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a little less than the girl next door
27 June 2017 @ 07:39 pm
lessons to learn from other people's mistakes. some things -- like credibility, and a solid reputation -- can be so fragile. one wrong move and it can undo all those long years of good work you've put in in the past.
a little less than the girl next door
13 May 2017 @ 10:20 pm
​today, i finally managed to go through a three-year-old, 97-page report ... while getting my hair trimmed. found it still quite insightful, despite having been produced so many years ago. so that i don't have to save it somewhere else, here's a par that particularly resonated with me.

When we have good ideas, we should treat them with the urgency of a news scoop. Otherwise, we risk letting our competitors get there first. A year and a half ago, Andrew Phelps presented his bosses with a tool he developed: an automated, visual homepage of the day’s report. Editors were enthusiastic, but there was no structure to support the initiative and after several months he gave up. More than a year later, an identical feature appeared on The Washington Post website. Immediately, the New York Times business side put out a request for a designer or developer interested in building a visual homepage.
a little less than the girl next door
13 February 2017 @ 10:17 pm

need a positive forward-looking song (albeit from before my time) to balance out another day that has just spelt more changes and chaos ahead.

明日變遷怎麼可知道 何事悲觀信命數
似朝陽正初升 你要自信有光明前路
將一聲聲歎息 化作生命力
懷著信心解開生死結 雲霧消失朗日吐
a little less than the girl next door
i caught up on quite a bit of my readings while i was back in sg. still wish i could have read more and wider, but there's only so much my little brain can take at a time. my reading diet also involved a little bit of self-help -- strangely i'm no longer as averse to self-help as i was as a teen, haha -- given my half-baked plans right before i left hk for the cny hols. here's an article i found quite insightful, though i really wasn't expecting much from its headline.

frankly, i'm not fond of the word "success" -- the definition of success differs from person to person and its societal definition is what has irked me from time to time and caused me a lot of cognitive dissonance over the years. but some bits of these "35 things" stood out for me. hopefully bearing in mind and applying some of these will help make me a better, calmer, more disciplined, less gripeful and generally happier being.
a little less than the girl next door
12 June 2016 @ 11:57 pm
the last time i knew excitement of such proportion was four years ago; be still, please, my heart!!!
a little less than the girl next door
11 February 2016 @ 02:26 am

(you might have read an entry here highly similar to this one a few years ago. here's my attempt at better articulating myself with new thoughts, new feelings, after our latest aru sighting.)

just minutes before i spotted him, we were still wondering where aru might be now, whether he had failed to adapt to the whole new upgraded bedok interchange, whether his family had sent him to a care home, or if he was still around at all.

our re-sighting of him again tonight, well as ever, once more brings us the renewed hope that despite our lives having changed so much that just meeting up has become so tough, aru (and therefore what we share between us) will forever remain constant -- showing up faithfully to hang around seemingly aimlessly at the interchange in the evenings -- even more than a decade after we gave him his name (short for ahsiao rabbit uncle) and made up various backstories for him.

the bus drivers speak to him; they seem familiar with him, even fond of him, which makes me feel 欣慰, thankful for their kindness towards him and a kind of muted warmth. even after we individually moved away and then moved back and then moved away and then moved back again, aru is still around and still the same -- after all these years.

aru is like the embodiment of our relationship, (almost) all our history together, sitting/standing at the interchange waiting for each other's buses while trying to fit everything into our conversations before our buses arrive, from academic concerns to our love lives to work woes to family feuds to random rubbish.

i guess that must be why we both feel a kind of ... melancholic affection for him (to the extent that i asked, "could it be true love?!") and hope that he will remain the same, keeping to his interchange routine seemingly ailment-free and worry-free forever?

其实…其实 aru 就是我们。
a little less than the girl next door
10 January 2016 @ 08:57 pm

He was bent over her bed, tending to her, when I checked into the ward. Soothing 70s songs were playing softly from a music player on a stand nearby. The tunes -- their lyrics sometimes in English, sometimes French or Italian, sometimes Chinese -- sounded straight out of a radio from a time long past.

Crooning to her, caressing her face on and off and fussing around her with a small wet towel in hand, he never took his attention from her, never spared a glance for who was checking into the ward and making all that check-in noise around them that day.

At first, I thought she had mere days, maybe hours, left. How else could one find such focus, such devotion to care so single-mindedly for a person who couldn't move, couldn't converse, couldn't interact, could only stare back seemingly emptily and make choking, gurgling, difficulty-breathing noises at you?

I was wrong.


"He had to rush home last night to prepare dinner for their son ... Already a working adult and can't even buy his own food from outside, let alone cook for himself."

"And he didn't just buy food home for their son, you know? He went and bought food home to cook for him."

"That's why I say, that's what happens when there's no woman in the family."

"It's really not easy, having to shuttle from place to place..."

"It's the school holidays in Taiwan now, this week ... He'll be flying back next month."

"He's really one of a kind."

"Yes, my boss is really...

"But I told him he can't expect to care for her 15 hours a day every day; he's not a professional ... She's stable ... Do you know he slept on this chair here the other day?"

"I've already introduced another caregiver friend to him ... Even if he pays me $2,000, I also can't do this for so long la; it's crazy."

One can really learn a lot from nurses gossiping among themselves.


I was playing around with my unappetising dinner, pushing plain mashed potato around the plate, feeling nauseated and sorry for myself, when he started sobbing -- not loudly, but audibly, and sorrowfully -- from behind the pink curtains half-drawn around her bed.

The weeping was over in seconds. He blew his nose into a hanky, cleared his throat, stood up, and went right back to tending to her, cupping her face in his hands, speaking gently close to her.

He had been here for at least six hours today. Standing over the bed, he would sing to her. He must have had some choir training, if not opera; it was a trained voice with which he sang. But he would stop at some songs.

Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean,
Higher than any bird ever flew,
Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens,
I've been in love with you...

This was one song he skipped.

Why, I wondered. Was it not true? Or was it too true? Did he find it cheesy? Or was he overcome by emotion?

But what did it matter.

He didn't have to say it, didn't need to sing it; surely this man knows love.
a little less than the girl next door
28 December 2015 @ 10:44 pm
i had a very very very good kkml christmas. thank you, colin, for the wonderful gift of your company and more kkml memories to laugh at you about.
a little less than the girl next door
20 November 2015 @ 12:58 am
isn't it strange how the original german name of bach's "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" is actually "Jesus bleibet meinen freude" (Jesus remains my joy).

its english name suggests only joy, no hint of sadness, while its german name sounds so morose, sorrowful even -- like it's saying, "after all this, all of life's griefs and torments, Jesus remains my one joy who holds me together".

i'm wondering this because online, people using the english name of the song have said the song is meant to be a joyful one and that a sorrowful rendition of it is clearly wrong. but why do I suspect that a slower, sadder, more morose interpretation of the song may go better and may in fact be bach's original intention?

p.s.: this is my (sg) church's opening tune for every sunday's morning service as the candles at the altar are lit. apparently it was also used in the japanese animation film evangelion.
a little less than the girl next door
19 November 2015 @ 04:54 am
am thankful that for the sleepless nights i spend needlessly vexing over matters, there's the keyboard to work my good ol' pachelbel to take my mind off things.

for how much i detested lessons as a kid, i've grown up finding myself grateful for the know-how now and the catharsis that playing so often provides (despite being so crappy at it).

am really glad i invested in a keyboard here in hk. the feel of the keys aren't as soft and smooth as that of a good piano, but its greatest feature for me is the volume control -- no longer do i have to restrict playing to daylight hours or the early evening. just a few hundred sing is a wonderfully affordable price to maintain my sanity!