Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy new year!

Well, I’m not too happy cos my nose is still itchy.. Been itchy since we got to Changi on Tuesday *.* Even my eye sockets are hurting =(

Nonetheless, I’m really excited about the coming year. This new year marks a new start for me – no exams nagging at the back of my mind! I’m really looking forward to doing a lot of things :)

a) Reading! Time to make use of my library card, catch up on some reading..
b) Spanish! Love how it sounds, can’t wait to pick it up again
c) Learning! Want to attend some classes at Kellogg, fill up my little brain
d) Writing! There’s mfism of course, and I also want to attempt to write the family history of my maternal family and translate the history of the Sito family!
e) Relaxing! Just hang around, have tea, watch dramas! Hohohoho!

Happy 2011 to everyone!

Update 2 Jan 2011
And getting fit! Brought back my book on pilates - should utilise it! Thanks to Z's reminder :p

Bye bye, NPS!

On Friday, 17 Dec 2010, the entire NPS vacated the 14th floor and moved to the 13th floor to make way for NPTD’s birth. On Monday, 20 Dec 2010, I went up to the east wing to get a cable for my laptop and saw that the place was so empty – no lights, nothing on the desks, no chairs in front of the desks. It was like in the morning of Monday, 30 Oct 2006, when we came into the newly renovated west wing, where the lights were yet to come on, the desks were yet to be filled, and the chairs were just rolled in, still wrapped in dusty plastic sheets. Just that, unlike in 2006, this Monday signalled the end, not the beginning, of NPS.

I felt quite sad that day. Now, I don’t even remember if, after I left the east wing, I visited the west wing; I might have at most looked through the frosted glass door.

It has been a memorable journey. I really enjoyed the years from 2004* to early 2007. A lot of work, tough work, but I had a lot of fun too cos of the great company. We started with three and grew to seven of us. The times when we were setting up NPS in 2006 were especially fun. For quite a while, I would wake really early so that I could reach office at about 8 am or so to get a head start on work! That gave me more time in a long work day, or allowed me to go for dance lessons :)

* Ok, NPS didn’t happen until 1 Jun 2006 but hey, three chaps were around on a part-time basis since 2004!

But I was so tired after Sg Day 2007 that I could no longer wake early to reach office so early. Guess things just went downhill from there, especially after I took a holiday in September; came back to a mess that shouldn’t be..

The following year was busy but I was looking forward to it cos our “baby” was finally coming out after a looooong gestation! There was a lot going on – “baby” plus other stuff – and every day was a welcomed challenge, plus I was able to manage my life better. With more manpower in the office, I even sneaked off to the UK in June – for leisure :p It was really tiring in the final two months – I had to have Berroca every day to keep myself going with little sleep, and I’d never had that much coffee in my life.. But it was an amazing ride! That kind of dulled the next two years – nothing quite as exciting..

I’ve grown with the organisation, learnt a lot along the way, had my ups and downs. As NPS grew, it also changed. It already felt quite different from the beginning, even though the newbies were great fun too. Plus, I’ve been there for the longest time.. I mean, even my colleagues’ babies have outgrown their diapers and started primary school!

So it’s good that I’m away these two years. As the chapter of NPS closes today, I’m gone too. And when if :p I return, well, we shall see...

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Back home

I’m back in Evanston! And back to my powerful hairdryer! :p This now feels more like home - at least there is some permanence here.. No packing and unpacking for a clear stretch of some five or six months! Phew!

We arrived this morning and had Macs for breakfast at the airport :) Waited for the cab in front of this


We returned to something cute :)


Oooh... I forgot that I asked Sito to tuck Zo-san into bed before he left. Now Zo-san has a friend – Kappa!


Also had a little shock in the kitchen


Wa! That’s a lot of fortune cookies from Chinese takeaways!

Spent the morning unpacking madly.. We brought back so much stuff! Including a box of food! Dried shitake, soup ingredients, 3-in-1 Milo, bah kwa!

I was hoping to wash the bedsheets, unpack, clean the house, shower and sleep – in that order. But the scheduled power outage from 6 am to 4 pm completely ruined this plan. We had only intermittent power so I managed to hoover the house. Then we fell asleep after 1 pm without lunch.. And we woke at almost 5 pm :p

By the time the chores were done, it was time for a late dinner. Wore my new fluffy coat - I like! Though it wasn't too cold today, it felt good to be warm and comfy :)

The shower was really good! It's been a long long day.. Just dried my hair – this short hairstyle is good for this weather as expected; I only had to shake my head to shake the hair out of my face. But I have to style it every time I wash my hair or it will look like shit! Oh well, I have time right? :p

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Fast forward two weeks..

Well well, my exams were over. Sito came back to Singapore that very night. And tonight, we’re going back to Evanston!

Time really flies.. We didn’t manage to do a lot in the past two weeks. After my exams, I was busy with a, um, CCA at work that week.

The weekend was fun – we went to RWS! We had a family room at Festive Hotel – I like the flower theme; even the “Do Not Disturb” sign was a flower ring instead of the usual card...


We had some time to roam about before dinner so we did..

Waaaa!


And we watched a really bad HK movie starring Gigi Leung in the room before Dad fetched us to dinner, which was at Imperial Treasure at MBS. We got there earlier to head up to the 57th floor – CH was right, it was indeed the “Marina Bay Public Swimming Pool”! It was soooo crowded! Just that most people were touring the place, not swimming.. And it was so cold as well! How did those people swim there??

Proof of us having been there :p




The MBS casino from the restaurant corridor


We tried to take a bus back to RWS but figured we were better off taking a cab instead. As I gave our destination to the cabbie, a thought hit me – we were going from casino integrated resort to casino integrated resort *.*

We were so tired by then, with all the blood going to the stomach, that all we could do was laze in front of the TV watching a cartoon whose title I forgot.. Then Sito decided to get supper! :p It was good – 炸酱面 from Ruyi :) Then I fell asleep while he was in the shower. But I remember waking up and telling him we would meet Jie for breakfast the next day :p

While waiting for lunch, we watched a weird show, Anna Magdalena, starring Aaron Kwok as a bummer, amid other big names. But it was just weird.. Perhaps too artsy fartsy for my liking!

Anyway, all the waiting was because we had nothing to do while the others went to the casino! :p (And we were too lazy to venture further out :p) Nop, we’re not paying $100.. Odd that I dreamt about going to a casino last night.....

Lunch was a cozy affair at Chinois. We probably enjoyed our last trip there more than this cos we were still full from breakfast! Suddenly I could understand the pain of the foie gras on our plates.. Um, I meant, the pain of the duck or goose..

No other particularly exciting outings after that. We watched Rapunzel, which made me feel like I wanted my long hair back! Other stuff were just random..

Cute right? :)


And this! So old school! Found it at the National Skin Centre.



Went to AMK on 23 December and saw a Hokkien opera at the market. So interesting, and distinctly different from the Xmas glitter in Orchard!


Other major happenings included a farewell party for our office – changing identity and leadership, sighs.. I’m sad.. More on that later.. Celebrated my 31st birthday really early with CY – went to Minori where we ate a lot! And cos it was Christmas season, Santa Claus came out to play!


Also had a house party with KLK on Sunday that extended into dinner at Toa Payoh where we went to a 金店 to look at 四点金 for YX – yeah yeah! :) Had some wine that afternoon and ended up feeling a lot of pain during the foot reflexology session the next day, right where the liver spot was! =(

Apart from these, it was a whirlwind trying to settle admin stuff and buying supplies to bring back to Evanston. Sito had a procedure done to remove something on his skin. A fever followed him for the next few days, and amid all the errands and running about, I came down with a slight cold as well. But we’re now feeling healthy enough to endure the day-long flight! Just keeping our fingers crossed that our luggage will make it through – rather heavy, including a box of food! :p

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Three months later..

Sometimes I would forget that Grams had already left us. I mean, we still go to "grandma's house". It's always been "grandma's house" since we were kids :)

But today, I saw the chap put a badge with her photo and details on her urn. It was like, so..definite. As the badge was glued on, it very clearly dawned on me that Grams no longer lived in grandma's house.

There was a prayer ceremony at Bright Hill Temple to mark her 100th day of passing today. Then we went to the columbarium to pay our respects. That was when we found that the staff had not put on the badge and called for them. They wanted to put it on but couldn't unlock the gate - the family had changed the lock to a digital one as the old key to the gate broke! We were saying we should probably write the combination on a piece of paper and leave it inside the gate - so that they could come out if they wish to!

We like Grams. Her spirit lives on in her children, grandchildren, and hopefully her great-grandchildren who do not all have the chance to know her...

PS: Her third great-grandchild just said hi to the world! Yeah! :)

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ramblings on a Saturday afternoon

Two days ago, I was trying to pull my chair nearer to the table but somehow missed and hit my hand on the table edge. Today, the bruise feels incredible *.* And just now, I almost slipped in a DRY bathtub.

Like I always say, clumsiness cannot be cured..

Anyway, I just got back from an early lunch cos I was hungry :p Took a bus to Plaza Sing and got an errand done as well. Then I decided to walk back.

No, I didn't know the way, but GPS showed me :)

Along the way, I found a little carpark on Penang Road. Is that the carpark nearest to me? Cos this estate - actually, it's just a single block - has no parking facilities. Not for tenants at least.

Found Oxley Road and headed up, walking on the right side of the road. But guess what? That was the wrong side of the road - a gurkha directed me to walk on the other side. Oops.

Was happy to reach River Valley Road - it's a much more familiar sight. And shielded from the sun.

Now, I'm in the comfort of my room and procrastinating about going through the practical exercises...

Actually, this is pretty frustrating. After the first couple of weeks in Sg, I've been trying to study most of the time. So I didn't get to meet people much. After exams, I'll be busy with a "CCA" at work - will probably have to go into office most days next week. Then we must run errands at the dentist etc and buy stuff to comfort ourselves in winter :p But I just want to spend time leisurely with Sito before he gets busy with school again - watch movie, have tea, go shopping :) So apart from CY and KLK, it's family time man! Prioritisation is key when time is short.

Yes, time is short. I'd better get back to the practicals... Sighs!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Breakfast excursion

Woke very early today so thought I’d make a little excursion to the coffee shop we passed by on the day I moved in..

So this is where I’m staying now. And where Sito will be returning to :) The tall new building, not the old one blocking it...


I walked out to the main road and took a right. There’s a Montessori school across the road - JHS Childcare Centre. The sign looks so old I must take a photo of it :p

And I was rather taken with this shophouse among so many in the area.. Reminds me of an eatery I saw in a Taiwanese movie – very old-school and flavourful...

Digression: Why are there ants crawling on my keyboard?!

Passed by Mohamed Sultan Road. Can’t remember when I last went there! Ah, I feel old.. I was more tempted to check out the temple this morning *.*


Finally, I got to the coffee shop. The bak kut teh wasn’t open so I had laksa! Yes, laksa early in the morning! Think I last had it some years ago :p

And I love the chicken bowl!

This is quite an interesting neighbourhood. A mix of new and old. Like heritage old. Will try to make more excursions when I have the chance :)

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Evil mf vs. Stupid Ant

Just finished writing my essay :)

And I spotted an ant on my screen.

I moved the cursor around it, and it got confused! It started to move a little faster.. Until it reached the dock of the Macbook, where the icons pop up as the cursor mouses over them - it went frantic!

Haha!

No, I didn't kill it like I did those black nasty ones last time..

Ok, now, memorising the stupid essay..

PS: I moved out of HV into a serviced apartment on Sunday, cos our tiny flat couldn't take six persons. More updates on this place later on...

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Stress is building up..

It's official - I'm stressed!

It just shows how long I have not *really* studied..

The last time I was really stressed for exams was perhaps in secondary school. I had nine subjects - not too many but certainly not few either. And I hated geography. And I didn't understand most of my physics. And my Japanese was confounded after studying seven subjects in English and one in Chinese.

Studied a lot in JC and university but kind of cruised through the exams, although I obviously did much better for the former!

(I didn't know about stress in primary school. Reading Nancy Drew and Hans Christian Andersen was more important than exams!)

JLPT in 2008 was inconsequential so that didn't count. But I had ample time - a year - to prepare for that.

Now, Montessori! The one-year course was madness cos it was part-time two evenings a week in addition to work. And there was a lot of homework - compiling file and writing essays. I didn't think I managed to absorb much cos I was trying to meet deadlines all the time :(

Just got the question for my seen paper yesterday. I was praying that kind of question wouldn't come out. Oh well, better to come out in the seen paper than the unseen paper! My past essays covered some points so now I'm more than halfway through :) Going to the library this Saturday to do more research since I don't have all the books.

The trouble is for the unseen paper. Just did an old paper and I sucked really bad... I could hardly remember the theory for the modules and the sequence of the exercises :(

And on top of that, I have to memorise most of the 2,500 words for the seen paper!

I think I'm going to fail at least one paper - likely the unseen one - unless my brain doubles in size some time in the coming week. Or I take a lot of cashews. Or kettle chips.

AND, I just received two work assignments today. I like them. But they're both due *just* after exams. And I'm working part-time. So that I could have time to study. Ha..

...

Naaaah! It's not happening!
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