Monday, April 30, 2007


So, as I have mentioned in one my earlier posts, I have been going to this Hooked restaurant at the Rail Mall opposite my house rather frequently.

Obviously, I wasn't the only one who noticed it. Today, when I was at lunch with Emily and Jervais over at the restaurant again, the waitress came and informed me if I come 2 more times, they will award me with 10% discount. She said she has served me quite a number of times and her manager has decided to award me with some frequent loyalty program or something. I could have started off a loyalty program for them!

Anyway, 'tis quite embarrassing. Usually, I have to ask for my discounts, not have them offered in my face like this.

I Don't Like Dreams

I hate having dreams and waking up, only to realize they aren't true. I wish my brain would truly retire during bedtime and stop conjuring these untrue images. Sigh.

Anyway, Isabelle has booked an air ticket for me so I will be joining her on a trip to Cambodia with her group of girlfriends. I haven't been to Cambodia before, and am pretty much looking forward to exploring Ang Kor Wat. If any of you have any useful morsel of information to share, please do!

Hmm, I have also just received news in my mailbox that a conference paper has been accepted. If my professor isn't going to present it, I might need to make a trip down to Auckland, New Zealand for the conference in July. Well, well, I haven't been to New Zealand before either!

Oh, of course, I hope it doesn't interfere with the trip I planned with Sandy and Jane to the United Kingdom. It was supposedly planned in mid July so that it can cater to all of our leave schedule as well as to Christophe and Rebecca over in Birmingham and London respectively.

Well, I guess a getaway might be healthy.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Social Adventures

I made my way to Vivocity early in the morning to meet Ruth, a lady who is involved in the Pop and Talent Hub (PaTH) social enterprise, for the discussion of a web site I agreed to help them set up. Apparently, this enterprise, fronted by Elim Chew of 77th street, provides a channel for the talented or the underprivileged people to showcase and sell their handicrafts. They hope this establishment can inspire the young to give and care for others. Just about anyone can set up a stall at the market, as long as they do it for a social cause.

Although the meeting time was scheduled for 1pm, I was unwittingly tricked by Jervais to come early, only to realize I have to help him hang the paintings up. Crafty, eh?

Well, not that I mind, really. Some of the paintings are really pretty, with the most amazing kaleidoscope of colors, especially the ones done by this girl with Down's Syndrome called Fern Wong.

I returned home in the afternoon and decided to bring Toto to explore the nearby Bukit Batok Nature Park, despite some people's kind warnings about supernatural and crimes.

So, what's my verdict?

I like it! This shall be our subsequent hangout instead of Kent Ridge Park which was nearer to my old home. Ho ho! I think Toto likes it too.

The only grouse is that the trail kept going uphill at the start. Stairs, stairs and more stairs!

Hurry up leh, why you so slow one - says Mister Toto

After both of us panted our tongues dry, we reached a lookout point that displayed a pictureque view of a quarry.

Toto takes a break.

We, or rather, I, decided to make our way up to the WW2 Memorial.

It was rather disappointing, though.

The Bukit Batok Memorial is just a copper book monument. Yawn.

Anyway, we will leave more exploration and sniffs for other times, won't we?

Oh yes, I have guests this evening to attend to. Some of my college mates are coming for a visit and more tennis sessions. Another of my ex-neighbor is coming to visit on Labor Day. He is so spoilt that he thinks 10 minutes drive is considered far. Rich brats, tsk. says:
lost duckie says:
me! says:
you moved !
lost duckie says:
yeah lor
lost duckie says:
told u already says:
but when says:
i know u were going to says:
but i didnt know so soon says:
where r u staying now ? never say bye..
lost duckie says:
aiyo so near
lost duckie says:
not as if i going to another country says:
where ?
lost duckie says:
bukit timah says:
so far
lost duckie says:
oh come on! says:
v farrr says:
u know i sold my plc too right
lost duckie says:
eh i dunno!
lost duckie says:
u told me u considering says:
foudn a good buyer says:
letting me stay till end aug says:
>1.8 says:
hee hee
lost duckie says:
wah lao
lost duckie says:
rich man already la says:
move out leh, lets get a plc says:
i go visit u on labour day says:
bah we are no longer neighbours says:
so sad
lost duckie says:
come la
lost duckie says:
move here says:
i tell u if i move to parc palais and u go to hk says:
i will go there and virginia tec u ah

That is my hilarious ex-neighbor for ya.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Random Ramblings of a Very Bored Invigilator

It is such a bore invigilating examinations. Yawn.

I can't believe Ivan actually allocated two and a half hours for an open-book examination. I managed to quickly answer the questions in less than half an hour because firstly, it is open-book and secondly, many of the questions are actually quite straightforward. If any students failed the examinations, I will go and buy 4D.

There is nothing much to do when the students are concentrating on the examinations except to make small talk. Oh, I mean, small whisperings.

As usual, Ivan was questioning me about my career path amidst the whispers. Unlike my supervisor who is trying to steer me into an academic career, Ivan is open to industry, albeit one that is seemingly government-oriented and political. Afterall, he was a NMP last year, so it is not at all surprising.

Anyway, it is strange that when you are a person of high authority, you will automatically become a good friend to everybody. As I mentioned my brief meeting with Mr Boon Swan Foo yesterday..

Me: Oh, I met up with Mr Boon Swan something yesterday...

(Okay shh, I didn't mean to be disrespectful but I really have no idea who he was prior to the meeting. He is apparently sitting on the board of A*star and SCS. But er yeah, whatever. :P)

Ivan: Who?
Me: Mr Boon Swan... er.. Foong?
Ivan: Oh, Mr Boon Swan Foo!
Me: Er.. right.
Ivan: Oh, he's my friend!
Me: Er.. right.
Ivan: In fact, I am on very good terms with him.

I think this is the third time someone mentioned Mr Boon Swan Foo is a good friend of somebody or himself, in the short period of time I even mentioned his name. Well, I wonder what it means again to be lonely at the top? Doesn't seem to be the case, does it? Everybody does want to be your friend.

Ah well, back to invigilation. Zzz.

Jinxing Gene

Apparently, my brother is seemingly cursed with the jinxing gene as well. I remembered one match few weeks ago whereby Liverpool thrashed Arsenal unbelievably with a score of 4-1. Hence, when he returned home from his pak-toring, I hollered excitably to him.

Me: Eh! Liverpool so li hai leh. Win Arsenal by such a huge margin.
Bro: (Glumly) Yeah..
Me: Eh, you never watch ah? (Cos he gotta go pak tor mah)
Bro: Aiya, everytime I watch, Liverpool sure loses.

He sounded really bitter for missing out the exciting match then.

Anyway, last night, as I was consuming my late dinner, he declared he was going to bed early so he can awake for the Liverpool-Chelsea match at 2 am.

So, it is no surprise that the final score was 0-1 to Chelsea.

Oh, the horrors! The jinx is in our genes! =O

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oooh, Nice!

I'm just back from watching a delightful local production - Blithe Spirit.

There were chuckling-hee-hee moments as well as hilarious-ha-ha-ha scenes. Selena is always a joy to watch, really. And as Pam Oei pleaded at the end of the play for the audience who enjoyed themselves to encourage their friends and family to catch the play which ends this Sunday, I am doing my duty to tell y'all to GO CATCH IT!

I had such a good time I am looking forward to the next production by Dim Sum Dollies. Since the screenplay is more original, unlike Blithe Spirit which is adapted from Noel Coward, it might prove to be a much more unpredictable plot. Mmm, exciting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Last night, I dreamt I was at a war infested area. Some military personnel entered my room and decided Mister Toto was wasting resources. Hence, they promptly shot him at the belly. I burst into tears and used my hands to try to curb all the blood from spurting out. Then I attempted to carry him (although in real life, I might have some difficulties) amidst my clouded vision of tears to look for a vet, despite friends and families telling me it was hazardous and futile in the gunfire outside.

Retrospectively, as I narrated my nightmare now, I observe the relevance of the dream to my concerns I had when my professor was trying to persuade me in the phone call yesterday to work in Hong Kong. Although he kept insisting he would respect my decision if I go into the industry, he spent an hour psyching on how an academic career can be paved with my move, etc.

I voiced my factor of apprehension as family, when truthfully (and many would say stupidly), I am really sad about leaving Mister Toto alone. If I were to articulate this concern to anybody, I bet they would probably roll their eyes and go 'He is just a dog, for god's sake!'

Some can be callous and cold-hearted. But I don't think I am up to it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some People are Beyond Weird

Ugh, my patience is really getting short with weird people. Please don't test it anymore, for god's sake.

This one weird person who has never spoken more than 500 words with me, or met me more than once for the past 4 years has been bombarding me with emails and smses which I DO NOT REPLY TO. The only updates about my life he gets, I am guessing, is from What is WRONG WITH HIM?! The only times which I bothered to reply is to inform him that I AM NOT INTERESTED. I AM SORRY.'

What exactly is so hard to understand about the statement?

Doesn't not replying to smsing and cutting off phone calls obvious enough? In fact, yesterday, I accidentally received his phone as I was replying to an SMS and I went 'OH SHIT!' and I promptly cut it off. If that isn't a sign of rejection, I don't know what is.

As if I wasn't distressed enough with an hour-long overseas phone call with my professor in Hong Kong who is persistently trying to make me go over to work as an instructor for him, I almost choked to death when I see an email materialized from the weirdo a while ago. It went:

i know u are treat me like a good friend but just that only..... i also hope u can treat my be ur bf. i really love u so much untill myself cant give up. hope in my birthday just can have ur answer and alone with u having dinner and dance...

My professor was concerned about my 10-second choking fit until I had to recover and obliterate the very disturbing email.


Sunday, April 22, 2007


Oh, I'm all tuckered out, even after a 2-hour nap in the early evening.

The Lorong Lada Hitam Trek was exhausting, especially when Palani made me lead the way when I haven't the slightest idea how the terrain is like. I bet the rest of the people following my tikam trail were cursing me silently. Heh Heh.

We are going on an adventure, babyyyyyyyyy!

Me: Got parang for me to chop a not?
Pal: Don't have lah. We don't believe in hurting the nature.
Me: Eh, got map a not?

Pal hollered to Jenny and realized there isn't a map as well. Haa, well if it isn't the blind leading the blind. I think I am 'blinder' because I haven't even stepped into these premises before, whereas some of them have already been there on their initial trek.

Anyway, I guess it is actually quite hard to eke a trail when there are people with different interests. Some are adventurous (or shall I say sadistic :P) who likes to ensure there is submersion in water, some are relatively safer and prefer their feet on dry land. Although I do sometimes wish my feet were drier, the truth is it always seems more fun taking the difficult route retrospectively.

Thankfully, I have a little cutie called Russell as my assistant. As one group of them walked the drier route, Russell was egging to plough on in the muddy waters ahead with me.

Here he is, enjoying a cool soak with the canines.

Flash me a victory sign boy, I said. And he gamely did.

I bet in the above picture, Toto is frantically trying to swim away from Choco. For some reason, Choco has made Toto his sworn enemy, so much so that Toto has entirely abandoned his humping partner, Suria. Choco must have detested Toto a whole load and he left a big bite bruise on my thigh when I tried to pull him off from chewing Toto's fur off.

See what jealousy does? Tsk tsk. Toto should look for a new humping partner.

As we emerged from the vegetation, we found ourself at a pleasant water spot which Palani labels as a pond. Looks more like a man-made canal to me, though.

Foam Party!

Our resident photographer babe

Pal, always ever ready to provide canine showers.

Waterspots usually mean a time for a break. That usually translates to a session of photonarcissism, doesn't it? :P

Catherine and Heidi

Mister Toto and me

Uncle is an expert in sniffing out shady spots.

My socks are supposed to be white.

Look out! A hunk and a babe.

After that, we proceeded on and on Palani's instigation, I tikam-ed a trail uphill which turned out to be furnished with very dense vegetation. As I glared incredulously at the dense vegetation ahead, I am really anxious that the people behind are gonna stare me to death if it was a dead end. Thankfully, Palani was able to trample a route out. Haa, he did reveal he was worried himself it that dense vegetation were to continue. Fortunately, we were able to emerge on to the track once more.

If I hadn't wore my track pants, I bet my legs would now be garnished with cuts like my arms are right now.

Did I mention ice-cold tissues are such a godsend in the scorching weather?

Toto shows his pleasure.

The troop of us made our way back to the army training shelter, where we celebrated Suria's, Luna's and Jewel's birthdays.

Suris is so funny! He stood up and looked as if he is checking out his presents.

Hmmm, how come my bone looks smaller?

Food, glorious food!

The birthday boy and girl

I wanna eat cakeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Oh yes, let's not forget the other birthday girl!

Well, I had a good time and I bet Toto is thoroughly spent as well. He didn't even have the energy to beg for kibbles at the dining table just now. He looks much happier than he was the night before, when he was moping around as we played mahjong.

Ever so frequently, as I sit at my desk to work, Toto would dig his way through under the table such that his big fat snout sits on my lap.

Won't you play with me today, please?

Right, on other irrelevant news, taking silly pictures has become our forte.

Trying to play ahhhhhhhh jia! with the curtains

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lazy Saturday

Ah, you know, I am starting to feel like I am some sort of vacation at my own home.

On Friday night, Jane came over to lounge by the pool with some wine. I wanted salami to go with the wine, but Alvin couldn't get them. We ended up with bak kwa he purchased from Bukit Timah, which complements pretty well with the wine, I must say.

I started the Saturday morning playing tennis with Andy and my brother. The sun was scorching, but the game was good. We had a good sweatout, adrenaline rushes and plenty of laughs.

We finally ceased the tennis session at noon because the heat was simply unbearable. I think we consumed 10 cans of 100 plus between us. Andy was like 'I am going into the pool after this man.', much to my surprise.

Me: You bring your swimming things meh?
Andy: Ah then, I took a bloody cab from Serangoon.
Andy: So I better make it worthwhile.

Right. So, I decided to fish out my swimwear and join him at the jacuzzi as well. It was my first time in the pool and darn, did it feel good in the scorching weather. The jacuzzi did help sooth my sore muscles. Come on, Jane, we should bring wine and sit in the jacuzzi, instead of beside it.

Anyway, after jacuzzi session, we were good to go for lunch. Rail Mall's Hooked is a pretty nifty place for food. Its menu has an appetizing variety, so much that I went back with the girls for dinner in the evening. Yums.

Hooked on fishy

My palatable dinner

The afternoon tennis session with the girls didn't really materialize for me since it started pouring the moment I put on my shoes.

As Sandy proceeded to Zouk's 16th birthday bash, we played mahjong instead with Weixiang and Liyang. Well, this is the first time I am playing mahjong while consuming red wine and I must say, it did cloud my thinking for some moments. Hmms. Salami and seaweed helped keep me awake though.

At the end of the night, I lost 11 buckeroos. Boo.

Still, 'twas a lazy Saturday spent within 500 meters of my home. Ho ho.

Friday, April 20, 2007

We are all just Prisoners of our own Devices

I know I can't please everybody, but I think it hurts to get insults thrown at you and to know somebody thinks so badly of you, even if the person doesn't mean anything to you. I don't really care for or know the value of Gucci, Coach and LV. I can't tell the difference even. Why does it even carry weight in the equation? I do not understand.

Room Bloom

Ta dah. The string curtains are finally up. Now, all I need is to doodle some sort of painting or drawing and adorn my wall with it and I am all set!

Stereo - Checked. Teevee - Checked. Internet Connection - Checked.
Woo, I am so tempted to just stay in my room and laze the Friday night away with my beloved. Zzz.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Do you sometimes wish you could erase memories, like the above-mentioned movie?

I think I have a good memory. That could be a bane or a boon. I wished I could stop dwelling in the past and move forward. Rationally and logically, everything that happened occured in the past and things are no longer the same in the present. This, I have to drill constantly in my head.

Well, if only my memory serves me as well in the driving department. Jervais has asked if I could drive his manual car and drop him off at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal for his weekend driving trip. Right, now, if only my memory could serve me well in that department, we can have his manual car to play around for the weekend! Whee.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Having read the previous post, I received complaints from another fellow Berkeley resident. So, okay lah, to be fair, how can I forget Zuohao for his very healthy home-cooked meals, his threats to feed me with celery and his tolerance for my lousy cooking skills?

Ah, memories. That is Zuohao, me and Pervina at Roz Corral's performance in San Francisco probably one year ago. How time flies, eh?

Who else should I miss in Berkeley? WX? He's back in Singapore already! :P

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Well, it's Ben and Jerry's free cone day once more, albeit in USA time.

HHQ beeped me on IM.

HHQ & his heap of projects says:
1 yr ago, we were eating ice cream in berkeley
lost duckie says:
oh yeah!
lost duckie says:
free ice cream
lost duckie says:
which u made me queue twice
lost duckie says:
HHQ & his heap of projects says:
HHQ & his heap of projects says:
i misss uuuuu
lost duckie says:
lost duckie says:
come back to singaporeeeeeeeee
HHQ & his heap of projects says:
2 mths later...
lost duckie says:
very farrrrrrrr
HHQ & his heap of projects says:
no lor u where got miss me
HHQ & his heap of projects says:
u got wayy too many frens back home

Oh, you know that is nonsense, otterboy. How can I forget the little boy who made me walk him to the busstop, poured latte into my poor bag and suffered the bicycle ride to Sausalito?

There you go, little bugger. Memories of your gluttony on the free cone day!

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Bloody Long Post - Part Two

So, the Garage Sale@64 Mount Sinai Avenue was unexpectedly extended till Sunday. That means I had to miss out on the Kent Ridge Park Recce, as well as my college mate James' baby shower. Well, I am actually fine with missing out on the latter because I am never the sort who goes gaga over babies. When everybody is cooing and passing the poor baby around, I will be like - uh, please don't pass it over here, thanks.

Sunday's Garage Sale was pretty lonely for me because Sandy and Jane had other agenda. Fortunately, Samantha appeared early in the morning to help me out. Shuling and Sandy chipped in too, before they have to attend the baby shower.

Anyway, I must say the Garage Sale was a very interesting experience because I get to interact with a wide assortment of people. Firstly, there was this really talkative old lady who came on both days.

Here is Sandy entertaining her on the first day.

I could actually sense Sandy's exasperation. None of us could understand the lady's fast paced Cantonese except Sandy. Ho ho. Each time I passed Sandy, she gave me an exasperated expression.

The old lady bought two shelves, a seat and an avalanche of clothes on Saturday, and returned with her entourage of daughter-in-law and two grandsons on Sunday. She went around my house, sniffing for things to buy, even to my backyard. She removed all the contents on the table and proceeded to examine all the furniture. In fact, she even tried to purchase my laundry basket and ironing board. It was really bizarre.

When she took clothes to the fitting room to try, she was excitable to see two lugguages that we have stored there and tried to persuade me to sell them. Gosh. In fact, they stayed around the house for a good three hours.

Fortunately, her two grandsons are pretty cheeky and cute, so it made their stay more tolerable.

Samantha and I attempted the impossible feat of lugging a 2-meter shelf from upstairs for the old lady. I think it is incredible I made it out alive. Halfway through the impossible task, I was trapped under the shelf twice and I thought my collar bone was going to be crushed. It was weird that in times of such adversity, I found the whole situation to be hilarious and kept guffawing away. Can I just say laughing is hazardous when doing labor work?

Oh, the biggest item sale I made was when this antique guy came along and asked me if I have any old alcohol for sale. I opened the cabinet and wala! A collection of old cognac.

Apparently, brands like Martell have investment value. Each Cordon Bleu fetch 250 buckeroos. I sold the entire collection of cognac for almost 800 bucks. In the process, I also learnt quite alot from the friendly uncle about these liquor. Pretty damn cool, huh?

Oh, and the second doggy visitor of the day (apart from Heidi) came in the form of a shy little jack russell called Sheila. Vivien had brought her along, together with Anderson, to check the used furniture out.

It is funny hearing Anderson narrating her anecdotes. They each carted some stuff off and I am praying the Dell wireless keyboard that Anderson bought works just fine. Hmm.

I think one of the most humbling experience is interacting with the domestic workers who dropped in to sniff for deals. Filipino maids are generally more fortunate than the Indonesian ones in that they get off-days on Sundays. Most of the Filipino maids came in and purchased electronic appliances to be sent home to their loved ones. Most of them also try to buy clothes for their children back home. I guess it is hard to reject their bargaining, especially when their dollar is very much hard earned. I mean, I am comparing this to a man who drove a huge luxury car, stopping at the garage sale and trying to slash the price of an office chair to 10 bucks.

And then, there was this domestic worker whom I always see around the neighborhood, walking two dogs. She loitered outside the premises, not daring to enter until I invited her in and told her to feel free to let the dogs roam in the garden.

You can almost see the immediate glee on her face as she excitably went and rummaged around the contents as I looked after her two dogs, Goldie and Hunter.

Goldie is such a sweeeeeetie!

She requested for permission to lug goods for her friend who stays behind my house to see because her friend's employer has refused her permission to even walk to the my house for a little shopping. Tsk. I mean, just exactly how sad is this? It is just gonna take 15 minutes, isn't it?

Anyway, she and her friend picked quite a bargains and she finally left with the dogs, happily I hope.

Well, 'tis quite an eye opener.