The body text has just been increased from 12px to 15px. It is certainly easier to read (especially for people using
10-inch monitors *snort*) but it also means I need to be more concise and careful with choice of words; and a glance
at a cluster of words can now give a much better feel of the content. Not exactly a 'bad' thing - it helps me to write
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : he will call my name before i know his : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
he will smell of memories that i never knew i had
he can swim the length of a pool in one breath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . his dog will be a golden retriever
he has hands that are wonderfully kind
he will taste like varlhona chocolate...sweet...dark...decadent...
he is a story that i will never stop reading
and he will have eyes that laugh : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : the very first time i look into them
Because my words were not as beautiful as a female midriff. (But, but, I have a pierced navel too! Take mine leh!)
I was a little irritated at first (what? AGAIN???) and wondered if the image bank had run dry. And doesn't over-exposure
mean anything nowadays? (All puns fully intended.) But - intended or otherwise - it was a very appropriate illustration
of the point being made. Snk. Snk. Snk.
Ah well... I guess this is just a reflection of how the art of writing is getting lost so quickly to the people's
appetite for the salacious - which made the recent uproar over the SPG exposť all the more ridiculous and
This is what you get when you screw with an entire population's mind with inconsistent censorship policies.
"All that time wasted on fiddling with html code and DreamWeaver, when it could have been cast
fruitfully towards... French lessons? Scuba diving in the Antarctica? Volunteer work in Timbuktu?"
~ Tan Shzr Ee in The Straits Times's Life on 26 July 2005
I read with amusement her disdain for blogs - just as she is irresistably drawn to the very things that she eschews
A colleague recently asked me if I knew about blogs. She had only just heard about them and was puzzled why anyone
would put up their personal diaries for "the whole world" to read.
I can see where both of them are coming from. Indeed, I have read my fair share of mundane accounts and bloggers fishing
for an ego boost. With so many more people starting to blog nowadays, things have certainly changed since the days
when bloggers would think twice about posting photos of themselves, or write unabashedly about their reluctance to
give up seats to the more needy on MRT trains.
But I have also known the delight of reading beautifully written blogs - which as far as I can tell, are creative
outlets rather than ego trips for their writers. They share personal thoughts and precious memories that are clearly
close to their hearts. And I feel all the more privileged to have read them, because some of them are strangers, and
will most likely remain so. To me, these intimate strangers are the charm of blogs, and it will keep me reading.
Perhaps, it says less about the "exhibitionistic blogger" than those who validate the existence of the blog by reading
it (and continuing to).
And as a writer herself, I am sure she would also appreciate the beauty of the written word - and this transcends any
judgement on the blogger.
Blogging - a waste of time? Not necessarily.
The ex-roomie asked if I was
in town. (Sorry, the peanuts I earn are not gold-plated - cannot afford a jetsetting lifestyle like some of you.) There
was going to be a gathering at one of the guys' place this Sunday: "Please join us ok? Haven't seen you for awhile..."
I told him I could and he let the others know: "She will be joining us too. Yayyyy!"
Maybe it is just the lack of sleep but all that sounded a little odd to me. I am almost relieved that his dog is not
a golden retriever.
And the Running Man sent an email about an hour before him, asking to meet one of the girls (who would be around on
Sunday too) and me this Saturday.
Today is a strange, strange day.
I know the name
Gathered outside for the requisite after-nice-lunch-treat small talk before our final farewells, he asked if we knew
the one he was talking about; it was someone who he thought was "very interesting". Interesting how? - he could
not say. (So why him when there are so many others?) Then he remembered the name. "Yes, I know him."
This morning, flipping aimlessly through the papers while waiting for the mind to wake up with the rest of the body,
I read about him.
(PS: Sorry about accidentally removing your link. You have now been reinstated, and will not be missed by readers at
the new prime location - under my butt. Laugh.)
Wanting. Yearning. Needing.
I trudged into the office today with bloodshot eyes - again. I was up until three fiddling with the style sheets for
the blog. I know, I know - the changes are minimal but these wrinkled hands and feeble mind work S.L.O.W. ok?
And all because I was invited to go magazine browsing with the non-halal one and his missus; and went home with copies
of Print and How (heh); and a mental note to pick up Photoshop some other time. It is amazing how something as simple
as font and punctuation can significantly change the feel of a page. Although I already have a feel for some of these
things, I have never really understood them beyond just thinking something looked better a certain way - usually after
several rounds of trial and error.
So I was in a state of constant agitation over the weekend because I was excited about wanting to really, really learn
everything I had seen. But I also felt extremely frustrated, knowing that I had only so much time each day to try and
do all the things I have to do, and the things I want to do.
The past weekend was a little frustrating. I was not able to do much sprinting because the body thought it was still
lying in bed. So I let the wheels do most of the work, and just pushed myself along half-heartedly in the late morning
We were near our usual half-way point when the sea turned a deep green as the skies swelled with dark grey clouds.
On our hurried flight back to the car before the rains hit land, struggling against wind resistance on our puny 80mm
wheels, I often turned to look longingly at the windsurfers racing across the sea with seeming ease, chasing the winds.
I would like to be out there someday...to be a wind-chaser too...
She: "I don't know what I want anymore...I don't know how to do this anymore."
I: "Well, does anyone really know what they want? I can tell you what I don't want but I think I'll only know what
I want when I see it."
It happened once, after all. He was not quite what I wanted or expected, and it took some time for me to settle in.
Although it did not last, I thought it was mostly good anyhow. Which is why I do not believe in shopping lists and
matchmaking by well-meaning friends - not for myself, anyway. I do not doubt that some relationships can survive on
predetermined wants. Some people really do know what they want. (Or maybe they just have 'simple' needs. Heh.) And
some people just want to have what they think they want - or is that what everyone else wants?
What happens when you keep looking for what you think you want, but somehow, never quite manage to make it work?
And what happens when you realise that what you thought you wanted was not what you wanted, because you fell for
someone who was none of these things - but you are already with someone who you thought you wanted?
I hope you will not lose your faith. (But next time, you might want to request that the boy produces a clean bill of
health - from the shrink.)
Why Caffeine at 0200 is Bad
"hey, will you kindly provide an RSS feed to your blog?"
"i dunno how to do it"
"ask papa bear lah"
Suddenly the past flashed before my eyes. And I was taken aback. Not that it was unwelcome. But because of the sudden
jolt of remembering, and the way it came straight at me and reached right in - this intimate piece from the past, his
pet name. It was one of those things that I still remember well, and remember very fondly; it was one of the sweeter
things about the relationship. When we would gurgle shamelessly to each other in our private moments, using our pet
names. When his smile would light up his whole face. When he would look genuinely happy - and when I would be, too.
Because he was.
Okay lah. Can someone tell me how this RSS feed thing works and what must be done at the server end?
Reaching for the Stars
CirCe: "How does someone know your name before you know his? Through the blog? What do you mean?"
I: "Use your imagination."
Because I do not know either. They are only words...no? And as with horoscope readings, the reality can be different
from what we understand - and what we choose to believe.
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
that I never knew I had
I wrote these words as they came to me, as I reached for them.
Reaching...as a blind man does. Listening...to the distant rumble resolve into peak hour traffic. Smelling...the comfort
of home-cooked meals through the neighbourhood. Tasting...the remaining crispness of morning dew. Feeling...the intimate
rise and fall of the path through the soles of his shoes.
And trusting...as a blind man must, even with the familiar. For, I have returned empty-handed often enough. Perhaps I
had really forgotten my way those times. Perhaps my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has finally dried up. Perhaps
I have stopped believing along the way and panicked when I could not see - when I forgot to keep my eyes closed. And
those times, I would stop writing.
Yes, I wrote these words. I watched. And listened. And smelled. And tasted. And touched. And believed - mostly.
But as you will understand by now, I am not the master of my words.
SF thought I would end up as a cradle-snatcher. She did not think any man in their 30s (or 40s) still had the stamina
to do a length of the pool in one breath. (By the way, I meant an Olympic-sized pool, not condominium bathtub-sized
jacuzzis. Duh! Kok Val-Halal.) Afterall, if I can still do 25m (that is, half the length), surely the males can do BETTER??? Besides, at my
peak - back when I was 17 or 18 - I was pushing 40m. Erm. Maybe SF did have a point. Ooopsie.
Presenting the letter of the day: The Letter 'J'. I could not resist stopping for a moment to capture my sleeping dog.
So fat and round and adorable...I just want to kiss him to death!!!
Young Sally: "He will hear my call a mile away. He will whistle my favorite song. He can ride a pony backwards."
Young Gillian: "What are you doing?"
Young Sally: "Summoning up a true love spell called 'Amas Veritas'. He can flip pancakes in the air. He'll be
marvelously kind. And his favorite shape will be a star. And he'll have one green eye and one blue."
Young Gillian: "Thought you never wanted to fall in love."
Young Sally: "That's the point. The guy I dreamed of doesn't exist. And if he doesn't exist, I'll never die of a
(Practical Magic, 1998)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
He took out a stack of Jimmy Liao bookmarks that he had bought back
from his recent trip to Taiwan, and asked me to pick a set. So I picked up one - and put it aside. I repeated this a
few times until only two (or three) sets remained before me. And I picked one - and kept it.
"By elimination." I smiled sheepishly at my new friend.
(By the way, the other one in the set was a blue one with the girl in pink walking up a flight of stairs.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"What do you look for?" My not-so-new but not-quite-old friend asked.
"I don't know...the usual I guess...wit, humour, someone who is well-read, really passionate about something in life,
crazy about me - really crazy because I never got that from the ex and I think that was why it would not have worked out
anyway because the primal attraction just wasn't there. But then, everyone else wants these same things, eh? Actually,
I really don't know what I especially look for. But I can tell you what I don't want. Do you remember the bookmarks
- by elimination?" I grinned.
"Alrrright...what do you not want then?"
The way I see it, at least I know for sure what I do not want. I only hope that when I am done, I will
be looking not just at something I do not not want - but something I do want. Because life is just too confusing
sometimes, and my choices can be made a little easier with a little less noise.
: : : : : : : he will call my name before I know his : : : : : : : :
he will smell of memories that I never knew I had
he can swim the length of a pool in one breath
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . he can write as if his words were alive
he will have a wonderfully kind touch
and his dog will be a retriever
and he will have eyes that laugh : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : the very first time I look into them
By the way, I now have another
dive buddy in-waiting,
who has been gushing non-stop about her upcoming trip for her Advanced licence, and trying to persuade me to join her
in August. Heh. (Promise not to introduce me as the DCS Girl!) And I had a lot of fun watching her spend money on
Saturday. (Or I'll introduce you as Scuba Pro Girl!) Heh. Heh. Maybe I'll introduce her to Scuba Pro Boy... heh...
See? Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!
Over my dead body
"1st bloggers' conference is one big yawn."
(Straits Times 17 July 2005)
Actually, so was the news report, which I thought took the easy way out by dismissing the event as a bore because the
reporters did not understand (read: did not do background research) the subject; nevermind if the event was indeed an
overhyped bore. Of course most bloggers are guarded in person and more comfortable in their native online environments,
especially in the presence of non-bloggers or people who do not understand blogging - like certain reporters who were
too busy having nosebleeds looking down a certain female blogger's "white low-cut top". I guess they would have kicked
themselves blue-black by now when they realise from the blog reports that they had missed the real
"expose" in the Cigar Room.
Not that I would have gone anyway - "too many young people around". Heh. And there wasn't anyone that I really wanted
to gawk at. Heh. (Come to think of it, I haven't even been keeping up with my usual blog reads.) And I've never really
wanted to go "mainstream".
On our way to meet the others, he who turns 28 in three days commented that he felt increasingly out-of-place in
Orchard Road. "Too many young people around." (Uh huh...)
An hour later at Rouge, two women in their early 20s lamented
how everyone there looked so young. (Okayyy...)
"Oh, but you don't look that much older than them." I said to the younger of the two.
"Really ah?!!! I'm 23!" She was really pleased. "What about you? ...... Wow! You're 23 too!" The 23-year-old gushed.
"Nonono. Not twenty..."
They are right about there being more "young people". You see them just about everywhere - everywhere that we
were not when we were their age. I guess we did not have as much pocket money back then; whereas "young people" now do
not just have pocket money - they have "spending" money (from parents or part-time jobs). There is an entire
youth culture in retail making its presence felt more strongly, and the value and perception of money has certainly
changed as well. It seems to me that there is a general impatience to experience life - the sensual life. "Live fast
and die young."
Today, Xena (the Dog) met Orion (the Cat) at the Pet Resource Station in Serangoon Gardens. It was hardly love at
Xena (the Dog) fared much better with Tetanus (the Boy). Who, as soon as we left the vet, went straight for the dog
leash and shoved the cat carrier to me. Who, ended up trailing behind because of the bulky cat carrier, and then found
myself transfixed by the sight of hairy legs launching into an unfamiliar trotting gait after Xena (the Dog). Who, had
by then shaken off her usual lethargic guise and was behaving like a real Jack Russell Terrier, to the delight of her
temporary handler. (Who, by the way, for you groupies who got here through BoUnCe BoY, offers you a glimpse of his right brow and glasses at the top left hand corner of
the photo. Remember to breathe now...)
Because this body is tiring with increasing ease...and would rather catch up on sleep...
Because words can bind you...suffocate you...drown you...take more out of you than you realise...
And when my words no longer fascinate me, there is simply no reason to keep writing...
Or maybe it really is the passing of a Pinnacle...
"I don't think you should stop blogging." She said simply.
"Why not?" I smiled - and wondered.
The quiet one with the pretty almond eyes returned a level
gaze as I waited - unspoken words biding their speakers in the seductive throb of R&B coursing through our senses.
Then I turned and looked at the one beside her - quietly contemplating his cigarette in the dark.
"Because you don't want HIM to stop blogging, eh?" They smiled - she in answer; he with triumph. *ego deflated*
He said he would stop if I did; I was going to call his bluff but I did not think I could take on his female groupies
- Warrior Princess or not.
One of the bloggers thought I looked familiar. (Yeah yeah. Roll eyes inwardly. Here comes the "Do you watch Chinese
TV serials? You look like...")
"What's your name?"
Now, I have gotten used to people suddenly becoming hard of hearing but I was taken aback at his reaction. He yelled
my name - all three syllables, and accurately too - a few times and fell back into his seat.
"You don't remember ME?!!" (No?!! Who the hell are YOU?!!)
And then he uttered the magic four-letter word, "MUDD!!! I was Tarzan!" (Orrr!!! ee or???)
The mists of time dissipated as I took in again - after 10 years - eyes (sans glasses), nose, mouth, moles, hair and
old mannerisms. And I remembered the face and the person.