Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy

Dragging myself out of bed was harder than expected, not that it had ever been a simple task for me anyway.

But, for all my worry about a stoned-out-tired day, I sure as hell got off to a great start. And this is why:

10:41 Keith Haring mural

Kids. Lots and lots and lots and lots of them. All smiling and cheerful and laughing, in front of a mural done with their own designs as a tribute to Keith Haring.

I had been wondering who he was (he's no photog lah Terz, tsk), and the lady from the Tyler Print Institute just smiled and said that she was sure I would instantly recognise his art when I saw it. And she's damn right.

But yes, on to what made my morning so perfect. People like him:

10:59 A 'lil bit of sunshine

I didn't include the photos with the huge group of kids (I think easily 50 of 'em), due to copyright blahblahs. But I'm sure you can imagine a sea of yellow and big hats.

Really, standing in the middle of a huge field in the sun, yelling to a bunch of kids who respond so happily and eagerly to whatever to tell them to do.

My god, they were so infectiously happy. Typically, people would just punch their fists into the air and shout YEAH! and stop. Their cheers went on for a good 15 seconds.

And I really could go on about the kids. Of course, it feels weird calling them 'kids' when I don't think I can shrug off that label as yet, but calling them students didn't quite seem to fit.

"What's your name?"
"Why are you taking pictures?"
"When will we see our photos?"
"YAY!!! We're going to be in the newspaper! YAYAYAY!" *dances*
"My cousin is called Jessica too!"

I've never had so many kids call out to me, eager but very very politely, "Please can you take our picture?" and respond with such cheers when I nod my head. And that's the thing - they are polite. Rowdy, but polite.

As I told the art teacher when we walked back to the school, if I could make one kid smile everyday for the rest of my life, I'd really be quite happy.

11:06 Recess

I'm not sure why the Australian International School that emits such a different vibe. It could be the open windows, high ceilings, brightly lit hallways, art teachers that walk around in paint-splattered overalls. Or maybe, rich kids are just happier.


There was a brief incident that did reveal a little bit more though. The children were lined up above the mural behind some railings. The art teacher told them to STEP OVER the railings to sit on the wall itself, dangling their legs down.

Would I be wrong to say, that in any other school, this would be completely frowned upon because its:

1. Dangerous
2. Will dirty the white walls
3. Dangerous

I think I'm just being very biased lah.

And oh yes, I've just finally confirmed that my D1's white balance does not work. Tungsten? Auto? +3 and -3? SAME.


Was feeling kinda bummed out towards the end of the day because I couldn't decide whether or not to go drink. It IS a Friday, and there are expectations about these things. Er ok, alcohol-based expectations lah.

But quite nicely, I ended up playing one-on-one basketball and frisbee on an empty rooftop with a fellow equally restless colleague. Quite embarassing for me, since I have the heart but no motor skills to execute.

Still, it is a nice change to have 100Plus at 11pm on a Friday night instead of a beer. And now, I very gian to play touch rugby again.




Too cool.

16:47 Overcast

This day shall be told in three photos because i'm too drunk to say anything more. Drinking on an empty stomach. Tsk.

A very very yummy day indeed. even if I only caught the last half hour of the set.

Shirlyn

Too cool.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

19:00 Sugar

I must've been so irritating when I was 15.

My photoshoot subject reminded me a lot of me. I'm not sure how accurate this observation is, but there's a thread of similarity or some weird deja vu shit about her.

Well firstly, she was one hour late because she decided it was a good idea to take a nap. Five missed calls couldn't wake her.

And when she finally appeared, not only was she not exactly very apologetic, she was really quite the talkative soul - trying to complain about whatever angle I told her to pose in, sulking and whining and all that nonsense.

I guess I liked how she didn't really feel intimidated by me or my camera. Heh.

So, what to do while waiting?

19:04 Sugar

Sugar and.. erm. Auntie? Sugar just had a $40 fur trim last week. I still freak out slightly when I see dogs that really sit when you tell them to sit, and act as if there's an invisible leash around them preventing them from moving more than 3 metres away from their owners.

19: 10 Boys run.


Francis told me to "just come in regularly lah" since I'm "so free". I really wish I could get him to say that in writing.
Biathlon

See point number 4 below.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Chiam.

Chiam

He's 71.

Wide-Eyed

I did only two assignments today, but they were:

1. 8-11 am
2. 8-11 pm


So, I'm terribly exhuasted. Couldn't even chew my supper properly because I think the glands in my neck has swelled up uncomfortably due to dehydration.

But, I've had one helluva day, so bear with me while I do the "oh look this is what i did and saw today" blog.



Today, I :

1. Got pissed off waiting for someone who showed up 2 hours later than expected.
2. Got pissed off at myself for waiting instead of using common sense.

3. Got my jeans and myself soaked in the sea
4. Got camera almost soaked in the sea

5. Panicked and was constantly unfocused during event


Returned to ST completely demoralized, "i'm not cut out for this i'm not cut out for this shit" ringing in my head". Sand in my feet, wet jeans, sand between my jeans and my legs - in bloody aircon. I felt utterly stupid and idiotic.

I took my own sweet time with the photos. Only to find out later that someone had died at the event, and I missed it. I MISSED IT. Either I didn't see the ambulance, or I had already left. I sure as hell hope its the latter.

FUCK.

And then, while waiting for Des Wee to have dinner, he got called away for an emergency fire nearby - so Des Lim and I tagged along lor.

We had no idea this was going to be such a politicised fire. No one realised that the block was sitiuated in Potong Pasir SMC. You can guess what happened lah, I can't say.



6. Climb 17 storeys, only to climb down.

7. See what a HDB block looks like in total darkness.

8. Get jeans and shoes soaked. Again. From the water gushing down from the 21st floor. Interestingly, water from a fire scene smells of smoke.

9. See Mr Sitoh from PAP.

10. See Mr. Chiam from SDA.

11. Climb up 21 storeys. Nabei.

12. See Singaporean man scold Policeman "USELESS!!!! You're all so SLOW!" (heheheheh)


As far as the politics are concerned, let me just say that - its so obvious when you are play-acting, and so obvious when you are being sincere. Especially when you have one of each type placed side-by-side.

I thought I'd never find a good reason to really exercise. Well, now I have. My legs are jelly. Des Lim sprinted ahead of me a couple of times, and I really really wanted to kick myself for being so freakin' weak.

Oh! And I clumsily fell into an open drain, and now I am eagerly awaiting the formation of what is bound to be the worst bruise of my life. It LOOKS like its bleeding, but *gasp horror!* its not.

And to think I started my day with a fever that disappeared when the stress levels rose, and now as I'm typing, I can feel it creeping back. At least the sniffly runny nose was constant.


I love this job. =)

Excuse me while I go cuddle up with a cat who has unsurped my head's position on my pillow.

The End.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

We're all God's little people

This week I had to cancel a Ubin cycling trip and a trip to the beach because of work. Aw well.


I had dinner tonight with a bunch of ladies from one of the most famous churches in Singapore. The seemed quite nice, all of them were really quite gorgeous what with perfect skin and glowing faces.

One of them had her mother and a maid with her, since she was busy with the event, they helped take care of her little toddler son.

So it was interesting to note the following scene: At dinner time when everyone was seated at the table, the grandma and maid strolled in from a walk outside.

A couple of seats remaining, everyone was tucking into the food already. The grandma sat down carrying the toddler. There was an empty seat next to the grandma. The maid looked around, looking a bit awkward with all the barang she was carrying, not too sure what to do.

Without an invitation from anyone, and I think she wasn't sure if the extra seat would be needed for the toddler (as opposed to Grandma's lap), she just slowly, confusedly, walked out of the restaurant.

She really didn't seem to know what to do.

I looked at the mom and the Grandma. Both of them just looked and stared in the general direction of the door when the maid exited, as if looking to see where the maid went, and resumed eating their meals. I had half expected on of them to call out to her.

Beside me, on either sides, were another two empty seats. Perhaps, the maid felt uncomfortable having to squeeze by people to get into the opposite side of the table.

When we left earlier, I saw her sitting with the pram outside the restaurant, looking a little stoned out.



And now, I'm kicking myself for not offering a seat.

I overheard one of these church ladies call some people their "clients" and I'm wondering, in a church context, what on earth "clients" could possibly refer to.

Trust is

putting my face right in your paws, nose-to-nose, and knowing you won't swipe at my unblinking eyes with your untrimmed and very very lethel claws.

Either that, or its some daredevil-denial streak I've got going on.


Cat typically has three different looks.

1. Sleepy
2. Disdain
3. Stoned out

But today, she contemplated the meaning of life, staring out of the window and into the sky for an awfully long time. Must be post-bath traumatic stress. Finding God after a crisis! Or something like that.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Tired and very grouchy.

The runny nose and hoarse throat seem to indicate a flu is about to hit. My left and right shoulders have EVEN MORE scratches now after I had to do a very thorough cat-bathing session to get rid of suspected fleas. It hurts. *whimper*

Just to be clear. She doesn't scratch me in anger. She scratches me when she tries to get up onto my head, as far away from the running water as possible. I really don't know why water distresses her so much.

And now the post-bath cat is shedding a lot of fur and making me sneeze like crazy, vacumning the room just irritated my nose even more, and could it be any more hot or humid today???????

GRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
They should ban the use of flash cameras in pubs, bars. In fact, if a place is deliberately lit in such a way that makes it obvious that they are going for is "minimial-light-maximum shadow" look, the application of some common sense would be great.

Thank goodness handphone cameras don't have flash, or I would go completely crazy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Too close for comfort

V for Vendetta hits a little too close to home.




It's raining outside, and its nice, and I'm doing some thinking tonight. Not too much! But some.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

11:45 Mr Jumpy











Monday, March 20, 2006

A Google Images search to figure out what on earth those "Move it Move it" animals in Madagascar were turned up:




Booyah!

Granted, I fell asleep at the movie, but I woke up when that song came on.



And erm. What's this I see in my email?

"
We might be organizing large scale protest to gain awareness. Delete it if you only care your own business.


Disclaimer: This in not an email initiates an agenda to overthrow the student union or any other illegal action."


Expect to see it in one or more of the papers.





Saturday, March 18, 2006

Good enough for me.

Hougang - Meow


Finally uploaded some of my stuff. Just very very random photos from everywhere. Everything's on Flickr.


Little India - Deepavali Fair

Hougang - Rag and Bone man

MRT

Little India - Pigeon Square

Little India - Mosque


Maybe I'm in denial, but yeah. Good enough for me.


Observation Post

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ok, restart the beer recount =(

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Is Singapore Good Enough For You?

Well, is it?



Count: Day 3 of no beer.
'ALL GIRLS LOOK ALIKE'
AND 99 OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY




We have commissioned Choosin to get started on this book, with various contributions from other Saggis, and we believe it will be a bestseller!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Joke Joke!

My first real laugh at home for a long time. Non-singlish speakers, sorry lah.

"See how lah."

"See how? What you mean see how?"

"See how lah! You don't know what's the meaning of 'see how' meh."

"No I don't know what's 'see how' but i know what's 'see cow'. 'Seecow' is manatee lah. I saw documentary on it last night."

Methinks dad has a small spark of funny in him sometimes.



----

Should've read this a long time ago, but well, better late than never. I will buy this if ST pays me for today's photos. Dammit. I need money.




Oh, and count: Day 2 of no beer!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Someone in South Asia found work as a photog for Unicef. Hooray!

Someone else in Europe won a prestigious national photography competition. Hooray!

And someone else else may potentially see her photos in ST very soon. HOORAY!



A nice end to an otherwise melancholic Sunday night.


My bid to remain beer-free begins today and ends, well, pretty soon i think. But till then, cue Bridget Jones, count: 1 day of no beer. Exercise: Zero.

And oh, a little bit of fame for good ol' Singapore on this week's issue of Postsecret:



Aiyoh. No wonder low birthrate lah, the men are either not doing or or not doing it right.


UPDATE
: Well. Photos are in, but with the usual cropping and attribution woes (photos AND text AND text AND text).
You know you've to stop drinking beer, or at least cut down, when you end up using your beer belly as a fifth limb while trying to haul cartons around even though a knee or lap would have done just as well. It is hard to explain how I did it, suffice to say that it was acting more like a resting pivotal point when I needed my two hands free to wrap tape around the carton. Packing the calories, dammit.


---------------------


I changed my sentence thingy above because I read this line today at the library and it really stuck.

There was a discussion about getting to know subjects first before photographing them - which is not a topic I frequently talk about here because not many people seem to have that luxury of time in their line of work. But I used to wonder, if my penchant for doing so was actually some sort of unconscious laziness in me that wanted to postpone having to actually do work.

But after reading what these women photographers said, I think I can go a little easier on myself lah.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What goes up must come down


















Its been nice so far, nice to know that its not the end yet though!
Thanks to the unsuspecting people who kenna dragged down to help me take down the stuff.

Iridescence





I saw this in Tampines the other day and was quite upset I didn't have any camera with me. Some guy over in Changi took a video though (same date), its strange what you can find online.

"Pileus or "mushroom cap" clouds are formed above cumulus. During the day warm moist air in cumulus rises and the clouds tower upwards. Sometimes their vertical growth pushes up a layer of moist air above them. The air layer expands as it is forced up into lower pressure surroundings and adiabatically cools. The water vapour in it suddenly condenses forming a misty veil-like layer of droplets above the cumulus - pileus cloud. Any cloud formed suddenly has all its droplets of similar size - ideal for iridescence or a coron."

I miss Geog class.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mmmmmmmmmmm



Absolutely scrumptious eye-candy. Changed photo cos last one was being weird. But I don't care!! Mmmmmmmmm.

My first exhibit.

Ok, so.

The past week has been an awful amateur's nightmare of sorts, what with getting my prints done (the selection process was entirely unsatisfactory) and setting up (blue panels had to be covered with black cloth, because.. i'm just that fussy)... but what's done is done, and I am pleased.

It wasn't so at first though. When I was done with everything, I sat at a corner of the library feeling entirely exhausted and wanting to just fall asleep right there and then. I felt like a 9-5 job person who went clubbing every single day of the week. I looked at my photos cramped together on these tiny panels and I felt utterly unsatisfied. Both with the presentation and my work. Definitely not my best, I'll be the first to admit that.

But then the people trickled in. A lot strolled on by, rushing to the second floor to borrow books. But there were those who came forward and looked. I'd never studied people's faces so intensely before, but now I did. Are they reading the captions? What sequence are they looking at? Why is he squinting!?

And I was surprised and touched to see that all those who slowed down to look at the pictures came forward and took the time to read what I had written.

At one point, the library cleaner came and took a slow tour around the photos. She didn't seem to read the captions, but she excitedly pointed out Masiah to her colleague. "Ah you see you see! This one at Kembangan MRT!"

She seemed to feel an affinity with Masiah because they were both Malay, like she was proud her long lost sister was being featured.

And in a encouraging boost, Xiaoling dropped by to lend her support and smsed me later that she had overheard a man looking at the photos and remarking in Mandarin "ta men ye shi ren" ("They're people too").

And when a young boy I'd been observing actually stopped to read out loud quietly every single caption and text, I just teared lah.

I don't know how to explain it, but I guess this project must've meant more to me than I thought it did. It really matters.

So yes. I am pleased. It's not the prettiest exhibit, nor the most glamerous, but it did what I set out to do, and I really couldn't ask for more.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The pre-reflective post

Wanted to write about how I felt when my photos went up, but too tired.











So I'll do what my cat does best.

Intruiged by the different kind of disappearing keys. I'm sure some scientist could totally tell the length of our fingers, and thus personality, and our estimated time of death even - based on what keys are left on your laptop.










And yes, it really is that dirty. I blame Banglaland. Nothing stays clean there.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

























Surviving on a two hours of sleep for the past couple of days, I really wonder what I am operating on.

It takes me almost two hours to do this invite. Rectangle or square? White or black? Dots or no dots? Why is the sans serif fonts so lousy? How many times can I use Futura? How the hell to get the pictures into a circle? How much detail to add in?

I think there must've been 10 previous versions before this one.


Many people to thank so far, but for today, I still cannot believe Terse put in a whole afternoon to walk me through (tediously) step by step the whole printing process.

Aiyoh. Thank you lah. I hope I was amusement enough in my sleep-deprived state.

ADDED NOTE: I want to warn anyone who is intending to show up that mine is not so much an exhibition but a display, and it is small - i ain't trying to be modest, really. Just a heads up so that you won't widen your eyes in horror in front of me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sunsets and Starvation

Its amazing the kind of stuff you find in your mail sometimes. This forwarded article blew my mind:

How to Write about Africa
:

"Your African characters may include naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermitic splendour. Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. The Loyal Servant always behaves like a seven-year-old and needs a firm hand; he is scared of snakes, good with children, and always involving you in his complex domestic dramas. The Ancient Wise Man always comes from a noble tribe (not the money-grubbing tribes like the Gikuyu, the Igbo or the Shona). He has rheumy eyes and is close to the Earth. The Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted expats to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Or he is an Oxford-educated intellectual turned serial-killing politician in a Savile Row suit. He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country."




The rest is just as Brilliant.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Exhausted.

I have a list on my whiteboard at home withthe names of people to thank when all this madness is over. Yes, I am that forgetful.

Psychosis 5:11 (Not)

I write this so that I can laugh at myself tomorrow because it is becoming apparent that I will receive no sleep whatsoever, which may not be a bad thing, since that last dream about Darren and some weird psycho chick (not me) I haven't exactly been looking forward to sleeping but still it is a useful thing especially when you have a meeting with a teacher who is already not too happy with you followed by a interview with a newspaper and you must be coherant enough to respond in Mandarin, oh lordy lord, i think i will allow him full reign at translation just so I can think less, and all this because of bloody FYP-The-Damned which is turning out very nicely perhaps because (as I discovered tonight) some people out there has been doing some very nice things on my behalf without telling me so now my illusion of good luck has been somewhat shattered, and oh yes, i put on 1 kg and my tummy region looks quite strangely distended.