Thursday, July 29, 2004

Smash up.

So I wrecked the car today.
Ran into a cab and totalled the front of the car...thankfully there were no injuries, but I did manage to crumple the front of the car. I think the car was trying to kill us due to the fact that the brakes malfunctioned just for the 2 seconds it took to hit a non moving cab.
In an act of total brain malfunction I also managed to not get the cabby's details while surrendering my own to now I'm at the mercy of the mechanic told me that I should've gotten his details as did the rest of the world and all the time my brain's going "huh?" and following that, "Oh fuck".
Talk about spazzing out.
Anyway, I think that we're going to be out of about $3000 that we don't actually have to spare...and I'm the cause of the deficit.
Sucks to be me.
On the bright side, my parents have been quite nice about it. No big lecture on how I should've been more careful (I should've) and the added nice gesture to fetch S and I to school tomorrow.
Sitting in their car on the way home from the mechanics (who took a look at the car and did a double take) I felt like I was 12 years old again and I wanted my parents to make everything better...because they were the adults. My dad's offered to speak to the cabby when he calls to settle everything...and that really made me feel a whole lot better (...not that I feel good or anything...I still feel like crap) and I realised that as long as they're around, I'll always feel like I have someone to run to when I need to, and I'll always know that they'll be there for me.
My mom went for an operation some time ago to remove a cyst...and I recall feeling a sense of panic as she was in the operating theater. I didn't know why then and I'm beginning to understand now, that despite my struggle to find my own two feet, I still depend so much on them.
Thanks mom and dad.
I love you.

Lamb Chops sing-a-long.

I've got a 2.666kg leg of lamb in the fridge, sitting in a baking tray, soaking in an olive oil and salt bath. The reason why there's a leg of lamb sitting in the fridge is because mom-in-law had a visitor from NZ who carried not only a couple of legs of lamb(s) back from the land not-so-downunder but also a ton of steak.
Said leg of lamb sitting in my fridge marinating was the only thing that wasn't kept in the freezer and defrosted. Figuring that we'd play it safe, we decided that it would be best if we served up said meat to the D&D crowd tomorrow. <>
That said, there is a sad lack of booze at our place so if there are any requests for beer I suggest that the players either BYOB or submit a request to fill our fridge.
In the meantime, I need to go look for rosemary (the spice, not the girl...uhm...not that there's a girl or anything...iloveyoudear...) and some other spices. Also got to decide on a side dish that requires little cooking time. Maybe we should just BYOSD. (BYO Side Dish)
Just realised that there's a slight problem. I've got a stupid briefing tomorrow till about 5 and with a roasting time of just under 3 hours, it could be 8:30 before we eat...
/me panic
I also do not have a meat thermometer.
Maybe I can sneak out of the briefing halfway, run home and stick the leg in the oven, and then run back...hmmm...
Ah what fools these teachers be.
OK...reading up on lamb recipes now and all the talk of drippings is making my stomach really growl...methinks it's time for brekkie.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The West Wing

There'll be a screening of the first 3 episodes of the fifth season of The West Wing on the 8th of August(Sunday night), 7pm. Please BYO chips, finger foods and beer. The best I can do will be chicken wings or ribs if there are any takers.
Unfortunately, 4th episode is incredibly difficult to get a hold of so we've only got 3. Any other requests for other viewings? Since Monday's ND, we can actually stay till late...
All interested, post reply.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Cynicism Unleashed.

Just a pop to note that our nation's brightest happens to be the most cynical bunch I've ever met...and they're only 14.
Sadly I think that it's something that our kids tend to suffer from, the point where idealism's killed by the crap that we're required to force feed them with. I think it's the same kind of crap that we as teachers are fed, which led to my rant of despair. I don't know why the twig people tend to think that there are things that we can't let some people figure out for themselves? Are our kids that morally ambiguous that they can't figure out right from wrong? I think it's the constant fear and lack of trust that's so ingrained in Singapore, stemming from an extreme insecurity, that causes us to react in this way.
Give it up! You can't control kids this way and then ask yourselves why they get so damn cynical. When your life isn't your own, you tend to care a whole lot less.
Release the leashes, let them run free. Then maybe we'll see some growth.

Monday, July 26, 2004


OK...was watching Enemy of the State on TCS just about 10 minutes ago and as filler between programmes, they put in the children's choir version of the National Day Song for this year, which is the same song as last year, Home.
Let's just put aside the fact that the nation's songwriters are decidedly lazy this time around and let's focus on the music video itself. The image that it's supposed to portray is the innocent child, dressed in white no less, singing said song with her sweet angelic voice...except that the poor girl looks like she's ready to cry as she sings. (She's also got a REALLY constipated look on her face as she belts out the lyrics to the song.)
Plus the cacophony of accents. Bad enough that the choir doesn't seem to be able to agree on the pronounciations of the lyrics but the fact that the diction of the singers is a horrid mix of traditional choir diction (You know the type) and Singlish weird language stress patterns...
Throw in a corny montage of Singaporean kids playing baseball and you've got yourself a National Day Video to be proud of.
I feel like I need a bath.

"I want to be for a living."

when i grow up all words written by Sekou (tha misfit)

Ask me now mommy.
Am I too late?
Ask me now what I want to do for a living.
Am I too late? Cause I think I finally figured it out

I don't want to do for a living
I want to be for a living

I want to be life.
I want to make things grow, and move, and breath, and reproduce, and respond.
I just want to make things respond and react and rejoice and relax and relate and release and receive
as soon as I recite.
When I grow up,
I don't want to be like those other kids mommy who want to be doctors and ballers and astronaughts.
I want to be passion, and heat and energy.

When I grow up,
I don't want to be a fireman mommy, let me be the fire
The explosion behind the soul's big bang theory that leaves in it's place . . . desire
That burning within that gives life to the word "aspire"
Let me warm the cold souls of the despairing and heartless
Let me light the paths of those wandering in darkness
And provide children with their first definition of "hot"
And when the artists of the world have become so infatuated with ice that the whole world freezes over,
Let me be the poet that melts the ice-caps, drowns the planet, and starts this world over -
2 poets at a time like Noah. . .
When I grow up

I don't want to be an astronaut mommy, I want to be the space that he explores -

Not the doctor mommy, let me be the cure.
The prescription for a better life . . .
the way through which the sick and the shut-in can find hope, health, happiness, and healing.
I want to be the pill of which they take two, and the call that is placed that next morning.
I want to be the white blood cell that strengthens the immune system,
the clot that stops the bleeding,
the antidote that counters the poison;
I want to speak antibiotic poetry that defeats your life's viruses,
but only if you take my words in 3 times a day until the entire bottle is gone;
I want to be the perspective of the world through the eyes of an autistic child who is diagnosed with a sickness when in fact she merely sees the world with a clarity that the rest of us could only dream of having. . .
When I grow up

I don't want to be a preacher mommy, I want to be the word

Not the artist mommy, I want to be the art
Not the painter, let me be the canvas
Not the choreographer, let me be the dances
Not the poet, let me be the stanzas

When I grow up

I don't want to be a singer mommy, I want to be the sound!
The song you sing the way you sing it when you think aint nobody else around

When I grow up,
I don't want to be a lawyer mommy I want to be justice.
Not the philosopher, but the philosophy that the brilliant minds try to follow,
Or the brilliance in those minds,
Or even the elusive concepts that they can't quite figure out like
hope, purpose, faith . . . and time.

I wanna be time mommy!

So that the world will go to sleep every night feeling like they never got enough of me.
And will panic when they feel me slipping away.
Time! So that I will never feel this depression I feel now for being abandoned by it
Time! So that I will never again be before myself, never be out of myself,
Never be too late, never be too early,
So that for once in this life of unfulfilled dreams that have left my cheeks streaked from salt water erosion and my mouth pertpetually coated with the bitter aftertaste of disappointment,
for once I can be right on me!

When I grow up,

I want to be the antonym of void,
the antithesis of without,
the contradiction of silence,
the inverse of absence,
the reverse of regression,
the antilogy to emptiness,
the illumination of shadows,
the opposite of darkness . . .
I wanna be the opposite of darkness when I grow up mommy!

So that when the greatest poet in existence
recites the first line
of the greatest poem ever written

"let there be light"

. . . then I can begin.

Friday, July 23, 2004

The West Wing.

OK...The first 3 episodes of the fifth season of The West Wing has downloaded. Anyone interested in a screening?


Thursday, July 22, 2004


Elephunk is one sick album.
Context: I went to pick up some music on Sunday night to pull myself out of the funk that I found myself in. (Never underestimate the power of a school to instil pure, primal terror into a teacher) I was specifically looking for the Elephunk album due to all the really great things that I read about it as well as the sampling of tracks that I managed to listen to at tower. While browsing through the various CDs at Sembawang, I pulled out a Berlinda Carlisle collection CD (which we were sorely lacking) a Jim Brickman greatest hits CD (sadly lacking from my collection as well…especially since it contained a song that I sang to S at our wedding) and the Elephunk album.

We popped the Berlinda Carlisle CD straight into the car and listened to her on the way home, which actually made me feel slightly better, and I ripped the other two into my computer. Then I went to school and spent Monday listening to Elephunk…which totally blew me away.

The two tracks that I actually knew about “Where is the Love” and “Shut Up” were pretty good but the tracks that really shine are “Hands up” and “Let’s get retarded”. I know the latter actually sounds, well, quite retarded, but the first 30 seconds…wow… The beat creeps up on you and then kicks into gear, sending your mind into the mental equivalent of flooring the accelerator in a V8 car. “Hands up” is a song that really defines funk. “The APL Song” is an interesting mix of the old and new, the tribal and the urban, the hut and the ghetto. All in all, one of the great albums that I would leave in my CD player if S was more into hip hop…till then, definitely one of my favourite CD purchases this year.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Full of Grace.

By Sarah McLachlan.
The winter here's cold
And bitter
It's chilled us to the bone
We haven't seen the sun for weeks
Too long too far from home
I feel just like I'm sinking
And I claw for solid ground
Pulled down by the undertow
Never thought I could feel so low
And O darkness, I feel like letting go
If all the strength and all of the courage come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace, Full of grace
My love
It's better this way
I say
Having seen this place before
Where everything we say and do hurts us all the more
It's just that we've stayed
Too long
In the same old sickly skin
Pulled down by the undertow
Never thought I could feel so low
And O darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength and all of the courage come and lift me from this place
I know I could love you much better than this
Full of grace
I know I can love you much better than this
It's better this way

Sunday, July 11, 2004


We watched Super Size Me last night. Wow...Talk about an overdose of junk food. Watching Morgan Spurlock wolf down meal after meal was really intense...almost overkill actually.
Then again, the truth was that it took 3 days in the US for me to actually see a slim American. 3 days. Super Size Me likened the fast food industry to big tobacco and although it seems a little extreme, I think that the film's got a point. It's the little things that are eventually going to kill us. It isn't the car coming down the road, it's the french fries in your hand.
I'm a fast food junkie...or at least I was until I realised that 1) fast food tasted like crap and 2) good tasting fast food cost a lot more...I used to live on cola and I never realised how much crap I was putting into my body. It would be nice to say that I came to this realisation by myself but I didn't. It was my lovely wife who pointed out the fact that I wasn't 21 and the crap that I was putting in wasn't being processed by a body that was 21 anymore. This film merely put things into perspective.
I love the double whopper. I really like the french fries from LJS. I still love the buzz that I get from an ice cold cola. But that's all stuff that I can't consume in large quantities anymore. Sad really...but I guess that's the price of growing up.

On the other hand, after the movie, I really really wanted to have a burger...drool.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Deconstructing Gilmore.

Well I'm back again from camp and in an attempt to maintain aforementioned devolving higher order brain functions, I am going to talk about something that's been bothering me about one of my favourite shows on the tele (and now, glorious subtitled DVD).

Gilmore Girls. (Les Femmes au Gilmore, I'm pretty sure that's not right so...)

I'll just get it off my chest now...Lorelai needs a life.
Wow, I have not met a single mom who's been so obssessed over her daughter in my life...(save one...but that's private)
Now, I love the show, (I would argue that with the Whedonverse having disintegrated into nothingness, this would be one of the best shows on TV today...) and I look forward to watching it every week on television, or on DVD <> during meal times, but I watch the show with a constant niggling thought in the back of my mind. I like that the relationship between Lorelai and Rory are so close and the banter has improved so much over the 3 seasons that the show's been on but the relationship borders on obssessive and exclusive to a fault.
I think that there's something mildly sinister in the way that Lorelai's life revolves around Rory and there's an certain non capacity for her to exist without the other. (Illustrated in the season opener of the 3rd season.) I think it's sweet that Lorelai cares so much about her daughter that she places Rory at the center of her life, but the fact that Rory's her raison d'etre makes me feel really sorry for well as for Rory.
Some see the uplifting bond between mother and daughter...I see a woman desperately in need of finding her own identity...

...and with this I end my post because it's time for my medication that makes the pink elephants go away...
I wish my brain would come back.

Monday, July 05, 2004

You're in the army when...

1) It takes 1 whole day to do 3 things (Specifically briefing, briefing and the handing out of passes) and you manage to do 2 out of the three things.
2) You spend the good part of the afternoon sleeping on a foam mattress that you have to fold in half to avoid putting your head on a pillow that's so yellow, it's brown.
3) You get pushed around taichi style in order to get your kit and the people aiding you complain that someone in the other department really screwed up.
4) Food gets dumped on your plate with an unceremonious splat.
5) You put on your uniform and it imbues you with the power to sleep anywhere at anytime.
6) You carry enough crap to clothe the entire platoon and then you're told that it's not a stay-in thing despite being told that it was.
7) You spend the better part of the morning sitting in an air-conditioned room in the 2nd row and realise that you're a corporal sitting in the midst of officers. (OK...that's just me)
8) The English standard drops by 2 notches and you start losing higher order brain functions.
9) Nobody knows where you're supposed to be...not even the clerk with the computer.
10) You have the 2 o'clock briefing at 5:30 pm.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

"Welcome to the real world"

I feel pretty shitty. It's not the reservist looming in the distance. (Monday by the way...for 12 days...) It's not the post holiday blues. It's not even the bloody weather. It's real life as I know it.
I'm home and blogging after lazing around the whole afternoon and stewing on the state of my existence. What brought about such malaise and mired moaning? Well I had a nice long talk with my branch officer / supervisor. Apparently, I'm not exactly well liked by the powers that be in the GEB. It seems that I have been projecting an image that hasn't endeared me to them at all and it's largely due to the workshops that I keep getting sent for.
I am a willing learner. I have a passion for learning but I think I've been spoiled. The teachers that inspired me the most, and thus landed me in my present bloody predicament (a la teaching...), also instilled in me a sense of honesty. I was taught that learning was fun and life was about speaking truth, no matter what the consequences. (It's an extinct species known as integrity...) They taught me to see the joke in the subjects that everyone took SO seriously. (Thanks Frank...) And they taught me to speak my mind and dare to explore ideas.
So it came as a supremely huge disappointment to me when I finally got into teaching and found out that hardly anyone had anything to teach me. I yearned for that. Hungered for it. Almost burned out in search of it. Every course that I went for I went in with an accepting heart but for a mind that thirsted for nourishment, I only found sand. And while the "teachers" wanted us to drink the sand, I refused. So apparently, I'm a bad egg.
I'm beginning to feel the burn at the end of my wick and I don't think that I'm going to be able to hold back the flame. A crisis of faith...that was the original title of this post but I thought that the words that my supe decided to placate me with was so much more succinct and in line with the essence of this blog. All this crap has me doubting myself as a teacher. Am I really giving my students enough? Or am I similarly just giving them a drink of sand? Will what I teach be enough to get them through the exams? (Bah, I hate the word) Or have they been shortchanged with the teacher that they've got?
I seek solace in my classrooms...every other part of my job description causes me grief and I can't wrap my mind around the fact that I do not know nor care to placate the world around me. I work for my students. They employ me to teach them, whether they want me to or not. Everyone that I "work for" are employed by my's amazing how many people tend to forget that.