Monday, December 29, 2008

it's just the way we're wired

Chester likes 'a christmas story' and was incredibly surprised I'd dedicated it to him. I'm glad he likes it... makes me happy inside.

He emailed me back from somewhere in between Dubai and Taiwan, saying-

I guess at the end of the day, we all want our happily ever after - it's just the way we're wired. I hope you get yours.

That's true isn't it. I've realized that me writing, talking and feeling about love related issues lately has made the people around me more attuned, more desirous to have that 'happily ever after' too. Even previously nonchalant Kie has been infected, as his christmas card to me would attest.

I've also realized that I don't know Zero as well as I'd previously thought. It sure is nice to have a best friend around whom with you can share and yabber on without feeling embarassed or at ill ease. But also, the bond seems to disintegrate when both parties are absent from each other. I feel as though I no longer have that valued, treasured connection with him, that a wall of silence separates us. Where art thou.

And I have so many questions that are yet, left unanswered.

And sooooo leetle time, my friend...

Today, at the Office...

The Boss: "Hey Rach, you and me will have to sit down about half an hour together each day to watch through our content."
Me: (nods)

Feeling touched? Don't be. Lately when The Boss says "you and me", it means me.
When The Boss says, I will do it, means Spiritedly will be the one doing it.

you + me = me
he = me
me = overworked and underpaid. They usually come in a pair...

Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you? -Walt Whitman

Friday, December 26, 2008

A christmas story part 3

And he began his story.

For over two hours I was rooted to the spot, spellbound by his life story. Leaving behind, all he had, for love? Stable-looking, solidly built Uncle Frank was so adventourous, so...spirited? It seemed unbelieveable. Would I have the courage to do that...I mused to myself. Then again, being here in oh-so-safe Singapore, I don't think I'd ever have the chance. Some political journalist once said that he was amazed that the streets of Singapore were so safe, yet there wasn't a single policeman in sight to be seen. He wrote, albeit sardonically, that we Singaporeans have the policemen, in our hearts. All of us are, 'internally policed'. And I guess that was true for me as well. Oh, the days of my youth. I cringe now to think at my thoughts 3 years ago, though it ain't exactly THAT long ago.

Who knew, that after Uncle Frank's story, I would take the leap of faith to find, and to write the chapters of my own love story.

Who knew, that in 2009, I would marry Natalia, a lady who had so much love for others, yet only knowing her father's love for most of her life. That Christmas day, three years ago, I finally knew why Mom and Dad always looked at Uncle Frank with sentimental glances when he mentioned his wife. And why he never married anyone else again. I never knew that Mom had lost a sister when Uncle Frank lost his wife. And the pain that they all felt, bonded them together in a strange family unit. It was Dad who rescued Uncle Frank from an almost-suicidal state after losing his wife. Mom never mentioned her name. I found out that her sister, Uncle Frank's wife, was called Catherine. She did not die after Natalia's birth as I had previously thought, but almost one year later, the christmas after. It was auto-immune thyroiditis which became full-blown Graves' disease which developed due to a complication post-partum. Uncle Frank wondered at her rapid weight loss shortly after Natalia was born, then, as she started to lose more, he because worried. This disease is still prevalent now, though with the advances made in medical science with Interferon, it is wholly treatable. Then, though, there was imminent death for the sufferers of the full-blown disease. She survived till Christmas, to see the first snowfall, then... it was too cold. Just too cold.

Uncle Frank's story changed my life the way other people are changed by people. You could say I was changed by love, an enduring love, a love that dared to break the boundaries across nations, a love that has the courage to remain strong, for his only child.

Natalia inherited her Dad's talents of reading and writing, and that three years ago, Uncle Frank brought with him a christmas card she made, and what she wrote to me piqued my curiosity for her type of vocation. One year later, I packed my bags and used my medic expertise to the fullest, helping to rebuild the tsunami-devastated villages in Banda Aceh, where one quarter of the whole population died. We spent one month there, one month of hardship though it was the sweetest month I've ever experienced, being in her tantalising presence each day. I could not leave her side after that. And now? Well, you see...

Although her cooking is not as good as her words, I still eat the burnt brownies, and the overtly solid turkey this year. I smiled at Uncle Frank, seated opposite me. Marriage was on the cards and we plan for a spring wedding, next year.

I forgot, to mention, this tradition that we had every year for years since Uncle Frank came to visit. There was always an empty chair next to Uncle Frank, which we took as a time-honored tradition. Now I knew the meaning of the empty chair. The chair stood for the comfort of the presence God brought to Uncle Frank's life, when Catherine was gone. The chair stood for the hope that each Christmas brings, that we can still find something to be thankful for, despite the pain, despite the ache in the heart and the almost unendureable depression it comes with. The chair represented that somehow, faith means, that God was with you, He still is.

And me? I'm going to love her, forever. 'Love me or die!' I shouted aloud to Natalia as she brought out a yet another tray of brownies that smelt too smoky to be eaten...

(the end!)

This story is dedicated to Chester, an old friend who introduced me to the world of Classics, starting with Wuthering Heights.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A christmas story part 2

I could remember being young, too, Frank thought to himself. Was it really, so long ago?

Uttering a soft sigh to himself, Frank picked up the books from Borders which he wanted to buy for the family. Chester was a voracious reader and read virtually anything, from Leo Tolstoy epics to classics like Wuthering Heights. Frank smiled to himself as he perused the shelf of classics. Coral was also a book lover, but during those young adult years when they knew each other, she read mostly self-help books like the Dale Carnegies' type of literature. It was Chester who introduced her to the world of classics and after Dorian Gray, Persuasion, and Les Miserables, she was hooked.

Frank knew that they fell in love with each other after discussing the merits of the passionate love between Heathcliff and Catherine, and, seeing the sparks that light up their eyes each time they debated about love, and life issues, Frank couldn't help but smile to himself and thought how perfectly matched they were to each other. He found a book for Christopher, some cookbooks for Coral, and the latest bestseller listings for Chester; and as he stood by the wrapping counter, he made a mental note to call Natalia and wish her happy birthday, later. Natalia, Natalia. His sweet and kind daughter who chose a life of servtitude.

Already she was becoming quite well-known for her work in the peace corps during the 2006 East Timor crisis, and later, in the rebuilding works around the independent nation. It was a cruel time, thought Frank to himself. His fellow countrymen, killing each other over some political issue he would not and could not understand. Thousands of people, displaced because of land issues. Because of people who would not listen to sensibility, and take lives just like that - and recruit boys, some younger than Christopher, into the national army, and teach them how to fight.

He was worried that the next generation, people like Natalia and Christopher, would not know peace, a peace that he had, in the Green Apple Village, just the both of them living in their own little bubble.

But he knew that he could not change the way things were going to happen in this world, the same way he could not change himself. He had not expected that the pain of missing her would still strike his heart so deeply, that watching the rainfall over the Christmas lights at Orchard would still make him ache for her presence, for her cold hands - her small hands were always cold - and holding them just made him feel like wanting to light a fire for them and take away the cold that was there.

He rememebered that she had always wanted him to be happy, that she loved him for his cheerfulness, that his ability to make her laugh uproariously was one of the most important reasons she married him. They both had the ability to let go of their worries and look at each other, and laugh; thankful that no matter what happened, they still had each other. And that was enough, wasn't it...


Uncle Frank seemed in a pensive mood this evening, so after the Christmas dinner which I wolfed down most of the turkey, I found myself asking after Natalia. Was he worried that she was away, and perhaps, in a dangerous situation? It was customary for us to take a walk around the driveway and end up sitting in the backyard with some wine to celebrate the birth of Christ. Christopher. Mom told me Dad and her had decided to name me Christ's follower, and also because their names started with 'c'. Uncle Frank once told me to be glad Mom did not name me Heathcliff, though I'm not sure why she liked THAT name. I'm sure if I had a kid I'd name him after Frank, one day.

Uncle Frank just shook his head and smiled, benignly and told me Natalia was safe. He did not address my concern for her like the rest of the chaps would, if I enquired after a girl, but just motioned for us to sit down. And he began his story.

(To be continued)

It's only this year after so many years that I begin to be thankful for Kie's perpetual presence. If only... I had treasured it more before, then perhaps I would be more thankful for this season and the seasons past. Also, I still miss Captain Zero, although now, it's no longer that strong. Perhaps I will be the one to forget. If only we can all keep our memories close to our hearts.

Each time I write, I feel better, releasing the little moments that only people associated with the memories can understand. The only guy I had a soul connection with, all those years ago, I'm sorry for breaking your heart. I realise that I would have had a very different life right now if we were together. Maybe somewhere in the Green Apple village or in Jakarta. I love your country and I told God I wanna be somewhere there, although ironically, you seem to be content working and living in Sg. I've been to Aceh and Bali and next stop hopefully Timor-Leste. But anyways, it's not meant to be, we were not meant to be, we were, too young.

In a part, these writings have been the essay of my life, and writing them, and knowing that they are read, and comprehended by people who - also understand, makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A christmas story

In tune with the season...

The arrival of Uncle Frank meant that, to me, Christmas, was here.

Uncle Frank was my godfather; and the stories he told to me was something I looked forward to hear, eagerly; when I was younger. The past few years however, he had to settle for talking to my parents, because I was always busy at Christmas.

Busy with girlfriends, busy with work, busy shopping, just too busy… Perhaps I just couldn’t find the time to listen, anymore. But this year, I was going to. Listen to Uncle Frank. Although we could only meet once a year, his life seems to have impacted me more than I could possibly imagine. I’ve heard my parents talk about the events of his life in hushed tones. It seems like Uncle Frank and Mom lived close by back then, when he still resided in Singapore. Although I’ve always wondered about how Dad could stand Mom being close to Uncle Frank, their friendship seemed entrenched on the grains of time. Myself? I’m a guy-kinda guy, favorite pastime hanging out with the gang - not like Dad who seems like a ladies’ man. Until now, he still can charm the socks of any girl. I’ve heard that in the past, Dad was droolingly handsome. Ah well, I can see where I’ve gotten my good looks from!

This year, I could see that Uncle Frank was getting older. His eyebags seemed that much more wrinkly than the last time I could remember, and the jowls on his face seemed more saggier. Horrors. He has a daughter, around my age – and for one period of time, I believed Dad and Uncle Frank fervently tried to engineer something between us. We were always friends, respectful to each other and acquaintances of a sort – but somehow, I could never connect with her and have that kind of soul-communication Mom and Dad had.

Of course, we were both too young at that point of time – I’m still not in the right frame of mind to pursue a long-lasting relationship, and there were hordes of girls to choose from at school, anyways. Later, I heard that she chose to go into social work and serve under a Women’s Association, helping underprivileged female orphans. Of course, that’s exactly what she would do. At that time, I despised Natalia for making that choice. Uncle Frank wasn’t exactly rich and social work doesn’t exactly pay. Being Uncle Frank’s only kin, she was putting him in a difficult position, or so I thought. No one asked you to put yourself through this torture, so why do so?
Later, I realized that Uncle Frank was proud of her choices, and now, after meeting so many materialistic, shallow girls who don’t seem to give a hoot about your heart, I realized that Natalia is really a true gem. Hmm, I wonder how she is now?

This year, Uncle Frank finally told me the story he said he would, when it was my 25th birthday. It was strange how Natalia and I were born so close to each other. And what he told me, I could never forget. It’s one of those stories you could make into a movie, you know.


He was finally going home.
Back to the Green Apple Village, 330km northwest from Jakarta. The plane was landing in a few minutes and it seems that he was always so far away, from her.
In the past, he always missed her for Christmas. It seemed as though cruel fate decided that they could never celebrate any festive holiday together, while they were dating. Each Valentines’, he had to be away from her because it coincided with the Lunar New Year holidays; and leaving for home at this time meant that he would have missed her birthday, too. She always said that she didn’t mind, that she understood he had to go and be with his family, but he could see in her eyes that she wished she could be by his side.

In the Green Apple Village you could see snow and that was what he loved most about the place. Their ancestral home, a sprawling mansion in the centre of the city near the Singapore Embassy was something he could just live in, but not really feel at ease, at home. He remembered walking past the Embassy all the time as a young boy, and wondering what’s it like on the other side. Now, he was on the other side, and somehow, not knowing how he got there, he was there.

Who would have thought how it would all turn out, that his parents would have turned him out, because he chose her, he chose love – they both chose love over rationality, over practicality – it was the days of the 70s where free will, peace, and love was the mantra of the days.

And later, having no money of their own, but deliriously happy with each other; she went with him to live in the village – this village. Ironically, he had to go back to Singapore to work, and it seemed that the work practically took over his life. Although it was not difficult to make a living in Singapore, he always missed her so, so much that each day was unbearable. He always counted down the days to Christmas, when their office would shut down on the Eve, and reopen again in January.

Each time he made the journey back, she had dressed up, wearing the earrings he had given her on their first anniversary, cooking his favorite ayam goreng, and sambal vegetable leaves. She would always say the same thing in halting words, when she opened the door to him - words that were not of her mother tongue, words she learnt because she loved him.

“Frank, bagaimana mempunyai anda ialah?
Saya sudah sangat merindukan anda, cintaku.”

I miss you too, I miss you too… Frank whispered in his heart.
He was always too overwhelmed for words to say anything back in return, just hold her close to him and feel her warmth emanating, embracing him and time stood still. He knew he would have to be gone again all too soon, and hated that, hated himself, hated everything for turning out this way. He missed her too, he missed her so much.

Later, Christmas time – the time he looked forward to all year round, was too painful for him to continue staying in the Green Apple Village.

Coming back to the Village made him remember too many things, almost as if he could feel his heart splitting in two.

Losing her meant he could never love another, again.

Again, he had nowhere else in the country to go. Being in boarding schools for most of his life, he could never call Jakarta his home. So he always found himself going back to the place where he spent most of his life in, Singapore. Although the Singapore of today was much changed, he still found solace in his old friends, especially with Chester and Coral. Talking to their son, Christopher, had warmed up his heart, because Chris was so much like him. Young, raring to go, and always full of energy, and a perfect match for Natalia. Although they were still too young to think of something more serious.

I could remember being young, too, Frank thought to himself. Was it really, so long ago?

(to be continued)

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'll be home for Christmas

Am privileged to see snow this year january, in Japan, for the first time in my life I saw snow! All the more privileged because it wasn't supposed to snow then. This is from the tatami guesthouse at Lake Kawaguchi. Mt Fuji's supposed to be in the backdrop but due to the heavy snow flurries, we couldn't see it from the window. Still, a pictureseque sight, no?

I feel happy drawing smiley faces on Christmas cookies... quite flattered when Clone's husband thought the cookies are from Famous Amos. Hee... it's nice to provide food like my usual yearly marshmallows... somehow spending hours cooking chocolately stuff just makes me feel so happy.

Mr BestFriend is overseas.

He says he'll be home for christmas. *soft sigh*

Although how much of that time I can actually spend with him, remains to be seen.

It's strange how my brain, the memory storage outlet, can remember certain things more vividly than others. I remembered last year at the same time on friday, we were supposed to meet, and go to church for the special presentation, but he couldn't make it due to the high-profile work, so we went on saturday instead, the saturday which was exactly one year ago.
And this year, LIKE last year, he also asked me... "Rach, what do you want for christmas?" *happy that he asked* Which I said the same thing as last year too , haha, couldn't resist hearing his response and imagining what his expression would be like!! (We were on the phone.)

Maybe here, I should explain why this friendship means so much to me. During certain points of times in your lives, you make friends that will be around for a lifetime. Maybe on and off you guys cease to meet, but each time you find the time to meet up, you both pick up from where you've left off. And... you know that they are the kind of people you want in your life. Always concerned enough to meet you late at night for supper or pray with you on the phone until you are soothed, etc... You know they'll won't miss your wedding for the world, you'll know you want them to be at the hospital to witness the birth of your child, sans makeup; and they'll always compliment your cooking, always check to see if you're alright, always be there.
Because of all the bad decisions and emotional downturns I've been through just the past year, I was reluctant to again share my life with other guys I did not know, knowing that deep down inside, those kinda guys are only around for a seasonal period, and then after they have departed, you find that you can't really remember them or even recall why were you so close to them in the first place. Right.
But because we have experienced similar yet different stuff at the same time, we found that we could comprehend and begin to make sense of what happened, and moving forward.
I know that some people find it difficult to encourage others, IE, how can I encourage others in relationship-matters when mine has also recently failed? How can I encourage someone in my work when mine seems to be going downhill/nowhere...etc. So truly I am doubly, triply more touched that MrBestFriend put his own needs aside and just talked to me on the phone even at times when I couldn't talk. At first, I was reticent to accept him in my life again. We were close about 5 years ago, but we both knew the reasons why we just had to drift apart. And now, I was fearing the same thing, one day we would drift apart for basically the same reasons. Some might call it the same mistake, but it is in different contexts... ... But because of his sincerity and devotion to our renewed friendship, I was bowled over, and I can truly happily say I'm glad that he self-called himself my best friend, because, he really is.
So when we don't get to meet recently I am cranky and frustrated... it's like missing a star team player. It's nice to know he misses me, too. But it's even more nice to know if in the future things can be like they were last year! The economy seems to drive people apart. I don't want to live in a place where people are all living so close to each other but we never seem able to meet. I hope it's only temporary. I hate the irony... that only when something is taken away from you, then you wonder if you had done your best by him, that you have been worthy, that you regretted complaining about his irritating parts, and now he's not here all those little irritations seem inconsequential and it becomes a distant memory? I'm brutally honest and MrBestFriend knows that he does, irritate me at times, especially when he keeps harping on topics which is just not in my interest. Although now, I'd be willingly to listen to him talk, about anything...

I made a christmas wish. I wished that, I could just spend one day with him. I would be happy if this christmas wish comes true.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

happy cruise

I seem to be taking photos with ships lately... It must be A SIGN.

Heh...European styled lunching on the lower deck. I got a bit tanned.

This one...those who were watching us take the photograph were howling in laughter, because at first I was pointing my hands upwards, only at the last moment changing it to a 'v good sign' and the funny-looking guy on the left was rolling his humongous eyes upwards at the people, I guess...

I like this one! Once again, you won't think this is Msia...

I think we were all wearing 'light' colors... maybe we should be 'bright' instead of 'light', hee.

Kie's gang... I took this photo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

When love can't wait

Learning to love someone means you first have to learn to forgive them,
over, and over again
The human heart is frailer than we expect;
It bleeds with a misplaced word or a harsh look
Yet deep in our hearts we find the propensity
To forgive, when it hurts the most
To try again, where hope seems futile
To reach out to help someone else
When inside, we are suffering.

I've realized, that although we have both guarded our hearts towards each other,
we share about our lives
My human heart is foolish, I didn't expect
That I wuold memorize the care we've shared
And deep in my heart I find the capacity
To smile with my eyes, only at you
To enjoy the countless moments
You're one of the most important people in my life
I wish you will be here, always, by my side.

(wrote this at the 315 bus stop.)

Have you forgotten me?
Sometimes I think you have.
I would like to forget you, too.
When I was depressed because I did not learn to embrace my emotions, I was sad.
In the year that followed, I believe I did learn to identify and release my emotions with courage; and care for others - you were the first one I could care about.
That's why you are important.
I was at Orchard Road yesterday with Kie and Dree.
I was singing christmas songs to myself because I had to sing, for the christmas party.
It's my first public singing after the traumatic year.
I had a sudden realization of how I came to this stage where I could even dare to sing.
It's because of your encouragement, the times we walked along Adam Road to Orchard Road
I was always afraid to sing, only daring to sing one line...or two.
But now I dare to sing, a lot, because... ...
And that memory suddenly stirred up in me,
And there was no more Kie and Dree (how lame! it rhymes)
Have you forgotten me?
But I still remember you.

Talking to various ones in our group made me realize that hey, everyone has their own bittersweet memories about the past loves - bitter because they are already 'ex-es' but sweet because it reminds them of how they used to love another; though the reasons for them being 'ex-es', some reasons may be more poignant and others a matter of inconvienience, the ones around me are scared like me too, to forget to guard their hearts, to somehow fall, again...why are they scared to love? Why are they scared to find someone else? I can see it in their eyes.

Yet I can also see in their eyes that they want to, have a happy ending, like everyone else.

Gardening with Uncle Sam

This is Dad.

I'm quite proud of this video! Glad that I can showcase Dad's plants.
Also, I edited the video myself. From not even knowing how to use a Mac, and I have not learnt the software at all, it usually is done with people having diplomas in multimedia... Happy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When is too much, too much?

Was sick on Sunday. Went out (here,guess where?) on Monday. Fell sick again... now still sick *moans*

photo courtesy of

Work is getting a bit overboard and being sickly with a maddening cough doesn't help. I've tried not to complain but yesterday I gave in and moaned on the phone to Kie. (actually Lilo said 'moaning' sounded wrong, but well...)

Once again, I remind myself that I'm actually the easy-going type and am not aiming to climb any corporate ladder, so even if the-worse-case scenario happens, i.e. jobless, either by circumstance or by choice,

My beef lagsagna with my new haircut...

New neighbor. I gave him my parsley, an act of noble sacrifice...soon, the rest also gave theirs to him... so this is his appetizer...PS: I think he's a great chap! Younger girls may apply (below 26) I will give you his number!

And my dearest stalwart of fortitude (on the right) PS: He is a great chap too! Around my age and my age girls may apply... easygoing, sweet and nice ladies. You must be able to be friends with me too, if not, you're out. Hahaha!
Actually with the stress levels I'm facing now, I think I will relish it!
I was thinking to myself while shopping for christmas cards (my yearly must-buy item), those retail assistants seem to really enjoy and take ownership of their work-the nice fillipino assistants. I went into Prints to buy a box, and from the time I stepped in to the time I walked out, I was greeted by ALL the staff in such a friendly manner! While shopping (because I am always doing targeted shopping), I generally prefer the assistant to point out what I want to me, state the price, and I will spend about 5-10 minutes max in the store. I was thinking that I actually don't mind being in a 'low-level' job like a waitress, or a shop staff. I'm sure they also have degrees, and they have such pride and joy in their work!

I met Larry today.

Sometimes, in life, you meet people that just leave such a nice impact on you that your mood is somehow uplifted. True enough, though I was coughingly sick, he made me cheer up. Larry is the taxt driver who sent me home. Speaking impeccable English, the old-school type that I'm used to hearing all my father's friends speak, and greeting me 'good evening madam', such a cheery breeze from all the usual rude drivers who don't know the roads... Larry shared that he used to man 300 security personnel until one day he realized that he couldn't go to work with a good attitude and thus, quit. He has only been driving for a month. He told me to be happy wherever I go, that I should just enjoy life, not worry about work. I guess I want to share in that perspective too. Like what Kie and I shared about, there are some people we just love to be around, and some that are just not fun to be around with. Maybe they always seem pensive, so much so that they also steal our joy. Larry shared that he's a single father who got custody of his child (now 16) and he remained single after his divorce 10 years earlier. He seems like a affable, wonderful chap who has such a positive attitude on everything that I can't help but to be refreshed during the ride home, and was almost sorry it had to end so soon.

Seeing so many people each week and month, I began to reflect on whether I had been showcasing a positive attitude too, despite the circumstances. I hope I did, somehow. I've been reflecting on my actions lately, and I seem to have always chosen the easier path - self-gratifying, quitting on myself, and even ending friendships with others because I did not want to face up to reality. I am inspired after reading this book about a couple's true life story -one of their books is the famous 'When God writes your Love story' but I read the 'prequel'- really keeping yourself pure for your future spouse, not just bodily pure, but keeping in mind your thoughts about other guys, about the future, and praying for your husband everyday even though you have not met him yet.

Sometimes I'm too extreme, I just - want to be different, or maybe that's a certain pride in knowing or wanting to be different. Being too free-spirited, I also get bored easily and take for granted many things in life. But in this area, I'm rather traditionalist in my thinking. I want to cook(bake: I haven't learnt how to cook yet) and clean(ironing is therapeutic) for my husband (provided I don't have a high level, stress job), to make cute things with love, and hopefully have the option to stay-at-home when the kids are at the crucial age to bombard them with intense learning flash cards. I just wish that I won't meet him too late, or we won't realize too late that we have each other. Sometimes I feel that time is running out. I am reminded that when I am young I prayed for my husband as all good christian girls were taught too. It's time to pick up where I've left off.

Jelly has shared with me his fears, too. He is of the personality similar to many church guys - stable, solid, godly, 'never been kissed', haha...these guys are of a godly character and serving but somehow it seems they remain single, maybe they have too high expectations or are not able to relate to the fairer species...being 24, graduating soon, and not having a girlfriend before, Jelly is afraid he would just fall into this category, of whom we do know a few in their late 20s. Being friends with a few of them, I know that they do share this concern too... is it too late to find a girl, or find someone whom they will fall in love with and the girl will love them too? I think I shall not underestimate their capacity to love, and I pray that they will have a happy ending...after all, that's what makes a wedding so beautiful and romantic because it is celebrating love between two people who otherwise have nothing in common.

I'm just cheered today after long months of unhappiness because Larry the taxi driver shared with me his positive optimism...I need to be a woman of prayer, reflecting on things when sickly, helps me to be a better person, I think.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A birthday card

Before meeting some of the gang today, I went a-shopping for a birthday card. I think this is the first time this year I wanted to buy a birthday card! Both Kie and Architect told me to make one, but seeing the 'doomed' state of my last handmade card never reaching its recipient, I was hesitant at spending so much time on the birthday card, only to see it reaching the same fate.

But I couldn't find a suitable one, all those for sale seemed to be too kiddish or else, too wordy, filled with words that were too meaningful, that seemed too much - when all I wanted to say couldn't be summed up in a simple birthday card. How do I say that I've missed you without being too mushy or oversentimental, how do I say it in a way without making you feel bad and saying that I do understand, I somehow understand: how your work is, how your situation is, and how you are like, and how it has to end, but...I still feel a little bit sad, a wee bit, when you are not there to share the times of laughing, the times of bantering we have in the group, when you are not there to meet the new guys, to like them, to find them interesting and fascinating the way I do?

And do you think it is stupid, the way I hold on to those happy moments, and the way the happy moments make me feel sad? In many ways I am becoming more like you, just that I feel that this is not the way I want to live. It is too difficult.

I have asked myself for my true motives(to be close to you at the beginning), maybe I am insecure so I want a handsome guy by my side?

Maybe I just like the sound of your voice, singing the tacky 90s love songs?

Maybe 'you gave me, something' that Kie, Architect, Jelly, etc could not? A deeper friendship? Maybe I needed a movie buddy? Maybe just someone to talk to on the phone? Maybe someone to help me forget the pain? Maybe!


When I quiz myself on all these (actually why am I quizing myself, I am clueless, it is just 'the curse of a thinker woman')...

I always come to the same conclusion. And I'm afraid, afraid that this is just a pipe dream, a passing cloud, a vapor in the wind. Right now I always keep you in prayer. When it's raining I always wonder whether you are in the jungle shivering. When I'm overworked I wonder if you are more overworked and overwrought than me. And I am scared that it's the beginning of the end.

I have not bought the birthday card yet. =( Maybe there will be no birthday card...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

on doulos

Took it from the side of the mall

Jelly and I were catching up after his exams at vivocity this week. We found out that 'The Doulos', a christian ship, was port-of-call on Singapore for this (last) week.

Though when we discovered the was already closed for the day.
So we went to Vivocity again on Friday! To visit the ship.

Being from christian families we both had fond memories of this ship -it is a ship that sells christian books which were very valuable to some ports where books like these are not readily available. We had both visited the ship as kids, and as kids, you'd definitely be excited to go onboard a ship!

I was beaming mischievously... because my 'itchy hands' couldn't resist making a heart-shape. Haha! I copied this action from some Korean show... Chase away all his young girl fans with my itchy hands. For the record, I don't like younger too bad.

I was trying to look like Frosty

On the foyer of Vivocity...

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Spiritedly is dreaming up gingerbread men and heart shaped choux dipped in fudge.

Baked some organic cookies - oatbran and nuts yesterday. They still smell great... one of the perks of baking is that the smell lingers on in your dreams, if you happen not to change clothes. Haha!

Well I only have the mood for baking/creating stuff like chocolate fudgey marshmallows during Christmastime. Somehow, it's the season. But due to the china embargo on lots of products, I can't find most of the ingredients I need or prefer, thereby sticking to ready-made or organic products. Heck, I can't even find good chocolate to make the fudge... No fudge no fun.

I was working today with an acquaintance from The Church - he is in the same field as Zero - after the project, he shared to me over Mos iced milk tea, some parts about his life that made me feel...WOW, everyone has some sad event or story in their life, too. He is a handsome guy, model, and looks fresh-faced, like hardly anything difficult has gone his way. But he stopped schooling and signed on in the army to pay for his family's Hdb after his dad went bankrupt, and now, is approaching the 10th year of being a regular. He said that he had to pay 1K a month, every month... wow, I thought that if I had to face such turmoils and debts, it would definitely overwhelm me. He also paid for his younger brothers' education...

Sigh! What a man! Where can I find this kind of man!

He said that throughout his life, he had many 'opportunities' to be depressed, and this was one of them, but he pulled through eventually. I think that if I feel that I will ever slip into the danger mode of being depressed again, Signaler's story will actually help to shape my thinking.

Am grateful to have met him, meeting so many people in my work has helped me to shape my perspective on life. Sometimes, I meet people who are... @#$%!%... truly, the only want to use you to their own advantage, or are too...overbearing, or their scheming and conniving mentality just disappoints you.

But meeting people like Signaler always brightens me up. I think there is no clear answer to why some people turn out the way they do. Why some people remember the past with fear and bitterness, why others can seemingly forget and see the past as a happy experience, on the whole.

I guess along the way I've met so many people with such a positive attitude despite their shortcomings and unhappy experiences that I've learnt to be more magnanimous.

I think that there is no point to be upset, or angry at anyone for a prolonged period of time, no matter what they have done or how much hurt they have caused you. It's not easy to go through the tough times but I hope I can withstand it, and remain positive, when tougher times come.

Monday, December 01, 2008

it's december

It's december.
this month,
last year.

is futile
we tend to dwell on past events
when we were happier
when life was better
when we believed love was lasting
the christmas decorations
(along orchard road)
were not so hideous, too...