Enough already! I may be lame but I never expect it to be in literal meaning. (Just a sprained ankle, but still...)

I always saw myself to be agile & quick-moving. With a good balance. And in some degree, fearless. I remember I used to find it amusing whenever I dropped during ice-skating. In fact, I enjoyed the feeling of falling & the exhilaration that followed whenever I managed to fall 'gracefully'.

...the day that image shattered.

I fell. The treacherous gravity conspired with the ground as it hit my left ankle in such a wrong angle. It swelled immediately as I gingerly attempted to walk.

The staircase was alright. Not slippery at all. My shoes too were in good condition. I just couldn't imagine the cause of my accident. Careless?! Fine, maybe. I know I was focused. I didn't daydream. My mind was in tuned to my body. However, my reaction was pathetically inadequate. Thus, the sprained ankle.

The first night, I could still walk out to buy my dinner. In frustratingly slow, "one-step-at-the-time-pause-continue-the-next-step" kind of manner.

The only consolation was it was a cool, breezy night. A few Panadols & I slept without pain.

...as I visited the doctor.

Woke up & I felt much better. Although, the swelling was still bad, I could slowly walk (read: limp) to see a doctor. Two days of Medical Leave, some anti-inflammatory tablets & more panadol-type medicine (the brand's Pacofen, if I remember correctly)

A bit relief as I was told there's no fracture because if it's fracture, I wouldn't be able to walk at all. Cool, no X-Ray! Coz the only thing I wanted to do was to go home & to sleep the whole day.

I celebrated the day by borrowing "The Shadow of The Wind", a novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Slept the whole day & read the whole night. The pain was numbed.

...finished reading & to my dismay, I was still limping.

The book was engrossing especially as I was trying my hard not to think (read: berate myself) about the accident. Getting restless, I went to visit a library. Impatiently as I was still limping. The visit was fruitless (didn't manage to come across a book calling me to read). Maybe I was worried as the swollen ankle was still look bad.

And worried that on...

...I was back at work.

Still limping. Never realized my colleagues were very sympathetic about it. I was offered a prayer (by an atheist! Grin. I found it sweet of her) & one even offered to wash off the ankle with a water previously prayed on (Yes. I accepted. He's an old man. And I know he's sincere).

I went home limping but happy.

...no way will I stay limping like this.

Yes. Nevermore. The prayers might have done good for my sense of well-being, but perhaps, a visit to Traditional Chinese Physician may even speed up the healing.

I visited one place which was highly recommended by my colleague.

The man who administered it looked young, but confident. He pressed the affected area of the ankle (now swollen as well as bruised. Looked blackish).

With his pen, he marked three locations & I was told to lay on bed. His assistant (one old lady. His mother?) put on three bamboo-look-alike cylinders on the skin. I don't know how they worked but the cylinders sucked the skin very hard. Not exactly painful, but not exactly comfortable either.

I guess it's for relaxing the muscles. After a while, the old lady took out the cylinders. No pain. So far so good.

The man commented that I was lucky that I just dislocated the bone (I winced. For me, it sounded bad & I dreaded to think about the awaiting treatment).

He started massaging the ankle & warned me that he would twist it to re-locate the bone. Stay relax & it's just slightly painful, he said. Resist & the pain will be doubled, he warned.

Guess what I did?

I resisted. How could I not? As he started twisted, I felt like screaming (Thanks to my Pride, I didn't). Involuntarily, I resisted.

He ignored the resistance & continued twisting the ankle. After what it seemed eternity, he stopped. He told me he had pushed back the bone. I breathed out in relief.

The treatment, however, was not over. He applied some strong-smelling oil & massaged the ankle to push away the blood clots inside. It was surprisingly painful. I imagined the blood clots were hardened & he applied pressure to break them to smaller pieces for them to be absorbed back to the blood stream.

Went home feeling terrible (walked even slower & the pain hit me whenever my left foot stepping).

At night, sms-ed my Idol (aka She Formerly Known As The Girl With A Broken Ankle) asking her how long it took for her to heal last time.

Yes, I was impatient. I couldn't imagine walking in this kind of speed. Even old people walked faster that I did.

I indulged in some self-pity (I knew I should have stocked up some good books just for this kind of emergency) & felt much better when the Idol--and her beau--called me back.

...the swelling had visibly eased down.

Still limping today, but glad that the torture session on previous day did produce some result. The swollen ankle now begins to look like an ankle.

The only regret is that on Sunday, I won't be able to go to Velocity@Novena Square to take photos of the event, Hair for Hope 2007.

So what have I learnt from this incident? There ought to be some market for such ankle-guarding shoes or footwears. Such that whenever one slips, the footwears will prevent the ankle to be twisted. So, any inventors out there keen to explore the idea? Heh.

Tiong Bahru HDB Flats Past and Present

I was down at HDB Toa Payoh to purchase some floor plans and thought I might as well pop into their "almost unknown" museum to find out more about public housing in Singapore.

Actually I was there with only 1 objective - To snap the old Tiong Bahru SIT flats pictures.

In order to see the contrast, I walked over to the front of Block 28 Tiong Bahru Road to snap a picture today. (Sorry I did not get the angle right)

The post office featured in the old picture still exist in the same spot. Also, the 2nd storey windows and grills are still the same! The original layout of these flats does not come with any external windows. You can see the old picture's 3rd storey, there aren't any windows at that time.

Based on what I had gathered from some old timers in Tiong Bahru, the flats here were originally rented out and when HDB took over the estate in 1973, they probably also started Singapore's 1st Interim Upgrading Project by adding on external windows and upgrading the sewage pipes. (So in short, the windows were added on only in 1973.)They were sold to the residents for about $20k. Back then it was considered hefty as my parents bought their Holland 3rm flat for about $7k only!

Today, the price is still as hefty as ever as this place continues to be highly sought after.

What I feel sad about and at times even angry is that I'm constantly being asked if there are En-Bloc possibilities for these OLD flats. Why are SOME people so determind to see this place go? I was asked this question this morning by a delivery man. Just last night, someone called to enquired about Tiong Bahru and the reason why he wants to buy is based on a rumour that this place will go under the wreaking ball soon.

I guess this place will always be under threat from urban renewal due to its prime location.
Some years ago, this beautiful SIT flat was knocked down to make way for WHO KNOWS WHAT. Perhaps it was left vacant to erase the memories before starting to build something on a clean slate.

the poor man's jungle gym

Calico, Tortie, Tuxedo up for adoption

they have had a precarious start to life but our 3 kittens never let it hold them back from having the time of their lives for one second. we hope they will find love with a family who will take them as they are, a little flawed but all perfection when it comes to showering love on the one who will love them back.

interested adopters, drop us an email.

(update: Tortie has been adopted.)

no one ever reads the instruction manual

you are supposed to sit on it, do-dos.

and Bak Bak, that's not how you shower love on teddy...

Confronting Persona’s and Bodies

A walk through the Edna Manley College’s 2007 final year show, particularly the fine arts department, and the body emerges as a general concern. Figures and bodies have always been a part of the imagery produced by exhibiting students but this year’s show seems significant in a sense that in its focus on how we image ourselves and others it seems the dissatisfied descendant of established Jamaican art. The number of confrontational bodies and personas seem also to indicate an underlying direction in contemporary Jamaican painting. These young artists seem to have absorbed and digested the various schools of thought on how to deal with the body and its identity.

Sheldon Clayton, shows the influence of Omari Ra and also Black-British artists such as Keith Piper. Being confronted by the double-headed, young and definitively black male seems both a confirmation of the expectation of threat as well as statement of existence. Nevine Salmon has also presented her own head as a confirmation of self with a work stating that ‘Self is the fact that I exist’. This presents a powerful statement coming from the Ceramics department, in which she attempts more than the expected mastery of media.

Nicole Harris also uses her own image but as a seemingly down-trodden, dollish life-size plaster-cast. She presented various versions of the figure going through transformations while remaining the same. Reading this work could lead us to think about the gender inequalities women face in our society, art etc. Beauty and feminine identity also seems a concern for her in the very precious way the casts are painted. This idea of feminine identity takes on sexual and grotesque tones in Gretel White’s work. Through her canvases she morphs and flickers between turtle and girl with the images paying particular attention to her legs. At some point we are presented with a turtles head hanging like a limp phallus between her bent legs. In front of her paintings I felt like a moth before a flame, looking felt politically incorrect but the imagery was too intriguing to look away.

Brenton Campbell in this sense, was not as much about presenting an intrigue as much as he was about presenting. In several paintings he presented comparisons and foreshortened views of shiny ‘plasticky’ or sketchy bodies. ‘Slim’ was expectedly contrasted with ‘Fat’ in a manner that reminded me of an architects 3D projection of flat drawings or Renaissance drawings plotting out perspective. His manner of working seem s directly derived from artworld superstars Lisa Yuskavage and Jennie Saville. His being male, I ask the question on the appropriateness of painting the objectified female body which would relate him more to the American artist John Currin. The sensual emergence of the female form is achieved in some of Monique Barnett’s paintings. The nude emerges from the paint in a way that gives the impression of the artist herself struggling to find a representation of her own image and an acceptance of its reflection.

The idea of the body as explored by canonized artist such as Ana Mendietta, Kiki Smith and Anthony Gormley is reflected in the space presented by Camille Chedda and Garth Daley. Daley draws silhouettes of bodies in rudimentary bread mixtures while Chedda draws larger than life faceless bodies, which are reminiscent of images of death and angels. She also presents us with a large female body, which seems to have appeared on her medium of choice, garbage bags, through torment. She has presented us with a female body, which is anything but sexual and thus points us in a direction to consider other issues surrounding the contemporary body. Again here as with Sheldon Blake, Garth Daley and Nevine Salmon, black and white is a deliberate palette choice. This seems to be a revisit/ resurrection/revival of the black as colour idealogy as a ploy to reclaim black as a conceptually loaded colour.

Ainsworth Case presents neat and tidy depictions of decapitated and objectified female and male bodies. Case seems to also be this years torch-carrier of the new figurative school of painting which has slowly been emerging from the Edna Manley College; going back to Khary Darby. Each year since Darby’s show I have watched the new members of the school explore personal and social issues through neoclassical depictions of cyborgs, iconic renderings of youth, the development of personal sign systems and loaded art historical reference.

Azariah Clarke interestingly exhibited in a room apart from the other fine artists as though he could anticipate his separation from the overarching concerns. His motif of masks became decidedly graphic and modernist in their genuine pursuit of formal concerns such as colour, shape and space. He presented a mixed media piece however that revealed the presence of a gas mask with black male faces pouring from the region of the mouth-piece. Gas mask generally not playing a large part in Jamaica’s history makes me think of the Holocaust and perhaps he is inciting an awareness of a black holocaust or similar oppression of the black male. Either way it is an interesting and chilling image for me in particular.

Joel Clayton’s shallow spaces seems to exist somewhere between Sheldon Clayton’s strong statements about self and identity, the sweetly pastel colours of Monet and the new breed of African-American painters such as Kehinde Wiley who devote themselves to representing the persona of the contemporary black or ‘urban’ male.

Before closing, I wish to note the similarity in themes and language indicates to me a common concern for the young artist or maybe the young Jamaican, There must be a particular concern and alertness to: a) the frustration of building a career as a contemporary artist in Jamaica, (b) the current terrors and tragedies of the globalised world (c) the struggle for Jamaican art to define itself in the contemporary at arena (d) the contemporary concern with the individual body and its shifting and redefined boundaries

The specific works highlighted in this article are in order to support points and are not intended as a statement of value or merit. The show will be presented as part of The Art on the Edge Festival at the Cage Gallery at Edna Manley College on Tuesday 26th at 6-8pm. Presented will be the work of other interesting graduating fine artists such as Marvin Bartley and Russell Gunning.

wild about earl

you know the kind of girl always stiffed with the responsibility of picking up after everyone just because she is the oldest? well, that's me. i take my job seriously. i make them lick up their own stinking spills. my name is Rosie.

you know the kind of girl that gets by on the back of the queenest bee in town? that's me. call me pawlick, sidekick, genius... move it, i just called dibs on that sun spot, honey. my name is Tooty.

i may look like the hell angel's spawn but i am really the guy that bawled when Kenny with his newfound confidence was rescued from the trunk of his le car and whisked off for a romantic picnic in the wine country by his burly car-mechanic rescuer. my name is Bak Bak.

i stand out from this motley crowd and that makes the rest kind of jealous. it's really not my fault i am born big round and bring purrsexy back. i feel bad for them you know? just a little. Take em' to the bridge. (Go 'head be gone with it). my name is Fruity.

we itch and we scratch to leap wide and jump high. wood, grill, glass and flesh are all equal in this urban terrain. we are butch and sundance, starsky and hutch, rodgers & hammerstein. you best call us Blackie and Chaplin.

Rosie, Tooty, Suede and Blackie take karma out for a spin.

Speaking words of wisdom...

In a packed MRT trip towards Clarke Quay last night, as I struggled to maintain my balance between being sandwiched by some obnoxious Chinese tourists who seemed to be both slightly deaf as they spoke so bloody loudly with me in between, I found with regret I lost interest in the book I tried to digest (Yes, even with a Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things).

Thankfully, at the next stop, they left the MRT & left me with a rage that rapidly cooling down but not enough to make me resume my reading.

I saw my surroundings--still packed but much quiter, thanks goodness--and I overheard this conversation:

"Mummy, mummy. I don't want to be happy."

"And why not, dear?"

"Because people don't like a happy person. So I just want to be sad. Then people like me."


"Mummy, mummy. I like your glasses."

At this point, I grinned and stopped eavesdropping (Nah, technically it's not eavesdropping. Alright, I might have listened secretly but what was said definitely not in private) and started wondering how such a little girl (at most, 5 - 6 years? I don't know I didn't ask) managed to make such an observation. People don't like a happy person?! Hmmm...

I imagine the little girl may grow up to be a very sad young lady in her attempts to make people like her. Or perhaps to be a tough, resolute woman (not necessary devoid of feelings, though) as she learns & accepts how it's impossible to make people like her in the expense of her own happiness. Or maybe...to be an optician? Yeah, that too.

out on good behaviour

kittens are finally let out to meet the family. we are so used by now to these occasional alien home invasions the man and woman don't much worry. but they have their eye on Bak Bak who may still be under the impression that these are new toys...

they will get their recreation time everyday from now on. so more kitten adventures ahead!

LOST - season 3 - coming soon (Channel 5, 24/06/07, 11.00 PM)

:) Finally...

could we have done better?

the kittens have fully recovered. one eye on calico however, did not heal well and is partially obscured by the third eye lid. she hops and plays, confident in her cuteness, without noticing. would a potential adopter? so sorry little darling... :(

big boys club

just when the woman is lying on her side with her head propped on one hand, huffing and puffing about another Bak Bak turd soccer practice, he comes sliding through the cosy nook between her elbow and ear to brush her on the cheek. is that how to get out of detention? you bet!

from the same bag of tricks, he pulls this one to thaw Papa's initial subzero welcome:

establish casual camaraderie ->

take a little risk ->


Smally a hit on YouTube!

honors and 5-star rating? who knew? in the world of web videos, Smally overtook kittens in popularity by a mile.

Shrek 1, 2, 3 - and yet, no movie marathon (Maybe a SPOILER)

Oh yes, I truly didn't mind watching Shrek 1 & 2 again as a warm-up before Shrek 3. Heh.

The third one is still as hilarious as the first two.

I always love it when they play "havoc" on the details. For example: in the Poison Apple Bar, where Prince Charming first visits, the Wicked Queen (You know, that dark character with an obsession of being the fairest one of all) is shown singing a part of "I've never been to me". (Nice song, blogged about it once.)

There's also a little signboard showing "Unhappy Hour".

Amused & thoughtful too when they treat Little Red Riding Hood as one of the baddies. Notice the part when she's pickpocketting in the Far Far Away? (Well, guess that makes sense if in the movies, the "gender-confused" wolf--originally co-starring in the Little Red Riding Hood tale--is considered one of the good guys, then the other character ought to be the bad one.)

And many more "little" hilarious details that I really should not list down here. Heh.

For they do not know what they are reading.

It is a common misconception that comics are just intended for children. Marvel, one major comics publisher in the US, has even set its rating. For example: “All Ages”, “T+” (for 9+ years old), “Parental Advisory” (for 15+ years old), and “Max: Explicit Content” (for 18+ years old).

I too recall some comics from other publishers stamped “For Mature Readers”. Not merely because of their graphic content, but also due to how complex the plot can be which only adults can appreciate.

The National Library Board (NLB) has been expanding their collection of comics with their thorough selection process as well as the feedback from their patrons. Many award-winning comics can now be found in the libraries. And many of such comics are “For Mature Readers”.

Parents should therefore continue guiding their children in their choice of reading. On the other hand, the NLB should maintain the current level of communication between the organization & the patrons to ensure that the feedbacks can always be voiced out.

Extreme solutions such as to immediately take the “questionable” comics out from the shelves should be avoided.

The NLB has labeled comics under ‘ART’ & ‘ART’ is relative. What for some readers is considered as portraying a certain degree of sex and violence can be seen by others to be just a minor point merely to suit the context.

Following the letter to TODAY from Ms. Fiona Goh Lai Kuan ("A library book that is a shocker", [1] May 28), readers [2] have come forward to urge the NLB--and responded in [3]--to relocate comics with mature content away from children’s shelves. The solution is feasible. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility that children wonder around & accidentally pick the wrong comics.

The bottom line is it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their children choose the suitable reading materials.


Or the book fair organizers [4] to ensure they know the nature of the books before arranging their exhibits. (Please, just because a book has lotsa pictures/drawings, it is wrong to assume that it's a book for children).

[1] And to think that I have yet read "The Punisher: Barracuda". Groan.

[2] Lau Chee Nien ("Not such a pretty picture for young minds", June 1) & Ng Kiat Han ("Not feasible to axe all comics which hint of sex and violence", June 5)

[3] The NLB's Deputy Director of Corporate Communications, Ms. Amy Gay ("National Library will re-examine its selection processes", June 4)

[4] Indeed, to make it even worse, "Books with sexual content found in fair's children's section". By the way, the ChannelNewsAsia.com article, dated June 6 has cautiously excluded the book title. Heh. But seriously, the emphasis should not be about "books with sexual content", but it must be the incident of such books "found in fair's children's section".

aren't they cute? please adopt!

Candy (white chest) has been adopted!

Chocolate (darker-brown) has been adopted!

Cocoa (husky-brown) has been adopted!

these tabby siblings are with a friend and ready for adoption. look at those eyes, calico will be so jealous... they are 4 weeks old, still on KRM feed by syringe but can be weaned soon.

interested adopters, drop us an email.

that's why the woman cannot be a doc or vet

because calico's eyes are so bad, the vet had to cut away some of the tissue that is growing over the eyes. the woman almost passed out. she is furiously applying the terramycin as much because she doesn't want to sit through one of those sessions again. the next vet check is due, for calico's sake and the woman's, i hope the eyes are on the road to snip-free recovery.

Bak Bak! this is one no-hygiene cat. he is so curious about the kittens in the utility room he is staking out the door in Leafty's pan and comes out reeking of rabbit piss. stupid cat!

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