Sunday, October 30, 2005

Turning in Early

Mind the gap.

Sleep deficit.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


eyes wide shut

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Got an SMS last night from an ex-colleague.

EC - You interested in a training and quality position
Me - Sounds interesting.. alas wrong timing :p
EC - JT is looking for someone can you contact her at 9XXXXXX can I give her your no
Me - Ok you can give her my no.
EC - Ok

So that was it. I knew this person since 2000, and I have always considered his work to have left a deep impact in my previous workplace. But admiration aside, what struck me is the manner opportunity come to you out of nowhere.

And so today during lunch time I received a call from JT. Though I'm happily employed now, I figured no harm in finding out more information on the current job market especially in a field that is familiar territory. Yes, I still browse through the Appointments every Saturday just to get a semblance of the job market and I find this little exercise useful plus it alerts me of any trends.

The whole conversation centered around my work experience and her enquiring if I'd be interested. We spoke for nearly an hour and I pretty much explained to her why I left my previous workplace. She in turned gave me a brief introduction to the position, not revealing too much as I had indicated to her upfront that I'm not looking. Auww... don't I sound like a professional? Lol! I said why don't she send me the job specs and I assured that I'd have a look at it.

I'm begining to feel sluggish and awful now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Face of a Racist

Gan, 17, was convicted on two counts of sedition for posting racist slurs against Malays on his blog. -- WONG KWAI CHOW

You now I'm always curious as to how does a racist look like. And I'm not referring to the typical hooded KKK look or Nazi aryanist. So when the Straits Times Interactive posted this pic I was like urgh... fugly, then again racism is always that, Ugly.

I remember seeing pictures of JI members in the ST and was shocked to see such malice harboured within individuals whom you typically see day in day out around you. That episode simply shattered my notion of docile-looking *pakciks. Lol. It turned out all of them were potential killers silently brooding among us. Not a funny matter.

Now, seeing Gan's picture has a lesser shock-value but it still piqued my interest, somewhat. After all he's so young, and all that hatred. Goodness gracious. And just like the JI pics -- I imagine Gan silently brooding in hatred, wanting and plotting to exterminate all Malays. What the hell.

But unlike the JIs, I know this fella, physically is harmless shit and I don't think he's the type to carry out his actions. But what he wrote was pure hatred and madness and that alone caused a discomfitting furore, which was enough for the relevant authority to investigate.

You may want to read CNA's article.

Poor fella, habouring such ill will towards the whole Malay community just because of a taxi-refusal incident by a selfish Malay couple. Maybe the family neglected to give the child his medicine, maybe the transport they were in got caught up in traffic, maybe this maybe that... but such deep resentment is really scary, especially when it's not properly addressed. Thank god he had internet access, what if it was a shotgun?

And I'm so surprised this fella actually have Malay friends giving testimonials that portrayed him otherwise. Of course lah... isn't that obvious? He's an introvert, who keeps to himself and is quiet and spends most of his time on the computer, what else could they have said? Clueless lot.

Anyways I hope his life turns out for the better. For what it's worth, this fella could really blow his top. Yes, I've read his blog, [fascinating read actually, lol] and boy he could rant.

[Sigh], I leave you racists, bigots, and terrorists out there with this quote from Buddha.

"Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity."

* Uncle

Monday, October 24, 2005

How Not To Approach Me

Rush hour just now as I was trying to buy some food to break my fast. Actually I could have make it home on time but why on earth I decided to push it by making a detour to the Guardian Pharmacy [GP] - remained as one of those acts I can't explain. Oh wait a minute, I needed to buy some shampoo.

Don't get me wrong, I think GP is a fine store, but damn, the staff or in this case their promoters could do well with some soft-selling skills.

So I went in there, straight to the shampoo aisle and started to browse. Not even one minute gone by and this promoter came to me with the most 'lian' intro I ever encountered. Or was it her sales pitch?

"You wangne gek loshien for your huwhyte head?"

You know I didn't initially register what the dickens she was saying, not until she began to gesture with her hands and fingers the scrubbing motion on her own nose.

I reminded myself that I was fasting.

You know I'm a very polite person by nature but to be approached by such ilk can annoy me big time. Not to mention those torpedoes-like words sank my ego too. Lol! I ended up staring at her. Come to think of it, it was mean of me to do that, but at least she was spared from my caustic tongue, right? Seeing my silent respond and sensing the unease she wisely backed down. Stupid cow.

One insurance agent got it from me a few months ago and I don't think I want to be displaying that sort of temperament in public again. Fugly.

I looked in the bathroom mirror just now and I cussed, "Where got? Stupid cow..."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Be Still

How many days already? 20?

When I think of all the Ramadans I've gone through in my life, I keep thinking of the journey I made with regard to my faith and devotion viz-a-viz my way of life in the context of being a Malay muslim male in Singapore. You know I try not to think so much about this but sometimes these feelings are unavoidable.

I studied my ass off, got enlisted in the army and studied again and then joined the workforce to be another blimp in the labour statistic. That is pretty much the same linear most guys here go through, so what's the big deal? The big deal here is that I still am sure that I've not reached my potential, even though the current work that I'm in allows me that opportunity. The sad part is that I was one of those people who abandoned areas of interest for economic reasons. So am I happy even if I had significantly progressed career-wise? I don't know.

I could have studied music but I was unconvinced of my own determination. I could have studied the arts but I see many artists around me that inspire with their works but not their struggles. I guess I was chicken shit or didn't have any mentor to guide me. It's old dilemma anywhere, but I'm grateful for the blessings He gives me.

Nobody wants to revisit past pains. But I remember after graduation in 1997 I was really, really down, wretched, not knowing what to do with my life, but I hung in there, and with the close support from family and friends, I got through what might have been the most difficult period in my life. I wore many facades just to keep a brave front - I hated that so much.

But it was during the same period that I discovered something else. It brought me solace and strength and comfort I've never experienced before. During that period, many times I woke at night, most willingly, just to do the *Tahajud because those were the only times I felt still and close to Him. No distraction, no nothing, just in the Still of the Night, in this very bedroom, asking for help and penance from my creator. I felt so small, I delved and I trembled.

Fast forward October 2005 :20 Ramadan 1426H.

I've yet to feel small and humble again. I've forgotten what it was all about. What is the matter with me? I'm doing fine in my career and I'm in a relationship. Yet there is a lack somewhere which I can't pin down. Or am I just projecting unnecessary worries here?

Must I be hit with another crisis like in 1997 just to capture that stillness again?

* Night prayer

Friday, October 21, 2005

Adults in The Toys Section

Broke me fast with some friends at Banquet, Raffles Hospital and followed them to Seiyu Bugis to do some baby stuff shopping. Not mine, but theirs. I've had my fill, with one of those burps, so I figured I tag along as well. With me, after a good dinner, you can get away with almost anything, because that's the time I'd go soft and you can negotiate and while my time away. Lol! But unless you're a parent, when was the last time you've been to the baby section, right?

So while his wife was busy finding and selecting stuff for the baby. Papayaface, pushing chilipadi in the stroller, and I managed to traipse in the toys section. Never been fascinated with toys myself, because I was more a plasticine, marbles and crayons kid, but throughout the time, I thought how wonderful if I could have these toys when I was young. Can't deny a guy may regress to childhood so here goes.

Ok granted this is not a toy. But it was the first thing that struck me. This bib with the mini-retainer at the end bottom - just in case the baby drips food all over the shop has got baby cuteness factor off the cute chart. Even the name, "Super Duper Bib" and that cherubic baby pic is so cool. Tak boleh tahan. My mother told me I was a clean and fastidious kid so I didn't mess around that much. Don't know how true that is, but I'd probably get this for M. Dia kalau makan mesti berkecah... Lol! Sorry ar.

I never had any gruesome-looking toys when I was young. I didn't even have any masks. So come to think of it, is it no wonder kids nowadays grow up to be violent and twisted brats? Lol! But despite this unproven correlation of mine, if I had this as a kid, I'd probably want to show it to all my friends at kindergarten.

I spotted this ATM Machine and I imagined as a kid I will definitely like this a lot. The idea of having to dispense money at your fingertips has got to be one of the most empowering feeling for a kid. I mean if I had that I'd probably use it to purchase all the toys at the mama shop. Currency? What currency? Kids don't need that.

Aha! Something that'd really suit my temperament when I was young and now, still. Doraemon, so cute with that tongue sticking out. Lol! Did you know that Doraemon and Nobita were subconsciously created for the introvert and imaginative child? Maybe this was the last thing in the creators' mind, but why would I look forward to this cartoon after school when other kids my age raved about Transformers - Robots in Disguise? Enough said, I've come to the conclusion that kids who watch Doraemon have better taste. Lol!

Pokemon Air Hockey. I want...

Every kid must have a stuffed animal toy in his or her collection. If you didn't have this chances are you'd end up a criminal. Serious, there is a study on this.

Talking camera. Pretty self-explanatory here and the Powerpuff Girls wouldn't deter me. I'd stay away from the Yoyo though. Something eerie about cartoons with saucer eyes. Are these girls mutant or are they just endowed with superhuman strength? Well with all that strength they certainly can't pull out a house or a sports-car from their pockets, right?

Ok this is not a toy, and it's certainly not for sale. He's papayaface's son. Cute! But I don't know who was happier and more excited in the toys section - him or the adults.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sneakers, Pagan, Commute, Lousy Feeling

Sahur* this morning was a plate of rice and some fish masak kicap. A glass of water, no, make that two, coz I remembered downing a bottle of sugar-cane drink bought from that lame bazaar next to Woodlands Causeway Point. Done. I opened the fridge and reached in for a bar of fun-size Sneakers - that's 22g of roasted peanutes in creamy caramel and soft nougat covered in thick milk chocolate. I tore the wrappers and took a bite into one of my earthly pleasures. Boy it was hard, but I needed that for sustenance throughout the day. After all, I ate little rice. Went to the toilet, did my bowel business and showered. You know I hardly showered that early in the morning but I had to. Are you still with me?

Back in my room, did the morning prayers and read a few verses of the Quran. Couldn't remember what it was, but I think it was surah Al Nahl [The Bees]. Did you know that the Pagan Arabs, pre-Islam of course, used to practice female infanticide? It was either to keep the girl as a thing of sufferance and contempt, bringing disgrace on the family, or to get rid of her by burying her alive. The latter was a way out for most. How awful. Where am I bringing you with this? Nowhere. Done, I sprawled on my bed again. Or was that after I've ironed my shirt?

I'd always wake up 7.00 am these days. But this morning I exceeded that to 7.40 am and you can imagine the whirlwind I went through in order not to be late. I was not completely awake and I had to summon my limbs and mental faculties just to put on the pants. This task is only arduous for kids, but that was what it was, really.

So I thought that more or less set the stage for the rest of the day. I got on the train, found a cosy corner and went further inward with my thoughts. Leave me alone. Is this how the Japanese feel in the morning, especially those who have to commute over long distances on the bullet train? I've seen documentaries of that and I thought those people had a major vacuum in their lives.

There was to be, in the afternoon, an SQC preliminary discussion with some consultants, which I was looking forward to participate. And what do you know? That actually saved the day. Weird isn't it. But to think of it, it's the Ramadan for crying out loud, it's the month of self-reflection and if there was a crisis at the workplace I will NOT be sucked into that vortex. But my mother is not feeling too good at the moment, I can hear her coughs from my room as I'm typing this. My folks, they're old. And it's just a lousy feeling in the gut to be aware of their illness. You tell them to take their medicines and get lots of rest, and then what? There's something stoic about a mother's illness. Mothers, at least mine, don't complain.

* The last meal taken before sunrise when the fast starts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My 3 Haikus for a Cool October Night

Remote control
Through fuzzy channels,
You could love me

SCV world
In your electrons.
Ion hardons.

Lonely red eyes
Phone chat phone chat sex,
My svengali.

ps - I shouldn't be penning these lecherous haikus what with Ramadan and all, but I just can't help myself. The motivation to write creeps up when you least expect it and nevermind that, even the subject-matter is inconsequential. What's more important is that I get this out of my system. There.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My 3 Haikus For a Warm October Night

Step into my room
The ceiling fan turns slowly
And sleeps go shirtless

Swoosh, swoosh the fan goes
Cold assasin and its blade
A clipped-wing wasp dies

Warm-night wanderer
Finality flicks of wings
Sears this sore ulcer

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Met Up With the Blokes

Met up and broke fast with some friends last night. But before that at about 2pm in the workplace, I just couldn't concentrate anyore and sms to an ax-colleague if the meeting that night would take place. Really, sometimes I just need an excuse to get out of the office 'on-the-dot' at 6pm. Plus the thought of lingering-on to do some work when the 'cock-up' happens at somebody's end can be bloody demotivating. It was a restless Friday, by my standards.

So I met up with some friends last night, broke fast with them at Zam Zam - that murtabak place opposite Sultan Mosque and later headed on to Samar for some drinks. Ish!... but not before we stopped by and did our Maghrib. I was hesitant at first but gave in for I thought I could have a perfect month of 'Terawih' or night prayers. Good grief... it's getting harder and harder to do this and my nonchalance is not helping at all. But you know what? I'm glad I met up with them. Some I've not seen for months.

We didn't order any food at Samar, choosing instead to order some drinks from its interesting menu and demonstrating a plebeian good time fooling around with the exotic names of the drinks.

This is the back of the menu. I just felt like placing the coca-cola can with it. You can provide the subtext on your own.

I had a Karkadeh - a refreshing concoction of tea with petals of Egyptian hibiscus [that's what it says in the menu, I'm not making this up, lol] and a separate sweetener.

A friend had a Granitas - description, a favourite from the Andalusia in the hot summer months. Granitas when it arrived looked really good, with its blended ice in soft pink and layered milk to give that ice-slurpy look. However I'm going to stop here because after drinking a bit of it, I dubbed the drink 'air kanak-kanak' or child's drink.

Two friends had the Kamaradeen. Hailing from Syria, Kamaradeen is a refreshing belnded apricot nector, especially popular in the fasting month Ramadan throughout the Arab world. Right, I had a go at it, and I thought it tasted like a $6.00 asam juice, lol. It's really good, but as the night wore on, I joked that it tasted like 'air tuala' - water wrung from a wet towel. Haha! That was blurted out partly in revenge for unsuccessfully grilling me who M was. Sorry guys :P

Another friend had the Habib Falastin. From Palestine, the Land of Milk and Honey. I thought this was really good because I couldn't quite pin down the taste of honey, and that it had a more almond subtle to it. Or was that the aftertaste from Kamaradeen? I'm not quite sure. Anyways, Habib Falastine's ambiguous reaction on my tastebuds made me come to the personal conclusion that it was the second best drink of the four. Here's the line up.

From right to left: Habib Falastin, Kamaradeen, Granitas and my favourite [I'm biased cos, I ordered this], Karkadeh. The white ceramic bottle was the sweetener for Karkadeh.

The ornate Moroccan lamps casting swirls of shadow directly up from our table. This is just a one precious detail in Samar. Overall I think this place has a great ambience. I'd probably come again.

p.s. pics courtesy of Z's Ericson or was it Samsung? My O2 Mini doesn't take good night pictures.

Monday, October 03, 2005

If You're Thinking of Detonating Yourself

Ramadan begins this Wednesday (if He wills) but all I can think of is how this blessed month has to contend with the atrocity of the recent Bali bombing. This is so close to home. This is so sad and it shouldn't be this way.

I hope the Indonesian authority takes all measures to rein-in the culprits. Yes you. Damn you people for hijacking Islam to where it is now - suspicion and hatred. Are you THAT blind? Where is your sense of HUMANITY? Why do you CHOOSE to kill? You don't make any sense.

Perhaps Ramadan will help you see the Truth. I pray for this.

But if you're so hell-bent and your heart is so permanently shrouded in darkness, I suggest you detonate yourself in an isolated cave. And make sure there aren't any innocent animals in there.

Anyways, I still hope that you see and feel the Truth in this Ramadan.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

How Summersnail Settled An Afternoon Score

I was at the Woodlands library this afternoon to do some project work which I have been procrastinating for sometime now. I told myself that I'd stay there for an hour to do, at least, the groundwork or the overall view, but it was such a difficult birth of ideas. The situational paradox of it all was that I was completely surrounded by books and a sea of multimedia resources. Yet, what an utter waste, all that. Useless! That absurdity reminded me of Coleridge's line of "Water, water, everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink."

Right, I'm not one to bemoan my fix. And I'm seldom bothered by a writer's dry funk either. It'll come again. But no time now, I thought. So I got out of that cold and uninspiring place at about 1.15pm and quickly got in a taxi.

Rush rush.. M was waiting for me at City Hall. I called in and told her to meet me at The Esplanade instead. In the taxi I squirmed all the way as the driver was excrutiatingly slow and when I finally got there, M and I had to make a quick hustle to the entrance. Lol, in our effort not to be deemed as latecomers and therefore offend the snobs :P I unknowingly left her trailing behind me. Oops.. but M looked really good running in her new pair of heels. Lol! When we we got to our seats I joked all that hustling was good for her heart! Anyways we were just in time for the 2pm matinee of Stomp.

What can I say... it was 2 solid hours of theatre and rhythm. No words, no melody only pure, uninhibited, graceful, sometimes primal, but mostly edgy and all too human movement of bodies, objects, sounds and even abstract of ideas.

The audience response was surprisingly warm considering how uptight and anal Singaporeans can be. But kudos to the performers for drawing audience participation with such panache and sincerity.

Right... I had such a good time today. Had lunch, and much later, met up with some friends of mine at Boat Quay. We chatted over lattes and whatnots, and I took out my Fujitsu and began to warm up and get that writer's groove to finally settle that BITCH of an afternoon score by putting in some satisfying content for my website project. So there you go.

All that was to expect from the evening was the 960 bus ride home. In the bus, approaching her bus top, M said some stuff that were so uncharacteristic of her but I totally relished them.