Photos Wanted!

I am in a rare creative-cum-productive mood (they are seldom mutually exclusive) and I must blog such precious moments.

Am browsing wondrous Flickr groups in search of photos with a Buddhist Lifestyle theme. And what a great many there are, with such inspiring captions!! Ooh, I am trembling with excitement and glee. kmsYM and Dharma In Action are publishing Diary 2553 and we’re all scrambling to put it together before the 31 December 2008 (yes, make no mistake) launch. We’ll need Zennish photos, along the lines of (in my very personal opinion): this, this and this. Got any yourself? Tell me!

Looking at all these awesome photos makes me want to start a photoblog!

Sigh. Why am I so prone to micro-manage? My stating of the obvious must have made him rolled his eyes!

What an obsessive-compulsive slew of posts.

I slept at 5 am today! (I felt a spasm of fear when I heard my mum’s handphone alarm ring while brushing my teeth for bed. I’ll be dead if she saw me.)

Anyways, I went for a metta retreat conducted by Ven. Chuan Ren at KMSPKS, Monday. Metta is Pali for loving-kindness. Sadly, I don’t think my metta level rose because I still:

  • glare at smokers
  • can’t stand lizards
  • want to kick up a big fuss whenever I get bad service from service staff, along the lines of “我是顾客!付钱不是来看你脸色的,请你搞清楚状况!” (by the way, SMRT and SBS should be fined at least a million dollars each for bad service, instead of that pittance amount of $1000!! I can totally imagine the CEOs laughing out loud in their plush leather chairs when they read the letter from LTA.)
  • bitch a lot (refer to point above)
  • squirm in my skin involuntarily whenever my hypersensitive radar detects the presence of some people. When can i be more equanimous, unperturbed?!
  • do not ask after people after they’ve asked after me: “Pam, when’s your birthday?” “13 March… why, you want to analyse my character huh?” (I should be saying “13 March… you leh?”)
  • snap at my family. (believe it.)


Burning Questions

I wonder how unethical food manufacturers manage to sleep at night.

It’s been more than a month since AVA suspended the import and sale of all milk and milk products from China, but the list of tainted foods continue to lengthen, bringing the total count to 33. As of 22 September, nearly 53,000 people had become ill, with more than 12,800 hospitalizations and four infant deaths.

Why are food manufacturers waiting for the authorities to conduct checks to reveal their intentional follies before withdrawing their products from shelves? The onus is on them to conduct internal investigations the moment the scandal broke out. They should be turning themselves in. “Not knowing” is hardly an excuse, because the unethical addition of melamine in food products is never unintentional. Many young lives might have been saved if these food manufacturers had the courage to voluntarily own up to their contemptible methods.

Why are there even “legal restrictions” for melamine, illegally added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content? Why should melamine be added at all? This brazen form of consumer trickery should be banned, even if the levels of melamine are not life-endangering.

Why are the media in Singapore not questioning all this? The 24 October reportage of the new list of tainted products sounded very matter-of-fact, almost jaded. So what if “there is thus unlikely to be any adverse health effect unless large quantities of the contaminated products are consumed over a prolonged period of time”? That is not the question. We see only the tip of the iceberg: how many products have yet to be tested for melamine? How many more rogue food manufacturers are still scot-free, too blinded by greed to own up? Why are they not persecuted?

It is the media’s responsibility to question the warped nature of the situation. Why are they not doing it?

Bath Time

IT IS bath time. She slams the bathroom door shut, and removes her battered clothes, her protective covers. And then she scrubs her body and hair, expressionless, working routinely and mindlessly. Yes, expressionless – that’s her favourite mode of camouflage.

And then she removes her makeup; the colours she smears on her wan face while she carefully chooses the expression she wants to wear everyday (putting that into practice is another thing altogether), before she steps out into the big, big world outside.

Mandatory, routine bath time always leave her the space to contend with her own thoughts, naked and undisturbed. She can’t help but think she is the lowest form of life on Earth. A lowlife, through and through. (Then again, who isn’t?) She despises her own inconsistency; oh the way she chatted with the kindly Kate, an acquaintance – a “business contact” almost – that day, at that cosy little cafe. That permanent, guiltless smile plastered across her face! (She was asking Kate for a favour, of course). Yet her demons – always waiting for the chance – could rise up within her in seconds, consuming her whole. Once left alone with Ben, this salacious hulk of an acquaintance who made her squirm in her own skin, a steely glare immediately replaced her plastic smile. She made the most feeble of efforts to hide her strong distaste. Really, she was dying to scratch the undersides of that quaint little wooden chair she was sitting on with her nails. She wished fervently that they were on different planets now. What did she do to deserve this – the privilege to dine at the same table with him, alone? This was the first time she ate in silence with a companion. The deafening silence scared her, but such feelings of unease and sheer repulsion were not unfamiliar. They just manifested themselves in varying degrees of intensity, depending on the person she has to face.

But not all people make her skin crawl. Call her frivolous, but she finds the demons rise only when (unattractive, mostly) members of the opposite sex make wretched attempts to inch closer to her. Why, she’s used to solitude. She likes it even; the freedom and predictability it gives. No cause for drama and demons; no need to fight fires. Clean and untainted, just as she’d be, emerging from her bath.

Slightly more assured, she wipes herself dry, get dressed and steps out of the bathroom to continue living her life quietly.


  1. I need a personal assistant.
  2. I have two free tickets to Little Bit Of Heart – Solo Recital by Nicholas Teo, 7 pm this Friday. Who wants to go?
  3. Lost quite a bit of passion for American History now that Dr Musselman is gone.
  4. My back is killing me.
  5. My life hangs on a thin thread sustained by 10pm TVB shows, coffee, green tea, Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea, NYC guidebooks, and my own singing.
  6. Anyone good at web design? Need one quite urgently! Tell me if you know one.
  7. Am as uninspired as a split end, again.
  8. I feel deflated and defeated.

High time WordPress allowed polls. I only asked for fun, because I haven’t the slightest mind to change anything on this blog. Heh.

Wanted to ask “Is the Straits Times’ Goodness Gracious Me campaign absolutely pointless?” but the answer’s too obvious, no fun.


My dear readers, pardon the trepidation in my shaking voice – for I just made a horrifying discovery.

I withdraw $40 from the ubiquitous ATM every three to four days.

And I just spent $28 on a little black dress online.

I used to raise one eyebrow with scorn and disbelief whenever people tell me they record their expenses everyday. (The trouble!) Now I wish I’d done that. I wonder where all my money went.

I know one of the reasons: a handsome amount of my shrinking assets is scattered in the hands of friends who’ve yet to pay me for birthday presents they chipped in to buy.

But that doesn’t properly justify my poverty. Haven’t I been frugal enough!!! I was empty-handed while Sheena came home with four bags of shopping that day!

Excuse me while I wring my hands with the worrying prospect of an ascetic (read: non-hedonistic) lifestyle looming ahead.


I’d always had a firm understanding of the word “bloody” – it is my favourite expletive after all- until today.

Cut my thumb accidentally and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. For a moment I thought it would drain my body of all its blood and leave me with a wrinkly, rubbery sheath of a carcass, much like a deflated balloon.

Random thoughts ran through my bloodless head – do I call Linda? She’s from St John’s. Try Googling for answers? No, I had to go teach, time was running out. Seek divine intervention?

Three blood-stained tissues and one excruciating wash later, I put a band aid on that gaping 0.5 cm cut and the blood overflowed, threatening to leave a trail of red. It finally stopped after half an hour; but I was convinced by then I suffered from a blood disorder and needed a full-body check up.

Anaemic, I waddled through the day, eventually emerging victorious from my battle with the brats – surprising myself once again. Unfortunately, I don’t have a single bottle of unexpired antiseptic in my house and I’m deathly afraid of infection; or worse, another metallic-stenched red rush.

Several kind and not-so-kind souls asked after my MSN footnote (a bloodied finger):

fangfang: aiyo…stop bleeding alr?
it could be haemophilia..
but choy choy..

my sister: aiyo… cld hav donated th blood lo..
shld go for first aid lessons hor..quite useful
did mummy scream?

It’s obvious who’s the kind and who’s the not-so-kind. 😛