Wednesday, September 29, 2004

According to my mum yesterday, today is my lunar birthday.

If today represents the birth of me about 30 years back, i shuddered to think if it is going to be a representation of what is about to happen for the next 30 years or more. It is a helluva day, running to classes to classes, I could smell the sweat on my shirt. Starting with A Maths, and followed by Social Studies, then A Maths then Social Studies again, 8 periods altogether. I am so glad I have survived this ordeal.

I am really not t

I need a rest........................

Monday, September 27, 2004

I See IC

I am getting a big present for my birthday, a new IC.

For the ignoramus ( or hippotamus, or hippotamus"es" plural), this meant that I have reached the golden number of 30. As required by law, a citizen at the age of 30 ( not 40, or 50 or even for the record, 34 years and 2 months) have to make a new IC to reflect his/her new look ( balding or frizzly hairdo, plump or aneroxic, glasses or san glasses). This is to make sure that if you are somehow caught of doing something bad/evil/nasty/angelic and they have to submit a picture of you, they will not be using the one that you have taken when you were in JC 1. I hated my picture in the IC; in fact I have accidently showed it to a couple of ex girls before and they liken it as reading Stephen King "Pet Sematary", not that it was THAT scary, but it is just that the ancient look with the bifocals was alittle 1980s ( anyway that was what it was supposed to be, what do you expect, 1960s, I am not that darn old)

Anyway the IC will be with you until the day you see GOD. That will be when the hospital will punch a hole through your IC and certify that you have expired your stay as a citizen of Singapore. Nothing really morbid about it, just that I guess every birthday passed is just a step closer. But most importantly, you must live life to the fullest. The greatest regret is when your life flashes past you, and you realise that you have done nothing significant in your life. I think that will be even more horrific than dying.

Talking about dying, I caught the movie "Vertical Limit" on Channel 5 yesterday evening. Anyway I got the DVD of the movie but I was still religiously and faithfully sitting in front of the TV set , with the commericals and such. I think what struck me most while, was the persistence and the passion he had, and I am not talking about Chris O Donnell but me. Hey I could have easily switched to watch the DVD and save my time going through those repeats of "Singapore Idol' commericals and trailers from the "Bachelorette", and of course the Carlsberg beer advertisments. I realise the most important thing that I learn from the show was the strong belief that Chris O Donnell has to save his sister, to conquer his fear and phobia of climbing. To send 6 men to save 3 was suicidal and to return with only 3 is certainly not cost effective. But then again that was what I mean by living life to the fullest, although the people died, they died for a good cause, for it was really in doing the act of rescue, that they finally did something about their lives. Dying in the middle of an avalanche, is definitely a no-no when it come to ways to die...

Anyway, forget about the morbid stuff. A couple of blog readers ( yes outsiders and not present IJ girls) asked me what I would like for my birthday. Well here is a simple wishlist. ( I hope my wife is reading)

1) A cool looking haversack for me to carry my markings and other stuff (preferrably deuter)
2) A BMW Series 3 metalic grey car which costs S$112,000 ( It doesn't hurt to dream a little)
3) A romantic dinner with my wife at Equinox
4) A romantic getaway to Bintan over the weekend
5) A nice birthday cake ( blackforest my favorite)
6) A couple more teachers to go for the mission trip with 3/4
7) The mission trip can go on as planned.... ( cross fingers)
8) The book "The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia" by Richard Overy
9) Series 4-10 of Friends ( Sigh! not available yet)
10) Peace and Quiet on my birthday.

I think that with my age, I think I treasure point 10 the most...

And that is my 2 cents worth.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lazy Sunday
It is the start of the week, or the end of the weekend. As I looked back and reflected on what I have done for the whole saturday early Sunday morning. I realise that there was really nothing I have done.

Attended a wedding dinner with my wife, a cousin's wedding, her cousin's wedding. Somebody I don't even know. I had to go as usual, the family thingy and of course her grandmom, who I have never met, has flown from Australia specially for this. She would like to see her handsome, charming grandson-in-law. ( well I added the adjectives myself, so that I can convince my subconscious that it is absolutely necessary for me to go)

It was at the Dragon Gate Restaurant situated at Lobby C of the Harbour Front ( former known as the WTC), and you would be surpised that it is situated right at the fourth storey amidst all the office spaces. But then again, that was not the crucial point. The crucial point was the small talk on babies. Yah the dreaded "B" word again. "So when is your turn?", "Why your tummy is so small? No Babies", (with that they threw a glance a my wife's tummy, even though mine looks more convincing as someone who is pregnant.), "Why no babies, not trying hard enough?" ( I should spare the under 21 the explicit details, but what was the connotation about, Me not enough sperms or She not enough ovaries?)

It was dreadful sitting through a 2 hour plus dinner when I could have a) mark the A maths test paper, b) what the "Xi Yuan Lu 2" on Channel U since that was the finale, c)Complet the editing of the exam papers or d)enjoy the baby making process. All the 4 choices seems more exciting that the very one non-choice I am bearing with. To make things worse, my rumbling stomach was screaming for food and dinner was yet again lately served at around 8.45pm. You shoudl have seen how the guests wolfed down the food and eyed the dishes like vultures when the newly weds were doing their i) march in, ii) cutting of the cake, iii) popping the champagne, iv) "yam seng"ing etc etc. A hungry man is an angry man no matter what joyous occasion he is in.

The whole feel of the dinner was also not helped by an elderly auntie waitress who seems as equally unwilling as me to be there at the dinner. From the way she served and growled at the diners to finish their food and put their dirty crockery at the centre of the table to facilitate clearing reminded me of some autocratic parents screaming at their 3 year olds at the food courts or other public places.

In my table were a couple of supposedly close relatives who I was supposed to know as they had supposedly attended my wedding dinner. I was frantically trying to remember who they are and could only muster a feebly smile. Who the hell are they? Half way throughthe dinner and I was already thinking of going off. But as always being the nice person that I am I decided to stay through. (the dessert was my favourite)

Any idea why I am blogging when I actually turn on the comp to start doing some serious work.. Argh... GOD HELP ME!!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The sickening thing about weekends is that We have to work to the end of the week to get it. And even so, We still have to work our socks out during the weekend to get our work done. We can't let our hair down ( not that I have alot of them) to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing weekend with our family. Talking about that, I could not remember when was the last time I had spoken to my mum, you know mother-son sharing. Was it last saturday or friday... hm... Anyway I am about to leave home to go for a workshop at ACS Barker, some sharing thingy which I am utterly reluctant to go. Come mon, my examinations papers are still in reds and shreds ( ie read last entry of blog) and I haven't been spending quality time with my family. IN fact my wife and myself seems to be living in two time zones. You see she is currently in between jobs and is having a field day being a housewife. Which means that she is busy at home doing housework and planning for her new job whatever it is) She will be out in the evening where I willbe at home slogging and marking papers or doing the flavour of the month, setting exam papers. Likewise when I "shut down" for the day say about 12 plus, she will be back and she will be doing stuff of her own till maybe 2-3 in the morning. When I wake up to start the new day, she will be still asleep...Hm,this is seriously not healthy for our relationship, certainly not conducive to make babies. But then again, the government are great at planning, it is just that they never see the nitty gritty of the execution part.

Ripped these from the net again.... Pretty funny

The Best of the Worst Country-Western Song Titles (These are *real*)
  • Do You Love As Good As You Look?
  • Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts Of Life
  • Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye
  • Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure
  • Here's A Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares
  • How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?
  • Been Roped And Thrown By Jesus In The Holy Ghost Corral
  • I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life
  • I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling
  • I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me
  • I Flushed You From The Toilets Of My Heart
  • I Keep Forgettin' I Forgot About You
  • I Wanna Whip Your Cow
  • I Would Have Wrote You A Letter, But I Couldn't Spell
  • Yuck! I Wouldn't Take Her To A Dawg Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win
  • I'd Rather Have A Bottle In Front Of Me Than A Frontal Lobotomy
  • I'm Just A Bug On The Windshield Of Life
  • I've Been Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart
  • I've Got The Hungries For Your Love And I'm Waiting
  • In Your Welfare Line - If I Can't Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You
  • If Love Were Oil, I'd Be A Quart Low
  • If My Nose Were Full of Nickels, I'd Blow It All On You
  • If The Phone Don't Ring, Baby, You'll Know It's Me
  • If You Don't Leave Me Alone, I'll Go And Find Someone Else who Will
  • If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?
  • Mama Get The Hammer (There's A Fly On Papa's Head)
  • May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose
  • My Every Day Silver Is Plastic
  • My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus
  • My John Deere Was Breaking Your Field, While Your Dear John Was Breaking My Heart
  • My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him
  • Oh, I've Got Hair Oil On My Ears And My Glasses Are Slipping Down, But Baby I Can See Through You
  • Pardon Me, I've Got Someone To Kill
  • She Got The Gold Mine And I Got The Shaft; She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
  • She Made Toothpicks Out Of The Timber Of My Heart
  • She's Got Freckles On Her, But She's Pretty
  • Thank God And Greyhound She's Gone
  • They May Put Me In Prison, But They Can't Stop My Face From Breakin' Out
  • Velcro Arms, Teflon Heart
  • When You Leave Walk Out Backwards, So I'll Think You're Walking In
  • You Can't Have Your Kate And Edith Too
  • You Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd
  • You Done Tore Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat
  • You Were Only A Splinter In My Ass As I Slid Down The Bannister Of Life
  • You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly
And that's my two cents worth.

Friday, September 24, 2004

This is going to be a pretty and dumb post. If you don't get what I mean at the end of the post, I guess you can get rid of the "and" between the words "pretty" and "dumb".

I am officially on Friendster. Congrats to me...
Not that I really wanted too. Was invited by my 4/3 girls 2004. Thanks! Now I know how ancient I am.
Have you realised that how small the world is? Friendster sure show me that.. I had a student who is the cousin of my good buddies during my honours day. I have a student in my form class who happen to be the cousin of a friend I used to attend art lessons. Not that I am really that eager to meet him, in circumstances that I have to meet up with him for tea and financial planning, but then again, that will be a good way to find out about how he is. Guess it makes sense (or cents)

Random #2
I realise that the teachers are officially on Alert Red Stressed Panic Mode. It is quite obvious when the staffroom is devoid of human activity by around 3 which is still fairly early considering the longhours that teachers do work. I am still in the midst of setting my SS papers and I have to say the signs are not good. It was returned to me in brutal slashes of red, with arrows and asterisks which seems to make no sense to me. The last time I have seen my work being so closely and BLOODY criticised was my Sec 3 composition when I argued so rhetoically about the importance of exercise ( not that I am doing anything about it) I just felt really pissed about things today. And I am sure that I feel a lot better when I visit 3/4 and 3/2 for A maths. Thanks girls. I guess the reason why I am not so uptight about some stuff is perhaps I know my priorities in life, and I sure know how to be a better person than some. Maybe it is my pride at stake, maybe it is just that I am pissed with things. Damn sometimes I just hate the school with the politics. No offence.

Random #3
I still can't believe that I bought "Enemy at the Gates" from just to show 10 minutes to my students. What a great teacher I am though I am like US 25 poorer. And what was I thinking of when I did the impulse buying of the movie "Stalingrad" which coincidently is still in shrink wrapped form on my DVD collection shelf.

Random #4
My birthday is coming. Damn this is going to be the worst birthday ever. Change of IC, and the constant nagging about kids again. What should I wish for? World Peace?

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Mission: Tripped

Congrats to me..
I finally got the approval of the Principal for a mission trip, and guess what I will be bringing my class to really rough it out. Yeah! Had a meeting with Ms Tan and Jacinta who is going to be the volunteer coordinator for the trip. What was really gratifying to know was that the Ms Tan was so full of praises with 3/4 and she feel that they are the best class for the mission trip, nurturing the future leaders she said.

Anyway, while lunging the 8 to 9 piles of marking back home, I am pretty excited about it though the thought of all the logistic, in the midst of my marking etc is already sending chills down my spine. So what if we are going to Bidore to a Orang Asli settlement which is in Malaysia ( for your information, it is in between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh) instead of Chiang Mai, and so what if we are now going on a one week trip from 17th to 23rd November 2004 ( Teachers are expected to attend the gala Dinner on 15 November 2004) instead of a mere 5 days. But I am sure the experience will be enriching. It is a Christian settlement and most importantly, we will really be getting to know about the lives of others especially those who are less fortunate than us. Short of basic amenities but strong in spirit of sharing and care and concern, it will be really an eye opener. I heard so much from Jacinta and in fact I will be going down to the settlement to have a look on the 9th October 2004.

Let's see how the class respond....

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Five reasons why Bush is like Hitler

Ripped this off the net. <> Really funny, especially for the girls who are doing History.. Hope it made sense...

Whenever anyone brings up the dark historical antecedents for the behavior of George W. Bush, such as the similarities between neo-conservatism and nazism, imperialism and zionism, the pro-American thought police strikes back with intricate shock and awe campaigns. The intent is to confuse the public and frighten critics back in line, a tactic otherwise known as FUD - Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. The more clever ones invoke something called "Godwin's law", which says that the moment you compare someone to Hitler in a debate, the debate is over. The motive is obvious, to stifle debate and criticism, and the method eerily reminiscent of Orwell's 1984. It works because what most people know about history is no more than what Hollywood taught them - and we all know who controls Hollywood.

But it doesn't take much education to escape the claws of conventional wisdom. Despite all the pompous huffing and puffing of pro-Americans whenever anyone mentions George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler in the same sentence, there are at least five obvious similarities between the two leaders:

1. Both orchestrated attacks on high-profile targets and put the blame on scary "others". Hitler burned down the Reichstag and blamed it on the Communists. Bush ordered Mossad to crash into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and blamed it on the Muslims. (Possibly he also intended to destroy the Congress building, in an eery parallell to the Reichstag fire.) The result: A terrified population rallies behind their leader, eagerly applauding any new measure he sees fit to introduce against his new "enemy".

2. Both interned their political enemies in concentration camps. Hitler's Dachau was the first of many. So, no doubt, is Bush's Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo. It's difficult to look at the images of Afghan civilians in orange uniforms walk around with bags over their heads, on what is no doubt illegally occupied Cuban soil, and not be reminded of the horrible scenes we all remember from Treblinka and Auschwitz. (It is true that these were extermination camps, not concentration camps, but how much do we really know of what goes on behind the walls in Camp X-Ray?)

3. Both launched unilateral, aggressive and supposedly "preemptive" wars against weaker countries. Ignoring the protests of all civilized European powers, Hitler and his henchman Mussolini invaded most of Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Bush and his henchman Blair are similarly off to a good start with Afghanistan and Iraq, again ignoring the protests of all civilized European powers.

4. Both massacred civilians by the millions. We all know that Hitler killed several million Jews, Gypsies and other "inferior" peoples. Surely Bush hasn't gone that far yet? But as Noam Chomsky pointed out in October 2001, the Afghan war was nothing less than a silent genocide:
Western civilization is anticipating the slaughter of, well do the arithmetic, 3-4 million people or something like that. .. Looks like what?s happening is some sort of silent genocide. .. Plans are being made and programs implemented on the assumption that they may lead to the death of several million people in the next couple of weeks... very casually with no comment, no particular thought about it, that?s just kind of normal, here and in a good part of Europe.
It can't be said much clearer than that. I don't think the figures are in yet about the number of victims of the war in Afghanistan, but this can only be a reflection of the amount of work it is to count 3-4 million corpses. And considering that this was Bush's first war, while Hitler's genocide didn't get started for a few more years, we can be sure that the pupil will overdo the master in no time.

5. Both were Christians. This point is usually overlooked when historians analyze the Nazi origins of neo-conservatism, but it can hardly be a coincidence that both leaders were motivated by the same, essentially racist, breed of religious fundamentalism. When God is on your side, ("Gott mit uns" vs "May God continue to bless America"), who needs the UN, or the League of Nations?

But to be fair there are also several ways in which Bush is not like Hitler:
1. Hitler was elected.
2. Hitler rebuilt the German economy.
3. Hitler was an artist. (Bush can't even write his own bad poems)
4. Hitler was not an alcoholic.
5. Hitler was a gifted speaker.

So perhaps the comparison is unfair. But it does provide us with several important insights into how Bush thinks, and what he plans to do after he steals the next election. So don't let the neo-cons steal the initiative - spread the meme: Bush = Hitler.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A Break

Before you knew it, it is already the term holidays. Term3 had passed by like a flash.

What are my plans for the week. A weel deserved break?? Nah... Got tons of stuff to do. Was having my Masters lessons at the British Council from 1.30 to 5.00 pm, great way to spend your weekend and of course will be spending Monday and Tuesday at the British Council for lessons again. Supposed to go down on Wednesday too but really have to catch up with the syllabus with the Sec 3 A Maths classes. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be the annual Staff Seminar and of course before we knew it, the holidays had ended. Damn don't teachers ever get a rest??

Went with my girls for the Army Open House on Friday. I had to admit that I was really reluctant to go. Come on, i had dedicated two and a half years of my life to get myself acquainted with the uniforms, the environment and most importantly the shitty stuff which I had to go through and on top of that, I have to go to serve the army every year, like a yearly PMS. But then again going with my form class was a different issue all the way. I now understand why ios it that parents enjoyed going to zoos and places of interest with their kids, seeing them smile and getting so excited about it, that they keep talking and talking about it... well the feeling was priceless. (My paternal instinct had heightened as a result of the trip.... hm...) It was great that if I actually have the opportuntity to teach the girls the dance moves for the song "Hey Baby", now to have the whole class singing it and dancing to the moves like a anthem and a class cheer, now that's cool.

As a longwinded "parent", I have to again remind my classes to start studying for the exams. And this applies specially to my 3/4 girls 2004, you know that there is not much time left, so better start studying...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Teachers' DAY

Watch "Bourne Supremacy" today, on a lazy wednesday afternoon where tickets are $6.50 a piece. It is a cool show, with all the car fight and of course Matt Damon. I am not a huge fan of him, even though I enjoyed his acting in "Good Will Hunting". One thing that he was shrewd enough was to get himself in good acting roles where he was actually convincing. No offence to his good friend a particular Ben, who acted in some disaster movies ( read: bombed the Box office) and also snogged JLo with little success. Catch up with some quality time with my wife, just talking wandering along the streets of Orchard. Saw Sonia with her mom.. Think so. What a small world.

Listening to Ocean, the faceless singer blessed with terrific vocals. Quite a cool marketing strategy. Can't wait to see how he look like, CMI?

Thanks for the wonderful presents, well wishes via email, sms, and of course snail mail (how in the hell did you people get my mailing address...). Anyway for the benefit of those who do not have access to the class blog and for those who are non - 34ians, a special tribute to the wonderful refractory form class I had

Thanks for everything that you have done for the teachers including me for Teachers' Day celebration yesterday. I believe all the teachers appreciated it. As you people can see, we don't have an "issue" with all of you as what some of you think. Our job is just to help you people unleash your potential.

And thanks again
1) for the nice impromptu Happy Teachers' Day song. I felt that I was celebrating my birthday in Kindergarten... :P BTW my birthday is around the corner... hint hint...

2)the celebration in class and the lovely show of gratitude and appreciation to the teachers. Reason I rushed out, because my eyes were welling up...

3)for the Hugo Boss... CPIB will be checking on me soon... seem like my class had a penchant of buying expensive gifts for me

4)for the thoughtful gift of the eau de toilette....last year I got Hugo boss motion, this time it is hugo boss the original. Hm... Seems like you people know who is the boss huh?? This is also the second time I have gotten this gift of eau de toilette. As much as I tried, I had to believe that I am either i) too smelly (ie too much BO) ii) don't smell nice enough or iii) both i) and ii)

5)for being just what you are... Do you know that when I was talking to your seniors, my sec 4 form class, they were so impressed with the discipline and your teamwork and especially how different you people are from them? You people were great!

Personal Thanks go to:
1) Nicole DS - as a class chair, you are literally being pushed around and sat on ( hm...) by the class. But I am impressed with your workrate and how you rallied the class. You may be soft and sweet but you are strong in your own way. ( Maybe the name Nicole DS stands for Nicole De Sweet, Nicole De Soft or Nicole De Strong)

2) The class committee - for supporting Nicole and helping her with all the nitty gritty stuff in the class. Thanks Claire, Dalvin, Pearl, Ele and Teng Meng.

3) Pamela, Lynette - for always being the "nice" girls to be make the centre of jokes and provide laughter for the class. Maybe the only difference is that one knew that she was being made fun of and the other don't. :P And i have decided to add in one name Kelynn.. how can I forgot the girl who look perpetually like she had just got out of bed... "Sleepy" look are in vogue huh??

4) for the girls who are trying... continue and perservere and results will show... don't give up...

5) for all 3/4 - for being such a unique and refractory class!

A parent during the Teachers' Day dinner sitting beside me... (ehem...) made the remark that I will be a good father... Hm... I almost fall off the chair and not before I choke on my watercress soup. I see myself an indulgent father or should I say over-indulgent father... I don't think i will be a good father. And I can never see myself get out of the fear of raising a kid. Always the good and nice uncle, never the father... I cringed every time I hear a kid cry and swear in silence in every language I know when the baby strooler strike my feet in a congested MRT train. I looked in disgust when I see kids becoming Spidermen or tarzans/janes, swinging from one end to another; I lamented at the degeneration of the childrens' bodies as the feet are not made for skating... Let the baby bonus stayed in the government coffers for a while......