Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Necessary, good to have, doing without

I was drawn to a report on EIU's latest global liveability report. The EIU used New York as a baseline city and gave other cities "a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure" (link). Cost of living was apparently not a factor.

Now I can't help noticing (1) how the top 10 are cities in Australia and Canada, and (2) that Singapore has been ranked 52nd!

I have never been to Canada but I was in Melbourne for a few days and honestly, I wasn't impressed. I mentioned why before so I shan't repeat here. Short of paying hundreds of dollars for the full report and ranking, I can't imagine how there can be so many cities before Singapore! No, I don't think I can be convinced.

But well, liveability is arguably subjective.

In my adult years, I have lived in three cities - Oxford, Singapore and Evanston, in that order. In all honesty, I find all three cities very liveable. Putting aside cost of living, if not for family and friends and two key pain points, living in Oxford or Evanston - or any other similar city! - sounds as inviting as living in Singapore.

The two pain points are actually on the national level, not really specific to the cities - taxation and healthcare. Of course I didn't pay tax in Oxford but if I did, it would probably be high, like the 19.8% Sito paid in his nine weeks of internship here. And while I had free healthcare in Oxford, it was painful - long waiting time, not to mention out of the way. As for Evanston, my doctor is just round the corner but guess what? My insurance will expire in, oh, 30 minutes!

Renewing my coverage will cost over $5,000 this year, with a $250 deductible and up to $1,000 out-of-pocket expenses. Getting a new plan with lower premiums doesn't save me any money because the deductible increases dramatically to $3,000 and more! In all probability, the insurance will remain that, an insurance.

So I'm going without insurance from tomorrow. When I wake up tomorrow, I'll be a good girl and no longer jaywalk, I'll be careful not to injure myself with my clumsiness, I'll self-medicate all minor illnesses. This doesn't make Evanston unliveable though; good healthcare is still available, just that I have to pay an arm and a leg for it. As if I'm not already paying an arm and a leg for it through the insurance, ha!

I guess Singapore probably scored poorly on areas I don't care about, like censorship. I'm happy we're not China and I have my Facebook, thank you.

But my choice is and - I dare say - will always be my Singapore. It has the necessary (think personal safety and infrastructure kind of hygiene factors) and the good-to-have (24-hour eateries? Yes, please!), and I don't have to do without anything!

Seems that I'm missing Singapore.. Sighs, I don't really feel that since I'm already at home with Mr Sito. But when we were in San Francisco and hanging out with old friends and having familiar food (and I'm the kind who can eat pasta every day) and feeling like Singapore in the 80s (um, that was Chinatown) and finding salons offering cheap rebonding services (for me only :p) and doing foot reflexology (again, just me!), we felt strongly about wanting to go back to Singapore after the MBA.

Well, recruiting season starts with the start of fall quarter in less than two weeks. Pray hard that Sito gets a good enough offer from a Singapore office to say bye bye to his BATNA!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

An artsy and nerdy day

Went on a little excursion to the Museum of Contemporary Art with WSY. Free admission for Illinois residents on Tuesdays! All we did was to state our zip code.

It was our first time at this museum, and we went there early enough to have lunch at the restaurant inside before taking a free guided tour. Before this, the two of us had only been out on group events so it was really nice to be able to have a good chat over lunch :)

The current exhibition features works by Mark Bradford, an artist from LA. His work reflect a lot of his background and significant events around him.

I'm not the artsy sort, and know nothing about contemporary art. Fine, I know nothing about art! So it was a good thing we had the guided tour, else we wouldn't have understood or appreciated anything O_O

Oh, also took the intercampus shuttle bus for the first time! I had wanted to take that to go downtown for a while but never did. I used my spouse ID card which is actually not valid on this bus unless the bus is not crowded (and the driver is nice). So I was lucky! WSY used her husband's card and the driver didn't even check the photo! Think I'll do that next time..

So, I'm not artsy, but I'm definitely nerdy - I thought of the Pythagoras' Theorem while in the shower just now and I wanted to prove it!

First, I realised I couldn't spell "Pythagoras" so I googled :p I resisted looking at the proof...

Then, as I got my pen and paper ready, I couldn't get started so to give myself a little hint, I took a little peek...

"...similar triangles..."

Ah ha!

But I confused myself by cutting up my triangle in a complicated way. I took a second peek for a second hint *.*

Then I proved it!

Happy :)

But sighs.. Had to peek! :( Twice!! :((

Anyway, must share happiness - got to talk to Sito for some five minutes this evening - he called! :)

Monday, 29 August 2011

Tap Tap Revenge, anyone?

Sito hopped into bed one night to find me just done with my iPhone - I have developed a habit of checking emails or reading stuff on Pinky II before I turn off the light.

And so he took over, scrolled through and re-discovered Tap Tap Revenge. The next thing we knew, he was playing with one of the default tunes.

mf: Eh, this reminds me of last year - we were playing this in bed too!
Sito: I was thinking the same!

(And he missed a bar :p)

That must have been early 2010 when he had an iPod Touch issued from the school he never got posted to as he got accepted into Kellogg. We liked to challenge each other but I almost always lost *.* Even after he returned his machine, he would play on my phone. Once, he was either shaking the thing too violently or holding it too tight, breaking an angel figurine I had hanging from it! *pout* And he even bought the Owl City album as a surprise for me as I liked Fireflies! :)

Ahhhh, nice feeling :)

Sito is now in Nicaragua for a pro-bono consulting project. He left early Sunday morning and will be back next Saturday - I'm home alone again! No Skype this time as I can't use Skype on this backup laptop. Be getting a new Mac when he returns! Then I'll have pictures from our California trip and more..

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Dual citizenship

We are back in Evanston! More on our vacation later as I can't upload our photos yet...

The dual citizenship issue often comes up for Singaporeans who are planning to have kids while overseas. We are no exception.

Some Singaporean friends tell me to have a kid here in the US. And some non-Singaporean friends naturally assume that we would love to have US citizenship for our kids. Good to have US citizenship, they all say.

Good meh? I don't understand. I don't see how US citizenship is better than Singapore citizenship. Except when you want to work or study in the US - no need to bother with visa etc. It's convenient for a while but ultimately, our kids will be Singaporean cos the mum says so :p And since Singapore doesn't permit dual citizenship, any US citizenship will be given up at age 21 anyway.

It seems that many people don't understand dual citizenship in Singapore. Here are some facts:

1) Singapore does not allow dual citizenship. If your PRC colleague decides to take up Singapore citizenship, he will have to give up his PRC citizenship.

2) However, minors, i.e. aged 21 and below, can hold more than one citizenship. Why? Because generally, a person cannot renounce his/her citizenship before age 21. This applies to both born-and-bred Singaporeans and immigrants.

Example (a) Think the naturalised Singaporean from PRC who recently landed a President's Scholarship. An immigrant family came from country X and decided to take up Singapore citizenship. The parents have to renounce their citizenship from country X but the children are unable to do so because they're underaged. So until they reach 21, they hold both citizenships. Before the children turn 22, they must renounce their citizenship of country X, failing which their Singapore citizenship will be revoked.

Example (b) Say Sito and I have a kid born here in the US. The kid will be eligible for both US citizenship (jus soli) and Singapore citizenship (jus sanguinis), whether we're going to be living in the US or Singapore in future, and can hold both citizenships until he/she turns 21, when a choice will have to be made similar to the above case.

Fair? Fair.

3) Dual citizenship doesn't benefit Singapore. Ok, this may not be a fact; just my opinion. Every so often, someone will mention in forums etc that Singapore should allow dual citizenship so that we can attract international talent who may be less inclined to give up their citizenship or so that Singaporeans won't need to give up their own citizenship when migrating to another country.

Fallacy (a) If a foreigner is reluctant to give up his/her citizenship in order to take up our citizenship, why do we want him/her?! Where is his/her loyalty? Just stay as a foreigner, work in Singapore and contribute to our economy la! Unless he/she is keen to join us totally, I much prefer churning our foreign workforce, keep it evergreen. And I don't think we're short of people who want to be part of Singapore.

Fallacy (b) Singaporeans who are working in another country do not need to give up Singapore citizenship. Just work there as a foreigner or PR la! Countries like Australia generally do not differentiate between citizens and PRs, and sometimes foreigners get the same benefits as citizens. Want to take up other citizenship? Well, herein lies The Great Contradiction: On one hand, they dislike that immigrants in Singapore could hold dual citizenship (until age 21); on the other, they want to keep Singapore citizenship when they want to take up another citizenship. Fine, these may be two different groups of people but no reason to treat these two groups differently. Who is to say that an immigrant may be less committed to Singapore compared to a born-and-bred?

Side: It's like religions, right? Someone born into a religion could change his/her belief and become more committed to the latter compared to someone else born into it.

Question: Why do some countries like the US allow dual citizenship then? Actually, it doesn't disallow, but it doesn't encourage either. Read this.

4) No one can be a citizen of more than one county. Again, my opinion. How can I be Singaporean if I also call myself Australian or British?! There are exceptions though, e.g. when parents are from different countries, it will be difficult to choose one. 无解 cos I'm not smart enough :)

Anyway, Sito says I'm pro-PAP. Well, I just see myself as pro-Singapore. Because I'm Singaporean and only Singaporean.

PS: Just a note that we're not voting in the upcoming Presidential Election as we're not registered as overseas voters. Just as well, since we didn't really follow the campaigning. We only know our president will be a Tan :p And I'm not sure if it really makes a big difference when the whole machinery driving our system is much bigger than the state figurehead, and so long as the elected Tan will have enough sense and can stand tall among figureheads of other countries. Watching live discussions sometimes leave me scared, haha!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Tribute to our MacBook Black

This is my last post on this old Mac =(

After this, I'll log out, clear history and pack it into a box to send off for recycling =(

I'll probably get some money out of the recycling though :p And I'll buy a new MacBook Pro! :)

Still, sad about this old Mac =(

Sunday, 14 August 2011

OUR dumplings :)

Decided to make dumplings today! :)

The ingredients laid out in front of my laptop for this photo op :p



I couldn't find minced pork! That was a meatloaf mix of beef and pork. Chopping the prawns was difficult - later when we were eating, I saw that part of a nail might have gone into the prawns *.*

The green pile was spring onions and chives. The yellow stuff in the bowl was minced ginger. I added soy sauce, salt and sesame oil to the ginger before pouring the mixture over the minced meat.

After mixing everything, I beat the egg and added more soy sauce and salt and oil again :p The egg made the filling gooey, like this - and the prawns were still visible!



So Sito and I sat down to wrap the dumplings. I arranged my dumplings prettily :)



Sito arranged his dumplings neatly in three rows. He also decided to have fun with different ways of wrapping the dumplings. So there was a ingot - see it? - and a 小龙包-wannabe - at the right side.



We cooked 20 and froze the remaining 30 (and a bit of filling). Added some seasoning to a little of the water used to boil the dumplings, and we had soup dumplings! :)



That was our dinner. I suspect we'll both get hungry later tonight :p

Saturday, 13 August 2011

From an empty-ish theatre

Sito's internship ended yesterday on a very good note!! :) So we must celebrate :)

We went out for Indian food and ordered so much that we had enough leftovers for lunch today :p After a good hour of food coma at home, we headed out for a late movie. I still can't believe we watched "Cowboys & Aliens"! Rather, I can't believe I watched this movie *.* I had checked "will never watch" on a feedback form after another movie a while ago. I mean, cowboys and aliens?!

But it was Sito's night. And he's a boy. And halfway through the movie, I actually thought it was quite good. But the whole idea of cowboys and aliens (yes, always in italics for me) was just wtf-able, especially in the trailer.

The movie was released in July so the theatre had only some 10 people.

I couldn't help remembering the neighbourhood Eng Wah cinemas. I used to stay near the Jubilee Entertainment Complex. Some 10 years ago, I saw a lot of people going in and out of the small building. There were only a few tenants - MOS Burger where I had a lot of fun with friends, a dress shop where I bought at least two dresses, a games shop, a bubble tea cafe, a spa, a maid agency, a Popular book store (which remains the most popular store in the complex now), a game arcade and of course the cinema.

I watched a lot of movies at that cinema. There was no digital display of showtimes. Instead, the showtimes of each day were put on a changeable letter board near the ticket counters. Well, at least there was no need to wait for the page with the movie I wanted to watch to appear!

One of the first shows I watched there was "Three" in 2002. There was a little queue to get to one of the two aunties at the ticketing counter. There were people playing in the game arcade while waiting for seating to commence. There was a little queue to get into the theatre. We found ourselves in a crowded theatre.

Fast forward a few years, only one auntie was at the ticket counter whenever I was there. I still remember what she looked like; she never smiled. The arcade was quiet. The theatre was quite empty. Some tenants like the dress shop and bubble tea cafe had left. And when AMK Hub was up in 2007, MOS Burger moved out too. The cinema at AMK Hub also drew a lot more people, it being more central and newer. I haven't been to Jubilee for a quite a long time too, and now when I'm thinking about it, I read that the cinema is closed. So is a similar cinema in a similar building in Toa Payoh where I watched one of the Harry Potter movies with my cousins.

I guess I just find it sad when I see empty places.

Now I have a couple of diverging trains of thoughts from here, one to do with empty spaces and one to do with invaded heartlands. But I'm getting sleepy so I shall be lazy today....

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Customer service hotlines

"Press 1 to apply for a credit card; press 2 to report loss of a credit card; ...; press 0 to speak to a customer service operator."

After pressing 3, then 1, then 4:

"Enter your credit card number and press the hash key."

Familiar? Yes. Irritating? Oh yes! Especially when the "press 0 for operator" option is not available at the first menu!

I still remember there was a Jacky Neo film that made fun of how many menus you got to go through before getting to the right destination..

But now, it is different.

The nice voice at the bank hotline just asked, "What is your credit card number?" After a moment of surprise, I just said the number out loud. After a short while, I got to speak with a real person.

Similarly, the voice at WSJ hotline greeted me and asked, "What can we do for you today? For example, you could say 'renewing my subscription', or ...." More prepared this time, I just said "renew", and I was promptly linked to a real person on the other end of the line.

I just have to give very simple replies. The first time I got this was when I called Apple. I answered in a complete sentence and it was too complicated for the computer to understand! So I got "I'm sorry. I will have to transfer to you to a customer service operator. Please hold." Or something like that.

The "conversation" make it more continuous than the "press n" menus. I can get used to this system :)

The experience would be perfect if the operator is nice. Most of the time, they all speak too fast and sound rushed. I guess they're pressured to adhere to service level agreements - complete calls within x minutes, put people on hold for no more than y minutes. I have been on the evil side of an SLA so I know :p

The best experience so far was when I called Citigold to ask about linking accounts today. No strange white noise in the background, no rush and plenty of help! "Oh, I can wait with you while you try again." Ah, so nice. But of course they must be nice la, it's Citigold! Oh, the Citigold here has a much lower threshold than in Singapore; just dumping in half of Sito's school fees made us eligible for premium banking services.

The worst is when operators are unable to understand my queries and 答非所问 *.* Or the insurance guy who cannot tell me if something will be covered for sure, must cover ass mah... And speaking about insurance, yes, his compulsory and my very expensive insurance, I called just now and didn't even get to any menu. I was told that the office was closed, and that their office hours were 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. I looked at the clock and it was only 5.16 pm! Crap!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Happy National Day!

I know, it's almost the end of the day in Singapore, but my 9 August is barely starting! :)

This is the third time I'm spending National Day outside Singapore. The first was in 2003 when I was still working on my MSc; the second was last year when we went to Malaysia - of all places hoho! - to say bye bye to relatives and settle some admin on Sito's side before we came here.

I finally crawled out of bed at 7.45 am in my pink pyjamas - pink, i.e. a mix of red and white! But I think the NDP has ended by then. So many people were updating on Facebook!

Also missed reciting the pledge together with KLK and the rest of Singapore... But turned out that I didn't miss pizza - they couldn't get through to any pizzeria! So they gave up angmoh pancakes for Indian pancakes :p

I shall have a prata too :)



Update: Some minutes later...

My poor frozen prata suffered verbal abuse on Facebook. Kok even tagged me in a picture of him and a giant prata.. Apparently, my prata lost in the looks department, specifically size *.*

Update: At night

Just finished watching NDP webcast replay! And I saw prata men swinging pratas!! How's this for size?!



And Sito and I just burst into "Stand Up for Singapore"! A few songs are roaming in my head now - "Munnaeru vaalibaa munaeri endrum thoduvaan noakkuvaai", "There are five stars arising out of the stormy sea", "One people, one nation, one Singapore"... Just random, but nice :)

Took this during a short break in class this afternoon - mf wearing red and white!


I'm so glad I'm Singaporean :)

Monday, 8 August 2011

The pursuit of happiness

This article is pretty funny.

"our idea of happiness is so screwed up that most of us wouldn't recognize the real thing if we saw it"

Wa liao...

I was watching "家, N次方" last week, and a character said that the hidden meaning behind the saying "rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle" was that the girl who would rather cry in a BMW was unlikely to smile on a bicycle anyway.

Think I've said somewhere here before, happiness is a choice. But now I'm thinking that maybe it's (also) nature. If you're predisposed to happiness, I guess nothing will make you feel overall unhappy. If you're predisposed to grouchiness, nothing can make you feel overall happy.

I think I'm predisposed to happiness. But it's not that I don't get unhappy, ever. There is happiness, the overall state. There is happiness, the current state. I accept that I cannot be happy 24/7. Like now, while writing this, I feel neither happy nor unhappy. But I look out of the window, it's bright and sunny - it makes me happy. Then I think about our Angel Baby and I'm sad. Now I zoom out of myself, I look at my life as a whole - I have a family, I have my bare necessities and a little more, I am overall happy.

But if I really want to "see" happiness, well, I've fluffed about little things that make me happy a few years ago. Just re-read it and much of it stays the same except:

7) Daydreaming - about my room, my desired weight, my prince..?
10) Strolling back from office - me time!
11) Sweating it out on Saturday mornings - in the park, not with some handsome stranger unfortunately, but still happy :p the treadmill

Saturday, 6 August 2011

排骨虾面!

Yes, I made prawn mee with pork ribs using a recipe from My Wok Life!

Was supposed to make char kway teow (using premix) but changed our dinner plans when I saw the prawns in H-Mart yesterday :)

I started with scalding the pork ribs which were then set aside:


Next, I shelled and de-veined the prawns! I thought they looked happy :)


Trivial: This was only the second time I handled raw prawns; the first time was in home economics class in sec 1! But that time, the prawns must have come shelled because I don't remember having orange fingers then!

I stir-fried the heads and the shells until they turned a beautiful orange:


A lot more heads and shells than prawns? Well, I froze half the prawns for another culinary adventure later.. Stay tuned...

Added ikan bilis and garlic and fried for a while more before adding everything else. See the ribs floating about? Looking almost like the real thing hur?


While the soup simmered, I had to attend to poor Sito who came home from Florida with the most horrible sun burn! The poor guy didn't apply sunblock properly; he was burnt in odd spots and the worst burns were on his right side *.* Applied some aloe vera and moisturiser on him.. (And just before this, I rolled a cold can of Red Bull on his burnt skin...)

For my effort, I was given a treat - Garrett popcorn! We saw that when we were at Navy Pier last Friday and Sito realised that I didn't know what that was. Today, Sito got me the Cashew CaramelCrisp. I love cashews! Thanks, Dear :)


Anyway, the soup was simmering... I know Sito likes fried shallots, which will go well with prawn mee. Well, I didn't have shallots but I had a lot of chopped onions in the fridge! Used the microwave instead of frying. The result was up to Sito's standard but the microwave stopped working for a while after that!! Fine, our microwave is pretty cheapo... I shall just buy fried shallots from an Asian grocery store next time..


And finally, at dinner time, I blanched the noodles, vege, fishcake and prawns, and we have 排骨虾面!


The soup had all the right tastes and flavours but it wasn't robust enough. I think I might have added too much water. Or, I should have borrowed a slow cooker. Or, blame the angmoh prawns! :p

The lomein noodles were rather tasteless unlike the yellow noodles in Singapore but the texture was there. I overcooked the prawns a little :p And I didn't have kang kong... The pork ribs, however, turned out amazing!

Overall, Sito said "passed"! :)

mf imagines..

I first read Dilbert some 10 years ago as a student. These days, I read Dilbert when people post on Facebook, when professors flash some strips to make their point. It still entertains and educates me, perhaps more so than before since I've had some experience in the working world.

Today, I came across Scott Adams again, in his article, "The Heady Thrill of Having Nothing to Do" on how the eradication of boredom (largely by modern devices) is stifling creativity. Some element of truth there but....

I'm rather taken with this line in the middle of the article than the article itself: Imagination has a way of breeding disappointment.

Growing up with not much in material and familial satisfaction, I imagined having much more. I imagined what I would do if I had this or that. I imagined how happy we would be if we were one happy family. Being a avid reader, I even imagined how cool it would be if I were Nancy Drew or a princess in one of those fairy tales hoho!! Of course, the last bit was just a fantasy and I knew it. But I knew that the imagined parts could possibly come true, only that they never did.

On the other hand, in my adult years, I didn't have much time to be bored except when in transit. I imagined a whole host of other things which did me good. Imagining fitting into my skinny jeans made me go to the gym. Imagining positive work outcomes and being recognised made me work really hard. No disappointment here (even though the jeans were still a stretch).

Now that I have so much time on my hand, it isn't quite possible to occupy myself 100% of the time. And recently, there is just one thing on my mind and I tend to let my imagination run wild on that. Sometimes it makes me happy but most of the time, it makes me anxious and stressed. Perhaps being occupied all the time with no room for boredom isn't a bad thing for me now!

Managing our little household

That day before he left, Sito sent me the pdf of his boarding pass with no further text in the email. So I asked him if he wanted me to print for him, but no, he had already printed it and he just sent it to me for my reference.

Since I'm the Secretary of Home Affairs, I dictate that we will go by this system in future:

Fyi - for reference, like the boarding pass, no action required
PP - please print, self-explanatory
F/U - for follow-up, like checking out a bah kwa recipe, deciding whether to go for an event

You hear, my dear? :)

And as I'm also the CFO, I'm in charge of our finances and lately, I'm troubled whenever I go to xe.com. We changed a lot of SGD to USD last year, when it was US$1 to about S$1.35. Now, it's US$1 to S$1.2 - we have "lost" more than US$20,000 *cry*

But I have come up with a devious idea - friends who want to buy things that are way cheaper here than in Singapore, do you mind transferring USD over or paying me at the old exchange rate? :D

I'm also troubled over our insurance. He has no choice but to pay for insurance, which he doesn't use at all *touch wood* I need to search for a cheap insurance for me, really really cheap because I'm not going to use it. I told my doc, and she said, oh, good luck with that *.* This country's system is quite screwed up...

Anyway, that's the white collar aspect of my job. The blue collar part is less glam...

I went to the gym every day for the past five days - proud of myself! - and while waiting for me to stop sweating after each session before I hit the shower, I cleaned here and there...

Lately, I inherited an old drying rack that had seen at least two earlier households. So I've started hand-washing stuff. Yesterday, I washed Sito's pyjamas so that he would have something to wear after showering when he comes back this afternoon; he tends to run out of pyjamas as he uses them as home clothes too. This morning, I took a toothbrush to his shirt collars to try to remove collar stains with dishwashing liquid. I'm soaking three shirts now.. When he's back, everything will go into the machine.

A few days ago when I asked maintenance to help with our old stove, I even found out that I could lift the top off. So I cleaned the stove more thoroughly. Greasy. Yucks. But now it's very clean. Now I can cook a big meal for dinner today! Hope to post pictures later..

I'm actually quite happy to be doing all these. To know that Sito and I will be comfortable in a clean, cosy environment, that's bliss :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

The best way to end my day

Curl up on the couch with a book and some music, or watch a drama. And just within arm's reach, a mug of warm milk. Sip on the milk on and off. Never allow it to turn cold. When it's finished, go to bed straight away*. Don't bother about brushing teeth and spoiling the warmth with toothpaste and water. Now, sleep well :)

* Give Sito a goodnight kiss on the way when he's home

-- My thoughts last night after some warm milk :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Time? I've got plenty!

"But who cares? No big deal. I want mooooore!" (Tribute to the Little Mermaid :p)

Well, I have been doing almost nothing for weeks now...

Is this a payout for the past years of hard work? Or is this an extravagant waste of time that will see me pay back in time to come?

Anyway, as can be seen from my to-do list on the right, there are plenty to do.. But I just haven't got down to doing enough of them.

Yesterday, I finished transferring my handwritten notes on class handouts to softcopy so that I could dump the hardcopy. By dumping, I do mean recycling. But I'm still taking classes so there's more of such things to come when I get my hands on the softcopy...

Since Monday, I started going to the gym every day. It is a good development for health, fitness and entertainment - I have downloaded an app that allows me to watch drama on the treadmill! That's my whole motivation actually *.* The treadmill is just too boring otherwise!

And of course, there's the dreaded task of archiving my work. I have been procrastinating a lot on that. I did quite a bit earlier this week though. I should probably get to it again after this.

Oh, Sito is in Florida now. He just sent me a text from his hotel. I'm so envious! But this particular event for interns does not involve the spouse.. Anyway, so after seeing him off this morning, I went back to bed and snoozed until noon.. I haven't woken at noon for a very very long time! (As in, I usually wake much earlier than noon, not later!!)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The thing about laundry

Is the smell.

I love the smell of the laundry room, not just any detergent but the mix of many varied scents churning in the washers and toasting in the dryers. It is also the smell of independence - I was finally living on my own! Although now I much prefer having a washer and a dryer at home, I still couldn't help smiling and taking deep breaths every time I pass by the laundry room of any random building :)

And the song, of course.

Back in Oxford in my first year, I could never accurately gauge the time it took for the washer and dryer to be done with my clothes. And I knew that if I were to be slow in getting to my clothes, someone could take them out for me. Saying that I really don't like other people handling my clothes is an understatement; I'll probably wash them again! Thankfully that never happened. And it's because of a song. I would always go to the laundry room early and wait for my clothes to be ready, and I would sing "Part of Your World" in the tiny basement room while waiting. Just that one song in an entire year - I just liked it. Btw, the acoustics were really good in there!

Just now, I sang "Part of Your World" again. Not doing laundry, just random, at my desk. And it felt good :)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

无题

昨天半夜两、三点躺着睡不着,发了封简讯给友人,回答他之前对于工作的一些抱怨。我说,有时候工作也可以是一种心理寄托,而现在的我什么也没有,不免觉得有点空虚,尤其是老公很少在家。

今早看到了他的回话:(工作)终究也只是一个寄托,不是一个选择。中学或高中一篇课文说到人因为考试而学习,剥夺了学习的乐趣,因为糊口而工作。这是人的悲哀。

我们都(曾)因为工作而牺牲了某些东西。我只所以视工作为寄托,是因为我的人生选择还没有落实。我老公不是为了糊口而工作;工作是他得到一种自我满足的途径。可能我们对那些所谓牺牲的评价不一样。悲哀的,恐怕是象我这样的人吧⋯⋯

赫然发现我从小一直最想得到的东西原来还是那么最远不可及。

Monday, 1 August 2011

Our moments

Most of the time, we're seated separately at our respective desks and reading or doing random things online. Every so often, we will call out to each other about something we see or something totally random. Just last week, we had a couple of hilarious exchanges.

But the thing is, I only remember that we had these funny moments; I don't remember what they were exactly. Still, it brings on a smile whenever I think about these (very non-specific) moments :)

And I was going through my iPhone notes and saw that Sito gave me a 家用 of $50 on 9 Mar 2010 :) I think I simply ran out of cash that day, and Sito, ever paranoid of being stuck somewhere with no cash, passed me the money. My first 家用! :)

Also my only 家用 so far *.*
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