Friday, September 28

Nobody cares

No one cares what I had for breakfast, I know!! That is why i won't tell you that I had this amazing mango* which i ate like a pig, peeling it with my fingers and not using a knife! There! now that i got that out of my system, let's proceed.

First of all, I must tell about my near-death experience a couple of days ago. I still sob inside when it comes to mind. So. I go up and create a project in Eclipse [just ignore until the capitals if you're not a geek] which i created out of the default workspace and into my research folder. A folder that contains all the documents that i ever ever created during these 2 years as a grad student. And I mean all of them, I wouldn't go so far as saying my life, but it's pretty close. And then i go ahead and delete the bloody project. And i change the default setting to "remove content from folder". And guess what? Swoosh!! IT'S ALL GONE! GONE! I was after the all night no sleeper, so I just started crying. It was the only thing I could think of!!! I recovered most of the data, thanks to the fact that I was writing on FAT32 (IC inspector was the best recovery software), but it required me to [grasp!!] boot into Windows, which I vowed myself never to do.

I resumed my stair climbing last night... Good thing I started two months before Aconcagua, because I really suck (again). I was expecting my breath to give up, but instead it was my feet that gave up first (different kind of leg muscles from running). I still owe myself 10 km before the weekend starts, which leaves us with today, I know. And on sunday my table says I have to run ... 13 k! Cool!!

*The anonymous writer of that comment probably knows that beside the healthy mango I also had two caramel candies [shhh!].

I leave you with a quote, for all you working people out there:

"For, let us make this quite clear, the "senhor" is not worth quite what it might at first seem to promise [...], for, in the varying ways this one short word is spoken, and according to rank or the mood of the moment, one can observe a whole range of modulations: condescension, irritation, irony, disdain, humility, flattery, a clear demonstration of the extent of the expressive potentiality of two brief vocal emissions which, at first glance, in that particular combination, appeared to be saying one thing. [...] The caressing, melodious tones of humility and flattery never sang in the ears of the clerk Senor Jose, these have never had a place in the chromatic scale of feelings normally shown to him."
Jose Saramago, All the Names

Wednesday, September 26


Today I recovered from previous night's total lack of sleep by putting in sleep until 11 or so. It was still difficult to fall asleep last night, even though I did not have any coffee in the afternoon, I read, I also ran and climbed yesterday. To fall asleep I ended up on the floor. Yup. Whenever I can't sleep I change my position first (put my head where my feet were) and, if that doesn't help (very rarely) I hit the floor and sleep there. I find the hard surface very comforting and refreshingly cool. I hope tomorrow I won't wake up as late though, I have a lot lot to work.

I am supposed to run 10 km tonite but I am putting it off until tomorrow night, I'll just climb a bit now and then head home. Today I received an email from The Body Shop with the subject " Charity Makeover Marathon - First In Singapore". I'm so into the marathon that I actually thought it was about a real marathon and was thinking: "huh, we have to run while wearing make-up? or we run for make-up?" hmm ...

Tuesday, September 25

It's done

I am the proud owner of a plane ticket to Buenos Aires - i leave on 11 December and arrive on 12 december, and i come back on 30 Jan and arrive on 1 Feb (yes, i fly TWO WHOLE OH MY GOD!! days coming back)!!

I am also 2900 SGD (or 1450 Euro) poorer!!! Omg, I could not sleep at all last night, kept thinking about how I will be broke for at least one year from now, thinking about how I still haven't told my supervisor about the one month and a half (i only told him about the permitted one month), about what I am going to do if the expedition turns out to be a complete failure. Yup. That's what I did last night. Toss and turn, toss and turn.

Tuesday, September 18

The dragon in its den

One of the things that I should've done right after i came back from holiday was to bring my mountaineering equipment to school. I absolutely have no place where to store a 85 liter backpack in my room. Plus I am counting on the airconed environment in my office to keep everything nice and dandy, gecko and dew free. So yesterday, I finally managed to get Marian to carry the backpack here. Then of course I had to clean the entire desk plus cabinets and store the backpack inside.

The backpack is BIG (but it looked damn good on Marian, hope it does so on me too)!! So on the upper shelf i have my sleeping bag and on the lower shelf i have the backpack. Must think of a name for it (how do you say backpack in spanish?!). The door to the cabinet does not close anymore, so i put up a sign saying "SNOOPING KILLS" (to whom it may concern). In the other cabinet i have my boots and my ski poles. I upload a picture just to confirm that my office can sometimes be clean and orderly!!! But if you zoom in you will see: at least one empty can of beer behind the monitor, three dirty tea cups, a lot of post-its, a 53 note which symbolizes the 53 kg i wanted to drop to (alas, i dropped to 51 and then bounced back to ... 59!!!! shit!!) and lots and lots of papers ...

My angel FINALLY wrote to me tuesday night. Unfortunately, it was just three lines. Yup. Three lines. Something along the line of "not so much writing for the first time" ... I ask you ... where is the love? Where is it?!?! Also on tuesday Adrian's upper teeth had a close encounter with Yixiang's head. Yixiang's head won. I suppose Adrian must visit the DENTIST!!! and this scares me to death. Brrr

As if i didn't know, landings in bouldering suck: see my still not healed golfer's elbow (it's been 5 months!!!), liying's open fracture and now, Adrian's teeth...

Speaking of golfer's elbow: after your average 8 to 10 weeks of rest have passed (the doctor said 6 to 8 but for me should've been 8 to 10), i think you must gradually put pressure on your elbow (i.e do weights) instead of climbing straight away (like i did). Fair to say, i've been warned. I am doing weights and climbing and doing cold water treatment on my elbow (I look extremely funny with my elbow stuck in the water bowl :)) ).

Monday, September 17


Nothing like a good old "to do" list to help you feel better about yourself... That's why, besides the research related tasks that i've put on my list and that are still not crossed out, I've added important items such as: transfer pictures from phone, call grandma, message M., write my mortal, blog! needless to say, these are all done! This way, I will look at it at the end of the day and feel very very good about myself... I did so many things, no wonder i'm so tired!

Now, in order for the climbing seniors and juniors to bond, there's this "angel-mortal" game in which the angel writes to the mortal and the mortal writes back. The mortal must not find out the identity of the angel, or else the angel will go to hell. Now, what can i tell my mortal? I'm studying computer science, in like, my 8th year of college?! Wham!!! HELL for me! I was born in Europe!? Wham!!! Hell!! I am caucasian?! Wham!! I grew up in the countryside, used to take the cows out grazing ... Wham!!! I can help you with your programming assignments, if any?!?! Wham!!! I'm the most senior person there, except the coach? Wham!! Wham!! Wham!!

This is also the week in which i start studying spanish. "Me illama claudia et tengo vientecinco anos." I have this feeling that by the end of it all i'll still only know how to say "por comer, patatas frittas con carne et una cerveza por favor" (chips with meat and a bear please). It will get me a long way, but not too far, though.


Friday, September 14

Swan Lake On Ice

Just came back from "Swan Lake On Ice". We were there because we bought the tickets for our friends' wedding anniversary, but it turned out the performance was on the day of mihai's birthday (happie birthday again!!) The performance was outstanding, if you like ballet and you like ice skating (especially the dancing part), go see it! It's really worth your money! Don't go to see it if you're too bored to clap at the end, you don't own or care to wear a fancy dress (i.e if you have to come by wearing jeans , punk clothes, pink caps or anything similar, don't come at all), or you prefer to munch on chips during the performance. You would save me a lot of angst.

Other than this, it was really cool, I enjoyed it a lot. They had some pretty innovative stuff, like for example Odette literally flies, there are some black swans on stilts (how can anybody skate on stilts?!), at one point all lights are off and you get to see the dancers glow like in a disco (a bit of an anti-climax for me, at any point i was expecting to hear the tune "everybody was kung-fu dancing ... "), and Coun t von Something is surrounded by a circle of fire. There, I gave everything away! Anyhow, it was super nice!

Lights out for me, tomorrow I have to wake up early and go to the gym to collect my shoes (again!) since training is in town. I know, i know, i dun learn ... Perhaps i could use my old shoes :))

Wednesday, September 12


It's already late in the afternoon and I've just come from a two hour meeting, so I'm nearly drained. What better time to blog than now? I took back my phone from Nokia care!!! Yey!!!

I arrived there, got a ticket, got called, the girl got my phone, and as I was turning it on and asking about payment methods ... ta da!!! It was not working! Still the other party could not hear me ... Now how about that?! The girl left with my phone, this time to return in 20 minutes, which i spent staring idly around and singing!! I wish I could master the singaporean way of power napping! Would have been very very useful ... Anyhow, I took the waiting very lightly, I usually below when I have to wait.

Next week I am starting my training for aconcagua. This means an extra two days of climbing stairs and carrying stuff around, so that's why I am not so anxious to start, but a girl's gotta
[Short two second break, seems my supervisor was not so drained after our meeting]
do what a girl's gotta do.

For climbing training today I am going to be the only senior* girl there, in charge of all the novice and intermediate girls. And I quote, in charge of them not slacking. Muhhahahahha ... I get to play bad cop again!!! Yey! My bad cop impersonation is so realistic that even those that know me [that is, have seen me cry, ha!] believe it. I get to tell people the truth, i.e "so good you have so much strength because your footing sux", or "you're getting fat" without having any problems about being politically correct and stuffs like that, so cool! Other than that, i hope today I get to focus more on my training ... i don't want to have any more eye openers!

* I am always the senior person there (i am 25!!!) but today this also refers to climbing status - open, intermediate, novice.

Monday, September 10

Climb On! 2007

Probably the best competition ever!!! Maybe because it was not a competition after all, but all fun fun fun!! NOT!! Wake up at 6 am on Sunday because I had forgotten my shoes in the school gym so I wanted to go back to get them. In the end decided to use my old shoes because I didn't have the key to the gym which was in my office, and it was too early and i had slept so little that I just couldn't take it to go and fetch the key and then go to the gym and then go to the other end of town. So I took my old shoes. Which are very old, and unfortunately, very slippery. Which made me sort of the slipping whale from all the tiles. Here i would be, queueing for 20 minutes, then Bam!! my foot would slip from the first or second foot hold! Sheesh! The frustration of it all!!! This of course did not add comfort to the feeling that my climbing sucks.

Which of course it did. This climb on has been the best wake up call ever, probably even better than the one that made me quit smoking one year and nine months ago. I need to: really improve my strength, my confidence in my left elbow (needless to say that i could not perform a decent throw or lock on my left arm), improve my flexibility (flexibility == 0), learn to stand up from sit-ins, and last, but not least, throw away my old shoes, or keep them for jogging or ice skating :)) Plus, last but not least ... I really get very very nervous when people are watching me climb outside the gym (my turf, sort of)! So, I plan to make myself a sticker saying, "Don't stare, climber is nervous!" and use it every time I climb in competitions! Yup! Should be bright yellow with black writing.

It's raining again here in Singapore, the rainy season is a coming!!! [This is my positive ending for this entry, haha :) )

Friday, September 7

Ah well

Started training for the marathon with a friend of mine from climbing, namely Daniel. So far we've ran 15 km (he ran an extra 4 without me) out of our proposed 327! So ... a lot more to go, but it's too early in the race to start whining.

I bought "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" since it was on sale and I just couldn't take the wait anymore (my initial plan was to read it on the plane on the way to Chile)!! I spent one day to read it (yes, one day, now when the assignments and research deadlines are really piling up) and I don't regret any moment of it (except when i ran out of tissues). I guess I need to clear some things up. Firstly, I believe that absolutely all work intensive activities should start with a nice, long, comfy break. The length of the break should range from an hour to one day and subsequent breaks are not allowed. Secondly, I cry, all right?! I cry when I read books, ok?! OK?! Especially when I like a character very much and something happens to him/her or an awkward situation arises. For example, I cried when Dumbledore died, I cried for Theresa in the "unbearable lightness of being", for Vania in Mike Horn's book Conquering the impossible ... So, I'm a sucker for everybody! Just bring them on, sad story and all, and I promise you I will cry (but I must be left by myself). I don't cry for science fiction though, even though I did cry for Ender, in "Ender's game".

Went to drop my phone for service and ended up waiting for one hour plus to get to a service counter. Nokia service sucks, and I am starting to believe that the quality of the new Nokia phones also is beginning to suck, at least compared to the old models.

Climb on! 2007 climbing festival is almost here, coming up this Sunday! So expect stories of sor e muscles from me on monday, or maybe sunday night. I am very curious about the color and design of the tshirt.

Monday, September 3

Focus! Focus!

A lot of things have been piling up, I'm not going to make a list of them, but i have to: find sponsors for the Aconcagua trip, finish 2 assignments, train (for aconcagua and for the Standard Chartered full marathon), take my phone to be serviced (how can the microphone for a brand new nokia n73 get f**ed up?), go and pay for the plane ticket for aconcagua, tell my supervisor that i will be gone for a month and half instead of just one month, work for the coming deadline in october ... Aaah! A lot of things, and just me to do them... I think the most important thing that will keep me alive these coming four months of my life will be nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!

Since I plan to be running roughly 40 km per week + training + working at a reasonable pace, the only thing that will keep me on the floating line will be a diet of veggies and fish, plus cereals with milk (i hate milk) in the morning. This being said, this weekend was full as always, with climbing on Saturday and on Sunday (with Marian), and Fen's surprise!!! birthday party. Next week we have nita's bday on saturday and climb on! on Sunday! I also have 2 assignments due on the 10th... Plus the runs! Yey!

I am bit down cause I hate it when things just pile up like this, but I'm hoping for proper rest in February. I feel that i can't run the bloody marathon but since i registered for it and paid a lot of moneys, I must run now. Run baby, run baby run ... I am also contemplating a future of cashless living since the plane ticket is roughly 3000 sing (1500 euros), so shopping therapy is out of the question!

Over and out and back to work!