Saturday, 29 September 2001

attended the opening of Celestine's exhibition on porcelain painting. Quite inspiring - 6-year-old girl (of Mensa fame) with her first solo art exhibition timed to coincide with Children's Day.. pretty cool. Should be an inspiration to all daddys and mummys out there.. as well as to everyone still contemplating on whether to work towards having their first art exhibition. Exhibition's on at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce 2nd floor.. well worth the trip.

Yet more arty stuff - visited Commonwealth Secondary School and found that they have this really impressive art gallery and their own art related website, the result of hard work and dedication by their wonderful art teacher. They have also adopted Sungei Buloh and are painting 1500 pieces of tiles to pave the ceiling of the newly constructed Mangrove Boardwalk Shelter! Very heartening..

Discoveries of the day and the day (before):

1. Lego has come up with a bunch of really sophisticated new toys under the Lego Technic series, combining building and technology -> Ultra cool!! >>

2. Shitake mushrooms may look like Chinese mushrooms but the latter has a stronger taste, tends to flavour soups more and has a rougher surface (i.e. not so nice lah!) - discovered at Joaquim Steamboat Buffet at Suntec City

3. Liver can be eaten semi raw but it is important to make sure the outside is somewhat cooked, say, blanced (so as to kill some of the bacteria.. cannot figure out logic - I mean, what about the rest of the bacteria?? must be some old wives tale : p) - anyhow, it is another steamboaty discovery

4. (from National Geog) There's this little railway stop in Wales named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch which means "church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio by the red cave." - phew! this is apparently the longest place name in the world and also the longest registered domain name so far!

5. (again from the National Geog) We're killing them!!! Many animals are rapidly becoming extinct!! Check out and for more info!

viva lomo villa has been postponed till next year! : (

Wednesday, 26 September 2001

boredom has driven me to consider doing ASCII-Art (wanted to go for a run but it has started to drizzle!!).. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's basically creating artwork using only the symbols and characters that you have available to you on your computer keyboard (e.g. space, numbers, basic punctuation, and unaccented letters a-z and A-Z) graphics at all... so you can imagine how absurdly tedious it is ... Check out the Ultimate collection of Ascii-Art sites, Mike Troll's Ascii-art comic strips and this other pretty good collective site. There's even "The Cuddly Collection of ASCII Art" for sweeties out there..awww..... Since you've read this far into my blog, why don't you consider perhaps joining a newsgroup like alt.ascii-art if you are equally brain-dead as I am at the moment..It's still Art, ya?? btw, it's pronounced ASCII (ask'-ee), not A-S-C-I-I...hahaha...
so spooky!!! just got this email...

Subject: FW: 911 US Attack
> >
> > You have to try this one!!!
> >
> > Here is something really strange:
> > Did you know that a flight number from one of the planes that hit one of
> > the two towers was Q33NY.
> >
> > In MS Word, type Q33NY -the flight number
> > Enlarge the font size to 26
> > Change the font to Wingdings
> >
> > Then you will see....

just had this really interesting chat with this couple who walked into our shop. Since discovering this unusual talent in their 11-year-old son to create and solve elaborate maze drawings, this Chinese-speaking couple have been scouring the face of our small island finding a shifu for their son, but to no avail.

Just told them to trying surfing the net and passed them this interesting site on mazes I found. Apparently, their son just sits there all day with his pen or pencil drawing away and creates all these mazes that even his bewildered parents can't solve. Quite cool.

Overshot my MRT stop while sms-ing today!! Sms-pal and I then bantered on (especially appropriately, this being the Seventh Month of the Lunar calendar) this spooky tale a-la Twilight Zone about people who get onto phantom MRT trains and find that the train never stops at their destination.. it just goes on and on, round and round the MRT circuit.. and the people are never seen again-- shiver shiver ... very Pontianak...hahaha...

Bought my ultra-slim, ultra-cool Sony Discman today finally!! Wow, now I have entertainment on my way to work!! (Hope this doesn't lead to even more missed stops! : p) Just got introduced to Japanese Gundam too. The sort that comes in a box with individual parts that you piece together and finally paint using a brush or an air brush. Wow, didn't know it was actually so fun. Very much like jigsaw puzzle (my other great love).. oh dear.. not another expensive new hobby?? : p Maybe I should just stick to oil painting or salt dough....

Still contemplating... should I or should I not go for the Terry Fox Run this Sunday..?

Discovery of the Day: Solid Perfumes - perfumes that come in a solid form - check out the intricate ones from Estee Lauder... pretty amazing! Like...err.. Faberge Eggs? oops...

Tuesday, 25 September 2001

think the stress of the economic slowdown is really getting to me.. i'm beginning to contemplate getting away again.. this wanderlust always creeps up when I am subconsciously trying to run away from something in my life : ( I know you are going to think this is really dumb and hard to understand... something like Greece or Africa or China for something between 3 weeks to 3 months, just to enjoy photography and to live in obscurity among strangers... oh well, maybe I'll just get over it after a while once I feel better..

Anyhow, if you thinking the same, these are some useful sites you can check up:

Three other worthwhile clicks while you're still online:
1. Conservation of Chek Jawa at Pulau Ubin needs your support! Check out this site to find out what this is all about
2. The Singapore Cat Welfare Society needs your support too!! >> Go to their site !!
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
3. The Hunger Site - been around for a while - com'on, don't be stingy with your clicks!! : p

Monday, 24 September 2001

Your depression will not outlast the universe.
- Taken from "Sweet Dreams" by Haresh Sharma

Read this excerpt by Alvin Tan, founder and artistic director of The Necessary Stage. Worth seriously reflecting over. Get on with your lives, my friends! As they say in Richard Leider's book, Lighten Your Load For The Rest of Your Life!

What Alvin said is reproduced below:

"Someone recently reminded me not to take things too seriously in life. I felt confronted, realising that lately I am unable to do just that. Just about everything seems to be weighed down with some form of angst; falling effortlessly and constantly into reflecting on accountability, duty or social responsibility. Perhaps it's because I'm the eldest, or perhaps it's my messiah complex - which an astrochart on the internet informs me. But hey, time is running out and it's foolish to postpone putting life into my remaining years.

We so easily forget when enough is enough. It's time to embrace the dictum that if it is not meant to be, so be it - let go and move on. Why is there this need to intervene or to transform reality? Why kid ourselves? Why not travel light instead since we only have one life?

Abuse is an insidious thing. It does not come to us like daylight. Its deadliness is in its surreptitious nature - to creep up and possess us completely. For years I have thrived on struggling rather than going with the tide. What weighs me down is my persistence and determination. But I shall keep them and instead change my goals and lose the baggage."

btw, Lomographic Society Singapore is having Viva Lomo Villa!! I'm going!!!

Thursday, 20 September 2001

wonderful dinner at Italian restaurant Senso last night - had a starter of Swordfish with caviar before we downed a linguine with baby clams, white wine and squid ink sauce and a risoto rice with crayfish. portions were just right and service was excellent to the point of looking a tad bit artificial. Business in Club Street seems to be distributed quite unevenly with some places looking really empty (despite it being already mid-week) and some places like Senso bustling with their evening crowd of well-heeled executives. Buko Nero was closed till 2 Oct- that was our original choice.

Ended the evening with a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Sunrise Surprise - ultrasweet, superthick Vanilla milkshaky drink that almost choked me with its viscosity and a walk along Boat Quay to be harrassed by the sexily-dressed seafood restaurant tout ladies and cheesy signboards advertising beer for $10 a jug (wow!),

learnt how a refrigerator and air conditioner works - apparently, the airconditioner contains all these freon gases (which also contain CFC gases - like the refrigerator) and these cooling coils. The airfilter bit will pull in the air in the room and let it pass through the gases (which will take away the heat) and the cooling coils before blowing out the cool air again. If you want a very "cheong hei" and scientific explanation (or you are already holding your bellies laughing at my description : ( check out >>

Wednesday, 19 September 2001

New random (and probably useless) things learnt over the past week/month:

1. Root Beer is made from the sasaparilla root .. remember Sarsi? Apparently the Americans just couldn't be bothered to use the whole name and abbreviated it to "Sarsi".

2. A nice place to look at planes land and take off in Singapore is on this road called the "West Perimeter Road" - see map. It runs alongside the Changi runway.

3. The lomo camera can also be found at Kinokuniya bookstore (Taka), Cream at Purvis St, NIJ (New In Japan) at Bugis, and Dinky Di (at Change Alley). Hooray for all lomo fans!

4. Good places for taking pictures of old shophouses can be found in the Ang Siang Hill Area (Chinese style), Peranakan Place (Peranakan style), Kampong Glam (Malay style), Little India (Indian style) and in the Duxton Rd area (esp this street called Blair Rd - very quaint).

5. They have rebuilt Labrador Park and it looks really good now! Great place for a bit of sea breeze and watching ships go in and out of the WTC harbour.

Can't think of anymore...

Tuesday, 18 September 2001

what an overwhelming week.. finally have a chance to blog down some of my thoughts though there's just too much to begin with..i'm like SHOCKED :O, SAD :( HAPPY :) IN ECSTACY ; ) DISAPPOINTED ):( STRESSED ; { WORRIED : ? TIRED : / ...ALL IN THE SAME WEEK! in fact, the fact that I haven't been blogging bears testament to how little time I have had to even sit down and think things through.. so this is hopefully a good start to my sorting out my emotions and moods again...I need that.. really...

On a gloomy note, there's the WTC collapse that really took me by surprise. The aftermath was even more heartwrenching reading about the people as well as rescuers who perished in both the buildings and the planes. What kind of wicked and inhuman individuals could do that I cannot fathom. It still seems so unreal.. like a scene from an Ultraman movie where buildings get flattened to the ground and people fly through the air. I was there on the 107th floor Observation Gallery in 1996. The view was wonderful and the streets were crowded. Today it is no more.. Happened to have two friends in New York. Just found out they are ok though one was pretty close to the scene and ended up covered in ash.. Phew.. Hope this doesn't lead to the War everyone's talking about.. : (

On a more personal front, work has been hectic and extremely stressful. Found out one of our work staff has been meddling with the shop's transactions and we have had to report it to the police for investigation. Kai and I were confronted by a tearful mother and an aggressive aunt and my poor colleague has been shuffing between the police station and office quite a bit since. It's terrible watching someone being taken in.. It really is... Hope we can sort this out without it turning too terribly ugly.. sigh.. : ( As if this incident isn't bad enough, I experienced having to dismiss someone from the company today .. The first time I'm doing this in my WHOLE LIFE!! Just couldn't do it properly.. spluttered and stuttered and finally blurted it out - totally frazzled out.. She took it ok (sort of) probably because anyone else would have (anyway) in front of the person dismissing you.. very tough decision... TIMES ARE HARD... Boss has since implemented some new company policies and we all have to start work half an hour earlier from tomorrow.. I'm also getting an additional Sales Manager portfolio and am put in charge of the Bras Basah shop..also have to help boss think through e-commerce possibilities for the head office... umm.. quite a bit on the plate I have to admit.. getting new staff also so have to start another round of staff training soon.. seems like we are continually doing it.. we must have the highest turnover rate in the entire industry...CHANGES CHANGES CHANGES.. THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE.... MUST ALWAYS LOOK FOR NEW CHEESE.. DON'T STAY STAGNANT... : {

couple of friends going through some tough times with their relationships all of a sudden so have hopefully been a good enough listening ear for them : )

other than that, got a new 50mm Lens (f1.7) for my 4-year-old Minolta 700si and a new Supersampler Lomo camera!!!! Lifestyle changes!! Spent a bit of last weekend having fun with the Lomo ... great fun.. no battery, no flash and a flimsy little rubber loop that acts like a viewfinder (but hardly!). The beauty is in the unpredictability of the pictures it takes.. a complete opposite of an SLR which can be fully manually operated.. Am going to try to get the Action Sampler as a present for someone now.. for all those of you interested.. The official LOMO club resides at 32B Sago Street (the street in Chinatown that has the yummy Pineapple Bun and Ta Zhong Guo Mooncakes) - also has a funky jeweller called Shing (from this shop called argentum) in the same unit so it's really worth the trip to check them both out. They have all the models of Lomos. Check out also the Lomographic Society and online discussion on the Lomo >

got to hit the sack.. another long day tomorrow.. hopefully everything will be smooth and under control...

Sunday, 9 September 2001

just watched Rat Race. Quite funny and definitely entertaining. Read what Mr. Cranky has to say about it >> Even funnier. :p

Took an ad hoc educational tour of our famous Geylang red light district just now just before dinner and was quite amazed that it actually stretches across quite a couple of streets and has the feel of Mohamed Sultan! Very happening. It must amaze visitors to Singapore that we have such a vibrant sex industry :p Also learnt about this website that talks all about the Geylang sex scene.. oh dear.. don't check this out unless you are above the legal age, ok.. by the way, don't expect me to provide the url here.. go find it yourself..

another discovery.. the famous Lorong 9 Beef Kway Teow stall actually serves a healthier alternative, Ostrich Meat Kway Teow.. not bad.. the meat actually tastes a lot like beef (strangely enough) and is apparently healthier....Hail to good health!

Friday, 7 September 2001

forgot to post this really embarrassing thing that happened to me yesterday.

Ever wondered what it is like to drive all the way to the Woodlands Checkpoint without your passport and with no intention, whatsoever, to visit our neighbours up north? Took a wrong turn when going to Singapore US school (see below) yesterday and ended up driving up the road of no return towards the checkpoint. Immigration officers were not amused and were pretty sceptical.. WHAT'S THERE TO BE SCEPTICAL ABOUT??? I HAVEN'T EVEN LEFT THE COUNTRY!! anyhow, they took my IC and made me go to the immigration office where I made a minor fuss before they finally raised a special barrier and let me out. duh..

don't ever try this. it's funny but pretty damn annoying...
was late for an appointment by 2 solid hours today!!! gulp!

very hectic day today with loads of people in shop buying all sorts of things - puff paints, window paints, silk paints.. you name it and they want it! dropped by at the Singapore American School to deliver stuff and was suitably impressed with their art programme. Looks like the local schools have a lot of catching up to do! Maybe we should follow the American system and let our kids have more flexibility in choosing what they want to do.. too result oriented our system is.. sigh..

Read "The Power of Purpose" by Richard Leider. Pretty cool... I quote:"Purpose helps us understand what is relevant to life, what it is we live for, who we are, and what we are about in actual day-to-day living. Our world makes sense to us. Living a meaningful life means living in the deep questions of life. We are steadied and whole in our living, and the various situations of day-to-day living are more easily handled. Such a unifying sense of direction can withstand much stress and is actually strengthened by overcoming difficulties.".. phew!

enjoying my work now and feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile everyday.. should be following my calling, I suppose..

Tuesday, 4 September 2001

another long and tiring day.. my blog is beginning to repeat itself.. duh? Started at 8.15am and just got home.. too tired to even have dinner.. :(

training went well today but wish some of the staff could have taken us more seriously.. I mean, Customer Service is a serious thing man! Look at all that crap service you get around nowadays... can't everyone just do their work with a little bit more passion??

got a local TV personality in our store today! shan't mention who but came and bought quite a bit of acrylic paints and stuff.. seems like art is definitely getting popular... especially with all the yuppies into oil and acrylic paints nowadays.

Monday, 3 September 2001

absolutely pooped after long run at East Coast today (about 8km) but still have to finish up some work for tomorrow..sigh.. going to try to instill some Customer Service atittude into these sloppy staff of ours tomorrow through our inaugural Staff Training Session! Should be fun and we will play some games! Gulp, hope they will at least pass our product training tests!!

Just lopped off a huge chunk of my hair and I actually feel much lighter and cheerier for it. But still trying to get used to it. Will also have to be prepared for the inevitable, rediculously unnecessary questions tomorrow: "Aye? You cut your hair har?".. duh?

oh well, back to work..

Sunday, 2 September 2001

this is really fun.. i'm still getting high on this.. seeing all the stuff i write getting published.. whee...
maybe i should get into bed soon.. not going to be able to get up for church tomorrow..



so this thing really works!

went on shopping spree recently and got latest desktop (PIV 1.5GHz 40GB 256RDRAM 161040 CDRW). Add that to my digital cam (Olympus C1), palm (IBM Wordpad c3), SLR and phone and I'm a walking tech machine!.. still wondering whether to get that super slim Sony discman... yikes! become addicted to shopping for expensive electronic devices..not a good idea..

went to watch Womad. stunning performance with great mix of music and fantastic performances.. great job Womad team!

still trying to get into the daily jogging and daily bible thing.. and got to meet to discuss customer service training with Kai tomorrow.. long day ahead.. sigh, got to work on Sundays too.. times are hard..

was surfing Raleigh International website just now and actually submitted staff application form.. gulp..