Monday, December 31, 2007

Language... that funny thing

No matter how much I protest and how much I hate the fact that I am a game wife/widow ( I know this by searching the number of times I've blogged about being widowed or being displeased at the WoWing and it's A LOT), I have somehow or other wound up with rudimentary knowledge of how the game world works.

And the disturbing thing is that certain things come almost naturally. Two occasions prove it. Once with a student. He was trying to tell me that I had 'owned' the class when I had locked them out of their class when they were later than the pregnant, waddling teacher. I then corrected him and told him that I had 'pwned' them and he was sheepish for having been 'pwned' by his teacher. I took great glee in being able to beat a kid on his own turf.

Then, this evening.

Sister-In-Law (SIL): Your bro wants to know that weird word Packrat told us with no vowels.
Me: w00t spelt with a zero rather than an O. And you can tell him he's a n00b with zeroes for not knowing it.
SIL: No, no.. it's another word. That looks like flkr.
Me: Ohhh.... pwnd.
SIL: Sigh. Now he wants to know what it means, what was the misspelling and how you pronounce it.
Me: It's pronounced "p-owned". Etymology is basically a typo cos all these gamers were too gleeful about having defeated some other gamer that they would want to type "owned" too fast and hit the 'p' instead of the 'o'. I can't believe I know this. *mutter mutter*
SIL: You pwned him!

So yes, indeed I have. But what a way to gain respect from my big bro.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:50

0 thoughts...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

So when was the last time you saw this?

So, I'm on a heritage tour and I discover that these things are considered old enough to be part of any heritage collection. It sure does make me feel somewhat old to think that the things that I grew up with are collectibles and that they bring back so many memories for me.

The cassette player with the radio antennae. We didn't have one of these at home but we did have one of these in school and it was used everyday to broadcast the national anthem and the school song. I remember the crackling and the hissing it made and how a microphone had to be put in front of it so that it would amplify out into the assembly area. And that awful sound it made when there was feedback because the microphone was too near the radio. It all came rushing back, as did the regimental morning exercise we had to do every morning that the radio provided accompaniment for. All this was way before the horrendous Great Singapore Workout and because we had little sense of irony then, we just obediently did it and I think even enjoyed it too.

Then there was the typewriter before the time of computers. It was such an art form to get the margins correctly aligned and woe was he who actually made a mistake because backspace did not clear the typo and correction tape was just too messy.

Now, the tape deck beside it, we had at home. I have fond memories of my father taping my conversations on it. I remember one tape where I had a very earnest conversation about jpw much I liked eating cheese, half in English, half in Teochew, the language I first spoke but not any more. And even though it can't be seen in the photograph, there's a little counter on it that was very useful when it came to finding a particular spot of the cassette tape that did not have tracks or any breaks. Ah... cassette tapes.. too bad there weren't any on display.

But I have left the best for last. The Great great great grand parent of the Macbook. The Apple Two. With its huge floppy drive, its colourful logo and its green and black screen. I spent many an hour playing Choplifter on it. That and Where in the World was Carmen Sandiego? I credit that game for much of my geographical knowledge and I think it took me the entire year-end vacation to eventually catch up and arrest Carmen Sandiego. We downloaded it a couple of years back but it just took too long to do anything. I am afterall, of the new fangled instant Internet generation with super duper graphic and sound cards that need separate devices to cool them lest they overheat everything. Although I must admit that the tin-ny music still gave me a little bit of thrill.

Pity that to most of the kids that were on tour with me, they would just remain relics of a time gone in a museum rather than something that would trigger a deep buried memory that would bring nostalgia to the surface.

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:37

1 thoughts...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bye Bye Love

I don't remember when I fell in love with Kate Spade. It might have been when my sister-in-law presented me with my first Kate Spade. It might have been when I watched Gilmore girls and Lorelai said something about hunting someone down like a half priced Kate Spade purse. There was something rabid and insane about that line, plus I liked Lorelai, so Kate Spade it was.

It's been an ongoing love affair for the years since I've moved back to Singapore. I think deeper than the prettiness and quirkiness of the bag, it was a symbol of my financial independence; that I could afford to buy these bags. Add to that, was the fact that it wasn't part of logo-mania and it wasn't a tai tai brand in Singapore. So, I slowly amassed my collection of Kate Spades. All kept in their dust bags in a cupboard all for themselves. On occasion, I would go little bit crazy and buy two or three at a go. Although, after that, I often lamented the state of my bank account.

Another thing I have always complained about was its lack of presence in Singapore. A tiny store in a departmental store left much to be desired. It also meant that I often got my spoils when I travelled. The good thing about that, however was that few in Singapore carried Kate Spade and there was much chi chi cred with it. Those who carried Kate Spade were drawn to one another and would bond over their bags and only the knowledgeable were inducted into the world of Kate Spade.

This was till last week. A flag ship store opened up in the middle of Raffles City. When I first saw it, I was drawn to its size, its trademark white interior and of course the rows and rows of pretty bags. Packrat laughed at me because even though the store was closed, I insisted on going to take a look and spent a good ten minutes with my nose very close to being pressed up against the window. I think the apt phrase would have been- a kid at a candystore. Because it was closed, I vowed to go back.

That was the fatal blow. I walked into the store, fingering the fabrics on the bags, looking at the prices. While I shouldn't have been surprised at what happened next, I was still sad that it had to happen. There was a girl with her boyfriend, dressed in shorts and hight boots ( the girl, not the boy, though I wouldn't have put it past people now) who whiningly demanded he buy her this bag because "very nice leh!" and it was time to replace her LV with it. I stood there, aghast. One, because she thought the bag that looked like a license plate and screamed Kate Spade ostentatiously, was nice and two, she compared it to LV. The thing about Kate Spade was that it was subtle, it didn't knock you over with pompous arrogance like many of the logo bags do. And the fact that there was an increasing number of bags with KATE emblazoned onto the bags did not sit well with me. That, plus the fact that, doing a quick sweep of the peope in the store, many in the store seemed to gravitate towards those bags and these were people I couldn't imagine gushing over the newest design with.

It was at that point that I realised that I had reached the end of the road with this love affair. It no longer held any thrill, it saddened me more than it excited me and it wasn't what I had initially fallen in love with. So, I put quietly put down the bag I was holding, turned around and slipped passed all the other customers who were ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the bags like I once did.

I found out later on that the reason why the designs had moved from being quirkily subtle to being in your face is that Kate Spade herself had left the enterprise and while it still carried her name, she was no longer the creative genius behind it. This made leaving a little easier, I wasn't saying good bye to what I had been attracted to. We had simply grown apart and our tastes were now different.

It was time to find a new love, the problem was I didn't know where to start looking. But no matter, I will spend some time savouring all the momentos I have from this before moving on although I don't think I'll ever be able to let it go fully. I will always carry remnants of it around and there will be baggage and whatever comes next will have large shoes to fill.

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 19:23

4 thoughts...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

With compliments

We got back from our first vacation away from the kids on Monday. It's Thursday, that's how long it's taken me to sit down and blog about it. I'm only going to blog about part 1 of the holiday. Part 2 was basically uninteresting, eating and shopping and mostly uneventful although I did ride a tuk tuk at least twice a day, I learnt how to say thank you in Thai and I also learnt that the Thai people love their king so much, on the 5th of Dec, most of Thailand donned yellow clothes as a mark of respect to His Majesty on his 90th birthday. Yellow being the royal colour.

Part 1 of the holiday was the luxurious, plurge and be happy part of it. We went to the Banyan Tree in Phuket with the sole purpose of being pampered. And pampered we were, so much so that we regretted not staying another night. This started the minute we got off the plane where we were picked up in style. Muzak, chilled water, cold towels scented with eucalyptus. On top of that, the minute the car arrived at the porch, we had an army of staff descend upon us, each addressing us by our names.

Of course, it didn't hurt to have told them we were on our honeymoon so our check in was expedited and a bottle of champagne awaited us in the villa. And this was to much joy since it was going to be my first drink in more than a year.

I had heard great things about the Banyan Tree but it didn't prepare me for the buggy chauffeurs who would buggy us from point A in the resort to point B even if point B was 10 metres in front of you. Neither did it prepare me for the villa with its raised bed that overlooked our private pool and gazebo

where we had a chef come in to cook us our own private barbeque which consisted of lobster, prawns with heads the size of my fist, snapper and other seafood. We ate by the pool in candlelight with champagne.

The problem with only staying two nights was that we didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do. There was our pool and sunbed that we hardly used because for once, we willingly spent a great amount of time in the ocean. As a rule, Packrat hates the ocean. Something to do with having watched too many shark movies and the sea water being sticky. Of course, when the ocean looks like this, and the sand in the water is velvety soft and smooth, it

becomes quite a different story. I think it helped that it wasn't blistering but it was warm enough to need to cool down in the ocean. Packrat says that the next time we are there and in all likelihood, we had such a good time that there will be a next time, we should just go for the villa without the pool. That would remove the guilt we felt for neglecting our pool and sunbed.

And the reason why I didn't learn the 'thank you' bit till we hit Bangkok was that all the staff spoke passable English and we didn't really need to struggle to be understood.

Now that I've looked at the photos again, I really miss the ocean. Now if only I were a minister in Singapore awaiting the second part of my pay raise, then we could go back and we could bring the kids and not worry about the cost.

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:03

1 thoughts...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Some day my prince will come

When I first saw the posters for Enchanted, I thought it was another teen-y movie and I didn't really want to see it. Plus there were singing animals which I, on principle, dislike. Strangely enough, Packrat thought it would be fun to watch and told me that the singing animals were only in the beginning and they end up in NYC where all sorts of high jinks occur. Then this morning, another friend told us that it was good fun and it brought back the calairfare* animals from the old Disney full length fairy tales. Now those I like, Thumper, the birds from Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty and I think even Bambi himself, my sole reason for not eating venison.

So we decided at that moment to buy tickets for tonight, knowing that if we sat on it, we'd end up not going. And I'm thankful we did. I haven't laughed so much in a while and I haven't felt that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with watching a feel good movie. Plus the last movie with a gallant prince charming in a modern day situation was Kate and Leopold and that was just painful because of a very whiny Meg Ryan. This one, on the other hand had a very very yummy MacDreamy who carried off both suits and the medieval-princely attire of white tights and boots very well. This led to many ' yum' moments for me and me asking Packrat if he was a prince in disguise with white tights and boots hidden at the back of his closet somewhere. He gave me a look and remarked that he didn't look good in white tights. The ensuing coversation went something like this.

Me: But you will look good in it and you will look all regal and yum.
Packrat: No. I won't. Period.
Me: Ee yur. A Prince is supposed to have white tights, boots, be chivalrous and all.
Packrat: When you can cut and make clothes from the drapes, I'll show you white tights and boots.
Me: I failed Home Ec! I'm not cutting or sewing anything.
Packrat: Then we'll just have to deal, won't we?

Darn. That's why fairy tales don't exist. The girls fail Home Ec and the boys have too much of a sense of irony. With that combination, it sure requires more than singing animals, fairy godmothers, beautiful ball gowns and the ability to sing and dance to find one's true love and live happily ever after.

And that's why movies like that make one go warm and fuzzy inside.

*cast of extras

Technorati Tags: ,

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:16

4 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"