Archive for March, 2012

empty threat

Conversation between Peanut and me

She: If 弟弟 is naughty, I ask my dinosaur to eat him up! Om-nom-nom-nom!! Hahahaha!!

Me: Ally, do you really want your dinosaur to eat 弟弟 up? If your dinosaur eats 弟弟 up, then there’s no more 弟弟.

She: Om-nom-nom-nom!! My dinosaur eat up 弟弟! It’s funny, right, Mummy? It’s funny!

Me: If your dinosaur eats 弟弟 and there is no more 弟弟, then you cannot play with 弟弟 anymore. No one will play with you. So do you still want your dinosaur to eat 弟弟 up?

She: It’s okay, Mummy. I don’t have a dinosaur. Hahahaha!!!


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An abridged text conversation between Rebecca and I sometime today

There’s a man in a suit walking a Maltese on a grass path in the open carpark outside the Sub Courts. I am slightly scared.

Hahaha!!!!! I’ll be more scared if it’s a chihuahua!
I hope u quickened ur pace…..

And he sets my gaydar off. *shudder* I fear he’s quite far down the ladder of sanity.
I did. And while I past him I felt his eyes following me…

I didn’t know u have gay tendencies…

Or maybe he sensed in me a kindred soul in a suit.
Anyway, couple of weeks back, I ran into a lawyer at my house downstairs in the morning. He also claimed to be walking his Maltese in my car park. Except that he was carrying it under his armpit.

That’s not walking the dog!
That’s the man walking and carrying the dog under his armpit!

This walking Maltese thing appears to be trying to emerge as a recurrent feature in my life.

Maybe the cosmos are trying to tell u something….

Correction – Walking Maltese in open car parks. We gotta be specific.

Hahaha!!!! I think u ought to avoid men with malteses.

Maybe u should avoid carparks too, just as a safety measure.

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I attended the Call of Little Brother as promised last Wednesday without actually ever finding out the words I had to say.

It was a lovely day. The gallery and the media bench were crowded with parents and husbands and sisters and brothers and children, all looking bright and spiffy in anticipation of the event. The judge presiding lean back in his seat, for once looking relaxed and pleased, with a wisp of a smile playing about his lips.

I was tasked to move the call of both Little Brother and another colleague from the firm because her mentor was unable to make it to the call. My turn came. I stood, said the right words, watched Little Brother and the colleague take their respective oaths and don their respective robes.

It was a really nice and happy event. I was really glad to have been part of it.

I was brought back to my own call in the old Supreme Court, that picture that sits on my desk even today: my mother to the right with a wide smile, me with an even wider smile carrying a huge bouquet of white roses that Sis1 had brought for me and between us stood my father, about one to two months after his heart bypass, looking rather wane and worn, and my sister, aside to the right, looking rather unsure.

That was a trewely happy day too, a sort of closure to all those unhappy years, and a beginning too. Who would have known that so many years on, that picture would still be sitting on a desk next to a telephone, copious amounts of files, and a box containing my Advocate & Solicitor stamp?


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I settled a hearing this morning after a tumultuous two years on the file. My relationship with the clients were in such a wretched state that the judge had to haul them in to tell them that he thought I was doing the best that I could for them and they should really get their act together and scrap together some rationality between them fast.

The sad part about all of this is that while recounting the personal histories of the clients to Little Brother on our way back to the office after the event, I realised that somewhere inside, I actually still feel quite sorry for them anyway.

But The Buddha remains unsympathetic. “If you act like an ass hole, you can expect bad things to happen to you,” said he.

I understand that it all may very well be divine, I understand that a shitty life does not give one an excuse to be a shithead, but with what I know about their personal histories, I’m not entirely sure I would have acted better if I were in their position.

Oh well. It’s time to put it all behind me and move on. No use letting someone else’s sad story affect me adversely anymore.

But seriously, one day my empathy will do me in.

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a long walk


I took a walk back from Court today under the greying skies of the approaching evening.

Past Hong Lim Park, I remembered walking back from Court at the end of last month after a trial with The Buddha and a few other people and running into the children from a day care centre playing games in the open field in the hot evening sun. I imagined the children’s laughter while I walked past the empty field today alone. I rue that the children were not out today to provide the city with a little bit of cheer.

I pondered the distance to the High Court from where I was and remembered a judge who used to be in practice telling me and a few other people how he used to walk everywhere in the city, to meetings, to the two courts, back to the office, probably tracing the exact route I was taking since we used to work in the same office together.

A cold breeze kissed my cheek as I approached the river. I held my files closer to my chest. Walking towards me were two girls leaving the mosque at the bottom of my building.

I remembered another grey day walking in a different city, wandering into a church at a street corner and noticing a woman in a suit hurriedly stepping in after me. She hastily covered her head with a shawl extracted from her work bag, crossed herself, then proceeded to one of the numerous portraits of a Saint and started to pray.

I imagined working and walking in that city, popping into one of the churches in a street corner for a quiet moment within the amazing architecture and art work on a bad day: To sit in the pew feeling the presence of a greater being rendering your own personal troubles of the day small and insipid, to be cleansed, to step out back into real life ready to face the world again, the world that had sat heavily on your shoulders before you entered the warm intimacy of the church.

Sadly, there is no cleansing to be found in street corners here. But there is thankfully still that walk on a grey day, the cold wind in my face, the memories and my imagination.

I walked up the steps of my building, feeling slightly better than when I started on the long walk back. I entered my office, crossed myself at my little statuette of Jesus sitting on my shelf, sat down at my seat, and carried on.

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