Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Travelling In Style

So here I am, at half four in the morning with two hours to kill before my flight to Melbourne. And this time, we're doing it in style. Starting with the limo that came to pick us up from the airport an hour ago. Then there was the speedy check in with wonderfully polite counter staff. It helped also that at this hour in the airport, there really isn't very much of a crowd around to harrass anyone and make said counter staff snarky, grumpy and everything else Singapore Service Industry staff are infamous for.

Right now, I'm lounging in the Plaza Premeir Lounge where there are plush seats, a salad and snack bar, shower facilities and all the sugared beverages that you could dream of. They even have those delightful, childhood biscuits with the coloured sugar frosting twirled on the top. I saw a gym on the way in, but apparently, my period of sedentary-ness has been extended for yet another month. No more 46 beats per minute pulse or 16% body fat. There always is walking to consider but why would someone walk if there is the natural God-given ability to run.

I'm very sleep deprived now. The day started out early with the maid coming over to give the house a good once over before we close it up and leave it locked up. My mother is part of the maid package since she sends the maid. So, Mom and I went out for breakfast. Last week, we ended up at the market and yesterday, she loudly announced she did not want fish ball type food for breakfast. Instead, she wanted bread and tea and jam. I decided Simply Bread would be a nice breakfast place and 2 slices of cinnamon toast and a sticky bun later, my mother agreed. If the day stopped there, I wouldn't be in such a daze now.

There was packing to be done in between, lunch to be had and videos to be returned before yet another doctor's appointment before more errands involving a sharp pair of scissors and hair. I also decided that since it was my last day to see Cat pregnant (Bump was supposed to have obliged and be out by now...), I would squeeze in some time to see her before heading off to dinner - which deserves a blog post of its own, but will only be done when the pictures get uploaded. After dinner was the last goodbyes to the parents before it was more packing and the clearing out of the fridge of the remaining edible and therefore also, able to go rotten fast food.

And now we are here. Blurry eyed and dazed but powered by the chicken pie from the buffet counter. That's catching. Ondine- powered by Polar pies. Incidentally, my mother seems to be slated to visit the Polar Puff factory next week. Saying I feel left out and I wish I were going is truly just laugable. So I won't.

Ok, really falling asleep now. Will attempt to blog when I get to Melbourne. It'll especially help if I have my senses about me.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 04:33

1 thoughts...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Chi-chi-fied

In September, I blogged about K getting married and my being maid of honour (actually, the really dubious title that I was accorded was the matron of honour since I am actually married but it's just semantics). As a thank you, she bought us a voucher to Au Jardin Les Amis at the Botanic Garden.

Packrat and I, having not quite broken out of our student mentalities, could not fathom paying for tiny amounts of pretty food on large plates. As a result, we had only heard of the place having 2 sets of friends proposing to their significant others there on separate occasions. The comments we heard ranged from brilliant service and remarkable food to there was food that was so exotic, it could not be eaten.

So we had been trying to find a time that was not too celebratory, since we weren't sure we were going to like it much, but special enough since it was nice and we had to dress up and we ended up with the day before we were leaving for Melly.

The minute we stepped in, we were faced with the overwhelming urge to do something outrageous like moon the place or flash the place or blow up a paper bag and pop it. Everyone was speaking at this volume. It was that kind of place.

Dinner was officially four courses. But there was first, the pre-appetiser.

Pre-Appetiser

My favourite was the quail half boiled egg in the tiny egg cup. Throw in dark sauce, pepper and a little bit of toast and it would almost be like Killiney Road Kopitiam.

Appetiser followed,

Appetiser

which Packrat had. He claimed it was the wagyu of tuna. But there wasn't much of it. So, he had some of mine since...

Ondine's Appetiser

it was liver from the forced fed goose and I felt so guilty eating it, I stopped after a sliver. Packrat to the rescue!

There was an entree after that and it was by far the most conservative of the courses.

Entree

Wild mushrooms in puff pastry. Light, tasty and for once, I didn't mind the buttery-ness.

At this point, both of us were ready to call it a night. I recall reading that the French took pleasure in their meal, meaning that they savoured it and took their time with each course. Problem with that is, it gave your tummy time to settle and tell you it was full.

That was what it was telling us by the time our mains appeared.

Mine.

Ondine's main

Conservative- fish. Plus apparently good food for the convalenscing.

Packrat's.

Packrat's main

More adventurous, but expected of him, seeing that it was meat of very fat cow (read: wagyu)

I've been to buffets and I've felt food all the way up my throat. But at this point, I felt ill, not because I'd eaten so much, but because everything had been good and rich and each course was vying for a place at the bottom of my tummy.

But we had to have dessert since it was included.

Dessert

I had a caramelised pear with some sort of liquer ice cream and when I didn't finish it, the waiter took it as I was questioning its quality. It took my several gasps of air to explain that it was divine but I did not wish to never be allowed back in this fancy restaurant because I had thrown up all over its beautiful table linen.

Packrat did better with his souffle that sunk the minute it was out of the oven.

Packrat's Dessert

But this was not all. Like I said, on paper, this dinner was supposed to be four courses. And just as there was a pre-appetiser to be had, there was a post dessert to be finished before they would release us from the beautiful confines of the gilded feeding trough.

Petit fours
Petit fours

Tiny but deadly. But at least, we had tea with it. Strong tea.

The verdict, a wonderful but totally overwhelming experience. I can see why people rave about the place. It really was beautiful and romantic and everything you'd imagine. Attentive servers who chatted with you when you wanted to, not holding you hostage with smalltalk were a definite good thing.

In some way, I think it is the perfect precursor to Melbourne. 3 hours of make believe. A world that we can step into and pretend to be part of for a while before returning to the real world. But one can also hope, that the portal remains open for longer the next time round.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:42

1 thoughts...

Shelter

I wanted to be all whiny and blog self-indulgently about how the last few days of convalenscing have done nothing for me but put more flesh on my ass. But then I decided, being so self-involved is just far too self-centred. Plus, there are other blog worthy things to talk about.

Like...

A family that's been camping out at my playground every fair night since Hari Raya started last month. At first, I just thought the kids were done with their exams and had great amounts of energy to expend at 11pm at night. Upon coming home very late one evening, I realised it wasn't just the kids running amok, there were adults in the playground as well, lying on the stone seats, possibly asleep. And the children, were unfolding and flattening large pieces of cardboard and laying them out to lie down on.

*gulp*

This isn't supposed to be happening in Singapore. Not when you have splashed on the headlines of the newspapers that growth rates are up and we're best in health care and what ever else. I guess it's easy to forget those smaller news items about how more should be done to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and how the income of the poor just does not seem to be increasing at the same pace as the rich. My students always assume that this only happens in the US because they have ghettos and people of different and disadvantaged minority groups. Problem is we don't really have to venture that far to see such disparity. My playground the reality check.

Poverty and poor-ness. It seems all insensitive and callous to complain how broke we are when we're not the ones at the mercy of the 3 am downpours that are the rage of the early mornings these days. I think a lot of the time, we choose to ignore all that is around us. I know I do. My excuse is that I get upset when I think about it. But it doesn't mean the problem has disappeared when I don't think about it. But I think at the end of the day, it isn't so much because of how much it upsets me. It's more about what I don't want to see because it's something I'm not comfortable dealing with. Much like the commuters on the train who pretend to sleep when a pregnant or elderly person entres the train so that they don't have to give up their seat- by pushing it into the recesses of one's conscience, one then does not need to act in the socially desirable manner so expected of a gracious society.

It's our way of keeping the cognitive dissonance at bay.

But when it creeps into your backyard, it's something that can cause you to lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering what you can do and at the same time, be thankful that you're notthe one lying out there, staring at the open sky.



Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:12

0 thoughts...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Seven on Sunday

When you have relatively low-tech brother, claim in exasperation that he needs a PDA to organise his days, you know he's really busy. The other way you know he's really busy is when the only time he can meet you before you leave for your month long holiday, is at 7 in the morning on a Sunday. Much like C.J Cregg in the pilot of the West Wing.
C.J. CREGG

You can have a normal life. You'd be amazed at how normal I can be. See, it's all

about budgeting your time. This time, this hour, this is my time. Five a.m. to six

a.m. I can workout, as you see. I can think about personal matters. I can meet an

interesting man. [Her beeper goes off.] The trick is...

So I'm wide awake, wondering what there is to eat at half 7 on a Sunday morning in my little village. No MacD's breakfast for me though. Those are vile tasting. I still have scones from my tea with Cat, but I don't think my brother wants left over food for breakfast not when he's driven half way across the island to have brekkie with his sister.

It's just occurred to me that I should start packing for our trip. We technically only have tomorrow to pack because we spend all of Tuesday on the plane. And it is connundrum filled packing. My new favourite weather network tells me that the weather is going to range from like 9 degrees to like Singapore weather. How to pack like that??

Oh well, that's a question for later. Now, I need to get dressed and amble across the road to meet my big bro. Also, I need to get the taste of garlic out of my mouth. Last night was a popiah party with D-I-Y popiah for us to mess up. There were taco looking ones, hamburger looking ones, some that disintegrated before you managed to get it anywhere near your mouth ones and ones with barbeque sauce. Yes, popiah parties tend to be rather experimental. Apparently, if you eat parsley after garlic, the parsley would cancel the taste of the garlic. But that is one experiment we are not willing to try. Parsley is yuck.

So, off to vigourously brush out the garlic taste in my mouth with minty fresh toothpaste and we'll see what there is for breakfast.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 07:15

1 thoughts...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Second Wave

On Teachers' Day, I had my students over for a pot luck of sorts. It was loud, mostly in an alien language to me and junk food filled. Today is Packrat's turn to have his brood over. Once again, it's noisy, giggly and rather squealy. Plus they brought a cake over since Packrat is about to turn a year older in the next few days.

I have taken refuge in our bedroom. I have my DVD, a whole pile of laundry to fold and a comfy bed to recline on while the outer parts of my abode plays hosts to his kids.

Kids are funny that way. Why do they find it such an attraction to visit the home of their teacher? Do they think we live in cardboard boxes? Or better yet, at our desks in school? I recall the slack-jawed yokel look we got when some of my colleagues and I bumped into some students on a Sunday in the city.

Ah... I have just been asked to grant a tour round our bedroom. To which I have vetoed because the inner sanctum of a teacher's house must be kept an inner sanctum. Ha. No. It's my hidey-hole right now and I don't particularly want the kids to see the 2 baskets of laundry on the floor plus a while pile of news cuttings that I'm working on for next year. So, the lady of the house has rejected the request for a 2-penny tour round the bedroom.

I should be sociable and go outside and chat with these kids, but I think I'll hide. Packrat hides all the time when my friends come over, so I'm going to do the same. Plus I have a perfect excuse. I am, afterall, convalescing.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:05

0 thoughts...

Not my strong suit

There are some people that love being waited on. Having their every whim catered to. You can almost imagine these silver tinkling hand bells that are surgically attached to them. Me? Much as I dream of being a tai tai, I couldn't sit around and do nothing the whole day.

The last few days have been sheer agony. I'm not good at playing the convalescent. I don't know how to convalesce. I'm not good at spending my whole day in bed. I can't sleep the whole day. Even when I'm on codeine- painkillers that they give patients who have gone through brain surgery, I'm still hyperactive. And being hyperactive now is counterproductive to my condition.

So is being bumped into, at the hip by little children. YM says I should wear a sign that says, BUMP INTO ME AND YOU DIE! Perhaps I should. But then again, if I expose myself to that, that means, I'm defying all orders and have stepped out of the house- which I did yesterday, to have tea with Cat at Fosters.

Scones and Tea at Fosters

It was excellent. Scones were warm and full of raisins. It was also quite funny when the waitress who was serving the platter spun around to fast and the scone grew wings and whizzed across the restaurant. So we got an extra scone which we didn't really need. Pregnant woman and convalescing woman together do not eat much. And the platter was 4 scones, 4 sandwiches and 2 slices of banana bread which was awesome! It was moist and very banana-ish! But the appetites did not do the platter justice so there is more than half a tea set sitting in my fridge, in case anyone is interested.

That was my big excursion yesterday. Today, I haven't quite decided what I want to do yet. But then again, I do have the whole day to figure that one out. Then again, it probably will take me the whole day to get myself out the door. I know. My excursion today shall be to go get bubble tea from my aunt's store.

Yay, I now have a purpose for today and will not flounder in the abyss of doing nothing.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:37

0 thoughts...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tummy Ten

Ten things you use your stomach to do without even knowing it.

  1. Take off pants/shorts/underwear.
  2. Lift legs to put legs through shorts.
  3. Bend over.
  4. Cough/laugh/sneeze.
  5. Sit up.
  6. Stand up.
  7. Walk
  8. Get off the bed.
  9. Roll over in bed.
  10. Raise your hand.
Simple everyday things that you take for granted until your stomach is put out of action by a feeling similar to doing 10 000 sit ups. Yesterday, it felt like 1000 sit ups. But today, it's increased ten fold.

Sufficed to say, I am not a happy camper right now. Even food looks like too much trouble.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:33

0 thoughts...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's beginning to feel like winter...

According to the Weather Network that basically kept me warm and alive in Calgary 10 months ago, Singapore is a cool 24 degrees today. It's wet, it's dark and it's really dreary and I'm ecstatic! I opened one eye at about 7 and decided it was too dark and went back to sleep. Same thing at 8, 9 and 9.30. Eventually at 9.48am, I decided that it wasn't going to get any brighter and popped out of bed to check the weather and exchanged an SMS conversation with Tym about the weather.

Tym: Weather is wonderful for snoozing today.
Me: I feel like pulling out my leather jacket out of storage.
Tym: Yup. Definitely a jacket. Miss winter.
Me: Totally.
Tym: Oh, and boots! Today is definitely a boots day!

(Courtesy of my inbox and sent message folder that desperately needs to be cleared but so useful in times like these!)

We like this weather because it not only allows our significant others to be less grumpy (their moods are often not determined by hormones but how hot it is out there), it also allows us to digress from our usual tank tops and shorts to much cooler outer-wear.

So, my bean pink leather/suede jacket has been taken out of storage. It smells! Leather totally does not keep well in Singapore. At this moment, it's being aired and resprayed in case it gets rainy later. I'm still contemplating the boots.

That's why countries like Paris and London do better than we do in terms of fashion, this is according to an Elle magazine I was reading in the doctor's office some days ago, they have seasons!

And what do we have? Dizty people like us searching for opportunity to take out our less-oft used clothes to take them for a spin!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:04

0 thoughts...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

To those who have finished their A levels..

--Soppy post below, so for those who feel the need to roll their eyes, take off contact lenses or go read someone else's blog--

Dear students who read my blog,

Congratulations on having completed the most gruelling and intensive academic exercise in your life! I stick by what I've said. You'll never be so stressed again, in uni, except perhaps when it's dissertation time.

Let me just say, that I know it's been a harrowing two years and the journey for some of you was fraught with doubt, insecurity and much anger and angst. And now, you're free. On your blogs, you breathe this collective sigh of relief, almost audible even over the iridescent glow of the blog page. Well, even though you hadn't quite figured out how to describe tone when it was required of you, each blog post that I came across was filled with a great sense of exhalation and delirious, giddy gratefulness that it has finally come to a close. And for that, I am proud of each one of you.

I'll probably never see you in a formal setting anymore. Actually, most definitely and toward the last weeks, there really wasn't much time to talk to you about the life you're heading out to face. You will no longer have the protection and the sheltered environment of the classroom to shield you from the outside world and some of you are much more prepared than others to face it. So, instead of me trying to put it into words, this was taken off another teacher's blog and she in turn took it off a site that some of you should try to read(There are some hoops that you will need to hop through to read the whole thing, but I promise, it's the last piece of reading I am fobbing off to you).

So, the lessons I hope you take with you from the last two years aren't the ones that teach you how to write a good essay but the bigger lessons that I have taught in class. The ones that bear no notes but greater consequences. The ones that helped you remove some of the rose colour off your tinted glasses. And whether or not you end up as a teacher, the ones that you will pass on to those you teach in the future.

With that, go out there, see, feel, think, explore and discover. And occasionally, stop to get your bearings, looking back at where you've come from and ahead at where you want to go.

Godspeed.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:27

3 thoughts...

A Sound of Relief

Much as I was not the one taking the A level exams, I am now thankful it is over. Perusing the blogs of some of the kids I teach, I got the sense that they were coming loose at the seams and while it sounds about right, deep down, I wanted it over for them.

I didn't worry the way KW worried, but I did feel so sorry for the girl who looked so emaciated, everyone thought she was anorexic. I think she just studied and stressed herself out so much that she lost all that weight. I felt bad for the kids that had tears welling in their eyes after the GP paper. I wanted to hug every one of them and tell them it would be okay but I knew I shouldn't because for some of them, the fact of the matter was that it wouldn't be okay and we would just have to face it when the time comes.

Even though I wasn't the one taking the exams, it felt like I was going through the roller coaster with them. Seeing them in school, wound so tight made me wonder why all this was worth while. I mean, seriously, no one's looked at my A level certificate since I got into uni. Well, the Civil Service did, but then again, they'd demand my PSLE cert if I could actually find it. But, to everyone of these kids, the sanity in their worlds depended on how well they would do for these dastardly papers. So, what do I do? The night before the GP exam, I think I fell asleep praying for every single student that I taught and some that I didn't. Unlike KW, I didn't send them "good luck" cards. I think I was just too caught up in getting their work back and their testimonials written that I plain forgot. I figured, then, that the least I could do, was to pray for them, by name. I'm sure I didn't get through everyone, but I'm sure God figured my intention by the 57th name that came to mind.

I really don't know how these kids would do and I shit in my pants everytime I fast forward to next year when the results are released. They are indeed my first graduating batch and no matter where I end up next, I think this will be the batch I remember most by sheer fact that they are my maiden batch. Too scary.

People have asked me what I will remember of these kids. I don't know. Some days ago, R and DC were talking about how everytime they went back to serve reservist, they come out feeling very humble, because they meet people from different walks of life. I guess, that's what I'll take away from this batch. Humility.

When you grow up almost monolingual and all the people you hang out with are monolingual, you grow to forget that there is another world out there where people struggle with the language you take almost for granted. And when it is your responsibility to teach these people your language, you stop laughing quite quickly and try and figure the best way to bridge the gap between what they know and what they need to know.

Of course, irresponsible reporting in some newspapers make it out to sound like all you do is to laugh at them. My conscience is clear. I have never been mean-spirited to my students. Angry, yes. Sarcastic, absolutely. Snarky, totally. But never mean.

I never imagined to feel nervous about exams that were not my own or to empathise so greatly with them that now that it is over for them, I feel that only now, I have a right to go out there and enjoy myself. Perhaps, more than I've wanted to admit it, they have snuck up on me and gotten under my skin.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:46

1 thoughts...

Where Boys Turn to Men

I'm just back from a wedding, that began at half nine this morning. It was a cousin-in-law's wedding that began with a church service, followed by a lull that the cousins duly filled up with breakfast at Killiney Road Kopitiam and then the 8 course wedding lunch that only concluded at about half 3. We joked about how we could eat our way through the day with breakfast and then oysters from the oyster selling food outlet across the walkway, work our way down to Carl's Jr before heading over for lunch. We were kidding, but I must admit the burgers looked very very attractive as we walked by.

At the lunch, there is the usual wandering around, uncertain of where to sit when we realise all the parents are at one table and all the cousins are at another. We christened ourselves the "children's" table. That sparked a great discussion about when we children would become adults. I mean, after all, we are adults in our own right. We have jobs, we pay taxes and most of us live away from our parents. But why are we still comfortable being labelled children, when as children, we couldn't wait to become adults?

The conclusion was that it wasn't so much an age thing. One becomes an adult when one produces the next generation. That's when you're old enough to not sit with your parents and you've become too old to sit with the cousins who talk about computer games, drinking at Zouk the night before and various other things that responsible adults wouldn't really talk about. And that's when I patted DavidtheTan on the back and told him that it would be one of the last times he would be sitting with us, since he is soon to be a father even though he is younger than Packrat.

Funny how when the situation suits the majority, the definition of a label can be easily changed to exclude all of us. That's reverse exclusivity for you.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:08

0 thoughts...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Antsy

Why is it when you feel on the edge that people describe you as antsy?

That really isn't a corny riddle.

I am antsy right now. And I don't know why. And I feel like there are a million ants having a party inside me. And not because I had too much sugar. Just antsy. Jumpy and irritable.

And it isn't because I was in school the whole afternoon. It isn't because I can't find any free nights next week. It isn't because I may have to once again don a white backless gown for the third time in as many weeks.

It isn't because Lorelai and Luke had a falling out. It isn't because I baked muffins that have the texture of bread.

I don't know what it's because of. But I'm antsy.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:07

0 thoughts...

Staying Indoors

It was so incredibly hot yesterday that Cat (my-can deliver at anytime- best friend) and I decided that air-conditioned malls were God's greatest gift to Singapore and it would be just downright ungrateful if we chose not to use it.

So we spent all our time indoors, together with many students. Many kids finished their exams yesterday and were out in full force to make up for lost time. I remember being that age and hitting the malls and cinemas after the exams. My record was 3 movies in one day. And the bug-eyed-ness that hit after that was quite incredible.

Yesterday came close. I saw two movies. Just Like Heaven in the afternoon and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at night. One was better and more enjoyable than the other. The story was well paced, it was predictable but easy to sit through with plenty of eye candy. The other was horrid. Rushing through parts, not developing the story arc enough, leaving gaping holes big enough for the 50 feet King Kong we saw in the trailers to waddle through with editorial skills that I thought were only possible at our Board of Censors.

Mildly entertaining versus two and a half hour of sheer torture and fighting off sleep that was coming far too easily.

No prizes for guessing which was which.

The disappointment knows no bounds and I have very little hope that it'll actually get better after this. I mean, Goblet was a really fun book and the movie turned out like that. And the fifth book- the phoenix was almost unreadable so I have very little hope that the movie will be actually watchable.

Pity though, and to think I defied my mother and her anti-Harry Potter ways to get this far with the series.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:19

0 thoughts...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where?

Where can you buy a stethescope, a 5 kg bag of lentils, a gold watch for $18 and goat's milk shampoo under one roof?

Inspired by Wahj and Kay, we decided to venture into Little India and visit Mustafa. It really was a surreal experience. There was the departmental store part of it that sold gold necklaces that glistened so much, you could see it from across the road. It also had a Tag Heur counter with the price of the watches written on little sticker labels. No real price tags, no proper arrangment. Made me wonder whether it was actually authentic.

We were puzzled because there wasn't really the crowd that Wahj had talked about on his blog. Only after we were done paying for the light bulbs that we bought, we realised there had to be more than met the eye. Afterall, we hadn't seen the supermarket yet. Walking round the corner, one was met by the sight of sawn off coffee tables and stools lining the five foot way. It was a sort of rest stop for one to recover from the crowd inside before taking the final steps of the journey home. It was really a strange sight to behold. And then you understand why people walk on the streets all the time. Crowds everywhere. At that point, the vehicles really look less deadly than the crowds quashed on the walk way.

So we've vowed to go back there again, when it is less crowded or when we are more prepared to push and shove our way through the crowds. It's the Indian version of Sheng Siong and we've yet to ascertain if they also stock Nutella made in Praha.

More news when we brave it again.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:51

0 thoughts...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Elusive Cranberries

My favourite juice in the world is cranberry juice. I am also quite partial to margaritas. And for the last week, I've had quite a hankering for cranberry margaritas. And last night seemed the perfect night for it.

Unfortunately, cranberry margaritas are almost as elusive as snow in Singapore. We were directed to Cafe Iguana to try our luck. They had raspberry, lime, mango, peach but no cranberry. Just like our neighbourhood pub. No cranberry margarita. The last time I was at Wala Wala, I tried to make my own. Order the juice and the drink separately, place the side by side and drink up two straws at the same time. Messy and not so fun.

Anyhow, we settled for a jug of raspberry margarita and it was a nice enough night to people watch. Conversation was kept light and ditzy in an attempt to keep my head from blowing. It was good and I kept getting quesadillas and espardrilles mixed up, showing a rather wonky connection in my head.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:48

1 thoughts...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mothercare

I spent the afternoon with my best friend today. She's due at the beginning of December and has decided that she really doesn't want to be at work anymore. So, she's on leave and we hung out the whole afternoon. Well, actually she shopped and I just stood around and gave useless comments like "don't buy a cot bumper with trucks on it because it's gender stereotyping"- totally disregarding the fact that you really don't need a cot bumper period.

For a 34 week pregnant woman, she's full of energy and has no problem spending the whole afternoon on her feet shopping. Me? The one with a pulse rate of 46/ minute really wanted to sit on the floor of Mothercare. I ended up sitting on some wooden baby step/ladder donnowhat and got some evil glares from the retail assistants.

I get very well educated everytime I go out with her. I was with her on her super maternity clothes maternity shopping trip. I learnt from that one that maternity pants had elastic bands or buttons to tighten or loosen accordingly. I learnt there was a different between nursing and maternity clothes. Simple things that you'd never really think about.

Today, I learnt about cot bumpers, Baby Bjorns, changing tables, Moses baskets, pram sized/cot sized/cot bed sized sheets and repositionable wall decals. It's always educational, but it's also just plain fun at the same time. I didn't buy anything though, there was hardly anything for me to buy. Except a set Aussino Christmas sheets. Yellow checked ones with Christmas trees, candy cane, reindeer borders. When I told YM about them, her response was " I hereby pronounce you thoroughly domesticated".

And it occured to me that I forgot to tell her that I bought four Corelle plates last week.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 19:20

2 thoughts...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Making the Switch

The impossible happened in my house today. The television was switched on to Channel 8 this evening. Through last week, we caught shots of a new series that was going to be aired called The Rainbow Connection. It was supposed to be a little bit like Center Stage with aspiring dancers dreaming of dancing on the world's stage. Everytime I watched Center Stage, I've wanted to start dancing again and I always end up wondering why I gave it all up in the first place.

So, when I saw the ad for the Rainbow Connection, I thought, perhaps it would have at least one-tenth of Center Stage's drawing power. Never mind it would be on Channel 8. Never mind that it would be in Chinese. Never mind it would be the first Chinese serial I've watched since the copycat volleyball one that the defunct SBC made when I was in high school.

But it was not to be. Because it was SO bad I couldn't sit through it. Meaningless subplots, very little dancing and mindless conversations in chipmunk speak. Some more, there were dancers who looked like they were going for tai-bo class, in psychedelic workout, baggy workout clothes. One of my ballet teachers sent me out of class once because I had blue and pink nail polish. She claimed watching my fingers work made her dizzy. There was also a ballet studio with no mirrors, but big big big wall to wall posters of a dancers in mid air. Dancers are primarily narcissitic because they spend all their time looking at themselves in the mirror. How will a dancer develop an essential part of her personality sans mirrors?And, truthfully, what dance teacher would show your body flexibility (taken off the subtitles) with shoulder jives and dips?

Fail already. So, my dreams of being a more bilingual person were thwarted by the melo-drama that is Channel 8 television. Well, the failure of local English drama did have to come from somewhere and Channel 8 must be a very proud parent.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:25

7 thoughts...

Fare Thee Well


Myopic Ee-yore
Originally uploaded by thelanguishingcat.
As of today, only Ee-yore will be wearing glasses. I have officially relinquished my legally blind status and conferred it upon my beanie Ee-yore. Today's surgery felt a little more painful than last week's.

Plus the anaethesist wasn't as charming. In fact, he was downright inept. Trying to run a line direct to my vein, he slapped my hand till I felt like a child chastised and when he unceremoniously stuck the needle in, he didn't just leave it alone. There was jiggling, digging, readjusting and then the words no patient wants to hear..." Erm, I think we'll need to try that again"- even though it hurts like crap.

But I'm thankful it's all over. And the result is I'm much poorer, but I'll never have to worry about buying contact lens solutions anymore. Neither will I have to go to the optician's to get a new pair of glasses nor will I ever have to type blind again.

So, here's praying that my right eye settles properly and Ee-yore will be the only person on my side of the bed with glasses on.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:24

2 thoughts...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Imagining Massage

Finally, a week after school has been out, I've taken the first steps to recovering from the harrowing and exhausting last semester. I went to the spa today. It was long overdue. I was given an Amrita Spa voucher for my birthday 6 months ago and it was about to expire. I am SO bad at using vouchers and stuff. I keep thinking that I'll find an even better time to use it.

Anyway, I went and it was a somewhat new experience. Instead of the usual aromatherapy massage, I opted for a sports massage. It really kneads into the muscles with much wincing and grimacing. It made the usual aromatherapy massage feel like the slip-slop-slap-ing on of nice smelling oil followed by a pleasant pat down. What made it even more interesting was that it was done by a male therapist.

I was impressed. He was very professional, very polite and very discreet. It didn't feel weird and I think like Ob-gyns, male therapists (well, professional ones anyway) are sometimes preferable. They're less inquisitive and more considerate. Plus, there's naturally more strength. Sometimes, spa therapists try to use brute body strength to get overcome their physical fatigue, leading to very jarring massages. This wasn't the case today so the 80 minute massage actually felt too short.

I spent sometime wondering what it would have been like if I had sports massage therapists like that when I was running or dancing for that matter. And from there, I wondered what it would have been like if the Singapore Sports School had been in existence when I was running. For that matter, what would it have been like if I actually did start ballet the same time most little girls did.

One could spend a great amount of time wondering all the what if scenarios. And clearly 80 minutes wasn't long enough to ponder all these different possibilities but it was interesting semi-conscious food for thought.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:33

0 thoughts...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Brush with the law

Packrat and I were feeling bored after dinner just now and decided to go get fingerprinted. No, we're not as bo-liao* as it sounds. We really need to get our digits printed to confirm that we've never been involved in any sort of criminal activity. We need to be certified free of any Non-Criminal Conviction.

Apparently it's important for immigration offices round the world to make sure that they people they're taking in from the outside.

Anyway, we went to our nearest police post and where everyone was sitting around watching the latest Chinese Drama serial. 3 burly men and a petite lady officer were at the counter and guess who came up to talk to us? The petite little lady whose holster looked like it was going to slip right off her hips, thanks to her petiteness.

And so helpful she was. She told us they weren't trained to do it (I had no idea that fingerprinting actually required any skill) and offered us directions to the nearest headquarters that could do it. But not before she offered to call ahead to confirm that someone there was trained to do it. When we declined her offer since we had to submit the paperwork to the Criminal Investigation Division anyway and could do it there, she immediately offered their phone number in case we got lost. And for good measure, gave us quite specific instructions on how to get to the CID.

All of which made my visit to my neighbourhood police post quite pleasant indeed. I was almost ready to forgive her for watching Chinese serials. I guess after all, law enforcement authorities have to have some vice or other and that being hers, I could live with it.


* Nothing better to do with our time.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:49

3 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"