Archive for September, 2008


There are 2 kinds of NXs in the R-me.

The first is the End-Ex, which everyone loves. End of exercise.

The other is the annex…

Annexes are fine, as long as they stay within their limits. Annexes should at most go up till Annex X… why else would they be called NXs if they didn’t eNd at X ?

And I used to think annexes were fun to include. “For details, refer to Annex B” etc… makes a report sound professional, even if Annex B turns out to contain only one line, or one table…

But after 2 sundays of booking in early, 3 nights of staying in my office late (twice till 1.30am and once till 5 plus in the morning!!!) and a 5cm stack of waste paper, in order to produce a 20 page document with an Annex Z (! some of the annexes even have appendices!!!), 50+ slides and a stack of references thicker than the original document itself (annexes included), I have only one thing left to say.

I’ve got annex to grind…


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september robbery!

Ennesse is robbing my September.

I’m so busy standing in for people that I can’t take leave, end work late, start work early (on a SUNDAY!!!), and have to do some parade…

Actually, it wouldn’t be so bad… if not for the fact that SEPTEMBER HAS SO MANY BIRTHDAYS!!!

And I’m going to miss them…

So yeah. Blame the R-Me.

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hit the road!

I’ve noticed that my blog contains more of other people’s words than my own. I quote too much. My excuse is that if other people have expressed it better than I ever will, then I might as well save myself the trouble.

But perhaps it’s also because I have read about life more than I’ve experienced it.

I have nothing to say because I have not experienced enough to write about.

Just like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, just a kid:

Reminds me of lyrics by Simon and Garfunkel too:

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

There I go quoting again.

Not that I have anything against books. Man, they’re what I subsist on.

But no-one ever boasts of having “Read this, heard that”… It’s always “Been there, done that”. Experience!

Reading is like looking at a map. It’s all well and good, and it helps one find the way around, but one’ll never get anywhere unless one hits the road!

Goodbye library! Hello world!

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no life expectancy

Pa showed me a speech by Adrian Tan at NTU’s convocation this year. (click here for full text)

Amazing, counter-conventional speech!

Here are a few gems:

On “life expectancies”:

You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, and raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.

That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.

If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.What you should prepare for is mess.

Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. …

Erase all life expectancies. Just live.

On work:

Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.

Work kills.

Resist the temptation to get a job.  Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often.

On honesty:

Be wary of the truth.

I’m not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth.

Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.

On popularity:

Yet every great figure that has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but also often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross…

It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average.

On falling in love:

Fall in love.

I didn’t say, “be loved”. That requires too much compromise.  If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.

Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out his or her flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.

Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something, which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.

Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor.  It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.

Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.
In short:
Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.
That’s a really long post. For the same advice in a nutshell, see my earlier post on wearing sunscreen 🙂

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