Tuesday, September 24, 2013

entitled

have you seen the article on stomp that's been making its rounds along the stomp community about the FT who whilst going up the bus, pushed a girl into the divider by accident and got it all blown up out of proportion?

so the mother of the girl's side is as follows:
"As we stepped on the first steps of the bus, a man appeared from behind my daughter and pushed her to one side. This caused her to slam her face and body on the metal bar that acts as a divider at the entrance of the bus.


and since this article is getting spread around facebook like butter on bread, the guy's wife happened to chance upon it and took it upon herself to explain. why the guy couldn't do it himself is beyond me. her written english seems to be pretty high falutin, so i can't see him not being able to put his points across if he really wanted to defend himself. maybe because he doesn't have friends and family here, it doesn't really matter to him. maybe the wife who has those since she's a singaporean feels the loss of face more acutely. whatever the reason is, i feel that her spirited defence of her husband has to be taken with a pinch of salt. why? pure and simple hearsay. she wasn't there. and all she has to go on is her husband's word. and really, who doesn't want to put themselves in a better light?

anyway, she says:
Naturally, he boarded on the right side of it with already one foot up on the step when the girl, for some reason, appeared like she'd squeezed her way into the right side too (instead of the left) in an attempt to also get on the bus. Since my husband was already one or two steps AHEAD of the girl on the right side, he figured it would be best if he got out of her way and got up first without realizing he had accidentally hit her with his backpack due to the close proximity of the girl (who was literally inches behind him).

it's difficult living in a city state. my parents are strong supporters of the incumbent government. and though i appreciate the lifestyle and safety and the fact that so long as you work hard, you will be able to get ahead - race, religion notwithstanding and other marginalized countries can attest to that. but i really hate city living. and i hate how some singaporeans behave. like coddled, spoiled children who feel like they are entitled to everything. for that, i apologize in advance, but i do blame the government. example in point: because they don't trust singaporeans to be a gracious society, they have to put in place campaigns for a gracious society, forcing it down our throats. and singaporeans prove them right, by being ungracious at every point of the way. i hate it when people don't signal. but let's face it. once you signal, the guy behind you inadvertently speeds up in order to not let you filter. it's a catch 22 system all around.

and this is the result. parents who feel like they are contributing to the all important task of repopulating singapore and let their kids grow up to be overindulgent brats. and ungracious people in general. singaporeans and FTs alike.

#feelingdisgruntledingeneral

Monday, September 16, 2013

latchkey

my sister and i had the most awesome childhood. and when i say awesome, i mean that the parentals didn't give a shit about what their progeny was up to in the day when they weren't around. we were in the care of my really aged grandmother who needed a nap at about 3pm everyday. so we'd wait for her to fall asleep and we'd go gallivanting in my neighbourhood, knocking on neighbours' doors to get them to come out and play. Of course, we weren't as latchkey as Huijun who only needed to be home to sleep. But that's a story for another day.

we'd learn how to cycle without hands down the steepest slope in the world, not caring one whit should a car come along. amazing how we're so fearless when we're kids cos really, just cycling on the roads now sends sweat beads running down my back.

my mum showed me a photo yesterday that her colleague sent her. it was a photo of me, roughly aged 3, peeping out from behind some railing at my mother's company's sports day whilst she was getting a trophy. i laughed and asked where my sister was. my mother's reply? "must be somewhere around la. maybe behind the banner."



so i inquired, "and when you were doing your games and stuff? who was taking care of us?"

my mother calmly cleared the dinner plates and replied. "please. you all can take care of yourselves."

i think we were 3 and a half and 2 respectively. i think my mother was betting that would be kidnappers would take a look at us and run off.

my sister and me would play in the now defunct oriental hougang and make a general nuisance of ourselves. my mother was of course, trying to pretend that we didn't belong to her and browsed through the clothes at her own leisure. we'd run and play catching, or hide and seek. whatever caught our fancy that particular day. one of our favourite things to do would be to hang ourselves in the jackets on the racks and pretend that we're mannequins - part of the department store itself. we'd be so lost in our revelry that we got separated from our mother on a very regular basis. the first time we trudged to the information counter for an announcement, my mother turned up in five minutes, all embarassed and worried. the second time it happened, she made sure that she got all the stuff in her hands paid for before collecting us. the time after that? she left us there for an hour until she was good and ready to go. my sister and i were not amused.

but it was an awesome childhood. we learnt responsibility. and independence. and lived without the smothering that goes on too often these days.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kim Ong

Here's a story. I used to have a friend. Her name is Kim. She used to be the sweetest person I knew. She'd hunt up books she thought I'd love and ship it over from Boston where she was residing to cheer me up when she thought I needed it. She used to be the heart of the group, intelligent, witty, funny and one of the best friends you could have had. She always had your back. But the thing is, I don't need a friend to do stupendous things for me. I just need one who won't do things against me.

And then, things started to change. She started to be manipulative, backstabbing her friends, one by one, making a fool of everyone who cared about her.

And the lies. The smallest things. She'd twist words, carry stories, and generally be someone who you needed to guard against. There's a running line within my small group. 'With a friend like this, who needs enemies?' Because I think enemies would probably not inflict as much damage as her. She'd say things that made you feel sorry for her. Oh, nobody cares for her. She feels left out. She'd make friends and burn those bridges faster than you can say knnnbccb. And then you'd find out she was lying about all of that because she was holding a pity party for one. 

This was going to be a much longer post. That categorically stated all the points I have to defend my position. But why should I waste further time and effort?

All you need to know is: for all purposes, this person is dead to me. Live or die, she's no longer a part of my life. Because, really. My back doesn't have any space left for a knife wound anymore.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

mary mary quite contrary

some of my friends know that i'm writing a book. well, not so much a book as a chick lit. think julia quinn, amanda quick, julie ann long, etc. see, told you i was guniang. i've mentioned this before, i'll try to see if it can get published for the sake of seeing my name amongst those writers that i love so much. but even if it isn't able to go into print, i'd probably get it printed in some form for my christmas presents to friends. before i embarked on this very long journey - i think it's 4 years or so thus far in the making (can't be helped. i'm not a very dedicated writer. i'd go half a year before adding words to the thing.), i did think of writing another book all together. a spin on our favourite childhood stories. so following the previous post of badass nursery rhymes we should not at any cost be letting our progeny read, let's take a look at our beloved fairytales that follow us well into adulthood. jas and her ariel anybody?

just to sidetrack a bit, do you realise how marginalized all the female characters are in the fairy tales? they're either bitches - think evil stepmother, evil witch, evil fairy, etc, or they're beautiful heroines who inadvertently need a prince charming to come save them. these princes don't even have names if you actually stop to think about it. they're just normal, generic princes who are required to save these women from a terrible existence, everlasting sleep, coma, blah blah blah. i'm not sure i'd be reading these stories to my future nieces/nephews. i mean really? i know these stories were written by the brothers grimm (i love how these grim brothers wrote fairytales for children. irony of ironies.) but still, you build these characters up, make us fall in love with them and have them fall flat on their faces. metaphorically speaking. why would i want to teach children that it's fine for you to fall and not pick yourself up - so long as you're pretty enough to get saved by a prince? isn't that the modern equivalent of being a tai tai? i don't actually know if there are parents who read these fairytales to boys though. wouldn't boys want scary stories and dragons to be featured in their bedtime stories instead?

well anyway, i used to think that if i had to rewrite these fairytales, i'd do so from the perspective of the bitches. you have to hear the story from both sides don't you? and wouldn't it be interesting to not have one dimensional characters? to not have them be evil just for the sake of being the antagonist?

rumpelstiltskin

i actually loved this story as a kid. and even at a tender pre kindergarten age, i felt that the poor dude got played out by the girl. every single character in this thing is flawed. from the father who basically sold his daughter by feeding the greedy king a preposterous lie that she could spin gold. and the said king who was stupid enough to believe him halfway and locked the girl up in a room filled with straw for three nights, demanding that she spun gold or she'd die. rumplestiltskin who out of the kindness in his heart, visited the girl and asked her why she was crying. he extended a contract to her, helping her achieve this impossible task - he got the girl's necklace and ring for payment and when she didn't have anything to barter with anymore, his request was that he get her first born child. i mean, just take a look at the guy. he's described as an imp-like man, which would mean he was a midget. he probably couldn't get married and have a kid of his own. i don't think there was adoption back in those days. you see what i'm getting at don't you? when he tried to collect payment, the girl who became the queen told him he couldn't get her child. so he acquiesced and told her that if she managed to guess his name within three days, he'd give his claim up. long story short, she found his name out by sending messengers to follow him, toyed with him by feigning ignorance at first before revealing it and he got so enraged he stamped himself out of oblivion. damned poor thing right. you should watch the faerie tale theatre version - i think it's on youtube. you'd feel even more sorry for the guy.

cinderella 
if you think they look familiar, they're jennifer beals and matthew broderick of pre l word and inspector gadget fame

everyone knows the story of the proverbial stepchild who was used as a scullery maid and made to see her inheritance stolen from her by the evil stepmother. but but but, what if. what if she was illegitimate. you know, the daughter of the guy's mistress. her mother died, her father brought her into his household, and his wife was made to bring up her husband's by blow. you can imagine the rest.

hansel and gretel

what about these 2 brats who ate your house. wouldn't you be pissed too? nuff said.

stuff like that la. my mother used to tape every episode and my sister and me would watch them when she went to work. and now that we're all grown up, we realize that these episodes of the faerie tale theatre are so not for children. for one thing, they're all acted out by real people (usually celebrities who guest star), so they bring a remarkable amount of realism to these stories. and it's a bit scary to see bad guys come to life - all ugly and foreboding. i'm not telling you to let your kids watch, but you should watch them yourself. they're great fun. and i think they're all on youtube now. my sister just burned all the episodes of the two seasons into discs for my birthday this year.

so wouldn't you say that parents have their work cut out for them? no nursery rhymes, no fairytales. just what are you able to read to your kids?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

badass nursery rhymes

i've quite a few friends, well, the few that have embraced straightness anyway, who have taken to motherhood pretty spectacularly. the newest one, of course being michelle whose baby sam was supposed to be born on my birthday but procrastinated in leaving her womb that he was born on the 25th of July instead. they're all modern mothers, taking full advantage of the 4 months maternity before going back into the workforce to boost singapore's economy. gladys even took unpaid leave till the end of the year in order not to miss out on kyra's first year.

well. anyway, when i was still studying for my english degree, i had a lecturer who would bounce into class and digress into all sorts of topics before launching into her class proper. samantha yu, you should remember her. super drama. i think throughout my years in uniSIM, hers was the only class that i tried my darndest to not fall asleep in. some topics were so interesting that it was my main takeaway from the course. i can't for the life of me, explain the historical and romance of the books that i studied. but i can tell you that many nursery rhymes have their origins steeped in gore.

i don't drink. can't, for that matter. but even i know about bloody mary. a cocktail of vodka, tomato and lemon juice with splashes of worchester sauce, tobasco, salt and pepper. if that doesn't turn your stomach, i don't know what will. queen bloody mary was the progeny of henry VIII. the dude that chopped off alot of people's heads. the recommendation that his heir would be better is pretty far fetched wouldn't you think? she exceeded her father's tyranny so much so that she has a couple of nursery rhymes attributed to her.

Video ad in London that got banned because of freaked out children

"mary mary, quite contrary
how does your garden grow
with silver bells and cockle shells
and pretty maids all in a row"



dudes. erm, mothers. please note that the 'garden' is actually a graveyard.
silver bells - instrument of torture that crushed the thumbs.
cockleshells - torture devices attached to erm, the guys' sensitive parts. the name cockleshell suggests itself for crying out loud.
maids - the guillotine nicknamed 'the maiden'.

the other one she's famous for inspiring.

"three blind mice, three blind mice
see how they run, see how they run
they all ran after the farmer's wife
who cut off their tails with a carving knife
did you ever see such a thing in your life
as three blind mice"


simply put, she killed three noblemen who actually had the audacity to stand up to her.

and on a slightly more alarming and disturbing note. i'm sure everyone remembers singing and dancing along to this:



"ring a ring a roses
a pocket full of posies
ashes, ashes
we all fall down"


yeah. this is the plague motherfleckers. (i still can't believe mike of suits could mention this word on network tv). the rosy rash was a symptom, they thought posies could ward off the disease, sneezing (ashes, ashes) meant that dudeimsosorryyoureterminal and falling down means, well, dying. puts a different spin on when our parents will sing the damn thing to us and make us fall down at the end, everybody laughing, doesn't it?

there are loads more. rock a bye baby, pop goes the weasel, blah blah blah. i think you're better off reading harry potter to your kids.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

bald is the new bold

the recent st margaret's brouhaha on the botak girls have been discussed in the media, blogs, kopitiams and over mahjong sessions to death. so what's stopping me from jumping on the bandwagon? nothing.

there are always two sides of the story and it seems like this controversy has garnered two opinions on either end of the spectrum - the "oh my god, what a bitch. can't she see that this is for charity?" and "tsk. these two girls should adhere to the school rules since they have already agreed." so where do i stand? i'm not all that sure really.

because if plmgs under winnie tan's reign had such a good cause to be part of, i would have done it. shaved my hair and wear my 'charity' side proudly to the world. and if there was an agreement in place that i had to wear a wig after said shaving, i might have gone the same route as the girls and insisted on not wearing. but you see, my parents would have given me an ass whooping if i came home botak and that's all the difference it makes.

because plmgs and st margaret's have this very strong - 'no lesbians' policy. it just differs on how much they enforce it. i don't know about now, but all we had in plmgs was demerit points and swimming caps for libbie tan. i got benched in sec 3 when my netball teacher found a letter i wrote to a girl i liked. the smart girl placed it in between the pages of a book she was handing in. st marg's has a much stronger policy and they enforce it to the letter. and let's face it, the two girls who caused this fracas is as butch as they come. probably more butch than me because contrary to popular opinion, i am guniang like hell.

sure sure, it's for charity. sure sure, it's SOLIDARITY for the girls who have to undergo chemotherapy and have their hair all off. IF there was a girl in st marg's who was undergoing chemo and had to shave her hair and her classmates rose to the occasion to shave their own, i'm sure that'll be fine. but you see, these girls were seeking attention like we all do at the age of 15 and used a loophole in the system to force the issue to their liking. i'm not saying that they are wrong, cos trust me. i'd probably have done the same thing. why? because i'd be young, gung ho, rebellion is the height of cool and i'd be an idiot. but what i would have are parents who understand that when an agreement is in place, you don't go and beng2 wei3. renege on that agreement, for all the dialect impaired. their parents? threw their common sense out the window and went on a ridiculous rampage. yes. you really want your kids to learn that defying authority is good and you get to win when you do. smart.

so i guess my position on the whole thing is that kids will do what kids do. authority figures will do what people in authority do. but the parents of the kids should be drawn and quartered for not seeing what their kids were pulling. and all the self righteousness in the world wouldn't be able to settle this matter to my liking.

oh. and fyi. one of the girls involved actually tweeted. "bye marion". (the principal of SM) that puts the whole thing in perspective doesn't it.

Monday, September 09, 2013

lil sis getting married

i want to talk about my sister's wedding. i feel somewhat subdued because my sister is a very private person. the total opposite of me - i have no inbuilt censor whatsoever. i talk about anything and everything. the embarassing things i did, the embarassing things other people do. i'm an entertainer you see, and just like caricatures that are somewhat larger than life, that's how my stories go as well. oh, they're always the truth, but sometimes exaggerations are in order to make the stories that little bit funnier. So i couldn't go on record and talk about the wedding as much as i wanted - well, at least on FB anyway. and since i'm doing this again, i might as well.

but i don't exaggerate when i say that my sister is the best that i could have had. you can't choose family. god knows, i would be more than happy to swop out a few of my extended family for others. but if i were able to choose, i'd have chosen my sister to be mine every time.

she was the most timid person ever whilst we were growing up. she actually played truant for two weeks in kindergarten because her teacher told her that they were going to do a show and tell. after the aforementioned two weeks, her teacher actually paid a visit to my home and laughingly told my parents that show and tell week was over. please ask iris to come back to school. but in spite of all that, she gamely put up with all my dangerous antics and jumped into the fray with me. we'd jump off the top stairs from the landing, daring each other who could jump from a higher step. she'd oblige me for bouts of wrestling on my parents' bed because i watched WWF and had a notion to try some of the moves. she'd play obstacle course races - that were imagined up by me and therefore, was life threatening at every turn - and laugh at my grandmother with me when she got all shocked and afraid that my parents wouldn't see their children grow up.

i think i've mentioned before. i never had friends as a child. my first friend was vanessa who was in my Pri 5 class. so i lived for about 10 years without actually having a friend. and my inferiority complex would be that much greater if i hadn't had my sister every step of the way. because - she was my first friend. my best friend actually. even though i held the 1 and a half years age gap over her unyieldingly and sometimes, very much unfairly. i bullied her within an inch of her life. but to be fair, i didn't allow anyone else to bully her either. god helped anyone who tried to.

so when my sister got married and it was a total sob fest because she has the most overworked tear ducts in the history of mankind, i went through the day half choked up as well. true story, when the solemniser asked who was giving her away and my parents stood up to say, "we are", i half wanted to stand up and shout that I was giving her away too.

but she's not away. especially since i still see her at home most of the time because she hasn't quite brought everything over yet.

and my sister, my friend - i've not lost. because she's blood. and blood she'd always be.

it's just that now, i have a brother as well.