Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Metaphysical Poets

For Godsake hold your tongue, and let me love,
Or chide my palsie, or my gout,
My five gray haires, or ruin'd fortune flout,
With wealth your state, your minde with Arts improve, ...

The Canonization by John Donne.

I have a Penguin edition by Helen Gardner - The Metaphysical Poets, I bought eons ago to study Renaissance and Restoration literature. You never know when you'd be picking up such books which is why I still keep all 200 + (I think) titles on novels of many genres, poetry collections, literary criticism stuff, essays and plays, biographies, non-fiction cum history, mythology types and the occasional bestsellers in my poor old, and cheap veneered bookcase.

So there it was propped up together with standard reads in the canon of English literature and literary theory such as Blake, Paglia, Saussure, Kristeva and De Quincey, Marquez and goodness what else I got in there.

Well I was flipping through the pages and saw notes scribbled in it right... and oh man... that alone, with the dusty book smell and its yellowing pages along the borders gave me a good memory surge of how happy and appreciative I was in contextualising every lines and in return, understanding meta-poets such as Donne and Marvell.

In 2003 I had a good recommendation from a referree to do a Masters in English literature at NUS but that somehow didn't go through as I was so heavily involved with work both locally and in KL. That was a minor sacrifice, I think. Anyway if I ever were to do a postgrad, it'll be something else. It's hard to give literature relevancy to the workplace, especially when you worked in call center ahaha I'm not kidding.

My colleagues all had degrees in Business, Computer Studies, Marketing, IT, Mathematics and even life sciences, and in one corner - me, with my thoughts on Beowulf, Chaucher, Homer, Jean Rhys, Unsworth, Jung and god knows what other rubbish ahaha.

Anyway you learned to move on and garner relevant work experience and develop professionally, which is important once you joined the workforce.

This is the copy that I have. The last time I checked Penguin had come up with another Helen Gardner edition, and had I not curb my book fetish...

Saturday, May 28, 2005


M threw up like 5 times on the way home last night. I was like "what is wrong with this girl?" She made me worried sick. We had to stop a few times just so she could double-bend and retch at the roadside, and many a times too she was really down there, squatting and purging her bowels off the Fish & Co dinner we had at Bugis. I blame the bus for giving her motion sickness. And I blame myself too.

Her plan was to watch Revenge of the Sith, but I was like, "No good seats left, let's have dinner at Fish & Co instead." So there you go, the chain of events that led us to her weak palpitations and her face terribly wan. At one point she had to rest for about 10 minutes while I reminded her to take deep breaths and exhale slowly. She told me about this before but the knowledge didn't register itself that bad in my mind until it happened. So that was it, her heart acting up and I just can't believe how seriously weak she could get.

It was like a quarter to midnight and we were at her doorstep. M unlocked the gates and door to see her father was still awake. He came up front and we exchanged some odd pleasantries (it was more of an explanation on my side) in that late hour. Then I left.

On the way to the roadside there was a taxi that slowed down near the curb just so that I could be near to it, fcuk, they (sorry taxi drivers) always put on the extra service in a desperate bid for your midnight charges. Anyway I walked on.

I had to walk and think. There was so much going-ons in my mind and it was already past midnight, a time when my mind is supposed to go lull and enjoy some quietude. I continued walking towards the old Woodlands Road and unbecoming of a virgo, cut across to the other side by climbing over the divider and waited at the bus stop for 960.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"I Coulda Been a Contender ..."

... as immortalised by Brando in that classic movie On The Waterfront. But that is off tangent to my post and I just thought of putting it in for the sake of irrelevancy. Lol!

Ok anyways, I'm not into boxing but for this reality show The Contender I make an exception. I've been following the episodes rather faithfully and I'm a sucker for cheesy melodrama, really. When I first saw that Stallone has a hand in this, I thought, uh, wtf, right. His only credibility boxing link was the Rocky movies, so I thought this perpetual dopey-faced poseur man had no business whatsoever to be involved in real fights. Anyway I digress.

This show consists of a cast of virtual unknowns in need of that big break and each time I see Peter Manfredo's little girl and his wife encourage, motivate, offer solace and comfort before and after his fights, win or lose - it never fails to give me a warm wonderful feeling you know. It's like it doesn't matter if the opponent has beaten the crap out of you at least you have these angels. Yes... too bad Peter didn't win the million dollar, but he's already a winner. Cliche... but it's true. Actually all the contenders came into the show with family and friends storyline tagged to their quests, but somehow Peter's story stuck in me more than the rest. I don't know, it could be the result of clever editing, or it could be just that his story is more humane and engaging for me on a personal level.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Gems & Bullshits and Learning Vertical

It's been more than a month since I started work at this place. Tomorrow is the external ISO audit for the two departments. The second audit is on Friday. So far so good, I hope things work out well.

So much is at stake. First, it is in the org's blueprint to be ISO certified; what with PS21 in the big picture and secondly, my being specifically hired for quality management, CRM and benchmarking purposes is one of them. A bit stress cause the expectation in my department is high.

Oh yes... some people I met told me that my honeymoon period is over. Really dumbass they all. Why... I never had any honeymoon period to begin with. It's been one thing or the other, learn, learn, observe, do, do! Most virgo men are super on the ball that we actually scare the slackers around us!

Anyways, we've done the internal audit a week ago and found many observations/non-conformances in the two departments and they in turn had given us the commitment to follow-up on those areas of development. We'll just have to see during the actual external audit.

BTW, I'm taking things in my stride... after looking and understanding the work processes and issues in these two departments, I can still hold on strong to my personal mantra / or skeptical outlook (depending on my mood) of "No organisation is perfect - process, structure, technology or people wise". There are bound to be gems and bullshits along the way.

The past month however, has been a continuous learning & tasking experience. Heck! It's not even a learning curve, it's a learning vertical.

If I fall, I fall. Not afraid to fail.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ill-Disciplined ... Is There a Way to Justify It?

Dear readers,

Makes me ashamed to 'fess up that I read & swore by these books. But sometimes I still have residual negative habits that creep up on me. A good example was when I had the long weekend to fine tune on a work proposal that I already drafted, but did not make full use of it. Covey will not be pleased!

It's Official ...

I'm so tired as hell.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


A massive orgy of snail-paced walkers - that's what the New Paper Big Walk is to me, well... if you're in it for leisure and fun that is.

In my case I did it because I wanted to fratenise with some colleagues from my work place and since they've asked me too - what the heck right? Still I can't believe I went for this event when I could have gone for a galivanting picnic session with M.

And if it wasn't for the hot weather, the 10km walk could've been much more enjoyable. But you know how the weather here is like anyway - 9.45am and it feels like noon! No kidding... there is some serious ozone depletion going on in this part of the hemiphere I'm telling you and I certainly don't see why some walkers can be so silly in bringing their kids/toddlers in prams for the walk. Excruciating sight in the heat!

And as I'm typing this away I'm already beginning to feel some muscle ache especially in the calf area. I thought the ache was minor and wanted to dismiss it altogether, but that still didn't make me turn down my mom's offer to massage the soreness away with some home-made oil. Lovely hands and fingers of Eden of hers.

P.S. I saw my ex-colleague's baby upclose today. What an adorable babe!

Friday, May 20, 2005

ISO - Baby - Swim

I didn't do much blogging this week because everytime I got home that special state of mind - the state where I'd be raring to write simply left me. I've been preparing for a major project at work - ISO certification for two departments and this has somewhat left me with little mood to do anything else.

Well, you get back home. You take your dinner. Then you change and hit the showers. Once you finish, you just feel so relaxed. This is also the time where I have resist hard not to get in bed. My bed is so fcuking inviting let me tell you. So the night is either spent on guitar practise or idle surfing or watching some telly.

While writing this I'm thinking of an ex-colleague who has just been blessed with a son. I wonder what would it be like if I were ever to be in that situation. Work, baby, wife, work, parents, in-laws, work, personal space, work, fun, work?

Maybe I'm fetching it too far, but I'm a fool like that.

So just to stop this monotony - tonight right, I actually went for a swim ahaha. It's been awhile and I think my strokes were nearly there. But just when I thought I had it going, a few kids managed to overlap me. But it was ok, at least I looked cool in goggles. Lol!

Maybe it's time to go diving again.

Dear diary, I'm not about to hang my goggles just yet.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Broken 2nd and 5th Strings

It's raining outside. I don't know ... but I swear Woodlands is one of the big catchment areas in Singapore for rainfall - so if it rains, it really pours here. So how am I going to get to work? Ok ok lest I end up doing a weather report, the reason for this entry is my guitar.

I dreamt my guitar broke its 2nd and 5th strings. And I wasn't even playing it.

You trying to tell me something CG111-S?

I'm listening to the CD Guitar Music of Venuezuela by John Williams now - just to clear up the rain and to remind her it's best to let her downpour on Saturday mornings instead.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sunday and Laundry

I was waiting for my shirts to tumbledry in the washing machine .... and I thought of entering this. Really, summersnail....

Thank goodness M and I had fun yesterday, so that somewhat made up for this crappy Sunday night.

M suggested we go Ambrosia Cafe at Baghdad Street or is it Arab Street? We got there but the place was already packed. The staff however offered to call me should there be a table. How nice I thought. He told us it'd take 20 to 30 minutes. I looked in, there was a group of guys lounging around like comfortable idiots, taking up valuable table spaces that could have generated good money from true diners like us. 20 to 30 minutes? I wasn't that confident.

But it was a good Saturday and my phone did ring after about 30 minutes.

The food was average but the place was nice, that's right - until the waiter started the blender to prepare some drinks, the whole place did reverberate with the sounds of crushed ice. I half wanted to tell the staff to do their blending at the far end of the galaxy, but I didn't want to spoil the mood or be a critical tight-ass or have my Marakesh chicken wings spitted on behind the kitchen doors.

After dinner it was off to see Amityville Horror at Prince. Who goes to Prince nowadays right? Anyways Amityville was kind of ok. Too bad I wasn't paying much attention. ; )

We took 960 back home, bliss...

So what's good on telly on Sunday night?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Don't You Just Love Saturday Mornings?

I like ~

The part where you keep lingering the realm between sleep and near-awake. And you just tell yourself - go on... have another 15 minutes - another 10 minutes - another ... and another ... such bliss and to top it off you just had a nice dream. Curling in your bed, pulling in the bolster closer, half-consciously trying to cover that hardon and continue to pick up where you left off with that dream ... ahahah.

The bliss factor just multiplies if it rains outside.

Of course if you're work on Saturdays you can ignore this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Uchenna and Joyce, Inspirational Run To The Finish

What a win for them both! After suffering a flat tyre and being stripped of all their money and possessions, this couple battled back strongly from last place to win the Amazing Race. Now I hate reality shows in general but the Race is different. What makes this season sweet is having to witness the sacrifices each makes to move on in the game.

One episode in particular stood out for me was when Joyce decided to shave her head. It was plain to see the internal conflict, but the resolute in her was gut-wrenching and even more beautiful.
For a woman to do that, damn... it was vulnerable and brave, what she did. The part where Uchenna wanted to make sure the taxi driver got his fare and begged for money from passers-by really ache my heart in every inspirational sense. That's just integrity. Unbelievable stuff and what a perfectly satisfying ending!
p.s. Folks at my office are asking me if I would join them in The New Paper Big Walk. lol, like I'm sooo race material!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kitty's Insouciance

Most of us, the brat in us at least, take our mothers for granted and wait for a single day of the year to really show our appreciation, thanks or even affection.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Massage My Temples

One of the things in my life that will never change - my preference for haircuts at Indian barbershops. I regularly patronise one at Marsiling area.

Everytime my barber touches my skull, especially the temple area (ahaha) I just feel a rush of ayurvedic energies coming off those Indian fingers.

In this place you can hear the air-con purr and smell the jasmine incense wafting through. See the Ganesh display on top or the old school grooming products on the counter? Haha cool, I really like this place. That's me busy taking pics while waiting for my turn.

My friends thought it weird and laughable that I go to such places as they always see me as quite the fussy and critical type and someone incapable of subjecting himself to such old school grooming methods. I find their stance equally amusing.

I just don't see why you need to spent 30 to 40 dollars for a haircut and still look ordinary, you know. Most of my guy friends are like that. They either end up looking like a complete 'failure' or they have waaaay too much 'going on' up there just to make the hairstyle coherently coiffed.

To all my male friends - Go for the experience and for a change, resist going to those insipid haircut joints especially the ones which have bad-ass eunuchs fronting their reception area.

And if you don't like the barber's work, you can always revert back to the scores of hundreds of hairstylists out there.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I Don't Understand Fractions

I met up with a former colleague from TeleTech today. We've not met since he left TT in 2002/3? I couldn't recall.

We caught up with stuffs in our lifes and the conversation naturally steered to work-related topic. I was more than happy to give him all the details. He was an easy-going, level-headed and smart person and I'm really glad he's doing well both personal and career wise. I wish nothing but the best for my friends.

Anyways, it's just that when the topic of marriage came up we both laughed it off like a pair of doofus. I know that he is still seeing this Chinese girl he first met at TT so I'm sure he's serious about the relationship. If there was any case of discomfort it happened at one point of the conversation, where he jokingly remarked how 'stress' he gets each time he receives a courtesy call from a friend who informs of his or her impending marriage.

Impending being my choice of word here. Haha.

Dude, I totally understand you. Who says men are in it for sex only? Tsk.. tsk.. tsk.

I think marriage is a 50-50 proposition. Unfortunately, I'm one of those who don't understand fractions that well. Someone slap me quick!