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! 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.

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.