Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The Coach

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

That room with the beer-cans on the wall smells of rubber-skinned basketballs and a bit of medicated oil.

Do you know how many times you healed my fingers twisted from a flying ball? Remember the time you healed my wrist? I sprained it breaking a roller-blade accident and lied it was from shooting hoops.

Thank you.

Sorry I hadn’t ever been in touch all 20 years.

Sorry I didn’t tell you that in a world that pretended to be perfect all the time, you were that one coach who taught the stuff you knew best, the way you knew it.

With the beer-breath and the rubberised track pants, in your own inexplicable ways, you instilled discipline; you had our respect. Can you imagine that? How? I think even in our young minds, we knew you cared and that you simply, wanted us to be good kids who did one thing better than anybody else. We played Basketball for AHS and we played good. Even when we didn’t, we gave it all we had.

Sorry I am only here – at your death. Sorry.

Turtle Love

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

This is Lucien’s bedside friend. Mister Turtle lights up the room with stars of the constellation with the star-shaped carvings on his trusty shell. Conscientious parents could read the accompanying literature that explained the orion belt, etc etc. Clearly for us, we merely enjoyed the stars of orange, green and blue that danced against the walls. Lucien never had a problem with darkness. This was an impulse purchase I got off as it seemed like the right kind of thing to find in a nursery.

Each night, we played with the lights and told Lucien that Mister Turtle would come on and shine forth whenever it was time for bed.

This week, Lu calls out to his bedside friend with a resounding “The Toe” that resonated across the house. To endless kisses and hugs. As if he suddenly realized an appreciation of The Toe’s contibutions.

If The Toe could hear, he’d be so proud.

Suddenly Sad

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

The old adage of never taking anything nor anyone for granted rings truer than ever, cutting with a truth that greets me each time I turn to his room and all that remains is a hollow darkness where his joviality used to be.

I take so much of his presence for granted.

It’s a cold chilly feeling.

It’s got a lot less to do with the friendship that’s been here, because relationships survive regimes and places. And I believe ours is one of these. This has a lot more to do with the fact that he embodied so much of of what’s been fun and human about the work. No great team is great forever; the greatest team is that team that never gives up. His style of managing and leading a team through Sustainability, Resilience and a Spirit of Play to bring out the best in people and situations – these were the things that anchored me all these years whenever I felt like giving up.

Now as the cold settles and the air gets thin, I pen this blog as a great reminder to never take anyone nor anything for granted again. It’s such a gift to have the opportunity to be in the midst of someone, a boss especially, who sets us up for success and who in the process, opens their hearts and offers their friendship. They never had to. And often their generosity of spirit may never get reciprocity from reticent colleagues and who knows, there are strange people who will never believe real friendship can exist between corporate walls (woe to these sad souls!).

I was a blessed recipient of great friendship and professional mentorship. I can’t even say I deserved much of it.

What remains now is the wish that someday, I may be a little like him. Remembered as the one who made it fun, who was never for a second evil, who brought cookies of all flavours and who served beer and gave CDs of baby-music and gave advice about life and who seriously, gave a damn.

The Games Boys Play

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Boys will be Boys

So I got a chance to see, just before heading out the door to work this morning, Lucien playing a little all-by-myself football.

He’s quite good at it, seeing he is able to kick with both feet (already better than I) and when the ball gets in tight spaces, he remains bent on using his feet to move the ball, not his hands-as I would have!

I remember just weeks ago, Lucien would throw his first and only ball to Ken and Ken would kick it back to him. I thought it was rude and inconsiderate of Ken not to play on the boy’s terms. Ken said, “No, one day, he will kick it back”.

True enough.

The surprises that greet us everyday are a testament that none of any of our little acts go unnoticed.

What a great sobering way to be reminded of the roles we play in a little person’s eyes.

Time and Travel

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Traveling gives a surreal quality to the perception of time. what used to be a typical weekend can take you to the steaming buns of the noisy teahouse in hong kong and back to the organized taxi queues at the Changi airport.
And I truly marvel at how so much seems to have happened during those away hours.
Oh is it because I valued those finite hours so much more?

Did I say this?

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Diana reminded me of this email I wrote on our honeymoon. I like that many things still resonated and I found comfort in the fact that I still felt the same. Because often, the things that used to matter much erode in the wave of forgetability.

Except about the Chanel bags because I actually already have one now. *Arms in Air-Yes!*

On 3 July 2008 14:41, delilah chan wrote:

Hi my dears, how are you?

It’s the end of Day 2 already in L.A. At the airport, Ken got through customs and immigration while I got held back. 3 officers studied my passport and punched secretly into their secret machines, glancing at me and yelling at me each time I tried to stand up to “Sit Down!”.

I found out later that I was stopped because I didn’t look like I was from Singapore. WTF? How does one look like a Singaporean? Apparently, they thought Singaporeans must look like Koreans. S-M-A-R-T (ass).

Since the time we disembarked, we’ve had 3 major achievements so far.

1. Jumped off cab when driver, after taking off, insisted on a “flat” fee instead of using the meter. Flat fee he wanted was US$75 when our research tells us the fare for the distance we were going should be no more than US$45. We firmly insisted on taking another cab although he was cursing his head off. Earlier this morning, we actually saw the same driver with a gang of “similar ethnic origins” hanging outside a mall we were at. We ducked, maybe he had stalked us and wanted us dead! We ran. And ran. And quickly boarded the first bus that came by. To no where. Felt so clever.

2. Managed to steal wireless connection making it not just cheap, but free to go online. Hence, able to send email to dear friends.

3. Cup noodles and packets of 3-in-1 coffee made it through customs this time. Free coffee and supper in room. *V sign*

So with all things going as planned, we went shopping. Found a tee with words sprawled across chest. Thought of Cynthia immediately. It read “They are Tremendous. They are Fabulous. And they are REAL.” A man outside the Kodak Theatre in a Spidey outfit made me think of Nanfang’s Jonathon. A fat man with a chihuahua the size of his fist made me thankful of our dogs at home. A book paying tribute to Sex and the City reminded me of my last US trip with Diana to NYC and how fantastic that was.

I was starting to wonder how I was going to spend 2 weeks with Ken away from my friends and all the other people/things I love.

This morning, we went gallivanting on Beverly Hills. I shuffled feet awkwardly in expensive boutiques and knowing full well I could afford nothing, we stepped outside to smoke our Duty-Free cigarettes. As I day dreamed about how it would feel to be filthy rich with the sun was beating down on us, a Porsche had stopped at our junction. I noticed its driver was single young female, in fact looking no older than 18 years old. I told Ken, I bet she doesn’t shuffle awkwardly in Chanel. Ken at that time was holding his bag above our heads. I was wondering why. Until he said, “she doesn’t have anyone to shield the sun from her face”. Indeed, she was squinting so hard her pretty face was completely twisted.

At that moment, I saw poetry for the first time. Not her. Ken! Honey moon is starting to turn out well. The world stopped for a while and he was the only thing that felt right.

Until… he attempted to navigate relying on cartoon-style map that cheap hotel provided. It had all the landmarks and all the street names and legends. Problem. Not drawn to scale. Commando man believes any distance index finger can cover on map, human feet can walk.


We walked for HOURS. No cab, no bus, no metro. Only rich cars zipping by and rocking the pavement. Add to that, it was getting dark and the weather was turning cold. My denim shorts that looked sensible in the day now feel very stupid in the cold evening wind. Add to that, all the water and teh-O I had been drinking all day was pushing my bladder to its dark dark limits.

So actually, achievement #4. Dee Not Pee.

Ken has decided that it wasn’t his fault map not drawn to scale. Had decided tomorrow I shall navigate. I think we shall end up circling the perplexing panties (V-string, Thong, Bikini or Tankini?) section in Victoria’s Secrets…

Be well everyone. Miss you all.



Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Months of uncaring sloth meant that one evening when I actually wanted to run, my Asics Tiger Paws had separated itself.

I was shocked. Winter boots maybe. But my running shoes?!

How easily we forget that what we don’t work, we lose the use for. Like limbs. Will. Discipline. Mindfulness.

I got back on the treadmill wearing the mother-in-law’s taichi shoes. They were pristine white and looked so new I tap-danced gingerly across the wet sidewalks on the way to the gym.

As my heavy thighs pound heavily against the merciless drone of the industrious treadmill; I notice my neighbour. He heaves heavily each time he lifts the weights over his head and each time, his eyeballs looked ready to pop.

I try not to focus on the hairs rudely exposed each time he lifts his arms over his head. My mind drifts and I want to hold my breath and clearly I can’t. I gasp. Gently.

I run.

And this is how I become whole again. One run at a time. One primal, pulsating, animalistic, mindless run, at a time.

About Being Organised

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Just 2 weeks ago before the Husband was to leave on a week-long visit to China for business, I managed to buy a cartload of itsy bitsy things for the trip, things he hadn’t even even knew existed, let alone knew he had a need for.

These were the items: in order of Awesomeness.

1. Little Toobs; rubberized, PBA-free, micro-wave-able, foodgrade little tubes in sizes of S (50ml?) and M (88ml). You put your travel-size dollobs of gel, shampoo, anything into these tubes and they’re spill-free and easy to dispense (rubber, just squeeze). The most interesting part is that each comes with a suction pad on its back so if you’re traveling and going small places in small bathrooms, you can stick these on the walls. Awesome.

2. Rectangular storage bags to organize your shirts from pants from socks to just about anything.. comes in 3 sizes. These are lightweight, washable and are a great way to keep things from spilling out of luggage – great for those trips with many in between stops where you get on trains, buses, planes etc alot and things get messed up in the luggage alot.

In classic style, the Husband rejects all items. He was happy to throw all his shirts, pants, ties together into the luggage, perhaps he had the decency to separate his shoes; and he was not about to bring any toiletries, safe for his shaver. “The hotel provides – branded too”, he prophesises.

I balked. Even it were the Four Seasons that offers a range of L’occitane toiletries – I HAVE TO USE MY OWN.

So I conclude that it’s not so much I am a shopaholic as it is how Inflexible and Highly In Need of Organization I am, that makes me Buy all these “solutions” .

The more inflexible one is, the more one will most certainly develop serious separation anxieties. I establish a single utility purpose to things. For example: I have a lingerie bag when I travel. As I do a bag for toiletries and make up and shoes. I have a type of shoe for every look and a type of sock for every kind of shoe (that requires a sock) and I have a belt for every kind of outfit (that requires a belt).

Like so, I can rest in the knowledge that all the systems are in place and the only person who needs to get organised, is me.

The Battle has been Won.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

“I wish I never saw the sunshine. And if I never saw the sunshine, I guess I wouldn’t mind the rain”.

But our capacity to know one is almost inseparable from our ability to understand the other. Such is the unbearable equivocal nature of life.

Note to self: Pain has often been felt several degrees more excruciatingly than Joy. At my most joyous I believe I felt a sensation not unlike Peace. A quiet confidence, a gentle acceptance, a very likeable, desirable, state of being that made me feel that I belonged right where I did. I had learned to recognize this feeling and each time I felt it, I knew it bode of something I must protect and preserve. But that since I probably did not deserve it, it was nothing short of Divine Grace that I should receive it hence I should continue to trust that it shall be abundant. This is such a powerful promise that each time I staked this claim, it still brings a smile to my face.

Joy wasn’t theatrical. Nor was it loud. At best with Joy, I bore a smile often and I believe the lightness of my gait and the sheer goodness of how I felt helped several bodily ailments such as poor blood circulation, constipation and indigestion and I looked much better too.

Pain on the other hand, wore many faces. Dark thoughts that fester and swallow every ounce of self-belief, conspiratorial self-centered insecurities that show me an all-consuming self-absorbed world of self-doubt; a self-made fortress that in fact strips me powerless and casts fear, makes me seek the comfort of transcient worldly assurances…. and the very physical pain of separation, death, sickness and the loss of the mind that tear the body apart and threatens to never to be put back whole again.

How is it so, I wonder?

Perchance we’re built to learn strength through trials; and Peace through Turbulence. Perchance we’re also made to be at one with ourselves and THIS state, is the very state of Happiness, that its by this equilibrium and its sustainability that we’re anchored, not by spikes of emotional highs.

Afterall, I trust that for the pains inherent to the human experience, we have already been made victorious. A long time ago; in John 3: 16. We just hadn’t fully leveraged the potential of this Promise yet.

On the Mat Now…

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Ever had those days when the sluggish lethargy follows you around like a shadow no matter how much sleep you clock?

Nothing beats lethargy better than a kick-start to the system. So I got on the mat tonight.

30-min of ashtanga; a bucket of perspiration that calmed my beating pulse; my very breath breaking my reflection in the mirror into a thin mist of rising and falling ujayis.

As I type, my forearms quiver with a distinct ache.

And so, this is how I know I am alive.