Wednesday, April 30, 2008


It's pretty ironic.

Was busy running around, showing the professor the results we had found from analysing some research data for the department. He looked quite impressed. It wasn't even a project my classmate and I had asked for, since we already fulfilled our project requirement elsewhere. Maybe it as beginners' enthusiasm, maybe it was because the professor had the talent of convincing anyone to do anything willingly, but anyhow, we put in some hours into it.

The professor then had to rush off to interview the new batch of medical school applicants.

I remember that exact moment 4 years back. I was asked if I would be interested in the research aspects of medicine.

I guess my honesty didn't earn me any points, judging by how had I was pressed to justify my plan of delving entirely into clinical medicine and not research. Maybe that was why I only got in via the reserve list...

Turns out, exactly 4 years later, I'm assisting in a research project out of my own volition.

Oh boy, the fresh-faced medical school applicants who so enthusiastically announce their ambitions for the future would soon realise that much of those hours lying in bed charting out their lives will go to waste.

Obstacles and opportunities can never be predicted. Why mull over them?

Life's simple. Avoid obstacles. Grapple opportunities. There's not much point in regret if you follow this mantra.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Alien Invasion

I feel like an alien over here. Everyone is happily talking about the fun things they did together but I'm clueless! Not that I'm the kind who plays poker or whatever anyway.

Somehow, I'm just different. Which makes frustrating when I can't find common ground with anyone...

Looks like I don't have to put up the charade of looking interested in their conversation anymore...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Consumerist KC

McGriddles is the new breakfast sandwich that Mcdonalds sells. It's essentially a Sausage Mcmuffin with hotcakes for buns.

Does it live up to the hype that weeks of aggressive advertising had built up? Let's see.

Hotcakes - good stuff. Maple syrup infused hotcakes - even better stuff. Sausage Mcmuffin - good stuff. Sausage Mcmuffin with hotcakes for buns - not so good.

There's a discordant clash of sweet and savoury which really detracts from the whole experience. To be honest, the hotcake buns (if you call them buns in the first place) were quite alright (though YES I unabashedly say I can make better pancakes than that). But I'd rather eat them separately. And in that case, sandwiching it all together doesn't make any sense eh?

It's gimmicky.

The crunch: Buy it. But eat it by the layers. Not as a sandwich.


Speaking of which, I realise I'm a sucker for deluxe sets and those bouns CDs with rare tracks and demos.

The Kook's Konk. It's good, upbeat stuff, like I've been gushing about the past couple of weeks. And the bonus CD Rak didn't disappoint, with a totally sweet acoustic version of See The Sun and other tracks that can almost rival the album material.

Amy Winehouse's deluxe print of Back to Black is a must-get, if only for the perfect cover of The Zutons's Valerie.

And all those deluxe/bonus/boxset albums I've accumulated over recent years. Yes I'm a whore for those. If only they didn't cause a shelving nightmare since they're all of different sizes.

My pathetic attempt at a first part of a first chapter

It was not so much of the blazing heat than the musty humidity that made Jack uncomfortable. Gosh. How was he going to last a year in this weather if those 10 steps from the taxi stand to the taxi boot was already that bad?

Having loaded up his well-worn bags of luggage, Jack perched on the cold plasticky backseat and asked, 'Can you take me to, ahhhh.... Changi Village?'

'Which part?', came the brusque reply from the taxi driver.

Jack passed the driver a crisp sheet of paper, neatly printed with an address and nothing else. The driver squinted at it with his horn-rimmed bifocals and made a non-committal grunt before hitting the accelerator. Everything looked and sounded unfamiliar. The glowing white lane markings looked unearthly pale, and even the screeching fan belt of the taxi sounded especially harsh.

Jack watched the meter in the taxi jump in a currency he was unfamiliar with, speeding through the sun-bleached expressway. He fingered the string on the manila envelope, wondering what the next 12 months has in store for him.

It wasn't about his job. That had been meticulously arranged by the head office back in Sydney. It wasn't about coping with the intricacies of asian culture - he had been Thailand for a month in his previous job.

It was all about Mark. And living in his home for the next year.

Mark and Jack had been virtual friends for a while. They had met in an online forum on Toyota sports cars. And inexplicably, a friendship developed over discussions over tyre treads, fuel consumption and gearboxes. Jack had always been fond of those hour-long conversations they had on instant messenger.

Maybe it was the liberty of being able to hide one's true emotions on the Internet, or maybe it was because there was nothing more than a painful verbal mudsling that could happen across those cables. They shared all their closest secrets with each other.

Except one.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Radar Of My Music

Here's a few awesome songs that you might have missed.

The Kooks - Always Where I Need To Be

Perhaps the falsettos and simple lyrical hooks may be a little trite, but damn, this song is incredibly catchy.

Speaking of catchy songs, here's The Feeling's take on The Buggle's Video Killed The Radio Star. Very sweet.

And some satirical commentary of UK pop music and culture in the form of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip's Thou Shalt Always Kill.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To the young guy on bus 74 this morning...

... who had Less Than Jake's The Science of Selling Yourself Short and Jimmy Eat World's Hear You Me on your playlist, amongst other ska punk.

YES your earphones were so freaking loud, I could make out whatever songs you were listening to. It's not that I mind much having to have my morning nap to the tinny drone of your earphones, but it makes me uncomfortable that you're blasting your own ears into oblivion. Hearing loss is no fun at all.

Please, please get a decent pair of isolating earphones such as Creative EP630, Crossroad Mylarone x3i, Audio Technica CK-52, Panasonic HJE-300 or similar. They're all reasonably priced - pay about the price of 3-5 CDs, and you get to enjoy ALL your CDs better. And they protect your ears since they seal out the outside noise, meaning that you do not have to turn up the volume to drown out the engine drone of the bus.

And I won't have to get my morning nap on the bus despite the energetic punk beats emanating from your earphones.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lucky me

So. Today is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to me. It's driving test day!

Other than being a little too sleepy, I woke up to a perfect day. Got myself dressed, my hair gelled down rather than tousled up (good impressions are important when you're taking a test!), and got to the bus-stop just in time.

Before the test is a warm-up session - a short driving lesson before the test itself. Did Test Route 2. It went quite alright, yay. Weather's lovely - the sun makes everything twice as beautiful. I swear that even the road markings glowed in the golden morning sun.

And the drawing of lots for the testers and test routes. Lady luck must have been working overtime, because the tester who failed me the other time isn't taking anyone from my time slot. Yay.

And I got Test Route 2, which I had just practised a while ago. Yay again.

And the weather remained lovely. Just looking at how perfect things were going calmed me.

The tester was quite vocal about chastising me on my weaknesses - I don't tend to show that I do check the mirrors and blindspots and all. But hey I passed. YESH!

It's a long-drawn affair next, watching a compulsory safety video, taking a passport photo, applying for the license, collecting the remaining credit in the driving school account. And after a long wait to register for the license (for real!) I'm now legally qualified to drive cars of all colours. Not just dark green ones with MID plates. Now to make that fact obvious, perhaps I should look into the possibility of acquiring a pink car.

Goodbye, Singapore Safety Driving Centre!


Went to the library, went to lunch in Ang Mo Kio (loose ankle socks+walking too much = painful abrasions on the ankle) at Rasa Sayang, Blk 711 Ang Mo Kio Central.

To be honest I've never eaten such an insanely huge chicken cutlet before. Ever. I'm going to take back whatever I said or thought about the $5.80 price being steep. Taste is pretty good too, but the coleslaw is quite soggy and garlic toast being on the stale side.


Reached home, and got a phone call. A couple of weeks ago my mom coerced me to join a lucky draw to win a Sarah Brightman CD for her, and yeah, I won it. Yay again.

Was planning to do a short bike ride but just felt too exhausted. Weather didn't hold up anyway, so that intention's moot anyway.

Somehow even the coffee tastes better today.

Please don't tell me that today is all a dream or I'd be devastated!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Every time I wake up from a long nap, I feel like something in my life is missing. It's an inexplicable feeling.

First, I wake groggy and disoriented. Then this wave of emptiness engulfs me. It dawns on me that I'm spending my weekend in my room. Alone.

It's sad.

I've pretty much found myself cocooned up most of the time. It's not like I'm hiding away from the world, but the world doesn't seem to want to look me in the eye any more.

I wish I had friends I could just hang out with, maybe for a movie or a coffee, at just a spontaneous whim.

I wish that whenever I ride my bike, there'd be more to hear than just the roar of the wind and the soft whirr of the chain and gears. I wish I could be the sweeper who's just there unnoticed at the rear, making sure all my mates are safe and sound.

I wish I could just share my experiences with anyone who's nice enough to care.

I wish I were an object of one's desire. I wish I were loved. I wish to love.

I wish I knew more people like me.

That's a lot of wishes there, and I don't even know where to start. It's just so much easier hiding in my room.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

In Singapore, we call roads 'carparks'

Forgive me if I sound whiney, but I'm battling the bad flu bug and thankfully, this bout is coming to an ebb.

The professor says that the flu bug can worsen depressive symptoms for a while, yes it's true!

Singapore's transport system is bursting at its seams. No, I don't mean public transport. I mean the whole works. Roads, cars, infrastructure planning, etc.

Which genius decided that Singapore's roads should be inundated with 3% more cars every year? Just 2 years back, the Bishan-NUS journey took 40-60 minutes. Now it's at a sad 70-90 minutes. I kid you not. I've never seen jams this bad along the route before.

And the buses get packed to capacity, because there's only so many trips they can make if they're stuck in the gridlock for hours at a time...

And if it rains, all hell breaks loose. The already-stretched traffic infrastructure implodes upon itself, and congestions beget congestions. It once took me 2 hours to get from NUS to Bishan.

Peak hour traffic in Bangkok isn't that much worse than Singapore these days. It's quite pathetic.

It's not lofty ideals like democracy, or romantic delusions of the beauty of various foreign cities that drives emigration out of Singapore and into Australia, Canada and the USA. It's the simple things. Such as the prospects of no longer having to jostle in peak hour traffic for a sixth of your waking hours every weekday.

My family's heading to Melbourne in June for a holiday, and I'm really chuffed at the idea. Especially when I'd get to see what is it about Australia that entices Singaporeans to flock there. Perhaps it's the more relaxed pace of life? Or that the pay there is better despite? Or is it the less humid weather?


The shrimp dumpling noodles at Hong Lim food centre 2nd level (a bridge connects it to Chinatown Point) is excellent. And the servings are huge for the price.


Random photos!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life in mono

Breathing using only one remaining half-blocked nostril sucks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Existential Musings

Speeding down a slope on a bicycle, knowing that if you exert any more force than a feather's touch on the brake levers you'd fly over the bars. Now that's surreal.

We put our lives in precarious situations all the time, but we turn out all right, don't we? Zooming from country to country in a pressurised metal tube 11km in the sky, where the air is too thin and too cold to breathe. And going up and down buildings in steel cages held tens of storeys above the ground just by a few taut cables. And putting ourselves at the mercy of the surgeons that cut our abdomens open and the anaesthetists who paralyse our breathing muscles and make us entirely dependent on a creaky machine for oxygen.

Yet, surprisingly few people die in these seemingly-absurd situations. Yay for technology.


I got wet this evening on my bike ride. About time anyway, before that, I had not rode in the rain for a long, long time. The feeling of high velocity rain bullets stinging my skin is almost unfamiliar.


Last night I dreamt that I was hospitalised for leukemia. Some survive and some don't. And I was so helpless in the hospital bed, not knowing what kind of leukemia I had and the chances of survival. And the intravenous cannula in my hand irritated me to no end. They did a fingerprick on me for my blood and my finger hurt. Fear - while not knowing what exactly to be afraid of - it's a horrible feeling.


The new posting's going great. No news is good news!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My body is a furnace

Hot weather, coupled with ramping up my activity level the past few days has made me feel like a furnace.

I've been running twice and cycling once in a span of 4 days, which is no small feat (feet? Harhar.) for me.

If you haven't been living under a rock next to a huge pineapple, you'd know that Singapore is going to hold the first ever night F1 race. And a night run on wet pavement just shows how absurd F1 night races. Slicky shiny patches of pavement plus irregular lighting means, hell, I can't even keep on the path.

Not to mention, I stepped on something crunchy. Since I don't usually see whole Nestle Crunch bars lying on a jogging track, it was most probably a snail.

Poor snail.

Anyone wanna combine forces with me and petition for NParks to install runway lights flanking the edges of jogging paths? Like, green LEDs spaced 50cm apart. At least I won't veer off-course.

And 2 days later, while cycling along my usual route, a moth flew into my wheel. I don't know if it survived. And some baby mynahs almost did the same.

I have all the luck with nature.


Furnaces need to be fed. With good fuel.


Oh, and remember that time I ordered some tees from Threadless? Seeing how piss poor the US dollar is to the Singapore dollar, and how they had a promotion AND a discount coupon code, I ordered 2 tees.

They're pretty alright. Many forumers online have commented that the tees feel thin and filmsy, but it's just very slightly on the thin side. They're rather small for M tees though. I can barely fit them (is it some astral sign that I ought to lose some flab? My BMI is back in the illegal range.)


School was pretty much a disaster. I didn't get a good evaluation. That's spilt milk I shouldn't cry over, oh well.

But the self-doubt is back. With a vengeance. I'm just not cut out for whatever it is that I'm going to be doing.

Success and greatness? Is that what I really want? I don't know, if I really liked success so much I'd be trying to do great things now. Not stoning in front of the computer keeping myself amused.

Cheap amusement is so comfortable. I could live a life on that alone and not regret it. I don't need expensive cars and fine wine; to be really honest - I prefer watching Mediacorp dramas and pretending to be an idiot on online forums.

But, still, it's not healthy when I'm seriously considering a full-time career in fiction writing right now.

Pick 3 non-congruent themes . Weave them into a story. There, you get a killer novel.

1. Measuring tapes
2. The cost of air travel
3. Lesbian mothers

Mary and Isabel work for a corporation importing household products from China into south-east Asia. They fall in love in office in a whirlwind romance and end up as lesbian mothers of a young boy named Pete. In the latest fiasco, the lesbian mothers are tasked to fly to China to secure a deal for the import of measuring tapes, among other sewing products.

However, disaster ensues when Pete falls ill with diarrhoea in the airport. In a mad rush to procure extra diapers (they had stupidly put it into the checked luggage and it's now somewhere in the plane's cargo hold) they miss the flight.

And now they are left stranded with not enough money to buy the extremely expensive air ticket for the next flight. They gotta make their way to China by hook or by crook, or the business deal is off and their jobs will be on the chopping board.

How are the duo going to amass the money to get their tickets, and how are they going to cope with their luggage (with Pete's diapers inside) leaving for Beijing without them?

Buy the book!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Shokudo, Raffles City. Essentially, Japanese-styled Marche.

The rosti and the unagi omelette are pretty decent, though everything there is rather expensive.


Peoples' Park Centre yong tau foo.

$3.50. I feel cheated.


Been feeling pretty down lately. Pardon me if I don't say much.