Sunday, June 26, 2005

Digging up Dirt

Another article about flight stewardesses.

This one is apparently a disclosure of a certain Mindy who's been flying with the airline for gawd knows how long. It purportedly paints most stewardesses as gals with eating disorders, chain smokes, dates pilots and pinch company items.

I take a personal umbrage to that! It seems that people working as cabin crew( that includes males as well) are never painted in a good light. How about those who volunteer almost all their days off to the elderly, the intellectually disabled? Then there are those who are training other volunteers to act as ambassadors to the coming IOC delegates? Some are working their way through an MBA, whilst flying around tending to spoilt Singaporeans 40,000 Ft up in the air. I know of many who are very caring parents who bring up their children to be respectful and courteous to others, filial sons/daughters who never fail to bring their parents on holidays using their own money, not to mention those that have the physical attributes to make it as an athlete. Heck, some of them even have to decency to clear their own trays after a meal at fast food restaurants.

Back to Mindy, whom you can read about in TNP Sunday. She says she likes to eat, a lot. Honey, you gotta work off what you put in la. Fine and well if you can wolf down 3 full meals in one sitting, but please, exercise la. For a 24 yr old you still don't realize that exercise and diet is the best way to stay trim? Starve yourself? That's just being plain lazy!

Smoking is still legal here the last time I checked. You don't have to smoke to "click so well" with your colleagues. In fact, if you are a nice person, everyone will click well with you, smoker or not.

Marrying a pilot? You had an abortion once (probably impregnated by a pilot that you seem so smitten with) , had an affair with a married one, and have no qualms with going out with an older guy (most pilots I know average around 35). I'm sorry honey, in their heads you're just another expensive "bicycle".

And please don't tell me all you take off the plane is some cartons of juice. How about cartons of milk, soya bean drink, ice cream, cokes/7-ups, biscuits, cheese, fashion magazines, soft toys meant for children on board that you horde before giving them out? Hey, you like to date pilots, don't they have the dough to shell out a couple of bucks for your juice? Or are they as cheap as you are? In which case, you're not much better off with them than with any average joe, are you?

Just my two cents worth.


Speaking of dirt, when was the last time you thanked the aunty/uncle who cleans up your table when you sit down in the coffeeshop? Or talked to a toilet attendant like he was a human being? Ever wondered if they have been looked down?

I like to sit at my coffeeshop downstairs to read my papers. The atmosphere is buzzing, I have my favourite cup of 'Teh', and if I get bored I just people watch. The cleaners there are polite, and go about their duties with diligence. I like to flash them a smile, say "kam sia/xie xie" whenever they help to clear up the table that I'm seated at.

Imagine the day, if you will, when they declare that all cleaners get a compulsory holiday throughout the island. It just has to be 24hrs, but I suspect that you can already imagine the amount of dirty dishes, litter, and garbage that'll pile up by the mid of the day. Dammit, we'd have a bio-hazard on our hands if not for them cleaners who work in the background.

So next time someone cleans up after your lazy self, at least smile and say," kam sia hor aunty/uncle." la hor?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy macaroni(and rice and bread and potatoes),Batman!

Today is the day I start what atheletes call "loading up on carbo". basically it means that I have to eat quite a bit of foods rich in carbohydrates.Which means I'm gonna do what I've not done for a while now; eat 3-4 times a day, and all consisting of rice/noodles/beans/carrots amd some other stuff. I'm stuffed! I hope I still can train properly with such a full meal everyday till the race day. I hear some teams eat up to 8 bowls of rice the night before the race!!

Truthfully I'm glad I joined the team. It's like having your own personal trainer, except there's a few more who's going through the regime with you, sorta like BMT hor? I feel better, my friends say I look slimmer, I fit back into my old pair of pants, and hey, I look good when I'm tanned!

One thing I do miss is knocking back a few beers. I know that we are allowed to drink one or two but I thought with my kind of fitness level I should just go cold turkey right up till race day. Gawd only knows how many drinks I'll be having if we perform well up till the 3rd July.

3 more trainings before race day, body dun fail me now...


Went to watch "Batman Begins" since I had the day off from training. Paid the overpriced $9.50 and settled into my seat of choice. The usual previews were playing. One of them, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", caught my attention.

I never watched the original movie back then, but will be keen to watch this mainly because of 2 names; Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. The two have collaborated on many films, such as; Edward Scissorhands
"Edward Scissorhands"
Ed Wood
"Ed Wood"
Sleepy Hollow
"Sleepy Hollow"

One is as kooky as the other. I'm surprised that Burton never tried to cast Johnny as Batman! BTW Tim has also directed a stop-animation feature "The Nightmare before Christmas", it really is such a treat to watch!

Back to the movie. I think they did well in casting Christian Bale as Batman this time. Some say his acting is wooden, but hey, how expressive can you get from behind that mask eh? The batmobile was a bit over-the-top, but how his batsuit and weapons came about was a good spin. Apparently, in the movie, some pieces of his weaponry were made in Singapore?!! Go figure!

What I did mind was the sound system. I went to Golden Village for this one. the sounds from the movie was pretty muffled, bass not strong, and generally didn't make it a good audio experience. I think that the movie was not played in surround sound. I paid freaking $9.50, I think I should at least get decent sound in the theatre, instead of stereo sound coming from the front of the screen. Dammit I have a better sound system at home than this chain of cinemas! Will need to check out more from other sources.

Next movie to catch; Fantastic 4!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Couch Potatoe

I was at training again today. Same drill of warm-ups, laps around the stadium, then circuit training. We proceeded onwards to the water sports center and got into our boat. More drills were done, I was not too into the rowing today, I could feel it. Maybe it's cuz I was training 2 days in a row, maybe today there were not that many crew rowing(14), maybe I just wasn't feeling up to it. I dunno, but I sure as hell will give it my best come the competition.

Whilst taking a break in the Kallang River we chanced upon the airforce doing their fly-bys and rehearsals for National Day. It was really impressive, seeing the jets fly over you, and the chinook choppers carrying the National flag. It almost made me feel patriotic. I don't think I've ever watched NDP "Live" before, as in at the National Stadium or Padang. I prefer to watch it in the comfort of my home, on my sofa, with a cold beer, for like...10mins, before I switch over to whatever holiday movie they have on that night. Tsk, so bad hor...

Finished dinner and was waiting to watch "Project Superstar" on channel U. I'm not too into idol contests really, but I'm interested to know how far this male contestant Chen Wei Lian will go. I was so sure he wasn't gonna make it into the final 12, but he did. Conspiracy theories abound; to grab ratings, sympathy votes etc, but I really am impressed by his voice. The fact that he is visually disabled means his voice is all the more credible, at least that's how I feel. Tonight though, he didn't fare too well I think. Whichever way, I'm sure somewhere, someone is lining up a deal for him already, such is the predictability of huge contests such as this one.

There's just enough time for me to take a nap, then wake up at around 2:30am later to catch the Confederation Cup. Mexico is already in, so that match is inconsiquential. It's the Brazil v Japan match that I'll keep my eyes peeled open for. To see an Asian country go so far in a match competition such as this, you'd have to watch how they do. Many think the Brazillians will just overwhelm them, but hey as they say, the ball is round. It'll be good to at least see them play their guts out on the field againt a football giant.

Mom's on the way back from London now, after a week or more spent with my Aunt there. Have to set another alarm to reach the airport by 8:00am.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No title

I was just IM-ing with my friend who's working in Dubai, we chat sporadically when I see her on MSN. She misses being Singaporean, as in using lingos peculiar to our li'l red dot, eg "lah", "nabeh", "minah", "bengs", and such. Hey you know what they say, you can take the Singaporean outta Singapore, but never the other way round? You can spot someone from this island the moment they open their gap.

My Dad is back to guzzling on fizzy drinks by the gallon, and smoking in the house for good measure. Not very wise for someone who had a close shave with stroke, but then again he's not been known to be too wise to begin with. Sis-in-law called up younger Sis to pour out frustrations, who in turn rang me up. I believe in this case, a listening ear is very important, so I paid attention to her. Have to remind myself to give Dad a ring sometime soon..


Just back from running laps around the neighbourhood park. Managed 6 rounds before I did some circuits at the static area. It feels good to be pouring perspiration in the late evening air before dinner. I'm doing this so I can keep up with the fast-paced training that is the dragon boat team, less than 10 days away... It's easy to spot me in the boat, I'm the skinny dark fellow with his tongue hanging out by the end of the race.

They have done up the park/jogging track very nicely. There's a nice big patch green, with an amphitheatre. There's even a sculpture commissioned, of a duck farmer. Apparently the area from Lor Ah Soo up till Hougang Ave 1( 'ol Jalan Hock Chye) used to be for duck/pig farming. There's a single BBQ pit for those of you who are fond of burning food to a crisp over charcoal fire. Really, I should go run some laps more often there.

Yayy... I have reason to watch sports channel again! Tomorrow morning 2:45Am Argentina playing Germany! Unfortunately I have to watch it in silent mode, cuz there's a long term guest (not mine) staying at my place for a long while to come. Now I have to wear a t-shirt whenever she's around, not watch porn on the PC when she's around, and not scratch myself in the nether region too often also. Endure...4 more months I'll be the King of my castle again. Then it's time for a makeover for my flat, then popiah parties, cocktail mixing nights, beer guzzling sessions, and wine opening evenings!! WOOSAHHHHHHHHHH!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Two Gals, Dad and a Computer Place

Well I suppose most or all of you have heard of
sarongpartygirl by now. Yes, she who professes to love
only Caucasian men, very well read and well traveled,
and mature beyond her 19yrs. I won’t write too much
about her blog, it’s easy to google for it. Then
there’s the NewPaper Sunday article whereby another
infamous female blogger(XX) comes out(or did they ask
her for interview too?) to pour fuel on fire by
lambasting about how SPG is trying to get more hits on
her blog. I suspect it’s because XX is threatened by
the close to ga-zillion hits that SPG is getting,
which dwarves hers. XX needs the hits on her inane
blog to keep advertisers happy and continue to pay her
so she can gallivant around town spouting expletives
and take snapshots to post onto her site, making it
‘interesting’. SPG did none of those, yet I suspect
she’ll keep readers going back to her site more often
now, for the right reasons or not. Bottom line, SPG is
a better read than XX. So there!

Is it supposed to be Father’s Day today? I’ve never
been close to my father since my teenage years. I
guess it’s cuz he was always getting into trouble
gambling, owing money to loansharks that my Mum
inevitably has to pay for him, scraping any few
dollars she can by working 2 to 3 jobs at a time. I
got more distant from him over my adult years,
preferring to keep him outta the loop about my life. I
remember when I got my present job, I was not too
frank about how much I brought home for a paycheck
monthly, fearing that he’ll ask me for money to spend
at the gambling tables. My last contact with him was
when he was lying on a hospital bed, from a minor
stroke, not more than 2 or 3 months ago. He looked so
helpless, so unlike the boisterous man that buys
treats for one and all when he wins at the tables but
takes out his frustration by shouting at Mum when he
loses. Yet I couldn’t sit next to him just to hold his
hand and ask how he was. I just stood there, looking
at this old, weak man … …

Went to Sim Lim Square to pick out upgrades for my PC.
Went to the few shops that I was familiar with and
picked out a DVD burner (cuz I’m downloading so many
movies my hard disk is starved of any gigabytes),
wireless keyboard/ mouse (less wires, happier me), and
new casing(midnight black, cool…). I must tell you if
I were any younger I’d spend hours at this place. They
have almost everything a PC hobbyist would need, and
more. LCD monitors, the fastest processors, mp3s of
all shapes and sizes, laptops that are priced so outta
my reach yet so deliciously desirable. Groups of
students huddle together, picking up every other
leaflet they are given to see how many few dollars
they can save, gawking at the latest games and video
cards. Tourists too, trawl this place for bargains
they can bring back home, for it is a well-known fact
that we have the most value for money electronics this
part of the world. Teenagers come with their parents
to convince them to part with hard earn cash so junior
can get the coolest/fastest graphics card to go with
his new MMORPG games. Picked up my black casing and
went on my way to put together my new buys. $300 in 1

I suspect I’ll have to go back again to get my camera,
when my bonus kicks in. I have shopping fever!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Training days are here again

Went back for rowing training again yesterday after a
long absence. It's good to be physically active again,
as I'm one of those that won't move his butt unless
I've someone pushing me all the way.

We limbered up for a slow jog around the stadium. Then
it was sprints, after which we did some circuit

Being outta action for a while, I'm glad I was not
puking my guts out by the end of first half of
training. It was not as intensive as when we first
started out, the emphasis has shifted to perfecting
our strokes in the boat.

We had a small briefing before the rowing. Coach was
saying how excited he is about the race in July.
Perhaps it's cuz he was a former national rower, and
getting back into competition after so long has got
his adrenaline pumping, most of us were still quite
cool to the fact that we're even IN a competition. I
understand though, how important it is to psyche
oneself up for a race. Perhaps as we get closer to the
day it'll sink in faster.

Coach wanted us to improve on our short strokes so we
made our way to the boats. I didn't know of the recent
dumped body in Kallang, so had no clue when they joked
about stirring up a head or a limb somewhere. Even
later when I got an sms from a friend after training,
I still had no idea.

Towards the end of training Coach thanked all of us
for showing up for training. You can see that this
race means alot to him.

I used to be like that when l played volleyball in
secondary shool. To begin with I was a permanent
reserve so not much glory in that. It was a different
story, however, when it came to the inter-class games.
I, with alotta help from another classmate, whipped 7
other boys (there were only 9 boys in my class back
then)into shape to reach 3rd position in the school.
Ah...those were the days...

I hope that someday I'll again find a target that I'm
passionate and commit to that goal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Show that never was...

e open air concert by e UnXpected was cancelled last
night due to bad weather, namely thunder. I went ahead
w my late dinnerat Marina Sq. Maybe it's cuz I haven't
been there for a while, but e dang mall is H-U-G-E!
There's like a whole wing dedicated to food alone; you
can dine at a fancy restaurant, gorge yourself at
Parisse buffet, or enjoy simple fare at the new food
court. Some weekends the retail wing open till 1am
during e GSS.

Me Sis called n asked me to join her at NUSS Guild
House. Had to walk all the way to Suntec Tower 4 in
order to get there. Now, yours truly was in berms,
t-shirt n sneakers, so I had a feeling that I won't be
let into the bar without breaking e dresscode. Sure
enough, e Manager walks in with a pair of pants and
shirt, requesting us(another guy in e group was also
not dressed for e occasion) to put it on. I dunno
about other places, but what they offerred us to wear
was hedious, to say e least. I looked like an usher at
a theme park. I sat through e rest of my stay there,
afraid that the pair of oversized pants they loaned me
will just slip to my ankles.

I had a morning flt today, so took my leave at around

Got this e-mail from my coach racing team;

"Dear rowers, please observe the following points:

On your own, do 20 push ups, 20 sit ups, 20 dips(3
sets each) everyday and run as much as you can until

From 17th to 23rd June, eat lots of food with
protein(protein diet). Try not to take too much
carbohydrates during this period. Deprive your body
from carbohydrates.

From 24th Jun to race day, eat a lot of carbohydrates
and less protein to load energy for the race day.



Pls take these measures seriously, thank you and see
you all for training"

I just had to give up my long flight to Taipei/LA end
of e month in order to join in e intensive training
before e race on 2nd and 3rd July. It's at e Marina
Bayfront so grab your shades, slap on some good'ol
sunscreen and come on down to cheer on your fav
teams(hopefully mine la).

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Yum Yum @ Chomp Chomp

Last night(this morning?) I had supper with my fellow colleagues after our flight touched down at 10pm. We were discussing where to go while we were 30,000 Ft in the air. Geylang for frogs' leg porridge and tau huay? Lavendar food centre for wan tan mee? Old Airport road for big-ass prawn noodles? Newton for stingray? We finally settled on Chomp Chomp at Serangoon Gardens as it was quite near to most of us. We made our way home after work and met up around 12 midnight at said location. I've not had supper for a while now, cuz usually I take a late dinner, then drinks at a watering hole, then straight home to bed. As one grows "younger" it's not very good to be pigging out at 3am in the morning.

Anyways, I was at a loss with what to order at first and got sugar cane drinks for all as, well, everyone agrees with sugar cane drink don't they? Then we started to spread out and bought food from other stalls. There were 8 of us, and it was easy to polish off plate after plate of orh-lua, fried carrot cakes, popiah, stingray, la-la, satay, kangkong, squids, and jut-jut. The last one we all had a hard time trying to eat it. Do you suck at the bottom, then suck out the meat from the top? Or do you use a toothpick? We all gave up after 2 to 3 pieces, and promptly thanked the gal for ordering a dish that none can finish :P

As we were seating along a long table it was difficult to be passing food from one end to the other. I went back to the satay stall to ask for a few plates. The Aunty gave me a blank look, then checked her order form to see if we indeed ordered satay from her! For Gawd's sake it's a disposabel plate! It's not like it's a weekend and you worry that every Tom, Dick and Mary will come up and ask for plates! The next stall selling the fried carrot cake just plainly refused, apparently buying food from them doesn't qualify you to extra plates! She muttered something about the boss not allowing it, but by then I already showed her 'the Hand" and walked away... Talk about making every penny count. It reminded me of a piece of news in the tabloid, dunno how long ago was it, about this noodle seller who charged $2 or was it $5 just cuz a customer asked for an extra bowl so he can feed his children. Think it was to spite each other, but it made the news and also onto a variety show. This is what we have to show for our daily news these days... ...

Otherwise it was an enjoyable night out with my colleagues. We talked loudly, jibes were traded from one end of the table to the other, and laughed heartily(Have you eaten fish brains before, seriously have you?). Luckily it was a Monday and not many people were around, else we would've been subjected to much eye-balling. I thought that this would be a nice team to be in this year. We do a bit of everything; drink, eat, exercise while overseas. Everyone's genuinely nice to each other, there's two guys who can crack a joke at the drop of a hat, and a ditzy gal who can laugh and smile in any situation.

Yes, a good team this is.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

London bridge is... ...

Well well well, I'm back. It's been 4 days since my last post. Been on flights, and like I said, great to be back in uniform...

Things have been going on around me; some nice, some sad, some just plain silly! I've been drawing a blank so, like powerpuff, have been surfing around reading others' blogs. I should take cue from some bloggers here and carry a pen and pad around with me, to jot down details that would be able to grace these pages. Most times I just log them in my head, but when I sit down in front of the PC, I draw a blank. My friend redcocoon has the same problem. I suppose it's cuz I never got into the habit of keeping a diary, ever. Heck I was not even that good with an autograph book! Remember those?

It was like a popularity contest back then. The cool kids never had to have one, cuz every one else will be askin them to sign in theirs. Then there's the popular kids in school, they always seem to have the most expensive looking, moost signed, most passed around books ever! Poor me had to scrimp and save to buy one decent looking one, and I think most just signed mine outta force of habit rather than actually leaving some meaningful words behind. You remember those corny lines that we put in? Lemme see...

Birds fly high, hard to catch.
Friends like you, hard to forget!

or something to that effect...

Oh hey, free next Tuesday on the 14th? Head down to the Esplanade. Open air concert by a kick-ass band The UnXpected starts at 730pm. It's free, 'nuff said.
Mom n Me
I just got back from helping me Mummy (above) pack for her London holiday to visit my Aunt (below).
Aunty Doris n Me
It's her 1st trip alone all the way there and of course I did all the forms, insurance, and ticketing for her. My Bro and Sis chipped in with the spending money.

You know how some people just pack almost the whole grocery store into their bags when they fly away for more than a week? That's what my Mum did. I had to use my expertise as someone working on a plane, who's sick of putting up heavy bags that shouldn't make it into the cabin in the first place, and repacked her luggage. I streamlined it down to a small hand-carry and her handbag, which should make the flight attendants very happy when they see her without a small econ mini-mart in her hands. Her flight's at the un-gawdly hour of 540 in the moring so I be seeing her off before breakfast.

Gonna go catch forty winks before sending her off from home at 3 30am... ... Yawwwnn!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Exercise in Futility

Today I found another reason to be thankful for this job that I have. Uniforms. Yes the humble uniform, without which I'd be stressing myself over what to wear each time I go to work(yes I'm that hiao...). The only reason I have to be in office wear is because I have to attend some course at the training centre. I can only pity them poor sods who are faced with this decision 5 days a week. I did a small calculation while waiting for the bus and this is what I came up with;

Shirt :$30(on sale)
Pants :$50
Cheap Tie:$15

I figured a guy would need about 15 shirts, 6 pairs of pants, a dozen ties and 2 belts in his wardrobe in order to make any decent permutaions throughout the week.

Then there's the morning rush hour. It's silly to drive here on the island unless you absolutely need to, so public(with healthy profits year in year out) transport is for me. Packed in like a sardine on a bus I still can handle. Packed in like a sardine when the person/s around you SMELLS like a sardine? Ewwww...

The reception when I got to class was colder than the central air-conditioning. These are the same people who, when togged out in jackets and kebayas, are flashing their pearly whites and saying, "Hi, good morning!" left, right and centre! I know no one wants to be at the training centre today, but they still can be civil and polite yesh?! Have some fun la...

You'd think that most would take care of how they dress when they come back, but I witnessed several fashion no-nos whilst sitting at one corner. Some came dressed like casual fridays along with little/zilch make up, one was pink from to toe(untucked shirt,sleeves rolled up, capri pants and down to the pumps). And I always felt that khaki pants crumpled way too easily when worn in the office. Fashion boo-boos abound in this class...

I shall keep my comment of the way the course was ran short. IT SUCKED! By lunchtime I was bored, restless and sneaking out for "pee breaks" ever so often. Any donkey can read off a powerpoint presentation and give out standard answers. Engage the classroom la dude!!

Good thing I don't work in an office environment. A desk job is soooo not for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Lost for Words

I'm lost for words, literally. I made it back from my London flight in the evening and by the time I went to bed I had lost my voice!

My time in London has been so-so. It's probably due to the fact that I was lying flat in bed since I checked in 2 days ago. I only managed to get up to come out and hunt for food yesterday. Last night my colleagues decided to get together for a few drinks, but as I was not my usual jovial partying self, the session fizzled out too early. I'll get them back next time...

I like London, sans the rain. This is a place where you can just take a walk in Hyde Park by yourself, take a tube to Covent Garden to enjoy the buskers(tipping is polite, but optional), or just wind down with a pint at any pub along the streets. There's a free concert organised by Bob Geldolf-Live 8 if you're in the neighbourhood come July.

I took the tube to Arsenal homeground, unfortunately I was too early for the tour around the grounds. Snapped a few photos and I was on my way. I gotta get myself into Highbury someday next season to watch the likes of Henry, Ljunberg, Sendoros and Van Persie in action.

What you don't wanna do, however, is to be staying in the room and watch the free to air channels. Gawd they have the wierdest programmes here! They had someone sit in with a ranger or something and they just spent the whole of a 1 hour programme sitting in a barn watching owls, and this is shown during what we call prime time! Things get more interesting later in the night, with shows talking about sex and strippers and pornographers but nothing that'll shock many of us.

I've beeb selected to be in the competition come July. So if you're not too busy, come give us a shout-out 2nd and 3rd ya?