Stalking is the new socialising

I’m back! But I probably have only one reader left because everyone else must have been scared off by the scary anti-virus warnings on my blog.

(Piers is hard to scare.)

The viruses (malicious codes) are gone now. Lionel from Ripplewerkz scared them off for me. Yay.

On the bright side, no readers means I don’t have to watch my words and can be rude if I want to. However, I’m not in the mood to be rude today, so I think I shall do a bit of updating, instead.

Shall be rude another day.




Studying in UK

I’ve finally completed all the paperwork and legwork. All that’s left now is to wait for my student visa to be approved and then for the school term to start (Jan 9, 2012).

My IELTS results startled me. I had expected to only borderline pass because it was such a tedious and tough exam. But I miraculously got an overall 8.5 (top score is 9).


IELTS results


For school, I have been given a reading list and tasked to read the first book before the course starts.

It’s rather old, the book, first published in 1948, so maybe some things have become either outdated or common knowledge. But I still find in it a wealth of information that’s intriguing and thought-provoking.

Can’t wait for the course to start.


Book list





When I quit Restaurant City and Cafe World (about two years ago, if memory serves), I swore I’d never play another Facebook game again because they’re too freaking addictive despite being exceptionally silly.

I was true to my word for two years.

I don’t know what happened, really.

I started spending more time in Facebook recently because I liked the latest layout with all the interesting additions such as scrolling real-time friend updates.


Facebook profiel


It took just one curious click on a Facebook game advert to suck me in before my brain remembered that I wasn’t supposed to click on ads.

But then I discovered that Facebook games have gone through marked improvements since two years ago; they are marginally less silly now.

I still hate how some games force you to beg your friends for in-game gifts. I had to make Piers play this cutesy game in order to gift me game items since he’s the only person I don’t mind begging from.


Facebook profile


But he was understandably horrified about Facebook putting words in his mouth (see above picture) and promptly deleted the app.

I started many new games in the last few weeks and also quit many. Even if fun and cute, I refuse to play games that make you beg for stuff. You could pay for them but they cost too much for the paltry purpose they serve.


My current active Facebook games list:

Family Feud
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Bingo Blitz
CSI: Crime City
1 vs 100
Games (has about 100 games in it)


By the way, feel free to stalk me on Facebook.

Stalking is the new socialising.





People in Facebook would have been able to see me jumping from game to game like a true gaming addict every day in the last few weeks.

I can’t hide. When I load up a game, my 1381 friends know that I’m awake and playing a game instead of doing something more useful with my life.

Piers noticed once that I was playing CSI: Crime City despite having said good night to him an hour earlier. It was a bit hard to explain to him why I felt compelled to solve crimes in the middle of a sleep.

On the flip side, I also know what my friends are up to every minute I’m in Facebook.

Supposedly, that is a scary thing. But it must also be cool. Times have changed, right? Stalking is not the exclusive domain of crazy stalkers anymore.

These days, people are willing to be stalked, which increases the demand for stalkers, a position easily filled because social networking has made it fun and easy.

Don’t try to stalk bulls, though. They don’t like it.




Piers and I encountered this bull in Guernsey (a little island in the English Channel) while driving around. It was standing alone just a few feet from the road, so I stuck my camera in its face and started snapping away.

It stood upright and bellowed at me angrily.





Other than Facebook games, I haven’t been gaming much. My iPad is only used for reading now but I expect to get tired of Facebook games eventually and go back to my iPad.

I recently tried a pretty cool game recommended by Swordplay. It’s a small independent game in alpha stage that’s a bit like Little Big Planet, called Way.

In this two-player game, you travel through a world, trying to get past obstacles with the help of a second player who is very likely a stranger from another part of the world. You’re not allowed to text or talk to each other, but you can communicate by manipulating your avatar’s facial expressions and arms. In this way, you try to work with each other to complete the stages.

It’s really tough and frustrating but also rewarding as you conquer each obstacle. But Piers and I cheated a bit; we were on webcam when we played it together.

We made this picture in the end:




You can “write” to each other in the game after you complete it.




Jet lag

It is so very hard to adjust my body clock every time I come back to Singapore. For two weeks, I was sleeping at 9 am and waking up at 5 pm.

I tried making myself really exhausted by waking up early even after only sleeping three hours. I’d then go to bed around 2 am, hoping to wake up at 10 am, a goodly hour.

But then, I would wake up after only two or three hours of sleep and not be able to go back to sleep.

I tried doing that for three days, managing only to sleep about three hours a day. I finally collapsed from exhaustion one afternoon and slept all the way through to 9 pm, which completely undid my heroic effort.

Give up.




And now it’s time to eat.

My appetite has been largely dead due to jet lag. But I only have one month left to enjoy Singaporean cuisine. What am I going to do?

Battle of the Sheylaras

Just thought I should pop in to say that I’m stil alive and kicking and gaming too much for my own good.

(I do have to assert for the record that the right games promote mental acuity, so there is something to be said for gaming too much.)

Well, the thing is, once in a while I get into a kind of mental block that prevents me from writing. It’s not writers’ block; it’s a block which I can explain more adequately by sharing with you the following internal dialogue:


Sheylara 1: What shall we write about today?

Sheylara 2: We could do X, Y, Z or A.

Sheylara 1: We could, but I don’t want to.

Sheylara 2: Why not?

Sheylara 1: They’re all boring.

Sheylara 2: No way. People are waiting to read them.

Sheylara 1: They’re boring to write. And if they’re boring to write, they must be boring to read.

Sheylara 2: Just write one of them, anyway.

Sheylara 1: I don’t want to write for the sake of writing. I want to make some changes to my blog.

Sheylara 2: Like what?

Sheylara 1: I don’t know. I have a million ideas but they’re all not sustainable and I don’t want to start work on half-baked ideas only to regret and then want to change again.

Sheylara 2: Okay, keep on incubating ideas but in the meantime write something or everyone will think we’ve quit and gone to live in Tibet.

Sheylara 1: I can’t! I just can’t work on something I don’t believe in anymore. I want a new direction. I want to change everything. I NEED to change everything!

Sheylara 2: Do it gradually.

Sheylara 1: I can’t! Because if I continue in this vein, I will keep on continuing in this vein! There needs to be a sudden, drastic change for anything to happen for real! And for that to take place, I need to stop doing whatever’s not working! Don’t you understand?!!

Sheylara 2:

Sheylara 1: I need to change NOW! I can’t wait! My blog is getting stupid and boring!!

Sheylara 2: Erm… I think we should get back to our game.

Sheylara 1: Okay.


This happens a lot.

In fact, this happens regularly my entire life.

Occasionally, Sheylara 1 gets a breakthrough and something life-changing happens and then we are happy for a time. But, more often than not, Sheylara 2 wins by appealing to the mature, sensible adult hiding somewhere in our DNA, and then life goes on in a mundane but safe cycle until such a time as Sheylara 1 decides to halfheartedly rebel again.


Geese talking


In other news, I am taking my IELTS tomorrow. That’s the stupid English test we are forced to pass in order to apply to colleges and universities in Western countries.

I hate it because it makes you study stupid charts showing how many Japanese people travelled abroad each year over a 10-year period and how many of them chose to go to Australia in each of those years.

You then have to write your findings in 150 words or more.

Among other things, you also have to read long, wordy essays on the boring history of cartography and then answer a series of trick questions which are impossible to answer because you fell asleep while reading the essay.

The IELTS is a three-hour ordeal that will only prove, if you pass, that you have the mental fortitude required to withstand prolonged torture to your brain.


Well, don’t mind me. I’m just grumpy.