Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lady Gaga's Christmas Album

a bit late, but funny!

non- new year's resolutions

Today's a good day.

I was smiling as I remember the last five months or so and prayed, actually THANKED God for bringing The Boyfriend into my life. As well as being thankful for the year, it's been more good than bad, isn't it?

Yes, I know I should be praying 'thank-you' prayers more often. One prayer awaiting thanks, is to have; finally, a good career start in the New Year 2010. I'm not getting younger so it's time to take a hard serious long look at where my career is headed.

3 years ago, I started the '101 things to do in 1001 days'.

Basically you just write down 100 things you wanna accomplish and do it in about less than 3 years' time. Some things can't just be done in one year, lacking the money, resources or time frame, so you do need that kind of time to plan for stuff in your life.

Click on the link for more inspiration. Here are some of the things I wanted to do, and did:

I went to Japan, it's always been a dream of mine to visit Japan and I wasn't disappointed!

Saw snow for the first time in my life. Here in the photo my hotel room supposed to face Mt Fuji, but the snow marred the view of it.

I fell in love with a guy who has everything I want! (Almost. Yes, women are never 100 percent satisfied are they...)

I also went to Melbourne!

I DID have regular email pen-pal-ish letters with Chester. Very proud of that. 3 years anniversary!
For the trips, like the Melbourne one, it took months of saving, pouncing on that budget air ticket during the one week it was on sale, and bunking in at MsBestFriend's apartment... it did take some planning. But I can say its totally worth it. I will save more so that I can buy more items next time round!

While others on the 'to-do list' just came along naturally.

'Watching the sunset with someone I love' came unexpectedly.

We saw this sun, glowing like a melted gold nugget (it was taken with a cameraphone so can you imagine the color in real life?) like nothing I've ever seen before in Singapore, it was awe-inspiring and breath-taking.

Believe it or not, we saw this when TheBoyfriend was driving me home (we were still dating and not together yet), it's along my house road!

Unbelievable once in a lifetime experience to see a sun setting like this, here.

Got a new wabbit, 1 year old male who already produced 2 (expensive litters). Mushroom is a Lop, which means his ears can't stand like normal rabbits (real lop from Holland, note the round face unlike local rabbit lops which are mixed breed). However, he has a bit of mutant power, he can raise one ear when he hears his name...

My new wabbit, Mushroom is a delight to have. After my Skiiri unexpectedly dropped dead this year, I had no plans for a replacement. But in the nature of my work I caught up with my rabbit breeder and he offered me this male lop-eared rabbit, FOC. Mushroom has a sweet temperament unlike Skiiri who used to stomp her foot (but it's still very cute), bite people in anger, and run to a corner to glare at you. Mushroom comes up for pats and somehow, contrary to popular belief, actually LOVES carrots. His funny expressions never fail to crack me up and this winsome wabbit has captured my heart.

His fur is velvetly fluffy. And has adapted to our chinese diet of eating veggies like xiao bai cai, sweet corn, carrots, wong bok, wheatgrass, all his favorites. He has forsaken his native hay!

Nom nom nom. Doesn't like to wear anything on his head. Santa hat too big and scary.
Looking back at the last three years, I've realised that I really set out to do the things I wanted to accomplish personally (in my social life), and adventourously. Even though I have not managed to accomplish some of the basic things, like getting a driving license or even learning how to swim, (maybe my inner fragile woman cries for a man to save me in such situations), I'm pleased with the way its all turned out.

Some of life's adventures can be planned for, and it makes life so much richer. Next year is coming soon, and I'm undecided about writing resolutions or doing the '101 things' again.

I guess... I'd do the 101 things!!! Oh well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

on my reading list in december

It's funny how my reading habit wanes and ... what's the opposite of wane?
Anyway, in the last month I've picked up a stash of really good books, having not read novels for some time now. I'm in the habit of reading something, anything, before bedtime, and for the past months now unfortunately, it's been fashion magazines. Maybe that constitutes my sheer materialistic nature of always lusting for things I cannot afford, or even if I can afford, hmm, I don't think I can justify that purchase. Living in this city with a full wardrobe, I think I am content, though I could not say no to a good sale, or a nice and affordable dress, we can never have too many dresses, can we? Well, I bought some clothes at a blogshop I visited (outlet near my office in Chinatown area, shall blog that next.)

About the branded bags in Melaka, I have to clarify that I don't mean not seeing anybody carrying branded or slightly higher priced bags (Coach or Gucci is not in the same price point or luxury point as say LV), I don't mean that Malaysians or Melakans are poor and thus cannot afford... I mean that, the downside of being rich in such a city, is that even if you have the moolah to spend, you cannot easily spend it on the things you want to buy. So they have to buy online or nearest mall in KL or fly overseas. Of course that is also good in a sense, not like us, easily passing by a Coach store, easily walking in, easily buying... and before you know it you have many Coach bags, of which you only carry SOME... and it's a dratted waste of money for the others you don't carry. Of course those girls in our MRT are not rich by any standards... yet, all seems to want to carry branded bags. I don't think there's anything wrong because the cheap bags look cheap, spoil easily, and in Singapore, are not THAT cheap... so might as well buy something lasting in my opinion.

I always like to liven up my life by reading some books, especially those that are turned into movies. I've read Angels and Demons (will watch it soon on DVD) and liked it, thus, want to watch the movie. If I've read the book and don't like it, I would most probably not want to watch the movie. So those on the 'don't want to watch because the book is not nice' in my opinion are: The Time Travellers' Wife, and My Sister's Keeper. I know many will disagree with me saying they loved the books but this kind of soppy-love genre is not enjoyable for my reading pleasure. I did read and love 'Twilight' and 'New Moon', and I have to say the movie does not disappoint.

I bought 'the girl who played with fire' (a looooong trilogy) partly because of the awesome review on the papers, and the setting - it's set in Sweden, reading about it, I enjoy having a peek at the culture. The books are written Alias- style and I can see how a Jennifer Garner character type would fit into the movie perfectly. Think I have to wait a few years for the movie though. Julie and Julia is a fluffy-looking book which I bought without having much high expectation of it. After all, it screams 'chick-lit', and I have read the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella and etc. But this book does not disappoint, in fact it is really amazingly fresh and honest, I have to say the female author Julie, writes really well, in the sense that she can write out and ruminate on what's on every woman's mind. I guess women the world over will identify with her writings, her schemes, her thoughts, haha. All in all, a highly enjoyable read and there are moments you will laugh out loud and cannot stop laughing at the visual imagery floating through your mind.

It's two well-written books like these (I also read the 3rd book in the trilogy by Stieff Larssen) that makes you want to reach out for something more substantial than a fashion mag to while away your time.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

a melaka heritage

While I can easily subsist in any city, the historic, quite sleepy and always hot town of Melaka does have a special appeal to me. Unlike most of it's Malaysian counterparts there are nice people who will give you directions or even car lifts, nice and cheap eats, nice and cheap stays, or even expensive ones if you feel like it. Of course, there are downsides to living in Melaka. For one, not much good public transport back home so you definitely have to drive, and driving in Malaysia is quite a feat. There are no proper bookstores despite the two big malls so if you're a bookworm like me, you will find it utterly devastating. There's not many branded boutiques as well so if you are a fan of... Anna Sui skin care, or Coach bags for instance, good on you. In Singapore every other lady in the Mrt is carrying a Coach, Gucci, or the like. In Melaka, I'm the only one...

The most interesting thing, to me, about the city, even though I don't really like history, is about its heritage. You can see many interesting buildings and not only that, interesting mix of cultures. They have authentic Nyonya food and the Peranakan culture is strong there, hopefully, it will continue to endure. The Indian food is also very delicious and the chinese food like dim sum and satay celup is a must-visit. Food aside, the history makes for an interesting wiki-pedia journey on a boring rainy day. We were on the hill, 'Bukit Cina', a small hill to exercise. It was part of Ming Dynasty heritage with a supposed princess 'Hang Li Po' married to one of the Sultan. This is believed by the common townspeople for many years. Well, I think one reason why Melaka has so many chinese - the Jalan Bukit Cina is almost like a chinese neighborhood of Singapore in the 70s where the folk all were provision shop owners and the like and it's nostalgic and interesting to see their lifestyles. Most likely, the popular folklore of Malay hero 'Hang Jebat', 'Hang Tuah' , originated from this area... as Malay does not have this name, only chinese... so they could be the princess' brothers or offspring! Interesting... We went to the chinese temple at the foot of the mountain, and spotted a china tour guide going on, the tour guide gave interesting information, such as the well at the temple also known as Hang Li Poh's well, had different molecular properties, in fact, it has more potassium, and it's particles were bigger - when he held the cup upside down and a towel over it, the water did not drip out of the cup! How simply amazing. He also mentioned to the Chinese tourists that if you drank the water, you will 'nian nian bu wang', a chinese proverb for not being able to forget about this place, IE you will come back here again as this place is always in your heart. It did sound a bit scary when he put it that way, and I bet none of the tourists dared to drink the water! Rumors aside, it seems that there is some interesting history about the wells, and Admiral Cheng Ho, whose statue was also in the temple, though he was not being offered incense to, being a Chinese muslim. I guess all the chinese in those days, including the princess, had to be converted. There was also some interesting information on wikipedia stating she was not an actual princess... but a peasant 'sacrifice' of sorts. Nevertheless, all this makes for an interesting read and a walk up Bukit Cina to spot the Ming Dynasty graves, I was told there is some, although, I didn't manage to spot any... There is also the oldest church in Malaysia, in Melaka! That's quite significant historically.

We saw an article, about the strange Malacca crab with a cross on its' body, known as St Francis Xavier's crabs... legend has it that St Francis, the saint who established some good education centres around our region, had dipped his crucifix into the water, sea, to calm the storm, but dropped it into the water. When they reached shore, a crab came to them, holding the crucifix. There were eyewitnesses! And during certain seasons, there will be such crabs... the amazing thing is on the crabs' shells, there are unmistakable marking of a cross on its colored pattern, a red-orange and white. True or not, this was actually documented.

Well, after researching on all these online, I was tempted to research about my own heritage. The Peranakan culture seems interesting and strong and how about my very own culture? I'm Hainanese, surname is Li/Lee, but somehow, I can't find other Hainanese with the same surname, so far, in Singapore. They have surnames like Foo, all Foos are Hainanese... or other commonly known surnames. Most of the Lees I know are of Hokkien, Teochew origin and it is one of the most common surnames in China anyways. But apparently the Li ethnic group on Hainan Island is a rare minority Chinese group... almost aboriginal... which is what I found out today. Of course, I have no idea about what this means, although I do share a common feature of Hainanese, being the posterior flat head and the high forehead. It is said that Hainanese have to have the starting name of their children's name a similar character for all those born in the same generation, for us rare Hainanese to recognize each other I presume. My family being Christian did not follow in that clan tradition and anyway, it's not as if we can find out what's the character of that generation so easily... Also, it is known that Hainanese men cook well and that is true for my father, and his father was an actual chef for a colonial master, in a small town 'Bahau' in Negri Sembilan (also worth wikipedia-ing), the small town was a town of rubber tappers. He later went on to become a cook, a confectioner or small baker shop. Vague details here but I shall ask my father. Anyways in Singapore, like certain dialects work in certain industries, the Hainanese used to work in the food industry!

Most rich Hainanese became coffee shop owners, the one who collected the rental from everyone, and also making the coffee and selling the drinks. So in fact, most coffee is made by Hainanese, including our Ya Kun kaya toast and coffee and even Old Town coffee (if I'm not wrong). We also like bread, somehow... I always prefer eating bread to rice or noodles... so perhaps that's why we prefer to make our own than to buy from other dialects, haha.

But there really is a lack of information regards to some of the questions that remain unanswered, like why do we Hainanese have a really flat posterior head? We are some rare tribe? Or...? How did the tradition of choosing the name to be a similar character in every generation come about and what's the significance? Etc. I guess we have to make a trip back to our hometown sometime - thankfully for me, Hainan Island is now a happening place to visit, so I won't really mind visiting that part of China... I think it's nice to know anyway that my heritage is quite rare, and why I always seem to look that wee bit different from other Singaporean Chinese, or so I've been told.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fred Figglehorn - Christmas Cash - Official Music Video

This is really scarily CATCHY! And it has good production value - fun, funny, original, cute, watchable... need I say more? You either love or hate Fred be the judge.

not home for christmas...

Just like my wabbit's prediction, I'm not gonna be home for Christmas! I shall gift him a carrot by way of apology.

But my 'second home's a close-by place with lots of food and things to do which I like very much. The Boyfriend and I just had last-last minute plans to hop over to Melaka and thankfully we have nice hosts and will be heading over earlier too, tomorrow, to accomodate some changes.

So it's going to be first time away from home at Christmas for me. A part of me is a bit saddened, after all, I've always caught the Midnight Mass for 6 years now, not breaking the tradition of going to different catholic churches around my residence... hee and also not being able to catch my church's massive service on Christmas Day. But innately, a part of me embraces changes and looks forward to enjoying a positive change this time. Unexpectedly, got invited to a dear friend's house in Melaka on Christmas Day for dinner, so it is rather unusual and exciting this year!

Yes, please be envious of me because not only do I have free accomodation in a all-hotels-fully-booked locale, I have nice food, nice weather, beautiful music and lights and company, and I just have to sit back and enjoy the ride there! I thank God for being a woman who can't drive, sometimes...


Recently, we found out about a drastic lie which someone has told us. Apparently, a guy whom some of us once knew told us he came from an illustrious school, undoubtedly to impress those of us from less-illustrious schools (For me, I chose an entirely different artistic route for my scholarly pursuits so, I'm not impressed, either way. Although I have to add, a couple of ex-lovers were from said illustrious school. But lying you are from the school does not make a good note in my...notebook.)

He cooked up a story that he had studied in illustrious school for a year, and then dropped out to pursue creative studies, and getting top distinctions in the creative mode of study. It was not until much, much later, that we found out not only had he imagined the fact he was studying at illustrious school, he studied at one which was at the bottom of the chart, and not only that, he had FAILED and thus had no choice but to choose the creative mode of study. It seems a farce that he could have lied about such things. I think all of us would not even do such a thing - fail then say fail, la. People would rather give you credit for trying again than lying about the situation entirely.

The Boyfriend also knew of a fellow cadet who claimed not only was he qualified to fly a plane (which was highly untrue), he was also dating a hot girl (also untrue!) which nobody really believed anyway. It's delusional, really. I guess you have some of these characters in your life, such sad cases. They think quite highly about themselves, maybe smug at the way they have fooled everyone who know them on a superficial level. If you get to know them better, you can tell something is inherently wrong with them, they have a problem with facing up to reality.

Those guys think they are 'babe magnets' even though they are barrel-shaped or balding or just so irritating and full of themselves. But they think they can pick and choose from the hordes of 'hot girls' that is so 'into' them. They will even tell you about how many girls are hot on their heels and how much of a babe magnet they are. But on closer inspection, it is their own self-delusion.

How I know this is because I once 'kenna-ed' from such a character. He even bluff me (and I naively believed) he invented the shopping centre car park lights which shows green if they are empty... and fed me lots of other ridiculous stuff, surely it is all not true?

As a wise ex-co-worker said to me, don't be too troubled about such things that you encounter. Even in workplaces, there are many colleagues or frenemies who would deny their responsibilities and land you in hot soup. This is a "small" form of such behavior as well. But, once they have done such a thing and every colleague knows that you are innocent, the next time, even if they did do everything right, there is already that doubt planted in everyone's mind... ...

Such lies, such people, we cannot fathom what goes through their minds. But one thing for sure, we are less inclined to believe what they say about their exploits in future, and also, on their job application, they can't lie, because they have to show transcripts and certs and it will show that they are living a delusion. (And my transcript shows that... it is the grace of God that I am top student. No lies about that, it's on paper that I got moderated 'upwards', hee.)

In the past, my old bubbly positive self would chatter to anyone, everyone, but after having met more than one of such nonsensical people, I felt that some people are not even worth a breath of mine. So maybe it's too real or too brutal but there are instances I don't even cast a look at some new fellow, and this is the reason why.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Christmas

This Christmas, I was cheerful to know that I've a loved one by my side. Imagined opening presents - and finally having someone special to buy a special gift for - trawling different malls just to find that all-special gift. I love the feeling of knowing that you have bought the right gift for someone special.

This Christmas, I imagine us on a short trip to a place I love, and just spending the short days soaking up some sun, eating nice and inexpensive foods, walking to places where the romance can be felt, with a bit of live music, a bit of the sound of birds chirping, a bit of hugging and walking hand in hand. I love the sound of birds chirping as the dawn rises somehow. Maybe I'm a country girl at heart and the city has left me feeling weak. One thing I hate is the crowds that make even walking through the Christmas lights difficult. But still, I'm sure we can find our place, a special place, together, or can we? I used to be so sure. 'It's Christmas!' these words blast out in every shop with ever increasing urgency to shoppers. For Christians, it's also a time where we fervently invite our friends to our events and church celebrations. And, not forgetting, work as usual. Work is important and we have to do it whether we like it or not. But in the midst of these all, you are on my mind. I've always done things with you in mind. When I buy my christmas cards, I think if you would like it too. And my clothes as well - though I do not dress for you, somehow having someone to dress for makes me make more interesting choices, more dresses and less tee shirts, presenting a nice package to the one I love.

This Christmas, I wish that we could spend a lovely first Christmas together.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a short trip to bangkok

Celebrating the King's birthday in pink...
We finally found chic couple tees in Chatuchak and bought a couple of couple tees.
Watch out for the mad tuk tuk driver...without a license.

One of the things I like about travelling, besides the unique items you get to purchase, and the food, is that you can get to soak up the whole atmosphere of an entirely different place. It always amazes me that despite being close in distance to each other, an hour's time lapse away, Thailand and Singapore has entirely different cultures.

Despite being in a truly busy city, their citizens are gracious. Not once did I have my toes stepped on or my bag being pushed by people with lack of peripheral vision. Even though most of them are in a rush to get from one place to another just like us, they are also able to have a common sense of courtesy which I find quite lacking here - they are always able to not bump into you, somehow. So coming back from a city like Bangkok, I still feel refreshed from a hectic hustle and bustle life.

It's also my first trip out with The Boyfriend, coupled with his relatives, and I had great fun with all of them. For my vacations, being few and far between, I'd really like to, you know, get certain things done while I'm overseas, be it getting items on my shopping list or sightseeing some must-sees. So I'm cautious in travelling in a group - a big group, knowing that most of the time is wasted (to me!) standing on street corners deciding what to do next. I'm not really fond of sticking to itineraries but I'm definitely not wanting to do the same things overseas which could be easily done in Singapore (drinking coffee, watching movie, hanging in nondescript malls.) Bearing that in mind, I'd like travelling with like-minded ones, or I don't mind going solo - that's ensuring you have to talk to locals to get your bearings and immerse yourself in more of the culture too! But the trip was really good, everyone was in sync and happy to shop at all the places. I was quite a bad influencer, influencing the ladies to buy bags from a shop which I had bought two - one chanel-inspired in brown fur and another lovely, soft beige suede medium bag which looks... priceless but... inexpensive, considering the quality. I brought them to the shop and they both bought nice bags, well, I hope they love their buys!

I'm looking forward to my next trip, looking forward to the nail crunching sound of having to save for it in the next months!

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Friday, December 11, 2009


Dad and Mom went to Cambodia on a mission trip with the Methodists. I lent him my camera and to my amusement found many photos of a cow. Quite creative, but I'm wondering if it did lick my lens? Worth a chuckle or two...

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

f(x)(에프엑스)_LA chA TA(라차타)_뮤직비디오(MusicVideo)

Have a bit of crush on them after watching the feature on arirang. looks like the next big k-pop girl group...

Everybody likes hello kitty

There are so many sanrio characters and I remember in japanese shopping malls, I used to stare for ages at the lovely displays of Kerokeroppi, Hello Kitty, Badbatzmaru, Kikilala, Pochacco, Mymelody, just to name a few. Being extorbitantly expensive for middle income parents - buying a $9 pencil is out of the question, (although my lavish mom did buy me a Kerokeroppi plush that I loved cost around $35 which was, and still is, quite a huge sum for a medium sized plush toy) I could only gaze wonderingly at the inaccessible paraphernalia and thus, love them in a way that I would want to buy them for my own when I have the income. Maybe for most girls there was this deep desire too. That's why we would always pause and look at the Hello Kitty displays and some adults turn out to be hard-core collectors.

But that aside, there is also the question of why did Hello Kitty capture worldwide love and international recognition, while most of the rest of the characters remained obscure?

In those days, the late 80s, all characters were given equal shelf-space, later of course, even now, when you walk into the sanrio departments of various places in asia, it seems some of them have disappeared for good. Only Hello Kitty seems to be rising in popularity... hmm, why so?

It seems that the simple explanation is, 'everyone loves hello kitty'.

It's the same with people.
Everyone seems to identify with, and thus love, certain people. Our favorites.

Some people seem to irk almost everyone. Some call these people hypocrites. Showy-characters...not overtly obnoxious, if you know them on the surface level they seem to be nice people really.

We find kindred spirits in those friends who agree with us on the character traits of certain individuals - not merely agreeing, but vehemently stating their likes and dislikes of the individuals. Could it be that we surround ourselves with people who agree with us? On the other hand, it could be also that our friends observe life the same way we do. Thus, they have the same misgivings.

For the un-hello kitty like people, they often 'engineer politics'. I'm sure most of them do not do it on purpose, perhaps it's their innate functioning of their brain or molecules that causes some things they say and do to be more...political. (They should join the government?)

Primarily because I'm not such a person, what they do irks me. As the chinese says, 'kan ren de' (see people, one.) They go out of their way to act nice to people with greater clout or those who are of use to them. But once you are out of their league of interest, the tap runs cold and you are sadly, often ignored. But when you are back in the league, they turn their smile on a few notches higher. Of course, all of us are like that. When we are introduced to say, a doctor, we do light up a little and give him a well-respected look, as compared to say, a moneylender. Some would not know how to react to that, and have it written all over their faces as well, isn't that so?

But for the political people, we sometimes feel we are being stepped on or shoved aside to make way for their own agendas to better themselves. Thus we have contempt and disgust for them. It's in the subtle nuances that we can detect such a political attitude. They are the people we love to hate, the ones whom if we hear a slight bit of controversy, or scandal, we can't help but gloat a bit... which is quite healing for our soul, especially if we have been trodden over, used, manipulated or oversighted by them. I really wonder what their children would be like or grow up to be having such parents. One thing for sure, I wouldn't let my kids play with theirs.