HRM 101

Don't get angry. Because your minions can be just as bad-tempered.

Don't get even. Because your minions can be just as vindictive.

Get psychotic. Because your minions know anger and they know vindictiveness. But they don't know crazy.





How Sexy is Your Hand?

Try!!! :-)

Line of Heart:
Your Line of Heart is a curved line. You are creative and sensitive. Sometimes ruled by emotions, sometimes by imagination. Sometimes you let feelings get in the way of clear thinking, and often for the better.

Shape of Fingertips:
The tips of your fingers are round. Sometimes other people seem too slow, so you finish their sentences for them. You are bright and intuitive, with a tendency to stick your neck out too far and getting hurt.

Thumb Flexibility:
Based on the flexibility level of your thumb you are generous and open to suggestions. Flexible and friendly, original at times but willing to cooperate with the right persons. Open to experimentation and exploration.

Highest Mound:
Your highest mound is on the base if your thumb. A people person. Outgoing and going out. Likes to laugh and party. Appreciates good food, good friends, and good drink.


Spiderdog!!!

From LMD. Simply hilarious :-D



Three heads are better than one, no?



Why meee??? (The pug - apt choice - looks thoroughly humiliated though. Heh. Heh.)





Astrodienst Promised Me "Fun and Joy"






The Baby

After a meeting in town, I decided to hang around an hour more for my own lunch and I finally met The Baby, who is really quite adorable. And more importantly, The Baby seems to be a pleasant-tempered specimen who was not fazed though he was amongst strangers this afternoon. (Read: Did not scream and start crying when I bared Grandma's big and shiny white teeth, or tried to touch it. Eh, wait, that last bit did not sound too right . . . )

It was a nice little respite (after the mini crisis at work, sigh - I, Firefighter), just catching up with The Rabid Fan. And of course, just watching The Baby - looking about him and everything with such curiosity, smiling ever so often as he leaned forward for a closer look or reached out with his tiny fingers, and looking so happy - so unconditionally happy.

And it made me a little happier too.


Wake Up Your Ideas

No, you do not get to change your duty roster as you "cannot wake up" for the morning shift because your night class will end late.

And I don't care whether it's your Diploma in "Business Administration & Marketing" or a Degree in "Repackaging: Taking longer to complete a task by chatting on the phone or internet" or a PhD in "Strategic Planning: How to fall sick and get 2-Days MC when you already know you are needed".


47

As I was signing in last night, Creepy noticed me, "Ah, my next-door PARTNER!"

I balked - visibly - and ignored him, not knowing how to respond.

I am not, and never was your 'partner' okayyy. I just happened to take the mat next to you two weeks ago, and you most certainly did not need to stay in the room until the lights came on and I woke up from my Savasana (especially when everyone else had left the room), just to apologise for touching my hand when we went into the Poorna-Salabhasana (especially when everyone else touches everyone else's hand since we have to stretch out our arms, duh!) and "just checking" that I was really "okay" about you touching my hand. Gaaahhh!!!


Excuse Me, Are You Moaning?

"Honor the silence of the room, especially during savasana. Please no talking, moaning or loud noises in the studio."

There was this guy next to me in class once, who performed his Pranayama expirations with great enthusiasm: dropping the head back and expelling air with a loud "ha" sound, just like the instructor told us to. Unfortunately, my own "ha" almost turned into a "ha-ha-ha" - he sounded like a freaking airplane!!! I swear my ears were ringing and it actually hurt being so near to him! After my eardrums had stopped reverberating as much, he sounded more like he was moaning, like really, really loud. I guess the mix of bemusement and horror showed on my face and my sidelong glances because the instructor caught my expression at that moment and laughed. Doh.

Still, nothing beats Speedo Man who used to attend class in ONLY his swimming trunks (the high-cut ones). And, they were BRIGHT RED. It was distracting whenever he was in class, and not because he was 'packing' it - let me put it this way, he was a 'light traveller'. Speedo Man was a six-footer-plus who was really big too, and the stark contrast of his itty-bitty red trunks against the expanse of bare angmoh skin was really quite scary, especially if you had the mat behind him, and his Speedy red butt was literally in your face the whole time. I heard that the school's director spoke to him about it after feedback from some distressed students. He was not pleased about it and I think he stopped coming after that. Ah well.





Why I Should Stop Watching Horror Shows

After yoga class, I look forward to the quiet and solitude of the 5-minute walk down the street, past restored shophouses now occupied by offices and various businesses - but only the odd karaoke pub and a couple of Korean restaurants would still be open at that time. I might pass a few people, either just leaving the restaurant or waiting for their ride. Once in a while, cabs 'on-call' would turn into the street and slow down, the driver peering at the unit numbers, while looking out for his fare.

At the main road, I would make a detour to the drinks vending machine, and get an ice-cold 100 Plus for $1.10, slotting in coins prepared beforehand in the changing room after yoga. And I would savour that first rush of cold, rewarding myself for the 90-minute workout, as I continue my stroll towards the train station.

It is a nice winding-down routine after another tiring day at work (where I now find myself spending a lot more time watching, listening, talking and thinking about people around me, and this is in addition to my ongoing work), when I can retreat into myself, finally stop talking, and safely let my mind wander aimlessly. And so, I try to do this two to three times a week.

Last evening was no different, and my mind was happily wandering aimlessly. But as I neared the traffic junction, I stiffened a little especially after espying a couple of Chinese in the distance looking my way. And my mind began to conjure the character of Anvil Head - only *I* was Anvil Head, and I was holding them up by the neck, and ... well, you already know the rest of the gory details, yes? Heh.

While I was lost in my little revelry of blood and gore, I noticed two Caucasians who seemed to be heading in my direction from the traffic junction. (What is it about traffic lights anyway? I suppose that is the only way you can hold someone's attention since they cannot go anywhere while the lights are red.) Already on edge, my defence reflexes kicked in - I looked away and slowly took my steps away from their line of approach. But they were tall, and a few strides brought them right into my path of flight.

The shorter of the two spoke - mostly - while the taller one stood off to the side with the occasional question, and seemed impatient to go. In slightly accented (hmmm . . . French or Italian?) but perfect English, he asked if I knew of a "biggg hotel" near Clark Quay with a bar on the 40th floor.

It took me a while (hard to think when your head is shaped like an anvil and made from some dark pitted metal), but with his patient prompting and encouraging smiles, The New Asia Bar at Equinox came up. (A Google search later informs me that it is actually on the 70th floor). I gave them directions to the train station (which I was headed to anyway but I did not think to mention it) and the hotel.

Maybe I did not sound sure of myself, because he kept trying to ascertain if we were talking about the same place. Maybe he just was not in a rush to go anywhere, unlike his taller friend who kept fidgeting. And as we stood there, neither in a rush to go anywhere, I noticed that he was actually good-looking (not in a drop-dead-gorgeous-model just walked out of a glossy fashion magazine way, like the specimen I passed on my way home one evening) with his longish brown curls and he had a really, REALLY, nice smile that never seemed to go away, and something was telling me that I should be returning that smile, but that thought gently tugging at me was competing for brain space with a bloody mess of ripped clothes and flayed bodies, so . . . . . .

Ah well.

Anyway, the strange thing was that after we parted ways, instead of turning around and heading towards the train station, they continued past me - towards Far East Square (where there are a few nice pubs too), I suppose.

Shrug. Guess they know a Topo Queen when they see one. Heh.

Anyway, this weekend has been spoken for:

Saturday:
+ BB (Big Boobs) Hairdo Salon (Siam CirCe's piak. Grin.)
+ The Paradox of Choice
+ Scary Movie 4 (After I promised The Happy Tree that there will be no blood or gore; just lots of ketchup and funny shit - literally, according to the reviews anyhow.)

Sunday:
+ BLADING!!!
+ Second attempt at recreating a certain chef's legendary potato salad. Shopping note to self: pickled cucumber and apple cider vinegar.


Turning Pages

From this to this:

Once upon a time there was a little house in a big wood. Not all little houses in big woods are quaint or charming, or even safe. Some of them are piled to the rafters with stolen car radios, others house illegal stills used for making moonshine (so called, they say, because one carelessly dropped match could lead to a fireball that'd be visible from the Moon). Some of them are the lairs of big bad wolves dressed as Victorian grandmothers, not that that's anybody's business but their own.

~ Snow White and the Seven Samurai by Tom Holt





The Darkness is Coming

After a couple of failed attempts to catch Silent Hill on the big screen (because The Happy Tree begged me - with trembling branches and all - that she could not stomach anymore of my obsession with blood and gore), I got hold of a copy of the movie to watch at home.

Anyway, I managed to watch a little of the action this morning.

There was this one scene where a huge humanoid creature ("The Darkness") with a metal anvil for a head held up a woman by her neck (wa), tore off her clothes in one single motion (waaa), and then grabbed a handful of skin on her chest and ripped the skin off her entire body (waaaaaa) and then threw the bloodied pulp of her remains against a building!!! W A A A H H H ! ! !

I can't wait to get home to finish the rest of the movie. Heh.


Brain Food

The Paradox of Choice - Why More is Less

Mmmm . . . I'm hungry. Aren't you?





The End

"Every one of us is losing something precious to us," he says after the phone stops ringing. "Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library.

~ Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami





Unarmed Combat

Courtesy of Davester.

When asked, at Sunday night's screening, why he had chosen to portray one of the female leads in all-white (and whose script consisted of only two words* - "Xie xie."), the director of Unarmed Combat confessed that it was a personal fantasy: he had a thing for Xiao Long Nu, the demure female lead of few words in Jin Yong's Return of the Condor Heroes. Laugh. Well, better Xiao Long Nu than Paris Hilton!

And - WITHOUT FAIL - Always Someone will ask about the 'social message' of the film (or really 'arty' questions), whether or not there actually is one. In this case, there was none. Not that it stopped Always Someone from asking if the adulterous couple was a commentary on divorce in Singapore. The bemused director had a speechless moment before confessing that a social commentary had not even occurred to him; but he was of the opinion that divorce rates in Singapore were healthy. Heh.

However, he did share that the adulterous pair were the only ones in the film who had a 'happy ending' whereas the other characters were still trapped in a cycle of their obsessions - one ironically, precipitated by the seemingly virginal female lead who was having an affair with a married man.

The way I see it, the local film industry can make as many 'good' independent/indie films as they want, but the target audience needs to be educated - or at least learn to loosen up and just enjoy a film and not dig around for imaginery trolls.


*(Probably also because if the actress, a certain DJ on English radio, started rrrolling her Mandarin too, our eyes might start rrrolling out of their sockets and onto the floor.)





Trolling

"A troll is a fearsome member of a mythical anthropomorph race from Scandinavian folklore. Their role ranges from fiendish giants – similar to the ogres of English fairy tales – to a devious, more human-like folk of the wilderness, living underground in hills or mounds, inclined to thieving and the abduction of humans which, in the case of infant abductees, was substituted with a changeling."

Trolls are mythical creatures. Trolls do not exist. Any trace of a troll is all in our imagination. Trolls feed on our continued belief and validation of them, giving them shape where before, there was none.

Ergo, any sign of a troll will henceforth be ignored. And I ask you to do the same.


Tamade!!!

Another one!!! This time, as I was waiting at the traffic lights outside Cathay, to get to the train station. I ignored him as well - mostly just too pissed off that I had been targetted AGAIN.

Funny how the same intimidating vibes that work so well at keeping local men away do not seem to work on mainland Chinese. SF thought it was because I look 'kind' and the sort who would be taken in by a sob story.

Seriously, has nobody else had similar experiences recently???





Crash

Worked till 3 this morning. Slept past 4. Woke up two hours later. Back at work 7.45 am.

1530 hours. Still at work.

GAAAHHH!!!!!!

I think I shall take up that offer to go off earlier today - to get to yoga class to calm my adrenalised system, before going home to crash.


Notes to Self

Friday:
Wagyu beef at Aburiya (Sorry W, buy you drunken cow meat next week!)

Saturday:
Morning - Zzzzzz. See doctor again about persistent cough. (Woke after 1 pm.)
Afternoon - Yoga (because the cough does get a little better); send shirt to tailor to be re-buttoned; WOW (because someone is an a.d.d.i.c.t.) <-- And apparently, so was I!!!
Night - MOS with The Chicken Little Sister and The Gay Boyfriend. (Continued to WOW because the sister could not gather a group to go and I did not want to turn up at MOS alone with a gay man and be thought a fag hag!!!)

Sunday:
Morning - Hit the beach (and get hit on).
Afternoon - WOW (see above).
Night - Unarmed Combat at the National Musuem.

Sometime later:
25 to 29 August - Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh. Hophop zzzzz hop zzzz.





Business As Usual

As usual, I was invited to a "discussion".

As usual, it turned out to be another rally session.

As usual, I did not think it was a good idea.

As usual, you thought I was just retarded, and so you repeated yourself ad nauseam.

So I decided to explain in simple English why I did not think it was a good idea.

And you decided to raise your voice, so half the room would know that I always went left when you went right, and you insinuated that I deliberately left you in the lurch.

So I raised my voice too, so the same half of the room would know that I could not be expected to support your ideas just because you had an idea, especially if I did not agree with them.

As usual, we reached some kind of compromise where I would be able to agree with half of your idea if you presented it.

Because as usual, you never believed in your idea enough to have the guts to present it on its own merit.

Maybe you should spend more time listening than making yourself heard. And oh yes, that includes NOT circulating religious propaganda in the workplace and imposing your views on other people who only want to enjoy a FICTIONAL story in their personal time. It is really distasteful.





Really Bad Tattoos

Heh. Heh. Heh.

Guess which one which one I like best?





Why My Ankles Are Sore

I continued in spite of the change in weather, pushing into the sudden blasts of wind and approaching rain which could already be heard pelting in the distance as the entire shoreline reared with white horses riding in on steely aquamarine waters, determined to complete the by-then deserted stretch outside SAFRA, and ignoring an oncoming cyclist's bewildered look and an almost timid warning that "It's raining."

A while later, with just another 400m to the end point, but realising the impending shit situation I would soon find myself in, I turned and fled instead from Nature's thundering wrath, racing for the farthest shelter (the more distance I covered, the fewer puddles my wheels would have to swim through) I could reach. Then the rain caught up and hit land. It was a 20-minute wait as cats and dogs (and bears, heh) poured from the skies, but surprisingly, a rather pleasant and cooling respite - though I was almost soaked and the shelter barely kept the rain and wind out - after the past few weeks of humidity.

As the rain slowed to a drizzle, I made my way back very slowly - feeling a strange calm within. (Good thing The Blading Maniac - oh wait, that's me - I mean The Diving cum Stapling Maniac was away that weekend - battling her own itchy-fingered demons. Snk. Snk. Snk.)

Home, shower - for myself and my rain-and-sand-soaked blades - and some WOW later, I hobbled into town for dinner with The Happy Tree at Wisma Atria's Food Republic.

After a walkabout, we settled on sharing a set meal from the Chinese soup stall, consisting of not-herbal-enough-leh chicken soup and a bowl of why-so-dry-and-hard rice which fortunately, were made up for by the tasty salt-baked chicken and my favourite vinegar-and-fat-laden-eat-already-sure-die-young pork trotters.

Then, laden tray in (The Happy Tree's) hands, we went on a second walkabout - and again, a third, looking for seats. While there were no empty tables to be found on that busy Saturday night, there were a few seemingly half-filled tables with spare seats taken up by personal belongings. We approached these - but were told the spare seats were either waiting for other friends or "taken".

By then, I was slowly morphing into my not-so-skinny-but-can-also-get-hungry-and-bitchy self, and having to carry my not-so-skinny self around on my sore ankles certainly did not help. While I did not mind having to wait for a table per se, I had the impression that two of the bitches women at the half-filled tables lied about the spare seats being "taken" - just so their cheap handbags could rest their precious little machine-sewn bottoms.

Eventually, we found a table to share with an elderly couple - though we almost had to go on a fourth walkabout! The man did not mind sharing but his wife protested to him, not once, but TWICE!!! He shrugged her off both times and insisted it was fine for us to share the table. And so we settled down and finally started on our not-herbal-enough-leh-AND-COLD chicken soup, why-so-dry-and-hard-AND-COLD rice, salt-baked-AND-COLD chicken and vinegar-and-fat-laden-eat-already-sure-die-young-AND-COLD pork trotters.

The Happy-And-No-Longer-Hungry Tree told me later that the wife was staring at us the whole time we were at the table. Good grief! What's wrong with these bitches?!! (Yes, as you can already tell, I was and am still extremely pissed off by the incredible selfishness of people.)

Post-dinner and dessert, we took a long walk - to work off dinner and dessert - to Spotlight at Paragon so yours-buttons-crazy-sincerely could pick up more buttons. We also spent some time at Eclectic Attic oohing and aahing at moth-eaten vintage clothes. (Anyone up for Dust Bunny Vintage next?)

This was followed by an even longer walk - because The Happy-Energizer-Bunny Tree said we had to work in advance for MORE dessert (but, but, I already almost killed myself blading today! whine!) - to Canelé at Robertson Walk.

We started with hot tea - Dry Dessert Lime (very limey) and Ruby Chai (spicy and very exotic - I likeee). While waiting for dessert to be served, we also checked out someone's birthday cake, which was shaped like a Birkin bag. Cute. Heh. Dessert proper was Earl Grey ice-cream (a more elegant version of Island Creamery's teh tarik ice-cream at Serene Centre, L'Amour (rose ice-cream - more rose and less milk please). And then we bought ourselves a one-way ticket to Dying Young with a flourless chocolate cake - sin solidified in chocolate. We left after picking up meringues (yummy!) and marshmallows (too berry-sweet).

And since we had the cake that we never intended to have, we took yet another long walk - to work off the guilt (and hasten the expiry date of my wretched ankles) - to Raffles Place MRT to take a train home.

So I stayed home the whole of Sunday to rest my legs (and WOW, heh) and stepped out only to get dinner and pick up dry-cleaning.

Ahhhh. Quite the life, no?


Today

I heard from my diving doctor and another who I had 'consulted' informally. The former thought I might be interested in a diving medicine workshop he was conducting, while the latter was going to mail me some books. What a strange coincidence.





The Next Time Someone Wants To Get In Your Backdoor

Specially for Wenjie. Mind, not that I'm insinuating anything about his preferences. Grin evilly.


The Next Time Someone Says You Look Heavier

"I get very bitchy when I'm not eating. So I'd rather be a little heavier but nice, rather than skinny and bitchy."
~ Actress Salma Hayek on dieting

In other news, the regular yoga and skipped dinners do not seem to be having an effect on my 7 kg burden. While my middle does not jiggle like a sack of gel-filled marbles as much when I walk, I am looking even 'bigger' nowadays with the hardened bulk, and quite scary, I think. Sigh. (If only that would deter the creepy short botak angmoh in class from trying to talk to me or staring at my quote, "eye-catching", unquote, navel stud. Why can't you just be GAY like the other man-things in class, huh?)





Sasangasana

the surprise of skin
on skin

invisible hands
wrapping my wrists

then pressing
against my ankles

holding down
the rabbit

the startling soft
of a stranger's palms

melding
into my consciousness

as
your gentle urges
to soar

and curve
of blood rushes
into my head


Once Is Not Enough

So the other day, I lost my temper after my level 29 Undead Priestess was ganked by a level 34 Dwarf Priestess called Soggybottom, at Tarren Mill (AKA Gankville).

The first time, I shrugged it off.

And then again. "Once is enough," I emoted - TWICE - as I watched my hit points go lower.

And again. "Asshole!" I managed, just before I fell.

Miss Shortass Mouldy Backside was still making her merry rounds at Hillsbrad Fields.

AND AGAIN?!! I told her to "fuck off", or something to that effect.

So she camped my corpse. Together with a level 60 - who went away after just a while.

Though I was not ready to leave the area since I still had another eight Hillsbrad Skulls to collect for the quest, I was content to wait for her to go away while I was multitasking on another window. Then my cloth-wearing kor, in response to my tirade about the "fucking dwarf bitch" on the guild channel, came along and dispatched of her. Once. Twice. Thrice. AND AGAIN. And so he avenged me the exact number of times I was felled. Heh.

Stupid dwarf bitch. It's a Short Person Syndrome is what it is. Hmmmpppffff.


Cognitive Dissonance


Aesop tells a story about a fox that tried in vain to reach a cluster of grapes that dangled from a vine above his head. The fox leapt high to grasp the grapes, but the delicious-looking fruit remained just out of reach of his snapping jaws. After a few attempts the fox gave up and said to himself, ‘‘These grapes are sour, and if I had some I would not eat them."


It is the practice that when the front office staff are all out for lunch, the others (who are not blind, deaf or paralysed from the waist down) would take turns, in no particular order (again depending on the severity of sight/hearing impairment and physical disability), to attend to The Clients at Reception.

One such day, I was on my way to the pantry when I noticed a Client waiting patiently at the front desk. I did not remember hearing the buzzer and hoped she had not been waiting for long. So I smiled and stopped to attend to her. She smiled, glad that someone was attending to her.

I moved in closer, standing just behind the Reception area, and we faced each other squarely. In that moment, it was as if we recognised something in the other.

The smile faded immediately. Her facial features shifted and her face became pinched - eyes narrowed, nose wrinkled and lips twisted into a grimace. Her voice, already a high-pitched nasal quality, became a tad sharper.

Throughout the 5 to 10 minutes during which I attended to The Client with as much deliberate patience and pleasantness as I could muster, I was also resisting the urge to step away from the charged space we both had to share for as long as the transaction lasted - and I knew it showed on my usually expressionless face. Neither of us was happy to be in the other's presence, but like civilised human beings, we carried ourselves as professionally as we could.

At the close of our transaction, I tried to make up for the less than pleasurable experience - for her - and did her a small favour, though she had not asked for it. She was pleasantly surprised. I shrugged it off with a small smile.

Hopefully, any vague thought she had of complaining about the service, or something or other (or just by being 'difficult' or finicky in future correspondences) would have found less justification.

When I returned to my desk, I realised how tired I felt - almost drained; as if something had been taken from within me.

Yesterday, The Client dropped in again. Fortunately, the front office was manned. Though I happened to pass her on my way out, I avoided eye contact. I was feeling tired after a packed social weekend and I was not ready (or shall we say, charged up) for another encounter.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I guess that was why I stuck with the same hairdresser for as long as I did (before she moved to another salon on the other side of the island), though her skills were not outstanding.

We were always pleased to see each other and her touch did not make my hair stand (ha ha).

I am now trying out a new salon run by a Korean woman. It costs me twice as much but my first time there was pleasant enough. And there is a relaxing feel about the space that is almost calming.

We shall see.





Shy Boy

Saturday night, over sizzling meats on a hot plate and a bottle of wine (and an excellent port) too many at M's place, we met The Guest, a newcomer to the core group who, while rather attractive and vivacious, I did not take to because I thought she had 'crazy eyes'.

The Guest had embarked on yet another attention-grabbing spin (when she was not knocking over wine glasses; kissing M and carassing her thigh; or rubbing her bare soles on SF's similarly unshod feet) and was relating how E, who she has known since childhood, was a Shy Boy who could not look girls in the eye when talking to them. Instead, he would end up talking to their chests. But that changed when he returned from his overseas college education. (The shy bit or the looking at chests?)

"Let me guess. He was still GROWING?"

Not that much progress seems to have been made in that department since then.


Shudder

The improved Extreme Tracker now allows me to view more details of each logged IP, including location and blog referrals.

And I am again reminded of the sheer size and influence of some people's online stalkers legions. GULP.





Wrong Side Lah!

I:
wahlan eh. she* link my backside entry!!!

The Stapler Maniac:
ROFLMAO.

I:
ooops pun UNintended!!!

The Stapler Maniac:
oh my god. yes, i just realised the significance of that. LOL.

I:
now everyone knows i am a pervert!

The Stapler Maniac:
oh dear. no wonder you have fan mail now.

Aaarrrggghhh!!! Go away, you perverts. And whatever you are thinking now, I am NOT into anal sex okayyy???


*(Which she removed after I kao peh kao bu about the perverts who frequent her site finding their way to me too.)


Chicken Monster

The Sister came down with chicken pox last Tuesday.

I remember when I came down with chicken pox. It was the first day of Junior College. (Groan.) AND, it was Orientation week. (Double groan.) Though I made it to school to join in the fun and games for a few hours (which I mostly spent staring at the angry-looking blisters on my arms and neck as they grew bigger and redder by the minute), it was barely enough time for me to warm up to people (especially when everyone was keeping a careful distance from me), build new alliances and make enough friends to copy lecture notes and homework from.

By late morning, the eruption of Gunung Ayam was complete - I was burning up and I looked like a really bad case of acne. My orientation group leader packed me off to the nearest Polyclinic, where the doctor gave me a casual lookover and asked, "So what's wrong with you?" (No, no, no. What's wrong with YOU?!! Can't you see I have chicken pox?!!)

The doctor sent me home with two weeks of medical leave. Because my two sisters had not had the pox upon them yet, they went to great lengths to avoid proximity with me. (We did not know then that the infectious period was before the appearance of the blisters.) Back then, I had my own bedroom, while the younger ones shared another. Though I tried to keep out of their way, our paths often crossed in our tiny 4-bedroom HDB flat. And my sisters would flee, squawking "CHICKEN MONSTER!!!" (Yes, my growing up years were a real pain from the joyous moment my two sisters learnt how to talk and articulate their 'opinions'.)

I remember those lonely days.

Kept away from school - and new friends. I had so much difficulty trying to fit in with the Triple Science geeks people when I returned that I made the life-changing decision to switch to the Arts track (where my classmates tried to copy my homework instead of the other way around).

Stuck at home - and being shunned by your own flesh and blood (except Mummy who made me a lot of nice steamed fish and minced pork). And back then, we did not have a computer. Things were of course, pleasantly different years later when I was given two months of hospitalisation leave, and the internet was by then, a permanent fixture in many homes, including ours.

So, when The Sister sent me the text message last Tuesday, I was sympathetic. Except for the two four-legged hellhounds at home, she was alone at home during the day when everyone else was working, or out having fun - LOTS OF FUN IN THE SUN - during the weekend.

In spite of my hectic work schedule, I have been trying my best to keep her spirits up by sending her short text messages.

Day 1: "CHICKEN MONSTERRR!!!!!!"

Day 2: "Have you turned into a chicken yet?"

Day 3: "Have you spouted feathers yet?"

Day 4: "How are the eggs? Hatched any yet?"

And so on.

Anyway.

I can't wait for The Youngest to come down with chicken pox next.



Turning Pages

The Best Friend just passed/loaned (eh, which one is it?) me The Underwater Photographer (third edition) by Martin Edge.

Excuse me while I go drool (depending on whether it's 'passed' or 'loaned') pore over the book.

Anyway, a Live-on-Board (my first) is next in line before The Stapler leaves Singapore for a short while. Anyone? (Tug on Best Friend's flipper frantically. More photo opportunities!!!)





Random Musings

[1]

Just because I understand why someone did what she did, does not mean I think it was right. But sometimes, people just cannot help themselves. And we can only watch from the sides at the impending train crash.

[2]

I waited for the moment. Then I leaned over to share a joke - just to make him laugh. And he laughed. And he turned to me. Something changed - but for a moment. I quickly moved away and averted my eyes resolutely. And that moment passed.

[3]

Six months have passed. Just like that. It seems like only yesterday. But I remember very little of it. Maybe everything that has been was unimportant. It seems that I am running out of time. Or maybe time is making way for me. Either. Or. Which one is it exactly?

[4]

I was not too pleased about having to work today, but it was my turn afterall, to man the office while the weekly course was conducted. I was also not looking forward to interacting with the course participants, (the kind where you could not discern intelligible words - literally, noise).

The current batch was strangely quiet around me; even the instructors, one of whom I scared - unintentionally - but I made up for it by being especially nice to her. But my Jekyll-Hyde routine probably scared her more, and though she seemed appreciative of the nice gestures, remained a little wary around me.

Perhaps it was because it was a different group of (quieter) students. Perhaps it was because of the evil vibes I was emanating.

I would like to think I am just drained from having to deal (manage) with and be nice to different personalities the past few weeks. I guess I just ran out of something in me. Now where's that Happy Tree of mine before I turn psychotic on more innocent people?

[5]

The longer I wait.

The higher my walls.

The harder my heart.

I am - unbreakable.





Tales from the Back Side

The Best Friend and I were taking a much needed breather after another hectic, work-piled-like-a-mountain, brain-fried work-week, and started to rant over MSN . . .

From an observation about someone's anal-retentiveness . . .

To speculation if she ever let the boyfriend in by the backdoor . . .

To our own backyards . . .

I:
you would try meh?

The Best Friend:
nyet. not my cup of tea. and if a guy did ask. I think I'd turn all prudish and think he is weird. me very conventional one.

I:
heh.

The Best Friend:
hmm. If the right person asked, in the right way. My guess is you would try?

I:
eh ... but it's so gross!

The Best Friend:
you more garang.

I:
and can you imagine if he tried to put it in your mouth after that??? urrrrrggggggggh!!!

The Best Friend:
tell him go and wash the damn thing.

I:
still.

The Best Friend:
boil it preferably.

I:
hahahhaa!!!

The Best Friend:
sterilise.

I:
ya.

The Best Friend:
autoclave.

I:
still it sounds disgusting, the whole thing.

The Best Friend:
true.

I:
but if he would let me do him anally ...

The Best Friend:
i worry about thing like anal tears!!!

I:
then quid pro quo, sure i'll let him try once.

The Best Friend:
but you can only do with finger right?

I:
i'll satisfy his fantasy if he'll let me satisfy mine. no. not finger.

The Best Friend:
dildo???

I:
ya.

The Best Friend:
hahaha!!!

I:
quid pro quo. finger for finger. dildo for dick.

The Best Friend:
then the guy must bargain for equivalently sized dildo.

I:
but the ex wouldnt let me do it.

The Best Friend:
true true. ow!

I:
so i told him he can forget about his anal fantasy.

The Best Friend:
he wanted to try? oh i see. true. fair is fair man.

I:
i also say. so i dont think i'll ever let a guy do it lah.*

The Best Friend:
nod nod.


To being asked to participate in another male fantasy involving breasts and penises (notice how it always involves only ONE - and only ONE - part of the male anatomy???) . . .

To being bombarded (heh) by The Best Friend's hang-ups (heh heh) with her own breasts . . .

Heh.

Heh. Heh. Heh.

I blame the above exchange on my work-fried brains. (Really.) That, and The Best Friend's mind is always going to strange places. (Like, all the time, you know.) So, I was just following her. (As usual.)


*(I mean, do you know any heterosexual male who would let a female into his nether regions with a strap-on? I rest my case. Like I said, you men have your fantasies, so do I. As the Chinese idiom goes, Yi Shan Hai You Yi Shan Gao. Literally translated as "There is always a higher mountain", its figurative interpretation is that "There is always someone better." Or as would be more appropriate in the current context: "There is always someone kinkier.")


Missing in Words

My brains are almost fried after two days worth of editing article after article, and imparting my thinning white-hair wisdom to the young 'un (who in any case has taken over most of the work, and in my opinion, done reasonably well for a fresh graduate).

All because The Grunting Dragon called up a few days ago and asked me "How's her English?" (Uh huh, here we go again.) Though he was clear about it not being a complaint, and was simply following up on someone's feedback about an unsatisfactory transcription, he sounded rather flustered - which is quite normal, come to think of it. (As if working for one female boss was not enough. Sigh.) He acknowledged that the young 'un did get the job done, but could not help noticing a discernable difference.

I had to remind him that she was only a fresh graduate and just needed some time to gain more experience and pick up new skills. Besides, she was not hired specifically for editorial work (neither was I), though the interview panel had looked out for a decent command of English and a willingness to learn and work hard. And - once again - she did get the work done, and reasonably well, did she not? In any case, I had been instructed to delegate this area so I could move on to "higher level" work elsewhere, though I would still continue to oversee her work.

Unfortunately, some things are, shall we say, not so easy to teach: like a feel for the language and aesthetics. He realised this too, and in fact, brought it up first.

But I must admit that it felt good to be missed. Heh.





Cat



Punggol Boy's gorgeous cat. Isn't he just princely?