It was started with Cynthia and I discussing where to go for dinner while we were driving away from the airport. In the end, I have suggested to eat Indian Prata at Jalan Kayu. That was one of the worst decisions I have made. I should have recalled my friend telling me that the government occasionally closes down the shops over there after the report of food poisoning incidents. Not only the meal was pricey (closed to $18 for two of us), I had to spend an hour in the bathroom the next morning. I was so tired that I just withered onto my bed. And due to my problem with my stomach, we have spent most of the weekend at home. To make it up to Cynthia, I took her out for a new dinning place: Kintaro Sushi. She loved the place. Let’s see if my stomach can take it.
Three distinct incidents happened today and I have chosen the most significant one to be the title of today’s diary. One is on feeling, the other two are something that is within my control and something not.
Throughout the day, I have been disappointed by the lack of reaction from the folks in the office about the signoff of our functional specification. It is as though nothing has happened! Ridiculous. How can it be? Over time, there is nothing but bad news in Aretae – project teams cannot meet deadline and hence do not get to secure the payments. This time, the NUS project team has made it and managed to secure the payment even before the deadline. Sometimes, I am puzzled in how the company is run.
Throughout the day, I have learnt and experimented on how to program JSP and Servlet and I have created one semi-working function. My first time with Java and it is like facing yet another challenge with yet another programming language.
These two events are that feeling of mine and that something that is within my control. As for the third event, it is something to do with the weather and the traffic. Traffic jam in CTE has been consistently terrible. One of the worse jam I have experienced was during one of the World Cup semi-finals. One of the most bizarre jam I have experienced has got to be today’s jam. All the way from the second tunnel, the cars were crawling. At first I thought it was the bad weather, then after seeing one of the van broke down in the middle of the highway, I thought to myself, “That must be it!” Then, I noticed that the traffic police have cut off the highway from AMK Avenue 1 onwards. That was bizarre. Maybe they are installing another speed camera after Avenue 5.
Today is a high. It is like a happy ending to part one. After weeks of struggle with the functional specification, we have finally obtained a signoff. It is like a gift from heaven. Even I find it hard to believe. Not only have we obtained a signoff for the functional specification, we have got six signoffs for the storyboard. Not one, two, but six!
Today I have finally made an online purchase with Amazon.com after locating the Oxford’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary CD-ROM. Not just have I bought the dictionary, I have bought three books from Ann Rice. These are the books that I cannot find in Singapore and these are the books that probably cannot get through the tough censorship.
To round up the day, Tong Kiat, Sing Chyun, and I watched a hilarious movie at Orchard.
Movie: Ali G Indahouse
Today is definitely a day of daydreaming. The thought and the possibility of leaving this company to join another one are intoxicating. In my mind, I have already planned out the entire serious of events: the lunch interview, the negotiation (if any), the drafting of the letter of resignation, the breaking of news to Choong Yong (difficult and personal), the breaking of news to Peng Yong (easy and business), the last four weeks with my beloved project team, and the breaking of news to this team of mine (tears and hugs). I find it impossible to focus without thinking too far ahead.
This morning, I have come to the realization what I love to do best – to work in an environment full of crisis. What I then do is to go in, put the house in order, and then go off. Now that the project is stabilizing and most of the unknowns have been taken off the equation, the project is turning a little bit plain to me. Probably because I feel much needed when things go wrong. When the weather is good, I feel redundant. Therefore, time for me to go into coding, time for me to sharpen up my technical skills.
When I woke up this morning, I had a feeling that Francis would call off our lunch appointment and true enough, he did. Next, I SMS Choong Yong for lunch and he was on leave spending a day with his mother because today is her birthday. Getting desperate, I walked over to Arnaud’s workplace and he reluctantly rejected me because of prior arrangement with his friends. My subconscious mind told me to stop there and then so I did not ask Spenser, the guy who sits next to me and he always frowns. Fortunately I did not humiliate myself with the forth rejection because after I got back from my brief sandwich break, Spenser was still at his workplace planning to grab for a short lunch before heading off to somewhere.
In fact, I should have called Robert out for lunch. That would have solved my problem. I remembered him because he called me up after lunch while I was on my way to collect my car. Bad news. He has crashed his Lexus with guess what? Another Lexus. Poor guy. It is a brand new car. Accidents happen, for no reason. That is why it is called accident.
CD: Meja – My Best
CD: Jennifer Paige – Positively Somewhere
I have no idea why of all days I choose today to resume writing diary. Back in 97/98 when I was alone in Paris, I faithfully wrote down all my encounters and feelings everyday. To be honest, I hardly have the courage and patience to read through all that I have written in the past. I need courage because most of these writings contain ghosts of the past. Is it necessary to literally read the past in order to deduce that I have indeed grown up? Today I have timed my reading speed. Let’s say each day I faithfully churn out one page of diary that is equivalent to the length of a page of any good novel, reading a year worth of diary requires me to sit still for eighteen hours and fifteen minutes. That is to provide that the material is a good read.
So why do I start writing diary again? Maybe it is because nowadays I have more time on my own. Especially when my wife is now working in the neighboring country. Or maybe I sense that I am now at this juncture, a juncture that will be full of memorable events. Rather than letting them evaporated like my Mauritius episode, this time, I wish to encode all these so-to-be historical events into digital bits – ones and zeroes. And hopefully, by the time I retrieve my digital journal and read in the distant future, Microsoft Word still exists.
Big question: What have I done today? Started reading the “Prozac Nation”, sped on the highway just to arrive at the airport 8 minutes before the counter closed (all because of my brilliant idea of stopping by Orchard and have dinner at Nooch), returned home and dug through all my CD backups to feed on the fragmented memories.
Looking at my emotional line, no doubt I am quite down today. And the classical music does not help.
Last night I played Pharaoh till 3am. What an additive game!
This morning woke up … truncated diary …
I may be rolling onto OUB! What a nice surprise after so many days of dark cloud over me. William called me this morning during his health check up. Marcus had a very short conversation with me and I told him that he is always so busy and does not have the time to talk with me. He took it quite seriously with a hint of disappointment. Anyway, my relationship to him is properly like Victor Leung or Kenneth Keh’s relationship with me.
Now I begin to understand, I begin to learn.
Night time met up with mother-in-law and Eric and had a nice restaurant in Crystal Jade Kitchen. Quite expensive in contrast to what Choong Yong said.
Tonight we had a wonderful dinner in Cynthia’s aunt’s place. A lot of tasty food and got a chance to meet up with her relatives. It has been quite a while since I have experienced any family event like this.
Today was a very terrible day. They can’t sell the middleware arrangement letter. Meng Kiong is going into the architecture team as one of the core team member and I will be rolled off. Marcus told me that it should be a good news to me as the role is just not there for me.
Sometimes I can be so tough staying on for such a while. Such a long while …
Not sure if I am happy to go. I guess one side of me is happy while the other side of me feels sad with a sense of failure.