Thursday, July 29, 2010


Had some nice couple time getting suntanned last saturday. Nice spots to take photos while soaking in the view of the city skyline and the Marina Bay Sands. The Helix was nice, heard it changes colors at night. Nothing much at the shops though, most of the branded ones aren't open and the usual suspects were all opened, UOB, Charles and Keith, Foodcourt, lalalala... it's really huge though, makes for a great walk workout if you happen to be wearing heels... and totally no fun to shop. Prefer orchard for serious shopping. There are some nice sculptures to look at and a nice cake dessert place near the hotel entry to the skyline park which cost $20. We don't think it's worth the cost to go, so depressing, we'd be looking at the cbd and reminded of a pile of work, seeing our office.... on a weekend! And so we didn't go but there was a long queue, mostly elderly tourists...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a little shopping

I really like Leonardo DiCaprio. I've watched his first few movies as well as his recent ones. Most lately, 'Inception'. What a masterpiece and one of the few movies that has kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time... gripping, powerful imagery and all the actors in the show pack a strong performance.

This month is coming to an end and work-wise is a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I've actually been in the sales cycle but I must say I don't really enjoy the highs and lows. The fulfilment is great when you hit the highs but the lows make me a whiny, ranting person, easily bored... so... I guess with every sales-related job we have to develop ways of coping. Sometimes my job leaves me a huge chunk of time in the afternoons so I am trying to gym, or go on long walks to stay healthy. Meanwhile I do hope that this month pans out better than I've expected. I only placed two people early this month and so got rather edgy throughout. I tie performance and productivity to my self-esteem, I guess. But this week, the last week of July - how fast time flies - should turn out to be a good one. Fingers crossed and prayers answered, there should be two more people being placed in really good jobs, and I have 10 people going for interviews this week, so out of the group, half being placed will be nice. It's a last minute push to the end of the month, and it helps that rather of attaching a 'cash value' to their heads, I see them as people. Being slightly more lovable this month, I do spend more time to explain to them how to score at interviews and the whole process, I hope they can have a clearer view and be more reassured. I'm also excited at meeting some of them after their first month on the job (hence a meal treat is expected from them to me, teehee) and seeing how their career progresses. Of course, most see keeping in touch as a way to 'touch base' with your network and, I could possibly make more money by headhunting them again, but I don't really see it that way. I really wanted to meet up with them , learn from them because all of them are professionals with many years of experience in their own right, and if I do manage to prop up their career again in the future, then it will be a bonus. After all I can't possibly meet every single one of them - I can, but I'm not inclined to be social just for the sake of it! Plus, some of their mugshots are really cute and there's a little sinister despicable me wondering if they are just photogenic or are really as cute as they are on their passport photo. My passport photo doesn't do me any favors.

Me and TheBoyfriend went shopping yesterday - rare, but now that he goes fishing so often I have a rule that he must spend time doing the things I like as well. So we went karaoke previous week and did a bit of window shopping last weekend at Ion, fast becoming one of my favorite places. We went to 'The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands' too but apart from a nice dessert place selling delectable cakes, the whole place was still being retrofitted and not many shops were open. Anyways, I took him last week to a bag shop. I've decided (for the moment) that I will not save up to buy my first LV, miumiu, or what have you... as I don't really take care of my bags, I think the investment will look old too soon. If I had a blessed month and earned a significant sum, I think I'd rather spend it on upgrading my face, investing, a nice watch, something like that.

But I'm not a fan of cheapo bags either so those in the Agnes B, Longchamp, or Coach pricing range of bags will suit me fine! So I took him to this bag shop to show him a lambskin puffy bag I liked and to see what he though of it. Yes, he thought it was lovely as well. But more surprisingly, he fell in love with a gray leather satchel with dark chocolate straps. TheBoyfriend doesn't like these stuff easily so I was really surprised. Heh. And he said that I'm making him more vain. We went to another outlet of the shop at Marina Sands and we were told it was the last one. So sad! But trusting in my womanly instinct, as we happened to chance by orchard yesterday, we simply HAD to walk past the store again. You know, when there's something you can't get out of your mind and you like it very much, it's always the case that it's 'the last piece' or sold out.... or don't have your size... stuff like these always happens to me... (like that time I liked a super nice beige shorts at m)phosis and 's' was sold out.I contemplated buying the 'm', I could fit it too, but the 'm' was the very last one and it looked a little worn, so I passed. The happy ending to this story is that I found a similar and cheaper beige shorts at bysi! whee!)

And the shop... was open! At 10pm! Who would have guessed.

So in we walked... ... and came out with two bags. TheBoyfriend bought the one I liked as an anniversary present, yay, and the last gray one was the last gray one, but there was ... one more gray one coming in this week, so we 'choped' and paid for it first. Double yay! Very happy, thanks to my women's intuition...if we had never walked past the shop yesterday, if we had never asked, and if the sheet of bags coming in was not in yesterday, we would have lived in regret of not having this little thing that we liked very much. Haha.

For those interested to know, mine's a square puffy lambskin bag very much like a cushion, similar to the ones at Chanel. The color is an unlikeable (shit) brown, but somehow I always can carry off those dull colors...

And that's all the shopping we'd be doing for some time now. I'm going to try not to eat at any restaurants or expensive entertainment whole month of August, saving up for my trip in September... though I doubt that's possible as we're surrounded by shopping malls and good food. Still, I hope I can demonstrate restraint...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Like speech bubbles without words

You know the feeling of having so many things to say, but not really knowing when to say it so you just put it aside, as if thoughts, feelings, things like these can be put aside, and then when you have that all so familiar feeling, you try to think of what you wanted to say just then - but it's been so long that you forgot already? But yet you still remember the kind of empty feelings - like speech bubbles without words. Or like wanting to take a photo but you forgot to bring a camera and you try to remember the picture you wanted, but only a hazy outline of colors and images figure out.

And being judged for what you feel or think or judging others. I feel that most lies are made out of people wanting to be nicer people, or rather not letting other people knowing their true thoughts. I try not to judge people as I believe sincerely in everyone being different and unique. But sometimes I can't help but think badly of people who refuse to grow up. Maybe I'm like that too. Maybe I take a sinister pleasure in letting my issues go over my head. Holding on to them because it means holding on to nice memories which proves I have feelings after all.

I had a weird dream days ago. I dreamt of living in a kingdom just like ours, just that the divide between the rich and poor could be easily seen. As rich people had the money to buy mineral water, they did not drink the natural water and were so spared from some strange disease that plagued the poor people, who could only drink natural water, and the water had trace elements of an unidentifiable contaminant. After years of drinking the water, their heads became puffy, and their noses bulbous. In short, the rich people did not have to go for cosmetic surgery to have the upper crust look like in other first world nations because simply by being able to afford mineral water, they looked much prettier and superior than those who couldn't. I don't know if this dream is an analogy for something happening in my mind/life, but seeing all those people with bulbous noses, me being the upper crust in the dream and living in a mansion, I somehow envied their carefree village life and finding true love, looking beyond the bulbous noses. They were grostesque to a certain degree but it's nice living in a world where you accept yourself as being yourself and not try to change the status quo, in some sense. When a couple has to depend on each other during some duress circumstances, it's actually much more romantic than bickering about the thousands you both make and who makes more. We should all be a little more happy in this country, having clean water, relatively cheap entertainment, and accessible transport. But we are not, and why?

Anyways, I saw on the news a few days later about some part in India having trace elements of uranium in their water which affected many children to have intellectual disabilities and unnatural physiologies, and I was stunned to see how my weird dream actually was the life of some poor folk in a country not that far away from here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Roll 2 - Nostalgic Series

Due to the cloudy days of recent weather, was hard to take nice shots. Also being more experimental with this roll of film, many shots came out too dark or blurred. But here are some I really like.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, ping-pong table 'doubles' up as a temporary bed. My fave shot!

Abandoned and abused. Alcoholic father?

Leisurely post lunch cuppa at Raffles Hotel 'Ah Teng Bakery' with lady friend.

They don't make interchanges like this anymore! Bus Terminus (as it was called), Serangoon Interchange. Now that everyone takes the circle line, few people wait for bus here on a weekday afternoon, so lonely the terminus...

Buah buah at taman sentosa johor baru.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Note to self! Hahaha.

I always dress for the weather - can't tolerate the furnace to wear long sleeves or fitted clothes so I'm always in airy clothes.

Been watching too much CSI, NCIS, Bones and lately Dexter that I take suspicion at anyone who stands too close to me in the trains... they might be serial killers. Anyway Bones is my favorite, replacing the previous favorite House. I'm seriously addicted.

Going to collect my 2nd roll of developed film and hope I took some lovely shots, fingers crossed. The world seems so much more interesting and cheerful when viewed through lenses of imagination, in this case a wide lens toy cam.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a singapore postcard

The charms of our little island state abound throughout the world that so many people want to work here.

Yes! Somehow the rumor has spread that we're clean and safe. Actually, I don't think we're that safe but, well, maybe safer in terms of no robberies, although someone of bangladeshi descent stole my adidas vintage sneakers and someone of ah lian descent stole my converse slippers.

I now keep my expensive footwear in the house instead of in my recess area.

I receive job applicants from the most varied of places. French, Germans, even Moldavians. I actually didn't know this country still existed, silly me. Numerous Filippinos now disguising themselves with Chinese names. Yes, they apply with Chinese surnames in their emails. Numerous mainland Chinese with bad English, some hilariously funny. It seems everyone wants a piece of our 'burgeoning economy'.

And I also write postcards every week to people all over the world. Sometimes words fail me as I wonder how to fill up the tiny space on the back of the postcard with interesting insights and information.

I find that the one thing I like to write about my country -is the one thing that I love the most about my country.

And what do I love about Singapore?

Many people have written about how clean they've heard it is. (A reputation for being clean? Hmmm.)

I love the fact that we are so close by to neighboring countries.
Because I don't want to turn into a boring Singaporean, since I was in my late teens, I avowed to myself that I would travel as often as I could. Even with a low budget, I'd just make myself a nuisance to the unfortunate souls who knew me and bunk in with them. This was done to Melakan Chester and Melbournian Ange. Haha! Or, I didn't mind traveling solo and bunking solo also. The solo experience enabled me to chat for hours with any smelly backpacker from the European nations.

I'm not complaining about our little island state, how hard it is to get a flat for newlyweds - the process, I'm realizing, is truly scary. A roof over our heads is just a simple dream, one might say a basic need, even. But those "new roofs" are only able to be ready... 5 years from now. And, there is a less than 10% chance of getting them, ie 4000 people applying for 500 flats scenario. The scenario is the same for "new roofs" everywhere in the island. Bad.

Of course we might consider an "old roof" but the current VERY nice "old roofs", no one is selling. The other "quite nice" "old roofs" owners are asking for such a high price that it is quite ridiculous for newlyweds to buy. And don't forget that we are looking for a roof about 2 years in advance from other newlyweds.

The most scary impending scenario is if we delay this 'search', we might reach the profile of being unable to buy a flat because we are too 'rich'. In other words, may the 'rich' people look for a condo instead. But we are not that 'rich' to afford one! That kind of income bracket is the worst to have in Singapore!

Of course, it's a good problem right... too rich to live in gahmen apartments. Tsk.

Then again, there's not much choices once you think about it. Every one here is following some kind of internal code in the roof over our heads thinking. Since wait so long for a flat, buy a bigger one, 4 room or 5 room. Plan to sell the flat, 'upgrade' in about 5 years' time. To a condo. Then a bigger condo. Or buy another flat for investment. So forth.

I wonder if I go against this flow of thought what my repercussions would be? End up in a lousy home, homeless, or scarily living with my parents till I'm wrinkly...Maybe that's why in those Mandarin local dramas they go for rich doctor chaps who already live in fantastic mansions.

Actually, this ideal is not realistic cuz the rich doctor chaps are usually quite senior, and they live in small condos. The big mansions belong to the really senior ones. LOL...

Patriotic or no, most Singaporeans enjoy our national day by spending it somewhere else, same idea as me, in a nearby country. Where one weekend is cheaper, food is better, place less crowded, and more relaxing. Since we're so nearby other asian countries plus our currency makes it worth the while, let's travel more and forget about the housing woes that beguile us.

Friday, July 09, 2010

It's arty friday

These oil paintings brings out some nice feelings.
They are done by a leading Finnish contemporary artist, Kaj Stenvall.
It features a well known and familiar looking duck in different contemporary settings. What I like about it, not only is it painted well but the feeling it gives the viewer, some irony, some amusement but also for some paintings, a feeling of angst, lonesomeness, content or idealism. Hopefully if I ever go to those scandinavian countries one day I can see his art.
You may read more and view his works here:

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cat Series

So armed with 1 roll of film and the superheadz toy camera, I went to Melaka for a short weekend getaway.

I thought I would be bored at this fishing place (Near Plaza Melaka Raya) but a little kitty befriended me and I happily spent some time with it. It is rather photogenic too! My only regret is... why didn't I take more shots of the kitty! All the cat photos came out pretty well, I think, for a first timer... considering that the photos I remember taking in my teenage days all 'cannot make it'...

Very happy and will work hard on my next roll of film! To produce nice images!

he's psychic

Have you heard of Paul? He's a psychic octopus! So funny!
He seems to have predicted all the outcomes of the match accurately save one... despite not watching TV.... so he is truly psychic? I really wonder how this can happen?
Anyways, it's really funny!!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Gold Harikin Slim by Superheadz

Leave it to the Japanese to make beautiful toy cameras that take wonderful pictures.
Somehow the retro era of Lomography and lomo-like photos are in fashion now, and one of the best things is that they are not so pricey and you can find them easily. I got mine at the Cat Socrates store (link is on my right column's bookmarks.) I'm still thinking about getting a Lomo as it is more than double the prices of these cute ones.
I chose the gold one, the most flashy of the lot. Hot pink was nice too but I think... gold!
Actually some of my subjects (alley cats) are attracted to the glinting gold, and come up close. Haha.
I wanted to take photos under the scorching Melakan sun. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy most of the time owing to the current unpredictable weather. I've taken a roll of film which I will send for processing later. Hope some of them turn out fine! I've not used a film camera for more than 10 years now, so reloading and 'winding' the film each time you take a photo is quite nolstalgic. This 'technology' has been around for many years and I hope that we will not be too modernized to forget it altogether.
One thing good about my job is that you get to observe many interesting people. All of them have the same goal in mind. To change jobs. Some are just shopping around, some are seriously wanting to change.
And in the financial industry, it takes all kinds. One guy brightened up my day by constantly keeping me updated on his progress in the job selection cheerfully. After my job is done, it is seriously up to these individuals how they present themselves and negotiate, and perform to the hiring people and the resource people.
Many times, resourcing people will not even give some a chance to meet them based on how they write their CV. It's true. This guy, he was so humble that he failed to mention his glowing achievements on his CV. I later realised he was a christian, that could be the reason why. But he was one of the star performers in his batch, performing above average and top of his batch in many areas of sales products. It's really very shocking to me how he fail to mention such glowing achievements when others in the financial industry list down numerous pointers of 'key achievements' to stand out.
So I asked him to rewrite the CV and send it back. But his laptop had failed and he was going to buy one at the then-PC show. So I just wrote it for him instead and sent it in. He was very grateful although to me this is what I usually do in my job.
After 2 rounds of interviews, he was granted a job, and a good one too. The salary was offered at 20% increase which I know is the highest they can offer. Usually most candidates get 15%.
And the job enables him to move up into a department which in his current company takes at least 2 years to reach! It really made my day working with such nice individuals because in a highly stressed environment many tend to take the people we work with and work for, for granted. It could be because we are being chased incessantly, and sometimes the demands are too steep. I'm glad I could help someone be a marketplace leader in the near future and I hope he always keeps his faith working in this dog-eat-dog financial market.