Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas, Australia & Rainbows

First up, MERRY CHRISTMAS to one and all reading this! Christmas this year has been crazy and there were moments of nostalgia where I wonder if I will still be ard for Christmas next year and this strengthened my resolve to make Christmas this year one to look back upon. And to some extent, it has been one for the keeps. Like Christmas shopping where I met some students, brought back good memories of previous semesters. Orchard was hectic as always. Glad to have had JR ard me to keep me sane while the preparations were ongoing. Thank you Dear! :)

Christmas Eve was busy and hectic and the intermittent rain throughout the day was not helping as I rushed about collecting and buying last minute gifts for the guests. Back home, I was stuck in the kitchen for most of the day, till the rest of the family arrived and everyone tucked in. The last of them left at 11 plus, which left us to clear up some and JR arrived soon after. Poor boy, some of the food were already cold by then. But he still tucked in with gusto and made conversation, like the trooper he always is. Christmas came and though at that time it has lost some of its lustre as I was tired, I was glad to have ushered in Christmas with JR and my family. Passed to JR his gift before he left and opened my gift as well since I did not know if we were going to meet on Christmas. It was a donation made in my name for a Koala hospital in NSW, Australia. Although it was v different from all the gifts I recieved this year and some friends expressed disappointment at the lack of "splurging", I think I am trying to get used to it and the gift does reflect JR's personality, more of a giver and altruism.

Christmas day dawned and I was still tired from the activities on Christmas Eve. Still, I dragged myself out bed and met BFF C for Zara sale, though I din get anything... as usual. Sigh. Spent the afternoon having tea with C at HV. We talked abt future plans. current hopes and friendships. Came away from our session with new insights and am greatful to have a great friend like her. Rushed back and prep-ed for my Christmas meet up with JR. Waited for him while he tried to settle some stuff on my behalf. He really did not need to do so, but he did it anyways, and I appreciate it a lot.

Had a harried dinner before going for Australia. I had hopes for the movie as I loved Baz's previous works, esp Moulin Rouge. Australia did not disappoint and though it was different from the rest in terms of cinematography and themes, no Le Grand Amore between Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, which could have been played up more; the theme of racial distinction and caste system then against the background of outback Australia in the 1930s and 1940s was tastefully done. I loved Nicole's outfits and costumes, and her luggage when she first arrived in Darwin was v nice - classic and classy! It was 3 hrs well spent, Nicole played her role as a aristocratic lady well and Hugh was brilliant as he took on his role of a rugged cowboy dealing with his own internal conflict of identity and discrimination. There was an audible reaction from the audience when Hugh Jackman appeared all smart and dashing in a white tux. Haha. My fav song was also played several times in the course of the movie, and coupled with JR's gift, suddenly occured to me how much of Australia was in my Christmas this year. The song Somewhere Over the Rainbow reminds us to hold on to hope even when times are bad, a lesson we can all learn from when we are faced with challenges and the future looks bleak.

All in all, Chrismas 2008 was spent with loved ones and friends, with frantic rushes to and fro in between. Am grateful to my loved ones and those who love me as well. Thanks for the well wishes and dropping a line to congratulate me on my new relationship status. Wish me luck and wish us well dearies! :)

Here are a few of my fav versions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. You know a song has made it when it has stood the test of time and are made in diff versions and across genres. :)

Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz (which by the way Hugh Jackman had a role in the play)

Eva Cassidy's version - more haunting and wistful

Scrubs - Acapella version

Celtic Woman - an Irish girl group, v clear distinct vocals

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high.
There's a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, Away above the chimney tops.
That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow,
Why then - oh, why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,
Why, oh, why can't I?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Till there was you

Been trying to put my thoughts down for the past few days, but the strain of grading has taken its toll and I often find myself still in work mode and slamming into the dreaded writer's block. But I shall give it a try anyways, to slowly ease myself into writing mode with some non work related stuff.

A couple of months back, while still in a bad place in my life, I had penned a sad, very personal entry asking when does love end? Did not think it was a good idea to publish it, and I do not think that I ever will. But on a happier note, I've moved on from that to asking myself these days: When does love begins? Of course the cynic in me makes light of the notion of romantic love, much to the chagrin of some ppl around me who are fervent supporters of that notion. While I still do not take back my skeptical stance, I think the past month has made me rethink the notion and what it means to me.

Again, names shall not be mentioned... yet, but close friends and family are keeping their fingers crossed for me, and I thank God for having such a great bunch of ppl ard me. I shan't go on espousing the numerous qualities which have attracted me, as well as touched me, but suffice to say that I've regained my balance in life these days, lesser roller coaster of emotions thanks to this new source of stability in my life these days, and a welcome one at that.

Friends have been badgering me about Zoukout: I think I will give Zoukout a miss (actually I've never been a Zoukout kinda gal) and sorry peepz, am taking myself off the guys' lists of dates for Christmas and NY parties this year as well. My 24th, 25th and 26th are booked by friends and family this year. :)

Finally grading's done, but I've a presentation to prepare for next Wed, Christmas shopping (Need to get a gift for an imaginary friend!) and back to more applications and thesis work!But since I need to get all these done, might as well get them done in a positive state of mind yea? :)

One my fav songs from my fav show in the 1990s (now tt period seems ages ago doesn't it?), a lovely song, simple and sweet. Can't find a clip of that online, so I shall make do with this version by the Beatles. Can't wait till we meet again! :)

Till There was You Lyrics
Artist(Band):The Beatles

There were bells on a hill
But I never heard them ringing
No I never heard them at all
Till there was you

There were birds in the sky
But I never saw them winging
No I never saw them at all
Till there was you

Then there was music and wonderful roses
They tell me in sweet fragrant meadows of dawn and dew

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No I never heard it at all
Till there was you

Then there was music and wonderful roses
They tell me in sweet fragrant meadows of dawn and dew

There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No I never heard it at all
Till there was you

Till there was you

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Time to move on

The past weekend was supposed to be a mini break off from work, but the thing about my job I guess, is that work never really ends. It begins the moment you wake up, with emails flooding in and calls and smses, which is why I do not leave my mobile on at night, in fact, I look forward, on some nights, to switching it off and pre-setting it to switch on at a certain, less ungodly hour. After grading this week, I have more applications to send off this week as well as preparations for a presentation at Ngee Ann next week. And Christmas shopping AND organising the Christmas party for my extended family - my mum's usually takes a backseat so it's a mad day of rushing and collecting and cooking and making sure that everything goes well. Which is y I totally get it when I watch films where families go mad with Christmas preparations. Ha.

The weekend began on a disappointing note as orginal plans had to be scrapped. But I realise that in the end, it's not really the Where that matters, but Who you did it with. Though saying seems definitely easier than putting it into practice. Ha. I think I had one of the best weekends in eons, not just because of the food we shared, but also how we checked out the nooks and crannies of my hangouts. Some places did bring a tinge of nostalgia because of others whom I've checked them out with, but in the end, Spore is really that small and we just have to move on.

Which is a v apt theme these days for me. Not just moving on with grading, moving on from disappointment and anger to bliss and a good rest which I've not had in AGES, but also moving on to 2009, moving on to other people who've been a rock for me during the past month, moving on to other areas of my professional life, and moving on through the wilderness out there which holds my future.

Yes, it's time to make an effort to move on, as scared as I might be. Just give me some time to take a deep breath first.

On a lighter note, I tried my hand at matchmaking this weekend, only to have it flop miserably, as BFF C told me tonite, "do not tease guys who you like!" to which I responded, "like? I might have fallen for that unfortunate guy!". Ha.

Also managed to catch Taiwanese movie Cape No.7 - an utter last min decision, who says I can't do spontaneous?! :p I liked the movie a lot, was really grateful for the subtitles, though I think that some of the nuances were lost on me as JR beside me was laughing at some moments and I turned many times to see if BFF C was as lost as I am at the romance storyline. But I think that is a nice indie flick nonetheless. The romantic themes were lost on me, but I appreciated the love-hate relationship that the Taiwanese have with the Japanese and keeping their indigenious culture alive, something which I've noticed and also mentioned in one of my MTV term papers years back in 2005 with BFF T. I also liked the familiar faces in the movie - Van, also known as Fan Yi Chen, and Shino Lin, two singers which I really like! Lotsa comic relief yet undertones of national pride, sense of family and belonging come through via the characters, I think this is worth a watch.


Particularly love this song done by this little girl, called Da Da in the movie, the song seems nonedscript by its own here, but in the movie, she sang it in the elevator with a bunch of loud, brawdy guys who quietened down and started to tap their toes to her singing, with their reverie broken when the lift stopped and an awkward pause as they regained their brawdiness. The stark contrast between the brawdy men and the nochalant little girl who managed to silence them by just singing this pretty funny song was priceless!

海角七號-愛你愛到死(大大).mp3 -

但你若劈腿 就去死一死
Baby 爱我请你让我疯狂一次

Friday, December 5, 2008

First post for the last month of the year!

December has finally arrived, without much fanfare for me as I've been down with a bout of flu and cough and other nasty stuff. Been hacking my lungs out and a diet has been imposed on me - no heaty foods... but me thinks tt I've been having a "cold" flu! Haha.

STILL grading NM2219 projects, the reports have been alright but the ABs have been a real pain, have to trudge through over a hundred of them! E has been pitying me and he says tt he has no idea how I've gotten thru them so far, given the sheer amount... but he's been a great partner this sem and I'll miss him next sem! :S

S passed me an aimated gif that he did of me from my pics in FB, really nice, it's not on my desktop but I will post it up soon, hope his Love Amplified concert last Sat went well! :)

Just saw this mtv today... I <3 Elva and I'm glad that she is back making her music! This songs aptly sums up what I've been feeling for the past month. Lotsa stuff going on, which has given me hope and food for thought, though I've been in the dumps for most of this year, like BFF C mentioned, 2008 has been a tough year for us, year of major changes, heartbreak and little pockets of happiness. Maybe like the lyrics below suggests, I dun have the courage to think too much about certain things right now. I will dedicate a post on it once I'm done with grading and official work stuff. :)

作词:葛大为/黎沸挥 作曲:黎沸挥
编曲:林于贤 制作人:陈伟

让你我 还能多相处几分钟
人潮中 怕失散所以轻轻拉你的手
一刻不放松 不放松

你给的幸福在我心中 自由走动

我只能相信自己感受 不怕失落
关于你的一切 我想要比谁都懂

提醒我 想你的时间不够用
为什么 平淡的事情现在忽然生动
是你改变我 你改变我

你给的幸福在我心中 自由走动

我只能相信自己感受 不怕失落
关于你的一切 我想要比谁都懂

你的世界如此辽阔 我会在哪个角落

你给的幸福在我心中 自由走动

我只能相信自己感受 不怕失落
关于你的一切 我想要比谁都懂

Thursday, November 27, 2008

如燕 by Olivia Ong

I like this song, I like Olivia to begin with and I think the beginning of the song has a very Peranakan feel to it. And the rest of the song transports me back in time with its soothing melody. It took me two episodes of Little Nyonya to realise that the song was sung by Olivia, I did not believe it when I saw the closing credits during the first episode! But a v nice song nonetheless, with v poignant lyrics. After watching the show, I feel more immersed in a part of my own culture which I've not had the chance to get in touch with, besides my maternal grandmother's cooking and looking at her in her kebayas in pics as a young girl.

All of a sudden, I feel like bringing my grandmother back to Malacca for a long overdue trip back to her hometown!

编曲:Terence Teo
演唱:Olivia Ong









Thursday, November 20, 2008

Think of me - Phantom of the Opera

I've heard many versions of this song, by David Archuleta and the original by Sarah Brightman; this is one of my favourite songs from the Phantom of the Opera. My favourite take on this song is by Emmy Roseum in the movie version. A song most poignant in the middle of the night, with its yearning and sense of regret. Esp love the cresendo at the end, which helps keep me awake while doing my SoP - who knew writing about yourself can be tt diff?! Thank god for S, JR and friends to keep me going! :)

Think of me - Emmy Roseum

Christine Da ae
Think of me
think of me fondly, when
we've said goodbye
remember me
once in a while, please
promise me you'll try

When you find,
that once again you long
to take your heart back,
and be free
if you ever find a moment,
spare a thought for me

We never said
our love was evergreen
or as unchanging as the sea...
but if you can still remember,
stop and think of me

Think of all the things
we've shared and seen,
don't think about the things
which might have been

Think of me
think of me waking, silent
and resigned...
imagine me, trying too hard to
put you from my mind...

Recall those days,
look back on all those times,
think of the things
we'll never do...
there will never be a day when
I won't think of you

We never said
our love was evergreen
or as unchanging as the sea...
but please promise me,
that sometimes
you will think of me

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Built to last - Melee

During the upcoming couple of weeks, when I'm juggling my grading of 22 projects of more than 200 pages each, and writing my SoPs and RPs and preping for my talk with the police and teaching personnel next week, I will be plugged into my song lists to keep me awake and motivated and inspired.

Recently when I think about myself and him, this song comes to mind - no names again, dun wana jinx this and I wun discuss this further, but yea, this song comes to mind. :)

Built to last - Melee

I've looked for love in stranger places,
But never found someone like you.
Someone whose smile makes me feel I've been holding back,
And now there's nothing I can't do.

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
But most of all it's built to last.

All of our friends saw from the start.
So why didn't we believe it too?
Whoa yeah, now look where you are.
You're in my heart now.
And there's no escaping it for you.

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
But most of all it's built to last.

Walking on the hills that night with those fireworks and candlelight
You and I were made to get love right

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
But most of all it's built to last.

'Cause you are the sun in my universe,
Considered the best when we've felt the worst
And most of all it's built to last.

Monday, November 17, 2008


原来爱情这么伤 - 梁咏琪





Sunday, November 9, 2008

There's a fine. fine line - Avenue Q

Had a blast at Avenue Q today with great company! I was a lil skeptical at first - I mean, it's like Muppets, and you can see the puppeteers too! But it was brilliant! From the soundtrack to the set design to the puppets which had the puppeteers emoting with them as well!

I love the satirical dialogue, even the songs and themes discussed - definitely not for kids! The digs at Sesame Street was also brilliant and this set the tone for a irreverant, playful musical! Good stuff! Again, the Sporean audience was responsive and appreciated the humor in the musical and we managed to squeeze in a few laughs at ourselves!

Muppets gone wrong? Nahz, it's just a facade for playful humor I say! Schadenfreude anyone? (yes it's a real word I kid you not!) :D

One of my fav songs from the musical, both poignant and sad:

There's a fine, fine line - Avenue Q
Kate Monster:
There's a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There's a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know 'til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there's a fine, fine line between "You're wonderful" and "Goodbye."
I guess if someone doesn't love you back it isn't such a crime,
But there's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

And I don't have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don't think that you even know what you're looking for.
For my own sanity, I've got to close the door
And walk away...

There's a fine, fine line between together and not
And there's a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you're still in your prime...

There's a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Carpe Diem & the winner takes it all!

Days have been going past so fast that my memories have become a blur, I kid you not. New memories have come to replace old ones and life is just rolling along.

Friends have been asking me for updates on my birthday this year and the well wishes I received this year was enough for two of me! Ha. Thanks again for all the well wishes this year, on either Facebook or sms or both! :) Shouts at the bus stop were also appreciated. :p The presents I received this year were crazy as well, some really unexpected ones .. I'm humbled and thankful. :)

Birthday 2008:: Saw a kitty at my bus stop on my way to work. :: 8am lecture + work :: Bday lunch with S and bday brownie! :: Drive down to the vet's. :: Walk to Daily Scoop, tried their Halloween specials. Ice cream is always good! :: Back to C's place to wash up a little (did not sleep on Thurs night). :: Met up with bro and on to Les Buschons! :: Steak Frittes + Beef fillet + Red Wine + Desserts. Good intimate dinner! :: Home + Mini cake with Mum. :: Quick shower. :: More wine with J @ Altivo, The Jewel Box + lotsa interesting and engaging conversation. :: Midnight ice cream @ Swensens. :: Sweet dreams. ::

It was raining on the morning after, I take this to be a sign of washing away the negative energy of the year before and to new beginnings. All in all, Halloween 2008 was a intimate, quiet affair with close friends and family and after the craziness of the year past, I can't say that I mind some peace and quiet right now. :)

Saturday was spent doing up work at home and heading to S's lelong (flea market) and checking out another fab makan place in town which no one knoes! I love C and the food recommendations! Sunday was brunch with gals @ P.S Cafe in town as S n A could not make it on Friday... good stuff there! Met J afterwards for a spot of shopping... till he saw tt I was getting a lil bored. He got a gift for me, by me, ha. Watched The Coffin (scary and sad stuff) before having dinner and heading home. Two robin blue boxes in a week. Seriously?!

This week's been crazy busy with presentations and grading to be done... on top of the American Presidential elections. Obama won, no surprises there - as an American colleague said - "It took us 8 years to get it right!". Ha. Lotsa other stuff happening on my end as well, but some stuff are better left to intimate conversations than a blog declaration. Suffice to say tt I'm feeling happy and contented these days, even with the crazy busy stuff ard me and the never ending list of things to do!

And the weekend's upon us again!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Spore and Assortative mating aka Eugenics

“That is the way the world is. I have explained this. I think I lost votes after I explained the awful truth. Nobody believed it, but slowly it's dawned on them – especially the graduates – that yes, you marry a non-graduate, then you are going to worry about whether your son or daughter is going to make it to the university!” - MM Lee, 24 Oct 2008.

I remembered reading in one of my soci readings as an undergraduate about how he espoused the ideas of having graduate mothers pro-create and limiting the number of children by non-graduate mothers in the 1980s. And yes, I still recall the sense of indignation (yes, that would have totally cost him my vote as well, IF I was able to vote) as well as the shiver which went down my spine as my mother, make that both my parents, were non-graduates.

Therefore, his latest revelation did not come as a shock to me, though it still left a bad aftertaste when A brought it up yest at a gathering. In the first place, maybe figures should be produced to support his assertion that this was the "awful truth". This espousal of blatant support for eugenics is a disturbing one, something akin to a Pandora's box. Do graduate parents necessarily produce paper-smart/book-smart kids? And once we start, where do we stop? And with the present situation of foreign wives of local men who might not be graduates contributing to the recent increase in birth rates, does the graduate parents rule apply to them too?

There's a saying which goes along the lines of "being a victim of your own intelligence". My rudimentary observations during interactions with friends, both graduates and non graduates alike, gave me the impression that my graduate friends tend to be more critical of policies in place and having experienced our rigorous education system,do not want their kids to go through the same system as we did and they are the ones who are having second thoughts about having kids, whereas the rest seem to be more pro-family even though they might not be the ideal pool of genes for the targeted offspring which our country aims to obtain.

Irony you say? And even if the idea of having graduate parents - an idea which has gained momentum in S. Korea, one of the countries with the highest suicide rates, stands true, so what? Have we let the idea of getting a skilled workforce, since people are this country's best resource, get to our heads? Today we go along with the idea of graduate parents, what comes after that? Having watched movies such as Gattaca, my thoughts go to dark places: Making non graduates redunctant? Encouraging non-graduate mothers to go for sterilsation or limiting the number of children for perfectly healthy non-graduate mothers, just on the off chance that their kids are unable to cope with the local education system? In the end, is this really a case of nature versus nurture? Have we seriously considered the underlying social implications of espousing such an ideology?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's an insult to Singapore women - CAUTION!

Received an sms from G this evening on my way home telling me he had read this rebuttal to the article I posted on Sunday about the local guy who married a China gal. Ok everyone, I know emotions will run high and there might (will) be a gender debate, but let's try to keep things civil ok? :)

Friends know that I've always rooted for the local guys and Ithink this guy's words just do not hold; the mere publishing of his piece was to either incite a response from us Singaporean gals or agreement/disagreement with the Singaporean guys. Anyways, I think it's his gain and not my loss he has a China bride. What do you think of this (scathing) rebuttal? ;)


Oct 23, 2008

It's an insult to S'pore women

I REFER to Mr Alvin Tan's letter last Sunday, 'Why I chose a China bride'. I am astonished that a single passage could make me feel insulted, tickled and disbelieving all at once. Mr Tan is either seriously misinformed of the needs and wants of the modern Singapore woman, or is still steeped in the traditional notion of how men and women should behave.

First, I am unclear of his intention. I believe his marriage to his Chinese bride was between two people truly in love. Why then the need to defend his choice? Why the need to accuse thousands of Singapore women of being clueless of what they want, or even imply indirectly we all want to be treated as the weaker sex?

What also puzzles me is how Mr Tan manages to equate wanting a date to be gentlemanly with wanting to be the weaker sex. If wanting a man to hold the door open for a woman, an act of 'gentlemanliness', can be construed as weakness, does my ability to open my own door signify how strong and masculine I am? I pray not, or I would face a serious identity crisis.

And really, does having our own career or equal abilities to men mean we have become men ourselves? The 'equal footing' treatment we demand is recognition of our abilities to carry out our jobs. Not to be treated like men, but acknowledgement that we are as capable as men. If we 'should expect to be treated equally - the way men treat other men', then perhaps from the perspective of a woman, the equal treatment Mr Tan is looking for is to be treated like a best buddy-cum-girlfriend and not boyfriend material.

Mr Tan also insinuates that, if women want equality, they should see themselves home after a date, as 'there is no need for the man to escort' her. Men with such a mentality make bad dates, or do not have sufficient affection for the woman they are dating. Not wanting to escort your girlfriend home means you don't care about her.

Mr Tan, I am happy you found someone to love and care for. But there was no need to collectively insult the entire female population in Singapore, simply because you were unable to find someone to suit your needs here. I am certain we know what we want in a man - someone who respects us, treats us equally (not like other men) and has no reservations about being a gentleman.

Sherry Aw (Ms)

Palin on SNL - Palin meets Fey

This is a hoot! I absolutely love this sketch on the latest SNL, after weeks of lambasting Sarah Palin by Tina Fey, Palin goes on SNL and gets mistaken for Fey! Ha. The comparison of McCain and Obama was also sidesplitting! :D

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Seriously, seriously?

Came across this article in The Sunday Times today which made me do a double take. Just realised that there are articles on Singaporeans marrying foreigners on two consecutive Sundays - like G and myself were discussing last weekend, is this really that pertinent an issue to begin with?

While I enjoy my rainy Sunday and go about my Sunday chores and checking off my list of work to do, I'll let you read this and make your own conclusions. I think that some ideas and propositions are just so weak that stating them in the article is enough to show the amount of stereotyping and immaturity involved without my elaboration. Enjoy and have a chuckle. :)

Copyright 2008 Singapore Press Holdings Limited
All Rights Reserved

The Straits Times (Singapore)

October 19, 2008 Sunday

318 words

Why I chose a China bride

Many people seem to believe that Singapore men who opt for foreign brides tend to pick younger, less educated women from less developed countries. I'm a Singapore male and I just married a foreigner this year. She's from China, two years older than I am and a university graduate with a top-notch academic record. We met in Kunming, where I work, after mutual friends introduced us.

On one of our dates, we did discuss why I did not have a Singapore girlfriend. I admitted that I don't understand what Singapore women want. They have their own careers and are as skilled and capable as their male colleagues. Yet, they demand that their dates behave like 'gentlemen' and treat them as the weaker sex. This hardly seems like equality or equitable.

In February, when The Straits Times reported the results of a survey on singles, this 'contradiction' was raised. Many women still expect their dates to carry their handbags and pick up the tab. Asking to split the bill is still widely unacceptable on the local dating scene.

From my own experience and what I've heard, it seems many Singapore women tend to interpret feminism in their own way. A woman who shells prawns for her man is deemed archaic, but a man who carries a woman's handbag for her is being gentlemanly, even though it might make him look silly.

If Singapore women want to be on an equal footing with their men, then they should expect to be treated equally - the way men treat other men. Among other things, there would be no need for the man to escort the woman home.

However, if women want men to shelter, love and care for them in the gentlemanly fashion they seem to demand, then they should let their men take charge.

I would have been happy to date and marry a Singapore woman who knew which she wanted. I would have accepted whichever path she chose.

As things turned out, I found a woman who knew exactly what she wanted - in Kunming.

Alvin Tan

October 18, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Love, Life & Music

It seems forever since I had time to sit and gather my thoughts together. It's been a crazy busy week, with me putting in more than 12 hour days and super early days - bad for someone who's not a morning lark like myself. Here's my week's roundup.

SUN: Dinner at Raffles City. :: ABBA Mania @ the Esplanade. MON: GRE exam, all day. :: TUE: NUS Second Life. :: Tutorials. :: WED: Tutorials. :: Department meeting. :: Informal PhD Discussion. :: Knight in shining armour. :: THURS: Sch stuff. :: FRI: 8am lec.: Meeting. :: Lunch. SAT: Burn After Reading. :: Dinner @ the Giraffe. :: Drinks at eltorro.

This week's gone by in such a blur that I had problems trying to recollect what I did and when. But I was glad that it's been a tiring but productive week. Thank God I started wtih ABBA Mania coz it's been manic trying to study and get focused on my GRE prep. Am glad it's over. That's all I'll say for now. I've been discussing with friends, family and the department about my plans. Though I think it's a matter of time before I reveal to everyone my condition - and wait for hell to break loose I guess. But for now it's a matter of bidding my time and making sure that the timing's right. After all, timing's everything isn't it?

ABBA Mania's fantastic! We got the front row seats at the third level and we had a great view of everything, esp when we were booping and singing our lungs and hearts out together with the rest of the house. It was one of those rare occassions where the usual staid Singaporean audience were up and dancing and singing with the singers. It was an electric and infectious atmosphere and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was on my feet singing and dancing as well. To those whom I bumped into with abashed looks after the event, dun worry, our secrets are safe with me. Ha. Some pics here and here are some of my favs:

The view from the top: The band members, glittering costumes. Great interaction between the band and the audience.

What some of the audience were wearing: I had to hurry for my ride back or I wld totally have asked to take a pic with these sporting ABBA enthusiasts!

A clip which captures the atmosphere of what we experienced, good stuff!! :)

The rest of the week was great, seriously busy fighting/dousing fires among students and meetings for different issues. More about that when I meet up with you guys soon. :)

Finally, something I've been looking forward to since Tues when he dropped a line to confirm: Burn After Reading. I have a weakness for Pitt-Clooney collaborations, and though this movie is definitely not the Oceans series, I loved every minute of the 96 min movie. It was full of self deprecating humor about Americans and the American society. Another brilliant piece by the Coen brothers, though he was slightly disturbed by the endings of the male characters. It's nice watching movies with G coz he makes interesting comments during the movie, which basically echos what I think. Ha. Good stuff. The movie was followed by a 3-hr dinner @ Giraffe, where we polished up 3 main courses between us. That was how ravenous we were! We had good service, nice food and our only grouse was their no tap water policy. We had lotsa banter in the course of dinner, which led to our dinner being extended to 3 hours. I love hanging with G coz he's an interesting guy who's opinions of his own and isn't afraid to challenge societal norms and conventions and he has some pretty passionate stands as well. I think that any gal who ends up with him is one lucky gal. ;) Can't wait to catch up with him again.

More appointments tml - and another week ahead! October seems to be shaping up to be a pretty busy month. Must try to get more rest and perspective though. My title sums up my week pretty well. A week of Love, Life and Music. I think ABBA songs might be a good soundtrack of my life - what is yours?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Bono, the king of Ireland." + Burn after reading

A follow up to Tina Fey's parody of Sarah Palin last week on SNL and this time, an interview between Sarah Palin and Katie Couric. The interview did take place between the two ladies in real life and she made a lot of guffaws then, esp her take on foreign policy. Good stuff. Tina Fey's really good as usual and Amy Poehler's brilliant as well with her deadpan looks.

Also a movie I want to catch - a dark comedy about the CIA , with George Clooney and Brad Pitt (love this combination, ala Ocean's series). Burn after reading. Opening here next week.

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Woke up this morning feeling fine, went for a morning run out to get my errands done. Promised myself yesterday tt I will try to get out some and not get cooped up at home replying to emails and getting buried in my mugging/cranky/grouchy mode.

Morning was going great, felt great to be out and about and seeing kids running around after they were done with Children's Day celebrations - till I got an sms rant from A about the increase in electricity charges - saw that on Yahoo Singpore before I turned in last night, but I did not realise that it would be more than 20%! And it comes into effect tomorrow! Personally, I think that the reasons cited - "increase in fuel charges" and "The EMA feels there is more room for Singaporeans to conserve and use less energy." are sophist justifications as Singaporeans are bracing up to face a bearish end of 2008. With unemployment rates and the economy looking forboding to say the least and the recent transportation hike, I really do find it difficult to justify a 20% increase in electricity charges, with notice given the day before it is implemented.

Also read online abt the passing of former Worker's party Sec Gen JB Jeyaretnam this morning as well. Though I'll admit to not being well versed in local politics,and I do not condone JBJ's brimstone political stance as well, I do think that given the current standing of how daily expenditure of the neccessities keep increasing based on weak justifications from the incumbent, perhaps a stronger opposition presence is neccessary to play the role of check and balance in the current political climate. We are used to the usual daily bemoanings and debates about life in Spore but surely this latest electricity hike warrants a closer inspection of the rate of inflation which we are experiencing here as homeowners?

Suddenly I feel a sense of irony when I compare the news on Electricity hike + Passing of a prominent opposition party member + Financial turmoil as American lawmakers reject bailout with the daily horoscope I received in my Yahoo inbox this morning: "You can feel restrictions easing up and your good energy returning -- it's a good time to coast for a bit until you see the most obvious course of action approaching. Things are just about to pick up!" - Yea... right.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Have a Dream - ABBA

Been refreshing my ABBA songs lately coz I'm attending ABBA Mania this Sunday! *woots*

Love this song, it's lovely, beautiful and hopeful and I need a dose of that! It also sets the setting for the dreamy boat scene in Mama Mia the movie. :)

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream
I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream
I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream

Wake me up when Sept ends

After a week of endless mugging, which left me feeling slightly demoralised as the more I learn, the more I realise my inadequacies. Brain saturated with information left me with a bad case of information overload. But I was glad it was a week of self imposed exile well spent, though there's the niggling feeling at the back of my mind that I could have done more. I also had a crash course on the GP over the weekend from friends, though I passed on the F1 parties - somehow F1 and mugging mode dun really mesh well. Thanks for the invites though. :)

And before I know it, it's the end of September. It's been an eventful month, with crazy stuff happening in the beginning of the month, mid Autumn, school, work stuff, and then the crazy mugging sessions which are still on going. Think for myself it's been a a month of self doubt and uncertainty as well, grappling and coming to terms with certain issues. Some of them I will need some counsel from friends and family - will break the news to them soon and get their take and hopefully support and advice as well.

One thing I like about this time of the year - new seasons of old favs come back, in the form of Gossip Girl, Heroes and House. No spoilers here, but I will say that Gossip Girl satiates my appetite for fashion and music (they have a fantastic soundtrack!), Heroes satiates my appetite for my inner comic superhero and the tension between good and evil - and making difficult choices. House's brilliance and uncanny insight into human nature, not just the human condition, might need some getting used to, but good stuff there.

Just received an sms from a friend facing problems asking to meet on Wed for breakfast and a tete a tete session. Realise tt I might have been so wrapped up with stuff in my life tt I might have seemed unavailable for my friends. Feel bad - I am guilty of being one of those so wrapped up in our daily lives that we forget to stop and see if there are ppl ard us who need us.

I'm currently reading this fab book "Eat Pray Love" which received accolades from many women, including Toni Collete and Hilary Clinton, was featured on Oprah and there are talks of a Julia Roberts movie - am taking my time to savour this book, partly because I'm stuck at the food descriptions by the protagonist/author in Italy! Think BFF C made an apt and great read (so far)!

I like this quote about being alone after a failed relationship(s):
"When I get lonely these days, I think: So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience."

Another quote from Eat Pray Love, which kinda encapsulates the author's quinxotic writing style, which makes me break into smiles in between the sad bits.

Chapter (Bead): 27
Context: Liz and Sophie are at the Pizzeria da Michele in Naples eating their margherita pizza with double mozzarella.

"I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza..."

Now I really need to check out this Pizzeria de Michele!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Tampopo Deli Lie/Liar. Tsk tsk.

Been crazy busy lately with lotsa stuff happening at different fronts no time to really sit and blog but I just had to share this experience with you.

Tampopo Deli @ Liang Court was featured in Urban two weeks back, which was interesting as C and myself checked out the place the week before, upon recommendations from P and T who worked in the area. The time we dropped by it was late so their famous cream puffs were sold out. Was in the area again the Sat after the Urban article came out which explicitly stated that reservations for the cream puffs are taken. Therefore I placed a call that morning before I went down, only to be told that reservations are NOT taken and that we had to go down to try our luck.

Playing by the rules, I went down to the deli and was informed that the cream puffs were sold out. I was kinda bummed out but well, they are just cream puffs and I was trying my luck. Just as I was about to leave though, I remembered the reservations bit mentioned in the Urban article and did an about turn to inform them of potential other customers like myself and also to clarify about the reservations bit.

It was then when things got interesting.

Me: Excuse me, I read in the newspapers that customers are able to reserve and if this wasn't the case you might want to inform your customers as well as the newspaper that this isn't so.

Staff (a Japanese lady): Oh, we do not read the newspapers. We do not take reservations for the cream puffs. We make and sell as and when.

Me (curiosity piqued): Oh, so you make several batches a day? When is your next batch coming out? I'll be around the area anyway, I can come down later.

Staff: Oh I'm not sure, I do not think there will be anymore today. Our oven can bake up to 18 at one go.

Me: Oh, can I leave my number here for that batch then?

Staff: No you can't. (Looks at the room beside the counter where the bakers are - a female baker came out to see what was going on.)

Baker: Yes may I help you?

Me: Yes I was wondering if you can tell me when the next batch of cream puffs will be ready.

Baker: Oh there will not be anymore cream puffs today.

Me: You mean you have stopped making them for the day?

Baker: Oh no, we have a reservation for 100 cream puffs so we do not have any cream puffs today.

Me(gave the staff a quizzical look): But I thought you guys do not take reservations?

Staff(interjecting quickly): That reservation came in 3 weeks ago, we still take reservations then.

*But I did not mention when the newspaper article in Urban was published.*

Baker (sensing something was amiss from the look I was giving them): We do take reservations from Mon-Fri. Just not over the weekends.

Me: So we call beforehand to place our reservations?

Baker: No, you come down and make your reservation and then maybe you walk around and come back later to collect.

Me: I see.

Baker: Maybe you can come down tomorrow to make your reservation?

Me: This is not necessary, I won't be coming down at all.



To climb on my moral high horse, I can't fathom why the staff needed to lie to begin with? To increase the exclusivity of the cream puffs? And she looked so embarrassed when her lie crumbled before her and when I gave her that look. And what's the point of making reservations when you have to go down to make them? And lying about the newspaper? I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt there but seriously?! *gets off her moral high horse* On a more serious note though, as a customer, I think that being lied to is worse than telling me you've ran out of cream puffs for the day - combine the two and you have a killer combination for a bad reputation.

No matter the light and fluffy cream puffs, I left Tampopo Deli with a bad taste in my mouth.

Moral of the story: What's worse than the act of lying? A bad liar.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SNL Palin vs Clinton - you go Tina Fey!

Came across references about the debut of the latest season for SNL last week - trying to get hold of this skit partly because I love Tina Fey since I saw her on 30 Rock. Been trying to get the entire skit on Youtube, unsuccessfully though. Managed to get it from NBC. Tina Fey's really brilliant, with her sharp wit, quick comebacks, and self deprecating humor. The resemblance to Palin was astounding too, which made the skit such a hit! From her acceptance speech today at the Emmys today (which she brought home 3 statues and lost her purse), am glad we are rooting for the same presidential candidate too! :)

more about "SNL: Palin/Clinton Parody", posted with vodpod

Btw, the pop ups for Youtube these days are getting on my nerves! Grrr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Omg the 70s and 80s are back!

Was in the kitchen preping dinner when I heard this song. Curiosity piqued, I went to check it out: what was a song from the 70s/80s doing on the telly during prime time? This song totally brings me back to the days we call retro, though retro's a pretty tricky term these days, with my students telling me that Britney's earlier songs from the 90s are also "retro". ;)

Love the song, not so the ad, even if it's Gucci by Gucci. ;)

P.s: Who would have known that they originally wanted to title the song "Pain in the Ass"?!

Heart Of Glass by Blondie
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind
Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

In between
What I find is pleasing and I'm feeling fine
Love is so confusing there's no peace of mind
If I fear I'm losing you it's just no good
You teasing like you do

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I'm the one you're using, please don't push me aside
We coulda made it cruising, yeah

Yeah, riding high on love's true bluish light

Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love's gone behind

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something's coming.

Been feeling under the weather, been bothered with a flu which refuses to go away; it just gets better or worse. Which also affects my mood. Lotsa stuff going on in work and other areas. It's good to keep myself busy, but at the same time I just feel so tired and bleah. I hate feeling this way!! C thinks I need to get some vits - think I just need a good long rest. K told mi last week that I am moving too fast for my health. It's nice for you to offer to accompany me to the doc's, but I think I can make my flu-ish way to the doc's if things come to that state. But thanks - appreciate the kind thoughts and generous offers!

Wrote a post earlier this week, but I guess I wasn't sure if I am in a good state to make judgements therefore I did not post it. Maybe some stuff aren't meant to be posted now. Been bogged with emails from students all week because of the test tomorrow. I just want to provide them the support they need as well as help them with the questions which come up in the course of their revision. I've been trying my best to reply them, though I'm really feeling tired. L came down to sch to pass to me my present as she will not be around till Nov. I will miss her so. First thing which she exclaimed when she saw me was how much I've shrunk. The recent bout of stuff tt's been happening does not help at all. We talked, even though we have not seen each other since last Dec. It was amazing how in tune we are with each other. She also talked me thru my decision and also gave me some much needed encouragement and insight. She was there at the right place at the right time. Thanks babe. *hugz*

Saw the HTC Touch Pro, seems pretty interesting! Something like the Sidekick in the States and so often seen in GG, but more polished in appearance and functionalities. Now the iPhone just seems... less attractive. Steve Jobs' introduction of Apple's latest offerings seem to be the same old, not sure how much the iPod Nano with the accelerometer's going to make a difference for small screens, even with the modified dimensions for the new iPod Nanos.

Heard this song on the televsion - reminded me of how much I used to love it.

想念你的歌 (張惠春)
那時候負氣 說走就走
所以埋怨我 沒打聽你的下落

躲起來邊哭邊說 I MISS YOU
還捨不得把 你封鎖

星光閃爍 如何擁有
雖然 有時候 會寂寞
牆上時鐘 停格
用悲傷 的脈搏寫成 想念你的歌

該怎麼才能 讓你懂呢
誰對誰錯已經模糊了 忘記了
我們都處理 得有點笨拙
畢竟從來沒有 像這一次如此愛過

常常只有一個念頭 I MISS YOU

Friday, September 5, 2008

This is so apt!


Someone you might not expect gives you the respect you know you deserve. It's a good time for you to take bold steps and assert yourself in places you may have been submissive in the past.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And hope returns

It's been a crazy week and I might take a break from everything to focus on my research and my work soon. It does seem like there's just dark clouds everywhere and not a silver lining in sight. Things have been rough for a couple of close friends I'm also trying to be there for them. To top it off, I've taken ill... again. Flu's gotten much worse since Tues night - the tummy ache and headaches are not helping as well. :( And my parents are out of town this week, so it's just gonna be mi and my bro. Thing about staying at home is how I tend to get domesticated and start cleaning up my place, cooking for myself, taking care of the groceries for my bro and myself. Which make being sick at this time kinda sucky. I just feel like staying at home all day to rest - with or without food. Ha.

However, my mum's been a real ball this time, she was thinking of not going away in case I get worse, but I insisted that she go anyways and that I can take care of myself *crosses fingers* Figured this will be a good exercise in independence since I might have to do tt this time next year. :) Realised some stuff this week as well which boosted my spirits- how T really thinks that I'm one of her closest friends, even though we've not talked much recently and how great some of my friends really are. Received smses asking if I've seen a doc yet and also how someone wants to take leave on my bday. Touching stuff really.

Which kinda makes the thought of leaving Spore tougher. Think this will be the last time I'd ever talk about plans for next year, coz as T says, saying things out might jinx it. Why leave things to chance? As I was on my way to sch yesterday morning, I keep asking myself this: where will I be next year? Will every day I spend in Spore from now on be the last of such days for some time? Makes me wistful and sad, and this is before I meet my grandparents to check on them tomorrow while my Mum's away. S once asked me why is leaving such an easy decision for me. It isn't. I struggle with it everyday. The inertia to stay is present, definitely. And I duno how I can leave if I do. I think I will leave it to the guy up there from now on, if I shld stay or go.

To end on a happy note: I received an email from a prolific US researcher in SNS who's going to put up my reference for the recent AMIC conference on her website - she also asked me to send her a copy of my paper for her personal reference! :) Yay! I almost did a tap dance ard my room when I saw that - for me, it's about the small victories now. :)

Singing in the Rain

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly):

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

Dancin' in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I'm happy again!
I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!

I'm dancin' and singin' in the rain...
Why am I smiling
And why do I sing?
Why does September
Seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up
Each morning and start?
Happy and head up
With joy in my heart
Why is each new task
A trifle to do?
Because I am living
A life full of you.

"Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors. "

This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson has been going on and on in my mind since I got started on the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society (AIMS) report., which included excerpts from the seminar on the Proposal for Internet Freedom. When I asked another blogger for his take, his response was a "no point, they are not interested in what we have to say, they have more or less made up their minds." Which was interesting and was reflected in the AIMS consultation paper as well, where focus groups revealed that ".... were also skeptical of the Government’s intention to gather feedback."

My colleagues have been throwing ideas and opinions via email these past few days and some of them have been very interesting. And the significance of the 'liberalisation' of the Hong Lim Speakers Corner has not been lost on us. Though stationing reporters there throughout the evening seemed to drive home the point that there's still a lack of uptake of people coming up to discuss issues in the public sphere. This is an attempt to open up more physical spaces for people to gather and discuss issues which matter to them, a concept which has been around since the time of Socrates and replicated successfully in places such as London's Hyde Park. I remembered being fascinated on my first trip to London and I saw picket fences and peaceful demonstrations outside places like Westminister Abbey. But will this work here?

While I think that it is laudable for AIMS to come up with this report, there were some portions which raised questions for me. While they are advocating community particpation and engagement, they seemed cautious as to how to approach it. There seems to be a tenacious situation where the government recognises the difficulty in regulating the internet yet hesitant in allowing the netizens free rein. There were interesting local and overseas case studies from S. Korea, Australia, US, China and the UK but still I did not see anything concrete in the steps AIMS was going to implement with regard to this.

Also, their hesitancy and cautiousness was displayed in the course of the report, when words like "radical" were used which protrayed new media in a negative light - this was something which my colleague highlighted and I totally agreed. This seems to run afoul of what they emphasised - keeping an open mind, when dealing with new media.

The report mainly goes through issues such as e-engagement, online political content, protection of minors and intermediary liabilities, which are pertinent issues as most bloggers here, the digital natives, still fall within the category of minor and might not be aware of the legal responsibilities which come with blogging.

After reading the Straits Times today, I think that the Bloggers 13 did raise some interesting points, but I think that advocating for free speech online might be too much of a leap in a country which has never had a reputation for free speech advocacy in real life. Why should that be any different online, even after acknowledging the affordances of the internet?