Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We could've fed a village

Had a "business lunch" at the supposedly very famous Hua Ting restaurant at Orchard Hotel. Well, I wasn't doing anything but being present for a free lunch.

For 7 men and 1 woman and 1 me, we killed:

- Two Ducks
- One Pig
- Five Crabs
- Fifty Scallops
- One big-assed fish

And a patridge in a pear tree... lalala.

Possibly more animals involved in the creation of stocks/soups/oils. When I was served two slices of duck meat and two small cubes of roast pork on a huge plate - I really had to try very hard to stifle the giggles in front of these important men dressed in suits.

Couldn't enjoy it as much, I tried to behave myself in front of these important people. It is very difficult to eat crab gracefully.




Have pity on us who mock, for we do not understand.

But, truth be told. The food WAS good. Or maybe I was just so hungry from all the small portions it teased my tummy into blissful submission.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Have Car, Will Travel.

Damn this convenience that cars give.

Its been a long time since I went for a drive to Punggol point. Not since my dad sold his car many years back... and definitely not since I started university and work.

I'm not quite sure why I feel so nostalgic about the place. Technically, its unwarranted. Maybe its because I know that my Mom's entire family (and hence half of my roots, so to speak) grew up along Ponggol Road, where she trudged along in the darkness at night and in the morning to school, where she raised her dog Blackie who didn't survive the shift to HDB in the 1980s.

Until today, my mother still occassionally runs into fellow neighbours around Hougang who used to live in the same kampong. Its amazing.

Ponggol or Punggol? It used to be the former.

My own memories are largely confined to stories that I hear about the Before-Electricity-And-TV-Era and my own memories of family dinners at the old Ponggol Seafood restaurant, when sotong balls was a MUST and chilli crab a treat. I've no idea why food tastes better outdoors, but it does.


But yes, cars. Without one I wouldn't have made it to Ponggol Marina and wow-ed and ah-ed at the dramatic shadows the boats cast in the huge holding bay where they were stacked up in tiers. Wouldn't have sighed contently watching the darkness while standing right at the tip of the pier, eyeing the beautiful egret perched silently at the other end.

Singapore is always so much more beautiful in the dark.

And I wouldn't have gone to the end of Ponggol either. Ash believed that it was still walled up and under construction, and I was so glad to see the same old pier (probably renovated though) and an actual beach.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so glad Singapore can create our own beaches.

It looked like its been there a while. The shallow waters, surprisingly, were clear and almost pristine. I'm sure that daylight would yield a different look, but it really did look clean tonight. Some grass had already grown over a few patches, and two mongrels were snuggled in the sand in their own makeshift sand-cot.

I've not seen stray dogs in Singapore for quite a long time, and when one of them actually woke up and came over to sit with me I wanted to give it a big hug. I would, but for all my post-bangladesh-very-very-low-hygiene-standards (according to Mother) I still have some sense.

So lovely. I hope it remains quietly undiscovered. Let everyone else think that there's nothing left anymore.



No car, nevermind. I got good bicycle.




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Oh, and I still love Jon.


"On a personal note, I am a comedian who makes fun of what I believe to be the absurdities of our government. Make my life difficult.
Make these next four years really shitty for me."

- prior to the US's voting day in 2004.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taking a breath

Just would like to state that I'm very happy with the way things are. They could be better, of course, but then again it could be much much worse.

Work turned out to be more stressful than I thought it would be. I'd been spoilt and used to being at the top of the class, or at least in a reasonably comfortable position somewhere in the strata of things, and the feeling of starting from scratch from the bottom it strangely exciting and refreshingly good. I like being kept busy, since I lack the discipline to do it to myself.

Someone I didn't know very well remarked today when I made a optimistic comment, "That's because you're Jess!" And I suppose that my behaviour in office has inevitably created some UltraSunshine V. 5.6 of myself. Its probably a combination of the nerves I get (which makes me jumpy and edgy and overflowing with excess energy) and that I genuinely love what I do.

The statement bothers me. I'd been accused an equal number of times of being both optimistic and pessimistic. And really, I don't know which one is right. Ah well.


Other than that, I'm waiting for the paycheck to arrive. I need to buy:


1. CF card reader


Er.. ok it seems like that's it for my buying list. I guess my To-Do list is the nightmarish one.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My photo as a wall mural at Clarke Quay 2.4 m tall!???



AHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Puzzling

How is it possible for a person to "feel bored" in Qatar on the first day of their first trip there?

Oh... how I judge.

Friday, May 19, 2006


"Many people don't realise this, but he was sent from the future to destroy himself."


Yes, still obsessed with Jon.


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Its kinda cool to have a cat with a cockroach-search-and-kill-radar, but not so cool when she chooses my bed as a display-and-admire-my-fallen-prey zone.

Bug juice all over my sheets. Yeuch.

Its times like this when I wonder what would have happened if Peter (my cook) had really taken her back to his home, where he told me he would house her in the attic where they keep all the rice (he has fields) so that she would help catch rats. He was the only other person (besides Gwen and myself) who really loved that kitten, and he was the only one I'd have given her to.

I bet she'd have been really good at catching rats.


Kuda Kepang

Kuda Kepang. I was thrilled to see a live performance right next to Braddell MRT. Imagine, people in trance in broad daylight! Oh the horror.

But yes, it was amazing to watch. Apparently another dying "artform", although it seems to be rather controversial (soucre: One Malay Dude) because its not exactly sanctioned by the Koran. But wow, what a fantastic topic to do a photo essay on.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Across the boundaries.

So, this is the belated Mother's Day entry. Pardon my indulgence as I write about two things that I love.


As mentioned, my little present was to drag my lazy ass out of bed at 8 am for breakfast. Most of you guys know that I stay in Hougang, right across the street and 20 metres from where the boundaries of the Opposition begin.

A short bus ride later (even my mother was too lazy to walk), we're right smack in the oldest part of Hougang.

Opposition Camp

The walls are peeling, the benches defaced and weather-worn. The railings along the canal bear scars of chipped paint. Unlike most HDB mini-parks, this one is devoid of pathways, installed flowers and other pretty things.

Interestingly enough, the shallow waters of the canal teemed with fishes, creating ripples all across as if it were raining.

Opposition Camp

The market/hawker centre along Hougang Ave 7, which my family has inexplicably named 'Tampines Market' probably because of its proximity to the Old Tampines Road.

I'm hard-pressed to think of changes that may have taken place since the days when I was a toddler wearing shoes that squeak when I walk.

The obvious changes are in terms of hygeine requirements : coolers for meat, no more live slaughtering of chickens etc.

They probably changed the seats and tables before, but really, I can't tell.

Opposition Camp

I've always thought of this place as being one of the older estates in Singapore. Not too sure when it was first built, although I think a good estimate would be late-1970s.

Opposition Camp

Ah. The food. I've become addicted to the chilli at this nasi lemak stall, and thanks to my Dad and his bike - I have it at least once a week. Its a staple for me. And home-brewed chin chow and tau huay. Mm.

Opposition Camp

My dad likes to talk to strangers too.

Opposition Camp

Opposition Camp

Mini-business everywhere. Mangos from Malaysia! $3 for 1 kg. Good stuff.

Opposition Camp

We made a stop to visit my relatives a couple of blocks away. The Grand Dowager of the family, my great-grandmother, lives with her eldest son in a shophouse unit. They run an "incense shop", for the lack of a better term. I love the smell of the place.

Opposition Camp

My uncle (mom's uncle) and my Dad. I have about 20 relatives in Hougang area who contributed to the Opposition vote count.

Opposition Camp

The shop hasn't changed much in the last 20 years or so, except that business isn't so good anymore. Its tucked away in the middle of a housing estate, and probably relies mostly on regular customers.

Opposition Camp

So, a bit more on this lady. She had mistakenly voted for the PAP (confused between the logos, and she sure as hell don't read English). "AH!? Its not the lightning sign??" (in dialect, of course)

She loves having her photo taken. She will sit as still as you want for as long as you tell her to.

Opposition Camp

The people who stay with her have resorted to buying VCD sets of her favourite chinese wayang - just to keep the nagging at a minimum. Ever since her cateract operation a couple of years ago, nothing escapes her eyes (or opinion).

Opposition Camp

I used to love helping out in the shop, picking stuff from the shelves as dictated by customers.

Opposition Camp

Opposition Camp

Martell and Bombay Sapphire. Welcome to my family.

Opposition Camp

Taking group shots during Chinese New Year or dinners always prove to be a challenge. The one on the extreme left is the most complete set we have to date, sans for a couple of people. I think there's about 90 people in that photo.

Opposition Camp

And oh dear, the dog that lost its eye because it cried too much when its owner (my mom's cousin) went away on reservist. It developed an eye infection which got worse and worse, despite the vet's (wrong) medication.

Opposition Camp

Opposition Camp

Opposition Camp

It was a nice day. My mom likes to visit relatives etc, even more so when I tag along since I don't get to see them often anymore. There's a lot that we have in common, even if we don't see each other that often. Maybe its where we stay, or that we understand the same dialect jokes, or that really it isn't so difficult to get along with people who are sincere and nice.

Opposition Camp

There used to be a couple of chickens and a rooster roaming along this stretch at Avenue 4 (right next to the field where they held rallies), but I think they were removed because of the whole bird flu thing.

Happy Mother's Day

So! That's about it. I present my mother, who graduated from running in the Punggol kampong barefooted, giving her huge calf muscles, to running in full-running gear at marathons, who didn't know how to use a knife and fork the first time my Dad took her to a restaurant, whose clothes from the 1980s I still wear, and the ones that holds everything together lah.

"Look at the skin on my feet! Its so smooth! Yours are like old woman's like that. You have to moisterize!"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

"We're done sucking up to you Home Planet. You wanna fight? Bring it on bitch."


My Jon Stewart's fervour is going strong! Once, he used the word "quarry" and "Brachtian" in the same breath, thereby taking away my own.



Not very representative of the more political stuff that he does, but his comic factor shines through in this clip.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I wanted to do a full length Mother's Day post, but its 4 am already so I'll save it for tomorrow.

My very small gift was waking up at 8 am to have breakfast with her at the market before work. This is why you don't have children, in case they end up like me.

Mr Slouchy. Part 3.

Shall exhaust the cat shots instead. Mr Slouchy watches in horror as I trudge out of the house WILLINGLY.

Opposition Camp

My father still thinks she's a dog. A dog that can be brought out on family trips. She can't speak, but I'm willing to bet that she'll have a lot to say about his misconception.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Off Day Part 2

So, my second more memorable Off Day. One that I had actively solicited, not because I had to do anything - but just because I wanted a break.

Things have wound down quite a bit since GE, but I just felt like pampering myself by taking some time off to do things that have no bearings on my future or existence.. other than the rather short-term gratification of "hanging out".

So, for the first time I trotted down to the Sungei Road flea market with a colleague who apparently was quite the expert on the place. The aim was the hunt for old cameras, but I guess I just tagged along to see a part of Singapore that I heard so much about but never really took the time to visit.

The most common things on sale were:

1. Handphones
2. Watches
3. 2nd hand clothes


There was the odd trinket here and there, (laser-disc next to vinyl records!!) and one stall selling some kinda aphrodisiac. On display with the rather yucky looking brown stew was an electric-eel hailing from Indonesia and a bottle of leeches (animal abuse!). I'm not sure how these creatures make men more attractive. One sure way is to NOT tell the woman you had just consumed the essense of swamp-dwelling creatures.

Ash was quite surprised to see that leeches grow till that length, and I guess I was never really interested enough to find out. The lasting image of leeches in my mind is the one Stand By Me when the boys wandered through a river and emerged with black squishy things stuck on them.

I am now thinking, whether I would rather a leech or a catarpillar attach itself onto me.

If you think that the blood-sucking factor of a leech would be a dead givaway.. ah thou doth underestimate my fear (and hatred) for catarpillars.


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Cherian rockz/rulez/reignz.

I found an old photo of him (circa 2001) which made me laugh so loud I woke up my parents.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Daily Fix



"I hunt the most dangerous quarry of all, Larry. Man."



Jon Stewart's a leftie!

*beams*

I think I will get never tired of identifying lefties.







ADD-ON:


OH!! AND!! He's a Saggi too!

My goodness, we're practically family.

Mr Slouchy bites back

As is she.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I think if there's one thing that makes a person attractive - its talent.

This statement perhaps begets an explanation, but I'm tired lah.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Off

I don't really have anything to write about because really, there's nothing much happening other than work.

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I did have a very good off-day, chilling out at Arab St with shisha and laptop editing over 200 bloody photos for a friend. I think no more Holland V for me.. not with a place that's cheaper and nearer. And less people too.



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I get sick of places quickly. I don't understand how some people can return to the same haunts to study/work for months or years. Seeing how I'm so fussy about location (open-air and with powerpoint for laptop), I think I'm fast running out of places to go.

I've been rostered for another month, and while I do groan a bit because I feel like bumming a bit more, I'm secretly masochistically (sp?) happy. Er ok, maybe not secretly lah.


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Oh, and sometimes I love the light from CNA's cameras.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Criminal Intimidation :

Under the Singapore Statutes' Penal Code :


prevCriminalnext prevIntimidationnext.

503. Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits prevcriminalnextprevintimidationnext.

Explanation.
A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.
Illustration
A, for the purpose of inducing B to desist from prosecuting a civil suit, threatens to burn B’s house. A is guilty of criminal intimidation.


Punishment for prevcriminalnext previntimidationnext. If threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.

506. Whoever commits the offence of prevcriminalnextprevintimidationnext shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with both; and if the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years or more, or impute unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, or with fine, or with both.

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I'm no lawyer, but I am really confused as to what they could possibly charge him with.


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I've been back to reading Rockson ever since Tym posted up his first GE-related post.


"The other big loser is the cheebye Singapore newspaper like PAP Times and Mediacocksucker TV station like Channel News of PAP Only. After this election, no people want to believe you now. The internet show you all as Big Gahmen Running Dog. Maybe the auntie and the old man still will read you and believe you. But the new generation not just will read you less and less, and watch you less and less, they will never believe you fucker again."


Someone mentioned to me about a "parallel universe" existing on the Internet which the Straits Times didn't know about, but which could affect the paper badly. I doubt very much that ST doesn't know about it, although it does get a bit strange when they report news that have been circulating on the net for a couple of days.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any effect, and if the numerous political bloggers will receive any attention from the government.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The last 24 hours.

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Tired but exhilarated. Grateful to be where I am.

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I'd called Malcolm today to tell him that I couldn't get pictures of an exhibition because they sent me too late and it had already closed. He called me hours later, asking WHERE ARE THE PHOTOS.

Later, when "confronted" he said, "I didn't realise it was you on the phone."

It's actually quite funny, and I don't blame them for being distracted as it nears deadline. Distracted, or a bit nutty.

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