Wednesday, October 27, 2010

of Mice and Men

Those two Squeaks.

Of course I never had any illusions that my love for them is reciprocated, but even then, their pragmatism is too blatant. Now that they live in the playpen with all the toys and food and bedding they like, they have gone wild completely. Even BigSqueak, who used to climb happily into my hand, has taken to hiding, ninja-like, in dark corners. They are having the time of their lives of course. Which other hamsters in Singapore live in such luxury?

And hence they now completely ignore us, not realising that all these good things come from us. They don't want to play with us anymore. 'Don't bother me when I'm gnawing my sunflower seeds', 'I'm digging a hole in my favourite box, I shall dig all the way to Australia. I'm too busy to play with you!' To think that in the past, when they were confined to their cage, they used to wait eagerly at its door whenever we walk pass the cage, for food and to be allowed to come out for a few minutes of freedom.

Oh the perverse nature of fallen creation! I half wonder if in God's eyes, the Israelites of the Old Testament had not behaved in exactly the same way. They prayed and cried when the enemies were at the city gates, and then forgot all about God's law when they had victory. In fact, we aren't much better either. While enjoying the liberality of God's hand, we quite take for granted or even forget the giver's love. We get too busy to serve God, too busy to care about the Great Commission, well...too busy to worship God. 

V is sure that if we remove everything from them, they would be sweet and cuddly again. But I would rather not. Since they are only hamsters, they shall be allowed to indulge in their wayward little free wills.

God, of course, has rather different expectations of us.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Standard Singlish

The mistake is probably excusable, since it is made by One can hardly expect it to get its Singlish right.

On one of its posters, in imitation of typical Singapore English, there is an expression 'You got eat already or not?' I have to protest that this expression is an unflattering and inaccurate caricature of Singlish.

The problem with this sentence is the expression of its perfective aspect. In standard English, it is expressed as 'Have you eaten...?', with the compound verb 'have eaten' carrying present perfective meaning.

In Singlish, the perfective aspect is carrried in 'already', as in, for example, 'the bus come already' (the bus has come). On the other hand, 'got' is sometimes used to indicate past tense, as in 'the bus got come' (the bus came).

I think that the sentence in the poster is simply carrying too much, and redundant information. The expression should simply be 'you got eat or not', or 'you eat already or not', but not 'you got eat already or not?' Excuse my purist streak, but not every mangled expression is Singlish. Singaporeans who do speak Singlish intuitively follow systematic rules too. We may speak wrongly, but we don't speak like idiots.

Maybe it is the first sign of creolisation - when the users of the pidgin forms begin to recognize new language structures, and can identify whether an expression is correctly incorrect, or incorrectly incorrect. Hm...maybe we don't want to get there, of course. This brickbat aside, I support the Speak Good English movement.

Friday, October 15, 2010



I admit, I'm a beauty product junkie. Hey, which woman isn't? Ruefully, I took stock the other day, and conclude...I just have to throw some away. They are taking too much space, and deep in my heart, I know that I'm never going to use them again. Why did I buy them? Because...because...they seem like such good ideas! Like the FaceShop paste that promises to pull out all your blackheads (didn't work), or the mask that envelops my face in oxygen foam...(I see no difference after that).

Sigh...if all these products only do half of what they claim, (like the 'miracle broth' space age cream), I should look about 12 years old, because they are supposed to 'reverse ageing at the DNA level'. (HAH!) But there are still fine lines around my eyes, so I'm obviously a s*cker prone to wishful thinking and vulnerable to hyperbolic marketing :(

This is merely half of the damage. You guys haven't seen my vanity table yet. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Who's there?

BigSqueak looking out inquiringly when we knock on her door. If there is food, she'll come out. If not, she goes back to sleep, ay, and closes the door with tissue paper too.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Waiting is the Hardest Work of Faith

The hardest part about waiting is not knowing when it would end.

Sometimes God answers prayers almost instantaneously, but occasionally, He allows the trial of waiting - of waiting for circumstances to move, of waiting for emotions to change, and of waiting for explanation to emerge. And dear Lord, times like that, it feels like the prayer hasn't been heard. Is there someone else at the other end of the telephone line?

As Christians, we are impressed by stories of how God parted the Red Sea, or even made the sun stand still, but honestly, I suspect that these miracles aren't as difficult as molding the human heart. Whatever involves only strength and power is probably easy for God. He can even call the world into existence in 6 days. But to guide the course of our thoughts and feelings, that is a delicate operation because God gave us free will. After molding us to be the best that we can be, He wants us to be recognizably and uniquely us. And that is why waiting is inevitably part of the Christian experience.

We wait because others take time to respond to God, we wait because our minds take time to renew, and we wait because God somehow has in mind a greater plan which we are not aware of. And in the meantime? How do we lessen the weariness of waiting?

I rather like the reflections in this article: Dogged Devotion
While faced with the unknown, we should focus on what is known i.e. God's unfailing love. Even if God's ways are inexplicable, some things He makes unquestionably clear - His love on the Cross, and the power of resurrection.

We can bear with the wait, because we have hope.