Monday, November 29, 2004

Last Day @ Work

Funny, I don't remember posting an entry about my 1st day at work.

Had my farewell lunch, did my "lap of honour". Next, the goodbye email of positivity & appreciation - understandably brief becoz of my short 4mth stint here.

It's definitely been a good 4mths of learning about the job, on the job, about working & working with people, & most importantly, about myself. I entered full of hope and enthusiasm, and I am still leaving full of hope and enthusiam.

Though I hardly feel attached to this office, it is with genuine sadness that I leave this place. In moving on, a sense of loss generally ensues. Not to get too sentimental, but I'll miss friends and potential-friends that I've made here.

Sigh... moving on...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Driving

Life is a journey where we all drive different vehicles of different sizes, shapes, makes, horsepower, torque etc. It isn't really a race because everyone has different destinations, though some don't know where they're headed. Some get distracted along the way, some plan theirs but ditch them en route. Those on the highway go faster, but not necessarily to where they want to go. Some are waiting to filter to a freshly paved & bigger road. Even when the same vehicle is being driven by many, some drive like a turtle, others speeding and full of aggression. Sometimes we run out of fuel and we gotta stop to refuel. Sometimes we pump diesel by mistake and the mistake costs us.

Ultimately what's important is we all get home at the end of the day.

A tad cheesy, but I think it's apt.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Spirit Endures

I'm a young old boy... an ACS old boy, that is! :)

At the SOUA, I met my secondary school principal, who has retained the spark in his eyes and an impressive eloquence, despite aging - the accompanying signs very much apparent.

For those in the know, I'm referring to Prof. Lawrence Chia whose namecard displays an intimidating list of acronyms (half unknown to me) trumpeting his life's achievements. But for all that, he was very much affable and took time to ask about me.

Interestingly, he mentioned an AC Psyche - one that is distinctively driven and willing to take on challenges. I'm tempted to declare "that's me!" but will let my future namecards do the talking.

It's amazing how one's formative years are so absolutely important - the friends you make, the people you meet, the things you do, for that matter, the things you didn't do! A personality is being moulded and a life is really being charted out.

Yet as my colleague lamented about her youthful idleness, "I regret not planning my future while I was younger".

To this, I replied that it's about nature and nurture - one's nature and how one is nurtured. But we are all free to create our destiny - nope, not a winning Anthony-Robbins' catch-phrase, but a truth that carries hope.

Alright, too many motivational words there, though it is the truth. But as Jack Nicholson agitatedly reminds us, "you can't handle the truth!"

Of Visions and Visionaries

Imagination is more important than knowledge

Albert Einstein



This morning, I attended NUS' State of the University Address (SOUA) by NUS President, Prof. Shih. He had very aptly made a metaphorical reference to the challenge of establishing base camps and scaling Mt. Everest.


I'm no orator/toast-master but I think his address served its purpose - one of stock-taking & vision-sharing.

And it was thought-provoking in many ways. I wondered why Prof. Shih was so energetic & full of optimism... while juxtaposed against a bureaucracy. But I must admit that this kind of energy is often infectious and compelling - even if one doesn't agree with the given task.

I wondered why organizations need an annual CEO address. And most importantly, I believe, he outlined NUS' collective challenge & how that translated into individual challenges. He painted a vision of scaling greater heights amidst increasingly difficult conditions.

For "without a vision, the people perish".

SDU, Here I Come! Heh heh...

Received in the mail yesterday, SDU complimentary membership.

And guess what? Acceptance is on a opt-out basis, i.e. reply only if you want to reject!

Ooh, SDU, here I come...

Monday, November 22, 2004

High Heels are Treacherous!

It's (almost) proven: high heels are a killer.

You can't walk in them; they wear you out. I've seen how G suffers in them. And most seriously, they can cause spinal problems over the long term.

If that's not enough, here's an incident that happened today:
Together with several thousand other cubicle drones, this individual - muar - was milling down the staircase at Clementi MRT. In front of me, this lady in HEELS tripped and also rolled down the stairs.

Tell me again why women's gotta wear high heels...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Shows We Loved & Still Do

The Austin Powers franchise are all stupid, slapstick, toilet humour comedies.

I loved the 1st 2 installments :)

But 3 was just inane.

Seeing Austin Powers 2 on TV brings back fond memories. Mainly of NS (coz that's when it was screened in SG).

Of course, this is just 1 stupid movie. I'm sure there're lots of other shows that wouldn't capture our attention now as they did many years ago.

Remember Smurfs? Carebears? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

I was watching re-runs of Wonder Woman on TV a while ago. It's quite amusing to spot how they tried to create the illusion of Wonder Woman being super-humanly strong.

It's amazing how much I used to spend on TV, esp. waiting for the late night Top 20 Mandarin MTV's to come on.

Sigh, the shows I used to love...

Wearing Pink

During lunchtime conversation today, a fashion-savvy friend remarked that shopping in Melbourne must be tough for guys because the in-colours this season are pastel pink, yellow & green. She concluded that it takes a lot of confidence for a guy to wear pink.

Well, first of all, why do guys hate wearing pink - that is, if they hate it in the first place? What does it mean when a guy dresses in pink? What if it's pastel pink? Or hot pink?? And does it really take absolute confidence?

This is really more than a sartorial issue.

Go fish...

Friday, November 19, 2004

For the NUS Food Lovers

List of good foods in NUS (that is, foods that are good to me and subjected to my sense of adventure)

Science Canteen: sliced fish mee sua (great for cold days), yong tau hoo, claypot dishes (beef & tau hoo), ban mian, malay food (rendang is sedap!), chinese food (freshly cooked & high turnover), indian food, Spinelli's coffee, milk tea with less sugar from drinks stall, and fresh waffles from Dilly's

Bizad Canteen: western food (esp. chicken chop), indian food (naan!), dumplings (only available on thu, beware garlic breath), tau huey & blueberry milkshake from dessert & fruits stall, and freshly brewed coffee, fresh sandwiches & piping hot delifrance pastries from toscano's

Engine Canteen: indian food (best indian food on campus)... erm, that's all i've tried and like :)

Arts Canteen: Jap food!

Engine viet cafe ("Trung-something-something"): fresh drip coffee! otherwise food sucks...

NB foods at Fratello's & NUS staff club are not bad, but generally quite pricey.

For al fresco dining on a cool day, Gecko's nice. Food is ok, drinks are cool.

Gee, I'm really gonna miss NUS... Funny that I'm feeling this so long after graduation.

Love the big trees & lush green patches...

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Moving On... Already?

Yes, I'm leaving APRU in a couple of weeks time. I've known all along that I'm leaving but it wasn't till someone I met for lunch today actually listed down the days that I realized how soon it's gonna be.

So, moving on, I am.

Leaving on a Jet Plane
Peter, Paul & Mary

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go
I’m standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin’, it’s early morn
The taxi’s waiting, he’s blowin’ his horn
Already I’m so lonesome I could cry.

Chorus:
So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go.
I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
I don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go.

There’s so many times I’ve let you down
So many times I’ve played around
I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing
Every place I go, I think of you
Every song I sing, I sing for you
When I come back, I’ll wear your wedding ring.

(chorus)

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time let me kiss you
Then close your eyes, I’ll be on my way.
Dream about the days to come
When I won’t have to leave alone
About the times, I won’t have to say,

(chorus)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Blinkless

A baby caught my attention on the train today...



Those eyes so big & bright,
You wonder what innocence is thinking.
Those cheeks so chubby & full,
Wistfully beckoning for attention.
Those hands so small & pudgy,
Flailing about in wonder.
Those feet all warm & protected,
A path waits to be trodden.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Celebrate Good Times with Sun, Sand & Friends

T'was Ray's hatching anniversary. So, us 4 guys & 2 chicks spent the weekend over at Nirwana Gardens, Bintan.

Saturday Morning@Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

5 eager yuppies-to-be filed excitedly through customs and headed straight for DFS. (only 5 becoz Mr. Tian came later)

How much more hard-up can we get huh?

dW bought a box of smelly cigars (which we had to help smuggle back to S'pore becoz he couldn't finish them).

Saturday Noon@Bintan Ferry Terminal

More queueing and waiting. Ray entertains thoughts of us flying through customs while pretending to be a Taiwanese boyband. He forgets how unglam he looks with NTUC plastic bags of bottled drinks & cheap snacks.

Murphy's law prevails; we're the last to clear customs, even though our queue was the shortest. Perhaps we should have prepared bribes.

Saturday Afternoon@Mayang Sari

Checked in! Had our complimentary drink of ultra-sweet syrup/water concoction.

The beach looks wonderful...

Saturday Afternoon@Indra Maya Villa



Ferried via buggy to our villa, complete with private pool, floating coke tray, open bath & our own buggy!

  

Oh, joy & serenity!

Indulgence task no. 1: Book ourselves for spa treatment!

Indulgence task no. 2: Slather on sunblock, test the pool & simply laze in the sun!

Thankfully weather was bright & sunny all throughout. Absolutely no gloom & doom to dampen our fun.

I've been named Raoul the man-slave, coz I look like a latino hottie serving-boy in speedos :)

Saturday Mid Afternoon@Nirwana Gardens Resort Hotel

So easy to lose track of time. Had satisfying lunch of nasi & rendang & stuff. Real spicy...

Off to the beach! More soaking... while Ray & Val relived band camp by singing familiar tunes.

dW compliments Ray for his salamander hair.

 

Saturday Late Afternoon@Nirwana Gardens Resort Hotel

To the free form pool! More soaking...

Discovered the pool bar. For a truly authentic beach holiday, Pina Colada's a must, says Val. She even had a malibu-scented perfume.

Off to the open jacuzzi! More soaking...

Oops, time to fetch Mr. Tian.

Saturday Late Afternoon en route to Villa

Headed back to our villa. Detoured to take pictures.



Seriously now, it's back to our villa. It's confirmed: Ray's a dangerous driver - he can make a buggy do a wheelie!!

*Ed bails out*



Indulgence task no. 3: Communal bubble bath! T'was Ray's stupid but admittedly fun idea. First water was too hot, then it got murky & tepid... It's amazing what 25yo's (& 1 23yo) do to entertain themselves.

Saturday Evening@Thai Restaurant along beach

Indulgence task no. 4: Thai dinner! All had the dinner gastronomique or something, a sumptuous course of exquisite Thai food, including a platter of Thai favourites - green curry & seafood! Mr. Tian & his taste buds kept hogging the conversation.

Stars look wonderful, but it's rude to be craning your neck towards the heaven all the time during dinner.

Saturday Late Night@Villa

It's Cranium! Lots of laughs & physical action to yank us out of post-dinner drowsiness. Too bad our award-winning actress, G had to mug.



Then, just when I was all tight & snug in bed, the boys tapped on my window & beckoned.

The stars... wow... full of awe... Shooting star!! Heh... Ouch, neckache.

Ok, finally to sleep...

Sunday Morning@Villa

What?! 9am & I'm up! Body clock too well-tuned... but apparently so is everyone else's. Perhaps it's too great a holiday to while away in bed.

While Mr. Tian slathers on tinted sunblock, I try to wake the sleepyheads next door. Val tells me to go away. Hmph.

Sunday Morning@Mayang Sari

Raoul gets 1 free coconut with his hot latino looks. Heh.



Buffet breakfast!! Another big, heavy meal! Scrambled eggs seems to be quite popular. Mmmm... I love white bread.

After breakfast, it's off to bake on the beach. Too bloated to move... feel unglam in trunks.

 

Sunday Mid-morning@Mayang Sari Beach

I spy an old man trying to body-surf! After the customary Singaporean photo shoot, off we go to hit the waves!

 

Absolute exhilaration!! Never had so much fun riding the surf before! Who cares if seawater keeps entering my nostrils?! Time comes to standstill.

After an hour, we're totally spent...

Sunday Noon@Villa

Partying in private pool! Complete with hits to boogie to! Lunch is junk food & white wine. Mmmmmm......

Shucks, it's time to check out. Byebye, villa! *wistful look*

 

One final round of photos.

Sunday Afternoon@Asmara Tropical Spa

Val's a good haggler. She MFA one ah, dun pray pray!

Spent an hour under the skillful hands of a masseuse. My first massage ever, was wincing a lot though. But it was good... feel like a totally elastic slab of meat afterwards.

Time passes ever so slowly... *contented sigh*

   

Sunday Evening@Mayang Sari Restaurant

The holiday's almost over... Everyone's too tired to talk during dinner.

*munch munch*



Sunday Evening@Bintan Ferry Terminal

Long queue... oh well.

Spend the ferry ride discussing Singaporean Chinese social idiosyncrasies & how they manifest in conversations and mutal interactions. Hmmm...

Sunday Evening@Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Ray & Mr. Tian head to Balestier for Boon Kee chicken rice.

It's home sweet home & home-cooked food for me!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Before Sunset? The Kay-Poh's in us



I caught Before Sunset the other day.

Lovely show! Not because how all that dialogue didn't make me fall asleep for once.

But to me, it's a show about hope and love that could have been. Although the realist in me begs to differ.

*happy sigh*

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Foreign Ground

Monday, November 01, 2004

How Badly Do You Want It?


The Ultimate Subaru Impreza
All Wheel Drive Challenge


For the life of me, I cannot imagine enduring such gruelling torture to my body for the sake of a free car. Not to mention becoming the butt of my friends' jokes.

I wonder if there's something that I want real badly...