R.I.P.

Mr Mao, who left us suddenly on 29 April 2004.

Who knows what could have made you leave the home that you have spent the greater part of your life? Who knows how you could have managed to slip through the windows? Who knows if you had slipped while trying to make that fatal leap into the common corridor? Who knows how long your broken body had been lying at the foot of the block? Who knows what had been on your mind the past few nights?

We will never know. But we hope you will find the peace in death - wherever you are now - that you yearned for in life.


1... 2...

Atlantis in the making?

Will there still be a land mass when I return after the weekend? Seriously, people should just admit that something somewhere has gone really wrong, and just forget about the stupid Circle Line!


The art of humiliation.

Lainey on poetry.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Auden, when an undergraduate at Oxford, took a look at the literary scene in general and decided that it offered an empty stage. "Evidently they are waiting for Someone," he said with, Stephen Spender tells us, "the air of anticipating that he would soon take the center of it." Auden's fantasy, however, was to be at the center, not to be the sole figure. Christopher Isherwood was to be the novelist. Robert Medley was to be the painter. Cecil Day-Lewis was in there in some poetic capacity, as were Louis MacNeice and Spender. Spender told Auden he wondered whether he, Spender, ought to write prose. But Auden put his foot down.

"You must write nothing but poetry, we do not want to lose you for poetry."

"But do you really think I'm any good?" gulped Spender.

"Of course," Auden frigidly replied.

"But why?"

"Because you are so infinitely capable of being humiliated. Art is born of humiliation."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Humiliate: To reduce to a lower position in one's own eyes or others' eyes.

Sometimes, it is a gentle nudge at the back of your mind, as the rancid bodies and musty voices crowding your senses part in reverence for this growing luminance that begins to rise to the surface of your consciousness.

It does not always come from inside; the pictures and words do not always belong to this consciousness. You do not always get to choose. Not the music. Not the colours. Not the words. Not even sleep. Because the art chooses you - the messenger.

There are no questions. No shame. No 'I'. Ask not. Only submit. Your soul is a blank canvas for the genius of the art. The greater vision. So, you are never really The Artist - The Genius. Because the art chooses you. You bear the mark of its sublime touch. You are art's creation. Really.




Next.

To learn horse-riding :-) Images of Arwen and her getaway from the Ring Wraiths. Heh. Heh. Heh.

And counting down to the weekend dive at Tioman...

But for now, it's back to the giant hamster wheel at work. Scamper. Pant. Catch breath. Whine. Squeak! Scamper!


Cullings.

How to get back at your ex. Culled from Sweetsong.

Create your own visited countries map. Culled from Rainy:

Hides in a corner. Heh.




Hic!

The cure for a two-hour sleep the night before? Getting a pleasant high from a tequila shot. Wow, this Herradura Gold is unbelievably smooth - liquid gold. Let's see... MAKO gets you kissed by girls. And MAKO serves awesome tequila shots after night class. What's not to like about MAKO? :-D


CirCe.

"Do we choose our shoes based on what's immediately available? Or do we walk bare footed till we chance upon the right pair?"

Now you know who I ripped off. Heh.

Anyway, another Guest Blogger has agreed to write :-D So, the score now stands at 2.5. You see, there's a 0.5 bonus point for the bikinied babe. The next writer, however, has been granted a waiver of the two-piece requirement. Aye, for the fragile sanity of my hot-blooded male readers - I don't want anyone to come down with conjunctivitis! Laugh.


Val.

[1] What happens when there are no more words?
"Then comes understanding or nothingness... which may be wisdom."

[2] And what happens when there are no more questions?
"Then there are no more words... then comes understanding or nothingness... which may also be wisdom."


Dreams.

Come gently into the light.




CirCe.

A titillating introduction.

Magicking still in process. Duh. Methinks I need to use a thicker whip on that well-fleshed rump of hers. HURRY UP!!!

Ah yes. Applications for Guest Exhibitionists, oops, Bloggers :-) are now officially open. Only two criteria: your Words and your Body. So, here goes:

1) Write.
a) Observations/ Reflections. Hint: The kind of stuff here, but through YOUR eyes, and in YOUR words.
b) Wit/ Humour/ Quirkiness. Hint: If Terry Pratchett, Kevin Smith, Whose Line Is It, or Seinfeld makes you laugh :-)
c) Spare me the rants. I already do that here! Heh.

2) Your photo.
a) Subject - Your body in a two-piece.
b) Backdrop - Beach or any body of CLEAR water.
c) Composition - Artistic. Hint: CirCe has a good eye.
d) No faces - Trust me, nobody will bother to look anyway ;-)

So, Lucian, you see why only certain people would qualify? Hehehe.

(Note to self: Must not let mum see this. If not, she will start asking me if I'm gay. Again.)


Signs.

Do you believe?

Pre-destiny or mere coincidences? Or does it scare you to believe?


They say...

It's easier to find your one true love than it is to find the perfect swimsuit.

Laugh. Izit? Oh yeah, I still can't pick up that gorgeous Speedo halter two-piece in the Me-shade of lilac. No size. Sob.

Erm... not that I've found true love. (Actually I had - and boy, did I do a lot of running for it, and then he ran away from me, but that's another story.) But I've always figured that it'll "find" me. No? Shrug.




Men.

He thought my colleague was pregnant because she had gotten "fleshier". I was perplexed - don't people look at the tummy first? And she certainly didn't look "bloated" in that region. He explained that she looked fuller UP THERE, and pregnant women do start to develop in that area. Even after I asked him point-blank why we were talking about her breasts, he was not silenced and still managed a schoolboy grin. Later, probably thinking my blunt remark meant that I was not averse to such topics, he sidled up to the seat beside me, looked around and commented on the shortage of attractive females in the graduating cohort, and generally in his profession. (And god knows what else - looking through the slits in my blouse?) What the fuck.

What's wrong with you men huh?


Saturday.

Early morning meeting and technical support at afternoon seminar. Sleep. Sleep. So much sleep debt.

Collapse on bed.


Thoughts.

"But by erasing traumatic memories, are we changing the person? Are we erasing capacity for empathy?"

The burden of our memories are the lessons of life that we must bear. To learn, we must remember. Mmmm... food for thought indeed.




Intimate.

To become, we do not change overnight. We watch, learn, rehearse, perform, and repeat, and repeat. There is deliberation, consciousness, self-awareness, and reflection. And there is the desire to want to change - for the better, for ourselves. At which point does mere performance finally become You? When is the old skin shedded and the new one emerge?


Sights.

Dinner. In the midst of laughing at something SF said, my subconscious caught excited whispers of "Xuan2". As I looked up vaguely, the table of women across were all smiling widely at me - again that all too familiar smile. Second sighting in two days?! Argh!!!

Lunch meeting with the new guy. Pointing to an old group photo from July 2001 (short hair, six months after the Mother of all Hairdressing Nightmares, circa Christmas 2000): "Oh that's you? Wow, you look so much better now!" Wahlau eh. Thank you for your honesty hor. Must. Remove. Offensive. Photo.


Mad Man of Kent Ridge.

Yesterday's lunch at Copthorne Waterfront's Brio turned out to be a very pleasant affair, amidst some catching up and very light conversation. Relaxed and quite funny. Had decided to let my guard down and just have fun. (Strange how easy the laughs came to me.) When MMKR told how it took almost six months (usual bureaucratic red tape) to get a new gate for the hostel, I asked what happened to "How bloody hard can it be! I'll do it myself!" and reminded the others how, in the old days, he would have just driven up a new one and fixed the damn thing himself!!! Laughs around the table. <- Private joke only the ex-staff reading this blog will understand. Heh. Heh. Heh. Everyone remembered what Mr I-Wanted-It-Yesterday used to be like, pre-marriage/family/kids.

And ehhh... there was this group of women at the next table who kept smiling at me in this too familiar way. Another "Xuan2" sighting? Ack!




The letter 'Z'.

2311 hours. Cannot tahan. Zzzz... (Note to self: Don't take calls from pissed drunk friends past midnight!)


What am I?

"Arabians are arguably the most beautiful breed of horse in the world. The bright, enourmous eyes, the graceful arching neck, and the famous dished face. You have a fiery temper, it takes quite a rider to tame your spirit. In a good mood, you may be found elegantly trotting the length of the fence with elevated gaits, and your mane and tail waving like flags in the wind. Everyone envies your beauty... but beware if they make you mad! Your owner is most likely to be rich, and own a famous Arabian breeding barn. You'll probably have an entire web site dedicated to you. Your colour will most likely be: Reddish Bay, Dapple Grey, Palomino, or a glimmering Chestnut."

What breed of horse are you?


Intimate.

Ah, how often our kind scrutinise and assess each other, sometimes more than the men do :-)




Xena the Destroyer of Heels.

Now meet her faithful side-kicks: Elmo the Bane of Shoes (FIVE of mum's shoes in the last few weeks) and Xena the Eater of Network Cables (the proof is in the poo).

The second heel broken in a month. Either I've been digging in too hard, or it's time to lose weight.


Sights.

"My, what big teeth you have Grandma!" - Little Red Riding Hood.

Walking past Carnegie's at the fashionable Far East Square: "CYC is quite ex, you know."

The way it was said made me turn, and I was transfixed by the mouthful of teeth, slightly bucked, and BIG, moving from side to side, with the rest of the shaking head. Talk about getting it from the horse's mouth. Snicker.


Idle thoughts.

Do you self-announce your achievements or good fortunes, because you want to share your happiness with other people? Or is it so other people can feel happy for you too?

Sheesh. I just told someone to his face: "Yeah, I AM strange." Oh, but he didn't flinch, or excuse himself. How nice. Crap. I really need to be more conscious about what gets out of my mouth nowadays. Things have a way of coming true. Gulp. Wonder if it has anything to do with breathing all that compressed air. Heh.


Something in the air.

SF reminded me of my 18 April rant: "Please let something exciting (in a GOOD way, ok) happen."

The Nicoll Highway was an accident waiting to happen with all that digging. I am NOT a witch! Don't burrrn me. Arrrgggh!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We are all going to wake up in water one of these days. I hate all these new roads and Circle Line criss-crossing, scarring, the landscape. So ugly. Why do we need more anyway? Not like we're that big.

So, was it an explosion or not? Terrorism. Hmmm... why only a worksite though? A teaser? Choi! Touch wood! My accursed mouth... better not say it.

So sleepy. So much work. Restless. Too restless. Maybe it's the humidity, something in the air. Maybe I just need a swim. Maybe I just need to scratch my back against the Happy Tree ;-)




The catch.

When our ex-boss invited us for a Secretary Day's lunch this Thursday, we each thought: "Wonder what he's up to now." So bad? Guess you haven't had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the Mad Man of Kent Ridge yet. Shall I introduce you?


Intimate.

Do you know why it is easier to lose yourself than to find yourself? (Easier still, to find someone else.) Because you cannot see yourself. And that is why, as SF once said, you do not see your own face in dreams; and ghosts are mostly faceless - some believe that a sighting is a projection of the self by the ghost - or at best, shadowy wraiths.

Perhaps, we need a mirror. Or still waters.


The Muse.

"The Muses are the Greek goddesses who preside over the arts and sciences and inspire those who excel at these pursuits... Their name (akin to the Latin 'mens' and English 'mind') denotes 'memory' or 'a reminder', since in the earlier times poets, having no books to read from, relied on their memories."

A Muse has come into my presence.

Forgotten (or just sleeping?) memories - cascading into words, so effortlessly. Unwieldy thoughts - soaring, with a gentle breath. The shapes and voices in the darkness - understanding a little more each day. Awakening.

Not quite Sharon Stone in The Muse. (More like Stone in Basic Instinct, actually. Heh.) Not quite an Intellectual Whore either. Anyway, being called a Muse is much more flattering, don't you think? Which Muse then? Melpomene, mayhaps?

Do you have a Muse?


Six degrees of separation.

Someone reminded me of a guy I asked her about last year. (Strange that she should bring it up now.) She had been reticent back then. Turned out that she also had an unpleasant experience with him, a few years ago. Ah. Small world. Very small world. That, or the creep is one indiscriminate flirt - which according to a few testimonials is also the case. He sure moves around a lot. His muddy footprints are all over the damn place! Laugh.


Friendster.

Wenjie: It's all your fault, really. It's YOUR testimonial that's sending all the wrong men my way! Look what the latest sick boy wrote:

"kinky! dirty jokes!! ooar. phwoar. you sure you're not really into the leather?"

I don't want to eat bean sprouts! Write me a new testimonial! Hmmmppffff!!!




Sunday.

Have to work this afternoon... recording minutes (DW, don't complain about having to do ppts, ok)... listening to old men yammer about whatever it is they yammer about... trying not to yawn too much... sibeh sian... and the fever... whine...

Please, let something exciting (in a GOOD way, ok) happen.


Solitude.

Disclaimer: Try not to take the following personally. It's not you. It's just me. Serious.

She asked if it was lonely blading by myself at the beach on weekends (when SF can't make it) - most people turn up in groups or pairs, including the gay men. Hehehe. I'm used to solo-ing. Once upon a time, swimming was mostly done alone. Never did appreciate chattering my teeth off while my friend(s) wasted the two-hour ticket chatting in the pool. I. Want. To. Swim!

Lonely? Not really. Warm-up, leisurely glides and sprints at my whim. Looking at people. (And barking at children and people who don't get out of my way fast enough. Heh. Heh.) And the sounds. Sounds of the sea. I've started to make a half-way stop where the sailing centre is, to sit at the bench by the waters, watching the little sail boats bobbing in the sea, sparkles, the warmth of the sun on my face and skin. And always, the sounds. Sounds of the sea.

Who says I'm lonely? :-)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A colleague doesn't understand why I won't climb with gloves (wahlau... you want people to die laughing at me izit?!) after I told her about the dislocated middle fingers (bad technique) and calluses. She was horrified that the onset of pain doesn't make me stop. "It's not as if you're competing!" She's right about that.

To some, it's about fun - a leisure activity that breaks the monotony of work and daily living. No need to kill yourself over it. Good. To each his own. To some, it's about companionship, and erm, bikinied and tattooed/ pierced babes? Heh! Heh! To some, it's about applause and trophies. To others, it's a personal journey/ experience of sorts.

It's when the pain starts, that the journey begins.

"Interests: Running/ Swimming/ etc." Sometimes, reading Friendster profiles, I can't help the involuntary twist at the corner of my lips. Really? Does running/ swimming/ etc. drive you - your senses, your being, your body to rise every morning from its deep sleep? Or is it just a space filler? Crowding your picture with shapes and colours. (Too many elements. Not enough focus.) To say: "I have a life - I do blah blah blah and blah blah blah... how's your life? Oh, so you work, hang out with friends, and write??? (And some say, make ppts. Laugh!) Oh... I see..."

(Why don't I take up archery too and put one between your ears, eh? That should make your life even more interesting, no?)

Well, what was I expecting? Especially from Friendsters who send me such messages:

"looking for sugar mummy. interested ? hee.. kiddin' mind if we be frens since the both of us oso single? ;P hee... i like to make frens and flirt with mature (MATURE??? Did the little insect just call me MATURE???) ladies. add me; xxx@hotmail.com. hope to hear from u soon. ;p"

and

"hello... i found you through search... are you hot? are you wild? are you fun? are you crazy? are you open? can i get in touch with you?"

FRIEND... I rather eat a plate of unplucked bean sprouts!!! WHERE do these people crawl out from?

For that matter, it doesn't just apply to sports, but interests in general too, like reading and travelling. Still, I've met a few interesting people from Friendster. You know who you are - especially if I still respond to you on MSN! Laugh! So, that's cool.

But like I say, to each his own.

Anyway.

Good Friday (Sheesh. All holidays are the same to me.) Labour Day weekend. Advanced SD. Tioman, here I come :-)




Laughs.

This is just toooo funny.


Sights.

What do you see? Vapour streak across the sky, lah. Or, this?

What would you give to be able to see everything through different pairs of eyes?


Et cetera.

Dear Fellow Voyeurs, a guest Exhibitionist, erm, I mean, Blogger, will be joining me in a few days. Heh. She's cooking her first stew now. Interested parties who aren't ready to start their own blogs but would like to post some random thoughts are welcome to apply. But I'm quite sure, only the women will qualify. Snicker. More later.

And may I say, waaah, Daze, you very tall aaahhh! Thought you'll be my height at the most. Hehehe.




Morning.

A momentary brush behind. Low. My jeans. Crowded train. Packed like sardines. (Thank god the fishes did not smell this morning.) Light brush. Almost imperceptible. Unintended. Tight, but I manage to lean forward a little. Brush. Brush. Again??? Slight turn. Short man, lean, grey T-shirt, 20s?

Some people alight at Orchard. I turn away from the doors and move in. Brush. Harder. Longer. Perceptible. Intended. I find a standing spot inside. I look up.

He has turned away from the doors. He looks at me. He knows. He knows what he has done. And he knows I know. The Bastard.

Head lowered. Stare.

He continues to look. Unabashed. Bedroom eyes. Slight smile. An invitation. The cheek! More dangerous than the act-blur type. This one is not afraid to let you know. He wants more. THE BASTARD.

Glare. Harden. One thousand. Don't. Two thousand. Fuck. Three thousand. With. Four thousand. Me. Five thousand. Exhale. Not worth it. Head lowered into book. Don't let him look into your eyes again. Seething. Hissing.

More people alight. He moves in. Stands opposite, a few feet away. Takes a step in, hand on the pole between us. The chasm is wide. It is obscured by a thick mist. You cannot see what is on the other side. You think you can hear faint voices and splashing in the distance. And you think you can see vague human? shapes moving...

Don't even THINK. Seething. Hissing.

City Hall. He alights.

Raffles Place. My stop.


American Gods.

"You see, I am the only one of us who brings in any money. The other two cannot make money fortune-telling. This is because they only tell the truth, and the truth is not what people want to hear. It is a bad thing, and it troubles people, so they do not come back. But I can lie to them, tell them what they want to hear. So I bring home the bread."
- Zorya Vechernyaya

What is it I like about American Gods, other than Gaiman's story-telling and finesse with the language? The perceptive observations - so sublime. Small doses, sometimes imperceptible. Never in your face, opinionated, arrogant, or too full of the writer's self. He sprinkles them, in between lines and the story; sometimes, you can miss them in the bigger words. Stories within a story. Looking into the infinity of mirrors. Tiny dewdrops lighting up the dawn. Magic.




What's in a name?

His sister and J's wife were working in the same department, and were told by their respective kin that the other knew me too.

Sister: "... you know my brother's girlfriend ..."

Wife: "... orrr! ... you mean D- ..." (D before 1993. Tolerated dirty looks and stupid jokes about a certain busty country singer.)

Sister: "... no ... her name is K- ..." (K after 1993. Deed poll done. No more dirty looks and stupid jokes. Just a lot of tied tongues.)

Wife: "... no, her name is D- ..."

Sister: "... no lah ... K- ..."

Wife: "... it's D- ... how can I be wrong ... my husband knew her years before your brother did ..."

Was told that this went on for quite a while between the two rather stubborn women. Heh. (And don't you dare post any smartass remarks about there being another woman. Though, hmmm...)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In virtual reality, there are conventional nicks culled from characters in movies and books e.g. Tarzan, Raistlin, Silvena, Skywalker; cute ones, e.g. Rainy, Wuzzy; things, e.g. Whiskey and Mithril; and those that always endear you to people, no matter what kind of sick puppy you really are, e.g. Dolphin and Elmo. Strut.

There are nicks created for a laugh, but can be rather awkward in real life, e.g. Krazee and Slimer - common practice to call each other by their nicks even in real life. And the ones created in a moment of bad taste, like Duanini. (Figure this one out yourself - saying it aloud might help, just remember to do it in private).

There was also: "Oi! Satan!" As all heads started to turn really S.L.O.W.L.Y. towards a singular spot. At this scrawny and pallid geek that looked more like it had crawled over from the Engineering Faculty. Heh. Heh.

Maybe it's just the Mudders, who tend to be more warped than Bloggers. (Still, in my not so humble opinion, the IRC people beat everyone hands down when it comes to the height of warpdom. Smirk.) Something to do with all that role play and spending an inordinate amount of time in the computer labs, skipping lunch and even dinner, and too much whatyoucallit exposure.

What do you prefer? Nick? Birth name? Or facelessness?


Taste.

Bedtime cookies x 4. Coke x 1. Very milky coffee x 1. Dinner - what dinner? The less that goes in, the less I have to haul up the walls. Heh.


Sight.

Sentience. (Aberwyn, stop drooling! Heh.)


Et cetera.

Slowly recovering that sleep debt. Helps when you "forget" dinner, get home too late, and are too tired to do anything but sleep then. Heh. Let's see how long I can last until lunchtime.

Working through most of the next four weekends.




Intimate.

"There is power, in Words. They change the way you see the World."

What if there are more powerful things out there than Words?


Words from the air.

"He took an empty glass from the table. Then he reached out and took a large coin, golden and shining, from the air. He dropped it into the glass. He took another gold coin from the air and tossed it into the glass, where it clinked against the first. He took a coin from the candle flame of a candle on the wall, another from his beard, a third from Shadow's empty left hand, and dropped them, one by one, into the glass. Then he curled his fingers over the glass, and blew hard, and several more golden coins dropped into the glass from his hand. He tipped the glass of sticky coins into his jacket pocket, and then tapped the pocket to show, unmistakably, that it was empty."
- American Gods. Neil Gaiman.

Not many people ask where the words come from. And only a few - those who also draw it from within - understand when I say: "There are voices in my head."


Dancers in the dark.

He lets the music in his head move his fingers across the keys. The first time he sent me one of his recordings, I took it apart - strings, winds, synthesizers, choruses - the same way my JC Literature tutor taught Practical Criticism. For the heck of it, and because he asked what I thought.

I did not always know this, but music is not that different from words. Replay - Rewind - Forward - Replay. And then, he extends his hand; a tentative invitation for a dance; the smile that lifts his heart; her sweet voice in response; the dancers in his head. Beyond scores and words, there is a wonder in such profound knowing of the mind's abstracts. It helped too that he forgot to rename the file from "wanna dance" to something else. Laugh!

There is satisfaction in writing deliberately, with my tools - Systemic Functional Linguistics, Genres, Pragmatics. And always, there is Merriam-Webster Online with an ALT-TAB ;-) Well, now you know. Heh!

But there is also writing from the words in my head - words falling into place. Sometimes, they slip quietly past the rancid bodies and musty voices that crowd my consciousness. And then I stop to look, and wonder at the words on the screen.

(For Shue Mann - not quite the "nua" musician after all. Heh.)


Et Cetera

I think most of the sweat tonight was from the humidity rather than the climbing! Good to be back and seeing familiar faces :-)

B.I.Z.A.R.R.E. Culled from Dave Barry.




American Gods.

Gaiman tastes like... Varlhona chocolate. Dark. Decadent. Deep.

Do you know that you can taste words?


Water, water, everywhere.

%#$^$@#% Spilled water on handphone this time. 'Twas the keyboard a while back. Giving phone a blowjob now - with my hairdryer. Arbuthen?


Fluid dynamics.

Dive logs are here. And then there was the dolphin sighting on the way back to Mersing :-) Such a pretty sight - shimmery pink backs undulating across the waters :-))




Songs I hate.

You know that stupid excuse for a song by Gareth Gates that used to be quite a hit with the male listeners?

Circa December 2002. (Post break-up.) We were waiting in the car at the petrol station, when he started snapping his fingers to the radio and said it was a great song. I spent a few seconds carefully considering some words in my head, and the fact that he was just an innocent bystander who couldn't have known any better, and that he was the kind of guy every girl would want to bring home to show the parents. But heck, he's a guy and they're all bastards by birthright, eh?

He never quite knew what hit him. This fellow mouse in the car, who had kept mostly to her own thoughts throughout the road trip and weekend retreat at Sebana, suddenly morphed into a raving rodent foaming at the mouth with words, lots of words. Some spit might also have landed on his face, but he was unlikely to have noticed in the fury of the barrage. To his credit - it was probably the navy officer training - he managed to keep the smile, albeit a curious mixture of amusement, pain and bewilderment, on his face, by then hanging off his half-gnawed neck.

And I still think it's a damn stupid song. Bah.


Gore-O-Metre.

My tolerance for gore and violence has become the unofficial benchmark at SF's office. "Desktop Girl says she found Irreversible/ Passion of Christ too violent/ bloody." (I don't have a name even though they have met me - they were acquainted with only my back on SF's work computer for a long time. Heh.) Meaning, if I who used (USED!) to frequent www.rot... erm, nevermind... couldn't stomach it, nobody could.

The censors should hire me.


Moving pictures.

Hellboy was pretty funny. Heh. Heh. And comes at Neil Gaiman's recommendation. So there :-)

Next: Hidalgo and Van Helsing.

And I forgot to mention that I was quite taken with the gentle sounds of Aramic in Passion.




Intimate Stranger (3) - Waltzing with words.

Sometimes, graves leave messages for the living, who still visit faithfully, hoping that the dead will rise :-)

And the connection is made.

Stumbling onto this treasure trove of words and Intimate Strangers. So many of them. Linked to his blog. (OK, not THAT many. It had been an unbelievably dry spell and I wondered if the only good writers were on shelves in bookshops - not that I tried that hard to find them online.)

They write so well. But his was different - his words were alive. So alive.

The broken pieces of his memories. Cryptic? Yes. Haphazard? Yes. But that's the way our thoughts, and especially the painful memories, really are, no? Some are summoned at will; some are triggered by the unexpected; some are merely background noises with meaningless sounds that we hear but may not understand, or choose not to, yet. Even to ourselves, our memories are a mystery. Why they are, why they come when we least expect, why they can still affect us even after all this time.

Even his musings of daily living (which all blogs have), supposedly too mundane - are not. His thoughts, while going about his routines - a quiet dignity in performing his duties.

Here is a thinker. And one with a soul. Rare. And so fragile.

It is almost as if I can look into his head, the images and the thoughts. Wandering the corridors of his world. Looking into half-open doors. Passing closed doors, wondering what lies behind, wondering if he will ever open those doors for anyone. And wondering if he ever walks past them himself and wonders if he will ever open them, for himself. Mind-share. How strangely intimate. And a turn-on, I told SF in the early days, in private - well, not anymore. Heh. Heh.

Words waltzing in my head. (Jennifer Connelly in The Goblin King's dreamscape, swept away by the words and music. Falling. Falling. Yeah, I really loved that show. And song.)

Thank you for sharing.


Passion of Christ.

Question. Was not Jesus nailed through the wrist bones, rather than the palms?


0238 hours.

Awake. Rested. But just enough. Just enough. I choose: Words.

Friday was spent weeping at the Passion of Christ, then warming up and laughing - so easily - with three older, much older, women over lunch and tea. "You are very tall!" "1.64 only. I just LOOK tall." (And you three are just short. Heh. Heh.) "So what other dangerous sports do you do?" "Eh, but they are not really dangerous..." (I just don't stop when I should - hence the dislocated middle fingers.) "So, going to meet your boyfriend now?" "Eh, no, I don't have a boyfriend." "Hahahaha!!! Don't like that say lah!" (But it IS a fact, no??? Blink.)

Friday was also spent realising that a ship is at port, and the tattoo parlours are doing brisk business. Somehow, the thought of "sharing" needles, albeit autoclaved ones, with strange sailors, is just a little too much intimacy for me. Blink.

Sensory overload. Am I too intense, or is it all his that I am reading? Wading through words. Trying to "make sense". Or perhaps, there is no sense to it all.

Stranger things have happened to me.

Work has kept SF and I apart the last two weeks, though we managed to meet briefly on a couple of occasions. I wonder what has been up in HER life.




Words

In the thick of words. Teeming ocean of words. Everywhere. In my head. In my mouth. Up my nose. Still coming at my half-closed eyes in the early hours of the morning. I need more time. Words? Or sleep? But I hate having to choose something else over words. No. Sleep first - I am getting a temperature. Then the words.

I love long weekends when I can do nothing but write. And write. And write.




Preview.

Rescue drill. Mouth-to-Mouth resuscitation on your "unconscious" dive buddy in open water.

"Do it properly!" The dive instructor told her to put her mouth to his. Jokingly, of course. But she put her lips to his, to the rowdy cheers and knowing "orrrs!!!" from the boat. Heh! (BTW, the "her" and "she" is not me arrr...)

So, if you are a hot-blooded male and want to take up diving, you should sign up with MAKO because you get to be kissed by girls! Yeah, great marketing. ROFL!!!

* * * * * * * * * (Did. NOT. Steal. This. From. Nobody.)

There is an Urban Legend among the lifeguards, of one who went up to a RL victim, and proceeded to perform Mouth-to-Cheek resuscitation, blowing to the side of the victim's face, the way we are usually taught in practical classes. We listened and laughed - until our then instructor made all of us do actual mouth AND nose seals on each other for every single pool session. Girl on guy. Guy on girl. No exceptions. Not jokingly. Wicked SOB.


Power up.

"You may wish to prepare yourself to share briefly, (no powerpoint presentations required - unless you really want to) what you intend to do ... if elected ..."

This should spare someone's finger the prospect of more mind-numbing mouse clicks, no? Grin. Maybe I should keep the smart-ass remarks to myself. That might just get me a few more weird looks from my boss. Heh. As I was telling the spaced-out one, people I work with would not be able to reconcile the Online Me (and for that matter, Offline Me, too) with the Work Me. Enough lessons learnt from the blank looks and uncomfortable silences. Sigh.


Left brain. Right brain.

"While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction and there's nothing you can do about it."

Try not to do this at work though. Heh. Heh. Heh.




Sometimes, I resent not having enough time to write. The words have begun thumping on the doors of my head.


Judgement Day.

Would it weigh less on your conscience if you were involved with a man/ woman who was not yet married to his girlfriend/ boyfriend? Do you draw the line at marriage?


Catching up.

As she "volunteered" updates of the many MUDD couples from our time - marital status and kid count - I wondered instead what they looked like now; what has life been like after school and MUDD; what do they do after work; do they have dreams; are they happy? What does their Checklist of Life look like? Graduate. Check. Get a respectable job. Check. ROM with MUDD sweetheart. Check. Collect keys to HDB/ Condo. Check. Chinese wedding dinner at five-star hotel. Have kids - one, then two, or three if you can afford it. Check. Check. And check - if you can afford it. I wonder if their Checklist goes on.




Words.

I hate having to choose between writing and sleep. But sleep it was, last night. The words are restless.

Erm, why have I become a "head injury"?




Pausing for breath.

After an expected sluggish start, the past week picked up quickly and got pretty intense, ending with fundamental life and death questions over the weekend. Like learning to trust my life to an inanimate object in the mouth: "Trust your breathing apparatus!" Yeah, yeah, trust my breathing apparatus. Will post the dive log later.

Trying to gather my thoughts now. Going into the office for the afternoon to clear never-ending paperwork.

Later.




MOTD

Away for the weekend. Just when my blog is up, and there's so much to write. Erm, better start packing! Two hours! Argh.




The boy in her wallet.

She thought about the black and white passport photo tucked away in her wallet. A lean-faced 16-year-old boy in a collared striped shirt. The thick brows - wider at the outer ends. The small yet heavy eyes. The strong nose that ends in a broad base.

That the photo was still in her wallet, after almost two years, did not mean anything. She simply forgot to remove it. She remembered using it to amuse herself and her friends, to show the amazing transformation of the lean face into a full moon, more than a decade later. But his old friends from school and the army always spotted him easily on the streets in spite of the weight gain - he still has the same eyes.

* * * * * * * * * *

What she had not seen in proximity, on the first night she first met him in person, she saw tonight. This time, he was seated at the head of the table, on the other end. The Seat of the Watcher. And mostly, he did just that. It came to her as she watched him observing the rest. That quiet way of looking, almost detached, slightly sardonic, at times brooding, the keen mind turning cogs and gears behind those seemingly disinterested eyes. Then, when his eyes were lowered, how tenderly familiar those short black lashes rested lightly against his pale skin.

In her mind, she held an imaginary card across his nose, covering the lower half of his face.

He was the boy in her wallet.

It was the same kind of eyes; except the one at the other end of the table had kinder eyes - more refinement in the finish, and more softness in the black irises. But mostly, it was the way they held the others, followed the others, assessed the others.

As for the boy in the wallet, he is sometimes referred to as the ex-communicated.

* * * * * * * * * *

"Do you believe in The One? Or do you believe that there are more than one The One out there just waiting for you to chance upon one (or even more than one) of them? Or is it that these few are only potentials, and that at any one time, there can be just The One - the way The Child of Light and The Child of Dark 'moved' from body to body, in David Eddings' Belgariad? ...... I don't know if there is one, or two, or three, or more The One out there. I just know The One is someone so special, you don't need to think it through from A to Z. He is the missing piece in the puzzle, and when you finally find him and receive this missing piece into your life, you will be complete."

- Intimate Stranger. 2 August 2002.

Perhaps, there is really never more than one The One. Perhaps, we just get so tired of finding or waiting for him that we settle for the next best, and make believe that he is one of the few. Or, for some people, they simply do not believe The One exists.

SF likened it to finding The Right Shoe amongst the myriad possibilities. Sometimes, you find a pair with the design and colour you want, but not the size. Sometimes, you settle for an incredibly comfortable pair of pointy-toed shoes, even though the colour is not quite you, because you think this is the closest you will ever get to your checklist for The Right Shoe. And so, you stop looking, and you stop listening to the faint aches in your chest. Sometimes, a seemingly perfect pair of shoes could give you a callus which you choose to ignore, but you choose to put up with the vague discomfort, and soon, you do not even notice the thickened skin. (Everyone saw the calluses on my feet. Everyone. Except me.)

Someone said that believing in The One was a cop-out, because of our fear of making the wrong decision, of finding ourselves with The Wrong One. On the contrary, I believe it takes Courage to believe in The One. Because even if your paths cross, you might miss him if you do not have the faith to believe in yourself. And because, you might not even find him in this lifetime.

(Disclaimer: Any resemblance of a collaborative effort with any other blog(s) is entirely unintended.)


I don't know you. You don't know me.

Circa November 2002. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

When I finally met the person behind the intimidating and mirthless voice, which managed to make me feel a hot breath down my neck whenever he called to remind me about a deadline, I noted how the staid expression and the way he carried himself was just like his voice. His face was not particularly striking, though not unattractive to look at. It was a face I remembered, because I always wondered about that carefully composed countenance. What moves underneath it?


Mind your language.

We thank you for the invitation to Mr X for the above function and are pleased to advise that Mr X will be attending the function without Mrs X.

Heh. I wonder why. Heh. Heh.