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.

Origin of my interest in boating

This is why I started learning boating: One day, Father went to dinner with family. Father talks about fishing and reminisces times of learning boating years back. Father had history of failing boat theory test. Father asks Daugther to take up boat course to copy from her during exams (not knowing that times have changed and everything is computerized with different test sets). Daughter disagrees and suggests taking up the course herself.

Voila! That's how I got started. A weekend course from 9.30am-6.30pm.

Thank you, my dearie friends...

This has been one of my most memorable birthdays of my life. I am so touched by the barrage of sms messages that I received while I was grooving to some R&B music on the platform at Club MoMo. Hah...Thanks Boo boo for accompanying me that night. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised with msn messages from friends whom I have not heard for ages, especially our dear panda friend.

It's especially heartwarming to receive greetings from friends miles away. I received a birthday package from Germany, which was really sweet. Thanks Christoph! And also to our dear durrow gals, whom I miss dearly and fondly in Perth. I appreaciate the cards and messages. Han, thanks for burning those CDs for me. Sook, another durrow gal from KL, Malaysia, thanks for calling me that night. It meant a lot. Special thanks to David too, who sent a birthday card miles away. Daren, thanks for remembering even you are holidaying in Hong Kong. Yes, Black too....from China.

Who can forget the three other musketeers (as seen depicted by the bears in the picture)? Shermay Boo boo and Jane Doe, thanks for the dvd player. Both of you have played significant parts in my life and thanks for everything. Pearlene, thanks for delivering me a wonderful surprise on my birthday with the sweet bouquet of flowers, balloon, bears and vouchers. Hah...never thought I would receive a bunch of flowers this year. I have known you for eighteen years and you are probably one that has seen most of my poignant events in my life. Thanks for everything once again.

To many (cousins, friends from Perth and Singapore) whom I have not mentioned, you are in my thoughts. I'm glad that I have known you and in many ways, you have shaped me for who I am today. I am one who appreciates friendships and treasure all of them. MERCI BEAUCOUP, TOUT LE MONDE (thanks a lot, everyone)!

Pa's birthday on Nov 4th (One day after mine)

Did a mini birthday celebration at home with my dad and mum. He turns 52 that day. Do we share any resemblance?

Birthday Celebration No. 5: Eating out with parents at Hu Cui (again)

My dearie mum bought me a mint chocolate cake. Yummy...always great to spend some family time together.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Birthday Celebration No.4 : Buffet Dinner at Marriot

It's the four musketeers again! Gals, I really appreciate all you have done in my life and I look forward to growing old with you gals, in my rocking chair. =p

Birthday Celebration No. 3: Hu Cui at Takashimaya

These are friends whom I knew at least seven years. Been through thick and thin in NUS, except Pearlene whom I knew since seven!!

Another Year Older?

Birthday Celebration No. 2 Part 3: Still at Marriot

After brekkie, the other three ladies wanted to get some eye-brow trimming, so I headed back to Marriot to go to the gym. After a good run, I returned to the room only to be alarmed by a door bell ring. I looked through the eye hole and saw a stranger. Pretty shocked, I said 'Yes?'

'I was told to come here. This is 1507 right?'
'Yes, but I don't know you!'
'But I was told to come here.'
I started panicking, frantically pacing up and down the room in my perspiration from my earlier run. Meanwhile, I looked through the eye hole and he was still there!
'Maybe you should open the door.'
'But I think you made a mistake! Try calling your friend.'
'I did and this is the correct room.'

Okay. As long as I did not open this heaven's gate, nothing would happen to me. A moment later, another male voice came on 'Open the door, Grace.'
I thought to myself. What?! They actually knew my name. No guys knew I was here. Weird and bloody hell, he covered the eye-hole.

I opened the door and guess who, it was Pearlene's boyfriend and his friend, Frederick. A much pleasant surprise. The gals soon returned from their trimming session and to my delightful astonishment, the gals bought me a chocolate cake from Four Leaves (my favourite!). Yes...and I had to take photos in my awful sports gear! Didn't have the time to preen myself. Shucks!

Apparently, Alfred was a 'magician' and could do many tricks. Well, he was very thoughtful and made me a tweety bird balloon.

Miss Boo boo and I ended off the night and clubbed at Bar None (at Marriot too. Terribly convenient) while Pearlene headed off to dreamland. There was a live band that night. Although it was only the two of us, it was fun grooving to the music but a hassle trying to fend off 'Mr Scientist' and 'Mr Goofy'. All was good when we headed back up the room, indulging in chicken drumlets at 3 am in the morning.

Birthday Celebration No. 2 Part 2: Marmalade Pantry

The four ladies had a good sleep, except the slight murmurings from Jane Doe in the middle of the night (apparently she had nightmares from her upcoming exam) and the blazing light shining through the crevice of the curtains. But well, the four ladies had a hearty brekkie in Marmalade Pantry at the Palais Renaissance.

Birthday Celebration No. 2 Part 1: At Marriot Hotel

Once upon a time, there was an intelligent, witty, and sexy (cough, cough) gal named White. White wanted to celebrate her birthday with her closest friends, so she had three other INTELLIGENT, WITTY, SEXY ladies for a rendezvous at Hotel Marriot for three days and two nights. Without saying, these four ladies wreaked havoc!

Picture 1 (From the top): Boo boo and Jane Doe (a.k.a Vietnam travel mates)
Picture 2: Watashi Boo boo des! Hat cheezi!
Picture 3: Miss Kettle, Pearlene (a.k.a New York travel mate
Picture 4 : I'm the sexiest. Get that in your head!
Picture 5: This is what I mean by girlie-talk.