Friday, April 28, 2006

The Sin of Gluttony

The series of gluttony began one Monday night, when we drove down to Emeryville after dinner only to have all the shops shut at our faces. Feeling rather empty at the lack of avenues to spend my greenbacks, I splurged impulsively on chocolate decadences at Trader Joe's. The truffles were awesome.

The next day was unfortunately, Ben and Jerry's Day. A day where they bestowed upon the world scoops of free Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Howie instigated me to join the queue and so we did. Surprisingly, the line progressed pretty quick and soon, Howie was delighted with his free scoop of Triple Caramel Chunk ice cream cone.

Unsatisfied with his single scoop of ice cream, Howie coaxed me to join the queue once more after his early dinner. I was already satiated with my first ice cream scoop and stolen pieces of Howie's dinner, but a friend has to do what a friend has to. 有难同当嘛. I forced the second scoop of Dublin Mudslide down my throat at alarmingly diminishing marginal utility. Overkill, really. You can't have too much of a good thing, ya' know.

After the free ice-cream binge, I BART-ed down to San Francisco to meet dear Rebecca and Ian whom I haven't seen for almost half a year. Boy, am I glad to see them again! After hugs and greetings, we sauntered down in the pleasurable weather to a Vietnamese place for dinner. I finished a bowl of beef noodles although I wasn't feeling hungry at all.

We adjourned down to a dodgy-looking pub which served surprisingly good lychee martinis. We gossiped, laughed and rambled over drinks. I must say the white chocolate martinis were quite a blast too. Oh, how I miss those times.

I returned to Shuling's room where she mentioned she couldn't finish her room service order of pork chops. I lifted the silver tray and proceeded to cut up the pieces of pork, although I am never a fan of the type of meat. Unastonishingly, I finished up the entire pork chop and proceeded on with an entire chunk of carrot. I was about to wipe off the mashed potato when Shuling emerged from the bathroom and screamed "CAN YOU STOP EATING???".

Thank goodness for friends. Really.

Wednesday evening was spent hurriedly shopping around with Shuling in Union Square at San Francisco. She made an appointment with her colleague at The Cheesecake Factory, shortening her shopping hours available. The wait for a table was dreary. We stood around, sharing pictures on our digital cameras, making distracted small talks as I watched platters of food go by. I haven't eaten a proper the entire day and it was almost 9pm!

When we FINALLY got a table at the balcony, the portable heater was rather insufficient in keeping us warm. The wait for our orders was another further 20 minutes, so we spent time fidgeting with our cameras.

Finally, our orders were served and I hungrily tucked into my delectable chicken madeira. We ordered 2 cheesecakes for dessert and the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake was awfully, awfully sinful. Lookie, how distressed my friend is, thinking about her prospective calories.

Now, I am back in Berkeley and I have just gobbled down another chocolate truffle. More gluttony sins tonight. Man, my jeans are getting tight. Not a good sign at all.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Shopping Hysteria

By some strange sort of forces (probably mummistical nature), my relatives somehow learn about my travel to the United States and requests regarding items to purchase started pouring in . They range from cosmetics and perfumes to consumables like jellybeans. Additionally, there are requests from friends alike. I am beginning to feel like an importer somewhat.

With my shopping list, I trudged towards the city of San Francisco. I unfortunately found myself shopping for myself, spending a good TWO plus hours in Forever 21 and H&M. Another half hour was spent in Crate and Barrel, wow-ing at pretty home accessories I do not need. The rest of the time was spent in random shops like Gap, Sephora, Virgin, etc. With my wallet visibly lighter, I met my friend for a burger meal at the gay district of Castro.

For the night, I packed food and visited Shuling who has just arrived in San Francisco. She was seemingly excited about outlet shopping in California, but the targeted place was not accessible by public transport. Instead, I suggested we visit the Great Mall of Milpitas.

Now, shopping in California is very different from Singapore Malls. In Singapore, I can easily walk the whole of Orchard Road. No sweat, ho ho ho all the way. In the States, the shops are huge. Getting from one shop to another is a pain. In Singapore, if I have forgotten to get something from one shop, I would probably take an escalator, walk a hundred steps and viola! Over here, forgetting to get an item from one shop could mean a good 1/2 hour trek. For the first time I was at Gilroy outlet, I actually surrendered to my weariness and GAVE UP browsing all the shops. Yes. I gave up. The whole bloody place was too humongous. It was impossible to finish in a day.

I was secretly sniggering as Shuling expressed her skepticism:

"Great mall doesn't look very interesting leh. Gilroy has more shops leh."

So, forfeiting the opportunity to visit the oyster farm with my host ("Eat oysters Singapore also can do what," says the astute girl), we roused ourselves from slumber, BART-ed and bus-ed our way to the Great Mall.

We started our shopping at around noon and ended a good SEVEN hours later. By then, I was seriously exhausted, this being my 2nd round of shopping. Shuling looked a paradoxical mix of being traumatized (at the prospect of over-expenditure) as well as a pleasantly self-satisfied look.

When we first gotten down the bus on the way here, I pointed at the timeslot on the bus schedule "6.52pm".

Me: Hey, perhaps we could catch the 6.52pm bus back to the BART.
Shuling: 6.52?! So late ah?
Me: Late?
Shuling: Yah, by the time reach hotel already what time? I need to work tomorrow leh.
Me: Oh? Late?

You know me, I am just being practical. I have been there, done that, and I knew that she is probably being clouded by her skeptism. And I was right because as I was sitting at a bench resting my sore feet outside Aeropostale, I glanced at my watch. It said "7.09pm" then. My dear friend was still whimsically flitting from one polo-tee to another, deliberating on her choices.

6.52pm? Late?

As she emerged, I started to tease.

Me: How? Great Mall shops boring ah?
Shuling: Hee hee.
Me: Gilroy is 3 times bigger than Great Mall lor.
Shuling: Wah! Cannot already lah, I spent too much already.
Me: Next time wanna go Gilroy, remember to train yourself at Great Mall first okay?
Shuling: Haaa.

And that concludes our shopping therapy... (or so.. I thought).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Steps of Rome & Roz Corral

On friday evening, we drove down to the North Beach area in San Francisco for a premature birthday celebration of Cheuk's gal, Pervina. Man, are the winds in San Francisco chilly. They stung with cold as we stumbled around, checking random menus out.

Finally attracted to the swoonsome photographs of delectable desserts, we decided to dine in the Italian eatery called the Steps of Rome. Inside the restaurant is a burst of warmth and energy, the music was loud and booming, the hosts were brimming with full-fledged italian energy. The atmosphere was vibrant and spontaneous, with people just sporadically standing up to sway to the rhythms. At one time, the music abruptly increased in volume and the lights started blinking in-sync and the two very sexy italian host, bare-chested and all, started dirty-dancing with a particular lady customer. Now, that's what I call dinner entertainment.

The food was all right, but the portion was surprisingly inadequate for an american serving. We ordered desserts from a little menu of pretty, delicious-looking pictures, but they ended up looking kinda sad. At least they tasted okay. Ha.

Now for the real after-dinner entertainment - Live Jazz Music at Jazz at Pearl's. Well, I have no idea who Roz Corral is but I do like the atmosphere of live music and drinks. The music was soothing and relaxing (though the drums were a tad too loud and annoying), just perfect for a relief at the end of a busy week.

I wish Singapore has more of these stuff.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Food, Glorious Food

My nice (I must bold this because he reads and feedbacks on my blog entries :P) host in Berkeley has suggested dining at this particular restaurant, Chez Panisse, one month earlier. Apparently, since it was supposedly reputed to be one of the best dining places in California, reservations have to be done weeks in advanced.

Well, I must say it is quite an experience although I am no fine dining connoisseur. The menu, described by my host, was seemingly complicated, comprising of the following:

Fried Atlantic skate salad with cardoons, fennel, and capers
Chino Ranch artichoke and green pea risotto
Grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with roasted turnips, asparagus, and Cannard Farm chard
Meyer lemon ice cream crêpes

Lookie, half the menu comprised of ingredients I haven't heard of. That can't be a good sign, can it? Ha ha.

Nevertheless, the food was not bad. Perhaps my taste buds have not been attuned to ascertaining the finnese of fine dining culinary.

Despite my insistence on paying for the meal, my host politely refused. Hence, I decided to roll up my sleeves today and display my rare culinary abilities (if any).

Right, turns out that the steamed egg custard was rather tasteless. Heh. So, since I ain't confident of how my food taste like, I always try to compensate by making my food look better with garnishing.

Very crafty, I know. Heh.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Los Angeles Part 2

Continuing from Saturday's adventure, I was roused from a deep slumber by my mom's call at an ungodly morning hour.

Mum: Why are you still sleeping ah?
Me: Because it is 730 in the morning!!!
Mum: Oh, 730 am already ah. I thought I must add 3 hours. It's minus 3 hours ah?
Me: I jet-lagged leh! Not enough sleep.
Mum: Sorry ah! You go back to sleep lah, ok?

And thanks to mummy dearest, I was one of the first to awake. I washed up, changed and packed. ZH was similarly ready in a while and all we have to do then was to wait for otterboy to get his ass moving. After many clucks and pillows-bashing, the mother hen in me finally got him crawling to the bathroom.

Before we headed towards Universal Studios, we decided to get a really hearty breakfast to avoid the murderously high prices of food in the themepark. The guys decided to get some at Ihop, an apparently popular breakfast joint in California. Now, have I ever mentioned that a complete array of breakfast food is just the recipe to make me whoop with joy? When I was living alone in Berkeley, I would whip up elaborate breakfast meals of eggs, bacon and waffles just to cheer my lonely self up. So, imagine the euphoria in feasting my eyes upon the absolutely delicious trays of aromatic bacon, ham, cinnamon toast, crepes, pancakes and whatsnots.

Yums. So with our appetites satisfied and otterboy having his enough-to-justify-the-cost number of orange juice refills, we drove down to the Universal Studios.

Unlike Six Flags Magic Mountain which were filled with adrenaline-rushing thrill roller coasters, the Universal Studios was alot more tame and milder. Nothing scares nor excites me. Perhaps after Six Flags where ever single ride was a roller coaster, no other themepark can provide that adrenaline rush anymore. Still, the Universal Studios was fun in another sort of way.

Most of the features were mostly movie-style or themed. That means most of the times, you would be watching the screen and having your seats jerked around, water sprayed on your face, and furry stuff running through your feet to emulate the feel of creepy crawlies. There were studio tours to show the different production sets from War of Worlds to Desperate Housewives, special effects performance to display the different behind-the-scenes techniques, and oh, let's not forget the Fear Factor live competition which otterboy insisted on watching.

The first feature we went to was unfortunately the worst - The Van Helsing.

Don't be fooled by its impressive facade. It is actually a feature where you have to walk (oh, actually I meant stumble) through in semi-darkness. For some reason, the 2 guys decide to let me walk up front and I do believe I suffer from semi-blindness. The whole place was as dark as night, I couldn't see anything and I was trying to keep up with the couple in front of me. In fact, I think I shocked the performer who was supposed to scare me because I couldn't see where I was going. It was the most ridiculous.

Still, despite my initial reservation, the other features were thankfully much, much better. Again, more photos here!

My dinner was miserable. Cuban food is totally NOT my cup of tea. The black bean soup was an utterly disgusting sight, and the boiled bananas... are just... ew.

Finally, we embarked on the arduous roadtrip back, garbling along the songs, discussing about random stuff, gossiping, dozing off (not for the driver, thankfully) and slapping people around for nonsensical statements. It was exhausting, but on hindsight, a memorable experience.

Now, I am back in Berkeley, and having relate my work to my professor over glasses of wine, I am once again, piled with work.

Ah, work. I shall work hard.

Los Angeles

I finished my conference presentation on a late Saturday morning, checked out of the hotel and waited patiently for my two friends to arrive from Berkeley. Personally, I do think roadtrips make good adventure and are a good way to bond because there isn't much you can do inside the vehicle except to talk or torture the other with bad singing (like what otterboy did). However, 6-plus hours of journey can literally be a pain in the ass too, so I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their effort and endurance. And as you know, after continuous exposure to bad singing/talking, my ears get attuned to it and by the end of the journey, I don't think your singing is that bad afterall, my dear otterboy! Isn't that miraculous? :P

The first stop we headed from the god-forsaken conference hotel was Hollywood. From the screens, I always imagined Hollywood to be a glamorous platform, glittery and full of life. It turned out to be a disappointment because the Kodak Theatre was rather blah.(I think the bright lights of Vegas were even more glittery!)

Perhaps it has to be bland so that its stars trodding in can shine? Crowds were thronging the boulevard, making it quite impossible to spot the celebrities stars pasted on the walkway. We sauntered along, looking at imprints of celebrities (hands, feet and whatsnot) which I felt were rather pointless. But oooh, guess who I saw along the boulevard???

Mister V himself! Although the V-image dropped a notch when he requested a dollar in exchange for the picture, it was nevertheless the highlight of the Hollywood exploration. We left after a while to drive aimlessly among the Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. My left eye was starting to sting like crazy, so I wasn't quite paying attention to any beautiful large mansions. Heh.

Nearing dusk, we arrived at Santa Monica. Can I just say that Santa Monica is one of the prettiest place I ever seen? With the sandy beach, waters, vibrant lights of a nearby amusement park and quaint cafes, the sight to behold was a pleasant one. Alas, the sun was already setting. Otherwise, I was quite certain the place would be much more fantastic being basked in the warm glow of sunshine. Of course, the experience would be much better without my stupid stinging left eye.

We left the beach area for a shoppping district at Santa Monica Place. There were rows of shops and restaurants, with the street steaming with people. It was pretty cool, though I am not quite a crowd person.

After a mediocre dinner at this fusion Thai-Chinese place, we strolled back to the car for our overnight stay at The Marriot which was booked for a ridiculously cheap price on Priceline. We needed to recuperate our souls for the Universal Studios adventure on Sunday.

More about that later.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Supremely Jet Lagged

I forced myself to bed last night at 1 a.m., only to find myself abruptly awoken an hour later. Tossing and turning abit, I fell into an unfitful sleep again and woke up to find the clock still trickling its seconds to 4 a.m.

I stared at the ceiling. And I stared somemore. Somehow, I could not fall asleep again.

Like a zombie, I struggled through the seminar sessions with my eyes barely opened . Finally, after lunch, I succumbed to the jet lag monster (No thanks to silly otterboy for cursing me with his jet lag infection. Grr!) and took a short nap.

The social dinner session was possibly the draggiest and suffering one in my life. Not only do I have to endure coercing small talks with strangers, there were a horrifying total of 5 hours of that to tolerate. 1 hour of silly bus-waiting, 2 hours of dinner and 2 hours of musical I have not the stamina to comprehend.

Right even before dinner was served, my eyes were threatening to boycott me. They started stinging like hell and in the 2 last hours of the musical play, I was fighting the urge to take the knife to stab myself. Ugh.

Oh well, right now, I am cosy in my bed. It is really cold outside. Crazy L.A. weather! Yesterday was hot like hell and today it is freezing cold.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Well, I know I am back in the United States once more, when I am greeted with blue skies and sunshine but no trace of perspiration, when I am greeted by very blatant cheehongkias right at the beginning in the airport.

After the usual interrogation at the customs check, I collected my baggage and proceeded to exit. Just before the exit, we had to submit a declaration form to disclaim any argricultural items or food produce we were to bring. This was a simple procedure, with many of the people just handing over the forms silently to the officer and then proceeding to the exit.

Then, it was my turn.

Officer: Hello.
Me: Hi.

He decided to stare more intensely at my form. I suddenly began to worry about what I have wrote in my semi-dazed jet-lagged state.

Looking at the clause where I labelled the previous countries I have visited recently...

Officer: Woo, you went to Thailand?
Me: Er, yes. (Thinks: Shite! Is there Bird Flu in Thailand? I hope he doesn't detain me.)
Officer: What are you doing here in USA?
Me: Conference. (Didn't the customs check officer already ask me that??!)
Officer: How long will you be here for?
Me: 2 weeks.
Officer: Dang.
Me: Huh.
Officer: 2 weeks is too short for me to ask you out.

There you go, the exemplification of the blatantness and cheekiness of US dudes.

Anyway, I had a terrific flight, one of the best I have gotten in my entire US travels (which isn't alot lah.) I watched Corpse Bride, The Family Stone and Good Company on the flight from Singapore to Tokyo. From Tokyo to Los Angeles, I had 3 seats to myself! How cool is that? I just laid down to sleep with my iPod, neglecting whatsoever notes and storybook I have brought along. Heh.

Right, more later!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Magic Fundoshi

Last night, I made my virgin trip to the newly-minted (it is new as long as I haven't visited it, so there) National Library to catch The Magic Fundoshi at the Drama Center. It is a comedy directed by Glen Goei, delightfully played by four main actors comprising of (a very, I like!) Koh Boon Pin, Jonathan Lim, Robin Goh and (a very very very funny.. ooo, I also like!) Hossan Leong.

Not really having any expectations of the production since it was my friend who suggested watching it, I was pleasantly surprised at its entertaining and humorous antics. In fact, I don't think I have laughed that much at any productions (movies, included). Despite Glen Goei's appearance at the beginning to disclaim the presence of uncensored sensitive scenes, I was temporarily dumbfounded at moments when some of the guys stripped right to their underwear, including one who bared his butt. At the finale, a special guest appeared and bore her well-endowed assets, an act that made me wonder if I were still to be in censor-happy Singapore.

All in all, I had a jolly good time (although my friend said he dozed off sporadically). So, you people should go catch it!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pro cast i nate?

Well, well, well. My USA trip is in 3 days' time and I haven't prepared my conference slides. Well done, me. The biggest procastinator that could ever be. I am utterly disgusted with myself. And look what I am doing now? I am blogging. This is akin to looking at Death in the face and telling him "Wait har, before I die, let me blog."

Before you mistaken me for some over-zealous blog addict, I am not. Simply, I am just looking for outlets to vent my procastination. It is like "Ah, before I start on doing work, let me check my email. Ah, let me go to the loo. Ah, what else is there left to be done? Ah, yes, blogging." and so it goes.

Anyway, the past weekend has been rather eventful, in a rather bad way. It seems that everywhere I go, disasters are sure to follow. As one of my friend put it,"It seems as if trouble looks for you!" But that is another story to tell, so I will leave it for another day.

Meanwhile, did you know that the coach rides from Malaysia nowadays are like wayyy cool. The one I took cost about 55 ringgit and they have a stewardess welcoming you on board, draped in a pseudo SIA costume. Before the journey started, she stood in front mumbling some gibberish. I was half-expecting her to perform some sort of emergency procedure like the ones of flights. My seats were lush and comfortable, with massaging features even! The best part is the plentiful leg space. I totally dig that! If only United economy seats are this comfortable. Sigh.

Halfway into the journey, the "stewardess" started sauntering down the aisle, asking for us to take out the tables from the armrest. Tables?! I must be some frog in the well because honestly, I have never sit on any coach rides that start dishing food. True enough, she started handing out packs of food and bottles of water. It was really funny, eating on a bus.

Okay, I shall abruptly end this procastinating attempt.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Students' Daze

Life as a student is filled with frantic deadlines. I remembered de-bugging my program right up to the last millisecond of which the deadline could allow with kling, helping my brother cut up and color stuff maniacally when he was an architectural student or rushing to print and bind reports just minutes before the time is up. Life was quite exciting, I might say.

These days, the tension is high as the Final Year Project deadline drew close and for the past days, the final year students have been pouring an avalanche of emails into my inbox for my vetting. The final day was relatively peaceful.. or so I thought... until the last hour where they started to rush in with alarm bells ringing.

There were re-printing to be done, project forms that were forgotten, page numbers misalignment and whatsnot. Suddenly, I felt my adrenaline rushing again, except this time, I have three projects to see to. I felt like a super mother hen, clucking words of comfort to ensure them not to worry, helping them print and do last-minute reading. Gosh.

Just minutes before the deadline, I ran up six stories worth of steps and in between pants and breathlessness, assisted one student in adding additional pages into her already-binded project. You know, the ring-binds, where u have like 20 holes punched in them and you have to tactically removed the plastic flexible ring out of each hole one by one. Then you add the additional papers before cautiously negotiating them through those darned apertures. The trick is to remain calm and focus on the task, so I was done with manually rebinding one project in a few minutes.

(Easy for me to say lah. Not my project mah. Of course I'm calm. Ha ha ha. )

Meanwhile, my student was panicking and fumbling with her other report.

Her: Help me!!!! HELP!!!! *Throws her hands in exasperation*
Me: Right, right. Be calm.
Her: ARGH!
Me: Don't panick!

I managed to thread the dreaded rings in another few minutes and was ready to make a run for the office.

Her: WAIT!
Me: What?
Her: Hang on.
Me: What?!
Her: Oh, this is my religion and I am going to do a very religious thing.
Me: ...

She adorably took out a portrait of her religion's higher being and placed it on top of her reports while mumbling some sacred verses (I presume). Stunned at the seemingly paradoxical illustration of subjective religion and logical, concrete science, I broke into a smile.

"I hope it helps," I quipped.

"Of course! He's good." she chirped cheerfully.

And there ends my reign of my cluckity-cluck. Until the next semester starts...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Strangeness of Love

I came across an article in the Straits Times' Mind Your Body Section where the feature was an interview with a nondescript elderly man called Ray. Apparently, more than a decade ago, Ray's wife, Grace, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's diesease, a frightening condition which progressively claimed any smidgen of her memory (I imagine I would rather die than not recognize the person I love most).

After the diagnosis, they both decided they would travel around the world, living life to the fullest, with Ray attending to her every need despite her memory lapses and expensive medication. 12 years later, she passed away as he was having his nap and he kept his promise to write a book about her - Amazing Grace.

"You don't stop loving someone because they are ill."

Those heart-rending words left a strange tingling sensation lingering as I stabbed mindlessly at the last bits of my Maple Peacan cereal.

Then, the phone rang and I heard Lina trying her utmost to end the conversation with the party on the other line. I looked at her questioningly and she whispered if I would take the call. So I did.

Me: Hello?
Girl: Na! Na! Na!
Me: Hello?
Girl: Na! Na!
Me: 你找谁? (Who are you looking for?)

Hearing my spoken chinese, the girl suddenly sounded very relieved, breaking into uncontrollable spurts of conversation. Apparently, she is the Chinese girlfriend of my very wayward paternal cousin whom I haven spoken more than 100 words in my life. My cousin is one of the most disappointing, incorrigible man I have ever seen, with a heart so steely he could cheat his grandfather of his family heirloom, his dad of his money and countless girls of their hearts. Each time as I see him put on that facade pleading innocence that can only completely befuddle old aunties like my mother, I am filled with utter contempt.

But now, here is a girl, over in China, investing her life savings in hope for a better life with him. She sounded helpless and asked if I have heard from my cousin because she had not be able to reach him at all. She wants to come to Singapore earlier and she wants to be with him through his court proceedings.

To tell the truth, I haven't the slightest idea what my cousin is up to. Like I said, I have never spoken more than a hundred words to him in my entire quarter century of existence. However, the desperate tinge in her voice just made me hung on and listen, despite the pressing time for school. She began rattling, rather affectionately I must say, about how my cousin has no friends nor family (except my mother) to care for him, about how they are going to live life together in Singapore.

Perhaps there is a reason why a person is without friends or family. It just did not occur to her. I sincerely hope my cousin has not abandoned her. The best I could do is to offer a listening ear to let her know that at least the cousin's family has not. That could offer a little shred of comfort.

So what is love?

It could be just plain stupidity.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Roles Reversed

Remember the times where parents couldn't stand their kids bantering behind in the car? I mean, I do remember having fights with my elder brother in the backseat and my Dad threatening to throw us out if we do not shut the hell up.

Now, I think after my parents hit 55 years old, the roles are quite reversed. While sitting at the backseat on the car ride to fetch my brother, I had to resist putting my ear plugs on in attempt to ignore my parents' banter.

Mum: Oh, that is your secondary school right?
Dad: Yah, yah.
Mum: So, your school near Singapore Chinese Girls?
Dad: No ah. Where got?
Mum: Then you all disturb girls from which school?
Dad: Crescent Girls lor.
Mum: So how many crescent girls you asked out?
Dad: Don't have lar.
Mum: Sure a not? You never ask girls out one meh?
Dad: I am sam seng kia. We only disturb girls. We don't ask them out.
Mum: Yah, don't think got any girls want to go out with you.


Me: Hmm, I wonder where Charlotte (my bro's girlfriend) works.
Mum: Oh, I know one. But then now, I don't remember.
Dad: You like that, my as well don't say.
Mum: I know! Ah yong drove me there before.
Dad: But now, do you know?
Mum: Now I cannot remember lah.
Dad: Yah, then don't need to say!
Me: ...

Of Falling Toenails Conspiracy and Whatsnot

Just during Chinese New Year this year, my right toenail decided it has enough of sticking out with me through my jogging regime, getting rammed ungratefully each time against those darned shoes. As it hung precariously by the thread of skin, I tried everything from band-aids (to keep it in place) to sheer will-power-staring (to will the skin to grow and hold the damn nail back). Alas, none could work and I hence decided to pull it out in my exasperation.

Now, my right toenail is on a good track to recovery. However, after my jog last week, I examined my sore toes to discover the left one has decided to die too. Hooray, just when I thought I could have 2 toenails intact, one of them decides to play punk. Now tell me if this isn't a conspiracy between my toes in protest. All right, toes, you win. I will get new shoes real soon.



You cannot imagine the truckloads of work awaiting me. I spent the past 3 days doing nothing except to sleep, eat and play. Karma is just lying in ambush to pounce on me as the Monday arrives. And there you go, Monday is today. Oh, joy joy.

Ah, it is also the 3rd of April. The day my brother was born 29 years ago. Happy Birthday, Bro.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fashion Festival

My JC buddy, Emily and her sister have recently taken up interest in fingernails pampering, sufficiently to actually engage themselves in a course. You know, I am quite a retard regarding this aspect because frankly, I don't see how preening my fingernails can make me look any better. I can't cut my nails proper and I know nuts about the difference between buffing and filing. I will probably be more willing to spend on a pedicure because my toes lead a much less torturous life as compared to my fingers, thus inflicting lesser opportunities for manicure-ruin.

Anyhoo, the ladies needed a subject for their examination and voila! Here I was, the ever-helpful friend. Fine, I do admit I was also looking forward for a free manicure. Little did I expect them to whip up surgical-looking stuff because they were primarily interested in doing acrylic nails on me. Aaack.

Well, truthfully, the 2-3 hour plus session was traumatizing. Firstly, the sound of fingernails filing, especially acrylic ones, is no music to ears. In fact, I could feel a chill run down my spine and little hair standing on their ends. Secondly, it felt rather painful. And trust me, it is totally a pain in the ass to be sitting down and doing absolutely nothing.

Argh. The nice ladies reminded me that I am supposed to keep mum despite the pain during their examination to prevent any points from taken away. Sigh.

Look at the smug face on Amy's face. I tortured them in return by asking them to pose for my (relatively) new camera.

Evening, I adjourned to town to meet Candice for the Nokia-sponsored Calvin Klein Fashion Show. We were ushered to this cocktail reception where the media mingled. As we entered, we were promptly pounced upon by various waiters offering from chocolates to glasses of champange. We stood around with plates of delicacies, observing familiar faces from celebrities to journalists.

After many many dishes of chocolates, we were fortunate enough to meet the Nokia Marketing Manager who ensured we got pretty reasonable seats at the second row. The catwalk strutting stuff were pretty cool, with many ethereal-looking skinny models marching into an explosion of flashlights. Quite an eye-opener, I must say.

The models all looked absolutely fabulous on the stage but if I were to wear those stuff they were wearing, I would probably look nothing less than a clown.

Sigh. Life is unfair.

More pictures here.