Monday, January 29, 2007

The day the washer died

It's been acting rather quirky of late.

First, it gave off a rubber smell whenever it got into a spin. Then, over the weekend, it got nasty, behaving like a prima donna, acting as if it had a mind of its own. It began to leak and "piss" all over the spot where it has stood faithfully for the past six years.

I'm talking about my washing machine, of course. When the machine broke, I contacted Mr Fix-it for some advice. I asked if he had any lobang for a washing machine servicemen. That man took a day to answer my sms, and only to tell me to get a new machine when he learned that the one I have back home is almost a museum artefact.

I wish money could juz grow on the money plant in my balcony. Maybe the the problem is as simple as replacing a loose screw? Who knows? Anyway, Mr Fix-it finally gave me a number he found in one of the flyers in his mailbox. It's one of those "fly-by-night" operators going round our heartlands making a killing out of the pockets of the ill-informed or igorant heatlanders. As a parting shot, Mr Fix-it wrote: "use@ownrisk".

At my wits end, I called the number. And the man said he would turn up today. Well, the man came, the man tried to fix the washer and the man gave up. He told me to call the agent, saying that the condition of the washer is pretty grave (or was the tool man complaining about his tools?) Anyway, I called the agent for an appointment scheduled tomorrow. But in the mean time, I juz have to do something to the laundry which is piling up!

Man, it's tough when your washer died on you. Trust me; you could survive without a fridge (well, you juz have to store them in your stomach), the air-con (juz sleep in your birthday suit) or the television (there's always the Net), but you juz can't do without a washing machine, for you'd soon realise that you'd run out of clothes to wear. Not unless you resort to washing your clothes the old-fashion way, like what our mothers used to do in the past, when the washing machine was a luxury only the well-heeled could afford. Yes, you hand wash them, like what I did today!

This is no joke, I tell ya, squatting in the toilet, body all bent scrubbing the dirty collars of the shirts, especially those darned white school uniform of my son! (Now I appreciate my mom more!) You need pails and pails of water, rinsing the clothes back and forth several times. The worst part of the ordeal is having to wring the clothes dry. And that requires lots of effort and strength.

That's not the end of the woes, though. After the clothes have been washed, you've got another worry. Where are you gonna hang out the clothes to dry? Now, no matter how hard you manually wring the clothes, it would never be as dry as those done by the washing machine. So, if I were to hang them out of the windows, I'm sure the water would soon start to drip onto the neigbhours’ clothes below, and I've no intention to be like the neigbhour from hell upstairs who has no qualms whatsoever putting out her wet and dripping clothes out of her windows, regardless or not if the people living below her are drying their clothes.

Well, I really haven't much of a choice. The only thing to do is to wring the clothes, let them "stand" in a pail for an hour or so, hang them up on the poles and put up the poles on the pole-hangers WITHIN THE HOUSE, and when they are no longer dripping wet, hang them out at the windows. See how considerate I am?

And what did I get in return? Another heap of clothes waiting to be "hand-washed". Sigh .....

Category: Musings

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The agile Monkey ponders ..........

How To Draw A Table
The agile Monkey ponders how to draw a box
So the proud Dragon kindly shows the old Monkey how
You either start with MS word Or the HTML tags Either way, it's a piece of cake
But don't ask the Dragon how is it so He's got no clue for the space between the title and the box

Old Monkey, you go figure

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Are we not all sons of Singapore?

When you read something headlined "Even NS can wait for Olympic gold" in one of the local papers, you can't help but felt a sense of injustice for Melvyn Tan and Ike See. The former, a local-born pianist made good overseas but who got flak from fellow citizens when news leaked out that he was fined a mere $5000 for not serving his NS liability; the latter, a child music prodigy accepted by prestigious Curtis Institute for a 3-year Bachelor of Music degree but had his earlier requests for NS deferment turned down TWICE by MINDEF.

Gimme a break. What are they saying? That in the pursuit of that elusive Olympic gold, there's nothing that we won't do for you. Yes, we would defer your NS, give you the sun and the moon, anything - just like how we gave you our top sports men and women who are largely foreign imports. Who are we kidding?

International arts hub? Singapore?

Dream on. Not even the Durian made the cut.

Category: Musings

Saturday, January 20, 2007

As happy as gay can be

In the days
That seem so far away
You were just being happy
When you said you were gay

In this age
Of political correctness
People think you're queer
If gay's the word you uttered

Victor's grouses against MJM, our fellow colleague is understandable. That chap is a real pain in the ass... (oh... not THAT word again..)

Sometime last year, both Victor and I received an email from MJM in the office.

The email contains an article about how a Singaporean couple, both doctors, learned of their two sons' homosexuality, from their sons, no less. The father was understandably devastated. Though he continued to love and support the boys, he was disappointed. Three years later, he divorced the wife, remarried and told her: ‘Good. Now that I have the chance to marry another woman, maybe my future children will not be gay.’

But the wife, Dr Khoo Hoon Eng, was made of steelier stuff. When she first learned that both her boys were gay, her main concern was that they would face a life of prejudices. She also realised that their confession does not necessarily mean that they are sexually active. Dr Khoo later became one of the founders for SAFE Singapore (Supporting, AFfirming and Empowering our LGBTQ [Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender And Questioning] friends and family), a support group to help parents to cope with gay kids.

Now, why did MJM send that article to Vic and I? The answer is simple. It's because both Vic and I have two sons. Er... no we aren't gay and we aren't married to each other ... Let me rephrase that ... It was because both Victor and I are fathers of two boys ...(ya, I think that sounds better and clearer...) MJM has no son but three daughters. To put it simply, he was gloating about what can happen to boys in a "twist of nature". How nice, I'd thought, to have colleagues who are so concerned if your off-springs would turn out gay! Though I don't see how it's any of their damn bloody business.....

Usually, I have no time for bigoted and homophobic people like MJM. But I thought I should educate him on the existence of the gays of the other gender - the lesbians. And I asked him, would he abandon his daughters if they turn out gay?

I remember watching an episode of Desperate Housewives (looking out for Eva Longoria; she’s a babe! See? Told you I'm straight). One of the housewives, Bree, has a son, Andrew, who is gay, and who did not see eye to eye with his mother in most things. He had blamed her for his father's death. To spite her, Andrew slept with Bree's lover (yeah.. it's all very complicated I must say).

One day, on the pretext of going somewhere (sorry, I can't remember where), Bree told Andrew to get into a car. Then, after driving for a while, Bree stopped the car at some remote part of the country, threw a luggage at Andrew and asked him to get off. Andrew begged his mom not to desert him. With a icy look in her face, Bree told Andrew that she just couldn't handle him anymore, and that she has to let him go.

As she drove off, she was crying with an anguished look on her face, stealing glances at her son from the rear mirror. That was one of the most poignant scences I've seen on TV in a long time.

Now, Bree was not abandoning Andrew because he was gay. She did so, because of Andrew's spitefulness against her. There's no mistake about her love for her son, even as she drove off.

I always teach my kids, that we should accept the way same people are. Sure, there're a lot of debates as to whether homosexuality is nurtured or in-born. Some say it's a life-style by choice. Others say, well, it's juz like how some people are born left-handed. We'll leave that to the scientists. But, my point is that we shouldn't be too quick to judge on people, either by race, colour of their skin, religion, and yes, sexual orientation.

So, would I abandon my boys if they turn out gay? It's extremely difficult, especially coming from an Asian culture. But, my answer is a definite NO.

Would you?

But I feel sorry for MJM's daughters, though.

Category: Musings

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kidney for sale. Price negotiable

Dr Lee Wei Ling's letter in the ST on why foreigners in Singapore should not be denied a chance at organ transplant appears noble at first. Yes, why shouldn't the foreigners here be given a second chance at life? Are they lesser human than we Singaporeans and PRs?

But she lost me totally, when she advocated lifting the ban on organ trading. Calling the ban "irrational", she argued that a person (presumably a foreigner) should be allowed to pay for an organ transplant, so long as Singaporeans and PRs take precedent over foreigners. It does not matter, she continues, whether money changes hands or not. The main issue here is that a life is saved. So, in future, if we're in need of money, we can offer our body parts for sales. What? Eyeing at that 42-inch plasma TV and no cash? No problem, just offer one of your kidneys.

Of course, Dr Lee, who is never shy of controversies, is entitled to her view, which I find rather simplistic, especially coming from the head of the National Neuroscience Institute. If the ban is indeed lifted, who's to ensure that the system would not be abused, unless some sort of legislation is put in place to prevent the abuse. Even with legislation, I think it would be difficult to re-enforce. Organs are in high demand. If there's a demand, there's always a supply. And, sadly, the supply would come from the people in the lower strata of our society. Who's to stop them from selling their blood, kidneys or part of their livers to put food on the dining table? It's difficult for someone who's never been poor or who's born with a silver spoon in his or her mouth to truly understand the desperate measures the poor would take to make ends meet.

In my opinion, organ trading is just ethically wrong. We are not some red or white meat that we could buy off the shelves at the supermarkets. I think we human deserve better than that.

The ban should stay put.

Category: Musings

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Aiyeeeh! So dirty!

WARNING: This entry contains mature theme. Minors please go away ....

This is a magazine. A health magazine. A family-oriented magazine.

Oh, did I forget to mention it's a Singapore magazine, approved by the gahmen (MITA?) and meant to be read by Singaporeans?

Now, what makes this magazine stand out from the other locally produced magazines, like 8-days, Her World and FHM? What's so special about this magazine? Anne Kok, the has-been? (Hmmm... nice dimples, though).

When I found this magazine at my brother's house, I took it home with the intention to show to the Slim Lady. No, I told myself she juz had to read this magazine, at least this issue.

So, I left it on the coffee table, hoping that Ann Kok, or something else would catch her attention.

She didn’t take the bait. She's no fan of Ann, and neither am I. The story would have been different if Korean hunky star Kwong San Woo had been on the cover page. She, fan of Korean TV drama would have lapped it all up, and caught that contentious article I so wanted her to read. Well, truth is, since the school term started, she's been so pre-occupied with the kids, with their school works, with household chores, in fact, with everything BUT the husband.

So, while watching TV after the kids have settled, I asked her. "Eh, did you read that magazine on the coffee table?"

"No lah, where got time?" she said.

"Aiyah, there's a very interesting article in that issue leh," I was eager to share.

"Is it? What about?" she asked, eyes glued on the TV.

"Well, there's an article called "Oral Sex Is Safer", I said, trying to arouse her, I meant her interest.

"Aiyeh... so dirty!" the Slim Lady reacted.

Now, you must remember, if you've been following my blog, that the Slim Lady is a nurse by profession. No, I don't have a fetish for women in uniform. The fact that she is a nurse and happened to by my wife is purely coincidental. But to a nurse, ANYTHING that is "out of the norm" is "dirty". Who decides what's the norm and what's not anyway?

Are you blushing? Is that too much information? Okay, I shall spare you the details of my SEX life (I'm not the male equivalent of the SPG, after all). Let's turn our attention to this article in question, or rather, the author of that article.

That writer, by the name of Edmun Wee, must have balls as big as coconuts. Hello? Is he NOT aware that oral sex is outlawed in Singapore? Even if it's consensual and performed in the privacy of one's home? The Singapore Penal Code, Chapter XVI (Offences Affecting the Human Body), Section 377 (Cap. 224) states that:

Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation. Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.

For the longest time, we Singaporeans have been the butt of joke in the world stage when it comes to 69, Victor's favourite number. The oral (and anal, yucks!) sex prohibitions have been the subject of controversy since the court of appeal ruled in 1997 that oral sex is a crime except when it is prelude to intercourse between a man and woman.

Just who are we kidding? Do the authorities assume that men and women only have sex, missionary style? Dun be such a prude! (Which is what I told the Slim Lady, exactly!)

So, it was with great delight to many people (not that they give a damn anyway since many of them are already doing it), the gahmen has announced late last year that it is looking into amending some of the penal codes that have been with us since colonial days, including Section 377.

But until that becomes a reality, I think it's still too early for an article to advocate the practice of oral sex, and so blatantly in a family magazine. Edmund Wee, the writer of that article, as I said, must have had balls as big as coconuts. My eyes almost popped out when I read that article, especially in a place as asexual as Singapore (Don't forget, we ranked no 2 in a survey on folks who frequently made love - from the bottom up!)

But practitioners of 69, keep your fingers crossed!

We men know that there are certain things women juz won't do when it comes to sex. And most men respect that. But if the women truly love us, they should Just DO It. Do it, do it, do it! Oh gimme a break! There's nothing dirty about ORAL SEX. Everyone's doing it. Clinton, once the most powerful man on earth, did it in the santuary of the White House! (Now, you could almost sense my frustration, eh?)

If she refuses, then the least she should do is to get me a concubine. Some guys, like Chris, my namesake, has all the luck.

Now, this is what I called "too much information". But don't believe what I wrote at face value though. Most time, I write to amuse. LOL.

Category: Musings

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Time Machine

If you have a Time Machine
Where would you like to be?
Junior tells me he'd zap back to the Jurassic Age
Where he'd have fun and cavort with Dinosaurs all day

The Slim Lady says the bachelorette days is where she'd be
Where life is all easy and carefree
No husband to nag, no kids to scream at
Just she, herself, and the Slim Lady

As for me
The thought came pretty quick
My childhood
That's the place I'd revisit

For childhood is where
Innocence lives
Where dreams are alive
And know no limit

Where kids can throw their clothes on the floor
Believing in the magical forces
That will somehow return their clean and folded clothes
Back to their dresser drawers

Where kids are lucky
They pay no rent
Where they only have to study
To keep Mum and Dad really happy

Where kids never need to wait in line
At the bank, ATM or the supermarket
And should they ever need to queue
It's entrance to the movies such as Shrek and Garfield!

Where kids are unsophisticated little souls
They accept you the way you are
Never judging how you look
Or the kind of job that you do

Where the kids are so full of goodness
They know not what is evil
And their only pre-requisite for friendship
Is friendliness

To a kid
Everything has an answer
If Mum and Dad are stumped or don't know what to do
There's always Grandpa or Grandma to turn to

Adults cry
Usually for themselves
Kids cry, too
But mostly, over little pets that died

If there is a Time Machine
Back to my Childhood
That's the best place to be
Now, don't you quite agree?

Category: Humoresque

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The "Invisible" Dads

I can't help but be amused by an article in the ST today, featuring fathers who brought their kids to schools. Apparently, it was a project by a non-profit group known as Centre for Fathering (sounds like a centre for men to get their wives to "conceive". LOL) trying to get the men more involved in their children's upbringing.

Very commendable, I must say. After all, studies have shown that kids are generally well adjusted in later life, if the fathers play an active role in their upbringing.

But alas, that article was more than a decade late. Hello? I’ve been there, done that. And I know a dozen other men who do.

Senior Junior's now 15. When he started P1 many moons ago, I brought him to school - accompanied by the Slim Lady. Okay, fine, this doesn't really count. But when it was Junior's turn to enter P1 n 2005, Daddy was the one who took two days leave to initiate him to the joy (and pain) of schooling. Mummy dearest was juz too busy with her work.

Not only that, guess who bought his school books, uniforms and shoes? It was Daddy. Who met the teachers during Parent-Teacher meeting? It was Daddy. Who whips out a good meal for the family? Daddy.

Of course, I dun mean to paint my wife in a bad light. She's a loving wife and mum and all, but hey, I suppose both mums and dads have their roles to play in a family. And sometimes, you just have a role-reversal situation, when Dad happens to be a better cook then the Mum (Juz ask my kid).

Truth is, the picture of a New Age Dad, changing diapers for the babies and breast bottle-feeding the babies no longer raises eyebrows. Perhaps it was so during the time of our parents, when husbands were expected to bring home the bacon and rule the house with an iron fist, while the wives tended to the kids and household chores acting all domesticated and docile. The new breed of males (SNAGs sound so passe) are here to stay.

But with duo-income families the norm these days, how could we husbands be so insensitive as to leave everything, from the kids upbringing and the household chores to the women of our life? Uh-uh.... not me. But still, no matter what I do in the house, it ain't enough for the Slim Lady.

Yes, give the Dads some credit. It's long overdue....

Category: Musings

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

First day at work, 2007

First day at work, 2007
Déjà vu
The same old job
Nothing really new

The drive to work
Traffic’s heavy but smooth
Even the emails - its sea of red
Fail to dampen my mood

I’m at my desk
A cuppa in hand
I enjoy the job I do
Believe me you

As the day wears on
I’d feel the stress
Endless meetings and briefings
I’m on the verge of collapse!

But I love my job
It’s the only thing I’d do
It pays my rent
Any my indulgences too

It feeds my kids
Their education, too
And allows me
My mistress to upkeep

This last verse; it’s not really true
I wrote it just to amuse you
The mistress is really my other “wife”
The one you’d call a 4-wheel drive!

It’s just another day’s job
I’d live it through
Cos honestly
This job is the only job I’d do

Category: Humoresque

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Wayang begins

In about two hours, the month-long December school holiday would be finally over.

I dunno about you, but the first day of school always gives me the blue. Trust me, it's not juz the kids who are suffering from the “going-back-to-school” blue. The day stresses us parents as much as it does the kids.

You wake up earlier then usual to get the kids ready for school - preparing breakfast, getting their uniforms and shoes ready. On the road, the traffic is heavier then usual, and darn if it rains! Thankfully, Junior's in P3 and Senior Junior's in Sec 3. I no longer have to accompany them to school like I did when they were in P1, as most parents do.

So the "wayang begins ...." without fail each year after the month-long holiday. It's a yearly ritual many of us parents are used to by now.

Well, unfortunately, the wayang doesn't stop when I drop the kids off school. In the evening, Junior's bag has to be checked - is there any instructions from the teachers? Any homework to be done? Books to be brought to school, and so on and so forth ....

Life can be a real drag .... and dread... I'm looking forward to the first school holiday in March 07 already! Perhaps more eagerly so then Junior!

Category: Family

Monday, January 01, 2007

Monogamy Vs Polygamy

Husbands who desire more than a wife to take
Are a dime a dozen
But surely the wives are nutty as a fruitcake
To have mooted such an idea!

Husbands, whose wives tell them to sow their seeds elsewhere
Watch it man, better beware!
You know, and I know
They say so in jest!

For Jayne... whatever she's searching for.....

Category: Humoresque