Friday, February 23, 2007

Attack interrupted

Packrat's gaming tonight and since I can hardly keep my eyes open after 10pm, I decided to spend an evening in, on the couch watching bad television. I wanted to watch Pearl Harbour, not because I like the show but I like watching the attack scene. I kept switching the tv on and off because we needed to get dinner and other necessary errands and I kept hurrying Packrat because I didn't want to miss the attack scene. All the preamble I didn't really give a rat's ass about. I needn't have had to worry though because the attack scene didn't happen till past nine. And about 7 minutes into it, it was unceremoniously cut so that we could switch over to regular programming and air the news.


I wasn't all that annoyed when the credits suddenly rolled, it wasn't like I didn't know that most of the ships sank, most of the crew men died and Pearl Harbour was basically obliterated. But I was disappointed, that once again Mediacorp had done it again.

Done what?

Basically show that it's got shit for brains and it uses all of it for its programming. Even illegal pirates know better than to cut a movie at its crucial climax and continue it on a new disc. It simply breaks the continuity and from a cinematic point of view, it reduces the impact the director intended the scene to have. And that's what happened here. Pearl Harbour is an extremely long and tedious movie to watch. I don't think anyone would have noticed if they had cut it 10 minutes earlier when it was still about how "I left my girl to go to war and just because you thought I was dead, you my best friend, make moves on my girl and now that I'm back, she don't love me no more, boo hoo hoo". Why? Why couldn't that have been done?

I use the word disappointed because I've been pissed off at them before. And since a snarky, nasty letter didn't get any sort of response and programming didn't show any signs of improvement, I can only summon up the disappointment in me. Anger takes too much effort and I'm not sure it's all that worth it, considering who we are talking about. Good American television shows are put at strange times, late at night or in the middle of a weekend afternoon. Of course no one watches it! And put dermatologically challenged teenagers in front of harsh spot lights thereby exposing their physical flaws while they pretend to be part of an intellectual discourse about the hot topic of the week during a prime time spot no less- a brilliant stroke of intellectual genius!

One does wonder how the people in programming actually function. What colour is their world? Is their sun bright purple? Does their ruler have tentacles? Who knows? But one thing for sure, their brand of logic, definitely not earth logic. And once their logic differs from ours, there's really not much point in reasoning with them. Excuses are abound and no one would understand where either of us are coming from.

Time now to go watch some cable.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:35

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Questionable behaviour

In class, I struggle to get my students to break out of their rigid, societally imbued prejudices against homosexuality. They snigger, they laugh, they say derogatory things, basically act like redneck hicks with no education and sense of acceptance. It annoys the heck out of me. I'm not gay, but I have gay friends and I'm offended on their behalf. I'm not trying to convince these kids to be bra burning liberals but a little bit of acceptance would go an extremely long way. I always tell them that they all are allowed to be against it if their beliefs led them to feel this way. But they had to first consider that homosexuality isn't a disease and that homosexual couples could be as if not more capable of being in committed relationships and they weren't all that different from you and I. It's a daily battle I fight against, on my soapbox, in class.

Then, yesterday, I'm at a meeting where we're given a list of "types" of students we had to flag for counselling. Among those were the morally at risk. What the heck is morally at risk? Apparently, those who were intending to have sex, be gay, drink, do drugs, smoke, everything. By that definition, we're all morally at risk. To make light of it, we also decided those who were "morally at risk" were those who aspired to be porn stars, although we also decided that aspiring to be a porn star was quite admirable since one had to be confident, have a healthy sense of self-image and adventurous. I'm sure the counsellor briefing us wouldn't have been all that amused by our interpretation but then again, we weren't that impressed with hers either.

And the fact of the matter is that, if some poor gnormless child did approach one of these "trained" people for help because he or she had gender conflict issues, I'm sure they would be told that what they think is wrong, wrong, wrong and they should basically wash their brains out with soap or get a lobotomy. Screw understanding and tolerance- wrong is wrong, bad is bad, burn in hell is burn in hell! Thereby perpetuating societal prejudices and reinforcing why my job is such a hard one to do.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:47

7 thoughts...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ghost of New Year's Past

People say couples not only sound alike, but think alike after a while. That means that Packrat and I share ideals and ideas that are similar. I think on some things we do but on the topic of Chinese New Year, we couldn't be more different.

Every year, leading up to CNY, I get extremely grumpy. Last year, on the first day of the New Year, I burst into tears and threw a tantrum befitting my 5 year old niece about having to visit. This year, I just grump-ed around a lot and whined about why we couldn't be like any other 30 something married couple and scoot off for the long weekend, especially since it would be the last time we could do that before the offspring come into the picture.

I don't know why I hate the festive season. I've tried to explain it to Packrat but it inadvertently sounds lame, even to my ears. He loves it because he gets to see everyone, marvel at how much the cousin's have grown and eat lots of junk food. I hate it because it's always hot, there's always the juggling act of trying to make sure that both sides of the family get enough air time of us lest they feel neglected. That means a whole lot of driving up and down the island and add to all this, our car has a temperamental air conditioner that chooses the most inopportune time not to work i.e. yesterday when temperatures soared to a 33 degree high, guaranteeing a headache the size of Alaska for me, further contributing to my grumpiness and this extremely long sentence.

I have named the headache the traditional CNY headache because I realised last year, I had one too and it had nothing to do with the teary outburst of the tantrum.

Anyhow, when I thought long and hard about it, I realised that disliking CNY is a relatively new phenomenon to me. I think it reared it's head round about the time I got married, save the one year that I spent CNY in Calgary which was blissful. I think I never thought much about CNY before that because CNY meant, at that point, loot! And a great amount of loot. And usually, the loot disguised all the other tensions that were brought about in me. Yes, it's very mercenary of me but it worked.

Now, when there is no loot to be got, a whole lot of loot to be lost, everything else comes to the surface. And nothing cushions the blow. Well, thankfully, this year, we were excused from visiting the one family that I dread visiting on account of me being pregnant and easily tired. Thank goodness for little blessings. :) And thankfully, I got to spend most of today at home, doing nothing and not eating CNY food. Subway is a wonderful change from the rich rich food that we eat every year for days.

Stay tuned for next year's whining. It should be even more interesting with the appearance of the offspring.
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Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:49

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Sunday, February 11, 2007


When I was on my way home one night, I bumped into an irate neighbour with his nephew complaining rather furiously that the little kid got egged. I didn't really know what he meant till I saw the little kid dripping in what looked like raw egg. It was about 10 at night and he was lamenting that the poor kid needed another bath.

I wondered what kind of idiot would egg a small child.

Fast forward to a couple of months later.

I was coming home from work in the afternoon and I heard some rather boisterous kids yelling at the playground. And then all of a sudden, there was a rather loud explosion type sound right beside me that made me jump out of my skin. Beside me was a detonated can drink that was bleeding fizz out of a flattened can. That was followed by loud, raucous laughter and when I looked up, I saw the perpetrators guffawing and pointing. Very quickly counting the number of floors, I decided to go up and confront them in my don't fuck with me teacher persona. Problem is by the time I got there, there was just the incriminating evidence of other yet to be detonated can drinks with no kid in sight.

Fast forward some more.

Along the walkway out to the main road, I've seen tomatoes splattered on the sidewalk and egg shells. It's made me rather paranoid walking there for the fear that I might get pelted like the poor little kid who got egged. I always wondered what parent would let their child get away with pelting people with food. It's not a medieval concert and it's just plain dangerous. Not to expensive that eggs aren't exactly the cheapest food around to waste. Just they wait till the next egg shortage.

Anyway, I recently managed to get evidence of the egging and it looked quite fresh.

egged again egged

This was in the mid morning. So my deduction skills lead me to conclude that it's either a kid who's not yet in school (which I quickly ruled out because a kid that young wouldn't be able to look out the verandah to toss the eggs properly unless he stood on a stool which would attract attention from his care givers), a kid in the afternoon session, a kid who was not in school that day or worse an adult who thinks pelting people with eggs is a great way to pass the morning. My suspicion is that it's the kid in the afternoon session.

Now, if I were his mother, I would dock his allowance everytime he took an egg/tomato/ vegetable whatever. I would also be extremely worried of anyone furiously banging on my door in case it was some extremely pissed off person dripping in egg white and yolk.

I fantasise about how I would yell at the kids if I actually caught them but I have yet to. In my old place, I once chased a kid who was on a bicycle, cornered him and yanked him by the ear, yelling at him for chasing and harrassing a cat. He looked quite terrified by the time I got to him and yelled at him. My response was "good, now you know how the cat feels". Ah, the joy that comes with wielding enough power to scare the beejeezus out of these kid bullies.

Tis a pity I wouldn't be able to even catch a kid who was for some reason crawling away now. How I miss being fit and being able to run 10 km with my eyes or rather my lungs closed!

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:12

1 thoughts...

Friday, February 09, 2007


I'm being angsty today but how can we say our national paper (good luck clicking on it) is top class and because it's a top class paper, we should have to pay for the electronic version when the top class electronic version is so slow that I could go to class, teach the class, come back and the stupid page is still loading and shows no sign of navigating itself to where I want it to go?


And don't get me started on how the New York Times and other more reputable papers who allow free online readership.

Top class my ass.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:30

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Way #351 to tell that your students are bored

I have figured out the most surefire way to determine that my students are bored.

When I am bored, teaching the class.

I bored myself to tears teaching techniques needed for writing an argument. And in my mind, I couldn't see how the students weren't going to be bored if I was bored.

Unfortunately, I couldn't let them get away with it since at some point they had to sit through these painful lessons because at some point they were going to need to write an argument. And what would be more boring and painful than teaching this would be actually reading and grading arguments that didn't sound like arguments.

So, it was tough luck for them and for me.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:17

1 thoughts...

Friday, February 02, 2007

This little piggy went to ...

My brother sent me an email today. The subject of the email was "guess what I did today". Apparently, a wild boar was spotted where he worked and they had to capture it because it posed a danger to itself and the people around working. The problem is that the police they called in were quite half hearted in trying to capture it because well, a wild boar is still a pig and the police that showed up weren't going near the pig because it was against the religion.

Bro was there to make sure no one, including the boar, got hurt in the scuffle. But since it took a while for them to actually nab the wild boar, he decided to take some photos.

Wild Boar chillin'

I thought it looked kinda cute and that led me to wonder what happened to it after they caught it. My imagination ran wild and I had distraught images of them killing the boar. I sent Bro a rather accusing message about him being a killer of wild beast and he claimed that they did nothing but hand it over to the authorities. But when I was suitably appeased, he dropped the other shoe and added that they probably killed it which prompted a rather loud cyber screech from me.

My colleagues weren't much better when I complained to them about the apparent heartlessness in my brother. One commented that they should have killed it themselves and had them a wild boar barbeque. To eat meat of beast. Good....

Apparently appealing to the boar's cuteness doesn't really count for much so I give up and hope it got released into the zoo or something. At least I can hope.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:14

1 thoughts...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hunger strike

I got an sms in the middle of the night from a colleague who was warning me that Ribena had been reported as one of the top ten most unhealthy food items for children. I was also told that I should cut down and drinking the stuff.

I looked it up this morning, because I wanted to actually retort that this report came from the same country (Australia) as the declaration that Nutella was healthier than peanut butter and should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt.

Unfortunately the report also listed the other 9 things on the list and these included quite a substantial number of things that I actually do eat! For instance, Milo was at the top of the list. And I drink Milo, it's a new thing that I do. I realised that the only way I was actually going to get the calcium I needed was to drink milk and I hate the stuff. To mask the taste of the milk, I dump a lot of Milo powder into it. That way, I can keep the milk down and I can quite easily tell myself I'm drinking hot chocolate.

Then there's the teddy bear biscuits. I knew from the outset that they weren't the most healthy things in the world, but I didn't know they were that unhealthy that they had to be taken off the shelves soon. I love those biscuits. In college and uni, we used to see how macabre we could be when eating the teddy bear. Arm off first? Ear off? Leg? And they're telling me no now? Humph.

And then, there's the Kellog's Nutri grain bars. I don't eat much of it here primarily because it's hard to find and when you do find them, they're expensive. But when I lived in Melbourne, it was all I ate for breakfast because they were so easy and convenient to take around. Plus, I always thought they were healthier than eating a chocolate cake bar for breakfast. Evidently, they're just as evil.

So my entire belief system is shattered and as is, there're so few things that I actually do eat. Add all this to the list, I might as well just eat air.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:02

1 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"