Caine’s Arcade And The Cardboard Dreams

Have you heard of the Cardboard Dreams in Singapore ?
Bunch of mums, dozens of kids, and mountains of cardboards
Congregating under the morning sun
on Children’s Day 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden
building something out of cardboards and imagination
to celebrate creativity
in the name of play

All inspired by this little kid who goes by Caine
who lives in a little suburb town
near the big city of Los Angeles in the US of A

A boy who built himself an arcade centre during last summer vacation
with used cardboard lying around his dad’s used auto parts store
inspired by a basketball hoop on a pizza box

He had it all thought out
from ticketing, cashier, pricing to prizes and fun passes
but he didn’t know marketing
So, people walked past him and his arcade
oblivious to the greatness behind

No matter that people thought how silly he was to be making games out of used cardboards
He continued to work on his arcade, adding new machines by the day, making it bigger and better
No matter that people said no and walked away from his request to play
He continued to wait patiently in his little chair
For he believed that it was not a matter of if
but a matter of when he will get his first customer

And finally one day, his wish came true
His first customer, a down and out film maker
who came by the store in search of a door handle for his 1996 corolla
who saw extraordinary out of this ordinary boy’s arcade
and decided to make a Youtube video to tell and share the story
The video went viral

Some Harvard professor called him a genius
Some say that Caine will have a bright future as an engineer in MIT
Some say we should all learn creativity from him
Some tout him as the future of entrepreneurship

His name became synonomous with the often discussed
but even more often misunderstood concept of creativity

And in his name, they started Global Cardboard Challenge
and launched the Imagination Foundation

You don’t get a Youtube video that goes viral everyday, do you ?
and so, this sets me thinking

I saw not a genius, but a silly little boy
like so many silly little boys out there
With big dreams, big hearts but small hands
who yawned in boredom when interviewed by some intellectual academic

Was it about creativity?
Was it about having dreams?
Or was it about being able to turn dreams into reality?

About perseverance and staying the course even when the going gets tough
About mental discipline and the ability to grit your teeth and get it done
About doing what you believe and believing in what you do

So, my 8 year old has finally managed to pen down his design for the cardboard challenge
complete with comets, asteroids, the oort cloud and the kuiper belt
But like so many great ideas out there
they will probably remain just ideas…on paper

Because till now, I am still trying to teach
that extraordinary quality of Caine
of turning dreams into reality


Note : Hop over to Sarah’s site to read more about the Cardboard Dreams or RSVP here to join in the fun on 5 Oct at the Singapore Botanic Garden


My Sunday Morning

Last Sunday my husband and I ran in the Singtel’s 2012 Race Against Cancer 15 km event
Many were there to compete but I was there to complete my first 15 km run without collapsing

My husband and I usually take turns to jog because someone needs to be home to be with the kids
And due to his busy work schedule we usually end up jogging late at night

As much as I love running outdoors, I often end up in the most uninteresting boring place, on the treadmill

I never exceed the 1/2 hour limit whenever I am on it, the limit set for every machine in our gym
It is only during weekends that I get to sneak out for longer runs before the kids wake up

I love morning runs, during those balmy predawn hours where  you can smell the dew on the leaves

My husband and I used to jog together but such is a luxury we don’t have after the kids came along

So Sunday run was like a date for us, reliving the old days, and being the weekend that my husband celebrated his birthday, made it all the more meaningful

The morning was beautiful; the sky was clear; and the mood was light
We gathered at the starting point as the sun rose

There was laughter in the air and yet you could feel the nervousness in some
Presumably having the same knotty feeling in the stomach that I was feeling

Doesn’t matter if what I really wished for was a sunless cloudy morning and that I was clad in the most unsporty, perhaps even inappropriate top

You see, I had wanted to wear something pink, but it had totally slipped my mind
I only remembered on the night before the run, while out having late night coffee at the airport
I made a dash to a nearby shop, 10 minutes before it closed and grabbed the pinkiest thing I could find there

A hot pink sphagetti strap singlet that cost less than 10 bucks was what I got

Then my beautician had to give me a new cream and in my vanity, I slapped on copious amounts on my face
Under the blazing sun, the cream reached flash point
The cream, on my face, literally combusted spontaneously during the run
Leaving me at the end, in a pinker state than my shocking pink top

After what seemed like forever of roasting under the hot sun, we crossed the finish line
Our timing … 1 hour 51 min

And before I continued to ramble on about how ill-prepared I was and how great if everything was better planned, I was reminded that this run really isn’t about all these

It isn’t about how inappropriate my outfit was
or how I should have spared my face from the new cream

It isn’t even about the timing we took to finish the run
or how we should have trained better


It was a beautiful morning and we were there for reasons larger than ourselves
To honour those who had fought
To celebrate those who had won
To remember those who had lost
To cheer those who are still fighting

I was solemnly reminded of this man’s wife, my mum’s neighbour, my friend’s dad, my brother-in-law’s mum … Fighters and winners in my life


Please head over here if you wish to make a donation to the Singapore Cancer Society



A Little Something For The Children

Last October, we did a fund raising with the help from friends and readers of this site
We raised enough money to buy some shoes and socks for the 84 children (increased to 96 this year) at Chen Su Lan Methodist Home

This year, with the birth of baby Marcus, life has been a little hectic, crazy and unpredictable
I was a little carried away by the hustle and bustle of life and the daily grind of being a mother of two active and fussy kids

It doesn’t help when the baby’s mood often dictates my activities for the day

I woke up a day after boxing day, realised that Christmas is over
and the year is really nearing an end

There was this sudden fear of beginning a brand new year with  ‘I SHOULD have ….’
the result of procrastination
and you know such things always come back and haunt you, much like jogging

So I woke up in the morning
called up the Home to check whether they would accept some home made cookies for the children

They said yes
but they close at 6

I jotted down the ingredients
Sent my husband off to get them

and with the help of the kids

well, sort of

we baked and decorated enough cookies to go around for the children

We delivered and distributed to some of them whom were around having dinner in the cook house when we arrived

All within a day’s work and perhaps a lesson on giving


Note :
I explained to Malcolm why we are baking cookies for the children and he was quick to put on his Happy Feet t-shirt that we printed for him last year to do the delivery
He was however a bit shy and ended up holding the bags of cookies quietly behind me while I passed them out to the kids

Here’s a picture taken by him before we left

It’s a Christmas tree set up in the cook house by the children and volunteers, made from Vitagen bottles