Ooh, the programme is printed in two-colour: black and pink. Save on cost, looks nice.

That's about it. My verdict: go watch it! It's been treated with L'oreal: it's worth it.

[The Lover and The Dumb Waiter]
Sngs Alumni @ 11.1.04 { }

mercredi, janvier 07, 2004

 The Sentence Uttered Today

The ASU today resonates with such a bittersweet blend of ego and shame.

"I have done that,' says my memory.
'I cannot have done that' - says my pride, and remains adamant.
At last - memory yields."

Friedrich Nietzsche

[The Sentence Uttered Today]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.1.04 { 0 comments }

 Woah-hey, you've got to be kidding me...

What do people really think about you? by Raven319
favorite song
Parents thinkYou're an angel
Strangers thinkYou're hot
Friends thinkYou're wonderful
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

[Woah-hey, you've got to be kidding me...]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.1.04 { }

 Planning to plan

Almost every start of year since the year I started using them, I've been faced with a singular problem - how do you pick out a year planner for the year? Do you use the one your workplace gave you, and risk facing (in my case), a daily planner that screams ORANGE and blue in your face everytime you pick it up, or should you use the one your insurance agent gave you - you know, THAT boring one. Or should you wait for your Sunday School teacher to perform her yearly ritual of giving nice Christian-themed planners? Except that she usually gives them out for Christmas, and she didn't this year (what happened, you wonder.)

Every year, I would take a planner and start using it, writing notes and dates in them. However, I would get past about two weeks on that planner, and then a new one would come along, given by someone else; smaller, sleeker, prettier, more meaningful - and then I would transfer all my scribblings to the new one, leaving the old one to rot in some corner of the house, which is a total waste of a perfectly good calendar. But I think I've figured out how to solve this problem. The solution is

to not write your name and personal details in the diary's detail page.

It's true! Every planner that I started got dumped in a corner after I switched planner. But last year, I didn't bother writing my name in the planner because I figured I would come across something better... but I didn't, and I used that planner for the entire year. So I think the solution is to pretend that you aren't really using the planner, so the planner lets its guard down... after about 2 months or so of stalking your prey, you pounce upon it and fill in that first page (name, contact, blood group, in-case-of-emergency numbers) and declare yourself the owner of that planner. Yay!

[Planning to plan]
Sngs Alumni @ 7.1.04 { 0 comments }

dimanche, janvier 04, 2004

 A Very Disgruntled Singaporean

Someone sent me this last year, but I didn't get a chance to read it until a couple of days ago - this is one very far-from-happy Singaporean!
I draw 1700 dollars a month with no increment for the last 3 years. My mum draws 500 dollars a month. We have long working hours, and rarely get to see each other. After CPF 20% cut and other taxes, we can barely make it through the end of the month.

Yet we have a rude shock when we both found out we are the third highest paid workers in the world. Our PAP Government has just told us that we draw higher salaries than even Australia and USA! Our unemployment problem is due to the Singapore Citizen's fault. Our Salaries are just too high!!!!!

Well, just a few years ago, the PAP government says they were going to resume CPF to 40%. Now, the tune has changed. We are paid too high. Cut CPF. At the same time the signal is being sent that salaries should not be paid too high. Remember? China and India much cheaper. Yes! But does the cost of a car or a house the same as the cost in Singapore?????

Next year, GST increases to 5% and everybody pays. This they keep mum. Our ministers and MPs are the highest paid in the whole world. They get millions a year. They say this is to prevent corruption. Each constituency have 3 or 4 MPs. PAP is a big party. Singapore is a very small island, yet we have 4 mayors (North, West, East and Central)!!!! Do we need so many MPs and why do we need any mayor when a country is even smaller than a state in other country???? So many civil servants are redundant, overpaid and highly inefficient.

Here we have a government who thinks they know best and never consults the citizen of any decision that's made. In these times of difficulties we have a $650 million Esplanade splurge.


We have a transport minister whose main priority isn't transport efficiency but profits.

We have the first driverless system that cost the citizen's transport extra and breaks down frequently since its 1st use. We were told the fully automated system was developed to keep running cost down. Yet we're required to pay a lot more for it. And it comes free value-added random breakdown feature to 'attract' passengers!

We have a government who on one hand splurge on the Esplanade but scrimp on HDB upgrades on the other. Who won't learn after repeated mistakes of bankrupt contractors delaying the upgrading project time and again? It is only after flare ups do they take attention to the issue. Have they gone so fat in the middle that they have gone thick in the head??

PAP is entirely faultless, so they claimed.

I see now an increasingly bleak future for Singapore. The government has a death gripe on the enterprises here and practices pseudo-deregulations and privatizations. They have no directions. Despite top scholarly decisions made, Singapore's economy is going down, down, down. And now, to top it all, they have resorted to pointing fingers shifting blames. The lowest of the low. Our salaries are higher than the US (what a joke) Now we can all look forward to work till the end of our lives trying to pay up mortgages and have an absolutely zero quality of life.

I can barely survive on my own, much less talk about getting married and having children. I guess that option is reserved for the PRs and the expats. I am in a country where Singaporeans and its government look down on its own Singaporean citizens. Where they give all the key roles and development to Angmoh expats and PRs.

Seems to me as the day goes by that the quitters are winners and losers are stayers.

Ask yourself today, do you want a better quality of life? Will and can Singapore gives you a better quality of life?

Make a decision today. You'll feel better after you know where to go. For those who want a better quality of life? Make plans. The PAP has shortchanged you and makes you slave to their system till the end of your days. Only you can change your life.

Emigrate when the time is right.

[A Very Disgruntled Singaporean]
Sngs Alumni @ 4.1.04 { 0 comments }

vendredi, janvier 02, 2004

 Evaluation form: 2003

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
I wrote a thesis, graduated with honours, went to Europe*, got my first temp job, worked at Tanjong Pagar, got my first permanent job, first paycheck, discovered just exactly where Mohd Sultan Rd is, visited DBS Arts Centre, got a pet (a few pets! my fish!), bought a fish filter, used a lanyard, bought my first pack of 100 CD-Rs (previously only bought max of 50), bought (and bought and bought) Neil Gaiman books, got a flu jab, got one of my essays published in a journal, invested...

* Hung around cute ang moh guys long enough that they actually knew my name, drank beer, tried schnapps, went up the Swiss Alps, visited Venice, saw (NOT PARTICIPATED) in a wet t-shirt competition, tried and LOVED escargot, visited the Rhine River and Rhine Falls, went to an international conference, visited the place where Name Of The Rose was set - that Benedictine monk library, smelt marijuana, saw the Eiffel Tower, bought French perfume, nearly got mugged... SO MANY THINGS!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make new years resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Uh... thinking... nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes and yes. My maternal grandmother passed away a couple of months back. I don't really miss her because I never really knew her; she was in Malaysia all the time, and she spoke only hokkien, and by the time I managed to learn some passable hokkien was the time when she started to go senile from dementia. From what my mother tells me, I think I would have liked to meet her when she was my age. She apparently had quite the fighting spirit.

The second was not exactly what you would call very close, but she was important to me all the same. Her name was Miss Hamimah, and she was my literature/GP/form teacher during my first 3 months in NYJC. She was one of the best teachers I've ever had - she was kind without being soft, and sharp without being cutting. I remember she gave each of the students in my class a blue-coloured 20 cent notebook, and she would encourage us to write anything we wanted inside. The books would be collected every Friday, and would be returned to us on Monday, always with a little scribbling inside - not a lot, she never wrote a lot, but the few words she did pen were personal, and always heartfelt.

She passed away in an unfortunate accident in Australia while studying for her Masters in Higher Education.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ooh! England, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, ITALY!, Switzerland, FRANCE!, and of course, Malaysia.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
Diplomacy. Tact. Political savviness. And of course, WORLD PEACE! :)

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day that the US unilaterally decided to act on Iraq, because it was so irrational (they were looking for Osama, how did they shift to Saddam Hussein?). The utter lack of political will that the checks and balances were SUPPOSED to have in play was shocking.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
That I didn't kill myself or die.

9. What was your biggest failure?
That I didn't kill myself or die.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. Nothing major anyway.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Many things! Zara pants. My Contiki Europe tour. Very funky underwear. My Nokia 6220 (Christmas present from my mom, but I think it still counts lah.)

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Mine, for not killing myself. My brother, for rising above grunts-language this year.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
No comment. George Bush? Appalled yes, depressed no.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, transport, Europe.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Flying to Europe FOR FREE ON SWISSAIR.
It's like one of those good-better-best things.

Good - Going to Europe.
Better - Flying there FREE.
Best - Flying there FREE ON SWISSAIR.

(the only thing better would be "flying to Europe free on first class" :) )

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
Busted - Year 3000. Heh.
None, actually. They were all pretty forgettable.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder?

None. Number.

ii. thinner or fatter?
About the same.

iii. richer or poorer?
Richer. Marginally.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Making more friends, getting involved again in the theatre scene earlier.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Same as Kris - being such a b*tch.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
By myself. At home.

Because there is no spoon.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?

23. How many one night stands?
None. (darn.)

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Toss up between The West Wing and Gilmore Girls.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, not really. I think.

26. What was the best book you read?
Toss up between:
About A Boy by Nick Hornby
Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Don Richmond... uh... I know, uncool cos it's pop and it's local... uh...
Corrine May... another local...
Michelle Branch. Pink!

I KNOW! Scrap all the above, this girl's the BEST:
Jennifer Knapp's Kansas.
Gorgeously poetic lyrics, great guitar, lovely voice. What more could you ask of her?

28. What did you want and get?
Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. Most of them, anyway.
Zara pants.
Funky underwear!

Oh, and a job.

29. What did you want and not get?
Not much. Nothing, really.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Uh... was Spiderman this year? Heh. Jeux d'Enfants (Love Me If You Dare). FANTASTIC show, weird and wacky and French at the same time. Bizarre love story, with a twist of lemon. Yummy.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don't recall, and 23.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting a job which paid me loads for doing what I like doing whenever I want to. I think that would make my LIFE immeasurably more satisfying.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
Shirt and pants, baby. Shirt and pants.

34. What kept you sane?
My friends and family.
And the thought that it would be such a pity to go insane at this point in my life.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mr. Darcy, from the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice! Always!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Again, the bloody unilateralist move by the USA to wage war.
"I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen", I quoted W.H. Auden about a year ago.

37. Who did you miss?
My friends. A lot.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Mark P. because he's absolutely brilliant. In Imperial College, London studying Medicine on a MUSIC scholarship. Brilliant or what?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003.
Never ask God for something that you aren't prepared to receive. Never ever. EVER.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Same as Kris: NO SUCH THING John Mayer
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world - just a lie you've got to rise above.

and IF GOD IS A DJ Pink
If God is a DJ, life is a dance floor
you get what you're given, it's all how you use it
So open your mouth and stick out your tongue, you might as well let go, you can't take back what you've done

I seriously encourage everyone to do this evaluation form. If anything, just do the first question, and then think that hey, your life wasn't that bad, was it?

[Evaluation form: 2003]
Sngs Alumni @ 2.1.04 { }

 friends rediscovered, friends uncovered

Friends Rediscovered
I seem to have a knack of finding friends by my car. The other night after the penultimate run of Chestnuts, I was around Tiong Bahru, leaving after eating supper. My friend Jo walked me to my car, since it was quite far away, and it was 12:30 in the morning, and as he was giving me directions, I suddenly heard "xxx (my name)?" from the ah-beng car beside me. I turned to look at the ah-beng, and it was my JC classmate, Joshua, whom I hadn't seen since we graduated in 1998. So we talked for a spell, catching up and stuff - he's in SMU doing business or accounting now, in his 3rd year, doing attachments here and there. We ended the evening with him lead-driving and showing me where the CTE was.

Another car-friend today was Johanna! I parked the car in a place where I never parked before, a road just before my church, and as I was leaving after prayer meeting, I saw a vaguely familiar face walking towards me - Johanna. She stays in that road that I was parked in, which means that I've been very geographically close to her most of the Sundays of my life.

Friends Uncovered
Last night, I had an icq conversation with someone whom I didn't expect to care, but she did, and very much. Thank you. It's the first pleasant surprise of 2004, you.

[friends rediscovered, friends uncovered]
Sngs Alumni @ 2.1.04 { }


My first post of 2004 got eaten up by Blogger. I hope this isn't a bad omen.

Sngs Alumni @ 2.1.04 { 0 comments }

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