Making Light of Things

July 2004 Archives


It’s odd how sending someone off at the airport feels the same as sending someone off at a funeral. Maybe it’s because we’re so insulated from the outside world, being the small island we are.

Faith and I sent Jonathan’s (aka Bangla Boy) family off at the airport two days ago. We know that they’re only going to be a phonecall and a flight away, but when the distance first sets in it feels insurmountable. As it was they lived in Woodlands, already a 45-minute drive away. Now it’s going to be a 20-hour flight and a lot of money.

We’re going to miss the little tykes (I’ll post a photo of younger brother Benjamin soon).

Don’t grow up too fast you two.

Wishful Thinking

There are times I wish Reminisce didn’t write well enough to touch my heart. There are times I wish he didn’t have to look so closely, or speak so clearly.

This is one of those times.

But if I had what I wished for, I would not have partaken of life in its colour; its light and darkness.

Hang in there, brother. Our hearts ache with you.

Sticking Around

Glad I stuck around. MovableType 3.1.


Remember the part in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when Haldir, the Elven Warden, is struck by an orc and falls to his knees and dies? He looks around at everything in slow motion and all noise fades to a muffled distant sound. Life is like that sometimes. Even utter mundaneity takes on a glorious elven shimmer. This usually happens when you’re listening to music from the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings.


I worked Saturday and half of Sunday. So it was understandable that Monday contained in it no attribute of work; neither the bitterness of having to leave a time of rest nor the exhilaration of getting one’s feet into action.

I feel like butter spread over too much bread. Thin. I may not be in the best shape to make any major decisions, though one has come up.

Vinh, whom I had the pleasure of knowing while in Arizona, emailed me to tell me that his company could be hiring an interaction designer and asked if I was interested.

Mountain View, California. My blood flows at twice its speed. What I’d do for a mountain view.

But I need to pray. I need to pray both in my trudging and my sprinting.

Moving Onward

There’s a mini-storm brewing. Web Standards enthusiasts in Singapore are moving closer towards some form of collaboration. We have a party of 8 now.

Interested in CSS and XHTML? The future of web design? Join us.

Carpe Diem

I haven’t written in a while because many things have happened in the last few days. Of these things one thing struck enough fear in my heart that I needed to escape. Writing would mean thinking, and thinking would mean having to face it again.

Uncle Bobby Sng spoke last Sunday. He spoke about how the apostle Paul was forever changed on one special day when Jesus appeared to him. How he changed from the persecutor of Christians to become one who was persecuted for being a Christian. Then Uncle Bobby asked the question: Do you remember your special day?

I remember my special day. I remember feeling that God wanted me to choose the path less travelled. To give up the rat race and concentrate on His work and His people. The call rang clear through the sterile silence of my mind. I was exhilarated, then afraid, then forgetful. “Praying about it” became a buffer for me to forget I ever heard anything.

In between my pride and my own sinfulness I found myself rejecting the call. I wanted, and still want, to accomplish as much as I can, the justification being that I would be of greater “use” to God then. And when I take a good close look at myself I see how wretched of an example of a Christian I am. I do not want my hands to dirty what has to be pure.

I am in a comfortable place. I have a steady income and the freedom to explore and learn new skills on my own time. To give this up seems almost a foolhardy thing to do.

But Lord, I want to do what you want me to do. I know that I lie to myself when I say I want to accomplish more so that I can give you more. I can’t even give you the little I have right now. My hands are incapable of doing Your work and my heart is deceitful above all things. Help me. Help me choose wisely and give me the strength to choose You. I am weak, but You are strong.

Update: While I was typing this, a group was praying just outside my cubicle for my director’s son who got in a very bad motor accident. Life cannot be wasted on things that do not last. Pray for me.

I find myself slightly breathless even as I type this. Neo must have felt the same when Morpheus asked him whether he wanted the red or blue pill. It is not just the fact that taking the wrong pill could adversely change my life forever; I’m just hoping not to choke on the very big pill.

Looking Northward Towards the SouthWest

Whenever I listen to my collection of music, take a photo, or fire up my Mac, I can smell Arizona. It doesn’t help that I am constantly reminded of how alien I am here in Singapore. I still have Fry’s and Blockbuster attached to my keys, all of which unlock things in Singapore, not Tucson. I still walk out of a building looking for my car even though it is unlikely that I’ll own a car in the near future; they simply cost way too much here. I restrain the instinct of getting into my silver Ford Escort and driving down Speedway Boulevard to Baggin’s and getting myself an egg sandwich.

It was there that I began seriously taking photographs. I cultivated the habit of bringing my camera everywhere I go, simply because every sunset, every storm, every moment was too precious to let go to waste. I even took photos of the eggs in my fridge when I opened it for a midnight snack.

It was in Arizona I switched to the Mac, learnt to write with my left hand, gazed at stars, loved Faith from afar, ate prime rib with mashed potatoes. I was consciously making memories.

The shutter doesn’t fire on the Canon 10D as much anymore. Maybe because real life isn’t as colourful as living the life of a student abroad. Just carrying the camera reminds me of who I had become simply by having lived somewhere else.

I’ve said this ad naseum, but I miss it. The spiral of real life seems so difficult to break out of.


Lea Salonga singing the first bar of “Memories” set my heart fluttering like a thousand fireflies.

What's Your Beef, Kobe?

Michael Jordan would give his left eyeball for the power Kobe Bryant seems to wield.

Even at his prime, Jordan played within the game; within the coach’s scheme of things, even when he didn’t feel like it. Kobe, on the other hand, was able to force the Lakers to look into hiring the coach he wanted, indirectly forced both Hall of Famers coach Phil Jackson and star center Shaq out of the team. Now a free agent, he doesn’t go to tryouts; he gets team owners to come to his house.

I would have kept my cool until I read that he suggested to the LA Clippers, who want to sign him on, that they should play 10 to 12 NBA games a year at a venue closer to his house. The amazing thing is that the Clippers are actually considering it.

How much clout does this idiot have?

Fairy Tails

So Cinderella married Prince Charming and they lived happily ever after.

Twenty minutes into her marriage, she got miffed that P.C. seemed more interested doing Matrix moves in Max Payne. Bullet time took on a whole new meaning when he fired up World of Warcraft after Max Payne.

She wasn’t about to go back to stepsister lifestyle. She hadn’t come so far to be ignored and left to do the housework. She wanted P.C. to give her a pedicure and then follow her to shoe-shop at Takashimaya Shopping Center.

P.C. had no clue. He thought he had proven his worth in the shoe-shopping department when he brought Cinderella’s glass slipper all around his kingdom. He thought that he was now upgraded to bachelorlife+. He didn’t know that:

Relationships, like women’s shoe-shopping habits, require continuous work. There is no one shoe that satisfies every shoe craving. You think Frodo’s life was the bomb after he destroyed the One Ring? He still had to fight off amorous Gamgee, although Peter Jackson tried hard portray Sam as the faithful married hobbit.

Fairy tales end. You need to work hard to chain-link them like a fireball-uppercut combo.

Fill in the Blanks

Insert title here:

“There were mixed reviews for _, but most of the audience could be divided into two opinions: Those that felt it wasn’t worth their money and those that felt it wasn’t worth their time”.

Kit For Kat

I killed a cat yesterday. Kicked it in the side I did. It flew a meter in the air as it yelped. I couldn’t believe that it landed on its feet. I kicked again. Blood trickled from its jaw as it lay down.

What the heck. I stepped on its skull.

Then I noticed something. There were two patches on its tail.

Continue reading Kit For Kat »

Shedding Skin

I think it’s high time Tribolum redesigned. We might just have to do away with the old skins, I doubt anyone uses them anyway.

Watch for it.

Colour Separation

For more information, see our website…

A feasible method of offering your audience more information, it loses its effectiveness quick when placed in a medium other than the Internet. When placed on a print ad, it requires for the reader to switch mediums in order to access the additional information. It becomes a much more tedious chore than just clicking on the link. Your information better be darned enticing.

It’d require me to fire up my computer if it isn’t on, open up my browser and key in your URI (or is it URL?). It’s a process I do everyday at work, so I guess I’ll wait till then.

If I remember.

The Two Towers

The rings that were once lost have now been replaced. Well, at least one of them. I’ll get the other as soon as I have the money.

Vaya’s comment was so apt (as her comments usually are), that a ring is not a heart. But you should really see Faith’s face light up everytime she sees the ring on my finger. The euphoria probably won’t last long, but there’s a nice ring to it.

In other news, congrats Kristen, on making it through one year of marriage! Mine’s next week.

Time flies, doesn’t it?

Making Excuses

Someone commented,

What advice would you give to someone who really hates a person to the point where he cant see any good in her. Yet has been told to talk to her. I mean talking to her could already make him bend down on the floor and faint in horror. What say you?

Don’t get to the point you can’t see any good in the other person. It may seem like a trite response, but many marriages fail for this one reason. Make the first move, give her the benefit of the doubt; that whatever she did probably had some really good reason. Invent one for her, and stick it in your mind. Even if the reason wasn’t true, it might have been.

Standing Tall

7 feet 6 inches tall, Manute Bol stood out like a sore middle finger where a sore thumb was supposed to be. The son of a Dinka tribal chief in the Sudan, he learnt to play basketball only at 18 years of age, where he chipped his teeth while attempting to dunk.

I’ve seen him play basketball on TV. He was this elogated oddity that made you check if you had set your television set to widescreen vertically. He wasn’t Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley, and I’ve never heard him speak a word.

His ten years in the NBA would certainly have made him a multimillionaire. He could have walked around wearing thick gold chains, sporting tatoos or cutting rap albums like the rest. But he always was the oddity, drawing ticket sales from the curious who wanted to see a freakshow block 16 shots in a single game.

He was the stuff of jokes, a measure by which we’d describe something as awkward, ugly and long.

His country suffered years and years of civil war, and what we didn’t know was that Manute Bol was helping the rebels to overthrow the oppressors. While we talk and blog about peace, Manute put his wallet down.

It wasn’t too long ago I saw him on TV again. He had joined some ice hockey team. Imagine that. A super-elongated creature of a person decked up in shin guards on ice. We laughed, and laughed. He had chosen to be so utterly ridiculed so that his hope for peace could stay alive.

We had no idea.

Last night, Manute Bol suffered serious neck injuries in a car accident. He wasn’t speeding around in his flashy sportscar. He was in a cab, like any average person. He’s badly injured.

I’ve lost the ability to laugh.

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