Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stranger Danger

This article was in the school's newsletter today. I thought it'd be good to share with everyone given that there are so many crazees out there these days.


Anyone you don't know is a stranger. Even people who look nice are strangers unless your parents say they are safe. People you have seen talking to your parents or waving to them are strangers, unless your parents have given you permission to trust them. Safe strangers are people you don't know, but can trust to ask for help. Police officers, fire fighters, and teachers are examples of safe strangers. If you are at a store, you can approach someone who works there for help.

- If approached by a strange car, don't go within arm's reach. If it feels wrong, say no and run away. Find someone you trust and tell them.
- Walk to and from school with a friend. Walk in well lit areas and never take shortcuts.
- Make sure your parents know where you are and what time to expect you home. If you need to change your plans, check with your parents first.
- Have a secret password with your parents. If someone else comes to pick you up from school or while walking, ask for the password, if they don't know it, don't go with them and then tell your parents.
- If you are home alone, never open the door for a stranger or tell someone on the phone you are alone.
- If you are grabbed by a stranger, YELL, kick, drop and roll, run away.
- Never go into the home of someone you don't know.
- If you feel scared or uncomfortable, get away as fast as you can and tell a trusted adult. Go to a neighbour or friend's house or to the guard shack.

- Stranger, Stranger, Stranger!
- Fire, Fire, Fire!
- Help, Help, Help!
- This is not my mother or father!

- Discuss with your child what to do if lost. Pre-arrange a meeting place.
- Don't allow your child to go to a public washroom alone.
- Reinforce that not all "bad" people look bad. Very normal looking people can also be "bad people."
- Teach your child emergency numbers as well as your home and work numbers and addresses.
- Walk your neighbourhood with your child and learn their usual routes. Point out potential hazards to your child and explain the dangers.
- Know where your child is and what time they will be home.
- Keep a list of their friends' phone numbers and addresses.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Food section or Foot section?

If you're the squirmy sort, I suggest you skip this post. You've been warned so don't shriek at me if you insist on reading.

I'm totally not the squirmy type, but every time I see this at the supermarket here in Moscow, I get a little fright. And sometimes, there isn't just one of them as shown in this photo, but 3 to 4! And they're placed right next to the chicken breast and pork fillet sections.

Don't ask me which animal this foot comes from. I get goosebumps (not in a good way) just looking at this. Eeeks!

Learning about Lenin

From Brian's school portfolio (October 2008):

The theme was "How we organise ourselves", an exploration of human systems and communities, of the world of work, its nature and its value, of employment and unemployment and their impact on us and the world around us. 

The title of the Unit of Inquiry was "Who's Got the Power" and the central idea is that government has power and influence on people and that people have power and influence on government. 

Brian and his classmates led an inquiry into the function of government, the rights and responsibilities of governments and citizens, the different types of government systems and the reasons they change. 

Russia was used as a case study to investigate the impact of rule by the tsarist, communist and democratic systems on the people.   The kids visited the Contemporary History of Russia Museum and the Armoury at the Kremlin.

In one assignment, the kids had to choose a character in Russian history and make a 2-minute speech as that character. To do so, they would have to do research about that character's life and try to understand his motivations and what he might have said in a speech. Amongst the girls, some chose to be daughters of the Tsar, another boy chose Alexander, the only son of the Tsar. 

Brian gave his 2-min speech as Lenin.



The Provisional Government has been deposed. The cause for which the people have been struggling, the immediate offer of a democratic peace, the abolition of landlord property rights over the land, worker control over production, the creation of a Soviet Government -- the cause has been achieved.

Long live the revolution of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants!"

That was what I said on the day the Bolsheviks launched their bid for power. After that day, after Russia turned Communist, the Bolsheviks would do great things. We would fight off a civil war and even modernize Russia. But, let's start from the beginning.

My name is Lenin, and I dedicated my life to the cause of the workers and peasants because my brother was executed unfairly. I then realized that the Tsar, Nicholas II, was useless. He spent too much time with his family and not enough time doing the actual ruling. The Tsar should put his country first, not his family. I decided to plot against the Tsar, but I was exiled to Siberia. I became leader of the Bolsheviks there, editing newspapers that were smuggled into Russia.

I returned to Russia in 1917. When I arrived, I was pleased to see that the Provisional Government had taken control over Russia, because the peasants were worse off and more likely to fight.

As soon as I arrived, I called for another revolution. Everyone was shocked. Some critics even called me a madman because I wanted another revolution right after Russia had just experienced one.

But, like I always say, sometimes history needs a push. History will not forgive us if we don't take power now. My wishes were granted. On November 6, the Provisional Government virtually fell right into our hands when they lost military support. Their leader, Alexander Kerensky, had fled the city.

We, the Bolsheviks, were finally in charge of Russia.


The Russian Revolution by Tony Allen

Russia, Enchantment of the Worlds by Stillman D Rogers

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thank You Teachers!

On Friday, I helped out at the school's annual Teachers' Appreciation Lunch organised by the PTO. There were so many teachers, assistant teachers, and other staff streaming in steadily from 11am to 1pm. With 60 countries represented in the school student body, the food contributed by mums was really diverse.

Me? I baked a chocolate cake and cooked economical beehoon (but the teachers were told it was Singapore Noodle :)), shown in the middle of the dessert and mains collages below.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guitar Lesson No 15

Remember Brian's guitar playing of Blackbird a month plus ago? Five weeks and five lessons later, this is where he is now. Some parts are a bit rushed but on the whole, the speed is just about right.

Brian actually played the guitar and sang this song for his school's non-competitive talent show 3 days ago (he wanted to join on his own accord, I actually tried to dissuade him). I'll write about his experience in another post. His guitar teacher Alexander was beaming with pride when he came this evening, that Brian was brave enough to give his first performance. Alexander is a sweet and super supportive teacher, I just adore him.

These are videos of Brian playing with Alexander. First up is Blackbird with Alexander playing the melody. Please ignore Brian's terribly torn jeans (should I even try mending it?).

Next up is Spanish Ballad, one of the first songs Brian learnt. He's yet to master it after 4 months, having trouble with the nylon strings in this lauyah guitar. Alexander has been telling me I need to get him a new guitar asap with metal strings as this one isn't good enough anymore.

This is a Blues number which I really enjoy listening to. First learnt a few weeks ago.

My favourite song to listen to from my room while lessons are going on is this one from Shrek called Royal Pain, mainly cos the melody is played so beautifully by Alexander. Can't wait for Brian to learn the melody.

The last video is the latest song that Alexander introduced to Brian. It's Lionel Richie's Hello which honestly, I find really dreary. Alex loves it though. The video only has about half the song, the rest of the playing by Brian was just too disjointed.

In the Hello video, Brian is playing on Alexander's Ovation guitar, which is really expensive. The sound coming out is however, really different from what comes out when Brian plays Hello on his cheapo guitar.

There are a couple of other songs that Brian's learning from Alexander, one is the theme song from Godfather and the other is The Beatles' Lady Madonna which I really like too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pro-baby email from 2001

I recently got connected with an ex-colleague Edwin through Facebook, and was happy to see photos of his newborn baby boy, Ethan (love the name! Brian was actually Ethan for a week, but that's another story), one of the cutest newborns I've ever seen (as newborns, my babies were really scrunched-up ugly :P).

Edwin later sent me a message: "Hey, don't know if you still remember. You once sent me some encouragement & advice on family planning. You specifically asked me to keep the email. Guess what, I did. It was written way back in 2001 & I was still referencing it recently. It's amazing how time flies. I must scan & send it to you."

Me? Give advice on family planning? I had absolutely no recollection of this. I later realised he had asked me about the financial cost of having kids. So my email was mostly about how much it'd cost to raise a kid, not the kind of family planning you're probably thinking of. At the time that I wrote the email, December 2001, Brian was still an only child.

I'll share the email here, will be interesting to know just how different prices are now compared to 2001.

Subject: Re: Family Planning

Number shouldn't worry about costlah, both of you are working, and as the child grows, so will your income. Having a kid will be the best decision you ever make in your life...keep this email and mark my words, you yourself will say the same one day when you see your cute little tyke running around.

but just for info...

Nanny for kids: $450 for office hours, does not include Saturdays.
Infant care: $700 or so.
Preschool/Childcare centre: I recommended Dept A's XXX and another friend of mine to Columbia Learning Centre. Full day $700 but there's a $150 subsidy for working mums. I used to send Brian there half-day $325 nett. But now that I've moved to the East, I'm sending him to a church kindy, half day, only $140, but there's bus fare of $70.

Other costs depends on how kiasu you are; there'll be enrichment stuff once the child is about 3 years old. Many of Brian's classmates go for speech & drama, chinese enrichment, etc. Brian used to go for Speech & Drama (about $100 a month), abacus ($80), Chinese ($100), gym ($100)...all rough figures.

But I've streamlined these and he now has Kumon Chinese/English/Math ($280), music $70, swimming ($160 for individual lessons but it'll be $50 once he starts group lessons).

Other costs include medical. If you send to a paediatrician, will set you back easily $80 each visit. When Brian first started school, wah pengsan, can visit paed 2-3 times a month. But after about 1 year in school, their immunity builds up. But at the earlier stage, it can be frustrating, cos the money just flows out and it's difficult to budget for things like that.

In the first 2 years, there's diapers, don't snigger, not cheap okay. Pampers costs about $30 per pack and you go through this very quickly, 10 days or less when very young. Milk is about $28 a tin, can't remember how long this lasts. Then need to buy good fish to make porridge once they hit about 6 months or so. A small piece of Ikan Kurau can be about $7-8.

Other than that, quite manageable as you can see. The first year, you have all the injections, but if you go to the polyclinic, will be minimal. The expenditure starts to be high around 4 years old when all the nonsense enrichment starts coming in, then again depends on you, if your wife and you are the relaxed type, then okay, if kiasu like me, then will spend a lot.

Oh, I also spend a lot on board books when Brian was smaller and other books later on. One board book from Borders is easily $14 and each trip to the bookstore sets me back in excess of $100. I've cut down this habit over the past 6 months or so, after I bought the car...something has to give lah.

Good luck and get back to me if there's anything else I can help.


Hehehe, will my email actually encourage or dissuade someone thinking of having kids but worried about costs? In Edwin's case at least, my email obviously didn't work! It took him 7 years to get down to business; in between he completed his masters at the Shanghai Jiaotong University, moved up the corporate ladder...but better late than never lah. At least he's still referring to my email, so it must have been of some use.

By the way, I stopped Kumon Chinese soon after this email, was totally useless for Brian. And was very glad to stop Kumon when we left for Germany, cos Kumon Math was really killing Brian's love for Math. He was doing well, but he didn't like doing it. I'm sure it works for many people, but not for us. I think I'll write more about this another time.

So have prices gone up by much?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Speed question from reader

An anonymous reader came by seeking help with this question:

A motorist takes 1/2 h less than the usual time to travel from KTown to JTown when he increases his average speed by 10%. For a distance of 100km, he will take 1/3 h less than the usual time if his speed is 20% more than the average speed from KTown to JTown. Find the distance between KTown and JTown.


For those who want to take a stab at this, don't look further. Anyway, I'm not sure if the answer's right. Brian attempted this question and came up with the algebraic statements but did not get the right answer before he left for school; I think he stumbled when he used 30 min instead of 1/2 hour. I tried it myself after he left and I think I got the solution, for a speed question! Yay me!! :)


Let D = Distance and S = Speed; Time taken = D/S
D/S - D/(11/10)S = 1/2
D/S - 10D/11S = 1/2
D/11S = 1/2
2D = 11S --- (1)

When D is 100 and speed is 20% more
D/S - D/(12/10)S = 1/3
D/S - D/12S = 1/3
D/6S = 1/3
3D = 6S
300 = 6S
S = 50km/h --- (2)

Substitute (2) into (1)

2D = 11(50)
2D = 550
D = 275km

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sean's Multiplication Method

So much for trying to teach Sean The Method. He has his own Sean Method.

Last Thursday, I had to attend a Middle School transition talk and the boys waited for me in the school lounge (a big hall with comfy sofas just outside the cafeteria). Kelsey, Brian's classmate who had asked Sean a division problem some days ago, came by, this time with her older sister and older sister's friend, and asked Sean what 37 times 28 was. This incident was related to me at bedtime just now.

I asked Sean if he got the answer. He said he did. I said How?? Did you use the method mummy taught you? No, I did it my way. Here's what he did.

"First I found three times of 37.
Then I doubled it.
Then I added 37 to it.
Then I doubled it.
And doubled it again."

So here's what he did;
37 x 3 --> 111
Double that --> 222
Add 37 --> 259
Double that --> 518
Double again --> 1036

He's using his knowledge of prime factorisation (learnt from Murderous Math) to do multiplication.

I asked him, "Why is it that when I ask you to do double digit multiplication, you say you can't; and when Korkor's friends ask you even harder ones, you manage to do it?"

He thought and said, "I think maybe it's because I don't try when you ask me."

!!! In other words, he'll put in effort to impress the girls, but won't do it for mummy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Caretta Caretta

Look what I found in Sean's bag recently.

It's a lovely cloth bookmark from Turkey. I don't check his bag often so I have no idea how long the bookmark's been in there. When I asked him, he said his teacher Miss Cheung, gave it to him a couple of weeks back.

When I emailed Miss Cheung to thank her, she said she immediately thought of Sean when she saw this. Sean's tortoise/turtle-obsession is obviously well known even in school, not just cos of this, but also because in class, he writes lots of illustrated stories with a tortoise as the main character, which make his classmates laugh lots.

At first, ignoramus me thought that Caretta Caretta was a place in Turkey, Wikipedia tells me it's actually the Latin name for Loggerhead Sea Turtle. Caretta Caretta live, feed and nest in the Mediterranean, mostly on the beaches of Turkey and Greece.

Here's a closer look at the Caretta Caretta -- lovely :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Starry, Stary Arbat

Arbat is a place in Moscow. There's Stary Arbat which means Old Arbat, and there's Novy Arbat, which is New Arbat. On Mother's Day, we had lunch in Old Arbat, mostly cos we have a guest in town and we wanted to take her to the most touristy street in Moscow.

Unfortunately, my Canon DSLR has died on me so these pictures are from my trusty old Canon ixus. The building you see here is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one of the so-called Stalin's Seven Sisters. These 7 wedding-cake style buildings with a spire at the top are located in key areas all over Moscow.

Old Arbat starts on the street next to the MFA and we had parked on the opposite side of the Garden Ring Road, this wide boulevard you see here. There are more than 10 lanes on this section of Garden Ring, but at it's widest, there are 18 lanes. Unfortunately, such wide roads don't prevent (I'm thinking maybe they even contribute to) massive jams so typical in Moscow daily life.

To cross these roads, you go through underpasses like this.

First food joint you see when you enter Stary Arbat is perennial kids' favourite McDonald's.

Lunch was at Vostochny Kvartal, an Uzbekistan restaurant off the main street, just behind restaurant-chain Mu Mu (or Moo Moo). Actually, this is the only restaurant I've patronised in Old Arbat.

Our guest Lena is pretty adventurous so she'd order stuff we would never think of having, such as a greenish lemonade which tasted nasty, like medicine, and a pear-flavoured lemonade which was actually quite nice, like Fanta green.

Some of the dishes we ordered.

Bagel-like bread with sesame seed.

Eggplant with lamb and red pepper, I think.

Lena ordered this yoghurty soup. See how adventurous she is, and the brave woman is taking the train to St Petersburg all by herself later tonight for a 4-day visit.

Lagman, lamb soup with noodles, very good. Even better on a cold wintry day.

Fried chicken...

and lamb (I don't know how they cooked it)...really delicious.

Outside the restaurant is a statue of Soviet poet-singer Bulat Okudzhava, who had written songs about Arbat.

Does this busker have the smallest accordian you've ever seen or what?

Check out this guys' er, double-barrelled guitar? He also attaches bells on his right foot which he taps in rhythm to his guitar-playing.

We walked down the length of Stary Arbat to reach the National Souvenir shop for Lena to buy some Matryoshka Dolls.

It was a really hot spring day, so we settled down at yet another American joint for coffee and muffins.

Is there anyone who can't make out the words? C'mon, easy peasy...the logo is at the bottom of the picture; this outlet was the first one opened in Moscow, by the way.

My very own Green Goblin

Friday, May 08, 2009

Looking at Infinity the Mandelbrot way

Sean just came by to ask me to google "Mandelbrot Set". Of course I've never heard of this term, the only brot I know is German for bread, so I'm guessing this is a German name?

Sean says, "A Mandelbrot Set is a fractal that goes on forever. When you zoom in the Mandelbrot Set a lot, you can see a tiny Mandelbrot Set in the centre somewhere. And there is another Mandelbrot Set in the tiny Mandelbrot Set. And it goes on forever."

We found some Youtube videos on the Mandelbrot Set, some were better than others. Here are a couple we really like.

More about Mandelbrot Set from Wikipedia.

I was wrong about the name being German, Benoit Mandelbrot's a French mathematician born in Warsaw, and is best known as the Father of Fractal Geometry. More here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Glimpse into the future...eeeks

Sean has not been doing any real work for a long, really long, time. Now, I've learnt not to fret about this, cos not doing work doesn't mean not learning right?

But once in a while, from the comfort of my bed where I've been surfing from recently, I'd give him a nudge (not all that seriously, cos I really am not in too much of a hurry to work with him anyway).

So Sunday morning I went, "Don't you want to do some work? You haven't done any work in a long time."

"Do I have to....?", he replies as usual, in a slightly whiney tone.

"If you want to be successful when you grow up, you have to work hard when you're young."

"I don't know what to do....", whine whine...

"Well, if you want to be a tortoise caretaker (he recently said that was his ambition), you don't really have to do much work now. It's up to you, I'm happy for you to be a tortoise caretaker. But korkor is really hardworking, so he'll earn lots of money next time, he can buy a house and anything he likes."

"What about me?"

"Mmmm, I don't think tortoise caretakers earn much money."

"Do I have to work when I grow up? Can't korkor take care of me?"

"What? You're going to live with korkor when you're an adult?"

"Can I?"

"Mmmm, okay, what about when you are married? Are you going to still live with korkor."


Must change tack.

"But korkor's the one with the money. So if you want to have an extra mars bar ice-cream, he may say NO ICE-CREAM FOR YOU! And if you want more oranges, he may say, no more oranges, buy your own oranges!"

He thinks for a bit, then asks, "Can I live with you?"

Yikes, suddenly tortoise-caretaker sounds perfectly fine to me; surely that's better than his alternative career of BUM!

A peek into ME

Did a bunch of quizzes on Facebook this morning, today's an extra slow day, yayyy...

"What Disney Princess are you?": Belle
You are laid back, imaginative and you like people for who they are rather than what they are.

Belle is my favourite Disney Heroine; my least favourite is Annoying Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Beauty and the Beast is also my favourite Disney cartoon and I don't have the dvd! Belle makes good decisions, she's very intelligent, she's kind AND beautiful...oh, btw, the prince that the Beast turned into at the end, gorgeous! I need to get that dvd.

Which celebrity should you marry?": Johnny Depp.
You should marry Johnny Depp. You like the bad boy turned good type, the hotel room trasher turned loveable daddy type. He is your soul mate..

I was mighty happy with this results cos I mean, c'mon, it's Johnny Depp people! I've watched him since 21 Jump Street days and love his acting and quirky choices of roles.

Aiyah, but this Monica had to burst my bubble by taking the same quiz and getting the same results. We now think the quiz is rigged.

"Which crazy bitch are you?": Sylvia Plath.
You are one intense bitch. You are almost abnormally introspective but this is where your abundant creativity flows from. You love handsome, brilliant, creative genius types but you pay the price when their egos and lustful ways cause them to betray you. You are a very intelligent, classy lady with a black streak and can be very emotional at times. You do have a bit of a morbid side but your words often lead you to be misunderstood as a dark figure but that is just how you protect your soft mushy insides..

I have no idea who this psycho is. I kind of agree with the description though given the slant of the quiz, it is an extreme version of what I could be.

"Which Beatles song are you?": I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
You're "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". A hopeless romantic, but a bubbly, exciting popular person. It's impossible not to smile while you're around, and people fall for you as you fall for them. Your smile is what keeps your friends going, and even though on the outside you seem like a confident lover, inside, you're nervous around your crush, but still your cheerful and bubbly personality shines through. Never growing up, you're the life of the party. "Oh, please, say to me, you'll let me be your man, and please, say to me: You'll let me hold your hand!" .

This was my favourite Beatles song when I was a teenager, not anymore. Agree with the part of Never growing up, but I'm definitely not "the life of the party." And I don't really smile a lot; I laugh a lot, but when I'm not laughing, I think I have a pretty frowny look about me, like I'm thinking thinking thinking. My boss at the bank used to say I have a Question Mark look about me!

What Office character are you?": Jim Halpert
You are Jim. You are a down to earth person with a great sense of humor usually at someone elses expense. You are a normal person who everyone likes!.

I only watched The Office UK which I absolutely love. I could watch the entire 2 seasons and Christmas special (there wasn't a 3rd season) again and again. The character Jim is originally Tim in The Office UK; I don't know how different Jim and Tim are cos I don't watch The Office US but Tim's really sweet and I like him though he's really loser-ish.

"Which Designer Handbag are You?": Coach

Fashion is important to you but not at all costs. It comes easy for you and you neither want to put much effort into it nor do you want others to think you dwell on it. You want people to see a classy woman, who has a lot on her plate and yet does it all very well. You are casual classy. You can pull off any look you want, but won't ever be the gal dancing on the table. You like to blend in whether its at a bowling alley, or a cocktail party. Best part always do.

I don't buy designer handbags, not anymore, but even if I still did, I'd never buy Coach; just not my style, at all. I'm not sure about casual classy, but I'm definitely casual casual! Of course I like to blend in, doesn't everybody?  

"What kind of soul do you have": Crystalline.
You have come out with the Crystalline answer for your soul. Crystalline beings are very reflective. They take a very long time to grow and change but when they do, you can't change them back... it is 'set in stone' so to speak. A crystalline person has an easier time giving than taking. When they do receive something, a debt is naturally implied in their minds whether or not it is expected. This is because of a deep sensitivity to people and objects. Crystalline folks are extremely absorbent of all kinds of energy. They would be wise to trust their instinct when it comes to people and objects in their lives. If it isn't for you, you know.. neutralize, energize, and release. That is the natural flow for crystalline souls.. you must learn about your natural abilities and use them for healing in your life..

This is very cheem (deep)...but the bit about "a debt is naturally implied in their minds" is so true. I find it very hard asking for help and when I do get help, I always feel the need to return the favour, in one way or another. 


Mon reminded me about the school quizzes I did some days ago.

Which Singapore Non-elite School Do You Belong To?: Beatty Secondary School
You are playful and hyperactive but your willful ways are always promptly quelled by an omnipresent discipline master. "Don't bluff me. I know everything," he warns. But true Beatty Students keep some tricks up their sleeves, whether it's taking a different route to escape, or tying a bigger tie knot to hide an unbuttoned collar, nothing can stop your adventurous spirit. Your school is likely to be one of the cleanest and most insect-free, given the strict school policy against sweet food and drinks in class. Appearance-wise, girls in the school regard boys from NCC (Land) as the hottest around. 2008 PSLE Cut-off Point : 223.

I've never heard of this school and don't know where it is. The description is pretty apt, I definitely found all ways to adjust my uniform just to look different and not uniform! In Malaysia, all kids wear the same uniform; I mean I like our turquoise pinafores but all teenagers want to stand out; being a prefect meant that by Form 4, I got to wear a skirt instead of a pinafore but I'd hike the skirt a little higher after school, loosen my tie and fold my sleeves up, just like those Ah Lians I now tsk-tsk-tsk at. Extremely playful in school and I talked a lot. During parent-teacher meetings, the one thing teachers always bring up is I was VERY talkative. Once my teacher changed my seat to another cos I was talking and stifling my laughter too much during class; unfortunately she sat me next to this super cool Malay girl, Anizan, who's even more crazy funny than I was. Boy, that was a fun year.

Which Singaporean Elite School Do You Belong To?: Anglo-Chinese School

You believe more in fun and less in hard work. You feel the weight of countless sportsmen on your shoulders and take particular effort to look and feel good. You are a loyal friend. You are both honored and guilty of your less than sterling standard of Mandarin. You think that you are very misunderstood and many negative impressions of yourself and the school are unjustified. Your career option is either (a) earn a lot of money or (b) spend alot of (your family's) money. In your quiet moments, you think "I don't need luck".

I am still puzzled that the few short questions in the quiz could so accurately describe me. Well, except for the family money part, there is no family money, very unfortunately. I am very much a tomboy at heart so it's no surprise that I belong to a boy's school.


What word best describes you? : Intellectual..

Intellectual: You pride yourself on your intellect. You are always studying and learning new things. You love spending time working on the most important part of your body, your brain. You have an incredibly high IQ and love discussing world events and politics.

Monica did this quiz first and got the same results; I teased that they forgot the word Snob after Intellectual, she said Takes one to know one...touche! Well, whenever I ask the boys what they liked about me (yeah, fishing for compliments all the time), the two words that always come up are "kind" and "funny"; and I kinda like those word descriptions more :)

Friday, May 01, 2009

A hit with the older girls

Today's a public holiday but not at the boys' school. So Eddie was picking Sean up from the gamesroom (where Sean goes to after school to wait for Brian who's dismissed 30 min later) when he saw these two British girls, sisters. The older girl was picking the younger girl up from the gamesroom too.

The older girl saw Sean and said to her younger sister, "That's Brian's brother Sean. He's very smart, just like Brian." She then turned to Sean and asked, "What's 13 divided by 20?"

Sean thought for a bit and replied, "First you divide 13 by 10 and then divide again by 2."

The girl said, "So what is it?"

A few seconds later (told you guys he's doesn't calculate at lightning speed), he said, "0.65"

The older girl turned to her younger sister and said, "I want to swap you for him."


Eddie found out from the older girl that she's Brian's classmate.

Brian later told us many girls in his class think Sean's very cute. I've seen some of them (in pairs) go up to Sean and exclaim to each other, He looks just like Brian!!! and squeal, He's sooooo cute!!! (Once, two girls saw Sean near the library and said he's like a clone of Brian; Sean overheard them and said, "I'm not a clone!"; they were so tickled they told Brian about it when they went back to class.)

So apparently, these girls think Sean looks like Brian, and that Sean's very cute. I don't think this means they think Brian's cute too, but for sure, the younger brother's a hit with the older girls :)


Another time, Brian's classmate (a Korean girl who's in his Advanced Math group) asked Sean while they were all waiting for their pick-up outside the school, "Who do you like more? Your brother or your mum?" Sean said, "My brother."

The girl then pulled Sean away till Brian was out of earshot and asked again, "Who do you like more? Your brother or your mum?" This time, Sean said, "I think I like my mum a little bit more." Pffffttt...

First of May

I posted the lyrics two years ago, today let's have a listen to one of the most heart-tugging songs ever written. Released in 1969, which makes it 40 years old this year, as young as I am :*

Questions you can't say No to

1. Are you alive?
2. Are you awake?
3. Are you going to say No?
4. Can you hear me?
5. Can you talk?

The boys like to do inane stuff like think up questions you can't say Yes or No to. For Yes, it includes Are you sleeping? and Are you dead?

Anyone wants to add more to the list?

Random thought from Sean...

...about a minute ago. While eating his oranges after dinner, he suddenly said:

When it was 6:09, I finished half of my 4th slice of orange, so I ate 3.5 slices of oranges.

3.5 times 2 is 7, and 2 is the first prime number.

The last digit of 6:09 is 9, and 9 minus 7 is 2, and 2 is the first prime number.