Discmans, Radio song requests and long phone calls.

Re-reading the teenage textbook, I'm hit by such a strong wave of nostalgia. I would really want to see a film oneday, that captures teenage life in the aughts.

I remember a time before cellphones. When my friends are late in meeting up with me, I always started to doubt if I got the time or location wrong, and there was no way to find out unless i had memorized their phone numbers. Nowadays we don't remember even our family member's phone number.

I remember as I transitioned from primary to secondary school, I began to use the phone more and more. It was normal to have conversation spanning hours. Of course when you are dating someone, the conversations get longer and longer. A saying that has stuck with me for ages is that a measure of how comfortable you are with another person is how comfortable you are spending time with each other in silence. Through those secondary school years, i had a best friend that i spent so much time with on the phone. We didn't even have to talk all the time; we would just chat, then lapse into silence doing our own stuff, but enjoying each other's company through the phone. It was comforting. We went separate ways after secondary school. He went to poly and I went to JC. Things changed then. Slowly but irreversibly. We were in different places in all sense of the phrase. Soon we could not relate that well to each other and our problems, our triumphs or our difficulties. The last phone conversation I can remember having with him is four years later, when I was in national service and he was finishing his last semester in poly. I was on my first outfield exercise as a sergeant, and I remember having a long conversation with him while worrying about my handphone battery. Back then we did not have portable batteries, so I improvised. I collected as many no-frills, $0 hand phones from anyone and everyone. Although it was an eight day exercise, I had 4 phones and back then, phone batteries can last almost 2 days if you rationed carefully. We talked about his love life and school. We still meet up, although it is getting increasingly difficult to arrange a meet up with him these days. We whatsapp each other to arrange the details. And although there is the same causal comfortable-ness in our conversations, I feel the awkwardness in our silence. For the past six years, to my memory, we have not spoken on the phone to each other. People nowadays don't talk on the phone that much anymore. We now whatsapp or email. I have not called his home number in years, although I still remember it by heart. Actually I do not even know if it is still his home number.

My first handphone was a Nokia 3210. Or rather it was my mother's handphone that she occasionally let me bring along when I went out, so that she could contact me. The next year I finally got a phone all to myself; a Nokia 3330. It was lighter twin to the famously indestructible Nokia 3310. I had a friend dropped his phone from the 4th floor with narry a scratch. Back then, we weren't allowed to bring our phones to school, and we had frequent inspections and spotchecks in attempts to find and confiscate our phones. We just became really good at hiding them. And hiding them in underwear is a stupid idea because everyone can tell it is there. We hid them in the OHP, in false ceilings, on window ledges, taped under chairs, and even in the teacher's desk. The richer students had ultra slim phones like Motorola razr, which could even be hidden in a slim wallet.


Technology is great. Technology is terrifying. Technology change how we communicate.

Back then, the internet was still in its infancy. But we were teenagers, so who else but us would be the early adopters. We did not have broadband, but used dial-up modems that made use of the phone lines. If someone was on the phone, you could not go online and vice-versa. My best friend then was the envy of the class. His was the first one among all of us to get a second phone line. We started off with ICQ, with its iconic alert sounds, before quickly moving on to mIRC. It was so easy to chat to strangers on IRC, but none of us were interested in that. Instead we spent all our time with people we know, and occasionally lurking in the popular chat rooms full of spam message. We spent time slapping each other with trout (inside joke), showed of our latest flashy (downloaded) script, played games like hangman, and got disproportionately over-the-moon when we got admin rights, and could ban or silence those we did not like. We then moved on to MSN messenger, and parents breathed a collective sigh of relief now that we could only chat with friends whose email addresses we knew. No more stranger danger.

Although i had cassette tapes and a walkman around the house, my teenage years started at the advant of the discman. My first model was a chunky hand-me-down from my sister. That thing was a pain to lug around, in addition to the huge-ass CD folders we brought everywhere to flaunt our CD collections. I remember getting a new discman in secondary 3, and that model could just barely fit snugly into my Jean pocket.
Monday, January 25, 2016, 3:46 AM | comment | 0 comments
What If

What about this girl or that girl?
What do you look for in a girl? So that we can keep a look out for you.
Maybe if you lowered your standards.
You are not young any more. Look at all your friends getting married. Even I was married with a child at your age.


But

What if I’m happy where I am at the moment?
What if I have not yet met the girl that will make me weak in the knees or give me butterflies in my stomach?
What if there is no such thing as the perfect one. Or that the fairy tale “falling in love” is a lie.
What if I never meet the one that was meant to be?


What If
Sunday, February 15, 2015, 5:01 AM | comment | 0 comments
reliving the past

Last Wednesday,  I met up with one of my closest group of friends, and after our 4 am supper, we started discussing if we could go back to some point in the past, with complete knowledge of the live you have lived thus far (E.g I go to sleep and somehow wake up as my 15 yr old self, but with complete knowledge of the life I had lived previously), how different would we live our lives? On one hand we know the different mistakes and bad choices we have made. Would we try to correct them? But on the other hand, for those that are happy where they are know, how much change are they willing to risk not being able to reach the same point?

I know the question sounds confusing as hell.

Let's use my friends as an example. Both of them are happily (recently) married, with renovation on their new flat almost done. Both of them are also quite happy with their jobs and of course our awesome group of friends.

If they were to wake up tomorrow as their twelve year old self, with full knowledge of their life as they knew it until yesterday, how much of their life would they be willing to change.

It might be small changes like eating better or exercising more. Moderate changes like hanging out with a different clique in school or a different CC. Larger changes like choosing different schools or jobs.

But with each change, you risk your new life missing an essential component of your old one. Each change, even seemingly small ones, could risk them not marrying, or even never meeting reach other. Or they would not be able to get their jobs that they love, or that we won't be friends. Of course there is the possibility that with the right changes, they can still have everything they loved about their old life, and some more. Or maybe instead of having people like me as friends, they might make better friends.

This question attracted me so much. Because even though I know how impossible it is, one of my deepest wish is to one day go to sleep, and wake up as my 12 year old self.

All of my closest friends are by virtue of my NS postings, and I have no idea how any of my decisions would affect the postings to the point that my different group of friends never met.

Question aside, as I said earlier, my deepest desire is to go to bed and wake up an earlier version of myself, but with no recollections of my teen years and my young adulthood,  and pray that by some random butterfly effect, different choices are made, and I don't end up so bitter, cynical and purposeless as I am now.

Anyway talking about living in the past, what can be more teenage - angsty than passively whine about life from a blog.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 1:38 AM | comment | 0 comments
Date

I have just read perks of a wallflower and the whole thing just weighed me down with melancholic sadness. In a way i think I'm overreacting to this is due to me constantly wanting to live in the past and regretting mistakes I did and choices I made.

It also made me realize that even though it will be very unlikely, especially at my age and the age of any potential girl I would like to date, that I would like to date like we were 15 again; hanging out at void decks and playgrounds in the middle on the night just to talk, spend time on the phone with each other and not having to say anything, just enjoying each other's company over the line, walking around shopping centres aimlessly window shopping... 

I'm in a really weird mood now...
1:04 AM | comment | 0 comments
Thoughts. 2:39.25.12.2013

There are days when you feel like you can't crawl out of bed because you can't bear to face your responsibilities. Today is one of them, where I just want to crawl under my blanket and hope the day would just pass me by without any claim on me.

It's just a sense of quiet frustration and tiredness, mixed with jaded nostalgia for a simpler time where nothing you do really matters. It can cut both ways; insignificance but with freedom.


There's something going on with me and I don't know what. For the second night in a row, I skipped dinner simply because I didn't feel hungry. For the past 2 weeks, my sleeping cycle has changed. I've been feeling very tired lately, and that does not stop me from automatically waking up at 8+ everyday. My parent would be happy with this changes, but I think there's something wrong somewhere.

I don't like how the construction blocks out all the light; from the road, the MRT, the blocks beyond the tracks.

I can't stand how my this specific strength/weakness incapacitates me so badly. I spent so much time and only edited so little, simply because I can't bear to look at the terrible footage I have. Blurry shot, shaky videos, terrible framing... I really wanna give a refund.

Why do I feel betrayed over something so insignificant?

Why am I such an INFP?
Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 2:40 AM | comment | 0 comments
Best + Worst

Worst periods of my life (In order)

1. Year 2 Sem 2.
2. JC
3. Primary 5

Notable mentions; SISPEC (for the physical difficulty)

Best Periods of my life (In chronological order, not in order of merit)
- Backpacking in Europe
- Year 3 at B4
- EHOC 2009
- NS, esp at 7SIB & SI
- Secondary School, esp Sec 3 & 4
- Primary 3

Notable mention: Whenever I'm working on a video, or singing choral parts, or cycling (when I was still fit), or reading.

In a way I'm thankful for both. The good times are what we want to live for. But the bad times grow your character. Even though I've not fully recovered from the whole disaster that was 2010 Jan-Jun, I have to say it was the most effective in correcting my hubris.

I know one of my fatal flaws is pride. I always think I am better, or can do something better, or am smarter, etc... Doing terribly for my PSLE did nothing to correct this, as did my mediocre O & A level results, the supposed failure of several important pet projects like Extreme, School Functions, being a below average cell leader, etc... 2010 certainly did the most to correct this errant behavior, but it's not without side effects. I guess one of the biggest blows, is to my ability to dream, to hope, to have a vision and to have the courage to pursue it. I'm slowly getting better, but I still have a long way to go. 
Thursday, October 03, 2013, 3:18 AM | comment | 0 comments
50 What Ifs

50. What if I had not left Spawt?
49. What if I chose OL9?
48. What if I had chosen to do Videography full-time?
47. What if I had decided to do Events?
46. What if I had decided not to do HighLife camp?
45. What if I had decided not to do flag?
44. What if I had decided to go Tembusu?
43. What if I did not join EW?
42. What if I had not moved to B403?
41. What if I had applied and gone for an internship instead?
40. What if I just gave up EHOC then?
39. What if I had asked for help?
38. What if I left aside the idea of a precamp?
37. What if I had let Neeti head?
36. What if I were more rational, and did not reject all advice for me not to take 5 cores in a semester, let alone with that much other commitments?
35. What if I did not carry out my "All-in" gamble?
34. What if I had chosen different vice heads?
33. What if I had a smaller ego and was less sure of myself?
32. What if I had managed to talk Jerryl into remaining as my vice head?
31. What if I had applied for JCRC VP, or even P instead?
30. What if I had turned down heading D&D?
29. What if I had the ball to apply for head, instead of vice?
28. What if I had chosen to prioritize Managerial Accounting over Physical Chemistry?
27. What if I applied for EW in year 1?
26. What if I did not apply for D&D comm?
25. What if I had went for Scamp? Or Science O week?
24. What if I had chosen to stay in Ridge View?
23. What if I had chosen Sheares or KE7?
22. What if Nigel didn't ask me to room with him?
21. What if I had accepted NTU's offer?
20. What if I had applied for Business?
19. What if I chose Literature over Chemistry?
18. What if I pursued V, regardless of the circumstances.
17. What if I said no to serving in NS ministry?
16. What if I had chosen far but slack, instead of letting Xavier decide for me?
15. What if I had chosen not broken up with her, but instead try to work things out?
14. What if I had ran for council?
13. What if I had chosen Physics over Literature?
12.What if I had chosen Arts over Science?
11. What if I had gone to Poly instead?
10. What if I had chosen TPJC or SRJC instead?
09. What if I had made it to VJC?
08. What if I had decided to properly date B (instead to the neither here nor there relationship we had)?
07. What if I had tried harder to bring Darren back to church?
06. What if I had decided not to serve in cell ministry?
05. What if I had put in more effort to stay in contact with Hendric?
04. What if I got into Wushu instead of Choir?
03. What if I made it to Victoria School? Or ACSI?
02. What if I had put in more effort to stay in contact with Billy & Desmond?
01. What if I decided to stay on in TPS?


This is all pretty personal to me. I guess my blog has been sufficiently dead with no traffic for me to blog about this. I've always wondered 2 things; If life were like a video game, and we could retry starting from various checkpoints or save points, 1. would I still have made the same choice I made at any of these 50 points of my life (without prior knowledge of the results of the decision)? Or 2. How different life would be if I had deliberately chosen the alternate pathways, knowing what I know now?
2:37 AM | comment | 0 comments
Single

Honestly, I don't mind being single at my current stage of life, even though most of my friends are attached, with quite a number getting married. But I just feel slightly sad that most of my close friends are slowly becoming only friends, through no one's fault. I'm not bitter that their significant others become a much larger part of their life, it's the way that it should be. I'm just a bit... 

I remember having this conversation with a very good friend watching kids going to school at 6am, that friends will eventually drift away, esp when they get attached. I was in denial then, but I guess I knew how this would happen eventually, esp since this had alr happened with a number of my close friends. And while I'm happy you found happiness with your new significant other, esp after all the shit you've been through, I guess I'm just kinda sad that we are slowly drifting apart... 
Thursday, August 01, 2013, 12:44 AM | comment | 0 comments


Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana M Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Madeleine F Hsu
Catherine V Hubbard
Chase Kowalski
Jesse Lewis
James Mattioli
Grace McDonnell
Emilie Parker
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison N Wyatt
Rachel Davino
Dawn Hochsprung
Anne Marie Murphy
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto


Rest in Peace. 
Sunday, December 16, 2012, 9:26 PM | comment | 0 comments
How to Argue Effectively

1. Make things up. Suppose, in the Peruvian economy argument, you are trying to prove that Peruvians are underpaid, a position you base solely on the fact that YOU are underpaid, and you are not going to let a bunch of Peruvians be better off. DON'T say: "I think Peruvians are underpaid. " Say instead: "The average Peruvian's salary in 1981 dollars adjusted for the revised tax base is $1,452.81 per annum, which is $836.07 before the mean gross poverty level. "

NOTE: Always make up exact figures. If an opponent asks you where you got your information, make THAT up too. Say: "This information comes from Dr. Hovel T. Moon's study for the Buford Commission published on May 9, 1982. Didn't you read it? " Say this in the same tone of voice you would use to say, "You left your soiled underwear in my bathroom. "

2. Use meaningless but weighty-sounding words and phrases. Memorize this list: Let me put it this way In terms of Vis-a-vis Per se As it were Qua So to speak You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as "Q. E. D. ", "e. g. ", and "i. e. " These are all short for "I speak Latin, and you don't. " Here's how to use these words and phrases. Suppose you want to say, "Peruvians would like to order appetizers more often, but they don't have enough money. " You never win arguments talking like that. But you WILL win if you say, "Let me put it this way. In terms of appetizers vis-a-vis Peruvians qua Peruvians, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were. Q. E. D. " Only a fool would challenge that statement.

3. Use snappy and irrelevant comebacks. You need an arsenal of all-purpose irrelevant phrases to fire back at your opponents when they make valid points. The best are: You're begging the question. You're being defensive. Don't compare apples to oranges. What are your parameters? This last one is especially valuable. Nobody (other than engineers and policy wonks) has the vaguest idea what "parameters " means. Don't forget the classic: YOU'RE SO LINEAR. Here's how to use your comebacks: You say: As Abraham Lincoln said in 1873... Your opponent says: Lincoln died in 1865. You say: You're begging the question. You say: Liberians, like most Asians... Your opponent says: Liberia is in Africa. You say: You're being defensive.

4. Compare your opponent to Adolph Hitler. This is your heavy artillery, for when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong. Bring Hitler up subtly. Say, "That sounds suspiciously like something Adolph Hitler might say," or "You certainly do remind me of Adolph Hitler. "
Friday, January 13, 2012, 11:55 PM | comment | 0 comments
Let That be Enough

I wish I had what I need
To be on my own
'Cause I feel so defeated
And I'm feeling alone

And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I'm a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land

And all I see
It could never make me happy
And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing

And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he's needy

Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough

-Switchfoot, 1999
Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 6:52 AM | comment | 0 comments
Directory of Links for DSLR Tutorials on Videomaking

Tips on Picture Composition
http://vimeo.com/27627363 (Depth of Field)
http://vimeo.com/28669523 (Colour - White Balance, White Balance Shift, Picture profile)

Tips and Tutorials about Focus and Lenses
http://vimeo.com/26869155 (Motion)
http://vimeo.com/27769503 (Aperture, Focal Length, Follow Focus)
http://vimeo.com/27627363 (Choice of Lens to use: Prime Lenses)
http://vimeo.com/12936349 (A Guide to Canon Lenses)
http://vimeo.com/13140360 (Choice of Lens to use: for Event Coverage)
http://vimeo.com/13533155 (Tilt/Shift Lens)

Tips and Tutorials about Audio and Microphones
http://vimeo.com/13715848 (In Camera, Shotgun (directly plugged in), Directional with Wireless LAV and Field recorder)

Tips and Tutorials about Other Equipment
http://vimeo.com/26869155 (Monopod: Manfrotto 561 BHDV-1)
http://vimeo.com/27769503 (Zacuto Z-Finder, Cinevate Cyclops, Small HD DP6, Zacuto EVF)
http://vimeo.com/15359451 (EOS stabilizer)
Thursday, November 03, 2011, 2:44 PM | comment | 0 comments
One

If you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
One moment
Would you capture it?
Or just let it slip

So lose yourself in the moment.
Own it
Never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to go
Some opportunities comes only once in a lifetime

- Adapted from Lose Yourself by Marshall Mathers
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 10:04 AM | comment | 0 comments
piled high

Sigh! I really wish I had more time, or rather more discipline to accomplish all I have before me, and all I want to do in the next month or so! There is my essay on Quantum Theory due on friday, a Concert Report due next week, a Project & Presentation on Social Class and Gender issues in Singaporean film due tomorrow, vetting through 2 sets of games proposals and coming up with 2 workshops ASAP (among other Camp Comm responsibilities), and the 3 Videos I have due this week that I have barely started! This is in addition to studying a test in 2 weeks, and for Finals!

I also dearly want to research and write about the occupy movement, and critique the GOP presidential candidates, make a detailed analysis of Obama's term, and get involved in nanowrimo! Sigh! How.... so much to do and so little time...
Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 7:17 AM | comment | 0 comments
Family

Put your faith in what you most believe in; Family
Trust your heart
Let fate decide
To guide these lives we see

Softly tread the sand below your feet now
Raise your head up
Lift high the load
Take strength from those that need you
Build high the walls
Build strong the beams
A new life is waiting

But danger's no stranger here
Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 7:31 AM | comment | 0 comments
Occupy _________

I guess one of the bigger news these days are the Occupy Wall Street movement which as been spreading to other parts of the US and the world including Singapore (Occupy Raffles Place)

I agree with the principle behind the original wall street protest (the 99%), but the point of such occupation/ protesting and/or picketing is useless and ineffective. All it does in my opinion is waste more governmental resources when the police have to intervene to uphold public peace (like the Occupy Boston, who flouted laws and regulation which resulted in the police having to arrest them for unlawfully occupying a park at 2am) The police also have not been handling this situation well too as can be seen from what they have been doing in the occupy wall street, but that's another thing altogether.

In contrast to the 99%, there is another movement called the 53% which is much more moderate and logical. Comparing the 99% movement to the 53% movement, what I see is the people supporting the 99% movement are people who just want to blame someone else for their problems and not doing anything to solve their own situation. They are those looking for a quick fix and blaming the wealthy is a very good solution for them at this moment. the 53% on the other hand is actively doing something constructive to rise above their situation, instead of just protesting, boycotting and occupation of public spaces (and being a nuisance along the way)

I don't believe the situation in Singapore, be it economical social or political, is as desperate as US. We don't face the problems facing the American 99%. Our unemployment is at 2.1% compared to their 9.1%. We don't have their housing problems (our houses are not being foreclosed. even if undesirable, almost all Singaporeans have a place to call home). Quality medical care is available to us via governmental policies like Medisave and Medishield. Other than the Indonesian haze, I think we suffer from very little pollution.

In my opinion, since we do not have the same motivation as the Americans to stage such an occupation, and such initiative here is merely a copycat jumping on the bandwagon!
2:34 AM | comment | 0 comments
Haiz

It's always sad to see good friendships go bad, even if you're not involved personally, it's still just sad...
Thursday, September 01, 2011, 4:09 AM | comment | 0 comments
Love Song

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens, as close a heartbeat or a song on our lips. Someday we'll trust Him and learn how to see Him. Someday He'll call us and we will come running and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"
Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 11:14 AM | comment | 0 comments
Erm...

I don't mean to be mean but this is excruciating! If all the singing is cut out, this performance will be much better!
Sunday, August 21, 2011, 8:11 PM | comment | 0 comments
The Dreamer

I am an INFP, the Dreamer personality type. And this is why I think I'm both good and bad at doing what I love. I love to envision something spectacular in my mind's eye, be it an event or story. I love to just sit back and think... But that is why I can never be satisfied with what I do, because nothing I can do can match up with what I can imagine...
Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 3:12 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sticks & Stones

Buddy you’re a boy
Make a big noise playing in the street
Gonna be a big man someday
You got blood in your face, big disgrace
Kicking your can all over the place

Keep the beat up, why, I’m gonna turn your heat up
Gonna get you on the floor, gonna burn your feet up
Rocking you like I never rocked you before
Like the way I do got you screaming for more

We causing utter devastation
When we stepping to the place
And better believe that you can see
We’re gonna rock and never stop
And here we go again
Hit you with the flow again
Kick it up the second time around
We’ll bring it on again – shout it out

Buddy, you’re an old man, poor man
Pleading with your eyes
Gonna make you something someday
You got mud on your face, big disgrace
Somebody better put you back in your place
Monday, June 20, 2011, 11:43 AM | comment | 0 comments
Chocolate Chip Cookies for Chem Nerds

Ingredients:
1. 532.35 cm3 gluten
2. 4.9 cm3 Na HCO3
3. 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4. 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5. 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6. 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7. 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8. Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
9. 473.2 cm3 the obroma cacao
10. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

Instructions:
To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation.

In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous.

To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation.

Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction. Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm).

Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.
Friday, June 10, 2011, 6:55 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sweet dreams are made of these

Weird dream! I dreamt that I was in the middle of physically coordinating some logistics for a short film (which somehow involves an actual sports car) when a friend (Donno who) asks me to act in his/her film. After loads of emotional blackmail, I agreed, only to find out that I had to shoot my scene in an hour, and that my part contained a bloody difficult Spanish opera in a high tenor register, that I learn and memorize in an hour, and my voice was far from warmed up! Then during my warmup, I woke up
Tuesday, June 07, 2011, 3:24 PM | comment | 0 comments
The Sacred Art of Stealing

The prologue was hard to read. But once I went past that chapter,I just had to admit that this book is awesome! Re-reading it today just reaffirmed my evaluation of its awesomeness. Besides the Oceans 11-worthy heist and the interesting romance between the thief and the policewoman hunting him down, I loved the sarcasm, the irony, the wit, and simply the author showing off literally literarily.

Dadaists, indeed. That particular hack had only used the term in order to show off that he was familar with the it; apity, then, that he didn't also know what it actually meant.

- Christopher Brookmyre, The Sacred Art of Stealing
Monday, June 06, 2011, 7:52 PM | comment | 0 comments
Defining Societies Through Cows

FEUDALISM
You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk. 

PURE SOCIALISM
You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need. 

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM
You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need. 

FASCISM
You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk. 

PURE COMMUNISM
You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk. 

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM
You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. 

DICTATORSHIP
You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you. 

MILITARISM
You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you. 

PURE DEMOCRACY
You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk. 

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY
You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk. 

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cow-gate."

BRITISH DEMOCRACY
You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything. 

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY
You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment. 

BUREAUCRACY
You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows. 

ANARCHY
You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows. 

CAPITALISM
You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. 

HONG KONG CAPITALISM
You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the fung shui is bad. 

ENVIRONMENTALISM
You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them. 

FEMINISM
You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf. 

TOTALITARIANISM
You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned. 

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
You are associated with (the concept of "ownership " is a symbol of the phalli-centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender. 

COUNTER CULTURE
Wow, dude, there's like... these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk. 

SURREALISM
You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons."
Monday, May 23, 2011, 6:30 AM | comment | 0 comments
Inspirational writings

There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define "great " he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger! "

He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages."
Sunday, May 22, 2011, 3:47 AM | comment | 0 comments

Top Twenty Countdown of the Best Oxymorons...

#20 Found missing
#19 Resident alien
#18 Airline food
#17 Same difference
#16 Government organization
#15 Sanitary landfill
#14 Alone together
#13 Business ethics
#12 Sweet sorrow
#11 Military intelligence
#10 Plastic glasses
#9 Terribly pleased
#8 Definite Maybe
#7 Pretty Ugly
#6 Computer Security
#5 Political science
#4 Diet ice cream
#3 Working vacation
#2 Exact estimate
#1 Microsoft Works
Friday, May 20, 2011, 10:04 PM | comment | 0 comments
Satisfaction

First there was this



Then there was this



And now there is this

5:18 AM | comment | 0 comments
The engagement of emotions in political rallies

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

-George Orwell, 1984
Monday, May 02, 2011, 9:34 PM | comment | 0 comments
Vernia

5:48 PM | comment | 0 comments
CNA Political Forum (2nd April 2011) Part 1

While taking a break from studying, I decided to watch the first 10 minutes of the forum. After listening to all 6 of them, these are my opinion on the 6 speakers and what it reflects on their respective parties.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam (PAP)
 Firstly, he spent too much time on unimportant stuff. In such a debate, you have limited time to bring your points across and although he had double the time of each of the opposition speakers, there was not much on proposed policies. If this was an essay, I would say he spent too much time on the introduction paragraph and rushed on the main body.

The first point brought up was to create better jobs by working with the businesses and unions to provide better pay and improve the quality of work. There was a lot of unnecessary repetition on how this is for all Singaporeans, which includes the average and the lower end of jobs. I was left unsatisfied due to the lack of direction on how he intended to create these better jobs. Was he thinking of an incentives system for business? Was he thinking of legislative minimum salaries for different types of jobs?

The second point brought up was to create one of the best education systems in the world by financially investing in the education system so that students have the opportunities to be the best regardless of ability. Once again, besides suggesting to begin by investing financially, he does not bring up how he intends to do that. More streaming at different levels (like at primary 1?), or less streaming? More subjects to be introduced or cut? Different system of grading?

The last point brought up was investing in the elderly so that they can live long and good lives through investing significantly in long term care. This seemed the most promising of his points but was cut short by his lack of time.

Overall, he provided a moderate amount of what, an (at times) excessively redundant amount of why, and very lacking in how. If I were to grade him based on this 2 minutes, he would get a 13/30 for content, 8/10 for delivery, 4/5 for language and 1/5 for time management for a total score of 26/50, a "barely passed" score.

Mr Mohamed Nazem Suki (SDA)

My overall impression of him was that he had some good ideas, but due to problems in delivery, a lot of them is lost. Unlike Tharman Shanmugaratnam who has many such speaking opportunities before, this lack of experience speaking at such a platform resulted in a perceived lack of confidence and an incomplete transference of ideas.

His main point was that for Singapore to remain a credible competitor in the global market, Singapore has to invest in new niche markets. He proposed the use of new technology to compensate for the reducing supply of fossil fuels as a means for energy. Like Tharman Shanmugaratnam, he repeats himself several times, however, it is most likely due to nerves (whereas Tharman Shanmugaratnam was trying to emphasize that the proposed idea was to benefit all Singaporeans). There was a good development of idea, and I was for more satisfied with this point, than with any of Tharman Shanmugaratnam's three points.

His second point was to invest in (younger) workers to become more innovative, to "come up with more than one unique answer". While he roughly spent 20 seconds on this point, I was slightly surprised by the lack of development of this idea.

Overall, he had one good point and one very unsatisfactory point. Delivery was not very smooth and language was fair. If I were to grade him based on this minute, he would get a 16/30 for content, 4/10 for delivery, 2.5/5 for language and 2.5/5 for time management for a total score of 25/50, another "barely passed" score.

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha

With articles like "SDP emerged clear winner in CNA political forum", as well as friends saying that SDP was quite well represented in this forum, I had high expectations that was sadly not lived up to. He comes across as a good orator with a very good vocabulary and delivery, but severely lacking in substance.

He spends all the allocated time picking out some of the problems facing Singaporeans today, but only a vague shadow of an idea on how to tackle some of these problems. the only thing that I felt came close to being an idea, was when he mentioned the need for Singapore to have policies that were "Constructive, Competent but also Compassionate". It is either he mistakenly thought he had all the time in the world (as opposed to the 1 minute he actually had) and did not have enough time to bring up what were some of his ideas of constructive, competent but also compassionate policies, or he is all fluff and no substance. I really hope he brings his game for the rest of the forum.

If I were to grade him based on this minute, he would get a 4/30 for content, 9/10 for delivery, 5/5 for language and 2.5/5 for time management for a total score of 20.5/50.


Mrs Lina Chiam (SPP)
 
Completely opposite to Vincent Wijeysingha, she has so many points, but with a halting delivery with very poor transitions between points. With an astounding 10 points delivered in under a minute, Lina's strategy seemed to be on quantity and not quality, a strategy which does not pay off in such forums.
 
The points she brought up included providing SPP as an alternative voice which led to her next point on democracy, an inclusive society, promoting racial harmony, transparency in policy making, the physical safety of Singaporeans, Singaporeans to have a stake in their country, for Singaporeans to become more gracious, compassionate and humble, as well as the creation of jobs. However, she failed to elaborate on any of them, how she proposes to achieve these, or even what some of them mean (what does it mean for Singaporeans to have a stake in their country, or what is her definition of an inclusive society as definition can vary from people to people). She spent the longest (9 seconds) on the point to develop Singapore as a financial hub by attracting foreign investors through modern technology.
 
With regards to what she proposed, I felt that some of these were meaningless to bring up as they were relevant policies already in place, like promoting racial harmony, the physical safety of Singaporeans and for Singaporeans to become more gracious, compassionate and humble. Points such as the creation of jobs was redundant as that is something every government (should) already be constantly looking at. On the whole, I felt that Lina wasted the opportunity to let us know more about her (or SPP) fresh ideas on policy-making in Singapore.
 
If I were to grade her based on this minute, he would get a 9/30 for content, 4/10 for delivery, 2/5 for language and 3/5 for time management for a total score of 18/50.
 
Mr Gerald Giam (WP)
 
He may not be the most eloquent among the five speakers, or have the most captivating delivery, but Gerald has the most substantial content among all.
 
The first point he brought up was the need for an entrepreneurial and creative economy, and he further develops it by proposing reforming the education system to achieve this, particularly during the formative years, to cultivate a love for learning, as opposed to obtaining good grades. His subsequent two points were to provide affordable but quality health care and a needs based social security net.

His allocation of time was also much better than the other four speakers. I felt that there was a good balance of what needs to be introduced, why and how. The second and third point can be further developed but is understandable due to the overall time constraint. If I were to grade her based on this minute, he would get a 20/30 for content, 6/10 for delivery, 3/5 for language and 4/5 for time management for a total score of 33/50, not yet an A, but far better than the other four speakers in my books.
Thursday, April 21, 2011, 3:09 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sleeper

1

I wander all night in my vision,
Stepping with light feet, swiftly and noiselessly stepping and stopping,
Bending with open eyes over the shut eyes of sleepers,
Wandering and confused, lost to myself, ill-assorted, contradictory,
Pausing, gazing, bending, and stopping.

How solemn they look there, stretch'd and still,
How quiet they breathe, the little children in their cradles.

The wretched features of ennuyes, the white features of corpses, the
livid faces of drunkards, the sick-gray faces of onanists,
The gash'd bodies on battle-fields, the insane in their
strong-door'd rooms, the sacred idiots, the new-born emerging
from gates, and the dying emerging from gates,
The night pervades them and infolds them.

The married couple sleep calmly in their bed, he with his palm on
the hip of the wife, and she with her palm on the hip of the husband,
The sisters sleep lovingly side by side in their bed,
The men sleep lovingly side by side in theirs,
And the mother sleeps with her little child carefully wrapt.

The blind sleep, and the deaf and dumb sleep,
The prisoner sleeps well in the prison, the runaway son sleeps,
The murderer that is to be hung next day, how does he sleep?
And the murder'd person, how does he sleep?

The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps,
The head of the money-maker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions, all, all sleep.

I stand in the dark with drooping eyes by the worst-suffering and
the most restless,
I pass my hands soothingly to and fro a few inches from them,
The restless sink in their beds, they fitfully sleep.

Now I pierce the darkness, new beings appear,
The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see that what is not the earth is
beautiful.

I go from bedside to bedside, I sleep close with the other sleepers
each in turn,
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers,
And I become the other dreamers.

I am a dance--play up there! the fit is whirling me fast!

I am the ever-laughing--it is new moon and twilight,
I see the hiding of douceurs, I see nimble ghosts whichever way look,
Cache and cache again deep in the ground and sea, and where it is
neither ground nor sea.

Well do they do their jobs those journeymen divine,
Only from me can they hide nothing, and would not if they could,
I reckon I am their boss and they make me a pet besides,
And surround me and lead me and run ahead when I walk,
To lift their cunning covers to signify me with stretch'd arms, and
resume the way;
Onward we move, a gay gang of blackguards! with mirth-shouting
music and wild-flapping pennants of joy!

I am the actor, the actress, the voter, the politician,
The emigrant and the exile, the criminal that stood in the box,
He who has been famous and he who shall be famous after to-day,
The stammerer, the well-form'd person, the wasted or feeble person.

I am she who adorn'd herself and folded her hair expectantly,
My truant lover has come, and it is dark.

Double yourself and receive me darkness,
Receive me and my lover too, he will not let me go without him.

I roll myself upon you as upon a bed, I resign myself to the dusk.

He whom I call answers me and takes the place of my lover,
He rises with me silently from the bed.

Darkness, you are gentler than my lover, his flesh was sweaty and panting,
I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me.

My hands are spread forth, I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which you are journeying.

Be careful darkness! already what was it touch'd me?
I thought my lover had gone, else darkness and he are one,
I hear the heart-beat, I follow, I fade away.

2

I descend my western course, my sinews are flaccid,
Perfume and youth course through me and I am their wake.

It is my face yellow and wrinkled instead of the old woman's,
I sit low in a straw-bottom chair and carefully darn my grandson's
stockings.

It is I too, the sleepless widow looking out on the winter midnight,
I see the sparkles of starshine on the icy and pallid earth.

A shroud I see and I am the shroud, I wrap a body and lie in the coffin,
It is dark here under ground, it is not evil or pain here, it is
blank here, for reasons.

(It seems to me that every thing in the light and air ought to be happy,
Whoever is not in his coffin and the dark grave let him know he has enough.)

3

I see a beautiful gigantic swimmer swimming naked through the eddies
of the sea,
His brown hair lies close and even to his head, he strikes out with
courageous arms, he urges himself with his legs,
I see his white body, I see his undaunted eyes,
I hate the swift-running eddies that would dash him head-foremost on
the rocks.

What are you doing you ruffianly red-trickled waves?
Will you kill the courageous giant? will you kill him in the prime
of his middle age?

Steady and long he struggles,
He is baffled, bang'd, bruis'd, he holds out while his strength
holds out,
The slapping eddies are spotted with his blood, they bear him away,
they roll him, swing him, turn him,
His beautiful body is borne in the circling eddies, it is
continually bruis'd on rocks,
Swiftly and ought of sight is borne the brave corpse.

4

I turn but do not extricate myself,
Confused, a past-reading, another, but with darkness yet.

The beach is cut by the razory ice-wind, the wreck-guns sound,
The tempest lulls, the moon comes floundering through the drifts.

I look where the ship helplessly heads end on, I hear the burst as
she strikes, I hear the howls of dismay, they grow fainter and fainter.

I cannot aid with my wringing fingers,
I can but rush to the surf and let it drench me and freeze upon me.

I search with the crowd, not one of the company is wash'd to us alive,
In the morning I help pick up the dead and lay them in rows in a barn.

5

Now of the older war-days, the defeat at Brooklyn,
Washington stands inside the lines, he stands on the intrench'd
hills amid a crowd of officers.
His face is cold and damp, he cannot repress the weeping drops,
He lifts the glass perpetually to his eyes, the color is blanch'd
from his cheeks,
He sees the slaughter of the southern braves confided to him by
their parents.

The same at last and at last when peace is declared,
He stands in the room of the old tavern, the well-belov'd soldiers
all pass through,
The officers speechless and slow draw near in their turns,
The chief encircles their necks with his arm and kisses them on the cheek,
He kisses lightly the wet cheeks one after another, he shakes hands
and bids good-by to the army.

6

Now what my mother told me one day as we sat at dinner together,
Of when she was a nearly grown girl living home with her parents on
the old homestead.

A red squaw came one breakfast-time to the old homestead,
On her back she carried a bundle of rushes for rush-bottoming chairs,
Her hair, straight, shiny, coarse, black, profuse, half-envelop'd
her face,
Her step was free and elastic, and her voice sounded exquisitely as
she spoke.

My mother look'd in delight and amazement at the stranger,
She look'd at the freshness of her tall-borne face and full and
pliant limbs,
The more she look'd upon her she loved her,
Never before had she seen such wonderful beauty and purity,
She made her sit on a bench by the jamb of the fireplace, she cook'd
food for her,
She had no work to give her, but she gave her remembrance and fondness.

The red squaw staid all the forenoon, and toward the middle of the
afternoon she went away,
O my mother was loth to have her go away,
All the week she thought of her, she watch'd for her many a month,
She remember'd her many a winter and many a summer,
But the red squaw never came nor was heard of there again.

7

A show of the summer softness--a contact of something unseen--an
amour of the light and air,
I am jealous and overwhelm'd with friendliness,
And will go gallivant with the light and air myself.

O love and summer, you are in the dreams and in me,
Autumn and winter are in the dreams, the farmer goes with his thrift,
The droves and crops increase, the barns are well-fill'd.

Elements merge in the night, ships make tacks in the dreams,
The sailor sails, the exile returns home,
The fugitive returns unharm'd, the immigrant is back beyond months
and years,
The poor Irishman lives in the simple house of his childhood with
the well known neighbors and faces,
They warmly welcome him, he is barefoot again, he forgets he is well off,
The Dutchman voyages home, and the Scotchman and Welshman voyage
home, and the native of the Mediterranean voyages home,
To every port of England, France, Spain, enter well-fill'd ships,
The Swiss foots it toward his hills, the Prussian goes his way, the
Hungarian his way, and the Pole his way,
The Swede returns, and the Dane and Norwegian return.

The homeward bound and the outward bound,
The beautiful lost swimmer, the ennuye, the onanist, the female that
loves unrequited, the money-maker,
The actor and actress, those through with their parts and those
waiting to commence,
The affectionate boy, the husband and wife, the voter, the nominee
that is chosen and the nominee that has fail'd,
The great already known and the great any time after to-day,
The stammerer, the sick, the perfect-form'd, the homely,
The criminal that stood in the box, the judge that sat and sentenced
him, the fluent lawyers, the jury, the audience,
The laugher and weeper, the dancer, the midnight widow, the red squaw,
The consumptive, the erysipalite, the idiot, he that is wrong'd,
The antipodes, and every one between this and them in the dark,
I swear they are averaged now--one is no better than the other,
The night and sleep have liken'd them and restored them.

I swear they are all beautiful,
Every one that sleeps is beautiful, every thing in the dim light is
beautiful,
The wildest and bloodiest is over, and all is peace.

Peace is always beautiful,
The myth of heaven indicates peace and night.

The myth of heaven indicates the soul,
The soul is always beautiful, it appears more or it appears less, it
comes or it lags behind,
It comes from its embower'd garden and looks pleasantly on itself
and encloses the world,
Perfect and clean the genitals previously jetting,and perfect and
clean the womb cohering,
The head well-grown proportion'd and plumb, and the bowels and
joints proportion'd and plumb.

The soul is always beautiful,
The universe is duly in order, every thing is in its place,
What has arrived is in its place and what waits shall be in its place,
The twisted skull waits, the watery or rotten blood waits,
The child of the glutton or venerealee waits long, and the child of
the drunkard waits long, and the drunkard himself waits long,
The sleepers that lived and died wait, the far advanced are to go on
in their turns, and the far behind are to come on in their turns,
The diverse shall be no less diverse, but they shall flow and unite--
they unite now.

8

The sleepers are very beautiful as they lie unclothed,
They flow hand in hand over the whole earth from east to west as
they lie unclothed,
The Asiatic and African are hand in hand, the European and American
are hand in hand,
Learn'd and unlearn'd are hand in hand, and male and female are hand
in hand,
The bare arm of the girl crosses the bare breast of her lover, they
press close without lust, his lips press her neck,
The father holds his grown or ungrown son in his arms with
measureless love, and the son holds the father in his arms with
measureless love,
The white hair of the mother shines on the white wrist of the daughter,
The breath of the boy goes with the breath of the man, friend is
inarm'd by friend,
The scholar kisses the teacher and the teacher kisses the scholar,
the wrong 'd made right,
The call of the slave is one with the master's call, and the master
salutes the slave,
The felon steps forth from the prison, the insane becomes sane, the
suffering of sick persons is reliev'd,
The sweatings and fevers stop, the throat that was unsound is sound,
the lungs of the consumptive are resumed, the poor distress'd
head is free,
The joints of the rheumatic move as smoothly as ever, and smoother
than ever,
Stiflings and passages open, the paralyzed become supple,
The swell'd and convuls'd and congested awake to themselves in condition,
They pass the invigoration of the night and the chemistry of the
night, and awake.

I too pass from the night,
I stay a while away O night, but I return to you again and love you.

Why should I be afraid to trust myself to you?
I am not afraid, I have been well brought forward by you,
I love the rich running day, but I do not desert her in whom I lay so long,
I know not how I came of you and I know not where I go with you, but
I know I came well and shall go well.

I will stop only a time with the night, and rise betimes,
I will duly pass the day O my mother, and duly return to you.
- Walt Whitman
Friday, April 15, 2011, 6:10 AM | comment | 0 comments
Purple Light (Chemistry Edition)

Chemistry, in this Uni(versity),
Is that where, I wanna be?
With my three, best companions:
With my laptop and my (Periodic) Table and Me

Physical Chem, Sibei Jialat,
Organic, Lagi worse!
Everyday, do lab reports,
With my laptop and my (Periodic) Table and Me

(When I) ORDed, come here to study
Thought: Get degree, so happy!
But now I rather be, back in army
With my rifle and my buddy and me

Purple Light, at my finals
That is where, my CAP dies.
If I die, would you bury me
Far away from my (Periodic) Table Please!

Orchard road, Bugis Junction,
That is where I wanna be!
WHY AM I, STILL IN LIBRARY!
With my laptop and my (Periodic) Table and Me
Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 4:36 PM | comment | 0 comments
Ermmm...

Ok lar... After getting over it, I realized maybe I overeacted yest. Upon some investigation, I realize that the 3 or them really made very good choices that are so well matched to how they are. I know my opinion don't count for much, but for what it's worth, I raeally approve of all three of them. May this be another beginning for the three of you to grow to be even greater men of God?
Monday, April 11, 2011, 5:02 PM | comment | 0 comments
sadded...

Something happened yesterday, or rather i found out about three separate but sorta related pieces of news that left me really sad. despite their reassurance, or rather reassurance from one of them, i felt that i have not really done my duty and properly looked after my sheep. i felt that i really did not spend time to nurture the relationships that are important to me....

Sigh! another reminder why i think i'm not cut of for this type of stuff.... haiz~ i really was super stunned when the 2 of them asked me... i really can crawl under a rock and hide there coz really no face alr..... my 4 mentees leh! haiz~ haiz~
5:40 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sleep

The evening hangs beneath the moon
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow, safe in bed
A thousand pictures fill my head
I cannot sleep my minds a flight
And yet my limbs seem made of lead

If there are noises in the night
A frighting shadow, flickering light
Then I surrender unto sleep
Where clouds of dreams give second sight

What dreams may come both dark and deep
Of flying wings and soaring leap
As I surrender unto sleep
As I surrender unto sleep
Friday, April 08, 2011, 4:34 AM | comment | 0 comments
Voting & The General Election

Friday, April 01, 2011, 5:07 PM | comment | 0 comments
Colours

The king and his men stole the queen from her bed
And bound her in her bones.
The seas be ours and by the powers
Where we will we'll roam!

Some have died and some are alive
Others sail on the sea
With the keys to the cage and the Devil to pay
We lay to Fiddler's Green!

The bell has been raised from its watery grave...
Do you hear its sepulchral tone?
A call to all, pay heed to the squall
And turn your sail to home!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 8:51 PM | comment | 0 comments
Gladness and God

I will bless the Lord forever
I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear
He has set my feet upon a rock
I will not be moved
And I'll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need

Whom have I in heaven but You
There's none I desire beside You
You have made me glad
And I'll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need
Monday, March 28, 2011, 10:41 AM | comment | 0 comments
Making Music

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Ode - Arthur O'Shaughnessy.
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 2:59 PM | comment | 0 comments
Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows

Friday, March 25, 2011, 2:35 AM | comment | 0 comments
Ai No Shirushi

Yawa na haato ga shibireru
Kokochi yoi hari no shigeki
Wake mo nai no ni kagayaku
Sore dake ga ai no shirushi

Itsuka anata ni wa
Subete uchiakeyou
Sukoshi tsuyoku naru tame ni
Kowareta booto de hitori koide yuku

Yume no naka de mo wakaru
Mekurumeku yoru no fushigi

Tada no omoide to
Kaze ga sasayaitemo
Ureshinaki no takaramono
Nan demo arisou na kuni de
Tada hitotsu

Yawa na haato ga shibireru
Kokochi yoi hari no shigeki
Wake mo nai no ni kagayaku
Sore dake ga ai no shirushi
Sore dake de ai no shirushi
Thursday, March 24, 2011, 1:39 AM | comment | 0 comments
Things I learnt from my mum

My Mother taught me LOGIC... "If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me. "

My Mother taught me MEDICINE... "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way. "

My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD... "If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job! "

My Mother taught me ESP... "Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold? "

My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE... "What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you... Don't talk back to me! "

My Mother taught me HUMOR... "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me. "

My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT... "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.

My mother taught me about GENETICS... "You are just like your father! "

My mother taught me about my ROOTS... "Do you think you were born in a barn? "

My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE... "When you get to be my age, you will understand. "

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION... "Just wait until your father gets home. "

My mother taught me about RECEIVING... "You are going to get it when we get home. "

And, my all-time favorite - JUSTICE... "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU -- then you'll see what it's like! "
Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 4:28 AM | comment | 0 comments
The Top 16 Biblical Ways To Acquire A Wife

16. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. - (Deuteronomy 21)

15. Find a prostitute and marry her. - Hosea (Hosea 1)

14. Find a woman with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.. - Moses (Exodus 2)

13. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. - Boaz (Ruth 4)

12. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. - Benjaminites (Judges 21)

11. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. - Adam (Genesis 2)

10. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a woman. - Jacob (Genesis 29)

9. Cut off 50 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. - David (1 Samuel somewhere)

8. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative off course.) - Cain (Genesis 4)

7. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. - Xerxes or Atrahasis (Esther 1)

6. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a...woman; now get her for me. " If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me. " - Samson (Judges 14)

5. Kill any husband and take HIS wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though). - David (2 Samuel 9)

4. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law). - Onan and Boaz (Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)

3. Don't be so picky. Make for quality with quantity. - Solomon (1 Kings 11)

2. A wife?... NOT!!! - Paul (I Corinthians 7)

1. Become sinless, and die in atonement for others, and you can marry a whole bunch of people. - Jesus (Revelation 15?)"
4:22 AM | comment | 0 comments
Garfunkel

Friday, March 18, 2011, 3:37 AM | comment | 0 comments
M00d

In a really weird mood. Donno how to describe...
Thursday, March 17, 2011, 12:48 AM | comment | 0 comments
Transforming Power

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

- Silas Marner by George Eliot
Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 8:29 PM | comment | 0 comments
If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

- Rudyard Kipling
Tuesday, March 08, 2011, 11:21 PM | comment | 0 comments
Assured

7:52 PM | comment | 0 comments
Intercede

After hearing this piece of news, I've been at peace with it, despite many people being troubled and anxious about this. But just today I felt led to pray for all of us for understanding over the resignation, and for unity.

Lord,

I know you have a plan for this church, and you have a plan for Ps Vincent. Though all of us may not really understand your plan, especially with pain and uncertainty clouding our vision, I pray that we all will trust you.

I'm Jesus Name
Amen
Sunday, March 06, 2011, 12:02 PM | comment | 0 comments
Straight As

I'm so proud of my little brother! Straight As and top student!
Friday, March 04, 2011, 4:22 PM | comment | 0 comments
The world at war with itself

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which

(A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 2, Scene 1)
1:05 PM | comment | 0 comments
Oppose This

In any article that features the opposition in today's (or rather yesterday's since it's after midnight) news, I usually see this word "gerrymandering"! While it may or may not be true, I am a little annoyed by its excessive use. Just for once, I would really like to see the opposition not focus on what the ruling party is doing wrong, but what they can do to make a country better.

As someone who is generally interested in politics (as a watcher, not as a participant), I can say I am a Democratic Party supporter as compared to the Republicans in U.S. Politics. But when it comes to my own backyard, I feel very ambivalent! I'm neither a PAP or an opposition supporter. On one hand, I have to say PAP has been good for Singapore in areas such as economic growth, and some areas under the socio-cultural spectrum which includes education, crime rates, etc... On the other hand, there are some little things about the PAP (that for some reason I just can't put my finger on right now) that keeps me bothered.

With regards to having political opposition, I understand the need of a credible opposition to keep the government in check (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes), but what I really don't want to see is the tennis match I'm watching in U.S. politics. One party passes a set of bills and laws, the other party tries to undo all those legislature when they are elected and passes another set of bills and laws, and then the first party comes back into power and the cycle goes on and on! nothing really valuable is added for the benefit of the people!

What I really want to see this election is people campaigning on what they can do for the people; what specific areas can they contribute to and benefit when elected, and not that the other side is not good and why.

I always feel positivity is the best way to run a political campaign because negativity just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2:31 AM | comment | 0 comments
The Extreme East

I have lived in Pasir Ris for most of my life (17/24 years). My seconday school, JC, and even my church is in Pasir Ris, so you might say I'm a pasir-risan (for lack of a better term) through and through. Everytime people unfamilar with the geography of Singapore (namely my foreign uni classmates) ask me where I live, I just tell them I live at the easternmost MRT station on the green line.

Living in Pasir Ris is fun! I remember hanging out with friends at white sands after school simply because it was the biggest shopping centre with a direct bus from school, skipping remedial classes to go play at the Downtown East arcade (I racked up so much points on my tapz card that I became a VIP member), taking MCs from the polyclinic, going to Elias Mall or West Plaza when we had 6 hour breaks between classes (my JC timetable was pretty messed up), and even cycling at Pasir Ris park in the middle of the night (just because it's just there).

Me and my fellow pasir-risans are the ones friends call when they have chalets at downtown east or costa sands, and they do not know how to get there from the MRT station, or when they are lost in Pasir Ris park trying to find their friends' BBQ pit.

I have a friend that lives in Ponggol. The first time that he set foot in Pasir Ris was when he had to report for BMT. When I go to his place, I have to take a 15min bus ride. It takes me 15 mins to walk from Elias Mall to Downtown East. It takes me 15 mins to cycle from one end of pasir ris to the other. It takes me half and hour or more to cycle from the westernmost part of Pasir Ris to Ponggol (via old Tampines road as we are unable to cycle on the TPE).

So this is the question I really want to ask; why are we in the same GRC? There is no common identity, and are separated by geography (by comparison I take 30 mins to walk to Tampines MRT from White Sands, so Ponggol to me is really far away). My Ponggol friends and my Pasir Ris friends have never felt like the lived in the same area.

Forgive my ignorance for I'm just a simple student that don't really follow Singapore politics, or understand how the electoral boundaries review committee work, but won't it be better to create a Sengkang-Ponggol GRC and a Pasir Ris GRC, instead of this Pasir Ris-Ponggol GRC, Ponggol East SMC & Sengkang West SMC? People from ponggol; east, west, north, south or central are more likely to have a common identity and share the same public facilities & ammenities than any Ponggolites (again for lack of a better word) than pasir-risans. I would find it weird if I lived at Ponggol east, and suddenly my neighbours across the street from me are no longer in my constituency, but belonged to a constituency with people several km away.

Even if Pasir Ris was too big to be a SMC and too small to be a four-membered GRC, or if Ponggol and Sengkang was too large to be a six-membered GRC, I still feel it would be better (and would make more sense) to have a four-membered Ponggol GRC, a four-membered Sengkang GRC, a Pasir Ris East SMC & a Pasir Ris West SMC. Don't this configuration seem more logical?
Friday, February 25, 2011, 9:35 AM | comment | 0 comments
Super emo moment

video

Thursday, February 24, 2011, 12:58 AM | comment | 0 comments
Learning

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn
Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 5:05 AM | comment | 0 comments
Why it may not be a good idea to hypnotize others...

A professor was dissatisfied the lack of effort his students were putting into his assignments, so his friend suggested to him that perhaps he might be able to hypnotize his students into working harder. 

"And just how would I go about doing that? " he asked. "It is very simple. First you turn off the air conditioner so that the lecture theatre is warmer than usual. Then you lecture in a monotone voice. Meanwhile, you dangle a watch on a chain and swing it in a slow arc above the podium and suggest they study harder & work harder for this module. 

"So the very next lecture, the professor did as suggested, and lo and behold, all the students submitted thoroughly researched and well written essays for the subsquent assignment. 

Now, the professor could not wait to try this again to ensure his students excel in the upcoming finals, so he tried it out on the next lecture. Just as the last of his students was becoming mesmerized, the chain on the watch broke and the watch hit the podium with a loud thud and springs and parts flew everywhere. "Crap! " exclaimed the professor. 

It took them a week to clean up the lecture theatre."
Sunday, February 20, 2011, 6:08 AM | comment | 0 comments
Home???

I think it's very sad that I find my hall room so much more comfortable than my room at home despite the lack of aircom, a fully functioning kitchen, abundance of home-cooked meals and/or tv with cable (a super super comfortable bed in EH, an old uncomfortable bed at home, unstable and slow Internet at home and relatively fast Internet here).

I find it very sad (and feel very bad) that I feel more relaxed, more "at home" in hall than at home...
Monday, February 14, 2011, 1:00 AM | comment | 0 comments
The Fruits of my December Holidays' Labour

Monday, January 10, 2011, 11:21 AM | comment | 0 comments
Wendys


As a Fast Food outlet, Wendy's is just heads and shoulders above MacDonalds or Burger King
12:15 AM | comment | 0 comments
Gourmet Fast Food

Fast food can be turned into Gourmet food, If you have the time, energy an "Boliao"-ness to do so! http://www.fancyfastfood.com/ was featured on Yahoo, and I just love their tagline: Yeah, It's still bad for you - But look how good it can look!
Sunday, November 14, 2010, 5:14 AM | comment | 0 comments
Female Hormones found in Beer

Yesterday, scientists for Health Canada suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption, considering the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. The theory is that drinking beer makes men turn into women. To test the finding, 100 men were fed 6 pints of beer each. It was then observed that 100% of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn't drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing, and refused to apologize when wrong. No further testing is planned.
Friday, November 12, 2010, 2:39 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sad. And Inspirational

Jamie Livingston
Thursday, November 11, 2010, 2:51 AM | comment | 0 comments
Sunny Days

Tuesday, November 09, 2010, 6:44 AM | comment | 0 comments
Smartphone Users

Friday, November 05, 2010, 6:17 PM | comment | 0 comments
Grief

Lord,

I pray for your hand to be upon them in this time of need. I pray that you will grant them strength to just pull through this period. Even though they may not understand, I pray that they continue to have faith in you and your ways. Lord, I pray that there will be no self-condemnation, that they will not blame themselves in any way for what has happened. Lord, I pray that they can truly rejoice as a family, because Darren is now with you. Lord, I pray for forgiveness for the 10 guys that did this. It was a foolish mistake done in a moment of folly. I also pray that they will find capacity in their hearts to forgive Darren's friends. It is not truly their fault either. I pray that you will continue to fill them with your peace that surpasses all understanding. I commit this precious family into your hands.

In Jesus name
Amen
Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 4:02 PM | comment | 0 comments
301010

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Psalm 30:5 Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning







I don't really cope well with grief. I don't know how to comfort those who mourn. I just get numb.







At first when I heard the news, I just sat there in shock, not really knowing what to do, just hoping I heard it wrong from my parents who were rushing to the hospital, or in their hurry they told me wrongly, or that they heard wrongly from the phone. He was only 19, the same age as my brother....

I remember once dreaming that my brother died, and the pain i felt in that dream killed me. I can only imagine that it is only a small bit of what Debbie, Uncle Francis and Auntie Joyce must be feeling.

Afterwards I started to feel guilty. I had the opportunity and the authority as a cell leader, as well as a being friend from growing up together in our parent's cell group, to speak into the life of a 13 year old, the chance to influence him for the better, but now 6 years later, I wish I had done more...

I could say that I was not properly equipped to handle such matters, or that I was already overwhelmed with not only cell responsibilities, but being in Camp Comm, studies and doing Siglap choir stuff. But deep down I know I could have done more.

The only memory I can remember of our interactions were of him coming for service for a few minutes, then going off to downtown east, and me chasing after him to come back to church, or him asking me to borrow my bike...

But now I accept that although this is something that I regret, I must not live in self-condemnation and move on. I must remember even more strongly from now on, that I must be a good steward of the influence God gives me towards others.

I must remember that life is fragile and unpredictable. We may not have as long as we would like, or think we have, to make a difference in the world, to leave a lasting legacy. I must remember that I am responsible and accountable of all the sheep that God places under my care at one point or another. I must not take my leadership or influence for granted.







Lord,

I just commit Uncle Francis, Auntie Joyce and Debbie into your hands. Only you can fully understand what they are going through. I pray that they will not condem themselves as being bad parents or sister, because they have tried their best. I pray that they will not lose faith because of what happen, but instead turn to you for strength. I pray that you will strength them through this period of grieving, that they will able to eventually resolve this deep sense of loss. I pray that you would continue to send your angels to watch over them, and to block off any lies that the devil may try to tell them. I commit them fully into your hands, that you will keep them safe from harm.

In Jesus Name
Amen






Darren Ng Wei Jie
10 August 1991 - 30 October 2010
Rosyth School, Loyang Secondary & Republic Polytechnic
Rest in Peace

The wake service is on Tuesday, 2nd November at Tampines St 84, Block 875







To friends that are worried for me, thank you all for your concern, but I am ok. I just need time alone. Thanks
Sunday, October 31, 2010, 11:56 PM | comment | 0 comments
Love me, Hate me,Say what you want about me....

While reflecting today, I realize that I am really very blessed compared to many others. I remember someone telling me quite a while ago that if you have one or two friends that you can really pour out your soul to, that you can completely be yourself when around them, then you are a very fortunate person. I however, have much more than 1 or 2 such people in my life, more like 10 of them, and from different groups of friends. I also have at least 5 different groups of friends (which include the above mentioned 10 people) which are very close to my heart. These are people I know will definitely stand by me in my times of need, they are those who are unafraid of being undiplomatic and able to be honest straight to my face. These are people I know care for me deeply, although they may not outwardly show it. These are people I know will let me know if i had done something wrong, ir crossed some sort of line, and snap me to my senses. I truly am thankful for all these friends, brothers and sisters.

From this point, I really have to continually remind myself not to be concerned about what others may think about me, because only the opinion of these people are all that matters, and I never have to worry about what they think because they will let me know what they think of me, and it is because of this that I love them even more.

Colon-Right Parentheses
Saturday, October 30, 2010, 7:29 AM | comment | 0 comments
Incomplete

Sigh! I left 20% of my paper blank. Granted that I (and I think most of my cohort) didn't know how to do 6 marks out of the 10 I left blank, the other 4 marks were easy conceptually and given time, I can easily get it. I also wish I had more time to write out my answer to the 9mark question I frantically scribbled in the last 5 mins of this 75min paper.

My problem:
1. I love to complicate things. The question that took most of my time had a very simple answer. I just couldn't see and/or accept it until after working on it for more than half an hour.
2. I think I wrote more than necessary for my explaination. Sigh.
3. And for this I (as a chemistry major) deserve to be shot. There were several organic compounds that I didn't know how the structure was like. Fail....

Well, on the bright side, I think everyone was stunned by the paper. Oh well, let's just pray for the bell curve to work it's magic.
Monday, October 25, 2010, 11:45 AM | comment | 0 comments
When I Survey the Wonderous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died;
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 5:57 PM | comment | 0 comments
Prayer for a Friend

Lord, I commit this friend into your hands, that you close the wounds in his heart, and heal his hurts. Lord, only you can fully understand what he has gone through; help him understand that even if other people fail him, that he can always turn to you. Lord, I pray for your peace and your comfort to fill his life, that even though he have been hurt, your peace and your strength can help him overcome these obstacles in his life. Lord, I pray that he may be released from the bondage of pain, bitterness and vengence, so that he may be able to life a fuller life; life in abundance. All these I commit into your hands.

In Jesus Name, Amen
1:50 AM | comment | 0 comments
Pregnant Without Sex?

When I read this article that my friend posted on FaceBook, I was seriously struggling to control my laughter (I was in the YIH Study Room). Being made pregnant by watching a 3D Porn Movie (LOL!!!) is the most original cover-up for infidelity, with Human Parthenogenesis as a close second. Sperm on the Toilet seat/Swimming Pool/ Bathtub is so yesterday!

However (for those of you that would believe such a story can be true) we see that this is a hoax that has fooled many, including gizmodo.

*Note: As much as I find this funny, I do not approve of infidelity and adultery.
Monday, October 18, 2010, 12:33 PM | comment | 0 comments
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But as for me,
I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me

Micah 7:7

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