Saturday, June 27, 2009


Oh, my god, I am beyond excited that Niki reviewed Tel Megiddo on a national website!!

Granted, she's not exactly an impartial party as she's The D's friend and got to know all of us (and my brothers) on the night of the shindig, but I dare say she enjoyed the music very much and there was no doubt about its quality. Check out the review at the link below and leave a supportive comment if you like, always room for them in the local music scene.

Damn I'm so proud of everyone! And beginning to feel more and more like a slutty groupie. Hah!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Go Ahead, Make My Day

BS - awww... you're cute when you scowl

BS - such an angry little chindian

BS - hahahaha

Me - i wasn't scowling!!

Me - i was being kraftwerk

BS - your kraftwerk is cute!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


There were three other women in the ward when my grandmother was in hospital. All of them old and frail, with problems that seemed beyond repair. The Chinese lady across from her told my mother desparingly: "I have three sons. None of them will come to see me or feed me lunch. And yet all of you come to see your mother all the time."

The dignified matriach in the bed next door with the six daughters wore her hair severe and neat and her embroidered jackets to bed. But she hardly spoke and ate very little, and her daughters hovered at the bedside around the clock.

The quiet indian lady in the bed diagonally opposite was, perhaps, the weakest of all. She moaned softly in pain, and her bed was a garden party of seemingly endless relatives and friends, their faces all creased with worry. The doctor came and went three times one night and still everyone frowned, gently touching her limbs and whispering words of encouragement.

Yet, it was my grandmother who stayed the longest.

She seemed perfectly healthy, going to the bathroom herself and chattering like a jaybird. But if you looked closer, you noticed that the weight had practically melted off her, that she was eating tiny mouthfuls and breathing in gasps. Her voice was clear, but her thoughts were confused. She constantly asked after people who had died, and looked around the room and asked why her house was filled with so many strangers.

We watched her sleep and in her dreams she talked to my grandfather and cooked and sewed with her liver-spotted hands.

We cried a lot, when she couldn't see us, but we laughed a lot too - you had to, or you would die inside.

She's come home now, and for some reason, she's been graced with her health again. Maybe it's the chemo kicking in, or the fact that she no longer has to suffer tubes and drips. Yesterday morning, she ate two whole soft-boiled eggs and sat in the garden, breathing the fresh air and chatting to everyone.

Today, she sat round the breakfast table and peeled and ate ripe lychees with gusto. She washed her own plate and cup and cracked jokes with the ladies.

There are eight of us living in the house now, sleeping on every available surface, but we try to make it seem as normal as possible. We hardly dare to believe that she may be getting better. At least she is not in pain. Visitors are frequent and regular.

We pretend it is a coincidence that we are buying her favourite food and stuff her with it as much as possible, while crossing our fingers at each other behind her back. We gather around her often to keep her spirits up and make her laugh. We casually let her do little chores to keep up an appearance of normalcy and give her some exercise.

No one ever mentions the word "cancer".

But in the middle of the high spirits and colour that she has regained, we are treading on eggshells more than ever. There is no cure and it never goes away. There is only an asymptomatic grace period and for all we know, she might not even have that.

We don't know yet. But watching her strength return with collective bated breath may be the hardest and most frightening part of all.

You see, it is so dangerous, this thing called hope.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In Other News

Tel Megiddo was awesome! I hadn't been to the one last year, but the music this year was good, varied and tight and a nice break from three hours at the hospital. The bands were mostly accomplished and sounded really great live. Death Warrant was (surprisingly) tight that night. I say surprisingly because I've been to some of their jam sessions.

Stampede was really good too, I think I got a neckache headbanging to them. Most people there had never heard them before because they don't play gigs very often but people really started streaming in and stayed to clap and cheer and listen to the whole set because they just looked and sounded so neat. I think my brothers were suitably impressed - I saw HS shouting the drummer on very loudly because he's mad skilled. The D said he made lots of mistakes, but I couldn't hear them or tell. From where I was standing he just looked very macho (and bald) and the bass was roaring along sexily.

I really screamed myself hoarse for Death Warrant though, they have tons of fans and were very funny - from the moment the emcee introduced them with "you asked for the best, we got you the cheapest", the audience laughed throughout the set. Plus people really dug how Han actually left the stage mid-song to get a beer. Even their original sounded awesome and I really surprised and embarassed myself by knowing some of the lyrics. Han's voice and HS's drumming were faultless and of course, Kristian brought his trademark cool. Clearly, my youngest brother is also popular with the ladies.

Death Warrant and Stampede fighting it out respectively (ganked from various facebooks, too lazy to acknowledge, just know that they are not mine!)

Special mention to Shotgun Start who also played a great show - their vocalist, this emo kid dressed all in black and eyeliner with Adam Lambert hair (as Niki said), really looks like a loser but he was unbelievable. He sounded like a harder Bon Jovi and hit every piercing note dead on key and without any strain.

The best moment of the night however: when some kid at the door asked for my ID. "What?" I turned and stared at her blankly, patting the pockets of my jeans. "I don't have it."

"I need to see your ID," she repeated flatly, looking at me over the rims of her glasses with 17-year-old exasperation. "Or you can't drink."

"Are you kidding?!" I stood there goggling like an idiot. "I'm telling you, I don't have an ID." You should be showing me yours, I wanted to add.

"Then how do I know you're of age?" She huffed, glaring at me.
At which point, Sarah, Kristian's girlfriend turned around and said: "Dude! She's HW's sister. She's of age. She's WAY of age."

Thanks very much kiddo, I'll take that as a compliment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All Cried Out

I've been having the most frustrating dreams of late. Last night, in my sleep, our family moved to a huge mansion with large grounds and gleaming bay windows. They relegated me to a huge bedroom with a giant master bed in the right wing of the mansion, far away from the main body of the house where my parents were supposed to stay. On the first night, my parents barged into the room in the middle of the night to make sure I wasn't harbouring any unwelcome guests.

Desperate for some privacy, I went to lock the door after they had left, crossing yards of plush carpet. To my surprise, the heavy wooden door was lined with about twenty locks on its outside edge. There were sliding latches, latches that swung on hinges like an old-fashioned army canteen, chains to prevent the door from swinging open wider than a foot, buttons to press to make a metal bar swing into place.

It was three in the morning then, and feeling haggard and worn, I started systematically locking the door from the top to the bottom, fastening every push, latch and hook.

But nothing would catch. Each time I closed a lock, it would slide back open or hang loose and limp. One sliding latch came right off in my hand, the screws and wood rotten with rust. No matter what I slid or pushed, the metal bar wouldn't click shut and the door swung open again and again.

For four hours, I went from top to bottom shakily shutting and re-shutting every lock, with no result. "I just need to get some sleep," I was thinking frantically, rattling the chains and handles in exasperation and cold sweat.

I woke up shivering and ginger, feeling utterly defeated. Maybe it's some subconcious, Freudian sign of how I feel like I have absolutely no privacy or control over my life. Maybe it's just that I need to fix the lock on my real-life bedroom door.

Whatever the case, I need you to understand how hard this is for me. I need you to see that it's because I'm not used to feeling this out of control or threatened, or insecure. I'm a complete basketcase and I can't handle myself when everything's crashing down on me. You have to realise that I knew somewhere inside that you would be able to wreck me with a single flick of your finger if you wanted.

I have to live with that, deal with that, sleep with that.

Most of all, I need you to see that I'll never be able to tell you.

"I'd sooner die than lose you."

And I don't want to die.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Truth About Boys

So a weekend of our parents not being in town led to several nights of my brother's friends hanging out and staying over at our house, one of which included a party that they invited six girls to and cooked for in an attempt to impress and pull.

Two days into walking in and out of the house at all odd hours, staying over at whoever's place I liked and I realised that this was what it would be like to be an orphan with a rockstar schedule and a car.

Not half bad except for the laundry piling up and having to take care of all the bills.

The result of the weekend, though: a dramatic oversupply of testosterone. It hit me all through the excessive beer drinking and rowdy "that's what she said jokes", it hit me through hilarious rounds of rock band, jackass-like skateboarding episodes in the front driveway and especially when they wouldn't stop calling some really hot chick with big tatas who came for dinner "bubbly jubblies" and "chempedak" behind her (voluptuous) back.

Everything came to a head when we were all crowded round a window, secretly parting the curtains and peeking out at my youngest brother as he hugged one of the girls goodnight. "Oh score! He got a hug!" I enthused.

"Doesn't matter," Tim intoned gloomily from the window, "It's from the ugly one."

Okay, since when was it acceptable to invite over one girl you're not that into so that all her cute friends come along and then call her the ugly one?? Ah well, I suppose it happens all the time, even among us chicks.

Amidst all the bravado however, I saw hints of delicate girly-ness. Like when the guys lined up to make crepes and were boasting about how they'd known to do it all along while handling the pan with the lightest of touches. Or when they sat around in a circle the morning after, swathed in blankets like fortune tellers and systematically dissected the dinner party before.

Or most of all when I brought up the fact that I had introduced both my brothers to the beauty of facemasks and told Han that he should try one too: "You may scoff, but it's really comfy and guys geniunely seem to dig it."

"Don't even tell me," Han said waving expansively, "I just put one on two days ago."

Following which, he suggested facemask night which had all the boys agreeing delightedly and transported me back to not two hours before when The D and I were walking from the petrol station with bags full of nutritious snack food and he stopped suddenly in his tracks and turned to me like an excited puppy. "Guess what! I brought a face mask in my bag!"

I laughed so hard I nearly fell into the road.

All right, then. I guess testosterone must really, really smell like aloe vera and lemon.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Pet Peeves

I hate when skinny girls rail on and on about how they are fat, or worse, how being thin is a curse because "I can't find clothes that fit me". Being thin is SO not an issue compared to having a weight problem. Ditto people whose yardstick of success is school results and who (not so) secretly look down their noses at you if they're not up to par.

I really really hate when companies hire stupid receptionists. The front desk is the gate to the whole company, the least you could do is hire someone with a marginal level of competence. Like that time I called a company, asked if I could leave a message and the girl reluctantly sighed and hemmed before saying yes, putting her hand over the mouthpiece and shouting into the background: "Does anybody have a pen?". And how can you possibly need to check if your company has a communications department? If you don't already know this information, you probably shouldn't be working there.

I can't stand when people name their children strange, foreign-sounding names and then can't pronounce them. I mean, it's fine if you want to go and call your son Pierre, but to then teach him to say it the way you'd pronounce a word describing a walkway over the water makes my hair stand on end. And do you really want to name your kid something senseless like Aloha or Engracia that is going to get her kicked around the playground? Really? Still? All right then, be my guest.

Don't tell me how to drive, I'll just slam on the brakes of the car in the middle of the road; don't call psychologists "shrinks" if you don't understand what they do. DON'T barge into my room without knocking, it's just insanely disrespectful. If I stop you on the streets to ask a question, don't roll your eyes or brush me off, EVERYONE has time for a polite response even if it's just "no, thank you." I've probably been standing there for hours and when I say I'm not selling anything, I mean it.

Don't bitch about journalists and how inaccurate or lazy they have been in writing a story until you've had to walk the streets yourself, searching for newsmakers for hours, persuading dozens of different people to talk and taking pains to edit stories over and over again to make sure they're balanced. Don't accuse us of having an agenda when all we're trying to do is bring you news as it happens and don't criticise coverage unless you're willing to look beyond the simple words and paragraphs on the page and see the tearing pain and effort it took to get them there.

I loathe accidentally kicking or cutting myself, which, I hate to admit, happens quite a lot. I hate when I'm sleeping and am woken up loudly and harshly, it makes my head ache with a sudden vengeance. I hate hate hate off-handed, racist comments that show ignorance vis: "The family should be representative of Singapore, that is, Chinese".

And finally, DON'T you fucking dare ask if my dog is a chihuahua. He doesn't look like one, and you wouldn't like it if I asked if your son was a girl either.

Phewf! And on that cheer-making note, I love humanity again!

Now that I've got that off my chest, time to go and get someone hot on it. Yeah, bebeh!