Friday, November 28, 2008
first week in recce!
well, my logic is a little different. the fact that nsfs are being chosen to take on these responsibilities gives us (ok, at least myself) pride in what we are doing. and that motivates us to take all the pain that instructors inflict on us, be it marching around with loads reaching double that of an average infantryman or going on fast marches every other day...
so, i don't understand why people can ck their ns away. i mean, at some point, people would be looking back and asking themselves, wtf had they done as clerks? two years down the drain that way, with no achievements (i'm referring to real achievements)? i can't take that lying... but maybe it's just me, the workaholic.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
driving a jeep thru all the new towns...
been busy learning to drive at kaki bukit these days... i must say that it has been a very unique experience that i would never wanna relive (after another three weeks). not that it isn't enriching. not that it is boring. just that... it takes a lot from me to shrug off all the negative comments that bludgeon me like hailstones. i guess most of you are taking up driving in commercial schools and i think that most of the instructors are nice to you all. after all, 受人钱财，替人消灾. they obviously cannot offend you and jeopardise their rice bowls... but here, no no no, they don't have to placate you because they've received the money to complete the job. and they whack, whack, whack... until people crumble and tear (i'm serious). and it's worse than bmt and sispec?!
sometimes, i really don't understand the way things work. yes, we should endure all the trash that is heaped onto us and strive to excel, despite the difficulties. yet, we are deemed to be condoning such behaviour from the instructors. we want things to be better and we tolerate the worst, but does that make the worst any better? i wish that they could understand all the pain we are going thru, all the mental torture they are afflicting on us, but i doubt they can. which is sad...
OMG so sorry for infecting everyone with the emoness! anyway, hope to see you all at maf, i'll bring citadels :) haha there's supposed to be an alumni-vs-students sports event (which includes fribsee), but we are all so occupied :/ in any case, we don't have to be there to do something, maybe just talk cock like we used to... cya!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
i just did peer appraisal a couple of days ago. to say the least, it was something that i didn't relish. for one, i hate ranking people. each person we know has his own character, abilities and fondness for ourselves. to put all that into a score that does not truly reflect the true-friendness/ability to command and work under stress seems to defeat the real purpose of the assessment. determining a person's inherent worth and ordering him relative to the others in terms of competence is a difficult task in many ways.
and to make things worse, my best buddy in the platoon isn't even my official buddy. big-sh*t irony. frankly speaking, i think that i've gotten the worst person in the entire section/platoon. perhaps that is why my bmt life isn't as enjoyable as it should be. yes, he does help out on certain occasions. but my impression of him is more of a chaokheng person. and i'm not alone in holding that opinion. and he is nowhere near endearing with all the kaobei faces and tone he adopts constitutively, the slew of vulgarities that prefixes his every statement and the slamming of furniture when he gets extras. dammit, it almost feels like i have a chao ah beng for my buddy... (sorry had to get that off my chest)
in a sense, that made my job as an appraiser easier. no ambiguities, no regrets. might be seen as backstabbing, but wth, he doesn't even give people due respect and act responsibly. why should anyone be obliged to give him a good assessment?
on the other hand, i have some really nice section mates whom we can talk crap the whole day and not get bored. even though some of them sleep on a different side of the bunk (as we all know, rocky hill has plenty of space for recruits :P), we still spend a great deal of time talking about relationships, training and our future ahead. people who have earned a spot among the best. and the best thing of it all is that they aren't even my allocated buddies, just people who think that not being too negative can be a better way to pass the time and that section mates share more than mere working relationships...
(ok, i have to quit the emo-ness!)
anyway, is anyone organising anything at all? joey was saying something about a get-together, right? sigh i think that i might be getting confinement for the next two weekends. which means saturday bookouts. wonder if i can join in any gathering... in any case, after pop, we can catch up! so please, get something together! thanks to all :D
Thursday, April 10, 2008
it has been a long time, hasn't it?
went back recently to see hwachong again. nothing much has changed (duh, it has only been four/five months since we left school!) but it seems all so distant. i can't really believe that we have graduated (have we, actually? we haven't gotten our a level certs yet.), yet the fact remains as such. everyone has started working (i even met liqun and chaoyi in school! imagine how many of our classmates are working in hc now -.-). perhaps that's why hwach (rj people calls us 'hwatch'... does 'tch' stand for the chinese high, lol?) seems so unfamiliar.
i still remember how i (and probably a few others as well, incl ys) used to lament about the school. i haven't quite gotten over the idiosyncrasies of our alma mater, but i guess that that isn't the primary concern for most of us right now.
i like the fact that we were a closely knit bunch. or perhaps, closely knit as a cohort. as i spoke to my rj friend about the culture there, i felt relieved that we weren't that way. despite the competitiveness, we were very warm. not as though anyone had to specifically guard against everyone else. we read one another's essays, we have nice little celebrations around school. it's quite a different environment there - no peer reviewing, no family-like atmosphere (wah the big rj farmily!!! WOO!). and besides, in hc, no one is ever too busy to ignore you! so it's actually nice and comforting to know that the teachers are still concerned about you. lol. well, guess it made me a little more appreciative :D
anyway, that's such a lousy parting post. bottomline: miss you all, would appreciate if someone organises something for 7e/ki class. lol. then we can all catch up with one another and map our milestones (in charm's words, "keeping tabs")! haha. cya all in two weeks... if anyone actually does organise something and i don't run foul in bmt.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
rawr rare early bookout (something like 6 am) heh.
booked out for a psychological interview, which was tiring. it's equivalent to baring your soul to a complete stranger for more than 2 hours.
hope everyone's doing fine :)
and heh, lw, welcome to the SAF :P
Saturday, March 01, 2008
the evening was filled with the sweet smell of jungle foliage and kids trampled around on the wooden platform. the tables were immaculately dressed in crimson and surrounded by six people, a family reunited.
"so what are you working as, cheryl?"
"well, i'm working as a tutor and customer service officer at mom!"
"what about you, joey? getting up to something lately?"
"nah, just jobless for the moment... waiting to intern at the business times in march. got transferred away from the new paper to the business times. sigh."
"what! why are you sighing! it's so much better being at the business times. at least you write some solid stuff, not tabloid crap!"
laughter roared through the table and the night moved on to a hearty dinner of yummy verandah cuisine - prawn masala, baked fish patties, curried chicken and vegetables, naan and pizza (the last one is obviously NOT indian -.-) - and a greater dose of spicy gossip.
it was quite a rare chance to get everyone (or, at least, most of everyone) to get around the dinner table and have fun just eating and chatting about our lives, triumphs and screwups. though most of the bio guys didn't make it for the dinner, it wasn't short of the familiar warmth that i had come to expect from the company of 7e buddies. spirited conversation, wonderful ambience, delicious food... honestly, what more can anyone wish for post-graduation, when people get increasingly apart from one another as weeks and months slip them by?
for that, i want to toast you all, ladies (cheryl and joey) and gentlemen (yifan, kh and jez), for being such great guests and classmates! thanks for being there so that we could all congregate and have some good j3 fun together, be it munching on spicy savouries, whacking balls at the billiard table to no avail or walking down the hill to the main road and talking under the dim moonlight...
Sunday, January 20, 2008
long days in isolation.
well, i'm doing pretty fine in the lab! my colleagues are pretty nice people and my boss is quite concerned about me too. haha, and the people in my institute are actually quite... hot. lol! in fact, it is actually the first place where i have seen a researcher turn up for work in a revealing attire... and there's also a lot of freedom here, so i can choose to do what i want and initiate my own mini-projects (as long as i don't waste chemicals and make a nuisance out of myself). there's also quite a number of opportunities for me to take part in their discussions (though the ideas are so high-level that i'm muted by ignorance), which is something i really appreciate as an intern.
anyway, hope that you guys are coping fine with army life and see you guys really soon for a cuppa or something (maybe stj :P)!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Change in meeting time
Hey guys sorry the meeting time has been pushed forward to 5pm. other details remain the same. seeya tmrw!
hey guys! here's the long-awaited info on the jnrs' chalet! sorry for the delay, cos they didn't get back to me earlier -.-
date: 29th dec! (which is unfortunately/surprisingly TOMORROW)
place to meet: pasir ris mrt control station
place to meet (if you don 't want to meet up before going to the chalet): costa sands pasir ris bungalow B13
what to bring: money (cos they suddenly decided not to have bbq -.-), games and anything appropriate?
cya all tomorrow, before most of you disappear into the barracks/overseas...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Aha! It's blogging time!
hello everyone long time no post how is everybody merry christmas and happy new year i haven't blogged for a long time in fact no one has blogged in a long time and this blog is pretty dead haha so i shall revive it. here:
Zhi Yang used Max Revive!
*lingliusqie has been revived!*
ok now that we have gotten that out of the way, i can share wif all of u wad i've been up to for the past few weeks:
What has ZY been up to?
i guess it all has to start with the taiwan trip. well i can't be bothered to upload the photos one by one onto the blog so if interested can check out facebook :)
taiwan trip was pretty fun. we were on a bus trip so i was on the bus most of the time. saw a lot of mountains, roads, cars... when we did stop we went to shop and eat :D the chou tofu wasn't too smelly and i liked all the street markets cos they had a carnival-atmosphere. of course, we had to contend wif the crowds and we kinda resorted to rugby tactics to stay as a group.
the taiwan dollar is 1/20th that of one sing dollar so it was pretty fun doing the division cos the cost gets cheaper. also, the gds are pretty cheaply priced so i managed to buy a shirt and a new bag. that was my view of taiwan in general, so here are a few specific moments from my trip:
-On the bus-
ZY: (looking into the mountains) hey, what's that tall tower thing?
ZH: that looks like a control tower
ZY: hmm it's pretty tall.
-Half an hour later-
We walk into the amusement park, our destination, and realise that the tall tower thing is actually an amusement ride called the gyro drop. it is pretty tall. did i mention that before?
anyway the tour guide uses our bravado to his advantage to sabo us to take the ride. i also have a fear of heights. yay.
this fear of heights was drastically diminished when i realised that most of the people taking the ride were little kids. there was *no way* i could look more frightened than the 8 yr old next to me. the kids brokered deals on who got wad if some don't make it back... i think some of them seriously thought it was a life-or-death affair... and we lifted off! thing is designed so that it looks like a giant ufo has kidnapped all of us! slowly, the ppl on the ground start to look like ants...
we finally reach the top and the ride thoughtfully gives us a few seconds to admire the scenery and our own mortality before it drops us in freefall all the way down. i *may* have screamed. if i did, i conveniently choose to believe otherwise. our fall is finally cushioned as we reach the ground. as we stop, air rushes down to fill the vacuum. pretty cool, huh. while my bro and i were still sitting there stunned the kids rushed off to their friends. as we left i spotted this kid who took the ride, staring intensely at this other boy who didn't. a wave of emotion overcame the both of them and they hugged each other tightly. a tender moment indeed.
besides that we also spotted Nono, who took our very same flight home! he arrived in s'pore to grace the star awards =_=
reaching home, my parents shifted from holiday mode to house clean-up mode, dragging my bro and i into cleaning the house... i've been at it for only like 4 days and i'm dead-beat. our jobs ranged from cleaning the outside walls to painting the outside walls. thankfully we had this super jet gun thing that shoots super pressurized water and destroys everything in its path. quite fun to use it actually. but the resultant shrapnel... :O along the way i have uncovered horrific bundles of dirt beneath drain covers, in the corners of walls, in areas untouched by the sun. also, i have battled mosquitoes and spiders and weird creepy crawlies that are probably unclassified as yet. i also saw squirrels :) they try to eat the bananas in the kitchen.
so that, in a nutshell, is wad ZY has been up to. ZY is now waiting for other ppl to post on the blog =_=. the end.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
so long, and thanks for all the fish!
here's what i found while rummaging through my old files:
- A class comprises a group of people fated for a period of everlasting misery in the prison cell known as the classroom
- A class has students, each trying to outwit, outplay and outlast each other
- A class has a size limit so that teachers can actually last a full year
- A class must have a duty roster and no one to follow it
- A class must have a spirit, but its true nature will remain a mystery
- A class must have students who stand by each other all the time... to copy homework
now we're hurtling into the great vast unknown, and we'll probably follow different paths... it will be a dark and lonely path for us all o_0 still it will be cool for us to get back again someday and marvel at how much or how little we've each changed. hopefully all of us will have improved for the best!
oh yes pls attend the final outing on sat... it will be a very significant one, no?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
and though time goes by...
the start seemed like yesterday, the end seems to be racing faster towards the future. have we had our fill of adventures, or are we already stuck in mundane realities? two days have passed in a whizz, but i felt that they were two very simple days, free of expectation, stress and worry... maybe i'll just write a little here, but i'm sure you guys have just as much or even more to say :)
was at vivocity yesterday with rebecca and we were having lunch at this cafe, right next to the mrt. and we were served by this uber-funny caucasian waiter, who kept on winking when we said something. haha... he winked when i was asking about my order, winked when he dropped the knife and did the same when we left and i said, "thanks!" how odd when you only find good service attitude in people you least expect to find it in. not that caucasians typically provide bad service, but you would probably expect to feel at home with a person who shares similar cultural values and attitudes towards others to be a better service-provider... it felt really comforting and welcoming to have a person who tends to your needs after a really long day (at the examination desk). lol.
then, it was a stag party at ps cafe in the evening! haha... it was a fine evening, getting lost and chatty on the way to the cafe. anything and everything transpired, from the dilapidated house by the side of the road to the plans we had to meet up to xbox games that we had yet to play. haha, and not to forget the countless arguments and rounds of voting we had, just to decide what to do after dinner! it seemed such a long time since we last sat around a table for a night of nothing but everything... haha. felt really good when we could just hear everyone out, like little kids who waved and exchanged the bones in their closets. anyway, some pix to add some colour illustration ;)
the place where we had dinner - ps cafe :P
it looks better in the dark.
aaron in his comfy chair after a very expensive dinner, lol.
aaron, wk and ongzy in the dark, sitting away from the cafe, facing a misty pane of glass.
me, looking like a degenerating old brit.
ongzy's got aura >.<
and His light illuminates us all (He being the camera la, duh)!
wk, aaron, kh and ongzy. erm, ronald feels a little... repressed. haha!
well, today was not much of an exception ie it was a complete surprise too! haha... went to malaysia early this morning to embark on the mission wardrobe expansion. lol... had a nice breakfast at a kopitiam found next to a very large half-completed hotel complex (apparently, a lot of buildings are left half-done cos the contractors don't have enough money to finish the projects... what is the government doing?!). guess that really simple stuff and a dose of fresh air are enough to make people feel happy and uplifted? then then then it was hardcore shopping! haha... sounds darn bimbotic, but ya, it was shopping frenzy, lol (and to think i'm not even turning up for prom). talk about sliding down the evolutionary ladder, ys :P and omg, i actually damaged my (dad's) wallet to a greater extent than my mum :/ so much for crash-course pre-xmas outfit enhancement... lol.
haha i just sent some cockroach traps around my estate so that i can get live specimens for dissection this thurs. shall try to see if my entrapment skills have improved ;) for now, enjoy the hols, everyone! cya at class outing on 1st dec (i dunno, that's the tentative date siah...) :D
singing, "here we go again"...
random sampling of my culinary products (no no, there's no pun intended there! don't think too much >.< ):
miso cod! just instant miso paste-marinated cod fish, lol. doesn't taste too bad, haha.
portobello mushroom porridge. yeah, that's the state of it. how interesting, right? >.< it didn't taste horrible, just out-of-this-world :P moral of the story: mushrooms don't require a lot of water to cook/don't cook mushrooms with rice.
heinz tomato soup with mushroom and cheese. the tomato soup from heinz is really darn good, haha... and i did it with a toaster (which is quite a feat, considering i can't control the intensity of the heat)!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
the alternative event.
hey guys! as you all probably know by now, we are going to have a dinner party on monday, 26th nov! here are the details:
place (where we eat): ps cafe (www.pscafe.sg - you can also find the map on the webby, just in case you wanna get out of the place by yourself)
place (where we meet): entrance of plaza sing (then we will take a bus down to "the place where we eat")
time: 6.30pm at plaza sing
budget: $30 is a comfortable sum... one dish is abt $20 (look on the bright side, we can share ;D)... so unless you want drinks, you shouldn't bust your budget...
attire: casual (or smart casual, whichever you prefer)
things to bring: alcohol (if you wish, but i dunno abt corkage), camera (it's going to be a nice night... if it doesn't rain.) and yourself :D
if you guys aren't comfortable with anything/want to comment, just post on the tagboard! cya guys soon (i hope i will be alive then)!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
omg i just discovered an email i typed 3 years ago to my chem teacher and realised how stupid/ignorant i was. brrh.
"I found out that chlorophyll can give up electrons to carbon dioxide (WTF - i understood reduction in the wrong sense T_T) when the electrons are 'excited' by light energy.
1. However, can the quantised electrons be given up to the anode as well? (WTF - what a quantum leap of faith...)
2. Also, does acetone or ethanol conduct electricity? (WTF)
3. Assuming that chlorophyll is an electrically neutral entity, then, if it is molten, will it conduct electricity just like the way molten sodium chloride conducts electricity? (WTF)"
yes, go on, laugh.
anyway, on a lighter note, yesterday was pretty fun! dunno if you guys know, but i applied to university of dundee (please tell me if you know anyone else who's applying there... apparently there are 6 to 7 others from hc, all applying to do life science/medicine/dentistry... wow. anyway, that's THE place if you guys wanna do cancer biology, and a*star does have a tie-up with dundee for post-grads to do their phd theses there, so no worries :P), so the international liaison officer came to singapore to talk to the applicants (yeah, maybe i'm just trying to sound important, haha) and mine was the night before, at her hotel cafe/bar. so, she was talking about my choice (mathematical biology, zomg... and she was persuading me to switch to a 3-year honours programme [honours is a must at dundee] cos it's harder to get in, compared to the 4-year one -.- ) and bombarding my parents and myself with loads of details about the university, the course and medicine in the uk (fact: dundee is about 20 000 pounds cheaper than cambridge).
admittedly, i put dundee down cos of a few reasons (not in increasing degrees of compulsion) : 1. i have friends there, 2. dundee is the only place in the uk with something related to bio, not entirely bio and has a good reputation in the teaching of bio, 3. scotland (and dundee, in particular) is a nice place with sunny cool weather and cosiness all around! i think few people develop intense love for a country, after spending just 3 weeks there, but scotland is really a place that can change that. add to that the spirited sales pitch made by the officer, few can resist the allure of education in the highlands :P
partially persuaded and hungry for dinner, we took the discussion offline and went to have dinner at hock lam (yeah, the beef noodles at purvis street! dunno if you guys actually know where it is... we can go there for supper the next time!). it was pretty amusing/daunting to entertain a caucasian at anything but a restaurant (my dad wanted to bring her to taste local food and i thought it was a bad-and-good idea... confucian ethics and general etiquette forbade me from saying anything negative), but it turned out decent, if not, very well - the food, the sounds, the temperature at night, the puffs of cigarette mist from the neighbouring table, the cautious dipping of the meat into the colloid of tangy spice, the relentless struggle between Chopstick and Meatball, the talking that was going round the table. i guess the continuous conversation saved the evening (trust me, there wasn't more than five seconds of silence) and made it an interesting and stimulating tuesday night for me - not just absorbing all the information about dundee and the university, but also observing and noting how things got around and ended on a saccharine note (random but somewhat related: maybe the success of a business conversation is really dependent on your ability to tap on your knowledge of the world and the person you're talking to and your reception to new ideas put forth by the other person... nice.).
nearing the end le, just 4 more exams for most of us... mcq galore! cya guys soon :D
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
7e family. cute.
the end is looming and someday (later this month), we won't be seeing the people whom we have grown so familiar to in the past two short but fulfilling years and doing the things that seem so routine...
have been imagining how it would be like, if all of us were in this huge house, living as a huge family (don't get me wrong; we can still have our spouses and monstrous kids!) ... cos it seems as though we are very at home with one another - nothing we can't say, nothing we can't fight (read: argue) over, nothing we can't discuss, nothing we can't share, nothing we can't do together as a class :)
haha... the hypothetical family in my mind:
- the cook: ccy - for all his culinary flamboyance.
- the parents: ys - i dunno, some of you all say that he can be a parent, so ya lor...
aaron, cos he makes a nice dad (patient and reasonable)... ongzy, cos he can discipline kids (yeah, welfare!)?
- the accountant: joey - for the math bit.
- the tutors: kh, ni chen, yf, cheryl
- the proverbial grandfather/mother: wk!
lol, that's so exceedingly random. but yeah... could always rant on about memories and stuff, but we all know what it is within. eek. that's a terrible ending. maybe we'll find a way round it some time later...
the steamer looks like it's smiling. cool :) like i said, it's random! :P
Saturday, October 27, 2007
here we go!... (again)
here's my before-the-big-impending-battle-speech. i'll avoid:
- overuse of superlatives
- weeping and whining about our lives
- scaring ouselves :P
- pretending to be totally prepared
i wish you all the best in your As and after your As as well :P have faith!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1974
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many Nobel Prize laureates have appeared before you in this hall, but the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Foundation have probably never had as much bother with anyone as they have had with me. On at least one occasion I have already been here, although not in the flesh; once the honorable Karl Ragnar Gierow was already on his way to meet me; and now, at last, I have arrived out of turn to occupy an extra seat. Four years had to pass to give me the floor for three minutes, and the secretary of the Academy is being forced now to address the third speech to the same writer.
I must ask your forgiveness, therefore, for having caused all of you so much trouble, and thank you especially for the ceremony in 1970, when your king and all of you welcomed here an empty chair.
But you will agree that it has not been so simple for the prizewinner, either: carrying his three-minute speech around with him for four years. When I was preparing to come to you in 1970 no room in my breast, no amount of paper was sufficient to let me speak my mind on the first free tribune of my life. For a writer from a land without liberty his first tribune and his first speech is a speech about everything in the world, about all the torments of his country, - and it is pardonable if he forgets the object of the ceremony, the persons assembled there and fills the goblets of joy with his bitterness. But since that year when I was unable to come here, I have learned to express openly practically all my thoughts in my own country as well. So that finding myself expatriated to the West, I have acquired all the better this unhindered possibility of saying as much as I want and where I want, which is something not always appreciated here. I needn't, therefore further burden down this short address.
However, I find a special advantage in not responding to the award of the Nobel Prize until four years later. For example, in four years it is possible to experience the role this prize has already played in your life. In my life it has been a very large one. It has prevented me from being crushed in the severe persecutions to which I have been subjected. It has helped my voice to be heard in places where my predecessors have not been heard for decades. It has helped me to express things that would have otherwise been impossible.
In my case, the Swedish Academy have made an exception, and a rather rare one, awarding me the prize when I am middleaged and my open literary activity is a mere child of some eight years. For the Academy there was a great hidden risk in doing so: after all, only a small part of the books I had written had been published.
But perhaps the finest task of any literary or scientific prize lies precisely in helping to clear the road ahead.
And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the members of the Swedish Academy for the enormous support their choice in 1970 has given my works as a writer. I venture to thank them on behalf of that vast unofficial Russia which is prohibited from expressing itself aloud, which is persecuted both for writing books and even for reading them. The Academy have heard for this decision of theirs many reproaches implying that such a prize has served political interests. But these are the shouts of raucous loudmouths who know of no other interests. We all know that an artist's work cannot be contained within the wretched dimension of politics. For this dimension cannot hold the whole of our life and we must not restrain our social consciousness within in its bounds.
From Les Prix Nobel en 1970, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1971
thought it was an interesting speech, rich with emotion. so here it is, to be shared with all :)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
ratatouille in... hokkien!!! i realised that there are really nice spoofs in hokkien on youtube! go check it out :P
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
ZY's Cooking Adventures!
man i've been dying to blog something but never found the time to do so... feeling sick of preparation for SATs, i'd like to share with you some of my recent exploits in the kitchen!
it was last tues, and having no morning lesson i felt like cooking something up... a warm stomach makes a happy student! ...unfortunately while i have a flair for eating food i lack a similar talent in preparing it. one can always tell when i'm trying to cook by 1.the smell of charred matter wafting through the house and 2. the trail of destruction that lies in my wake.
anyhow. after boiling some instant noodles (see how noob i am) i decided to spice it up by frying some ikan bilis! just add some oil and fry right? nothing can go wrong right? sadly it *somehow* crumbled into a black mass of carcinogenic evil. do not ask me how it happened.
darn. the pot's stained with... carbon i think. what am i to do? this is a chance for me to use my theoretical chemistry knowledge!
premise 1: that black charred stuff *should* be just non-polar carbon.
premise 2: non-polar things dissolve in non-polar oil
conclusion: add a layer of oil and the black stuff should disappear in no time!
adding oil, however, did not seem to work. maybe more theory is required?
premise: heat increases solubility of solutes
conclusion: heating oil increases solubility of black stuff
so i turned up the heat. hmm nothing happened! rather let down by my theory, i sadly placed the pot of hot oil under the sink and turned on the tap.
ha. i guess u guys know wad happens next...
there was an extremely loud sizzling noise and a column of water vapour shot up to the roof. it was pretty spectacular. (if u want the scientific explanation the water displaced the oil due to density, came in contact with pot bottom, vaporised and shot back up through the oil layer...) of course, the stain still remained, as defiant as ever.
well the ruckus attracted my grandma's attention and we eventually got the pot cleaned. (well *I* got it scrubbed clean... took a while too) i guess this just adds on to my brilliant mis-adventures in making one decent meal. moral of the story: scientific theories are only approximations of reality! more importantly, we're not really sure whether good scientists make decent cooks...
Sunday, September 30, 2007
it was the first saturday after the prelims. i woke up at 10 in the morning to an empty house, and the prospect of having the whole day to myself hit me like a big yellow school bus. The realisation came like an epiphany; i almost turned to theism that fateful morning. The emancipation!
i think i'm a closet introvert. i'm addicted to days like these with no appointments, nobody to entertain, no deadline to meet. for once, i can put down the public 'yunsong' and have a little rendezvous with my private doppelganger. that's not to say i'm being hypocritical when i actually do go out with people. it's just a different need - a need for some time with myself, to reflect, take stock of what i've been doing, and make sure i don't get lost in this hellhole of a world.
anyway, i was deciding what i should do that day. I could try some arrangements on the piano, continue writing the play i started eons ago on a similar day like this, or go on a date with myself. since the prelim exams were just over, i had to strike out the first two as they required excessive neuron activity. and thus, i decided to go on an adventure in the brave new world with me, myself and i.
fine, i admit it wasn't much of an adventure; i just grabbed a novel from my shelf, and headed off to my usual cafe where i lowered myself a few rungs on the evolutionary ladder to a latte-sipping, cheesecake-craving slug. i did, however, make it a point of making myself uncontactable. i left my phone at home, unintentionally or otherwise. The only trace of my whereabouts is a note for my parents telling them that i'm out, and will be back when i am.
This is one of the little decadent pleasures of my life (the novel happened to be "mr norrell and jonathan strange"). A few lattes and slices of cake later, i managed, to my great surprise, to ooze myself out of the couch with a much lighter wallet. and so, all good things come to an end. i got on the bus home.
the bus ride itself was mundane enough -- the same roads, the same buildings. i was actively trying to suppress my thinking about anything until the bus stopped at one bus-stop along jalan jurong kechil. there was a woman in her sixties standing at the bus-stop, clutching her brown leather handbag, with her eyes following her friend/sister/acquaintance/whoever who has just boarded the bus i was on. Oh, her eyes! they looked at her friend, at first with a quiet dignity, as though looking will will her friend into turning her head and wave her goodbye. As her friend moved into the bus, the desire in her gaze turned from a want, to a need, and then to a plea. Then, everything was too late -- the bus moved on. She looked away and then, I didn't see anything in her eyes anymore, but a cold hardness that tells of a silent resignation. Her friend turned, but a moment too late; their eyes never met.
The tragic irony! As the bus turned into toh tuck road, life goes on.
That day, while i was actively trying to keep to myself, her wordless actions cried out, "Be with me!" Whether it be for her fear of loneliness, or just her desire to be acknowledged, our lives juxtaposed each other for that 20 seconds when the bus stopped. I needed to be alone, while she needed to be with someone. I wonder if anybody else saw what i saw, felt what i felt; i have a nagging suspicion that someone looked, but did not see; listened, but did not hear; touched, but did not feel. Then, I thought about other things. Would I still be trying to be alone, fifty years down the road when i'm her age? Or would I be like her, staring at friends on buses in an ardent desire to be acknowledged, to have my presence felt? Would I be with somebody? Would someone be with me?
Suddenly, I was human again.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
my best friend once told me something that i still hold very close to my heart. he said, "a true friend is someone who is not only able to make positive comments of your actions, but also someone who can criticise you for the mistakes you have made". i hold this as true and useful, because that has really been the mark of the friends who stood by me all this while...
i guess some of you think that i'm really evil to have expressed a particular thought this afternoon. perhaps i'm not as loving/tolerant as you guys and, having been in a uniformed group for so many years, i know that a person can only be transformed through hard work (and sometimes, excruciating pain). imo, the school of hard knocks teaches a person much more than what each of us can do for him/her. it's better than us covering his/her a** all the time and expecting him/her to feel sufficiently guilty and remorseful (thereby encouraging them to convert to the lit side)... i mean, having done so much for so long, you guys still believe in the "education of love"（俗称‘爱的教育’） ？ somehow, i know that we are just doing him/her in if we continue to delude ourselves and blissfully assume that he/she will change... sigh.
sometimes, we have to be cruel to be good. i know you guys disagree (being the nice, ethical people you all are), but i'm unapologetic...
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Hey! haha armed with my rudimentary skills of cropping, cutting and pasting, I managed to colour the black canvas with pics!To my own eyes it still looks rather... erm... neat! Haha i challenge yall to do a better one!!!!!!
Friday, September 21, 2007
post-traumatic stress disorder.
ah yes! it's finally the end (of the near-end) and i have some time to pen my thoughts! haha... just came back from changi airport (no i didn't fly to phuket and back after an hour), so there are some things that are swirling in my mind and awaiting expression onto this blank slate right now...
walking is a great start to unearthing new things! i walked from school to the bus stop at adam road, from tekka mall to national library and around the airport (ok, those were really useless details)! i guess, when you walk around instead of just passing buildings and people in vehicles, you get to see more, hear more and feel more? when your sight fleets from the black-and-white laselle college to the old nafa and the peculiar, weathered facade of the 戏剧学院, you start to notice things that you have never seen before and things that you never thought it existed in singapore... like, nafa gallery 3 which houses free-for-all installation art and a little, inconspicuous church-turned-art gallery 5 minutes from the crowded temples of rochor... and when you turn your attention to these little gems so stubbornly encrusted in the grime of city life, it feels slightly heartening to know that there are places in this cold world that offer warm refuge and oases of peace to stressed and scarred souls... and not to forget the whole fun bit of discovering creative stuff in a world of re-invention and original mimicry. and all you have to do is walk and see things from a whole new perspective. take a short trip on foot and skip through the sights and sounds of our little land. who knows, you might stumble on a delightful rarity!
speaking of rarities, i discovered a really well-brewed kopi-o at changi airport! totally unexpected, when you consider how things at the airport are usually sickeningly overpriced, shamelessly branded as "made in singapore" and suck hell-lot... i found it at a place called "changi kopitiam" (wtf, so bloody cliched) and God, the coffee was godsend (for a junkie like me) at 9.30pm... imagine the velvety liquid blackness with all its subtle bitterness and beany aroma... haha.
and there were so many muggers at the airport at 10pm! study there at TEN IN THE NIGHT?! they are out of their minds! but honestly speaking, it is a really good place to study at other times (my dad thinks otherwise; apparently to him, a good place to study is a quiet place -_-) - you can mug in an air-conditioned area and look at 1. planes or 2. people when you are bored... so much better than orchard where there are only 1. vehicles (that are all freaking similar! why can't there be more lamborghinis, mini coopers and porsches arnd for us to drool over?!) and 2. equally bored-looking schoolkids and well-heeled bimbos.. zzz. and you can be so near the place you wanna be this moment - in the plane bound for a land faraway from the stone-coloured desk. and if you're bored of people and planes, you can even hop on the skytrain for fun (haha why do i sound so childish... and i definitely sound like an stb ambassador, lol)!
well, enjoy the weekends! how near we are to the very last stop...
(random) i particularly like this soliloquy from anton ego from ratatouille and some parts do resonate with the earlier bit of the entry...
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents — new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."
let the fearless prevail.
Monday, September 17, 2007
sleepwalking by the cliff.
she stood there, as the metallic monster rolled into the abyss. she stood there, eyes fixed on the carriage. and then, the glimmering tail of the abominable machine.
then, her gaze landed on the unknown darkness.
her hand reached for the scarf that was hanging limply around her neck. the soft cashmere sucked her palms vehemently. it was such an unfamiliar feeling. she twitched, and turned to search for another soul. the lift was empty and the escalator was just grumbling to itself. the track rattled in the wake of the beast and made no noise thereafter. and as though she was not quite convinced, she peered at the platform again. the station was still as bare as the cool steel that lay feet away.
just the ghastly chime of the clock at half past ten and a silent thud. she sat, back arched and head between her crumbled knees.
the cavernous orifice answered no question, the response long muted in the rumble of the speeding train. her eyelids fluttered and tensed for a moment. she let a shot of air into her evacuated lungs and felt the scalding napalm cascading down her flesh.
what's there to know?
nothing, the grime-covered ground replied, as it consumed her anguish with thickened dirt. tap-tap, pitter-pat-pat-patter-tap. the darkened bits gleefully swirled in her liquid pain...
noone'sheretolook! mopeinyourownsickeningdespairforallicare! shameonyouhopelessstupidsillyslut!
but.. but... it just didn't...
oh c'mon, shirley! forty years! do you not know better? wake up!
her forearms casually lifted the damp fringe above her turgid eyes. she saw the path ahead. how comforting, she thought. how near, she wondered. how liberating, she dreamt. it was a glistening reality - and it lay within her reach. it was just there, where the silver lining was...
and the knell sounded.
Friday, September 14, 2007
a breath of inspiration.
this is a clip i chanced upon in charm's friend's blog... thought that it was absolutely fantastic, so i decided to look for it and post it here for your aural pleasure :) had to screen a few clips, but i'm not complaining, cos it is really worth listening to over and over again :P
paul potts (at first, i thought i heard the anglicised version of pol pot - you know, the cambodian dictator?) is this guy who recently won a competition called, "britain's got talent". he's got unflattering looks, a paunch, crooked teeth and every bit as normal as anyone of us (a little like william hung). but he chose to flaunt the one most remarkable thing he had: his voice.
so you must be thinking to yourself (if you haven't watched the clip): what songs does he sing? the most surprising thing (for a talent show for popular consumption) is, he didn't sing any songs from the common genres.
he chose to perform opera.
opera?! for the masses?! i was pretty skeptical until i heard his rendition of "nessun dorma" (the late pavarotti's signature song). i admit that i'm rather unfamiliar with opera and stuff, but the moment he started singing...! i was blown away by his voice - the power, the clarity, the emotion! you could feel his conviction, as though he were the prince immortalised in the song! you could feel his voice pumping your blood through the veins and squeezing the air out of your lungs! unlike charm's friend, i didn't cry (reason being either 1. being a guy, it takes a little more to reduce me to tears, or 2. i couldn't fully appreciate the subtleties of opera. or both :/); i just felt greatly moved. lol.
a guy-next-door with an extraordinary talent. rags to riches? perhaps. but his tale is not a typical poor-kid-makes-it-in-life story. to him, winning wasn't about the money. it was about mending his battered pride and fighting for the opportunity to lead the life he had always wanted and to pursue his dream of being a professional opera singer.
here's the parting statement, which consists of the last part of the aria:
- "Vanish, O night! Set, stars! Set, stars!
- At dawn, I will win!
- I will win! I will win!"
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
desert of angst with an oasis of joy.
prelims are here, but that's no reason not to write something on the blog... especially when i'm having really strong feelings against the education we are receiving from the school.
incompetence is a sin. yes, and we all know it for ourselves how stupid we feel when an incompetent teacher teaches us. i mean, get a teacher who has an UNSOUND understanding of mathematics to teach the topic that requires plenty of MATHEMATICAL MANIPULATION and STATISTICAL ANALYSIS?! c'mon, even my senior who isn't a teacher can explain how the equations are derived. and you, (presumably) a trained professional in biology and education, cannot even tell me how they come about? this is seriously disappointing.
and wth, i cannot believe the way cambridge admissions is organised. mrs ang, i know that you are a very busy person and i understand that you cannot be at your cubicle all the time. but the least you could do is make yourself available for a particular period of time so that we poor applicants can go and look for you! and certainly, after those years of organising these application processes, you can easily post a factsheet online to help the troubled souls out there... what is the use of being a college referee if you can't even help us with simple things like these? to make things worse, we cannot approach you when we see you (those are the times when you are involved with consultation) because you will flare at us! it is not as if we do not understand the instructions on the application forms. we can't fill them in because they are simply too vague! if being a Senior Teacher means that you cannot do all these, i think that it is only right to let a junior teacher do it. at least she will have more time to dedicate to the applicants and give them a higher chance of success at impressing the admissions tutor. is that too much to ask for? sigh.
anw, 'nuff said. to borrow ys's words, it's just another 3 months of exquisite pain. for now, let the pictures speak of the fond memories we had during our ravaged years in hc...
hmm... didn't know you guys were into *this*
a valiant attempt to make the number-alphabet 7E :P
petals and a muddy pig :P
talk about being unglam >.<
physik kids (actually they are adults, but whatever)!
the pharmaceutical chemists.
the people who BLAST proteins.
bio kids and our *matronly* tutor :D
emo-ing over food (high calorie good stuff!)
the most exquisite gift to a teacher in the history of KI.
a photo in mr lim's room! note: the artist is being obscured by her own artwork :P
good luck to all and stay cheerful (so that you can gimme some of your cheerfulness and optimism later in the week)!