Tuesday, January 31, 2006 

Something to celebrate about

Mom sponsored me a Nike shoe for CNY, of the Nike Air Series.

more than 10 hong baos, and though I've yet to open them all to count the money, I'm figuring it should be bordering at $800 dollars.

I'm rich again! :D

Saturday, January 28, 2006 

Friends. Solitude. Me.

I just had my reunion dinner at my grandmother's place, and some things never seem to change year after year; a lot of conversation was forced and stilted, there was a general air of hypocrisy around the place, and some people like me kept interaction and conversation to a minimum, simply because I went by the philosophy - "nothing good to say, just shut up".

It occurred to me how fragmented and separated the whole family tree was. Then it hit me: relationships take effort and time to maintain. If no one initiates conversation, there'd be no progress in relationships and we'll just leave things at there and stay in our comfort zones of isolation.

Earlier on today, I was talking to a good friend, Eunice, sharing with her about my family and the reunion dinner before the topic took a sidetrack and led to the discussion on friends. It's no big revelation that our friends and assocations define who we are. We all have different social identities within different social groups, though sometimes who we want to be and who we try to be isn't necessarily who we actually are. Bible says bad company corrupts good character; we're bound to be influenced by the people we hang with - so you get the gist.

Actually I realized after being in church for a couple of years, I don't have like best friends to tell people about. I have good friends, but not friends I can call my group or something like that. Even out of church, I guess I have my best friends, but not in the form of a group, but rather just individual friendships. I realize I do not like interacting in groups; it stifles honest sharing sometimes, mainly due to the fact some things are private and bringing them out in the open in the presence of many will only bring out the fear of judgment. That is the predominant fear that keeps me from really connecting with people.

In the past, no. I guess in the past it was intellectual pride. In JC, I took literature, and let's face it, most literature students are a brilliant lot. Not to mention, my class had the hotties in it, and basically many of them strut around like they were the elites in the school. While I was hardly arrogant, I guess the time spent discussing interesting themes in lit classes was like a major ego trip for me; it never failed to make me feel superior above many others. You call that juvenile and childish, and I don't deny it - it is.

I always thought that the intellectual side of me really made it hard for me to connect with people. Initially I couldn't connect with some people from my church ( I wasn't new to the church at that point but I was hardly what you call a old member) because I had this whole air of faux intellectualism. thinking about it, it's all just plain silly.

then that whole ego thing just dissipated into thin air because I realized whole incredibly destructive pride is, and not to mention also realize how I'm not really that smart - they're tons way above my cognitive ability. Plus, man's wisdom pales in comparison to Divine wisdom. I guess a whole faux concept of self dominated my thoughts and midn. I just kept thinking myself of being so neurotic and different that I simply gave up trying to connect to people all the time. Every time people tried to connect with me, I pulled back. I dodged their valiant attempts to grab my heart and I hid it in some obscure treasure trove so as to make them give up reaching out to me.

I don't know why that was so. Stubbornness? perhaps. Fear of judgment? perhaps. Fear of being hurt? perhaps. I think some part of me got so numb that social interaction bored me at some point of time. And now looking back, I realized why I numbed that part of me: so that I could indulge in worldly pleasures without feeling guilty; so that words of my friends and even God fell on a stony heart.

2 years ago, things got gradually better, and I started opening up, got closer to fantastic people like Dale and Eunice and had a reciprocral friendship of encouragement and love. But while the friendships were growing, suddenly I just... pulled away... cut myself out. Again. This time I realized why I did so. I think part of me is still innately pessimistic, which is why I am sometimes drawn to deep, thinking people (who let's face it, are often depressed). the chirpiness of my friends started to rub me off, and I tried to remain elusive to hide away from any potential disruption of my peace and isolation - my rather delusional comfort zone.

So then, I don't know what to say but thanks Eunice again, because I again realized how important it is for me to maintain healthy friendships and relationships. I got convicted to do something about it, because I'm not an iron man. I need support and encouragement from time to time, of which I have no lack of when I'm with great people like the cell group.

But what struck me most was what Eunice told me, "God gives us friends according to our capacity to contain them." How utterly true. it's time to break out of the shell I've cooped myself up in for the past 3-4 months and start pressing into the lives of the people around me. I've friends all around me; it's just up to me to take the initiative to build up those friendships that are worth me investing into.

Also, thanks Terence, reading your blog has encouraged me a great deal. :D

On another note, I seriously think I'm sufferring from a slipped disc. Exceedingly worried about it because that will mean I might not be able to serve in my ministry as actively as I used to. What about my remaining time in the army? the physical activity is going to be extremely torturous. I will just have to wait to see the doctor on Monday.

Happy Chinese New Year to all the Chinese. To all the non-Chinese, enjoy your public holiday (if you're staying in Singapore). :D

Friday, January 27, 2006 

A Christian in Reflection

When I started off on my short 8 week course 4 weeks ago, I made a resolution that I wanted to go in to make a difference in the lives of others. I promised to myself not to judge others, but to love them - and a group of people have been a very big test to that.

It's hard not to judge others when what they do constantly gets on your nerves and irritates you. It's like your proverbial thorn in the flesh - though sometimes I wonder if 'thorn' would be downplaying the level of agitation some people have on me. 'spikes' would be more appropriate.

You wonder why I find myself being so harsh on these group of people, and the answer is simply because they are irresponsible. I don't profess to be the most responsible person in the world, but I think to shun it is immature and simply indicative of a weak character. These people show flagrant disregard to timings, falling in late in the morning many times and causing the platoon to be held back for morning exercise and subsequently breakfast. They take their own sweet time to smoke (most of them smoke), and when the platoon has work to do together, some of them show an utter lack of interest. They throw your scoldings and coaxings into thin air, choosing to do things their way, like they're the law or something.

Being in charge of the platoon to a certain extent, it's simply vexing to communicate with them. But as Terence mentions, the key to commanding people would be to win their hearts. Obviously it's easier said than done, because the platoon is like a motley crew with different people from all different walks of life, with different personalities and beliefs.

But when I find myself judging them, God seems to remind me not to do so. I shun them because they seek instant gratification without worrying about the ramifications of what they do. Pleasure - however fleeting - usually comes first for them. Like how for 5 more minutes of sleep they actually cause the entire platoon to be held back for 20 minutes queueing up for breakfast.

But I remember how when I was struggling with problems like lust (not that I'm over that problem totally), it was very much the same for me. For some fleeting moments of pleasure that watching some illicit material of prurient content could render me, I actually numbed myself to the consequences of my actions - upsetting God and also slowly but surely destroying the potentially fulfilling sex life that could be derived from a solid marriage.

So yes, upon reflection, I do think now that I'm not so much 'better' than the others I rather erroneously judged. Hence it's no longer for me to burn in righteous fury and start ranting about the different annoying people I face everyday. Rather, I'll just learn to love them and start befriending them to win over their hearts.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 

The Four Meme

Thanks laughingcow for tagging me once again - now I finally have something to blog about again! The drudgery of life in camp now is nothing worth blogging about. I could do away with some ranting and focus on the positive, most definitely!

So now I start the meme!

Four jobs you've had in your life:

1) Waiter (yuck yuck yuck.)
2) Sales promoter (for a tuition agency)
3) Signaller in the army (if you consider that a job. we're more like, cheap labour.)

Four TV shows you love(d) to watch (among many others):

1) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
2) Angel
3) Friends
4) American Idol (I'm literally glued to my screen during the show)

If you read my blog well enough, it shouldn't be surprising to you that I'm a big fan of Buffy. :D

4 movies you could watch over and over:
1) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Imho, still the best film in the 21st century that I've watched.)
2) The Matrix (also one of my favourite movies EVER)
3) X men 2
4) Spiderman 1 and 2

Four places you've lived in:
1) Marine Parade
2) Geylang Bahru
3) Ang Ko Kio
4) Tanjong Katong

Four places you've been on vacation to:
1) Europe (Uk, France, Holland, etcetc... I zoomed all around Europe in a whirlwind 2 week holiday.)
2) America (Las Vegas, Los Angeles (the closest I came to Hollywood!), Florida)
3) Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Cairns)
4) Japan

Four places you would rather be:

(like, laughingcow, I also believe in the 'here and now' philosophy, and hence I'm happy and glad with where I am now. But I'll just list it out here since I want to complete this meme properly. :D)

1) America (who doesn't want to live in the Land of Dreams?)
2) In some countryside area/ village in Australia
3) Sydney
4) On a cruise in the middle of the ocean

Four of your favourite foods:
1) Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream
2) Raw Salmon with Wasabe
3) The Vegetable with oyster sauce that the 'zhi cha' restaurants all sell.
4) Auntie Anne's Pretzels (sesame seed flavour)

4 of your favourite beverages:
1) Gelare Ice Cream Milkshare
2) Banana Milkshake
3) bu shuang yoghurt soft drink
4) Water with Pocari Sweat dissolved in it. (the army guys would know what I'm talking about)

(there're many more, but I shall not bore you guys. what's more, being deprived of these food being in the army, I'm simply making myself even more hungry thinking of all the good food I should be having.)

Four websites you visit daily: (if I'm not stuck in camp)

1) My blog (it's normal right?)
2) Blogcritics
3) Some of the blogs listed on my sidebar, like ms beautifuk's, marilyn's etc.
4) Yahoo Mail

4 people tagged:

1) Brennan
2) Lynn
3) Marilyn (of A Crunchy Green Apple, not 7m/h
4) Zenith

Looking forward to see you guys complete it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 


Ok. What have a missed out in the past few weeks being isolated and alienated from society while stuck away in camp? I rather laughable controversy and debacle the blogosphere, apparently. You know what? Follow in Bunny's very smart footsteps, because this whole thing is just a big joke. Actually I didn't even want to comment about it, but today when I got to surf the net, I was inundated by a big pile of blogs which were all commenting on the whole debacle thing - and that made me bored to bits.

I am so glad those bloggers I read are so much more interesting than all the crap controversies on the blogosphere put together. :D


Life in camp is starting to be a bore. it's just the 3rd week and I'm already way pissed.

Irresponsible people.

Lazy people.

People who don't give a damn.

People who don't listen.

people who don't have any freaking integrity and keep sabo-ing the platoon.

People who think the Course IC (that's me) is their freaking nanny and will do everything for them.


It's not difficult to maintain calm with them, because blowing up in an angsty tirade against them will just serve to make things worse. But being miserable in such a screwed up place, ranting on my blog is the only behaviour (undesirable as it is) I can safely engage in order to maintain self preservation.

The ironic thing is, I haven't quarrelled with anyone yet, no one hates me, maybe some dislike me. I don't know and I don't care. The sad thing is that, being sort of like the leader makes you automatically alienated from the rest of the platoon to some extent. AT some point of time, someone has to draw the line - or they will get too far- and that person will always have to be you. I can't always play the good guy all the time as much as I want the guys to be happy. People will say, "oh its easy for you to order them, you're a sergeant balblablabla".

Bollocks. It is never easy. It is always difficult. But its my duty and responsibility and I have to do it. Which I think I'm not doing and fulfilling enough. I'm still a little too nice. And I have to do something about it.

I'm still doing fine here in the course, but I'm growing frustrated. Thankfully, I know my Helper is by my side. And if I do - which i know i won't - hit rock bottom, then He is the rock which I will fall on. my life in safe hands.


Responsibility - whether in the army or not - is never pleasant, but its something we all grow up to accept and handle. Some take it up later in their life compared to others, but to shun responsibility is the most silly thing in life. How are you ever going to do great things in life without responsibility and self discipline?

When I see some people in camp, I'm just disgusted by how they lack responsibility for even their own selves. It's not like they're taking up responsibility for the platoon or anyone else. Just. their. own. miserables. selves. Is it honestly that hard? - I find myself asking that over and over again.

Actually, I do understand their situation, because when your life has no direction or vision or goals, responsibility is nothing more than a thorn in the flesh. Hindering and impeding you from gratifying yourself, satisfying your craving for fun and pleasure. Ultimately, when I was going through depression, I found myself in the shoes of these exact same people who are irritating me.

And as much as I am irritated by these people, I find myself empathising with them - oxymoronic as that may seem. I guess that is a good thing all together; it is easier to understand them and treat them with love and respect. And that is the best thing to have come out of the black wave that is depression that I went through before.

Really, God works in mysterious ways.

Saturday, January 14, 2006 

I do not get angry easily but this makes my blood boil....

Man U 1 - Man City 3

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 

Still Alive

It's been a long while since I've blogged but I just want to let all you wonderful people know...

Kicking and Alive!

I'm alive and kicking!

The new year is still starting off with a crawl, and not much as been happenning for me. Since you lot have been a wonderful bunch of faithful readers, I shall let you guys know what i've been up to -- and in the process remove yet another layer of my mask of annonymity. :D

Ok, if you must know, I'm actually serving my national service now. (almost going to ORD loh! less than 3 months!) The past few months saw me in a brand new (but not so new now) unit as a high ranking officer's Personal assistant, although I'm originally supposed to go for a Signal course. The time has come, and so after getting someone to replace me, I've went for my course!

It's another 7 more weeks to the end of the course. Every day seems long now because I'm so eagerly anticipating the exhilarating feeling of getting my pink IC back and embracing the full privileges (and rights! - which you don't get in the army) of being a civilian! I've been awfully blessed to be in this camp; the people have been wonderful, and my old friend Daniel is an officer there.

So, you ask how it's like in camp these days. All's well - the Signals course is a very academic-based course. It's filled with theory and practical lessons, with some live outfield exercises to come. I'm kind of conflicted when it comes to the physical activity (or lack of) because while I am lazy to exercise sometimes, I still think it's important and I love to keep fit. Anyhow, I figure I can probably do all the exercise I want after my course, so it's probably the least of my worries.

One troubling thing down here in my course is my coursemates' lack of initiative, and not to mention their pessimistic disposition. It's like, they see the worse of everything and complain non stop about different kinds of things. Ok, so it doesn't apply to everyone, but certainly to quite a few of them. Not a boost to the morale, that's for sure. Since I'm the highest ranked in my platoon, I'm made the course IC, and it's so annoying how they're all like, "oh, this one ar, ask Raymond lor" or "or Raymond will know so he'll do" and that kind of crap. If I knew everthing, i wouldn't be going for the darn course anymore!

So there're a few people who annoy me, but some of them simultaneously amuse me as well. Let's see:

The Complain King. Aslo known as Mr Complain by the others. This guy is so irritating, I'd pay to listen to William Hung screeching away rather than this guy's complains. Words of discontentment and complaining roll off his tongue too fast, too furious, with the force of a freaking bullet train! Every sentence of his is interspersed with a 'f***" or "c******" and other hokkien vulgarities. In fact, he complains so much, my mind can take a detour and when I finally get back to listening to him, he's still in full ranting mode. Also, his vocabulary seems extremely limited. Limited to basically 3 words. "****". "****" and "*******". How absolutely delightful to listen to. He's a generally ok guy to get along with, but still unbearably annoying. Daniel, if you're reading this, you know him. He was from your department!

Oh, and if you think sexists and racists are prejudiced and suscribe to stereotypes, wait till you see this Complain King. I've never seen prejudice epitomised before this guy came along. Basically, people to this guy can be grouped into 2 categories. Either you're a f***ker, or you're a nice person. As far as I'm concerned, it's hard to be classified under the latter category, because most of the time he calls people by the former. And for reasons as simple as scolding him once. I wonder what the army is turning into now.

I can only say this to The Complain King: if you've nothing positive to say,

Just shut up!

The 3 Slacker Musketeers They should pursue a career in acting right after they ORD because they have amazing skills especially when right in front of the medical officer. I wonder how such blatant "skiving" could be overlooked by the medical officer who instead offer them Excuses from marching, from heavy loads, from physical activity etc. The most ridiculous incident was this guy reporting sick for having 'asthma and chest pain' but was smoking the very exact day after he came back from the medical officer!

The Einstein Buddies They seem to have an insatiable hunger for knowledge. During lessons, they're wide awake taking down notes when most of our heads are already like little rafts - rocking sideways and back and forth. Yes, it's hard to stay awake during lessons! But these guys go on full Energizer Bunny mode and conscientiously copy down notes during all the lessons. Actually I prefer to think of them as 'gancheong spiders', but still I say Kudos for them for putting in effort and striving hard to do well.

Yeah, you meet really interesting people while in the army. All sorts of different people, from different walks of life. Sometimes you like them, sometimes they drive you mad, but we still must love them and tolerate them right? Because it makes life in camp so much easier - just getting by with them, and not letting anger or any hatred consume you. I guess Jesus must have really know what He meant when He said to love your neighbour as yourself. Actually all my coursemates have been great to me, and I think I've been great to them as well. But still I don't think it'll be easy to survive another 7 weeks being in the same bunk as Complain King. He's gonna drive me nuts! Oh Lord, help me!

Monday, January 02, 2006 

When the New Year Didn't Seem So Great

Years back, I remember I was going through this extremely bad bout of depression that lasted for about one and a half years, and I clearly remember the horrible feelings and thoughts that came with it. I wasn't the just-broke-up-with-stead-and-want-to-commit-suicide kinda depressed - that is actually more symptomatic of female depression - but I was in the kind of depression where things didn't seem to matter. Nothing seemed significant; every moment passing was just another moment I had to get through.

People often say you had to die before you get to hell; that goes without saying, though the route to heaven would be a lot more desired. Not that any normal person would want to go the actual hell, but I remember back then, life didn't seem so much more promising than hell. No prospect of change, no prospects of progress whatsoever.

Just getting past the moment. Moment. After. Moment. That was hell. Facing the pressures of the next day. taking up the responsibilities of the present. It all seemed... crazy.

And I remember during that dark period, the new year didn't even seem such a joyous occasion anymore. I've never really thought highly of the occasion itself - after all, it's just a new year! Big deal. During that time, it was just like "oh great, another new year has come and more trouble has arrived".

How I got out of the hellhole that is depression is another story all together, but it's amazing how I don't resent New Year's Day nor treat it like some abomination anymore. I still detest the meaningless Happy New Year wishes that I get from everyone, especially people I don't know and would just rather they shut up so that I don't have to reciprocrate out of courtesy and waste my energy saying that 3 words out loud.

This year I ended 2005 really suckily. I started 2006 kinda badly too. but no point looking back, especially on our past mistakes and failures. This year round, I have visions and goals set in place for me to strive to achieve. I know it's going to be a great year ahead.

I hope all of you will leave the baggage of 2005 behind and step into a brave new world. :D

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