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Smash…

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes it blows my mind that for the past 7 months, I’ve been (ever so gently) smashing a ton of metal, with me inside, onto a slab of concrete at a speed of 120 km/h, and still live to tell the story…

Categories: Random

Hmmm…

July 18, 2010 1 comment
Categories: Blog, Random

Verbal Constipation

May 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes I look at this somewhat-neglected blog, and think of why I can’t blog as much as I did last time.

Apart from lack of time (which is the mother of all excuses), sometimes I am also having a case of verbal constipation.

What is verbal constipation, you say?

According to Google, verbal constipation is the “[d]ifficulty in expressing in words what one wants to say, especially if one has much to say”.

It’s like I have these gazillion ideas that I would like to write about, but whenever I sit down in front of the computer, WordPress’s Dashboard staring at me from the screen of my Eee PC, the words just won’t come.

Either that, or the words come in a spatter here, a spatter there, creating a mishmash that I disgustedly call a blog post, which I promptly delete.

What would be a good laxative for words?

Categories: Blog, Random Tags: ,

A Dream, A Crime, and A Blanket

April 3, 2010 1 comment

Something weird happened last night.

It was a pretty cold night, so when I went to bed, I tucked myself nicely under the blanket.

And then I had a dream.

In the dream, I was somehow framed by some random dude who stole something. Can’t really remember what it was, but it somewhat looked like a huge yellow coconut leave. I also seem to recall that that something came from the future.

So there I was, being arrested by the police for a future crime that I didn’t (haven’t?) commit. And then someone saved me from the police, and hid me in the second floor of a house.

I tried to stay low, and for a while it was getting pretty quiet.

And then I looked out of the window from the second floor, and I saw a special forces team (SWAT?) ready to charge into the house. Upon seeing me on the second floor, they did charge into the house.

And then someone in my cadet pilot course went up from the first floor and scolded me.

Wahlaueh, why did you even peek out of the window?

Then one of the SWAT members went up the stairs and opened fire at me, and for some reason I managed to dodge all the bullets.

Then I woke up.

And I found myself lying on top of the blanket, with the blanket nicely made under my body.

If you see the photo of my bed above, you’ll realise that without performing some sort of acrobatic maneouvres, it wasn’t possible for me to get from underneath the blanket to the top of it without physically stepping out of the bed, making my bed, and then lying on top of the blanket.

Thing is, all those probably require more mental power than that available in a sleeping person, or even a somnambulating (i.e. sleepwalking) person. And knowing that I don’t normally make my bed, it couldn’t have been through a subconscious movement like that of snoozing alarm clocks.

Weird.

Update: After reading through Wikipedia’s article on sleepwalking, apparently it’s possible to perform “activities such as eating, bathing, urinating, talking, dressing/undressing, texting, emailing, exercising, walking a dog, painting, whistling, dancing, moaning, gesturing, grabbing at apparently hallucinated objects, committing murder, and/or engaging in sexual intercourse”, including one case about “a woman who sent semi-coherent emails while sleepwalking, including one inviting a friend around for dinner and drinks.”

Categories: Life, Random Tags: , , , , ,

Fun with Chinese Astrology

February 16, 2010 3 comments

Do you believe in Chinese Astrology?

I’ve always taken astrology/zodiac readings with a heap of salt. But just for the fun of it, and because yesterday was Chinese New Year, I took my reading at ChineseAstrologyOnline.com.

To start with, I took a reading for my Chinese astrological animal and lucky element. We always talk about Chinese zodiac in terms of the year, e.g. 2010 is the year of the Tiger, but did you know that in terms of Chinese astrology, the hour that you were born matters as much as the year? Not only that, but the elements associated with the animal are just as important.

After entering my birth date, time, and location, I was presented with the following birth chart:

Apparently I’m a red fire snake born in the year of the green wooden cow.

Side note: the site uses cow instead of ox, but I suppose this is just a matter of terminology.

By the way, 2009 was the year of the brown earth cow. So how now, brown cow? 2010, on the other hand, is the year of the white metal tiger.

Based on the birth chart, I was also presented with another table showing my lucky element:

Based on this table and theory of balance (yin-yang), it was deduced that metal would be my lucky element. This is because the amount of metal in my birth chart is very low compared to the fiery me. As such, an increase in metal would bring the equation into a balance, and therefore it should bring me luck.

All seems well, 2010 is the year of the metal tiger, so I should be pretty lucky this year, right?

Just to double check, I verified my life in 2009, the year of the earth cow, against the astrological reading.

All seems well:

  • Those with metal lucky element are supposed to have a “Vary good luck. Earth is the mother element of Metal. Earth supports Metal.” If they really meant very, then I think it’s quite true, I landed my dream job some time last year.
  • Those who are born with fire as the day master type are supposed to “Trend to talk to people what in your mind. If Earth is the Lucky Element, then you will win the reputation. If Earth is the unlucky element, many people don’t like the way you are.” I’m not sure what they really mean here, so I’ll just take it to my interpretation that I tend to talk too much, which was true.
  • Based on the monthly readings, my luckiest months should have been April, and June till October. Again, I applied for my dream job in April, and got it in July. And I felt that I’ve been lucky from then on, in terms of life outside work, until October when some of it went down the drain till the end of the year.

Side note: Ah… how can we ignore the fallacy of confirmation bias? You only tend to believe what fits your hypothesis, and ignore others. Anyway, let’s leave that for another discussion.

Everything seems well, so I proceeded with the reading for the year of 2010.

It’s pretty lengthy, so for the sake of brevity, I will summarise only the points pertinent to myself:

  • The white tiger contains the elements of metal, wood, and fire, and therefore having metal as my lucky element, I should have some degree of luck.
  • However, wood can help fire to burn, and metal and fire are opposite elements. Therefore, I should avoid wood and fire as they are my unlucky elements.
  • I should have a “good [luck], but not always. It looks a sunny day, however it can become cloudy or rainy later.” Hopefully nothing to do with my job or life!
  • In terms of money, “something to do with money will happen to you. Tiger implies the support from parents, elders, siblings and friends. If you have money trouble first, then people around you who care about you will appear to help the financial trouble. But if you have money luck first, then you will spend more money on investment or people. Therefore, you have to watch your pocket, because the money luck is up and down in White Tiger year.” Somehow, with me going for Australia soon, I feel this coming too.
  • I should have a better people relationship this year as my birth chart contains the female wood. This is because male metal and female wood have an Attraction Relationship into metal side. Well that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
  • Since my lucky element is metal, my luck will be super, including love relationships. Hurhur, let’s see if this is true at all.
  • Since the snake and tiger have a hurting relationship, my people relationship will be damaged. This means that I have to watch my words and act to avoid that a friend becomes an enemy. If I have a shaky love or family relationship, then there is a chance to break it. Wait a minute, didn’t they just say that I will have a better people relationships just a while ago? According to some interpretation that I found on the same site, it could also mean that I will have a good relationship earlier in the year, followed by a bad one, or vice versa.

How true are these? I will never know till one year from now. Maybe I should post a report on whether these come true next year. Go on and read the entire astrology reading, it’s quite interesting, but like I said earlier, take it with heaps of salt.

I went on further to check out the rise and fall chart of my life. The result is not too encouraging:

The red bar represents the amount of luck I will have each year. The page went on to say that a good marriage and career should be started in the longest, or at least longer red bar. Well that’s not too good if I have to wait till I’m 54. And I’m not looking forward to the time when I’m 34. =/

The last thing I checked was the things that I can take note of, having metal as my lucky element:

  • Monkey and Chicken are your lucky animals.
  • Years of Monkey and Chicken are your lucky years.
  • Months of Monkey and Chicken are your lucky Months.
  • Fall is your lucky season.
  • 15:00 – 19:00 (3 P.M. to 7 P.M.) are your lucky hours.
  • Western direction is your lucky place.
  • It will bring you luck to live in a house that faces west.
  • You should choose a bedroom on the west side of the house.
  • It’s good for you to keep the west side window(s) open.
  • When arranging the office desk, you should sit facing the west.
  • A metal bed is good for you.
  • Your lucky color is white.
  • You should wear white often.
  • Driving a white car brings your luck.
  • Wearing jewelry will bring you luck.
  • It’s a good idea to wear golden rings.
  • Take care of your respiratory system – Lungs, Nose and Skin.

If you’re interested to check out any of the last two, they’re in the page that shows you your lucky element.

Whew, this entry is much longer than I initially planned it to be. There are actually a lot more information in the website, but I was too lazy to trawl through every single page.

Just for the heck of it, why don’t you go ahead and see how your reading is like in 2010? But like I said again and again, take it with a heap of salt. 😉

Oh yeah, and by the way, Happy Chinese New Year for those who are celebrating!

It Was All Crap

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Have you ever written or blogged about something, spent a lot of time checking the grammar and expressions, taken an effort to pepper it with photos and other multimedia contents, but at the end of it all you re-read everything you have written a couple of times and decided that it was all crap and thrashed the whole thing?

Well, it just happened to me. 😛

I shall try to write a more-proper post soon!

Categories: Blog, Random Tags:

Happy Chinese New Year

January 26, 2009 4 comments

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! This year would be my year, since I was born in the year of the cow ox, and 2009 is also the year of the ox.

According to astrology.com, oxen are supposed to have a pretty good year. How about you?

I haven’t been celebrating Chinese New Year for a couple of years ever since I came to Singapore (except that time I was in Indonesia while waiting to enter university, and the two years that I was in a relationship). That’s why to me Chinese New Year is mostly associated with the lack of cheap food in Singapore, since only restaurants and fast food outlets are open. Most food stalls in hawker centres and food courts are closed. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you will find one or two Malay or Indian food stalls open near you.

Are you aware that the Chinese has a set of beliefs that they observe during the new year? Wikipedia has a list of them.

Good luck

  • Opening windows and/or doors is considered to bring in the good luck of the new year.
  • Switching on the lights for the night is considered good luck to ‘scare away’ ghosts and spirits of misfortune that may compromise the luck and fortune of the new year.
  • Sweets are eaten to ensure the consumer a “sweet” year.
  • It is important to have the house completely clean from top to bottom before New Year’s Day for good luck in the coming year. (however, as explained below, cleaning the house after New Year’s Day is frowned upon)
  • Some believe that what happens on the first day of the new year reflects the rest of the year to come. Chinese people will often gamble at the beginning of the year, hoping to get luck and prosperity.
  • Wearing a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.
  • The night before the new year, bathe yourself in pomelo leaves and some say that you will be healthy for the rest of the new year.

Bad luck

  • Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck amongst some Chinese. The character for “shoe” (鞋) is a homophone for the character 諧/谐, which means “rough” in Cantonese; in Mandarin it is also a homophone for the character for “evil” (邪).
  • Getting a hair-cut in the first lunar month puts a curse on maternal uncles. Therefore, people get a hair-cut before the New Year’s Eve.
  • Washing your hair is also considered to be washing away one’s own luck (although modern hygienic concerns take precedence over this tradition)
  • Sweeping the floor is usually forbidden on the first day, as it will sweep away the good fortune and luck for the new year.
  • Saying words like “finished” and “gone” is inauspicious on the New Year, so sometimes people would avoid these words by saying “I have completed eating my meal” rather than say “I have finished my meal.”
  • Talking about death is inappropriate for the first few days of Chinese New Year, as it is considered inauspicious.
  • Buying books is bad luck because the character for “book” (書/书) is a homonym to the character for “lose” (輸/输).
  • Avoid clothes in black and white, as black is a symbol of bad luck, and white is a traditional Chinese funeral colour.
  • Foul language is inappropriate during the Chinese New Year.
  • Offering anything in fours, as the number four (四), pronounced sì, can sound like “death” (死) in Chinese. See tetraphobia.
  • Also you should never buy a clock for someone or for yourself because, a clock in Chinese tradition means your life is limited or “the end” which is also forbidden
  • Avoid medicine and medicine related activities (at least on the first day) as it will give a bad fortune on your health and lessen the luck you can obtain from New Years
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