Saturday, December 30, 2006

Confession from The Kite Runner

I kept my tumultuous emotion contained till page 219 when I gave way and cried. I’ve never really cried reading a book before, save once when I read a moving story on forgiveness in Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 5 years ago.

From page 1 till page 219 of The Kite Runner, I shared the characters’ grief and felt the sting of Baba & Hassan’s death as did the protagonist Amir. I too, like Amir, live a life stricken with guilt. I too, like Amir, let down and betrayed a dear friend. I too, like Amir, wonder many times looking up to heaven if I’m deserving of God’s many blessings of new friendships.

Amir in the book had the opportunity to make up for his debt to his dearly departed friend Hassan. While there is life, there is hope. I pray and hope that like Amir, I too, will be granted a sacred chance to make up for the pain I’ve caused.

P/S: The Kite Runner has 371 pages worth of emotionally, culturally, politically & historically provoking gems. I'm currently at page 219. And I dread arriving at the last page because I want this journey to my literary enrichment and personal reflection go on a little longer. I pray that in this lifetime I'll never be in lack of such life-changing books.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Vision made Reality

For 3 consecutive years I diligently sat myself down in January, pondered, wrote down and prayed as I set my goals for each brand new year. The results achieved were little in the initial years but grew steadily as the years progressed. For instance, 2005 saw me achieving only about 50% of my goals. 2006 however saw me achieving, I’m proud to say, 85% of my goals! That’s a quantum leap of improvement and I thank God for grace & strength.

As a matter of prove, here are a sample of my goals set for 2006 which made the reality list:

1. Weight loss of x kg
2. Acquire a job that earns me $xxxx
3. Pursue a course in mass comm.
4. Freelance writing
5. Increased drum playing

Old maxims are never quite a cliché if you know its origin and its results reaped through the generations. One of such is this - if you can see it, you can have it. The Power of Visualization.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Kite Runner

We can all move out of racial, cultural and political prejudices by being outstanding in what we do and being known in our craft in the international scene.

Consider Maya Angelou, out of her African American roots and sexual abuse she was lifted out of shame and poverty by her writing prowess.

Khaled Hosseini who grew up in the dodgy streets of Kabul and obscure Afghanistan. Who would have thought that his experience turned novel would triumph as an international best seller?

Allow me to introduce a fantastic read by Khaled Hosseini, the book that brought him international fame - The Kite Runner. The review below can be found at

The Kite Runner, Amir and Hassan grow up together in Afghanistan like brothers, although they couldn't be more different. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman, a Sunni Muslim, a Pashtun, and he's educated and reads voraciously. Hassan's father is a servant to Amir's father, and Hassan is a Sh'ia Muslim, a Hazara, he's illiterate, and he has a harelip. But neither boy has a mother and they spend their boyhoods roaming the streets of Kabul together. Amir, though, continually uses his superior position to taunt or abuse Hassan, and one day hides in fear as Hassan is beaten mercilessly by bullies. The Soviet invasion of Aghanistan sends Amir's family to the United States, but he returns there as an adult during the Taliban rule to atone for his sins to Hassan. Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan émigré living in San Francisco and his debut novel has received mostly good reviews. The Denver Post says The Kite Runner "ranks among the best-written and provocative stories of the year so far."

May I persuade you to get a hold of this book and devour its content from cover to cover as you journey with the author through the weaves of love, kinship, betrayal and atonement.

By the way, the book's made it so big that a movie is underway, due for release in the US in Nov 2007.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Familiarity breeds contempt. Especially within the family. Now let me make a qualifier here – no, it doesn’t happen to all families, but most. Because family members are people you spend most time with. Family members are always around, even when separated by vast oceans. Family members stick around whether we've been bad or good, because blood runs thicker than water. And precisely so we take our families for granted.

Recently I vow to myself not to second prioritize my family, as I always do. The numerous funeral wakes that I’ve attended this year slapped me hard out of my selfish, immature and ungrateful shell. It woke me up to the reality of someday losing a dear one I now take for granted. It breaks my heart to imagine the immense sense of loss and agony upon the demise of a family member.

So now I remind myself to give while there are opportunities, care while there are needs and love while there is time.

Right there

God meets us right where we are. This is enuff' for me. I pray you find encouragement in this lil' nugget.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In God We Trust

Not much of a Christian testimony, but then again, we practice freedom of speech, don't we?


From the 7th issue of asia! (2006). Written by its Editor, Lee Han Shih. Titled “
In God We Trust”

“We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These words were penned by Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1776. But 230 years later, under George W. Bush, thse unalienable truths are totally subverted. Witness the wrongful arrest of Chinese American scientist Wen-Ho Lee, the imprisonment without trial of hundreds in Guantanamo Bay, the shabby treatment of people of Middle East origin, the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, the anger aroused in the Islamic world, the powerful influence of the GOD lobby (Guns, Oil and Drugs) on Capitol Hill, the protests of top military officials against Bush’s war machine and its two chief proponents, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. The legacy of George W. Bush will live on.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

As Asians ponder the implications of America’s 230th Independence Day on July 4, 2006, they should also remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was gunned down five years later. 33 years after his speech, his dream of a nation that does not judge its people by the colour of their skin remain as distant and unfulfilled as the day he mouthed it. This is Bush’s legacy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Premier Voice

In the midst of essay writing, I can’t help but to be amused by my Premier Minister Dr. Mahathir. In the release of Sean Connery’s self produced and directed action thriller in 1999, Entrapment, the vocally aggressive minister spoke his mind.

Never mind his retirement from active politics in recent years. In many ways he is still the mouth piece for citizens of a nation under constant disparaging views by audiences of other nations.

He may not exactly be the most endearing of all leaders, but he sure is a forcibly vocal man – one whose words you simply don’t ignore.

Here's honoring the man who speaks for the masses with smaller voices.


From Asian Economic News, 28 June 1999

The latest Sean Connery movie ''Entrapment'' has drawn the ire of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who complained Tuesday that the thriller distorts Malaysia.

''I really cannot understand why we need to distort and harm...The urge to distort and misinform seemed irresistible to some people,'' he told a group of foreign advertising executives.

''Recently, a film was made on location in Malaysia (''Entrapment'')... We are horrified to find that the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, the tallest building in the world, are pictured as rising from the slums of Malacca 150 kilometers away,'' he said.

In a scene that was spliced, Connery and the female lead, Catherine Zeta Jones, were pictured cruising down the filthy Malacca River with a breathtaking view of the 452-meter-tall Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop.

Mahathir said such a distorted view would make movie audiences in the developed countries think ''Malaysia was one of the developing countries which wasted public funds, perhaps even foreign aid, on grandiose monuments.''

''And they of course would not want to come and see the tallest building in the world,'' he said, adding that the twin towers are actually surrounded by 20 hectares of beautifully landscaped garden.

Malaysia has always wanted to promote itself as a choice film location. When ''Entrapment'' was shot here, the government gladly helped with visa processing, customs clearance, and telecommunications, and even provided police protection.

Another Hollywood movie filmed in Malaysia recently is ''Anna and the King'' starring Jodie Foster and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yuen Fatt. In a similar vein, Mahathir hit out again at the Western media.

He acknowledged that Malaysia has been going through a period of economic instability coupled with ''a degree of political turmoil'' arising from the removal of his ex-deputy Anwar Ibrahim from the cabinet. There were street demonstrations that turned ugly, but Mahathir said they were confined to the capital and had since lost steam.

''Kuala Lumpur is now its usual bustling self,'' he said.

''This is the true picture. But as you yourself know, this is not the impression you get when you read the media reports or the TV reports before you come here,'' Mahathir said.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The love of my life in his younger days... (ain't he a sweetie pie? awww...)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stolen Joy

The devil has come to kill, steal & destroy. Therefore anytime anything happens and I find myself robbed of love, joy and peace, I have to recognize that it's the devil at work, stealing from me, and I gotta recognize his ploy to forgive, reconcile and extend love where possible.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Power Plug

A relationship fueled by man's efforts runs out quickly like rechargeable batteries. A relationship plugged into the Holy Spirit however never runs dry - it lubricates love and life's journey.


Friday, November 24, 2006


I opened my online news page today and saw yet another massive bombing in Baghdad that claimed 152 lives. These were not soldiers fighting in war. These were ordinary folks and civilians assuming their daily lives, disadvantaged by the clutches of fear and terror in a land governed by hate & vengeance.

And it struck me that people living in nations like these probably cherish their loved ones and their lives more dearly than you and I do, even at our best days. Brothers are born in adversity. In a climate of perpetual fear and terror as common as the everyday air that we breathe, will they not be cherishing every minute of time with spouses, family members, relatives, friends, even strangers on the street - holding each one close in their hearts, spreading love and warmth through silent prayers - because all of their lives are as precarious as stormy seas - they are never sure of safety and protection, only resilient resistance to evil that may befall them at anytime.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


An alternative EMO rock by Augustana. Go check it out on my multiply site. Uploaded it there.

In the light of the sun, is there anyone? Oh it has begun...
Oh dear you look so lost, eyes are red and tears are shed,
This world you must've crossed... you said...

You don't know me, you don't even care,
She said
You don't know me, you don't wear my chains...

Essential yet appealed, carry all your thoughts across
An open field,
When flowers gaze at you... they're not the only ones who cry
When they see you
You said...

You don't know me, you don't even care,
She said
You don't know me, you don't wear my chains...

She said I think I'll go to Boston...
I think I'll start a new life,
I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name,
I'll get out of California, I'm tired of the weather,
I think I'll get a lover and fly em out to Spain...
I think I'll go to Boston,
I think that I'm just tired
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind...
I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of the sunset,
I hear it's nice in the Summer, some snow would be nice...
Boston... where no one knows my name...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just Do It

Exercising is very much like waking up in the morning for work. You don’t particularly enjoy waking up at the crack of dawn – had it not been for the nagging sense of responsibility to earn to enable survival and luxury living. Similarly, you don’t particularly enjoy dragging your body to the gym or pool or hit the road – had it not been for the mental and physical wholeness and fulfillment after your sporting activity.

Why can’t exercising or waking up for work be easier to accomplish? Why do they have to be loathsome activities to begin with and enjoyable only upon completion?

This is when THE MIND comes into play. If it is a routine/task/responsibility – then just do it, regardless of your willingness and enjoyment level. More often than not, there ain’t any – it’s gotta be mere sheer discipline dragging you forward.

Reebok had a slogan I fancy many years back – Life is short, play hard. True. Life is tough, slack not.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A String of Pearls

Some things go unnoticed, especially without much mention and publicity, and for songs, commercial airplay. I've always liked Soul Asylum, and it wasn't until recently that I paid closer attention to their songs, and discovered one fantastic buried treasure - "A String of Pearls". The title ain't too much of a catch, but you'll be surprised, the lyrics are very interesting (at least to me! haha). Check it out...

She swings the string of pearls on the corner
The street lights reflect the light in the water
The string it snaps and the pearls go sailing
And they splash and bounce and roll 'cross the wet street
As she bends to chase the pearls a car swings 'round the corner
She darts from the eyes of the panic-struck driver
Who's racing to the delivery room
'Cause in the back seat his wife is busting out of her womb
And the sack breaks and out come the Siamese Twins
Who grow up to become the first President
With two heads, are better than one
He puts his heads in his hands, says I got to put my heads together
I can become the best President ever
And not just President, fend for yourself
Signs his name, takes the blame for all of the names with no shame
In their beliefs, they adjourn and they leave, and in walks a man
With a broom and a knife and blood on his hands
And he sweeps everything under the rug
And goes home to his kids and gives them a hug
But his wife was not there, she had just left a letter
That said "you'd be much better off without me"
Now his wife took the train to her ex-lover's funeral
Who died in the bathroom, hit his head on a urinal
When they got together, the knowledge was carnal
And the widow was at the funeral, and they had quite a catfight
And they fell into the hole where the casket was resting
And the preacher just left in the middle of the service
'Cause death was one thing, but women made him nervous
And he ran to his car and he drove 'round the corner
Then something in the street caught the light in his eye
He pulled over, reached down, and picked up a pearl from the gutter
And he didn't know what to think
And he brought it home and washed it in the sink
And he gave the pearl to Sister Mary Teresa
Who could not accept it so she gave it to Lisa,
A young prostitute who was missing a pearl
On the necklace that broke late last night

Essentially we can conclude that:

1. What goes around comes around

2. All of life is a cycle

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The End of Saddam

Death penalty for Saddam Hussein

Ground-breaking news from BBC News:

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been convicted of crimes against humanity by a Baghdad court and sentenced to death by hanging. He was found guilty over his role in the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail in 1982.

His brother Barzan al-Tikriti was also sentenced to death, as was Iraq's former chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bander. Former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan got life in jail and three others received 15 year prison terms. Another co-defendant, Baath party official Mohammed Azawi Ali, was acquitted.

Saddam Hussein shouted out "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) and "Long live Iraq. Long live the Iraqi people!" after the judge announced the verdict.

Correspondents say the former leader looked visibly shocked as the sentence was passed, but the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson said that as he was led away Saddam Hussein seemed to have a small smile on his face.

"It was as if he was thinking 'I've come here and done what I intended to do'," our correspondent said.

Spiritual Nuggets

There is tremendous power in a life well lived.

Faith travels in an atmosphere of positivity.

Love is expressed in obedience.

Our lives either communicate or contradict the Gospel.

It's not the absence of the fall that matters; it's the presence of grace IN the fall that makes the difference.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Arab investors work on plan for
$1b Versace hotel, condo

If built, the S'pore project will be the first such in Asia

Singapore may soon be the site of Asia's first hotel and condominium by Versace, a name more familiar in the fashion world than housing and hospitality circles. Arab investors are now talking to the authorities here about a project costing a whopping $1 billion, which would include an ultra-chic, ultra-luxurious hotel with 500-600 rooms.

(Excerpt from Business Times)


You know what does this tell me? That God is a covenant-keeping God. Though Israel is His chosen and special people, He keeps His covenant to Abraham in respect of Abraham's son Ishmael - to this day God blesses the descendants of Ishmael as He does the descendants of Isaac.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Books & Writing

I was brought up surrounded by books. As far back as I can remember, books were everywhere in the house, in school, even the Presbyterian church that I attended since I was five. I love reading. By jolly, I do!

My cousin Alinna is 6 years older than I, and being the only child, she was pampered with all she desired. I believe she loved reading too – she had more books than I had clothes in my wardrobe! When she grew older, my siblings and I were at the receiving end of her treasures. I didn’t care about anything else but the tonnes of books which packed my father’s bookshelves in the living room, spilling over to the dining area that we had to buy a bigger cabinet and bookshelf to store them (I was of course happy as a bee).

Besides studying hard, participating in sporting championships in school, playing myself crazy in the evening with my dad and the neighbourhood kids, I was reading all the time. I did not go a day without a book in my hands (no kiddin’!). I especially love lying on my bed reading (a bad thing to do – my vision is badly impaired because of that and there’s no point crying over spilt milk). I read every book that Alinna passed on to my family – Enid Blyton, Alfred Hitchcock, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl. Reader’s Digests. I love those hot sunny after school afternoons where after a quick lunch and bath, I’ll leap onto my bed (literally!) with a book in hand, all ready to devour and drool all over the yellow stained pages. Dad was very pleased that his little daughter loved reading and he used to come to my bedroom - first he would smile, then he would enquire which page of the book I was at, and then he would ask me when do I reckon I would finish reading the book, and I would tell him in a day or two and I would make sure I kept my word. And I did.

At fourteen, he bought over from Alinna her entire collection of The Times Encyclopedia (I have never finished reading them all – I only like 2 of them – one on Space, and the other on the Mind). Now that I’m much older, I feel bad at not having fully utilised the entire collection that my Dad paid good money for, thus I make it a point whenever I go back home to visit my parents, to read a little if not glance through the pages of some of the other topics.

Love strikes quickly and fatally. I fell in love and never out since – with Penguin’s Classics – great literature by my all-time favourite English writers – Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson. I would say it was literature pieces like A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn that left a deep imprint in my soul and etched an innate longing for English products – books, movies, songs. You’ll probably find this an exaggeration, but please trust my integrity – I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer over 20 times, averagely 4 times a year. I had no sense of boredom reading the adventurous and often mischievous Tom Sawyer trading junks for pearls with his richer, snobbier but dumber friends. If you ask me, Tom Sawyer makes a mighty good businessman!

Sometime later a friend recommended Christopher Pike’s fiction/mystery novels – a whole series of ‘em to get you imagining monsters and believing that chain letters were real. I started checking out John Grisham’s legal thrillers in poly because I majored in law (duh!).

Looking back, I was a more rampant reader. I devoured any book that came within sight. I borrowed books extensively – from libraries of all sorts – school library, church library, public libraries, friends’ libraries. Now I am a more picky reader. I read less and from a narrower range of topics – mostly autobiographies, cultural stories and Black American experiences. I feel for the sufferings of the characters and I empathise with the injustice inflicted upon the weaker ones.

I love to read. And I want to translate my reading (input) into writing (output). I dislike being distracted from what I’m meant to do. Here's a list of distractions that has won me over too many times. It’s adapted from Jane Schneeloch's poem, an amateur writer trained in well-known writing teacher, Pat Schneider’s Amherst workshop.


I stop writing
to check my email
to make a cup of coffee
to read the mail
to put a load of wash in
to play a game of Minesweeper
to straighten out the piles on my desk
to pluck my eyebrows
to cut my nails
to call my mother
to pay a bill
to text a long lost friend
to get another CD to play
to transfer pictures from my handphone to my laptop
to buy lunch
to watch Discovery Travel & Living
to watch the news
to read the newspapers
to take a nap
to dry the clothes
to shut off the computer
and wonder where
I will find time
to write great things.

So don’t be surprised the next time you find me missing from writing for days and weeks on end. The above list is the reason why.

P/S: This must be the longest post I've written and published thus far. And I'm only doing so to prove a point - strike while the iron is hot - I got to write while I can before I start losing my heart to a thousand other "important" to-do things.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nitty Gritty

The finest of its kind, woven intrinsically and artfully by skilled hands, Grace Wong's bags, accessories and bag charms are manifestations of her never-ending flow of ideas and fashion sense. Operating under an independent label, Nitty Gritty, she is truly emerging as one of Singapore's up and rising young talents in the fashion landscape, now locally, but prayerfully in time to come, globally. Below are her products at display at 25A Bali Lane.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fat cows

A short paragraph on the wound of false accusation.

There is a plain with juicy green grass. It didn’t use to be so juicy but recently much rain fell upon the area and now the grass is green as far as the eye can see. It’s lovely to hop around and play merry in the field. Until the fat cows came along and tread on the grass. Not just that, the fat cows feed upon the grass and is causing the field to look trodden and quarterly bare. It won’t be long before it’ll be more trodden and half bare. And soon it’ll be badly trodden and very much barren. Something has to be done before that happens. The fat cows have got to go. How? Got to think of a solution. Prayer is one. This is an important one, please. Now, besides prayer, the other possible solution is to unearth the grass seeds across the field, throw the seeds in the air and let the wind blow them to another plot – where no fat animals disturb.

- A.T.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


This my prayer

This my prayer Lord I ask.
I want to be a filial daughter to my parents;
a gentle and gracious girlfriend to him my loved one;
a giving friend to those around;
an efficient employee where I labor.
When I marry, I pray I be an honorable wife and a helpful soulmate.
When I have children, I pray I be a patient parent.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fatal Profession

A major headline taken from BBC News

Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent Russian journalist known as a fierce critic of the Kremlin's actions in Chechnya, has been found dead in Moscow.

The 48-year-old mother of two was found shot dead in a lift at her apartment block in the capital. A pistol and four bullets were found near her body and a murder investigation has been launched.

Ms Politkovskaya's murder has all the hallmarks of a contract killing, says the BBC's Emma Simpson in Moscow.

The award-winning journalist became ill with food poisoning on her way to report on the Beslan school siege in 2004, which some believed to be an attempt on her life.

'Brave defender' Ms Politkovskaya, who worked for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was known for exposing rights abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya. She also acted as a negotiator with the Chechen rebels who held a siege in a Moscow theatre in 2002.

The head of Russia's journalism union described her as the conscience of the country's journalism. She was one of the few remaining high-profile, independent journalists in Russia - and her death will cause widespread anger and shock, says our Moscow correspondent.

"Russia has lost a brave and dedicated human rights defender," said Nicola Duckworth from the rights group Amnesty International.

Ms Politkovskaya "spoke out fearlessly against violence and injustice, and campaigned tirelessly to see justice done".

Amnesty International has called for a thorough investigation into the killing but Russian political analyst Anna Zelkina is doubtful there will be results.

"There is this series of politically motivated murders like hers," she told the BBC.

"I'm afraid that there will be less and less people who would be taking the risk to report... [she's] a very difficult person to replace."


A couple of comments from readers on this piece of news:

I am in absolute shock. Anna was an extraordinary person of an unmatched integrity and drive. Being born Russian, I love Russia with all my heart. This news of a cold blood murder makes me so angry. Can this great country be ever free? Such loss, such emptiness. Arina Kurchina, UK

I'm always amazed by the bravery of journalist who carry on reporting the truth despite threats and intimidation. It saddens me that she isn't the first, and won't be the last, journalist to die for her integrity. For her families sake, as well as the sake of truth, I hope there is a full and fair investigation into her death. Katherine, London

I'm totally gutted to hear this news. She was part of a great tradition of courageous war reporting and investigative journalism who have never been afraid to put their lives on the line in pursuit of the truth. Russia's war in Chechnya is the dirtiest of wars and Russian politics is equally dirty these days. I fear that nothing will change for a long, long, time. Harvey Burgess, US

I am truly sorry for the death of the journalist. I think all those having problems with the principles of democracy and free society resort to guns at the end of the day. This is terrible news and I think it clearly shows how the current administration views freedom of expression. Who would possibly want to kill a journalist? I think the world organisations working in relation to journalism should condemn this horrible act. Abraham, Ethiopia

Reminiscing Good Ol' Times

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The J. Tan Family Lineage

Recently I did a backgrounder on my family history for one of my class assignments. I decided to do it in the following style. I hope you are as amused reading it as I was writing it. (P/S: By the way, J. Tan stands for Johnson Tan, i.e., my father's name)


Tracing its roots back to old Malaya, the J. Tan Family lineage presents an unlikely union of two prominent but rival families from the fishing village of Stulang, beside the mouth of the Johor River. Johnson, the eldest son of the Tan family, though an intelligent scholar and expected to teach in the local school, was a poor match for the fair and lovely Rosalind whose family owned the village’s only provision business. Yet a brief introduction at a tea party quickly set sparks flying between the two youths and before long, the charming Johnson had won the heart and hand of the enchanting Rosalind, much to the disapproval of their elders.

Current Members

Not long after their joyous union, the couple gave birth to their first born, a chubby and bubbly Wilson Tan whose witty nature and street-smart ways won him the hearts of the villagers and school teachers who graded him excellently in his subjects.

Next in line came Willy, though born prematurely and sickly most through his growing years, much to Rosalind’s worrying concern, he eventually outgrew his frail health into a fine young man; handsome with strong chiseled features.

A daughter then came along, Irene is her name. Petite and demure, she is a tender-hearted girl whose soul is filled with much love and compassion for people around her, especially her family members.

Finally, the youngest and most adorable girl, Angeline, added to and completed the family tree. Like Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, her inquisitive nature often brought her many an adventures that strongly defines her extroverted personality.


Johnson is a semi-retired private tutor who currently tutors still in the comfort of his quiet home in Taman Pelangi. In his leisure time, he does gardening and reading.

Rosalind is a retired nurse who serves actively in the church choir and manages a comprehensive lifestyle of morning tai-chi exercises, afternoon karaoke and tea sessions with the neighborhood ladies and the occasional baby-sitting for Willy’s young children.

Wilson, being the dream-driven man that he is, is on the active look-out for decent business opportunities in Thailand where he enjoys the sour and spicy food as well as the rich ethnical culture.

Willy is a responsible and fulfilled family man who adores his wife and dotes on his two young children, Isaac, aged 7, and Eunice, aged 3. He shuttles between Singapore and Johor Bahru for work as a technician in an engineering firm.

Irene takes residence in London with her British-born Chinese husband, Martin, and her young daughter, Sheena. She is a full-time housewife with little personal time and energy left at the end of each day – her little daredevil, Sheena, being the reason why.

Angeline is living out her all-Asian dream of holding a prestigious job in a huge, internationally renowned firm as well as pursuing her childhood dream of mass communication studies. Though easily tired out by mid-week due to work and studies, she finds time to play music as well as write, being strongly inspired by her favorite author, Maya Angelou, of the famed, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Anger Management

I hate silence. I hate being the object of unhappiness and not told of what my wrong is. I hate to be looked at with disdain leaving me with no room for rebound because I am not privy to the mind of another who needs much cajoling in order for the truth to be squeezed out of.

I hate to be so demanding yet so imperfect. I expect of others what I am not able to give. I expect tolerance and patience when I have a short fuse and long memory. I hate jumping to conclusions and not giving others a proper chance of explanation which very often prove me gravely wrong and overtly judgmental. I hate to be so explosive when wronged. I hate not being patient and loving and kind.

Guilty! Guilty!

Guilty, like a commanding officer, screams at me.

Guilty! Guilty!

Guilty, like a sharp javelin, pierces me sharp in my innermost being.

Away from me!

Conviction, like a friend, appears suddenly. I am so engrossed in my pent up negative emotions I am caught unaware. She stoops right next to me and puts her gentle arms around me. She places a hand over my sore heart, pounding with anger… and without much prompting, my heart beat slows down. The haze in my mind starts to clear. I stop breathing hard and start to feel and understand her message. She has come to bring a message of release, forgiveness and love. I was not able to do it by myself. But she came prepared. She brought with her an important tool called “grace”. With that I am able to receive from above...

"Be angry, and DO NOT sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

AND be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Eph 4: 26-32

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

White House Photo Blog

An intimate look at the administration through the eyes of TIME's press corps photographers. For a bigger view of the photos, pls click on the respective photos (especially those with my heroine, Ms. Condoleezza Rice, in them. Hehe...)

"A White House butler carries two glasses of water towards the East Room—one for the President's podium and the other for the President's guest, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. This image was captured using a remote camera placed on the ground. I am standing in the group of journalists that you can see through the doorway. We're waiting for the press conference to begin." —Brooks Kraft

"The President and the First Lady pause to speak to the press in front of a mural dedicated to the 343 firemen who lost their lives on 9/11. The photo was taken on the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy." —Brooks Kraft

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and senior administration officials wait while the President and his guest, the South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, address members of the media in the Oval Office. The press is often invited into the room at the conclusion of meetings between the President and other heads of state. On this day, the corps was allowed to stay for a full 10 minutes. On other days they ask us to leave after 10 or 20 seconds." —Brooks Kraft

"At the conclusion of a bilateral meeting with President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, French President Jacques Chirac demonstrates a little Gallic charm." —Brooks Kraft

Blown Away
"A U.S. Marine and four New York City police officers secure their hats as the President's helicopter, Marine One, lands in Manhattan. Bush was in New York to attend the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly." —Brooks Kraft

The Speech
"At the end of a long two days of travel to the three attack sites, the President returned to the White House to address the nation directly from the Oval Office. This photo was taken after the speech had concluded." —Brooks Kraft

Paying Tribute
"This was taken at the September 11 Tribute Center. I like the composition of photos surrounding the President. The faces echo what must have been on Bush’s mind at that moment." —Brooks Kraft

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Life Management

Time for honest reflection. Here’s what’s been happening. I’m currently juggling a full time job in a large and prestigious firm which asserts on excellence, efficiency and diligence as well as a good attitude, and pursuing a part time degree which packs its modules pretty tightly through the week. I’ve done a careful study on my lecture timetable – it doesn’t look too promising - as the months progress, I’ll be sandwiched with 4 out of 5 weekday nights of lessons. Boy, I sure am in for a rough ride. But please don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying both work and studies at the moment; it’s just that I am grappling with little time and lots of youthful desire for more sleep time. I’m neither eating well nor getting seats in the MRT or buses, rushing from work to lesson to home. If I’m complaining, it must only be because I do not know how to manage my time and priorities.

Like any of us with big dreams, I want to score ace in my work, studies and personal life. When I mention personal life, I mean my personal pursuit for creative gratification, and in my case, it’s music playing. I play the drums. Yes you know that, 'coz my blog's url is "lildrummergie" (duh!). Short for Little Drummer Angie. And yes, I got the idea from the well-loved Christmas carol The Little Drummer Boy.

Now, what’s bugging me is that I’m not swimming above the tide, but rather, under, at this preliminary stage of my work and studies. And seeing that both work and studies load are gonna increase in the coming months, I fear that without proper deliberation and planning, I am gonna kick myself in frustration and despair in discouragement. The maxim is true, that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

So, having said all, I hope to plan my schedule right, and work on my agendas diligently, and see myself perform exceptionally in all areas that are important to me – work, studies and music. I hope to come back with a bright and cheery report in the coming months. Till then, wish me well. ;)

P/S: It helps that I have tremendous friends and an awesome man who completes my world. It helps greatly in asserting assurance, acceptance and security, so I know at the end of the day, I've got God-given friendships and relationships to make it all worthwhile.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Central Business District

You know, one of the plus points of working in the Central Business Disctrict is the privy to great scenic city view. Ooo.. don't you just love the clean and green Lion City, and of course, my cool Sony Ericsson W810i which made all these great pics possible. ;)

My office building at One George Street

Ooh la la... shots taken from my office at the 20th level of the view of Boat Quay, the Singapore River and surrounding buildings

The new Parliament House

The new techy Supreme Court

The Old Supreme Court now turned Art Gallery

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In Your Hands

Sometimes my prayers feel so futile
And Your voice seems to fade away
But in my pain I see You molding me

In Your hands, for every storm there is a reason
In Your hands, there is a time for every season
Though my tears may fall, You hold me close
And love me through it all...
In Your hands

I smell the springtime burst with fragrance
I see the branches break with fruit
I never knew the rain could bring so much
Or the seed would have to die before it bloomed

You turn my weeping into laughing
You give my feet a place to stand
Cause You will not turn away the asking
Even when Your ways are hard to understand

- Sonicflood

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Vroom Story

Some months back I went to JB with a friend to service his motorbike in this dingy-looking bike workshop...

This is his current prized possession - a cool yellow Honda Wave in which he pillions his girlfriend all round the island - from east to west, north to south - and he does it ever so willingly. Never mind the petrol consumption. Love covers all, you see. Even the price of petrol. ;p

When all of a sudden my eye caught sight of this cool Modenas scooter... selling for a mere RM3,500! In other words, it costs only SGD$1,520!

I was really tempted to buy the bike but decided to consult my larling... Here's his response...

Ok, I know he meant well. After all, my parents vehemently objected to me ever riding a motorbike. So there you go, 3 against 1 - alright, I concede defeat.

Temptation always has its way around you. That very weekend I saw this beauty parked at Expo....

Aarrgh!... by then I was much too tempted not to give biking a serious thought.

However, after mulling over the matter over Han's aromatic coffee and dazzling blueberry pie, I decided...

that I'm better off remaining true & loyal to my 2 greatest loves....


& Music