Friday, October 21, 2005

foot in my mouth

some stranger i met in my part time job during the end-of-term deadlines season was wearing an NUS windbreaker. he took on the cushier role of the supervisor which pays 7 bucks per hour, spends office hours in office air-con while i earn unstable income by travelling in hail rain or scorching heat to interview potentially hostile HDB residents .

me: did you just graduate? or you just have lots of time to be able to take up this job?
(i am always amazed by people who do more than giving tuition during term time)

him: just graduated. waiting to go NIE.

normal polite ignorant person would ask: oh. so when does NIE start term?

me: seems like everyone's going NIE.

him: arts what. what to do?

did i mean anything less than polite and just a wee bit insulting with my oh-so-innocent remark? (it wasn't made with the intention to insult the guy, as my conscience testifies)

we never follow our own advice

eh this has nothing to do with the module. i just have to put this up.

a typical conversation on msn

friend:
i mean wats with the nick[name] lah
me (some nickname implying that i'm not gonna get no sleep tonight):
it means i'm not gonna finish the essay i set out to finish today
me:
sheesh man
me (again):
there's nothing like last minute.
me:
i'm probs not gonna finish today
me(...):
can't even bear to start thinking a word of it
friend:
it's due tmr meh? i tot nxt wk?
me:
it is next week
me (i'm getting bored of me):
but there's always good in finishing earlier
me:
just that obviously, i have trouble putting this to practice

and that, ladies and gentlemen, sums up my whole academic life.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

dirty urbanite

in the Urban section of our national newspaper today:

The "Neg" is supposed to be this ambiguous statement, backhanded insult/compliment whatyoucallit used to pick up "a beautiful woman, with the intent of demostrating.. a lack of interest in her". e.g. "Those are nice nails; are they real?" Local authorities of the dating game say don't do it, guys, because "[m]ost Singaporean women are pretty confident of themselves and may be put off"

while i dunno if that example of the "neg" in the paper is potent enough as an insult, i would just like to tell men to please take note of the word "Most" in "Most Singaporean women." it means that there are some other women who are confident in what i think is a sexier way who can appreciate the harmless fun, wit and innuendo behind such pick-up tactics and can play off the men. but men who are planning to try this, please also come up with actually witty lines and note your delivery. you could actually sound bad enough for the lady to "consider it rude." and bring along your confidence and wit. anyone, in any case, wants to come off suave in the face of rejection, bitchified of otherwise. so in one fell swoop, dating authorities betray zilch confidence in Singaporean men and Singaporean women to be of a singular species. and pray define beautiful women.

Monday, October 10, 2005

past the skin and into the gall

Coetzee kills. oh he so kills. he's brilliant, i get that. somewhere in foe you get the unreliable narrative and maybe that lil' something about the body but man. the text is... boring.

i had a good rant in my head while in the shower. now it's gonna come out in pieces. always that time lag, always.

or maybe it's not going to come out at all. susan barton, susan breton. she's cold, she's dead -paraphasing: let him do what he wants with her/did his business with her - oh it was just last night i read that part it was boring enough to allow me to remember how i managed to muster a little bit of disgust at her martyr-like passivity. the rest of me was deadened by her presumptive boringness, if there's such an expression.

let's get a little into the body politic. the head is the monarch, correct? by head i would think it's the brain they are referring to - rational and all that. maybe even the eyes, all seeing. well now, in the style of hk period dramas, my all seeing eyes go into revolt against the king, sitting there only receiving messages. my eyes, which are close to the king (always someone close to rebel, always) starts to glaze over somewhere about page 70 this morning (page 40+ last night). the eyelids start to feel heavy. the brain says must go on, finish the book because after 2 Coetzees for lit the mind should recognise the punishing brilliance of such an author. the stomach constantly in an uncomfortable position ('cause it's cramped 'cause the back was bent) protests but i can't hear it anyway 'cause i think it should be accorded the status of a commoner (realise we never listen to our stomachs when it says that it's full - but that's really another matter). rather, i the flipped onto my stomach to stay the eyes but -

the eyes say (something i would happily type out but there's a little inconvenience known as propriety) and clamp shut.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

bear with me

aka: over reading/over-long sentences/ weird phrasing

Happy Children's Day.

Almost everyday - increasingly everyday especially now that i'm about to commence the life of less excuses and the practical in about a year's time - i'm reminded in a variety of ways how in all likelihood i'm going to have to pay for being a mediocre student in my chosen area of interest.

"less excuses"? if anything adults are the ones who come up with more excuses for their existence. Red Peter says that men (adults)* are betrayed by the word "freedom". i have yet to realised exactly what it (the sublimity he spoke of) is that he meant, but for now i take it that "freedom" betrays us because we are hedged in by choices which are limited and which we know of only and in a capitalist realistic society, one is bound to lose more than the other when chooses to take the middle of the road.

"clothes traffic" is part of the conspiracy surrounding the word "freedom''. almost like the suffocating choices, they restrict our movements - in all senses the word "movement" can be used. despite Red Peter, i take it to also mean that literally, unlike apes, clothes restrict our movements and decisions, freedom of thought, thoughts preoccupied by the almost laughable mundaneity (think the tight corsets to the fashion slaves)**. clothes are also choices A and B, C does not exist except for its purpose of being a non-choice: we've only ever known A and B, because they are the only ones presented to us.

almost everyday, i'm made to scoff at my chosen path which is dangerously littered with strewn roses and in defence, i scoff the concrete road. a vicious cycle, because with each contemptuous glance cast towards the other side, my glasses get increasingly tinted. i risk going blind.

a close friend studying law started a conversation one day about selling out, what it means and if meanings change with the individual. then with ever so slight a hint of shrill panic in her voice, she went, "then haven't i been selling out?" if we were to take our puristic definition from that day, then yeah she's sold out and i have not.

(something's still not there.)

in Quidam, the two most pathetic acts dressed their performers in skin-coloured tights. a Kafka-esque statement is made. or being subverted. sheesh. Vis Versa is a 2-persons act, and Cirque du Soleil's website says only of the "perfect harmony... natural beauty of the human body." i see struggles. how impossible to balance the woman by her shoulders on your shoulders. how impossible to support the man completely lifted off the ground! their 'lack' of clothes shows us the pulled and tensed muscles which otherwise would be hidden/distracted by coloured clothes. clothes was hindrance to Kafka, here the lack of exposes the metaphorical tensions. in Aerial Contortion in silk, the blood red fabrics/cloths artistically wrapped and tangled with the performer's body. wrapped and tangled and entwined and trapped.

*inevitable: adults make the world and social decisions. and they are the ones with the "hang-ups."
**Red Peter: "I do not mean the spacious feeling of freedom on all sides" nor "self-controlled movement."
in case i'm not clear, since i tend to be... not clear, somewhere in all those lines i meant that clothes are also symbols of the civilised world, with all the... hang-ups.

http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/CirqueDuSoleil/en/showstickets/quidam/intro/intro.htm - it's good. the show i mean. it's beautiful circus. on til 15th Oct, NUS students get 20% (i think) discount at the box office. ##^%$%$#@! they couldn't have done this any later.