Saturday, 29th October '05

Pumpkin Parables

So I have decided to shove the International Law assignment for tonight. Is after all, a FRIDAY. Everyone's out and partying, so I consider I've been pretty decent in comparison.

Anyhow, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Haha, it's my first real halloween ever, and I'm pretty high now that I've had my first pumpkin carving experience! - I don't supposed skinning the pumpkin from PEI really counted. Did this one together with Emma and Tina, and we're pretty darned proud of how it turned out:

Good, eh? satisfied

Canada seems to have a lot of fun little holidays to celebrate... although Halloween took a slightly less-fun turn when Emma and I went a-hunting for costumes yesterday, only to discover that everything was exceedingly expensive. Boo.

But that's not going to rain on my pumpkin parade! Enjoy the following photoblog:





Tina and Emma with the pre-scarified pumpkin.





Me getting the strings and seeds out of the pumpkin. The insides of a pumpkin smell a surprising lot like persimmon.





The Dalhousie Crest! Done by a couple of the other guys... I was pretty impressed! They really slaved over it and it looks amazing.





The full line-up. Not half bad, considering that most of us international types had never seen a real Halloween before, and were carving our first pumpkins. Keep a lookout for Nemo, Snoopy, and one of my personal favourites, the scary tree.

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


Thursday, 20th October '05

Strange Canadian Toast

Here I am, blogging along happily as I scarf down my white rice with black and white pepper beef with soya sauce, two week old xiaobaocao, garlic and half a mouldy onion. In think in one of the strange Canadian, pseudo-Chinese, overpriced restaurants around here it might well be called General En Ying's Five Treasure Holy Cow and Green Vegetable Delight. It's not bad, by the way, and I'm feeling decently happy that I haven't blown up the kitchen, set off the fire alarm (yes, someone actually did) or come down with cholera or hepatitis or anything like that in the 2 months that I've been cooking for myself.

But highly irrelevant introduction aside, this particular entry had its genesis in an incident about a week or so ago in the YMCA kitchen. As usual, it involved Germans and a largely amused me. Amused because kitchen conversations tend to revolve around:
(a) How school was.
(b) How drunk and hung over XXX was.
(c) How there's an Idiot around who doesn't wash his dishes, and the various methods for dealing with him (a rather large variety of approaches have been advocated, ranging from David's diplomatic "we should have a meeting and talk about it and then put up signs and make it known that if we catch him he will be reported to Heather-Anne, the Director of Residential Services and be sanctioned accordingly" all the way to Sebastian's somewhat more robust and pragmatic approach of "if I catch him I will Tear His Ass Off").
(d) What XXX is cooking.
(e) The abysmal state of Canadian bread.

Which is not to say that the conversations aren't fun or meaningful - in fact I'm very thankful to have people to talk to while cooking. But anyway, subject (e) was something that intrigued me rather a bit. Coming from a country where Sunshine and other cheap-ass brands of processed bread rule the market, with Bonjour being an expensive exception and Gardenia being the top brand because it's so good you can even eat it on it's own, I had been generally impressed by the state of Canadian bread. Eh, got not only wholemeal and white bread leh. Got loafs and baguettes and halfmeal and cheese bread and all kinds of other things... and not just at Delifrance prices. But obviously I was painfully ill-informed, as the Germans would have me know shortly.

A sandwich making incident with Soenke had him celebrating the fact that he had found "good bread" at Sobey's, and me furrowing my eyebrows trying to make sense of the distinction between "good bread" and (what I assumed that he had been finding all along) "bad bread". I'm not sure I gave a fantastically intelligent or even germane response to that little bit of shared happiness. Subsequently, a few more run-ins with other dudes had them complaining about how hard it was to find bread here, and it all finally culminated one day in Lukas asking how bread was in Singapore. Err, that had me a bit stumped. How would any of you answer that question anyway? In any case he saved me by asking "Is it like the Strange Canadian Toast?". And that's when I realised that what was bread to me wasn't bread in another culture where presumably things didn't come all processed and bundled up in plastic bags. My notion of bread was something they would only use for toast (a presumably lower level of carbohydrate than bread, I guess).

In the interests of completing that story, what happened eventually, I think, was that I trotted something out about how we mostly eat that "toast" thing and then sometimes we have Chinese bread which is came in the form of "bao" and "mantou" - just you try explaining the difference between "bao" and "mantou" to someone halfway across the globe! - and after which time I decided that it would be futile to try and explain about other breads like "prata" and "naan" and "chapati", the differences between which I'm not even very sure of myself.

Imagine my surprise when the one fine day the same issue came up with Jess and Emma. To cut a long story short, Canadian bread sucks, whether you come from Europe or Down Under. This particular point stuck in my head because, hey, it was the first pointed observation that had been made by two sets of very diverse people who found themselves in a foreign land and to some extent, were experiencing a mild "culture shock".

So. That left me with the idea of writing something long-winded and hopefully marginally entertaining, about the differences between them (Canadians) and us (others). I'm going to leave out the rather mundane things that you already know - like how our "petrol" is their "gas" and how we spell "leaves" and they spell "leafs" - and focus on the little daily incidents that had me doing minor double takes.

(Gee, that was a long introduction.)

1. Strange Canadian Poster Putty - Canadian poster putty is abysmal. I don't think I'll be finding anyone to share my pain on this topic anytime soon, but you don't know how much you'll miss blue-tack until you don't have it. I'm not saying I'm complaining, but it's just of a very different consistency and I've had many a night where John (Mayer) and Jack (Johnson) have come crashing down on me, waking me up rudely and essentially being very bad for my mood the next morning. Not that I'm saying either are bad bedfellows, just... oh you know. The irony is that while the putty doesn't stay on the wall very enthusiastically, it is well nigh impossible to remove it from the poster. It sticks to the damned poster like chewing gum to a shoe sole, and attempts to remove it (replacing it with 3M Command Adhesive tacks that cost 5 times the price but work WAY better) tore a small hole somewhere around Kurt's (Cobain) line of sight.

2. Strange Canadian Chlorinated, Flourinated Water - Not a big deal for me, obviously, given that I have a digestive system well attuned to the delicious NewWater, but a major bone of contention for TEMD (my useful abbreviation to take the place of "TinaEmmaMatt&Dave"). Apparently, the water here tastes foul, they can't drink out of the tap! And yes, I did enjoy telling them all about NewWater, and how our government takes issue with chewing gum but not with a population being raised on sai-zhuee. Yummy. wink

3. Strange Canadian Practices of Eating in Class - maybe not particular to Canadians per se, but an eye-opener for me, nonetheless. It's not like the way we eat in class in Singapore - surreptitiously pop a sweet, or even where it's allowed chow down on a pack of fries / sausage / candy bar or some other finger food. Oh no, here you carry your thermos mug to class with hot coffee in it (a good idea, given the temperatures), you start a first course of say, a doughnut, and then go on to lunchbox of packet food like pasta or rice or something, and then finish of with a whole orange that you peel in class so that the entire class can smell the fragrant oils in the skin. You could even open a tin of sweetened fruits / tuna and dig a real dinner spoon out of your bag to eat it with. Man, I could get into this practice! - only that I somehow haven't mastered the art of taking notes, contributing to discussion and eating all at the same time.

4. Strange Canadian Ways of Sitting in Class - Feet on table, legs crossed on the chair, knee-up like a trishaw rider - no one complains about it looking rude or crude. It only matters that you're comfortable, and I like that.

5. Strange Canadian Pedestrian Cultures - I have totally assimilated into this particular way of going about life, and I swear it will get me killed the moment I set foot back on Singaporean soil. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say it's a Nova Scotian / Halifax practice because I'm sure in a big city like Toronto it wouldn't work. Here if you're a pedestrian, you're King of the Road. Not in the same way that you're king back home - which says that if a driver hits you it's always his fault, and that there are pedestrian crossings, zebra crossings etc etc. Here it's as if the crossing doesn't even matter, the crossing is purely procedural, not substantive. You can cross when the equivalent of the red man is on, the cars can't do anything, not even horn. You can cross when there's the equivalent of the zebra crossing, AND you can cross where there ISN'T a zebra crossing. Anywhere you stand on the edge of a road the car will just STOP and let you go! Isn't that amazing? And of course no one looks before they cross the street anymore. And you get pretty brazen about stepping in front of moving vehicles even when you see them coming as long as you know the driver's seen you.

6. Strange Canadian Single Item Goods Sales - Probably not the best sub-heading around but I mean that things aren't sold in bulk packets like in Singapore. Like how you can always buy 3 bottles of diswashing liquid together at a time, 6 packets of instant noodles in one pack, 5 boxes of Kleenex tissue in one bundle. Doesn't work like that here. You buy 1 pack of noodles, 1 box of tissues...

7. Strange Canadian Mixed Up Food Pricing Priorities - An even worse sub-heading, my apologies. But chicken drumsticks and thighes are dirt cheap here. And breast meat is bloody expensive. Excellent for me.

8. Strange Canadian Tim Hortons Addictions - Another one of those things that I found strange to start with and now I'm totally assimilated into. Ryder, I think, once mentioned that Tims stuff was extremely mediocre, but somehow if you don't have it everyday you get the shakes. I thought that was absurd, and I thought the first blueberry muffin I had was very mediocre alright, but now I can't live without hot chocolate / cappucino and a boston cream doughnut every other day. I think I'm going to be a very cold turkey when it comes time to go home. And the Aussies and I were talking about talking the franchise back to our home countries - it seems lucrative enough. I spent a morning studying at Timmy H's, and my goodness, the queue stretched out of the door continually for the whole 4 hours I was there! No kidding!

9. Strange Canadian Medicine Dispensing Methods - I think the Candians would actually say "Strange Singaporean Medicine Dispensing Methods" and I might even agree. This just came up in my Medical Malpractice class when we talked about the learned intermediaty exception and everyone was working on the assumption that the pharmacist was a necessary intermediary in the dispensing of medication and it came as a shock to them when I mentioned that in Singapore most general practioners just sell you the medicine right over the counter at the clinic. In fact they were pretty affronted by it, as it would, to them, constitue a conflict of interest that should be avoided at all costs given the fiduciary patient-physician relationship. I never thought about it that way before, and it's a really good point!

And I think 9 is an auspicious number, so I'll stop here. Hands getting too cold to type and I should really be working on my major paper readings.

In the meanwhile, the latest updates are that I'm still having fun, Jess gave me winter socks tied up in a pretty ribbon (I'm really feeling all warm and fuzzy from the niceness of the gesture, not just the socks), Vicki's hopefully still alive and not killed by midterms, I played basketball with the Canadians and they're pretty good, I'm up to speed in my Sale of Goods readings at last, and I'm going to Cape Breton over the weekend!

Till the next time!


en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:55 pm
[6 photographs developed.]


Monday, 17th October '05

At Least I'm Doing My Laundry

Bah.

Boys have overtaken the basketball courts and turned it into a soccer field. I'm halfway across the globe and nothing's changed from being in Singapore. Just substitute skinny 'mads ("mats"? "mds"? Does anyone even know how to spell that word?) with large angmohs. Or replace the former with "deranged 'Team Raffles' boys with floorball sticks", if you prefer.

Plus, I walked in on the game for 2 seconds and kena whacked in the chest with a stray soccer ball. Does that remind anyone of Council Cup? (Although I'm still rather proud of saving that goal. blush And it was the first and last time I've played soccer.)

Bahhhh. plain

And so now I need to find a distraction to substitute my planned hoop-shooting expedition. I have already put laundry in the wash (at least the boys have made me slightly more productive) and will soon finish off this blog. Perhaps I should go and practice Luigi. I spent more time than I should have watching "You Got Served" last night - CRAP script, but really good dancing, if you like the hip hop B-boy sort of thing - and am feeling pretty much in need of dance. Which is why I went down to look for ball playing ground anyways. Always thought ball had a lot in common with dance, don't ask me why.

At the very least, I have to stop rambling like this.

Bahhhhhhh. Damn 气死人, can? Don't get me wrong, living here is still a blast, but...

*shakes fists at sky*

Next time i git my ass down there at zhunzhun the exact time the gym opens.

P/S. I apologise for excessive Singlish use. But whatever I am unable to use here I tend to make up for online. You will soon see me MSN-ing like a bloody lian. Kaoz.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:55 pm
[4 photographs developed.]


Saturday, 15th October '05

A Boy Named "Sue"

Was reading Bec's entry on turning into our parents... and then I heard this song. Funny how sometimes you end up getting insights on odd things because of something someone said / wrote / sang. Parents work in mysterious ways.

And in light of the fact that Dad always tells me this Johnny Cash dude was a priest / pastor of some sort, I don't know... it could also well show how sometimes God chucks us curve balls just to make us better people.

Oh, inspirational mumbo-jumbo aside, this is just such a cute hick song. Haha.


---


A Boy Named "Sue"
-- Johnny Cash


My Daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to Ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue".

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue".

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.

Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet Dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue'! How do you do! Now you gonna die!"

Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell you, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when.
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.

And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I give you that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's that name that helped to make you strong."


He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But you ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you 'Sue'."


So what could I do, what could I do?
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my Pa, and he called me his Son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him...

Bill! Or George! Any damn thing but Sue!
I still hate that name!


---


Don't you just love that ending? cool eh?

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 05:23 pm
[4 photographs developed.]


Tuesday, 11th October '05

Desmond is the Man.

Yup, taken entirely without permission. smile Thanks, Des. Let me know if you want me to remove this entry. Desmond is the funniest guy in the WORLD. No shit. This is what he last blogged:

(my additions in bold)


---


NO.

1. Singapore is not a state in CANADA.
Thank the Lord I don't have this problem here

2. Yes, contrary to popular belief, english IS our first language.
Right on!

3. We do not kill babies because we only allow couples to have one child.

4. Micheal Fay was not a big deal and we do not anyhow anyhow whip people.
Tzo said her favourite line was "Yes, we caned the little bastard" - and she's not even Singaporean...

5. Singapore is not a state in CHINA.
I've got to hand it to the Canadians / Germans / Aussies / Swedes I've met here - no one's asked me this yet. It's really just the stupid Americans that think they're the centre of the universe.

6.Yes, we all come from the same AWESOME high school, and we did not attend Singapore american school.
Oh yeah... Raffles Raffles pa buay dou...

7. Singlish is not an official language. Neither is Singlease, nor canto.
Damn straight. If one more person asks me about Canto, I swear I will smack him.

8.They do not make us eat shit in the army.(although we have sai-gang)
Classic Desmond humour. You gotta love him!


---


And allow me to add in something:

9. No you can't buy chewing gum in Singapore, yes I'm ok with that, and no I don't know the fine. Although my Malaysian source tells me if you bring it in commercial quantities it's $7800 flat.

10. I'm not a member of the Lee dynasty. Really!

11. No, I do NOT always study till 3 in the morning. (It appears even here I can't shake off the mugger toad look.)

But seriously, it's really exciting to be overseas and be able to talk proudly of home. It's just slightly funny sometimes when things we take so easily for granted and never really question (like the mandatory death penalty - who cares if not for GP Essays?) are huge deals to other countries.

And it's probably something to think about, but when we ask other people about their countries I'm sure they have the same *duh* reaction deep down inside.

I love being abroad. smile


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


Fine, Qiong, I'm Doing It.

Great. I did a respectable amount of reading. Probably the most reading I have done in a day since coming home from Prince Edward Island (more on that next time) and discovering my hidden hedonistic streaks.

Anyway. Shall now reward myself with one of these silly quiz businesses. Especially since I'm number 2 on Qiong's list in the last category. The lists are purely in order of when the ideas strike me, not in order of gravity or anything like that.

Seven Things That Scare Me
1. Parsley / Corriander in my food.
2. Losing my data - harddisk failure or whatever.
3. Spiders.
4. A hairdryer in the bathtub when I'm sitting in it.
5. People wearing shoes into my room.
6. Cleaning out under my bed eventually.
7. Realising I'm rather a clean freak.

Seven Things That I Like Most
1. My Powerbook.
2. My precious people (that's my family and Smubs and the 401 gang).
3. Hokkien mee and cheng tng at Bedok Hawker Centre.
4. John Mayer.
5. Black pepper crab.
6. Lord Denning's judgments.
7. My alone time.

Seven Important Things In My Room
1. Aforementioned Powerbook.
2. IPOD and speakers.
3. $31 Walmart Shelf
4. BED!!!
5. MagicClean Mop. (I AM a freak! crazy )
6. Scotch tape
7. Kai's going away present.

Seven Random Facts About Me
1. I have pins and needles in my left foot right this moment.
2. I am listening to the Beatle's "Come Together" right now and I swear they were high when they wrote it.
3. I need to go pee, but I'm too lazy.
4. I have already forgotten how to play "Comfortable" on the guitar. Damn.
5. I am STILL an Axel virgin. Haven't landed one since starting it in 2001.
6. I make a mean no-bake cheesecake. Just ask me nicely.
7. Off and on I still wonder what happened to Cousin Balki in Perfect Strangers.

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die
1. Snowboard.
2. Sky Dive.
3. Punch someone, hard. Would be nice if it was someone who pissed me off first.
4. Land an axel (c.f. point 5 above).
5. Choreograph a dance to "Inner City Blues".
6. Have enough money to shop without checking price tags.
7. Watch a live: Olympic skating final / World Cup match / NHL final / Olympic Men's 200m Freestyle Final

Seven Things I Can Do
1. Juggle
2. Make people believe I study when I don't.
3. Play basketball.
4. Dance.
5. Skate.
6. Be absurdly rational.
7. Be too direct.

Seven Things I Can't Do
1. Play soccer.
2. A backflip.
3. Keep abreast of current affairs.
4. Sleep early.
5. Speak Korean.
6. Draw the human face to my satisfaction.
7. Drive a bus.

Seven Things I Say The Most
1. "Random"
2. "Just whack"
3. "*bounce*"
4. "*roar*"
5. "Brilliant"
6. Any John Mayer quotations, really.
7. "I don't want to go to school tomorrow..."

Seven Celebrity Crushes
(This is actually rather hard. I don't think I would have a crush on a celebrity... it doesn't work that way for me. So this is a list of my top male celebrities, ok?)
1. John Mayer
2. Jason Mraz
3. Jack Johnson
4. The boys from EIC. Ha.
5. Oh! Alexei Yagudin! *thinks of quad axel and faints*
6. Scott Hamilton
7. *I'm stuck here*

Seven People Who Have To Do This
1. Kai
2. Limin
3. Lucas (because he is otherwise dead to the world)
4. Andre (ditto that)
5. Bec (because I know she will give the most interesting answers)
6. Hanting (because he will find a way to make it friggin' hilarious)
7. Desmond (because he IS friggin' hilarious)


en ying snapped a shot of life @ 02:51 am
[3 photographs developed.]


Monday, 10th October '05

Turkeyyyyy...

A huge THANK YOU to everyone in the Ha Family for having me over for dinner on Thanksgiving. It was excellent! I will wash dishes for you guys any time. smile Just say the word.

Turkey makes me happy. smile We should do this in Singapore, man. Did you hear that Smubs? When I come home we're going to do turkey dinners - and not the way we did it last year at Gnet's (i.e. with Andre garnishing the turkey to death).

And now this online journal, to refresh my Singlish, has "macaam become photoblog already". Wah liao eh.





That's Vic carrying out the pan with Turkey in it.





Auntie Lillian gets ready to take Turkey's temperature





Ervin lifting Turkey off the pan and onto plate. Amidst much cautioning and flustered hand-flapping from all the surrounding women.





Vicki searching for some sort of utensil.





Ryder: "This is the best stuffing ever..."
Auntie Lillian: "Well, you sure know whom to please!"


Ed: Vicki made the stuffing, of course.





This is where it starts to get a bit obscene. This is Vicki digging stuffing out of Turkey's ass.

(She will later proceed to cut off the flap of skin and the head end to create a great big gaping hole that Ryder and I have to clumsily tack together again.)





All together now... AWWW...

Yes, because his photo is up here, Ryder now gets to read this blog. Ok.





Vicki, Debbie and Ryder making pumpkin pie!

We end up putting in twice the recommended about of pumpkin paste, but it tastes amazing anyway. Good job, Vicki! smile





I LOVE Vicki's bread. I really do. Unfortunately she had to go impale it on a knife like one of those babies on a bayonet during the Japanese Occupation.





I believe this picture would best be described as that of the "Young Punks"





The Ha's minus the big brother and plus the boyfriend and the random visitor from Singapore. hehe





The Ha's.





I actually took this photo by accident. But it actually is a decent picture of Ryder in full concentration.





We repaired the hole in Turkey with a couple of toothpicks. Not a bad job, I think.





Auntie Lillain dressed my my plate for me!





Pumpkin Pie! The bit of crust stuck in the cream was Debbie's finishing touch.





Pumpkin pie makes for happy girls. blush

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 04:06 pm
[3 photographs developed.]


Sunday, 9th October '05

*JumbleofIncoherentExcitedSounds*

That's it, I did it. I did one of the things I promised, in my exchange application that I would do. I would get all caught up in the winter sports fever. hehe

To cut a long story short - (omgomgomgomgomg) my first real hockey game!! Notice the insertion of the word "real" since I HAVE actually watched recreational teams *kofffujiicecatskoff* play before... but it has nothing on this. To be honest, the atmosphere wasn't quite as electric as I had thought it would be - it was enthusiastic but not deranged, if you know what I mean. The crowd had the kind of enthusiasm you would expect at an RJC rugby match. Quite mostly, but when something actually happened the arena suddenly woke up and screamed...

And the angmohs are so cool... there was the granny (I SWEAR) waving pom poms and jumping up and down like a cheerleader. There were little boys with painted faces and dyed hair... and there was the typical game food... hotdogs (of which Lukas had two, much to the girls' amusement) and fries and whaddayaknow, beer. And all manner of other alcohol, for that matter.

I don't need to tell you guys how excited we were... ok, how excited the girls were. The guys are always pretty relaxed...

So here are some pictures:





A giant inflatable moosehead, of course.

The game was played at the Halifax Metro Centre, with our local team the Halifax Mooseheads being the home team. The visiting team came from St John's, Newfoundland (another Canadian province) and were called the Fog Devils. Gee, I can totally see how the home advantage works now - when the teams enter, the home team was treated like royalty - their mugs got flashed on the big screen, their names were announce individually amidst audience screams, while the visiting team just got on the ice with no one caring. And throughout, really the psychological advantage of knowing the whole stadium's behind you is huge!

And even though the overall quality of the game wasn't that hot, our boys came back with a 6-3 victory. big grin (Ok, David.)





From left: Emma (Australian girl, also on exchange in Dal Law. She's cool.), Rob (from Netherlands, studying Neuroscience on exchange in Dal too) and David (the Swedish meatball. Haha. Also on exchange in Dal Law).





This is where the cool photos start. smile Here we have the players doing an entry lap as the crowd cheers enthusiastically without need of a cheersquad.





"Oh Canadaaa..." - I dunno if it was just me, but it came across as one of the most mournful Anthems I've ever heard. But I loved the way at the last two lines of it the whole stadium erupted cheering - Kind of reminded me how at the end of the RJ Anthem "with God to guide the way" we'd raise our hands in the "S" for "Spirit".

As you see, big sporting events get me going in some kind of cheersquad deja vu.





Gameplay. Our Mooseheads are in white, by the way. Necessarily this means that the Fog Devils were in black, but you already knew that.

And Emma was totally right when she said that "no other game will ever satisfy my need for agression ever again"! Check this out:



It's a large file, but I'm so glad of having taken it, you HAVE to watch it. You will probably hear our excited screams in the background. And yes, Tina wants to marry Forrest (the Moosehead in the brawl). The fights had me and Em pretty high... on the way home from the Metro Centre we shoulder-checking each other into walls and getting into mock fist-fights... after which we tried to get Herman and Rob to start a fight, but to no avail - girls fighting was hotter, they said.

The link probably works best if you save the file to disk instead of just clicking on it.

Late addition: that's to David and his friend back in Sweden, we now have the better fight, with the knock-out punch! *rawr*







And yes, probably the picture all at home have been waiting for. I know I know, you girls want to see German boys. *sigh* It's kinda a crappy picture though, the lighting was kinda bad. Anyways:

Bottom row from left: Zenith (Canadian girl from Prince Edward Island, lives across from me at the YMCA), Tina (Aussie on exchange to Dal Law), Me, Emma, Rob, Dave.
Top row from left (I may get some names wrong): Phillippe, Lukas, Soenke and his new haircut, Herman the German (they're all German, but Herman rhymes!), Unidentified Dude in Black (not from the Y), Ben, Christian (both of whom NOT looking at camera, the bums).


Right then, MSN me for more pictures, stories etc. I've gotta go change before Ryder comes to drive me to Vicki's to thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, *gobble gobble*.

What a weekend. rolls eyes It's awesome.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:44 pm
[1 photograph developed.]


Saturday, 8th October '05

3 Questions

It's slightly scary, but in 3 questions this came up with pretty spot-on answers!




Your Personality Is


Rational (NT)




You are both logical and creative. You are full of ideas.

You are so rational that you analyze everything. This drives people a little crazy!



Intelligence is important to you. You always like to be around smart people.

In fact, you're often a little short with people who don't impress you mentally.



You seem distant to some - but it's usually because you're deep in thought.

Those who understand you best are fellow Rationals.



In love, you tend to approach things with logic. You seek a compatible mate - who is also very intelligent.



At work, you tend to gravitate toward idea building careers - like programming, medicine, or academia.



With others, you are very honest and direct. People often can't take your criticism well.



As far as your looks go, you're coasting on what you were born with. You think fashion is silly.



On weekends, you spend most of your time thinking, experimenting with new ideas, or learning new things.



en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:45 am
[2 photographs developed.]


Hell Hath No Fury Like a Blogger-Suffering-From-Withdrawal-Symptoms Scorned

HAHAHA. Yes. This blog is once again alive. Just in time for me to blog about the hockey game tomorrow then! *chuckle* I'll be telling you more soon enough. In any case, it appears that I now have some sort of entertainment for the rest of my Friday night, laundry aside.

Are you happy now, Kai. The dead CAN be brought back to life - as can my Lazarus of a blog.

Oh, man, I cannot BELIEVE how well this ruse worked. See Qiong and I were getting mightily cheesed off at darling Watson Lai and his (in my personal opinion) grossly incompetent team of DH (the servers whose name I'm about to slime) support staff. I'm pretty sure I'm entitled to review their abysmal service without incurring any defamation suits... fair comment and whatnot. Oh well.

Whatever it is, legal training DOES come in useful when one wants to play hardball. So after having Watson and DH giving us the run around for the past month, Qiong and I decided, to use that old-school term, that there would be "No More Mr Nice-Guy". Kudos to Qiong for having screwing up enough courage to attach her name to this rather mean-spirited letter. Thanks for her, I didn't have a privity problem.

And this is what we fired off to poor Watson, with all my best wishes that he would piss his pants when reading it:


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Dear Sir,

Re: Failure to Restore Domain and Demand for IMMEDIATE Action.

1. Prior to 29 August 2005, I contacted your company twice using the form provided on your website. On both occasions I reported that the websites built on your sever were inaccessible, and had been so for the past week. I also requested to be informed of the reason for this, and when the websites would be restored.

2. By 29 August 2005, I had received no reply and specifically sent an email to your support team at support@dh.com.sg. The next day, I was informed that my account was being transferred to a new server, and that I would be informed when the changes were completed. In view of the $10 rebate I was given, I elected to wait for the transfer to be completed.

3. However, because no deadline was given for the completion of the transfer, I continued to email your company / contact your company via the form provided on the website. I sent more than 6 emails / messages between 30 August 2005 and 18 September 2005 and received no replies. In all these emails / messages I requested to be updated on the status of the transfer and a date by which I could expect to have the data restored.

4. It was only on 18 September 2005 when I sent a mail requesting “IMMEDIATE Action” that I received a reply from your Watson Lai. In this reply he cited difficulties in retrieving the data but promised that he “will be able to get it back”. He also asked for a further one week to retrieve the data.

5. It is now 4 October 2005, and 16 days since Mr Lai represented that the data would be retrieved.

6. Please be informed that aside from your duty as a provider to your customers, I and the others sharing the domain also have responsibilities to people who read and communicate via our websites. We feel that we have been extremely patient and understanding regarding not only the inconvenience that your company’s apparent ineptitude has caused us technically, but also in the deplorable support service you have provided – most evidently in your failure to keep us informed of the status of the transfer and your blatant disregard for inquiries made to your so-called “support” centre.

7. As such, I HEREBY DEMAND that all data present in the domain “february-rains” as of 29 August 2005 (stored under 5 sub-domains) be restored IMMEDIATELY by the close of business on 11th October 2005.

8. I also DEMAND a reply within 3 working days, in which your company will clearly state its intentions with respect to restoring the data, inclusive of an exact date and time by which it will be restored. If your company finds itself unable to restore the data to its original condition for any reason whatsoever, please also indicate what compensation your company is offering in respect of it.

9. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver of any of our rights against you, which are expressly reserved.

Yours faithfully,
-Full Name Omitted On Request-



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Two days from the 出功夫 and we get results. big grin (I hope my Chinese is right. Bloody rusty.)

In Phua Chu Kang's immortal words: "Don't Pray-Pray" (for non-Singaporeans, this means "Don't F*ck With Me"). Yup, there are times I LOVE being a law student.

P/S: Those of you legally trained folks reading this... I know this letter's got lots of shortcomings and techically isn't even framed as a formal letter of demand, but please refrain from mentioning its faults on this site, alright? I don't want anyone else knowing our tactical edges. smile

PP/S: Qiong thinks Watson may not even have read my letter. Oh i don't care.

PPP/S: Yes Kai, before you ask, I WILL update this blog to cover for the past month SOON.


en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:44 am
[1 photograph developed.]