Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

(In)definiteness in Singlish

12 April 2016 Leave a comment

While writing chapter 4, I ended up having to precisely specify the parameters of a search over a space, and ended up writing a section that wound up being Appendix B.

Having un-knotted that theoretical tangle, it remained to tie up the rest of the analysis, which I produced in a relatively short time. The past week of writing has flown by quite quickly.

Last night I wrote through the night and through breakfast.

The last stretch, through a haze of tiredness: moving all the excess material into an auxiliary file, then making a conclusion. I started on the acknowledgements, then the abstract. (Later I felt like I wasn’t sure who wrote the abstract.)

But I got everything submitted at 11:25 a.m – this was dutifully recorded at the EL department office. Early after all!


Then I slept.

In the evening I reviewed my writing again. I read the abstract and found it was actually pretty serviceable.

After dinner I read the rest of it.

Especially because chapters 5 and 6 were made quite quickly, and because I wrote the last bits without feeling entirely sure about whether I was awake in my body, I was slightly anxious about what I’d find; but aside from finding that page 33 was a bit of a mess (a misplaced parenthesis, some missing words) I’m quite willing to endorse what I found. 

So, I’m happy, and happy with it.

1. Leaving the office, I swung by the EL Honours Room, dropped by the library to trade in my tomes on grammar and semantics (oh, faithful companions) for The Dictionary of the Khazars and The City & The City. I took a walk to engin Macs for a packet of french fries, which I consumed on the walk back to UTown. I’d put on Punch Brothers to listen to, then realized that the song was ‘Familiarity‘, and that definiteness is familiarity.

2. While waiting for lunch with #04-107, I sat down somewhere to try to read, but I ended up nodding off in a chair somewhere else. I woke up for a glorious 麻辣鍋.

Categories: Events

Boston – Warren (Day 28): Via New York

10 July 2014 Leave a comment

We had a leisurely breakfast and check-out the next morning. Both of us were headed to the bus station, my friend bound for New York to meet friends of his (mutual friends, actually), and myself bound for my relatives’ home eventually, though I was also travelling through the city.

The bus ride back ended up being somewhat longer than the bus ride north, due to traffic. It was properly dinner time when I finally arrived in the city.


Between leaving the bus and catching the train to New Jersey, I caught dinner at Five Guys somewhere near Penn Station.


The burger and the peanut oil fries were both richly memorable.

In New Jersey, my aunt picked me up from the train station.


This will be my last day-numbered post in this series on Winter 2013. I did stay a couple of weeks more with my relatives, over Christmas and New Year’s Day, and perhaps more from those days will make it up here, but, by and large, what follows is quality time with family and friends, with the time in between taken at a really leisurely pace under all-too-agreeable (can one feel too warm and well-fed over Christmas?) living conditions – all in all, I felt, the best way I might’ve spent the holidays.

I left for the start of winter term at school a couple of days into 2014.


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Boston (Day 27): Talking Shop

10 July 2014 Leave a comment

After a solid sleep, we spent the late morning walking around the western edge of Boston Common, near our hotel.


We were due to meet Y, yet another friend of ours from USP who’d been in J’s year. In addition to this relation, Y had also been at Carleton before me, and we were also going to meet A, a friend of Y’s who’d also been at Carleton. We managed to meet somewhere around the Common, and headed west for lunch and coffee. I remember getting started almost immediately on a conversation about philosophy (and our old professors) with Y on the walk there.

Lunch was at the Cheesecake Factory, and therefore huge.

After lunch we took a walk to Pavement for coffee, which turned out to be very good.


The coffee conversation continued to be quite involved and at some point we were discussing that snark and smarm article which I’ve probably mentioned a couple of times here by now.

It was nearly evening when we left the coffee shop. After saying our goodbyes, T and I continued our walk around Boston, this time heading north-east towards the harbour.

It was soon dark (the days not being very long in winter), so we ended up stopping for dinner at what turned out to be a bar-restaurant done up in facsimile of Chinese-ness. There was a sports game on at the bar area, which was reasonably busy; but aside from the staff, Tim and I were probably the only Chinese people there. That the sketchy simulation of Chinese-ness seemed to be at least somewhat successful (judging from at least the size of the place and the ample staffing on a not-very-busy foggy winter night) was a bit mysterious to us. More immediately inexplicable was the business at the bar, since nothing on the drinks list bore ordering (at least to me).

Following dinner, therefore, we were obliged to look for another local watering-hole. We ended up at another sports bar somewhere across town with a much better selection for a few more hours of catching up.

While we’d not planned more for the night beyond dinner, on the walk back from the pub neither of us felt much like bed. We saw quite a bit more of the city on the way back, but I remember stopping to watch this light show going on near Faneuil Hall.


On the way back we passed by a movie theatre, so we ended up watching a late-night screening of American Hustle (incidentally my second Christian Bale movie this winter break). I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I think some of that at least had to do with our feeling as though we’d been talking about the whole world (in truth, the narrowly delimited but thoroughly entangled social world we’d recently been in the thick of) over the past couple of days; for me, at least, there was the feeling of working something over that I’d not quite gotten out of my system, and it was good to see a different complicated world on-screen in dramatic, melodramatic, and meta-dramatic color.

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Boston (Day 26): Catching the T

10 July 2014 Leave a comment

I took an early bus out of New York, picking up breakfast from a little cart for a coupla bucks on the way to the stop.


It was a few hours’ ride north, but I managed to sleep most of the way. I arrived in Boston shortly after noon, and made my way from South Station to the hotel where I was to meet T, who’d arrived just shortly before I did. We checked in and headed out for lunch in downtown Boston.


In the previous year, T and I had served in the student government together. After lunch, we visited our friend J at his campus. Between the snow and the evening light, the place was quite beautiful.


J was also a friend from school. He’d served in the student organization in the years before T and I did. After our walk around campus, we stopped by J’s home for a bit, before dinner at IHOP.

Although we hadn’t run around much, between the three of us we’d done a whole lot of catching up about plans, projects, people, and everything else we’d once been neck-deep in, and I suppose this was tiring after its own fashion. After we took our leave from our friend, T and I caught the T (Greater Boston’s subway system) back for an early night.

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New York (Days 24 – 25): Crossings

30 June 2014 Leave a comment

I took the train from Warren to Manhattan. In New York, I stayed with yet another J, also a good friend, and, furthermore, my erstwhile partner in trombone-playing.

One way in which my visit to New York stood out from my previous excursions was in the number of Singaporeans I met, including both friends from (and through) ACS and USP. Part of the reason for the number of coincidental meetings was that it was the end of the exam period for the students at NYU, and other institutions not running on the quarter system (fall term, winter term, spring term, and summer break) like Carleton. Though travelling alone certainly has its unique charms, after the preceding few weeks of it, I was quite energized to see everyone. Also, from the time of my arriving in Minnesota, it’d been a few months since I’d met so many Singaporeans together.


In addition to meeting people around town or in J’s apartment (quite the center of activity, it was), mostly I remember experiencing the buzz of the city. I mainly stayed between the Village and Times Square (where we tried and failed at the ticket lottery for Wicked) over the two days I was in town. J had been working at the campus news outfit over the past year (and quite evidently having a great time at it), and so I got to see some of that as well.


I was also introduced to Shake Shack burgers, Washington Square, and Strand Books, a.k.a. as the best bookstore in the world (or, at least, in my experience).




And finally a picture of a New York City street-junction, for that city-feeling I remember from the time spent navigating the street grid between stops, but which I can’t otherwise describe.


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Warren (Days 21-23): Rest at Hearth

29 June 2014 Leave a comment

Since the start of this series, I’d been through Chicago and Ann Arbor, and then San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. Now I was due to fly to New Jersey to stay with relatives for the remainder of the break – though I had also planned a short trip through New York and Boston while I was in the east.

J dropped me off at the airport, and I when I was arrived, my uncle (technically, my mother’s cousin) and cousin (his daughter) were there to meet me. It was about an hour’s drive to the house in Warren, NJ, where I met the rest of the family, and settled in for the rest of the night – though, really, the next couple of days. In truth, by this point, I think I had accumulated some fatigue from previous travels, and so I was ready for a pause. Thanks to my aunt and uncle’s family, it was a very warm, comfortable, and generously victualled pause. In moving from the west to the east coast as well, I’d moved into winter proper, and so the warmth was richly appreciated as well.

This initial pause would be a short one, however. I arrived in New Jersey on the 16th, and I left for New York on the morning of the 19th.

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San Francisco (Day 20): Land’s End

26 June 2014 Leave a comment

Our adventures began somewhat later this day, following the previous late night. We started with lunch at a Dim Sum place which J knew of.


Like the prawns, lunch turned out to be delicious and huge.

Following lunch, we headed out to Land’s End park in the northwest part of San Francisco for a bit of a hike, and some spectacular views.





And then it was a quick stop by the Golden Gate Bridge for a photo (it feels gratuitous to post that, on top of everything).


On the way to dinner, we stopped by Haight Street for a bit, where I picked up a bottle of a limited release of Speakeasy Brewing’s barrel-aged ale (actually, their first series; it’s a rather new outfit). Dinner was at a low-profile (and thus relatively inexpensive) xiao long bao place, which I enjoyed.

We headed back for a night-cap, and I prepared to leave for the east coast on the following day.

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