Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hobbit food

I don't remember much from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy because unlike Tym and Packrat, I'm not a fan. I only went to see the movies because I was chalking up credits for chick flicks that I might want to see in the future. And because each movie was like 3 hours long, 1 LOtR movie was equivalent to two chick flicks. And that to me was a pretty good deal.

Anyway, what I do remember of it was the fact that the hobbits had many meals in a day. Breakfast, 2nd breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Afternoon Tea, Supper supplemented with plenty of snacks in between. I remember thinking, these little people sure eat a whole lot.

On average, we eat 3 meals a day, sometimes with snacks in between. But for the last five days, the number of meals a day have increased and the portions have somewhat tripled.

On the eve of the eve of the eve of New Year, we had one yu sheng to toss for luck, a steamboat and with dessert from Menotti to follow. It was one meal, but more than I usually eat in a day.

On the eve of the eve of New Year, we had dumplings for lunch, yoghurt for snacks and a Japanese reunion dinner complete with crocodile herbal soup and deep fried frogs' legs and a yu sheng to toss for luck.

On the eve of the New Year, we made Dense Chocolate Cake in the day, so that was plenty of snack and steamboat again and roasted meat of beast with birds' nest to follow complete with the yu sheng to toss for luck. Disappointed was my mother-in-law when I announced that my mother had declared a moratorium on my eating cooling food. Apparently, the latest hypothesis is that I am too cool, not in the hip and happening way but in the yin-yang, there is imbalance in me, hence I suffer from being easily chilled- my hands turn blue from bathing in cold-ish water- way.

On the first day of the New Year, we had a Peranakan lunch at my Aunt's, lunch at Packrat's parents and dinner at another Aunt's with many hunks of meat, lasagne, pasta, chicken in all forms, fried, stewed, curried, chillied and boiled in soup. Not to forget the 3 yu shengs that we tossed for luck.

On the Second day of the New Year, we had yoghurt and cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, yoghurt and chocolate for tea and a steam boat dinner with thankfully, some veg, but more meat, this time including venison and to top it off, a barbeque dinner with rib-eye steaks, Sri Lankan Crab put on the grill and grilled tulang. For those who are unclear of what tulang is, it's an artery choking dish of marrow and fat. How much fat, we were blissfully unaware of until some of the tulang caught fire because the heat had caused the fat to melt into liquid fuel. The way to eat the tulang was to dig out the marrow and smear it onto toast, eating it with pepper and salt. It apparently tastes divine but be warned, it oozes out of your pores after and you smell of meat of cow after. And it is NOT a pleasant smell. So second dinner led straight into the evening Elevenses with remaining Krispy Kreme doughnuts. And like every other meal we've had this festive season, there was yu sheng to toss for luck.

Today, I think we will skip lunch as we are going to another barbeque where the hostess ordered 5 kg of sirloin steak. And possibly, there will be yu sheng to toss for luck.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:16

1 thoughts...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Year of the Dog

So, I survived the dreaded first day of the Lunar New Year with a headache the size of Alaska. It felt like a hangover except there was nothing to be hung over from, unless we're talking about being hung over from copious amounts of food.

Okay, to take stock. No one called me Sharon. Instead I got called a Teochew derivative of my Chinese name that is actually Cantonese which is weird because I am not Cantonese. And I haven't heard that since I was like 5.

I did get asked a rather many number of times when I was going to have a baby. Mostly it was a question to which people didn't really expect a reply. But some like our parents were more straightforward. My mother requested for one by next CNY. Actually, she requested for 3 more by next year, but as usual, she believed in sharing and equality so it was one from me, one from my elder brother and one from my unmarried brother.

My mother-in-law, tried to be subtle and funny offered me a red packet and said "The Best is Yet to Be!" You really can't hide from the influences of that school.

What else was there?

The aunt who spoke to me in such rapid Mandarin that all I understood was something about me not looking after my body or it might have been I don't look after my husband well enough. I really wouldn't know.

The cousin's 5 year old child who proudly announced that my pregnant sister-in-law couldn't possibly have seen the baby yet because she's still in Mommy's womb. The five year old actually said womb!

The little girl cousin who tosses her hair like a Dove/Pantene ad girl walking in with a boy by her side, prompting all of us to think that they really started young these days.

The little boy cousin who makes such wonderful balloon animals that he had a horde of admiring girl cousins running after him the whole night. He also had his aunt acting as his agent, offering him as entertainment at children's parties. All a ruse to keep him busy so that she could go shopping with his mother. A most excellent plan.

A bevy of mothers giving advice to my sister-in-law about all the hidden talent she was about to discover and how playschool education amounts to more than local university fees.

One day. Too many people. Too much food.

Tomorrow, I go into recluse.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:17

1 thoughts...

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Difference Between Us and Them

It dawned on me yesterday how different teachers and students were.

1.Cream
- Students like sneaking up on people and creaming them with plates of whipped cream (or whipped cream and salad cream, or salad cream and ketchup)
- Teachers like it on their cakes or dessert or in iced form.

2. Dunking
- Students finding all sorts of reason to dunk teachers, friends, little children (delete accordingly) in the name of charity.
- Teachers rather just get drunk.

3. Hanging around
- Students like staying round school after official hours, to hang out, cream one another some more and hide from the grounds' people trying to lock up.
- Teachers try to stay away from school after official hours to hang out, eat ice cream and hide from students.

One way we are all similar...
Holidays rock!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:22

2 thoughts...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

CNY Festivities

There's a lot of buzzing around because today it's CNY celebrations at school. It's nothing like working in Chinatown like Tym does and the irritants are contained within the school compound. Theres a carnival of sorts going on tonight and I've gamely volunteered my hair to be sprayed red, for prosperity. I am also up to get dunked later so I suspect the dunking pool's going to turn an interesting shade of red.

Generally, I dread CNY now. There're too many obligations. 2 CNYs ago, I wrote about feeling homesick. Reading the post now, I realise not much has changed. I still feel the same way. I haven't come any closer to finding any sort of peace about not being home for the reunion dinner. And this year, it was worse because both families wanted to hold it on the same evening and my father, particular about face, took me aside and told me that I had to go to dinner with my Packrat's family and it was what I had to do as a daughter-in-law. At that point, I was ready to burst into tears, not because I wasn't willing to honour my husband's family, but because I was overcome by this irrational and child like horror that my parents didn't love me anymore!
I knew it wasn't true, but like I said, it was irrational.

Of course, my sister-in-law chides me for feeling that way. She insisted that I cleave to my husband, because the Bible tells us so. Once again, not the point.

CNY means trying to break our necks crossing the island to see both families and partake in the festivities of both families and bear with the numerous people asking when we were having kids, especially when Packrat's younger brother is about to become a dad.

CNY means putting up with relatives that are particular about how you address them but end up calling you Sharon.

CNY means a copious amount of unhealthy eating and no opportunity to detox.

Sigh. I woke up pretty peppy this morning. Being able to wear jeans to work does that to you. Now, I'm all depressed again. See, that's what CNY means to me.

If only we were able to sneak off some where. I'm so desperate for another holiday, I dreamt that Packrat was in Iowa (God forbid!), the land of nothing but corn and pork and I dropped everything to go. Yup, even Iowa sounds like a better alternative than being here. At least, there's Gap. Or at least I hope there's Gap.

I'm from Des Moines. Someone had to be.

Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent- Travels in Small Town America

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:20

0 thoughts...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Namesake

I start off relatively slow on Mondays. It snowballs by about 11, but early in the morning, it's quiet and a good time to catch up on reading. Skimming the headlines of the Onion, "Sean Penn demands to know what asshole took seanpenn[at]gmail.com" screamed out at me, with Mr Penn looking extremely disgruntled.

It reminded me of this one time I got an email in my hotmail mailbox from this girl in Malaysia who shared the same name and email address with me, give or take an underscore. She wanted to be friends with me seeing that we shared the same name. I thought it was the strangest thing in the world. Almost like a car enthusiasts club- all those with Minis join a forum and it becomes a fraternity of sorts. So she wanted to unite the Ondines together and figured we'd be good friends because we shared the same name.

Some stand by that theory- that if you have the same name, you'd have generally the same type of character or personality depending on what the name means. My mother's friend met me at eleven and thought that the name my parents had christened me was way cool. So she named her daughter after me replacing one of my many 'e' s with an 'i'. I met my name sake some years ago and Packrat commented on how similar we were. Both of us were high-strung (his words, not mine), did not tolerate any rubbish from our mothers (who also shared the same name!), shared the same neuroses and didn't particularly like the inebriated party scene... Of course, this theory can be disproved quite easily, but I like it. And we all subconsciously believe in it.

My sister-in-law refused to name her daughter Naomi because she said she didn't want a dark skinned brat. Packrat wouldn't even let me consider Chloe as a potential name because he said the girl on Smallville was too whiny.

What's in a name? A whole bloody lot I think.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:45

3 thoughts...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Four by Four

Meme me!

4 Jobs you've had in your life.

  1. Front Desk Officer at a boutique hotel in Tanjong Pagar
  2. Date Entry/Admin assistant at EDS Singapore
  3. Camp Counsellor during the holidays
  4. Sales assistant at a Dancewear shop.

4 Movies you could watch over and over again.

  1. The Hunt for the Red October
  2. Centrestage
  3. The Mighty Ducks (1 and 2)
  4. Love Actually

4 TV shows you love to watch.

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. The West Wing
  3. Gilmore Girls
  4. Friends

4 Places you've lived.

  1. Garlick Avenue, Singapore
  2. Bartley Road, Singapore
  3. Wilkinson Road, Singapore
  4. Carlton, Victoria

4 Places you've been on vacation to.

  1. Amsterdam
  2. London
  3. Vancouver
  4. Seattle

4 Places you'd rather be.

  1. Melbourne
  2. Vancouver
  3. Calgary
  4. Anywhere else but here

4 of your favourite foods.

  1. Fishballs
  2. BBQ Wings
  3. Souvlaki
  4. Noodles (Instant, soup, dry...)

4 of your favourite drinks.

  1. Iced Lemon Tea
  2. Ribena (especially with lemon)
  3. Bubble Tea
  4. Margeritas (preferably cranberry)


4 Websites you visit daily.

  1. Salon
  2. Our Daily Bread
  3. Google
  4. Tomorrow.sg

(Excluding work related stuff. )

4 tagged.

  1. Olie
  2. Gai
  3. Val
  4. WJ

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:04

2 thoughts...

Clockwork Orange

Packrat didn't have tuition this morning so we had the whole day to ourselves. And we've had a very fruitful morning. We'd decided last night that we would go to the Botanic Gardens to run in the morning. What we didn't count on was the rest of the world being there on Saturday as well and us turning into be flyer thieves. For once, there were useful flyers stuck onto the windscreen of the cars parked in the car park. It was for a restaurant, relatively near us that served Australian pancakes and other types of breakfast food. So Packrat, eager for anything Ozzie, got me to pick up some off the windscreens of these hapless cars parked along the way.

It was a good run. Not too hot and my lungs didn't feel like they were going to explode. It occurred to us as we were getting into the car to go off to get some breakfast, it was time for us to redeem our Shell points otherwise, they would just void the points that were about to expire. So, we picked ourselves up one vacuum cleaner and two electric toothbrushes. I wanted an electric kettle but we didn't have enough points for all that. So, 3 years of petrol points and all we had to show for it was one vacuum cleaner and two electric toothbrushes.

Packrat decided after that, it was time to get our street directory back from C. Apparently, he feels insecure when there isn't a street directory in the car. By which time, we were both hungry and thirsty. Opposite C's house, is a huge hawker centre where we had lunch and we decided to indulge in some heartland fun. We ventured into the market to look for huge oranges. We found a stall that had HUGE ones so we bought $10 worth- that's 8 big oranges for you! And since CNY is next weekend, we needed some mandarins as well. Those cost another $10 as well.

So, in one morning, we got a new vacuum cleaner, two tooth brushes and $20 worth of oranges. I now have 24 oranges in my vegetable compartment (we still had 2 left from our last supermarket expedition).

Feeling domesticated.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:02

1 thoughts...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Kids Nowsadays

In the past two weeks, I have come to the conclusion that kids these days are much bolder than when I was a teenager. It's got nothing to do with manners or shoplifting or smoking. More to do with hormonally charged pubescent relationships. Physical relationships at that.

When I had boyfriends in school, I remember it was considered quite a big risk to be seen hanging around with the same guy. Of course, I came from a school whose principal had the reputation of hauling parents of teenage couples into her office and lecturing them about keeping their children in control. Obviously we had stolen moments where he would try and reach under the table in the library to hold my hand or something and that I considered, rather sweet. Especially now, when I'm faced with not just Public Displays of Affection but the In Your Face brand of PDA.

Two days ago, I was over at my mom's and when I came down the stairs, I was met by the sight of this couple dressed in school uniform, with the girl sitting on the boy's lap facing him. I have come to learn that that position is the favoured way of having sex in public because it is assumed that no one will really know what you're doing. What was even more disturbing is the fact that the boy was in shorts. So, it led to one of 2 conclusions. One, the boy was still in primary school (extremely disgusting), Two, the boy was in lower secondary (below 14) and the girl looked his age. Which ever way, this image is far too disturbing and in both situations, I think it they could be thrown into jail for it.

So, apparently, they're at it like bunnies all over the place. It was recently made known to me that kids do it all over the place. On the back seat of double decker buses, various secluded areas in school, at Hotel 81 or Hotel Frangrance chains and of course at movie theatres.

Both movies that I saw recently, there were kid couples that really should have just checked into the above hotels. At Memoirs of a Geisha, during a very full and very expensive $9.50 weekend show, the two seats beside us were empty for the first 20 minutes, leading us to think that the people who bought the tickets forgot about the show. Then, they come in laden with shopping bags, not even muttering an apology as they squeeze past all of us into their seats. The minute they sat down, they started. And really, never came up for air except when her phone beeped and caused me to go "tsk tsk" in great annoyance. Well, I'm sure if I had to identify the boy in a line up, I really could because his face was turned my direction the entire movie. Memoirs could have been in Samarian and they wouldn't have been the wiser. My rather snarky colleague was ready to prod them and tell them to get a room, but her quick wit was dulled by the making out sounds emanating from them. Whatever it is, the girl and the guy would have very bruised ribs and neck after that 125 minute tongue marathon. Now, if only they had braces. That would have afforded more entertainment.

At Pride and Prejudice, I wasn't quite aware of the lack of attention to the movie from those behind me until out of the corner of my eye, I saw toes stuck through the gap between the seats onto my arm rest. Once again, with great annoyance, I turned around to glare at them, only to discover the girl lying on the lap of the guy (This was at GV where there were couple seats) and the guy bent over as giving her mouth to mouth, all the while wriggling his toes at me.

And according to KW, she was at a movie where the couple went to the toilet and did not come back till the movie was over and the credits were running.

Seriously, do couples go to the movies to watch movies anymore? Or have common decency to not subject the public to gross displays of affection? Hand-holding, an affectionate hug from the back, a peck on the lips, all fine. Bodies smooshed together, tongues and hands a wandering, er, save it, please.

License my roving hands, and let them goe
Behind, before, above, between, below.

John Donne
Elegie:To his Mistris Going to Bed

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:54

2 thoughts...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Driven to Distraction

I have strange angry red bites all over my legs and it's driving me insane! *itch itch*

Must. Not. Scratch.

I don't really know where I got them from.

Must. Not. Scratch.

All I know, 2 days ago, I was on my way home from school and my legs started getting itchy.

So I scratched.

I was woken up in the middle of the night by the unrelenting itch at 12.30am, 3.40 am, 4.50 am and 5.30 am.

Must. Not. Scratch.

Needless to say, I'm about to fall asleep at my desk.

Must. Not. Scratch.

Calamine lotion, mopiko, anti-histamines, come to my rescue!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:15

1 thoughts...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Contest Prizes

I chanced upon this and I think it's one of the most useful prizes to win from a movie draw. Well, for some anyway. If they're girls under sixteen, then I guess, they could use it as water balloons. And if they are long distance runners, they can use the gel to prevent chaffing between the thighs. Of course, the one which heats up when you blow on it would be quite interesting to use if you were running any given distance.

Anyway, because I am blogging this from school, I had problems linking to a specific product on the Durex webpage because "You were denied access because:
Access denied by SmartFilter content category. The requested URL belongs to the following categories: Educational/Reference, Shopping/Merchandizing, Sexual Materials. "


And apparently, kids could not find out who Deep Throat was because there is apparently a porn film by the same name. But that one, I also blame on the inferior googling skills that the kids have.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:44

0 thoughts...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Experiment

People who know me well enough know I'm psychologically lactose intolerant. That means, I don't drink milk, eat butter, margarine. I'm not a dairy person. I have recently acceded to eating cheese, but only low fat cheese and yoghurt, low fat yoghurt. All because I fear osteoporosis and all these other degenerative illnesses that could end up dogging my later years.

I don't know where I developed an aversion for most things dairy. Packrat's theory is because dairy is fatty and I am generally not fond of fat stuff regardless of how yummy. But I don't think so. The aversion started much earlier on. I remember this scary dental nurse in my primary school who demanded that I drink milk. And I said I didn't. The look she gave me was enough to make me wet my pants. And she brashly suggested an alternative- soy milk, to which my response was automatic disdain that incurred her wrath further. So, I didn't drink milk since primary school. Way before the idea of being fat crossed my mind. I looked rather waif like at that point as Olie would well be able to testify to. Perhaps it had to do with this awful flavours of milk they tried to unload on us. Banana? Strawberry? Vanilla? I think I only liked the chocolate variety. And it had to be in the tetra pack that came with a straw- the brand eludes me. The other one, that you had to tear open, not so nice.

Anyway, it was this tolerance to chocolate milk at that time that prompted me to embark on this milk experiment. Packrat has been raving about Australian Milo which is conceivably different from local Milo. The difference apparently is the palm oil that is used in local Malaysian made Milo. So last week, while I was at NTUC, I chanced upon the Australian recipe Milo which meant, it was made here but contained no extract of palm. I was about to pick it up when I actually found authentic made in Australia low GI Milo. So knowing for certain it would make Packrat's day, I bought it.

And since I bought it, plus it was low GI and I always get hungry easily, I was tempted to try it. But according to Packrat, Milo mixed with water was an inferior product even if it was Australian Milo. He suggested Milo with milk, to which I enquired, rather snarkily, when had he ever seen me drink milk voluntarily? So, he suggested Milo with chocolate milk. I like chocolate, I've drunk chocolate milk before and I don't recall it making me throw up. Of course, being me, I tried the low fat variety of the chocolate milk and was rather thrilled by this milestone in my life. Beverage with milk! Voluntarily!

I made it some nights ago and it didn't taste sweet. Neither did it taste chocolatey. Where was this rumoured high you could get from Milo and choc milk? There was no high. Just a very weird aftertaste in my mouth. I tried to sweeten it with honey and it smelt good but still, I didn't think very highly of it. I was not impressed so I fobbed the rest off to Packrat. I am fobbing off the rest of the little packet of HL chocolate milk as well.

And I concede failure. My attempt at trying to increase my calcium intake was in vain. I will stick to yoghurt in the morning and cheese sandwiches for my recommeded Daily doses of calcium. And when it's cold, I shall not turn to a hot drink to warm me up and make me all toasty from the inside. I shall just put on a jacket and hope my hands don't turn too blue.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:12

5 thoughts...

Thief

There is a paper puncher thief lurking around in my office. And it seems he/she needs more than one paper puncher.

A trap must be set.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:03

1 thoughts...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Harbinger of Death

Someone passed away yesterday, very suddenly. He went to sleep and just never woke up. No one knew him very well and we found him a little eccentric. I don't think I said more than 10 words to him in the last 2 weeks, so I cannot in anyway describe myself as being close to him. But yet, I was stunned by his death. And by common human decency, I felt bad. I felt bad for his family as well even though I knew 3 things about his family. He has a cat. He does not live with his dad. And his dad does not own a white shirt.

Others I knew were stunned by his death too. And they felt bad too. One felt bad for saying that he weirded her out. And I thought about that. It's a common response to feel that something we did contributed to the person's death, even though it may all have been a random confluence of events. It's us, trying to make sense and logicize what had happened.

I remember being four and really thinking that I had killed someone. We had a lady who came in to do our laundry and I was a four year old brat that must have got in her way. So, she told me off, rightly so. But I was all huffy about it and filled with a sense of self-importance, told her that I didn't want her to come back the next day and I didn't want her to come back ever.

And the next morning, I overheard my parents talking about how she had died the night before. My four year old heart filled with so much heavy guilt and responsibility. Even though someone said it had been an asthma attack, I held myself personally responsible for having killed the washer-lady.

I never did tell my parents till recently. And my mom was astounded that I had thought that and had never told anyone. Of course, it wasn't something that dogged my every step since I was four, but I still recall now, how I felt then. So, I know, that even when a death may be accidental and have nothing to do with us whatsoever, we sometimes feel responsible. Possibly because in the person's death, we realise how we haven't been good people and our shortcomings are yelling out to be noticed.

So, what is commonly said about being nice to people, because you never know rings true. You never know when death will come a knocking. And that, is the truly scary thought.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:18

1 thoughts...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

One Month Gift

The Chinese tradition in Singapore is that when an infant is one month old, there is great celebration. According to my mother who tells me long tales sometimes just to make me eat my vegetables, it's done to celebrate the infant clearing its first four weeks of life. And apparently, in the past, if an infant lived beyond the first four weeks, it was likely to live, meaning it wouldn't end up being an infant mortality statistic. Of course, now it's a party thrown so that the poor mother who has been cooped up for the entire month gets to see adults and have real adult conversations with them. Obviously, this is a skewed look at the reason for the celebrations and there are more logical reasons but I like the one above best.

I don't remember much about what is given and being absent for the one month celebrations of my nephew and niece, there is even less to go by. But I do know that it usually comes in the form of a butter cake *make face at the thought of butter while Packrat makes hungry noises* and red eggs.

But no where in my memory was as cool a one-month old package as the one I received today. My best friend's baby has passed the crucial four week old mark without incident, unless one counts him crying his tiny eyes out all the way from Hougang's Central Mall back to his home in the northern sector of the country. Anyhow, she dropped this off for us today and I was stunned.
bebe3

And it had little goodies inside, all very prettily packed.
bebe

Apparently it's an online store that does it and it's not cheap. But oh so pretty. It's like a wedding favour, except it's for baby celebrations. I want! Of course, traditional Packrat wants the red eggs with dye that stays permanently on your fingers. But I think the nicely wrapped chocolate eggs that come as part of the package is as good and yummier!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:26

1 thoughts...

Slipper

I never wore thongs (not to be confused with thong) much. Not until I was in Oz this time round and my sandals broke, probably from too much walking and Packrat stepping on the heel part all the time. Because that happened while we were out, I had to go get another pair of footwear. Much as I like living in Oz, I cannot go around barefoot. The fear of stepping on glass shards and catching ringworm or the likes is far far greater than any desire to become one of them. So, I walked into the store and bought the cheapest pair of footwear available. This came in the form of Julius the Monkey thongs that I now wear everywhere.

There is absolutely no glam factor to it whatsoever. Not to me anyway. Anything that flat and floppy and noisy when you walk, cannot be glam. But I am a convert. Unfortunately, wearing them makes me what to beat some people senseless.

Because of it's great flop factor, it seems to leave space for people to step on the bed of the slipper. This results in me moving but not moving. I mean, you can't move forward if someone's stepped on your slipper preventing your slipper and by extension your foot from lifting off the ground to take that step forward. So, I find myself in constipated motion. And like with any other types of constipation, it's annoying, frustrating and makes you want to yell out in exasperation.

Perhaps I should only walk around in them when I'm in non-crowded areas. Alternatively, I could go back to my less flip-floppy slippers. But I've grown attached to Julius. Dilemma dilemma.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:07

2 thoughts...

Kids say the darndest things.

It's such a pity that I'm not teaching the new batch of students in my college. They're funny.

As a tradition, the first week of school is orientation and they do silly things in large groups. One of those things is to dunk the group leaders or whoever was unlucky enough to have a birthday into any body of water. The body of water in question this time was the koi pond in the college. The victims, the group leaders. The outcome, very very soaked group leaders and a very tickled teacher watching from a far.

I was told that the deed could not go unchided. But at the same time, it was the first week of school and I had no desire to become Mistress Bitch Lady so early in the term. So, the teacher face and aura were summoned as I stood behind waiting to be noticed. It didn't take long. I am told the aura emanates and words are not necessary. Panic ensued and eyes darted all round looking for the quickest escape route.

Scary Me: Where are the Group Leaders?
Four very sodden kids in black come up to me starring sheepishly at the ground.
Scary Me: Were there fish in the pond?
Sodden Sheepish Kids nod, still too petrified to utter a sound.
Scary Me: Do you know you probably gave the fish a really big shock?
Sodden Sheepish Kids look at the soaked feet.
Scary Me: The fish might die you know? First, you gave them such a shock. Second, you all are very dirty. If the fish die, it'll be your fault.
Sodden Sheepish kids struggle not to laugh.
Scary Me: Don't ever do this again. One, you would have got into a whole lot more trouble if it was someone else who saw you. Two, you need to be more considerate to the fish. Three, if the fish die, it will be on your conscience.
Sodden Sheepish kids relieved that they were going to get hauled into the principal's office: Sorry Ma'am.
Scary Me: Don't apologise to me. But you better go apologise to the fish.

With that, I sweep back into my meeting where I had the best seats in the house to watch some sixty 16 year old kids gather round the pond and chorus in unison "Sorry Fishes!" only to be chided by someone who insists that it should be "fish" since they were all koi. So, they repeat their apology "Sorry FISH, we promise we won't do it again!" before scattering in all directions.

I didn't stop chuckling the whole day. It was priceless.

I suspect I didn't earn the title of Mistress Bitch Lady but that crazy teacher who made us say sorry to the fish.

I could live with that.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:24

2 thoughts...

Prostitution

There are some teachers out there who tutor on the side for some spare change. There are tuition agents who try to act as the middle men, bringing together tutor and tutee. Most teachers I know who do that make it quite clear it's done on the side and do not allow school and tuition to meet. So, there was much suspicion among the teachers when messages started appearing on their desks today, stating that a particular consultant had rung to ask if they were interested in tuition jobs.

I happen to pick up one such phone call. And this consultant asked for me by name and sounded as if he knew me and I was his friend. He proceeded to ask if I was keen to tutor someone for $300 per hour. It was $300/hr to entice current teachers to tutor this guy who was a private candidate.

While listening to his entire spiel, there was a loud ringing in my head. Yes, they were alarm bells!

No one pays $300/hr for tuition and just expects some help to do well in some exam. Even special attention, in every sense of the word, doesn't cost $300/hr. So I declined.

It's like what we tell debaters sometimes. You can make up figures or examples, but make sure it's believable. There's a fine line.

LUKE: Jam.
LORELAI: Yes, fancy French jam.
LUKE: Fruits de la Terre. Very impressive.
LORELAI: It's handmade by this woman in Paris who has the most amazing story.
LUKE: Really?
LORELAI: Yeah. Orphaned.
LUKE: Uh huh.
LORELAI: And illiterate.
LUKE: Okay.
LORELAI: Just had nothing in her life, you know, except this burning desire to be the world's greatest jamstress. And she's famous now and, uh, you know, she only makes three bottles of that stuff a year and that's one of 'em, and I brought it all the way across the, uh. . .I got it from Sookie's house.
LUKE: No.
LORELAI: How did you know?
LUKE: Just a wild guess.

Episode 4.1
Ballroom and Biscotti

If he rings again, there will be much scolding. Perhaps in a different language just to add so "umph".

Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:34

1 thoughts...

Rain Rain

Thwarted once again, by the rain.

I ran last week for the first time in 3 months. My toes blistered. My ankles hurt. My knees buckled. My hips strained. My butt cramped. All in all, pain. So, I decided that I had better run again soon.

Packrat was supposed to play ball today so I decided I would go running. But through the day, the weather was just a tease. Everytime, I walked into class, it poured, perhaps mirroring my mood and reluctance at starting off the academic year with loooooong two hour sessions. Everytime I walked out of class, it cleared ever so slightly, giving me enough hope that I might be able to sneak a run down by the beach. The beach, after big rain, is always peaceful. Perhaps, it is the lack of people. Perhaps it is the trees washed clean by the rain. Perhaps it is the calm on the water. I don't know. But it is nice. And I looked forward to that. It's been awhile.

After my last class, I attempt to do a Wonder Woman changeabout into my running clothes but am delayed by a strange phonecall worthy of another post. By the time I clear that and walk out, the heavens have decided that it's taken too long for me to get out and could not keep the rain back any longer. So I missed my window to a tranquil sea side run.

The weather mocks me, mercilessly. I decide to brave the city without an umbrella tonight and when we step out of the cinema after an extremely long road trip with Mr Pixie Ears himself (Elvan, but pixie sounds funnier) Orlando Bloom, right after I've looked up at the sky and nod approvingly at the lack of rain, a nice big raindrop lands on my nose. And when Tym insists I take her umbrella even though I have martyredly resigned myself to the weather, it laughs in my face once again and makes me think all the rain is my imagination run amok.

I am home now. Dry.
Tomorrow, Round 3.
Let's see who blinks first.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:14

0 thoughts...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Surgeon General's Warning

Donuts


A diet of fresh vegetable and fruit with as little meat as possible is recommended for the next two days in preparation for the rather toxic and noxious specimen above that Ondine and Packrat are bringing as dessert to the potluck on Tuesday. If time permits, some exercise might actually help to bring balance to counter the potential disturbance in the force.

Consider yourselves forwarned.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:21

1 thoughts...

Wet Wet Wet

It's been raining since yesterday morning. When I woke up, the skies were gray and the ground was wet. Pity we couldn't lounge around in bed. I had to get up and pack because we had a wedding and then the lunch and then it was off to JB for Cowboy's wedding. It was just one of those days.

The wedding lunch was different. I felt a bit weird because not long ago, I was at the same ball room, at about lunch time, at another Chinese Singaporean-American wedding. Even the dessert was similar. No one makes a hazelnut royaltine like the Four Seasons Hotel. It is a strange sight to see people at the wedding in full suits and then change out into comfy weekend clothes and in typical Singaporean fashion, take advantage of the free parking just outside Orchard Road and go shopping. We did the same, change out of our party clothes but we didn't go shopping. In fact, it felt a little bit like we were going on a road trip.

Well, technically we were. Across the Causeway into foreign land. And when you venture into foreign land, you have to abide by the laws of the land. Which in this case meant we had to fill in immigration cards. At this point, just as I was about to weave wildly through 8 lanes of check point traffic to find cards, the heavens decided to open up. By the time I got back to the car, I resembled a drowned rat.

That, I was to discover would be the first of many drenchings I was going to encounter over the weekend. The thing about having a wedding at a golf resort in Malaysia is that the car park is very far away from the Club House, meaning, when we discover the Cowboy's laptop cannot run QuickTimePro to run his wedding slide show and we need to sub it with Packrat's Clover*, the trek to the car sans umbrella means I get wet again.

Cowboy warned us last night that we should draw the curtains in our very very large room that could fit my entire flat, so that the sun would not rudely awaken us this morning. But there was no sun! And it was difficult to ascertain whether it was time to hop out of bed to go off on a convoy in search of the true Malaysian breakfast. We did manage to find such a breakfast, a breakfast of wanton noodles and chee cheong fun from a van, there was a great amount of shuffling at the table to avoid the moving leak from the roof that was headed my direction. I wryly told Packrat that washing my hair during this weekend was entirely pointless because I kept getting a repeat wash by the never ending rain. Get into the car, get wet. Get out of the car and run to the coffee shop, get wet. Get back into the car, get more wet. You get the picture.

The rain, unfortunately, knew no borders and followed us out of the Malaysian customs and back across to Singapore all the way into the Singapore customs where I proceeded to fail the customs examination that I had no idea I had to study for.

Me (shaking off water after opening the car door and stepping into a rain puddle): hello!
Customs officer: Open your boot.
Me (still shaking off water, somewhat resembling a dog that just peed on its own leg): Ok.
Customs officer: Come from shopping?
Me (being truthful): No, wedding. [BEEP! WRONG ANSWER]
Customs officer: Oh, from KL?
Me (being trutuful again): Er, no. JB (BEEP BEEP! WRONG ANSWER AGAIN, Do not pass go, Do not collect $200)
Customs officer (pointing to bag): What's in there?
Me: Camera.
Customs officer: You buy from Singapore? [Correct answer at this point- Yes]
Me (pointing to Terz in the back seat): Er, he's a photographer [ Strike 3! Failed to answer question appropriately. Go to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 and have no choice but to allow customs officer to check the rest of the car]
Customs officer: I check the inside of your car...

Anyway, I digressed. I was talking about rain. Although I feel sure, the custom's officer's insistence was partly due to the wet and miserable conditions that surrounded him. But eventually, we were let through and back into Singapore. Land without potholes, but also without visibility and fallen trees and lifts that gave up battling with the weather, causing us to climb ten flights of stairs with our overnight bags.

I got wet again this evening, while running out to buy the family dinner. So the t-shirt and cargoes that I have on, have been drenched and dried out about 6 times in the last 2 days. It's quite fortunate that I haven't actually caught a cold yet from all the wet hair and clothes in airconditioning. Time to take my vitamin C and go to bed.

Just in case.

Here endeth one of the wettest weekends I've experienced in a long time.

*Clover is Packrat's laptop as opposed to Boxer, Packrat's desktop formerly.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:41

0 thoughts...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mourning

I mourn the loss of Firefox in school. I never did realise how much I loathed IE until 3 days ago. I used to have a tablet PC in school but during the time while I was convalescing at home, it decided to go on strike. So, the first day of school saw me sending it back to the Tech people in school and them giving me a replacement laptop while I wait for them to figure out why the heck every laptop I get my hands on goes funky on me.

My first laptop's hard disk crashed on me. My second laptop's "r" key stopped working. My third laptop had smoke emanating from the F3 key and my tablet was the fourth. Anyway, this fourth one was my favourite because it had allowed me for a time to download whatever I wanted. MSN, Firefox etc...And so, I had gotten used to opening just one window with multiple tabs.

And now, I have to open multiple windows. I had something like 6 IE windows opened at the same time this morning, the system hung on me. Poor Dell. It wasn't its fault. I blame the darn firewalls that don't let me download Firefox. Now I will not love the Dell as much as my tablet PC and it will not be fair the Dell will feel like the replacement child that it is.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:46

0 thoughts...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

One Cure to Cure Them all

The best cure for being in a foul mood is to be extremely snarky to someone whom you don't know. I wandered morosely in the city, trying to run some errands but failing miserably hence rapidly moving from being morose and woebegone to extremely pissed off with the world.

It's easy to be pissed off when you're standing in line to buy a soy chicken on promotion, obediently following instructions of only buying one (although I don't think we could eat more than one of those birds) and the lady in front of you buys like 3 and insists on extra gravy and extra sauce and also to make sure all the breast meat end up in one box, the drumsticks in another and the wings in another! Excuse me, but do you really want me to kick you with my pointy heels?

But what took the cake was some hapless young promoter giving out flyers to a slimming centre. I could see her from a mile away. And when she moved in, to come to talk to me, I decided enough was enough.

Hapless sales promoter : Es-cue mee, you want to get free slimming session?
Me (curtly and with my most evil of eyes): No.
Still Hapless sales promoter: But is very good you know. Sure slim down very fast one. Try try, very good.
Me: So you're telling me that I need to slim down is it? I NEED to lose weight is it? Why? I'm FAT is it?
Cowed and wide-eyed sales promoter: Er, sorry. You not fat. It's ok. Sorry.
Me (muttering to myself): Wah lau! Never die before.


I felt much much better after that. I feel sorry for the poor girl, but I'm sorry. There's blur and then there's BLUR.

Now to attempt to run for the first time in 3 months.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:58

0 thoughts...

The First Day Back

Sometime last week, we were telling a friend who was back in Singapore on vacation that she should hang out in the city on New Year's Day and the day after to see the faces of morose children who had to return to school the next day. Well, it's not just the students that are morose. I'm morose too. Everyone's morose.

The minute I stepped into college, the teacher face had to come on. Kids, all over the place, sitting across the broad stairway. So, how do teachers get through them? People say I'm thin, but really, I'm not two dimensional and paper thin to be able to squeeze through all these large 16 year old boys. So Bah! to that.

I think this feeling of bah-ness comes from facing another year of the same thing. The status quo. Everyone's moved, changed places/jobs/countries (delete accordingly), doing different things. Not me, hence the feeling of ennui.

All over the island, I suspect it's the same. Teachers are grumpy because at the end of the day, we never quite grew out of the "I hate school, I don't want to go to school, I wish I was anywhere but here..." phase. Plus they have to fight traffic. It always seems a little bit weird that the first week of school is a week of congestion. Anywhere you see a congestion, between 7 and 8 in the morning, there're schools in the vicinity. And by the end of the second week, traffic is tolerable, even though it wasn't that every school had a 20% drop out rate and there are less children going to school. So, leaving at a quarter to 7 isn't sufficient time for me to get into college before the bell goes.

Apparently, at another school, to welcome the housing of primary, secondary and college under one roof, there was a HUGE combined assembly in the field with the little kids wilting from being in the sun and never really having to stand still for so long, the middle kids fidgeting and kicking soil at one another and the big kids, being the oldest in the bunch talking on mobile phones and incurring the wrath of their teachers at the same time.

My brother happened to be at the assembly since my little nephew is now old enough to join the ranks of formal education (So fast!!!! I still remember him at 3 months!) and he surmised that 80 percent of the teachers looked like they wanted to be somewhere else and leaned over to his friend and commented that his sister (me) was probably looking about the same at that point. How truly insightful he was!

Yes, those who are able to have breakfast at McDonald's have the luxury of such discerning insights.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:56

0 thoughts...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005

I guess it would be remiss if I didn't take stock of the year that has just passed. I toyed about doing this yesterday but could not find the words. I'm not certain how much better it would be, doing it today, but I shall try, anyway.

2005.

There was only one thing that I set out to do in 2005 and at the close of the year, yesterday, it hit me with all certainty, that it was something that I had failed to achieve. Which doesn't sound like that much. People set out to do things at the beginning of the year and end up not doing it all the time. But not me.

Everyone that has known me has said that I possess the ability to do something as long as I put my mind to it. My mother oft quotes the example of my ballet. Who else would take up ballet at 19 and then at 22 decide to take major exams that little children take 10 to 12 years to prepare for? But this tenacious-ness and doggedness backfired on me in 2005.

I had taken upon myself a project that I thought, ignorantly, that I had all control over. And in my mind, I thought that if I worked hard enough at it, and drove myself at it, I would be able to achieve it, as with everything else that I had put my mind to. But it was not to be. Over and over again, I was reminded that no matter how much I tried, the end result really wasn't in my hands. And it was something I had no control over.

So, yesterday, the day to take stock, it slapped me hard in the face that no matter what I did, with regards to this project, it really wasn't up to me whether I was going to succeed. No matter how upset I got everytime I failed, no matter how angry I got and how much I wanted to smash plates against walls, it was really not much point. I was just making it more difficult for myself to succeed.

And last night, I was left with 2 ways of heralding in the new year. My favoured choice was to get extremely sloshed for all the wrong reasons. The logical one however, was to steer clear away from all sorts of alcoholic beverages because as a double punishment for holding on so tight and being so high strung, I had a mother of all headaches that hasn't even gone away as I blog this. Packrat decided on the latter and we started the New Year on a somewhat sombre mood, realising the frailty of our existence and how in the larger scheme of things, what we want to do, really doesn't count for all that much.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 12:26

1 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"