She was a little german-chinese girl. Anastasia. Maybe about 5, 6? Fluent in german and chinese and becoming fluent in english. We were nudged in to help out with her cause her mum had to work, and she wanted someone to speak english to her kid. Who better than us? Loafing miscreants who aren’t contributing to society in any way and who have a relatively good command of the language. proclivity for non-PC words aside.
when we got there she was bored. she had waited for us all day but we agreed to arrive at 4pm, which was too late. she pretended not to notice us (playing at power politics already?) until i whipped out my pop out books in chinese/english on animals in the zoo and in the jungle and on a farm. thankfully i have a pop-up book fetish so i am not completely lost when handling children. we entertained her by drawing animals and reading the books to her, and then she brought us to her room and showed us all her toys.
Man that kid has a lot of toys! and apparently Play Mobile is edging out Lego in producing safer, more intricately designed models of everything. of people, of animals, of accessories… she also had a huge black spider that was bigger than her. her bed was one of those duplexes, the top bunk was a tent (!!) and the bottom bunk was where she actually sleeps. she gets stickers for being independent, like taking a bath, or being nice to the maid, etc. and there’s a door in her room (locked from above so only an adult can let her out) leading to a balcony (they stay in the penthouse) where she has her own private swing!! hung from some beams in the ceiling. she also has her own bougainvillea bush. she plucked quite a few flowers off the bush and gave them to us. obviously she has never read hao gong ming.
then we were going to go for a swim and i helped her choose a swimsuit (she has at least five different swim suits, most of them bikinis that she will soon grow out of) and put her in the bathroom to change and left. then she looked at me and i asked her if she wanted me to help and she nodded rather forlornly. who knew that 5 yr olds can’t wear their own swimsuits. perhaps it wouldn’t be so difficult if she wore more conservative one-piece costumes. seeing as i have never even owned a bikini myself i had no idea how to work the clasp on the back of hers. that was one thing i never thought i would be stumped by. helping a child put on a swimsuit was definitely not one of the activities i had slated for this holiday. it was massively complicated. more so than this:
to her credit she had the patience of a saint (probably cause she can’t do it herself so she can’t really blame me for not knowing) and didn’t complain while i fumbled with the clasp like an inept teenage boy (i almost hauled the maid in to help. yep, i am the product of an ivy league education. even less qualified than most maids). i spose in many respects i am pretty similar to an inept teenage boy. woefully ignorant. today hq told me that some people in the dregs of the army can’t write their own name and also that only 20% of people over the age of 21 haven’t had sex. i didn’t believe him on either count (surely 99% of my friends over the age of 21 haven’t had sex i only know one who has) and he said it’s as if i live in a greenhouse within a greenhouse within a greenhouse and am completely sheltered.
it’s nice in my greenhouse.
My brother called! from kobenhavn. In the middle of dinner. He says all his friends are leaving now and he is very sad.
And he also said, get this, he didn’t get the icelandic music CD i sent him!!
which means the usps ate it up. bah.
but i ripped the music from the cd before sending it to him :P so he can still get it when he’s back. he laughed when i told him that.
i also told him the entire house was covered in quilt because our parents thought it was a good idea because they are barking mad.
which they are.
a little bit.
and that singapore is as hot as hell. well maybe slightly cooler. so he shouldn’t come back. it’s 18deg in kobenhavn now.
although if he comes back i’ll have one extra person to feed and that will be very nice indeed.
but he might take his bike back. :(
my brother sent me this video.
because it reminded him of me when we were young, when i used to collect snails.
i thought it was so.. poignant. and i do identify with that kiddo.
i was strangely touched (a part of me that isn’t touched very often because it involves sibling-y affection which is for the most part non existent in my life) that he actually took notice of me when i was young. and remembered that i used to catch snails. and this beautiful short actually reminds him of me. that even though i thought he never really registered my existence, he knew me all along, and he got that i was his slightly neurotic kid sister, the kind of kid who would put everything into achieving something she wanted no matter how stupid the cause, the kind of person who would see value in things that everyone else thought completely pointless not because she was trying to be contrary but because she was contrary by nature. all upside down.
my mum says i used to bully him. like when i was learning to speak whenever i said a new word he’d go “very good! very good!” to encourage me (back when he was like 5) but when i got slightly older i started biting him.
oh what a little tyrant i was.
So many things happening before finals. I suppose pictures will be up at fb at some point in the far future if/when I can be bothered.
– I love the sound of everyone simultaneously crunching on their communion cracker when the pastor concludes the eucharist prayer. Did i tell you about the time when i was 5 or 6 and i didn’t understand the eucharist at all and i wanted to try the cup and the bread coz all the adults were doing it and coz i was hungry in church (who asked the pastor to keep talking about (the) lamb?) and so while they were passing the communion plates around i snatched not one, but two wafers (oh yeah, always the over-achiever) to the shock and horror of my sunday school teacher who was too far away to prevent me from eating and drinking judgment on myself lol. i don’t take it now because i’m not baptized yet, because i’m not ready yet. and even if i am ready i will only get baptized in singapore so my parents can be there.
– here’s an intriguing question: would you fly back in-term for a funeral or a marriage? i think i would fly back for a funeral (that did not clash with exams or something) but not a marriage. cause a marriage
can be should be scheduled in my holidays but funerals can’t. and also i think it’s more disrespectful to not fly back if my grandparents passed away than if my brother got married. he won’t even care that i’m not there if not for the fact that he’s lost his free-labour pianist and i’d more likely than not be snarky to the bride about her questionable taste in men.
– made a new friend in analysis. it’s weird, because as i said math guys don’t really talk to you. i think they spend most of their time just trying not to look at you, until they need to borrow your stapler (since they are too adorably inept to possess one) then they are forced to say hi and to learn your name (some just borrow your stapler without bothering to even find out your name haha). we only started talking at the end of the semester for some reason. he’s canadian and he stays on north too but is a junior. we’ve been working on the analysis final tgt and i like how he’s v. direct about what he feels or about what thinks of me, which is rare in a guy. well at least he says the nice stuff, maybe he’s just politely omitting the mean parts haha but even that is more than you’ll get from an avg singaporean male.
– went for the RnJ matinee and the graffiti on the set was quite something! Brigitta was amazing as Juliet and I finally found out what her real, non-Italian name was from the programme lol. Eri una bellissima Giulietta! C’era una brava rappresentazione e mi sono goduta molto.
– I put my name in the florist’s cup in the commons. they have a sign in the window that says “If your name is _____, you get a free flower!” or something like that and the name changes every day/week and I was like they’re never going to have Ivana! I went in to look at their flowers and enquired how much the roses were and the woman was like “they’re $4. well, unless your name is rachel..” and i was like no it isn’t! but how do i get my name in the window?? and she pointed me to a slip of paper on which i wrote my name and put in a cup and eventually it’ll get up on the window which is awesome. choosing flowers are difficult, especially for someone of the opposite sex because then flowers actually have meanings that i wouldn’t have to care about if i were getting one for a girl. the purple roses were beautiful. So were the irises. but I got a pretty pink carnation in the end, should have gotten him to pose with it in his pretty pink jacket lol.
– While waiting for the bus back to ris from the florist i went to urban outfitters (that shop is in such a convenient location for people waiting for the bus) and got a key for my eurotrip.
Guess what it does. :) Ireland here I come.
– The AG performance was a blast! the moves, the singing, the kawaii pianist (of whom nicole helped me take loads of sneaky photos hehehe), and of course ze in his myriad costumes and personae. I loved Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof (was that the box-step waltz??) and also Perfect, which was a really impressive solo.
I will be perfect
It’s not hard to do
I will be perfect… for you.
– Lunch today was strange. because i haven’t done something like that in such a long time. but it wasn’t that bad. apart from having to take his car. When Sindy wanted to learn Chinese parolaccie awhile back I taught her to say 你的屁股很臭 to him (yes i use my friends as weapons) but she didn’t wanna :( what a bummer. that was one of the all-important stock phrases we used to teach our non-chinese friends back in rg (i.e. seema) to say and she always did it with such savoir-faire.
– So Ted and I finally met up after the longest time to practice. We have both been intensive-practising individually for Tuesday, which will be awesome. One more rehearsal tomorrow, and I think I’ve nailed most of the crazy passages AND conquered the impossible page turns! go me. ze will probably record it for me and if it is at all decent i may put it up online for all you die-hards who can’t get enough (who can blame you?)
– Vespers was lovely. the combined cornell choirs were singing and they sounded so mysterious and warm and sacrosanct all at the same time, even though i don’t think the service was inclined toward any particular religion, which is a pity. and people clapped at the end, which would never have happened at tab. it made me a little sad though, to think of who i went with to vespers last year and who i went with to vespers this year.
disconcerting. that’s what today is.
i’m just gonna push it into a little corner of my brain and commence the studying- life is far more complicated than it needs to be.
One of my all-time favourite boy names is Lloyd. don’t you just love the extraneous consonant? like the extra ‘a’ in aaron. of the extra ‘f’ in ffion. he emailed my mum btw and told her he hadn’t bathed in a month. i’m pretty sure even kerouac bathed on the road. and i packed him off to find mf at berkeley! now she’s gonna think my family produces hobos. which isn’t that far from the truth, i suppose. still, i put up a pretty good pretense at being a functional human being, i don’t see why he can’t try harder.
i’ve just finished the last battle, which concludes the chronicles of Narnia. The pevensie children met up with Reepicheep at the end of the world, which gave me waves of nostalgia about my mouse. as in my micromouse. ruiyi and i named him reepicheep after the very brave rat in prince caspian and the voyage (if you aren’t acquainted you are obviously a literary pleb), and he may have won a few prizes here and there. the other raffles mice were raxiel (rax for short), raphael, and rae, but reep was my mouse and i loved him. he wasn’t particularly cooperative and broke down many times in competition despite our prize winning algor, which is a hardware fault of AI or our own ignorance re. eprom handling. the micromouse room is locked up now, and i’m not sure if we have withdrawn from the annual ISMC held at great world city given that the club has closed down due to a lack of participants. isn’t it funny? i am so antique that my CCA no longer exists in my alma mater. i loved the ISMC though. it meant 3 days off school, heading down to a shopping centre (instead of a smelly old track or stadium like the inter school sports competitions) to picnic beside two huge mazes in the middle of the first floor, watching strange guys flirt with your seniors and occasionally with you just to borrow a download cable, window shopping for jigsaw puzzles or precious thoughts beanies, stuffing your face with beard papa choux puffs, and having the yearly celebratory dinner at kenny rogers with our prize money. yep. squandered the minute we get it, there’s no such thing as saving for a rainy day in micromouse. good times.
well after the last battle i’ve moved on to dahl’s tales of the unexpected, which i’ve read a million times already but it never ceases to charm with his morbid sense of humour. rather like the perry bible fellowship. i’m looking to borrow the roald dahl omnibus though, does anyone have it? because i’m particularly looking for the great switcheroo, which isn’t in my collection, and i can’t find an online version. i know zheng yi has a copy (he bought it out from under me at a second hand book sale in thomson plaza, the conniving little thief) but i shld probably finish his flowers for algernon first, which i gave him for his birthday, borrowed to read (haha), and subsequently held on to for over a year.. hey but i’m not the only person who does that. *looks pointedly at certain people* remember charlie and his progris riports and raw-shok tests? that’s the one. i was reading it before meeting jingyee the other day and apparently his batch had to read those short stories in ri too. the other two were the scarlet ibis, which i really liked, and the lottery. i was talking to sindy one day and she told me she had to read charlotte’s web and a wrinkle in time for school too, so i think our primary school english programme must have been modelled after the american system, although obviously we read those books much earlier than they did or they wouldn’t be writing crappy SAT essays graded by word quantity.
had lunch with jingyee today at nus and there were so many pple at the arts canteen! i saw jr and trixie and even tiongsoon (mingsee: coffee shop guy) but he was with some other imre people and didn’t join us. my normal lunch gang was having lunch with an old friend i didn’t know, so aileen tried to get another guy in the lab to go for lunch with me but i declined and texted jy if he wanted to get a bite. everyone here seems really afraid of eating alone, and i don’t know why. is it some social stigma to eat alone? i don’t need rescuing, books are frequently better comp’ny than people are, although i did enjoy lunch with him today. he told me about his artwork, which i was really surprised by! i know he thinks most art is useless and can be done by anybody and is hence nothing to shout about. he thinks poetry is stupid too and wrote me two poems that were at least functional, if not aesthetic since they helped me to memorise math rules. here they are:
Function on a compact set
Will achieve its max.
**this was a haiku based on one of hubbard’s rules
Let X be
A compact piece-with-boundary
Of an oriented manifold, of dimensionality
K, embedded in Rn
Give the boundary
Del X of X
The boundary orientation, and we are interested in
A k-1 form phi defined on
An open subset containing X.
Then integral of phi over del X
And integral of dee phi over X
Are one and the same.
**this was one of the theorems in our textbook.
so all along i had the impression that he wasn’t very interested in art, or museums, or things like that, when he told me he painted in photoshop. that was a stunner. he painted his msn display picture in photoshop, and it’s a phoenix. here it is.
he basically made a spot of white, and then used the smudge tool and smudged it until it turned out like that, before adding the red background – which i thought was pretty cool! it’s rare that guys know how to use photoshop, if they’re not using it as a profession like as a graphics designer. in all my ccas i had to cover the publicity because the guys were too noob at photoshop. i told him about M. C. Escher’s Metamorphosis II and the first thing he asked was whether Escher did it on a cylinder, which is a brilliant question to ask. Fyi, Escher didn’t, and so jy said that was a real stupid move. which it is. but still! one of my favourite art pieces shot down! bah. i’m never telling him about any of my favourite art pieces again. he was going to scba today and asked me but obv i’m too noob to be unleashed on proper bridge circles yet. i can’t even keep up with bbo, and i’ve forgotten most of our last SAYC bidding tutorial (which i didn’t tell him lol). i’ll just have to go mug that conversation again with all the points and bids before we even embark on a gameplay tutorial. tried counting cards whilst playing floating bridge with the young adults at the retreat but it didn’t go too well =.= i must be destined to bridge noobitude forever. hopefully he founds a contract club at school then i can join/practise. i’ll even help to supply a professor in charge. i’m sure graeme or xak wouldn’t mind.
a certain miss chia xingyan came to my church yesterday (hopefully to stay) and i introduced her to some of the young adults (not many since i barely know them myself). we had a drink (as in like coffee, and not irish coffee) after church with my dad and my cell leader, and while xingyan was busily telling me about her cambodian trip my dad was ‘entertaining’ my cell leader, which was a sorry sight. i wanted to hop in and rescue james, but.. it’s father’s day after all and so i let him go on. poor james. lol. it started when he found me rather purposefully after church and i thought he had something important to say when he said “i heard your english is very good”.. and i was all “er.. i suppose it’s alright.” and thought he was going to give me some writing job or smth, like writing for the church commission since that’s how most people preface their favours (right?) but apparently he found me just to ask me if my english really was good since he hadn’t noticed lol. he’s always saying random things like that and cxy was very tickled by him. we were going to have coffee with my dad so he came along and found that he couldn’t escape from my dad’s unending stream of conversation, like a mouse trapped in a mousetrap. i also said hi to my favourite church uncles and aunties ytd (the ones i always go on holiday with) and they were all miffed that i’d been back for a month and i hadn’t said hi to them yet and accused me of forgetting them so i invited them for my graduation since my parents are probably not gonna come for it on account of excessive travel time. my mum hates travelling long distances and they have happily, unilaterally, decided to spend my graduation trip money on a vacation somewhere nearer and warmer and prettier but i promised uncle pohlum he could have my mum’s air ticket lol. it’d be a blast if he came he was always so indulgent with all of us.
when we finally got back xy and i decided to bake a pizza for her dad (and ourselves) because it’s father’s day. and because we were hungry. the pictures are on fb. it’s lovely to have a personal maria chopping all the ingredients for you so you can just sit around and kiao kah. and the breadmaker too! i can’t imagine how people can get by without a breadmaker – who makes the bread? or kneads the dough? humans?? it was great catching up with her though, dissecting everything like jones and co. and having jap food again!