Friday, October 31, 2008


Pumpkins screaming in the dead of night!

Everybody make a scream! Another passed Halloween, but this year, it didn't go uncelebrated! Not for me at least. In an attempt to make a reaper's costume, I fashioned an awesome scythe out of a long stick of wood, cardboard and aluminum foil. It's totally realistic, just that I couldn't get a long dark hooded robe. MEH.

Halloween party at Arun's house! Which is GIGANTIC; and that's just his room. The second time I've been in an attic! Watched a bit of White Chicks, which I think is scarier than any horror movie that they could have borrowed (Shutter could give it a run for it's money though). Arun's dog is really cute! And funny. And I think it could give Neil a Runny for his money.

Costumes... I had a vague spectral reaper outfit thing which was cobbled together with black garbage bags in absence of a real long dark hooded robe (SIGH AGAIN). It looked totally stupid and I couldn't see a thing through the material. Scythe saved me though. XD Charmaine was sporting a witch's costume complete with pointed witch's hat and broom, which was plastic and modern; along with a black shawl and heavy eyeliner. She actually looked like a pretty good witch. Ernest... the Elvis vampire! Cloak and pitchfork (pitchfork o_O) and a vampire mask with a really Elvis-looking hairstyle and big dark eyes that looked like sunglasses. Ally just had a vampire cape, but with her dark outfit and pale complexion, she really looked like a vampire queen. The rest didn't wear anything. (Costumes, I mean. Sheesh.)

Oh, and the cakes! I became apprentice baker for the day and helped Charmaine bake her lemon cake thing and brownies. I'm now bugging my mom to bake stuff, 'cos I found out it's so easy! Just chuck everything together, and then chuck it into the oven. Simple! Oh yeah, Charmaine has a dog too, Ginger, but she's more quiet and less hyperactive (as far as I could tell). Charmaine's grandmother is like mine, and I think it's awesome how she knows how to speak a bit of every language. She's still a bit scary though XD Oh, Charmaine's house is AWESOME as well; first time I've been in an attic! Apparently it used to be owned by some artistic genius, and on the walls of the attic is a montage of a whole bunch of stuff, really well painted. It's really very enthralling, just going up there and seeing it all round the walls. That is, if you can find it XD

Oh, I thought I'd be out the whole day, so I was carrying around my scythe all over Singapore, Ang Mo Kio Central and Paya Lebar. It's quite interesting; I kept a straight face, and just looked menacing and sullen. I kept getting second glances from passers-by as I strode around looking for a cloak. If only I had the robe, gaah. It would have been something out of Improv Everywhere, only better, 'cos I'd be doing it.

Oh, last but not least, how's this for a freaky way to start Halloween? At about 3.15 am this morning, I was dreaming about something, I can't exactly remember what. But then I had this instantaneous mental image of Ally walking through some kind of wooden-panelled kitchen, a large number of brown boxes crashing to the floor, and a knife, the silver tongue spiralling down, headed for her chest. At the same time, the boxes hit the floor, and I heard a number of thuds, and as the knife hit, a sharp, piercing scream that jolted me awake. And this is the really creepy part. As my eyes flew open, I could still hear the scream, fading away now, for about half a second, before silence fell. I was totally freaked out. I guess what must have happened is that someone outside screamed the scream (which in itself is really freaky, considering it's 3 am in the morning), and my brain impulsively hotwired this explanation from my imagination through to my dream-consciousness. Either that, or my latent psychic powers are developing and... uhh, I don't think I want to complete the sentence. Freaky freaky freaky.

Well, this was Halloween.

Everyone hail to the pumpkin king!
The Edna Man

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Game of Life

I've just been reading people's blogs again.

When you look around you: your family, your friends, your classmates, your teachers, colleagues, bosses, that lady who cleans up the table after you finish eating and don't return the tray; the salesgirl behind the counter of the jewelry shop you keep walking by on the way to your car; the middle-aged man sitting the air-conditioned comfort of the taxicab as you drive home from work. What do you see?

People. Faces, personas, characteristics, behaviours, psychologies, or maybe even thoughts.

I see stories.

Every single soul on this planet is a storybook. Each life is a tale, spun out of time and woven with actions, choices; sprinkled with drama and tension; bringing together a cast of loosely-related characters, each with a story of their own. Irony, imagery, comedy, tragedy; art imitates life, or the other way around?

If you could just reach out... reach out into the library of the world, and take down one of its stories, open the cover and flip through the pages. Each soul is a story, each life a book; unfinished, half-written; the final chapter written by the hooded figure with his scythe. But even without the ending, each story is unique, is exquisite; no two people's are identical. Similarities are abound, surely, yet with novels this length there can be no plagarism, no exact copies. Reach out... choose a book... and read.

As an avid reader, the idea enthralls me, enchants me... to read, to collect the stories of every single person on Earth, to see, to know... linking them all together, like a vast mystery being solved, with each passing word, sentence, chapter, slowly revealing itself. Behind every face is a new story, another facinating plot, another spellbinding tale...

And when you realise that, at the end of the day, all these stories are as fluid as water, and as irretrivable and unstoppable as the proverbial liquid in a cupped hand. Stories are ending, closing chapters being written, all over the globe, several thousand times a day, and there is no librarian, no storyteller, no loremaster; no bards, jesters, researchers, collectors... millions of stories are being lost, everyday, to Time and Death: Farenheit 451. Qin Shi Huang burned hundreds if thousands of bamboo scrolls; a paragraph compared to the collective library of the human race.

When the story ends, who will keep telling the tales?
The Edna Man

Friday, October 10, 2008

Live Life to the Max

I had an awesome time today (yesterday, post-midnight-post again). We had a "class" outing, which was really quite awesome because this time almost (almost) the whole class managed to turn up. Ernest is sick though (he said it might be dengue; I haven't called him yet in case he's like resting or something) and there's a bunch of other people who missed such an awesome event.

Met Justin at Bueona Vista first, quite fail because I was like, fifteen minutes late (I overshot the station 'cos I was reading and not familiar with the place, never having taken the bus that far before) and I find that I'm the second one there; Zeng Jie, who lives exactly opposite school, was there first. Well after hanging around for about an hour for more people to slowly stream into place, we made our way to Ghim Moh to grab snacks and drinks. Bryan cycled all the way from his house, and he was wearing shades that I assume were supposed to make him look cool or something.

After a delicious lunch of Ramly burgers (today was a Health Promotion Board's nightmare), a trek to Justin's house opened my eyes to like, the awesomeness of architecture. The place was built like some jungle fortress, with wooden walkways all over, and the swimming pool was - get this - double-decker. Oh, and it had this shallow area where there were half-submerged lounge chairs. Oh, that's not to mention the pond downstairs with the school of koi (Just keep swimming!). Oh, and Justin's house is like a maxi-masonette: it's got an upper floor AND a lower deck, which is Justin's room/floor/same difference.

Anyway we were all in the karaoke room, which was another awesome place for its sheer opulence, and Bryan had brought Meet the Spartans (don't ask me why he carries it around with him) and we watched it. Second comedy this week: quite funny, loved the blue screen, among other things. After that: karaoke! But without lyrics, 'cos no discs. Mikes, though! Awesome mikes! Singing is just so amazingly fun, and I managed to get more people to sing as well, but there's still a number of people (cough cough you know who you are) who still owe us songs.

I love performing; it's one of my favourite activites, and today I tried to perform every song I sang. Hip-hop, ballads, love songs, ROCK, everything, I acted it out. It was a great feeling, with all the cheers and applause and stuff, 'cos you know that you're making people happy, and that's always good, because when you help others, you can't help helping yourself. One of the Vertigo "impersonators" from Improv Everywhere said that there was always something that would separate rock stars from us normal people, the feeling of thousands of screaming fans watching your peformance. I experienced a small sample of that today, and it is awesome.

We got kicked out at 6pm one hour after our booking ended, so we all crashed Justin's place and ordered pizza. I never knew Canadian Pizza had a Singapura Special; what type of patriotic citizen am I? Good food, had more fun, mostly watching Neil play Bioshock (which is actually more freaky that it first appears) and scaring the pants off me (not literally). I was hiding behind Elvira the whole time; which reminds me, she plays more computer games than me, dammit. Why doesn't my mom understand what a deprived life I'm living? Oh yeah, Lorraine grabbed Bryan's bike and wandered off somewhere with it without her phone, so a seach party was sent out with supplies (surprize!) of pizza to find her. It was quite funny; she said she was knocking on the door for ten minutes, but nobody heard her.

Oh yeah, Justin's pure-white Maltese Falcon dog Minnie (Mini?) jumped me and licked half of my face. This is the first time I've been assaulted by a dog, and it didn't feel as wet as I thought it would be. I just hope, y'know, no rabies, 'cos if not I'll have to be like Phantom of the Opera (because she really licked HALF of my FACE.)

I dunno if I should mention this, but Neil took a shortcut to get out of Justin's condo complex. I'm not mentioning it here, lest he gets into trouble, but suffice to say that it was really quite... there's no other word to describe it but: Neil.

OM LATER TODAY! New batch of kids, and I think I've got a more proper lesson structure now, here's to hoping it works out over the next year or so.

In other news, my progress in !nk is moving up; I've done four graphics already, so yeah. Maybe I'll ask Henry if I can get a raise...

Sing your heart out,
The Edna Man

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Yes, please!

It's now 12.59am on an early Wednesday morning and I feel amazed and humbled at the same time.

There's this girl in my class. Her name is Charmaine. I've known her for about seven, eight months. In all that time, I figure she's the studious, hardworking type; very friendly, enthusiastic actress, best friends with Lorraine (another girl in my class). In the past hour, I've discovered a whole new dimension to her character. I've found out that she's awesomely creative, and that she likes making stuff (jewelry and graphic design, as far as I know for now). It's amazing, really; she has her own online shop (co-owned) and everything! Apparently she's been doing it for two, three years now. I can't believe that in the past half-year I never found out this amazing talent of hers (to be fair, she never mentioned it in class either).

I'm humbled because I thought I was good at this sort of thing, at knowing people, their motivations, characteristics, behaviour, talents, skills, likes, dislikes, etc. Or at least being able to make a good guess. Apparently I'm not skilled in this art, because I obviously deluded myself into thinking that I was good at it. I find out that I'm rather detached from most of my current classmates, because mainly a) I haven't been hanging out with them much (sorry!) and b) maybe I just haven't been around them enough to preempt their next move. Living with a GEP family for over seven years, you kind of figure out who everybody is and their most likely reaction to certain situations, their stereotypes and so on. I mean, that's how TNN was born! So now, little old me is trying to superhero-ize my class, because it's awesome fun, and also to see if I can do just that.

I guess this is part of the new philosophy (did I have an old one in the first place?) which I picked up after reading this article. It talks about the power of saying "Yes!" to get more out of life, and by voluntarily picking myself up and asking Charmaine about the blog address in her Personal Message, I found out more about one of my friends. I did it yesterday too (technically, two days ago, on Monday). I went out with practically all the girls in my class (and Justin, but he's not a girl) to have lunch, and then they dragged me to watch House Bunny. Normally I'd refuse to watch a chick-flick (groovy-movie? lacklustre blockbuster? film... film... cripes nothing rhymes with film), but I remembered the article and let myself be persuaded. Well, I did have a good time, and the show was really quite funny, and I have no regrets! I'm going to need to go to the library soon and check out a whole bunch of books on improvisational theatre, especially that one.

The Edna Man

Friday, October 03, 2008


In an ingenius stroke of brilliance, my mom brought back a couple large pieces of dry ice from the butcher's a couple hours ago. It's almost all gone, but when she came back she chucked then into a pot (with remnants of my instant noodles soaking in the sogginess) and left it for a while. When I came out to investigate the source of all the bubbling sounds, I found, to my delight, that my sink was full of the misty white stuff, which looks exactly how J.K. Rowling describes thoughts in the Penseive so prevalent in her Potter books. It was so awesome, I tried plunging in headfirst into my kitchen sink (I strongly advise anyone who would like to repeat this experiment to make sure there's nothing else in your sink first) to see if I would go strolling through other people's memories, but alas, no luck. Perhaps I'm just not magical enough.

Another interesting note: if you add a sparing drizzle of detergent into the water and mix it up (yeah!) you get enormous bubbles that don't burst until they're huge, enveloping your container in large mists of white fog. Also, it's awesome to see sublimation on this scale in a sunken (haha sink, sank, sunk, sunken) container without the mist simply rising up and diffusing away, like they do in those wine glasses at fancy weddings.

And now, for a brilliant idea, probably influenced by watching Improv Everywhere (the greatest geniuses this world has ever seen) all last night, but here goes: what we need now is a couple kilogrammes of dry ice, so much such that if you dump it all into a public swimming pool you get this awesome bubbling froth in the centre, with waves of ethereal mist wafting out over the water's surface. That would make anyone's family outing a whole new unreal experience. Wonder where to get all that dry ice though. Oh yeah, and then you'll be contributing to the global warming effect. That's if you don't get arrested for the unwitting murders of a couple dozen people by carbon dioxide axyphation. I wonder if that could happen.

The Edna Man


I had a vaguely interesting idea this morning while I was snoozing in my bed, trying not to get up. In a bid to practice my narrative ability, I'm going to do it this way:


John shivered with excitement as he looked out of the porthole. The sky was clear and cloudless. John was slightly disappointed; the propect of passing through a cloud was the second-most event he was looking forward to.

"We'll be going off soon, dear!" Rachel said, seating herself beside him. "The pilot just told me."

John nodded, holding her hand in his. "This is going to be awesome," he grinned. "Think anyone's done it before?"

"Well, it's rare, but I'm quite sure there are people crazier than us," Rachel replied with a laugh. "But I don't think it's as fun underwater," she added.

"Yeah, how will you hear anything?" John asked. "This way is much better."

Suddenly, one of the personnel came over. "Almost time," he said. "The priest's good to go, and we're almost there."

"Excellent," John said, zipping up his black suit. Beside him, Rachel did the same to her pure white one. She laughed as she said, "Well, at least we save a ton of money on the gown."

Chuckling, John and Rachel made their way over to the sliding door. The priest was waiting there, all suited up. "All ready to go then?" he asked them.

John and Rachel grabbed the heavy packs and strung them over their shoulders, tightening the straps and making sure everything was in place. Years of experience had taught them the importance of safety.

"Let's go," said John, his body numb with expectation. Smiling slightly, the priest grasped the handle and shoved the door open.

Instantly, a howling wind tore at them, rushing into the cabin and dragging their voices away. Rachel had squeezed John's hand more tightly as the wind rushed in, and John patted it with his other hand consolingly. He had a perfect view of the fields below, with a streak of blue winding through the flatlands, a river snaking through the plains.

"From one plane to another!" Rachel shouted, her voice dampened by the raging high-altitude winds. John smiled at her again; she always know how to make him laugh.

"We'll be simplifying a lot of things today," the priest yelled, "since there's not much time to do it traditionally." John and Rachel nodded in assent, keeping a firm grip on the railing above their heads.

"On the count of three, then!" bellowed the priest. Rachel's grip tightened. "One... two... THREE!"

The couple leapt off the aircraft, enjoying a fraction of a second's worth of the sensation of flying, before gravity grabbed at them and dragged them earthwards. Adrenaline pumped in John's veins as the wind rushed through his hair; he looked to his right and saw Rachel's hair sticking straight upwards behind her head. She was exhilerated: her mouth was open in screaming laughter which was carried away by the wind.

In seconds, the priest was beside them, a couple of feet away. "All ready?" he shouted again.

"Yes!" they replied.

"Alright!" Sticking out his hand as far as air resistance would allow, he shouted, "John, do you?"

"I do!"

"Rachel, do you?"

"YES, I DO!"

Smiling, the priest roared, "Then I pronounce you man and wife! You may now kiss the bride."

Pulling themselves closer to each other, Rachel and John managed to hold each other close enough, so that they were kind of hugging sideways, fifteen thousand feet in the air. Then his lips met hers, and John forgot where they were; the entwined newlyweds spiraled to the ground, lips locked for what seemed like eternity, still kissing as they popped their chutes and drifted slowly back to reality.


- How has the writer used concealment of information and suspense/mystery to achieve his effect?

- Comment on the writer's use of dialogue in the passage.

(25 marks)
The Edna Man

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part V Math

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part V: Mathematics

1. Hey baby. What's your sine?
2. Let's make like a composite function and plug in that x-factor.
3. Of all the combinations of people in this world, we're the perfect permutation. And that's a factorial.
4. Maybe we should integrate ourselves.
5. I'll take you to your limits and see if we converge.
6. Is that a parabola in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
7. You're so s times Euler's constant to the power of variables x and y.
8. Vector? I hardly know 'er!
9. You must have fallen from seven, because you're an angle.

The best one ever!
10. I must be f(x) = 1/2 u^2 because when I try to derive some meaning in myself all I get is u. (Credit: Jun Yi)


Math paper today was a killer. Well, as least it was more of a massacre than a homocide, so it's not so bad.

Quote from a conversation with The Jarrel Seah:
Me: "Did you finish your paper?"
The Seah: "Yeah I finished my paper."
Me: "Okay, wait. I need to judge how tough this paper was. How much time did you have left?"
The Seah: "Uhh, about fifteen to twenty minutes."
Me: "Oh cripes, this was a damn tough paper."
The Seah: "Oh, but that was only after I finished all my alternate solutions and triple-checkings and writing the apology on the front page about not reading the instructions."
Me: "...damn."

The Edna Man

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part IV Physics

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part IV: Physics

1. Ever since you came here, you've inverted the population, causing me to have a spontaneous emission. (Credit: Ernest)
2. You won't need a compound microscope to see my simple telescope.
3. If I were a light ray, I'd diffuse through your thin slit anyday.
4. Let's go back to my place and make some simple harmonic motion.
5. Are your legs tired? 'Cos you've been accelerating around my head at 9.8 m/s all day.
6. I wish you were the image distance, so I could be the object distance and v all over u.
7. I must be looking through a convex lens, 'cos the image I see is real, magnified and upright!
8. I'll increase my frequency if you can increase my amplitude.
9. You'd light up my life, if you were a monochromatic coherent light source on a disc with angular momentum of 3.14 rad/s shining on a diffraction grating which is then incident on a thin slit in front of a cathode ray oscilloscope measuring your intensity.
10. You're so hot, I don't think I can take you with my low specific heat capacity.


"Dreams are a testament to human creativity. If your subconscious minds can make up a story so vivid and captivating that it can give us a good show while we're asleep, there's no limit to what we can create. All that remains now is to bring that creativity forward from the subconscious." --Quoth the Raven (nevermore)

I had an awesome dream this morning. I had to get a number of tattoos (for medical reasons). They were all done by one of my uncles, and they all looked more like company logos than tattoos: square, and multicoloured. I remember that there also about five or six of them, about 10cm a side, which all would not have fit on my arm normally, but I seem to recall flipping through a book-like thing to see all of them. Problem is, after the tattoos were done I suddenly remembered that tattoos weren't allowed in school (fancy that). So I asked my uncle if these were permanent and he said, "Yes, those are permanent, 'cos I didn't put the Dettol." Well, so now I've got some reality-defying tattoos on my left arm and I've got to go to school. Or maybe I was already in school, 'cos I remember walking past the Auditorium on the 4th floor (with Ernest, who had appeared from I have no idea where) and a teacher (I can't remember his name, but I know who it is) called me over and said that I wasn't allowed to have tattoos in school. Well, I told him it was for medical reasons, and he said, okay, but next time he would have to see a letter from an independent doctor. So anyway I keep walking and I meet Lorraine and Juztin (Ernest has mysteriously disappeared at this point), presumably coming from BB 'cos they're wearing BB polo tops, and Lorraine says, "There you are! I've been looking all over for you!" Then she explains something about being late for her English class, and asks me if I would like to see the reason behind why she was late. I agree, and she leads me to this entrance of an underground carpark, and it's raining now for some reason, and she points at it and says, "There! That's why!" So I'm utterly bewildered and when I turn around I'm at the roundabout at my school and Hui Jun is there and he asks if I'm taking a bus home. I say yes, and soon enough a bus come round to the roundabout (haha) and we both hget on. Then after a short while I think I missed the stop we wer supposed to be getting out at, and I said, "Whoops! I forgot to press the button!" The bus wouldn't stop for two more stops because Hui Jun and I were supposed to be going somewhere we've never been before. We got off at some weird bus park to chheck if we were at the right place and then the bus leaves without us! So with all our bags and stuff on the bas, we try chasing after it, but we got confused because all the buses looked the same and we couldn't tell which one was ours. Then I remember seeing some tall African guy, really tall like twice normal height, dressed in pure white clerical robes and stuff, and I remember folding my arms to hide my tattoos (Remember? I had tattoos!) in case I attracted the attention of some rival biker gang. Then I woke up.

My dream beats yours, Jonny.
The Edna Man