Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Came back from Oxford yesterday. Oxford was a mixed bag. I did manage to play basketball, for quite some time, I should say, around 4 hours of it. Its fun although, my physical state has clearly deteriorated. Lack of sleep, lack of food, the train ride, they all contribute to a pretty ineffectual me. Managed to do some readings, not much but still the experience of reading in a cafe on nice couches never fails to cheer me up. Chinese food was good, had practically chinese for all my meals, dim sum twice, dishes and rice twice. . I like walking down the roads of Oxford, in the middle of the night, to grab a kebab from the vans, its soothing, to walk in the cold, its a different world at night, and of course, i hate the sun and so the cold is good. I got a hair cut too! Springtime in the UK is simply too hot for long hair.

On to the bad then. I realised or maybe i have always realised it but this is the first time I have articulated it in such detail. I am socially inept. I can't initiate contact, I can't seem to intiate contact. People have to do it first. They have to start the ball rolling, before I can respond in kind and even then, I think people are bored by me, likewise, I am bored by them. I am generally bored with human beings. No matter where I go, the conversation bores me to the extreme with its repetitiveness and its ordinariness. Some people are amusing. Some. A is amusing, K is amusing. My secondary school classmates are amusing, uncle C and uncle JM are amusing. Bear bear is amusing. But most of the time, I find myself, retreating into my self, and having a conversation within me. And of course I have the rant below. I hate people treating me as if I am invisible. I hate people thinking that I am not good enough, that I am not worthy of their attention, that I am lesser than them. I really loathe that. For all my life, it has been that, the Aunt from Hell, the JC class, the army English speaking elite, who believe that being able to speak chinese properly somehow indicates my inability to speak English, look at where I am now, u fucking pricks, undergrad, Masters and now, the fat ass bitch. I have been spending my life, fighting against such people but they never fail to stop, they keep coming, with their pre determined prejudicies, that I am nothing compared to them. Fuck you all. Misanthropy. I really abhor the human kind.

Final point. I hate being controlled. I hate being told what to do. When people do that to me, I have this natural urge to rebel, to do exactly what they don't want me to do. but for love or duty, I can do it for a while but not for long. I guess.

I am tired. On the whole, Ox was bad. It reminded me of my conflicts, the clash between my need to be socially active and my irritation and boredom with the humankind. It reminded me of my solitude and that it is an inescapable fact of my existence. It reminded me of my need to be appreciated and that if there is no apparent reciprocation, I can't do much. The will to help is simply reduced.

Sighs, I should be alone. If only I can control the madness when I am alone.

Before I blog about Oxford, I need to rant.

Fucking fat bitch. I hate it when people see through me, I don't mean the quiet insightful appraisal that some people have the ability to do. Its the you are transparent, you are inconsequential, I see right through you, you don't exist look. I can greet that person hiya, and that person FI, she just sees right through me as if I am an apparition and just goes on, and talks right through me, I can literally feel your sounds waves penetrating my self. Fucking bitch. You know what you need? You need to have your fats, scooped out of your mother fucking fat ass, thrown into a pot of curry, and served to you and your scrawny boyfriend while your intestines are dragged out of your stomach and tied to each other's entrails. Force feed and hopefully, you can see your own ass fats going through your own bodies and I hope you puke, choking on your own spicy fat, its poetic justice.

God its a miracle, you don't crush the fucker when you are fucking. You are so fucking fat that its not difficult to imagine his scrawny ass, pig fucker, suffocated when he's under you, he's screaming, I am dying, and probably you can't hear him because your fat fuck lard is covering him entirely. Oh he's not the one who saw through me? Fuck him, he has the stupidity to be with that fat fuck, so tough luck, life's shit anyway I am just spreading the shit.

Ok, rant over.

Friday, April 23, 2004

"Psychiatrists just make things up. They make up names for disorders and disabilities because people who don't conform have to be labelled. But there is no such thing as normal. It's about degrees of acceptability -- acceptable behaviour."

David Carradine, Bill in Kill Bill

Went to see pseudo director of postgrad research. Its the bi-annual meeting implemented by the school to indicate that they are taking an active participation in your academic as well as your emotional development. Of course, as it was in undergrad, as it was in the army, everyone knows its just a farce. You go in, she asks you how you are, how is your work, any problems with the school, its as if she's reading from a questionare which of course leads to the question of why can't they just do an online survey. But of course, we need to have a human face on this whole process and so we do it. It was a happy session, for her at least. My work is fine, its progressing smoothly, I have completed a chapter although I made a boo boo by saying that I want to get a tutorship with a hall of residence to maximise my earning capacity. I hope this doesn't give her the impetus to reduce the scholarship monies. Its all a nice happy show, I mean I have never had problems academically or at least not within my control, the only time i messed up was A levels but then again, it was from an extreme lack of interest in what I was doing then. I guess thats why people never know when a person will just kill himself/herself just like that, they are only concerned with what they see on the outside, and of course, they seldom want to delve into the inner sanctum of the person's mind. Even if they know something, they will just push it to the back of their heads. "Hello, I am suicidal." "wow, thats interesting, what are you working as?" And so we have people saying, he was such a nice guy, quiet polite, no way of knowing that he was depressed or even suicidal. Thats what they said in the army, when people jump, thats what they say in JC when people jump, thats what they say in the world when people jump, and people jump all the time.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Went to see my supervisor. He said my work is fine. Some points of substance, he wanted to discuss with me, but generally it was fine, its nice to make a point that a professor of his calibre would stop and think about it before concluding that he agreed with me. Its definitely a good ego boost. Generally, aside from some amendments I have to make, I have completed my first chapter and the 30000 words that come with it. I am assuming that my thesis will definitely exceed the word limit. Anyway, its on to the next chapter now. Asked him about whether I could continue teaching next academic year and he said he has no problems with that, he even said I could teach his tutorials, subject to approval from the Head of School so thats definitely encouraging. Strangely, I don't know, are my standards too high for myself when I write, I don't really like my first chapter, I have this burning urge to rewrite some parts of it. But my supervisor seems ok with what I have been doing but I can't help feeling this itch. Oh well, I will probably do it but as I am busy for this month, i will just let it hang for a while, after all this promises to be a busy three weeks. I have my own Singapore article that I wish to write, an article I am collaborating with F on piak piak! I want to call it, "Piak piak: a sound unsuited to vandalism" but I don't think F will let me do that and of course I have my thesis work to bear in mind. P's back from Singapore which means my weekends won't be that empty after all. There's Fraiser season 2 and West Wing season 3 to watch. And there's always Uncle C's ten PS2 games.

I have a hierarchy of distractions:

1. Work
2. PS2
3. Cooking
4. DVDs
5. Reading
6. Alcohol (to be introduced)
7. Cut.

I am trying to increase the distance between 1. and 7. The danger is of course, it doesnt necessarily go from 1. to 2. to 3. and so on. Sometimes, it jumps. The worst case scenario, from 1. to 7. directly.

Yesterday, after three consecutive days of reading tort choice of law literature, my brain decided to bail on my intentions, at approximately 6pm. Going to the library, thinking that I shouldn't waste any time, I should photocopy the rest of the articles i needed for my piece, I found the books, went to the photocopier, only to find that the bloody card reader couldn't read my card. Fine, lets go home. In the process of going home, M called, and of course the routine fight ensued. For the first time in my life, I have conclusive proof that fighting verbally, drains your energies. At the end of the fight, after a day's work in the office with nothing more than a sandwich and a muffin in my stomach, i couldn't feel my fingers at all, i raised up my arm, i could see my fingers twiddling, but i just couldn't feel them at all, they look pathetic, as if they were fish out of water, they were moving feebly. Solution was simple of course, instant noodles instead of the full chinese meal I normally have, with the speed it provides. I realised with the diet I am having, my energy cannot be wasted at all, i can't do anymore more besides reading, thinking about my article and thesis, photocopying and nothing more. Anything beyond that, my food consumption would be insufficient to support my activities.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"Touching on what was once a divisive issue, Mr Lee said he used to hold himself responsible for giving women equal education and job opportunities as far back as the 1960s.

This, he said, has led to a growing number of unmarried women graduates.

Mr Lee said: "Singapore women are now as well-educated and earning as much as men. This has altered the husband-wife relationship, and affected the nature of our society. The result has been higher divorce rates, more single-generation families, less children in each family and fewer of the three-generation households."

LKY speaking in Beijing at a talk organised by the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Extract taken from yahoo news Singapore.

Implication appears to be that the equality of the genders has led to the breakdown of the family unit! Will AWARE rant tomorrow? Lets wait and see

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Nicholl Highway has collapsed. Are things unimportant now to me? Does nothing matter to me in the light of this? Strangely, I couldn't care less. Strangely? Perhaps it should be predictably. I have watched the 9 11 incident on television with people jumping off the twin towers, to escape their deaths by fire for a death by impact. I watched it emotionlessly, with F, I must say. I have watched the bali bombings, the madrid bombings on TV and still, nothing registered on my emotions scale. I went on with my life, these occurrences interesting but unaffecting of my life in any way. Perhaps, I need to be there, in the ensuing chaos, I need to be hurt, seriously injured or near death, to feel the anguish, of such destruction. Perhaps and I touched wood, and I would advise all to do so, when you read this, I need to lose someone from an incident like this to feel something about it. Perhaps. but for now, its nothing but words, on an internet report, and if I see it on TV, a scene in a box. Things are still as important. Things important to me still matter to me in the same way, nothing more nothing less, there is no change at all.

In the midst of doing research for an article that I wish to write, and of course eventually submit for publication, I am constantly perturbed by the thought of mediocrity. Its in my head while I read, its in my head, while I msn, its in my head when I go back to my room, this is a test, an indication of how good I am in the career path I have chosen. And I am scared. I am frightened of being exposed as a fraud, that the strength of my degrees are but paper, and when it comes down to the work itself, I am nothing but a paper doll. Even if I get published, i will start questioning the quality of my paper. Is it a good one even though its published, is my reasoning exceptional, or merely mundane. There doesnt seem to be an end to this crisis. Low self esteem? Perhaps. I guess, the only thing I can do is to keep trying, constantly, reexamining my work, evaluating them, and perhaps one day, I will think I am good enough.

Oh fuck, thats so bloody optimstic of me

i should stop being a law academic. I should be a relationship therapist.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I love cooking. I love receiving smses from my mom in Singapore, giving me the recipe for one of her home cooked dishes, and following them, to come up with a dish, the taste of which is nearly identical to the food she cooks. I would follow the steps, not meticulously, of course, my mom doesn't give me exact instructions, she tells me more dark soya sauce than light sauce, she tells me chinese wine or sesame oil, and she doesn't give me the exact amount. She trusts my taste buds to make the necessary adjustments. After cooking it, when i first bring the food to my mouth with the customary brown rice with it, I will always smile broadly because I managed to produce the taste I wanted, the taste that is distinctly home. Its a nice end to my day which can only be described as monotonous.

I miss having dinner parties, the ones I used to have until destroyed by one C. I miss them. I love having a bunch of friends, cooking together, and sampling the dishes we cooked, there was this competition I had once, C, Li and me, to see who will be the first person to repeat the dishes for dinner. Amazingly, none of us did, for two months. Sadly, things had to happen and all that is just a memory now.

I miss cooking for people, cooking for M, she hated Chinese food, she thought that it was boring and she had it so often at home that she refused to have it in the UK. At first, I was irritated by that, as I loved Chinese food, pasta and pizza just wasn't for me. But then, I learnt to cook western styled dishes, Chicken casseroles, Chicken in a bag with red wine sauce, chicken breast with porcini mushrooms, and it was fun, cooking those dishes, for her as well as for my palate. One of my last public cooking was during Christmas, when I cooked the chicken breast dish for a Christmas party held at my uncle's home. I know my parents are proud of my academic achievements, but i can't feel that pride, I don't feel a reciprocal emotion to that. I am not too sure why but i could definitely sense the pride my mom had in me when I cooked for relatives and friends. It is this pride that I wanted, that I appreciate more than the rest of the things I do in life.

Now, I cook for myself. My pleasure in cooking, undiminished by the fact that I am the only recipient of it. Its one of my few passions in life. Today, my dish was microwaved chicken in oyster sauce, one of my mom's personal recipes. I have a list of recipes, on my handphone, icq sms database, a blogspot site and written in an old exercise bookof mine. Some of these dishes are from my grandmother, who died, a long while ago, in a way, this is tradition, not the cultural heritage that one destroys by compelling, by cajoling, by reprimanding the young to learn, its something that happens naturally, lessons from one generation, passed down to another in love, in passion, in enthusiasm. My grandmother lives in my cooking and my mom's and it will always continue on so long as there is someone who wishes to learn.

Today, the Easter break was officially over. Not that I noticed it, at first, I saw it only when I observed that the number of people; students that is, with their faded denim and brightly coloured garb, walking to school today has dramatically increased, I am reminded of rabbits, and how we used to say that the M fuck like rabbits. They were everywhere, the road from Beeston into the university grounds, the long winding path to the Law faculty, they were there, with their shrill happy voices, screaming out hellos and what's up man, to the people they know. Conversations involving, someone's gym regime, someone sweet talking to her partner on the handphone, the sun, the odd hail on friday, their holidays, whether they did any work, snatches of words, verbal words, floating in the air, I could hear while I made my way to my office. I could feel the words, at times, a mixed solidification permeating the spring air, heavy, booming strongly against my sides, an invisible sledgehammer, and at the same time, light, a small gust, flowing dreamily with spider webs, drifting amidst it. They spun around the line of beings trudging up the road to school, tiny air devils, dancing maniacally around, in a celebration of themselves, the spoken word. It was the world of the verbal, a marked contrast from my world of the written. I walked on by, a ghost to the world around me.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

"There's only one direction, " The Senator was saying, smiling, with the air of one delivering a self-evident truth, " - on an island."

Kelly laughed. Not knowing exactly why.

I laughed because I knew why.

"When her lover had loved her, she'd been beautiful. When she'd been beautiful, her lover had loved her. It was a simple proposition, a seemingly tautological proposition, yet it resisted full comprehension."

Joyce Carol Oates, Black Water.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I have always thought that if I ever go mad, I will go into Wisma, the crowded underpass to takashimaya, slit my wrists and flick my blood at the faces of people that pass me by.

There are three things that keep me sane in Nottingham, work, PS2 and cooking, *munches happily on baked fish with lemon and mixed herbs*

I've finished Cosmopolis, first book, I have read in one and a half years I think. Went shopping for another book for the weekends. Was contemplating getting the Body Artist but I realised that I should store another Don DeLillo book for a rainy day when I run out of writers to read. Besides, I have this problem with styles, the more I read of a particular writer, the less patience I have in completing more of his books. Raymond carver appears to be the exception. (ELAINE MY CARVER!!!!! UGH UGH UGH UGH HOW COULD YOU SELL THEM TO THE KANUNG GUNI MAN! ITS SO INSULTING) Toni Morrison, Milan Kundera and even Jostein Heller are casualties of that mindset. I do like Don DeLillo's style so I want to make sure that I am not bored by his works that quickly. Narrowed down my choices to two, Kazuo Ishiguro, remains of the day and artist of the floating world, bound up into a single volume or Joyce Carol Oates which i eventually bought, Black Water. Its nice and short, so I hope to be sufficiently gripped by the story. Kazuo Ishiguro, I don't know why I am fascinated by him, but I just can't stop reading Remains of the Day, I have read it three times now, and its a book that I can keep going back to, I have no idea why. That said, I was traumatised (yes I can be traumatised) by When we were Orphans when he revealed what happened to the mother. So when I reached out to get the Ishiguro book, I was stricken by momentary disgust when i remembered. Black Water became my choice then.

Cosmopolis. Self destruction. Self realisation. Self awareness.

I surround myself with so many layers of facades, of self imposed realities that I construct for different individuals, I wear masks, I lie, I hide, I smile, burdens, weights on my soul as my reality is fragmented, the links between each reality increasingly fragile and tenuous. If I could view my lives, with a single camera, my actions my thoughts my everything, divided up into tiny boxes, what would I see? A desperate, pitiful attempt to prevent hurt, pain and death. And in all this turmoil, I yearn for something that defines me, something that exhilarates, something that reminds me that I are alive.

Thrill in destruction. Yes there is. When you discard your various defences, physical, mental, till you are left, the infant fresh out of a dead mother's womb, you exist, a purity of being, your naked flesh against the raw primal forces that have ruled over you. There is an eroticism about it. Its an intimacy, both chilling and warm, an intensity of emotions that only exist in a love hate relationship, the same obsessive passion that can save you and tear you apart limb by limb, at the same time.

Why do I cut. I cut because i feel. Alive. Because i can feel blood flowing out of my veins, flowing, there is movement, there is life, there is purity in the release of life into the open as it merges with the external, it is sacred. I cut because my defences are shattered, and I am forced to feel, but i can't feel simply from tears, salt water isn't enough, only blood is. Blood is inextricably connected to life. And without a link between my life and my emotions, they are but a reaction to externalities. With blood, i have a powerful trinity between the world, my emotions and my life. With blood, I know that my emotions are not artificial, not a reality I created for that particular circumstance. It is real, it is authentic.

"He understood what was missing, the predatory impulse, the sense of large excitation that drove him through his days, the sheer and reeling need to be to."

"There was nothing to do. He hadn't realized this could happen to him. The moment was empty of urgency and purpose. He hadn't planned on this. Where was the life he'd always led? There was nowhere he wanted to go, nothing to think about, no one waiting. How could he take a step in any direction at all if all directions were the same?"

"There are dead stars that still shine because their light is trapped in time. Where do I stand in this light, which does not strictly exist?

"He would not submit to the tide of memory and emotion. Maybe he felt an allegiance to his history. It is one thing to speak around an experience, use it as reference and analogy. But to detail the hellish thing itself, to strangers who will nod and forget, this seem a betrayal of his pain."

Don DeLillo Cosmopolis

I am beginning to appreciate the beauty in words. How ideas and words are intertwined with one another, the elegance of the expression in conveying an idea with a simplicity, so blunt and sharp, that you marvel at its violence and purity.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I went onto the ST webpage today and stared at the front page today. Saw two divers exchanging marriage vows underwater. First reaction, inter-racial marriage, male's' an ang moh, female's a chinese, second reaction, age differences, ang moh is 22, female is 26. Started wondering why the hell would anyone want to do it in water, refreshing take on marriage? Relevancy to the interests of the two couples? Or the cynic in me would say, media coverage. I am more inclined towards the latter with the Marbeck - Beckham incident hogging the media limelight. That said, had an interesting session with K, he's my flatmate from my undergrad days. In two different jurisdictions, in the middle of the night, we were doing the same things we were doing four years ago, bitching about people and doing dodgy things on the internet; we were checking out all the beckham girls, and ranking them according to their looks. Yes, we are shallow.

Went down further down the page, saw an explosion in the catering kitchen for SIA. Two men dead. My first reaction was, predictably, coool! I mean, we have wars in Iraqi, people dying from suicide bombings, the American weapons, the palestinian conflict with israel and here we have, in Singapore, two people dying from an exploding kitchen equipment. Incidentally, this reminds me of the blackout recently and how fearful singaporeans were thinking that our power stations have been subject to an attack by terrorists. And of course, this then led me to my favourite memory of SL, after the 9 11 incident, she was so depressed about the attack, that she keep thinking that a plane was going to slam through the building she was working at at RP. I don't have much fond memories of her but this one never fails to make me laugh. Yes, I know, I am morbid and macabre.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Spent another long day in the office. I realised if I spaced out my food consumption, ie a small bite every two or three hours, I don't need that much food for the day and I can work for a longer duration in the office itself, not to mention lower my calories intake for the day. I believed I have involuntarily trained myself to feel nauseous whenever I consume white bread, white rice, and oily foods. No wonder L calls me anorexic.

It was tiring at work today, I finally completed my first chapter, all 44 pages, 30000 words, and I spent the whole entire day rereading it, and redrafting and strengthening the substance of my chapter in relation to the main ideas i was trying to bring forth. You can imagine how tedious and how boring it is, reading and rereading stuff that you have been writing for the last six months or so. Oh well, can't wait to move on to the more thought-provoking stuff. As my supervisor said, what I am doing now is just the build up, there are interesting ideas in the structural and historical perspective I have undertaken but still, it is just observational research. Six months, I have spent on the comparisons of the laws. Its almost time to go into the reasons for the laws, thats where the meat is. I can't wait to go on to theory and attempt to formulate one for my thesis. Two and a half years to my doctorate!

My Oxford certificate arrived today! Pretty fast, I should say, I sent out an email two days ago and it arrived first class mail, and the textbook I ordered from Amazon, Intellectual Property and Private International Law, one whole fucking week and its still not here, even though they said it would just be two days. I was staring at the cert in the office, and i was smiling stupidly at it for quite some time, it does look impressive, it does give me an ego boost reading that word "distinction." Self help books talk about giving yourself a hug everyday, for me, its staring at the word "distinction" once everyday.

Will be going to Oxford this weekend, I realised I actually prefer Oxford to Nottingham now, living in Oxford is so much more convenient with the city centre so close by, its so easy to just hop into a cafe and read. Nottingham, I have to take a bus, and a bus trip just seems daunting to me with my lethargy. And there's Borders! Borders is infintely better than Waterstones. They have graphic novels, i so need to get up to date with my comics collection. Once I have confirmed that buying graphic novels in singapore is more expensive than in the UK, its time for a shopping spree! Trying to make a regular return to Oxford every month if I can, meet up with friends, basketball mates as well as dim sum.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


The four partitions surround,
they encircle menacingly,
with the implicit echo,
the sterile chant,
of the woodmen's "timber."

Minuscule orbs,
set adrift in the dead sea,
the will o wisps
of a mental swamp;
the signposts
to the shiny shiny knife.

Voices speak.
No, they weep and wail.
Disembodied and black,
they float dreamily
in the pillar of
a rising storm.

Dreams of Eves
and the unattainable fruit,
pervade and crunch.
They munch happily
on the monster
hiding above the bed.

Sobriety always comes.
A parody
of a funeral dirge.

I have opened the door
once or twice
but once its shut
they just come back.

Monday, April 12, 2004

I wish that I have L's ability to be cheered up by the simple things in life, to be happy simply because.

In normal circumstances, I function between two points in the spectrum of happiness and downright depression; numbness and downright depression. The more i talk to L and F, the more I realised how I am resigned to my own fate. No matter how cruel life is to them, they have held on to their candle of hope, even though, the winds blow mercilessly at them, I dare say even more viciously and nefariously than mine. Strangely, it is my candle that has been blown out. Perhaps it could be attributed to the fact that I am not bp or md. They have the innate ability to reach highs that I am incapable of reaching, my moods are but hills to their mountains.

I know that they are exasperated by my lack of hope, optimism and idealism. They have a desire to change people, to change the things around them, to construct their own reality, to dream of a better tomorrow, no matter how cliched that sounds. I prefer to survive within the parameters of the world, live with the terms that I am given. In a way, i can be worst, I guess, I could be wallowing in self pity, cursing and railing against the painted ones who have so much more than I, in their lives. But thankfully, I have long since grown past that stage; it was just a stage one had to go through while recovering from a traumatic episode. Still, no one likes a stick in the mud and basically, thats what I am.

Perhaps thats why I can be L's damage controller. I don't think I can be one if I have your highs.

While reading Cosmopolis, I am beginning to feel that I have an asymmetrical prostate as well. I can actually feel it moving near my bladder when I pee.

I guess being called malignant, or rather, being called either benign or malignant with a great deal of ambivalence thrown into it, makes me uncomfortable. Its not the sharp stabbing pain, you get when someone says that you are just words. Its more like a cancer, a tumour, forming deep inside you, you know its there because of the unease it causes, you can't pinpoint its precise locality, you just know that its in there, and its growing. Its irritating, its nagging, its the second hand smoke inside you swirling around, its the foul stench you smell but you can't find its source.

Its just so goddamn irritating!

I was in the office and I still couldn't shake off the thought, and I started wondering whether I am miffed because you said it first instead of me? And that I had those thoughts for a long time and that at times, I wanted to tell you straight yet I didn't?

Damn I hate my mind.

Spring is finally here and with it, the scorching sun, the orange filter that illuminates everything. I absolutely hate it. Thats when I saw the daisies growing outside my window. Just a few small white flowers, scattered amidst the grass patch, outside my window. In a few weeks, no, days, I suspect, the patch will be covered completely, a field of white and yellow dots. At least, that is one thing about spring that I can still appreciate.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Somehow being told that they can't make up their minds whether I am malignant or benign, really perturbs. Can't seem to get the thought out of my head.

So I ranted:

"Am I malignant or benign? To some, with my pessimism and extolling of realism and the eradication of hope, I am malignant. I deflate the hopes of others, I attempt to persuade them that hope is futile. Do I bring people down? If I depress them, if i bring them back to Earth, it is but a affirmation of what reality is, a warning of the possible consequences, I do not discount the possibility of success, in our terms happiness, I do not discount that that is a possible outcome. I simply point out that it is highly unlikely. What is the point of being ridiculously optimistic, saying things like things will be better, it will be fine, you just have to wait, its a rainy spell, when it is unlikely to be fine for us, fine as in a period of calm? What is the point of saying such things when they simply do not understand what goes on in our minds? They do not know what we go through, they do not know how we feel. I question the motives of people who say that; honestly do they really believe that it will be fine or are they saying that because it appears to be appropriate to say so? To say such things without fully comprehending what goes on, the provision of false hope, that is more malignant than what I can possibly do."

After a few more hours of thinking, actually worrying that I am being presumptious and therefore arrogant, who am I to say that I understand, I was even having a semantic debate with myself as to the difference between knowing and understanding. Eventually, I came to the conclusion, its a stupid conclusion actually, that it really bugs me that people are equivocal about me, that a friend can think I bear ill will towards him/her. What's more, people who don't know me, who have never seen me, who have no inkling of what I am, can be sceptical, suspicious about me? That really really pisses me off, that I have decided that this person is someone i will have no contact with, whatsoever.

I guess my training isn't complete, I am still unable to push aside such comments, out of my head. I just keep brooding. Need to learn to push it away.

In relation to the entry below, this is what Don DeLillo wrote:

"If you know something and don't act upon it, then you didn't know it in the first place. This is a piece of Chinese wisdom," she said, "To know and not to act is not to know."

Reading E's blog can be painful as I am struck by the impact of my words, on her mindset, on her attitudes towards life. Of course it would be hubris to assume that my views have a total grip on her but still, her recent themes are very close to my views. It is a dilemma isn't it? You see the person, you know what's going to happen, you can predict the general ups and downs, not to a perfect science, but enough to see the general trends. And you don't know whether you should make it known to that person. Can I tell them, that Hope as Raistlin Majere puts it, is the denial of reality? Can I tell them they should be like me, avoid love, intimacy and closeness because these three concepts will often become your greatest flaws, a Achilles heel of your own creation, as the people who say they love you, whom you love, the person whom you are close to whom you are intimate to, can often and will often hurt you in ways that make you seek your death? How can I tell them all that? How can I watch it happen before my eyes and yet do nothing to stop it? Because, even I do try to stop it, I am cursed for it as the bearer of bad tidlings.

Maybe I am being presumptuous in thinking that I have the ability to see where people like us are going. For all our sakes, I hope I am. I wish I could tell you of happier things that await you, that there is a happy ever after but I don't think so. At least not for us. We can only hope to live day by day, our lives are in seconds, not days, not weeks and definitely not years when the possibility of life, shattering is ominously impending. Perhaps its better that I be just words, words that don't strike deep into one's heart, words as the chinese say, that go in from one ear and exit from another so that you can live your highs with no one to drag you down to the soil.

Dido's songs are in me. To be precise, its White flag and Life for rent. I woke up this morning, switched on my laptop as always and I was involuntarily humming those two songs.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Why was C special?

Because she made an attempt to break through the barriers.

Because she tried to tear off the mask to see what was beneath it.

But she couldn't bear the sight of the truth.

So she ran.

Why did she believe she could make a difference?

Because she was stupid enough to think that God is the answer to all the woes of the world.

When she was confronted with His failings, with His imperfections.

She ran.

Sat on my bed reading my book while F tells me on msn about her disaster at making paper dolls simply because she used rice glue instead of special glue thus resulting in the raising of the paper overlaps? She tells me about her life at O, the love between two cartoonish characters, the hordes of the barbaric surging forth to crush the air she gasps for, the people she avoids, the essays, the work, the exams and I listen.

I told L, in a way I am just words. Did I really mean that? I guess when I have met her, I have seen her, I have feasted with her, I have spoken to her, i have listened. I am no longer just words. I am more than that. For a while, it hurts when she said I am just words. Emotional hurt is strange. It hurts just once, the right verbal combination that draws blood. You can't use that same tactic, that same weapon again. It is not physical hurt, when blood will always flow.

I am sitting on my bed, in my room, with my four walls, and my world is not through my window but through a screen, and the life in this world, are just words, moving changing deleting. Sometimes, I wonder whether its better that people remain just words. When people go beyond words, the capacity for hurt, pain and injury increases. Words are controllable, its within my grasp, within the scope of the power I have with the keyboard in front of me.

I have a strange relationship with words. My first love started with words and ended with words. When she vanished from the world of words, the words still live, as i cling on to it, I stay on hoping that one day she will return to the world I have, and I can smite her with words. Dreams, delusions, Nightmares, words. Perhaps I stay hoping that I will find love in words.

Love. L O V E, perhaps, its just a word as well.

"He hated Arthur Rapp. He'd hated him before he met him. It was a hatred with the purest bloodlines, orderly, based on differences of theory and intepretation. Then he met the man and hated him personally and chaotically, with sizable
violence of heart."

Cosmopolis Don DeLillo

Two weeks ago, my friend, a childhood friend, an old neighbour, my best friend in the popular definition of the phrase, smsed me, he told me he was getting married and that he wanted me to be his best man. So, yes, I am to be a best man, first time in my whole entire life, I am to be a best man. This is also the first wedding that I would be attending not for the sake of the parents, or relatives but for myself. He is the first good friend to get married. None of my close friends are anywhere near to marriage, two are single, two have steady girlfriends but that was very recent, one has an interesting dilemma which is still far from complete resolution. On the female side, i suspect that the criteria of being my close friend and female at the same time, is that they have to be single, or we tend to drift apart once their lives are dominated by the male. I don't blame them, of course, no right to, its how life is. That said, my close female friends are nowhere near the marital status.

What does a best man do anyway? I have to ask Porkfloss, he's the only one I know who has extensive experience at being a best man.

Went out to get groceries for the next week, to the tiny city centre of the town where I stay. I wanted to go there early instead of my usual evening timing because I wanted to read, yes, after a hiatus of I suspect a year, I wanted to try and get back to the rhythm of reading fiction once again. I guess that discussion with lainey inspired me, gave me the impetus to try and do the things that I used to do, I mean i guess when you've tried to break out of your own body, therefore assuming that there is a soul and you are trapped by a mortal shell, mmm anyway, I guess the only direction you can go is up, at least something or someone kicks you down again, which is of course a common occurrence in my life.l Anyway, I went to the second hand book store looking for something to kickstart my reading, which was at a peak during NS. I scanned through the shelves for a book to read and Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis practically screamed out. I don't know why, partly because Lainey recommended the writer and Vaya (Not that I know her, I just followed Lainey's link to her blog) describes the book to some detail. And so I bought it. Hopefully I can read it. Hopefully, this can return me to my days of quiet literary appreciation. Hopefully.

Friday, April 09, 2004

I was talking to F during one of our numerous msn conversations and she said, that money can buy you a phd. Well I concede to the general application of that statement but I would qualify it by limiting it to universities which are not exactly on top 100 university lists of the world. Then I thought, and I made it know to F that certs are nothing too. You can be like me, an overachiever in my education since A levels which incidentally, I messed up by being angsty, but to me, its all nothing, it simply says that you are not mediocre and i guess that's not enough for me. I am in search of a piece of work that I can write, that I can publish, an idea, an argument, a theory that I can call my own.

Had a similar conversation with Lainey as well, on being mediocre and how she can't abide it. Likewise, I can't. I can't stay in Singapore, and be one of them. People like us, we can't help but be crushed by what Singapore is. Every year when I return to Singapore, inevitably, the Death Wish engulfs me. I can never truly escape it. The air there is somehow stifling suffocating, and I feel as if I am forced to the ground like the black man in American History X, with my mouth on the curb, waiting for the leg, the impact that will break my neck and end my life. People like us. We break down. L has broken down, F has broken down, I have broken down, but we have all gotten back on our feet, but how long can we continue to keep rising , how long more before we sigh and give up? I don't know. That is why Singapore must remain a visit, a short vacation to remind how lucky I am to leave. I wish that one day, L and F can escape. But its not easy. Even I may be forced back one day.

I want to be free.

Free to search for purity. To me, purity is not in love, its not in religion, its only in ideas.

I wish I have the strength to follow der Wille zur Macht

Talking to M gave me a headache. Not too sure whether its because I am talking to M or because I am using the handphone. Its like not knowing whether I am worse off because of M or whether its because of myself. Such is the wonderful world of causal links. I wish I could apply the "but for" test here, for non law people, yes you ignorant bunch, its but for the actions of X would Y have happened. Actually, there's probably more to it. I really need to revise my tort law, haven't touched it since first year, and I might have to teach it next academic year. Sighs, need to buy a textbook. But yes M, i don't know, would I be better off if i haven't met M, haven't met C haven't met J, haven't met L, haven't met B, actually the list goes on. I guess its ultimately an academic question.

I wish i can find someone whom I can say, i am better off because i met him/her and by that I mean happiness.

Its fucking hot out there, walking to school. Now i remember the main reason why i wanted to go back to Singapore for summer. No point in staying in the UK when its as hot as Singapore.,Temperature measured not by a thermometer but by the amount of sweat. I don't sweat for six months and now i am sweating buckets, I hate the heat, hate the sun, i want the cold! I want snow, blizzards, gails, hail, whatever, just get that stupid sun out of the way.

There is no food on Good Friday. I can't see why its so good then. No food at the cafe, the Student shop isn't open. Thank God for the existence of vending machines and the cookies in the fridge in the office that I was bribed with after giving free tutorials. Since my fresh food supplies has finally run out and there is no lunch available at the office, its time for instant noodles. I am so glad my supplies in that are plentiful. Need to finish my first chapter today, need to print it out, spend a week polishing it and woohoo, technically I have completed one quarter of my thesis, in just six mths of my phd term. Need an approval from the supervisor though. So fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Yum, roasted chicken with lots of mixed herbs, black pepper and butter. Yum

I got home from work and I realised that I am almost out of food. The fact that I will starve probably tomorrow isn't the problem. The problem is, space. When I have no food, it means one shelf within the fridge is empty of food. This means, my flatmates may be invading my food space anytime now. I have to defend it! Damn, its good friday tomorrow, don't think the shops are open. I need to find some empty boxes or containers so as to affirm my sovereignty over my space. This is war!

Last week, after spending three days in complete isolation, ie my room with only my PS2 to talk to and that involves, screaming you fucking bastard cheebye at creatures that pose a threat to my virtual existence, (that can prove to be a bore after a while when I realise that my range of profanities was limited), I was on the verge of going mad. I was lying on the bed, banging on the mattress and contorting my body in the hope that I can actually break out of my body. I am not too sure why I was doing that and what the result would be if I actually succeeded, astral projection or just death. Reminds me of clerks, when the guys went for the funeral of a guy who broke his neck trying to give himself a blowjob, but once again, I digress. Anyway, I realise that the answer is simple. Work more. Somehow, my mind has separated my life into two distinct locations, the office, where i work, write, read and my room where i played. I realised that although play is good, I can't handle more than two days of it. Come to think of it, when I was thinking of going on a holiday for Easter, one of the considerations were, it cannot be more than 2 nights, i will go mad. I wonder when did i develop such an aversion for play? Probably the time, when I spent one whole entire week in my room alone, and playing on the PS 2 and of course the lack of a good game to play probably contributed to that revulsion as well. So I have decided. Stay in the office more, write, read about things that are remotely related to my research. I can't seem to read things unless they are useful to me. This means I can't read novels, I tried the Forsyth saga, got bored after a page. I can't seem to appreciate styles of writing anymore. I am always looking for the message, the contents, the substance. Sadly, i think its the result of my legal education. After five years of reading cases to spot the ratio of the case and the obiter dicta, I have lost the abilitiy to just read. No wonder, I prefer graphic novels now which reminds me Lucifer vol 5 is out! FUCK, i hope N gets it for me if its cheaper to get it in singapore, or else I have to get it from Writing about fantasy worlds is fun too. Yesterday, I finally started on the writing of my dungeons and dragons campaign two years ago. Well, its not exactly an epic story and I refuse to write it as such. Of course, my style is more influenced by the absurd after reading Catch 22, so its just weird. For people interested in such stuff, check it out, its at and I should warn you that the characters in the campaign are very similar to their alter egos in real life. Yes even Porkfloss.

I have this bad habit. I can't stand what I write. No matter how pleased I am with my works, my blog entries, my poetry, my thesis, my article drafts, I will hate them in a few days/weeks time. I have no idea why. Currently, I can't stand my old blog and thats why its gone now.

I guess this is another start. Perhaps, it is impossible to have a clean slate in life unless of course you believe in the next life and in this virtual world, if blog entries define who you are, you have the power to create yourself. This is another virtual clean slate. My secret hope is that this new beginning is capable of infecting my life in the real world although, my usual pessimism has already risen to crush it.

Incidentally, I am reminded of one of my favourite thoughts. Lucid dreaming, the ability to control what you dream. I have always thought that if you are capable of doing that, you have become God. It is like in Sophie's world, that perhaps we are in a world dreamt by one and when he stops dreaming, our world, our lives will end, just like that. You control the dream, the contents of the dream, the people, the lives. You are God till you wake up, and if you don't wake up, you are God till you die.

Lainey says, I write best when I write with my heart and recently, actually not that recently, for quite some time, i write more with my brain. I don't know, I am beginning to suspect that my heart isn't exactly there anymore. Sometimes, i am not too sure whether I feel with my heart or whether my brain is sending the signals to my heart to feel in a particular way, my emotions are becoming increasingly contrived, artificial. Sometimes, I suspect that I say I am sad not because I am sad but because I think it is appropriate, convenient, beneficial to be sad. Frankly, I am now so utterly confused over my emotions. My interaction with humans have become a role that I play. Of course, for everyone, interaction is a role. Whenever, we choose not to reveal a fragment of ourselves, we are acting according to a script. But does it pay to reveal all? Well considering the fact that I have been betrayed by the few times I have done, I don't think so.

I am rambling. Its fun to ramble. After all, writing a thesis requires me to focus so much on structure, relevancy and word limits, rambling becomes a relaxing exercise.

Well I will ramble more later. Have to wake up and continue my "bullimic" diet as lainey likes to describe it.