Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You've been asking

Nope, the photos aren't out yet, but they let us see some first so that we can give our stamp of approval. These are some samples, for those really interested :P

The red dress was the most skimpiest thing I've ever worn. Almost had wardrobe malfunction. We simply had to choose these pictures, since the man turned red with the effort to carry me. I'm not a waif, hahaha

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


A crime committed a decade ago stretched out its long fingers and tapped me on the shoulders recently.

As a careless undergraduate I lost my wallet, it fell out of my pocket while I was exercising in the park, and I never found it. It was a hassle getting all the documents replaced - IC, matriculation card, ATM cards - but I thought that it was the end of the story.

Until a few days ago, someone, an Indian/Bangladeshi foreign worker, turned up at my home, holding my poor long lost IC and matriculation card. They were stained and old by now, and I obviously don't need them anymore. Their sudden, unexpected appearance raises more questions than ever. How had these two cards survived these years? Literally, where on the earth have they been? If the person had stolen my wallet for the money, wouldn't he simply throw the cards away? There is only one dreadful conclusion which disturbs me deeply.

Someone has been posing as masterofboots in our country, someone who obviously has no right to reside here, taking my cards, ran around as an undergraduate. This is just...outrageous. The very idea is utterly repulsive. What had this person been doing in my name?

Anyway, it is too late now. These questions don't have an answer. Just remember, low crime isn't no crime, so be very careful with your things. Who could have guessed that a trivial oversight like this would have grow such long roots?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Half the sky

I don't think that...

All other factors being equal, a pregnant woman can carry out the duties of a job as well as someone who isn't. Of course, the lady in question could be exceptionally capable and thus even when she is performing below her usual capacity, she still does as good a job as others.

And some are fortunate enough to have easy pregnancies. Even then, it must be admitted that the lady would need time off for checkups, and eventually take the 4months of maternity leave. If others aren't dunces, it is honestly difficult to see how she can do as much work as the rest of the colleagues.

I'm not writing this to defend discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace. On the contrary, I am arguing in favour of discrimination FOR them. Time and again, I read letters in the Forum written by mothers-to-be, who plaintively claim that they are no different from their unencumbered colleagues.
But, I find it sad when a woman has to argue that pregnant or not, she is as worthy of her pay as anyone else. Maybe we have taken this feminist rhetoric a tad too far. A pregnant woman isn't a man, but we expect her to perform as if there is no morning sickness, extra weight and hormonal fluctuations. Her pregnancy is her personal matter and she shouldn't make it a problem for others.

I've heard of superwomen who pack their laptops to the hospital and a few days after delivery, started sending emails to office. Goodness me, please don't do that. There is a season for everything, and the confinement period is time for a woman to recover.

I suppose, this is the price women pay for wanting everything - family and career. Is it any wonder that some choose not to try to achieve the impossible?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aliens meeting

And thus the deal was sealed over roast duck and braised pork.

It was like a scene straight out of those Korean dramas, with the representatives from the two families meeting and chatting politely over a meal.

'You have a fine son, we are very pleased'
'Ah that is true, I am proud of my sons, but your daughter is bright'
'Have more roast duck...'
'After you please'
'Don't stand on ceremony, we are one family now'
'True, true, I am so glad'

If I weren't right at the heart of the matter, it would have seemed comical to me. Thankfully, there were no controversies, and the aliens found a common language in Teochew. There was a long queue outside the restaurant, and so we didn't get/have to linger over the meal. The young ones were only meant to be seen and not heard, so I didn't have to join in the conversation, and could enjoy the food.

The roast duck was great but the pork a trifle too oily. Hmmm...I probably would like to go back to the restaurant (Dian Xiao Er) in different circumstances.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


The worst thing about traditional Chinese wedding customs is no one knows anything about them anymore.

Venusian parents have been anxious to meet the Martian representatives officially. Since they have in fact met previously, I’m not sure what the difference between the official and unofficial meetings is. However, we duly fixed a date for the parents as instructed.

Then the strange thing happened. Martian mother privately asked me what the Venusian side is going to ask of them. And, Venusian parents asked me what everyone should be discussing during the meeting. It finally dawned upon me that nobody knows what should be done, only that canned food and dried seafood should be featured somewhere (I think).

So I suggested that we should just ditch the customs that we have ceased to understand, and instead practise only what we know. But no, no, no. This is sacrilegious. Weddings involve a dreadful number of customary practices that we should respect. Venusian parents are worried that somebody should be doing something at sometime or else there is dereliction of duty somewhere. Only, they don’t know how to fill in the blanks.

Dear me, if even our parents are at a loss, what are we to do? Don’t ask me. A woman is a child until she gets married. So I’ll leave the adults to figure out what they should be doing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We've heard many complaints about poor service in Singapore, but occasionally, customers from h*ell rear their ugly heads and makes you think, "So, that's why sales staff behave the way they do."

A young lady bumped into the shop display and broke something. She was asked to pay for the item, worth $36. I'm not sure what ensued in the confrontation, but apparently, the sales lady threatened to call the security. By the time I entered the shop, a shrill quarrel was in full swing, with the mother and daughter duo taking turns to point fingers and scream at the sales staff. "It is your fault that you placed the stuff here and caused me to knock into it!"

Actually, I doubt very much that the shop would take legal action against these two ladies if they had refused to pay. Most of the time, in such situations, people pay up because they feel responsible for the damage. However, the two ladies were sufficiently intimidated by the spectre of the security guards and paid up. Then, feeling deeply sore at their loss, they decided to strike at the weaker links. They shouted at the sales staff at great length for their alleged rudeness, demanding respect as customers, and then asked for their full names and titles so that they could lodge a cooooooomplaaaaaaaint. Long after we walked off, when we passed by the shop again, they were still raging implacably.

Goodness me, the poor girl facing the viragos was almost in tears. These people are just employees trying to uphold store policies, and manage customers' quirks. They have to please everyone, and end up pleasing no one. For $36, the two ladies would have a pound of their flesh.

If I were just a little younger and brasher, I would have given the ferocious mother and daughter gang a good scolding, but since I'm only a blogger with a soft voice, all I can do is vent my indignation here. And this is what I think of them:

Got money, no class.

Friday, October 09, 2009


My ideal home is

***On a high floor
***Well-ventilated and enjoys natural light
***In a quiet neighbourhood
***next to the Mrt
***Not too far away from downtown
***Big enough to let me dance around

But since I’m not a millionaire, not all of these requirements can be met. So dear friends, when you visit my home, be prepared to take a nice long walk from the Mrt if you don’t drive.

It irks me to read about the litany of complaints of my fellow citizens about their housing problems, making remarks like, ‘how can you expect me to live on the 2nd floor?' Some groused that they want to live near their parents, but the flats there are too expensive. And hence, despite spending a long time house-hunting, they still cannot find a suitable place. That is because, what they are looking for doesn’t exist!

My point is simple: no matter what the budget is, there is no such thing as a perfect home. I often wondered why those million-dollar condominiums beside the highways get sold. Obviously some people have decided that there is enough merit in these condos and they can live with the other shortcomings. Surely it should be understood therefore that within a budget, there are limited options.

One inevitably has to decide which qualities are more important than others, and choose accordingly. Why is it so easy to blame others (and society) when one cannot get what he wants? Frankly, if a person cannot recognize basic facts in life, he isn’t mature enough to set up his own family.

Friday, October 02, 2009

A new beginning

Dear Lord,

In the new place you have put me, I pray that I can

move the mountain
walk on water and
feed the five thousand.

Teach me to be wise as a serpent yet innocent as a dove. Go before me and make my path straight, broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles will not turn.

Let my arms bend a bow of bronze!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Slowly we are putting everything together. Grilles came in. Sigh...the unobstructed splendid view is no more, but we need to ensure our safety and this is the sensible thing to do. They don't look too bad. I can live with them.

Quaint clock, another love at first sight and impulse purchase.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Our antique furniture has come in.

Strictly speaking, this vanity table is constructed recently, but it is made with old wood i.e. wood that was retrieved from buildings torn down. I didn't know that wood can be reused, actually.

There is a romantic feel to it, knowing that the wood has memories of another existence, in who knows where...ok, that's a rather creepy idea. Never mind, it is most picturesque, and I like it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New touches

This is the new bedroom lamp the Used-to-be-cautious one bought, to join the other hanging lamp in the living room. It looks like a great cratered moon. See the halo, where they hacked the old lights off?

And a door cross, it's stone, but it matches the brass lamp too. I like it :)

Every week we add a little to the home. When would we be done?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Wallpaper arrived at looooong last, having flown from Europe just to come and be plastered unto our walls. It's been such a long wait, but I really like what I'm seeing now, so it's worth the effort. Don't you think that our wallpaper gives our home a special feel...whatever. Just say that it is nice...(or else...)

Now to look for a nice carpet to place before the TV console.
Flowers in the masterbedroom

I like the nice homely feel to the whole place.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bits and Pieces

It's finally time to see if our impulse buys work. Remember that we did not take any measurement of the house, and happily put down desposit for furniture that we liked. Now is the moment of reckoning. Our renovation isn't done yet, and our flat isn't ready for those pieces to start coming in, but since Courts quite insisted on delivering their goods, there is nothing else we could do.

A huge flat pack for the dining table: It came in bits and pieces, and had to put together by the men there and then.

Voila! With a power tool, they easily assembled everything together. That's why we can't go to Ikea. Don't want to have to fiddle forever with an allen key. See the Brass Lamp?

The Buffet cabinet turned shoe cabinet, and the cutest little red engine of a phone. Even if it doesn't work, I must buy it. But I think it works. I wouldn't know until I've tried it.

That's all for now folks. The whole picture looked rather different from what I imagined it to be...but then again, what had I imagined? I think, I would be more surprised than anyone else by how things eventually turned out.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Waiting :(

I have never been so patient in my life. The rapid progress in our renovation came to an abrupt stop, because the wallpaper we ordered is OUT OF STOCK :( and we have been waiting ever since for new stock to come in :( Rats, it is simple work and ends up taking such a long time after all. Grrrr.....I just knew that it couldn't be so easy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A true story

I decided to end my membership at Fitness First since I wasn’t exercising there anymore. So I called the gym, and was informed that I couldn’t quit on the phone. I have to make a trip to the gym to sign the papers. It seemed a fair enough request to me, and so we agreed that I would go down to the gym on Friday, 8.30pm. Then this was what happened when I arrived at the appointed time:

ME – masterofboots
FF – F First reception staff

ME: Hi, I would like to end my membership
FF: Our manager has left for the day. Can I make you an appointment to meet him?
ME: I have an appointment. It is now. I called yesterday.
FF: But our manager has left for the day. He is the only one who can process this.
ME: Then why arrange to let me come now?
FF: We don’t accept appointments by phone.
ME: Why do I have to make an appointment just to quit?
FF: Our manager would like to talk to you
ME: I don’t want to talk to anyone!

It transpired that to quit the gym, I have to:

1. Go to the gym personally to make an appointment with the manager
2. Go and see the manager
3. Give one month’s notice and pay one more month’s fees.

I didn’t lose my temper. I deliberately threw it away. I refused to sit down, and stood by the reception, scowling and with folded arms. I decided that I would stand there until the next morning if I had to. Sure enough, in a little while, the ‘departure form’ emerged, I was allowed to sign it, though there is no getting away from the extra month's fees.

I would like to say on the record that these terms and behavior are unreasonable, and greatly lowers my opinion of the company. Of course I can’t fight the bullying behavior of Big Business, but I would hesitate to put myself under such a yoke again.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Work in Progress

Ah, the happy sight of work in progress :) I must learn to give instructions more clearly. At first I told the contractor to remove some window grilles, then I changed my mind. Ahhhhhh, he removed them anyway! Oh no, now I know that not all men can react as quickly to my ficklemindness. The window is now utterly unprotected, and I am wondering whose fault it really is :(

This is not an ordinary lamp. It probably has to pass through the generations in our new family because:

1. It is made in Portugal
2. It is made of brass
3. most of all, the cautious one is so very proud of it and
4. It is blo*dy expensive (see, the price tag is still on it)

It hangs over the dining table area, but masterofboots still thinks that it looks more congruent in a canteen, so there :P Never mind, even the cautious one is allowed his moments of impulsiveness.
*** ***
I am very curious about our neighbours. There are 4 flats on our floor. They are
1. Family with lots of shoes
2. Catholic family (could tell from the crucifix on the wall)
3. Next door unknown entity.
Nothing is known about our next door neighbours so far. I hear the gentle clinking of cutlery during meal times, and know that they use white lights at home. Their living room walls are lilac, I know because I peeked in their flat. But I have not seen them once. They could be phantoms for all I know. I wonder very much what they are like, and hope that they are nice people.
BUT nothing is going to make this misanthrope knock on their door to introduce myself :P

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why do you weep at the death of a stranger?

I conclude that people treat the dead better than the living.

MJ died, and sparked off ostentatious demonstrations of grief throughout the world. Even our Hong Lim Park saw an inpromptu wake of some sort, where fans left flowers, little toys and notes. And to what purpose? Was it not the same man who was reviled for his increasingly bizzare behaviour, and whose every lurid detail was lapped up eagerly? The public seemed to have forgotten how they treated him when he was alive. Untimely deaths have the inexplicable power of canonising fallen stars.

But in the same way they devoured the father, the media is going after the children now. It pains me to see MJ's children walking through the gantlet of news vultures, their faces literally masked to protect them from the snapping cameras and intruding microphones. For goodness' sake, just leave them alone to grieve! Aren't there other sources of interesting news?

Why weep at the death of a stranger, when you treat the living so shabbily?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Big Project

It's so empty that you can hear your voice echo and reverberate through the house. Now we have the pleasant task of filling it up in the most attractive way possible. No interior designer for us, we are going to count on our good taste.

Wondering how much can go into this floor space:

The contractor was disappointed to see how well maintained our resale flat is. This means little work and money for him. Is this standard industry practice? He simply packed us off with a shopping list (go to Sim Siang Choon and Goodrich), and left us to figure out how to buy the correct items. So here we are, trying to measure the fixtures and feeling lost.

Friday, June 05, 2009

U O Me

Don’t you know that our government is very rich? The ministers enjoy such a high pay. You are rich too. You are able to enjoy a meal in the air-conditioned food court, while I go from table to table trying to get people to buy my tissues. So what if I grossly overcharge you? You are still rich, and I am still poor.’

I can’t help feeling that this is a common attitude among the poor people I encountered. It would be inhuman to accuse them of being spoilt, but there is always a sense of entitlement that I find baffling. A friend went to help distribute angpows to the residents in one-room flats, and he was asked why the fabulously rich Singapore Government gave a miserly $200 to each person. I suppose, it is only natural to feel that if others are feasting off the fat of the land, surely we too should share the largesse.

Don’t stone me for sounding like Mr. Scrooge. But beyond political correctness, why should the rich acknowledge any obligation to help the poor? Unless the rich have deliberately exploited and oppressed the poor, everyone is responsible for his own plight. Of course, life is unfair, and at some point in time, the course of our life leads us into certain circumstances. A few end up owning restaurants, some become waiters, and still others have to clean toilets. Why do the poor feel that the rich somehow owe them a moral debt because they have a better life?

Of course, no matter how the poor behave, we have the capacity to be generous. And we can afford to overlook the offensive attitudes displayed too. Hence, I still feel that no one should withhold help, just because the recipient isn’t reasonable or sufficiently polite. If nothing else, we can give because of the love of God. It is simply unfortunate that the pleasure of giving is somehow diminished. One never likes to feel taken for granted. Besides it is hard to satisfy the sense of entitlement. How much does one have to give before the aggrieved poor actually feel less deprived?

I can’t possible try to change how they see life, but they cause me to reflect upon my own attitude towards gifts – whether I receive them with a calculating eye or with thanksgiving. If I let go of my expectations, I allow myself to be surprised by blessings. Isn’t it a pleasanter way to give and to receive?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

To Men

Dear (Gentle)men,

When women ask for sexual equality, we don't really mean that we want to be treated like men. Do we, in any way, look like members of the same gender to you? Do we have rough skin, hairy arms and thick necks?

Surely you understand that the women liberation movement gathered such force only because there was simply too much mistreatment going on. We don't want to be treated like cattle to be used and bashed according to the masters' will. Women want to be paid the same amount for the same job. And not all women are willing to stay at home after marriage, and what is wrong with that? Don't men appreciate an additional income?

But some men just cannot understand that sexual equality is not the same as anarchy. It doesn't mean that it becomes fine for you to jostle for Mrt seats with us, or elbow past us to get unto the escalator first. And you win because you are 1. bigger 2. taller and 3. very rude. As for those who take the priority seats when there are pregnant ladies around, words fail me.

Of course, you have the right to do these things, just as everyone has the right to be a j*erk, as long as he doesn't break the law, but I would like to think that a knight would be gallant even there isn't any obligation to be so. Even if we ladies have forfeited our claims on chivalry, surely we can ask for a little civility

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To Mdm, with regret

I am beginning to wonder if I got my priorities right when I was in school.

I went to a convent school that prided itself for turning out well-groomed, all-rounded little ladies, and so we learnt Art appreciation, Chinese calligraphy, social dance, personal grooming, and various musical instruments. Being a good student, I also did rather well in all kinds of academic subjects, like Chemistry and Biology and Literature.


equipped me with the essential lifeskills though.

One of the most memorable moments during my Home Economics lessons was my teacher screaming at me, 'You numbskull!' I don't really blame her. It must have been really stressful trying to teach butterfingers how to sew, or clean an oven, or make batter. Home Economics lessons went past in a blur, and seriously, teenage girls have other things on their minds you know. We didn't think that one day we are going to be buying utensils, or choosing curtains or doing other matronly tasks like that. no, no, no, my principal told us we were made for great things in life.

And so now, I am doing some revision just in case, but cooking isn't a subject one could simply mug up. I went to look at books with titles like 'Really Simple Dishes', or 'How to Cook Everything Basic', but they don't help much. Problem is, I have no idea what the ingredients listed are. What are caraway seeds...curryway seeds...carryaway seeds? Then, another recipe calls for 'a roasting chicken'. What do they mean? Is it roast chicken, or a raw chicken meant for roasting? Why don't they just write recipes with things you can find in NTUC?

Then Boon One helpfully told me that modern women don't cook. We are too busy. Phew! Ok, that's one problem settled then. But what about the curtains?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Naturally Supernatural

I wasn't expecting this.

I imagined that suddenly, the Red Sea itself would part or the ground would be covered with manna from Heaven.

But what happened was, I discovered that there are many angels around in the form of understanding friends and merciful people.

It isn't magic, but I still think there is something distinctly supernatural the way things are turning out.

I don't really want to say more about what is happening, but if you will, say a little prayer for me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009



I need a miracle today.
The way forward is shrouded in black unknown, but my heart is full of hope, without really knowing why. Maybe a crisis is a good opportunity for miracles. Today is a good day to move mountains.

Monday, April 27, 2009

To Sir, with regret

I just knew that I shouldn’t have walked out of Math class 14 years ago.

It was, as always, an impulsive decision. You were giving us holiday homework, and I felt irked looking at how much there was. So I stood up and told you that I decided to drop out of the class. You were taken aback, and tried to dissuade me, but it was in vain. So, I picked up my bag and stalked out of the class, leaving behind my classmates and you open mouthed. Sigh, what a moment it was, and how much I regretted the moment!

When it comes to mathematics, practice makes perfect. That’s why you gave us all those nasty drills. Since I never bent my will to the discipline, my mathematical faculties steadily atrophied after fateful day. That day in my 3mX3m, it took me a long time to figure out how many zeroes there are in 0.2million. You see, even with a calculator, one needs to know how many zeroes there are in one million in the first place.

Another day, at the money changer’s, I suspiciously asked the man why he gave me a rate that was different from the published one, and he said with a sigh, “Mdm, that’s because I am giving you a better rate!”

And now that I am dealing with numbers bigger than what I am used to, my little mind can hardly comprehend what is happening. But at least now, I understand what compound interest is. Soon, I’ll try to tackle exponential…something…progression? Or is it arithmetic progression? How do installments work, if there is interest to be factored in?

So I have to admit, I wish that I had been a better student in the Math class. Those horrible and abstract concepts are actually needed in real life! Sir, you are utterly justified for trying to make us work harder in Math.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Paradise Found

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried
it was our sorrows that weighed him down...
He was pierced for our transgressions,
crushed for our sins
He was beaten so we might be whole
He was whipped so we might be healed.

I think the chief idea here is redemption.

Of course, the Cross means that our sins are forgiven. We get away with being such awful sinners, and hence we should be properly relieved.

But I think that there is more to redemption than this. I had been puzzled for a long time by these verses. What has sin got to do with sorrows? If the Cross is intended to help us deal with our sins, why does Christ have to bear the sorrows too?

I think redemption means that we receive healing from all the scars caused by our own sins. It is as if we never committed the sins in the first place.

When there is sin, it isn't merely an offence against God, because some law is broken. Every sin wrecks its own damage upon our souls, at the very least, guilt and shame, self-rejection because of what we did. And then there could be anger at those whom we think caused us to sin. Dare I propose that sin hurts us more than it hurts others, and far more than we realise? Even if a sin committed goes unrecorded, we still suffer from the pain of having sinned.

And the Cross enables us to receive healing from others' sins. We live in a fallen world, and a lot of suffering comes from the actions done by other people - harsh words, condemnation and even physical hurt. Sometimes I think that we grieve the most deeply when we are hurt by those we love most. And this pain lingers to torment us long after the real act is over.

Yet Christ enables us to receive healing from all these hurts, to be able to look back at what happened without rancour, for the sake of His love, if nothing else. Hence, the Cross erases more than the penalty of sins. It truly removes ALL the consequences of sins, to enable us to live in a state that is a little more like Eden.

Then, why aren't Christians a happier lot of people? Why do I fret and rage at worldly matters, as if I do not know these truths? My friends, this is because of the lies our minds have come to believe in. After years of conditioned behaviour, it seems impossible to react differently in adverse conditions. We consider these reactions natural. When there is disapointment or heartbreak, we despair. But Christ says, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven'. He is telling us that there is a different way to live, and out of the brokenness there is a greater blessing we cannot fathom.

Let me try to remember that, anytime I feel despair, or fear, or anger, I have believed in the old lies again, that I have to despair, to fear, to be angry. But really, I don't. Because if anyone is in Christ, the old is gone and the new has come.

So, this Good Friday is a good time to contemplate what we have been redeemed from.

Contemplating the Cross

It is going to be Good Friday soon. Every year, we Christians gather to contemplate Christ's death on the Cross. Even non-believers vaguely know what this day is intended to commemorate. But, i don't think I fully understand what the Cross really means for our lives.

I spent the past few days trying to think of an entry that would fully explain how our lives should be changed because of the Cross, and the more I think, the less I seem to understand.

Of course, the most immediate result of the Cross is that we, sinners of all ages, are now spared from eternal death, because while the 'wages of sin' is death, it is a price now fully paid for by Christ. Yet, I really suspect that there is something more to redemption than mere acquital from our sins. Otherwise, wouldn't it mean that after accepting Christ, we are just waiting for death that would bring us into the Promised Land. Then, what are we to do in the meantime? Live a stereotypical Christian life? We go to church and try to behave in a reasonably respectable manner, and every time we sin, we confess, and get ourselves acquited, until the next sin.

I really think, that there is more to the Cross than that. I am looking for a richer and more passionate kind of life than this. I want more than respectability. The Bible says that when we receive Christ, we are a 'new Creation', and the old self is dead. What then, does this mean? Are these verses mere poetry that we memorise, to regurgitate at the Pearly Gates when the time comes?

I can feel the answer whirling vaguely around my head, but I can't find the words to pin them down. When I get my act together, there would be another entry on this matter. I am not done yet.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Chronicles of my eReader saga

- Amazon ignored my enthusiastic email about the Kindle
- B&H cancelled my order for my Sony eReader
- then, suddenly, a package arrived with 3 days.

I am astonished by the speed, and would like to thank Fedex for the speedy delivery. after some disappointment and setbacks, I am happy to say that I, masterofboots, am finally now a proud owner of Hanlin V3, aka Bebooks.

It isn't as stylish as the Sony eReader, and can't read books from Amazon. BUT, it is MINE, and I am happy to say that I have been busy trying to load all my favourite books, like Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and and James Herriot. Yes, friends, you've heard me right. HAHAHA, what else did you think I was going to do with the eReader? I know, it seems a pity getting such a fancy gadget just to read these trivial stuff, but you see, my old copies of these books are already fading with age, and becoming increasingly moldy too.

I just spent 2 hours sweating over the software, trying to download books from mobipocket. After much effort, I finally succeeded. hmmm, this is going to take some getting use to.

The dreadful thought refuses to go away. Does it mean that i am never going to have an excuse to go into bookshops again? Yun just reminded me that Borders has a special sales, but, will this ever mean anything to me now? This is a lifestyle dilemma. How ambivalent I feel now about this device people invented! What if ... we destroy the very existence of the books we love?

*** ***
The Wedding Helper

I am not sure why, but time and again, I find myself performing at people's weddings, like, singing for my supper. Yesterday it happened again. This time, I had to be the emcee. One hour before the event, I looked at my script, and wondered...am I the Chinese or English emcee?

Then I went to the hotel restaurant, and demanded to report. 'But, I am the emcee! You've got to let me go in.'

They looked at me and said, 'Miss, I think your event is next door. This place is holding two dinners tonight.' I fled without even apologising. How would I know there were two wedding dinners, side by side?

Little hiccups aside, everything else ran quite smoothly. I wouldn't even think that I was doing an emcee's job. I was just reading from the script and I can do that quite well you know, haha. I gave Boon One special instructions to make sure that I had big helpings of my favourite dishes.

The good thing was, I wasn't nervous at all. Anyway, I knew that no one was listening. The couple made their speeches, and people continued to chat. How rude people can be! Of course, you'll tell me, that's normal at a Chinese wedding dinner. But why should it be? >:1

Monday, March 09, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Do not watch Slumdog Millionaire unless you are prepared to be
Appalled by the cruelty dished out casually
Outraged by the social injustice that is part of life
Saddened by daily tragedies and
Exhausted after an emotional rollercoaster ride.

There isn’t a moment of respite for the audience, the story lurches from one tragedy to another. I watched the movie with my eyes shut half the time, and my mouth wide open in one long silent scream.

A destitute, illiterate boy enters the greatest game show in his world, and by astonishing chance, happens to know all the answers asked. How did this boy, he who cannot read, come to know answers that eluded even lawyers and doctors? As the drama unfolds, it emerges that he never went to school, and each nugget of information, trivia to the rest of us, is accidentally discovered through the various tragedies n his life. They are lessons dearly paid for with blood and tears.

It is heartbreaking, not uplifting, to see the resilience exhibited. People don’t simply roll over and die. Even children can become impervious to pain, and find ways to make a living for themselves. So Jamal and his brother became expert at fleecing and stealing from tourists. In a acidly ironic moment, Jamal tells the American tourists, ‘You want to see the real India? This is real India.’ It is not Taj Mahal or exotic festivals.

It gives me some relief to see the obligatory final song and dance because it is a reminder that we are just watching a movie. Yet at the same time, this is the depressing truth - that Jamal and his sweetheart find salvation because they are fiction. The slums are still there, though we leave them behind in the theatre. So why should we feel any more virtuous just because we watched a movie with more depth than usual?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

14 Feb

deep red roses nestled amongst
delicate baby's breath
silk and lace in a blue gift box
fat meaty sausages
chicken wings, honey-glaced
crabstick, slightly charred
truant tomatoes rolling off the grill
crackling of charcoal, fanned by the sea breeze
aeroplanes roaring to land
the twinkling North Star (yeah, like real...)
a little scorched grass, uh oh :P

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Misanthrope musing

They say that a woman speaks 20000 words a day. I mean, a woman has to speak 20000 words a day. Otherwise the unspoken words would accumulate painfully within her until they spill out uncontrollably, like in a tirade against her loved ones.

Let me try to see if I meet this quota:

Since I am a misanthrope, I shall count the written words too. I probably produce 2000 written words every day. I say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to my colleagues. I say ‘yes’ to boss, and ‘thank you’ to the office attendant. Then I go home, where half of my family members are in bed already, and the fat one is too busy to talk. No wonder I have been feeling less misanthropic lately.

Truth be told, I really miss having people to talk to, like those quirky northpole people. When I first entered this job, a veteran says, ‘don’t befriend your colleagues’. Now I see that they mean. It makes moving on more difficult.

Beware, my friends. If we ever meet, you’ll have to listen to approximately 100000 words because of the backlog. Er, anyone wants to meet me soon?

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Group

at the end of the day, i discovered that there were angry bruises on my knees. oh boy, the labour of love :( i never even noticed when it happened. the nursery changed location, and now, the room doesn't have those spongy mats that protected the kids (and their minders) from falls and scraps. if i looked like that by the time the babysitting session ended, i wonder what the kids looked like :P

without realising it, my stint at Church's childcare is almost over. i was only obliged to help for 10 weeks. it was such fun playing with those adorable tiddly toddlers that i considered staying on, but i am sorry to say that it also meant working with adults, which is much less fun :P

it makes me sad to see the forces of socialisation at work even when the children are so young. the children are always brought through a series of activities during the 2 hours - handicrafts, songs, storytelling and games. all these activities are, of course, carefully planned to help optimise their development. what happens when a child doesn't want to follow through?

that is not allowed. i spent the whole morning chasing a determined little girl who wasn't interested in singing or colouring or listening. she just wanted to wander around the room and explore the many objects lying around. we played games and she decided to run off with the ball instead of passing it. finally, another nanny firmly grabbed her and told her that she was being a BAD girl. she should follow her friends and obey instructions. that is a GOOD girl.

suddenly, i didn't know why i was trying to make her clap her hands or sleep with the group. she was happy, her safety wasn't in danger, ok, she doesn't follow instructions, but for goodness sake, she's only all of two years old! maybe she doesn't know why these adults are trying to make her go left when she wants to go right, and sit still when she wants to walk.

one day she'll learn to behave as society dictates. she'll learn what it means to be a GOOD girl. she has to, because being part of the group entails conformity. but surely, growing up doesn't have to start at two :( i think, next week, i'll run about with her. who wants to follow all the scripted actions all the time?

Friday, January 09, 2009

the big move - one week on

here I am, in my tailored pants and fitted shirt, feeling somber and important, and trying to remember to think before I speak. I suppose, at some point in life, growing up is inevitable

I’ve been told that there would be a steep learning curve and this is true! I can hardly help absorbing knowledge in all the discussions and conversations around me. It is humbling to be a beginner and novice all over again, and having to find firm footing when the sands are shifting beneath my feet. Suddenly, all my expertise doesn’t seem to be relevant. Who cares if I could write about the Descartes or explain the allegory of the cave?

But I shall be optimistic. If I always choose to do what I am already familiar with, I would become slow and stupid. Think of it this way…I’m sure that I have just staved off Alzheimer’s disease with all the stimulation.