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Saturday, 31 May 2008 by ranon

this is the worst time for this. but i think i'm ready to say that L word to you. but i'm holding back because you hold back and sometimes i don't know what that means. the fact that it's taking time means i'm certain and have been thinking about it, and it's no longer a careless word. there are so many reasons why i'm holding back that i want to tell you, but we never find the chance to talk. and when i do want to, you're withdrawn and so distant.

i must be boring company.

say something, anything.


Thursday, 29 May 2008 by ranon

studying for the exams can be a very expensive and fattening experience. hiding out in the library all day long means lunch and dinner have to be eaten out. snacking to keep yourself awake as late afternoon approaches requires an endless supply of chocolate, haribo and ribena at your disposal. all these thus incur cost and weight.

the immobility of the experience results in reduced exercise and working out in the gym, that has thus led to a major depletion and decrease in muscle mass and stamina. the only things that are growing bigger are sadly, not my muscles and pecs, but

1) anatomically, my brain size hopefully and hand from writing too much notes
2) my appetite
3) my restlessness as the days pass
4) my bank deficiency

coversely, the things that have been depreciating and diminishing appreciatively include:

1) ink in my highlighter and pens
2) sleep
3) my life
4) sex (that's meant to be a joke in this sad entry that laments the state of my life currently)

on a happier note, i got my first first on my literature in the modern world assessed essay. i just need to channel this happiness into motivation to work MORE.


Wednesday, 28 May 2008 by ranon

turning 21 in the midst of the exams cannot be the best thing to happen to anyone, but today, i'm no grouch because everyone made it so special, and you played the biggest role one could ever ask for. and i wouldn't want to change anything today, not even the fact that it's the exam period, because no big party with copious amounts of alcohol and crazy, inebriated celebration can make up for what made me so contented and so happy today. my 21st went by without the expected drinking and partying that is so often inextricably linked to me and it made me so much surer of what we have, and what i'm committing myself to. that was all i could ask for, right now at a pivotal turning point in life. thank you so much

(includes new shoes and a jumper)

chew and denzil. your text messages all the way from australia was well sweet, though it did cost me 30p per text to reply each of you, and that you two majorly interrupted what i told you. we're all grown up now :)


Friday, 23 May 2008 by ranon

all this studying is getting to my head. i am almost dangerously convinced that i could possibly be leaning towards marxist writings, but it could also be a preposterous inclination towards a theory that has been the easiest to comprehend in my revision thus far. i am easily swayed. and pro plus does wonders seeing that it has kept me much awake in the last few hours as i struggled to draw links between history and politics, and find the relevance of the triad in international history that spans to way before the nineteenth century.

that being said, i'm writing my own history now, and i don't need a bunch of irreverent and possibly irrelevant theories to explain to me how and why this is happening. because life's history cannot be explained in the words of morgenthau, rousseau or kant. this change, and this progress if i dare call it that, cannot be reduced to simplified and general rules that attempt to explain human nature or emotion. some things cannot be broken down into terms for the simple-minded to understand because they exist on a higher and much intellectual, albeit emotional, level. and instead of bringing yourself down to the lowest common denominator, life, like literature, should cater to the appreciative few. doing what i want to do now, being who i choose to be, is something that cannot be taken away because that's what i've chosen to do. that's my own free will speaking. but sometimes, being critical and honest about it can set the most determined and liberated back by miles.

i'm not a hypocrite am i?

ribena and haribo

Monday, 19 May 2008 by ranon

after close to 5 hours in the library and seeing that i had a late headstart and it's close to two in the morning now, i have deduced from my readings that:

the democratic peace thesis is for idiots who think that because states are "friends" and have vested interests, be it mutual or absolute gains, in each other, they won't go to war. it is a mere excuse for america to retain its status as the global hegemon in the unipolar world system and the crusading effect of liberalism is george bush's pathetic excuse for his war-mongering. liberalism WILL lead to imperialism and we are seeing it right now - in Iraq and Afghanistan.

radical liberals are a bunch of fools who believe unquestioningly in the civilizing capacity of global society, although the evolution of international humanitarian law has proven it true, the undemocratic structure of the global society makes it ineffectual and ineffective. russia needs to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and not be a hypocrite and tell other states to stop the use of child soldiers if they are not doing anything themselves.

i think i'm a realist at heart. that all of us are power and security maximisers, seeking to increase our gains in any possible way, taking on the offensive or defensive. only the state has power. transnational organizations are features that come and go, but the state's permanent. survival is definitely a precondition for the survival of the state, and the people. no military equates to no defense which equates to sitting and dying like ducks when another country attacks. self-help means we are an island, we stand by our own, and we depend on ourselves for survival.

that's everything you learn in a singapore social studies textbook. we're all brought up to be realists i guess. self-help equals to total defence and NS. survival equals equals to newater or risk no-water-in-2010. only the state has power - self explanatory. i have therefore reached the highest level of revision, by putting what i've learnt in context. now who said only the econs and accounting and finance people can do so.


Friday, 16 May 2008 by ranon

the art of concealment isn't an easy skill to pick up. and the question to ask here is why do we bother hiding behind false pretenses that are mere constructs of our wandering and insecure minds attempting to barricade us from confrontation. there are times when some things appear the most apparent and annoyingly obvious, but they too, are often the most ignored and neglected. humility shames you so your silence conquers.

and only because i was watching star wars with annie and the rest last night (where han solo kept calling out 'chewy') and denzil's card stares at me from my wall everytime i walk through the door, that i thought of happy times once again that beckons come summer.

this has to be one of our best shots. we're even in order.

route 2

Thursday, 15 May 2008 by ranon

the banality of distractions and a wandering mind when you have a 3000 word essay to write. procrastination doesn't help and when it comes down to ONE day before the essay deadline and you begin writing at 4 in the afternoon, you're forced to work till 2 at night and realise you still have one paragraph and a bibliography to complete the final essay of the year. so you give up and go to bed, hoping to wake up early the next morning. which you do, at half eight in the morning. and as you wash up and prepare to head to the library to finish up the last parts of the essay in the next three hours, aiming to beat the deadline of 12 noon, you receive news that the deadline's been extended by 24 hours because of the disruptions to the internet and network this week. and you swear in every possible language you know because of the pressure that you had put yourself through and the torture of the lack of sleep.

so now i'm done with my whole essay, sitting in the library waiting for the next 24 hours to pass by, and watching you finish up your essay.

pigeon boys fly

Saturday, 10 May 2008 by ranon

there is an artificial darkness that dims the sun. it's pulled over your eyes and the world seems less of a joy. the clouds seem grayer and heavier. the red and blue and pink and green and yellow of the flowers and fields seem duller. the stillness of the air suffocates.

and then you take your shades off and confront the sunlight in its entirety.

everything's beautiful and happy again. you see the redness of the ladybugs trawling the sidewalks. you see the shadows of rustling leaves that flicker with sunshine's that's interspersed between the blank spaces. more importantly, you've cast aside an obligation - an obligation to sensibility to shade your eyes from the sunshine that blinds. the irony because it is the glaring sun that brings sight, and insight.

my shades now lie in a corner, split half down the middle in perfect symmetry. you'll be my sunshine then.

waxing lyrical

by ranon

some things don't ever change i guess.
all the insecurities.
i think i bore you.
i think i'm not good enough.
i also think i'm becoming like her.

and then the spoken word fails me.

but you'll never get it will you?


Friday, 9 May 2008 by ranon

this warmth and sun in spring is amazingly and cunningly deceptive. it tempts you away from the work and the essays and the studying, and lures you outdoors to barbeques and picnics that entails food and more food. and of course there's alcohol in the form of pimm's and lemonade and at 5 in the evening, everyone's just gathered outside on blankets with grilled sausages and burgers and lamb chops and chicken wings. work's been cast aside and it dawns on you that it's only thursday and exams are slightly less than a month away. and the fun doesn't stop there. a house party is soon under way and as we sit around the living room with alcohol in hand playing lame drinking games and dancing to whatever comes on over craig's speakers, we realise it's only a lil over 9 p.m and it's still bright outside. collapsing in bed at 3 in the morning signals the end of the day when we all caved in and gave in to the darkness, of not only the temporary night, but to the darkness of the misleading and fallacious daytime.

everyone's complaining that the sun's out at the worst time, because no one can bring themselves to stay indoors, locked away from the sun and doing work. my literature essay's completed and there's this dastardly research methods in politics essay to get through before i can finally get down to proper studying.

happy 21st chew chew!


Wednesday, 7 May 2008 by ranon

success is when you complete your essay and write over 2000 words in slightly under 4 hours. failure is when you realise that the word limit isn't 2500 words like you imagined it to be, and instead it's 2000. so you stare at a perfect essay with a word count of 2694 words and wonder what you're gonna do with the excess words. shaving off half a paragraph didn't exactly help seeing that it's now 2622 words. given the +/- 10% percent to the word count, i've exactly 422 to chop away from a seemingly good essay that i'm extremely satisfied with.

happiness doesn't come easily, especially since after this literature essay, there's a politics one that just doesn't seem to interest me at all. i've checked and reconfirmed that the word limit for that essay's 3000 words. other devastating news include me not being able to do arabic next year because i wanted to take it at the beginners level and the department requires me to take it at the intermediate level for it to count towards my final honours degree. so this sucks and it means i'm stuck with 4 politics modules next year. at least this year i had literature in the modern world to take my mind away from the practicality of politics. to top it off, there's the ballot that i've to survive to get the two ideal optional politics modules that i want - international security and politics of developing areas. politics of the usa would be a consolation but anything other than these three would be depressing to say the least.

it's hot these days and i'm watching people get sunburnt and red in front of me while i laugh at them and i enjoy the wonders of the sun on my skin. i could go back to singapore tanner than i left. that would be a miracle, but i'm in need of a greater miracle now - i need to chop words off my essay. it's like deciding to chop off a leg or an arm. what to keep and what to discard because i want all of it.


Tuesday, 6 May 2008 by ranon

and only because the sun's been up these days, that i've had the excuse to go out with an ice cream cone in hand and sit at the piazza watching people and letting brenda drip her melted ice cream onto my bare legs. shorts and shades have become the latest trend in school and blankets sprawled across the acres upon acres of grass is a commonality. i broke out in sweat walking across campus in a polo shirt and jeans. and because my essay's stuck in limbo at 695 words and i'm on my first glass of wine waiting for maddie to get dressed and made up, wikipedia has become a source of companionship as i blast lupe fiasco in the background. try reading up on singlish on the wiki and i bet you'll come across stuff you've taken for granted. like aparently there's an east coast/katong/siglap accent. really? and 'siah' is like the combination of the hokkien word 'si' (die) and 'ah' (an exclamation). really? oh and the best definition ever,

Kena is used as an auxiliary to mark the passive voice, in addition to "to be" and "to get". It is derived from a Malay word that means "to encounter or to come into physical contact", and is only used with objects that have a negative effect or connotation. It is interesting to note that verbs after kena may appear in the infinitive form (i.e. without tense) or as a past participle.

kena is also not used with positive things like 'ranon kena 4D'. it may be greeted with a confused reply 'but strike 4D good what', which is singlish too.

when the context is given, kena can be used without a verb. 'you better start writing your essay, or later you kena'

using another auxiliary verb with kena is perfectly acceptable too. 'you better start writing your essay, or later you will kena'

i bet you didn't know what an auxiliary verb was. and that kena could be used so specifically.

using singlish will kena tekan one,

i love wikipedia.

you do not fight for your country.

Saturday, 3 May 2008 by ranon

if every day was like today, then every day would be a happier and much anticipated one. it was a day of absolute perfection, a day that no one could do wrong. and everything fell in place perfectly and beautifully. dinner and black watch at the theatre and then drinks at the grad. i've never been happier at warwick and when i say everything changed when you came along, it was a change for the better for most parts of it. i'm stripped and laid bare now because i know i made a right step forward and i've nothing to my name except this that we hold dear in between us. so take me with you.

take me with you - secondhand serenade

corlan pellets

Thursday, 1 May 2008 by ranon

the modules fair today wasn't exactly a fair. sitting in a lecture theatre with students packed in and listening to the module directors come up one after another giving an introduction to the different second year modules isn't my idea of a fair. but choices were made in that hour there as i sat listening, deciding, planning. there was one professor though who stood out, not because he was director of 3 modules - politics and policy, politics in the uk and french politics, but because he was visually handicapped. and at the risk of sounding rude and extremely ignorant here, but one of the first things he said to us was something about an incident that happened when he was marking one of his students essays, and the first and most immediate thought that struck my head was how does he do it? mark them that is. we agreed that he either had a secretary who manually reads out the essays to him, or he has his students send him online copies and he runs them through a computer programme that provides an audio reading of the essay. i pity the secretary if it was a ten thousand words essay. yet i was utterly impressed with this man, his strength and his confidence. i mean he's taking three modules after all and that's three times as much of working hours! he hasn't allowed his disability to get to him and he's making full use of his life and it's unquestioningly respectable. it would be daunting to have lectures and seminars with him, especially since he has specified that for 2 of the modules, each seminar group will be made up of 3 people only. but yes, it would be interesting working with him. if only i had that bit of interest in at least one of the three modules. haha

i've more or less settled for international security. the first term next year is dedicated to the study of war! who wouldn't want that :) my heart's swayed towards arabic for beginners as my second optional module but there's the whole issue about taking another module from outside the department and there's the whole red tape (the irony seeing its the politics faculty) to get through. if all fails, politics of developing areas doesn't seem too bad either. it's still a ballot system so hopefully i get my first choice.

this plastered a smile on my face as it fell out from the pages of my notebook. hopefully this smile metamorphoses into a driving force to get me down to my last 2 essays and revision. an 80 pence book fine awaits my stubborn refusal to be recalled. haha