To paraphrase Henry Kissinger very inaccurately, why eat oysters when you have power?

There's just this certain sense of adrenaline at rushing about from place to place, skipping meals and drinking a lot of coffee. Sitting at tables negotiating and sitting down thinking of designs. I like publishing so maybe I will do it in the future (future future).
I miss being on helicopters and wearing chemical suits and digging trenches but I guess a little bit of the old buzz is back, and it's just a different sort, dealing with people, briefing them and even doing someone else's grunt work. I used to hate management because I thought it was all about power and calculations and how many people you can retrench. But its also about coaching and teaching although there's far less room for error than in school but i'm very impressed by the thought that if you died the next day you would have imparted enough knowledge for people to function w/o you, i.e. you should never be indispensible. I would never study management or politics because I've always felt its something that can only be gained by experience and intuition but that doesn't mean i don't have a healthy respect for it.

We're always given this impression that the real world is unfair and all but somehow I do feel that the people who work hard generally do get rewarded. Okay, to rephrase I guess it is a prerequisite to work hard in order to be special and looking at these people who run start-ups they're not the yuppie hippies i thought they were but they do put in a lot of effort into what they do. must learn.


Listening to the Beatles, I'm reminded of Hok Him, my lovely bunkmate during ST2 who loved drums and the future of Hongkong=p.
I'll never forget Kaoshiung to Taipei=p

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
so cry baby cry cry

The king of Marigold was in the kitchen
Cooking breakfast for the queen
The queen was in the parlour
Playing piano for the children of the king

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

The king was in the garden
Picking flowers for a friend who came to play
The queen was in the playroom
Painting pictures for the childrens holiday

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

The duchess of Kircaldy always smiling
And arriving late for tea
The duke was having problems
With a message at the local bird and bee

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

At twelve o'clock a meeting round the table
For a seance in the dark
With voices out of nowhere
Put on specially by the children for a lark

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry cry cry cry baby
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
Cry baby cry

Cry cry cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry
He was Cinderella. Through the prosaic banality of daily chores, he found a relief from the exile imposed by boredom. As he posted the letters, his mind would dive through the slots into the dark interior of the ubiquitous white boxes, finding themselves magically transported on the next working day to destinations he could only dream about, par avion.
As he topped up each bus card, each green lighting signalling a succesful transaction was a miracle of a myriad of electromagnetic '1's and '0's, yes and nos, love mes and love-me-nots. The pork told of its arduous journey across oceans, and the eggs the more modest stories of daily lorry rides, and tales of desperation, falling on deaf ears, at the oppression occuring every day at the concentration camps run by Seng Choon. The laundry told of the rough-and-tumble of life and the stories of rags-to-riches. The room was vacuumed with totalitarian efficiency as each square inch of carpet was gone over, and over again, overlapping to make sure there were no survivors left. But inevitably, the diaspora would never be eradicated, and the winds of migration would always ensure an interminable problem. The floor was mopped and as each cement patch stained darker and darker, the area under his dominion faded and faded, and the forces of malcontent and cleanliness slowly encroached, until at last he had only one leg to stand on. His work gave him his identity, as Marx said it would.

When he was done, the television would usually transport him to a new world, a world of reality. A world where love existed, where sons took revenge for their fathers, and elections were won and lost by a matter of votes. A world his masters inhabited,a world where the waltzess was waiting at the ball, a world where hands were smooth and silky and pumpkins could be turned into a Porsche 911, because pumpkins earned money and money bought Porches.

In his microcosmic view of the world, all these concepts were hardly comprehensible. Of infinity and light-years and Sputniks
he didn't know, nor did he care. In his veil of ignorance and apathy, Orion was a hunter who wore a belt. He had 7 sisters whom their dad had christened Pleaides who chose to dwell, close to each other, and amuse each other with their effeminate charms in the corner of the celestial hemisphere. His arrow pointed North to guide the Bedouins, and towards the twin peaks of Cassiopeia, which was later appropriated as a good sobriquet for a PDA. Even the twins of Gemini ignored him, terrified because Orion wanted to play Red Indian and they weren't ready to be cowboys, because guns weren't invented yet. So Orion stood proudly erect in the center of the cosmos, yet even the glory was not to be his. Sirius was smarter and brighter, and if you looked closely you would see 2 big shining eyes, the symbol of the intellect that was ruling the universe of the night. Canopus and Archenar equally defiant in their red fury, strode to his South, with the result that Orion although in the center, seemed to be caught withing a circle playing monkey, with everyone's blaming gaze on him.


I've always wondered how columnists do their job. To be fair, their job at the newspaper does entail more than just writing that column every week but even so it sounds like a pretty good job. It's like being a soccer player for someone who likes writing instead of soccer. There's a big match every Sunday or so and then the rest of the week is just training.

But from a bewildering number of issues to consider, it is difficult sometimes to choose what vegetable to put between the bun and the beef patty. It's usually lettuce, but generally if you've ever ordered a sandwich from Subway you would put everything down (except the pickles please), which would mean olives, green and red capsicum, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini and tomato.

Father's birthday again today, and we celebrated it in the low-key way he likes. I'm glad I managed to write something for him that I thought was fitting for someone my age and I hope it will be a good year for him, and I guess I was wrong about him needing work cause he seems to be occupying himself just fine.

Have to start preparing for NDP publications(again, more publications). I was just looking at the manifesto by the 'Remaking Singapore' committee and it really seems encouraging. Things are changing, as evidenced by the many changes in education, and there is a good deal of bureaucracy in the public sector, but at least they've shed the inertia. A lot of discussions do occur in the background(and usually the grounds for people's pessimism is that this force of change isn't accurately reflected in the media, due to the closed nature of many of policy debates), but if one is to follow policy closely there is much to hope for. The changes are probably not nearly deep-seated enough, esp with 2nd lang teaching methods and cultivating of creativity and not forcing kids to go for things they don't understand or like. Yet still although we're not achieving change by hanging out in the cafes of NUS with Camus or Sartre in our hands(although the culture of SMU next to the heart of the city would deserve notice) or smoking pot on the Padang demanding that we recall our navy ship from the Gulf, we are doing it the way we know how, leave it to the government. A bit more civil activism could help but otherwise we'll do along fine thank you. You see, people would like less government but that sounds like the Republican agenda. Cut taxes, return your money to you, BIG government bad, run deficits, give you debt which isn't so bad because it's just a number, but its going to come back to haunt them eventually. I don't see how cutting taxes increases the incentive to work, though I do admit it's good for investment. It's absurd though to see budget cuts for good programs for the poor (Cause Big government bad and poor people should get off their asses to work) and then authorise emergency spending to fund a war in Iraq. I do realise that its important for the world's sole superpower to flex its muscles from time to time to show its willing to act on its ideals but one must question the method of achieving regime change in Iraq. (Ground war? Come on.) Kosovo was a cleaner solution although bombings still do kill people, but there isn't that stigma of being an occupying power. It's pretty anachronistic to go after Iraq after all the changes in the global security situation.

Credible opposition in Singapore? Probably has to position itself to the right of the PAP in economic issues and to the left in national security. But it's simplistic to say left/right. On the one hand we have a lot of state conglomerates on the other hand there's an absence of strong unions. We have enforced savings but no unemployment net. Generally speaking its because we don't have a problem with unemployment yet, and the government may well shift to the left on this matter. It seems though they're doing a good job of accepting accepted wisdoms instead of positioning themselves on certain broad policies which would happen if the elections here was more tightly contested.

So I must start thinking about what to write.


Sometimes I go through the day looking at all sorts of interesting things and wanting to note them down, and usually they're there when i'm waiting, watching ( for let's be honest, its rare to move at quick speeds and really observe things, that's why driving's a bitch!=p).

1. People do silly things when they're bored.
e.g. me, cutting out shapes of fish with a decorative scissors. Work can be surprisingly like school when you're bored. It's just that you don't really stare at the clock.

but more importantly, was the counter girl at BBDC ( I show a marked bias towards observing girls over guys, because I am attracted to them.) She was liquid papering patterns on her very own packet of JusTea. I thought it was really stupid to do it when you're about to drink it and throw it away but then she promptly stowed it away under her counter. So maybe she's marking it so someone wouldn't steal it? But more likely, when in doubt, refer to 1.

2. People do silly things when they're in love.

Need I say more? If I do, I'll gather more evidence in support of point 2 but I have to think a bit.

3. People do silly things when they're stressed.

It starts with small gestures which are cute at first, the pen twirling, the name calling, as well as looking visibly stressed so people will offer to help and you can promptly shout at them for offering it. If it's bad enough you cry and start throwing things around and if it's really bad, you sit down and work by rule, and often needing people to prompt you on every next step. I haven't had anyone slit themselves yet by any means and I hope no one does.

4. People are silly.

Mr Eugenides has a style of description quite unlike any other writer today and I thought Middlesex was slightly better than the critics made it out to be. It doesn't have the same sense of emotional resonance as the Virgin Suicides but lets be clear that probably teenage crushes and impaling yourself on the fence does engage the reader more than a 4 generation epic. But Middlesex is honesty of a different sort, a nice sort of historical imagination and curiosity that we all have about our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and papas etc and the descriptions ooooh.

I want to take note of all these interesting things, maybe make some serious comment about something which I did rationalise and think about earlier in the afternoon that I felt made a lot of sense but when I come back and listen to music and read it all melts away and perhaps its better that way that whatever I came to a conclusion too was internalised and there's not really much need to talk about it and I can just dwell with a reasonable amount of self-assurance and go to sleep tonight.


I got into LSE today, which is more than i can ask for. Now I have to figure out how to settle all the paperwork.

"The truth is that you're a quiet, sensitive type but, if I'm prepared to take a chance, I might just get to know the inner you: witty, adventurous, passionate, loyal... a little bit crazy, a little bit bad. But hey, don't us girls just love that."
-Diane, Trainspotting

Wow, sounds encouraging, now I need to go acquire an inner me. Excuse me while I go hide in the corner=p.



'Friday night running, to Sunday on my knees' - U2

This sentence applies more literally to me perhaps than in the song=p. Running on Friday night, and kneeling on the church pews on Sunday.

It's an exceptionally slow Sunday which is how Sundays should be, and for so long I haven't had the pleasure of really waking up late and wandering through Sunday with nothing really compelling to do.

The choir surprised us today with beautiful rendition of Pan De Vida, in Spanish of course, porque dios es amor! And, because it was the reading of the prodigal son, there was also Amazing Grace which is many people's nicest non-Christmas hymn.

And because Sunday is family day, and Mom was away in Indonesia for class reunion, dad lapsed into bard mode.

About how the prodigal son moved him to Christianity above Buddhism. I guess this philosophy is rather unique, one which removes notions of justice, and righteousness, and more to love and mercy. a devolvement of power from the government to the province of the heart.

it doesn't make sense. how can i do something wrong and expect to be forgiven, with no bad consequences? what's to stop me from sinning again. well, many times, i don't. but in that way it does move the motivation to the individual. not to sin for the sake of not sinning.

i don't really like the word sin because it implies something so cast in stone and so wrong, when most of the time we're moving in shadow. the church can be rather rigid at times. dad told me of aunt who got pregnant before marriage and had a child out of wedlock, and when she wanted to have a catholic marriage with that guy, the church didn't allow it, and she decided that the church was bullshit. It very well could be, and in Europe, only half of them go to church so maybe it's all boiling down to the individual now.

No shame about it but less choirs, no more majestic cathedrals and holding hands during our Father. That is probably what Church is good for, this sense of home. But it is very difficult for people who do not belong. Although catholicism has moderated much in the past decades and is generally very genial and accepting.

It's the songs of the Beat era which hold so much appeal. I think poetry is very much dying now because of the advent of popular lyricised songs on record, and there isn't need for much sentimentalism. Okay I still see a poetry column in FT but even then it's a 1950's one. The BBC poets, Auden, MacNiece, Hughes gave way to a new generation in the West, maybe inspired by Kerouac more in lifestyle than in style.

And the next generation, Dylan, Lennon/McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, Cohen all can be considered poets in their own right, and perhaps that wave has already passed so we have to turn to them for music of a certain sort.

Both Sides, Now
Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons ev�rywhere
I�ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on ev�ryone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I�ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It�s cloud illusions I recall
I really don�t know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev�ry fairy tale comes real
I�ve looked at love that way

But now it�s just another show
You leave �em laughing when you go
And if you care, don�t let them know
Don�t give yourself away

I�ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It�s love�s illusions I recall
I really don�t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I�ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I�ve changed
Well something�s lost, but something�s gained
In living ev�ry day

I�ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It�s life�s illusions I recall
I really don�t know life at all
I�ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It�s life�s illusions I recall
I really don�t know life at all

J. Mitchell

P.S Was she the girl who sang the Blues in "American Pie'?
The went-by week

Week-went-by with the discovery of a few slices of heaven, and if it keeps up this good form we'll find enough of it to make a heaven cake that should be ready by the end of Lent.

I'm a city person. I like having something to do, having crowds of people to feel lost in, the tremulous murmurs of an urban heartbeat. and when it's all gone, to see 'the aged and empty streets too dead for dreaming' (i should have quoted from sound of silence but mr tambourine man is good enough.)

In the city, to see the cleaners and the river flowing placidly, and still the river runs. Where its quiet at night but everywhere people are still working in the UOB Building and partying at Centro. And damn if I had a car. I would go to Changi more, where the food is great, there are pieces of wig from the scalps of transsexuals, and a bit of the activity of recruits booking out, and Channel News Asia covering the Tekong incident. The haunted colonial era buildings and the Changi Sailing Club at night. Where, walking down the boardwalks to the fish traps and the few people fishing, and the stairs leading straight down to the water where the first steps are covered in barnacles and green moss and the accumulated toll of the waves, although lapping gently then, could have been fiercer in times of storm and thunder, have resulted in little chips. A lagoon, which although probably piss or shit or ship waste infected, in better times, a place for kids to swim while their parents indulged in rather more bourgeoise pleasures. Trip over lines and sinkers, and set up the rod, and just sit there, an excuse to talk. Even a small mobile water slide and diving platform. And a line of floating buoys demarcating the lagoon from the world unknown and dangerous to small kids.

Pan forward to the kelong and Malaysia's hills in the background. Even in this deathly quiet, the imagined sunrise is too beautiful for words, and it is the imagined dawn that will keep you awake until morning, as we discuss perhaps the best angles to capture the sunrise in the morning. Another boardwalk branches off somewhere and it is known as 'Sunset Walk'. It branches again, one up the hill towards the chalets, a small archaic staircase which would be good for making out if you don't mind mosquitoes, to a group of rocks which would require you to climb over the railings to get to, where you can take nice touristy photos on the rocks, which are linked to the boardwalk by a precariously perched wooden plank. And it leads, fittingly, to the End, a square the size of a room, on stilts above the low tide, where you can have a good view of it all.

'Where are we now?' Yishun, or Sengkang probably on the left, because those lights have to be HDB flats, and I don't recall JB being so built out. And, there is the characteristic red dot on each HDB flat maybe to warn planes, and maybe that's why we're the little red dot. With the rest of mainland Singapore on our left, you can only conclude that North is either Malaysia or Ubin. To the Northeast is Tekong, and a frantic scene of activity. It is a sea that is vaguely familiar, due to previous canoeing trips and our coastal hook exercise. The low tide and the land breeze combine to make patterns on the water. Some parts which are shallower show noticeably more variations in rippling and you can almost imagine a shelf of sand about to stick out of the water.

Then, and only then, you know why heaven is often referred to as a place and not a feeling. (I should write this shit for the STB. Fuck reverse bungee jumping.)

On another note.

'Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup.'

How can endless rain fit into a paper cup? As Adidas says, Impossible is potential, Impossible is temporary, Impossible is Nothing.

Fuck. Just do It. Simple.

Nike has a better slogan. Even f.c.u.k is cool by virtue of its name. Perhaps John Lennon really doesn't mean anything. It is still a compelling image, because it is an oxymoronic one, but it makes sense. You can imagine rain flowing and flowing into a paper cup, just that it won't stay in. The first few do. It is happening even now! The page is a cup, and the words are the rain.

On the other hand, I have had to turn off my phone because someone keeps calling every 5 minutes. Plus the lack of sleep induced by beauty only lad me to a terribly grumpy mood after I gave my all for the driving lesson.

And the 2 hours of sleep in between. It is when you sleep tired, don't even realize you're sleeping, wake up 2 hours later to find everything the same, ( no sun has risen, the air-con is still on, i am still on the bed where i was), and to wake up not feeling tired although the sleep is not enough. Like what Tony Leung must have felt waking up on the psychiatrist's couch.

Compare with long sleep after long tiring day yesterday. Dreams of leaving the contents of my entire room inside my OCS bunk, trying to shift it one by one back into my room, dreaming of losing all my books and stuff(which I eventually will) and having to hire K.C Dat to do the moving. I will have to face up to it soon when I am supervising the office moving.

I've looked at clouds from both sides now (Joni Mitchell)

As someone said, Joni Mitchell was a horse. There was no way she coulda taken that amount of drugs and still do a concert. And it did her in.

And going up the elevator to Cineleisure, this finally played. The Linda Ronstadt version too.

Why don't you come to your senses
You've been out riding fences
For so long now,

Oh you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons,
These things that are pleasing you
can hurt you somehow

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet
And it seems to me some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only one the ones that you can't get

Oh, Desperado
You ain't getting no younger
Your pain and your hunger
Are driving you home

And freedom, O freedom
Well that's just some people talking
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time
The sky won't show and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're losing all your highs and lows
ain't it funny how the feeling goes away.

you've got to come to your senses
come down from your fences
open the gate
It may be raining
But there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you
let somebody love you
Before its too-oooh late.

It's been a gargantuan entry, but I've been doing gargantuan papers so its only appropriate. and this doesn't have any footnotes!


There comes a point sometimes when you're really tired and you just feel like giving up, or lashing out at it all, whichever is your reflex action. A lot of times though, we're ruled by moderation and we never really cross that thin red line.

It is equally tiring too, to work with or even be friends with someone who is constantly toeing that line. You feel terribly responsible, irritated at second guessing and fearful of saying the wrong thing and starting a hormonal slide into oblivion.
and when after a few days everything is fine, you worry its just a calm before the storm and the worst is going to come. and when after a year or so everything is normal you feel a vague sense of relief, that everything turned out fine.

and for the person who pulled himself out of the borderline, what a fleeting sense of grace! that confidence that he had to snap out of it, or the faith in someone else who did it for him. it is a grace reserved for the possesor.

if you burn all your bridges, perhaps you're more visionary than the insane person i think you are. i was bordering on calling it courage or cowardice, but i was tempted to think it was more of a natural, and there wasn't any more tomorrow morning to catch your fall, and tonight bleeds into tomorrow.

i'm tempted to be callous, almost cruel, but i myself hate sarcastic, remarks meant to rend. or half the time they do, i've learnt to shrug aside a lot of criticism, but i still can't deal with implied ones.

"time is an ocean, but it ends at the shore."


like everything else, i need to get mildly pissed off about something to get anything done.

and as usual, when i'm pissed off i act all cute about it, like japanese ladies that cover their mouth, like the japanese in general, ever since they were deprived of the right to lop people's heads off with a katana. so they make cute sony eriksson phones, playstation rpgs, av movies, sex toys, discmen, and other cute contraptions. suppressed aggresion breeds creativity. and of course now japan wants a real army and maybe some nukes. which means less pokemon and more business for mitsubishi and other defence contractors.

that of course, is not the point. it is however, something that amuses me and i indulge myself. i am so positively enamoured with me. the ego apparently develops at 2 when you can distinctly identify between 'them' and 'me' and it is only then that love is possible, that one can give beyond oneself. i cannot imagine how the world doesn't grovel at my feet and do stupid things like raise their right hand and shout my name over and over again. i miss the days when i inscribe my capital city "Halconya", a woeful mispelling of Halcyon, a big word that I failed to understand as a kid, over the map of Germany in my Philips Atlas and pretended that Germany was my country. Just that i was called Halconya too. Just like SIngapore is the capital city of Singapore. How naive that little fact proved to be because in the end who the fuck cares what the capital of Singapore is. It just shows my complete lack of udnerstanding, that I thought each country neatly had a capital. I traced over the county boundaries in England(a foreboding of my imperialistic instincts?) I traced lines connecting cities together, I think Singapore and other cities that crossed over the Sea of Java and the South Chine Sea, in pencil, of course. Although Halconya was in pen. Actually, I had Halconya over Hamburg because it would feel more like Singapore and my Sim City and it sort of over looked the entire empire. As I matured, leaning that Germany was once called the Reich and they presided over the gassing of millions of jews, I decided to learn French because their people sounded nicer if a little stuck up. It was also a classic European language that would stand me in good stead.

It's scary because Hitler probably did that, imagining his capital cities and the big Liebensraum in the East in the mountains in Bergestaden(damn german spelling) . But in some cases I guess it became unrestrained probably because he left his conscience behind and he actually believed he could pull it off. talk about the power of a dream. in the end, the british and the russkies defeated him, england have up her Empire, and nations lived happily, albeit insecurely, ever after.

Like the kid playing Transformers toys in church (its amazing the stunts he can think off, like balancing it on one hand from the pew) and then turning it into a fire engine. and the priest too, doing his own version, transforming bread into the body of christ. and think of it, i never played with transformers. I had Lego and Duplo, but even then it was more building things like Petrol Station or houses on green grass and never the cool Evil Empire sort. I think Happy Meals were good because I got things like UFOs with that purple blob like thing on it. Cereal boxes could really be cut out or they had mazes to be played with(do they still? I rearely eat cereal now) and they were usually Honey Stars or some intergalactic name. Life was kind. And McDonalds was actually cool then cause they had playgrounds everywhere. And it would have to be a deliberate trip to go cause there was none near my place. Now I can walk to Serene Center so I hate it. And the Happy Meal Toys now are just sad cause they like to produce Hello Kittys instead.


"Romeo and Juliet
Samson and Delilah
Oh baby you can bet
They were burning with desire

I said I don't love ya
Don't ya know that I'm a liar
And when we touch...oooo...

Charlene's vocals are probably why we love Wala Wala's so much
they shot boxer too. you're all gonna die. in the end, all are killed, hardworking, lazy, powerful, weak

the one who will win is the one with the gun!
i swear to god i do. damn do i work. don't shoot me. please. i will do whatever you say.
I guess you're right. There are too many smart people in the world. We should take all the bespectacled people and shoot them (although I don't wear specs, admittedly too stubborn too i almost failed my provisional driving license eyesight test, but my mom's an optometrist!) and make my mom unemployed. they know too much philosophy for their own good. we could do with more farmers, you good-for-nothing scum of academia who do not know how to work.


Can't help reflecting on army life, although its far from over. Exactly a month into my posting from OCS, I'm probably beginning to feel sufficiently removed from the realities of recruit and cadet life. When I look back at it all, it will all probably be happy and worth it, because in the end those isolated moments of despair and rather longer periods of despondency, are, perhaps symptoms that I have grown. Or that is at least how ineffable human logic seems to function, that the tougher something is, the more worth you derive from it. Economically speaking, cost has to be commensurate with benefit.

Let's try to be objective about it.


Resort in the sun. The nervous expectancy was there, even a masochistic looking forward to actually having exercise everyday
which JC couldn't afford. The burned weekends sucked, and getting used to a loss of freedom which reminds you of what so many other damn people are fighting for.

Almost everyone will say that the best things about NS is the people you meet. (Why Malaysia wants NS). It does put you in touch of people from different walks of life, although one thing I can safely say about Singapore is that as generations pass I feel we're getting more and more homogenized. It seems so. Improve my dialect and stuff. There was the obnoxious and those who really garnered respect, and we learnt to all live together happily.


Haha. What can I say... pretty fun instructors. Of course, sort of left it with a bitter aftertaste. Sort of like knowing what a bureaucratic beast the army can be and the sad reality of discipline and regimentation, which leads to the bigger ideal that in the end, our job entails running towards bullets or they'll shoot you anyway. Or now, I'm supposed to shoot people who do.

TST, filled with pride, running here and there, with hardly time for admin, and 3 weeks pass just like that and it's a weekend. Time passes so slowly in anticipation.

Section training, the blistering heat, the thrill of feeling garang, throwing smoke and stuff. And finding BETA checkpoint, in that fit of anger. If i fail in everything I do, I will remember BETA. Goddamnit. But I found you anyway.

Still, I recall being filled with emotion. During Spade, when I misfired, and I so desperately wanted to get out to see Michelle off. But strangely, after a placid acceptance and wild visions of the future, I just dug and sug through the night and it was almost therapeutic. Talking to Shijie, keeping each other going especially when he broke a spade and a pickaxe hammering through a root. The cold Milo, the nights for thinking. Sorted out a lot. Marching on and on with load on back thinking about almost everything.

ROC. The instant noodles. The scenery, navigating in a foreign country, R&R. Good, boyish fun.

Brunei. haha. well. unforgettable. don't need to write anything down.

Elegiac? yeah damn well. Feel like it today.

Cause I suddenly drifted to this topic while designing floor plans for the new NSHRC office. At least I can smile next time knowing that I was responsible for the lack of the space that I have because I factored it in. But they want to squeeze everything in it's not really my fault. Or I probably have to think harder. Okay.
Congratulations to all who did well for A levels, including my cousin. You deserve it.
Whee. soccer match tmrw, then have to rush down to get PDL and look around at the LSE and UCL booth tmrw...
then dinner, karaoke, walla's! hedonism.
Next week then. DOO on Sunday, let's hope there are no incident reports or anything.
Pour mon papa et maman

Because, giving birthday cards away was a family tradition
But you never gave the other guys cards!

Overseas, studying for his life but mostly just for fun
Equally bored, like me, suddenly turned loose into a world of maturity
Easier but colder.

Extra trips to the laundrette
and like Juliet, ask the fair maid who the man was

He had the cocky optimism of ignorance

Her, the enlightening stupidity and the boldness of beauty

7 page letters?
Warm hugs in the Sydney cold?
Waltzes that led to love?
And there was only really one to dance with
Not the others.

Both struggling through Lear and the Great Gatsby
Language forced on unsuspecting souls
English songs were fashionable
And you started the biggest joke of all
(that got the whole world crying)

Hard work in restaurants
Warm tutoring
and other unmentionable things
that I can only imagine happen
(and must have happened!)
or why would there be me?

6 months in Oregon
Me, 2 sisters
and 24 damn years of marriage.


Emperor of Antarctica

The world is turning, turning, turning
Everyone is spinning, spinning, spinning.
Waves are rollling, rolling, breaking
Icebergs collapsing, snows avalanching
Find me at the South Pole where
I'm not really moving much.

It's cold and frigid here, and mostly lonely
The penguins, the emperors and their eggs, huddling
dwell way too close to the shore
Ex ovo omnio. Ovid.
The few geologists I can muster here
Are way too much of a bore

Mr Amundsen and R.F Scott
once duelled for this vast expanse
But Antarctica with its shrinking icecaps
wouldn't be owned
not even by Eskimos.
There are none here.
just listless torpor.
people already loved
missed by letters
but only wanting instead
to be understood
if not by men
then by snows.

The packed snow breeds dreams of food, warm fire, even home
shivering, humming Beatles tunes in a sleeping bag
delusions of grandeur: "I am the Emperor of Antarctica"
The dunes of snow are my domain
Apart from that not much else
not mosquitoes that fear the cold.
To kill the grinning walrus
"Who is he anyway?"
just stains the powdery canvas
with impressionistic crimson
like a young girl murdered by a pickaxe
in very very cold blood.
smells of rancid butter
it will do as a rug.

Just me and these other boys with dreams
who looked out too many windows on starry nights
watching clocks, waiting to be found
sailors bitter hardened by the sea.
tormented by the beauty that afflicts us all

like this neverending land
reflecting the orange sun
glooming over the horizon
just like an old western
but no aubades found here
and riding into sunsets
only gets you lost.

Me, I just hated air-conditioning bills,
the place I came from, everything I loved.
That's why I came to freeze on these moiraines
tan in the ozone hole
dump myself in some freezer
where it's forever cold.