Sunday, 24 December 2006

His And Her

I'd say this is one of the biggest English boo-boos to be found around Singapore, because of the huge number of toilets having this design template from town to the heartlands. wtf dude? It's either HIS and HERS, if not then HIM and HER. HIS and HER is just totally grammatically wrong and embarrassing.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

I've always thought it was pretty interesting how systems come and systems go. Systems get borne out of nothing, just so that things keep moving. Something just has to happen because somehow, we're not meant to stagnate. Natural habitats have to be disturbed to get their gold mines cleaned out. Plays have to go on because people enjoy a good show. A peaceful family generation needs a court battle over a will just because. Wars arise for the most absurd reasons we could never fathom.

Get that paper qualification and make that job opportunity count or spiral down towards a long, winding death. What a life.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

For most cases, sending your kid to a school like Rosyth's like trying to put him or her on a path that leads on, hopefully, to academic excellence. But what can really determine these things? We shape our destiny as fate shapes us, two seemingly unfathomable concepts intertwined to bring us full circle to where we are now, and very much beyond.

Having spent most of my schooling years in, I'd admittedly say, the higher-end of the academic class (though not that much higher-end, just a little bit above the average on the scale) seriously puts me in a social culture that is relatively shielded away from most of the basic ills of society. The other day on the bus, some young, undecorous lout had an argument with a bus conductor and proceeded on to lay a barrage of hokkien vulgarities on the old man who was just trying to do his job. And last week, some kid was contemplating whether he should jump from my block cos he 'de2 zui4' (offended) some other retard. I'm going to SMU a little under a year's time; where exactly do I have the place for such people or scenarios conceptually in my life, no matter how apparently simple these examples may seem?

Sunday, 8 October 2006

There was a minor hiccup last week though, when a trainee got affected by a little food poisoning and was evacuated to Paya Lebar Air Base Medical Centre. I won't elaborate much about it, other than stating that if not for stupid people doing stupid things, the trainee wouldn't have had to be evacuated in the first place and all the ensuing problems wouldn't have occurred. We have the power of discretion, which's why the SAF hires humans, not robots. Some people just have mental states that are FUBAR seriously.

Which makes me think that this scenario is quite possible: You have a really fucked up fella in army who messes with how things work, slacks a lot and makes other people do his job, and eventually he leaves the army to become a teacher or a pastor who's telling his students or audience all about integrity and working hard. There's that possibility that you as a student might've looked up to some teacher sometime in your young life who might've been ironically screwed up as a fellow soldier in the army or a downright fuckup/loser.

Saturday, 16 September 2006


Before I enlisted, I'd thought that going to the army would be a form of escape, without studies and less personal responsibilities. How wrong was I, especially with the former. The amount of stuff you had to study as a 21st century 'paper' soldier was hovering at the level of insane by my expectations, or lack thereof. Now that I'm actually gonna leave (in precisely 51 more days), I'm getting struck by the bug that makes you feel like you're gonna miss the shit you went through. Well sure it was a good experience and I've had my fair share of good and bad times, but that's all it'll be. I'm never going back. Haha. When I asked Leon what would happen if he woke up tomorrow to find that he's been dreaming about unit and all that and he's actually still in BMT, he replied without a hint of hesitation that he'd just kill himself.

Monday, 28 August 2006

Song Meanings

It started with Dick telling me that he was gonna learn the chords to Third Eye Blind's Motorcycle Driveby because he liked the lyrics. I hadn't really paid attention to that song's lyrics (or most of 3EB's songs for that matter cos they seem too exuberantly carefree and jolly but I was dead wrong) initially, so when I finally did, I realised it's way deeper than I'd thought. That led to me going online to search for, well generally, the meaning of the song, but at the same time the building blocks of the song itself.

"Summer time and the wind is blowing / Outside in lower Chelsea / And I don't know what I'm doing in the city... Where's the soul I want to know / New York City is evil / The surface is everything / But I could never do that / Someone would see through that" - Like what's Chelsea and NY gotta do with the song anyway? The lyrics must've been borne out of some experience someone or the band felt or went through.

This little quest led me to uncover websites dedicated to answering puzzled fans about abstract songs that they're clueless about but are dying to comprehend. And some of the lyrics I'd found from bands like Third Eye Blind, My Chemical Romance, Jimmy Eat World and Fall Out Boy had really deep meanings. Did you guess that, while innocently singing along to 3EB's Semi-Charmed Life in the bath, you'd actually be humming a tune about doing drugs and sex? And back in secondary school, we actually jammed Semi-Charmed Life during a teacher's day programme and dedicated it to the teachers.

Alot of songs have been written and sung involving love because it's such an emotional subject, so tangible yet so abstract in nature. You could say that I'm in a period of atmospheric turmoil because lotsa relationship breakdowns have been happening to friends around me, and in that short period of time I think they've said some of the deepest things I've ever heard in awhile. When I read what Nathaniel privately wrote daily about his ex (with his permission of course) in a semi-secret blog during the gloomiest days of his breakup, the emotion was so pure and raw that the pain practically cuts right through the barrier of being two separate persons, and went straight to my heart as well.

A good artist (could be a poet, a lyricist, a painter or an actor etc) who would be able to harness this passionate energy and channel it out effectively would create a wonderful piece of work. For that, I think you'd really have to go through a true test of mettle to really achieve, like how great poets have emerged with beautiful stanzas from war times.

Art is truly a celebration of connecting yourself with the artist in the appreciation of a particular feeling as portrayed by him or her in his or her work. And the diversity of this appreciation is amazing. Some of the songs have been interpreted in so many different but equally correct ways, and there's a really powerful sensation, in some ways haunting and in others soothingly familiar, when a song's lyrics can perfectly describe an experience you've had.

Quite a number of songs have references to things and places (that we aren't familiar of sometimes because they're like places in America) that remind them of something or someone. "Don't you know I'm thinkin', drivin' 405 past midnight / You know I miss you (Don't you know that I miss you?) / Ninth and Ash on a Tuesday night / I would write to you from a museum mile, toast to you / your whisper, your smile / Up the stairs at the Weatherford, a ghost each place I hide..." (Jimmy Eat World's If You Don't, Don't) And, depending on what tickles your fancy, I think this actually works to tell a more concrete, tangible story that you can actually visualise. Clever subtleties slipped in to get the fans guessing.

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Singapore Inc.

Oh happy belated birthday to the nation. Other than some very probable cliches, I don't really have much to comment this year around, so I've decided to quote some good excerpts from blogs I've read. Copyrights earned of course. ;)

The youths in Singapore are losing their identity and sense of belonging. I'm not sure who I'm speaking for, but I'm pretty sure it's not just a lonesome three to four. Polls have said it, half of the youths in Singapore would emigrate if given the chance. To rejoice or to despair?

I believe one of the reasons why Singaporeans are slowly losing their identity is partly the nation's fault, society's fault. Firstly, there's that lack of transparency on what the nation is doing for us. Secondly, they keep wanting us to be something else, or someone else. For example, wanting us to speak perfect English to "match up" with the ang mohs, or learning Chinese to keep up with China the growing dragon or whatever pet name it's given, or brushing up on Tamil as India's growing too. You can call us a multi-racial society and be proud of it, but it's not fair to exploit that and emphasizing on language so much in such a coercing manner. If there weren't those fireworks or the holiday, would the youths remember it's Singapore's independence day tomorrow? Would anyone embrace the day as a special day worth commemorating? Or would it just be another holiday? Singapore is indeed doing a lot for us, keeping the streets safe, making those policies to ensure every one of us gets sufficient education and so on and so forth, but then somehow people know only how to focus on the bad stuff, like rising transportation fares (does anyone ever feel thankful for the considerably-high pay they're getting compared to like native Indos?), stressful work environments, and bad education system which kinda limits students in some way and turns them all into bloody muggers who care only about results and nothing else. Our protective leaders' plans are backfiring on them, turning all their lovely citizens into narrow-minded self-centered money-minded people.

- Gracelina

I've been to the NE show when I was a starry-eyed Primary 5 kid, I've performed when I was a Nanyang Girl in Sec 1, I've been part of the audience 2 years ago, and this year I'm an usher for the last NDP at the National Stadium. For a possible quitter that is quite an awful lot of involvement in THE nation-building show, hahas.

It went from being awed by the fireworks to swelling with pride singing the national anthem after performing on the field to being somewhat cynical while on the audience stands, and this time I don't know what to feel. NDP hasn't exactly changed over the years--the formations are the few basic shapes you toy around with, the song singing of "future" and "peace" and "stars" and "soaring", the videos always appropriately reminding us of how we overcame our hardships etc [I just HAD to stifle a laugh when someone in one of the videos said "I am free to express myself."]

In so many ways the NDP show is a miniature replica of how the government would like Singapore Inc to work--months of hard work in nation-building that would have everyone believing and belonging, celebrating our achievements and the fact that we are Singaporeans and we are here, we've got it made, happy and all (remember, 4 million smiles or the police will arrest you for being unfriendly). Age strips the rose-tinted glasses away--the heart hardens and we dismiss each message as propaganda, which it is, really, but today I realise that it is not necessarily a bad thing because it doesn't make sense to badmouth/feedback on this day, because it doesn't seem right to not be idealistic and hopeful for a better Singapore, especially on National Day.

- Chris

I don't really have something specific to say in these recent times of growing anxiety about youths of our nation and politics of the country, and recently I realised that I'm becoming more of a backseat person - listening more than I speak, which, more often than not, turns out to be the wiser thing to do. But for a very, very inspiring read, go here. It's an interview with the late David Marshall. I know most people would probably dismiss this link but reconsider doing that, coz trust me this read could potentially change how you think, at least for awhile (heck if you had to choose between reading my online journal or that interview I'd say go for the interview dmnit.).

Met Gracia, an old schoolmate and ex-neighbour of mine (actually we still stay very much in proximity) the other day for a round of supper, and I was posed a question: "are you satisfied with your life?" And somewhere along those lines the question "what have you achieved?" probably lingered in anticipation of an answer as well.

How many of us have actually asked ourselves that question, and seriously gave that question a thought? I haven't until now. Deroose's asked me that before and it was half-dismissed because I thought it was too idealistic a question to consider at that point of time in my life when I was very much still in the platoon sergeant hotseat (clearing leave now and handed over! Woot).

Besides, what can you do when you're in the army right? That fuckin' obstacle in the prime of your youth? People can claim to have answered that question and gave an answer as dismally as I have thinking that it's okay, but now I realise it's not really alright.

After some reflecting, I guess I've tried to make my team, if not my unit, a better place to be in, and that's as heroic as I can get within my legal means. Because trying anything beyond that, especially as an NSF sergeant, is simply out of the question. Perhaps I've tried to change the system but failed, and maybe I can say that's the cause of my dissatisfaction. But I think I do have reason to be satisfied. In very basic, physical terms, I hope that I've cultivated a sense of pride in our team to be the best at what they can do, both for and against the system. Unity is strength, and you can't underestimate people power. Think I'm getting a little carried away again... But changing the system on my own would amount to opposing the government in its very funny, micro-level kinda way; a government which has cleverly buffered itself in its God-complex so as to be untouchable.

Take OC and CO relations for example, and why the chain of command is so strongly enforced upon the men to go through the right flow of channels. For those who aren't in the know... I can't elaborate here. Touchy issues.

Then again sometimes I think, is that really it? Or is that what I'd like to believe it is... Am I really as pensively intelligent as I think I am? Or am I just making a crapload of noise here, just like almost everybody else? Because sometimes I see chinks in my armour of seemingly correct principles.

I'm in a period of time where I'll probably look back on in the future and feel stupid of myself about. I've read back on some of the stuff I wrote, especially during phases of my life where I'm especially impressionable, not just towards trends but towards perspectives and beliefs as well. And I wished I could just go back in time and slap myself for the immature, silly stuff I did or said.

When it comes to being really clever, I suck. There are people I know whom I admire for their speed of thought and strategic foresight (qualities I think I fall short in), and when it comes to actually knowing stuff, I'm sorely lacking as well. I do not know global problems because I do not follow the news. But then again can I be faulted just because this is what society says is the right thing to do? Who determines what's right or wrong, or normal anyway?

I am who I've convinced myself I am to be. That's about it but it's more profound than it actually sounds.

Sometimes I do feel a sad longing for some place in society I'd really belong to. I've been constantly constrained by a lot of circumstances to do things I don't feel purposeful for. Going to schools to ensure I'm kept in the paper chase, I'll admit, is important. But it's left me feeling terribly empty. Through the years I've ended up in cultures devoid of people I can come alive with. Don't get me wrong, I love the bunch of fellas that make up my platoons through my army stint, but the stuff that they talk about or the music they listen to just simply don't cut it with me, and I'm constantly lying to myself just to keep up... It's tiring. Maybe as a platoon sergeant I saw it as a job to interact so as to understand the men better. But now that I'm letting it go, I'm really gonna let it go. Going to SMU after I ORD sure gives me sensations of escapism.

To what extent can I be faulted for not trying hard enough to be different, or make a difference? I genuinely believe I'm not a typical Zhonghua-to-NYJC-to-NTU-engineering student but whenever I have dreams of my own, voices tell me to forgo them because they're not practical. Truthfully, am I all for the paper chase and emphasis on the rice bowl? Why am I being faulted when my focus on a money-making career lapses when that's not what I really want? People can really try to convince themselves with their self-help books and blog rants that life is more than just a rat race but each time I talk to people, they keep convincing me that in the eyes and minds of the masses, that's all there is to life and ambition.

Weijian once said that we're living in a fucked up country. It is indeed an acidicly sweeping statement to make, but it does hold a certain amount of truth when he points out that every morning, people are rushing to bus stops and through train stations chasing god-knows-what and going home late at night. It's bad enough just to be in the rushing crowd for more inconsequential reasons like booking in to camp, and it's sick to know that conventionally, they're who you'd eventually become. Anonymous automatons of society.

But being in my unit has woken me up a little and while I have done what I could to make a difference there, I think it's about time to try and step out as an individual to be different. And eventually attempt to make a difference in society.

I wished more of us could have the courage to live. To give to your fellow brethren without expecting anything in return.

Starting to clear leave now. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter... Just hope there aren't any potholes along the way that could really fuck things up in very unwelcome ways. Can't wait to throw all this down and escape into the life of a student again. I'm being an optimistic idealist for the moment.

Yes, I have a charmed life but it's not because of fairy dust, of self-help books, of circumstances or a bazillionheirress cash-flow. It is because I choose the path in which I walk.

Thursday, 3 August 2006


Thinking about The Lake House has brought up a couple of paradoxes. Alex died on the valentine's day of 2005. When Kate sent the letter through the mailbox to tell Alex to wait for her and, in turn, made him avoid the accident and eventually live on, Alex's brother would probably somehow have his mind warped to the current situation of Alex being actually alive and not dead. But the fact that Kate is aware that she actually saved his life at the end of the story and with all that smooching going on, it must mean that she actually has a higher level of knowledge over the confines of time and space? Because if she was like everyone else, the moment Alex survived that 'accident' by actually never crossing the road at all would have made her mind calibrated to actually believing that he was still alive all along, and not that she actually saved his life. If this isn't the case, then Alex would seemingly have 'resurrected' out of nowhere, and his brother and everyone else would still be thinking that he's actually dead.

Another problem is to do with the reserved dinner meeting, where Alex somehow never turned up for. We know the reason why he didn't turn up was because he actually died before the date came. If that's the case, saving Alex from the accident must've meant that he was alive all the while since the valentine's of 2005 through to the dinner date and beyond, so he must've met Kate up for dinner that day. So by right, Kate must've had some recollection of him actually turning up the dinner and that the date proceeded on as planned, since he was still alive. But as it seems, with Kate's memory of events still unchanged (since she was still emotional and they were smooching and all that shit), it must mean that Alex still had never attended that reserved dinner date for some very peculiar reason.

I wanna watch Click. It's the first movie with a concept that I've always thought of for the longest time. One of the things I've always pondered is that whether or not, when you freeze time for every single thing else except yourself and you lift up a book from a table and let go, the book will stay in mid air. Because by some logic which name I cannot put to, with time frozen, gravity would also cease to function.

What happens then if you retardedly decided to freeze the time of everything, including yourself? Because if let's say the time of everything else was frozen and you did a thousand things before resuming time, somebody observing you wouldn't notice anything amiss if you start and end at the same position as before the moment you froze time. So that means theoretically, as time is measured in moments here, there is always one moment after another and that implies that somehow, time must go on. So if you froze time for a thousand years and some divine power resumed it, nobody would notice that a thousand years had passed between those two moments. So if you froze even the power to unfreeze time, how would time continue? When will the next moment ever come, since in theory there must be another moment after that?

Thursday, 27 July 2006

The Off/2SG Riposte

Sorta gave myself an off day today. Am I entitled to this? I'd like to think so. Still, it mildly pains and irritates me no end when people see me without my arms and rounds and start saying, "wah Jose, no need to do duty ah... So welfare," or like, "eh why you no need to do duty, slacker." If I could explain to you the entire culmination of events to the point of giving myself an off-from-duty over everyone else in my team today it'd take a few updates' worth of storytelling to do.

To begin with, for the men, Platoon Sergeants aren't meant to mount duty as the men are. That mentality is still etched deep in the recesses of everybody's minds then, and that should change.

How then do you appease a Guard Comd who's playfully accusing you of skiving?

Handling a team is no mean feat. Maybe being a Guard Commander's a much more challenging task but I believe I'm up to it anytime, if that was the route I was meant to take. But no, I'm a seaside PS, and that's that. And believe it or not, this has its valid difficulties and challenges because our unit is a very dynamic one, with daily jobs ranging from dealing with people to dealing with problems and situations. And trust me, dealing with seaside has its fair share of issues.

In the light of recent events we've had emergency meetings to highlight urgent matters regarding things that aren't going smoothly, but at each hearing I cannot find something they can fault my seaside team with, and that in itself is a huge form of pride I can take in. And it isn't easy having to keep watching over everything consistently because routine erodes the senses, but I am confident enough to say that I'm managing that aspect of things well. That's why maybe it seems like I'm not doing much because there aren't problems to solve, but note this: every problem that may potentially arise can be prevented with good planning and maintenance and that's what's been going on for my team. This constant watch and all the background work (which really encompasses a lot of things) that goes into ensuring that we cannot be faulted for anything by anybody requires keen observation, anticipation and effort.

And if I really wanted to skive duty with that off today, I wouldn't have even come to camp would I? Instead, I stayed overtime til 6pm and ran around the entire seaside ops stations to try and clear up whatever lurks beneath the exterior that could surface any moment and get the whole truckload of us into trouble again (in fact I'd even like to put it that I took the opportunity to be off duty to do those things). Nobody really does these things without them being told to and when they finally do, they make a whole shitload of noise to ensure that they'd be recognised for their work. I'm different I guess then, because when responsibility calls to me I'll make sure I do it, because I hate disappointing people. And sometimes when the PSes fuck up because of some retard, I still feel bad about it even if it's nothing to do with my team, because we as PSes have failed.

Sometimes I don't know why I even try so hard because when you come to think about it, nobody owes you any favour in your 2 years of service here. The most I can get out of it is knowing that I've tried my best to give those under me the best NSF experience they can have in such a simplistic job scope, and contributing my best within my means and principles to the unit as a whole.

I took the off-from-duty (I'm not even calling it an off here already) primarily so that I could do that bit of clearing up for the seaside stations' issues, but I guess now I'd like it to be known that I am entitling myself to this, and I wouldn't do something like this (telling people that yes, I think I deserve an off) if not for everybody thinking I'm trying to give myself a good deal here. It's just childish and retarded.

Our time is coming to a close for my batch of specs. Good luck to the new ones taking over, because present times are turbulent and it seems like making a mistake means instant death, because we (my batch of proud, esteemed 2SGs) have used all our chances up for the silliest of reasons.

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so angsty, especially when it comes to updating this online journal of mine.

The other day I saw an ad for this private degree in hospitality from EASB university, and it showed a rather happy-looking person saying, "I am prepared for the real world, are you?" I had to stifle a sad laugh because it's just really ironic. The condensed epiphany of the experience that was BSC tells me that anybody who's prepared for the real world wouldn't be grinning like an idiot.

Monday, 10 July 2006

Platoon Sergeant

Being an unofficial platoon sergeant of a team in a new unit really has its ups and downs. But I'm just glad for the lessons because they've taught me invaluable things. I guess at least I'm not going into the real society as a naive retard.

I still feel like I've been promoted to a 2SG for nothing. Am I supposed to feel happier? More obliged to be a fucker? Others who have been officially promoted to a 2SG rank to be a platoon sergeant have dug trenches and shite to get there. This is a local promotion for the remaining 4 months of my time that I don't need. And what pains me in an ass-kinda way is how other fellow promoted 2SGs are reacting to it. Stuff that I'd rather not mention. As I used to tell myself, and I still do, don't rock the boat Jose. Don't do it. It's just another 4 months anyway.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Band Of Brothers

What has happened to my BSC?

It seems like since that last fateful weekend, CDS has slipped into some kind of dark age, shrouded by gloom and doom. I've always liked CDS for its heroic, outlawed ways. We were the military organisation that's always at the frontline 24/7, and yet you could say we were the most unregimental soldiers ever. We had our own way of running things, resulting in a very different working and booking out system that no other unit has. We were once classified as RPs, but when people asked us if we were like RPs we'd say "no", and add that it'd be a really long story if we were to say why even though it seemed like we were doing the same kinda things.

In fact we were different. Which infantry soldiers wear commercial lifevests, bicycle helmets, safety boots and drive RHIBs? Which infantry unit never made it a requirement to reveille, fall in for last parades and have standby areas? Which infantry unit has soldiers outside consistently on weekdays? We were the resident base fuckers, doing what was necessary and to the objective (which meant minusing whatever we could and cutting corners) and then calling it a day, job well done and secured. Yet we never had bookout hours long enough to stop us from complaining that we aren't a welfared lot. We were in this mysteriously cheeky little unit. That was just the squadron I saw myself in and loved myself to be a part of.

But after what our dear CO has done, all sense of humour about everything's gone. It's sad and, I'll bet to the laojiaos, it's almost taboo. A balance has just been rocked, and we aren't who we are anymore. Our unit identity and personality is in shambles, and a new system is taking over. I'm leaving soon, and that's just about the best consolation about the whole situation that I can think of. It's sad.

I've never liked the idea of people, especially fellow people of similar age, drawing lines with one another. That's why I've always believed that we should see beyond authority and keep a certain sense of NSF integrity. Look, if you're so garang, then just fuckin' sign on man. If you do just that, I'll give it to you and not blame you for being such a system whore coz that's just about your job to be a slave to the system. But if you're a fellow NSF just like me, and just like the fuckin' whole lot of most of us that form the basis of this little defence squadron that we call our own, then I think that it's only right that you preserve a certain sense of code of conduct that all NSFs should rightly follow. It's not just about how good a soldier you'll be during your service term, but much more than that beyond your years after you ORD. If you start being a prick and screw everyone for the small things they shouldn't do as soldiers but could possibly do coz we're just biding our time as best as we can during our NSF years, then you're just not really being a fellow human that much anymore, and I believe all respect for you would go right down the drain.

That's why I don't believe in authority, which leads to my refusal to give in to regimentation and upholding of the law here. That's why sometimes I don't think I deserve a 2SG rank. To me, everybody around me of my age is a fellow man who is a son, a good buddy, a brother and a boyfriend. Mess him up and you're potentially messing about with anybody else he means the world to. Everybody has a sense of pride and self respect and it's just fucked up if you think that you can take that from him and believe that he'll really behave and even think like a man just because that's what he is in the pecking order of the army. It's just sad that some people still assume we can treat people this way as if they were from a 19th century army force. Maybe it's good to let some people who just don't get it know that most of the guys here are only being as obedient to authority around here as they're willing to play your games and act the part. Push that limit and everything will crumble.

I've always believed that with a sense of pride and faith in the people around you, you can get them to perform miracles beyond their calls of duty. Let's face it, more than half the people around here chose to be men anyway, so they probably chose not to take the responsibility and to just slowly while their way away while waiting for their turn to ORD and head on to more important things in life to them. Stop fucking them, stop messing around with their personal prides and dignities as fellow men, and you'll see how much more willing they are to do their job for you.

I'm only relieved that in a very few months time, my time here will be over and I can stop pretending that I believe in enforcing the system here as a sergeant. Truth is I don't, and it's tiring. Maybe I'm lucky in fact not be an officer so that I'm not biased to be a sucker for the system, so that I can revert from spec to man and man to spec anytime. Stop the power plays, and cut the crap about all these superiority complexes. It's lame and childish to say the least.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Statistical Accountability

We're surrounded my statistics of deceit all around us. 99% fat free! $999 laptop! Mouse with a 99999 click warranty! Book in by 2359h! As we progress and the needs for responsibilty and accountability increase and invariably blend, we get a whole load of figures that are either promised to us, presented to us to attract us, or given to us to abide by. It's obvious that a statistic like 99% fat-free isn't true, but it strives to tell us that while they can try to make their products fat-free, they can't guarantee perfection. How many times we click a mouse is definitely an impractical statistic to keep track of, and nobody will ever know or bother to find out what happens if we do indeed click the mouse 100000 times or more. But with a figure like that, we are, either knowingly or unknowingly, reassured of the reliability of the mouse. And nobody's ever going to wait til 2359h just to book in to prove that it's within the boundaries of the regulations of the army.

Almost every expectation is met with a preset, designated statistic so that the same number can be reused over and over again within anticipated limits. Just so that something can be accounted for when the day comes where the need arises for the system to be verified, and that everyone's ass is covered (Bimbo screams, "I got fat eating your yoghurt!" Spokesman says, "honey, we never said it was entirely fat-free!"). Kinda makes the system for accountability quite a redundancy.

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Being in a unit like mine really enables me to observe very fascinating forms of interaction between people as this unit is truly a melting pot of people from all walks of life, and somehow being in charge of them puts me in a very interesting position.

Of course that means having to deal with the occasional fucker who shirks work. Put a couple of people like that together and you get an irritable prick in the system. It's not that hard to understand why I'm willing to put in a little more effort behind the scenes to get shit done instead of pushing things to the men (just because of a fuckin' superiority complex) when I believe in actually working harder to validate my reception of earning an extra $200 every month.

I guess my unit's like a microcosm of societies out there, and like most cases, what really lacks is a serious sense of empathy, especially from the top people towards the men on the ground. And I've always had a bit of a feminist streak (read: feminist, not feminine) in me so I believe that most fuckups occur because of chauvinistic egos. Some guys just seem to relish the chance to put others down whenever they can, like when a mistake is made, or when something isn't done up to standard even if the effort's been made. Then all the weapons of an egotistical bullying emerge, like insults and sarcasm. Bloody gay stuff.

But then again, sometimes I think some women should seriously go for some form of NS-ing of their own. I don't mean in the sense of having them experience the physical aspects of training like how most people are misconcepted to believe when it comes to the point of the said issue (coz I think that's just plain unrealistic and shallow; as that would be plainly making a comparison and whining that life isn't fair in a sissyboy kinda way, to which I don't particularly condone), but in the form of having to work in a unit, especially one which isn't exactly glorious in any way, and of which having to carry out your duties pretty much involves dragging yourself through self-discipline and responsibility. This is because some girls I know sometimes whine just a tad too much for my liking, to which I wish I could tell them in a more convincing manner that life isn't as perfect and idealistic as their immature minds perceive things to be. I suppose that when you get thrown into the shithole you'll grow up pretty fast. But don't get me wrong, it's not like every girl I know is like that.

Monday, 30 January 2006

I guess brands like Billabong and Quiksilver popularised the fashion of typography in apparel, which had its roots in surfwear but is now becoming a trend in everything from casuals to sub-formal, long-sleeved wear. And joining the hype are groups of lousy labels (and brand-pirates) who think that just by spraying, dripping and blotching paint over a bunch of sentences which absolutely make no sense (and even worse, are freakin' grammatically incorrect) they can make the cut as being fashionably up-to-date and give the stalwarts of the market a run for their money.

Apparently, they have in some ways, as they have garnered allegiance in the form of mostly metrosexual guys who think nothing of mixing and matching those tees with v-necks, outlandish pink and purple colours, and lousy, unfurtive english text. It pains and embarrasses me to spot people who commit such simple yet tragic fashion fiascos and yet behave as if they were proclaiming it's okay or that they're just naively stupid.

Tuesday, 24 January 2006

Reading has made me realise one rather sad thing. It hit me that very often, I can't visualise or simply see as vividly as how a scene is written in a book. "It was bright autumn and the hem of my raincoat where I sat brushed a nest of curling leaves, all shapes. The sky through the bare forked branches was very clear and there were good smells in the air: fern and a hint of blackberry." Once, I sprawled on a safari bed reading when I just sat up and tried to imagine myself taking in my surroundings in such literary fashion.

Maybe I'm disillusioned to think that I can take what the books say as a form of truth, not in a direct sense here but in a rather, more literal way. Either that, or I've lost my sense of imagination to actually capture each and every sentiment that flitters through the atmosphere that surrounds me. I believe these elements do tingle the senses, but my senses aren't keen enough to be enraptured by it all in the least bit, and they are quickly lost to oblivion; beautiful moments of time just thrown to the wind. In other words, I could be simply failing to appreciate what's around me.