What I’ve been up to


Fountain outside Seiyu in Bugis

Ahh … If it weren’t for the fact that I’m not a child any more, I would have jumped in that fountain in a heartbeat. The weather has been mad hot these past few weeks that even with the rain, it didn’t help whatsoever.

I went to Bugis for a couple of hours to print out some of the pictures I took from the beach to be added to my portfolio. I usually printed out my work at “Art Friend” at the Adelphi. It was cheaper and was friendlier (in my opinion) So I went to the third floor and found a music shop there instead. Eh? Maybe I missed a level. So I went up another level. A tour agency. Where did Art Friend go to?

Even the printing corner at Jurong Springs was gone. I used to go there for keyboard classes and I noticed a tiny little shop doing printing services at only $2.50 for a A3 sized printout. I guess, its not easy to make a profit this way.

Anyway, I went off to Bras Basah Complex – it was a place where I used to print my work while I was studying Digital Design. The place that I went to was called printe Direct Pte Ltd and the prices there were pretty reasonable. For a full colour print out on a 250 gsm glossy A3 paper, it was $3. It’s not bad if compared to regular photo booths.

After printing out a few of the pictures, I headed to Coverlooks at Shaw Towers to talk to the photography director who briefed me through the syllabus for the photography. Looks pretty interesting – I really liked the studio shots that he showed me. I hope to do something similar to that too. We’ll just have to see then.

Geri sms’ed me afterwards after the consultation. It has been a while since I talked to her. She’s been awfully busy with her work. I do wonder how she is doing. Not sure if we’re meeting since I wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens tomorrow for a photo-shoot. I read from an advert that there were a musical band there and I thought it’ll be nice to take some pictures there. Well, we’ll just have to see 🙂

Riding is fun!

It was exhilarating! What a rush! I love the feeling when you go down the highway at 70km/h. Whoosh!

For the uninitiated, I’m currently taking motorcycle license. Actually, I’ve been quite the procrastinator in the sense that I’ve been putting it off till I noticed that my enrolment will be ending soon so I’ve been trying to rush it and complete as many lessons as I can. I dont think I can finish it in time though, but I’d like to give it a shot anyways.

I went on the road today for the first time after passing my circuit test on monday. And after getting my Provisional Driving License, it made me a valid rider on the road.

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I’ve been waiting to do that for ages. And now that I’ve tried it out, I love the feeling. Its really exciting. I just cant wait to get my license.

Ohh .. I cant wait to get my first bike too. I expect I could (try) to get it in June. Here are a few choices:

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The Vespa Granturismo 200

I fell in love with this bike the first time I saw it. I came across this by chance when I was doing research for a presentation and it was love at first sight. I love the shape and how aerodynamic it looked. However, I’m not fond of how heavy it looked. If I cant push it, or lift it to main stand, I dont see the point of getting it though.

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The Honda CB1300

Well, I’m not sure what the model is, but it looked something like this. I like Honda’s because its quite comfortable, and relatively light to carry. I dont like big seats. And I wouldnt get a scrambler type of bike as its much too tall for me. Plus Honda’s are more affordable since they are Asian made. I’ll just have to look around 🙂

Cant wait to pass!

Snapshots in Pasir Ris

A quick post before I start the day. Mum has been very involved with the resident comittee and organized a picnic for the zone c residents of Taman Jurong at Pasir Ris yesterday. I tagged along. I could snap some pictures too.

Compared to the snapshots from the Japanese Garden, I thought that I’d try more people expression shots this time. So here are a few unposed pictures :)Bigger version of the pictures here Unphotochopped.

Its times like these, I realise that I would like an even more zoom angle lens for my camera. There were some shots that I couldnt take. Like zooming in to a scurrying iguana. Even the macro shot of the bee on the flower that I tried to snap wasnt large enough. Hmm …

the rebirth of compy!

Ohhh yeah … compy’s back and I’m back in business! 🙂

I was waiting for my brother to come back so he could help me lug it to the computer shop to have it fixed. He looked at the cpu, mystically, he whipped out a screwdriver and waved his hands around and tinkered. And a few minutes later, lo and behold, my compy is ressurrected again. I was so amazed. Every. bit. of. data. is. there. I dont have to install everything from scratch again. I was so happy, I could have kissed Naz right there and then.

What happened was that I had two hard disk drives in the computer. One 20 gig and the other one the newer 120 gig. Apparently, the 20 gig one was set to master and the 120 was set to slave. The 20 gig got fried and thus didnt allow me to boot up or reinstall xp. All Naz did was to set the 120 gig drive to master and thats it. Dang. He’s so smart. I’m going to make a dedication for him.

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See him in all his majesty. See how when he walks, sun rays just shines though his tanned and sinewy body. He’s a greek god, with laurels in his head. And had the power to command lightning bolts. Oh Nazry, you’re the best brother ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Being offline for a couple for days has its own merits though. Yes, it does have its inconveniences as in I wasnt able to do alot of things, my assignments, my work, email and others but it did give me some time to think about what was important to do. And I noticed that I was able to do my work more effectively at the workplace since I knew that I didnt have any other means to do it except for there. So I was more focused.

Back home, with no connection, and nothing else to do, I was able to pick up the books that I wanted to read. I’m half way to the 55 tips to success now. And reading it, I’ve picked up some sound advice. Like listing out what is important and urgent and otherwise.

It makes things so much clearer when its being written out. The things that I have to fulfill. The list isnt complete, but are just some of the rough ideas that I have at the moment.

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For example, the important and urgent are the things that I should be doing immediately as its detrimental if I didnt do it.

Important and not urgent are the things that I should do, but I can put if off for a while.

Not important and urgent might sound strange, however there are a few situations when it is necessary. Like congratulating someone who has a raise and if the congratulations are procrastinated, it wouldnt feel right anymore.

Not important and not urgent are things that will bring fullfillment but arent a must.

Anyways, a few things I have to do at the moment, as night classes progressed, I’ve quite a few assignments to do research on right now. Better start on that before I delay it. I dont trust myself 😛

Well anyways, I’m glad to be back online again 🙂 Thank you again, bro! You’re the best!

I hate computers!

My computer is spoiled. Again. I’m typing this entry at work at the moment and at the same time trying to complete my literature essay and at the same time thinking of the materials for this afternoon’s IT lesson. Humm …

I reach home after monday’s night class and I found the door to my room unlocked. Strange. I always lock my door when I leave home. And I find my keyboard light on. I always switch the computer off when I’m done with it. I try to switch the computer on to read my email before I head to bed and I found this horrifying message.

Boot disk error

My heart just skipped a beat. Eek!

Then I try to reformat the computer and reinstalled XP.It wouldnt let me! It said

Hard disk may be damaged.

AAAARRRGHHH!!!

I spent practically every bit of my savings for the camera. I cant afford to fix the *&#*&$#* computer right now. Its like every time, I have a little bit of savings, the (#*(#&$*(#& computer spoils and I have to spend money to fix it.

(*&@!!!

I’m really (*#(&*#$(*#& pissed!

Field day at the Japanese Garden

Well, here’s a maiden voyage – me and my new canon Eos 350D 🙂 Initially I wanted to go to the botanical gardens, however, I thought the better of it since it was a little far away and I really wasnt in the mood for travelling. I thought I’d just drop by the Japanese garden since its just a short distance from my home.

I’m pretty pleased with the turnout of the pictures – its pretty sharp and fast unlike my older camera. And honest to goodness, I didnt even photochopped these.

Yay! gonna get a new camera!

I’m gonna get my new camera! I’m gonna get my new camera! I’m gonna gonna gonna gonna get my new camera! Today! Laa laa laa laa laa!

Mum loaned me some moolah a couple of days back. She must have noticed me moaning about thinking of ways to save up. I promised her that I’ll pay her back again. But mum insisted that I write up an official I.O.U to her. I think she has ideas thanks to watching this show

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Is a funny show which I enjoyed immensely. I think its almost comparable to “something’s gotta give” except that in I do, I do, is a story about a delivery guy, falling in love with a career woman, who rejects him which stumbles with an almost perfect guy.

In one of the scene career woman falls in love with the almost perfect guy who gets beaten up because he was the guarantor for a friend who couldt pay up and she finally gave the loansharks some money and he wrote up an I.O.U on his computer to her.

Anyway, speaking about shops, I’ve came across some which I will never, ever patronise if I can help it.

No 1 : Cash Converters

Cash converters is a shop which sells practically anything. There’s one a few busstops away from my home and I decided to buy a PDA from this shop two weeks ago after thinking of its benefits of downloading close to unlimited e-books and reading it on the go. I bought me a Sony CLIE PEG-NR70V there for about $295 dollars.

After a few days, I noticed that some of the buttons didnt work as good. So I decided to go to the shop again. The salesman there said that I could either exchange it or send my pda for a fixing. How long does it take for it to be fixed? A week? I shook my head. I looked at the choices of pda’s in the display cases. It looked pretty scratched and in bad shape. So I decided otherwise. I decided to sell it back to cash converters.

The man looked at the clie and asked for my receipt. And he said to me, our company has a policy of selling back of 1/2 the original price. You’ll get $147 dollars. My eyes nearly popped out of my socket. 1/2? Thats crazy! I’d understand if its 10 percent, or 15 percent, even 3/4. But half? What cut throat! And they’ll sell it back for the original price no doubt! That really got my blood boiling. But of course it’s “company policy” and marina’s policy says that I’ll never go there ever again.

No 2 : Local cinemas

When I heard from the radio that cinema tickets will be raised up to $9 my heart sanked. Only in a cinema does one small bucket of popcorn costs $4.50. Heck, I could get much yummier dairy queen popcorn for lower. But what can one do? Cinemas are pretty much a monopoly here – and if they choose what price that they want to charge, either we pay up or dont get to enjoy at all. Its amazing that it was just a few years ago when cinema operators announced that they wanted to charge only $5 per ticket. This is to avoid having piracy problems.

But there are other alternatives to going to the cinema. I could …
– buy a vcd or dvd at that price which was just running in the cinema 1 or two months back
– rent 4 vcds at the rental shop just below my house.
– cook some food which I can share with my family and eat till we go silly
– Go swimming at the deluxe pool with all 4 of my siblings

In economics, this is called “Opportunity costs” The cost (wheter tangible or intangible) of an alternative service.

Anyway, its a tad bit too pricey if I want to bring Haikal and Diana along. I’m sure families wouldnt find it justifiable either.

No 3 : Seoul Garden

Bleh. Misleading price quotes. It might say $16.99 there. But you’d pay at the very least $25 dollars. Sorry. I’d rather make steamboat at home that feeds 6 people. With a tub of ice cream to boot and enough money left to buy a cheesecake too.

Aye, thats all the bad mouthing that I have to say for the moment. I’ll be sure to add up to more later on.

But for now, I’m going to get ready to go out to claim my new camera 🙂

*saunters out to put on her make up, styling of hair and other vanities*

Virtual Emotions are still real emotions

I am constantly amazed at how some things that happens purely online could affect me so much.

Consider this. You are sitting at your computer. The other person is sitting over at their computer. There are absolutely no physical contact with each other. All the information being sent to each other are related to each other digitally.

And yet, in between all these, one bonds with each other and genuine emotions grow. This interesting cyber-life where we go to, where there is no sense of touch and yet, incredibly we able to touch each other in other way, through the heart.

I felt gladness when Dynatec and Geri passed their studies. Gladness when Dismay found a wonderful person to have as a partner. Happiness when Zozee found love with lion, a man whom she’s been with ever since I knew her.

I felt disgust when there were drama posts back while I was addicted to neopets, especially at a middle aged man who was an attention seeker in a largely children populated site. He did countless spams of how “clever” and “rich” he was and nonsensical attention seeking posts. This, a 32 year old man in an impressionable website full of 10 – 15 year olds. Well, one thing good about him was how entertaining he was though, spawning different stories day by day. The soap opera that I did not need to watch on television.

I felt sadness upon hearing the death of Undercore and Glonan. Both of them have touched my life back in cybertown, a community that I was part of for a while. Undercore was friendly and never made me feel like I was a dumb newbie while I started out.

Residents in cybertown went by ranks during those days, one can start out as a block deputy and rise up to mayor if one could make it. And even though he was of a high rank, he was friendly to everyone.

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avatar of undercore

Undercore was gone too soon. He went driving and a drunk driver rammed up to his jeep and killed him instantly. Undercore was only 17.

I don’t remember how I met Glonan, but I remembered how wonderful she was. We only met briefly when I was less than a month old in Cybertown. She noticed that I loved faeries very much and gave me a faerie painting as a gift. The fact that she remembered it was touching and I knew that this was a wonderful person to be friends with. I learnt that was a retiree, she usually lives alone in Alaska. This strong, amazing woman was able to climb hills to chop firewood when she is strong enough, and when she grew weaker, continued to do odd jobs around the house.

She was always so nice to me and everyone around her. She offered to make me real life crafts. I had to say no, I couldn’t accept such niceties like that. She insisted, saying that it will be something to remember her by.

For a while, I didn’t understand what she meant by that.

I got a package in the post and received a pair of earrings that she crafted. I thanked her profusely and marvelled again and again at how this creation, crafted by a real life person, that I know of, on the other side of the world, crafted by hand is now in my possession.

“I’m going to make you shorts next,what size are you?”
“You really don’t have to Glonan, you did so many nice things for me already”
“Nonsense! I like making things, hun!”

That was the last conversation I had with her. I didn’t see her online for a few weeks and then I heard from her daughter announcing online that she’s passed away and has given in to her disease. She will be missed, so much. I still think about her, this charming, wonderful lady who loves to call me hun.

So in retrospective, I should not be surprised that I feel emotionally distraught with someone that I cared for very much was feeling bad about himself. I’m still surprised though as it could be a miscommunication. It could be my part on being hyper-sensitive. It could also just be bad timing. But I feel bad when he feels bad. And what made me upset about the whole situation is how helpless I am about it all. I cant do anything about it. I cant stand this helplessness. I cant.

April Foolery Karaoke Fun

I went to work late yesterday. Somehow or another, I felt so tired that I fell asleep right after I showered (thats a first for me)Anyhow, I was supposed to reach there at 1pm at the very latest but when I reached there, it was deserted, and quiet and there I was shuffling around with an umbrella, feeling very cold.

I didnt see anyone apart from two visitors who looked kind of lost. I saw the discipline master, Mr Parmjit walking around. We made small chat.

Mr Parmjit : What are you doing here, Marina?
me : Oh no, I’m too late!
Mr Parmjit : Everyone’s left
me : Are you going too?
Mr Parmjit : No, I’ll be staying here. I’m locking the school. No point for you to stay here
me : Ok. Bye.

That was when I saw Zurainah, the Art teacher trainee walking down. We were both surprised to see each other.

me : Z! What are you doing here?
Z : I was locked in the art room!
me : So how now?
Z : Shall we go to the guild house?
me : Oh, I dont know, what do you think?
Z : Its up to you
me : Oh, I dont mind, what do you think?
Z : I dont mind either

Zurainah started talking to the two visitors and I found out that they were the ones moderating Z. They offered a lift from the cab that they just hired. I was a little hesitant. But when the lady said “I’ll be offended if you didnt!” Oh okay then.

In the cab, Z and me contemplated.

Me : So how will we be going to Suntec?
Z : how about the train?
Me : Oh, I dont mind
Z : But train is very long journey
Me : Or we could take the bus
Z : I dont mind
Me : Its okay with me
Lady Visitor : Make up your minds! We’re already at the train station!

Z and m : We think we’ll take another cab!

*chuckles*

Anyways, I think Z is a very interesting person. She’s always very animated and fun loving. She has this infectious enthusiasm that I find so refreshing. Its nice that she’s very friendly too.

Its funny how a number of students mistake me for her. We both have shoulder length hair. I have almost straight hair. We both wear glasses. We both like chunky watches and we both love green too!

I’ll let you judge

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Selvi (in brown) and Narimah (in red) at the back, Z (in green) and me in black

Anyhow, back in the cab, we reached Suntec some while later and we went next to Carrefour to take the lift to the fifth floor. The entrance looked pretty classy (this is my only chance I’d ever see a place like this I reckon, since its highly doubtful that I’d join the NIE Teaching force). The lobby looked reminiscent of a 4 star class hotel.

Anyways, I had my lunch which Waheeda and Narimah complained was not tasty enough. Personally I was surprised that I had rice with soy sauce, and boiled cabbages … it reminded me of the food whilst I had in kindergarden … But the roasted chicken was good, so I ate that with relish

Linda handed me some yummy baked cheese and potatoes later on … mmmm … delightful *slurp*

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Thats Linda on the left, I realise now how bad my camera looks like in the dark no amount of photochopping will help.

I went to one of the Karaoke Rooms after lunch. I’m glad I brought along my camera. though picture quality isnt that great, at least its something.

Visual proof that Karaoke vid clips never go with the song

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sure … she’ll listen to stone for sure …

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but first, I’ll have to build a wall with these beads here on the floor

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Honey, I still havent decided what type of wall to build yet

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Linda : Oh God. Karaoke Vid Clips. The horror!

But needless to say, I had fun. Its good to have crazy stuff to point and laugh to. I had to laugh when Rudie, a math teacher, was singing falsetto to a Bee Gees song. I cant stop laughing when Shaheedah was quipping in while I was singing.

When I was young … (you’re still young, marina)
I never needed anyone … (But you still need me!)
And making love, was just for fun …(OOOOOH Marina!)

I made Rudie sing “Amigos Para Siempre” which was an operettic song. Too funny. I realised that he was singing the girl part and I was singing the male. I purposely made my voice deep and thrilled the R’s

Aaaaamiiigoooosss Paaarrrrrrrrrra siemmmmmprrrrreee. You will always be my frrrrrrrriend. Frrrrrrriends for life not just the summer or the sssssprrrrring …

My stomach hurt from all the laughing.

Anyways, I was amazed that Amanda, one of the top ex student, who joined us, was very good at singing. She sang wonderfully and was game to join in all the silly antics that we did. I wonder if she has a lower opinion of us now … *chuckles*

I had to leave earlier than I wanted to since I had night classes. But I really had a good time, on friday.

The Eye 10 – A movie about the 10 ways to see ghosts

Couple of days ago, one of my student was surfing a horror website. The title of the movie was called the eye 10 and it was about the 10 different ways that one could do to have the ability to see ghosts.

It was corny, but it was sort of interesting to see the different ways. One of them having to dig the soil where a body was burried, use the soil and spread it on the eye. Another is to hit the rice bowl with a pair of chopsticks to entice the hungry ghosts. Chinese Ghosts, are usually hungry, as there are no food in the netherworld. That is why offerings are burnt. These in turn will be food or comforts for them.

I’ve seen of how a complete offering of a HUGE paper bungalow, complete with garden and swimming pool and a BMW car being burnt, I’m sure the ghost would be very pleased indeed. But it was said that the easiest way to see a ghost is to stand up and peek in between their legs.

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Coming back to the website, the students looked genuinely spooked. They looked so cute with their fearful expressions and the way that they jumped when someone deliberately tried to shock them with a sudden jerk.

But come on! The only thing scary about the website was that the fact that it was only in Chinese wih no translation. Actually I find when a movie uses only the elements of silly jump tactics, isn’t really scary at all but annoying.

I think *this* movie is more scary

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And I find it strange that kids loving sfogs too. I mean, its so obvious that they used photo-shopped pictures. And a badly ‘chopped picture at that – Anyone could make these “ghost pictures”

With this case in point, let me use this picture as an example:

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What is she so scared of?

Its the terrifying Kissing Ghost who is looking for her next victim!

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Rumour has it that a young girl, was killed by the kiss of a man with chilli breath. She searches for revenge by looking for other victims in the hopes that she will transfer the chilli breath to them!

Oh no!

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Lets make this into a movie …

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But this will NEVER be in your theatres …  Nevertheless I think it’ll be scarier than the Ring 10 anyway …