Saturday, December 24, 2005

Been Tagged By Laundry Days

Rules of the game:
1. Post 5 weird/random stuff abt yourself
2. At the end, list the names of 5 ppl who you want next to this and leave a comment "YOU ARE TAGGED" in their blogs and tell them to read your blog for rules!

Weird/ Random Stuff about myself
  1. I kept my fingernails long for only four months in my entire life. Yes, I self-confess to be a nail-biter. One who does not need a nail cutter but immaculately keep it short with my efficient nail-biting skills. I do it in times of stress and periods whereby I am deep in thought. But you know, I managed to keep it long from the months of August till December till recently, I hear news that my employment is unconfirmed and I am back to the whole job-hunt again. Felt shit and pissed. Hah...I bit them all-off instantly. Pretty dumb.
  2. I used to be fat! I was in periods of obesity from age 9 till 17. The heaviest I reached was 68 kg. Yes. A whopping 68kg. I don't know what got over me but I started my intense exercise regime during the holidays when I was 17. Lost more than 10kg for that two months. I was insane. I exercised everynight in my room for three hours, jumping fanatically to any beat of the music. Well, it paid off....
  3. I am not interested in dating at the moment. Since May, my love life has been complicated. I have been broken-hearted, asked to go out on numerous dates and hook-ups and I am kinda sick of it. Simultaneously, I am and have been romantically linked. It's like this vicious cycle. I don't want to hurt men and friends and in turn, I don't want to be hurt by them. I feel terrible rejecting "them" in general because most of them are my friends to begin with. I am not plagued by the notion that my biological clock is ticking. In other words, I don't give a damn (hah...maybe for this while). I just detest people blaring their mouths off "Oh Grace. It's that time of your life when you should think of settling down." I am not why should "you"?
  4. I pamper myself a lot more recently. I have been lavishly indulging in massages, pedicures (french), bikini waxes (oops, did I say that?), gym exercising, reading and writing more frequently. Possibly due to more time to myself.
  5. I regret quitting the NUS choir after attending practices for two times. I went for the audition and fortunately got in as a second alto. However, due to the over-zealous and fervent nature of the choir members, I called it quits after the second attendance. The choir had this super enthusiatic attitude and I have not seen so many "stepford wives" smiles and it intimidated me. Oh well......

Friends who are tagged

  • Samurai Cat
  • Jane Doe
  • Cadaverique
  • ClemCube
  • Samantha

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Christmas Gathering

Thanks everyone for taking time to attend the Christmas dinner at my place. I'm glad to see all of you. I'm taking time to rest now...dead-beat! Here are some snapshots!

Bye Michael!

Two days back, Michael (Mike) stopovered in Singapore for three days when he was making his way from Florence (Italy) back to his hometown in Melbourne (Australia). He was in Florence for a student exchange programme studying art renaissance. It's interesting how our friendship started two and half years back in St. Gallen (Switzerland). As some of you know, I enjoy writing essays and one essay won me an all expense paid trip to a student conference at University of St. Gallen. I met him at the Zurich airport and we were introduced to one another as our arrival timings were similar. He came from K.L. and with another Malaysian counterpart, we started conversing about Teh Tarik and the lifestyle in S.E.A. Well, I forged strong friendships over in St. Gallen and till now, I still keep in contact with some of them. It's totally amazing how things have changed in our lives. It feels to an extent that I am one of the less accomplished people amongst these "scholars".

Michael will soon undertake his honours course where he envisions to continue to Phd in the near future. Meantime, he is an entrepreneur, having a mining business in Liberia. I admire his tenacity and courage as it takes hefty risks to do business (let alone MINING!) in Liberia where the political situition may be perceived to be unsound (well, it is). Recently this year when I was in Melbourne, he invited me to attend his seminar entitled "Student by day, Businessman by night."

I met Borko , a Marcedonian in a corporate dinner organized by the conference. I shared a table with him, together with Michael and Ales...and the rest, of which I am not too sure what they are doing now. He is now a lecturer in a local university and is working in the European Union too.

Ales recently got married and held a beautiful wedding in Slovenia (attended by Borko too). I am sure he is doing well in his career too.

Okays, back to Michael's tourist visiting in Singapore. Brought him to waterloo street for fortune telling where I did the translation, National Orchid Gardens, Holland Village, NUS, watched a local play called "Oi! Sleeping Beauty!", had Teh Tarik and Prata, Indian cuisine at Uncle Samy's, Singapore's Sling at Long Bar (Raffles Hotel), shopping sights......

Michael will soon embark on his honours year where it will take him to India for three months to do some research....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My Mum

When I was eight, my teacher assigned me homework and I was told to write a short essay entitled "My Mother". You see, my knowledge of vocabulary was limited at that time and I embarked my essay with this sentence, "My mother is short and fat." This sentence was innocent and frank in a child's perpective. However, to this day, my mum still remembers this statement. Left a subtle hurtful impression. Well, seventeen years down the road, I don't deny the statement that I made ages ago but I have much better things to say now.

A tribute to my Mum for all she has done in 2005

There is no other person I love more besides my mum. She embodies the person I wanna be and I am thankful that she's in my life. THANKS for:
  1. Listening to my whinges whenever I feel empty or hurt.
  2. Calling me everyday asking me how I am or whether I have taken my lunch. Hah... I know you miss me.
  3. Being patient and tolerant when I tease you or call you names like "big ball or panda". (No ill intentions, just love to see you smile and laugh).
  4. Letting me play with your rotund tummy and portly ass, and occasionally disheveled hair.
  5. Being supportive even when I do the most ridiculous or irrational thing for love and passion.
  6. Working hard religiously everyday from dawn till dusk and keeping the family together.
  7. Popping notes mysteriously into my purse when I am unemployed.
  8. All the nightly converstions with you: the rants of work, life and men.
  9. Your thougtfulness. You have a heart of gold and would help anyone relentlessly when in need.
  10. Worrying and praying for me.
  11. Brewing soups weekly for me.
  12. Allowing me to lie on your bed and creating a tousled clutter after that.
  13. Supporting my globetrotting habits.
  14. Giving me sound advice.
  15. Lending me your shoulder to cry on in the lowest point of my life this year. I know you come in my room in the wee hours of the morning to check on me.
  16. Being the one who keeps the family finances and business well.
  17. Indulging much laughter with me when I blast the music and start dancing like a lunatic!

Because of you, I am able to pursue my life with passion, independence and enrich it with meaning and love. All I wish is good health and happiness for you in the coming year....Ma, exercise and eat lesser. Use Exel for book-keeping (instead of using the old fashioned way of penning the accounts on paper).

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Away for Christmas and New Year!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am officially away for the festive season! Booked myself a ticket to Winter Austria. Yes...a beautiful place where Sigmund Freud (A renowned psychologist) once resided, the country where classical music originated (thanks to Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn), the place where "sound of music" began....

It can be thought as an irrational and impulsive move. Heh! But, freezing as it shall be, it will be a brilliant, romantic and breathtaking vacation.To the snow-capped peaks, glistening lakes, Kaffeehaus (coffee house), Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal), here I come.....

Prost (Cheers)!

Christmas Party at the family centre

The family centre organized a Christmas party for the kids. Immediate family members were invited too. We had goodie bags, pastries, cakes and drinks. It was heartwarming to see parents shed all shyness and played games such as charades enthusiastically with their kids. Other activities include designing of family portrait, drawing and interacting with other families. It reflects how much these parents love their kids and are so willing to fork out quality time to shower affection.

Bye david!

Bade farewell to a very good friend of mine, David at the airport today. He stopovered in Singapore from Perth, heading back home to England to spend his Christmas holidays. Well, I consider myself to be a an efficient guide , brought him to the touristy, the ugly, the mundane, the exciting, the vibrant, the colourful parts of singapore, sampling foods of all sorts.

And David, frog legs and liverpool rock! As dismal as it may sound, Man Utd. is on the polar end!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas Pressie from Big One

Went to tutor Little One today and got a christmas pressie from Big One! Very touched. So much love during Christmas....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Amazoning too much

I am guessing I have approximately 3 more weeks before embarking work. To be honest, I have been enjoying this lifestyle. At home, it's either reading on my bed, or on the net surfing. I feel constrained in time, yet much things to do. Just today, I learnt different types of architectural buildings just by surfing. The different types range from the romanesque, neo-classical, barouque, renaissance, modern, post-modern to gothic...very interesting.

Recently, I have been amazoning a hefty bit and even purchased stuff (mainly books and dvds). Gotta cut down on the purchasing.....

C is for .....

C is for Christmas Catering.
(Abundance flow of yummy delights and intoxicating alcohol.)

is for Chuckling Clause.
(Mr. Santa will greet you with welcoming arms.)

is for Cakes, Chocolates, Cards and Candles.
(A manna of sweet treats, games and a relaxed setting.)

is for Chipper Conversations and Cosy Company.
(A good time to reunite with friends and catch up.)

is for Cheery Carols.
(The songs for joy and mirth.)

is for Christmas Celebration.
(At my place on the 23rd Dec, 7.30pm.)

you in your Cool Chic outfits....


One more to go.

Hah...Passed my theory boating theory test today after the second try. What a breezy week!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Got the job!

I broke the unemployment cycle today. Finally..Yes! Miss Picky and Fastidious found a job as an operational risk consultant! Quite a gruelling interview with Mister. I prepared this presentation on Basel II (a regulatory structure where banks need to adhere) for days. The presentation started off bumpy, but ended delectably. Major thanks to my cousin Kai An for the extra notes and Black for vetting through my presentation. My efforts paid off!

Now I just got to wait until Christmas for Mister to find me a position and tie down the final details. I am so happy, gone are the days of uncertainty and cannonade of questions thrown at you "Have you found a job? What are you looking for? When is your next interview?"

To all my friends, thanks for all the encouragement!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sad Chicky


I watched this movie 'Prime' recently with David, an English friend who came to Singapore for a holiday. It's delightful, very engaging but forgettable. It has a beautiful soundtrack by the way. Highly recommended by me!

And to the reader who asked me once what colour he would be, in which I chuckled "shocking pink", I thought of you when I watched this movie. Go catch it if you can.

Happiness isn't something you experience;It's something you remember.
- Oscar Levant

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just a teeny weeny regret

I rejected a broadcast journalist position with a heavy heart this afternoon. Reason: Miserly pay. I guess I would enjoy doing this job as it entails much writing and more excitingly, to be able to report the news in the near future. But it lacks the job prospects and it pays so lowly. Shucks. I think I'm too picky. So what do you deem significant in a job? To any fellow unemployed, may we continue to be picky and fastidious and ultimately land on the right one! just popped into my head that there is a high correlation with finding the right job and finding the right one in your life. Cause it's in your dreams to find the perfect relationship or perfect job. There is bound to be some malfunction or what we term as hiccups.

Call it struturally or frictionally unemployed...
Call it selective or capricious...
I am still happy.

V is for Volunteer

I was invited to a volunteer appreciation tea session couple of days back. All new faces, but the atmosphere was cheery, so I had no problems mingling. Many smiles and heartening conversations brightened the room. There were no conversations about work and again, I saw people of varying ages (however, most of them were women.) We played a couple of games and the staff thanked each and everyone of us with a short speech and a certificate. I returned home with a chockful stomach (thanks to the wide array of appetizing food...).

I strongly encourage friends to join this programme and make a difference in someone's life. The feeling you receive is tremendous. Some reasons why you should volunteer:
  1. Make friends.
  2. Gain a different perspective in life. It's not always about the competitve rat race.
  3. It's healthy to have fun.
  4. Good to know that you help in the community.
  5. It's for personal growth. By helping others, you in turn learn more about yourself.
  6. Working with youth makes you feel youthful and vibrant.
  7. You make the world a better place and it's good. Cause you are living in it.
  8. Something to keep you busy in case you get bored.
  9. You make an enriching impact in someone else's life, something that is priceless.

Recently, Christoph and three of his friends set up a volunteer organization called "Explore and Help" It has gained encouraging feedback from the german media. The organization spans a wider geographical area and its aim is to immerse volunteers with projects while enjoying different cultures and interacting with the communities there.

Slimming Session

Just the other day, Pearlene had a free spa slimming session for two (I can't remember the name of the place). Let me emphasize: I have been to many spa places that offer massages but not any slimming ones. Well, this virgin slimming session was torturous and arduous. I guess it would be my last, unless I turn into this really huge fat bozo. Currently, I prefer to stick to the usual "eat healthy, exercise regularly routine" (I hope..).

I was brought to this room which was partitioned into half. The other side laid this middle aged lady enjoying a facial massage. I was told to take off my clothes while this lady asked me politely "What are the areas are you targetting?"

"Yeah. What are the areas that you want to reduce fats in?"
"Hmm...tummy and thighs?"
"Okay." Quickly, she took out a measuring tape and started penning down the measurements of these supposed troubled areas.

"Lie down."
I felt like a guinea pig, a random sacrifice. This is not fun at all. She started placing electrodes (I am not sure what to term them) on my body and I had wires all around me.
"What are you doing?"
"Well, this will help break down the cellulites in your affected areas."
"Huh? How are you going to do that?" I was getting nervous. Images of myself getting small electric shocks frightened me.
"The stuff will send waves and break them down."
Shit...What the hell did I get myself into.

"Don't worry. We will start weakly and increase in intervals of 5 minutes."
What does weak means? It's all subjective.

Before I said anything, she began her "experiment'. I felt tingly sensations. It was as if a small hammer was throbbing in my blood stream. Shucks. I had to endure this for 5 minutes before a worse treatment came along. A twenty minute treatment felt like hours. In the midst, she increased the throbbing much harder and stronger. I had to withstand a SNORING neighbour as well. All was not over. The lady brought with her some cream. I squealed when she applied it on me. It was ICY COLD. Then, she wrapped my whole body with plastic wrap, like a mummy.
"You have to be in the steam room for 10 minutes before you shower."

Oh man! A steam room. I trudged my way carefully through the corridors as the tight plastic wrapping restricted my movements. I must have looked ludicrous. As I was about to enter the steam room, the mummified Pearlene came out.
"It's hot in there. I can't take it."

To cut the story short, I had just gone on a perilous journey, from the icy Himalayas to the sweltering hot Gobi desert, coupled with throbbing snake bites and droning snores of the gigantic bees that live in the Amazon forests. Very interesting journey, one not to be taken lightly.

Friday, November 25, 2005

My Good Buddies from College!

Had a jolly good time with my two close guy buddies from college, Ben and Ken. We were reminiscing our college days during dinner and drinks. Times have really changed and we have known each other for almost eight years. Froliced around with my camera in the midst of Orchard road. Singapore has so much to offer during Christmas! Love it. Tried to be arty by taking our own reflections from a christmas ball but failed miserably. The photos turned out pretty blurry.

Haha...Another acknowledgement from UK

"I read your paper on Happiness in University Education published in the International Review of Economics Education, volume 4, issue 1 (2005) and found it to be very comprehensive and helpful with regards to my chosen research topic. I am interested in basing my study on your research and partially replicating it. I would be very grateful if you could email me a copy of the questionnaire that you used in your study. It would be especially useful to me as your questionnaire is focused on university students and thus significantly more relevant to my participant sample than a general happiness questionnaire."

This paper is such a one hit wonder!!!

Wed or Web

Laid in front of them was a grammar book. White was teaching the difference between nouns and verbs to Little One. The next line read "wed" and "wedding".

"Do you know what 'wed' means?"

Little One began serenading the tune of Spiderman. White giggled.

"It's not web. It's wed, with a 'd'. It means to marry. It's like saying in your case, you may want to marry Sheena and then hold a wedding."
Little One paused.

"We are no longer together."
"Another gal told Sheena not to be with me. Well, this other gal really likes me."

This tete-a-tete sounded farcical to White and at the back of her mind, she couldn't believe that kids as young as Little One indulged in affairs of the heart. In the tender age of White, life was not that complicated. It's all about the books, school, play and friends. It seemed ludicrous that kids delved in such whims and fancies. But in any case, Little One was disturbed with his loss.

"I'm going to cry."
" You gotta be kidding me. This is so minor."

Little One looked away as tears rolled down his cheeks. He wrapped his hands, covering his face to hide from the embarassment.
"I'm sorry. You are a nice boy. I'm sure she will talk to you again." White hoped that her comforting words would salvage the tense, awkward situation.

In front of White stood a boy whose feelings were pure and sincere. The notion of romanticism was genuine, stripped away from the usual practicalities that most relationships face: financial woes, expectations mismatch, enticement from the opposite sex, work and family pressures.

Reflecting, White's problems seemed insignificant.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Just one of those days: Need to rant

Do you dread waking up in the morning, knowing the day will be shit?
Do you dread looking at the time, only to find that you are dragged by the same fucking fix?
Do you dread reading it, wishing that it could just listen and understand?
Do you dread being reminded of it, cause it just don't care?

Do you? I do.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy Birthday and Get Well!

It was Turtur's birthday. I smsed him for dinner, only to find out that he would be undergoing a minor operation because of his sinus. James, Daren and myself went to visit him at the Singapore General Hospital and we brought with us a mango flan cake. But alas, he can't eat as he was on the drip that night.

Turtur, happy birthday and get well soon! I'm sure you will, with all the tender loving care from May. =p Waiting for you to hang out.....By the way, turtur wanted us to take the photos for a remembrance (not a mocking thing).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ho ho ho..Christmas is near!

Bought a new Christmas tree today, but without those intricate colourful decorations. So it looks a lil pathetic and bare, stripped away from its supposed shine and glory. Oh well, I will spruce it up soon. Just need that final decision in the colour theme. Shall I go with the traditional red and green, or maybe I should be zany and choose purple instead?

I am also thinking of having a Christmas gathering at my place, just for family and friends. But I'll decide later.

I love this time of the year!

Guys, would you like such a restroom?

Monday, November 14, 2005

All is never enough

He forged through the mountains, clothed with valor and dignity.
Carried with him were valise of passengers.
Though glutted, he continued greeting this welcoming crowd.
Emotions ran wild. Rebellious nature set in.
He kept inviting mobs.
All in a frenzy. People warned him, "Beware. This blustery nature will fire you."
"Igorance is bliss", he said.

The days were a whirl ride. The masses created a tumult.
Choked. Coerced.
He veered off the tracks, unable to withstand the burden.
The masses ablazened. Fatigue overwhelmed him.
He laid there restlessly as he inhaled his last gasps of air...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Motorcycle Diaries

I have a prized possession in my room. Yes, my JVC DVD player. Thanks to Boo boo and Jane Doe. It has kept me entertained for the past couple of days, watching movies like Team america (absolutely hilarious and dumb! But I like it that way), Kinsey, Birth, The Notebook (This movie is so heartwarming that I was balling my eyes out after watching it.) and The Motorcycle Diaries. It has become a routine for me to pop in a dvd in the night, watch myself to sleep and then continue where I left off in the next morning.

Well, amongst the collection, the Motorcycle diaries is one of the best. This is the true story of a 23-year-old Argentinian medical student , Che Guevara (Bernal), who traveled across South America on a motorcycle with his biochemist friend Alberto Granado (de la Serna) in 1951-1952, in a personal odyssey which would ultimately inspire him to become a revolutionary leader in the 20th century.
The route they have plotted is an ambitious one- from the Andes, along the coast of Chile, across the Atacama Desert and the Peruvian Amazon.

The duo has a series of adventures that vary from the suspenseful (stowing away on a cargo ship, exploring Incan ruins) to the humorous (falling off their bikes, wooing women, drunken revelry) to the heartwarming(volunteering at a leper colony). You'll be transported to magnificant picture postcard scenery and be inspired by the vigour and idealism of these two young men. Basically, this is a wonderful depiction of youthful idealism in blossom. Please watch it if you can.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Geography of Thought

Just finished this book a couple of days back. In this book, the author, Richard Nisbett aims to show how and why asians and westerners think differently. It is an interesting book, but when you differentiate and lump people into categories, this fashion is too simplistic. You just gotta read it with a pinch of salt and not associate them to be facts.

The book provides many examples to substantiate his theories, some a bit too anecdotal for my taste, but presumably they are on the whole backed by statistically significant data.

One example, when a picture of 1) a cow 2) a chicken and 3) a patch of grass were illustrated. The reader was asked whether the cow belonged better with the chicken or the grass .

Americans tend to choose the chicken (both are animals), while Asians tend to choose the grass (the cow eats the grass). (I chose grass, so go figure.)

According to Richard,

"To the Asian, the world is a complex place, composed of continuous substances, understandable in terms of the whole rather in terms of the parts, and subject more to collective than to personal control. To the Westerner, the world is a relatively simple place, composed of discrete objects that can be understood with undue reference to context, and highly subject to personal control. Very different worlds, indeed."

Anyhow, it is a thought-provoking book which is well worth reading.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lisa Ono's Concert : For the faint-hearted

Pardon me for saying this, I love lisa's music. But if you were to put her music in a consecutive string, it's hard to keep one's eyelids open. It's the sort of music that may bore you to sleep. The fact that she was singing in Latin most of the time in her concert, I switched off after a while. To me, she was droning the whole night. Even when she uttered few polite words in between music, it felt like a monotonous buzz.

I apologize for my unkind frank remarks, but the concert was a disappointment.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Double Happiness

1) Little One passed his exams! Finally! Proceed to primary 5!

2) Another German student from Viadrina University emailed me today wanting more information about my Happiness study.

" I find your work very interesting, and am planning to carry out asimilar research project to yours on the happiness of students at the Viadrina University. My university is very special in the region. It is located on the German-Polish border region, over one third of the students are Polish, half are German, the rest come from all around the world. Besides comparing the reported levels of happiness between Polish and German students I am planning to measure how these different nationalities percieve the happiness of the other nationality, and so on."

Always nice to have students from other parts of the world interested in studies similar to myself...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Weekend Boating lessons

I have met two wonderful mates in my weekend boating lessons, as seen in my pictures above. The other lady was my boating instructor. It's fun giving each other encouragements, re-enacting our own version of speed 2 and james bond (little crashes at the berths and going fast speeds on the seas), just rattling nonsense in the middle of the seas... days to come, I'll get my licence (cross fingers). Wish me luck. First hurdle: Theory test. And friends, if you ever think the driving theory tests were hard, reconsider again. The theory powerboat test has much things to remember: coloured buoys, flags, singapore islands in malay, lights, shapes, regulations, sounds of horns, prohibited areas, parts of boats.... And I have to get 26 out of 30 correct!

Example of one question:
What fog signals does a power-driven vessel underway but not making a way sound, in or around an area of restricted visibility?
1) 1 prolonged blast at intervals of not more than 2 mins.
2)2 prolonged blast at intervals of not more than 2 mins.
3) 3 prolonged blast at intervals of not more than 2 mins.