Monday, February 27, 2006
I sincerely had no idea 11:12 pm
I am in awe.
And it does feel good when you get a chance to say a "AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" as all the pieces of the jigsaw come together.
Vince is 83-years-old. He parks himself at a corner in Holland Village's Coffee Bean and buys himself a fresh pack of Limos Lights and a cup of cappuccino, reading till it is time to go home.
He has read 14 books since Christmas, and his favourite book (that he was able to recall there and then) is Tuesdays with Morrie. He used to like John Grisham's books, but he finally got bored of them.
Vince heads to Singapore during the winter months, when it gets intolerably cold in Toronto. He stays with his son, who brought him to have dinner with a Prince in Kuala Lumpur a few weeks ago.
He tells me, that his son has a private chauffeur who brought him to all parts of Singapore the first time he came here.
I have travelled the world, Jessica, he said.
He asks if I know where South America is, and then tells a story about his cousin who was a missionary in Argentina who built houses for the people. His cousin stayed there for many years, and when he returned from a trip back home to Canada, he drowned in a river his first day back. It is very mysterious, said Vince.
Vince reads his book with a scrap piece of paper as a bookmark. He presses the book into the table and opens it as far as the spine can take it. He reads with one finger on the page, murmuring softly under his breath.
Are you religious, Jessica? He once asked me. He wears a gold-coloured pendent with a picture of Jesus.
Vince rarely looks up when he is reading, but will occasionally take time to observe and stare at the scene before him. He walks slowly, and with a slight limp.
"You know, we really couldn't be any more different."
"Oh yes, I know."
She and I lived in the same system and walked on the same streets, but we could have passed our lives without the slightest inkling of each other's existence.
My FYP is constantly pushing my own boundaries, and even if it accomplishes nothing else, at least I'll have these experiences to remember.
It is ironic, that it is in my own country that I finally found the one person I am incapable of understanding. In the sense that the difference is so acute that even attempts at self-denial fail miserably, and I am left shooting blanks in the dark trying to figure out who this person really is.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
After years of trying to explain what Trigger Happy TV is.. well. Please watch this.
And specially for GQ, what we will spend days watching when FYP is over:
Úrsula wondered if it was not preferable to lie down once and for all in her grave and let them throw the earth over her, and she asked God, without fear, if he really believe that people were made of iron in order to bear so many troubles and mortifications; and asking over and over she was stirring up her own confusion and she felt irrepressible desires to let herself go and scamper about like a foreigner and allow herself at last an instant of rebellion, that instant yearned for so many times and so many times postponed, putting her resignation aside and shitting on everything once and for all and drawing out of her heart the infinite stacks of bad words that she had been forced to swallow over a century of conformity.
"Shit!" she shouted.
Amaranta, who was starting to put the clothes into the trunk, thought she had been bitten by a scorpion.
"Where is it?" she asked in alarm.
"The bug!" Amaranta said.
Úrsula put a finger on her heart.
"Here," she said.
This is why I want to learn Spanish.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I feel fat. 11:32 pm
This cat's waist is bigger than mine. 31 inches. Poor kitty. I am terrified my cat will become her because I can't stop feeding her. But judging by the way she still does her crazy midnight sprints around the house, I think I'll get fat before she does.
There is really little wonder why I absolutely HATE taking photos in club/bar/pub settings. My god if you want to take pictures go to, like, the singapore river, or something.
I am wondering if the stress of FYP will increase or decrease the number that turn up next Thursday. On one hand being forced to face discussion about "so how's your fyp", and on the other.. well. Beer.
And I sincerely hope none of the Year 3s show up this time, for the very simple reason that the Brewerkz function room is SMALL and tables and chairs are limited.
Emelia (yes she's back) and I vegetated in front of the television watching "America's Number ONE pageant.. THE SWAN" while finishing one regular hawaiian pan pizza and one cheesy lava3 pepperoni pizza, pepsi and garlic bread.
Now, I know that I'm not fat, but it is quite something to be so utterly full that you can't suck it in even if you tried.
Pizzas, like nasi briyani, is one of those things that I can eat forever and ever.
There must've been something in the pizzas, because we were bitter, bitter people watching that show.
"I think they spent so much on all their operations and surgeries they had to like buy the evening gowns wholesale from some hooker."
"She looks like page 3 on a catalogue for eastern european brides."
"She's cute, in a barbie doll way."
"I wonder if her Dad praises her new boobs like he does her new-found self confidence."
Oh dear. At one point, the host of the show (who has the most bizzare accent which is actually irish but sounds newzealandish-british-american) said something like:
"The ladies will be judged on beauty, poise and overall transformation. What better way to show that than to put these women into a swimsuit and highheels and have them walk for us!"
Really! I no bluff!
Aiyah, should know better than to watch a bloody pageant.
Last note: Trying to trace my 10-year around-the-world journey is turning out to be damn difficult even though I'm only fantasizing. There's no way to do it without backtracking and thus losing valuable time!
Visual Hope 9:24 am
Why on earth did they pick that photo!?
Monday, February 20, 2006
FYP be Damned 11:59 pm
When I am stressed, I either fantasize about the future or think about the past. Anything to enter the Land of Escapism, of which I am its Queen.
And I guess because I've done the former, that I find my brain moving back to, where else, Banglaland.
Oh to drink tea on a street corner again.
I had not been in a socially awkward situation for a long time, until this afternoon. Something about being surrounded by strangers in a place that I had no business to be in.
I suppose it was rather odd for me, one of them remarked my face was white, which it was, but not because I was scared, but perhaps just completely nervous by virtue of being the odd one out. I recognised more than half of them either from the work they had done or simply because they're a friend of a friend. So it was a strange situation of knowing, yet not knowing.
But I am utterly grateful that everyone has been remarkably patient with my endless questions on printingpaperhangingmountinglaminationprintersexhibitingblahblahblah. Had to put on thicker skin, but I seem to be growing into it quite nicely.
One fine day, when I am finally in a better place (professionally) I will invite all the people who have patiently helped me to a nice nice buffet. A certain Uncle KC will obviously be at the head of the table. Even if it takes me 10 years to have enough finances to finance such a big meal, I will!
I hope they show up, though.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
MoSi 11:35 pm
Are you a Singaporean? He enquired in that earnest manner, trying hard not to seem rude for asking a customer a personal question. His demeanor made me smile.
I affirmed it was true, and he looked slightly surprised.
His little cafe is by far the most modest out of the lot scattered about Arab St. Some of the others have ethnic decorations spilling out all over the place, candles and cushions, little trinkets and precious-looking ashtrays. They play their music too loud, and through the windows of one I saw an iPod connected to speakers sitting on a bar counter.
In MoSi, the CD frequently skips. "Morocco and Singapore, so MoSi," he once explained. Aside from the various hookahs placed out front, the only thing that looks vaguely Moroccan are three photographs cut out from magazines which have been framed and hung on the far wall inside the cafe.
I asked if it was he who took the photographs.
"Oh no." A pause.
"Look, this is a man making bread, in the mountains you know?" He uttered a foreign phrase which I could not catch.
"And here, a little girl looking at something. Are you leaving already? I just started heating up more charcoal for you."
It was his footsteps that intruiged me the most at first. More honest than meek, he had the stride of someone who did not want to walk too fast or go too far in case he was stopped for doing so.
First set of photos from the last Meulaboh trip. All taken at the mass graves on 26th December, 2005 after the mass prayers. It was 11am-1pm, harshest lighting conditions, and I could not possibly use flash in the face of these people. Well, I guess I could, but I didn't want to.
Under a Streetlamp. 2:21 pm
You'd think that a Reuters-employed chick would know better. Even in our various vegetative state we were all appalled.
There is something about the light from streetlamps that makes everything unreal. And I can think about whatever I want, and imagine myself doing whatever I want to do without a tinge of impossibility or cynicism.
Right now, I am looking at a world map, and a 10-year journey around the world is starting to take root in my brain and I think I will not be forgetting this fantasy for a long time.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
EMJEM 2:00 pm
Eat Me. Just Eat Me.
Its a nice day, my friends (or at least it will be when he straightens out his links).
Thursday, February 16, 2006
And that Mediacorp will allow me to join new reality show on Suria as long as I can speak Malay, even if I am a "non-Malay".
Dudes. Seriously. Talk about drawing a line.
The totally unoriginal and shamelessly pirated Obiang Party looks set to go. If It really does happen, I will credit the amazing people who did it first, and then show them how it's REALLY done.
I am not HIP. I steal and don't Honour Intellectual Property.
But the hunt is on for a suitably Obiang venue. My house would totally qualify, except that I consulted Cat and Cat said No, I'm sure You can find Someone's Else's House to ruin.
Oh my gawd people, this is, like, so totally JC man.
You should start thinking of what to wear. Its not quite as easy as you'd think. For inspiration, look towards your parent's old photo albums. Go back... WAY back till you reach the point where the laughter becomes shock. Then you'd know you got the right era.
If you don't have any photos, however, please feel free to look to real life examples at this website:
Singapore Members of Parliament
For starters: This guy, this guy and this guy. And of course, The King.
In fact, if anyone asks where I got this idea I'll just say I was inspired by the optical-wear of our Members of Parliament.
I am evidently grouchy today. 1:44 pm
You won't actually get to speak to me (not that you'd want to, trust me), but you will receive a list of numbers to call to speak to people who will provide convincing accounts of real life experiences.
And real life accounts, my friends, is king as far as this shitty society is concerned. Dogbert said so.
Dogbert: "Oh I've something much better than proof. Anecdotal evidence."
Dilbert: "Who would be dumb enough to believe anecdotal evidence?"
Dogbert: "Oh I've narrowed my target market to... people?"
Dilbert: "I've got news for you, we people are smarter than we look."
Dogbert: "So how hard would that be, really."
The HSBC ad on the front page of Home section today. For the benefit of working journalists, or one of other types of people who don't read the newspaper, it featured two photographs of a man having dinner with two different women.
Buy one dinner, get the next free. Something like that.
There is something to be said about this, but it just occured to me that if the tables were turned (one woman - two men) I would be laughing.
Today's papers also had a picture of a anti-government protest in Bangladesh. I would like to say that hartel days were the best days because I could go to work late. Also, I could take a rickshaw right from my doorstep and not have to walk to the opposite street because no one drove on hartel days and the rickshaw restrictions on the roads were lifted. Oh, and that hartels were always announced the day before in the major newspapers.
Back in the old days, she loved walking all over the iBook and sitting in front of the screen while I devoured entire seasons of sitcoms.
Some people think that cats are evil.
Nothing cute about this picture, that's all I can say.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Karma 1:10 am
Karma's a bitch, and she bites on V-day.
Somehow, the fact that I have no feelings whatsoever for Mr Engineer increases the "mocking" factor of the situation - because it makes the lying seem even more senseless.
Seated outdoors in HV with my legs curled up underneath and my iBook, a book, blueberry muffin, iced latte and smokes laid out neatly in front, looking out for the biggest bouquet... it really was such a nicely normal afternoon.
Till I see Mr Engineer and his date stroll by.
Walking along HV has got to be the most ingenious way to take a scuba lesson ever!
We didn't even have any kind of commitment to speak of - why on earth concoct such an elaborate excuse peppered with heartfelt-sounding apologies? Scuba lessons?? You are ridiculous.
I apologise in advance for the unnecessarily sarcastic sms you will inevitably receive sooner or later.
Well! That's that.
Not enough bitterness? Need to get depressed? PostSecret has a V-Day special.
Oh dear. You've been warned.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I had intially typed a long and deliberately bitter entry about the various idiotic love dedications I've heard on the radio since 9 am in the morning, then I realised it was my own fault for not switching it off, and bitterness never did agree with me unless its displayed by George from Seinfeld.
So, if cannot fight then join lor. In the name of mush and unrealistic expectations from fellow human beings: I wish that I can meet someone who will be able to have a conversation with me and never let me win an argument by his sheer intelligence and unbeatable logic. A lot of people just give up trying to argue because they can see that I won't agree without a fight.
I met someone like that once, just one person so far, and that was years ago in JC. So I do know they exist.
I wasted a wish the other day. I had an eyelash, and I had heard that there was a time limit "HURRY HURRY WISH AND BLOW" and I really have quite a long list which I cannot recall at will or under pressure so I ended up making some kinda generic world-peace wish. I should have a ready list of specific wishes next time.
And I don't have birthday cakes anymore, and shooting stars are not visible from here... so. Eyelashes are all I got.
Monday, February 13, 2006
The Your-Heart-Will-Bui-Tahan Movie 11:27 pm
But my god, this has gotta be some kinda record.
You know how typical tearjerker movies have some climatic scene at the end guranteed to bring on the tears with a crescendo of music, close-up of shimmering eyes/beautiful face, some extra poignant line etc etc ...
Well for this one, it got to the point where all I had to do was to look at their faces and I'd be sniffing. Even without any significant drama, exchanges, fights, or obviously cryable situations - one look at Jack's face was all it took.
Brokeback Mountain is serious shit.
So how did an audience of adults react to the onscreen depiction of love between two men?
Like 14 year-olds having their first sex ed class. Nervous laughter and twittering. One lone guy which I told to "shut up" although I was probably too soft.
But, I really hope I can say no one was twittering by the end of the movie.
I am very glad to have ended my day with this movie. After bitching non-stop about the barrage of commercialised love-messages on the radio, the walls, EVERYWHERE and feeling overall quite angsty at this loveloveloveloveisallaround - very nice break.
I cannot wait for tomorrow to be over.
Why they not Romancing Singapore this time? I don't remember hearing about it, and am too lazy to check. Must've failed. Or maybe they think no need already.
Oh. And I guessed right. Scrumptious Jake's a Saggi. That's two out of three guesses right this week!
I guessed Saggi because I watched him on Oprah, and his demeanor is like this :
Sunday, February 12, 2006
"Because they don't talk back."
- someone justifies spending S$2k on leaves and stems.
I kinda half-wish that I had seen this website earlier:
"Its a harsh world in the classroom. They want the right answers, I'm going to give them. "
That's the most passionate argument for cheating i've ever read. These kids are pretty darn ingenious, methinks.
The most I've cheated in school was to ask for the questions from the people in secondary school with chinese class before, then hurridly go memorize.
Well, that and looking at what colour precipitate other pple got in prac chem tests. I've been clean since the age of 16! Hooray.
Dream Log 4.21 12:04 pm
We had that kind of bond which required no words, only smiles.
And then one day, I returned after a year. Her sister looked so different - make up and earrings?? The shop was in shambles, everything was ill-placed and misaligned.
And I looked at her mother's weary face, and I knew. It was to be expected, she said, she had always been so sick.
The tears would not stop.
Okok question time!
Do you think it is possible to experience emotions in your dreams that you never experienced in real life?
I had always assumed that you only experience in your dreams what you already experienced in real life.
Meaning, if you had never tasted oysters, you won't be able to "find out" how they taste like in a dream. Impossible!
Ok, so for tangible items such as 'how an object looks like', 'the voice of a person', 'the taste of food', 'the feel of a type of texture' = these are stuff you gotta have done at least once in the Real World.
But what about emotions?
If you've never lost a loved one in real life, can you really find out how it feels like when it happens to you in a dream? Can I know how it feels like to be embarassed on stage when delivering a speech? Can I know what its feels like to be beaten up into a pulp? What about paralysis? Or being shot? Or to find out what it feels like to walk into your husband cheating on you?
All those vivid dreamers out there... think hard.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
TV stuff 9:08 pm
There's something irresistibly addictive about random Seinfeld quotes. Its even funnier when you repeat it to yourself AFTER the episode! Giggling to oneself is a very attractive trait, or so I've heard.
You can practice with yet another George-ism:
"I can't believe you called me a chucker. No way I'm a chucker. I do not chuck. Never chuck. Never have chuck, never will chuck, no chuck!"
I would like to see George O'Malley take on George Constanza. My current fantasy includes me watching the two Georges fight and squabble while I stand between Elaine and Cristina smirking with them whilst taking in all the beautiful commentary from my two favouritest characters on tv.
And then Buffy will come in and stop the fight, and utter a absolutely delightful one-liner.
One day, possibly when drunk, I might try channeling the spirit of Elaine and Cristina towards a person that I've just met, and document the whole thing down like a cross between a sitcom and a horror story titled "the story about the horriblelest girl i met" .
And like a broken record, I would like to reiterate, I'm really really very nice when I'm sober.
I swear the next person who tried to recruit me into MLM will not be so lucky as to receive the usual 3 mins worth of polite nodding and questions-which-gives-as-little-room-for-elaboration-as-possible.
I tried telling one of them "But money doesn't interest me". Which is a baaaaaaaad move for me because they leap from the MLM-sales talk to the "You're so young and I'm so old and I want to be there when you finally see the light and change your mind" wisdom-session.
Oh, oh, oh, to be young and unwise.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Her daily stretch-and-claw. Claws have not been trimmed in a long while, and I have the scars and plasters to prove it. Bitch.
When I picked up a scabby flea-infested kitten, I did not expect to get a medium-length cat with fur so thick it makes her look twice her real size. Just look at how small her head is! It's all fluff.
On a bus full of sour-faced adults, its always nice to have another kid to play stupid-faces-games with. So much for being 23.
Well, at least i'm not 25.
Can someone tell me what's the correct way to spell this absolutely delicious thing.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The Completely Honest Post 2:12 am
I found out recently that an acquaintance had a girlfriend, which is really none of my business except that the reason why I even know him is that we met at a club after which my friend slept over at his dorm room.
Ok, so its STILL none of my business.
But I still said something anyway, against all my so-called Asian non-confrontational-mind-your-own-business mentality.
I was trying out this new thing. Its called "Say Something If You Think Its Wrong". Its not very popular, for some reason, and I have been especially late in latching on to this.
I was quite polite I think, in bringing up the topic. I think I did the best I could.
"So, what does your girlfriend think about you bringing girls home?"
Maybe I should've thrown in a cutesy emoticon for good measure. But I didn't, because the real sentence was way more cute than the original unedited format which was "You are a cheating bastard and I hope you get what you deserve."
There was a bit of defence and justification, all of which sounds plausible enough. But hey, you don't need to justify yourself to me at all.
I said it because I felt strongly about it, and I didn't want to be caught in a situation 10 years down the road where someone tells me "Why you never say so earlier?".
Whether or not the person listens, is not really the point. I don't say these things to change people's minds anyway. They're still gonna do what they want to do. Free will!
But other people seem to think I was being a kaypoh, nosy bitch. Mr Engineer for instance, found it a bit difficult letting go of the "mind-my-own-business" mentality when it comes to guy friends and their sexual exploits.
I don't care. Someone's gotta be the bitch now and then anyway.
Mr Engineer continues to say things that make me do that blink - the one long, hard blink during which you think about whether to laugh or continue to look incredulous when your eyes open again.
Some of it are personal statements, such as "Yes I almost cried twice during the movie! What about you?". The others include titbits of facts about his country like "Yes the garbage collectors earn about S$26 per hour because of their unions."
I know i've mentioned this before, but there is something very unsettling about the Engineer. I used to think it was because he did not have a strong opinion in anything.. but now I'm not so sure.
I wonder if its the slight robotic-ness of his nature. How does one smile all the time? Something slightly Stepfordish perhaps?
I don't know.. I'm sure the right words will find me in time.
Nazrul was whisked away from the check-in counter to the entrance by the guy behind the counter who insisted on escorting him all the way till he was inside the damn place.
"I work here so many years I know all their tricks lah! Always switching bags so they don't have to pay excess luggage."
I wonder what he's doing now.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Shoop shop Shoop 10:11 pm
But hey, that was an easy one.
So then, tell me this: Which one is male?
I wonder what its like making a living pretending to be someone else.
Let me tell you what it is like to be a chinese girl shopping with three Bangladeshi men at Mustafa Shopping Centre.
I followed Nazrul (who flies off to Bangladesh foreva and eva in about 8 hours) and gang to Mustafa on a last-minute shopping spree.
In the first half hour, he spent S$1,500++ on gold jewellery. I told him, in all seriousness, that I never had that figure in my bank account.
"Go find a job. Lah."
Anyway, the most standard response of people (99% sales staff) was to assume that I just happened to be standing behind the group. They would lean out slightly to take a better look at me, temporarily ignore the first-come-first-serve rule.
"Hello Miss, can I help you?"
Even when it was too obvious, they still thought that it would be safer to assume that I was on my own. I was standing between them at a counter, admiring a radio ("Only battery. No current. My house have no current.") for 15 minutes. Then later, I asked the sales guy, "You're giving them a new piece right?"
"Er.. yes. What about you Miss? Can I help you? Are you here to buy a radio too?"
Receipts and change immediately get handed to me after transactions even though I was not the one who forked out the cash, or the one who made the inquiry. In fact, I don't recall speaking much.
I was also accosted with a series of questions by a rude-looking Chinese delivery guy.
[In Mandarin] "Eh so why you following them ah? You're their tour guide ah? Oh I know, you're here to make sure they don't run off right??? Hahahahhaa. But hor, if they want to run, you also cannot stop them."
I replied as neutrally possible, that no, I was not their tour guide, or their chaperon, I was their "friend".
Later on, the chinese guy got ribbed about talking to me. The (indian) guy over the counter asked "Why? he disturbing you ah?"
To which I said, "No, he just doesn't think its possible that they have friends who look like me."
Which in all fairness, is a damn unfair thing for me to say. Who am I to belittle his astonishment?
Let that be my one bad deed for the day.
And also, all the Chinese sales staff felt an urge to talk to me in Mandarin. Which I totally understand. I don't talk to taxi drivers in English, for some reason, and I'm always embarassed when I meet one which doesn't speak either Mandarin or dialect.
Photos will be posted in erm... half an hour.
Also, I woud like to print out a sign which reads:
"Dear fellow neighbours of Block 512. I would like to offer my symphathy to all those who have recently been hit with a crippling disease. I understand that it is this disease that forces you to crawl the few metres from your house to the lift landing to deposit your rubbish, often not contained in plastic bags, often strewn messily all over the place. I know that this is something which you would never do if you had the full use of your two legs. After all, we all know that it is such terribly hard work for four guys to have to go to every lift landing of 30 blocks everyday to clear rubbish.
Get well soon! #09-69"
Now I just need someone to translate it into Mandarin.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
All hands on deck! 12:50 am
Don't be fooled by the Donald Duck playing cards. Zuxin is the most dangerous type of gambler - the one who just sit there quietly, slowly and sneakily amassing a fortune.
While the rest of us start looking to "secret stores" for extra emergency cash which we thought we would NEVER need.
On a VERY plus side, I learnt how to play poker tonight!
All that remains is bridge and mahjong. After that, i'll be completely qualified to be of some use at any social gathering.