Archive for December, 2011

I walked the increased distance to the train station with my lovely sunglasses, with the world bathed in a golden glow through its lenses, listening to my current favourite song by Fun (your heart isn’t breaking and mine isn’t making a sound), looking forward.

My father would at some point later today surrender the keys to our family home for the last 35 years to a HDB officer, closing the door of the by now completely gutted flat for the very last time.

I would throw the usual lunch for the people who work for me, the last lunch for this long year of 2011, then leave work for the very last time this year to buy a present for The Buddha’s daughter’s birthday party in 2 days.

At some point next year, I would like to move my whole family, cats and all, into a new home out of our current rental apartment so house hunting starts in 2 months.

It’s been a really long year. And I have been here for far too long to count, so much so that when the unexpected letter was received, I was not very much fazed by it at all.

So what else is there left but to wish that next year would be more of a walk in a park than the last.

As always, may we all be better people in the new year.

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1. Peanut turns 3 years old.

After waiting all year and returning home with birthday goodie bags from school every other week and partaking in everyone else’s birthday festivities, Peanut finally gets to blow the candles of her own birthday cake!

2. Moving out

The Parents have more or less moved out of our family apartment for the last 35 years into a newer place down the road. It’s been a really trying time – trying to fit into the new space, trying to get used to living, cooking, sleeping in the new place, trying to get used to walking a longer distance to the train and childcare and everything else.

3. A little baby is borne!

Congratulations to Elmi and Algene! We’ve been waiting all year for this!!

You have no idea how incredibly happy I am for you.

[all the words unspoken]

4. More help at work

The new associate whom The Buddha hired to work for me finally arrives! He smokes, he drinks, he has no dietary restrictions, he’s attentive and seems quite sharp and normal…it’s really beginning to look like we will get along famously.

But then, yesterday afternoon, he told me that his sister and I were classmates back in Secondary School…say what?!

I’ve always referred to my secondary school days as the “lost years” of my life. So when he tells me that his sister was my classmate, and someone whom I didn’t get along with (and there are many of those given that I am mostly a social misfit), and he says it with this impish sheepish smile, it is all a little bit of a disaster for me.

So the first promisingly normal person I’ve hired in years turns out to be the little brother to someone I didn’t care for in secondary school, who knew me at possibly the worst period of time of my life. What are the chances?

All I can say is that I have seriously bad hiring karma.


So if I do not check in again before, Merry Merry Merry Christmas to all who drop by from the grouchy dude:

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He: When are you coming to Court?

Me: I can’t come to Court yet. My “driver” aka The Buddha hasn’t come to work yet.

He: That’s the most bourgeois excuse I’ve ever heard from anyone! But that’s okay. Let’s meet later on in the morning then.


He: [angrily] I waited for you till 11am!! You were not here so I mentioned and adjourned it!!!

She: I’m sorry. I walked through puddles to get to the train this morning. As such, I had to wait for my shoes to dry before I could come.

*stunned silence*

He: [resigned] It has been adjourned till February.

She: Thank you. For not killing me, for accepting my excuse, and for the long adjournment.

He: If it were someone else, I would have been taken aback. But with you, I’m not even surprised anymore.


It seems like the older I get, the more obnoxious I become.

And I’m really lucky to have people around who put up with me 🙂

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moving house

I sat in the empty hall, a basket full of toys between Lion and me. In the kitchen was my father, putting cutlery and pots into boxes.

It was storming out.

As I watched Lion running around the hall, poking at the toys, I recalled another time where I sat at the doorway with my Melody doll house while my mother pottered about the kitchen, all waiting for my father to come home from work.

Has 31 years really just gone by like that?

After, everywhere I looked and everything I saw made me want to cry.

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Email to Tech Support

Subject: Problem

My email signature has gone on a holiday.
Can help?


Email from Tech Support

Dear [JoMelChaton]

This message contains important information regarding your Support Case #102838.

We will attend to your request shortly.

Should you have any questions or require further assistance please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Best Regards,
[Tech Support]

Note: This is a computer generated email. Do not reply directly to this email.


A while thereafter, I realised that while I was away from my desk, Tech Support had remotely messed with my computer and created a new folder on my desktop for my documents. Hence, the reason why my email signature went on holiday was probably because it was shifted from its original location.

So I re-configured the email signature and got on with life.

Two hours later, a Tech Support person showed up at the door of my office and I told him that I had solved the problem myself and he went away.

Then I received this email:

Dear [JoMelChaton],

Thank you for your request.


User managed to resolved her problem.

Best Regards,
[Tech Support]

Note: This is a computer generated email. Do not reply directly to this email.


I did all that I could not to run screaming away from my desk.

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a blue taxi

She: I was heckled while running!!!

He: What?!

She: By a taxi driver!!!

He: Where?

She: My regular route. Along PH Road! This taxi on the opposite side of the road slowed down, wound down his windows and yelled at me, “Run! Run! Run! Later you die then you know!!!” Then he drove off!!!

He: What the hell. Did you shout at him?

She: I didn’t. I was trying to keep pace after the uphill.

He: I would have yelled at him anyway. Why is he so angsty?

She: How the hell would I know?!?

He: You realise of course that in all my years of running I have never encountered something like that. So why do these things happen to you?!?

Sigh. I don’t think I’ll ever find out the answer to that question although I’ve been asked many times in my life.

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The little ones in the extended family are growing up so quickly that I no longer have any idea what to get them anymore since 2 Christmases ago.

In fact, earlier last month, I had remarked to my mother that since my parents were moving and all, maybe we should just buy each family a box of chocolates from my chocolate shop of choice and call it a day.

But what is Christmas without Christmas shopping?

Over the years, I’ve done toys, charm bracelets, and all kinds of knick-knacks. The one thing that I find returning to is what I love best to receive: books.

So I wandered around the bookstore on Saturday afternoon and bought 7 books that I enjoyed very much in the past for the little ones and I turned out with these.

I really hope that the little ones will enjoy these books as much as I did, and that these stories will in some way touch their lives like they did mine.

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