Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Chobi Mela III

I Will Not

Today on Earth Day we are celebrating by making promises

But I will not
I will not stop throwing paper on the ground.
I will not stop using plastic bags
I will not go to clean the beaches
I will not stop polluting
I will not do all these things because I am not polluting the world
It is the grown-ups who are dropping bombs
It is the grown-ups who have to stop
One bomb destroys more than all the paper & plastic that I can throw in all my life
It is the grown-ups who should get together and talk to each other
They should solve problems and stop fighting and stop wars
They are making acid rain and a hole in the ozone layer

I will not listen to the grown-ups!

[Student of class five of Karachi High School on Earth Day 1991].

*wistful smile*

I desparately wanna go. Just a few days shy of the festival... nevermind. I'm sure Shyam will have a good time. I am deliciously delighted at how many times the word "resistance" and "activism" appears on the Drik webpage.

Have had my medical checkups. Have done the visa. Have kinda figured out that even if I don't get to exercise and curry can be fattening after awhile I will be dropping pounds like crazy because of all the weight I will lose by wearing long pants and long sleeves in the tropical weather.

Will be leaving after Christmas though. They're too busy with Chobi Mela to bother with us as of yet... and now all I can think is

How on earth am I going to remember their names????

I have a big problem with Islamic names... i can't pronounce it and I can't remember it. At least it's not Tamil names. I can't even comment on that because I can very honestly say I don't know any at all - other than the abbreviated versions.

Am sitting in ACRC, a lot of construction work going on.. was kinda hoping for a crash course in Bengali from Shyam, but I think the teachers are all not around today. Aw shucks. I think the teachers should just combine all their damn books into a separate library. What's the point of keeping all those stuff behind their closed doors??? As if they have time to read them at work... All the expensive, good stuff you can't find elsewhere also...

Am tempted to borrow this book I found in ACRC... "Forging Peace - Intervention, Human Rights and the Management of Media Space" It looks good... but just not in the mood for another problem-from-hell-kinda info overload... I wish books weren't so heavy (physically). It's just paper leh, why the hell do they have to weight so much???????

I love how I'm making so much sense.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

It's kinda nice. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy. But really can't help but make people say "erm. yeah. right. whatever."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


My arm hurts like fuck.

No thanks to one of three vaccinations I had to get before leaving. I'm not sure if this is the tetanus or typhoid - either way it hurts like hell and it's been two days. Bloody fuck.

It's barely a week after my exams and already I'm vegetating. Obviously the useless arm is of no help, but some serious cramps.

Oh my god.

I HAVE turned into armlessgirl. Though I left those days behind me when I dumped ICQ.

Anyway, I'm getting tired of reading. I fear I may pick up a chick-book after Forster's plotless short stories. Bridget Jones' Diary was very entertaining, although depressing because I realise now that if reality is anything like the one depicted in the book - I will fail and fail again because, as I've said before, I cannot play by the rules.

Plus have been doing too much mindless blog- and friendster-surfing. This is disgusting, my bum is going to become permanently flat soon.

And yet, because irony is the spice and dice of life, I actually have a lot of things to do. Have you ever wished that there were two of you? Minus harrowing doppelganger scenario.

Ran into very yummmy Neil Murphy in NIE on my last day of school, and sometimes I just wish I had enough guts to ask people out for drinks. Yes he's married with a kid but I'm not exactly looking for THAT kind of relationship if you know what I mean. I just feel quite fed up when interesting people flit in and out of my life and I just don't have the guts to make them stay still.

I mean, the guy stayed in Israel till it got too dangerous for his family... teaching English and stuff. When I asked "Are you Irish?" He said "Unfortunately so." Plus the fact that he smokes means he CAN'T be that much of a prude. And he disses NIE and NTU all the time!

Wow I'm turning into Bridget. Curse that movie/book I'm really starting to resent it in a weird way.

He's hot property though, if my NIE friend has anything to say about it. Married with kids, this is what she said when I told her it seems as if she had some sort of a puppy-love crush on him. "Puppy love? Please, so juvenile. I'll be his bitch."

Wow. Ok.

Next step - find out age and horoscope.

Wish he were female. So can ask him out without anyone thinking wrongly, especially him. Wow a chat about Middle Eastern politics, Irish history, literature - I could drink all night. Maybe I'm thinking too much, and should just do it. My conscience is clear after all.... ah shucks.

I'm feeling a bit sucky that my own boyfriend spends more time with his best friend and girlfriend than me. And its my own fault. Starting to re-experience very very very familiar thoughts that I thought I'd left behind after the previous one.

I have to compromise, because I know if I have to make a decision, I will always choose myself over anything else. I am selfish like that, but most of all because the belief that "i owe no one anything and I can't depend on anyone for anything" has been hammered down a bit too hard and the dent hurts sometimes. I still haven't forgiven Nick for making me choose, even though it was my choice in the end, because not everything is Yes or No. There's compromise.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my dad, okay okay it was an argument, when he accused me vehemently of always wanting "to go against the norm". Bangladesh of all places! And that hurts, because I have been accused by those i love of trying too hard to be different, when i'm just trying to be myself.

"why is it that everything that is not going WITH the norm, is going AGAINST it? The world isn't black and white pa, there are thousands of shades of grey, and you know it."

He didn't have much to say after that, and I felt scared, that I had told my dad something he should have yet didn't known. And I don't like to think that I have taught him something and ended up making him feel stupid and old because he is my dad and I always want him to think that he's better, smarter, wiser and that I need him more than he needs me.

I feel very grateful to all those who have supported my Dhaka trip. Which is, almost everyone I know, with a few very disappointing exceptions. I can't make people feel and think the way I do, but because I know I can't do that, and I don't expect to do that, people shouldn't expect me to feel and think the way they do either. Which is a phenomenon that happens too much. Since when has giving support been so difficult? I will never put down another person's dreams again

Unbearably inane

I just typed a lot. Like 100000 words. Then technology failed me.

Summary: Haven't been doing much, but still possess ability to talk a lot about nothing although now no more energy, wish didn't buy so many books, hope to read all of them, er ST layout still sucks.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

keyless, keylet, keyhere

Almost lost my keys today. But I didn't. End of story.

Am going to curl up with a good book, Foster's Passage to India, no less, obviously i chose it for a reason LAH.

But I wonder why such classics always take so long to warm up... compared to more contemporary stuff. Always gotta force myself through the beginning before i like it. Don't all writers want a good start? Or is literary excellence just good writing, not a good story?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

My manners are exquisite, my feelings are delicate,
my gestures refined, my moods undetectable.
-Bharati Mukherjee's A Wife's Story

What on earth is this preoccupation of mine with repressed women?? This gender class i'm taking is really screwing my brain over.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Yes, Fortune is a stumpet. (correction: strumpet)

Everything this past few weeks everything has boiled down to the few elements, the "whore-sisters" as we can call them - Fate, Fortune and Chance.

And who else to turn to but the ultimate fatalistic writer of our times... Shakespeare.

Shakespeare, as I was discussing with someone, is so much better enjoyed if you're forced to cram it down your throat. Otherwise, who the hell has so much patience to try and understand everything??

From the play about the man who talks to much - Hamlet.

and blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled,
That they are not a pipe for fortune's finger
To sound what stop she please.

Where joy most revels, grief doth most lament;
Grief joys, joy grieves, on slender accident.
This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange
That even our loves should with our fortunes change;
For 'tis a question left us yet to prove,
Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.
Mmmmmm. I did try re-reading Hamlet, but all the messy notes really screwed it up for me.

But still, I'm very intrigued by all this kind of eternal questions...the ones that Shakespeare raised without answering, the ones that Kundera tried to take over in exploring, but still ultimately the ones which will never be answered. I just like the sensation of surrounding myself with them... I like how they have no answers. I like how, no matter how hard people try, they can never be simplified. We all, myself included, try too hard to simplify things sometimes.

Postmodernist wet-dream haha.

I wanna take the postmodernist course they have at NIE... but I heard that the supposed wet-dream becomes a horrific leather-and-whips scenario of which you are an unwilling participant... think 316 Ivan Kwek style. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


I don't care how scatter-brained Tekwani is, he's such a sweetie! Thanks to him, I now have CONFIRMED accomodation in Dhaka for 6 months... AWwww.... don't have to pack my sleeping bag which I was planning to use when I am sleeping in the office haha.

Is it just me or do all the nicest males fall under the "nice 'ol grandfatherly" category? Does it take THAT long for men to realise the virtues of being nice? I refuse to concede that it's because I wear a skirt. Don't burst my bubble.


Thanks for the present JOO. =)


Ya Pong. Cos I was thinking November babies are Scorpios. So...

Well, since it's almost december anyway, here's all the saggis I can remember.

Happy Advanced Birthday to: Ghimlay, Munpong, Yihui, Choosin, Hwee Seah...

And as I keep thinking... the Capricorns are coming soon.. So happy birthday to Renee, Benny and Stella!

Wah ok dunno how many i left out... sorry to the others my memory is bad.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sorry Everybody

Xiaxue's best blog entry because she talked about this website which I have been hooked onto for hours so far.

381 pages, 10 pictures a page, each containing a message from someone apologising for the 2004 Amercian Elections.

I think it's very heartwarming.


Saturday, November 13, 2004

Stop the countdown

I'm not counting down anymore, because I haven't fixed the date yet

I shouldn't blog, because I've a bad case of pms... And I won't.

Happy birthday to all the November babies... Swee, Jasmine, Ishi, Raymond... I'm sure I missed out someone...

Nevermind, take care all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

38 days: Pulp

Books give me a high. I don't know why. I rhyme!

Guiqing is a sweetie. But I she would so smack me if I said that in front of other people. She bought me an advanced bdae present which I was gonna buy myself if she hadn't beat me to it. Great minds think alike eh?

Am grinning like a stuck idiot now. Thanks bitch.

Anyway, this book caught my eye at Amazon... and I don't know how else to describe the cover by er... delicious? It's not a hint guys, I'm not THAT bad. Anyway I've 10,000 other things I need more.

Amazon.co.uk Review
Take 10 internationally renowned curators and ask them to choose 10 of the world's best photographers: the result is Blink, a stunning Phaidon book containing hundreds of beautifully reproduced photographs by acclaimed photographers from all over the world. A "snapshot of the world of contemporary photography", Blink brings together curators as diverse as Marcelo Brodsky, Alasdair Foster, Shino Kuraishi and Simon Njami to introduce and write about "the kaleidoscope of ideas, approaches and techniques that is photography today".

I have had nothing but good things happen to me today. I feel as if it's already my birthday or something. No... 313 paper wasn't phenomenally easy... Not forgetting I was 10 mins late... as I seem to be for ALL my GEs nowadays... just that haha got that present, got the best paper left to study for (lit), going to drink tonight, two nice fat books on Bangladesh waiting for me to devour, a spanking good grade for my 316 essay which I just think I kinda deserve because I really worked till 6 am for two days and nights in a row with minimal sleep getting that damn thing done.

Hiyah, sweeping transiance of happiness that can take me whole.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

39 days: homophobicphobic?

Does that make me as bad as them? Twice as intolerant? *sigh*


Ladislav Bielik, taken in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 21st of August 1968.

The published picture was cropped to show the man's face upclose.
Fast forward to 1989, Tiananmen Square. Think the second photo should be quite commonplace now, but somehow this photo remained rather elusive. Same pose, same intention. It's surreal. I am honoured to have found the uncut version here. To me, this photo is so much more powerful than the cropped version.

Margaret Bourke-White, German Citizens forced to march through
henwald to face their nation's crimes, 1945.

here is a reason for posting the pictures. Because, I came across the first one attributed for the first time, and though a war shot is cliche, this one is cold, brutal, uncensored and pure because its meaning does not lie in its composition, but its content. The second one's effect is lost here, because what u need to see is the expression on the face of the corspe in the middle of the pile, staring straight at u as it did at me when I saw it as a full-page picture, the way it can single you out at once and hold your gaze. This site might make it clearer.

All of a sudden, it occured to me today t
he real reason why I took an interest in photography. Journalism has all but lost its charm for me, through a multitude of reasons, beginning first of all when I was with The Straits Times. And as you study news, and get more critical of its content, its potential for manipulation becomes almost impossible to ignore or justify.

hotography is but an alternate channel in which I have found it possible to channel the same passion, albeit in a what I think is a less crude, more refined form.

Sure, I am aware of t
he manipulations occuring behind the lense. But unlike journalism, where sometimes (most of the time actually) integrity is not enough, photos offer me a channel that promises me the possibility of purity.

Editors cannot tell you how to frame your shots. That, to me, is by far the most compelling reason. After that, it's all up to the person holding the camera. I need that control.

hotography is still untainted for me. I have not once had to question my work and my motivations. This perception will likely change overtime, like how journalism changed for me. It is also equally likely that journalism will portray itself in a more redeeming light in the future which will restore for me the lustre lost in the chaos of the newsroom I have experienced so far. Somehow, I do not think that working at a wire, an alternate explanation I have entertained, would have had very different results, but I could be wrong.


In a bid to resume the kind of utopic life I had envisioned after the exams, I flew through Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. It took me awhile to warm up to the book I was supposed to have finished reading about a year ago, but I am glad I stuck with it past the first quarter, because this is one of the finest literary pieces I have ever read.

I say t
hat without the ability to offer a concise practical criticism of the techniques employed, except the assurance that this is one of the rare books with the ability to make you REALLY forget where you are. It is akin to watching a movie, if you get what I mean. And it is not because of the description, but more of the simple honesty that has been channelled into te author's attempt to tell a story. I cannot remember the last time I was so effortlessly lost in prose.

hank you Neil Murphy for forcing me to buy a book I would never have purchased for myself for the simple reason that it contained that four-letter-word in its title.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

42 days: Chris Rock

Chris Rock rocks.

Quotable quotes from his stand up comedy skit:

"Men lie the most, and women tell the biggest lies. Men, we lie all the time, it's damn near a language. We lie all the time, you know a man's lie is like "I'm in the house" a woman's lie is like "it's your baby"."

"Do you know what men want? Food, sex, silence. Feed me, fuck me, shut the fuck up. Our goals seem very attainable don't they?"

"Women are the biggest liars. Look at you, you're all fucking liars, you you you you. You're all liars. You're the visual lie. You got on heels, you ain't that tall. You got on makeup your face don't look like that. You got on a wonderbra on and your titties ain't that big. Everything about you is a lie, and you expect me to tell the truth? Fuck you!"

43 days: It feels almost over

Can't bring myself to study. Feel stupid studying for 311 really. Browsed through stuff, but that's it. Will probably regret it tomorrow, but that's something to worry about tomorrow.

I've been addicted to the "Next Blog" button on blogspot... it's amazing the kind of stuff you can find out there once you move away from the local Singaporean uni-students circle.

Been reading:

honestpartisan (35 yr old lawyer in Brooklyn)

What I've seen:

Landed in a young dude's site... was amazed at how religion was so much a part of his life, don't see it often here.. and then saw he was from Texas. Thanks for helping me rid myself of stereotypes.

Some German lady who loves to knit.

Someone's very uplifting letter to kerry "Mr. Kerry, we are listening, we pray that you are listening, and we believe in US!".

A japanese rapper living in the City of Angels who talks about God.

And... believe it or not, that button led me to someone's blog, and I read the line "Tomorrow..or rather, 8 hours and 43min to 221 paper" and I think... no waaaaaaaaayyyyyy... and yup.. landed in some yr 2's site.

A fellow young journalist in New York.

Someone called Allison who writes nicely "allisonramblings". A term I read off "injury to awake ratio" which I think would be very applicable to me. Excerpt:

"I am voting for Bush. Stop yelling at me. I would rather have a leader who is more conservative than I am. I also believe that the position of President of the United States of America holds less importance than most people believe. The president really doesn't have control over as much as we think that he does. Here's my real problem with politics today: no one's allowed to have a difference of opinion. If someone comes out as a Bush supporter in a liberal area, they are assumed to be stupid and backwards. I am neither. I have no strong anti-Kerry agenda. If he wins, he wins. But please, Kerry people, stop saying that anyone who's voting for Bush must be ignorant. I'm not ignorant. It's called a difference of opinion and that is what makes our country so great. We can be of different minds, but still both be right."
And someone's blog had a link to this Iraq News Spoof - it's amusing, quick to download too.
I've never felt this way about blogging before... it's fucking awesome how it's delivering the promise of the internet.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

44 days: This is terrible news

In a rather pensive mood, but not thinking about anything in particular. Think it's because of the music. Maybe I just feel kinda vulnerable, that's all.

Speaking of which, I have to say that NSync's This I Promise You is my favourite boyband track.

Don't laugh lah, boybands and their songs can be considered as separate entities sometimes.

It's nice to see a friend in love, or having a crush. It's nice to hear people say all these unconditionally wonderful things about other people. How every little thing they say or do is so great and wonderful.

I'm envious. Who doesn't want to be worshipped like that?

But i know it doesn't last. It only happens at the beginning.

I'm just feeling kinda sad, that the only times I hear that kind of things said about me from someone that I love, is after I've stopped loving them, and when we're no longer together. Or how those words suddenly disappear after we get together.

Am I being demanding? I don't know. I just know this is how I feel right now.

Don't wait people. If you love someone, tell them everyday. It's bullshit when they say it means less when you say it more. Say it if you mean it, and if you mean it, it doesn't matter how many times you tell them. They deserve to hear it.

This game has no rules.

I've already sort of concluded I cannot play the game with all its rules. I'm incapable of plotting, scheming, planning. I can't try to be someone I'm not. If I miss you, I'll say it. If I'm thinking of you, I'll say it. But the more I say it, the more it's taken for granted. But can I stop saying them? Why should I?

All this doesn't matter, in the larger scheme of things. But on this late night, when I'm sitting in my room alone, and Sinatra is playing, when I suddenly have this overwhelming sense of smallness, it does seem to mean something.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

45 days: Stupid Americans

Was gonna blog about a lot of other stuff, but of course, when an Ass lands back in the white house, it kinda hogs all the headlines, including this blog.

Ya lor. I wonder what kinda congratulatory msg Ah Hsien will send him.

"Hey congrats on your second term! Hope I'll be able to do the same... but should be able too lah, since we're so similar cos our fathers help us."

OOPS! *covers mouth* I'm going the way of the AWSJ-bird....


Here are random stuff which I encountered recently:

- Arachnoism - theory applicable to human behaviour, which states that an initial benefit is worth more than subsequent losses. A spider which catches a lot of food at one spot will not move even if that spotis constantly under attack from curious eyes, rain and wind. Similarly, a human being which encounters something really good will not change his or her mind even if that good starts to seem too good to be true. Can be applied to relationships and studying spots.

(there's an economics term for this which i forgot)

- Babbie's Babble - who said CR is boring... pong's cr text is the best i've read ever...

Excerpts from the ass-kicking glossary section:
(in spirit, not accurate)

"deduction - that of a duck"
"induction - act of stuffing a duck"
"regression line - a pick up line used which involves asking "hey, wanna know about my past lives?"
"lambda - that of eweda and ramda"


- worse - There are three ways in which to articulate the word "worse" (Lim, M. P. , 2004).

Economies of Studying/Shit - the loss faced by an individual when he or she does more and more studying. Also linked to decreasing marginal utility whereby the amount of information absorbed is negatively correlated to the amount of pages read so far.

Oh my god what is wrong with me. I am totally WORSE.

I've killed 3 ants and 3 mosquitos in a bid to watch a spider spin its deadly silk.

I usually can't kill ants (moquitos attack, they deserve it) when they're not bothering me because my conscience bothers me, but well, all in the name of science.

Oh, and you just simply can't study when u're feeling sad.


Where has Jess been?

Here's a list of where I've studied, just in case i forget, which i'm likely to do.

Year 1, Sem 1: Hall 9 Canteen
Year 1, Sem 2: Hall 9 Canteen, and Hall 9 room
Year 2, Sem 1: Hall 12 room, CS benches
Year 2, Sem 2: Hall 7 room, Darren's place
Year 3, Sem 1: Hall 7 room, CS benches, NIE, Darren's place

I seem to be diversifying my choices. Exam periods are usually very eventful for me. Stuff always happens.

I like studying, because I usually enjoy the content, but ONLY AND ONLY IF I have enough time to do so leisurely. Which is never. Which means right now, I don't quite like it. Rushing has never been my thing.

Good luck hor everybody, and myself.