Archive for March, 2004

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Saturday, March 6th, 2004

Hey ho, Friday today, nice. Had a busy day of calling Korea and setting up interviews – calling Shenzhen, calling Beijing… Had the cheapest lunch I’ve ever eaten, two bucks, and it was quite good! Bought a birthday present for Evan and a battery recharger, two good buys. A good day at work, but very hectic. Somehow I feel like I got a lot of work done, but what was it? Got home by 7, waited for Yuping to arrive… She didn’t come, so I went out for dinner and got it, eating and drinking at 8:30. She arrived at 9:30 and we talked til midnight. Zen had a fever, so he fell asleep around 8, poor thing. I’m sure he’ll be fine tomorrow.

Zen posing


Friday, March 5th, 2004

Hey Ho, trying to write every day from now on. Today was an OK day – did some real work, relatively undisturbed, had a nice lunch with 4 co-workers, then had a long meeting on the next issue of the magazine… even as this one goes to print. Getting on an earlier production schedule is something that needs to happen from now on, and it probably will. Got home around 8. Zen was good and lovely, ate a yummy meal, then bathed Zen and let him get to sleep around 9:45. Hung around in the evening writing emails and book reviews – 2 to do and get in so that my freelance assignments of the week are taken care of. Probably I will have some time tonight to play a little guitar, and I won’t need to get to sleep at 1 AM like last night, yay. Started reading Mario Puzo “Fools Die,” it seems like a good book – about degenarate gamblers!

Zen with mama hippo, baby hippo

Wednesday already…

Thursday, March 4th, 2004

I am hoping to get this blog back to a daily habit. Well, it hasn’t been like that yet. What did I do recently… Saturday I went to the bank with Zen, then climbed around in Bukit Timah nature reserve. Found lots of cool stuff like parks and reservoirs and picnic areas and slides (that aren’t slippery), then went grocery shopping, then swimming and making lunch and tidying the house. Phew! After mellowing out – napping, reading books, hanging out, I went to the mall with Zen to buy guitar strings… only to find that I had left my key at home. OOPS! U-turn home, no strings. Had a nice dinner and evening and recorded the retarded “Space Brain” episode of Space:1999. You know, the episode where they are attacked by soap suds?

Sunday we went to the botanical garden again. I could go there every weekend and not get bored. We just hung out mostly, drinking coffee and watching the dogs go by, the people, the kids, the people, the kids, the dogs, the trees. Wandered through the cactus garden for the first time. Cacti are fascinating. In the afternoon I went back to the mall to get the guitar strings, this time with a key, only to find the store closes every Sunday. Dear me…

Monday was a normal day at work with long meetings and such stuff. Did a lot of calling to set up CEO interviews for my trip next week. One bank I called, with a foreign CEO, they have no English-speaking staff like other banks do. Huh? So the guy gives me his boss’ email address. I have no other choice but to write to him directly, but I have to wonder – which CEO checks his email and responds to guys like me? Sure enough he did. Other banks with English-speaking staff I wrote to haven’t responded yet. I can’t wait to meet this cool CEO who is so approachable. Got home at 8, hung out, didn’t play guitar, read and went to sleep.

Tuesday there were more meetings and hanging out at work and bustling. My quicky lunch at a local shop turned long, unexpectedly. Why?

We three things of orient are...

Wednesday I worked from home. Hooray, time to try the experiment. I took Zen to work by bicycle, dressed in casual clothes for a change. Nice. He is fine and great. Got home, did some work, did some emailing, did some other work, got caught up in MSN Messenger, tweaked some words, suddenly it was 1:30 without any real work done for the day. Wow! I notice that lots of people, even when they are busy, will message about nothing and take up a few idle minutes… that shouldn’t be so idle actually. Odd. Listened to old Faye Wong songs over lunch, then back to work. Picked Zen up at 4:30, which was nice for a change, and had dinner at a normal time – 6:30 or so. Got guitar strings too finally. Went for a long walk, called Matt and Mami in Japan. Matt told me funny banking news, turns out it is our old friend Shinsei. Tried to get Zen to bed at 8:40, but by the time he slept it was 9:40. Oh well, old habits never die. Now it is after 11, I am drinking gin and still thinking about getting some real work done for the day. Let that wait until I finish the book review for Awakenings, the book I just finished reading…

Book Review – Awakenings. Oliver Sacks classic about the awakenings of post-encypholetic patients upon being treated by L-DOPA, a “miracle drug” that helped all patients of this condition, but in totally different ways that were never lasting. 20 case studies of these people on this drug, plus essays about the cases, the drug treatment, the effect of these cases and this book on society, forewords written at different times over the last 20 years, afterwords, and perspectives. Exhausting, and endlessly fascinating. Language, medical language, used the way I have never seen before. I love reading Oliver Sacks, the only book I have read before being An Anthropoligist On Mars, but I definitely want to read more. Many cases were heart-breaking, but the optimism and hope of Dr. Sacks shines through on every page… even if we can’t always understand what he is getting at. A good sort, I am sure.