Archive for May, 2008

Nightmares.

Two nightmares in a night, one after another, set in the same place and could even be chronologically one after another in the dream world.

What gives?

You know sometimes i dislike what people do, even people who share the same faith/activities/etc with me, and i have many thoughts on it.  At times they make sense and at times they don’t, but what prevents me from voicing it out (or blogging it) is the fact that i also realize that i sometimes do those same things myself.

So here i’m a little in a tight spot.  I’d like to blog it, but i don’t want to be hypocritical in doing so because i’d be effectively protesting against the very same actions that i’ve possibly (or even definitely) taken at one point of time or another.  Which is why most of the stuff (but not all!) that i blog about is really about things that i can safely say i make a conscious effort to avoid doing.  But just because i’ve done it doesn’t mean i can’t say the action is wrong, correct? It just means that i have to realize that i’m doing something wrong as well.

What do you guys think?

I guess that’s the beauty (and curse) of the English language – the expression really does it all for you.

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Quote of the Day

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
Elbert Hubbard

It occurred to me yesterday that the main reason for my frustrations (usually at Singaporeans in general and strangers who bump into me or block my way when i’m walking along), is that i have certain expectations of courtesy and manners which i would like everyone to fulfil. (It is reasonable to expect someone not to bump into you while you’re walking on the sidewalk right? And stand behind those yellow lines so i can get off the MRT!) Of course, not everyone does it, but a good considerable amount do, and honestly, it just takes one manner-less doofus to stand smack in the middle of the doorway to block the crowd that is pushing me off the MRT. If you think i’m kidding, go try taking a train and alighting at Clementi at peak hours – you can’t get on, you can’t get off and everyone on both sides are rushing toward you like the Red Sea after the Israelites have crossed.

Thus it also occurred to me that one solution (and perhaps not the only one) is to remove these expectations of other people (but definitely not off my own shoulders), and not expect them to be polite and courteous. Therefore, when such things happen, i could just take them as commonplace and expected. Although that’s a viable solution, but i think that seeing as i’m a human and a Singaporean, i would like to have a better impression of Singaporeans in general, though admittedly it’s getting hard with all the Westerners in NUS telling me how generally inconsiderate Singaporeans are, and i don’t suppose writing in to the Straits Times would help because it’s been done so many billion million times that by now the reaction of most Singaporeans is just to glance over it, say “orh liddat ah.” and then carry on with their lives, blocking people at the MRT and bus and bumping into innocent walkers (like me) along the road.

So although i’m not the best mannered person in the world, i am going to do this: I will stand behind yellow lines and such and conscientiously avoid hindering anyone’s path and make sure i show manners to strangers who walk by me. It’s fine by me, and that’s my way of speaking softly to everyone who doesn’t believe in showing some manners. Maybe one day someone will notice it (because apparently they don’t notice things till the government puts up BIG “COURTESY CAMPAIGN” signs all over the place, and even then, when the campaign’s over, so’s the courtesy) and then at the very least there will be one more Singaporean with manners.

But to those who don’t really show any manners back, especially you older folk (not all of you) who think you can get away with things because your hair is white and you younger folk (not all of you also) who think you can get away with things because you’re still a kid and those in the middle (not all of you too, and yes i know that’s effectively everyone) who think you’re so great and the world is your burrito, remember what they say about people who speak softly:

We all carry a big stick.

Forgetful.

From jadeite:

Food does not spontaneously regenerate.

Ah damn. XD

I was intending to post something here last night but i put it off till today as i wanted to use the time on my break today to blog it, but i can’t seem to remember what it was, except that it was one of those sudden insights into things that i experience.

Ah now i remember! Continue Reading »

Parents

Just had a thought that i’m really quite grateful for the life and lessons that my parents have given me.

Spend what you have to, save what you can.
Chase your dreams; even if you don’t get there, you’ll end up closer than where you started off.
Learn to be happy with what you have, and appreciate what you can get.
Simplify.
Don’t eat the snacks in the fridge that aren’t yours. Ask permission if you’re really that hungry; chances are, if you’re not hungry enough to disturb someone to get permission, you can last a while more.
For algebraic equations, LHS = RHS.
Marking your territory around the house is only necessary if the rest don’t know where your territory is.
It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all benefit of doubt.
It is not always necessary to disagree.
Don’t just talk, converse.
Outer Space seems infinite, but House Space definitely isn’t.
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
If you have to use the stick, make sure you know how to use it.
Never name your child Tikki-tikki-tembo-no-sa-rembo-chari-bari-ruchi-pip-peri-pembo.
Wearing a cape does not give you Superman’s powers.
It is great to imagine and fantasize, but when it comes to reality leave the two in their proper place.
If a parent is frowning (not at you, but in general) don’t ask what the problem is – just get him/her something to drink.
If a parent is frowning at you then stop whatever you’re doing before they start counting to 10.
“El-em-en-oh-pee” is not one letter.
If you love like you’ve never been hurt, chances are you’ll be hurt again – it’s better to learn from the hurt, without letting it hurt you permanently.
If you read while you’re at the dinner table with your family, you’re saying that the book is more important than the people.
Pack your room.

The list goes on, and will never end. We don’t live in a big house, nor do we have as many luxuries as others do. Yet i find myself surrounded by things that i deem such when i’m at home. I never had to worry about my next meal, or my school fees, or my clothes. But more importantly, my parents let me worry about the things i should worry about, like my grades, how i conduct myself (manners and all), and they let me think. Perhaps that’s why i turned out the way i did, very much thinking all my time, and why i’m also grateful that they still do let me think (although mothers, being mothers, will always have something to say). Although their eccentricities can be annoying and intolerable at times, but what matters is that these are my parents.

You have your parents to thank for who you are today; you have yourself to blame for what you could have become.

I think it’s rather funny the way people here have to drive in such a way that you actually have to look out for the other person’s possible actions, rather than merely concentrating on keeping one’s own actions within limits.

That aside, i felt very disturbed in church today, especially during the worship.  I can’t really place what it was that brought forth that sense, but it had something to do with the people.  Maybe it’s the way i don’t really like the way the youth in my church behave, with naivety and immaturity marking every action, like the want to appear to be like a rebel and act cool with totally unnecessary and impractical apparel.  Who the hell wears a fedora indoors during the service? Or walks around with poser sunglasses?  Of course, i’d have to admit that the idea of “poser” and “show-off” really come from my own opinion, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look presentable, but i guess one of the things that bother me about that is not that it’s presentable, but that it draws attention away from God and to the person.  It’s disheartening when i see people dress up deliberately to catch attention and wear such things (and “authentic apple earphones”, as they so proudly proclaim) and hint to others about the very unaffordable prices of their apparel and accessories.  I just don’t get why people come to church just to do that – it’s supposed to be about God and not themselves.  So what’s with the overly flashy or shabby clothes?  I don’t get it, i never will, and i hope i never do because it’s really not something that i want to be sucked into.  And what’s with the “i’m a rebel and have a bad attitude” look on your face?  Do you really want to look like that when you come into the Holy of Holies to meet the Great God face to face?  I really have a hard time with such people around me, who are doing things that are seemingly “fun-loving” and for “spontaneity”, but when other people look at what they’re doing, most of us are like “what was that for?!”  To quote The Crucible, when i see these things in my church, “it hurt my prayer”.

That’s just one of the things that disturb me.  Another is the people who are leading the youth.  I realize most of my troubled feelings come from the youth, and the people related to them.  Perhaps it was our fault as previous youth leaders that we were so focused on expanding the ministry and building the passion within them that now outward expression of passion is all there’s left to it.  It’s disgusting that they say one thing and the moment the literally step out of the worship hall they deny the very things they say.  But every time i see it happen, and i want to say something about it, i realize that i’m no better off, and it’s not my place to correct them as much as i wish i could make them eat their words.  The arrogance of youth remains with them no matter what, and all that passion is totally useless when they don’t use their brains.  God did give us brains for a reason so people, if you need a church camp program, don’t just pray for one to drop in your lap – use your damn brain cells to think about it.  Else what’s the point in having your brain, if you’re just a lemming?

And so there are a great deal of things that were troubling me, and i couldn’t bring myself to sing during the worship section.  Only after the message did i feel enough of God’s presence to muster up some voice, but then again, i was silent most of the time as i was mentally praying.

I guess the message today (although self-confessedly long and not really to the topic assigned, but good nonetheless) really spoke to me regarding this matter.  It was pretty well that i decided to stay because i was seriously contemplating walking right out there in the middle of worship (yes that’s how bad it was).  In the end i left a little more lighthearted, even though i was still moderately fuming, because i realized that these things are viewed from my perspective and that God may have a different one.  I still don’t agree with what i disagreed with earlier on, and my stand doesn’t change, but i think rather than get myself in a mess because these people disrespect their parents and elders time and time again, and aren’t likely to pay any heed to my words, i will simply be quiet and let God deal with them – after all, He’s the perfect judge over these matters; He wrote the Law.

In other (random) worlds, i moved my table in my room so that i can sit on my bed and type from my wireless keyboard to my laptop which is positioned so that i don’t have to use a chair to sit at my table anymore.  I figured i might as well do it because i hardly use the table to write anyway. XD

Hrm.

it suddenly occurred to me today that i would be doing this for the next two years, that i will no longer have the luxury of taking the same path of research as the PhD guy i’ve been with (although we did our separate experiments, and only mine were used for my FYP, we also combined data to form a paper) and i’d have to find my own direction.

Hrm.

And so after two fun days at Sentosa (and i’m rather burnt), tomorrow i return to school to get a jump on the research that i’ll be undertaking for my masters’ programme.  That, and to check out some readings that the PhD guy wants to pass to me (which i will print out – i realized that reading from the screen is extremely unproductive) and also to print my thesis one more time.  Yes, that means going through the hell of having to print everything out again another time before sending it for binding.  Thank goodness i don’t have to do it anymore after that.  The first time i printed out the draft bound copy it caused me a headache and a pretty expensive forfeit as i didn’t know that the default settings were changed from the last time i printed stuff there.

In a way i’m glad that i start now – because sometimes i think that being too idle or having too much time on your hands is a little dangerous for me as i start to do stupid things that could possibly get me in trouble.  Of course we all need a break now and then, but i suppose it’s a little habit that i have that i like to keep myself moderately occupied.  At the same time, i also thought my break could have been a little longer, but i suppose i could justify it that i’m actually taking my break later in the holidays.  After all, i do know of people who don’t get a break at all, and that kinda sucks.

But back to Sentosa (briefly), it was pretty good – the company was swell (especially on the first day) and we had a good time galloping around the beach and taking photos of turtles in the Underwater Viewing Chamber in Underwater World.  Although i must admit i got rather pissed at people who were quite blatantly hitting the fish in the touch pool and using flash photography when explicitly not told to.  Isn’t it polite to say sorry when someone tells you that you were doing something that is prohibited and not just wave the person off? I’m no official authority, but neither are you anyone to defy it.  And who the hell washes his slippers in the swimming pool 1 metre away from me leaning at the edge of it?  Evidently being an adult doesn’t give them much sense, even though they look like they’re rich enough to earn as much as they apparently do, and grow white and fat with all that money that they earn.

Gripes aside, it was great.  I’d do it again sometime if and when i can.