Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Freaky Tale

It was in the evening, the sun was at the verge of setting, and I was driving along this long, straight, road. There were no other cars, and I was driving very slowly, being feverish and feeling faint. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a white dog appeared by the road's divider. It attempted to cross, but stalled, as I approached it. What a creature it was - pure white from head to tail, lean and graceful. I drove past the the canine. Perhaps it was it's striking impression, the solitudinous road, or a feverish fancy - that made me feel inclined to look at the enchantingly appealing creature again. I gazed into the rear-view mirror.

There was no dog. In its stead, was a long-haired young lady, in a billowing pure white dress that fell to her feet. What a sight - she slender and graceful, her dress snowy-white and flowing. She stared about upon the road, as if about to cross it. It was such an arresting view I could not take my eyes off the mirror. Moments later, I came to my senses and my blood chilled. Gosh, what have I seen? Was it all a delusion of my tired mind, sick with fever?

I drove steadily on, still unable to take my eyes off the rear-view mirror. A second later, I saw the white dog again...

... a few meters away from the girl in white.

I breathed a heavy sigh of relieve. I wasn't seeing "things" after all. Ahem!

It's still a wonder that I didn't see the girl when I was approaching the dog, but it was very well that she could've crossed from the other side of the road while I wasn't looking. Of course, I am pretty sure she had legs... under all that white fabric of her skirts... I think.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Gift

Before I even started writing, I realised how entirely arrogant, self-serving and boastful this post (and those which will follow suit) will sound. First - well, I know I am not an arrogant person - so perhaps it is alright to be a little arrogant once in a while on a blog? Secondly, everyone deserves some self-serving writing which don't harm anyone. And being boastful - now, I don't mean to, and will never want to be boastful (if it appears that way, please know that I don't mean it!). Right - I shall begin.

CS, who is one of my first room-mates, whom I call a dear sister, is going to be married in March next year, and I have the privilege to prepare a photo slideshow for the wedding!!! OK, you're thinking - yea, big deal. YES, IT IS A BIG DEAL! This is her once-in-a-lifetime, and she trusts me enough to let me do the slideshow! Me - who doesn't any professional multimedia / design experiences. Me - who is practically hopeless in art and creativity. (polar bear, if you dare leave a sarcastic comment on this......... beware!) Thank you, CS! And thank you, Elina, for suggesting it!

The first thing was to determine the song for the slideshow. CS gave me this URL and mentioned that she loves a song that plays on the website. I went to the site, heard the song (yes, it's a very sweeeeet one) and found out that there's no information on the title nor artist. Problem? No problem. A friend had time and time again proven to me that Google solves all your problems.

I listened closely, typed whatever bits and pieces of lyrics I can catch into Google search textbox, included the keyword "lyrics", and a few clicks later, I had the song title. Then, it was off to Google's YouTube, and within seconds I was looking at dozens of videos of the song title. Based on the voice of the singer and with a little luck, I found the version CS wanted in no time. Thank you, Google! Getting the audio file is something I'd rather to elaborate. *Ahem*

The first step is taken. I forsee some challenges ahead. I hope to make this gift as perfect as I am capable of for CS, so of course, if my multimedia-expert friends have any tips and pointers, all are welcome.


Friday, November 9, 2007


When you get very extremely pissed, you can try to remedy with a joke marathon:

What is a Kiss?
Prof. of Computer Science: A kiss is a few bits of love compiled into a byte.
Prof. of Algebra: A kiss is two divided by nothing.
Prof. of Geometry: A kiss is the shortest distance between two straight lines.
Prof. of Physics: A kiss is the contraction of mouth due to the expansion of the heart.
Prof. of Zoology: A kiss is the interchange of unisexual salivary bacteria.
Prof. of Physiology: A kiss is the juxtaposition of two orbicular ors muscles in the state of contraction.
Prof. of Dentistry: A kiss is infectious and antiseptic.
Prof. of Accountancy: A kiss is a credit because it is profitable when returned.
Prof. of Economics: A kiss is that thing for which the demand is higher than the supply.
Prof. of Philosophy: A kiss is the persecution for the child, ecstasy for the youth and homage for the old.
Prof. of Engineering: Uh, What? I’m not familiar with that term.

Male or Female?
FREEZER BAGS: Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.
PHOTOCOPIERS: Female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again.
They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong buttons.
TIRES: Male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.
HOT AIR BALLOONS: Male, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.
SPONGES: Female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.
TRAINS: Male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.
HOURGLASS: Female, because over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.
THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this - it easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying

Elementary Science
- One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
- The law of gravity says it's not fair jumping up without coming back down.
- Someday we may discover how to make magnets that can point in any direction.
- Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.
- A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.
- Lime is a green-tasting rock.
- Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.
- Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there.
- In some rocks you can find the fossil footprints of fishes.
- A blizzard is when it snows sideways.
- A monsoon is a French gentleman.
- It is so hot in some places that the people there have to live in other places.

Still pissed. Damn.

C++ defines friends to perfection: Friendship is granted, not taken.

If you grant someone your friendship, it doesn't mean that that person grants you his/hers in return. If you are sincere and true in being a friend, it doesn't mean you are in the least appreciated, and definitely doesn't mean anything you gave will be reciprocated. If you gave your heart out, it stands a good chance of being stomped and trampled on.

Most of the time, only those you really care about, those whom you thought were your true friends can piss you off so severely, and hurt you so deeply.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

For One More Day

I had read both Mitch Albom's first and second novel, Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven . I must admit I didn't like the second book very much. I was having second thoughts when I saw Mr Albom's third novel but bought For One More Day anyway, just to complete the "collection". I didn't read it until it had been resting in my bookshelf for several months. After I did, I am compelled to say that this novel far surpasses The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

Charles "Chick" Benetto was a broken man who lived on alcohol, in misery and regret, and who'd lost his job and left his family. The last straw came when he found out that he'd been deliberately left out of his only daughter's wedding, and he decided to kill himself.

The night he planned to die, he got drunk and drove towards his birthplace - to "end his life where it began" - only to be involved in an accident, which he miraculously survived. For a brief moment he saw his mother, just as she was before she died, 8 years ago. He was certain it was a hallucination. He staggered up a water tower and threw himself down. He didn't die.

Towards dawn, he managed to find his way back to his old home, found the key and made his way in - and beheld his mother in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. Chick Benetto would spend that day with his deceased mother - that one more day which thereafter changed his life.

Just as he'd done with his previous two bestsellers, Mr Albom had cleverly weaved the narration of the "present" day with flashbacks and reminiscence of the past. Glimpse by glimpse, piece by piece, Chick's childhood, teenage and early adulthood were put together to form a wistful picture - how he'd never fully appreciated his mother's love and attention in chasing for his father's, how he'd never stood up for her while she always did for him, how he'd been away when she died. And he had one day - to hear her speak again, and to really listen, to feel her love again, to discover secrets and to tell her how he loved her.

What if you had one more day with someone you'd lost? What would you do for one more day? These questions were posted on the book's official site.

He's been gone 6 years now. He would have turned 60 today. What would I do if I had one more day with him? I don't know - I don't want just one more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

You're A Girl!

"You're a girl!" a guy with a permanently damaged head said to me when I met him at my event yesterday. Yes, I am a girl, despite you having addressed me as Mr neil in all your email correspondences with me previously. I have (in my very correct opinion) a very feminine Chinese name and I'd never thought that my name could ever be gender-ambiguous. However, of late, I'd been addressed as MR and EN (encik) by several people, on several occassions in correspondence. This had never happened before! I had been incorrectly addressed as Prof neil once (ahem! but he was the author of the textbook I was using and was responding to a query of mine, so it's not surprising that he thought I was some big-shot professor) and Mr neil once (he accused me of defaming him just because I told him he cannot use the same MCQs in the final exams for 2 semesters in a row... so we all roughly know his IQ). Maybe it's the different people that I deal with now, but I had never been thought a man by so many different people, so many times! And how am I supposed to respond when they began their emails with "Dear Mr neil..."? Am I to reply "I'm MS neil"? "I'm female"? "I'm not a man"? No matter what the words and how they are arranged, telling someone you're not a man like they assumed, is very awkward.

Someone suggested that I use an English name - one that is unmistakably feminine. This is a very good idea, though I really love my Chinese name, and do want to simply just keep to it. There are many advantages to using an English name of your choice - you can choose a really pretty name that reflects your style or personality, people tend to remember you much more easily, and people will NOT mistaken your gender!

I was seriously contemplating adopting an English name when today, another guy who also had permanently damaged his head, who also had previously addressed me as Mr neil in his emails, whom I also met and spoke to at my event yesterday, sent me an email. It began "Dear Mr neil...". Right. Feminine English name? Forget about it. Don't bother. I probably look like a man anyway.