the ability to empathise

dear friends,

did you all read the article about my poor korean compatriots being put on a diet?  i feel their pain man, i feel their pain.

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Title: Tubby SKorea zoo animals put on diet

27 Aug 2007 1628 hrs (GMT + 8hrs)

SEOUL – After almost a decade of the good life, tubby animals in a South Korean zoo are to go on a diet.

Seoul Grand Park zoo, which had been feeding its charges according to 1998 guidelines, has decided to go back closer to nature, the JoongAng Daily reported Monday.

“Feeding the animals according to the 1998 guidelines made the animals overweight,” Park Seon-Deok, a member of the animal management team, was quoted as saying.

The zoo will decrease the amount of processed food, to which the animals have become accustomed, and increase the amount of natural materials.

“Horses, for example, like processed food better than grass, which is what they would be eating in the wild,” Park said.

The zoo is also cutting portion sizes and instituting exercise programmes.

In addition to healthier animals, it hopes to cut its annual 1.8 billion won (1.9 million dollar) feeding bill. – AFP/ra

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my unfriendly chauffeur cum chef have recently decided to put my daddy, mommy and me on a diet.  this was after a complaint from my bitchy maid, who gossiped about my daddy being overweight.  and of ‘cos, as part of her incessant complaining, she also bitchecd about my mom being obese after giving birth, and me putting on weight!

i don’t know what’s her problem.  what’s wrong with a little cute bunny being a little beefier and hunkier huh?  is she jealous that she can’t get a guy like me?  and not only does my maid gossip about our weight… she also says really mean things to me like, “oooh, you’re so fat… cook u then u know”  or “fatty bom bom, cat come and eat you then you know ah”.  what sort of human in the right mind would say that to me huh?  ME, a globally loved, adored, and worshipped bunny.

i’m offended by all the names she calls me.  i hate it even more when she pinches my tummy.  don’t know how my daddy can take it.  show you some photos.  you tell me whether i’m fat or not (obviously NOT!)

 

 

this is my daddy.  he has a slight belly.. but hey, what’s a few love handles?

 

 

 

 

 

i think my daddy looks perfectly cute and admirable.

 

 

 

 

 

a pic of me.  beefy, hunky, macho, are words you can use to praise me. 

 

 

 

offended,

Pinky

Freaking Broke

Stupid new kid on the block.  Got cornered by Big Mac to give a dinner treat.  She paid for a $300+ dinner… and so after dinner, Big Mac asked me for a treat too.   Said it was way overdue.  Well, not that i mean to be stingy… but i AM very broke at the end of every month, with my bank account dwindling to about $100-200 the few days before the next pay comes in.

Sometimes i wonder where all my money goes – i hardly buy designer wear, i seldom buy jewellery… but i do indulge in good food & drink.  The bulk of my expenses would probably go into paying for my car.  The instalment + insurance costs me about $605 a month.  Petrol costs another $200, and parking probably about $150?  Then of course there’s the instalment payment for my invisalign… another $300 every 1.5 months?  Plus money i give my parents, toiletries, etc… that takes up practically all my pay.  Sigh.  And the $200 or so i save every month… i always buy new gadgets like handphones, digicam, laptop, etc.  Sigh.

Kind of upset ‘cos i’m really tight this month…   That’s it.  Not going to get ripped off by Big Mac.  Not my problem if Kid’s Meal is stupid and got conned into giving a $300+ treat.  She is stupid what.  I can’t help it if she’s naive, gullible, and incessantly foolish. 

Do you know your personal particulars?

My company’s HR sent a circular today saying that they needed all staff to verify their personal particulars on file with the company. A form was then sent to each of us to check our personal details, emergency contact no., and there was a new section that asked for information on our immediate family members.

The strange thing was, instead of asking for name & contact nos. of our immediate family members, the form asked for the NRIC & Birthdate. I felt uncomfortable. I mean… aren’t details like NRIC & Birthdate kind of personal?? This was like an intrusion of privacy!

Anyway, there was a slight hooha as some of my colleagues as everyone started talking about the form…

Dewy: Oh shit. I don’t know my mom’s birthdate!

Me: Wah! U unfilial kid! How can you not know your mom’s birthdate!

Booze Queen: I don’t know my father’s full name!

Me: WHAT?

*Laughter ensues*.

Me: Sorry Dewy. I take that back.

*Turns to Booze Queen*

Me: YOU UNFILIAL KID!

My Own Mother…

I want to complain abt my mother. She “sabo-ed” me this morning.

While waiting for the train, she asked me if there were still white spots on the back of her black blouse.

So i looked and replied, “yes”. She then started like brushing the white specks away… but she obviously couldn’t see the back of her blouse. So i helped her.

After that, i asked her what those white specks were. She said…

“I think it’s bird shit.”

Grr…

Shades of Truth

I’ve been avidly following the TVB drama “Shades of Truth” (水浒无间道) on Channel U the past 2 weeks.  (Thank God for DVD players that can record onto DVD-RWs!  Woohoo!).  It’s an excellent show.  The premise is that Wu Song (played by Julian Cheung) and Lin Chong (Wong Hei) have reincarnated into this lifetime and Wu Song is now an undercover cop and Lin Chong is a senior inspector with the OCTB.  Wu Song regains his memory of the past life first.. and there’s a whole series of comical incidents as he tries to get Lin Chong to recall the past.

Lin Chong eventually does and (i haven’t watched finish the show yet) they eventually work together to bust a criminal organisation (i think).  Read a couple of reviews online and one of them mentioned that it’s a happy ending.  Yay!  I like shows with happy endings… not like the TVB drama “To Catch the Uncatchable”… such a happy go lucky comedy.. and the male lead dies in the end.  I was quite upset at that.  I mean, if the scriptwriters needed a twist at the end of a happy comedy but couldn’t find one, then just leave it lah!  Why kill off the male lead right?

Back to Shades of Truth, if you haven’t watched it (i’m assuming most people would’ve watched it since Starhub Cable Ch 55 showed it last year), go get the DVD/VCD!  It’s really entertaining!  The scenes where Wu Song meets with his police superior, Inspector Huang, to provide him with info are super hilarious.  Every meeting is in a different venue with a different theme.  Damn goot!

Love this show.  Thinking if i should buy the DVD/VCD for keeps.  Hehe.

Why do I get all the Weirdos?

I installed Skype recently (yes, yes, very laggard i know) though i haven’t really used it for any overseas calls.  Did a couple of test calls with Iceman but that’s about it.  MSN is still my preferred mode of communication with friends who are overseas…

About 2 weeks after i installed Skype (i got my photo and real name there), i suddenly started getting messages and calls from weirdos who claimed they know me/ kept bugging me for more info of myself/  wanted to know me.  I really scolded the guy who had the guts to call me… but the scolding was over Skype messaging lah.. ‘cos… heh… i don’t have a microphone plugged into my laptop most of the time.  Haha.  Wouldn’t want to answer the call anyway… too creepy to talk to a weirdo who is allegedly from Dalian, China. 

After a couple of such incidents, my personal message on Skype now says, “Weirdos whom i don’t know, stop messaging me”.  That worked.  No more harassing phone calls or messages from stranger-weirdos.

But my weirdo luck has obviously not run out.  Ok… maybe “weirdo” is too harsh a word to use… but i just met 2 strange people over Friendster.  A couple of days ago, i received an email that said, “Someone has sent you a smile on Friendster”.  So i logged in this afternoon to see who this person was.  It was an unfamiliar name… i was about to delete the message without replying when i decided to view the person’s profile. 

The person turned out to be 1 of Partner’s “brothers” at his wedding… and the only reason i know that is ‘cos there was a pic of all the “brothers”.  I couldn’t tell which of the bro he was though… i only know 4 of the brothers by name and he wasn’t one of them.  Partner happened to be on MSN when i was viewing the profile so i asked Partner who it was… but doesn’t really matter lah.  I’m still not going to respond.  I find it weird when people just “send a smile” to me on Friendster.  I mean, what am i supposed to do?  “Smile” back?  Then we just keep smiling back and forth is it?  Duh!  Say something intelligent if you want a response from me!!  Don’t just give me some stupid virtual “smile” right? 

After i got home from dinner just now, i saw another Friendster alert email.  Some chick wanted to add me as a friend on Friendster.  I was puzzled ‘cos i’m very sure i don’t have any friend by that name.  So i logged into Friendster again to view that gal’s photo.  SHEESH!  Once again, it was someone i didn’t know… but she had a pic of Partner’s wedding photo there too! 

I’m like DUH!!!  Just ‘cos you attend the same wedding dinner with someone doesn’t mean you go around adding that person as a friend on Friendster right?  DUH!?!  I didn’t even TALK or SEE this char bor at the wedding lor!  Wah lau!  Ya lah… maybe she saw me ‘cos i was the emcee but STILL!

Sigh.  Partner wasn’t online this time… but i did send him a message over MSN asking him why his friends so friendly one.  Hmm… maybe i’m the rude one here.  Hahaha.   Whatever.  I’m not adding anyone i don’t know.  Heh.

CHIJ Katong Convent

After reading the comment posted by IJgirl, i decided to do a search online to see if i could find anything about CHIJ Opera Estate.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any new information on the history of the school.  There was a link, however, to CHIJ Katong Convent on Wikipedia and so i went to read up the history of CHIJ Katong Convent.  Here’s a copy & paste from Wiki.  Didn’t corroborate the facts so i apologise if there’re any errors.

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HISTORY

In the 1920s, the Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus acquired one of the private bungalows on the eastern coast of Singapore as a weekend holiday bungalow for the nuns and boarders of the convent.

In 1930, these rambling buildings were used as a private school and in 1932 the school was given a grant-in-aid status. The first set of students registered in January 1932 was mixed – 171 girls and 26 boys. Upon the completion of St Patrick’s School in late 1932, these boys were transferred there. Katong Convent was no larger than a village school, consisting of 4 classes and a total enrolment of 197 students. Sister St Theodora was the first principal with a staff of only four teachers.

Under Sister St Vincent de Paul, the school building was extended in 1939 with 8 new classrooms. In 1941, just before the outbreak of the war, there were altogether 384 pupils – 60 in the secondary classes, 206 in the elementary and 118 in the primary. There were 4 nuns, including the principal and 8 local teachers.

JAPANESE OCCUPATION

When the dark clouds of war were gathering in the East in 1941, the staff and students had to practise Air Raid Drills and true to expectation, the first bombs were dropped in Singapore in December 1941. Most parents kept their children at home when the school re-opened in January 1942 and their fears were confirmed, for in February 1942 Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.

At the outbreak of war, the school building at Martia Road was taken over by the British and became a military centre and was subsequently used as an internment camp to house local Japanese civilians as prisoners-of-war.

During the Japanese occupation, the school was used as a Military Base.

School reopened in May 1942 and Katong Convent functioned at St Hilda’s School in Ceylon Road under the name of Ceylon Road Girls’ School. The attendance was 102. There were 2 sessions – the morning session for girls and the afternoon session for boys from St Patrick’s.

POST-WAR YEARS

Peace came at last in August 1945, and when the school re-opened at St Hilda’s in October 1945 in the afternoon – St Hilda’s being in the morning, there were 12 classes, and 430 students were re-registered for Primary 1 to Standard 5.

In January 1946, there were 483 students and in October, the numbers increased to 747. It was also in October of the same year that there was great rejoicing among the staff and students when the school at Martia Road was restored and returned to the nuns. Prior to this, the building had been used by the British Military Administration as a rehabilitation centre for tuberculosis patients.

After the war, Sister Finbarr was appointed principal. The difficult task of re-organising the school, recruiting more staff, and bringing up academic standards fell on her shoulders.

In 1947, there were 17 classes with 755 students and in 1948, 18 classes with 688 students from Primary 1 to Standard 7. That year those who completed Standard 7 (i.e. Sec 2) had to complete 2 more years in the Convent at Victoria Street.

In 1949, a Standard 8 class was formed and in 1950, the school fielded its first Senior Cambridge candidates. In the same year, 5 new classrooms were built, opposite the oldest block and in 1951, part of this old building was renovated and converted into a Domestic Science classroom. After 8 years of devoted service, Sister Finbarr was transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Convent and left in May 1954.

That year there were morning and afternoon sessions. The morning session comprised Primary 1 to Form 5 (Sec 4), with a total enrolment of 890. The afternoon session comprised Primary 1 to Form 3 (Sec 2) and a special class known as Form 4 Commercial, with an enrolment of 655. The students who made the grade were transferred to the morning session, and the less successful ones were placed in the commercial class.

In the following years, there was such an increase in the intake of students that it was necessary to build a branch school and for this purpose, the students and staff gave their all, in cash and hard work, to raise funds by running Fun Fairs and Lotteries. In 1959, the building was completed and a few teachers from the Primary Staff were transferred to the new Convent at Opera Estate. Also in the same year, the school welcomed Sister Finbarr back and sadly bade farewell to Sister Veronica.

From 1959 to her retirement in 1971, Sister Finbarr did all she could to improve the image that the school had gained all these years. She herself often said that without the backing of her loyal staff, she could not have achieved so much. The school continued to expand and it was again necessary to build a new wing. Again the staff and students worked feverishly to raise funds, this time at greater odds, because previously the Government had contributed half to any aided school extension scheme but now every cent was to be paid by the school. Undaunted, the school persevered, and in 1966, the new wing was completed. For the first time, the students had a proper tuckshop, library, sewing rooms and an Art room. Six new classrooms were also included.

THE SEVENTIES

In 1971, Sister Finbarr was given a rousing farewell at her retirement. A senior member of the staff, Mrs Marie Bong was appointed headmistress in her place. On her fell the task of carrying on the good work of her predecessors. Under her leadership and guidance, the school became well-known for choral speaking, creative writing and Shakespearean productions.

The EIGHTIES

In 1982, plans were afoot to upgrade the facilities of the school. The timely offer by the Ministry of Education of a piece of land at Marine Parade in exchange for the site of Opera Estate Convent enabled the secondary school to move to a brand new premise, whilst the primary school was merged with Opera Estate Convent and was relocated to the renovated building at Martia Road.

At the end of 1986, after many months of careful planning, supervision and arduous fun-raising, the school moved into its attractive new building with Mrs Karen Oei at the helm. In 1990, the Primary section returned to the former site at Martia Road and Katong Convent became a single session secondary school.

THE NINETIES

In 1999, the school won the Sustained Achievement Award – Academic Value-Added, for having provided value-added education to both the Express and Normal Academic students for ten consecutive years (1996-2006). Plans were made to further improve both the facilities in the school as well as the education provided for the convent girls.

2000 & BEYOND

Katong Convent celebrated its 70th anniversary in the year 2000. With it soon came the autonomy status which was granted by the Ministry of Education.

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Reading about how the school was used by both the British and the Japanese during WWII reminded me that i used to have this theory that CHIJ Opera Estate may once have been a hospital.  I mean, that was the story that was bandied about when i was in school – that the school was haunted ‘cos it had been used as a hospital. 

I remember there was this classroom used for the Pri 1s… either the first or second classroom nearest the staff room… small sections of paint had peeled from the wall and beneath the coat of paint, this old light blue wallpaper with prints of rocking chairs shaped like a horse, teddy bears, etc could be seen.  That strengthened my
belief that the school might’ve once been a hospital… and perhaps that room might’ve been the children’s ward.

Creepy huh?

Freecorder Toolbar & Flv Player, 感情不散

Just downloaded the FLV Player ‘cos i wanted to save the music videos of the movie 881 from youtube to my laptop and there was this bonus programme that came long with the package – the Freecorder Toolbar.  The Freecorder Toolbar allows u to capture songs from your browser in mp3 format.  Fantastic tool i must say!  Was searching yisou.com and baidu.com but couldn’t find the mp3 of the song Yi Ren Yi Ban (themesong of the movie 881) but managed to record an mp3 version from the youtube site using the Freecorder Toolbar.

Also, while the FLV Player only works in Firefox, Freecorder works in both Firefox and IE!  Everyone say cheers now!  Yippee!  🙂

Here’s the music video of the song 一人一半.  Really nice song… the movie was good too.  Requires u to suspend your disbelief… but it’s all in good fun… and the themes of friendship, passion for music, kinship, never fail to inspire.  Royston Tan is a good director.  Am proud that he’s a Singaporean!

 

Go see the movie if u haven’t ya?  🙂

Phiten

Azure bought a Phiten necklace recently.  In short, Phiten purports to use titanium to stabilise our body’s bioelectric current, thus helping muscles relax and improving blood circulation.  The end result is greater mobility and temporary relieve of pain caused by bursitis, sciatica, tendonitis, certain types of arthritis, etc.

All the sites that sell this product obviously claim to have scientific backing of its prowess… but does it really work?  Anyone got a clue? 

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Had lunch with a friend today.  I’ve been trying to think of a nick for this friend for ages but couldn’t come up with something suitable.  I wonder when did this person become my friend?  Got to know him through work… but i’m not really sure at which point in time did this work associate become a friend. 

I think it takes a step of faith to make a new friend.  U need to be able to trust a person to be able to be friends.  I mean, how would u know this person wouldn’t backstab u?  Or if the person could be trusted not to disclose to others things shared in confidence? 

Anyway, this friend of mine told me during lunch today that he may be able to get a parking lot in his office building… and if he succeeds, he will try to arrange for me to have his lot at Golden Shoe.  Yay!  Very helpful friend.  Heh.  Not the first time he’s given me a hand… bailed me out a couple of times by helping me cover up some stuff.  😛

I think i vaguely remember when things took a none work related turn.  It’s all thanks to Daniel Powter’s Bad Day.  Heh.  I think my friend asked me for the mp3 and gave me his personal email.  Guess that was when we started talking about matters outside work.

Hmm… i think i shall call my friend Phiten.  ‘Cos being able to drive to work = greater mobility and he may be the key to alleviation of my season parking woes!