Used Brains For Sale

Lifetime guarantee

A possible return

I just installed wordpress on my iPhone, so it is entirely possible this blog might see more than 3 posts per quarter. I twitter a lot, if you haven’t noticed but now and then, I do get the urge to express myself in more than 140 characters at a time, but I’m simply too lazy to open my browser and type a blog post. Call it inertia.

At any rate, I’ve a busy summer ahead: research work, law vi, Sayoni stuff, possible trip to India. Exams are over, so I can finally get to all this.

Anyway, till next post!


May 9, 2010 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Birthday Wishlist 2009

This year is going to be a quiet one. As always, i’m happy if you split the price, and yes some of the wishes are a bit pricy and i don’t expect anyone to actually get them. Some of them are… well, you’ll see below.

1. Go Fug Yourself book – Zark has kinda volunteered to finance this if someone brings it back from the US (Liv?)

2. Battlestar Galactica DVDs

3. La Mer cream

4. Apple store vouchers

5. Ecologically friendly, organic cosmetics and stuff, including fragrances

6. Greek geek gifts

7. Donate to any number of poverty and hunger relief charities in my name – I particularly like Lifesaver, a company that brings revolutionary water purifiers to people in water-shortage situations.

8. If you are a woman, switch to menstrual cups instead of tampons and pads (there are local suppliers for Mooncups) so that we can cut down the waste that ends up in landfills and doesn’t biodegrade, or washes up on shores after being dumped in the sea. Or if you don’t like that, switch to reusable pads and tampons.

9. lots of love, hugs and kisses.

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Mandatory Updates Part II

Because I feel like I owe my readers an update: all 5 of you.

  • I’ve dropped regulatory theory and am going with Corporate Governance in Singapore – because I realised how heavy it was going to be, since my PIL + Islamic law + Comparative Consti combination was already a killer
  • Which means I have a 2-day week (Mon + Wed) and Sat morning classes now that Islamic law classes are over. Yes, you can throw the rotten tomatoes at me.
  • Now that Islamic law is over, I am really really missing it. I actually really love the subject. Which is kinda funny because the central premise of Islamic law is diametrically opposed to my central philosophy as a person. Islamic law dictates that God has a right path for us, and there is a right way to do every conceivable act. I personally don’t believe in a sentient god, and I think if there is a entity beyond the realms of our understanding, it is a passive one that doesn’t set down any laws except the laws of physics. But there is something very academically compelling about it. Too bad it is not an economically viable specialty unless one goes into Islamic finance.
  • Economically unviable also describes Comparative Constitutional law and Public Int’l Law, to a limited extent. Clearly this semester I am just indulging my own interests before I bow into pressure and take some really boring modules which will help me get a job
  • And clearly by economically viable, I mean something that can exist outside academia
  • I love Scrivener. Love it love it love it. If you are a mac user and you are a law/arts student, get this today. If you are a writer, get this. If you work extensively with words, get it. It is soooo awesome. What’s that? You are a windows-user? Not to worry, there is a Scrivener look-alike: Page Four
  • Am I dating anyone? The answer can change month to month, so don’t expect anything permanent. I am honestly tired of dating at this point, and just want to focus on my studies for the next 2 years.
  • Am I happy? Content is more like it. I’m just very focussed on what I want and need to do.
  • Am I going on too long? Yeah, I am, so I am going to go back to my workspace.

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Family & Homophobia

Everyone knows about my love for babies and children. If someone hasn’t heard me go *squee* at a cute baby, they don’t really know me.

So when I heard my friends in New York just had a new baby, my ovaries were positively tingling (to borrow a mysogynistic phrase). K & T are the most loving lesbian couple I know (and will probably exist). They have been through a lot of crap from the beginning that has very little to do with their sexuality, but just the general way life tends to throw you smelly dungbombs. So to have gone through all that, and still be together, and happy, and in love, and have a happy family with two beautiful children… there is nothing in the world that gives my cynical hardened heart more hope than that.

There is also nothing in the world which intensifies my desire to have that family life, more than this happy story either. But of course, the problem being that it is probably not possible to have that life here. I don’t intend to hide my family or live a lie, like the local gay parents do, in fear of their children being taken away, just because they are gay.

What kind of twisted people would break up a happy family just because the parents are gay, in order to uphold their own ideals of what a family should look like? If the child is well-cared for, and lives in a happy loving home, there really is no ground for prohibiting gay parenting, in reliance of woolly unproven pop-psychology ideas of a child needing two parents of a different gender, or fears of the child “turning gay”. There is plenty of research which shows that children in gay families grow up just as well-adjusted as those in straight families.

What the conservatives and anti-gay people do not realise is that it is homophobia which destroys families, not homosexuality. When they beat the drums of intolerance, a parent in a home hears the beat and moves to reject his gay child who just came out to him. Family values are upheld by acceptance and love, not rejection and hate. If people think anti-gay vitriol does not have a negative impact, think again. When you say that gay sex is like sticking a straw up your nose, a teenager who is struggling with his sexuality hears it and hates himself even more. Yes, suicide rates are indeed higher in gay teens, and the reason isn’t too hard to find: rejection from peers and society.

So when you preach you have a right to spout anti-gay stuff and that we are restricing your freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Stop, and think, beyond the political ideas. Think about what you are doing to people. Think about what your words mean to a clueless parent, to a conflicted teenager. Think about the families and relationships you tear apart with your vitriol. Think about the effect of palpable hate surrounding you.

Because this isn’t just politics or ideology. These are lives. These are people.

August 9, 2009 Posted by | LGBTQ, Personal, Religion | | Leave a comment

My New Workspace

Picture 1

That’s it. There are no other windows.

Because I realised my computer, while being my greatest ally, is also my greatest enemy, being a treasuretrove of distraction: Instant Messaging, Twitter, Facebook, Feed Reader, Online Shopping, Email, Other More Interesting Webpages. Hence as an experiment to make myself be more focused, I created a new working account on my laptop and only allowed myself access to the files I need. I’ve switched to Scrivener from Socialtext recently as my workspace (I just settle for remembering to back up my notes once in a while), so that goes well with my switch to this workspace when I need to – everything I need to look at is in a single window (I shall wax lyrical about Scrivener another time). When I need to, I use using Safari with none of my bookmarks or passwords, so that’s a step of convenience removed.

Hopefully this is going to help me remain focused through the 3-hour seminars that dominate my timetable for this semester. Before you ask, it is Comparative Constitutional Law, Islamic Law, Foundation of IP Law, Public International Law, Beyond Law and Economics: Regulatory Theory.

Lets see how long I can hold out on adding more distractions to this workspace. I might just lock out Adium and put parental locks on my usual haunts. Harsh measures? This is just one step on my slow progress to being a more efficient person, which I absolutely need to be this semester. As it is, I have already quit WoW months ago, before exams. Lack of time meant I didn’t reactivate it during the holidays. Today I made my quitting absolutely final by removing the software from my laptop, which means I can’t just activate my account and start playing if I ever get the urge (which, trust me, I have, so many times but kept resisting). Now if I want to, I have to hijack the home computer or reinstall on my laptop(which takes about… 6 hours).

And hopefully, this will also explain to my befuddled friends why suddenly I cannot be found online half the time, or why I dont reply to emails as fast. So, now, the only devil that can really tempt me now is watching TV shows, which, I can only do at home.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

Mandatory Update

Because I have been the laziest bum in the world when it comes to updating my blog, preferring to twitter my thoughts instead in micro-text forms that do not require thought and detailed arguments, without really checking grammar and syntax, and maintaining bothering to maintain a certain level of quality control. (Yes, you twitterati, you can follow me at . Where else?)

Sometimes I forget I have a blog. Of course, its existence got rubbed in my face today when I went to visit my former boss at the law firm I was interning in. As I paused at the door and knocked, I noticed a Duplicity poster on his computer screen. Funny, I thought, he must be reading a Duplicity review. Then to the side of the screen, a familar tag-cloud, with words that really stick out, like “homosexuality” and “LGBTQ”. A green-white layout. The realisation crashes down on me like so many overstacked cartons at a supermarket.

He found this blog.

Now, I have nothing to hide, and I always took the brave risk that people I haven’t communicated my sexuality to, would find it and figure things out. After all, if he really wanted to, all he would have to do was do a google search before he hired me. That’s what being out means, you don’t care who knows. But I had not really made it an issue at my former workplace, since it was all so new, and I am a private person, and I did not know how people were going to react and treat me in a setting where I was the lowest on the food-chain. That applied not just to my sexuality and activism, but almost everything else related to my private life, that I did not talk to people at work about. The secretaries would constantly rib me about going out so often, wondering who I was dating. Nada, I still haven’t admitted that I do date.

(How did he find the blog, you ask? Oh, simple me, I added one of the partners on facebook sometime ago. See what new media does?)

Anyway, this is just to inform those of you who must be complaining about my lack of updates, that twitter might be better. I will still continue blogging, but with 5 modules this semester, on top of 2 research jobs, you understand why I won’t find the time.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Personal | 1 Comment

The Internship Debutante

So I started working a law firm barely 5 days after exams, as a intern, making my friends wonder if I was just a little insane. The last 5 days were spent shopping for officewear, watching TV, reading up on IP law and generally making the most out of my short time.

Internship so far has been good (all one and a half days of it) – I was thrown a case-file after the obligatory round of introductions, and I have been consumed with research on that. I am getting real work, and that is the important thing, as compared to many interns in big firms who are the equivalent of briefcase carriers and coffee-fetchers. I don’t regret going into a small specialised firm – the lack of other interns to socialise with is actually fine, because it helps me concentrate on work.

Now I just need something to get rid of this perpetual sleepy-bleary-eyed thing that seems to be endemic once I settle into a cubicle of any sort, making me wonder if the chairs are impregnated with a skin-absorbent tranquiliser. I strongly fear I am taking after the path of Rachel, who drank 4 cups of green tea day during exams and internship (I keep re-steeping the same bag all day). I have finally discovered which of the shoes I bought is actually comfy and stylish (hint: not the stilletos), and I figured out I need to sit properly or my skirt is going to ride wayyyy up. I am missing my music – when I study, music is my perpetual companion, all day, every day, but the computer doesn’t have a headphone jack in the front. Not to mention its other defects, the least of which being that it is a Windows computer.

Whatever Boston Legal told you about legal practice, don’t believe a word of it. In real life, going to trial can take up to a year as the lawyers correspond in their lawyerly fashion back and forth, trying to get something out of opposing counsel. The case I am working on, the writ was taken out a year ago, and there still has not been a real hearing except one to strike out the action. In real life, the paperwork for certain trials can fill entire shelves, all meticulously numbered and indexed.

In any case, I am relatively happy here so far, and I intend to make  the best out of my 2 months here – and it will most definitely be made if I manage to attend an actual trial for one of the cases I work on. *crosses fingers*

Let’s just hope that I remain this bright-eyed two weeks down the line. Unlikely, but hoping never hurt anyone.

May 12, 2009 Posted by | Law, Personal | Leave a comment


Of public law, of equity! Of school, for another 3 months.

Actually only for the next…5 days, before I start my internship. And I have a million things to do, starting with reading up on IP Law.

May 5, 2009 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Money and Me

I finally have my finances in order. I have never been one to be particularly good at managing money, what with my impulse shopping habits and lack of self-accounting. That might be surprising to my family, who thinks I am a stingy bore. That is not particularly helpful when I often have to make large purchases on my own on behalf of others (and wait to be reimbursed), neither is it helpful that I tend to hang out with working adults. I can’t count the number of times I’ve approached the ATM and gotten a complete shock at the balance – which, I believe, happens a lot to students.

But day-to-day accounting is tedious and hard to maintain. It doesn’t really make sense to account for that 2-dollar chips I bought. So I got a simple-to-use budgeting software for mac – Buddi.  Now, I have no idea whether there are better programs out there for this purpose, but it has worked relatively well so far in keeping track of my expenditure. It is simplistic to the point of being a little limited, but I guess that’s what I get for free software. Edit: Buddi also has a Windows version, for those interested.

So, finally, I can know the actual state of my accounts, without having to guess in my head how much finances I have to work with, and where my money is really going to.

The bright side of it all? After working out my finances in detail, I figured out I could spree (for clothes) this month (I dont need more makeup for a while and I refuse to buy shoes online). Of course, the irony is that either the places I spree at do not have nice clothes, or the clothes I want are going out of stock. Which, of course, means I save more money.

Clearly, the program is doing its job very well. 😀

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , | Leave a comment

Clearly God Hates Me

The hypothetical God that is. Clearly, he/she/it/alien is not done making my life miserable in the big ways, he has to do in the small ways too.

After the public law assignment, because of which I slept a total of 5 hours in two days, I was slammed with the equity assignment. During the meetup to do the assignment, I decided to go out to Mr Prata for a quick bite because I was starving. On the way, my shoes broke. Yes, that’s my second pair of shoes to break this month, which tells me I need to get off my lazy ass and actually buy new shoes (I’ve developed a fatal laziness for real-life shopping and I’ve been too disinterested to online shop for the past two months). I get there barefoot, order a prata, and within five minutes, it starts to rain like cats and dogs.

I finish my prata and wait for as long as I can, but the rain wouldn’t let up and the clock was ticking for the assignment. Bravely, I take my shoes into my hands, and run barefoot all the way from Mr Prata back up the hill to the school building, getting completely wet in the process.

And my Supre spree got cancelled this week, and both dresses from Supre that I wanted went out of stock by the time I found an operational spree.

Are you done yet, hypothetical God? Or am I going to slip and fall on my ass in the bathroom tomorrow?

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment