Tuesday, December 28, 2004

26 things

It's my birthday! Go me!

Today is my last day of work for the year (I love saying that!) as I'm going to KL tonight to celebrate my birthday, which is tomorrow. So here's a list of 26 me-me-mes you may or may not want to know. Happy New Year!

1. I am an incredible vainpot who must matchy-matchy all my clothes and accessories.
2. I can’t cycle.
3. I was such a chicken shit when I was young that I used to be afraid of Santa Claus. When kids ran screaming to him for candy, I was the only idiot running screaming in the opposite direction. 4. I'm a dark chocolate girl.
5. I don’t know how to eat chili. Spicy is as far as it goes.
6. When I was 15, I wanted to be a fashion designer. It took the combined persuasion of my alarmed parents and the sneaky outside enlistment of an uncle (who used to be a fashion designer) to turn me away from said life-ambition.
7. Happily, I no longer want to be a fashion designer. I’ll settle for fashion editor.
8. I'm uncomfortable in contact lenses. That's why I wear glasses everyday, and reserve the contacts for special occasions.
9. I am addicted to head massages at the hair salon.
10. The make-up item I cannot live without is lipstick.
11. I hate gyms.
12. I am a sucker for pretty packaging. Marketing people would love me.
13. I confess to liking Nelly, Spice Girls, S Club 7 and Justin Timberlake songs. Oh, the shame!
14. I adore sequins, beads and such-like shiny embellishments.
15. I have been known to kill cactus. Miss Green Fingers, I am not.
16. I am a huge cartoon freak. If it’s animated, I want to watch it.
17. At last count, I have about 90 cousins (both sides of the family included). There could very well be more that I am not aware of. However, I am not close to any of them.
18. I don’t drink coffee.
19. Milk is icky.
20. I have no favourite authors but am partial to Roald Dahl, Gerald Durrell and Jane Austen.
21. I watch award show ceremonies and Miss Universe/World pageants only to see what everyone’s wearing.
22. When I was five, I wanted to be a teacher just so I could write on a blackboard with chalk.
23. I used to have a Lhaso Apso named Cassius. I had him since I was six and he died in Nov 2002 at age 19.
24. I have never tried a cigarette in my life.
25. For sport, I try to rock climb, roller-blade, do pilates and play tennis or Frisbee. Note the word: try.
26. If ever you want to buy me flowers, don’t get me roses. Especially red or yellow roses. I like asiatic lilies, or orchids.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Ho ho ho!

Hope Santa gives you the pressies you want!

I was in Jakarta on Wed and Thurs for a dinner celebrating a marketing firm's 15th anniversary. It was a benefit dinner for UNICEF so people came arrayed in their cocktail finery, ready to save the children. It was quite fun, the food wasn't too bad (Indonesia satay is the best!) and there were some performances and speeches, all of which I didn't understand. Saya tidak mengerti bahasa. I no speaka the language. Highlight of the night was walking the red carpet into the convention centre and having my picture taken a la papparazzi style and being ushered to the VVIP section. I could get used to this life, no?

Anyway, here's wishing everyone a very Merry, Blessed Christmas. Hope you're on the good list and get all the pressies you want!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas shopping

I was in a really good mood on Sunday and I don't know why. I was venturing out with two friends to get shopping done, and normally I would baulk at squeezing with everyone else doing their shopping, but no, this day I was in fine form, singing Christmas songs all morning ("ooooh the weather outside is frightful...") as I got ready.

Surprisingly, town wasn't as crowded as I expected, especially since on Sat, there was a jam along Stevens Road before noon. We had arranged to meet at 1pm for a quick lunch at Cream before hitting the shops, and then going for a 4.30pm showing of Ocean's Twelve.

At the end of the two hour power shopping trip, which we carefully strategised (you must have a plan for this, we decided to cover our shops in a square - Scotts, Wisma and ending up at Wheelock Place), I finished up with:

- 4 CDs*, for myself
- a Kiehl's voucher, for my mother
- a pair of earrings, for my sister
- nothing (rats!), for my father
- a plan to buy Borders vouchers for everyone at the office (quick and easy haha)

* That CD Shop is a bad, bad place. I blame L&B for my folly because they were late, so I had to go in there to browse while I waited for them. I left that place with: Buena Vista Social Club, Chanchullo, Latenight Betty (I love the band name - Pepe & the Bottle Blondes) and a recording of the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto & Yellow River Piano Concerto.

I have also developed a huge lust for a sparkly skirt from Charlie and either a U2 iPod or iPhoto. Oh no!

Friday, December 17, 2004

We ate so much

We had:
  • cheese prata at Shah Alam, Boat Quay on Wed night,
  • followed by finishing up my friends' tab at the newly-reopened Wala. Squishy's brother drinks like a fish, he finished his pint of Erdinger within a minute flat. P stage-whispered across the table to Squishy, "I like your brother."
  • Lunch at Baker's Inn on Thurs, where we had spaghetti bolognaise, mushroom fricassee (I love saying that word) and mushroom brioche with poached egg (which sounds better than it tasted)
  • After watching The Incredibles (second viewing for me, I liked it that much), late-afternoon snack of ultimate chocolate cupcakes from Toast (no more nutella cupcakes, boohoo). We briefly considered going for the free steak sandwiches at Mortons (LMD: they are back on!), but were too lazy to trek to the Oriental.
  • Dinner at Blood Cafe, where we had roasted chips with wasabi mayo dip, roast chicken sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, caesar salad and duck confit, followed by a christmasy tasting chocolate tart for dessert.


And oh yes, we saw Olinda of S'pore Idol fame at Orchard Cineleisure after the movie. She was wearing too-cool-for-school shades...in the building. I will never understand people who wear sunnies indoors. Yes, those lights are just sooo glaring. My friends wanted a picture with her, but I didn't have my camera with me. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Stand out movies of 2004

I haven't been able to catch as many movies in the cinema as I would have liked this year, but these are the movies that I enjoyed/stayed with me the most this year:

The Passion of the Christ: Aside from some artistic and technical considerations, nothing I have seen or read has made the death of Jesus as close and personal to me as this movie has. It had me in buckets of tears. And hey, anything that makes me go back to the Bible has to be good. Although, I have to admit this is not a show I would be watching in a hurry again.

The Company: I'm a sucker for any sort of dance movie (which is why I was at home on Sun watching the Vanessa Williams show Dance with Me) and although this movie hasn't got much of a plot, the dancing had me riveted. Who knew Neve Campbell could dance so well? And also, James Franco shirtless? Yummy.

Osama: Caught this during the S'pore International Film Festival. I normally have a problem with movies from that region not because they suck, but because they always leave me so depressed. This was another one of those depressing movies. So heart-wrenching. But so good.

Coffee & Cigarettes: It was a little long, and a couple of the stories could have been cut out, but I liked the quirkiness of it all and the fact that it was shot entirely in black & white. My favourite segments were those with Cate Blanchett, Alfred Molina (octopus guy in Spiderman II) and Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People).

The Incredibles: I didn't think Pixar could top themselves after Finding Nemo, but apparently they could. I was so fascinated with the way they animated the hair. So smooth, so shiny! My favourite character is Edna Mode, fabulous fashion designer. One of my friends said I look like Edna, how dare he! Just because I wear glasses and have an insane fixation on fashion does not mean I'm like a midget cartoon character!

Honourable mentions: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Japanese Story, Saved!, Kill Bill 2 and Shrek 2.

And on the other end of the spectrum, I absolutely loathed Le Divorce and Cold Mountain. Am so glad I didn't shell out money to watch them, and caught them on DVD.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Zoom zoom zoom

Since my car is out of action, I have decided to rent a car from tomorrow evening until Sat afternoon. I had no idea renting cars in Singapore is so expensive! I'm putting down $200 to rent this car. And let's not forget the extra costs I will have to fork out like petrol. Also, somehow knowing there is a $1,500 excess is making me quite nervous too. But at least that will take care of all the transport troubles for when my friends come to town tomorrow.

Knowing my lousy luck, I'll probably get a call from the mechanic on Fri saying the car is ready. Bah.

Actually, on second thoughts, I would rather they called and said the car is ready this week, cos then at least I'd have a car this weekend.

In other news, I'm still yet to plan things to do with my friends when they come on Thurs. They're only on stopover for 24 hours, so is not much time to do all the things they have requested i.e. lots of eating, drinking and shopping. So far, all I've come up with is:
  • prata at either Boat Quay or Upper Thomson on Wed night. If we have prata at Boat Quay, then maybe we can go Jazz@ Southbridge first.
  • cover the usual shopping haunts - Far East Plaza, Heeren, Queensway Shopping Centre
  • Mortinis. But subject to there being free steak sandwiches at the bar. No free sandwiches, no happy hour.

Still can't figure out a place for lunch. Definitely not Crystal Jade, I've taken them there too many times already.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I have discovered a new way to exchange presents at parties. Last night, I went to the first of Christmas parties at a friend's place. She and her fiance have a fabulous apartment in River Valley and we had popiah and kwey pie ti and Penang laksa for dinner, and helped the hosts decide which wine they should have for their wedding, and finished off with homemade Christmas cake. After a rousing rendition of Christmas carols, where everyone butchered 'The First Noel' and 'Feliz Navidad', we did the exchange presents thing. Everyone had been instructed to bring a gift of not more than $20, which we put under the Christmas tree the moment we stepped in.

I've always done the gift exchange thing with other friends the democratic way, i.e. we draw lots and when it comes to our turn, stick our hands down a bag and grab something. But this was different. We still draw lots to see who goes first and last. But the present you pick may not end up being the present you go home with.

Rule #1. The moment you pick a present, you have to open it immediately and let everyone have a good look at it.
Rule #2. The person who goes after you can choose to take your present or open a new one. And, no, whatever you say about how much you luuuurve your present and how the spirit of Christmas is all about lurve and caring and sharing, it's not going to help you keep your present.
Rule #3. You can only snatch people's presents which have been opened before your turn.
Rule #4. If your present has been snatched, you can either open a new one, or snatch someone else's present.
Rule #5. A present cannot be snatched more than twice.

In playing this game, I have learnt that, a) it's best to be last in this game, so you can practically pick your choice of presents and provide much torture , b) it's best to have brought a date for the dinner party, as you can collude with your partner-in-crime for getting the object of your desire, and c) it pays to keep very quiet once you get your present and try not to draw any attention to it. Don't try to be tricky and say things like, "Oh, it's lousy, you wouldn't like it." It only makes someone else want it more.

There were some choice presents at last night's party. The hot items were a Country Road wine-opener, a sterling silver Royal Selangor box, a Timberland bag and a green jewellery box. I came away from the game with the present I picked out, although it actually got snatched from me. But after the game, I managed to do a mutual swop with the person who snatched it from me (I had an item she wanted).

I went home very happy with my porcelain 'piggy' bank, only it's not actually in the shape of a pig, but a cow wearing jeans, specifically cow boy jeans. I have decided to call it The Cash Cow.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Thinking silly

A Silly Poem

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of
pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

-- Spike Milligan

My colleague and I were talking on the way in to work this morning, and she said, she thinks in colours and shapes. That's why she speaks so slow sometimes, because she's still translating the shapes into words. I had a thunk about it and have concluded that I think in a mix of English and bubbles. How about you?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Immense distress

Fishballs. I sent my car in yesterday to get something checked out and to get it serviced, when I found out today from my mechanic that I will not be able to drive my car for the next two weeks. THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. Please bring to mind the most distressed face you have ever seen, and add 100x times more distress to that. He says the pressure regulator has run the course of its natural lifespan and needs to be replaced. He says there are no other pressure regulators to be found in Singapore and that it has to be ordered in from Japan and that could take between 14-21 days. I say, do you have any idea where I work? I need that car, man! I NEED it!!

What will I do? How will I live? How will I move around? And oh no this is so not a good time. I have friends visiting Singapore next week and it is imperative I have a vehicle, so we can move around the island to shop and eat prata and drink mortinis.

THE PAIN THE PAIN! Fishballs. I need a drink.

eh, I'm such a spoilt brat. Cannot even imagine life without a car for 2 weeks.

Friday, December 03, 2004

This baby is mine for a week

Mine, all mine!

I wish it were mine, but I'm only reviewing it for a friend who writes for Shape magazine. Ah well, at least I get to enjoy its pretty colour, slick packaging, cute compact size...and oh yah, the music for a while.

Quick notes so far:
* Might be buggy - when first turned on, screen would not respond to click wheel and sound wouldn't come on even though a song was playing. Had to reboot iPod.
* Transferring music the first time round didn't work. Although iTunes clearly indicated that the songs had been successfully transferred, iPod looked empty. Had to plug iPod back to computer to do one more transfer before could see songs successfully.
* Ears hurt after wearing earphones for more than an hour. Ouch.
* Battery needs constant recharging. Have been playing iPod for about 6 hours and already battery is at quarter mark.

And even after all that, I STILL want an iPod, especially this one. Damn Apple and their clever marketing and packaging!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

This December, I am into...

...Ribena Blackcurrant Pastilles, conquering the scary side of the Yishun wall, Johnson's Baby Peach Fresh bath, my new bed, baking Nutella cupcakes, my birthday, Inuyasha (embarrasingly), getting a good haircut, all things Christmas - cards, carols, parties, three days off from work.

What are you into this December?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I don't want to leave my bedroom yet

The van from Barang Barang arrived at 10.30am on Sat and the movers managed to bring everything in, take away my old bed and assemble the new one in an hour, leaving my room in a flurry of dust. Changing furniture is good because when the old bed was taken away, I found some old ang pow money that had slipped through the cracks (I'm $30 richer, whoohoo!), the missing jade stud my grandmother left me, and my mother's red coral necklace which I thought I'd lost but was too chicken to tell her.

After that, it took the whole weekend to test my organisation skills. Where should the box of old memorabilia go? How about old theatre programmes? Or my Suzuki certificates? In the end, I just chucked them all into one drawer and mentally labelled it in my mind as 'Old Stuff I Will Probably Never Look At But Should Not Throw'.

Turns out it was a good thing changing all my furniture as it enabled me to do a huge spring-clean, long overdue for 3 years, ever since I got back from Oz. I must have thrown out 3 boxes worth of old stuff. Suddenly, there's that much extra space in my room to walk in and for future cluttering up. In short, love the new bed and everything else. Oh, and that woody varnish smell is heady stuff. Mmm.

Next project to come up: getting rid of the monster desk.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Be a Santa!

(c) JellyGirl. Dun steel the design! Click to enlarge and view details

My friend is helping out at a gift pledging drive held at the Ulu Pandan Community Club where people can pledge pressies for kids who come from less fortunate families. The pledges are in the form of 'wish-cards' and are will be hung on the Christmas tree in the CC lift lobby. (The amount of the present should not exceed $50, most wish-list items are for NTUC vouchers, toys, milk powder or diapers) So if you want to give a kiddy a nice pressie and spread a little Christmas cheer, you can go there and get a card. I've already picked mine out - I'm getting a little girl a water bottle and a set of 5 Ladybird books. An excuse to go shopping and look at kiddy books!

When you're done shopping, you can bring the present back to the CC from the 11th Dec onwards and they'll wrap and distribute the pressies. Here's the address:

Ulu Pandan Community Club
170 Ghim Moh Road

UPDATE: Oops looks like I got my dates wrong! The wish-cards will be up in the tree from the 4th Dec onwards. And the CC will start collecting the presents from the 11th.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The black hole of toilet thoughts

Conversation over MSN at 3.15pm

B: You know what I was thinking when I went to the toilet just now? (its where I do most of my thinking)
Me: ooh yes toilets are important for thinking
B: I thought it's funny how hippies like bananas so much. Because, if I'm not wrong, bananas have high potassium levels
Me: i didn't know hippies like bananas
B: Bananas grow on trees yeah?
Me: yes
B: Q.E.D. ...anyway. Potassium is radioactive. In fact, in someone's life, 80% of the radiation their body gets is from potassium
Me: really?
B: So hippies, by loving bananas are loving the nuclear bomb.
B: stupid hippies.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The things you learn

Last night, as I was hanging off the overhang at the rockwall at the Yishun SAFRA club, I realised what a quitter I was. I don't really put in my best effort on anything I do. I start out with all these good intentions, but along the way, lose enthusiasm or just give up. It's almost as if I'm afraid of putting in my best effort in case it ends up being a disappointment. That the best I can do is crap, or not as good as I thought it would be.

Just like that wall. I didn't make it to the top. After clearing the hard part, I got tired and just let go. Eh, I'm such a wuss. Oh well, there's always next week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Retail therapy back with a vengeance

Warning: In which I indulge in descriptions of clothes and bags and shoes. Severe fluffines follows. Boys may want to avert their eyes.

The shopping bug has bitten again and I find myself wanting to possess more more more pretty things! Went on a shopping spree with my friend on Sunday as she has two interviews on Thurs and 'needed' a top that looked serious and yet not boring. Very hard to find ah. It's party season now so all the stores are stocked with pretty, flirty and sparkly party frocks, definitely not interview-worthy. And as is usually the case, the person who is out to buy ends up not getting anything, while the shopping partner who is there to provide the critical eye ends up buying gobs more.

I came away with a pink (or to be more specific, dusky rose) jacket from Zara and a white pair of pants from some label called Moonstone at the newly renovated Tangs. Very excited about my new buys, and like all new clothes, I can't wait for the next event to wear them. The extent of my shallowness is revealed when I find myself looking forward to certain events only because it allows me to dress up. The first outing of said pink jacket will be aired tomorrow when my mum and I go for the Boris Berezovsky concert.

Out of my reach
There was of course so much more I wanted to buy, but my budget would not allow for such outrageous spending. Alas.

I'll take two please.

Lacoste argyle sweater - I'm not normally a fan of argyle, but I'll make an exception for this. So preppie! So cute! So expensive...
Cute doggie shoes from Ras - I liked the tweed version and the white version, they would look splendiforous with jeans, but $200 for a quirky pair of shoes? Urrr I don't tink so.
Charlie boutique - new store on the third level in Wisma Atria. Has the cutest handmade bags from Brazil with little dollies attached and a bewwdiful sequinned skirt from some New Zealand designer which I am coveting so much. Unfortunately, skirt is $600 and bags are $250 and $600 (small and large). Why why why are they so expensive?

So if you want to make me a very happy girl and a slave for yew, you can buy me any of the above-mentioned as a combined burfday and Christmas pressie. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I've been sleeping on the same kiddy bed for the last 15 years, so it was really time for a new bed. So on Sunday, after tennis and our prata breakfast, my father and I went to Tanglin Mall to have a look at Barang Barang and behold, I found a nice bed from the Java range at 40% off. Ever the sucker for a sale, we got me the matching cabinet, step cabinet and a mirror. Fwah. All to be delivered on the 27th Nov.

And because I had ordered a super-single bed, I must get a new mattress right? So off to Robinsons we went on Sunday to get me a Sealy mattress (at 30% off, I lurve bargains) so I can have lovely sleep at night. And of course, a new mattress means new bedsheets, right? I had lots of fun looking at the range, and deciding on colour schemes and finally selecting some egyptian cotton with a gazillion threadcount. So nice. I can't wait to try out my new bed.

However, that now leaves me with about 2 weeks to clear all the junk in my room to make space for the new furniture. Uh-oh.

Maison de Fontaine

My dad was driving down to S'pore for the long weekend* so we had dinner together on Sat night. It's always good to have dinner with my dad, because he's a major foodie, and he loves to try new places. My sister and I normally reserve the more pricey establishments for when he comes down, so we don't have to pay hehe.

This time, we decided to try Maison de Fontaine, in a bungalow along Scotts Road. French food in a nice colonial bungalow, plus they had a fairly good review, can't go wrong right? We didn't call to make a reservation and decide to chance it by walking in. We arrived to a practically empty restaurant, and were told that the entire place was fully booked and the only table they could offer us was outside on the veranda. It was a nice cool night, so we didn't mind.

The first sign that things were not quite right was when the waiter came out to set the table while we were going through the menus. Instead of setting the bread plates and cutlery nicely by our sides, he plonked them down in a messy pile on one end of the table and walked off. Now, if that were to happen at a normal cafe, that wouldn't really bother me, but when you're a fine-dining establishment who charges at least $28 for a mains, then you'd better darn have some fine-dining service to match. But to give the waiters their due, they were always very polite and attentive, just not quite polished.

Overall verdict of the food: too salty (you have to say it Zhang Ziyi style). From the complimentary starters of little salad we got in Chinese soup spoons, to my sister's duck confit and my bay prawns, everything just made me want to gulp lots of water down. And as for my father's tenderloin, he got a well-done steak when he asked for it to be medium. He sent it back to the kitchen, after all, if you're paying $40 for steak, it had better be done right. The captain came back with the same steak sliced in half and said, "The chef cut your steak in half to show you that it's red inside and that he doesn't think it is overdone. However, just to please you, he's doing another one again." I could imagine the chef throwing a prima donna fit about how plebs did not appreciate his art. I dunno lor, what happened to the customer is always right? We were not impressed. Oh, and I forgot to add that the food took a reeeeally time to arrive. Looks like we're not going back there again.

To soothe our dissatisfied palates, we went to Halia for some dessert among the tall trees and chirping crickets. Muuuch better.

* My dad works in KL and comes back to visit about once every month.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nerd alert

(Picture from E-Online) So they have a name for this kind of art eh?

Complete Guide to Isometric Pixel Art
Now I can create pictures like that too. Yah right. This reminds me of the 3D Animation tutorials I had to do in uni. So painful, I'm so bad at breaking up an object into various shapes.

(From Samurai Champloo website) More adorable anime I can't watch

I've been on a crazy anime hunt lately. It's not enough for me to watch and rewatch Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, I want more more more! Blame it all on my friend who got me back into anime with Kenshin and Saiyuki. Samurai Champloo is the latest offering by the Cowboy Bebop guy, and judging by the website, this looks lots of fun. Argh why can't I read Japanese?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Objects of Material Lust

Hubba hubba...to flip (Nokia 7200) or to slide (Siemens SL65)?

I can't believe I have caved, but I have started thinking, "Hmm maybe I should get a new phone." I've always been a loyal Nokia girl, mainly because I'm just too darned lazy to learn how to use other phones. But then, after watching all those Korean serials and seeing the pretty girls with their clamshell phones and sparkly danglies, I want one too! Maybe if I have a clamshell phone, I will have flawless milky skin, beautiful straight black hair, pouty lips and Lee Byung Hun will want to snog me!

Yah, I know the Nokia clamshell phone hasn't gotten many good reviews, but it just looks so stylo! And then as if things weren't bad enough, I had to catch the Siemens SL65 ad on TV with that sexy sliding action. Aarrgh! What to do? What to get?

No no, must resist. Will stick to my trusty Nokia 6510. I don't need a sexy new phone, I don't need a sexy new phone.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

This November, I am into...

more Christmas card ideas, finding yummy dessert recipes, the start of the holiday season, the preppie look, a long weekend, Rouge Online, Fantasy Mint Wash, those quirky shoes I saw at Hue, getting some or any kind of exercise in between the rain.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The answer to the universe?

On sat night, my normally recluse friend sms-ed me and asked if I wanted to go to Jazz @ Southbridge to listen to the Okazaki brothers play. I'd never heard of them before, but I like the place and hadn't been back in close to 2 years. Also, if your recluse friend wants to go out, you'd better darn go out!

Not only are the Okazaki brothers real brothers (as opposed to the brotha' , brudder kind), but they are both bald and sorta dress alike - in long-sleeved patterned shirts. The hotter one (who sorta looks like Lim Yu Beng, but shorter) plays saxophone and the other (who looks like a teddy bear) plays trumpet. It was very enjoyable and we stayed for two sets. The only songs I recognised were 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', 'Autumn Leaves' and one other old jazz song I can't remember the title of.

While we were there, I tried a 42 Below vodka cocktail. Apparently, it has won awards for Best Vodka of the Year, or something like that. I had the special manuka honey blend with frangelico and apple juice - a very nice heady, strong mix which grows on you with each sip. Very yummy. I love sweet cocktails. The vodka was peddled by a girl wearing a black 42 Below vodka T-shirt, black pleated skirt and knee-high black boots, who went from table to table trying to sell the drink. Although all the men were checking her out, nobody was biting. A group of Americans seemed quite taken with her, and one of them attempted some 'witty' banter with her:
Guy: So, you know, the number 42 is the answer to the universe.
Girl: Urrrr...right.
Guy: I'm serious! There's a book that was written and in
it, these guys in it build a computer to find out all the answers in the universe. So they build it, and when they ask it the question, they wait years and years for the answer, and when the answer comes out, it's 42. Harhar, very funny right?
Girl: You are lying.
Guy: No, I'm serious. It's true, really!
Girl: Look, will you just buy the $%&^* vodka already!
I rolled my eyeballs and continued to sip my drink.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Be careful what you say

It was a slow day at work yesterday, and as I lurked around various sites, this particular one reminded me of the bloopers my teachers made back when I was in school:

Scene 1:
(During a lecture, our lecturer was exhorting us to be more vocal in class)
Mr Y: Par-sur-pation is good, everyone should par-sur-pate in
Students: Did he say mas-tur-...? heehee
Mr Y: (oblivious) It is very important to par-sur-pate as much as
Students: heeheehee
Mr Y: What? What? What are you laughing at? What's wrong with
Scene 2:
(During a computer tutorial, our Aussie teacher was trying to show us how to manipulate images)
Mr W: Let's pick any image...(look through his list of clip
) ah, let's use this banana. So, if you want to make my banana bigger, all you have to do is click and drag it...look how big it is now!
Students: *much glee*
Ah those crazy school days. How I miss them!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Korat slum, 15th October 2004, Friday

The kids from the slum

On our last day in Korat, we visited a slum. World Vision does some work there, running a Children’s Centre, taking care of and teaching the kids, and doing some humanitarian work within the slum. The slum is located slap-bang in between some railway tracks, and people cross between the tracks with nary a thought. There is no set schedule for trains, so you don’t know a train is coming until you see or hear it coming. Fortunately, the trains are so LOUD there is no way you can miss them.

We were driven to the slum by a World Vision worker in the back of his pickup, and I enjoyed the ride there. It’s nice to sit al fresco (so to speak) and look around the town with an uninterrupted view and enjoy the breeze and the sunshine. Then we turned off the concrete road and onto a dirt track leading away by the railway track. We passed rows of makeshift one-room zinc and billboard affairs, and saw the occupants, who were in turn watching us curiously as we made our way to the Children’s Centre. We had entered the slum.

The Children’s Centre is better constructed than a lot of the houses, even if it’s a one-room wooden house. As we approached the doorway, I saw grey specks swirling in the air. Being warned earlier of lice and ticks, I was a little apprehensive. “Errr…”, I said to one of my teammates, “Is that what I think it is?” “Urr..I’m not sure,” she said, eyeing the specks nervously. On closer inspection, we found out it was just ash. Phew.

There were about 26 kids waiting for us in the centre, with ages ranging from 6 months to about 10 years old. They were adorable, and when we greeted them, all of them put their hands together in the traditional Thai greeting and bowed their heads, chanting in unison, “Sawadee kha/kap!” And with that, we were sold. We sang songs with them...

organised relay games for them…

acted mimes for them, made balloon sculptures for them, and distributed the little bags of toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo we had bought earlier on in the trip. We also gave out milk packs for them to share.

In turn, they blessed us with three dances and their ready smiles and infectious laughter. I was admiring some of the girls’ pretty highlights in their hair, and then suddenly realized those highlights weren’t the kind you get from a hair salon or even a home-dye job. Those golden streaks were from malnutrition.

While the kids were having lunch, we did a quick walk-around the slum. Some houses were more ramshackle than others, and some were more well furnished than others. One of them even had a TV in the room. That astonished me as it had been pointed out to us that the slum didn’t get any clean water. Whatever water they used was bought for them by World Vision, if not, they subsisted on the dirty, muddy puddles that surrounded some of their homes, opening themselves up to diseases such as cholera and typhoid. So if they couldn’t even afford water, how did this family get the TV? Perhaps it was a gift? And did they even have electricity?

Our final stop was to pray for a man who had HIV. He was an old man, wearing only some loincloth rags and lying on a platform in the front of the house. He was gaunt, and so skinny that you could count every single rib in his body; his skin had numerous sores with pus running out, and his eyes had a rheumy look. One look and you knew this man did not much time left. By his side, he had a dirty bottle of some sort of liquid. His grownup son moved to the back of the house quietly as we entered and did not attempt to talk to us. The moment I ducked under the shelter, I had to try very hard not to gag from the smell. The little space surrounding that man was just filled with rubbish everywhere. Months worth of rubbish, like empty bottles, paper, kitchen utensils were scattered everywhere, trodden into the mud so much that they formed a kind of floor. I felt so incredibly sad when I looked at the scene. What had happened to reduce this human being to this state? I couldn’t go in much further, so overpowered by the smell, and instead hovered at the edge of the platform. I am ashamed to say I was more aware of my surroundings and of the smell to really concentrate 100 percent on the man. One of my team-mates however, who is also a fulltime church worker, moved right in and despite whispered warnings from other team-mates, touched him gently while she prayed for him. We prayed for final moments of peace and a release of pain for this man, whose face betrayed no emotion throughout the session.

That is a picture I carry with me now that I have left Korat. The smiles of the kids and the joy they exhibit, while not far down the track, an old man lies there waiting for death on the platform in front of his house.

Love-love tennis

(From WimbledonMovie.com) I love cute tennis outfits

I am now nutty about tennis, even though I suck at the game. On Sat night, I caught Wimbledon with a friend, and we oohed and aahed at the sexiness of Paul Bettany, lusted after Kirsten Dunst's cute outfit, and held our breath at the tennis-playing moments. At first we thought wah, Paul Bettany's playing is not bad, and then later realised that the actors had been filmed doing the strokes first and then the ball was added in digitally later. Chey. But it was a nice mushy romantic chick flick that I'd watch anytime again.

So now I want to be a tennis genius and look oh-so-cute in the all-white outfits (OK I admit, half the attraction is in the outfits). Admittedly, will never get to look like or play like Sharapova but I can pretend lor. In fact, I will be pretending tonight at 8pm. Hopefully it will not rain. Watch me run after those balls.

UPDATE: Bah, the rain has spoilt my dreams of pretending to be a tennis pro. Will try it again on Wed. Meanwhile, will go bouldering at Climb Asia instead.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Snapshots in Phi Mai

A temple we passed by on our prayer walk

A rice mill which unhusks rice.

Photo-friendly boys who had just finished a football game

During prayerwalk, we split up into teams and handled different parts of the town. We're walking towards the old entrance of Phi Mai where people come to pray every year.

Regathering at the PCC after prayerwalk. 10 year old Thom is the boy in the blue Hawaiian shirt holding the yellow balloon.

'Na rak' little girls in kindergarten and cute little schoolbags all in a row

Handing out tracts to the shops. I loved looking at the gowns.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Phi Mai

Taken 12 Oct 2004 (L): Prayer walking around the town at dusk, (R): A main street in Phi Mai just across the road from our guesthouse

Phi Mai is a small town about an hour's drive northeast of Korat. It has some ancient ruins from the old Angkor Wat days, nowhere near as magnificent but still just as important as part of the country's history. As small towns go, it isn't the poorest, as there is electricity and lots of little shops. It's not exactly a touristy spot and the normal kinds of visitors this town gets are backpackers travelling the country and people en route to further north Thailand.

I liked Phi Mai. I liked it for its small charm (the entire town is 2 sq km), untouched by commercialism, its charming little shops of sundries, tailors, motorcycle repair work, the easy langour of the people as they sat tending their shops from early in the morning at 7am to closing at 6pm.

There is only one church in Phi Mai and it is called the Phi Mai Christian Centre (or PCC for short). It was started by this energetic and tireless lady whom we called Arjan Ju, who took us everywhere and introduced us to some of her little flock. There's Gan who is a kindergarten teacher, an entire family who has converted to Christianity, 10 year old Thom, whose mother does not allow him to go to church - all of whom have amazing stories of their faith and trust in God.

A night market set up beside the town square

We stayed one night in Phi Mai and spent the first day prayer-walking around the town with some of the church members, handing out tracts and inviting people to visit a park where we would be having a mini public performance. After the performance, we walked around the poorer area of the town. Arjan Ju introduced us to one woman who has HIV and lives by herself in a small one-room house. Her children had abandoned her and gone to Bangkok to live. She was small and looked rather frail. We prayed for her, but beyond that, I felt so helpless. How would she survive? That was my first time in contact with someone with HIV.

The next day, we visited the little kindergarten where Gan teaches. Her school had about 26 kids. I learnt it cost about 5 baht a day (S$1=25 baht) for these kids to come to school, and there were still some parents who could not afford that amount. The kids were adorable, and we sang songs to them, played games, made balloon sculptures and acted out a mime for them. I really wish I could speak more Thai to them, beyond telling them they were very "na rak" (cute).

When we were in Phi Mai, we had lunch at a small stall across the street from the PCC. Noodles were served from a makeshirt cart by a woman, while we sat and waited behind her in a shady alcove with tables and stools, while her kids played behind us. Lunch was a choice of a bowl of pho or kway teow, dry or with soup with shredded pork and pork fat and some spring onion sprinkled on top. It was really delicious but such a tiny serving, in two mouthfuls, all the noodles were gone. So all the Singaporeans had a second helping. We must have seemed like a really greedy bunch of people to the Thais, so piggy! All having second helpings, shocking! To make matters worse, one of the church members from PCC insisted on paying for the entire lunch, for a team of about 12 people. She was a smiley lady who had worked in Hong Kong before, and could speak flawless Cantonese. She said it was an honour to pay for us and she wouldn't take no for an answer. My second bowl of noodles sat guiltily in my stomach. By the next day, everyone was familiar with the Singaporeans' large appetites, as when the noodles were finished, Arjan Ju called out, "Who wants second bowl?" and proceeded to order more for us.

I am so amazed at Arjan Ju's love for God and the people around her, her tireless enthusiasm at everything she does and her unquenchable spirit. Nothing daunts or discourages her. When she sings, she closes her eyes and claps her hands, swaying to her own beat, and sings with such vigour and spirit, drowning out even the guitar, completely giving her heart to the music. She exists in that moment, singing of her love to God.

Arjan Ju, pra chao wai pon. God bless you.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Everyone should have a Friday afternoon off

Tea at Ah Teng's Bakery, Raffles Hotel, 8 October 2004, 4.30pm

My friends from Oz were in town for a day, so I took Friday arvo off to hang out. We ended up having chicken rice lunch at Far East Plaza, tea at Ah Teng's Bakery, a sundowner at the Long Bar, and dinner at Newton. And then we sent them off, completed sated, on a plane to Scotland.

In other noos, yep I'm back from Korat. It was an amazing trip and I have so much to say I'm in danger of boring the ears off anybody who comes within range and asks "How was the trip?". Have just uploaded all my photos. Will write more on the trip in days to come. In the meantime, have lots of work to catch up on. Ugh.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

See you later, alligator

Off to Korat on Mon. Will be gone for the whole week. This should be interesting.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Abba dabba doo

(Taken from the Mama Mia website) White lycra is soo fat-making

"People with nervous dispositions are to be warned: white lycra and platorm boots will be used".

And with that, Mama Mia started. Quite enjoyable, and I was surprised to learn that I know almost all the Abba songs. Overall verdict: not bad, good for the 2.5 hours, but is fairly forgettable. The first half of the show is more fun, the second half is quite draggy and I remember thinking, OK let's get on with the story. Not that there is much story to begin with.

Also, I was expecting more dancing and nicer looking sets. Maybe I have been spoilt by all those fabulous musicals in New York. oops.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

This October, I am into...

my pink Dr Scholls sandals, all things green, Glory ground peanut cookies, Wee Nam Kee dumpling soup, my mission trip to Korat, re-reading old classics, America's Next Top Model, getting ideas for Christmas cards, getting back into rock climbing and tennis, not doing any shopping, the last wedding of the year, my sister's 21st birthday, rojak from Canteen 2, catching up with old friends.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Happy, happy

My weekend happiness has spilled over to today. Mainly because:

1) I got to eat steak at a bbq party
Is good to have lots of friends, because lots of friends means lots of birthdays, and lots of birthdays means lots of parties. This one was a 'supplies' birthday party for a friend, Fear Factor style, where we made him eat dried frogs and baby bamboo shoots with vinegar and lick up a 'blowjob' shooter before he could receive his BIG pressie of an iPod. (Or was it an iRiver?)
Food was lots of STEAK, bratwurst, potato salad, chicken wings, ribs and lasagne, and of course chocolate cake and Ben & Jerrys Cherry Garcia, washed down with a lot of vodka cranberry and red wine.

After the gorging was finished and we had dried up all conversation topics and as we got sillier, we played six shooter roulette - with bacardi, baileys & whipped cream, Sprite and dried frog. Bonus, everytime I had to drink, it was either baileys or Sprite. No frog for me. hurhur.

2) I went to Happy
The bar. After bbq party, three of us adjourned to Happy at Neil Road, formerly Taboo. Happy is still predominantly a gay bar, but was very relieved on seeing that all the men had their shirts on, there was actually space to walk and there were more than 3 girls in the place. Also, there were some straight men, but I couldn't really tell. My gaydar has gone a bit wonky. Damn this metrosexuality! I had a yummy lychee martini and we danced to disco until the lights came on at 4am. Whee!

3) I ate Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Sunday
Got a call from friends who had just returned from Sydney armed with a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, to go help them consume some for tea. I have not met a single person who is a larger doughnut nut (hurhur) than WL. She is so rabid about them she will proudly announce to anyone that she has missed a flight from NY to S'pore because she was too busy buying Krispy Kreme doughnuts. But having said that, I can why she likes them so much. My favourite is the chocolate icing ones. mmmm. Dooooh-nuts.

4) Uni has finally announced 5 day work-week

E-mail from the Vice-President of HR says:
    To: All NTU Staff


    1. In line with the Government’s pro-family initiatives, and to help staff strike a healthier work-life balance, the University has decided to implement the 5-day workweek with effect from 1 Nov 2004.

    2. The official operating hours for the University under a 5-dayworkweek are as follows:
    Mon - Thurs : 8.30 am - 5.45 pm - (includes 45 mins lunch break from 1 to 1.45 pm)Fridays : 8.30 am - 5.15 pm

Just tag on 15 min to go-home time, and take away 15 min for lunch. I can handle that. No more working on Saturdays from Nov onwards!

5) I have a half day on Friday, and don't come back to work until the 18th. hurhur.
Ex-housemate is passing thru S'pore on his way to Scotland, so that gives us 24 hours to give him the grand tour of the island. Plans are already underway to consume lots of alcohol and bring him to Little India to eat with his hands. *cackle cackle*

So, no Monday blues for me today. Exxx-cellent.

I'm in a haze

My burfday colour

Pantone sez that Purple Haze is my burfday colour, and that I should surround myself with this shade in order to "join with another person without the fear of losing [my] individuality". Mmm, sounds a bit the hippie and new-agey, but this colour is quite nice lor.

Get your own colourstrology here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

I can sing a rainbow...

Red and yerrow and pink and greeeen, purpur and oleng and brruu...

Just like LMD, I oso lurve stationery. While she ventures to Evergreen, I went to my canteen supermarket this afternoon and picked up a 80 cents packet of magic markers. I can tell it's branded magic markers, because the packet has a picture of Lady and the Tramp on the cover.

Now I am at work happily doodling away on plain white paper. Doodle doodle.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

To stay or not to stay

I have been thinking of leaving my job at the end of the year, and looking for something else to do. I've been at my job for the last 3 years and my contract runs up by about March next year. Anyway, I think it's time to move on to something else. What that something else is, I still don't have a clue. Something fluffy would be great - either in fa-shun or entertainment. I am so not serious and business-like.

Then, this morning, my boss suggested I take a part-time diploma in Financial Management or something of its equivalent. She felt it would greatly enhance my work here and would be useful in future jobs. I see her logic and agree that if I want to stay in a corporate job, this course would greatly enhance what I've already learnt.

It is obvious my boss sees me staying here for the long term, as she told me in her office that she could see me taking over her position when she retires, if I was willing. That really stunned me. Take over? Gah! This changes all my old plans. Should I stay in my job or leave? Much mulling ahead.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hungry, hungry hippo

Have been eating like a piggy this whole morning. It's not even lunchtime, and so far, I've had:

    - 1 piglet (the mooncake skin kind)
    - 1 kaya bun
    - 4 Glory ground peanut cookies
    - Preserved ginger sweets
And I'm craving chocolate chip cookies, and all manner of sweet things. That time of the month must be approaching.

Monday, September 27, 2004

October desktop calendar

I'm always hungry

One day, not so long ago, when I was very bored at work and too cheap to buy a daily planner, I made a desktop calendar to print out and scribble down my busy social schedule and work appointments. I blu-tacked it on the wall next to me, and found it very useful indeed. So I was bored at work on Sat again and decided to start up the monthly calendars again. So if you like and you oso want, leave me a comment and your eeee-mail address and I'll send it to you. I promise I won't sell your eeee-mail address to evil marketing consultancies. Available in 1024x768 only, 'cos almost everyone I know doesn't have 800x600 anymore.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

What's wrong with my car?

My poor car, this is so not a good week for it.

First, last Sat I had a flat battery, then I sent it for a servicing on Thurs whereupon I was told, "your car ah, verrry bad condition ah", so I had a gazillion things replaced and paid an obscene amount of money for it to be fixed. And after that, I thought my ordeal was over and I could enjoy the lovely non-knocking experience of driving again.

And what happens this morning as I'm driving to work? I get a flat tyre. That makes it the third call to AA in a week. Tyre didn't even look flat when it was taken out, and looked suspiciously round and unpunctured. Also, not only is the spare tyre not very full of air, but it is also very argly and doesn't match the rest of the other tyres. Like, ohmygawd, mismatched tyres. As for said flat tyre, I will have to take it to a service station later to see what's wrong with it. And that will probably mean more moolah. Miss Moneybags, I am not. Not happy, jan.

Update: I took the tyre to a service station for a check, and there's nothing wrong with it. Curiouser and curiouser. There was definitely some flat action happening on Sat morning, I know I didn't imagine it. So since there was nothing wrong with it, I got it reinstated in the exalted position of front right. No more mismatched tyres now, yay!

Friday, September 24, 2004

I want to eat mooncake

Last night, I found out about this mooncake Raffles Hotel has been selling and is very popular...snowskin mooncake with the usual lotus seed paste, and instead of yolks, a champagne truffle in the middle. How brilliant is that? I'm so not a yolk person, and I think yolks are just a waste of mooncake space. Especially don't like it when I get the double-yolk mooncake, cheating me of the lotus seed paste...grr.

In future, I think all mooncakes should be like those at Raffles Hotel. I have it on very good authority that they are to-die-for. Now I must get my hands on some too.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


The university we were supposed to hold the Engligh camp at in Korat has cancelled on us, and for a while, it looked like we had purchased a ticket to Bangkok for nuffin'. Just as I was planning a change in the focus of my mission trip from "Teach English and Be Holy" to "Buy Me More Bags in Chatuchak", we had another meeting and conclusion: the Korat trip is still on.

Now, instead of teaching English to university students, we will be visiting different areas around Korat, maybe a couple of orphanages and giving a performance at a public park, with the help of a local church (for translation, which I strongly need cos all I can say in Thai is "Hello, my name is...") and our missionaries who are stationed there. So far, the list of 'talents' which we will be entertaining the locals with are: a sign-language version of "There is None Like You", some songs, a musical interlude, balloon sculpting and 2 mime skits.

Can I just say I really hate mimes? They rank up there with tambourine dancing. What is it about Church that produces bad skits, painful mimes and dowdy peasant-skirted tambourine dancers? I know it's all about the heart and not how good/bad the performances are, but surely there is a better way of bringing the message across? Am very glad I'm not acting in the mime, and hope the Thai people are more forgiving of lame, but well-intentioned performances.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


*sparkle sparkle*

My grandaunt left me some loose jade pieces before she passed away about 9 years ago and they sat in my drawer for years before I finally got round to setting them. I got my earrings over the weekend and am now very happy with my new bling. Now can wear and show off at the next wedding. hurhur.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Les bien, les mal (weekend version)

Eh, this was an exciting weekend, this was.

Car story
My car battery died on Sat night while I was looking for a parking spot near the French Stall in Little India. I was running late and had stopped the car to call my friend to say "I here oledi, but just looking for parking spot", and when tried to turn on the engine, it wouldn't start. Fishballs. So I called AA to come rescue me, and at the same time called another couple of friends who were also on their way to dinner. Since it took about half an hour to 45 min for AA to arrive, we strolled off to meet the others for dinner, leaving my car blocking the Sinda Association's 'Out' gate. wahaha. Halfway through dinner, I got a call saying the mechanic was reaching my car, so I bolted down two more mouthfuls, and went over to meet him. I was told my alternator had died, so there was no point changing it. (It turns out it was just a flat battery, as I found out this morning when I called AA to jumpstart my car again) I still hadn't finished dinner but obviously couldn't switch off the engine again as it would stall, so I drove round to the restaurant, evicted H from his parking spot, and left the engine running while I continued with dinner. And of course turned around every minute to check that the car was still there. H's wife and I were a little concerned about leaving the engine running:

J: Is it OK to leave the car like that?
H: Well, look at how long you're stuck in traffic or driving from one place to another.
J: Yah, but that's when the car's moving.
H: Well, look at it this way, people park their cars and leave their engines running when they're making out.
Me: Hmm you're right, but how long does it take for people to make out?
We didn't stay for too long. The other sucky thing about that night was I had to cancel my plans to watch The Great Challenge i.e. hunky french boys climbing buildings and looking hunky. Bah. Also, I had to contend with issues like being CAR-LESS on Sunday. Travesty. But it turned out ok, cos I had friends who were not car-less and could drive me around and take me to nice places like...

Sunset Bar and Grill
Some of us from the raucous BBQ night were brought by J&H (they being Punggolites/Punggolians and more familiar with the area) way north into Seletar Air Base into the East Camp, close to the Singapore Flying Club to this nice little relak place where we pigged out on chicken wings, chili con carne, cheesie fries, deep fried mushrooms and burgers. Definitely a fat-ass filling experience. The drive in alone was quite an adventure, as we twisted and turned around a golf course, colonial bungalows and army barracks, and passed oh-so-British street names like Picadilly and Baker St. So green, so deserted! Are we still in Singapore? And we finally found ourselves sitting on the verandah, being dripped on by the overhead trees, with mosquito coil to protect us and listening to the sounds of little planes landing.

Beautiful way to end the weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Les bien, les mal

Two days of non-stop rain means:
- no rock climbing this week...bah
- must carry umbrella, shoes get wet when walking out

However, also means:
- no need to go car-wash, save $6
- can wear long sleeves, pretend Singapore has fall weather


Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I had a meeting at Upper Thompson yesterday afternoon, and it was finished by 3pm. So because I did not have lunch before the meeting, I felt it was perfectly alright to stop by the row of eateries and have lunch (sliced fish shoup and ling yong pau). And because I finished lunch at 3.45pm and it would take me 45 min to drive back to uni, which is just silly, I felt it was perfectly alright to go home. So I was home by 4pm yesterday. I love meetings outside uni.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Of Russian diamonds

My sister's 21st birthday is coming up next month, and I still haven't gotten her a present yet. Since it's her 21st, I feel I must get something more lasting and more "dai-fong" as my mother would put it, rather than the usual clothes/accessories genre. Unfortunately, something lasting also translates into something more expensive.

I have recently acquired some knowledge on how to look at diamonds, thanks to an eager-beaver friend who made it his business to find out about the ENTIRE diamond industry when he was out shopping for an engagement ring. He now can tell me that the price of diamonds has gone up, and is the proud owner of a special tweezer to hold stones, magnifying glass and one of those pink thingies jewellers look through to determine the cut and clarity of the diamond. He practises looking for flaws in diamonds by shading his lamp with tissue paper and peering through the glass at a loose cubic zirconia. I think he would make a very good gemologist.

Anyway, because some of this new knowledge that has been imparted to me, I have been looking around town off and on for something for my sister. Diamonds are very expensive lor. Yesterday I looked at the Goldheart display and saw a teeny-weeny diamond dust ring for $700. I could barely see the diamonds in that ring, might as well not wear lah!

Then, when I was wandering around Isetan Scotts, I discovered another kind of diamond. Russian diamonds i.e. look and sparkle like diamond kind. Fwah they were very big and super sparkle-sparkly. But somehow, I think they still look a little fake, maybe because of the cheap setting. Or maybe the colour isn't so good. "Quite yellow", my mother knowledgeably intoned. But I did see a loose pink diamond solitaire of about 2 carats that looked quite good. "Eh, quite real leh", my mother said. And it only costs about $200. With another $100 to set it into a ring, maybe I have found my sister's birthday present after all, hehe.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Company annual get-together

Will someone please tell me why Singapore companies (or in my case, universities) can't seem to organise events that people actually want to go to? Witness, our annual get-together lunch tomorrow, with the oh-so-exciting title of 'Energie'. The misspelling of the word particularly irks me. Replacing 'ie' with the 'y' will not make the event any more exciting or fun or cool.

So what's going to happen at this high-energy event? This:

10:00 am Reception: Come chit-chat with your colleagues. Soft drinks and tidbits, and Karaoke service provided. Bring your favourite Karaoke CD if you like.

10:30 am Line dance performance “No more! No more! No more!”, followed by participatory fun party dance “Cheeseburger”. Everyone’s welcome to join in.

11:00 am High Energy Music by 2EE

11:10 am Long Service Awards followed by Lucky Draws

11:30 am Lunch: choice of International (Halal), Chinese Vegetarian and Indian Vegetarian. Indicate your choice during registration please.

12:30 am Karaoke resumes ...

Fun party dance 'Cheeseburger'? Who organises these things? Oh dear. And I'm really not a big fan of line-dancing and karaoke. Even though it's a free lunch, I'm going to opt out of this one. The only good thing about this is that it allows me to skip work tomorrow and go shopping with my mum instead. Hehheh.

Men in tutus

Oh how pree-tee you look in Swan Lake!

Last night I went with my mum, dad and sister to watch the Trocks. When I first found out they were coming to Singapore, I e-mailed my dad if he wanted to go and his initial reply was, "Why you ask me to go watch a bunch of poofters dance?" After enumerating the various reasons why he should go - "Cos you know, watching men dance in tutus and en pointe is really funny!" and "it's sorta culture, ballet what!", eventually managed to persuade him to go (also cos then he'll pay for my ticket harhar).

It was quite funny, but then again, men in drag is always funny. I wonder why? If you can ignore the hairy chests and the too muscly-to-be-gurls bods, the emm...'ballerinas' were actually very good. Some of the pointe work and pirouettes would put some real ballerinas to shame. Too bad we were sitting waaay up in Circle 2 to see the facial expressions. My favourite was the Dying Swan, although this dying swan was more like a dying moulting swan. Swan Lake was funny too, with a flock of crazed swans and super-effeminite prince. Heh heh.

Gripe 1: Lovey-dovey couple (yech) sitting next to me did not clap at all. Not a single time during the performance, not in between acts or at the end when they took their bows. Then you go watch for what?
Gripe 2: Theatre was half-full, so how come we cannot move forward to get better seats?

Aiyah, I so suck at writing reviews, at least for performances. Better read the one by Life! lah.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Not prepared for it

Sawadi kha. Dichan chuu JellyGirl kha.

Learnt my first sentence in Thai yesterday. Was in church for the first meeting on the upcoming trip to Korat. I had signed up to join my church on its next mission trip in Oct, where they would hold a 3 day English camp for university students. It wasn't until we were sitting in the room discussing logistics and the programme that it finally hit me we had to plan everything. Like think up of games and activities to make the lessons more interesting. Before, I had this vague idea that everything would be planned out for us, and all I had to do was show up and attempt to teach people how to speak English. Oops, obviously didn't think this through properly.

So now until mid-Oct when we leave, we will be meeting every Mon and Wed to plan stuff. PLAN. I'm so bad at planning. Eek. Lucky there are more organised people in the group.

Monday, September 06, 2004

In which I ramble about my fun weekend

One of the bad things about having a good weekend, is the coming back to work bit on Monday. Boo-hoo. 5 more days to the next weekend. Let's see:

Culture vulture
Went to the Gil Shaham concert on Fri with my mother and sister. Unlike other concerts where I was sort of ho-hum about them, I was really looking forward to this concert cos I wanted to listen to the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, have never heard the whole thing. Have only heard bits of it here and there in drama-mama HK and local TV serials. And oh boy, it did not disappoint! It's a beautiful piece of music and Gil (can I call him Gil? Mr Shaham seems so impersonal) played with such emotion and sensitivity to the piece. His tone! His vibrato! Wah...in awe. Definitely a very entertaining performer to watch. You could tell he was really enjoying himself on stage. Everytime he put his violin down, he would break out into a huge goofy grin and look excitedly at Lan Shui and nod his head in time to the music. And when he reached a part which he particularly liked, he would stamp his feet. While playing. Once, he even looked like he was going to break out into a hoedown. Heh heh. I think I want to buy the recording of Butterfly Lovers when it comes out. Then can listen and pretend I also can play like that.

I bake cake...
Because my father had bought so many punnets of strawberries, I decided to try baking a cake following Jamie Oliver's Party Cake recipe from his Return of the Naked Chef book. It's essentially a chocolate cake with double cream and strawberries sandwiched in between. Everything turned out fine, except I couldn't find double cream and had to settle for thickened cream. That is when I made the discovered that thickened cream is not thick! What the?! When I spread it over the cake, instead of staying there, it sort of splooshed around and became a puddle. Bah!

...and bring it to a BBQ
So I brought the cake to the big BBQ on Sat night. Now this kind of BBQ I can handle. Some friends' uncle and auntie had let them house-sit their penthouse while they were away on holiday, leaving them to hold the fort and keep the maids busy. And we were like little kids having a party. Whoo the adults have left! Bring out the wine, crank up the stereo! Instead of us standing over the BBQ, all we had to do was sit around the huge table and wait to be served. Oh and what food we had! City satay, pork chops, sausages, steak, mushrooms, bacon pasta, salad, with chocolate pots, madelines, bread & butter pudding, Haagen-Dazs ice-cream and my cake for dessert. Too...much...food.

After the gorging had finished, the night descended into the classic boys vs girls battle of Pictionary and Taboo. Unfortunately the boys beat us in both games. But it is ok, the girls will have their day in the rematch next Sat. Ah ha!

Harold & Kumar go to White Castle
Then on Sunday, after a yummy breakfast-lunch at Cafe Rosso* in Holland V where I had the best and yummiest scones and encountered real thick cream that did not move when I spread it(Bulla, do you see this cream? This is what I call thick cream), we headed to Lido to rub shoulders with the masses and watch Harold & Kumar. Ahahaha the movie so funny. I laugh so loud. I think John Cho is quite cute and now I want to eat White Castle burgers. Dammit.

* This place tickles me. A cafe with an Italian name and Japanese chefs? Heehee.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Peasant's Quest (Warning: will suck time away)

Burnination! Requisite screen grab from game

One of the first computer games I played when I got my own PC (486...wah so fast) was this walkthrough solve-puzzles game called King's Quest. Sure the graphics were dinky and pixelly, but it was fun. Anyway, have discovered a great parody of the game called Peasant's Quest by homestarrunner. Have spent a frustrating hour trying to play the game but have only managed to get 1 point out of 150. Bah!

Then, oh joy, I discovered the cheaters sheet - a walkthrough! Hahaha...burnination shall occur. Uh-oh, I'm never going to be able to get back to work now.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Email from the Vice President (HR)

To: All Faculty and Staff Members

I know that many of you are looking forward to the implementation of the 5-day workweek at the University. For others, the 5-day workweek may not mean very much because the exigencies of service and work commitments are currently not limited to a 5-day workweek.

With regard to the implementation of the 5-day workweek, it is important that we refer to two salient points stated in the Public Service Division circular dated 25 August 2004. The two points are:

(1) Service standards are not affected with the implementation of the 5-day workweek
(2) No reduction in the total number of working hours per week or on a fortnightly basis for those currently working regular office hours.

OHR is in discussion with Schools and Departments within the University on the proposed implementation. When all implementation and operational issues pertaining to service delivery and service standards to the various stakeholder or constituent groups have been clarified and resolved and the University is ready to implement the 5-day workweek, all faculty and staff members will be informed.

In the meantime it is business as usual.

Thank you.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

This is why I want to be a rhythmic gymnast superstah

Picture by Associated Press: Russia's Irina Tchachina 'clubs' the competition (harhar)

Long, lean, lithe and flexible. Sigh. How come I didn't look like that when I was doing rhythmic? Err ok never mind.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Long lunch

Everytime there is an opportunity to have lunch outside campus, everyone at work leaps for joy. Suddenly the possibilities of lunch expand, and glorious visions of non-canteen food are enough to make one's day. Something to eat besides chicken rice, yong tao foo and bad Chinese food? Glory be.

Today was no difference, and the lunch OUTSIDE university was generally looked on with great anticipation and pleasure. The occasion was a farewell lunch for a colleague who is leaving us, the same person who so very lovingly termed canteen food "dog food". But then again, that is coming from someone who brings his own lunchbox to school, with accompanying placemat and metal cutlery. Also the same person who brings his own "high-grade" teabags to Chinese restaurants.

We went to Jurong Country Club for lunch, and ordered Taiwanese porridge with lots and lots of dishes. Dishes you can't get in school. Like cai por, and fatty pork, and dim sum. Yumyum. Sadly, lunch was over too soon, and we returned sated back to the office.

I'm going to miss SP, with his quirky habits and little treats of hotel-bought pastries ("at half price", he proudly announces) and his amusing emails. Life at work is going to be dull without someone to larf at and with.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

She said 'sorry'

Last night for the first time I can remember in a very long time, my mother apologised for getting mad at me. I had gone back to my room, silently fuming and very sore about the scolding (which I have to admit was slightly warranted), when five minutes later, she knocked on my open door. She stepped in, twisting her T-shirt in front of her sheepishly and saying, "I've come to apologise. I shouldn't have spoken to you in that way."

She then went on to explain that she had been unfair for jumping down my throat in that way, and then further gave me much more credit than I deserved in my actions to her.

Her apology left me very much softened and gave me a huge desire to burst into tears. I am dumbfounded and don't know what to think.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Before I forget...

I caught the PM's rally speech on Sunday night, and in between drifting off (and falling asleep) during his loooong speech, this one announcement made me sit up and cheer. A 5 day work week for civil servants! Whoo-hoo!

This morning, everyone received an email from the Vice-Dean asking for our inputs on a 5 day work week. Should we do a Mon-Fri 5 day week for everyone, or should we do a rotational 5 day week, with different days off for different staff every other week? Aiyah, just do a 5 day week lah. Phoo to efficiency and productivity, I say! heehee.

I wonder if this is immediately effective. It's my turn to work on Sat this week.

Photos in NY

Brooklyn Bridge and some other bridge I can't remember the name of.

View of the city from on top of Empire State Building. Pretty lights!

A Hummer limo that was parked outside Cafe Lalo for a bit. I didn't know Hummers came in limo form!

On another note, have figured out how to post pictures here. Whee!

Monday, August 23, 2004

New York, New York

I'm back from my holiday and am still brimming full with memories of my faaabulous time there. But I'm such a lazy arse I really can't be bothered to put it all down in words. I'll think I'll let it float around in my brain for a bit more, pull out all the good bits and admire them somemore, and then maybe I'll write about it at another time...

Well ok, maybe I can write a little now.

New York is stunning, and glitzy and pretty much everything I imagined it to be. I had to keep reminding myself that I was IN NEW YORK, even while walking in Times Square. The lights! The action! What do I look at? And oooh, isn't that Sephora? We walked pretty much everywhere, and where we couldn't walk, we subwayed it. One of my proudest moments was when I took the subway ALL BY MYSELF to Broadway and didn't get lost at all. I'll be New Yorker yet, haw haw. The week was a whirlwind of shopping, walking, eating, doing the gawky touristy things, more shopping and not much sleeping. And also lots of catching up with my friend, who's now studying in Columbia.

One thing I'm slightly sore about is that I didn't get to try the Soup Nazi soup. Apparently he's closed in summer. Probably enjoying the massive profits he makes from the other times of the year. Looks like I'll have to make another trip to NY, but this time in winter.

Now I can be one of those smug people who, after reading or watching TV shows/movies set in New York, and when street names are mentioned, or places are mentioned, I can say very knowingly to no one in particular, "I've been there! I know where that is!" Rawk.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


I'm off to New Orleans and New York tonight for my work trip / hor-leeday! Hurrah!

Am looking forward to lots of jazz, Cosmopolitans, going to the Seinfeld diner, drinking soup at the Soup Nazi place, Statue of Liberty and SHOPPING (Hello Gap, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, Urban Outfitters and discount outlet malls!). Hurrah!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Fear, and other assorted things from the weekend

King Ah-ter
Caught the movie on Sat night, and while watching it, couldn't help but keep referring to this brilliant parody I read online and sniggering throughout the movie. Some burning questions:

  • Arthur was helping the Romans? He's only half English? Whaa-??
  • Why is Guinevere and for that matter, the rest of the Woads blue? If it is camoflauge, then shouldn't they be, y'know, greeeeen?
  • Wasn't Guinevere cold in her bondage war outfit (soo ugly too)? oooh maybe that's why she's blue...hehehe
  • Who bathes in winter (in the middle of the woods somemore) with only cheesecloth to shield you?
  • Why does evil Roman priest talk like a Greek/Italian?
  • Why didn't Merlin perform any magic? Chey! Cheat my money!

So yah, the movie kinda sucked.

Out, out damned spot(s)! 

Have recently noticed two red spots on my arm. And bugger, they are itchy. Very worried, as colleague just confided on Friday that her son has chicken pox. Perhaps I am getting it secondhand? Argh! Suddenly feel VERY itchy all over. I cannot get chicken pox now, not when glorious hor-lee-day is coming up in three weeks! Noooooo!

Saturday, July 17, 2004


For the past week, uni has been hosting convocation ceremonies about three times a day at the auditorium. The free space outside is taken up by people hawking special studio photos, graduation teddy bears, bronze plaques of degrees (options include mounting on the wall or placing it in your fishtank) and last minute bouquets of flowers.

I've always liked convocation time - you get to see the students dressed up more 'stylishly', wearing their gowns and ridiculously heavy caps, and their parents decked out in their best looking so proud that their children have finally made it. It's a happy event, people are smiling and waving and congratulating each other. I like seeing the enthusiasm and life emanating from these people, who are just about to step out into the big working world and beyond. And I wonder, where has my enthusiasm gone after my graduation?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Been there, done that

Just caught the latest "I heart Singapore" music video with a bunch of kiddies in white shirts and black pants singing in various 'scenic' locations around Singapore ie Padang, lalang field at Marina South. Hmm...haven't I seen that in a Qantas ad before?