Saturday, April 30, 2011

Another long weekend

I was quite happy to be rostered to work on Sunday. I like Sunday shifts -- the top bosses are not around, nobody breathes down your neck, you do your work at your own pace and if you're lucky, you finish early and leave early.

Until I realised that Monday -- I'm working that day too -- is a public holiday. Labour Day. I'd quite forgotten about it. Another long weekend spent at work!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And so it begins

Had a late night last night -- not entirely work related. OK, somewhat work related -- G needed a stiff drink before facing Nomination Day today. So stiff that after we left when the wine bar closed at 3am, he popped into 7-11 for one last beer. Me, I was rostered off on Nomination Day. I offered to work instead and take another day off but the design chief said I could "escape" especially as I worked Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Ah, just desserts.

Which meant that I woke up late today -- well after the noon deadline for nomination papers to be filed, but just in time for the media frenzy to begin.

I think I will switch off the TV and not read newspapers for the next week. I should just read the parties' manifestos. Everything else in the media will be hogwash at best and hysteria at worst.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Close encounters of the lift kind

My pet peeve is a common Singaporean complaint -- people who crowd round train and lift doors, and rush in as soon as they open, without first giving way to those who want to come out. I've never understood this. Surely there would be more room for them inside if they let the others come out first?

Last Wednesday: A Chinese-speaking lady tried to enter the lift as soon as the doors opened, before L could and Queeni could leave it. Queeni snorted. Not barked, not growled. Just snorted in a pig-like way, which is Schnauzer for "ahem". The lady jumped back and exclaimed in Mandarin, "Scared me to death." And then raised one high-heeled foot and made as if to kick Queeni. That was when L stepped in. Ordinarily monolingual, he summoned enough Mandarin to tell her: "Your face also scared me to death." She was all dolled up but looked like "an extra from the Rocky Horror Show", he later told me. I still prefer to have kicked her.

Last Friday: A teenaged girl barged into the lift as soon as the doors opened, only to walk right into us -- two people and two dogs coming out. This time round, the dogs were silent. Not even a polite doggy "ahem". Young Lady promptly burst into tears at the shock of there actually being people (and dogs) wanting to come out of the lift first. When we were well down the path, I turned back to look at her -- she was still standing at the corner of the lift lobby and crying, while her boyfriend held the lift door open and looked helpless. Poor sod. The guy, not the girl. The girl's just what Queeni is biologically termed as.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

L (looking at a printed in Australia calendar): Why isn't Easter Monday isn't a holiday here? (It is a holiday in Australia and Britain.)

Me: Because Easter Sunday isn't a holiday here, so we don't get Monday off to compensate for a Sunday holiday. Good Friday off is supposed to be good enough for us.

And after a moment's thought: This is Singapore. When you resurrect isn't as important as when you die.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The real meaning of just in time delivery

Back in February, the government announced -- as part of Budget 2011 -- several benefits such as utility rebates, tax rebates, growth dividends, education subsidies. This week, a flyer summarising all those goodies arrived at my door step. Two months later. But just in time for the elections.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pre-election present

I didn't even realise it until the clerk at the counter gave me a quizzical look when I tried to pay my utility bill. Thanks to the utility save handout, this month's bill was a grand total of zero.

And then I went into the office. And found out that Nomination Day is next Wednesday, and Polling Day is May 7.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Do good things come in pairs?

Just before the weekend, two of my colleagues gave me two books, saying that I absolutely have to read them. Have to say that I've never heard of either of the Toms before, but I'll go with my colleagues' recommendations. I don't know if the two of them cahooted to unload two books on me all at once -- especially as I've publicly admitted that a combination of Facebook and cable TV has eaten my brain. If I can't be prised off the couch this weekend, and if the laundry/dirty dishes/dust bunnies pile up, G and P are to be blamed. Wasn't the TV this time round. :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Night at the museum

Nothing came to life -- most unfortunately.

The only thing that the ArtScience Museum had going for it -- other than it opens till 10pm (which suits night shift folk like me because my days don't start till late afternoon, even on a day off) -- is its beautiful architecture. I'd passed it often enough to know what it looked like on the outside -- a lotus flower -- and now I could prowl inside and try to figure out how the galleries connect. I think the exhibits I spent most time poring over were architect Moshie Safadie's notebook sketches when he conceptualised the building. And they were tucked away in two corners at the landing on the uppermost level, like some kind of afterthought.

The Tate, it is not. What's more galling is that entry to the Tate is free. This one has a S$30 entry fee. It got me into two still exhibitions -- a travelling one on Genghis Khan, and another on Chinese pottery excavated from a shipwreck in the South China Sea. Which really isn't very different from the stuff that the Asian Civilisations Museum has to offer. And frankly, I think the ACM does a better job -- and at one-third the price of admission. The Genghis Khan exhibition had a few interesting items, but it relied heavily on a video narrative -- which I could watch at home on the NatGeo channel.

I guess, with a name like ArtScience, I was expecting a cross between MOMA and the Exploratorium -- both of which I absolutely loved. Nothing like that here. :(