To be young, gifted and black

There's another meaning to Grace that isn't the ballerina across the room nor the way the ethereal object of your desire glides across in front of your eyes.

It's when someone takes your shitty life by the scruff of your neck and gives you a glimpse of the hills. "There boy, life ain't that bad. There be hills, but you can climb 'em. And you can see real far from one o' those."

Or at least makes you feel that way.

I'm rather fond of superlatives lately, but I love Nina Simone.... jazz can be really boring nowadays (yeah yeah, subtlety)... and it's really great that there was actually someone who said "listen to me boy." Someone who sings with steel and verve... and writes with lovely tales and morals to tell. Evocative mood & lyrics, such that singin' it be seein' it. And with a cause...
the "Martin Luther King" suite for the kids blown up in the church in Birmingham, Alabama... breaking off in the middle of "My Father" cause it was bullshit what the song was singing

"My Father always promised me, That we would live in France(You know you don't believe that), We'd sail upon the Seine, and I would learn to dance... We lived in Ohio then, and he worked in the mines"

then : "i don't want to sing this song. it's not me. my father always promised me that we would be free, but he did not promise me that we would live in France."

(maniacal laughter)

"How about New York?"

"My Father knew nothing about New York, at all. He promised me that we would live in peace... and that maybe I can still get"

she did live... and die in the South of France though, in her old age.

and the gospel music... oh i have died in heaven and gone to hell. this is futile....

Other things to like: the Vietnamese trade office/ embassy is a house.... and I saw his kid return from school... it's a quaint... old rural rich-holding sort of bungalow... you know... none of 'ose tennis courts an' crap... badminton court... zinc corrugated porches... palm trees... you know. like my grandma's house.

and to be able to meet someone you haven't seen in a long time. coincidence and all that. =)

I'll have to catch up on all my work tomorrow... but I've got soul with me now. And I better get my passports back soon...


And I know that people say goodbye long before they mean to... and that moment of realization.... when they've accepted the truth of their leaving, is the most poignant moment.

Every day after that is a little farewell to places they'll never see again, to people at impromptu meetings whom they won't talk to again.

And when it comes to the adieu, the dissolution is complete, and there are no more farewells left to say... and perhaps that's why some people don't cry at goodbyes, because they've done the hard part all before.
I could have stayed at home and continued working on my papers... especially since no one seemed really interested in Debi's birthday anymore, initially, during the day.

I'm so glad I got off my butt and went. And perhaps everyone who did too. Because too all of us, "age is just a number", "oh it's only my 21st birthday", it's no big deal.

Which is true because it can seem like "oh there's nothing much to do in singapore", "there's nothing to talk about"... and we can all be tired and just feel like staying at home, or perhaps "i've been out too much the past few days", and sometimes putting on some clothes and getting out of the house is just too mundane.

And for every utterly meaningless, boring gathering we go for, we're rewarded with a nice small gathering of people, small in number but great in spirit, reluctant souls confronted with the night and the reality of being out and celebrating someone's birthday. And I guess we all had fun in our own little way and it was meaningful because we're not apart. "And making someone happier." We can only presume.

I think it's all so romantic... how masochistic.

Luckily I wasn't brutal tonight.


Remember I said I was waving. Was it possible I felt the earth move due to an earthquake? Cause apparently people are leaving their homes in KL due to a tremor.
I like to think I'm on some sort of an edge now. I can't sleep, and I should blame nicotine and caffeine and whatever. I'm here taking a break from making notes because it seems to be endless.

I actually would like to sleep. I know it's early but I need to get my body clock back in order. I know I won't feel tired until 5. I should use the time to do work, and then do useless things to get myself to sleep.

I'll sound like I contradict myself, but I think a person's at his most creative when 1. he's bloody bright awake 2. when he hasn't had sleep in a long time and knows he's tired, but is unable to because of some exigency of service.

So I dropped my stuff and walked around because I had these things to do, but I didn't know how to do them in the time I would have until I eventually feel sleepy. So I took a walk. Ostensibly it had a functional purpose, which was to put money into my bank account so I would see the number grow slightly bigger, to charm myself into thinking I can survive the next few months comfortably by myself.

I walked around and I saw a drunk worker next to NTUC. I wanted to talk about him but I decided 'What is it to be modern?' 'To be modern is to have seen everything'. I've seen countless homeless guys in movies, or described in books, or whatever. There is so much knowledge floating in the world.

I also went to City Harvest on Saturday at the invitation of my friend, who's a good Christian and wanted to show me what his church was all about. I decided to go since I hadn't seen him in some time and after all, it's Easter season, what's Easter season without going to many churches.

I talked with him a bit on some specific bits of morality which I didn't agree with him on (no surprise who had the more liberal standard). I was also with another 'backslider' who was also very nice and all about visiting the church.

To be honest, I felt alienated at the gathering. To the point of hating it. Mais ce n'est pas son faute, parce que l'etranger, c'est moi, et l'etranger, je sera. I just had that feeling... because although they claimed to be welcoming and all, I was never at the same level of engagement and enthusiasm as they would be and I could never feel what they feel.

I wanted to be some chameleon to change into whatever skin people would want but I realised what I like through what i dislike. So here are some 'bad vibes' I felt. But they're strictly personal, and for me to think through what I like vs. dislike.

1. Christianity is not a pulpit for you to speak from.

Maybe this reflects my prejudice. Religion, more than anything else in the world, ought to be egalitarian. There is no 'more faith', 'less faith', 'more sin', 'less sin'. I know that there is, but everything should be measured up against perfection, and everyone falls short of perfection. And I don't like the way sometimes the church likes to rub off 'stains' like homosexuality et al. The problem is with the lifestyle, not the inclination.

2. I don't really like loud music

Well, quite untrue. Loud music belongs to cool lyrics, like sex, drugs, rebellion, rock & roll. When it comes to God, I like my peace. I know, I know, this is starting to sound like what I like. Perhaps God likes loud music when everyone's praising him. I like my hymns. And maybe hymns are popular music during their time? No they weren't, popular music during that time was crude songs composed by gypsies. Handel was never pop, never will be.

3. Christianity does not make you rich

You should not preach that 85% of the world's 40 richest nations are rich because they're Christian. Nor should you lead people to think that God will lead you to prosperity. Because if He wants to, He can break you down. And he said something about it being harder for a rich man to enter heaven than a camel to pass through an eye of a needle. Besides, I guess some of the poorer nations were screwed over by Christian ones.

4. You should be allowed to find your own way to God.

The problem is that reason often leads to some answer incompatible with God. Still, why should we deny people that avenue of understanding Him? Because "his wisdom is better than ours?" So we ought to "just believe". What is wrong with philosophizing? I know, it produces answers which we can somehow 'twist' God's teachings to justify what we do. Oh shit, I'm heading down a dead end.
But look at C.S. Lewis, St Augustine, Thomas Aquinas... etc. Perhaps some of them came from rational backgrounds (I'm more thinking St. Augustine). But if that is their way that is their way. "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." Although Doubting Thomas had to see the wounds to believe, isn't the key that he believed.... but I believe this is the wrong example because reason requires a leap of faith too.

5. You should not have to see to believe.

Please don't show me people who can suddenly walk or people who have lost their hearing and can hear again. I would be happy enough to see my relative heal and get well. I don't want to show it to the whole world. Maybe it gives hope.

6. Maxims are dangerous

Ask Charles Foster Kane. Watched Citizen Kane?

7. No criticism is right.

I realise that I have all these dissatisfactions because I disagree with you on method. Perhaps method is everything. I know you have your reasons. So do I. But there you have it. That we have differences in opinion, even instinct. Your theory of 'sameness' and 'catholicism' is destroyed. But I like the Catholic Church, not some new 'modern church' that you have. Maybe not so much today, but I like the fact you can step into any church anywhere in the world, it could be in any language (well I guess they don't have latin mass in many places any more), all it takes is a familiar tune, and you even know the whole order of mass. Predictable and reassuring. Not the most inspiring. But religion is a solace. It reminds you of where home is. It's just my values. And yes, I know I don't like emotional/spiritual sharing and I never will. And I am open to new experiences. Maybe in 20 years I will tear this to shreds. All the best, though we probably won't cross paths often. And criticism doesn't matter because in the end, people make their own choices based on their own tendencies. Some personalities fit your style, some fit ours. It's a pity it's so hard to build a truly inclusive anything, but I guess it's no shame at all.

As a sidenote. I wrote something to my Dad... but it's funny... because it was a bit emotional... and I realize that our relationship is a stoic one. It's rather masculine, and today we generally classify gender based on intimacy and tendency to emotion. You know, the whole Mars/Venus thing.

I also now feel that I am waving slightly from side to side. I've screwed with myself enough.

Came across this while preparing worksheets for cute little p3 children which I'll never see. i love the things we teach our kids nowadays!

Badger was always ready to lend a helping paw to his neighbours and friends. He was very old and wise. Badger was so old that he knew he would die soon.
Badger was not afraid of death. Dying meant only that he would leave his body behind. As his body did not work as well as it had, Badger was not too concerned about that. His only worry was how his friends would feel when he was gone. Hoping to prepare them, Badger had told them that someday soon he would be going down the long tunnel. He hoped that they would not be too sad when it happened.
One day, as Badger was watching Mole and Frog race down the hillside, he felt especially tired. He wished more than anything that he could run with them. He watched Mole and Frog for a long time, enjoying the sight of his friends having a good time.
It was late when he arrived home. He had his supper and then sat down at his desk to write a letter:
�Dear Mole and Frog,
It is time for me to leave you. Please don�t be sad.
When he had finished, he settled down in his rocking chair near the fire. He gently rocked himself to and fro and soon was fast asleep. Badger never woke up.

Adapted from �Badger�s Parting Gift� by Susan Varley

Yeah this is what I'll be doing for the next couple of weeks or so.


Specialisation and the Division of Thought.

People used to rear chickens and grow vegetables in their backyard. They sewed their own clothing and mended their own shoes. And if they were serfs, or slaves, then they did the same for their feudal lords too.

A Scottish lad by the name of Adam Smith had an idea, or rather, he described a rather intelligent phenomenon. "I reckon," said he, "that the making of a pin could be divided into eighteen distinct operations by 10 men. They would be able to make about 48,000 pins, or 4,800 pins. If each pin were to be individually produced, it is scarcely likely that 1 pin a day could be managed by each man."
(quotes random, take my paraphrasing with a pinch of salt)

And so we have Model T & the wonders of an industrial, capitalist world.

It occurs to me, that in this world of mine, that people shouldn't bother with moderation. Maybe, I should do away with my philosophy of looking on both sides, or even multiple facets of an issue, or even deal with many different complex emotions. If we were to think through every thought individually, my word, we'd never finish thinking through life. We should have people like Plath, who think of nothing but sorrowful and suicide-inducing poetry (god bless her memory), we should have professional psychos to think psycho, revolutionary thoughts, out and out judges who think solely on the basis of jurisprudence, entertainers who always think happy thoughts and write the most laughable and fun poetry. You see, once people are in a certain mood, it is more productive for their art to keep them that way... for greater force and sustenance. That way, we'd have the best poetry, we'd have the happiest poetry written by the happiest people, and the saddest ones by the most depressed, and Human Culture as it is would advance into a new Golden Age, rather than the fudging neuroses which afflict many of us today.
" I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running �round my brain
I guess I�m always hoping that you�ll end this reign
But it�s my destiny to be the king of pain " (Sting/The Police)

How deeply has the ethos of suffering crept into us? Today we see its spiritual leader, god-man Jesus, nailed to a cross.

All that suffering, but no catharsis. There the Jews were expecting the Romans to be swept aside with the brush of a hand, for their people to be delivered, their politics renewed. Here was someone who would go meekly to his death and wash the feet of others. Even if he had not blasphemed, said "I am He", my word, what a tragic insult to the grand tradition of the Old Testament. And this is the God you would give me? I had a God who sent me out of Egypt, smote down their firstborn, parted the Red Sea and gave strength to David & wisdom to Solomon. And this is the God you give me? Some runt of a God.

Without irony then, here was someone who preached suffering as the new commandment. He started a church, which preached penitence and ascetism. Throw everything down and pick up the cross. Throw down your nature, hungry, sensual, lasting, and look for eternal happiness through this via purifico, this suffering.

My life is not this suffering. But at times I like to fool myself that I am. That I am suffering & selfless... some sort of twisted beauty, like a painting by Caravaggio. I like to think that when the choirs are singing Pange lingua, Adoremus Te, all hymns of praise sang with the saddest tunes ever. And I know there's a dark side in me, someone who pities myself, someone who believes he lives by the beatitudes when he doesn't really.

Someone who knows that he can actually be motivated by envy, who, when not thinking, takes the happiness of other people, turns it into a puree and eats it for sustenance. Yet he is inept, he can't really destroy it all, so he rises above it all. O, the happy and foolish masses! O selfish love! And i know deep down that this is the Church that I love, self-indulgent, swathed in pity but strong, sanctus et fortis in it's tradition and denial. For it understands faith, on a good day, is delusion, and how sweet the fruit of that tree! For it gives us bouts of madness on nights of enforced lucidity. Pardon the style.


I feel like a prom night.
The problem with commiseration is that it takes both of you down to the same level. The same problem with communism, an equality of the poor.

Because I found myself pitying someone today.
Got ass kicked by experienced players today... our doubles tactics still suck... and it's really difficult without proper coaching.

went for a wake yesterday... more just talking to keep people awake... and i started to recall all the minor traditions


And of course after that came my posting to 6 Div. I guess the most interesting part of it all was being involved in NDP, and by some coincidence in Publications & Public Relations... where I got to see how creative people function, and I sort of liked it because it was putting something together, writing, photography. And of course there was all that tying down and liasing with people, which I had to be quite a bastard about sometimes because you can be pretty low in people's list of priorities sometimes. It was refreshing to work with interns (those sweet young things) and journalists for a change. And basically there was variety in the stuff I did. And also the military function, manpower, but I guess it's pretty difficult to describe what I did, it was really rather random, anything involving people.

Yeah but I probably wrote about this all recently... It's all too recent... But I guess I do have to acknowledge that being in the army did provide me with a lot of training. And so, at long last, I can turn the page and everything will be magically and fantastically different from now on.
Here I am, writing. Only because I've decided to take a break from gaming... and I also have to work on my French, as well as complete my travel preparations. I've got a nice assortment of bags now and I just need to pack it all. Not to mention visa requirements. On the broader horizon, I've probably also to get my room into order so that I can find all my important documents w.r.t. my university entry so that I can settle my acommodation soon. Not to mention I have a few favours to do (one soon actually), things to purchase (tomorrow), oh and presents. Not sufficient though, to compete with the daily stress levels of a while back. Insufficient by far.

I also need to get my IC back cause they forgot to collect it, wonderful, after all that joking about it. I went back to the army market at beach road as well as to the place where i bought my duffel bag 2 and a half years ago to look at backpacks.

To me I saw the army as variety, for my life that is. I could have gone to study and save 2 years and get a headstart on my career or do what I wanted to do quicker, like get married or something. But I guess I didn't want to rush into something I'd be doing anyway and I'd rather have 2 years of something different and I did believe I wanted to grow up a bit. You can argue it's not the most conducive environment for reflecting (better some mountain in new zealand), but it sufficed. And I did enjoy the time, as a young person here in Singapore.

As the taxi driver said to me on the way back, "dang bing jiu xiang jin tian zuo tian de shi". I'm sorry I'm so low tech and unable to type in Chinese but basically he said that "army life will always stay with you like it's yesterday". Well, not really, my memories of Tekong are fading, of the sun, pumping... but basically that was quite fun.

OCS was a mixed bag. I mean, no one really likes curbs on freedom, when your friends and all could go out, while your life would be the army for 6 days a week. I liked the independence there. I liked staying in my own room, generally being responsible for myself (of course with the bunkmates) I think that's why I'm really looking forward to my studies cause I'd really like to have my own small room again. And in a way, a life like that makes you ready and willing to accept loneliness as well as the friends you have around you.

Learnt a lot of stuff, though you could have done that anywhere, but I liked all the new stuff about the military and all. Close combat, rappelling. I guess I never did ask myself if I believed in it. It was all based on very tenuous principles. But some of those were legit, nonetheless.

I was really lucky to have an efferverscent bunkmate, (thanks Hok Him), & I guess it's really lucky that people like that exist and you can speak freely without offense, that's got to be the most precious things in the world. Being able to be honest, because it's possible only as far as the other person lets you. Of course he still minded some things but if you make it clear than I guess one knows where the limits are. And how going to Jurong Point was a luxury and generally just appreciating the bustle everywhere when you book out. The sweaty bus ride on 157.

And I remember the duties... the punishments. Being alone with nothing to do let me to start listening to old CDs, the Beatles, eventually going through many many of their records. Worrying about people outside. Really, feeling aggrieved and persecuted with no reason to do so except that it gave myself a meaning when there was none. Enjoying running because I always thought about outrunning imaginary people I hated though I knew it would never be possible in real life. And it was a beautiful camp too.

And the happy hours and the times when the stupidest acts were performed. Being outfield. The stress of preparation for an exercise, especially when one was an appointment holder. Having that stress, and still thinking about things which bothered you outside... like Spade... Having not enough sleep most of the time... making do with comforts like listening tot he radio and playing java games on the phone, which were never such fun before! Having not enough sleep and waking to bad thoughts. And of course anticipating the end of it all... the countdowns...

(to be cont'd)
Fading of the light

A year has passed and in a few days we're going to be singing "Pange lingua gloriosi, corporis mysterium..."

I like that chant, and I like the baby in church that tried it's best to suppress it's crying when patted by the dad (so early, and it learns self-denial!) . The problem is, can we live on emotion alone? In a church, with lovely lighting and acoustic, solemn hymns, invocations of great men past, it's easy to be moved if you let yourself be. For that hour I know a good life is all that matters, and a good life is one I should live, and all I should ever need.

Then the setting changes. Could be anywhere, let's see, somewhere with loud music and lots of alcohol, could be in the midst of training a platoon or maybe a hot chick walks past. Maybe you're just lonely. Or having fun with friends. You need many other lives now. A city life. A life with fame, popularity or at the least, acceptance and/or a hot chick in your bed. And so is one ruled by thirst. And one acts to quench it.

You see, the Father couldn't read too well. It must suck to see things as a blur. I close my left eye and I'm scared sometimes because then my world is a blur. But we all know it's my eye that's screwed up, no that the molecules of the world started vibrating past the speed of light and caused eveyrhting to be a blur. THAT IS PROOF THAT YOU ARE MORTAL STUPID. By the way... when I watched Ray, I was wondering if what he dreamt about stopped at the age he turned blind... like those are the images that he has for the rest of his life. Everything else he wants to dream, he has to dream in sound. And do you really remember things like it's flooded in water, and I really touched this limb or that? For a dream yeah... definitely... but normal memory? I can't remember!
We finally managed to find everyone from 4L and bring them back for one night only at Lip's place for a BBQ. It's really amazing that everyone could make it back (save for Lawrence)... gave a sense of completeness to the event.

Where boys congregate, there's always fun to be found... reminded me of soccer and stuff and mmm i love squash now... i love smashing the ball into the wall... it's a sport i wanna learn. i gashed my feet because i had no shoes cause i smashed into some step... there was blood everywhere and i almost died!

even ms yeo came back... although we didn't really invite back all the teachers... guess cause we didn't have a particular affection towards them. i don't particularly want to reminisce because i guess what was remembered on that night was for that night. it sounds very trivial now because it isn't set in the right context. caught up with (xxx), whom i'll be joining in lse. he's already there of course, god bless his soul. he was deliberating whether or not to become a "player" and cross over to the "dark side", because after extensively reviewing various members of the female sex, he concludes that many of them wouldn't really mind the attention and are really quite fond of "bad boys". he's afraid, of course, of an occasional slap and spoiling perfectly normal relationships but apart from that, there's really nothing much to lose. of course, the general consensus of advice given was " as long as you know what you want and what you're getting yourself into". of course, some people with rather more experience (ex-players?) quipped "no, it's not really that great as it's made out to be, what would you say of what you did a few years down the road to someone you really love", and so on. and of course some were wise enough to point out "oh you know life's more fun like that, anyone who says not is a stone-faced liar and a hypocrite". i did mention something about hypocrisy, but it wasn't in this context. ms yeo preached abstinence (from what, beef?) and told us all to enjoy our teens, upon which we quipped that we were 1. no longer teens and 2. that the maxims appeared to contradict each other.

we then proceeded to taupok someone in defiance of the latest edict passed down by a "premier school in the bishan-ang mo kio region", considering we were no longer students of said school. we also flung people into the pool. i was really optimistic about my chances of staying dry considering that i had no change of clothes and did my best not to draw attention to myself. unfortunately, shouyi lost his specs in the pool and i decided to jump in to be involved in the rescue effort. we were like divers, wrapping torches in ziplock bags and searching... we finally retrieved the missing object, only for someone else to be dunked into the pool and to lose his specs again. by this time, we were all expert divers and retrieved the fallen object in no time.

other brainless things we did was to play burnout 3, where you try to destroy other cars by driving recklessly. it's a fun game and i'll consider buying it once i've finished what i'm doing now, namely playing playstation games which i hadn't had the chance to play over the past few years. oh envy me.

fucking fun. i love my class. i did feel a bit lonely when i got back though.


"Other stations tell you about what great songs they play
At Class 95 FM, we just do this..."

"And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart"

It's like "classic" lah. Power ballad.


ORD loh!

I officially ORD today! I haven't actually received my IC back, thanks to some administrative errors, but according to the release order, I'm now an operationally-ready NSman.

Yes they were joking all the way about how they'd lose my IC and not let me ORD and it turns out that I really can't collect my IC.

I realised it's not easy to say goodbye to people. You can write a mail to everyone you've ever worked with but your relations with them would have varied and you can only thank some people and give everyone else a rather generic message. You can shake your superior's hand and tell them thanks, it's been a pleasure but it doesn't really convey your appreciation. You could break down emotionally and confess everything but that isn't all you feel. To the NSFs who haven't ORDed you can only wish them luck and leave. I thought it would be more significant than yesterday but I guess goodbyes are never as sad as we prepare ourselves for. No that's wrong I guess it's just this one.

Now what do you do when you ORD? To celebrate your freedom, usually people go do some wild shit. Didn't think that that would be appropriate... still... went to Indochine to chill. Service was atrocious, perhaps cause it was a busy night... acoustic guitar band playing covers... a little hint of irony when they covered "time of your life", and i found a cocktail that i like cause it tasted like the green fanta thing that I used to drink, and it's green but there's no midori.

you know what... it's been over 2 years... perhaps i should record down some of the things i never really had the time to write.


Would you just listen to Janis Joplin...here's a chick for you... gosh how did they turn this into a nice happy country song... the original's so sexual, steely and full of energy... nice vibe with the guitars too.

take another little piece of my heart now baby!

cf. faith hill's version.


I can't sleep, but that's no worry, I've had enough over the past few days, and at the wrong time too.

I'm worrying about a presentation that I have to make on Wednesday. I don't like presentations when you don't have strong subject matter, and I don't think I have strong subject matter. And I can't change it one bit here so I will have to wait until I go to the office tomorrow and see what I can salvage. I have no database, all I have are plans and hypothesis. One last thing before ORD then (how many times have I said this). And I'm always uncomfortable when I'm presenting something not of my own conception. Nothing like the artist to present their own work.

One worry leads to another. I am thinking I am going to have to work on my Mathematics and Statistics, when, in a fit of curiosity, I went to go look at my course requirements and what my options were in 1st year. It's the second time, but the fear crept in. Here I am, anticipating, my lovely brand new life, and I'm finally worrying that there's going to be a lot of sweat with all these terms I don't understand. And so many options, so many things I want to study.

It also happened because I dropped by the faculty of arts and social sciences at NUS to have a look at what I was missing. Was accompanying a friend to open house and I guess the good thing is that it did refresh a bit of my vigour for the social sciences, given my worry that gosh, you know, I'm not going to have a professional degree and call myself expert in something, and I could well be another smooth talking graduate who knows shit all. But I guess there's something I've always appreciated about it, that's it's an education of perspective, and, may I hazard, interesting to study. I've grown to love many subjects, and now the only matter is if I'm any good in them.

On the same day I was also lent a copy of Nietzsche, "Beyond Good & Evil". I had never read this man before, only heard of him, apparently he was a nihilist, saying god was dead and psycho things like 'that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger'. I read it because I thought I had time and like many other impulses I have had, I wanted to read books like these in case I never get to read them as part of my education. Waiting for school to teach Nietzsche means you are going to be taking a course in philosophy.

Philosophy is useless. That is insofar as you view it as having some form of utility, for example, if it contrives to teach something about man that can be applied and result in human progress. Perhaps we can give it credit for laying the foundation of our scientific principles and it's rigorous examination of language and logic, or philology. Perhaps it has led us to open our mind to accept new ideas in the organisation of human society which has lead to leaps in human welfare and productivity. And perhaps it teaches us how to be more spiritual people, to conduct ourselves always in a spirit of searching for veritas, a scientific truth, or to reach a shining city after our death.

Reading Nietzsche though, one has a sense that philosophy is not a science which is supposed to give us truth, neither can it provide us with any form of guidance. At best, philosophy is self-indulgent, constantly contradicts itself (for who thinks the same?), and will just take you around in circles and realize that the problem with the problem is the words in them, so it can't be solved, or some stupid think like that.

For example, I tried to read Descartes, it was... well philosophy, conjectures on the human mind, "I think therefore I am." It was hopelessly dated though, compared with what we now know about the human being, and it's ridiculous when people start questioning... wait, thus an I have to think? Is it not the thought that appears before the thinker? etc etc...

But I like this Nietzsche guy, not because I agree with his view on life. I like it because it's good art, because he echoes feelings and thoughts although you may not necessarily agree with them. He speaks of Wagner, Shakespeare, Goethe, greek tragedy, for in all these works of art there is perfectly good philosophy and psychology. And he bothers to tell it with good prose and occasional poetry. In what he says, one can find affirmation or rejection, and plenty of thoughts to scribble along the margin.

What I would love to do, really, is to write each entry here brilliantly, as if every entry here would make me laugh or think and leave me satisfied with it. But to do that requires work, because seriously typing off like this is blabber. Yet I'd also like my blog to be something I can well just mouth off everyday without feeling the compulsion to write well or something. What low standards! I've given up on entries being honest.(i'm obliged to point out that I never tried, it's not my game) It's impossible! (What do you want to know about me? Today I cried, yesterday I laughed. I sinned today.) I cannot remember my emotions, and I just can't stand reading some things. I am my biggest censor.

I also do know that I need to write more happy things like the wind blowing down my face and the albatrosses in the sky, true love, fulfilment, genuine surprise and laughter and tickling. but now i am alone and i am in an anxious mood waiting for things to happen and as always happen, ill discipline leads me to blabber shit like this. and tomorrow we will make something happen. how's that. there's more about nietzsche but it's for the margins.


there's something about the line:

frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes that watch the world and can't forget

a little bit sinister. Vincent happened to be playing on the way back. i was wondering what it'd be like to be a taxi driver but i guess it's different for different people. it could be a little boring, but some drivers definitely have to talk while others i guess, are able to go through the whole day with the radio and occasional phone calls to other people. i wonder where they all disappear to for their breaks?

and i zha hu last night. urgh irritating otherwise i would have been positive my luck was pretty good, but stupid elementary error. and parma drew with sevilla. hooray!


i am a sloth and i am slothing around my home. i move 3 feet every 4 hours and i love to munch on things.


I know now that there are many different sorts of tea. Yes, there's the earl grey and ceylon and all the lovely flavoured rose or th� pommes, even darjeeling. i know how they come in little mini crates for sale, and how a whole bunch of them were thrown overboard in the famous 'boston tea party' (oh how the sea must have tasted that day), protesting a rise in taxes or import tariffs.

thanks to you, i know now that there's osmanthus, jasmine, teas made of flowers, peony, tie guan yin, long jing (dragon's well?), green tea with all the specimens neatly dried and pressed and cured, like little strips of tobacco. there's tea from yunnan which comes in a sphere. ok it's not what you have with bak kut teh. served from red sea earthenware teapots and teacups, which you have to see a sea to understand. understand, then, that you shouldn't use scalding hot water, perhaps 85 degrees would do, we don't want to bleach the tea leaves of all their flavour. rinse it once, pour it out, soak the leaves again, pour out the first round. you can go ahead to appreciate it all, smell it, as you do wine. but what remains, the consumption, is besides the point. in this teahouse on duxton road, in a refurbished shophouse next to a narrow street, where a fire would possibly consume thousands of dollars of tea leaves.

if, like the japanese, the art of making tea demands an entire life of servitude, well, then shouldn't you be proud of yourself. even if you stumbled upon it, i guess it's great that you're spreading this word to all that don't have it.

wouldn't it be great, if we could divine our lives through reading tea leaves. or how the sweep of a hand speaks peace, the rising vapour the ascension of the soul onto a higher plane. as if in the details sins are forgiven, cleansed by liquid. friendships forged, or learning how to be alone. all that, from a humble little beverage?


I suppose I could write about a great many things. I could write about the ticks and the old man who whipped out the typewriter at the Immigrations & Checkpoints Authority. About how the inside of my nose is swelling because I believe I had McDonalds for lunch this afternoon which makes me feel grouchy and not nice (so why do i still eat it). I suppose I could speak about Netheravon Road & the old colonial buildings in the Changi area. Or the refrains of Pearl jam's 'Last Kiss' wandering down Orchard Road.

I suppose I could tell of how I lived happily ever after, ate an oreo cheesecake, stuck with my siblings through thick and thin, plucked a baby through a burning fire. i suppose i could be blissfully in someone's arms, or bitching about the way they treated me. or perhaps i have a logging station in the alpine snow, watching the snowflakes fall to the ground. i suppose i have lived many lives, but i've lived none yet.