Archive for March, 2010


Was raining heavily on my end of the island so I waited till the rain had almost stopped before leaving the house.

Which meant that I was about an hour late for swimming class.

Was only at the pool for a few minutes or so and my coach said he had to leave.

So I did 12 leisurely laps, some treading of water and lazing around. :)

Some Chinese guy in my lane swam with his glasses on!

Left after an hour.


ism consultation 3

阳介さん:  You know i forgot to tell you that you look like my relative in Japan.
Me: Is that a compliment?
阳介さん:  (sounds amused) Of course it is a compliment.
Ah I should have told him that unfortunately I don’t have a relative who looks like him.
Meanwhile, ISM draft 1 – 1500 words. One step at a time!

on the train

While on the MRT to school today, a woman near me spoke so loudly into her handphone that I couldn’t help but overhear what she said. She spoke Mandarin with a thick Chinese (China) accent. At one point, the person at the other end must have asked her where she was, for she replied, ‘我在地铁上面。’

Upon hearing this, I immediately conjured a mental image of someone standing on top of a train, which was obviously very amusing indeed.

Anyway – I suppose the usual construction in Singaporean Mandarin is 我在地铁里面.

be irrelevant!

Popped into the Macs nearby for a quick lunch today.

Went to the counter to order. Somehow, three staff members ended up attending to me. As the transaction was ending, the following adjacency pair occurred:

This guy: What sauce would you like?
Me: I want a fork.

My response surprised them a bit, but I got my fork, and left the counter giggling inwardly.

Isn’t it fun to flout the Gricean maxim of relation sometimes? ;)

Be irrelevant!


More photos from Sister’s very first foray into bun-making yesterday:

Putting mozzarella cheese into the dough and shaping it into a bun.

One bun at a time!

Mozzarella cheese on the left, red bean paste on the right!

Glazing the buns with egg yolk. You can see the tinier buns studded with apricot on the chopping board.

Buns in the oven!

Done! Looks very nice right?

But alas, after the buns had cooled down enough to eat, we found that were they were too dense and hard. Though not completely inedible. Never mind, just go for bun-making round 2!!!


Sister just finished making buns in three flavours – six are filled with red bean, another six with mozarella and four more studded with chopped dried apricot.

She popped all of them in the oven not too long ago. Apparently they’re expanding adorably, for I just heard her comment, ‘Ha ha, so cute.’

red velvet

Sister made a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing last Sunday! She had used beetroot to obtain the red colour, decorated it with almonds and cashews, and put it in a nice box even though it was not a gift.

The cake!

Interior shot!

A tiny slice!

It was gigantic! So in the end we gave one quarter to my uncle and another to my grandma.

Its texture is unique – can’t place it, though I did think it tasted like a cake version of ice cream. Delicious, though a little dense.

Oh I polished off the last slice after dinner yesterday.

Yum yum.

repro lect 10

Just after I seated myself in class today, the prof immediately addressed me as ‘anchorwoman’ and said, ‘The students say we can’t start the tutorial without you……’

And when class started, he asked me to ask the first question. Not one to disappoint, I did: ‘May I know where is the attendance sheet?’


And yes, I know all about the HPV vaccine (which has received considerable press lately), that herpes simplex virus 1 causes cold sores, and some other things.

Then we were discussing the causes of cervical cancer (which, for obvious reasons, only affects women), and he said one cause was related to the penis. Nobody could guess the link (promiscuity etc had already been discussed).

So he wrote ‘s _ _ _ _ _ a’ on the board and got everyone to guess the missing letters. Well all those who guessed guessed wrongly, then he looked at me expectantly and so I said, ‘M.’ So he wrote m in the first blank, but I said, ‘Isn’t there another m?’ Haha so he realized that I had already realized what word it was. So he asked me for the other letters, and, of course, I replied, ‘E and g!’

Yes, smegma!

The best thing was that after that, he called me ‘Ms Know All’! Naturally, I shall take that as a compliment!!! :D


Deep pool again.

First did three laps (I define one lap as one length) with a float.

Then coach taught me how to make a turn gracefully when I reached the end – how to pull in and then kick off again nicely.

Rested a bit, then off I went!

Swim, swim, swim!

It was a long and hard slog before I finished the 10th lap.

But after half the battle was won, everything became easier.

When I finished the 18th length, the coach went, ‘This is a very good achievement!’

Then off I went and back again!

Did twenty laps in about an hour!!!

Alas I didn’t really get to do my graceful turns as the end as there was always a bunch of people crowded at the ends of my lane.

Walked to the bus stop opposite YIH to take 96.

Was looking at the map of the school when I noticed a sudden movement from the corner of my eye.

It was a little lizard munching away happily.

food for thought

I guess this topic’s always been close to my heart, despite graduating from secondary education (which includes JC!)  nearly half a decade ago.

A letter from the ST Online Forum, 25 February 2010:

Entering ‘elite’ schools not a gauge of success

THE letter on Wednesday by Miss Su Gi Chandran (‘Many other good JCs for late bloomers’) was refreshing, as she made the pertinent observation that being in an elite junior college is no guarantee of stellar results.

I was from Pioneer Junior College (PJC) – an institution that can hardly be regarded as ‘elite’ – and had an excellent time there. I enjoyed the interaction with teachers who were exceptionally dedicated to their jobs, and I participated in a multitude of events that helped me develop as a person.

I am in a local university now and will graduate in a few months. My former classmates at PJC are now all in the working world and actively contributing to society.

I also cherish the friendships that I still maintain with my former teachers who made the effort to engage us on a very personal level; there was no ‘invisible teacher-student barrier’ and tribute must be paid to them for that.

I would not trade my time at PJC for a place at any of the so-called elite schools, because I have received an excellent JC education.

Anecdotes aside, I think this whole issue boils down to three things:

First, we should not define success merely as that of entering top educational institutions, as there is more to life than that.

Second, being in an elite JC is neither a necessary nor sufficient indicator of future success.

Third, no JCs in Singapore are ‘inferior’. With a synergy of the capabilities of our teachers and the effort put in by any individual, the rewards will be there for each student to reap.

Tang Shangjun

And then ‘shamelesspeasant’ posted this comment three days after the letter was published:

The letter writer thinks she’s ‘made it’ even though she came from Pioneer JC, is because from where she came from, going to a top university is simply out of reach and not in her league and the league she belongs to. And thus, she thinks she’s done moderately well for herself and obviously she sees the large number of top JC grads who end up in local universities with her, she thinks she has done well enough despite her JC and hence erroneously concluded that that not making it to an elite JC is nothing.

Of cos going to a top JC teaches you and leaves you with something. While it doesn’t mean you have made it, what it does is it exposes you to the best – the small percentage and top tier of your schoolmates which you did not become. Unlike someone from PJC, at least you know of the existence of the top. This is how the syndrome called Frog in the Well is best illustrated.

Despite what the PJC letter writer thinks, there are also substantial number of students from polytechnics who go on to top universities like Birmingham and Southampton.

Occasionally, I do wonder what I would have turned out had I not gone to the schools I had gone to, even though those thoughts are simply exercises in futility. But who knows?

time flies

Can’t believe it’s Week 10 already! More than 75% of the sem over!!!

acrylic is love

Was reading Lifestyle on Tuesday and saw an ad for an alldressedup warehouse sale, which was going to be from 17 to 19 March. Decided that I definitely needed to go.

So on Friday, went back to school to get my laptop checked and then MRTed back eastwards. The sky was dangerously overcast as I was nearing my stop. By the time I got off, it was pouring heavily. After that, had to take a bus to the warehouse sale. Reached the vicinity of the place, and walked around aimlessly with umbrella in one hand and heavy laptop in other, but couldn’t find it. Finally found a security post and asked the guards, who directed me to the place. Yay!!!

The warehouse sale was held at the alldressedup head office. So glad to enter the building and leave the stormy weather outside. Checked my bags in and entered the inner room to shop! There were only about three or four other female customers there – well alldressedup isn’t exactly Mango, so.

Some of the clothes were too avant garde, and most were still on the pricey side for me. Nothing really caught my eye other than this floaty pleated yellow (chiffon?) skirt, but it cost $100+ (or maybe $200+, I can’t remember), so never mind.

But the accessories were genius! Yes, some of the statement necklaces looked like ropes you’d tie your drapes with, but the bangles were amazing! The first thing I saw was this bejewelled acrylic bib (‘Izarra crescent necklace’) that I’ve lusted after since forever. Last piece! So I quickly took it. Studied the rest of the accessories, and after some deliberation, settled on two other acrylic cuffs.

One of the sales assistants was wearing three totally different rings made of clear lucite (another name for acrylic) on the middle three fingers of her left hand. Very pretty! She told me that she had also bought two cuffs and was close to ‘working for free’ there.

The loot!

Acrylic is ♥!

The top cuff (‘Sharma tinted cuff’) is actually made of two pieces of acrylic, one red and one clear, which are detachable. The bottom cuff (‘Kesi jewel cuff’) is black acrylic studded with silvery studs, and reminds me of the studded metal glove Beyonce wore in her Single Ladies video.

Have been fascinated with acrylic since secondary school Design & Technology lessons! Loved cutting acrylic, polishing it, drilling holes in it, putting it in the oven till it’s all soft and floppy and then moulding it into desired shape……!

Paid and went home a happy heretic. Such is the power of retail therapy. :D

much ado about something

In late February I got this email telling me I’d won something in a contest organized by a magazine. It instructed me to go to their office to ‘collect the Hilfiger T-Shirt before 11 March 2010, otherwise it will be forfeited’.

As their office was somewhere in River Valley (read: out of the way), I kept procrastinating and finally went down there last Thursday. (River Valley seems like a pretty cool place to live, by the way.)

Imagine my surprise when they handed me…… an envelope, which contained the voucher to redeem the tee at the Hilfiger Denim store  in Ion!!!

Then on Sunday a woman from the Hilfiger store called me to remind me that the last day of redemption was the next day, so I told her I was planning to go then anyway.  She told me I could choose between two designs: one white and one pink. I wanted to get something for my brother as his birthday is next month, but she said cannot, I could only get the women’s tees (ie the white or the pink). Sigh. So she said she’d reserve a pink in medium and a white in large (medium had sold out) for me.

It was clear then that the store had my contacts, so why on earth did the magazine make me go down to their office to collect the redundant voucher?! Ridiculous.

So on Monday after school, I went to the Hilfiger store in Ion. After identifying myself and presenting the voucher, they took out the white and pink tees for me to try.

On first glance, the pink one looked like a cheap top from Bugis Street, and the white one had an intriguing skull print. After I had tried both on, my first impressions were indeed accurate, the pink one was too gaudy and a little short, whereas the white one had cute puffed sleeves and was longer. And my choice was clear.

So they wrapped the white top up in tissue and put into a little bag for me.

Amazingly, both tops cost $120 each! Way overpriced! Although the white one is nice and the material is rather soft but thin, it isn’t really worth the $120! Ditto for the pink one.

So I basically went all over Singapore just for this white tee!!! But I shan’t complain because now I have a new addition to my wardrobe, almost free of charge!

And after all that ado, this is how it looks like:

repro tutorial 9

The prof says NUH has a sperm bank. Potential donors please take note, the procedure goes like this:

First you’re given a small cup. Then you’re directed to a private room, called a masturbarium, where there is blue entertainment of all kinds to aid you in completing your arduous task. After you are sufficiently entertained, you get on with the job. Finally, hand the cup over to the medical personnel and receive payment of $100.

I seriously lol-ed at the name masturbarium.

pure magic

You know when it’s nighttime and drizzling and you’re standing by the road waiting to cross, then a car makes a turn towards you and its headlights shine past – suddenly millions of little raindrops falling to the ground are illuminated by the yellow light.

That moment is pure magic.

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