Sunday, 28th January '07


I believe everyone should life their voices and yodel out a song like this every once in a while.
I believe it'll do our spirits a lot of good.

-- Savage Garden

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

I believe in karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe you can't control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe in karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

I believe in karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

I believe in karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can't appreciate real love 'til you've been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don't know what you've got until you say goodbye

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:01 pm
[2 photographs developed.]

Wednesday, 24th January '07

There Are Only So Many Superpowers to Choose From

Been watching a good bit of the new NBC drama "Heroes" of late. Thrilling stuff, but right now only 12 episodes are out, so I'm in for a bit of a wait. It's basically "Lost" meets "X-Men", and currently better than the former simply because it hasn't gotten itself tangled up in its own smartness. As of yet. And excellent ensemble cast, of course. I love it, but I'm not here to wax lyrical about how great the production of the show is.

As always, it's more fun to write about what I DON'T like about it, which is the rehashing of the old "there are some humans who have evolved more than others" storyline. It's almost TOO X-Men like, and therefore not as exciting a premise as it was in the 70s. Another problem (or observation) with the whole "superpower" shebang, I realize, it that the human species is severely limited by its imagination. Even if we COULD evolve into flying, telekenetic, time stopping, spotaneously regenerating beings, we'd just sort of end there because we couldn't think of better things to do. As for the case on point, here's every "Hero" through the eyes of an X-Men fan:

1. Claire Bennet
High school cheerleader ("save the cheerleader, save the world!") with gift of spontaneous regeneration. This essentially means if you hurt her, she'll just heal instantly. In more colloquial lingo, she's a bit of a lao3 bu4 si3 type. Where we've seen the type before: Wolverine. Need you even ask? Just take away the whole adamantium skeleton and general hairiness.

2. D.L. Hawkins
Ex-mob crony who (so you are led to believe until about episode 9) steals money from a faceless, scary sounding kingpin. Said kingpin is incensed, so D.L. has to flee from him and the police at the same time. Said kingpin is therefore also fond of harrassing D.L.'s son and wife. D.L.'s powers are of the "can walk through walls" variety. Also very useful in "dodging" bullets that wife (when she's not herself, see below) fires at him. Where we've seen the type before: Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowcat. A more African-American and significantly less dainty version, though.

3. Niki Sanders
Wife of D.L. left to look after their son and pay the bills by conducting 39-bucks-an-hour stripping sessions on an Internet website. Literally, one hot mama. Don't piss her off because she morphs into an alter ego of her dead twin sister and usually ends up rending her offender limb from limb. Usually then wakes up back as herself, totally not in control of what happened and sitting in a pool of someone else's blood. Where we've seen the type before: Jean Gray / Phoenix. Minus the flying and the telekinesis.

4. Micah Sanders
Son of Niki and D.L., revealed to be something of a child prodigy who can fix electronics (or perhaps communicate with them?) by laying a glowing hand on the thing. Amazingly, I cannot think of an X-Men who does this.

5. Hiro Nakamura
Incredibly cutsey, pudgy Japanese office worker who can mess around with the space-time continuum. With varying degrees of success, since he can't quite control where he lands up. Where we've seen the type before: Blink (she's a very old, non-movie appearing member of the X-Men who creates teleportic portals), Sway (another obscure X-er who can manipulate time and used it to catch her parents' murderers) and Tempo (mutant terrorist version of Sway). And if you must, the second Charmed One, Piper.

6. Matt Parkman
Born-loser type cop who really wasn't headed anywhere in his career until he started being able to hear people's thoughts. I say born-loser because most of what happens to him really isn't his fault - wife sleeps with another man, he can't pass the detective exam because he's dyslexic, that sort of thing. Where we've seen the type before: Professor X, for starters. If you really want to, I'm sure you can list a plethora of mind-reading superheroes/villans too. Emma Frost, Chamber, Sage etc etc.

7. Nathan Petrelli
Cocky bastard of a congressman candidate whose discovery of his powers of flight happened at a very inopportune moment. That is, when he was driving a convertible with his wife in it and an angry civillian tried to run them off the road. He just sort of floated up into the air, leaving the car to swerve around with his horrified wife in it. Wife is now paraplegic, he is guilt-ridden, and hence decides to deal with this guilt by sleeping with Niki (who was in alter ego mode). Also sells out his brother, Peter, to look good for the press. Such a charming character, this Nathan. Where we've seen the type before: Superman, duh. And also a motherlot of the better known X-ers, even if they have to manipulate other matter to get there: Storm, Magneto, Archangel etc.

8. Peter Petrelli
End-of-life care nurse by day, vivid dreamer by night. Mostly he seems to dream about flying and his brother seems to appear in the dream somewhere. Decides to prove to Nathan he can fly (because Nathan is afraid flying will spoil his election campaign, and hence doesn't tell a soul about his ability) and actually does. Thing is, when Nathan's not there, Peter can't fly either. And when Peter hangs around Isaac Mendez, he can draw stick figures showing the future. And when Peter hangs around Claire, he's virtually indestructable. Where we've seen the type before: Rogue. But Peter has a much sweeter deal - he's not going to inevitably suck the life out of anyone he touches. Makes for a lot less angsty character too.

9. Issac Mendez
Heroin junkie painter. The artsy fartsy sort that lives in a secluded loft and has easels and other painting paraphenallia scattered about with abandon. When he shoots up, so does his crystal ball and his eyes glaze over so they're all white, and he paints the future. In particular, big-ass disasters like the nuclear bomb-induced end of the world scenes, cheerleaders dying, terrorist attacks, derailed trains and the like. Where we've seen the type before: Destiny. Less well-known X-Men villian, lesbian lover of Mystique, and who has those glazed over eyes too. She's blind, by the way, but is an excellent archer because she can point in a direction and see the future as to where the arrow's gonna end up.

10. Eden McKane
Small character with the power of suggestion or persuasion, depending on how you look at it. But whatever it is, she can make you do whatever she wants. Where we've seen the type before: Gambit. Aside from charging playing cards with kinetic energy, Gambit's little known (and probably more lethal power) is his ability to hypnotically charm anyone into doing things. Doesn't use it often, though, since his Cajun coolness usually already gets people swooning. Now why did you think he's every girl's favourite X-er?

Ok, that's enough for now. You get the idea. We're re-using too many superpowers. That said, I want telekinesis. I'm old school.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:37 pm
[6 photographs developed.]

Tuesday, 16th January '07

A Damsel in Distress is Crying for Help

So. I'm in something of a mammoth bad mood right now, and still with only a vague idea of why. I can sort of put my finger on the triggering event, but I'm still not even entirely sure why. I just get scream-worthily frustrated when good people use inexperience and present circumstances as an easy way to conclude a lower emotional quotient or be devastatingly psychologically unavailability. Or a possible early, untowed death.

Thanks Kai, for spending half a day with me. I didn't vent to you today, but you kept me busy where I would otherwise be spent brooding on my upset feelings. Maybe you're the reason I haven't yet cried today. This occured to me on the way home, and now I'm thinking maybe if I did it would at least work like the steam vent in the pressure cooker.

Maybe it's all just PMS. Goodness knows it should be about time.

Anyway, I prayed on the train ride home. It's one of those rare occasions I see a problem big enough for Him to get involved in. While raised on the "no problem is too small for God" doctrines, I hardly believe I can trouble Him with my petty affairs when Johor is flooding and there are still nuclear missiles in North Korea. It's not that I don't KNOW I can do it, it's that I don't BELIEVE it's the right thing to do, and therefore I don't do it sincerely. But I digress. The point is, that He gave me an immediate answer and I felt a whole lot better. For all of about 15 minutes.

The problem with a nagging worry of this all-pervading nature is just that. It's nagging and all-pervading, once the thought's been put in your head. Perhaps "permanantly implanted in your cranium" is a better way to express it - has more of that sense of foreboding. And much as I would like to champion my (slightly unorthodox) Christian faith, I see it to be extremely unproductive to drop everything and pray whenever some specific worry under the heading of this general genre of problem creeps up. Which, mark my words, is somewhat often, these past days.

The thing is, I don't like worrying about this. I don't even like ADMITTING to worrying about this; hence you don't see me telling you what this is all about here. As usual, all you need to know is that once I'm done venting, no one will see me express a hint of this anxiety in a physical form. Because it's stupid enough to need to spend effort hiding, and I really don't see what you can do to help anyway. All best that things go on as they are, really.

But everytime I think I can sweep it under the carpet of my skin, there it is again, staring me in the face. It's on the bus, on MSN, on newstands and on the streets. It's a disease designed to tear away at the soul of an otherwise healthy and normal me. So now I give way to melodrama. And every time I'm at the verge of this, something deep inside tells me to screw it all. Because, well, in the words of the Scissor Sisters, you're filthy and I'm gorgeous. Muahaha. Or as Spandau Ballet's wise words constantly remind me, "You are Gold. You have the power to know, you're indestructable." So then I go back to existing all nice and dandy for the next half an hour. Until I get reminded of the what I should be worrying about and the hunger and pain rushes in again to keep me company.

It's times like this I want a sibling so very much. Older would be very helpful. If not to talk to, then only to sleep in the same room with me at night so I don't have to be alone with my thoughts.

Oh, such a damsel in distress am I, sitting here in the quiet dark, waiting for daylight to start climbing the walls. Will somebody come rescue me? You will be rewarded in ways better than you can ever imagine. I guarantee it.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:25 am
[7 photographs developed.]

Saturday, 13th January '07

My Give-A-Damn's Busted

Who ever knew I'd find identity with the country music lyrics the new job has me proofreading? But I'm so feeling this song right now:

My Give-A-Damn's Busted
- Jo Dee Messina

Well you filled up my head with so many lies
You twisted my heart till something snapped inside
I'd like to give it one more try
But my give-a-damn's busted

You can crawl back home say you were wrong
Stand out in the yard and cry all night long
Go ahead and water the lawn
My give-a-damn's busted

I really wanna care
I wanna feel somethin'
Let me dig a little deeper
No sorry

You can say you've got issues you can say you're a victim
It's all your parent's fault I mean after all you didn't pick 'em
Maybe somebody else has got time to listen
My give-a-damn's busted

Well your therapist says it was all a mistake
A product of the Prozac and your co-dependent ways
So who's your enabler these days?
My give-a-damn's busted

I really wanna care
I wanna feel somethin'
Let me dig a little deeper
Still nothin'

It's a desperate situation no tellin' what you'll do
If I don't forgive you you say your life is through
Come on give me somethin' I can use
My give-a-damn's busted

Well I really wanna care
I wanna feel somethin'
Let me dig a little deeper
Nah man sorry
Just nothin'
You've really done it this time haha
My give-a-damn's busted

Ooh, busted, YEAH. rolls eyes

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:03 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Sunday, 7th January '07

Well, Boo.

I am surprisingly annoyed by the outcome of the LIV-ARSL FA Cup match. Why I should be annoyed when I predicted this sort of result anyway is beyond me. Maybe I at least expected Liverpool to go down fighting. *Shrug*

It just pains me when a perfectly decent team has a WONDERFUL stadium full of psychotically enthusiastic fans wearing their hearts proudly on their sleeves, scarves, hats and jerseys, and the team for whom all this is going on for just does dumb-dumb stuff to throw it all away. So it's really not about who wins and who loses, it's all about HOW you win and lose.

Since I'm generally the unintelligent, girly Gerrard-shipper, we'll start there. Objectively speaking, blah. Revelling in the glory of the recently awarded MBE does quite little for him really - and we shall not go into the question of whether an award of chivalry should rightly be awarded for something like the footy - though the quaint bow to the fans after scoring the second goal against what'sitcalled? on New Year's was somewhat amusing. Still, the MBE didn't seem to inspire him or his teammates a whole lot tonight.

Neither were the general hereos of the team any better. Except for the double-header by Crouch-Kuyt, blah too. Alonso was absurdly ineffective, Agger rather vague and unconvincing, and Carragher should be taken out and SHOT. Credit though, to Luis Garcia and Pennant for playing their backsides off. You already know I have no sound basis on which to critique anybody's play (except for the occasional "Dammit even I could have scored that"), but seriously only Garcia, Pennant and Kuyt played anything worth the price of a ticket and all that fan singing.

I almost felt bad for the fans when they gave their usual stirring rendition of the "You'll Never Walk Alone" theme. It was pretty much a case of "WHAT ARE YOU SINGING FOR? THE TEAM DIDN'T EVEN GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY'S WORTH!" And those Tiger FC ads that played at half time - the ones with the ranting coaches? - Liverpool sure deserved to be screamed at.

Heck, the whole run down of the match looked like a bought game. Which is in itself somewhat offensive, but like I said I care very little for ultimate outcomes. Again I was upset by how the whole thing seemed set up to disapppoint the fans, the very people that keep the EPL industry alive. The referee was about as kayu as they come - twice he gave Alonso grief for "diving", when he was OBVIOUSLY tripped by Circhy and kneed in the back by Henry. He failed to give any penalties when Kuyt is shirt-grabbed and thown down by Henry, and he missed about half a dozen other card situations.

Worse, I have nagging suspicions about bought Liverpool players - especially that magnificently moronic challenge of Henry by Carragher at the end. My proverbial grandmother could have done better than that. And don't get me started on the question of WHY Benitez made a grand laughing total of ONE substitution; you could see Bellamy buzzing like neon at the bench just waiting to get in there. Benitez was probably drunk too.

I was also vaguely disappointed that there was no show of brilliance from Arsenal despite the many fans I know who love it so. I'll give Rosicky props, but attribute the unexpected double score to Liverpool's pansy-assed defence. (And when I saw it was Gerrard right in front of Rosicky at the second goal, I could have slapped Stevie G around with a large trout, I care not if it ruins his pretty boy looks or not.) And Arsenal was a lot less sporting than I would have expected them to be, reckless challenges and all, it just didn't make them seem worth all the loyalty their fans carry around.

It was all round just a BAD EVENT. Everybody sucked. And to think I actually stayed up to watch this mess.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 03:01 am
[6 photographs developed.]

Wednesday, 3rd January '07

Now Here's a Thought

Ha. So much for my search for unusual jobs. I have stumbled across the perfect jobs, and I started work on a tentative tryout basis today. Working from home and working online, I have to get Paypal figured out soon enough, and I hope the service fees and currency conversion rates aren't going to end up eating all my revenue.

I'm not going to go into the specifics of the jobs, lest some copycat bored university student get bright ideas about wrecking my pending rice bowls.

Job 1 is about as cushy a deal as one can get. Perhaps it's not suited for just anyone, but it's insanely En Ying-ish, the joy! It's a job for a US-based Karaoke Database, and the job involves listening to popular English music and transcribing the song lyrics. Actually, it's even simpler than that - the vast majority of the songs they have have already been transcribed - they just need someone to edit the spelling, grammar and punctuation, and make sure that the lyrics they have on an existing reference file match exactly the lead vocals, cutting out all the adlibbing and backup vocals. US$1 per song title, and given the extensive lyric database already in my head, I average about 1 song every 5 minutes. So I've done a trial run of 5 songs and they already include the likes of Bryan Adams "Back to You" and Aerosmith's "Pink".

Oh and the absolute best part of the gig (aside from its free and easy nature), is the FREE MP3S. For the first time I am getting legally downloaded MP3s GIVEN to me as part of a paid job. Getting paid to listen to free music that I get to keep thereafter - now that's a sweet deal.

Job 2. I finally got off my ass and learnt how to make money off something else that I'm already doing. Blogging. I'm not a Xiaxue just yet, but I must say she inspired this idea. The long and short of this gig is that I will write short articles for travellers to Singapore - anything from tourist attractions to restaurant and nightspot reviews and political commentary. Google AdSense monetizes the hits and I get paid. I'm currently operating on the assumption that no one will want to read my ramblings, though, so it's all just in fun for now. Just a "let's see where we go from here". If nothing else, I'll figure out how to apply AdSense to my own blog, maybe. In any case, I submitted a couple of applications last night, like I said, and I got selected for one already! *big grin*. Details later, once I accept the offer and the guy sets up the blog for me. So, anyone got an interesting location you want me to review or a good story to tell or a gig to publicize? I'm actually kinda excited about this even if in the end I get no money for it - it's like a small gig in lifestyle reporting - the kind of shindig I'd like to get into if I weren't already going to be a money grubbing lawyer. I'll be giving out the link and asking you guys to click on it voraciously once it's up. big grin

Here's me also waving frantically at potential organisers of cool events and such - invite me. Give me free things! Bloody hell, who's going to do that just yet? Hahahaha.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 02:36 pm
[3 photographs developed.]


It has come to my attention that I haven't done a 2006 recap yet. Or even blogged, really, in a long while. Blame the holidays; when there are much better things to do, even if it's just sleeping in the mornings, it's going to be harder to get off one's ass and blog.

In recent updates, thanks for the phone conversations Babs, it really worked wonders. I don't know why I'd been feeling a bit off balance and talking to you put things in a little more perspective. In other news, I did not end up with a PADI licence because of gastroenteritis, bad weather and a recent shark attack that no one seems have heard about except my father. Pfft. I also did not end up learning to play the drums. What I HAVE done is caught up on sleep, been involved in the needless consumption of a lot of more turkeys than necessary, toffee nut latte-d myself sick, and watched reruns of Roswell. Very productive, I know.

Oh, and I applied for a couple of paid blogging jobs. Right up my alley, I know. They select bloggers from all over the world though, so I've no idea what the chances are of getting picked. I'd really be stoked to get the job if I do though, especially the one about blogging about Singapore. With all the tourguiding I've been doing for all the visitors over the last half a year, I'm rapidly storing up information on all the touristy and non-touristy exciting things to do around here with no avenue to bleat it all out to. And of course, blogging about Singapore on a personal website would be a bit superfluous, seeing as the readership of funnyfishcakes is mostly Singaporean anyway.

But back to what I really wanted to do, which is to do something to tie up 2006 nicely. As in the immortal words of the song: "it was a very good year". A lot of firsts got chalked up, I think, now that I look back on it. They may have been trivial, but I suppose important to self-growth in their own way. New interests developed, new friends made. A small list, perhaps, should ensue on the interesting highlights of the year:

1. First New Year's in New York City. Was Times Square all it was cracked up to be? I wouldn't know, we never made it there. We did, however, make it to about 10 blocks from the main party, enough to scream at the ball dropping (though we didn't see it), and jostle with the drunken, psychotic crowd. We took photos with firemen on duty, climbed fences and ran after the mounted police. We had sangria in a restaurant to celebrate thereafter, and the next morning we had Qiong admitted to hospital, dehydrated and in need of two bags of normal saline. I wouldn't call it a mad party (though some would), but I would call it an adventure with the 401 gang I'd remember for a long time. *sniff* Good times.

2. First Chinese New Year away from home, and until then I never realised what an important holiday it was to me. If the angmohs get cut up over missing their family at Christmas, CNY for me is the big family holiday. That having been said, Auntie Lilian makes an awesome low hei - seriously it was some of the best I ever had. And cooking for the angmohs on chuyi, with the setting off of the fire alarm and the fire brigade tearing down to the YMCA - can't say anything like that would have ever happened if I had been home in Singapore.

3. First time snowboarding! The most exhilarating new skill I picked up since learning to skate. There's a sense of freedom and reckless abandonment I get when whizzing down a hill, and I'm so thankful that by the end of 2 sessions a simple run could be completed without wiping out. Without a doubt my favourite achievement of 2006.

4. First time skating on an outdoor rink. A big over-anticipated thing for me, of course, being the skating nut / winter bunny I am. Though I admit the experience was quite overrated, possibly because I am NOT living in a romantic Christmas comedy like Love Actually or Seredipity. One realises that ice skating in the snow really only reaches full whimsical force when you have occasion to slip and fall into a lover's (or at least potential lover's) arms, giggle and stare into each other's eyes as he helps you up. Said romanticism is not found, however, when you're skating with Mick and Jess, and you're the most adept skater so falling is really not an option, and there won't be anyone there to catch you if you did. In addition the ice is badly surfaced, the boots hurt, and your nose is running a marathon in the cold.

5. First experience with foreign health care. And by foreign I mean provided in FRENCH. Jess was totally my saviour; there was no way I would have been able to consent to treatment and give medical history all by my lonesome. This happened, by the way, on my first taste of frozen maple syrup on -34 degree weather, when the front tooth decided to unceremoniously detach and become embedded in the syrup. Much to amusement of travel companions David and Mick. Yes, it was potentially the most embarassing event of 2006 as well.

6. Speaking of which, the first half of 2006 was devoted to an interesting study of the male psyche. A few female companions were present, and I might have just DIED without Susann, but overall, it was all rather testosteroney. Yes, members of the female species, there is definitely precious little in there but sex, drugs and rock n' roll. I must also be one of the rare females who can end up in the company of 6-7 very attractive boys at a time, without actually being a hot chick. In fact, the way things usually go, I'm closer to pimp than anything else. Pity I get no money for my pains. But no, seriously, it was an eye-opening change of scene.

7. First time watching a Stars on Ice live. So so so awesome, and I'll remember everything about that day for a long time to come. Everything from wings and cider with Vicki to Kurt Brownings' leather (PVC?) pants. My hereos, all the performers.

8. 2006, also the year for a puberty-type mental growth and several meaningful discussions with various people on issues of love, life, lust, sex, pregnancy, marriage and how many of these must go together at any one time. Still a time for figuring one's value systems and as usual, I come to no conclusion that I can even successfully hold for even a day at a time, much less decide should be the right course of action for everyone in the world. Morality is relative, I think. But then that opinion will change by tomorrow.

9. In a silly girly way it might be a good juncture to note that this was the year of first non-platonic interactions with a couple of interesting catches. Being kissed by a tall, dark, handsome foreigner (yes, movie star hot) in a club is everything that it is cracked up to be and the stuff dreams are made of, and yet it is not - an irony-charged point that I'm glad I grasp the nuances of. A less sober person might not have done so, especially when the guy is as glib and charming (and did I say hot?) as scripted fairytale heroes come. Which is not to say that the heart does not go a-flutter and that it did not feel flattering to have a hand to hold and someone to carry my coat for a while. It just means that the heart flutters in a very informed and controlled manner, while the brain continues to function overtime - which only means to say I was simultaneously calculating the number of germs that can be passed mouth to mouth and wondering about brands of lip balm. Leave it to me to ruin a romantic experience, I know. But it's a story to brag to one's grandchildren about, assuming I ever get to do anything that could one day result in grandchildren.

10. First time as a little lost girl in New York. Think of the Home Alone kid, and you have me, totting 65kg of luggage around Newark trying to find my way home amidst cancelled flights and non-corresponding airlines. I was posessed by an indomitable (Tzo's words) sangfroid, but it was still a harrowing experience. Meeting the posse of Singaporean boys at the boarding gate was such a relief, I only knew ONE of them and not even remotely well, but somehow seeing locals with a connection to you had never felt so much of a relief. I remember one tried to help carry my luggage and I my hackles were already raised so high from having my alert up all day that I snapped back with a rather ungrateful "What the hell are you doing?". Sigh, for a moment I thought he was stealing my luggage. But never had I felt so much pride in my countrymen - the boys on the plane or just the awesome service of SIA's Executive Economy class. Electric sockets for the laptop, 10cm extra seat, constant feeding (you can even make special requests like instant mee), insanely polite stewards / stewardesses, and the full KrisWorld package. Instant balm for my frayed nerves.

11. First time with CABLE TV! All for the world cup experience, and for the first time I knew people in countries who actually had a vested interest in the outcome. For the first time there was actually a Singaporean Shamsul to cheer on, even if in the very unlikely capacity of a referee. And for the first time I actually found myself a fan of a footballer (albeit for entirely unintelligent, girly reasons) - England's Steven Gerrard - and having the tools with which to watch the matches I wanted to. This would also be the first time I had a bookie (Bookie Chew) set up shop in my living room and placing bets on everything from the final outcome to the player with the next yellow card.

12. First REAL JOB landed. Not a little show gig, not a little part time job, not a temporary internship, but real live job. One with a contract, CPF, benefits, gym membership, and career prospects. The sheer notion of tying my life to being a corporate drone is scary as hell, but what you gonna do?

13. First experience with the upper law school side of NUS, meaning getting to pick classes. They were every bit as gruelling as promised, Conflicts especially. Not that I didn't enjoy it while it lasted. Any degree of school has got to be infinitely better than work will be. Efforts to be friendly to exchange students don't go very well, I realise, potentially becasue they are not very interested in what ordinary Singaporeans do, and our varied interests do not line up so closely with their very singular ones (partypartyparty). Perhaps they find us boring, what with all this "mooncake festival" and "join us for mahjong?" nonsense.

14. First time with Limin to hang out with during the term time. As you know, she stuck around way to long wink, giving rise to certain problems. First time also witnessing the frighteningly Carrie-like qualities of Limin's tongue. When I received news of a certain couple's breakup within HOURS of her saying their union was not right, I felt like I should have been struck by lightning.

15. First Next Wave as a senior, with the attendant stresses. Many moments to remember, including the need to practice harder and not look like an idiot, car rides with Bryan and Dewi, my first ever time leading tech class alone (the stress!), getting chewed out by Zaki, the slutty costume which was oh-so-liberating, and the to-and-fro dashes with Mel. And the continual realisation that there's just so far to go.

16. Got closer to the law students as a batch too, with the doing of Law IV. Even Law IV aside some previous acquaintances have gotten closer, via MSN convos and Conflicts mugging, than before. It's nice.

Other Special Mentions

Bookwise it's not been much of a year, I've started and not finished way too many books, including 1984, The World is Flat, The Horse Whisperer. As far as new author discoveries go, Michael Conelly is a good but somehow not entirely satisfying mystery writer. But the combination of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (who collaborated to produce the smash hit "Freakonomics") is a joy to behold. Certainly my pick of the year, and the first non-fiction book I have ever found so thrilling and so palatably written that I could not put it down and finished it in a night and an afternoon.

Moviewise not that hot either, though Hard Candy was a precious gem. Most shows this year were pretty acceptable entertainment otherwise. Will be watching Borat tomorrow, probably censored beyond recognition thanks to the Singapore censorship board, but you make do with what you have. Will tell you how that goes.

Right. Now I have to sleep.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:57 am
[1 photograph developed.]