Friday, April 28, 2006

Twitchy on Flickr

Maybe it's too much of a good thing - I do get a lot of inspiration looking at other people's photographs on flickr, but sometimes when I see something like this, it gets me all jealous-twitchy and I feel like giving up on The Dream, but my own bloodymindedness won't allow it.

This photograph was taken by a mother of 1? 2? and posted on flickr. Her nickname is mindmenagerie. Either the quality of light is very different in her world, or I'm a talentless hack. I think it must be the light.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Yes, it's official.

Yesterday started off on a particularly bad note when our internet litigation search provider cut us off at the knees. This is a champion record holder in terms of bad service, and I noted it right here for posterity. Maybe one day I can look back and laugh. But not today.

1. When I tried to log in, we were told our account had been deactivated.

2. I checked with our Accountant who confirmed that all requests for payment which had been received were paid to date.

3. Then I called the technical support line. And this is their beautifully-woven tale of woe, just for me.

"Your account indicates that you owe us S$2,000."

"But we have paid all amounts on invoices received to date!"

"No, it says here that you haven't paid invoices since Feb."

"Where are the invoices? You haven't sent any to us!"

"We don't send invoices. You are supposed to log into our billing system and retrieve your own invoices from time to time. It is your responsibility to make sure that your account is not overdue."

"Let me get this straight. You don't send us invoices. We have to ownself retrieve the invoices from your system ourselves and then we ownself pay?"


"But we don't know how to retrieve our invoices from your system!"

"That's because you have not attended our training classes."

"But we didn't know there was training classes!"

"When you signed up for our services, we informed you that you had to attend training classes."

"But that was 4 years ago! The colleague who signed up for the account has left!"

"You should have made sure that the new staff goes for our training class, or is at least trained about how to use our invoicing system."

"..... Ok. So now how? We can't log in, so how to retrieve our invoices?"

"We are prepared in this special case to send you your invoices. How would you like us to send it to you? By fax? By email?"

"Ok. You can send it to us by fax and by email. If you want our fax and email address, YOU'll have to log into OUR system and retrieve it yourself. *CLICK*"

I didn't actually think about whether we have any kind of system that they can log into or retrieve anything. Wait... I've just realised... I DON'T CARE!!!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Can't get great photos of your baby? Try this!

Since my photography skills are not going to improve significantly anytime soon, I brought Ryan to the Great Flickr Singapore Get-Together! A few kids, a surplus of photographic talent... and voila!

And this is Daddy's idea of The Naughty Room (yes, those ARE handcuffs!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's not deja vu - it's the Same Pants

I sometimes have a problem telling if it's Wednesday or Thursday or Monday, and mostly it's my own natural-born vagueness but today I know for sure it's not my fault.

Got off the Magic Bus today (another long story) just behind the same girl as I have been getting off the bus behind for the last 3 days and I suddenly have this feeling of vertigo cum deja vu because I really really think something's repeating itself. Like, I've seen this movie before. Then I realise. She's worn the exact same pants and shoes for the last 3 days and all of last week. It's a pair of satin light brown pants, with matching brown leather slingbacks. As usual, I can't see her face but the figure's great and I would love to have a pair of those pants myself - they fit her like a dream - but oh God, not that pair she's wearing since obviously she never washes them. Ugh!

So now she's Same Pants Girl.

Definitely less scary than Ju Onn Girl, another Magic Bus character. Always sits on an aisle seat on the right side of the bus. She's pale as a ghost, always wears black, and she always uses her long skinny left hand to blinker the left side of her face from the morning sun. Just holds it there, suspended, for the whole bus ride. I've never seen her face - maybe when I finally do, she will look exactly like whatzherface from The Ring and she'll hiss "In Sevennn Days ......" at me, just like in the movie. Way kewl.

Then there's Gucci (same Gucci bag - or is it a Cuggi? - every single day regardless of her outfit) and Pusher (auntie who ALWAYS insists on being the first one up the bus, even though she sits comfortably at the other end of the bus stop during the wait and all of us sweat at the front of the bus stop maintaining a ragged queue).

All these women I share the morning bus with. Every day. For the last 5 months. You know what that means? It means if it hasn't already happened, our menstrual cycles are going to start to coincide.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Pink Scrunchy Does Not Look Like A Sphincter!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Big Love

It took me a while but I've finally found a hobby. Or rather, it has found me. Then it bit me in the foot.

Shortly after Little Dude was born, I upgraded from an old Canon Ixus that I had swiped from someone and never returned (sorry sorry sorry but it's in very good condition), to a Canon 350D. My starter kit SLR, so to speak. It's great for taking snapshots of Sonny Son Son, but then I stumbled upon this woman's photographs and now I'm just obsessed and sick with jealousy. Why can't I make my pictures look like that. And it's not just her. Flickr is full of these people. Just check out the photographs of the people who make comments to her photographs. Vomit.

Signed up for a photography class. Found out during the 2nd class that we have assignments. For which we will be graded. Just received the first assignment (take a bunch of photos identical to the ones that the teacher has emailed to us) and would have laughed and laughed if it wasn't so tragic. Wanted to write back to the teacher and say, dude, you have been smoking some serious shit. If I could take photographs like that, I wouldn't have signed up for the class.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I've always wondered what other people's first words were. When they found out they were pregnant, I mean.

Mine was .... "Oh fuck". To which Gremlin (standing watch outside the toilet) replied "Congratulations!!!!"

Isn't it ironic that some of life's more significant little moments are either spent huddled in a toilet cubicle staring at font size 6 instructions at the back of a blue box, or staring at some random doctor in horror? I mean, for something so miraculous and wonderful, surely we should be looking at something more pleasant, like a beautiful sunset or a smiling dog or a customer service officer from Jason's with a fork in her throat.

Anyway. Gremlin was very sweet. Before that she graciously accompanied me to Watson's to get the pregnancy test kit. She even waddled up, 7 months pregnant, to the salesgirl to ask her where the pregnancy test kits were located (I was too shy).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mr Gizmo Strikes Again!

This morning, at about 5.45 am, I watched in dismay as the Sleeping Son rolled over, sat up and said "Ga" (He's actually saying Good morning mother! Top of the morning to you!). Then he saw me typing furiously away at my laptop, climbed off the bed and of course headed straight for the keyboard, fat little hands stretched out and a big smile on his face.

I saved the word document, opened a new blank document for him and let him fiddle with the keyboard for a few minutes. Dude managed to type out some rubbish, save the document ("_NBsfdsf"), merge a powerpoint slide into the document and (miracle!) turn off the autonumbering option. Like, forever. Not just for that one document. He turned it off even for my own draft document which had autonumbering macros up the wazoo and an autoformat that had been driving me insane for hours.

Now I know how to deal with Word for Windows. If nothing else works, I'll just slam on the keyboard with both hands and shout "Ka! Ka! Ka!".

Am pleased to report that the aircon remote control saga is OVER. After many sweaty minutes spent fiddling with the remote control, I finally figured out how to change it back from Fahrenheit to Celcius. I could be an enginner! A rocket surgeon!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Coldplay III

Some perverse sadomasochistic instinct prompted me to sign up for another seminar, today, just as I was rushing out bleary-eyed after preparing overnight to give a seminar this afternoon. Why why why why why ...

The only way I could start enjoying this whole process would be if they gave out hard liquor at the door.

Am so tired can barely... whatever.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Curious Incident of the Worm in the Toblerone

In the middle of a busy Friday last week, I receive a request from a service provider with whom I have been wrangling for 3 days that I should now send in a further written request for a S$65 refund to their claims department.

20 minutes later, the red haze lifted and I clicked the 'send' button on my email to despatch said written request. Some unseen person in some claims department will now read an email that will give them a lot of stress (and rightly so, thanks to their freaking horrible no-results software - and no, I'm not talking about Windows).

How did I become this angry complaining person? I used to be really placid when I was, like, 9. Then I met the Worm in my Toblerone which changed everything. In retrospect, I think the Worm got the worst deal, but anyway that's beside the point.

I was watching TV one evening and I had ducked into the kitchen during an advertisement break to grab a snack. Picked out a triangle of Toblerone from the giant bar, and was running back to the sofa to eat it when I saw something move. On. my. piece. of. Toblerone.

It was a worm, rearing up and screaming Noo nooo don't eat me!!! into my face. A live, white, blind, writhing worm, oozing its white body out of a hole in my chocolate, just inches from my mouth.

So of course I screamed and tossed the thing into the rubbish chute. Told my mom who packed up the half eaten box of Toblerone and drove me to Jason's Supermarket to return it.

Returning a bar of chocolate with a disgusting live worm in it? How easy is that, right?

Two hours later, we were still being harangued by the Jason's "customer service officer". I say that in quotation marks, and with more than a little irony because although that's what she told us she was, I think maybe they just misspelled "lunatic" in her employment letter.

First of all, she insisted that Jason's would never ever bring in a worm with their chocolate. No worms in the rarefied Jason's stratosphere!

Then she said if there's a live worm in the chocolate, where is it? Where is our evidence?

Then she said well if there's a live worm in the chocolate, it just shows how fresh their stuff is.

In a magnificent finish, she concluded by suggesting we should take up our complaint with the cocoa farmers as clearly the worm must have come from the cocoa tree. And since Jason's does not actually own the tree ...

I remember standing there for, like, an eternity, everyone staring at us because the Mad Bitch was speaking so loudly, and my mother just nodding and looking really pissed off. I didn't say anything. When you're 9, you tend not to be heard anyway. Also, I was so angry that I was speechless (something that will never happen again).

Maybe she was an Advocate for Worm Rights, posing as a customer service officer. The worms should be so happy!

I think we left, still holding the chocolate, which was slightly melted from the Bitch Fires of Hell From Whence She Came. On the way out, my mother actually stopped to buy some more chocolates. From Jason's.

Friday, April 07, 2006

I might be Tenacious too

Having been recently inspired by my mother, I decided to take on a car salesman today whilst negotiating the purchase of a new Chevy.

We had an intense discussion and agreement on a price, then I made him come to my office and wait whilst I filled up a bunch of forms and scrounged through my personal files for an income tax return. After that, I decided to tell him that I had no money now and could he please let us drive the car for free for the first year and then we give him some money. After all, how else are we going to know the product is good?

I don't think he said no. Actually what does it mean when someone laughs and laughs whilst blood streams out of their ear. Does it mean they're just not feeling well?

I can still hear him laughing. Maybe I'm funnier than I think.

THANKS! And a question ...

To the Singapore Government:

Thanks for the chump change aka progress package!

Is my vote only worth S$200?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Mother Is Tenacious

So we're all at the supercool Maxwell wet market last Sunday buying groceries and I leave my mom and The Son sitting on one them park benches. Next to some old man selling porcelain bowls on a mat on the pavement.

I come back 20 mins later and my mom's haggling with the old man over the price of a Peranakan-style teapot. S$80, he says. I'm not making much out of it. Original price is S$120.

S$50! says my mother, squeezing blood out of a stone.

S$80! says the old man. That's my last price.

By the looks of it, they have been arguing for as long as I've been away. My son is already wandering off down the street.

Ok, S$80. says my mother. But I didn't bring any money with me today. (giggle). Can you give me the teapot and I'll give you money next week?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Why I Think They Might Be Related

Screw it.

The lengths I go through to annoy some people. Having tried in vain to properly paste a link for Gremlin's benefit through a comment to my previous post, I have decided to just paste the picture here instead.

So Gremlin, this is ENTIRELY for your benefit. I saw this and immediately thought you would appreciate it. By "appreciate", I mean froth at the mouth like a crazy person, throw a blind fit and stomp on things.