My first 2 spore creatures..

What I feel like...

Someone said that I was jovial, yet another said that I was always depressed.
Someone said that I was easily bullied, yet another said that its impossible that anyone could step on me.
Someone said that I was complacent, yet another said that I was demanding.
Someone said that I was efficient, yet another said that I was lazy.
Someone said that I was smart, yet another called me an idiot.

So I guess, all in all, I should be a jovial, depressed, weak, strong, complacent, demanding, efficient, lazy, smart idiot. Which in short...is still an idiot.

Simple study..

After some gruelling hours of DIYing the bookcase, table and shelf, the study is almost complete. Just need a few more touch ups and we're done with this room.

Fixing the table and the bookcase was a singe. But installing the shelve onto the wall, well that really sucked. Half way through drilling, realised that I might have hit a rebar inside the wall, cos the drill bit was wearing off, and there was burnt steel smell, but the hole wasn't getting any deeper.

There wont be a next time though, cos I'm definitely paying Ikea the 6% for installation.

Chicken soup for the soul..

More home cooking.. less eating out..

Kids stuff...

Got some of these from a friend for Bella. Will be celebrating her b'day this Sunday.

What to study..

Met some buddies for margarita, when one of them mentioned that he wanted to go for CFA. It seems like everyone has an interest to further their studies.

Almost wanted to get my Professional Engineer (PE) certification some years back. It was more of trying to beat the clock to register as a PE before they started including exams as part of certification process, than really wanting to get a PE cert. To me, getting a PE = more responsibility + pay membership fees.

Was talking to a friend and head of another branch. The sentiment is that u have to have the blessings from your deputy director and director before you would even be considered for a scholarship to do a Masters or a PhD. Added with the trend of people who are at Grade 10 and above (pseudo management level) getting it most of the time, I guess chances of getting a scholarship is nothing short of impossible.

I guess the only way is self funding. Was thinking of perhaps approaching some profs to see if any one of them have interesting projects of which I could do a PhD on. Alternatively, if I was daring enough, going overseas to do a PhD doesn't sound half bad. But then again, thats just me thinking out loud and nothing is in the pipeline as of yet.

Point to Ponder

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.

Yaay got spaghetti..

Food taste better when u don't have to cook... hehe

Counter reset...

I am the first visitor!! haha..

Farewell for a buddy

A buddy of ours left our ex-company. He's one of the last remaining survivors from our batch who's still in the company. His last day was on 8.8.08. After 8 years of service. Even starting work on the 8th of September. It's like an omen. Like he was predestined to leave. But never pictured him leaving.
Remember this conversation, when he told me that he was contented. Contented to stay in that environment. Difficult, but perhaps less hurtful than the hatred for change. Came as a surprise to me. That he'd leave. But I guess there are reasons.
Didn't let anyone know though, not until the last day. Somehow, I think that I'd do that too, if I was him.
Seems like not much has changed. We still talk about the same people and the same things. The "Japanese occupation" in our company is still the most heated topic of interest. People, without fail, remember the Hitler wannabe. Everyone has changed, but still remains the same. Half way through, our buddy's boy gets centerstage and everyone shifts the focus to him.
Already have 3 buddies who moved to Australia. Make that 4. Wonder if I should move overseas as well.. haha.

Life and How to Survive It

I was complaining to a friend sitting right beside me that I had just too many things to do. Like everything had the deadline of "tommorrow" and I didn't have any mood to get anything done.

She sent me an article by e-mail. I went home after dinner and was planning to spend some time doing up some work, so that it'd free me off some of the work I had to do tomorrow. I opened my e-mail to see if there is anything else that would add to the work I already have in mind. And I saw this article she sent. It's quite long, so bear with it if you have the patience to read.


Below is a speech to the graduating class of 2008 at NTU convocation ceremony last week by Adrian Tan, a litigation lawyer and the author of The Teenage Textbook. Read it! It's hilarious but very meaningful.

I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It’s a wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.

My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.

On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.

Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs is always the wife.

And so I want to start by giving one piece of advice to the men: when you’ve already won her heart, you don’t need to win every argument.

Marriage is considered one milestone of life. Some of you may already be married. Some of you may never be married. Some of you will be married. Some of you will enjoy the experience so much, you will be married many, many times. Good for you.

The next big milestone in your life is today: your graduation. The end of education. You’re done learning.

You’ve probably been told the big lie that “Learning is a lifelong process” and that therefore you will continue studying and taking masters’ degrees and doctorates and professorships and so on. You know the sort of people who tell you that? Teachers. Don’t you think there is some measure of conflict of interest? They are in the business of learning, after all. Where would they be without you? They need you to be repeat customers.

The good news is that they’re wrong.

The bad news is that you don’t need further education because your entire life is over. It is gone. That may come as a shock to some of you. You’re in your teens or early twenties. People may tell you that you will live to be 70, 80, 90 years old. That is your life expectancy.

I love that term: life expectancy. We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I’m here to talk about a bigger idea, which is what you expect from your life.

You may be very happy to know that Singapore is currently ranked as the country with the third highest life expectancy. We are behind Andorra and Japan, and tied with San Marino. It seems quite clear why people in those countries, and ours, live so long. We share one thing in common: our football teams are all hopeless. There’s very little danger of any of our citizens having their pulses raised by watching us play in the World Cup. Spectators are more likely to be lulled into a gentle and restful nap.

Singaporeans have a life expectancy of 81.8 years. Singapore men live to an average of 79.21 years, while Singapore women live more than five years longer, probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in the bathroom.

So here you are, in your twenties, thinking that you’ll have another 40 years to go. Four decades in which to live long and prosper.

Bad news. Read the papers. There are people dropping dead when they’re 50, 40, 30 years old. Or quite possibly just after finishing their convocation. They would be very disappointed that they didn’t meet their life expectancy.

I’m here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.

After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.

Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.

That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.

If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.

What you should prepare for is mess. Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armour against fate.

Don’t expect anything. Erase all life expectancies. Just live. Your life is over as of today. At this point in time, you have grown as tall as you will ever be, you are physically the fittest you will ever be in your entire life and you are probably looking the best that you will ever look. This is as good as it gets. It is all downhill from here. Or up. No one knows.

What does this mean for you? It is good that your life is over.

Since your life is over, you are free. Let me tell you the many wonderful things that you can do when you are free.

The most important is this: do not work.

Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.

Work kills. The Japanese have a term “Karoshi”, which means death from overwork. That’s the most dramatic form of how work can kill. But it can also kill you in more subtle ways. If you work, then day by day, bit by bit, your soul is chipped away, disintegrating until there’s nothing left. A rock has been ground into sand and dust.

There’s a common misconception that work is necessary. You will meet people working at miserable jobs. They tell you they are “making a living”. No, they’re not. They’re dying, frittering away their fast-extinguishing lives doing things which are, at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful.

People will tell you that work ennobles you, that work lends you a certain dignity. Work makes you free. The slogan "Arbeit macht frei" was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. Utter nonsense.

Do not waste the vast majority of your life doing something you hate so that you can spend the small remainder sliver of your life in modest comfort. You may never reach that end anyway.

Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.

I like arguing, and I love language. So, I became a litigator. I enjoy it and I would do it for free. If I didn’t do that, I would’ve been in some other type of work that still involved writing fiction – probably a sports journalist.

So what should you do? You will find your own niche. I don’t imagine you will need to look very hard. By this time in your life, you will have a very good idea of what you will want to do. In fact, I’ll go further and say the ideal situation would be that you will not be able to stop yourself pursuing your passions. By this time you should know what your obsessions are. If you enjoy showing off your knowledge and feeling superior, you might become a teacher.

Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don’t, you are working.

Most of you will end up in activities which involve communication. To those of you I have a second message: be wary of the truth. I’m not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth. Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.

In order to be wary of the truth, you must first know it. That requires great frankness to yourself. Never fool the person in the mirror.

I have told you that your life is over, that you should not work, and that you should avoid telling the truth. I now say this to you: be hated.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.

One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong.

The other side of the coin is this: fall in love.

I didn’t say “be loved”. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.

Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.

Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.

Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.

Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.

Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.

You’re going to have a busy life. Thank goodness there’s no life expectancy.


Ok there goes work for tonight. I'm watching a chinese movie on cable, eating a green tea ice cream I made yesterday, and spending the rest of the night watching Ben 10, Spongebob and whatever anime I've missed since Thursday...


We painted two walls ourselves today.

And I'm having a backache now.


Weekends are getting pretty busy for me. Having a house is really not all that glitter and gold. There is the cleaning, the buying, the cooking.

Seems like dust and loose hair never fail to replenish itself. Have to vacuum and sweep the floors every weekend, and sometimes off weekends just to keep the place clean. Coupled with washing, drying and ironing, I guess most of the extra time I have is covered.

Last week we had oyster porridge. This week, tried my luck with mushroom chicken rice (its much safer). Did the exact same things I used to... only difference this time was that I had the luxury of a kitchen, some extra dark sweet sauce and japanese rice instead of chinese rice.

Didn't turn out too well though. And in a nicer way to put it, "It's healthy!!" (meaning no taste la)...hee

Tastes like the beach...

Had "sea salt caramel" ice cream outside Central. Tastes a little like the beach. Added with the smell of Singapore River... mmm....

The lychee was ok though..


Sometimes I just feel totally childish. I dun mean the daily type of childish, but the super childish type of childish. Its difficult to put it in words, but I'm sure you get what I mean.

We were balloting for seats, while shifting office. And most of the guys hadn't figured how to get it done... so I figured the best way was to put our names on a master copy, at a first come first serve basis, considering that I was holding the master copy. You'd have guessed that the suggestion didn't really go well with the crowd.

So they decided that the heads should choose their seats first. After the heads, we were at a dilemma as to who gets to pick the next seat. So again I suggested that we should start with the most junior staff there. This one didn't go well too. Can't blame me rite, that so happens I'm also the most junior amongst those that was there.

So we picked numbers instead. And as u have guessed, they took the number 10 out of my pocket.

Well, all in all, I guess the seats were ok. I'm not complaining. After all, its for wat 6 months? And then we have to move again.

But dem, I feel childish. Tommorrow, I'm gonna revert to serious mode. No joking about peoples oats, pulling up people's wipers etc etc... haha


After a gruelling 1,000,000 tries... finally manage to reach aunties score... and only when auntie is on mc!!...

Only conclusion i have is... auntie is inhuman! or rather auntie's ingerish is inhuman!!

Tired? Bored? Need a break?

Fold origami!! Or in this case should be cut origami?!?

Of babies and kids..

Saw an ex-classmate today, walking down the steps. We were walking in seperate directions, and I didn't get to say hi. From afar, I think she's pregnant again. If that's the case, then this would be no 2 in 2 years.

Ever wonder how many kids you should have? I mean, my elder sis has 3, one per year. My second sis has one, but is dying to get another. She was practically telling the nurse, "I can't wait for the second one" after giving birth. My ex-colleague and good friend wants to have as many as possible aka about 6. Which makes me wonder if people do plan ahead of what lies ahead.

One hypothesis from an ex-colleague is that it doesn't matter how much you have or how your standard of living is. Somehow or rather, everything finds its way, and even if you only have a $1000 household income, having multiple kids is not an issue. The older could help the younger as they finish school and get a job. Kids that are smart enough would get scholarships and their education would not need to be financed. Another said that education doesn't matter, life is whats important.

A different train of tought would be to think of what it would cost to have a kid. I mean, living expenses aside, there are certain things that we can't really ignore. Take a scenario where the kid grows up and starts thinking of going to university. Yes, thats years away, but let's just take a look at the possibilities:

Scenario A: The kid is smart enough to enter the local university, wants to study locally and gets the course that he wants. Great! Expenses would be the local university school fees which shouldn't be too hard to bear. say $20k-$30k per yr?

Scenario B: The kid is hyper smart, (Let's drag it a little further), gets a scholarship and goes to Harvard or Princeton. Even Greater! Expenses fully paid! Plus he probably would be guaranteed a job.

Scenario C: The kid is average and hopes to study abroad or the kid is not bright enough to enter local university and can only study abroad or the kid could only get the course he wanted for the career he wanted if he went abroad. Not so great. Now how much does it cost to send a kid to lets say UK for say 2 yrs, imagining that he does a Twinning course (i.e. 2 yrs local, 2 yrs abroad or other combinations)? I would think that you'd need at least a couple of hundred thousands prepared for the kid. Multiply that with x number of kids (remember, we put aside living expenses), you'd have a rough estimate of how much that would cost you. Take for example a family with 3 kids x say $300,000. That makes almost a million!! Add on a couple of thousands for expenses, and I'd say that you better be a millionaire if you want to have multiple kids and have to consider finances.

So all in all, I guess it depends on what people really want. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can have tons of kids and take one step at a time, worrying about finances when the time comes. Or you could start worrying, and plan the expenses for the kid, which means you'd probably have to start saving from day 1 just to give your offspring a more certain future.

Well, if it turns out that they are brilliant, you'd have a couple of millions more for retirement. But if you don't prepare, it doesn't mean that its the end. Most of the billionaires have no or minimal forms of education.

And do consider the occasional chinese drama, where the family gives blood and sells their meat to fund a childs education, only to have the child not acknowledge who their parents are when they become rich and successful.

All in all, it's a joint decision. Just make sure it's a decision that both parties agree with and are prepared to take on responsibilities that come along with the kid.
Oh god... did I write that?!??


After waiting for 3 weeks, the paintings came in this morning. We bought 3M tapes to mount the paintings, considering that we didn't want to damage the walls. The first time we tried it, the paintings stayed on the wall for like 3 minutes. Learning from that lesson, we went to the mart, bought double the amount of tape and tried putting up the paintings again. All was well, until we heard a loud "thud" and one of the paintings were on the ground. Seems like the adhesive goes well with the wall but not with the canvas. Third time, we stapled the tapes to the canvas, and then attached the tapes to the ones already attached to the wall. Touch wood, the paintings are still in tact.

Home 101

Made dried oyster - scallop porridge for dinner...

I know it looks like crap... but it doesn't taste half as bad as it looks leh..hee


Buddy shirt... same pattern as house bedhead...