Making Light of Things

November 2004 Archives


My greatest regret about my time in the army is the nagging question of whether I could have done better or worked harder despite the nagging injuries I incurred over the two and a half year span. Could I have gritted my teeth and pressed on? Were the injuries excuses I gave myself?

Later this morning I start my reservist training. I’ve always waited for my reservist tenure to liberate from the doubts I had so many years ago. In a few hours I head to camp, with a letter from the doctor about my hyper-thyroidism.

Much as I hate it, my army questions will remain unanswered.


I don’t know why we ban chewing gum but not cigarettes. Or why government officials want us to believe that they’re opening up and listening to the people now that the era that required the iron fist is over.

Until I see a change in the decision to build a casino in Singapore, I maintain that the government we have merely covers the iron fist with a velvet glove.

Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan was seen on television urging the public not to be “trapped by ideologies” when it comes to the casino debacle. What a load of crap. The last thing I need is a government without an ideology, merely existing with no purpose or direction.

Your decisions dictate the ideology you subscribe to. Word from the grapevine is that our government lost money in Enron, and with the large number of workers headed towards their retirement, instant cash is needed to release their CPF money they’ve saved.

Our young people face enough vice as it is. We couldn’t stop porn from seeping (rather flooding) through the internet. We can, however, stop the casino from being built. There is nothing good or noble about gambling. It is not an indication that we have “arrived”.

It’s construction will be a testament to the impotence of the citizen’s voice. It’s a done deal. I don’t know why I’m even ranting about it. These are times I really hate the government’s “we know better” attitude.

My Country, My Home

Sitting alone in the study finishing up work that needs to be done, listening to Garth Brooks is an oddly cathartic activity. Country music has been the soundtrack for parts of my life; usually the parts where I find myself sitting in the dark.

Stumbling upon the channel #gbfan when I panicked at seeing so many porn channels on IRC and simply clicked, it was a number of months before I found out I made friends in a channel devoted to Garth Brooks. The friendships made there brought me to Milwaukee on an Amtrak train so many years ago. I don’t know where they all are now, with my having left the IRC network Dalnet.

Country music accompanied me when I worked 16 hour days in Chicago. The drive home at 1 in the morning, we’d have country radio on. Passing by empty streets illuminated by store signs and Garth Brooks singing “what’s she doing now?” made my heart yearn for Faith, yet I wanted to stay where I was.

That’s the deal with misery and country music isn’t it? There’s a sick sweetness with pining for someone. Dark and dank evenings have a lonely companionship to them. We’re all alone. There’s some unity in that.

I’m alone now. Missing you, even though you’re in the other room. It hurts so beautifully.

Slim 10

Sorry it’s been real quiet around here. I’ve been facing the exact same thing Simplebits Dan faced with his fever. Namely that business goes on whether or not you’re sick when you’re a one-man-show.

I pushed myself over the weekend, putting up church decorations for John and Clara’s wedding and the phototaking that took up the whole day. Sunday was torn apart by meeting after meeting. I lost another 2.5 kilos just over the weekend. My doctor is starting to panic a little. I can’t go on thyroid medication yet due to the very persistent flu bug that refuses to leave me. I’m now 10kg lighter than my normal self. It’s almost painful to look in the bathroom mirror. From some angles I look like a starving Somalian. It’s the case when you have most of the symptoms of hyper-thyroidism, save the appetite.

Deadlines loom real close, especially with most of December taken up by army re-training and a short trip.

So much to do, so little time.

Blood Test Results

I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but I often imagine the worst when it comes to health problems. Before receiving my blood test results yesterday, my mind ran amok with thoughts as wild as me catching an airborne version of HIV, or that I had arteries so clogged my heart had to beat so much faster to keep up.

The doc says I have hyperthyroidism. He’s quite surprised that I considered my 90 heartbeats per minute fast, casually commenting that sitting on that chair the whole day gave him a someone similiar beat rate. I’m used to my 55 - 60 beats at rest, feeling better than I do now and not getting myself into confrontations all the time. My cholesterol and everything else is stellar, according to the doc, inspiring me to eat with an even more reckless abandon.

I’m heading back to the clinic on Monday to diagnose whether it is Graves Disease or Hashimoto’s (two variants of hyperthyroidism) that I suffer from.

People in church are telling me that I should take it easy, but it’s hard now that a number of us in the youth committee have left church, and there’s always physical work to be done. I can’t bring myself to sit and watch someone else do it. I can’t even sit still while Faith or my mother-in-law cleans house when I badly need a break.

Thank you all for your concern. I’m now down with a viral infection on top of the thyroid problem. And there’s John’s and Clara’s wedding this weekend to prepare for. Decorating the church and taking photos on the main day. Argh. I need to shake this bug off.

Chapter 2

Came home from a meeting with old IRC friends to find Faith in bed still with her glasses on. Strewn on the bed are children’s story books. She had fallen asleep, exhausted from reading her childhood treasures to our child that was still in her tummy.

It is truly a most precious sight to behold. Much as she would deny it, I really believe she has what it takes to be a fantastic mother. I don’t know how I’ll fare as a dad, but having such a capable helpmate beside me is comforting.

I’m up for a blood test tomorrow. The doctor suspects that I’m suffering from hyper-thyroid, which my mum also had a few years ago. After talking with mum, it seems I have all the symptoms she suffered from, but I’m going through with the blood test anyway.

One of the symptoms, according to mum, was being “high-strung”. That would explain a lot of things. Over the course of the last two weeks, I have gotten antagonistic with at least two people.

The first one was a man who cut the queue at 7-11. After I told him rather firmly to get in line, he threw the parking coupons he just purchased on the counter. A verbal exchanged continued and he asked me to step outside. I reacted with incredulity, and said something to the effect “so old still want to fight” (you’re a grown man behaving like a kid, kinda statement). He got really pissed and thought I meant that he’d lose, being so old. He was in his 40s, thick gold bracelet around his wrist, dark from the sun. I wanted the last word, but what I got was a reassuring hand that grasped my arm. She didn’t nag me or chide me, but comforted me in the fact I did my part for society by calling him out, and that a fight wasn’t the best way to go.

I still reel with amazement thinking what a cool girl I had for a wife.

The second one happened this afternoon. I was withdrawing money from the teller machine when this guy just stood there looking over my shoulder. Agitated, I asked him if I could help him. He smiled, diry cigarette in his mouth and mumbled something. I stopped my transactions and walked away.

I’m normally more mild-mannered than this. When I was a young boy I fought everyday. I fought not because I was angry, but because I was good at it. I knew all the manuveurs, to the point no one wanted to “spar” with me anymore. I don’t know if my recent outbursts are due to my lack of fitness and my wanting to believe I still have it in me.

Pray that God’s work on my character will not fade, and that I stop doing stupid things.

Opening the Floodgates

Ok, so using the blacklist blocks everything. Despite a thorough search (as thorough as a tired man can anyway), I’m giving it up and opening up comments again.

I’ll be drowned out.

Middle Age Prelude

I haven’t been blogging, partly because there are some things I am afraid to pen down. It’s not the “oh, I’m scared I’ll hurt my best friend’s feelings when I blog about her body odour” type of fear. You see, when you actually take time to write stuff down, sometimes you have to visit fears you may not want to face. But here goes.

I’ve been falling sick quite a bit over the past half a year. Nothing serious really, just the flu bug in its many variants. And then there are the other things. I occasionally get dizzy when I hit the basketball courts. I am hungry a lot of the time, despite eating my proper meals. Faith says that I used to snack on huge loads of cornflakes in the past, so that’s probably a moot point. When I weighed myself two weeks ago, I found out that I lost 5 to 7kg.

It is probably a “man thing”, but I want things to be the way they were. I want to be able to run forever and not get tired. I don’t want to look in the mirror and see that I am now like the millions of skinny Singaporean boys who play basketball. Maybe I didn’t realise it before, but I took some pride in my fitness. It’s gone.

I’ve had the intention to visit a doctor and find out what exactly is the problem, but like the male that I am, I prefer to live in denial. That’s also the reason why I didn’t want to blog about this initially. Penning it down gives it a permanance that I simply have to face.

I’ll probably visit the doctor’s on Monday. I don’t know what I’ll be told, but I pray I have the faith to listen.

Singing Politics

The Political Bohemian Rhapsody may just come true today.

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