Thursday, 31 October 2002

i got a Hidamari No Tami from alb from his HK trip..

he's got a solar panel on the front, and just sits there and rocks his head head side to side when there is light. even the dull carpark light is enough to make him happy. but you should see him when the sun shines... he rocks!

hahahahaha :D

Wednesday, 30 October 2002

according to Dr Spencer Johnson (author of highly acclaimed change management book "Who Moved My Cheese?"), if you want to improve your chaotic life or to dramatically improve your relationships with others, you need to take these "One Minute For Myself" breaks - short 60-second blocks of "stop-check-reflect" moments and to ask yourself this question "Is there a way, right now, for me to take better care of myself?"..

while this might sound rather ego-centric, especially to most of us who come from Asian backgrounds where we are constantly told to "put others before ourselves" or to "be considerate to others", this simple statement actually makes a lot of sense...

In one minute I can change my attitude And in that minute I can change my entire day.

When I take good care of myself I feel less angry – toward myself and others.

And when I am Happier I work better and I treat others better.

it's an advice i try to heed nowadays whenever i get frustrated and overwhelmed, especially at work... it works... sometimes, it might just mean popping out to get a cold coffee or to rest a tired mind... but in the longer run, i find myself more effective than if i continue to just do and do, getting more and more frustrated and tired out every minute.

Life is lived minute by minute. Those who know this live best.

Monday, 28 October 2002

today was definitely a better day, though it was probably because i hid away from the hustle and bustle and distractions of the main store and worked at my own sane pace at our smaller branch in bras basah... manage to work out more details of the staff training programme ... there's just so much that needs to be done in terms of training... like how to provide superb customer service that truly "delights our customers" (in my own little way, i'm hoping to transform "customer service quality" in Singapore - i think customer service in Singapore really sucks! - though it is still better than in HK, i heard.. apparently, the sales people there actually ignore customers even when they are being scolded, even in big departmental, selling skills (cos sometimes, while providing "superb" customer service to our customers, i hear my staff saying - much to my astonishment - "you can get it cheaper in xxx place" durrhhh????), getting things right the first time (which means they must really know their stuff - like having good product knowledge, being alert etc), phone etiquette, dressing, etc etc etc... and on top of that, we have to think about motivating them... very hard indeed...

brought my damaged slr camera to this wonderful camera repair shop in Adelphi near City Hall MRT (P&G - in the basement) and the friendly uncle - this Mr David Phan fixed it in a flat 1 minute.. though all he did was open up the battery compartment, slide the battery out and then popping it back in again... :p.. why haven't i ever thought of doing that?? anyway, he was astounded at how badly maintained it was (i'm really bad at taking care of my camera). he advises taking off the camera strap before putting the camera in the dry box cos otherwise you put in all the dead skin and sweat and fungus - which defeats the purpose of putting it into a dry box then.... umm..good point... and i found out (quite unexpectedly but happily) that this old lens i borrowed from a friend for long-term use - Tokina AF235 II 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 is actually a really really superb lens! Just a little dirty and needing a little cleaning up but wow, check out the rave reviews! .. so i suddenly have another little treasure to play around with... :)
alb's pics of the powerpuff girls on hong kong MTR station signboards has done wonders to my mood :)

and thanks to Krisalis, i've finally figured out the difference between kopi and kopi-si... hee hee.. looks like i'm not so Singaporean afterall... even though i always pretend to know what i am ordering when i order kopi-si instead of just plain o' kopi... :p

Sunday, 27 October 2002

i didn't go to malacca in the end. and i broke my camera.

woke up late both days of the weekend and ended up spending the whole day working on workstuff - planning a training programme for our staff (which is desperately needed 'cos they are just getting from bad to worse - breaking all the shop rules, terrible customer service, etc etc.. grr... we get frustrated everytime we walk into the store.. but we know its probably our fault that we didn't make the system "idiot-proof" - not that they are idiots but most of the clerical and sales staff that we try to employ tend to be rather mechanical and i guess they work best with systems and rules... initiative??.. bleah... ), sorting out all the work and tasks that needs to be done once i get back to the office tomorrow (which is a lot of stuff..), and i helped to sort out some of the administrative stuff at the new household store in United Sq (our sister company of sorts).. and while rushing out this morning, i slipped and fell (cos of the silly rain) and now my slr (which was in my bag when i fell) is damaged and needs to be repaired... grrr.. what a terrible weekend... there's something about working over an off-weekend that somehow gets me feeling down (even if i worked voluntarily)... maybe it was because i ended up not going to malacca even though i was so looking forward to it...

i'm trying to stay positive but i'm fighting a losing battle.. spiralling..spiralling...into gloom and depression.... it was a gloomy day, both literally and figuratively.. where is the sun when i need it??

the stupid haze... :(

Saturday, 26 October 2002

i've got a great excuse for staying up late.. I'M DONE WITH MY EXAMS!! :) x 1,000,000... the whole experience has been most painful... the lessons were fun, of course, and meeting new and interesting people and learning new stuff but the exams... urgh.. i so hate exams.... think i am going to stay off serious studying for a while.. in the meantime, i will pick up pottery and maybe learn spanish... :)

good pal SA asked me if i would go through the whole experience again for a million dollars.. durrhhh??? for a million dollars?? of course!! i'll do a lot of things (not everything though.. :p) for a million dollars!

discovered the very cosy and fun "original" Brauhaus at 101 Thomson Road B1-12/1, United Square (not to be mistaken for the better known but newer and international Paulaner Brauhaus at Millenia Walk) which the very chirpy and middle-age but still spunky owner (we didn't get his name) told us has been around for more than 13 years! There are apparently some 200 different types of beers from around the world (a very believeable number judging from the impressive beer list) and we even got to try this really nice chocolate beer (from Belgium) on the house! definitely a place to hang out again on one of those nights where you just need a place to chat and laugh with a bunch of good pals... (got to warn you though.. it's not really "yuppie-hip".. it has its very loyal clientele.. mostly middle-agey... :p)

may be heading to malacca for the weekend to chill out... :)

Friday, 25 October 2002

i don't know what to make of the news about the Canadian woman who tried to sue Air Canada for discrimination against obese people (she said she was humiliated and suffered physically because she couldn't fit into an economy size seat and that her obesity was in fact a disability which was discriminated against)..

i asked my sister (who is a nurse and knows everything about diseases and other such medical stuff) if obesity is a disability (such as blindness and celebral palsy) or if it is largely (i didn't say always) due to a person's eating and lifestyle habits... in which case it cannot really be blamed on genes and society and hence you can't go around sueing people for not accommodating you.... she told me that genetic reasons do play a part but it is mostly due to poor lifestyle habits..

i found something on the net on "Disability Due to Obesity" .. it says that approved obesity-disability cases in the US are entitled to disability payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and obese people do have certain civil rights as it is recognised that "obesity is a disease" .. they are covered under this law known as Obesity Law.. umm....

i pity the airlines then.. squeezed (pardon the pun) on all sides... sued by the ones who can't squeeze into the seats and sued by those who are squashed by obese people sitting next to them...
A poem by Eugene McCarthy


We will take our corrugated steel
out of the land of thatched huts.

We will take our tanks
out of the land of the water buffalo.

We will take our napalm and flame throwers
out of the land that scarcely knows the use of matches.

We will take our helicopters
out of the land of colored birds and butterflies.

We will give back your villages and fields
your small and willing women.

We will leave you your small joys
and smaller troubles.

We will trust you to your gods,
some blind, some many-handed.
malaysia is going to cut off our water supply!!! :O we are all going to have to depend on Newater then and nothing else!!!

oh dear!

Thursday, 24 October 2002

live your dreams...

".... we shouldn't snore through our dreams - we have to live them out. When our dreams and our projects come true, almost without realizing it, we gradually overcome the fear of death. Because the terror of death is the fear of dying without having lived."
this made me cry...

Wednesday, 23 October 2002

eeps! :O spotted the wrong questions for the exam! :O

but don't fret.. i should still be ok.. as long as the lecturer accepts my somewhat "manipulated-to-fit-question" answers.. :p but harmed a lot of innocent people along the way 'cos they trusted my "vision" (yes, one night, as i sat at my desk... THE QUESTION suddenly flashed before my eyes!! wahahaha...) and focused on those specific topics that i suggested.. oh well.. so much for having "visions"....

back to the old-fashion way of studying then.... :p

Tuesday, 22 October 2002

Watching TV just now just made me feel really edgy…

- Discovery channel was showing a lot of beetles feeding on a dead frog and then an alligator in ambush waiting to pounce on the newborn of a hippo
- Animal planet was showing a monkey falling into a river with a big cobra in it
- Channel 5 was showing BG Lee’s speech at the Asia Pacific Summit and they showed secret video footages of the JI (terrorist-related) group training
- Channel News Asia was talking about the death of mutual funds
- CNN showed the latest bomb blast in Israel that killed 15 people (suicide bomber)
- BBC News was showing interviews with people regarding the Monash University shooting
- Channel U was showing a drama series where a little girl of 7 was brutally molested by her mother’s boyfriend
- Channel 8’s drama series had a little boy kidnapped and badly bruised, who escaped and got caught again
- AXN had a movie on about some war thing
- Some other channel had segments on animal testing
- And yet another had a bunch of American politicians shaking hands and smiling
- And yet another news channel had an aerial view of police cars stopping white minivans in Washington DC
- Only Suria looked harmless but then.. I DON’T WATCH SURIA!!!

I thought watching TV was going to make me feel better but now I feel even worse…

I think I am going to bed now... :(
click to see how evil teddies are
today's google searches that lead to my site... "fancy+name+for+sea+garbage" (huh??),"pics+of+bali+bomb+blast", "bali+bomb+pics", "kuta+pics", "pics+of+bali+blast", "bali+bomb+blast+pics"... this is very depressing....

and this one takes the hat.. "steal+a+handphone".. did i ever teach anyone how to do that on my blog???

Monday, 21 October 2002

a point of view from the distinguished Indian writer Arundhati Roy

Friday September 27, 2002
The Guardian <>

Recently, those who have criticised the actions of the US government (myself included) have been called "anti-American". Anti-Americanism is in the process of being consecrated into an ideology. The term is usually used by the American establishment to discredit and, not falsely - but shall we say inaccurately - define its critics. Once someone is branded anti-American, the chances are that he or she will be judged before they're heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of bruised national pride.

What does the term mean? That you're anti-jazz? Or that you're opposed to free speech? That you don't delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike? That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias? Does it mean you don't admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam? Does it mean that you hate all Americans?

This sly conflation of America's music, literature, the breathtaking physical beauty of the land, the ordinary pleasures of ordinary people with criticism of the US government's foreign policy is a deliberate and extremely effective strategy. It's like a retreating army taking cover in a heavily populated city, hoping that the prospect of hitting civilian targets will deter enemy fire. There are many Americans who would be mortified to be associated with their government's policies. The most scholarly, scathing, incisive, hilarious critiques of the hypocrisy and the contradictions in US government policy come from American citizens. (Similarly, in India, not hundreds, but millions of us would be ashamed and offended, if we were in any way implicated with the present Indian government's fascist policies.)

To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be anti-American, is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you don't love us, you hate us. If you're not good, you're evil.

If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists.

Last year, like many others, I too made the mistake of scoffing at this post-September 11 rhetoric, dismissing it as foolish and arrogant. I've realised that it's not. It's actually a canny recruitment drive for a misconceived, dangerous war. Every day I'm taken aback at how many people believe that opposing the war in Afghanistan amounts tosupporting terrorism. Now that the initial aim of the war - capturing Osama bin Laden- seems to have run into bad weather, the goalposts have been moved. It's being made out that the whole point of the war was to topple the Taliban regime and liberate Afghan women from their burqas. We're being asked to believe that the US marines are actually on a feminist mission. (If so, will their next stop be America's military ally, Saudi Arabia?) Think of it this way: in India there are some pretty reprehensible social practices, against untouchables", against Christians and Muslims, against women. Pakistan and Bangladesh have even worse ways of dealing with minority communities and women. Should they be bombed?

Uppermost on everybody's mind, of course, particularly here in America, is the horror of what has come to be known as 9/11. Nearly 3,000 civilians lost their lives in that lethal terrorist strike. The grief is still deep. The rage still sharp. The tears have not dried. And a strange, deadly war is raging around the world. Yet, each person who has lost a loved one surely knows that no war, no act of revenge, will blunt the edges of their pain or bring their own loved ones back. War cannot avenge those who have died. War is only a brutal desecration of their memory.

To fuel yet another war - this time against Iraq - by manipulating people's grief, by packaging it for TV specials sponsored by corporations selling detergent or running shoes, is to cheapen and devalue grief, to drain it of meaning. We are seeing a pillaging of even the most private human feelings for political purpose. It is a terrible, violent thing for a state to do to its people.

The US government says that Saddam Hussein is a war criminal, a cruel military despot who has committed genocide against his own people. That's a fairly accurate description of the man. In 1988, he razed hundreds of villages in northern Iraq and killed thousands of Kurds. Today, we know that that same year the US government provided him with $500m in subsidies to buy American farm products. The next year, after he had successfully completed his genocidal campaign, the US government doubled its subsidy to $1bn. It also provided him with high-quality germ seed for anthrax, as well as helicopters and dual-use material that could be used to manufacture chemical and biological weapons. It turns out that while Saddam was carrying out his worst atrocities, the US and UK governments were his close allies. So what changed?

In August 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait. His sin was not so much that he had committed an act of war, but that he acted independently,without orders from his masters. This display of independence was enough to upset the power equation in the Gulf. So it was decided that Saddam be exterminated, like a pet that has outlived its owner's affection.

A decade of bombing has not managed to dislodge him. Now, almost 12 years on, Bush Jr is ratcheting up the rhetoric once again. He's proposing an all-out war whose goal is nothing short of a regime change.

Andrew H Card Jr, the White House chief-of-staff, described how the administration was stepping up its war plans for autumn: "From a marketing point of view," he said, "you don't introduce new products in August."

This time the catchphrase for Washington's "new product" is not theplight of people in Kuwait but the assertion that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Forget "the feckless moralising of the 'peace' lobbies,"wrote Richard Perle, chairman of the Defence Policy Board. The US will " act alone if necessary" and use a "pre-emptive strike" if it determines it is in US interests.

Weapons inspectors have conflicting reports about the status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and many have said clearly that its arsenal has been dismantled and that it does not have the capacity to build one. What if Iraq does have a nuclear weapon? Does that justify a pre-emptive US strike? The US has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. It's the only country in the world to have actually used them on civilian populations. If the US is justified in launching a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, why, any nuclear power is justified in carrying out a pre-emptive attack on any other. India could attack Pakistan, or the other way around.

Recently, the US played an important part in forcing India and Pakistan back from the brink of war. Is it so hard for it to take its own advice? Who is guilty of feckless moralising? Of preaching peace while it wages war? The US, which Bush has called "the most peaceful nation on earth", has been at war with one country or another every year for the last 50 years.

Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They're usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then, of course, there's the business of war. In his book on globalisation, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Tom Friedman says: "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." Perhaps this was written in a moment of vulnerability, but it's certainly the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalisation that I have read.

After September 11 and the war against terror, the hidden hand and fist have had their cover blown - and we have a clear view now of America's other weapon - the free market - bearing down on the developing world, with a clenched, unsmiling smile. The Task That Never Ends is America's perfect war, the perfect vehicle for the endless expansion of American imperialism. In Urdu, the word for profit is fayda. Al-qaida means the word, the word of God, the law. So, in India, some of us call the War Against Terror, Al-qaida vs Al-fayda - The Word vs The Profit(no pun intended). For the moment it looks as though Al-fayda will carry the day. But then you never know...

In the past 10 years, the world's total income has increased by an average of 2.5% a year. And yet the numbers of the poor in the world has increased by 100 million. Of the top 100 biggest economies, 51 are corporations, not countries. The top 1% of the world has the same combined income as the bottom 57%, and the disparity is growing. Now, under the spreading canopy of the war against terror, this process is being hustled along. The men in suits are in an unseemly hurry. While bombs rain down, contracts are being signed, patents registered, oil pipelines laid, natural resources plundered, water privatised and democracies undermined.

But as the disparity between the rich and poor grows, the hidden fist of the free market has its work cut out. Multinational corporations on the prowl for "sweetheart deals" that yield enormous profits cannot push them through in developing countries without the active connivance of state machinery - the police, the courts, sometimes even the army. Today, corporate globalisation needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, preferably authoritarian governments in poorer countries, to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies. It needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice. It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies, sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols to make sure that its only money, goods, patents and services that are globalised - not the free movement of people, not a respect for human rights, not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, or, God forbid,justice. It's as though even a gesture towards international accountability would wreck the whole enterprise.

Close to one year after the war against terror was officially flagged off in the ruins of Afghanistan, in country after country freedoms are being curtailed in the name of protecting freedom, civil liberties are being suspended in the name of protecting democracy. All kinds of
dissent is being defined as "terrorism".

Donald Rumsfeld said that his mission in the war against terror was to persuade the world that Americans must be allowed to continue their way of life. When the maddened king stamps his foot, slaves tremble in their quarters. So, it's hard for me to say this, but the American way of life is simply not sustainable. Because it doesn't acknowledge that there is a world beyond America.

Fortunately, power has a shelf life. When the time comes, maybe this mighty empire will, like others before it, overreach itself and implode from within. It looks as though structural cracks have already appeared. As the war against terror casts its net wider and wider, America's corporate heart is haemorrhaging. A world run by a handful of greedy bankers and CEOs whom nobody elected can't possibly last. Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power: 21st-century market-capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons.
first exam paper down (1/3).. urgh... :( ...e-commerce management... spotted a couple of the right questions but was quite blank in my head (i.e. not much facts and terms memorised cos there was just so much to remember!) so had to literally write whatever i could come up with on the spot (which meant quite a bunch of cancellation here and there, a bunch of roughly scrawled diagrams, and poor spelling, grammar and sentence structure was atrocious.. ).. oh well, it's over anyway... sigh.. exhausted now...

Limited time period- type exams are such a bad test of our ability.. they are so far from reality.. in real life (especially now that we have Internet access readily available), we can always do research on-the-fly, refer to facts and diagrams to substantiate our arguments and most of all, we have more time than just the miserable three hours!! I still prefer projects anytime.. even if we need to work for weeks to get them done.. i think we tend to end up learning a lot more, read a lot more broadly, understand concepts a lot more deeply, and ultimately, be more satisfied with our work...

oh well, got to work with what i have now anyway... 2 more to go and then i'm done! :)

Saturday, 19 October 2002

talking about "scrutinising your site stats and being amused and maybe annoyed by the keyword searches that have led some people to your pages" (see karen's latest post), i just realised i have been getting a couple of hits from google from people looking for "bali terrorists pics" and "bali tragedy pics" and even "who bombed bali"!!!..... oh my... you reckon i'm being tracked??

i finally received a call from my friend in Bali and he's totally fine!! :) phew! what a great relief!! told me he usually doesn't hang out at noisy places like that and the bomb site was actually quite far from where he lives so he wasn't affected much..

heard the phone lines were all jammed up over the past couple of days with people calling home to all parts of the world telling their families they are fine so it was really hard to get through. .. must be so frightening for the loved ones of these people who are wondering where they are.. especially for all the Brit and Aussie backpackers who usually leave home for indefinite periods to travel around the world.

a nasty incident like that has shrunken the "visitable" world for so many of us globetrotting backpackers... it's frustrating...

i wonder when we will see a world free from wars, fighting, terrorism and terrorist activities again... as far as i know, bombs are still going off in all sorts of places, killing civilians and disrupting lives... US is still threatening to bomb Iraq, Saddam Hussein is still as defiant as before.. doesn't the future just look so terribly bleak now.. :(

i'm gonna pray for peace, and for wisdom for all the leaders who are responsible or able to influence in one way or other in what's happening in the world now.. do join me if you can... and may God keep us all safe..

Friday, 18 October 2002

is it just a frightful coincidence that both incidents that have just happened (and definitely are still terrorising) the world at this moment involve minivans?? :O

and also that the bali blast occured exactly one year, one month, one day and one hour after last year's Sep 11 incident?? :O

i hate spooky coincidences..


Thursday, 17 October 2002

More than two dozen countries figure on grim list of Bali .. it's a global tragedy...

searching for info online for name list of those dead or missing... umm... found an unofficial list about the Aussies and some unknown nationalities... can't seem to find anything's so surreal looking through lists of dead for someone you know... :( ...

i'm still waiting for the phone call.. :(

update: Smaller bomb was used to draw revellers on to street - A small bomb exploded near Paddy's, which drew people outside ¨C allowing a subsequent massive blast a few seconds later on the opposite side of the street to wreak maximum casualties. ... how awful!!!

Wednesday, 16 October 2002

huh? they think the US bombed Bali...

i'm suddenly thinking that it isn't safe to visit anywhere anymore....

maybe they will bomb KL when i am there!? or there will be a sniper gunning me down??.. or maybe i will be thrown off an overhead bridge, assaulted and left for dead?!!

the world is getting way too unsafe... :( ... i really wonder what we will feel and say, when we look back - fifty years down the road - as we explain to our grandchildren reading about this period in their history books...

or maybe none of us will actually live that long!! :O terrorists may one day suddenly set off a global chain of massive bombs at every single chinky or white or african or whichever nation that doesn't believe in what they believe in and we will all be blown to smithereen, left to float as dust in the atmosphere for eternity!!! :O

i'm suddenly overwhelmed by a massive feeling of dread...

i just realised i have a friend in Bali and he actually stays in the Kuta area! Oh no!... and this is how the bombed site looks now!!

i don't know if he is ok 'cos i don't hear from him very often.. and they don't seem to have identified all the casualties yet... oh dear oh dear... :( hope i get a phone call from him soon... :,(

it's terrible when a distant tragedy suddenly becomes more personal... :(

Tuesday, 15 October 2002

the haze has only gotten worse.. and there NOTHING we can do about it!! :O

it's still as bad.. if not worse..

everything has turned topsy-turvy... the weather is all funny, our noses have all gotten stuck and we are all feeling ill... and just yesterday, an auntie strolled into our shop (which is on the 4th floor) with a Cold Storage (which is in Basement 2) shopping cart... and i don't think she was headed towards the carpark (which is on the 6th floor).. nor the taxi stand (which is on the Ground Floor)..very bizarre.. made me feel like we are part of Cold Storage...and reminds me of the ah pek i saw a couple of months back....

welcome to the Art Materials aisle of Cold Storage supermarket

maybe it's a senior citizen thing... maybe next time my mother will do that as well... :O

Monday, 14 October 2002

do you feel as depressed as me when you wake up in the morning and see haze?

good morning

what is the world coming to..? :(

every day, as we flip the newspapers, we either read of wars that are going on, bomb blasts here and there (why did they have to bomb Bali?? why do they have to bomb anywhere for that matter??) or about wars that are about to happen (read: Iraq)... yesterday, out of the blue, i suddenly asked myself: Do you think there could be world peace after all ? - and i caught myself thinking spontaneously "Don't be silly!"... but as i said it, it struck me what a terrible terrible statement that was...i mean... if no one believes there ever could be World Peace..

then how and when would it ever ever happen?? We all have to believe that it is possible! That one day, we will all stop fighting - that all places in the world will be safe to visit and more money will be used to save lives (diseases, droughts, floods etc) rather than to take them away...

what a depressing morning...

Sunday, 13 October 2002

almost 8 hours of continuous studying.. feeling very dazed now... hopped from HDB void deck to NUS and now back home.... the nomadic student.. and was craving for potato chips while i was studying but couldn't find anything to eat at NUS.. why don't they have vending machines for snacks??? (non sequitur: on the other hand, see amazing vending machine in Washington DC) - almost wanted to grab the unopened bag of potato chips sitting on the next table... grrr... studying can really drive one to madness...

tempting taters

fireworks at esplanade was pretty good... though i have to admit i was a little annoyed that i thought it was already over after the first half minute or so and gave up my vantage spot and packed up the tripod...only to have it start again some two minutes later, this time even more spectacularly... don't think i will have such great pics after all (which is a disappointment considering we were there since 8pm waiting for the fireworks) .. oh well, but glad i caught it anyway... how do people take such great pics of fireworks anyway?? (note: this is not the same esplanade)

Saturday, 12 October 2002

mugging away in a freezing cold library on a cheery and bright saturday afternoon surely has a way of making even the most determined and hardworking student heave a sigh of self-pity... even the butterflies look happier, flittering in the sunshine, around the colourful flowers, relaxed and carefree... and the koi fishes in the courtyard pond looks happier too, swimming round and round their little enclosed worlds...

but i'm going to the opening of the esplanade tonight! :) i'm going to join the 100,000 people there to see the fireworks and squeeze with the sweaty and kiasu crowds.. so that.. so that.. hahaha.. I CAN TELL MY GRANDCHILDREN NEXT TIME THAT I WAS REALLY THERE WHEN THEY OPENED THE ESPLANADE!! :D..

oh well.. lame... :p

Friday, 11 October 2002

i'm planning on going to kl after my exams.. it makes the big "E" a lot more bearable.. and i think kl is a nice place to just chill out, stuff face and walk around and test out the new Sigma 24mm lens i will be buying... and not because some of these british expats have concluded that kl is better than singapore..

hmph... fancy a whole country losing out to one single city in Malaysia... there are things to do in Singapore, you know?? and check out how exotic we look...

and btw, we lose out to Tokyo too.. :(
just got my $$$ for my latest art reproduction effort and it was more than i expected!! :)

think i shall go get my Sigma 24mm F1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF MACRO AutoFocus Wide Angle Lens finally.. :D.. start taking pics around Singapore and set up web gallery after my exams...

happy :)

Thursday, 10 October 2002

… the freaking out bit sounds a bit like me when I am in my shop and eavesdropping on my staff talking to customers.. :p

A storekeeper heard one of his salesman say to a customer, “No, ma’am, we haven’t had any for some weeks now and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.”

Horrified at what he was hearing, he rushed over to the customer as she was walking out and said, “That isn’t true, ma’am. Of course, we’ll have some soon. In fact, we placed an order for it a couple of weeks ago.”

Then he drew the salesman aside and growled, “Never, never, never, never say we don’t have something. If we don’t have it, say we’ve ordered it and it’s on its way. Now what was it that she wanted?”

“Rain,” said the salesman.

Wednesday, 9 October 2002

Have you noticed how annoying MRT station announcements have become of late? No? Then you are like me (and probably all the other “zombie” commuters), oblivious to them after a while… Until a good friend of mine, who just returned from the UK, pointed it out to me, I didn’t realize how much more irritating it has become recently (especially now that it is all pre-recorded, in this woman’s voice with this really fake or weird accent, and can be repeated at will.. or should I say.. at the whims and fancies of the station people??).

As I took the MRT train home today, and waited but briefly (I should think no more than two, three minutes?) at the Orchard station, I caught no less than 6 different announcements, with at least two to three of them strung together, one after another. The problem is, they all start off with the same “ding, ding, ding” chime.. and then the woman-with-annoying-accent saying “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please”… followed by a short pause, and then one of the following, or their many possible variations .. “May we remind you that eating and drinking are not allowed on the trains or in the station at all times” Or “May we remind you to allow passengers to alight from the trains before boarding” or “The train on Platform A (or B or C or D) will terminate at Yishun/Pasir Ris/Changi Airport/whatever) or something else… and all of them ending with “Thank you for your cooperation”…

one could certainly go mad just listening to them, going on and on, especially at the end of a tiring workday and when the trains just don’t come... I wish they could just get the announcements over with quickly, like how they do in London with the short and chirpy “Mind The Gap!”. and leave out all that unnecessary chime and pseudo-politeness…. Urgh.. very annoying…

oh ya, and when you finally get onto the trains, you get a whole new set of announcements.. oh well..

Monday, 7 October 2002

plucky Wendy finished her bicycle trip from Bangkok to Singapore (2000km). well done!

Sunday, 6 October 2002

i'm studying for my exams (yes, again...) and won't be updating this very much for the time being...

in the meantime, let me leave you with some useful pages people have been sending me...

How Stuff Works - Learn how everything works! (how toasters work, how tv works, how cds work, how whatever works!! "Impress your friends! Improve your love life! Land a better job! Get better grades!"..err... ok...)

Marathon Training - "Oprah did it. Al Gore did it. George W. Bush did it. They all finished a marathon. And you can, too, as long as you follow one of our marathon training programs. For beginners, intermediate runners, and advanced runners." ... Second Link Bridge Run on 20 Oct and Singapore Marathon in December... more reasons to keep running...

Friday, 4 October 2002

tonight's blog is dedicated to the lizard i accidentally squished in the door frame when i closed my front door just now. sorry.. i really didn't know you were there.. :(

gut-spewingly squished in the door frame

the new baby clothing store LIFEbaby across our artshop is amazing.. zen meets baby clothing (otherwise known as the "New Asian-style" - made by the same people who started THELIFESHOP); staff dress in complete black and soft toys are made of black and white leather... check out their logo..

LIFEBABY - The Hip Store for Cool Little People... cool...

Wednesday, 2 October 2002

have been reading Fortune magazines to prepare for my Strategic Mgmt exam and read that Pressman Toy, which licenses the right to the very popular eighties boardgame Master Mind is planning to change the box cover design - removing the Bond villain and his slinky henchwoman.

Master MInd

i sat there for a good fifteen minutes, cracking my brains trying to remember how to play the game. i remember being quite good at it and playing it with my siblings. and i remember a bunch of coloured pegs. but how to play?

i still can't remember.

some of that stuff that's deep in the recesses of my brain. hidden in the folds of all that grey matter.

oh wow, look! someone pretty serious about the game!

Tuesday, 1 October 2002

If you are the type of blogger who, like me, thinks of new stuff to blog about throughout the day and yet has no ready access to the computer till you get home, you would certainly have experienced what I am about to describe. As I busied myself throughout today serving the mass of new and old customers who have just discovered our beautiful new store at Takashimaya, I knew that I would blog about how excited and proud I am of our new place and how glad I am now that the shop has kinda settled into place nicely. Then, I went down to the Takashimaya Food Hall on Level B2 for a quick pre-dinner bite, enjoying the really yummy $2 Beard Papa Cream Puff from Japan (melt-in-the-mouth), followed by a mango salad (spicy and shiok) from Tuk Tuk Thai Food Stall, before walking around enjoying the wonderful sights and smells from the different foodstalls there, I knew that I wanted to blog about what a wonderful shopping mall I think Takashimaya is. It’s the best!! But then, just about an hour ago, I got home, flipped open today’s copy of Life! and now I know I want to blog about Kelvin Tong’s article instead.

How true it is indeed that October has a way of getting most of us, in particular the natural procrastinators like myself, to start thinking seriously, and getting off our armchairs, to finally get started on some of those stagnating new year resolutions set some 10 months back. He writes: “October marks the start of catching up; the beginning of that final push. And, of course, it signposts the looming end of yet another year…. a resigned acceptance that (we are) now on to the last leg of the year; a period of what is left, rather than what is ahead..”.. Isn’t it so true.. we all think to ourselves: “Oh dear, it is October already!”… gloom … and then invariably it starts to rain.. (monsoon season.. time for the brollies..)