129: i feel stupid but i know it won’t last for long

things you find out about yourself along the way:

1. that you’re not the only one who needs to be feeling ashamed about something you’ve done should people ever find out.

2. that even though you were the one who didn’t reciprocate, seeing someone who used to go after you date somebody new and fall head-over-heels in love with her and then finding out all sorts of things about them from your mutual friend makes you slightly jealous, even though you’re happily making puppy eyes at somebody else now. it’s like losing a prize you never entered a competition for. it’s irrational, but women are. interestingly, they say she looks like you.

3. that you are really amused that your friends’ girlfriends gush about them like they’re the best, most polite, suave, charming individuals that they have ever seen in their lives, when all you’ve ever known of them stems from that first memory of seeing each other in your ratty secondary school uniforms with bad hair and a complete disregard for propriety, but i guess we all grow up (i don’t get chased out of the female toilet anymore!)

4. that there really are times when you will be stupid and flustered enough to put the wrong TG number on the front page of your memorial and not realise it till one week later!!!!

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128: somebody’s cold war is giving me chills

thoughts about the day.

1. having caught up with legal theory is a good thing, but if i managed to do that much work in a morning, imagine what i could do with the entire day if i put my mind to it.
2. having a big bowl of soup and lots of bread for lunch was comforting — i think my appetite is shrinking.
3. i finally went out to shop, but after an hour i got really bored of town — in all my life, that’s never happened
4. all this hassle about season parking is irritating me
5. i still hate the bitch who stole my phone, everytime i pass by a phone shop and LG CHOCOLATE advertisements just stare me in the face, and are going for $400, and i refuse to pay twice the price for a phone i am buying AGAIN
6. i miss hwachong drama.
7. being on a no-rice diet and seeing people eat chicken rice really really sucks. but i’m going to stick at it!
8. it’s that time of the month, and i’m once again particularly irritable.
9. i just cleared out my chest thingy in my room, and i’m irritated at the amount of shit i took out last time to be thrown but which somehow found its way back in again because my stupid mother refused to throw it out even though i will never again use it in my life, like my primary school bag
10. i hate that school is starting, that i have to drive through the morning traffic to get to school on time, that my eczema is acting up again, that the weather is beginning to turn hot and balmy (yes this is the word!) again BUT MY AIRCON IS NOT WORKING, and i could go on forever

as you can tell i’m not in a very good mood these days. more often than not even the most well-meaning, even-tempered and generally nice people are beginning to get on my nerves almost insidiously. it’s not a full-blown irritation but just all the small things that add up and add up and add up. one of them reminds me of this girl i used to know back then who seemed somehow to have an impaired sense of social awareness; now this person i know is better, slightly, but she’s also nicer, which makes me wonder if it’s all real or just another of those things people do. i hate casting aspersions on people’s characters, but sometimes those doubts are just glaring at you in the face.

temasek hall production was better than i expected! but quite inconsistent, in that there were some really nice parts, and some parts were downright draggy. the script was actually pretty good, but with such a wonderful set, more could’ve been done to utilise it rather than have people running in to change the props for scenes every five minutes or so, which irritated a lot of people because the darkness and silence was terribly distracting because the scene changes just took so damn long. last time in HC i remember mr P taking a stopwatch and going okay guys you have ten seconds to do this and you have to be out of here by the time the music ends and we just practiced and practiced and practiced scene-changing alone about 15 or 20 times. they could just have spot-lighted one part of the stage while the actors did their stuff while the other darkened areas were prepared for the next scene, or like j said, established the narratives right at the start and eliminated all the vignettes that didn’t have much substance but seemed to suspend the whole stage. i liked the dances a lot, because the idea behind some of them was really very good, including the dimsum-dolly type slapstick stuff and the dinner dance (not a costume party, ahem) which subtly built up the atmosphere and the synchrony of everyone’s actions doesn’t hit you till everyone is in place and the leads are highlighted, very very nice; even though there was a lot of gratuitous humour. i was mildly perturbed that there wasn’t much applause, since i thought the production was a great great great effort. but then i remember somebody telling me in JC that the end of the play is when the curtain closes after the credits, and until that time you still have to maintain the atmosphere and keep on acting. and yes, i’ve never realised the importance of ending a play this way until i saw it.

yes i miss doing all this nonsense, i really do. we don’t even write anymore, none of us.

127: somebody’s heine is crowding my icebox

this week has been a lovely respite… i almost dread school starting up again. tomorrow marks the first day i begin work again after this week-long sabbatical, much-deserved maybe, but they cheated us of two days of chinese new year. and yes, i’m still a little bit sore about that. but i’m still going into town to buy my bag (finally!!) and check out the new phones, since some stupid law student had the moral degeneracy (yes, this is a word) to grab my phone from the school toilet. the nicest phone i ever had in my entire life is gone. i hope she likes it and the way my face is on the display. why do people steal phones that do not have chargers and a dead battery? especially since it’s not nokia or a brand with some similarly interchangeable and easily-found charger for all their phones. ha, i hope it dies out on her and she doesn’t know how to use it. stupid woman. yes, i am still feeling vindictive, even though it’s been three weeks since it was gone. since it has never occurred to me ever to steal anything of worth, i.e. handphones, wallets, or even a dinner bill when you could just walk out, it is inconceivable to me that there are such people around, even in law school. but there are dishonest people everywhere i guess (and i am still resisting the urge to call the woman a (insert swear word here). and yes, it was a female, cos i left the phone in the female toilet. duh. STUPID %*^*&$^).

i am very bitter, yes. over people’s dishonesty, and my stupidity.

bumped into haireez yesterday while exploring the little-known area of pasir ris (also known as One End of the Earth), who was on his way home, while we were on the way to tampines mall in order to catch protege. j felt very cheated that the screens in tampines are actually bigger than the screens in lido. i find that rather amusing myself… but anyway, yes, i agree with the reviews. quite the best movie in that vein to come out since infernal affairs, perhaps slightly grittier in the way it focused more on the drugs and its ironies rather than the good-vs-bad, police-vs-drug-dealer sort of way. there isn’t so much balance, and the story is not about the struggle with identities as a cop and as a drug dealer. protege humanises these antagonists, who have their own fears and feelings and are, despite all they do, quite human. it always strikes me as ironic how the same values — loyalty, courage, intelligence, trustworthiness — are identified on both sides of the coin.

anyway yesterday felt like a real holiday. a weekend getaway, of sorts.

drinks at ben’s house turned out to be a riotous gambling den, where ben refused to budge from under the fortune boy hanging from his ceiling and subsequently won a few hundred bucks. risk-takers galore, since michelle managed to lose $30 by betting $10 at a time when ben managed to pull two aces. me, i escaped with a grand total of $28 with a start-up of $25, making my profit a grand total of $3, which is not bad considering everyone else was in the red. if i’d not played, though, it would’ve been $30+. ah well, but you win some, you lose some. anyway the angbao money wasn’t even yours to begin with, yes?

hope jo was touched by the cake (: my lenten resolution is not to eat rice. considering i’m a rice bucket, quite literally, i don’t know how i’ll survive. other carbs, maybe, but rice is always the most comforting and the food i turn to whenever i think of home. which admittedly now is not very often, but we all get homesick once in awhile. not for the house per se, or even the people who live in it (and i sound terribly callous now) but memories of the home it used to be and the things it stood for. eating rice reminds me what an ideal home should be, like that rice commercial with kit chan in it and her grandfather taking rice for her saying, duo1 chi1, duo1 chi1, with the yellow dinner light all around that passes off as warmth. something like that, anyway.

february is ending. where does all the time go?

126: the winds of change blow straight into the face of time

yesterday afternoon we went to visit my grandmother’s sworn sister: the days when such relationships existed were a long time ago, formed when they came together on a crowded ship all the way from china to make a new world for themselves. it might be that my grandparents are the last link to a history that is not in the books, and that my children will never have the opportunity to listen to a history that is alive and breathing and remembers the horrors of the second world war as if it were yesterday: my grandparents, who remember evading bombs, stockpiling food, reducing their age for the japanese so they wouldn’t get called up for the sook ching, the riotous joy of independence, amidst the backdrop of malaya during emergency; the memories not distilled and bottled in a history syllabus — they have seen the world fall apart and rebuild itself again, and men fighting from swords to bombs to powder and stealth, they have seen men fly across seas and space. my grandmother, in a bit of nostalgia, remembered when the first television appeared, all flickering and full of static noise, a box in the middle of my mother’s room. the science fiction films of my father’s youth that dreamed of automatic sliding doors, have now given way to inter-planetary travel and intelligent robots. once these people are gone, many things die with them. the past three centuries have been one upheaval after another; i wonder when it will all end, and yet at the back of my mind i know that we will always be part of some change or another.

now that the hubbub of chinese new year has passed, the visiting has dwindled to a trickle. quite a far cry from the steady stream of visitors we always have during the first two days; my extended family really extends to the furthest corners of the earth. okay i exaggerate. but this year’s been good, and filled with good news: my uncle’s getting married, both my grandmother and grandaunt turn 90, my cousin’s been promoted to a judge, two of my cousins are getting married, and one of them (whose family migrated to canada) is back for the new year with her family and fiancee. on the other side, my cousin’s just topped her bar exam, and my baby nephew can now walk. even though the reunion dinner was pretty quiet and tame, it was still good. there was, surprisingly, minimal gambling this year.

after i handed up my memorial and sent j home, i rushed to my uncle’s house where my grandmother was sitting at the head of the steamboat dinner making a valiant effort not to laugh.

more food; you’ll notice the same plate of duck keeps reappearing. that’s because my uncle stewed SO MUCH OF IT!

lovely little nieces, who stole all my markers and paper and made their own snap cards, and thereafter forced my hapless 14-year-old cousin into playing with them

CHIJ idol okay (: and my sleepy cousin.

at jojoy’s house, there were many interesting conversations. most of these people i haven’t had the time to catch up with, so it was good there was this opportunity. the initial photowhoring gave way to more civilised stuff, so that was good at least.

do you think we’d stun the judge if we wore this to moots?

this is like racial harmony day laa.

i went to china and visited the wax museum.

amidst the three mail-order brides from china (maybe i count as a tranny.)




girls and boys and tong zhi men


commies are gay


on a sidenote, i wish things weren’t so complicated.

125: pet peeves

people who let their dogs bark for half an hour straight at ungodly hours of the morning
people who come into my room without knocking
people who then go out of my room without closing the door
people who could be smarter but steadfastly refuse to put in the effort
people who spell things wrongly and think its cool
people who overly use gamespeak
people who don’t have enough money but spend like they do
people who wear shiny jeans
girls who wear too much make-up and think they are very pretty
people who forget about other people
people who constantly DO NOT get the hint to get lost
people who wear 4-inch heels to school
people who cannot park properly
girls who whine too much
girls who travel at 50km/h on the right lane
girls who can’t decide whether they should change lane or not
girls who can’t take a bit of sun, or dirt, or sweat
girls who SCREAM at everything

god. can you smell the irritation

124: i like being chinese

pak (not pakwing): people can have the same name you know!
rz: your boy’s picnic thing is still in my boot. wanted to pass it to you guys on saturday since your boy’s car was just behind mine, but we figured you’d have more important memo-related priorities to worry about… ;p

and anyway, here is a short respite before heading to my grandmother’s house for dinner; we’ve just gone through a whole round of food at my house and 20 people have just plundered the dining table. food at my grandmother’s house is always so-so, but everyone goes there to gamble anyway. and so only for chinese new year, the 3-room flat in chai chee becomes a gambling den. the memories always come in, though. today’s lifestyle had a very interesting feature on nostalgia, which reminded me that my grandmother’s house has been there, and it’s always been the same one ever since my father was still schooling — that’s at least 30-35 years now, and even though their children keep asking them to move out, they simply say this is where we like to be.

until my uncle bought a place of his own (and took his mother along with him) a few years back, my mum’s side of the family used to gather at lorong 14 in geylang. my whole extended family (on both sides) have always lived in the east. now that everyone’s growing up and flying out of the nest to all parts of the world, the family is scattering. the only comfort is that we meet up every three weeks, and eat till we burst. but somehow i feel as if this family unity only remains because my uncles and aunties (okay and parents) work to maintain it. i’m not sure if we’ll still be doing that next time….

what really frightens me is the way everyone seems to be dispensing with cooking. my mother talked about just calling a caterer next year, because cooking everything for chinese new year is such a hassle. but to me, part of what makes chinese new year is the hustle and bustle of rushing to prepare everything on time, to put thought and effort into what you cook and prepare for others, so that when they come they feel welcome. slowly, everything is being dispensed with. from the pantangs and superstitions of how you must always wear red/new clothes during chinese new year, staying up the night before, eating tang yuan, not allowing people (whose relatives/loved ones have recently passed away) to celebrate chinese new year, to having a suckling pig (head intact) at your wedding to signify virginity, having your mother go to your mother-in-law’s house to show her your wedding jewellery before the day arrives, some things must be kept alive, or they will all be lost.

we all seem to be clutching at straws, but slowly our culture is slipping away, and whether we like it or not, we’re turning into a melting pot. but everyone has their own beliefs that they’re proud of, the things that make us who we are, and such things must go on, or we miss out on a large chunk of our identity.

123: and all the lights that light the way are blinding

it’s been altogether too long since we’ve met. in between lots of things fly by unrecorded. some are things you want to remember, and the rest you can’t decide either way. the week had a few bright points, though it drove both of us to insanity (along with many other people) but anyway chinese new year is coming and i’m very glad i started doing my memorial early — the number of msn nicks relating to memorials is mind-boggling, and the admin person in NUS who came up with the great idea of placing the deadline on reunion dinner day is clearly not chinese. it’s been a long road.

in any case, these two weeks have been stressful. i seem to say that after every assignment, but it seems just to rise to unprecedented heights each time. but it’s a steep learning curve, maybe, though they say in law, it never ends. there are more white hairs on my head in the past few months than i’ve had my whole life; maybe my coasting days are over. one day i got so crazy and frustrated over memorial i took off and sulked in a corner of the school, and today at 4pm i was still scrambling to mark citations and the day seemed to pass in a blur. i don’t remember much of this week, aside from going to school at 9am every day and working on my memorial the moment lessons ended till school closed, then going home to work on it some more. LAWR is taking up a crazy part of my life and really should be 8 credits for the amount of work we put in it. my crim and contract readings are left on my beanbag to rot the rest of their natural lives away. sigh. J estimates that during memorial season he spends an average of two nights a week at my house. since it will forever be memorial season, i suspect we’ll be seeing much more of him in the future.

in other news, my new year clothes are very pretty. but they are all in some variation of black! oops.

check out the crazy antics we get up to when we’re stressed out.

on 04 x fanfare the moment dennis walked in while patrick was reading joseph constantine day

note how i look like a rockstar whereas patrick just looks gay. i present my mooting partner, everyone
and guys, the best way to studying: eat your paper

actually the only reason why this series of pictures came about is because my mother bought mini mandarin oranges for chinese new year (and i love them, i keep eating them, they have no seeds) and they’re so mini and fascinating i just had to blog about it to show everyone the splendour of its miniscule size. nevertheless it degenerated into a photowhoring session on a wonked-out sunday night

`

on another note, picnics kick ass. island life, we love it

that day we worked for the first half of the day. later on in the afternoon i was made to hide my head under a jacket (or some other similar visually-impairing action) all the way while he drove on and on to forever and neverland, and made to walk down an interminably long slope with my eyes closed. later that night i realised valentine’s day is pretty amusing to watch on the streets. all the guys had flowers in one hand and their girlfriend in the other. well, all except for one angmoh kid whose t-shirt said:

i’m with stupid
(insert x number of derogatory adjectives here, cos i didn’t read)

i’m single

122: michael cunningham

“Yes, Clarissa thinks, it’s time for the day to be over. We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep– it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.”

it’s not gone; it had to be done, yes it had to be done, or so they say. everyone trembles with fear at the prospect of losing something, something close to your heart. their actions are justified only out of necessity, the paralysing fear that all this will come to an end. when the world seems — so far away — and remote, you living in your little insular bubble, milling about as if this is all there is to it. i want to be something more than what i am now, just a little girl who has no identity and is something more than just a blank piece of paper. i’ve been written on and the memories keep being erased; i keep starting on a new slate and something tells me that’s not quite right, that somebody is missing the point here — i’m not sure it’s not me. more than what i don’t have is what i miss, and i miss being who i wanted to be. the kind of girl with hopes and dreams that are not subsumed under a syllabus heading, who refuses to be weighed down by social niceties and things that seem to scream with self-restraint. mourning for the past is something we do entirely too much, and it always comes down to waiting for an end that never seems to come. what is the point of nostalgia? even if we write down everything that we do or say, and memories are all there are to it, the few truisms of life are that you are always smaller than you think you are, and nobody cares what you think. hence we always write for someone bigger than we are, we talk about preserving thoughts for posterity, of writing history down so others can learn from it, setting precedents for cases that thereafter will follow. nobody mentions the selfishness of the act; the fact that we want to listen to ourselves, we want to hear ourselves echo down the generations, that in some small way you always want to carve your name on a tree for someone else to know you were there. and we tread the same few paths, year in and year out, pretending we’re off conquering some new frontier. i want to protest. this is not what we’re here for. if you say you’re guilty it’s because you don’t want to go to prison. if we say you’re innocent it’s because we don’t want to look evil. if we’re happy it’s because it’s a better alternative to being sad. if we’re sad we hope someone will see. whatever we do for a purely selfish reason, it must be there for the world to know.

right now i want to go home and be alone,
but i love you

121: hey la my boyfriend’s back

today after an intense contract law tutorial, a law career conference (both two hours long), we trooped off to ichiban boshi at wisma. while we were there cheryl, michelle, justin and i somehow ended up wandering into topshop. and now i have more things that i want to buy. they are finally making shirt dresses just how i like them! the kind that looks like it could belong to your boyfriend but is slim-cut so it fits a female and doesn’t make her look like she’s drowning in it. before this i was actually considering for a long time taking one of the bf’s biggest (and longest) shirts to wear as a dress (with a random belt) but somehow it’s just too wide and makes it look all bunched up and horrible. so this = GODSEND!

although i think i shall still buy it one or two sizes bigger so the hemline doesn’t look too indecent without me wearing tights underneath. i can’t stand tights because they’re hot, and i don’t have the slimmest of legs anyway. some people (like chris) look smashing in them, but if you can’t pull it off means you can’t pull it off.

as you can tell i’m supposed to be starting on my memorial but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

120: where all the lights are bright

i have just narrowly averted a catatrosphe. thank god.

in other news, we went to the zouk flea market today. bagged two dresses, a t-shirt (NO MORE T-SHIRTS), and yet another random men’s shirt. also — original beatles’ yellow submarine and the beatles story VCDs ($5 each)! all this for $60! i’m never shopping in big retail chains ever again.

one of the dresses needs to be altered though. but that’s part of the fun, no?

i like that there is lots of colour. mostly red-blue-white, quite a standard combination these days, since i like those colours a lot, but yellow is always welcome. i like for things to be colourful so that when i look at them, at least something perks me up during the day. i don’t like drowning myself in monochrome unless i’m feeling terribly sombre or anti-social or that i just haven’t worn a black&white outfit in a long time and they’re dying from neglect. but i try to make it a point to wear at least one bright colour everyday! also, the love of colour is what makes me feel that tan (or khaki brown, or something approximating that shade) is an ugly colour. maybe it’s just me.

also, i have decided that one of these days i shall prioritize my wants. and i really need to stop buying clothes!!! i must empty my wardrobe. right now though, the list stands at: a full-length mirror, a bigger-than-8R photoframe, that zara leather bag, a earring-holder, to lose 5kg so i can fit into all my clothes. it is horrifying to see yourself burgeoning :(

119: fly me to the moon

it’s a bit late and jo has already blogged about it, but tuesday was a girls’ night out at fullerton hotel! dear jo’s mum gave her free seats to a dinner for 4, so 3 of us tagged along to eat the lovely free food, which included duck confit and chanterelles, and cream of celeriac with truffle oil! and lovely spice-dusted cod. i’m feeling hungry just thinking about it.

seeing as we were surrounded by too many dignified lawyers to be stupid little girls and take pictures of the food in all their glory, we saved the picture-taking session for later. but since all the photos are already up on jo’s blog, i shall just show you a few!

DESSERT!

singapore girls (:

such a familiar scene from “the bachelor”

three witches of macbeth!

and this obscenely cute picture of jo in a cinderella pose, because her complimentary parking expired at 11.59pm and we had to get out before midnight:

this week has been a respite, though i’ve just spent the last two days poring over hart and austin. Hard Work is Not Fun. zhuang will sympathise! i have a memorial due in two weeks just before chinese new year, so happy exciting days lie ahead. after that though, mid-sem break beckons! and seeing as i have no crim/legal theory assignment due after those holidays, i shall milk the festive cheer to the max! :D

seeing as i’ve been in quite a snappy mood lately, i apologise to anyone whose toes i might’ve inadvertently stepped on.