Friday, July 30, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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cyber olympics

with all the hype about the upcoming summer olympics in greece, it was interesting to read about the cyber olympics being hosted in singapore. interesting because one would never consider singapore a place to host the olympics typically... =D

as i was reading it, my first thought was that wen would probably find this article interesting since he said he was thinking of going into the gaming industry. my next thought was - melvin would probably find this interesting... he plays games so much... but then again, i've been bugging him to make this passion of his into something constructive (like studying related subjects) but it's never come to anything. it's quite sad really that mel is so bochup about everything. somehow our parents gave all the competitive genes to me and net and none was leftover for him. it annoys me to death bcos i know he's capable of so much more if only he'd put his heart into it... but oftentimes it seems like whenever something needs a little more effort from him, he decides its too much trouble. sigh...

oh well back to fun things... apparently the cyber games includes warcraft iii: frozen throne too! that should be fun... unfortunately... it's so dumb... cos this year it's in san franciso and next year it'll be in singapore! now.... if only singapore had won for this year's cyber olympics then next year wen and i could possibly check it out together in san francisco. dammit.... why can't the world work around my schedule!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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hot water bottle

have my usual numbing pain running down my left neck all the way to my fingers on the left hand. apparently i have a muscle knot in my left arm but i'm thinking the problem probably starts from my neck. it hurts so much... and every direction i creak it, it creaks... meaning, my neck bones are just way too loose for their own good i think. i'm sure it's not a good sign that it creaks so much...

so i've learned this trick to get some temporary relief. fill my nalgene water bottle that i use at the office with hot water n then place it against my neck, roll it along my left arm... basically anything to help ease the pain. it helps! of cos it's nothing more than the temporary relief that the electric balm also gives... but any relief is a good thing no matter how quickly the numb feeling inches back. i'm not even wearing that corset today... so i'm not sure what it is that's causing the pain. maybe because my neck is just not quite curved the way it should be ever since i had those two automobile accidents within the span of nine months. no external injuries except for my black honda accord being scrapped after the second one... but looks like the internal injuries are here to stay for awhile.

how do u even begin to feel chirpy when you're literally smacking yr neck and shoulders every half an hour to get some feeling back into them? and how do u avoid being down when there's a throbbing pain in the side of your head? if you have a foolproof answer to any of the above questions, you could be a millionaire... billionaire even. of cos you could also be someone who believes in miracles...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

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revenge of the dim sum dollies

wooohooo!! think i mite be catching this show with jinny n frenz... was just reading about it in the newspaper this morning and thinking that this is one show i'd love to catch. so glad that jin emailed to ask cos otherwise i'd proly have to ask around for kakis to go watch. some more citibank card holder got 15% discount (most expensive ticket for wkday is $58)! oooh and look! "5% Party Pack discount for purchase of 10 tickets & above [Discount is applicable to Price Cat 1-3 only]"

it's probably going to be a really good show because I've heard that selena tan and pam oei are really really good actresses in the local theatre scene. plus it's directed by glen goei! ok so i don't remember what exactly he's famous for but he's internationally famous i tell you (erm.. i dunno how far internationally la. maybe just across the causeway hehe)! and another big name behind the production of this show is the equally talented tan kheng hua. definitely a very promising cast.

hmmmmm.. i think leona would be interested in this too. maybe even stephen. think i shall drop them an email about the play especially since leona mentioned before that she likes pam's acting.
Follow-Up -> 27 July:
so it's confirmed.

i'll be going to watch this play on 10 August 2004. it's a tuesday nite and we didn't get the discounted tickets cos they were sold out. i'll be going with the 'rents plus leona and stephen instead of with jinny n her frenz (pei can't make it on tues). am secretly hoping that my parents will pay for my ticket since i used her card to pay for all of us =D but we'll see.
quite excited about watching this play because it'll be my first local one. and the esplanade theatre (click on Theatre under Box Office . Stage View) really does look good in spite of its ugly exterior.

our wedding anniversary
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politics, well-done please

i'm not a policitally-inclined person. most of the time, i don't even know the names of world leaders and the schedule of political summits etc. not even of those in the neighboring countries. mention their names and i might get a sense of familiarity from hearing or reading the names here and there.

i'm not proud of it... i guess it's just something i'd like to be informed about but don't actually take pains to be informed. maybe it's the growing up in a politically stable country where the next leader is practically selected for you. over here, we're assured of uncorrupt leaders and elections are almost a farce since there's not much of an opposition to speak of.

anyhow... 2004 looks to be a really political year. quite a number of elections and changes in governments. oh and of cos the side-effects of the Iraq war continues. but that will hopefully be corrected in november when the scourge of all evil is removed.

closer to home, Taiwan chose their leader (and incurred the wrath of China in the process). Philippines chose theirs while Indonesia is right in the thick of making their own choice. So far, the trend has been for the current leader to win another term on a very slim margin. Look at chen shui bian... there was so much controversy about him winning in a highly suspect circumstance while the same can be said for arroyo as the opposition similarly asked for a recount. I hope that's not going to be the trend for the US though...

according to lillian too's latest issue of fengshuiworld, one of her associates boldly assured us that bush's chances (see his latest scheme to win the polls) in the november elections are pretty slim. that will be good news indeed for most of the world except for the deluded few who didn't like fahrenheit 9/11.

as for my country's new leader, it's not going to be a bed of roses when he takes over on 12 aug 2004 at approximately 8pm. after all, his father made multiple trips to taiwan without incurring China's wrath while he managed to do so even before he becomes the new PM. hopefully the fengshui master he relies on is an exceptional one because the one his father depended on is no longer alive. and he certainly needs all the help he can get. 

Monday, July 26, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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warm throbbing pain

down the right side of my head and neck... plus numb hands...
not a good day... in fact it's one of those mang zhang days ..... where u just feel like wailing and pulling your hair out altho you're not quite sure what it is exactly that you're frustrated about.
- is it the numbness in my hands?
- is it the throbbing warm pain on the right side of my brain?
- is it the blurred vision?

*just kill me right now*

our wedding anniversary
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early morning call

So today i'm not quite sure what I need to rush for work... no particular deadline because the roadshow has been postponed yet again. And as for the luncheon at Salt restaurant, still waiting on rao to confirm the entree choices.

Sent melvin off this morning and crawled thru morning traffic with a lot of yawning and slight swerving. was sooo sleepy cos a friend I haven't talked to in a loooooooong time called up at 3:30am! apparently he found out that I was getting married and just had to call me immediately all the way from london. Yes! London! sigh.... well John Chan was kinda like an older bro to melissa, pauline, pamela and me back in the JC days. So it was good to hear from him... but probably much better if it wasn't 3:30 in the morning. Last I talked to him, he was planning to go China from Sydney where he studied and volunteered for the Sydney Olympics. Told him to email me so hopefully I'll find out what he's doing in London.

anyhow here's a list of stuff i need to get done:

  1. Call up US Embassy to clarify the schedule I have from now till arriving in US. We're planning for me to go in March 05 so not sure if that's feasible since we can't very well expect the US government to work their schedule around us. Sent email instead - July 27 2004
  2. Mail CD to Wen for John Jow
  3. Confirm Sample Note for 3rd Aug Luncheon
  4. Decide on place for high tea with Samantha this Sat (31 July)
  5. Call up Mr. Chew to request for readings with my Taiji Classmates & Instructor this Sun (1 Aug) July 26 2004





our wedding anniversary
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corporate lessons for the day

Got this forward in the mail and found it hilarious and useful at the same time. =)
 
Corporate Lesson 1
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel that you have on."

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 dollars and leaves. Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower, "Who was that?"

"It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.

"Great!" the husband says, "Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"
  
Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in time with your stakeholders, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

 
Corporate Lesson 2
A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the side of the road; he stopped and offered her a lift, which she accepted. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to open and reveal a lovely leg.

The priest had a look and nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun looked at him and immediately said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" The priest was flustered and apologized profusely. He forced himself to remove his hand.

Changing gear, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" Once again the priest apologized, "Sorry sister, but the flesh is weak."

Arriving at the convent, the nun got out gave him a meaningful glance and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to retrieve a bible and looked up Psalm 129.

It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."
  
Moral of the story:
Always be well informed in your job, or you might miss a great opportunity.

 
Corporate Lesson 3
A sales rep, an administration clerk and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one."

"Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the
Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world." Poof! She's gone.

In astonishment, "Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of pina coladas and the love of my life." Poof! He's gone.

"OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

  
Corporate Lesson 4
A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?"

The crow answered, "Sure, why not."

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

  
Corporate Lesson 5
A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon, he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out
of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there for long.

  
Corporate Lesson 6
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field.

While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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excessive carbon dioxide

Apparently that's the reason why mosquitoes are ALWAYS attracted to me when they are given a feast of various types of human blood. I.E. The mosquitoes have a heretofore unexplainable ("blood-too-sweet" bs doesn't sit well with me) attracttion to me and will zoom in on my tender flesh regardless of whether I'm sitting in a windy (damn you with the strong wings!) outdoor restaurant or sleeping in my air-conditioned (the windows and doors are closed for godsake!!!) room.

So I asked a taiji classmate of mine for a reason for my misery...
Me: Why do I always attract the mosquitoes? It doesn't matter how big the group, I almost always get all the mosquito bites. Whhyyy???
Sinseh-Trainee cum Taiji Classmate: Your blood's too sweet.
Me: Nooooo I need a scientific reason for this pain and misery...
Sinseh-Trainee cum Taiji Classmate: You give out too much carbon dioxide
Me: Nooooo I..... err what? *blank look*
Sinseh-Trainee cum Taiji Classmate: You give out too much carbon dioxide and it attracts the mosquitoes to you. So unless you don't breathe.... Some more... why are you wearing black!?! Mosquitoes like black color you know!!!
Me: yeah I heard they like black but I wasn't wearing black last night! I was wearing beige!
Sinseh-Trainee cum Taiji Classmate: Well that's (beige) even worse! You got to change your entire wardrobe to all white.
Me: wha....t...? errr ok... so I got to wear white and not breathe... *silence*
 
yeah I give up... there is just no scientific reason for mosquitoes being soooo deeply attracted to my blood....

Footnote:
Last night between 7pm to 10pm, mosquitoes feasted on one young female in her twenties at the Changi Sea Sports Center seafood restaurant. The restaurant was situated by the beach and the weather was windy with dark clouds and heavy drizzling. The victim was wearing a beige sleeveless top and green 3/4 pants. Among her group of friends include two females who were wearing black shirts and did not receive any mosquito bites (contrary to the color theory above). In spite of the strong gusts of wind, mosquitoes managed to land on the right wrist and left lower arm to take two deep shots of O+ blood mixed with a strong dose of carbon dioxide. The bites have swelled to epic proportions leading to numbness down the victim's right hand. A visit to the doctor has confirmed that the victim has exceptionally sensitive skin (which really confounds the victim by the way, because her skin is not sensitive to most other stuff such as detergent - a damn good reason to be excused from dishwashing!)

Friday, July 23, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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immense satisfaction

tweaked my site today to coordinate the colors better, align them so the sidebar doesn't stick to the main posts, added some formatting and basically quite happy with my work so far. hehe...  think the colors look much better and really helps to make my site look more polished than before.

all these from copying the codes of other blogs and searching the net for codes. nothing new since i'm pretty sure the blogsters i based my research on did the same thing. =) the sense of satisfaction is probably a teensy weensy bit like how wen feels when he's done programming all those words and numbers and illogical words (what the heck does "a href" mean anyway?!) to see his final product. guess creating a website is very much like a piece of art. you put together a bunch of words in a seemingly disorderly fashion but the piece that comes out, if done well, looks polished and is a breeze to click through.

okie time to go back to the real world...

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blogsville

so today has been pretty easy... boring to be honest. ended up surfing the few blogs i've come across on the web. in particular, stef, geraldine, and miss rini.
 
quite interesting to see the comments and realise that these people keep in touch with their friends thru the blogs. something that i think is very useful in today's day and age where we may be miles apart or completely overwhelmed by the wheel of life to take time out for a cup of coffee. this way, u take some time out to read about your friend's latest escapade or emotional issue and even post a comment to show you care. and if the issue is huge enough, you can always pick up the phone and make a call cos the voice is always better than the cold pc screen.
 
i've been updating my blog and think i want to eventually share it with my friends. but then looking back at some of my posts... i don't know if it'll reveal too much of my dark side. heh... in my defense, love problems often cause one to lose their bearings for awhile.
 
i tried testing the water by asking sue if she'd be interested to start a blog since we were emailing each other like we didn't have anything better to do during one workday (ok... so we did have nothing better to do), but she said she didn't feel comfortable sharing her personal feelings on the net. besides she doesn't even have the desire to keep a physical diary. i could see her point cos wen's like that too. he doesn't really like to share about his personal feelings much and that was in fact something that bothered me alot since he wasn't updating his journal on our wedding site at all. but then i saw stef's hubby's blog and realised that... this is just typical man-behavior (mike hasn't updated since oct '03)! they don't like sharing very much... or at least they prefer video games to typing out words.  besides wen is always in front of the pc typing out words (coding) in his job as it is... so i should probably give him a break for not updating his journal as frequently. hehe
 
anyhow, i am still hoping to try and get some features fixed on my blog before i give the address to my crescent babes... maybe moving it to a paid service cos things like categorizing would be fantastic... otherwise i'd have to have a separate blog for the restaurants i want to keep tabs of.... lyrics i want to have easy access to... and of cos, recipes!!! not that i cook alot but i do like trying out new things, new recipes. oh and password protection on my blog would be sweet too... i guess some posts are too private to share and is mainly just my way of venting. i mean look at how the lack of privacy caused her to change her url.
 
alrite... hands getting too numb to type further... gotta rest.




our wedding anniversary
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altoids chewing gum

they are absolutely the best thing ever. all employers should buy these for their staff cos the "curiously strong" mint flavor really helps one to wake up!

unfortunately... in my case, my aching back and itchy forehead (yes... got THREE, wait actually FOUR mosquito bites there just last night alone) just isn't doing anything for my desire to slump over my keyboard n sleep... oh and numb arms/hands.... what's new right?

well can't wait for tomorrow to come. will be meeting sue for lunch n then bumming around until meeting the rest of the babes to watch the sunset and catch up. yaaaay...

Thursday, July 22, 2004

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"This office is pleased to inform you...

that it can begin to process your fiance(e) visa case. Please read and follow all of the enclosed instructions very carefully. When communicating with this office either by telephone or letter, please provide your name and case number exactly as shown in this letter.  ~ Chief, Immigrant Visa Branch (American Embassy)"
Date: 19 July 2004
 
Guess it is now my turn to hand in the documents and obtain the necessary evidence to complete the fiance visa application for me. First part of the work was done by Wen... the Petition. It's a loooooong list of To-Dos though. And at least four forms to fill in. All of which must be completed and sent in before they can even schedule an interview with me.
 
Let's see... I have to get
  1. Certified Birth Certificate
  2. Police Certificate
  3. Three Passport type Photographs
  4. Evidence of Support and/or Affidavit of Support
  5. Medical Examination
  6. Evidence of Relationship (to bring along to Interview)

Cost in total? Not sure yet but $180 for the visa alone $45 for the Police Certificate. Doesn't include Medical Examination and possible Vaccination fees. I will be documenting the entire process on my part so that others like me can maybe find this article if they do a search for "K1 Fiance Visa". I remember desperately googling for more information on the Fiance Visa at one stage, especially specific information for a Singaporean marrying a US Citizen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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kaki fry

I think that's the japanese name of oyster fry.

Anyhow, yesterday yati cooked the second packet for mum, mel and my dinner (among other dishes). I wanted to be selfish n eat it all by myself but figured i should share since my family loves oysters in general. Well true to my expectations, mum loved it... and commented that it was very nice cos it was still juicy inside.

Yup! The oyster was still juicy inside even after being frozen and then deep fried. Is that amazing or what? Dip it in the very yummy japanese bbq sauce and the taste blends together perfectly. Guess now I got mum's approval to buy more of it for our family consumption hehe.

man just thinking about it now makes me want to drive out there today to buy more.... in fact if not for the fact that I have taiji class today and can't go home after, I just might do that. Especially since their similarly prepared and very yummy potato croquette is supposed to be available since yesterday. I've had at least TWO failed attempts to buy these croquettes... that's how popular they are. sigh...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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my last great singapore sale

and I'm hardly taking advantage of it at all. Can't afford to cos saving hard for the wedding and my earlier post abt wardrobe being in dire straits? Well forget that... just paid my mum the bi-monthly bill and in the blink of an eye, I am down by a few thousand dollars. Includes the recent air ticket as well as the money I changed for the Thai trip (most of it went to Wen's suits).
 
So guess I'm staying home tonight. Well to look at the bright side, I can go walk dexter...hopefully slim down alot more and be able to wear my old clothes. Hmm... actually, that doesn't look like the bright side cos slimming down is never fun.
 
Alritey... dinner time!

Monday, July 19, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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i give up...

on the book. It's a good book which I hope to read again some day... but right now I'm just so behind with the books I have to read. Got a couple of chinese ba zi books (one of which I've read a few pages of). Then there's a Fengshui magazine that my mum just bought for me. On top of that I have a couple of Ann Rice books back from the days before I started studying ba zi and was hooked on the Vampire Chronicles. Finally, my interest in reincarnation has been piqued and I'll probably be looking for these books to read when I'm done with the chinese ba zi books.
 
so yeah... definitely too much reading to handle right now. Open Heart Clear Mind is a very educational book and definitely something that helps one to improve one's personality traits and attitude towards life. Unfortunately I don't know if I can handle improving my personality to the point of attaining detachment just yet. So will stick to the first level of self-improvement for now as I foresee that taking a long time to perfect as it is. =P
 
alritey.... think my eyes are not doing too well from watching all that tv drama on the pc screen... hope my eyes dun suffer too much. =(
 
gonna go sleep now....

our wedding anniversary
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wardrobe in dire straits

Well my work wardrobe at the very least is suffering from wear and tear. I think I have maybe 10 long sleeve shirts that I rotate every day with an occasional sleeveless top thrown in to give the illusion of an extensive work wardrobe.
 
Unfortunately, there are only so many combinations I can make... it would be so much easier if I worked at Temple Street because the workwear there is pretty casual plus there are some really good bargain fashion stores at the Chinatown market... selling very cool cargo pants at $26, and shirts at around that price too. Or maybe I'm just lazy to put on nipple stickers and trim my underarm hair to put on the sleeveless clothes. In any case, those nipple stickers aren't cheap too. $4.60 for a pack of maybe 4-5 pairs... I usually save them for special occasions like a night out with the girls or something.
 
Anyhow... tonite I resume my ba zi class after skipping 2 lessons straight when wen was in town. hopefully that will help get me back in the groove cos find myself a little less enthusiastic about learning it these days. Guess I'm a little daunted by the extent of knowledge I have yet to grasp.
 
o ya... today is Pei's birthday. And this weekend I'll be meeting my Crescent babes for a relaxing dinner to catch up on the latest development - Daphne's Wedding to Phil!!! Apparently tentative plans are for a simple UK wedding over Easter next year and then a simple sg church wedding in late august. In Daphne's words, it will be a "high crass" wedding hahaha...
 
alritey back to work. got a meeting to discuss the upcoming malaysia road show for arc products...

Sunday, July 18, 2004

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halfway thru the book...

Am about halfway through the book Open Heart, Clear Mind (Thubten Chodron). I was very tempted to give up reading as it's taken me about a month to get this far. Lately it seems like I have trouble finishing a book. Particularly a book that's not something I bought to read because I want to pretend to have an interest in it. In this case, I am actually interested in learning more about buddhism.
 
Anyhow, fortunately I didn't give up because I'm right at the most interesting parts about rebirth and karma. The previous chapters about being a good person just seemed too impossible to follow when I was frequently stressed about the upcoming wedding, family commitments and an uncertain future. "How I can not lose my temper" was probably the last thing on my mind.
 
However, reading rebirth and karma has brought about a different perspective. In the chapter titled "Rebirth", the soul is dismissed as non-existent. Instead, we are composed of one part body and one part mindstream. Mindstream being a very subtle consciousness that goes from one body to the next as soul implies a fixed, real and independent entity that is the person. Chodron also tries to explain that there is no initial moment of mind and that it would be pointless to trace your mind to one's first life (since there was no beginning). All very complicated stuff that I'm probably not helping to make it sound any better. heh...
 
Some issues/theories I found interesting:

  1. A child's aptitude for a certain subject could be explained by rebirth. By this I mean an aptitude that is out of the ordinary, such as a young boy knowing the names of composers of different music even though no one else in the family had such knowledge or interest in music.
  2. "Deja Vu" experiences where we've gone to a place for the first time yet strongly feel that we've been there before.
  3. Friends from past lives - Meeting people and feeling very drawned to them for no particular reason such that we feel comfortable about sharing personal issues with them.
Now I'm definitely interestest in reading more books on past lives. And possibly applying the concept to my attitude towards life eventually.
 
------ after dinner @ home ------
 
Kinda want to finish reading the book since I've been holding on to it for such a long time (It's on loan from a ba zi classmate) but still feeling lethargic from my running nose/cold... The skin around my nostrils are pretty tender from all that nose-blowing. Plus was also thinking of running out to buy the second part of a Chinese Martial Arts serial that Wen likes cos I think I saw it on offer at Ginza... sigh...
 
Yup... just checked the elements for today... definitely confirms for me that I'm staying home since it's a Yang Earth on Earth day... ok so I'm just finding an excuse... hehe

Saturday, July 17, 2004

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a quiet birthday

So 16 july was my birthday. Was it a good one? Not really. Considering how i am moving to the US, perhaps it would have been expected that it would be a memorable one spent with either close friends or family. Maybe even both. Unfortuantely my close friends were busy (either with Church or their significant other) Was it a bad one? Not necessarily either. Guess I am still very much an introvert in spite of being able to make friends relatively easily. I don't have trouble being by myself... and sometimes even prefer it that way. Perhaps it comes from being the eldest child where I had all the toys to myself for at least 3 years before I had to share them.
 
I was initially planning on having a simple dinner at home (gotta save money you see) then maybe walking dexter (get some much-needed exercise). But I found out that both my siblings weren't going to be home for dinner and it would just be me and my mum (Dad's away on business). I didn't feel like having an intimate dinner for two since the unresolved issues with the parents was still hanging in the air and I really did not want to deal with it on my birthday. So I quickly decided that I would have Japanese for dinner. I drove to GInza to buy sushi (15 % off from 16-18 July!), some Japanese-style fried oysters (10 for $7 instead of $7.80!) at Sakura Fish Mart instead of eating at their restaurant next door. Again, to save money while still having a good dinner. Then I went up to my room with the box of yummy sushi and set up the pc so I could watch Alias on the cd that Wen had recorded for me. Ended up watching episodes 18-22... till the Season Finale basically.
 

Sushi Dinner (at $22 after discount) consisted of: 

1 thick fat slice of salmon
1 thick fat slice of tuna
1 thick fat slice of something that looked like hamachi but was much less creamy
1 thick fat slice of kelp (white fish)
1 thick fat slice of scallop
1 thick fat slice of ama-ebi
1 slice of octopus (don't fancy octopus meat much)
1 salmon roe sushi
2 pieces of tamago
6 tuna maki

Somehow it didn't look as much in that box... I must have been reaaaally hungry cos I finished up everything. I think the sushi chef gave me extra thick slices too since he recognizes me and is always very helpful with recommending items whenever I visit the FIsh Mart. So yeah... I had a decent birthday cos if you know me at all, a good meal seldom fails to cheer me up. hehe... I ended up doing some cross-stitching while watching the remainder of Alias after I finished my meal.
 
Still have 2 packets of the Oysters to deep fry for lunch today and maybe on Sunday as well. Only 10 pieces per packet and will probably get Yati to fry up some vegetables and go without rice or noodles. All in all, I think Sakura Fish Mart is definitely one of my favorite places to shop. Wish I could find a place like this in San Fran - well, guess that would be the Japanese Supermarket at Kabuto (J-Town).
 
Alritey.. should probably get back to work...

Friday, July 16, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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Dinner at Saint Julien

Appetizers
(Does not include the very yummy home-made bread including a particular tasty Multigrain one)
One dozen of Fresh Oysters accompanied by a shallots with vinegar sauce
This was not on the menu and we each had 2 pieces except for Melvin and me who had the extra piece from Lynette and Derek. The oysters were creamy and fresh although they weren't the really big and juicy kind.
One order of "Cassolette d’escargots au beurre d’ail et persil, flan de courgettes"
This was basically a Cassolette of pan seared escargots with garlic and parsley butter. The middle of the casserole was a small round cake-shaped white item that tasted like cheese. What was most interesting though was the sprinkle of sunflower seeds that tasted really good eaten with the cheese and the light layer of sauce in the casserole.
One order of Gratineed Mussels
There was enough for the six of us to have at least 3 pieces each. Very tasty and reminded me of the mussels from Thanh Long. Had the same pesto-like sauce that would have gone very well with toasted bread.
 
Middle Course
Six orders of Foie gras de canard poëlé et sauce aux morilles et Cognac
We were SOOOO greedy. At this point, we were having trouble finishing up the exquisitely prepared Pan seared duck liver with morel mushrooms and Cognac sauce and it took all my willpower to remember how much I love foie gras in order to finish up the two thick pieces of juicy foie gras. And that pretty much gives an idea of how stuffed we were already.  As such, dad requested to have one main course cancelled and fortunately Derek's order of Pan seared prawn and scallops had not been prepared yet. This meant Derek had to eat mum's order instead. Funny thing is mum usually never orders main course when we go for big meals like this but she was either feeling very fit/hungry or was completely persuaded by the description given of her main course by Parthi (our Server).
Six mini orders of Bisque de homard et Saint Jacques à l’aioli et croûtons
The Lobster bisque soup with sea scallop, garlic aioli and croutons is supposedly another trademark dish of Chef Julien. We were served six mini portions in a cup just to have a taste of the soup. In spite of how close we were to being bloated, we finished every drop of that creamy lobster bisque.
 
Main Entree
Dad - Pièce de cabillaud rôtie à la Provençale au vinaigre de balsamique et basilic
Simply named as Roasted cod fish “à la Provençale” with caramelized balsamic vinegar and basil oil, the words 'balsamic vinegar' alone convinced me that this would be the fish I would select if I'd felt like eating one. I tasted one tiny piece of the cod fish as I was pretty apprehensive at this point about fiinshing up my own Main Entree.
Derek - Pigeon de Bresse rôti au foie gras et vin rouge, risotto aux champignons sauvages
The order of Pan seared Bresse pigeon and duck liver with red wine reduction, risotto with wild mushrooms was initially Mum's and it's no wonder Parthi was giving such a rave review of the dish. The meat was tender and juicy. Definitely deserving of being a signature dish as well. Unfortunately this was probably too much foie gras in one night and Derek had some difficulty finishing up his very rich dinner.
Lynette & Me - One order each of Gratineed Lobster with Gruyere Cheese and Ratatouille
Not on the menu so I don't have the fancy French name for this dish. It was the most recommended item by Parthi for the night and considering how we both love cheese, this was definitely an excellent combination. Also, lobster is not a very filling main course (although cheese does help to fill up the gaps). The cheesiness was well offset by a tart Ratatouille and left the diner without a feeling of having overdosed on the cheese. Very nicely done and I finished up both the lobster and the ratatouille, although Lynette didn't care much for the peppers in the vegetable stew.
Melvin - Carré d’agneau rôti et jus au thym et olives noires, gratin boulangère et fêves
Otherwise known as Roast rack of lamb with thyme, and tapanade sauce, gratin of potato and onion and olive oil in simple English, the dish was pretty tasty although nothing very special in my opinion. Still prefer more sauce with my meat and this one did not have much sauce so I felt the lamb was a little dry.
 
Cheese Affinés and Desserts
Chariot de fromages affinés
Melvin wanted to eat cheese badly so we ordered this Trolley of affinés French cheese which he basically shared with Mum. Edith Bompard (wife of Chef Julien with a HK accented English) served up the trolley and gave detailed description of the cheese. Believe that typically such an order involves only a selection of a few of the cheeses. In this case, Edith did a fantastic job of slicing just a tiny bit of each cheese in a clockwise direction from mild to strong. Great service to the end!
Ile flottante au coulis de pistaches et caramel
We were all too full to have dessert so I asked for a cup of coffee. However Edith had asked if we were celebrating an occasion and found out it was for my birthday. As such, this Floating island with pistachio coulis and caramel was served with a candle on the side while Edith and another one of her staff sang the Birthday song to me. This was close to midnight or possibly even midnight already and most of the restaurant staff had left. Apparently their policy is to close when the last guest leaves (no specific time so the guest does not feel rushed). This dessert tasted like dark chocolate Kit Kat wafer (in Edith's words) and the homemade pistachio ice cream complemented the thick chocolatey taste. Very yummy. On top of that, they served each one of us complimentary chocolate truffle and almond biscuit. The chocolate truffle probably deserves its own heading because the dark chocolate melted so nicely in the mouth that it was almost like nearly coming to an orgasm only to find it ending too quickly.
 
----- So that ends my dinner with the family at Saint Julien... -----

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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有缘千里来相会

think it means that if u have the fate to be together, u will be together even when miles apart.

guess with the visa being approved, it's another affirmation to wen and myself that we are finally going to cross the final hurdle soon before overcoming this long distance relationship. of cos... it's not going to be a rosey picture after i move over unless one can truly surivive on love alone. not me tho... i need my food. hehe but at least we will hopefully not have additional legal hassles to go through.

think wen and i have quite different personalities... that somehow kinda complement each other. sometimes i still find myself getting very frustrated when we argue and have completely different perspectives on stuff... but most times, the differences are resolved with us understanding each other a little more. altho i have to say i'm not quite sure i'm comfortable finding out more and more of wen's 'other' side. in some way, his sensitivity attracts me, but in others, i'm actually a little worried that he gets too in tune with his feminine side =P

anyways... it'll be another four months before we'll see each other again. That should be in late november for net's wedding and our photo shoot. really hoping that i'll be able to convert the miles from dad's card cos we're pretty strapped for cash as it is...

okie... tink it's time for lunch... woohooo!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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the best bet

jack neo's latest movie featuring a betting system apparently invented in Singapore and Malaysia; the 4D.

i was laughing through most of the movie but at the end of it, the best bet was indeed a little too preachy. it almost felt like it had been fully funded by a church. the majority of the movie is set as part of a dream by Richard Low and the ending reveals that the dream is the consequence of if Richard were to be greedy and keep all the winnings for himself instead of sharing it with his two other friends. it is basically the only way the movie could have a happy ending (winnings are invested into setting up a restaurant with dishes named with 4D terminology) instead of spiraling into a dark movie of betrayal between three friends and a resulting broken family. that would have been quite unacceptable by jack neo's fans who are most familiar with his comedic variety shows on tv.

i must say the soundtrack is pretty funny and innovative though. typical mark lee compositions straight out of an ah-beng's mouth.

not sure if i'll get the dvd... but considering how i always try to support the far and few between movies coming out of singaporea... i probably will. =)

our wedding anniversary
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holidays can be exhausting

it's been a hectic few days since wen's arrival. haven't exactly been able to have quality time together cos i've had to work almost everyday...plus i've planned what little time we have together so well that we hardly have time to just do nothing. and i know wen likes doing nothing and getting more snuggle time...

i do too... but like i said in my heading, i am anything but bochup so it actually takes concentrated willpower to get myself to relax and do nothing. it's not that i can't relax but rather when i relax, most of the time i feel like the time is being wasted because we should be doing something more constructive. problem is... i don't always know what is more constructive. so i end up running around in circles making sure i'm not wasting time.

this bangkok trip is probably going to be quite tiring too because of the shopping we need to do... but hopefully we will be able to relax and have fun as well cos wen is leaving in less than a week. it will be good to be able to spend the entire day together instead of me being at work and only seeing him in the evening (with a jam packed schedule of activities like a movie or in today's case, only after my taiji class). we do have friday where we're supposed to be able to have that day to ourselves... told mum that my friend isn't free to meet us... so might just end up hanging out with her and grandma. but on second tots, maybe wen and i do need some alone time... BUT then again... i don't want to spend that day bumming in the hotel room when we've specially flown out to be in bangkok. hmmm... guess we shall see what are my parents' plans for friday and try to figure out what's best for us. oh... leona's going to be there too... =) so she could either give us some ideas or keep my mum and grandma company. perfect!

anyhow, can't wait for the break... will be nice to finally take the same plane as wen again... last time we did that, he was sending me back to singapore and had to take the trip back himself. this time will be a good one.... i miss sitting on the plane beside him.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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burger king

so i had burger king for dinner last night... it was one of my worst fast food meals ever.

i'm not a fast food fan in general but i do appreciate fast food for it's efficiency and taste sometimes. especially mos burger. it is the best fast food for me and i could probably eat that every other day if i had to. ok....maybe every week.

anyhow, the burger king meal last night was quite bad. I'm not sure if it's that particular outlet (at Marina Square) or just burger king in singapore. except for that time in 2003 when they had a Yam Pie new product, i haven't really been impressed by the quality of their food and new items. they should look at mcdonalds... Mcd is trying to make their menu more healthy and coming up with new takes on their burgers (the new cheeseburger with lettuce).

we ordered a mushroom swiss meal (they were out of 4 inch buns and had to swap it with a whopper size bun at wen's suggestion when they told us we could only choose out of 3 burgers. yes, wen's suggestion. sheesh...). we paid additional 40 cents to change from fries to onion rings that were tiny and hardly juicy at all. the sad thing was that the onion rings tasted better than the few pieces of fries that they happened to scoop into our onion ring pack together. soggy, tasteless fries... the chicken cheesesticks and a cheese thingy (new product that i doubt will last long on the menu) that looks like a non-spicy version of the jalapeno in the US turned out tasting nothing like chicken (for the chicken cheesesticks) nor were they cheesey enough! sigh

it was quite a sad night cos i was really looking forward to having a good dinner. unfortunately the mos burger at marina square is no longer there (not even KFC or Long John Silver for that matter!) so the food variety was pretty dismal. not quite sure how marina square is going to work out even with their extensive renovations. apparently alot of schools are being relocated there... which is not a bad idea if the schools have an international clientele OR or hospitality related since the building is basically surrounded by 3 to 4 hotels.

anyways...wish i had taken up my initial impulse thought of having a good dinner at margarita's last night... wanted to save money... but the feeling of spending money on a bad meal, however little, is just as bad as having a good meal but having to splurge a little more. At least in the later scenario, my taste buds and stomach don't suffer along with my wallet.

Friday, July 02, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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anticipation

wen will be here in about 2 hours. i was planning on taking a nap before waking up at midnight. looks like i can still take a quick nap but will have to make sure i don't oversleep since i gotta be at the airport by 1:10am or so. =)

anyhow... have semi-cleared one suitcase that i can pack my stuff in for wen to bring over. still have stuff in there that i need to figure out where to keep in the meantime.

the funny thing is i still catch myself wondering if it's the right decision to move over. maybe because wen himself seems to be considering the idea of moving to singapore. plus finding out from friends in sf about ppl moving back... of cos there are people i've heard about who've moved to US recently. in fact i think i've heard of 2 singaporean ladies moving over from april and apparently april's already told them about me going over. haha...

sometimes i miss that independence and freedom to do anything i want. other times i know that i will miss the sense of belonging with my family and the familiarity of things I grew up with. at the end of the day... people change and move away and what is most important is having that one person whom you can change and move along with. someone who has the same goals and when he doesn't, is willing to talk about and find a common ground. i worry about the bad karma of leaving my family knowing that my parents will miss me terribly (and it's not being thickskin here... it's just the way parents feel about their children here in singapore. like the mother owl who's always protective... like the singapore government basically). i have to find a way to make up to my parents somehow... if not to improve my karma, at least to alleviate the guilt.

anyways... shoould proly go take a quick nap... got to wake up real early tomorrow morning for work too... o well, it's not a big deal cos i'll get to see wen soon. =)