Tribolum.com Making Light of Things

February 2002 Archives

Overcoming Our Own Disability

WheelchairHe was slowly pushing himself up the slope behind me. I could hear him panting. I turn around inconspicuously and glance. ‘He looks in pretty good shape’, I thought. The question was: should I ask if he needs help?

It’s not a scenario that is distant or way out there, but when we’re faced with these decisions, we tend to think a little too hard. I know I was half afraid he’d bark back at me for thinking that he couldn’t overcome something as trivial as a small slope. I didn’t want to hurt his pride, but on deeper thought, it was not his pride, but my own that I was protecting. My disability to care and love was much greater than his own physical handicap.

I slowed down and offered him a hand. At that very moment it seemed all fear of being embarassed had left me. He smiled and through clenched teeth he said “no thanks”. There was a split second of silence.

“It’s a great day to get some exercise”, he said.

We spent a few moments talking, and I realise that my inhibitions were hardly altruistic in nature. We (and I mean all humankind) are in this mess of an earth together. The least we could do is put aside our own pride and help each other. Blogger Comments x

Tiptop Homeland Security

A Secret Service agent left documents detailing Vice-President Dick Chaney’s security plans at a souvenir shop. I’m sure that leaves the rest of us here feeling nice, toasty and really, very safe.

Read the article. Blogger Comments x

But A Visage

It’s quite amusing really. I’m in college majoring in Management Information Systems. I’ve used Internet Relay Chat for a good seven years. Seen ultra-expensive groupware collaborative suites and virtual rooms. Yet today when I saw the small image of a webcam move I was quite taken aback with fascination.

“The blog! It’s coming alive!” For many of you who have come to Tribolum for some time now, we meet without faces, hear without ears and speak without voices. The linking of a physical human face to the words on the screen was very much like the awakening of a dormant synapse within my brain. Don’t get me wrong - I know, and feel the very real human beings behind the words of blogs and journals I read, but a real life physical interface was somewhat of a new sensation to me.

We chatted for a bit on instant messenger, communicating in real-time. It was a joy to be able to see the emotions or reactions on a visible human face. Thank you dear friend, for the short time we shared. It was nice to have seen a friendly face. Blogger Comments x

How Beautiful A Soul

For D.W., who wanted poetry.

O, let me be alone a while, No human form is nigh. And may I sing and muse aloud, No mortal ear is by. Away! ye dreams of earthly bliss, Ye earthly cares begone: Depart! ye restless wandering thoughts, And let me be alone! One hour, my spirit, stretch thy wings, And quit this joyless sod, Bask in the sunshine of the sky, And be alone with God! - Anne Brontë

Two o’clock, Monday, May 28th, 1849. Anne Brontë passed away many miles from her father and her home. She had left for Scarborough four days prior so that her father would not have to go through the grief of watching her die from consumption. She wrote not long before her passing,

I have no horror of death: if I thought it inevitable I think I could quietly resign myself to the prospect… But I wish it would please God to spare me not only for Papa’s and Charlotte’s sakes, but because I long to do some good in the world before I leave it. I have many schemes in my head for future practise, ­humble and limited indeed­, but still I should not like them all to come to nothing, and myself to have lived to so little purpose. But God’s will be done. ” (The Brontës by Juliet Barker, p 589)

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Remembering

Just Grandpa and Me

This is a polaroid of me and my grandfather that stands against my table lamp. I took a closer look at it tonight and realised how little I knew of him, yet how close I felt. It seems almost a paradox of some kind, but seeing myself in his arms my heart recognises that intimate bond that is forged when love (though unspoken) exists.

I don’t know much about my grandfather first-hand. He fell really ill when I was still pretty much a kid, and I was too caught up in my teenage metamorphosis to fully appreciate him then. I regret it now. I remember holding his arm as he lay bedridden. The very same arm that held me in that picture. I remember not knowing what to say to him, not knowing what to feel. There were times when I just forgot he lay in the guestroom of my house for he was a silent member, unmoving and unstirring. I wish I had cherished those moments more, for I know I could have learnt so much from just looking into his eyes. Even now as I’m typing this out my eyes cannot help but start to brim - I had been such a terrible grandson. There are so many if-only’s. The one thing I know was that he held me in his arms, and that I felt safe there. Blogger Comments x

Decisions and Resolutions

There are certain decisions in life that one has to make before reaching the juncture. I’m not talking about retirement plans or life insurance here. There are just some situations which hit us on a small day-to-day level and often leave us clueless as to what to do.

I went to Blockbuster to return a video a few moments ago and a few homeless people were sitting in front of the tape return slot. I haven’t seen them in a few months, and their return somehow had me defenceless and unready. Not too long ago I would have waived them off, possibly with a lie that I didn’t have any change on me. I could have done the “I don’t speak English” thing were it not for the copies of English movies in my hand. To console myself I’d theorize that they were probably going to spend whatever money they had on drugs, and I didn’t want to be supporting that sort of a vice. Or that I was a student, and the money wasn’t mine to give away. Yet it was different this time. It was true that I didn’t bring my wallet, but what I did bring this time round was my conscience.

The good old much ridiculed phrase of “what would Jesus do” (now affectionately known as WWJD) comes to mind. Even more piercing was the parable of the sheep and the goats.

Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I would like to be able to have dinner with them some time when the chance comes to me. I only ask that God grant me the courage to see through my prejudices, a heart to show compassion and wisdom to discern. I have been indifferent and apathetic for far too long a time. If I were homeless and drug-dependent, I wouldn’t have wanted to meet me. God has enough love for everyone, I only hope I learn to share it.

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For Laughs

Answers from six graders for a history test. Hilarious.

Orange BulletAncient Egypt was inhabited by mummies, and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

Orange BulletSolomon had three hundred wives and seven hundren porcupines.

Orange BulletThe Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and, withou them, we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. Myths are female moths.

Orange BulletSocrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

Orange BulletIn the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuts, and threw the java.

Orange BulletJulius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out, “Tee hee, Brutus.”

Orange BulletJoan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw.

Orange BulletQueen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen, she was a sucess. When she exposed herself in front of her troops, they all shouted “hurrah.”

Orange BulletIt was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenburg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.

Orange BulletSir Francis Drake circumsised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

Orange BulletThe greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money, and is famous only becuase of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple. Romeo’s last wish was to get laid by Juliet.

Orange BulletWriting at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Miltion wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died, and he wrote Paradise Regained.

Orange BulletDelegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaraiton of Independance. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Orange BulletAbraham Lincoln beacame America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Licoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. One the night of April 14,1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposinly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

Orange BulletJohann Bach wrote a great many musical compostions and had a large number of children. In between, he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.

Orange BulletIn the ninteenth century, Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper. This did the work of 100 men.

via Sorrowful Angels Blogger Comments x

Lighter Hearted Joke

Zippo LighterChris is going back to Singapore next week and we decided to buy him a present as a farewell gift. I remembered him having to borrow a lighter in order to light his cigarette, so I thought a lighter would have made an appropriate present.

Engraved on the lighter I wrote, “Now that you’ve remembered us, put this back in your pocket”. Blogger Comments x

Mud Slinging?

MediaCorp was hit with a fine from the Singapore Broadcasting Authority for showing too much nudity from a controversial sex video in its nightly news. While Reuters is usually a reliable source of information, I am beginning to doubt their objectivity in reporting.

Singapore takes a hard line against pornography, drugs and illegal gambling but Singaporeans have little difficulty navigating past token roadblocks to find raunchy material online.

There was little need for that last line in its report. It neither gave any insight nor facts to the incident.

Am I overreacting, do is this really a case of bad reporting etiquette?

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Weight More Than I Can Bear

I had wanted to write something about Daniel Pearl’s murder yesterday, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to go through the anger and resentment at the cowardly act. It was a very rude awakening from my enjoyment of Olympic stories in the making.

We watch the Olympics unfold and at times some of us holler in indignation at unfair judging, at others we sit wide-eyed in awe of what was unfolding. We watch because the bitter taste of real life in the real world is…well, too real. In Salt Lake City we can choose to bestow two sets of gold medals instead of one, and injustices can sometimes find reprieve. But outside of the thin construct of the Winter Olympics we find ourselves too deep in the muck of our own doing. The hopelessness suffocates us and it seems like there’s almost nothing anyone can do about it. It looks to be a downward spiral with no way out…death…war….we change the channel.

Don’t forget the harsh reality that lies before our eyes. Futile though it seem, we still need to trudge on, and bear the weight of an Olympic torch far greater in magnitude - the torch of humanity. I’m tired, and I suppose many of you are.

I need a hug. Blogger Comments x

Bop It!

Bop It Extreme!Bop It Extreme! This seemingly easy handheld game has got many of us here in Tucson hooked. It tests one’s reaction to simple commands to twist, pull, spin, flick and bop the game. Sounds easy…except that it gets faster and faster. It’s really fun when you play it on team mode where you pass the game around and wait for someone to botch it up. Fabulous drinking game. Blogger Comments x

Phew!

Are you addicted to the Internet?

63%
Hardcore Junkie (61% - 80%)

While you do get a bit of sleep every night and sometimes leave the house, you spend as much time as you can online. You usually have a browser, chat clients, server consoles, and your email on auto check open at all times. Phone? What’s that? You plan your social events by contacting your friends online. Just be careful you don’t get a repetitive wrist injury…

Take the quiz.

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Olympic Winners

Sarah HughesThe ladies’ figure-skating event is finally over, and what a surprise it has turned out to be. As America held its collected breath for favourite ice-daughter Michelle Kwan to fulfill her destiny, history repeated itself. In 1998, Nagano Japan, Michelle’s dreams of Olympic gold were dashed by a very young and spritely Tara Lipinski. Now four years later, her quest for gold is again thwarted by American teenager Sarah Hughes.

Honestly, I am happy that Sarah Hughes won. She skated with such reckless abandon that she brought her audience back to days of childhood innocence. As she spins on the ice, we too remember ourselves turning round and round, and revelling in the surreal sensation it brought. She encapsulated the thrill and joy that is so lacking in our sports today. It is neither the money nor the fame that drew out Sarah’s best tonight, but the sheer exhilaration of being able to skate, just as a child first learns how to walk. She giggles and squeals at the news of her winning the gold medal, and we cannot help but squeal with her.

Yet we cannot forget the pain Michelle is going through. Granted that silver medallist Irina Slutskaya also had the gold medal within her grasp, there is little doubt that Michelle was dealt the hardest blow. Her story will probably go down in trivia cards as the answer to the question “who was the winningest world champion figure-skater never to win an Olympic gold?”. It would be easy to dismiss her as a failure, never accomplishing her task of bringing home the gold.

Michelle KwanWe would be shallow, insensitive and shortsighted to join the multitudes who will no doubt do exactly that. Let us not forget the many wonderful memories Michelle has given to us over the years - the best years of her youth. Her performances, like that of many others, were not put up to bring her fame and glory. Her talent on ice gave her the power to reach out to the common person, and whisk them away to a world where music and movement flowed together, and where men and women seem to glide, feet barely touching ground. She captivated us all, two minutes, four minutes at a time. She gave us a way to escape our own harsh realities. To laugh at her in her time of sadness would be utterly ungrateful.

Dearest Michelle, we wipe away your tears and whisper to you that you have already won the true prize that lies beyond that found in any competition. You have won our hearts, not only by the way you have skated all these years, but more importantly by the manner in which you’ve taken your losses with such grace and dignity. There were no losers tonight, there never were. If you would think yourself as such the only loser would have been us, for we would have lost a valuable transport who has unfailingly taken us to a world where we could lose ourselves.

Stay true. Always. Blogger Comments x

Lost In Space

I attended a talk at the Art College yesterday. It was nice to leave the large business building and walk into one that was older, smaller and less devoid of character. I know I’ve bored many of you enough with my ramblings about indecision - whether my course here at the University was the right one to pursue.

I guess it comes down to a culmulation of things. The dimly lit corridors…the smell of pottery clay…stains of paint everywhere. I’m tired of thinking about the bottom line. I’m tired of thinking about how business functions can be mapped unto relational databases. I feel the cold hard steel of machinery brush against my heart and I shudder. I miss the sunshine, the smell of flowers - all metaphorically of course. I miss touching hearts, and changing lives in whatever small degree. It’s probably the main reason why I keep this blog - I reach out into the dark hoping to touch someone, strengthen someone, make someone smile. I wish I could see your faces, or know your reactions. Cyberspace is so populated, yet at the same time such a lonely place.

If you’re out there, prod. I’d like to feel the warmth of your arm by my side. Blogger Comments x

CSS

I’m talking to Tony about CSS now. Oh and he wants to see what Blogger is about. Blogger Rocks. Blogger Comments x

Skating Frenzy

Stars On IceI’m not crazy about ice-skating or anything. I can’t even skate to save my life. But watching the Winter Olympics coverage on figure skating brought to mind last year when Min and I watched Stars On Ice. If you had seen how Tara Lipinski light up the ice, you’d know why she’s the youngest Gold Medallist in Winter Olympic history. The fluid movements and speed are really something television does a poor job of replicating. I guess I’m a closet figure-skating fan. If only those Russian names weren’t so hard to remember…. Blogger Comments x

Seeing Yet Not Perceiving

I added a few photos I took to the top of the page. It randomly changes when you reload it. Is it just me, or does this blog suddenly resemble a newspaper of sorts? Oh well, tell me if you like it, or hate it.
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More Incentive To Do Your Chores

A cleaning lady in Dushanbe, Tajikstan accidentally defused a time-bomb in a business center. I bet the FBI’s looking to hire her. Blogger Comments x

Quotes

“You’re the red in her paintings.” and “I love you like a song…like as in a song.”

These two quotes are reason enough to watch I Am Sam.

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Hulk Bash! Blush.

And we all thought green hair was the weirdest thing going on at Berkeley.

Writing papers about sexual fantasies. Visiting strip clubs. Watching an instructor have sex. And all the while earning units toward graduation—at UC Berkeley.

Sure beats my having to study for that Operations Management test tomorrow.

Read the whole article here.

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Bummer Eh?

The Other Car Is Silver
Eleven year old Kierah from eastern England won two Jaguar X8s (one pictured above) when her Valentine’s card was selected out of 12 million others in a nationwide draw. The letter was written to her by an anonymous boy who is probably now suffering from permanent head damage after slamming his head against a brick wall at the news.

“This is the suckiest Valentine’s I’ve ever had. Not only did I have to watch Kierah win the two sports cars on my Valentine efforts, I didn’t even get a date. She’s probably too cool to go out with me now.” says the distraught boy, who still refuses to be named. “I think I’m going to publish my sad Valentine stories online.”

Unbeknownst (my recent favourite word) to the boy, thousands and thousands of LiveJournal users have already saturated the world with annual February 14th depression. His efforts, like his anonymous love letter, will no doubt result in nothing.

Again.

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Matters Of The Heart

Kate And LeopoldKate and Leopold was exactly what Vaya said it was - a nice warm fuzzy movie best enjoyed without scrutinizing over the holes in logic. I was pretty sure I could hear the women in the cinema swooning as Leopold (Hugh Jackman) was filming the butter commercial. He looked absolutely stunning in his collarless shirts, gold vest and royal blue coat with gold embroidery. I’m not sure many people could have made that combination look half as regal and charming as he did.

Sam And LucyI Am Sam turned out to be the biggest surprise yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much over a movie ever. It is a story about Sam, who has the mental faculties of a seven year old, trying to win his daughter back from social services. The simplicity of the love he has for her is so clear, true and apparent that my heart was literally ripped out of my chest when the policeman tried to seperate the hugging pair of father and daughter.

Dakota Fanning, who plays the daughter, does a spectacular job. She makes the “I see dead people” rendition look like a failed gig on Barney. Please, do your heart a favour and watch it. If there is any life, in the heart of yours, you will surely, surely cry. And you’ll be glad you did.

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Another Update On Kathryn

So often when we visit people in hospitals we are apprehensive about how to feel, how to behave, what to say. We do not know if we should be strong for them by offering words of encouragement, or show empathy by shedding a tear. We approach the situation as we would an injured animal - with extreme caution. We think of what we, the unsuffering ones, can contribute to make their experiences easier, or how we can uplift their spirits. Yet it is not so. In the times I’ve visited people in hospital, it has been the other way round. Instead of bringing my strength, I find myself being strengthened. Instead of ministering, I find myself minstered to. I can only stand and marvel at the grace of God.

Kathryn’s up and about, talking about the scar on her head as if it were but a scratch. She speaks about her short hair as her new “do”, and the task of getting well as her new challenge. The one thing that really struck me is that she was almost glad that she was the one with cancer, and not any of her children. There is so much I could learn from her outlook and optimism, so much that we all could benefit from.

To those of you who left a note of encouragement to her in the comments of the last update, thank you. Though I do not recognize your faces or names, I feel that we have communicated on a deeper level. I could be disappointed at the fact that though my Marvel Quiz page was hit more than seven thousand times in the last three days, less than twenty replied, but I know that like Kathryn I should learn to be thankful. Precious gems are not only very valuable, they are also extremely rare. I thank God that I’ve found gems in you.

God bless you, one and all. Have a good night. Blogger Comments x

What's In Your Car?

The preacher Billy Graham went to a small town for a conference. Upon arriving at the airport, he was pleasantly surprised that a limosine was arranged to pick him up. He then asked the limo driver if he could drive, since he has never driven such a long vehicle before. The limo driver acceded his request, though he found it slightly unusual.

While driving on the Interstate, the limo went over the speed limit. The ride was so smooth that Billy Graham didn’t consciously realise the speed of the car. A traffic cop spotted the speeding limosine and pulled it over. When the car window rolled down the cop exclaimed in a slight state of shock. “You’re Billy Graham!”. Billy nodded. The cop then asked, “do you know how fast you were going?” Not wanting to lie, Billy admitted that he had been speeding. The cop then went to his two-way radio and radioed base.

“Sir, do I have the discretion not to give a speeding driver a ticket?”

“I guess you could give him a warning. Who is the guy? Is he a foreign dignitary?”

“No Sir.”

“A sports celebrity? A famous billionaire?”

“No.”

“Then who’s in the car?”

“I’m not sure who’s in the car, but Billy Graham’s the chauffeur.” Blogger Comments x

Update On Kathryn

To those of you who prayed and hoped with me, I bring mixed news.

Kathryn’s brain surgery went well, but now the news is that they found the tumour to be malignant, rather than benign as they had first diagnosed.

In all honesty, I don’t know how to describe what is going on inside me. It is easy to step back and regain control over my emotions, yet I do not want to tread the way of the emotionally and spiritually dead. I will not pretend it doesn’t hurt, as the male species have been indoctrinated to do by countless Rambo movies, because it does. To have someone so close suffer so much and yet be totally helpless…it is not a good feeling at all.

Yet in all of this I know that I have to learn to trust God in all things. For He is neither helpless nor unloving. But I know that I cannot do this alone, for the burden is too great for me to bear. Do pray for Kathryn. She needs us. Every one. If you would like to send your well-wishes, leave a comment below, and I will bring it to her when I visit her. Blogger Comments x

Traffic

Congratulations if you made it here. By 7:20pm here this site was hit 673 times today. Well, at least the Marvel Quiz portion was. You’d be surprised at the number of people using LiveJournal. I like my Blogger.
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Marvel Quiz

I put a tracker on the Marvel Quiz just to see how information disseminates throughout the Internet. It’s only 9 in the morning (time according to my tracker) and I’ve 200 hits. You guys who actually read my blog were the first ones to put it on your website, and then it exploded into a few Singaporean websites. Somehow Great Britain was next, logging in a good 40 times on the first day. On the third day, some blog written in Spanish got hold of it, and now Spanish blogs have Spiderman and Rogue plastered over them. The scary part is…USA bloggers just got wind of it. So if my site’s down the next few days….that’s due to too much traffic. Something I never knew I’d be afraid of. Blogger Comments x

The Price of Gold

pelletier and saleFor those of you folks who actually have a soft side and have been following the figure-skating fiasco would probably have heard that the Skating Federation has promised to undertake investigations into the judging decision at the finals of the Olympic pairs figure-skating a few days ago. Apparently the gold went to the Russians who “stumbled” (according to CNN) and not the Canadians who didn’t. Before you shout “Robbed!” alongside half the population of the continent I’m in (the female half of course), just remember that the media here is pro-american.

But wait…Sale and Pelltier are Canadians you say. It’s almost ludicrous how the media has played up the fact that this could be the first time in forty years the gold medal goes to North America. Can you beat that? The Cold War has not ended! It survives on ice no less.

Elsewhere in Salt Lake City, America makes a medal sweep for the snowboarding halfpipe event, the first medal sweep in 46 years. Of course CNN didn’t mention that 40% of the competitors were American. It’s almost funny how badly America takes to losing. Don’t even get started on women’s soccer. That’s got to bring a smile to your face. I smell a women’s World Cup in the air.

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Sweet Valentine

Valentine’s tomorrow and I don’t have a date. Then again, I never did like the hairy brown fruit. I don’t give a TRA. If you know what TRA stands for, drop your answer in the comments, if not, watch Patch Adams…great movie. Blogger Comments x

Who Owns Ya?

Apparently, BT thinks it owns the hyperlink.

Click here to read about it, and then pay them if they’re successful in their lawsuit. Blogger Comments x

A Friend Indeed

Kathryn is a daughter born to a hispanic family, of whom none have ever been to college. She did what everyone expected her to do, get married, have children, look after them and being them up. Maybe take on a job or two. It is the familiar life story of many hispanic females of her generation.

Kathryn is the mother of three sons who were born into relative comfort. She brought them up singlehandedly for the most part of their adolescent life. She was the breadwinner, advisor, friend, disciplinarian and most importantly, mother to these young men who grew by the day.

Kathryn is a wife. She divorced her husband seven years ago but in recent months they’ve come back together and reconciled their relationship. She is thankful that her ex-husband is now there to be the father of their children, and the husband he ought to have been to her.

In her mid-forties, Kathryn Suzanne Chavez made a decision that would alter the course for her entire family - she decided to go to college. She wanted to show her children that it was no longer a road untrod, but a course that was entirely possible. Her decision stirred a sense of hope in the air. Somewhere else in the United States, her sister heard about Kathryn’s resolution and decided to follow her footsteps.

Kathryn is a friend - to me, and to many others. In a place full of jocks who pride themselves on how much alcohol they consumed over the weekend, and aesthetically pleasing girls who were concerned with the colour of their lipstick, you needed someone to keep you grounded from turning into one of them, or ending up isolated from all of them. Kat was this sort of a friend.

Kathryn is a survivor. Having conquered cancer a number of years ago, schoolwork and everyday life are small obstacles from a higher perspective.

She called me a few moments ago to tell me the news - the doctors found a brain tumour. Though the most recent diagnosis is highly optimistic, the news shakes me up pretty badly. These are the things that make you think and wonder if you’ve treasured a friend enough. All I know now to do is pray and hope upon the Lord, for the keys to life belong to Him alone.
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Reverberating Solitude

It has been a long time since I’ve opened my MusicMatch Jukebox to play my mp3s, largely due to the fact that MM Jukebox isn’t the most efficient program in the world, despite it having almost everyone one could ask for in a player. Linda, Salonga, Anthony, Colm…how I’ve missed you.

When I look at you what I always see is the face of someone else who once belonged to me. Still I hear him laugh even though that melody plays on he’s gone. When I look at you he is standing there I can almost breathe him in like summer in the air. Why do you smile his smile? That heaven I’ve forgotten eases through in you. If you could look at me once more with all the love you felt before If you and I could only dance into the past and find that love we knew I’d never take my eyes away from you! When I look at you he is touching me I would reach for him but who can hold a memory? And love isn’t everything this moonlight on the bed will melt away….someday. For you were once that someone who I followed like a star then suddenly you changed and now I don’t know who you are. Or could it be? That I never really knew you from the start? Did I create a dream? Was he a fantasy? Even a memory is paradise for all the fools like me! Now remembering is all that I can do. Because I miss him so When I look at you. - Margueritte in The Scarlet Pimpernel

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Happy CNY

Happy Chinese New Year. It’s the eve of the New Year right now, and I’m thankful for the wonderful Chinese food I had at a restaurant just now. Of course it’s nothing like the fish porridge I love back home, or beef noodles, or rojak, or curry…oh well…I’m thankful. Blogger Comments x

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

While watching the NBA All-Star halftime show today I starting thinking about the whole issue of cloning. laughs This was spurred on Elton John’s backup singer who looked like a skinnier, grunge version of Elton.

The current disputes over cloning and its many uses are all valid perspectives. Very much like fire, cloning has its noble and ignoble purposes, driven by a multitude of motives. Yet as the debate goes on, I cannot help but wonder if our apprehension should have started many years before this point. The very first person to win the Nobel Prize invented dynamite. Did we think about the repercussions even then? We tend to speed ahead in efforts to better the competition, more often for financial gain than anything else. As computers attempt to create another man-made world (my own theory is that money made the first) is it time to stop and ponder our actions before actually flying headlong into them?

My question to you, dearest friends - Which event in history would you have changed were you given such a power? I fear the end answer may very well be the creation of mankind, but such is an answer out of angst and pessimism rather than deliberate thought. Talk to me. Blogger Comments x

Design Woes

With this SSI problems on my current server I’m thinking of redesigning Tribolum. After surfing intensively, I could go two ways: colourful and cheery, or sleek and functional. All I know right now is that I want to stay away from frames, though it seems to be the trend right now. So faithful readers….which would you prefer? Blogger Comments x

Print To Screen

In John Dvorak’s PC Magazine Article he compares blogs to simply the next iteration of the vanity web page. I’m sure many of you are familiar with that one. Yes, the one where you’d put animated gifs or pictures of your hamster, and have little content. While we look back and laugh at the things we did back in the heyday when HTML was a newfangled thing, you’d likely be on the defensive after reading John’s article. It’s almost ironic how someone who writes for a living attempts to subtlely put down the aspirations of us who write for the love of it. The reasons he gave for people writing blogs are :

Ego gratification. Some people need to be the center of attention. It makes them feel good about themselves to tell the world what important things they’ve been doing and what profound thoughts they’ve been having. Curiously, while this looks like the most obvious reason for a Web log, I think it’s probably the least likely reason, since it’s too trite and shallow. Antidepersonalization. When people begin to think that they are nothing more than a cog in the wheel of society, they look for any way to differentiate themselves. The Web log proves they are different. Just read it. You’ll see. Elimination of frustration. Day-to-day life, especially in the city, is wrought with frustration, and the Web log gives people the ability to complain to the world. You get to read a lot of complaining in these logs. If you think I’m a complainer, oh boy! Societal need to share. As a cynic who gets paid to write, I have a hard time with this explanation. But it seems some people genuinely like to “share,” and this is one way. Wanna-be writers. A lot of people want to be published writers. Blogs make it happen without the hassle of getting someone else to do it or having to write well—although there is good writing to be found. Some is shockingly good. Most of it is miserable. I expect to see those Open Learning classes around the country offering courses in Blog writing.

That’s a direct quote from the article. By the way…”some is shockingly good”…is that grammatically correct? I wouldn’t know…I’m just a wannabe.

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Empty Inside

As my host decides to migrate my website unto another server, it appears that Server-Side-Includes has stopped working for a while. That explains the empty shell you guys got if/when you came here. So I’m just putting the main content up, pardon me if it’s a tad ugly. Blogger Comments x

Lord of the Rings Rules!

After seeing this picture of Gandalf the White (oooops did I say too much?) at Helm’s Deep, I cannot help but want the rest of the LOTR movies now. There’s the debate that Arwen’s on the right of the picture, but she wasn’t there in the battle at all. I hope they didn’t put Liv where she doesn’t belong.

Well ok, I’m thankful they had the short part in The Fellowship. She looked…wow. Plus the sword-wielding and clear accented voice…wow.

Oh click on the picture to get the closeup. Hope tokienonline.com doesn’t remove the picture. Blogger Comments x

Eponism

Eponism is a term I coined to mean the melancholy side of love. Whether unrequited by the other party or held back by the circumstances that simply are, no love story can be fully appreciated without knowing the many that don’t end “happily ever after”. Eponism is from Eponine, the sweetest soul who died loving a man so blind who only sees her affection after she died for him.

Many of you have taken the Marvel test I created and I could have sworn I heard sighs of resignation or even angst upon getting the results. Five questions. Concocted by a relatively uneducated person. Hardly anything to take seriously. To all the Rogues, Xaviers, Wolverines, Phoenixes, Storms (no one seemed to have gotten her yet) out there, continue to pursue love, for life is nothing without it. To borrow a phrase from the movie G.I. Jane, “Pain is your friend. It tells you that you’re not dead yet”. Though slightly masochistic, love is very much the same way. We love because we want to feel life.

Spiderman might have seemed like the lucky answer to obtain, but in the more contemporary issues his wife Mary Jane dies because his identity as Spiderman was compromised. Life and love isn’t always happy, and happily ever after’s only happen in fairytales. Life in all its colour deserve celebration, whether in tears or laughter. Blogger Comments x

Possible Answers


Which Star-Crossed Marvel Lover Are You?

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Marvel Lover Test

Since Valentine’s is coming, thought I’d play around and I came up with this test.

Which Star-Crossed Marvel Lover Are You?

I love Rogue. Always have. Blogger Comments x

Less Miserable

Drink with me to days gone by Can it be you fear to die? Will the world remember you as you fall? Could it be your life means nothing at all? Is your life just one more lie?

Live life. Blogger Comments x

Spring Has Sprung

I’m taking a small leap of faith by saying that the worst of winter is already over. Last spring, small orange flowers could be seen sprouting out on the side of almost every street I passed by on the way to and from school. Min and I found the source of the flowers last year, but before I could set my camera on it, summer came and the flowers disappeared. It’s a testament to my powers of procrastination - the flowers themselves are quite hardy.

This, my friends, is the source of all that is orange. Seemingly plain in the winter and summer, this house bursts to life in Spring, and the vibrant flowers can scarcely help themselves but hop unto every yard their little legs can take them. Beautiful little critters they are.

Blogger Comments x

Good Morning

Eight O’Clock classes everyday. It’s a real drag to have to leave the bed when the weather’s all cold outside the blankie. Blogger Comments x

Tudung or Not Tudung

The issue of the Muslim girls who faced suspension from school should they continue to wear headscarves have come to a conclusion we as Singaporeans have become familiar with : The government does not budge.

In this Straits Times article, the Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that they would not be moved. Their decision to suspend these children from attending school will stay. Rules are rules. Doesn’t there come a time when we question their necessity? Doesn’t there come a time when a parent looks at his or her child and realises that caning is no longer appropriate for discipline? Rather than resort to the reason “because the rules say so”, I think many of us would have been more satisfied if he could have shown us that these rules are still very necessary in this stage of development. That line of argument would undoubtedly have taken more time and effort, but I believe that we, especially the Muslim community that is part of us, deserve at least that.

The Prime Minister was right about one thing however : There are two ways to move forward. The two ways he gave were this :

1. Take the kid out of the school and enroll her in a religious school. 2. Take the government to court.

Those two “ways” hardly equate to moving forward. The crux of the matter is :

1. We can expect everyone to conform to a national identity. 2. We can accept everyone and from there form a national identity.

I’d like to believe we are mature enough to do the latter. It’s a tricky issue, no doubt. But it’s an issue we’ve to face sooner or later. Blogger Comments x

Yukon Ho!


© John Hyde / Roma Stock

The weather here was cold over the past two days, but after hearing what Lee had to say about his home town, I’m pretty convinced Arizona has it good. Lee’s from Alaska, and hearing him ramble on about his childhood makes me want to head there myself. Fishing, skiing, enjoying the great outdoors. Sounds fantastic, in summer of course. Alaska is so cold in winter that Lee :

(a) Puts on ice skates to go to his mailbox.

(b) Can’t breathe through his nose ‘cause his nosehairs have frozen.

(c) Spits and it hits the ground as ice.

(d) Breaks off his hair if he just showered before doing (a).

I’d take wet socks in Singapore’s monsoon. Blogger Comments x

Blogger Pro

Blogger has been utterly kind to me, liberating me from the hassles of having to edit my website in html in order to update its content, back in the days of my old page. I’ve decided to pay my dues and give a little back to Ev who’s been working hard to change the world of web-publishing as we know it. You go Ev! In some sense I hope to change the world in a likewise manner. Blogger Comments x

Friday!

It is Friday and I am glad for the weekend. I missed the very first day of class this semester, and though it was three weeks ago, it’s amazing how much there was to catch up on. Subscription to listservs, course websites, readings, teaching assistant offices hours…these seemingly small details can cause quite a bit of stress if one doesn’t have a handle on them.

I’m going to watch a movie with Min later, and hopefully get to relax some. I also hope to catch up on some reading and probably work a few Economic problems. Tristan and Isolde, Titurel, Holden, Wolverine, Aragorn…I’d rather pay you guys a visit anytime over indifference curves. Wish I could live in my own little world and be indifferent to the real world. I miss reading. Blogger Comments x

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