Sunday, 30 September 2007

Nostalgia

Ha.. I was at my mum in laws place and she had packets of ovaltine cookies! i totally forgot i LURVE ovaltine cookies until i saw them just now... they were on the tea table in front of the TV and though we were watching TV... my eyes never left those two packets of ovaltine cookies... i wanted to open one pack to eat but was already stuffed from dinner... so I started fantacising about eating them... mmm... oishi.... on the way back home i asked chris to swing by the minimart to pick up a pack... boy, can't wait to eat them tom! ^^

there are some food i like because they bring back happy memories of childhood... ovaltine cookies is one of them. lao uncle brand ice cream (those ice cream carts) is another one. i mean, Ben n Jerry's is excellent but no one beats lao uncle brand ice cream. there's something about the taste that teleports u back to the time when u were a kid, when your world consists of play, play and more play... ^^ i never fail to add when ordering, "uncle, chocolate duo yi dian, bu yao liu lian." ke ke ke ^^

we were having this conversation in the office the other day in which i started by asking

me: i don't know whether u all r the same generation as me...
CC: *interjects firmly* NO!
me: -.- thanks ha CC.... i meant did you order fresh milk in pri school?
CC: I DIDN'T!
HJ: ya... i remember...!
me: do you remember that it was a tetrahedral pack? my fav was choc!
Mrs N: ya, ya, ya, i remember!
HJ: no leh, mine was rectangular box one
CC: because u r in a different generation!
me: thanks ha CC, thanks... *geen*
CC: oh... that means Ann is same generation as Mrs N...
me: -.-
Mrs N: no la, the fresh milk thing lasted v long...
me: have you eaten the ghost ice cream? *showed them the pic*
HJ: oh... vaguely...
CC: NO! NEVER! *to HJ* oh no, u same generation as ann!
me: *dagger stare CC*

yes, people my generation will remember the tetrahedral Magnolia milk packs, the choc ice cream shaped like a ghost w a smiley face called Brrr Blobs, POSB squirrel, Sharity elephant and Singa lion! ha ha... so cute... i still remember the Courtesy song "courtesy is for free! courtesy is for you n me!" ^^ and i remember my pri sch was v on about oral hygiene so we had to squat by the drain to brush our teeth everyday and there was a resident dentist in sch. i LURVED the little pink tablets u chew then u smile YEE in the mirror to see where it's darkest... that's where the plaque is... tsk tsk tsk... i remember the char bee hoon and porridge were like 50c each and the tadpole sugar drink was 10c.

it's nice once in a while to reminisce about the past... a time when u don't have a care in the world... when the only decision u have to make is what dish to "cook" for your masak masak playgroup... ^^

Like a Fountain (II)

Recently some of us are into writing with fountain pens but unlike them "suckers", I'm v lazy and use cartridges.. but they kept harping about the excitement of sucking saying, "ha? don't suck no fun nei!" so i decided to buy a bottle of ink to suck suck see.. well, seems like the whole singapore is also using fountain pens! ALL, yes, i mean ALL the parker, sheaffer BLACK bottled ink are sold out! gosh... but i did find ONE bottle of black Lamy ink at kinokuniya and bought it. I like my ink very black... like mascara... must be very black.

When I opened it, wa, it's cool nei... there's a roll of paper at the bottom!

and the paper is not some lao pok toilet paper k? it's thick multi-ply paper with quilted design on the back side and perforated like kitchen paper (i don't want to say toilet paper cos not so high class)... cool ^^ I sucked sucked sucked... gosh... it really feels good, almost therapeutic... alright i have been converted. i'm now officially a "sucker" too ^^ and dare i say i am quite good at it... my hands were clean and i used only one piece of paper per pen (i remember someone who sucked for the first time got ink stains all over his hands...tsk tsk tsk... skill baby, skill)

I went to search "Japanese fountain pen" nakaya and boy! they are super duper nice! but the cheapest is like US$250 (not including delivery) up to a few thousands... handmade and the bodies are lacquered... *heart itchy itchy* the few thousand dollar ones have v intricate designs like crane, waves etc... v japo but a bit too uncle for me (ya, like as though i can afford it *grumble grumble*)

For now I am quite happy with my cheap plastic transparent Lamy fountain pen! ^^

Saturday, 29 September 2007

PC 101: Pattern Chuting 101 Lesson 2 Great Gift Idea


Ha... PC 101 Lesson 1 was the one on mooncake party...

Here's a great gift idea for a friend who enjoys baking/cooking. I printed an Apple Sauce and Cinnamon Cupcake recipe (who can resist apple cinnamon anything? ^^), measured all the ingredients (yes, the flour, sugar, even butter! everything!), wrapped them in see through plastic bags secured with a golden wire twist and put everything into a pretty little basket. Finish it off with a handwritten note on the card and a pretty golden satin ribbon and it's a great gift! All she needs to do is mix all the ingredients together, bake them and she gets freshly baked cupcakes! A chance to feel like a chef when everything is measured for you.

In the words of Martha Stewart, "It's a good thing!"

Friday, 28 September 2007

Troubled

I have been praying for something and finally God answered my prayer today... except that He didn't answer it the way I wanted it... My heart feels v troubled and I do not know what to do... should I take what He has offered me though it's not exactly what I wanted or should I wait and trust that He will provide...? What if I give it up now and regret? What if I regret taking it...?

Tis a tough decision to make... I wish I knew the answer.

It's going to be a very troubling weekend for me... I have to decide by Monday...

Thursday, 27 September 2007

L.A.T.E

Gosh, last night I forgot to bring my phone into the room (i use it as an alarm) so I shiok shiok slept until I felt the rays of sunlight beating on my face... I opened my eyes, ran to the wardrobe, checked my watch and went, "AHHHH! DEAR! I'm going to be late! AHHHHH!" *panic panic*

gulp down two glasses of water, swish swish, brush teeth... wash face and while dabbing it dry, i was in a dilemma... i only have time to put on make up OR poo poo... what a toughie... i decided to put on make up at home and poo in the office.... the night before i had wanted to bun my hair today but argghhh.... no time....

after the the ding ding dong dong, ping ping piang piang, i got dressed and was ready to leave but i felt the sudden urge to poo poo... told chris,

~ er... dear, i really need to bian bian but i will be late
" then go la, late a bit ner mind ma...

i came out from the toilet, walked through the wardrobe and saw chris still lying in bed in boxers with the toothbrush in his mouth!!! AAAHHH!!!! i screamed, "dear! I AM GOING TO BE LATE!!!!" he sprung up, finished up the last few strokes with his toothbrush which i suspect were THE ONLY strokes he made (he has the habit of going back to sleep with the toothbrush in his mouth), ironed his shirt and put it on, all in under 2 minutes.

I have 15 min to get to work... (i normally take about 15 mins to get to work) and the deluge didn't help. we were stuck in traffic so i smsed CC and HJ,

me: ey, i'm gonna be late... i am still on expressway!
CC: need me to help you do this this that that?
me: oh, i told HJ to do already...
CC: er.. no need to do this this that that already, cancelled...
me: *phew*

I reached like 15 mins late and to play safe stopped at the back gate and sneaked up to my office... *phew* didn't get caught... ok, apparently the rain was so heavy that many people were late like me... ah ha ha ha... when i went down, i saw a colleague sashaying in with his umbrella, from the front gate! aiyah, shouldn't have been so secretive... i saw jason chia and cassandra arriving and eyeballed them, "darling, you are late!" kekeke... they didn't know i was late too... ah ha ha ha... jason chia avoided eye contact and looked really guilty but cassandra as usual flashed her sweet smile with a hee hee...

hm... i think the person who designed my workplace is not v bright... when it rains, places get flooded.... some of the supposedly sheltered spots will "lao zui" one... and not to mention, the sewers kinda get choked whenever there's a deluge so that the stench rises into the air and a faint whiff of excrement lingers in the atmosphere... can't believe my colleagues didn't detect it. i was like,

me: wa biang, so smelly, whole corridor smells of shit
them: got meh?
me: -.-

and thankfully i was wearing my ferragamos... they got wet when i got out of the car and hop scotched into the building to avoid puddles (didn't dare use the shetered porch and announce my lateness) but within 3 mins, they were dry... that's the beauty of leather... i went to the ladies and saw two people blowing dry their socks with the hand blower *cough, resist pinching nose* and in conference room 5, gelina took off her shoes and was happily barefooted... *cough again* =P yee er...

what a stressful morning =P but thank God I was late on the day EVERYONE else is also late so the management closed one eye! ke ke ke... ^^

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Restaurant Review: Torisho Taka by Aoki (Gallery Hotel) 5*

Last Thu my good friend Grace brought me to Torisho Taka by Aoki at Gallery Hotel, a chi chi yakitori restaurant related to Aoki (famous for their uber fresh sushi from fish they import from Tsukiji fish market 3 times a week) both part of the Les Amis Group. Pls don't think of Tori Q hor... the food is cooked by a japanese chef by hand. no machines... and he insists on cooking EVERY skewer himself, to maintain QC... talk about professionalism and perfectionism.

We had chicken broth and tenpura cod roe wrapped in shiso leaf as starter, grilled chicken balls, chicken wings, kobe gyu, zuchini, shitake and pork belly. Grace had oyako don and I had zarusoba for the main.

The chicken broth... There were two variations, the white and the clear. We tried the white one. I took one sip and boy, i swear the entire chicken must have been dissolved in the broth as it's probably THE best broth. I. Have. Ever. Tasted. I let it flow down my throat and my tiredness melted away...

tenpura cod roe wrapped in shiso leaf... nice texture but i'm not exactly v fond of it... maybe it's an acquired taste...

The grilled chicken balls, with tendons incorporated, were crunchy to the bite and grilled to perfection.

The chicken wings! AHHH!!!! it's SOOOOOOOO GOOD! the wing is pried open at the centre and the two bones separated so it's really easy to eat. the only seasoning used is salt. the skin is so crisp and the meat so juicy and tender! we were told that the chickens were alive in the morning as Torisho Aoki does not purchase frozen chickens. we were also informed that the charcoal used is imported from japan. it's made from trees from a particular forest and apparently all yakitori chefs use only the charcoal from there because charcoal made from wood from that forest has a unique smoky flavour. when you hit two pieces together, they supposedly give off a "ting" chime like hitting two metal rods. MXX (mai xiao xiao) k?

the kobe gyu was quite a letdown as i've tasted much fattier, juicier and more tender ones in japan.

mmm... the zuchini and shitake were juicy with all the goodness locked in. again using only a light sprinking of salt, the chef has preserved the natural sweetness of the vegetables. i saw some japanese eating japanese cherry tomatoes with salt at the next table and salivated but didn't dare order... the meal is free mah... cannot ask for too much...

the pork belly was downright decadent, sinful to the core. it's like sio bah... crisp skin, tender flesh dancing in your mouth. it's fatty but not greasy... nice. but i can only eat one or two and pictured myself jogging in my mind... (which reminds me, i have yet to run off those calories i put on during that dinner! ha ha ha... nowadays the weather is so scorching hot that i have so much inertia)

the zarusoba was so so.... not handmade soba... and probably because i was already so stuffed that i could not eat another bite.

Value for money: 4* reasonable... e.g. the kobe gyu was $15 for a skewer of two/three cubes of length about 2cm?
Ambience: 5*
Service: 5*

To avoid disappointment, make a reservation.

+6567323343

looks like chris will be having yakitori for his birthday dinner =)

Like a Fountain

Ha, recently i read a blog entry that made me feel a sudden urge to dig out my Lamy fountain pen and start using it again...

Ah... holding the thick sturdy body and watching the dark black ink stain the writing paper while the medium nib glides along is so blissful and therapeutic. somehow, using a fountain pen MAKES you write beautifully. It's like you're instantly endowed with special powers and naturally write "cursively". so i propose that fountain pens be prescribed to people with horrendous handwriting. you'd be surprised to see the unbelievable results. for fountain pen and lovely writing are like fish and water, they go together.

fountain pen and offensively illegible handwriting ("like these people have no control over their hands") should be as obnoxious as the following pairs:

1. Well-dressed, gorgeous woman & unshaven arm pits
2. Ferragamo shoes & hairy legs
3. Superior steamboat broth & Ngor Cang Bah
4. Hot stud & bad breath/B.O.
5. Beautiful well-endowed woman & deep booming male voice
6. Beautiful classy woman & sweat-stained blouse at the arm pits

...

feel free to add to the list ^^

A Gift From The Heart

Today someone made my day so I wrote a poem for her:

A lovely card
handmade, one of its kind.
Pretty flowers,
cute caricature,
with a cape like mine.

Words that touch
more than you'll ever know.
For the power of love
is letting it show.

All that it takes
All that you need
is a gift from the heart
from someone so sweet!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

My Dream House

I read on someone's blog about her dream house so I decided to write about mine... It's a japanese style home on a cliff facing the ocean with the hills as a backdrop (it's a DREAM home so let's not think about natural phenomena such as weathering, erosion n tsunami can?). The walls facing the ocean are clear glass and the doors facing the hills are japanese sliding doors that lead to a tranquil garden with a koi pond. My cherry blossoms will bloom beautifully every year. On the right is my herb, fruit, veg garden (ok guys, again it's a DREAM home so let's assume i have green fingers k? and that the weather is so perfect that everything i grow flourishes n bears fruit... k? thanks ^^)
on the left is a rectangular swimming pool where the water flows off the edge facing the ocean, you know, the "limitless" look like the pool extends into the ocean? then i can swim up to that edge, rest my arms there and take in the awesome sight (something like this... we took this at ritz carlton bali... my pool surroundings will be more japo, not so indonesian)

i'd have a study with deep walnut coloured wooden floor to ceiling bookcases with a ladder attached to the top edge of the bookcase with a roller. a large clean wooden table and Herman Miller chair facing the garden completes the look. At one end is my craft corner with a cabinet full of drawers, chests n poles for my ribbons, wrapping paper, coloured paper, pens, scissors, paper cutter, twine etc etc... you know, craft stuff. i lurve wrapping things and wrapping them beautifully. i believe in showing my sincerity in the wrapping as much as i do the gift and to me, part of the excitement of receiving the gift is seeing the effort in the wrapping. ok, for chris, he can have the entire basement (minus the parking lots for our convertible mini cooper ^^ n my vespa) as his command centre, with a server, super CPU, 6 HD LCD screens for himself and a square table with four computers n screens for when his kakis come over for LAN gaming.

My kitchen faces the herb, fruit, veg garden of course and is as big as my current house! with an island. an island is a work table in the centre. i'd have an indoor kitchen and an outdoor kitchen (outdoor for oily, smoky heavy duty cooking)

bedroom... tatami flooring with futon. on the right of the bed is the ocean view (ceiling to floor glass windows, leads to a balcony with wooden swing ^^) on the left is the garden view (japanese sliding doors) the glass windows have fully mechanised blinds that i can operate when lying on the futon. so in the morning when we wake up, i'd press the button and it goes "ch" revealing the ocean, the horizon, the sky! ^^
my wardrobe, BIG BIG BIG! with shoe and bag pigeon holes too =) and an island in the centre with glass top and drawers like those in jewellery shops for my earrings, necklaces etc and dressing table. it leads to a BIG BIG BIG bathroom with 2 basins, indoor shower with Hansgrohe jets. there's also an outdoor rain bath area (something like this... we took this in phuket) and a round japanese wooden bath tub (see pic) filled with spring water from the hot spring on the hill behind my house. in the pic it faces the garden but i think i'd prefer it to face the ocean... wa, this tub is super ex leh... think it costs about US$10K... not including delivery... cos the normal rect ones are already US$6.6K and this one is under "custom-made" design... *drool* cannot afford la...

we'd have two dogs... actually i don't mind kids la, if they're the not noisy kind... hm... be nice if my mum, uncle n bro live on the left n my in-laws on the right (then my mum-in-law can share my herb-fruit-veg garden ^^) and there's a church down the road made of glass such that when you stand facing the altar, u see the ocean ^^ (like in the pic. we took this at ritz bali too. they have a glass church facing the sea)
and all my good friends live nearby too...

yes, my dream home =)

but i think the one Jesus reserved for me in heaven will be way way nicer ^^

Purple Poo 2 (Oops I did it again)

I ate the other fruit... actually, the ... er... colour... is not ribena, more like fanta grape =P

Friday, 21 September 2007

Purple Poo

Grotesque Index: 4.5 *
Warning: Pls do not read this while eating or right before eating... and I apologise to those whose favourite colour is purple.

The other day I bought two organic red dragon fruit from the supermarket. I don't like the white flesh ones but love the red ones, actually more of purple... I cut one in half and used a knife to slit checked patterns on it, packed it in a plastic bag with a spoon and brought it to work for breakfast. boy, the pigment is so rich that when i finished eating it at my desk and CC walked over to ask me something, she thought i just dissected an animal...! even though i tried to be extra careful and placed the skin bowls back into the plastic bag, it was a messy purple glob. then CC remarked,

" ey, my boyfriend says eat this kind liew liew (pee) will be purple one

~ ha? is it?

" ya, and will last a few days

so when i went to the toilet, i'd check and see if there's a purple stream but to my disappointment, there was none... so i forgot about it until the next morning when i "cleared my body of trash" if you know what i mean. i took a glance at the remains and AH! the water was ribena coloured! AAAAHHHHH! and there were dots of unchewed and undigested seeds! double AH! it happens with ladies fingers too... and I don't even want to start on overcooked tau gay and enoki mushrooms (jin zhen gu)... =P

i smsed CC

~ ey, my bian bian is purple!

" i told you *smug*

eeewks!

the other red dragon fruit is still resting in my fridge... should i have it tomorrow for breakfast...?

ha ha ha ha =P

Mooncake Party

Yeah! Mooncake Festival is here again (25 Sep)! Time to chute pattern! Last year I invited my colleagues over for mooncakes and tea and we had such a great time =) Here are some tips on how to make your guests feel oh-so-special and ensure that your party is as memorable for you as it was for them =)

1. Floral arrangement
It does not have to be too elaborate. For oriental themed parties, use oriental flowers to create a minimalistic and zen arrangement which brings out the theme. Here, I have used chrysanthemums and ginger flowers in a clear vase with large pebbles of varying earth tones.




2. Set the table
I normally set the table one day in advance. Here, I have created placemats by printing oriental designs on pretty paper and using a corner cutter. The napkin design echoes the shape and colour of the budding ginger flowers and binds the entire setting. Of course, pretty plates, dainty forks and lovely tea sets will add to the look and feel. For western themes, I will add a placecard for each person.



3. Lighting and final touches
Soft lighting creates a warm and cosy ambience. I also made lanterns by printing the matching placemat design onto soft gloss translucent paper in warm hues such as yellow, orange and deep red and rolling them into cylinders. A tealight glowing from within completes the look.



4. Music
Select music that complements the theme. For this party, I chose The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto (Liang Zhu), my favourite piece of music.

Entertaining does not have to be very costly if you take the time and effort to be creative. A special touch here and a surprise there, all that you need is great company! Do plan your menu and decor in advance (in this case there was nothing to cook, just deciding on which teas to serve) and make sure you get everything set up one day in advance. That way, you will not panic on the actual day!

This year, our bible study group is meeting at grace's place again and I'm sure we will have a great time of fellowship, like we always have! ^^

P.S.: Grace is the maestro when it comes to chuting pattern... I am only number 2 =)

Monday, 17 September 2007

So Who Knows Me Best?

Well, I'm sure some of u were stumped by the questions. How many of the correct answers did you REALLY know the answer to (as opposed to guessing)? naughty people... well, even chris, my husband for 5 years, whom i have known for 13 years scored less than an A grade =( but my point is, can such tests really determine who your true friends are? i doubt so, unless it's very well-crafted, only one attempt per pax n no guessing allowed. although chris scored only 65%, i know he will stand by me whatever happens, in sickness n in health, for poorer or for richer...i know if one day i am no longer pretty, e will still think i am the most beautiful... if i am sick, he will clean me...

n i know jiahui will stand by me too, simply because she has stood by me for the past 18 years...

i thank God for all my friends, old and new. so what if you don't bleddy know what instrument i played in JC... like i know what ECA u joined in sec sch n what's you fav colour (unless u r pris, then it's purple ha ha)

so what's a friend? i read somewhere that "a friend is someone u can sit in silence with and feel you've had the greatest conversation." jiahui n i do that sometimes. so do HJ, TF, CC n i... after lunch, just for a couple of moments.

and i apologise to those who have been so frustrated. it's all for good fun ya =)

Back to the question of who knows me best besides myself? well, it's got to be God... in fact he knows me BETTER than i know myself. The bible says He knows even the number of strands of hair on my head... He knows when I was born and when I will die. He knows why I'm sad n why I rejoice. He knows my every thought... even the ones i don't say out loud... the ones i don't want people to know...

Here's what Psalms 139 says:

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

and one last question i didn't include in my test is:

Will you die for me?
- yes
- no

Saturday, 15 September 2007

How Well Do You Know Me?

Hi All, If you think u know me, take this test and find out! And don't be so wu liao use my name to take the test hor. If it's me, it's definitely 100%.

Leaderboard
Create your own Friend Test here

Ngor Cang Ba... aka Luncheon Meat

I read on chek's blog that pan fried luncheon meat tastes great w porridge... well, i used to find luncheon meat rather nice when i was young... until i heard what it's made of. it's basically a blend of all the discarded parts: i imagine eyeballs, penis, testicles, snout, rectum, whatever.... minced together and canned into what we call ngor cang ba.... the US equivalent is called SPAM. SPAM is also email u DON'T WANT, how apt...

My colleagues and i were talking about steamboat when CC suddenly got v excited and exclaimed:

CC: u know what tastes v delicious in steamboat??!!
me: *expecting some answer like pomfret, cod fish, tarabagani or something n getting ready to concur since we have mostly the same taste in food* what?
CC: WU CAN ROU!
me: -.-
TF: >.<
HJ: @.@
we let out a cacophony of grunts, puke sounds n i looked as though i was being tortured...
me: ngor cang ba in steamboat??? =P
CC: it's very very nice!!!
me: -.-
TF: >.<
HJ: @.@
another round of coughs, nausea and gagging...
CC: u all never try before how u know it's not nice?

i don't think i want to try.... =P

Other Mac vs PC ads i like =)

Japanese Mac vs PC
Hokkien Mac vs PC

South Park Mac vs PC

We've all seen the interesting Mac vs PC ads but i find this parody v v cute ^^
South Park Mac vs PC

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Thanksgiving

Since I'm blogging, let me share a thanksgiving. i thank God for my wonderful colleagues. n i'm not saying that because they also like choc! n they bought me Awfully chocolate choc ice cream on my birthday. i feel really blessed to have people i can laugh with, who comfort me when i'm down, who i can cry in front of, who i feel totally comfortable sharing things w. i remember when hiro passed away, TF, CC, Miss L and HJ made me a card. i felt v touched.

Mrs N: she is such an angel... always willing to teach n share w younger uns (like me, 22) from her wealth of experience and i'm never made to feel she is SENIOR. everyone respects her because she has earned our respect. She's Christian too and has been such an encouragement to me. i remember in 2005 i was going through a v difficult period n some times will break down on my desk n cry she'll come over to comfort me... of course, she constantly motivates me to keep my desk tidy...

Ling: i admire her because she is v real. she says what she thinks and what she says always makes sense. She is Christian too... and has also been such an encouragement to me... although we're about the same generation, she is much more mature then me i feel... maybe it's because she's a mother.

T: is such a darling papa figure in our office. and his passion in photography is inspirational. whenever he needs a test shot, he will call me, "mei nu!" and i'll turn around and flash a smile *click* he is so easy going... never picks on anybody or anything... people say "jia you yi lao ru you yi bao" i agree ^^

CC: ding dang! CC is so cute. i think she has such a beautiful soul and i think her boyfriend "kio tio kim" and hope he knows that. of course, she is v cartoon and it's great that we have the same taste! n she is the other person who can talk like la bi xiao xin! ha ha =) e other time i almost got into deep sh*t she was the first person i called because i trusted that she'll keep a secret... when she offered to go back w me on a sat to "settle my problem", i felt v touched.

HJ: he calls me Ann Jie. a handsome clean-looking bespected boy, the kind every mother wants their daughter to bring home la. at least he is the best dressed in my dept i reckon... his shirts at least got some prints... n try to spray some cologne. the rest *yawn*. i remember a few times i was angry w people he would console me too. i still have a card from him, "ann jie, don't be angry. anger hurts liver" ha ha... his dedication to his work is also motivational... i wish him all the best in his endeavours (work wise n u know... her her...other developments *grin*)

TF: she is also a v passionate worker... she can b v funny.... at times she will stun us with something n we will all laugh until peng... like the movie ticket incident and we said she comes from mount ermei... sometimes she will jiao bian.... like when we told her milo is heaty she didn believe.. it's like duh... common sense. ha ha...

Miss L: a sweet girl with a good heart... also a work horse, i remember she told me when she first started work... she finished her work early but didn dare go home cos she saw all the seniors r still around so she stayed until v late everyday... so innocent... so cute... ha ha.

wa, i feel like i am writing e you-know-what... ha ha ha... but no BS, all real one... never sian. ha ha =)

of course, my dept in general is nice and i thank God for each of them and pray that God will bless us all w good health and good relationships so that we can be really effective in helping the people who matter to us ^^

Can't Even Sleep In Peace

AAArrrggghhhh.... i am not feeling well so I left early but lugged 4 piles of work home. washed my face, set the alarm to 4pm and plopped on my soft pillow. no air con, tucked under comforter, shiok... sio sio... i like. i fell asleep in like 0.100 sec (3 s.f.). then at 3 plus, i was jolted awake by screams from downstairs! AARgggghhh.... it's the primary school downstairs and i think the irritating kiddos r havin recess... why on earth must they scream when they play??? i didn't remember myself screaming when playing zero-point??? and i wasn't an irritating kid, i was v guai one... *pic quiet boy playing w camera* why can't they play intellectual games or something and play quietly? boy, my mum-in-law is a retired teacher. Firstly, she teaches Chinese - applaud. Secondly, she teaches in a primary school - salute. wonder how she can take it... so now i'm awake but still tired.

don't ever stay near a primary school, unless u intend to send your kid there... but sometimes they build a school near your house AFTER you have moved in like TF then u LL lor.

Food Review: Awfully Chocolate's Chocolate Cake 1*

CC and i lurve their choc ice cream so we expected the cake to be equally mind-blowing. someone gave her a belated birthday (like one month belated) cake from there and she was so excited. bought it on tue to share w us. i tried to contain my excitement but when she served me i sank my teeth in and went,
~ HA?

CC: yeah, so disappointing...

chey...

Food Review: Awfully Chocolate's Chocolate Ice Cream 5* (Katong Mall)

For those of u who have not tried awfully chocolate's chocolate ice cream (but they only have choc flavour... pls don't try to order another flavour... if u do, don't say u know me...), gosh, u r missing out man... it's truly chocolatey... i despise, detest, abhor, look down on those ice cream who call themselves choc ice cream but r only pretending to be choc ice cream with a choc content of what? 2%??? this is the real McCoy man... CC and i like the packaging... it comes in a trapeziodal box with a handle, like those chinese takeouts in the US, v cute and dainty. HJ feels it tastes like royce choc (how's that?) which CC and i agree... TF couldn't really comment cos she can't eat (she is sick poor dear) so Mrs N ate on her behalf but offered her about 0.010 g (3 s.f.)... CC also offered her one tiny pinch of ice cream... ah yo, shao dao ke lian or...

CC and Miss L went to buy it yesterday... CC tried to be discreet when we left office..

CC: Miss L and i going to buy thing *avoid eye contact*
me: buy what?
CC: buy thing la... *avoid eye contact*
me: where? can give me a lift? i'm going to church... town area..
CC: er, bu shun lu la... *avoid eye contact*
me: then can drop me at MRT station?
CC: er... think Miss L can try to detour to pass by lor...

in the car...
me: so where u buying the thing?
CC: sembawang
me: orh...
Miss L: er, i drop u at suntec can? i... missed a turn
me: *oh suntec, they buying royce for me ^^* oh ok

ah ya, i know la! but today when i stepped in CC pulled me to the fridge like a little girl who is hiding a treasure. i expected her to open the chiller to reveal royce choc but she opened the freezer instead...

CC: we bought this for u! =D
me: WA!!!!!! AWFULLY CHOC CHOC ICE CREAM! *salivate* thank you!!!! *drool*

so after lunch, CC, HJ, Miss L, Mrs N, TF and I slowly savoured the ice cream... HJ says it also reminds him of the stick ice cream with two ice cream sticks one when he was young... oh ya, i remember that ice cream... CC was concentrating on every spoonful...

when i was young my kor and i will eat ice cream then lick the plate vertically, rotate 90 deg clockwise and lick again vertically... nice... but in the office i can't, not glam... i looked at the foam cup stained w choc ice cream and felt so sa yang leh...

ke ke ke ^^

Good To Have a Friend Like U (II)

Boy, my colleagues are a funny bunch and most of the time, they're naturally funny and it's impromptu so it's hilarious... especially during this time of the year when i sit at my desk everyday doing repetitive work, feeling like a robot and with the occasional spewing of blood when i read something out of this world...

CC and i had this conversation... she was raving about her boyfriend's mum's cooking (in particular soups) so i asked,

Ann: na, ni hui bu hui zhu fan? (so, can u cook?)
CC: wo hui zhu bai fan (i can cook rice)
Ann: -.-
CC: ni wen wo hui bu hui zhu fan! wo hui zhu bai fan... *whisper* bai fan ye shi fan ma...
Ann: -.-

my colleagues...

btw TF, HJ, CC, Miss L, thanks for the awfully chocolate chocolate ice cream. =D it was awfully chocolatey... i like! =D thanks, really appreciate it. it's good to have friends like u...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Hello Kitty (II)

While I was showering, i felt a little sting in my left foot... as i examined my wounds, a thought entered my mind... when i told chris, he rolled his eyeballs until they nearly dropped off. what did i say?

~ wa dear, thankfully i wasn't wearing my ferragamos today leh...

Junk Mail

Don't u hate junk mail...? well, lately, it has got worse. i opened my letterbox today and found a pamphlet for ANDRO Cream for men with a picture of a pair of ample breasts wrapped in a low-cut red bustier in front of a feast comprising a rhino horn, sea urchins, seahorses and oysters (the usual aphrodisiacs although i didn't know sea urchins had that property...) and the message, "If these don't get your blood rushing... ANDRO cream for men, maintains youthful vitality and active lifestyle"

Ha??

It's even got pictorial representations of the "before" and "after" effect of the topical cream showing the blood vessels more than triple their size....

As though it's not enough that i get such SPAM in my email inbox everyday... "Make your girl happy!", "Bring out the man in you!" now i get them in my snail mailbox too? How did it make it's way there in the first place???? we always lock our mailbox to prevent people from slotting in junk mail... so now Singpost gives out such pamphlets too? Gosh... *roll eyeballs*

Hello Kitty!

Boy, there was some hullabaloo at my workplace this morning! There was a kitten loitering around so someone warned zoophobic Candy (Candy is a pseudonym to protect the identity of my colleague) who in particular has ailurophobia (fear of cats) and cynophobia (fear of dogs). she squirmed, "yee... got cat!" we had to gather at some place and i told her, "don't worry, i will protect u" so we walked towards that place and on the way saw a group of people looking at a kitten crouched in the cavity of the stair railings on level 2.5 and i immediately forgot my promise to Candy, bent down, cooed, "so cute!" and tried to stroke it because i wanted to catch it to give to liang tong, another colleague, who happens to be the president of cat welfare society (singapore) but i think it was startled and darted up past Candy towards our office in a flash! Candy let out a shriek and i exclaimed "gosh! it ran so fast! didn't manage to catch it" Candy stood there frozen and she cried, "ni wei shen me yao qu zhua ta?" and scooted down the stairs to the group and started sobbing, "her... her... her... her...." i was stunned *oh no, did i just make my colleague cry* "boo hoo hoo...." she burst into tears and i felt so bleddy bad... we tried to calm her down but she just kept sobbing... i hugged her... no use, stroked her arms.... no use, hugged her again.... still boo hoo.... then Pauline who saw the whole saga came over and said in her usual stern voice, "bring her back to the office." so the guilty me escorted Candy back to the office... Pauline followed, "get her some warm water?" er ok.... shoots, i have never made a colleague cry so i didn't know what to do but kept apologising... thank God Candy calmed down after a while but every time she wanted to step out to go to the toilet or something, she'd be v wary...

i texted chris
~ i made candy cry today...
" ? wat happened??"
~ there was a cat and she's afraid of cats. i tried to catch it and it ran past her so she cried
"... ..."

then at around 12 plus, we were walking along the corridor and saw ks peering through the space between the pigeonholes and the wall. i asked, "wat's up?"

ks: got cat!
ann: *peer through cavity* oh ya, the cat is here.... looks scared...
ks: i was tapping my card to go in then i saw a pair of eyes and thought, "wa, today last day of seventh month leh..."
ha ha ha...

the poor kitty was cowered there... candy ran into the office and kept reminding everyone to close the door. ks called liang tong on the phone and he came w a large box with holes so we tried to capture the kitten. Candy stayed in the office but watched through the window and i knew she was hoping that we'd catch it. LT tried to first lure it out but it didn't barge so he and ks moved the pigeonhole cabinet while i tried to catch the kitty but it darted past me (again) this time leaving a souvenir of 3 claw marks on my left foot. ouch! LT sped after it but who can outrun a cat?

so Candy made up her mind to go home ASAP but not before she made sure someone escorted her out of the building safely.

sigh, i wonder whether LT managed to find the kitty...

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Thanksgiving

Yesterday Pastor Alvin (oh this pastor is really cool... he wears a diamond ear stud... yeah, methodist pastor with ear stud hor.... and participates in triathlons... he is married w kids... hai ya... if not can ask my girlfriend to apply...) said during his sermon that it's important to note down instances that God has been good to us so that in difficult times when we read them, we'd remember God's goodness. That's very true... my memory is really failing (eh... i'm not old ok? i just have gingko nuts deficiency) and sometimes during Bible Study when we're supposed to share a thanksgiving, i simply can't whip out anything, not because God has not been good to me but rather, i've forgotten... Pastor Alvin also asked, "how many of you keep journals or blogs?" chris immediately darted his eyes at me and giggled so i sheepishly raised my hand... "it's good that you write them down..." so since i can still remember, i'd write down two such incidences:

1) ok, this is very trivial but i still want to thank God =) remember i mentioned that Cambodia food is bleh =P? well when i was at the Siem Reap airport, i asked chris,
~ dear, what singaporean food do u most want to eat when u go back?
"don't know, why?
~ i want to eat chicken rice when i go back. i miss chicken rice...
"why? why do you suddenly want to eat chicken rice??
~ i don't know, i just want to eat chicken rice...
"ok ok, go back i will eat chicken rice w u k?
and i kept thinking about my chicken rice...
then after 30 mins of being airbourne, when the air stewardess sashayed down the aisle with the trolley serving dinner, she asked in her sweet voice,
"would u like hainanese chicken rice or fish w potatoes?"
ha??? say that again??? chris was stunned... he shot a look at me,
"dear! God answered your prayer leh! they're serving chicken rice!"
wa! =)
even though people think airplane food normally sucks, i savoured every single grain of rice on that tray that evening =)PTL!

2) and today... something happened that made me a little hurt. it's been weighing heavily on my heart. there was also something that happened at work when i was away... some trouble i have to face up to tomorrow morning... that made my heart anxious... i shared w chris this afternoon but he was too sleepy so dozed off for a nap before he could offer any advice. i prayed by myself in the study and asked God to help me feel better. i didn't instantly feel better...

but then i went to my in-laws place for dinner and as usual, my father-in-law said grace and he said, "He had no servants but they called Him Master; He had no medicine but they called Him Healer... Lord, heal us, heal our hearts..." man, he was spot-on! God does work in wondrous ways ^^

Work-Life Balance

I just read an article that says Canadian researchers have found that people who engage in the arts on a weekly basis enjoy a higher quality of life than those who don't. whether it's doing needlework, painting a portrait, playing the piano or shooting photos, just get out there and do it!

hm... that's good to know =) i try to make some decent music out of my ebonies and ivories, try to keep my plants and fish alive, once a month i do floral arrangement and once a quarter i sing in church =) i'd say i lead a rather healthy and balanced life. 'tis important to take time off hectic schedules to be engaged in some form of hobby =)

Restaurant Review: The Blue Pumpkin (Siem Reap, Cambodia) 4*

The Blue Pumpkin
We found this contemporary restaurant along pub street in siem reap that serves french, italian, american and khmer cuisine at v reasonable prices. love the clean, relaxed setting and tourists will be glad to know that they provide free WiFi =) great selection of juices and home made ice cream. we were there twice for lunch and had fried wanton, stir fried veg, flat bread w salsa, stewed pork, stir fried pork w glazed pumpkin and fried rice. we like the food v much and i love the "red skin" juice, a blend of red cabbage, pineapple and green lemon. v refreshing and healthy =) the staff speak english and service is quite fast even though the shop is crowded. for about US$11-$13, u can get a satisfying meal for two (asian sizes). definitely worth a visit =)

Food: 4*
Value for money: 4*
Ambience: 4*
Service: 3.5*

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Amazing Angkor

We were on holiday to Siem Reap, Cambodia so here are some thoughts and pictures (sans Photoshop, i didn't buy it remember? ^^)

Some Demographics
well Cambodia is about 2 hours flight from Singapore and one hour behind us (i.e. when it's 8pm here, it's 7pm there). The weather is similar which means super hot on most days. when we went to Angkor Wat, it was super duper hot! the japanese and korean female tourists will wrap their faces with scarves (like ninja) and wear long sleeved blouses when they go out, to protect their silky soft fair skin. some korean aunties we saw wore hats with a scarf around it tied at the chin, like farmers.... so funny... chris refused to put sunblock (he thinks it's v gay, real men aren't afraid of the sun he says) and now has a sunburn print around his neck ending with a v-shaped front (he was wearing a polo T).

the cambodians speak Khmer and english so it's tourist friendly. it's quite safe to venture out at night on tuk tuks as long as you keep to crowded places i guess. major religions are buddhism and hinduism. we were told that most girls get married between 16 and 25. beyond 25, she'll be left on the shelf cos the guys will think she's too old. talk about "men are like wine, women like fresh milk" ha ha... most married couples have about 5 children. in the country-side, it's about 12-14! wow, how do they manage??? land in siem reap is really expensive according to the guide, about US$500 per square metre in prime areas! things there aren't dirt cheap so we didn't do lots of shopping. everything is in USD but they accept riels too. the infrastructure is not good and the roads are v dusty and v polluted. we had loads of pee sai... ha ha and i had to get a facial when we returned... but if u remain in the hotel, it's quite alright. the speed limit there is like 30kmh =P chris remarked, "wa, my dad will love it here!" ha ha, so bad...

Hotel
we stayed at the Hotel De La Paix , a small luxury hotel and while we were there, we stayed in the standard room, pool suite and spa suite... ha ha. actually we only booked the pool suite but we arrived early so we can't check in yet cos the previous guests had not checked out. they put us in the standard room to wait rather than make us loiter around (add points). from the website, it looked as though e pool is IN the suite but it's actually not...it's got a balcony that leads to the pool. on the last night we upgraded to the duplex spa suite at an extra cost of US$55. the mezzanine level has two spa beds and an open air bath tub, v nice =) but the room blacked out like 5 times and chris was so upset he told them to move us back to the pool suite. they felt so bad they didn't charge us the extra cost and let us stay in our suite til 3pm the next day =) PTL! =) u can consider Le Meridien and Raffles too as they also look good =)

Food
Well, Khmer cuisine doesn't do it for us man... the cambodians have some french influences so they incorporate that in their cooking a bit. on the first two days, the food sucked quite badly ha ha.... i asked chris,
~ dear, what if your company sends u to work here?
" do you love me enough to come with me?
~ er... but my clients need me... but if you're going to japan, i'll come w u =) so... what if your company sends u to work here?
" well, i think u may not recognise me when i go home.... i'll be too thin...
ha ha ha!
so what's so bad about khmer cuisine? hm... we feel that it's neither here nor there... neither thai nor french nor fusion... and there's always something salah about the dish, an extra ingredient, that spoils it all. e.g. we ordered chicken noodle soup (the ang mo kind) and they sprinkled it liberally with dill. i'm not a fan of dill but a small amount is ok.... they practically covered the soup with dill... =P and they put cucumber in chinese soup noodles... =P cucumber doesn taste good cooked and wet... and their sausage had poppy seeds! =P i hate poppy seeds =P the first night we had dinner at this restaurant called Dead Fish Restaurant (i know, it sounds salah right?) recommended by the hotel... their tom yam soup... well, let's just say they can't decide whether to cook tom yam gai or tom kha gai ok? =P but the hotel breakfast is quite nice... wide range of breads (love the baguette and brioche!), juices and fruits. the hot dish is prepared only upon ordering =) oh, they have Anchor beer as well as Angkor beer! ha ha ha.... i thought it's a v corny attempt to be funny but it's rather creative don't u think? ha ha ha =D better pronounce correctly hor! wait u order Anchor beer they serve you Angkor beer er! after two days of feeling we should fast, we found an excellent restaurant called The Blue Pumpkin restaurant that serves really great food at reasonable prices =) and we decided to try the roadside stalls (i told chris i brought bo chai pills) and boy, was it good =) for a meagre US$2.5-$3, u can satisfy two hungry people =) so our advice is, eat at blue pumpkin and the road side zi char stalls!

Sights
We visited Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom, Angkor Wat and the floating village on Tonle Sup Lake. Angkor Wat is quite spectacular. chris n i r still amazed at how they managed to build such a magnificent monument with only stones. yes, nothing else. no plaster, no cement. just slabs of stone that weigh at least 300-500kg EACH. the carvings display exquisite workmanship (and patience). u have to be v careful scaling it i feel... one wrong step and you die ah! ha ha...ok, i may have exaggerated...


Angkor Thom


Can you spot Chris?


An artist at work


He is quite good!


Ta Phrom


Ta Phrom is mostly destroyed by these chunky tree roots that force their way through the structures. The locals can't do much about it cos uprooting the trees may cause more damage so they are injected w a substance that impedes growth to slow down the destructive process.


The famous peaks of Angkor Wat (damn the green sheets they use to cover the restoration work!)


South Wing


One of the peaks


Another peak


Sleeping peacefully


The perilous steps of Angkor Wat. Chris n i estimate the angle of elevation to be at least 60-70 deg. it's really scary and the steps are about knee-high. so you have to crawl on all fours for better grip and balance but they also have an easier way up (and down) for tourists... a railing and half-steps in between. this lady is not me ok? i wouldn't descend this way, it's too dangerous. the correct way to do it is facing the steps... that way you don't see the height and get scared. some crazy korean men tried to scale it the "original" way i.e. without the handrail and half-steps... one even put his hands behind him and tried to walk up! i bet his thigh and calf muscles hurt like mad that night! siao! for the record, we did scale it and descend succesfully (otherwise i won't be writing this blog entry lor...)



the floating village is on a milo-coloured canal. the people basically poop, pee, bathe in that same canal... the guide said that in nov, the waters are clear and u can see right through... hard to imagine nei... ke ke ke... they also rear fish there! on the first day, chris had this dish called fish amok which is some curry dish... when i went on the boat trip on the second day... i swore never to eat fish in cambodia... when they move house, it's literally "move" house as in they (about 10 able-bodied men) carry the house and move it to another spot! ha ha, so interesting =)


Boat people in front of a floating school (the blue building)


Bath Time!


Floating Church =)


Floating basketball court


Illegal Vietnamese immigrants. you can tell from the conical hats they wear. they cover themselves not because they're afraid of being recognised (er... they're wearing the hat lor... duh...) it's because is too hot...


There's an oversupply of tuk tuk drivers in siem reap... business is so bad that they'd ask "sir, do u have any plans later?", "can i fetch u go back?"... once u step out of the hotel, they will wave at you... no need to call for cab like in singapore. chris n i don't really haggle over prices when we are there cos they are already so poor. so what if we save 1-2 dollars? it probably means more to them. so as long as they're not out to take advantage of us or cheat us, we're quite easy... =) God has blessed us in Singapore with so much... by virtue of our birth, we live a much better life. most cambodians don't get to go to university because it's too expensive. they stop after high school and start working at about 18-19. we felt saddened upon seeing a warning on our map against child prostitution... don't these people have a conscience? i feel v indignant whenever i think about it. if the time comes for us to want a kid and i can't bear children anymore, we're definitely open to adopting one of these children...

So, that's Cambodia for u =) will we go back? hm... i think i only need to see Angkor Wat once but i will go there for mission trips if there is a chance =)

Adobe Photoshop @ $19.90?

We were at best denki today and i caught sight of something that says "Adobe Photoshop" and I waved to Chris...
~ dear! adobe photoshop! can i buy can i buy? it's only $19.90!!!! original one!
"er... dear, that's the training video..."
~ oh... *quickly puts back disk and quietly walks away*
*chris rolls eyeballs*

SO PAI SEH!!!