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Thursday, 31 January 2008

Because of You

It is not surprising if I like this song because sometimes I just like songs like this. But what I am very surprised at is that my girls actually like this song too. Quite sure they can't access my YouTube favourites, lol. Even more surprised that they prefer this version of Because of You by Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson. But this version is a very nice one, with its 30s era feel.

Enjoy the song: Because of You.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Death and Dying

Yes, I know it is a rather, or actually a very morbid topic for a blog post. Just bear with me.

In my counselling work, it is inevitable that I will come across death and dying issues. However, what makes it even more difficult is that my counsellees are all children. It is much more difficult talking to children about such death and dying issues and I personally think it is many times worse than having to talk to an adult about the same issues. Reasons being:
- sometimes children don't understand the abstractness of the issues
- sometimes children don't have the language to express themselves
- sometimes children have misconceptions of how they are supposed to behave

I have helped a number of my children to deal with such death and dying issues. Although I am not supposed to be involved emotionally, I admit I do get affected by them. They are only children and they are supposed to be enjoying their childhood and not go through such pain, grief and loss at such a young age! I do admit to giving my counsellees, who have lost a parent through death, an extra smile, an extra pat on the shoulder, an extra praise, an extra encouragement, ..., an extra whatever I can do to make them feel that life isn't that bad. There are still people who care about them.

I am probably breaking some of the rules of being a counsellor. But I guess I would rather bear the extra emotional burden upon myself than to be a counsellor who is detached and cold.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Today, I went to an Action Research workshop which was conducted by my PI. She is a really good speaker, very entertaining but at the same time, imparting her knowledge to the teachers using her own teaching experiences as well as anecdotes from lessons that she has observed.

The participants had to talk about "problems" that they would like to do action research on so that they can inform and improve their practices. One of the problems a few of them brought up is assessment. My PI is very nice. She immediately alerted the participants that my area of focus/ interest is in assessment or as she said I am the assessment expert. Lol. I am so embarrassed by that, lol. No, I am not an expert in assessment lah. I just know about assessment such as alternative assessment, formative assessment a little more in-depth than others. I am still a long way from being an expert. Even if I do obtain my PhD, I think there is still so much for me to learn about assessment. :P

I managed to discuss about assessment with a few teachers during the various discussion times. It is not a one-sided "lecture" of what I know, rather it is more of a mutual sharing as I do learn from their experiences and frustrations with assessment too. :)

Assessment is really an interesting topic and there are some ideas bouncing in my head that I would love to investigate. I think I should quickly work on and finish my PhD as soon as I can, lol.

Monday, 28 January 2008

My Ideal Careers are...

Was just wondering if I am in the right career, lol. So what is my ideal career? Did this blogthing and lo and behold, I am currently in three of my ideal careers, lol. Can you guess which ones? Er... can ignore the picture. I am sure I don't dress like that for work, hahaha.

Your Career Personality: Capable, Friendly, and Energetic

Your Ideal Careers:

Advertising Executive
Television Reporter

Yup, I am a counsellor, a psychologist and a teacher still. Hmm, politician huh, don't think I will ever become one, too lazy lol.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Bonding Time

It is a quiet day for me again.

The girls' father was out with his family. My parents went to do their Chinese New Year 送礼. It was just my girls and I. We spent the morning working on our respective computers: they were playing their Disney games and activities while I worked on my counselling reports. I made lunch for the girls. We talked over lunch about their school, what they did in school, what they had in school for lunch. Seldom do I get to spend time like this with both of my girls alone. It was great.

I hope I will have more opportunities like today's, where my girls and I can spend time together and bond. Lol.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Laid Back Saturday

It is a real laid back Saturday today.

I slept really early the night before around 12:45am and only woke up at 10am this morning. For once, Juliane didn't wake me up when she woke up in the morning, lol. Basically, I just lazed around in the morning: read the papers, checked emails, and started reading a book, Writ in Blood by James A. Moore. After lunch, I continued reading my book. Then I had a long nap from 1pm+ to 5pm. Don't know why but I was just very listless, lol.

My cousin came over for dinner. My mother cooked her Chicken Rice with Mango, requested by Marieann who had missed it while my mother was away. After dinner, I spent some time sending out emails for my activist work, lol. And now, updating my blog. Not sure what I am going to do next...

Maybe I will do a bit of work since I brought work home... Maybe I will watch tv... Maybe I will continue reading my book... Maybe I will just do nothing and space out for the rest of tonight, lol.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Farewell V

Yes, it is yet another farewell for a colleague, Teresa. We, 12 of us colleagues and friends, went to Sakura, Singapore Science Centre for her farewell lunch. I thought I would be late as I went there from school but I managed to be earlier than the rest, lol.

The restaurant wasn't crowded and the food wasn't too bad. Not going to talk about the food because Teresa's farewell or rather Teresa is the main character for today! :) During lunch, there were lots of chatting and laughing such as a friend was telling us why he didn't take prawns because a prawn saved his life once, lol. Now that was a joke, hahaha. It was some other reason lah but more funny to remember that instead, lol. I think everyone had fun chatting away, laughing away and also the photo taking. I certainly had a great time.

Now, the strange thing is Teresa and I don't work together nor are we in the same fishbowl (that's what our offices are called here at the research centre). So how did I know her? Well, there was this period of time (a rather long period actually) where I just couldn't do work in my own fishbowl because of bad feng shui, lol. As there were vacant working stations around in my now-current-but-then-was-not fishbowl and in Theresa's fishbowl, I would alternate and "hide" in these two fishbowls to do work, lol. I often used the working station next to Teresa's. That's how I got to know her. And I am really glad that I got to know her. Teresa is a very funny and witty person. I never fail to laugh when she is around. Of course, we do have serious moments too, when we are doing work, lol. She is also a warm and caring person. Like when she knew about my black out episode, she asked if I was alright. The caring thing she did was she asked again if I was better the next day after my episode. That was really nice of her. :)

Hey, Teresa. It has been really fun knowing you. Life is about cherishing the past (soon to be us!), facing the present, and moving ahead to new journeys and new milestones. I wish you great times ahead and ALL the BEST for your future! Stay cool and Remember to keep in touch!

Thursday, 24 January 2008


Today, a former colleague and friend contacted me via msn. He asked me to guess what he found when he searched for "brotzeit pork knuckles". I hazarded a guess, "Err... my blog?" Lol. I struck Bingo. Alamak, should have bought lottery today, lol. Yes, he found my blog when he was searching for "brotzeit pork knuckles". He was pretty impressed that my blog was Number 9 on the first page. Lol. Thank you. :P

Quite a number of friends have chanced upon my blog when they were searching for something else. I don't mind being found in this way, lol. :) Remember my SA? He found me, not through food but through my books. Lol. Oh yes, he is still around but is extremely busy.

Yesterday, I met a former student of mine, Nicole Toh from 4P 1999. I was really struck dumb when she approached me at Borders. I couldn't believe that I am that easily recognisable, hahaha. :P Well, it is wonderful that my students can still recognise me with ease and are game enough to say hi to me, lol. It was great catching up with Nicole. All the best for your results, Nicole. I hope you can get into the uni and the course that you want. :)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

All I Want for New Year is...

My Two Front Teeth. Err.. not me lah! It's Marieann. Lol.

Marieann's upper right front tooth fell out on its own tonight after dinner. Her upper left front tooth fell out about a week ago. At least now, I don't have to worry that she might accidentally swallow her tooth in her sleep or something. Lol. She is now officially toothless, front teeth wise, haha.

I hope her front teeth will grow out soon, nice and straight. :)

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Mother is Back

My mother returned from Xiamen last night. We went to the airport after our dinner at LaBrezza, The St. Regis. As we were still a little early, we went for a drink at Delifrance, Terminal 1. I had a hot tea with milk as I was feeling cold. Even though the girls had their share of the desserts at LaBrezza, they were still hungry for more sweets. Marieann had a strawberry mousse cake while Juliane had a peach tart.

At 9:45pm, her plane was supposed to land and we waited eagerly at Baggage Claim 21. However, her plane didn't land until 10pm. At 10:20pm, still no sign of my mother. Normally, she would be one of the first people through the customs to Baggage Claim.

The girls asked, "Where is Ah Ma?"
I said, "I don't know. Coming soon"
The girls asked, "How come Ah Ma not here yet?"
I said, "I don't know. Soon."
The girls asked, "Ah Ma where?"
I said, "I DON'T KNOW!".

Then, the girls' father who was waiting at the side, came up to me and said, "Ma is already out. She called me. She is waiting outside of Baggage Claim 19."

Huh?? Isn't she suppose to be at Baggage Claim 21? Alamak, I made a mistake. There were 2 flights out of Xiamen, landing within 10 minutes of each other. I happily assumed it was the one I thought it was, LOL. Sorry, girls. I made a mistake, hahaha. Nonetheless, the girls were still thrilled to see their grandmother even though they didn't get to welcome her outside the Baggage Claim.

By the time we reached home, it was almost 11pm. The girls have both fallen asleep after a long day.

Monday, 21 January 2008

LaBrezza, The St Regis

Tonight, we had to pick up my mother from the airport at 10pm. Instead of having dinner at the airport which we seemed to have exhausted most of the eating places, we had our dinner at LaBrezza, The St Regis. Yup, that latest posh hotel in Singapore, lol. :P

Posh hotel is really posh hotel, in a class of its own, lol. When we arrived at the lobby via the car park lift, there was a staff who at once came forward to assist us. He actually led us all the way to LaBrezza restaurant which is on the second level, right next to the pool. He also greeted the girls. Great 1st impression already!

LaBrezza is right by the pool. For all those who are afraid of the heat, don't worry, it is by the pool but indoors with air-con, lol. The decor is this Mediterranean seaside kind, white and blues. Very holiday mood. (Ah, I feel like going on holiday already, lol) At LaBrezza, the staff were also most attentive, not just to us but to the girls too. The staff took time to explain to us the various dishes on the menu, which has Mediterranean, Italian, Greek, French, and Middle Eastern dishes.

Before we made our orders, we were served with bread. We had 4 choices to choose from. The girls had their bread sticks. I had a focaccia with sun-dried tomatoes and a focaccia with blue cheese. Both tasted really great when dipped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We were also served with a complimentary starter. But when the staff knew we didn't take beef, she apologised and at once said she would let the chef know so that he could prepare for us something else that we could have. Great service.

The chef changed the complimentary starter to a vegetarian dish for us. I forgot its name, it was like potato sticks with raisins and tasted great with the barbecue sauce provided.

We ordered the following appetisers to share:
Tapas ($25) - grilled marinated octopus with garlic confit, gambas 'al pil pil' with lemon zest, mussels with Xeres vinegar; Brillo Di Treviso cheese with membrillo; natural olives an salted almonds and warm focaccia bread. The seafood was really tasty and none overcooked. The cheese with the fruit jerky was really nice, a wonderful blend of saltiness and sweetness.

Cucumber ($14) - chilled shredded cucumber soup and fresh basil, white balsamic vinegar jelly and white goat cheese with fresh herb. It is a really thick creamy "soup", not your usual watery soup. The soup was really refreshing because it was cold and lemon juice blended into it. The vinegar jelly and goat cheese balls were really yummy. The vinegar took out the heaviness of the cheese, making it very palatable. I really enjoyed this dish.

The girls' father had Risotto ($31): black risotto Carnaroli with grilled baby octopus, Chorizo sausage and melted fontina cheese. I didn't try it because I didn't want to have my mouth stained black with the squid ink in the risotto, lol. Even the girls didn't dare to try after see the "black black thing" as they called it, lol. Their father thought it was a tad salty but otherwise very nice.

I ordered Chicken ($31): Chicken legs Osso Bucco, tomato compote with baby carrot and sweet caramelised onion juice. It came with a bowl of rice, a mix of two different kind of grains, one like the usual plain white rice and the other was brown and crunchy. When chewed together, it was really fragrant and delicious even just on its own. The chicken was very tender and the tomato compote was sourish which I preferred it so and liked very much.

We had the following desserts to share:
Apple ($12) - caramelised apple and french toast with saffron ice cream. I only liked the apple and the ice cream. The toast was a little burnt for my taste so I thought it tasted a little bitter.

Orange ($12) - hazelnut and orange confit Halawa biscuit with Hibiscus honey mousse and rose blossom sorbet. I really love the exotic taste of the mousse and the sorbet. But down side, the portion was too small. Once the girls had their go at it, not much was left for me, lol.

The hotel is really posh looking, ok, it is POSH. The girls' father said he would love to come back again. Hmm, maybe we can stay here for our annual weekend get-away? Well, the girls asked, not me, lol.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Guess Who's in Town?

No, not Santa, lol. It's Juliane's Kai Ye. Well, he is almost like Santa to Juliane and Marieann. Every time he is back in Singapore, he would bear the girls gifts from him and his wife, Juliane's Kai Ma. This trip is no exception. The dresses are most lovely and just nice for Chinese New Year! In addition, they have their CNY ang baos in advance! Thank you so much, Anthony and Ivy. It is really very kind and nice of you guys. But next trip, no more gifts for them, ok? You two are spoiling them, lol.

We went to our favourite dim sum place for lunch, where else but East Ocean Teochew Restaurant, lol. We met up with Kuan Ling and Anthony at 1pm for lunch as Anthony had to settle some things first in the morning. We had a nice lunch as we were able to eat and chat away without not being chased away as it would have been the case if we had lunch earlier, lol.

After we parted ways, we shopped for a while at Isetan supermarket because there is now a Hokkaido & Michinoku Fair on. We bought Hokkaido Sweets: Kushi Dango Rice Cakes and Gelato. The girls had their Strawberry and Blueberry gelato while the parents shared a cream cheese gelato. The cream cheese gelato is really nice. It was creamy like milk and didn't taste too sweet nor was it too cheesy which I think would have tasted strange for the gelato, lol.

Before we headed home, we went to collect my manhwa from Bras Brasah Complex. There were 14 issues waiting for me, lol. By the time, we arrived home, it was 4pm and the girls were...

in Sandman's world, lol.

Sunset by the Sea

I needed a change of scenery. I needed to be by the sea. The sea always calms and soothes me. Personally, I think there is nothing more beautiful than the sea at sunset. So I made the decision to go to Sentosa and since the girls haven't been there before, even better. Killing two birds with one stone.

I have mentioned in a previous post on 6 July 2007 why I love the sea.

I love looking at the vast expanse of sea and sky. I love hearing the crashing of the waves onto the beach and rocks. I love smelling the sea in the air. I love the calming and soothing presence of the sea. I love the way the sea engulfed my senses: visually (the colours of the sky and sea at sunset, the waves crashing onto the shore), auditorily (the sounds of waves, the rustling of the leaves), olfactorily (the smell of the sea), kinesthetically (the feel of the sea breeze and the sprays from the waves on the skin).

I was able to spend some time alone by the sea. It was really good for it refreshed my weary soul.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Sunset Dinner on Sentosa Island

Off we went to Sentosa Island in the late afternoon. We went to Rasa Sentosa Resort. We spent some time walking around the beach area. The girls were really excited to see peacocks and even tried to "chase" a few of them, lol.

After the walk by the beach, we adjourned to Silver Shell Cafe, Rasa Sentosa Resort for our buffet dinner just as the sun was setting. The buffet charge is $45 per adult and half price for children. The buffet spread is more of an Asian than International spread and there is more seafood dishes than meat dishes. It has a small Salad and Cold Cuts counter, a Seafood counter, Western and Asian food counter, Indian curry counter and Desserts counter. I guess it is pretty standard buffet fare, nothing to shout about. Sorry, didn't take any of the counters as we arrived just after a mob of hungry patrons. So you can guess the state of the dishes on the counters, lol. But here are some of what we had.

After dinner, we drove around Sentosa for a while since we were already there. The girls were thrilled to see the gigantic Merlion in its bluish-purplish lighting, lol. They told their father that they wanted to stay at Sentosa. I suppose we can consider staying at Sentosa for our next annual weekend get-away, lol.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Feeling Down

What do you do when you are feeling down?

1) Eat
2) Sleep
3) Read
4) Work out
5) Play lively music
6) Change of scenery
7) Talk to someone
8) Shower/ groom yourself
9) Break out of your routine
10) Spend time with your pet

What do you do? Predominantly one of the above, combination of the above, or all of the above?

I am feeling down today. I chose to:
Read so that I can escape into a fictional world,
Sleep so that I can dream of a better place,
Eat so that my comfort food can comfort me.

Unfortunately, I couldn't talk to someone about it. It is not something everyone would understand unless they have been through it. Unfortunately, I no longer have a pet unless I can borrow friend's cat, BC for a while. Unfortunately, I couldn't drive or I would drive to the seaside for a walk for the sea calms and soothes me.

Still feeling down but it should be better tomorrow since I have set my heart to go to the seaside. Being by the sea would be the Change of scenery I need.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Clusmy Clot

I am quite a clumsy clot at times. Lol. I often sustained bruises and cuts and I can't remember half the time how I got them! Ok, fine, it MAY be a sign of old age, not remembering how I got my bruises and cuts. BUT I prefer to think that I am just clumsy, always banging and bumping into things so much that it has become a way of life, not worth remembering, lolol. I think I take after my father in this aspect, being clumsy and banging and bumping into things. We are the only two in the family who are always doing that such as banging our little toe into the leg of the table or chairs (and all my furniture have to be made of wood. Darn, bloody painful, I can tell you that!). Sometimes, one after the other, so you would hear one loud "ouch" after another from the two of us, lol.

I just discovered that I have a bruise on my knee. Of course, I couldn't remember how I sustained that bruise. I am a little concerned because it looked so ugly. Hey, I am a woman, of course, I am vain. What do you expect?! Lol. Actually I am a little concerned because it might be an indication of my pre-diab condition - easily bruised and slow healing of the bruises?? Anyway, I think I better start taking my vitamins regularly again.

Or then again, the bruise might meant nothing but that I am just be a very clumsy clot! :P

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

We went to Disney

Disney Naturally cafe, that is. Lol.

A good friend went to Anchorpoint and saw this Disney themed cafe and thought I might be interested to bring my girls there. Today, Marieann had her spelling test and she finished her Chinese homework. I thought it would be nice to give Marieann a little reward and it would be nice to take the girls out. The mother needs a walk walk too, lol.

There were a couple of families with young children there. Disney Naturally is really a cafe catered for the kids. If you are looking to have more choices for your meal, then this might not be the cafe for you. The Disney Naturally menu is quite simple: Pizza Power (6 different types of pizzas), Daily Specials (3 specials daily of soup, stew and pasta), Juices & Cuppas (milk, fruit juices, variety of tea and coffee), Fruit Blends (6 choices of real fruit blends), and Sweet Favourites (ice cream scoops and sundaes- your own creation).

I tried today's Ratatouille's Recipe ($5.90) which is Chicken, Leek & Potato soup served with bread. Not bad in taste. The girls had their own creation of ice cream sundae: Troy's Power ($7.50) which came with 2 scoops of ice cream topped with banana, strawberry sauce and chocolate fudge. Marieann had strawberry and mango ice cream while Juliane had mango and vanilla ice cream for their sundaes respectively.

Before we headed home, we shopped for a while at Cold Storage for my supply of soy milk and BC's cat food for the girls have been pestering me to get it for BC since Sunday. Lol.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Friends have always made the comment that I always make them laugh, either through my action or through my words. Do I really? Yes, I love to laugh. But I have never intentionally want to make other people laugh. Somehow, it just seems to turn out that way. Maybe I have too many funny bones in me, lol.

Your Inner Muse is Thalia

You are most like this playful muse of comedy.
Life is all about laughter to you, and you're a natural comic.
You make people laugh until their sides split.
And you're always up for some play time!

Now even my muse is Thalia, one of comedy. There is nothing I can say, lol.

Monday, 14 January 2008


I am seldom blue on Monday. It's all because of House, lol. I really enjoy watching House. Just love his brand of humour! LOL. He never fails to make me laugh! He can be really sarcastic and cutting but straight to the point. Who ever says a doctor has to be more normal/ typical than normal/ typical people? House is just one cool dysfunctional doctor. Hahaha. He is a good subject to study for psychology. Lol.

I think I like watching House too because he reminds me of Sherlock Holmes - the way he solves the medical cases, his quick and unconventional but logical thinking, his cool and seemingly uncaring exterior, ... :)

I think I will buy the House DVD sets. It is a good show to keep. Just like I have my BtVS DVD sets, Angel DVD sets and my BSG DVD sets (both the original and new series), lol.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Lunch Buffet at Aquamarine

Remember last Sunday, we chose to have afternoon tea at Mandarin Oriental over Marina Mandarin. Today, we went back to Aquamarine, Marina Mandarin Hotel. The charge is $34 per adult and half price for children (5 - 12 years). It is an international lunch-cum-tea buffet, which starts at 12pm and ends at 4pm. The buffet has the various counters: Salads, Asian and Local food (prata, laksa, curry, rojak, popiah, kuah pie ti, chicken rice, etc), Chinese, Japanese, and of course, Desserts. Here are some highlights of the buffet counters.

Here are what some of the dishes we had - salads, Local cuisine, Japanese, Chinese, and DESSERTS! Lol.

We started lunch at 12:15pm and we finished around 2:30pm. We went to Marina Square as the girls' father wanted to buy a pair of shoes. But after walking around for a while, we decided to go home. It was the earliest ever that we went home after staying out for about 3 hours and it is the first that we or rather I didn't do any shopping, not even window shopping while out, lol.