Friday, November 30, 2007

What What Character I am

Which Sesame Street Character Are You?

You are Elmo. You are lovable and ticklish, and always inquisitive. Sometimes, though, your excitement about the world can make you seem childish, naive, and occasionally irritating to others.
Find Your Character @

Which Disney Princess Are You?

You are Pocahontas. You defy convention and sometimes do what is considered taboo. Unfortunately, others do not always appreciate your differences, so it's good that you are so strong-willed. You are loyal and you believe in fate. Your true love will find you one day.
Find Your Character @

Which Heroes Character Are You?

You are part Jessica. You are a two-faced bitch most of the time. Friends are friends, and enemies don't want to be your enemies. No one messes with you.
You are part Claire. You're naive and still getting used to your abilities. Some more experience and assertiveness would be good for you.
Find Your Character @

Which Springfield Resident Are You?

You are Krusty the Clown. Being the life of the party isn't always easy. Most people adore your vibrant and unique sense of humor, even though it's just a facade disguising your cynical outlook on life.
Find Your Character @

Which Action Hero Are You?

You are Chuck Norris. You fight for truth and justice with a custom truck and a never-ending supply of roundhouse kicks to the face! At the peak of your career you had your own cartoon, but what you'll be remembered for is a never ending supply of internet one-liners.
Find Your Character @

Which Disney Villain Are You?

You are Jafar. "How many times do I have to kill you boy?" You just want to be big and powerful... Is that so much to ask? I mean, you deserve it.
Find Your Character @

Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Character Are You?

You are part Michelangelo. You are laid back and all about having a good time. Cowabunga!
You are part Splinter. You are patient and wise.
Find Your Character @

Which Harry Potter Character Are You?

You are Harry. You're a loyal and courageous friend. You'd do anything to protect the people you love, especially if it'll get you a break from class for a little while.
Find Your Character @

Which Fantastic 4 Character Are You?

You are The Human Torch. You're the hot-headed playboy. You like to act sooner rather than later and as a result, you really help those in need, even at the cost of your own problems.
Find Your Character @

Which Winnie the Pooh Character Are You?

You are Rabbit. You are clever, intelligent, and level-headed. You have close, loyal friendships, but you have a bit of a short temper when the people around you act foolishly.
Find Your Character @

Which Pixar Character Are You?

You are Nemo. Your are the rebel in the group. You do things differently, not
because you think they should be done that way, but because your Mommy
told you not to do such "bad" things. This is cool if you ask us,
and we are pretty sure your friends agree.
Find Your Character @

Which Female Action Hero Are You?

You are part Wonder Woman. You have a powerful and strong personality, and you use your persuasiveness and wisdom to keep firm control over your world. You are hard to break.
You are part Rogue. You are quiet, intelligent and perceptive, but often have trouble getting close to people. Your strengths are many, but your bitter disposition and baggage can make life an emotional roller-coaster.
Find Your Character @

Which Disney Hero Are You?

You are Simba. You're young, naive, and misguided. However, don't fear, because your growth comes exponentially with hard times ahead. Only then will you reach the goals you've set out to accomplish.
Find Your Character @

Which Peanuts Character Are You?

You are part Lucy van Pelt. You know what you want and you know how to get it, even if it means pulling the football away. Your forwardness sometimes comes off as aggression, and you have some work to do in the sensitivity department.
You are part Snoopy. You have a vivid imagination and lead a rich inner life. Everyone likes you, but some don't understand that you may just be of another species.
Find Your Character @

This just says that I'm hell bored and hell wasting my time. haha~

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Pullover

My sister just sent an SMS from Taiwan telling my mother that she lost the pullover she borrowed from me.

*wails out loudly*

That's the World Cup 2006 Germany pullover I bought from Karlstadt at 30euros. It was so cheap because I bought it from the kids department, kids clothes are cheaper because they aren't taxed. But that's not the point, the point is that you can't get that pullover from anywhere anymore. And I really liked it.

I bought it when I went on my immersion summer of 2005 in Germany. It's black and warm and soft and comfortable, with the world cup logo printed on the front. There's a hood too. Sometimes, I like to drape the hood over me and use the sleeves to bind around my shoulders because it was too warm to put it on but too cold to not put it on. I know I look dumb that way, but I always console myself that I'm more cute than dumb. I really liked that pullover you know.

Then when I went back to Germany in the summer of 2006, I brought that pullover along. I once spotted a kid wearing the same pullover at me, and he pointed at me while I made faces at him. Cute~ Then there was the Berlin trip which I decidedly didn't bring along my cold clothing, but only this pullover because I thought my bags was too heavy. It turned out to be a big mistake because of the torrential rain. In the end to keep myself warm, I wore 4 layers of clothes, my tee under, then my long sleeve buttoned shirt, then this pullover, then my raincoat over. With that I roamed the streets of Berlin. That pullover went places with me.


Then the thing about it is that I don't think there are any pictures of me with it. Perhaps there might be some pictures from my Berlin trip, but there isn't any pictures of me in the pullover where the pullover is the centre of attaction of the picture. It had always seemed to me that I was going to keep that pullover for the longest period of time, so there isn't a need for me to specially take a picture with it. sucks...

Hope my sister don't lose any more of my clothing. Especially not my most most most favourite adidas dress/coat. damnit...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Conqueror's Story

The Conqueror's Story

Monday to Fridays 10pm on ChU
But it's the last five episodes now.
But follow the link above you can watch it on crunchyroll.

I came across this title on crunchyroll last holidays while searching for some nice shows to watch and pass time. But I turned out to be so busy that I had the title saved in my favourites tab for these couple of months. Upon hearing that Channel U was screening this, my desire to watch this epic period drama was rekindled. But as now is the exams period, and previously was the crunch weeks and stuff, it took me great determination not to watch the entire series on crunchyroll, but instead spent an hour a day watching it on TV. Only on days when I couldn't make it home in time that I watched it on crunchyroll.

I love TVB dramas.
I love TVB period dramas.
I love TVB actor Kong Wah.
I love the historic character Xiang Yu.
I just had to watch this drama serial, and my god is it good...

This is one of the best historical period dramas I've watched in quite some time. Lest not talk about the historical accuracies of the show, but it did provide some realistic feel when watching it. The best of the show is still dear Kong Wah. He's damn shuai. I know the thing I hate most about watching historical shows is that I know the bloody ending already, pun not intended. We all know between Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, the latter will triumph. Okay, this is a historical fact, not a spoiler, but if you think this is a spoiler then don't carry on reading. I usually do give spoiler warnings, but this is history, so it's not a spoiler. Anyway, despite the fact that I know that my hero will die, I still am in awe of my hero.

I know I've a weird taste for men, often tending to prefer power figures like Xiang Yu over the more favoured characters. It's just like in the Three Kingdoms, I favour Cao Cao over Liu Bei, heck, I hate Liu Bei, but that's not the point. The point is that I've this thing for these powerful almost arrogant heroes. Xiang Yu is the epitome of the kind of Scorpio guy I have stereotyped in my mind.

I'm at episode 25 now, and I'm quite surprised that Xiang Yu does have this more partial edit than Liu Bang in this TVB version of the Chu Han Rivalry. Xiang Yu is seen as the more powerful character, although arrogant, he is filal and loving. Liu Bang on the other hand is shown mostly of his faults and his uselessness, the only redeeming point of Liu Bang is that he has a stable of remarkable officials who were willing to do all they can to help him. Perhaps the good use of men is the only thing that is shown that puts Liu Bang in a more superior position that Xiang Yu. But seriously, other than that, Liu Bang is but one big grass pillow.

Also, when we hear of Xiang Yu's atrocities, it's usually just narrated over and not given any screentime. But on the other hand, Liu Bang's mistakes were all highlighted in the show and the details were all gone through to the viewers. In a sense, Kong Wah did get the better role over Cheng Siu Chao.

The only thing that strikes me about Cheng Siu Chao in the role is that he still looks remarkably youthful. That guy is like so old already lor, and he even has a daughter my age, and his ex-wife is on her deathbed and he still looks younger than Kong Wah in his costume. Seriously, all the facial trimmings and dark make up makes Kong Wah older than he looks and Kong Wah isn't really that young anymore. According to Joan's history of China, Xiang Yu dies when he's 31 years old. Kong Wah in his costume looks more like 41 than 31!

But it's cool la, with only the vetrans in this show, the acting was damn solid. Even the female actresses were great. There's Maggie Cheung (the TVB actress, not the film star) and Melissa Ng who looked totally in place 2500 years ago.

Do catch the last five episodes of the show. What's up next is the downfall of Xiang Yu, the evil plotting of Lü Zhi and Chen Ping, and the over arrogance of Han Xin, and the continued stupidity of Liu Bang.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Before I start writing about my view, I think this calls for the need of a disclaimer to be put over here. First, I admire Aung San Suu Kyi a great deal, I'm really moved by what she believes in, and what has she done for her people, and most of all I'm extremely in awe of how much she has sacrificed for her people. That to be said, I also must make it clear that I am well read about this issue, and have even written a paper on her, so I'm not one of those ignorant fools out there expressing ignorant remarks.

This has been a very big issue right at our doorstep lately. With the crackdown on the Burmese monks and continued house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, many people have been criticising out government on not doing anything to help our neighbours in Myanmar. Trawling the web and reading blogs of the commonfolk, many have expressed their desire for the Singapore government and the whole of ASEAN to call for heavy sanctions against Myanmar to force them to relent their heavy-handedness. Especially lately, there's been an email from a top Burmese official's son mocking Singapore for allowing him to continue living his high life a la Paris Hilton.

I must say that that guy is a complete obnoxious moron who totally doesn't deserve anything like this, but what he said is also true. Singapore will continue to tolerate Myanmar and will never consider calling for sanctions. Economic ties between Singapore and Myanmar will continue, and very unfortunately, that brat will be getting his new Ferrari in no time.

Like the Singapore government, I don't see sanctions as a viable or effective option in democratising Myanmar. More importantly, I share the same view with our government that sanctions against Myanmar will cause ourselves more economic harm than the so called victim country.

Point one, sanctions will not be effective because Singapore is only a tiny red dot. Larger sums are traded between Singapore and other countries, but also larger sums are traded between Myanmar and other powers. This being said, even if we did impose sanctions on Myanmar, it would not do much economic harm to them to force the military junta to give up power. For as long as Myanmar still has another trading partner, things will be fine for Myanmar. That being said, Myanmar does has another huge ass trading partner in China, which are probably just as undemocratic as itself. Unless China also decides to impose sanctions, I don't see a point in Singapore imposing economic sanctions and hurting our own economy.

This goes on to my next point. I don't understand why a lot of people don't seem to be able to see the fact that Singapore is totally reliant on Myanmar that we cannot and must not impose any sanctions on them. Remember, if one we impose sanctions on Myanmar, Myanmar will do the same to us. Don't say we don't need anything from Myanmar, because we NEED. Had it not for the fact that Singapore need this commodity from Myanmar, I believe, Singapore might have already taken a stronger stance against Myanmar.

There is one commodity that Singapore imports only from Myanmar, giving Myanmar a monopoly over that commodity, and that is one very important raw material essential to the very survival of Singapore as a nation-state. Sand. Since Indonesia ceased trading sand with us, Singapore's economy suffered a dip, and Singapore had to seek other alternatives. It took more than a short period of time for Singapore to be able to find an alternative in Myanmar, do you think we'd give all this up and see our economy wither off? No way. Even now, Singapore is paying six times the amount for sand from Myanmar than previously from Indonesia, imagine how much sand would cost if sanctions were to be placed on them. Imagine how Singapore's development will come to a total standstill if that were to happen. Sentosa, integrated resorts, lan reclamations, the building industry. Singapore will be screwed.

Unless Singapore is able to locate a viable and economical alternative to Myanmar in the sand trade, there's no way Singapore can take up a hard stance against Myanmar. Dubai wanted to partake in this sand trade with us some time after the Indo-sand fiasco, but it's just not economically viable to import sand from that far away, hence talks has been scrapped. And that means, we need to be nice to Myanmar.

Also, we can't even say out loud this reliance on Myanmar because that will only make Myanmar even more cocky and that would also be detrimental to the democratic activism in Myanmar itself.

What Singapore can do now is only to put their words across as harshly as possible, and show solidarity to the Burmese people while not angering the military junta. That might be quite contradictory, but that is exactly what the government is doing now. Letting the people speak up against the junta, while the government retains it's close ties with the junta. Yes, I have utmost support for the democratic movement in Myanmar, and I'd do my best to be able to help the Burmese people. But that being said, I also understand the position of the government, and understand the precarious position of Singapore in this much larger context. No government bashings for me, and definitely no calls for any kind of economic sanctions by me.

(And no, this is not a pro-government piece. Anyone who knows me would know that I have less than kind words to say about our government. But let's just say, I know that the government is smarter than most of the ignorant folks out that, and that's why they are the government and you are not.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Day of Joan Cooked Meals

Every day is a Sunday, and any day when I feel like it, I can cook. So, this is a chronicle of a day of Joan cooked meals, and incidentally, other than the late night supper of a dessert, everything has cheese in them. Okay, maybe it's not so incidental since I love cheese, and I do have mozzerella in the fridge, and mozzerella is so versatile in cooking. But still, anyway, back to the topic, Joan cooked!

a day of joan cooked meals
Cheese waffles for breakfast.
Macaroni and cheese for lunch.
Baked chicken breasts for dinner.
Ice cream waffles for supper.
What more can a Joan want? And better still, it's all Joan-cooked.

a joan cooked cheese waffles
Okay, so I cheated a bit and bought pre-made waffles, but I did heat them up and melt the cheese on it, and I even did a two cheese waffles. The nice salty sweet taste of processed cheddar mixed with the soft and chewy and stringy mozzerella. Absolutely cheesy~ With the luscious taste of the melted butter, omg, heavenly. haha~

These waffles are really great, I must buy more of it to keep. Refrigerated ones can be stored for a month and frozen ones can be stored for two months or more! But I don't think I'll keep them for that long, my mouth and my tummy will call for it to disappear pretty quickly.

a joan cooked macaroni and cheese
This is the very standard Joan's macaroni and cheese. I invented it when I was a poor student in Germany.

I'm sure everyone knows how to cook macaroni, so the secret lies in the cheese, how to make this sort of cheese. This is so much thicker and cheesier than those Kraft instant Mac and Cheese. The secret lies in using only processed cheddar, and it must be President's and it must be the individually wrapped ones. Only President's cheddar has a rich cheddar cheese taste and being individually wrapped, it makes melting easier, and it won't turn stringy. Another thing is also to add a very very little bit of milk, and salt to taste.

I do enjoy my macaroni and cheese a lot but my sister complained it being too hard and dry, but that's also exactly why I like it. I undercook most of my pasta to make it more al dente than most al dente pasta. And the dryness is because I don't add in too much milk, and definitely no cornstarch thickeners, so that the cheese is just right and cheesy.

a joan cooked baked chicken breasts
Baked Chicken Breasts in Mushroom Gravy.
Someone got this recipe off the net, and it seemed pretty easy to do, but we modified some parts of it.

The crux, the mushroom gravy. Another cheating method, which was taught to us by the recipe, is to make use of canned mushroom soup instead of making the gravy by scratch. Sure saves a lot of time and trouble. But to give it a more personal touch, we added in another can of mushrooms, and lots of herbs, the result was a very very fragrant gravy mix. The recipe also called for red and green peppers as toppings, but we decided to axe that I use asparagus instead. We do need some greens in our diet, and my god, was that a wise decision. The asparagus lent a sweet tasting fragrance into the chicken, and my god was it good. But we might want to try mixing the asparagus into the mushroom gravy the next time instead. Also, another possible future modification would be to not add the mozzerella into the chicken. Somehow, the cheese taste is entired masked and it's just plain redundant.

The chicken by itself was pretty tasteless, so we might have to marinate it with the butter instead of just placing the butter on top of the chicken as mentioned by the recipe. Also, we might want to let the chicken sit in the mushroom gravy mixture for a bit longer before putting it in the oven to bake.

Waffles with chocolate icecream. It was pretty normal, definitely nowhere near those from Gelare, but well, considering that I made them at home, okay la. haha~

Let's see when's the next every day is a Sunday and I shall enter the kitchen again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Utter Waste of Time

Have you ever wondered how much time we actually spend in writing out our essay that is actually our essay? Not much actually. Instead, most of the time is spent on formatting the essay, choosing the right font and and the correct font size, another major portion of the time is spent on doing up footnotes and writing the bibliography, which are the most tedious things in the essay.

But what is downright ridiculous is that there is a 'correct' format in doing up the footnotes, and the bibliography. And they are both different. I spent like one whole afternoon doing my footnotes and bibliography for this essay because my prof criticised my previous essay for having the wrong footnoting style. Which is utter crap! For four years, I've been doing my footnoting and never once has anybody said it's wrong. The only time which came close was when Farrell marked dots and circled them after every one of my footnotes. I forgot that I needed to put a fullstop in there.

A couple of my other friends also kena that wrong footnoting criticism by that same said prof. So to play it safe, I went to ask another friend (not doing that module, but who did a module under said prof some other semesters ago and learnt the correct way of footnoting directly under that same said prof) about what is the correct way of footnoting. But looking at the way he wrote his bibliography, I saw immediately that it was wrong wrong wrong. For every period that should have been, he used a comma instead.

So why can said prof use and teach a wrong bibliography but criticise on our correct footnoting? Double standards...

Anyway, let's get straight into the point of why must we footnote. It's basically because we need to acknowledge the author about it, isn't it? So does it really matter what format we use? I don't think so. But one of my profs (not the earlier mentioned one) explained that it's also to make publishers happy. Well, then so be it. As long as we know the key essence in footnoting and bibliographing, then everything should be all right, so why should we still waste tons of time making sure something is correct?

This is why I prefer writing exams than writing term papers. There isn't a need for footnoting and bibliographing in exams. And this is also why I think anal profs really have too much time on their hands.

A couple of my friends and I are extremely unhappy with a particular prof. First he took too much time to grade our papers, only for us to find out that our papers were badly graded. Not because we received bad grades for it (we did), but more because we didn't believe we deserved the grades we received.

Okay, for me, on the grounds that my argument was badly expressed and deserved that grade I got, I accept, but that was not the case. Out of all the comments that I received, there's only one which was valid, all the other were really crap comments which were just being plain anal and contradictory. I'm really starting to wonder if this said prof is indeed as credible as his reputation or that we're just at the wrong end of the spectrum on a wrong day of the wrong side of his books.

Anyway, I'm really glad I decided not to do an ISM, and even gladder that I didn't ask him to be my supervisor. wtf...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wo Ist Fred?

Where Is Fred

We trotted down to the Cathay to catch yet another film from the German Film Festival. This was actually our first choice film, because it starred our favourite German actor, Til Schweiger. Also, it was a comedy, and we wanted to have something light-hearted and fun to watch. There were some other Til Schweiger films featured, but after watching this, no regrets at all, totally.

This film is about this guy (Til Schweiger) who needed to get this autographed basketball for the bratty son of his fiancee, and the only way to get that ball, he had to act disabled. So bring on the wheelchair, and suddenly he couldn't talk either. Things got complicated when he was asked to feature in this image film as part of a promotional campaign of that basketball club.

The film was totally hilarious, and the disabled were really quite funny. On the whole, it was an enjoyable watch.

I think it had a very good cast too, because we recognised most of key actors, they also starred in other German films that we were exposed to. The director of the image film who later fell in love with Til Schweiger's character was Alexandra Maria Lara who was also in Der Untergang and Der Tunnel. The sidekick was Jürgen Vogel who was also in Barfuss and Goodbye Lenin.

It's really nice watching a proper German film, with the others, and well, making me wish I were back in Germany all over again.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tree. Leaf. Wind

Saw this. Read this. Loved it.
So I decided to put it up to share.



People called me “Tree”.

I had dated 5 girls when I was in Pre-U. There is this one other girl whom I loved a lot but never dared to go after. She didn’t have a pretty face, a good figure or an outstanding charm. She was just a very ordinary girl. I liked her. I really liked her. I liked her innocence, her frankness, her intelligence and her fragility.

The reason for not going after her was because I felt somebody so ordinary like her was not a good match for me. I was also afraid that after we were together, all the feelings would vanish. I was also afraid that gossip from other people would hurt her. I felt that if she became my girl, she’ll be mine ultimately & I wouldn't have to give up everything just for her. This last reason, made her stay around for 3 years. She watched me chase other girls, and I have made her heart cry for 3 years.

She was a good actor, and I was a demanding director. When I kissed my second girlfriend, she bumped into us. She was embarrassed but smiled & said, “Go on!” before running off. The next day, her eyes were swollen like a walnut. I did not want to know what made her cry. Later that day, I returned from soccer training and found her crying in the classroom for an hour or so.

My fourth girlfriend did not like her. There was once when both of them quarreled. I know that, based on her character, she is not the type that will start the quarrel. However, I still sided with my girlfriend. I shouted at her & ignored her feelings and walked off with my girlfriend. The next day, she was laughing & joking with me like nothing happened. I know she was hurt but she did not know deep down inside I was hurt too.

When I broke up with my fifth girlfriend, I asked her out. Later that day, I told her I had something to tell her. I told her about my break up. Coincidentally, she has something to tell me too, about her getting together with someone else. I knew who the person was. His pursuit for her had been the talk of the School. I did not show her my heartache, just smiles & best wishes. Once I reached home, I could not breathe. Tears rolled & I broke down.

How many times have I seen her cry for the man who did not acknowledge her presence?

During graduation, I read an SMS on my hp. It said, “Leaf’s departure is because of Wind’s pursuit. Or because Tree didn’t ask her to stay?”


People called me Leaf.

During my 3 years of Pre-U, I was on very close terms with a guy. However, when he had his first girlfriend, I learnt a feeling I never should have learnt - Jealousy. They were only together for 2 months. When they broke up, I hid my happiness. But after a month, he got together with another girl.

I liked him & I know he liked me. But why didn’t he pursue me?
Since he loves me why didn’t he make the first move? Whenever he had a new girlfriend, my heart would hurt. After some time, I began to suspect that mine was one-sided love.
If he didn’t like me, why did he treat me so well? It was beyond what you will normally do for a friend. I know his likes, his habits. But his feelings towards me I never figured out. You can’t expect me, a girl, to ask him. Despite that, I still wanted to be by his side - care for him, accompany him, and love him. Hoping that one day, he will come to love me.

Because of this, I waited for him. Sometimes, I wondered if I should continue waiting. The pain, the dilemma accompanied me for 3 years.

At the end of my 3rd year, a junior started pursuing me. Everyday he chased me. He was like a cool & gentle wind, trying to blow a leaf off a tree. Eventually, I realized that I wanted to give this Wind a small footing in my heart. I know the Wind will bring the Leaf to a better place. Finally, Leaf left the Tree, but the Tree only smiled & didn’t ask the Leaf to stay.

Leaf’s departure is because of Wind’s pursuit. Or because Tree didn’t ask her to stay?


I liked a girl called Leaf. But because she was so dependent on Tree, I would have to be a gust wind. A wind that will blow her away.

When I first met her, it was 1 month after I was transferred to this new school. I saw a petite person watching my seniors & I playing soccer. During ECA time, she will always be sitting there. Be it alone or with her friends, looking at him. Whenever he talked to other girls, there was jealousy in her eyes. Whenever he looked at her, there was a smile on her face. Just like her watching him, watching her became my habit as well.

One day, she didn’t appear. I felt something missing. I can’t explain the feeling except that it was a kind of uneasiness. The senior was also not there as well. I went to their classroom, hid outside and saw my senior scolding her. Tears were in her eyes while he left. The next day, I saw her at her usual place, looking at him. I walked over and smiled to her. Took out a note & gave it to her. She was surprised. She looked at me, smiled & accepted the note. The next day, she appeared & passes me a note and left.

It read, “Leaf’s heart is too heavy and the wind couldn’t blow her away.”

“It’s not that Leaf's heart is too heavy. It's because Leaf never wanted to leave Tree.” I replied her note with this statement and slowly, from that day on, she started to talk to me & accept my presents & phone calls. I know that the person she loves is not me but I have this belief that one day I will make her like me.

Within 4 months, I have declared my love for her no less than 20 times. Every time, she will sway away from the topic, but I never gave up. I decided that I want her to be mine and I will definitely use all means to win her over. I can’t remember how many times I have declared my love to her. Although I know, she will try to avoid it, I still held onto a small ray of hope.

Hoping that she will agree to be my girlfriend, I finally asked her over the phone one day. There was silence over the phone so I asked, “What are you doing? How come you didn’t want to reply?” And she said, “I’m nodding my head”. “Ah?” I replied. I couldn’t believe my ears. “I’m nodding my head”, she replied loudly. I hang up the phone, quickly changed and took a taxi to rush to her place. When she opened the door, I hugged her tightly.

Leaf's departure is because of Wind pursuit. Or because Tree didn’t ask her to stay…





I actually have another personal story that I wanted to share, I've been wanting to share it for quite some time already, but somehow everytime I have the impetus to put it up I'm not anywhere near the computer, and when I am at the computer, I feel that time is not right for me to put it up. I promise I'll put it up one day, till then...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Einstein's Universe and Quantum Weirdness

Last semester I took that module and hated it deeply because I didn't understand a single thing despite going for lectures and tutorials diligently. I studied quite hard for my first test but got back a big fat D. Well, while doing the test I knew I was going to be screwed because I didn't know how to answer the questions at all, so the D wasn't a surprise. Then because I understood less for the second test, I thought I might as well not study and not waste my time. And indeed I could feel that I was doing worse while doing the test.

Other components of the total grade included daily work, which I didn't hand in one out of five, got less than full marks for another one or two. I didn't take part in the forum participation too. And it was non-examinable. I thought I was quite jialat le. Then there was the short story we needed to do as the last component of our total grade. *cross my fingers* that that could pull up my grade to at least a C so that I can get my S. I SUed that module so I just needed the bare minimum to pass. And luckily, as I thanked my lucky stars, I did manage to get that S I needed.

I've been quite curious to exactly what grade I got for the last test and my short story because I thought I'd have got a U for that module. Although I must say, I thought that the short story was quite well written.

Anyway, fast forward a couple of months, due to the change in the structure of the SU system, we now get to know our grades. I went to check my grades for this module and found out that I got a B- for it. A B- might not be that good a grade for most folks out there, but bear in might that I skipped the assignment, skipped a tutorial, got a big fat D for my first test, didn't study for my second test, and not participated in the forum, and worse of all, I understood nothing from the module. Getting a B- would most probably mean that I did well enough for the short story to pull up my total grade.

Thank goodness~

Here's my short story for all to share!

Harley Upp and Holden

This is a world slightly different from what we know. In this world, people have a great speed range; they are able to move in speeds so close to the speed of light with each passing action. However, even at such great speeds, nobody can yet surpass the speed of light.

This is a story of two very different men, Harley Upp and Holden, each with very different ideals and very different backgrounds.

Ever since he was four, Harley Upp has been a speed freak. His father was the thinnest, fastest man about town. How proud he felt to be the son of such a man! Alas, for all the admiration he felt for his father, it was a deep sadness for Harley that he could never get close to his father. It was a poignant childhood memory, standing by the doorway in the mornings, watching the impossibly thin silhouette of his father rush off into town.

His mother was a slim woman herself. Sitting by the breakfast table,
having his oatmeal delivered before him by his mother pottering around at high speed, he once sighed, "Will I ever be as fast and thin as Father?" His mother would shoot him a cheeky smile, "Well, child, you'll always be chubby if you marry a fast woman."

Perhaps it was because of his childhood memories, Harley Upp had built up this dream to be fast, faster than everyone else. To prove that he was the fastest person in the world he wanted to be the first person to break through the speed of light. That would be the evidence he needed to prove to the world, and also to prove to himself that he was really very fast.

Holden on the other hand grew up alone. Growing up alone gave him the freedom to indulge in everything he wanted to do and allowed him to expand his creativity without being hindered by anybody. As such, Holden was a curious man, always wondering about his world. He had an
active imagination, fascinated by strange ideas, and especially
curious about the possibility of worlds unlike his own. He likes to
play a secret game of changing the sizes of people by adjusting his
own speed, and chuckling at the results of what he saw. People usually left him alone.

Unlike everyone around him, Holden liked to live life at a very slow pace, well, at least it was considerable slower relative to everyone around him. He liked to spend his time thinking up new theories about life, trying to come up with alternative explanation to everything that was happening around him.

One day, Holden took a walk down the countryside away from the bustling activities of all the fast paced people in his world. He sat by a river, thinking to himself, when he saw a beer bottle float up to the riverbank. He sauntered over to pick it up. Of course the bottle would contain a note. Holden unrolled the piece of paper containing the crazy message:

Long remains long as long as it is compared to short
Short remains short as long as it is compared to long

Since Holden was generally considered to be a little strange himself,
he didn't think the note that came to him via such unexplained sources was doubtful. Instead, he sat by the riverside and thought about this message all day long. By the end of the day, he came up with his own version of the theory:
"Fast is fast beside slow.
Slow is slow beside fast.
When people are faster they look narrower,
But when I am faster, they also look narrower.
And side by side is thickest."

Night fell, and it became too dark to head home, so he slept by the
riverside that night, pondering over these new ideas.

The next morning, as he lay on the patch of grass thinking about his findings the night before, he spotted another bottle being washed up. Excitedly, he hurried over to the riverbanks and grabbed the beer bottle wondering what more new ideas he can be inspired by from this new finding.

He was not disappointed as the second bottle opened up to another note. This note said:

My love bade farewell to me from a moving vehicle
And my love moved away from me.
I bade farewell to my love from a moving vehicle
And my love moved away from me.

Why are things always moving away from me! Why! Why!
I see the river flow away from me, I let the bottle flow away from me.
But I drank the beer, so the beer will stay with me in me.
At least the beer would not move away from me.

Holden was stumped with this message. Even the craziest of all
scientists was bewildered with this message. Holden thought hard
about it, but still could not see the light behind the message, taking a cue from the beer, Holden went down the riverbank, scooped up a handful of water and drank it. As the water trickled down this
throat, a sense of revelation suddenly overwhelmed him. The water was with him in him just as the beer was in the person who wrote the

"When people move away from me, they are narrower. I move away from people, but I do not move away from myself. To me, it is still them who are moving. So when either of us moves, the other appears narrower." Holden thought.

With this new revelation, Holden decided to head back home for a good rest and hopefully after being properly rested he would be able to understand more things better.

Another thing about this world of Harley Upp and Holden is that in this world, people greet each other on the streets with, "How old
are you?" because one could never be sure. Everyone ages at a
different pace, depending on one's lifestyle and one's own biological
clock. As people moved as faster speeds, time expands for them and they age slower while people like Holden who tries hard to move at a slower speed would find themselves aging as a faster rate.

Holden and Harley Upp were born on the same day. They had played
together as children, went to school together, and shared a similar
interest in science.

However, on this day that they met, the first signs of grey had
appeared in Holden's hair, and his forehead was streaked with
wrinkles. Yet Harley Upp was still a vigorous young man.

"Hey, Holden, looks like you've been moving slowly."

"I prefer to take things easy. I've been pondering over some puzzling
questions about the way our world works. What have you been up to?"

"I've been inventing speed machines and riding around in them trying
to find a way to go as fast as possible, hopefully surpass the speed
of light. Brother, looks like you need some help. Hop in!"

"Well, it isn't my usual practice, but I need the time expansion."

Holden gingerly steps into the speed machine. "It doesn't feel like
we're moving at all," he said. This was the first time he had seen a
vehicle, since the people in his world usually had no need for such
machines as they could travel at great speeds naturally. It was only
Harley Upp, constantly obsessed about pushing the speed limits, who would think of inventing speed enhancing devices.

Harley Upp left the machine on autopilot and invited Holden to the pantry for a drink. Holden looked around appreciatively.

Grinning, Harley Upp asked, "Like it? We're moving at 98 percent C, without having to lift a toe!"

Holden was pensive. "This is a huge machine. I wonder how we look from the outside."

"Probably much smaller. Half the actual size?" Harley Upp shrugged.

Holden walked towards the window and peered out. The people sitting on the benches in the park looked much narrower than before.

Harley Upp suggested, "If we had a similar machine moving at the same
speed in the opposite direction, what do you think we would see?"

Enthusiastically, Harley Upp continued to propose, "Look, Holden! What if I move as fast as possible in the same direction as this machine, in the machine? I'll build my speed on top of the machine speed!"

Holden said, "Mathematically, 2 times 98 percent C… Physically, do you think it is possible?"

Harley Upp asked, "Why don't I try it out for you to see?" He then moves at 98 percent C within the confines of the moving vehicle. "So, what do you see, Holden?"

Holden scrutinises Harley, and said pensively, thinking back about the second note he found at the riverbank, "From my frame of reference, Harley brother, you're not moving any faster, it's still 98 percent C to me."

"What's wrong?" Harley wondered.

"I will have to observe you from the outside."

Holden parted from Harley Upp after their short discussion over the possibility of breaking the limits of the speed of light. Even though they parted, Holden still continued to think about Harley Upp’s problem hoping to be able to help his childhood friend while exploring his interest in this field of science.

Before he realised, Holden ended up yet again at the countryside, just by the river where he have been picking up beer bottles with queer messages in them. Remembering that he has not picked up any beer bottle that day, Holden scurried around the river looking for one.

Not being disappointed, he finally found a bottle lying under a turf of reed under a stump of a tree. The note that day was more zen-like than previous ones. It read:

There was a runner who never reached the finish line. Every step he
took, he halved the distance between him and the finishing line. In a
100m race, the first step he took covered 50m. The second, 25m; the
third, 12.5m, followed by 6.25m, 3.125m and so on, but he was never
able to take a step that could cross the finishing line.

Holden, more familiar with people running at faster speeds, thought, "On the contrary, what if there was a runner who doubled the distance of each subsequent stride? Sooner or later, he would be able to cross an infinite distance with a single stride."

"How about for the speed of light? If I move for an infinite distance
at a constant accelerating speed, wouldn't I be able to eventually
cross the limits of the speed of light?"

Later at night, Holden decided to keep the notes he found by the
riverbank in his notebook. Lying on the table was a pair of scissors.
Picking up the pair of scissors, Holden absent-mindedly made some cutting motions, still pondering on the possibility of breaking through the speed of light.

"If I had an infinitely large pair of scissors, and the rate at which
the blades meet is constantly accelerating, would there be a point at
which the speed of cutting is faster than the speed of light?"

Unlike how Holden usually travels, this time he moved at his fastest speed to Harley Upp’s house to share with him his latest discoveries with his friend. Hopefully, one day, the both of them can together discover a way to break the barrier of the speed of light.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eine Liebe im Zeichen des Drachen

Love Under the Sign of the Dragon

It's the annual German Film Festival. I've booked tickets to watch two films, one of which is this which I went to watch tonight.

erm... This is one of the very few times I really don't know what to say after watching a film. It's so weird. I can't say if I liked it or hate it because it's just so weird kind of a feeling that I can't even use words to describe it. It's a German film, but it cooperated with Oak 3 Films, and was shot almost entirely in Singapore, and Wong Li Lin played the female lead character but it was still essentially a German film.

When reading the module Singapore Film some semesters ago, we learnt about the differences of a local film and a locally shot film. And Love Under the Sign of the Dragon possess all the characteristics of a locally shot film but is not a local film at all. The target audience is definitely German. So much so that the "Singapore" portrayed in the film is so un-Singapore like that quite a few scenes brought about much giggles among the audience even those there was quite an even mix of locals and Germans in the theatre.

The first shot of "Singapore" in the film was a scene of a dragon boat race. It was shot in such a way that it seemed like dragon boating is a weekly affair like thingie made for bettings not unlike horse racing. That was when the first -_-" came about, and trust me, things got worse from there. The usual from-airport-to-the-hotel scene was even more ridiculous. The taxi brought the expat across Chinatown, soaking up in the exotic setting of Asia. Rule Number 1, from the airport to the hotel would not bring you to Chinatown, unless it's Hotel 81 which of course is not the choice of abode for a rich expat.

But, he didn't check into a hotel! His abode was a colonial bungalow, complete with the garden, lake, and (!) a macik. Even, the last time I saw maciks as housekeepers was probably from the 1920s, and this is supposedly in 2007. My gosh... Singapore was portrayed as either the city centre, a la Raffles Place, Shenton Way, Tanjong Pagar area, or Chinatown. The Chinatown scene almost brought Singapore back to the days of the 1960s. It's like a weird time warp. We start of with the expat's colonial bungalow of the 1920s, then we head to Li Lin's residence in Chinatown akin to 1960s Singapore, and they get dressed to go for work in Raffles Place 2007. Totally weird...

The weirdest part came when they went surveying rice fields. I can tell you there are no rice fields in Singapore at all. But they still managed to get something shot in the film. They went to Bukit Gombak Xiao Guilin, then went to some swampy area complete with a 1940s style Kampong with a man washing himself in the swamp somemore. It was absolutely weird. Heck, it was worse than weird. It made me rethink if I were in Singapore or stuck in some time warp or something just as mind boggling.

Then came the hospital scenes, wanna guess which hospital they chose as representative of Singapore hospitals?
Clue: It's the hospital I've been visiting because of my lump. It's the hospital where travelling within the hospital grounds is such a hassle during raining periods that the hospital has got porters and it's own umbrellas. It's the hospital with this huge and luscious garden which I have to cut across when I go from the bus stop into the lobby.

It's Alexandran Hospital. For an expat to work in a hospital, I'd have expected some private hospital or something, but I guess Alexandra Hospital was chosen because of it's greenery. It's so weird, this whole film was all green and leafy and luscious that it seemed just out of a postcard of Garden City Singapore.

The improbable but very intriguing plot did nothing to make me decide if I really liked it or totally hate it. The plot was so interesting and captivating that it was so unrealistic especially in the context of Singapore that I didn't know if this was a good film or a bad one. The cliched scenes did nothing to help us decide but it did brought even more -_-" and giggles among the audience.

It was fun spotting all the local actors and actresses who had bit parts in the film. Wong Lilin had a lead role, but there were little roles filled by Zhu Houren, Zheng Peipei, Ezann Lee, and some other people you'd probably recognise. But the dubbing was terrible. This was a German film, so everything was in German, even the Chinese spoke German among themselves, so everyone was dubbed in German. It was very unnatural, especially Zhu Houren's. I'm being fed Zhu Houren on national TV with the 9pm show and reruns of Mi Li Ye and Zao An Lao Shi, so Zhu Houren's manly voice is like ringing at the back of my head, then the dubbing gave him is high pitch voice which was so weird.

Granted, I can't say that this is a bad movie because I know deep down that had this been set in Shanghai or Beijing, I'd have found it much much enjoyable to watch. But because of al the cringe-worthy moments whenever a weird interpretation of Singapore is shown on screen, I just think that this is terrible.

I'll be looking forward to the next film I'll be watching in this year's film festival. Wo ist Fred? featuring Til Schweiger my much loved German actor. Heard that tickets for that is already sold out so too bad to you folks. Can't wait to hear more German~ Despite not speaking or hearing German since the end of last semester, after about 5 seconds into the film, I picked up all the forgotten German again. Even if it hadn't been subtitled, I think I would still have been able to understand. Not bad not bad...

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Life Is Great

I know my life is great when I have four deadlines to meet in nine days, and I went without sleep for two nights in three, and I have forgotten to bring something essential to school for the second day running. My life is absofuckinglutely great.

Let's talk about the bloody deadlines first. I was supposed to have an essay due on Monday, but it was postponed till Wednesday, and me being the procrastinator, procrastinated. I didn't sleep the whole night on Tuesday to do up the essay. Then I have a presentation on Friday, today. I didn't sleep the whole night last night so that I can do up stuff. I still have another debate on the coming Wednesday next week, and another essay due on the next Friday. I don't know how many more sleepless nights I still have to suffer given my procrastinating tendencies.

grr... I so hate myself for being so fucked up. I'd tell myself, no Joan, you cannot always leave things till last minute, but I still do. It sucks. I can feel the guilt creeping up me and I hate it.

Everytime when I go without sleep the whole night I'd feel like I'm floating the next day. My head's a bit woozy, and I become very bad tempered. I'd feel mang zang for no reason, and I can't think straight. Crap, I can't even think at all.

Then I can't think straight that I forgot to bring my handphone to school yesterday. Of all things, my handphone, my camera, my gaming machine, my clock, my calendar, my phone book. I needed it because I was meeting Someone and we hadn't arranged on where and when to meet. Ya, and I still haven't got Someone's phone number into my head because I'm such a lazy bitch and I rely on my handphone for everything. Luckily, Someone had his number on Facebook and I got it from Aikhui's comp, and borrowed his phone to go along with the number.

But what was bad was that I missed all the SMSes and phonecalls my presentation mate gave me yesterday. crap... I felt so bad about it lor.

And that what got worse was that I forgot to bring my wallet to school today. My dad sent me to school so there wasn't a need for EZlink card so I didn't notice my wallet missing until I wanted to have lunch. argh... Of all things my wallet, my EZlink card, my money, my more money, my more EZlink card, and I'm going out for a movie later and I need to take bus and I need to pay my friend for the tickets she booked, and I need...


Yes, I'm going crazy already. ahahahahahahahahahahaha...

I think I'm going back home soon. Someone will be lending me money. But the problem now is should I take bus and get more fucked up for godknowswhat reasons, or should I take the easy way out and take a cab home and reach the solace of my blankie and beddie and pillowie as soon as possible? And get some proper rest before I head out for the movie later tonight...

I'm hungry now. I should behaving lunch. Can Someone give me a treat?