Making Light of Things

June 2005 Archives


I miss missing places and people.

I miss pining for Faith, longing for good fish porridge, wanting to be home.

Because I am home.

The missing is missing.

The orange hue of a lamp along a dark street on a cold night.

Will I ever see you again?

Paying the Rant

I’ll say what every homemaker thinks at some point of every day: we ought to get paid for this.

Don’t you find it odd that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, yet is rendered unable to feed itself? If bringing up your child is as noble a profession as people make it out to be, show us the money.

Governments that encourage child-bearing should go a step further than just tax breaks, they should make it a viable profession. Here in Singapore we have an entire generation brought up by underpaid domestic help from third-world countries. An entire generation of whom many have absolutely no memories of their parents being there when they lost their first tooth or had their first crush. It should be no wonder why there is no nationalistic loyalty to be found in our young. We are a people who do not know our own mothers.

Continue reading Paying the Rant »

Fake Paypal

Received an email from Paypal today saying that my account has been used for a purchase I did not make. The email goes like this:

Fraud Alert ID : 0026654 You have recieve this email because you or someone had tried to used your paypal account at Below is the detail about the transaction made: Transaction site : Order ID : FMO12446465 Amount : $850 Date : Fri, 19 Dec 2003 20:41:09 +1100 To confirm or decline this transaction, please follow the link provide below. Please save the fraud alert id for your reference. Your account will be block after 2 days you recieve this email if we didnt get comfirmation from you. Do not reply as this is a notification only. Thanks for using PayPal! Copyright© 2005 PayPal Inc. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.

Of course the beautiful thing is when you click on the paypal link, it brings you to, a perfect paypal-lookalike site, but whose URL does not start with Paypal. Being sleepy and forgetful, I key in a wrong password but get “in” anyway. The page asks for your information: your name, address, credit card number.

Anytime anyone asks you for your credit card number. Please have the alarm bells go off. If you have a Paypal account, they already have your number.

If you received this email, please do NOT respond or give your information. Don’t even use your real Paypal password to log in. I’m pretty sure that too is being tracked.

Tempest in a Teacup

Anne has starting articulating a myriad of different sounds. She does every English vowel but “E”, and even throws in glottal stops for good measure. No, it doesn’t happen frequently enough for her to star in “The gods must be crazy 3”. We brought her to church yesterday, where she practically gave a mini-sermon. As Daniel Chia said, “she talks a lot, a lot”.

We’ve got a live one in our hands, I think.

For those actually interested, here’s short video of her talking (332kb, .mov).

Open Speech Bites Back

Nothing to draw the good old ugly Singaporean out like a little money.

The guys at the Youth Portal Project offered a top prize of $2000 to the winner of their Web Design Contest. Over a hundred entries were submitted, including my two-hour last ditch effort, which was subsequently rejected from the top 5 list.

In the forums where non-shortlisted designs were being revealed and comments on the top 5 exchanged, Patrick Ong innocently drops a question: Why those 5 designs? He proceeds to insist that the internet community be allowed to view all 100+ and vote for their favourites. Also in the same thread, he dismisses the top 5 as “disappointing”, and suggests that they were possibly chosen because the judges were fatigued, having had to go through more than a hundred, or that the designers were friends or relatives with the judges…you get the idea.

Then it gets interesting. In another thread, he reveals his design. They discover that you can buy Patrick’s submission off Templatemonster. And no, it wasn’t designed by Patrick.

Back in the previous forum thread, he starts getting all defensive when the general public doesn’t see that democracy is best served only when his design wins. He states that his company has 100+ designers, so on and so forth.

And he still thinks everyone else is stupid for not having chosen his design.

I’m amazed.

If You've Nothing Good to Say

I had an interview for a television segment on the new series “40 on 40”, which covers 40 trends Singapore has seen in its 40 years of indepedence.

The trend which I’m a participant of is the massive outflow of students who further their education overseas.

I am pretty sure I came across as a bumbling idiot, but we’ll have to see how the miracles of video editing somehow salvage my non-existent public image. I was running a temperature and feeling generally down in the dumps. Having to talk about Arizona and the good memories I had made in my few years of living there made my flu-induced lousiness feel more unbearable.

The first question was: What did you bring back from Arizona? For example, do you drive differently, use slang words that you acquired there?

In retrospect, I’m pretty much the same person I was when I left. Maybe I’m a little more vocal, but God forbid that I come home all cool and hip, complete with an accent so thick you could make agar-agar with it.

I told the director off-camera that I didn’t want this to turn into an anti-Singapore rant. But how can current-situation Singapore compete with memories of Arizona cloaked with the feel-good of nostalgia? Memories are often illusions, and illusions have no flaws.

Tattooing My /s/

Why do all software manufacturers automatically assume you want a directory named after their company? For example, if you install Leisure Suit Larry, the default directory would be program files/sierra/leisure suit larry/. Don’t they know that most of us are ambivalent when it comes to software companies?

Logo Trends 2005

From star shapes to swirlies, from blowouts to blurs. Know your logos.

Continue reading Logo Trends 2005 »

61 Days

Anne at 2 Months

2 whole months, Anne. We didn’t screw up too bad, did we?

Gilmore Girls DVD marathon in the background.

Orange Blues

Sunset on North Campbell, Tucson, Arizona

The sun sets into the past. The further it moves away from the present, the emptier the present feels.

I miss you Arizona. A lot, a lot, a lot.

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

Anne looking at fishAnne’s morning after-bath routine: sitting beside the fish tanks for half an hour, trying to communicate via hand signals and monosyllabic grunts.

Making the L33t

Make a mental note of this: I was here first. This whole blogging business. Before Movabletype, Livejournals, Greymatter, Blogger, a few of us were hacking out our blogs on borrowed copies of MS Frontpage.

You speak of the “golden age of blogging” like it was a new thing. That Mr. Brown is the ah kong* of blogging. Xiaxue is the ah soh* of blogging. So on and so forth.

We’ve already had our golden age, long before these rookies came into town on their smelly little asses. Nickpan naming his firstborn after a PDA, one of the first collaborative Singaporean blogs Chronoscape breaking down because the writers had their own blogs going, or when this very site went down after getting 30 thousand hits in a day. You had to be there.

So don’t label me sceptical when I don’t as much raise an eyebrow with all this buzz on blogging. What I am concerned with, however, is the event that might destroy all that we hold dear.

*ah kong and ah soh - The Emperor and Jabba the Hutt respectively.

Continue reading Making the L33t »

Straits Times Uninteractive

Ok, we know that The Straits Times puts out its online articles for a week before locking them out of the public domain in order to solicit paying subscribers. That has been blogged to death.

But am I the only one who thinks the site is teh SUCK? Who the heck is in charge of this online mess? Fire the idiot. Honestly.

Let’s look at it from a design standpoint, then from a usability standpoint. Here’s a popup of a screenshot of the site (100kb, 1028 x 768 jpg), taken today.

Continue reading Straits Times Uninteractive »


There’s a conspiracy at hand. Shine!, a government initiative, is funding (even if it is only the refreshments) the first Singapore Bloggers Convention.

No longer will you be able to hide behind online monikers like AcidFlask or Mr. Brown. Participants, please register at the table with your identity cards and your URLs.

What: Bloggers.SG
When: 16th July 2005
Where: Woodlands Regional Library

Please get in line so they’ll know who to sue should you have slightly controversial ramblings on your “web blog”.

Update: Guess I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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