Monday, June 29, 2009


Would you love me if I were not pretty?
Would you have me, without even knowing me,
If I were not pretty?

Would you decide that I'd be good for you,
Though you've never been acquainted with me,
If I were not pretty?

Would you take the time to consider,
Whether you could be happy with me;
Would you think twice before deciding,
That I were precisely what you needed;
Just because you liked my looks,
If I were not pretty...

Were I not pretty?

Did you want me simply because I were pretty?

And would you still eat me, since you thought me so pretty?

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Short Long-Titled Post for a Friday

At the entrance to the hospital, there were several masked attendants. As I walked towards them, one stopped me and asked if I was having flu, or flu-like symptoms. I said "No" and was allowed to go in.

I wonder what they would do had I said "Yes".

Or if I said "No, I *ahhh-chooo* I don't have *sniff sniff* flu, or any *cough* of the symptoms. *ahhhem*".

Perhaps I should try that the next time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Smartest Guy in Class

He deserves a little publicity, for displaying his superior cognitive abilities, twice in two weeks!

First time: c. Last Week

The lesson was about differentiating two methods used to display output, namely println and print. The former includes a newline character at the end of the output so subsequent output would appear on the next line, while the latter doesn't. To demonstrate, an example with 4 statements using print method (each displaying a single word) were used to print a single line of text, consisting the 4 words. Another 2 statements using println were then used to show subsequent output texts in separate lines.

He asked - with regards to the first 4 statements using print - why should he use 4 statements to output a single line of text, when he can very well use just a single statement?

For the benefit of those not familiar with programming, here's an analogy to illustrate:

The Lesson: I am going to show you how to use this knife. To cut a fruit, say an apple, I hold the knife like this, and I cut like this, like this, like that, and there - I have slices of apples to eat!

The Question: Why can't I just take the whole apple and bite into it?

Second time: c. This Week

The lesson was about the dangers of integer division resulting in zero. For an easy example, say one has 2 floating-point variables, x and y. The value of y, is a tenth multipled by x. If the statement is written as y = (1/10)*x, the right-hand side expression will always be zero, because integer division of 1 by 10 always results in zero.

He asked - why can't he just divide x by 10 directly?

Again, for the benefit of those not familiar with programming, here's the analogy:

The Lesson: Here's an important precaution when using the juicer. It is important to cut the fruit, say an orange, into small chunks before putting them in. If the pieces are too big, the juicer can't juice them properly.

The Question: Can't I just squeeze the orange juice out with my hands?

Why, yes you can! Bravo, kid.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No Random Post

A friend once said that when one's heart inclines towards something, one starts to really notice it, and notice all its likenesses. And the commonest things that haven't meant the least to one all one's life start to bear seemingly irrelevant significant importance. That smallest thing may make the heart skip beats, the eyes linger moments longer, the thoughts stray off course. It may be a name, a number, a date, a car, a book, a colour, an abstract idea...

Today, I am thinking of pink. Nice, sweet, baby pink. And I am thinking of 23. It is, afterall, another one of my favourites.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steamed Buns

The recipe (from here):

500 gm flour (super white flour or Pau flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp (6g) instant dry yeast
2 tbsp shorterning or vegetable oil
250 ml lukewarm water

Method :
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour,baking powder,salt,sugar,yeast and shortening) in a bowl and then add in the water and mix well until it forms a dough.
2. Keep kneading the dough until it doesn't stick to your hands.
3. Divide the dough into two small doughs and knead again until the dough texture is smooth.
4. Leave the dough to rise double the size, covered with a wet cloth. (around 30mins - 1 hour)
5. When the dough has risen , punch the dough to let the air out. Knead the dough into small balls (half size of a baseball) and fill with your choice of fillings (e.g. red beans fillings,beef or chicken curry fillings,tuna).
6. Place a small piece of paper as a underlayer of each buns. (This is to prevent the buns from sticking to the steaming pot)
7. Leave all the buns to rise again for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile you can prepare the steaming pot.
8. Steam the buns for about 10 minutes , and ready to be served.

Guess which step I missed?

7. Leave all the buns to rise again for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile you can prepare the steaming pot.

Yup, that one. Smart, aren't I? The moment I'd done a batch, I hurried them into my steaming wok. Hurried them like they'd evaporate if I hesitated 2 seconds. Hurried like there's a deadline which if missed the world would cease to exist. I want to bang my head against the wall.

They look really UGLY, and aren't as fluffy as I remember they ought to be, but they are edible. Heck, they are more than edible - just not fluffy. Gah! I need to do this again next weekend!

14th June, 12:30am edit:
I consulted my bestfriend's husband, who has had some formal culinary training, on dough-rising matters. In addition to always include step 7 which I missed, he said, instead of punching the dough (step 5 of the recipe), I ought to press it gently, to rid it of the big air bubbles and preserve the tiny ones. Press it GENTLY. Not punch it all over. Definitely not karate punch it from every direction!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Ideal Career

Approximately 7 hours ago, I was reading a book while waiting for someone. The someone arrived, saw my book, and asked about it. It was a title by Sophie Kinsella, which I got at the same time I got the Shopaholic book. Being a guy, that someone hadn't heard of the author's name, and didn't know much about the Shopaholic books, but he knew about the movie.

She must be rich now, he said, referring to the author.

I would suppose so, I said.

He was silent for a moment, then quietly observed that I write. I replied in the affirmative. He asked me if I'd considered writing a book. Well, I very well could, I am sure, but to achieve that bestseller status, to make a comfortable living out of it - I am not too sure. He will take care of it for me, he said. He will fund the publishing and the marketing, and then take 30% of the profits.


Sure, deal, I said. He sounded so serious it was hilarious. When I am getting a good, stable income from my book, I can quit my job and have all the time in the world for - well, whatever, he added. Won't that be really great for someone like me?

So, deal?

Sure, deal! I mean - doing something I have so much passion for, which is in fact an almost pure enjoyment, while making a good living out of it, with a chance to achieve celebrity status - if that isn't ideal for me, I don't know what is! The only other thing that I can think of that's almost better, is if I get to go visit interesting places to write about them. Surely there are lots who find my travel journals very well-written and love reading them! If this could be, I would probably be willing to kiss postgrad goodbye. Gosh, I think I'd be willing to french-kiss postgrad goodbye! Aahhh...

It is late and I should go to bed, to continue dreaming my dream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We Want Your Money

I mean, your generosity. For a good cause, of course.

I sent Mee Mee a message that sounded something like this -

"I just spammed 87 ppl with invites to the Choralthon!"

And she said -

"Can you forward it to me too? 'Cos I want to spam people also..."

"Already did"
"Good job!"

You are probably not one of the 87 people I spammed, so here:

There will be people singing throughout the 8-hour event, and there will be people selling food and drinks.

I was going to write a polite plea for support - but isn't it really obvious what I hope to achieve writing this post? I believe you know very well what I hope you'd do. If you don't, re-read the title of the post. Thank you for your attention :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just Another Post

There's possibly an infinite number of things running through my mind, my brain is very alert, in the high-speed firing mode, and yet I can't think of a suitable title for this post.

My grandma is sick. She's been sick for some time now, and been in and out of the hospital. Last night, they said she was in a critical condition. She couldn't recognise anyone, and all I got when I called her was a brief, blank stare. I am unable to describe that feeling inside. I am unable to comprehend how the 'adults' can remain calm and light-hearted - for the sake of my grandma, no doubt. I was so unable to master the art of hiding emotions, I was reduced to blinking twice as much as usual, that my stubborn tears would remain inside my eyes; to periodically glance around the gloomy ward, at the flourescent lights, at the softly-squeaking fans, to take my eyes away from the face I never imagined could be so thin, so worn, that my heart could keep from being overwhelmed.

My mother mused about life - she said once we got old, we'd just be, waiting for death to come. It was very gloomy talk, though no more gloomy than all the other conversations. I'd heard talk about what they needed to do, who they ought to contact, once she's passed. I'd heard talk about the cost of funerals. I understand that they were only preparing for the eventually inevitable; I understand that plans must be discussed, must be made, but still, it depressed me to no end.

At times, when conversations around me start moving in directions I don't intend to go, I find myself drifting off to another place. That place is exclusive for me, in my mind, where beings of my imagination behave the way I like, say to me things I love to hear, and react to what I say in the way I deem ideal. And I kinda like it that when I want to, I could regard everything that goes on around me as white noise, and exist only in my own dimension with the actually non-existent beings in my mind.

How close is that to insanity? Do the insane, before they went insane, know they were heading that way? Do you actually see your sensible, logical mind slipping away, and stand powerless to stop it? Perhaps not powerless, but unwilling?

"I do not suffer from insanity; I enjoy every moment of it"

This morning saw my grandma a lot better. She called my mother's name and could recognise me. When I held her hand, she squeezed my fingers in hers. She could not talk much, but she could respond to talk by nodding and shaking her head. 'This morning' is in the actual sense referring to the morn of yesterday, 7th June, for it is now past midnight.

My fingernails badly need a trim.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Yes, I am tired, and I am not referring wholly to my physical / mental state as of this moment alone. Granted, it has been quite a day (and not quite over yet!), but it's not just those daily tasks and work obligations that put me in this sombre mood.

With everything I'd done today, the cycle is almost completed - the results are submitted, the reports handed in, coordination work for the next cycle begun. And what next? Starting all over again, from the beginning - the first class, building rapport, chasing deadline after deadline after deadline, suffer the weeks to pass sluggishly by, the frenzy at the end...

And it simply goes on and on. Time just passes us by while we get swirled around in this never-ending cycle, and before we knew it, we'd lived our lives and we wouldn't know for sure what it was all for. Whatever good times and bad times, laughter and tears, tears from laughing too much, tears from crying, tears from grains of sand in the eye; good deeds, bad deeds, generosity, selfishness, honesty, telling lies, making others happy, making this world a better place - and then what? In the end, if indeed there will be a common end to all, those whose lives we'd made better by making this world a better place will end up in the coffin, much as we will so, ourselves.

Still we go on and on. Chasing dream after dream, setting new targets after each set are achieved, replacing unhealthy addictions with new addictions...

Gosh, I am tired.

And when I am tired, my brain thinks funny. I suggest you erase from your brain the memory of you having ever read this post.