Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Managing the Ups and Downs in Life

My idol Ajahn Brahm was in town again tonight. How can I miss his talk right? The crowd tonight was so huge…there were practically no space to walk at all. Many had to stand outside the hall to listen to him. He is getting extremely popular in Singapore. I won’t be able to attend the second session tomorrow night as I’ve got to teach. I’m sure he’ll understand and forgive me…hehe! He’s going to talk about enlightenment. Can someone go attend and share with me?

Tonight, he gave a wonderful talk on how to handle the ups and downs in life and began by saying this:

When it’s hot, keep a cool head.
When it’s cold, keep a warm heart.

Simple but perfect words of wisdom right? I just love the things he say. And he does it everytime without having any premeditated scripts. His words and examples just seem to flow ever so endlessly.

Ajahn says the ups and downs, successes and failures, are all part of life. We should not complain or blame anyone when things happen, they just happen. And when it does, we should stop and learn to do something about it. We don’t know how to love until we’ve been hurt. How true that is. The tragedies in life teach us a lesson and these painful and difficult things are the masters of our life as they provide a great opportunity for us to learn and grow.

He gave the example of a cup. There’s a crack on a porcelain cup but we can’t see it. If we were to ignore this slight crack, it will keep expanding until the cup breaks one day. But if we were to notice it, we will treat the cup with extra care and respect and ensure it does not break. However, if we were to use a plastic cup, we will never respect it because we take it for granted as we know it will never break.

We should regard the things we don’t like in life as our ajahn or teacher. Without difficulties, we won’t be able to grow to be the people we are. We should learn to make peace with the ups and downs we face in life. If there’s nothing we can do, then just do nothing but should an opportunity arise for us to do something, we should grab it.

Life is always changing, situations will always alter. So when we are surrounded by ‘enemies’ and there’s nothing we can do, we should just relax and do nothing about it. Treat all uncertainties in life as opportunities. You never know, by not doing anything, things may actually turn out better.

He told another story.

Story of two chicken farmers
Once there were two chicken farmers. One would go round every morning to collect the chicken shit from the ground and left the eggs to rot. The second chicken farmer will go round to collect all the eggs and leave the chicken shit on the ground. So which type of chicken farmer are we? Are we fault-finders or positive thinkers?

Do we choose to remember the wonderful times we had together with our loved ones or do we remember all the bad times and problems we had? When we choose to remember the bad times and faults, we get depressed but if we choose to remember the good points or successes, we become a happier person.

So learn to put happiness in whatever we do, learn to have fun when we are up. By appreciating the ups in life, it’ll last much longer. Laugh at life, it increases your life, your health.

Success does not make you happy
Happiness makes you successful

Find happiness first, then you’ll become successful in life.

Learn to appreciate yourself, your journey in life.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Why I Eat Very Little Meat

For the benefit of those friends who can’t understand my previous post in Chinese, this is my explanation of why I've grown to dislike meat.

I’ve not been eating a lot of meat in the last few years and it is definitely not due to a religious reason. Out of the blue, three years ago, I decided to go on a vegetarian diet (or should I say, no meat diet, because I do eat eggs) for a whole month. I just wanted to try out and see if I had the determination to stick to that diet. Surprisingly, this diet of mine not only was easy to adapt, it became a habit. Until today, my first meal of the day will not consist of any meat at all. In fact, I normally only eat a little meat during my dinner. With this diet, I later realised that I became less fussy with food and best of all, I began to lose weight, all without paying a single cent to those slimming centres. Isn’t that great? But of course, I have been exercising regularly too and that does help in weight management.

Venerable Xing Yun mentioned in his book “Between Ignorance & Enlightenment - 2” that vegetarianism was actually a Confucian ethic. In the Chinese quote it said, a noble or gentleman will only want to see things alive, not dead, and will not eat the flesh after hearing the sound it makes. Perhaps it is also this decision of mine not to kill lives unnecessarily that made me stop eating live animals. About two years ago, while I was waiting for my food at a coffee shop, I noticed a fish tank full of crabs, all tied up and stacked one on top of another. When I saw the crabs struggling to move, I felt really sad for them. Why do we humans do such things? The crabs looked like prisoners on death row awaiting their execution…sigh! How can I ever eat live crabs or any other live seafood anymore? I just can’t bear to do that.

If vegetarianism is healthy to our body, helps to calm our mind, develops a sense of compassion in us and trains us to be more tolerant, as explained by Venerable Xing Yun, I think everyone could consider trying out eating more vegetarian diets rather than meat diets. However, my advice for everyone, we should not be too particular or attached to any one form of eating habit or thought…just be happy, whatever you eat, whatever you do.

I still eat meat…just don't like the taste and texture…that’s all.

Sunday, May 28, 2006





“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein

Kids, I’m Sorry

The shg kids completed their one-month drama course today (or should I say yesterday, since it's already past 12mn). They finally put up a performance for parents and volunteers after the past few weeks of training. Unfortunately, I had to attend a training session of my own in the morning and was unable to be there to give them my support…‘sigh’…sorry kids, really wanted to be there but work had to come first. I felt lousy for not rendering the moral support when the kids had been so obedient and turned up for every single lesson on those Saturday mornings without me having to remind them. I will try to make up for my absence with some reward next week, I promise.

Thanks to Miss O and JC for being there on my behalf, really appreciate it. Thanks for taking the pictures as well. Hope to see them next week. I know I can always rely on you folks. You have been supporting me for the last nine or ten years in my role as co-ordinator in this programme. Without you people, my task would not have been so smooth and easy. Need your help again at the camp next week. I'll buy dinner when we next go out ok? JC, you've yet to ride in Miss O’s new CRV right? Real cool man!

Ok, time for me to go to bed…will be in the office slogging again tomorrow…yes…on a Sunday…LOL!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Special Tourist Train to KANCHANABURI

After Ayuthaya, I went to Kanchanaburi on the Special Tourist Train operated by the State Railway of Thailand, an information I got from my travel guide. I thought it was meant for foreign tourists like me but apparently, it’s actually meant for Thai tourists! Anyway, anyone can go on this special trip. But I would advise that you buy your tickets as early as possible. I bought my train ticket only a few days before the departure and could only get a third class seat. Try to get a first or second class ticket which costs 100 baht (around $4) more and gives you cushioned seats and aircon. The seats for the third class can kill your back! Ya, I learn it the hard way, and I mean hard! My third class ticket cost only 450 baht which is equivalent to around $20 and it includes a slow river-rafting experience down the Mekong river (i think). It's definitely value for money, considering it's a whole-day affair. Oh, ya, it also included a lunch on board the raft! But I was a vegetarian that day so I couldn’t really eat what they served but it was nice traditional Thai food.

You can get the ticket from Bangkok’s Hualumphong Station which is near Yawalat (Chinatown). There are many buses to this train station and now the subway also gets you there. I remember another incident which touched me when I went to buy my train ticket. I met a young Thai lady at the station who was also getting one of those special trips’ ticket. She couldn’t speak English but understood me and directed me to the ticketing office. After we both got our tickets, we bumped into each other again at the bus-stop. I checked with her if that’s the place to board my bus and she was most helpful. Coincidentally, she was taking the same bus as me. When the bus was approaching, she actually grabbed my hand and made sure I board the bus before her and the moment a seat was available, she made me sit down. How nice right? When the bus neared my destination, she reminded me and made sure the bus stopped for me to alight. Hmm…so nice a lady! Must be my good karma!

One thing you have to get used to with the buses in Bangkok is they may not come to a complete stop for you to board or alight, you just need to time yourself to hop on or off! But taking buses there is so cheap, most non-aircon trips cost about thirty cents, if I recall correctly. Try not to take the aircon buses. From my experience, they are expensive and the bus conductors although are much younger and prettier but are also less friendly, haha! 在有冷氣巴士上班就比較了不起嗎?奇怪了!

The Special Tourist Train operates only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It departs at 6.30 a.m. and returns to Bangkok only around 8 p.m.. On the day of my departure, I got up around 5 a.m. and left my hotel around 5.30 a.m. to catch a bus to Hualumphong Station. I was actually a little worried that it may be unsafe for me to be on the streets at such an early hour but boy was I wrong! I could see a little daylight and the streets were bustling with activities as early as 5 a.m.. I suppose the Thais start work much earlier than us. What a relief! And since it was early, the roads were not congested and I got to the train station safely in no time.

I got a big surprise when I got to Hualumphong’s boarding platforms…there were so many railway tracks and deisel trains in there! Easily more than ten of them. I was totally wowed by it! 從來沒見過那麼多火車!A bit of a suaku (country bumpkin) I was!

I went to the platform for my train, checked, double checked it’s the correct one before boarding it, didn’t want to end up in some other parts of Thailand, not on my first attempt in taking trains there. Luckily I was careful, the train actually departed without anyone checking my ticket. I found my seat and settled down. Before long, some staff came on board and rambled on in Thai through his loudhailer as he walked down the aisle. After going to another carriage, he came back to mine and stopped at my seat. He tried to speak to me but I didn’t understand Thai at all. Then he got another staff to come explain to me in English. I really, really felt so grateful. Now you people understand why I like the Thais so much? The train was full of Thais and yet the staff managed to spot this insignificant foreigner and made an effort to ensure I was taken care off by someone who spoke my language. I didn’t need to worry anymore from then onwards. At every stop, this English-speaking staff will come running to me to explain what had been announced by his colleague in Thai. He actually told me he was a student doing some hotel management course and this was just a part-time holiday exposure for him to help him in his future job.

After the staff spoke to me, this young girl who sat opposite me realising I was a foreigner, also started talking to me. She too could speak a little English. She's a law student and was on the trip with her mother. Her mother was quite fair, looked like Chinese or Korean. We strike up a conversation and my this trip was destined to be a happy and easy one! What luck right? To meet so many 貴人 on my first solo trip to Thailand.

The girl was quite astonished I travelled on my own. She raised her thumb and told me “You good ah!” I told her, I’ve been to Thailand many times and felt that the country was generally quite safe and Thais very friendly so there wasn’t much for me to worry about.

Ok, below are some of the pictures I took on that trip. Do have a look.

This is what it looked like in the third class carriage…notice the 90° seats…really can kill the back!

This was our first stop – Nakhon Pathon. In the background is supposedly the biggest chedi in the world. You must try the glutinous rice (or sticky rice) the locals sold there. It has got red beans inside…very nice!

The River Kwai…this bridge wasn’t the real thing…it was reconstructed.

This was taken on the raft, that’s how we sat and ate our lunch…quite relaxing.

Like on the floating market in Bangkok, the locals sold some snacks and ice cream to us on the raft from their little boats.

Another raft with Thais…the young people will rent the raft for their holidays (like our chalets) and will dance to blaring music on it…I thought the noise kind of spoiled the nice, peaceful ambience I was enjoying on the ‘cruise’.

There seem to be hundreds and thousands of these carps in the rivers of Thailand. Some of you may have fed them if you've cruised on the longtail boats along Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. They're abundant in this part of Thailand too.

The law student insisted on taking this picture for me…compare then and now, I think I lost weight hor?

Another family that was very friendly to me on the trip.

The kids wanted to play with my camera so I let them take a picture for me. I agree with you people…I really lost weight.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Yesterday, I felt being put on a roller coaster ride again. The night before, I had a long chat with some SF Taiwanese friends on MSN for like three hours. The usually quiet and private Chinese writer also joined in the chat, that kind of surprised me.

Anyway, the chat was so funny, I really laughed out loud in my room. We talked about the movie, the characters, the lesbian world, star signs…the topics seemed endless. Everyone had a lot of fun but by 1am, we decided to call it a day. We can always continue the chat another time.

The next morning, I was absolutely shocked when I went to the writer's blog. This writer who calls herself 'Pinkheart' announced she's removing the blog…it'll be gone by the next day……WHAT?…I was stunned…dumbstruck…what happened?

One moment she was chatting and having so much fun with us, the next moment she gives us this unexpected news…what actually happened? She mentioned feeling guilty that the script was like a poison that had put all of us in a dream we didn't know how to extricate ourselves from. We were so into the SF dream, we just wanted the story, the characters to carry on to exist. She wanted us as well as herself to go back to our real lives, to wake up from this dream.

I do admit that since my craze over this movie, my life had turned topsy-turvy. I was so addicted to the blogs, the chats, I neglected my real life. I've not been reading the papers nor watching the television as I've been so busy just translating episode after episode of the script and chatting with the fans non-stop on MSN. Ya…I did lose my senses, my sense of direction, and yes, it was time to reflect on what I've been doing for the past one month and get my life back in order…sigh.

I was saddened by Pinkheart's decision and felt miserable the whole morning but I respected her decision for wanting to close the blog, whatever the reasons may be. Then I composed my thoughts and wrote her a note in Chinese. I think the last time I wrote a Chinese letter was probably more than 20 years ago! I took more than an hour just to write a short letter, telling her I do agree, I must wake up from this dream or nightmare of mine. The cyberworld really can be quite a scary place if we don't know how to manage our time and over-indulge in it. Now I can understand how some people are so gullible as to get conned by cyber crooks. I thanked her for all the fun she had brought us through her blog, the laughter, sadness, anger, that had intermingled on the blog.

Throughout the entire day, all the SF fans kept posting messages on the blog, trying to console the writer and persuade her to change her mind. She actually replied that she went to work with teary eyes, she also felt reluctant to end the blog…sigh…such an emotional person. All the more we felt for her. Everyone just kept shouting to her their support and understanding for her decision.

Finally, around 8+ in the night, she posted that the blog will stay…gee…what a relief. And she promised that she will not threaten to close the blog again without consulting us, the SF fans. She realised that the blog is now no longer hers alone, it is also ours.

I was out having dinner with Astroboy and Bobtail (correction, should be Cottontail)…again at Big-O, when I got the news…straight away I was exchanging messages with some of those SF friends online. When my two friends with me saw my contact list on my MSN, they got a shock. Wow! So many ah? Ya…I've got many SF friends now…and the list is still growing…hehe!

Friends, please do give me a nudge or knock on the head if I lose my sense of direction in life again. I've promised the writer I will try to manage this addiction of mine. But do help me if I'm lost again, ok?

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Solo Experience in Thailand -1

No time to do my reading recently and hence have less to share on my blog. What should I do then, I asked myself, “Share some photos again lah!” I told myself. So the next few days, I will be posting the pictures I took in Thailand. Take a look at some of these places and who knows, you may want to consider going there too.


Ayuthaya is approximately 85 km north of Bangkok. It used to be the capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767. I made a day trip there by aircon bus which took about two hours. You can catch one from the Mo Chit Bus Terminal at every 15 minutes interval. The ride was pretty smooth and comfortable. Can’t remember exactly how much the ride cost me but I think it was less than $2. Honestly, the bus service in Thailand is really super efficient, even better than ours!

I think I may have mentioned before, while I was on the bus, I was so impressed by this scene I saw, a young man who was seated with his girlfriend, actually got up and offered his seat to a woman and her kid. He had to stand throughout the two-hour journey! So nice right? So sad to see people over here actually rushing to get a seat for a five minute MRT ride! Tsk…tsk…tsk…so rude! 沒禮貌!

Ayuthaya is divided into the old city and the new city. The old city consists of many historic ruins and a couple of museums. Unfortunately, I only had time to discover the old city. Rented a bicycle from a guesthouse and went round the old city in a breeze. At one stage, I actually followed those people who took the elephant rides, almost got hit by elephant shit when I cycled behind it, no joke, quite scary! See my Ayuthaya pictures below:


Thursday, May 18, 2006

My SF2 Has Ended…

Friends who have been popping in to read my blog regularly, I must apologise for not being able to provide you with something new to read everyday recently, due to my addiction…yes…in translating the script based on a sequel to a movie I love so much. Well, that script came to an end today and below are just some of my afterthoughts about it.

Throughout these past weeks, I have been buried in my pile of dictionaries trying to share with other non-chinese reading fans a script I found so perfectly written, heart-warming and close to the original ‘Saving Face’ movie script that Alice Wu wrote. This avid writer actually wrote the sequel because she is also an SF fan and felt that some essential issues were not dealt with in the movie.

When she first started posting her script online, it received mixed feedback. Many SF fans were delighted but some negative feedback from fans on ‘百度’ a Chinese website (a forum board, i was told) almost made her shut down the blog. Apparently some people felt there can be no sequel to SF so the little timid writer got frightened and wanted to stop it immediately. This fan here almost freaked out and used all means to convince her to change her mind. Thank goodness a lot of fans rallied behind her and gave her the support and encouragement she much needed and that kept her script going.

When I first read her script, I felt being transported back into the scenes of the movie immediately, how nice! Honestly, it wasn’t just the storyline that was captivating, the writer’s flair for writing was stupendous, any first time reader would think that she writes for a living. But apparently not, she tells me she also has a day job like everyone else and writing is just a hobby of hers.

I was astounded by her profound use of chinese proverbs and phrases, as well as her clever play with descriptives to highlight the characters’ moods in each scene. Her creative ploy to capture our attention and torment our hearts with the emotional build-ups was highly intelligent and extremely spellbinding. Day after day, her readers get drawn deeper and deeper into the story, becoming so addicted without even realising it. We were all hoping we could read her entire story all at once but yet fear the moment when all the excitement would come to an end. How conflicting it felt.

Fortunately, she was able to produce only one episode a day for us, and that prolonged our addiction. At times, she writes into the crazy hours of the night so that she could satisfy the hunger of her readers whom have been waiting anxiously by the computer all ready to pounce on the words when they appear on her blog. Isn’t that powerful? I never knew words without pictures could have such an impact. Maybe I should say her words were so moving, the scenes just came alive in front of her readers.

Everyday, fans will be reading and commenting on her script and that made the whole affair even more exciting for everyone. We’ll all be going online several times a day to read the comments and views and had so much fun doing it. Unfortunately, as words started to fly, jokes were taken out of context and tempers began to flare, mine obviously would not be missing from the action. But thank goodness, the writer is a perfect arbitrator with her always so kind, gentle, loving words, it would just douse down all the little sparks on the blog.

I’ve never been impressed with anyone that much before just purely from reading the words they use but this writer totally charmed me with her lingo. Not once did she use any harsh or unfriendly word on anyone, always pacifying, thanking everyone ever so modestly. Really admire and appreciate her for that and what a good role model she’d be for this impulsive and hot-headed blogger!

Well, that’s my overall feel of my craziness for this SF2 which she calls ‘不是續集’ . If you people would like to read her script after this, you can go to: There are also some interesting and very well-written R-rated entries in the blog but please remember that SF is based on a lesbian story so you should know what those entries may be. If you would like to read them, you can email the writer and ask for the password to access them.

Pinkheart, if you do stumble upon this blog of mine. I thank you for your hardwork and generosity in sharing your SF dream with the fans. Really look forward to reading more of your other work. 我會多多向你學習的!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Kids Problems

Why is it that some boys just can’t behave themselves at all? I have been trying to knock some sense into several boys in the programme but week after week, month after month, year after year, they don’t seem to change at all. Whether I talk to them nicely, lecture them, even threaten them, they just can’t stop getting into trouble in class. They have the tendency to be rude, rebutting teachers, talking and playing with their classmates as and when they like while class is in progress. Then there are a few who insist on wearing slippers to class. I had to ask myself each time, is it really so difficult to put on shoes to come to class? Can’t understand their mentality. Basically I cannot tolerate such 目中無人 (literally, no respect for anyone in their eyes) attitude.

Sometimes after a talk, explanation or lecturing, the kids do feel remorseful, even shed tears but the moment you turn your back, they are back to their pranks again. How exasperating! As an adult, I could never allow them to carry on with such misbehaviour. If we don’t highlight to them why it’s wrong for them to behave in that manner, won’t they carry on with their negative behaviours into their adulthood and end up getting into even more serious trouble then? But how do we deal with such kids? Boys will always be boys, I know but then…

One of the autistic twins I’ve been teaching is showing obvious signs that he cannot cope with the school syllabus. He cannot remember his multiplication tables and even has problem trying to do simple addition, how then to do those problem sums at all? He is conscious of his weakness and seems embarrassed about it. He often covers up his work, not wanting others to see his mistakes. I know he is trying very hard each time to learn but the problem is the work really is beyond him. Anyone teaching him would feel sorry for him but we just have to be patient and keep being positive with the hope that he can pick up a little each time he comes to us. I am more concerned about how to explain his condition to his parents without hurting them further. Sigh!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mission Impossible 3

Today’s a public holiday so I told myself I had to get out of my house otherwise I’ll be staring at my laptop screen until my eyes go blur! Yup, my addiction is so serious, I think I may need some counselling soon! Hehe!

Ok, so today I went to watch Mission Impossible 3 with Astroboy. MI2 was really good, I remember being wowed by all the suspense and action well-executed through the clever directing of John Woo. The re-choreographed theme music was also surprisingly better than the first MI. I’m normally quite reluctant to pay for weekend prices at the cinemas but I thought for MI and Tom Cruise, it’s probably worth it. I bought the tickets in advance yesterday, $19 just for two tickets! We paid another $11 for drinks and popcorn. So $30 all in all for two hours of entertainment.

You want to know my verdict? Well, I felt the show was disappointing. Throughout the movie, there was a lot of loud noises and moving action but nothing spectacular at all. We saw typical helicopter and car chasing scenes, lots of explosions, people jumping off building etc. But haven’t we seen all that before. Where's the creativity? The theme music was like back to square one. Maggie Q looked sexy in her revealing red dress driving a yellow Ferrari (or was that a Lamborghini?) but she still needs a lot of practise before I can call her an actress. And Tom Cruise, I thought he looked old and haggard, he too has lost his charm even when he smiled. The plot was so bland and JJ Abrams just didn’t seem able to lift it to any climax at all. Everything was just too predictable.

I somehow feel that asian directors like Jacky Chan, John Woo and Ang Lee seem more hardworking and capable of giving us fresh ideas as compared to their western counterparts.

Looks like it’s really mission impossible for Tom Cruise to carry on with this Ethan Hunt character huh? Wouldn’t recommend this movie unless you really got nothing better to watch!

Oh ya, the popcorn at GV Tampines needs improving and the girl gave me less salted more sweet when I asked for the opposite! LOL! Just not my day!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Smoke Gets in My...Lungs

I have to thank a young man I met this morning for giving me something to write.

I was halfway through my jog in the park this morning when I began to smell smoke from a cigarette. As I got closer to two young men in sports attire strolling ahead of me in the park, I realised one of them was the culprit. I’ve bumped into them several times before and everytime, one of them would be smoking. So this morning, while I was huffing and puffing past them...I turned around jogging backwards and asked the guy holding the cigarette politely, “Can you try not to smoke here?” He stared at me with the most unfriendly face, obviously unhappy with what I said. I then added “We’re trying to get some fresh air here.” Guess what was his reply? “I like what! ...Go elsewhere lah!”......sigh!...what can I say...I just turned around and carried on with my jog.

I find that smoking has become a very serious problem in Singapore. Too many young people are addicted to this cancer-causing habit and the numbers are still on the increase. Every morning during my short walk to the MRT, I’ll get smoke blown into my face all the time. There'll be a smoker in front of me, beside me, behind me... everywhere you’ll see smokers, especially right outside the MRT station.

When the government decided to go stricter with smoking rules this year, I was quietly applauding it. Smoking is now banned at bus-stops and will not be allowed freely at open-air or al fresco dining places from the middle of this year. All F & B outlets would need to separate smoking from non-smoking areas in some kind of proportion. Isn’t that great news for non-smokers?

Frankly, I’m not suggesting that no one should smoke at all. If you have the money and enjoy inhaling all that smoke, go right ahead and coat your lungs and throat with as much nicotine and tar as you like, no problem with me. Just don’t make non-smokers like me breathe in the cancerous smoke you emit. I don’t want it to get into my lungs because I need them for my jogging.

Do you think I should write in to the National Parks Board to propose banning smoking in parks? I’m sure the plants and trees will thank me for doing that.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I’m Facing a Drought

Yes, I’m finally facing a drought...a drought for things to I'm sharing some pictures of wild flowers instead. I took them about two or three years back. Most of them were found growing by the roads among weeds, next to filthy drains, near my workplace at an industrial estate. But some were taken at the park near my flat. There’s so much to see, so much nature for us to appreciate if we are willing to slow down our pace and open our eyes a little sometimes. Here they are:

This last picture was taken at a bridge along Jalan Buroh. It took me about 30 minutes to get there by foot from my workplace but all that effort didn’t go to nought right? I thought the view was simply entrancing. I’ve actually seen some migratory birds hovering around that swamp. A very lovely

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Election Post-mortem

Much as I’m not interested in our boring politics, I did tune-in to the TV for the election results last night. I was still awake writing my post for my blog so I might as well catch the election results live on TV.

I must say I was truly amazed at the speed that the results were released. Have to give it to our civil servants for being so super efficient. A round of applause to those who willingly or unwillingly helped out at the polling stations from 8am to 8pm. Hope those folks get a day off in lieu of their duties. JC, hope you didn’t get any migraine from having to direct all those very 'chuan' (tiring) aunties and uncles to the polling booths!

While I was writing my blog, I was also online chatting with Mrs J. As the results were made known, we were discussing some of the candidates' chances. I kind of expected Mr Low and Mr Chiam to secure their seats. The only one I had doubts was Mr S Chia. Frankly, he only had himself to blame for his lost. Politics is dirty but anyone interested in politics is not allowed to own any dirty laundry, not even a mildly stained piece of hanky! He may be a liberal who doesn't think much of his hanky-panky activities but all those ah pek, ah mah, ah chek and ah soh will not tolerate them, that 's for sure. But despite his bad publicity, I felt he did get a pretty decent share of votes.

Another seat I was watching closely was the one contested by a certain Dr Poh but it was a total letdown! AP Ho must have worked very hard this time round to regain the trust of his grassroots! I can always remember his pale face at the last election. It’s good to shake some of these politicians out of their high and mighty chair sometimes.

The biggest surprise of the day was the Aljunied GRC results. With an experienced and much respected Minister heading that team, I was shocked that they won by such a slim margin only. This should be a big lesson and warning sign for the folks in white, don’t take voters for granted. You never know when your people will swing the votes against you. I’m kind of concerned about this kind of results. It shows that people in general do not have as much faith as before for the ruling party. If Lee junior and his team would like to have a smoother journey through their political career, I hope they do pay attention to what the people are unhappy about. I heard from my mum that even those faithful HDB dwellers are beginning to think the people in white attire need to be checked. I would definitely want to sit up and make sure I hear all the grouses, whether I like them or not.

As for the opposing camps, I didn’t listen to what they had to say throughout the campaign. But somehow from the gist of the headlines in the papers, they just did not seem to raise any major convincing issues. But I hope these people don’t get disheartened. If they really are putting in their effort for the sake of their fellow citizens as well as to make our country a better place to live in, keep working hard, keep trying and hopefully, they can sneak a couple of other seats from the folks in white at the next election, especially the lady by the name of Sylvia.

I’m more than glad our politics is boring because it means generally we are very much contented with what we have. That’s my major concern. Peace!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Crazy Morning for A Crazy Fan

I went for my jog as usual this morning but when I came back, I grabbed my iBook straight away to go online. Yup, all sweaty and smelly, without even bothering to go for a shower first. You know why? I had to get ready for the online chat with Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen, the two actresses of ‘Saving Face’! Haha! And only 50 fans will be able to get into the chatroom so I wanted to be among the 50. I know, I know, some of you must be saying, “LOL, this girl’s gone mad with her SF craze!” Ya! I think so too! For fun lah! XD

Well, when I tried to get into the chatroom, I couldn’t get in. I thought maybe it wasn’t open yet so I decided to keep watch, and just kept refreshing the page every few minutes and key in my password each time to try. I tried and I tried and I tried! But whenever I key in my password, ‘Error in password’ kept appearing on my screen. My password is wrong? How can that be! I’ve been using the same password for months, how can I get it wrong! LOL! The clock was ticking away, the time for the chat was drawing near and still I couldn’t get into the chatroom. I was getting anxious.

I decided to check the shoutbox in Michelle’s blog...hey, a lot of fans were facing the same problem too! Everyone could see the room being filled up by fans one by one...more than half of the places were being filled up already...panic...chaos! When can we get in...? I just kept trying and trying...Suddenly, error messages started to appear on top of the screen, more and more error messages appeared. Information on the chatroom started to disappear...What’s happening...? Confusion...what...what…? anonymous message appeared in the shoutbox claiming to be Michelle said she too could not get into the chatroom! I went like, “Michelle, is that really you?” Then Michelle used her name and posted another message saying she and Lynn Chen were on the phone talking to each other, “Are you in? No. Are you? No!” Muahahaha...! Not just us the crazy fans, even Michelle and Lynn were unable to get into the chatroom! You know what happened? The chatroom crashed...yes it crashed out! Hahahahahaha...! I could not stop laughing. According to Michelle, the moment Lynn Chen joined the chatroom, the site shut down! Lynn’s fault, hahaha...! Nah...! I think we fans were trying so hard to login, we crashed the site!

So everyone ended up ‘chatting’ in the shoutboxes instead. Michelle’s fans were shouting in Michelle’s blog while Lynn’s fans were shouting in Lynn’s blog. We just kept refreshing our browser to see what’s been shouted in the boxes. Several times, the shoutboxes too got flooded and were not moving...what if the blogs crashed out as well huh? Then how? I really don’t want to know!

Anyway, the chat has been tentatively rescheduled for the 19th. Hope they’re more organised then and the server doesn’t crash under ‘pressure’ from fans!

Well, since the chat was off, I ended up chatting with fans on MSN instead. Got to know some new ones as well. What a morning! So much fun! I chatted until I had to pull myself away from my Mac to go for a shower, otherwise I would be late for my class! Hehe!

Not quite the me you know right? Crazy hor? I agree lor! ^_^

Friday, May 05, 2006

To Quit or Not to Quit

My pace this week has been quite slow, projects in progress have all been completed or gone to print while materials for new projects have not come in yet. I’ve finished translating all the SF2 scripts that have been written so far so these few days have been pretty relaxing. Can you see me shaking my legs? You people must be jealous right? Well, the perks of being your own boss, hehe! I could even be in Thailand now if not for the election tomorrow and a new project that just came in.

I’ve not been working for people for like 13 years already, since 1993. That’s a long time huh? A lot of people will envy my position but friends close to me would know that I am in fact thinking of giving up the business and just get a simple, permanent job. Why? Why give up the freedom after all these years when everyone else is trying to get out of their jobs?

There are several reasons. Firstly, I feel that I no longer have the drive to run a lucrative business. I give in to my clients so easily nowadays. Whenever they press down on my charges, I’ll just agree to it. In fact, I even ask my regular clients what is their budget and I’ll work based on their budget. I no longer have the desire nor heart to squeeze the maximum margin out of my clients. In other words, I don’t earn a lot. Secondly, I miss having long breaks and collecting bonuses during year end! Thirdly, age is catching up on me so if I want to get a job, I better do it quickly before I’ve got little or no market value. The medical benefits I’ll enjoy as an employee is also beginning to look attractive to me now.

This idea of getting a job is not something that occurred out of the blue. I’ve been toying with it for quite a while already, and it will always appear on my mind whenever it’s my lull period. But I notice that whenever I start thinking and talking about it, projects will start streaming in again and I’ll get so busy the idea gets shelved again. I begin to wonder if it’s my G-plan that is not allowing me to get a job? Then again, I also wonder what kind of job will be suitable for me after being out of the market for so long? I do know I don’t need a challenging, high-powered job! That’s for sure. Don’t need the stress. But the job has to be something I will enjoy and don’t mind sticking to for the next 10 years at least. Will I be able to find such a job?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m not enjoying my graphic design work anymore. I really love my design work because it is one of those rare interesting jobs whereby every project is different, unlike most mundane, repetitive office work. I don’t deny that being my own boss gives me more flexibility, especially in taking care of my voluntary work responsibilities. I can leave my office as early as 4 pm to go prepare for my lesson which starts at 6.30 pm. Which job will allow me to do that? When I’m not in the mood to work, I can just pack up and go for a cup of coffee at a cafe, meet friends for tea or go to the library to read some books. Which boss will permit you to do that. So would I be able to adapt if I have to go back to a routine job, working from 9 to 5 everyday? Will I be able to withstand having to answer to a boss again after all these years?

I need to seriously think about this. Friends, have you got any advice for me?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006










~ 聖嚴法師著

Literally translated as:

Working hard for who? Being busy for who?

As we hectically pursue fame and wealth in life, have you ever thought what is the purpose and value of life?

Are we here to eat? Are we here to put on clothes? Or are we here to quarrel and compete?

There must be a reason for being alive and it must have certain significance.

In the end, what is its purpose? Where will it go? What will it become?

A lot of people live their lives fearing death, seeking fame and wealth, arguing and fighting, day by day. When they see what others want, they also want, what others don’t want, they also don’t want.

They think that whatever a lot of people want must be good so they also fight for them. But they never consider if they really needed them. As long as what others want, I also want, what others don’t want will be discarded immediately.

Everyone should hold the notion that ‘What I want may not be what others want. What others want may not be what I want.’ That is true independent character.

‘Wanting to have’ is to pursue greedily, insatiably.
not only does it make you tired,
it makes you frustrated, makes you suffer
and will also cause problems for others.

Written by Venerable Sheng Yan, translated by me!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

RGS Part 2

I’ve neglected my RGS segment again…tsk…tsk…tsk…Blame it on all that translating I’ve been doing!

Ok, here are some precious pictures from my secondary school days. Enjoy them. See my face so round then (so sad, my face now not so cute, kind of like a square, LOL!), and I wore a skirt! Sorry, no masking of faces…as we were then!

I know that someone residing at a faraway place has finally visited my blog so this post is specially dedicated to her, I’m hoping all the nostalgia will make her want to come back and see us again soon. I’m still waiting to chat with you on MSN!

Monday, May 01, 2006


A few days ago, while I was at the library busy translating the SF2 script, a friend whom I’ve not spoken to for weeks messaged me out of the blue these four characters 『 常思一二 』, literally translated as ‘Always Think One Two’. When I saw these words, I felt like I was being hit on my head ‘whack’! Ya, just like that!

I’ve been so muddle-headed recently, losing my focus in life, all frustrated, stressed up, depressed and worrying over too many things at one go, I forgot this teaching, I lost my sense of direction! This message arrived so timely.

I better explain a little what the phrase means. We human beings are always so troubled by many issues in our day-to-day living. We cling on to too many things and worries and as a result, fail to see things clearly and fail to act correctly. So this phrase serves to remind us to think only about one or two things close to our heart each time and put down the rest which are of less importance. We will then be able to function more effectively.

With this reminder, now I have a tough time deciding what is close at heart and what is not. Haha!

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