Thursday, March 30

read between whose lines

I believe this is innocuous enough to post without him yelling at me.

ME: Since we're restricted to only chaste activities, let's go swimming in the longkang
HE: We're restricted to chaste activities?
ME: Are you allowed to be naughty?
HE: What's naughty?
ME: Why are you answering my question with another?
HE: Why are you?
ME: what do you think?
HE: What do I think?
ME: Whose line is it anyway?
HE: Isn't that a popular comedy show?
ME: Do you watch it too?
HE: Is it still on TV?
ME: Is this the most ridiculous conversation ever?
HE: Have you had worse?
ME: How long do you think we can keep this up?
HE: How high can you count?
ME: How low can you go?
HE: Wanna find out?
ME: And we're back to square one...are you allowed to be naughty?
HE: What's naughty?
ME: Shall we call a truce?
HE: Do you want to stop?
ME: Who will be the first to cave in?
HE: How much time do you have?
ME: Do you have as much time as someone who's off today?
HE: Wanna find out?
ME: Do you wanna get retrenched?
HE: What's the big deal about being employed anyway?
ME: So are we going swimming then?
HE: Are we being chaste?
ME: Do you just want the thrill of the chase? Or should it be the thrill of the chaste?
HE: What's the reward at the end of it all?
ME: Would a swimming proficiency certificate satisfy you?
HE: Do you think that's all I want?
ME: Do you want a scout's merit badge as well?
HE: Were you ever a girl guide?
ME: Do I look like a goody two shoes to you?
HE: Can you handle the truth?
ME: Have I ever been less than truthful?
HE: Why would I want to keep track of such things?
ME: Are you tired of this game yet?
HE: Are you?
ME: Are you the type of person who never admits defeat?
HE: Do I strike you as that kind of person?
ME: If you're not, then why won't you let me win this round?
HE: What makes you think I'm not letting you win?
ME: How is continuing this game counted as letting me win?
HE: Don't you have confidence in yourself?
ME: What exactly have I won?
HE: What do you want from me?
ME: What can you offer?
HE: Anything you want. (See, I let you win)

Saturday, March 25

innocent educational trip

I finally made it to the Omni Max yesterday.

Those who are aware of the significance will be reassured to know that it was an innocent educational trip, with three other slacker-subs-slash-science-geeks skiving during lunch.

I think the best part was the hands-on exhibits, like working the water wheel until my right arm ached, peddling the wind machine until I got a stomachache from laughing and trying to disprove Bernoulli with a beach ball. The show was pretty grand, too.

It was good to pretend to be young and carefree again, even if it was only for a couple of hours. [I recall now going to Toys 'R' Us some 10 years ago with some boy I still remember I disliked quite intensely and, despite that, having lots of fun there, too, pretending to be a teenager again. Talk about arrested development, now I want to go to the Road Safety Park.]

But later, I couldn't resist goading my intended Science-Centre-hooky-player by telling him that I went -- without him. He feigned nonchalance, but the fact is that he asked me three times -- and I evaded three times -- who I went with.

Anyway, these days we are careful now to only touch on chaste topics, such as persistence of vision, photosynthesis, volcanic eruptions and the like. He grudgingly admitted that he would have loved the Omni Max, but if we had gone, it would not have been an "innocent educational trip".

Saturday, March 18

wiping the slate

While springcleaning my life, I decided my blog needed wiping clean, too.

Pardon the mess while I finish up with the renovations.

Wednesday, March 15


After I wrote a frivolous column with my thoughts on moving out and living on my own, I received a couple of e-mail from others in the same situation, and one from someone who, in long Bible-thumping discourse, told me that I was a harlot who was going to burn in hell.

He then insisted that I reply to indicate that I had indeed read his e-mail. Possessed by the devil or Miss Manners, I did. All I said, very tersely, was: "Thank you for your feedback."

That opened the flood gates. Now he wants to invite me to church [he gave me the bus numbers to take there, too!], meet me to discuss God with me [he gave me his handphone number!] and lend me books to read.

MS told me to block him. Or was it blog him? I'm doing both, just to be sure.

On a similarly religious note, I took part in a telephone survey over the weekend, simply cos I was a sucker for these kind of things, and also cos I had been on the other end of the line before and know how difficult it is to get people to spend time answering questions on how often you buy candy [yes, that was part of this survey which ate up 20 minutes of my lazy Sunday].

Another portion of the survey, by this woman whom I suspect is an auntie reading from a prepared questionnaire with less-than-fluent English, was about recall of TV adverts.

She would recite the product name, followed by a brief synopsis of the ad, and I was supposed to respond "yes" or "no" to seeing it.

"Music Street VCD. The life and times of Poppy John Paul Two..." she droned.

"Who?" I interrupted, thinking it was some hiphop gangsta rapper like P Diddy Sean John that I was not with it enough to have heard of.

"Poppy John Paul Two..." she repeated, not unkindly, like I was an extremely slow child.

The light bulb went on in my head: "Oh!!! Pope John Paul II."

Tuesday, March 14

can't fight the moonlight

"Go watch the moon. It's pretty tonight."

So I did, not knowing what to do with myself after finishing work unaccustomedly early on a Tuesday.

For the better part of an hour, the moon swayed in time with my hammock, as I gazed at it, sipped week-old red wine and listened to soppy songs. And stopped dwelling on "what it could have been".

It was beautiful, and not a bit sad -- even though he was the one who alerted me to the full moon in the first place.

Sunday, March 12

hush hush

This is what my horoscope says: "It's getting to the point where even you can't stand to listen to yourself talk about a certain situation anymore. It's time to start observing how much you're obsessing about something that's not really worth your time."

M essentially says the same thing when she says: "Now you can stop wasting money on SMSes."

P tries to comfort me with: "My lurve, you deserve someone who is absolutely nuts about you. This one won't give up his comfort zone to be with you, so it's NEXT!"

L, who hates him and calls him a troublemaker, grudgingly admits: "At least he's being responsible and doing the right thing. Poor lurve."

K puts it more bluntly: "You wanted to potang jalan. Did you expect anything to good to come out of it? So what if you did nothing except talk?"

Yes, it was just talk -- about him being caught in the middle of office politics, my problems with my evil boss, his reputation as a skirt-chaser and numerous conquests, my lousy history with inappropriate men, do you love with the heart or with the mind, his weakness for short skirts and mine for striped shirts, repetition of meaningless words like boo and heh until someone relented, how his day at work went and how I frittered away my off day, the perfect balance between li xing and gan xing, drowsy "nite darlin" messages that ended with a muak.

But enough already. No more talking.

Wednesday, March 8

baby boom

I was having dinner with an old friend last night -- our semi-annual catch-up talk-rubbish get-smashed session -- when the good news buzzed onto my phone. Congrats to C and her bouncing 3.8kg baby K! [Even though I doubt she will have time to read or blog much in the next couple of weeks.]

Barely 10 minutes later, his phone buzzed too. Another baby has popped into the world. We marvelled at the miracle of birth and the sheer coincidence.

Then we proceeded to get totally smashed on red wine.

Saturday, March 4

taxi taxi

Lest you think I can't blog on anything aside from text messages, here's something I finally verified to be true in Tokyo -- Japan has the most expensive cabs.

The junket organisers had arranged for a car to send us from the airport to the hotel. Ostensibly, it was called a limo, but really it was just a large nondescript black sedan driven by a well-groomed middle-aged man who spoke excellent English and carried suitcases with ease in his Mickey Mouse white gloves.

A one-way trip cost 55,000 yen. That's S$765 or roughly equivalent to a round-trip economy class air ticket from here to there. I couldn't believe it, I kept insisting that there was an extra zero. This beats my previous most expensive cab fare -- £50 for a black cab from Heathrow to south London -- hands down.

We took the same "limo" when we left Tokyo, and I tried my best to appreciate the ride, knowing I'd never be as extravagant on my own expense. Alas, the excellent smooth driving and tedium of the expressway put me to sleep for most of the one-hour ride.

Friday, March 3

too much, too little

Tangential thoughts after reading Orange Clouds's post script, while listening to Cheer on a continuous loop:

-- I go through life with low expectations, but it still doesn't guarantee I'm not sometimes disappointed.
-- I almost never give 100 per cent in anything, not because I'm lazy, but because I'm afraid that after giving my all, it is still not enough.
-- I seldom lie, even though I won't say I'm a very moral person. Rather, I'm no good at it, and so would prefer to minimise the risk of getting caught.
-- I would have been a horrible slutty person if I had been born beautiful. Instead, I'm forced to cultivate inner beauty, brains, character, humour and other traits to compensate.
-- I prefer not to think too much, even though I know I can and should. It just never seems to make a difference whether I agonise over decisions or not, because I always end up following my heart, not my head.
-- I also prefer to take things at face value. Why read too much into words and actions when there may not be hidden meanings anyway? Sometimes, it is better not to see too clearly.
-- I would rather have too much heartache than too little happiness.