Monday, March 22

"During the visit, you will also be able to see the room where the visitor produces the sperm."

This line, taken from the KK Hospital's reply to my colleague's request to write a piece about its sperm bank, just made me chuckle silently for a full minute on a Monday morning. That is quite a feat.

Sunday, March 21

”Don’t be ridiculous. You don’t even have a dog.”

Exchanging a spate of sloshed SMSes while at Velvet last night with a friend, who was out on a hot date somewhere he refused to divulge.

Can’t remember exactly what nonsense I was babbling to him about, but do recall hazy laments about all men being MARRIED [I recall keying those words in CAPS, even in my drunken state] and being found half-eaten by an Alsatian three weeks after I’m dead [see, even when not sober, I can quote Bridget Jones].

Nursing a vague hangover now. Just reminded my friend -- who brushed off his hot date by saying they just “chilled and took a walk” -- that we still have an on-going bet. Whoever gets attached first will have to buy the other a complete set of Tintin comics.

I have a feeling I’m gonna win.

Friday, March 19

On how to write good

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They are old hat).
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
8. Be more or less specific.
9. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than unnecessary; it's highly superfluous.
14. One should never generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don't use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.
23. Kill all exclamation points!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Profanity is for assholes.
26. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shattering ideas.
27. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed. [“it’s” = “it is”, “its” = possessive form of “it”]
28. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
29. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it effectively.
30. Puns are for children, not for groan readers.
31. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
32. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
33. Who needs rhetorical questions? [A rhetorical question is one asked for effect or to emphasize a point].
34. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And finally . . .
35. Proofread every space and letter carefully to see if you any words out.

Wednesday, March 17

More about married men.

Talkative photographer: Last night I dreamt of [insert name here of my version of Mr Big].
Me: Erm... [Trying to change the subject] That day I dreamt I was Drew Barrymore. I think it was because I saw the trailer for 50 First Dates.
Talkative photographer: I dreamt of him because I haven't talked to him for a long time.
Me: Erm... Me too.
Talkative photographer: [Still oblivious to my lack of response] I've been wanting to call him.
Me: [In my heart] Erm... Me too.
Spiffy gay colleague: You think he's cute?
Me: Erm, yah. He looks like Chinese version of you. Cute! [Giggle]
Spiffy gay colleague: [With a grudging grin] Well, he is your type...tall, skinny...
Me: [Nod hesitantly] Erm, yah...I like them scrawny...
Spiffy gay colleague: But he's married.

Why do I gravitate towards underaged boys and married men?

Monday, March 15


It is so wrong to find these young boys to be so cute. They're practically jailbait.

As you can tell, I haven't been doing much work this Monday, except surfing the net for the ages and pix of toy boys. Discovered to my chagrin that red-hot Diego Luna is a couple of months younger than my sis, though he looks about only 19.

And the smouldering Gregory Smith from the grossly under-rated Everwood [Sunday, Channel 5, 6pm] is a tender 20.

It's confirmed. I'm a cradle snatcher.

Sunday, March 14

I totally dismissed him the first time I saw him. So greasy, so scrawny, where got cute?

Now, I'm so in love. That cheeky grin. The cheekbones. And of course, those smooth dance moves.

I drooled over the 50s style dresses in Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights. And also over the underaged boy called Diego Luna.

Thursday, March 11

"Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace."

So says Buddha. So true.

Now that I've decided to do something about my situation at work, I feel less sullen and so much lighter and, more importantly, better able to cope with the piles of pending stories. Someone actually just asked why I am so chirpy -- a word not commonly associated with me -- which was when I realised that yes, I am chirpy today. And at peace.

Sunday, March 7

Because the bartender and I are seldom awake at the same time, even our SMSes have a significant time lag.

He messaged me on Saturday afternoon, after he spotted me on Friday night while he was working. Basically, he thinks my new China doll bangs are cute. [Don't even get me started on the old joke about banging the bartender.]

By the time I decided to stop ignoring him and replied in the evening, he was at work again on a busy Saturday night.

It is now Sunday and he replies with: "I'm off on Monday. Take a nap with me?"

I'll bet sleep is the last thing on his mind. Going back now to ignoring him.
There’s actually loads to write about my 24 hours on the cable car, but I’ve been repeating the same anecdotes until I no longer know which ones are funny. So I’ll just copy and paste something which I wrote for the paper:

Over the course of 24 hours, my level of personal hygiene deteriorated to that of an army boy.

And I didn't even care.

I pitied poor Clara who had to share an enclosed space with me.

At the start of our journey just after noon and 10 minutes into the endless loops between Sentosa and Mount Faber, I was already airing my damp armpits over the air vents.

One hour later, we were discussing, quite earnestly: ""What should we do if we need to fart?''

Hold it in? Face the window? Let go loudly and proudly?

Bodily emissions, we decided, should come with warnings, although I feared I may have unleashed a couple of silent killers while napping.

We dozed on and off in the heat of the day, lulled by the swaying motion of the travelling microwave oven we were in.

The excitement of playing with the inbuilt audio guide for tourists wore off after we listened to the ""Espanol'' version more than once, and even the most breathtaking scenery got dull after a while.

Making myself as comfortable as I could on the seat meant for three large tourists, I could feel my bare arms and thighs sticking to the hard plastic like stubborn Post-Its.

I can only imagine how like an oil slick I looked and how bad I smelled, since my companion didn't seem to have sweat glands or pores and maintained her flawless complexion throughout the trip.

And as far as army boys and underwear go, all I am going to say is that with only a total of 9 minutes 59 seconds spent in the toilet during the entire 24 hours, there was hardly time to think about such niceties as pristine panties.

At one point, after we were left with less than three minutes for our loo trips, which we had to take together, I surprised myself by suggesting: ""If we don't wash our hands, we can shave off about 10 seconds.''

As night fell and we were transferred to a parked cable car for the night -- contestants will not be left dangling over the water overnight -- I was actually gleeful that we didn't need to bother with oral hygiene before sleeping.

Dragon breath in the morning was another small issue easily washed down with the three litres of water we were each given.

Not that we had the use of toothbrushes or toothpaste anyway. Those would have been considered luxury items, and we were only allowed one.

As electronic devices were not allowed, after much consideration, we decided on Scrabble to keep our journalist brains from turning to mush during the long hours.

What we didn't count on was Clara's motion sickness.

After 45 minutes of balancing the tiles precariously, we gave up before she puked all over the game board.

She was still leading by seven points, though, despite feeling sick. Damn.

Maybe I made her feel nauseated with my ever-escalating smelliness.

With my increased tolerance towards grime and grease, I would have no problems surviving seven days cooped on board a cable car. Now, I just need to find an army boy willing to take part with me.

Saturday, March 6

Off days have gotta be the most precious things in working life. I love the feeling of waking up late, meeting up with old friends for lunch, breezing past office drones in Shenton Way while wearing my flip flops, catching a cheap mid-day movie on my own, and basically having all the time in the world for me to fritter away.

So I was off on Thursday and Friday. Merely two days but it felt so good to be away from the office -- though the dastardly editor called me to assign me a story anyway.

Went retro mad on Thursday at the Salvation Army. Bought fake pearl bracelets ($6), lovely tarnished silver pin in the shape of a key ($3), and the most beautiful pair of crystal drop earrings ($3). And on a rack, among the ugliest bridesmaid outfits in the world, I discovered a 1970s green dress with bird prints which fit me so perfectly, it’s as if it was made to measure. And it only cost me $8.

Although it freaks my mum out whenever I come home with clothes and bags that dead people might have used, it makes me feel that these items are a bit more special because I’m sharing in a bit of history.

Then it was down to Chinatown to our favourite accessories shop for vintage brooches. Bought some more pretty ones to add to growing collection. Have already pinned a bronze brooch with giant fake diamond onto my denim jacket and it’s a perfect match.

Such bimbotic things make me deliriously happy.

Friday, though, was a day of disappointment.

Managed to catch Lost In Translation at last in the afternoon, but it was one of those movies which did not live up to expectations. Or perhaps I was expecting too much, after all the Oscars hype.

I found it tedious and self-absorbed, the lines weren’t particularly sharp or funny or poignant, and it seemed slightly rude to laugh at the expense of the Japanese, no matter how weird or funny their quirks might be. The actors were good, but I wasn’t particularly touched by them.

I only perked up when Charlotte went on a day trip to Kyoto, cos I was mentally exclaiming: “I was there! At the shrine! At the pond with the stepping stones! At the giant temple courtyard! I love Kyoto!”

We had great plans on Friday night to go for the launch of Absolut Vanilia, cos I had shamelessly wrangled an invite from the PR gal. And I was dying to wear the one last new outfit I bought from Bangkok, which was too clubby to wear anywhere else. It was a nude coloured tube, with flimsy bits of lace around the boobs and waist. My sis insisted that it looked like granny underwear, though of course I disagreed.

Naturally, I just had to match it with the vintage crystal earrings. Perfect.

But the event turned out to be over by the time we arrived, fashionably late by two hours. Luckily, we still managed to get in and got free drinks as well, cheapskates that we were. But the vanilla taste wasn’t quite as nice as I thought it would be, even though I am a big fan of all things vanilla.

Somehow, all our friends abandoned us and it was only me and my lurve at Velvet. We felt like such losers that we decided to call it a night and left before it even struck midnight. That was unprecedented -- heck, sometimes we were only just getting ready for a night out at that hour -- and also left us perturbed. Could our clubbing days be over?

Tuesday, March 2

Our luxury item is Scrabble. Triple word scores, here we come! Be right back in about 24 hours.

Monday, March 1

For 24 hours from noon tomorrow, I will be cooped up in a cable car in the name of science and journalism. I will be accompanied by an equally-insane colleague who, like me, volunteered to go through the experience and write about it, ahead of the actual seven-day competition to be held in the middle of the month. Luckily we don't suffer from vertigo, motion sickness, claustrophobia or incontinence.

We are not allowed to leave the cable car except for a 10-minute loo break every 24 hours. We've already done a trial toilet run, and we need more than two minutes each time. We can shave off a few seconds if we neglect to wash our hands.

Food and water will be provided, as well as one pillow and one blanket to be shared between the two of us. Only the clothes we have on our backs are allowed, so we intend to wear on our body as possible, such as a pair of shorts under a denim skirt. It's gonna be scorching hot and stifling in the day, and probably breezy at night.

Only one luxury item is allowed per couple. Our ed suggested a Gucci handbag. We toyed briefly with the idea of a large bottle of Absolut, before we read the fine print on the Rules and Regulations. Radios, handphones, laptops and other such electronic items are not permitted. Food and drinks, too, are out. No extra pillows or blankets can be brought aboard, so basically, we're left with few options. We probably will end up being real boring and bringing a thick magazine or book, unless someone can come up with something better.