Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baby Plant - 事事如意

I have never been much of a plant/flowers person. Since young, I never quite appreciated them as most girls would. (I.e. Squealing with delight and taking a big whiff of them roses - eeeyuck SO NOT ME!!!).

In fact, I remember valentine's day in college: I very ungratefully gave away my flowers -stalk by stalk - to anyone who wanted them. I know I know...talk about being unappreciative. If I can turn back the clock, I would say:" Dear XXX, I'm sorry for being so insensitive." However, since I can't turn back the clock so oh well :p

Recently I find myself a changed person. I now have 3 plants to my name. One in the office and two at home.

One of my plant, I grew from a bean. When I first bought the bean, Mum said that I would never make it.

"Girl ah, it is not so easy to grow from scratch and take care of it...you know?!?"

"Mum, thanks for the vote of confidence but see how tall my plant has grown!"


The bean has an engraving on it...and you can actually still see the engraving on the plant. The words are "事事如意" which means "May things go smoothly as planned". INDEED!!!

Thanksgiving 2007 - Turkey

Here is a picture of the yummy turkey that I had for Thanksgiving at Steve's place! (fresh out of the stove)

Deb, Steve's wife, is a fantastic cook. Normally turkey meat tastes rather dry but this turkey tasted excellent. We even had it accompanied with fresh cranberry sauce! It was really an enjoyable dinner. Thanks for inviting me!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Flooding and a new lesson learnt!

I'm going to share with you something funny that happened to me last night. (Actually it was quite horrible through out the entire ordeal)

Prelude: I was at Steve's place for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a traditional American thanksgiving dinner with the turkey, pumpkin pie...whole affair. During dinner, we were telling stories about experiences during Thanksgiving dinner. One of the stories shared was about how a pipe had burst in this Canadian couple's place during Thanksgiving and water started flooding the entire place and they had to call for help. As they continued on their dinner, every where wet as it can be, they had maintenance people punching holes in the wall to find the leak. The way that the story was told had the whole table roaring with laughter.

Anyway, by the time I got home, I was so stuffed and happy, so I decided to just have a relaxing evening, do my laundry and lie back on the couch to channel surf.

I must have fallen asleep but was then awoken by the sound of dripping water.
"Damn the bloody washing machine" I thought as I got up.
**My nonsense washing machine sometimes leaks...but only a little...just enough to be a nuisance. **

So I got up from the couch and put my feet on the ground and found myself in ankle deep water.

HORRORS!!!

"I must be dreaming" I said to myself...Too much food and funny stories...(the first thought that came to my mind was the story that the Canadian couple shared). And then I realize that I wasn't dreaming and the house was indeed flooded.

Shit!! I got up and went over to the washing machine and saw water pouring out from this little contraption which Mum was meddling with just before she left for Taipei. I switched off the washing machine, the water stopped pouring out and it was then that I looked around and saw the damage that had happened. Picture this....little furnitures floating around in the water. My house looked like it had just been hit by hurricane katrina.

My guitar, my carpet, my boxes, shoes, food, all.....WET!!!

Armed with a small rag and my dustbin, I started scooping the water up. There was no other way. I damn well gave up a few times....and did stop a couple of times to see who I could blame this misfortune on. Perhaps, I also had thought, I should just give up and call for help downstairs. Let this be somebody else's problem....I thought...out of pure frustration. But each time such negative thoughts came into my head...I took a deep breathe and pushed on.

After 7 hours of cleaning, it was finally done. The washing machine is fixed, the soapy water ..all mopped up, the floor re-cleaned, the laundry hang out to dry, all wet things...hanging out to dry...what an experience that I don't want EVER to happen again!

But as I sit here, blogging my little sob story to you...don't be mistaken that I've found myself beaten. On the contrary, I find myself coming out all the more stronger and convinced of the things that I can do if I just perservere.

It was a lesson well learnt and although I still don't wish for it to happen, I've just got this sense of satisfaction and confidence that I can do things, no matter how tedious as long as I put my mind and soul into it. And I believe this to be true for you too.....

Friday, November 23, 2007

My new pair of Puma shoes says hi!!

Okay, I'm not really a shoe person. Compared to a friend of mine who moved from New York to Taipei with 4 BIG boxes of shoes, buying ONE pair of new puma shoes is nothing. But I LOVE IT and just gotta share with the world................that's me! Proud pair of puma shoes owner. P/s: I'm starting to get so hooked on this particular series from puma.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baseball Heaven Joke! Hehe.

Two old guys, Abe and Sol, are sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons and talking about baseball, like they do every day. Abe turns to Sol and says, "Do you think there's baseball in heaven?"

Sol thinks about it for a minute and replies, "I dunno. But let's make a deal: if I die first, I'll come back and tell you if there's baseball in heaven, and if you die first, you do the same."
They shake on it and sadly, a few months later, poor Abe passes on.

One day soon afterward, Sol is sitting there feeding the pigeons by himself when he hears a voice whisper, "Sol... Sol..."
Sol responds, "Abe! Is that you?"
"Yes it is, Sol," whispers Abe's ghost.
Sol, still amazed, asks, "So, is there baseball in heaven?"
"Well," says Abe, "I've got good news and bad news."
"Gimme the good news first," says Sol.

Abe says, "Well... there is baseball in heaven."
Sol says, "That's great! What news could be bad enough to ruin that!?"
Abe sighs and whispers, "You're pitching on Friday."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Da Vinci's 'Last Supper" goes online

I read something interesting in the Sunday newspaper that I thought I would share with you.

Now you don't need to get to Milan to see Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece. All you have to do is log on at http://www.haltadefinizione.com/ to see an image of the "The Last Supper" at 16 BILLION pixels.


This high resoultion will allow experts to examine details fo the 15th century wall painting - including the traces of drawings Leonardo put down before painting. You can even see close up how Leonardo made the cups transparent.

And all this is done in your home instead of queuing up long hours in Milan's Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Note: I found the resolution took some time to load especially if you zoom in an out quickly. Anyway, Enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yummy birthday cake versus yucky cappuccino ice-cream

MY BLACK-FOREST BIRTHDAY CAKE!!




Do not be mistaken by its appearance. This cake is like no other.

It was meant to be a surprise from Mak and he had planned for it to be delivered the night before my birthday. So all the arrangements were made online (Mak is in Singapore, cake shop is in Taipei) and everything set as planned.

Alas, on the 7th of october, Taipei was hit by that massive typhoon - Krosa. I'm telling you that it is the worst typhoon I've experienced since I've got here with buckets of water pouring down and powerful winds sweeping through Taipei the entire day.

Apparently, everywhere in Taipei was closed for the day except for the cake shop. (Kudos for their professionalism). So the cake shop delivery man really went out of his way, braved the storm to deliver the cake as instructed.

Well, the security guard who received the cake on my behalf was in the midst of handling some super super "chaotic" situation (oh so he said) and so he shoved the cake into the giant freezer in the basement. And there it remained for the next 2 days.

Of course, I'm clueless about this whole chain of events since its suppose to be a surprise and when they finally remembered enough to get in touch with me, imagine my very very nasty reaction.

My first reaction was to scold the stupid security guard as severely as I could muster. :) But OK LAR, the cake turned out to be all right and since he was really apologetic about it, I made my peace with him.

So, doesn't my birthday cake look just so yummy? In fact, (minus the whipped cream because its just so sinful) it tastes fabulous and I admit to helping myself to a big serving when I return home from a stressful day at work. Nothing like chocolate cake to alleviate work stress for the day. *BURP*


AWFUL AWFUL ICE CREAM!!


While we are talking about food, let me talk about this awful awful cappuccino ice cream that I bought. It came in a package of 5 sticks.

I mean, check out the packaging...doesn't it look quite so cool? But of all the bad ice creams I've tasted in my life time, this has got be be the worst!!

Wah lau eh...don't know what to do with the remaining few sticks. Hmm..maybe I can offer that security guard downstairs.

Boy, can I nurse a grudge...I'm plain evil...............HAHAHHAHAHA.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blogspot banned in China but there always is a way

Spent the week in Shanghai and returned to Taipei with a few interesting finds - both professionally and personally.

Hey, did you know that blogspot is banned in China? Yup, indeed it is blocked by the Great Firewall of China (GFW). Felt so restricted just because I knew that I was not allowed to go where I wanted to go. You know, my desire to visit blogspot was not great to begin with, but just because I couldn't, I found that desire growing and became SO CONSUMED in finding ways to get around it. Well, finally I found my friend who was able to share with me 2 different ways of getting around the GFW. Satisfied, I went on to do something else. Hence, the REBEL in me. :P

I LOVE IT! That's just one of the reasons why I think China is so alive and exciting!!! Things are always evolving and people just don't play by the rules as much as they do in Singapore. (which of course you can take it in a good way or bad way :) ).

On a similar note, I'm reading a book by robert t. kiyosaki about financial literacy and the message I'm getting is that people in general has just got to be so much more INFORMED than they already are. Yes, we have to play by the rules, abide by the law, but if we do it in a dogmatic manner, we'll always be like the majority - stuck in the rat race. The rich get richer and the poor well....we get poorer. No robin hoods around anymore - steal from the rich to give to the poor. Its work smarter and not harder.

If you find me being too cryptic at this stage, apologies, my mind is not very organized right now. I haven't had my cup of coffee for the day. * hops out of chair to make Vietnamese coffee - I deserve it today...Its the weekends :) *

Anyway, came back from Shanghai with lots of GOODIESSS: interesting books and DVDs. Dirt cheap I tell you. Dirt Cheap. Anyway, I won't worry about me being bored in Taipei, so much to see, read and do. :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Allergies on a Friday afternoon...first experience with Taiwan medical facilities

Everything started off as normal today. My mood was pretty good. Its a Friday after all. I'm normally a happy person on Fridays.

For lunch, we tried a new restaurant called Caterpilla today. It serves Mexican and Western food but though the food was all right, we were the ONLY customers during lunch time. Horrors! That is really really bad in Taiwan. Competition is so tough for the food industry, I'm sure Caterpillar can't last very much longer.

The weather was really good today. (Perhaps too good?!?) The sun was shining and it was HOT HOT HOT, which I must say is a nice change from the drizzy sort of weather I've gotten accustomed too in Taipei. (I've experienced 3 typhoons in my 28 days here. So that's alot of wet weather for you :B).

Anyway, I started experiencing a slight headache in the afternoon and figuring that I need to have a clear mind when I'm reading those "old-so-boring" contracts, I asked my colleague for a pain killer. She gave me HALF a capsule of Ibuprofin. Within 45 minutes, I started getting an allergic reaction. (which i didn't know at that time!)

First, my left eye started to swell. We weren't sure what it was so they asked the driver to send me to the eye doctor. But on the way there, my right eye started to swell and my voice became scratchy and I started to feel a pressure on my chest. Oh-oh, that's not an EYE problem!!!

Okay, emergency time. Driver makes an illegal U-turn and starts heading for another hospital. At this point in time, my face is all PUFFED up, eyes start getting teary and vision starts blurring. So, we ended up at 博仁综合医院. Okay, my experience as follows:
1) Went to register
2) Went upstairs to see a doctor (realized they jumped my queue and sent me to a doctor immediately- (who is in charge of the 神经内科) (hence, no waiting :))
3) Doctor confirms its an allergy and writes me a slip for medication
4) Go downstairs to pay at the counter
5) Go to another counter to collect medicine
6) Go to the emergency ward for the jab and then....

Nurse takes a look at my medication and loudly says...."No, this medicine can't be right" and proceeds to make a couple of phone calls to clarify. OH NOOOOOO, what is going on here? (Note: By this time, I'm a little disorientated which happens to be a common allergic symptom)
For more information on common allergic symption, please refer to: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergy-symptoms

They changed my medicine and gave me a refund before giving me the jab. OUCH! IT REALLY REALLY HURT and I'm NOT being a baby about it!! It was like one of the MOST PAINFUL jabs I've had in my life

Went back to the office, took my stuff and LEFT. The anti-histemine drug was making me really tired and giddy. Anyway, my eyes were also soooo puffed up that my vision was blurry. Driver sent me home and I went to bed straight away.

Woke up feeling better and had dinner. Made arrangements to join a field trip to Yi-lan county tomorrow morning. Meeting time is 7.25am!! OH-OH. Yeah, but I'm still going. Can't miss a day with mother nature and some whale watching. :) Pretty excited.
So anyway, I'm still feeling a little oooooozzzyyyyy but I guess I will be fine tomorrow. Carpe diem yah....SEIZE THE DAY. Every minute and second counts.......

An anti-histemine cartoon. (No point not laughing about it....:) )

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rome and Carthage - Lessons to learn

I'm reading a book on the history of mankind. In one of the chapters, it covered the clash between Rome and Carthage. Based on what I read, it was no surprise how Rome became an empire in those early days. I found it very inspiring and feel it is a lesson to learn from as the fundamentals can also be applied to our daily lives.
Let me summarize it as follows:

In the early times Rome had been the only strongly fortified city in central Italy, but it had always offered a hospitable refuge to other Latin tribes who happened to be in danger of attack. The Latin neighbours had recognised the advantages of a close union with such a powerful friend and they had tried to find a basis for some sort of defensive and offensive alliance. Other nations, Egyptians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, even Greeks, would have insisted upon a treaty of submission on the part of the "barbarians". The Romans did nothing of the sort. They gave the "outsider" a chance to become partners in a common "res publica" or common wealth. The "outsider" appreciated this generosity and he showed his gratitude by his unswervering loyalty.

Whenever a Greek city had been attacked, the foreign residents had moved out as quickly as they could. But when the enemy was before the gates of Rome, all the Latins rushed to her defence. It was their true "home" even if they lived a hundred miles away and had never seen the walls of the sacred Hills.

Fall of the year 218 before the birth of Christ, Hannibal, a Carthaginian general defeated the roman armies battle after battle. He marched from one end of the peninsula to the other, proclaiming himself the "deliverer from the yoke of Rome" and asking the different provinces to join him in warfare upon the mother city. Then once more the wisdom of Rome bore noble fruit. With the exceptions of Capua and Syracuse, all Roman cities remained loyal.


Hannibal, the deliverer, found himself opposed by the people whose friend he pretended to be. And after many years of uninterrupted victories, as the Italian peasants held aloof from this self-appointed "deliverer, Hannibal found himself besiged in the country which he had just conqureed.

In the year 190 BC, Hannibal driven from one city to another, a fugitive without a home, his beloved city of Carthage in ruin by war and condemned to pay the Romans millions of dollars for endless years to come, Hannibal took poison and killed himself.

Without speaking the obvious, I hope you found it as meaningful as I found it.

Vera in a box...Vera in an organic grocery bag

My sister and her husband are very fond of putting their koochi-ku daughter in all sorts of things...................to prove my point......


Vera in a Bag on the way to shopping



Vera in a box as they were shifting house
**DISCLAIMER **
No babies were hurt during this photoshoot.
*****************
Hell, apparently that crazy kid liked it so much! SHE'S OUTTA THIS WORLD!!!

Vulgarness - if you are 14 and below, please don't read this.

* Disclaimer - The content below can be rather crude depending on which planet you are from. Please proceed at your own risk *

I received an sms from my friend *who requested not to be named* 2 minutes ago.

The SMS went like this:

F.U.C.K stands for " Friends U Can Keep"
So promise me, you'll F.U.C.K me 4ever!
Of cos I'll F.U.C.K u 4ever 2. Ha.ha.ha.ha.
Send to all ur frends, & see who F.U.C.Ks you back.

So I'm on MSN with this same friend *who requested not be be named*

And the both of us proceeded F.U.C.K-ing back and forth ending with....my friend saying
Promise me...You'll F.U.C.K me forever.
And my response was...
Yah..yah..I'm F.U.C.K ing I'm F.U.C.K ing !!!

MessageBox.Show("Hello World. Jamie from Taipei")

All right...........I haven't blogged for eons so I am kinda lost for words at the moment. How shall I start?
.
.
.
*jamie thinks real hard*
.
.
.
Well, so many things have happened over the past few weeks that I have kinda lost momentum on what to blog about - yup! finding it hard to find a place to start recapping.

Okay, let's start with: I'm sitting here in my little apartment in Taipei and I've been here for several weeks now. Actually, I arrived in Taipei on July 28th. That would be 27 days ago. Wow! Its almost a MONTH! OOOhhhh-hooooo. That was FAST!!!

Life is not bad here and I didn't have much difficulty fitting in although I have to admit that the traditional chinese bit was mind boggling in the first few days that I was here. But after the 2nd week, I started getting used to it and am learnin new words everyday.

The company put me in a pretty cool place with swimming pool, gym and what not. My home in Taipei is just 15 mins away from my work place, 10 mins away from 101 building (and all the shopping), 5 mins away from Carrefour, 10 mins away from Living Mall (which is another fab shopping mall with a nice cinema). I've been to the movies 3 times already since I've been here because its just SOOO convenient. Hell, I sure ain't complaining! Ok, ok, I'm just counting my blessings MAN but yup, I'll stop raving!

Tan Moon Cake said this afternoon to me: "Sis, your blog is SO boring...there are no updates!"

Well..yeah....the update is...I've been really busy with work and in the evenings I'm also pretty engaged with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Visual Basics - my latest craze. ...
I've progressed from coding MessageBox.Show("Hello World") to now writing a program that input and output data from an sql server using visual basics. My little employee database. (I'm an aspiring owner of a company. :) )

Okay, my colleague was really puzzled when she asked me what I did in the evenings at home. She must be thinking OH POOR JAMIE....ALL ALONE IN TAIPEI and yup, I had to prove her right by telling her my amusement is coding. She replies: "And why are you doing this in the evening when you should be relaxing after a hard day's work? Like shopping!" And at this point in time, her eyes light up at the mere mention of shopping. (even window shopping, her eyes light up....trust me!)

WHAT!!! @#$%@#$%, well firstly, I DO find it rather relaxing -- except when I start getting a stupid compilation error that won't go away. At that point in time, I want to smash my computer in -- but Shopping?!?!? I think I would end up more stressed up than I would be BEFORE I start this so called "theurapeutic" treament. Erm..thanks but no thanks.

So any way....CHAK Bro!!!! here is my blog update. YES, I insist on having the last word especially when it comes to YOU. Anyway, you know I adore you .....guy with the ugly hair. But I must win, I MUST I MUST. I'm such a fighter cock.

Okay, zip zip zip. Back to reality and back to my life in Taipei....on the weekends and evenings...I have recently started putting more effort into cooking. I'm a damn lousy cook...but the good news is...I'm NOT a fussy eater too...so I don't waste too much food.

Okay, here is a picture of the first dish I cooked since I came here: - (Very simple but it was fun). And after weeks of practice...I'm starting to be able to whip up quick 15 min meals. :) I affectionately call my meals.....commando training for the stomach. :)))))



Monday, June 18, 2007

Precious Vera at Ah Yat Abalone


Before and After Pictures.. Twinkle lost 5 KG!!

Before:

After:
(5 kg lighter and the world is brighter) :-)


黑白五常 - (courtesy of Adeline)

I took this interesting picture in the cab the other day. I was really surprised to see this because I always thought that chinese people (especially older folks and taxi drivers :) ) are usually very superstitious and scared of such things. Obviously not this taxi driver!! :-P


For those who do not know what I'm talking about....let me share with you that the chinese believe that when you die...the hell guards will come and collect your soul to be judged. The hell guards come in the form of Hei Bai Wu Chang 黑白五常 as shown above. One of them short, plump and black while the other is tall, white and have his tongue sticking out.

And there is a reason why one is white and one is black and its an interesting story. Do you know?

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) - Churning of the Milk Ocean

If you've ever departed from the new Bangkok airport - Suvarnabhumi Airport, you will be greeted by an impressive statue the moment you clear immigration.

The statue depicts one of the famous scenes from Puranas (Hindu literature) - Samudra manthan (Devanagari: समुद्र मंथन) aka the churning of the ocean of milk. This story is celebrated in a major way every twelve years in the festival known as Kumbha Mela.

The Churning of the ocean of milk tells of the story where demons and gods cooperated to churn the sea for thousands of years in order to extract the elixir of immortality, coveted by both groups.
As you can see from the pictures, the Devas (demigods) are engaged in a tug of war with the Asuras (demons). Each team is holding onto one end of the king of serpent - Vasuki (aka Naga). The centre of the serpent is coiled around Mt. Mandara (which is a pivot) and at the base of this pivot would be Vishnu, incarnated as a huge turtle.

Asuras (demon) holding onto the head end of the Naga (3 headed king of serpent)

Asuras (demon) with colourful painted body and demonic faces

Naga wrapped around Mt Mandara as a pivot and supported by turtle (Vishnu)

Devas (demigods) holding the tail end of the serpent


You can see that the demigods are depicted in human form.

As the ocean churned, a deadly poison known as halahala emerged. Shiva drank this poison and his wife stopped it in his throat with her hands, causing the throat to turn blue. (explaining why Shiva is sometimes called Nīlakantha meaning Blue Throat)

From the churning, numerous opulent things were also produced including Dhanvantari (Heavenly Physician) carrying the pot of Amrita - the heavenly nectar of immortality.

In the end, the cooperation between Devas and Asuras was shattered with Vishnu taking the form of Mohini - a beautiful and enchanting damsel who served to distract the Asuras while distributing the nectar to the Devas. (a little cheating and disception seems to be happening here). The Devas having fulfilled their plan of acquring all the Amrita banished the Asuras out of Heaven and into the underworld. (tsk tsk)

Of course, as all Hindu literature, there is many versions of the story. One such version can be found as follows:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samudra_manthan

Another version

http://www.sanatansociety.org/indian_epics_and_stories/the_churning_of_the_ocean.htm

One interesting twist to the story that I like was that:
A particular Asura, Rahu, had disguised himself as a Devas, and managed to drink some of the nectar. But before the Nectar could pass his throat, Mohini cut off his head. The head, due to its contact with the amrita, remained immortal. It is believed that this immortal head occasionally swallows the sun or the moon, causing eclipses. Then, the sun or moon passes through the opening at the neck, ending the eclipse.

Sunkist versus Thai Orange

In the early part of 2007, I spent quite a lot of time in Bangkok and I've been dutifully snapping pictures with my dopod 838pro but as you can quite clearly see, procrastination has gotten the better of me and I never quite got about to posting them online.

Well, its long overdue but I declare the winner of the orange juice competition between Sunkist and small Thai orange as .......................*drum rolls*

THAI Orange Wins Hands Down!!

As you can see from the picture below, the street vendor totally agrees with me and also proclaims Thai orange juice as NUMBER ONE!!! (index finger pointing up in the sky)

Perfect for a hot sunny day in Bangkok - This drink is ultra refreshing and cost only 20Baht. It is a heavenly concoction of small thai oranges, lime, salt plus sugar for the perfect taste. Like the famous Thai coconut, it can be found at almost any street corner and is relatively safe to drink. (Tried and tested - no stomach problems after bravely testing out several different stalls)

This picture is taken right outside the office building where I work in Bangkok and I relish the mornings where i get to treat myself to a bottle on the way to work....

Saturday, June 09, 2007

LOMA results

I didn't get the 100 I was looking for... but it sure was damn closeee.........

301: Insurance Administration - 96
361: Financial and Management Accounting -99

For the effort I've put in for this 2 papers, I sure as hell ain't complaining..........:)





Indeed, I do!!

WHIPPEEEE......OUT FOR A CELEBRATION!!!!

Headachesss

Well, in an attempt to live life to the fullest, for the past few weeks, I've been on the "GO".
The result is....a super mind boggling headache that last for 2 days straight in which no amount of pain killers can possibly fix/mend.

On Thursday mid noon, I felt the onset of a major headache. It was like someone was playing Linkin Park full blast in my head. I had alot of sleep on Thursday but I went to bed with a headache and woke up with the same headache. Therefore, on Friday while at work, I was still feeling very extremely horrible.
That's when I became a pill popping maniac and my colleague is screaming:"Whoaa, easy on those pills, you can only take 6 per 24 hours."Still the pain did not go away and for the whole day I was like that ->


Managed to somehow survive the day at work. Wasn't in the right frame of mind and so I'm pretty sure I did alot of things I will later come to regret.


Anyway, come 6pm I am out of the office in a flash, jump into my car and flooring my accelerator I'm on my way home. The moment I'm home...I'm in bed with the covers over my head. No dinner for me, I just need to sleep.


This morn 5.45am. I'm feeling a little better now....


P/s: I saw another really freaky picture about someone having a headache, here is the link: http://www.freakingnews.com/Headache-Pictures-35336.asp
There are really strange strange people out there.

Senseless Ramblings...............

I've been so busy lately I've lost the momentum to blog. B.K says:"Now you understand what I mean when one has lost the passion to educate" and I'm thinking it should be along the line:"Now I understand what you mean when one has lost all all desire to infect others with utterly senseless ramblings" :)

Anyway, I'm BACK at 5.45am in the morning.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Water Spout spotted in Sunny Singapore

Okay, if you live in Singapore, you would find the landscape in the following photos very familiar. Yes, its a picture overlooking at our world class port and hold on a moment....what's that scary thing in the background.....The following pictures are not hoax, or doctored....




The above that you see are water spouts.
Water spouts are rotating columns of air similar in appearance to that of the tornado. They develop over warm ocean currents during unstable conditions or as cold front boundaries pass over the ocean. These are not very dangerous but can affect boats and yachts. Because they are over the ocean, they do not pick up debri but water spray is observed at the base.
Water spouts can develop over the ocean and move over the land. They are then called tornadoes. It is here where water spouts can be dangerous and has caused extensive damage to trees and buildings as well as over turn caravans in coastal communities. Once on the land, they dissipate fairly quickly. On the ocean however, they can last much longer.
Sometimes, tornadoes form over the land and pass over a lake or the ocean. These are then called water spouts despite the difference in the formation processes and dynamics.
Wow...


Monday, May 21, 2007

Tudors : Henry VIII and the mysterious WC

What a relaxing weekend.....Just chilled, did what I like and had alot of sleep.....My sinus problem started clearing up on Friday morning and was all better by saturday (my paper ended on thursday afternoon). My friend Jo said,"The mind blocks stress out but the body never lies.." :) Interesting...

Anyway, its Sunday evening, had late dinner so I'm just surfing online, allowing my food to digest abit. I chanced upon a website on the Tudors which I found very interesting:

http://www.brims.co.uk/tudors/

Its states that its an interactive site for 7-10 years old about Henry VIII and the Tudors.....It might be for 7-10 years old but there were many many things that I learnt from the website...it got me hooked for a while....

Particularly interesting, check out the wives page. :P
http://www.brims.co.uk/tudors/wives.html


Something very relevant I learnt from the website though -> During my travels, I notice many people asking where the WC is....(which many us of knows automatically it refers to the public toilets/bathrooms). But when I've asked these people if they knew what WC really meant, they couldn't tell me. Like seriously, not even ONE person could tell me what wc was. Like me, we just took it for granted that WC = toilet.

Well, I finally cracked this mystery today from the Tudors website...W.C = Water Closet ;p
The things that we learn everyday. :P

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Imperfection...............

People have told me that I'm a perfectionist when it comes to certain thing. (It certainly doesn't apply to ironing my clothes or doing the laundry....) But it does apply to the way I work. I am not proud to say that I succeed 80% to 90% of the time driving both myself and my colleagues up the wall. I've had countless close friends/colleagues tell me very similar things:

Concerned Friend: Hey, you know what your problem is.....you need to learn how to chill......
Me *flustered face*: But but...how can they do such a thing...its crap!
Concerned Friend: Still?! Calm down and just chill
Me: Okay fine fine fine. Its my fault, I should have done xxx and yyy and if I didn't do this and he didn't do that, it won't become like this...... Or maybe if I had done zzz or aaa then.....
Concerned Friend: Stop beating yourself up and stop expecting others to live up to your expectation. The world doesn't work that way......
Me: @#!$@#$ It shouldn't be this way.......

As you can see, I'm a hopeless case. I know I shouldn't ...I shouldn't... I shouldn't...but I do. But I shouldn't. :P

I try to make myself meet a certain expectation of ....myself and yes....I admit it, I have an expectation on others too. (horrors! but definitely better now than before HORRR) I used to get very very disappointed when people don't meet my expectation at work and I show it on my face. I still do that sometimes..old habits die hard..Uey, if I don't meet my own expectation, you can be pretty sure that I'll beat myself up Days and Days over and over again.

My ex boss once told me:" Jamie, you are too hard on yourself. You must learn how to relax". My current boss says: High sense of ownership...:) Keep it up.

**But this week, he started to tell me to relax......and take the day off.

I have been known to destroy something/anything because there is a blemish. A friendship, a relationship, .........., because it doesn't meet my idea of perfect, complete whole....so I strive and strive to meet that goal of perfect, being everywhere and doing everything.

When I say I want to do well, u know that I'm aiming for 100/100 for certain things...i get very sore if I don't do it. In the past, I preferred to fail a paper by not turning up instead of doing the paper at all....if I didn't study. Compulsive....I KNOWWWW *hides face*

Today, K.Ling told me that the first impression she had after she read an article about someone from HP dying due to overwork or excessive stress, the first person she thought about was me. :(

Hey...why do you have that perception of me....wait, let me correct myself, I think many people DO think that way of me....I better chill .....

Perfection...................Imperfection.................Perfection...............

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Vera...her first mouth of semi-solids..and then..she is liking it....

First, its the shock...
Daddy and Mummy going: "Vera...chew chew chew...Yummy right...mmmmmhhh Yummy"
Vera goes:" Yikes, what's that on my tongue?!?!"



Then, its..."I LOVE IT...GIMME MORE GIMME MORE. Heck, I can chew the plastic spoon too!"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dependents Protection Scheme - Singaporeans and PR only.

I'm covered but for quite some time I had no idea what I'm covered for......:)

So I did some reading and would like to share what I have learnt for all you clueless CPF contributers out there.

What is Dependents' Protection Scheme (DPS)?
It is a term-life insurance scheme (which means you don't get any money when your insurance ends but its okay because the premiums for term life are lower than for endowment) covering CPF members:
a) Singapore citizens or permanent residents
b) between 16 and 59 years old at entry
c) for a sum of $46,000 up to age 60.

It covers DEATH and PERMANENT INCAPACITY.

About premium payment and premium amount
Paid yearly from CPF Ordinary Account or Special Account. (and its auto renewed so you don't need to worry about it. Unless of course, you don't have enough money in which you can pay the difference in cash or be insured for a lower amount. Note: Check your annual CPF statement for more information)

Yearly premium is based on age range (male and female) as follows:
34 and below: $36
35-39:$48
40-44:$84
45-49:$144
50-54:$228
55-59: $260

For more information: http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/my-cpf/get-mar/GM2.htm

Reality Bites............Run like being chased

Long gone are the days where I said that I will work for free. (Yes, believe it or not, I used to be willing to work for free just for the chance for the opportunity to learn - just like Chris Gardner during his broker internship days at Dean Witter). On good days, I have learned some, on bad days, I've been taken for granted. (Thank goodness, I've been mostly having good days on the major things that matter)

I would clarify that today, I would still be willing to sacrifice certain things for certain opportunities but I definitely approach any situation with much more assessment and caution. In other words, I would like to think that nowadays, I don't rely as much on pure dumb luck as before. (Note: I still like to say that luck is an asset or an "unlearnable" skill like 6th sense/intuition is. Some people have it and some people are just sooooooooo damn unlucky)

So I'm saying this:
Keep your chin up, eyes open: Beware of danger (and I mean you, bro, in mumbai) and look out for opportunities (and I mean all of us...for instance make our money work harder for us for we are not young and healthy forever). Protect yourself, your loved ones, work smart and work damn damn hard. Like my big boss would say: Run like being chased.

Private Banker's word of advice: Make your money work harder for you.

On the way back from Bangkok to Singapore, I sat next to a private banker from a reputable international bank. We spoke for almost 2 hours from take off to landing.

He shared with me on what it takes to be a successful private banker. I found him to be a very humble guy (and I told him that). In response, he said to me:" I found out that the higher you climb up the social ladder, the more humble you have got to be." Ahhh..........words of advice from the private banker.

We spoke about everything under the sun. From books we read to thoughts on environmental issues and how these ultimately impacts the way we behave and the life that we lead.

2 things he said that is stuck firmly in my mind: Importance of Networking (I suck at that)and Making your money work harder for you. (I suck at that too)

Note: He recommended a book: "Rich dad Poor dad". I'll make sure to get my hands on it the next time I visit the book store, you should too.

Dick Lee - Chotto Matte Kudasai. Hilarious!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some movies to recommend....

If you want to just grab a DVD and just chill at home, the following are my personal recommendations.......

The Pursuit of Happyness
I googled the movie and found that it was based on a true story. It made the movie very special to me.
This show was very inspirational and so touching that it brought tears to my eyes. A good watch for anyone who feels like they are forever struggling and never seem to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Note: At the last scene, as Will Smith walks off to the sunset with his son, you will be able to see the real "Chris Gardner" walk past. Will Smith turns around and gives him a special smile. It was a very pleasant way to end the movie.


For more information on Chris Gardner:
http://www.chrisgardnermedia.com/index.htm




An Inconvenient Truth
A movie done by Former US Vice President Al Gore. This movie talks about global warming.
An excerpt from the official website:

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.
I liked the presentation of the movie and although I've read and heard many negative comments made by people criticizing the "facts" presented by Al Gore, I ultimately think it does no one any harm and everyone alot of good if we all can learn to protect our environment. So just take it for what it is worth.
For more information: http://www.climatecrisis.net/

Monday, April 23, 2007

Surprise surprise......Singapore becoming a more "open-minded" society?

I read this on the news 3 mins ago. Surprise surprise! First, in 2006, they decriminalize oral and anal sex by a consenting heterosexual couple aged 16 years and above and now this bold statement from MM Lee.....are we truly becoming a more "open-minded" society?

Former PM hits out at Singapore gay sex ban
Singapore April 24,

SINGAPORE'S powerful former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has questioned the city-state's ban on sex between men.

"If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual … you can't help it, so why should we criminalise it?" the pro-Government daily Straits Times quoted Mr Lee as saying. [Jamie: Oh - I didn't know that you are genetically born a homosexual]

Under Singapore law, a man who is found to have committed an act of "gross indecency" with another man can be jailed for up to two years, though prosecutions are rare.

But Mr Lee, who remains the most powerful minister in the cabinet of his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said Singapore should not pursue homosexuals who engage in sex. [Jamie: Doesn't the police have something better to do with their time?]

"Let's not go around like this moral police … barging into people's rooms. That's not our business," [Jamie: Unlike a certain other country we know. And I agree that it is truly none of anyone's business except the persons' involved] he told a weekend meeting with the youth wing of the People's Action Party.

Authorities have banned gay festivals and censored gay films, saying homosexuality should not be advocated as a lifestyle. [Jamie: Can homosexuality truly be advocated as a lifestyle?I chuckled when I read this]

But despite the official ban on gay sex, Singapore still has a thriving gay scene.
[Jamie: Duh.....*speechless*]

REUTERS

Blog in Thailand

I'm in Thailand. Staying in Centerpoint, Widthayu (which means wireless in thai - so its Wireless Road). 10 minutes walk to the office.
Not bad....much better than omni hotel (another service apartment at a sleazy part of Thailand - I like to think). Centerpoint is a service apartment and it has got quite a presentable kitchen. I'll take a picture of it tomorrow when my phone is charged up.

Anyway, I was just surfing the web and decided to come and blog abit. I noticed that blogspot auto-detected that I'm in thailand and gave me the Thai log in. How cool is that?!?!



I love Thai words...but they are so hard to read....I had to agar-agar the log-in link based on my recollection. I got it on the first try.....haha!
P/s: My colleague previously taught me how to write my name in Thai. Even that, I could not manage.................:P

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Marine consultant......sir..erm mdm

April 19 - On SQ flight from HCMC to Singapore

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm going home.

I meet a marine consultant on board and had a short chat with him. He asked me what book I was reading and commented that it looks like heavy stuff. Yay, its heavy, all right..Its that same old financial accounting book.

Marine Consultant: "Are you student?"
Jamie: "Nah, I'm already working"
Marine Consultant: "Then why are you studying"
Jamie: "Erm..., its good reading for me..."
Marine Consultant: " Do you enjoy reading it?"
Jamie: *weak smile* "I admit its a little dry"
Marine Consultant: "I could never do something I didn't like. Life is too short for that..."

He then tells me about his life on the sea...wonderful life of being his own boss and how we should do things that we like.

*Jamie speechless*

Hey, life is not that bad for me because I'm reading a financial accounting book leh....

Anyway, he is quite big sized so....the air stewardess got a little confused and addressed him Sir and Madam in the same sentence. I think Mr marine consultant was quite upset with her.

Triet and traditional Vietnamese dinner........

April 18 - Met up with an ex-colleague and now-friend Triet.


She took me out for dinner. Initially, she wanted to get her motorbike, pick me up from the hotel and take me out for a ride. It would be fascinating to whiz around Vietnam on a bike, I think. Its like close brush with death.

How cool is that!
Heheh...Just kidding. I trust I'm in good hands with Triet. By the way, she's one of the smartest, most hardworking and diligent person I know.

We were having such a great time talking and laughing. We chatted and ate till the lights started to dim and go out one by one. Oops, a subtle or not so subtle hint for us to GET OUT of the restaurant.


Took a shot of Triet and our big bittergourd soup hotpot but the photo turned out to be quite dark. Anyway, here we go.................





P/s: The servings in that restaurants are HUGE and Triet, I had a fascinating time.. the dinner 3 weeks later will be on me.

Kim do Hotel - And the imitation "old" phone

April 17-19: Vietnam, HCMC


I'm staying in a 4 star hotel in Vietnam - Kim Do Hotel. Its right next to my office (2 mins walk) and the other hotels are fully booked. I can't complain.


The hotel is old and they try to make it look like they meant for it to be that way. My hotel room is HUGE - Senior Executive room....ooohh-hooo!!

I can do 3 cartwheels from one end of the room to the other and still have some more space to swing my arms without hitting the wall. I have free internet..lots of complimentary fruits and a good number of tv channels to watch. Okay, its not so bad.


The room design is slightly confused. I give you an example: Right next to the bed, you have a high-tech Panasonic phone. Those kind that you can find in your regular hotel room. But on the study table, there is this imitation "OLD" phone.







It feels funny when you pick up the handle and the hand set is curved in that way. Its a little heavy and I'm figuring out if I should make a call by tapping on the handle...like morse code. I'm exploring the phone and then I pull that little ring that you see there and

VOILA!!!!





It opens up!!!

If you look closely at the buttons, you can see that this phone has "Flash", "Redial" and "Pause" functions.

The best part is that.....................

IT WORKS GREAT!

Small world - after 12 years

April 16 - On an SQ flight from SIN to HCMC.

Was in a rather crappy mood. Tired and just want to be left alone. I'm sitting in *surprise surprise* center seat in the center aisle. Okay, I thought to myself: I'm just going to sit here and not move and do some studying. I look to my left and to my right, squashed between 2 chinese elderly man...all right, never mind, positive thoughts.. I'll just focus on my financial accounting book.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see this lady coming on board. She's seating 2 seats away from me across the right aisle. Hmm..she looks slightly familiar. I put on my ipod and shrug it off. I'm alone in my world. Ms anti-social is going to start cramming for her paper right here...right now.

Nodding off to sleep..its not even noon!!! (Well.........if you have ever read a book on financial accounting, you'll know what I mean.)

I steal a glance to my left, look out of the window, ho chi minh city approaches closer and closer
I steal a glance to my right, see ms "familiar" - she's taking a nap. Strange..., where have i seen her before?!?

We've landed. I'm busy getting my cabin bag out of the overhead compartment. The flight is so full. Everyone is heading over to Vietnam nowadays....same like Shanghai, the latest fad....the land of opportunities. :)

Our eyes meet. She smile..I smile. I finally say:"Hey, you look familiar". I feel pretty dumb...I hate that line. She mouthes the word "St Nicks!". Of course, st nicholas...st nicholas...where I spent many memorable days of my life.......

Okay, now I know where she is from....her name...got to get her name...We both look awkward and then she asked the question I wanted to ask. "Erm...I kinda forgot your name..."
I relax, let out a laugh, tell her...and ask her for hers.

Still can't remember her, of course, we were never that close before but we kinda know kinda know kinda know (that's 3 degrees there) the friends we used to hang out with.

Its odd.........She meets up with my friend Jocelyn...but I meet up with Jocelyn's dad more.. (her father is in insurance so our circles meet)

Jeannie, it was nice to meet up with you again, of all places, on a flight from Singapore to Saigon. Let's catch up sometime.

Note: While writing this blog, I'm educated by a sweaty sweaty quin:
Seats on the left aisle of a plane aka port
Seats on the right aisle of a plane aka starboard
Center seats....center SEATS LARRRR

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Singapore PM to earn 5 times more than Bush

SINGAPORE, APR 9: Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, will earn five times more than US President George Bush this year after a pay hike on Monday boosted his annual salary to S$3.1 million ($2.05 million). A minister told Parliament on Monday that other Singapore government ministers- who are already among the best paid in the world - will also see their salaries jump by about 60% to an average of S$1.9 million ($1.26 million).
“For the public service to remain an attractive employer, our terms must keep pace with the private sector,” defence minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister in charge of the civil service, said in Parliament. The ministerial salary increase - which will take effect in two steps by the end of next year - is slightly smaller than the government had originally proposed. Lee said last month the salaries of Singapore ministers and top civil servants might have to rise by as much as S$1 million ($660,000) to S$2.2 million ($1.45 million) because they had fallen way below benchmark top salaries in the private sector. Lee’s announcement sparked an outcry, with hundreds of Singaporeans signing an online petition and writing to newspapers to protest against the move.

Some Singaporeans said the ministerial salaries did not reflect the country’s economy or the government’s performance, adding that the government was tactless to raise ministers’ salaries now given Singapore’s widening income gap.

http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=160649

[From Jamie: I haven't been following the newspaper for several weeks (simply not enough time/energy!) and I chanced upon this article while reading China Daily in Shanghai. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I was SHOCKED. I always knew that the Singapore ministers were earning one of the highest public sector wages in the world but to have this headline staring back in my face was just unbelievable.

What ever happened to the noble ideology of people working in the government because they wanted to serve the country. As it is, the Singapore ministers aren't exactly being paid peanuts..... a fine example of the rich and powerful becoming even more rich and powerful. Going on a pay rise right after the decision to increase GST 5% to 7% is down right insane. ]

Cool Concept - Park Hyatt Saigon

Was staying in Park Hyatt - Saigon.


Pwah...the service there was fantastic. Picture this: Someone waiting at the hotel front entrance as your limousine pulls up and escorts you directly to your room. When you turn the corner towards the room, you see a bell boy, dressed in white, (and cute by the way) waiting by the side of the room door, with a white cloth wrapped around his arm. He smiles and opens the door for you as you approach. Is It FANTASIC OR WHAT....................

The rooms in park hyatt had a very interesting concept as well so I snapped a couple of pictures to share online.



This is the bedroom.

Nothing very different except that the style of the windows and the ceiling fan gave it a very rustic feel.

You can't see very clearly here but on the walls, they have these black and white pictures of saigon back in the early days. Very interesting!







This picture is taken from the inside of the bathroom. I deliberately took the picture of the closet in the bath room. The mirror is actually a sliding door.







This is the same closet but taken from the outside of the bathroom.
Yes you can see that the closet opens both ways. This means that you can access your clothes from the bathroom and let's say you are going to take a shower, you don't need to carry your clothes into the bathroom because you can access directly from your bathroom.









The actual shower and bath tub is separated from the main bathroom by a glass cabinet and with the rain shower ON, you can sit and have a nice rinse on the "spa-like" bench.






Tribute to Dopod 838 Pro

To all who have been calling my phone in the past but could not get me OR we've been disconnected in the middle of a conversation: REJOICE! My company has gotten me a new phone and the blackberry is now DECEASED.

I would like to pay tribute to my dear DOPOD 838 Pro.


Its been less than a month but I really cannot do without my new love. I put everything in it..my contacts, my calender, my task list... EVERYTHING and it automatically syncs to my laptop.

*MUACKS* Beautiful........

Most of all, I've resumed my horrible habit to start emailing people at all times of the day. Its a license to be an absolute nuisance. One word: FANTASTIC.

So far, I've had little/no problems with Windows Mobile 5.0. I've had to do 1-2 times software reset but based on my prior experience with Windows Mobile 2003, this is VERY GOOD and quite a refreshing experience.

The battery life is on the low side but this is also probably because of the number of calls I get on the work day especially when I'm travelling. Just remember to charge your phone every night and you should be OK.

In fact, sometimes, I get lazy and head to bed but I know the phone won't last me through the next day so I force myself out of bed to charge my phone and VOILA! check my mails and work some more. :) Checking attachments are also a breeze as compared to the blackberry days. With all the nifty quick buttons, getting used to the phone is child's play.

So I would recommend this phone: 4.8 out of 5 until the next power-power phone comes along.

Just believe in yourself...do the right thing....

I haven't had time to blog since March 22nd.

Quick recap of what happened since then: Well, I survived the meeting in Vietnam. Came face to face with the top guy in the company (we shook hands!! such a celebrity, you can even find him on wikipedia) and survived it. I'm quite happy except that now there is more entrusted weight/responsibilities on my shoulders and there are times that I feel like I'm going under. Fortunately, my bosses/colleagues are giving me the support and advice I need to keep me afloat. My direct boss's number is quickly becoming one of my speed dial. (Haha!) I'm really quite blessed to meet some really fabulous people in the company who have been helping me every step of the way.

Since I've gotten back from Vietnam, I have been working real hard to set my priorities straight again. Looking back, its seems like the stress and tension kept building up to that one meeting in Vietnam. Prior to that ONE meeting, everything in my life just went way out of whack. Now, its much better again.

So, I've been really busy trying to balance family, friends and work. Once again, I'm really blessed to have such fabulous people in my life.

I'm getting to spend slightly more time with my paternal and maternal grandmas. On my parternal side, she loves mahjong so since a while back, I've picked up mahjong and recently am starting to be able to "hold the fort" on my own which is really good its really been quite fun! With my maternal grandma, she doesn't like to do much besides complaining so...... we've been going out for a couple of dinners and I visit her home as much as I can. She just needs someone to hear her complain. She's a pessimistic lady, my maternal grandma, so I just don't let her get to me. :)

This weekend (and the few weekends before) is spent just trying to clear some work stuff. Its a terrible headache just trying to sort things out but its fantastic when its finally ALL DONE and you can rest for that half a day before *yikes* the week starts again.

Of course, when Quin is in town, work takes second place.

All in all, I'm a happy camper.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stress related rash and fever - do you believe?

If you had read my couple of post back, you would know that I was going through a really stressful period of time in Thailand. I think the worst thing that can happen to me is when I feel like I'm being wronged. It really ate me up.

During the worst periods of time during my trip in Thailand, my face would flush such a deep red in anger that my colleagues thought that I was going to have a sudden heart attack or die of high blood pressure. I knew I was really angry but did not know the impact that it was having on my body, I disregarded all the body symptoms that came with the stress.

I was so unhappy and the thought kept growing in my mind and though I didn't know it, people around me could hear me sign and occasionally, while I'm deep in thoughts, my face would turn a sudden deep red.

My mum could tell that something was really wrong the moment she heard my voice. And she flew down to Bangkok to make sure I would be okay. (Sigh! Aren't mum just great?) I tried to pretend everything was OK during the day but at the nights, I would get nightmares of endless, awful meetings and each time my heart would sink with disappointment or pound with frustration.

And then.............. I fell really really ill. It started off with a slight fever that came on and off. I ignored it and carried on at work and then in the evening, by the time I got back into the hotel room, an ugly rash had broken out all over my right arm. I tried to ignore it and continued to work on the computer trying to finish the work that I had to do and then the rash started to spread. over to the rest parts of the body. Feverish with bouts of diarrohea, I decided to call it a night and rest early and amazingly the rash stop spreading.

The next morning I had a meeting before heading to the airport and was really stressed by the time I boarded the plane and then I notice the rash had started to spread again. This time onto my face. I tried to sleep on the plane and calm myself with happy thoughts.

But when I landed in Singapore, I was in the car when my boss called me and after an hour of discussion, I felt more sick than ever. That very evening I had an asthma attack.

You might be wondering why I'm telling you all this. Well, I wanted to share with you that my doctor told me that when we get stressed, it lowers our immune system and allow our body to become more susceptible to viruses and bacterias. And though he believe that the rash is definitely stress related, the fever was due to the body fighting off some unknown virus.

I'm still having very bad diarrohea problems but this gave me quite a lot of time to think about my life and what I really want. I still think we need to work really hard at our jobs because we are paid to do the work but definitely not at the cost of my health. Still its easier said then done because though I'm on 2 days MC, I've been working all day today and tomorrow I will be going into the office for a few meetings.

This experience has made me a true believer that stress can do all those awful things to your mental health, physical health and its just not worth it. Really need to manage it better. The rash is clearing up with the medication but I had another bad dream. Some things are just out of our control. ..................

莫生氣

Recite to myself 20 times a day.

人生就像一場戲,因為有緣才相聚。
相扶到老不容易,是否更該去珍惜。
為了小事發脾氣,回頭想想又何必。
別人生氣我不氣,氣出病來無人替。
我若氣死誰如意,況且傷神又費力。
鄰居親朋不要比,兒孫瑣事由他去。
吃苦享樂在一起,神仙羨慕好伴侶。

人家气我, 我不气
我若生气, 中他计
我不生气, 他更气
其实何必, 来生气
气来气去, 没乐趣
何不笑笑, 消消气
解开心结, 让他去

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Vera says hi..




When I"m feeling blue...all i have to do...is take a look at you...then I'm not so blue....lalalala




Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blackberry going Ku-Ku

I was overjoyed when I received my FIRST blackberry. With its push email capability, it meant that I could check my emails anytime and anywhere. Oh what a wonderful technology.

We became quickly as one, my blackberry and I, a marriage made in heaven.

"We would never be apart..my darling...I promise you ....." I would whisper into its ears in the middle of the night and when I woke up in the morning, my blackberry would be the first thing I check on. "Are you all right my darling, any messages for me? You always have my utmost attention" I swore my undying love.

And then blackberry got sick. Slowly at first....my temperamental darling restarted ALWAYS in the middle of the most important calls. And alas, the sickness got worse and it happened more and more often and I had to carry mistress "samsung" with me....for the calls.

Recently, blackberry's "memory lapses" continues and it "stutters" and hangs every now and then. I'm normally quite calm when my blackberry does that, I will live with the good times and the bad, I thought to myself. Holding it in my hands, I patiently await for it to resume to normal and then check my emails again.

But now, as I'm blogging this, my blackberry has restarted 8 times and is still continuing to do so.....just lying on the table its going totally KU-KU on me.

I'm not so calm anymore....not now and especially today. Goodbye blackberry, we need to break up.....I'm sad that our union lasted only the year.

*Jme shoves the blackberry under the bed* Bloooooody annoying light.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Frustrating day at work - grumbles from a Lady MisJustice

Had a pretty frustrating day at work today. Really hate it when people make arguments NOT based on facts. Really hate it when things are pretty obvious but due to all sorts of reasons, people choose not to act on it. SURE, we can grit our teeth and work like hell for the superficial things....to make a shitty situation less shitty but we can never expect to solve the issue if we don't address the root cause. Crap is still crap. And I won't deny it any more. Simply put, look, if I write an email to *you* and *you* don't make any comments on it, don't blame me if I don't know what is on *your* mind. I'm not a mind-reader and most importantly, not *your* mind reader. Now I understand why people tell me they can't work with *you*, I know I can't.

The world would be alot easier if everyone work together as one to make the world a better place.....you know, no hidden agenda. If people would just listen to one another. But of course, I know this will never happen, can never happen. Its only idealistic thoughts and wishful thinking. I only need to read the newspaper to know that I'm not alone with such troubles. The world is full of "complications".

On a lighter note, without really bad days...we cannot fully appreciate the good ones. Without difficult situations like this, we will never learn to become stronger persons. I will survive whatever it may be and because my conscience is clear, *you* may think what *you* will of me. I'm not bending backwards anymore.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nice Song - 瞳をとじて

瞳をとじて
作詞: 平井堅 作曲: 平井堅

朝目覚める度に 君の抜け殻が横にいる
ぬくもりを感じた いつもの背中が冷たい

苦笑いをやめて 重いカーテンを開けよう
眩しすぎる朝日 僕と毎日の追いかけっこだ

あの日 見せた泣き顔 涙照らす夕陽 肩のぬくもり
消し去ろうと願う度に 心が 体が 君を覚えている

Your love forever
瞳をとじて 君を描くよ それだけでいい
たとえ季節が 僕の心を 置き去りにしても

いつかは君のこと なにも感じなくなるのかな
今の痛み抱いて 眠る方がまだ いいかな

あの日 見てた星空 願いかけて 二人探した光は
瞬く間に消えてくのに 心は 体は 君で輝いてる

I wish forever
瞳をとじて 君を描くよ それしか出来ない
たとえ世界が 僕を残して 過ぎ去ろうとしても

Your love forever
瞳をとじて 君を描くよ それだけでいい
たとえ季節が 僕を残して 色を変えようとも

記憶の中に君を探すよ それだけでいい
なくしたものを 越える強さを 君がくれたから
君がくれたから

http://www.cherryblossom-garden.com/2/hiraiken6.html#hitomiwotojite

Ella Fitzgerald - Bewitched!

After one whole quart of brandy
Like a daisy, Im awake
With no bromo-seltzer handy
I dont even shake

Men are not a new sensation
Ive done pretty well I think
But this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

Im wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

Couldnt sleep and wouldnt sleep
When love came and told me, I shouldnt sleep
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

Lost my heart, but what of it
He is cold I agree
He can laugh, but I love it
Although the laughs on me

Ill sing to him, each spring to him
And long, for the day when Ill cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

Hes a fool and dont I know it
But a fool can have his charms
Im in love and dont I show it
Like a babe in arms

Loves the same old sad sensation
Lately Ive not slept a wink
Since this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

Ive sinned a lot, Im mean a lot
But Im like sweet seventeen a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

Ill sing to him, each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

When he talks, he is seeking
Words to get, off his chest
Horizontally speaking, hes at his very best

Vexed again, perplexed again
Thank god, I can be oversexed again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am i

Wise at last, my eyes at last,
Are cutting you down to your size at last
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more

Burned a lot, but learned a lot
And now you are broke, so you earned a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more

Couldnt eat, was dispeptic
Life was so hard to bear
Now my hearts antiseptic
Since you moved out of there

Romance, finis. your chance, finis.
Those ants that invaded my pants, finis.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Love the way he sang this song. Went out to buy Ella Fitzgerald CD after I watched this show and realized that I liked her whole CD!!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Family......Goodbye Gua-gong!

My grandfather had an acute heart attack and passed away on March 1st at 4.10am. He was 73 years old. I remember him as the "kung-fu" master always teaching me ways to protect myself and telling me that I need to take care of myself when I'm travelling.

My grandfather is a traditional chinese man. As master of the house, he always seemed very stern and would keep to himself. However, a few months ago, after my grandmother suffered a mild stroke, the family members grew closer and he started making greater efforts to share his thoughts and feelings to his family. Yet, now ...............

Many people came to the funeral and I learnt that he was a very well-loved and respected man. It was obvious that he was the one that people came to when they were troubled and he never failed to do his best to help out. Everyone had great difficulty accepting the harsh reality that he is gone because he had always been a very fit and healthy man.

Working together for the funeral service, the family grew closer. Even my 6 year old cousin, Nicia, played her part. We all took turns to collect donations, ensure that the incense is always lit, burn sacrifical tokens, talk to the visitors and watching the funeral site on a 24 hour basis. Most of us feel very tired and some are on the verge of falling sick but all of us still try our best and push on. I must say that it is during this period of time, that we have all stepped back from our daily lives and really started to communicate with each other. Within these few days, I haven gotten to see my relatives in a different light.

Last night, a few of us were doing the "night shift", watching the place till wee hours of the morning. (Before my uncles took over in the next shift). Most of us were so tired but we all jumped up at 4am when we heard shouts of a robbery. My uncles and brother rushed out to see if they could help. Jean called the police and they came shortly but were unable to find anything. After that excitement, most of us had less difficulty to keep awake and started chatting and exchanging interesting stories and experiences.....(I must have overtired myself because I'm down with a slight flu and very bad sore throat and they've sent me home to rest)

Personally, I've learnt alot from this unfortunate incident and am also very touched by the people who came to the wake to pay their respects. It really helped the family members who have suffered such a loss by giving that much additional support. I am also especially touched by my colleagues who pooled together to make donations (some of whom I hardly even talk to) and arranging for the office to send a wreath to my grandpa's funeral. (Special thanks to Glenn).

I have been reminded that life is short and that we need to make use of whatever time we have to let the people around us know that we treasure them and love them before it is too late.

Gua-gong, we will miss you.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chinese Sign and Element

The Chinese zodiac is a cycle of twelve Chinese years placed under the signs of the twelve following symbolic animals: Rat, Buffalo (or Ox), Tiger, Cat (or Rabbit or Hare), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep or Ram), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig (or Boar).

Chinese years also evolve in cycles of ten years each. Every set of two consecutive years is governed by a Chinese cosmic element. There are five elements in all: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water.

Find out what is yours on this website. All you have to do is key in your birthday.
http://www.asiaflash.com/rao/your_chinese_sign.shtml

As for me, I'm a Earth-Goat. :) Also known as "Clay" Goat.
Boon, you are a Water Pig. (Thank goodness you did not become a Fire Pig, aka Roasted Pig)

Passed my Jap Exam..........

Something came in the post today.....*drum rolls* its my score report for my JLPT which stands for japanese language proficiency test.

Jamie's JLPT Score Report
Writing Vocab: (95/100) <- ABit disappointed because I thought I ACED it
Listening: (76/100) <- Super happy because I thought I had FAILED this paper. I couldn't hear what the damn radio was playing from the end of the room. (was sitting way at the back and on the side) hehe...that's an excuse, my listening is really damn kurang MAXIMUM so I know I got to work on that. So happy so happy i Passed.
Reading Grammar (170/200) <-K lah, couldn't remember the essay anymore.

So GRAND TOTAL IS 341/400.
That means PASSED! PASSED! PASSED! 合格! 合格! 合格!
Okay lar...considering the amount of effort I put in for my Jap paper....VELLIE GOOD ALREADY THAT I CAN PASS LOR!

So I should still be going for the next paper at the end of this year. Hope I can still be so lucky. *fingers crossed* Need to improve on my listening tho...its really baddddddddddddd - a fine excuse to watch more japanese drama serial *drroooolsss*. hehe.

Treasure every minute and second of your life....

This is a slightly depressing blog so proceed with caution.

Shocker 1: A couple of days ago, my grand uncle passed away.

Shocker 2: This morning, my grandfather had a major heart attack. He is currently in ICU, in an induced coma and in a critical situation.

Actually I am not sure how I'm feeling inside anymore. People try to comfort me and tell me what is important is to make use of the time that you have to show the people around you that you love them - to treasure your friends and family when they are still around before their time is up ...or your time is up....well...erm....okay, soooooo just in case I don't get this message to you on time, I just want to let you guys know that I really love you and I wish we could have spent more time together and I wish you well and oh yeah, treasure your family and friends every min
and sec of your life before old age, sickness, and death comes up and smacks you in the blarrrrddyy face. Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.

And hmm...yes, smoke less - (if at all) and erm...remember to be a nicer person with a clean
conscience. I can't stress that enough: Remember to be a better nicer person.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Love this song by Nelly Furtado

First heard this song on radio and it really grew on me. Enjoy!



SAY IT RIGHT! I love YOU TUBE! *snapping my fingers to the song*

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Golden Pig New Year!

Today was Day 1 of Chinese New Year. It wasssssssssssss.....Fun-tastic!!

The house was so lively with my little cousins galore. My mum is the eldest in her family so her siblings came in the morning to "salute" her and of course, everyone stayed for vegetarian lunch because its such a killer meal even though its ALLL vegetarian. My little cousin Cheyanne was wearing a korean dress and much to the amusement of everyone present, she performed a korean bow that she learnt from the "DA CHANG JIN" drama serial. And Jerome who was so handsome in his outfit performed his "practise kung fu" and piano song. Note: Jerome is the sweetest boy with the shyest smile. I'll try to paste some pictures later on.

The cutest was, of course, my baby niece Vera. Everyone was oooh-ing and aaah-ing away and Vera was such a sport- just smiling and smiling away. She was wearing a silk suit that I bought from her in Shanghai (very expensive ok!) and this nice socks that my mum bought from another part in China...and this cute red pin on her head.



Here is 3 month old Vera, the center of all the attention. The little cutey.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Packing packing...cough cough

Chinese new year!!!! I have never been happier to hear that CNY is just around the corner.

When I was younger, I would fret about buying new clothes - trying not to look a freak in those RED RED RED RED "Hongbao" clothes (you see, the Mother would nag every year: Girl ah!! No black, gray, white, blue coloured clothes.. its CHINESE NEW YEAR....you think somebody just died and u are in mourning ah.......no no no just choose RED colour, you won't go wrong. Trust me...it would be lucky for you this year).

I also associated CNY with naggy relatives, helping my parents out like a slave/maid during their many house parties-playing the part of the good dutiful daughter. As you can clearly see, I'm a "happy-family" humbug.

But this year....its soooooooooooo different! I'm looking forward to CNY:
1) 4 days of public holiday
2) Lotsa yummy food to eat
3) Extending extra 4 days of vacation in Malaysia
4) A surprise party in store...

I'm so excited I actually bought my CNY clothes 2 weeks before the actual date. Its fantastic...and its going to be this weekend....happiness...............

Sunday, February 04, 2007

OLE OLE OLE....Singapore is ASEAN CUP 2007 champions!!

I don't like soccer much....
But the patriotic me was glued to the telly when the Asean Cup was playing.. Singapore versus Thailand. There were 2 matches played.
On 31st Jan, the first game was played in the Singapore National Stadium. The score was initially tied at 1-1 and at second half the MALAYSIAN referee called for a penalty against the Thais near the goal post. The unhappy Thais walked off the pitch in protest and had to be persuaded to return to the field. Despite the chaos, the referee stuck his grounds and Singapore scored a penalty shot by Mustafic Fahrudin ending the game at 2-1.
On 4th Feb, the second game was played in Bangkok and although Singapore managed a goal in the first half, it was declared offside and void. The Thais were leading 1-0 towards the second half. 8 mins to the end of the game, Amir from Singapore scored a one-man show superb goal, crowning Singapore as the 2007 Asean Cup champions.


Ole Ole Ole...Ole....Ole.....


Singapore is 2007 Asean Cup Champions!!

I still don't like soccer much..................and actually I'll admit that I think that the Lions were super "heng" (lucky) this time round. As far as I could see, the Thai team was the stronger team. But never mind, "heng" is also a skill by itself. :)

However, granted that the Thais, for many various reasons, were really hungry for the championship, I still think they could have behaved better on the pitch.

All in all, the end result is that the Lions are crowned re-champions for Asean cup 2007.

Hip HIP HOOORAYYY!!!!


The Last Templar by Raymound Khoury

In 2003/2004, I had the impression that Dan Brown's Da Vinci code took the literary world by storm and started the religion conspirarcy-theory ball rolling. Everywhere I went and every flight I took I'd see at least one person (regardless of nationality) holding onto a copy of that book. I've read that book twice myself and heard countless Christians tell me that the book is blasphemous. Its an enjoyable read nonetheless. :)

Recently I've finished another book written on the same premise - That the Roman church is trying to cover the true story of Jesus Christ. I would highly recommend it as a fascinating read except that the ending was a little disappointing to me. But due to the highly controversial nature of its content, I find that not surprising.



Veritas Vos Liberabit - the truth will set you free. (Latin)

The Last Templar starts off with the fall of the Knights Templar in 1291 - Acre (Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem). Interspaced with events occuring in the era we live in today (21st century), it explores the rise and fall of the Knights Templar.

According to the book, in 1118, The First Crusade is over and the Holy Land is back in Christian hands. Baldwin II is the King of Jerusalem , people across Europe are jubilant and pilgrims are flocking to Jerusalem. Unknown to them, the crusading knights have considered their vows fulfilled and went back to their homes in Europe with their plundered riches. The area is precariously surrounded by hostile Islamic states and the Turks and Muslims, who have lost much of their lands to to the Christian armies, wern't about to forgive and forget.Many pilgrims were killed on the dangerous roads between port city of Jaff (coast of Palestine) and the holy city of Jerusalem.

Nine pious knights led by Hughes de Payens arrived at Baldwin's palace and offered their humble services. They announced that they had taken the 3 solemn vows of chastity, poverty and obedience and had added a fourth: a perpetual vow to protect the pilgrims on their journey from the coast to the city. King Baldwin was impressed and gave them quarters in the eastern part of his palace, which stood on the site once occupied by King Solomon's Temple. They had become known as The Order of the Poor Knights of Chris and the Temple of Solomon, more simply the Knights Templar. (The Temple of Solomon has an interesting history on its own).

What is interesting is that the Knights then ended up spending 9 years locked up in the Temple of Solomon.............digging.......and they found a treasure so magnificient that would result in their eventual doom on Friday the 13th. Was it gold? Was it proof that Jesus had fathered a child with Mary Magdalene. The book keeps you hooked and the suspense is well worth the wait as it turns out to be none of the above and instead brings into a picture another very interesting possibility. (I'm certainly not going to spoil it for you here so find it out yourself!)

This book is a touch and go on the Jesus bloodline, the Gnostics, the Gospel, the Bible, history of how the concept of our modern financial institutions (banks) came about, a little something of everything to spark your interest to read more.

For more information: http://www.lasttemplar.com/home/index.asp