Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Free Money I received a letter from CPF Board telling me about my allotment of ERS (Economic Restructuring Shares) and NSS (New Singapore Shares), both initiatives of the government to help the lower income group tide over the economic downturn. At first I chucked it aside without reading it properly, thinking the money would stay in my CPF account until I'm 65 or something. But nooo... E called to tell me she logged on and exchanged the shares for cash and got $1000 that would be credited on New Year's Day. So I logged on and instructed the board to credit me for $700 ($500 ERS, $200 NSS: less than E because my house bigger and therefore I'm richer than her). And so, with ang pow of $700, January will be easier to bear since my companies do not expect revenue till end of that month. Am also looking forward to $400 or so from 6 days in the Army. They keep giving out money like that, can only mean one thing. Elections coming and Lee Hsien Loong wants to be PM sooner.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Real Christmas trees
I've been warned that ginseng tea can be addictive. My dad told me and so did HT. They said, no wonder my eyeballs looked like they've been popping out of my skull the past few days. Christmas is well on it's way, and at home, nothing is more indicative of the festive season than my mother's increasing frequency of tantrums. She is on a tirade that will last a month and into the twelve days of Christmas. We now have a Christmas tree that's real, and we have to keep the air-con on so it doesn't die before Santa arrives and has to put presents on top of a bunch of twigs. Mum also arranged for landscapers to come and plant thirty (yes, 30) trees along the southern fence to beautify the new neighbour's ugly new fence. At $30 a tree, not cheap. She's also gotten the maid to do major housecleaning, and that means the network of drains are cloroxed so mold doesn't grow on them for a while. Then she tells me not to buy Clorox any more because that's what maids use to poison their employers. I cannot talk Ryan out of his frustration. There's nothing I can do in that department. The only thing that will save him is the love of a good woman. And the only way I can help with that is to help convince young, nubile and intelligent women to volunteer for this onerous sacrifice. I have a cousin that's hosting a wedding dinner in KL on the 11th of January. Problem is, I have to be in camp at 7.30am on the 12th. I could make the dinner, but I think I'm a little too old to be rushing back from KL in the dead of night just to make it back to camp on time. Tough but not impossible ask if I were twenty, but not when I'm no longer twenty, ahem. Yes, it's that time of year again. Reservist. That mix of dread and anticipation. That unsolvable mystery of losing equipment even though you thought you put it in your cupboard the last time you came back from camp. So fun.