The Wedding Banquet

Acorn’s wedding dinner was tonite. We all had a gay (happy) time. During the dinner tonight, there was a video recap of some of the torture Acorn’s “brotherhood” was put through at the bride’s home yesterday, in order to get the bride. I was an eye-witness to the torture actually. A brief rehash of what transpired…

I went over to his wife-to-be’s (let’s call her Mrs Acorn till i can think of something more appropriate) house in the morning about 8:50am. Some of the other gals from my cellgrp were there too. We were supposed to be part of the jie mei contingent but we promised e guys that we wouldn’t tekan them ‘cos Mrs A had this bunch of “evil sisters” (vicious sisters might be more apt!) from ACJC who had meticulously thought of ways to inflict extreme pain on the guys. Let me give u some examples of e persecution the brotherhood went through.

Gate tekan

  • Acorn & 3 “brothers” were made to wear disposable underwear outside their suit… and jog around the neighbourhood park opposite Aura’s house. Was told later that the disposable underwear even had drawings of e male genitalia…
  • Acorn & at least 4 other bros had a section of their legs waxed…
    Made to drink vinegar (suan1), some sweet stuff (tian2), blended bitter gourd (ku3), eat chilli (la4).
  • Usual bargaining of $

Staircase tekan

  • More bargaining of bride price.
  • Made to do song (I Believe in Miracles) & dance item outside Mrs A’s room
  • Acorn was asked to compose a poem about random items taken from Aura’s room – a chair, a hairdryer, a plastic drumstick, an abacus, and a Pri. 6 Maths text bk. Acorn did well to his credit. His poem went something like that:

When you sit on your chair
And blow dry your hair
It gets me all excited
And makes my heart beat
Like when i do my Math syllabus
With the help of the abacus
It makes me want to munch on chicken wing
And a song to sing.

Something like that lah… heh. Then he gave a final angbao & was allowed to see his bride. Hehehe. Looking at the works of e evil sisters, i think our cellgroup gals gave NParker an easy time last year man…

Some of Acorn’s childhood buddies also gave a witty songs presentation about Acorn’s growing up years. The singing was excellent (as usual).

After the dinner, we were told that the evil sisters were going to ambush the couple in their bridal suite. Oh boy… i sure hope they didn’t tekan them too badly tonight…

Familial Relations

Been wanting to write this down for some time but never got down to it. Although i’m an only child, i’ve somehow “adopted” several “family members” over the years. Let’s sort it out.
  1. 1992 – Got my first Kor. Still my fave Kor & probably the one i really treat as me brudder.
  2. 1995 – Got a brother in Acorn..but mostly in jest.
  3. 1996 – I became the “Top Spy” for a Mr. Nice Guy from TPJC.
  4. 1996 – Got 2 Kors – Adam & Scorpio. Adam’s a friend of Socks that i got to know over MIRC. Scorpio is a really really sweet senior from the TJC table-tennis team. Haven’t heard from Scorpio in a long time. 🙁
  5. 1997 – Got a “qing2 fu1” (don’t know how to write that in Chinese). Heh… started from this silly mime that we acted in during JC.
  6. 1997 – Got a Didi. My junior in Astronomy Club. Hope your FYP will be accomplished soon ya? 😀
  7. 1999 – Got a Partner in “suan” at Singnet.
  8. 2004 – *Pengz* Suddenly inherited 3 sons, Galapogos, Soopy & Gouki! And a “lao gong” whom i promptly divorced!
  9. 2005 – Got a “Sayang”! 😛

Okie… now that u all know one another’s existence, in case i kena any “three long two short”, please erm, gather everyone hor.

Graduation!

Just wanna extend my warmest (the weather today was truly a display of that!) congratulations to Acorn who got married today!!

Acorn is an old friend of mine – since secondary school. I remember many years back… i think it was in 1996… Acorn, Socks & i formed this “club” called the Joyless Luckless Club (JLC). The name, JLC, was derived from the Joan Chen movie, The Joy Luck Club. But ‘cos we were all out of love then, we changed the name to the Joyless Luckless Club. Going back to see the old ancient website that i had, and the page i had on JLC, it’s quite amusing really. It’s like one of those silly things u do when u’re young, that makes growing up fun and.. funny. The only reason why i’ve let my old embarrassing site live on is to commemorate sentimentalism. Anyway, like i said in church today – congrats on graduating from the JLC! I don’t think the last member remembers much about the past… heh… so i proudly remain the sole office bearer!

Here’s wishing you both a loving marriage. May God bless you richly.

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Oops!

Just went to check out my old JLC page and realised that the JLC was formed in Dec 1995. And that JLC also stands for Just Lonely around Christmas.
Another thing i spotted was a missing word in the poetic attempt on my page! Haha… the last line should be broken heart but never mind. I’m too lazy to go edit it & download an FTP to upload the page again. Heh.

Sky Blues

On my way to work today, it suddenly occurred to me that the person i was hoping to receive a birthday greeting from didn’t wish me. No sms, no email, nothing. Guess it was just a matter of time before he forgot… from cards to phone calls, to sms, to naught. Good thing was that i didn’t wait for 24 hours this year to see if he would send me an sms. Before my birthday came, i was “wishin’ & hopin'” but when my birthday did swing around, it slipped my mind completely. Ah… i see blue skies ahead.

ICQ vs MSN

Ah… finally done with personalising my blog. Spent the last 3 hrs on it… tedious indeed.The friendster powered blog didn’t really give many options to personalise the page so i decided to shift my blog over here.

A good old trusted friend just suggested this topic to blog abt – ICQ vs MSN.

While i still use both ICQ & MSN, i noticed recently that some of my friends have moved over to use MSN exclusively. (Especially people born in the 80s or later.) Personally, i don’t like the format of MSN – the “IRC chat layout”. The most irritating attribute about that is that if the person you’re talking to is overly-enthusiastic, and keeps typing, there is NO way you can read ‘cos everytime the person hits , the screen jumps to the latest entry and you just can’t catch up on what was typed earlier. This forces one to pay full attention to the MSN chat and isn’t very conducive for multi-tasking. Hence i really really really love ICQ for the one message at a time format.

On the other hand, the emoticons of ICQ are jurassic. I love the emoticons that MSN offers, especially how u can personalise the emoticons. Totally cool. But when it comes to cute, i think nothing beats Yahoo messenger in terms of cute emoticons.

But then again, the biggest problem with MSN gotta be that it is like the only instant messenger that doesn’t allow one to leave an offline message! OK… i get the part that it’s supposed to be “instant” but hey, being able to leave offline messages is an important feature right? Say i’m asleep or away from my computer when someone sends me an MSN mesage… and before i can reply, the person logs off. Then wat do i do?

Bottomline is, i have my gripes with both ICQ & MSN. If only we could combine the best of both! Hmm… what do you think?

Pet Peeves

If there is one thing I can’t stand, that’s guys getting too touchy with me. OK, I admit I’m pretty non-tactile. But heck right? I buay song means i buay song.

When I was studying in NTU, i used to have this problem with a certain schoolmate of mine, Boon Tong Kee (BTK). We got along pretty well because of similar interests in the arts but what I really couldn’t stand about him was that he was really touchy when we went out. Call me a prude but I dont like it when guys put their arms around my shoulder or attempt to hold me in any way. Am i your arm rest? Why the heck do you need to put your arm around me while we’re walking? It just totally puts me off! Gosh! Even if a guy just rests his arm around the back of my chair, I feel like my space is being invaded. Like back off creep! Budge into my space again and I’m gonna charge rent!

Frankly, since young, I’ve always felt that the action of putting an arm around a chair is akin to laying stake on one’s possession. Hence I always feel that this action is rather demeaning. Only exception being if you were to put your arm around your gf/bf’s chair. That, i don’t care ‘cos it can be construed as a sign of affection.

Of course over time, I realised that a lot of guys tend to rest their arm on the back of chairs out of habit. I’m sure there was no intention to demean the other party and in such situations, i can be quite forgiving. Quite a contrast from when i was younger and would ask them to remove their arm. Actually if u think about it, it’s quite inconsiderate ‘cos if you rest your arm on the back of someone else’s chair, then how’s that person gonna lean back?! So learn this lesson guys. Hands off!

This brings me to another pet peeve. Recently, i met up with this acquaintance , Mr. Bombastic. Now… i was once crowned the Queen of Egos… and it was said that no one’s ego could be bigger than mine. I think it’s time i retired. When i met up with Mr. Bombastic, 90% of his conversation was about how good looking he was, how his career was aided by his looks, and how other guys are often jealous of his ways with the ladies. I nearly retched in public. Granted, this chap was once a good looker – keyword here being “was”. So i hinted to him kindly that no point mentioning past glories right? But Mr. Bombastic’s ego provided an impenetrable shield which easily deflected my hints.

Huge ego aside, what irritated me most was that while asking me for the time, he actually held my fingers and looked at my watch. Yo buddy, if u can’t see my watch, i can turn my hand. In case u didn’t know, the arm socket allows for 360deg movement. (Besides, people usually grab the wrist when they want to see the time, not the hand! Wrong body part sonny!) Argh! I was extremely put off by this half smirk he had on his face. Did he think he was being charming? *Vomits*. I made a mental note never to meet this person one on one again.

Then there’s the other friend, Bear that i met up with recently to catch up. We went for a movie together and what really irked me as that he kept leaning over to my seat. Wah lau! (Another irreplaceable Singlish term). What’s the deal man? Keep to your side right? In order to keep things cordial, i leaned to the other side of my seat throughout the entire movie. I mean, we may be rather good friends… but that doesn’t mean i’m comfortable with being all cosy.

After a while, i think Bear got the hint and kept mostly to his own seat. But whenever i shifted nearer to comment on the movie, he would take the opportunity to lean on me again! ARGH! In the end, i decided to just shut up and stay at the extreme half of my seat.

Then there’s another thing that i just don’t get. Some guys like to put their hand on a gal’s lower back when crossing the road. Now this bugs me too ‘cos i can cross the bloody road myself! Sometimes i try to justify that it’s a “gentlemanly” action. But for the majority of the guys who have done this, somehow, i just didn’t feel comfortable. I think the reason for that is ‘cos the situation didn’t call for it. Had it been a formal occassion and the guy wanted to guide the gal into a room (for e.g.) and he puts his arm on her lower back to guide her through a crowd or something, that i can understand. But when a guy does that unnecessarily, i just hate it. It makes me squirm and whenever i sense that a guy’s gonna do that, i usually just walk really fast so that he wouldn’t have the opportunity to.

Maybe u’re thinking now if i have so many pet peeves, why don’t i just tell the guy that i’m uncomfortable? Problem is, i’m a “straight to the point” kind of person so i usually can’t find a nice way of phrasing what i want to say and of ‘cos i’m sure some guys harbour no ill intent and hence i don’t with to cause any embarrassment either.

That said, i’ve come to realised that there are a few guys that i know i wouldn’t be put off, if they did the above. The reason is that i know them well enough to trust that they aren’t taking advantage of the situation to get cosy with a gal. A very good e.g. would be Iceman. Whenever we hang out, i’m perfectly comfortable leaning against him (and vice versa) and i don’t feel uncomfortable if he tickles me or anything. Another person i know i’m really comfortable with is my Kor. Heh… maybe that’s why he’s the only person i’ve asked to pose as my bf before… haha.

Anyway, the above doesn’t just apply to guys… not that any girls have tried to put their arms on my shoulders or invade my seat in the cinema. Just that i suddenly recalled that another acquaintance, Hazeline, has a habit of standing real close when she wants to talk about something confidential. I always feel that if you want to be hush hush about something, then go somewhere private and talk lah! Why must stand so close? Makes me feel like my personal space is being invaded when she wants to complain to me about certain things.

Ok… i think that’s enough griping for one night. In case anyone starts thinking i’m a paranoid prude, i just want to say that if u stand too close and u see me quietly backing off… then don’t come closer!!!

Shiok!

Saw this article in today’s Today… I quite liked it. I can identify with the part about “grammatizing” Singlish… hehe. I totally totally agree that speaking Singlish is no way as jarring (if at all) as speaking broken English. As azure & I discovered a long time ago – using Singlish is differentiating from speaking broken English! We concur!

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Save our Shiok!

Thursday • May 26, 2005

Denyse Tessensohn

During this time of heightened awareness of the importance of being able to speak good standard English when required, we need to consider something that might officially border on sacrilege: The active preservation of one aspect of Singapore Colloquial English commonly spoken of as “Singlish”.

These are the words and phrases taken from local languages like Malay, Tamil and dialects or originally coined — such as ta pau, half-past-six, obiang and Alamak!

As Singaporeans of all ethnic derivations can and do use them with each other, they obviously bond. And these days, this gift of cohesiveness is a psychologically precious weapon.

When I was doing research on this subject early last year, I wrote to Sharon Ismail, spokesperson for the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM). She replied that it is “not unexpected” as part of natural evolution that our brand of spoken English has absorbed words from other language vocabularies.

She continued: “SGEM does not have a stand against this, only that it hopes Singaporeans are aware of the importance of being able to speak grammatically when the occasion calls for it, and are sufficiently adept at it when they need to be.”

Singaporeans should also remember to translate for foreign friends listening in. But why do we want to preserve these terms now? Because my research has shown that we are losing those very words and phrases as the younger generation becomes less familiar with them.

In part, this is due to the extensive use of English and Mandarin. Teenagers have a lower recognition rate for such terms as bungkus, angkat and gasak buta. While gabra appears in some dictionaries that are trying to cater to this region, it too has a diminished recognition.

Teenagers have a limited understanding of what wayang means, when they know it at all. Very few know what a dhoby was, and even Hokkien teenagers do not know the term luan hoot.

On the other hand, even though academic publications describe gostan and half-past-six as archaic, these terms are still familiar and in use. And everyone knows Alamak!, a direct translation from Kristang, the Portuguese creole of the Eurasians, meaning “Mother of God”.

How more intimate with another culture can you get, when you have examples of blending, say, Hokkien and Malay, to get buay tahan? Or when a children’s rhyme combines Malay and Cantonese, as in “Sar chan kup som-mong, yau foo m’cheok, cheok salong” (Arrogant and proud, you have pants and are still wearing a sarong).

The question is whether these words and phrases — which do not necessarily contain morally uplifting meanings — should be proactively preserved and promoted with the younger generation. I would argue, our history is reflected in these multi-cultural terms.

The concept of “shared subjective knowledge”, developed by American Professor Brutt-Griffler, is about the uniting of a community in many ways, one of them through linguistic identity. We can all feel like “insiders” when we talk to each other about certain Singaporean matters (the Five Cs, National Day Parade tickets, MRT stations), even on first meeting. The lexicon of colloquial English, too, is part of this binding identity.

Remember Sars? Within a day of the start of intense media coverage of the outbreak in March 2003, variations of the following SMS were sent by email: “Doctors advise you to stay home if you have any contact with Sars. But also:

Don’t drink SARsi, don’t wear SARi, don’t wear SARong, don’t SARkar people and don’t SARbo people.”

This simpatico can also be extended to our neighbours up north, with whom we have shared the same language terms for centuries. When such terms are used by a fellow Singaporean or a Malaysian, a warm feeling of familiarity ensues.

This is fast eroding because our young people are not hearing those terms and will not be using them. A rich cultural heritage will be lost if steps are not taken now. We cannot afford to be chin chye about this.

As for whether such imported words and phrases will erode levels of standard English, of all the aspects of our colloquial English that the language doctors are trying to deal with, this is the easiest to counter — you simply teach a standard English replacement term, like “eat” in place of “chiak”. These familiar terms do not arouse the same loathing that bad grammar or incorrect pronunciation tend to. No doubt, some terms will cause controversy.

Take for example, “buy home”, a short form of “to buy something and to take it home with you” (a phrase used by Professor Tommy Koh to Dick Lee on a televised interview). How homely the phrase is, well understood and often used — and well deserving of preservation.

Plus, there is a certain sophistication that users of good standard Singapore English display, when weaving in such imported words and phrases in perfect grammatical order — in, for example: “If it is too susah for you, please don’t pai seh about it. We have already makaned enough. You have belanjaed us so generously.”

Frankly, how could we possibly substitute “delicious” for Shiok! And what single word could ever replace the loss of Alamak! ?

The writer is an English teacher and the author of 1,000 Most Mispronounced English Words.

LEXICON

• Alamak!: (Malay) Expression of surprise, annoyance or incredulity

• Angkat: (Malay) To curry favour

• Belanja: (Malay) Give a treat; past tense — belanjaed

• Buay tahan: (Hokkien/Malay) Cannot be endured

• Bungkus: (Malay) Take away; wrap up; bundle

• Buy home: (Original Singapore coinage) Takeaway

• Chiak: (Hokkien) Eat heartily

• Chin chye: (Hokkien) Slipshod; easy-going

• Gasak buta: (Malay) Fighting or hitting out blindly

• Half-past-six: (Original Singapore coinage) Slipshod

• Luan hoot: (Hokkien) To hit out at random, rather like gasak buta

• Makan: (Malay) Eat; past tense — makaned

• Obiang: (Original Singaporean coinage) Excruciatingly tasteless

• Pai seh: (Hokkien) Shy

• Sarsi: A brand of root beer

• Sar kar: (Hokkien) Curry favour

• Sar bo: (Original Singaporean coinage) Short form for sabotage

• Shiok!: (Malay) Inexpressibly delicious or enjoyable

• Susah: (Malay) Difficult

• Ta pau: (Cantonese) Takeaway

• Wayang: (Malay) Drama; to put on an emotional display

(All copyrights belong to Today)

Africanscamo

I’ve been seeing newspaper articles on these African scammers for years now – those that send u an email telling u that they want to work with you to get some money out of the country sort.

Finally after a long wait, i got my own personal african scam email! Woohoo! Got it in the mail yesterday. Some bank in Africa had some account holder who died in some plane crash some years ago and as no next of kin came forward to stake claim on his humongous bank account, I was offered the opportunity to be African & to lay a claim on it.

Yippee boy! But first, i really need to get a serious sunburn. I mean… a Chinese Singaporean next of kin is gonna be 1 difficult stunt to pull off. Then I’ll have to reveal my bank account no. which I’m highly embarrassed to do so because my late African relative is going to be deeply ashamed that his next of kin is so freaking broke.

Hence by the looks of it, I’m not gonna make the cut as the next of kin. Anyone else keen on having a go at it, please contact :

Mr. Jonathan Daniels
Johannesburg – South Africa.
Tel: +27 84 4499437
Fax: +27 84 3391045
jondaniels1@gmail.com

Go ahead folks… spam him!! 😛

The Story of Square Pegs

Just finished watching the last episode of Square Pegs (by TVB productions). It’s a very short serial – only 20 episodes, but it’s one of the most touching stories I’ve ever seen.

Official Website : http://tvcity.tvb.com/drama/square_pegs/story/index.html

Released : 2003

Main Cast :

Roger Kwok – Li Jizhong / Ding A-Wang

Jessica Hester Hsuen – Caifeng

Leila Tong – Caidie

Raymond Tso Weng Nin – Bao Jizhong

Winnie Yeung – Yang Peijun

Yuen Wah – Master Bao

Set in Wulong town, the story is basically about this guy called A-Wang. He’s a dimwit and the only son of the owners (the Ding family) of a biscuit shop called Xiao4 Kou3 Su1 (Smiling Biscuits). He went missing when he was about 7 years old. He was very sick then and his father brought him to the Capital to seek treatment & lost him there. When his mother heard the news of his disappearance, she lost her mind.

Many years later, this dimwit A-Wang appears at their door and calls out for his mom before passing out. The owners of Xiao Kou Su then took him in and the wife insisted that it’s her son that has returned after many years.

As the story unfolds, it turns out that the real A-Wang passed away in the Capital and as the boss of Xiao Kou Su didn’t dare to break the news to his wife, he lied to her that their son went missing. The A-Wang that turned up at their doorstep is actually the son of this rich man, Old Master Bao.

Years ago, Old Master Bao’s nephew, Dafu, framed Master Bao’s wife of having an affair with the gardener and Master Bao chased her out of the family. She was then pregnant with their son, Jizhong. After she was driven away from the family, Master Bao married a 2nd wife but they had no kids. After the 2nd wife’s death, Master Bao sent Dafu to look for his 1st wife & son. This Dafu then took the opportunity to pass off an imposter Jizhong as the real son. (This imposter was an orphan who had no knowledge of the scheme.)

To take care of the dimwit A-Wang, his parents got him a wife, Caifeng. Caifeng was forced by her stepmom to marry A-Wang and tried ways and means to get out of the marriage at first. A-Wang, however, loves her dearly and always does everything he can to make her happy. By a twist of fate, Caifeng’s sister, Caidie marries the imposter Jizong.

One day, a young lady Peijun, turns up at the village looking for her fiance who went missing when he was supposed to go to the Capital to study. She recognizes A-Wang to be her fiance and that his real name is Jizong!

Peijun infiltrates into the Ding family and becomes Jizong’s tutor. She tries ways & means to help Jizong recall his past. Caifeng finds out about this and decides to investigage Peijun’s background. When Caifeng realised that A-Wang was Peijun’s fiance, she agrees to help Peijun solve the conspiracy that led to Master Bao’s 1st wife being murdered, and his real son being hit on the head, reducing him to a retard.

Initially, Caifeng had no feelings for A-Wang and only treated him as a kid she had to babysit. But A-Wang’s unconditional love for his wife eventually moves her and she falls for him too…

At the end, the ultimate baddie, Dafu is arrested and A-Wang regains his memory, as well as his love for Peijun. On the other hand, he also loves Caifeng very deeply.

As Caifeng promised Peijun earlier that she will “return” A-Wang to Peijun once he regains his memory, Caifeng chooses to leave Wulong town & goes to Japan to study the art of brewing tea.

Peijun realises that A-Wang still loves Caifeng, and she decides to back out too, and goes to London to study English literature.

A-Wang also decides to leave as he does not want to make a choice between the two ladies. A-Wang moves to HK to start up his lao po bing (Wife Biscuit) business there.

Three years later, all 3 return to Wulong town for a visit and bump into one other. It was the happiest ending possible in the sense that no one was forced to make a sacrifice… and I guess u could say that they all loved each other truly ‘cos they believed that as long as the one u love is happy, u don’t need to be with him/her.

And that’s how the story ends.

While watching the show, I was greatly moved by the little things A-Wang did for Caifeng. The way he loved her unreservedly made me wonder if it’s possible to gain another person’s love if you gave your all. (Freak! He even invented the wife biscuit ‘cos of her!) But when the ending came, I was sadly reminded that if you love a person, that person doesn’t need to be with you. As long as he/she is happy, u would be too. I also truly understood how Caifeng & Peijun must have felt when they saw each other – the sense of awkwardness ‘cos u like the same guy, but yet u’re also concerned about the other person’s well-being and happiness ‘cos u treasure the friendship. My heart just went out to the 2 gals!

So maybe the choice the 3 leads made at the end was right… to move away so that the feelings will always remain the same. After all, it’s the love that remains that matters right?

Star Wars Episode III

Some observations after watching Starwars Epi III last night (movie ticket was courtesy of Astronaut. Thanks Astro!)

1) Mace Windu would not have been murdered.

Did you see the number of spaceships that were flying to & fro outside the window when Mace fell off the building? Gosh! If it was Singapore, every driver would have stopped and gawked, ‘cos they want 4D numbers. You can be sure his assailant would never go scot-free thanks to the number of witnesses.

2) It pays to be short

I think I may have to revise my criterion about being short too. Yoda was really cool in the movie. Know the reason why he was “indestructible”? That’s ‘cos he’s short! His lack of height made him an extremely difficult target to shoot. (Maybe we should have a maximum height limit for our Cabinet ministers in future…security reasons.)

3) Xiang Long Shi Ba Zhang

No – I’m not referring to some chap named Xiang Long picking up a dumpling. I’m referring to the Chinese kungfu skill (as immortalised in Jin Yong’s novel, Tian Long Ba Bu). The Force must be of oriental origin… u saw how the Jedis, as well as the Lords of the Dark Side use their internal strength & blasted each other?

4) George Lucas’ favourite haunt in Singapore

If George Lucas ever came to Singapore, I sure know where to take him shopping – Mustafa Shopping Centre… wahahahahah.

OK. That’s enough nonsense for today. I need to go nurse my poor big toe nail… stupid rabbit (Tangyuan) of mine… bit my toe nail & scratched my 1 day old pedicure… Grrr…. *angry*….

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Fans of Star Wars, check out http://www.theforce.net/episode1/hidden/hidden_stuff_page_11.asp – I like the “cameos”… especially the one by E.T. 😉