Thursday, December 20, 2007

My American friends are shocked to learn that most (unmarried) Singaporeans stay with their folks into their 30s (and beyond)...

One thing I really hate about staying in Singapore is the part about staying with my folks. I know they mean well, but they just get on my nerves by asking so many questions about my movements, and people I have been meeting. Machiam like I am still in secondary school.


From FF's post:

JY msged me yesterday. My parents aren’t around this weekend, why don’t you come over? which I found quite amusing. Most single guys in Singapore live with their parents until they’re married or until they’ve reached a ripe old age such that they can afford to buy their own place.

Between living with their parents and buying their own place, they don’t seem to really find the need for their own space……….. that’s a quality I find very unattractive. I like a guy who values his own space…… and spare me the crap about filial piety. It’s not like you’re moving a thousand miles away. And if you stay because your parents aren’t happy that you’re a big boy and need your independence and want your own space, welll…… lagi more unattractive lor. And the worst argument has to be why should I waste money on rent when I can stay with my parents for free? Somemore my mother does my laundry and cleans my room for me.

But this is just my personal preference when it comes to guys. Maybe cos I’ve been living on my own for so many years. Shrug. :)

She should date guys who are already used to (and are) staying on their own...

Of guys with gold and UCal's PhD funding

There are gold diggers, and there are guys with gold but no women.

$772k bonus, a bright shiny condo, but life still empty?


UC's officials now acknowledge their aid packages for doctoral students suck. So if you are considering any of the 10 campuses, beware!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The seventh copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was bought by at the auction. I hope they will put in the details on the fairy tales for the HP fans.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I have read (and re-read) the entire HP series twice in the past month.

The seventh book was particularly intriguing - and I was drawn to many of its chapters again and again.

This section (Chapter 7, pp 115 - 116) is my personal favorite, if only because I identify strongly with it:

Ginny looked up into Harry's face, took a deep breadth, and said,
"Happy seventeenth."


She was looking at him steadily; he, however, found it difficult to look back at her; it was like gazing into a brilliant light.

"Nice view," he said feebly, pointing toward the window.

She ignored this. He could not blame her.

"I couldn't think what to get you," she said.

"You didn't have to get me anything."

She disregarded this too.

"I didn't know what would be useful. Nothing too big, because you wouldn't be able to take it with you."

He chanced a glance at her. She was not tearful; that one of the most wonderful things about Ginny, she was rarely weepy. He had sometimes thought that having six brothers must have toughened her up.

She took a step closer to him.

"So then I thought, I'd like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you met some veela when you're off doing whatever you're doing."

"I think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground, to be honest."

"There's the silver lining I've been looking for," she whispered, and then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before, and Harry was kissing her back, and it was blissful oblivion, better than firewhiskey; she was the only real thing in the world, Ginny, the feel of her, one hand at her back, and one in her long, sweet smelling hair -


Winter has arrived in Arizona with a vengeance, and it actually dipped into the 30s (F) at night in the Valley. Adding to that - it had been raining on-off almost continuously the past 6 days. Yes, you heard me right: rain in the Sonoran desert.

It is cold, it is wet, it gets dark early, and the pangs of loneliness bite the hardest at this time of the year.

That said, I will miss you, Arizona. It has been a wonderful 7 months.


A friend from my undergrad days will be inviting me to her place for a gathering later this month. She knows I am (still) single, and wants to introduce her secondary school classmate to me. To cut down on any possible awkwardness, there will be other couples, although we will be the only singles present.

I liked the way she broached this topic to me when we met on MSN:

"Do you mind over-achieving girls?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, the girl has a Masters from LSE, and is a scholar (some high flyer at a ministry). But she has completed her bond. Her ex was some kind of lazy bum, D grades in the (local) uni and no ambitions in life; but she stood by him even helping him find a job in the civil service. He later dumped her for an older woman."

"OK, I don't mind making new friends. Is she tethered to Sg (emotionally)?"

"No. She is OK with moving out of Sg."

"Sure, we can meet up, and I can get you something from Arizona."

Apparently she had done quite a bit of homework on (both of us). It's funny how the first cut-off (from friends and family) would almost always be educational qualifications and job titles.


I will be (tentatively) meeting H. She asked me point blank to get her something from the US. Some kind of 见面礼.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The other Arizona

Last year I wrote brief descriptions about the attackers that brought the US into WWII. This year, I am in the state that gave its name to the ship that made history.

I wonder when I will visit Hawaii.

Memorial to an event that shook the world

Thursday, December 06, 2007

'Famous People' Quiz

How many (out of 104) in this picture can you recognise?

I can only point out fewer than half of them.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Just another typical day at work...

A co-worker and I were discussing debating the impact of minute traces of silanols on one of our process steps.

Her: "Wow, your Org Chem is really good!"

Then my cubicle neighbor popped in.

"Did you just say Orc Chem?"

He had obviously been spending too much time on WoW.

Does Orc blood have these? Hmm...


A new hire joined our group last week, and was formally introduced to us this week.



Some email addresses and servers raise red flags, even when they are used for legitimate purposes. The woes of working in the high tech industry, more so when your products have obvious dual-use capabilities.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gild the lily Ivy

The Dangerous Wealth of the Ivy League. The Gilded Age of America's Higher Education has begun.

The stark difference (at least in terms of the infrastructure and the cars the students drive) can be seen in an East Coast City which has 3 major universities - a private, extremely selective and wealthy college, a state flagship and a second third tier public institution that is mainly a commuter school. Just like the wards in a hospital, you have the A class, B class and C class.

A case of 锦上添花 vs 雪中送炭.