June 28, 2005

if cats could fly

watched a chinook helicopter fly past overhead yesterday & wondered what if I could hang a ski chair from it & go 'reverse parasailing' on a ride with e world at my feet & surprise e birds in e sky & enjoy e scenery below & try to recognise geographical landmarks & spot e white border of blue ocean waves crashing onto aquamarine-coloured coral reefs & watch e dark shadows of clouds being chased by e wind across emerald green hills & ochre sand dunes & grey mountains capped with heaps of white snow icing....

tried parasailing in Phuket when I was in primary school & it was too close to e ground for me (no kick) & I had to do it tandem because I wasn't big fat enough to land on my own in e winds =|

love e beautiful aerial photos of e Cape Range peninsula & Ningaloo reef off e West Australian coast that I had to map for GE2220 =)

enjoyed e view of e rivers & farmland below on a domestic flight in China despite e fact that flying in an old Fokker aircraft (where you had to push up your own seat like lifting a toilet bowl cover before you could sit down & lean back against it so that it wouldn't fall on you & where e air stewardess had to cut open a passenger's seatbelt that got stuck) makes you lose your hearing =)

had loads of fun recognising e Mekong, Ruak & Kok rivers, e Asia Superhighway, Chieng Rai city, Ban Doo, Chiang Rai Rajabhat University campus & e Chieng Rai International Airport runway & pinpointing e locations of Tambon Mae Yao, Mae Sai, Sop Ruak & Done Xao from EarthSat satellite images from maps.google.com =)

if cats could fly....they would be too busy enjoying e view to eat all e birds in e sky? *grin*

[ filed under: thewonderingstraycat ]

June 26, 2005

sunday morning shock

each time I sleep past 7.00am, I get woken up by plenty of male voices speaking/shouting/taking orders for coffee in broken English + Thai + Chinese + other unidentified languages. earplugs aren't much use - sometimes am literally shaken awake by e piledrivers - once when they hit some hard rock I fell off my bed....first time in all nine lives that e cat has ever fallen out of bed, & am a self-proclaimed expert at kooning on narrow benches & tabletops & odd-shaped surfaces (have snoozed on one of those round marble Chinese restaurant dining tables & on a dressing mirror table before).

& this morning I saw this swinging past my window when I opened my eyes:


maybe e construction firm could lend us a few of those yellow hard hats to wear while we are doing laundry or cooking in our backyard (directly below my window) with all these dangling above our heads....?

photo was taken from this angle (sitting on e floor) cos if I stood up I'd be face to face with 2 grinning construction workers waving hi to me. forgot to close my Zo-card curtains last night....damn heng that they are just below e height at which they can stare at e cat in dreamland.

& then there's e 7.00am-11.00++++pm 7-days-a-week rumble & whirring & creaking & banging & drilling & ROAR of e cranes, earthmovers, piling machines, generators, jackhammers & other heavy equipment that have worked together to crack up e plaster work on e walls & support columns of my house, mis-align all e door frames (not a single door in e house can be closed properly now) & crack e wall & floor tiles. wonder if e construction workers know that I look forward to their lunch-cum-nap times & heavy rain (i.e. stop work = brief respite from noise) as much as they do =P

week & a half ago, found that e main door was once again out of alignment after having already been repaired once by e construction company's contractor....*basket* e deadbolt could no longer slide into e hole in e strike plate, & so e door could not be locked except using e internal sliding type of lock that cannot be opened by keys.

parents were thousands of kilometres & 8 time zones away & all I could find in e big fat toolboxes were e usual all sizes of hammers, screwdrivers, spanners, drill bits, nuts, bolts, screws, nails, allen keys, red/green plastic pieces for inserting into holes drilled in walls, saws, white tape for sealing joints/connections between plumbing parts, dried up superglue, autosol, silicon glue & hundreds of other 'no-idea-what-to-call-it's - I learnt everything from my dad, who calls everything hi1 gai1 那个 (that one) or ji4 gai1' 只个 (this one) in Teochew.

found everything & anything except e file that can be used to file metal (no idea what to call it). & my own file (& big fat screwdriver, test pen & small screwdrivers) has gone into hiding ever since e last time I moved room, so nothing available that could be used to file one side of e hole in e strike plate to widen it such that e deadbolt could fit.

so someone had to stay at home in order to lock & open e door from e inside until e problem was solved when e parents returned. sounds damn silly, but e parents are really so fussy about things that sis & I decided that it was easier for us to wait for them to return than to fix e problem/replace e lock ourselves & get #&$*^$ for choosing a less-than-satisfactory (in e aesthetic sense) lock design/colour/whatever *sheesh*


[250605] Moorhuhn X - XXL:


still a long long way from e highest of highscores at 3308, but having loads of fun!

lauweeli, jiayou!! ;)


[190605] completed:


[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 + art1 ]

June 21, 2005

the ring

if it is noticed by another female that a male does so much as glance at you while:

01. walking by along e corridor or past your workstation
02. standing in e vending machine queue
03. waiting to use e office photocopying machine
04. taking e same lift
05. walking through e same door
06. lining up to buy food
07. waiting for a meeting to start
08. you are giving a presentation
09. anytime
10. anywhere

or if says hi to you first instead of her....

or pays what is felt to be more than your fair share (apparently supposed to be zero) of attention to you....

or you ask him to do something for you e.g. send you a document/hold e lift for you/translate a paragraph/hold e door open when you are carrying something heavy/give you a lift to e nearest bus stop/etc....

or he ICQs/MSNs/IMs/emails you, & always initiates e conversation....


CC & PP both learnt it e hard way.

maybe because CC & PP were brought up with plenty of brothers, & their parents treated them like one of e guys....they played with Lego & lizards, beetles & snails, climbed monkey bars & jumped into ponds to catch tadpoles & run away from security guards, fought with one another, helped with painting e house walls, ceilings & balcony railings, washing e car, drilling holes for curtain rods, door locks, window grilles & lighting fixtures, assembling cupboards, wardrobes, bookshelves, tables & double decker beds, unclogging clogged air conditioning unit drainage pipes & toilet & kitchen sinks, replacing faulty doorknobs & hinges, varnishing parquet floors, sawing wooden planks & PVC pipes, & kena their fair share of push-ups & caning for mass punishment. everything except how to deal with other girls.

their parents tried sending them to all-girls' secondary schools but it didn't really work. they just got along better with guys (both straight & gay) & had plenty of close buddies. they had fun making silly bets & challenging their buddies in sports & during NAPFA tests, going arcade to watch e guys par game (they had no $ for this), demonstrating e art of climbing over e school gate in e uniform skirt without zhao girng, & watching e guys celebrate their 18th birthdays with 6-packs of beer & pillaring. their buddies could tell them straight in e face that they needed to pee & ask them to help hold their files & bags while they dashed into e Gents, unload all their army stories on weekends, & conveniently use them as partners for OCS social nights & comms ball & some commando dunno-what-dinner-thingy. they found that they worked better with guys in terms of working style, & developed a severe allergy to whining, teary drama queens & bitching.

CC was first hit in JC when one of her kindergarten+primary+secondary school friends suddenly grew cold....only when that friend got attached to one of CC's buddies did CC realise that e Ice Age started simply because CC was e guy's confidante & thus viewed as a threat & had to be eliminated....

all e way through to uni, CC had to distance herself from more & more of her buddies to avoid being clawed by green-eyed monsters. there was a reprieve of sorts as CC tended to mix more with e non-locals in hall (not that there were many locals in CC's hall anyway =P) & in class, but then CC joined a 'predominantly local' ECA in her honours year, & kena e worst case ever. life became more bearable only after she distanced herself from almost all e guys in that ECA.

& then PP joined e working world, & it was her turn to be hit. screamed at by colleagues & superiors on a daily basis, it was only when a kind veteran pointed out to her that she was just too visible, too efficient, too self-assured, too well-spoken & attracting too much attention (see e 10 points listed at e beginning of this post) that all her female colleagues & superiors felt insecure, that she realised that working with females in e corporate jungle requires not just jungle survival training in order to negotiate e bitching minefield, but a little magic in e form of....

the ring

peace has reigned ever since PP started wearing a 'fake' engagement ring (a diamond one that her mother can no longer wear after developing an allergy to e metal =P) on e correct finger on e correct hand to work, thus 'officially declaring' herself 'out of e race' in e predominantly female workplace where eligible bachelors are in short supply.

this trick was picked up from a guy friend of PP who wears a fake wedding band to work - not to stave off unwanted attention from lady colleagues, but to counter rivals who are trying to discredit him & bring him down by spreading rumours that he is gay....it works perfectly - because most Singaporeans are still stuck with e Stone Age mindset that wedding bands are only for heterosexual couples?

[continued 210605 17:38PM]

perhaps this has something to do with one or more of e following 'phenomena':

- xiaojie-type gfs wanting/expecting to be e centre of attention 24/7/365
- how making a girl feel like she's e centre of attention is touted as e way to win her heart
- guys kena hentam by their significant others for looking at other girls
- guys kena hentam twice over for then saying, 'look only cannot meh?'
- girls rarely having something positive to say about other girls
- girl to guy, in accusatory tone, 'why are you always mentioning her?'

brings to mind this quote from I-forgot-where (was it one of Li Lien-fung's Bamboo Green articles? or one of Han Suyin's autobiography books?) on why multiple wives & concubines will clash - exact wording is beyond my memory, but it describes how two spoons placed in e same bowl cannot avoid hitting each other.

does such behaviour stem from insecurity?

[ filed under: thewonderingstraycat ]

June 20, 2005

cat watch tv

....& I don't mean that in-your-face kind that is found on board SBS buses making people throw up with e Phua Chu Kang musical trailers (e latest round of fare increases should allow SBSTransit to provide passengers with free barf bags like what non-budget airlines do, no?), or scaring little kids with yet another (lost count) Korean horror movie trailer....

mum: if you notti & don't listen to me, I make you watch Korean horror movie then you know
kid: *shuts up, hides under seat, & squirms*

I mean real TV at home. so those who want to buy 4D, go ahead! =)

once again, it is e Japan Hour + j-dorama combination that brings e cat back into e living room. this time round, e latter is kyumei byoto 24 ji III [救命病棟24時 3]....hopefully e soundtrack will turn out to be as good as e one for kyumei byoto 24 ji II [救命病棟24時 2] by Sahashi Toshihiko 佐橋 俊彦 (who does anime soundtracks too).

watch this series not so much because of e story/plot but simply because I love all e glimpses of e city (Tokyo) that I am so fascinated by. & then e scriptwriter had to destroy e city with a massive earthquake at e end of e first episode *duh*

anyway, watching e camera panning across e city skyline with e Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) towers in e foreground & Fuji-yama in e distance teleports me back to my post-honours exams solo Japan trip....can't believe that it was just 3 years ago when I found e correct exit (out of ~60 exits?) out of Shinjuku station to those towers - feels like ages ago!

'to go' list (keeps growing): north Laos, Bangkok, Chieng Rai, Kyoto, Tokyo

[ filed under: japanese1 ]

June 19, 2005

work in progress - 02

[180605] after a break of dunno-how-many-years, picked up e (cuticle) scissors again:



started doing this ~13 years ago....cutting paper while listening to S.E.N.S. is just so therapeutic =)

Khmer & Thai stone bas reliefs & lintels & door woodcarvings have been floating in my mind for some time....& then I found these at e Great Singapore Sale @ Holland Village's Lim's Arts & Crafts:

P6180269 P6180270


taken by Pig-pig's friend:


[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 + art1 + cats1 ]

June 17, 2005

two bus rides

[140605] discovered SMRT Buses Ltd's latest promotion: wait three times as long, & get 3 buses instead of one! *DUH* happy waiting for service no. 61 at Holland V....& waiting....& waiting....& waiting....3 buses each of service no.s 970 & 106 later, service no. 61 finally arrived (TIB1025E) & arrived (TIB425R) & arrived (TIB420M). & Mr CS Choi (TIB1025E) brought us all on a bendy bus hell ride....e bus didn't crash, but many of e passengers did - repeatedly, into poles, e seats in front of them &/or fellow passengers. unsure of how many of my nine lives would be used up by e time this bus reached Eunos, decided to change to SBS service no. 10 at HarbourFront....

[160605] woken up from my hour-long (yesh e journey in off-peak traffic conditions excluding waiting time is that long) morning nap on SBS service no. 32 by e sound of cat breakfast: chirping & beautiful birdsong =) turned out to be an old man with 3 birdcages....ta pao breakfast for e cat? *evil grin*

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 ]

June 16, 2005



photo credit: SLG

heading into e middle of Taman Negara for a yoga session....yeeeeaaaaaah riiiggghhhht =P

[ filed under: thewanderingstraycat + taman_negara_2005 ]

June 14, 2005

dream vs. plan

from a long long time ago:


....invariably once people attain success, they start to canonize the steps they took to achievement. This is how Dreams become Plans....


As one of our readers told us, "It takes courage for a person to pursue his dreams, but it takes much more for a Singaporean to pursue his!"

& from a not so long long time ago:


....the way Singapore functions is that they take success stories, break them apart and study them to formulate a Plan. This Plan then gets implemented across the board....What is it about Singapore that forces a person to choose between his Dreams and his home?

[150605] from a recent interview with a performer from e French trapeze group Les Arts Sauts that performed here during this year's Singapore Arts Festival, published in e Straits Times Life! section:

'Singapore is a beautiful jail'

[ filed under: thewonderingstraycat ]

June 12, 2005

work in progress - 01

[120605] Banyan Tree Gallery is ex....

....but not construction paper from Paper House + blue tack from NUS Science co-op + artificial flowers from Mah Boon Khrong + ceramic bowls from IMM Daiso + metal figurines & 6-10 baht greeting cards from Phahurat & Chatuchak markets + postcards from Baan Jim Thompson giftshop =)



need to go back to Bangkok again!

[ filed under: art1 + thai1 ]


waiting for e bus too:


Sri Mariamman Temple:

P6110221 P6110223

old Thong Chai Medical Institution @ corner of Merchant Road & Eu Tong Sen Street:

P6110224 P6110236

outside Indochine @ Clarke Quay:


[ filed under: cats1 + 9_lives_2005 ]


tea leaves + colour pencils + sharpener + drawing block + photo album + SGD10 (~200+ baht) for our 'courier' to buy eggs/milk/fruits as gifts:


if all goes well, these will soon be on another wooden floor thousands of kilometres away....

next time I go to e village I will bring along paper + pencils for e kids to draw me pictures like what Thanchanok did when we lent her our pen + rough paper =) but NO markers nor pens like what those ang moh tourists handed out - paper is a rarity in e village & all e kids will just use one another as their canvas & turn into amateur tattoo artists....that night we had green kids with green scrawlings & doodles on their shins, arms & faces in our house ....other houses in e village had red/blue/yellow/purple/black/orange/light green/pink kids, depending on which marker pen they had grabbed =P

[ filed under: chiangrai_2004 ]

June 09, 2005

SDS snowstorm + passiflora

[070605] storm in a teacup, beautiful snowstorm in a Schott bottle:


dissolving SDS + glycine + Tris base to make 10X protein gel running buffer

[090605] walking in to Proteos from Buona Vista MRT bus stop:


from e messily hairy 'bad hair day' sepals & flower, recognised it as passionfruit....ID-ed as Passiflora foetida by my expedition housemate. brings back memories of honours days in Dept Biological Sciences, when Little Daisy & I would pick e fruits (*shhhhhhh!*) from e passionfruit growing on e Botany garden fence next to e S4A carpark, give them a good shake & eat e liquefied insides =)

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 + labrat + nature1 ]


....huge billowy clouds shoved aside by e impatient wind charging across e morning sky - felt happy (in a relieved sort of way) that there are forces of nature greater than man at work

....three bird nests spotted in e trees along North Buona Vista Road

....excerpts from two poems by Tanikawa Shuntaro 谷川・俊太郎:

But shouldn't we remind ourselves
that we read words
in order to read what are not words?

- from 'A Man in Love'

A book is a beautiful piece of wrapping paper.
It wraps up the world
and gives it to you as an irreplaceable present.

To turn the pages
is to unwrap the parcel,
sometimes violently ripping it.

- from 'Book & Tree'

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 + art1 ]

June 03, 2005

cat entertainment

from a long long time ago, when Phenomedia still had moorhuhn available for free:

moorhuhn 2
moorhuhn winter edition
moorhuhn 3
moorhuhn X - XS
(have to Google around for obscure links if you want to download them FOC)

two other favourites:
http://ww4.tiki.ne.jp/~amoh/flash/amoadv.swf - amoadv
http://www.evamerling.at/samorost/samarost.html - samarost

similar stuff:
http://www.albartus.com/motas/ - MOTAS
http://flash.qbol.net/pl;p/youxi/images/04042203.swf - Crimson Room
http://www.fasco-csc.com/works/viridian/index_e.php - Viridian Room
http://www.fasco-csc.com/works/bluechamber/index_e.php - Blue Chamber

[ filed under: 9_lives_2005 ]

acm + singapore river

[260505] ....first time in e Claymore Road + Claymore Hill area behind e Royal Thai Embassy....e Bruneian-owned Royal Plaza on Scotts hotel with only Malay language signs in e toilets, which gave e feeling of being instantly teleported overseas on holiday - e magic of e absence of signs & announcements in all 4 official languages ;) ....e also Bruneian-owned (they own most of Orchard Road? =P) DFS Galleria complete with a replica of a beautiful Hindu temple roof....e American Club that HYX & I used to pass by at 6.30+am in e mornings when we walked to save on e trouble of having to change to a third bus to get to school....e Tanglin Club on Draycott Drive, just down from e Draycott Park/Draycott Drive turning leading to e downhill section of e 2.4km route that took us past condominium apartments that cost more than e combined annual family income of everyone in e class, or e combined monthly family income of all 480+ of us in our cohort =P

chanced upon this pamphlet in e lobby of Royal Plaza at Scotts:


e asian civilisations museum is open past 7pm (earliest time I can reach town from work) only on fridays, so 270505 evening was e last chance to catch this exhibition, which led to:

[270505] special exhibitions gallery

....always thought that Nyonya kebayas were decorated with floral motifs, but here there were those decorated with birds, bullfighters (!!), mandarin ducks, prawns (!!), papayas, hens with chicks, etc

....learnt that there are white/blue/black/green Nyonya kebayas in sombre tones for mourning & funerals

....silly me never realised that e back of a Nyonya kebaya is also decorated with embroidery=P

China gallery

....Ming dynasty Buddhist scriptures engraved on sheets of gold

....wording on a tapestry in 'four official languages' - Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian & Tibetan

....a quotation entitled 'filial piety'
(孝) from e Analects book 2 chapter 4 li ren no. 19 (论语卷二里仁篇第十九) on e wall:


accompanying translation: 'while parents are alive, one must not travel afar. if one must, one's whereabouts should always be made known.' how many have had their wings thus clipped, & how many have choked on such a stranglehold? ;)

....Gao Xingjian, e China-born (now a French citizen?) Literature Nobel Laureate in a video interview:
'文学是个人的声音', with e accompanying translation 'literature is e voice of e people'

....from e same video, a clip showing calligraphy done using water in place of ink & e stone pavement as paper - impermanence, something that I have touched upon many times before

West Asia/Islamic gallery

....plenty of beautiful calligraphy with words that seem to dance across e paper (because of all those 'tail ends' of e strokes of Arabic characters? especially those written in e Dewani style), or huddle together in deep discussion of their collective meaning (calligrams, where several words - an entire verse? - are arranged together to form a picture)

....Koran pages with thick elaborate gold margins filled with colourful intricate floral scrolls, that brought to mind
sin tin chok - e decorative piece at e hem of Thai phaa sin skirts

Southeast Asia gallery

....a full set each of Hmong, Mien, U-Lo Akha & Lolo hilltribe costumes, an Akha shoulder bag decorated with iridescent green scarab beetles, a Hmong baby carrier

museum gift shop

....Lahu basket labelled as 'Mooser basket' - brought to mind Jamu's (Lahu Nyi/Red Lahu) reaction when I mentioned to him e word 'Mooser', which Agong's Lomi Akha wife had exclaimed when we saw an image of Lahus on TV during dinner

pleasant surprise: admission after 7pm on fridays is free =) for once we are somewhere closer to those museums overseas that have free admission one day per month (usually sponsored by some large corporation) or half-priced admission during certain hours or even free admission 45 minutes before closing time - offering those who don't qualify for senior citizen/student discounts & would otherwise be unable to afford a visit, a chance to partake in e art & heritage of their own country & beyond. word that comes to mind: egalitarian =) next word that comes to mind: e antonym of egalitarian - elitist =| what kind of society do we want? & what kind of society is being engineered for (by?) us?

outside e museum, Cavenagh bridge:


so this bridge has something in common with me =)


one of e Cavenagh bridge cats:


upriver towards boat quay:


e roof profile of Furama Hotel mirrors e scalloped edges of several of e kebayas seen earlier in e museum =)


downriver towards Marina:


Fullerton end of Cavenagh bridge:



Esplanade bridge:



windless night perfumed by e scent of these flowers:

P5270095 P5270095a

at e bus stop at e foot of e bridge, two army 5-tonners rumbled by in e direction of e war memorial. somehow it all seemed very surreal....14th October 1973 + 1976 at e democracy monument in Bangkok + 1989 in Tiananmen + Black May 1992 at e same place again in Bangkok....

[ filed under: art1 + nature1 + 9_lives_2005 ]