820 days to go…

November 30, 2006

Just reached home from what they call “corporate networking night”. Pretty interesting concept to bring people from different working environments and interests together for one evening. Talked to some people working in various ministries and companies, and met up with an old friend. Thinking about it, M and I don’t really have many common interests till pretty recently. So it’s pretty amazing for us to have met and got along pretty well for the past year or 2!

Also realised… many enjoy cycling, reading, swimming, dancing. Unfortunately, not as many enjoy photography, my very first true love hobby-wise I picked up as an adult. Hmm…. I wonder why… Lesson learnt, if asked about hobbies, state a common one first -> Get common ground. haahaha… Next time I shall say cycling, swimming, reading or dancing, which, incidentally, are my interests too!

Anyway, everything seems to be an art these days. Went to a talk on “The Art of First Impressions” earlier on. Today’s was on “The Art of Mingling” and in our gift pack was “The Art of Dating”. Is there anything that’s not an art anymore? Hmm…

Anyway, the talk was interesting. Main takeaways:

  1. Walk in with a smile and look around. Don’t just head to registration table!
  2. Eat something beforehand, even if food were provided.
  3. Nod and smile when talking to people. Make encouraging noises
  4. Go with the intention to meet people and have fun
  5. Approach the person underdressed, overdressed or studying the fixtures. They are bored!
  6. Introduce yourself first, then ask for someone’s name
  7. 3 ways to mingle
    1. Be Honest – “I’m new here and don’t know anyone. May I join you?”
    2. Compliment someone – “That necklace is pretty. Did you get it locally? It looks nice on you. By the way, I’m XXX”
    3. Fade in – Pick up on something interesting and ask a question
  8. Don’t push things. If people give generic answers, move on to another topic. Avoid asking about work or addresses till later in the conversation.

Murderous Thoughts

November 28, 2006

Took this from a book about murder in Australia

Fairytales provide a child with ‘the knowledge that he is born into a world of death, violence, wounds, adventure, heroism and cowardice, good and evil’.

Hmm… interesting…

823 days to go…

November 27, 2006

Hmm, I must say that this is seriously getting fun!

First time in the lesson, I am actually relaxed most of the time. Had fun chatting with most of the seniors (who won’t forget their moves) and with the beginners (who forgot their moves)!

Hohoho… SALSA IS FUN!!!

To those who say you can’t dance, or don’t have the time or inclination to learn, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!!!! BIG TIME!!!

Think part of the fun came from my own beliefs that I cannot coordinate my movements, and finding out that I can, at least enough to cover up the mistakes I make. And of course, it helps that we can blame the guy for not leading well when we mess up. LOL!!! Guess pushing your own boundaries by choice is fun, for you learn that you can do more than you ever imagined 🙂

I’m Loving It… Are You???

Windtalkers by Max Allen Collins

November 26, 2006

Normally don’t read war novels. Normally don’t read movie adaptation unless I happened to have watched the show and found it lacking. Read the books just to convince myself once again that the book is better than the show, and why I seldom watch shows.

But… Found the pickings at the library that day meagre, and had heard of this supposedly unbroken code called Navajo, and that a movie was made about it, called Windtalkers. Decided to pick up the book anyway. Diminutive book anyway, and ain’t too heavy.

Finished a few of the other books yesterday (3 books left out of 9) and decided to bring it along to my friend’s engagement, ’cause afterall, it’s light.

Wow… was transported on a very touching journey back to world war 2. And when I say it’s touching, you’d better believe it. Seldom feel something in my heart due to something I read, but this ending really made me want to cry…


Some Dineeh men were enlisted as they know Navajo and it was being used as a code in the world war 2. No code books, only reference books would be the ones between the men’s heads once they grad out of signals school. So obviously, the capture of one of these men would be disastrous to the whole operations. What now to do but to assign “bodyguards” to these important men? But these bodyguards were given further instructions (away from the codetalkers, of course): “The Navajo has the code. Protect the code at all costs.”

Well, that’s fine when you’re talking about entities you don’t know, but people who fight together develop camaraderie and friendship, so when it comes to the time to actually do the deed, the officers have a catch-22 situation. It’s their country they’re protecting, but it’s also their friend they’re sacrificing. Is there a good way to protect both, but yet deep in their hearts, they also know that the Dineeh would be tortured for the code if captured. Would it be more merciful then to kill them?

One poignant moment occurred when the officer Anderson was killed and his codetalker Whitehorse was captured. Another officer Enders saw it and had to make the split second decision to throw a grenade at Whitehorse and his Jap captors, killing them all. His momentary indecision and the answers he had to have for his own codetalker, Yahzee certainly made me pause to think. Yahzee’s love, not only for his brother, but for all men also moved me.

Another touching moment was when they preformed the Evil Way ceremony. The Dineeh have an uneasy attitude towards death, believing that it released evil spirits, and certain ceremonies could battle these spirits. They rubbed their hands on charred firewood and smear ash on another’s cheeks. They then dab some corn pollen onto the forehead of the person going through the ceremony and sprinkle some of the corn pollen onto the earth nearby before starting to chant. What was moving was that Yahzee performed this ceremony on his bodyguard, who was having nightmares.

When Yahzee feigned being Jap and Enders pretended to be his prisoner, sneaking in to steal a replacement for Yahzee’s radio (or was it to use the Jap radio), it really made me laugh too.

A moving scene occurred when Yahzee was pinned under some war vehicle and the Japs were approaching. Knowing Ender’s orders, and that Enders was out of ammunition, Yahzee passed his (hunting??) knife over, asking Enders to kill him. Obviously another catch-22 situation, and I feel that Enders had created a cinematic moment by swinging the knife into the ground (cliche yes, but I would have gasped). Despite being injured, Enders lifted the vehicle, allowing Yahzee to pull free. They then tried to escape, but Enders got shot and died in Yahzee’s arms, facing the setting (??) sun, the mountains and the sea.

The book ended with the code being declassified when computer codes came into the picture and well… radio codes stopped being as useful as they had been. When Yahzee was asked to give a speech, and he shut his eyes for a moment, only to open them to see Enders at the edge of the reception, saluting him.

The pluses:

  • The friendship between the men, which transcended the initial racism, bigotry etc which resulted in them trying hard to protect each other, costing the lives of many in the show and book
  • The love the men had for their families, especially the Dineeh men, and their desire to serve their country, and to be remembered as good men and good Marines who died for their country.
  • The honesty. On one particular occasion, when Yahzee posed as a Jap, Enders got the purple heart. He tried to bring up to the officer that it was Yahzee’s idea and plan, but was just told to tell Yahzee that he had done a good job. Enders tried to give the medal to Yahzee, but the Dineeh, being unassuming, refused to accept. Enders then threw the medals among the dead men.
  • The love. When Enders died, he asked Yahzee to tell this girl who had been writing to him that he had read all her letters. He obviously loved her, but couldn’t write back, and couldn’t bring himself to read the letters of seeming normalcy written by her.

The minuses

  • Too much war, not enough code
  • The friendship component could have been further developed
  • The romance part was too overplayed in some instances

Seriously, I’m thinking of getting the VCD. Looks like something that would really move me, but no, I’m insisting that the tears welled up in my eyes coz of the sand in my eye! 😛

826 days to go…

November 24, 2006

saw some articles posted by friends about SDU and SDS (Singapore’s governmental matchmaking agencies) closing down LINK 1 LINK 2

One line jumped out at me – “We want singles to know that dating is hip!”

Hmm, first, we have huayu cool! (Chinese is cool… hmmm alliteration. why didn’t I notice that before this?) Now we have Dating is Hip (hmm, no more alliteration. Maybe the governmental task force will come up with somthing rhyming?) Long ago, as a child, I remember “Courtesy – Make it our way of life”. A country of cutesy slogans?

Accredited agencies will carry the SDU Trust Mark.

Hmm… ISO1111?

anyway, juz some random musings on a boring day…

829 days to go…

November 21, 2006

watched “Take the Lead” today…

initially found it inspiring… but some issues started nagging at me after that

  1. Why is it that it’s always the bad kids who are doing hip hop? And once they learn ballroom or latin, they become good? Or at least, relatively decent?
  2. It’s always a “high class” gal who falls for a street boy? Both shows… same story line… in “Take the Lead”, one of the “high class” gals decides to join the “rejects” as she feels more comfortable with them… I wonder why…
  3. Somehow, this couple/group of kids who combine ballroom/latin with hip hop will win the competition

Anyway, did my 3rd class yesterday… finally… 1 male student… hahaha… Did something new… called cross body turn. Erm… turned and turned and when we stopped, I was the only one facing the wrong direction… and I was staring into the instructor’s face… opps…

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

November 20, 2006

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.