Monday, December 31, 2007

Old Friends

Meeting up with the CDS dance girls.

christmas with the cds dance girls

I haven't met these girls in the longest time. I didn't know why, but I didn't manage to make it for the last gathering. It's really nice to catch up with them and talk like we've never been separated. It's a pity only five of us made it in the end, yup, Lihui, Yanling, Xinen, Peiting and me~ Lihui and Xinen are working now, Yanling and Peiting still studying, but it won't be long till we graduate some six months later. Wonder what awaits us then.

hmm... Suddenly a lot of thoughts flow through my mind, but I can't seem to catch hold of any one of them and discuss about it, everything seems so vague that I don't know how to describe it. I think it's like that when we know we are friends, yet time has separated us, even though there is still a friendship, there is also a gap. Close friends, but yet distanced. I don't know how to describe it. But still these are the old friends whom I treasure the most.

Meeting up with Cindy and Sanmin.

christmas gathering with cindy and sanmin

It's also really nice to meet up with Cindy and Sanmin once again. They aren't exactly old friends, but now that we've all stopped German, and Cindy's working, we aren't that much in constant contact already.

When I see Cindy, I see that she really puts in the extra effort to keep her friends in close contact despite her being in the workforce. I don't know, but it seems to me that once I start working, being filled up with a busy work schedule, there's little time left over for friends anymore, so if the effort isn't made to keep in touch with the friends, it's easy to lose contact.

Christmas with Someone

For the first time in the blog, pictures of Someone.
christmas with someone
It was a great early-celebrated Christmas, with beautiful flowers and everything.

PS: That's HIS fingers stuck up in my nose. He always does that when we take pictures together, bah~

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Dinners

I am fat.

Over the past couple of days during the Christmas week, I was eating eating and eating, with a whole lot of different people. It's like all the gatherings and meet up occur over a big hearty meal, during the same frame of time.

My Christmas started off early with Someone bringing me down to Ritz-Carlton for buffet dinner. We've been wanting to go on a buffet dinner for ages, but never seemed to have the occasion, or the cash to do so. And so we ate and ate and ate.

christmas dinner at the ritz
I ate everything shown in the picture.

First up was the sashimi with cha soba. The maguro wasn't that good, the texture was a bit weird, I think it's the slicing of the fish that wasn't properly done. The salmon on the other hand was much better, comparable to the normal Japanese restaurants out there. The soba was not bad too, but I didn't want to eat much of it since it's so cheap and filling. The crux to eating buffet is to eat the expensive and not filling stuff, and not eat the cheap and filling stuff, ie stay out of the way of the carbos.

After the cold appetisers, I whetted my appetite for some warm stuff, but my stomach was still not prepared for the mains, so soup was it. Not too much of it, just half a little bowl of cream of mushroom with truffle oil, and a little piece of bread. I chose to have the soup even though soup is cheap and filling because of the truffle oil in the soup. It isn't just normal cream of mushroom, and my god, it was so good~ It's the best cream of mushroom I've had, it's thick and velvety with grated mushrooms, and the truffle oil was just magic, it created a robust aromatic flavour that I've never experienced before. The bread was nice and fluffy though nothing special. I'd really have more of the mushroom soup had it not been a buffet. haha~

Seafood! The highlight of the day, lobsters~ Yes, there were nice lobsters, with claws intact, so you know it's a real lobster and not one of those baby crayfishes or slipper lobsters masked as real lobsters. With a bit of lemon on them, they were just great. I had an assortment of other shellfishes and prawns, all chilled. I peeled the ice cold prawns until my fingers were frozen. Compared to my prawn eating record, this time I didn't eat anywhere near my record, but I sure did eat a lot of other stuff.

And besides, there was the complimentary feature item, the drunken prawns in hearbal soup, so there were a bit more prawns for me to eat. The soup was really good, with a bit of XO in it, enough to drunken the prawns, enough to satisfy me. The prawns were as good as prawns can be, it was more because that the soup was good that's why the prawns were good. But then again, these prawns, unlike the chilled ones, were live prawns. There was a tank of swimming prawns waiting to be cooked and ready watching its brothers and friends being drunken and cooked.

I only had a bit of mains, because I didn't eat spicy food, so I gave a lot of items a miss. I only had some turkey, ham, chicken, spring chicken, bak kut teh and salmon. I wanted to get some black pepper crabs too, but was too lazy to oily my hands, and the pot didn't look too appealing after all it was a buffet. The turkey was plain and dry without the sauces, but the sauces didn't look too good itself. The ham was carved too thickly that it just didn't taste good, besides, the honey marinate was a bit too much and the whole ham was too sweet rather than savoury. The sesame chicken was wonderful, the spring chicken was passable. I liked the bak kut teh, but considering that this is only my second time having bak kut teh, I don't think my words have much weight. The meat was a bit too tough, but I really liked the soup, better than the first one I had. The salmon was also another nice dish I wished I could have had more.

But I was feeling enough satiated. So I headed off for the desserts. To bridge the meals, I had a little macaron first. It was a bit too hard and too sweet, and I suspect the filling was a bit of gingerbread of which the taste of ginger was too strong for my liking.

Then I went for an assortment of chocolately goodness. But of the chocolatey goodness I picked out, I had a gingerbread brownie camoflagued in there. It was so awful that I had to spit it out and had much much water before I could take a bite into another item. But the chocolate mousse cake was so so rich and so so good.

That I went for a second round of it. It doesn't look good in the picture because it was self service, self cut by meself, and of course, I suck at it. The slice of cae turned out to look like globs of chocolate after I attempted to slice it. But it still tasted so magnificent. It was like reaching heavens in one bite of chocolate cream and a bit of cake and a lot of chocolate.

I rounded up the meal with some fruits, which was a big mistake. At first I thought it was blood oranges, so I wanted to try some. I remember there was a period of time when there was canned blood orange juice and I was so addicted to them, don't know where those drinks went now. But with my pleasant memories of blood oranges, I wanted to try the real oranges. A bite into it, scrunched up my whole face, those were so sour. After forcing them down the throat, I thought that those were probably not oranges but grapefruits. Pink grapefruit, perhaps, but still those were really sour. The rock melon was totally tasteless, even after I had a sip of water to rid my mouth of the sourish taste. The musk melons were a bit better, but not good enough for me to remember much about its taste.

That marked the end of the dinner.

The next dinner was my family's annual Christmas party, but I didn't take pictures there. The food included the usual carbo staple of beehoon, the usual festive stuff of turkey, sausages, smoked salmon, and the usual home cooked stuff of fishballs, sotong balls and you know la... haha~ But the highlight was the log cake which an aunt bought from Ritz-Carlton. It was amazing. No other words can describe it. Greedy me just had to have an extra serving of it. It was just as good, or even better than the above mentioned chocolate cake I had for the buffet. This was more cakey, but had a whole rim of dark chocolate, and it was covered in gold covered dark chocolate little round biscuits. Sammi was so in love with the chocolate biscuits that she just kept eating them one after another.

Christmas was sad and lonely for me since I was down sick.

But luckily I picked up myself fast enough to head out on the 26th first for a cosy afternoon out with Someone before heading down to Bugis to meet the CDS girls. I didn't eat much since I just ate with Someone before meeting the girls. But I settled for yummy Mango Sago at Ah Chew's Desserts. I love mango, I love sago, I love mango sago~ hahaha... Ah Chew Desserts uses fresh mangoes, I know because I saw them cutting up the mangoes to use. Just that without having a savoury meal before the desserts, the mango sago was a bit too sweet. I went back another occasion after a hearty meal and the mango sago was just right.

Then the next night I met up with the girls clique for dinner at Swenson's at Holland V. After that we headed down to 2am Dessert Bar to try out the place.

christmas gathering at 2am dessert bar
We had the warm chocolate tart, the blackberry thingie, and the smoked cheesecake to share.

2am Dessert Bar is really a nice and cosy place for 2-4 people to just lounge in sweets. Our group was a bit too large and noisy to really appreciate the place. And the way we ate, the atmosphere was quite wrong. The food itself is quite interesting. The waiter went through the desserts, telling us about it and how to go about eating it, that itself is an experience. The food iself is erm, interesting. I didn't like the blackberry thingie. The foamy blackberry thingie was not cold yet not warm, so it tasted weird. I think if it was chilled perhaps it might be better.

The warm chocolate tart with blood orange sorbet was very good. The chocolate tart itself was so good, melty chocolate oozing out of a nicely baked tart, but what gives it even more oomph was the wonderful combination of the blood orange sorbet. The sorbet itself was a mixture of sweet and sour in a cold lump. Together, the sweet and sour and warm and cold of the tart and the sorbet complemented each other so well that it was so good. If I were to have a whole dessert for myself alone, I'd go for this.

The smoked cheesecake was another thing I liked, though not as much as I liked the warm chocolate tart. The cheesecake is almost entirely cream cheese, which by itself is a huge yum factor, but it is maxed with the fresh idea of smoking the cheesecake. There's this smokey flavour on the cheesecake which downs the sweetness and ups the eating pleasure because it downs the jelak feeling of which usually accompanies cheesecakes. The rose lychee foam thingie was weird. Like the blackberry foam thingie, I thought that because it was not cold and not warm that it tasted weird. Maybe if it were rose lychee ice cream it might have been better, haha~

I'll be sure to return to 2am Dessert Bar another time with a smaller group of friends, and perhaps reserve a little cosy table with the cushions for ourselves. Maybe I'll appreciate the flavours more when the mood and atmosphere is right.

The next night was more eating for me when I met up with Cindy and Sanmin, both wonderful girls I met in German classes over the semesters. We had wanted to try out that new pizza place at Holland V, but because we didn't take down the address, and we couldn't locate the little eatery, we ended up choosing a Mexican restaurant there, it's more Tex-Mex really than Mexican. It's the one beside Cha Cha Cha, I can't remember the name.

christmas dinner of mexican food
The nachos came complimentary with salsa sauce, then we had a turkey burrito and smoked chicken enchilada combo, some wings, and a grilled chicken quesadilla. The grilled chicken quesadilla came separately and we had to wrap our own. For easy eating, I ended up wrapping it like how I wrapped a popiah, haha.

The nachos were quite plain tasting but surprisingly addictive. Even though it was meant as appetisers, I ended up munching on them after I finished with the meal, as dessert. The turkey and smoked chicken combo came drenched almost entirely with cheese and mayo sauce. They were very nice when it came hot and piping, but after the other food came, and we slowed down eating, and it cooled, it didn't taste half as good as before. The wings were really good, and it was pretty cheap and numerous, one of the more value for money items on the menu. The grilled chicken was the recommended item, the waitstaff said that everyone would order that, and it was really good. When it first came with the hotplate, it reminded me of teppenyaki and hotplate in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Taking a bit of the chicken without the wrap, it did taste somewhat the same too. But with the wrap, and the salad and the mayo sauce, it was altogether another flavour. Still very good too~ Another item that I'd try if I return to that restaurant.

Next up was the Saturday night family dinner when I pigged out even more. My dad brought us to Waraku at East Coast Road there. Sometime over the week my sister went there and told my parents about it and they went there and thought it was great, and now they brought all of us there.

christmas family dinner at waraku
My parents had the pork katsu set to share since it came with both rice and soba, my dad had the rice and mum had the soba. I had a miso ramen, my sister had some seafood udon, Someone also had some sort of seafood udon but was different from my sister, my sister's soup was miso based I think. We also had some chicken karaage, a German sausage, and a cheese salmon with tartar sauce to share. Rounding up with the desserts, the parents had this five little ice cream thingie which my sister had green tea ice cream. I shared my green tea ice cream with Someone.

I tried a little slice of the pork katsu, it was really lean and good. I like my meat lean and with a good bite. The crumb was nice and crisp but not too dense that I could still taste the pork within. My miso ramen on the other hand is merely passable. The soup was good though, the fillings were rather meagre, only two slices of pork inside. The chicken karaage was not bad, enough crisp but still chickeny, and not too much chicken fat which I really dislike, I prefer meaty chicken. The German sausage was the interesting bit. I ordered it so that I can review it for my sausage blog, which I'll do so later. I'll elaborate more in that blog, but just to summarise a bit here, the sausage was really good. Nice porky taste, on a sizzling hotplate. And even though I hate ketchup, this complemented the porky sausage really well, perhaps it was because the ketchup was cooked with the sausage. The wedges was disappointing though, it was rather soggy, but well, this is not a western restaurant, so I'm not going to complain. The cheese salmon was another yummy crumbly deep fried item. The cheese was warm and oozy, just the way I like my cheesy foodstuffs to be.

The desserts were also pretty interesting. The five little ice cream was a sampling of five different flavours of ice cream with different flavours of chocolate coating. The green tea ice cream was supposed to be really good according to my sister. Even Someone thought that it was not bad, but somehow I didn't taste anything special about it. I wonder if my tongue was scalded by the hot soup earlier on or that I drank too much green tea that I didn't taste much out of the ice cream.

Anyway, that marked the end of my pigging outs le. I must start to exercise more and must lose all the weight I've gained. booo~

Christmas Update

I've been out eating eating eating until I'm fat fat fat. But I haven't forgotten about my blog, no worries. Because I've been out so much, I've accumulated tons and tons of photos, and I am editing them for the blog use now!

Okay, I'm now taking a break... I'm half done, but my eyes are turning groggy and I'm really tired (check out the time now!), so I guess I'll take a break, go and sleep and continue with the picture editings tomorrow. bahaha~ Actually, I also don't know why I'm taking so long with the pictures, I've been at it for four and a half hours now. My editings are so simple, just resize, then montage, the scribbles, I don't even bother removing my pimples and shining my face anymore (make up does the trick quite well, haha).

Okay, I'll be back before the year ends to finish up with all the posts. Check back for the bumper posts~
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year folks!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 Meme

1. Where did you ring in 2007?
I can't remember

2. What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
I don't want to remember.

3. Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Of course, except during summer vacation la.

4. How did you earn your keep?
I stretched my hands out at my parents, and they dropped some money there for me.

5. Did you have to go to the hospital?
To remove my lump, then it became my wound which I needed to check upon, then I one more appointment after it became my scab.

6. Did you encounter the police?
Not that I can remember.

7. Where did you go on vacation?
Nowhere. Perhaps only Aloha Loyang chalets.

8. What did you purchase that was over $500?
Driving lessons.

9. Did you know anybody who got married?
No one immediate.

10. Do you know anybody who passed away?
My grandfather.

11. Have you run into anybody you graduated high school with?
All about in school, nope, no significant case that I remember of.

12. Did you move anywhere?

13. What sporting events did you go to?
ASEAN Football Championships.

14. What concerts did you go to?
You Ke Li Lin, I can still hear Lin Zhixuan's crystal clear voice...

15. Are you registered to vote?
I don't think so, honestly, I don't know! Guess I need to wait till the next elections to find out.

16. If so, did you do your patriotic duty on Nov. 7?
What's that?

17. Where do you live now?
At home.

18. Describe your birthday.
Nothing happened, it's not even nothing memorable, nothing good, nor even nothing pleasant, it's just NOTHING.

19. What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2007?
Meet Someone.

20. What is one thing you regretted this year?
Study harder, I guess, that always happens.

21. What’s something you learned about yourself?
I'm very very blessed.

22. Any new additions to your family?
No. Does Someone count?

23. What was your best month?
May June July August September

24. What from pop culture will you remember 2007 by?
Tabloid blogs, and how it single handedly destroyed Britney Spears as a human being.

25. How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (shitty) to 10 (excellent)?
8, still got some hiccups here and there I guess, or maybe it should be 5 before Someone, and 9 after Someone.

PS: Craps, I thought I was supposed to be angry with Someone because he ruined my yesterday and today, and here I am singing all his praises. grrr...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Solstice

Karen Mok
Lyricist: Lin Xi; Composer: Wu Bai





Okay, it's a bit past already, but it doesn't matter, right?

I was going out this afternoon when my Hong Konger neighbour was burning kim zhua. Straight away I remembered although my family never celebrate this festival. Maybe it's because of this song, that made me remember. This is my favourite Canto song. I learnt how to sing it despite my dismal speech ability of Cantonese. This song is in the cult favourite album 《一朵金花》, cult favourite as in groupies of Wu Bai, because this whole album is produced by Wu Bai as an experimental album. Karen Mok on the other hand, erm, created a costume out of clingflim. And I think, this remains her only fully Canto album produced.

This MV is also one of my favourites. It's very stylistic, the use of shadows and the whole dance sequence is so artistic. Are they passionately in love, or are they struggling against each other? Sometimes, what separates love and hate is just one fine thin line. Oh, and Karen Mok is hawt~ Oh man, I'd die to have her body....

Feel like digging out my collections of Wu Bai's concert and MV DVDs to watch tomorrow... hahaha~ Also feel like going K Box to sing, but I lost my voice. Sucks... I was craving to go K Box for quite some time already, then that day dear Jinwei asked me out to go sing K, but I lost my voice then cannot go. He also asked Cindy, then she also sick. Jinwei must be thinking why those two zha bor kias all fall sick at the same time. lol~ suay la...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Losing Steam

I've been driving quite a bit since exams ended, and took my final theory test, but some how, I'm starting to dread my driving lessons, so much that I didn't bother to book anymore lessons. Yup, I don't have anymore lessons, and I intend to take a break from driving until school starts. I can't guage my next semester's time table yet anyway.

Despite me passing my basic and final theory test on my first sitting, and was the first person out of the room on both occasions, and probably scored full marks or close to full marks, I am not a good driver. In fact, I'm very bad in my practical lessons. Every driving lesson only serverely exposes my weaknesses in controlling a car. And every comment by the instructors only demoralises me even more. I'm starting to doubt if I should even bother learning how to drive.

The problem of me starts when I shift my gear stick to 1st gear and lower the handbrake.

1. I'd need to step on the clutch then step slightly on the accelerator to get the biting point, but I often step too hard on the accelerator. I'm supposed to get 1500-2000revs, but sometimes I can go up to 3000-4000revs, which would produce a very embarassing engine rev sound.

2. After getting that biting point, I've to slowly remove my foot from the clutch, but I often remove my foot too quickly, especially when problem number 1 happens and I'm in panic attack, then my engine will stall. Even after so many driving lessons, my engine still stall regularly. That is so embarassing especially when I'm on the main road, at a traffic junction, with a whole line of cars behind me. Worse is when someone horns me, I'll panic and stall again.

3. After successfully driving off, the engine will turn harsh if I drag too long on first gear, so I need to change to second gear, and this is also when tons of problems come up. I'd need to decide if I should change my gear while crossing the junction or change only after I crossed the junction. Or when I'm turning, should I change while turning or change after the turn.

4. Then changing to 3rd and 4th gear. If the stretch of road is long, I've no problems in changing the gear higher, but when there's clearly a junction ahead, I've hestitations in changing up my gear because I'm afraid of having not enough time to change down the gear afterwards, which would cause me to drive at the wrong gear in certain stretches of road.

5. To correct the problem of driving at the wrong gear, I tend to drive slower, which always causes the person behind me to horn me and for my instructor to call me to accelerate.

6. Then I've problems changing down. Sometimes I change the gear down too soon and of course I get scolded for falsely sending the wrong signal to the car behind me. Or if I change the gear too late, I end up having not enough time to change down the gear one by one, and I end up messed up and forgetting to do other things like engine brake and foot brake and intermitting brakes.

7. The I sometimes step on the clutch too late, then my engine stall yet again. Or I end up braking too hard, then i get scolded for my hard braking.

I've absolutely no problems with other aspects of driving, as of yet. After memorising all the traffic rules and thereabouts, I know how the correct procedure of driving, the checking of mirrors, blindspots, and stuff, the lane change, traffic rules, turnings and U-turning are all fine. Which means that, had I been driving an auto car, I might not be driving so badly.

But then, there's a reason why I want to learn to drive, and that is the same reason why I need to learn how to drive an manual car because if not, there isn't much of a reason for me to learn to drive after all. This brings me back to the problem. Because after spending so much money on the driving lessons, there is no way I can bring myself to quit now. No matter what, I must carry on learning and I must get the license.

Although the instructors are all very nice people, and great teachers, some of them use a tone of voice which I'm not comfortable with. It makes me feel dumb and pathetic, which makes me even more demoralise. I know they're trying to be nice and help me, but it just feels horrible to me, I don't know why. Maybe it's also because I'm already trying very hard on my part but am still unable to reach my potential that just frustrates me even more.

Seriously, I need a break from driving. I need to search again for that motivation for me to learn how to drive.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kare Kano and a Dumbass

Kare Kano and a Dumbass

My sister just returned from her Taiwan Immersion Programme. Before she left for Taiwan, I got her to help me to buy the full set of Kare Kano. My budget was S$80 for a brandnew set and S$30 for a 2nd hand set, my only goal was that I wanted the FULL set. My sister is a smart girl, well, worse come to worse, I can don't get it, it's not a need, just a want of mine.

Anyway, while she was there I had a dream one night and dreamt that she forgotten to help me look for that set of manga. When I woke up, I SMSed her to remind her again. The next day, she replied me saying that she had already ordered the whole set. Bingo.

Then when she returned to Singapore, she was hestitant when I asked about the manga. At first she lied that her dumbass exchange buddy from hell didn't go and collect the manga although the books were already fully paid. I told her that she had to get that dumbass to send the books back to Singapore on her charge definitely. But after some probing, I realised that she was lying.

I had my manga.
I like Kare Kano because the story is really touching, not in the grand plot kind of way, but there are many different arcs of plots, and each of them is touching on its own. And I really like the beginning and ending parts. The middle can get a bit boring, and the timeline might be a bit confusing, and there are some gaps in the timeline. Still, there are several arcs which can make me tear up.

Reading from a book is different from reading online. Reading online I tend to skim though, and sometimes due to alignment problems, it's not easy to follow through the whole page. Flipping the pages back and forth to enjoy the juicy parts can get a bit tedious too. Anyway, now that problem is free from me~

But wait...
Don't get too happy too soon...
Can you spot what's wrong with the picture?

Damn! Book number 3 is missing!

My sister did had to have that dumbass collect the manga for her because she had other activities. And that dumbass didn't bother about the missing book at all. Is she dumb or not, tell me? I wanted my sister to get the dumbass go get the missing book and send it back to Singapore for me, on her charge of course, but my sister said that when she found out about this error she was more than livid, I can imagine. Right now, my sister has broken all contact with that dumbass. Life is too short to get oneself involved with dumbasses, horrible ones of course. You can read more about miserable time stuck with the dumbass here, and her happier times when she was away from the dumbass.

Actually, the missing book was not the fault of the bookshop because the books came with a note from the bookshop telling us that this book has stopped reprints, and the bookshop asked if it was fine if we were given a second hand book, or that we could wait while they tried to find the missing title for us. There's the receipt there because my sister had already paid in full, and we at the very least needed a refund. Then there's a note there, telling us about the situation.

And what did the dumbass did about the whole thing? Nothing! She just left without a refund, nor a second hand book. Crappy...

It was really too bad that my sister had to leave the next day, and there wasn't time to go down to the shop. Apparently, my sister had also wanted to go to the manga shop earlier during her 18-day stay in Taiwan, but everytime she wanted to go in she would be stopped by the dumbass who would want to go somewhere else and she just forcefully made my sister do everything she says. Asshole.

But all is not that gloomy. You see the plastic bag from Comics Connection?
I decided to pop by Parkway and look for the missing book today. I'm anal about numberings and stuff, the idea of me holding onto a set with a missing book irks me more than having a few books not in running order out of a set with many books.

I was a bit scared that I couldn't find the missing book, since after all, I had the Tongli version one, which meant that it was out of print already. So the only possiblity of me having it is that it is the old stock that haven't been sold, or that I had to get second hand one, which isn't a big problem actually. Singapore being much smaller than Taiwan, and Tongli being a Taiwanese publisher, I really didn't know what are my odds of getting the missing book.

I was actually already prepared to drop by a few bookstores, if I couldn't get it in the smaller ones. I was already planning trips down to Kinokuniya, and possibly calling them up or sending emails to them, or just something. I had to get the book, even if I paid S$10 for it.

Well, in the end I paid $7 for it. Almost double the price for what my sister had already got for me from Taiwan no thanks to that dumbass.

But I am Joan, I can spend a lot of money for something that I deem worth it even though it's real value is lower. But I am Joan, I get what I want despite the cost, well, as far as I can afford, I'll make it mine, and my affordability range is like quite high. erm...

At first I saw on the shelves there were only books 1, 2, 19, 20. Then I looked around I saw the book 3 but published by Chuangyi instead. I'm a suckler for sets. It must be of the same set, must be the same range, must be nice and neat. So I askedd the shop assistant, and she took out a ladder, climbed up, and there was another row of books hidden behind the visible row. I didn't realise that there were another row of books, I thought the shelved seemed quite narrow. And she pulled out a black with dust old dirty book 3 for me! ahhh...

I was a bit hesitant with the dust because it made me sneeze, and asked if there was another copy, but it was the only book 3 left. I'm still a happy girl though~ It's shrink wrapped la, so after removing the plastic, I still have a brand new book. And best of all, A WHOLE SET~

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Birth Month

Got this from Ninuhadida and I thought it looked pretty interesting. (hmm... Doesn't this line looks pretty familiar? Look at the previous post too...)

The rules:

- Pick your birth month.
- Bold the 5-10 that best apply to you.
- Copy to your own journal, with all twelve months.
- Tag 12 people from your friends list.

I was born in February:
FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

Wow, pretty long list over here. hmm... Why didn't I bold attractive and sexy since I didn't bold quiet, shy and humble too?


JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people�s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people�s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people�s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people�s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn�t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

The Oreo Personality Test

Got this from Gabriel, thought it looked pretty interesting. I tried the original link there but something's wrong with it.

Psychologists have discovered that the manner in which one eats Oreo cookies provides great insight into one's personality. Choose which method best describes your favorite method of eating Oreos:

1. The whole thing all at once
2. One bite at a time
3. Slow and methodical nibbles, examining the results of each bite afterwards
4. In little feverous nibbles
5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee, etc.)
6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie
7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie
8. Just the cookie, not the inside
9. I just like to lick them, not eat them.
10. I don't have a favorite way because I don't like Oreo cookies.

Your Personality:

1. The whole thing all at once: You consume life with abandon, you are fun to be with, exciting, carefree with some hint of recklessness. You are totally irresponsible. No one should trust you with their children.

2. One bite at a time: You are lucky to be one of the 5.4 billion other people who eat their Oreos this very same way. Just like them, you lack imagination, but that's okay, not to worry, you're normal.

3. Slow and methodical nibbles: You follow the rules. You're very tidy and orderly. You're very meticulous in every detail with every thing you do to the point of being anal-retentive and irritating to others. Stay out of the fast lane if you're only going to go the speed limit.

4. Feverous nibbles: Your boss likes you because you get your work done quickly. You always have a million things to do and never enough time to do them. Mental breakdowns and suicides run in your family. Valium and Ritalin would do you good.

5. Dunked: Everyone likes you because you are always upbeat. You like to sugarcoat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations into good ones. You are in total denial about the shambles you call a life. You have a propensity towards narcotics addiction.

6. Twisted apart, the inside, and then the cookie: You have a highly curious nature. You take pleasure in breaking things apart to find out how they work, though not always able to put them back together, so you destroy all the evidence of your activities. You deny your involvement when things go wrong. You are a compulsive liar and exhibit deviant, if not criminal, behavior.

7. Twisted apart, the inside, and then toss the cookie: You are good at business and take risks that pay off. You take what you want and throw the rest away. You are greedy, selfish, mean, and lack feelings for others. You should be ashamed of yourself. But that's ok, you don't care, you got yours.

8. Just the cookie, not the inside: You enjoy pain.

9. I just like to lick them, not eat them: Stay away from small furry animals and seek professional medical help--immediately.

10. I don't have a favorite way because I don't like Oreo cookies.: You probably come from a rich family, like to wear nice things, and go to upscale restaurants. You are particular and fussy about the things you buy, own, and wear. Things have to be just right. You like to be pampered. You are a prim.


I eat the whole cookie all at once, but not because I consume life with abandon, but because I'm lazy to bite and have the crumbs all over and then having to pick up after myself. Putting the whole thing into my mouth would render no crumbs at all. But because I'm so lazy, it's still true that I am totally irresponsible and no one should trust me with their children.

Monday, December 10, 2007

From the Producers of Narnia...

The Golden Compass

I like fantasy, I like the whole idea about thinking about an alternative universe where people are different, yet somewhat the same. After watching the beautiful Chronicles of Narnia, I thought The Golden Compass would be just as great, and it was indeed beautiful. The settings of the alternate universe was magically created and visually spectacular.

The thing I most like is the idea of Daemons and the passageway to other parallel universes. I wonder what would my daemon be like had I been a character in The Golden Compass...

(erm, please take the short test and tell me if this daemon is me, thanks~)

I also liked the ice bears a lot. Throughout the show I was wondering if I could get my own polar bear or not, but I think a real polar bear would crush me instead of letting me ride on his back. haha~

Bridge to Terabithia

Another film from the producers of Narnia which I rented over the weekend. When I saw the trailer of Terabithia some six months ago, I thought it was another fantasy film just like Narnia. Especially after The Golden Compass came out, I all the more thought that Terabithia was indeed a fantasy film, and boy, is there not other trailer more misleading than this.

Bridge to Terabithia turned out instead to be more of a drama than a fantasy. All along, I was waiting for the leads to cross the bridge to Terabithia and fight the trolls and monsters and reign king and queen just like how it was like in Narnia, but the show just dragged on. Even after they crossed the creek with the "enchanted" rope, there were still no sign of monsters. Then the troll came out, but it was like there, but not there. Then it hit me, all the trolls and monsters were just a figment of their imagination. The whole Terabithia thingie was just their imagination.

Then I was hoping that their imagination could be more vivid, but the plot turned to the serious issue. About life being poor, about bullies in school, about family problems, about teacher problems, about being taunted, and about handling of tragedy. It was more like a family crisis kind of thing, like a story teaching parents about parenting, those very dense and serioud issues.

The CG parts of the trolls and monsters in Terabithia which I saw in the trailer was just that, every scene with monsters was edited into the trailer, and the trailer took none of the scenes from the serious parts, and the serious parts was like 95% of the whole film. I felt pretty cheated. Still, it would have been a great film had I knew the plot outline before I watched the film, rather than having the sinking feeling of being cheated.

Yup, by the way, both titles are adaptations from books, just that one is a fantasy novel, the other is a coming of age kind of novel.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shan's Tale

Shan’s tale

Shan was brought up as a devout Catholic, but Catholicism was not the defining point of her life. Shan was a sweet girl, fiercely loyal and devoted to her husband, caring mother to her children, patient listener to all her friends, and indeed was nothing anyone could bring to hate. The only importance Catholicism has on her life is her belief against pre-marital sex and divorce.

The belief against pre-marital sex is somewhat an obsolete belief in her current life since she’s married with kids, but right until her marriage day, her husband had not even seen her naked breast, much less other more intimate details.

Before her marriage, she would sometimes wonder in fear whether Ming would leave her as she could not bring herself to fulfil his sexual desires. It was clear in Ming’s eyes that fiery passion burned within even though he told her he respected her and would hence respect her faith. Once in a while she would fantasise Ming forcing himself upon her, she knew she would find it difficult to resist him, but true to his word, Ming respected her.

Even after their marriage, Shan often found herself unable to satisfy Ming’s needs. Being a virgin and an innocent and shy young girl, she never knew how to be creative in bed. And Ming, being the respecting fine young man, never pressed for more with Shan. Sex to them was merely a procreating avenue. Shan would lie in bed and Ming would hump her till ejaculation. Then he would flip over and the both of them would fall asleep. Everything was a mechanical process.

Shan could tell from Ming’s eyes that he wanted more adventures in bed, and it was not about the quantity of the sex, but the quality of it rather. She knew she failed him in the department, but it was difficult for her to muster up courage to try out something different with Ming. Sometimes, she would fantasise Ming leading her and guiding her to do something she had never tried before, but Ming, being the respecting young man never pressed for more with Shan.

Shan met Ming at a mutual friend’s fathering and were instantly attracted to each other. Shan saw Ming as a nice and sensible young man who respected everyone for who they were. Ming was attracted to the nice and sweet gentle young woman in Shan and saw her potential to be that self-sacrificing loving wife and mother.

They hung out. They dated. And they started introducing each other as their significant others in front of other people. Shan could not remember who started it first or who made the move first because everything seemed to proceed on so gradually.

Even though Shan knew all of Ming’s friends after an extended dating period, Shan did not know much about Ming’s private life before he met her. And she never managed to find an appropriate time to ask him about it. Some of the friends claimed that they never heard Ming having a girlfriend until Shan’s presence in his life, but others thought that Ming had been in a relationship or two before. None was sure about it.

None except Scarlett. Scarlett was Ming’s best friend and the friend who knew most about him that she would sometimes put Shan green with envy. Scarlett once told Shan that she was indeed Ming’s first girlfriend, but added that Ming had dated many others before meeting Shan. Most of the time, Shan used Scarlett’s words as the benchmark even though her mind would wander off at times.

She could tell from Ming’s body language that he was not a virgin kisser, not a virgin at all. Hence, she often found herself wondering about all of Ming’s previous encounters with other girls. However, despite being a married couple and everything, Shan never dared to ask Ming anything about his previous relationships. And Ming never once offered her any details about it.

But Shan, despite her lack of experience in love, was still ultimately a woman. She has her womanly intuitions and was sensitive in mood changes around her.

Despite being so, she found it difficult to pinpoint the exact time and date when she realised this. Possibly it was after the marriage because she could not have brought herself to marry had she known about it. Maybe it was on their wedding itself where everyone’s emotions were accentuated.

Also, Shan, being the shy and timid Shan, never confronted Ming or Scarlett about it. She didn’t even dare tell anyone about her discovery.

She took in everything and acted as though nothing happened. Sometimes she would even attempt to convince herself that her discovery was in fact merely just a wild speculation on her part and everything was just thought up. After all, she has yet exacted a confession out from anyone, and as the usual court saying goes, innocent until proven guilty. Ming and Scarlett were innocent.

No matter how hard she tried to convince herself, it was no use. She knew what was going on. She knew.

She knew that Scarlett and Ming were seeing each other behind her back. Okay, Ming made it a point to notify Shan every time he brought back a DVD and brought it over to Scarlett’s place for a late night movie. But she knew, without Ming telling her, that sex transpired between them during the movie session.

What Shan was not sure was since when this has started between Ming and Scarlett. Shan knew that Ming had known Scarlett for the longest time, she was one of his oldest buddies. Ming had known Scarlett way before he met Shan, and during the early stages of their relationship, Ming had already introduced Scarlett to Shan. But at that time, Shan merely dismissed Scarlett as a normal platonic friend of Ming.

As Shan got to know Scarlett better, Shan got to know Scarlett’s various boyfriends too. She saw them come and go and even saw Scarlett double/triple/quadruple timing them, and she knew there were probably even more who never even made it to meet her. Unlike all of those boyfriends of Scarlett, Ming remained by Scarlett’s side for decades, leading Shan not to realise that something might have transpired between them.

However, as time passed, Shan sensed that growing jealousy Scarlett had towards her even though Scarlett never made it show. Then, after the wedding, Scarlett disappeared for a short period. She said she was posted overseas, but Shan felt the distancing Scarlett took in her relationship with Ming.

On the other hand, Shan too picked up certain vibes from Ming. At first, she sensed a slight awkwardness in Ming as and when she picked up the jealousy vibe from Scarlett, but with Scarlett’s disappearance, Shan felt a slight alteration in Ming’s personality. He became more irritable and distracted. She caught him masturbating and sobbing in the toilet a few times, but she never confronted him about it on every occasion.

Other than the fact that Shan was a shy and timid innocent young woman, there was another reason holding Shan back from seeking the entire truth. Shan was against divorce. There was no way she could see herself separated from Ming or her children. She knew that if she confronted either one of them, divorce would definitely be on the cards. And never was that an option to Shan.

Shan knew that if she confronted Ming about it, there was no way in her selfish dreams that she could tolerate sharing her husband with another. And she could not force Ming to pick between her and Scarlett.

Shan knew that Ming loved Scarlett more than anything else in the world.

Therefore, day after day, night after night, Shan put on a mask to hide what she knew and treated Ming and Scarlett like she normally would. Every evening, she would pray that Ming did not come home with a DVD and Ming did not leave home to watch that DVD with Scarlett and Ming not have sex with Scarlett.

But of course, sometimes Ming would bring a DVD home, and he would leave for Scarlett’s place to watch the DVD with her and have sex with her.

Shan could not complain, because, she was in fact Scarlett’s “the other woman”.


I've been writing about Ming, Shan and Scarlett for quite some time already, but there are still many tales that I can spin out of them, and more importantly, many other mysteries about them I've yet unravelled. Shan's Tale is a break from my usual narration of Ming and Scarlett, instead, bringing you into the deepest thoughts of Shan, to find out what she really thinks.

This was one of the two pieces I submitted for this year's GPA, and sadly to say, neither of them were chosen. Still, under the whole context of the other stories of Ming and Scarlett and Shan, this is one piece that I'll hold deep in my heart.

PS: Click on the label below to read more about Ming and the two women in his life.