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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, October 19, 2002

Am currently typing in stuff for my mother, while simultaneously helping a friend to rewrite atrociously written paragraphs of a project report.

The English's simply hilarious :) That's what NS does to guys.

Before:

"The Theatre
Located at the top of the building, the exterior part of the building is enclosed with glass. When a visitor stands at the top floor and in the theatre, he or she can experience the sensation of �This is the theatre, this is the world�. Vice versa, all the visitors on the ground floor can expect a different kind of sensation when looking up to the theatre; they will be able to feel: �That is the theatre, the world is up there.�
this thingy is like an extension at the top of the building.. think the changi airport control tower. but in glass."

After:
"Perched atop the building is an extension enclosed in glass. Standing in the extension and the theatre, any visitor looking down from that lofty height would feel that he was in another world, a world separated from the mundane one he'd just left."

Before:
"The LCD Screen
Perched at the top of the old Capitol was a sky board holding up hand painted movies posters of movies showing at Capitol Theatre. To replace the sky board that once stood proudly at top of Capitol Building is an LCD screen.
The LCD screen is one of the symbols of the new theatre that demonstrates the fact that the theatre is keeping up with the pace of the advanced technology despite the fact that the setting of the theatre is set in the past era. This is to ensure that this new theatre will be competing with her competitors side by side. Positioned at the top of the theatre, the screen can be seen from afar and can be used for various purposes such as advertising."

After:
"Instead of the hand painted movie posters of yesteryear, or the pre-printed posters used by most cineplexes today, the new theatre will showcase the latest movies on a LCD screen - a feature of the new theatre that is a symbol of how it combines the best of both worlds, marrying old world charm with cutting edge technology. The LCD screen will be clearly visible from afar, and can be used for other purposes, like screening advertisements."

12:18:
Am currently helping to edit the whole document.

I'd rather slash my wrists than continue reading but.... must.... endure... 8/16... Half over...

Apparently the gobbledygook above was written by an Arts student.


Ex-NTU student:

"well. u know. ntu students
really. they can't string a proper sentence together, and those r the local students
the foreigners r worse, 328938x worse"
Word of the day: "Theogony"

Why should I write a diary entry, I think? Everything I could ever feel, think, love, experience, hope, despair or believe has *already* been said, somewhere in the Alexandrine library of human literature. And said *better*. Neal Stephenson writes in the Cryptonomicon about externally-generated-representations or patterns which are captured and filtered by our internal human perceptions into recognizable archetypes - like the Trickster Deity; the Triple Goddess - or, in Neal Stephenson's unique take on the old Platonic ideals - Athena as technological prowess and nerdism used as a means of defense; versus Ares as destructive, neanderthal warlordism. We see these same patterns emerging out of chaos; patterns that recur and manifest in every cultural paradigm; we see these old manifestations torn down in every great cultural conflagration, only to emerge, in a different guise, or in a different mutation. But on the micro level of the individual; isn't it the same thing for all emotional and personal travail? The events and contexts and facts may be different; the feelings and suffering and joys remain the same. Sylvia Plath (damn the woman!) may have felt alienated by her asshole husband, abusive family background, and manic depression; I get ticked off because I've run out of blue cheese. Different inspiration; same effect.

From the disiecta membra of others' words, it is not only possible, but it is, I feel, *respectful*, to construct a Frankensteinian collage of emotional scholia. Why not? Like the character of Jacopo Belbo; why should I create? Whenceforth comes this strange, human need to be *original*; when, in an old Benedictine's words, "the truth requires only fearless defense and not foolish increment. Knowledge is, at best, a subtle and divine recapitulation; the Word repeating itself to itself".

(Some of you sharper chaps / chapettes can already read the underlying leitmotiv in this post, I think:) The sweet, astringent pickle nestled beneath the turkey and lettuce and mayonaise)

I don't really believe that everything that has to be said *is* already said; and I certainly agree that, as a factual narrative, one *is* forced to, if not to be wholly original, to be at least descriptive in one's own words; verbalizing your perceptions and experiences into something resembling a readable passage. But then again, sometimes, one blogs not to describe in mind-numbing detail every meal eaten, every person loved, every single factual and specific nuance of a day in our brief lives. Sometimes, I think, one should blog (at least I do), to paint in broader strokes - an emotional swathe; a general sense of malaise or euphoria - not the nitty-gritty tiles of our daily mosaics. A fragment of gossip, a detailed shard of an interpersonal relationship, a calcified account of a walk down a road or a day spent.

No. no, sometimes I think it is best to just.. overarch. Instead of the tapestry of loving detail we find in a Bruegel; I choose the garish crayon scrawls of a kindergarden girl. Short on detail; long on colour and frenzy.

So today; me feeling numb. But not quite numb numb. Dazed, numb; the feelings not dampened; but the capacity to be hurt by them attenuated.

And onto the quote:

"But yesterday it was you offering it to me, and I thought that maybe this was your way of offering yourself, so I smoked, trusting. We danced close, the way nobody's danced for years and - the shame of it - while Mahler's Fourth was playing. I felt as if in my arms an ancient creature were yearning, a serpent rising from the dephts of my loins, and I worshipped you as a old and very universal thing... Probably I went on holding my body close to yours, but I felt that you were in flight, ascending, being transformed into gold, opening locked foors, moving objects through the air as I penetrated your dark belly, Megale Apophasis, Prisoner of the Angels.

Was it not you I sought all along? I am here, always waiting for you. Did I lose you, each time, because I didn't recognise you? Did I lose you, each time, because I did recognise you but was afraid? Lose you because each time, in recognizing you, I knew I had to lose you?

But where were you this morning? I awoke with a headache."
My favourite Pioneer's comic strips are so bad, I think I will set up a "Hall of Shame" soon.

(In his defence: "why do you hate my cartoons so much? can't you understand that i have to make them easily understood by ns men you moron?")

I love Getright! It helped me find a fast Brazillian server for the new LOTR trailer. Even cablers should download and install Getright expeditiously ;) That's one program I still have from the distant days when Filemine was still, simply, Filemine, rather than the current unwieldy-named IT Pro Downloads.


Juicy snippets from Yourself?:

"if this defines lesbian: "kept doing a couple dance with other girls" then the whole population of rg is homosexual :) and so is mrs kavanagh [oops, did i say something?] oh oh i see. oops." - LOL

"After class is over we see our heroine speaking to her two cute friends about how she is totally stupid and worthless at whatever she does. The director gets points for realism here, as he has accurately described how most teenage girls really are. It's just that our heroine has yet to start threatening suicide to her Internet friends, or writing dark gothic poetry onto her arm with a knife. But this could change by episode two, depending on how bored the aforementioned animators get." - HAHA

"I don't think its been very successful... sure there are some GEPs that I can really talk to and like. But really... the more I see of them the less I wanna see of them (GEP girls in my batch). It has to do with the package I guess. To me, and I believe most Singaporean men, intelligence is not an overriding factor in our decision for a girlfriend? Intelligence breeds cynicism and cynicism brings about maladjusted unhappy teenagers that complain about everything under the sun all the time.. I've never seen such unhappiness on such a large scale elsewhere outside RGS. I mean... what are the chances that an angsty blog is written by an RGS student current or otherwise(okay okay... I'm definitely overgeneralizing. Sorry!) " - ROFL
What was supposed to be posted on Wednesday:

--------

Restored Post

Bryan, the HCJC driver, is called 'Hwa Chong' by all. Trying to turn the attention to me, he tried calling me "Raffles" and "RJ", but I refused to respond :) Anyhow, if there's a "Hwa Chong" and a "Raffles", there's also a pHD... Poly Halfwar Dropout :D

Our CO was giving us another of his long talks, and he shamed a group of officers who were talking at the back by asking them to come to the front. Tut tut :)

I was berated, again, for my lack of tact and loose tongue. Ah well.

I left my packet (opened) of Chicken in a Biskit on the floor of the treatment room Tuesday night when I was on duty, and it was crawling with ants by the next morning. GAH.


After dithering overly long, I finally read through my material on the application question. It appears hideously difficult. Blah.

I think one of the New Face contestants looks like a horse, at least in the poster of the 20 of them where half are tugging at their necklines :) So we now have 3 ex-/present-RJ horses. Whee.

"You speak of me as you would a venus flytrap" - Well, perhaps I've been too suspicious of your motives ;) (Doesn't this beat nebulous references to 'you'?)

kr asks if I'll ever get started on an uber boliao project worthy of even me - a schoolgirl calender. Haha.

One very irritating thing about 93.3 FM is its compulsive, morbid repeating of its jingle. What makes it even more irritating is that they've recorded at least 5 variations on the jingle, from one of a man crooning the jingle slowly and sultrily to Chang Huimei / Zhang Huimei / A*Mei (whatever) belting it out, to an acapella version with harmony. All of them make me even more pissed off than Muzak or elevator music, but I think the worst version is one where some girl sings it in an "Act Cute" voice, and then giggles at the end. !@#$%^&*()

The stigma on Weapons of Mass Destruction seems to be rather unjustified. Nuclear, Chemical and Biological weapons are merely newer, more efficient ways of delivering death and destruction - dead's dead, whether you are felled by a bullet, the stroke of a sword to your head or the depredations of flesh eating bacteria. Of course, they *are* easier to use against civilians (and slave soldiers who are civilians), but firing squads and razing cities to the ground do the job too. All the conventions remind me of the Catholic Chruch's attempt, in the Middle Ages, to ban the use of the crossbow, on the grounds that it was too efficient a killing device, albeit with less success than at present.

I am amused. Wednesday's Straits Times has an editorial on Literature, which started with a crushing rebuttal of the oft-repeated, improbable and far fetched allegations that Literature humanises and civilises people - the people who ran Auschwitz et al were very cultured and listened to Beethoven and read Goethe - hardly unwashed brutes. I heartily agree - studying a subject may enrich one intelelctually, but it does not necessarily contribute to emotional, intellectual, personal and/or spiritual development. I do not dislike pieces of literature per se - reading is fun and enriching - but it's the study of it - the analysing to the last inkdrop of every comma, the pondering of the significance of every ink blot caused by a malfunctioning fountain pen, the colour of the spots of coughed up phlegm and the celebration of tracts which, for all you know, could have been written when the author was roaring drunk.

I was pondering the miry issue of honesty in my web journal. Now, as we all know, very few are totally, completely honest with even themselves, and as the object of communication moves further from them, the level of ingenuousness plummets. Well, it's obvious that some things are left unsaid here, and a few remain unacknowledged even to myself, due to preferences and meta-preferences. Eg Many matters of the nature of what made "yinkae" so infamous, notorious and popular.


Quotes:

Don't you think kat is ugly? When I first saw her I was like, omg, it's walking A03... I don't get how she made New Face! I mean, hell, any of your seven should make it ahead of her. (sms)

[On the New Paper New Face Competition] i think it's such an opportunistic platform for comely singaporean females of my generation to air their intellect and garner nationwide respect for my sex. [Name witheld without request]

I listen to the bitchy voice of Jamie Yeo, but I forgive her, because she's beautiful.
Thank God for unerase.


"For a while I thought I was the only person in the world who'd read Samuel R. Delany. Okay, w.t has, but he doesn't count because he's read *everything*." - LOL


Weird - Earth Erotica Photography by Heather Firth

Friday, October 18, 2002

Snippet of a highly amusing conversation.

I was talking to my friend on ICQ about some exam-related stuff and Melbourne reminisces.

Friend: "well, (our troubles are) not over yet.i had a divination yesterday... and the "ball" told me i am gonna fail my exam..."

Me: "HAHAHHAHAAHAH. fuck lah you believe that shit? how come you even went to the temple?" (Me assuming it was some mystical fortune-telling technique proffered him by a wizened old crone in exchange for crossing her palm for silver.)

Friend: "no la, it's a snooker ball as big as a lawn ball, you shake it, then turn it over and it gives you an answer. got 20 answers.i dont believe in it, but it's a good reminder of not to fail any subjects in my final semester."

Me: "hahahahahaahahaha .. oh.. the magic 8-ball!:) but yeah.. better be careful about the exams."

Friend: "haha, you know that too? keke.... it is really famous? Do they have it in yellow? and do they need batteries?"

Me: "it's like a cultural thingie.. some american hippie shit like lava lamps. anyway, .. erm.. no batteries. you just shake it a bit. i think."

Friend: "and my friend bought it yesterday for $20. and whenever she asks the question "have i been ripped off?", shake it, and the answer is always "yes, definitely"...haha... and today, my sis saw the Target flyers, and it's only selling for $9..."

Anyway, some quick web research uncovered a startling wealth of information on the magic 8-ball. Here's one of the better sites.

And of all the online magic 8-ball sites, THIS one takes the cake, the plate, the knives, and the table on which the cake is resting. Words do no justice to the limitless possibilities to which the nadir of human technology, the deepest secrets of mysticism, and sheer human boh-liaoness can do for you.
Today's quotes.

"I'm sick and I'm in love."
"You seem the sort of person who confuses the two."
"That's right. That's the first time you've been right. I confuse the two and I don't care."

"I really do have love to give; I just don't know where to put it."

"I'll tell you everything, and you tell me everything, and maybe we can get through all the piss and shit and lies that kill other people."

"The book says, we might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."

"I will not apologize for who I am."

"Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't regret anything. You regret what you want."

And, in the final analysis, the truest thing you can ever say in a world full of lies:

"In this life, it's not what you hope for. It's not what you deserve. It's what you take."

Yeh, I just had Shen1 Mian4 (deep fried noodles with sauce poured over it) at the ATC canteen, due to a series of talks and meetings that made us miss our dinner.

Will solve the formating problem below once I get home to a place without irritating firewalls. And I've to format, and have a BMT section outing too. Ooh.
Perfunctory blog entry. Word of the day: "mesothelius"


Am in bad mood, but tomorrow I'm off to Melaka for company induction - two days
of team-building orientation activites; and much to my pleasure, a lot of
great-looking babes from the new batch of Private Banking and Corporate Finance
recruits are going as well:) Best of all, one of the Private Banking babes is the fiance
of a friend of mine - which means I have a not-too-subtle entry point as far as conversational
gambits go:) Blech - I wish.

Still, I could use some serious asset management.

Not that I expect anything to happen - I'm happily domesticated, after all
*insert sardonic drawl tag*, but who knows? Some eye candy, and getting away
from this damned systems backtest at work might do me some good.

Actually, have already returned, and spliced my post-Melaka entry with the pre-Melaka one which
didn't make it through a few days ago. Nothing of particular to note; fun trip, got reasonably wasted
one night with some of the Corporate Finance people, chatted up some chicks, to little avail, obviously,
watched some of the local Melakan transvestites with amusement, went through the usual inane
team-building and corporate seminar crap of which little value was retained. It galls me how utterly similar
the exercises and the tone of the "serve-the-company" rhetoric is from firm to firm - although at least
my current employer had the decency to splurge on a hotel resort, whereas my last employer crammed us
all into a tiny classroom in their corporate headquarters.

Also managed to shake hands with the company chairman. Very soft palm. The "helping the obscenely
rich get obscenely richer" issue was a recurrent conversational theme I had with some of the guys I met there.

Quite a few bastards from Melbourne as well, particularly in the corporate finance side. Invariably, the
tech support and IT people were all Malay guys, the tellers were all Malay women, the legal and trustee
side were all Indians, and the business front-liners (retail, card sales, corporate banking, wealth management) were
all Chinese. Racial advantages of specialization?

Back now, and really tired. Parents coming back from China this weekend; an hour-long drive to the airport implicit. Gak.
I really must go swimming this weekend too.

Games currently occupying cubic volume in my "To-play" piegonhole:

Hitman 2: Silent Assassins
Medieval: Total War
Icewind Dale 2
Celtic Kings
Mafia!
No One Lives Forever 2 (a much better Brit-spy parody than the overrated Austin
Powers)
Stronghold: Crusader (which, unlike the original brings the emphasis back to
good old castle-storming rather than the accumulation of cheese)
Earth 2150: Lost Souls

And at least three or four others I can't name offhand...

Currently playing Syberia - while superficially similar to The Longest Journey
(classic European adventure game, old-school mouse-only interface, female
protagonist undergoing spiritual and emotional character development through
surreal journeying), it has some of the most gorgeously baroque backdrops ever
designed, and one thing's for sure - the game designers take potential kinetic
energy (the game revolves around superbly complicated clockwork automata) to the
max.

Managed to finish off all my outstanding VCDs in a 14-hour binge of viewing,
thanks to parents' sojourn to China (and hence no irritating interruptions for
lunch, errands, family-bonding time, etc.), although my physical state is
degenerating visibly. I *must* start swimming again soon.

Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever is one of the most mindless, explosive-saturated,
slow-mo-addicted movies I've ever seen. Still, it might have a certain crackling
appeal to those who think the value of a good action movie is directly
proportional to the number of massive explosions per frame. Warning though - the
story makes absolutely no sense, even by the standards of the genre.

Barbershop - good, wholesome, nigga-value comedy. Worth watching just to listen
to R&B singer Eve go on about the theft of her apple juice.

Red Dragon - Worth watching simply to see Anthony Hopkins cash in his check one
more time at the Hannibal Lecter franchise. Edward Norton seems a little stoned;
a good actor walking the paces. Ralph Fiennes, however, has that peculiarly
glazed, psychopathic look of confused hunger that he does well in his more
bizarre roles - and ogling his buff physique while he cavorts naked, sporting a
gratuitous Blake tattoo might appeal to some female affocionados of his genre.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

*Entry deleted*
Pondering on my foibles doesn't seem to yield much product. Bah.

Tim suggests religion as a way of finding my grounding and centring myself, but attempts so far have foundered.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Oh, and i dropped a note to Mrs. Chan in RJC that i'd be glad to entertain any queries any RJCians have about studying in melbourne uni, or staying/studying in melbourne. Extending this to anyone here ... even though most of u are still doing o levels. Actually you know me, you can approach me if you need help in anything.
NB: This post deals with my religious beliefs, so please don't read it if you think you may be offended.
And i would appreciate it if you contacted me directly by icq or email if you had any comments, instead of leaving one-line smartaleckyremarks.

For all those whom I haven't been in contact with, i've been reorganising many parts of my life.

I quit the college choir about 2 weeks ago. I spoke to the dean, who volunteered to speak to the choir conductor on my behalf. I attempted to call the conductor on several occasions: I reached his wife once, and left a note in his pigeonhole as suggested. Whether or not he clears the copious stack of mail in his pigeonhole is his affair. Have told ross, edgar, meta, kate, claire (in chronological order) and I don't feel obligated to speak to anyone else about my leaving the choir. (As of today when i spoke to claire she didn't seem to know that i had left choir permanently)

I moved out of my on-campus residential accommodation in Ormond college one and a half weeks ago and am now staying in an apartment on swanston st with a housemate, a singaporean guy i met in ormond. I really like my apartment- it might be old, and i have to walk up 2 flights of stairs, but i love my spacious room (with a balcony!) and the kitchen (i've already commenced baking) and having my own space and my own life. And my own computer.

I baked a carrot cake for my ocf cell group- they came over to my place for home cell last friday and the cake turned out pretty good! Will bake another one to use up the carrots, and try something else... something safe like cookies maybe.

It's my birthday this saturday. I don't have anything planned for it ... if nothing comes up i'll spend saturday shopping maybe. My bunch has something planned tomorrow after the test in the afternoon.... 7pm at crown, dinner and maybe a movie after that. I'm not too keen on the movie part- very few good movies being shown now. I don't know what else they have planned, but i'm thinking of using the few hours between test and 7pm to do some more baking.... but i don't have any containers big enough to carry food around. Tupperware!

In other news, I completed the workers training course... ended with a Very exciting retreat in ballarat.
Over the last few weeks, God's been challenging me to give myself up to Him and God's been working, he's been changing my life in so many ways and so magnificently ... at some points I was so low and so depressed i couldn't handle myself anymore ... i was an emotional wreck... but God's been pulling me through... thru bringing people to minister to me and thru my discipler and thru God's Word and his Holy Spirit speaking into my soul. It's a new direction that God has pointed me towards, and though I can't see the end, I can't see the entirety, I know it's going to be good- just being in His will and purpose. It's not going to be easy, but at least I'm not going down alone.


I also wanted to say that I won't be posting on this blog on a frequent basis anymore. If you want to contact me, drop me a line by email or sms my mobile at +61411811260. I don't want to lose touch with all of you but i'll be hitting the whole round of yr blogs less and less.

Andrew gan
Actually, I have that feeling all the time; the short-term goal simply helps foster a psychological illusion of doing something to overcome the problem.

It's a hollow panacea - but the anoydyne of little victories accomplished through its pursuit are better than nothing...

Sunday, October 13, 2002

[Partly shamelessly patched together from ICQ log]

I feel nostlgic, melancholic and a touch depressed.

My life seems rather empty.

I was asking Geraldine just now what normal people do, and listening to some of the recollections, I think even if I did them, I wouldn't feel very fulfilled

He-Who-Might-Not-Want-To-Be-Named says he's had the feeling before, of detachment, apathy and aloofness, but that it went away once he found a short term goal, complementary to his slightly longer term but still quite short term goal.

Direction in life. Mmm.

Probably misquoting murderously, but:

...The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned...
I was griping about how women spend needlessly and buy too many clothes and such, and how it's a shameless, shameful waste, and Cassanova comes up with a: "Women lubricate the economy? Very poetic. Nice going. Then again, the economy is a woman herself. They all need lube sometimes."

Gah. And I just deleted that accidentally.

NB: Only one person riposted with "men buy cars and gadgets". Which isn't as valid as it sounds because fewer men do that, and most men don't buy more than one car, or more than one digital camera.
I am wroth. My singlets keep being spirited away by the goblins.

And my parents place an inordinate focus on reading the Straits Times. They like to make references to some events, then when I inquire they refuse to elucidate, and my mother utters her favourite refrain: "Never read newspaper".

Not that, out of camp, I'd want to read about how many people got disemboweled, who was carnally violated, who was knocked down by a bulldozer, the identity of the latest girl to get defenestrated, or how many people fell for the latest 'magic stone' scam. Not that I would in camp, but I've fewer things to do then, so.


Ooo, Dictionary.com has an excellent FAQ.

"Q. A misogynist hates women. What do you call a person who hates men?
A. A misandrist.

The word misandrist comes from Greek, mis-, a prefix meaning "hate" + andr-, "man" + -ist."

The answer to the eternal question. But - Damn. I should have guessed, deducing the answer from "polyandry" and "polygyny".

And of course:
Q. What does "floccinaucinihilipilification" mean?
A. It means "the estimation of something as worthless."

Which leads me to wonder why "sesquipedalian" is such a long word.

In addition:
What is the plural of "Virus"?

There was also a link to a page with the world's longest run-on sentence. Since the page is no longer available, I will take the liberty of linking to the Internet Wayback Machine's version of it.

The Amazing Run-On Sentence Page

In fact, many of the pages linked from the FAQ aren't around any more. Oh well.


How Girls Waste Time

12. a) Compulsive email forwarding syndrome, especially "cute", "sweet" or "meaningful" ones, where the probability of forwarding rises with the size of the attachments
Deigned to update About Me. Rather tiring.

Here's a list:

About Gabriel - A List

Monikers: kimberly, Agagooga
Idols: Asian Prince, Alessandro Moreschi
Eccentric whims that've improbably come to fruition: Scanning
the 1999 and 2000 RGS yearbooks
, semi-successful
anti-purple uniform campaign

Ingenious ideas: Hiding my handphone in a bag of Ruffles during a School of
Military Medicine inspection

Bright ideas from anyone welcome :)
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