Friday, June 30, 2006

Free Ticket Day #2

Tonight, the husband and I will be watching the SMU play -The Sword has 2 Edges, from the Chinese classic 'Romance of the 3 Kingdoms'. The performance is set-up to recreate the wayang-going experience of the past, so it'll be under the stars. Kinda nice, I think . I'm pretty tingly and twitchy with excitement cos going to plays and dramas always makes me happy, i think its the anticipation of seeing actors all dressed up in exotic costumes and exquisite make-up and the music and dancing and being lost in all the drama unfolding in front of me. So tonight's the gala performance and there will be munchies after the show. Finally I have an occasion to wear my new gold-sequin bag! Yay!!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Question

Friday, June 23, 2006

Looking Out

Consciousness can be freed
From the body; and with it
The pain which ploughs
Its’ course
Through this too-tiny
constricted shell,

Slashed wrists gapes blood rivulets
Flowing down in heavy plops
Like blessing

Look at the cadavers
Empty of pain
They gleam pale and luminescent
With divine insight

Anecdotes: Through the eyes of Others

" I have had friends and family who are amazingly able to quote precisely and at length from the works of great philosophers from Plato to Russell, but seem unable to tell me what they themselves think.
What's the point of standing upon the shoulders of giants if your only vision is downwards?" - Raphael Shevelev

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Beginnings

For me, it always starts with the hair.

When i was 16 and fresh from recovering from a broken heart and inspired by the punks, I shaved half of my head away. It gave my mother quite a fright to see me coming back home looking like I had been scalped and abandoned by a crazed hair-stylist. She never did quite forgive me for that.

When I was 20, again, trying to get over a major phase of confusion in my life, I cut off my long hair and got a page-boy style done. It was in a word, liberating.

Yesterday, piqued by my inability to cross the threshold of a phase in my life which i'd like to leave behind, I went to the mirror and grabbed the bathroom scissors and without giving it much consideration, started snipping away. Before I'd realized it, the hair i've been patiently trying to grow out for over a year now, was lying in thick dark clumps in a plastic bag.

So now, i look like Little Orphan Annie, with the corkscrew curls not quite fitting in with my half serious adult face.
And after a long period of re-re-bonding my hair and denying my god-given curls, i think i've finally come to terms with it.

In Paulo Coelho's novel 'The Pilgrimage', he remarks that the things of this world dont last very long. I'm trying to remind myself of this to give my problems some perspective. Rivers swell and dry itself out. A problem carried by a girl with curly hair will resolve itself soon. Let time sort that kink out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shop for Art!

That sounds so passe already now that I've learned that SAM (Singapore Art Museum) offers the public a membership fee of $60 a year. In return, you can borrow their paintings and ceramics. HOW COOL IS THAT? Its a novel way to support emerging new artists from NAFA, plus you get to enjoy original art pieces in the comfort of home. Thumbs up for SAM!

Still on the subject of shopping, I bought myself a knitted bag with gold sequins today, for carrying to party places. Its stunning! YAY Me!

Shopping aside, there's a new cafe cum boutique at Haji Lane called "Lipstick Bandit". The entire cafe interior is a giant canvas of an art painting. Very nice. Service ain't bad either. But i'm still trying to figure out what's with the name.


Graffiti Philosophy

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Going on a journey

Hold my hand
Lets go for a ride my bright-eyed friend
We'll sail the plugged glassy seas
Then trundle in a bus down the yellow-brick roads, hey-ho!
We'll roll over the up-and-down hills with a choo-choo and whoot!
There's nowhere we can't go
when we journey like Alice in our lost Wonderland

Plastic Kinetique Worms Art Gallery

Monochromatic Portrait Series (thanks to Suze, Niz and Ganesh for posing for me! )

Slightly Bizarre


The Curious Frangipani

Sceptic's Universe

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jamie Cullum in concert!

The husband sms me at 4pm today and said , "get ready to go for Jamie Cullum concert this evening!"
Turns out he got a pair of free tickets from the record label for the $200 VIP seats at Suntec...YAY US!!!
NIce evening, great concert which ended with majority of the audience dancing on their seats and very late dinner of chinese beef porridge at Simpang Bedok. Why can't everyday be a free ticket day?

I know I'm very old because when I see young kids rushing up to the stage to be as close to Jamie as the opportunity allows, or when a young teenage girl abandoned her chair to sit on the floor and sway to the song, or young kids dancing and whooping on their chairs. I remember how I used to be like that. But now, at 34, must pull myself together and act more like a well-balanced human being, especially with the slightly stuffy husband with me who doesn't get why the young girls scream everytime Jamie says something. Anyway, musn't do to get carried away and gross people out like some plump aunties who risk breaking their chair and cracking the floor by bopping on their chairs.

PS: Jamie says he'd spent the earlier half of his day with the Singapore Idols.
He says "... the Singapore Idols show is like a very long Shakespeare production, only with more deaths!"
Mwahahaaaa!!! Love his sense of humour.

On 9/11 Fahrenheit & moving on...

It is with a huge sigh of relief that I can close the chapter of my 1st completed school website project, in which i was project managing the website development for the school.

Its done, over, finito and I can move on to other things. In spite of sounding unbearably thick-skinned, I'd like to give myself a standing ovation for a job well done. Its the first time I'm working with schools, and although there were some things I'm not entirely pleased with, for e.g. the the copywriting for the website, I've learnt to manage my expectations, turn a blind eye when necessary, accept things for what they are and on occasion, just let things slip when they need to.


I watched MIchael Moore's 9/11 Fahrenheit last night on HBO.
Its a movie that confirms the idiocy of President Bush and what a model example of an asshole he is.
Its a movie that everyone who considers the Iraq War justified, should watch.
By the time the film was over, I felt such a sense of anger at the systematic manner in which the Bush administration had duped the American people and the rest of the world, into attacking Iraq and the countless innocent civillians, just because it was against his family and friend's financial interests to go after the real culprits, the rich Saudi's who had funded the Al-Qaeda as well as the Bush family's pockets.
Moore exposes the billions the Bush family earns from the Saudi's as compared to the hundred of thousands he earns from working as President. Moore posed to Bush a very telling question in this regard : Who's your Daddy???
Perhaps the most interesting scene is the movie, cut from actual news and video footage, showed what the President did when news of the 9/11 attack reached him. Instead of cutting short his appearance at a school to go to the aid of his people, he continued sitting there reading a children's storybook, yes I'm not kidding, even when his secretary continued to give him a second update of the second attack on the tower. On Bush's face, there was just a blank look as he continued sitting there, flipping the pages of the book.

As the film ends with the interview of a grieving American woman who had lost her son in the Iraq war, a son who didn't believe in the cause of the war to begin with, I wonder what kind of leader leads innocent children and his own people into a sham war, to kill and be killed, just so that his own interests, not his nation's, can be served.
I wonder how the American majority can still vote this kind of person into presidency.
I wonder how the Singapore government can back America in this war and how it continues in scary parallels to what the American administration is doing- to continue to create the fear propaganda in the minds of the people, such that we can be easily manipulated into supporting the government in backing America for whatever motives it may have.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another rushed day

Think i should slow down my life. Am begining to feel pretty exhausted from over-activity. I hate to admit this but perhaps age is catching up faster than i can run.

On saturday, we went to pick up the husband's new HP iPAQ 6818 at Adelphi and then to Funan to collect some lens for a friend. On to Arts House next, to view the Cartier-Bresson exhibition.
Not much there to wow me, to be honest, perhaps because the subject matter is primarily the social commentaries of France and other countries, and this were taken around 70 years ago. So, if it had been interesting then, its perhaps dated now, at least to me. So generally not very memorable.

We had dinner at Adam Road, before rushing to Bukit Timah NTUC to get some fresh fruits as I'd promised my sister I'll help prepare some fruit salad for my nephew's 7th birthday today. Rushed to her place at Gerald Drive for the birthday party.
With the help of my younger sister, Aza and sister's lovely, sweet maid (Atik), we frantically chopped a small mountain of fruits and cut them into colourful little star & heart shapes using some cookie-cutters I'd bought earlier at Adelphi. After that, we did the chocolate fondue for the fruits and only then, FINALLY, FINALLY i got the chance to play with the kids. Didn't even have the energy to drag myself to the poolside BBQ-pit so i just grab whatever food i could from the kitchen. Gah!

Playing with my 1 yr old nephew, Abshar, is so fulfilling but so super-tiring as well! I wish I could post up a photo of this little tot crawling around the house wearing his funky blue bandanna! Will try to get the photo from sis so i can put it up soon.
My nephew Abshar ( I call him CREAMPUFF cos he's so white and chubby and sweet!) is too adorable for words and the feeling i get as i hug and squeeze his chubby little body against mine is pretty awesome; i get these sweet glimpses of what a mother's life would be like, as he crawls happily away from me but then turns his head back occasionally to locate my face as if to assure himself that I'm still around. And chuckles softly when i feign surprise to see him and like a mad woman, scream his name and then he continues crawling.

My little creampuff makes me melt...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Word Nut

For some obscure reason, there are certain phrases which my word-obsessed mind stores and keeps of its own volition. Perhaps its the rhythmic aspect to the words or names.
Example in point is 'Xanana Gusmao' or 'pork chippolata'.

Think i've fallen off my rocker yet? Well, i'm gonna confess my silly habit of joining my favourite rhythmic words and phrases together.
Yup, that's me.
The husband groans in mock dread and start the eye-rolling thing each time i come across a potentially rhythmic word and join it together with my other "collections".
But seriously, try saying loudly : Pork Chippolata Xanana Gusmao.
See? Got interesting melody right??? Careful though, silliness can be addictive.

Perhaps its a hint of a mystery behind what the words represent. For example, I am always mystified by the magic of the simple Italian words 'Camera Obscura' . Once you translate it to English though, all the magic is lost and it simply means 'dark-room'. Then again, I've always preferred italian words to english, they're so much more colourful and expressive. Consider how the italians express the word 'rich'. Rich becomes such a dull stodgy word compared to the Italian version which is "swimming in gold". Ah now, that is an image i can totally relate to! 'Sub-rosa', means under the rose, describing the scenario of a conversation to be kept a secret. Conclave is Anglicised from 'con-clave' (pron: kon-klah-veh) which means, if i remember correctly, "with key", again describing a meeting behind closed doors.

Another phrase I've always loved is by F. Scott Fitzgerald, its a title for one of his novels actually, 'Tender is the night'. This phrase brings to mind all waffley sentiments and mush.

Incidentally, a collection of Fitzgerald's works was my 1st Valentine present as i was growing up. That, together with a stalk of falling-apart rose and a box of Cadbury chocolates - won me over. Strangely, no words accompanied those gestures, but even for a word-nut, i have to admit that there are times when words are just, unnecessary.

Untitled - a draft

and rising as waves under silent skies, we
open, expand and unfold, thudding hearts
suspended in protracted
as we clasp and unclasp
with the evening breeze
upon uncaring
dry leaves.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A focus group session on "A Sense of Belonging"

Tonite i had an interesting experience being part of a focus group discussion on "A Sense of Belonging to Singapore".
Among some of the issues put on the table:

Am I proud to be Singaporean?
What makes you feel a sense of belonging?
What changes do you hope to see that would make you feel more attached to the country?
Are you confident Singapore will have a bright future?
Are you confident that your personal aspirations can be fulfilled?

Now, I'm quite shy by nature and not prone to airing my views to a large group, it makes me uncomfortable. Particularly as I'm generally not, how shall i say it... unfrank about my views and opinions. I tend to say things as it is. I dont censor my thoughts to make it palatable to others. And i know this is not good but somehow each time i tone down my opinions, I feel a certain distaste, that i'm somehow compromising myself.

But i wanted to attend anyway, cos firstly, I've not participated in one before, and I do think its nice to do new things everyday. It makes life fun and less predictable that way.
Secondly, these are issues I feel strongly for and as much as I'm shy about speaking out, I also feel that to be silent when one has a voice and the opportunity to speak out is so criminal. i believe its abusing the gift that God gives you to have a mouth and not use it.

Anyway, i did have a good time airing everything out. Focus group discussions are good for getting things off your chest and listening to what interesting evaluations and opinions others around you have.
Being part of a segment group of under 35s and malay makes the discussion even more personal and relevant to me. Somethings I know i wouldnt be able to discuss with my non-Malay/Muslim friends because our world-views, even though we live in the same island, can be extremely diverse because of our differing experiences with the reality around us.
Its similar to the story of the chinese lady who married an indian man, and prior to marrying him, thought that Singapore and Singaporeans are a racially forgiving lot. But her eyes were opened to the host of prejudices and the racial slurs experienced after they were married.

Issues such as middle-east terrorism, racial politcs in singapore, the sidelining of other languages to Mandarin, the not-so-subtle trend of discrimination against malays in the job industry that's steadily increasing this last few years, SAF conscription policies that discriminates against malays, democracy and free speech. These taboo and sensitive issues were discussed in a frank and candid style and I believe everyone gained a little bit more insight from it. Its definitly interesting for me, maybe cos i have extremely few malay friends- to hear what other malays like me feel about the socio-economic and political landscape surrounding us as malays. I think one of the participants said it very well when she says there is a certain dilemma about not knowing which to choose, being a malay first or being singaporean. Because only if you're a malay in singapore, that you feel an acute sense of your identity and how you unconsciously try to suppress it, because of the negative media surrounding the malays as an educationally lagging race, as the problematic high-drug use race, as the race with high incidences of divorces.

I'm reminded now as i write, of Alfian Sa'at's recounting an incident where he was to have heard a malay teenager confessing, "I know how I feel towards my country, but I dont know what my country feels about me".
Yup, that sums it pretty much.

Month of Photography 2006 (MoP)

Check it out:

Early Works
Henri Cartier Bresson
7-29 June
The Arts House

A l'imparfait de l'objectif
Robert Doisneau
7-29 June
Alliance Francaise
free admission
Mon-Fri : 11am-7pm
Sat: 11am-5pm

Out of Focus
5 singapore photographers (Terence Tay, Julia Nah, Joe Nair, Sayun Lee, Teo Chee Sem)
8 June-13 August
City Room @ Basheer
Bras Basah Complex
free admission


So there! Go and see ok? Witness what other photographers observe and focus on from behind their lens.

The husband is official photog for these events. And I'm proud and excited that his own exhibition will be coming up very shortly in September. I know he's pretty stressed and tired at the moment with trying to get that going, his full time job as well as his other photographic engagements with the event companies. But i think he's doing marvellously well.

Go, Hubby!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thy shalt not crumble

Ok, for all my resolve to not be forgiving, i must admit its very hard for me to remain angry for long. I need to keep intoning my new mantra "Thy shalt not crumble".
Yesterday he attempted to message me twice. I saw his name blinking in my Yahoo IM and a cheery "hello!" pop-up came on.
I shut the pop-up but felt guilty. Another attempt came on at 2am with "Can't sleep?". I switched off laptop and went to sleep, again wondering if I'm being unreasonable. But the other part of me argues that he's an asshole and assholes dont have friends. One day i will probably explain to him why we can't stay friends anymore. If he's still interested to know that is. But how do I even start to explain to an ex-friend that I really cannot stand him anymore. That his very character which I loved once is now anathema and everything that now comes out from his mouth appalls and sickens me. How scary it is that a person can change so much with time. Or maybe it's been there all along but i'm too blind to notice as usual?

(Idol commentary) I laugh

The female contestants in Idols should be charged with causing grievous hurt. How in the world did they get shortlisted?

I cringe especially when Geraldine Chua tried (and failed phenomenally) to rally the audience for support and got lacklustre clapping instead. But strangely, she still didn't look embarassed. Must have very thick hide this one.

Siew Woon- she sang "Are you happy now", is pretty cute though and can sing okay, i like her, although I dont understand why the judges kept picking on her "convent" image.
But to me, Rahimah seems the only one with real potential tho' she's a tad strange...

I question why i keep watching since time and again its been proven singaporeans just can't sing. Maybe I enjoy listening to Ken's moments of horrifying bloopers. Today after one of the contestants sang the Air Supply song "I can't live (if living is without you)", ken said : " i can understand why you can't live... "

He's so bitchy I wonder if he's actually a transvestite stuck in a male body.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Money cant buy me love

...but it can buy me 3 new gorgeous underthings from Calvin Klein. The guy who says money cant buy happiness needs to shop at CK to get a whole new perspective. Really!
I just wished i could have bought more! The range was really nice and the candy colours and paisley-prints boxers are drool-worthy. I limited myself to 3 items and had to pick up and put back when i saw other designs that were nicer.
The husband didnt help when he said "never mind, next month can come again and buy"

A sense of propriety precludes me from shooting the photos of my new posessions and sharing the photos will you guys. But suffice to say its so gorgeous i smile quite madly each time i open my drawer and look at them :)

I've become underwear-mad.

Rant 2

In the past I would
Have known who you are
Now, your aspirations have caught up
With you and you are
What you wanted
An iron-pressed, glossed image
Of high success, a 30 something
With wreaths of flowers around your neck
And career achievements
You extol
With humorless pride
A leech filled to bursting
With preoccupied self love
Oh how
You will bleed

Monday, June 05, 2006

cant be bothered

I dont know if i'm being childish.
I just deleted F's name from my Yahoo and MSN IM contact list.
Lately we've been quarrelling more and agreeing less. Maybe we've grown up and apart from each other. Well, 17 years is a long time to stay close friends. I have been feeling the strain of having to keep the friendship together. And my patience is wearing thin. As someone who cherishes friends and old friendships, this is the first time i'm really casting one away and it proves how bad things are getting. I can no longer tolerate his condescension and affectations and most of all his presumptions about other people's lives and mine. It still rankles though. I'm angry. And severely upset now. I hate him. I can't believe now how i tried to make other people see his good side even though the bunch makes it clear exactly what they thought of his pompous inflated arse. I dont think another sorry excuse or apology from him will do it this time round. I'm too far gone to bend over backwards to excuse him out of his bad behaviour even if he apologizes. Am just gonna say, sorry mate, you've hit the ceiling of my tolerance, and it happens to be fucking high. And Bye.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Cafe Domus

Edmund's new cafe at Owen Road was opened with flourish yesterday.
Ray, Eve, Niz and me went down there from WM's BBQ at Costa Sands at 9 ish. More on this later!


Ok the last few days have been pretty crazy. The husband and I have been constantly going and coming becos of so many things we had to get done, friends obligations and trying very hard at the same time to make sure we still have our together-time. I feel guilty that i promised my father I'll come and visit him yesterday and then I didnt :(

Back to Edmund's cafe- we got a nice invite from Ed a few days before the opening. We got there and found the partners doing the PR thing and generally looking hassled but happy. Han Shiun looked like he was about to sink under the floor behind the bar counter, he'd been stuck there for quite some time tending to the drink orders. The place was packed, we couldnt get a seat in the chandelier room, but was fortunate enough to get a bench in the Bamboo Garden. There are seats outside the garden as well, under the romantic shadows of the huge old tree outside. Got nice atmosphere one, very cool....
also a plus are the pretty young waitresses whom Ray kept ogling. I'm sure he thought he was being very discreet, BAH!
Oh! Oh! I bump into Mr.D there, it was such a surprise to see him. And he was with this other celebrity whom the hubby and i suspect is gay, since he appeared to hug this other guy, whom i shall call Mr. P, with (unnatural) enthusiasm(?).

So now I am obsessed with the question of whether Mr D is gay too??? Else what is he doing hanging out with 2 gay men??? The hubby says, "eh, maybe thats why he's still unmarried lah!" It makes sense though, somehow the puzzles fit now, all those years when I knew he was being chased around by quite a few girls and he never succumbed. I thought it was cos he was not interested in relationships. It was cos he's not into women! Its so funny! i wish i can tell all the bitchy women who were into him previously. Ugh, it sucks to not know for sure! Shit lah, I could be the last one to know??? Damn!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Royce Revisited

Today i very naughty. I opened my fridge hoping to see some snacks i'd squirrelled away previously for times of need such as today. Then i saw my Royce Au Lait or what's left of it. Like an old friend, the shiny blue box seem to gleam with welcome. So i open the box and took one piece. I make sure this time i'm not so greedy. So carefully, i speared one piece and allowed the chocolate to melt slowly in my mouth. So..........heaven. Maybe tomorrow i will take another piece if the cough doesnt come back. Must make sure I dont have to go back to Dr Low again this week or he will think i bloody hypochondriac out to create a Guinness world record for most doctor's visits in a week!

And so we're 7. Aledy old???

The hubby announced to me a few days ago, with a sheepish smile, that he had forgotten our anniversary. I said, well, it doesnt matter cos I for one wouldn't have missed it since i'm so bad at remembering significant dates, yes, even my husband's birthday and our wedding anniversaries. Not like it matters also now that he remembered it cos I still havent gotten my anniversary present!?! HALLO???? HALLO???? ARE YOU READING THIS??? Better dont pretend one i tell you!

Ok, so we went out for dinner with mel & jes Tuesday nite at Uma Uma Men. Mel and Jes have been married 2 years, which makes the hubby and I feel like we're friggin dinosaurs about to be crashed on the head soon by meteors.

My brain has been on super-slow mode lately which is why only now i'm asking myself what have we accomplished in our 7 years together. 7 yrs X 365days is=2555days. Hmm...somehow this number doesn't seem very big actually or very long. But it sure feels like we've spent quite.a.bit.of.time.together.
So anyway, I suddenly feel the compulsion at 3 plus AM this morning to list out what our time so far together have meant for us and how its been significant. See, i'm weird this way, i like to count everything one...but its okay, this one my blog, so i can write whatever whenever rite?

Project/ Activity/ Achievement List:

1. Buying our biggest investment, our 5-room HDB house & then spending even more money reno-ing and furnishing it. We now use only 1 bedroom & adjoining bathroom and occasionally the kitchen which we need to enter to feed the cats.

2. Adopting 5 cats: Tiger(gay), Waffles(needy), Sailor(always underfed look), Ginger(Queen Bitch), Kitty(history of abuse & has lots of emo baggage)

3. Buying car: this is more hubby's project than mine since its purely his money but i benefit...*smirk*

4. Shared hobbies:
-Cycling (which i took up at his insistence but have since given up cos i'm so lazy and believe in the school of thought that supports the theory of fat-elimination through mind-power and self-hypnosis) So i'm delusional, but happy.
-Photography (still ongoing and something we both thoroughly enjoy)
-Tennis (which we both dont do anymore sadly, because we no longer have access to company facilities now that we've changed jobs and booking at SAFRA is just plain tedious)

5. Venturing into IT consultancy projects as a team. And squirrelling the money away for travelling funds.

I have a nagging feeling that this list excludes so many other important details but for now, this will do. Its a good quick recap and i'm assured that we're not like the typical marrieds who only spend time watching tv together and having sex to entertain themselves. Or maybe i shouldnt speak too soon. i will laugh if the next 7 yrs sees us doing precisely this. BAH!