Monday, July 30, 2007

Me Versus Mondays

I hate Mondays... the general sentiment of many, I am sure.

As for my case, I simply do not enjoy my work anymore...

Maybe it is because of the constantly and rapidly changing working environment that makes me feel out of control.

Maybe it is because of the way things are done in this new environment that I do not feel it is the right way to do things, simply because they have been doing it that way for centuries.

Or... maybe because after 15 years of working in the same company, I can finally say that I have lost my bearings and am without motivation.

Maybe, it is all of the above!

So, what should I do about it?

Nothing. Yes, nothing.... I am so darn lazy to do anything to rectify the situation. Most probably I am afraid of change... most definitely!

Why fix something that is not broken?

Aha! That is my frightened yet lazy conscience talking.

Am I wasting away here?

All these inner struggles criss-crossing in my mind... just about every Monday!

The fact that 3 more colleagues have call it quits in this place and moved on... makes me wonder if they are making the right decision, that I should be making too.

And the fact that whomever that is left seems as unmotivated with their morale at an all-time low, like at the bottom of a old, slimy barrel as I am feeling today.

Yes, it is Monday. So why the rants?

As I was heading for work this morning, I was caught in a bad traffic jam. Yes, the Monday hustle.

Strangely, the traffic jam was not on the highway, but was just after exiting via Sengkang East and onto Buangkok Green. The usual route that has always been smooth had suddenly came a crawling... bumper-to-bumper... "late-for-work-at-the-start-of-the-week" stressful-kind of traffic jam.

My first angry thought was of some stupid, badly planned road-works ahead, so I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo of the road condition while in the cab. Just so I have evidence that was a good enough reason to justify my being dead-late... something that was out of my control.

As my cab neared the junction after Seagate building, I snapped another time thinking it was that stupid road works... but alas, it was something unfortunate. It was something worse.

Someone had died. A victim of a road accident. A motorbike, a cab and a car at the junction. I felt disgusted with myself for taking a picture of someone's misfortune.

"It is tragic for that person who went out to earn a living and ended giving-up his or her life." I lamented out loud to the cab driver.

It would be a devastating news for the people he or she had left behind... I thought quietly in my heart. I said a little prayer for that poor soul as the cab neared where I was alighting.

Like most times, again... here I am complaining a bluer than blue Monday, and it has pointed out to me again and again to witness or hear of something tragic.

I know that I have it good, that I should count my blessings... that I should stop complaining.

Yes, I am blessed. Still, I hate Mondays until I do something about it...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sweet-Sunday Visitor

"Ayah! Quick, come over to the garden...' Wifey said when she suddenly dashed into the study room.

"See? A hummingbird over there!" As she pointed excitedly at our morning visitor, busy hopping from one flower cluster to another.

I rushed over; not before I armed myself with my trusted Lumix Fz10 camera as I made my way outside to our Corridor Garden.

I saw nothing at first, but I aimed my camera at the direction Wifey was pointing to and started snapping away hoping to get a glimpse of the hummingbird that she saw.

At this point on, Wifey, our Son and myself were totally quiet except for the facial and frantic hand-gestures, pointing here and there as our little visitor hopped from one brunch to another.

After several blind shots, our morning visitor finally revealed itself to me.


Was my first reaction to it... though I am still as blind without my glasses, the pronounced yellow bird purged at the edge of swaying brunch giving a clear view for me.

It was stunning under the morning sunlight. A beautiful sight indeed!

Now I know how exciting and wonderful a feeling Barbara from Trying To Catch Up must have felt with every visit by the multi-colored and beautiful birds she had the pleasure of hosting at her bird feeder.

"We should put up a bird feeder in our garden, Ayah." Our Son softly commented while he watched the bird quietly alongside Wifey.

"What's up?" Our neighbor asked as he waited for the lift... looking at the direction the three of us was busy focusing at.

"Oh, nothing... its a Sunbird foraging in the our garden." I whispered to him.

Oh yes, a Sunbird! Hummingbirds hover, this one clings to the branches as it drank nectar from our Durantas... my mind was pondering.

A few snaps later and I got some good shots of our little guest. Though not as stunning a close-up photos as Barbara's but nonetheless thrilling.

Our little Sunday morning visitor turned out to be a female Olive-backed Sunbird or Nectarina Jugularis. A common Sunbird out of 13 species that are found mostly in the wetlands around our island.

We watched her hopping from flower to flower while we got closer. Though weary-looking, she did not fly away, instead she continued with her nectar feeding uninterrupted which was interesting to watch.

As described in Naturia website Yahoo! returned after a query on "Singapore Sunbirds," these species of bird is highly adaptable due to their lack of shyness to humans, often recorded living very close to urban areas... in balconies, gardens and parks.

Good morning, little fellow!

We will tend to our garden for more blooms so to entice you to come again soon... hopefully with your partner and little ones too...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

All The Best!

Such a memorable date for these parents!

On a larger scale, Live Earth is today too, but this morning, our Son is our main focus.

Yes, We Are Alive This Morning...

Instead of waking up late on a weekend, we woke up just the same as any weekday at 6:15am for all 3 of us to get ready to go to NUS High School, an affiliate of National University of Singapore.

After the online registration on its website 2 months ago for our Son to take his entrance test ahead of his PSLE or Primary School Leaving Examination in October.

He was one of the pupils in Primary 6 who were selected and encouraged to go for this selection test to get a place in NUS High for his secondary education when leaves Saint Hilda's Primary.

Even with a S$60.00 registration fee, there were about 2000 students vying for 200 odd positions!

The total number of Primary 6 students taking the PLSE this year is thought to be just over 5000 as with previous year.

Beating The Odds First

Took a cab in a sudden heavy morning downpour, we reached there just about 8:15am beating the peak hour traffic as well, the two most dreaded combination in the usual morning rush hour along CTE or Central Expressway.

Up to a cordoned area where only students were allowed to go beyond, promptly our Son went off to register himself at Counter 11.

Armed with the selection/registratin letter, his EZLink Student ID, Number 2D pencil, eraser and all his interest in Math and Science with him to vie a place in his school of choice... a tough, one of the cream-of-the-crop school in this country.

There, his group waited to be ushered into the exam hall for their 2 hours combined Math and Science test that were to start at 9:00am.

Interestingly, he did not looked calm and composed. I was all butterflies in me.

Of Coffee, Cookies And Nerves

While the students attempt to answer the 200 questions ranging from Primary 3 subjects to Secondary 4 test questions, most anxious parents, we two included, waited-out in the school canteen... nervously drinking coffee and eating cookies, reading the newspapers and chatted with other parents... while checking our watches every other minute.

By 10:30am, we were ushered back to the front entrance to meet our children, as batch by batch the children went out of the class rooms and exam hall.

Mostly solemn faces, we overheard some students talking to each other and some to their parents that the papers were tough... very tough in fact that they did not have time to answer all of the questions.

Some question included were totally beyond their primary school syllables knowingly so, to gauge the range of their math and science knowledge as genuine interest than than force-fed preparation.

As for our Son, he though he did very well in the Science questions, but not as confident with some of the Math ones even though he answered all 200 of them.

Well, our Son had done his best and had prepared well. It was good enough effort to me and the fact that he has natural interest in Science and Mathematics makes up for it more than I would hoped for, anyway.

The fact that he wanted to try for this makes me so proud of him.

And The Clock Starts Now!

We will only know the results in 2 weeks time by email.

If he is shortlisted, we will have to register him the second time for the school's Math and Science camp... with a fee of S$100, he will be assessed individually while having fun, interspersed with interviews in between before the final list of students be announced and a place awarded.

This is the DSA route or Direct School Admission way of getting into the school of choice apart from the MOE or Ministry Of Education national route of aggregate score placement from the 6 school choices a student is given to select after their PSLE exam at year's end.

All the best, my Son!

We know you did your best because you are the best.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th July!

To All My American Friends
Have A Great Day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Love

My Lovely Wife Azie,
You're the best thing that has happened to me
With you I am home.

Happy Birthday My Love
May this day bring more joys to you
The joys I have been blessed since I met you.

The luckiest man alive!