Is taking vitamin supplements good for you?

I have a confession to make. I’m not very proud of it. Would you like to hear it?

Ready?

Okay here goes.

I am a habitual pill popper. Yes, thats right. I’m a pill junkie. I would pop pills 3 times a day. Every day.

Observe :

  • Breakfast with 500mg Evening Primrose Oil, Jamu
  • Lunch with Sesamin extract
  • Dinner with EPO, Jamu and Acidophilus.

It started back when I was a teen of 15. There was a studies camp conducted by an external family and child, mind development institution called the Nury Institute. It could be from here where I got my casual interest in mind development. It was my first time being introduced to mind mapping, creative expression and memory recall as well as others. I supposed the camp worked well for me since I did not study for the O levels and I was able to have 6 O Level Credits with a B average

Mum eventually got interested in the retelling of the things that happened while I was in camp to check the institute out. At the time, she just had Diana, my sister and already was trying out the Glenn Doman method for my sister.

Anyhow, in one of the Nury Sessions, there was a chapter on how supplements help in the development of the physical and mental health. That was when mum started to buy supplements and made us eat them.

She’d sprinkle vitamin C on my food and coaxed me to eat the evening primrose oil and then made me eat the multivitamins. I remember thinking of how troublesome it was. It was just a small pill. What could it do? I was sceptical. But I still took it daily anyway.

It happened gradually. So gradual that I did not even realise it. I noticed that I never got sick even though it was the flu season. It was strange to me since when in my entire class would have the flu, I’d be fine, without even the least bit of a sniffle.

I was amazed that I never had monthly stomach cramps any more. That usually plagued me to bits. So slowly, I became a convert to the Faith of Vitamin Pills.

However while in Jurong Institute, my faith was swayed when my language teacher talked about how unnecessary it was to consume vitamin supplements. She insisted that the food that we consume would be more than enough to cover all of our daily necessities. I pondered about this for a while and thought that I should stop for a while. It made sense to me. It’s a vitamin supplement, meant to supplement and not replace.

I felt fine and dandy. For a while. And then I started to have my horrible stomach cramps again. I disliked the taste of panadols or any random over the counter pain killer. I’d rather endure the pain than to eating those chemicals.

I then did some research and found out that there was nothing wrong with consuming vitamin pills and that it was actually not enough to rely on food alone for the daily vitamin necessity. This was because of the fact that due to modern ways of rearing and growing food, there are lesser vitamins from it. A cup of leafy vegetable now would have less vitamins compared to one say, 30 years ago.

I’d rather take the vitamin pills. Still concerned about over consumption though. There is only so much that the body could consume while excess will be flushed away by the liver. So, there could be a wastage of money to over consume.

I went out with Juli again yesterday to discuss about our business plan. She showed me some pictures of a makeover she did for her friends and we both realised that what you see with your natural eye would look different in photos. Juli told me that the make-up she did for her friends looked nice to the eye but turned out very faint in the photos. We quickly realised that thicker make-up was needed for photography shoots.

I took Juli to Sim Lim Square to do a quick survey of the cameras that was sold there. Besides computers, Sim Lim square was famous for selling cameras at a cheaper price. Juli quipped that the camera that she just bought was about 200 dollars cheaper here compared to the one at Harvey Norman.

I went to a shop and enquired about a camera. The salesman showed me a camera. I fell in love almost immediately. It was light. The grip was wonderful. And the features was complete for what a dream camera would be.

Isn’t this gorgeous?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It has got nice features in it like 8.0 mega-pixels and 3 frames per second. Fast! More information from this site here.

I asked the price of the camera and the sales man said that it costs 1.6k. Is that your best price? I can give it to you for 1.5k he said. Do you have installment plans? Yes, but you need to have a visa credit card to use it.

I arched my eyebrow and told him I’ll think about it and left.

We asked about the price at other shops. Most quoted a 1.8k price. (First shop was better) And all of them had the same response. Installments only by visa credit card.

Now I don’t have a credit card with me. Only a debit card. So I only had the option of paying in full or going somewhere else to purchase it. So I told Juli, that I might try to go to courts to see if they had the same brand to be sold.

Later on Juli and I walked over to Parco Bugis Junction to do a quick make-up survey. We poured over the different make up. Since I was extremely bad at make-up, it was an educational experience for me. I heard words of wisdom from Juli.

“To tell for quality makeup, it should have a good texture”
“The trick to makeup, is blend, blend, blend”
“A good foundation is the base for good makeup”

Now, I am the type of person who’s just slap on make-up and dab it any how. I couldn’t care less how I looked. However, I did feel responsible at that it would  not be professional when they see my uncombed lion mane and panda eyes. So this year, I’m *trying* to be just a leeeeeetle bit more groomed.

I find it of a hassle having to do the morning rituals though.

– Wash
– tone
– moisturise
– medicated blemish gel
– eye gel
– sunscreen
– concealer
– powder
– eye-liner
– lip balm

And that’s the minimum steps! I could go on to eye-shadow, blush and all the other rubbish. I haven’t even started about eye contouring. Oh dear. All those steps above would be about 30 minutes if I hurry. So much hassle! It’s so annoying. But for the sakes of looking more presentable. Anyways, weekends would be my day where I can look like a lion if I wanted to since I won the right to do so 🙂

We then had dinner at Juli’s old workplace. The place was called Terracafe. I really enjoyed eating the pasta there. The Marinara was really lovely there. That’s the thing I’d usually order when I was at terracafe.

I met Juli’s good friend Ridzuan. I met him for the first time early 2000. It was a horrible experience for me then since the location that we met, and the time when we met was totally wrong. I wasn’t a night person. I was happy to sleep early before midnight and I disliked pubs with a vengeance. I felt very left out since I was the odd one out in the people of 4 since the other 3 knew each other already. They didn’t talk to me much and after a while, I decided to not mingle at all and just kept quiet.

So yes, I have a phobia of blind dates. Cart thinks that I should give these people a chance. But I feel that the situation shouldn’t feel like a “date date” I’d rather get to know a person while doing something together like canoeing, or fairs or bullying someone else. Having to try to impress someone that I don’t know with nice clothes, oh so charming manners, gorgeous hair is just nerve wrecking to me. I really disliked the whole idea.

Anyhow, this didn’t feel like a “date date” this time, and felt more like a casual outing so I didn’t mind when Juli asked her friend to join us for dinner this time. Anyhow, we’ve been talking on msn for a little and I thought that he was funny and eccentric.

Ridzuan turned up in a white tee, belted jeans, black tennis bracelets, and had a beard. He looked quite similar the same way the first time I saw him.

He also was wearing shades! It was already night time!

I commented on how cool his ipod shuffle was. And observed how he and Juli would tease each other. It made me chuckle to see how they would bully each other with catty remarks. Some of which cant be said on this family oriented blog.

But what struck me was how witty Ridzuan was. He was soft spoken, genteel even but words that came out of his mouth was a fluttery riot. One of the first things he said that I could remember

Ridz : I’m going to make a portal for all the ugly people to get together. Show them that they are not alone. There are other ugly people too. The website will be called www.u.g.l.y.com
Me : Cool, sounds interesting. But isn’t there a similar portal already?
Juli: Sorry ridz. I think you’re too late. We already have a www.s.d.u.com
Ridz : No, I will make it accessible enough that even the most antisocial, the types of people who just visit the void deck to get a keropok would know of it. And I could use your expertise to help me make these people over and feel good about themselves
Juli : So typical Malay. Always using other people.
Ridz : Shut up you (censored)
Juli : You male (censored)

Anyhow after dinner, we went to the Apollo Building for a round of karaoke. Turns out that Juli and Ridzuan loved to karaoke. It was a good way to relieve stress. Singing one’s heart out. However, I shuddered at many cat’s wailing in one of the rooms.

But I had fun. It was good company I was in so it was nice. It felt nice and relaxed. We laughed at the weird karaoke location shoot. One love song vid clip was in an aquarium.

I really had to control myself from bursting. Imagine singing Celine Dion’s “All by myself”

All by myself ….(scene of a crab)
Don’t wanna live….(scene of a sea fish)
When I was young … I never needed anyone (scene of a clam)

There was other silly scenes also, making me wish that I had a camera to take the silly singing scenes, those are just priceless.

– couples dancing off tempo
– crucifixes (in a love song!)
– dogs running on the beaches (for the entire clip!)
– a girl wearing high heels and long sleeved shirt (while walking on the beach!)

Suffice to say, it just didn’t go with the theme of the song. Too funny.

My brother’s going to start his BMT

My brother left for National Slavery yesterday. I’m going to miss that little bugger. He’d always be the one I’d moan to when I’m feeling off.

Of course, he’d could be moody and insensitive at times, and I can be really horrible to him. But I think we’re quite close and confide in each other in a lot of things. Since young, my brother has always tagged around me and I felt the need to share and show him things that I liked to do, like a good big sister should.

I spent the last few days talking to him and we reminised about the days when we were kids. He’d still think that I was eccentric. Oh yeah? I asked him to name one instance that showed my wierdness.

Remember the time when you made me bury my 50 cent coin? That was my entire life savings then and I thought that we could have a money tree then using the 50 cent. I was looking forward to having alot of money to buy stuff.

Memories …

He can be a pain in the neck sometimes, but there are times when he’d be surprisingly nice. Nazry worked in Kentucky Fried Chicken after he left polytechnic. I kept bugging him to steal something from work (Hey everyone does it!) He kept refusing, insisting that he was sick of chicken and won’t bring it home.

I pestered him for days and days and eventually gave up about that. Some morning after, I had a rather surprising message on my phone. It said:

“If it makes you happy, look in the fridge when you wake up this morning”

Lo and behold! A whole boxful of delicious, crispy, fattening sunshiny (stolen) fried chicken from KFC. Mmm!!

So yeah, he is really nice most of the times. I enjoy talking to the little bugger. Mum says that he’s got the heart of a sentimental person.

So anyways, we left for Pulau Tekong early morning and took the ferry there since the island was only accessible by sea. Mum reminisced since she used to live in Pulau Tekong all her life till she became a young adult. I remember it since mum took me there as a little girl. I loved the island life. So slow, and idyllic and natural.

My grandparents owned a farm there with loads of chickens at the back of the house. I’d help out to shower (more like drown) the chickens, sometimes help to shell the coconuts or help out in the provision shop. But most of the times, I’d roam around the island, exploring things, jumping in the sea, bathing in the cool well water, making tents out of things I could find around the house, just being a mischievious little girl.

My grandparents had a neighbour next door who reared crocodiles. Every now and then, I’d sneak in and sit down to observe the crocodiles. They had such shiny, yellow jewel like eyes when they were lying there, basking in the sun, grinning at me.

The crocodiles were in an empty swimming pool, and there were no gates or nets as far as I could remember. I could just sit and dangle my legs at the edge of the pool.

I’m amazed why no one ever scolded me to never go to the crocodile farm even to this day. But, it was really an amazing. I doubt many people had the same experience as I had before.

I could imagine mum thinking about her past life there too as we approached the island.

Security was quite tight there. We had to scan our identity cards every time we reached the gantry and there were soldiers in full army regalia brandishing guns every now and then.

We had a tour of the bunks, the parade grounds, the training grounds and the mess hall. It didn’t look bad, it looked pretty decent actually, if compared to the camp ground that I went to last year (I shiver at the thought of the numerous people using the unwashed bedsheets previously)

I love camp. I’ve always appreciated the outdoors because I was in the uniformed groups: In Primary school, I was in the Brownies, then joined the Girl Guides in my teens. I would have carried on to become a Ranger but for some reason, they never answered to my queries and I sort of lost the desire to join after that.

Outward Bound School was a real wonderful experience for me. It was tough being in the jungle, trying to work out the compass without any help from the guides, hiking for many kilometres in a terrain not familiar to us. Using our skills to spend the night in the jungle comfortably. It’s the little things that makes one appreciate what comforts we have back home.

So, I didn’t worry too much about Nazry’s well being. It’ll just feel different, since our family has always (more or less) been the 6 of us every night. Now it will be only 5. I won’t see him sprawled, sleeping on the couch. I won’t be able to kick him to wake up in time any more.

Anyhow, later in the afternoon, we spent lunch together as a family before we say goodbye to each other. We gave each other huge hugs. That bugger almost broke my back on purpose! Diana’s beautiful straight combed hair was totally messed up when he did his famous nookie. Only a bottle of conditioner could help her hair now. Mum had some tears in her eyes. Even father looked a little less stoic.

Bwah!!! Who am I going to rant and rave to now? Who??

Anyways, I’ll end my blog here for the moment, I should get ready to meet up with Juli, we’re going to Bugis to do some material research for our business. Should be fun, I love that place, its so rustic.

Terms that every Singaporean should know

Singaporeans are an interesting lot.

Having a country as a melting pot of different types of race and cultures, would eventually create an interesting dish of a custom. Sometimes it’s so intertwined that it’s even hard to tell, which is an Indian, Chinese or a Malay custom.

The way we talk also is an amalgam of the different languages that we’ve come to call it affectionately – Singlish.

For example :

“Aiyo! Why lidat? Eber-itaim arrow and sabo me. Heng ah!”

Foreigners might scratch their heads trying to catch heads and tails of what a native would say here – but let me try to make it easier for you to understand :

Here is a list of phrases commonly said by a Singaporean

Lah:

Commonly used as an expression at the end of some sentences.

1.”Why are you so like that lah?”
2. “I dont know, lah!”

With “lah”, it gives a boost to a statement. Rather than just saying, “I don’t know”, adding a lah at the end will make an emphasis that the speaker really doesn’t know.

Wah lau:

An expression of “oh my goodness” or “wow” or “damn” depending on the tone of voice used.

1. “Wah lau. Simple like this also you cock up.”
2. “How can you do this to me? Wah lau”

Take note that in Singlish, semantics and grammar are not important and sentences are usually shortened as much as possible.

Abothen:

An equivalent of “of couse!” “duh!” A sarcastic response to an obvious statement or question

1.”Wah, see you got wear so swee-swee… confirm you tonight go pak tor, lor!”

Buat bodoh:

To feign ignorance or to play dumb

Buaya :

Malay for crocodile. Used to describe a wolf or a sleazy pick up artist.

Dao :

Arrogant and haughty

Gerek:

Malay, used to describe a situation that is cool or groovy.

1. “Did you see Ahmad’s new motorcycle? So gerek!

Jambu:

Used to describe a beautiful woman. Derived from a name of a local juicy fruit

1. “Check out that minah! Jambu!”

Kan Cheong:

A Cantonese and Hokkien term meaning nervous, harried or uptight.

1.”Your exam in June, now only March, you kan-cheong for what?”

The exam’s in June and now it’s only March. What are you getting so nervous about? Kan cheong can be further boosted by saying, “Kan Cheong Spider”

Kepo / Kaypoh:

A busybody or nosey parker. Can also be used as an adjective or verb.

1. 1A is so kepo! Everything also want to see.

Translated as : 1A is such a busybody! He wants to poke his nose into everything he sees!

Mafan:

Mandarin for “bother” or “bothersome”; used either as a verb or adjective.

Shack:

To be extremely tired

1. “After taking care of all the monkeys in the zoo today, I feel so shack man”

Shiok:

Originally a Malay exclamation, but now a universal Singaporean expression denoting extreme pleasure or the highest quality.

1. This Hor Fun is so delicious man! Eat the noodle until shiok!

Siam:

Hokkien term for “get out of the way”. You can use this word by itself to shoo people away, or in the sense of making oneself scarce or dodging a task.

Sian:

A wonderfully concise Hokkien adjective which conveys boredom, weariness, frustration and emptiness.

Siao:

Hokkien for “mad” or “crazy”

Some kids from 1A were reading my blog today. I’ve *no* idea how they chanced to my address. Its’ a good thing that I never put in anything really secretive!

By the way, to all the 1A students reading this, you’re ALL going to detention. I’ve got all your IP addresses!

I’m watching you!

My experience at a Face Shop opening at Plaza Singapura

What a nice day today was. Spent the day with my good friend Juli and we spent the day practically doing vain and girly things.

Juli took me to a make up shop in Plaza Singapura called “The Face Shop“. I think I almost went crazy with the things there. The moment you step in the shop, you’ll be greeted by all these lovely smells. I felt like I was stepping in a garden, barefooted, prancing in the fields with the sunshine streaming on my face.

Juli and I had a blast trying out the make up, and me, opening the bottles of cream and fragrances and dabbing it around. It’s not for us! Juli insisted. It is the products that we will be using when we start our business in june. I nodded my head vehemently in agreement.

I looked at the eyeshadows there and a nice lady went up to help me with it. She dabbed my eyes with some green and then later, purple colours and then topped it off with some shimmery stick. I was so in love!

I chatted with the lady for a bit and found out that her name was Doreen. She was also the owner of the branch there. Doreen was talking to me about the techniques of the application of eyeshadow. Base all over with light colour, then the crease with a darker colour and then edge of the lids with an even darker colour. One could top it out with an “eye brightener”

It was all very fascinating to me, even if I thought that doing all those steps were a tad troublesome for daily use. Maybe for special occasions instead. Regardless, I didn’t have to fuss about applying eye shadow since Doreen already carefully applied it for me .. hehehe.

Doreen later talked about the importance of a good skin care regimen. I really liked the fact that only flora and natural ingredients were used. It smelled soooo goood .. I could just eat them on the spot.

So I got me some items there. I couldn’t help myself. Such lovely products, and at such a nice price too. Doreen mentioned that the products, although affordable, is comparable to the higher classed brands like Clarins, Bobby Brown, Prescriptives. The reason why it was comparably cheaper is because it was produced by the Koreans. Korean ladies, she explained are very vain people. And they need to have very good quality facial care and cosmetics at a good price. Thus there were many competition in this area, making the price cheaper.

I’m the proud owner of:

1. Lavender Powder Cleanser (smells so heavenly!)

2. Dewy Flower Fresh Toner (With different white flowers and plant extract!)

3. Dewy Flower Moisturizer (Controls your oil sebum! Retains your moisture!)

Anyhow, I left the place with a spring in my step. Clutching my precious new options with me.

Juli and I later walked to Suntec City where there were a health and beauty convention going on. It was exciting to step in the place. We saw many things being displayed there. Hair styling products, Spa accessories, Exercise equipments … basically everything you’ll see in the health and beauty industry.

I was transfixed in the eyebrow tattooing display. It started out with a lady with practically very little eyebrows. She sat on a chair and had her eyebrow being vibrated with a hand held device. Every few seconds, the beautician would have to wipe away the eyebrow. (I assume it was for the ink or the blood … I couldn’t understand the Chinese language that well)

And some while later, presto! The lady has lovely, more defined, natural looking eyebrows. Everybody oooh’ed and ahhh’ed. I could only grimace since it looked really painful.

There was also a display which I found interesting – medicinal leech used for skin care product. Leeches has been recognized in medicine for its healing properties. One of the leech enzymes it seems, has a natural anti-coagulant properties. The brand decided to manufacture this principal to create skin care that stimulates the cell metabolism.

I asked, “so how many leeches go in a bottle of moisturiser?”

The consultant looked at me wide eyed for a full 5 seconds. As interesting as the product was, I didn’t have the desire to have leech juice over my face or body.

Juli pointed out that the wedding fair was just one level up so we decided to stop by there too. I have more ideas now for the different angles and location for the outdoor photography shots. Juli poured over the way the makeup and accessories were used. And we both ooh’ed at the gorgeous dresses.

We got hungry later on but unfortunately couldn’t decide on what to eat. I wasn’t really fussy on what to eat as long as it wasn’t expensive. Hawker center food would do. Juli wanted to eat Thai food. We walked round and round Suntec city basement. And then went to Millenia shopping centre, and then the esplanade. My feet were getting sore by then. Then we hopped on a bus to Orchard road to go to a Thai restaurant in Far East Plaza.

I was grateful for a seat. And all that walking really gave me an appetite! We both had a hearty dinner together.

Yesterday night was such a cool night. There was a chingay parade very near where I lived. At 6.30 pm the place was transformed with lights and full of people. I saw road blocks while I was jogging along the way with policemen at the edge of the road. Must be real important. So I thought I’d drop down and have a look see. I brought my sister Diana along.

It started out a little late. I took my sister to have a drink first in the nearby shops and came back just in time to see the floats and street performances. It was really festive! I really loved the atmosphere. It felt so alive! Some West Spring kids were there too to give support to the marching band. They were really good coincidentally. After the hours and hours of training in school – they gave a wonderful performance 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to bring my camera along, since it was dark and I knew my camera cant handle dark very well, even with flash, so I don’t have any pictures to show.

The grand finale was so cool, with 40 dragon dances performing simultaneously. And that made it to the Guinness world record for the most amount of dragon dances performing together. There were gold and silver confetti shooting out and seriously, I felt like I was in New York, during the New year countdown, the night air breeze blowing in making the place look like a snowy wonderland.

It was nice to see the adults and children alike, playing with the confetti. Makes one forget temporarily that these are the same people who keep pushing you to he train station, jostle for seats, trip you at the bus stops … cuts in queues …

It was a lovely night indeed – I really hope for the same thing to happen again next time – Taman Jurong won’t be such a boring town any more 🙂

Of papers and books

28th February – The graduating students from the past year comes back to school again after 3 months of holiday to receive their O level results. There were some faces which was relieved, there were some who looked sad when they looked at their slip of paper. I felt sorry for some of them, having since going through the same thing many years ago.

It was inevitable that I did, since I’ve been with the school since mid 2003 and was with these kids for quite a while now. Jason, one of the most responsible student I’ve ever come across did not manage to go to his choice college that he wanted to go to since his points was a little off. He tells me that he would go to a centralised institute instead. I adviced him to consider making an appeal since I thought that he was a model student.


Albert, Jason (with the vid cam) and me at the National Junior Robotics Competition

Jason really helped out in a lot while in the club, that I was really grateful in what he did. I’m amazed that there is a student that actually took alot of initiatives. There was a time when he actually brought Yu Sheng (a type of dish the chinese eat during chinese new year to bring prosperity and luck) to school!

Well, suffice to say, I’m mightily impressed. And I wish you all the best in your future endevors Jason 🙂

In recent weeks, I realised that I havent been able to remember my dreams anymore. I remember dreaming, but it would disintegrate immediately as I wake up. I’m not sure if its a cause of concern since I’ve always prided on dreaming everyday (in colour! Wide screen! THX surround sound!)

These days its nada, zip, zilch, nothing. The interesting thing about dreams is that I truely believe that it unlocks alot of hidden messages in oneself. Either it could be a message to reflect, or a message to solve a problem. Sometimes it could be a message of the future.

I’m sure many have experienced dreams where by they dismiss and then suddenly one fine day BOOM! They look around their surroundings and realised that it was a scene that they actually dreamed some while back. That type of dream is categorized as a “Deja Vous”

I believe that humans are still evolving, and that our forms at the moment are not the final stages. Who knows, perhaps we could communicate with each other through our thoughts and could have an insta-deja vous at will. Pretty much similar to John Wyndham – the chrysalids which I enjoyed reading tremendously

Speaking of books, there are couple of books which I’ve been *trying* to complete reading. Some of them, I havent even read in a span of a few years! Terrible isnt it?

One of them would be:

and

Heaven knows how absent minded I can be. Alot of times I’d be raring to do something and when I start, I’d completely forget what I wanted to do initially.

Tony Buzan is a man I look up to (even though I dont really practise his steps faithfully lol)

One of the method of remembering Tony teaches is memory pegs which I found facinating. He converts numbers to codes.

0 = s,z, soft c
1 = d, t, th
2 = n
3 = m
4 = r
5 = l
6 = j, sh, soft ch, dg, soft g
7 = k, hard g, hard c, hard ch, ng qu
8 = f,v
9 = b, p

For example, if I wanted to memorize a phone number, for example the number 2665431

I could break it up as 26 (niche) 65 (cello) 43 (ram) 1 (day)

Making a picture of a huge, gigantic niche playing a solid brown cellow but always gets disturbed by a black wooly ram, every sunny day. I havent really gotten to memorizing the list that I’m supposed to though. Although I really like the idea of memorizing all of the phone number list of my friends. And remembering important dates without having to use my diary.

A friend lend me this book when she asked me on the phone what the audio I was listening to was (I was hearing rich dad, poor dad at the time on internet streaming) and she lend me the book to read. The book was an interesting read. Although I have to admit that I havent gotten past half the book. I keep falling asleep while reading … (yes thats horrible of me! LOL) And its been at least 4 or 5 months since I’ve been keeping that book.

I bought this one about 2 years ago while on a trip to Malaysia. 55 petua orang berjaya means “55 advice for being sucessful” Its an interesting reading full of simple to follow and logical advice that makes you think “why didnt I think of this before” And no, I havent completed reading that one either. For goodness sakes ..lol

Speaking of books and novels, I stumbled across this link which I found hillarious. Click and be prepared to chuckle : Alternative Romance Novel Covers

Thats all for the moment. I’ve got to do something else now … but I just cant remember what … let me try to recall …

Registered for A Level Night Classes at the ITE

Just thought I’d post real quick about what has been going on lately. Yesterday, I registered to retake my A Levels again. I don’t know why it took me so long to have the initiative to do it again. I guess, when I started working, my entire perspective changed and wasn’t able to give my whole attention to it.

But the stigma of living in a country where the paper is more revered compared to experiences, really makes one feel the sting. I hated the fact that the paperless were labelled as having of a lower intelligence and such. But anyways, I asked around for recommendations about for flexible and affordable part time courses (having had bad experiences at private schools)

Hizam, my cousin recommended that I register at the ITE since he has taken the course there for some months. Coincidentally, he’s a proud father of a baby girl now. So congratulations to you Zam! 🙂

Anyhow, I chose the following subjects

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • General Paper
  • Literature
  • Malay

I studied sciences back in Jurong Institute, which was probably a mistake since I was not very good at these subjects but was just too strong willed at that time to consider taking the subjects that I was good at. I reasoned that I could have more choices when I was done with it. Little did I know that I would do so badly in them that I couldn’t proceed any more.

But thats the past. I’m really looking forward to starting the classes again – Wish me all the luck 🙂

A story of the princess (part 1)

Once upon a time, there was a princess. The princess was graceful and beautiful. She had fair, soft skin and long shiny black hair that flowed like the night sky. Everyone would smile at her whenever she passed them. She radiated a beautful soft aura around her. Everyday, she would play around in the kingdom – not a care in the world.

The as beautiful as the princess was, she was also very clever. She lapped up all of her studies with such ease that she was easily admired by her classmates.

Unfortunately, times were bad in the kingdom. A black magic surrounded the kingdom. People became poorer and suffered. The royal family was hit the most. The princess suddenly found out that she had to live like the common people. She could not do much of the things that she used to do. To earn some money to support herself, she decided to sell some of her wonderful cakes. The princess was a talented baker and walked around the kingdom to sell them.

“Buy my cakes! Come buy my delicious cakes!” She called out every now and then on the path. But there wasnt anyone to buy them … the forest was still and quiet.

The princess sat down on the pathway, looking dejected and longed for the old days when she would play all day, be with her friends in class…She remembered a conversation with her father a few days ago…

Father, I implore you! Please let me stay in school! I am so happy there, father, please! Father, please dont do this … Father … No …

Alas her pleads did not budge the king. The black magic was too strong.

No my child, you must take care of your mother and me. Be a good girl and do not disobey me.

Hot tears flowed down on the princess’s cheeks. How she longed for past! With her eyes blurred with her tears, she slowly walked down the path

Whatever May Come, Whatever May Go

Its been said that the best way to cure ones sadness, is to listen to other people and not concentrate on oneself.

That makes sense since when one is sad, and always thinking about one’s personal grief isnt healthy. Because human nature would be when one think about sadness, sometimes or most, the same thoughts would manifest into another. And those thoughts would grow into another type of monster altogether.

Our problems sometimes seem insurmountable and the solutions cannot be found. We allow the problem to become so close to us, that life seems pointless. We disregard and neglect the things which can still give us joy and meaning.

Last friday was one of the most depressive days I’ve had in a long while so much so that I’ve almost lost my light completely. Close friends would know what happened exactly. But in a nutshell, I felt completely useless because of alot of factors happening in my life.

I was in deep depression

I feel better now, but I’m worried if when my next depression would strike. Its strange really. I’ve never imagined that I’d ever feel like that before.

But I’m still breathing. I still have to go on. And a short tenet to go by when loss and disaster darkens our heart :

“Make the most of all that comes, and the least of all that goes.”

Rinaz Jones McBeal

Holy toot, the red shirt that I wore yesterday ran! Silly me for soaking it together with my white knit top and my skirt. Now my skirt has a interesting red splotch design. Hope the fabric stain remover works.

Speaking of clothes, here is one of the worlds greatest mysteries. You toss in a sock in the washing machine and after it has been washed, you’d find that there are at least one side of the sock missing. Where does it go? Did it go the magical black hole of missing laundry? Is there a magic sock bunny that takes it away? And where did my denim skirt go to? What happened to my brown knit top? Did my green sailor top sail away? Where did the rest of my underwear go? Where? Where? Where?

Very puzzling indeed …

Anyhow, to continue with yesterday’s story, I went to have lunch together with Geri at Bugis. We went to Sim Lim Square first as she needed to buy a pair of speakers for her lappy. We were both nervous that the shops would be closed and the speakers that she bought with her looked a tad heavy and bulky. I looked around the shops for the prices of some of the stuff that I contemplated on getting. But then decided otherwise when I remembered how much I’ve spent on computer parts in December. Maybe another time.

Moreover when I checked at the ATM machine downstairs, as expected, my mid month pay hasn’t arrived yet. Even with the message they sent to all staff:

“Hi all, accounts has confirm salary will be credited tomorrow. The company all chinese staff, gong si fa cai”

That’s word for word. And that was on Monday the 7th. The day when it was supposed to be payday. Come on now accounts. Your department of all people should know that the bank doesn’t work on public holiday eve. And it doesn’t work on public holidays either. So we won’t get it on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday since these are all Chinese new year holidays. Checks clear only after 2 days. So it will only clear at the very least on Saturday!

What really made me mad about it is that they have been constantly delaying it since last year. What is up with that? Really annoying.

I tried calling up the Ministry of Manpower a couple of weeks back but couldn’t reach them, so I left a email instead. I recently received this back

“Section 21 of the Employment Act stipulates that all salary, other than payment for overtime work, must be paid within 7 days after the end of the salary period. Salary for overtime work must be paid within 14 days after the end of the salary period”

I should lodge a complaint. I’m nearly having it up to here. And I’m not sorry that I have told the principal about what was going on with the company. I’m still waiting for the Central Provident Fund to reply back to my calls. Loyalty my ass. If you treat your workers like crap, crap will come back to you.

Besides, it’s “Accounts has confirmed that salary will be credited by tomorrow. The company wishes all staff: Gong Xi Fa Cai”

Anyhow, Geri and I went to Long John Silvers for lunch. I love LJS a lot as it brings plenty of nostalgia for me. I used to hang around here a lot when I was back in secondary school – back then it had the cheapest prices any fast food restaurant had. For $2.99 we could have two pieces of chicken, fries and coke and we could make it last for hours and hours while we studied in the comforts of the cool air conditioning. Sure it was a little noisy, but it wouldn’t be as distracting as the noise back at home. Screaming matches are frequent in my household. So I’ve evolved with the unique ability to hear only the things that I want to hear. It’s called “selective hearing” All I hope for is that I don’t have “selective thinking”

Out of the blue Geri asked me why I never changed my watch. I looked at my watch.

me : whats wrong with my watch?
geri : it’s old
me : it’s not old
geri : It’s old!
me : well, I got it in 2002, it’s not old.
grew : you should change it
me : well I like it, its been with me for a while, I’m quite attached to it
grew : You should change it. You’re being defensive

My watch has been with me for long while now. It accompanied me through a lot of journeys, it has been with me with all my trips and was there for me through all the bad things and the happy things. It has been with me longer than any of my relationships even. My watch has never failed me once. It’s the most loyal watch and has never died on me when I needed it the most. Always ticking away night and day, rain or shine.

It’s so loyal to me, in fact, I think I’ll give my watch a name. Albert. That doesn’t sound bad, in fact, I kind of like it. Albert. Albert the watch. Yes, Albert is very loyal to me. I love you Albert, you’re the best pal a girl could have. May you live a long and happy live Albert. And I’ll keep you close to my left arm and I will keep you for always.

Oh. No. I’m beginning to realize that I’m growing to be neurotic all over again. I refer to one of the journals I wrote about last year.

Anyways, I noticed that to my horror, I’m becoming to be like one of those over analytical ladies that tends to analyze each and every behaviour of something … not that rationalising is bad, but when one over reads the lines, that’s something kind of obsessive, I think.

Lets just look at this scenario : (not that I’m in this scenario, but, you know what I mean)

man : we’ve been together for 3 months now …

woman thinking : uh oh … he thinks we’ve been together for too long … I think he’s gonna break up with me, why is this talk going on now?? Is it something I said? I don’t look good enough? I know I’ve been bingeing lately .. does it show? 3 months? Is he bored of me? Why is he doing this to me? Did he meet someone new? I knew it .. that bustard! He’s breaking up with me .. He’s actually breaking up with me … AFTER all that I DID for him!!!

woman screaming : I HATE YOU!!!

man : what did I do???”

If the Asian version of Ally Mcbeal or Bridget Jones ever come to Singapore, I think I’d be the first person to audition for it. I’m neurotic enough, and I’m eccentric enough. I’d be perfect.

Speaking of Bridget Jones, I came across a really funny blog while searching for yakult vs vitagen in google. It was so funny reading this articles that I spent a couple of hours just reading it non stop from August 2004 till the present post.

Its about a character who calls himself as Eddie Neo Chee Beng who is stuck in a job that he didn’t enjoy, but couldn’t find another one since he’s only armed with a diploma, thinks of himself as very unattractive and is a NBK (never been kissed)

I think that he would definitely be a male version of Bridget Jones. He definitely has the wit for it 🙂

I also looked forward to reading another blog because it was so fascinating and in depth and conversational without being in your face. And I look forward to when the author updates her page :)She had me at “insalata caprese” lol

Anyhow, I’ll end here for the moment. Till then 🙂

Spending Chinese New Year’s Eve in West Spring Secondary

Not sure what to update the blog with, so I suppose I’ll just write what what happened to me today.

Woke up and left home much earlier than usual today since it was the Chinese New Year’s eve. That means that there wasn’t any teaching today and in place, would be a concert followed by a class party. Left the house at about 7 am-ish and I must say, that after going to work much much later, I have to admit that seeing the early morning sunrise is really beautiful. I love to see the early morning fog and dew and the cool soft morning breeze. I should take a picture of the area in the early morning one day. I think that would make a lovely photographic project.

Dozed off in the bus again. It’s such a bad bad bad habit that I’m not too proud of. I wont read in the bus since its bad for the eyes and seeing the same route again makes me so bored that even with kylie on my MP3 player didn’t keep me awake enough. Blame it on the one hour journey. I didn’t have to wait that long at the old location. It used to be a speedy 30 minutes. Even an episode of “60 minutes” is much shorter than that. Fortunately, and amazingly, I guess I’m in sync enough with the bus journey that I always wake up at the right bus stop. I stretched, pressed the buzzer and waited at the exit. I then looked at the bus driver and waved goodbye at him.

Bad move. He thought that I was waving to say that “No, this isn’t my stop” so he continued driving. So I missed a few stops because I got stunned that he didn’t stop at the right bus stop to press the buzzer again.

Lesson learnt

Do not wave at bus drivers until you have safely departed from the bus.

Thus, I reached the school a little late. And pretty much missed the lion dance. But I’ve seen that ceremony for at least 3 times ever since I went to West Spring so it wasn’t such a let down for me.

I plonked my bag at my already horrifyingly barren undecorated table (compared to this)

I proceeded to go to the hall where the concert was held. There were a few number of performances. While I was there the emcee’s were just starting to introduce the dikir barat.

*Dikir barat are a group of singers that sing accordingly to the clapping of their hands and does intricate movement of their hands while sitting down. They are almost always accompanied by a gong and a small drum.

There was this giant chicken that came over. I reckon it was to symbolise the year of the rooster in the chinese zodiac

What made me chuckle out loud was that the chicken was constantly being bullied by the kids. Many were pulling its tail, some where smacking its beak with their hands and you’d see the poor chicken trying desperately to dodge them. Even the teachers were holding the chicken’s arm trying to figure out who it was.

“Hmmm … too skinny cant be so and so”

Here are some pictures of the kids in action

After which, there were a class parties held by some of the students here. Free food is always good 😛

I was just having a little chat with Evannia and congratulated her upon winning the overall class decoration. She said that her classmates pooled up 70 dollars just for the decoration and my eyes almost popped out. Yikes! That was a lot of money for just decorations. But since her classmates chipped in (and there are about 40 people on average per class) it wasn’t so bad I guess.

This is evannia, isn’t she adorable? 🙂

Some decoration I found in a class

Pretty girls in a revamped kebaya style outfit

And finally …

Okay, kind of tired now, I think I’ll continue with part two later 🙂