The organised chaos

A Love Story

It starts with a couple.

They had met through friends and after a short courtship, they decided to get married. He was 41 and she, 28. Yes, there was a 13-year difference in their ages which she never knew until the day that they got married. During the ceremony at the Registry of Marriages, she took a peek at his identity card and realised, to her surprise, that he was that much older. But he was a good man and she loved him and so she decided that the age difference is of no importance.
And so they got married.

Back then, there was no baby bonus but not having children was never a thought that crossed their minds. A family, they felt, was not complete without children. Besides, both came from large families and having children was a natural progression from marriage. They worked hard and saved diligently and two years later, they were blessed with a daughter. But she didn’t want the child to grow up lonely and hence, they had another daughter four years later.

They lived in a rented apartment and finally, when the younger girl was four, they had saved enough money to move into a tiny three-room flat, a place that they could call their own. But tragedy struck two years later when he, a basketball veteran, collapsed suddenly at a basketball court while umpiring a game. By the time she rushed to the hospital with her two young daughters in tow, it was too late. He was gone.

He had left behind nothing much, being a man with little financial acumen. She was always the one who did the sums. He had no insurance, nothing. His legacy was a houseful of memories and grief. She was on her own.

For the next seventeen years, she worked her body and soul out in order to feed her family. Her daughters were left to their own devices most of the time. She never saw them go on stage to receive prizes in school, nor had the chance to see them perform in concerts. The younger girl was shuttled between relations and child care until the day she went on to secondary school.

And so life went on like that. Along the way, they weathered through some tough storms. The elder girl was diagnosed with the irreversible glaucoma and hypothyroid. Tears were shed, voices were raised and doors were slammed in moments of weakness and pain.

But in the end, this tiny family triumphed. They pulled through all the hardships, more than what others ever had to endure in their lifetimes. The elder graduated from polytechnic and worked her way up to gain a Masters. The younger took the conventional route and graduated with a degree.

Their paths may have been uneven and difficult but with the strong love that binds them, they will get through anything that life has to bring to them.

If he could see everything from where he is now, he would be a very happy man indeed.

Everything Else

Words that don’t matter

It should be made a biological law that words that are meant to be spoken should run a marathon round the brains first.

Often, people speak without “thinking” and end up making fools of themselves or worse, nuisance of themselves. In truth, as human beings, we are supposed to be blessed with the faculties for thinking. In fact, if we don’t think, we won’t be able to profess our views, thoughts and emotions.

But there exists a species of beings who have rockets in place of mouths. Meaning, they shoot their mouths off, spewing garbage that are not worth responding to. Sometimes, these words are meant to belittle, spite, rib or anger. And sometimes, they are spoken without such malicious intentions but come out meaning the same anyway.

You can laugh it off as childishness, immaturity, impetuousness but really, these are just excuses. If you can’t contribute much with the words that you say, you should just keep your mouth shut until you learn the responsibility that comes along with communication.

Arts & Entertainment

Munch’s “Scream” nicked from Oslo museum

Amazingly enough, an art piece as famous as Edward Munch’s Scream was stolen from a crowded museum in Oslo, Norway.

According to the New York Times, two robbers stormed into the museum and threatened the unarmed guards with pistols before making off with the iconic “Scream”.

Which does not make sense, really.
This is a world famous painting, afterall. What can the robbers do with it? Hang it in their bedroom wall? Give it to their girlfriends as a token of love? Attempt to sell it without drawing any attention to themselves?

It’ll probably find its way home soon enough.
Let’s hope that the museum learns its mistake and patches up the security system.

The organised chaos

15 Completely Random Facts

  1. Women should invest a small portion of their monthly pay in thongs (the underwear kind). A VPL-butt at eye-level on the escalator early in the morning is not a pleasant sight.
  2. Cute army boys, who are neither sweaty nor stinky, do exist in this world.
  3. Aforementioned cute army boys are not beneath flirting with girls who are obviously older and earning less than them (being jobless).
  4. Five toes, miffed at being packed into Nine West heels one and a half sizes too big and still made to walk up and down the length of Serangoon Road, rebelled by promptly blossoming into blisters.
  5. Race of The Century – Ian Thorpe ranks first, followed by Pieter van den Hoogenband and then Michael Phelps. In decreasing order of nosebleed potential.
  6. I need a haircut. Badly.
  7. Fur (who is catching The Notebook with HY now) will make a good mother some day. Her kids should be called Ooh Aah, Wah Lau, Hah! and a various assortment of similar exclamations.
  8. People with Masters in Criminology should stop snatching the ricebowls of poor, unemployed Communication Studies graduates.
  9. According to Julia, there are friends, whom I do not know are reading my blog, reading my blog.
  10. Also in cahoots with Julia, we have decided that men can be stupid.
  11. Men, we admitted, can also be very sweet.
  12. Men are basically boys pretending to be adults.
  13. But we love our men anyway.
  14. Love, as VK wrote on ~y~’s blog, should not be measured by money. Love is when you accompany her home even though it’s already the last train and you will have to take a cab home. Love is speeding down to Esplanade so that she can catch the fireworks display and not be disappointed. Love is when you spend time with her when she is sick.
  15. I am loved!

b>I Fought The Law from “I Fought the Law [Single]” by Green Day

Everything Else

The Great Big Sex Issue

Somewhere on this sunny, little island lives a cluster of repressed and uptight Singaporeans.

They frown at anything that is deviant from their Confucian and Chinese upbringing, shake their heads at the sort of music and media that the younger generation at indulging in and believe that they are right in whatever they say and do because they have eaten more salt than the rice consumed by youths (a typical Chinese saying).

This morning, I read, with an equal mix of incredulity and amusement, a forum letter in the Straits Times, in which the writer questioned the decision to air Sex and the City.

“In almost every episode of the popular TV programme Sex And The City, sexual behaviour such as oral sex is portrayed as permissible and acceptable, in public or private.

Since unnatural sex is still illegal in Singapore, why does the censor permit the screening of Sex And The City which advocates such questionable behaviour?”

The writer must have been living in the dark ages.

The debate regarding Sex and the City has been voraciously argued and regurgitated many times before. There will always be those who support the show and detractors who think that it is immoral and hence, not suitable for television. The Censorship Review Committee subsequently decided that in order to facilitate an open society, shows like SATC should be shown. Citizens should not be molly-coddled and should have the right to decide what they want to watch.

Quite rightly so, too.
The writer, by dismissing the show in such offhand manner, has totally missed the point.

Firstly, SATC does not advocate sexual behaviour. It is merely reflecting the lives of cosmopolitan women living in New York City. I am wondering if the writer would have been so offended had the show been about four men leading the lives of debauchery.

Secondly, the themes underlying SATC is more than just sex, sex, sex. It is about love, life and friendship. It examines issues like marriage, old age, death, illnesses among many others.

Thirdly, the show is aired at 10.30pm on a weekday night, on cable television. Not all Singaporeans have the luxury of a television and not all television-watchers have cable. If the writer is offended by it, he can simply not watch it. If he is afraid that children might be exposed to it, then isn’t the onus on their parents to make sure that their children are not up at 10.30pm on a weekday night watching cable television? Just because he does not think it suitable for him does not mean that it is not suitable for the rest of Singaporean adults.

Already, we have to be contented with what little ground the Government has ceded us. While SATC is allowed to be aired, this decision came with many restrictions. It can be frustrating to watch the show sometimes because of the censoring of nudity (even scenes of breast-feeding has been snipped) and vulgarities.

Come on, get a grip.
This is the 21st century, not the 18th.
A little sex won’t kill us or transform us into amoral nymphomaniacs who are getting it on every minute of the day, in every location possible.

On second thought, maybe the latter won’t be such a bad idea, what with low birth rates and all. Hmm.


All hail the Mighty Queen of Wild Fire!

Girlie nights are always such fun.

First, I got to see Ash and her VK in action (too bad, nothing kinky). He’s actually not that tubby. Okay, he does have a tummy but hey, who am I to judge? While people have animals for pets, I have the boyfriend’s beer belly as a substitute. Granted, it’s quite purposeful to have it there to poke, pinch or slap when I get bored. Anyway, VK is not that fat so loosen up, girl!

Inevitably, as all outings go, something will crop up and imprint itself on our memories forever. Last night, the Queen of the Bimbos (who is still single, as she exclaims indignantly) was the highlight of the night.

As she and ~y~ fiddled with their SE T610 phones and attempted to send files to each other via Bluetooth, ~y~ asked if she had her bluetooth switched on.

“Yes, I am turned on,” replies our Darling Queen.

All of us were stunned for a second before bursting into laughter. For a moment, the Mighty Queen did not realise her faux pas and looked at us, bewildered. It must have been the potent combination of the Wild Fire (the aptly-named restaurant that we were at) and HY.

Somehow, being with the girls always allow me to let loose and just relax. Perhaps it’s human nature but I find that I am a different person when I am around different sets of people. And with them, I can really be myself comfortably. I laugh unglamorously and giggle incessantly, not unlike the way I get with the boyfriend whenever we are both in that crappy mood.

Speaking of the boyfriend, let me recount the conversation I had with him while we were on our way to supper.

Me: (talking about HY considering going to China) Blah blah blah….you know the guy that Fur is dating right?
BF: Oh yah, the guy right? Ooh-ahh?
Me: (stares at him for a second before exploding into guffaws) It’s haiyah lah!
BF: (sheepish grin) Whatever.

10 points for creativity.

What’s Playing on iTunes
Something About You from “America Town” by Five For Fighting


National Day – Girl

While picnicking at Tanjong Rhu on National Day, we saw this cutie playing with her sister near us. As most kids are, she wasn’t scared of us even though we were complete strangers. She approached us and picked up the huge water bottle that we had used as paperweight to our mat, as if testing the weight. When I stretched out my hand to take the bottle from her, she refused. Instead, she set it down back onto the ground herself.

A feisty girl, this one.

Everything Else

The end of the Goh Chok Tong era

In less than 24 hours, the current chapter of Singapore would conclude, making way for a brand new one. The baton would be passed and a new leadership would emerge.

Sure, it’s been 14 years in making but it doesn’t make this any less exciting. And a little surreal.

Back in 1990, when PM Goh was sworn in as the prime minister, I was but a wee kid in awe of SM Lee Kuan Yew. SM Lee was, and still is, my hero because I truly believe that without him, there will be no Singapore. I didn’t know much about PM Goh and the subsequent flash election that he called. I went on my way in life.

Over the past 14 years, Singapore faced battle after battle. From the 1997 shock economy crash, to the horrors of September 11 and the subsequent economic slowdown, to the wearisome quarrels with our neighbour to last year’s Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak – we have fought bravely and emerged scarred but triumphant. We owe our nation’s survival to the man steering our ship through such troubled waters, the man who did not wear the shoes of his predecessor but led the country in his own gentle yet steely manner.

We owe it to PM Goh.

I was picnicking with some friends at Tanjong Rhu on National Day and we had a teeny radio on. As we sat patiently, waiting for the fireworks display, the radio deejay announced the arrival of PM Goh. Spontaneously, we all cheered loudly for him.

And this is how we will remember his “reign” – a sweet mix of fondness and good cheer, sprinkled with some gratitude.

Tomorrow, he will relinquish the leader’s mantle to DPM Lee Hsien Loong.
It’s going to be odd not to refer to him as PM Goh but as SM Goh, just like SM Lee’s amusing transformation to MM Lee (what were they thinking of?).
But we’ll get by.

Majulah Singapura!

What’s Playing on iTunes
from “异想世界” by 陈洁仪

Everything Else

Prelude to National Day

In the name of patriotism, I have just downloaded Kit Chan’s updated rendition of Home from the official NDP site.

I would like to think that despite all our grouses about our home nation, we all love Singapore underneath it all.

Although we do not have total freedom of expression, cannot buy chewing gum without registering with our IC, seldom vote because of walkovers and need to pay exorbitant taxes for our cars, this is still a great place to live in. I love the clean air, the smooth transport system, the very existence of an educational system, the efficient sanitary facilities, the crisp and green surroundings, the variety of food and so much more.

We could ask for more but really, compared to others who are battling poverty, famine and the AIDS epidemic, we are so much more fortunate.

So, what does National Day mean to you?

Everything Else

The rise of the metrosexual

I am vain.
I love clothes. And shoes. And bags. And lip gloss. And shiny hair.
I spend way too much on things I don’t need but covet desperately.
But I accept that this is a universal maxim – you are woman, therefore you are vain.
It’s almost as if women are meant to be vain and particular about the way they look. It’s become a social norm, a convention, a rule.
You’d be grateful if they wash their faces with facial cleanser instead of shampoo and wear matching socks.

Well, not anymore.
The way ST looks at it, men are increasingly taking more care of their appearances, sometimes even rivaling the girls.

It’s a social horror movie acting out in front of my very eyes.
On the one hand, I wouldn’t want my man to look like he hasn’t bathed for 10 days and wears polo tees tucked into his tightly-cinched jeans, complete with NS sports shoes. No no no.
But on the other hand, I wouldn’t want him to paint his nails, wear diamonds on his earlobes (give them to me instead) and spend hundreds of dollars on shopping every month (spend them on me!), let alone go for manicures, pedicures and facials.

Would any girl actually want to date a man who is as vain as, if not more, herself?
The fear of rejection would be too great, the feeling of not meeting up to expectations would suffocate.

Hence, it comes as a (comic) relief when a conversation with a male friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, yields the following (in his actual words):

This is shopping, the male way.

1. Shoes got hole in the sole. Think to myself: ok I need new shoes. Think: ok Bugis got sale. Target: go Bugis.

2. Computer at work got problem needs time to fix. Think: ok better go Bugis today since got excuse to leave early – buy my shoes before sale over.

3. Go Bugis. Head straight for the shoe section. Try out one shoe. Ok not bad. Try out another shoe. ok comfortable. Ok BUY. Time taken: 10 mins from the time I entered the Seiyu.

4. Ok need socks. Head for sock section. Get socks. Buy. Time taken: 5 mins.

5. Think: ok I’m outdoors. Let’s get all my grocery sh** done at one go so I dun have to buy any stuff for weeks. Head to Carrefour. Grab shopping trolley.

6. Buy longlasting groceries like milk powder, big tin of milo etc. Shampoo, toothbrush etc. Weighs a ton. Take taxi. Go home.

Time spent: 3 hours. Money spent: $230″

Bravo, here’s a true Singaporean man!
He needs a girlfriend.
Any takers?

What’s Playing on iTunes
Let Down from “OK Computer” by Radiohead