Saturday, October 23, 2004

Settlers Cafe

There's this cool place near Clarke Quay MRT where the food isn't too bad and you play obscure but fun board and card games all day long! There's the popular stuff like Risk, Jenga, Monopoly, Uno, and what not too. Really fun... =]

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Meteora and Diana Krall?

Anyone has either Linkin Park's Meteora or a Diana Krall CD? Can i borrow?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


I didn't think I'd have fun, but I did have a great time eating and more importantly catching up with cousins Lynnwei and Suewei. I have a rather weird family, where we're basically the only ones in SIngapore and the rest have emigrated, so we hardly get to see each other except at weddings and funerals. Oh no, and now they're asking when I'm getting married!!! *shudder*

Food Fiesta!

Hi people!

My church, Agape Community Church, is having a Food Fiesta on 20 Nov 2004, Sat, from 12 noon to 4pm. Most of the local cuisine will be well-represented, with up to 20 stalls to tickle your palate. I will be making Thai tom yam soup and Green Papaya Salad.

The purpose of the Food Fiesta, of course, is to raise funds for our church building, so we'd appreciate it if you could make it! Booklets are sold at $15, and each booklet contains coupons that are used to exchange for food. You can choose to purchase the coupons and turn up and eat your fill, or you can choose just to sponsor a booklet if you can't make it on the day. Either way your contribution will be greatly appreciated! This Sunday (24 Oct) is the last day for buying the booklet, so if you're interested just reply me or call me at 94566789. I personally guarantee the quality of the food, as we just had a tasting last Sunday. A rough estimate is one booklet/person, and should really fill you up!

At most jsut come down to support me, and come taste my papaya salad that I will make on the spot for you! See you there!

In God's love, Aaron

Thursday, October 14, 2004

More gender malfunctions

"Of all the stumbling blocks inherent in learning this language, the greatest for me is the principle that each noun has a corresponding sex that affects both its articles and its adjectives. Because it is female and lays eggs, a chicken is masculine. Vagina is masculine as well, while the word masculinity is feminine. Forced by the grammar to take a stand one way or the other, hermaphrodite is male and indecisiveness female.
I spent months searching for some secret code before I realised that common sense has nothing to do with it. Hysteria, psychosis, torture, depression: I was told that if something is unpleasant, it's probably feminine. This encouraged me, but the theory was blown by such masculaine nouns as murder, toothache, and Rollerblade. I have no problem learning the words themselves, it's the sexes that trip me up and refuse to stick.
What's the trick to remembering that a sandwich is masculine? What qualities does it share with anyone in possession of a penis? I'll tell myself that a sandwich is masculine because if left alone for a week or two, it will eventually grow a beard. This works until it's time to order and I decide that because it sometimes loses its makeup, a sandwich is undoubtedly feminine.
I just can't manage to keep my stories straight. Hoping I might learn through repetition, I tried using gender in my everyday English. "Hi, guys," I'd say, opening a new box of paper clips, or "Hey, Hugh, have you seen my belt? I can't find her anywhere." I invented personalities for the objects on my dresser and set them up on blind dates.

Nothing in France is free from sexual assignment. I was leafing through the dictionary, trying to complete a homwork asignment, when I noticed the French had prescribed genders for the various land masses and natural wonders er Americans had always thought of as sexless, Niagara Falls is feminine and, against all reason, the Grand Canyon is masculine. Georgia and Florida are female, but Montana and Utah are male. New England is a she, while the vast area er call the Midwest is just one big guy. I wonder whose job it was to assign these sexes in the first place. Did he do the work right there in the sanitarium, or did they rent him a little office where he could get away from all the noise?

Ive started referring to everything in the plural, whcih can get expensive but has solved a lot of my problems. In saying a melon, you need to use the masculine article. In saying the melons, you use the plural article, which does not reflect gender and is the same for moth the masculine and the feminine. Ask for two or ten or three hundred melons, and the number lets you off the hook by replacing the article altogether. A masculine kilo of feminine tomatoes presents a sexual problem easily solved by asking for two kilos of tomatoes. I've started using the plural while shopping, and Hugh has started using it in our cramped kitchen, where he stands huddled in the corner, shouting, "What do we need with four pounds of tomatoes?"

Hugh tells me that the market is off-limits until my French improves. He's pretty steamed, but I think he'll get over it when he sees the CD players I got him for his birthday."

"After graduating from college, he [Hugh] moved to France knowing onlt the phrase "Do you speak French?" - a question guaranteed to get you nowhere unless you also speak the language."
- This one's like only knowing how to ask "Where is the toilet?" in Thai. =]

Learning French the hard way

The following posts document David Sedaris's fictional accounts of his narrator learning French in his excellent book Me Talk Pretty One Day:

"When called upon, I delivered an effortless list of things that I detest: blood sausage, intestinal pâtés, brain pudding. Having given it some thought, I then declared my love for IBM typewriters, the French word for bruise, and my electric floor waxer. It was a short list, but I still managed to mispronounce IBM and assign the wrong gender to both the floor waxer and the typewriter. The teacher's reaction led me to believe that these mistakes were capital crimes in the country of France.
"Were you always this palicmkrexis?" she asked. "Even a fiuscrzsa ticiwelmun knows that a typewriter is feminine."
I absorbed as much of her abuse as I could understand, thinking - but not saying - that I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself."

"We'd have one of these "complete this sentence" exercises, and I'd fool with the thing for hours, invariably settling on something like "A quick run round the lake? I'd love to! Just give me a moment while I strap on my wooden leg." "

"My only comfort was the knowledge that I was not alone. Huddled in the hallways and making the most of our pathetic French, my fellow students and I engaged in the sort of conversation commonly overheard in refugee camps.
"Sometime me cry alone at night."
"That be common for I also, but be strong, you. Much work and someday you talk pretty. People start love you soon." "

"The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the teacher's latest question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, "Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"
It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," she said. "I have no idea what you people are talking about."
The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain.
The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. "It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and ... oh, shit." She faltered and her fellow countryman came to her aid.
"He call his self Jesus and then he be die one day on two ... morsels of ... lumber."
The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.
"He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father"
"He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples."
"He nice, the Jesus."
"He makes the good things, and on Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."
Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such complicated reflexive phrases as "to give of yourself your only begotten son." faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about the food instead.
"Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb," the Italian nanny explained. "One too may eat of the chocolate."
"And who brings the chocolate?" the teacher asked.
I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying. "The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate."
"A rabbit?" The teacher, assuming I'd used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. "You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?"

Nothing we said was of any help to the Moroccan student. A dead man with long hair supposedly living with her father, a leg of lamb served with palm fronds and chocolate; equally confused and disgusted, she shrugged her massive shoulders and turned her attention back to the comic book she kept hidden underneath her binder."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


TOday was a fast day. My eczema flared up, so went to report sick. MO gave me an anti-histamine jab that knocked me out for the whole day. SO basically I slept from 9 to 5 with lunch in between. Then I went to ALG. I am SOOO tired. Think the medicine hasn't worn off completely yet.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

SPH Undergraduate Scholarship

This is SO outta reach. I mean for a poly grad with pitiable academic results and a non-existent CCA record, it's really a no-go isn't it? Someone tell me otherwise (truthfully)?

David Sedaris

I've been meaning to blog David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty Someday, but i just haven't found the time. It's worth the wait though, but don't have sleepless nights over it. soon lah, huh?


I am finally eligible for e-PREP, some MINDEF thingamajig that allows you to do an online course in various disciplines for free (up to $300). I'm thinking of Thai, French, or SATs. Ideas?