we can get them

for you wholesale



Wednesday, March 30, 2005

If you wanna be happy

Thinking about the A level results makes me depressed. And I think nobody wants to read a depressing post, which is why I've been having some difficulty posting lately. A typical post I would've submitted would have gone along the lines of:

Grrr. My A level results suck. My life sucks pretty much right now. There's nothing to do but wait for more scholarships to reject me. Sucks. And I can't complain. Because people who did better wouldn't know how it's like. And people who did worse, well, no point burdening them more.Sucks. Except complaining's what I'm doing here.*^#!%&@) What if I'd done things different? What a difference one syllable, one vowel, one letter makes... Why the hell am I so pissed, it doesn't make sense angstangstangstangstangstangst...

That wouldn't have been a very pleasant read. I don't think I'm one of those poetic sorts that can make depression sound eloquent. So I figured, think happy thoughts. Let's talk about babies and kittens instead.

No, really.

Just yesterday, I was on the bus heading to town. I used to complain about people living right across from college coming late to school because it seemed absurd, especially for someone living about an hour's bus ride away. It made no sense why people couldn't simply cross the road on time. Then I realised I walking straight into the same phenomenon en route to town, appearing frequently late for appointments and such. Apparently space and time get really bendy and we are just lazy there is a perfectly good psychological explanation behind all this.

The nearer you are to your destination, the more unwilling you are to leave early. So you procrastinate, figuring that you won't be too late anyway. Unfortunately that's exactly what happens when you overindulge in your close vicinity. So ultimately it's the ones who live the nearest that usually end up the latest.

With discoveries like these, it's a wonder our species came to be the dominant one on the planet. Maybe the ones with species dominance in close reach decided nah, no rush I think I'll just lay back and relax and stopped evolving super killer biological weapons and brains and before they realised it, they were lagging behind in the race for survival. And we humans got there ahead instead because we were so much more backward. All because of a psychological loophole.

Back to point, there was this baby on the bus in a stroller. (I wondered how the parents got both the baby and the fully loaded stroller onto the bus) There are some things words fail to describe. I mean, words try but they're not very good at it. Things like beauty or love or sheer utter adorable-ness. I think words have better things to descibe than the latter. That could explain why when you see something cute, your once maybe-adequate vocabulary suddenly drops to "Awww..." and "That's so [insert expletive] cute!!!!" and you sound like a total idiot but don't care because that's so @#$! cute!!!

There might be amazing marketing potential if one manages to tap into this giantic pool of mental simplicity. Oh wait, the Japanese already did that with Pokemon. And a bunch of other... thingys. Drat.

The chubby baby was quite happily sucking cum chewing on one of his hands. Parents, you really ought to get your babies chew-toys before they lose an arm. Everyone knows how single-minded babies can be. How they latch onto things. God forbid it should be one of their own limbs!

Fortunately for the cute baby, it soon got distracted by something and started crying. The primeval alarm system that is triggered by a baby's wails kicked in and although I was a complete outsider, even I started panicking: "What? What?! What do you want? What do you need? What's wrong? Tell me!! Ahhhhh!!!" Of course, I was doing all this inwardly. No point frightening the kid. The parents, on the other hand, looked totally unfazed by this eruption. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation.

Who knew what bothered the baby? Maybe it was a sudden overwhelming sense of isolation. Once Daddy peered over the top of the stroller, he/she started to quieten down (whew) and gaze at the new round thing hovering above his/her head. How fascinating! What is that! Wow! Even the hand became less interesting.

Babies never get bothered by A level results. Without any grasp of the alphabet, babies are totally immune to the devastating effects of result slips. Awww...

en at 12:39 pm


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Whither art thou

This is Karmic Hell. I cannot see the desk. There must be a desk somewhere around here because all this junk can't be supporting it's own weight (or can it? Ahh.). I see papers, notes, transparencies, files, log books, note books, worksheets, plastic folders, more papers, paper files, reading books, tapes, dictionaries, even more papers, stationary, sweet wrappers and bars, a green plastic cup and mug (plus other assorted Teachers' Day presents from eons past) and even some plastic flowers that look as if they are going to grow mold despite their synthetic origins.

Three months into the new year and it's been a rather eventful trek through the working life (if that's anything to be proud of). Thus far, I have been an usher cum waitress harrassing patrons long Boat Quay, an intern at a tiny law firm for one pathetic day, a relief-teacher at two schools and now, savouring two weeks off, I'm back to relief-teaching. At the same school. Bounce, bouncey, bounce.

I step out of the MRT at Seng Kang (the maximum MRT fare is $1.60, for any of you interested) and the prospect of teaching again has all appeal of a pile of bricks. Or perhaps even cat poo, which I am becoming much too familiar with around the house - but that's a story for another day. Of all things, at this very moment, I recall Sam's final line in The Lord of the Rings "Well... I'm back". I nearly keel over from the irony. Try saying that line en route back to Mordor, 'cos that's how I'm feeling.

I have to hold the proverbial fort for about 2 months. First things first, I have to find the fort. It appears to be some kind of intervention from the Powers That Be. Is this where i'll wind up decades down the road if i continue my tardy, procrastinating, slothful ways? Is this a sign, to show me my errors and to have me repent? I can't move the computer mouse more than an inch either way and a corner of this keyboard hangs off the table.

The disturbing thing is that I'm not questioning why the desk disappeared. I know how the desk disappeared. Operating on the principle that 'What Is Left Behind Stays Put', I leave things around hoping that they'd stay put, as inanimate objects tend to do when untounched. In the best of scenarios, what results is a sort of organized chaos where I can at least identify what pile is approximately what. But this here is nasty.

Although if I really tried, I suppose, I could probably achieve the same result. Perhaps even quicker.

en at 10:49 am


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Consumer is King

I just bought a pair of expensive pants from TopShop: the last in a string of purchases since January when I started work. The siren in my head more commonly atuned to When Animals Attack,Worst Car Disasters or Mother Nature Always Has The Last Laugh or any situation FOX might make a reality television special of (with myself cast as reluctant star), has found new purpose in stressing me out over such trivial matters as Buying Work Clothes.

I admit that a general cheer did ring out when the spending floodgates broketh but being the slow person that I am, it might be a while before the state of emergency is called off and my creative brain juices quit generating excuses for purchases (as opposed to more productive uses, like... conjuring pleasant dreams, or such). So I only have my warped evolutionary instincts to blame for my shopping binges. And my huge delusions.

TopShop gave me a 400ml bottle of water labelled 'Drink and Shop' which is rather cute, you've got to admit. Shopping expeditions are reknowned for their staggering durations and immense pressures and staying hydrated is always important, especially when quick reflexes and keen faculties mean all the difference.

Especially when one is shopping alone without the invaluable assistance of friends, eager to offer disparaging remarks such as "NOnonono... I think...ah... No." and helpful advice like, "Wellll... it's... oookaaaaayyy... if you like it then BUY it lah...". If you're lucky, they might even go as far as engaging in absorbing conversation behind your back as you shoulder on - the public acknowledgement of "She's hopeless. Com'on."

I do not think I am materialistic. Being materialistic means that instead of you owning your things, your things actually own you. They take over your life such that your moods, your happiness depend on owning things. So as I was deciding whether to buy my over-priced pants, I'm talking to myself (as is usually the case when I'm shopping alone). My internal dialogue went something like:

Me: "Shit, you're a nice pair of pants."
Me: "If only you didn't cost so bloody much for a pair of pants..."
Me: "You're getting worked up over buying pants! You're losing control! Your things are starting to own you...!"
Me: "Ahhh nooooo! I shall own you! I r t3h l33t! ph33r m3!"

And then I bought the pants. I could've sworn I heard a snigger.

en at 12:55 pm


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

An Okay day

The funniest thing I remember after exercising:
Bev: "My mom thinks practising Yoga is wrong because you worship the 'sun god'."
Me: "Huh."
Bev: "I told her that if positioning our bodies a certain way makes the Devil enter us... Well, he must be quite strong then."

Yesterday was my job interview. As usual, I was late. I wasn't running late because I rarely run for, towards or at things. The only explanation I offer is that I look stupid running. And I'm lazy. Lateness is one of those things that do not inspire me to run. Neither does a bus I am about to miss, or bad weather. Impending death might be a source of motivation, although it would still depend on how excruciating and grosteque my manifestation of imminent doom will take. Anyway, my interview went something along the lines of this:

Interviewer #1: So the job basically consists of blahblahblahblah...
Me: Okay.
Interviewer #2: For the most part blahblahblah...
Me: Okay.
Interviewer #1: You will be required to go for a training course of 4 days starting blahblahblahblah... Me: Okay.
Interviewer #2: Remember to bring blahblahblah...
Me: Okay.
Interviewer #1: You will be working from blahblahblahblah...
Me: Okay.

Granted, this transcript is not wholly accurate. In real life, interviewers #1 and #2 will never take turns to speak and will never share what they are supposed to say. There might also be an extra 'blah' here and there, but hey, I can't be expected to remember everything.

During an interview, a scrape with death or some other potentially psychologically-scarring incident, one tends to have an outer-body experience. The kind when you see yourself reacting in a most (un)characteristically stupid fashion and feel totally helpless to prevent consequental annihiliation. I envisioned my head spinning around and exploding from my accumulation of sheer utter moronity if I said 'Okay' one more time. With great determination, here's how I fared:

Interviewer: "...so you might end up wearing those (dorky) mike and earphone headsets."
Me (lamely): " ... that sounds... interesting."

I left the high-security building (you will recognise this from the confusing number of white winding corridors designed to disorientate potential intruders and staff personel, the battered security card passes and the totally blase woman security guard sitting at the front counter wearing a cast on one arm) and decided to make my way home, or at least somewhere less boring.

My keen sense of direction and many years of harrowing experience transversing public transportation (getting myself lost, being late etc.) has taught me that to head back to where you came from, you simply cross the road to the opposite bus stop and take the same bus from there. Unfortunately, someone had inconveniently planted a towering skyscraper right across the road. In fact, there were many giant corporate buildings blocking my view of the counterpart bus stop. The one-way street in front of me twisted and turned at near 90-degrees in an obvious effort to emphasise Singapore's land scarcity.

Next to me, Hong Lim Park, in all its greenery and space, lazily rolled its eyes.

en at 10:23 pm


Why why why why

The weather is making me cranky. In fact, it's getting so hot 'n' humid that the air-conditioning in the house (more specifically, my room's) has been turned (gasp) on for (gasp) prolonged use. It might ultimately result in (god forbid) a higher electricity bill.

This deviant act might never have been allowed to continue if my mom had not taken the incisive decision of terminating the household's newspaper subscription. It appears to be an established law of physics that everyone should hate bills. The relationship between person and unpaid bill is akin to inverse gravity, a strange phenomenon that causes one side to always attempt to repel the other. Unfortunately, with certain individuals such as my mother, this adversion is particularly powerful, producing the cosmos-crushing space-time-bending forces of a collasping star.

To limit the number of bills and hence, protect the structural integrity of the galaxy, my mother decided to get rid of frivolous bills, such as our newspaper subscription. This does not mean we do not buy newspapers. We simply do not subscribe to them, thereby generating the dreaded bill. Granted, the accumulated cash spent buying each individual edition outstrips what we would have paid for the subscription but it is a small price to pay to preserve our space-time continuum.

How does this relate to our transpasses in using our installed air-conditioning? Aside from the fact that the destructive effects of Mom + Bill are strangely negated when said Mom is inside the room enjoying the air-conditioning (an anomalous loophole still being investigated by top scientists), it is not the amount of the bill that matters as much as the number of bills. This is the only logic that accounts for our lack of a newspaper subscription and yet, our continued subscription to cable television and cable internet.

Unfortunately, no air-conditioning exists around the vicinity of the computer. Senseless advertisments shall continue to be targeted.

Like the one on the MRT screens about jumping cans. At least we have a clue about what the company is marketing: a range of canned products. I imagine fruit, preserved meats, that sorta thing... I'm not entirely sure about the exact range of products they offer, or the all-important name of the company the ad is so vigorously rooting for because the advertisment ever so sleathly steals my attention away from information about the product to the engrossing action taking place: jumping, dancing, bouncing cans.

These sprightly metal containers are no, not actual things but animated cans. It explains why they are able to leap off their shelves en masse with fabulous aplomb and parade down the animated asle in ecstatic formation. My question is: How does this make me want to buy your (whatever your company's name is, I was too distracted) product? As cheap as that computer animation looks (a rule to follow: the more shiny and plastic the animation is, the cheaper the animation budget - ever watched the Final Fantasy movie? ), it must have still cost quite a considerate sum to make and broadcast. I and a generous portion of the population, do not quite get the appeal of jumping cans.

I think the worst advertisment on television has to be that mattress one. You know, the one that begins with that somewhat-middle-age somewhat-chubby supposedly-married couple in bed. I know the media is superficial and materialistic and shallow and evil and the Devil's advocate. But do I really need to see an overweight couple in bed? I already know how I am going to end up twenty years down the road, there's no point rubbing the image in.

And they cannot speak proper English. I am not talking about the posh Queen's English we reserve for use in our Oral exams. The woman saids something like "Hon-neee, what kind of mattress is this?" and the husband flips up the bed covers to reveal numerous layers of sponge and pulpy mattresses stacked like pancakes. Hey, that's more than what I sleep on, missy. At least they are keeping their airy dialogue to a minimum.

I only wish they'd cut out the finishing line where the whiney wife (urgh, sterotyping) hugs her hubby and thanks her "Hon-neee" for buying them a proper mattress. Dude, if this keeps up, getting a comfy bed is the least of your marriage problems. Get a comfy couch instead. And have a lawyer ready.

I hope this suffocating weather doesn't keep up. I haven't even started on the stuff they are showing on TV mobile.

en at 12:36 pm


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why why why

Have you ever seen those bus and taxi advertisment gimmicks where they have bizzare spotted-cow-like tails drooping from the back of the vehicles? I saw my first one the other day while waiting for the number 14 bus. I'm just wondering: what are they about? What company do these monstrosities work for? They are more inscrutable than Lassie trying to signal Timmy's down the well! You people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to be creative. What am I supposed to buy?!

There are a few weird advertisments on MRT trains. When you spend about an hour on public transport travelling to school and then an hour back again, you tend to notice things. There are rice ads with a young chinese girl eating rice with this elderly man wearing the SMRT uniform. First of all, I wonder why people even bother advertising for rice when it's just well... rice.

Second of all, I already know that I am sitting on one of the best public transport systems around. I'm looking at these giant-sticker ads and the rice company probably has some sort of contract in place with the SMRT line. But do I really need to see the old chap in the vaguely green-blue-ish SMRT uniform? Is he fulfilling the protective father figure role, giving a sort of parental assurance that eating that brand of rice is an excellent choice and so is riding the only available subway service in Singapore?

The stupidest advertisments put up at MRT stations seem to originate from (who else) SMRT themselves. They have this running tag-line that goes 'It didn't GET OUT enough', implying that your corporation should place your ads on their trains and stations because they get around alot. Now, riding the public transportation system isn't exactly my idea of heading OUT. It's more of a necessary evil individuals without cars have to endure to get from point A to B. And there's this one ad that goes 'Why did the Dodo become extinct?' Cue: 'It didn't GET OUT enough'.

Firstly, the crudely drawn cartoon bird on display is NOT a dodo. A dodo does not even remotely resemble an owl. Owls, fabled predators of the night and symbols of wisdom, would be immensely insulted at this association. And the other thing, wasn't GETTING OUT the whole reason why the dodo got extinct? Staying outdoors meant getting hunted to extinction by the most savage and destructive of unnatural predators, namely us.

Dodos should have bummed around in their burrows, watched teevee, feasted on chips, played mahjong and gambled until they all keeled over from strokes, heart failure and other sedentary lifestyle health symptoms. It would have been, on the whole, a more pleasant demise for the species.

en at 2:49 pm


Monday, March 21, 2005

There and Back again

When you are not getting paid and not contractually obligated to wake up at 6:30am, wash-up, stagger out of the suddenly-overwhelming comfort of your bed and lug a heavy load to a place you bear no significant amount of affection toward (at least in the present moment), it feels just like any typical student's early morning trudge to school after a week-long holiday. The only difference is that I'm no longer a student. And I am doing this because I would like to maintain the illusion that I am a decent human being (relative to other scumbags).

The amount of gossip, rantings and complaints that abound in a typical staff-room (I realise I am generalising here - I've only been in 2 staffrooms so far, but the obvious parallels are too staggering to avoid generalisations... In other words... I don't particularly care) should not be surprising. Indeed, however inappropriate or unsavoury these behaviours seem, these few outlets have evolved throughout the eons since the first primeval cave-dwelling parents-meet-the-teachers session and have played an invaluable role in maintaining teachers' sanity, thus making sure that the students stay in the caves and out of the trees, hence keeping precious evolution on track.

Memorable quotations from my brief career as a relief-teacher:

Teacher (referring to a particular student): "She is sooo irritating. She's like ELMO. You know Elmo?"
Me: "Er, yes. "
Teacher: "She's like Elmo. Only evil."

Teacher #1: "I'm going to visit the student hospitalised at NUH."
Teacher #2: "Could you get her to... [mutters some tasks, the specifics of which I cannot remember] "
Teacher #1 (mock horror): "What kind of SA (Student Affairs) are you?"
Teacher#1: "Should I bring her maths homework?"

[On a student's script.]
Q. Why are elections held?
Student's Ans: To pick a new PAP.

en at 5:30 pm


Class outing at Bugis

So I've just had my second can of coffee for the day. It's past midnight and I'm not feeling sleepy. I suppose I've accomplished my totally pointless aim of throwing my sleep-cycles out of whack for the holidays. Last night's small class outing helped, with me sadly heading home earlier (before midnight) so as to catch the not-so-last bus and negate my fears of getting stranded.

It was quite a subdued quiet affair, since only about ten classmates showed up. The western-country style restaurant at Bugis Junction that we went to had unimpressive food and rather bad service. Their supposed 'apple strudle' took the form of a sad apple pie-ish damp pastry, cold for the most part and looking as if it had been whalloped by an embarrassed scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

In the proud tradition that is 03A53 (although grossly under-represented as we were then, in numbers), we schemed to flee the establishment. We didn't do so in the end, of course, but given their at-best-average food and understaffed service, it was awfully tempting. With bad seats and lousy ambience put-together, it was a wonder that place survives. Restaurant bashing aside (and I'm usually not a terrifically picky eater), what was left of the diminishing class group later headed to CHIJMES (yes, I note the capitals).

I've only been to chijmes about say, twice or three times. The only thing to conclude is that, especially for girls (and guys) not interested in football matches projected on large screens, there is nothing remarkable about chijmes (isn't this developing into a running theme for the night: un-remarkable-ness). Although cute, there was nothing remarkable about the strawberry magaritas. There was definately nothing remarkable about the waitress who served us at the Mexican-ish place with the red-cloth-wrapped seats that got rather hot after lounging in them in a humid evening. I would venture to shove her beyond un-remarkablity into plain bad-ness, since she asked us (rather curtly) to remove our terribly offensive waterbottle from the table. A waterbottle! Good grief. And she does not know how to proportionate six glasses of magaritas from our one ordered jug.

This is turning into one peevish, un-remarkable night that I am describing. Funny how things get narrated in retrospect. Good points? Gee well, Daniel was properly clothed in something with a collar and sleeves. And proudly displaying his iPOD shuffle (a stupid device that heralds the triumph of great marketing and cool Apple branding over pure, simple sense - what's so great about randomness anyway! I want to know what song I'm going to hear! What is the big breakthrough?!). Granted, it was still an ugly polo-tee (I think most polo t-shirts are ugly, anyway). But it's quite a feat to overthrow the nortorious Grey Singlet. And the aforementioned vanilla ice-cream was decent.

And, naturally, it's always a good thing to meet up with the folks who had the misfortunate of crossing paths with yours truly for the past two years, if only to remind them that I'm as weird as ever.

en at 12:32 am


Friday, March 18, 2005

This is the new shit

The only thing worse than losing your job is having lost your job while still having to mark a giant pile of test papers, or more specifically literature test papers that take forever to grade properly. Of course, I am so so tempted to throw responsbility (and the unmarked test scripts) to the four winds. But as nasty and as tactless as I know myself to be, I am sure that's just my PMS talking. And the thought of a hapless NIE trainee handling my Normal Tech classes makes me smugly gleeful, in a schadenfreude kinda way.

Curiously, it seems that before every class outing, I lose my job. I hope this tradition doesn't carry on. I would have to dread class reunions when I'm into my thirties for fear of losing my rice bowl. My numerous scholarship applications also appear to be having a severely demoralising effect. Today should be the deadline. But it looks so bleak that I can't bring myself to be too concerned.

Circumstances are sure making it hard for me to be happy!

And we are still uncertain whether there are still termites in the cupboards. A few days ago, after my Grandmama was done washing up the dirt-encrusted china and cutlery, her fingers (already swollen hard and knobbly from generations of housework and cleaning - most of her finger nails now look as if they were stuck in as an afterthought) started hurting from the large amounts of detergent used. Past experience has already taught me that the elderly can be mightily tough - such as the time when my Grandmama accidentally sliced off the tip of her index finger using a large pair of scissors and started bleeding all over the floor (while still managing to scold me for my incompetence and inefficiency). She quite plainly noted how it looked worse than her usual cuts because she could see the tiny red holes in her flesh, her capillaries. For those who've read Plath's Cut: I sure wouldn't be waxing philosophical if my sliced open finger was refusing to clot!

To dampen the throbbing pain in her swollen fingers, Grandmama instructs me to get the flask of hot water and pour it into a metal basin. The next step seemed logical enough. At times like this, the whole schbang about we being a pampered generation, turned soft and spoilt rings loud and true. Without hesitation or flinching, my Grandmama puts both her hands into the hot water, soaking and rubbing them as though temperature didn't mean a difference.

I wondered how hot the water really was... Although I wouldn't want to find out for myself.

en at 11:00 am


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Kids these days

By now, the annual CT Council initiates camp should have ended (unless, of course the Year Twos decide to give their initiates heellll and actually make them do their 230 x 4 push-ups, sit-ups, star-jumps and what-have-you as payment for the dreaded Spiderweb challenge they had to squirm through the day before). A handful of us Grandsenior Year Threes went back to school last night to visit. While Cicak and myself strolled through the front gates in full view of the newly-hired tubby security guard (security guard booth included) whom as per usual, does absolutely nothing to warrant his salary (except maybe standing some times) by barring strange visitors to the school; the others decided to climb the 2 metre high backgate - a logic that still escapes me, although it might just be due to good ol' nostalgia. Nostalgia for me, however, usually consists of less strenuous activites without the threat of bone fractures.

The Talenttime segment once again proved how damn spastic people could get when put in spontaneous performance moments, with little rehearsal time, some sleep deprivation and an audience mostly consisting of your older peers who have been yelling at you for the past couple of days. My personal favourite goes to the team of Orange Juice, whose Talenttime star was this geek-ish boy my friend Cicak spent the better part of the night incessantly gushing about how-damn-fucking-cute he was, squeals and flustered flailing hands combined.

Cicak (on the junior's droning rendition of Welcome to my Life, awful hand signals included): "It's like a gospel song gone wrong..."

The big highlight of the night (and camp) is our exclusive nightgame Utopia! (I think the exclamation does it's fun factor justice). It is an ironic title considering that this is a game with no rules and encouraged outlets to gamble, publicly betray and humiliate your peers, "smuggle" items, participate in "illegal" activites while all the while being on the run from the "secret police" who on a whim, might just drag you screaming (I kid you not about the screaming, it was thankfully reduced from last year's) to our "torture chamber". The gist of the game, played into the wee midnight hours, is that your tribe or group needs to make money to buy materials to build a structure of sorts to commemorate the mighty accomplishments of the CT Council. Unfortunately, as the storyline goes (with an uncanny parallel to the reality of the situation), you are a downtrodden impoverished grunt with very little money to begin with, extremely vulnerable to the "upper classes" whom you have to please for the cash (some of which, are counterfeit and might get you arrested).

It's fun. The Student Council doesn't know what the screams and running are all about.

Me and Cicak spent the better part of the night harrassing the poor initiates, who seemed too stunned to react when a Grandsenior (wearing slippers, jeans and carrying a shoulder bag no less) grabs and runs off with your bandana, delivering you effectively to the secret police.

Quotes from the Night Game - credits to Cicak, who lately wandered home totally stoned but still remembered many funny incidents:

Claire (giving out instructions): "So if you go to the torture chamber and see someone's name on the board, if you deliver that person you get the bounty reward..."
Junior (rising hand): "What if you go down there and see your own name there?"
Cicak (sitting next to me in the back, snerking): "Then you die lah."

[Near a legal shop.]
Cicak: "Year Ones, you can steal money from them y'know!"
[Initiates discuss among themselves.]
One junior (goes up shopkeeper): "Excuse me, can we steal money from you?"
Me and Cicak: *facevault*

[At the torture chamber, looking in]
Me: "Hrm, didn't expect her to be torturing people..."
Year Two (in semi-gruff voice): "Straighten out your arms I say! STRAIGHT!!"
Year Two (looking up, back to usual sweet tone): "Erm... Could somebody help me please?"

[Still in torture chamber. Greggan decides to volunteer his aid.]
Greggan (chants): "Endure prisoners! Endure the torture! Endure the pain! Endure! ENDUURRE!!"
Year Two: "Is Greggan depressed?"
Me: "Nah. It's... probably NS."

[A Year Two walks around trying to sell black market goods.]
Year Two (yelling): "Black market! Black market!"
Me: "People aren't going to come near you like that."
Year Two: "Not black market! Not black market!"
Me: *face-palms*
Year Two: "Okay to make it less obvious I shall say, "White market! White market!" How's that?"
Cicak: "FAIL."

And even as Grandseniors and with a teacher at our side, we still had to climb over the school gates once again to get our iced coffee from Parkway.

en at 2:05 pm


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What if I don't want to come into your world

I promise never to make bad jokes about JLo. Or at least, until the bones above my kidneys stop hurting. Last night was my first attempt at Jazz class. Now, I have abolutely no dance background whatsoever (unless you count those pathetic excuses for ballet lessons I had when I was five, in which we simply bounced around wearing tight pink outfits, learning nothing remotely useful I can recall). Although every sign for the class indicated it required no previous experience, 5 minutes into the lesson made me realise an important Life's lesson: Never trust signs.

Already into the warm-up and finding myself sprawled on the battered wooden floor no doubt countless others had sprawled themselves upon in the past, I could hear my inner voice of self-preservation screaming in indignance 'This is so not designed for beginners!!!', followed by 'What the hell would the normal classes be like!?'

The trainer, clad in tight black dancer shorts, was rather entertaining. Unfortunately, the thing about having a male trainer guiding one (such as myself with a negligible sense of body coordination) through dance steps is that he's really intimidatingly good at executing moves, especially those requiring body strength. So most of the time, I am inwardly gawking stupidly at his amazing super dance physique and feeling my ego shrivel up into a little prune.

And then the guy tells us he's going to teach us the choregraphy to the accompaniment of JLo's second new single Come into my world. (And yes, there was a running joke about the song title and our unremakably unseductive dance moves) The very suggestion put towards me is laughable. I cannot remember dance steps to save my life. It seems that my brain has only been hard-wired into memorising words and pictures, beyond that nothing else. I somehow found it ambitious when dance instructor guy wanted us to lift our legs and lower back straight into the air using our (supposed) backward rolling momentum so that we balanced only on our shoulder blades, maneuver our (supposed) straight pointed legs up-and-down to the beat and roll ourselves back upright for the next barrage of steps.

Well, in the end, as excruciating as that may have been (I am aching - but that could have been more due to Friday's kickboxing), at least I had learnt JLo-worthy dance steps! Now, if only I could remember them in a few days time...

en at 12:45 pm


Monday, March 14, 2005

I was awakened before 9 in the morning because no one knew when the postal service collects the daily mail. I had to send the few supporting documents for my PSC scholarship application (a laughable attempt, I realise) and the deadline was... well, today actually. It's too bad the postal service doesn't work Sundays. It somehow contradicts the whole 'No matter, rain, snow, killer dog or cosmic sucking black-hole, we will deliver' mantra.

So someone got the idea that there was an early collection at 9am. So bright and early off I went, in my slept-in shirt, flip-flops and shorts ton the post box right across the street, only to discover that the mail collection does it's rounds at 5pm. And then I went back home and learnt that the kitchen was infested with termites and the counter was soaked with kerosene. Since my Grandmama has so conscientiously reminded me, I thought I'd share: my black cat Hero has recently developed something resembling diarrhea and regularly passes his faeces in the living room area. Somehow, nothing quite disturbs me anymore.

It's going to be one of those languid days.

Last Saturday was the NUS openhouse and like all openhouse events, was spectacularly dull and hellishly crowded. It does not help that the university is tucked into an obscure pocket in the West, requiring multiple bus-train-bus journey transfers even for someone living in the central area. Thankfully, although most of the talks were choked full and we couldn't bother to cram ourselves in (ascending the stairway was claustrophobic enough, thank you very much), it was not a total loss. I was delighted to learn that NUS Law did offer jurisprudence, although now that I check the website, I learn that the girl I asked gave me the wrong information about jurisprudence being a second-year compulsory course. I hope she mentally kicked herself after misleading me. As my ol' Amath tutor sharply pointed out just now while we were both buying lunches from the coffeeshop outside and I mentioned my interest in studying Law: as a lawyer, you can't make a mistake! Not one!

For the sake of my mental well-being, I shall believe that may be a slight exaggeration.

And before that, I learnt that the cool (yes, cool) law and econmics double-degree honours programme will only accept ten (yes, ten) people from the A-level intake. The lady at the booth pointed out how the programme was an elite one and would only take in the very best. I wondered, if the NUS Law faculty already holds a reputation for being snobbish elitist bastards: would this herald in a new generation of super-uber snobbish elitist bastards? I mean, with the university already hailing it an elite programme, it wouldn't take too much imagination. Fancy the university finally approving a double-degree that truly sounds fun to attempt and taking the fun out of it.

As I pointed the intake bottleneck to a friend, she replied: YAH. wtf. like, how to get in?! Seeing as how this particularly girl has a perfect score of 4As and two S paper distinctions going for her, I think the sentiment expressed speaks immense volumes for myself, what with my less than satisfactory A level scores. The thought makes me very depressed.

The termites appear to have been vanquished. I'm helping return the china to their lofty spots.

en at 2:03 pm


There are termites in the house. The kitchen reeks of kerosene fumes. The toilet sink is filled with an odd colourful assortment of plastic cups and containers I have never seen before in my whole life. Whatever spare room the house can spare without looking too unpresentable is being used to hold the many neglected appliances (salt and pepper grinders, utensils, glasses, age-stained china etc.) that occupied the now rotting cupboards for the galzillion years since we moved into this house (I'm thinking Primary two).

There are disney-inspired plastic plates (Anyone else thinks the Beast looks cool?), plastic kid mugs - one with adorable (quite) realistic rabbits printed on, the old white slightly-yellow plastic orange-juice squeezer that I quite fondly remember playing with when I was little: cut the orange into two, grind the halves into the squeezer using your hands and pour whatever pathetic amount of juice you could press out into a glass. The glass was quite important, I remember. Nowadays, I pour my carton suger-saturated orange juice into the same mug I use for all my beverages. I was less lazy back then, but I prefer to think that I'm become more effective now... when I opt to be, of course.

My Grandmama reacts with a panicked frenzy to any, however small, threat to her domestic domain. Getting her to calm down and give her sixty-six year old nerves a rest is impossible. I've tried, and all I ever got for my effort was a stern flustered look of incredulity, the same look one might receive if you told someone impaled on a pike 'That doesn't look too bad.' I have learnt, over the years, that the best approach is to do nothing and stay out of her way. If a glass breaks, or a plate shatters, I know better than to assist. I usually just makes things worse (or so she quite irritably asserts). I might be labelled 'unhelpful' but please remember: me helping out might make things more hazardous for all parties involved.

My Grandmama and the handyman uncle she called in to help are still working on drowning the white destructive critters in kerosene, the very flammable fluid that Grandmama reports is highly effective in exterminating the home-wrecking insects. This is no easy feat, considering that the damp, old shelves are well, shelves. Meaning that they're elevated some height above the ground. And on another point: am I the only one who is envisioning a burning kitchen? We are drenching the wooden shelves in kerosene. Well, at least the termites will be dead.

For my credit, besides trying hard to be nonchalant and unhelpful (the best course of action considering my Grandmama's increasingly frazzled, stressed state, believe me), I have helped in helping move the piles of junk from the infested cupboards to the new rising piles of junk growing throughout the house. All the while, passing around the junk up and down, being caffeine-deprived, I was mostly concerned with the termites finding their way on me. Cupboard boxes in storage are the usual suspects for holding termites within. I reasoned, if termites chew through wood, the prospect of them nawing on my very human skin would be terribly unpleasant. For those who have never had the privilege of seeing real termites, they do not resemble ants in the least (unless you count six legs). They are pale, rather translucent white and possess a huge abdomen and head, closely joined.

We're under attack by miniscule house-ravaging sausages. Oh my.

en at 12:03 pm