Writers' WeekendYes, indeed. All writers. (As opposed to bloggers.) All of us. Hmm.
PS: Someone dropped his utensils - again - and created quite a din. He laughed it off with a witty remark but methinks it is just the attention whore dying to come out of his closet with his little bag of witticisms.
Xena the Weary PrincessSometime in the evening, mostly spent fussing over Xena (the Dog) and keeping her ass at a safe distance from a bull terrier who is THREE TIMES her age and FOUR TIMES her weight and has NEVER been laid, while most of the conversation at the table - something about sex (Sorry, got no time for sex. Can't you see that I'm busy trying to keep my dog from getting sodomised by 20kg worth of hard muscles?) - flew right over my head and into the murky lagoon, something occurred to me. I turned to the bull terrier's mistress who was sitting quietly beside me, "You know, this feels like one of those gatherings with singles and married people fussing over their kids."
It was exhausting trying to multi-task with a very restless Jack Russell Terrier, albeit a small one. Her favourite Begging Strips (Cheese Fromage) did not work; nor did the few hard spanks I delivered to her hind; and she kept trying to go onto the table. Eventually, I gave her generous sips of my Strawberry Margarita. She quietened down and her head would occasionally droop. Heh. Heh. Heh. Sooo... this is The Secret of Dealing with Kids. I can deal with that.
But on a more serious note, I am beginning to get an inkling of what it is like to HAVE a kid...
And yet so far.
We did not get to do what we had gone to do. But I guess that is just life. Ah well. It was an interesting trip, if nothing else, and it felt like an extended weekend.
It started with the boss dumping me in his First Class seat so he could talk with the other one in Economy. (Note to self: Buy 4D - 3912.) His seat was on personal account, of course. We do not get paid made-in-Singapore-by-Risis-gold-plated-peanuts, though I sometimes think I work for nuts (and nuts).
Accommodation was very nice, and I loved the coffee - like one of those stoic men that CirCe adores; not in-your-face caffeine rush, but mellow in the mouth, and a quiet but unmistakable strength in the delicately balanced bitter aftertaste :-)
In the evening, it was fusion at the Marriot's "Third Floor". The chef's degustation was good, especially the mushrooms, and the salmon confit with beef crumbs. So was wine (not from the restaurant). Dinner conversation was the usual men's talk: spooks; sex-lies-and-videotapes; "The Horseman" whose pants and balls dropped again after the "tudung" made its surprise appearance in court, and his imagined problems with his semen suddenly became all too real; and sex with camels. There were also several bizarre moments because someone kept picking on someone else for his unconscious grunting. And then, there were these strange pairings of men in their 50s or 60s, and females in their 30s - a little past their "sell-by-date", but I suppose these men were not the flamboyant types, and the discrete couples dined with wary self-consciousness.
The next day, we set off for home earlier than planned, after another good meal of very carcinogenic "char siew" that cost a few years of our lives. Maybe that was why the road trip down the North-South Highway felt more like being on the Highway to Heaven (or Hell). Actually, most of the drive was very comfortable (since I had the backseat to myself) and uneventful. Between more men's talk, crooning to Leslie Cheung and Beyond, spouting Godfatherisms while doing a rather good impersonation, and asking me why my parents named me after a sheep (ha. ha. ha.), the men mostly talked among themselves while I switched between eavesdropping, dozing intermittently, and drinking in the amazing vast stretches of greens and lovely blue skies.
And then, our driver started to roll down his windows and wave his arm outside. Again. And again. And again. I realised that he was not waving to the many Malaysian vehicles spotting miniature replicas of their national flag. (It was the eve of their National Day.) In my drowsy state then, I remembered something about a bus hogging the road, but I do not know who started The Finger Wars. There was some kind of chase and our car even slowed down for the bus (don't. ask.) which then came up close on MY side, and I looked up to see that the driver's arm was also out, and he had a bigger finger... a bigger AND strangely, shinier finger - it turned out to be a metal rod and he was brandishing it just as zealously. My life flashed before my eyes in a moment that felt like a page out of A Dummy's Guide on "How to get yourself and your understandably insignificant staff (but whose presence is being looked forward to by someone later in the evening) killed and thus effectively wiping out one entire department in your organisation". "Ehhh, he's getting closer! And he's waving a metal rod!" The other passenger also realised the bus had come up close to our side. "Hey, watch it! Watch it!"
And then our car pulled away.
Later on, while we were still on the road, the driver commented that flying would not have made any difference to the travelling time, and we would have saved some money too. "No difference, right???"
A few seconds passed - during which, somewhere else on the other side of the world, I suppose a child was born, a promising young man died a very horrible and premature death, and another arm was being stuck out of a moving vehicle.
And then I barked an unpleasant laugh, "Well, I don't think the pilot will be sticking his middle finger out of the window!!!"
The driver was silent, but as I shifted a little to my side, I could see from his profile that his mouth was open and he was laughing soundlessly - amused.
. H . E . L . P .
. M . E .
Sunday ToastTechnically speaking, I was at the beach for most of today - two different ones. (Talk about not getting enough of something.) East Coast from 1000 to 1330 hours. Sentosa from 1600 to 2230 hours. And now I'm burnt. Again. And my companion on the plane tomorrow will probably be in shock. Again.
And Xena (the dog) and I are really pooped.
ClickiesCome on, kiss me, you know you want to.
__inTimaTe :: sTranGer__ Cool WatersBecause.
Just because I like smelling him.
The way the initial burst of scent is so easily recognisable - fresh out of the bottle. The crisp coolness of the ocean on a hot day - just like it says on the box.
And as minutes slip by; as roads are passed (and sometimes passed again); as words are said (and forgotten); the way the coolness slowly settles into the skin - warming to him. Changing. Becoming. The lingering warmth of the ocean after a hot day.
(No longer just a tinted blue bottle from a box.)
He does not remind me of memories that I never knew I had...
More like a random memory that returns the next day - unbidden. (Never sought.) The memory - of how someone smells. The lingering warmth of the ocean after a hot day.
Almost as if remnants of the evening before - in the air - have somehow stuck on and I can smell it on me. Remnants that fade into inconsequence as the day wears on, and other more pressing matters flood my senses (like long-winded secretaries who take turns to call me one after another every ten minutes - repeatedly; and unreasonable bosses that need to be laid - but not by me hor!).
Perhaps, you should go easy on the EDT the next time, my friend.
The Next 5 DaysFriday:
0930 - Go to work.
TodaySo goddamn exhausted now.
The Captain of Her Heart (By Double)Culled from S(cuba)P(ro)G(irl)
It was way past midnight
As the day came up she made a start
As the day came up
Coffee, Tea or Me?One thought I should bring along my bikini (huh???) because the hotel would have a nice pool (uncomfortable laugh); and something about giving someone a heart attack so we could jack his new wheels. The other suggested that I do up my hair and wear a sarong kebaya (speechless).
What do these clowns take me for? I am beginning to wonder if I have somehow seemed flaky or bimboic - or worse, stupid - in recent encounters. Hallo, I have an image to maintain - the serious and quiet one (even outside of work) - one that has been with me since I started working. And this new??? thing... is just too bizarre...
At least I can trust the third NOT to say things like that. (I'll be lucky if he doesn't decide to throw another temper tantrum.) Then again, maybe that's why he's still not married.
Are You Married?There are worse questions to be asked than whether (why) one is (not) dating. (But my lunch companion last week did not mean it in a bad way, and was surprised for a rather - flattering, I suppose - reason.) I guess it just feels like I have fallen so far behind everyone else; and that maybe, I really have missed my last train.
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I told CirCe about my weekend and her social antennae popped up - did I meet anyone interesting? It was a huge group after all and mostly guys.
"Nooo." (Because I wasn't looking. And I didn't want to look. And I spent most of the time avoiding eye contact and talking - except for the occasional humour, which unfortunately backfired on me, and which is why I prefer to just laugh at other people's jokes.)
I know this is me slowly shutting people out - hunkering down for... something. Because I have been feeling the ache in my bones for some time; and I am beginning to smell that distinct crispness in the air when the weather starts to change - turning cold.
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And this does not have anything to do with J calling last night to see how I was doing and to catch up; and to ask if my stiff neck was getting any better; and to say we should meet up for dinner soon; and to tell me about his talk to NUS undergraduates on successful employees in the new economy - which would definitely be a hoot and too good to miss out on, and so I'm taking time off on Thursday evening to listen to him talk; and to inform me that the Ex is getting married - to HER.
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Then why is it that when I casually mentioned this to mum in the kitchen this morning, and she made a few comments and waited for my response, the words were stuck in my throat, and I just shrugged because I didn't want her to hear the change in my voice?
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Being late for more than two weeks does really bad things to your head. My hormones are misbehaving again.
Mummy DearestNote to self:
 Tell mum that J told me that the Ex is getting married - to HER. (Done.)
 Tell mum about work trip to KL next week - to interview he who told BBC that everyone in the West practised sodomy. (Done.)
A Little After Midnight
Back home, you suddenly remember that you hadn't had anything but coffee since lunch...
0103 Hours"Come to my coffeeshop lah. Got char kuay tiao."
And so I did - since I hadn't had dinner, and I couldn't sleep yet. I was out of the house again in half an hour, and made my way to Serangoon Central for "char kuay tiao $2.50 don't want tao gei and hum" and hot tea. After that, Bounce Boy showed me around his house, and I met his cat for the second time (sans her curled up at the back of her cage as my JRT tried to get her filthy paws on her). As I bent over to say "hi", she did not flinch but moved her face in and for a few seconds - we were nose to nose, almost touching but not quite, and looking at each other in that intimate, swooning way. And she had such a lovely face, and it was just such a sweet, sweet moment. Awwwww!!!
And the only reason I am blogging this useless piece of information about my nocturnal activities is so that I can casually mention Bounce Boy in my blog - AGAIN - because he's an attention whore and has been feeling neglected since I haven't written about him lately.
Will You Marry Me?Just before a fellow Arian (traitor!) shot me in the freaking neck.
I guess he felt extra bad about it because it was not a bruise that anyone could miss and everyone was talking about it, and it did turn a little welty too. And then someone started the thing about "lovebites". And then we all laughed about it. And then I said he would have to marry me since everyone has seen it (and more will over the next few days). And then we all laughed somemore. And then I forgot all about it.
Today, a little parcel (with legs) told me that he was freaking out a little about the joke - YES, of course I was only KIDDING. Everyone who knows me knows I say crazy things all the time - like stabbing cheating exes through the back. I'm not psychotic, you know. I'm really more the type who would throw a farewell party for the cheating ex, give him "one for the road" and then wish him well. (And then, blog about the break-up and give out the URL to mutual friends who ask for it.)
Ah well. I guess it would have helped if I had remembered that he was not one of "everyone who knows me knows I say crazy things all the time" AND that he was a self-confessed marriage phobic after all. Bang head on wall. See lah, try to make a joke so the guy won't feel so pai seh about shooting me in the neck, and I ended up giving the boy a fright.
No Paint No BruiseThe paths were wet and it was grey with the occasional drizzle. So, we did not blade as far and we went slow. Nonetheless, it was a lovely Sunday morning to be at the beach and there seemed to be more people walking their dogs. I guess it put me in a good mood because I was gushing at every other dog. Heh. There was the retriever who bounded across the grass towards another goldie, laughing all the while. (Awww...) And then one of those bite-sized chihuahuas turned around and jumped when it found two big dogs just behind it. (Awww...) And I think we saw a komondor - which made me think of a polar bear who overdosed on Regaine. Heh!
Anyhow, being the sadist I am, I went looking for more pain. So, three hours later, and changed into long sleeves, cargo pants and brand new track shoes (which were suitably christened - in mud), I joined S and colleagues for paintball - my first time. I was a little apprehensive at first - what with a new injury every other month - but figured I should be fine since S is decidedly less enthusiastic than I am when it comes to pain. Heh. Still, it did get a little scary when I saw that one of the guys had changed into his army fatigues. Whoa. (I found out later that he actually owns his own air gun from when he played Airsoft in Brussels. Phwoar!)
The actual gameplay was mostly a civilised affair. Mostly. It was tiring though each game was only five minutes - maybe it was the running while staying low, and trying to breathe through the protective Darth Vader mask. But I had a lot of fun. Thank you for inviting me, S :-)
Anyway, just in case you want to know...
Does it hurt to get hit by a Paintball?
Will getting hit by a Paintball leave a mark?
Will getting hit by a Paintball leave a mark?
One, it HURTS alright. And if you are wondering how you will know whether you have been hit (because then you have to run to the "hospital" to recharge your life), trust me, you will definitely kn-OWwww when you have been hit.
Two, this only applies when said mark looks like a genuine battle wound, as opposed to a love souvenir from an over-zealous companion who broke through the skin on your neck.
Man, these diplomats are mean, mean people.
ClickiesIf you cannot already tell, I have this thing for sleeping dogs...
This is Your Captain Speaking...Culled from ScubaPro Girl.
Four diving instructors and their classes were on a boat that struck a rock and began sinking.
The SSI instructor told his class: "Inflate your BCs and surface marker buoys, jump off and wait for the Coast Guard."
The YMCA instructor told his class: "You all had to swim 20 miles to qualify, the distance to the shore should be no problem, now jump in and swim!"
The NAUI instructor told his class: "We are the first and the best and the greatest! Everyone grab a woman in one arm and a child in the other and swim them to shore!"
The PADI instructor said: "Gear up and have a seat. There will be a extra charge of $50 each for this unscheduled wreck dive."
Til Death Do Us PartThe thorn among the roses at work asked for our opinions on whether a man should be forgiven if he had an affair, which of course, he ends and then repents - don't they always?
I said I would stand behind my man all the way.
So I can stab him - right through the back. I want him to look down on himself, and know exactly what it was that hit him - right through the back. Then he will know how I felt when he cheated behind MY back.
We can talk about forgiveness after that. No problem. I'll always stand behind you, baby.
Jojo and the horsies. Hehehehe.
Pop Goes The WeaselI remember how my ears used to hurt during underwater swims. I just realised it was because I did not pop my ears. Duh. The mark stands now at an easy 25m (or 20m) on one breath.
By the by, dance classes have been leaving me with more body aches than yoga. Hiaks.
Message of the DayDear Girls and Boys,
Please remember that this site is best viewed with IE and 1024x768. And for the ultimate reading experience, turn on that ClearType ;-D
Meanwhile, I'm almost done with the RSS feed...
Laughing Out LoudThis is the BEST cybersex ever. Snicker darkly.
In the meantime, you might want to go press a few of this one's buttons...
Yours EuphemisticallyToday, I had lunch with the boss and a new colleague. We ended up talking about my yoga classes. Not that I volunteered the conversation topic - I would have been very happy talking about the other two instead. The less attention on me, the better, especially since the boss looks at me weird like I am a nutcase who hears imaginary people moving around the attic and office late at night, and either hopelessly accident-prone or a soon-to-be medically certified hypochondriac at the rate I am presenting those medical bills for all kinds of ailments and all in less than a year.
Just as we were done with hot yoga, she suddenly asked if I did "belly dancing" - which I initially misheard as "ballet dancing". (Maybe there is something about my ears and hearing imaginery sounds all the time. Maybe I should consult ENT next.)
"It's exotic dancing."
"Oh, is it like belly dancing?"
"Some movements are similar... just that we move the whole body." (In a manner of speaking.)
"Wah! Move the WHOLE body???"
"Erm, yah." (Squirm.)
"Is it like modern dance?"
"Yah! Yah! Like MODERN dance!" (Phew!)
I was after all, talking to two very conservative Christian ladies and I did not think it would have been very polite to cause anyone to gag over lunch, yah?
Live Fast, Die YoungHe always looks at me with this strange expression of faint horror when I return toasted. He thought it was another weekend dive trip, until I explained that I have not been diving because of the bends.
"So you had to go into some hyperbaric chamber for treatment?"
"For a week."
"Oh my god, you almost died!"
"Yahhh..." I snorted humourlessly. And shrugged.
I was thinking about this, and then what someone just said about her days being mundane, and also how I always thought my own life was uneventful and how I always envied my peers.
Well, mundane is not that bad after all...
By the way, my left hand (unbroken, fortunately, after someone helped me jump the A&E queue :-) for an x-ray) is still very tender.
Moving PicturesQuestion: Did they, like, model Willy Wonka after Michael Jackson or something?
But really, it was not so much that.
There is much truth in what has been written about a lot of the local blogs - and I do think it should be written. Certainly, recent casual observers of the blogsphere can hardly be faulted for thinking that blogs are ego trips and gossip fodder - not when it is also exactly this that is the allure for many of the same observers. As our very own Blog Mascot concludes:
"... the female bloggers - the more popular ones nowadays anyway and not including me, for I do not put up sexy photos - are indeed rather scandalous, but that only makes them more popular... because you made them popular by giving them hits. If you want to accuse the bloggers of being airheads, then go on, blame Singaporeans for thriving on cheap news."
~ It's not a hit if it's below the belt, girls. The New Paper. 31 July 2005.
But, what about the many other things that blogs are - that are not being written about or given as much thought? Deliberate omission? Flimsy research? Too few "good" blogs? (Oh???) Or is it really as innocuous as editorial constraints?
Balanced perspectives aside, much of what has been written reads more like a catty tabloid than a social commentary on the local blog scene; maybe even more fluff than the featured blogs themselves. In fact, they read more like what a casual observer would write - but journalists are not casual observers, yes? I find it mildly disturbing that a subject such as this, and especially this, should be handled so casually.
Seriously, leave the sensationalism and exposÚs to the blogs - they are certainly doing a good enough, if not better, job.
I often wonder if words are losing their charm - when gossip fodder appeals more, even to writers themselves.
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Well, maybe I have it all wrong...
By the by, if I am truly mistaken, and blogs are really about The Most Popular, The Most Sexy, The Least Dressed, The Whatever-else-and-etal, how about featuring some good-looking MALE bloggers in the newspapers for a change???
Sorry, Wrong NumberIn typical Arian fashion, I strode and weaved determinately through the crowds the moment I alighted from the train, my eyes blind to everything else and fixed only on the path ahead. I was late.
Breezing into Raffles City, I turned to look at Project Blood Bros - where he was waiting. Our eyes met. As my strides brought me closer to where he stood, he smiled - tentatively. I thought it was a rather pleasing smile; he seemed rather pleased too. And then, he took a couple of steps forward - even as I strode right past him, eyes sliding past his face and refocused on the path ahead.
Whoever she was who he was waiting for, it was not me - and obviously someone he had not met before.
Mirrors are wonderful things. They appear to tell the truth, to reflect life back at us; but set a mirror correctly
and it will lie so convincingly you'll believe that something has vanished into thin air, that a box filled with doves
and flags and spiders is actually empty, that people hidden in the wings or the pit are floating ghosts upon the stage.
Angle it right and a mirror becomes a magic casement; it can show you anything you can imagine and maybe a few things