When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, September 14, 2002

I am strong. Almost invincibly so. To attack me physically is foolish. I am not however without my soft spots. I am quiet by nature, but am in command of great force. All I ask is a little peace, and a little solidarity. Deny me my space, and I just might get angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

What's your superpower?

Just occurred to me: anyone want a panasonic GD75 handphone, mint/near-mint condition? For ... about $120. Contact me.
Long story, ask me for details.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Word of the day: "adumbrate"

I've been back at work for merely three days, and already it feels like forever. A two day sabbatical is simply not enough, in all frankness, to strain away the sloth in my being - and the whole - emptiness of being back at work, slogging at productive labour, and the constant hum of certainty that this life of toil is more or less par for the course for the next 20 years or so feels like a life sentence. But upon some further self-interrogation, I come to realise that it's not so much the toil that irritates me; it's the prospect of mediocrity that so disheartens me. Working in a mediocre job; drawing mediocre pay, and the concomitant mediocre gratifications that just - elicits all this unceasing whining.

Now, I've ranted on this at length to a lot of my poor victims, and their responses are usually drawn from one of two broad categories. Either class of advice seems, to my mind, oddly sterile and pro forma; offering no new or radical solutions to the "malaise of the spirit" (how delightfully pretentious and Kafkaesque that phrase!) that afflicts. In any event, I shall dwell on them at some unholy length and my own personal internal rhetoric inveighing against either. If nothing else, it serves to organise my thoughts by verbalising them �n blog, to kill some time at work (ah, always that), and if anyone reading this entry feels the familiar rush of contempt at such gratuitous hang-wringing (as I would, were I to read it on someone else's time) my response is: "Fuck off.", "So what", and "This is my (corner of a communal) blog."

"Open your eyes. This is the life we chose; the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee - none of us will see Heaven."

The first class of advisory is the "At least you're not in Afghanistan/Somalia/Serbia/(insert suffering Third World ing�nue." Somehow, the travails and constant sense of angst that pervades me is supposed to be miraculously alleviated by the awareness that the vast majority of the world's population undergoes more suffering in physical and emotional terms than I do on a daily basis. My usual response to the above is usually, "At least they have access to firearms."

See, the problem I have with this kind of thinking is that it's, to me, morally irrelevant. Some people seem to feel that if we cannot find happiness on our own terms; we should at least define happiness in terms of our own personal distance from the suffering that the world, in aggregate, labours under. It reminds me of a phrase from some movie; "The key to running away from a junkyard dog is not to be the fastest runner, but to make sure that you're second-last." Or, as David Letterman put it - the dying words of the world's oldest man: "Tell the second oldest man that I'll see him in Hell." Am I supposed to feel better about my place in the world simply because I haven't been maimed by a landmine or have no decent access to potable water? If the latter is so, then at least I've finally got a leg-up over the Singaporean populace at last:) (another bad NEWater joke.). I'm not exactly the most empathic human being in the world, and it certainly doesn't take much to see that the world remains a Gehenna; a charnel house where a few wax fat over the corpses of billions' suffering. But what the hell does that have to do with *me*? I bitch not because the world is suffering, but because I'm on the *wrong* side of the suffering gap. Which brings me to my next point.

The second issue I have with the above is the "primacy of experience" argument. After all, I'm fundamentally selfish, ie. I have no issues with the suffering of others as long as my own nest-bed is sufficiently feathered - but this doesn't really help in terms of increasing the quality of my own *personal* existence. Different people have different benchmarks for what it takes to be happy. But it's *my* personal sense of suffering that matters; after all, perceptually speaking, it's the only real benchmark I have, empathy and objective statistics about infant mortality rate notwithstanding. I unashamedly proclaim that if I were, to wit, wealthier, happier, and had more leisure or distractions, the dying infants and the moral void that ultimately characterises human existence wouldn't be an issue to me. Suffering in this greater human context - raising children in a world with child soldiers, endemic idiocy, global warming, and WWF only affects me insofar as I am still a *part* of it, not removed from it. To say anything else would be rank hypocrisy.

(Intermission: plunging stock market, and more accounting fraud at one of our larger, nastier conglomerates. Whole office gabbing about it. Distracting - but no matter what some people say about the meanness of spirit that fixating on matters of finance engenders, I still find finance a deliciously interesting affair.)

The next type of argument is slightly more cogent; it usually is a variant of: "Stop whining and improve your life. Oh, and leave us alone in the process". This, I have to admit, makes far more rational sense. I learned yesterday of a classmate of mine in primary school now working in Credit Suisse in Hong Kong, earning about 250K SGD a year; how could a person who was my friend, equal, and peer a decade ago have outstripped me in so many ways? Granted, the 110-hours-a-week workload has something to do with that, not to mention the fact that he got his Masters from Cambridge, but - what the hell? So, fine, you've fallen, things are bad, boo-hoo, now find a solution, and stop languishing in the problem.

It's an inspiring rhetoric, but the practicalities are somewhat daunting. For one thing; what exactly *is* the problem? I redefine the issues in my life on a daily basis, as my bipolar mood disorder swings from extreme to extreme; so it's hard to find a solution that works. Most of the time, I blog, icq or email only in the trough periods, which lends my readers a rather jaundiced view of my perception of life. The peaks of contentment and balanced living usually manifest when I'm out with my friends, stoning on a weekend, playing a computer game - and during those periods I find it difficult to comprehend the side of me that draws forth in moments like this, when everything seems limned with a gray haze of misery and the feelings of eternity stretching me thin seems utterly alien. On top of that, by my own standards of success, I'm pretty damn well-off, even accounting for instinctive envy of all the people I personally know who are in better situations.

Another specific way to deal with this has been the growing clamour of advice from friends to seek psychiatric aid; that the condition is an irrational, probably medically-inspired feeling that mars my ability to cope with daily existence. Unfortunately, in Malaysia, that remains far from an option - psychiatric aid in our part of the world is seen akin to treating leprosy. Social inhibitions abound, whichever, however much I sneer at and flaunt in specific circumstances, I remain constrained by to some degree. In any event, I tried medical assistance before; and the .. emotional flattening it caused was even worse to me, ultimately, than the cheesy melodrama of my depression and constant personal bitching.

I think the problem lies in not so much wanting peace in and of itself, but being in love with a condition that laments for peace, and remaining content not to entertain any real hope for it. There is a certain smug self-satisfaction in brooding emotional martyrdom to a world that fears, hates and misunderstands you. It's darkly seductive; it's very irritating to outside observers - particularly when so many of those in my circle of acquaintances suffer from the same obsessive self-absorption to a greater or lesser degree).

Still - I suppose there are some practical steps I could take to deal with my issues. For one; spend less - that way I can build up some capital for the long haul and eventually be able to afford all those luxuries I crave now - like more books, more comics, more games, more computer parts. For another; get out more, smoke less, do more exercise. All nice and practical -apart from the get out more bit - because I really don't know how to deal with social interaction anymore, and I have absolutely no idea how to go out and (sic) make friends. But indolence and inertia is just so.. comfortable. Sitting on a bed of nails that you're used is often more idiotically preferable to undergoing the temporary discomfiture of getting up and walking to a nearby sofa. This is a condition a most people find themselves in, to some extent.

Have finally watched Road to Perdition; also managed to catch The Man Who Wasn't There when I was in Singapore. Both are surprisingly noirish in feel; although the latter definitely has more of the neo-expressionist lighting and, as odd as it sounds, emotional intensity through passivity. (Hey, I'm half-way towards my lifestyle goal of "pretentious art/film critic!":) But seriously, they were both good flicks, but not easy ones. Road to Perdition basically deals with paternity issues; paternal hopes, paternal frustrations, the tension between a father and his son, and the expections the former has of the latter; the inevitable disappointment and grief, but, touchingly enough, a final resolution where a father and a son part ways; neither getting entirely what they want, but both somehow resolving, in the final analysis, into a condition where both accept that things didn't turn out all that badly. Good acting by a sterling crew; fantastic production values in reproducing the Depression-era, a rather bizarre bit part for Jude Law as a photographer-hitman (for some reason I kept thinking of Se7en), and the oblique relationship to Lone Wolf and Cub (nothing to do with Joe Dever; rather, being a very good Japanese graphic novel series about a samurai assassin and his infant son. Road to Perdition is based on an American graphic novel which is in turn based on the above).

The Man Who Wasn't There is.. harder to pigeonhole. It's about a guy who makes one mistake, and is carried along by it, in an almost stoned, glazed manner, as circumstances spiral out of control, leading to the utter destruction of everything of value in his life. The loving sadism with which Billy Bob Thornton's character's life gets dismantled is shown with technical brilliance - stark cinematography in black and white, *very* good play of lighting and shadows to accentuate moods and emotions, and, again, brilliant acting by a cast that takes "restrained performance" to a new high. No one goes over the top here; on the contrary, everyone acts their roles in muted, subdued intensity. Nothing shows this more perfectly than Billy Bon Thornton's utterly glazed features - he doesn't smile *once* in the whole movie; he relates his narrative voice-overs as well as speaks in an utter, deadpan, almost Bogart-type monotone. Somehow, however, he remains at the center of narrative, a piece of impressive mahogany flotsam (the cragginess of his features, thrown into stark relief by the monochrome film stock, further lend credence to the "woodiness" metaphor) who gazes dispassionately at everything he does and touches turn into dust. The Coen brothers, who directed this, are unable to resist adding in their usual bizarre touches; the UFO in the prison and the whiteness of the execution chamber will be familiar territory to fans of Fargo. Tony Shalhoub's monologue on applying Heisenberg's uncertainty principle to daily existence is also telling, and relevant - "First he said that we must look not just at the facts, but the meaning of the facts. Then he said the facts have no meaning."

Both films share many characteristics; brilliant use of colour schemes, shadows and lighting to accentuate moods; both have very low-key acting by the principal characters which somehow allows them to convey intensity via external emotional stoned-ness. However, while one film has a message/meaning of sorts; the other is about the absence of ultimate meaning; simply an exercise in apathetic detachment from existence as it somehow simultaneously seems to flow arounds you and yet carry you to destruction at the same time.

Okay. End pompous artsy film critic mode - and I might add that while I once swore that I would never live by my writing under any circumstances (to top it off; my father keeps cajoling me to start work on his "memoirs" - God save me) ; I have to say that I wouldn't mind moonlighting as a movie critic:)

I arrrived in Singapore last Friday to blow off some steam. Took a cab to Gilbert's place at about 2am in the morning (was unable to catch an earlier bus), and Gilbert kindly dragged me along to his camp live run at Bishan Park the following morning. Thankfully, as a civilian, I was under no obligation to complete the entire 5.4km circuit; and I must say that Bishan Park and its environs have changed considerably since I was last there. Amidst the huffing and puffing, I wondered idly if Gabriel was present as Gilbert was also in SMM. However, it was mostly the admin and logistics wings, so too bad.

One thing that strikes me is the homogenity of appearance that NS-men have in the aggregate. It's to do with the uniformity of garb; but also partly to do with the way people act and interact in large, communal situations. Everyone's talking the same jargon; undergoing different components of a shared, multi-phasic experience; BMT, posting, eventual hope of ORD-ing, all the usual bitching at zao geng/chao keng or lobo peoples, the mixed envy and resentment of bai mas, praying to the Off God, etc etc. Gabriel has already painted a very vivid description of army life on the inside, so I shan't dwell on it too long here. But NS definitely does serve to engender a sense of comradeship amongst a wide band of Singaporean males in the late adolescent stage; they have this shared context to dwell on, bitch about while socialising, and suffer together. How long this lasts after ORD, and how much political ramification it has is beyond the scope of this blog entry, but it's an observable phenomenon that socialising between NS-men outside of NS is facilitated by the ice-breaking conversations that start along the lines of "what camp are you in?" or "where are you posted?".

As I was jogging (okay, more like plodding) along, I saw a group of Combat Engineers doing the classic "jog in singlet/sing in unison" training schtick. I believe they were lustily singing the "Why do we serve? Because we love our land yada yada", although it's kind of hard to tell, given that no one seemed to have choral training in the lot. It appeared to be the non vulgar version, which disappointed me. Nonetheless, I kept having flashbacks to Full Metal Jacket, and forcibly restrained myself from going, "This is my rifle/This is my gun (grab crotch) /This is for fighting/This is for fun (grab crotch)."

"The dead only know one thing; that it's better to be alive."

Afternoon passed at an idle pace; lunch and movie with Signifcant Other, walking around Orchard Road, noting that consumption levels from the perspective of the man-on-the-street don't seem to have diminished, not to mention idly checking out the babes. Once again, the "urban whore" motif seems to be the rage. (What's with these halter-wraparound-bareback-strap thingies???). Furthermore, it seems that they're starting at a younger and younger age. "Evil!"

Observational snapshots:

Taxi fares seem to have gone up.

The best way to circumvent the stupid ticket-scanner thing on buses is to have lots of spare change.

The television channels on buses tend to have flickers of static.

Everyone keeps making bad NEWater jokes.

Canned calpico prices have also gone up.

Grass never seems to grow very long in Singapore. A testament to the MOE's hordes of well-trained engineers and landscapers.

At night, I was shanghaied to Sentosa for a barbeque of Oxonians (Oxford students), or, as is more grammatically appropriate but less thematically pleasing, a barbeque (organised) *by* Oxonians. My presence was purely as an accessory; spent most of it skulking in the bushes by Pahlawan Beach, smoking "the most expensive cigarettes in the world"(18USD for a small pack, "finest Virginian tobacco hand-rolled to ensure your satisfaction" - a novelty gift from a friend). Alas, it was a wasted opportunity to network with some of the nation's future political and business leaders.

I did manage to gab a bit with Filbert; that guy on the vis-a-vis list, Gabriel. Quite a nice chap, if a bit on the low-key side, and oddly fawning over this rather good-looking chick there whom I heard later he reputedly has a thing for. *shrugs* Most of the women there were reportedly on the "looks wild/acts demure" school; cute, but intensely boring types. Some of the Oxonians who had done internships in Government departments told of NEWater bottles being passed around for demonstration. Much to my amusement, one of them actually professed a preference to the distilled urine, against current potable water.

"It tastes different.. sort of sweeter."

"Aren't you worried that the sweetness comes from leftover shit?"

"Doesn't matter, as long as it doesn't make me puke."

Sunday and Monday were spent holidaying on Bintan Island - not much to say there, as Bintan Island is the boringest place on earth, but some observational highlights included Japanese-speaking Indonesian staff, fire extinguishers wrapped in ethnically-styled cloth, beautiful architecture, pristine beach, and the sheer sybaritic value of soaking for 2 hours in a jacuzzi.

One night, I got to meet up with some of my old university posse; the misanthropes that were my friends. No one has changed much; although Eric now has muscles like corded steel and a marked tan from his OCS stint in Brunei. Chilling in Pubbies (opposite Chomp Chomp) was a fairly boisterous affair, but not an excessively drunken one, thank goodness. It was good to catch up with them all, most of whom I haven't seen since graduation or even before that, and everyone's thoughts these days seem to darken with contemplation of the wide, scary future of adulthood. Nonetheless, the mood remained upbeat, the reminisces of stupid behaviour in Melbourne were rich and poignant rather than embarrassing, and Eric and I enjoyed some conversation about matching his "OCS ethics" versus my "fighting spirit", or, as he put it: "ni yi pei wo yi pei."

Hm Shall conclude rant later.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

I'm sorry, but sentences like "My black pussy was shedding hair at a prodigious rate, but on Tuesday night, it finally stopped. I think all the loose hairs are out and I can sleep in peace now." are simply going to bring more perverts here via Google or Yahoo.

I was, and am, currently editing and typing exam papers and a marking scheme for my mother.

The tragedies of life.
"Whether it's 10 seconds or 10 minutes, you're still making people wait"

A few times, my father has kindly agreed to fetch me back to camp. However, my wonderful mother, being the control freak that she is, and always has been, eager to find fault with the whole world, keeps making a big fuss about my not meeting the stipulated timings to leave the house, even if I am only off by 2 minutes, and even then, only by her watch, while mine shows that I did meet the timing given me. By the noise she makes, you'd think it was half an hour we were talking about, a sin so drastic it heralds the dawn of the Apocalypse. Next time I'm going back myself, even if that costs me 50 mins less at home, or $15 in cab fare.

My black pussy was shedding hair at a prodigious rate, but on Tuesday night, it finally stopped. I think all the loose hairs are out and I can sleep in peace now :)

Boon Wei called Yaodong my best friend, and I flashed one of my exceedingly rare third fingers at him. Thus is the wrath of Gabriel.

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Tomorrow off I go to Sembawang Shipyard to ward of terrorists. Or rather, sleep in the Ops Room while the men prowl and I dispense Panadol ;)

"I feel like doing one for Clarence... DB FFI [Detention Barracks Fit For Infantry checkup] [Someone else: Steady... Zhe4 ge4 wo3 zhou4 {I'll do that one}]"
No word of the day today. And no, it's got nothing to do with September 11 commemorations; I simply don't feel like providing one.

It's amazing the things people will do in pursuit of an obsession. See, I was re-reading History of Middle-Earth and Unfinished Tales (two rather rambly books in the Tolkien legendarium; only of interest to real affocionados of the Tolkien mythology) on the way to and from Singapore last weekend - and it struck me that just how .. complete Tolkien's world really is, if one can be bothered to dig up the huge numbers of supplementary and literary sources available to a serious researcher. I remember the feelings of awe I felt when I first read Lord of the Rings at 14, and the reverence that filled me as I gazed upon the original Silmarillion manuscript at the Bodleian Library. Someone had gotten me into the restricted collection - a long story, and at the time inspired more by a desire to touch C.S Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia manuscript as well.

Some day I shall make the pilgrimage to Wisconsin where the holograph manuscript (handwritten) Lord of the Rings resides at Marquette University.

In any event, it's amazing the amount of debate and discourse that exists with regards to Tolkienology. Tolkien himself was rather obsessed with world-building, based on Northern tradition and mythologies; and its worth nothing that the two elven-languages in LoTR are *consistent*, functional linguistic systems with root words, inflexions, idioms and even evolutionary structure over the ages. There's even degrees and academic journals in Quenya linguistics out there, apparently.

Just as theologians once (apocryphally) debated over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, there are people who argue over whether a Balrog had wings. They dig into remarkably abstruse texts, such as Tolkien's own correspondence and obscure first drafts for the slightest glimmer of corroborative evidence, and - well. I just have to marvel at the richness of a world which can inspire such fervour, such monomania. Say what you will about Trekkies; ultimately the whole fantasy and RPG genre may never have existed without Tolkien,(RPGs are, in many ways, the bastard descendants of the earliest unions of wargaming and fantasy - fantasy being spearheaded by Tolkien's popularity in the 60s and 70s, and the subsequent emergence and pre-eminence of American fantasy).

Fan fervour, however, does have its excesses of bohliaoism at times.

Fantasy rant above was inspired by surfing through some LoTR resources out of boredom; the computer system is down, and most of my daily tasks are, subsequently, unperformable. While, technically, this means I should be pursuing and following-up some of my other assigned projects, well - the watchword is "indolence".

Incidentally, for Gabriel, here's a couple of good articles on the history of gamebooks and RPGs.

The rant of my Singaporean weekend trip waits to be written - perhaps later. I only got four hours of sleep last night, and am more emotionally unstable than usual. It must be the sunflower-seed flavoured moon cakes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Just back from Singapore. Incoherently tired. Shall post more anon.

In the meantime, here's the ultimate in postmodern irony - "What Online Personality Test Are You?"

[If I were an online test, I would be The 'Which Online Personality Test Are You?' Test]

I'm The 'Which Online Personality Test Are You?' Test!

Oh irony of ironies! I just can't get enough postmodernism, so of course I'm this same test I've just taken. Ho-ho!

Click here to find out which test you are!

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Watched Ya-ya, i mean, "Divine secrets of the Ya-ya sisterhood". Watched it watched it Watch it watch it!! Lovely lovely lovely!!!!
Went to Ye Shang Hai with my parents on Sunday before returning to the Middle of Nowhere. The draw (for them) - Rebecca Pan, the singer from the 60s, was singing a few songs.

Of course, there were some hangers-on. For one, there was the President of some "Old Songs Society". And uncharacteristically, he was quite young. And he sang in falsetto all the way, probably because his speaking voice was unbelievably high.

Most of the songs that were performed during the night (both English and Chinese) were familiar to me, which tells you something :) And of course for the encore piece they *had* to sing "Ye Shang Hai". Gah.

This week, it's my black cat's turn to visit Sungei Gedong. Unfortunately, it seems to be shedding fur all over my bed! :( And it's a brand new Ty Cat too.

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We medics are tasked with the horrible area cleaning task of washing the toilets. What makes our unenviable task worse is people's disgusting toilet habits - mainly, not flushing. These people are at least 18, if not 19, 20, 21 or beyond, and in the army to boot, and they still don't know that you should flush a toilet after you use it. Or maybe they just don't like us.

I saw my favourite, well, one of my favourite Storemen at the medical centre - Z Y Lim, in overalls (which are supposedly more comfortable, don't need to have their sleeves folded so nicely and don't show the grime on them so tellingly) and with his nametag looking like it was written with a Marker (and indeed it was). He's going to go for an Enhanced BMT Recourse, and once it starts, his marvelous stayout life will end and he will have to stay in camp. Aww. He's aware that dear ole Y D Lun is in our camp, and has been pestered by the aforementioned, who even poked him when Zhongyong ignored him. Apparently Yaodong claimed that he got into NUS Law. Right. What *is* true and verified is that he's signed at least 10 extra duties so far. Anyhow I've sort of warned him that he's on the verge of getting into trouble, so I've done what I should (and probably more).

We had another change of command parade, this time for my brigade. Parade Commanders for Armour Parades travel in style - on Jeeps! They managed to add some frills this time - they got people to set up pyrotechnics for the end, and there were 2 "men", one green and one red, billowing at the back of the parade square at the end of the parade. Perhaps the best way to describe the "men" would be as humanoid shaped windsocks through which air was blown.

A SAF band was in attendence, and the music was insipid and stale. I think they have one or two standard pieces to play for entrances, exits, inspection and saluting each, and a few standard pieces for musical interludes, which all sound the same, even if they aren't.

Andrew Tan has been visiting my unit for unspecified illicit activities recently and he says my cookhouse cook is really good. By his own admission, his sucks, so that explains it I guess. I'd never rate the food at my cookhouse "poor" (except for Breakfast), but it's nothing to write home about :)

Some people book slots at the e-learning centre up to, and probably more than, 2 weeks in advance :( Evil. Anyhow the most popular sites there are, besides Hotmail and Yahoo, Yahoo Games and Photoforum.org!

I may still be hurting all over from RT, but I realise I've been getting to know more people in my unit. We're part of a club - the "club of those who are unfit but too lazy or honest to get downgraded"!

Latest OCT seen: Wong Liangwei. A merry merry armour family we are. "Once armour, always armour". How depressing.

Not content with spamming my Hotmail account with an unbelievable load of spam, the forces of evil have scaled up their offensive. Today, I got a call, an "invitation", on my mobile phone to attend a 1 hour "exhibition" by some vacation company. !@#$%^&*()


[To me] What are you writing? Your will ah. Writing your will before RT.

How is it? [Me: How is what?] RT. You look ecstatic. [Me: I just ate dinner] No wonder.

[On why he continued eating my Balsamic Vinegar Kettle Chips even though he didn't really like the flavour] Where to find potato chips with this sort of crunch? (Where can you)

[On Yaodong] Fuck him lah, he's a failure

Let go the music, entertain the guests (Play)

All put on berry (berets)

Sunday, September 08, 2002

I love the salted egg yolk!

I like this 17th definition of gout sufferings by English Physician Thomas Sydenham:

"The victim sleeps in good health. About two o'clock in the morning he is awakened by a severe pain in the great toe; more rarely in the heel, ankle or instep. This pain is like that of dislocation .... then follows chills and shivers and a little fever. The pain, which was at first moderate, becomes more intense .... So exquisite and lively meanwhile is the feeling of the part affected, that it cannot bear the weight of bedclothes nor the jar of a person walking in the room...."

The Ty company beanie baby? Is it called spot by any chance?

And i can't view the pictures... help!
I hate cold mooncakes. The cold distorts the taste and hardens the lotus paste.

But I hate egg yolk(s) in them even more :) As I think I've complained previously, they taste worse (and even if you dig the yolk out the remnants of the horrible salty taste linger), and the delicacy of the lotus paste is destroyed, and cost more to boot!

Saturday, it was Thumpy the Racoon's turn to visit Sungei Gedong. Today I'm bringing the black cat from the Ty Company my Jie got for me (and whose name, given by them, I've forgotten).
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Thanks to Remedial Training on Friday by Sergeant Victor, the most rigorous of the various Specialists when it comes to RT, I, on Saturday and currently, have cramps in various parts of my body.

The two places which hurt the most are my pectoralis major (the area on the front of the body just in front of the armpit) and my lower stomach - a place I didn't imagine was possible to cramp - probably thanks to the situps on the 45 degree inclined surface (that's with your head lower than your body, not the other way around) that he made me do.

For RT today, only 3 of us (including 1 Lion guy) were present. So of HQ's 8, 6 weren't there. I know 2 are ambulance drivers (maybe that's why they chose to do Ambulance duty, besides the fact that they can sleep the whole day as the ambulances are almost never sent out), and 2 took MCs (gah). I think next week I'll book in on Sunday morning. No one cares, not that anyone is around to anyhow. Anyway the punishment meted out to one person for missing Weekend RT was 1 confinement, so I assume the worst they can do to me is give me 1/2 a confinement!

My mother is gifted with the ability to use the most antagonistic language possible. I was asked to check when Golden Crown closed yesterday, before we went there for dinner. When I visited the website for the information instead, she commented that I "don't dare to call".

A most unique skill, that, and one of dubitable merit.

My bill for the month ending August 18th wasn't $138 after all, but ~$80 - I -was- a little suspicious that the bill for July and August was the same.

More Mysteries:

What does

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Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.

Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. "

, the extract we all know and love from Microsoft Publisher and other Microsoft Applications, mean?

No sooner spake I than I found the answer!

I should've know the Straight Dope'd have it!

Melvin Tay Poh Huat's new ICQ nick - Lolita Lover. Wth.
Relatives are over. And as usual the youngsters are / feel excluded :)

There are two remotely my age, both girls. One seems to be in Upper Sec. She's using "Pass your GCE O Level Elementary Mathematics".

RGS used to / uses that book too. I remember Yunxin using it :)

The other has 2 Sweet Valley High books :0 Horror.


I just went to wash most of the dishes, all oily from the Katong-style Laksa (Katong Laksa is sprouting up all over the island. I think she got a packet of mix from her friend's brother) that my mother made, albeit from a packet (when I heard she was making Laksa I was surprised, as she'd never done so before, until I found out it was from a packet).

My auntie, Ah Hoon Ah Yee, gave me a big white bear, with pink inner ears, pink soles and a pink ribbon around its neck, just now. Then when I was doing the dishes, she sidled up to ask me if I had a girlfriend.

Why those who are married and have hit middle age like to torment those younger than them with this manner of questions puzzles me. Maybe they like to see the awkward looks upon the faces of their prey, and can proceed to tease them further. In this case, the follow up to my reply in the negative was an offer to introduce me to the Sec 3 girl outside (who has returned to attempting to pass her E Maths). (...)
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