Monday, December 22, 2008

Longest Album Title Ever

When The Pawn... (Fiona Apple)

When the Pawn hits the conflicts
He thinks like a King
What he knows throws the blows
when he goes to the fight
And he'll win the whole thing
'fore he enters the ring.
There's no body to batter
When your mind is your might
So when you go solo
You hold your own hand
And remember that
Depth is the Greatest of Heights
And if you know where you stand
Then you'll know where to land
And if you fall it won't matter
'Cos you'll know that you're right.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pre-Sleep Randomness

You Should Be a Puppeteer

You are an entertainer - pure and simple.

You know how to engage an audience. You are a natural storyteller.

You are naturally dramatic, even when life doesn't call for drama.

Luckily though, you save most of your drama for your stellar performances.

What the House Test Says About You

You are happy with who you are, and you don't have an inflated sense of self importance. You do your own thing quietly. You don't take up a lot of space.

You aren't against being community oriented, but it's not really your thing. You tend to prefer to focus on your family and not the neighborhood around you.

You are a playful, charming, and seductive person. People feel instantly close to you.

You look good in a low maintenance sort of way. You do the minimum required to be attractive.

You are moved by the most simple of things. You can find pleasure from a small, perfect moment.

There Is 1 Gap in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:


Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:







You Have a Melancholic Temperament

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.

You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.

You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.

You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.

Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.

You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.

You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

You Are 63% Tortured Genius

You are smart. Brilliant in fact. And while it's a blessing, it's also a curse.

Your head is filled with everything - grand ideas, insufferable worries, and a good deal of angst.

You Are a Log Ride

You prefer to live a fairly calm, relaxed life... with a few surprises thrown in.

You don't tend to get yourself worked up easily. You can roll with what life throws at you.

In relationships, you are steady and solid. You maintain a pretty broad perspective on what's going on.

That's not to say you can't get swept away. You're emotions run as deep as anyone else's.

Your life seems like it has been remarkably easy so far. But that's due to how you manage it.

You never stretch yourself too thinly, and you think out your decisions carefully.

Taking the time to enjoy each day is important to you, and you don't let your emotions rule you.

You stay the course and do what's right... knowing it will all work out in the end.

At your best, you are tolerant and understanding of other people's quirks.

You take "go with the flow" to the extreme. Even if you don't like where you're going.

At your worst, you repress your feelings and end up being a little tightly wound.

You definitely have some explosive emotions that occasionally come to the surface!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Eight (These Graces We Await)

In the spaces we once roamed
I am now waiting
Me and all my distant halves
I stand where you are waiting too
Poles apart with the same smooth dreams
If time could shake off its long repose
From this space of eight to none
You would stand where I now wait
In our place which no time commands.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fable of The Mermaid & The Drunks

by Pablo Neruda

All those men were there inside
when she entered, utterly naked.
They had been drinking, and began to spit at her.
Recently come from the river, she understood nothing
She was a mermaid who had lost her way.
The taunts flowed over her glistening flesh
Obscenities drenched her golden breasts.
A stranger to tears, she did not weep.
A stranger to clothes, she did not dress.
They pocked her with cigarette ends and with burnt corks,
and rolled on the tavern floor in raucous laughter.
She did not speak, since speech was not known to her.
Her eyes were the colour of faraway love,
her arms were matching topazes.
Her lips moved soundlessly in coral light,
and ultimately, she left by that door.
Hardly had she entered the river than she was cleansed,
gleaming once more like a white stone in the rain;
and without a backward glance she swam once more,
swam towards nothingness, swam to her dying.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Why do you spin lies about raging fires when all you ever saw was smoke?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Of Madness & Urban Legends

The following is a story I accidentally stumbled upon last week. I still wish I hadn't because as it is, I have a severe phobia of clowns, and the extreme suddenness of the story popping up on the screen left me frightened and unable to sleep without the light on for several nights. Ever since then I've been itching to relay this story to someone else because when a story is able to give you such an extreme case of the chills, you know it's got good horror factor (I guess that means you'll find this a great birthday treat, Mady). However, if horror stories are not your cup of tea, DO NOT PROCEED PAST THIS SENTENCE.


A wealthy couple with a large house hires a babysitter to look after their children as they are going to spend a night out together. After putting the children to bed the babysitter decides to watch television. However, the television in the living room does not have cable as the parents set strict limits on their children's viewing habits.

She calls the parents to ask if she can watch cable television in their bedroom. The parents agree but the babysitter has an additional request: can she also cover up the clown statue in the corner of the room with a cloth or blanket? Its stare is so intense that it unnerves her. There is a silence on the other end of the line. The parents hastily tell her to rouse the children and get out of the house as quickly as possible. Confused, the babysitter asks why. The parents reply, "We don't have a clown statue in the house. We'll call the police."

The babysitter quickly gathers the children and they run to a neighbour's house while they wait for the police to arrive. It turns out the clown is a killer who has escaped from prison.

...seriously mind-warping, folks. I already have an intense dislike of clowns - I don't understand why children think their sinister-looking make-up and disposition are a synonym for happiness and joy.

As with most urban legends, there are some alternate versions of the story. The one I just recounted makes it seem as if the clown was targetting the babysitter, waiting for her to let her guard down before attacking her. In another version, the "statue" is located in the children's room, and they complain to the babysitter that the statue is frightening them. The clown's identity alternates between being a killer/a retarded homeless midget/a man with a disorder/sex offender. The stories always end with him being apprehended by the police, and the children and babysitter live happily ever after. Well, except for the part where the babysitter wakes up screaming at night for years afterwards because she can still feel his eyes on him. Hmm, I sense a movie at work here...

An interesting element of urban legends is that they aren't as pointless or fixated on shock value as people may assume - much like our own local cerita orang tua, these stories are meant to safeguard us or act as fables, only with more fantastical elements, as all good stories that imprint themselves in our minds do. In the case of the clown statue killer, the fact that he is always caught in the end may serve as a antithesis to the current state of the world today, where so many kidnapping/murder cases involving children still remain unsolved (JonBenet Ramsey, Madeleine McCainn etc).

*exhales* Thank goodness. Now that I've gotten all of this off my chest, I feel so much better. Be gone, demonic clowns.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Down The Road In Blue

I am, admittedly, a person of modest ambitions. I don't care much for any unnecessary explosions in this corner of my quiet existence. I love the simple life, with people I love and a career I am passionate about. This also extends to my choice of cars, which people may pooh at and say, "Small potatoes!", but hey. Not only is it practical for a first car and as transport to and fro from work, this shade of blue is too gorgeous to ignore (I have been looking for precisely this tone and colour for ages, but rarely see one on the road), and I'm pooling all my resources into getting this Caribbean Blue Myvi. You and I are going to be best friends. Love.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Road Mix: December 2008

1) Patrick Park – The Lucky Ones

2) Patrick Park – You’ll Get Over

3) Fleet Foxes - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

4) Iron and Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth

5) Iron and Wine – Evening On The Ground (Lilith’s Song)

6) Everly – Home Is Me (You Are Mine)

7) Blind Pilot – Oviedo

8) Portishead – The Rip

9) Handsome Furs – What We Had

10) Oasis – High Horse Lady

11) The Artificial Sea – Outpost

12) SADS - Masquerade

Over the past year I've found myself gravitating more towards indie folk-oriented tunes. Great, relaxing stuff for a nice, long drive. Granted, Masquerade is more than a little out of place on the track listing, but after a round of mellow music I find it nice to close the collection with a bang of sorts.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Dear sir,

I do not know you outside of a professional capacity. I'm sure you are a nice person, with your mild manners and your politeness. For all I know, you could be the saviour of your family, the toast of gatherings, the life of the parties. Different perspectives, different impressions.

But I have to tell you that from the perspective of a student, you are one of the most disappointing lecturers I have ever been under the tutelage of.

I registered for your subject with much anticipation and excitement - it was part of my passion, and I planned to pursue it as a possible career in the future, so how could I not expect anything less than great? But then, towards the middle of the semester, after many cancelled classes and less than two weeks' worth of topics covered, the original lecturer had to resign as her health was failing. I thought it was kind of you to step in and take her place, occupied as you were with the other subjects you were already teaching. Granted, you were the only person available and with the most similar qualifications, but I remember feeling sorry for you and the extra workload you had suddenly been burdened with.

Then I had my first class with you.

I remember taking a writing class with you a few semesters earlier, before another lecturer took over for you. You sat in front, mumbling monotonously and more to yourself than to the students. But I forgave that because while you lacked the skill of lecturing, you still knew your field. The things you spoke of were relevant and interesting, and your decades-long experience in journalism more than made up for your poor lecturing skills.

Taking this new class with you was a whole other story. From the start, it was clear that you knew little, if not nothing, about editing. Everything you taught us steered further and further away from editing and focused on journalism, which, while related, is a mostly separate field to learn about. You completely dismissed the original notes which the other lecturer had saved for you and told you to read, and we learned nothing about editing. Every week, you taught us in lists, and even then what you taught was so mind-numbingly general that I began to despair every time I stepped into your class. Sir, I already know that in captioning a photo, I have to: a) write an interesting caption, b) look at the photo first before I write the caption (???), and c) make the caption short and concise. But where are the technicalities? The terminologies? The relation to editing and not journalism?

The worst thing I could not and will not forgive you for is your linguistic skills, or lack of it. I don't expect you to have a perfect grasp of language. But in a subject like editing where language is the core characteristic of a good editor, it makes us students worry when we can spot many more linguistic errors in your writing than you yourself seem to be aware of. And it wouldn't be any of my business to judge your linguistic skills were it not for the fact that you use it to mark our proofreading exercises, consequently giving us consistently low marks based on your shoddy grasp of grammar. Even less fun was how we always had to go up to you and painstakingly point out to you why a particular error was in fact correct, and vice versa, in the hopes of getting that mark we deserved and you denied.

The final exam was a breeze. The questions were straightforward and were direct regurgitations of the lists you taught us in class. But when it came to the proofreading exercises my heart broke into two and sank, just like the Titanic. For where you had stated 10 marks for 10 linguistic errors, there were clearly many more. Every classmate I talked to afterwards agreed.

Still, I hoped. I hoped that even if I could not save my final exam, my carrying marks were proof that I was doing well enough to score an A-. But no. It has come to light that apparently you rarely hand out As, even to people who deserve it, and I pity those people. Now, I'm in the same boat. You gave me a B. While I may sound like a whiny brat who cannot see the bigger picture or reasoning behind all of this, I can safely say that based on my carrying marks and the fact that I know I answered the questions in the finals correctly, I did well enough to warrant more than a B. Thanks to the grade you gave me, I will have to graduate with a 3.495 - barely off the Dean's List, and I don't have to tell you how upset I am about that.

More than the grade, more than the marks, more than anything else, though - I'm disappointed in your conduct as a lecturer in class. I feel cheated out of a subject I had loved so much in the beginning and found that I'd got a cheapened deal. You taught us nothing remotely relevant or interesting pertaining to the field of editing, and if anything, you have made me fear what the others in your field could be like, if even you with all your years of experience could turn out to be so lackadaisical in imparting knowledge. And I feel sorry for all those who have to take your classes in the future, if you are still teaching editing then. I would have commented on all of this in the TER, but at the time it was still under the name of the original lecturer and so I could not say what I so badly want to say to you now:

You make me pity you so much.