Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tigress...

... is my newly acquired nick from kh.





I am tigress. Hear me meow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jumbled thoughts... Outta sorts

In January, I promised myself to finish updating January's happenings by the end of the month.

In February, I promised myself to finish updating January and February's happenings by the end of the month.

In March, I promised myself to finish updating January, February and March's happenings by the end of the month.

Ok fine, you get the drift.

May is coming to an end and I've got 5 months worth of photos lying in the folders never to see the light of day.

~~~

"No need to update la. Just give us the photos."

I'm supposed to upload some group photos to share on Facebook. I haven't gotten my lazy ass down to it as I've got no bulk uploader like most of you la.

~~~

Yayness. My temp mei mei is coming back tomorrow! After 2 weeks of leave, her presence is greatly missed by my dept. We're drowning in work you see.

~~~

I have almost forgotten how it feels like to be marking till the wee hours of the morning.

~~~

Dunno is it I give my tutees 2 weeks break or they gimme 2 weeks break. Anyhow, it makes me treasure my Sundays.

~~~

My da jie jumped on the Pet Society bandwagon just 2 months ago. She is currently 30K points higher than me with 2 scrolls to my right and 1 position on my er jie's right who happened to be on Pet Society for the longest period among the 3 of us.

~~~

Yum cha, high tea and dinner with friends you love are one of the best things in life.

~~~

"Godma Jolene, you know orr just now I saw you on the newspaper."

My god! It's not me. It's not me.

(strangers don't ask what this is about)

~~~

Thanx for all the birthday wishes via sms.

I haven't gotten a new hp and am using my dad's spare Sony Ericsson for my main line at the moment. I haven't saved any numbers in as I don't really know how to operate a Sony.

Also, for those who sms me on that line, please forgive me if I don't reply at times. I can't master the skill of sms-ing on that hp that even typing "Usin spare hp No # saved who r u" with no punctuation and sometimes no spacing took me a few minutes.

~~~

Shifted to the new office building and still trying to adjust.

~~~

While packing, I came across the liquer chocolates from Germany given to me by last year's temp mei mei. Wanted to offer to the rest until I saw the expiry date of 2008. Decided it was a good excuse to keep it for myself. Am eating it all by myself now. Liquor has crystalised and lacks the rich velvety smoothness.

~~~

as the saga rages on
as the plot thickens
as the mystery unfolds
emo monster will just sit back, relax, eat popcorn
and enjoy the show
or so she thought

Monday, May 25, 2009

The best birthday gift!









BIG BIG BIG HUGZ to Jase & Charmaine... & Cyn mummy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The emo monster is in

Been very emo lately.

I just cannot explain how I'm feeling or why I'm feeling this way.

"How ineffable are our feelings, thoughts and experience, yet what have we but our language to make sense of our senses stirred?"

I don't even know how I wrote this in 2004 but all I can say is fast forward to 2009, I've got nothing to make sense of my senses stirred.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Laughing Over Photos of Yesteryears

“A person is neither whole nor healthy without the memories of photo albums. They are the storybook of our lives. They provide a nostalgic escape from the tormented days of the present.” -- Patrick Garry

My er jie has been hounding kh and me for our photos as she has to start doing our wedding photo montage soon.

Hence, over the weekend I decided to get my ass down to choosing some photos.

My family and I had many good laughs over some of the silliest photos of fashion-gone-wrong, weird hairdo and strange expressions. My sisters and I would pick random ugly photos of one another, point and burst out laughing like hyenas. Then, we would pick some of our parents, point and laugh right in their faces.

We were really quite rude to one another but it was fun(ny).

We spent many nostalgic moments browsing through our parents' black and white photos. My dad was such a handsome beng while my mum looked so clean.

We would then look at my dad, sigh and ask him,

"Daddy, what happened to you???"

Over at kh's house, I was greeted with a rude shock when I discovered what an ugly baby he was. *LOL* Fortunately that only lasted till he was one year old. After that, he looked quite cute that I wondered aloud,

"What happened now?"

He insisted that I was nowhere better. He teased me for having such a fat face with features squeezed in the middle.

Then, we also spent some time looking at his parents' photos. Like mine, his dad was such a handsome beng while his mum looked so clean.

Kh sighed and wondered what happened to his dad as well.

Haha... We're so mean.

Our wedding is less than TWO months away and we're still having problems with our tables and guest list.

How last minute can we get?

I know of someone who's getting married this December and she's done with all the planning. All she had to do was to wait for the actual day and get married.

Everything about the wedding prep has been left status quo for at least 2 months. We've to get back in momentum.

Up till now, we're still picking photos for the montage whenever we have the free time.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Has anyone experienced poverty at any point in your life?

The above question was posed by big boss the day before, requesting for people who have undergone similar experience to share their stories.

There was a full day meeting at work yesterday with almost half the time devoted to reflections and sharing sessions with regards to the team building a week ago.

During the team building, there was some financial cash flow game and ranking of values in life, thus the topic of money and relationships with important people in one’s life.

Some colleagues broke into tears while relating their stories. Some colleagues teared while listening to their stories.

I was surprised I did not for I’m one who tears easily. Have I become an empty shell devoid of compassion?

I’ve been feeling very unhappy recently. Unhappy for reasons I don’t know why. It’s just a mix of everything happening around me.

As I listened, I had lots of thoughts going through my head.

I wondered what my top five values in life are and how I would slowly cancel them away one by one, leaving with the most important one.

Being the me I would like to be?

Happiness?

Wealth?

Health?

KH?

Friends?

Parents?

Being able to attain whatever I dream of?

Till now, I can’t come to a decision.

Many colleagues included their parents and shared touching stories of their dad or their mum. I really wished I could have done that too. My dad is fine but I’ve got this love-hate relationship with my mum. My mum is often the one who makes me feel very lousy about myself. Yet there would be times when she’s such a great mother.

I don’t know how I would rank my parents. It’s true that they did what they could as parents but I’m pretty much independent when it comes to providing for myself since I’ve stopped receiving pocket money during secondry school days.

Maybe I should thank them for shaping me into what I am today.

Some colleagues shared about their poverty too and I thought it was fortunate that I missed that activity out when I was sick last week. I wouldn’t wanna share my sob money story with my company people for fear of breaking down in front of everyone.

I know I’m not the most unfortunate soul around and my story is nothing compared to many people out there. However, I’m very proud of the fact that I have managed to come this far.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Even though we were not poor, we managed to survive due to my dad’s constant tapping of his savings to raise a family of 3 children.

Dad used to be a property agent and there were the good times. From a 3-room flat in Tiong Bahru, we managed to move into an executive flat in Yishun, leading my primary school friends to have a misconception that my family was considered above average as most of them lived in 4-room flats near my school.

Dad only dealt with private properties and with HDB flats springing up like mushrooms during the 70s and 80s, he soon found that he could no longer hold on in this field. He was having deficit income and had to draw on savings to survive. He started working in my uncle’s company.

Mum went to work when I was in Primary 1 to supplement the family’s income.

It wasn’t till I was in Primary 2 that I learnt how to be a latch key kid.

My dad trained me to take the public bus home when I was in P2., following the exact path of my 2nd sister who is 2 years older than me. I learnt how to fry an egg, cook noodles and do simple cooking that same year.

I didn’t think being able to cook at that age was anything to be proud of. Hence, I was appalled when in Sec 1, none of the NYGH gals dared to light the stove during Home Economics lesson. Some of them screamed and shrieked and cowered in fear while using the “gun lighter”. I ended up going to all the tables and lighting the stoves for the whole class.

Come to think of it, that was probably one of the many reasons why I transferred to SNGS other than the more affordable school fees.

I must say that as a young child, I was quite sensible. I never asked for more than what my parents could give. My sisters and I never asked for toys, gadgets, holidays and accepted whatever our parents gave us. We didn’t compare ourselves with our much fortunate friends.

In terms of toys, I don’t know of any girls who didn’t have a Barbie Doll except me. My first and only Barbie doll was given to me when I was 10 or 11 by my favourite cousin who is 3 years younger than me. She had a quite a number of Barbie dolls and so 1 less Barbie doll didn’t quite matter to her but it meant a lot to me.

I could vividly remember when I was 5 or 6 years old, I fell in love with My Little Pony. I absolutely adored the twin baby ponies with twin prams which I saw on the tv ad and was yearning for it. My parents brought me out to buy a toy as a reward for something I’ve done which I’ve since forgotten what it was.

They told me I could choose 1 toy I liked. I was elated coz I knew exactly what I wanted.

I looked at the twin ponies for ages and quietly told them I wanted that. They looked at the price and then at each other. My dad put the box back and told me to look at a rainbow-haired baby pony in a box that was a sixth the size of the twin ponies. That came with a comb, a pillow and a diaper whereas the twin ponies came with not only the pram but an array of other baby stuff to pamper the ponies with.

My parents convinced me that the rainbow hair was very colourful and beautiful and that the pony was very cute. I convinced myself that it was nice and nodded my head. I was sad but I didn’t show it to them. I went home and played with my pony with my heart still on the twin ponies as tears rolled down my cheeks.

My parents really did their best. I still had my care bears while my sisters, being more tomboy, had their mask toys. We had our fair share of toys and my parents didn’t spoil us by giving more.

So you see, we were still quite fortunate.

It was only when I started staying over at my aunt’s place that I realised my cousins had so many toys. My sisters and I never complained. I think it was good that we were all very sensible children.

The most insensible thing I’ve ever done was to smoke when I was a mere P2 kid. That was like 8 years old? I had ready access to cigarettes from somebody whom I wouldn’t name drop here. The said person would sell cigarettes by the stick and I was puffing a minimum of 2 sticks a day.

It was fun and I never regretted trying out smoking. The only bad thing was it gave me bad sore throat for a while.

I forgot when I stopped.

Only my very good friends know about this. Now, I’m not ashamed to let people know. Afterall, I’ve always been labeled as a “pai kia” or “ah lian” by so many people (even though I’m obviously not).

My parents never found out about this. I would confess to them one day, I swear I will.

My everyday life in Primary school…

I would eat my lunch which either dad or mum had prepared before they went to work, bathe and take out my homework to do. After that I would read or take out my assessment books to do as I love to show my mum what I had done for the day when she came home from work.

Every day, my 2nd sis and I would switch on the tv after we had finished our work. There used to be those repeat SBC shows at 3pm back then. We were supposed to switch off the tv at 4pm. Sometimes, we cheated by carrying on watching till the 6.00 cartoons come on. Mum would sometimes call at timings when we were not supposed to be watching tv and all we did was to lower the volume before answering the call.

In the evening, it would be doing of more assessment books, learning of spelling and so on. I do not know whether was it that my mum valued education a lot or she simply was too irritated with me. Whenever I didn’t know how to do anything, she would scold and pinch me till I cried. When I cried, she shouted and pinched me more. They way she pinched involved pulling, shaking and twisting.

At times I did my homework and assessment books sobbing. My books were sometimes soaked with tears. A few times, my cheeks had faint bruises on them.

I didn’t understand why she had to do this as I was really a very good student in school.

Probably those scolding and pinching were beneficial as I would always uphold my 1st and 2nd class position from P1 to P3. My studies deteriorated in P5 and P6. Being in the top class, I was always beyond the 30th position in a class of 45. There was once I slipped to 42nd or 43rd position and saw hell in my life. I don’t wish to mention what happened.

小时了了,大未必佳。

Even though I was in top schools all my life, my grades were nowhere near good. I only managed to get into NYGH and SNGS thereafter coz of my PSLE grades.

Before that, I saw hell remember?

I started my first job in P6, distributing leaflets and slotting them into mailboxes throughout my neighbourhood for 2 days. My first pay of $50 in cash was gone together with my wallet which got stolen on the bus.

During secondary school days, I became rebellious like what most kid would become at some point of their teenaged life. My relationship with my mum was really strained at that time. She was always saying degrading things to hurt me and telling me that I was a good for nothing. She hated the friends I hung out with even though we weren’t even delinquents. I hated it whenever she insulted my friends.

I bought a pager with my own money and that pager became my life. It was my way of communicating with my friends and all the friends I knew from out of school. I could type alphanumeric like a pro.

My mother hated me using my pager for this purpose and wondered how I managed to make friends with people out of school.

I stopped receiving pocket money when I was in sec 3 due to the economic crisis back then. I used the money from my POSB savings and whatever ang pow money stashed in my savings box at home to finance my everyday spending.

Most of our ang pow money were given back to our parents anyway.

To make sure I don’t use too much of my reserves, I starved myself during recess. Whenever some insensitive classmates saw that I was not eating, they would say things like I’m skinny, malnourished, underweight etc in a very condescending tone.

Those words really hurt a lot and many a times I felt like crying coz they would never understand how it felt to restrict myself from eating when I was actually very hungry.

Sometimes I would bring bread to eat and once in a blue moon, I would treat myself to canteen food. However, I would usually save the money for lunch at the canteen later on. I also had to save money to join my friends at fast food joints occasionally.

Whenever I reached home, I would gorge myself with instant noodles and other food I could find at home. There wasn’t any home-cooked food then coz my parents were busy working. I was old enough to settle my own lunch.

Slowly our OCBC young savers accounts were closed as my parents needed the money. There were a few occasions when my dad had to borrow money from us and returned us when he got his pay. There was once, my entire savings was being withdrawn out. I knew this could not continue and that I had to work for money. However, nobody wanted to employ a secondary school kid except fast food joints and I didn’t wanna work at fast food joints as they paid peanuts.

Mum used to warn me not to disgrace the family by letting people know how poor we were that they could not even afford to give us pocket money. She warned me not to let people know of our financial situation. She is one who likes to save face. Hence, I didn't bother telling anyone about my financial problems back then.

Having failed almost all subjects with an L1R5 of 30+ points, my mother was quite worried that I would not even make it to poly. I didn’t care much for I thought I could go out to work with no reservation. When I informed her of my decision, she almost went berserk. When I retorted that they could not even give me pocket money, my mum slapped me and almost threw me outta the house.

Then, kh came into my life when I was 15 and him 16.

We knew each other from a band workshop and I don’t think we started on a very positive impression of each other. I won’t go into details on that at this moment. Those belong to another chapter which may or may not be told some day.

We started talking on the phone as friends a year later when he was doing some random calling up of sec 4s to psycho them into joining the band should we get into his JC. We hit off quite well and had lots to talk about. He encouraged me to study and even said he could teach me A Maths if I needed help.

His encouragement helped me a lot. I felt like he was the only one who believed in me. Everyone else thought I would never make it to poly. He made me believe in myself.

I worked hard enough to get 20 points and went to NYJC during first 3 months and subsequently did well enough for my O levels to get into RJC.

Once I got into RJC, my mum stopped bothering me. She finally saw that I could always manage to make it during all major exminations. She even bought me a nike windbreaker as a belated reward for my results after I told her that most of the lecture theatres were very cold and that most of my schoolmates wore cool sporty windbreakers.

The only jacket I had back then was an ill-fitting one which was last worn in primary 6. I’ve never worn a jacket in my whole secondary life and so hadn’t seen the need for one till then. This probably explains my affinity for jackets now.

I soon found out that I required a lot more money to sustain my everyday spending in JC. My savings was fast depleting.

My oldest sis started working at a fast food joint when she was in sec school and put herself through poly. She did quite well and was offered a place in NTU but she could not really manage work and studies back then.

Following the footsteps of my sis, I knew I had to work very soon or my savings would be depleted. Hence, I started giving tuition.

My tuition pay became my pocket money.

I enjoyed jc life a lot. Even though there were the really rich friends, nobody in particular looked down on anybody coz of financial status. I tried to hang out with friends whenever they went to hip cafes and restaurants and managed to hide my lack of money quite well by ordering cheaper meals.

I ate the same thing at the canteen almost everyday – nasi lemak with a cup of soya bean milk. That was the most filling combination at the most affordable price.

Only 1 or 2 friends somewhat knew about my situation but did not know the details. They just called me “frugal girl” and tried to treat me once a while which I politely declined.

When I really could not manage anymore, I requested for my dad to pay for my pager bills. I shamefacedly asked him if he could give me some money for the monthly class funds as my tuition salary wasn’t enough at all. Fortunately my dad was understanding.

I worked as a temp staff in the accounts department of my uncle’s company after my A levels. I was only paid $40 a day but I tallied accounts like siao. However, transport to and fro, as well as lunch was provided by my dad since that’s where he works too.

Kh and I got together during this time and my financial burden was lessened as he would pay for everything whenever we went out. However, due to the nature of his job, he was constantly posted overseas and we went through a few years of LDR.

When I was in NUS, I had 5 tutees for I had since grown accustomed to getting my money from tuition assignments. I taught at the expense of my studies. I’ve often felt that I could have done a lot better if I did not take up so many tuition assignments.

During the mid and end of year school holidays, I would hurriedly search for temp jobs. I worked in offices and bank in the day and tuition at night. I also worked as a waitress in café and pub as well as a handphone promoter. Sometimes when luck had it, I would get to work in those few days’ kinda exhibition and expo events. For standing pretty and doing a little bit of promotion, the hourly rate is a lot higher than normal office jobs.

Why didn’t I think of being a model or a showgirl? Money would have been a lot easier. If I were to turn back the time, I would definitely take on more of such jobs. Hooter girl, pub waitress, bimbotic showgirl… I could have done it all given the chance. Who cares about the bitchy people in there when I could be richer by a few hundreds or even thousands by putting up with them?

With the few thousands earned per school holiday, I had enough money to pay for my own uni education. I did not touch my dad’s CPF. Neither did I take up any loans from the bank. I was determined to work and pay for my own education after seeing that my oldest sis could do it. I got a little help for 1 semester from kh and from my dad.

I filed for graduation instead of continuing to honours coz of the lack of money. Moreover, if I continued giving tuition while studying, I may wind up with a 3rd class honour and nobdy wants to graduate with a 3rd class honour right?

Up till this very date, I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve managed to put myself through university.

I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve managed to be so frugal despite being surrounded by so many temptations and well-to-do friends or at least friends who get pocket money. Pocket money was a luxury to me. I have never owned a walkman, discman, md player, mp3 player and ipod. These are luxuries to me. I’ve not known anyone from my era who doesn’t own any of these at one point in time. The only gadgets I bought for myself were my pagers and handphones.

There is something which I’m always upset about at the back of my mind -- My parents taking the money which I’ve painstakingly saved up to learn driving and the constant borrowing of money without returning just to finance my 2nd sis’s overseas education and expenses. I always feel a sense of injustice whenever I think if this.

Fortunately, kh has been my pillar of support throughout the years. He had helped me a lot emotionally and financially. He was the one who stood by me throughout the times I was struggling. Even though he is not even rich, he managed to earn his own keep and support me financially whenever required.

He hand-made presents for me, brought me to restaurants I’ve never been to and paid for most of our holiday trips. He seldom buys me gifts even up till now and I never complained coz I feel he has already been a wonderful boyfriend and best friend to me.

Now that I’ve been working and giving tuition for years, I managed to save up quite a bit and give my parents a substantial anount every month. My sisters and I helped to pay for the bills too. There would be the occasional chalking up of few thousands due to something which I won’t say it over here. Each time these sums were needed, I would have no choice but to trf the $$ to them.

I’m one who can save really well but once I spend, I spend a lot too.

Having undergone the experience of lack of money, I decided it was good to pamper myself every now and then seeing that I’m earning my own keep.

I’ve since splurged on hair treatment packages, facial packages and designer labels. I got major scoldings which involved lots of crying each time I spent such money. I’ve always felt that it was really unfair for my mum to scold me and make hurtful remarks when I’m actually using my own money. I felt that such scolding and harsh words were simply unwarranted especially since I’ve always been very thrifty.

In the words of a very good friend:

“We sometimes need to remember to live life and satisfy our wants without regrets. Moderation is the key.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Note on this entry:

Author knows that there is no key point in this post… just verbal vomit of hidden sentiment.

Author has spent much time deciding if she should publish this extremely long post which may not only bore her readers but also paint certain people in a negative light.

Author may remove this post according to her whim and fancy… just like how a friend she knows always publishes and removes posts like changing underwear.

Author knows that said friend knows who she’s referring to but wonders if said friend treats her as a friend since said friend is a misanthrope.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Edited to add disclaimer on 13th May]

DISCLAIMER

My parents tried their best to provide the very best for their 3 daughters. So actually we were quite fortunate.

When we were young, we did have our fair share of stuff. They bought necessary stuff for us and sometimes reward us when we deserved it. They brought us out on outings too. Oh yes... even though my mum may be harsh in punishing us, she loved to hug and kiss us when we were good.

Despite some hardships endured during my youth, there were also times of happiness.

Overall, I've got a positive relationship with my parents. I guess the bond among family members is hard to explain and understand sometimes.

Friday, May 01, 2009

My Handphone is LOST/ STOLEN

Dear friends,

My main line hp is lost/stolen since the night of 29th April.

I will need some time to go down to the shops to buy a new hp and would probably do so on Sunday night. Either that or I could ask for the SIM card to be delivered but I haven't got a spare phone you see.

Gee... I haven't bought a handphone in years and am clueless about the hp market now.

Those with my sms line number, please contact me from there. Sms, don't call coz my sms hp also quite old and koyak and would switch off by itself whenever there are incoming or outgoing calls.

In the meantime, may a million fleas infest the asshole of the asshole who stole my hp.

I swear I would never ever return any hp I find ever again. Kindness does not always beget kindness.

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