Monday, January 30, 2006


f+b, originally uploaded by monster-ru.

i wanted to complain about what my sister said to me about having sharks' fin soup (made by my grandmother, and no, i did not have any).

i wanted to bitch about the fucking women who made me lose my temper yesterday (the very first day of the Chinese New Year).

i wanted to boast about how i managed to get out of doing visits to relatives' houses. and i wanted to talk about the real reason why i didn't go to my grandad's house for reunion dinner.

but then these 2 most lovely creatures reminded me that this year will be special, because it is their year. and even if the new year did not exactly start out quite as nicely as i would have liked it, i already know that the year of the Dog will be so much better than the last. besides, it's not like i've already fucked up between the New Year and the Chinese New Year that i needed the CNY to be yet another new beginning.

so i decided to post this photograph of them, my 2 closest companions in sunny singapore. it's the original b/w print taken when we first moved into Jalan Elok, courtesy of G's scanner.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hemingway's Pernod

"Pernod is greenish imitation absinthe. When you add water it turns milky. It tastes like licorice and it has a good uplift, but it drops you just as far."

- from The Sun Also Rises

Happy New Year of the Dog, all my friends. It's got to be better than the year of the Cock.

Friday, January 27, 2006

"The vodka, instead of making him drunk, was inspiring a desperate sense of loneliness." - Andrey Kurkov, Penguin Lost.

bad vodka! bad vodka!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


since Sunday, my mind has been pre-occupied with death. i was thinking that the year of the Cock has been nothing but bad. i guess it started with NAB's grandmother, and then the sudden demise of my own. and then it was friends' relatives...

i saw "Blood and Bones" on Sunday night, and the thing that stuck in my mind most was when the guy (played by Takeshi Kitano, excellent acting) was dying and he was recalling the most significant moment of his life. I thought about my grandmother's death, and about how she most probably never had that moment, and what flashback/s she would have had if she did. and it made me sad.

and i remembered, after she was cremated, that i went to a bar by myself and drank myself silly, until my friends finally appeared, close to closing time, after which i continued to drink myself numb. and even then, the pain didn't stop.

i don't remember ever crying that much that night, ever. and the next day, i told someone, "i guess i got it out of my system." and that person said - "no, i don't think you ever stop grieving."

and i guess i kind of experience that now.

this is brought about by the sudden death of someone i know vaguely. the person died on Tuesday night, having been warded just the day before for a mild heart attack. i even saw him on Saturday, and he looked quite well.

the hardest part was not having to deal with the silence of the situation when someone tells you that someone who means a great deal to him/her just passed away (because saying anything would have come across as trite), but more so, in a sort of selfish way, the fact that the whole episode was a reminder of my grandmother's death, (both deaths having come unexpectedly,) and how all the emotions that the other person was feeling was being thrown back to me.

i don't ever remember having such a bad year as this.

Don't know if i'd feel better having put this into words. it's been tough, but all i can say is that i'm glad the fucking year of the cock is coming to an end soon.

Monday, January 23, 2006

overheard in the ladies changing room

boy: but mummy, i want for lunch!

mum: ... (in a softer voice, couldn't hear what she was saying.)

boy: but i want for lunch! (a couple of seconds later,) what is now?

It was quite odd, but in a nice way, to hear this kid trying to make sense of time, of trying to link the part of the day to the different meal-terms we use. and maybe, because he realised that he could have whatever he wanted for dinner instead. ('twas about 5pm, & our swim was cut short because it started to thunder and rain.)

same boy (a bit later): boom, Boom, BOOM!

(sound of thunder follows almost immediately. boy chuckles.)

he must be the god of thunder, thinking that no one else was in that changing room.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

my friend R dua me today. we had arranged on thursday that we'd meet today for a swim, then i'd help her out with a SYF choir set piece (yes, William Wordsworth's "Daffodils" set to music!). But she got tired with bible study of some sort, and i was left playing Wipeout (the version for the original PS!) with a 10 yr old kid.

i had fun playing Wipeout - i thought i'd go and play cos NAB bought a PSP recently and he was telling me how he's been coming in 1st for the races/tracks and i had all the fond memories of us all playing Wipeout at Outram Park, especially with the Link-up with 2 TV's and 2 PS's! - But what possessed me to think that i could do better than a 10 yr old kid who has never played Wipeout before? When you put a kid who has the determination to win every single time he's on a games machine, you have absolutely NO CHANCE. (and it's just too bad he didn't want to play Tekken cos i could have done all the cool moves with Hwoarang and kicked butt!)

so now, i'm all tired out having played too much Wipeout with a kid who's way too good for me, and listening to CC. and boy, do i miss those times...


terz tagged me!

Four jobs you've had in your life:

- General Clerk at Ngee Ann Polytechnic
- Secretary at some big lawyers firm. so BIG that i can't remember which one it is.
- Liaison Officer for the Arts Festival
- (i guess i can include this one even though i didn't get paid in cash, and was called "friend" when the clients asked, "your assistant?") Photographer's assistant

Four movies you could watch over and over:

- In the Mood for Love
- LotR (dear dear Aragorn. need i say more?)
- Tampopo
- probably either Hana-bi or A Clockwork Orange

Four TV shows you love(d) to watch:

- Lost
(er, i think that's it!)

Four places you've lived:

- Yishun
- Jalan Elok
- (and i think i can count this even tho' it was rather intermittent) Amsterdam

Four places you've been on vacation to:

- Montreal, Canada
- Koh Samui, Thailand
- Arnhem Land, Australia
- Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

Four places you'd rather be:

- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- Phuket, Krabi, or any beach place for that matter.
- Cambodia (just because i am dying to see the place!)
- Any kelong

Four of your favourite foods: (you mean i have to choose only 4 out of the so many?!)

- Chicken wings
- Miso Ramen
- Char Kway Tiao
- Carrot cake (black)

Four websites you visit daily:

- flickr
- google
- (ok, this one cheat one. not really daily but close enough.)

Four tagged:

- taekwon-dodo
- ampulets
- Catch-up!
- the Bokolog

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

i have to buy a dress for my sister's wedding.

any ideas?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

a little bit of history

today i found out that my family is from the Guangdong province in China. We are from the Cao(2) (the "Teo" in Teochew - sorry, can't remember how it's written) An(1) 安 town, and my dad has this property in the Gu(3) 古 Lou(2) 楼 something (village maybe?). The property, as described by my dad, has this huge courtyard in the middle, with corridors all around the sides. And then there are rooms by the 2 sides, and at the opposite end of the main gate, you have the reception hall, and from there, you get into the main hall, and then more rooms. The kitchen is somewhere behind all that, and beyond, a sort of garden. As he was describing it, i thought about the scene in Hero, where they were fighting, in the courtyard of the place, raindrops hitting the bamboo (? - memory of the film a bit fuzzy now...)

this all came about because my dad toyed with the idea of retiring "back home". Being sort of sick and tired of urban life and idiots (we met one just before he started this conversation), he asked my mum if she would like to go back to China and lead a quiet life.

it would be kind of cool to a certain extent - but this is just coming from the selfish thinking that there would be so many photo opportunities for me, and also, a rather romantic perspective on the kind of life that could be led.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

not really in the mood for anything. i've been trying to sleep and eat normal hours, but somehow, i guess i have not adapted to the different time zone yet.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

slept all of 2 hrs last night despite having had some sake and some vodka (which i foolishly thought would send me to sleep). it must be the damn coke that came with the v.

or maybe it is the classic case of jetlag which i seem to suffer each time i fly back to singapore.

not fun. bad mood.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

for 2006 (or Lesson from the Icehotel)

I know this is a couple of days late, but Happy New Year, my friends.

I haven't blogged much of late, but the fact is that in the last 3 weeks, much had been done.

We went to the Icehotel, and this is a photo of one of the rooms there:

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

These rooms can actually be warmer than the outside temperature, because it's only about -5 degrees celsius in the Icehotel. The coldest it got when we were there was -25 degrees celsius, which was the day we went on a dogsled, in the fucking cold. It does get a bit worrying when you realise that you are slowly unable to feel your fingers and toes anymore, and that this remains so for a long while more.

This photo below shows the temperature the day after:

Originally uploaded by monster-ru.

Still pretty fucking cold if you ask me. The law in Sweden is such that, if you want to have a fag, you have to go outside. This sometimes means that you have to think a lot harder each time you feel like having a cigarette.

The most important thing i remember from sleeping in the Icehotel is this: Just do it.

yes, yes, you may be thinking - cliché leh! or, "We've heard enough from Nike!" but truth is, when you need to go to the toilet when you wake up in the middle of the night in one of these rooms (assuming you fell asleep in the first place), the best thing to do is to get up and run to the loo! This, i assure you, is no easy feat. You go in what little clothes you have on, because you can't sleep with much on in a sleeping bag. (Reason being that if you sleep with too much on, it gets too hot in the sleeping bag and all your perspiration will remain in the bag, making it wet and then cold! Yes, all you boy scouts out there, you probably know this already...) And it is also pointless putting clothes on to go to the loo because all the clothes you might have with you that are not on you will be cold anyway. The more time you waste putting cold clothes on, the colder you will get. And no, there are no toilet facilities in the Icehotel itself. You have to stuff your feet into your cold shoes (because trying to run on icy snow is just - well - slippery!), make your way down the corridor, pass the other rooms (our room being located at the end of said corridor), through the hotel "lobby", and out into the cold before you get to the warm luggage room where the toilets can be found. So "no-hesitation" here is very very good advice. Not only will this help you stay warm(ish), but it also means that you don't have to put up with the agony of trying to fall sleep in order to forget the cold whilst you are trying to convince yourself that you are not going to piss on the ice. and am i glad i didn't ignore this simple advice!

and so, no resolutions for me in 2006 - not that i made any in 2005, or remember myself making, but i will remember and try to apply this precious advice from our guide at the Icehotel in 2006: Just do it!

"All of last year's blooms have gone and died,
Time doesn't give a reason."

- CC, High Life, TDL.

oh - and for those who might be curious, the 20D works in sub-zero temperatures. Just not when you are on a bumpy ride, at -25 degrees celsius, with wind chill factor.