making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends

Tuesday, 30 September 2008


The girls were home today because it is the eve of Children's Day and the pre-school is closed.

They pretty much spent most of the day being creative - drawing, colouring and making paly-doh figurines. I could see their handiwork when I came home from work.

Both girls have different ways of showing their creativity: Marieann with her drawings and handicrafts, and Juliane with her dancing and singing, lol. Maybe they should start getting lessons to maximise their creativity. :)

Monday, 29 September 2008

Crunch Time

It is crunch time today at the centre. Today is the deadline to hand in grant proposals.

It was a flurry of action, writing, calculating, printing... I was helping out with 3 proposals. It was no easy job lol. Thanks goodness, I had friends who helped me with printing and photocopying so that I could concentrate on writing and calculating the budgets. Thanks, my friends. Really appreciated the help. :)

Finally, I managed to get 2 proposals done and thank goodness, we had an extension till Tuesday morning. At least, I could double check that I have done everything right for the 3rd proposal. :P

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Autumn Shopping

The girls still needed to get their warm jackets for the coming trip to Hong Kong. Off we went to Centrepoint where there are two winter clothing shops. First we had lunch at Ichiban Boshi. It is the standard Japanese fare. Nothing to rave about.

Marieann got her jacket from Winter but Juliane was more fussy. But she finally got her jacket from Esprit. With my Esprit card discount and a $20 voucher, her jacket only amounted to $20+. A real bargain, lol. :P

Before we went home, we dropped by New York New York deli for a drink. I am surprised with the choices of food on their menu. Might come back here for a meal. For now, I am satisfied with sharing a waffle with peaches and ice cream ($7.90) with the girls. :)

Saturday, 27 September 2008


Pounding headache.
More sleep.
Headache still.
Need to do work. Sigh.

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason

I think I just found another author whose books I will read. :) It was by accident that I saw Gleason's The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, The Rest Falls Away in the library.

As you can tell, it is a book about vampires. One of my favourite kind of read lol. It is kind of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer except the setting was in the last century, during the Victorian era. It is a refreshing read, that is if you like vampires and things supernatural and also a bit of history. I hope the second book, Rises The Night is available in the library. I can't wait to find out what awaits Victoria, the heroine, the vampire slayer or known as the Venator in the chronicles in the next book.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Tainted Milk Fiasco

The tainted milk scandal first emerged on 10 September when more than a dozen babies in Gansu province developed kidney stones after drinking a brand of baby formula. On 11 September, other cases had emerged in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Anhui and Hunan. Apparently, the toxic industrial chemical melamine has been added to make the baby formula appear higher in protein. By now, more than 50,000 infants have been affected and 4 babies have died; and other foods like yogurts, cookies and candies that could contain Chinese dairy derivatives have led to their banning or recalling by more than a dozen countries. It just seems to get worse and worse.

No one is spared from this tainted milk fiasco. All of a sudden, we find ourselves forgoing certain food products which contained adulterated milk powder as they were pulled off the shelves, we find ourselves reading ingredient labels either for the first times in our lives or more diligently, ...
Despite the human tragedy, I think there may be something good that comes out of this fiasco. We may now be more health conscious as we examine the things we eat, especially with regards to processed food products. I am sure many of us will be looking at the ingredient labels a lot more and very carefully from now on. It is a good habit actually. :) I have been looking at ingredient labels since late last year when I found out I am pre-diabetic. You will be surprised at the things they put into some of the processed food products!

Dear Friends and Family, take care and stay healthy.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


When each batch of my P6 counsellees graduated to secondary school, I would give them a little gift as well as my contact details. As a rule, I don't give out my contact details to counsellees. However, as they leave primary school, a relatively more sheltered environment than secondary school, I thought it might be of use to them to have my contact. Being in a strange new environment can be a stressful situation for some people. I don't want my counsellees to feel they are alone and have no one to turn to. So in case they need someone to listen to them, someone to talk to, they can always contact me.

In any case, I am most glad that some of them have contacted me because of problems they had in secondary schools, because they needed advice, and so on. It is very nice too that once in a while, they would drop me a hello too. :)

I guess I don't see my former counsellees as closed cases and to be forgotten. I see them as persons and most of them have made a lot of progress and in a way, I have grown with all of them. For me, I still care about my counsellees even after they have graduated from primary school. Maybe that is my failing as a counsellor - I care too much. :P

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


I heard that the autumn in Korea is really beautiful. :) I can't wait to see it for myself when I am in Korea this coming late October, early November.

I did a Blogthings quiz about Autumn. :) See my responses in orange to the quiz result.

Your Autumn Test Results

You are a energetic, warm, optimistic person. You approach everything with a lot of enthusiasm.
Not for everything haha.

When you're happiest, you are outgoing and expressive . You love celebrations, and you enjoy showing off a little.
Yes, quite true lol.

You embrace change. You love change. You see change as a rebirth.
Change is good, shakes me out of the rut. :)

You find hard work to be the most comforting thing in the world. You like the feeling of accomplishing something.
This is new haha. But indeed I do love the feeling of accomplishing something.

Your ideal day is spontaneous and surprising. You like to play things by ear, and you always end up doing something interesting.
Most true. :)

You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.
So me haha. :P

Monday, 22 September 2008

Counting Down...

I just realised in exactly one month's time, I will be flying with the girls to Hong Kong for a holiday. The girls are pretty excited as they are going on a holiday. But not for me, it is going to be a working "holiday" as in worrying about and looking after the girls and maybe trying to rehearse for my Korean conference presentation too, lol.

Between now until 22 October, I have a couple of things to do:
1) Get my presentation slides ready and handouts too, if necessary.
2) Get the draft out for the article my PI and I are working on.
3) Get my dissertation's Results chapter final draft out.
4) Get the grant proposals and necessary forms ready.
5) Pack a separate luggage for the Korean trip.
6) Plan where to visit and shop in Korea.

I think I have plenty to do. :)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Cousins (more), Breakfast and Gathering

Just before we left for breakfast, another cousin came to visit us, with his spouse and few month old baby boy. Marieann was more than game to take photos with her baby cousin whereas Juliane just smiled and ran away. Marieann even had a photo of her carrying her baby cousin. :)

We went to Whitebait & Kale nearby for breakfast. Juliane decided that she wanted to stay home with her grandparents. It is kind of unusual to find for one so young who would rather stay home than to go out, lol. Maybe she takes after my mother who much prefers to stay home to read, and to do stuff than go out.

Marieann had Spaghetti Napoletana sauce ($10). She really does like pasta for she walloped up everything on her plate. :)

I ordered Eggs Benedict with Dill Mustard sauce , Honey-baked Ham on Grilled Crumpets ($16). The portion was just nice. The crumpets were great in mopping up the yolk lol. :P

The girls' father had Scrambled Egg with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese on Rye Toast ($16). He was a little disappointed with the portion, which he thought was a bit small.

In the afternoon, I had a gathering with my SCGS friends. I had intended to bring Juliane with me but again she decided she would rather stay home. Oh well, I did enjoy myself better since I didn't have to divert my attention to look after her lol. :P There was the usual chatting and laughing whenever we gathered together lol. This time, no photos though as I was too busy stuffing myself with grilled chicken wings haha. :P

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Sleeping Beauty and Cousins

I had a really long day yesterday. I was working on the budget into the wee hours of the morning, then went to work and later in the evening, went for my friend's wedding dinner. I think I only had less than 4 hours of sleep. But I guess I paid my dues to Sandman today. I was "Sleeping Beauty" for most of today, hahaha. I only woke up to have breakfast at 9am and then late lunch at 2pm. :P

In the evening, my aunt and uncle, my cousins and their spouses came over for dinner. It was nice to see them as we haven't had them over for a while. My cousin has an 18-month old daughter, Johanna. The girls were a little excited to see their cousin but because Johanna is rather young, my girls were a little apprehensive about playing with her. :P Once Johanna is a little older, I think the 3 girls will have no problem playing with each other. :)

Friday, 19 September 2008

Wedding by the Art

Yet another friend and former colleague have gotten hitched. He held his wedding dinner at SAM, the former SJI.

I managed to get there about 7:10pm and was the earliest among the 4 ex-colleagues he invited. :) After signing in, I went round taking photos lol. :P I love how the old (historical building of SJI) is juxtaposed with the new (modern art pieces). Soon the others arrived and we had fun chatting, laughing and catching up with one another. The wedding at SAM is quite different from the usual wedding affair. In a way, it was more carefree and relaxed. The dinner was buffet-style, a mix of Western and Asian cuisine. I enjoyed the food lol. :P

I was pretty tickled by the professional photographer engaged by my friend for his wedding. It is pretty high tech. Once the photo is taken, it was sent wireless to the notebook to be projected on the screen and to a printer to be printed out! How cool is that! Lol. So this is the first wedding dinner that I have attended where I actually received the photos on the spot. :)

After we parted ways about 10:30pm, my good friend, Winnie and I adjourned to Coffee Bean nearby for a cuppa just to catch up further. We had a good time chatting away. I managed to get home just before 12 midnight. :)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Budget, Budget, Budget!

I tried my hand at calculating the budget. No, not my own budget, that's easy because there is nothing much to budget for or rather not a lot to budget, hahaha. :P

I am helping with the budgeting for a grant proposal. All I can say it is definitely not easy but it is also rather fun lol. I think I can see some of my friends rolling their eyes at me, hahaha. :P Kind of getting the hang of it now. Hopefully this experience will make it easier for the next few budgets that I am going to help with. :)

Hmm, not bad for someone who was begged by the Commerce tutor to drop from the stream in ACJC, hahaha. After my first 3 months, I applied and got into the Arts stream in NJC. :P

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

To Blog or Not To Blog?

No, that is not the question. The question is: WHAT to blog! I am sure every blogger faces this problem sooner or later, once in a while or most frequently, a Blogger's Block, hahaha. :P This Blaugh comic reflects the Blogger's Block most accurately, lol. :P

Think Before You Blog

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Peculiar Sleep Habits

Juliane sure has some peculiar habits when she sleeps. Not too long ago, she was singing in her sleep over a few nights. But she has one consistent habit that she has had for the longest time and she does it several times a night. No matter how I tried, she can't kick the habit.

Whenever she does it, it reminds me of this:

"Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then 'tis time to do't. —Hell is murky. —Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? Here's the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!"

Sounds familiar?! Well, for those who have taken Literature, it is from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1. Yes, Juliane has this peculiar "Lady Macbeth like washing of hands" habit. She would suddenly raise both hands into the air and starts to "wash her hands" as in rubbing her palms together and the back of her hands. When I tried to stop her, she would instead start to "wash" my hands. Hahaha. :P I really don't understand how, when or why she pick up this habit.

Let's hope she will grow out of this habit when she gets older. :)

Monday, 15 September 2008

My Chosen One

My chosen one is Treo Pro, haha. Yes, I have finally got my smartphone/ pda phone. :) I think most of my friends thought I have long given up on buying one as I was so picky on the one I want. Finally, I have chosen Treo Pro to be the one. :)

I got it yesterday and after charging it for 8 hours (just a little past 12am), I started playing with it to familiarise myself with the functions. It was pretty fun and exciting having a new phone and what more a smartphone/ pda phone, lol. :P So many functions and can surf the net on a small thing like that, haha. But I think I still need a lot of practice, A LOT to use it with ease. Like today, I accidentally switched the phone off without realising it and I turned on the internet several times without realising that I did it. Hahaha. :P

I am really happy with and proud of my Treo Pro, my chosen one! Lol. Now I can't wait to get a nice, sturdy case for it and also a Treo Pro screen protector. :)

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Preparation for Trip

Since the girls haven't experienced the colder season, I thought it is better to buy them some warmer clothing for their coming Hong Kong trip during the autumn season. But before we did that, we stopped at Esprit, Liat Tower first to get the two clothing items that I have put aside yesterday. We went over to Plaza Singapura next because I thought there was a shop there that sells winter wear. But we couldn't find it. By chance, we walked into Fox. Guess what, the girls' father bought his jacket, and the girls each bought two pairs of jeans of different designs. It was a shopping spree for all of us, lol. :P

As it is Mid-Autumn Festival today, I thought I could take the girls to the garden for their lantern walk in the evening but it was drizzling. Instead, their grandfather set up their lanterns so that they could have a lantern party in the room. I kept an eye on them as we don't want a fire happening! But at least the girls were sensible, they blew out the candles after a while. :)

Oh, by the way, before we started on our shopping spree today, I became a proud owner of Palm Treo Pro at 12pm sharp! :) And today's expenses were all paid for by the girls' father. Thanks! Lol. :)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Eve of Mid-Autumn Festival

Today is the eve of Mid-Autumn Festival and the girls' pre-school was celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in the evening. Since the girls' lanterns from last year were long destroyed and gone, I had to get new ones for them for the celebration in the evening.

Juliane and I arrived at Takashimaya Square, Basement 2 around 10:30am. I realised it would have been the best time to buy mooncakes since there was hardly any crowd at all and it was so close to the Mid- Autumn Festival that most mooncakes were selling at a discount, lol. :P we managed to get two paper lanterns before we walked over to The Soup Spoon, Paragon for brunch. We shared a meal upgrade of soup and salad - I had the clam chowder while Juliane had the Waldorf salad.

After our brunch, we walked to Liat Tower where the new Esprit is. :) I had two items put on hold till tomorrow so that I can sleep on it if I should buy them, lol. I must be careful with my finance now since I have two unexpected overseas trip not budgeted for - the one to Australia and the coming one to Korea. Meanwhile, I also received an sms from a good friend about my Treo Pro being out on offer at Starhub. :) More money flying out of my pocket, haha. :P

In the evening, we went to the girls' pre-school. Each of us was given a goodie bag. The celebration started with some contests which broke the ice. Soon, the kids were having lots of fun playing games and chowing down on the food prepared by the teachers. The teachers also put on two dance items for the children and parents. Everyone went home happy, especially the children, after the lantern walk around 8pm.

The girls will do a lantern walk tomorrow, either at my estate or at the garden. I think they will like that very much. :)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Conference and Travel

It is confirmed. I will be going to the conference in Korea. This morning, I submitted the abstract, faxed my registration form over and emailed my application for international fellowship. :) Now all I have left to do are to get my ticket to Korea and work on my presentation slides.

It has been a while since I went overseas for a conference. The last one was in Netherlands in 2005. It's time to go for another one after such a long break. :) Going for conference is one way to see the world and not to mention you get to learn new things too, not just from the conference but from the host country too. Oh, conferences are also good for networking. :)

Come to think of it, I would have travelled overseas three times just this year - Melbourne and Sydney in March, the coming Hong Kong trip in late October and the coming Korean conference trip in late October/ early November. :)

Thursday, 11 September 2008


There are people who sleepwalk. Sleepwalk is a sleep disorder where the sufferer engages in activities that are normally associated with wakefulness while he or she is asleep or in a sleep-like state. Sleepwalking can affect people of any age. (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Now, Juliane does quite a bit of "sleepwalking" but I am not sure if I can call it sleepwalking because she does movement of another kind. She sings! For the past couple of nights, while I was working late, I observed her sitting up in bed and started to sing. The first night it happened, I thought she was pulling my leg. When I went over to ask her to sleep, I realised that her eyes were closed and she didn't respond to me at all. After she finished her song, she lay back down and continued sleeping. It happened again the night before and then last night. It is actually quite funny to hear her sing. So far, her sleepsinging occurred between 1am to 2am.

I am waiting to see if it happens again tonight. :) Hey, I welcome any break while working. Lol. :P

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Taste in Music

I am supposed to pick bands/ singers that I like so obviously must be bands/ singers that I actually listen to, right? Results as shown below.
Your Taste in Music:

Teen Pop: Medium Influence

Country: Low Influence

Nineties: Low Influence

Pop: Low Influence

Adult Alternative: No Influence

Teen Pop?! Ok, I think maybe it is time for me to cut back on watching so much Disney movies and Disney Channel series such as Hannah Montana with the girls. :P

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Camp Rock Rocks!

I don't believe this but I actually sat through the Disney movie of Camp Rock and I actually enjoyed it! :P Well, the songs are pretty catchy and some of them are actually very easy to listen to. :) Comparing to High School Musical 1 & 2, (Yes, I have watched those too, ok I see a pattern too hahaha), I think I like Camp Rock better or rather the songs are better. :)

Here are the songs "Gotta find you", "This is Me" (pop version) and "This is Me (acoustic version).

Monday, 8 September 2008

Korean Conference

Well, it looks set that I am going for the conference in Korea this late October. :) A Korean Asst Prof said Korea is most beautiful at that time of the year - autumn leaves and sky. I love the orange and red leaves...

Yar, I think it will be a very different birthday month for me. First, I will spend my birthday in Hong Kong (although I much prefer to be somewhere else) and then immediately the next day upon my return to Singapore, I will be flying to Korea. :) Going to be hectic but I think I will manage. :P Can't wait to go on a road trip in a foreign country, lol. :) Better pick up a few useful Korean phrases. :)

Ok, no more talking. Now must work on abstract for submission to the Korean conference!!

Sunday, 7 September 2008


I happened to chance upon the below quote. It just seem so apt as my PI and I are working on a paper on this. Maybe we can use it in our paper, lol. :)

The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting. - Fran Lebowitz

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Magic of Wall-E

As promised, I brought the girls to watch Wall-E today. I thought there would be less crowd watching it this weekend as it is the end of the September school holiday.

Since our movie was at 12:40pm, we have an hour to spare. We went to Sakae for a quick lunch. Both girls shared 3 plates of tamago sushi, a plate of ebiko sushi between themselves and had a chawanmushi each. Marieann also had shared some of my Chicken Katsu Don.

We walked over to Lido at 12:30pm for the movie. It was a first movie experience for Juliane. I think she might be a bit nervous in the dark because she kept reaching out for my hand, lol. Both girls enjoyed the movie as much as I did. :)

Wall-E is a movie for everyone. It has adventure, comedy, and romance (a little). What's great about the movie is that it didn't need a lot of dialogue to make itself understood and enjoyed by all. There is a great teaching/ learning opportunity with Wall-E:- stop pollution, keep our Earth clean and go green. :)

Friday, 5 September 2008


Casablanca is a really old, black and white movie before my time. There is also a song called Casablanca by Bertie Higgins. Casablanca, both the movie and the song invoke certain feelings in me and just brings back certain memories of mine - of a time when I was younger, when I was once at Rick's Cafe...

This is a heartwarming combination of clips from the Casablanca movie with the song Casablanca.

Thursday, 4 September 2008


Today, a good friend showed me this blog. It is just like any other blog which is a personal journal. I had lots of laugh reading it. It is funny, hilarious at times. Well, it is not because the person wrote most interestingly but more because of the person's use, or rather, the person's LACK of punctuations! I know punctuations are important in language, never more so than today while reading that blog. Without punctuations, the meaning of your sentences change drastically, sometimes in ways that you don't intend! There was a particularly hilarious sentence that stuck in my mind but I thought it might be showing disrespect for that blogger if I highlight it here. :P

Thanks, friend for showing me that blog. It cheered me up because I was rather depressed about something. Thanks :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Work, Play, Korea?

Just been informed by my PI that there is a conference in Korea that I might be interested to go for. It is at the end of October 2008. Hmmm, I am feeling tempted. :)

My PI is really nice and encouraging. She would always be the one asking if I have any conferences that I want to attend or telling me about conferences that I may find interesting to go for. I am really glad for her "pushes", lol. :)

My PI and I are going to talk more about this Korea conference. We shall see if I have enough time to make it since abstract and full paper (optional but encouraged) need to be submitted by 30 September. Wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Sci-fi and Supernatural Galore

I am really glad that I am now subcribed to Sci Fi and AXN Beyond! It is a real sci fi and supernatural galore on those channels! All my favourite series in just 2 channels, such as Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The X-Files, Roswell, Mysterious Ways, The Dresden Files, Firefly, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka and many more...!!! :) Yes, I know I am such a sci fi and supernatural junkie, hahaha. :P

Fortunately (or unfortunately?!), I am working. If not, I think I would be glued to the tv the whole day, not that I would mind, LOL. :P

Monday, 1 September 2008

Happy Teachers' Day 2008

I just want to say Happy Teachers' Day to everyone who have taught me in one way or another, be it in school, at work or at play.

I believe everyone is a teacher. There are many things that we learn, not just from our teachers, we also learn from our parents, siblings, friends and even from strangers too. There are many things that we learn, not just in school, in university, we also learn at work, at play and even when nothing is happening.

So to everyone I know, Happy Teachers' Day. You have taught me a thing or two even though you might not have realised it. Thanks! :)