Doggy tales.A more down-to-earth variant of the Whippet, the Small-eyed Whippet Mutt thrives in the muddy and potholed streets of London. Not unlike its pedigreed cousin, the Small-eyed Whippet Mutt possesses a "keen, intelligent and alert expression." Otherwise, occasional sightings of the reclusive creature include sudden fleet-footed flights in the direction of the train station, skipping lightly over puddles and potholes. The daily diet of the Small-eyed Whippet Mutt consists of live worms and steaming spiced chai.
Despite the greater value and respectability associated with the blue-blooded pedigree, there is a certain appeal to the mutt. Notwithstanding its lack of a singularly inspired lineage, this is more than made up for by the mutt's rich history of varied, sometimes exotic, and oftentimes mysterious, ancestries. While the purebred has only the best of one world, the mutt has the best of everything that the world has to offer, and then, some more. (Which might account for the missing parts of the dead cows in Area 51.)
In fact, given the infinite possibilities that can be generated from any hotbed of genetic materials, the mutt is truly one of a kind, and unique. Quite simply, there is so much more to love about the mutt. And, nowhere is this more evident than the internet, where gift ideas abound for that special mutt in your life.
Just because your mud-loving mutt has his nose in the dirt most of the time does not mean that he would not appreciate having his chow properly set. And, do remember to knock out the worms just before serving, because it is rude to talk while you are eating, or rather, while being eaten. Recent health alerts have also warned of a strange malady suspected to have parasitic origins. Diagnostic criteria include uncontrolled bouts of verbose ventriloquism involving the family pet, source as yet undetermined. Documented voice recordings mention literary quotes from The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky. Until more conclusive studies, the otherwise harmless malady is often referred to as a case of the "Verbally Diarrhetic Worms."
My personal favourite is the "D22 - Nordic Gray w/ Black Webbing". Perfect for
Awww. A blanket to keep your furry bag of skin and bones warm! The blanket also doubles up as a muffler - when the
Personalised calling cards for your mutt come in handy too. What kind of respectable mutt goes out to meet attractive females without a proper calling card? Important information on your mutt's calling card will include his last visit to the vet for his rabies shot, deworming, and for some, psychiatric evaluation. You cannot be too careful nowadays. There are just too many stake-wielding psychos on the loose.
Finally, as proof of faith in your mutt, enter him in the "Strut Your Mutt" Dog Show. Remember, there is a winner in every mutt!
Star-gazing."Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro is facing fresh speculation about his love life after a Hong Kong weekly ran a picture of him in a cosy moment with another man. The heart-throb was pictured in Sudden Weekly's weekend edition with his hand clasped over the man's, as they stood on the balcony of a hotel in Cannes ... The weekly alleged that the two stayed in one room ... Kaneshiro's manager Eva Yeo later denied that the two shared a room, saying all members of Kaneshiro's entourage had individual rooms. Recently, however, she spoke about Kaneshiro's shyness with women, saying: "All these years, he hasn't held my shoulder when we have our photograph taken."
~ Life! Straits Times, 31 May 2004.
Aha! And we were just speculating about Takeshi Kaneshiro's sexual orientation on Sunday. Or rather, CirCe was gushing about her favourite pretty boy, while I was quite convinced that he was gay. What kind of straight man says that he would make a good husband because he would cook, clean and mind the kids? Hallo, the Woman AKA Wife seems to be missing from the happy picture? And, who wears THREE layers of underwear during a sex scene? Wahlau eh! Even Keanu Reeves, the other pretty boy who is apparently gay too (and who CirCe also gushes about), added "good sex" to the overall picture. And, Keanu had a girlfriend who bore him a child - though, as chance would have it, the child was stillborn and the girlfriend died in a car accident later. Hmmm. Not that gay men have not been known to marry for the sake of appearances. Or, maybe, Keanu swings both ways. Shrug.
Hmmm. Two pretty boys. Make that two pretty AND very gay boys. Oh. Ohhh...
(Backs away from CirCe.)
Mind your language."Let the children first be killed." (Mark 7:27)
Should be "Let the children first be filled."
What if it was (or were???) not a typo? Heh. Heh.
Moving pictures (II).Troy was not exactly a disappointment. Well, not after my expectations were brought down several notches by all those bad reviews. Heh. In spite of the big budget, I did not get a sense of the epic, unlike in Lord of the Rings. Troy was entertaining enough, but it lacked that special something - mythology - which would have set it apart from any other war movie. Oh well.
Anyway, Orlando Bloom was as deadly with a bow and arrow in Troy as he was in LOTR. And, before I forget, who snipped off all that lovely blonde hair! Put it back! :-)
Words.The cashier passed me a "Reading Program" flyer and said I would get a sticker for each purchase of a KID'S BOOK.
a kid's book?"
INT -10. Ack.
And that explains why I could not find the book at the Fantasy shelves - had to ask Information to look for the book. Mutter.
Sun Day.Spend an hour in the morning cleaning my keyboard. Pried out all the keys to clean each one thoroughly, and then mopped up the dust and dirt (and dog hair, argh) from the base. Everything is nice and clean now :-) IMHO, everyone should clean their keyboards regularly.
And, yes, there IS something therapeutic about sunshine, isn't there? The keyword here being "shine", as opposed to "#@#!$! freaking heat." Excuse me, it is a little hard to appreciate the sun in the middle of a heatwave; though the past few days have been much cooler. It also has to do with working long hours and going home in the dark. It used to be worse though - when going home involved a very brisk walk through a DESERTED road on a hill, where the streetlights would occasionally go off for a few heart-stopping seconds, followed by going down a LONG flight of uneven steps (my knees, arrrgh) while praying the snakes would keep away.
Anyway, the muted sun at 6pm is just not the same as the too-bright sun at 9am or blazing sun at lunch time. There is also something wonderful about waking up at 5am, when everyone is still asleep, free of care and dreaming nice pleasant thoughts. (Erm, most people anyway. Heh.) And the morning air is crisp - the day smells and feels NEW. Everyday is a fresh start.
Moving pictures (I).Never try to recover a sleep debt on an empty stomach. Went to bed at 8pm and woke to hunger pangs at 3am. Arrrgh!!! So anyway...
Ok, 7am. Back to bed, or out for breakfast then back to bed?
Sight.Culled from Mr Brown.
Dancing Queen from Korea. Wow. (Note: Right-click to save to your computer.)
Overheard.They were in agreement about not wanting to spend time with their future boyfriend / husband everyday. As one put it, thrice a week was probably about right - to do "exciting things" together. The rest of the week would be for spending with other friends - to do more "exciting things". No - they did not think it was possible to meet that one person with whom they could do "exciting things" everyday. (I beg to differ. Try dating a schizophrenic or manic-depressive. Hours of "excitement" guaranteed.) Yes - they needed to do "exciting things" everyday.
"i guess if you are really committed to each other, you dont really care whether you meet everyday. you need to
meet other ppl, not to avoid your partner but to breathe some fresh air. ppl need new input and experiences in their
lives. well, what they said, seems more like they wanna get out of each other's life. they are avoiding things."
While this makes a whole lot of sense, I'm not quite sure that was what they meant. It was, really, what they chose to articulate, in the first instance. That, it would be too mundane to be with the same person everyday. That, they did not want to do "mundane things" with him when they could be doing "exciting things" with other people. The other added that is why people stray - to escape from the "mundane things". Hmmm.
Sound.Summer Sunshine - Corrs.
Beautiful sisters. Their parents must be really good-looking. So, I guess the plain-looking brother was the kid who was picked up from the dustbin. Heh.
0715 hours."Why are you laughing at the computer?"
~ Mum, as she walks past my room.
Remember those days back in the NUS computer labs when the ones using the terminals for work would look strangely at the ones who were always breaking into smiles or laughter at their screens? Heh. Heh. Heh.
And, I'm off to an early morning meeting. Mutter. And the packed early morning train with everyone trying to fit bits (and lumps) of their bodies into every available space - yeah, squeeze the thin ones, they are compressible. Jigsaw body parts. Heh! Longer (no more a matter of height, but length) heels today would be a good idea - up there, where the air is fresher, and you can see far into the, erm, well the next few cabins, anyway. And glasses - argh, my eyes still sting a little.
Words.Spent most of today working with words - reading, rephrasing, rearranging. Strange, how, in spite of the tired eyes (late night), the words - and they were many, today - kept me going. Shutting out everything and everyone else with just words for company. Though, I remained aware, in a detached way, of the other humans as they went about their little bonding laughs and small talk. Small - in comparison to the words that teemed as fishes in my consciousness today.
Sound.In the Shadows - Rasmus.
Mistress of Pain (IV).Salesgirl: "How about earrings?
I: "Oh, my ear holes have closed for many years."
Salesgirl: "You can get them pierced at Isabella. I guarantee they won't hurt at all!"
I: (Look down. Bemused smile. Continue browsing.)
SF: "Hahahaha! Exactly. It does NOT hurt. She's not afraid of pain! She has a navel piercing!"
Salesgirl: (Myriad expressions and exclamations of pain.)
Intimate.There's listening. And then, there's Listening. Is it me reacting to my own emotions, or me actually feeling another person's emotions? Emotional transference. Is it possible?
Sight.We stood, waiting for the sales assistant to pick out the size that SF wanted. Then, he bumped into the mannequin, and an arm fell off. THUD! "Arghhhh!" That would be me, looking down at the disembodied arm, in mock horror. Duh, it's just a plastic arm, stupid.
Taste.Stage Door (opposite Boat Quay). Apple crumble with cinnamon ice-cream :-)~~~ Mud pie with ice-cream. And hmmm... the seductive whiff of... it's not the Oreo crust... it's... ooo... coffee bits in the ice-cream. Whoa. Heh.
Sight.LiuLiGongFang. Us Reflected.
Overheard."Something wicked this way comes."
I listened to them talk about how much darker the latest Harry Potter (The Prisoner of Azkaban) had become. Certainly not suitable for the children. They will be influenced. Tainted? I don't know. There's just something not quite right about blaming a movie. I suppose, because it is just a movie (which ironically, you will find the SAME people watching). And maybe, because, there is always the emphasis on The Devil. The idea that evil exists separate and distinct from the self.
Maybe, the cinemas should just screen Harry Potter side by side with The Passion of Christ, and then watch who goes where. Heh.
Or maybe, I should note that it is now half past midnight, and I had better get to bed before the sleep debt has a chance of catching up, and I continue to put down more offensive thoughts that will get me lynched. Heh.
Words.Culled from Rainy:
"It is an enchanted image I've invented and projected on this tiny space and that may indeed have become part of the landscape by virtue of being projected each time I come back here, but that may not be there at all, a mirage that is more in me than out there."
I still remember Jack saying to me, many years ago, in a reverent hush: "Books are ALIVE."
What do you think?
Blind leading the blind.Have you ever been set up on a date by your friends? As the SDU maxim goes, it's only an introduction and the rest is up to you. There's certainly no harm in getting your friends (and even strangers) to help make your search for romance easier.
In spite of his reservations and preconceptions, Straits Times writer Karl Ho recently "took the leap of faith myself, and to my surprise, the experience wasn't all that bad." On the "advantages to being matchmade by friends", he lists:
Credibility: "You might meet knife-wielding psychos on your own. But you can probably trust that a friend of your friend won't be that scary."
Add to that - stakes, torches and poisoned apples. Do you know what it's like to have the psychos scratching at your windows day and night? Much better to let your friends run their sieve through the lot first. (See Quality Control.)
Quality Control: "Your friend will probably know what attributes you want in a mate, and try to hook you up with someone who fits the profile."
Just make sure that your appointed match-makers have obtained their ISO 9000 certification.
Non-SDU Settings: "If a friend is smart, he can organise a group outing and sneak in the introductions without even letting on that a match is being made."
Indeed. Who knows what sparks might fly between the two of you? If, however, the spark is missing, you can always light a match and set your date ablaze. Next!
Mr Ho then expounds on the "drawbacks" (you know, like drawing back from that THING that keeps putting his face in yours) to being set up:
Different Expectations: "Who your friend thinks you should meet might not be who you'll really like."
Don't be silly. What do you mean I don't know what my best friend wants? I know EXACTLY what she wants. And it's exactly NOT what I think she wants ;-)
Anti-Climax: "When it's a close friend offering you a stab at happiness, it'll be a more crushing blow when the blind date doesn't work out. This buddy might also be in a bind if only one side shows interest."
Stab? Crushing? Bind? My, what violent images. Though it may send some people's pulses racing, in a rather pleasurable way. Not to worry though. There's plenty of lead time to run and hide, while your blind date gropes around for his stone club to deliver that crushing blow to your unrequiting little black heart.
Scapegoat: "If a successful match falls apart, your first instinct will probably be to blame the cause of it all: your friend. Social circles might just fall apart because of failed matches."
Much, much scarier than the psychos you might meet on your own. (See Credibility and Quality Control.) Nod sagely.
Obviously, this little commentary will not be making its way into the ST Mailbag. Heck, I already scared off Mr Ho once before, ranting at him (Don't. Ask.) when he called me to comment on my "very thoughtful response". Obviously, he never called back again. Continuing to send in responses to his articles might just make him think I'm stalking him, which would only prove his point (see Credibility) - that nothing good can come of something that you find on your own.
Trust no one. Especially yourself.
Dreams.Bizarre dream with one too many sub-plots, and woke up remembering a lot. Was a guest at a wedding, and found to my dismay that we had to sit through an entire session where people went up to the front and opined on relationships?! We want to eat and then go home! And I went home to find two more handphones in my bag - a friend had left it there for "safe-keeping" because he had to be "away". He told me through a live video feed on one of the handphones - as I watched him emerge, changed into a very pink superhero costume! Very Japanese. Very Ultraman-like. ROFL! Really bizarre. Have no idea where all that came from; not like pink is his colour. Heh. Heh. Heh. (Yeah, you definitely don't want to be in MY dreams.)
The Little Folk.Gosh. The salesgirl was so short that I literally had a bird's eye of her; she was only up to my chest. (Did not help too that I was wearing 3.5" heels.) So, when I found the candle I wanted, and was about to readjust my line of sight to meet hers, I realised that it was simply impossible to have a conversation with the top of someone's head! So, I let mum do all the talking.
Speaking of which, "giraffes" don't work either. You don't want to intimidate your customers, especially the vertically challenged ones, do you?
Random thoughts.Do you remember those little boys from back when you were little too - who called you names or teased you relentlessly, because they liked you? Do you suppose these little boys grow up and have homicidal tendencies about the grown up girls they like? Heh.
This week's flavour - Godiva Vanilla Hazelnut. Erm... I ain't gonna get torched for this, am I? What are the chances, right? Brrr...
Intimate.Last Sunday seemed like only yesterday. Then, scrolling through my mailbox, I realised that two months have already passed. Really? I can barely remember when time has passed so quickly; and so imperceptibly. (Except when cramming for exams last minute. Arrrgh!!!) Everything has been an inconsequential blur. Everything - except.
Ride the wave and live the moment?
Blink.From Padmasana to Tolasana. Interesting how after a few weeks of skipping the morning yoga, you find that some things have become almost effortless.
Slept at 9 last night and woke before 6 this morning. Die! You miserable sleep debt! Taking a break from the beach this week - just in case the sleep debt demands the next installment again! Was caught off-guard yesterday at the hairdresser; kept nodding off to her amusement. It's a wonder my ears didn't get snipped off. Laugh. Going to buy mum dinner later; mother-daughter bonding; before she totally loses it, and spends her days talking to the dogs instead! Erm, actually she already does that. Heh.
Isn't Jojo just soooo cuuute!!! All grown up into his true retriever dogginess :-) Wenjie, bring him back to Singapore to play with my Xena - she lurrrves big shaggy goldilocks :-D
For the dog lovers, here's more awww moments :-)
Shaggy tales.And in other hair-raising news, big hair "makes women feel sexy and confident. It's like a lion's mane. You become more powerful." So, do the men feel an irresistable urge to go hunt and bring home the meat after looking at Drew Barrymore's new curls? Heh. Or do you suddenly have the irresistable urge to run away screaming? ROFL!
Hmmm. I guess that's why most tai tais have big hair, no?
Words.According to Merriam-Webster Online, the 10 favourite words are
Defenestration - A throwing of a person or thing out of a window. (Ok, not the same as deforestation. Heh!)
Serendipity: The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. (Score 1. Does anyone remember the green - or was it purple - Loch Ness like cartoon dinosaur from long ago?)
Onomatopoeia: The use of words whose sound suggests the sense. (Examples: buzz, crash, whirr, clang hiss, purr) (Score 2.)
Discombobulate: Upset or confused. (Eh???)
Plethora: Excess, superfluity, profusion, or abundance. (Say what???)
Callipygian: Having shapely buttocks. (Okayyy. I'll be damn surprised if a man can summon up any word more than one syllable after seeing a set of those! Like - "Would you just look at that fine callipygian specimen of the female species?" More like - (insert monosyllabic unintelligible male grunts). Heh. Heh. Heh. Anyhow, I've always thought "nice ass" works best, no?)
Juxtapose: To place side by side. (Score 3. Actually, I thought the idea was to highlight the contrast.)
Persnickety: Fussy about small details. (Or pedantic. Heh.)
Kerfuffle: Disturbance or fuss. (I think I just smelled something burning in my head.)
Flibbertigibbet: A silly, flighty person. (Ack.)
Score 3 out of 10. Now, I'm really discombobulated. Laugh. WHERE do these people study???
Words."Because some stories end, but old stories go on, and you gotta dance if you want to stay ahead."
~ The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Terry Pratchett.
Bloody long title aside, thanks :-)
It looks like the Aur trip is off - fully booked. Guess I'll get to catch the LOTR exhibition after all. Tick tock, tick tock, 4 June - this message was brought to you by Spacefan. Heh.
Moving pictures.He passed me tickets for tonight's Shrek marathon :-) I've forgotten how hilarious Shrek was - couldn't stop laughing. Now THIS is what I call screamingly funny. Heh. IMHO, the first is still the best because there was more story-telling; the second gave too much airtime to spoofs - which were good nonetheless. And of course, who can forget Puss, beguiling them baddies with his limpid kitty eyes. ROFL!!!
Words.How Singapore was truly founded.
Malicious - Delicious."What was it you really put in the sugar?" asked Keith, as he led the way back to the secret trapdoor.
"Cascara," said Malicia.
"That's not a poison, is it?"
"No, it's a laxative."
Keith sighed. "How much did you give them?"
"Lots. But they should be all right if they don't take too much of the antidote."
"What did you give them for the antidote?"
"Malicia, you are not a nice person."
~ The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Terry Pratchett.
I'll say. Nasty little girl. Heh! Am going to try to finish the book over the weekend so I can get back to American Gods. But I'll certainly miss it. Really, really good read :-)
Senses.Brain has been feeling like mashed potatoes. Is it:
1) The heat?
2) Sensory overload? Too much in my head to grasp.
Sigh. Let's see if sleeping through the weekend will help.
Sights.Toads getting down and dirty. Heh. Culled from Gaiman. (You thought I went surfing esspecially for SUCH things? Coz not! Hmmmppfff!)
Second childhood.Captain Caveman! Of course I remember :-)
Intimate.Mental illness - a medical condition or social definition? I think it is the latter, mostly anyway. It is about doing things differently from the rest of society. The unexpected. The glitch in the programme.
Dangerous.She is trying to organise a self-defence workshop to "teach women about assault prevention and safety strategies, verbal assertiveness techniques, and perhaps 2 or 3 physical combat techniques to get out sticky situations."
Heh. Interesting. Yeah, sure, count me in. I wonder if she can get something going before June though. And I wonder if any of the techniques involve roaches and air tanks. Heh. Heh. Heh.
Talking dogs.On the way to work yesterday, mum called. (The following is transcribed from Cantonese, by the way.)
Mum: "You know that white bear in your room. Did you give it to Xena?"
Mum: "Xena has it, and she's hiding under the sofa. I tried to get it from her. I ASKED her for it. But she refused to give it to me, and she bit me. She SAID she wanted to play with it."
'cuse me. Did my mum just say the dog SAID something??? I worry for her mind sometimes - some people start to go once they approach the 60s. Time to set aside more mother-daughter bonding time again.
And, Xena has taken to sneaking my TY bears out of my room the last few days to claim as her personal playthings - not to rip apart, which is what usually happens with anything that goes into her mouth. But, to cuddle up to under the sofa or my sister's bed. I think it has to do with her ovulating - yes, dogs have periods too. And so, it appears that my dog's biological clock is ticking. Heh.
Intimate.Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Touch. And some say, we have a sixth sense. Telepathy?
Keeping up."Then you start to wonder if you still match up to that positive first impression."
A life more ordinary.Hallo, I do NOT lead a "very exciting" life. This, coming from an old friend who has been busy being a working Mother to Raine, River and Raye (five - if she can afford it, and if she can come up with more derivatives from Mother Nature starting with 'R'), and Wife to one.
Whatever gave you people that idea? The blog? Really? Think about it very carefully now. If I already spend so much time blogging about my "exciting life", would I actually have had the time to go out to live one? You see, my life is like coffee-flavoured water. It looks like coffee, but most certainly is not. In fact, it is such a bloody bore that even my blood cannot stand the monotony and wants out, as seen from Monday's arterial bleeder. Other people have Monday Blues - especially after their very happening weekends; while people like me have Monday Bleeds.
By the way, the occasional attempts to get physical with fibreglass walls and air tanks do not count. For some reason beyond the comprehension of my feeble brain, unless said physicals involve hot-housing with hormonal hordes of hunks (not of the tubby variety, thank you), or there is a boyfriend or husband somewhere, it does not qualify as "having a life"... yet.
And so, I have to resort to spicing up my life with words, so I can feel less sorry for myself. Otherwise, that rusty penknife would have gone for the other artery in my neck, rather than a miserly thumb.
And, I most certainly am NOT "worldly-wise" or "street-smart". Did you hear the story of how, once, designated as the very reluctant (some men just never learn - women do NOT like reading maps, especially a woman like me) map reader in the Bearmobile, I missed the exit, and we cruised into Pasir Ris instead of Tampines? Amazingly, while still looking at the Tampines map, I managed to get us onto the "right" roads and turns, and the block was even at the "right" spot. That's how bloody boring the HDB (or URA?) is - all the estates look the same!
Yeah. So, don't believe what you read here, ok? It's all been salted and peppered. I am really just a very bland kind of person. You will probably fall asleep just by being in my presence. At least, my life gets to taste like coffee. Heh.
Sights.Textures. Interesting composition.
Words.Sandman. The script for Episode 24, Season of Mists, Chapter 3.
Touch.In more Strange News From Around The World, he - unlike some people who have been fantasizing about my sister and her ice cube - did not find her choice of bath implement kinky at all. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. Ok, I'm impressed. Laugh.
So, DW, would you like to bring my (younger) sister out for lunch and a movie some time? She's very sociable and approachable ;-D
Oh dear. Did I just attempt to pimp my sister on the internet? Must be all that loss of blood this afternoon - still feeling very light-headed. Glare at thumb. Here, you can burn my thumb at the stake. (Good thing she doesn't know about the blog. Or doesn't care to read it even though she uses my computer.)
Mistress of Pain (III)The problem with having a high threshold for pain (and wearing new glasses to work) is that when the rusty penknife continues its path down the newspaper article THROUGH the side of your thumb, your brain takes quite a while to alert you to the fact that something sharp has just broken through skin, and is making its way into soft flesh and the nail bed. Then, when your brain finally registers the intrusion, you've already got a bleeder on your hand (heh), followed by a belated ow-ow-OW-OWWW-OWWWWWW!!! and OW-ow-ow-ow... (My boss came out of her room to look for "the dog". Heh.)
For some reason, it did not alarm me that the bleeding had not stopped in spite of the tightly bound gauze. Each time I removed the dressing to check, bright red blood welled up and overflowed, as if it was a fresh wound. I suppose blood loss and hypoglycemia make for a heady experience. (Or was it delayed nitrogen narcosis?) You should try it for yourself some day too. So, it was only three hours and a very late lunch later, that I found myself trying not to fall asleep in the doctor's waiting room.
When I unwrapped the thumb for a medical opinion, the blood continued to flow as it had before. Surprise, surprise. Adrenaline, "press here tightly and try not to move too much", and 15 minutes later, the bleed continued unabated, while the doctor and I looked on in wonder. After some pressing around, he figured too much pressure had been applied, and on the wrong spot - the wound opening - causing bunching (what???); pressure should have been applied on the side, where the sliced artery was. OooOooO... He managed to stop the bleeding after that (except for a little welling), and I asked him for a shot, just in case.
Anyway, climbing is out this week because CirCe thinks the wound will split open again, and she did not want me dripping blood on her from 15 feet up. That, and she thought it would be really hilarious to dive with shark bait (if the thumb does not heal properly in two weeks). Bleah.
Sunny Sun Day.Ten hours of uninterrupted sleep (and a strange dream). Nice.
In Strange News From Around The World (i.e. anything that happens outside the airconditioned comfort of my bedroom), my sister came out of the bathroom to gush about her 'shiok' bath - with ice cubes. Say that again??? Oh. She rubbed an ice cube all over herself. Okayyy. See, I'm NOT the kinky one in the family. But, she's right, you know. It is THAT hot right now. Talking about which, the dogs need a bath. Hmmm. Heh.
Taste.I succumbed and started on the Godiva beans in-waiting (assorted two-ounce packs of five, for a change). The current pack of Movenpick is just not doing it for me. Strange - the other pack was fine, though a different bean. Maybe this one was too finely ground for the french press.
Liquid air.Tubby Guy: "i tot u being diving for the longest time"
Girl: "no lah"
TG: "oic .. so now u enjoy? met some hunk?"
[He keeps asking about the "hunks". Yawn.]
G: "no hunks lah. all so tubby one"
TG: "hahaha. but u like rite, dun u?"
[Sneaky reference to a tidbit fed to him about the Bear. Nabeh. You asked for it.]
G: "actually, I DON'T"
TG: "[insert laughing emoticon]"
[... silence ...]
TG: "k u hv a great day ahead and dun stress out ya . i going shower now and my jogging session .. laterz"
Next - Aur, 29 and 30 May. I'm going as friendly - platonic - company for CirCe on her second try at the Advanced. (She caught full-blown flu from some old geezer en route to the first and couldn't equalise beyond 3m.) Dangerous being a lone female diver in a group these days. Heh. See "Interest(ed)".
Talking about which, CirCe owes me another blog entry for the favour. (Someone had better be taking down notes at this point. Heh.)
Interest(ed).CirCe, being CirCe :-) is rarely lost for words with strangers - if not the sparkling centrepiece in a group :-D (Hallo, that's a HUGE compliment considering that I've been listening to you since 1992, and, I have ADD.) There's this amazing ease with which she starts conversations, even with strangers. Small talk, big talk, cheemology talk - you name it, she's got it. That, and she devours enough books. She figured it has something to do with being able to look into the other person and instinctively ask the 'right' questions, and so, keep a good conversation going.
(Funny how she couldn't tell I didn't like her in the early days. And, one of her first questions, when she pounced on me in a tutorial sign-up queue - I had no time to hide - was to 'ask' me to get sandwiches from the Arts Canteen. Oh, she doesn't mind this little confession. She just LOVES to tell everyone that I didn't like her initially - to my great embarrassment. But, that's another story for another day.)
The thing is - and it does become a problem quite often - when she shows genuine (not the 'hi-bye-call you later' sort) interest in people, some men think it translates into 'romantic' interest. It happened a couple of times on the last dive trip. Grounded, because of the flu, she kept herself occupied by talking to people - though she would have, flu or not. Laugh. Later, when the men started to respond in too familiar a way, she found herself having to withdraw, at the risk of seeming rude, to 'correct' their wrong impressions.
(Come to think of it, the men's reactions also had A LOT to do with being attracted by her personality, an intelligence she's not afraid to show, her humour, and everything else. She simply made it easier for them to chat her up, just by being approachable and sociable. Ah, wouldn't DW wish it was that easy for him too. Heh.)
We figured that people - BOTH men and women - just do not expect that anyone would want to take an interest in them as individuals, unless there was an ulterior motive, like romantic interest. And, based on collective female experience, men are, more often than not, guilty of only bothering to find out more about the opposite sex, if they had an ulterior motive. Sometimes, you can tell by looking at their circle of female friends, and computing an attractiveness index. Heh.
It's quite unfortunate though, when you think about how much you are missing out on - the richness of human experiences. Honestly, I myself don't usually make the effort to KNOW people. (Things have changed somewhat in the last two years.) Sometimes, because they just don't seem interesting enough. Some people are more bland than tap water, while others are like coffee-flavoured water - no substance. Much like the 'coffee' they served at the Tioman dive resort; even the less commercialised and rustic Dayang served decent coffee, albeit 3-in-1 Coffeemix. Sometimes, I would rather avoid misconceptions, and having to deal with the messy aftermath.
This is not to say that we're immune to such misconceptions - curious creatures that we are. We wonder, sometimes, too. Though, as I was observing to CirCe, it's not that hard to tell the difference - the intent. It's easy enough to fake words and some body language. But, much harder with the eyes - you just have to understand the language. So, I suppose when a man just wants to get into your pants, he wouldn't bother ascertaining whether you were really interested in him or not. He'll just take the easy way out by reading the superficial signs. Men. Sigh.
Still, I do reach out to people - women AND men - occasionally. Because, once in a while, you get Godiva Creme Brulee. Delicate. Not the in-your-face blends served in the coffeeshops. But, no less potent in spite of the sublime smoothness. My first few times kept me awake way past midnight. WOW. Heh. Ok... ok... I know it's weird comparing people to coffee. But don't you think that's so, so much better, AND more polite, especially in a civilised society like ours, than DOGS?!! Heh.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Hmmm. As an afterthought, after reading someone, of course it doesn't work the same for all men. There are men, and there are men. AND THEN, there are those defective Y chromosomes floating around, looking very much like unaware cuttlefish at 20 feet. Probably has something to do with their buoyancy control too. Smirk.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I'm actually smiling and occasionally laughing while writing all this. Laugh.
2119 hours.To bed. The lenses need to come off now, and the glasses are getting reframed at the optician until tomorrow afternoon. Oh well, I did want to catch up on sleep over the weekend. So, the blind bat's going to bed now. Heh.
Sights.Amleth, was that you jogging at East Coast close to 6pm? Still as cute as ever, I see. Heh.
Anyway, how do you know when it's time to stay out of the sun? When your friend tells you that you're darker than your Indian (albeit fair-skinned) colleague. Arrrgh...
Worm food."It seeks but will not be sought.
It finds but will not be found.
It seeks the one who would touch.
Who would cut away pain and ill.
But its blade cuts two ways..."
~ The Touch, F Paul Wilson
The Adversary Cycle. Interesting. Have not read his books, I think. Anyone?
Intimate.There can only be that many of us Dangerous Beans in the dented can, mayhaps?
Overheard.(Three women trading stories about their maids.)
Being a domestic live-in maid has got to be the only job where looks count against you. The more unattractive you are, the better your chances of landing the job. Still, you can never tell if hubby happens to be a photographic genius who has an eye for good angles, eh?
The Human Condition.One Deed. One Lifetime.
"What is a good deed you may ask? It's anything that has a positive impact on another individual, in particular something which he or she cannot do for himself or herself, better yet something which he or she had not even expected. But it has to be done for an individual rather than an organisation. It can be something as simple as a smile, or something as extravagant as a huge amount of money donated. It can be something as concrete as giving a liver or something as nebulous as providing a listening ear."
Is it just me, or is it not a little sad that we have to be told WHAT a good deed is and HOW to be kind? Ah well, we've all got to start somewhere, I guess. But, why only ONE anyhow? Yeah, I know - unappreciative me. Or maybe it has to do with the idea of "passing it on". One good deed begets another. The promise of reciprocity and the feel-good factor. (Oh, lookee, I did good today!) Too much on the DEED, not enough on the HEART. Yeah, I know, I know - cynical me. Bleah. But, in case you are wondering, I loved "Pay it Forward". Though, truth be told, it also had a lot to do with watching Haley Joel Osment - what a deep kid.
2211 hours.Looks like I've busted my Sleep Overdraft - almost nodded off at my desk today. Spirit was willing (to go through the mountain of paperwork) but the flesh was weak (lights in my head kept going off).
Lights out, for real.
What am I?Culled from Vaya.
And this managed only 32% on the Evil Scale. What d'ya mean
I'm more evil than her?!!! I don't even swear as much!
Intimate.I need - Sleep.
My dream man. NOT!"Sometimes he wondered what the stupid-looking kid really, really wanted. Nothing, as far as Maurice could tell, but to be allowed to play his music and be left alone. But ... well, it was like that thing with the coconuts. Every so often the kid would come out with something that suggested he'd been listening all along. People like that are hard to steer."
~ The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Terry Pratchett.
Interesting book. There's something about the style ... between the lines ... simple but so elegant (the best - and hardest - writing is done with simple words ... springy words stalking each turned page like a cat waiting to pounce ... senses tingling. Here is a master at work.
Having both Gaiman (American Gods) and Pratchett as my current daily reads might start doing things to my head, no? Heh.
(I just lurrrve this delete function that Enetation has for RUDE comments. DELETE. DELETE.)
Discovery Channel.Interesting how different people react to self-discovery and self-awareness. For some, it's like watching the wonder on a child's face as he discovers something 'new'. For others, it's at best a bewildering experience, and at worst, a frightening encounter with the 'unknown' - when awarenwess does not come with sufficient 'understanding', I suppose.
I nodded knowingly as J talked over dinner (go try the Teochew Porridge and Durian Crepe at Goodwood Park Hotel) about his growing self-awareness in the past year - something to do with getting out of the old mindset when he quit the first job. And I guess, it was another step forward when he quit the next job (which was a big and interesting change from the first, but terribly stressful) to study, and now, having more time to himself. SF thought it had to do with him finally finding the 'words' to articulate the experience.
I wonder: Is it more interesting to 'discover' yourself or another person? What about discovering yourself through learning about someone - walking into their rooms and finding a hidden passage (or picking up a key) to some of your own rooms, their doors closed to even yourself? There is sometimes, more than one way to get into a room. Hmmm. How fascinating.
Doggy tales.Note to self: Keep mobile out of Xena's reach at night. She 'hid' my mobile (cum alarm) under the sofa outside - on the morning that I needed to get to work earlier. Mutter.
MOTDTo Gasp: Didn't your flat-chested mother tell you to jump out of your window if you can't keep your eyes in their sockets? Don't leave any more rude comments on my blog, ok.
Intimate."Harder to look for the glimmers of light and good in a person - to love. Much easier to close your eyes - and hate."
Words.Must. Write. The words will not let me sleep. The words are consuming my consciousness. Surrender. Humiliation. One of those days. Compelled to write. Cannot rest until I do. Consumed.
Have not read Scary Duck for some time, but oh boy, he sure has a huge arsenal of hard-hitting laughs. Now, if you ask me, this guy definitely deserved the Guardian Online Best British Weblog 2002 Award. Not some four-legged flying fraud that awarded Xia... Eh, nevermind. Heh. Heh.
Trial of Fire."Stay with me tonight ... while I die ..."
~ War of the Twins, Volume 2, Legends, Dragonlance
Morning.I opened my eyes this morning to find Elmo's pretty longan eyes looking at me. Lost. Swoon. Today already feels like a beautiful day :-)
Assigned to the same table as the minister's security officers, I wondered what the watchers - by profession - would be like. Would they have the eyes of a Watcher? Settled down, I turned to look at the older one. His piercing look struck me fast and hard. Too harsh and too blunt. I couldn't bear looking at him again - invading my eyes. His hard glitter - I couldn't look in. The younger man had really nice eyes. Soft. Gently probing, always - but not demanding to know. And, so much laughter in his eyes - that he shared. I let him search my eyes. He seemed a really nice person too.
 Circa November 2002
It was the way he looked at me. The same kid (then a part-time waiter; now assisting the Banquet Manager) whose eyes followed me around for two days, when we did an event at the hotel. I'm not good with faces. But I remember certain looks.
"Did anyone tell you that you look like..." "Look! Don't you think she looks like..." More X2 sightings. Duh.
Ok, 'fess up. What is it about men and cockcroaches? The EX-communicated hated and was absolutely terrified of them, especially the ones that fly. Whine. Shiver. Nudge. "Kill it!" Arrrhhh??? Hallo, who's the man here? Once, the sleepy head scampered out of bed only because he heard the distinctive scuttle of little brown legs on the wall by his head, and had opened his eyes to see, indeed, a dreaded roach. ROFL!!!
Help me."Too many times, left on my own, I watch the pleading eyes of patients. Help me, they always seem to say. Help. Too many times I look back helplessly, wishing that there are more of me... What more can one do but the bare essentials and send them on as quick as they're stabilised and hope that whoever takes over will keep them going while you deal with the next unstable person in the next bed."
~ Areia Naraenil
I suppose, one could meet the pleading eyes - not to promise to heal, but to say "I know. And, you won't die - alone. I'm here."
But I'll understand if you tell me that it's not your burden to bear.
FinallyThe big dinner is finally over and done with. Big sigh of relief! Tomorrow - sun and sea. Destress. (SF, the cheongsam was a winner. Thanks. Heh.)
Whose burden?"Dying, over and over again. For someone else."
The physician's oath. To do no harm. To heal. (What have you learned in Medical School today? What have you brought back from this afternoon's CME - other than goodie bags and CME points?) Or is the true calling in bearing a fellow man's burden?
"Dying, over and over again." To follow another into death, and come back alone. Dying, and coming back to life, over and over again. What is it like?
Death.(Passage from American Gods jotted down on the train to work yesterday morning.)
"... he could barely remember the last time he had seen a hearse on the streets. Death had vanished from the
streets of America, thought Shadow; now it happened in hospital rooms and in ambulances. We must not startle the
There are so many, many ways to die. But only one that really makes a difference; that you will remember as the light fades from your eyes. You can die among people you know; those who will grieve at your passing; loved ones. You can also die among strangers - alone and unloved, in a strange place. How unfortunate. No - not always. There are Strangers who grieve, too. Unfortunate? Perhaps, not.
RIP - You, too.
(Afterthought: Do the eyes of the dead look any different - whether they died loved, or unloved?)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Doctors. Nurses. Ambulance attendants. Hospice workers. (A daughter watching and tending - and waiting - to her mother, yellowing and bloating, refusing hospital care, slowly wasting away at home from liver failure. Even as the young woman struggled with her own frustration at work and personal unhappiness.) Undertakers. Witnesses.
What does it take to deal, to live, with Death? Sadness? Anger? Tears? Detachment? Dead eyes? Sympathy? Comforting hand? Compassion? Humility? (Raistlin Majere's hourglass pupils - to teach him Humility. His eyes saw only Death; youthful beauty wrinkling and dying even as he set his accursed eyes on it.) Courage? Selflessness? (Of a Stranger who bears the burden of the loved ones who could not be there - so the dying would not have to die alone and unloved.) Understanding? Enlightenment?
How intimate are you with Death? How intimate do you LET yourself be with Death?
Memory."If you can erase a loved one's memories from your mind, surely you can insert them artificially? ... And if you've never gone through them, are the memories really worthwhile?"
No - not real. Because everyone remembers the same thing differently - shapes and colours. And, feelings. Shaped and coloured by the past, present and future - YOURS. This - is real.
SoonStressed. Can hardly wait for Saturday to be over.
Intimate.We were Strangers once; though not quite now. We were never Intimate; nor can ever be. And thus, easily forgotten; no loss. We are becoming Strangers. Twice over.
Sounds.Elephunk - Black Eyed Peas.
Sights.Three of the people in the dive group reminded me so much of another three who I work with.
 The SD instructor vs the external work contact - facial expressions and manner of speech.
 My Advanced instructor vs one of the guys I report to - facial features and expressions, and manner of speech. The former is a shorter and much better looking version though.
 The Dive Master vs another guy I report to - manner of speech. (Afterthought: Fortunately, doesn't get touchy-feely like the other does. Hiaks.)
Three out of a group of 30. Ten per cent. Never before - as far as my feeble brain can recall. This is all very strange for me. Freeeaky.
Sights."I see the sunrise every morning, and enjoy the gorgeous sky hues during sunsets. We face a lengthy green belt surrounded by beautiful street lights."
So, so, unfair. How come I don't get these at my side? Ok, so we don't exactly live on the same street. But how big is Singapore anyway - much lest the same estate? Methinks I shall run away and go live on a boat. Can't wait to go to sleep under the stars and Milky Way every night :-) Say, what are the long-term effects of being permanently on motion sickness pills? Heh.
CirCe."Our relationship was like the little prince and the rose. Neither was perfect nor outstanding but to each, the other was special, unique and irreplaceable."
Intimate.He Suffered. He Bled. He Died. For Us. For YOU.
Bite me.Something in the sea water gives me rashes... or the wet suit? And some... thing... stung me on my neck during the night dive and left some bumps. Mutter. Fortunately, of the non-itchy variety.
And two guys got their fingers (one on the ring; the other, his middle) bitten by a huge centipede that was about 30 cm, in their sleep. It had crawled up between them on the twin share bed, and refused to leave the bed after. Someone managed to move the evil thing into a bucket for viewing purposes as the guys tried to bear with the excruciating pain. It was all really strange though - BOTH getting bitten on the fingers. Rumour has it that they were holding hands in their sleep and the multi-legged vigilante from the animal kingdom disapproved of such unnatural unions. Heh. Heh.
Men."... men harbor those same feelings of inadequacy when they compare themselves to the ideal male body."
Well, I ain't complaining if they 'do something' about it too. ;-)
Women."Women survive their men. Men - men like him - don't live long when their women are gone... he'll just start wandering, all the familiar things are going to be gone with her. He gets tired and he fades and then he gives up and then he's gone... Old age, and all the fight gone out of you. Then you die."
- American Gods. Neil Gaiman.
One of mum's old friends, who used to be our tenant at the first home above a row of shophouses in Jalan Kayu, was horrified that I thought children were optional. She went on to lecture me about children being essential additions so you can have someone to take care of you, and will not have to be alone in old age. I was just as horrified - not being alone, mind.
Sights.1 May 2004. A little after 0200 hours. Mersing, Malaysia.
Snuggled in my sleeping bag on the upper deck of the ferry, I sank into sleep under a few stars in the sky. Sometime during the night, drifting in and out of sleep to the somnolent sounds of the sea, I found that the night sky had transformed into a celestial veil of stars. So many, many stars. Like... stardust? (And that smudge of white - the Milky Way?) I fought my heavy eyes for just a while more - had I died and gone to heaven?
"Cate Blanchett, at first glance, is not conventionally beautiful... somewhat plain... Her narrowly searching, steely-blue eyes give the Australian actress an elusive yet riveting presence... a quiet sense of quiet strength and tenacity.
I don't know of any other actress who has the same ethereal aura as Blanchett. (Except, maybe, Michelle Pfeiffer in LadyHawke.) Do you?
Sounds.Damita Jo - Janet Jackson.
And for a good laugh, March of the Sinister Ducks.
Intimate.Would you rather have a book of happy pictures and shiny people? Or, a significant story of "happiness, anger, sadness, comfort, pain, laughter, tears, warmth, cold, life, death"?