The organised chaos

Like dying in the sun

It was bound to happen soon, the crashing fall and the strange, ringing silence that follows.

I lose my voice, I can’t speak but the thoughts are reverberating round my mind endlessly. It seems that everything is numb except for the hot tears that splash down my cheeks.

I can’t do this anymore, I need to find myself and be who I really should be.

But in the end, life goes on. You wake up to a reality that you cannot change. You just keep plodding through the disappointment, the disillusionment, the resignation. It pays the bills, it gets you the things you want. And for that you ought to be grateful, even if you are trapped in a swamp that dulls your senses every single second.

I need to feel inspired again.

Pick up that pen again. Grab a moleskine. Buy that chunky watch you always liked but never got. Sit in front of the computer and type. Lose yourself in a beautifully and brilliantly written book. Shoot with that camera which is gathering dust. Read the papers and lose that cynicism. Sit back and watch the world go by. Absorb the soundscape. Close your eyes and feel the wind on your face. Let go of the responsibilities. Feel young. Smile into the sunlight. Tap dance in your heels. Laugh out loud with no sense of inhibition. Twirl in the rain again. Listen to your skirts swish. Touch a baby’s pure smooth skin.

I wanted to sit down over a cuppa and tell you everything but you looked so tired and sounded so distracted, I changed my mind.

I need to believe I can still do it, even if the odds are against me.

Geek Girl

Happy 5th birthday, baby!

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/415218581_6458e05b51.jpg!(I love my baby)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/415218581/

“Baby” in this case does not mean the other half. It’s my precious iMac G4.

It’s been FIVE long years for my baby and I and our relationship is still going strong.

Except for that one time it briefly lost consciousness, my baby has never failed me yet. Its little 700MHz processor is still plodding on sturdily and despite its lack of frills and teeny USB 1.1 connection, it’s still my best computing pal.

Throughout our years together, we have seen many new models come and go. Yes, there have been times when I was sorely tempted to plonk my cash down for a newer, swankier and faster machine but there has never been a looker as gorgeous as my baby. Plus, it’s been so faithful that I cannot bear to give it away, willingly, to someone else who might not love it as much as I do.

Though it’s turning yellow now, my baby is still the best looking kid on the block. And at about S$2.4k, it’s been my BEST investment EVER.

So, happy birthday, baby and here’s to many more years ahead! Who knows, maybe this will be an inheritance for the future baby yAnns.

God only knows what I’d be without you!

Edit: Yes, someone on flickr has just informed me that it’s actually baby’s 5th birthday. I miscalculated! Urgh argh argh.

Silly things

3s

Since I have been double tagged by both Hucks and monoceros, there really seems no escaping this meme.

3 things that scare me:
Not being able to see or touch or hear or sing
(Flying) cockroaches
The thought of losing a loved one

3 people who make me laugh:
Jimmy
My six-year-old nephew Dylan
Bill Watterson (with his drawings of “Calvin and Hobbes”)

3 things I love:
Writing
Music
Feeling of being in love

3 things I hate:
Disharmony and anger
Rude people who push past me on the MRT
Singapore’s humid weather

3 things I don’t understand:
Why humanities and the arts are largely ignored in our society
Why people have children only to abuse or neglect them
Why friends say they love you but just don’t bother to make the effort

3 things on my desk:
My precious iMac
A tape of my SCGS choir performance back in 1996
A jar of pineapple tarts

3 things I’m doing right now:
Putting off researching for my next articles
Waiting for the masque on my face to dry
Reading the Jimmy Liao comic books that I carted home from Shanghai last year

3 things I want to do before I die:
Backpack around Europe
See the glittering Christmas tree in New York’s Time Square
Teach my children to sing and dance and to appreciate the power of language

3 things I can do:
Speed read
Write a good article in record time
Burst into song from seemingly out of nowhere

3 things you should listen to:
The sound of raindrops falling
Victoria Chorale’s solid rendition of “Stabat Mater” during the World Choir Games 2006
Virgin Radio

3 things you should never listen to:
Politicians
Negative people who have no faith in anything
Boybands

3 things I’d like to learn:
Italian or French
To cook and bake
To be less quick-tempered

3 favourite foods:
My mother’s curry chicken/chap chye
Succulent rack of lamb
Juicy, tender wagyu beef

3 beverages I drink regularly:
Plain water
My mother’s teh-si
100-plus

3 TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
Sesame Street
Ronald Dahl
Channel 8’s Wu Suo Nan Yang (haha)

3 people I have to tag:
Rie, Cat and Dopey

Everything Else

Dirty Dancing

Back in those days when we were still staying in grimy Bedok, the Sista and I would always make a trip down to our local video store to rent our perennial favourites during the school holidays. Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing were two of them.

Oh, how we loved them! The fairy tale love story, pretty female leads (Julia Roberts in that brown polka dot dress? Classy) and hunky male leads…..it really appealed to our inner Venuses. We probably watched each movie at least 20 times, rewinding the tape and putting it on again immediately after the movie had ended. We fancied ourselves to be the lovely heroines, feisty and full of passion for the things we believed in and in some ways, we did fulfill what we had thought ourselves to be when we were younger and more idealistic.

I especially loved Dirty Dancing because of its gritty, 1960s feel and the dancing. Smooth, flowing and sexy moves that made me wish I had not two left feet and an awkward gait.

Till this day, 20 years after the movie has been made, I still adore the movie and its eclectic soundtrack comprising of sappy love ballads (Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes”), retro ’60s ditties and the winner of the Best Original Song at the following Oscars – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”. Check out the Youtube video of the scene when the song played. The sleek dance moves, the way the group of dancers moved so amazingly in sync, the intimacy…it just sends a tingle down my spine.

And check out, also, this British couple who re-enacted the dance at their wedding and made it to the news. It’s so cute!

Those were the days when we could savour the delicious bubblegum delight of a summer movie. Sweet!

Little Miss Shopaholic

The little nook called Haji Lane

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/409764853_d9c6812814_m.jpg!(Number 44, Haji Lane)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764853/

Given how tiny Singapore is and how cosmopolitan our people are, it’s always a lovely surprise when I discover a slice of laid-back charm in our busy, bustling streets.

I have been wanting to visit Haji Lane for the longest time, especially after Cat has raved about it time after time. Somehow, the forces of circumstances and sheer laziness conspired against me and it was not until Popartgirl mooted the idea of us exploring the place together that I finally had the chance to take a stroll down Haji Lane.

In truth, the place is no more than a little strip of alley hidden away from view. But once you step in there, it feels as if you have moved into a Singapore of more than 20 years ago when estates were full of shophouses with rattling metal gates.

Although the street houses several boutiques that are known to be distinctively quirky and vintage, there was no air of pretension. Instead, what you get is a little village of creative and expressive vibes.

For those who are crazy about all things vintage and who are not interested in mass market boutiques like I am, this place is probably the closest you will get to heaven in Singapore. There are shops that peddle lovely frocks you can imagine your mother wearing in her younger days and when she was not yet your dad’s wife. Homemakers would go crazy over the wallpaper designs ranging from creeping vines to repeating motifs, and gorgeous armchairs upholstered in the damask print of yesterday. There were elaborate lamps and delicate screens and retro telephones where you had to dial by turning the wheel.

As the boutiques are usually small, intimate affairs, the service tends to be more personal and friendly. We were always served with a smile and a warm “hello” and even when we left without purchasing anything, their smiles never faltered.

And after you are done with shopping, there are plenty of cafes and eating houses that serve a good cuppa and food that could help you replenish your energy.

Haji Lane is definitely a great way to spend the weekend in and I had so much fun with Popartgirl. Till next time, then!

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/128/409764714_cbf08861db_m.jpg!(Empty chair on Haji Lane)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/409764714/

The organised chaos

For the aging Red Devils

“!(imgcenter)https://yannisms.com/pix/ryan_giggs.jpg!(Oh Giggsy, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, hey Giggsy!)”:http://yannisms.com

Not too long ago, a very esteemed colleague of mine said to me in a typical, patronizing fashion: “No offense but Man U is a bunch of aging players. Look at Giggs, Neville, Scholes, Larsson…they are all old men on the field. Man U is weak and they have no future. Their time is up.”

Tonight, let it be known that an excellent team of “aging players” whipped his youthful and talented Liverpool into defeat.

This, despite United’s team of veteran players, including one who has appeared for the club 700 times.

This, despite a visionary playmaker being sent off.

This, despite the substitution of one of United’s strikers after a Liverpool player smashed his foot into Rooney’s knee, drawing blood.

This, despite alarmingly scrappy play which saw them give away 12 corner kicks and having only six shots while the Reds had 15.

He should have known that in football, anything can happen.

Don’t worry dude, none taken.

PS Photo was taken during United’s game against Lille in the UEFA Champions League.

Friends

Squirt and her (s)Melly

The onslaught of rain for the past days have no only turned my world into a dull, grey one but it’s also managed to make me feel rather dreary too. I was all ready to remain in this mood until my dinner appointment at Mezza9 later until I read Squirt’s blog. A smile just formed on my lips and I could imagine her adorable sense of delight sweeping in from her side over to mine.

“when i opened the car door, there was a beautiful bouquet of three deep red roses on my seat! =) surprise no. 1

……

made our way back to the car and set off for my place. stopped below my block to say bye bye, and then he told me… to look in the glove compartment. haha… so unexpected and sweet.

there was a blue box in there. inside was a this pair of green and gold earrings that i had admired the other day when out with him. i thought it might match my evening gown for the wedding. and he had remembered that i liked it and gone back and bought it!”

Squirt, Popartgirl and I go way back to junior college days and surprisingly enough, also the first one to get hitched. We adore her like we adore nobody else and it certainly makes us very happy to see her blissfully in love.

Now, to call Fedex for a makeshift, ugly box to hold her red packets during the wedding and to buy that 46J cup bra as a present.

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/175/396339509_b7d813a7a2_m.jpg!(The Squirt and I mucking around)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/396339509

The organised chaos

The Very Boring Story

The Giant Purple Monster shook off the cobwebs of sleep from his brain when his Mama burst into his bedroom and demanded that he wake up immediately. After she left the room, he sat up in his bed gingerly and with a weary mind. OUtside his window, the world was grey with rain.

He hung his Giant Head heavily for a good five minutes and stared at his Purple Furry Knees before stomping his way to the bathroom. As he brushed his fearsome teeth, he stared at his reflection in the mirror and heaved a mighty sigh that trembled through his giant fluffy purple body.

Stepping out of the bathroom, he peered into his meagre wardrobe and pondered over what he should wear today. He thought and thought for a while before pulling out a comfortable jacket to ward off the chilly cold. He then tried to comb his Fluffy Purple Fur but no matter how he tried to browbeat them with his giant wooden brush, they still stuck out at different angles, almost as if they had a mind of their own. He could only wave his brush threateningly at them before slumping his magnificent shoulders and giving up.

As he sat down for breakfast, he chewed his Egg Sandwiches thoughtfully. Suddenly, there were crackling sounds popping out from his fearsome mouth. There were eggshells in his Egg Sandwiches! He bellowed out to Mama giant purple monster about the eggshells but she ignored his protests and continued reading her newspapers blisfully. He shook his head and stared down at his Egg Sandwiches before deciding not to eat the last slice.

The giant purple monster pulled on a cheery red pair of Converse sneakers and made his way to the train station. It was crowded and everyone pushed and shoved, which irritated him very much. Where did they get their Appalling Monstrous Manners from, he thought sulkily, as a young monster girl pushed past him to run towards an empty door at the station.

As luck would have it, he missed his connecting train and had to settle for the next train. As he waited, the rude young monster girl stood behind him and when the train arrived, she shoved him aside to rush for an empty seat. Her crimes were further exacerbated when she took out a sandwich from her bag and started eating it in the train. The nerve!

He sulked all the way to his stop and while waiting for the company’s shuttle bus to bring him to work. Again, it was crowded and still raining. When the shuttle bus arrived, all the Big R monsters rushed forward and the giant purple monster cursed silently at their Appalling Monstrous Behaviour in his giant brain.

When he finally got to work, he turned on his Very Boring PC and logged on to the start of a boring, grey day. He started typing and soon finished The Very Boring Story while in stealth mode.