Making Light of Things

June 2004 Archives

Putting the Big in Bigolo

Apple's 30 inch Display

I repeat: only Apple makes my jaw drop. 4.1 million pixels.

Let It Be Me

Infamous words in The Exorcist, if I remember my indiscriminate childhood telly watching.

Ever since I was a kid I always hated watching someone else suffer, or even inconvenienced. I couldn’t stand it when my older sister (nanny’s daughter) had to make her own way home after she stayed over for the weekend. I felt bad for not being on the journey with her. I felt bad that I would be in the comfort of my room while her comfort wouldn’t be for some time. I’d much rather be the one suffering, so to speak.

Had a short chat with Min over ICQ a moment ago. She’s working two jobs and coming home to and empty house. She’s staying put in Arizona while everyone else is headed home for the holidays. I know that she doesn’t even think it, but I feel so bad for not being there with her over this period. I know that it was good that she had space to grow, but we’d have had such a kick-ass time over summer if we were together. Somehow in the scenario, Faith is there as well.

I miss my college life. I miss USA. I miss my sister.

It wasn’t too long ago when I wrote about how my being happy made me sad. I read today that my wedding was DW’s lowpoint. I know he doesn’t mean for it to be, but I feel bad about it.

I know that there are things I can do and things I cannot help. My futility rings like silence in a very lonely room.


This is to the unnamed person who took time to comment that this blog is set up to explain why I am the failure he or she thinks I am. Comments are here, here, and here. All unedited, and all under the same blog entry. So you can just go to one and scroll on down.

I didn’t think that the comments warranted any response. My initial reaction was that this was a cheap method of sniping, thanks to the anonymity the web medium affords. But Faith, whose patience far exceeds that of mine, persuaded me to look at it more objectively and post a reply in love.

Continue reading Jazz »

Chew Your Words

Kristen’s discovery of an associate professor’s bio page proves once again that naming a child wrongly can have very dire consequences.

Use Your Elbows!

Getting women to walk through a departmental store and to the elevator is like pushing recruits to leopard crawl through mud and barbed wire. They simple have to stop at some point.

This knowledge should prove useful when trying to escape female ninjas.

Nice Guys Finish Dead Last

I’m the lucky bastard that spurred the two-person debate. I feel like the junior (year 3) who got invited to the senior (year 4) prom: hated by my own contemporaries because I’m prettier fortunate. I don’t know if this will sound like a “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” kind of post, but I don’t mean for it to be.

We live in a world of comparison. As children we compare grades in school and the amount of pocket money we receive. No different when we grow older. Promotions, salaries, gadgets. Nations compare GDP / capita and standards of living.

But it really sucks when you compare entire lives. Because this involves your entire being. Everything you are and everything you live for. If you lose this comparison there’s pretty much no reason for your existence.

So we carve niches. Create enough competitions so that hopefully everyone goes home a winner. I’m more musical than him, he’s better at computers than her, she’s a better writer than him, he’s a better people person than me.

Reality check: it doesn’t always line up this way. Some of us actually lose all our marbles.

Continue reading Nice Guys Finish Dead Last »

And Adam Ate The Whole Tree

This is my new invented tagline: Mistakes are engineered by women, but brought to full throttle by men.

Ralph and Ai bought a funky new hair shaver. The high-end kind that doesn’t look like it came from the 70’s. It’s not even black, mind you. It’s metallic in colour, made of some new age plastic. The head of the shaver swivels to accomodate the shape of the shavee’s head. Even comes with a CD-ROM that contains video instructions, for both PC and Mac.

We borrowed it.

Faith got home earlier, so she read up on the manual. After dinner we began cutting my hair. Finally. I hate it when my hair gets long. It irritates me.

She ran it through my hair. What a wimp, taking off millimeters at a time. I grabbed it from her and just dug down deep. I needed the crew cut I was used to. I felt like I had to liberate my head. Lots of gusto, as you can probably imagine.

Somewhere halfway through the haircut, I took a look at the shaver. Common-sense kicks in a little late. “I think we used it upside-down”. She denies it. Common-sense triumphs. We have been using it upside-down.

A quick look in the mirror revealed giant now-bald patches, like crop-circles without the intricacies. I had sheared off both sides of my head. We had a good laugh. The permanence of our stupidity hasn’t hit us.

I left for work this morning looking like a devout buddhist who changed his mind about monkhood the very last minute. I had my camera (and its huge telephoto lens) under my arm.

This way I had the option of hiding behind a very large camera.

Lies in the Eye

In photography, it’s a really fine line between having a cultivated eye that looks out for sights that match what we all know as beautiful photos, a trigger-happy eye that just takes about anything with colour or form, and a truly creative eye that sifts the extraordinary from the mundane, even if they really seem to be one and the same.

Taking Leave Of

As a teacher, Faith only has part of the school holidays to enjoy herself. A large part of the holidays is spent back in school at meetings and seminars.

I took the day off today to just chill out with the girl of my dreams. Of course I made it a point not to let her know that I did. She woke up early, ready to follow me to the office (it was my way of making sure we didn’t spend the morning lazing about) and we ate the breakfast I whipped up. A humble sandwich with a tomato-egg omelete.

We watched Around the World in Eighty Days, an enjoyable, but forgetable film. The typography used in the film was interesting though. We then went to Kinokuniya and bought some books. Faith brought some coupons with her. I blew $120 nevertheless.

After dinner with Faith’s mom, I decided to hit the basketball courts for some exercise. Note to self: never exercise after eating 5 durian puffs. I was burping durian continuously throughout the game.

I missed Faith. I pushed myself and ran when everyone ran. I went through the motions, but I was like a little boy who had gotten himself lost in shopping mall. Deep inside I knew I should have spent the night lying on the couch with my head propped up on her lap.

This is ridiculous. Now she’s out of the bathroom and I’m wasting time typing about how I should be out there.


Six in the City


You’re receiving this message because you recently purchased a Movable Type Commercial License for 5 authors and 5 weblogs.

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Once again, thanks so much for supporting Six Apart and for your continued use of Movable Type. We have some great stuff in store for the future of the product and it is customers like you who actually make it possible for development to continue.

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6A listens. They may not be open source folks, but I’m proud of how they handled this.

Mo Jo!

I’m at work and occasionally checking in on the Pistons vs Lakers final game (unless the Lakers undo the 24 point deficit they’re currently in with 10 minutes to go). I’m reading the play by play off the site and from what I can imagine, the Pistons were great to watch tonight.

Geez vs. Yahoo!

Yahoo! Mail now has 100mb of email space. While it’s small compared to Gmail’s 1GB, it’s clear that Yahoo! isn’t giving up without a fight.


Faith said “sometimes I feel bad for being this happy”. I don’t know how to explain it, but I often feel the same way.

It is not that we’ve never experienced, or caused each other pain. If love were a frolick in the park, the frolick is only made sweeter by having had to walk barefoot through thorns and thistles first.

This is not to say that I understand what you go through. I don’t.

There’s a taste to loneliness, or being spurned. I wouldn’t say it was bittersweet. It feels more like a sour-sweet; the taste of regurgitated stomach acid after ice-cream. Yeah, it gets so painful sometimes it makes you sick like I just did.

So you can’t say I don’t know how you feel just because things seem rosy for us right now. I do.


Music (and Wifi) Anywhere

Airport Express. I want.

You’ll want to be buying that Mac very soon, people.


Thanks for the emails and comments showing concern. I’m ok. I really am.

Hmmm…the “really am” makes me sound like I’m in denial, but it’s the truth. The third-person writing isn’t indicative of a mental or spiritual breakdown or anything like that. Reminisce gets away with it fine. So does Zeldman.

It’s nice to know that you care.

Anyway, is what I’ve been working on, and is mostly complete. Yesterday I proposed the idea of putting an honest blog on its homepage to my directors. They seemed to like the idea. So watch for it.

For the usability junkies out there, I added a skip navigation link for screen readers. I know that the display:hidden or display:none doesn’t work particularly well, so I set a font-size:0px. Any idea if that’s any good?


He comes home one day to find the house empty. She is somewhere else, doing something else. “Don’t wait up”. Her voice echoes in his mind, the only lifeline he has, reassuring him that the life he had been living everyday for almost a year wasn’t a dream.

Loneliness seems so alien and yet so familiar, like an old friend who came back to visit. The awkward silences when no one knows what to say weren’t so long before. He had forgotten what they used to talk about or do together.

He fires us the computer and decides to blog about his indecision.

Writing about himself in third person is an out-of-body experience.

Treading on my Dreams

All I once held dear built my life upon,
all this world reveres, and wars to own.
All I once thought gain, I have counted loss,
spent and worthless now, compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus.
Knowing You.
There is no greater thing.

He just wanted to write. To encapsulate the hopes and lives of others, whether in written word, photographic images or XHTML. Where life took him now it seemed that these dreams were to end.

He surrendered his life to God many years ago. It is clear that his dreams, his precious, were to be laid on the altar. He doesn’t know if a ram will be caught in the nearby bushes, or whether the crescent motion of the blade will be halted by a heavenly voice. He just knows that he has to lay it down in its totality.

These few weeks have been the most agonizing and difficult of his life. So difficult that it is easier to write of himself in the third person in order to keep an objective view of things.

The Net

Network Guy: I can’t do this. I don’t know what she changed in her configuration.

Colleague of absent computer user: But she doesn’t know how to change the configuration settings.

Network Guy: Yeah, that’s exactly why I can’t do this.

Stirring the Tempest in a Teacup

There is a season for everything.

I have never been actively involved in the local weblog scene or its politics. Except in jest, I don’t often quote chunks of other Singaporean blogs or jump into the fray when things get heated up. Sure, I’ve had my Xiaxuesque aspirations but no one would pay to see my boobies. I consider myself a pretty quiet voice in a very noisy world currently filled with links of big-shot people moving to Wordpress, or how great Wordpress is.

Before I totally and utterly digress, I want to say to DW that I will not, as he says, “live and let live”. I’m getting my pristine hands dirty.

When DW contemplated ending his blog of three years, Re-minisce, in a flurry of honesty, told DW that his writing wasn’t “beautiful”.

In a flurry of angsty depression, DW slammed the door of his blog shut. I was pretty sure he felt all the resolve boil up within him to stop blogging forever. And he would blog in detail about it. Because DW is, well, DW.

What you forgot, DW, was the main point to Re-minisce’s flurried comment. We don’t read your blog because it’s Shakespeare or Dante. We read it because it is Anne Frank: a diary of honest strugglings and glimmers of hope.

Sure, the glimmers of hope often come from your many commenters using our local SMS-ized Singlish. Sincere or not, they all hope, as do all of us who do not comment but pray, that you will find your feet under you. Because if you do not, then our own insecure selves hidden in the deepest parts of our psyche do not stand a chance either.

It’s about honesty, and about you. And then us.

I’m not linking to either your permalinks nor re-minisce’s, because all the hurt should be gone by the time both of you read this.

Gone. In a flurry.

Parallel Universe

A L’s conversation with her colleague could have easily gone this way.

“so, a l, have you watched troy? is it good?”

“er, no. can’t help you there i’m afraid. but heh, i know it’s three hours long.” grimace.

“how about the_day_af_ter_tomor_row?”

“haven’t watched it either…”

no, I meant let’s watch it the day after tomorrow.

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