Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am becoming a regular feature at my local Silver Cross medical outpost. I've always avoided doctors 'cos once you start seeing them, once is never enough. It's true.

This time, I need medication for conjunctivitis, a.k.a pink eye (US) or sore eyes. Bloodshot, crud encrusted eyes, itchy and generally uncomfortable. It's usually spread by contact, so how I contracted it is a mystery. After all, I've not had contact with anyone for the last couple of weeks or so. Well, except for June, but she's healthy as far as I know.

But I have been subjecting my eyes to a bit of strain lately. My efforts to help Haunted Woods in their Altador Cup campaign this year has turned into an obsession. I've spent too much time scoring points for last year's champs, though at this stage of competition it's starting to look like a lost cause. Doubt we'll even reach the semi-final rounds now. So much for our hopes for a double. BTW, SingTel is finally offering the NeoPets Lutari Island download for most 3G mobile phone models now... except mine (boo hoo).

I've spent the rest of the time squinting at the tiny screen of my GBA, hacking and slashing my way through the most excellent Final Fantasy VI Advance. It boasts quite a pantheon of playable characters, most with unique abilities, so careful character selection is an advantage when performing particular tasks. Many characters upgrade their abilities in unique ways too, and there is a multitude of optional but fun side-quests to get involved in as well.

But playing FF6 on an LCD screen little bigger than the one on a mobile phone is hell on the eyes. Particularly when there are lots of indistinguishable details that the brain works overtime to decipher. Oh well, at least the ol' brain's been getting a little exercise.

Maybe that's it. Reverting to geek-boy, staying out of the sun (it's summer, for heaven's sake!), turning pale and growing mushrooms on my back and shoulders isn't the most healthy way to spend the June hols. No wonder I'm sick.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tonight's dinner was a date June and I have been consciously ignoring since the beginning of the year hoping it would go away, but it finally arrived anyway. In honour of Fathers' Day, a distant cousin of mine invited my whole extended paternal clan down for dinner at the Ritz-Carlton. It was to be a gathering of everyone whose common ancestor went back up to 6 generations -- my great-grandfather. People I've never seen before in my life were going to be introduced to me as some relative or other, by blood or marriage. Well, you know how much I look forward to first contact situations.

I expected a much bigger turnout, but several families were unrepresented, so there weren't that many people there that I didn't already know. Well, there was mom's old colleague who turned out to be my aunt, a cousin from Edinburgh, and by some quirk along the generational line (and not because I'm that old) there was this little girl who was my grand-niece.

The evening turned out less painful than we anticipated. There was a little handshaking and a couple of exchanged pleasantries, but nothing uncomfortable or awkward. The programme promised table games, but thankfully the organizer conveniently ignored that item. As it was, there was so much on offer at the buffet tables, and it was a bit sad that there weren't more of us to help finish off the amount we left over.

After dinner, we had a bit of a sing-along worship session, followed by some preaching of good family values, particularly that of the Man's role as husband and father in the family. It was Father's Day, after all. It was a biblically patriarchal message, but it was my dad that set the example for us in a practical way -- he paid for dinner on behalf of the side of the family he represented. Thanks, dad! and Happy Dad's Day!
At the end of Week 3 of the June hols, with everyone I know out of town, I've let myself go wild and am now looking at my most unglam. Unkempt even. And there I was with June having supper at the Teochew porridge place at the corner of Upp Serangoon and Jln Rengkam. I'm all sweaty from the spiciness of the otah, and I'm all slobbery with sauces and gravies from the other side dishes. Then, wouldn't you know it, along walks by Faith and her parentals partaking of their evening constitutional. It's a wonder she recognized me at all. We have a brief flurry of hand waving and then, I suppose, as they continue walking she is probably explaining that the old scruffbag she greeted actually has a respectable profession, yadda, yadda.

Haha! Hi Faith! *waves