Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you all next year. Heh. :-)

PS: If you want to reach me, you know how ;-)




1...

One more day...

0119 hours: Just got home - haven't worked so late for a long, long time. But hey, I'm finally in print :-)


Manners, Miss.

"Why didn't you complete your Advanced?"

Apparently, going for courses will "kill the fun" of diving - she rather rudely brushed me aside with that comment and undisguised disgust before someone could respond to my question, and she went on to talk about something else.

Like, what the fuck was that about? Besides, I had a lot of fun at the last course. And as you can tell, I was not amused with the inconsiderate interruption. Not at all.




3... 2... 1...

Three more days...

To write about November - the beginning of... something.

These days, being out in the sun or drenched in sweat during yoga, are about the only times when I can forget about the fire burning me up from within.


I dream

I dreamt that I was in his car and he/we were going somewhere. Then I woke - in the dream - to find that I had fallen asleep part of the way. In the meantime, he had stopped the car - supposedly at his/our destination.

That was strange - dreaming about him like that.


Shhh...

I don't usually blog about people I work with, what with this being an open site and talking behind their backs (as opposed to telling them to their faces - yeahhh, rrright). That would be so bitchy, no? But, I found a recent exchange rather disturbing.

You see, people have been talking about how X has been taking advantage of the mild-mannered Y - pushing work to the latter - among other things. Recently, X found out that Y was The Sister of The Boss. (It was something that everyone else already knew but did not talk about openly, and Y would not offer the information unless asked directly.) Since then, everyone has noticed the sudden change in the way X treated Y.

I thought it was just as well that X knew. A few of the others thought otherwise - X should not have taken advantage of Y just because she kept quiet and X thought she was "nobody". While I totally agree with them on the principle of human decency and I suppose the information would not change X as a person, why let an undesirable situation continue - especially since the others are obviously unhappy for Y, and increasingly displeased with X? What is the point of "withholding" the information - as opposed to... oh, I don't know... telling her? Nah, much better to gather together in assorted corners to talk about her latest antics, yah?

Sometimes, I think people just want to find more reasons to justify their dislike of a person.

And, I am guilty of that myself too.




4... 3... 2... 1...

Four more days...

An intended quick trip to Tangs to pick up The Best Friend's Christmas gift led to an unintended detour upstairs - and me picking up, even more quickly, $300 of bikinis and, eh, lingerie. Can't wait to tie myself up in Sipadan.


Echoes

"This is the second time I missed saying goodbye to someone I was very close to once... Do you know when one truly feels old? When you start seeing those you love - dying one by one."

He was... upset. He had only just found out during a google search (or had read the Straits Times feature) though I had sent him the link two days - two days too late - after her passing; he had somehow missed the first message.

Sigh.

"When I said I would die for you, it was because I could not bear the thought of living without you, and would rather not be the one left behind with the pain of living. So much for selflessness, huh?"

I remembered what she wrote about death being more difficult for the people around her, and how she would not need to cope with her death once she was dead.

There is strength in dying well. There is also strength living with death - of the dearly departed.

Death is not the end - it resonates among the living.




Wedding bells

Go send her your best wishes :-)


My preciousss

I don't believe this. And in the BMJ too. Laugh!


I sweat

It's official. I'm addicted.


5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Five more days.

And I so badly need sleep and a yoga fix.




To write or not to write

I don't have a problem with readers who disagree with, or even disapprove of what I write. I believe I'm entitled to my opinions - as are the readers.

Still, I do find myself deliberating whether to write certain thoughts. It's not so much because of what people will think about me (though it does happen with the really private thoughts), but how it will affect or make them - the few readers who really matter - feel. Sometimes, I just need to ventilate the thoughts in my head, and I don't expect or need a response or "apology". (Maybe I should just remove the comment function.) Unfortunately, it's increasingly harder to "qualify" or "explain" my words (heck, some days, I can't even get down to writing!), because so many other things are competing for my time, and sleep is becoming a bigger priority and necessity.

Recently, I started reading a blog - a sex blog, though I shrink from that description (much as the writer's sexual encounters feature prominently, and in great detail) because it detracts from the reason why I, and I dare say, many other people who read for the love of The Word, are avid readers. I was drawn into her world and the passion and unapologetic honesty (nave at times) with which she lives life. And she writes so well, for someone so young - if I were to believe what she says about being a student short of 20. The sex, though fascinating, is mostly just a setting for her words. And while I don't agree with some of the things she does, I'm more interested in reading her than her deeds.

I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy maintaining a safe emotional distance (specifically the kind that keeps all those bad, bad feelings and thoughts at a safe distance) and witholding moral judgement, when reading personal blogs. But, having been around the online scene for some time, I've learnt to be more cognizant of my reactions and to be circumspect. A moral judgement says as much about the blogger as the reader - not that the reader should then withold his comments, but he should reflect on his reactions.

At the same time, I've learnt to write, especially about myself, with a certain amount of detachment - looking in from outside. Because it is in stepping away from my emotional centre and insecurities, and shedding my inhibitions (I, Exhibitionist) that I can think and write more clearly. And in learning how not to judge myself so harshly - for I am my worst critic - I can write more freely.

So, I would like people reading my blog to maintain some emotional distance. But, as I said before, readers are entitled to their own opinions too. And I suppose it's especially hard when a few are emotionally attached to me in one way or another, direct or indirectly.

Which is why I maintain two blogs and try to limit readership to the one with my more private thoughts. (Still, word AND passwords have a way of getting around, so I take things as they come - if I really wanted absolute privacy, I would not have blogged.)

But, once in a while, I would toy with the idea of moving my blogs and starting afresh. And perhaps, I might not even tell the few close friends and readers I care to read my thoughts - so I can write more freely; and be me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By the way, I find it hard to understand why people who dislike me, for whatever reasons, continue to read my blogs. Why is there a need to waste precious time and bandwidth to keep up with my life or delve into the deeper recesses of my mind, if my face and deeds are so displeasing? Do they read me, to discover some ray of light in my darkness that would atone for all my unpleasantness? Or do they continue to read me, just to justify their dislike of me?

Perhaps, this is something that does warrant a response - from anyone. (But, not an "apology" - from anyone; and most certainly, not from me. And, another thing, save the effusive compliments for the more deserving - I almost died of embarrassment. Bleah.)


Religious rants

I didn't think anyone could mouth so many "I/We/She/He was/were blessed" within an hour of conversation, from weddings to holidays to typhoons. So, what happens when something "not so blessed" befalls you? Not a bleat about it being God's doing. Or was it because God deemed you unworthy of his "blessings"? Roll eyes.




:-D

April 2004

May 2004

November 2004


Monstrous Regiment

"Oh, I thought, "What can I give the man who has everything?" and that was all I could afford," said Polly. "But you don't have everything, sarge. Sarge? You don't, do you?"

They... they're all wimmin!

But it sure was a really good one :-)




Overheard

Worked through the whole night (and caught only two hours of sleep), only to discover 12 hours later that the damn email attachments never got sent out by the server.

And my sister just told me that many people have reported problems with the Samsung PC cable link that I paid more than $70 for.

If my senses were not as numb as they have been this whole day, I would probably have lost it and throttled a particular person who did something really "dirty" today. Instead, I am feeling - strangely - unconcerned and even positive about everything (after making some quick decisions). I wonder why lack of sleep sometimes makes me feel perkier.


Overheard

She: "What do you get for a guy who ALREADY has everything?

I: "Whatever he does NOT want."

Well, you did ask. Heh. Heh.


Seeing stars

She: "When are you 'seeing' Margaret again?"

I: "Saturday."

For a moment there, I paused and thought the choice of word made it all sound so... gay. I wonder if we had also been "seeing" each other previously, until she started "seeing" someone else - on "the right team" - recently. Which then naturally resulted in me having to look for other people to "see".

By the way, I'm NOT, you know. (Although I can't speak for the others. Heh!) I actually prefer the company of men to women, even with casual friends. But somehow, that has not always been possible to actualise for various reasons - one of them being, apparently, that I look too "intimidating".


BenQ - not BenG!

Dimensions: 10.9" x 0.49" x 5.2"

Finally picked up a second one for home use. Absolutely love the feel and soft tapping sounds of the flat keys. And it never fails to amuse me when people see the keyboard, or need to use my workstation, and find themselves wondering if their fingers will fit. (Of course they will, silly! I don't exactly have slender fingers either.)


Lust at first sight

"The entire computer, including a G5-based logic board, slot-loading optical drive, hard disk, speakers, and even the power supply dwells inside the enchanting display."

Popped into the new Apple store at J8 to drool on the new iMac G5. And also got a quick lesson from the geeky but friendly kid "in simple English" (doesn't he mean "in layman's, or layWOman's, term"?) - whose overbite I tried not to stare too hard at - on interpreting processor speeds for Macs and PCs.

And to think I actually considered dumping my PC for the elegant Mac.


Religious rants

You can always hear the Christians. "Blessed" is not a word that comes up often in other people's speech.




December

I wonder how little sleep I can survive on for the next 11 days without falling apart. So much to do, so little time, and the hours just keep zipping past. Like, whooOoosh!!! what? where? who? dammit!!! November felt like I was being hurtled through... something... and December is being spent just trying to keep up.

I wish time would slow down a little so I can find time for myself again, to think and to write, and write, and write - but I guess I already had too much of that this year.


Dirty linen

Hypothetically speaking (since it was put into my head by a most inconsiderate person - I swear my brain got scarred by the mere thought), I do not think I could ever date a good friend's ex. Nevermind if the guy is a great catch, or I really like him as a person. It just feels so wrong - to me. While I would not object to sharing a lot of things (except underwear) with a good friend, the thought of "sharing" a Significant Other feels like... like sharing underwear; too close for comfort. Perhaps, a good friend's ex feels too much like "damaged goods" (not necessarily a comment on the "user"). Or maybe, I would always be tempted to make comparisons. Shrug.

Anyway, it is perhaps a small consolation that someone else is now wearing my used underwear. Heh. (Though I would hardly think of someone as a good friend.)


Hot posers

Apparently, the house is not hot enough. So, they intend to raise the temperature to 40C after the holidays. Are they conducting yoga or baking classes?




Separation anxiety

"We both knew this would happen. Its time to move on and well be fine. We have telephones, email and Easyjet. We both have everything in the world to look forward to. When I asked Rhi how was I supposed to go on, she replied with the usual withering wit, "I have nothing left to teach you."

Sometimes you can just feel change in the air, people. Its as thick and heavy and inevitable as the yeasty dog-food fog that spews from the Fountainbridge Brewery. Change is a bit like a brewery, dont you think? It makes a lot of scary noise and it stinks like hell, but the end product is delicious and good for you."

Because this struck a chord (though I probably would never feel that way about my own sisters). Isn't it strange how the ones who you really like and who make a difference in your lives have to "leave" eventually; and sometimes, just when things are going so well? Permanence - is it over-rated? I'll like to think so - because it makes some "changes" easier to bear.

Anyway. She's really quite funny :-)

And, they actually have these road signs in Scotland. Heh.


Wanderlust

Two more weeks to Sipadan, and it feels so unreal that I will be gone for ten days - and over two major holidays.

Am looking forward to the Barracuda Swirl.




Moving pictures

Verdict: Fried brains and very cold hands. Though, I did enjoy Casshern (mostly because it was the first to be screened and so I managed to stay awake throughout) and the cute lead ;-)

Christmas with the Kranks was really quite funny, and Jessica Biel looked really good in Blade - Trinity.

And that made 5 movies within 26 hours. Strut.




Here comes the hotstepper

"oh i just met with the deputy minister of science, technology and sports of croatia yesterday :-)"

I... I...

Well! I met the former Minister of Health from Indonesia! TWICE! Once here and then there! Hmmmpfff!

Somehow, that did not seem as satisfying. Okay. Fine. I hate you. Happy? And, if you get to meet Prince William next, we are no longer friends, okay.




I spy with my little eye

He often sits next to her, talking - his body turned towards hers - and nudging her as they share a laugh. Tonight, he placed an arm around her shoulder as he made a funny remark. Later, as we waited by the side of the road for cabs, a cautionary hand reached for her arm, and then her back, to guide her onto the sidewalk.

Sometime earlier, I gathered that he had told her that he would be in Hong Kong for work in late January, and so they had started talking about a short trip. When she asked if I would like to join them (she was also planning to ask some other people), the silence from his corner throbbed with his unspoken thoughts.

She does not seem to realise all of this... yet. But, it sure is becoming uncomfortable for this lamp-post here.


Personal space

According to her, "fiddling with personal possesions is a promising sign. Round 2 - offer him some of yours to fiddle with."

I hate to think what spitting on personal possessions means.


The ex-factor

We were trying to figure out why my mask kept fogging up...

The guys (puzzled): "Did you use toothpaste to clear the silicon residue from your new mask?"

I (even more puzzled): "I have to do that???"

The guys (incredulous): "Didn't you read the MANUAL?"

I (even more incredulous): "Of course NOT! That's what you guys are for - so you can tell me what's wrong with my mask!"

The guys: "......"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The only thing left to miss about the Ex-communicated (other than the bear hugs) is the "24-hour technical support". Need to get a new LCD monitor or handphone? Give him the budget, and he would do all the literature research, product and price comparisons, shopping and bargaining for you. Need to transfer images from your new camera phone to the computer? He would read the entire manual and surf the online help forums.

So, I have got the PC cable link and installed the software - but why is the computer still unable to detect my new Samsung E800C ("offline")? Dammit. What am I doing wrong?




Remembering her

"One of the things I wrote about in my book, and which someone also mentioned in an email to me today, is how dying will be more difficult for the people around me than it'll be for me. I, for starters, won't need to cope with my death once I'm dead."

Chanced upon her blog from Vaya, and decided to pop over for a look - wondering where I had seen the name before...

Then, I knew. And I remember... psycho*candy from the ZP community (internet thing) back in the NUS days. I remember being her "bridesmaid" in a hilarious online "wedding", attended by several Zppers. (I still have the log files and very fond memories.) I remember thinking she was really smart and self-assured, though I often wondered about the fierce intensity in her eyes, burning with... something. But I was too young then to know what that fire was all about. After she left the community to concentrate on her studies, I only saw her occasionally around the campus, but did not see nor hear about her again after she graduated.

And now... so young... and so soon after finding her freedom.

I am two days too late.

But I hope you find peace wherever you are now, Grace.

~ Dolphin




CirCe

I long for that kind of freedom too. (But I learnt that I had to give it to myself first.)


The Running Man (2) - The Rebound

"Your friend is here to see you."

"Eh??? Who is it?" I mouthed.

"Didn't say."

"Tell him, eh... or her, to wait."

Who could it be, I wondered, as I returned to a work call while trying to identify the unfamiliar - male - voice from my windowless little corner in the larger scheme of life and death. I completed the call after a few minutes, and walked out to greet the mysterious friend.

His back was turned to me, as he browsed the magazine corner. But I recognised the dark skin, the short hair, and the body, immediately.

... ... ... ...

... it... it...

... The Running Man....

... followed me home twice... spat into my mask... and has now found his way to my workplace! Gaaahhh!!!

Unfortunately, the office building, being only a miserable two-storey structure, meant that jumping out would not have guaranteed immediate death. Or worse, if I survived, he would have attempted the Kiss of Death - which would mean more exchange of bodily fluids!!!

Anyway, seeing as to how I had positioned myself behind the reception counter, from where service (or lack thereof in some cases) must always be delivered with a smile, I had no choice but to put on my most non-intimidating and sweetest Front Desk Smile. He was mighty pleased to see me AND my midriff (since his eyes kept going south to my hipsters), and smiled a smile I have never seen him smile before. (Not good. Not good at all. But very good thing that big and strong reception counter is between the two of us.) He said that he had just donated blood (they should have just sucked him dry) and decided to drop by to see me. He asked if I could join him for tea, and I declined - I had just returned from a very late lunch. (Hear that? It is the sound of hell freezing over.)

I really hope he does not suddenly decide to become a regular blood donor.

This is ten times scarier than the scariest horror movie. Whimper. Someone hold my hand pleaseee...




Man or mouse?

He found this disturbing - the raven (starling, actually) reminded him of The Omen. And I thought it was a great visual for an article on "trust". Oh well. And then he went on about how he could not watch horror movies because he found them "evil". (Eh???) Ok, I get the "evil" bit, but, big man like him, more than a head taller??? (Okayyy... you ain't the only one.) Obviously, not the type to offer strong silent shoulder to date during scary movie; not when hands are most probably covering his own eyes or gripping seat - or girl's hands (for the wrong reason). Heh. Heh.

What is it about men and scary movies anyway? It's just a movie!


Legwork! Legwork!

More than two hours later, I stepped out smelling just like I did leaving the house this morning to get to work (i.e. nice). I barely perspired and my legs were spared new bruises. Sigh! And that was not good because...? Because... my fingers and feet were mostly slipping off the walls like jello. Heck, even jello would have stuck on longer. SIGH!

Damn, I need to do something more to get me stronger legs.




Moving pictures

The Incredibles - Even superheroes have mid-life crises.

Umizaru - "Sea Monkey"

"Two divers, 40 metres underwater, one tank with 30 bars - enough for one to return safely. What would you do?"

That's a tough one. Hmmm. I guess it would depend on who had the 30 bars, eh? Heh. I guess I'll be expecting a very upset phonecall from my dive buddy soon.


Singapore Idolites

It is most certainly not about talent, but popularity. So, people should just quit going on and on about how it is so unfair that Taufik had to get the same prize as Sylvester - because Taufik sings so much better, and besides, he is cuter, while Sylvester looks like an Ah Beng and is not as humble. Okayyy, I get your point.

I reckon we all know or have met people who were really good at what they did - writing, photography, or just being really funny. I wonder if they are any less "talented" because they don't have hordes of adoring fans. And what's the deal with getting personal? What does looks or character have anything to do with talent? Seriously, can idolites recognise talent without it all being part of a mass hysteria (because everyone else says so) or pretty packaging?


Quick ones

[1] Symptoms withdrawn :-)

[2] Soooooo cuteeeee!!!

[3] There is something very energising about being in the company of physical people; and so very addictive.

[4] Borders is out of Catcher in the Rye. Arrrggghhh. Why can't I ever get a book when I really want it, like NOW?




Something about her

This afternoon, Monsieur Val-Halal was on the subject of beauty, of which he is a regular look-see-but-no-touch connoisseur. (But Monsieur would not deign to put his Mont Blanc to my humble blog, so...) He was of the opinion that "pretty" is "something that catches the eye but is rather easily forgotten" while "beautiful" is "something that catches your breath and much less easily forgotten - and even reminded of in some situations." While the ravages of time may cause a woman to lose the shine in her looks and become "less pretty", she can, however, become "more beautiful - imperfectly perfect." For example, the way she carries herself with more poise, or how it can seem that she was deep in thought even if she were just staring blankly at something.

"Angelina Jolie is beautiful to me... Michelle Pfeiffer is beautiful and she is not evenly proportioned... Calista Flockhart is pretty (frequent comparisons to Pfeiffer but nothing behind the younger woman's eyes)... Kate Moss is pretty though she is evenly proportioned... Nicole Kidman is beautiful... Kylie Minogue is pretty..."

Who else would you say is "pretty" / "beautiful"?


CirCe

A very, very, very funny one - although it seems that it is mostly the women who find it funny. Anyone wants to hazard a guess why?




Withdrawal symptoms

Six-letter word. Starts with G.

Sigh...


Culled

Prevention of "thoracic squeeze":

Breath-hold diving during snorkeling, with lungs full of air, does not seem to pose a problem. Descending to extreme depths with less than a full breath could possibly produce a lung squeeze. A free diver (or even a scuba diver) who loses consciousness may exhale involuntarily and suffer a squeeze from an unintentional and extremely deep descent. To avoid this, breath-hold dive after full inspiration, and do not lose consciousness underwater. This is not supposed to be a funny comment.

(Source: Oliver, P., and Williams, M. Naui Master Scuba Diver. USA: National Association of Underwater Instructors, 2000.)

Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh.


CirCe

It's only an introduction. The rest is...