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Saturday, May 18, 2002

The Legend of Agagooga / On Blogging, and Slavery / Family Life / How not to set people off

Crys asked me what "Agagooga" was, and since I took the trouble to type it out, I present her for the first time, The Legend of Agagooga!

"Agagooga is a name I came up with for Mrs Lim Yau. She's the wife of Mr Lim Yau, an orchestra conductor, who's quite famous and has funny hair. Well, no one knows her real name. They only know her as Mrs Lim Yau.

If you probe a bit you'll find out she's Mrs Lim Soo Hiang. Removing even more of the mist, the name 'Quek Soo Hiang' appears.

However, this is but a facade! beneath this normal sounding name is one so hideous and horrible that the mere uttering of it will cause the seas to boil! The discoverer will be blasted with the power of the seals (Sub-saharan African in nature, from her homeland) that lock that name in its hiding place, never to be found, which is why I've never found out the rest of the name.

Agagooga is a code name for that, and part of that hideous name is indeed Agagooga. I fear to find out more.

RJ found out about this terrible secret in 1998, so it fired her as their choir conductor. HCJC found out in 2000 and she was booted out too. Li Hua Secondary School (He2 Gu3 Zhong1 Xue2) found out sometime and got rid of her too.

Ahh, woe is her.

Over time I grew fond of the name and adopted it for myself :)"

Updated YACCS commenting.

When people post to weblogs, it tends to be when they're feeling depressed. Consequently, reading the weblog tends to give the impression that the writer is terminally depressed and sits around all day dressed in murky colours sighing, reflecting and pontificating about the un-finer things in life and going to slash his or her wrists (or whatever exotic ways of suicide you can think of) anytime soon.

The bulk of my posts tend to be my bookout posts, which are not a good measure of my angst-quotient due to their covering of a week. They are ultra-long, which does deter people reading them, but, well, I've a lot to say. So my essays will continue. But if it says something about my mental state, people in camp ask me why I like to smile and laugh silently a lot, apparently at nothing.

Guan Hong today (Saturday): Why are you so quiet?
Me: Mood swings
Guan Hong: ... Your period.

Well, I think I'm getting more angsty nowadays. My sister always makes me and my brother in law do her dirty work and run errands for her, for example, dropping and picking up stuff and picking her up. My brother in law acquiesces because she cooks for him (the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!), and he lets her dominate him with her domineering personality (okay, so that's not the best of phrasing) as his submissive tendencies kick in. However, I'm not so readily made use of.

Today, after lunch, they woke me from my slumber (or half-slumber, as the case may be) in the back seat of the car to drop and pick up books from the Central Lending Library. My sister refused to get down, and tried to bribe me with a bubble tea. When that didn't work, she cited her knee pain (so you can walk all the way down to S-11 from the porch of the library, but you can't go up the significantly shorter distance to the library to drop and pick up books) because she was just too lazy to do it herself. My brother in law was driving, so he couldn't go and do it himself, so after repeated platitudes, he finally burst with a "You want me to hit you?" whereupon I exited the car with my bag (I came straight from camp) and took the 85 home. Well, as with last week, when I waited 1 1/2 hrs for her at her dinner party and took the taxi back myself, when we were home it was as if nothing had happened.

This is why my mother says: "Never ever get a woman like your sister." Not that one would ever want me, I'm very disobedient :) Hell, I defy even conventional norms like holding girls' bags.

I've finally told Screwed Up Girl to stop complaining to me about not having a boyfriend (being attached is neither a necessary nor sufficient precondition to lead a meaningful life) because it was starting to affect me and screw me up to. Yeh.

In other news, I committed a horrifying embarrassing faux pas earlier this week. Ugh. It's almost laughable in its idiocy and no, don't bother asking. I trust that the one who knows about it will keep mum *sheepish smile* Irritating people for fun and profit is never a waste of time!

GAH I was so distracted typing this entry that I forgot to watch Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. Lucky my brother in law reminded me 7 minutes into the show.
One of the reasons why I'm glad to be in Australia- it exports its "talent" to America.

(Taken from the Dame Edna Everage FAQ)

Picture of the lay-dee

"Born Edna May Beazley, in the small outback town of Wagga-Wagga,
Dame Edna Everage started her career on December 19th in 1955, an
ordinary Australian housewife from Moonie Ponds, a Melbourne suburb,
sharing stories about her everyday life with small audiences.
Since then, she has become a Superstar and finally a global jet-setting
Megastar, hosting huge television and theatre shows with a gallimaufry
of very famous international guests, invariably ending with the
ritualistic grand finale of flying, waving and trembling gladioli.
Blessed with natural wisteria hair from birth, and impeded by her
ill (now late-) husband Norman Stoddard Everage, she continues to
bring her "priceless gifts of caring and sharing" to a global audience,
in what has been called "a riot of green spangles and diamante-trimmed
flyaway spectacles". For moral support she usually brings along her
old friend and bridesmaid, Madge Allsop.
Dame Edna has a dysfunctional family with three grown-up children:
Bruce, Valmai and Kenneth, and at least one grandchild, Bruce's
daughter Jasmin. According to her gynaecologist, Dame Edna is
"perfectly healthy and still able to have grandchildren".
With a flair for humble self-deification which surpasses even that
of Michael Jackson, Dame Edna lists "taking tea with Stephen Hawking"
as one of her hobbies."

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Uh. So much of my time is spent lurking on balderdash and other blogs.
Uh. I just got asked for a quote on the Ormond ball- "Uhh, it's very funky ... (anything else?) i'm at a loss for words." (buries face in hands).
Got asked about crushes for the 4th time in the last 2 days. This is weird.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

From children of the moon

The sun gives us light, but the moon provides inspiration.
If you look at the sun without shielding your eyes,
you'll go blind. If you look at the moon without
covering your eyes, you'll become a poet.
--Serge Bouchard
Problem-based learning... our fifth case and it's an introduction to skin cancer. Helloooooo Australia!
This is interesting. The children in "the others" who were sensitive to sunlight had xeroderma pigmentosum , as does the kid in my problem-based learning. And there i was rattling on and on about sunscreen during tutorial. Almost makes me feel guilty for trying to get a tan before coming here.
Just finished introduction to clinical medicine tutorial- unofficial, we practised taking medical histories based on the stimulated cases for next week's assessment. I'm going thru a pile of PBL stuff and where is everyone?? Don't wish to drag the books back to ormond.

I think i'm spending too much time on the net. Must mug must mug must mug!!

Oh no... just got a bad foreboding... if i get into ormond college choir and am on duty as backup singer in Swanston st. church of christ i'll literally spend the whole sunday singing.... saturday nites SSCoC practise, worship service in SSCoC- practise begins at 8am, services 9am and 11am, then ormond choir practises from 3pm thru to the chapel service at 7 to 8pm. Thankfully i'm a bass.

Everytime i go to grace chua's blog netscape crashes. Is it just me or what?

Sang the whole of yesterday (= (= (= =p
Studied malay language elective in sec 1-sec 2. In retrospect, i liked it quite a lot, because it was something i could actively use in singapore and when i went back to malaysia, and because i liked learning malay and it was sorta like a cultural studies program, which made it all the more interesting. And i learnt a lot- much more than emm oh ee can hope to achieve with their "multi-ethnic cohesiveness tutorials" . Only One lesson was held out of the classroom- this hands-on cooking nasi lemak thingy. And i liked my classmates and distinctly remember cheng zhan gabbing all the recent gossip to me during classes. And Puan Rosenah and Cikgu Rizal and the other cikgu who looks fierce and has a monosyllabic name.

And rushing from school to the place near newton mrt (which wasn't so inconvenient, and there were those lovely kapok trees that rained seeds in cottony fibres in kapok pods) until it moved to the ugly bishan place. And running to and fro from ri boarding to moelc too!

And i had to go back to moelc to withdraw from malay in sec 3 when cikgu rizal cornered me- he had discovered to his dismay that only 2 ri guys were left studying malay in sec 3.

Monday, May 13, 2002

I am the heart , I need the heartbeat.
I am the eyes, I need the sight.
I realize that I am just a body
I need the life
I move my feet , I go through the motions
But who�ll give purpose to chance?
I am the dancer,
I need the Lord of the Dance.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Lyrics to Rebecca St. James' God (ref. Psalm 100 i think).


He made the night, he made the day;
Spread the earth upon the waters,
Made the heavens and the rain.
Look at the sky, see its design;
The very same Creator is the one who gave us life.

And what is man that He's mindful of us? We're merely clay in His hands.
And what am I that He loves me so much He would die? You know all i can say is...

It's God, truly God, can you see, can you hear, can you touch, can you feel?
It is God, truly God, I can't explain any other way 'cause it's God!

Inside us all there is a void; all mankind is searching for the one who fills the soul.
In Him there's hope, in Him there's life.
The world cries for a Saviour that's right before their eyes.
And what is man that He takes us in as His children to be His own?
And what are we that He wants to be our Father?
All that I can say is...

I'm resolving not to watch Chicago hope, ER, or any medical drama. It's bad enough that the field i'm intending to enter is one renown for *talking shop*, no waaay will overrun other things. (Hrmmm. Frasier shouldn't count. )

Some caramel-lers think i should redo my page, add images and do away with the black text on white background. Maybe.

I'm auditioning for the ormond college choir this tuesday afternoon!!

Sarah thinks I should get my ugly BCG scar removed. It's almost 2 cm in diameter and i blame its size on my swimming and my cousins peeling off the scabs =p . What do you think?
Yesterday, my brother in law had to get a new handphone (Nokia 5210, for an active [ahem] lifestyle. With "Extras" [read: Frills] which he'll never use), because the previous one'd corroded when my sister, not liking the smell of the car's air freshener, had placed it in the glove compartment, right beside the handphone, with the vent facing the phone. The silly things they do.

Went to House of Mao for lunch. They gave away our table so we were left waiting a while. It's very funny because they actually have a TV showing the propaganda films that were made during the Communist era, and the antics performed are really hilarious. And the waitresses with long hair all tie it up in silly looking pigtails.
Bookout post:

Restored Post

When we last left our beleaguered heroes, they were smouldering under a regimen of late bookouts, early bookins, enforced wearing of prisoners' uniform when entering and exiting the prison and numerous other restrictions. On Sunday, we got a Lights Off timing of 10pm. More serious, though, was an attempt to remove our canteen and smoking breaks (so smoking would only be permitted before and after Office Hours) for the week. However, the canteen vendors protested, as it would mean the loss of more than half their customers. Furthermore, if they'd closed for the week, the officers would not be able to have their breakfast and would become miffed. So after a day and a half, these 2 privileges were restored (though I see not how smoking has anything to do with the canteen vendors). Actually I think the withdrawal of all our privileges/rights (however you see them) might've disqualified them from the ISO certification, but then none of us would be able to tell ISO, or we'd be charged. How deliciously ironic. However, all restrictions are lifted as of Sunday night, and we don't need to book in the verify MCs anymore. Best of all, we can now bring handphones in! Took them 2 1/2 weeks but it's finally done. Tis the end of an era! SMM is the last SAF camp to allow the lowest of the low (trainees in this case) to bring in handphones. No chargers though. In Tekong they explained that away by claiming that they didn't want to overload the generators, blowing them and causing a prolonged blackout but now their true colours are revealed! They just want to save money.

When we're milling around waiting to go to the parade square for our first parade, we always see schoolgoers who are late for school. Due to its proximity, RJ students are the most common sight. Interestingly, so far we've not seen any RJ boys - it's all RJ girls. However, as I recall, girls did not make an overwhelming proportion of the latecomer crowd at RJ. Then again, it's probably because those people we see are -so- tardy that they'll miss even the last bits of morning assembly.

The lectures we get are mostly shit. The lecturers are uninteresting, conduct lectures uninterestingly (there's a difference), speak badly (both in method of delivery and English) but worst of all, they teach the wrong material! One lecturer was going on about how humans can store starch. Wth. We're not plants.

What a dispatch rider told Joshua and Guan Hong when they were living in "Heaven" (Headquarters, Medical Corp - near Gleneagles), on being a slave: "You pay me peanuts, you get a monkey".

The ever efficient SAF has finally given us our E-mart credit. Actually I was beginning to think it wouldn't come till our 1 year anniversary (of the beginning of our servitude). Now I can get new socks.

My bunk mates find it hard to believe that I hold a junior black belt in Taekwando. Hell, even I find it hard to believe.

Someone uses a New Town Secondary School exercise book, and I saw that the school song talks about Queenstown in Queensway. Now that they've moved, I wonder if they've changed the school song.

Some people ignore bothersome insects and other menacing organisms (Seeing a giant spider during area cleaning, I urged Kumar to kill it since he was wearing boots and I was in PT shoes. He just sweeped it into the grass. One more giant spider to torment us in the bunk!). Some people kill them. And some people use their lighters to burn them. The stench is unbearable!

Folie's attempts to imitate my yelps (uttered when I trip, am poked or the like) are pathetic. As are (in a different sense) people's attempts to elicit the yelps from me.

Some people came to sell us Newsweek, again, at a "SAF" price. This coming barely 2 weeks after Time tried, I have to wonder about the intelligence of the scheduling. Anyhow, everybody was very happy because they got to ogle the 2 women whom the company sent down (the man was just there to hand out pens and forms). Later I was forced to listen to their descriptions and revelations, because they were talking so loudly, I couldn't help but overhear. Apparently they thought one had a good figure and wide breasts, and the other was wearing a G-string, which could be seen because of their tight pants. Gosh, they're bored and really too deprived. I'd have thought FHM and Maxim would satisfy them, but apparently lot. Actually I suspect Righteous International sent those 2 women on purpose, and I think more people subscribed to Newsweek and the other periodicals on offer than subscribed to Time (and this considering Time had attacked first).

I think my platoon's quite lucky. We have the most reasonable sergeants, and we're not punished for little or no reason. And our bunks can be locked to keep out prying eyes! :)

Because of the scare of last week, I noticed a significantly greater number of people using the public phone (Yes, the most God forsaken one in the camp, even). I got profuse thanks from this guy who was calling his girlfriend as I let him chatter on while I was content to sit on the steps and meditate on life (Not anticipating the high demand for the phone, I'd neglected to bring along the Economist to read while waiting).

The nicest and smartest Malay in my bunk drinks beer! The transcript of the exchange will reveal more than any tract of reported speech I could write so:

"[Malay after eating Mee Goreng] Do you know what would be good now? A beer. [Me: I thought beer's Haram.] You know what is Haram? Haram is raping women. [Me: Then how about pork? Is eating pork Haram?] That's up to the individual, when you die, you answer to God. [Me: So same thing with beer.]"

Apparently, in real life, you don't shock people with the Automatic External Defibrilator (AED - I hope I got the spelling correct, also known as the machine with the 2 metal pads which in movies and TV shows, you place on the chests of patients with no pulse to shock their hearts), if they indeed have no pulse. And their bodies do not jerk. So much for the accuracy of the media!

Some people actually want to bring in food, but they're scared that the food will be ravaged by a certain group of people - "[On how to safeguard their food if they bring any in] I take a blue pen, I write, extra ingredient: pork. [Other: I put a sticker on everything. 'Babi' {Malay for pig}]."

Section 9 has a kettle, so they can drink hot drinks and eat instant noodles. Yeh.

My monthly pittance has gone up by $37.50. I wonder how much they managed to deduct in miscellaneous fees this time.

The pseudo-on-the-ball sergeant gave us his version of morning exercise again. It is tough in the extreme. Supposedly it's based on what Navy Seals do, except that they do 10 sets and we do only 3. But that's bad enough, erk. One set consists of: Burpees, 10 counts of 10 (2 counts doing a jumping jack, 2 counts doing a pushup and 2 counts thrusting the legs outwards and then back in after you've come up from the pushup) It does say something that he just stands at the side and shouts, "down", "change" or "not loud enough". I wouldn't mind doing the exercises all that much if he actually *did* them with us.

We were asked to write what we wanted to be displayed on our nametags in future. I contemplated "Agagooga" but this is supposed to be for my future work, so. Damn.

When people go to the canteen, they always buy the same old drinks. Sometimes, just for the heck of it, I decide to sample the less tried ones. So far, I'm the only one I've seen so far drinking F&N Orange, Soursop and Coconut. Pokka Carrot Juice has been bought by only one person (not me, I hate carrot juice!). However, this policy backfired on me when I decided to try 'Oldenlandia Water', which was highly recommended by the Uncle and was supposed to be very "cooling". It was horrible, and when I let other people try it, no one liked it either. The only reason why he still keeps it in stock is because he drinks it! Apparently he had a flu that morning and drank 2 cans. By the afternoon he was alright.

The Malays were ogling at Maxim's 100 Sexiest Women supplement one night. I thought that was Haram and they liked their women wrapped up! :)

As if the smoke from the smoking corner at the corner of the bunk wasn't enough, one night the Malays set up another smoking corner in the middle of the bunk. I don't mind that much if they (the smokers, not just the Malays) smoke in the day, if they have no smoking break, and if they keep to the existing smoking corner which is at the very corner of the bunk, concealable by opening the cupboard door and beside the window besides. However, smoking in the mornings/evenings or after lights off, when they can just walk outside to smoke in the former case, and when they could've smoked a few minutes earlier, is just infuriating. Not to mention hazardous to health - before lights off I can go outside to breathe uncontaminated air, but after I am forced to become a passive smoker for a few hours. And coupled with the LOUD, BAD, MALAY music (that's 3 strikes against it :0), which was on until 3am, and the incessant loud chatter and laughing, it was very hard to sleep that night. But at least my bunk mates do not smoke in the toilet (that I know of), not only choking the others but occupying the cubicle - we have 3 cubicles for about 60 people.

For the second week in a row, IV was on a Thursday. It was our first 16 gauge needle live practice. The needles are the sizes of Yakult straws, and apparently the 16g leaves a permanent scar. Oh thank you, SAF, for mutilating me! I just hope the scars aren't too visible, and are just light spots on darker skin at most. I think they should ship in pigs or cows for us to do our IV practice. Or better yet, use the very-free TSS! Well this time, I was poked by the previously mentioned sergeant. However, the professional poking was balanced by the fact that he poked me at my wrist (because he couldn't find the vein elsewhere, he said). Maybe I should try putting on some weight at my wrists to reduce the pain. He actually tried to trick me that he was using a 20g on me, but feeling the pain, and seeing the hole left after withdrawal, the truth was evident :) 1 down, 6 to go...

Kumar was asked to go for a MOE Local Teaching Scholarship interview. He tells us he wants to teach in RGS because the girls are "mature mentally and physically". Right. He should have gone for his interview in his smelly uniform, which he again wore the whole week. He even wore it to bookout. The people on the bus must have died.

More disgusting tales: Khairul went out one night to pee. Only thing is, his toilet was hte grass patch beyond the stairs beside our bunk. Yuck.

During our immensely boring (in terms of waiting) Patient Assessment Model (PAM) test, one guy got a scenario involving menstrual cramps. Well done!

Roe was flabbergasted at seeing my snack bag. There's actually a lot more at home but I think the quantity I have at camp is more than sufficient to last a week, especially since the wolverines have stopped attacking!

Someone brought a guitar in, and people were playing and singing badly. As someone else put it, their acapella singing is bad enough, but when coupled with bad playing.

Every night, Iskandar will walk up to me and ask, "Do you want to pump iron or do you want to run tonight?". And everytime my answer will be "What do you think?". I wonder if he'll ever give up.

Some people have really disgusting toilet habits - toilet bowls are left unflushed, and people don't lift up the toilet seat before shooting, leaving urine all over the seat! I think before I use the seated toilet the next time, I'll jet the seat first.

As I walked out of camp, I saw this guard at the gate whose nametag said 'Mohammad'. Well done. What's the distinguish him from the other 75% of Muslim males named Mohammad?


"[On my proclivity to bring in Marks and Spencer food] Your mother works at Marks and Spencer ah? Or your father owns the shop?"

"[On Chris' drill commands, issued in a professional-sounding tone] Eh, this is not National Day Parade lah"

"I want to get an M16. How much does it cost at the E-mart?"

"[To someone entering the lecture] Yes? Which planet are you from?... By the way, don't call me 'Sergeant Major' ever again. [Call me 'Staff']... You'll remind me of my time in infantry and I'll get upset."

"Who here smokes?... Roy, you don't smoke meh?... The face tells it all."

"[Zhang on me talking to Kumar, Vasu and Sargunan] Why are you intruding into this black gathering?"

"[On Entonox] If the guy is a laughing stock, he will laugh non-stop. (laughs easily)"

"[On SMM] This school, they charge people very easily. Come up with all the excuses to charge people one. (charges, They come, people)"

"Government fucked up, sergeant. That's why we're in [the] SAF (The government is fucked)"

"[On the contraband inspection] But I'm very impressed with [you know] what? [Mimes handphone]... [Claps from trainees] Serious... Nobody from my platoon got caught?... At least I train, thinking soldier, not idiots (soldiers)"

"[On many people not bringing their water bottles for Last Parade] Nevermind, later go down and drink 2 cups of Milo."

"[Malay after eating Mee Goreng] Do you know what would be good now? A beer. [Me: I thought beer's Haram.] You know what is Haram? Haram is raping women. [Me: Then how about pork? Is eating pork Haram?] That's up to the individual, when you die, you answer to God. [Me: So same thing with beer.]"

"[On Islam] Fucked up, stupid religion."

"[On the drinks vendor] Even Alan, everytime I see him, complain... 'Why never let them come for canteen break?' [He] Call up CSI. Don't know where he get the number from. (he complains, called, got)"

"[On the cookhouse's small portions] [If] They want to be so niao, I [will] go and put a weighing scale there."

"[On the cookhouse's high receptivity ratings, in the high 90s] I don't know why leh, I also put poor... I always put poor one (poor)"

"[On how to safeguard their food if they bring any in] I take a blue pen, I write, extra ingredient: pork. [Other: I put a sticker on everything. 'Babi' {Malay for pig}]. (will take, and I will, will put)"

"[On my anger at 16g scars] You're not going to be a model right... Don't worry, they can hide it, digital imagery... Photoshop."

"After lights off, don't use your handphones. I say again, don't use your handphones. Especially those cockenadens with the flashing antennas."

"[Mock command] Platoon, suka suka [Anyhow, cf normal use of 'cepat' - quickly] jalan [walk]"

"[On me] Don't be like a wolverine [and eat all his food]... You think he what, refrigerator ah?"
NB: In response to some comments posted for an earlier entry-


n 1: a woman who wears clothes to display fashions; "she was too fat to be a mannequin" [syn: mannequin, manikin, manakin, fashion model, model] 2: a life-size dummy used to display clothes [syn: mannequin, manikin, manakin, form]

Source: WordNet � 1.6, � 1997 Princeton University
Finally tried Pizza Hut's Stuffed Crust Pizza. This one had cheese baked on the crust itself too. The cheese overload is affecting my system! My brother in law says he'll never eat Pizza Hut again :) There was this Malay family which apparently didn't have enough - they were eating Burger King and KFC food at the same time too.

Later we went to pick my sister up from a dinner party. And we ended up waiting 1 1/2 hours. I was so pissed, I just got up and left at the end. It cost me $9.60 to take the cab home, but it was worth it. And I found a rather full pack of cigarettes on the back seat of the cab. The driver didn't smoke either, but he took the pack, maybe as a door gift of sorts for customers.
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