Lilypie - Pregnancy

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

[about the wedding]

wee. the date is drawing nearer and nearer. 6 months 11 days (or 192 days) as the widget mentions haha. feels like things are getting more and more 'real' as wedding preparations are underway. mak andam (makeup artist) - tick, pelamin (dais) - tick, photo/videographer - tick... wow, can't imagine that one year ago, we weren't even sure if his mum would accept me. talk abt moving a long way. glad our journey towards being together has been divinely guided. Alhamdulillah (all praises be to Allah).

created a wedding blog so that updates on D day can be posted there. stay tuned!

p.s. pls leave ur mark in the guestbook, so that i know i'm not the only one there..haha. might eventually use the site to communicate with bridesmaids as yun suggested (smart gerl!). for a quick jump to the site...refer to the link under "the lady" (oh and if anyone knows how to create a sticky post using needed...and appreciated...heh.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

[catching up]

Been a while since I last blogged. And since it's a rainy morning with hardly anyone in the office and whoever's here isn't in the mood to work since it's Christmas eve, I've decided to follow the crowd and do other things besides working...haha. My loyal "fans" (haha) have been asking why the absence from blogging. Well, I'm fine I guess. Been dealing with new drama at home, haven't really had the mood to do things. Plus I was busy writing up my thesis, which I'm proud to say has made it's first debut for prof to look through. Yay! So yep, thanks for all ur concern. I'm good! =)


continued today. boxing day. no more rainy morning atmosphere. but ppl still aren't in a mood to work and same applies to me hehe. but since i'm lacking a lil inspiration to write (maybe i stayed away from blogging a lil too long heh), i shall post some pics of my recent short getaway to KL. oh i cherish every day i get to be away from home. lol. it was an adventure ala amazing race at first, but thankfully everything ended up alright. don't ask for details. haha.

high on songs

high on songs after all that waiting...useful tho, got a list of 50 sappy love songs that can be played at my reception down to 32 lost the rest..gah....

KL airport...impressive
KLIA. We were impressed. Realised we've never stepped into the airport since whenever dad brings us there, it's always the cheapest rail or bus. heh.

3 adventurersah finally a clear shotback down..lovely view of the clouds
the three adventurers on the way up to Genting, and the lovely view back down.

right foot more businessme in fish spa finally..yay

yay finally tried fish spa!! and at a great price too!

petronas twin towerstall tall xmas tree

which trip to KL would be complete without visiting the twin towers (skybridge was closed darn...) and shopping!!! (tho well, sakura did most of it..sobs...)

More KL pics here!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

[focusing on the good things]

Y: Hi gal, hav u seen dr yet? What did he say?
Me: Seeing in the afternoon. Will let u know :)
Y: Good. U r not alone today. Dont worry.
Me: Hee so sweet :)
Y: I know how that feel ma. Dont want u feel bad again.
Me: So touched hehe
Y: Take good care gal, u will be the most beautiful bride in a few months, must take care. If there is problem, fix early. :-D
Me: Sure. Thanks 4 "accompanying" me heh.

It's friends like this who really make ur day. Definitely a change from the incident below. Yep..focus on this instead =)

[the day i ruptured my lung]

was panick stricken to say the least. i thought the pain in my chest was just some muscle spasm, tho i haven't been coughing much. when i reached campus and it was still there, or even gotten worse, first stop was the wellness clinic. it was so bad that i requested to see the doc immediately. after realising i couldn't even lie down cos of the immense pain, and that i was not able to find a comfortable position to alleviate the pain, the doc told me to go to the A&E immediately for a chest x-ray. he asked me to take the shuttle bus but with the pain, i hailed down the first cab i saw. thank god for sending it to me so soon.

was a lil embarrassed when they wheeled me into the triage. took an ECG etc and waited for consultation. might i say this was also the day i realised how much my family cares for me. sent dad a msg to say i was at A&E for suspected lung rupture...pls pass msg on to sis n mum. 10 mins later i get an sms from mum saying she's sick, pls bring her to the doc (hmm she expected me to run home from work for a flu?). ok well, I assumed maybe she hadn't received/read papa's sms yet. awhile later sis msgs me to ask "are u alright?", but thereafter no response, i guess cos she was too busy in school. no further sms from mum either. at least papa called to ask how things were, was x-ray done etc.

waited and waited for hours in the A&E for the x-ray to be ready. alone. in pain. auntie sent her usual "it's that time of the day sms" and asked me how i was. i hadn't told her i was there earlier on cos i knew she'd be terribly worried and might've rushed down, and i didn't wanna trouble her. needless to say, she was the only one who continued "accompanying" me even if it was thru sms-es. she was shocked no one came. well i said, it was expected. if my own mum didn't bother, even if she were sick, i mean how much energy does an sms take? just to ask if i was alright perhaps? well that's my family. was so upset i was telling MB that maybe only if i collapsed and died they'd be there. maybe then it'd be too late.

looking on the positive side? thankfully it wasn't major. they suspected i might've ruptured some alveoli and the air entering the chest cavity was causing the pain. but as great as our doctors are, he laughed and said "depends on ur pain threshold" when i asked how long the pain would last. thanks a lot. went home with just painkillers. but at least i went home and didn't get admitted. maybe that's the bright side..but seriously, my family's reaction was unbelievable.

when i get home after that tiring morning, i see mum crouched on the floor so i assume she's sleeping. all i wanna do is lie in bed cos of the pain. but instead, despite her "sickness", she comes to my room and starts yelling at me at how i didn't greet her, how i hardly show love for her, i love ammi and MB more, etc etc. Wow, so much energy to scold for a sick person...where was that energy when u found out i was in hospital? And I guess the last point is gonna crop up more and more as I get closer to the wedding. Sigh.

I guess I should focus on the people who do love me. Who bother to show care and concern even if they can't be close by proximity. Thanks auntie, jam, MB for letting me know I'm not alone. From Wed's incident, I know who I can count on. I guess I should stop hoping for something that I'll probably not get. Then I question myself again...isn't hope the thing that keeps u going? Well I guess in this case, I should just let it go. Have to keep reminding myself that....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

[happy wedding day]

It's exactly a week now..happy marriage-hood ruth. hehe. must say i thoroughly enjoyed the day, even tho I had to wake up really early for the day's events (luckily our weddings don't have tea ceremonies early in the morning heh).

it started out with the "jie mei" thing...since it was my first time being a "sister" i just stood by and let the other gals do their stuff (led by her very garang friend..who did a great job i think heh). it was pretty fun tho i think the guys could've been more sporting..and definitely more generous. too bad it was our first time being time, we won't give in so easily..and more wasabi in the cake perhaps..haha. i was also quite suaku abt the tea ceremony, having never attended one before. ruth looked really good in her white gown, and tea dress. lucky heh.

waiting for his sweetheart .....still not letting them in portrait ................with his pretty bride..........who to give first? heh

the dinner was great too. i really enjoyed helping the lovely bride prepare for the night. her auntie was like..wah ur friend so good even where for u shoes..haha...but well, for me it was just abt making her feel like a princess on her special day, plus really, it was gonna be tough for her to put it on on her own lol. the most touching moment came when they presented me with their pretty ring pillow. now i must find a couple to pass it down to after my wedding :P.

..accompanying the bride in the bridal suit............................the ballroom

i must say that of the not-that-many weddings i've attended, this one really affected me because i was just so so genuinely happy for the bride and bridegroom. the smiles on their faces as they marched down the aisle just lit up the room and i must say, i was honoured to be a part of their day. so girl, don't need to thank me so much lah heh ;)

Friday, November 07, 2008

[engaged to Mr M.i.R F.a.R.o.O.q A.L.i]

I wonder why they term it an "engagement". Maybe because of how it "binds". I am now engaged to someone. Woo. Sounds binding. Lol. (Auntie says I can't flirt anymore...but if someone flirts with me, I can reciprocate..hahaha) So I have 'sold' half my life to a man by the name of F.a.R.o.O.q @ bogglingbear @ mindboggler (MB). He still boggles me. So how was the trip? This is for my own remembrance so if u get bored, please stop here heh.

Day 0 - Friday 24.10.08
Poor Auntie had a tough flight especially after one very bad turbulence (tho I enjoyed the "rollercoaster" ride lol). Good thing she didn't puke on the plane...maybe my loving nursing and distracting her with really lame jokes worked after all..phew. First stop upon touching ground was the freshen up and look pretty for meeting MB. 3 vain women all sprucing up hehe. Was damn nervous about meeting him (I shouldn't be right..after all it's not the first time). Butterflies in tummy. Oh no, they're not at the exit. Did they come? Lol. Yay I spotted Abbah (father-in-law to be). Huggies with Ammi (MIL to be)...nice to see u again. Where's my hero? Hehe. They took me in their car while MB went with the rest to the hotel. All along the ride, I was thinking - wow this feels like the last trip when it was just the 3 of us. Abbah felt the same way too. Told me how they both missed us right from the point they waved their last goodbye at the airport. Awww.

This was also the day my most genuine of intentions to let the parents mingle got misconstrued as purposeful disregard, which resulted in me being slighted for the next 1.5 days. Argh, if only people weren't so sensitive.

Day 1 - Saturday 25.10.08
First lunch together. Auntie was having migraine so she slept in. Started noticing how I was being ignored. Still puzzled why. I did greet her...I did say how she looked good in her saree. Then had a horrible time because I wasn't involved in the conversations. What was I doing there? Hmmm. Talked to Auntie at night about how Ammi was treating me coldly for no apparent reason. MB comes at night and accuses me of being uncordial to Ammi. Wow, if just letting parents mingle is considered being unfriendly, dunno what I'm up for. Fine, Auntie says I should just suck it up and apologise.

Day 2 - Sunday 26.10.08
Lunch at their place. Swallowed my pride and apologised. Even then Ammi still complains to Auntie that I was wrong. Still don't think I was wrong. It was just some miscommunication that if had been cleared up earlier, wouldn't have let to such an issue. Well whatever, I've apologised.

Pre-engagement talks. Where someone behaved horribly. Getting defensive over nothing aimed at her. Wanting things to go her way as usual. Was ready to bury my head in the ground. Surprised at how cool I was lol. Enjoyed the gifts part tho..cos I got the most lol..oh and Abbah was clapping loudly for me lol. Yay! Engagement date set for Tues.

We go to the mall near our place since we have nothing to do. Nothing out of the just bought bathroom slippers and the emergency ring for MB. MB comes over at night to talk abt mehr (dowry). Kinda disappointed but well, it's complicated... Realised that someone doesn't have a backbone..sigh...

Day 3 - Monday 27.10.08
I get an award for "eagerly" coaxing someone to eat so that she's not sick/depressed. We stay in the apartment totally bored cos MB can't bring us out. Auntie n I drive each other crazy lol. We enjoy some pre-Deepavali fireworks from our room window at nite. Nice.

Day 4 - Tuesday 28.10.08
D-day. We're so bored from previous day of bumming in the room so we go out to Hyderabad Central mall. Our first adventure in an auto. Auntie is excited but scared - grips on to me the whole ride lol. Mall is a high class place, not somewhere to go to for cheap shopping haha. Auntie enjoyed the salesman putting on shoes for her...what a luxury eh? She almost took advantage of the 'service'..notti notti. Bought sandals to get ready for her climb up the 360 steps then had lunch at a really rip off food court.

As evening gets closer I get all hyper from the nervousness of the event. 25 strangers gonna be staring at me tonite. Yikes. Try to sleep for a bit but to no avail cos even Auntie was excited so she kept talking n talking lol. Finally caught 10 mins of wink wink. Then the preps start. I also got a bravery award for doing something hehe...consult me for details ;) Thank you for making me look so pretty, Auntie!

Engagement party is VERY tame. Just sitting in a circle and very silent talking. Me Finally get to sit with MB...we get garlands (so Indian..heh). He puts ring on my finger but not before going "which finger am i supp to put it on" lol. I'm a lil surprised he put it for me cos for us we're (supposedly) not supposed to touch each other before marriage so the same-sex future parent-in-law will put on for us i.e. I thought Ammi would do it. Nvm least got to feel him lol. Papa put on ring for him. Then it was dinner. Since we were at the roof garden we could enjoy the fireworks. There was a special 2 min display of fireworks which I told MB was meant specially for us. Hee. =) What a bonus since I love fireworks. Lovely setting.

Day 5 - Wed 29.10.08
Finally our sightseeing starts. First stop: Salar Jung Museum, the largest one-man collection in the world. Followed by Chowmahalla Palace which was awesome. The grandeur of the place was really breathtaking. Wish I could live in a palace like that lol.

Day 6 - Thur 30.10.08
MB can't bring us out today cos Ammi isn't feeling well. We're quite tired by yest's itinerary so we don't mind resting at home as well. Get a surprise call from MB that he's bringing me to his college..yay. Buildings weren't too impressive...but I guess it's the education that counts..since MB turned out brilliant anyway lol.

Next we have the most awesome moment at no-more-Secret Lake. Which I'm not supposed to report btw. Lol. Parents made me feel bad about going out myself but later find out that they were too lazy to go out on their own anyway..bleah.

Day 7 - Fri 31.10.08
I tell and I tell my parents what they can do for the day but do they follow the plan? Of course not. So after Jummah prayers, papa comes back and tells them they're not going out. Well, not my fault. I had errands to run with MB. First stop was his uncle's vacant apartment that MB has shortlisted for us. Nice place tho a bit pricey. After that went to the tailor to get my measurements for some clothes Ammi will be making for the wedding and stuff. Back home Ammi got me to try on a saree...felt sexy lol. Modelled in the melon punjabi suit as well. Lovely.

Went for dinner with my future family at 4 seasons. Food was really good till I was so bloated up by the end of it. And they still had space for ice cream...twice at that!! (Ben & Jerry's wasnt satisfying so they had round 2 at Temptations. I was so full ad nauseam that I really could only take one spoon at Temptations). Not surprisingly parents (actually just one of them) made me feel guilty again for "leaving them stranded" on their own. Sorry but it's not gonna work. Even Auntie understood that I needed some time alone with MB/his family. Oh well...

Day 8 - Sat 01.11.08
Yikes, so fast we're on the second last day...sob sob. Had a great day out minus some (expected) annoyances. First was the Qutub Shah tombs..and then the highlight of the trip...the Golkonda Fort. Yes we conquered the 360 steps! Mama was a bit sick but I think the rest of us managed really well. Didn't feel that enlightened when we got to the top tho..tour guide duped us lol.

A trip wouldn't be complete without shopping so our final stop for the day was Shilparamam Handricraft Village which was the only place I visited on my last trip. Managed to get good gifts for everyone, after much haggling. Thanks baby for bringing us there even tho u had to be home and u hate shopping :P

Then came the point I couldn't bear it any longer. Held on to MB really tightly the whole drive back. Sigh. If only this moment could last forever. I'll miss you baby.

Day 9 - Sun 02.11.08
The Last Lunch with both families. Auntie traumatised cos she isn't such a chatty person but each time she goes quiet Ammi says "u're not talking to me cos u don't like me anymore?" lol. Too bad, she's gonna aim u from now on..wahahaha. Managed to avert some major embarrassment after lunch and was pretty happy it went successfully.

Night time. It's time to say goodbye. I thought I'd be fine. But the moment I saw him at the airport, my tears flowed again. Stuck to one corner to calm myself down. Thanks for distracting me with ur lame jokes. It worked (tho I may have been pissed at the time lol). Final huggies with Ammi. Abbah tapped my cheek so lovingly...hee. Cried some more looking at MB, but promised I'll be his brave girl so I tried my best to stop. Ammi was like tapping my shoulder and saying..don't be sad, u'll see him (us?) again next July. That's still a long time Ammi. So much for being strong...was crying even at the check-in counter...then

Till we meet again *muah muah muah*.

Lots of pics of the trip here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

[rude engagement gift from prof]

I really did not need this news now. Not right now. Not when I should be happy celebrating my engagement and making plans for the wedding. Not when things at home are weird. Not when I've enough things to worry about. Not when I haven't made concrete plans for the future.

I guess instead of lamenting about why me, did i do anything wrong, why now, what about the future, why such poor management, what next, how could u say such a condescending thing then call it a joke, etc, etc, I should focus on:

1. This is an opportunity to do something I really want, e.g. publishing/editing.
2. I did learn a lot of things from the department and I shall cherish the experiences I've had (recall Sweden heh..and Bangkok...and Hyderabad).
3. I even had fun performing on stage here...should thank AW for pushing me to do it :)
4. I've had a very good example of how unstable things are in academia, which has convinced me even more that this isn't the place to stay.

And perhaps it's a sign that it's time for me to move somewhere else. At least I wouldn't leave Singapore thinking, oh no, I left behind a good/stable job. Yep, time to look ahead now. Please give me the next direction now God. And Thank You for your guidance so far.

Monday, October 20, 2008

[you need a mirror]

i'm arrogant.

i'm a snob.

i don't care about you.

i'm insecure.

i rely on someone to make me happy.

i only care about my own success.

i neglect her.

i'm lazy.

i'm not realistic.

the world does not revolve around me.

it's soooo true what they say...when u criticise someone about something, it's really a reflection about YOURself...about how you don't like a certain quality in YOURself. ah if only i could give you a mirror. so that you could the last BOLD.

[De-cluttering your inner life]

For more details, visit this link on how to Lighten Your Load.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


wee! my photo has been selected to be published as a pic in an online travel guide. sounds small but it's a big deal to me heh. yay! hope more get chosen for other guides!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

[7 tips for making yourself happier in the next hour]

apparently it's World Mental Health Day today...posting this article from the NUS Counselling Centre..

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

[meet the folks]

How was the conference?
- Excellent. Topics were useful for upcoming project, very impressive infrastructure they've got in place for genetic research in the whole of India, and even Hyderabad alone (picture Biopolis times 3). Not so worried about finding jobs there now Inshallah ;)

- Organisation could've been improved e.g. sticking to schedule and starting things on time.

- Kinda sucked being at a conference alone..glad I stuck to the Aussies at times. Sucked too that my poster didn't have much "business"...unrelated stuff I guess...and primitive techniques compared to the theme of the conference (DNA microarrays n stuff).

- Great conference venue/location and food...yummy. Even had a sightseeing trip to a handicrafts bazaar before the conference dinner at a 5 star hotel. All in all, pretty well taken care of. Oh, but don't ask about the service at the hotel..gasp...If the room hadn't been nice and big, I would've given them a bad rating immediately.

How was the meet-the-parents session?
- Excellent. Wayyyyy better than expected. Wayyyy more relaxed than I expected to be. Hell yeah, first meeting a day earlier than proposed was like..NERVE WRECKING (kept telling MB I needed another 24 hrs to be mentally prepared lol). They were soooooo eager to meet me, I didn't really have a choice..they sorta like just told me they'd be in my lobby in abt 30 mins time and I was like..oh shit. Lol. Will always remember the first warm hug and kiss on my forehead from ammi. Hee. And can't believe I was bold enough on our first meeting to make such a lame joke abt the restaurant owners being related to them just cos they had the same title and surname..hahaha. Nervous crapping perhaps?

ammi and me at hotel lobby 2nd night

- Met them everyday except one day...that's 2 days more than planned heh. Even regretted going for the conference dinner cos it was quite boring...was actually missing their company and would've preferred it anytime.

- Felt so much sincerity in their love. And I'm not exaggerating. Ahh..could get used to it. Hehe.

- Eventful day on the last day where, apart from trying the Eid dress ammi got tailored for me (wee!), I also managed an incredible feat of shoving GLASS bangles through my hand till they broke and I got a cut which bled for more than an hour even after compression, elevation AND icing...which subsequently needed a stitch (image not for the faint hearted) at the nearby community hospital. Found it quite hilarious actually..heh. Not the pain part though....and they're docs have really neat handwriting...check this out:

- Teary goodbye at the airport. Had to leave them too soon cos of the silly arrangement of the airport whereby non-passengers can't go in. Changi airport concept still the best lol...but must say..the new Hyd airport was really impressive. Ammi cried as she hugged me goodbye...Abbah seemed sad too...I still go awww thinking of the way he patted my head..cute..heh. They waited for me to check in and (quote) waved till my scarf was no more in sight. I'll miss you too ammi and abbah. Till we meet again.... :)

What lil pics I took...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[The Journey]

by Mary Oliver (Dream Work, Grove Atlantic)

On the day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,

And there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

[when all i'm asking for is a clean slate]

Every now and then you come to some big hurdle in your relationships. Sometimes it's a lingering issue that has yet to be resolved. Till it explodes into one big volcanic eruption. And sometimes even after that explosion, there is still no resolution. Or the resolution is not satisfactory, or ends up benefiting only one party. Simply because someone expects you to be practical, even when ur sanity is at stake. It sucks. But I guess like mum said, only you can bring yourself true happiness. So if I really believe that something should be done, I shall just do it myself. Meanwhile, patience.

[more than halfway through]

Ramadan is zooming past..again. Seems like just a few days ago that I was worried about the first day of fasting...will I survive the day? Haha. Yep and soon only 13 more days to "survive". Things have been going well so far. I think I'm doing a pretty good job...rushing home after work to try to cook at least one dish for buka ("open"/break fast) or sahor (morning meal). Thanks to prof who "officially" gave me 30 mins off work so that I could go home slightly earlier even tho I had no official circular from HR to show him. I gave myself "unofficial" 5 to 10 mins more on certain Or shouldn't I be annoucing that? Hehe. Nvm lah..then again lunch hour is 1 it's not like I'm cutting back on work hours by much.

It would be easier of course if I had more help in the kitchen. 1 hour isn't very much time to cook...alone. But yeah, we've gotten by...and as much as I rant about not liking to cook I do enjoy feeding my family (what more the multiplied rewards of feeding a fasting person)...and I also can't bear to eat the same old food dad buys back every other day...I need variety people! Variety! I guess he lacks creativity lol. Well at least he's cooperative in buying food on days I can't cook. My only sis ain't spending enough time buka-ing at home with the (already tiny) family. So much so we couldn't even celebrate her birthday with her, on time at least. Sigh. Plus I have no company to go for being squashed up in the mosque alone haha. Oh well, on the bright side, at least I've been picking up the Quran to read at home. Slow and steady..haha.

The clock is also my conference...and the scarier part..meeting the future in-laws...all alone in their home ground. Yikes! I'm one hell of a brave woman if I survive it. Just gotta put on my charms. Haha...*wink wink* ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

[1.2m is just loose change]

What's a govt that can't spare 1.2 million on building a school for the intellectually challenged? Money-minded I say. Hope I don't get shot for saying this. But seriously, when you earn a million or more a day just by killing people with ERP charges, what is 1.2 million for a school? Or what is 1.2 million when you can build 2 huge gambling dens albeit the protest of the society just so that it will reap you huge tourism profits? Money-minded.

As reluctant as I was in attending the acapella concert yesterday (would rather spend time at home during Ramadan), it indeed touched my heart to see the effort going towards raising money for autistic and mild-intellectually disabled kids from Grace Ochard School yesterday. The video they played was heartbreaking yet heartening at the same time. What some people would consider as unproductive members of the society - well these kids were really making an effort to learn skills in the hope that one day they might make it out to society (a few of them already do, like one who helps out in a Secret Recipe kitchen). Furthermore, they need these life skills so that they can live independently when they no longer can be cared for by their aging parents one day. As MB put it, these are really the heros - who don't use their handicap as an excuse but instead continue to fight on. And apart from the determined young minds, hats off to the teachers too for devoting their lives to helping these kids - it must be one challenging task.

The "emotional blackmail" they used using "When You Believe" (Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston) as background music worked indeed cos right after the video I almost teared and I rushed out to donate. Hehe. It was a worthy cause and perhaps I was meant to go there to be inspired. Plus the acapella groups were good too heh. So if any of you would like to do your bit to shape special lives, please visit this website.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

[scrabble scramble]

Believe it or not I finally went for a Scrabble tournament. Another tick of my list of things to do this year. And though I lost 3 out of 4 games (beginner lah...hehe)..I was still high at the end of the day. So high till I didn't mind waking MB up at 7am his time to go on and on about how my first two games were. Poor guy. Haha.

I expressed interest in the staff team 2 years ago but only this year the leader called us to tell us abt competitions. I was one of the newbies..never played in a competition before (does Inter Faculty Games count? Cos I got a silver for that when representing USP as an undergrad hehe). And talk about last min...K only told me on Thur that I shld play for the Public Service Games scrabble competition on about being unprepared!!

My team mate MR actually knew many of the opponents since she's been to competitions wow. The competitive Scrabble scene...amazing. There I was picturing a bunch of ppl only with my (mediocre) skills from my Literati days (Yahoo's version of the game). But these ppl are like HARDCORE. They memorise unheard of words...list after list...two letter words..three letter words...Z words...Q words..u name it, they know it. Yikes. I hadn't even memorised my short list when K gave me the 2007 list of updated words accepted by Collin's dictionary. Help my poor lil brain! Oh and surprisingly, there were many MEN and Malays (ok not being sexist or racist here..but just thought men would be more interested in like...chess..haha. and abt the Malay part..well...I guess I was just surprised to see they weren't a tiny minority.)

We had friendly opponents...I told my first opponent to be nice to me cos it was my first time...but he wasn't. sob sob. lol. (was hoping since MR knew him..he'd listen to her to be nice to me lol). Second game was really close and really a heartbreak...I was leading all the way with 2 bingo words then I opened up the board for my opponent to score 40 points on his 2nd last word. Ouch. So close..... My margin kept improving and that was really motivating. Won on the final game with a relatively easy opponent..I think they were there really just to have fun (or maybe just so that their organisation cld say they sent participants lol). My opponent was so heck care that she was just making tiny 3 letter words and not caring about winning (can't blame that time we were all pretty tired and having headaches cos of the noise during breaks and well..we did have to use our brains on an early Sat morn haha). Actually we were both quite heck care till we were like taking our own sweet time, daring the other to challenge our loss mah..we were only playing for the consolation prize haha. Anyway that was a pretty easy win for my team...and I guess that was what got us the consolation prize in our category ("losers" category lol). Yay anyway! :P

MR made me get up to get the prize..bleah..bullied for being the youngest in the team. I think I was one of the youngest in the whole competition in fact. So yeah, imagine playing against a bunch of Scrabble experts/ was scary at first, but really worth the experience. I'm really glad I went for it after wanting to try it for so long. Plus I came home with a (extremely yellow) CSC towel and t-shirt..even tho I'm not a civil servant...haha. It was pretty motivating when K emailed the whole team to congratulate us on our lil win..he even added good job since 2 out of 3 of us were beginners. Wee! Maybe next year we'll come home with a medal ;)

basking in our lil glory :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

[kiss me clean]

Realised that I'm quite turned off by dirty teeth. Stained ok...but tartar n stuff...GROSS. Was just thinking, as someone was talking to me...eugh look at his teeth...his poor wife. Or maybe she doesn't care lol. Ok this is quite random I know...but just felt like blogging it down.

Friday, August 22, 2008

[who wants to be my pen pal?]

the things far finds....heh. those were the days...i was 9 and young and collected stamps and i still read tho. :P

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

[breast talk]

It was a day of breast, breast and more breast. No we weren't watching some porno movie...Much more tamer...our Breast Cancer Symposium held in conjunction with our 60th anniversary celebrations. It was cool to see our department on TV, apparently M invited CNA to film the thing. I was quite lucky to catch it on TV..actually came out of my room just to refill my cup. Then as I stood by the TV (distracted for some reason), they were like "Breast cancer is on the rise in Singapore..." and I was like hey that sounds familiar lol. CKS, PH and KWP were on TV with their interviews..kewl. We had guests from all sorts of places...even the National Cancer Registry, Breast Cancer Foundation, AWARE (we think), and even a couple of breast cancer survivors. The article also appeared in yahoo news and CNA. We're famous!

Anyway what did we learn? Yeah breast cancer is on the rise..we might catch up with Sweden/US in a couple of decades so better do something about it now. Obvious causes: lifestyle factors like diet and having fewer children and later. Take home message:
  1. Eat soy. Just a minimal serving a day is sufficient. It seems to protect Asians against breast cancer.
  2. (Get married and) have kids. Not 1, not 2, but about 3 to reduce ur risk significantly. No I'm not promoting the PM's national day msg haha. But hey, double benefits...reducing ur breast cancer risk and contributing to the
  3. Breastfeed..and for a longer time. It was found that Malay women had more kids and breastfed, for a longer time, than Chinese...and their breast cancer risk was reduced by quite a bit comparatively.

The 2nd and 3rd point lead me to think about how Muslims have been rightly guided. How getting married and setting up a family is considered half of faith, and how a seemingly small point like breastfeeding your child is highly recommended. Verily Islam is indeed a way of life. Even surrogate breastfeeding is recommended if for some reason a mother can't breastfeed her own child. Interestingly even the WHO states that: "The second choice [after breastfeeding] is the mother's own milk expressed and given to the infant in some way. The third choice is the milk of another human mother. The fourth and last choice is artificial baby milk (formula)." Glory be to God for guiding us with such precision.

And then of course, there are a whole lot of other benefits associated with breast-feeding:

-- Bottle fed infants are fourteen times more likely to be hospitalized than breastfed infants.

-- Bottle fed infants are three to four times more likely to suffer from diarrheal diseases.

-- Bottle fed infants are four times more likely to suffer from meningitis.

-- Breastfeeding reduces the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

-- Children who were breastfed as infants have IQ scores which average seven to ten points higher than children who were formula fed.

-- There are one million white blood cells contained in each drop of breast milk.

-- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of juvenile-onset diabetes.

-- Formula fed babies have a higher rate of allergies than breastfed babies.

-- A breastfed baby often has smoother, softer skin than a formula baby.

-- Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of eczema than formula fed babies.

-- The mother who breastfeeds passes on her antibodies to an infant whose immune system is still developing.

-- Breast milk contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is widely considered to be vital for the growth and development of brain tissue. Formula does not contain DHA.

-- Breast milk is rich in cholesterol, while formula has none at all. Cholesterol helps build the brain and manufactures hormones and vitamin D.

-- Breast milk contains lactose, while formula contains glucose and galactose. Lactose is valuable for brain tissue development and promotes intestinal health.

-- Children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese during adolescence.

-- Breastfed babies have better jaw alignment than formula fed babies, and are less likely to need orthodontic work when they are older. This is because the suckling action for breastfeeding is more complex and involves more "work" than the suckling action for an artificial nipple.

-- Breastfed babies develop a larger nasal space, which can reduce problems of sleep apnea and snoring later in life.

-- Breast milk contains the easy-to-digest whey proteins, while formula contains harder-to-digest casein proteins. This means that breast milk is digested quicker and is less likely to be spit up by baby.

-- Breastfed babies have diapers which are much more pleasant to change than the formula fed baby. Because formula is harder to digest, their stools are harder and more foul smelling than the breastfed baby's.

But the advantages aren't just for baby. There are advantages for Mama too, such as:

-- A faster post-partum recovery. The sucking action of the breastfeeding baby stimulates the release of oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract to its pre-pregnancy size.

-- Breastfeeding mothers normally have an easier time losing weight than formula feeding mothers. (woohoo..I've witnessed this with my own eyes..)

-- There is a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer in the breastfeeding mother.

-- The mother who breastfed her infant is less likely to develop osteoporosis in her older years.

-- Breast milk is free. With the costs of formula, bottles, nipples, and additional medical expenses, formula feeding can cost up to $1,200 a year.

-- Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby bonding.

-- Breastfeeding allows a mother to take some quiet relaxed time for herself and her baby.

For the environmentally conscious mummies out there...I even read that breastfeeding is better for our environment because there is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.

Hurray to breastfeeding!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

[birthday fun!]

As usual, I had an awesome birthday thanks to my dear family, friends and colleagues. Thanks for making my day guys! **Kisses**

Just for fun...AwArDs of BiRtHdAy 08:

  • Most fun outing: Bird Park with the HP gang
  • Loveliest "surprise": Bouquet of roses from my darling MB..hee
  • Most yummy cake: Awfully chocolate that yun n gang got me...mmmmm
  • Most innovative: Birthday pizza by my colleagues (should I add the b'day sash and candles that never extinguish? heh)
  • Coolest gift: 8 GB Creative Zen from dad & I can watch movies on the go..haha
  • Best thing I did for myself: Makeover..wee!
  • Longest day out: Shopping till we literally dropped with aunt & cousin...good thing I relaxed myself with the spa first heh. Finally got my engagment outfit. Yay!
  • (Couple of disappointments but I guess I shouldn't add those heh.)

I'm one satisfied 26-year-old. Haha. =)

Party pics here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

[a night of BUTS]

Yes finally! After two years of procrastinating and waiting for company to attend Ballet Under The Stars, I watched it at last. I was so determined on watching it this year that I actually bought a ticket for myself. Luckily I persuaded Sakura to join me, so I didn't appear to be such a loser afterall. Haha.

I had one fantastic day, which started off with meeting the girlz for lunch at Go India @ Vivocity. The buffet lunch was really cheap at only $20++ per pax. I could've spent the whole day there eating the yummy chicken kebab. Heh. The disappointing part was when the manager was dishonest about the discounts we were entitled to...nvm time I should be more persistant about it. Anyway, was really happy when I got my yummy choc cake from awfully choc. Thanks for getting it yun! And thanks safari-Ruth for coming even tho ur tummy wasn't well. The cake was complete with my name written on it (was claiming it to be MINE lol). Mmmm. If the lunch hadn't been so heavy I'd have eaten the whole piece haha. We had a good time catching up with Mz and Azzy (hey it rhymes!) and too bad I had to leave early but I had a picnic to catch. Heh.

Almost had a heart attack when I came home to find Sakura sleeping (as usual!). So I dragged her out of bed and surprisingly she was responsible enough to prepare our lil picnic snacks even tho she was still a lil groggy. Thanks for keeping your word babe..enjoyed the picnic lots! =) The performance was amazing, even better than what I'd expected. There was a medley of short dances from SDT's different performances over the years, so it wasn't like one draggy piece. And the variety was also good, they had classical pieces, contemporary ones, and even fusion pieces like an African tribal theme fused with classical ballet movements. Awesome! My favourite was the African themed I've always been a traditional arts form buff. The most abstract was the animal piece...I think the only two animals I could make out were the monkeys and frogs lol.

Another thing ticked off my list of things to accomplish before next year. Yay!

Monday, July 21, 2008

[moovie weekend]

Had a pretty fun time last weekend. It started with my makeover-cum-photography session which was part of the UOB Lady's card birthday treats. My philosophy: if it's free, why not. Haha. Except that it wasn't so free, with the "compulsory sponge for strict hygiene purposes" they asked me to buy. But ok lah..just $14 :P. It was really exciting...I was nervous at first cos I didn't know what kinda make up they'd end up doing, didn't even have an idea of what hairstyle I wanted, in case they asked. Thankfully the lady who did my makeover was really pro and experienced...I loved my makeup every bit, right down to the fact that she knew red lipstick didn't suit me. Heh. And I was planning to let my hair yep..she did that too even without me asking. Gooood! And as if they knew me inside out, the photographer even asked me if I liked purple cos he had that backdrop. Woohoo..really felt like it was my day! He was really friendly too - and I realised that it was important to have a good sense of humour cum vibrant personality along with great photography skills for the job. After a few of his jokes, and the "warm up" poses, I was raring to go! Lol. Wouldn't have had half as much fun if the photographer just stood there saying..ok hand here, leg there, smile how. After a few poses and some awkward hand positions (u can't really look natural with ur hand on one hip I thought..unless u were scolding someone in that position..haha), I was actually tired. Wonder how models do it whole day long. And I thought it was easy being a supermodel..just having to smile or act sexy in front of the camera. The only disappointing (although expected) part was the freakishly expensive costs for getting the soft copies of the shots since the b'day promo only entitled me to one free 4R print. Hey, after all that hard work (may I add pretty shots..haha), I wanted more than one pic to take home. So since they were so expensive, out of the 30 odd shots, I decided to pick the best 10. Even picking the photos were fun, though a bit painful cos I had to abandon so many... sobs. But something tells me I'm gonna really enjoy my bridal shots. Looking forward to that already! ;)

After the lady took my heavy "studio" makeup off (actually more like just fluff some off with a piece of tissue...I could've done that myself...) I went off to meet Sakura for Hancock. And yeah, my friends were warning me about the mediocre reviews it got...even Sakura wasn't that keen..but like her sister's motto..if it's is free, why not. Didn't regret it one bit...especially when scrubby Hancock transformed into glorified superhero-Hancock. Woohoo..that's my Will Smith. Lol. There wasn't much of a plot, but the acting was good and Charlize Theron was hot (especially the scene where she got all heated up with raging hormones when Hancock entered the kitchen). Now I know why MB likes her!

On Sunday I was filling in for Far's friend who couldn't make it on time back to Singapore. I've never been a fan of Batman, so I was warning her that if I get lost during the movie she has to help me. But not too bad I guess, I don't think I needed the prequels to understand it. After seeing Joker's role, I realised what a pity it was that Heathe Ledger ended his life. Or perhaps there was some possibilites of truth to the rumour..that making the movie drove him to his end. Dark, as what I recall from previous Batman scenes I've watched (never sat down long enough to watch a whole movie..heh). After the movie, had dinner at some Indo restaurant at the basement of cathay. The food portions were a bit disappointing but I guess the food was not bad. Had a good time talking to Far's friends. I'd thought they'd be a wild bunch who weren't my type initially. But they turned out pretty tame and easy to get along with heh. Was even surprised they were actually interested to find out more stuff about me e.g. how I met MB and my travel escapades. Maybe cos Far's been gossiping to them abt me behind my back. Haha. Ah and we found out too that there are a lot of older brothers out there who are pretty useless/undependable/or just plain lazy. Comfort in company...

Unfortunately am back in office to face the reality of WORK. Ahhh, too bad weekends don't last long...

Monday, July 14, 2008

[we're healthy at work]

***yes we march on!*** ******one team ****** ***naughty banana***

according to prof, one of the few times we can do silly things to him..and boy did we take advantage of it lol

What better way to promote healthy living than organising a departmental walk (020708). Thanks to the NParks idea of buiding bridge connectors between different parks in Singapore (with the ultimate aim of connecting ALL parks in Singapore), we managed to hike our way from Mount Faber through Henderson Waves and ending at HortPark at Alexandra road - the Southern Ridges trail. The trail consists of a series of stairs and sloping footpaths that descend about 70 metres from the top of Mount Faber.

The weather was threatening to dampen our event but luckily the rain stopped just in time for us to commence the walk (and apparently started to rain again just after we departed...maybe GK asking us to pray to "our respective Gods" did work afterall lol. Or maybe it was me singing "rain rain go away, C-O-F-M wants to play" hahaha). In fact it was pretty sunny halfway through and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves while munching down the bananas they got in the little "healthy pack" we provided. The walk through the secondary rainforest was pretty effortless and the stop at HortPark was fun cos we got to see lovely orchids and take silly photos with each other. Definitely wouldn't mind going again some time...perhaps next time equipped with my camera to take pictures of the scenic walk. Well done to the Health & Wellness team for organising the very successful event! Yay!