Sunday, 31 July 2011

Bags vs computers
One week ago today, I was sitting in a room full of luxury bag brands that included Prada, Fendi, Diane von Furstenberg, Miu Miu, Chanel, Chloe, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choos - among many others.

I was sorting them out - a part-time stint - but something many women would not even consider a job. It was rather fascinating having all of them literally at my fingertips. I admired some of them, but shuddered at most of them (wondering what would possess anyone in their right mind to buy something that looked so...weird - I was being kind). On hindsight, I suppose the latter reaction was rather funny, considering that I was turning up my rather small nose at bags that people would later pay through the nose for.

And by the end of the day, I was thoroughly sick of all of those bags. Some of my colleagues started a discussion during dinner about the bags. The consensus? A disbelieving "Omg women are crazy. I don't know why any sane person would spend so much on a bag when even part of the price tag could fund a super computer with a kickass graphics card and unbeatable motherboard." Right. Of course, by now, you know those colleagues were guys. Who else can simplify the world like that?

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Why ear candling may not be a good idea
I've gone for a ear candling spa session only once, during my unfortunate trip to Batam. Mostly because I was curious, and also partly because there was a whole host of benefits listed (aids sinusitis, improves hearing etc) so I thought I'd give it a try.

I had a rather incompetent masseuse, she was noticeably younger than the rest and had a curt manner about her. But that aside, what happened was:

  1. You are asked to lie on your side.
  2. The 'candle' (which really looks like a piece of paper all rolled up) is inserted through a collecting plate to fit snugly into your ear canal. 
  3. The 'candle' is lit and as the wick burns down, the masseuse is supposed to gently rub the side of your ear and your head (mine didn't). The crackling of the wick burning is oddly comforting, though it really sounds like what it is - fire. I remember wondering throughout the entire process whether the ash would tip off and burn me.
  4. After the 'candle' burns out, the masseuse is supposed to clean your ear with a cotton swab (once again, mine didn't).
  5. The masseuse will then snip off the end of the 'candle' and show you the wax that was collected from the process (well, mine didn't as well).
But the amazing thing was - all of us didn't feel any difference at all before and after the ear candling session. We didn't feel any of the prescribed health benefits either. And this article explains why ear candling is both ineffective and not a good idea.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Mad Gab Online
Remember the game Mad Gab I wrote about a few weeks ago? Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself! I just found out that you can also play it online for free! I recommend you go to the site with some friends beside you (or over web cam, or Face Time) to maximize the laughs.

Have fun madgabbing away!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Spongebob squareface

Gloria Lee
The doc warned that the post op swelling would be the worst on the third day. But I didn't expect it to be this bad. My mom is appalled, my sister is smirking at me every chance she gets (wait till it's her turn!) and my boyfriend had to hurriedly swallow a laugh when he first saw the state of my face, but has wisely refrained from further comment since then.

I look absolutely hideous - the swelling has literally made one side of my face SQUARE. I had to slap a black and white filter over the photo to help you keep your last meal down. I have trouble smiling now (check out that painful excuse of a smile above), and I'm certainly not venturing a step out of the house when I look like this. The pain is nothing I can't handle but it's still uncomfortable. My mouth can't open very wide so I'm stuck with porridges and soups for meals. And I can't talk properly - all my words come out muffled.  So I'm a very grumpy bear.

From my google research, it appears that wisdom teeth are so named because they usually erupt in the late teen years, or "the age of wisdom". But this answer had me laughing for the first time in days.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

When life throws you a curve

Had a rather unexpected phone conversation with a former employer today - one in which I was thrown a major curve. In fact, it left me stunned, and more than a little angry and insulted. It utterly blindsided me - it was so groundless and baseless that all that went through my mind was "WTF?"

And after that little talk, they even had the temerity to ask me to help them out again. Despite the stormy mood I was in, I know I was very civil about it - much more than I needed to be under the circumstances, and my friends in the know concur. Thank god for friends who keep me sane. If the people over at that company have a conscience, they would feel guilty about the situation. Not that I'm keeping my hopes up for them of course.

Suffice it to say that on my own accord, I don't think I'll ever want to work for them, or with them again. At the risk of sounding cocky, it's not my loss.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wisdom toothless

Gloria Lee
I extracted one of my wisdom teeth today. It was a horrible experience. Through no fault of the doc, who was good and kind and patient with me.

The worst part of removing your wisdom tooth is the noise made by the drill when it's drilling into the tooth. You know all that drilling you hear at construction sites? Multiply that thousandfold. It's right inside your head reverberating through every pore of your body and makes you want to scream "shut up already!" Now, I've never been very squeamish about seeing the dentist, but this time my fist was clenched throughout the entire visit. Didn't help that my wisdom tooth was buried and had a curved root, which meant more drilling. It really felt like forever. Fortunately, there was no pain during the actual procedure - I think a ton of local anaesthetic was used, because I was rather woozy after it all.

The photo above was taken immediately after the tooth was pulled. It's three times more swollen now - it looks like I'm sucking a sweet at one side of my mouth. I've swallowed so much of my own blood (from the wound) that I feel nauseous. Yuck.

Gloria Lee

And to think it was a rather impromptu decision - I was at the orthodontist's getting a checkup when the doc told me I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and asked me when I wanted it to be done. After hearing that school would be starting in two weeks, he said, "Why don't you go have a good lunch first and come back in two hours for the op." That was it.

And you can see the photo of the bloody (pun intended!) tooth above. It's gigantic! No wonder the wound hurts like hell now. One down, three more to go...small consolation. 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Leopard to Lion
Attention all Mac users: Apple has just launched OS X 10.7 Lion! I'm quite keen on making the upgrade, but because I skipped Snow Leopard when it came out, it means that I now have to first purchase Snow Leopard and then Lion (since all my research online has told me it is only possible to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion).

Maybe I should wait for Apple to come out with a solution that allows one to upgrade directly from Leopard to Lion. Or if you have any recommendations, I'll be glad to hear of it.

Meanwhile, I can't wait for the launch of iCloud!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
After watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part II) in the cinema this past week, I must admit to being rather disappointed with the way the final installment of the series panned out.

In a nutshell: I was bored.

Some parts of the action seemed rather unnatural. And the kissing scenes were extremely out of place - unnecessary is the word. Give me the book over this movie any day.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A eulogy to B
My friend had a feline companion named B, who looked very similar to the one in the picture above. She has had B for a very, very long time. When my friend's boyfriend proposed to her, he included a special feline treat for B. That's how much B was a part of the family.

But B was an old cat, and had suffered from kidney problems for some time. Everyday, my friend had to administer injections and bring B for kidney dialysis sessions. In addition, B could only eat a special diet prescribed by the vet, and even that had to be mashed up for his easy consumption. B had also lost his appetite because of his condition - so to get him to eat, it meant my friend had to patiently follow B around during meal times with the cat bowl in hand. You can clearly see the amount of love that went into his care.

A few days ago, B fell more seriously ill and there was no choice but to put him to sleep. The age-old euthanasia debate aside, everything that can possibly be said now simply seems inadequate in the face of the inconsolable pain felt by B's owners.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Everybody lies
Adapted from Lies by Elton John

Some lie about who they love
Some lie about the truth
Some lie to save their lives
Some lie about their youth

Some lie in the face of death
Some lie about their fame
Some kneel and lie to God
Some lie about their name

Some lie in words and speeches
With every living breath
The young lie with their guitars
The old lie for a little respect

Everybody lies, I get it. C'est la vie.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Kenny the Ah Beng
I once had the pleasure of being taught by Kenny Yong, a gifted animator with a quirky sense of humour. Incidentally, Kenny also looks and behaves like an ah beng, much like his role in the hilarious video below (which he not only acted in as the main lead, but also helped film and edit as well).

And since National Day is just around the corner, I thought I'd also share another of Kenny's videos. This one won the first prize in the "Most Creative Video" category of the 'Make Your Own "Home" Video Contest' earlier this year. All contestants had to create a video to the tune of the song "Home" by singer Kit Chan, who was also part of the judging panel for this contest. Much more tasteful than the funpack song, and funny too if you get the underlying humour within the animation.

Watch the two embedded videos above, you won't regret it!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Troublemakers at soccer matches
Did you read the news about the Manchester United fan who donned a Rooney #10 jersey to a Liverpool training session in Malaysia? He's lucky to have escaped unscathed. I had an uncanny sense of déjà vu when I watched the video of the incident.

When Liverpool came to Singapore on tour in 2009, I went to watch the match, and there was also a Manchester United fan who not only wore an Owen jersey to the match, but was also waving around a replica Premier League trophy (Manchester United had just won it then). He was also similarly jeered and booed - tensions ran a bit high before the troublemaker was eventually escorted away by the police.

Seriously juvenile behaviour. Paying good money to get into the stadium only to embarrass themselves and spoil everyone else's day. No wonder they call them the red devils. Time to get a life, yo.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mahjong captains
Just yesterday, I was playing mahjong with three of my girlfriends, when one of them suddenly said, "Hey - all the captains!" Sure enough, all four of us around the table represented four consecutive batches of captains in the canoe polo team we used to play for. It was literally four generations under one roof!

By the end of the game, Michelle had won $39, as well as some interesting promises from the three of us.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Harris Resort - the last resort (pun intended!)

Gloria Lee
The photo above was the view from our seats on the ferry back to Singapore (from Batam). I've never been so glad to see the Singapore skyline. This was hands down, the worst holiday trip of my life.

Harris Resort (the hotel we stayed in) came highly recommended to us. But our own verdict: Don't stay there if you want good memories of your holiday. 

I just wrote the following email to the hotel.
My friends and I went to Harris Resort (Waterfront City, Batam) for a 3D2N stay from 13-15 July. This email details how one of your hotel staff tried to cheat us.
 On the last night of our stay, we ordered KFC Delivery. We called the concierge and requested for a call when our order came so we could collect it from the lobby. Five minutes later, we received a call from one of your staff named Reza at the reception desk. Reza said that KFC had called him, stating an increase in our bill (from R.P. 128,000 to S$40) because the distance was too far. This new amount was more than double the bill, which in itself was exorbitant. Furthermore, it was toward the end of our stay, and we did not have enough cash. After some discussion over the phone, Reza slashed the price down to S$23 (without consulting anyone). This was when we started to suspect this entire situation might have nothing got to do with KFC after all. 
 Barely another five minutes later, Reza called again. This time he told us that R.P. 276,000 was the final price KFC had decided on. We tried to cancel our order, but he said it was not possible because the delivery guy was already on the way. At this point, we went down to the reception desk to talk to him in person. There, we requested that he call the KFC delivery hotline so we could talk to the manager. He refused to make the call, repeating that there was no point since the delivery guy was already on his way. Finally, we told him we would wait at the lobby for the delivery to come, and hear what the delivery guy had to say. Our order came, and the bill was R.P. 128,000. We realized it was Reza’s doing. He did not even bother to apologize for his role in the situation.
It is ridiculous that one of your hotel staff tried to cheat us of our money. Not to mention that the bad experience ruined our holiday and left us with a very bad impression of Harris Hotels and Batam.
Of course, there were highlights of the trip, but they had absolutely nothing to do with Harris Resort. Honestly, for any future trips to Batam, Harris Resort would be a last resort - and maybe not even then.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Imagine taking an SLR lens and affixing it to your iPhone, so you can take those drool-worthy photos that your crappy iPhone camera never allowed you to take. This iPhone SLR mount is it. It seriously redefines cool.

If I didn't already have my Canon 40D, I  would have clicked the "add to cart" button as soon as I laid my eyes on this.

Meanwhile, I should start hunting for new lenses. (:

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Macaroni and cheese

Gloria Lee
Macaroni and cheese has always been one of my favourite comfort foods. To satisfy a craving, I made a trip down to Kenny Rogers at Novena Square. The photo above is a flattering photo of horrible food.

It was bad, really bad. 

The chicken meat was tough and bland, the mac and cheese (the reason why I was there in the first place) was not up to its usual standard. No surprise that we left half our food untouched. The service, though not bad, was not good either. The staff just seemed disinterested. I swear I'm never going back to that outlet, ever. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

Dumb bell
The news that an unexploded bomb was being used as a school bell in Uganda, Africa (i.e. teachers banged the bomb with stones to call the students to lessons) left me astounded.

According to a spokesperson for the mine awareness team that detected the anomaly, "It's head was still active, which means that if it is hit by a stronger force, it would explode instantly and cause untold destruction in the area." Apparently, it's also the second bomb found in a Ugandan school within six months - teachers at another school found students using an unexploded bomb as a toy.

I can't even bear to imagine the possible carnage. It's so absurd, yet the bombs are in fact a sober reminder of the civil war the country suffered through. From the bottom of my heart, I hope all of these bombs will be located and defused without incident.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

She said yes
Over the weekend, I learnt that my friends Alison and Raymond are soon to tie the knot! He proposed to the clueless bride-to-be at the Marina Bay Sands Sky Bar, and she said yes!

After six years together, they are still one of the happiest couples I know, and I'm so glad the two lovebirds have decided to take this step. It was an amazing coincidence that only a few weeks ago, I had jokingly asked Raymond when they were going to get married. And now, this happy news!

I hope they had a picture of that perfect moment, like these here. It's so priceless to have a photo that marks the beginning of what would be a new life together, don't you think?

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Headed for Batam
I'm headed for a short getaway in Batam with some friends. Among other things, we're going cable-skiing!

Excitement aside, there have been so many horror stories of touristy water sports. One true encounter I recently heard of: a group of people surrounded the tourists after their jet-skiing session, and demanded compensation in amounts ranging from S$500 to S$1000+ for what were supposedly 'scratches on the equipment'. Afraid to get into trouble, the tourists had no choice but to pay up.

I hope this holiday won't be marred by such experiences. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Fingers and genitals
A new South Korean study linking finger length to genital length should have most guys peeking down at their fingers dubiously. The implications of the study, published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, are: the lower the 'digit ratio' (the length of the index finger divided by the length of the ring finger), the longer the penis.

Why not, indeed. After all, don't you think fingers look rather phallic?

Monday, 11 July 2011


NCH Productions
Singapore's National Day is just around the corner, and you've probably heard of this year's 'fun pack Song' - an attempt to introduce the fun pack given out to ticket holders at the National Day Parade. You should have. It's made for so many embarrassing headlines around the world. Extreme PR disaster, if ever there was one.

The lyrics of the cringe-worthy fun pack song, for want of a better name, are penned to the melody of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. When Lady Gaga was first asked for her take on the song, she refused to comment. But in a subsequent press interview, she said the lyrics were "great". Of course, she's being rather gracious and diplomatic about it.

But honestly, with disgraceful lyrics like "You know that I want you, you know that I need you, I want a wet, wet tissue / I want Newater and I want a cold drink, you and me, let's share a bit / Kopi -O o o o o o o o, Time for the fun pack song / Kopi -O o o o o o o o, We like the fun pack song", the only word that even comes close to describing the song is 'inane'.

If you haven't heard it, or wish to hear it, you can watch the video here. But given the legal implications (because the NDP committee did not have adaptation rights to perform the song), do note that the video might be taken down soon.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Bunny in a magician's hat

Gloria Lee
I have a love-hate relationship with the Ikea store, because I want to buy nearly everything I see. Yesterday, I fell in love with their new range of children's toys.

The soft toy mobile would be so heartwarmingly sweet for a child's nursery, and you have to admit that the rat with the barbell is rather amusing. But my absolute favourite was the plush bunny in the magician's top hat (the one in the middle of the photo above). It's actually a musical box! When you pull the bunny up, it triggers the winding mechanism, and you hear the loveliest lullaby. It was love at first sight (and I picked up it not knowing it was a music box).

Sigh, I wish I had gotten it. :(

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Do it anyway
There have been so many doomsday prophecies floating around recently. The most infamous (and upcoming!) one is that the world will end in the year 2012. Heck, even a movie was made about it. It has become easy to joke, "The world is ending soon, doesn't matter if I don't do                   (fill in your own blank)."

Martina McBride takes that flaccid excuse away from you through one of her songs. Inspiring, and a wake up call. No matter how hopeless it seems, do it anyway.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Adios Muthafucka

Wu Boyan

Gloria Lee
I loved the menu at Hood bar and cafe. Their drinks menu is organized by the labels 'shameful ones', 'fancy drinks' etc. I enjoyed my lychee martini and Kilkennys, but I was intrigued by my friend's 'Adios Muthafucka' - the drink in blue above.

Hood's a good place to chill - after dinner. They outsource the food, meaning you have to wait a long, long time for your food (which is not that great in any case). You have been warned: do not order the baked rice under any circumstances. The pizza's fine though.

PennyLane: The Band was the resident band that night. Their music really kicks some ass. You can check out their gig schedule here.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Bedok 85 due for renovation

Gloria Lee
It's an open secret that Singapore's well-loved Bedok 85 food market is due for renovation this September. Sources say it will be closed for up to two years. That is why many have been making their way there to eat at the slightest excuse. After all, the sambal stingray, barqueued chicken wings, ba chor mee (or minced meat noodles) are only a few of the local delicacies Bedok 85 is so famous for.

On a side note, I was there just a few days ago. As B was pulling into the carpark, someone asked, "No need for parking coupons today?" B said, "Nope, it's Sunday." (Usually, Sundays mean free parking at public carparks.) He hadn't even finished the sentence when we were in full view of no less than three parking attendants there to punish errant drivers. That's B resignedly tearing the tabs off the parking coupons above.

On another irrelevant note, check out these parking coupons used in Miri, Northern Sarawak, Malaysia. They are scratch-its, like some lottery tickets. Cool huh.
Gloria Lee
Update: Bedok 85 will be closed in February 2012 for a year. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Invisible chair

Gloria Lee
Last week, there was this guy outside Tampines Mall, sitting on what appeared to be an invisible chair (see picture above). Apparently, there was another similar event at Raffles Place as well. It attracted a huge crowd, and many were speculating that there should be some sort of supporting contraption underneath his clothes.

It turned out to be a marketing campaign for the new Volkswagen Jetta. Innovative to be sure, but turns out that the concept is not so original after all. KLM has done it here, and Cyril Takayama appears to be the real deal.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Baby Ashton

Gloria Lee
On Saturday, I went to baby Ashton's first month party. He was looking sweetly adorable and comfortable all bundled up in his swaddling clothes, but seemed so tiny and fragile that none of us really dared to hold him.

The proud mommy, L, told us about the extraordinarily smooth delivery - Ashton was delivered in only 5 minutes (timed from when the doctor told her to start pushing till he popped out)! I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty fast to me.

Ashton's father, K also happens to be the colleague of another friend of mine (such a small, small world). When I asked him how K was settling in his new job, the pleasant but unexpected reply was "He looks happy."

My heartfelt congratulations to the new parents!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Monkey see, monkey do

Gloria Lee
Gloria Lee
A piece of random trivia: the word 'monkey' appears to have its root in the Dutch word 'manneken', or 'little man'.

Take a look at the photos. The topmost one is of an adorable little monkey who swung down and clung on to the foot of our Thai guide the moment he saw him, just like a baby. The second photo was taken at MacRitchie Reservoir, of adult monkeys picking fleas off the younger ones. If you look closely, their features, posture and actions eerily echo that of humans (or maybe it's the other way around)!

But unlike us, monkeys won't get sunburnt and can't catch cold. Lucky them. And judging by the Darwin theory of natural selection, we humans are then the weakest link.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A grilled dinner for two

Gloria Lee
I'm already missing the 'home-cooked' dinner J and I had a couple of weeks back.

We went to the supermarket and bought bags and bags of food - baby potatos, cheese tofu, portobello mushrooms with mozzarella cheese, two huge packets of shabu shabu, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms, bread, crabsticks, seaweed chicken...all for just the two of us. The food you see in the picture is probably less than one tenth of the amount of food we bought.

Everything was thrown on the grill. We ate and ate and ate. It was so, so good! There was also nachos and a corn cheese dip,  as well as an enormous plate of delicious satay.

I hope we do something like that again really soon. I'm practically salivating as I type this and I just heard my stomach give an audible rumble. Argh!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Gloria Lee

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was beyond awesome. Lots of action + eye candy + humour = sure-win formula. Plus we had good seats - at the perfect distance away from the screen and right in the middle of the theatre.

Pitched from the arms of Megan Fox straight into those of Rosie-Huntington-Whitely, Shia LaBeouf is one lucky fellow. And we all thought this lead actress had big shoes to fill. On the hotness scale, Huntington-Whitely can more than hold her own, though I'm personally still more partial to Megan Fox. More attitude and spice, if you know what I mean. The appearance of Patrick Dempsey (or Derek Shepherd) was also a pleasant surprise. I remember turning to J and asking, "where's Meredith"? Hur.

And who can forget Bumblebee whose tongue-in-cheek humour made him my favourite character since the first Transfomers installment? Not a big fan of Chevrolet cars, but I couldn't resist Bumblebee. At one point, my heart nearly leapt out of my chest...(fine, no spoilers). 

If you haven't caught the movie yet, do aim to watch the 3D version. It's a little more expensive than the normal or digital versions, but the oomph you get from the special effects definitely make it worth the extra moolah. But for those who are short-sighted like me, do try to wear contact lenses instead of glasses. Throughout the entire movie, I was constantly trying to reposition the 3D glasses as they kept sliding down my nose bridge.

Next must-watch movie coming up...Harry Potter!

Friday, 1 July 2011

RSAF Open House 2011

Gloria Lee
Gloria Lee
Gloria Lee
Last month, I went on a rather impromptu outing to the Republic of Singapore Air Force Open House at Paya Lebar Air Base.

The static displays were awe-inspiring, but the aerial displays (which were carried through via a simulation of an enemy aircraft invasion) took the cake! Although the  explosions and puffs of smoke à la Hollywood were a little unconvincing and too theatrical for my taste, I admire the effort and thought that went into it.

For me, one of the highlights was the stunning parachuting demonstration by the Red Lions (see first picture above), which was definitely worthy of all the ooohs and ahhhhs from the audience.

When I was not scanning the skies for incoming aircraft and snapping shots with my iPhone, I was busy ogling the guy in front of me - or rather his professional looking DSLR kit (see third picture). All the while mourning the fact that I did not have my trusty Canon 40D with me.

Never mind, there's still next year!
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