Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There's a major storm a brewing. What a beaut!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:31

0 thoughts...

Fighting for a cause

I saw the ad on TV just now and then again and mb's site. In the light of all the bad publicity that charities have been getting, it's easy to say, we just don't care anymore. But when you see these things and realise, innocent children are suffering, it's a different matter.

In the opening of Philip Yancey's What so Amazing about Grace book, he recounts the tale of a prostitute and though I know it's something that happens in the world, the injustice, the cruelty and the outrage of it all hits me hard.

A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit...

What So Amazing About Grace (Philip Yancey)

It goes on. And it happens and there's very little we can do about it but we have got to try. So light a candle or buy a t-shirt. Don't just sit there and let it happen because then, we're as much to blame as those who go online and pay for these services or those who keep these services in demand.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:35

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Birkin what?

Packrat hates the new season of Gilmore Girls. It's Gilmore 6 that we're watching now. There's a lot wrong with this season. The writing's off, there's too much angst, there're too many loopholes and then, there's the Birkin Bag.

I've read about it. For a second, in the deep, country hick recesses of my mind, I thought they were talking about Birkenstocks. Totally different and on a totally separate must have accessory meter. It didn't hit home until the last episode we watched, Welcome to the Doll House. Ok, it's not as spooky as it sounds, but there, Rory gets a Birkin from her super rich boyfriend and my recently dead fish-not interested in the world- eyes light the entire room up. Much to Packrat's chargrin and he goes on a rant about how he hates television shows because they're are nothing but a vehicle stupid must have trends that fuel themselves into such a frenzy that there is a 2 year long waiting period for such an item and there are stupid women out there who are stupid enough to wait that two years to spend all those dollar bills that could go toward feeding a mid sized 3rd world country.

Ok, now try saying all that in one breath and that's where my husband was.

For me, it was ..."Big orange paper bag...pretty... oooh, big orange box in bag...oooh...big orange bag in big orange box in big orange bag...must be good... OOOOH!!!! Pretty pink bag..Pretty!!!" Also known as incoherent postmodern cavegirl speak.

New thing to lust after even though the price tag on one of those babies would probably pay for ALL my credit card bills right now and then a down payment for a new car and a nice Banyan tree holiday and many more knick knacks that could fit into that one bag.

But then now, my television culture indulging, consumerist embracing, telemarketer's wet dream of a husband is hissing about how television is evil and how Sex and the City and any other show that promulgates any sort of fashion trend all decked out in their Birkins and Kate Spades, Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos ought to be lynched and hung out to dry.

So, I'm just going to keep quiet and not rave anymore.

But on an extremely disturbing note, this is now on sale and this is where I will draw the line. My children will learn their nursery rhymes the old fashion racist, sexist way.

Now, can book burnings ever be seen as acceptable?

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:56

2 thoughts...

The Name Game

Packrat still hasn't stopped with the Wow-ing. I don't harbour much hope that it will end anytime soon (I wanted to put a related posts link but there are just too many). Anyway, his way of getting me involved now is to name all these creatures that he buys, adopts, trades an arm and a leg (literally) for.

So far, I've named a leopard, a tiger and I think a wild boar. The boar was named Truffles, though on hindsight, it should have been Mr Truffles, Scar was the Tiger (I think it was a saber tooth one cos it looked like it needed to go to the dentist, badly) and the leopard I think was Sable. I've gotten quite good at it. Well, good is subjective. A better word would be adept at it. It's also occurred to me that he make like Noah and adopt animals in twos. Names of pairs are funnier and more entertaining.

Off the top of my head, I've come up with
1. Itchy and Scratchy
2. Pinky and the Brain (it would be extremely gross if indeed he got a brain that needed to be named).
3. Harry and Sally (although then we'd have to make sure the animals weren't related otherwise there would be a little bit of WOW incest going ong)
4. Twiddledum and Twiddledee
5. Bonnie and Clyde
6. Butch Cassidy and Sundance
7. Rommy and Michelle
8. Chandler and Joey
9. Angel and Buffy
10. Xander and Willow (although Willow later became of the gay persuasion. Packrat vetoed Xander and Willow- the early years).
11. Punch and Judy (that was Packrat's suggestion)
12. To which, I countered with Kate and Leopold!

So, spending my day coming up with silly names for him isn't too shabby although I think now, I shall go nap.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:37

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wedding bells

It occured to me a while back that there were things that were really not kosher to do at a wedding. The point was brought home to me earlier this week during a dinner party. No matter how drunk one is at the wedding, one must not

1. Go up on stage on the pretext of toasting the bride and the groom and then turn around to his girlfriend and propose! Can you say stealing thunder?

2. Be the groom that promises his new mother-in-law that he will turn "her liability into an asset", meaning her daughter. I don't really care if the groom is in the finance industry, it's just poor speech making skill.

3. Wax lyrical about how the ex was much better but he (or she) had decided the other half of the bridal couple deserved him/ her more.

4. Announce to the entire room that not only has the family gained a new son, the family has gained also a new grandson! Talk about double happiness.

Of course there are the usual, groom must not hit on the maids of honour type of things, but these were the recent, more jaw dropping ones.

Now, who said weddings weren't fun?

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:31

4 thoughts...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rain rain, come again

Thank goodness for the rain. Packrat's become a regular haze barometer. The day before the haze gets bad, he starts sneezing. He thankfully did not prove to be all that accurate yesterday, because there was a big down pour that cleared the skies, the air and lowered the temperatures by a couple of degrees.

Thanks to the haze, I haven't run in a while. Because of that, I'm not taking part in the New Balance Triathlon like I did two years in a row, nor the Great Eastern Women's Run, all held this weekend. I could be all snotty about it and say I'm not running because I've run the Corporate one twice and I've run 2 10km ones as well so it's no longer a challenge. Well, separately they're not. But when both are on the same weekend, I pity my ankles, knees and hips and I don't want to put them through that, especially having not hit the running track for the last month. Running on the treadmill isn't the same. If any of the events were on the treadmill, it would throw all snottiness out the window since I can't run to save my life on the treadmill. Some would say it wouldn't need saving since you're just running on the spot and it'll be the same spot and there will be no life to save.

So, since it's rainy and I can't run anyway, I'm going to nap. I shall push all thoughts of work out of my head *guilty gulp* and savour the nice weather.

After all, these snails did, so I don't see why I should be deprived of it.


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Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:17

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Friday, October 20, 2006

10 ways to spend a Friday evening

Because this has been a long week and even though I've managed a good straight 6 hours of sleep last night and an hour and a half this afternoon, I decided it wasn't a good idea to do anything too strenuous this evening. So, I've stayed home and Tym, Wahj, Terz and Boko are over. And so far, it's been an enjoyable and easy evening.

Here are some tips to a successful, restful and somewhat entertaining evening.

1. Order in MacDonald's just because you're too lazy to go out and get an iced tea. Eat off other people's Happy Meals.

2. Watch a preview of all the new shoes opening in the US this fall, including Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and learning that "balls" is no longer a word banned from screen.

3. Disparage the boys for being boys whenever they disappear into the room to play whatever shooting games they play on the computer including WOW (which is not really a shooting game).

4. Watch Jamie Oliver escape to Italy in a VW van that looks like the one in Little Miss Sunshine.

5. Allow the boys to watch Conan the Barbarian.

6. Cheer on Wahj as he impersonate the current Govenor of California.

7. Learning that to Conan, "Crom" is like us regular people using God's name in vain.

8. Marvel at how all the boys would be drunk now if they really played a drinking game based on how many times Conan muttered "Krum" under his breath, raise his arms to mimic an emblem of sorts specially designed to show Arnie's Mr Universe pecs.

9. Do a little bit of work and actually getting the opportunity to stuff the scripts under the couch, just like old times.

10. Do a little jig because tuition tomorrow got cancelled and that means I can finally sleep in!

All in all, not too shabby for someone who's pooped. Thing is, I'm ready for bed not, but Conan's not over, I haven't finished my iced tea and I need to retrieve my scripts before my Protestant work ethic kicks in.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:00

2 thoughts...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Reason #652 to emigrate

I need to teach my body to ignore my brain. My brain flipped on at 3 am this morning and went "Get out of bed, you have work to do!". Despite the fact that I am dead on my feet and I have been told that there is also a medical reason for all this fatigue (disclaimer: I am not pregnant!), my body obeys and obediently, I climb out of bed, stumble over to my desk, switch on the light and computer and prepare to start work. All the while, my body is whining and protesting and is only temporarily placated when it is offered Vitagen.

But the crux of it is, I need to sleep and I can't seem to switch off this ingrained responsibility of getting my work done, at the expense of my physical well-being. I need to learn how to prioritise myself over my students and my work. And to think, a few days ago, I was wondering about the issue of sacrifice.

My body is showing physical signs of wear as well. I looked at my arm yesterday and wondered momentarily why I had a bruise on my upper arm. Ten minutes later, I was given the answer when I walked right into the corner of my cupboard. I also proceeded to trip over my feet, bump my hip and knock my head. Even though I'm klutzy, I'm usually not this klutzy. It's the lack of sleep that's affecting my spatial awareness. Judging the distance between me and the cupboard, table, refrigerator door, corner of the bed doesn't seem to be that easy anymore. Mayhaps, I shouldn't drive till this horrific, nightmarish term is over.

Now, I need to go to tea. I can't say no, because this person has the power to make my life very miserable and it's essential I remain in his good books, so I can't rest and I'll have to stick ear plugs into my ears so that I can ignore the constant, grating of my conscience until 3 am tomorrow morning. Again.

My only solution now is to move to somewhere that has a kinder and gentler work ethic. Melbourne sounds tres attractive right now. Thing is my professor at uni there kept the same hours as I do now. And he ended up with a brain tumour.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:16

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lives hanging in the balance

Part of the paper that I am grading is called the Application Question. This is where students are required to use all their wonderful critical analysis and critical reading skills to come up with a coherent piece of commentary. This commentary is graded on how much it is able to apply relevant facts from the passages presented into a current day situation. The shape of this commentary is defined by a question directly thrown at the candidate. It often asks which passage is one likely to agree with/find more relevant/ find convincing...More often than not, the implicit understanding is that in order to explain how xxx is more relevant, one must also explain why zzz is not as relevant/ appropriate/ full of utter rubbish...In layman/student terms, one is required to show balance in the argument, which means the commentary isn't a full on assault on anything. Rather it has to be calm and fair, giving rational voice to the various perspectives of the issue and showing its relevance to a particular society (usually Singapore)

Most of the scripts I get through struggle to get to the rational and fair bit. Most are single-minded in their approach, choosing to see just one side of the issue. I suspect it's painful for the brain to have to consider different perspectives.

At the end of it, I scrawl "Balance???" in the margins, sometimes in bold, depending on how exasperated I am.

Today, there were many like that and I'd gone into a frenzy and went through all 25 students' answers in one sitting. When I got up eventually, a colleague commented that I looked dazed. All I could do was nod, mutter "AQs" (application questions) and manage to trip over myself, just standing there and stumble. Then I mutter, even more loudly, "No balance", realise what a great pun it was considering what I had been doing, collapse heavily into my chair and begin to laugh hysterically.

I think I've lost it.

Anyone seen any of my marbles? They're small, they're pretty and they make a whole lot of noise, especially when they bounce.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:01

1 thoughts...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Of Pigs and Puppies

Today, once again, I send off yet another batch of students. It's a yearly affair. We've spent the whole day out and I don't know about them but I sure as heck feel guilty for not having done a stitch of work the entire day. I'm finally home after having been out of the house for a good 16 hours and nothing would please me better than to climb into bed and pass right out. No strange dreams tonight, Mr Sandman, please?

Anyway, I was plenty tickled just as I was last year when it was revealed to me rather sheepishly that my students were aware of this blog. Like Packrat told his students, there is no such thing as anonymity online and I don't pretend that there is. What tickled me even more was the fact that these secret blog stalkers ( I call them stalkers because they haven't wanted to reveal themselves to me, yet check my blog everyday for updates) were extremely perplexed by me referring to them as silly puppies. They couldn't understand why I had likened them to puppies. Thing is, not much thought went into it and silly puppies just has such a nice ring to it.

As a parting gift, my bunch of silly puppies bought me a gift and made me a gift. It's been a day strangely tied to animals. The puppies bought me a stuffed pig. This one in particular.


According to some teachers, it was some pig that had appeared in a Korean drama. And as mentioned previously, I know NOTHING about Korean drama except it's very pretty and people cry a lot.

According to Packrat, it looks like Wilbur.

According to the Puppies, it shall be called Pig.

But since it now resides in my car, I have the power to name it and I shall christen it something poncy.


Now, that's Some Pig.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:05

1 thoughts...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Things not to do when PSI is over 100

1. Have the college server breakdown so the only way to get any sort of Internet access is to sit out in the open and pick up the wireless signal.

2. Have remedial from 8 am to 2 pm in the open.

3. Yawn deeply, because it will only result in choking.

4. Fog the place. What joy it is to breathe in both hazy air and insecticide filled air! (What sane person thought that a good idea)

5. Clean the car because a film of dust settles almost immediately and it's 6 bucks that could have bought you some clean air time in some cafe somewhere.

6. Leave windows open because like the car, the house will have a thin layer of dust everywhere.

7. Run a marathon because it won't just be a thin layer of dust in your lungs (I so desperately want to run/exercise but can't).

More to come later. Now, to weather some haze filled air and go for pilates.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 19:13

2 thoughts...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

There is something inherently wrong and disconcerting about reading English essays about why studying Math is absolutely stimulating!

I wonder what it could be.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:03

0 thoughts...

Heart and Soul

It's been quiet on this blog. There is a reason. It's not a new one, it's one rehashed every couple of weeks, except that this time round it's been more intense. 4 am mornings do not do good things for a blogging drive. It kills it extremely quickly. Excuses are aplenty. "Not tonight honey, I have a headache", "I have an early/long day tomorrow", "we'll see if we can squeeze in time for a quicky, mid morning" (that almost never happens), "let me get all this work out of the way first" (even less likely to happen than the previous one). So, there's been a drought.

Let's see, I wanted to blog about the muffin I went all out to find and eat (cranberry muffin chock full of cranberries washed down with peppermint tea- divine!), the muffins that I did eventually bake, the unusual trips Packrat and I made to video stores to get educated on and subsequently buy Korean dramas, taking time out of my hamster-running on a wheel- days to sit down and actually pen a letter to a dear friend, only to get mercilessly mocked about having used a pink pen and therefore causing the words to swim before her very eyes, booking and informing my silly puppies about an upcoming high tea where I was bombarded with questions like "what shall we wear? Can we wear a tuxedo?" , being an aunt again to the best friend's baby, photos to come later, hopefully and being extremely, inimitably, immeasurably exhausted.

But since I do have to get back to my work in the next twenty minutes or else I'm going to throw in the towel for the day, I shall blog about going to the newest, most giantess, mall that has opened in Singapore. We went, because we needed a new water filter and Packrat decided that we should go there and try and get one. The proverbial killing two birds with one stone. Another bird was added in yesterday afternoon when I got an email from FJ Benjamin (not the guy himself, though) that Gap Singapore was opening there, yesterday. Yes! No more online shopping. Upon receiving my message where my excited jumping jelly bean state could be felt through the whatever waves SMS uses to send messages, Packrat must have wondered what in the world he had got himself into.

Anyway, we make our way there after dinner. And I must say, it is a rather cavernous mall. It doesn't really feel as if you were in Singapore. This felt like a huge American mall with all the space. Unfortunately, it was teeming with people. Not as bad as it could be since the walkways were huge. We didn't say very much while we were there because it was quite difficult to talk over the din. Also recall the great exhaustion that reared its ugly head once I realised it was more fun to shop at Gap in the US or online. But we did come to this conclusion, it was a shopping mall without a soul. Possibly because it was new, but possibly because it was trying to be everything. There were upmarket chi-chi stores along one walkway, make a wrong turn and you're in the seedier, darker poorer side of the mall where the service staff all welcome you with the prosaic, Singaporean "Can I helpch chew?". In and out, you weave through high fashion, plebian fashion, street fashion and bad fashion. You see upmarket restaurants with fancy names and long queues but beside it, people sitting on the kindly provided seats for boyfriends and husbands to endure their long weekend waits, eating out of plastic takeaway boxes. In our local Straits dialect, there is a word for this. Chapalang- loosely translated into, 'everything also got'.

Hence the conclusion of no soul. That did launch us into a discussion of which malls had soul and which malls had personality and which malls had nothing but cold hard marble floor and things to be sold. It's made for an interesting discussion because it's not something we can quantify, soul. But it's something we feel, and every shopping mall has a different feel to it. Our unanimous conclusion was that the real Tangs (just take a look at the link and you'll get what I mean) not the one at Vivocity had the most soul. It's a pity that even Tangs had to sell its soul.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:06

1 thoughts...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What are the advantages and disadvantages of immigration?


Immigration is not a new concept. It is one that has seen a great revival in the last twenty years or so. This is because of the globalised world that we live in and air travel has made it even easier for us to migrate from one country to another. Needless to say, when one extols the wonders of immigration, one must also be clearly aware of how it could create more problems than it fixes.

One great thing about immigration would be the fact that many immigrants from poorer nations move to seek a better life. Their lives would be greatly improved because they would finally be living in a greater, more cosmopolitan city. Furthermore,urbanites living in such areas are highly educated and snobbish, leaving a plethora of jobs available for these immigrants to take up. These immigrants become a great help to their adopted country because the jobs they do are necessary and keep the country going. An excellent illustration of this point would be that the adopted country would become extremely dirty and smelly if not for the immigrants who because garbage disposal executives. Furthermore, nations like Singapore would not have smooth roads if not for our immigrants who willingly take on the task of filling up the potholes with bitumen under the baking sun. These potholes are dangerous to the numerous cars on the road and Singapore cannot have roads with such conditions. Enter the immigrant. Singapore citizens being more educated know the folly of working out in the sun without sun block, thus they are reluctant to take on such jobs. Therefore, our nation would be at a loss if not for the heroic immigrants that do these necessary jobs in Singapore.

Yet another reason why immigration is good for any nation is the simple reason that in order to emigrate to another country, one requires a mode of transportation. Transportation costs a great amount because oil these days cost USD$70 per barrel. As a result of this, flight, train, ship tickets cost an arm and a leg. However, to emigrate, this is necessary. The outcome that follows this would then be that with every emigrant that leaves the country, the travel industry profits from the sale. These airfare and train fare profits contribute to the wealth of the nation. With so many emigrants leaving everyday, the tourism industry does benefit from the exodus of people who go off in searh of greener pastures. Airlines do not just have special student fares, they have a fare category for those who want to emigrate. These are the "One Way Ticket" fares. Often, travel agents and airlines charge more for these tickets because they know that these are used by people who are migrating and therefore want to make that last sale as profitable to them as possible.

The only problem with this picture is that it is may not always been beneficial to accept every miscreant that wants to move into the country. These people are strangers in a strange land and the technology used to screen them is not full proof. The outcome of that could possibly be that we allow yet another Hitler to live on our shores without knowing. Hitler had been an immigrant in Germany, from Austria- a neighbouring country. If this occurred in the current day context, the effects would be even more disatrous than it was 70 years ago. This would especially be the case if there were Jewish immigrants as well, bringing about the possibility of another Holocaust! If we were looking at disadvantages, this would definitely be a great one.

All in all, we do need immigrants in our countries. They are all wonderful people, adding to the colours and smells of the country. They also save us from doing a great number of jobs that we would rather not do so we ought to be extremely grateful that they chose our country to emigrate to. Having said that, it is also necessary to pay close attention to who we let in. We do not want to allow immigrants in who might tip the delicate balance that we have in our society. It is the only way that we can milk the advantages of such a situation and having our immigrant cake and eating it at the same time!

Scary, isn't it?

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:21

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Product Placement

Yesterday I blogged about how my silly puppies spent their precious Friday afternoon answering a question totally wrong and I spent my precious Saturday afternoon trying not to fail them. The question was generally not a difficult one and if you looked about it from another angle, it was talking about product placement and how effective a marketing strategy it was.

Today, I conclude, it's plenty effective. And I'm not even talking about clothes I saw in a magazine or all the glorious bags and shoes I saw in the Devil Wears Prada. We've managed to get some advanced episodes of Grey's Anatomy and in order to not spoiler people who don't want to be spoilered, I'm going to be suitably vague.

Someone dies in Grey's (not surprising, since it is a hospital drama) and someone else is upset. So the upset someone else, in order to mourn, bakes. Bakes and bakes, till the entire kitchen is filled with muffins. And this someone goes around delivering the muffins in baskets everywhere, including a bar. Any bar that serves free muffins, I will go there! Anyhow, because of the scenes of long kitchen counter tops filled with all sorts of muffins, I want a muffin. Specifically, a cranberry muffin with lots of cranberries in it that I can pick off with my fingers. And it has to be wrapped in grease paper so that I can pick the crumbs off when I'm done and savour the last of it.

I so want muffins, I'm looking at muffin recipes. I might bake my own muffins so that I can put as many cranberries and blueberries as I want into it. I think I might try this one,

2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 c. Peach OR Raspberry Muselix cereal
2 c. nonfat milk
2 egg whites
2/3 c. applesauce, unsweetened
Combine cereal and milk in bowl and let stand about 3 minutes; stir well. Add egg whites and applesauce; blend well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well enough to moisten flour. Spray muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 dozen muffins.

Adding in whatever dried fruit I desire.

Mmmm, I'm totally sold.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:55

1 thoughts...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Frustrated Incorporated

It's Saturday evening. I would have liked nothing better than to be out having fun today. Unfortunately, it's exam season and that means grading papers. It's ok if I were grading papers that made some sort of sincere effort since this is their last ditch attempt before the big one.

But when I'm faced with the most complacent and flagrant misreading of a question 23 times over, I question my so called "dedication" to get the work done. The question asks...

"How far do magazines and television programmes aimed at young people in Singapore have a positive effect?"

My silly puppies have all answered the question as

"How far magazines and television programmes have a positive effect on young people in Singapore?"

And let me just say, the simple rearranging of a few words and the careless ignoring of just one word has made my life a great misery and is causing me great resentment that I have to stay home and look through all these wrong answers while everyone else gets to go out and play.

I have half a mind to get these kids to rewrite the essays but that would mean my misery gets prolonged.

Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

Crap shit bugger poo boo cockamammy pish tush.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 17:27

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Bubble Boy

I feel like I'm living in a bubble. While I was stuck in a classroom through the after, our island seemed to have become submerged in haze. By the time I walked out of the classroom, my first question was "Where's the fire?" Indeed, there was and still is a fire, 220 of them to be exact and they're all burning merrily on a foreign island. The problem is the foreign island where all this illegal burning is taking place is relatively near us. That means, by sleight of hand and wind direction, our entire island looks like San Francisco when the fog's descended on it. Except it's not pretty, it smells pretty bad and causing my asthmatic, extremely sensitive to allergen husband to sneeze as if someone had put sneezing powder all over the house.

Our solution, shut all the windows, switch on the airconditioning and start the air purifiers whirling. And it worked, he stopped sneezing. The problem was the minute he stepped into unsanitised air, there it was again! All the sneezing.

I have always been a firm believer of throwing all the windows open and having it bright and airy. And now I can't, so I feel a little bit like a caged animal. And like a caged animal, I pace, I'm antsy and feel extremely stifled.

My alternatives, live with it, let Packrat sneeze till kingdom comes or forsake the austerity drive on the power bill and switch on the airconditioners full blast. I chose the latter and went to bed, quite appeased.

Packrat's offered an alternative. Our package from Amazon arrived today. It was a big package (yay! Videos to watch for the next month or so!!!) and to keep all the box sets from sliding around, there was padding. The padding came in the form of air packets. And being a smarty pants, I quip " hey, air from America!"

Clean Air

His suggestion was to poke a hole in it and inhale because a) it was imported air and in Singapore, anything imported is good b) it looked cleaner than the stuff around us c) it was contained in 3 separate packets so we had enough for a couple of deep breaths.

I declined citing anthrax. He was thrilled and popped it. But alas, it was a non event and he didn't even sound like a chipmunk after.

So his bubble burst.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:43

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Humpty-Dumpty Had a Big Fall.

It's been an extremely long week of nothing. Even though it's the lull week, I feel extremely pooped and grumpy about having to be at work everyday. This morning, I woke up feeling even more grumpy because it was indeed Friday, but one that would only end at about 6pm for me. The only bright spark about it being Friday was the fact that I could be in casual capri pants or jeans. As I slipping on a pair of comfortable sandals on this morning, I discovered yet another pair of busted sandals. So, I dumped that one and commented that my shoes were going through some sort of Black Death.

Little did I know that the pair I was wearing was going to extremely unceremoniously give out on me an hour after I put them on. Every morning, before I start work, I trek up to the pantry and in an extremely camel like way, I stock up on water for the day. Because I fill up about 3 litres of water at a time, there is always banter about how much water I drink. Banter banter followed by pretend to be interested and camel like-laugh followed by trek back down. Only that today, as I go down the stairs, I do not see a patch of water on the step and slip! Out of my hand slips the bottle. In the split second, as I'm falling, I make a decision, let the bottle go, use free hand, grab the banister to stabilise myself and rebalance myself. That meant plonking myself down onto the stairs and watch the bottle take my place in tumbling down the stairs. When it stopped tumbling, there was a stunned silence in the usually buzzy office that I sit in, followed by a stampede of people running up to see whether I was going to follow suit. I'm thankful for the chivalrous men around who helped me down. I think I was more stunned than hurt at that point and in a little bit of a daze.

Only when I got back to my seat did I realise that my shoe was broken and only about an hour later did I realise that my ankle did see some action and was a bit sore and stiff. I'm plenty grateful that my Nalgene took most of the fall for me. Or who knows? I might not be able to state my name, rank and unit and be in traction right now.

Thank goodness the day's almost over and tomorrow's Saturday and it's time to go buy more shoes. This time with non-slip soles.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:29

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Teacher's Teachers

There is something absolutely weird about waiting for my dinner date who is my European History professor from uni and bumping into my Economics lecturer for college who is coincidentally having dinner at the same hotel restaurant as I am. It makes me want to look over my shoulder and see if, trouping by would be my Literature teacher from Secondary School and my Chinese teacher from primary school.

What also struck me as strange and something I realised I wouldn't dared to do if I hadn't been overseas is to call these people who once taught me by their first names. In uni/college, there were always Professor/Mr so and so... It only became less formal in Melbourne and by the time I got back, I was decadent and brainwashed enough to brashly call my former teachers by their first names. People around me made "tsk-ing" noises but I didn't care.

I know of teachers who refuse to go back to their alma maters to teach because they fear a serious high weirdness factor associated with suddenly being colleagues to some of the teachers that used to make them quake in their boots. Not a very pretty picture.

But last night was good fun. It's always fun to realise that your teachers aren't just teachers and it's ok to be ditzy and sit and talk about nothing. At the same time, it's also ok to sit there and be totally nerdlike and talk about academia as if it was the only thing in the world that mattered. And to make it all the better, there was merlot, cheese (an extremely big block at that!) and good hazelnut crunch mousse.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:53

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

All growed up

This was taken off Tym's blog because it's Sunday afternoon and I don't want to think.

How grown up am I? Let me count the ways.

1. Your house plants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.

Erm, we don't have plants. The closest we had to it was a basil plant I bought from the supermarket because I wanted some herb leaves. It died pretty quickly.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

Well, yes, unless the original intention was to fall on the floor and not want to do it at all.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

We don't like beer. Now, if it was based on how many bottles of vodka we have in the freezer, then we're in business.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

Yes it has been for at least a good 20 years of my life (give and take a couple when I was too little to go to school and in uni). That's why I desperately need a new job.

5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator.

My elevator has a computerised voice that goes "Storey 2, going up."

6. You watch the Weather Channel.

Don't have it in Singapore! But I do look at the Weather Network from time to time to figure out if I could temporarily take out my winter clothes...even if it's just for a day.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up.

Like I tell my single male friends who are a tad desperate, most of the women I hang out with are married and a large number of them are happily married. So mostly married, none yet divorced, some doing the hook up and break up, some swearing celibacy and the monastery as the way to go.

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

I still have more vacation days than the regular worker bee at my age. My only gripe is that it comes with a whole lot of strings attached and the blood pressure usually hits the point where an aneurysm is possible before the vacation comes round. So, often, it's a matter of surviving up till the break, in every sense of the word.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."

Nope, jeans are not "dressed up". But I dress them up on Fridays so that I can wear them to work and still be presentable enough should I happen to have to meet and have to act all growed up for a parent.

10. You're the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won't turn down the stereo.

Oh, I did this when I was 23. Does that mean I was an adult then already? But then again, it was a rave party in a garage that faced my bedroom and on an ecstasy high, those parties could go on forever. And I had an exam the next morning.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

This has been happening since I was 12. An aunt took out a copy of Playboy and showed my cousin and I an x rated comic about some chick going to the barber.

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

I have never eaten at a Taco Bell! But I do know where the 24 hour MacDonald's are. Super important when you have an Iced Lemon Tea addiction.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up.

Er, when it comes to the car, I pretend to be a helpless belle. :)

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds leftovers.

We have no dog. But when we did, it ate mee siam off the table and cleaned up yoghurt cartons.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

Nope, it just makes me super hot and angsty. Why sleep on the couch if I have a nice comfy KING bed and a tv in the room...although I am known to fall asleep on the couch while watching tv, but that's NEVER intentional. I ALWAYS want to know what happens in between the start credits and the end ones.

16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 PM.

Actually, it's a habit I'm trying to get into. Damn the totally active mind that refuses to go into siesta mode.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

Um, yeah, but primarily because there's work the next day. Boo.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle your stomach.

Chicken wings are the best! Anytime of day or night.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

Nope, neither. And I think it's cheaper to buy pregnancy tests online.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff".

Well, it is if you're using it to cook clams for pasta.

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

Yes, Packrat and I were just having a rather spirited argument about having clams (see above link) for breakfast. I also added ice cream to the list.

22. "I just can't drink the way I used to," replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again."

Erm, I generally don't drink enough to get me to that point. All I remember was my first year in Melbourne, feeling very sick after 6 Lemon Ruskis in a row and apologising profusely to Packrat through the night.

23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

Well, less than that, by just a little bit but that's because I multitask and I IM, read blogs, read forums and spoilers all while trying to do serious work.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

I drink anywhere that will serve me iced lemon tea in copious amounts.

25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old ass.

No comment.

Incidentally, Happy Children's Day!

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:07

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" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"