terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by Terz.

How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

Against the wind
We were runnin' against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin'
Against the wind

The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching
Searching for shelter again and again

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter sgainst the wind

I'm no longer a fuckin' teacher, so why is he still a patron saint?


"You're not going to be able to quit smoking like that."

You think? Really? Why the fuck do you think I'm smoking in the first place?

Friday, May 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by Terz.

There's nothing like a cigarette after two days of 9+ hours shooting days and a boiling hot shower, enough to make the glass of the bathroom stalls mist, to make one feel almost human again.

And in answer to Beeker's comment from my previous post: yeah dude, nothing abso-fuckin'-lutely else comes close.


Originally uploaded by Terz.

Been throwing myself into the work, exhausting myself physically and mentally by the end of every day. I don't sleep well, I don't eat.

I just work.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Another Parable

Originally uploaded by Terz.

"These aren't the droids I'm looking for."

was the question again?"

There's a piece of plastic that's part of the shower assembly (purely cosmetic, of course - all it does is to hide the screws keeping the shower head bar up) that's been falling off every once in a while, and over the last six years, has been falling off at a more frequent rate.

I've taken to ignoring it once it falls off, because, now, it's also falling off immediately, or soon after, I put it back. Pointless really:

I can't hammer it back because it's plastic - hammering it back just makes the housing looser.

I can't glue it back because while that'll make it last longer, it makes changing the shower head, when it comes time to that, impossible.

So I leave it on the shower stall floor.

I'm content.

Not happy, but content.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Gone Fishin'

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Taking a break from blogging for a bit while I curb my restlessness.

I'll be back.

I think.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Kena Tagged Sial

OK, cour marly kinda did it to me and I figure I should pass it on to someone else before the missus tags the people on my links list and leave me with a hanging baton.

Total volume of music files on my computer:

2.11 GB, 558 songs, 1 day, 15 hours, 5 minutes and 42 seconds of listening pleasure

The last CDs I bought were:

Bryan Adams Unplugged
{Rotten Apples} The Smashing Pumpkins Greatest Hits
Counting Crows Films About Ghosts The Best Of

Song playing right now:

Peter Gunn Theme - The Blues Brothers, The Blues Brothers Soundtrack

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me (uh, more of what's on top of my play count right now):

You Can't Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones, Forty Licks
情非得以 - F4 (!!) and Harlem Yu, Meteor Garden Soundtrack
天黑黑 - 孫燕姿, Yan Zi
Someday I'll be Saturday Night - Bon Jovi, Cross Road
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams, Reckless

The baton is now passed to:

Monster Ru
Empty Vessels
thirty pounces

(OK, that was in no particular order - must leave some for the missus lah... otherwise I'll be on the couch again. Also, selected so that you guys can pass on to a spouse or significant other - don't say I not nice OK!)


And I'm back to my regularly-scheduled funk.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Another Rainy Night

The apple falls not far from the tree.

Not the weather outside, but the song I have playing at the moment.

Another night and the flat is still empty. I don't know, back in my day, evening runs don't last longer than two hours, unless it's a marathon, and student productions don't go past midnight. On a school night.

Just back from dinner and drinks with Wes (then later with Darren and friend) and more things have been cleared up. I fear I've been a tad too laissez-faire in the past two years of doing this. Should really get off my ass and set out a plan or something.

Nursed a headache and slight fever most of today... I blame the teh tarik that kept me up till 6 in the morning. Still wide awake now, despite the three pints of Guinness I downed at Sods.

The preparations for the show this Friday are winding down, and my role appears to be nearly over - just some odd changes here and there for the slideshow, and the set-up itself, and I'll be done.

So tired.

Of everything.

Of trying too hard and getting fuck-all in return.

I'm not excited about the show. Not one bit. If not for the networking it affords, I would so give the whole thing a miss. And I can't even leave the country for the long weekend; the folks are sailing again, and I have to bring in the newspapers and feed the fish.

Someone told me today I sound like I'm getting my mid-life crisis (actually she said "something past the quarter life, but not quite mid-life crisis"). Am feeling restless again, the same thing just prior to the Meulaboh trip.

I'll probably sleep at 6 am again. Why bother tossing and turning in bed when I know I won't doze off?

How did it come to this?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


It takes a man thirty minutes to walk out to get a half-decent cup of teh tarik, but only $4.50 to go back to where he started from.

I stepped out of the flat (too quiet, and there're only so many DVDs I can go through and Murakami I can read) late tonight to take stock of what's happened in my life since I quit teaching. I know this for sure: I don't regret having done it. The mater may have freaked at the pay I was giving up 'to do my own thing,' but I haven't. Not even when pickings were lean the first year. And they still are.

The trips to Meulaboh and Nias only strengthened my resolve on the matter. Not richer in material things, but certainly richer in spirit.

I've had a lot more 'me' time in the past two years, for sure, though I haven't always taken advantage of that. So tonight, I thought I'd do something different. Was alone again, and there wasn't anything good on television, not that there have been a lot of good programming these days. Plus, I don't have an exercise regime to keep me occupied for most of the week; not that that would be helpful, especially with a bum knee(s? The one without the history of injury seems to have finally decided it wasn't going to keep taking up the slack of the other) and the excessive smoking.

I got a new pack of Reds from the Cheers near the MRT station and lit one just under the tracks. I wasn't sure what I was going to be mulling over and it took the whole cigarette and the walk to my parents' to start my thought processes going. It's been a while since I'd done anything like this; the last time would have been on 16 December 1996, just before I decided I was going to quit advertising. I went for a run that night, from the parents' place to Katong, via Geylang Serai and Haig Road, then down East Coast Road before taking the canal route and back.

It's been a while, yes. Now, I'd be happy if I ran to the Cheers without stopping more than once.

1996 was also when I stopped having close friends I could go to at the drop of a dime. The people I'd known before I left for Canada were becoming alien to me - a natural drifting apart because I'd stopped attending church (and become 'the fallen one', in the words of one of them). The people I knew from Canada were getting themselves established in their chosen professions. And my friends from NS days and before, I'd long lost touch with. Even then, there wasn't a lot I would reveal to them; I had their numbers keyed into my cellphone for a while, but they've all since been deleted.

Not that I'd needed people to go to to hear me whine. In Canada, all I needed to do was to take the bike or the car (if I needed to go further) out and hit the road for days on end. Not so possible in Singapore. There's nowhere I can go to put my troubles behind me for a while. No hockey games to beat someone up with impunity with, or to feel someone's fists on the back of my head for that matter.

So, year by year, the support base eroded for me. My best friend's busy raising his daughter. My best female friend's getting married later this year, but I've lost her number when my mobile went missing; we haven't seen each other since 2002, so it doesn't really matter.

I go out with my ex-colleagues and I hear the incessant whining about teaching and kids; the people I hang out with nowadays, I don't know enough for me to feel comfortable baring my soul; and the folks at home, whom I don't go to anyway, on pain of death, are too busy with seeing Southeast Asia, one port of call at a time.

And suddenly, Singapore, 'home', seems a lonely place to be. Funny how I'd always thought I've long grown past the age of angst.

My walk took me to Still Road. The teh tarik wasn't as gratifying as it ought to be. The weather, even at that time, was its usual oppressive self.

Strangely, only the knees did not protest the sudden activity.

If I was hoping for an epiphany tonight, it didn't happen. I wanted to go on walking, but the ciggies and tea made me a little light-headed, and I aborted the attempt to recreate my route from 1996. I flag a cab mere metres from the coffee shop and wearily tell the cabbie to take me back. The blast from the airconditioning'd perked me up a bit, but it wasn't enough.

Where is this post going? I have abso-fuckin'-lutely no idea.

And now, I feel a bug coming.

On the other hand, I now have a few ideas for new projects. But we'll see how far those pan out.

Monday, May 16, 2005


Sometimes we keep secrets because of guilt or shame.

Sometimes we do it to protect others.

Sometimes we just don't know what to do with them.

And sometimes, we keep secrets, which aren't secrets, because we just don't trust the other person anymore.


Just told a client that the rates they're more willing to swallow aren't worth my time to go down for the shoot.

Thought it'll be more years before I get to do that.

Clarification, added on 17 May 2005, 00:52 hours:

(Just so I don't sound like a complete twat.)

The job was to cover an event - an attractive one for a geekfan like me, actually, seeing that it has to do with the 'event' opening this Thursday. Client was only willing to cough up 45% of what I would normally charge per hour. And for two hours only.
And that's excluding the time I'll spend printing out what I've shot in the first two hours, so the VVIPs and VIPs and, most likely, poseur-'fans' can get their pictures as they leave... No word on covering transport expenses or other goodies.

(And, seeing that I've also recently done something like this, I
know how much work goes into it, definitely not worth my time.)


This is tempting much.

The missus set me a choice: a much-needed holiday in June, or a geek toy.

Still undecided.


More bad cabbing experiences:

1. The last three I had had cabbies who had trouble telling the difference between right and left: "You want me to go left [points right] or right [points left]?"

2. Worst cab ride ever. Today. Came out feeling like I just went through the adult version of Mr Toad's Wild Ride. Queasy much.


The irony of it: Philip Morris of Singapore contributes to the endowment fund of a local hospital.


And finally:

Dude, just because you wear a long-sleeved shirt that's dark olive drab, doesn't mean you have to fold the sleeves like it's a no. 4 uniform.


Worth the SALT
Originally uploaded by Terz.

So, I told TPTB at the NVPC that someone should let me know if they're using any of my photos from the Meulaboh trip.

Apparently, they've already come out in this issue of SALT (March-April-May), but there was nary a message or SMS telling me to look out for it.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

"Canadians live in the world...

Originally uploaded by Terz.

... Americans just live in [finger quotes] America." (quote from Boston Public - on one of my few viewings of the series.)

Some helpful USPS guy who thought he'd speed things along, I guess.

To think about...


Randomness After the High

About Town #1
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Was in a cab yesterday, on the way to a shoot, when I first noticed the interview going on over the radio. Chinese language radio station. Two people talking, the male voice a little camp. Interviewing a model. Monosyllabic answers from her. DJs doing most of the talking when they what they actually wanted was to "跟她聊天".

I don't think so.


Then while at the shoot, I find out that one of the images from a shoot I'd done earlier is going to be blown up to 22 metres by 10 metres... at 3 dpi.



While still at the shoot, I go down to the car park to grab something and while waiting at the B3 lift lobby to go back up, strange woman comes up through the stairway (there's only one more sub-basement after B3), stalks up to the lift buttons, stabs repeatedly at it for as long as the lift took to come down. Then when the lift does come after 4 minutes, she presses the button for B2.

Again. Boggle.

About Town #2
Originally uploaded by Terz.


It can't be easy being one of those guys trying to raise the awareness of the public to cyclists in this country when he/ she is constantly undermined by chuckleheads like the three I saw go by me outside Siglap South CC after sunset on bikes without lights, reflectors and in dark clothing.

About Town #3
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

TAR Update Ver 7.6

Damn. What a long 'previously...'


"In my mind, we cannot lose..."

"There's no reason why we shouldn't win again. They might as well write our names on the cheque already."

And immediately, a 9-hour bunch. Karma!

(Let's hope it keeps up.)


Updated 20:23

"I'm telling everyone, we're winning this race..."

And he gets a cut finger. Karma!


Updated 20:28

Pit Stop? Now? Here?

What gives?

Oh wait... police stop. Karma!

There is hope after all, for me following the next season of TAR.


Updated 20:35



Updated 21:01

Yeah, the golf lessons really paid off.

Oh yeah... beg, Rob, beg.


Updated 21:12

OHMYGOD! Best leg ever... they're keeping it really tight this time.

And yes. Cock-up by the winning team... Uh, you know... sign's right there.


Updated 21:25

Aw man! I will never doubt Karma again. SWEEEEET!


Updated 21:32


"I knew everything was going way too smooth..." Oh yeah. You think?

"We gotta make sure that this man is covered..." Uchenna. You the man!

In your face, Mariano!


Updated 03:37

OK... now that I've come down from the euphoria of the ending of TAR 7, I've a question to ask: what's with the Spinal Tap-esque facial hair on the Brothers Amazarov?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

So, whaddaya know...

Q: What if I decided to terminate the GIRO arrangement ?
A: You may write in to Comptroller of Income Tax or call IRAS Taxpayer Service Helpline at 1800-356-8300 to terminate your GIRO arrangement. You may also email to us at iitpayment@iras.gov.sg

Go figure.


Updated 13:14 hours:

And after 2 months, "It is finished."

Finally managed to get through to someone other than a computer-generated voice and cancelled my GIRO payment... Won't get my May deduction until August though... But I'm not complaining. At least I'm getting my money.

A Fine Line...

Poetic License the First
Originally uploaded by Terz.

... between doing shoots that churn out these kinds of images, and the jobs that pay...

Poetic License the Second
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Random Thoughts

If you're a pedigree dog of some sort, and your master can only afford some bits of raffia as a leash, and then insists on walking you some place very public and very embarrassing, I say, run! Run far, far away!


So, I was checking my bank account on the internet today and noticed that IRAS has already deducted the income tax monthly payments for 2004 (based on their estimates, of course, of what I would've earned) through GIRO for May. What I want to know is, if someone can sue the pants off them for that (or at least give me my fucking lost interest for the money that's gone from my account - the money, incidentally, which "better be in my account for them to deduct, otherwise, I will get into trouble") since I've been trying since February to call them to cancel the GIRO arrangement; I mean, we, the common people, get into trouble because we miss payments or we forget to pay something and whoever's owed the money comes down onto us like a ton of bricks and they get away with it. But we can't do the same thing to them?

I mean, what. The. Fuck?

And if anyone's keeping track, still no word from IRAS about the buggy server they have which has prevented me from filing my returns. So much for, "we have received your email. For emails on matters relating to e-Services Authorisation System (EASY) or myTax Portal, we will respond to you within 3 working days."

And it was just two years ago that someone mentioned that IRAS was the best-working body in the government? What a crock of shit.


Speaking of buggy servers, I haven't been getting any mail on my PacNet account for a while. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if keeping the stupid dial-up (28.8 bps) account just to keep my user id on is worth all the trouble...

Someone from PacNet reading this? Don't fuck with me.