hey all :) hope we all had fun at Mrs Lim's house yesterday! =)
uploaded the photos already. and we have a whole series of photos which brendan took of himself =/ or make people take of him. im glad my camera's still working!! HAHA ok i shall stop being so mean =/
click HERE for the rest.
okay. as requested:
buses that go to mrs lim's house - 174, 157, 66 (these come from school and kap)
970 (this comes from kap)
1. if you're coming from school or kap, once the bus passes a busstop outside a shell station (it's the busstop after kap), the bus should turn left. if not, something is wrong, hop off the bus immediately! count 3 busstops. alight at the 3rd busstop.
2. for the cck pple, eh i told you'll wrongly. you'll should alight at the busstop after the chij bukit timah (aka old peihwa) busstop. yupps. you should see the condo when you alight. just walk to your right and cross the road. (as in your right when you face the busstop)
if you'll get lost call me. i'll try to direct you'll.
yupps so be at the condo (wouldn't the busstop right outside the condo be a better meeting place? o.O) at 430 pm.
hee. here's something to watch if you wanna feel warm and cosy inside (:
sometimes, all we need is a hug(: jiayou for As pple!
hello! my first time blogging..not only here, but itz really my first time blogging, ever! yes and i'll confess before huili goes around and announces the embarrassing news to everyone that i had to ask her how to get here and how to blog. actually i have the website of the blog itself already (yes, aw yong, your gong1 lao2) but i was wondering how come i couldn't create any entries from there. anyway i hereby announce that justine is not initiating the sentosa outing already..in part due to poor support from the other 12 ppl who went to marina square on friday ( i did a mini survey there). yep. sigh. anyway i noticed all the other entries the font very small...why arh? i shall make mine big-big. seeya. and all the best to chem s ppl. maybe i'll consider waking up early tmr to wish u guys.:)
harloe! haha okay i have to share with you all these few podcasts just in case u all have not heard it yet (slow!) =P finest selections..lol. can explore the rest yourself lahh..can be quite hilarious
post prelims! enjoy =p
September 19th, 2006
Before I went to Canada for a year, I had to go for a medical check-up. During that check-up, the doctor told me that I would love Canada. And he had said that most of the people he knew that went to Canada, either never came back; or when they did, they’d returned to Canada shortly after. Few ever stayed in Singapore.
At the time, I wondered why. I don’t anymore.
The government asks us why we leave. They calls us quitters and deserters, for leaving our country, our homeland, for some other place that we perceive to be greener pastures. Why leave Singapore, where we rank tops for good governance (save for voice and accountability, where we scored a low of 38.2% this year), where we are so clean and safe and secure, and where we are so efficient?
The fact of the matter is, that there are people who will give up all of the above, for more freedom.
I was happy in Canada. Sure, it was expensive, and taxes were a killer. With a 14% combination of GST and PST on all consumer items, and income taxes hitting a high of 40%; it was definitely difficult to make ends meet for someone who did not work there. And of course, on days where the buses went on strike, I’d be stuck in campus and not be able to go to town. Also, we did have a bit of a furor when Parliament was dissolved late last year, only to have the Conservatives voted in after 13 years under the Liberals. Oh and before I forget, yes it was definitely more inefficient. Expect to wait when you queue up to pay for something; the cashier will inevitably engage everyone before you as to how their day was (and their kids, and their parents, and what they think of the weather; etc). Expect to wait for the buses because the bus driver might have stopped somewhere to grab a cup of Starbucks while doing his rounds (yes, with passengers in the bus). Oh, and how can I forget the drug problem: you can get drugs anywhere off the street if you know where to look; marijuana is about as commonplace as cigarettes and alcohol.
But for all the possible gripes that I might have about that place, the benefits far outweighed all the detriments (if you even saw them as that) combined. Firstly, we were really free. I’m not just talking about freedom with regard to political freedom to vote, to protest, to strike, to demonstrate, or to have a point of view; but also real freedom of the mind and the body. You can think differently, dress differently, live differently. Society is inclusive.
The city that I lived in had a whole mix of races and nationalities. I’ve met everyone from locals to the Koreans, Japs and Chinese, Iranians, Iraqis, Philippinos, Latin Americans, French, Africans, Indians etc etc etc. It’s as much a cultural mix, if not more so, than Singapore. And the best part is: everyone more or less gets along. There is no need for the implementation of “Racial Harmony Day” or racial quotas for HDB flats. Everyone just does – because prejudice just does not exist there.
And it wasn’t just about race and religion; you could be a conservative or a liberal, be it cerebral or waist-down. It didn’t matter. Such criteria was just not a measure of your worth. You could be thin or fat. It didn’t matter too. People weren’t as image-conscious. You could walk down the streets dressed in goth punk outfits with multiple piercings in your face and people would still talk to you normally, and not avoid you. And in Village area, men held hands with men; they kissed on buses, and no one even batted an eye lid.
In Singapore, can you comprehend this inclusiveness? The majority of Singaporeans are notably close-minded and inflexible. Even if a straight couple were to kiss on the bus, there would be chitters regarding the offensiveness of public displays of affection. When the gay community wishes to throw a party, they get turned down because the overly-conservative majority decides that this is a justification for the prevention of AIDS. Singapore is one of the few countries, if not the only, where drug trafficking attracts a mandatory death penalty, such that the courts do not even have the discretion to pardon the poor 18 year old Nigerian who became a drug mule without him realizing the folly of his error.
If you decide to stage a demonstration, you require a permit that will always be turned down on the vague notions of security; if you support a party other than the one in power, you risk getting asked for your particulars and photographed. If you hold a view other than the one in the local papers (which is so effectively-controlled, all for the sake of “the national interest”), you are forced to keep that view to yourself. If you attempt to post that view up on a platform, such as a blog, you might be sent a warning letter especially with a threat of defamation. If you decide to print out that view and distribute it on a phamplet, you may get investigated under s 151 of the Penal Code. Oh, and you can’t do podcasts with political content, unless you are the party in power.
In Singapore, besides the overwhelming humidity, there is a notorious lack of personal space. There are too many people in Singapore. It’s so difficult to find a place which isn’t swarming with people. The roads are full of cars, the buses are packed to full capacity at various times of the day; Raffles Place strikes me as a factory churning out goods as people chope seats with tissue packets on busy lunch hours. And everyone is always in a rush. There is always this inane need to do something, be somewhere, get caught up in this inexplicable rat race, and just work and work and work until you succeed… and then realize that you don’t even know what the fuck ‘success’ really means.
The stress is crazy; the pressure unfightable. It starts from the time we enter primary school; the education system does prepare us for the real world in that sense – we get exposed to pressure cooker type stress and a level of competition that makes having a life outside of academia almost impossible, unlike in other countries whose universities also produce Nobel laureates. Our parents push us, our schools push us; society pushes us… And our goal is this:
Money. Money and the economy.
In Singapore, this is the definition of the good life. Some people may subscribe to religion as what defines a good life, particularly in reaction to the imposition of money as the new god; but for the most part, Singaporeans are a consumeristic and materialistic lot. So many girlfriends see the Mango and Zara sales as the defining point of their lives; or believe that sipping lychee martinis at Zouk Wine Bar is the epitome of class. Everyone wants to get more money, buy more items, be more powerful; be it career success or material possession, this is all that most Singaporeans dream of and spend their entire lives clamouring towards.
And this works great for Singapore, because all of Singapore’s objectives are geared towards only 1 thing and one thing alone: money. Or in the case of this country, the economy. Everything we do, we do it for the sake of our economy. We have no minimum wage; we have no protection against the ills that globalization necessarily brings us. We have no protection for the rising income equality (all we have is an article in the newspapers telling us to disbelieve the Gini-coefficient), we have no solutions for our elderly except to either dump them in Johor or Batam, or to encourage our young to bring more babies into this pressure cooker life.
Someone told me that this was not a bad thing. Because we have different races and religions, the economy is the one thing that can unite us. I told him that he was a mere subject of years of successful indoctrination. He talked like just another average Singaporean.
“Money unites us.”
In a country where I would like to live, it is not money, but dreams that unite. Dreams that transcend the material; dreams of ideals of maybe caring for a family; caring for the environment within which we live; dreams of bettering oneself, or dreams or learning for the sake of learning; dreams to be whatever I want to be; that unite people.
In Singapore, it is difficult to dream. Difficult to dream of anything beyond the material. I don’t wish for a future where I am stuck in my dead end job wondering what the fuck I want in my life. I don’t want a future where I die to myself, murder my idealism and my dreams of being different, simply because ‘different’ is a bad word in Singapore.
And because Singapore is not a place where such dreams flourish, Singapore is just not a place where I envision myself realizing these dreams.
How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?
“Such number as may be deemed necessary to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the strictures of the following agreement: Whereas the party of the first part, also known as "The Lawyer," and the party of the second part, also known as "The Light Bulb," do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entry way, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spill-over illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties. The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps: The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, step stool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, said direction being non-negotiable. Said grasping and rotation of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be undertaken by the party of the first part (Lawyer) with every possible caution by the party of the first part (Lawyer) to maintain the structural integrity of the party of the second part (Light Bulb), notwithstanding the aforementioned failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) to perform the aforementioned customary and agreed upon duties. The foregoing notwithstanding, however, both parties stipulate that structural failure of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) may be incidental to the aforementioned failure to perform and in such case the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall be held blameless for such structural failure insofar as this agreement is concerned so long as the non-negotiable directional codicil (counter-clockwise) is observed by the party of the first part (Lawyer) throughout.
Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part ("Receptacle"), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes. Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part ("New Light Bulb"). This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, said direction also being non-negotiable.
NOTE: The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by said party of the first part (Lawyer), by his heirs and assigns, or by any and all persons authorized by him to do so, the objective being to produce a level of illumination in the immediate vicinity of the aforementioned front (north) door consistent with maximization of ingress and revenue for the party of the fifth part.”
yt(being random again)
A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science fair. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment.
In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide.” And for plenty of good reasons:
1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. It is a major component of acid rain
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you
5. It contributes to erosion
6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer He asked fifty people if they supported a ban of the chemical.
Forty-three said yes and six were undecided. Only one knew that the chemical, “dihydrogen monoxide” was water. The title of his prize winning project was, “How Gullible are We?” He feels the conclusion is obvious.
this is quite long.. but i think it's worth reading =)
By the time I was ten, I was totally ashamed of my father. All my friends called him names: Quasi-Moto, hunchback, monster, little Frankenstein, the crooked little man with the crooked little cane. At first it hurt when they called him those things, but soon I found myself agreeing with them. He was ugly, and I knew it!
My father was born with something called parastremmatic dwarfism. The disease made him stop growing when he was about thirteen and caused his body to twist and turn into a grotesque shape. It wasn't too bad when he was a kid. I saw pictures of him when he was about my age. He was a little short but quite good-looking. Even when he met my mother and married her when he was nineteen, he still looked pretty normal. He was still short and walked with a slight limp, but he was able to do just about anything. Mother said, "He even used to be a great dancer."
Soon after my birth, things started getting worse. Another genetic disorder took over, and his left foot started turning out, almost backward. His head and neck shifted over to the right; his neck became rigid and he had to look over his left shoulder a bit. His right arm curled in and up, and his index finger almost touched his elbow. His spine warped to look something like a big, old roller coaster and it caused his torso to lie sideways instead of straight up and down like a normal person. His walk became slow, awkward, and deliberate. He had to almost drag his left foot as he used his deformed right arm to balance his gait.
I hated to be seen with him. Everyone stared. They seemed to pity me. I knew he must have done something really bad to have God hate him that much.
By the time I was seventeen, I was blaming all my problems on my father. I didn't have the right boyfriends because of him. I didn't drive the right car because of him. I wasn't pretty enough because of him. I didn't have the right jobs because of him. I wasn't happy because of him.
Anything that was wrong with me, or my life, was because of him. If my father had been good-looking like Jane's father, or successful like Paul's father, or worldly like Terry's father, I would be perfect! I knew that for sure.
The night of my senior prom came, and Father had to place one more nail in my coffin; he had volunteered to be one of the chaperones at the dance. My heart just sank when he told me. I stormed into my room, slammed the door, threw myself on the bed, and cried. "Three more weeks and I'll be out of here!" I screamed into my pillow. "Three more weeks and I will have graduated and be moving away to college." I sat up and took a deep breath. "God, please make my father go away and leave me alone. He keeps sticking his big nose in everything I do. Just make him disappear, so that I can have a good time at the dance."
I got dressed, my date picked me up, and we went to the prom. Father followed in his car behind us. When we arrived, Father seemed to vanish into the pink chiffon drapes that hung everywhere in the auditorium. I thanked God that He had heard my prayer. At least now I could have some fun.
Midway through the dance, Father came out from behind the drapes and decided to embarrass me again. He started dancing with my girlfriends. One by one, he took their hand and led them to the dance floor. He then clumsily moved them in circles as the band played. Now I tried to vanish into the drapes.
After Jane had danced with him, she headed my way. Oh, no! I thought. She's going to tell me he stomped on her foot or something.
"Grace," she called, "you have the greatest father."
My face fell. "What?"
She smiled at me and grabbed my shoulders. "Your father's just the best. He's funny, kind, and always finds the time to be where you need him. I wish my father was more like that."
For one of the first times in my life, I couldn't talk. Her words confused me.
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
Jane looked at me really strangely. "What do you mean, what do I mean? Your father's wonderful. I remember when we were kids, and I'd sleep over at your house. He'd always come into your room, sit down in the chair between the twin beds, and read us a book. I'm not sure my father can even read," she sighed, and then smiled. "Thanks for sharing him."
Then, Jane ran off to dance with her boyfriend.
I stood there in silence.
A few minutes later, Paul came to stand beside me.
"He's sure having a lot of fun."
"What? Who? Who is having a lot of fun?" I asked.
"Your father. He's having a ball."
"Yeah. I guess." I didn't know what else to say.
"You know, he's always been there," Paul said. "I remember when you and I were on the mixed-doubles soccer team. He tried out as the coach, but he couldn't run up and down the field, remember? So they picked Jackie's father instead. That didn't stop him. He showed up for every game and did whatever needed to be done. He was the team's biggest fan. I think he's the reason we won so many games. Without him, it just would have been Jackie's father running up and down the field yelling at us. Your father made it fun. I wish my father had been able to show up to at least one of our games. He was always too busy."
Paul's girlfriend came out of the restroom, and he went to her side, leaving me once again speechless.
My boyfriend came back with two glasses of punch and handed me one.
"Well, what do you think of my father?" I asked out of the blue.
Terry looked surprised. "I like him. I always have."
"Then why did you call him names when we were kids?"
"I don't know. Because he was different, and I was a dumb kid."
"When did you stop calling him names?" I asked, trying to search my
Terry didn't even have to think about the answer. "The day he sat down with me outside by the pool and held me while I cried about my mother and father's divorce. No one else would let me talk about it. I was hurting inside, and he could feel it. He cried with me that day. I thought you knew."
I looked at Terry and a tear rolled down my cheek as long-forgotten memories started cascading into my consciousness.
When I was three, my puppy got killed by another dog, and my father was there to hold me and teach me what happens when the pets we love die. When I was five, my father took me to my first day of school. I was so scared. So was he. We cried and held each other that first day. The next day he became teacher's helper. When I was eight, I just couldn't do math. Father sat down with me night after night, and we worked on math problems until math became easy for me. When I was ten, my father bought me a brand-new bike. When it was stolen, because I didn't lock it up like I was taught to do, my father gave me jobs to do around the house so I could make enough money to purchase another one. When I was thirteen and my first love broke up with me, my father was there to yell at, to blame, and to cry with. When I was fifteen and I got to be in the honor society, my father was there to see me get the accolade. Now, when I was seventeen, he put up with me no matter how nasty I became
or how high my hormones raged.
As I looked at my father dancing gaily with my friends, a big toothy grin on his face, I suddenly saw him differently. The handicaps weren't his, they were mine! I had spent a great deal of my life hating the man who loved me. I had hated the exterior that I saw, and I had ignored the interior that contained his God-given heart. I suddenly felt very ashamed.
I asked Terry to take me home, too overcome with feelings to remain.
On graduation day, at my Christian high school, my name was called, and I stood behind the podium as the valedictorian of my class. As I looked out over the people in the audience, my gaze rested on my father in the front row sitting next to my mother. He sat there, in his one and only, specially made suit, holding my mother's hand and smiling.
Overcome with emotions, my prepared speech was to become a landmark in my life.
"Today I stand here as an honor student, able to graduate with a 4.0 average. Yes, I was in the honor society for three years and was elected class president for the last two years. I led our school to championship in the debate club, and yes, I even won a full scholarship to Kenton State University so that I can continue to study physics and someday become a college professor.
"What I'm here to tell you today, fellow graduates, is that I didn't do it alone. God was there, and I had a whole bunch of friends, teachers, and counselors who helped. Up until three weeks ago, I thought they were the only ones I would be thanking this evening. If I had thanked just them, I would have been leaving out the most important person in my life. My father."
I looked down at my father and at the look of complete shock that covered his face.
I stepped out from behind the podium and motioned for my father to join me onstage. He made his way slowly, awkwardly, and deliberately. He had to drag his left foot up the stairs as he used his deformed right arm to balance his gait. As he stood next to me at the podium, I took his small, crippled hand in mine and held it tight.
"Sometimes we only see the silhouette of the people around us," I said. "For years I was as shallow as the silhouettes I saw. For almost my entire life, I saw my father as someone to make fun of, someone to blame, and someone to be ashamed of. He wasn't perfect, like the fathers my friends had.
"Well, fellow graduates, what I found out three weeks ago is that while I was envying my friends' fathers, my friends were envying mine. That realization hit me hard and made me look at who I was and what I had become. I was brought up to pray to God and hold high principles for others and myself. What I've done most of my life is read between the lines of the Good Book so I could justify my hatred."
Then, I turned to look my father in the face.
"Father, I owe you a big apology. I based my love for you on what I saw and not what I felt. I forgot to look at the one part of you that meant the most, the big, big heart God gave you. As I move out of high school and into life, I want you to know I could not have had a better father. You were always there for me, and no matter how badly I hurt you, you still showed up. Thank you!"
I took off my mortar board and placed it on his head, moving the tassel just so.
"You are the reason I am standing here today. You deserve this honor, not me.
And as the audience applauded and cried with us, I felt God's light shining down upon me as I embraced my father more warmly than I ever had before, tears unashamedly falling down both our faces.
For the first time, I saw my father through God's eyes, and I felt honored to be seen with him.
jia you everyone =)