Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Goodbye Lina

Herlina, or Lina, as we affectionately address her, came into our lives abruptly because our previous maid had committed illegal deeds and was sent back. After sending the latter to the airport, I fetched my mum to the agency where she had to pick a domestic worker on an ad-hoc basis. Accordingly, these are the workers who are sent back to the agency because of their inept capabilities.

We were pleasantly surprised that Lina was none of that. She has arrived at our home, unable to speak English nor cook. Now, with her quick wit and earnest demeanor, she is leaving for home with an extremely good grasp of English (that sometimes even beats my mum!), an ability to whip up various delicacies and even the skill to make jewellery. In fact, she enjoyed making jewellery so much that I bought her a personal set of tools and beads for her birthday last year so she could bring them back and set up a business of her own. Her collection of verbal English vocabulary is astonishing, a proof of how television can actually improve your linguistics. Hee. How proud I am of her.

She has also worked her way up to winning Mister Toto's affections. As you all know, the phrase '狗眼看人低' actually applies to Toto. Toto, that little bastard, somehow felt that Lina's orders wasn't worth listening and wouldn't fetch the ball if she threw it. But now, it is a different ball game altogether. He will cosy up to her to greet her in the morning, looks for her in the evening for his dinner and fetches the ball if she asked him too.

We're pals, ya know!

Lina, besides being blessed with the uncanny ability to predict my food cravings and the prowess the clear the major chaos in my room before I leave for work each day, is also a great person to gossip and talk to. I am sure going to miss the Sunday afternoons with her and Toto, exploring Kent Ridge and Labrador Park, laughing at Toto's antics.

She will be leaving for her home in a few hours. Despite our reluctance to let her go home for good, I know it is essential for her to seek her own happiness and establish her own family. Oh, the dilemma.

I want to wish her all the best and all the happiness that she can find. I will miss her and I know she will miss us too. I hope the truckloads of photos that I have printed for her will prove useful.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

(Now, if only someone can tell me how to dissolve that great big lump in my throat.)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Doggone Exhausted

I am thoroughly, thoroughly tuckered out. I roused myself up in the morning (early by Sunday standards) for a hike with Kingsley and his pals, came home to give Toto a major shower, gobbled down lunch before being whisked off by my folks to the new place for renovation planning. Right now, I am still grimy despite a washdown from Toto's bathing area. Heh. I call this a fermented state.

Anyway, I had fun at the hike (Thanks, Kingsley, for the invite!) and I am sure as hell Toto did so too, except he was really traumatized at the beginning, being coerced into the drain and wading through the muddy waters. He kept attempting to jump up into dry land. Well, he is not quite afraid of water so I have no idea why he tried so hard to stay dry. I figured he must be the prissy gay sort - Did my stupid mistress actually use chlorine to sterilize these waters first? - of dog.

Mmm, I haven't been here before, have I?

We were trekking on a biking trail, trying the best as possible to avoid bikers. Many of them are nice, some muttered 'Thanks', some garbled compliments about the dogs. In fact, only one pudgy fellow (who probably has a perpetual wedgie that makes him soooo grumpy) had loads to rant about the canines despite my profuse apologies. Sigh.

Making way for the bikers!

We journeyed down the slippery slopes and up the grassy hills...

.. with a rest stop or two in between for quenching sips of water. Mmm.

Rest stop also means there is ample time for....


...fratenizing with fellow humans in hope for more treats... (Cheapo!)

...and checking other doggy friends' butts.
Mmm, I wonder what shampoo he uses...

We had a long intermission at this beautiful quarry place. It was such a pretty sight in the concrete heavy Singapore. The open field was additionally a heaven-sent to the canines who wasted no time bounding away.

It was also a good time to get Toto to pose. Toto is actually quite an expert in posing for photographs, as long as there are no potential hazards beside him.

But if you think it is that simple to get a still shot of him, think again.

There are distractions, too... like...

...look to the left!

(I bet he was thinking if he should run for his life, teehee.)

..a certain white capped heckler.. :P

As usual, it couldn't be a rest stop unless there are kibbles, right?

There are tickling moments when some ladies decided to demonstrate their iron strength. My, my, look at their biceps!

After a few more portraits of Mister Toto...

.. we finally trekked our way out into civilization.

'twas a good way to spend a Sunday morning. More photos over here.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Alien Aviary in Campus

As I was striding towards the car, engrossed in digging my keys out from the deep realms within my bag, I felt something fell past, narrowly missing my head. It was a twig.

Subsequently, a few more twigs fell, followed by very loud squawks.

I looked up, expecting to shoot those bloody crows a few glares, but saw this instead.

It was a parrot, and it was chewing and breaking twigs off from the poor tree. His partner-in-crime came along and both of them would have a major discussion on the branches, as if they were pondering upon which twigs to select. One of them would fly down to pick up a twig, before blazing to a huge tree next to the AYE, probably to build their nest. Eh bird-brains, didn't anyone tell you that residences next to the highways often suffer from noise pollution?

Anyway, as I related the strange sighting to Samantha later in the evening, I was astonished to realize the pair of parrots was a common sighting on the AYE. Apparently, they have been sighted for quite some time already. Did they elope from the clutches of the Singapore Bird Park, I wonder.

Still, after escaping for so long, haven't they already set up their nest somewhere? Judging from their very noisy exchanges I observed, I believed this is due to the customary couple squabbles over their new habitat. In fact, I even hurriedly whipped up my digital camera to capture their hostility towards each other. (Okay, forget it, my video editing skills suck.)

Anyway, after the video was taken, the pair of love birds proceeded to fly all around the carpark, with one chasing the other in very very audible squawks. My guess is Polly the wife must be screaming her feathery ass off, going "COME BACK HERE, PETER, YOU BASTARD!" or something along that line.

Right, so much for alien aviary. Of course, the main itinerary for last night was to celebrate a particular girl pal's birthday.

Ta dah.

Welcome to the club of 18-year-old-looking 26 year-olds. (Oh, who am I kidding?)
Sandy and I got her a gift, which we hoped she would find of great utility. :)

I had such a delightful dinner, gobbling down like 3/4 bowl of a spicy salmon sushi don, half of the cheesy seafood gratin and other sushi stuff. Yum.

Then, we proceeded to Wine Bos where we attempted to get the Birthday Girl drunk...

However, tried as we could, via various means from cards to verbal "Small Tomato, Big Potato" games, the most she got was a very high and sleepy state. When Ivan arrived, it was a little intimidating to try to get his girl drunk. Heh.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Sam! :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Word Play

A while ago, I was showing my guy friend some pictures I have taken. We came across a particular girl whom he does not particularly like much. And as we all know, men can be rather harsh and critical.

Me: Wah she looks quite sexy here.
Friend: Please! Where got, don't make me puke.
Me: No what, I think she has a come-hither look.

For the unintiated, dictionary.com defines come-hither as follows:
come-hith‧er  /ˌkʌmˈhɪðər, kəˈmɪð-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm-hith-er, kuh-mith-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–adjective inviting or enticing, esp. in a sexually provocative manner; beckoning: a come-hither look.

Friend: What?
Me: Come-hither look lah.
Friend: Huh?
Me: Come-hither look. You know... (spells) c-o-m-e h-i-t-h-e-r...
Friend: Yah! Come Hit Her! Correct, Kiam Pa face!

That must be the funniest shite I ever heard. Come-hither = Come hit her.. whoever would have thought of that?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Serendipitous Dictum

Friends always serve to a variety of needs. There are the sports friends who indulge in sports with you, the 'listening-ear' type of friends who lend you shoulders to cry on when you need to, the cynical friends who provide the most pessimistic outlook of life when you need it, the shopping kahkis who coax you to buy and buy, the stingy restraining sort of friends to curb you impulsive purchases, and the list goes on. They don't necessarily have to fall to one category and the categories are seldom mutually exclusive.

So apparently, to otterboy, I am his T-Shirt Designer friend. Each time he calls me from USA (except for one unique occasion, ahem), it is to design T-shirts.

First, it was for SMSA (Singapore-Malaysian Students Association). Now, it is for his faculty club or something. Frankly, the requirement of having complex equations within the design is driving me nuts! It is so bloody hard to type equations in Photoshop.

HHQ, you owe me a sushi treat when you get your ass back in Singapore, you hear me?!

On other news, my friend Michelle has recently set up a blog selling jewellery she purchased from USA. Go take a peek, if you are interested. :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Something In The Night Goes Bump

Okay, it is 4.38am in the morning and I have spent the last 3 hours tossing and turning in bed! Gees. I am not someone who suffers from insomnia usually. Instead, I usually knock out the moment I hit the pillow. As such, I blame the effectiveness of the caffeine from the tea I consumed from The Tea Party at Bukit Timah in the evening. Blah. Someone please remind me not to drink tea or coffee two hours prior to bedtime.

So, 'twas another Sunday of house-hunting.

Since my Dad sold the house few weeks ago, we were agonizing over the prospect of not ever finding a location that suits our needs. Our needs are pretty varied and complicated, ranging from a tight budget to the requirement of plentiful rooms.

My primary concern is for Toto. I insisted vehemently that we should preferably get a house, or a ground-level unit as much as possible because I have an insane fear of Toto leaping off a building. Heh.

That pretty much rules out this 20-something storey unit we viewed that my brother liked alot. It was in the Balestier area where Kingsley is living. The unit was equipped with many full-length windows (and my vivid imagination is picturing Toto smashing them in bid to get to a fellow canine he sees below). The bathroom had full-length windows too, such that you can get a great view of the city while taking a long hot soak.

An invitation to peeping toms!

Toto might think this is a giant spring board to the pool below.

The resident photographer

A few of the houses we viewed were near the Yio Chu Kang areas where transportation was quite a bane. The houses were big, though. We were quite interested in one of the houses over there, but Mummy dearest gave a no-go because she doesn't know how to drive and public transportation was as good as non-existent in those areas.

The place where birds don't lay eggs.

Pretty big, though.

As we headed to the last destination, I thought it was another day of futile house-hunting. In fact, I was so certain that it would be futile that I told this kid whom I was playing with while waiting for the house agent (he has very cool bow and arrow weapons, you see) that we could continue playing if we ever become neighbors because he looked so disappointed that I had to go. I hope his six-year-old memory would not recollect what I have said. Hmm.

Anyway, the last place had 4 bedrooms plus a maid room and 4 toilets. The best part is - it has a patio that leads down to a common grassy area for Toto to run! Woohoo! What joy. Further, it comes equipped with common facilities. Coolness. It was the first place that all of us agreed on. Finally.

Since we are at the topic of property search and I am so bored with this insomnia thingy, I shall illustrate the looniess that peppers the conversations I have with my professor; this time, it is over the sale of his Singapore's property.

[11/17/2006 6:16:09 PM] lungsg says: btw, I sold my flat in SG.
[11/17/2006 6:16:30 PM] Yee Lin says: wahh
[11/17/2006 6:16:37 PM] Yee Lin says: how much did you sell it for?
[11/17/2006 6:16:40 PM] lungsg says: managed to find a buyer eventually.
[11/17/2006 6:16:42 PM] lungsg says: 1.02 mil.
[11/17/2006 6:16:43 PM] Yee Lin says: now you are rich!!!!!
[11/17/2006 6:16:50 PM] lungsg says: that's the wrong implication!!!
[11/17/2006 6:16:51 PM] Yee Lin says: can be loan shark already
[11/17/2006 6:17:00 PM] lungsg says: no wonder you always write lousy implications section.
[11/17/2006 6:17:07 PM] Yee Lin says: ehh.
[11/17/2006 6:17:34 PM] Yee Lin says: we haven't found a place to stay
[11/17/2006 6:17:47 PM] lungsg says: then how? when are you moving out?
[11/17/2006 6:18:04 PM] lungsg says: so, as a reference, in bukit timah area, you have to pay the price of around 1 mil for my type of flat.
[11/17/2006 6:18:23 PM] Yee Lin says: stay on the streets lor
[11/17/2006 6:20:10 PM] lungsg says: you should've told me earlier.
[11/17/2006 6:20:16 PM] lungsg says: I'd raise my price by 5% and offer it to you.
[11/17/2006 6:20:25 PM] Yee Lin says: wah, that's so kind
[11/17/2006 6:20:30 PM] Yee Lin says: cannot accept la

Okay, now the question is - why the !@#$ am I still not feeling sleepy?!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Look at the damages done. I didn't know my bruise could get so humongous and ugly sufficiently to deserve a name on its own. I hereby affectionately name it 'Bruce'. Everyone, say Hello to Bruce.

So, while hobbling up the stairs a while ago, I decided to test Toto's rescuing abilities. I pretended to trip and fall, groaning a dramatic 'Ow ow ow'. He looked on quizzically from the steps above, wagged his tail for a bit, sauntered down a few steps to sniff my ears before heading for his raw-hide bone. Disturbingly, he looked rather happy. Perhaps he is thinking that now his mistress is gone, he can take over the world or something...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday the 13th

There been a drought of posts in the past week because the lazy bug has struck again. The past dearth of writing is also due to persistent bout of misfortune which makes one (mostly me) sian to post, you know.

Anyway, the series of unfortunate events must have come to a peak during my weekly netball routine yesterday. First, one of the opponents used her knee to ram into the side of my right knee (probably accidental). I felt a sharp pain at the side but continued running, nevertheless.

Moments later, I remembered sprinting for the ball. Somehow, I found myself in a few tumbles on the floor, after being tripped by Jane's shoes, consequently ending up with a very, very bad scrape on my left knee. I poured cold water over my injuries to numb the pain and continued playing. The acute agony only sank in as I was making my way home. Now, I can't bend both my legs without acute pain. Sigh.

It didn't help when I return home to seek some sympathy from mum only to have her yell:

Girls ah, don't always go and play sports, run here run there, fall here, fall there, scars here, there and everywhere. So ugly! Later nobody wants you ah.

Right. So much for motherly tenderness. :P

Last Friday was rather unfortunate, too. I brought Mister Toto to join the Doggie Road Race at the Singapore Bull's Run 2006. When we first reached Ocean Building, the skies started to shower torrendously. I called Kingsley's owner, only to discover they were similarly stuck (and probably soaked) under the tents at the Padang). We had no choice but to stay at the lobby of the Ocean Building, being such strange sights for the office crowd to gawk at.

Finally, the rain thinned and we braved a heavy drizzle to the event. All in all, I must say Toto seemed quite traumatized because there seemed to be many dogs who don't seem to like him alot. Ha ha. Kingsley would snap at him if Toto is within one meter radius and Toto, the coward always pretends he can't see Kingsley by looking anywhere but the latter. At the start of the run, some dog tried to snap on Toto too. As if it was not traumatizing enough, a fire-blower entertaining the crowd blew fire at Toto, frightening the hell out of him. It was no wonder he felt he had to run for his life in the entire doggie road race, dragging his poor owner who only has two legs.

Muscle aches, bloodied knees and bruises. Sigh. When will better luck come?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Who knows anybody or wants to go Chicago...

in December???

(I'm looking for travel khakis lah.)

Doggone Sunday

It was a Sunday, chockful of doggy time.

We started off at Kent Ridge Park, ignoring the bouts of rain pouring over the area. Thankfully, the weather gods were merciful and stopped the downpour the moment we pulled into the parking lots.

Kent Ridge Park is a good place to tire Mister Toto out playing fetch because we will hurl his ball down the hills where he has to proceed to tear after his precious ball and climb up the steep grassy hills.

For some reason, Toto has this tendency to 喜新厌旧 (translated: like new, dislike old). Each time we buy him a new ball, he forgets the previous one he has been so intensely rabid about. Last Thursday, we bought him a ball with a pig face, affectionately named Miss Piggy. He managed to chew on the miserable thing till it lost its squeak and also, its ears.

Anyway, I threw Ms Piggy down the hills with Toto madly running after it, losing sight of them in the terrain. Few minutes later, Toto scampered hurriedly back to my side, without Miss Piggy.

To be honest, I was secretly pleased. May the rainwater in the drain wash Miss Piggy to rest in peace.

I sauntered back to pick another old squeaky ball to throw. I squeaked the ball and threw. Toto ignored me, looking downwards at where Miss Piggy disappeared and wagged his tail. Despite more repeated instructions of "No more!", he just kept looking downwards until I had no choice but to follow him down the terrain. He sprinted to a drain which was miraculously freed of rainwater, stood at the spot Miss Piggy laid and wagged his tail madly. I had no choice but to climb into the drain to retrieve the ball. Brings a whole new meaning to the game of Fetch, doesn't it? Fancy a dog asking the mistress to fetch his holey ball from the drain. Bleah.

In the even, Jane and her boyfriend brought Yukii, a pretty Japanese Spitz darling to fratenize with Toto.

Too bad there didn't seem to be much chemistry between them. In the park, I met a Columbian lady with her Golden retriever puppy and a mongrel. A grumpy old man outside the park yelled "Please leash your dogs!".

I usually unleash Toto in the park unless there are other people in the park who displayed signs of irritation or fright. However, the users in the park are only Jane, me and the Columbian lady who wanted their dogs to play. Anyway, the Columbian lady and old man got into a minor scuffle.

Lady: I do not wish to leash them.
Old man: Can't you read the sign?
Lady: No.
Old man: It says "Please keep your dog on leash"!
Lady: So? I do not know how to read. Why don't you teach me?
Old man: I will call the police!

The Columbian lady ignored and proceed to converse with me. Mid way, her dogs sped towards the Old man who is outside the vicinity of the park, washing his car, as if mocking him. The Old man yelled "DO YOU WANT ME TO THROW A ROCK AT YOUR DOGS!?", proceeding to hurl soap suds at the canines.

Tsk. He must really be afraid of dogs.

The final doggy encounter came in the late evening as I was striding towards the MRT station in the dark. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a little pug materialized and wagged its tail at me.

He looked somewhat like this.

I sort of recognized Mr Drastically-Wrinkled-face from some of the walks near the neighborhoor. He strided purposely by my side until he reached his home, wagged his tail and looked at me.

I stared at him and asked "This one your home ah?"

He wagged his tail some more and looked mournfully beyond the gates. Against my better judgment, I reached out to ring the doorbell.

Several seconds later, a domestic worker emerged and gratefully opened the gates for Mr Pug to happily trot in.

So smart eh, these dogs. All make use of me lah.