Archive for April, 2010


The need for a new, better life wrung his heart with unbearable anguish. He passionately longed to find himself suddenly in the street, to merge with the living crowd, to take part in the festivity, in honour of which the bells were all booming and the carriages clattering. He wanted something he used to experience in childhood: the family circle, the festive faces of his relatives, the white table cloth, light, warmth…He remembered the carriage in which a lady had just passed by, the overcoat in which the office manager strutted about, the gold chain adorning the secretary’s chest…He remembered a warm bed, a Stanislas, new boots, a uniform with no holes in the elbows…remembered, because he did not have any of it…

And Nevyrazimov, racking his brain for some way out of his hopeless situation, stared at the draft of the letter he had written. The letter was to a man he hated and feared with all his soul, and from whom he had been trying for ten years to obtain a transfer from a sixteen-rouble post to an eighteen-rouble…

“Ah…running about here, you devil!” With the palm of his hand he spitefully swatted the cockroach, which had had the misfortune of catching his eye. “What vileness!”

The cockroach fell on its back and desperately waved its legs…Nevyrazimov took it by one leg and threw it into the lamp. The lamp flared and crackled…

And Nevyrazimov felt better.

~ From Small Fry by Anton Chekov (March 1885)


I am in the middle of a rather unfortunate day of submissions writing and having about two hundred and fifty things to accomplish before going on leave till next Tuesday [because The Parents have declared a holiday for themselves] when I visited the toilet and while I was in the cubicle, killed a cockroach that was scrambling to get away from the five screaming females outside who are trying to catch it.

While flushing the thing down the toilet, I was reminded of the story above and it made me smile.

Oh well. Back to the grind.


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2 weeks ago

[after being on hold for about 5 minutes]

Operator: All of our operators are busy now. Can I take down your name and phone number, Ma’am, and we’ll return your call shortly?

She: [stunned silence] But….aren’t you a phone operator?

Operator: Yes, I am. But I am afraid I can’t help you.

She: What do you mean you can’t help me?!

Operator: My job is just to take down numbers so that someone can return your call later.

She: But all I want to do is to redeem my reward points and I can’t do it on your website!

Operator: Oh! The website is currently down.

She: Means I can try again later?

Operator: Yes. Try again in about 2 hours. It should be okay by then.

She: That’s all I wanted to know. Thank you.


She: I think my feet are threatening to swell.

He: They are bluffing.

She: What do you mean they are bluffing?

He: Because they don’t have a good hand.


1 week ago

Message on the website when I click the “Redeem” button:

We are unable to process your request at this moment. If the problem persists, kindly call our 24-hour customer hotline.


I dreamt about being made to take my A Levels Econs exam again on Sunday night. Throughout the whole night, I had to constantly reassure myself while in my dream that I have been in practice for the last 6 years or so and so I can’t be made to take my A Levels Econs exam again.

So you can imagine what I felt like when I woke up and went to work the next morning.

I don’t get it, really. I get these dreams like once or twice every year. It’s been more than 10 years already! I think I have post-traumatic stress disorder or something.

And then I was told by The Buddha that he still has recurrent dreams of being made to take his A Levels Biology to this day. It’s been more than 20 years for him.

A Levels are evil, I tell you.



Operator: All of our operators are busy at the moment. Can I take your name and number and we’ll call you back shortly?

She: No! You can’t call me back!! All I am trying to do is to redeem my rewards points and I’ve been trying to do so for the last 2 weeks but I can’t because the website is screwy!!

Operator: Oh! The website is down. You can try again later.

She: That’s what I was told two weeks ago!! That can’t be right!

Operator: Well, I can actually help you redeem your rewards if you want.

She: Thank you. All I want is five $10 Cold Storage vouchers.

Operator: Why don’t you redeem one $50 Cold Storage voucher instead?

She: Because I don’t spend $50 at Cold Storage at any one go.

Operator: But then it costs you less points to redeem one $50 Cold Storage voucher.

She: Look. I just want FIVE $10 Cold Storage vouchers. It’s just easier for me that way.

Operator: But it costs you more points!

She: It doesn’t matter. I’ve thought about it. Just do it.

Operator: Okay. Please note that we will deduct 100 points from you for the phone redemption.

She: WHAT?!?!? You are seriously going to deduct points from me because your website is down and I can’t redeem online?!

Operator: Look, I will try to do it from the phone redemption on my end. That won’t cost you any additional points.



I think Citibank has found a new way to make my life hell. I am also beginning to think that one day I might just cancel my Citibank card out of sheer frustration.

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a text conversation between an exasperated pregger and her husband

She: When pregnant Singaporean women write to the forum complaining about lack of seats in trains, I think most of them deserve to stand because chances are when they aren’t pregnant they won’t give up their seats readily.

He: Hear Ye I agree

She: I wanted to stab out the eyes of a woman occupying the reserved seat in the train with my knitting needles today.

He: Ask her to move

She: She saw me get on, promptly pretended to sleep, then when her phone constantly went off, kept her eye on me when waking up to answer her smses with a don’t stand too close to me look.

He: ask her to move la

She: I don’t ask people to move. I rather let them incur the bad karma. Sometimes I step on their feet for fun to see if they are really asleep. Especially with their open toe shoes and manicured toes. But alas she was too far away today.


In other happier news, Lion is still happily in situ and will probably be there for at least a month more.

Thank goodness! I spent the last week feeling like I would go into labour at any time and having these sporadic panic attacks at work. Or maybe that was just consequent from the fall into the drain.

More time is always good anyway.

My main worry is how Peanut will cope when I am away in the hospital delivering Lion. She’s getting a little bit more clingy to Mummy these days. She wouldn’t sleep or go to most places without me.

Oh well. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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flat on my face

I fell into a drain on my way home on Friday evening because I can no longer see my feet. This is after I almost fell off the steps of my building going back from lunch for the same reason. I slammed the right side of my face against the concrete and now have a dreadfully purple chin.

When I told The Buddha this morning, the first thing he did was look down to check whether he can see his own feet. :S

The weekend before I had Peanut, I fell on the stairs on my way to confront the people upstairs about puking on my balcony and sustained some serious bruises on my legs. While I was hospitalised, I kept having to explain it to the hospital people how I got said serious bruises and then have them cast me disapproving looks for not being more careful as a pregger.

I’m seeing my gynae next on Thursday and dread having to explain away the bruise on my face to him and the anticipated disapproving look from him about being more careful as a pregger.

And I certainly hope that this falling down and injuring myself doesn’t mean I am going into labour anytime soon, given the sheer amount of uncompleted work currently on my table. :S

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I’ve been trying to get a day off since something like 3 weeks ago but there’s just been too much around here to do that my desk is beginning to look like it’s fortified by a strong wall of yellow files. I peer out tentatively through the arrow slits, wanting to leave, but afraid to do so. People chatting outside my office grate on my nerves because behind the strong wall, I suddenly develop the inability to understand how it’s possible for anyone to have any free time to chat during working hours at all.

All I want to do is wander aimlessly, to do absolutely nothing of any consequence or import for a while.

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