Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kite Festival

Was supposed to put up this writeup weeks ago... but just didnt get down to uploading the photos...hehe


It was a sunny afternoon last Saturday. We decided to bring JK to the kite festival organised by the NTUC group, held at the West Coast Park.

We were a little taken aback by the sight of cars flooding the road (and roadsides) we drove nearer to the park, and by then it was clear that driving was perhaps not the best way to reach our destination. In the end we parked at West coast plaza, and took at cab there instead. Incidentally, that must've been the shortest cab journey I took - it lasted no more than 3-4 minutes. But it got us where we wanted to go, without the hassle of jostling for a parking lot with hundreds of other impatient drivers there then.

The park was (by then) packed with families - it was about 530pm. Kites of numerous shapes and sizes were already air-bourne and it was definitely a sight to behold! JK seemed a little confused about the whole affair, as he was peroccupied with the buzz of human traffic and noise all around him. There were many kids running around, and it must've been pretty exciting for him to see so many "gor-gor"s and "jie-jie"s all over the place. As expected, he clinged on to us pretty tight in the initial period, until later on when he was more comfortable and settled.

EP had prepared a nice dinner for us - consisting of sandwiches (actually, it was more like toasted bread with egg "implant" :=) ) and chicken meat skewers and sausages. It was our first real family picnic together! The last time we brought JK out for a picnic (of sorts) was at a time when he was still baby who couldnt walk by himself. It was a gathering with my (now) ex-colleagues at the Botanical gardens late last year. See how time flies?

Anyway, I think JK enjoyed himself on Saturday, though most of the time, he seemed more interested in what we were eating, and throwing our meal boxes around. He was also fascinated about how the grass felt under his bare feet, although mostly he didnt really dared to venture out of the mat too often. The "high" point for him was when I seated him on my shoulders for a walk around the nearby area - to get into the thick of the action amongst the crowd and nearer to the kites for a better view. Seeing him so excited really made my day!

I'm looking forward to our next outing. =)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cough...cough...Arrrgghhh! where's my fresh air???

I don't know what made me suddenly think of Isaac Asimov's Robot novels this morning, but I did.
I guess it could be due to the slight drizzle I encountered as I trot to the bus stop (after dropping off the beastie at his granny's place).

I really hate the weather these days. Especially when you are caught in the rain without an umbrella. Why doesn't it rain when it should - ie. in the late evening when we're mostly comfortably home?

The recent haze also played its part in my increased level of discomfort (I have sensitive nose and throat) and thus disgruntled-ness in the Singapore weather. Someone ought to really shoot those buggers who continue to burn down the forest like nobody's business. The amount of smoke (and resulting haze) they create is really acting like a chemical weapon, invading those in their neighbouring countries. It's almost like having a million smokers puffing into your face as you walk down the streets....

Anyway, why did I mention Asimov earlier? Well, he'd described the future Earth as being "Caves of Steel" (which was the title of the first novel in the Robot series, I think), where people all lived underground, comfortably sheltered by these ill-effects of any natural (or man-made, in this case) weather elements, such as rain, thunderstorms, strong winds, etc. Everything from air flow, air temperature, to brightness and windiness, etc. are controlled by man, so as to create a constantly "comfortable" environment.
I remember at one point, the protagonist in the Robot series - Elijah Bailey - was mortified as he was exposed to the natural elements (think it was a thunderstorm).

I used to think it would be quite sad if one day people on Earth truly lived their lives in caves of steel. But with the haze and all, maybe it isn't such a bad idea after all huh?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Life's priorities

It is true that once your friends are married, they'd become harder to find and get hold of - especially for those typical dinner outings or a simple get togethers. It becomes even more difficult once they have children, especially in the initial few years.

Being in such a situation myself (married with a young child), I can totally understand the reasons behind such an observation. Although it has to be said, some people are more drastically "impacted" than others.

Take for instance my good buddy, BL - a married man with 2 young kids, although you wouldn't be able to tell that by his behavior. That is because he behaves virtually like any singles would. He goes out with his friends, stays out late (though he claims it's mostly for business.. haha), and is usually the one who organises get together and movie outings.

Then there's the other end of the spectrum, another friend of mine who got married 2 years back and has since "vanished" into thin air. No news from him whatsoever, no calls, no emails responses, SMSes, etc. We found out that his wife gave birth to a baby through some Facebook photos which he put up last year. (well, at least FB is good for that.... in a way)

I'd probably lie somewhere in the middle, I think. It is certainly true that after having JK, attending friends' gatherings have become more challenging. Just recently, the Xpose folks celebrated a couple of members' bday after practice on a saturday evening. But with JK's habit of taking >1 hour for each meal, it was virtually impossible for us to join the guys for dinner. In fact, if you factor in the hours he needs for day naps, and his long meal times, there's hardly any time left in-between for us to take him anywhere! It can really be frustrating, trust me.

At the end of the day, it is really up to the couple to manage their time (and the kid!) to ensure they don't lose touch with their friends. Certainly with more responsibilities (as a husband/wife and especially as a parent) comes the necessary sacrifices, particular in the freedom of time. As I've mentioned earlier, being someone in this situation, I can fully understand the challenges involved.

I hope my (single) friends can empathise with us (the married with kids ones) too....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My upcoming performance!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Truth & marriage

"..... for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health....Do you take so-and-so to be your husband/wife?"

These words will be familiar to many who have walked down the aisle in the path towards marriage. Even to the singles, they will have heard it at least once when they attended a friend/relative's ceremony of marriage certification (commonly called "ROM" in Singapore), if not then on television. =P
Today paper (James Dobson's segment) brought this up, and claimed that many (notably, younger) couples' answer the the series of vows above are,
" Yes No Yes No No Yes", which I found rather amusing.

I am no marriage expert, but having been married for almost 7 years now, I do know that sometimes it really takes effort to keep a marriage healthy and "alive". As a matter of fact, I venture to say that it takes effort to maintain ANY relationship, let alone one as intimate as that of husband and wife.

Which brings up a TV reality show I watched last night - "The Moment of Truth". This is a pretty warped show, which supposedly feature (since I don't know for sure if the participants are REALLY who they claim they are, or were they just actors/actresses hired to put up a good show) normal people who volunteers to go through a series of questions with the ultimate aim of winning half a million dollars.
It starts with the contestant undergoing a lie detector test (they dont really show this part), and answer a series of 50 questions. At this stage, using the results of the lie detector, the producers of the programme will determine the "truthful" answer to each of the question asked. Then, in the actual show, the contestant will sit in front of a live audience plus a group of his/her family & friends and attempt to answer 21 questions "truthfully" in order to win the big money.
Sounds like a simple game right? No need to answer stupendously difficult IQ or general knowledge questions, no need to remember lyrics of long-forgotten songs, no need to even sweat it out. Just sit in a comfortable chair and... be truthful. Well, of course it isn't that easy. The questions asked range from the hilarious ones (usually at the lower cash prize level) to the seriously intimate & private ones, as the prize money increases.

Last night's episode saw this lady - who has been married for just 2 years - provide some shocking answers to some questions which really rocked her marriage. I mean (and assuming the whole show wasn't staged) if I were the husband, I wouldn't know if I would even bother to stay married at all.
Some of the questions were something like,

"Have you ever had sexual relations with any other man besides your husband, AFTER your marriage?"
"Do you think you were still in love with you ex-boyfriend on the day of your wedding?"

And the ultimate one was when the show's producers actually got the lady's ex-boyfriend to come to the show and asked the following question,

"If I wanted to get back together with you right now, would you leave your husband?" &
"Do you always feel that I am the man you were supposed to marry, instead of your husband?"

(Incidentally, her answers to all the above questions were "Yes" - which happened to be the "TRUTH".)

Amazing.... that some people would actually go on a show like this, for a chance to win a meagre $500,000. (yes, that sum is meagre, if you consider what the contestant has to go through... Again, assuming the whole show wasn't staged lah)

We are all imperfect peolpe, and sometimes we make mistakes - though some mistakes can be more devastating than others - , but I firmly believe that some truths are better left hidden. Put it simply, we sometimes just can't handle the truth. It is often better to live blissfully in ignorance rather than to live a life of guilt, regret or hate just to seek out the truth.