Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Time is a paradox. Not the concept (and I'm not talking about the mechanics of time), that is easy enough to grasp. The inexorable march of Time, that Time and tide wait for no man or inanimate object for that matter. The physical impact of Time and its inescapable effect on the material universe is a reality we come to comprehend and accept (to varying degrees) early on in life.

Rather, it is the impact or effect of Time on the intangible things of life such as relationships and love wherein Time is an enigma, a paradox. It is this enigmatic allure of Time that spawns the myriad phrases, idioms, nuggets of wisdom about Time that we are familiar with. For Man is always fascinated by what we cannot comprehend and we seek to define what we do not understand in the hope that by setting certain parameters, by making observations about the few applicable truisms; we are able to impose a clear definition on what is essentially undefinable. Much like the proverbial shoving of a round peg into a square hole.

Yet we draw what comfort we can from our paltry definitions, making the best we can of our observations of the duality of the impact of Time on the intangible things in life that are dear to us. What is Time? Seconds extending into minutes into hours into days into weeks, into years. A continuum of reality that goes ever forward, never backward (at least not yet). What is the effect of Time? There is no satisfactory, all conclusive or remotely acceptable answer.

Take the impact of Time on relationships. We have oft heard of the tongue-in-cheek phrase that "Time is a great healer but a terrible beautician". Time may be a salve to soothe and heal the raw wounds inflicted by an unpleasant breakup or altercation. A convenient amnesia fickle in its embrace or a carefully constructed defence elaborate in deception, tough on the exterior, brittle within. I would think a genuine healing and acceptance of sorts would only be achieved if the parties involved have come to terms with the reality of the situation, are fully apprised of all the relevant issues and reached a tacit understanding on their respective positions and the need to move on.

Yet Time can exacerbate the distance in a relationship or friendship, can deepen the misunderstanding, the animosity and ultimately the indifference. For issues left unresolved or untreated, the failure to discuss or communicate with a view towards sincerely resolving the issue(s) is like glossing over an untreated wound. Which slowly but surely festers and poisons the entire relationship. Time and tide wait for no man or relationship, friendship or otherwise, soured by unresolved issues, poisoned by insincerity, destroyed by apathy.

Time the great ravager of men's ambitions, destroyer of great monuments, grandiose cities erected by men to last through time. But Time has the last laugh as citadels crumble, civilizations collapse, their claim to grandeur and all memory lost with the shifting sands of Time. Time that exalts, propagates and celebrates the greatness of individuals, concepts, ideas and religion. Time that deifies, reveres and exalts the formerly mundane.

Time is a fickle master that promises much but guarantees nothing. Time's only predictability is its very existence and relentless onslaught. Still we live our lives ordered by Time, resigned to its governance, cognizant of its paradoxical effects, fascinated by the enigma. As Dion Boucicault aptly noted, "Men talk of killing Time, while Time quietly kills them." Indeed, the same way Time quietly kills relationships plagued by unresolved issues compounded by a lack of sincere communication and poisoned by indifference.

Widor's Toccata from Symphony No 5 has always been to me akin to what I would imagine the relentless flow of time to sound like. This is one of the better versions. Like a vivacious burbling stream, constantly surging ahead, steady and triumphant. After all, it is Time and time is on its side.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue.

Packing has become relatively less painful. Mainly because I decided to skip the hassle of packing toiletries and what not into impossibly finicky plastic bottles that are hard to fill and harder to keep from leaking. Damn things have a knack of leaking their contents at the most inopportune moments. Rather pay the extra $20 bucks. So the overnight bag looks a little like a stuffed chirozo now but that's fine since it's being checked in.

Actually, I'm rather pleased with the size of the bag considering my penchant for lugging along disproportionately large luggage for short holidays. Still, some quirks just won't change. like doing everything else but focusing on packing and always leaving something out after I think I'm done. The object of choice this time, the lube. As far as short holidays go, this Phuket trip will be a good break. To get away from work and all the nonsense.

On a wholly unrelated note, I've finally found that song I've been searching for these past couple of months ever since I heard the song again on gold 90fm after all these years. (20?- Seriously old haha) If you haven't already guessed by now, it's Expose's- Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue.

I always thought it was My Baby never looks good with you. Haha. But there you have it, when you're 8 and you hear a nice song on the radio , sometimes you don't always catch the lyrics correctly. Oxymoron I know. But well that's the way I was. Now excuse me while I set this song on replay on the iphone. The perfect don't-break-up-with-me song lol.

Expose - Your Baby Never Looked Good in Blue

You should hear what they're sayin' about you
You should see the way they talk behind my back
They say that you've found another and that you're gonna leave
But you wouldn't do that to me . . .

Say it ain't true
The things that they've been saying
They say that you've found
Someone new
But don't break my heart (don't break my heart)
Cos your baby never looked good in blue
Your baby never looked good in blue

In the morning, staring into your eyes
Your eyes look everywhere
Everywhere but mine (everywhere but mine)
And darlin' I've got a feeling that the tears are gonna start
And losing you would tear my world apart
So . . .

Say it ain't true
The things that they've been saying
They say that you've found
Someone new
But don't break my heart (don't break my heart)
Cos your baby never looked good in blue
Your baby never looked good in blue

Tell me you still love me
Show me you're still mine
Don't tell me there's somebody new
Cos you don't wanna see your baby cry

Ooh, ooh, ooh
No, no, no, no, no

Say it ain't true
The things that they've been saying
They say that you've found
Someone new
But don't break my heart (don't break my heart)
Cos your baby never looked good in blue
Your baby never looked good in blue

Your baby never looked good in blue (No, baby)
Your baby never looked good in blue (Don't make me blue)
Your baby never looked good in blue (Your baby)
Your baby never looked good in blue (Never looked good in blue)
Your baby never looked good in blue (No, no, no)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I've never viewed Batam as an 'acceptable' holiday destination. I guess the preconceived perceptions of the place being a seedy rundown place frequented by old Singaporean ah peks to visit prostitutes in crummy hovels along with the occasional newspaper report of men maintaining mistresses there didn't help. Other than the fact that the best keropok (fried crackers) is to be found in Batam, Batam really didn't have much going for it. Or so I thought.

The past two days haven't been too bad though. Lots of eating, lazing around with cheap spa treatments and the daily swim. Batam's still filthy (though less so than Hanoi) and there's really not much to do besides eating and buying keropok (unless you like cheap t shirts). Then when you get tired, come back for a swim or pamper yourself at the spa. Prices are usually significantly cheaper than Singapore.

On the downside there's the occasional chance for bedbugs (horror of horrors), being accousted to sit 'taxi' (minor irritant though), the difficulty in communication 'Saya tidak bercakap Melayu' (more irritiating), blatant demands for tips (ok la guess that's the culture though) and did I mention bedbugs?? But ok all in all, it wasn't too bad at all. A good break. I'd say two nights is just nice.

I didn't buy keropok though. Sunning it before frying sounds like too much of a hassle lol.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let me count the ways you astound me..

I've never liked to wash dirty linen in public. While the act of bitching and ranting used to (and may on occasion be) a cathartic release, I've come to the realization that as the years go by, it's often better to forgive and forget. To learn, accept and observe. Then react as the situation calls for it. However since you've rejected all reasonable attempts at communication and closed all avenues of communication, I shall state my position here and the facts supported by incontrovertible evidence. I have no doubt you'll read it. You always do and by your admission, the ability to know more about others while disclosing as little information about yourself is highly attractive.

So let me recount the ways you astound me albeit unpleasantly.

First was the salvo fired without warning or any prior indication last Wednesday. Shortly before BBall. The allegation? Big mouth. Ok fine, we've always had that perception in the now fractured Gang that I liked to share information (which has i suppose always been a trait since I share stuff freely too, we're friends after all or so I thought). Some say too freely. I admit I was a little miffed at first but that was eons ago and I soon came to accept the concept that people's perception of an individual is not something easily changed. If I'm fine with it and have a clear conscience, so be it, I can live with that.

So that was fine. I have been for the longest time. So alright, the allegation, big mouth. I asked, very nicely for particulars. A simple request, what was it I allegedly said and to who so that I could explain and apologise where necessary. In your usual brusque manner when pissed, you said forget it. Added another salvo along the lines that I should think sometimes before I say but knowing me it's difficult. Then inexplicably, adamantly refused to give more particulars. I repeated the same a second time to no avail.

Even a criminal needs to know what he's charged with before he can opt to claim trial or plead guilty. Particulars of a charge must be given especially when you fire the first salvo. Let alone for friends. But no, none was forthcoming. I even explained that I felt 'gaowei' (ie: very uncomfortable) if you refused to even say what the alleged offending disclosure was because I'd always feel it's unresolved. On a big picture perspective, it was worrying because If friends are angry with each other and annoyed, the very least they can do is to talk it through if the issue is a real problem.

If it's just a minor infraction that causes annoyance, we usually just overlook it or put it down to the idiosyncrasies of the person. However if you blast the person and obviously feel it's a big issue, you address it. You give details and expect a solution. Not just fire a salvo and arbitrarily decide that you've 'settled' it without any communication with the person and leave him/her reeling from the bizarreness of it all. So if this cannot be resolved what is to stop a similar situation from happening in the future? And that in turn calls into question the strength of the friendship or perhaps its very existence.

Yet, I still went for Bball even though you conveniently compartmentalised it as exercise (sorry it's a social activity to me and until this crazy ridiculous issue is resolved (if ever) don't bother even asking me for bball) because I'd already promised to go And a friend was coming along.

Cue: Day 2. We had a meeting scheduled the next morning. We'd discussed about the matter, preliminary issues, deposit required and things to take note of before the meeting. So I emailed you the next morning, to ascertain whether you would be attending the meeting. Because personal issues aside, work is work. You've said so yourself and I presumed it true. You said No. I replied to say Ok, I'll attend the meeting and update you then. Then the shocker: No, what I meant was I'll attend the meeting myself. You don't need to waste your time. Just pass me the file.

Don't waste my time? Since when was that ever a valid consideration for not attending meetings? There's no way round it. Like it or not that was a stark dismissal. So much for the dichotomy. I tried to engage again. 'Is it about yesterday? Because I really think we should talk about it. But will pass you the file' To which I was rewarded with a curt 'Just pass me the file. Thanks.' In the kind of 'go and die' manner with Thanks added as a sarcastic afterthought.

At the pain of sounding like a dumped ex, I reiterated the need to talk and that I should at least know what the disclosure was even if he wanted to protect the identity of the person, so that I could explain and apologise where necessary. A two paragraph email. Dismissed in 3 lines: No need. I know what to do. Thanks.

Thanks?? You may know what to do but I don't. Because I sure as hell felt/feel damn uncomfortable. You do not fire a salvo, leave it hanging, refuse to even give particulars of the offending incident, act all weird at work (I don't care about the taking back of the file really, just so much for the dichotomy) and arbitrarily decide that you have resolved the issue when you don't even communicate at all. If you decide to resolve it on your own, you shouldnt even have raised the issue in the first place.

So because I was uncomfortable ( and I explicitly told you at least twice) I kept all social activities including but not limited to lunch to a minimum until you felt like talking about it. I just put it down to the fact that you were annoyed and might have needed sometime to cool off. Though it did bug me that if you could send long lengthy emails to another friend whom you declared you were 'unfriend-ing' to explain your position, why was it the case you couldn't even bother to tell me what it was that I allegedly disclosed which you found so offensive. But whatever.

So I was uncomfortable and avoided contact. I was puzzled and genuinely bewildered because till today I have no idea what it was that pissed you off. I WAS NOT ANGRY. What was just as puzzling if not more so was the inexplicable fact that a female colleague, a new addition to the grp I guess, suddenly started ignoring me. Even a simple Hi, was greeted with sullen stares and a frosty face that would freeze a polar bear. It was perplexing and unpleasant. My discomfort was only with you. This inexplicable attitude on her part was (and still is) a mystery. I can only hope that you had no hand in it. Even a casual email to the said frosty female enquiring if anything was wrong was rewarded with deafening silence. Not even the courtesy of a reply.

Imagine my shock, utter bewilderment, disappointment when I was informed that 'actually the two of them (you and frosty female) were not angry with me at all. They just thought I have a big mouth. And because of that I am angry. But they will just leave me be' Like HELLO? How much further from the truth can that be? I am seriously at a loss of words. Do you genuinely believe what you foreseeably knew what would be relayed to me? OR was it another half past six attempt at glossing things over. LEt's go through the utter ludicrosity of it all.

1. YOU were pissed. For sure. Wednesday evening all the way till Thursday morning. If you tell me you were not pissed, you know jolly well that's a blatant lie. Sure you may have somehow decided that you aren't pissed NOW. I don't know. But you were pissed THEN. I wasn't angry. I was confused and felt very uncomfortable after you rejected all my attempts to communicate and apologise. Social activities were (and still are) reduced to a minimum.

2.Me being pissed at the big mouth issue is such a retarded reason for the reasons mentioned above. IF I was pissed for that (which I was not and am not) I would have been pissed EONS ago when you and the gang raised it and have stayed pissed. I didn't. Don't drag AA into the picture because then my only unhappiness with her was for the 'trust' issue not LL. But you see the thing about AA and I is that unlike our altercations, we end up being able to communicate and resolve it. Arbitrary decisions is not the way to go for a friendship. Being friends isn't supposed to be a court room battle with the occasional verbal ripostes and parries to see who gets the upper hand.

3. How the fuck did Frosty Female ever get the impression I was angry with her? Like I said my discomfort was with you and you alone. I was fine with Frosty, fine with the Mad one, fine with AA, fine with everyone else. To be visibly snubbed and treated to the occasional glacial face by FF when I had (and still have) no fucking idea how I wronged her is perplexing and not very pleasant.

4. Please this was never a case of me being pissed over some prissy thing just to make me look like a stuck up pompous bitch. I may be a bitch at times but all in good clean fun and never with malice or to tear a person down, much less a friend. Let's frame the situation correctly shall we? I allegedly said something. You got pissed. You fired the first salvo. You refused to say what it is despite my repeated attempts (at least 3) to ask you to tell me so that I could explain and apologise even at the pain of sounding like an utter desperado simply because I thought we were good friends. Or does my gender not even warrant me the courtesy of a proper reply?

FF then ignores me for no reason. Next thing I know everyone's zen, I'm just pissed because they've called me a big mouth (I presume FF's name calling was at a different time from your MSN message) and they won't back down. But because I'm pissed they're leaving me alone for now. Seriously, how warped is that?

I would usually say blogging helps to exorcise the demons within, to release the venom on the metaphorical paper, to bleach it beyond recognition. But this isn't one of those cases. There is no venom to expel, no demons to exorcise. I'm just astounded (unpleasantly), flabbergasted. By the surrealness of it all, the duplicity of natures, the inexplicability of an unexplained situation. The volatility of the eruption, the brittleness of the relationship, the dearth of direct communication. It's sad to think something you would have stood by might not have been there to begin with.

So maybe I should quote a line from Frosty Female's correspondence before she froze, "I don't know what game the two of you are playing, but I don't appreciate being dragged in." I don't know what game this is but I'm not playing. Or as Sister Hazel put it, "You were the one... Who taught me what I don't need And I thank you-I thank you for that. You were the one...That brought me to my senses And I thank you-
Now just leave me alone

It's sad things turned out this way.

Sister Hazel- Thank You