in 5 days a lot can happen and it really sucks when you don't keep updated and you lose all these quotes and thoughts and most importantly moods that you're in that make you write something that doesn't feel like you're just grasping through your memory for events. here they are.

today is o level day. i've ceased to care about it because it was so long ago but my sis got 9 pts so she gets to stay where she is. hurrah.

dad got a new job. a nice challenging one. hurrah.

yes i agree that s'porean girls are thin because on the way back on friday night i saw them swarming all over town.

oscar gliteratti gliteratta. o all so lovely and gorgeous and immortalised on film, how lucky, every gesture that speaks of ordinary life but is actually hard contrived work behind a camera. but how lucky to be able to die and have all that video footage of you. and not be swept away.


Now I'm absolutely smashed.

Reservoirs are the closest thing we have in Singapore to beautiful lakes which other countries have. Vast bodies of water are beautiful because you can see all the way through to the other side, there are no trees or buildings growing on water to block the way, and I guess the mind is perpetually tricked by scale and the vast amounts of light it suddenly takes it, especially when you've emerged from close terrain in the jungle.

Reservoir carparks have also earned a rather seedy, or romantic, reputation. I think, I guess, they're one of the few bastions of quiet in the city.

There was also a lighthouse like thing, which I guess is the main tower of the pumping station. There's the bund which is associated with most pumping stations. Apart from Macritchie, one of our most accessible reservoirs, I remember going to Upper Pierce Reservoir park, there's large fields where you can play frisbee or you could even sprint up and down the bund to expend the infinite energy you had as a kid.

Still the Central Catchment reservoirs are beautifuller because of the little fingers that they possess, and the fact that there is actually some terrain variation 60-70m and some primary vegetation.

i'm late... outdated!


"They say there's no success like failure,
well but failure's no success at all."


Absolutely wrecked

Not quite. The days fly by and I'm going to ORD soon. I'm supposed to be clearing leave but I'm hanging around the office because I refuse to conduct my clearance in an efficient manner and am going back for training from time to time. Leaves me open to people who're looking for me... no harm then... haha, ended up spending the whole afternoon going through the presentation... and staying back with Xinhong to do it up... In some twisted way I can like numbers & data.

The bad thing about that is that you're hungry but when I'm hungry I'm slightly high & not tired anyway... but when I reach home I just get all crappy. you'll miss all these things, going back on 171 with tourists & explaining the way, and with the workers at Night Safari... I'll miss Seletar reservoir and runs to the zoo... but I think I shall write all this in my ORD memoir. Watch this space on ORD day.


D�ja vu

Newsweek did an appreciation of Arthur Miller, where the obituaries (if any) traditionally reside.

They had a nice huge picture of Marilyn Monroe, cheek pressed against the doorway with a single hand on it, and Arthur Miller glaring ominously behind her, pencils in pocket. Arthur is stiff, rigid, Marilyn is slouching as she has the doorway for support. They do not touch. It's a black and white photo, so one can never tell, but they were wearing dark coloured clothes, for certain, and Marilyn was decked in a rather sombre looking dress. She was anything but, and she wore the traditional look reserved for staring our of doorways (pensive, thinking about god knows what). They were on the set of 'Misfits'.

And I was thinking. They stole my picture! No, it wasn't, because I was influenced by god knows millions of people before me. But I always had a picture of my girl standing and staring out of the window. I have also a picture of a girl hailing a cab, of course, I'd be taking the picture from the direction the cab would be approaching in.

She was gorgeous then though, with straight, short hair, I never really liked her with her curls. And her famous mole was unseen.

ok nothing i just wanted to say something about this picture.


But I, all day, I heard an angel crying:
'Hurt not the trees'.

Sunny Singapore. At last, we're fulfilling our image as a sunny tropical island set in the sea, with the sun, the sand... the sea... but no rains.

Our lovely island has been turned into a mottled patchwork of brown. This was worse 2 days ago, when everything was brown. I'm quite a brown person though. I like it, it reminds me of colours we only ever get to see on film (where do they get all those fantastic shots of autumn), or across prairies & savannahs. It was nice to see something that wasn't lush, verdant, green, although it really sucks to be running in this sort of weather.

So they questioned why I like brown, well, if you think of it as bronze or gold it isn't that bad right? I think orange is a very beautiful colour. orange, yellow, brown, gold, the whole family. hell, i even like it when i'm tanned. Although it was beautiful, the truth is that they're all withered, and there were little bush fires at Yishun.

It reminds me of the desert heat, though it's much more humid. The way the sky is all blue, and we find it beautiful when we're in stranger climes, the way the moon is up in the sky at 5 and sitting rather obviously in a sky of blue, totally cloudless. I wish I had a better camera on my phone, but I really liked the shade of blue and I took it, and my phone has how few colours, mind you!

They're all saying, perhaps its global warming and we're all going to die because the world is getting hotter. I just think Nature is a rather more beastly thing than we give it credit for. I think it screws around with us just enough without our interference anyway. And I guess Nature, that benovelent little shit, is no sustainer of life. We've survived in spite of nature. I will spit on its face the moment we invent climate control. All the trees and grass drying in the heat will wish that too. So I think tree huggers shouldn't be too concerned. Of course, we shouldn't wipe out all the biodiversity of the planet while we're at it.

Elle joue du tuba, parce que c'est le seul instrument d'imiter les boue�s de d�stresse.

Love story in the old tradition. Kids meet at a tender, impressionable age, seek each other out to play after school, carry each other up lighthouses, find quirks of nature and funny quotes to remember each other by. Guy gets rushed off to war and is missing for a very, very long time. Girl lights her Breton lamp and waits for the impending return of the husband, and doesn't find him after the war. She waits, hope upon hope, that she will eventually hunt him down and eventually...

Basically, stuff that never happens today. Because we're reluctant to fight long, senseless wars to determine which nation is stronger than the other (and has a larger tolerance for suffering on a collective scale) or is better at getting objectives as well as forcing the marvels of technology onto the battlefield. Wars in the developed world are now executed with surgical precision, between a force of unparalleled strength and technological advancement, and pesky guerillas or rogue armies which never say die, sparing us countless years in the trenches, and the doubt of yesteryear. (Oh he's dead, we picked up his death on our network).

Un long dimanche de fian�ailles is a lovely film with typically beautiful French scenery. The jagged coastlines of Britanny, the fields & meadows. Very witty screenplay.

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice.
"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone, "to be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, in this light."

Interestingly, nobody is personne in French. This passage is set in gibberish surroundings, but it can be beautiful on its own. Nobody, Noone, Nothing are traditionally words of despair... but some people believe that people who are not there are there, and that nobody is just a person who'll pass by, to be followed by somebody. In other words, they see with their heart (How Hollywood!)

Grant us peace

Something not very "Hollywood" is Million Dollar Baby (Yes don't ask me, I felt like a movie marathon on Friday). Good subject (boxing), and even if it turned out to be Rocky-like I wouldn't be too concerned. Was initially disconcerted by the pace of the movie (very slow), as well as the thick accent (southern) of the narrator which led to me missing some things. But well, good film, ol blood & guts sort, but it stand into its own because it does show that part of America. Trailer trash land, backroads, interstates, basically places in America I'd never bother going to (Missouri). So-called red states full of rednecks.

I like Clint Eastwood's characters, because they're fascinated by morality and dignity. Their conscience always bugs them, and I like the grave stern look on their faces as they're contemplating their life or what they've done wrong. It was a very real show, something that could conceivable happen to anyone (no, not having a title shot at welterweight champion of the world), but in general, being screwed over by people, screwing up your closest relationships by being too uncommunicative and reserved, doing things right all the way till the last moment, feeling all bad and shitty that one's glory days are over, just wanting peace by eating lemon pie at some roadside diner. No money, no glory, just peace and maybe a quiet way to die. Not with tracheostomy performed to get you to breathe and breathing on life support. I always hated going to hospitals & I hate how the things made to save us are so ugly and restraining. I hate the indignity of how the human body fails and I will never be a doctor, noble as it is.


Sports Illustrated : Steamy? You're kidding me
To put it simply

After a day of relative inactivity, returned to the office. I didn't expect that there would be much to do and I happenly went off for my training.

Upon my return, I realised I had to complete a 15 page WITS report. Apparently the project summary wasn't enough and they wanted me to do a 15 page report! By Friday! Because they wanted to turn it over to the administrators for it to be judged and all, and maybe given a prize? like what the fuck for.

I understand the rationale... in a way. You're not supposed to do all 15 pages at once. It's supposed to be like some secondary school project where you brainstorm once a week and make regular progress. And gosh it's like some elaborate check and balance to 'make sure' you're innovating because no one will do it if they're not beaten with a stick (quite true). But still! You can't force things, it's not right... and I think a lot of the innovation is still done in little ways although it's not formalised.

but i guess 1. they could just judge the innovation by the results of its implementation instead of 15 pages rehashing the same basic facts :(problem, root cause, brainstorming for solutions, corrective actions), which has little bearing on implementation of said solution. And when the report demands hard figures and evidence, ok can give, but I suddenly came across terms like : Pareto graph(does sound familiar, coefficient of inequality?), Ishikawa Diagram... I'm like... ok... not my level? Maybe I'm not yet trained in Economics but I think that if you expect innovation to be commonplace you ought to compile the ideas and the raw statistics and save the fancy presentations for the professionals. In the end, I did a Tree Diagram, and a Flowchart, and a Mindmap and a few graphs. It felt so amateur but I'm convinced that doing one of those 4 syllable things that I knew nothing off would just be complete bullshit because that's not what we thought about, frankly, when solving the problem. Most likely we combined steps 1-12 all at once.

I'm happy they're going to hand over the room and start renovation. Finally. I can see a bit of what it would look like, stuff turning into reality.

Was also worried when I was stumped by a tuition question yesterday. Turns out I was careless(what's new) and saved me some embarassment that at least I knew how to do it. I'm worried by the stuff I'm forgetting though I can barely remember when you should factorise or not though I can remember the formulae I'm not stringent in using them. God help me. I have blisters on my feet and they irritate me


hmm. very nice. my helmet & sbo and everything has been thrown away and i need to go for zeroing on thursday, nice. minor irritation. had to leave and go to the airport to quell my disquietude. aah well, it's just a bit of trouble

played chap ji kee too... paid a lot of "tuition fees" to my elders

i can't blame anyone can i? all trying to be nice and apologetic and helpful

sent off rumin at the airport today. it felt very rushed and all and wow all gone. her boyfriend was hiding in some other corner and it was very sweet when they said goodbye. i saw it through the bengawan solo shop. & some people took out their clarinets to play 'auld lang syne' cause a whole other bunch of them was leaving. i don't know if i would have cried (i didn't) but i think it's cause there were other people around and barnabas was kicking his sandal from place to place.

good. i still remember her when she was in sec 1.

i want to leave too. i don't think i can suffer goodbyes too. we should all leave. bye bye to everyone who's going to leave whom i won't see off. you see, once you've left, and you're on the other side, then everyone will be arriving, and all will be well and good.

the evening was anticlimatic and i started listening to "ai wo bie zou" many many times because i suddenly liked the song.

feeling too much, there's a danger you become an aesthethe or a softie who doesn't do anything and just dreams and dreams and dreams. feeling and not expressing. criminal. is it? oh everyone feels! nobody likes being put in a box! i can very well understand, it's almost futile at times like these, and you might as well give up writing this stupid blog that's online and all.

and another day i will urgh but i think i shall have to continue for discipline's sake for now.


"i have love & what do you have?", said the fairy
one day, i think, we shall have songs about singapore.

like those about georgia or something.

it's not much to work with, but we can try
14th February: St Valentine's Day, & the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden (the fuck?)

I love trains. I had to trek up to MINDEF having trained earlier for Cobra Challenge. There was the single gauge railway of course, part of the KTM network. (It's malaysian land right?) Trains remind me of the country more than anything. Cause they pass through some of the most inhospitable terrain. If you played FF8 you would have recalled Yuffie also saying "I love trains."
I loved it when I went to KL on train. Trains, the British Empire, Trans-Siberian, Trains chugging to Auschwitz, Belsen and Dachau (tragic trains). Choo choo. Thomas the train. Damsel tied to the track.

Dresden was bombed too. I think it was Harris who ordered the incendiary bombing of the city (was Hamburg hit too?). Good that they're reminding us. I was never a Dresdenian, but I'm sure whatever transpired must have been horrific enough to be remembered 60 years on. But how many atrocities must have happened in the years. I could assign one to every day.

Also: Valentine's day. It appears the hip & vogue thing to be (okay maybe not maybe it's a genuine feeling) is to demystify valentine's day and all, that it doesn't mean much. why should it, to us singles, or even to the couples who contend that they can show their love on the other 364 days of the year.

There was a time I felt sad on Christmas and Valentine's. But it's so sad to set every Christmas tree on fire, pluck the petals of the roses etc. I also felt there were many different varieties of pretty people, but that's like saying there's many flavours of ice-cream.

I got tricked today! I got tricked by evil Clarence, who pretended he was in some shit on v-day. suffice to say, being naive and gullible as i am, i fell for it and called weilan. wtf. oh well. better spastic than skeptic.


i've had 2 minor irritations today. i just feel like ripping someone into shreds. because i am civil, i will do it here.

i wish i had a more eloquent way of doing that, of disparaging and publicly insulting someone who pissed me off in a small way, even if you didn't mean it.

urgh. if not for the fact that life is made out of debts that we owe, and that you can owe things to people you've never even met, owe things to people who don't deserve it, and, thanks to whoever invented the marvellous concept of human dignity, owe things to oneself, everything would collapse, because i'd be more predisposed to offing the next person who pissed me off before i did the same to them.

it takes discipline to keep the social balance of payments in order.


Good luck everyone!

The TOTO Hongbao draw is an annual event and to commemorate it, we went down to Chong Pang to purchase a few boards... apparently it struck top prize plenty of times before... (thanks Edmund, to alerting me to that fact)... gosh could really use the money.

It's estd 3,888,000 for Monday and 10-11 million for Thursday, usually split between a couple of winners though.

Ah well, on verra! Hope springs eternal.
Friday Happy Pills and all that

Remember MUD? The days where logging on on your 28.8k modem to a cacophony of dialtones, "verifying user name and password", and log-in. Now you can tell your kids, I was part of history. I guess MUD, though being an obsessive sink of time, was an edifying experience of some sorts. It was our contact with the adult world as it was (so how's your kids?), people dying of cancer, tech nerds, of course our own S'porean friends, small close knit clan communities. It was fascinating to us, as 14 year olds, to talk to people who took weed before exams, and I think I learnt many figures of speech, americanisms, aussiesms, and a bit of the Europ�en way. National stereotypes came into play. The most ruthless leveller was a German, (efficiency). But those days were long gone, and being online has lost all its esoteric value, and thank god, we can all get on with life.

You see, I feel like I've swallowed a Friday Happy Pill. Like everything is absolutely drowning in a blue sea of positivity. (Electrons are red, protons are blue. Why it's like that, I have no bloody clue). There are times when I'm sick of gatherings and all. At those times, even pretty people make me unhappy, cause they remind me of all the beautiful people I'm never going to bite. And all you really wanted was a simple kind, a simple kind of life. But it wasn't like that yesterday.

I enjoyed the boisterous conversation and all. Put me up in a good mood for the weekend. I love my friends!

Also, plenty of Warholian moments. No, not Campbell soup cans. An example:

Advert on top of train: Smth about "windows of opportunities for ITE graduates"
On windows of train: painted steel bars depicting jail and the slogan "drugs make you more alone than ever"

It's not really Andy Warhol per se, but I invoked his name perhaps just to show that well damn I guess he was right. Art (& irony, incidental or otherwise) is so commonplace. Advertising is all around us! It fills the ceilings, the outsides of buses, the space above the urinal in the men's toilet! If you add all that up, that is a shitload of information! Imagine, previously, while you were peeing in the men's toilet, you would be staring at a wall. Now, you've just remembered the name of a new brand or some upcoming event on the XXth of Mar. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything, in fact, I'm stupefied and amazed at the extent that it gets into our brains. The person who invented vehicular advertising must have known how mind-numbing commutes can be and how much potential we have in those lost hours! And so many things, Apple iPods, PDAs, handphones, Nokia N-gages are created to fill the vacuum that is the commute. Because it's charming to look out the window of the bus, but you don't do it 365 days a year. Previously, we had to read books to read. Now, text & images are everywhere, and of rather high standard too. And it's a relatively recent thing, compare it to say 15 years ago(look at photos), nowhere is there such a high amount of exposure or creativity on display, for free (discounting the fact that you actually pay for it with your nike shoes). Art for the common man.

In the mood for love

No, apart from the fact that Maggie Cheung was so indubitably sexy in the film (fetish for fluttering eyelashes anyone), but argh I feel like writing erotica or something. Admittedly I hardly have enough experience, but I can start on the prologuey parts where they describe the women. It can turn our horribly embarassing though.

Mmm no, what I really mean, those were the sweetest eyes...

I like hair (the sort that grows on your head, thank you). It's one of those things which distinguishes you as a female. mmm. I need to bite someone.

how it races past your forehead and cascades behind your ear. I guess I would hate blondes, cause your hair wouldn't accentuate how beautiful and fair you were. No contrast. mm. But good for black and white photography, cause it catches the light. Unfortunately we see in colour. (that didn't come out right)

or maybe it's the way you walk, putting one foot in front of the other like your momma told you too.

fuck man. it's the little things.


What the hell is inner beauty?

I think it's a mistake to try to link inner beauty with outer beauty, as if they were two mutually exclusive characteristics. Watching the trailers for Shallow Hal, it appears that "wow, if there's no outer beauty, well there sure is plenty of inner beauty".

Of course, that's probably not what they mean and they just want to remind everyone that looks don't matter. But the worst possible thing we can so is to try to fob off the myth of inner beauty on ugly people who are bitter and resent it. Maybe it's because there was this lady with three teeth sticking out from her lower lip who was clearing tables with a vengeance. Not everyone has the same disposition to suffering (why should they?), and I shall stop before I sound more and more like a Tory (it is impossible to say what I mean!)

Okay, fiscal 04/05 is drawing to a close. When I go back tomorrow I shall try to close all the ePS orders and spend whatever is left of the branch budget. And hopefully I shall end it there and that shall be one of my last contributions.

Budget for fiscal 05/06. Target: Run budget surplus, favourable balance of payments
Possible expenditures:

Handphone. If I were to get this in S'pore, would set me back 700-800 bucks. Shall delay short term expenditure, I think it's bets if I went to the UK and get one with a plan there instead, cut out some of the deadweight loss. (not really, increased profits of local handphone retailers)
to note: recurrent expenditure (in sterling!) for monthly subscription. very painful. need to save more now to prevent deficit later.

IT stuff: settled. very minimal IT budget for next yr. Maintenance and augmentation.

Education: French lessons. French exam. This ministry will try to balance it's own expenditure with tuition income. I think I will let IE pay for the rest once I'm over there.

Accomodation: Need to select one at reasonable rates. Paid for, but no reason to be wasteful.

Transport: Tube? Bike? Not cheap. Definitely no car, no petrol expenditure. Perhaps in Singapore where to be fair I probably have to pay for some of the gas.

Trip: Okay... to Indochina, plane tix, misc money. $1,500 sing? possible? Visa app costs, backpack urgh.

Clothing: Winter clothing. A pair of decent black shoes. Okay enough for now. will update.


Happy Chinese New Year to all!

The festivities this year are markedly more festive than they have been for previous years, for myself, anyway. I remember I was stuck in OCS this time last year.

The Catholic priests had the forbearance to postpone Ash Wednesday, and it's Ash Friday now. It makes sense, considering that it's more like Mardi Gras the way we're consuming food now. If we're not careful all that training will go to waste.

And of course, with the extended family over for once, we earned the rights to host as we had sufficient mass to attract other families to gravitate around us. We didn't have to travel vast tracts of empty road to be at the mercy of the hospitality of other people for once. So I guess, it's a more "real" celebration in that sense, considering most of the time it's pretty much "us" over here.

I'm trying to stay awake for the England-Holland game too. It was pretty insane trying to queue to get into the 7-11 at Sixth Avenue today because there was a line of people which took 1 hr 17 mins from end to counter. I guess there were enough sufficiently bored people wishing to usher in the luck of the new year.


Tian Ya Ge Nu

For today's Chinese New Year celebration in camp, they brought in a "contortionist" who was spinning plates. Admittedly, I was expecting her to stand on her head and spin plates. However, obviously she was not so gymnastically inclined so she was just doing token moves. However, to keep her plates spinning must have taken a large amount of wrist strength. Admittedly though, they were plastic plates (what's the name for it? melanine? melanite?) and i do believe they tampered with the props. When one of the plates stopped spinning it just hung lamely off the pole.

A very gypsy craft... made me think about wandering show people. People who set up circuses, Romani gypsies in their tent (and much is made in this week's issue of the Economist how to get Romani more succesfully integrated into society), wandering wonders such as acrobatic troupes of 5 year old girls from a remote province in China, and even freak shows (remember Phantom?) or even a bear chained to a cage. Reminds me of a song, "Tian Ya Ge Nu" I think it's off a really old PRC film, which I guess would be almost impossible to find in Singapore, or I just don't know where to look. I think it was sung by Zhou Xuan at first, in an insanely happy chinese opera sort of voice, together with accompaniment from cymbals and trumpets. I first heard the Cai Qin version though, and it was rather touching. The wandering songstress and her man who'd play the qin. It's so evocative, reminds me of a certain love between this man and her sister figure who'd roam the streets for money for whom love was just the habit or getting used to each other's art.

In the song, they are separated by mountains and geography. By what? I'm not sure. Civil war, Japanese soldiers or maybe the unfortunate need to travel vast distances for money. Like needle and thread though they are inseparable (what a nice image), of course the guy is the needle and the lady is the thread.

A certain moderately famous artiste came to camp too (I do not like naming names). She was being a media whore and it looked as though she really needed the money. Of course, perhaps she was just trying to be gregarious and chirpy but the stuff that she did was rather crass. Although both performances were failures, the plate-spinner gets it for me because her failure had more dignity. Unfortunately, plate spinners remain nameless but media whores are famous. But I guess it's better that way.


The extended family has arrived.


Cleaned up the room today and I found plenty of old things which I have hoarded for inordinate periods of time. I found the little stack of stuff from GP class a long time ago. Transparencies with Salvador Dali's "Persistence of Memory", an analysis of "Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath, Marcel Duchamp's toilet installation etc. There was also a hard copy of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S Eliot which was a very nice poem.

S�io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s�i�odo il vero,
Senza tema d�infamia ti rispondo.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question � 10
Oh, do not ask, �What is it?�
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go 35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, �Do I dare?� and, �Do I dare?�
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair� 40
[They will say: �How his hair is growing thin!�]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin�
[They will say: �But how his arms and legs are thin!�]
Do I dare 45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:�
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all� 55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all�
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?�

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep � tired � or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet�and here�s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: �I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all�� 95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: �That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.�

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor�
And this, and so much more?�
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
�That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.�
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous�
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old � I grow old � 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Poor Prufrock. He has to be contented with measuring his life by coffee spoons. The epigraph is from Dante's Inferno, from one of the burning souls in hell, a Count, who respons to Dante only because he believes no one will ever return to earth who has descended into hell. In the same way, Prufrock is confessing his failure to the reader just as he knows it is impossible for the reader to betray him. Although tragic, it's probably worth noting that Eliot may just have been using him as a mouthpiece for the common, plain-looking urban man alienated and increasingly lost and insecure. Because Prufrock too notices all the lonely men smoking outside their windows. It's almost Darwinian how he judges himself (bald head, pale arms), and he believes he was created and fated to be a certain character. And he feels wearied by his knowledge, which only reminds him of his unpalatable fate.

And so timorous Prufrock fails to confess his love. To think I thought this was a poem about him being afraid to enter the brothel. heh. I guess I was horribly wrong (why would harlots speak of Michaelangelo?)


I have just purchased a good carrying case for my laptop. It's made of viscoelastic memory foam (what a fucking cool name). Cool shit. It sounded like a living foam thing that could adopt amorphous states of matter as well as exhibit sentient memory fucntions. It was originally designed by NASA to reduce the excessive G-force that pilots and astronauts experience during take-off and re-entry. It even smells of outer space. The unique thing about it is it's incredible anti-shock properties! Anyhow, it's carrying my laptop now. Looks like another thing NASA decided to fob off to the consumer masses. What would the world be without hyperbole?

Course ended today... I guess the last day is always the most fun. (no, not always). After that... have to return to office to clear the shit that has accumulated, which hopefully I will be able to dispose off efficiently and effectively. We had a lot of fun with the exercise, we thought that the comms and the voice procedure were retarded, and in our extreme boredom waiting for action to happen, we recorded our standard voice messages on our handphones so that we wouldn't actually have to speak back when we had to give stock replies. it didn't help that we were extremely irritated by the controller, lovable Mr Hans, who in the end I guess had irritated one person too many by his naggy ways. Yet he's one of those people you could have more of in this world, kind, benign, and just speaks a bit too much.

And come to think of it, we had encounters with some of the most eccentric people in the world as our instructors. heh. It also helped that I did pretty ok for the course, I even got a Borders voucher for my efforts. So primary school! Okay i think they gave gold star stickers then. But I remember in Sec 4 I received 400 dollars worth of Kino vouchers and a lot of Nat Geog stuff. Like omg omg omg I could eat vouchers for dinner everyday and digest magazines. Even after giving away half of it to teacher's, close friends and relatives, I was left with relatively much of vouchers. I was in book bliss. And althought it was just a token sum of 20 bucks, it did bring back memories. And also get my ass down to Borders (can't they give me a Kino voucher? beggars can't be choosers) and choose from their wonderful selection of books. Unlike Kino, however, their books rarely come in an immaculate condition, nor do they have an extensive selection of foreign language books or literature. And the lighting... oh well... but Borders came first and at that time, it was great. I took the opportunity to buy a book! Surprise! "The Pity of War", cause I decided to actually attempt WWI history given that I've already done a bit of WWII and to make up for my lack of historical education. Of course, that wasn't my first choice. I contemplated buying a guide to Vietnam, which they happened to lack, and I tried to pick from their choice of literature but nothing appealed to me. I even wanted to buy a CD. But in the end, what the hell, military money for a military book. It's a bit anti-war though. Thought you may like to know.

Went for jog in vest slackes to prep for Cobra Challenge too. It was a good run, one of those mind-numbing ones where you don't think about too much, unlikely some runs where you think about some impossible fantasies which make you very sad cause you're running and bored.

You see, describing my day. I can feel the certain joy in doing this, a certain exorcism of the day's spirits. I can see, also, how perhaps in some little way it is more meaningful than describing inner thoughts and feelings. What a turn! A few years back probably I wouldn't have envied writing about my day. That thoughts, feelings were what mattered. They still do, it's just that doing this is more a daily ablution. Or perhaps just a break, and lapse into something else again? It beats sitting around and thinking about shooting yourself with a gun out of boredom or sheer irritation at the world. (figuratively, I mean).


Here's one for the engineering people. Make cameras that work when you blink your eyes twice in succesion. That way, I could capture a lot of cool stuff without the hassle. A bullet leaving a gun. And everyone can take award winning photos from the comfort of their mind, rendering photography commonplace. Camera phones, why stop there?

majulah singapura!

Let's all invite Yiwen to share with us what Chinese New Year means to her

"Good Morning, my name is Yiwen. I care about a lot of things. I care about my family, my friends, as well as the people around me. I'm sure all of us also care about the surroundings of our school. I'm thus appealing to all of you to join in our spring-cleaning effort"

That's why I have to live in the city. Isn't it nice to wake up in the morning on your way to work, pass by Naval Base Secondary and listen to heartfelt pleas of help in the morning. And the kids late from school waiting for the entire damn assembly thing to be over so they can go to school.

"I heard, you say, the past was much more fun"

On 170, the Singapore-Johore express pulled up next to us. Destination Larkin. I always thought causeways were about bullock carts and ah-ems bringing their vegetables and stuff across the border. Apparently it doesn't work that way now and it's high-tech refrigerated trucks, oh... there are still the choky diesel engines and the legions of motorcycles.

I really like it when you brush your hair back like that! And pout for the camera please? "blinks eyelids twice"

you remind me of someone. heh, and i feel like biting you. that's a good start.

coronation road is also a good place to find budding lovers. actually it was opposite, at dunearn... yah the girl was hugging her boyfriend soooo tight and not letting go. she was faceless, of course, because her face was lost somewhere in the aggregation of bodies. i guess it didn't really matter. i wanna be hugged too!

had meaningful discussion in french for one that didn't revolve around insulting my "wife". Putain, j'ai faim!

Yes after going through the horoscopes in French (Libra is called Balance... cool... I balance you! feel the power), I couldn't agree they were anything but rubbish. The advice to me was to be careful to maintain my equilibrium... haha roflmao I mean that's damn bullshit. My advice to Virgo is keep your virginity. To Geminis: try to differentiate yourself.

Premise: Personality cannot be changed

We had wonderful input, especially as a psychologist was involved.

My contribution was that each person has their own disposition towards behaving in a certain way. Maybe it's serotonin or naturally high energy levels. For example I believe extroverts possess more "actionable energy", which leads to gregariousness, smiling, helping people out and stuff. Which is not to say it's unchangeable. Just that it requires constant effort to reqire the circuits. For example, an introvert would find it difficult if he wanted to to constantly smile and be all cheerful because his energy levels cannot sustain it or other negative thoughts sap his energy. But of course he could do it after some time. It would just be rather tiring at first.

no lah it's because i just can't help being sorry sometimes! sorry! no really sorry. for all i've let down.


day in the life.

sleep dream alarm study PSM early bathe eat bread wear boots take 852 listen ipod fall asleep lean window wake at lentor stop khatib walk long way road to mandalay fence gate rp oh! 2 bars today 3rd floor sign in take test curry puff teh 3rd floor exercise whole day 1:10000 blue lines red lines 80.5 scan card eat lunch char siew red 5th floor ipod cool what's this? more plan powerpoint slides 3rd floor i'll help you with that thanks go smoke infando hang round phone call, what arsenal vs man utd is today? 2.37 2.88 2.87 what choice gprs new phone england instead free with new line presentation sleepy... but it's open? comment comment windows media player video with funny people "hello, are you listening to me?" imagine s3 saying that eccentric pple playing officers go home back route you playing soccer? edmund what phone? need bluetooth headset back gate spot check LOA we're all from the same school, in a good mood, will let you pass today. phone ring edmund dad left key when come back? "wo gang gang cai fang" 6.15... walk out cross bridge just nice 852 board person beside message ipod listen drowsy phone call dinner? yes go home eat dinner, rushing change 7.30 hanabi honda crv pick up come back walk there guo you you there? cclk no. call 1609 can't rem don't want to tell wrong no. full restaurant shunimase! sit rumin clarence 3 order food cod eel tofu chawan mushi no egg where's rice? talk talk leave leave see photo mushroom antibiotics yvonne call complain g1 listen ok next time solve problem share room lse? how to bring girls where's rice? thought: contrition? future not better just past better. conversation chatter laugh laugh pay bill 58.80 visa serence center toilet need pee drive aimlessly ambassade the france big house joseph phua cool ostentatious small road nice house drive back ntuc return money no money pall mall menthol light use your toilet? sure.