Is it really hoarding? (Or, Brought to you by Dettol)

Friday night, in Singapore, once the alert was raised, the entire nation worked with one mind.

Live reports on friends’ facebook showed incredible queues at the shopping centre. When the alert was yellow, cleaning products was first to go. Friday night, it was toilet roll and instant noodles. Then it was fresh food. There were assurances that the warehouse in the sky had all these products. A lot of tsk tsk accompanied pictures of NTUC. NTUC never had so much publicity.

What sort of trade do we have with China? I don’t know. However, at the market today, prices of fresh vegetables did go up. Not banana money inflation but it had increased. Some vegetables went up by 30%, some a bit lesser. With the reduced supply and consistent demand, prices would go up.

Is demand consistent however? I am guessing that demand has increased. There could be more eating at home for the coming week to avoid crowds – hence, lots of instant noodle, dried noodles and rice sales.

The thing that I bought more of was Dettol. I never liked the smell of it but between that and chlorine bleach, at least the Dettol won’t annoy my skin as much. I have increased my washing load – towels are cleaned daily. I am using Dettol sanitizers. Hands are washed more frequently. I have started spraying the door knobs with Dettol. I have been wiping phones with alcohol.

I don’t remember my mom was that vigilant about cleaning during SARS. Perhaps with children, I have more zest for cleaning. However, it was about the same level of cleaning when HFMD hit us. I don’t remember I was that zestful when HFMD made the rounds on and off.

On artistry


I was watching an interview. A sweet young thing asked how could he have written hit after hit without experiencing depths of emotions. His reply was earnest. Song writing is like acting – it is cerebral. It is a calculated way to trigger an emotion in someone else. It could be a singer, it could be a listener. It’s a technique that can be learnt – there is no expression of emotion in a song writing. I enjoyed all his songs but the later ones, the ones with years of ability to con listeners all condensed into a few minutes, felt most powerful.

He reminded me of Graham Greene – his ability to reach the reader and his bottomless need for female companionship even when he was very old.

On The Compassionate Mantra

At my grandmother’s funeral, so not to frighten the guests, I read the scriptures for my grandma when it was just another cousin and I.

It was amazing. I felt happy to read it to my grandma. I felt they were joyful expressions. I wasn’t reading it out of filial piety, I felt it was fantastic to read it aloud for her to enjoy it too. Totally excellent words they are!

Relationship Status: complicated

This has become a bit of a book blog. I want to write about something else. An old fashion journal from dreamweaver days.

The meeting point of demand and supply of my work is largely what people term as boring administrative crap.

I can’t defend that accusation. What makes it occasionally interesting is those times when I get to do something out of the ordinary. Special workshops, scenarios testing, unusual ways to look at risk. I totally love it. I have accepted it is few and far in between. I do admit that my work isn’t for everyone. That’s why none of the others in my job move around. They grow old in this job. I wasn’t ready to grow old in this job.

As I pack up my departmental files, I opened one of the arch files. I was preparing for a desk relocation and my handover. It was typical boring administrative crap.

I noticed the love and labour. It was a document that is signed and filed away, never to be read – only glanced at as part of an audit checklist. I had set up that template – I filled it up and more. I was in my element. I didn’t care it might never be read. I quickly put that away because I was going to cry at work.

There were randomly misfiled documents. I opened another arch file to shove it in. I read another document. I can generate such volumes, really, I thought.

I saw the care and consideration for the HODs that I service. I have never thought that I cared for all these HODs. They were my customers. I was even annoyed with them sometimes. I thought I only cared about the risk HODs whom I have helped for a long time. We were a team, them and I. We help each other.

I have left another organisation prior to this. I did not feel then, there were different layers of feelings about work. My friend more experienced with feelings said wisely, you will miss them, they will miss you. These feelings will fade after a while.

And you know, I am not even leaving the building. I continue to the organisation that I am leaving. These feelings – I cannot compute.

Elizabeth Villars = Ellen Feldman

I was randomly thinking of a book I read when I was in my teens. My aunt has a lot of trashy romances that I found around my grandma’s. This book was totally different. This was even better than Sidney Sheldon – she has a lot of them. Lipstick On His Collar was totally engrossing. Last night, I discovered on wiki it was a pseudonym. Mind blown.

La Mer is da bomb in cosmetic elegance

I am your regular over read la mer basher. It is the same as nivea. I can mix a bit nivea with skb. I put a ton of skb in my husband’s hair gel. Seriously give me the money.

I am totally eating my words now. I have been trying to deal with painfully dry skin lately. I go to work and it feels so uncomfortable yet it doesn’t peel, other than it being tight, there are no other indications of irritation. I was on youtube and G-omnipresent suggested I look at Jackie Aina – in particular the episode where she splashed money on fancy creams.

I was obsessed with how she looked after she put on the la mer. So well moisturised.

With reddit’s help, decided on the more usable soft cream and got myself a sample size.

It was a fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. My dry skin went away. I could use any glycerin, or even vaseline or nivea soft. But I can’t – I will get a huge cystic pimple. I can put an active into some solution (water or oil) and use it and yes, it will work. On someone else, it might come across irritating to the skin. It works but it’s not possible to use it on a daily basis because of sensitivity to the ingredient. Cosmetic elegance is sophistication in the science of skincare. Sophistication is making an annoying ingredient friendly and usable. Sophistication is to allow the skin to feel protected and comfortable. That is where luxury skin care brands deliver – cosmetic elegance.

The problem with these reviews are they claim there are so many moisturisers better than la mer at a lower price point. No, there isn’t. There are some that are similiar in the moisturising properties but I haven’t tried one that shares or exceeds the same level of sophistication. Basically, the La Mer chemist (and the team) took some inexpensive ingredients and made a really good money out of them. That is the magic broth right there.

One eye is not enough

I notice that most YouTube channel owners in the makeup field are really open to plastic surgery. Some look dramatically different from when they started their channel. Their face and body is, in their minds, endlessly malleable.

Obviously, the problem is the camera. The camera is a laser beam that targets what we find annoying – perhaps, it wasn’t even that annoying at first – and blows it out of proportion.The camera has just one eye. That is the crux of the issue. It is not even a cyclops, who are skilled with hands. It lacks the rest of the senses and perception and is used (or abused) for its imagined objectivity. Casting a cold, distant eye on all, it suggests judgements.

The audience is suspicious yet enamored by the one eye creature. The operator assures it is all true. Only the objective truth! Trust us!

Lies, really. We don’t find anyone’s grandparents ugly. We don’t find anyone’s parents unattractive. (We don’t find parents attractive in general.) We don’t find strangers unattractive. We find certain people attractive – even if he or she may have a bulbous nose, two flapping ears, or a wide stretching mouth. 情人眼里出西施 is not the same as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The problem, I am trying to tell you, is the camera.

Good sounds

A series of good things happened. My organisation had the misfortune of having plans leaked into the press. Some staff were cheered by the news when the stock price dipped. I was pertubed. If not to quell the sense of anxiety, I would not have re-discovered The Great Compassion Mantra (in short form). I have heard it playing in the background at my mom in law’s but it was all Sanskrit to me. I can’t quite remember how and why I wanted to download an app for reading Sutra but I did. I wept on hearing the wonderful Sutra. My anxiety gave way to calm. The calm transformed into joy. The joy transformed into well being. The well being transformed into confidence.

What marvelous words they are! I particularly enjoy the chanting by the monks here in this video.

Great Compassion Mantra