Monday, 27 March 2006

Inspired!

I receive the university magazine Oxford Today every term but I always just keep the magazines in a drawer "to read later". In the latest Hillary update, I happened to flip open to read. And guess what? My eyes were caught by a familiar name: Prof Philip Maini.

Hey that's my fav tutor! So I proceeded to read the article, extracts below:

Extracts from "Mathematicians come to life":

From his base in Little Clarendon Street, Professor Philip Maini seeks to understand how cancer cells grow and how wounds heal. In the same building his colleague Professor Jon Chapman is studying the role that calcium plays in living cells and trying to get more useful information out of the mammograms used to screen for breast cancer. It sounds like everyday life in a top-notch biological sciences centre - but it's not. Both professors are mathematicians who are using theis mathematical skills to help in tackling some of the most challenging problems in biology.

"One of the intriguing things about mathematics", says Professor Chapman, "is the way in which equations that model one type of things can often be adaoted to model another. For example, it's the equations used by engineers to model the stresses and strains in buildings that are providing the springboard for some of my biological work on modelling human tissue." Maini agrees: "The power of mathematics is that similar mathematical equations can be applied to very, very different areas."

A mathematical model seeks to provide a description of a system that may appear quite complicated - the financial markets are a case in point - in a manner that's simple enough to reveal how the underlying variables interact.

As a mathematician, Professor Maini is excited by the way that biology raises questions that present the new mathematical challenges and encourage a step into the unknown. "In biology you have to deal with what you are given - and it's become obvious that the mathemtaical techniques we have now just don't provide enough insight to solve many current biological problems," he explains. "Clearly we need to develop a new mathematics to provide the necessary insight into biological processes. And the really exciting thing is that nobody yet knows what that is."

As I read the thing, I felt so inspired to do maths again! :) Cos I like the bio side of maths, relates more to people I guess, not to mention the potential of learning something totally amazing! Ah, mf, dream on..

Angels?

Further to my entry of angels and devils, I came across this set in SAM that I absolutely love! For your enjoyment too..

I am not that kind of angel


Comforting angels


Superstar


Breaktime


All attributed to the artist, Dennis Ascalon from Philippines.

Took these photos before museum staff told me that photography wasn't allowed.. I think non-flash photography should be allowed in museums! Some stuff are too nice to be kept in a museum, and face it, museum attendance rates while increasing are still quite low in Singapore..

SAM is a rather small museum I think, but may be worth a second trip when the collection changes. I recommend the
ACM - have been there twice and I still want to go!

Saturday, 25 March 2006

Random thought on friendships

How do friendships form? Chronologically from birth, the people we know are our family, neighbours, schoolmates, colleagues/ work associates, and somewhere along the way, people met through various informal/ less structured social settings or events or activities.

I always feel that friendships can be stronger than family ties eg cousin Yan and I have known each other since forever and are great friends whereas I'm not too close to my siblings. I skipped the neighbours bit cos there was no one around my age. Some schoolmates have become steady friends, and some colleagues have also become more like friends.

How are strong and steady friendships formed? As in what make people stick together? I still go out with my pri school classmates, especially CY; the only sec classmates I'm still in contact with are those who went to NJ too; for JC, there's the core KLK group. Is it a matter of sharing more common space or spending more time together? Or is it deeper than that? Like common interest, matching wavelengths?

Had this revelation a while ago, that friendships are first seeded out of similarities, which can refer to the same environment, common interest, etc. But common activities alone are not sufficient; it's only the ignition point. From there, perhaps due to character match or odd but strangely good mismatch, people become firm friends, even though the interest that has brought them together in the first place may wane over time. Else, when interest in the common activity dies, so does the friendship.

Anyway, looks like a lovely Saturday after the shower, if I could only shut my ears. Outside, cars and some machines are running outside, the kopitiam will only get noisier as the day goes on; inside, the TV is blasting in the room, another is blasting in the living room, and Mother kept interrogating bro. Suddenly yearning for somewhere ulu where at least the outside noise seems non-existent. I like it quiet. But I'll need a car to access ulu places. I've decided to get a licence.

Out with the boys

Bantering with YX and Tok as usual, and as usual, they attacked me at my most vulnerable spot - tummy.

mf: Eh, I'm very conscious of my tummy ok, don't touch it unnecessarily..
YX, Tok: ??
mf: I meant, don't touch it..

Tok left and we proceeded to Gotham Penthouse. On the way, I said something not too kind and YX deemed it "necessary" to poke my tummy *.*

Was giving instructions on how to get there from studio. A lengthy episode of miscommunications ensued, leading to a conclusion that mf was power hungry.

mf: Huh? I'm not!
Sito: Ok, you're a power hungry bitch then..
mf: Bitch ok, but I'm not power hungry!

Thanks YX for concurring with me!

JD joined us after that, and suddenly, (pseudo?) gay tendencies, homophobia and schizophrenia began to manifest among the guys. It's rather interesting for me to watch :p

Danced a little only. Sad thing was that the place just didn't cut it for us. Music was ewe.. We couldn't appreciate the DJ's sense of humour.. And there were no cute guys apart from the one who took our drinks order. This wasn't the first time I found an attendant cute, something is very wrong..

We retreated to the chill room, a long corridor of sofa that led to the bathrooms, and sat there for a while. Can't get over JD puting his head on Sito's lap *.* Were talking crap until the DJ went "I hope you girls shave your armpits!" That's it, we left!

I'll never go there again.

Bundle of joy

Went to visit LH yesterday after healthy lifestyle. We were swooning over her baby! But you know babies, they are so small and fragile I don't really dare to touch.. Just very cute as he slept in his cot.. I always notice the nose - a little knob in the centre of the face, but as the baby grow, the bridge becomes more pronounced and suddenly, everyone find a new spot to pinch :p

Baby woke. Somehow lost his left mitten and left footie in the process. I bucked up courage to just touch the little exposed foot.. So soft!

I also want a baby *.*

Many years ago, Ting came under Mother's care when he was about one, leaving when he was three or four. Then we had Peggy at four months. She stayed with us for almost four years. But after that, they continued to visit us, especially Ting who would stay over for a couple of weeks during the school holidays and we would bring him with us to visit Grams. I was very much a kid back then, watching a much younger kid grow up. Used to carry Ting around, play with him, coax him to sleep, teach him this and that. Now he is 15, so fast!

Cousins are quite grown now but I still can't forget how we used to chase after the two sisters who as toddlers ran so fast down the corridor! And of course their pretty matching frocks :) They are 18 and 19 now, and we can tell them apart :p The brother is 14 and refuses to let him hug him like before haha! Youngest cousin Hui is eight, still bubbly and baby of the family but in a few years there will be no more babies in the family unless.. Hey the older cousins! When will it be your turn? :)

But I'll have my own baby la :p Think it's an amazing thing, don't know how to explain.. ... Idea! Married or not, I'll have a baby - born or adopted - by 35. Na, hope you're ok with a baby in our house? Which means maybe we'll need a 4-room instead of 3-room.. I'll pay more? :p

Thursday, 23 March 2006

How gross is this?

Just received my Feb-Mar phone bill - a staggering $71.31!!!

Ok, my calls in Singapore for this month stood at a high of 145.6min (I have 100min free outgoing; incoming is free) so that accounted for $6.84 + GST already.

Incoming calls while in UK didn't cost much but the outgoing calls! The bulk was through O2 network - $1.64 for all calls under a minute and totalling some $22! Vodafone charged me by the second even in the first minute but minute rate is comparable with O2. Their sms at $0.38 cost 10cents less as well. Sighs, I'll know next time to manually select Vodafone.. Then all charges incurred on pay-as-you-roam are subject to this 20% surcharge so it comes up to $38.09 of roaming charges for me.

Last I incurred high roaming charges was when I was in Malacca - $45 or so, even more than this! But majority was on work matters due to a project that clashed with this pre-arranged trip so I claimed everything :p

Er, s long-legged spider just appeared at my desk and colleague smashed it for me.. I'm so sorry, spidey.. I'm so sorry to the other spider that died because of me some three years ago; I smashed it personally with a detergent bottle, and I'm especially sorry for that cos I didn't kill it with one smash =(

Oh no I'm in mourning..

Monday, 20 March 2006

Lunching in today

CY and I had curry for lunch yesterday, courtesy of Mother who used to protest against "heaty" food like curries especially when we were down with coughs and colds. But well, she decided to cook curry despite my coughs yesterday, weird.

We went to town together, me for waltz, she for hair colour.

mf: Why are you colouring your hair? Still brown leh.. And not much has grown out..
CY: The colour is not obvious!
mf: Err, ok.. Actually your hair is very black.. Wa, very very black indeed..

We split for our respective business, she watching me roll my eyes with my parting statement, almost at peace with her decision to colour her - yes, very black - hair :p

Shifu: mf, you know what? Your legs are not together when you spin, try again..
*mf makes conscious effort to close legs fully on the & before 3*
Shifu: Yes! More balanced, right? *Smile*
mf: Have problem bringing my knees together in other steps too..
Sito: Too much sex in London..?
mf: *Blink blink* I wish..

Met CY after dance. Ok, her hair colour became much lighter :p I attempted suicide by ordering nasi lemak, followed by some tapioca cakes in the pathetic pasar malam nearby. That might explain why my sexy, husky voice is still with me now.. At least my throat isn't hurting.. But I need to recover asap, I still want my sweet voice, and the ability to speak in kawaii tone without going off-pitch or totally soundless!

Sunday, 19 March 2006

The line is not thin

It struck me the other day as I was leaving office: I'm the crossbred between an idiot of an angel and a genius of a devil. It was just a random thought but I couldn't get over that line in bold.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that there is really no totally good or totally bad person. Or the former may exist, some saint maybe, but someone bad to the core? I think it difficult..

So, the guy on the street is both good and bad though proportions vary. Let's have some mf-ised definitions:

Not-too-clever angel ~ does/says a lot of good things though they may be silly; everyone knows he/she is an angel and likes asking him/her for help cos he/she will always be willing to do so

Smart devil ~ seeks ways to satisfy himself/herself and people he/she likes without considering other people; able to do so without exposing his/her nature cos he/she is super intelligent

* Pls pardon the undecided genders. Tempted to define angel as female - you know, stereotypical winged things in white - but realised that women could be most evil too! :p

It's really a thick blurred line between good and bad. We've been conditioned to think that lying is bad, but what if it's a white lie to eg make someone feel less disturbed by his otherwise unfortunate new haircut? If someone is generally kind, I'm sure there's a bit of them that thinks otherwise. Likewise if someone is generally thought of as evil, there must be something in them that shows the opposite. It's a matter of the proportions of good and bad.

So for those who have a greater proportion of the devil in them, why are they like that? What makes them bad or want to be so?

Can't help recalling that some time in sec school, the motion for the finals of a inter-varsity debate was "ren zhi chu, xing ben shan" ie we are born kind. The opposition won. But I found it difficult to accept. I think we are born kind, and negative effects come about as we grow up. It's easier than to be born evil - ok, not kind - and to then to learn to be "right". Three years to be corrected, three days to be corrupted, right? (too lazy to type Chinese)

Not too coherent here, hmmm.. Shall end with something strange from TV.. Caught a commercial on some cleaning agent the other day, a couple of ugly anmations jumped into view and exclaimed in the typical voice of a villain that "we are germs!!" Now, the cold virus is evil (to us; I have no idea why they exist in the first place!) and so are cockroaches. Cos perhaps without meaning to, they cause nuisance/trouble to other people. While they are evil to us humans, I believe that they live um, happily with their peers in their respective communities and hence not evil among like species. But we, humans with power to choose to be kind and not evil, could be utterly mean to our own kind. Oh dear, we seem to be faring worse than roaches :p

PS: I think I have more of the devil in me, more than I like. But I try to cultivate the winged figure in white, I try..

Do you feel it?

I'm feeling every bit of my leg muscles and my right arm muscles, and it's so painful I didn't want to get out of bed =(

Didn't stretch properly for badminton yesterday =(

Went all the way to Clementi to play for two hours. Kel was evil as usual, always made me run left right centre. Good exercise though..

Na joined us and we went to Holland V for a late lunch at Sushi Tei. Had salmon belly soup, very yummy! Talking about performance bonus which we will receive on 23rd. But the amount is already updated in our pay/claim intranet - must check tomorrow! *excited*

Went straight to meet Jo in town, found her shopping for household items cos she would be moving to a new place soon. Had a great time catching up with her; haven't chatted with her like that for years, really. Went to this soba place in Paragon (Na, do you remember where we had soba with Miki? Similar but not quite there..) and sat for hours, just updating each other of life and work, and discussing general topics. She's going back to KL tomorrow..

Just feel that it's rather seldom that I have a chance like this to really chat with a good friend.. Even though I lost my voice, it's worth it! Am taking lots of lozenges now to sooth it cos I'll be meeting CY for lunch. Another one to chat with :)

Saturday, 18 March 2006

Retort

Last night (again) as I was trying to sleep, YQ came back. And of course Mother climbed out of bed and began her usual harangue at him.

"Why so late?"
"Why are you going out again?"
"Are you gambling/ buying 4D?"
"Don't lie to me!"
"Are you smoking? Then why the lighter?"

To that last one, he retorted, "拿刀就要杀人啊?!" Funny :p

I can never retort when she nags at me. Nothing as witty :p But I can't be bothered too much so I'll clam or start to hum a bit. After a while, she'll leave me alone.

But I pity my bro, I really do. It's sad to see so little trust between them. I've given up telling her to quit accusing him of stuff he may not have done. I mean, give the kid a bit more slack la! Somehow, for him, I feel that the lack of trust causes him to rebel more than simply strict discipline, which she cannot really enforce anyway.

Found Mother watching Super Nanny on Thurs and I watched as well. I think there are things to learn from that show. There was no accusations, no caning, just strict enforcement of rules in the house, reasonable rules. I hope there are shows that can help her understand how to manage older kids like YQ, who is 21 btw, not exactly a kid..

Lots of mehs

Last night, I was lying on my side to sleep. Meh was next to me, quiet and sweet. I suddenly remembered that on the way to and from Manchester, I saw many many mehs dotting the fields along the highways. I told Meh that I thought it cute to see balls of wool moving, but added immediately that she was still the cutest meh ever :)

Thursday, 16 March 2006

London!

I'm back :) Wrote the below over the past few days.. Few pictures though..

10 Mar 2006

Exciting!!! I'm logging every single little thing - be prepared.. But it's London so you'll read right? (Just entertain me and say yes :p)

Krisworld wasn't working at my seat, super bored for 13 freaking hours.. Wrote some thrash in my notebook, worse than the usual fluff here such that even I the writer couldn't understand when I reread them - so I shall not post. Nose was acting up in the confined space. Had a bit of diarrhoea 4hours before arrival - no I didn't have any excessive-consumption-may-cause-laxative-effect sweets like Na did once.. Slept a bit. Actually a lot. I slept through both take-off and landing - amazing how fast I could fall asleep cos as we were descending, I took some pictures of the clouds outside, and the next moment, I was shaken awake on contact with ground.



My favourite shot. Think clouds are a wondrous thing. They float like floss candy, some seem to flow by like wisps of horizontal smoke. I wish I were a giant and could reach out just to touch them to know how they feel.. And it was so cold outside there was frost..



Finally arrived at Heathrow and was saved from the customs queue by our London colleague who fast-tracked us through customs.

First accident: couldn't synchronise with the trolley and broke a toe nail cos I was wearing open-toed sandals. Endured the bit of blood for the next hour on the way to our hotel. In that hour, also learnt that LH had given birth to a 2.6kg baby boy! Congrats :) What tickled me was that she was sms-ing people within 3hours of giving birth, that's my boss man! Garang!

We drove into central London. For the longest time, I didn't know where we were until the lights of Harrods suddenly came into view. It finally dawned on me: I'm in London! Millennium Knightsbridge was right behind Harrods and I was delighted with my room! I know it's very sua ku of me but I took a lot of pictures cos I've never stayed in nice hotels before :p

Met YS for dinner at Convent Garden at 845pm. I was quite early, didn't know YS factored in some preparation time for me when he said it would take 20min.. My prep can be very fast *smug* Anyway, so while waiting, I called up Min-oppa, SL and Miki to arrange meeting times. There were some trishaws around - I've never seen them before but apparently they've always been there.

We had wanted to go to Belgo for mussels/ seafood; the place looked cool and smelled great but waiting time was 45-60min! I was getting famished so we left for another place. Ended up in Pasta Brown for some catching up until we had to catch the tube.

Oh, tube! I was so appalled when I saw the adult single in zone 1 cost £3!!! It was less than £2 when I left *.*

YS checked out my room and helped me find the switch of bedside lamps :p He also helped finish some of the complimentary fruits but refused the chocolates (cos I didn't help much with his gelato earlier, must be! :p) Btw, you have to stop harping on our age gap; you're also 26 this year even though you are born a good 350+ days after me!!



After a warm shower, I found to my horror that I couldn't log on to work! Had to register my room number after plugging in the cable but my laptop being security protected did not allow that until NetProtect could get a secure connection online. Chicken and egg =(

12 Mar 2006

It's freaking 325am and I can't sleep. I'm actually suffering from jetlag! Usually I don't with only 8hours' difference cos I can always sleep.. Maybe cos I have internet connection, something to do.. Seems to suggest that when I eventually get my little room, I'll be up most of the time :p

Anyway, yes, internet connection has been settled. Apparently, just a proxy setting: uncheck my usual proxy setting, set up NetProtect to check work mail, redo proxy check and I'm all ready to surf!

Left hotel for Buckhurst Hill - Supadance! - at 850am on Sat, fully expecting to get there by 10am. But you know, I was so lucky - no service between Woodford and Epping this weekend due to track works! And Buckhurst Hill was just one stop after Woodford =( I didn't know cos I had my Creative plugged in until after waiting for 30min.. Had to take a replacement bus from Woodford to Buckhurst Hill.

The lovely shop was some 500m uphill from the station. Heaven! I tried this and that and finally settled on a pair of maryjanes in flesh satin, size 6 wide fitting instead of my current size 6.5 regular fitting, and a pair of latin in tan satin, also size 6 but regular fitting. Also helped Sito get a pair of latin shoes and stocked up on heel protectors myself. The lady also gave me free brushes and sponge for cleaning patent shoes. Na was just saying (I'm on MSN now) that I must get her something too within her usual $50 budget! I may have a last slot of free time tomorrow pm. Hope to make my way to Oxford St..

Made it back into central London by 1pm, slightly late in meeting Min-oppa. Haven't seen him for 2.5years! We confirmed that we both still looked the same :p Went to a tea room Richoux near Harrods. Nice place but my pasta was tasteless - for the first time ever, I sprinkled salt over cooked food.. Had a great time catching up though but we didn't talk very long cos I had a recce at 3pm. Took this outside my room



(Despite looks, he's really older than me :p)

Recce took longer than expected so I was late in meeting SL.. Met at Bank and drove to Holborn for dinner at a very cozy Italian place Ciao Bella. Had this interesting pasta in greaseproof bag - they literally cooked it in the bag! The seafood serving was very generous and I couldn't finish though SL helped with all the mussels and some pasta. I felt like I had been eating too much the past two days, very full all the time. And I was OD-ing on pasta! Nvm, I like :p

Went to a housewarming party at a mutual friend's place; she just transferred to London for a short stint of 6 months. There were other mutual friends and familiar faces there, mostly from Oxford. It had really been such a long time man.. Many of them were in the finance industry and some consulting firms, people with crazy hours which explained the nice house, heh!

Oh, I was the 新加坡妹妹 :p And someone said I looked like Stefanie Sun. Strange, cos someone else said the same thing back in my MSc year.. But SL thought otherwise, he said I was more like Fann Wong! Kao! Don't think I look either, but well, to be said to resemble Fann Wong is quite flattering!!

Slept for a couple of hours before waking at 2am - couldn't sleep.. Caught up on some personal mail and blogging too.. But my eyes are starting to smart, think I shall try to get some sleep now..

Same day, 12 Mar 2006 but much later

The late night meant I woke a bit later today, 8am. Prettied up and decided to skip breakfast since I wasn't hungry. Sat down for some work until 10am when we were supposed to have an informal discussion with some students. Quite interesting though I wasn't the one talking; my two colleagues were way better in talking and addressing people, which was why they were in this job. Oh, I'm just helping out in this trip since I'm doing related stuff. Meeting was also quite long - I judge time by how soon I need to pee :p

Tubed to South Kensington for lunch - lazy, just one stop :p Had my fav chicken, mushroom and cheese panini, but the highlight of the whole South Ken trip was to get Ben's Cookies!! I was so excited but the experience wasn't too good actually. First of all, the salesgirl wasn't like the friendly people over in the tiny Covered Market stall in Oxford. And second, the cookies weren't warm enough! I must go to Oxford next time I come to UK!

No time for Oxford St afterall. Went from lunch to meet Miki at Harrods but the cafe (Laduree or something) was full so we went to Cafe Rouge just behind instead. This nee-chan seemed stressed, less bubbling than the last time I saw her but still, she's one of the most energetic persons I know. She's already making plans for an IB internship in NY and another internship or exchange in Shanghai, and all in this year! SL is also getting married in Shanghai this year. I'm very tempted to go.. Have to consult my bank statement..



So comfortable talking with her but had to run by 6pm to prepare for the dinner hosted by the big boss. I had thought and YX had confirmed that smart casual did not include jeans but the girls were wearing jeans so I did too. Turned out ok la, went to a typical Chinese restaurant in Bayswater - Mandarin Kitchen. Food was great but I wasn't hungry enough to have more than a few bites..

13 Mar 2006

Sore throat worsened after dinner last night; woke with a headache. Survived breakfast with the bosses but couldn't make the morning trip to the Singapore mission, which was sad cos I wanted to go look-see! Slept after two panadols and woke feeling better. Hence went for lunch at Zafferano just behind hotel. Posh posh but not too atas..

The key event was held in Millennium Gloucester. Did some last minute tweaking to layout that must have stressed out the poor event manager.. The event came and went - see news coverage in CNA and ZB. Think everyone was pleased with it, both the host/ organisers and the guests, many of whom queued for a Kodak moment with the big boss. But I barely survived it and skipped supper with my colleagues though I didn't have a single bite. Went back to room and crashed completely.

15 Mar 2006

I'm on the flight back now, just blogged - scroll down to previous entry if you haven't *mf glares* seen :p

Tues started at 7am when we set off for Manchester. The Midland Hotel looked grand, more so than Knightsbridge but Knightsbridge was in super prime area so more modern and less opulent.

I almost took something out of the fridge :p



And I've never seen this before, shoe mitt..



Had a quick lunch at OpusOne, a pub nearby, before checking out the function room. The group was smaller this round so things were settled very quickly. Of course it helped that the staff were very quick to respond to our requests to modify layout, yes, again.. Think it's hard to make money out of us, very demanding! :p

Went to Boots - Boots! - to get some lozenges with antiseptic for my throat. Had one, which totally numbed my tongue, before popping two more panadols. In fact, my head is still hurting now. Must get some water and down a couple more.. Perhaps I could then sleep and hopefully avoid jetlag..

Anyway, was surprised to see a junior from calligraphy at the event. She was there with her parents. At the London do, I didn't speak to people as I was covering other stuff but last night, I spoke to a number, though not all topics pertained to theme. Quite an interesting bunch of people..

The bosses left for supper while we hung around with the last few lingering guests. Someone said I looked like his tuition teacher who became a TV actress later. After a while, we realised he was talking about Evelyn Tan.. mf? Evelyn Tan? *pause* So is it Stef Sun, Fann Wong or Evelyn Tan??!



Source: Google search


Source: Google search


Source: Google search


Finally got back to my room at 11pm. Oh this was a bigger room, with a LCD or plasma TV - honestly can't tell the difference. Took a bath in the nice bathroom before packing my bags. Watched a bit of Dark Angel too. Like that show, but it was discontinued.

So this morning we left the hotel at freaking 5am cos we were flying out of London. Checked in with the boss so no queue. While they were settling the seats, I got my VAT refund settled - no queue. Went straight to SIA lounge to leave our stuff before popping out for some quick shopping - magazine for Kel, and a box of clotted cream cookies I passed by.

As I was waiting to pay, I realised something. You should already know that I don't buy souvenirs cos I think eg one good key chain is enough to last a lifetime. This trip was quite tight, I prioritised my free time for meeting friends and dance shoes. Bought Kel's Men's Health cos he specifically asked for that. Bought some cookies from Harrods while waiting for Miki. I'm afraid I have nothing for Na cos there was no time to browse for something cute. So, specifics are better for me. Does that further confirm my J in MBTI? :p

Made our way to the gate 20min before departure time. Walked quite a bit cos we were 33 gates away! Received a promotional in-flight internet prepaid card at the gate. We were received by staff to go into the aircraft - no queue again cos boss was with us. But of course, he went to his first class seat while we went to our business class and economy class. Don't bother asking - I'm in the economy :p Person in front has his or her seat inclined all the way so I'm quite squeezed here. But quite fortunate that this isn't a full flight, and we requested aisle seats for all of us on economy, AND blocked the two seats in the middle of the central row so there is more space for bulky me ^.^

16 Mar 2006

Sleepy.. Kel just came to take his magazine on his way back from somewhere. Otherwise I might still be sleeping :p

Couldn't replicate my work emails, quite pissed.. Nvm, there's tomorrow..

I came back this morning at 9 plus cos the flight was late by an hour. The last 30min of flight was interesting. First, a cute guy moved into the empty seat beside me cos he was sitting too far behind and he had to catch a connecting flight to HK where he would transit to Shenzhen. That was all we talked about cos the next moment, cabin crew shuffled us to first class so we could leave the plane early with the boss. My first time in the nicest part of plane! Actually it was just spacious la, a great relief cos my legs were so cramped for the past 13hours.

Took some photos as we landed. At first I saw only low buildings in the sea. Realised that the plane approached over Malaysia, looped over to Indonesia side before turning anti-clockwise to touch down in Changi. The low buildings should be kelongs? Cos when Singapore came into view, it was actually quite obvious; the high rise buildings and thousands of flats! Have never seen Singapore from this angle before..





For the first time, I was the 6th passenger to walk out of the plane :p We waited at the VIP complex for our luggage and hopped into cabs from there. My cabbie was very excited, saying that this was his first time picking up passengers from VIP complex :p But I was quite stoned from the two panadols I had while waiting. Cabbie had to call me 3,000 times as we approached tomato town before I woke.

Btw, the upgrading works are going well! Very happy to see the crushed concrete downstairs :p

Novelty!

It's an unimaginable -53 deg C outside. We're travelling on SQ 317 at 1,050kmh, 10,670m above Middle East, 5,900km from Singapore.

And mf is blogging! Ahhh, addict, you say.. :p

Anyway my watch shows 1805 GMT. Have to tune it forward 8hours in some 7hours time. In the past 6hours, I've watched three movies: Capote (perplexing, I need to read In Cold Blood), Wait Till You're Older (the Andy Lau one, I actually like it!), and Derailed (won't say very but I'm quite disturbed; while, as someone says, the only way to curb temptation is to succumb to it, there are certain kinds of temptation that are better resisted!)

Ok, I'm reaching India if I go any further now, which makes opening para wrong and I won't have it wrong *OCD surfaces*

Just writing for the heck of it, since it's unlikely I join the ahem, mile high club, haha!

Back to movies and sleep.. Be talking about the whole trip very soon!

Oh, friendly stewardess just gave me a very red apple - shall eat it first :)

Sunday, 12 March 2006

More positive thinking, pls

Had a short but rather negative conversation the other day. Two friends from the same organisation were saying how the organisation was doomed because of its bureacracy, hierarchy, inflexibility, inertia etc. The guy said he would get out before it crashed and even offered to give reasons for its sure death if he was interviewed after that. The girl said she would be glad to have been part of the organisation but she would eventually leave.

My burning question: since you know why the organisation may fail, why don't you do something about it so that it won't crash?

They echoed each other that there was no point cos it could not be done. Why? Cos the people at the top wouldn't be open to change as it would mean they had been wrong while those at the bottom could not influence. Further, they said, motivated people at the bottom could decide to advocate change but end up with zero career prospects (so they would leave in the end), or move up the ladder silently and end up like the unchangeable top men.

I felt so suffocated by the sheer amount of negativities in their sentiments I wrote some notes down in paper straight off.

One, when you think it's not possible, it's really not possible, but only to you who think it so; to those who think it possible, they'll find some way to try to do it. I find it unacceptable that people accept failure only because they (think they) know it's not going to work. You never know until you try, right? And if it still doesn't work after trying, perhaps it really is impossible, or perhaps the time isn't right or something. Point is, don't give up by giving in to a simple "oh, but this cannot be done!"

Two, the whole thing about bottom people not being able to influence and top guys not willing to budge is a vicious cycle. The bottoms think they're powerless against the tops so they don't do anything; the tops think the bottoms won't say anything to challenge their authority so they have no need to budge or change for the better.

Perhaps I'm being naive, talking from a third person's perspective with not much idea of how this organisation works. But I believe that if you think in a certain way, a certain bad way, then things will unlikely look up. Think positive, and even if it doesn't work out in the end, it should be a triumph knowing that you've tried and perhaps, it just isn't meant to be. Somehow I'm reminded of marriage counselling: it can work only for those who wants it to work, who holds the tiniest belief that it just might work.

Perhaps I should stop listening to people talk about their work. It always seems so negative because people have so much discontent that they're not voicing out. In cases like this where whatever I say has no effect on the listener so adamant in his/her stand, I shall no longer persist to change his/her mind otherwise; I've made my stand.

On the other hand, I thought another friend did well in a recent episode. One day, he wasn't too pleased with his work. In fact he seemed quite disheartened. But the very next day, things went on well. And I suspect it's because he really wanted to do well, and somewhere inside, he also believed he can. You know who you are, well done!

With shoes but without shoes

I'm logging on from hotel, broadband access costs £8 per hour or £20 per day - freaking ex! Must make it worth every penny.. Now a trivial before I blog on London..

On Wed, I was trying to break into a pair of C&K shoes I bought in Aug/Sep. It was a pair of pointy toes with short heels, lovely though the prints looked suspiciously like Gucci's G's..

Mistake! Developed two huge blisters and two slight abrasions above my heels on the way to work =(

Was saved by my office slippers but had to limp to ballroom in the evening. My dance shoes were better but the blisters were already there. Finally decided to take them off to just dance in my socks. Relief!

But my white socks turned grey black and my heels too, cos the socks only covered the front half of foot. Hence Sito called them balls' pouch when I first wore them some time ago *.* Decided that I couldn't bear to put on my shoes after class - dirty feet, painful blisters..

Walked barefooted to Boat Quay in the hope of grabbing a cab. Fat hope. Empty cabs ran by without stopping; those that stopped were on call. Picked up my phone to call for a cab and walked across to Clarke Quay while waiting for an operator. Turned out the operator had no idea where Clarke Quay MRT station was! What kind of crap was that?! I had to look for the exact road name for him - New Bridge Road btw.. Very pissed by then. It wasn't all; I waited more than 5min for the cab number, which never came! WE NEED MORE CABS ON THE ROAD!

A bus arrived at the bus stop outside the MRT so I hopped on holding my shoes. Changed to another bus that would bring me to my doorstep so I wouldn't have to walked barefooted all the way from town centre. No seat and I was on the phone, so did some acrobatics with only an elbow to balance against the pole in front on me.

The whole journey took me 45min. The path from bus stop to my block was lined with trees where birds would hide. So I stepped carefully to avoid any shit. Then the path right under my block was sandy so it was painful to walk! But I was happy with the sand, cos it meant upgrading, and talking about upgrading, Mother received this letter that pm saying that they would be starting work on the small room from 13 Mar until end of year! So happy!! The info centre gave me wrong info when I called earlier, told me my block would start only in Nov.. But, yes! Very happy!! :))) (triple chin, cos I'm so happy)

The next day, I took a pin in the office and poked the life out of the damned blisters. Think I did a pretty good job for a first timer :p

.. Oh I'm happy! :)))

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Certainly not the kind you eat



Where I stay, there are gigantic tomatoes sitting around randomly. Or perhaps it wasn't too random; perhaps these two happened to be out sunbathing that day I went by.

(No candy for guessing where I live! :p)



They say it's lonely at the top but doesn't this one look happy to you? Red and cheery.. And sunbathing too..

It's just sad the no one really gives these giants a second look. Except mf, who thinks they will make a lot of ketchup..

My town council (or whatever) is quite cute :)

Saturday, 4 March 2006

Tiring week

Was working toward a few deadlines, finally finished all on Fri evening. Tomorrow, I shall rehearse for a presentation on Mon, yet another chance to hone my presentation skills. After the Mon meeting, I have a couple of loose ends to tie up before a short work trip to UK on Fri.

Only heard yesterday that I might have to go. Quite exciting, I thought, cos it would be the first to UK since my return in Sep 2003 but was worrying a bit about not finishing some work that I'll be leaving behind very soon as I'm being seconded elsewhere. Reminds me of my summer trip to Germany and Switzerland when I was thinking of my dissertation which had barely started.. Then LH said the work wasn't urgent and I should go for exposure. Turned out my involvement was confirmed so I mapped out a schedule to finish as much work as possible.

Anyway, the secondment should take place once the office is ready, likely April. Be moving closer to town, quite near the dance studio so it's easy for me to go practise after work. I foresee improvement! :p *fingers crossed*

Told Mother about UK when I got back yesterday and sat down for some TV with her..

Mother: I think you're not very pretty..
mf: o_O *where did that come from?!*
Mother: Chin is too sharp.. Nose isn't too nice too..
mf: My chin is not very sharp! Anyway, it's better than a round one! And what about my nose? What else?? Why?!
Mother: Don't know la!

This sucks..

A few of us met up for lunch today cos WX just came back for the month. She looked pretty in her Japanese fashion, I'm envious.. And apparently, the Jap government scholarship gives a really generous allowance. I should have gone there..

Feeling very tired now, must be the heat this pm. Going to shower before catching up on some work and/or reading.. Blog something tomorrow if I have time..
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