Making Light of Things

September 2001 Archives

In Heaven's Eyes

A fervent prayer rose up to heaven. A fragile soul was losing ground. Sorting through the earthly babble heaven heard the sound.

This was a life of no distinction. No successes, only tries. But gazing down on this unlovely one, there was love in heaven’s eyes.

In heaven’s eyes there are no losers. In heaven’s eyes no hopeless cause. Only people like you and people like me and we’re amazed by the grace we can find. In heaven’s eyes.

From a song that I once learnt in choir. And still sing it to myself even today.

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Pseudo Blogger

I don’t know how many of you have been to the real Blogger website, but this “Rockhouse website” is a pretty cheap imitation. Best part is….it’s a church!!! Talk about “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

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I added a “rememberance” page, marked by the R button up top. It’s a sharing of memories, mostly in case my memory fails me.

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New Updates

Help!!! I can’t stop!!! Ok, here’s the deal. I drew new buttons using a new program I just installed. Not sure if the colour combination works but I also did the depressed buttons. Those guys are pretty sad. They don’t show up until you poke them. Added the links on the right…will be adding new pages in the coming days. Anyway…drop your comments.

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Life is a Cabaret!

Just found out that the musical Jekyll and Hyde released a DVD version of the musical. I watched it last semester and it was every bit as amazing as I had expected. Came upon and saw the whole list of shows on Broadway. Reliving every moment of shows I’ve seen like Les Miz and Cabaret!, I come to realise that many of these troubadors were right in the heart of Manhattan during the whole ordeal. I can only pray and hope for the best, that somehow through it all they grow strong to touch our hearts and our lives once more.

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Update Again

If you guys log on to this website more than once a day, you’d have seen the mutation that takes places every few minutes. I should think this page is done. It comprises of four different blogs unto a single page using includes, and I hope this will not slow down your viewing pleasure. I will work on the links page (which is in need of a drastic makeover) as well as other content driven pages which I hope will interest you. Donations are welcome…..or is it too early to say anything like that yet?

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Amongst the initial layouts I played around with, this one took up one of my nights and deserves to be here. I still have it on my harddisk, but it’s a little too fruity for my taste.

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Page Up

This page is finally fit for consumption, though I’m likely to try to remedy the shadow on the top left side of the header. It’s not shining down at a forty-five angle from the left like the icons….hhhhmmmmm…..

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My instincts defy me. Apple rebellion takes over and I refuse to join the exodus to greymatter. I guess I’m one of those who are stubbornly loyal, having got my blogger shirt and all. I’ll still be working on the layout and I’m glad that this new domain offers me enough space to expand. Have fun people, and keep the comments rolling in.

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I just got the domain and am working to set up a greymatter site on it in order to reduce the dependency on blogger. Though Blogger has been of the utmost help, and the fact that I’ve finally grasped the semantics of its code, I do not want my life’s journals to be dependent on a server that has no obligation to keep this data. The site is not up yet though I’m working to learn the nuances of greymatter as fast as I can.

It’s been some time since I’ve felt this way. The feeling one gets from having a new toy lying somewhere unopened. The little shivers of excitement that keeps us up at night. I can’t wait to get my hands and devote some real time into I’ll need some feedback on colour combination though. I’m inclined to go with a white background and black text, as my boring self would dictate. If you head there before I can do anything else to the site you might find a black background and purple text present. I drew the navigation bar on the right. Do leave your ideas here in the comments, and we’ll see how takes off. I’ve some ideas for content, but I’ll leave it as a surprise till it all works out.

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Well the updating bug has caught itself squarely in my eye. I added a search utility here in case any of you want to do extensive research on my boring life. I wouldn’t recommend it though, that would be time better spent on updating YOUR homepage. I also changed the format slightly. If you’re a frequent visitor you would have seen the evolution of this page. Trying to keep it simple for you beep beep (makes the internet dialup sound) people, we all know how huge pages are a drag. I’ve plans to come up with more stuff in the coming weeks, just hope my programming assignments don’t kill me first. Tell me what you think of the layout, and what can be improved upon.

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Friends, Family and Strangers

Thanks to my trusty tracking device, I’ve come to know that this site is being visited by people I do not yet know. To all of you, welcome. I hope my rather dreary life proves to be of some entertainment, and it would be nice if I could somehow get to know you as well. So feel free to drop a note in my guestbook, or comment on my blogs. Just wanted you guys to know that your presence is felt, and appreciated.

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Added a “Link This” to the end of all the posts so that hyperlinks can be referenced directly to the relevant posts. So if you want to write about my blog on your blog, the specific hyperlinks will be available. Blog away!

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A Hot Autumn's Day Dream

I was working at a small electronics store as one of those sales people who stood around all day. I had discovered that the boss (whom we all didn’t like) was bribing one of the employees who had information on him with a small bag of diamonds. Boss got into a small fight and was searched by the police, who found the bag of diamonds on him. Boss’ wife, whom we always thought was a quiet lady, came to me and asked me to bail Boss out by going to the station and lying about why he needed that many diamonds that day. I was struggling with whether to tell the truth and put him in, or just play it safe and help him out.

Cheryl was supposed to be in Singapore (near Marine Parade Republic Theatre to be exact) that day and I haven’t seen her for some time. We were meant to meet up but this whole incident cropped up. Reluctantly going to the police station (a second story office on the top of some rather dilapidated building), I regretted not being able to meet Cheryl. It would be some time before we could see each other again. As I was walking past the Theatre (yes it was in the same ugly colour it is in now), she stepped out of a taxi across the road.

“Hey Cheryl! I thought it was going to be five or six years before I got to see your face again.”

“Don’t exagerrate, I don’t come back that infrequently.”

She crosses the road.

“I’m sorry I can’t spend more time with you, I’ve stuff to attend to….I missed you.”

We hug. As we part I try hard to remember this moment, for it would really be a while before I saw her again. We both mouth silent words almost together (I mouthed it a little earlier I think).

“Love you.”

I woke up.

Dearest Cheryl, I guess I really do miss you. It has been forever since we spoke heart to heart and while I rely on my intuition to tell me what you feel or think, I miss being around you and hearing it for myself. With Josh in the picture of your life and the prospect of you ending your bond earlier that expected, this scenario might very well come true. Just wanted to tell you that I miss you and wish there were more of such times. And yes, I love you. May God somehow keep us close, very close, always.

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Redrew all the icons on the navigation bar on the side, added a links page (which is terribly shabby).

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Happy Meal

Just wanted to show you guys a picture of breakfast a few days ago.

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Just received some RAM I ordered, so my system has been bumped up to a nice 384 megabytes of RAM. It’s going for really cheap now, plus the fact that shipping’s free.

It’s Min’s birthday today and we went shopping a little. She got the full length mirror and bolster she always wanted. It gets lonely being far away from friends and family, especially so on these special occasions. I don’t know if she realises that years down the road she’ll look back at this and it will have proven itself to be a significant part of her life. Her time here will undoubtedly shape who she becomes as an adult. I’m glad that God has provided for her so far but deep inside I also hope that she learns for herself the need to know who God is, and that Jesus Christ is not a story or a delusion, or something we hold on to because we need something to hold on to. I do not know how to express the veracity of the gospel, but I pray that God in His mercy and power will shape me to be a worthy reflection of His own nature. As of right now, there is so much humanity and fleshliness in the way. Do continue to pray for me, that His work might be made complete in my weakness.

Listening to : True Colours by Cyndi Lauper

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Sorry for the lack of updates over the last week. I’m just glad to have survived it. I had three tests, two of them in one day. Oh, and I finished the programming assignment. I guess I need to put more time into my transformation to alpha geek. I’ve only had time to play basketball once this week, and it appears that I’ve gotten the mechanics for my jumpshot more or less lined up.

On the topic of basketball, I made a few new friends. I don’t know their names, but it’s funny cause I’ve lots of basketball friends but names were never involved. We’d meet on the court almost on an everyday basis and the friendship would be based totally on character. It didn’t matter what school you were from, how academically successful you are, how much money you earn. When the ball hits the court, it’s who you are that matters. It doesn’t even matter if you can play extremely well, or just run around for the heck of it. Negative traits like laziness and selfishness show up very quickly on court, and those are the things that really matter. Anyway, these new friends were the last category of people whom I’d expect to befriend. They came up to me and were very friendly, welcoming me to join their team for games. They’re the personification of the American beach boy. Hunky and always joking around, with the rather occasional testosterone-filled joke thrown in. The thing about them was that they played for fun. They wanted to win, of course, but they never blamed any other member for missing a shot or making a bad pass. I’m glad to have met them.

Min’s birthday is tomorrow and though I have a gift in mind, I’ve yet to purchase it. We’re going to a huge sale in a few minutes time, so maybe she’ll find something she fancies there and we’ll just have to make that her birthday present. I only hope I’ve been as good a brother as I set out to be many years ago when I carried her in my arms.

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Freaks and Geeks

Just came back from my programming review session. It’s a weird adrenaline high. I don’t consider myself an alpha geek, but it’s fascinating when I see code on screen fly at incredible speeds. The human mind can comprehend up to 800 words per minute on average. While speech is usually only 100 - 120 words per minute, it seems coding churns out literature of a different kind - logical concepts, arithmetic - all seamless and flowing. I can see myself getting engrossed in this form of reading.

The mutation is complete isn’t it?

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As you can see, work is underway to change the layout of Utopia. I am moving away from the functional and adding a little more of an aesthetic touch, but I am not going to make this a gargantuan site that takes forever to download. Though I have the luxury of having a cable modem here in Arizona, I am well aware of how tedious a heavy site is on telephone modems, myself running a 33.6 back in Singapore. I am tempted to move over to Greymatter, which will reduce the number of dependencies (we all know how transient e-companies are), but as of now my server does not seem to support cgis of any kind. Utopia might also undergo a name change as I look for a web host and domain name. Starhub’s measly two megabites of space is a little scary, and I hope that my life story will somehow exceed that space limitation. I am tempted to go with the domains, and is still available. A .com still has a nice ring to it though. These are all tentative plans of course. I will see how far I can extend Utopia’s functions and take necessary actions. My html is a little rusty, and I’m wishing I had a copy of Dreamweaver. Ok, I’ve got to go back to more serious work, namely coding the rest of my homework assignment. Have fun.

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War of the Worlds

It seems that a war is imminent. Afghanistan has threatened “revenge”, so says the media here in the United States. Do they not see that the United States is carrying out its own vengence? I had hoped that the whole matter might have been resolved without more shedding of innocent blood, but it does not look that way. A lady stands on the side of the street holding up a cardboard sign, on it written Gandhi’s famous words “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

It affects my own little world. At 3 in the morning I head to the gas station and pump my tank full of petrol. Prices may go up in the morning.

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The comments are up

The comments are up again, and I would love to hear from you. Do leave your little pawprint.

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Violence Begets Violence

They who live by the sword, will die by the sword. It seems that as America steadies herself from the initial shock of the terrorist attack, she has become the monster she so despised. Speeches by Arizona Senator John McCain on live TV: “(to the terrorists) Your God may be merciful to you, but we won’t”. Some other leader (characterised by the old man in a suit behind a poduim) said “let’s just bomb the hell out of Afghanistan. We don’t care about collateral damage. They sure thought New York citizens were expendable”. There is no excuse for what was done that fateful Tuesday. None at all. In the very same light, there is no excuse for statements such as these. People in New York are citizens, while people in Afghanistan are collateral, peripheral, unimportant.

America, if you are the “great nation” you so claim to be ever so often, the time to show it is now. Do what must be done, but do not confuse justice and vengence. One maketh man man, the other undoeth.

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A Tribute

To the hundreds of firefighters, police and rescue workers who perished in the World Trade Center tragedy, I salute you and pray that you have found a place that truly appreciates your noble spirit. God be with you forever.

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Movie In The Making

I have no words. Many people died today at someone’s whim and there is little I can think of to justify such a decision. It seems almost surreal to wake up and find a scene from Independence Day reenacted out on CNN. The television set blares on about the magnitude of this act of terrorism but I am sure that the full magnitude is almost out of the grasp of the human mind. We step back and it all the events seem so transient and dreamlike. We are a generation desensitised to violence, thanks to the people at Industrial Light and Magic and Pixar (Toy Soldiers was gruesome). Yet a certain blanket hangs over me and I know that many tears have been shed for friends and family. My heart weeps with them.

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You know

You know a person is of another generation when he or she doesn’t relate to the old Ribena advertisements.

“Can I have some?” “Yes, but not too much.”

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Spoke to Erick over ICQ a moment ago. It’s so nice to know that even miles apart, the essence of the person can be felt over a channel as impersonal as the Internet. Heard from him that Matthew (my cousin and childhood friend) might be going over to Melbourne to study as well. If everything works out it’s going to be a blast down under. Mmmmm….should I transfer?

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Just finished watching the movie Shower, and it is an absolutely fabulous movie. Oh, did I mention that it was a Chinese movie? It’s about an prodigal son who returns to his father and retarded brother in a small town in China, where they run a bath house. He returns home with no intention of staying away from his high paying job and urban lifestyle, but begins to find the value and warmth of family and friends.

The running of the bath house was a reminder to all of us of what business is about - the selling of a product or service to make the customer’s life a better one. If I ever do go into my own business, I’d like the main motivation not to be profit, but an investment in the human life and all its colour. I bet my mother the accountant is screaming at this point.

To live intensely, fight courageously, and die for a cause. Mark Lim couldn’t have phrased it better.

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Know Thyself

I took the personality test at HumanMetrics for a class in organisational behaviour. I’ve taken these tests before, but this time I’m struck at the accuracy of its appraisal. I was tested as an INFJ. Take the test, and share with me your results.

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Being the Best

A few weeks ago I was invited to apply for a scholarship under the Arizona State Legislature Internship program. If my application is successful, next semester would be spent up in Phoenix, Arizona working in the State Capitol under the governor of the State of Arizona or with the Supreme Court, depending on which position I land. Over the past week I’ve ploughed over this decision. Assuming I get the internship were I to apply would mean I’d graduate a semester later. This would mean Faith would have to wait another semester. Assuming I get the internship, I’d have to move to Phoenix for a semester and leave Min here by herself.

Counting these costs, why then would I apply? Upon getting the invitation I felt pleasantly surprised and rather excited at the prospect of working in the State Legislature. It sounded so pompous and important. I prayed to God for an answer, for I didn’t even want to apply were it outside of His plan for me. I had to check my motivations very carefully and see if I were indeed right before Him.

Tonight I saw why I wanted to apply. Getting this internship would put me up there with the “good students”. It would validate me as an outstanding student, not the academic failure I was used to being. I wanted to apply, obtain the internship and prove to myself that I was someone good. My motivations were spawned out of selfish ambition and pride. I see it more clearly now, and I know how I must choose.

I bend the knees of my heart before God and set my mind on things above. I thank Him, for He has delivered me from myself.

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What are you thankful for in your life? Too many blogs and journals are written with such angst at the entire world, too many hours spent lamenting the lack of what we have. I am thankful today. Utterly thankful to God for loving me despite myself. I’m thankful that He is faithful even through my unfaithfulness - that when He saves, He saves completely. I had two horrible basketball games over the past week. They were so horrible that I had even contemplated giving up the game altogether. Deep inside I knew that it was not a lack of practice or conditioning that caused it. Ok, maybe a lack of conditioning did play a minor role. The major factor was a spiritual imbalance much like a hormonal one.

So today I come before You, and You remind me of my many promises and resolutions to give myself up unto You. I realised that I was no longer my own, but that everything I had was because of You. And I came home. And You saved me again. You didn’t condemn me for what I lacked, but showed that through my weakness Your strength is made perfect. You showed me that You never gave up on me, that You really do save completely. All my past failures, my sins are no more in Your eyes. You took me back and restored me and clothed me with Your righteousness.

You then gave me a great basketball game. Yet through it all You whispered unto me, reminding me not to be distracted, and to be constantly amazed at the greatest gift of all - Yourself. I thank You for all that You’ve given me, and at the same time keep a wary eye that these gifts may not dictate who I am. I am Your child, and only by Your grace have I been restored unto sonship. Who I am, all that I am, belongs to You, not because You are an angry God who demands it, but because You gave everything for me.

Thank You.

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Arty Farty

Creativity has never been one of my stronger traits. Let me rephrase that. Art. Now that’s something I’ve never been good at. Despite my parents’ best efforts to enroll me in Yamaha arts classes, the best I’ve ever attained was a B+ for a painting of swans on a lake. There was always this one guy who got an A for everything. I’m sure many of us are familiar with such people in our lives. Though my production of art pretty much sucks, my mind often conjures pictures of its own. Pictures I wish I could duplicate unto a medium of some sort. I bought a digital camera some time back, and my skill is sorely lacking. I’m more of a “trial and error” photographer. Though I know very specifically what I want to see, my replication of the visual within my mind’s eye is left to chance. I am thankful that the digital media allows me to delete pictures, rather than waste film.

I have added a new collection within my photo album website. Most of them are photos of animals from the San Diego Zoo I saw during my visit last semester. Enjoy. :)

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Mortally Divine

I’m always amazed at the pictures I have installed on Webshots. It’s a program that changes the wallpaper of my PC everyday. I have many pictures of scenery and animals, but I find myself with a great number of urban pictures. Towering skylines that touch the sky. Photos of cities at night, with streaks of red made by cars travelling along arterial veins. It evokes a different emotion from scenery, yet no less powerful. The attraction is not merely architectural - pictures of large uninhabited castles have no such drawing power. It is knowing that there is life in the place. More specifically, there is human life that pulsates and drives the miniture mechanisms that make the city come alive. In the picture presented before me I find a whole gamut of human emotions, a different one within every lit window. Is someone working late? Is his or her loved one at home worrying? Is someone spending time with close friends? All in a single moment, I am able to browse their tiredness, their pain, their laughter and their joys. It is almost like reading a book.

A large mountain or a great canyon is without a doubt beautiful to look at, but without the presence of human life it remains rather desolate. I guess that is why God created us.

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