making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Happy 1st Month

Today is good friend and colleague, KM's baby boy's first month celebration. Baby Nicholas was born on 1st May, Labour Day. How apt for his mother, going into labour on Labour Day, lol. It was actually C-section but still, haha. :P

KM invited a couple of us, friends and colleagues from work, over for his baby boy's 1st month celebration. It was buffet and there were two batches - 12 to 1pm for family and relatives, and 1 to 2pm for friends and colleagues. So most of us arrived around 1pm. It was fun to see fellow colleagues and friends on a weekend. There was chatting, catching up with one other, and of course, eating. I thought the food was great because all dishes were NOT spicy, except for one. LOL. What a change from the parties I have attended with catered food where most were spicy food. :P I was really eating to my heart's content! Hahaha. There were the sweets too, like Ou Ni (Yam Paste dessert 芋泥) and Zuizian Bao with red bean paste (Crystal Balls 水晶包), lol. :) Another reason why I was having a great time filling my tummy up. Lol. :P

We saw a glimpse of Baby Nicholas every now and then as KM's mother was carrying him around to show family and friends whenever family and friends arrived. I think the little guy must wondering how come every time he has only just settled into his cot, he is being carried out and shown around to people again, haha. Well, I am sure he will sleep very well tonight. :P Baby Nicholas is very cute and alert. He weighs slightly over 4kg. No lah, I didn't carry him. You all know my fear of carrying newborns, lol. I asked his father for his weight. I didn't take any photos of Baby Nicholas because he was resting when I saw him. Let the little guy rest, lol.

Thanks, KM for inviting us over to your baby's 1st month. Once again, Congratulations. :)

Friday, 30 May 2008

A Tale of Two Movies - Cloverfield and The Mist

Before I went off to Australia in late March, I saw two movies almost back to back - Cloverfield and The Mist. Both movies are of the same genres - horror, sci-fi and thriller all rolled into one. I couldn't really decide which one I like better...

Cloverfield is a movie about a monster attacking Manhattan all seen through the camcorder. It is like The Blair Witch Project. Everything is shaky (as seen through the camcorder) and you are thrown into the whole experience the characters were faced with and thus, getting involved in the movie itself. You realised that you only know as much as the characters do. You don't know what is going to happen next or who is going to die next. You are kept at the edge of your seat. Throughout the movie, you can't really see the monster but yet the terror is present... That's what I liked about the movie, the suspense created. By the end of the movie, there isn't really an ending. I was left guessing if the survivors survived... that is part of the charm of Cloverfield.

The Mist is a much more straight forward movie. You are thrown into the story pretty quickly with a freaky storm knocking out power and the characters heading into the town's grocery store where it all happened - the mist. The characters realised that there are strange ceatures in the mist and deadly too. The town folks soon found themselves having to fight against what is out there - the creatures and to fight against what is within - human fear and irrationality. In between the fighting against the creatures, the differences in handling stress which resulted in the raw display of emotions and chaos seemed to me, far worse than the creatures outside the store. The ending is a tragic twist. I like The Mist, not just because there are deadly creatures, but also for the emotions depicted in the movie. The Mist is an emotional piece of movie for a horror movie.

Cloverfield and The Mist are both movies that left me thinking. Cloverfield made me think about why it happened and how would it end for the survivors. The Mist made me think about human emotions and the vulnerability/ strength of humans in the face of fear.

Fear is a major element in both movies. But I think in The Mist, fear has a much deeper purpose than that of scaring us silly. The fear in The Mist showed us how easy it is to destroy the structure of society. The fear in The Mist showed us that it can make us do things which we could or would never do in normal circumstances. That leaves alot to think about, for me at least, it does. Hey, maybe I do like one of the movies better...

Here's the trailers for Cloverfield and The Mist respectively.

Cloverfield - Theatrical Trailer

The Mist - Trailer 2

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Names that I Like

You Like Names That Are Classic and Timeless

You prefer quality names that have stood the test of time.

You don't like anything that's trendy today and outdated next year.

Names are important to you, and naming someone should not be an social experiment.

You are the type most likely to name someone after a family member.

Some female names you might like: Andrea, Elizabeth, Hannah, Julia, Marie, Nicole, and Victoria

Some male names you might like: Aaron, Benjamin, Christopher, Jonathan, Matthew, Thomas, and Zachary

How accurate. Lol. Both my girls' names appeared in the female names list or at least part of their names. :P I added "Ann/ Ane" to the ends so that their names won't be too commonplace - Marieann and Juliane. :)

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


I have been working for the last three hours on a proposal for a parents' talk. End of last week, my school asked if I could help to give a Parents' Talk on a certain topic. Although the topic is fairly new to me, I decided to help the school out and agreed to give the talk. I just can't resist accepting a challenge, lol. By agreeing to do the talk, I will learn more about the topic and it will also shake me out of my comfort zone. :)

While trying to write up the proposal, I was reading up too. Multitasking, lol. I was really pleased with what I have written and wanted to call it a night. However, when I tried to save, it refused to save and indicated there was an error. Oh well, never mind, I have still have the back up copy. But to my horror, even the back up copy was "corrupted" too. When I opened it, it was all gibberish! ARGH! Three hours of work down the drain. Sigh.

No choice, I have to start all over again. I will try to recall from memory what I have written. As a friend has previously mentioned, I have "an elephant's memory", lol. But I seriously hope I can still remember...

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Old Fashion Movie Magic - Indiana Jones 4

Today I had to get some books to prepare for a talk so I swopped today's working day to another day. After I got my books, since I had time to spare, I went to watch a movie.

Although it has been 19 years since the last movie, I just had to catch the latest installment in the series. Yes, I am talking about none other than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I really don't care if Harrison Ford is showing his age, if he is too old for this kind of action adventure movie... In fact, I thought it is much more realistic with him showing his age in this movie.

It was really exciting for me to watch Indiana Jones again. I literally grew up with the Indiana Jones movies. I saw the first movie: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark when I was in primary school, the second movie: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when I was in secondary school and the third movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I was in JC. It was a special moment for me when I watched the movie today. :) I was re-living my childhood and teen years again. Lol. The Indiana Jones movies are my all-time favourite. :)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull follows in the same tradition as the previous Indiana Jones movies. It is what it is - a simple old fashion action adventure movie, without too much interference from technology. It is really nice to see the Indiana Jones kind of action adventure again on the big screen. :) This is what I call old fashion movie magic. Lol. I won't say anything about the plot. I think most of us would either have read about it or have seen the movie itself. Lol.

Here is the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Trailer

Here is the official link (click here) for Indiana Jones. You can go there if you want more information about the various Indiana Jones movies. :)

Monday, 26 May 2008

Movie Watching... and Re-watching

Do you like to watch movies?
I do. There is a kind of magic watching movies at the cinema which can't be replicated at home. If I can, I will try as far as possible to watch the movies in the cinema. Once I have watched the movies on the big screen, it is okay then to watch them on DVDs.

Do you like to re-watch movies?
I do. I have a few favourites, actually quite a number of movies that I can watch over and over again and I don't get bored! Lol. To name but a few - The Indiana Jones series, The Star Wars series, The Aliens series, The Mummy series, The Matrix series, Bourne series, Underworld series, LOTR series, HP series, 300, ... (the list goes on, lol).

What led me to write about today's post is 300. I watched 300 last year (my 12 March 2007 blog post) on the big screen and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I bought the DVD to keep. A few days before HBO showed it on cable tv, I watched the 300 DVD again. I was surprised at how captivated I still am by the movie. 300 still has the power to leave me breathless and panting away! Oi, not because of the nearly naked bods of hunks lah! But 300's great cinematography, the fight scenes and sequences. Lol.

I watched 300 again on HBO last night but was quite offended that certain scenes had been cut from the tv version of 300. I can understand because on tv, it has to be PG rated but somehow those scenes made a stronger impact for the movie. Hmm, I actually knew where and what the missing scenes were, lol. Goes to show those scenes had definitely made an impression on me. Anyway, 300 is showing on HBO again at 12 am tonight. I am going to watch it again, despite the cut scenes. :P

Sunday, 25 May 2008

German Fare at Brotzeit

We went to Vivocity for lunch. After looking at the various restaurants on the 1st level, we settled on Brotzeit again. I miss eating German sausages. Lol.

Marieann had her Kaiseschmarren ($8.90) again - shredded pancakes with raisins soaked in rum, drizzled with custard and sprinkled with icing sugar, together with a glass of plum sauce. Sweet heaven. :P This is supposed to be a dessert but she wanted it as a main, lol. At least, she had a side dish of mashed potatoes to fill her up too.
Juliane had her Huhnerhaxn ($9.50) again - breaded chicken strips with three different sauces to dip into. Both the pics and reviews of Kariseschmarren and Huhnerhaxn can be found in my
8 December 2007 blog post.

The girls' father had a Bauernomelette ($13.50) - omelette with ham, wild mushrooms and onions served with mixed salad and sour cream. The taste was nice, and its portion enough for lunch.

I had Nurnberger ($16.50) - pork bratwurst coarse on mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. Told you, I needed my sausages, lol. The mustard sauces complimented the pork bratwurst very well. The mashed potatoes was beautifully done too, smooth with the rich taste of butter and milk.

After our German lunch, we took a walk around. I looked into a shop but bought nothing. See, I do keep my money, haha. Juliane complained about her shoes being tight so we took her to the kiddy shoe shop that we frequent. Both girls got themselves a new pair of shoes.

After getting the girls' shoes, we had a rest at Haagen-Dazs. It was still a warm day, despite a short respite in the hot weather. (It rained for a little while at Vivocity.) The girls had their ice cream in waffle cones while I had a Berry Cool ($13.90) - raspberry sorbet blended with lemonade and crushed ice, topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream. It was sourish, sweet, creamy and COLD. Good for a warm day, lol.

We headed for home after our rest. Need to wind down and prepare for tomorrow - school and work. :)

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Shopping and Surprise!

Today is my usual weekend routine with Juliane but with a surprise! Lol.

We went to Plaza Singapura close to 11am because I needed to get MORE magnets from Daiso for my work station. I am still pretty angry with the designer of the cubicles. The fabric walls (which are metal planks underneath) are really useless. We can't put up anything on the fabric walls unless we are using heavy duty magnets and these magnets are not easy to find. The usual white board magnets are useless for our fabric walls, they just can't hold the paper to the wall. :( Thank goodness, I have been able to find some pretty strong magnets from Daiso.

Before we ventured to Daiso and Carrefour (I needed a storage box), Juliane and I walked around Basement 2 (where most of the eateries are) to scout for a possible lunch venue after our shopping. While we were walking, I thought I heard someone calling me but I put it to my imagination. I mean who would be calling me?! I mean the chances of me meeting people, be it friends or family outside, are pretty rare. Then Juliane said "Mama, someone calling you". Huh? So I was not imagining it, someone was calling me. Just then, another shout of my name, I turned towards the sound and saw my good friend from work. What a surprise! Hahaha. He was there at a fast food restaurant having a meeting with some teachers. Gosh, working on a weekend too?! I really kow tow to him. :)

Juliane and I spent quite a fair amount of time at Daiso, lol. :P We managed to see more and more things that caught our attention, lol. But we both had to limit ourselves on what we really needed. Haha. It was almost 12:30pm by the time we were done at Daiso. Juliane was hungry so we went to a Chinese cafe for lunch. We had a simple lunch - fried rice and wanton soup. Since the storage box I need from Carrefour is a bulky item, I left that till last to buy before we go home. Not fun to lug a bulky item around while trying to shop, lol. We walked around the various shops at Plaza Singapura but concentrated to Basement 1, lol. Juliane got a pack of chocolates while I got myself an orange blouse, lol. It was almost 2:30pm when we went to Carrefour to get my storage box. Was thinking about taking a taxi home when my good friend called. He had finished his meeting and called to see if we were still around. He kindly offered to give us a lift home. :) Thanks!

When we got home, I had a long nap. I thought all that walking around would have tired out Juliane but it didn't! Instead, I was the one tired out, lol.

It was the usual weekend routine for us but with a surprise, meeting my friend and getting a lift home, lol.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Sale, Shopping, Shopper

Who can resist a sale, especially the Great Singapore Sale?! Lol. With the Great Singapore Sale now upon us and lasting for two whole months, I thought I better check out what sort of shopper I am.
You're a Window Shopper!

You know that shopping's a blast, but you prefer to save your money

You hardly ever give into an impulse buy, unless it's a total steal

You've always got the most money of your friends - and you never have to borrow

And you've got a nice wardrobe too ... of classic pieces that last years!

Phew. Ok, I am safe. I am a window shopper. I will still have my money with me. Hahaha. Yes, I do tend to think very carefully about what I buy. Unless it is a complete steal, then I just buy it, still need to think for what?! Hahaha.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


A feeling of sadness and longing, That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only, As the mist resembles the rain. - "The Day is Done (st. 3)", Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Last Week of School

This is the last week of school. Today is my last session of counselling for the term. I am delighted that I can finally sleep in for one day each week for the next four weeks, lol. :) Well, weekends aren't good for sleeping in because my girls don't have to go to school and somehow they always tend to wake up real EARLY, lol.

On the other hand, I will miss my counsellees. I am concerned for a number of them... I hope they will make use to the holiday to buck up. Some of the counsellees are really sweet. When I was in the counselling room, they peeped through the blinds and asked if I was going to see them today. Alas, I could only see 8 students for each session and I have more than a dozen students whom I am counselling. They looked really disappointed when I told them I will see them next term... Sorry, girls. :( So many students, so little time. Sigh.

Take care, girls. Enjoy your holiday. See you next term.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Fishpond, Heat and Blood

I was at a fishpond today. No, I am really talking about a real fishpond and not the new office which some of us called Fishpond.

I was helping out with a project that was teaching primary school students about pond life. My job was to video the students while at work. There were four stations - temperature-taking, pH reading, turbidity reading and microbes. I had lots of fun while videoing them because I was re-learning my Science too!

At the Microbes station, I think I was more excited than the students lol. I was actually lining up too to look at the microscopic organisms through the microscope. :) It was so fun to see them moving around! I meant the microbes lah, not the students hahaha. :P
I only learnt how to measure turbidity today. :) Never be ashamed to admit to the learning of something for the first time. This is how you will learn, lol.
pH reading was another joy. Told the students to just stick the paper into the pond rather than wait for the test tube to collect the pond water. It is the same result at the end, isn't it? So skip one step lor, get the results faster lol.

Temperature taking of the pond water made me realise how HOT it was out under the sun. Can you believe that the surface pond water was a whopping 35 degrees Celsius??!!!! The weather forecast said it was a max of 34 degrees Celsius today. A quick Science lesson: In a pond or lake, when the sun's rays heat up the water this heated water, being lighter, rises to the surface and loses its heat to the atmosphere. The net result is that the pond water remains at nearly atmospheric temperature. So if the surface pond water was 35 degrees, it meant the max temperature was at least 35 degrees! No wonder I was losing liquid like anything through my pores lol. :P

When our group gathered at the school, I realised everyone was wearing pants except for me, I was in a dress. My boss said she forgot to tell me to wear pants. I thought, no sweat, lol. No puns intended lol :P. Then I realised why. The mozzies were having a field day at the fishpond, attacking me! I have never donated so much blood before, all in the name of Science hahaha. :P Next time, I will wear pants hahaha.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Hot, Hot, HOT

It is such a HOT day again.

I just didn't feel like doing anything at all. Every move is laborious and would break into a sweat. :( In order to "conserve energy", I slept for most of the afternoon away, like in hibernation. Correction, it should be "I was in estivation", lol. Estivation is something similar to hibernation but instead of winter, it happens during summer. Some animals do that. I bet you didn't know this, right? Lol. Estivation keeps the animals inactive and helps them insulate against the heat to avoid the harmful effects of summer, e.g. loss of liquid, increase in temperature, etc.

So, as I "estivated" for an afternoon, I was insulated against the heat and the best part, I was very well rested after that. I am full of energy now in the cooler part of the night. Now must find something to do. Haha. :)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

All Things Japanese

Since I didn't go to Daiso* yesterday, I had to go today. I needed to get some of those heavy duty magnetic hooks for my office cubicle in "The Abyss". Some bloody idiot designed the cubicles such that we can't pin anything on the fabric walls because instead of wooden planks beneath the fabric, they are metal!

We got to Plaza Singapura around 11:30am. I went straight to Daiso with my girls in tow. I found the magnetic hooks that I wanted and I also got some magnetic clips. Now, once you are at Daiso, you don't just stop at what you need to get. I ended up buying more than I had originally planned, lol.

I was really hungry when I was done shopping at Daiso. We went to Kyoto Sabo Aji Tei for lunch. The girls had their kiddie meals ($6.80 each). I had the Spinach Bacon Omurice ($11.80) whereby the omurice came with a cream sauce and crispy bacon. Sinful but delicious. :P

The girls' father had a Hokke Cream Fish ($8.20) and a Ika Meshi ($10.80) which was squid stuffed with glutinous rice. The cream sauce for the fish was delicious but I thought the squid was kinda tough.

After lunch, I skipped to Esprit and got myself something, lol. We got home just before 3pm. I started my work again while the rest had a siesta lol.

*Daiso is a Japanese shop where everything is selling at $2.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Melting Away...

It is such a HOT day today! I literally feel myself melting away in the heat lol.

Needed to do two things - to send a parcel to my brother in UK and to get a few things from Daiso. Juliane and I walked to the post office around 11am because it is less than 7 minutes away. But I "miscalculated". The distance seemed much further away because of the heat! Got to the post office only to be told what I wanted to send my brother might not get through. Sigh.

The nearest Daiso is at Plaza Singapura. We had to walk to the next bus stop to catch a bus to Plaza Singapura. While walking to the bus-stop, we past by Tanglin Mall. I wasn't really in the mood to go to Plaza Singapura because of the heat. I asked if Juliane wanted to just go to TM but she didn't want. Ok, we walked on lor. Just as we were almost at the bus-stop, she changed her mind. Argh! Now we had to walk back to TM. Sigh. I was never so glad for the air-con when we got to TM. LOL. We had lunch at the food court and we took a quick look around the mall to cool down. We walked home around 1pm, lol. It was just easier to walk home than to take the bus or taxi. But of course, it was HOT! Apparently, a colleague saw us walking home just as he was going to the Garden for a talk, lol.

It is such a HOT day today. Didn't feel like moving at all... but I had things to do when I got home. First thing was to turn the fan on full blast! Haha.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Colour In My Life

I thought I have enough colours in my life. Apparently, I still lack one colour. I need orange in my life lol.

You Need Some Orange in Your Life

Orange will make you feel open, lively, and artistic.

And with a little orange, you will project an aura of friendliness.

If you want bolder experiences, you've got to get a little orange in your life!

For extra punch: Combine orange with red or yellow

The downside of orange: It's too powerful and unusual for some people to deal with

The consequences of more orange in your life:

You will become more creative in almost every aspect of your life

You will find humor in the most serious and dismal situations

You will feel like life is exciting, even when you're doing ordinary things

Hmmm, does that mean all of you would see me in orange, with orange stuff more often now? Hahaha. But a good friend has reserved orange as his colour. So Friend, can share or not, your orange colour? Hahaha. Maybe for a start, I should start using my orange Kipling bag again. :P

Thursday, 15 May 2008

What A Blunder

This morning, while at work, I received a call from the pre-school. The teacher said Marieann was running a slight fever, 37.1 and they will keep her in the office for observation first. The teacher said it was just to inform me. Okay, fine.

A few minutes later, the teacher (Tr) called and this time was about Juliane.

Tr: "We found a red spot on her hand."
Me: "Huh? What red spot? You mean mozzie bite?"
Tr: "We are looking for symptoms and signs of HFMD. Red spots are one of the signs but we are not sure..."
Me: "HFMD??"
Tr: "We are not sure. But as precaution, can you bring her home?"
Me: "Fine. Ok."

I am very lucky that my boss is really understanding and she brought our 10:30am meeting forward to 9:45am, just so I could leave earlier. She also allowed me to work from home for the rest of the day. Thanks, Boss. :)

The girls went to see the doctor. It turned out Marieann was not having a fever and Juliane was not suffering from HFMD but had a mozzie bite lol. The doctor wrote a letter for both girls and they were sent right back to school.

Sigh. What a blunder! Oh well, I guess all the pre-schools are now very jumpy over HFMD which is highly contagious... Fine, forgive them lor for this blunder.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Action Junkie

As compared to the actions of the previous 2 days, today is pretty slow and action-less...

I had counselling in the morning.
I was caught in the heavy rain.
I had a slight chill.
I slept for 4 hours.
I watched telly.
I did some work.

Slow day, isn't it? I feel so bored just looking at my day. I am sure you guys would probably have had a much more exciting day than I did. Must admit, I am feeling very strange with the sudden lack of action. Maybe I am an action junkie lol. :P

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Moving II

Here's Part 2 of The Move saga... lol.

As you know, we moved to "The Abyss" yesterday. Today is our second day. I thought after one night of good sleep (err... quite tiring, you know, both mentally and physically unpacking the boxes), "The Abyss" might look and feel different today. One can hope, right? So did it change? Unfortunately, it is still DEEP, SECLUDED and SIGNAL-LESS. :( Sigh.

A quick walk around (being kay poh lol) showed that 2/3 of us have managed to unpack all our boxes. Oh, don't be too happy for us so soon. When I said unpacked, it didn't equate to organised! Lol. We just dumped everything we unpacked from our boxes into our filing cabinet, overhead cabinet and drawers without care if they should be there or not, haha. We only cared about getting the boxes out of the way, out of sight, lol. We will slowly organise them another time lor, lol.

Boxes still around.. Good luck with the unpacking, friend.

In a bid to make the place more cosy, many of us tried to personalise our work stations and work areas. I did by getting more stationery, colourful ones (orange, green, blue), to brighten up my work station, lol. I have yet to put up my postcards and photos because I have no idea where I have dumped most of them into... Hmm, is it the filing cabinet, or overhead cabinet or ... Argh, look for them another day, too lazy... :P

Trying to make the work area more cosy and personal

Friend's work station, personalising and organising still in progress

My work station, personalising still in progress. Very organised hor... just don't open the drawers and cabinets. Lol.

Hmm, it is beginning to look and feel more like a conducive environment to work in when... "RING, RING, RING"..."HELLO?..Hi blah blah blah..." What the ....?! "The Abyss" is an open space and so, everyone can hear everyone's phone ringing and conversations! Sigh. There goes my peace and quiet... Ok, never mind, can still try to bear with it, with ear phones/ plugs. I smart lol. Wait, what's that smell?? Who is spraying what?! Ewww. Ok, I am going to look so darn ridiculous wearing ear plugs and nose clip. Forget it. No wonder, some of our colleague had gone back to their former fishbowls to work. They the smart ones lol. Actually, I (me sour grape) think they suffering from Fishbowl withdrawal symptoms, lol.

Ok, so in "The Abyss", noise/ sounds/ conversations can be heard by everyone, scent can be diffused to every corner... What's next? Wait, do I want to know? Maybe I should work from home more, hor? LOL.

Keep tuned for the final exciting conclusion to The Move saga. I will take more photos when everyone is much more settled in - of the work stations and of colleagues who are happy to be in "The Abyss". :) Today, people too shy to let me take photos of them...

PS. CD, don't worry about me taking photos of people sleeping because I won't find anyone sleeping on the job! We are all such hardworking people. Hahaha. :P

Monday, 12 May 2008

Moving I

Today is the BIG move for our research centre. It is moving over 70+ people from different fishbowls into one big Fishpond. I was being nice calling it Fishpond. Some have "fondly" called the new office space "The Cave", "The Bat Hole", etc. Hmm, actually I would like to call it "The Abyss". Lol. "Why?" you asked. There are three reasons - Deep, Secluded, Signal-less.

Reason 1: Deep
All of us were formerly in fishbowls on the 3rd level. Now our new office is in BASEMENT 3! It is literally a big drop in height, from Heaven to Hell, hahaha.

Reason 2: Secluded
To get to our new office, we have to take 2 lifts and walk a fair distance in order to reach our office. First, we have to take a lift from Level 1 to Basement 1, and walk down a slope to Basement 2, and finally from Basement 2, take a lift to Basement 3. "The Abyss" is located where it is really secluded and hidden away. No one ventures to this part of the "world" except for students of a particular discipline, lol. :P

Reason 3: Signal-less
For some of us, mobile reception might be a bit of a problem in the new office, depending on the service provider. Also, if we are not careful, we might end up using the auto roam service as somehow we are being registered as being overseas, lol. Yes, it has happened, lol.

As you can see, we are pretty deep within the bowels of the earth or rather, the institute, pretty secluded and hidden away and pretty signal-less at times. So, if not called "The Abyss", then what?? Lol. I like "The Abyss". It definitely has got depth. Hahaha.

The move started at 9am, beginning with offices in Blocks 2 and 3 first, and then followed by offices in Blocks 5 and 7. Around 3pm+, the movers finally came to move our boxes to "The Abyss". It was both exciting and sad at the same time, having to move to "The Abyss" from our fishbowl. After the boxes and the people are moved, the fishbowl seemed so lonely and empty. I managed to take some photos just as the boxes are being moved...

Boxes, chair, more boxes

Colleague gone nutty trying to move the boxes

My lonely-looking work station with my work stuff in 4 boxes...

Over at "The Abyss", it is a flurry of activities and action. Boxes, chairs and metal cabinets are being delievered. Researchers are doing one of the following or all of the following:
1) trying to locate their work stations,
2) waiting for their boxes,
3) trying to unpack their boxes,
4) cleaning up their work stations
5) trying to personalise their work stations/ areas ...
Unfortunately, I was too busy unpacking my boxes that I forgot to take photos. :( It would have made a good visual journal for all of us.

Oh well, there is always tomorrow. There are still plenty of us not unpacked yet, or still trying to sort out where our things should go in our work stations...

Watch out, Friends. I will be coming round with my camera, lol.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, especially to my mother.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for all that you have done for me. I really appreciate it very much.
Happy Mother's Day.

love from your daughter,
Hwei Ming

I was woken up early in the morning by my girls who came into my room each holding a stalk of carnation. Aww, that was really sweet of them. :) Since my mother was out for her walk at the Botanic Garden, I hurriedly got my girls to write in the Mother's Day card for their grandmother. They managed to draw pictures too in the card. Not a moment too soon, their grandmother returned home. They presented her with carnations too and the Mother's Day card. Their grandmother was delighted!

We spent the day lazing around at home: Marieann and Juliane played online Disney games, I surfed the net looking at Garskin, my mother made several phone calls overseas to her friends and family to wish them Happy Mother's Day and the girls' father watched his HK serial.

We went to Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts Hotel for buffet dinner. Surprisingly, the restaurant wasn't crowded which was nice. I liked the grilled pineapple and Yorkshire pudding best. Of course, not forgetting the desserts haha. :P My girls shared the desserts with me. :)

It has been a nice relaxing Mother's Day.

PS. Juliane was sulking away (that's why she has her face turned away) when we took the photos because she had a fall near the candles and was angry with the spot. Lol. Yes, she has some strange logic.

Songs by Jewel

I first heard of Jewel when I was in Melbourne, Australia (1997) visiting two friends. I still love her songs from the first album - "Foolish Games" and "You were Meant for Me" although one of her more recent songs "Standing Still" is also a favourite. :)

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Friends and Family

Today, my mother had her friends over for lunch - a group of 4 sisters who brought their families along. You can imagine how lively the gathering was. Lol.

My mother started lunch preparation early in the morning. She prepared her Mango Chicken Rice, Pumpkin Bee Hoon, Fruit Salad, Taiwanese Zha Jiang Mian and Winter Melon Soup. Some came earlier because they wanted to learn from my mother how to fry pumpkin bee hoon. By 12noon, lunch was ready. After lunch, my mother made her Chinese tea for all while everyone continued to chat. Her friends and families left around 3pm.

Not long after her friends left, my cousins called and asked if they could come over to visit. Of course, my mother told them to come right over. Lol. They came over and stayed for almost 2 hours chatting with us.

Today is a day of friends and family. :)

Friday, 9 May 2008

New Notebook Soon

I have been thinking about getting a new notebook since last August. I think it is finally time to put that thought into action.

My current notebook of 3.5 years has been giving me some problems of late. Sometimes, when I am trying to save my Word document, it would give me an error message. And as a result, I lost a good chunk of what I have been working on. It is frustrating. Even though I have back up, I think the system is becoming unstable. Sometimes, in the middle of doing something, e.g. checking emails, an error message would appear and I have no idea why it did. It is scary, especially when I am not IT savvy.

I might get the new notebook within the next three weeks. I have to think about what brand to get and what sort of specs I want. I might seek opinions of friends who are IT savvy on what is the best notebook on the market for the budget that I can afford ($2000 - $2500). :)

Thursday, 8 May 2008

More Songs from Delta Goodrem

Here are more of my favourite songs from Delta Goodrem - "If I forget", "I Can't Break It to My Heart" and an unreleased song "Right There Waiting". Enjoy listening. :)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Just wanted to do something brainless lol. I did a quick and dirty IQ test for the fun of it. Surprisingly, the result is pretty close to the IQ I obtained from a formal IQ test. Haha. :)

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Genius

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Confucius, Chinese History and My History

Today, I attended a seminar on how Confucianism is a common thread among contemporary Chinese Educators. It was an extremely interesting seminar. I enjoyed it very much.
As the professor gave her seminar, Confucius sayings started coming back to me...

I did Confucius Studies (in Chinese) as a subject in upper secondary. I found it very interesting and I used to do very well for it. Well, one reason could be I was strong in my Chinese so it was a breeze for me taking Confucius Studies. But I think the other reason might be more probable: I had prior contact with Confucius Studies and so it was not totally new to me. My mother was my first teacher for Confucius Studies.

My mother, as most of you already know, is a Taiwanese. Since my brother and I were young, she would always talk to us about the rich 5000-odd years of Chinese history, the various Dynasties and its rulers (right from Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, ... all the way to Yuan, Ming, Qing and modern China). She also spoke to us of the various great thinkers and philosophers such as Confucius, Lao Tze, Meng Tze, Tsang Tze and the various Chinese classics (e.g. The Analects, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Three-Characters Book, etc). My mother actually bought us the simplified versions of the various classics (in Chinese) to read. I remembered reading the classics because I wanted to learn more after listening to my mother. To my mother, my brother and I should know about our Chinese history, the Chinese classics because it is part of who we are, it is our roots and origins.

I never realised how fortunate I am to have known about our Chinese history, the Chinese classics until today when I had a brief discussion with a good friend after the seminar about Confucianism. To me, they were part and parcel of my life, they were part of my growing up which I have never given a second thought about until today. In keeping with Reflection in Confucius' The Analects, I think it is time for me to revisit the Chinese classics again, starting with The Analects of Confucius.

Monday, 5 May 2008


Years back, out of fun, I had an aura reading where I had to sit in this booth and then a picture of me was taken where there were colours emitting from me. The results then is similar to what I got tonight from Blogthing. Lol. Coincidence? Who knows? But one thing for sure, I haven't changed my temper, hahaha. I still see red very easily. No pun intended, lol. :P

Your Aura is Red

You have a high level of emotion. This can mean passion, but it can also mean rage.
Usually, you don't take these emotions out on others. You just use them as motivation - and it works!

The purpose of your life: embracing all the wonders of the life, lots of travels, and tons of adventures

Famous reds include: Madonna, Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lopez

Careers for you to try: Dancer, Boxer, Surgeon

And wah, the other famous reds are all sex symbols leh. Hmm, something somewhere must have gone wrong for me! Hahaha. :P

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Some Personal Thoughts...

Christine's Farewell:
The farewell lunch (yesterday) was for 8 people, including Christine. However, only 4 of us were there - D, BR, myself and Christine. The others couldn't make it last minute due to various family situations. Although they couldn't help it, I couldn't help but felt somewhat disappointed. This is not the farewell I had envisioned for Christine. The farewell I envisioned had Christine surrounded by all of us, all her friends whom she has made over the years at the research centre and whom she holds dear. I have wanted her last few memories of the research centre to be those filled with happiness and of friends. Sigh.
Anyway, I am glad that we three managed to pull it off and made it a cosy lunch for her (I hoped, lol). :) We did get some strange stares from the other patrons as there were only 4 of us on a big table for 8, lol. :P Oh well, nice way to be noticed, haha. :P

Thanks to a good friend who noticed my subtle call for help. It is not in my nature to openly ask for help, not wanting to bother others. I am touched by my friend's attentiveness and concern. Friend's help came right when I needed help the most. Thank you so much.
Sometimes, being a friend or helping a friend doesn't take much, just a simple "Are you ok?", a listening ear, or even just keeping the person company is enough. It lets the other person know, "Hey, you are not alone. You have got a friend in me". Thanks, Friend. I really appreciate your help, your time, your effort, and most importantly, your friendship. Now I know I have a friend looking out for me. :)

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Christine's Farewell

Another of our good friend and colleague, Christine is leaving. I helped to organise a farewell lunch as well as get the farewell gift for her. Hmm, seemed like I am always organising farewells and gatherings. Maybe should consider doing this as a sideline, lol.

We met up at Miao Yi Vegetarian Restaurant, 3rd level of Coronation Plaza. Christine is a vegetarian. We really enjoyed the food as we never had such nice vegetarian food, all thanks to Christine's recommendation! :) We also enjoyed ourselves chatting and laughing away. We chatted about her future job, her plans, and others. We handed her her gift and a card. She was delighted with the practicality of her gift, lol. Thanks, Christine for being so nice to me. I really didn't know what to buy from Porter International. :P So to make up for the lack of creativity for the gift, I wrote an extra long personal message in the card, hahaha. :)

After the lunch, Christine and I went our good friend's new place for a look as he has just moved to a new apartment. We had a good time chatting away at his place too.

Dear Christine,

I wish you all the best in your new job. It is a new milestone for you, a new adventure for you. Forge ahead and have fun. You will always have us as friends, no matter where we are! You take care. Keep in touch!

love, Hwei Ming

Friday, 2 May 2008

Right Here In My Heart by Delta Goodrem

Here's another song by Delta Goodrem that is really catchy. I found myself moving to the beat while listening to it, lol.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Day of Rest

Today is Labour Day (click on link to read more) celebrated all over the world and today is also May Day (click on link to read more), still celebrated by some people.

To me, it is a day of rest. I needed a good rest after helping my good friend, lol. I pretty much spent my day in bed. I just slept and read my book, Atlantis by David Gibbins. Really just lazed around and didn't want to move much. Lol.