Looking Back



The Zookeeper Says

Day 2.

All's quiet at the zoo. Mostly.

And none of the animals have had to be put down.

YET.


Singapore Kicking

Well, "Dreaming", rather.

Unfortunately, it was a little hard staying pleased about my tickets for the charity screening (courtesy of The Master) everytime the epileptic kid seated behind went into these fits that made him kick the empty chair next to me - repeatedly, and so violently that my chair, and the one on the other side, shook too. He did not stop even when I, and the other woman, turned around a few times to glare at him. I blame it on my small Chinese eyes - not enough eye whites to glow in the dark and scare the kid shitless. Maybe I should have bared my teeth at him - my dentist would have been pleased that the bleach job is still intact.

And so, I waited for the movie to end and for the lights to come on, so I could glare properly at the kid AND his parents - that is, if he has any, since I do not recall anyone disciplining him during his epileptic episodes. For crying out loud, if you do not have the time to discipline your spawns, please do not let them out of their cages to terrorise your fellow men. Better still, say it with me now: C.O.N.T.R.A.C.E.P.T.I.O.N.

But the cowards left just before the lights came on. Snort. Paw ground.

Anyway.

I thought Dreaming was a very commendable local production. The casting was excellent and the characters believable. I had no difficulty relating to and laughing along with everyone else at the familiar scenes of Singapore living, and I was happy enough to drift along with the leisurely pace at which the story unfolded.

While I was glad that Dreaming did not suffer from the usual contrived scripts and characters - which I personally feel many local productions do because they are more interested in impressing the audience than telling a story - it did not touch me at a deeper level. I suppose what I mean is that I would have liked to not just remember a movie, particular scenes or words uttered, but to also be affected enough to think and ask questions (other than why the coffee stain on Lim Yu-Beng's shirt had migrated to another spot in a later scene). So, the movie was not bad - it was just, quite simply, forgettable.

Anyway, do catch the film when it screens sometime next week - I hear part of the proceeds will go to flying the cast to the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. Heh. Support local! Support your fellow men! (And remember, do not let your spawns out of their cages until they have been properly domesticated.)





Just Do It

"What exactly is it that you are objecting to? The thing itself? Then just take it away since you don't like it."

But nobody wants to be The Bad Guy.


"Or do you really think it is the cause of the problem? Because I'm telling you it is more symptomatic than anything else - they will just find an alternative. And taking something away will only give them another excuse to be unhappy - and you are no nearer to getting at the real issue."

Some days, I really do think women have only ourselves to blame for not making it as far in the workplace as we would like to. We get sidetracked so easily by our petty concerns, or fixated on the peripherals, that we lose sight of the goal and end up wasting so much time and emotional energy.


"In the meantime, if you want something done - if you want things to change - just TELL THEM to do it and set a deadline."

Let's see if things would be better in the next few weeks.


Doh

Someone asked me if I had gotten married because I now go by "Ms". Like, doesn't every other woman? And it's not like I have adopted a different surname. DOH.


Back in Time






The Cat's Paw



According to the Wikipedia:

* The cat's paw hitch, a type of knot.

* A carpenter's tool, resembling a small crowbar, used to remove nails. The claw of the tool is hammered into the wood under the nail head. The nail is pried out far enough that a claw hammer can be used to completely remove it.

* The Cat's Paw Nebula, a nebula in Scorpius resembling a pawprint.

* A dupe; a person unwittingly manipulated by another to effect a plan without the latter's personal involvement; from the fable The Monkey and the Cat.

* The Cat's Paw, an oil painting by Sir Edwin Landseer, depicting the scene between cat and monkey, from the abovementioned fable.

* An instrument of torture, also known as a Spanish Tickler.

* A breeze that ruffles patches of a water surface.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"The Cat's Paw!" She called me.

I wonder if she meant the Spanish Tickler. Heh.





Cohabitation

So I just stepped out of a 3-hour handover "how-not-to-get-bullied-by-the-staff-while-I-am-away-for-3-weeks" (AKA "I-want-to-see-the-same-headcount-when-I-return-in-3-weeks" - though I think she meant that the heads should still be attached to the rest of the bodies) meeting with the Headmistress.

The Best Friend decides that she will catch some sleep - while I am still at work tying up loose ends and resigned to the fact that I will not be able to sleep until I board the plane - and sends me a message to get the travel insurance for her as well and promptly crashes out. So I do that for both of us - except I can't remember her address and doubt I can rouse her. I decide to have her policy delivered to my place instead.

I can just imagine Mum's face when she picks up the mail in a few days.


HRM 107 - Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Before you go around shooting off your mouth (and instigating everyone else to) that someone should not "push" paperwork to the junior staff because the former is "very free" and you have "so much to do", please take a closer look at yourself in the mirror.

Better yet, please put up a mirror at your work space. If nothing else, you will notice that everytime I walk past your cubicle, I am watching you chatting on the phone / gossiping on Messenger / surfing the internet.


Sleepless in Singapore

Seeing as to how I shall have to wake up at 0330 hours tomorrow just so I can grope my way to the toilet to wash up and then stagger back to my room to check my luggage one last time before I hop into a cab at 0430 hours so I can be at the airport by 0500 hours to make the 0600 hours flight . . .

I guess I shall just pass over sleep to pack and WOW. No worries about oversleeping and missing the flight then. Heh.





Uprooting

The issue is not the monetary differential. Not at all - not for me anyhow.

The issue is that the entire wood is being missed for a few trees. And come to think of it, they are beginning to look more like weeds than trees to me.

Of course, I could very well be the one missing the entire wood. But it doesn't matter any which way - because clearly, we have different value systems.


HRM 106 - Ignorance is Bliss

I don't care if you withhold from me information which I am not necessarily better off not knowing, even if it is not welcome news.

I am all too happy to continue pretending I don't know any better, and for you to continue believing that I don't know any better either.

Because as long as I don't know any better, our terms of engagement will remain status quo and you ought not to expect me to treat you any differently, nor grant you any concessions in view of your special circumstances. (Unless of course, you wish me to, in which case, you would just have to disclose everything to me of your own free will.)

And before I forget, if something doesn't go your way, you couldn't possibly shift the blame to anyone either, could you?

Aaah, ignorance is such beatific bliss. And God has indeed blessed me with this straight face. (Though not necessarily this black heart.)





The Chinese Farmers are Baaack

The Chinese Farmers* have arrived in my neighbourhood. Dammit!!!

This one approached me outside the MRT station. I did not let him finish.

"Ni yao qian shi ma? Ni lai xing jia po zhao peng you zhao bu dao shi ma?"

To his credit, he kept on smiling - or maybe he just could not make sense of my poorly spoken "guo yu".

I made a face, turned and stalked off.

Back home, it turned out that my youngest sister had encountered them a couple of times, once last year and just before I got home tonight. The Chinese Farmers had been approaching residents at our void deck, but were ignored.

I wonder if they know the police station is just a short walk away. Hmmm.

* See Chinese Farmers in MMORPG.


Weekend Twister

No yoga for me tonight, I think. The knees and ankles got into a funky twister yesterday at the beach. (Yes, just say it with me already - I, KLUTZ!!!)

I had come upon a particularly edible bite-sized baby chihuahua (it was so TINY!) scurrying frantically around the legs of its owner. But I think I was more distracted by the fact that the human was totally unconcerned for the safety of her puppy with so many bicycles and skaters whizzing past. At one point, the poor baby had its paws on the human's knees, begging for sanctuary - to no avail. Doh!

Now, avoiding a roadkill little dog is certainly not a problem - that is, if you actually SAW the furball in the first place. Well, I think you get the picture - and a bloody one at that, if you get my drift.

While my brain was busy processing the image of flattened flesh, broken bones and bloodied fur (yeah, yeah, I should stop watching horror movies, I know already - but obviously the aforementioned human does not!), I found myself making an emergency T-brake to avoid hitting yet another slow-moving object in front.

Unfortunately, I overcompensated and my right (braking) foot slided too far to the left, which almost sent me into a spin. I tried to catch myself by twisting my left knee so I could swing my weight back to the other side. (Don't ask - my brain was preoccupied, remember?) Instead, I found myself rolling onto the grass pavement - except one foot hit the grass first and started to slow down, while the other foot which was still on the road, continued going at the same speed. Somehow, I managed to get the faster foot onto the grass as well. And after an ungainly stumble - think kicking horse and flailing arms - I finally stopped, hands clutching a lamp post.

So now my knees and ankles are sore.

I guess I will spend some 'quality time' with the Head Mistress instead. Especially since there are only four days left for a handover before I leave for Angkor Wat. And then, I'll be literally hitting the ground running as soon as I return - for almost a month. Goodbye, social life. Hello, hell.


Smell My Nape

Gone are the days when I would smile as readily at what I read on screen at work (people associate mirth with non-work activities, like oh, MSN), but this morning I broke into a HA-HA laugh at a short work-related-I-swear email exchange.

It would appear that the masters are feeling dyslexic this Monday morning :-D


Slow-to-Boil but Good-to-Drink



"Wild ginseng revitalizes the ancestral energy (Yuan Chi), an inherent energy source in the body, similar to one's principal deposit in a bank. Within the Chinese Materia Medica, wild ginseng is one of a handful of herbs that can reawaken this storehouse of vital energy ... improves digestion, calms the mind, sustains alertness and restores strength and energy levels after illness. People prone to nervous or emotional disorders will benefit from its calming effect. Taken regularly, wild ginseng keeps the body in good health and is believed to promote longevity."

Over the past two weekends, I have been brewing Chinese herbal soups, using idiot-proof (for idiots like me) and surprisingly convenient pre-packed preparations readily available at the Chinese medicinal halls. Just remove the various herbs from their individual packs and throw everything into a pot and simmer for three hours. And what better way to while away three whole hours than zap some nasties at Zul-Gurub with my guildies? Heh. Heh. Heh.

My first attempt two Sunday nights ago was with a preparation (Ginseng, wolfberries and a few other herbs) for "improving circulation". Because it took so long, I only managed to down a bowl just before bedtime. The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my bruised eye circles had faded to a much lighter shade - I had not expected to feel any different so soon, much lest SEE a difference. And not to forget, I had only gone to bed past midnight around 1. But hey, YAY! :-D

Anyway, in response to my recent activity in the kitchen, Mum and Sis assumed that The Best Friend had something to do with it, and I quote: "She told you to buy, right?" And Mum, who would like to think she knows better and perhaps was also feeling marginalised, asked me why I never take HER suggestions.

Suffice to say that Mum and Sis now think The Best Friend is some kind of mind-controlling Borg Queen.

But to be fair, Mum, I was pretty much left to my own devices in many things since young. So there. Pfffttt.


Counting Your Blessings

I made an observation that a mutual acquaintance must be doing really well at work if a new job always seemed to be waiting for him every few months.

"He is truly blessed by God."

Ah, but of course.

So conversely, if you are not doing so well at work, does it mean that God has decided not to bless you? Heh.





Have Milk Will Squeeze

Now, I am all for freedom of expression but coming back from one's maternity leave on Day One only to immediately lay claim to one of the spare rooms for milking activities AND then proceed to reproach the office for not being working-mother-friendly??? (The operative keyword here being mothers who are actually W-O-R-K-I-N-G.)

Nevermind that in the not-so-distant-past, one had been granted several days of mysteriously sick leave in one's quest to start the little family, and bestowed various other concessions. (I hear the trauma of childbirth can cause amnesia.)

There's an EQ chip missing somewhere. And interestingly, EQ deficiency does not only run in the family; it has been known to spread through mere human contact as well. (I also hear that the trauma of childbirth can cause personality changes.)

Methinks it is not only the milk that has overfloweth; nor is it only the breasts that have gotten too big for their cups.





PDAs - Batteries Not Included

" ... not married or don't have their own place ... "

I looked over at the two in the next sofa, unabashedly engrossed in Couple Yoga - in the Fullerton's Courtyard lounge no less - and agreed with CirCe.

" ... or don't have their own rooms at home."

"Ah, but even if you had your own room, not everyone can go at it when there are four other people wandering around the house."

I snickered as CirCe grimaced.

The only thing that disturbed me more than the PDA (as in Public Display of Affection - and not your battery-operated gadget) was that the guy seemed more interested in seeing if anyone was watching them. Roll eyes.

Anyway, before I forget, Nivole Moscato d'Asti - though it would have been much nicer served colder.


My Dog is a Hen-pecked Wuss

We came running out of our rooms at the sudden eruption of piercing yelps - the dogs were fighting and Xena was screaming hysterically.

Ehhhh - or not.

It took me a while to figure out the flailing mess of brown and white doggy bits, and who was the one screaming in pain.

Xena was pecking away at Elmo's hind quarters viciously, while he flopped on my sister's bed haplessly, crying piteously the whole time. It was hard to tell whether he was in too much pain or too fat to run; Elmo is at least two times of Xena's weight.

We managed to separate the dogs, and I shooed Elmo out. As I picked him up to seek refuge in my room, I felt his legs trembling a little - I wondered if the angry red mark on his hind leg was recent. But even before I could lower him onto my bed, he was trying to wriggle out of my arms.

And then he ran back to my sister's room to look for Xena.What the . . . !!!!!!

This morning, I was roused at 4 am by the familiar sound of frantic scratching at my door - Elmo wanted to go out. But as I opened the door, he did not make his usual mad dash into the living room.

Xena was sitting quietly outside my door. Though she did not move or make a sound (not that I could make out any in my drowsy state), something about her stillness stopped us short. After a brief face-off during which Elmo shuffled hesitantly at my doorway, I beckoned him back into my room and he followed.

. . . sigh . . .




Maybe I should tell my sister to stop giving her target practice.





If She Was a Harry Potter Character

She would be Barty Crouch Junior - though I don't suppose she has a single evil bone in her.

Still, I never quite know whether to continue trying not to stare or laugh when she starts flicking her tongue in mid-conversation. Most disturbing.


Sore Loser

Another Monday, another five days of workworkworkworkwork. But I should be thankful that the mysterious migraine has returned to the hell hole it had crawled out from to make my life a misery the whole of last week.

Let's also not forget that in the space of three days: I had slipped in the toilet and landed on the entire left side of my body (instead of the back of my head, which has usually been the case), and remained thus for several seconds contemplating the remarkable feel of wet toilet tiles as my clothes were soaked through.

And then, yet another piece of $@^!!!% office furniture decided to point its hardest corner into my path of least resistance, which resulted in my right hip bone striking a most impressive note of resonance and had me literally bowled over. A subsequent examination revealed only a small area of impact, but the skin was almost broken.

I, Capital L.

It's a wonder I still made it to yoga class twice since then. But I reckon nothing's broken if I can still hold my poses - until another piece of furniture decides to impede my progress again. Growl.


A Stitch in Time

Unfortunately, I was not in time and several more stitches are now needed. Sigh.

Does anyone know of a shop that repairs leather handbags?





HRM 105 - A Smile A Day Keeps Them On Their Toes

The more unfriendly your eyes (and the more ridiculous your shenanigans), the wider my smile.

"My, what big teeth you have, grandmother!"

You got that right. Now, RUN while you can.


Gifted

I love receiving gifts, especially the sort that your friend picks up for you because it reminded him/her of you :-) Thank you J!





The Five Languages of Love


Physical Touch: 8
Quality Time: 8
Acts of Service: 6
Words of Affirmation: 6
Receiving Gifts: 2


Take the quiz.


Come to Mama!!!






Day 4

... and counting.

Why? Because I *can*.


How To Lose That Small Tummy

Here's a guaranteed-to-work-tip from The Sister's Gay - and trim - Boyfriend. (Who asked me to join him for lunch today and then proceeded to confide in me about his latest romantic interest. Gaaahhhhhh.)

Apparently, it has to do with the diet, and not the exercise. So, no carbohydrates and saturated fats (flour, gravies, fried food, sugared drinks) after 6 pm. Also, skipping dinner will backfire, because any burn will target your muscles first, and though you might lose some mass, you will also become flabbier since only the fats remain.

Nodnod. Scribbles notes. Nodnod.





Exeunt Stage Left

Lady M was informed some time last week that her services would no longer be needed.

Earlier that day, our landlord from downstairs had stormed into our office and kicked up a huge fuss about the daily mess in the ground floor female toilet. Having conducted a thorough investigation (interviewing the other tenants and making personal observations) into the identity of the mysterious Toilet-Paper Mummy, she had narrowed the witch hunt to our unit. The irate landlord demanded that my flustered boss-turned-toilet-inspector view the mummified toilet bowl for herself and do something about it. In the meantime, she had stuck photos of the 'crime' in the toilets.

As I watched the scene, I could not help thinking how in contrast, we have been patient and civil with the landlord who has been cavalier about the leaking roof which their tenants on the upper floor had to tolerate for weeks while repeated heavy rains overflowed our pails (just put a pail, they said) and came down on our documents and newly carpetted floor. After another letter as well as a request for compensation, the landlord finally appointed a numbskull contractor to retile the entire roof. And then instead of rain, bits of debris and tiles came through our false ceiling! In the meantime, the landlord has been finding opportunities to pick on us and in an increasingly hostile manner. But that is another story for another day - which I might tell if I do not get hit on the head first by a loose roof tile or our weakened false ceiling.

Anyway.

My boss decided that it was better to let Lady M go after the fiasco, and because "the others are uncomfortable around her".

I will admit that I was not sorry to see Lady M go - her work was not satisfactory. The day before she left, I had tried to take her off my project, but my boss noticed there were some loose ends that could be tied up and she also intended to get Lady M to work on another project. I conceded she could do a better job since it involved only a few simple steps and was repetitive - very repetitive.

And I did feel sorry for Lady M. I knew the boss was just trying to help because Lady M has not been able to secure long-term employment - for obvious reasons. (Though strangely, the boss thought the handwashing was just a hygiene issue and she had never suspected that Lady M was also the Toilet-Paper Mummy). Of course, it helped that I was not as freaked out as the others, and I was the only other person who would talk to her whenever she decided to wander around the office.

But then the storm broke.

It is strange how everything worked against Lady M in the end.


It's Raining Tiles

Early this morning, a roof tile comes through the false ceiling in our conference room, narrowly missing the glass-top table, and somehow bounces into the main office area, just next to my neighbour's cubicle.

The numbskull contractor is summoned - once again - to view the lovely blue skies that the newly created hole in the ceiling has suddenly availed us of (just be careful, the stupid man says). After promising to repair - yet another - hole in our newly replaced ceiling boards, it starts to rain and Stupid quickly leaves to get his men to pull a canvas sheet over the hole. Shortly after, rain comes down around one of our ceiling lights on the other side of our conference room . . .

Later in the afternoon after the rain has stopped, Stupid strolls in casually past my cubicle and stops outside my boss's room and announces confidently, "It's not leaking anymore, right?"

"IT'S NOT RAINING ANYMORE - OF COURSE NOTHING'S LEAKING NOWWW!!!" I bark.

Stupid (now you see why???) shuts up and the two quietly retreat into the conference room to assess the damage further.

Some days, I feel like more like the dog than the right hand.





Happily Ever After



Absolutely hilarious :-D The book was a non-stop roller-coaster of laughs!!! I'm almost tempted to declare Tom funnier than Terry. Grin.

And while we are on the subject of books, my chendol withdrawal symptoms (add to the growing list of revenge-chicken-rice, revenge-roti-prata, revenge-putu-mayam, revenge-duck-confit) sent me on a book hunt for Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. I figured I would distract myself with some brain food rather than stuff my face with more insipid cooking - less calories in any case. And maybe I'll try to perfect my wasabi potato salad along the way. Heh.

Unfortunately, Kinokuniya was out and the only copy in Borders was mangled. Tsk. Tsk. Guess Amazon will be getting my money.


I Will Be Avenged

5 days.

3 too-much-ice-and-too-little-coconut-blearrrghkkk chendols.

1 too-much-ice-and-not-enough-syrup-blearrrghkkk ice-kachang.

Dammit!!! How hard can it be to get something so simple that costs only a dollar, or two, right?!! Doesn't anyone care anymore about getting it right? It really doesn't help that I can remember what REAL chendol and ice-kachang taste like. AJ Stall and AJ 4 anyone? Sniff.

I want my revenge-chendol and revenge-ice-kachang :-(