Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kena Lovebyte... Kekeke!



I confess: Getting home a little early today, I flicked on the comp and logged on to... lovebyte.org.sg

Alright, you can stop sniggering now.

Really, please stop.

What was I thinking?? Definitely not hot babelicious chicks.

Because they're probably too ditsy to remember their userid and password.

Yeah yeah, sour grapes.

Honestly, I opened the lovebyte mailer that informed me of my new password.

Yes, the recent brouhaha over SDU's major security lapse didn't deter me either.

So singlehood's finally gotten to Ed, you say.

Updating my personal profile was ok. Then came the next step, filling in my personal ad.

Oh wait! Had better check out the market first. Don't want to be in the wrong league, you know.

Having to specify a search criteria to scan for real people definitely felt odd. First was race - eh, do I want to go out *OOPS* I mean, expand my social circle by making friends with a non-chinese?

This was followed by sex (gender, mind you!), age, height, body type (they left out babelicious) and interests (they also left out income).

What? All this just to choose my ideal, erm, friend?

Never mind, scan the results first... Wah, got pictures.

Seeing those that are easier on the eye, the cynic in me thought, must be fake pictures "borrowed" from friends. That or she's majorly Photoshopped.

Results for gals churned out about 10 on average for each random permutation of search criteria.

Wonder what kind of gal would put up a personal ad.

Let's see, if I had to, which 1 would I date?

*scroll scroll click click*

Next.

Let's check out the competition now.

Really, that's all I intended.

200+ results.

Alamak, this one geeky, this one nerdy, so many engineer-looking guys, this one must be friend's pic, this one's better off putting a fake pic...

Flashback of JC form teacher.

So, if I were to put up a personal, what would I say?

More importantly, why do I need to???

I simply refuse to reduce me to a 2-dimensional picture followed by a 500 character description.

I'll just stick to Salsa class for now :)

Saucy Salsa



Completed 3rd lesson of Salsa.

Monday, March 28, 2005

去死吧﹐天行者﹗



On TV now, Star Wars Episode 6. Literal Chinese translation of scene where emperor zaps Skywalker.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Society & Me



How do you feel about PM Lee's recent speeches about the elite and the civil service in Singapore?

Living in a HDB flat and seeing my family struggle with monthly expenses, I can't help but feel my place in society is far removed from the "power, influence and wealth" of the elite. When people realize I was from ACS(I), I sometimes qualify that "I'm neither rich nor snobbish."

Having achieved financial independence for more than half a year didn't do that much for me. Sometimes I worry about bills, other times I loosen up and indulge some, but money is constantly on my mind. A lesson for me has been to learn to love through giving and it has certainly put things in perspective.

But enough about me, through my brief work experience thus far, I've come to realize the importance of both leadership and followship. During a recent OBS retreat, placing outspoken individuals into groups with novel problems to solve saw much vigorous talk, fiery sparks and rolling of eyeballs. Kinda like Survivor.

Interestingly it seemed that groups were those that didn't have too many leaders - capable, informal or just wannabe. Perhaps this can scale to apply to our sunny island as well - one political party is just fine, we don't need congressmen bickering over prolonged periods.

Amongst my friends, there's quite a significant number of civil servants - and not only teachers, mind you. Looking at them - and myself - I wonder who will turn out to be successful and who won't. Oh, don't give me that popular interview question about what success means to you. Let's just be money-minded for now.

As I've come to realize, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being in the civil service. In fact, it's great for family-oriented people. But for able and eager fresh grads? Go figure.

PM Lee seemed to prefer AOs who execute and don't question policies, but he did add that good civil servants are able to maintain a broad helicopter view of matters. This is a real and worthy challenge indeed and of a daily sort, though I wonder how many AOs will actually succeed in meeting it.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Accidental Food Tour

Guess what I did on the Eve of Good Friday? After an evening swim at SAFRA Mount Faber, I zipped over to town...



8pm @ Pervis St Had dinner with chummy army pals with whom I'd shared blood/sweat/grime/mud for 2 solid years... I digress.

Ate Hainanese food ("tze char") though not sure what exactly that is. One dish was Hainanese pork chop - freshly deep-fried pork cutlet in tomato-based sauce with peas, onions and potato chunks.

Yummy! *imitate Homer Simpson* Mmmm... Fried food...

Topic of the moment: Another army pal's getting married but not any of us there.



9pm @ TCC, Bugis Still with chummy army pals. Had German blend while pals had latte, cooler & macadamia nut blend - decaf, so no kick.

Hilarious moment: 4 grown men couldn't decide whether to go for 15% off with OCBC card or enjoy free desert with DBS card.

Common theme of the evening: Living, working, driving, getting married and raising a family in Singapore's bloody expensive. No wonder we hate the Gahmen.



After 12MN @ Mustafa, Little India G & I decided to check out late night shopping. Got out of car at Serangoon to hear "EH MACARENA!" blasting out of cheap Indian restaurant cum pub with sleazy red lights. FYI lotsa cheap deals at Mustafa's.

Absolutely fabulous if you love Indian food, groceries and all.

*cue Ab-Fab opening song* know what I mean, darling?

Curious moment: 2 S'poreans gawking at cheap everyday buys. Alright, at least I was gawking k??

Awe moment: Went into chocolate shock at chocolate aisle, esp. G who couldn't decide between Swiss premium dark and Lindt premium dark. Solution? The more the merrier.

Hilarious moment: G's over-zealous Stepmaster 3000 workout left her crying as she attempted to scale all of 2 flights of steps to get up 1 storey.

Ate at nearest cheap North Indian restaurant since G's quite immobile - freshly made Garlic & butter naan, tandoori chicken, dahl curry & muttom kima.

Sinfully cholesterol-filled and terrible satisfying.

Ed's Self-Discovery: I'm a closet-tandoor lover of all things Indian.



2pm @ Golden Mile Complex, Little Thailand Had Thai food to jointly celebrate mom and bro's birthday! Finally the brat's going to NS this year...

On the table: ultra-hot Tom Yam seafood soup (a tad oily), mango salad, green curry with chicken, pandan chicken (simply lovely) and pineapple rice. Left me sweating and sniffling... SHIOK!

Golden Mile's a sleazy little place with Thai discos and karaoke pubs. Cheap buys at "one and only Thai supermarket" and Thai-oriented departmental store. Oddly, shirts were drab and tight-fitting. Love Thai pop - haha!

Disappointed moment: No more stomach room for Ah-Balling at Beach Rd market.

Disclaimer: These aren't the actual pics of the foods I had but they look just as good :)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Give & Take



Glory of Love
Bette Midler

You gotta give a little,
Take a little,
and let your poor heart break a little.
That's the story of,
that's the glory of love!

You gotta laugh a little,
Cry a little,
until the clouds roll by a little.
That's the story of,
that's the glory of love!

As long as there's the two of us,
We've got the world and all its charms!
And when the world is through with us,
We've got each other's arms!

You gotta win a little,
Lose a little,
yes and always have the blues a little!
That's the story of,
that's the glory of love!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Curious Moment

Chatting on MSN with my manager who's only beginning to get the hang of MSN messenger:

"I'm feeling a bonding taking place with this new tool, even as I type ..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005

Isaac Asimov



Isaac Asimov
(c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992, IPA: /ˈaɪzək ˈæzɪmˌɔf/) was a Russian-born American author and biochemist, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his science books for the lay person. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series, which he later combined with two of his other series, the Galactic Empire Series and Robot series. He also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as a great amount of non-fiction. In fact, he wrote or edited over 500 volumes and an estimated 90,000 letters or postcards, and has works in every major category of the Dewey Decimal System except Philosophy.

Asimov received HIV-infected blood during heart bypass surgery in 1983. His death in 1992 was from AIDS-related complications, although this was kept secret by his widow for over a decade after his death.

Asimov was a long-time member of Mensa, albeit reluctantly (he described them as "intellectually combative"). The asteroid 5020 Asimov is named in his honor, as is Honda's humanoid prototype robot ASIMO.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Loss



Grief is inexpressible.

Welling tears and emotional presence I offer.

Dear friend, though I've lost not, I share your grief.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Outward Bound, Inward Leap



Went for an OBS retreat with my office over the past 2 days.

Though some came with apprehension and a few, resignation, the outdoor experience - though brief - certainly exceeded our expectations with what we ta bao (i.e. took away) from it.

And it's been a wonderful chaos of emotions and experiences - so saturated and eventful, it's hard to do complete justice with words.

Essentially, bonding, teamwork and fun were the primary elements. And these were evident in all the positivity, determination and camaderie displayed.

We were laughing, sharing, cheering, encouraging, jeering (in jest), and even crying (women...).

Personally I was amazed at how I tackled towering challenges with hardly a hesitation. Till I was many meters off the ground and momentarily regreting my impulse over cramping muscles.

Another personal lesson: learning to accept differences, be it of capabilities, mind or approach, and learning to be patient yet helpful to others who are weaker.

I'm thankful and glad to be where I am, doing what I do, with the people around.

Mere positivity talking? We'll see :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mornings

Monday, March 14, 2005

Woman Stand With Mouth Open



Standing in the sleepy space between 2 MRT carriages this morning, I couldn't help but listen to the ceaseless chinese chatter of this mother talking to her teenage daughter.

"You shouldn't stand here on this piece here. This is the most dangerous part of the train."

She stood short of the small platform connecting the 2 carriages, pointed to it and gestured with conviction. "If the train collides, it will detach and you'll be the first to die."

I blinked while my mind flashbacked to images of train wrecks in the US and in India. Over my Runner's World magazine, I glanced up at her as did others standing around.

"Didn't you know this connects the two carriages?"

Her teenage daughter looked down on the floor and didn't respond. I could only empathize with her hapless embarassment.

"Yeah, this is reported by researchers who study accidents. Oh, did you know? The most dangerous place to be in a car is next to the driver."

Too much trivia about death at 7plus in the morning.

"Because human instinct dictates that the driver will yank the steering and swerve to the right. So you'll die first if you sit beside the driver. The safest seat is in the backseat."

The man standing next to the daughter turned to face away from the duo while the mother continued to expound on on accident-related deaths.

After a while, the teen squatted down on the floor like a prison convict with nowhere to run.

"Why are you squatting down?" She chuckled. "Haiyah, you know ah, Singaporean kids are so funny. They like to sit on the floor."

Her daughter remained silent. I imagined her sulking from the corner of my eye.

"Hey girl, get up."

Glum silence.

"Get up."

The girl gave up her silent protest and obeyed.

I got off at my stop and didn't stay till the end of this drama.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Trumped



I follow The Apprentice from time to time. As with any reality TV show, it's the interpersonal dynamics that are most entertaining and fascinating.

Tonight's episode began with the PM's (project managers) being told to dump members off of their teams onto the other - it's the corporate version of being selected to be on the baseball team.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Jesus Heals

Attended the Pst. Benny Hinn's Healing Crusade over fri & sat.

T'was amazing the many healing miracles that took place. Truly the deaf could hear and the blind could see and many diseases were healed!

To God be the glory!!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Heal the World




Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Whimsical... Entertaining... It's Fantasy, After All



Just caught Howl's Moving Castle (2004) by Hayao Miyazaki who also did Spirited Away (2001) which some of us remember fondly.

One word - whimsical.

Quirky characters are introduced in consistent Miyazaki fashion.

Almost like Harry Potter.

Except this time they're set in a pseudo-18th century European time in a fantasy world where magic & wizards & witches & a moving hodge-podge of junk passing as a castle are all accepted as the norm.

Could be a take on Japanese society but friends in sushi land had better confirm this for me.

All's fine as we plod along in this magical adventure that continually leaves us in wonder at the curious turn of events in a plot where magic sets no boundaries.

And of course, spellbound by the beauty of Japanese anime.

My only gripes: the cheesy ending and the gals who kept giggling at cutesy moments.

Perhaps I'm getting old and too cynical for this.

But it certainly was entertaining.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Boy Oh Loti Boy

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bukit Merah Cuppa



Every morning I pass by Bukit Merah hawker center & grab my cuppa along the way.

Mind you, it ain't gourmet coffee from the likes of Starbucks or Coffee Bean.

It's way better - coffee's cheap & strong & my local barrista can take any order I throw at him.

My favourite? Kopi si kosong - coffee with non-sweetened evaporated milk & no sugar.

When this caffeine whore first patronized the stall, I was both impressed & amused by the adeptness and meticulousness displayed by the uncle.

Unlike coffee shops that prepare a few gallons of coffee in a big metal dispenser and ultra-efficiently fill each cup under the tap, this stall retains the use of traditional methods of brewing.

His 2 essential tools of the trade: a kettle with a straight long spout & coffee strainers made of cloth.

With a deft jerk of the kettle, our dear uncle, focused & well-experienced, painstakingly fills each cup to the brim while mentally ticking off orders en masse.

"Kopi peng!"

"Teh si!"

"Kopi O!"

"Kopi si siew tai!"

"Marlboro!"

Have a cuppa today, it's only 60 cents after all.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005