Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hooker by name, Hooker by profession

A while ago, a friend recounted this analogy- that teachers were by far like hookers. And we're not talking about that small minority of teachers that seem to give the profession a bad name when they actually screw around with students, literally speaking ( I must however also add that not all students are as innocent as the Powers That Be imagine them to be though.).

Anyway, the analogy goes as this. We are like hookers because we give and we give and we give, we get paid pittance, we have pimps that generally force us to do what we don't want to do, we always have to put on a song and a dance regardless of how battered or horrid we feel. And at the end of all that, when the clients see us on the street, they pretend not to know us at all, look and walk in the opposite direction.

I laughed when I first heard it but there is some sad truth in it. Together with the inability to pick up after themselves, the generation (not all, I must first say) we are teaching, seem to see us in that light. There are definitely those who will still bound up to you like a little puppy and say hi, there are those who will be eternally grateful for the times you sat down and patiently explained what a subject-verb- order meant, but there are also those who have done well and don't attribute any of that to you and wrinkle their little ingenue noses at you, imagining you to be trash.

What can you say when you meet such a person? Some one that you wrote letters for, some one that you spent time counselling, some one that you thought would be a story that you would regale to bored friends and family a long time after you've stopped teaching, some one whom you thought wouldn't treat you like a hooker? Probably nothing since the moment she sees you, there is the quick dart of the eyes, flick of the hair and about turn just so that she didn't have to say hi and make conversation with someone not worth her while.

Obviously nothing much because at the end of the day, their only worth is a wonderfully ranty blog post on a Sunday afternoon.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:01

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Junk Food Paradise

I read an article about trans-fat in today's Mind Your Body segment. It said that junk food and fried food were evil and if we ate a lot of it, we were killing ourselves softly. Then I get up and go over to the refridgerator. One look in confirms something amazing.

In the last couple of weeks, since the school vacation's begun and the month long membership at Gramaphone that guarantees us unlimited DVD rental that we've got, our fridge has been filling up. Most of the time, I'm pretty much a health nut. Anyone who has eaten with me can vouch for that. I skim oil off soup, I will order toast or sandwiches without butter and tea without milk. But Packrat noticed a long time ago, a flaw in the system. I was a sucker for cookies and cookie like things, especially if they had chocolate chip in it. He realised this when I polished off an entire roll of his cookies without him knowing, in one sitting.

So we've stocked up. There are the his and hers variety. And it looked a little bit like that.

junk food

It makes me slightly nervous because I've never had so much junk food in my house and there's this little voice in me remnants of my teenage years that nags at me about how unhealthy all the stuff is and how I'm not going to fit into my jeans anymore if I keep at it.

Somedays I obey and put it back and take a fruit in exchange. Other days, I pout and reach for another handful of Tiny Teddies.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:07

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Hi, it's xxx

I decided there was no better way to spend a Monday evening than to delete mail from my office account. One of the Higher Ups had said specifically that we should check our email twice a week even though term's out. I haven't been doing that, so the amount of trash that's accumulated, it's taken a good half hour to trash permanently the rubbish.

Like Tym, I've discovered a whole bunch of emails with the subject line that goes "Hi, it's so and so"... And I'm supposed to be dumb enough to open the email. The problem is, having grown up in this Internet/information/technologically advanced blah blah blah (channeling my hapless GP students here), we've learnt, as a rule NOT to open up emails from people who we don't know. It's pretty much an extension of that rule our parents set when we were little- "Do not talk to people you don't know and don't take sweets from them". Here, there aren't even any sweets offered!

The other problem is that they try to pose as a friend you might know. Like some stranger coming up to you and saying "your mummy asked me to come pick you up". But whether or not, they pose as a friend or a friend of your mummy's, they're still a stranger, especially when their names don't sound familiar.

And when they say their names are
Saul (as in the Bible?)
Darla ( as in Angelus's soul mate in Buffy?)
Mary Lou (Retton?)
Bradley (the tank?)
Sonny (as in Sonny and Cher?)
Brooke (as in Shields?)
Elma Fudd (not even going there)

... it becomes even more laughable that these daft Spammers think that they could trick me this way.

Thought Spammers and all these computer geek/hacker type people were supposed to be smart...either that or they've failed with me because I, sadly have no friends and their ploy didn't take that into consideration.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 20:19

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Thursday, November 16, 2006


I really need to stop tv/movie dreaming. It wasn't Patrick Swayze this time, it was a cross over. 2 shows that I watch quite religiously, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars have one thing in common. They have men named Logan in them. And the Logan in each, while different are somewhat similar.

Logan Huntzberger
in Gilmore is very blonde, very cute, very rich, very powerful and heir to a newspaper conglomerate, danger loving and excessive. Very old school, old money ACS boy.

Logan Echolls in Veronica Mars is very tall, very spoilt, child of psycho, violent movie star, slightly unstable, passionate, excessive and has violent tendencies. Very erm... ACS (Barker) boy?

After watching both tv series, I'd expressed a great amount of droolage for each of the boys and Packrat said I had to choose. He thought the two appealed to my need to have dated a bad boy even though I swear that I've gotten over the bad boy-gee what in the world was I thinking- phase. I told him I couldn't choose although I started to lean toward the Huntzberger boy because of the Birkin Bag.

Anyway, during my nap just now, I think my subconscious had chosen. I dreamt I was Veronica Mars herself. In college. And I was a little bit lonely because college was new and I was in an all girl dorm (why would I be in an all girl norm, it really beats me?) So, I switch on the tv and realise that I'm on telly. Veronica Mars the show anyway and I know what's going to happen because I'm living the show. The next thing I know, I'm on the phone, in a car, watching a school bus careen and crash right before my eyes (i.e. V Mars Season 2 Ep 1) and the guy I'm talking to on the phone asks if I was on the bus. I say no and he asks me to go over. At that point, I realise, it's Logan Huntzberger and I'm going out with him.

I wake up and go "Cool!" and puzzle over the fact that Logan H is supposed to be in London (i.e. GG Season 7). It doesn't really matter because as far as I'm concerned, I've picked my Logan.

What disturbs me is that I think the only series I haven't dreamt of is Grey's Anatomy and if it pans out to who I think is awfully cute or yummy in that show then it's going to be a dream reality where I think I might be a little gay (i.e the early Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Doppelganger).

Methinks I watch too much tv.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:59

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dirty Dreaming

It would really be nice if I could have simple dreams for a change. But then, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have weird dreams.

So, last night, I dreamt of Patrick Swayze. And the strange thing was it was Packrat, as Patrick Swayze. And the last time I saw Patrick Swayze was in Keeping Mum, it was not a "I think he's hot" type of dream. Instead, he was actually quite seedy and pushy. He kept trying to shove contact lenses into my eyes so that I could see him better ( Little Red Riding Hood syndrome here). And I kept resisting because the lenses were of different sizes, I now have perfect vision and as a rule, you don't use other people's contact lenses.

He really pissed me off in the dream so I woke up yelling that Packrat/Patrick Swayze couldn't force me into doing anything I didn't want to do.

Poor Packrat.

I do however have a strange hankering now to watch Ghost. Not so much for him, but for Whoopi Goldberg. I wonder if Packrat's forgiven me enough to indulge and borrow the DVD for me, assuming it's out on disc.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 12:21

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Monday, November 13, 2006

What's in a name...

This morning I was doing some mindless administrative rubbish and realised that names that we consider somewhat common names aren't as common as they seem. From a sample of 2000 people between ages 15 and 18, I've found only 2 Sheryl(s), 1 Gary, 2 Willy (s), 1 Jacqueline, 3 Sophia (s).

We've been talking about names lately, especially because I now have a new niece and unlike the previous two, a name hadn't been figured out in advance. The trick is a name that's not too common, even though it seems that names that were once considered common like "Mary", "John", "Peter", "Tom" and "Jane" are hardly seen now.

The trend is the weirder the better and weird may seem appealing because it's a name others don't have, but inventing names sometimes just gets incredibly laughable like "Granville", "Deralyn","Cheetah", "Yonnie" and "Quark" Worse still, there are gnomeless parents who don't realise that names like "Cheetah", "Nebuchadnezzar Olaf", "Panties", "Slutsky" and "Precious Faith" would get them beat up in the playground.

So, the name's important and I'm content calling my new niece Baby Ng until her parents come up with a pretty and safe name for her.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:25

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Bah humbug

Christmas has come early to our secular, consumerist, soulless state. The departmental stores have started playing Christmas music, there're giant Christmas trees in the middle of shopping malls, the city streets look like they have enough light to land planes- except that they'll get all tangled in the lights- and I know people who have started putting up their Christmas trees.

And I've become very grumpy. I used to like Christmas because that meant I got presents and got to go shopping and sang Christmas carols and ate a lot. We'd eat from Christmas all the way to New Year. But in the last couple of years, it would make me grumpy because it would remind me that the year's about to end and I hadn't gone on to do the things that I had planned to do. So, once the decorations came up this year, I started "Bah"-ing very loudly at them. Unfortunately, I married someone who lives for such holidays. He loves Christmas and he loves Chinese New Year even more and don't even get me started on CNY and the relatives and feeling homesick and unloved. So he chides me for being the regular Scrooge.

In an effort to prove him wrong, I've been thinking of how I want to redecorate my Christmas wreath. I did this two years ago and figured, I should do it different this year. So, I started looking up wreath designs and I swear, Martha Stewart does have the most ambitious ideas. There are candy wreaths, pistachio wreaths, wreaths made from paper, herb wreaths, big assed pine coned wreaths and my all time favourite because I imagine I'd try to eat them (but it didn't look that pretty, maybe she thought of it, in prison)- cranberry wreaths. Anyhow, it's done its job. I'm not going to be ambitious and attempt any of those, but I'm suitably inspired to do some Christmas related stuff now.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 20:37

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


I face terrible ennui. I haven't nothing to blog about. Actually I do. I want to whinge about the movie I saw last night or the total lack of interest I've had in food... or the fact that I'm not doing anything at the moment and it's a glorious feeling, but I can't seem to sit and write. Hence, I haven't.

So while waiting for Packrat to rise from his slumber, I figured I'll just say that I have nothing to say.


Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:41

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Got soup?

I learnt how to cook when I was about 9 years old. And I used to make my breakfast every Saturday morning. Mom would be at work and I wouldn't have to go to school so it was a big thrill and the highlight of my week. I didn't make the regular jam and bread breakfasts on Saturday. That was boring. I discovered in that year a couple of things. One, the kitchen cabinet with can food in it. Can food was always a treat because it wasn't good for you. But oh, it was yummy so good! Two, I discovered the can opener. Three, I learnt how to light the stove. Four, I discovered Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.

And that started a life long love affair with the soup. Its strange artificial yellow colour, noodles that were all about 5 cm long and flat, chicken bits that tasted like ham and its very very salty nature. Without fail, every Saturday morning, I'd wake up, open up a tin of soup, cook it in a pot and eat it straight out of the pot in front of Saturday morning cartoons.

It has since become a comfort food for me. When I'm sick or depressed or had just broken up with some guy, that was what I turned to for sustenance and comfort. It saw me through many long years. Then new versions came into the market. There were the chunky soups, that were infinitely more filling, with real pieces of vegetables and meat in it plus those funky pop tops so you didn't have to use a can opener anymore.

But they just weren't the same.

Then there were the Asian soups, the thick soups that you find so badly done in Asian restaurants in Caucasian countries like hot and sour soup and Pacific clam and mushroom soup (read fake sharks' fin soup which I heartily approve of), which were a life saver when I was homesick and desperate for Asian tasting soup.

So there were all these dalliances. But I always went back to the faithful chicken noodle soup.

Until the last time I fell ill. That was the beginning of the end. My throat hurt and I had some strange sinus infection and felt utterly miserable. Packrat offered to go get me some soup for dinner and I croaked out that I wanted chicken noodle soup. It was the only thing that kept me from banging my head against the wall in some attempt to feel better. He came back, as promised, with soup. But rummaging through the bag, I found some Chunky soup for him because it was Clam Chowder (and I don't eat that stuff) and a disgusting tin of lentil and something soup for me!

Where was my chicken noodle? I croaked. He said they'd ran out so he bought me the lentil soup. I felt a surprising amount of rage well up in me and felt ready to hurl the tin at something. Thankfully, I valued my marriage enough to just burst into tears! He consoled me by telling me that he would find some the following day. That was 3 months ago!

Every supermarket we've been to, either together or separately would have half an aisle dedicated to Campbell's products. And we would go through them with a fine tooth comb. I'd even look at the price labels and it's taken me all this time to realise that they've taken it off the shelves. They have Cream of Broccoli (Who would drink that???) but they have no Chicken Noodle. I've had to concede that consumer taste must have grown too sophisticated for such a simple soup and so bring in the more chi chi varieties and leave out the staid, boring ones.

So, I'm sad. I have no soup. I mourn the loss of my soup. It came about in 1934. It survived World War Two, Kennedy's assassination, Vietnam, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism and even the two Bush presidents but it couldn't survive the Chicken Gumbo or the Grilled Italian Sausage with Peppers variety.

So, I'm sad. I have no soup. I mourn the loss of my soup. There will be no chicken soup for my soul from now on.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 19:59

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Heal the World...

The world would be a better place if everyone spoke the same language. Discuss.

I think the person who came up with this question must have been thinking of this song when he set it.

I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company

I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills Oh, peace throughout the land

(That's the song I hear)
I'd like to teach the world to sing (that the world sings today)
In perfect harmony

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony

I'd like to build the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves
(That's the song I hear)
I'd like to teach the world to sing (that the world sings today)
In perfect harmony
I'd like to hold it in my arms and keep it company
(That's the song I hear)
I'd like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills Oh, peace throughout the land

Or the Coke version with people holding candles, crossing arms and swaying...although theoretically they're the same...

Now, my greatest fear is some idealistic naive clown goes "Yes, if the entire world spoke the language of LOVE, the world would definitely be a better place!" Then we're screwed. And the markers would be laughing wee wee wee all the way home!

*Incidently, the song was also sung by Lea Salonga.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:23

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

UHU Glue

Added on 3 Nov...

Comments commonly found written by teachers... " so and so is an extremely perspective student. "

Yay, well done. Perspective indeed.


It's that time of year for report cards/books again. Thank goodness teaching in a JC means that I don't have to contend with those dastardly heavy portfolios of results that no one would care a rat's ass in ten years time. I say that because I have absolutely no idea where mine are although they did contain some brilliant results. I was once 10th out of 280 students or something! It also did contain an embarrasing photograph of me and some embarrassing recounts of what I did in school like win some Courtesy Lion award or something.

Anyway, this was a comment I saw on someone's report card and if it were me, I would be plain embarrassed.

Student xxx did a marvellous job running the orientation programme for the new students. She did a remarkable job inducing them into the school culture and bonded them together as a community.

It makes me think of how the school might have a glue problem with the amount of superglue needed to bond all the students together as one community!

Can you say UHU?

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:03

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" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"