Sunday, March 26, 2006



Mummy was with me this morning,
Really real.

I had done something grievously wrong
By accident,
And she was here to give me a long long hug.
And a possible resolution came to be in sight,
A blurry spot of light.
A Presidential pardon was required no less,
Utter madness.

Sudden deaths can really be devastating,
But also transformative.
There can still be positives,
Just difficult to see or make.
Though find them we must,
For the positives to come through.

What I really miss are the hugs,
The hugs that will come without question.
And the acceptance,
Also without question.
And the being there,
Again without question.

5th April 2001.
5th April 2006.
Soon to be 5 years
Of being alone in some ways.
Being alone but
Not necessarily lonely.

Friends have been lovely,
Both old and new.
A couple lost along the way,
Pain indeed,
But inevitable,
I guess.

Hugs from friends are lovely.
They help to sustain me.
But the special hug I sometimes crave
That would ground me to safety
Seems nowhere in sight.
And so, I must ground me myself.

Which I do
And I do quite well.
But still would be nice,
To know where to get
Those miracle hugs
That just make everything


SAF colonel dies during biathlon at East Coast Park

By Dominique Loh, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : A colonel from the Singapore Armed Forces died while participating in the Singapore Biathlon at East Coast Park on Sunday.

Colonel Bernard Tan Cheow Han, 39, collapsed and died after nearly completing the 10-kilometre run.

He was just 600 metres away from the finishing line.

The colonel had earlier finished a 1.5-kilometre swim before the run. SAFRA which is also the organiser of the event says immediate medical attention was given to Colonel Tan at about 10am.

He was sent to Changi General Hospital and was pronounced dead at about 11am.

The cause of death is still being investigated by the police.

More than 1,700 people took part in the biathlon which included the chiefs of army and navy.

Colonel Tan was the Assistant Chief of the General Staff in charge of army personnel matters.

He was married with two young daughters aged two and seven. - CNA

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday mornings

Saturday mornings are prolly the time when I'm the weirdest and the most cerebral.

I wake up early but get up late, brooding about stuff in bed. Reacting and over-reacting to what has been said and done over the week.

This morning, there were quite a few issues.
  • Maximising versus satisficing in life.
  • Possibilities of and open-mindedness in religion.
  • International mobility of friends and myself.
  • Happiness and/versus access to information

I guess I'm a reasonably happy person. At least, I don't feel unhappy, not now nor on a regular basis.

If Schwartz, B is correct, then it's probably because I'm more of a satisficer than a maximiser.

历险记 - 龚诗嘉


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

beng is cool, singlish a signal

I'm cutting and pasting, food for thought... :)

Terence Chong writes in Today ...

Singlish becomes a potent symbol of who we are, how we think, and how we speak. This is especially so for many overseas Singaporeans who are able to instantly recognise fellow citizens with Singlish. It is thus no surprise that many want to celebrate it as an icon of local culture.


Singlish is, however, also a means of class differentiation. Although many argue that Singlish should be celebrated as part of national identity, in reality, this argument comes only from the English-proficient middle class.

We revel in its down-to-earth factor and wear it like a badge of honour to show how unashamedly Singaporean we are. Meanwhile, we overlook the many Singaporeans out there who cannot speak anything else but Singlish. In doing so, we erase the harsh realities of these Singlish-speakers such as economic marginalisation in our search for symbols of national identity.


Singlish, more than any other language, has created pathways across the borders of class and ethnicity. However, the ease with which we cross borders depends on our class, cultural capital and the specific nature of power distribution in society.

Full article here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Army stories

I was going through Army stories on the Internet and various resource books, and the following really cracked me up:

One Christmas, an officer struck on the idea of having a special Christmas lunch to be served at the officers' mess. He made a special order for a large uncooked turkey, and arranged for it to be delivered to the cook sergeant at the cookhouse on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, when the officers arrived at the mess to have their special Christmas lunch, they found the cook serving what looked rather much like chicken rice. The officer who made the order was very upset and summoned the cook sergeant to the dining hall. This was how the conversation went:

Officer: 'Sergeant Lee!! What the F#$^ is THIS?' (pointing to the chicken rice)

Sergeant Lee: 'Sir, I dunno leh. Today the chicken very big, just nice make chicken rice lor.'

The officer was too stunned to say anything.

The rest of us had a good laugh.

We were probably the only unit in the SAF to savour the ...

.... Special Christmas Turkey Rice. :p

Saturday, March 18, 2006


*lets out deep breath*

I'm really really sapped.

Still coughing.

Stressed at work. (But it's good stress :p)

Rather bad backache and sore shoulders.

But I think it's a good week overall.

Coz I think I've made a few more good friends. :)

Monday, March 13, 2006

How would you know?

While on a Greek holiday, on the beautiful isle of Santorini, I had a drop too much of retsina.

The conversation turned to 'The One'.

How would you know you're met 'The One'? How do you know you're with 'The One'?

Obviously, I can't remember verbatim what I said then.

But here goes ...

I will know ... when, while on the beach during an incredible sunset, we gaze into each others' eyes, and we see not just today, but the whole of our shared pasts and our infinite future together.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Walking out ...

Sometimes, my energy levels get really really low, especially after I've been ill for a while.

I remember a few occasions like that in London, when I absolutely felt that I had to be alone.

I remember just sitting under my desk in Room 512, Bankside House. For hours and hours. Ignoring phone calls, phone messages, emails, knocks on the door, messages under the door.

I remember wandering along the South Bank alone past midnight. Sitting on the OXO pier, cross-legged. Gazing at the skies. Watching the waves.

Not needing to react to anything. Not needing to attend to anyone's demands, implicit or explicit. Not needing to keep the flow of emotions calm and positive. Not needing to be understanding. Not needing to take care of people. Not needing to reassure people who are attempting to take care of me. Not needing to attend to anything and anyone. Just relaxing.

Just bo-chuping. Just walking out of obligations, if only for just a while. Just recharging.

Doing things alone.

That's why my holidays are usually solo-trips, or group trips with flexibility to explore on my own. I want the time and space to do what I want to do, when and where I see fit. These holidays are times when I want to recharge, not perform.

Watched Transamerica this afternoon on my own. Fantastic film - the cast of Huffman and super-duper cute boy!; theme of tolerance and acceptance; and the conclusion that one draws after the film: that life is about negotiations and chances and deliberations and questioning and growing and smiling at the end of the day; the anguish - I love films that leave me feeling slightly anguished.

The time spent alone today was lovely. But I'm still not properly recharged.

In some certain senses, it's been just me taking care of myself since 5th April 2001 (except for a year with JoNny), and I'm tired out, and too tired to dole out too much attention or to be some human stress ball.

Some might say ... maybe I just need someone to look after me. Maybe. But I doubt that's going to happen any time soon anyway.

So I'm going to take my time. If I don't get back to anyone promptly, I'm sorry, but it's because I might need some time and space to myself for a while. I'm not walking away from you. :)

I shan't say 'I will be back."

Coz I'm still here, out and about.

Just maybe rather diminished.

And a bit more self-indulgent. :p

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Letting go

Sometimes, I do really stupid things because I can't really let go of things.
Take the Promethean hypothesis that there cannot be a horizontal demand curve at the x-axis for example.

Intuitively, I can't see why this hypothesis must necessarily be true. And so, I spent a week trying to derive demand curves using budget lines and all sorts of social welfare functions. I think I've disproved the Promethean conjecture.

Only people with nothing better to do will try to disprove a hypothesis that hinges on pedantic linguistic wording.

Yar, but maybe I really got nothing better to do lor.

But other things I'm getting better. :)

More relaxed in some ways.

Some time ago, I was terrified that I was losing my emotions, or at least the expressiveness of my emotions, or rather maybe what little I show of my emotions sometimes.

I don't really crave any more. I don't expect "We'll meet up again." or "I'll call you." to be realised, though of course, it would be sweet. Consequently, I don't feel the urge to find out what has really happened, go into introspective spins, and worry about pestering people. I'm more relaxed, I let go and I am happier as a result.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Marital arts

Today, I was looking at old articles from the Straits Times.

On the 19th of December 1988, there was this article "Young adults panel wants 5-day week".

The article read: 'The Committee on Young Adults wants ... young men in national service to be trained in the marital arts as well as the martial arts.'

The article also quotes the Committee as saying: 'Since all young males go into national service in the critical years before courting and marriage, the Armed Forces should consider offering programmes on relationships, interpersonal skills and responsible social behaviour to help them for courting and marriage.'


Monday, March 06, 2006

Those who can, teach.

Some people say, those who cannot, teach.

Some people say, those who can, teach.

And then, apparently for some people, it may be that no matter whether they can or cannot, they may be told, explicitly, between the lines or maybe through inaction, that they should not. Sometimes it's because of who they are. Sometimes, it's also because of how parents can be.

In a sense, the classroom is like a stage, a stage where hopefully both the teacher and the students are equal participants. A good teacher tells the story of his subject well, and draws the attention of his students. A brilliant teacher may be expected to have some kind of stage presence. With this stage presence, she may captivate her students in the weaving of her lessons; she makes her students eager to engage with her; she makes class exciting and worth looking forward to; she makes the story of economics, eng lit, physics, chemistry .. come alive; she inspires her students to want more, more from her and more from themselves. A teacher with stage presence is probably going to be a teacher who can.

I certainly have met teachers who probably cannot. As one of them claims, he's only supposed to be a facilitator really. Well, of course teachers are meant to facilitate learning as opposed to obstructing it. But hopefully, such facilitation does not stop at mild suggestions to read 'the textbook', to read out powerpoint slides verbatim (in the direction of nowhere in particular) and to perfunctorily make red crosses and ticks on worksheets.

Well, I don't know how far I can and cannot. Unlike others, I do not think I have the stage presence. Neither am I willing, or lacking in pride, to be merely a perfunctory bum-warmer on the teacher's chair, and hide behind the clinical authority of the red pen.

I do know though that I want to give it a shot. :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Happy day

Happy couples make me smile, and they make me happy. :)

Can't pin down why exactly.

But this kind of thing, dun need to think so much lar. :p

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mandisa rocks

In the last season of Brit Idol I watched (in 2004), I rooted for Michelle McManus, and actually sent in one text to support her.

I think in this season's American Idol, I'm going to cast my (virtual) vote for Mandisa.

She ... totally ... rocks ...

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