Making Light of Things

January 2006 Archives

Anne's First Pre-CNY

A photo-journey.

Hours before the reunion dinner Faith and I felt really cooped up at home and decided to head out to Suntec City. It was quite the gamble - the mall could be exceedingly crowded with people doing last minute shopping or that it would be empty, giving us a little reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life.

We didn’t expect it to be this empty.

The floor of Suntec City, devoid of people

We expected some of the shops to be closed, but not the eating places! After all, what else do Singaporeans do besides eat? And if the eating places are closed, wouldn’t we all lose our national pastime?

Restaurants closed at Suntec City

Restaurants closed at Suntec City

Ok, now we were getting a little desperate. We did come here looking for lunch.

We finally found an open Burger King, had our quick bite and took the bus home to rest a bit before the reunion dinner.

Anne on the bus


When you look at the cross-strait relations between Singapore and Malaysia, it feels like a bunch of Primary school kids trying to one-up each other.

Malaysia plans ‘crooked’ bridge.

So the gist of it is this: Singapore and Malaysia are connected by a causeway which was built too low to allow ships to pass. Singapore has been profitting from this because ships need to go around Singapore rather than through the Straits. Malaysia wants to rebuild the causeway into a bridge high enough for ships to pass but Singapore doesn’t. Malaysia decides to tear down their half of the causeway and build a bridge anyway. In order to accomodate the necessary height in such a short span (their half) of a bridge, the Malaysian side would have to curve. This prompts some Singaporean “source” to hint that this is because Singaporeans are straight while Malaysians are crooked.

Do you remember those idiotic kids on the bus who refused to budge just to spite the other kid?

Baby Busker

It’s Chinese New Year’s again. It used to be a time of collecting money. Those married would have to give little red packets containing token sums of money. These token sums would inevitably be used to determine whether the giver spent his old age at a resort-style retirement home with his great-grandchildren or in a dilapidated hut, all alone.

Giving out these red packets add up to quite a considerable wallop on the pocket. A off-the-cuff equation is as follows:

Impact on wallet = (number of nieces, nephews, young cousins, household pets and plants) x (how close each respective member is to the giver)

If you look at this tradition as a kind of monetary installment for family ties, the cost of a large extended family would probably be the same as a smaller, close-knit family. Having a large, close-knit family would send you to the bank begging for a loan.

This Chinese New Year Faith and I have concocted a solution to this money-losing scheme:


After unsuccessfully training her to put her hands together whenever someone says “gongxi, gongxi”, I’ve decided to bring along some sticky tape. Taping both her hands together should achieve the same effect whenever she waves her arms around. This little gesture, accompanied by her good looks, should make any passerby empty their pockets, safe deposit boxes and off-shore bank accounts.

We’re not losing money this year. I repeat: we’re not losing money this year.


Makes me want to get all entrepreneurial again.

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Five Things

I got tagged by Joan.

Name five of life’s simple pleasures that you like most, then pick five people to do the same. Try to be original and creative and not use things that someone else has already used:
  1. Rolling in bed with Faith and Anne.
  2. Chasing down Waiting on perfect moments with camera in hand.
  3. Creating something beautiful, whether a photo, a piece of writing, a catchy phrase, a website, or even elegantly written code.
  4. Stirring shit up; changing the status quo, tinkering with established processes to improve things for the common folk.
  5. Dreaming.

I’m tagging:

Of Green Gables Fame


Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

On Thursday, Anne was down with a fever. Faith and I thought little of it until she threw up thrice at night. At about 2 in the morning we decided to take her to the children’s hospital.

The roads were empty, and you’d expect the children’s hospital to be quite desolate at that time of night. When the sliding doors open, it felt like we were walking into Disneyland. There were children everywhere, usuallly accompanied by at least one very tired looking adult. Most of the kids looked worse for the wear, some lying down on the seats with their heads propped on the lap of their fathers. Others were asleep in their mothers’ arms. Then there was Anne.

Even with a relatively high fever, this little sparkplug was still the life of the party. She was busy looking around at her fallen (asleep) comrades, occasionally waving her plump little arm vigorously. With so much visual stimulation, she didn’t look like she was about to sleep. It didn’t seem like she needed any, despite having been up all this time.

The doctor required a urine sample, so we sat around waiting for Anne to do her thing in some plastic contraption that looked like a used condom tucked into her diaper. We checked it every five minutes, hoping for rain to fall so we could have the diagnosis and head home.

About two hours passed and the drought continued. We went in to see the doctor to tell him we had given up waiting. He said the probability of Anne having a urinary tract infection was small, then gave us instructions on how to collect a urine sample from her at home if we wanted to bring it in for testing in the morning.

“You have to observe her and wait for her to pee. Then you need to use this sterilised container and collect it mid-stream. You don’t want the pee that comes out first. You have to wait a while.”

I know this guy works with kids on a day to day basis, but does he have any idea how hard that is? Faith and I kinda laughed it off and said we’d observe her. The catching urine in mid-air thing was above and beyond our hand-eye coordination.

Anne’s still running a temperature and is a little crankier at times, but generally fine. Thank you for all your prayers and text messages. You guys rock.


When asked what they look for in a potential partner, most, if not all singles reply, “a sense of humour”.

What so important about this humour thing anyway? If you said you wanted your potential mate to be stinking rich, at least you’re set for life as far as material goods are concerned. But humour? It doesn’t even cure the common cold, despite what a zillion copies of Readers’ Digest claims. What makes all of us value it so much? Are we genetically predisposed to choose someone who’s funny?

If we’re to believe in Darwin’s theory of natural selection and what-not, here’s my take on it: humour is the truest test of intelligence. University degrees, PhDs, IQ tests are all nonsense. I’m sure many of you can write up a list of names of highly educated people who turned out to be idiots. Can’t think of one? Let me help you out here: what was the name of your ex-boss again?

It’s not easy being funny. And just being funny isn’t enough. The level of humour is important too. Slapstick is good for a laugh but it gets old fast. Then you have those guys who are witty. They are always great fun at parties. But seriously though, if you can find a guy who does Deuce Bigalow slapstick while quoting Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, you have yourself a keeper.

That said, most girls eventually settle for witty. Because he seemed nice to be with at the party. He was such a hoot.

Ten years later, you kick yourself in the behind for marrying such a sarcastic s.o.b. who hasn’t stopped making fun of your dress sense since you wore the wedding gown.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Need to be Heard

“Reply All” is probably the most abused feature in all email applications. The extent of its abuse is a good indicator as to how committed people are to the noble cause of covering their behinds.

Fouth Thursday of November

Or second Monday of October if you’re in Canada.

It’s been a little more than three months into the current job and I realise I never really sat down and thanked God properly for it. Sure, there are the usual encumberances of working in the civil service, but there are many things to be thankful for.

Lord, you’ve given me a great many things. One more thing I ask - a grateful heart, or otherwise it would have all been given for nought. If it is at all possible, undo my spoiled nature and teach me the sheer joy of simply being your child again.

Holy Cupertino

We all saw it coming. But I’m sure many of us didn’t see it coming this fast.

The MacBookPro. Dual core Intel chips. Up to 4 times faster than the fastest last generation Powerbooks.

A design side note: Apple is done with pure silky white. It’s sleek, shiny black, topped up with extra gloss and silver edges.

This season, black is the new black.

Big Time Anne

Anne’s featured on a two-page spread in the January issue of Young Parents magazine. Next stop: Letterman or Oprah.

You heard it here first.

Fone Home

A few days ago my phone flipped out of its case attached to my belt and narrowly missed falling down the toilet. I remember distinctly thanking God that it was a close shave. That was before I discovered three huge crack lines running across the screen. “Might as well have fallen into the toilet”, I mutter. But in retrospect a broken phone is better than a broken phone and a clogged-up toilet.

Maybe you experts out there can tell me what phone to get.

Sick and Tired

It’s Sunday morning and I’m home with the flu. It’s funny how I seek time alone, but feel lonely whenever my alone time coincides with someplace I ought to be, and some people I ought to be with.

In this case, I’m usually at church Sunday mornings. I can’t help thinking of what people there are doing now, the looks on their faces, whether they’re smiling. When I take time off work, it’s the same deal - I always wonder how people are doing in routine-land.

It is not to say that I’m one who doesn’t take well to being alone. I just don’t like taking time off unless I’m absolutely sure no one needs me. Back in Tucson, I spent many sunsets by the mountainside because I knew Min was catching the lastest episode of Friends. I’d rush back in time for dinner.

Maybe it’s because I don’t like relying on people. I don’t like others doing what should be my responsibility. I don’t like the idea of not contributing.

I don’t like the flu.

Behind the magic curtain

What it takes to pull off an Apple keynote.

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Embedded Flickr Slideshows

Putting the Flickr in your blog.

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Flickr Motivator

Be your own Anthony Robbins.

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No Use

Rules on Coldplay’s New CD - No MP3s, no DVD players, no car stereos, no Macs, no PCs, and absolutely no use.

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