Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And to put life into perspective again...

An Inconvenient Truth

I am two miles from the sun. Two miles from combusting. Two bloody miles from being consumed. My anger hides, but I know its colour.


Not righteous or holy.


The same perverted white in your spit-laced words. The same white your eyes lie with, the same white your lips conceal as they open and close, start and end, lie after lie. I have heard many white lies, sealed and delivered in a promise and a smile. I promise to wisen up.

Two miles from the sun, blood boils and I am livid.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Babies: A lazy Sunday post

My niece is learning to walk and talk. I'll teach her some really cool stuff soon, like how to say, "My name is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and I work at the Kwik-E-mart" real quick and with an Indian accent, or "My Ah Yee is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

... ... ...

(Okay the real reason why I'm posting is cos I like these pics. And I am waiting for Gmail to upload some files. That's all. Lazy brainless post, yes.)

Jo on Angie's carpet

Erin on Angie's sofa

Friday, April 20, 2007

Battle Wounds

Felix's This guy's scar is scary.

For those without an imagination, that's what your arm will look like if you break it three times at the same spot. For those with an imagination, that's what your arm will look like if you break it three times at the same spot. It looks like there's a creepy alien underneath, slithering up and down, just waiting to burst out--like in Alien, of course.

There's also a slight swell (much more prominent right after the break/surgery), making the injury-bearer look like he's been working out his forearm flexors. (Or course I knew the name of that muscle group! Why should I waste time googling it? Bah!) Which is pretty useful for guys cos it makes them look err... tough.

In reality though, a scar like that makes you more interesting by about 20%. Fel This guy is already more interesting than other people by quite a lot, so the scar just gives him an excuse to have lotsa kids so that he can awe their kids with grandfather stories of fighting in some gulf war, taking on an armed robber at the ATM, or how he narrowly escaped a furious slasher girlfriend.

Or he could say he broke it playing badminton. And futsal. And futsal again. Or something like that.

Meanwhile, here's my little souvenir from all that walking in Singapore. Comparatively, it can't compare.

(Thanks, Jon, for the cam. And Fel some dude for posing.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sounds like SG$48,000 (or not)

Three guys. One girl. Three days. One car.

Late! Jon forgot his passport and so we left late.
Jam! Stupid roadworks on the North-South highway delayed us further.
Rain! The conspiracy was beginning. Obviously the Government paid money to some skilled cloud seeders to stop us from crossing the border.
Storm! We couldn't see beyond a few metres. Good thing Terk (the most experienced driver) was driving.
"No white card?!" A sarky Singapore Immigration Officer surled. Jon blamed the Malaysian Immigration, which was true... they said to go ahead to Singapore even without the card.
Delays! EVPs, cash cards, yadda yadda yadda which made us late, late, late.
Lost! FELIX!!!!!!!!!!!!! ("Let me drive! I know the way! Err... hmm. Hang on....")
Lost again! No coin-operated public phones. Where does Jon's uncle (who's not really his uncle) stay?
Arghhhhh! Near-accident number one.
Arrgggghhh! Near-accident number two.
Arrrggghhhh! Near-accident number three.
Uncountable! The number of traffic rules we broke that night.
Finally! Rest. Almost midnight.

Skipped church. I was totally okay with that but Jon's spiritual conscience was pricked. Around noon, we picked up Fel and headed to Vivocity, Singapore's newest mall. It's got a pretty spiffy design. Had a lousy lunch at The Fish Shop--the fish batter was so rough it scraped the top of my mouth till it felt sore. Then I met up with Cheok and William, my ex-art directors, who forced me to insisted I have lunch a second time at Superdog with them, a new Singaporean hotdog/burger place.

After some misunderstanding with the group (the cable car ride was too expensive so they decided to wait for me though I'd wanted more time to chill and shop and meet them there later), we went to Sentosa Island. It was raining heat waves. The place was packed with tourists, even though I didn't see anything special about the place. The huge trees were... fake. There was nothing much that interested me there. Jon and Terk tried the luge while I had a drink at Coffee Bean and Felix had a Subway sandwich. (I was to learn how perpetually hungry Terk and Felix are.) Spent my time looking at the small birds hopping around for tidbits and the numerous lovebirds shopping around for tidbits.

Terk wanted to check out the miniature gold course after that but it seemed pretty abandoned. (I guess golf games of a different nature are more popular on the island.) Next, we went to the Underwater World. While it was expensive (SG$19.50), I did enjoy the touch pools where visitors can gently stroke a select population of stingrays, starfish and other slimy/scaly creatures.

After having heard good stuff from different people about Sentosa's 'Song of the Sea' i.e. musical lights display, Jon and I persuaded the rest to go for it. Unfortunately, it was one of the lamest shows I've watched. DO NOT go there unless you want to feel annoyed. The lighting effects were great, but the script and human acting were corny beyond corny. Huge disappointment considering the technical potential.

Sunday also saw a huge chunk of skin grated away by my left slipper from all that walking. And later on, in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up, realised I'd fallen asleep without bathing, then proceeded to make a royally disgusting/embarrassing mistake. I shall not tell you what it was.


Final day. Shopping day. Walked, walked, walked. Walked, walked, walked. Gah, gah, gah. The guitar shops I wanted open were closed or didn't have the right electric gig bag at the right price. After visiting about 10 music shops, I settled for the bag I wanted at SG$70. The shop I bought it from also carried the most expensive guitar in Singapore: a one-and-only-in-the-world SG$48,000 Santa Cruz with an ancient woolly mammoth bridge that was specially procured from a museum in the US, extensive mother-of-pearl inlay on the neck and naturally aged wood which had a musky scent (all this according to the shop owner lah). After asking the boss to play a tune and demo it (of all things, he started strumming 'Your Cheating Heart and singing along... argh!), I asked in my sweetest most innocent voice if I could have a go at the guitar. Hee hee hee. And so I will remember this trip for those few seconds playing on a $48,000 guitar. It was much lighter than expected (the top even feeling like plywood) and certainly had a very resonant sound, but IMHO it's not worth SG$48,000 at all.

We left Felix on the island as he started sem again today. During the drive home, Terk and Jon started singing together to keep awake--first oldies (after which they realised they didn't know any lyrics), then church songs, followed by Disney songs. It was absolutely funny/troubling. Wish I had a video of it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Why God Likes Some People

Let me first state that whatever follows is theoretical, not theological. A mere hypothesis based on personal experiences, expounded to a supernatural being called God. It is an observation, a feeling, a thought; nothing that should deserve more than a minute of contemplation. It is not stuff you should teach kids in Sunday School.

After trying hard to find company for lunch and failing (and subsequently chomping down half a slice of chocolate cake in a quiet cafe alone, where I read the first chapter of Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything'), my initial thoughts suggest that God likes certain people more because they're there for Him when He's bored, or wants company, or wants to talk to someone. (In churchy terms we'd say "when God wants to fellowship with man". See? Not so deviant after all.)

We (or at least I) often forget that we were created because God wanted to fellowship with us. On second thought, let's ban the word 'fellowship'—it's cold, meaningless and archaic. If I remember correctly, God thought it'd be a good idea to create something to share in the beauty of His creation (imagine vast sunrises, sunsets, early mist, dewdrops, fresh air, a moose sticking his moist nuzzle in your hand, etc). And after He created the first humans, He was like, "Whoa! That's wayyy brilliant!"

Of course, even the most bang-up ideas fail once in a while, and for some reason, the human project failed. (Whether God foreknew it'd be a failure and why He chose to go on with the idea is another issue for another post, but I shall just quote the theologically-acceptable answer that of course God knew what would happen cos He's all-knowing, yet He still decided to go on with it because He believed in humans, our potential for love and returning love, His own provision of grace, yadda yadda yadda.) But wait! Back to our original perception that the human project failed. It really depends on how you look at it, and I guess God Himself figured we were not beyond redemption, and thus, it wasn't a 'failure' per se.

(I'm not God; if you want the real answers, go ask Him when you get to heaven.)

Now let me try to come back to my original dissertation: that God likes certain human beings more than others because they take time out of their busy schedules on earth to listen to Him, and treat Him as God, a Supreme Being, the Owner of All This, the Landlord, the Boss, the Father. In my extremely myopic view I have chosen to ignore Him for the past few weeks and months especially; tried to blind myself to any image of God. Why? Because sometimes I'd like some time out to try and figure things out on my own; to discover; to space out. Does that mean God has liked me less these past few weeks? "No lah, stop crapping! God loves everyone!" is what some good Christian brothers and sisters may say. Hey, I know that. I'm just saying, I wouldn't be at all surprised if God liked some people more for the reason that they treat Him like a proper friend. And especially, when it's inconvenient.

Friday the 13th Pt. 2

Oooh! It's the second time I'm blogging about Friday the 13th. This time, the ominous day has just started.

(SFX: Cue pipe organs)

My mum has just complained that my bedroom's table fan was BLACK. Black as soot, she says. The water was BLACK. BLACK BLACK BLACK! Okay, I get the point. She adds that she cleaned parts of my window too. And the water was... BLACK! She says I've been breathing in dust. Oh well. That makes me a vacuum cleaner I guess.

On a brighter note, I'm happy that April has been an extremely prolific blogging month for me. Noting this to Grace in Canada, she says that there is a positive correlation between blogging and being extremely busy. I challenged her on this, asking her to prove her point. She couldn't. Haha. So much for sounding like an academic. (Grace graduates in a few weeks and will work for a company that sells bottled water; proceeds of which are donated towards digging wells in Africa.)

I will be off to Singapore this Saturday till Monday, in search of a nice, hopefully not too expensive electric guitar gig bag and another sling/messenger-style bag. Was looking at the Crumpler website and am considering being crazy and buying one of their SG148+ bags. Yes, it IS crazy, however way you look at it. But.... it's nice... :( And it's 'in'... :(

Boss doesn't like the logo I designed for the company's rebranding exercise. So I have been procrastinating since this evening, because I believe that not doing anything about it will result in better ideas. The subconscious, after all, is king. I close my eyes. Slowly... a hip hippo in dark pink materialises... the radiation from the monitor is warming up my brain waves... surely there is a God... mmm.... donuts.

I have also just submitted my application for sponsorship to the 10th Rainforest World Music Fest. The person whom I thought was gonna go with me as photographer pulled out, so I'm gonna apply to go alone. Such are the misunderstandings in life. I feel a mix of numbness, and mild annoyance. I think it's annoyance I am trying to numb. But it's okay--my desire to go is greater than the desire for company, though I may regret saying that later.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

16 Hours Later...

Yesterday, after a night spent battling a battalion of 'Z's' in order to finish an important PowerPoint proposal, I left my office at 4.45pm, reached home around 5pm, and went straight to bed. I reckoned I'd nap for a while and wake up for dinner or in the middle of the morning with a screwed biorhythm and some hunger cravings—nothing really major so I didn't bother removing my contacts. I vaguely remember two dreams: one was set in someplace akin to my old primary school but I was in my secondary school years; I remember how I was with some mafia-like fifth-former who ordered around a bunch of third-formers in a very militant way and how twelve of us managed to squeeze into a car that was headed for a party in a rubber estate. The second dream featured an eight-winged thorned insect, which was more interesting than scary, but obviously my dad in the dream didn't think so, as he kept spraying it with insecticide for what seemed like an eternity, and it was, because by the time he was done despite me shouting that's enough!!!, the acid had bored holes into my favourite sleeping bag-comforter, which I love because it is so silken and which now lay in tatters on the floor, a sorry memory of what it once meant to me (the insect was now strangely missing). I was pissed and mad and sad at the same time, and was trying to think of how I could get someone to buy the same sleeping bag for me from Australia and mail it to me. I slept again after that, and might have woken up for a microsecond. (My subconscious gut tells me this is what happened.) The next thing I knew, my dad was knocking on my door asking me to get up. Whoa, like get up? I felt really disoriented. I opened my eyes, and tried to focus. Vision was beginning to clear: books looked like books and CDs looked like CDs. Crap, my contacts are still on?! A depressing realisation started sinking in. It was bright. I looked at the clock. It was nine. In the morning. I felt really, really bad.

It was time to go to work again. For the record, I slept sixteen hours straight.

Word of the Day: Unwind

- verb (used without object)
1. to relax by farting, i.e. "Ahhhh, this teh halia is really helping me unwind." (SFX: Pooot...)

(Thanks, Chris, for the excellent idea.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

C'mon Hijau, Fight, Fight, Fight!

I am so screwed. It's L.A.T.E. and I'm not even halfway done through this PowerPoint proposal for a TV capsule due tomorrow morning. I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight.

To keep awake, I have consumed in the past hour:
  • Dozens of rotten pistachios left over from Chinese New Year (they've gone green and soft)
  • Preserved mango from the Philippines (finished the pack)
  • Passionfruit Boh tea
  • Oxygen and water
  • Email

My eyes are slowly closing. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Better more H's than Z's.

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Commemoration of an Insignificant Incident

At precisely 7.31pm, Monday 9th April 2007, the pimple in my left audio cavity erupted, first leaving a trail of blood and puss, then a slight wooziness on its former tenant. Minutes later, the heat of such an explosion was sensed, like warm blood trickling into my middle ear, though I know I'm probably just being paranoid. Wooozyyyy...

Lennie Feels Deaf (Not Dumb) in Her Left Ear

I need reprieve.
I need a sterilised needle and a steady hand.
I need a dab of alcohol; a cooling tide.
I need this monster


(The sufferer lets out a high-pitched scream only heard by musical dogs and Superman.)

Pesky pimple in my ear,
When will you freakin' disappear?!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I am a phoney. I am a faker. I am a professional poser.

Twice, yesterday, I caught myself trying to impress random strangers by:

a) Speaking in good English
b) Bopping my head to jazz music
(Three times, if you count that pseudo-artsy look I was trying to achieve with my face.)


Ever since I was old smart enough to realise that certain patterns of behaviour I displayed (mainly showing off on the guitar or banging the drums in church) were probably due to insecurity issues unresolved during my childhood, I have luckily managed to move past the chagrin of being such a loser and plonked myself in the frontlines of the punch line: me.

Which is why, in these days of post-enlightenment, I am sometimes wary of how I behave at gigs. (And in another setting, how I play in church. I have a specific prayer to address this—just need to remember to say it.) You see, although I am a phoney, a faker and a poser, I am an honest one. Hence, if I suddenly realise I am bopping my head to music in a gig, I try to check my motivations. Was it automatic? Did it happen subconsciously as I got into the groove? Or was I just trying to show I can keep time? It sounds pathetic, but that’s because it really is.

I can’t say that I’ve ceased this bad habit of fishing for compliments, because obviously, I haven’t. Somewhere deep inside still lurks that inferior beast squealing like a spring pig for attention. Two options remain: to reach a celestial level of snobbery so that earthly comments become so inconsequential to my identity I could flick them light years away with a gigantic middle finger, or to remember to root my identity in a Higher Being, which I am so slack in doing.

In the meantime, if you ever catch me smiling to myself while bopping to a beat then suddenly stopping, know that I was merely rejoicing in the idiot that I am.

P/S: The North Rhine Westphalia Youth Jazz Orchestra was good. Better than expected. Their discordant rendition of ‘Rasa Sayang’ with haunting vocals made my night. And unlike the Earth, Wind & Fire concert or the gig at Little Havana, this was FREE. :D

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Pa

It was my dad's birthday yesterday. His 64th, to be exact. I didn't buy him anything. Neither did we go out to celebrate.

My father doesn't believe in celebrating birthdays. I suspect birthdays weren't grand affairs in his family of eight kids when he was young. Why else the wrinkled, disapproving mug when refusing my invitation to organise a rare family dinner? I don't think it's mere modesty.

All he said were, "I just don't want" and "You organise for Mummy's birthday lah." That's it.

In his room are birthday and Christmas presents from my sis/bro-in-law and I from years ago; some shirts still in their plastic wraps. He is not into fashion. While the culture of gifts has always been en vogue, he doesn't buy into it; hardly any of it.

The birthday presents I remember receiving from him as a kid were watercolours, oil pastels and poster colours—practical things to help you advance in school (or at least in art class). No big presents for milestone years. No big fat angpaus for scoring A's. No bribery. (He did, however, get me my third guitar which I, uh, unfortunately broke.) :(

Sometime early this year, a few incidents helped me to be mindful of my parents'—and in particular my father's—mortality. As my parents age, I am saddled with the responsibility of a grown-up daughter. For the most part, I don't do much. I don't pay rent. Or help with the bills. Instead, a small amount of cash out of my monthly salary has so far acted as 'compensation' for taking care of me all these years. Thinking about the 'what if's' sobered me a little.

So what is one refused invitation for a family dinner together? My father does not want us to fuss over him. He doesn't even relate very well to us. Yet despite his failings as a father—and all fathers are failed humans, as are mothers, children and grandparents—he has provided for the family the best he could. Not in the same way other fathers would. But in his own way, faithfully, yes.

This is a Happy Bass Riff

If a bass riff had the power to make humans happy and contented, it'd probably sound like the one on The Magic Numbers' 'This is a Song'. Technically, it's not very difficult at all, but it sure can make me smile. :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Designer's Zoo

At the office dinner, someone (a guy) was gushing on about the movie 300 yet again.

"You simply must watch it. It's sooooo good. You know the battle of..." (Here he rattles off the film's historic background and how gobsmackingly brilliant this bunch of 300 Spartans were in defeating an army of a few hundred thousand.)

"Oooh, must watch then," says a female colleague. "3000, right?"

"300! Not 3000!" I exclaim.

A pause, then...

"Ohmygawd! I thought that movie was called Zoo!" she says, as those around the table start laughing and teasing her.

I stare in shock and awe. Somewhere up there, the stars have gamingly aligned for the first of April.

Zoo, anyone?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Broken Things Break Me

A loud thump; wood on cement. D string meets D-Day. The murderer, a Higher Power whose mention here would prove bad workplace etiquette.

Darkness where light should be. My camera is blind. So am I.

Car woes. Second-hand car woes. I am broke.