Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's confirmed.

I'm going to East Timor!

No... not for a holiday per se, but for a short term mission trip. The reality of it hasn't quite settled in yet for some weird reason. I don't even feel like i'm looking forward to it. It's like, i have no expectations whatsoever. But this is my FIRST mission trip EVER, and i hear it's a tough place to begin at. Taking J's experience for advice, i'll set my expectations really low, with respect to the level of creature comforts. I'm pretty sure that i can mentally deal with the conditions, all I just hope for is that my physical body doesn't break down.

I wonder if i should give myself a graduation present in december... A nice and good camera. Hrrmmm. My current powershot G2 is only 4megapix (bad for taking quality videos), and the exilim... has konked out. I don't like the exilim much, except for its conveniently slim body and fast startup. I'm dreaming of an SLR. :-X Highly unlikely that i'll get one around this time anyway, though. Wishful thinking by a mile!

I think i'm going to keep a journal (have got loads of empty diaries to spare) to document this last semester that i never thought would get this busy. School work, workplace work, mission trip prep, marathon and other race preps, other church commitments, and trying to figure out what to do with my life after i'm done with school. I think i'd like to read, and think back upon my experiences because i think i'm going to be and am in the process of being taught a few lessons.

Does anyone have any great ideas on how to pack light and pack smart for a 10 day trip to timor?


I'm in need of new CDs. New types of sounds, new genres, new tunes! It's amazing how much money you spend on CDs. You don't feel it because it's a gradual purchasing process. But if you just pick up that CD wallet and assume that each CD is worth around 20bucks... That wallet is worth quite a few hundred dollehs, or near a thousand.

10 CDs = $200
25 CDs = $500
50 CDS = $1000


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happiness is when you receive a call at night from a family member who's not home yet, asking if you want some treats (that s/he can get on the way home). Like maybe, fries, drinks, chicken wings...

Simple pleasures. It always brings a smile to my face. And it just tells me that the person is thinking of us, the home, and loving us in the way they know how to.

On a less romantic note...

From when i was a wee kid, to the 20 something year old that i am, i've many fears. One of which is that if a family member isn't home by a certain time, the next phone call that pierces the quiet night will be one from a police officer bearing bad news. I'm serious. I tend to be paranoid over certain things. I guess this is why they say that everyone has a psychological disorder, just to some extent. Nothing clinical, just that we may show some mild behavioural signs.


Although i don't have a FYP in my final sem, the load i'm carrying this sem sure feels like i've got one. School readings and assignments, workplace work, exam prep, mission trip prep, half marathon prep, church commitments. *Glug* Am i drowning?


For some WEIRD reason, my home has been receiving multiple calls from these people who are trying to sell a food supplement, some royal jelly thing. I do not know HOW they got our number, and they just keep calling every other day. They're usually kind of polite, all of them have strong indian accents (i don't know why! beats me...), a bit pushy, but if you are firm they'll let you off the hook. My phone caller ID registers the calls as "out of area", meaning not within Singapore (or do they not want you to know where they are calling from even if it's within Singapore?), which makes it all the more puzzling to me.

Do any of you get these calls too?

The next time one of them calls, i think i might try a couple of things instead of cutting them off to tell them that i am not interested:

1. asking them where they are calling from, where they got my contact, ask why i get so many calls
2. mention... the police? (hurhur)
3. after the most recent call, i had a sudden thought. why not attempt to share the gospel instead? hurhur.


The few most enduring mild swear words in Singapore are, "wa lao (eh)", "shit (or crap)"


Ran 8.1 km today. I'm surprised at myself, since the last time i ran was last tuesday and i only hit 6.6 - 6.8km. I felt my leg joints getting wary by the time i hit about 5+km, but i knew i had to discipline myself to keep going. If at any time i lag for a week, or fall sick from now till december, it'll be extremely tough to tackle the half marathon lah. Especially since i'm not really a running person.

But it's so painfully boring though... Thank God for mp3 players. I used to run without any kind of distraction. You know, just me and the road. But after trying it once after much persuasion from gem, i think i see why he's so insistent. I don't want to be reliant on it, but it seems that i'm en route to just that!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Our 2nd year anniversary is today!

No fireworks or great plans. But just a loving boyfriend who despite feeling flu-ish, plugged up his nose and journeyed to the west (he lives on the other end of the island) to come see the busy me who has been stuck at home essaying with a sort-of-writer's-block.

He brought me 3 stalks of purple lilies and they're awfully PRETTY.

He came despite being all prepared to leave after just a few minutes. I thought that was silly and told him that he's welcome to stay around longer. So, we pretty much had a nice (porridge) dinner with my family in front of the telly and then spent a quiet hour or so in my room with each of us doing our own stuff.

Nice and simple day, for which i have gem to thank for for taking the trouble to come all the way. Otherwise, we would have spent our 2nd year doing nothing again! HA. Thanks dear. =D

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A meaningful dinner.

I had dinner with two of my youth pastors the other day, and boy, did i upload a lot of information from them. Rats, and if only i could remember everything they said! I'm not going to go into detail, or get emo, but this is all i can remember and probably all i should (try to) remember.

1. "Enjoy the moment":
I will never have the experience or know-how that an older person/professional has. So stop putting so much pressure on yourself to gain man's assurance. The best you can do, is to do your best. "If you are satisfied with what you accomplished for the day before you go to bed, sleep. If not, get up and pray". I'm young. So what? God already said, to never look down on the youth. He doesn't! So, which is more powerful? Man putting their trust in you, or God putting His trust in you?

2. "We reflect the realm/reality that we are most aware of":
If we are living in the reality of the world, then our thoughts and actions reflect what the world calls for. But if we live in the reality of the spiritual realm, we are brought to a different level where we see that spiritual workings are cranking in situations around us. And when we look up to God, our thoughts and actions will reflect the heart of God. And that is how we should live as Christians.

3. "Don't try to be someone you are not":
All too true. You were meant to be who you are, and you have your own special area of expertise.

4. "You don't need to take the responsibility to make a conversation work":
Self explanatory.

5. "Some things can be learnt":
You can hone a skill, and sometimes your circumstances, like your job, can help you do that.

This's all i can squeeze out for now!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The boy cooked lunch for me! (backdated post from 11th Aug '07)

The raw pacific dory fish to be seared to perfection!

He bought me one of my favourite mushrooms.... Portabellos. Ooooohhh, yum. :-D

The Cook

The Cooking Cook

Fish and mushrooms are almost ready! Joline was salivating by then. Deliciously tasty, soft, juicy, boneless fish fillet. Oooh man!

Taken by the window for natural lighting. And yes, he bought me roses. :-D Cheesy grin and all. Teehee.

On the plate: fish, bread with olive oil, romane lettuce, mushrooms. On the side: Oreo choc with wafer, choc cake and grape juice (not wine). Absolutely scrumptious!

I am sooooooo fortunate. :-D

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hey people!

Man, it feels good a day after a run at MacRitchie Reservoir. Gem and i took a took slow run through Prunus and Petai Trail (two and maybe one quarter times = 6+ km) yesterday afternoon. A mix of trail through the jungle and then the boardwalk along the perimeter of the jungle which was uber shiok.

It was a good change from running along my usual park connectors. Smelling rich earthy fragrances, feeling sticky and sweaty in the humid jungle, feeling my shoes crunch and grip onto the pebbles and stones, being careful not to twist an ankle and hurt the knees, seeing monkeys and one little baby monkey, lizards, people feeding the fishes, going uphill and downhill, hearing the jungle sounds and feeling the cool breeze along the boardwalk portion of the route, gazing across the vast reservoir in the evening... Beautiful. =D

Much thanks to Gem for just being there with me and killing the boredom while running (he suggested strapping a DVD player to his back next time so that i can watch along the way), keeping to my pace and staying behind me, (which can be difficult for a guy, cos i run very slowly. teehee.) being our camel by carrying a waist pouch with Pocari Sweat in it, and tolerating my very unpredictable moods that varied with how irritated i was with my mp3 player headphones that kept dropping out from my ears, as well as whenever i was feeling the burn (when speed is too fast or when going upslope). *sheepish* He's a very good partner. :-D

I had a big reward after our run! He whipped out kinder bueno (LOVE!) while walking to the bus stop, and we got to eat the famous prawn noodles at Adam Road, the fruit juice special as well, and we got to try the Serene Centre Creme Brulee (at some French "restaurant". It wasn't really a restaurant, more like a kitchen. Yeah, a French Kitchen.). Rather pathetic in serving size though, this creme brulee, but in a way, i didn't care because i've been having a creme brulee craving for yonkity donks.

I can't wait for the new balance real run! Whoopee!


Who wants to go rock climbing?
And blading? (Alina has asked me for the 2nd time already!)
And night riding (bicycle) ? (i understand that parents may not like the idea of this one though)



For some reason, i dreamt that i was running through Marina Square, for the fun of it as well as looking for something... And then. As dreams are queer, another scene i had was that i was going to begin a sprint on the 100m stretch on a 400m track with a few friends. One of whom was Chen Qing, an old secondary mate who is a SUPER fast runner. If he had been talent scouted, he'd make good in a 4 x 100m sprint team for sure!

I don't understand why i keep having dreams of people whom i hardly associated with at the moment.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's so hard to fight through challenges while knowing and accepting that at this tender age you do not yet have much knowledge or experience. There are expectations to be met and you feel as if there is no choice but to pressure yourself into producing something "out of your league", even though it sounds impossible.

But if i did something less than expected, though within my capability, would people be forgiving and understanding enough to see the realities?


I think, i *think*, i know for a fact that my heart lies in the social work/counselling arena. It is about one of the very few things that have been a constant beam of light in my life and that makes my heart and mind tick. I guess... this would be my passion and where i shall head towards after all the schooling is over.

So, have i FINALLY narrowed down my choices? To clinical psych or counselling psych? Looks like it. I'll take one final look at my range of choices and start on my applications. God, please lead me.
Thanks to KL for helping us take our post race smiles!

On the way to the benches to prep...
Issy: Hey, what's your number? (takes out number tag)
Jo: (takes tag out, flaps it open...)
Issy: EH!
Jo: EH!
Jo and Issy both stare at our number tags and burst into girly giggles. HAHA! Well, we did sign up for it together, at the same time after all. But still... Cool beans!

The run was really "energising"<-- i quote Yeanni, and i am UBER PROUD OF THEM FOR FINISHING THE RACE IN GOOD TIME AND GOOD SPIRIT! WELL DONE! The run was surprisingly easy! I think the main reason for this was that i started out real nice and comfortable, for around 2.5km. Which i did not realize, primed by body well for the 2km or so dash to the finish line. Ok, i'm going to need a pacer for my next run, a person to keep me running SLOWLY! I tend to start off too fast (which is relative to my subjective meaning of "fast". guys, i am NOT a fast runner hor) and end up feeling the burn too early than i would like.

(to Gem: i think that with the length of your stride, you'll be strolling beside me man... for all our trainings and during the 7km leg of the NB real run)

I think the trainings at the good ole park connector strengthened me mentally, while the sheares bridge run (which was a little punishing, running part of the way with two guys) was a physical kick in the butt to get me ready for the 5km. Running that 2 km park connector length is SO BORING, and as Issy puts it "it seems never ending". So when you get to run throughout town with the changing and not-too-familiar scenery, you get to really see the distance you've covered and how far you've actually ran.

Muah hahhaa, i am slowly psychoing the ntu cell girls into going for runs with me! *rubs palms with glee*

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Shape Run's happening tomorrow morning....! Planning to reach the esplanade between 6:55 to 7am. This year, i'm going to have 2 friends with me so i won't be as lonely as i was last year! I remember thinking to myself how sadly-amusing it was to walk through citylink alone, while all the other girls around were waiting for friends, or were walking in groups or at least pairs.

Hopefully i'll have some pictures from the event. Yowza!

Mm, got to get ready my tag number and race attire.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The little toddler took one step too far, not negotiating the depth of the next step on the cement stairs. He toppled, head over heels over his little feet onto the ground, pampers and all, head just slightly grazing the next step after the one he walked off.

I advanced forward with a stricken look on my face, thinking in a frenzy: AH! AH! AH! Pick him off the ground!

But before i could even touch him, a lady who just finished her exercise with her husband at the nearby canal rushed forward to lift the child back unto his feet. I didn't stop to gawk so i went on my way, but not without observing for a moment and listening in wonder and awe...

The lady had propped the little boy back onto his wobby legs and with a firm voice full of strength, assurance, safety and loving authority, she placed her right palm against his tiny chest, looked at him straight in the eye and said, "You're ok. You are fine. You. Are. Ok.". And i saw his look of confusion, shock and pain slowly ease away from his face, and sure enough, he didn't burst out wailing.

The boy wasn't even her son but you could sense that there was such a respect for other people's young and a "dutiful" love for serving someone else. You've just got to love maternal instincts. Wow.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

How Could You?

How Could You? by Jim Willis

A man in Grand Rapids, Michigan took out a full page ad in the paper to present the following essay to the people of our community. It really touched my heart and i hope it will touch yours too.

"When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.

Whenever I was"bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?"-but then you'd relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub.My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams,and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.

We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person"- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch-because your touch was now so infrequent-and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her."They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home.They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you- that you had changed your mind-that this was all a bad dream ... or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room.She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her.The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek.

I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself-a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.

And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

By Jim Willis 2001

A note from the author:If "How Could You?" brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in American and Canadian animal shelters.

Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice.

Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.

Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage adoption.


Needless to say... i ran over to Jed, cried and told him i wouldn't ever do that to him. :-S