Thursday, July 31, 2008

You are my strength

My dearest Abba Father,

You are my strength, my shield and my hope, like no other.

When things go wrong, You are always there for me. You did not create the difficult situations that I sometimes find myself in but You will lift me up and carry me through on Your shoulders.

It takes all sorts of people to make up this world.

As much as we hope to live in a perfect world, there will always be people who make things awkward or difficult for us, either deliberately or inadvertently. Sometimes we are caught in difficult situations that are not created by us.

There times when I have wished that I could turn back the clock and be a little girl again, with nothing to worry except for passing my examinations with flying colours (and perhaps whining to my Papa and Mama for more soft toys!). As I grew up and became an adult, I have a whole new set of people to deal with in the working world. It is a "dog eat dog" world out there.

No matter what, I know that You are always here for me. Your love is unfailing, stronger than the mountains, deeper than the oceans and it endures forever. I praise Your name and I count my blessings that I am Your beloved. Your love reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the sky. There is power in Your name. The fullness of Your Grace is beyond my comprehension but I am ever so thankful for it.

Your beloved daughter,

You are my Strength

You are my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like no other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace
In the power of Your Name
You lift me up
You lift me up

Unfailing love
Stronger than mountains
Deeper than oceans
Reaches to me

Your love O Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness
Reaches to the skies

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A picture speaks a thousand words

I was introduced to the world of Picasa Web Album by the 3 Musketeers on 27 July 2008.

All excited, I created several slideshows and added them to my posts of 26 July 2008 and 27 July 2008. This is so fun and addictive! Goodness me. I can feel the excitement.

Black Ninja has advised me that it is possible to add captions to the photographs in the slideshow that we create using Picasa Web Album. However, being a rookie, I have decided to take one step at a time.

I have also changed my general slideshow situated at the right hand column of my blog to the one that I created using Picasa Web Album. I did not realise as I kept uploading photographs that I added a total of about 100 photographs as a start! And as you can see, I have so far only added photographs of the most handsome Jack Russell Terrier in the world. He has a smooth white coat with no markings on his body. The brown and white markings on his face are evenly distributed. And he is the most "manja" dog around. He loves to be at the centre of everyone's attention. When he is feeling left out of a conversion, he will whine to let you know. You cannot help but fall in love with him.

In view of this, the slideshow that I created using Mom Blogger Club is now redundant. Rather than to waste it, I have embeded it in today's post.

Enjoy the photographs, my friends.


Monday, July 28, 2008

KTV night

The last KTV session that the gang had was some time ago and the one that we had this evening was long overdue.

After much cajoling, blatant hints and direct questions, BD finally took the hint and reverted last week to confirm the KTV session scheduled for this evening. Yippee! Another time of fellowship! I was looking forward to the evening.

This round, the usual members of the gang (ie. AL, AT, VW, FT, BD, SPD and I) confirmed our attendance to the KTV session. The only missing member was SR, who has left our firm.

In the office today, the gang tried to look busy at work the whole day while counting down the hours and minutes to "HAPPY HOUR".

Finally, the clock struck 6 pm and everyone perked up. Knowing looks and grins were shared. The anticipation was building up.

LSD had earlier declined BD's invitation to join the gang for KTV. In the evening, she informed me that her class scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled and as such, she was a "free agent" tonight (ie. she did not have to rush home to revise her homework for class tomorrow. Alternatively, she did not need to sing to her textbook tonight.). She asked whether she could still join us. Of course she could. I asked her to come over to our office and we could make our way to the KTV lounge from our office. She spoke to BD and a similar invitation was extended to her.

Being the shy girl that LSD is (quare: can you hear me gagging right now?), she was hesitant to join the gang and me for dinner at the cafe near the KTV lounge. As such, I asked the gang to go ahead for their dinner while I met up with LSD for dinner near my office. As we were finishing our dinner, LSD received an sms from BD. The gang had been allocated Room No. 12 at the KTV lounge. We made our way there.

As usual, there was endless ribbing and laughter as each one of us sang like chickens being slaughtered. Okay, I shall be frank. The only chicken that was slaughtered at the KTV session was me. Everyone else in the gang sang like they were practising for the next Singapore Idol competition. Sigh... What can I say? Practice makes perfect! At times, I laughed so much that my tummy hurt. Special requests were made for certain songs.

Such a pity that SR was not part of the session today. She could have sang that "mati" song that she seems to be so fond of! As usual, the gang selected songs for me. Without fail, when it came to certain songs, everyone had some form of hand action or other.

Goodness me! Why does the gang always choose songs for me that are so low or so difficult to sing? I was a 1st soprano during my choir days. Of course, it has been years since I trained my voice and I must admit that there are days recently where I did the unthinkable, ie. sang using my lungs instead of my diaphragm. Gasp! My choir instructor would have fainted at my audacity. Come to think of it, in the old days (ie. during my choir days) when we were trained to sing using our diaphragm, I had a lovely flat tummy. Nowadays, a combination of lower metabolic rate and inactivity has shown its results.

Each time I went to the toilet, I saw skimpily dressed young girls preening in front of the mirror in the toilet. Goodness me! How much combing can one's hair take? Some of the girls did not appear to be locals as they spoke in foreign tongues.

As each of us got into the groove, the air-conditioning did not seem cool enough for us. Some of the gang started using magazines to fan themselves. Not to worry! I came to the rescue. I reached into my handbag and took out the plastic Disney fan that Da bought for me from the flea market recently. The gang was amused at the fan. It seemed so childish! But hey, it was useful to hit each other with the fan as it was not painful. Well, at least when BH used the fan to hit my thigh, I did not feel any pain. AT and VW also used the fan to hit BD several times on his shoulder when he was being cheeky. It wasn't painful was it? However, we all got a bit rough and a part of the fan broke off. Not to worry. I have been hoping to get a fan made from sandalwood. I hope that Da has caught the hint!

Towards the end of the KTV session, I could barely keep my eyes open. As there were 4 of us who lived in the East area, we shared a taxi home. In the taxi, I closed my eyes briefly to rest them.

It was indeed a time of fellowship and laughter.

When we have good friends around us, the world is such a beautiful place. Keep the laughter, my friends. I thank the Lord for you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Homemade pizza and more

We are all busy people. It is so convenient to call a pizza company and ask for home delivery of pizza. Or, if we were to go to a pizza joint, there are wide varieties of pizza to select and they will make the pizza on the spot.

However, every now and then, if we can spare the time, a homemade pizza is absolutely delicious.

In the past, whenever I made pizza at home, I would buy the pizza base (eg. Sunshine pizza base) but make the tomato spread and cut the toppings. However, my good friend SC has a "sure-win" recipe for homemade pizza. Her recipe requires the use of an AMC flat pan. If you do not have such a pan, you can bake the pizza in an oven as well.


1/2 bowl fresh / low-fat milk
1 egg
1 tsp dry yeast
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of fine salt / sea-salt
1 bowl plain flour


tomato base (note: you can use paste sauce)
sliced ham (cut into squares)
sliced bacon (cut into squares)
sliced mushrooms
sliced pineapple (cut into small pieces)
grated mozarella cheese
shaved parmesan cheese


1. Mix the milk, egg, yeast, sugar and salt in a big mixing bowl.

2. Add the flour and mix till a dough forms.

3. Knead the dough.

4. Cover the dough with a wet cloth (note: remember to squeeze out as much water as possible) and leave the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.

5. Grease the inside of an AMC flat pan with butter / margarine.

6. Place the dough in the middle of the pan and use your fingers to spread out the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan and a little of the sides of the pan.

7. Cover the entire pizza base with a layer of tomato / pasta sauce.

8. Sprinkle the grated mozarella cheese liberally.

9. Add the bacon, ham, mushroom and pineapple (note: the ingredients are to be squeezed as dry as possible before placing them on the pizza base).

10. Top with shaved parmesan cheese and grated mozarella cheese.

11. Flatten the pizza so that the cooked pizza will turn out even.

12. Cover the pan with the AMC cover and cook on a low flame until the dial reaches "M". The cooking time is about 15 mintues.


If you do not have AMC cookware, you can bake the pizza in the oven as well.

Some of SC's friends and WC's nieces came over for lunch today as well.

SC made 2 pizzas for lunch. She did not follow her recipe today (ie. she did not measure the amount of flour, etc she used) and she ended up with so much dough that it was enough to make 2 pizzas!

SC's mother-in-law also cooked fried vermicelli with strips of egg, crayfish in tomato/chilli gravy (ie. similar to the kind of gravy that accompanies chilli crab dishes) and fried chicken wings.

We also had sliced cheese and wine.

It was certainly a very relaxing sunday afternoon in a rustic location like Sembawang.

I thought that this was it for today. But I was mistaken!

As we were on our way to church, we received a call from ET. It was a dinner invitation! Who would turn down an invitation to homemade laksa? I could not wait for church service to be over.

It was a most inspiring church service. The topic was that of Jesus as our bread of life. When we "eat" Jesus, He becomes our life and we become uncommon. Why do we want to lead a common life when we can lead an uncommon life? We are the best!

After church, we bought the apple crumble from Hans and made our way to ET's place. He has outdone himself again! The homemade laksa was not too spicy (which is good because I do not take chilli well). Bon appetit!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


First impressions count, do they not? However, sometimes things or people are not what they seem at 1st impression.

This morning, I requested Da to let me alight at Raffles Link on our way to the office. It is not an official working day for me, so I decided to indulge myself with a Qi Ji breakfast before going to the office to clear work. Unfortunately, Da could not join me because he was running late for work.

I ordered my usual Nasi Lemak Set 1 without chilli and a cup of coffee. As I sat down to eat, I took out my romance novel (the 7th of 8 novels that I borrowed from the library on 5 July 2008). Today is the deadline to return the books, so I guess it is unlikely that I will be able to finish reading all 8 books by today.

Seated at the next table were a young boy (playing on a laptop), a young girl (doing some homework) and 2 maids. As I observed them, the first thought that came to my mind was, "Hmmph! Another family that seems to think that it is fashionable to have 1 maid per child."

Subsequently, the parents of the 2 children joined them. The little boy turned around and stood up on the chair. As he clamoured over the top of the chair to climb onto his father's lap for a hug and a kiss, I realised that the little boy had a low IQ. Immediately, I felt contrite. No wonder the family needed 2 maids. 1 of the maids was clearly to attend to the boy's every need.

After breakfast, I took a bus and alighted at the bus stop outside the building where our office will be moving to at the end of August 2008. I took the lift up to the 7th storey and... you guessed it! I took out my digital camera and started taking photographs. I went inside the currently empty unit and managed to locate the area where my room will be situated. I felt a thrill of excitement and homecoming.

As I was about to cross the lift lobby to the other side of the floor to take more photographs, I bumped into 2 technicians employed by the Management Corporation of the building. I recognised them! They were also working as technicians in the building 3 years ago when our office used to be located at this building. They recognised me. The younger technician told me that he was aware that we will be "moving back". The older technician winked at me (as he was pulling the younger technician into the lift) and said, "Aiyoh... don't come back."

As I left the building, I did something that I had not done in 3 years. I jay-walked across the busy road. It was so much fun! Okay, call me nostalgic but I felt a sense of peace visiting our "old"/"new" office.

Well, one cannot tell 1/2 a story, can one? So, when I arrived at the building where our office is currently located, I also started taking photographs. As I alighted the lift on the level where the transfer lifts were located, the lady who was in the lift with me (and who was trying not to stare at the camera in my hand!) smiled at me and advised me to take photographs from a certain viewpoint on that floor as there is a lovely view of the sea. I thanked her and started taking photographs as though there is "no tomorrow". As I was doing so, I heard a sound behind me. Turning back, I saw the Cisco guard who is usually stationed at the front of the building in the mornings (to direct traffic) grinning at me.

Wait a minute... things come in threes, do they not? Yes, I had to take photographs of my current office. I actually have a lovely view from my room. As I have a corner room, I get the view of the city as well as the view of the sea. It is a pity that I do not appreciate the view more often.

Lunchtime! Da and I met at the Tanjong Pagar MRT station and took the train to City Hall MRT station. We then walked to Y Y Kafei Dian (yes, the famous Hainanese coffeeshop near BH's office) for lunch. It was actually a toss-up between Y Y Kafei Dian and Chin Chin Restaurant but we decided to try Y Y Kafei Dian for a change. We ordered the Special Tofu, Bittergourd Omelette and Crispy Cuttelfish with 2 plates of rice. The food was delicious. However, I find that Chin Chin Restaurant's Bittergourd Omelette is more tasty.

You will not believe this but after lunch, we continued with our teatime! I had heard rave reviews about the donuts and toasted bread buns sold at Y Y Kafei Dian, so I just had to try them. After some cajolment, Da ordered 1 donut, 1 toasted bread bun spread with peanut butter, 1 tea with evaporated milk and 1 hot lemon tea. We shared the donut and toasted bread bun. Ooh La La! I glanced around guiltily (in case other diners were staring at these 2 greedy pigs and heaved a sigh of relief when I noticed that the patrons seated at several other tables did the same thing as well).
A trip to the Bras Basah / Bugis area will not be complete without a visit to our National Library. It is located in a big building and comprises several levels. We headed for the basement level, where the fiction books are shelved. I returned the 8 novels that I borrowed earlier (I managed to finish reading the 7th novel but was not able to start on the 8th novel) and I borrowed 8 new ones! As there was time, I started reading 1 of the novels (""Anyone But You" by Jennifer Crusie) at the library. The central character in the novel is a Part Basset Hound - Part Beagle named "Fred". You will love the dog's antics! He knew how to climb down the fire escape.

All too soon, it was time to make our way to Sembawang to the home of WC and SC. Their apartment unit is located behind the area where the United States Navy house their navy personnel. As such, it is a very quiet location and very peaceful, especially in the mornings. When we arrived, WC and SC had just had dinner, so we watched their home-made DVD of their recent trip to United States of America before the 4 of us took a stroll to the nearby Sembawang Shopping Centre where we all shared some chicken murtabak and coin prata at Ah Mei's Cafe. A family at a nearby table were so fascinated at the coin prata that they leaned over and asked us for the name of the dish. It certainly lives up to its name! It is basically plain prata but made in the shape of a coin.
Have a blessed weekend, my dear friends and loved ones. Life is short and no matter what hiccups the devil throws at you, remember that the Lord loves you and He has won the battle for you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chocolate Cake

From time to time, requests have been made to me for my chocolate cake recipe.

Well, I do not wish to claim credit. The recipe actually came from my mother’s eldest sister. I merely improvised her recipe and er... made the cake more irresistible (haha... self-praise!).

So, to all of you out there who have been waiting for the recipe, here goes....


1 cup castor sugar
½ cup milk
1 ¼ cups self-raising flour
2 tbsp Hersheys cocoa powder
2 tbsp Milo powder
250g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/3 cup cooking oil
a few dashes of ground cinnamon
ground almond
chopped peanuts
mixed fruits and/or raisins


1. Dissolve the castor sugar and the milk together in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the other ingredients and beat using an electric mixer until well blended.

3. Spoon into a greased tin pan and bake at 180 degrees celsius for 30 to 40 minutes.

Most of the recipes would end at this juncture. However, I would like to share with you some tips that I have discovered over the years, through trial and error.


1. At times when I have run out of castor sugar, I have used fine sugar to make the cake. It works just as well.

2. You can use fresh milk / low fat milk. Naturally, the richer the milk, the richer the cake.

3. It would be preferable to sieve the flour and cocoa powder, especially if you have had them for some time. Otherwise, the mixture may be too lumpy.

4. You can use other brands of cocoa powder but I have tried several brands and still find that Hersheys makes the best cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

5. Although you can substitute butter with margarine, I find that a cake made using butter is more flavourful. Be sure to use a good brand of butter, eg. SCS.

6. Do not use cold eggs. If your eggs have been stored in the refrigerator, leave them on your kitchen top at room temperature for awhile before you mix the eggs. Some cookbooks advise you to beat the eggs 1 at a time to prevent curdling. You can do that when making this cake but if you add both eggs in at the same time, it should be fine as well. The more important thing is that the eggs should not be cold when mixed.

7. You can use any type of cooking oil. However, I prefer groundnut oil as it makes the cake more flavourful.

8. In addition to greasing the tin (with oil or butter/margarine), I usually either sprinkle the inside of the cake pan with flour (if I am using the disposable 8 inch square pan) or line the inside of the cake pan with baking paper (if I am using the non-disposable 9 inch square pan).

9. Depending on the age and size of your oven, you may need to adjust the baking time. I use a table-top Moulinex oven that I have had for about 10 years. Due to its age, the baking time needs to be longer. As such, I usually bake my cakes for 1 hour.


I am looking for the oreo cheesecake recipe. If you have the receipe, do share it with me! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We had a lot of fun and laughter in the office today.

We were trying to translate a sentence from English into Chinese for some clients. However, we were stumped when we tried to translate "Estate of Deceased Person" and "Estate of Mentally Incapable Person".

Everyone had a suggestion. One of my colleagues even suggested what she thought was the Teochew word for "Estate" (the dear lady apparently took the trouble to call a Teochew client to check!).

Suggestions that were discussed were:-

(a) 遗产

(b) 业主的遗产

(c) 业主的或其遗产

Each suggestion got more and more ludicrous and we could not help laughing and laughing. It was certainly the highlight of a stressful day when we had to rush documents to clients under tight deadlines.

One of my colleagues produced a Chinese-English dictionary. Goodness me! The dictionary was printed in China. Whilst I would not deny that the level of Chinese in the dictionary is in all likelihood very high, I wonder if the translator's command of English was of a sufficient level to do an accurate translation, considering that the dictionary contained translations of technical terms.

Finally, the truth was uncovered. The fact is that in our country, "Estate of Deceased Person" and "Estate of Mentally Incapable Person" is a legal entity (capable of suing and being sued) as compared to the common meaning of "estate" (ie. assets). In Chinese, whilst there is such a concept as "Estate of Deceased Person", there is no such concept as "Estate of Mentally Incapable Person". No wonder we were all stumped! Even my colleague (who is from China) was struggling with the translation from English into Chinese.

We finally settled for 业主. The finalised wording was:-

It is not an accurate translation but we had to make do in the circumstances.

This set me thinking... there are many words that are used in general terms in English but have specific phrasing in Chinese. A typical example is the word "Aunt". Our Father's sisters and our mother's sisters and our parents' female cousins are all referred to as "Aunt". However, in Chinese, they have specific titles.

The crux of the issue is - are the Chinese too fussy, having so many different phrases, or are the English too lax?

The verdict not yet out. *
* post-script: This is what you get for typing too fast and publishing the post before you proof-read. (Please see the Comments to this post.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Of myths and legends

I read in the newspapers on Sunday (20 July 2008) about a spat between 2 famous local bloggers. 1 of the bloggers has apparently sent a lawyer's letter to another blogger, claiming defamation. In the article, a person who was interviewed remarked that we should blog more about issues / thoughts (quare: reflective blogs?) instead of persons.

Having placed some thought to the newspaper article, I have decided not to talk about specific persons in my post of today. I have updates on the fiasco that happened last week and mentioned in my posts of last week. However, in line with my decision to be more general in my post today, I shall refrain from mentioning anything specific.

I am suffering a bad bout of influenza. This started since the middle of May 2008 when I was caught in a heavy rain and ended up ill. I have realised that since then, I have not fully recovered and my nose has been perpetually blocked or running for the last 2 months. I have consulted general practitioners several times and finished all my medication dutifully, to no avail. Perhaps it is time to go to the root of the problem and resort to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I woke up this morning feeling terribly under the weather. My whole body is aching due to the influenza. Had I been any saner, I should have called in sick and stayed home for today. However, as there were pressing matters to attend to in the office, I dragged myself out of bed and made my way to work.

During lunch time today, I decided to visit the clinic that is located in my office building after lunch. Goodness me! The clinic was extremely crowded and there was a long queue before me. After about 40 minutes of waiting, the doctor had only seen 3 patients. I decided to self-medicate again. I have a ready supply of Panadeine at work. Had I stayed on at the clinic and waited till my turn, it would probably have been time to go home by the time it came to my turn.

At the clinic, I could not help sneezing. This reminded me of the old wives' tale that if you sneeze, someone is thinking of you (probably the fella who admitted to someone on friday that he "sabo-ed" me on friday, plotting more rounds of "sabo". Oops.... enough of this. I did say that my post shall be general today. Besides, I have better things to concentrate on than worry about unimportant people. My time is better spent enjoying the love of Christ for me.).

Speaking of old wives' tales, there are many myths that have been told over the years. Have you heard of the belief that if your eye is twitching, someone is saying bad things about you or something is amiss?

What about the belief that if a butterfly flies into your home, you will get a visitor soon?

Other than such myths, there are also many superstitious beliefs. For example, it is inauspicious to sweep the home on the 1st day of Chinese New Year. Or, a pregnant woman should not paint her home or sew on her bed.

Is there any truth to such beliefs / myths? Why did such beliefs / myths arise in the first place?

Whilst I do not believe in such beliefs / myths, I have always behaved in a cautious manner by adopting the mantra, "Better be safe than sorry".

I know of relatives and friends who have apparently suffered the side-effects of the myths. For example:-

(a) A guy that I know has a 6th finger on one hand. His mother was apparently mending the fence while she was pregnant and she glued back a part of the fence - hence, an extra finger grew.

(b) A girl that I know was born with her tongue stuck to the lower part of her mouth. Her mother had hit a nail into an item at home when she was pregnant. When the girl was born, the relatives puzzled over what happened. Finally, a relative remembered and advised the girl's mother to remove the nail. When she did so, the girl's tongue was loosened suddenly. Today, she can speak but her speech is not very clear.

(c) A guy that I know was born with ears that seem plastered to his face. His mother had apparently played darts while she was pregnant. The family quickly removed the dart board that was hung on the wall and the guy's ears thereafter became loosened and are now normal.

What are your thoughts? Is there any truth to such myths/beliefs? Is it better to be safe than sorry?

By the way, Ah Boy, I am very sorry that you had to come to work today even though you are still having the influenza. I will not be truthful if I did not say that I am very thankful that you came to work. My appreciation to you for rushing the photocopying of the urgent documents and forwarding them to clients today. If you need Panadeine (for influenza/fever), I would be happy to pass you some! Take care and get well soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

His power is in control

Man does not live on bread alone. What, then, does Man live on?

We have a spiritual hunger that cannot be met from mortal food. Jesus is the food of our life.

Do not be influenced by people who do not feed on the Word or who jumble the Word without sorting it out. Passages in the Bible should be read in its context. There are many people who claim to be Christians and yet take the passages from the Bible out of context, thereby misleading people or striking fear in the hearts of others.

We have to get something straight up front. Grace is undeserved favour. Yes, we are all sinners. However, Jesus came to die for the sinners and the undeserving. The people who Jesus healed or saved were sinners, tax collectors, etc. We CAN receive while we are undeserving. At the Cross, Jesus received our curse and we, in turn, received His blessing.

Let us look forward to a life of blessings and favour.

We should face life with a positive expectancy of good. The Lord is the Word made flesh.

Jesus, at the Cross, became food for all of us. Let Him be our wisdom, health, redemption, deliverance, stability and faith. Let Him be our light. In Christ, all things are possible. When Christ is in us and when we are conscious of Him, we are held together.

How do we feed on Jesus? There is no nourishment in our love for God. The nourishment comes from the Lord's love for us.

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me. You love me and You died for me. When I feed on Your love for me, I experience Your power. Because You love me, Your power will supply all the needs in my life. Your power is on control of the situation.

We should not put our faith in God's love for us based on circumstances. Even when things are going wrong and we are going through a trial, we still thank God that He loves us. We do not know what is going on and we do not understand how our life has made such a turn but Jesus is in control.

Do not bother with other people's opinion of us. Other people's good opinion of us is nice but not necessary.

Regardless of what happens, I thank the Lord for loving me. Your power is in control of the situation and defending me. My life has not been smooth sailing. I do not think that any of our lives are. More often than not, I encounter obstacles in my life. I know that these are the work of the devil. I reject the obstacles in Your name and I thank You for your immeasurable love for me. I am very humbled that You know me by name.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let the good times roll

It is the weekend again!

Goodness me! I had a packed schedule today. I had earlier arranged to meet Hamtaro, Eddie and Eddy for breakfast today. We were supposed to meet at 9 am at Kallang MRT station and from there, we would take a bus to the Toa Payoh Interchange. Guess what? I was up till 4+ am the night before and as such, I struggled to get up this morning. Oh dear! I woke up at 8.30 am. There was no way I could get ready in time and rush to Kallang MRT station by 9 am. I would need to be faster than a speeding bullet to achieve this!

With a sigh of resignation, I sent an sms to Hamtaro to reschedule the appointment to 9.30 am. Notwithstanding this, I ended up rushing out of my home at 9.20 am. No prizes to you for guessing what I did next. Yes, sigh, I resorted to the age-old solution => hail a taxi!

When I finally arrived at the Kallang MRT station, I wondered whether I would be able to recognise Eddie and Eddy. I had not seen them in about 6 years. The last time I saw them, they were so young. Well, I would have to say that although I managed to recognise Eddy (who is now in primary 5), I could barely recognise Eddie (who is now in Secondary 2). The boys have grown up!

I gave the boys some Want-Want snacks that I bought from Watsons on 18 July 2008 and we boarded SBS Bus No. 31 towards Toa Payoh Interchange. We had agreed beforehand that we would have breakfast at McDonalds. May I share a secret with you? I have not eaten at McDonalds in a long time and I felt like a child being given a treat! Hamtaro, Eddie and Eddy ordered the Hot Cakes Meal whereas I ordered the McGriddles Meal. This was the 1st time that I ate the McGriddles. It is very delicious! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photograph of our breakfast (I had brought along my digital camera).

After breakfast, the boys proceeded to Popular Book Store to browse the story books while Hamtaro and I adjourned for... you guessed it! More drinks! On our way to the cafe, we passed by a law firm. I look up at the signboard and gave a shout of delight! My friend, Glamour Puss, works at this law firm! I could not resist taking a photograph of her firm's signboard. Hey, GP, we have not met up for lunch near your office yet, but at least I know where your office is now. Let's catch up soon!

The cafe that Hamtaro brought me to is located at the bus interchange. It was crowded. We found an empty table and carried out standard protocol - "chope seat".

Before you start thinking that we placed packets of tissue paper on the chairs, let me assure you that we were more professional than that. Basically, I sat on one of the chairs at our table and guarded the chair opposite me like a mother hen protecting the chick. Heaven help the person who tries to take the chair away as a spare chair for his/her table! There was an old lady sitting at the table next to us. She smiled at me and then remarked that the cleaners at that cafe do not wipe the table whenever they remove the cups/plates from the table. When I heard that, I quickly removed my arm from the tabletop and placed them on my lap. After having had Cappuccino at McDonalds, I opted for black English tea at the cafe.

Hamtaro and I had a lovely time chatting at the cafe while waiting for Eddie and Eddy to join us. She had given them 1 hour to browse the storybooks at Popular Book Store.

At the next table where the old lady (who spoke to me earlier) sat, another old lady approached the table, struggling with her coffee cup and food. I quickly took from her the coffee cup and helped her to place it on the table. It turned out that she was a friend of the 1st old lady. After the 1st old lady left, the 2nd old lady interjected at the moment when I asked Hamtaro what "YANDAO" (a Hokkien word meaning "handsome) is in Teochew (yes, I have been going around asking people this question. I was waiting to tell Hamtaro the punchline, ie. that there is no equivalent word in Teochew because all Teochew men claim that they are handsome (which, as you know, is farther from the truth. I know of Teochew men who are not handsome!), so there is no necessity for a Teochew word for handsome). She said that the word is "nia", which means "good looking". However, according to her, there is no Teochew phrase for "good looking man" or "good looking woman". Instead, the Teochews would say, "That man is good looking." or "That woman is good looking.". Fascinating....

Alas... all too soon, the outing with Hamtaro, Eddie and Eddy was over. We took a bus back to Kallang and I boarded the MRT train to meet Da at Kembangan MRT station. We went to a coffeeshop at Jalan Tua Kong for lunch. If you have not tried the food there, you should. It is not the coffeeshop at the beginning of Jalan Tua Kong. You will need to drive further in. It is after you go past Elite Terrace.

When we got home, my exhaustion caught up with me and I took a quick nap before we went out again, this time to meet WC and SC at Odeon Towers for dinner. We had not yet decided where to eat yet. We only agreed to meet at the lift lobby.

When we parked our car at the basement carpark, I noticed the car that was also parked at the same carpark the last time that Da and I took Da's nieces to Hanabi Japanese Restaurant at Odeon Towers for dinner. Yes, it is the "Pokemon car"! I think the owner of the car must have a fondness for Pokemon, to spray the entire car with Pokemon images. If you look closely at the dashboard, you will also see Pokemon figurines and soft toys displayed neatly in a row. This reminds me of something. Years ago, I had a client who bought her young daughter to our office. The daughter was holding a soft toy. I smiled at the child and said, "Pokemon". She looked at me in disdain and said, "No. Pikachu!" Goodness me! How was I to know that "Pokemon" is a generic word for the character and that each character has its own name? I guess it is something like "Smurf". You have "Papa Smurf", "Baby Smurf", etc.

As you would have probably guessed by now, we ended up eating at Hanabi Japanese Restaurant. The restaurant was very crowded and we were fortunate to be allocated a table when we arrived. WC and SC had just returned from a 3-week trip to United States of America and they brought along a laptop containing digital photographs taken during the trip. We had a lot of fun looking at the photographs. The West Coast of the USA is certainly very scenic. It brought back fond memories of the times when my family used to visit the West Coast of USA in the 1980s and my father would rent a car and drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The coastal drive is very beautiful. I would encourage you to visit the West Coast of USA. If you are not comfortable doing it "free and easy", by all means do sign up for a packaged tour.

As usual, we were too enthusiastic and over-ordered the dishes at Hanabi Japanese Restaurant. SC was busy ordering various hand rolls when the waitress who was taking our order looked at her in shock and remarked, "That is a lot of rice.". It turned out that the waitress was correct. We ended up with so many hand rolls that we got full quickly and struggled with the rest of the dishes! Having said that, it was a very enjoyable dinner and we were happy to catch up with WC and SC. We had not seen them for some time. We even discussed arranging for a gathering of "the gang" (WC, Da and several other guys have been friends / schoolmates since primary school / secondary school). I look forward to that.

After dinner, we all had an attack of "msg overload". We decided to adjourn for after-dinner drinks. I suggested the Y Y coffeeshop located at Purvis Street and we proceeded there.

When we arrived, I saw a couple at another table eating toasted bread spread with peanut butter. My favourite! It looked so mouthwatering and I was so tempted to order it. However, I was so full from the dinner that I reluctantly settled for a hot drink. I have to say that their coffee is rather strong.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and to renew acquaintances. I thank the Lord that my life has been so blessed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Generation Y

Yesterday, I had a coffee session with some friends. A big part of the discussion centred on the "Y Generation" and how the younger generation nowadays have become soft. One of them remarked that the younger generation are not as motivated as, say, our generation. He also said that when you assign work to them:-

(a) they will bargain with you as to the deadline for them to submit the work;

(b) they expect you to furnish them the answers or let them know precisely where they can obtain the answers;

(c) they are not prepared to stay back after office hours to finish up the work; and

(d) they will not hesitate to push the work away to others to do for them.

What do you think, my friend? Is there such a thing as a "Y Generation"? It seems that there is a newspaper article about this. Unfortunately, I do not remember coming across such an article.

In any event, does it not depend on the upbringing of the person? Why should it be that the current generation is different? No doubt, this is the age of technology and the internet, but virtues like diligence, respect for seniors, etc are something that are time in memorial and should not dissipate like the ozone layer.

Abba Father, I am amazed how much You love me and how You always hear my cry! It is now past midnight and I have just received the Daily Devotional from the church. How coincidental can it be, that the following passage appeared in the Daily Devotional:-

"Blessed Wherever You Are
Perhaps you work in a non-Christian company and your boss sometimes mistreats you. But God can still bless you in spite of your boss. You get blessed because you believe God for it. It has nothing to do with your boss or the company.
Why then don’t you seem to see the blessings?
My friend, I want you to believe and confess that you are blessed because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, not because you are of a certain race or work in a certain place.
It does not matter where you work or live, what colour your skin is or what you do for a living. If God blesses you, you are blessed! And it is all because of Jesus. So say to yourself, “I am blessed wherever I am — blessed in the city, blessed in the country!”

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fool that I am

(CAUTION: The post of today is rated "MA". Kids - please skip today's post if you find the topic too serious for your reading consumption. I will have more interesting posts another day to tickle you. May the Lord bless you richly.)

I have been told more than once by several people that I am too soft-hearted and too obliging.

It is now past 6 pm on a work day and I am sitting at my chair, realisation dawning on me that there are people out there who will not hesitate to take advantage of my kindness.

I love to teach. It comes naturally to me. I do not find it a waste of my time to coach someone if that person is willing to learn. I once had a tuition student who was very intelligent. However, she expected answers to drop from Heaven.

Over the years, I have had numerous tuition students and I have trained many younger colleagues at work. I realise that a lot depends on the trainee. He/she has to be willing to learn. It must come from within himself/herself. I can nag him/her till I turn blue in the face and the person may not improve if he/she does not have that desire in his/her heart. I do not believe in forcing knowledge upon a person. For myself, I have always taken the attitude that I am interested to learn more. Perhaps that is why I get very excited when I get to handle complicated files that colleagues balk at handling. I must be crazy, eccentric or simply love learning.

There are 2 type of people - those who can see the forest and those who can only see the trees. I have realised that if a person is the sort who can only see the trees, it may not be possible to train him/her to see the forest as it is an inbuilt ability. However, it does not mean that such a person is condemned. The way to get around it is to let him/her handle work that is within his/her ability. Please note that this is a different scenario from one where a person has the ability but not the knowledge. In such a case, I would urge that the person push himself/herself to learn more and to improve his/her skills. The world is big and the sky is the limit. No, let me correct myself. There is no limit. For every mountain that you climb, there will always be a higher mountain. Do you want to strive to improve? Or do you want to remain within stagnant waters?

There comes a point when it is simply not right that I am taken advantage of and I am being made used of (at the expense of the time that I could have spent doing my own work) by someone to coach another person. I am made to attend their meetings. To what purpose? It is not my file and I am certainly not the one who will be doing follow-up work or getting the billing credit. A lot of my time is taken by me to explain and guide. What am I? A tuition centre?

Have you ever had colleagues or friends who seek you out to get information / guidance from you and once they achieve their aim, they run off faster than a speeding bullet, leaving you to wonder what just hit you?

Is this regarding billing? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I know that I am not given billing credit for such files that I am somewhat "involved" and yet "not involved" in. Frankly speaking, such billing is not important to me.

I do not wish to be nit-picky and kick a fuss about small matters. "Do not sweat the small stuff", remember?

Yesterday, I was advised to "put my foot down" and take a stand when I was being taken advantage of. I could not bring myself to do it. Although I whined to my friend about what happened, at the end of the day, I let go.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He ain't heavy, he's my brother

Surprise, surprise!

I was trying to look busy at work (I was actually doing some research on the internet for a file that I was handling. How nice to take a break from paperwork!) when my secretary came to my room and said that my brother is at our reception counter. I looked up in surprise. "Brother?", I said. I was not sure whether the receptionist was joking. I have 2 biological brothers but there are several guys whom I call "brother". As such, I was not sure whether it was my biological brother or one of my "brothers".

I left my room and went to the reception counter. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw my younger brother smiling at me. He told me that he happened to be in the vicinity and took a chance by coming to my office, intending to ask me out for lunch!

Of course I was available. Who would forego a free lunch?

As my brother is not familiar with my office area, I suggested either the nearby hawker centre or the nearby Hans. In my heart, I was chanting, "Hans, Hans, Hans". He shrugged and said, "Anything.". How typical of guys. Sigh. As such, without further ado, I led the way to Hans (where else?).

We ordered a set lunch each. My brother ordered the pork chop whereas I ordered the Alfredo linguini with ham. He seemed to enjoy his pork chop. As for me, I thought that there was too much ham in my spaghetti dish. I could not finish my lunch. The garlic bread was rather oily as well. I could have made nicer garlic bread with my homemade garlic spread. Ahem!

Come to think of it, this is the 1st time that I am having lunch alone with my brother. The other times when we have eaten together, it has always been with family. I didn't realise that we had so much to chat! When you eat with family, it's usually "family talk". Today, we were rather intellectual and discussed the current market conditions, etc. Fascinating!

All too soon, we felt the pressure to finish up quickly and leave as there were other customers standing around, probably waiting to place their packets of tissue paper on our table. We ate our dessert (a slice of watermelon each) and left. I showed my brother the way back to SGX Centre and we parted ways for the day.

Brother, I had a wonderful lunch with you today. Thanks for the treat! Let's do this again soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Have you ever heard of the phrase "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus"? Sometimes, when a man says something, the woman who hears it may hear something different, and vice versa.

For example, when the wife tells the husband, "Nothing." when the husband asks her what is wrong, be forewarned that it is in actual fact not "nothing". Something is brewing.

Similarly, when a female says "no", she sometimes doesn't mean "no". She's just being polite.

The same can happen between parents and their children. It is not easy bringing up children. There is tremendous stress for the parent, especially when the child is of school-going age. It has been years since the parent is in school and as such, sometimes the parent does not understand the stress that the child is going through in school. Herein lies the problem. The child is stressed out from school whereas the parent is stressed out from making ends meet and raising the child. Invariably, there may be occasions when tempers fly and words are said that end up hurting the other party where the person saying those words may not mean it in the way that the recipient hears it.

For example, when a parent says to the child in frustration, "I do not understand how I could have given birth to you.", the child interprets it as the parent regretting the birth of the child. However, it could be a case where the parent is frustrated at something that the child has done wrong and is merely venting his frustration.

Parents have to learn to be more mindful about the sensitivities of the child and remember that the child may interpret what the parents say in a different manner from what the parent intended to say.

Children, on the other hand, should understand the difficulties that parents go through raising the children in a fast-paced society which places a lot of emphasis on paper chase and also struggling to make ends meet in a country where inflation is continually on the rise but salaries do not seem to increase in tandem.

Enough of insights for one day....

LSD has just given me some tips on formatting of my posts. Thanks, girl.

Hi Eddy,
(a) I have a feedback regarding your blog. When you type your post, please click on the button that says "Justify Full". That way, your text will not be centralised. For a sample of what a "Justify Full" post will look like, please see today's post of mine (as compared to yesterday's post).
(b) I understand that you logged onto msn after I logged out last night. Such a pity because I was hoping to chat with you. I hope that we will have the opportunity to chat via msn tonight. However, please remember that school comes first, so please finish your homework before you ask your Mummy for permission to log onto msn.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reflections and frivolous thoughts

I have been told that my posts lately have been very reflective and the reader needs to interpret what I am trying to say.

I think that there are days where I reflect upon events that have occurred and I have thoughts on the matter that I would like to share. A blog is a good place to pen down one's thoughts. This is why I encourage Supercute, Black Ninja and Eddy to write a post daily in their respective blogs. Their posts may start out like a typical diary, that is, they write about what happened that day. However, they will find that as time goes by, there will be times when their posts are more reflective instead of narrative. It is good for them to be reflective. It shows that they are thinking about events in their life. Boys, do not worry that your grammar is not perfect initially or that you do not use powerful vocabulary in your posts. It is more important that you make the effort to write in proper sentences and use proper English. Do not be reluctant to check the dictionary.

When I was growing up and I came across words that I was not familiar with, my mother always refused to tell me the meaning when I asked her. Instead, she would say her usual refrain, "What's the dictionary for?". As time went by, I got used to checking the dictionary and by-the-by, my vocabulary improved. I know that your school curriculum is very hectic but I would urge you to read as many English story books as you can and if possible, attempt as many English assessment books as you can. You will never know what you pick up subconsciously. Many a time have Da and I been pleasantly surprised by the vocabulary used by Supercute and/or Black Ninja. It turned out that Da or I had used such a word or phrase before. At the point in time when we used the word or phrase, it was as part of a conversation and not intended to be an English lesson for them. However, their young minds have subconsciously absorbed the word or phrase and they have since applied what they have learned. Never be afraid to ask what a word or phrase should be in English. That is how you learn.

Now, onto something more frivolous lest it be said that I am too reflective again. On saturday (12 July 2008), Big Foot suggested that I don a school uniform to work today and stand near the reception counter to see how many of my colleagues can recognise me in my new hairstyle. Alas, I have disposed of my school uniforms. I contacted my little sister (LSD) and asked her to come to the rescue. Unfortunately, although she claims to be 10 years younger than me (and Ah Wen being even younger than that!), she does not have any more school uniforms. Oh well, at least I asked. In the end, I decided to wear a purple blouse that I bought from Isetan Katong over the weekend (LSD - it cost around S$16 after discount. It's very comfortable!) with a black flared skirt that I bought from Bangkok (the skirt cost me 200 baht) in May 2008.

As things turned out, my colleagues had no difficulty recognising me although I had to put up with some good natured ribbing at work.

LSD has informed me that she has been thinking of doing something to her hair. I have suggested that she rebond her hair and cut it shorter (ie. to shoulder length). She replied that she would look fat in rebonded hair. Ah Wen, what are your views on this? Will BH look more like, er, a "bh" if she were to rebond her hair?

LSD's Papa has reminded me about the Three Elephant soya sauce from Muar. He says that he is ready to make his famous popiah and is only lacking the soya sauce. Hi Uncle, have patience. My Mama is checking with her 2nd sister in Muar about this special sauce. I hope to have good news for you soon.

By the way, to all my friends out there, do you know of anyone who is able to give English tuition to a primary school boy? If so, do let me know. Thank you very much.

Goodness me! My room in the office has recently become:-
(a) complaint corner;
(b) consultation room; and
(c) tuition centre.
I do not know what else it will become. There are days when a queue forms outside my door! I once overheard a staff saying, "OK. Next!" as he left my room. I did not know whether to laugh with amusement or to duck my head in shyness.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A letter to Eddy

Hi Eddy,

I read your post today and I have left a long comment.

As promised in my comment, here is the story of my journey with the Chinese language.

My family speaks only English at home. My father learned only English in school. My mother, having grown up in Malaysia, learned English and Malay. With such a background, you can imagine how much my brothers and I struggled with the Chinese language in school. My mother recalls that I used to cry as I did my Chinese homework as I found it a chore and extremely torturous.

How did I manage to pass my Chinese language examinations in school? Looking back with hindsight, it was indeed a miracle and by the Grace of God.

By the time I reached junior college, my past caught up with me. I failed my AO level Chinese in my 1st year of Junior College. Back then, if you did not pass your 2nd language, you are denied entry to the local universities. I panicked when I got my results and I started to memorise Chinese proverbs. I got so good at memorising the Chinese proverbs that I was able to score almost full marks for the multiple choice questions when I retook my Chinese language examinations in the 2nd year of my Junior College. I managed to pass my Chinese language examination this time round.

Yippee, right? Wrong. I sat down and reflected on my life when I got my examination results. I may have passed the examination but could I speak Mandarin properly? The answer was "no".

I made a conscious decision that day to improve my command of the Chinese language. I started to speak in Mandarin to hawkers, taxi drivers, anyone who was willing to listen to my mangled Chinese. Initially, no one understood what I was speaking. I even had hawkers ask me, "Miss, what exactly do you wish to order?". It was an uphill task for me but I did not give up.

Today, I can speak Mandarin (although not as fluent as my friends) and I am happy to say that I can converse with my clients in Mandarin. They can tell that it is not my 1st language but they appreciate the effort that I make to speak to them in a language that they are comfortable in. At the office, I have little post-its stuck to my computer monitor. Written on the post-its are hanyu pinyin words Chinese phrases that I use often at work. I have reached the stage where I no longer need to refer to the post-its when I am on the telephone with a client.

My regret is that whilst I made the effort to improve my spoken Mandarin, I did not do the same with my written Chinese. I can barely read and write Chinese now.

Do not make the same mistake as I did.

I am happy that you are making the effort to improve your English. You have to remember that English is the 1st language over here and it is also the language of commerce. Even if you do not think that it is an important language now, when you grow up and go out to work, you will realise that it is indeed such an important thing to be able to speak and write proper English. Much as we hate to admit it, our society places a lot of emphasis on qualifications.

You are an intelligent boy and you can do it. Persevere and you will see results. Do not be ashamed to ask when you do not know. I have had more than 1 person laugh at me when I was (and I still am) trying to improve my Mandarin. At the end of the day, the winner is yourself.

Pebbles Auntie

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sweet sixteen

I woke up this morning with a feeling of anticipation. The day I waited an entire week for is here at last! What is so special about this day, you may ask. Well, I decided at the beginning of this week that I shall go to the hair salon today to rebond my hair. Each day, I waited with impatience for the end of the day so that the next day can arrive and I am one day nearer to saturday.

Oh! What a wonderful day! The weather was superb when I woke up. The birds were chirping and the sun was not very hot. It was a perfect morning.

I initially hummed, then sang at the top of my voice, as I got ready to go out. Da had gone to work earlier (I did my usual "5 more minutes" routine when he tried to wake me up. He sighed, rolled his eyes, and then made his way to work.).

After I changed into my jeans (that I bought from Sant Rolane in Singapore) and t-shirt (that I bought from Perth last year), I put on my "war paint" (ie. my skincare routine). An inspiration came to me when I was done. I decided to "do the Karen Cheng". Who? Recently, the newspapers reported about a Chinese woman who grew up in Australia and who still lives in a suburb in Australia. She has 2 young sons. To save on money, instead of buying the clothes that she tried in the shops, she took digital photographs of her wearing those clothes while she was in the fitting room. However, unlike the famous Karen Cheng, I was woefully inadequate with the digital camera when I tried to take a photograph of my curly hair.

If you are wondering where this is all leading to, you got it! I wanted to take "before and after" photographs of my hair.

In the end, I struggled with the digital camera while attempting to take a photograph of the back of my head. I tried to take the photograph using my reflection in the mirror but was not successful. I had to twist my arm behind me and take a photograph with the camera behind me.

Dissatisfied with the photographs that I took but unable to do better, I made my way to Parkway Parade. Da had thoughtfully left the car keys on the dining table, so I drove to Parkway Parade. As the rebonding would take several hours, I decided to park the car at the multi-storey carpark next to NTUC in Marina Parade. Goodness me! At 10+ in the morning, the carpark was almost full! I kept dirivng round and round the carpark, to no avail. Just when I was about to give up and make my way down the carpark (with the intention to park at the carpark at Parkway Parade), I spied several empty lots on the top floor of the carpark. Glory be! I parked the car and made my way to Parkway Parade.

A few years ago, I signed up for a package of 8 session at Jean Yip hair salon in Parkway Parade. How it works is that each time I go there for hair treatment, etc, I use up 1 of the sessions. As I approached the front desk of Jean Yip hair salon, I made a decision on the spot to highlight my hair as well.

A male hairstylist attended to me. Although he said that he has been working with Jean Yip for about 3 years, he seemed to be experienced (perhaps he had worked elsewhere before Jean Yip) and he gave me some tips on hairstyle as well as what kind of highlights to have (I left the colour of the hairdye to his discretion but requested that he not select the blonde hairdye). He cautioned me that the whole session would take about 4 hours. Not to worry! I came prepared with a romance novel.

LSD sent me an sms while I was about to doze off at the hair salon. She had just woken up and she asked how my rebonding was coming along. We exchanged several sms-es.

After about 4 1/2 hours (yes, the hairstylist exceeded his time limit!), the moment of truth came. He finished blow drying my hair and he brought a handheld mirror to reflect the back of my hair. I waited with bated breath. I took a look at the reflection of the back of my head in the mirror and nodded in approval. He had done a great job!

In case you are wondering why the title of this post is "SWEET SIXTEEN", it is because I asked the hair stylist to make me look sixteen. When I told LSD this, she replied to ask me whether the hair stylist recommended that I go for surgery instead. grrrrr!

As I left, I met up with Da (who had arrived at Parkway Parade by then) and met up with him for a late lunch at the food court. On impulse, I took out my digital camera as well as my mobile phone and took photographs of Da. Then, naturally, I casually asked him to take my photograph as well. haha! I forwarded my photograph (that was taken using my mobile phone) to LSD via mms. There was no immediately reply. "Oh well", I thought, "sometimes mms are unsuccessful."

As we were eating at the food court, my mobile phone rang. It was Popcorn! He invited Da and I to his place for dinner. For the uninitiated, Popcorn is the Papa of the 3 musketeers. Aha! Does the name ring a bell now?

As Da was parking our car at the multi-storey carpark at Popcorn's place, I spotted Big Foot (ie. the 3 musketeers' god-grandpa cum golf coach) parking his car. I stopped and waited for him to alight the car. He got out, saw me, then looked puzzled why I was smiling at him. Then he turned his head and saw Da. Recognition dawned. He greeted us and told me that he could not recognise me in my new hairstyle! He even said that I look younger with this hairstyle. (yes, I am such a glutton for flattery...)

Dinner was fantastic! Popcorn had outdone himself again! He is an excellent chef and cooks mouthwatering dishes every time. As you can see from the photograph on the left, we had delicious steamed fish, assam cuttlefish, broiled green vegetables, chicken / potato / carrot soup and Indian rojak for dinner. Bon appetit!

After dinner, I was restless as I could not wait to type my post for today. Supercute was watching "Bourne Identity" on Channel 5. When he left the room, Popcorn asked me whether I wanted to watch any DVD. I requested to use the computer. As I started typing my post, Supercute came to join me and he wanted to create a blog also. Here is his blog address - Do check it out. Lately, he has been playing a computer game called "Maple Sea" and he is crazy about it. I expect his blog to be full of his comments and experiences playing "Maple Sea".

Gasp! LSD has just sent me a sms. It seems that she received the mms from me after all and she showed it to her Mama. Thank you, Mama of BH, for your complimentary remarks on my new hairstyle. Let's meet up for coffee soon, okay? My treat!

Nining looks very pretty today. She kept smiling each time I took out the mobile phone or digital camera, every ready to smile for the camera! Pretty girl, you will break a young man's heart some day.

Popcorn has just received a telephone call from Black Ninja. The National Day rehearsal has ended. As Popcorn and Tiki go to fetch their son, I shall take a break from this post and let Supercute continue with his blogging. Have a blessed weekend!

(Comment: in case you are wondering why I have not mentioned Black Ninja in my post, it is because he is watching the National Day rehearsal. I believe that Eddy is over there as well as I checked his blog and he has not posted for today.

Black Ninja & Eddy - I wait with anticipation for your post. I hope that you will write about the National Day rehearsal and your thoughts about what you saw.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

An exciting day


I am looking forward to tomorrow. I intend to go to the hair salon tomorrow to rebond my hair. Hopefully, with rebonded hair, my friends will stop calling me names like "poodle", "Princess Leia", etc. haha! No offence taken, my friends...

I was thinking that after I rebond my hair, I shall let my hair grow long again. Before long, the hair will start to curl again when the effects of the rebonding wear out. By then, I would have lovely long flowing and wavy hair. Ooh la la! Will I look like one of the heroines on the cover of romance novels? I wait in anticipation.

It is LSD's company's dinner and dance ("D&D") today! She has just forwarded to me a photograph of her wearing a black tank top and pink flowery shorts. KAWAII (ie. Japanese for "cute")! Do not worry - the theme of her D&D this year is not "beach party". She will be wearing a pink kimono over her beach attire. Girl - have a wonderful time at the D&D and I hope that you end up on stage with FL. Will FL kiss Ah Girl? Will FL do a slow dance with Ah Girl? Will FL and Ah Girl sing "SAKURA"? The plot thickens.....

Gasp! I have just realised something. If LSD is wearing a black tank top beneath her pink kimono, it means that the 2 tubes that I bought for her are both too tight! BH has lived up to her name again.

My friend has just asked me to check out her son's blog and to leave comments. Her son is trying to improve his command of the English language. I have added the link to Eddy's blog ( in my blog. Do check it out. I have read his posts and left a comment today. It is heartening that he is making an effort to express himself via a blog. For so long as he makes a conscious effort to write his posts in proper English, it will not be long before his command of the English language improves. Writing posts in one's blog is akin to writing a diary.

There will always be ups and downs in life. Let us learn to "let live and let go". All things will work out for the best in time. Have faith.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I was chatting with LSD on msn last night when she asked me to check something in my gmail inbox. I logged onto gmail. Lo and behold, I was prompted that my Mama is online! I started to chat with her using gmail chat as well.

The interesting thing is that my Mama knows LSD as well because LSD's Papa is an excellent chef and has fed us delicious food from time to time (eg. popiah). I told LSD that my Mama was on gmail chat. I told my Mama that LSD was on msn.

Do you know what happened? I ended up being the post-box between LSD and Mama! Whatever message LSD wanted to pass to my Mama that LSD mentioned on msn, I repeated it to my Mama on gmail chat. And vice versa.

I told my Mama that LSD's Papa is looking for the Three Elephant brand of soya sauce that is sold in Muar, either in glass bottles or plastic bottles. My Mama replied to tell LSD to tell her Papa that his popiah tastes nice on its own. LSD cleverly replied that it would taste nicer with this brand of soya sauce. My Mama fell for the trick - hook, line and sinker! She pondered over LSD's request, then told me that she has not heard of this brand but will check with her 2nd sister (my aunt) who lives in Muar! heehee.... I shall keep my Mama in suspense until she and my aunt realise that they have been taken for a ride! haha!

Goodness me! The power of the internet.

After awhile, I suggested to my Mama to sign up for msn. She gave all sorts of excuses about how she is not good at using technology, etc. I knew where this was all leading. My dear mother wants us to set up the msn for her. heehee....

After quite a bit of chatting and ribbing, my Mama started hinting that she wanted to go to sleep. She sent me a message, "Why are you still awake at this hour?". Oho! Blatant hints! I made the mistake of telling her that the night was still young (which is okay) and that in any event, my hair was still wet (oh... big mistake! Never let your mother know that you washed your hair so late at night without blow drying it!). She started her, "Didn't grandma tell you not to wash your hair so late?" routine. Sigh, my dear mother... :)

My Mama is loads of fun. She is a wonderful person with a great sense of humour. She is a good travelling companion as she is very sporting and willing to try new things / food. When I went on a Bangkok trip in May 2008 with my Mama, my grandaunt and my brother's girlfriend, we all had Iced Coffee everyday while in Bangkok! It was the first time that I was travelling with my grandaunt (who is in her 70s) and I discovered to my pleasant surprise that she is very fun to hang out with! We started talking about going on future trips together. My dear grandaunt is now hooked on going to Korea. She kept asking when the Korea trip will be!

Sometimes we clash with our parents when we perceive that they are holding on too tightly to us. By and large, we should learn to let go. They behave like this because they love us a lot and they only want the best for us. It is only when their possessiveness creates conflicts (eg. with our other half) that we should talk to our parents and explain the situation. We need to stand firm and always be the shield between our parents and our other half. Never let our other half be in the direct line of fire. This is wrong and creates unnecessary pain and conflict.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Laughter is the best medicine

Ho, ho, ho! As they say, laughter is the best medicine. No matter what trials and tribulations we have to go through, we have to remember to "let live and let go" and see the lighter side of things.

It was raining cats and dogs when I got up this morning. I peered at the dark sky and tried to do my usual "5 more minutes" routine with Da. I was not so fortunate this time. He saw through my attempt at trickery. Reluctantly, I crawled out of bed and staggered to the bathroom to get ready for work. As we left the house, the 3 kids in the unit opposite us were at the door. The 2 older boys were getting ready to go to kindergarten / nursery while the little one had one of those fever patches on his forehead (I guess he was under the weather) and his face was scrunched up, ready to burst into tears any minute. The 2 older boys greeted me when they saw me and they started chatting with me while I waited for Da to lock up the main door and grill. Ah... It is such a joy to chat with little kids. They have such a refreshing way of looking at things. We should be more like children - sometimes, things do not have to be so complicated.

We have been busy at work lately. In addition to the usual day to day work to be rushed, our staff have been busy doing warehousing as we shall be moving office soon. Goodness me! As we clear our cupboards and drawers, we discover a lot of things that we either did not realise we had or things that we thought were misplaced. I found a textbook that I referred to in 1995! After so many years, it is unlikely that I would refer to it again (since I did not even realise that I still have it), so into the disposal bin it goes....

LSD has given me feedback to the effect that my posts have been very convoluted recently as she needs to decipher the hidden meanings in my posts. My dear! I was a literature student. We thrive on interpreting things that we read! Ah... Shakespeare! Wherefore art thou?

As a follow-up to my post of yesterday, LSD and I met for lunch at Hans today. We had a lovely lunch eating... what else? LSD's favourite sandwich (fried egg and bacon with toasted wholemeal bread). I decided to join the club today and order the same sandwich as her. As always, there was a lot of ribbing and good natured teasing during the lunch.

I handed to LSD the 2 pink tubes that I helped her buy yesterday. We started cracking jokes about the tubes, her company's coming dinner & dance, etc and somehow I ended up mentioning the song "DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME". Subsequently, LSD sent me a message to ask what brought about the mention of that song (as she could not remember). Come to think of it, I cannot remember either.

Goodness me! LSD has just sent me a sms to say that she has a feeling that both tubes may be too tight for her. No prizes for guessing where it will be tight. Now girl, breathe deeply and squeeze into the tube. It'll fit because it is stretchable!

We are all creatures of habit and we tend to want to do things our way. I am no different. Over the years, I have learned to be more flexible and I try to agree to things done in a different manner (ie. I am open to suggestions) if it does not prejudice the client, etc. However, every now and then, I fall into my old habits and while I do not openly stomp my foot and say, "I want it done MY WAY", you can almost hear Old Blue Eyes (ie. Frank Sinatra) singing his famous song in the background when the staff end up doing the work my way. heehee....

Ah Boy's Da Jie and Er Jie are going away tomorrow on a getaway to Bangkok and will only be back at work on 15 July 2008 (Tuesday). Have a lovely time, ladies! Don't forget to buy us lots of souvenirs and snacks! I am especially partial to the snacks that contain pork floss (hint! hint!).

When I met Da at the MRT station on our way home, he told me that he did not have lunch today because the new notebook arrived at his office today and he and his colleagues were busy setting up the notebook, etc. I suggested going to Ho Kee Pau near Aljunied MRT station for dinner. He agreed. As we alighted from the MRT train at Aljunied MRT station, I glanced around and asked whether the famous beef hor fun shop is nearby. He replied, "Within walking distance". We decided to change our dinner venue. Goodness me! His idea of "walking distance" is far-fetched! We were at Lorong 20+ Geylang whereas the famous beef hor fun shop is at Lorong 9 Geylang! However, in the end, I did not feel fatigue from the walk to the shop. Why? Read on.....

Along the way, we had to walk past many shops as well as music lounges. I saw many women of the night loitering outside the music lounges. They did not look young. Are they the infamous "study mamas"? I do not know. Seated at the dinner tables along the way were such women. Almost every table had at least 1 such woman seated there. Some tables had several of such women, sitting there, presumably waiting for "customers". As we walked past a music lounge, I overheard a man bargaining with a China woman, who said "Fifty dollars" in Mandarin. I was tempted to slow down my steps in order to listen to the bargaining process. A thought crossed my mind - did she quote $50 per hour? $50 per session? $50 per night? Is this the market rate for China women? I remarked to Da in English, "$50? Is that per hour?" He shook his head at me in disbelief that I could ask such a question and he continued walking.

It was certainly an eye opener. Usually, when we go to Geylang for dinner, we would park near the restaurant / coffee shop. This is the 1st time that we walked past so many roads en route to the shop selling beef hor fun. I was very amused.

By the way, if you eat beef, do check out the famous beef hor fun shop at Lorong 9 Geylang. The beef is very tender! We ordered 1 plate of beef hor fun (for 2 persons) and 1 plate of broccoli fried with dried mushrooms and carrots. At $10 per dish and an additional $1 for 2 wet towlettes, our dinner cost us $21, excluding the cost of 2 drinks (1 Chinese tea and 1 English tea). It was a very satisfying meal and worth walking all the way from Aljunied MRT station. Incidentally, Kallang MRT station is nearer to Lorong 9 Geylang but if you come by that way, you would have missed out on all the action along the way. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Life is funny. Things sometimes go wrong and get you down. Just when you keep chanting the mantra "what goes round, comes round" but in your heart, you wonder whether there is justice in the world, things happen that surprise you and the phrase "poetic justice" comes to mind. In fact, I used the phrase several times today, much to my own surprise. I even had a good laugh with some colleagues about it today.

LSD @ BH was whining to me today that she is bored, bored, bored. She also did not want to go home early today. To entertain the dear girl, I suggested that she come to my office this evening to chit-chat.

LSD arrived after work (note: she has kindly informed me that she did not come to my office directly from work and that she diverted for dessert first. tsk, girl! Think of your figure!) and she sat down in the spare chair in my room and we chatted. Goodness me! Many colleagues came by my room to chat with LSD. LSD even witnessed first hand how YH is more tame nowadays.

I have learned the secret to making myself popular - have LSD sit in my room. Suddenly, everyone seems to have some reason to pop by my room. Alas! I cannot deceive myself into thinking that I have suddenly become the apple of everyone's eye!

A colleague came by my room and offered us "tau sar piah". LSD declined but I accepted the offer (I was very hungry at that time!). I chose the salty "tau sar piah", broke it into half and gave half to LSD (sisters share and share alike, remember?). It was very fresh and tasty. Goodness me! Talking about "half and half", I suddenly thought of the Hokkien song in the 881 Movie! haha.....

LSD @ Ms Kimono and I were discussing her kimono for her company's dinner and dance this friday. She has chosen to wear a pink kimono. I had a look at the photograph that she took dressed in the kimono. I have some comments:-

(a) Please bun up your hair. Kimonos do not go well with flowing hair.

(b) Instead of wearing a thin t-shirt inside the kimono, a tube would be more appropriate because the kimono, when the sash is tied, looks a bit snug for you on your top half. You know the reason, girl....

At about 7.50 pm, LSD and I discussed leaving my office around 8 pm today. I sent a sms to Da. Lo and behold! He replied to suggest meeting at the MRT station at 8.15 pm. Perfect timing! Since I had 10 minutes to spare, I started typing my post for today. Just when I had finished talking about the 881 movie (see above), I glanced at my watch. Goodness me! It was past 8 pm. I quickly logged out and LSD and I walked towards the MRT station. After my putting devilish thoughts in her mind to hail a cab home, she decided to be a good girl and take the MRT instead.

As Da and I alighted at our MRT station near our home, I noticed that the THIS FASHION outlet at the MRT station was still open. I glanced at the mannequins and noticed that one of the mannequins was wearing a tube. Intrigued, I went into the shop and browsed. Mindful of the fact that Ms Kimono's kimono is pink, I headed straight for the pink tubes. I was in luck! I saw 2 pink tubes - one was a stretchable pink lace tube and the other was a stretchable pink cotton/lycra tube.

I called Ms Kimono on her mobile phone and waited an eternity for the young lady to answer the call. When she answered the call, I told her about the 2 tubes and asked her whether she wanted me to help her buy them. She asked what size were the tubes. They are free size but as I was talking to her, I pondered over whether the tubes, albeit in free size, would fit over her... er... nevermind....

In the end, I bought both tubes. You will never be able to guess the prices of both tubes. My dear girl, you can have both tubes if you like both. Or you can choose either of the tubes when you give me a lunch treat at Hans tomorrow. Here are your options:-

(a) If you decide to take both tubes, yippee!

(b) If you decide to take 1 of the tubes, that's fine. I shall find someone else to give the other tube to. Ah Wen, do you want a pink tube?

(c) If you reject both tubes, YOU WILL INCUR MY WRATH! heehee.... just kidding.

For the curious out there, here are the photographs of the tubes:-

Okay, the photos were not well taken. It was late, I was exhausted and I wanted a quick shower before I cooked dinner. In actual fact, both tubes are soft (especially the one in pink lace). They should be comfortable to wear. Well, we wait with bated breath for Ms Kimono to let us know how her company's dinner and dance goes this friday. Will she be called onto the stage to do a slow Japanese dance with FL? Watch this space for more updates!

Monday, July 7, 2008


What do you do when you know of a person who is crafty and clearly a hypocrite ("The Person"). The Person behaves in a certain manner in front of you and in a different manner in front of others.

What do you do when you and some others can see through The Person's character and the more you learn about The Person (either from personal experience or through feedback from others), the more convinced you are that The Person is not who he/she appears to be?

What do you do when The Person has clearly hoodwinked someone ("The Victim") into believing that he/she is a "gentle person" who is "polite and friendly"? It sickens you to receive an email from The Victim giving such feedback about The Person because you know that The Victim has been taken for a ride. You have already alerted The Victim about the craftiness and hypocrisy of The Person (and the numerous occasions where The Person has shown his/her true colours) but The Victim is either in denial or refuses to see through The Person.

Do you stand back and let The Person continue with his/her ways? What if it has reached the stage where The Person is doing things behind your back (eg. bully your staff into doing things that The Person's own staff should be doing)? What if your complaint to The Victim about what transpired has fallen on deaf ears?

I have no ready answer. Do we say "what goes round comes round"? It all comes back to the dilemma in one of my earlier posts where I asked how it can be right that a wrongdoer can keep on doing wrong and get away with it.

It irks me when I can see injustice being carried out right before my very eyes and yet I am powerless to do anything about it.

Abba Father, I am not righteous because of what I have done or not done. I am righteous because of the blood and finished work of your Son, Jesus at the cross. Keep The Person's trickery and craftiness far away from me so that I may enjoy the fullness of Your blessing and grace everyday of my life. I cast my burdens upon You.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin