Saturday, March 31, 2007

I love them, and they love me back

I mean, I have never really gotten anything from this blog, have I? Sure, there's the occasional high when I get "Tomorrow-ed" or when someone refers to my blog. But blogging for an audience is certainly no easy matter. 'What topics are they interested in? How to be interesting and original?' Yada, yada, yada.

So I blog about myself.

Remember how 黄熊熊 wanted to hand himself on a plate to 美狗狗 and saw a weird chicken at Harbourtown? And how I raved about Nando's and wondered why they are not available in Singapore? And how we had the Nando's sauces for reunion dinner? Payback time because I received this today!

My very first parcel from USA!

Cost $5.60! That's USD for you, mister!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! The kind people at Nando's picked up on my post about Nando's reunion dinner and gave me a shoutout on their site! Click, click, click!!!

The goodies!

A smashing, personally signed letter from Nando's David! I mean, how many people actually sign letters or even write letters nowadays? Great marketing tactic, David! I am sold!

Oh yes! I love it hot and wild. But I can be sweet and mild too! (^o*)/")

Tell David ( your misery when your sauces run low and you cannot replenish them here in Singapore. Maybe he will be kind enough to send you some! I certainly don't mind for my brain has stopped functioning since CNY eve. (+_+")

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The last burst

I am a suaku. Ever since I returned to my motherland, I had only hit the clubs once. I haven't even seen St James. The Cannery? Sure, but only en route to Coffee Bean at Boat Quay. So what do you think about The Cannery? I'm not sure where the bird cage is, but it sure looked crowded during the weekends.

What kind of music do you like when you go clubbing? I don't understand the House/Trance variety. At MOS yesterday, it was the music of choice. Judging from the people around me, I was the only one who did not appreciate its appeal.

I also don't understand the appeal of alcohol. It tastes vile, costs the skies, and doesn't exactly screw your head to your neck the next day. It also causes your liver to harden and translates to various kinds of output in the loo (if you're lucky).

But still, I like to go to the clubs now and then. It's loud enough for you to be screaming without getting embarrassed. It's smoky and dimmed enough to make everyone seem reasonably good-looking. It gives you the perfect reason to cosy up with your friends without coming across as too desperate. After all, it's all for fun!

The pseudo kisses

The real kisses

The tongue-outs

And bringing gingerbread girl out for some drinks.

I wonder when the next trip will come.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

They have more

Is it me or do you also think that secondary school students today are much richer than you were in your time?

A walk around the neighbourhood mall today revealed that students have more pocket money than I did when I was in uniform. Why, they nary bat an eyelash when heaping up those "by weight" candy, kilogram by kilogram. When I craved for strawberry rope, I had to carefully measure each gram to make certain that I bought the bare minimum.

If we did shop, it was at Giordano or Hang Ten. I notice the uniformed crowd at Mango, Zara, and Armani Exchange now. During Valentine's, they don't just gather around the sweet aisle in supermarkets. No m'dm! The buzz is at Sins, Godiva, or Royce.

It's not fair. I only want one cup of chocolate shake from Godiva. ):

Well, I bought 4 pairs of shoes today. So there!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Of shoes, manshirts, suspenders, and the quirks of Japanese magazines

I suppose I have more than 50 pairs of shoes. If not for the restriction of my shoe rack, I think I will have more. Thankfully, the irritating shoe rack saved my wallet.

Of the 50 pairs, I keep wearing one pair to death. If you have never witness my footwear purchases, you will not be faulted for thinking I only have a pair of heels. Alas! All good things come to an end. After 6 years of slavery; of trips to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Gold Coast; of numerous shopping trips; of countless runs for buses; it is finally time to bid farewell to my faithful black heels.

You are so comfortable on my feet!

You carry your battle scars well!

Why did you get fatally wounded?

It was repaired about a year ago. I was surprised that it didn't fall to bits at the hammering of the cobbler. On my trips to various states in Australia, it was the one footwear I never failed to bring along. It braved many-a-walks in the rain, and could stand up to the toughest shopping route. Bravo, my dear! When you showed me your last and final scar, I decided that it would be an insult to your courage if I put you in the hands of Mr. Cobbler again. Rest in peace, my friend, rest in peace.

Flipping magazines is one of my favourite leisure activities. I subcribed to Cosmopolitan and Cleo in Australia. Over here, I buy Female on a regular basis. My bad habit is to be unable to crap (of the anal kind) if I do not have some kind of reading material. Brochure, instructions, information on the backs of toiletries. Anything! Hmm. Ok. I was introduced to Vivi by a leftover copy at my place in Brisbane. The copy I read was for the Autumn/Winter season. Gorgeous clothes, I tell you!

Recently, I bought the April (Spring?) issue from Kinokuniya. Sadly, Vivi became very cutish, very young. At $14.50 a pop, it's twice the price of most local publication. Neverthless, if you dig fashion, especially Japanese fashion, or if you just plain like to bitch about the unfairness of life, why this model has EVERYTHING, or if you like to marvel at the effort Japanese put into dressing up, or if you want to know how to style you hair in a way that is GUARANTEED to make people in Orchard stare at you (you know how little it takes for that to happen), or if you simply, like me, need something for the toilet trip, try Vivi.

A manshirt was paired with a sweater or cardigan. Throw on some heels and glam it with a glitzy clutch and you got yourself an outstanding outfit!

She makes it look so simple, doesn't she?

Of course, it would work better if you have legs like hers. Make that face like hers. Hmm. Oh. And figure like hers. Put this on someone else, I suspect it will look like a (failed) raid of the boyfriend's wardrobe.

Suspenders is something that was really IN before I left Australia. I did not see many people who could carry off the look however.

Is it a tick or a cross for her?

I saw this look once or twice in Singapore. Once, in a very, very wrong way. The lady in question wore her suspenders outside her boobs, very tightly. The lines were all wrong.


This reminds me of something else I saw. I saw this woman with a cropped, tight vest that was secured beneath her ample bosom. It looked like a outerwearing bra without the cups. WRONG!

Japanese magazines are very interesting. Because they like to use the same models. Not within just the same issue; but in many, many, many issues! I have no idea why. Is this related to the long-term employment characteristic of Japanese firms? Certainly something that is not common in other countries. What's more interesting is that they prefer to use Eurasians. Perhaps that's not new. Local magazines also tend to favour models of mixed ethnicity. I wonder why.

Did I mention that I read Japanese magazine to bitch about the models as well? Here's Lena.

Notice how she has almost symmetrical moles at the corners of her lips?

You can hate her too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Your wedding organiser

On Saturday, I went shopping. Not the usual shopping in town. Not the shopping in supermarkets. But the shopping for bridal package! Not mine, of course! The bride-to-be wanted to do some research on the bridal market. I accompanied her and found that doing "research" is not as simple as walking into one shop and getting a brochure. Let me share some tips and observations with you.

1) Get a shopping buddy
Before you embark on the arduous task of finding a suitable wedding package, think about who you want to accompany you on this shopping trip. Be warned that it can take quite long. So wear something comfortable, especially if you are thinking of trying on gowns. Your buddy should also consider bringing something along to keep them occupied in the event that you head for the fitting room. It does take some time to get into a gown.

Some people may like to bring their husbands along. Fair enough. Also take into account how the husband may have no opinion on the chosen gown. Most importantly, someone who is honest and knows you well is an appropriate shopping candidate. Please do not choose someone who will tell you your big behind becomes invisible in a fishtail gown.

2) Come up with a budget
Assuming you are going for the traditional wedding. You will have to pay for wedding dinner, wedding package, and those red packets for the sisterhood and brotherhood. The bill can extend from Singapore to Batam. Budgeting is one important issue to consider. How much are you willing to spend on a wedding package? Most packages start from $3000. However, be wary of hidden costs. Before you sign on the dotted line, be certain everything has been included and you will not be bombarded with bills to pay for transportation to the location for outdoor photography, and other miscellaneous fees.

3) Mark the places to go
At this point, a bridal magazine may be useful. Collect information on where bridal shops are located. Browse through magazines, preferably local ones. Word-of-mouth is another useful avenue to seek out.

In Singapore, the most popular street to go shopping for wedding packages will be Tanjong Pagar Road.

The road filled with happy going-to-wed couples.

There are about 20 or so bridal shops in the area. Looking at the shop windows can give an indication of the styles the shop carries. Nevertheless, if you have the time, visit more shops. More shops = more choices! :D Maybe you can also consider going for wedding exhibitions. I think there is one that is coming soon, end of March.

4) Look at packages
Many bridal shops do not start with showing you the packages they offer. Most will show you their albums. I found that it is a good idea to start by asking how many photographers they have. The average number seems to be three. Different photographers have different styles, so look at all their works. You may also want to consider whether you like to have artwork for your albums, which will be at additional charge. Inquire about the prices though, for they tend to vary.

While browsing the albums, also look at makeup and hair styles. Does the makeup artist favour a particular style? I saw one who seemed to adore blue eye-shadow with tons of blusher. +_+

Gowns are perhaps one of the most important considerations. There is a distinct style for each shop. Some prefer simplicity; others embrace beads and sequins. One bridal shop I found to have beautiful embroidery is Di Gio bridal. Their craftsmanship is amazing. However, it depends on what you’re looking for. I would recommend that you try as many gowns, in as many designs and styles as you can. Choose from halter, sweetheart, scalloped, high necklines; silk, satin, organza, tulle material; and fish-tail, straight, pickup, A-line skirts. Some bridal shops do not allow you to try the gowns until you have paid a deposit. For these, I suggest that you thumb your nose at them and spit on the ground. Pui!

Finally, it’s time to discuss the packages available. Look out for the fine print. Some provide car decorations but not the car. Other differences include photograph sizes, number of gowns provided, styles of makeup and hairstyles allowed, and the addition of actual day photography. One catch though: most shops do not allow you to take down information regarding the packages. You need to have very good memory. I suggest that you take namecards and write down your comments as soon as you leave the shop. A more interesting option would be to buy a diary, recording your thoughts as you go shopping. What's more is you can use the diary to keep other related information such as your wedding dinner reservations. Only once in a lifetime! :D

5) Choose a package
It all depends on what is important for you. Personally, I feel that the gowns and photography are the two most pertinent considerations. Gowns make you feel like the princess you are. Photographs are windows of memories. Budget is an important issue, as is the service. But as I told my friend; money you can earn, service you can bear with, but gowns appear in all photographs, and all photographs is a snapshot of your happiness. Heh heh. Got ink or not! One last tip: negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!

Do not wait for last minute to get a package! You need to alter your gowns and it takes time to fix the album.

Up to 7 or 8 months from what I heard. Start shopping now!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Do you remember?

Haven't blogged in the longest time. Must have good material then can blog, right? No! Haha...

For CNY, I wanted to scan some photos to put into this nifty digital photo frame my dad brought home. Somehow, my dad is always bringing home things from different places. I think that's the return you get from playing charity golf games. After looking through old photos, I realise I don't have a lot of photos when I was young. Mum said that was because we were at our poorest then. Once, my brother was sick and my mum had to borrow money from my aunt in order to bring him to the doctor. Being the baby I was, I had no recollection. Am I glad that things are better now.

From the photos, I remembered things from childhood. Mainly that I like this top or that dress. Haha... Vain since young. What to do. But I suspect in some photos, you can also recall your own childhood. Unless, we are from different generations.

I think this was the earliest photo of me. Showing off my muscle of course.

My brother was standing behind me, rather unhappily. The rocking thing I was in was around until my youngest brother was born (mum had two more after me). Do you think it was because things in the past tended to last longer? For instance, older models of Nokia phones were said to be more reliable and did not spoil as easily after being dropped. Those 3210 and 8250 models I think. Now, I'm using a Nokia phone and I don't even know the model number. Hahaha... After some point, you don't bother anymore. So long as it rings and you can SMS, all other functions don't matter much.

The cabinet behind us was our childhood toy. In it, there were many fascinating things. I am not sure where they are now; I think most of them are gone. I remember a chess set made from marble, a set of hawaiian dancing dolls, multiple medals and that's about it. Obviously, you can see there are many more barang barang in it but most were on the upper shelf, which we could not reach. When I had only my elder brother for company, we used to look at the lower shelf, especially at the chess set. We longed to play with it (although we did not know how to play English chess). Dad's command was not to be taken lightly though. He forbade us from touching anything in the cabinet. I hope he still believes it was "fated" that one of the chess pieces broke by itself.

A little older but still as adorable.

These walker things are not quite the same now, are they? Many have in-built toys that actually make sounds, rattle, or play a tune. Back in my time, they merely came with four castors and a seat. If you were lucky, the seat would be cushioned. Kids have it good these days. *sniffs*

My arsenal of toys to throw at my brother.

I saw the red doll at my friend's place some 5 years ago. It was her childhood toy. I am sad to say that I do not have anything left from my childhood. The earliest memorabilia I still possess is most likely something from secondary school. That's not too long ago, no matter what you think. I remember biting on the spotted blue ball and thinking it tasted foul. Rubber is not a favourite flavour of mine.

My birthday! Can drink Vitagen! Yay~

Did your parents give you cold drinks whenever you ask for it? Mine didn't. It was a treat to get iced beverages. For that I am now thankful. They are full of sugar only!

I was in one of my favourite dresses. Many, many layers and the innermost one was actually from an eyelet material. Ain't it sweet? (:

Kindergarten zoo excursion.

I remember the ladies standing at the back. On the left is 郭老师, in the middle is the school's principal, and on the right is Mrs. Morris (who later became the principal). I think my school uniform is the best. No other kindergarten, then or now, has a cuter uniform. The frills on the suspenders are absolute joy.

Do you see yourself in the photo? Are you my long lost classmate? I was in Toa Payoh Methodist Church from 1988 to 1989. Kindergarten one and two only. One of the girls I still see around my block and one of the guys turned out to be my secondary school classmate. It was hilarious actually. There was no love lost between me and this guy. In secondary three, after I was streamed to a pure science class, we became classmates. One morning, he suddenly called me bitch. I think my look made many people wondered why I was in pure science; I didn't look like I could study I suppose. What prompted him to call me bitch I could only guess. Neverthless, I confronted him, asking him what right he had to give me names. He looked shocked when I spoke to him in perfect english. Weirdo!

We became Malays.

I think at this age, I looked like a Malay. In fact, some people even addressed me in Malay. This was taken with my youngest brother, who was very fat. He is the skinniest in the house now. I was wearing yet another one of my favourite dresses. This piece had several squares of cloth sewn onto the bodice. They were actually pockets. My mum warned me against putting my hands into the pockets. In fact, she told me not to put anything into the pockets for they were very thin fabric and likely to go out of shape after carrying any weight. Their numbers soon dwindled from three to two and finally the dress was discarded. ):

This set of sofa also held fond memories. Actually, not so fond memories. The cushion covers had to be stripped and washed every so often. We, the two older children, had to do it. Imagine trying to wrestle the lumps of foam into smaller sizes and using your tiny, tiny fingers to unzip the covers. A real workout. Besides, the covers were made of very scratchy materials. Not good at all. ):