Monthly Archives: November 2004

not so early

was bored earlier and thought the council group has been quiet for quite long so i thought i’d write a little something to liven things up a bit. then after sending it i thought my blog has been quiet for quite long so i thought i’d post this little something to live things up a bit. so. tada!

you know the (not so recent) punctuality campaign we’re having? like ‘go to weddings on time’ and stuff. i was idling around recently (have been doing lots of that lately) and thought about the subject for a short while. and i think the gah’men is right! tardiness is a crime that should be punishable by death! or a really good scolding, anyway. i mean, think on the many times when you’ve arrived at a rendezvous venue on time (or god forbid, early!) and waited and waited and waited and went to the toilet and waited and went to popular bookstore and waited and so on. no? doesn’t sound familiar? oh yeah. you’re probably one of those latecomers, then =P

i mean, hey, i’m no angel myself. i’ve found that lately i’ve been paying less and less heed to punctuality. and that is precisely why latecoming is so evil! it’s like, contagious. those poor pathetic sods who do show up on time, they learn. they adapt. survival of the fittest – wasting precious minutes like that is hardly cool, yah? it’s like, admitting to the world that you’ve got nothing better to do than to turn up early. hence the term ‘fashionably late’. wait, isn’t that like an oxymoron or something? apparently not anymore, in our society. oh well. life’s like that.

i don’t expect anyone to start turning up early just because of what i’ve typed here (who am i kidding, i’ve already been seduced to the darkside myself!), but… i dunno. maybe lessen the magnitude of lateness? haha. or give some advance notice so the early bird, who’s probably already done eating his worm.

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cybertv junkie

watched schindler’s list last night. i’m aware it’s pieced together from various accounts and is probably riddled with inaccuracies (and romanticisations), but fact is, here’s a guy who saved about a thousand jews. for whatever motive, whatever the actual cost to self (the movie said he was broke at the end, but i read somewhere he was still rich), it doesn’t matter. yah? it amazes me. haha.

i started watching the o. c. as well. i’ve caught the pilot episode already, gonna watch the rest of season one soon. hmm. that makes quite a lot of shows i’m following. desperate housewives, joey, south park, justice league. yeah, i know the last two are cartoons. but they’re cool nonetheless. sometimes, only with animation, can you get that level of humour or superhero realism required.

(witness the cartoon-watcher try to justify himself)

actually i’ve always rather liked cartoons. starting with the good ol’ stuff like g. i. joe and transformers (which i sadly realised to be quite childish and unwatchable at this age =p) when young. i remember loving those shows. haha.

ok i think most children would have watched cartoons, but i actually continued watching them in my early teens. those with a teen audience in mind. mainly those derived from comics. x-men, spider-man, batman, gargoyles. all had pretty good storylines, good characters, etc etc. coolness.

in fact, those teen cartoons are still appealing even now. i’m not an adult yet ok! i’m entitled to teen cartoons. haha. it’s like reading fantasy lah. lost in a world of make-believe.

hmm. i wonder if i can find some episodes anywhere around. probably harder to find cos they’re rather old already, but still. should be possible.

retro tv.

pre-U crisis

i recently spoke to some guy who was trying to dissuade me from studying psychology. and in the uk. basically my uni choice in general. he said that the uk was a ‘lost cause’, a thing of the past, and the us was much better. not just for networking (which might be quite negligible at this level), but also to understand the culture. so that future interaction would be easier. china even more so, but i think that option is totally out for me. and that psychology opened too few options, as compared to say a business degree which would at least give some ‘survival skills’.

this guy was coming from an extremely business angle. as a saf scholar who’d ‘wasted the prime years of his life’ bonded to the government, i can see why he was so vehement about the whole thing (fwah! military. who wouldn’t regret it?).

that guy had a point, though. why am i ‘locking’ my life in so early? signing away my 20s just like that. how on earth do i know that’s the job for me? what experience do i have? i only think it’s a good thing to do, and i’m interested in helping out troubled people, and stuff like that. and i’m definitely interested in studying psychology. but how do i know i’d have any aptitude in it? how do i know i’d enjoy it?

so i’ve never really been interested in business before. but who’s to say what’d happen in the years to come?

and the uk. why am i going there? i’d wanted us originally. aside from his point about cultural experience, i’ve always thought psychology there would be stronger. it was my original choice, in fact. i only settled for uk because moe said so, plus it seems that most of my friends are going there. and i didn’t really have a strong preference. i didn’t even try to get sponsorship for the states!

i mean. i don’t know. it’s my life. and all i have right now is a half-cooked, untested plan. with no contingency? what type of screwed up situation am in now? argh.

only when it’s practically over, does one realise the appeal of peter pan – of never growing up.

shopping?

so today i tried a little christmas shopping. it was a horrible attempt… after walking awhile, i was tired already. really. gosh. how do the girls stand it? the mysteries of the natural world.

so i settled for card-shopping. which was most disappointing because after trying marks and spencers, kalms, and kinokuniya, i was getting impatient. no design really caught my eye. so at the next stop, precious thots, i just got one which i thought was vaguely nice.

so go back to novena, i dropped by the hallmark at novena square. just to take a look. and, as usual, a superior product appears after you’ve made your purchase. oh well. c’est la vie.

the two times i went to a friend’s place these hols has re-ignited a passion for console gaming in me. haha. so i’ve dusted off that xbox of mine and started playing a little.

oh dear. yet another time-eating hobby.

and so the long weekend has ended, while i cling on futilely to its last moments. ok i’d better go sleep now, or i’d be cranky at the *frown* office tomorrow. bah.

busy?

kinda. i’ve been doing stuff everyday this ‘weekend’. but not that much. which is good. because it’s (to me) a great balance between having things to do, and basically… slacking!

thu – met up with a bunch of sec sch friends

fri – brought my sis (and consequently my mum) to watch shark tale

sat – watched the incredibles with council friends

sun – gonna meet up with another bunch of sec sch friends

mon – nothing planned yet. lamenting the end of the long weekend, perhaps?

(i’d probably come up with something for monday eventually, just to keep up with tradition)

so, as you can see, it’s not really that much, but it’s just passing the days at a relaxed pace. yay. wonderful. life should be like this. not a hair-scrambling race to outdo each other and avoid being backstabbed and whatever rubbish comes with working life. fwah.

shark tale was ok. entertaining, really. i’d went into it with pretty low expectations after lukewarm reviews from my peers. i thought it was pretty good, kinda like typical disney cartoon standard (yeah i know it’s not disney, but the standard’s similar). somehow lacking some element in shrek which appeals to the older crowd, though.

the incredibles. one word – incredible (hrr hrr so punny huh) (forgive me, this is 3am and my brain’s squishier than it usually is). i loved it. it was incredibly funny, and i think it’d appeal to anyone who’s ever been (or still is) interested in costumed heroes. like, ever wondered what settled life is like for a superhero? well, here’s the answer. it lacks the heart-tugging elements which made monsters inc and finding nemo such wonderful films, but i think it’s still in a class of its own.

my opinion. don’t blame me if you hate it!

ok sleep time. yawn.

long weekend!

goodbye saf! for 5 days anyway. WOOOHOO!

long update

a friend of mine noticed that i have been blogging much more infrequently of late. i guess that’s true… have been busier of late. things have been happening recently… like my dad was warded last week. gonna be discharged tomorrow, so yeah should be able to relax more. but for awhile it got me pretty worried and stressed and thinking of those horrible adult issues (which, by the way, us kids should not be subjected to unduly!) and other stuff. ow.

incidentally, one of the things i’d thought about was investing. again. you know how i was trying to find out more about the topic quite some time back? well, i got into thinking of shares again… in fact, in january this year i’d been toying with the idea of getting singtel stock. i just realised that the price has gone up approximately 25% since then.

damn.

my personal life’s kinda glum, too. stagnant. not placid, stagnant. it stinks. haiyah. another of my friends had asked me what the problem was. girlfriend? best friend? to the first, i’d answered – no problem. except maybe for the fact that there isn’t one. then i realised that the one answer fit both questions.

i mean it’s not like i’m looking for one delibrately or anything lah. it’s just that, well, it’d be good to know there’re people who’re there for you. and not just the “oh i’m here for anyone who comes” type of thing, but there for you.

i know it’s probably my fault and i’m ignoring some of you guys out there who might be feeling insulted reading this right now, but well. that’s the way i feel lah. in the past i’d have had people i’d turn to instantly. but now… i dunno. it’s the feeling of having drifted. i guess. even the one person i did end up confiding in (aside from family), is well. oceans apart? oh well.

to make things worse, i’ve got footrot. irritating. looks to be getting better though, i’ve been applying generous lumps of that antifungal cream the saf doctors gave me. free medicine does have its perks. i can’t really figure out how i got it, since i haven’t really been doing any field training or anything lately. just teaching classes and staying in office? hmm. i guess wearing those boots the whole day is really bad. i dunno.

on another note, hoover rojak from whampoa market is fantastic. it must be like, the best rojak in singapore or something. a definite must-eat. yummy.

this thursday and next monday are public holidays. i applied for leave on friday too, so i’ve got a 5-day weekend coming. whoohoo! though i’ve got no idea how to spend it. sigh. better start on my christmas shopping…

The Two-Envelope Paradox

Suppose you’re on a gameshow where you can choose either of two sealed envelopes, A or B, both containing money. The host doesn’t say how much money is in each, but he does let you know that one envelope contains twice as much as the other.

You pick envelope A, open it and see that it contains $100. The host then makes the following offer: you can either keep the $100, or you can trade it for whatever is in envelope B.

You might reason as follows: since one envelope has twice what the other one has, envelope B either has 200 dollars or 50 dollars, with equal probability. If you switch, then, you stand to either win $100 or to lose $50. Since you stand to win more than you stand to lose, you should switch.

But just before you tell the host you would like to switch, another thought might occur to you. If you had picked envelope B, you would have come to exactly the same conclusion. So if the above argument is valid, you should switch no matter which envelope you choose. But that can’t be right.

What’s wrong with your reasoning?

~~

-scratch head-

Vesperia!

Vastra – a haven where winds flow across parallels of latitude. The polarising effect of gentle breezes and ominous gales creates a unique harmony for the people of Vastra to be swept and lulled by. Vastrans found it within them to direct colossal masses of air where and when they fancied. Channelling this power to greater use, it has manifested as many forms for the people of Vastra. Indeed, windmills and anemometers have become a thing of the past. Generating electricity and fuel to ensure that massive boats and cars run like clockwork is now the primary function of wind in this prolific economy. With blanketing wind masking the surface of the earth peppered with a douse of elusive dust, our Vastran warriors leave an illusory battlefield, surreal for its ominous enemies.

Ixzea – once a forgotten city deep in the abyssal domain of the sea, it has emerged victorious in the battle of the oceans. Now taking on new heights, they endeavour to conquer land and its inhabitants. With the ability to control the rotation of the moon, Ixzeans have found it plausible to control both the land and the sea with a wave of their destructive hands. In sync with the rhythm of the waves and the celestial balance of the land and the sea, the people of Ixzea have managed to gain the respect of the divine goddesses of land. Fortified by this respect, Ixzeans not only control the relentless torrential cracks in the epicentre of the world, creating social unrest and upheaval eventually resulting in annihilation.

Cepheus – an arid land with vast amounts of various extractable ores and precious metals embedded in the rich earth. Early pioneers came for the sole purpose of mining, but the industry has grown so advanced that the once non-sustainable economy has transformed into a permanent community of skilled workers basking in great wealth. Years of intensive research has produced an array of all-superior metal armoury and weapons and vast knowledge of the nature of all metals, elevating the status of Cepheans to master craftsmen. Able to produce any alloy for their purpose, a power once unimaginable is now wielded by the descendants of Cepheus.

Trixus – a semi-arid territory with immense quantities of natural lodestones affecting the basic quality of the land. Magnetic metals, such as iron, were never regarded as useful since they were nearly unusable in this magnetic landscape. However, the ancestors of Trixus discovered that the movement of various metals in their land produced electrical currents, which they soon learnt to harness. Making use of their unique conditions, the Trixians prospered in the enhancing of the power of various tools. Using their great technological prowess, the people of Trixus went on to develop the highly devastating electron-charged weapons, bringing warfare to novel levels of extensive destruction.

Orion – an elusive city masked by a blinding prism of light. The spectrum of colours emerging from the city enhances its aesthetically advanced state. The people of Orion possess the power to control the most abundant ‘element’ in our dimension – electromagnetic radiation. Wielding the exclusive qualities of refraction and reflection, the Orions are invested with the supernatural ability to render themselves invisible and invoke the power of illusion. Drawing their strength from the omnipresent solar radiation, the people of Orion translate the rays and propagate its energy as a source of power, the key of modern technology in their hands.

Ravon – an island of magical beauty set in a crystal lake lost in the rugged mountains. Drowned in the whistles of wind through every crevice, the ballad of rushing water over every rocky stream and the soft healing rustle of fallen leaves, the Ravians live amidst a natural orchestra. As early connoisseurs of music, the Ravians took this art form to greater heights beyond all imagination. While the soft lull of dreamy melodies bred romance and vulnerability, jarring discords brought about a myriad of pain and aggression. Their ability to manipulate human emotions, coupled with the command of vicious sonic waves, contributes to the flourish of the land of Ravon.

Ikara – a lost savanna grassland punctured with frequent wildfires in the harsh brush. Legend speaks of the valiant capture of the mysterious flame phoenix, burnt for a whole 99 days and 98 nights before ending up on the table for the grand fete on the final night of celebrations. The mystical story explains the outstanding ability of Ikarians to control fire in its absolute form and to withstand the cruel temperatures of even the most severe conditions. Their impenetrable firewall and bold torches speaks volumes of the courage and tenacity of the Ikarians, garnering the danger of a single spark to create pandemonium.

Arrakis – a dense sweltering jungle, characterised by its stifling undergrowth and grand assortment of flora and fauna. While rival tribes attempted to conquer nature in the race to gain supremacy over the jungle, the Arrakians instead worked in accordance with Mother Nature, which further augmented their strength. The people of Arrakis gradually became more educated about the secrets of nature, especially in the fields of communication with animals, resourcefulness, and even the ability to coax the sudden growth of beasts and plants to secure them in a natural bastion. Their innate tracking ability taught them to be proficient in the skill of navigation, finding no obstruction in even the most dreadful environments.

~~

look what i’d found! back in late 2001, i’d been in charge of coming up with the programme booklet for orientation 2002. part of the task was coming up with the backstory for our various ‘races’… i think shahirah did some of them, and i’d probably got some help for mine, but i’m pretty sure that i came up with cepheus, trixus, ravon, and ikara by myself. hmm.

my standard of english has definitely gone rotten. i was amazed when i stumbled upon the slips of paper (draft copy lah) which these were printed on. gosh. i don’t think i could produce any of it now. sheesh.