Wednesday, 29 June 2011

偶像!偶像!

Just watched this scene from 篮球火. I think Jerry Yan is damn good at acting as the reticent rich guy who has issues expressing his feelings for the poor girl he likes!

Awww..... Sayang....

Yup, I dig that kind :p

miso: But Sito is not like that leh..
mf: 偶像和老公不一样啊!
miso: How so?
mf: 偶像需要很多人爱,老公有我爱就够啦!

:)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Between the old and the new

We just watched "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" yesterday. At one point, I was mortified that a whole generation of youngsters might grow up thinking that mermaids were beautiful but dark snarling creatures of the sea, unlike Ariel, beautiful AND kind.


Source: http://www.fanpop.com/spots/the-little-mermaid/images/223085/title/ariel-flounder-wallpaper

Also watched an episode of South Park, "The Losing Edge" over dinner. The kids didn't want to win their baseball game; they wanted to go home to play computer games.

More than once, I have found my generation to be at the crossroads - of exactly what, I could not articulate in just a word or two.

Generations of children before me grew up with simple games using simple tools that were cheaply available. Mother told me about games of marbles she played in the 1950s-1960s.


Source: http://llerrah.com/thousandmarbles.htm

I still saw marbles growing up and going to a school in the heartlands, being tall and sitting among the boys. And flag eraser "wars". And um, "fencing" with metal rulers. The girls had different pursuits - "zero point" (I always wondered about the name; a search gave a more apt name, "jumpsies"), hopscotch, drop-the-handkerchief. I always lost.

My favourite was catching. No, not catching a ball. Someone had to catch everyone else playing. There was always a lot of running. My cousins and I would modify the game to a hide-and-run or seek-and-catch game, and we would use the lifts to hide, run, seek and catch one another scattered in any corner of the 11 floors! And we usually had "safe home" where we could catch our breath before running again. I lost too but I loved the thrill!

This is the flight of stairs opposite more letterboxes, which was our choice "safe home" :) We were so cute! You can easily spot the 8/9-year-old mf even though I had a horrible ulcer on my lip back then!



CY was telling me some time ago that Straits Times ran an article on playgrounds in Singapore. I couldn't find that article but I found another one instead. Check it out for interesting reads on playgrounds.

I remember photos of little mf at the playground downstairs. The playground used to have a sand pit. I loved making sand structures - they were definitely far from being sand castles! - but I often dug up ants *.* On the sand pit were a few swings and two slides with red and white mosaic walls, a dragon? I don't remember now. But I remember a playground near my Grams at Toa Payoh, with grilles that formed a dragon. I don't know if it is still there.. Anyway, my playground also had a blue rusty merry-go-round one step down from the sand pit. I remember falling when the other kids pushed it too fast and scrapping skin off my knees.

During Mid Autumn Festival, we would go to the playground with our cellophane lanterns, a rare find these days. As adults, CY and I still went downstairs - to the pavilion mostly, not playground - with our paper lanterns, candles, mooncakes and Yeo's packet drinks to chat :) And speaking of that, does anyone still remember the old "Chinese" paper bags that contained lovely mooncakes? I had totally forgot about such bags until 2007 - we made bags in this shape for our goodie bags at Singapore Day in New York. And here's an article on old bags in Singapore - check out the interesting bags we used to carry!

Anyway, back to games.. We also had more hi-tech games. The luckier ones had Nintendo, first on the tele, then as a bulky handheld - the predecessor of the PSP and DS Lite of recent years. My otaku side showed itself one day when I decided to stay longer at my cousin's place to play video games. I ended up missing a trip to the swimming pool and cried into a pillow, thinking it might as well just kill me *.*

This article traced the history of handheld games. But in more recent years, there is no need for a separate handheld when everyone has a mobile phone, which is yet another sign of the change of times. My peers were carrying pagers in JC. I got mine finally when I was working between JC and university. Mobile phones became popular/viable only during university time. Now, I guess primary schools? Even two-year-olds are playing games on the iPhone - colleague's kid beat me at bowling, all the way screaming excitedly, fancy that..

Even the old playgrounds with sand pits had given way to plastic structures and padded floors to cushion falls. This was taken in 2006 on the way to visiting Grams. By then, the "new" plastic playground was old and they were replacing the entire playground.



The resulting playground had a little fitness corner for the seniors. Nice for intergenerational bonding but the grannies mostly sat at the benches :p My Grams on the left :)



Compared to our parents' generations, many of whom do not use the computer or even speak English, my generation is among the first to be able to MSN or Skype with children who are internet-savvy, tagging them in photos etc. Or maybe not, given how things keep evolving. Who knows what's after Facebook and Twitter? One thing's for sure - we have to keep up and acquaint ourselves with the latest offerings in cyberspace. Or risk being "grandfathered" by our kids, not grandkids! Now that's mortifying indeed.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

What to do with a lot of money?

So there was this episode of Desperate Housewives where Tom told Lynette to go crazy with $10k and she bought a high-end coffee machine. (Her friend then dutifully introduced her to $500 jeans.)

Made me wonder what I would do..

Buy a Kitchen Aid mixer :)

But really, if we were to come into some good money, what would we do?

I related the episode to Sito, and we found that we would still be eating mixed rice at the coffee shop on most working days.

But we could splurge on other things. Maybe he will get a really good suit for work. I will renew my spa package at Amore hoho!

And if the money is REALLY good, we'll buy a bigger apartment. Maybe a family car. Then we'll drive to the coffee shop to da bao mixed rice :)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Flexibility and communications

I was going through some handwritten notes, typing them into softcopy slides so that I can get rid of the dead wood.

Then I came across a point on flexibility and changing course as necessary, and I recalled an incident that took place some 10 years ago.

It was during my 21-day OBS course. One of the expeditions was a four-day kayaking trip around Singapore. We met with a storm one day at the "hockey stick" at Tuas. For an entire hour, no matter how hard we paddled, we couldn't get past the three chimneys looming to our left.

A few kayaks capsized and we had a couple of people who were very very sea sick by then. Eventually, the instructors told us to go to shore and wait out the storm.

After quite a while, we moved on again. But it was getting dark. So the instructors went round to all the kayaks to tie light sticks on us, and told us to paddle in the general direction of a tower visible in the horizon.

On this leg, I traded partners so that my stronger partner could help a very sick pal. So I was really really tired by the time we got near the tower. By then, we were one of the few kayaks at the end. One other kayak was near us. I can't remember what exactly happened, but the girl in the other kayak was saying something like we should head to the tower as instructed. But the tower was all dark while all the lights were gathered further ahead to our right!

I was quite flexible right? But my comms was really bad when I corrected her - I snapped at her. Sharply.

Thinking back, I still feel quite bad for doing that. Yes, I was tired. And I did the right thing. But really, there was no excuse for the way I did it. It really was a test of how I handled adversities. I didn't do well that time. 10 years on, I hope I can do better in future.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

爱心便当

I'm pretty excited - Sito has given me the green light to make bento for his lunch! AND, he has a fridge and microwave at work so I can work with greater variety than the cold food he has been having this past year!

I was limited to food that can keep a few hours without refrigeration cos there is no fridge in school, and food that is yummy at room temperature cos he doesn't see the need to microwave when food is not fridge-cold.

Now, I can cook one day before so that he can just pack the box into his bag straight from the fridge - I don't have to rush to cook in the morning! He'll just have to throw the box into the fridge at work and microwave it at lunch - no food safety issue!

But I'm also a little stressed. You see, when it comes to making and varying good bento, the heart is willing but the brain is not very able...

So I've been reading about packing lunch for the past hour or so. But Sito isn't the cold sandwich type. And if I make cold sandwiches for him, he is better off getting a hot sandwich downtown! Even among the non-sandwich ideas, traditional lunch boxes are typically eaten cold or at room temperature.

But again, he has a fridge and a microwave :)

So I decided to just look into my fridge and cook whatever is inside!

My usual bento consists of rice, a vege dish, an egg dish and a meat dish. I'll still follow this formula but I can be more adventurous with the dishes. Or I can ditch the formula for fried rice with spam or zucchini risotto or sausage pasta. Oops, we are carb junkies :p

Going to take a nap now and start preparing his bento and my dinner later!

Update 27 Jun 2011

Bento failed. He didn't have time to heat and finish everything. And my bento was kind of dry so it was difficult to eat too =(

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Not working, yes; free, no!

It's official - now that I'm not working but Sito is working, I'm waking up even earlier and sleeping even less than before!

Before this, I was thinking, I could wake with Sito to help him with breakfast and stuff, and do my chores in the morning before taking a nap in the afternoon so that I could stay up to wait for him.

But I wasn't sleepy in the afternoon! Or I had things to do.

Like today, I had a driving lesson at 8 am. Yes, very early. But thought I did pretty well :) Now I can change lanes properly :) My parking still sucks but well, who says I don't need practice?

Asked instructor to drop me at the supermarket and I took a long walk home from there, with bags of groceries. Consider that my morning exercise :)

And I wasn't done yet! Had to send Sito's pants for alterations - I had him wear them and pinned them at the right length on Sunday :) Then I headed for the post office. I had crossed this road when the sun hit me real hard.. I felt like burning, and I was losing the will to get to the post office..

Then it hit me that Jamba Juice was just opposite the road I just crossed! So I turned back, hoping that the drivers in the waiting cars didn't notice this indecisive and/or blur Asian chick :p

Actually, even if they did, THIS..



.. was worth it!

My first cup since 2006 in New York :)

Reached the post office happily and left happily. On the way home, I passed by the visitors' centre to grab some info on summer events in and around Evanston. More things to do!

On the way in, I had a chat with the receptionist to settle some admin stuff, and grabbed our WSJ before finally plonking my ass on this chair. Phew!

I thought the juice would keep me filled for a while but no, I got hungry... Well, it was smaller than the regular size I used to have for lunch when YX introduced me to it in 2005 *excuse*

So I decided to make myself a sandwich, only to find mushrooms growing on my salami! It was a new pack from a neighbour who left, sob.. So I had BAH KWA SANDWICH* instead haha! It might sound rather strange but it was actually quite tasty! So I had buttered toasted whole wheat bread gripping a slice of cheese, a slice of bah kwa, some spinach and three-cheese dressing. Cannot imagine? Try it! (Darn, forgot to take pictures!)

* Sito's original bah kwa sandwich doesn't use bread; it uses prawn crackers!!

Spend much of the afternoon watching a Chinese spy drama and knocking out the details for a BBQ on 4 July. Almost forgot to get out of the house for pilates! I managed to get there on time anyway, and man, it was gruelling! Think I'll be pretty sore tomorrow..

While preparing dinner, I made very doughy carrot muffins from some extra carrots lying around in the fridge. Again, I didn't add enough sugar..

Somehow, my day just passed by like that. So mundane. I'll see what happens tomorrow.

Maybe I'll work my brains. After a good night's sleep tonight :)

Monday, 20 June 2011

My MIA weekend

We finished all the escape games on this website!

So Sito came back on Friday feeling sick from drinking too much on Thursday night! Fed him some ginger tea so that he would feel better for katsu kare dinner :)



I know he doesn't like coconut but I made some coconut muffins anyway, trying to use up some coconut flakes given to me. It was one of my more adventurous attempts at baking simply because I didn't quite follow the recipe! I used half the amount of sugar but more than double the amount of flakes called for. I must say it turned out pretty much like a muffin :) but very healthily unsweetened *.*



Anyway, the games.. So Friday, I was determined to NOT turn on my work laptop. While I was busy with laundry and chatting online, I saw a link on Facebook on Friday and started playing a really difficult one. Sito caught on that night and we started playing all the games on that website! While we played some games without cheating, Sito googled for solutions and hints for others while I asked him for help when I was stuck :p

It was past 8 pm last night when I was finally done with that website.. And I searched for more escape games! Some of the other games were not as user-friendly. One was downright buggy! It was so mentally draining that I went to bed quite early..

But we didn't stay in the whole weekend. On Saturday, we had a nice little lunch with a couple of friends - I have some leftovers in the fridge for lunch today so maybe it wasn't so little :) And we watched Green Lantern that evening for $8 in all, thanks to Groupon!

But we did stay in on Sunday, playing games! :p And random: Sito ate the ears of one of our two bunnies. Although here, he looked like he was going for the head. Well, it's a pose...



And today, we woke at 6.45 am because it's Sito's first day of work! Seems that now that I'm not working, I'm waking up even earlier to send Sito to work with a bowl of cereals :) Of course I can always take a nap in the afternoon - bliss :)

Made him pose for me again before he left the apartment :)



All the best, Sito! :)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Last day of work

I knocked off at lunch today for the last time this year.

The relief hasn't completely washed over me yet. I can still vividly visualise the many folders on the desktop of my work laptop, waiting for me to put them in order. I have until October when I can pass my laptop to a colleague who's coming to town.

But I'm feeling something I didn't think I would feel. Not at stopping work anyway.

Fear.

It isn't so much fearing for the lack of income. It's the fear of having too much time, fear of idling away what's left of my youth. With my kind of discipline, I'm afraid I'll be squandering it on way too much, um, drama. I fear turning dumb from a lack of brain activity.

But wait, I wasn't utilising much brain power in this job anyway. Which means, the last time I racked my brains was July last year! *gasp*

Ok, I'm already one rung up the dumb ladder.

After reviewing my work, I realise I do like to be kept busy with constructive work.

Maybe that's why I have been somewhat diligent the past few days. I had wanted to start doing that only after today, after my last working day. But I started early.

I started pulling out my handwritten notes from classes in the past two quarters, to input them into the softcopy class notes or slides. Along the way, I had some thoughts too. Going write more about one of them later.

Since I'm officially on the way to stupordom, I'd better go back to my notes now. Need to work those grey matter harder!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

雨天遐想

雨天总是带给我许多奇怪的情绪,尤其是我一个人的时候。

好的时候,我会懒懒的,什么都不做,就躺在沙发上卷着头发发白日梦,翻翻常被我冷落的报纸。或是从房间走到厨房,这里整理一下,那里大扫一下。或是穿多一件毛衣,幸福的吃完一桶冰淇淋。然后,偶尔看着窗外,想想这是多悠哉的一天啊!没有什么特别的,就是觉得 happy :)

坏的时候,也许会觉得烦躁,抱怨天气,把平日所有的不愉快都归咎于雨天。如果碰上933传来难过的歌曲,愁绪涌入我这空空的脑袋里,我可能会象刚刚一样,听着周华健旧曲新唱的《领悟》,坐在电脑前一脸苦苦的呆着。愁什么?不知道。是一种无由来的忧愁。

我突然有一种想法:也许我的预设模式是“无情绪”,我的预设表情是“无表情”,就象婴儿出世的时候虽然什么都不知道,却有着无限的潜智。而我潜伏着的快乐与忧愁,会在不同的时候被自己或外界引发。所以想要开心的时候,马上就可以眯着眼微笑。所以听到难过的歌,我也会皱眉扁嘴。现在,歌曲播完了,我又回到了预设模式。

忽然想起这首歌:



现在的我应该是处于"预设模式 plus" :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Proof that mf is like a baby

1) There are days when I must be fed every two hours. Or I'd make whiny sounds.

2) When I need to take a dump, I need to do it NOW!

3) I make cute baby sounds when I'm happy. グ...



That's mf :) グ...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

mf, evolved and evolving

Many years ago, when Desperate Housewives first aired on TV, I took one of those online quizzes and was told I was most like Gabrielle, "the ex-model with everything she's ever wanted, a rich husband, a big house and John, the 17-year-old gardener"

But now as I watched more of the show, I have two new thoughts: (a) Gabrielle is more than quoted, and (b) I'm certainly not most like the old Gabrielle now.

This is called ageing growing up.

I was such a kid in my early 20s. I didn't know anything at all. Looking back, it seemed like I didn't learn any life lessons at all. Even the way I handled my early work was so kiddish; I cringed when I saw an ancient email recently...

In my mid 20s, I just wanted to hang out, play and have fun. You know, enjoy life. And I did all that recklessly. Going dancing on a weekday and showing up at work the next day was common. I even met up with guys who found me online and clinked glasses with two uncles in a foreign land - lucky for me they were all NOT serial killers!

It wasn't until I stepped into my late 20s that I kind of woke up - I might still feel like I was only 25 but really, I was fast approaching 30. With more commitments, I could no longer covet the kind of fun I used to have. I also became more selective of who I would want to hang out with - time is a zero-sum game! There was a period of adjustment, with some unhappiness of course. But thankfully, I found comfort in quietly hanging out with the people I love.

And now that I'm 31, I find myself in this amazing stage of life, something I never really thought of when I was younger. I'm no longer into the kind of fun I loved in my mid 20s and craved for in my late 20s. I just want a stable kind of happy life that will be sustained until Sito and I (and CY and Kel et al!) are 60 or 70 - then we'll think of something else :)

Oh, I would still gamely meet up with people I know online. But it's more of an interest group kind of thing now, like parenting forums! I'll just ask to make sure they're not serial killers before I meet them :)

Regrets? Not really la. It's after all, me. (So you don't see me going back to erase some exciting memoirs documented here :p) But there are some things that I wish I could have handled better. Well, it's all part of growing up, isn't it?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A productive day yay!

I had a nice eight-hour sleep and woke only once in the middle of the night :)

Dreamt that I was with WX at Tomato Town, and we were going to the Blk 409 market for breakfast. We split up to buy food home as it looked like it was going to rain. Then I bought laksa from the auntie with the curly hair who used to be at Blk 409 but who had moved to Blk 453 years ago! She looked the same as I last saw her when I was a kid!

Strange dream. But WX, welcome to Tomato Town! In fact, welcome to my old block! :)

Went to the farmers' market with C this morning. The weather was almost like the first time we went there back in October! The market at this time of the year was more flowers than food. I only bought a bag of spinach. No apples yet =/

I decided that I should be productive. So I started packing for Sito's trip to Boston. He chose the shirts already so I folded them nicely. Just need him to pick out the pants next. I've got his shoes and other stuff ready. And the new luggage will take its virgin trip tomorrow :)

I also tried to hem a pair of his pants which were too long but I had to fold quite a lot based on the inseams of his other pants. I'd rather not ruin it! So we'll go to the seamtress one day to alter this and a new pair of jeans..

But to be honest, I wasn't all productive. I still ended up playing some games and watching a few episodes of Desperate Housewives. Getting boring actually. Too much of anything isn't good. So I started going through my handwritten notes for the classes I took. I'm starting to type them into the class notes or slides - thank goodness for Sito's PDF pro! :)

Anyway, I just had some yummy red bean soup, and a pot of barley drink is happily simmering on the stove now - that's for Sito when he comes home tomorrow. Later I'm going to make zucchini risotto for dinner! This is a trial before I next make it for Sito :)

Ok, going back to my notes again! No drama until dinner time.. :p Or, perhaps I should read during dinner instead and save the drama until after gym tonight! Woah, I feel good about myself :)

Friday, 10 June 2011

One year

Actually nine months.

It's so fast - we're at the end of the first year already! By this time next year, Sito would have graduated, and hopefully, we would be headed for home :)

We had a little farewell for our KWEST leaders last Tuesday. Last Friday was the last TG of the year, a palooza, with bands and BBQ and ice cream. And yesterday, I hosted tea for the PRC JVs, a little farewell for K and T who are leaving in a week, and to check in on J's bulging belly. Nice to chat about education, family history and even reproduction!! Love girls' talk :)

So this week was finals week. Sito had four finals and a corresponding number of bottles of vitamin water... He finished yesterday and today he flew off to Seattle for the bachelor party I mentioned..

He called while transiting at Phoenix :) And I felt the apartment so empty without him :( So after that, I decided to at least make the apartment cosier, so I started tidying the shoeboxes and trashing some unhealthy chocolates, part of a whole bag of stuff passed to me by a JV who left for the summer.

And talk about summer - it's back to winter these two days, sighs.. I managed to ration my fresh food to avoid having to go to the supermarket! :p But the days just before that were so hot I felt like one of those vampires who shrivelled and died in the sun. Except that I didn't die.

Still, I really hope warm weather will come and stay real soon. I can't wait to brew iced tea and sip them in the afternoons! I was also thinking of bubble milk tea but I just read about the DEHP scare in bubble tea ingredients from Taiwan. Not sure if the pearls are affected - I have a bag that I don't dare to open now =( Maybe, I'll just make milk tea :)

Oh glorious summer, come stay with me!

PS: My no-pay leave was approved today - time to perk up for more activities here!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Very proud of my (old) self

I have been doing a lot of archiving of my work stuff these days. And I was pretty amazed to find so many concurrent projects in 2008, especially around 3Q!

I was tied up with a major policy review that included a few series of public consultation sessions, forum replies and speeches, which all eventually led to a major marketing and public comms campaign. This cute banner is one of two - for lack of a better word - "tangible" proof of my work since 2003!



In the midst of it all, I had to go for a two-week developmental course. The course was interesting enough but I was always distracted by oh-so-loving thoughts of work. It was a horrendous two weeks as I had to work at night.

And after we rolled out the package, more things cropped up and even more people wrote or call for clarifications, which didn't taper off until two months later. We were concurrently doing up the budget requirements for a lot of things - that was one mega spreadsheet that wasn't fun to check and certainly not easy to build a solid justification. I mean, there's no way to measure ROI for some things!

And the package wasn't the only thing on my plate. I was also involved in research and statistics. We were at that time in talks with a prof to engage him as a research consultant, which involved preparing a lot of research outlines. Then a regular stats report was due and we had a media conference on it - the second "tangible" proof of my work - right before Singapore Day, which thankfully marked the end of it all!

Also, all the time, I was going for my weekly Japanese prep class for JLPT 2, my three-hour break between work in office and work at home.

No wonder I slept only three to four hours on most days in July and August!

Come, mf, you deserve a pat on the back! *pat pat*

But no, I want no repeat of that period of time! Too much instant noodles, too much supper on the way home (once I made a cabbie uncle wait for me outside McD at midnight!), too little exercise, too little time to rest and be with friends. Result? Too fat and tired and unhappy.

Yet, I can't say I didn't enjoy it.

I learnt a lot about work, for one. Apart from the policy review per se, everything was new to me. I had never set up a call centre, bought ad space, dealt with creatives, printed thousands of pamphlets in four languages, or seen that many zeroes on a budget spreadsheet. With LH, my direct boss, on maternity leave, I had to carry more responsibility too.

I also learnt about myself, specifically about my limit. It was stretched a lot, and then more when I thought that was it. I had Berocca (which I'm sure helped me beat my mid-summer flu! I fell quite ill in November when the adrenaline died down..) every morning and coffee some afternoons or nights to keep me going - caffeine doesn't usually keep me awake but it did seem to have a psychological effect on me. Perhaps I refused to go to bed laden with sugar from the frap? Oh ya, it had to be Starbucks java chip or mocha frap. I had expensive taste :p

And very importantly, I felt recognised and appreciated. I was very happy when RQ sent me to NDR that year - I got to see my work being announced! :) Towards the end of the major comms, a colleague in another agency came up to me to - effectively - "congratulate" me for doing policy, comms, presentation and emcee. At the end of the media conference for the policy announcement, we were hanging around outside the room where minister was giving an interview, and all relieved, I said to PS, "I'm very happy." He smiled and gave me an unexpected pat on the back! And did I mention the relaxing bonus for that year? (Relaxing because it paid for my spa package!)



Wow, I was good!

PS: Yup, this is a self-praising exercise. After all, I won't be able to out-achieve 2008! Nor do I want to! Although writing this made me feel just that little bit hungry for that adrenaline rush...

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Cute and not-so-cute games

I've been reliving my university days - by playing flash games. No, not Bejeweled. Cuter. Like catching bumble bees or falling apples, saving monkeys, bouncing stars, and all the time listening to soft lullabies :)



I also just remembered a game, a not-so-cute game, that I used to play - swatting mozzies! I used to let one grow and grow and grow real big before I gave it a big swat and - splash! Blood :p

But Sito went one step further - he let FIVE mozzies grow big!



Those were the mozzies before he got them all in one bloody swat! *.*

Super yucks! But we had a great time laughing :)

Monday, 6 June 2011

How to be unhappy?? :)

I've been thinking lately, about how grateful I am for so many things in life, big and small.

Life isn't all smooth sailing for me, but I would say it mostly is.

Coming from a very humble background (read: poor), I've had the opportunity to progress to a top university. (Because really, when you're a poor but obedient child, there's nothing to do but what has already been paid for - study.)

Through my schooling years, I've been able to get to know wonderful friends. I'm fortunate to call so many "friends" even today.

I landed a good job. Not the position I had wanted but it was interesting enough and by some stroke of good fortune, it eventually brought me to what I had wanted to do in the first place.

I have some really great colleagues, and friends among them. Very recently, I was very touched to find some of them looking out for me even though I'm so far from office. They are the ones who lightened up my long hours at work last time and who now make the whole "part-time+remote=fail" thing easier to bear.

Also recently, I've been treated early for my cervical problem.

And, I have my very own superman sitting at the desk behind mine right now, smelling fresh from his post-gym shower.

There are too many things to be grateful for in life to be unhappy.

Seriously, what more could I ask for?

Of course, there is this one other thing. But it will come. THEY will come :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

There's Pinky, there's Pinky II, now Pinky mf??

I had a thought - why don't I dye my hair ANIME PINK?!

I haven't tried before but pink hair is probably frown upon for officers in the civil service. Although I'll still be considered as under the employment of the government while on no-pay leave, I think there is some leeway for me to be a little more adventurous with my appearance.. Or at least, no colleague is around me do the frowning :)

But then I'm lazy. If I dye it once, I have to keep doing it. Or dye it back to black at some point. And not to mention the highly possible hair damage.

So I thought of highlighting certain parts. But that would require me to go to a salon. I don't want to spend money frivolously...

Perhaps I can do that myself...?

So I headed to the drugstore to check out the colours - no pink! =(

All that thinking for nothing!!

Anyway, I'm going to trim my hair once I stop work, to signify a brand new start. So I'll see if the salon can do a strand of pink AND cheaply. Ya, I poor :p

PS: Pinky was my pink Dopod 818 Pro. Pinky II is of course my current white iPhone 3GS in its pink cover that replaces the dead Pinky...

Friday, 3 June 2011

Two hearts



I love how Sito added "gnoofyem is my wife" in brackets when he sent out a calendar invite via email the other day.

I love how Sito would do sweet little things like sticking a post-it note on my laptop or re-arranging our fridge magnets after I go to bed.

I love how Sito would chat with me before I go to sleep and he continues to study.

I love how Sito and I would rather join the masses for the end-of-year event at Kellogg than eat out on our own today.

I love how ordinary and beautiful today has been.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Holding a conversation

I always get stumped when people - usually the Americans - ask me how I find living here. Comparing Singapore and here, of course I prefer Singapore la! But you know, it's their country and I don't want to be rude haha!

But really, that is such a vague question. I'm only now searching for the right - and appropriate - answer as I type..

Hmmm, I think I will say this if I'm asked again, that living here is almost like living in Singapore, so there is no culture shock. The key difference is that Singapore is a lot more compact. And how do YOU find living here? :)

Another question usually follows. What do I do while Sito studies?

That's an easy question, with an answer that makes people envious - I'm doing all the things I (and YOU! If I want to be mean :p) have always wanted to do but had no time for! I'm reading the news, browsing frivolous blogs, learning a language, catching up on dramas and movies I missed, exercising, and sitting in on classes at Kellogg. When I stop work, I have even more ambitious plans!

So those are typical questions from new acquaintances. Then there are questions from people I haven't talked to for weeks. Generally, they are asking what I have been up to.

That is a more difficult question. In all probability, I haven't been doing anything new since we last met but to say same-old same-old is just so boring and kills the conversation instantly. How about trying to motivate myself to go to the library more often and to stay away from watching dramas and movies online? :)

I guess I just find it hard to hold a conversation with some people no matter how nice they are. Different wavelengths, you know.

Then an interesting question came up that night at the KWEST reunion. Where do we want to be after the MBA? Had a good chat with this other JV - turned out we thought the same, that we would follow the husband :) And we are both keen on teaching pre-school so really, we could be anywhere and still be employable. Well, more employable for her than me! But I'll see..

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Vroom vroom!

That was the sound I heard when I stepped on the brake.

Brake? Well, I stepped wrongly *.*

(Sito did the same thing when it was his turn!!)

Drove for the first time in four years today! Last was when I took my driving test :p

The first time I drove was with YX as instructor in a carpark near his place in Stanford. That was fun.

I took private instruction for my driving test to save money. But on the day of the driving test, my instructor couldn't make it and had his friend took me for a lesson before the test. That was when I realised that he didn't teach me enough! The sub-instructor was like, how come you don't know this and that?! =( Eventually, I passed at the second try, but I wasn't too happy with the whole thing.

So recently, we decided we should really refresh our driving skills and signed up for lessons. And the instructor was really good! I felt as if I was learning how to drive for the first time! There were so many things I never knew, like how to adjust the mirrors, how to make sure I'm nicely seated, how to turn nicely, how to filer properly, and how to park without poles!

Granted, I haven't done any parking yet. I only drove around to practise today. But Sito did parking as this was his second lesson. The school allows one to sit behind while the other takes the lesson. So we got to learn from each other too.

This wasn't the first time I drove an auto car but it was the first time I was properly instructed on how to drive one. I have a problem with acceleration and braking - not stepping wrongly but not stepping hard or fast enough. Need more practice...

Oh, and embarrassingly, something happened today that never happened even while I was first learning - I mounted a kerb while turning right =( I attributed it to me not used to driving on the right side of the road! yup, more practice needed!

Hopefully, we'll both feel confident enough to get on the roads by ourselves. Time for road trips and convenient shopping! :)
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