Wednesday, August 31, 2005

msa deferment

Dear Ms. Simone,

Thank you for your earlier email. I have decided to defer my enrollment into the MSA programme until next the intake (2007), due to work commitments in my present job. Please let me know the relevant procedures I need to go through. Thank you once again for your assistance!


Tien-Chi Hsu


i hadn't watched a movie in eons, so i decided to catch one yesterday. "march of the penguins" is a documentary that i was sure that no one would have wanted to watch with i went alone. =)

*allow me to sidetrack a bit...the last time i watched a movie alone was the day after the last breakup...i watched "alfie"...of all movies...probably to remind myself of what a bastard i had been in my other previous relationships, and that the one i had just been forced out of was the "comes around" part of the whole karma cycle...*

anyway, back to the's the synopsis from the official website:

"Each winter, alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place as it has done for millennia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen ice to begin their long journey into a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other wildlife at this time of year. In single file, the penguins march blinded by blizzards, buffeted by gale force winds. Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of the species.

Guided by instinct, by the otherworldly radiance of the Southern Cross, they head unerringly for their traditional breeding ground where - after a ritual courtship of intricate dances and delicate maneuvering, accompanied by a cacophony of ecstatic song - they will pair off into monogamous couples and mate.

The days grow shorter, the weather ever more bitter. The females remain long enough only to lay a single egg. Once this is accomplished, exhausted by weeks without nourishment, they begin their return journey across the ice-field to the fish-filled seas. The journey is hazardous, and rapacious leopard seals a predatory threat. The male emperors are left behind to guard and hatch the precious eggs, which they cradle at all times on top of their feet. Subjected to subzero temperatures and the terrible trials of the polar winter, they too face great dangers.

After two long months during which the males eat nothing, the eggs begin to hatch. Once they have emerged into their ghostly white new world, the chicks can not survive for long on their fathers' limited food reserves. If their mothers are late returning from the ocean with food, the newly-hatched young will die.

Once the families are reunited, the roles reverse, the mothers remaining with their new young while their mates head, exhausted and starved, for the sea, and food. While the adults fish, the chicks face the ever-present threat of attack by prowling giant petrels. As the weather grows warmer and the ice floes finally begin to crack and melt, the adults will repeat their arduous journey countless times, marching many hundreds of miles over some of the most treacherous territory on Earth, until the chicks are ready to take their first faltering dive into the deep blue waters of the Antarctic."

i loved the movie. it's not really one of those documentaries that you see on the discovery or national geographic channels, where there's a commentator of sorts...there's actually a male and female lead...penguins of course, being voiced over. the dialogues are quite good...touching in some areas, funny in others...but the thing is they're in french. reading subtitles can be a bit distracting when you're looking at the overall picture, but what to do?

i vividly remember one scene, where the mother penguins had to go back to the sea to eat their fill before going back to the baby penguins...inevitably, there'd be danger in the form of leopard seals who'd prey on these flightless birds. "the monster in one bite would take away two lives...that of the mother and of the waiting chick who will never be fed..." i actually dreamt of it last night...

this movie gave me an insight to the life of a penguin. their behaviour is rather peculiar i must say...the way they walk, and slide on their stomache...the seemingly silly ritual of going so damn far to breed...with the father taking over the job of keeping the eggs warm while the mother makes the 3 week journey back to the sea to eat...with her coming back and feeding the kid while the father makes the same journey, only to come back to feed the kid again...and this is in ANTARCTICA...where it's -40 degrees celcius at it's warmest!!! it's gotta take a lot of devotion and love in the family...

but the thing i like about the penguins is the way that they court their mates. they're ever so gentle and calm...soft and caressing...slowly stroking each other's necks and bodies...a tranquil dance. must learn, must learn. haha.

some facts i learned:

1. emperor penguins mate for life. and they only meet once a year. how romantic...
2. emperor penguins only lay one egg. so if you fuck it up, that's it for that year.
3. antarctica is not a place for the warm-blooded.

i strongly recommend this movie to people who have the time and patience to watch an egg hatch. haha. no lah,'s worth watching...there are a lot of good lines in the dialogue...and the soundtrack is pretty nice too. trying watching it alone if you have to! =)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

photographsky - macritchie reservoir

the skies were pretty clear today...

clear skies

so my dad and i decided it would be nice to take a "stroll" (more on that later) at:

macritchie reservoir park

after we finally parked the car after going a few laps around the carpark, i told my dad the story about how i warped the car's antennae while parking, which is why it can only retract half way. this is more or less the same expression he had when i told him about the long scratch on the driver's side of the car, and about running the red light...

stern dad

so, we finally headed down towards the "stroll"...

macritchie bridge

macritchie 1

macritchie 2

macritchie 3

along the way, we came across some aborigines of macritchie...

macritchie monkey

there was one monkey that actually stole a water bottle from this ang moh kid, and climbed onto a tree with it...and then when the ang moh mother came running to get it back, the monkey actually threw it onto her head...damn hilarious...too bad i didn't get a picture...i swear the monkey was laughing his furry head off.

anyway, back to the "stroll". my dad finally revealed his plan of bringing me to macritchie:

dad: 要不要赛跑?(wanna race?)
moby: huh??? 不要啦!我只想要散步... (no lah! i only wanna stroll)
dad: 老人家才散步...年青的男人要运动运动! (strolling is for geezers...young men must exercise!)
moby: huh???
dad: ok...bye bye! *starts running*

dad jog / race 1

dad jog / race 2

dad jog / race 3

pretty soon, my dad was running so fast that even my camera couldn't capture him...maybe also cuz he was on the other side of the reservoir already...

dad jog / race 4

i decided that i had to start running case he kena attacked by monkeys or some other creepy crawlies...but i just couldn't catch was really a race!!! when i finally caught up, we faced a fork in the road...

fork in the road 1

we decided to take the road less travelled. =)

fork in the road 2

then as we were finally strolling, my dad decided to entertain me with some stories about his trip to the states (he just came back 2 weeks ago)...and how he went to this dock somewhere in maine...and caught this etc, etc...yeah, yeah...riiiight...

fisherdad's tale

my dad wanted to show off his photo taking skills too, but that failed miserably when he included me in the picture...hahaha...

macritchie sky

so he passed the camera back to me, and i started taking the real stuff...

macritchie sunset 1

macritchie sunset 2

macritchie sunset 3

macritchie sunset 4

macritchie sunset 5

my dad decided that it wasn't time to go home yet...cuz he still wanted to exercise some more!!!

dad sit-up 1

very fast again...

dad sit-up 2

he was doing so many that it was starting to get dark...

dad sit-up 3

the sun had almost set by the time he was finished...

macritchie sunset 6

after that, we went to feast on a bowl of BIG prawn noodles each at adam road food centre...$10 a shot...and if you add as much chili powder as i did, it'll be more happening than any tequila crap selling at the same price...

anyway, all in all, it was a really enjoyable "stroll". bonding with my dad...something that i haven't really had the chance to do as of late. i've been too busy feeling sorry for myself, making excuses and ostracising my family. this should become a more regular fact, my dad asked me to go "hiking" next week...i wonder if i should bring my hiking boots or my sprinting shoes...maybe i'll bring my mountain bike along too, just in case he meant triathlon...haha. =)

Saturday, August 27, 2005


an old friend came to visit me last night when i was watching the european super cup between liverpool and cska moscow.

timmy-the-manja-cat (henceforth known as "ttmc") actually belongs to a person staying on the 5th floor. but he lets ttmc go out (just like i let my gingin go out) to play with the other resident cats downstairs.

ttmc and i got to know each other under rather bizarre circumstances: i came home one night last year, after yet another depressing and soul-sapping disagreement with my then girlfriend, i decided to sit down at the bench below my block to think about things...when suddenly, i saw this handsome cat walking towards me. he was limping a bit, though i didn't know why, and meowing i scooped him up and started talking to him. he was very understanding, purring all the while, and even meowed at the right times. the next thing i knew, i was telling him all about my troubled relationship, about problems at work, and about how life sucked...i talked to him for one solid hour, with him sitting in my lap the whole time. then i think he had to pee or something, so he hobbled off onto the grass somewhere...and i went home after that. (later on, i found out from one of the aunties who feeds the stray cats that this handsome feline's name was timmy.)

as time passed by, and as my relationship with adeline slowly deteriorated, i found myself talking to ttmc more and fact, every night when i came back (usually from one of the many drinking sessions that i had to have to drown my sorrows), i'd look for ttmc and sit on the bench to continue our conversations. though the later discussions we had were never as long as that first time, i actually looked forward to coming home to ttmc.

on the day when adeline finally broke up with me, after a few torturous months of i-know-it's-coming-but-i-don't-wanna-admit-it, i came home with a heavy heart...but i contained myself by listening to the radio on my handphone while i was on the taxi home (in order to avoid conversing with the taxi driver). when i reached my block, i saw ttmc at our usual bench, patiently waiting for me to go and talk...and then "the reason" by hoobastank started playing on the radio. suddenly, i could not, and would not control myself i started bawling my head off...and singing at the same time..."i'm not a puuurrrrfect persooon...*sob sob*...there's many things i wish i didn't do...*sob sob*...etc etc"...and ttmc started meowing along with me!!! i didn't know whether i wanted to laugh or cry...

it was a very difficult period for me at that time. but with the help of my friends and ttmc, i came through...a better person i hope..."what doesn't kill you, blah blah blah". but then some new-cat-on-the-block came along...and ttmc didn't come downstairs as often...i was a bit worried, so i even asked ttmc's owner whether timmy was which he replied in the positive, so...i just assumed that he got a new girlfriend...

anyway, as i was saying...yesterday, while i was watching football on tv, i heard a familiar meow outside my doorstep. that's when i saw my ttmc trying to squeeze his way through my metal gate. "HELLO MY DEAR FRIEND!!! how did you ever find me???" you must understand...i stay on the 23rd floor...and for a cat with a limp to climb 23 flights of stairs...i was convinced that he had something to tell me. so i let him in, and we started talking again...but he refused to let me take a proper picture of him...

ttmc 1

ttmc 2

ttmc 3

apparently ttmc also just broke up. poor guy. the girlfriend didn't think that they had a future together cuz he didn't have enough friskies and whiskas cat food in his stash...and that he dreamt too much. apparently, she's seeing some tomcat who prowls around an army camp now. alas...all hearts were meant to be least at some time or other...

and so the football match ended and it was time to go to sleep. i didn't want mr-5th-floor-uncle to worry too much about ttmc, so i sent him downstairs in the elevator. i sang "the reason" for ttmc...but i think he was still sulking...or maybe it was just my lousy singing...

ttmc 4

we reached the first level and ttmc was still sad...but he decided to lick his wounds and moved on after that.

ttmc 5 Posted by Picasa

(p.s. - oh yeah...i forgot to mention this...around the time that ttmc came in, djibril cisse scored that lucky equalising goal for liverpool in the dying minutes of the second half. now all you liverpool fans know who to thank for that piece of fortune. )

Friday, August 26, 2005


i like to drink soup. i think i got my fetish when i was a young boy growing up under my grandmother's care back in taiwan. she made the BEST 酸辣汤 (hot and sour soup) in the whole world. there was lots of 料 (ingredients) inside, and the balance between the hot and the sour was just perfect. i could consume one whole cauldron of it in a single sitting...and that was as a 6-year old kid who had only got his teeth a few years before that.

the best part about soups is its' ability to warm up your entire body almost instantaneously after consumption. when i went to the states, i missed my grandmother's soup so much that i disturbed my mother on endless occasions to learn the secret, but she never could achieve the similar high that i would get after drinking my grandmother's recipe. (btw, that's not an insult to my mother's cooking, cuz she can conjur up majical taiwanese feasts as well, but the soup just wasn't the same.) eventually, i evolved and started satisfying my soupy cravings with my mother's 猪肚汤 (pig stomach soup) instead.

naturally, living in the states meant that i was forced to eat ang moh food most of the time when i wasn't at i developed another love in the form of clam chowder. and it had to be new england clam chowder. the thick kind with lots of clams and potatoes and 料 (ingredients) inside. i would add lots and lots of black pepper to spice things up a bit...kinda like asian style...and drink it by the bucketfuls. i remember when my family went to boston, where they have the authentic stuff everywhere, my dad and i went bonkers and had it every single day during the 5 day visit. my mom and siblings practically had to drag us away from the bowls. lovely.

singapore has most of the soups listed above...but somehow, they didn't taste as good as the real stuff. so i figured i should try the local delights and found yet another soup that was worthy of my taste buds. mutton soup (the greenish colour ones found normally in indian / malay stalls) soon became a firm favourite of mine, even though it was the most fattening of all soups. almost everynight when we went for supper at the prata shop next to fong seng's behind nus, i would pamper myself with a bowl of the oily stuff.

rain or shine, soups always make my day. i think i'll have my daily dose for lunch later. i love soups. =)

i forgot another soup favourite of mine that definitely deserves mention. you've never tasted tom yum soup until you've actually had the real mccoy in thailand. the best place the i had this siamese version of 酸辣汤 was in chiangmai, when i visited my good friend fye, who's studying there. to cut a long story short, i've actually posted about this incident a few months ago...anyway, the tom yum soup there is very different from the stuff they serve here. basically it's much more yummy. it's thicker, it has more zing to it...and i don't know, maybe it was just the scenery and the company as well lah...which just made it the best tom yum soup experience in my life. thanks fye, for being there...albeit as a translator. hahaha. =)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

sherine's post

sherine also decided to post something about the hall...well...actually it was mostly about me in the hall. haha.

(p.s. - oii, shoezgal...i never screamed at the cockroach was more of a "squawk!".)

(p.p.s. - you really wanted me to buaya you meh??? please hor...)

(p.p.p.s. - so when would you be free for a nice dinner deary? hahahha.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

the raffles hall experience

*there's a beautiful sunset outside my place now...

sunset farrer 1

sunset farrer 2

staying on the 23rd floor does have it's perks. =)*

yesterday, i watched a vcd that was incorporated in the raffles hall year-book from my second to last year in the hall. it brought back so many memories from the hall...both funny and and emotionally much so that i almost felt tears welling up in my eyes. that's what the hall does to you.

i loved raffles hall. i used to play handball, basketball, sepak takraw, football and softball for my beloved raffles hall. 3 of my 5 ex-girlfriends i met in my beloved raffles hall. rh will always hold a place in my heart.

i stayed in a single room my whole time there...the final few years being in an air-conditioned single double room (a double room for one person) i didn't have any roommates during that time...which on hindsight, may have been for the better (looking at joseph and kk...jwoshi and what's-his-name...and goon and the chinaman...).

my room was damn cool. i hung jerseys of my favourite football teams all over the place...i had dim lights for the chics...i had the best mp3s to blast when i'm happy or sad...i had the coldest air-con with the thickest was fucking awesome.

raffles hall was all about friends. you will always remember the first person you met in the hall. mak was a stout and robust figure when i first entered the communal i stuck with him throughout the days of orientation...aka hell...but more on that later. the friends that i made in raffles hall were my family. but then again, communal living with friends and actual family members is very different. staying with another human being takes a lot tolerence with much giving and taking...but you can't exactly shout "take your fucking laundry out lah you cheebye chinaman!" to your dad, can you?? i had a lot of fun. i remember the first few days that i had the freedom of staying away from home, i actually slept in joseph and kk's room instead of my own room cuz i was so excited...i preferred sleeping on the carpeted floor in their room instead of on my own lonely bed...that obviously changed when i got a girlfriend (but that's another bedtime story altogether).

orientation in raffles hall used to be very regimental. meaning that we used to have to perform army-like drills (not that i've actually experienced one...) and degrading activities, in order to learn how to "work as a team", "live cohesively", and not to mention "satisfy your seniors' egos". but obviously, after your freshman year, orientation was always more fun. i even became the "block head" of block 3 during my 3rd, 4th and 5th years (yes, i loved the hall that much)...and became the very person that i hated and despised when i was a freshie. while i admit that it may seem unnecessary and ill-conceived to outsiders, i think that everyone who had gone through raffles hall orientation came out a better person...whether they liked it or not...except for "gargamel", who apparently only came out with a new and improved name. he used to be known as yong k@#...oops! no real names now, moby...people law@#@ leh...oops! i did it again...anyway, nowadays, the hall orientation programmes are ridden with boring shit, like outings to sentosa and orchard road, where they embarrass themselves in front of strangers to build camaraderie...gone were the good ole days of freshmen-ragging and power-to-the-seniors! sigh...

the inter-hall games (ihg), were the main focus of my life in nus. girlfriend relationships were secondary, followed by my engineering course. i was crazy about sports back then. in the video, i watched myself throwing myself around the courts, having no regard whatsoever about my own well-being...i injured my wrist while diving in and shooting the ball during a handball match. it still aches a bit when it's about to rain...but on those days, i just look inside my cabinet to admire all the gold medals and let the memories take the pain away. haha. sounds egoistic, but they're my pride and joy..the one thing i got out of nus that shines. sad but true.

trophy cabinet

i used to play sports every single day when i was staying in the hall. if it wasn't hardcourt football, then it'd be sepak takraw. we used to chase all the basketball players off the courts to start the hardcourt football...which was all good cuz the footballers had more people...except for the fact that i was the basketball team's captain. i could sense the mutiny a mile wonder i never won a medal as the bball captain...haha. but alas, bygones lah hor? right jason? right jwoshi? right kiat?

the dinner and dance marked the end of the year's activities. it was also an occasion for the hall to congratulate and thank the final year students for that year. in the video, i was reminded of an incident when i was paired up with the most beautifully-challenged girl in our batch for a "buaya / buayee" contest that was being held on stage. i remembered watching the other contestant couples doing all sorts of nonsense (one girl was bending over showing lots of ass, and another guy was trying stupid pick up lines, etc etc...), as if they really wanted the title of "buaya of the hall" and "buayee of the hall". which was when i turned to my beautifully-challenged partner and told her that i'd just do a simple peck on her cheek, and we'd get this thing over and done with. in the end, when it became our turn, i did my part with the peck, and was turning around to go off already, when my beautifully-challenged partner grabbed me back by the scruff of my neck and started taking off my tie and dancing agonisingly close to me...WTF!!! i was totally grossed out and probably blacked out after that...cuz on the video, it showed me taking off her scarf too. i nearly fainted again while watching the replay. but in the end...i was unanimously voted:

buaya prize 1

buaya prize 2

i think my beautifully challenged partner got second runner-up position for buayee...i'll be a gentleman and not reveal her name...after all, she WAS the most senior of the 3 girls that were up there...haha.

i'll update more on my hall experiences in future blogs...too much to write already...ex-girlfriends and all...aiyah...anyway, enough of being a bastard for's dark already outside...

sundown farrer Posted by Picasa

time to hit my watering holes again...jaime's been waiting since 6pm. muahaha.

Monday, August 22, 2005


had an itch to play golf i came back a bit earlier than usual and asked kean, my housemate, to go to the executive golf course in mandai. being my virgin visit, i thought it would be apt to bring along my nikon coolpix to commemorate the occasion.

executive golf course

we were one of the last groups to tee off for the day, so we didn't have to rush that much without worrying about the groups behind us. this is the first hole...

hole 1

i didn't wanna take all 9 holes...cuz it'd be a bit boring...but then i saw a nice view of the sky when we reached the 8th being the smart ass that i am...i took pictures of the beautiful sunset.

wrong sunset 1

wrong sunset 2

wrong sunset 3

until kean pointed to the sky directly behind me...where the real action was...

sunset boleh 1

sunset boleh 2

after the revelation...i finished up with an 18 over. that's a shitty score for those non-golfers out there...especially since it was over 9 holes.

scorecard Posted by Picasa

but not too bad for a first timer lah hor? *moby sucking pacifier as he types*

this may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship...

Sunday, August 21, 2005


*jason picks up moby and jo from telok kurau lorong k in his car to go to parkway parade for dinner.*

moby: they got show preview for tonight's liverpool match or not?
jo: why you wanna watch preview?
moby: no in on the internet.
jo: oh...dunno.
*jason starts mumbling some gibberish about the match*
moby: hello! *looking at chio-lady-driver on the left*
*BANG! jason's car hits taxi's rear bumper.*
jason: shit.
*chio-lady-driver drives away happily smiling to herself. jason gets out of car to inspect damage. has to move car to roadside to prevent traffic jam.*
jason: you all's fault lah.
moby: never ask you to look what. she's also not very accident-causing-chio loh. crazy.
jo: hahahahahaha.

*cabby stops at roadside. moby, jason and jo get out of car and act gangsterish. moby lights a cigarette to complete the look. cab has a scratch on the motorola sticker. jason's license plate is bent in two.*
jason: uncle ah, we settle this ourselves lah. you send me the bill from the workshop and i'll pay you back lah.
*cabby inspects damage again, and thinks for a while.*
moby: uncle ah, it's nothing what...only the sticker kena a bit.
cabby: no lah! you see this thing?? *pulls at rear bumper until it comes out*
moby: ooi!!! you don't anyhow lah! you making it worse loh!
cabby: ok, i tell you what, you give me $100 then we call it off lah.
jason: no's ok, you just send me the bill then i'll pay you back. i don't know how much this kinda thing would cost.
cabby: no that very troublesome you know.
moby: uncle ah, $100 very expensive leh...this kinda job very easy one loh!
cabby: ok ok, $50 lah.
moby: uncle ah...the damage nothing much one don't try to con us lah...we all haven't started working no money one lah.
jo: hahahahahaha. (silently to himself of course)
cabby: this kinda thing costs about $40 at least to fix loh...
jason: ok lah ok lah... *opens wallet, and finds only $24* ehh, you all got or not?
*moby opens wallet and finds $12, jo takes out wad of cash ($100+) which moby forces him to keep back in his pocket while the cabby was looking the other way.*
moby: nah, uncle, we only have $36. take it or leave it. we all still schooling you know!
jo: hahahahahaha. (silently to himself of course)
cabby: ok lah, ok lah. it's not that i wanna cheat you all money lah...but my time is precious ok! *starts to grumble..blah blah blah*
moby: ok ok...we're in a rush to go somewhere already lah. bye bye!
jo: hahahahahaha.

*cabby gets back in taxi, and drives off the nearest coffee shop to buy beer and cigarettes with his newfound wealth.*

jason: you all's fault lah.
moby: knn, i just saved you $64 ok.

*not-very-accident-causing-chio-lady-driver still laughing*

Saturday, August 20, 2005

raining again

fuck. it's raining again. knn. the day just keeps getting better and batter and badder.


hang·o·ver n. - Unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol.

i had too much to drink last night. in fact, i've had too much to drink for the last 3 nights. wednesday was leehsin's birthday party. thursday was audrey and jaime's ice cold beer party. friday was marvin, chen munn, jaime, rothman, george, etc etc's indochine-club-street cum ice cold beer party. wah lan eh. i haven't slept properly for 3 days already.

today, i feel like my body just resigned. i feel like shit. gotta go for golf lessons later some more. going to joe's place to play atomic bomberman after that some more. how to be bomberman world champion like that??!! sheesh.

and i tell you, liverpool better win today...otherwise, i'm gonna have another hangover tomorrow.

Friday, August 19, 2005


i had an offer from someone to be a driver, a chauffeur if you may, for this rich guy. at first, i was thinking why the hell would this person even think about asking me...and then he told me the perks: $4k/month salary, anything after 4.30pm would be considered overtime, drive any / all of his 6 cars...

mercs 1

mercs 2

mercs 3

mercs 4

mercs 5

mercs 6 Posted by Picasa


but alas, reality set in when they told me that i wasn't eligible cuz they were damn paranoid that their 23 year old daughter would vote for fall in love with the chauffeur. and i was so looking forward to driving again...damn.