Thursday, August 31, 2006

F.I.R.'s latest album

F.I.R.'s latest album

F.I.R.飞儿乐团's latest album entitled “飞行部落” is one great album. After sampling it, I feel that it’s worth every penny to purchase a legal, original copy. My only gripe is, as with all other popular music offerings, the songs are all about romantic love—be it about the pain of lost love, joy of newfound love, and emotions of letting go of crappy relationships (in the very loud song “I Don’t Care).
Seriously, life is not just about romantic love. But the average consumers are suckers for this sort of content. =(
My personal favorite is “1234567”. It’s a very jazzy piece and made me remember the movie “Down with Love” starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. Unfortunately, jazz piano pieces have never been my forte, much to Miss Meiji's dismay. o(>_<)o

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

COMEX 2006—Worth risking my arms and limbs for?

Although I have not given my dead laptop a proper burial, I desperately need a new portable computer. I was contemplating the HP Pavilion dv1740TU deal offered but I was distracted by VAIO FJ series (VGN-FJ78GP model) advertised in Digital Life today. It’s expensive and I regret ever looking its way. Like a temptress, it seduces me from the bits and bytes realm, calling coyly…Resistance is futile, but the possibility of bankruptcy may well stem the wanting.

Beautiful in Blue

VAIO in Sky Blue (my choice-cos Raspberry Red, although nice is not calming--and you know, when working with techological gadgets, we need to remain calm in the event they 'cock' up)

What? Customised colors option in the US of A???!!! Crap...

Is the upcoming COMEX Fair a place to obtain my new laptop? The thought of me being trampled upon, or more realistically, suffering a hyperventilation seizure at the EXPO is the only thing that puts me off. After all, I live with agoraphobia (fear of crowds) all my life although I have yet to suffer a real panic attack, partly due to avoidance of such areas.

Getting a good deal at the fair doesn’t mean obtaining slashed prices on products there. I guess people visit the fair for the variety and the bundled freebies instead…

Still, I guess I will settle for the cheaper HP deal. If only I did not have a choice, I would not be wasting precious time pondering. I should read this book:

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less (Barry Schwartz)

The Paradox of Choice (the cure to my laptop dilemma)

Like Thoreau and the band Devo, psychology professor Schwartz provides ample evidence that we are faced with far too many choices on a daily basis, providing an illusion of a multitude of options when few honestly different ones actually exist. The conclusions Schwartz draws will be familiar to anyone who has flipped through 900 eerily similar channels of cable television only to find that nothing good is on. Whether choosing a health-care plan, choosing a college class or even buying a pair of jeans, Schwartz, drawing extensively on his own work in the social sciences, shows that a bewildering array of choices floods our exhausted brains, ultimately restricting instead of freeing us. We normally assume in America that more options ("easy fit" or "relaxed fit"?) will make us happier, but Schwartz shows the opposite is true, arguing that having all these choices actually goes so far as to erode our psychological well-being. Part research summary, part introductory social sciences tutorial, part self-help guide, this book offers concrete steps on how to reduce stress in decision making. Some will find Schwartz's conclusions too obvious, and others may disagree with his points or find them too repetitive, but to the average lay reader, Schwartz's accessible style and helpful tone is likely to aid the quietly desperate.
(Editoral Review taken from

Friday, August 25, 2006

Completing the sentences…

One boring morning (and we are talking about the wee hours before daybreak), a pale vampire sits in front of her laptop (actually…a borrowed laptop) and feels drained of energy. Sleep is not an option. (*No self respecting creature of the dark would retire for the day at such an early hour*)
Her sustenance of human blood supply (er…actually, it is mocha coffee) in the fridge has run out (oops…I am on the brink of lame humour again)! She sits devoid of ideas and words…and decides to take a break. A spark lights up her dark murky eyes as she devises a new game! COMPLETE THE SENTENCES!

1. The best thing in life…is to be able to live each day with passion and joy.

2. My best personal quote is…true eloquence cannot exist in the absence of wisdom.

3. My ideal man….will love me unconditionally till eternity and preferably not use hair wax.

4. I have always wanted to….fly an F16 Fighting Falcon.

5. I strongly believe in…the existence of God and in the good of Man.

6. If I can have 1 wish, I would wish for…3 more wishes? Ok lah, everlasting happiness.

7. The more I live, the more I know…I should love those I know and never be judgmental of others who I don’t know.

8. My secret fear is…to be mediocre.

9. I know this will never happen but …can I be 1.7m tall?

10. I hate…vain, self-absorbed people.

11. My secret shame is…not knowing how to apply eye drops directly. I simply roll them in from the corner of my eye. ARGH!

12. My last meal on Earth would be…gelato ice-cream, warm chocolate cake and piping hot kampong chicken rice (complete with chili and black sauce).

13. The most important human trait I value is…kindness!

P/S For those of you who are sleepless in Singapore/ or as bored as vampire girl, you can use complete a personal version of these 13 sentences too! Who knows, you may find your inner peace and drift off to Zen-land after that. ;-)

Monday, August 21, 2006

When our self-manufactured pain is simply idiotic…

The prize-winning image: A vulture watches a starving child in southern Sudan, March 1, 1993.

This photo was taken by a Pulitzer-prize winning South African photojournalist named Kevin Carter. Carter was part of a group of four fearless photojournalists known as the "Bang Bang Club" who traveled throughout South Africa capturing the atrocities committed during apartheid.

Carter's winning photo shows a heart-breaking scene of a starving child collapsed on the ground, struggling to get to a United Nations food center located a kilometer away during a famine in the Sudan in 1993. In the background, a vulture stalks the emaciated child.

Carter waited 20 minutes for the vulture to spread its wings but apparently, the bird did not. He then took his photographs of the whimpering child, chased the bird away and left. However, he did nothing to help the tiny girl and was criticized widely for his callous behaviour.

"The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering," said the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, "might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."
Haunted by the horrific images from Sudan and a sense of guilt, Carter committed suicide in 1994 soon after receiving the award.

It would be inappropriate for us to judge Carter, because, we do not fully understand the situation there and then and his limitations as an outsider to the society.

What we can do is to judge our own lives and reflect on our slew of daily complaints. Think about our gripes of injustices suffered at work, being stuck in awful relationships, our perceived pain of unrequited love and the unending list of what nots. Are we like the helpless child in the photo? No way! Why?
Because we are in the position to turn around and chase the vulture away.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Late night conversation with Aileen

Sometimes, it is good to take a break from consuming the constant supply of moving media that bombards us and indulge in a healthy dose of unadulterated literary writing. But relatively speaking, people prefer watching something more to reading lengthy chunks of text. As for myself, I prefer reading books to watching programs on television. Reading affords me with the luxury of letting my imagination take flight. And that is indeed, enjoyable.

I was in the study with my sister one late night. Seemingly distracted by her idle presence, I turned away from the computer and tried to strike up a conversation with her.

I: “Hey, you want to read this book that I have borrowed?”
Aileen: (Looks up from her scab peeling session) “Nope!”
I: “Whoa! I am so tickled by that resolute tone of yours. You really don’t like reading har?”
Aileen: “I read sometimes, especially while traveling on the MRT. But then, I always fall asleep after a few pages.”
I: “Wah liew…”

We giggled.

I: “Aiyah, you! This book is really good. The author writes beautifully! You should read his descriptions man…”

Thinking that I should inspire her interest in the book, I launched into an unsolicited reading of a short descriptive text from the book.

“I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire. I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought. And the cleft lip, just left of midline, where the Chinese doll maker’s instrument may have slipped, or perhaps he had simply grown tired and careless.” (The Kite Runner, Chapter 2, page 3).

I looked up from my book.

I: “Isn’t it really well written? Can you visual Hassan? I can see him in my mind’s eye. So vividly…”
Aileen: “Mmm...Hm…” (answered distractedly and continued to pick on her scab)
Aileen: “Eww…got blood!”
I: “Never listen to what I was reading! Sian lah, you!”
Aileen: “Aiyah, I hate this type of long long description. I always skip paragraphs like these and go straight to the next thing that happens.”
I: “You don’t enjoy savouring every bit of a good book, har?”
Aileen: “Descriptions are boring. I only like to know what happens next. Like, why spend a bloody paragraph describing the door? Just write, ‘She opens the door’ lah! Siao!”

Friday, August 18, 2006

Yang Mi-Kyeong in Singapore

Lady Han in Jewel in the Palace
NUS Extension received Miss Yang Mi-Kyeong (양미경) –Lady Han of Jewel in the Palace (Dae Jang Geum) yesterday during her visit to Singapore. Our Korean class sat in for the short session and there was a brief interaction between the students and the Korean star. Sean was mesmerized and gushed about her beauty. I definitely agree. The dress she wore was awfully pretty too.
Seriously, I have to admit that I am no celebrity fanatic. However, when you meet someone whose beauty awes you, it’s often not so much the physical attributes that enthrall you, but the person’s demeanour and the aura that draws you to her.
A beautiful person carries herself with grace, radiates her goodness and touches people with her presence. Miss Mi-Kyeong is one such person.
However, there is no fixed criterion to judge beauty. Apart from the aforementioned traits, I feel that anyone who is passionate about what she does and has a kind heart is truly a beautiful being.

Snapshots of Miss Yang Mi-kyeong:

A warm reception

Miss Yang Mi-Kyeong (Interacting with students)

Q & A Session

A smiling Miss Mi-Kyeong (darn the lighting!)

Group/ Personal Photos (for my classmates):

Korean Level 3 Class Photo (not everyone's in it)

Some of the gals (while waiting for the session to start)

Teacher Min Jae and I (she's the most infectious and bubbly instructor ever!)


I am mildly upset by something I saw today. But then again, it’s too trivial for me to stop doing my important work and going about the daily chores of life. Still, I never knew I could look so ugly when the professionals are called in. That’s some food for thought. Perhaps that’s what the Chinese idiom “画蛇添足” means.
Plus, hello? I wonder why I am so pre-occupied and lacking sleep when ‘idling’. Sigh…Still, blogging is my reprieve to the drudgery of life and a good cure to my writer’s block.
And on hindsight, I shouldn’t have obliged to go along with the entire enterprise. ARGH! (>_<)

(Special mention: Vik is one of the most passionate and professional stylist I have met and May's really sweet).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

'K'ontemplating Krabi

Cousin Gina took a well-deserved trip to Krabi sometime early this year and when she returned, she not only looked rejuvenated but sang praises of this Thai beach resort. She spoke of affordable spa sessions, lovely beachfront accommodations and sampling local vendor fare. I asked her to load some of the pictures online, or show me her holiday photos. After all, I enjoy viewing travel shots immensely. Unfortunately, both of us forgot about this and I did not pursue her for them.
A Straits Times travel article jolted my memory of Krabi as a great travel destination and my curiosity was once again aroused as I read the brief write-up on it. (see Life! Section, ST, 15 Aug'06)
Apparently, typical photo shots of Krabi show bodies of crystalline water and towers of karst rock jutting out of a picture-perfect bay. The Andaman coast is one of the most stunning in the world, with unusual geographical features and a calm sea and naturally endows Krabi with many picturesque beaches and island spots.
It has been eons since I traveled to parts of South-east Asia (SEA). These places belong to my childhood/ teenage memories when my family took short holidays during our year-end vacations to do some sight-seeing. I think it’s high time I re-discover SEA. For its accessibility, affordability and adventure sports! Think diving, abseiling, kayaking, white water rafting, go-karting, rock climbing… It may be the best time for me to obtain a diving license. Go-karting is also cheaper in Malaysia and Thailand than in Singapore (Jurong). Guess I will pass on the rock climbing for the time being. But marine wonders await me and I can almost hear the call of the ocean in the distance. ;-) Second helpings, Gina? Krabi again?

Pictures of Krabi: (special thanks to:

A Bird's eye view of the awesome scenery of Phi Phi

Golden sands and blue skies in Krabi--who needs an Aussie holiday?

The vibrant turquoise seawater of Maya Bay

An aerial shot of Phi Phi Ley's famous Maya Bay

Diving around Krabi--totally awesome!

Dining at the beach--I am sure it will be even more romantic in the evenings!

Of palms and tinted clouds...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Supergirl Me

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.” ~John Newton (English author and composer)



From my photo taking tendency, I get this feeling that subconsciously, I would like to bear the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s like 天塌下来有杨瑷玮扛
By the way, 杨瑷玮= Yeo Ivy. Something that most people wouldn’t know because it is not reflected on my identification card.

Come on! For someone of my stature, that seems like the last thing I can ever do. Still, it appears that I am more inclined to carry the burden of the world than to have the world at my feet. Ah…Perhaps it’s for a little re-programming. ;-)

World at my feet

Life is always more fun to be the Dr. Evil who stands on a globe and laughs “Muahahaha” (in the most sinister fashion) than to be Mother Theresa in Calcutta swotting tirelessly for the good of Mankind. Perhaps the best way to live life to the fullest comes down to this: Whatever it is, in whatever I do, I should always have a whale of a time! (idealistic?)

Ivy Riding the Waves--Wave Rock @ Hyden (Western Australia)

How Wave Rock looks--the entire stretch of it! WOW!

Daily Trivia:
Wave Rock is 2,700 million years old, 110 m long and 15 m high and formed from solid granite. The vivid bands of colour are the result of millions of years of rain, washing chemical deposits down the sloping face.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Sunny Island!

I belong to the generation of children who can memorise all the national sing-along tunes at the back of my hand. Lyrics of songs like “We are Singapore” are etched into the deepest recesses of my mind that I truly believe, 50 years down the road, I can still belt it out with gusto, no refresher course required.

It goes to show what great foresight our leaders had in indoctrinating, (er, oops), giving us pre-school education which apart from busying the kids with colouring and play-doh sessions, dispenses out candy filled little flags on special occasions like these. How we love getting these goodies. Round pretty colourful chocolates that line the barrel of a miniature version of our country’s flag. Oh how fun it was to wave and listen to the candies jiggling in the tube. Percussion music at its sweetest!

In preparation for the pre-school celebration on the eve of National Day, the children were taught the lyrics of these melodies. And it’s really easy for young minds to remember things—especially when you add a tune to the words. The ‘damage’ done is irreversible. =)

Partly due to the nation building messages in these songs, I learnt in my later years to better appreciate the efforts our government has put in during the post-independence years to build a nation so peaceful and secure for all her citizens. Oh, do you sense patriotism in this blog entry? =)

That said, I affirm that Singapore has entered a GOLDEN era in terms of leadership renewal. The children brought up in the 80s—those who were taught to understand the importance of racial harmony; recognize the sweat, toil and brilliance of our leaders and esteem the importance of sound governance. Children who can still remember the lyrics of the national sing-along tunes before they were corrupted by popular music. These children are ready now to lead the country and take it to greater heights. Of course, the million dollar question still remains: How high is the sky for these children to fly, to reach the highest echelons of the Cabinet, especially when they do not have words like PSC in their resume?

I’ll stop before I end up like a Miss. Brown-ie who attracts MICA (Millions of Intelligent Cute Ants). So, here's a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beloved country! Stay sunny! (*cheers bimbotically--yea*)

On a very very sad note: My laptop DIED on me. It doesn't even respond when I press the 'ON' button. HOW? (*tears flowing like rivers down cheeks*) Prepare for burial or ask the bomoh to revive it? Sob... I am broke. Cyber begging may be the way to go...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Welcome Share Bear!

A new addition to my Happy family of huggable cuties! Her name is Share Bear and she's a sweet lilac Care Bear. Muah muah!!

Group Photo:

Care Bears! (from left: Cheer Bear, Share Bear and Funshine Bear)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

i. robot

Modeling is a tough profession.

It’s tough mainly because it’s one of the most boring jobs you can ever have. Why do so many top models fall from grace, snort cocaine and get anorexic?
Mainly because they engage in the 3Ps all the time. Paint, pose and party.

Paint—boring! You sit around, opening your eyes, shutting them while the make-up artists put on layers of gunk of your face.
Pose—put on clothes, then do what the photographer and stylist tell you to do. Tilt your head, smile, act cool, put your hand here, and put your leg there.
Party—you get invites to places, mainly because they want the event to be bustling with people (good looking ones too). You network and try to get more assignments then.

If you wire your brain up, the only time the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine detects signs of brain activity would in the last mode—Party. That’s before the free flow of booze and bubbly reduces one to an incoherent mess.

I went through Paint and Pose today. And it almost killed me. First, after phase 1, I cannot even recognize myself anymore. What the heck? Who’s the monster looking back at me in the mirror? Sian…Then, I started sulking…

Next, I turned out to be robot when I entered phase 2. And a stupid one too.

Unfortunately, I am not a real model, so I was ‘spared’ the last phase. But, that might have been the best stage of the 3, won’t it?

Things I have learnt today:
1) Modeling is a tough profession. [Then again, I can never qualify]
2) I DO NOT like to wear heavy make-up. I think I look worse…Yucks, pui!
3) I prefer my natural straight hair.
4) Being natural makes one prettier.
5) I am a robot when it comes to posing. And posing is tiring. Hate photo-taking.

So there, this website will never become a photo-oriented blog.

Here are some photos after I wipe off most of the eyeliner:

Yea, they curled my hair...First time I have curls

Curls and a beret...

Fun shot! At least I enjoy this one.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Furry Aspirations

I woke up with a startled in the wee hours of the morning. Was roused from my sleep by the most bizarre dream that I had.
Apparently, in my dreams, I was in the thick of a ‘Teddy Bear’ demonstration.
All the cutest teddy bears were holding up placards and walking around protesting for their rights. They didn’t look angry nor did they make a din. However, they exhibited collective action to request for more freedom and lots of care and concern. From whom? I wandered around staring into all of their faces, thinking to myself how cute they look—even when they are seriously fighting their cause. (they all look like those super expensive, limited collection, hand-stitched teddies from high-end boutiques--which I can't afford)
That’s when I suddenly opened my eyes and immediately thought to myself, “What the heck was that?”
I pondered about the possible reasons why I dreamt of this really weird stuff. Maybe I haven’t giving my furry friends much attention. No hugs and kisses, no cuddling. No heart to heart talks. They must be ‘upset’ by my neglect.
Still, I think I have so many bears and stuff toys on my bed that I kick them to the floor sometimes. They must be articulating their displeasure.
Hm… Then, I drifted off to slumberland again.

Three's a crowd--yea, I buy all my huggies clothes. [from left: Jerry the snowman, Tommy the polar bear, Emmanuel my fave bear]

Daily Trivia:
We only remember certain dreams and sleep scientists estimate that we forget about 95 to 99% of our dreams. We forget our dreams quickly because we're not really "awake" when we dream -- our brains aren't functioning at their highest level. The ones we remember usually occur just before we wake up, or have some special significance in our daily life.

Sugar and spice, not at all nice

10 minutes ago, I wanted to say that “I love sugar donuts! Yum!” After taking the last mouthful, my stomach feels queasy. Must be the sugar overload. For someone who does not eat sugar on its own, my stomach must have been screaming bloody murder. Now, I feel ill as hell as and mighty uncomfortable. It’s really sickeningly sweet. Belch!
Guess I should have just taken 3 bites. And will feel satisfied instead of nauseous. Darn, my gluttony and that evil 甜甜圈.
Too much of a good thing can be bad. Unless of cos, it’s money.

Sweetened treat--makes me sick

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Book to Read--The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The book!

Editorial Review by Gisele Toueg

In his debut novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini accomplishes what very few contemporary novelists are able to do. He manages to provide an educational and eye-opening account of a country's political turmoil--in this case, Afghanistan--while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over. And he does this on his first try.

The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")

Some of the plot's turns and twists may be somewhat implausible, but Hosseini has created characters that seem so real that one almost forgets that The Kite Runner is a novel and not a memoir. At a time when Afghanistan has been thrust into the forefront of America's collective consciousness ("people sipping lattes at Starbucks were talking about the battle for Kunduz"), Hosseini offers an honest, sometimes tragic, sometimes funny, but always heartfelt view of a fascinating land. Perhaps the only true flaw in this extraordinary novel is that it ends all too soon.

Fabulous Beginning!

What a beautiful day this is! The rain is still falling softly outside, the air is cool and the birds woke up a little later than usual from their slumber and chirp happily. And the best gift to start my day is a phone call!
I am going to meet Mike Ellis this week!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whee……
Nope, he’s not a superstar, but he’s a SUPER man who will safeguard the interest of the superstars! I am so happy. Ok, how about, simply ecstatic. I hope I don’t say anything stupid when I meet up with him. In conversation with Mike Ellis. WOW!
And then it’s down to IPOS again, this time for a dialogue session. All in a week’s work. Wonderfully busy life, but who’s complaining? Especially when you can see Mike and Edward….August is definitely the golden month for me!

adopt your own virtual pet!