Saturday, June 30, 2007

Damn the Japs

Remind me again, why carry on this love-hate relationship with the Japanese...

Doctors of Depravity
After more than 60 years of silence, World War II's most enduring and horrible secret is being nudged into the light of day. One by one the participants, white-haired and mildmannered, line up to tell their dreadful stories before they die.

Akira Makino is a frail widower living near Osaka in Japan. His only unusual habit is to regularly visit an obscure little town in the southern Philippines, where he gives clothes to poor children and has set up war memorials.

Mr Makino was stationed there during the war. What he never told anybody, including his wife, was that during the four months before Japan's defeat in March 1945, he dissected ten Filipino prisoners of war, including two teenage girls. He cut out their livers, kidneys and wombs while they were still alive. Only when he cut open their hearts did they finally perish.

These barbaric acts were, he said this week, "educational", to improve his knowledge of anatomy. "We removed some of the organs and amputated legs and arms. Two of the victims were young women, 18 or 19 years old. I hesitate to say it but we opened up their wombs to show the younger soldiers. They knew very little about women - it was sex education."

Why did he do it? "It was the order of the emperor, and the emperor was a god. I had no choice. If I had disobeyed I would have been killed." But the vivisections were also a revenge on the "enemy" - Filipino tribespeople whom the Japanese suspected of spying for the Americans.

Mr Makino's prisoners seem to have been luckier than some: he anaesthetised them before cutting them up. But the secret government department which organised such experiments in Japanese-occupied China took delight in experimenting on their subjects while they were still alive.

A jovial old Japanese farmer who in the war had been a medical assistant in a Japanese army unit in China described to a U.S. reporter recently what it was like to dissect a Chinese prisoner who was still alive.

Munching rice cakes, he reminisced: "The fellow knew it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle when they led him into the room and tied him down. But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming. I cut him open from the chest to the stomach and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony.

"He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped.

"This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time." The man could not be sedated, added the farmer, because it might have distorted the experiment.

The place where these atrocities occurred was an undercover medical experimentation unit of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was known officially as the Anti-Epidemic Water Supply and Purification Bureau - but all the Japanese who worked there knew it simply as Unit 731.

It had been set up as a biological warfare unit in 1936 by a physician and army officer, Shiro Ishii. A graduate of Kyoto Imperial University, Ishii had been attracted to germ warfare by the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning biological weapons. If they had to be banned under international law, reasoned Ishii, they must be extremely powerful.

Ishii prospered under the patronage of Japan's army minister. He invented a water filter which was used by the army, and allegedly demonstrated its effectiveness to Emperor Hirohito by urinating into it and offering the results to the emperor to drink. Hirohito declined, so Ishii drank it himself.

A swashbuckling womaniser who could afford to frequent Tokyo's upmarket geisha houses, Ishii remained assiduous in promoting the cause of germ warfare. His chance came when the Japanese invaded Manchuria, the region in eastern China closest to Japan, and turned it into a puppet state.

Given a large budget by Tokyo, Ishii razed eight villages to build a huge compound - more than 150 buildings over four square miles - at Pingfan near Harbin, a remote, desolate part of the Manchurian Peninsula.

Complete with an aerodrome, railway line, barracks, dungeons, laboratories, operating rooms, crematoria, cinema, bar and Shinto temple, it rivalled for size the Nazis' infamous death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The numbers of prisoners were lower. From 1936 to 1942 between 3,000 and 12,000 men, women and children were murdered in Unit 731. But the atrocities committed there were physically worse than in the Nazi death camps. Their suffering lasted much longer - and not one prisoner survived.

At Unit 731, Ishii made his mission crystal clear. "A doctor's God-given mission is to block and treat disease," he told his staff, "but the work on which we are now to embark is the complete opposite of those principles."

The strategy was to develop biological weapons which would assist the Japanese army's invasion of south-east China, towards Peking.

There were at least seven other units dotted across Japanese-occupied Asia, but they all came under Ishii's command. One studied plagues; another ran a bacteria factory; another conducted experiments in human food and water deprivation, and waterborne typhus.

Another factory back in Japan produced chemical weapons for the army. Typhoid, cholera and dysentery bacteria were farmed for battlefield use.

Most of these facilities were combined at Unit 731 so that Ishii could play with his box of horrors. His word was law. When he wanted a human brain to experiment on, guards grabbed a prisoner and held him down while one of them cleaved open his skull with an axe. The brain was removed and rushed to Ishii's laboratory.

Human beings used for experiments were nicknamed "maruta" or "logs" because the cover story given to the local authorities was that Unit 731 was a lumber mill. Logs were inert matter, a form of plant life, and that was how the Japanese regarded the Chinese "bandits", "criminals" and "suspicious persons" brought in from the surrounding countryside.

Shackled hand and foot, they were fed well and exercised regularly. "Unless you work with a healthy body you can't get results," recalled a member of the Unit.

But the torture inflicted upon them is unimaginable: they were exposed to phosgene gas to discover the effect on their lungs, or given electrical charges which slowly roasted them. Prisoners were decapitated in order for Japanese soldiers to test the sharpness of their swords.

Others had limbs amputated to study blood loss - limbs that were sometimes stitched back on the opposite sides of the body. Other victims had various parts of their brains, lungs or liver removed, or their stomach removed and their oesophagus reattached to their intestines.

Kamada, one of several veterans who felt able to speak out after the death of Emperor Hirohito, remembered extracting the plague-infested organs of a fully conscious "log" with a scalpel.

"I inserted the scalpel directly into the log's neck and opened the chest," he said. "At first there was a terrible scream, but the voice soon fell silent."

Other experiments involved hanging prisoners upside down to discover how long it took for them to choke to death, and injecting air into their arteries to test for the onset of embolisms.

Some appear to have had no medical purpose except the administering of indescribable pain, such as injecting horse urine into prisoners' kidneys.

Those which did have a genuine medical value, such as finding the best treatment for frostbite - a valuable discovery for troops in the bitter Manchurian winters - were achieved by gratuitously cruel means.

On the frozen fields at Pingfan, prisoners were led out with bare arms and drenched with cold water to accelerate the freezing process.

Their arms were then hit with a stick. If they gave off a hard, hollow ring, the freezing process was complete. Separately, naked men and women were subjected to freezing temperatures and then defrosted to study the effects of rotting and gangrene on the flesh.

People were locked into high-pressure chambers until their eyes popped out, or they were put into centrifuges and spun to death like a cat in a washing machine. To study the effects of untreated venereal disease, male and female "logs" were deliberately infected with syphilis.

Ishii demanded a constant intake of prisoners, like a modern-day Count Dracula scouring the countryside for blood. His victims were tied to stakes to find the best range for flame-throwers, or used to test grenades and explosives positioned at different angles and distances. They were used as targets to test chemical weapons; they were bombarded with anthrax.

All of these atrocities had been banned by the Geneva Convention, which Japan signed but did not ratify. By a bitter irony, the Japanese were the first nation to use radiation against a wartime enemy. Years before Hiroshima, Ishii had prisoners' livers exposed to X-rays.

His work at Pingfan was applauded. Emperor Hirohito may not have known about Unit 731, but his family did. Hirohito's younger brother toured the Unit, and noted in his memoirs that he saw films showing mass poison gas experiments on Chinese prisoners.

Japan's prime minister Hideki Tojo, who was executed for war crimes in 1948, personally presented an award to Ishii for his contribution in developing biological weapons. Vast quantities of anthrax and bubonic plague bacteria were stored at Unit 731. Ishii manufactured plague bombs which could spread fatal diseases far and wide. Thousands of white rats were bred as plague carriers, and fleas introduced to feed on them.

Plague fleas were then encased in bombs, with which Japanese troops launched biological attacks on reservoirs, wells and agricultural areas.

Infected clothing and food supplies were also dropped. Villages and whole towns were afflicted with cholera, anthrax and the plague, which between them killed over the years an estimated 400,000 Chinese.

One victim, Huang Yuefeng, aged 28, had no idea that by pulling his dead friend's socks on his feet before burying him he would be contaminated.

All he knew was that the dead were all around him, covered in purple splotches and lying in their own vomit. Yuefeng was lucky: he was removed from a quarantine centre by a friendly doctor and nursed back to health.

But four relatives died. Yuefeng told Time magazine: "I hate the Japanese so much that I cannot live with them under the same sky."

The plague bombing was suspended after the fifth bacterial bombing when the wind changed direction and 1,700 Japanese troops were killed.

Before Japan surrendered, Ishii and army leaders were planning to carry the war to the U.S. They proposed using "balloon bombs" loaded with biological weapons to carry cattle plague and anthrax on the jet stream to the west coast of America.

Another plan was to send a submarine to lie off San Diego and then use a light plane carried on board to launch a kamikaze mission against the city. The war ended before these suicidal attacks could be authorised.

As well as Chinese victims, Russians, Mongolians, Koreans and some prisoners of war from Europe and the U.S. also ended up in the hands of Ishii, though not all at Unit 731.

Major Robert Peaty, of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was the senior British officer at Mukden, a prisoner-of-war camp 350 miles from Pingfan. Asked, after the war, what it was like, Peaty replied: "I was reminded of Dante's Inferno - abandon hope, all ye who enter here."

In a secret diary, Peaty recorded the regular injections of infectious diseases, disguised as harmless vaccinations, which were given to them by doctors visiting from Unit 731. His entry for January 30, 1943, records: "Everyone received a 5cc typhoid-paratyphoid A inoculation."

On February 23, his entry read: "Funeral service for 142 dead. 186 have died in 5 days, all Americans." Further "inoculations" followed.

Why, then, after the war, were nearly all the scientists at Unit 731 freed? Why did Dr Josef Mengele, the Nazi 'Angel of Death' at Auschwitz, have to flee to South America and spend the rest of his life in hiding, while Dr Shiro Ishii died at home of throat cancer aged 67 after a prosperous and untroubled life?

The answer is that the Japanese were allowed to erase Unit 731 from the archives by the American government, which wanted Ishii's biological warfare findings for itself.

In the autumn of 1945, General MacArthur granted immunity to members of the Unit in exchange for research data on biological warfare.

After Japan's surrender, Ishii's team fled back across China to the safety of their homeland. Ishii ordered the slaughter of the remaining 150 "logs" in the compound and told every member of the group to "take the secret to the grave", threatening death to anybody who went public.

Vials of potassium cyanide were issued in case anyone was captured. The last of his troops blew up the compound.

From then on, a curtain of secrecy was lowered. Unit 731 was not part of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. One reference to "poisonous serums" being used on the Chinese was allowed to slip by for lack of evidence.

Lawyers for the International Prosecution Section gathered evidence which was sent directly to President Truman. No more was heard of it.

The Americans took the view that all this valuable research data could end up in the hands of the Soviets if they did not act fast. This was, after all, the kind of information that no other nation would have had the ruthlessness to collect.

Thus the Japanese were off the hook. Unlike Germany, which atoned for its war crimes, Japan has been able to deny the evidence of Unit 731. When, as now, it does admit its existence, it refuses Chinese demands for an apology and compensation on the grounds that there is no legal basis for them - since all compensation issues had been settled by a treaty with China in 1972.

Many of the staff at Unit 731 went on to prominent careers. The man who succeeded Ishii as commander of Unit 731, Dr Masaji Kitano, became head of Green Cross, once Japan's largest pharmaceutical company.

Many ordinary Japanese citizens today would like to witness a gesture of atonement by their government. Meanwhile, if they want to know what happened, they can visit the museum that the Chinese government has erected in the only building at Pingfan which was not destroyed.

It does not have the specimens kept at Unit 731: the jars containing feet, heads and internal organs, all neatly labelled; or the six-foot-high glass jar in which the naked body of a Western man, cut vertically in two pieces, was pickled in formaldehyde.

But it does give an idea of what this Asian Auschwitz was like. In the words of its curator: "This is not just a Chinese concern; it is a concern of humanity."

This is utter crap lor, remind me again, why I should hate the Japanese for all their war time crimes and guilt and until now they still aren't admitting their war crimes.

This whole article is littered with all the atrocities that I'd have been highlighting the entire article, but that would make the highlights redundant. But, please read the entire article.

Maybe it's precisely because of the post war treatment of the German prisoners of war and that of the Japanese, and because of the onset of the Cold War and America's anxious need for cold war allies that allowed the Japanese to be so bold in the actions. Thanks to the Americans, we now have such a Japanese unrepentant of their actions, and thanks to them, we now have a new generation of Japanese ignorant and nonchalant to the past actions of their elders.

How can people still argue for the Japanese that the two atomic bombs were used on Japan instead of Germany because the Americans were racist? Really, I'm so damn glad that the two bombs destroyed the Japanese even though the Japanese has been using it as some sort of the sympathetic device.

PS: There are more details about the Unit 731 at its Wikipedia page here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Why does this sound so wrong?

link: Should a gay teacher be allowed to teach in schools?

Please click on the above link and read the entire article, then sit back and think and don't you find that there's something seriously wrong with this whole situation?

I agree totally with the first paragraph "At first glance, the answer to the question above is obvious. A teacher’s sexuality belongs to a private realm, and has no bearing on his ability to teach. There have been no known instances, for example, where one’s sexual orientation has impaired one’s ability to prepare lessons or manage a classroom."

But why is that that some other people/bureaucracies don't think the same way as me?
Frankly, what's the difference between a gay man and a normal man?
What's the difference between a gay couple and a normal couple?
What's the difference two people?

And what's up with this two very idiotic questions?
"Have you considered that you might fall in love with a student?"
"Have you considered that you might fall in love with a male colleague?"

Sure, having a male teacher groping the boys in his class is a major crime, having a male teacher falling in love with a boy in his class is very seductive, but but but what is the difference of that with another male teacher groping the girls in his class, or that of a male teacher falling in love with a girl in his class and perhaps even marrying her after he graduate. I personally know of two teachers back in my secondary school whose wives were their students last time. If MOE can condone that, why is there a need to pose such questions?

And seriously, is there a difference between falling in love with a male colleague and falling in love with a female colleague? Everywhere there are colleagues screwing around with each other, sometimes in underground affairs and sometimes openly, some of those relationships ended up in a bitter split of the workplace, some of them ended up in a blissful union. So, what is the point in preventing two males getting hitched when there are many many many cases of male teachers opening wooing female teachers?

Really, I cannot understand how homosexuality can be considered as a medical disability.

Love is blind. Yes, cliched, I know.
Since young, we were brainwashed in thinking that all races live in peace and harmony, and we should not judge people based on their skin colour yada yada. Growing up, there are always judgements made upon us if we say thing like "I'm not daing a person from a different race" and the likes of it. So if love can transcend colour, why can't it transcend gender?

If colour doesn't make a difference in love,
if age doesn't make a difference in love,
if health doesn't make a difference in love,
if social standing doesn't make a difference in love,
if financial capability doesn't make a difference in love,
if whatever whatever all don't make a difference in love,
why is there the difference in gender?

Don't preach that it is wrong, or bring some superbeing into the picture because wrong is a moral judgement and in this case, the judge here is you and you alone, and your word alone can't stand. Don't bring in the superbeing nor his teachings because all religions are preached by humans, and in this case, it is this certain human that is making a moral judgement, and his word alone doesn't stand.

The only reason that I can think of about why some people and/or some groups of people are so against homosexuality is that they are ignorant about love, or ignorant and filled with extreme stereotypical images of gays.

Okay, I'm not a lesbian so I can't say for sure what goes through the mind of a homosexual, nor can I qualify anything about homosexuality, but I am a normal citizen, and I have my right to voice my opinion about stuff, and I have the right to feel a certain way about some issues, and this is my take on this issue.

Anyway, this particular incident sounds even more screwed up to me is the way this circumstance was handled. Everything was so arbitrarily handled that it makes me feel that that poor guy was so wronged and was screwed by this crappy bureaucracy.
"When he was in the army, he had asked both the Medical Officer as well as the psychiatrist he was referred to whether declaring himself a homosexual would affect his future prospects in the civil service. He was given full reassurance that the 302 classification (the military’s code for homosexual personnel) was the sole provenance of the Ministry of Defence, and was not a universal trans-ministerial category."

So, they can say one thing on one day and say another thing on another day. Ya, right, very helpful indeed, very assuring indeed.

Our society is becoming more and more polarised that I really don't understand how these two groups of vastly different people can survive together. On one hand due to the social development of our society, there has been a significant increase of in the GLBT population and the rising involvement of that circle in the wider society, but on the other hand, there is still this very anal group of people that strongly oppose a lot of things. So much so that I feel that our society is somewhat stuck in limbo. It's kind of a very sucky feeling being stuck somewhere not knowing what will happen, will the GLBTs take control and push forward for greater development or will the anal people emerge as victors.

Okay, being more objective, I can see the rationale behind some homophobes, like that they fear that they'd be hit on by people of the same gender, and they find that it'd be a weird and awkward feeling, or that they just love the attraction of the opposite gender too much. But what I cannot accept is that some anal people are using religion as an excuse to express their displeasure against the homosexuals. Our society is supposedly a religious tolerant country, I thought, so why bring in religion at this point in time? And more so, what has religion got to do with gender preference?

I long for a day when there can be a civil movement against gender discrimination just as there was one against race discrimination.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dong Dae Mun

Recently I've been infatuated over this Korean street snack stall in Vivocity Basement. I buy stuff, sausages especially, from them everytime I visit Vivocity. I love the food there so much that I've decided to dedicate one whole blog post to them and just rave on how much I love their food and how yummy it is.

Dong Dae Mun
(that's where all the other snack stall are)

dong dae mun

I first learnt of that stall when I browsed through the Vivocity Food Guide. I was looking for tasty and cheap food when I came across this stall. Street snacks are always cheap and good, and anything that's deep fried is certified delicious. Also, I've heard a lot from other international food blogs about the Korean crispy chicken craze which led to a sprouting of Seoul street food in America. After trying the food there first hand, I'm converted. It's really so good.

Before you think about Korean food, kimchi and more kimchi, let this be warned, this isn't the usual Korean food that we are exposed to, there is no kimchi, no spicy stuff even, this is about street snacks. There is nothing Korean about it, most of the stuff are appealing to the international foodies, but it's Korean in that these are the usual foodstuff sold on the streets in Seoul (I think).

For this blog post, I decided to pick the recommended stuff and some of the more common stuff and also my favourite stuff to highlight. They have a larger variety of food to choose from. Most of them come in sticks for easy eating, but there are also some rolls and stuff. All the food are refried after you choose what you want, so they're warm and yummy, although that also means that you need to wait for about 30s-1min for the food, but trust me, it's worth it.

Breaded Sausage
breaded sausage

It is a sausage with bread wrapped around it, the bread is that deep fried so that the outside is crispy and the inside is soft and when eaten with the sausage, it's yummy. It's a bit like hot dogs in a hollowed bun just that this bun is totally wrapping the sausage and this bun is deep fried.

Chicken Cutlet
chicken cutlet

It's just like the Shihlin Street Snacks that XXXL chicken cutlet only that this is non-spicy, so if you ask this non-spicy stuff eater which she prefers, she's going to say Korea wins Taiwan. haha~ Being objective here, the size and the price between the two chicken cutlets are about the same, the difference is that this one here is more breaded than floured, so there is actually more meat in the cutlet. It is marked that Dong Dae Mun uses the thigh meat, so it's meatier than merely patty meat.

Breaded French Fry Sausage
breaded french fry sausage

This is their highly recommended signature snack. It's something like the breaded sausage from earlier but it has french fry bits stuck all over, so it's sausage in the centre wrapped around with dough and wrapping the dough is the french fry bits. It tastes like french fry with bread and sausage, very interesting. Seriously, the first time I saw that snack and the description, I didn't imagine that it would be like this, I didn't understand how can there be french fry and bread and sausage together in the same stick. It's really one very creative snack that I really like, but the pitfall is the high carbo content. Potato and dough, double the carbo.

Crispy Chicken
crispy chicken

Crispy Chicken on a stick, it's something like the Japanese Chicken Karage just that it's skewered on a stick. There are four pieces of chicken on the stick so it's a pretty long stick. Deep fried until very crispy, so it's very tasty. It's another of Dong Dae Mun's recommended items and also one which I would almost always have when I visit them.

Jumbo Sausage
jumbo sausage

My favourite sausage! This sausage is really good, one of the better sausages I've eaten, much better than Superdog, a nearby fast food restaurant selling American hot dogs. There's actually also the jumbo cheese sausage which is the jumbo sausage with cheese inside. I personally prefer the cheese one, but the normal one is also very nice and highly recommended. It's different from the other sausages used in the breaded sausages stuff in that this sausage has herbs in it giving a tastier flavour, and it's also bigger, fatter, juicier and yummier, of course. Really, I've eaten so many sausages from all over, I can taste a better sausage from a worse sausage well, and this is clearly the better ones.

Since these are street food, to maximise the flavour of the food, they must be eaten fresh off the oil/grill for them to taste their best. Highly recommended by Joan, so do try them out the next time you drop by Vivocity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


What do you get when you put two girls at a scenic place with only a camera to share?
They entertain themselves by camwhoring!
Actually, I took most of the pictures, only those with my full body inside one then is Cindy helped to take.

Haven't met up with Cindy for the longest time already, think we haven't met up much during the semester because without a common module, it's difficult to arrange to meet, and with that girl starting work like soon, we don't have much time to meet up again next time. Will try la, but see how lor...

camwhoring at vivocity

It started with Cindy wanting to take some artistic pictures, but with us as models, we all want ourselves to look nice, and we ended up taking a lot of pictures. hahaha~

joan and cindy

Then of course, definitely, will have the big head pictures of us making all sorts of different faces.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Into the Kitchen

I just dug out some pitures of food which I've made, just wanted to share. Ya, been so busy lately that I don't know what to blog about and end up having to merely post pictures of such stuff. But hey, these look good okay...

comfort food
Instant noodles with shrimp wanton

I love the CP shrimp wantons because it's so easy to prepare and it's so nice to eat. The prawns are really good and it doesn't taste like it's instant stuff, and there's like a whole big piece of it in there. Yummy~ I like to add the wantons into my instant noodles because instant noodles by itself is pretty boring and bland and of no nutrition at all. I'd just use the hot soup from cooking the wanton to add into my instant noodles and there is a 3min yummy meal done.

I like eating that at night, it warms up my stomach and cures my cravings for MSG and prawns, which are cravings I often have at night. haha~

scrambled eggs with ham
Scrambled eggs with blackforest ham

I wanted to fry my blackforest ham with something, like vegetables or some kind of stuff, but there wasn't any good ingredient I can think up of, so I fried it with egg. Eggs are the most versatile food, can fry it with any and everything. There's four eggs in that with a whole bunch of ham.

The great thing about frying the ham and the eggs together is that there isn't a need to add any condiments into the eggs, no need for salt and pepper because of the strong flavouring of the ham itself that rubs onto the eggs. And for the ham, the eggs gives a milder touch to the ham itself. It's quite a cool combination I should say.

BELT sandwich
Bacon Eggs Lettuce Tomatoes sandwich

This is the only piece out of this set that isn't prepared by myself. But it's still home made la, can tell from the amateurish look. I love bacon and eggs and I love sandwiches, and I need the greens in my meal, so the end product is this sandwich. erm, wait, if my memory serves me, I think I didn't eat this sandwich, I think I ate mine without the tomatoes. hahaha... Okay la, not bad. the eggs is actually egg salad eggs with fried bacon. Nice and yummy and well balanced.

pan fried lemon dory
Pan-fried lemon dory

Improvising from a dory recipe from a friend, I added in the lemon component to make this dish somewhat nicer, also to remove all remaining fishy taste from the fish due to my neligence in cleaning up fishes. Lemons are really handy because they can get rid of all nasty taste and make everything more edible

From that recipe, I further improvised to create this next dish which was tastier and nicer and better than the pan fried version.

baked lemon dory
Baked lemon dory with cherry tomatoes

It might also be because that this fish was a higher quality fish so the taste might be better, but I think the baking method of cooking also improves the taste of the fish no thanks to my not so good frying skills. Baking is so much easier, just dump the fish into the oven and wait, and in the meantime I can do something else. haha~ Also, with the addition of the cherry tomatoes, other than the sour of the lemons, there's also a tinge of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes. Eating the cherry tomatoes with the dory made the dory taste fresher and more succulent.

I plan to experiment this recipe on other types of fishes, depending on what they have at NTUC. It's quite an easy way to eat nice food.

Friday, June 22, 2007



I know this series have ended for quite some time already, but it took me till now to get about watching it, and my god, this has to be the best drama series ever.

Heroes is about a group of people with special abilities due to some form of genetic differences. Somehow or another, these seemingly different people who come from different walks of lives are linked to each other in a web of intrigue. Then there's the bad guy who wants to kill them all and get their powers for his own use. Then there are one or two other organisations who don't seem to be quite friendly, but also don't seem to be enemies, their motives unclear to the heroes.

After I watched the first episode, I went to spoil myself with all the spoilers found in this website then somehow, the show didn't seem that intriguing to me anymore, and I was quite disappointed with it because I had really high expectations after all the glowing reviews. But after watched a few more episodes, I was more and more drawn into the Heroes world. It became more and more interesting that even the spoilers can't manage to describe it well in words, and I have to watch it for myself to understand and to see for myself.

The thing amazing about season one of Heroes is that the plot for the season is wrapped up and most questions are answered, but there is still a lot of room for development, especially with regard to the organisation(s) involved in the research of the heroes, and the first generation of heroes, and the other characters in general too. So, this means more of Heroes to come up in the future!

When the creator of Heroes first started out with this idea, he had wanted the cast to keep changing, people die, people disappear, new people come in, but there's this magic about this relatively unknown cast of people that made the viewers fall in love with them that the creator decided to bring them all back for the next season.

There's a charm to these actors that I feel makes their characters very real. They're all very goo actors and between them they share this rapport that I think will only grow as the season extends. Even the young actors are amazing in the show. Maybe also many of the characters are grey characters and almost normal people like that makes them even more endearing to the viewership. People see them as normal people around themselves, and perhaps in a way, we do have some sort of an intention in wanting ourselves to be like them. To one day find out that we have some kind of special ability and that we are special.

My favourite character is Peter Petrelli. He's a sensitive and caring guy who relies on his brother and family a lot, and truly cares for the people around him, and the larger world he lives in and goes a long way to help everyone out. I also like him because of his special ability, it's the coolest one out there yet, he has the ability to mimic other people's abilities, so that means what other heroes can do, he can do it too. As of yet, Peter can fly, paint the future, stop time, regenerate, control objects, read people's minds, become invisible, manipulate radiation, and have superhuman strength. And the list of what he can do can still grow.

I'm so looking forward to the next season if so just to see what more Peter can do and will be able to do.

Another of my favourite hero is Hiro Nakamura, incidentally hero and Hiro sounds the same, haha~ He's so cute, that he's so loveable. At first I didn't think much of this hero because he was fat, and looks a bit nerdy, but after watching his portrayal of Hiro, he's just so innocent and motivated and kind hearted that he's so cute. Much of the show has him speaking in Japanese but there are English subtitles whenever he speaks and I find this great. It's more convincing to have him speaking in Japanese rather than English even though the actor is well versed in English.

I was just wiki-ing around and I came across the actor's wiki page and I read his credentials. He's absolutely amazing man. He's more than just a mere Japanese-American actor, he's a computer programmer for George Lucas' production company and he did so many high profile major motion pictures before, and he has an IQ of more than 180, which is like, wowowow...

My other favourite hero is Claire Bennet, the 16 year old cheerleader who has the power to regenerate. Claire is a sweet young girl and is generally a nice person though not infallible. She worries too much and has little trust in person after she found out that everyone's been lying to her, and with the teen angst in her, she might come across and somewhat more rash to put the larger picture into consideration. If there was one single superpower that is the coolest, that would be hers. She can regenerate, or in her own words, she can regrow her kidney. Although I don't think that it's that practical a special ability for a normal school going person, but it'd be the most useful one if you're away fighting supervillians.

She's basically indestructible, but that also means that her power is the most worth taking away by the supervillian and that her life is in danger. But because of her coming into contact with Peter, that also means that Peter is indestructible too. One good thing to come out of her superpowers.

Another of the characters whom I've a very big soft spot for is this guy.

He even has his own website Vote for Nathan Petrelli for Congress in a tie in with the show to make it look like his campaign is so real. It's part of the Heroes 360 Experience thingie, I'm still not very sure what it's about.

I like Nathan because even though some of his moral decisions might be a bit shady, I still think that he's a good man, and cares for his family a lot, especially his brother. A very standard grey character that I like a lot. Not just that, his whole Congress thingie adds quite a lot of power to his charm, or should it be add a lot of charm to his power. haha~ I like~

I can't wait for the next season to start! I want to know what will happen to Peter and Nathan especially that it is said that the both of them have already signed on as regulars for the next season, so ***spoilers*** they will be back~

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Block Contact, Delete

A while ago, this girl from school once asked a bunch of us while we were whiling time away, would you block and/or delete an ex from your MSN contact list. It's excruciating especially when you see the ex-significant other move on in life, and pepper his/her MSN nick with lovey dovey messages to some other person and you're somewhere out there pining, and getting jealous, and getting upset.

I hear of friends who say that the change of status of their, or of some person whom they care about, the most immediate marked change would be their relationship status on Friendster. Granted, I don't have Friendster, so I don't know how that works, but from the stories that I hear about, the most accurate (other than of married men trying to sian sweet young things) reading of a person's relationship status is from the Friendster account. On getting hitched, people would immediate change their relationship status from single to attached, and likewise for those who've falled out of love.

So, am I accurate to say that these cyber information are the most accurate one can get out of another person? I don't know...

What I do know is that I have 317 contacts in my MSN list and have never deleted anyone off that list, even though at the height of my rough patch everyone called for me to block and delete him and not be bothered about him. I lied, I did try to block, sometimes, but I lied still, and now even when I'm the one who (sort of) ditched him, I still left his contact on my MSN list intact.

There are some freaks out there who by some means get my MSN contact from some weird place and add me, but after I found out that they were freaks, I merely just ignored them. I don't bother to block them, and when they IM me, I just leave them alone. Most of the time, if they don't get a reply they'd say stuff like "u there?" "y u ignore me?" but I'd still just ignore. They can think I'm dao, or can think that I'm busy or think something else, but most of them are just lonely people out there only wanting to talk to some other person out there and they'd probably have added hundreds of other people onto their MSN list just like they've added me. It's sort of like casting a wide net and hoping that there's be some fish caught in the net.

I don't see a point in blocking people because I don't want to see an MSN list with half of my contacts with the blocked sign. And because I'm pak jiao, I'd probably mix that up with the busy sign. I am also against deleting contacts because they'd just all end up in my trashbin somewhere and occupying a similiar space. MSN Live works a bit quirkily, I don't know why. Either that or is the fact that I don't want to burn my bridges.

Once a guy I used to go out with taught me this, never to burn your bridges, because one day, you never know when, you might need all the help you can get. Like if you need votes for some sort of competition, or if you because an insurance, finance agent, and you need to build up a contact list, or even a database, or just plain queries and help. You need contacts.

Because of this warped theory, I end up keeping a lot of trash people on my MSN list. Even though some of these trash people might already have blocked or deleted me, I still keep them on the list because for every contact, there's an email address.

Proud to say, people I used to go out with are all still on my contact list. Take Mr Swirl for example, (some might remember him, some might not, it doesn't matter) I still have him on my contact list, and I do look at his MSN nicks and stuff, and sometimes I do take tabs of the times when he's online and ya, I think about him. I'd whonder what he's doing at this time of the day/night, if he's at work, at home, doing stuff we used to do but with another person, or is he just chatting with friends/families or just chilling out. Ya, even now, especially when I'm alone at night and I tend to think more, I still think about him occasionally.

The main reason why I'm blogging about this tonight is that I think that RP has blocked and deleted me from his MSN list. I can't deny that I don't feel good about it. The feeling is a bit indescribible, it's something between indignant, jealous, sore, and a dash of relieve. I have been avoiding being online in the afternoons in the past couple of weeks when I know that he'd be online, mostly because I'm out, but mainly because I don't know how to face him. Then the other day when I finally was online on an afternoon he was online, he IMed me and I ignored every of his messages.

I think that was when he blocked and deleted me.

It is not hidden secret that I always had thought of one day, maybe tomorrow, maybe in the far far future, of returning to the rough patches days, so I made it a point not to burn that bridge even though I think I should have done so. And even though realistically, it was also not possible for me to go back to those days even thought I did think about it. I think of everything anyway. The point is that, I am quite upset over being blocked and/or deleted even though this is probably the most convenient thing that could have happened to me.

For the past few afternoons, I've been coming online just to check if RP's online as a proof that he didn't block/delete me, and maybe was just busy or outstation. Even though I know I'm not going to IM him again, I just sort of want to indulge in the comfort of knowing that he knows I'm still alive, and I'm happy without him.

If Mr Swirl can accept that I'm still online and not be bothered about it, perhaps there's something about RP toward me that he's not comfortable with me still on his list. Is it because it would upset him that I'm happy? Or is it because he just can't be bothered with a contact taking up space in his list? Or is it that he think that he can fuck up my mind by deleting me off?

In a way, with me penning this post, he did succeed in mindfucking me. Or maybe it's just me thinking too much into some insignificant course of action...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Father's Day

I love my Daddie loads.
I can think of many moments when my daddie was the greatest dad ever, many times when even though I'm such a lup sup daughter, he still accepts me, albeit after poking fun of me. Since young, I hadn't had much to worry about, and I always got what I wanted, as long as I really wanted it. Between me and my sister, I think life was better for me, I had more clothes, more toys, and I always win.

Ya, with such a daddie, it was no wonder that I turned out to be quite a spoilt brat.

So, to thank my daddie for the past twenty-blahblah years of nurturing, and spending truckloads of money on me, including my education, I decided quite impromtu-ly to make my dad some egg salad for him to make sandwiches with.

Because my parents currently are residing at Serangoon Gardens and only come back to our abode occasionally, I didn't know when would he be able to eat my stuff, so I had to make something that can be refrigerated. And there was a loaf of bread at home, so it was quite convenient. Since that was an impromtu decision, I made that egg salad at 6.30am in the morning, before I slept. Ya, me and my warped sleeping hours.

egg salad
The first decision was how many eggs to make.
I reckon that my dad could eat two, I CAN eat two a day, so make that enough for two days, so four eggs for me, my sister can eat another two eggs, and I can save the rest for Someone, so I picked ten eggs to work with. Then I had to choose a pot big enough to contain all the eggs, but the right sized pot didn't have a lid, so I had to work with the lid-less pot, possible, cook it for a longer time.

One of the eggs didn't sink after I added water, and I was seriously contemplating throwing that egg away since bad eggs usually float. But I didn't in the end, I thought I'd just boil it first, peel it, then see if it's bad before throwing it away. In the end the egg turned out pretty fine that I couldn't remember which was the bad egg.

I think I overboiled the eggs since I never boiled ten eggs before on a pot without its lid somemore, the eggyolks had this grey ring around it. I dislike boiled eggs with grey rings, it's the sign over overcooking, but well, luckily after mashing them, there aren't anymore signs of greyness.

Peeling eggs is a chore I enjoy, I don't know why but I like peeling eggs, I like to peel my eggs until it's nice and soft and smooth and bald. But I tend to waste a lot of water when peeling eggs since I wash the egg to cool it, and to remove of all the remnant egg shells.

Mayo and salt are must haves for a nice egg salad. I wanted to try a special ingredient too, but sadly, my special ingredient was expired so I didn't dare put it in. Maybe another time, I'll try it with the special ingredient see how it would taste. haha~ Mashing the eggs was tough since there were ten eggs, but after my hard work, it's finally done.

I tasted a bit, acceptable. Then it's off into the fridge to chill~

My daddie didn't have it immediately the next day on father's day, but he had it on Monday before he went to work. He had it for breakfast. He ate quite a lot of it, filled up four slices of bread with the eggs. haha~

Other than making egg salad for my daddie, me and my sister thought of taking him out for dinner, and have his favourite food, xiaolongbao!

My daddie loves xiaolongbao, especially the Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao ones. He fell in love with it after I brought him there to eat my favourite little juicy buns. After his first mouthful of that little bun of juicy goodness, he was sold to the xiaolongbao fandom. So we decided to eat there.

Then as we conspired about where and when to go, my sister was like, let's ask him, since he's the one driving. -_-" So much for a Father's Day Dinner.

So we went to ask him when and where he want to eat, and made all sort of grandeur plans, the mother chupped in and asked, "So who's paying for the dinner? You two pay ah?" Me and my sister looked at each other sheepishly when my dad on seeing that stupid grin on our faces said, "Aiya, I pay la, I pay la..." Ya, my dad paid for his own dinner himself. So much for a celebration. lol~

cj lamian xiaolongbao
But because the daddie was paying, we were uninhibited to order what we liked and we ordered a whole lot of food. We usually would order stuff to share between all of us, but we'd still order some main courses if we wanted it. And because my mum doesn't like pork, she ordered her usual fried rice. My sister the greedy one also ordered her usual double boiled chicken soup lamian. Me and my dad's the eat everything kind of people, and we love the xiaolongbao so much that we can just eat that.

But we still ended up ordering lots of stuff which we never tried before, like the guotie. I don't know why I wanted to try it, my dad went ahead and ordered two of it, think he wanted to try that too. Then I also requested for my favourite salted egg yolk prawns which I know my sister loves it too. My dad then went ahead and ordered a lot more other stuff like the wanton, hotplate xiaolongbao, and the spicy chicken. After the orders, I spotted the sign showing the Fathers' Day promotion, Double boiled chicken soup with sharks' fin and vegetable going for $26. So we got that also. We had wanted to later add on two more baskets of xiaolongbao but we were too full to eat any more.

The wanton was nice and juicy and value for money.

I didn't eat the fried rice because I ate it before, my mum would ALWAYS order that. I like the fried rice a lot because the rice is long-grained and chewy, and the prawns are generous and bursty.

The double boiled chicken soup with lamian is also another goodness. Double boiled soups are always yummy, and this when eaten with lamian makes the taste more flavourful. I didn't had any lamian though, I just koped some of the soup and a piece of the chicken. The serving of chicken is always adequate for sharing. It's a very value for money dish.

The hotplate xiaolongbao is a novelty of Crystal Jade. Ad long as the xiaolongbao doesn't leak, it will always taste good. Eating it with the egg, and a crusty bottom give the xiaolongbao a more interesting taste.

I love the salted egg yolk prawns. It's one of those stuff up there in my header under my wo xi huan stuff. This version of the prawns is drier than earlier versions, think it's fried for a longer time that the salted egg yolk dries up, so it's less creamier but more crispier. My sister was comenting that egg yolks being high in colesterol when mixed with prawns which already is a very high in colesterol food, the dish is doubly high in colesterol. But she still ate it, so really, bah~

Going to Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao MUST definitely eat xiaolongbao. We ordered two baskets even though we initially wanted four because we know that the xiaolongbaos always come out together, so we didn't want four baskets out at the same time and we didn't want to end up eating cold xiaolongbaos. But luckily we only ordered two baskets because we ordered just too many other food that we were so stuffed for anymore, not even xiaolongbaos.

The sharks' fin soup was actually the double boiled chicken soup from the earlier lamian dish just that there is extra vegetable and sharks' fin in the soup. A tad bit disappointing in terms of taste but the amount of sharks' fin inside was quite generous, so it wasn't that no value for money. But still, we expected something different...

My dad ordered the spicy chicken, I think he ordered it for my mum since she didn't eat most of the other food. It was a very generous portion with about six chicken wings inside that pot. And apparently the gravy was nice too. I didn't try it because I don't take spicy stuff, but the parents liked it a lot.

The guotie was a wonderful surprise. When I ordered it I thought it was like vegetable and a bit of meat inside, but turned out it was just meat inside, with the meat juicy inside. Anything with meat juicy inside IS definitely a yummy dish. I ate four of them, my dad had two because he was too stuffed. My mother as usual didn't want to try anything.

more food close up
As usual I took lots of pictures of food and pissed my sister off. She's at the teenage angsty age which she's so self conscious that she doesn't like me taking photographs with flash because she thinks that people will look, and she doesn't want people to look at her. I still went ahead despite her protests. haha~

My mum was also very funny, she said that I have many many photos of the same dish already because everytime I'd eat the same stuff and take pictures of the same stuff. And post up pictures of the same stuff on my blog. haha~ Okay la, at least everytime I try to make the pictures look somewhat different, and the blog post itself is also about something different.

I love my family~

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lelong Lelong

Following the passing of my grandfather, the family decided to close down the shop and rent it out instead since no one wants to tend the shop, neither do anyone have the time and energy to do this everyday business thingie. Since the shop is due to be rented out, it means we have to clear everything left within, EVERYTHING. SO now, everything is being sold dirt cheap, because everything has to go. If no one buys it, we'll just throw it away in the end. Yup, and if the item is sold, it's gone forever, we're clearing stock so there's no way we'd be getting any replacement stuff.

The shop's located at 57 Serangoon Gardens Way. It sells all sorts of stuff, plates, pots, pans, vases, tea cups, mugs, household items.

These are the more expensive stuff, really nice large vases for decoration and ornamental purposes. They're considered to be collectors' items already.

These are my favourites! Wedding tea sets. There's the Double Happiness one, and the other is the Dragon and Phoenix one. It's very nice. haha~
The quality of these porcelain is also quite good, really well made, kept for a long time, and made to last. My parents and my aunts all said that they each have a set of those wedding tea sets.

A bit more stuff as can be seen in these pictures. The cheap items would be the plastic plates and bowls, tea cups and mugs people use in hawker centres and other eateries, the more expensive stuff would be the porcelain pieces and the antiques. All the sundries have to be sold off too, so come down and grab!

hai... Hopefully everything will go well. I hate this sort of family politicking and fighting for a slice of the pie and stuff like this, but well, family's a family after all.

yup~ All items whilst stock last, the sale will last until either all sold off or it's time to turn over the shop to the tenant, or some other reason that is not disclosed to me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Presents from Afar

You know when friends go overseas, then they'd ask you what do you want, would you really open your mouth and request for something? I would, well, if there's really something I want and it's not difficult to get. I managed to get tiedans from Taiwan before the Taiwanese stall opened in Marina Square from friends, but sometimes I was disappointed. I have been asking for a large sized canvas hanging poster of Wubai for the longest time from friends going to Taiwan, but until now no one managed to successfully source for one of those.

For me, I'm a lazy shopper, so I don't put in much effort to get for friends stuff they requested, and I also don't really expect much from the requests I made, so I don't really get too disappointed. In a repeated manner, these "Do you want anything from such and such place?" becomes much of a routine question people would ask, and I'd ask people. But somehow, because I love stuffs from all over the place, I still put in the effort to think of what stuff I want when people ask me that question.

Of course, I'm also not the kind who'd create difficulties to friends, I'm not that bad... haha~ When Terrence went to Shanghai, I really thought hard, but there wasn't anything convenient I wanted from Shanghai. I think the only thing I can possibly want is the xiaolongbaos, which would be impossible to be carried back to Singapore. I'm also not the donut fan, so no need for boxes of Krispy Kreme the usual folks would ask for.

Today, I struck goldmine with my requests, twice!

I was awakened at the ungodly hour of 8am by an SMS from Huijing who went for a Europe tour. She just got back. She bought my stuff for me! omg...

My Blackforest Ham!

I at first wasn't quite sure if she'd be going to the place I knew had the stuff I wanted. She described to me the place as a tourist attraction, in the Blackforest, lots of cuckoo clocks, I had guessed Titisee, but I wasn't sure, personally I had hoped that it would be Titisee because I knew that they sold vacuum packed hams there, so I requested what else but ham from the Blackforest. My favourite ham since my days living in Freiburg which was part of the Blackforest region. Indeed, Huijing went to Titisee, and managed to locate the ham and bought me one whole block of it!

If you look carefully at the picture, the block of ham is 0.756kg heavy, the price of the ham converted to Singapore dollars would be about $24. Compare that price to what I'm paying for for the ham in Singapore, $7+++ for 100g, and the ham is sold as far as I know, only in two places, the Swiss butchery and the German supermarket. But Huijing is kind enough to give me that block of ham, so Huijing, the next meal's on me~

Now the only problem left is how to I cut the ham up into slices. I was thinking of bringing it down to a butchery and see if they can help me slice it up, but it seems a bit weird because I'm not buying anything from them. I don't mind paying for their services though. dunno leh... Or maybe I can trying shaving the ham myself? haha~

After the success of getting Huijing to help me bring back the ham, I'm very tempted to ask Damien if he can help me buy the ham when he returns to Singapore. He's at Freiburg now... Lucky him~ hmm... Speaking of those group of people in Germany, I still haven't got an answer from my friend regarding the Elisabeth musical recordings, if there are any to be found. Maybe I should ask around more of the folks over there. wahaha~ I'm turning greedy.

Then to add icing to my already orgasmic day, Someone's friend who just came back from Japan managed to help me procure the Buck Tick CD I wanted. I can't find it in Singapore, they only have their single in the CD shops I've looked. I hadn't actually expected much to come out of this request, so I'm really very glad~ Seems like Someone must be good enough a person to have such a good friend to help look for the CD. haha~

So cool right? I just love old men doing rock~ haha...

I heard a couple of songs from the album, and it's really cool. I like the whole idea of a band making music rather than some producers synthesising music in a studio. And I really like the rough voices of the lead singer, very masculine, very charming. But maybe it's so late in the night, the longer I played the CD, the noisier I felt it became. haha~ Shall save it till day time to play~

I am such a happy girl~

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blast from the Past

I've been holding back these pictures for quite some time because it took me this long to get my Photoshop installed, ya, I procrastinate, but well, look at these yummy photos. Yup, over the past couple of days I met up with some very old friends, okay, not old as in old per se but these very close friends whom I haven't met up with for the longest time.

Friends, it's not about how often you meet them, but what regard you have for them in your heart.

See, I even make it a point to photoshop all these photos into montages to make it look nice, and even hand scrawled comments all over. I don't do that for all my pictures, only the ones that mean most to me. Yup, so these are the pictures of the friends, food not included. haha~

As with all meet up with friends, we inadvertably end up at some food joint so that we can feed our tummies as we feed each other with the latest updates and the juiciest gossips, and Joan being Joan will definitely take lots of porny food pictures, but I'vee leave them to another day since the food deserves a post on it's own. And I'm too tired to describe all the food and I don't have the time to photoshop the food pictures, so I'll leave that to another day, okie?


at KBox

We had wanted to meet up for a K session for the longest time, but because of conflicting schedules, we postponed, rescheduled, and flew aeroplanes before we finally were able to meet up. It was quite a good deal as we sang for about 5+ hours, considering that there were only two of us, we managed to sing until we don't know what else to sing.

at Fish and Co

It seemed like everytime we met up for some sort of a meal, we'd end up at Fish and Co, especially if we were at Parkway. haha~ Maybe it's because Fish and Co is situated outside the building itself so it's presented as the most convenient location to us. But well, I'm not sick of it since the last time I ate Fish and Co was quite some time ago, with Huijing also. We shared these two platters as we wanted variety, and I think I should share stuff more often, can eat more stuff and won't get sick of any one item.


at Yum Cha

We had wanted to go watch movie one, but the tickets we sold out. Not knowing what to do, we ended up doing what we did best, eating. Jinwei had the coupons for the buffet, so we went down there to eat eat eat instead. For $15 per pax, this buffet is really worth it. Will blog about the food in another post though.

Jinwei is so funny lor. He's so worried about what I'd blog about him and keeps reminding me not to blog about this not to blog about that. He also doesn't let me put up the pictures we took, so I can only put up the pictures I took of him. Doesn't he look so shuai? If only he was taller and leaner, he can go join Star Search. Too bad he's too lazy to lose weight, can't help him regarding the height either. bah~ Really good to see him again, and catch up with him. After updating each other about our personal lives, it seemed like really a lot happened to the both of us. Wish him all the best in snagging that girl he likes~ Jiayou oh!


at Sushi Tei

It's been also a very long time since I met up with Victoria. The last time was the 4B gathering but we didn't really talk much, so this was the time when we caught up about our lives. A lot have changed to the both of us, a lot of have changed since the last time we updated each other, especially in terms of relationships. Talking about such stuff, I realised that the both of us have sort of the same views regarding men, or rather we'd treat the partners in about the same way, it's not really that good a thing, but well, it's just like that.

I miss the old friends, should make it a point to be more in touch with the old friends and constantly bug them. lol~

Monday, June 11, 2007

Joan the Blogger

I was at Someone's place fiddling with his computer when I saw that he had changed the hyperlink which he had linked my blog to his nick name for me. My first thought was "erm..." He had previously used a more neutral descriptive text for my blog link, that bore something of much more significance yet not too paiseh for me. With that, I wanted him to change the text description, rather, I told him I didn't like it and sought his permission before I changed the description myself.

It's not really that there is something I'm hiding, it's just perhaps I'm still a bit more apprehensive. Other than the side mentions I make of him here and there, I've never really blogged about him proper (until today, this blog post, that is), so I don't really know how to bring him into the picture and start talking about him. I don't want his friends coming to my blog here hoping to read about some sordid affair only to see that I don't even bother mentioning him, or worse, treating it as if he doesn't exist. It just feels weird to be scrutinised.

Actually, my online persona isn't that bad a person, I think, and neither is it too far off from my real person. Although some of my friends do say that I can come across more extreme in the blog, I don't really think so, because I think that I'm also a pretty extreme person in real life, only that I am only extreme to people whom I feel comfortable with. I even look pretty much the same from the photos I post and my real self even though I only put up nice pictures. I don't photoshop that much, just the occasional removing of pimples which I use conceallor in real life, and the exlarging of my teeth which I'd hide when in real life, so I can still say I'm pretty much the same person. Besides, after my computer crashed, I haven't installed photoshop yet, so I haven't been able to photoshop my pics. The pictures I have in the side bar are also sans photoshop, only that they aren't that recent photos.

I've blogged for close to four years now, and over the years I've accumulated many online friends, or friends who got to know me better through the blog. I can say pretty safely most of those who read me aren't people I know. Okay, I don't have a stats counter to verify this, but still, you get the idea don't you, those who are reading me. haha~

I love blogging. It's a platform for me to voice my opinions, for me to write about the other stuff I love, and it's also a avenue for me to put myself out in the world wide web for people to ogle. As my blog header says it all, wo xi huan. It's only because I like that's why I blog, and I blog about stuff I like to write about. I don't like to write about Someone because I think we both should have our own privacy. It's nothing big. It's like how I'd never disclose any details about Rough Patch.

It's also like how I'd never give details about myself. No addresses, only the vague, "I stay at East Coast" which is in fact a very long stretch of road from Kallang all the way to Simei. No telephone numbers, no handphone number, no home telephone number. Heck, I can't even remember my own home telephone number since no one calls me there so I don't bother giving it to anybody. No further information about my family, only that I have a family, my sister and my parents, but nothing about what they do, where they do. But they know about the existence of my blog. I gave the link to my daddie when I was in Germany on exchange and told him to go there to look at pictures. My mummie somehow has this warped idea that everytime I take a picture of something it'd go up on the blog. My sister believes that everything I write on the blog about her is me lying. I even have this friend who'd after every conversation with me end with the disclaimer, "Eh, all this I'm telling you, you better not put on the blog hor..." He somehow also has the same warped idea my mother has.

I don't blog about everything in my life. I can't, I suppose. That's why I keep a diary. Yes, I keep a diary. Actually, other than a diary, I also have a jotter book. The diary is for personal stuff, but because of the whole long drawn rough patch affair, I actually stopped entries in my diary for quite some time, but after the messy closing, I picked it up again. It's kind of surreal. It's so surreal that it makes me cringe when I read it. Really, I'd die if I find out anyone other than me reading that. I'd like die straight on the spot. The jotter book is actually for my creative stuff, but after I had the category the writer, I sort of stopped jotting down stuff in the jotter book. Most of what I'm writing now are all old ideas, nothing new, quite sad huh...

Perhaps because life for me has somewhat stabilised, so I can't really produce really heart wrenching creative ideas that I was able to do when I was much younger. Even the recent spate of writings about fuck buddies somehow has taken a more domesticated turn. Maybe I need to wreck up my life all over again to bring back the creativity cells. No way!

I think the most obvious change in my blog is the decrease of pictures posted. After I gained the horrendous 8kg, I have lost confidence in my body, and hence gradually been taking lesser photographs. Maybe i need to lose all those weight I gained to regain the confidence I've lost in taking photographs. No, I don't think I'm ugly, nor fat, just that I weight a lot more than before. It's relative, not absolute.

Yup, after all this crap, I'll just say, I'll continue blogging even if I have no readers, or no photos, or no material to blog about. I'd find a way to put stuff in the blog like songs or pictures just to keep this running. Why? Because wo xi huan~

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Will I Be Able To Graduate?

After the release of the time table for European Studies modules, I pored over it for a couple of hours before I realised, dang shit, I do not have enough modules to do if I want to graduate in time. In a scurry of emails seeking advice from Prof Turner and Prof Farrell, somewhere between those I tried to sort out the problem to see if it was solvable. Then along with that flurry of emails, I received my grades for this semester in the mail, and realised that I'm 16MCs short, which means that my SEP credits have yet been transferred. In disgust, I made a couple of phone calls here there everywhere to the Dean's Office and the Registrar's Office to get hold of somebody, some physical person to help me see what can be done.

Amazing shit! How I can be easily screwed left right centre by some weird administrative system.

In a nutshell, examining the next academic year's timetable, I'd HAVE TO be doing the following modules:
(for Semester 1)
- EU3212 Europe of the Dictators (no complains here, since this is the module I have been wanting to do ever since forever)
- EU4214 Special Paper in Modern European History [Political Leadership and the Fate of Modern Britain: From Attlee to Blair (1945-2001)] (I've marked it down to do it, so no complains here either)
- EU4228 European Foreign Policy (it's another possible module even though I had yet to do the two Reuben Wong's modules I wanted to do, Politics of Contemporary Europe and EU and ASEAN in the World)
- HY4101 Historiography and Historical Method (I hadn't wanted to do it, but seems like I'd be forced to do it, but it's still okay I guess)
(for Semester 2)
- EU4224 War and Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe (I want to do this)
- EU4226 Imperialism and Empires (I want to do this too)

The problem now is that I can do only 6 modules when I NEED to complete 8 to graduate, the other two modules I'm lacking are the two dumb cross-faculty modules. I absofuckinglutely abhor the idea of doing crossfacs. Anyway, the problem now lies with me missing two EU modules. Preferably two level 2000 modules since I've done more than the minimum of 5 level 3000 and 7 level 4000 modules required. One thing good about EU is that the minimum number of level 4000 modules is 7 instead of the usual 8 in most other departments, but anyway, it doesn't really matter anymore in my context because there is not enough lower level modules for me to do.

After the discussion with Prof Farrell, the best out of the worst circumstance that I'm in now is for me to do ISM and a lower level PH module PH2207 Hume and Kant. But Prof Turner on the other hand mentioned a possibility of there being the module EU and ASEAN in the World, so if there is really EU and ASEAN, then there would not be a need for me to do ISM. Then again, I must think of how much is it that I would like to do ISM and how would it benefit me. As much as ISM allows me greater flexibility, I'm unmotivated and probably will end up way behind deadlines, and that would suck. However, I can always get my personal secretary to help me with the remembering of deadlines, and possibly to help me to much of the collation stuff and boring nitty gritty stuff, leaving me to do the research and learning in great peace. Oh well, I guess I'll have to check out how would it be regarding the EU and ASEAN module, and if I can come up with an interesting topic and get a nice sup to help me.

Anyway, my timetable is sort of already planned out for the next academic year with me doing four EU modules in each semester and the crossfac modules in each too. Looking at the modules and checking around with friends, there is a very high possibility of me being able to do all my modules with at least somebody I know personally. *cross my fingers that things will work out neatly* Same for the second semester.

The only trouble is that for Sem 1 I'll be saying goodbye to a three day week. I already have a four day week with four modules each occupying a different day. And worse is that there are two 9am days. Maybe I need to get my daddie to send me to school. Hopefully by then the arts canteen would be ready then I can go have beehoon for breakfast, or maybe make it for the McDees breakfast. Can pull Someone to come down to school early, well, he has to, at least for one of those days, since he's also doing one of those modules. haha... I am so evil. oh crap, karma's biting me in the butt now, I'm feeling so hungry just thinking about have breakfast.

Sem 2 sounds like a nicer timetable because two modules fall on the same day, but it sounds very shiong. 9am-12nn War and Diplomacy, then 2pm-5pm Imperialism and Empires, so effectively i'll be dying in history seminars for the whole day. And if inclusive of lunch, it's a 9-5 thingie! Someone will have to bear the brunt of me getting cranky and restless on a so certainly not TGIF day. The only thing interesting about Sem 2 are the field trips Farrell mentioned for his module. wahaha~ Can go overseas on field trips, even though it's only as far out as across the causeway, but then, can fly over the seas to East Malaysia also, so that's a slight bit more interesting. haha~

Hopefully over the next two semesters, with one more S/U in my cache, and no more pulling my CAP down language modules, I can work and pull up my CAP. And graduate in time. Farrell says my priorities are wrong, I should be worrying about graduation before I worry about my CAP, but well... bah~ Okay, maybe it's because it's totally out of the question for me to extend a semester since there are no modules which I can do in AY 2008/9 Sem 1, nor Sem 2, so I can't pull a Terrence and extend semesters and not graduate. haha~

All these planned forth, and *cross my fingers* that my SEP transfer of credits get through. I still can't believe that when there was a problem, no one contacted me to settle the problem, and I needed to wait till I found out about the lack of initiative that something gets done. *pulls hair*

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Movies Update

Over the past couple of days or so, I watched quite a few movies. I had actually wanted to watch Men in White also, but it was sold out, so we couldn't manage to catch it. Nonetheless, I'd still like to talk about some other feature films I watched.


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

The final installment of the Pirates trilogy, although some fans have started rumours that there are talks of a Pirates IV.
I remember I watched the first Pirates Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on VCD during some chalet. Then I watched the second Pirates Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest alone in the cinema, that was the first and only time in my whole life I went to the cinemas alone. And now, Pirates III, after an extremely excruciating wait.

I loved Pirates III no matter how bad the reviews are, no matter what anyone else says about it, I just know I loved it. It was funny, and exciting, and interesting, and filled with really cool Johnny Depp. It answered all the questions left behind by Pirates II and wrapped the whole Pirates installment up. The effects were also cool, and all the characters showed character, with the glaring exception of Sao Feng who did nothing except say "Welcome to Singapore", but with the delightful example of the undead monkey who stole my heart.

At 168min long, it's well worth the ticket price without being long drawn and boring.
A 9.5/10 with the 0.5 deducted for the lack of depth of Sao Feng's character.



It's a film well worth watching. I saw the trailers for quite some time already, and ever since I saw the trailers, I thought that this would be a really good show, and it didn't disappoint. Based on a true story about this serial killer, but because in real life the crime is still unsolved, what the film could do was only to propose of possible theories which the author of the book came up with. It's clever and good, but mostly the film appeared to be a documentary of the book with little creativity flaired by the director, but it isn't that bad a thing for a film of this genre.

Into the film, the way Robert Graysmith became obsessed over this serial killer reminded me horrendously of The Number 23, you can see my examination of The Number 23 in my blog piece here. But I must say Zodiac had a stronger plot after all it was adapted from a book, and the whole structure of Zodiac was more planned out and less confusing. Perhaps because Zodiac's based on a real life story, I can feel a stronger liking for this than The Number 23 even though when watching the latter I loved it too.

This was another long film at 158min, but it was because they covered a long span of like a couple of decades before concluding the whole event. A 9.5/10 film too, with the missing 0.5 somewhere because there's the lack of cohesiveness of the whole film and the lack of style.


Ocean's Thirteen

Yet another sequel, this is the third installment of the Ocean's franchise. Wait, it sounds weird because this sounds like there were 13 installments of the Ocean's story, but in fact there's only three. I watched Ocean's Eleven on TV and really liked it a lot because come on everyone loves a clever deception. Bad guys are cool~ In anticipation of Ocean's Thirteen, I rented Ocean's Twelve to watch last week, but somehow, I didn't quite like the twists to the plot and the ending seemed a bit weak. However, Ocean's Thirteen brought back the delight of the Ocean franchise with the funny bits back and the amazing characters and a very clever deception.

I'm always amazed with how the character work together. Danny Ocean's the clear leader since they are called Ocean's Eleven, so it's assumed that the ten other people work under Ocean, but there's the charming Rusty who seems to be the shadow king. In the words of the characters themselves, when Linus asked them who they's look for when they have problems or have stuff to bring up, all of them answered "Rusty". In a way, Rusty isn't Ocean's sidekick, but something more interesting. The sidekick character is left for Linus to be. Linus is amazingly dumb and innocent which also makes him quite cute, he tries so hard to act like the model sidekick that he's just so funny. The Ocean series is a splendid example of how to incorporate so many characters and so many stars well into a big budgeted production without making anyone unhappy.

I quite like the plot of Ocean's Thirteen with the deception they were to carry out so masterfully planned, and all the work that they did worked out so well and according to plan although there were some hitches, luckily they were able to work everything out and their planned worked. Simple and good, no need for too many frills and thrills. What I like most were all the inside jokes being made and the running gags, continued from the style of the previous Ocean movies.

122min packed in a whole lot of fun and laughter, me gives it 9.5/10 because well, there's really a lacking in plot twists and everything just worked out so well, too well rather.


So there, three films, all 9.5/10 films, all long films passing the two hour mark, but all highly recommended by Joan~ Wow, I just realised that the three films added up to 448min in grand total, that can make up to like watching Shrek 3 five times!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Life's Quirkiness

I wasn't feeling that all emo-stable this whole day. Late night watching of idol dramas, plus stomach not feeling too well, plus disturbing movie, plus he not feeling too well, plus brush from the past, added up to an emo girl.

Then just when I got back and chatted with Jinwei, he talked about his romantic plans to get the girl he likes, I started feeling quite a bit uneasy. Maybe it's also because I'm a sucker for romance, and I know that romance seems very far off from me. Since I promised I won't divulge any details about his plans because he's afraid some other guy would copy his idea, I can just say that it's really very sweet, idol drama like. Ya... Perhaps after watching too many idol dramas one starts to have all these warped ideas about romance. Like every little thing must be done up romantic.

In a fairytale world, everything have floral frames in pastel colours. Prince charmings have big watery eyes that just gaze into you making you melt, like Wu Zun of Hana-Kimi fame. Even He Junxiang in Devil Beside You has these beautiful expressive eyes. All little acts of romance are exaggerated, love letters fill up the whole scene. Even the relationships between the girl and the guy are steamy illicit relations, sibling-love, teacher-student love, bad boy good girl, rich boy poor girl, all very suggestive, and very interesting.

Contrasting to all that, my life seems too bland and plain.

The most interesting thing in my life seems to be my imagination, which more often than not runs far wilder than anyone's dreams, or nightmares rather. And the more I indulge in the interesting aspects of my life, the more withdrawn I am from the real world. I think all guys are like Ming, and hence lose faith in men. I think all female friends are like Scarlett, and hence lose faith in all women. And I fear that one day I'd end up like Shan even though when I first started writing I saw myself as more Scarlett than Shan.

Jinwei said right when he commented on my writing making me think that all sorts of screwed up life I came up with is becoming reality even though it's not.

Leaving RP was, or does is sound better, a decision I can always retract, and somehow, it remains an alternative for me when all else fails. And the more I think of this possibility the worse I feel inside me, because that's just a selfish and extremely unfair thought. Just think about all the people I'd hurt in the process, and it's not just contextualising Shan into real life.


Well, just as I was wallowing up in envy and discontent, I came across Yanwei's blog and nudged him on MSN about it. Let's just say that his story to tell made me feel instantly better. Even though the whole point was about something else, it somehow did manage to lift up my spirits a little. hai... Why do I feel wrong in feeling happy when others are suffering. geez...

In life, we always compare with the better ones and always feel ourselves being worse off, but take time off and see the really worse off ones, then maybe self-contentment isn't too difficult. As much as I see all the negativity in life, I too must be reminded of all my little happiness too. hai...

I should really be contented with what I have, and not keep thinking keep thinking keep thinking of anything else.

Monday, June 04, 2007















More on the drama serial itself another time. 8 episodes down, 12 more to go. Yang Cheng Lin is so cute and He Jun Xiang is so shuai.

Friday, June 01, 2007

End of May

May was a bad month. bah!

I just found out that it wasn't my phone that's faulty but my memory card that's faulty, so gone are 10 days of pictures, 100+ mp3s, 1700+ SMSes. So, digging out of my remaining stuff left around with me, plus a complete hard disk for this dumb computer, ya, presenting to you the remnants of the good bits of my month of May...

I had my toes painted, actually I had all my nails painted, but the highlight of my toenails are the butterflies~

I hadn't actually wanted to do the nailart but my manicurist showed me her sample and I thought it was quite cool and I thought okay. At first I thought it was only $4, but later after it was done then she told me that actually complicated designs are $5. Felt a bit cheated, but what's done was done and the butterfly was really pretty. I had one on each of my big toe~

I went cycling with Shawn!

His family had extra bikes, so I picked one up and we cycled down East Coast Park from his place. I really suck at cycling on roads, everytime a car drives by, I'd stop the bike and wait for the car to go by me, then when I come to traffic lights, I'd get off the bike and push it across, I'm also afraid of cycling near longkangs. But it was fun, and I got quite a bit of tan from all the cycling. One funny incident happened when I was cycling near this bend with a slope, I was in the middle of two lanes when suddenly some person behind rang the bell on me. I panicked and shouted "I'm damn scared, I'm damn scared." and stopped right in the middle of the two lanes and waited for that guy to cycle past me. -_-" He even had the cheek to say "Don't need to scared la" as he went by me. bah~


Can you spot me??? I'm like quite hidden... Went for this chalet, sort of like a camp but the turn out was so bad that it seemed more like a chalet. There were like so many rooms and so little people that I had a bed to myself and there were still empty beds not taken. But it was quite fun la. Got to know many people and they are really a cool bunch of people. With me staying for one more year in NUS, think I can get to know them better.

It was a pity I didn't get to go to the AGM cos I was tied up in the hospital then well, just say that I was more needed at the hospital bah... hai...

This is a bunch of us at the bus stop.

I was telling them about how to use hands to cover up part of the face when taking pictures so that the face can look smaller in photos. Also can use the hand to cover up pimples and other facial flaws. Take for example me in the picture. My face was so pimply and oily and fat when I took that photo, but somehow I look pretty okay after using my hands to cover part of my face.

More on this technique some time later. It deserves a blog entry of its own. I even had done the photoshoot for it already. wahaha~'s bloggers gathering.
This picture was kapoked from someone I can't remember who. hahaha~

It was quite fun la, got to know quite a lot of people. Most of them are a lot nicer in real life then their online persona, I guess this happens quite often. Mrotaku won the blogging competition. Seeing the length he did to gather votes, and the effort he put in when he did up his blog entry, good for him. But the highlight of the even was meeting thegreatsze. OMG... I was just like this young giggly fangirl when the group of us saw him walk in. haha~ But he's really a cool guy, as cool as what he's like on his blog. Amazing. It was good also that he came cos that way I wouldn't be the oldest at the table. hahaha~

Zelia, Otaku and me.
This picture was kapoked from the page

I don't have Zelia's link, paiseh. There was great hype about her being very pretty. Well, maybe cos I've seen lots of pretty girls around so I think that she's the kind who's more of photogenic rather than really pretty kind of pretty. Or maybe I prefer stick thin girls as pretty. hahaha~ I've a warped sense of beauty.

This is with Xingyi. Xingyi, if you're reading this can you drop me your blog link please? I lost it after my hard disk crashed and my favourites all disappeared.

That pretty girl's now in gritty India. How's it there??? I had the honour of meeting her just before she fly and we had a great meal and took some nice pictures.

Yup, I still have pictures with the KTV session with Huijing, and more pictures I took here there everywhere. I had actually wanted to do a food roundup, but most of my food pictures are gone, along with all those stuff I said were gone earlier, so ended up having to do this social roundup. Not bad either, just that I'd actually met up with more people and had more photos taken but can't really put all of them up leh. So here's only part of my social events calendar, people whose pictures are not up, it's not that I don't love you, just that I'm a lazy pig. haha~

Hope the month of June would be a better month for me, with more pictures, more social events, more friends, and none of my anythings dying on me~