Monday, October 30, 2006

Weaseling Out of a Sticky Situation

If you have time to spare on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and do not mind giving your heart a healthy dose of anger-induced workout, you may choose to follow the latest local saga that is still raging in cyberspace.

Documentation of blog entries:
A tale of 2 Wees

Interesting follow-ups:
Rich dad, poor daddy

Youtube parody of saga

Here’s my 2 cents’ worth on this issue:

1. You can be critical but not downright mean.

2. You are entitled to your personal opinions but don’t take to name-calling others (e.g. Crackpots, wretched leeches…).

3. It’s unfortunate that you have to clean up your child’s shit but since you have assumed the role of the fire fighter, just grin and bear it. Never do it grudgingly.

4. A blotched apology is worse than burrowing your face in the sand till the worst is over.

5. Money is a sensitive issue. People get angry when you tell them gloatingly that they are the lesser beings, sad losers. Sure doesn’t help when these losers' money contributes to your fat wallet.

6. Elitism is nicely expressed on programs like “The finer side”. Subtlety is the key.

7. Blog at your own risk. You never know when someone might take offence at whatever crap you wrote.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

I am a darn waffle

You know the book by John Gray entitled “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus”? Well, I have not read it. Don’t think I would too. I would browse perhaps, but nope, not gonna pore over that one.

I chanced upon this other book along similar lines by Bill and Farrel called “Men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti” in Aileen’s room.

And yes, it’s another book that seeks to bring about the understanding between the sexes.

Essentially, the authors explain why a man is like a waffle (each element of his life is in a separate box), why a woman is like spaghetti (everything in her life touches everything else), and what these differences mean. Then they show readers how to achieve more satisfying relationships. It draws on biblical insights, sound research, humorous anecdotes, and real–life stories to make this guide entertaining and practical.

Well, it makes for light browsing, but I am never really attracted to reading this sort of relationship improvement books. I think that it is fallacious to believe that people of the two gender fall into just these two distinct categories.

Apparently, my profile falls under that of being a human waffle.

Why? A waffle is very focused when engaged in a certain activity. Social scientists call this behaviour “compartmentalization”—that is, putting life and responsibilities into different compartments.

I think many close friends and family members have found me rather exasperating company. Especially when I am working.

Reasons I am a “waffle”:

1. I am a problem solver. I enter a situation, size up the problem and then formulate a solution.

2. In communication, I look for the bottom line and get there as quickly as possible. After thinking it over mentally.

3. I take a "success" approach to communication. I am highly motivated to converse if I believe the outcome will be successful. If I feel the conversation is heading nowhere, I shut up and do other stuff.

Looks like I am too pragmatic.
But I find that it’s simply idiotic to analyze a problem to death when certain things are just apparent.

Famous Example:

Women tend to analyze their men and the actions they do. And come up with 10 reasons why he didn’t call after the first date.
As for me, the answer is simple. NOT INTERESTED enough.
Cos even if that fella is thick, ill-mannered or just too shy, if he was interested enough, he will ask you out again.
Simple logic. Yet, some women tend to connect apparently isolated facts then process the entire situation by interlinking all these facts together. What a terrible mess. And a very inaccurate one too!
So, like a rational little waffle, I tell my girlfriends not to their waste time over analyzing such stuff.
"Go get your beauty sleep, wake up looking like a fairy and get better dates in future!" I will urge.

That’s me. The waffle. Life’s a lot better this way.

Are waffles poor analyzers, and shallow thinkers? Nah…in fact, they have more time to do the really important stuff.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

I have a dream…

A nightmare, that is.

I dreamt that I had eyelashes so long that I could not handle them anymore. I was shocked at my state of follicle abundance and was trying to find a pair of scissors to trim them. But first, a comb to untangle the mess.

What a hair-raising sleep!!!

I guess it must be my subconscious on overdrive.

The bizarre beauty treatment of this week is: EYELASH TRANSPLANT!

Fret not if you have stumpy lashes.
No longer do you have to waste time (sleep time that can be used to REALLY make you look beautiful) gluing fake eyelashes to your lids.
Eyelash extensions need so much monthly maintenance, and you hate the thought of your bank account bleeding away indefinitely to keep up your expensive indulgence.

Enter eyelash transplants.

Using procedures pioneered by the hair loss industry for balding men, surgeons are using "plug and sew" techniques to give women long, sweeping lashes once achieved only by glued on extensions and thick lashings of mascara..

And just like human hair -- for that is the origin -- these lashes just keep on growing.
"Longer, thicker lashes are a ubiquitous sign of beauty. Eyelash transplantation does for the eyes what breast augmentation does for the figure," said Dr Alan Bauman, a leading proponent of eyelash transplants.

"This is a brand new procedure for the general public (and) it is going to explode," Bauman told Reuters during what was billed as the world's first live eyelash surgery workshop for about 40 surgeons from around the world.

Under the procedure, a small incision is made at the back of the scalp to remove 30 or 40 hair follicles which are carefully sewn one by one onto the patient's eyelids. Only light sedation and local anesthetics are used and the cost is around $3,000 an eye.

The technique was first confined to patients who had suffered burns or congenital malformations of the eye. But word spread and about 80 percent are now done for cosmetic reasons.

For many women, eyelash surgery is simply an extra item on the vast nip tuck menu that has lost its old taboos.
More than 10 million cosmetic procedures -- from tummy tucks to botox -- were performed in the United States in 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The figure represents a 38 percent increase over the year 2000.

Erica Lynn, 27, a Florida model with long auburn hair, breast implants and a nose job, had eyelash transplants three years ago because she was fed up with wearing extensions on her sandy-colored lashes.

"When I found out about it, I just had to have it done. Everyone I mention it to wants it. I think eyelashes are awesome. You can never have enough of them," Lynn said.

Bauman, who practices in Florida, does about three or four a month. Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, a Northern California hair restoration surgeon, says she has been inundated by requests.

"I have been getting a ton of eyelash inquiries ... If I had $10 dollars for every consultation, I'd be a rich woman."

The surgery is not for everyone. The transplanted eyelashes grow just like head hair and need to be trimmed regularly and sometimes curled. Very curly head hair makes for eyelashes with too much kink.


Together people, 1 2 3, Ewww…

So this is the cause of my scary dream last night! I just cannot imagine giving my lashes their monthly ‘haircut’. Or looking like this:

Sometimes, I wonder, when will the pursuit for physical perfection ever stop? Is it a simple case of pure human vanity? Is it a continuous effort to increase our self esteem or is it just an inability to live with our Real selves?

The story above is taken from Yahoo! News.
For the full story and video clip, click on this link:

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sudden death

I am sorry to learn of my friend’s father sudden demise. He was found sleeping by a member of the family. My heart goes out to my friend. In fact, I feel upset by the news.

Our local media has in recent times been running a series of advertisements to increase society’s awareness of hospice care and its patients. I remembered making a personal comment about that.

I would rather, like a hospice patient, live out the remaining of my life knowing the estimated time of my eventual death.

True. The suffering would be prolonged, the fear of impending death scary, and the sorrow of leaving my loved ones painful. But, there will be certainty in the knowledge of my departure. And like a deadline, I can work out my plans around the timeline.

Tie up loose ends, tell everyone of significance that I love them, give them hugs, talk to them, arrange for my funeral details. Write a short will and spend my money meaningfully. If there was enough time, I want to travel a bit. At least allow me the privilege of making it to Alaska to see the Northern Lights.

I rather suffer more than leave this world abruptly. Selfish as it may seem (since others suffer alongside a terminally ill person and savings will be depleted at alarming rates for treatment purposes), I really want to die after receiving an issued notice. The ideal situation would be that God tells us the age we will leave for his Kingdom. Wouldn’t we all speed up our pace and try to do everything we desire?

But that’s impossible. So wise men adhere to the maxim of "Making the most out of each day." (I almost wanted to say "Carpe Diem" but it is not as accurate).

A wake-up call for me indeed.
PS:And nope, I shan't touch on the fragility of life today, that's too heavy...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One shouldn’t attempt to read too much…especially online

I was browsing through a very credible blog written by a group of intelligent women. Well-written entries aside, I scrolled down the links of sites they ‘recommend’ (or follow themselves).

Consummate authors are inclined towards equally good writings. Right? NO…

Wrong assumption.

This particular link is awful. Not in the literary sense. But the content is immoral.

Crap, I am such a prude. But still, it is disconcerting to actually read about the sexual exploits of a gang-bang partaker, who is living life in the hard and fast lane of Singapore.

Call me a late bloomer, but certain words are not found in my rather expansive vocabulary. Till much, much later. Take today’s encounter for one.

Apparently the pursuit of enlightenment doesn’t always lead me to Nirvana. Since the pursuit is a never-ending journey, sometimes, the path I stumble upon introduces me to a scintillating world of debauchery. A realm I never knew existed. A world plagued with depraved values and one which engages in repugnant activities.

I don’t lie; I am fascinated with the on-goings that takes place in this land of merry-making. I peered in from outside, and observe for a while. It’s repulsive reality playing on this channel. Freaky, crazy, true.

This itinerant moves on soon after. It exists, now I know. But this is not my paradise.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Afternoon Ennui

The mid-day shower brings reprieve to the haze that plagues our region. And I am trying my best to keep awake…

Formula One News:
Brazil 22 October 2006, Interlagos

Felipe Massa is on pole position for his home Grand Prix, but qualifying was no cause for celebration for Ferrari, as Michael Schumacher will start only 10th on the grid in his final race - one he must win if he is to stand any chance of leaving with an eighth world title.

All morning, and all through the first two sessions of qualifying, Ferrari seemed a shoe-in for the front row of the grid, as Schumacher and Massa traded fastest times. But when the cars streamed out for the final session, Schumacher’s stammered and banged its way round its sole lap with a fuel feed problem, before heading to the pits where it remained.So, while Massa celebrated, Schumacher had a long face, surely proof that he had not really conceded his drivers’ title hopes at all. The fuel problem ruined his chances, and dropped him immediately to 10th place on the grid.Between the two Ferraris there are plenty of fast cars, the one driven by his arch-rival, Fernando Alonso, in fourth place after the Spaniard’s best lap of 1m 11.567s for Renault. He is separated from Massa by Kimi Raikkonen from McLaren and Jarno Trulli from Toyota. With Ralf Schumacher seventh on 1m 11.695s, ahead of the BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld (1m 11.882s) and Robert Kubica (1m 12.131s), the battle for fifth place in the constructors’ championship is as hot as that between Renault and Ferrari for overall honours.

So, the scene is set for an epic race, with Massa torn between an understandable desire for victory on his home ground and his wish to help his team mate to retire with yet another championship crown; and Alonso needing to play a sensible game while keeping clear of any threat from Michael. It could hardly be a better script.

As for myself, I will stay updated for the results of the F1 race. If Ferrari wins the constructor’s title, or Schumi comes in first, I will don on my Ferrari shirt and bomber jacket to dance the boogie woogie. =P
And take a goofy pic while I am at it. Now, that’s will be a darn interesting follow-up to the victory, won’t it?

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

God of Small Things…Sprinkle the Seeds of Contentment

It’s been a terrible weekend so far. I have been feeling rather crabby all night. However, I don’t take it out on people when I am in any sort of foul mood. Usually it takes like a few hours for the ill feelings to dissipate. In the meantime, I tend to keep to myself and read stuff.

I once was a naïve little girl who thought herself as an unhappy person. I was painfully trying to calculate the number of instances I felt happy. In a day, there are 24 hours, 18 of which I am awake. So, taking 18 x 7 (days a week), there are potentially 126 hours for me to experience a state of bliss.
When I did the sums, I was appalled to discover that I was greatly lacking in the happiness quotient. Sometimes, I wonder whether I was even happy for 1 full hour in a week.
Was my definition of happiness too unattainable? Or is my life really devoid of mirth?
Upset, I sought to rationalize my perceived predicament.

Then, an accidental encounter with a sage lifted my rain cloud.

Me: I think I am chronically unhappy. Do you think you are a happy person?
Sage: I am neither happy nor unhappy most of the time.
Me: Ah, isn’t it difficult to capture happiness then?
Sage: We can’t experience happiness all the time. In fact, not being unhappy is good enough.
Me: How can it be good enough? (I felt indignant)
Sage: It is. I don’t feel particularly happy, but I feel contented. That in itself is a type of happiness.

A wave of realization hit me. The source of my affliction: I was too greedy.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Eat me, I smell yummy! --The Body Shop Satsuma Body Lotion

It’s time for Friday’s Beauty products review again. Seriously, I think this is my most bimbotic column of the week, but then again, the beauty industry is a thriving one. And since I personally test all the products I put up, a little sharing with the ladies and metrosexuals who read my blog should hurt, right?

Satsuma Body Lotion 250ml @ $15.90 SGD and
Perfume Oil 15ml @ $24.90 SGD
Note: 10% discount for members. Good to stock up over the Christmas season when there is a sale.
Available: All Body Shop outlets worldwide.

This is one of the lotions that I like to slather onto my skin after an evening shower.
It is lightweight, unlike the Body Butters series and it smells HEAVENLY!

When I use it, I am perked up almost instantly. The zesty fragrance of oranges refreshes tired and unhappy souls. Which is why, whenever you are feeling slightly depressed, you should go smell the oranges or any kind of citrus fruits. Better still, eat them!

In tropical Singapore, we don’t really need heavy duty moisturizers, unlike in temperate countries. So, this body lotion hydrates the skin well enough. It also contains Community Trade organic soya oil that softens the skin.

Unless I want to sleep immediately, I will switch to using my Lavender Body Lotion. If not, this yummy lotion is absolutely great to enliven my senses!
After application, I will dab the Satsuma perfume oil (from the same range—and it’s alcohol-free) to my pulses and leave my room smelling like a fruit.

Ah…the affordable little pleasures of life.

Daily Trivia:

Satsuma is commonly called mikan in Japan. Satsuma is the word used the United Kingdom (Body Shop is of UK origin), and clementine or tangerine in Canada. In the United States, satsumas are most frequently marketed as tangerines. Ah, a fruit by any other name will smell as sweet!

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Friday, October 20, 2006

What's Simple Is True

The Little Prince

The excerpt below is my favourite chapter in “The Little Prince”.
It’s actually a children’s book but ironically, only grown-ups can truly understand the meaning behind the story.
But some adults have not fully grasped the meaning of life, friendship and love. This story helps to bring these intangible stuff into perspective.

Read the chapter below slowly in a conducive environment. I am sure you will find your answer to some questions you have been seeking.

Chapter Setting:

The Little Prince is a being from an asteroid known as B-612. He took care of a beautiful rose and loved her dearly while he was there. He thought she was the one and only in this world. Upon his visit to Earth, he realized that there are in fact, many roses like her around. He was upset to learn that she was not ‘special’ nor ‘unique’. He had a common rose after all!

He started crying…


It was then that the fox appeared.

"Good morning," said the fox.
"Good morning," the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.
"I am right here," the voice said, "under the apple tree."

"Who are you?" asked the little prince, and added, "You are very pretty to look at."
"I am a fox," the fox said.
"Come and play with me," proposed the little prince. "I am so unhappy."
"I cannot play with you," the fox said. "I am not tamed."
"Ah! Please excuse me," said the little prince.

But, after some thought, he added:
"What does that mean--'tame'?"
"You do not live here," said the fox. "What is it that you are looking for?"
"I am looking for men," said the little prince. "What does that mean--'tame'?"

"Men," said the fox. "They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?"

"No," said the little prince. "I am looking for friends. What does that mean--'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."
"'To establish ties'?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . ."

"I am beginning to understand," said the little prince. "There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me."

"It is possible," said the fox. "On the Earth one sees all sorts of things."
"Oh, but this is not on the Earth!" said the little prince.
The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.
"On another planet?"
"Are there hunters on that planet?"
"Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?"
"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.

But he came back to his idea.
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder?

I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . ."

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

"Please--tame me!" he said.
"I want to, very much," the little prince replied. "But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand."

"One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox. "Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . ."

"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ."

The next day the little prince came back.

"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites."

"What is a rite?" asked the little prince.

"Those also are actions too often neglected," said the fox. "They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all."

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you . . ."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"

"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added:
"Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

"You are not at all like my rose," he said. "As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world."

And the roses were very much embarassed.

"You are beautiful, but you are empty," he went on. "One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.

And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . ."

"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

Excerpt from the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

View of the World through Tinted Vision

Disclaimer: Nope, this is not a post on racial discrimination. But yes, it is still colour coded.

I have dark eyes. Very dark eyes. I once thought my eyes were black, but then again, no one has black eyes (unless he has been punched). Asians have dark brown irises framing their black pupils.

When I smile, it seems like the whites around my eyes diminish and they turn all dark.
When I glare, a visible glint flashes across the dark orbs.

The point, however, is that I don’t really care much about the colour of my eyes. Sure, Nicole Kidman’s piercing blue eyes are striking, but then again; big or small, brown or blue, as long as they are expressive, I find them very beautiful.

Then, one fine day… I sold out.

Blame it on advertising, blame it on media exposure, blame it on a moment of weakness, blame it on vanity. Blame it on a certain Girl from Mars who made colored contacts cool. And it wasn’t that expensive to experiment a little. So, I went to my optician and bought my first box of contacts for $25 SGD. Warm Hazel Brown coloured contacts.

Mind you, I have very sensitive eyes. They tear whenever any foreign object is used around them—especially eyeliners. And remember? I can never aim eye drops into my eyes accurately. So how in the world am I ever going to don on contact lens? I have been wearing spectacles all my life! (most of the time, I just don't wear glasses at all, cos I am not very myopic)

To cut the long story short, I managed to put them onto my eyeballs after several tries and WOW! I was initially skeptical that those flimsy soft lens can change my eyes from virtually black to a light brown. I am impressed. My eyes looked significantly different. I felt my cool factor rise from a negligible 0.05 to a 3.

And many people found the change rather refreshing. Maybe I have been too drab. Apparently, the hazel eyed girl gets more fun than the ‘black’ eyed girl.

Soon, the novelty wore off—from my side. What originally felt like an ego trip to look like the lady from Venus quickly took a downward plunge. A tiny voice nags softly at my conscience. “Phony, phony phony…” it whispers. I tried to ignore it. After all, I reasoned that I had to get my 25 bucks’ worth of wear before discarding them 1 month later.

Unbeknownst to me, the trigger will pulled shortly after to end this internal struggle. I was in a public restroom washing my hands when I looked up. A girl with reddish hazel eyes stared back at me. Her eyes felt mighty uncomfortable and scratchy. If they could talk, they would be screaming in agony for oxygen for all and sundry to hear.

That was the moment of truth. That image of myself. The freak with reddish hazel coloured eyes.

I wanted to peel the contacts out from my eyes on the spot and flush them down the toilet bowl with aplomb.
But since my actual cool factor was 0.05 (out of 10), I kept them on and gingerly took them off when I got home.

It’s ironic that I saw things more clearly without the coloured lens. I saw the stupidity of it all. Those lenses are too artificial to look natural. We can all spot phonies from a mile. A change in eye colour may add interest and draw attention to ourselves but at the end of the day, who are we fooling? Our vain pretentious selves. Let me reel over and puke at myself.

Don’t get me wrong:
** I DO NOT mind people wearing coloured lenses. I have absolutely nothing against them.

It’s a personal thing. I Just Cannot Bring Myself to Live a Lie.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Thieves and Sisters in Crime


Watched this movie with Aileen yesterday. It’s a laugh-a-minute type of movie. The kind that veers dangerously on the brink of slapstick humour but it nevertheless had both of us up in stitches. In fact, we were squealing in peals of laughter for the most part of the show that my jaw felt awfully sore from those uncontrollable facial contractions. Ouch! I left the theatre feeling that my abdominal muscles had a good work-out and am 1 step closer to fab abs (yea, dream on)…

Anyway, the antics and storyline are obviously too over-the-top to be realistic. Moreover, it was yet another mapcap mission driven action flick. Yet, the ingenuity of it lies in the ability to turn the banal into amusement for the audience. Needless to say, the ending was just as predictable, with the trio of robbers turning over a new leaf, reconciling with their families and yes, the baby survives to lead a cushy life of a ‘prince’.

I was impressed with Jackie Chan’s stunts. The fight scenes are well choreographed, appropriate for each setting and damn daredevil. That guy truly deserves to be filthy rich, for every one of all the life-endangering moves he executes. No wonder he feels his biological son (Jaycee Chan) can never measure up.

This adorable little tyke, baby Matthew, stole the show just for looking so CUTE! I can heard periodic gushes of “aww…so cute” coming from some corner in the theatre. His eyes can simply melt hearts and render many his willing slaves. Jackie Chan held an audition to find a baby for this movie and no babe (out of the 1000 who turned up) caught his fancy. This kid was approached at a train station. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. He is of Chinese, Russian (on his father's side) and Columbian (on his mother's side) descent. I am sure more commercials deals will come knocking on his door.

It’s interesting to note that dogs, and animals, in general fetch a significantly better price when they are PUREBRED.
Humans, on the other hand, have more value when they are of mixed descent. 杂种人万岁! Oops! Sorry, 混血儿-Nice!

It was a nice day out with Aileen though. I wanted to go and see some Salvador Dali sculptures that were supposed to be on display till 14 October. But they have already taken them back… Sigh…

Profile of Time

Alice in Wonderland

Space Venus

After that, we went for dinner and had affordable ‘Japanese’ fare at the basement of Cineleisure. I told her that since I brought the camera out (originally for the Dali’s sculptures), we might as well take some shots.

Ivy: Oui, let’s take some photos, or else, I would have lugged this around in vain. The Straits Times wrote that the Salvador Dali exhibition is till tomorrow. ARGH!!!
Aileen: Ok.

Snapped a few shots.

Coy Aileen

Ivy with her rice cake
Ivy: You on drugs har? Hand so shaky. Look at my pictures. Like that cannot be surgeon. =( I more steady.
Aileen: Yea, I think so too. That's why I never apply for Medical School.
Ivy: Eww… I looked a bit weird. How come liddat?
Aileen: Seriously, your camera is a pretty good one. If there’s something wrong with the face, I cannot do anything about that.

Ivy: Ok, let’s take 1 goofy shot. More fun.

And so…
We Eat Our Greens!!!

Yep, we are a crazy pair of sistas. Picture perfect shots? No way! Photoshop? No thanks.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Beauty product of the week: Meiji Amino Collagen

Truth be told, consuming collagen on its own for beauty purposes sounds like fishy business. For one, collagen molecules are large and they do not readily reach the dermis layer of our skin. So, it’s tough to apply ‘collagen enriched’ creams topically. What about eating it?

I think that’s a better option. Eat juicy pork bellies, chomp down fish cartilage and slurp up all the shark fin’s soup your money can buy. That’s one way to obtain a good supply of collagen. But then again, it doesn’t sound feasible, unless one is on a massive weight gain plan or is filthy rich.
Well, we can opt for cheaper and more convenient alternatives.

This product is an oral supplement containing fish-derived collagen peptides which are lower in molecular weight form (1/60th the size of original collagen molecules).

1 spoonful contains:
450 mg of amino acid, arginine, that revitalizes bare skin
5000 mg of collagen peptides
60 mg of glucosamine
50 mg of Vitamin C

1 tin: 28 days supply. 1 spoonful per day.
Price: $58 SGD
Available at :Watsons, Guardian and other leading pharmacies.

How to consume:
Mix powder with any beverage or yoghurt. I would recommend that you do not take it together with caffeinated drinks as it would interfere with the absorption of Vitamin C.

My method:

Step 1: Have orange juice ready
Step 2: Scoop out 1 level spoonful of collagen

Step 3: Pour the powder into the juice
Step 4: Stir quickly and try to mix it well
You can mash the clumps against the cup and stir the mixture more thoroughly.
The collagen is virtually tasteless, so you feel like you are simply drinking orange juice.
Does it really work?

Results to date:
Well, 2 tins and counting, I would say, my skin is more well-balanced. That means, less oily, more hydrated.
Visible results include: Less acne outbreaks, no peeling corners of the mouth anymore (happens very often to me) and wrinkles?
I scrutinized. Originally, there was a small line below my right eye. And it has faded considerably. Now, don’t you roll your eyeballs. Eyes are the windows to our souls. You don’t want to have a crummy window frame, do you?
As for suppleness, I have yet to register any real results. My cheeks are no longer sunken in, but I suspect that’s a sign of putting on weight instead of being firm and supple. Hm…
Other benefits: Because it contains glucosamine, I do not have the occasional pain in my knee cap anymore. (Yea, I am an old lady).
Still, nothing in this world is a miracle product, save for surgical procedures. So, there’s a need to possess patience when trying out non-invasive beauty methods.
Healthy eating makes up healthy living. Since we are what we eat, sometimes there is indeed a need to include supplements to make up for certain foods that we cannot cover in our 3 daily meals.

So yea, hopefully, this product will reap me long term benefits and that’s when I can proudly say, “The secret to my beauty? I swallow.”

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

One way to increase personal wealth: List your company

Ms. Cheung Yan, founder and chairwoman of top Chinese paper packager Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd.

A woman has topped a list of China's richest people for the first time, elbowing past two-time leader Huang Guangyu of GOME Electrical Appliances and a coterie of CEOs at old-economy government enterprises.

Cheung Yan's company listed shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March, becoming one of scores of companies based on the mainland that have been enriched by international investors' fervor for Chinese assets. The company recently saw its share price surge after reporting that its fiscal 2006 net profit more than quadrupled to 1.375 billion yuan, or $174 million.

Newly minted billionaire Cheung Yan (Zhang Yan) -- the 49 year-old founder and chairwoman of top Chinese paper packager Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. -- saw her fortune balloon nine-fold to US$3.4 billion boosted by her firm's March initial public offering.

The entrepreneur, who controlled 72 percent of Nine Dragons as of August 31, has lapped up a 165 percent rally in the company's stock, according to an annual survey compiled by Rupert Hoogewerf, who pioneered a list for Forbes. She is the first businesswoman to top this annual list.

Cheung's stellar ascent is rare in a country whose largest corporations is state-owned or run by well-connected male executives.

Her personal wealth leapt from US$375 million last year, when she was logged as number 36 in the survey, surpassing appliances king Huang Guanyu's US$2.5 billion, according to the report.
Huang, chairman of GOME -- the country's top retailer of household electronics -- had topped the list in 2005 for the second consecutive year, with a fortune of US$1.7 billion.
The man who started his career with $500 and a Beijing roadside stall hawking radios and gadgets built GOME into a multi-billion dollar empire spanning nearly 100 cities across the country.
The number of Chinese billionaires on increased from 3 in 2003 to 7 in 2005 then climbed to 13 as of 2006.
On a personal note:
I am getting increasingly irritated by our local media’s tendency to cover feature stories of local men and husbands attraction to foreign women, namely China ladies. We read about it on the STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print) website and the Sunday Times. We watch talkshows discussing this topic on television. Bloody beaten to death topic. Not only is it stale, it’s totally unenlightening. China has the world’s largest population. It will not be surprising if the number of intelligent, sophisticated, independent and well-to-do ladies far exceeds Singapore’s population. So, quit it! Enough of unsavoury peidu mamas, money grubbing China brides and husband snatching mistresses…

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Of Steve, Chad, Larry & Sergey—wherein is there a tech bubble?

Google Inc has sealed a US$1.65 billion deal to acquire You from the lads Steve Chen and Chad Hurley.

Now, that’s the main reason I stand by my philosophy: Geeks are more attractive.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Stunned: Schumi’s Scorched at Suzuka!

Alonso steals title stranglehold

Alonso gave Schumacher a run for his money at the latest Grand Prix held at Suzuka, Japan. He was the smooth operator of the day, fighting up from fifth on the grid to take victory in the Japanese Grand Prix from Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella. Yea, despite his recent whining of the Renault team’s focus on winning the constructors' championship and ‘sabotaging’ his drivers' crown, Alonso has turned that into determination to gain the one-upmanship against his rival from Ferrari.

Ferrari looked all set for a one-two finish in Japan after Michael Schumacher swept past team mate Felipe Massa in the opening stages and proceeded to build a healthy lead. All that changed on lap 37 when smoke began to pour from the rear of Schumacher’s car, forcing the German to a halt with an apparent engine failure. It was the German's first engine failure since 2001, coming at the worst possible moment.

Alonso then cruised into the lead as Schumacher looked philosophical as he trudged back to the pits. Mark Webber meanwhile tried to steal the headlines with a spectacular slide and crash in the tyre barrier in the final corner. All that was left was for Alonso to stroll to his seventh victory of the season and the fifteenth of his career ahead of Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Alonso's victory puts him ten points ahead of Schumacher meaning that all he needs to in Brazil is score one point to be sure of his second championship. For Schumacher there is a faint glimmer of hope, but to take the title he will need to win in Brazil and will need Alonso to not score any points. So, unless Alonso’s Renault gets too hot to handle in Brazil…Schumacher will not end his career on a high note. =''(

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Low-maintenance Beauty Tips

This bottle of Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly is indeed a multi-purpose hardworking formula that every dressing table should never lack.

It’s going for $1.95 for a 49g bottle. Definitely a value-for-money buy and it lasts!

Apart using it on minor cuts, scrapes and burns as prescribed on the bottle, there are several ways to use this really effective skincare product.

Ways to use:

1. Method: Dab a little (size of 2 rice grains) onto a stick of cotton bud and apply it over your lips before you sleep.
Results: Wake up to petal soft lips the next morning! No more dry chapped lips and you have officially prepped your puckers for your lippies and glosses!

2. Method: Apply the product (size of a five-cent coin) onto your pair of dry hands. Spread evenly and massage the product in. Leave to absorb, or even better, put on a pair of cotton gloves after application and retire to bed.
Results: Smooth soft hands that are lovely to hold.

3. Method: Apply the product (size of a ten-cent coin) to each foot. Rub it all over (foot and sole) paying special attention to the heels. Take this as an opportunity to give your feet a massage—a great form of DIY reflexology! I prefer to wear a pair of cotton socks over my feet immediately after. After around 15 minutes, the greasiness is gone and you can take the socks off.
Results: No more cracked heels. And, of cos, pretty shoes should be worn on pretty feet! Without the latter, it wouldn’t be wise to draw undue attention to them.

4. Method: Apply a little (size of half a rice grain) onto a stick of cotton bud and apply it onto your top and lower lashes.
Results: Lashes grow longer and thicker. Cheap alternative to Lipocils (recommended last Friday). And it works! Highly recommended by celebrities and those who have tried it.

Since this is a multi-purpose product, I strongly advise users to practice good hygiene habits. Try to scoop out the required amount and do not dip the same end of the used cotton bud or unclean fingers into the bottle for second helpings. This will prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of the petroleum jelly.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Befuddled Humphreys

Samuel helped me obtained an autographed set of Neil Humphreys. Neil visited two universities on consecutive days to give short talks and hawk his books. Yea, he’s moving from Singapore to Australia and I am sure he will pen more hilarious anecdotes of his scuffles with poisonous Taipans and roo poo boots cleaning Sundays.

I have long heard of his famed ‘Notes from an Even Smaller Island’ which presents a warts and all view of our little red dot of an island. Following the success of the former is his sequel entitled ‘Scribbles from the Same Island’. By then, he was making a living by being a columnist with Singapore’s TODAY newspaper. To 'raise money' for his relocation plans, he decided once again to put his talent to good use and published his last Singapore related book ‘Final Notes from a Great Island’.

Truth be told, before my personal purchase, I never read any of his books. Blame it on the ‘oh so hot’ waiting list reserving these books at the National Library. Or my penchant for non-fiction business and self improvement books. Point is, I never got down to reading his humorous scrutiny of the oddballs in Singapore.
Still, his bundled pack of three books for $36 (with an autograph thrown in) sounds like a reasonable deal. And, they would make good material for light reading on days I scour my personal library for a quick perk-me-up.

The pleasant surprise:
Neil personally autographed all 3 books! (That’s a nice gesture) And there’s a slightly different message in each of them.

Autograph in 'Notes from an Even Smaller Island'

Autograph in 'Scribbles from the Same Island'

The bummer:
Message in his last autograph…

SAMUEL TAN! WHATCA told Neil???!!!!
Samuel’s not my little brother. I only have 1 cute younger sister. Hm…Aileen, should I trade you for Sam? Sounds like a smashing idea.

Samuel with Neil.

Shucks! Wish I took a picture with Mr. Humphreys. I'll definitely strike up an equally goofy pose for the photo too.
Yes, Neil's the man. Funny, goofy, and nice.

So long, farewell!
XOXO, An even tinier Ivy from the tiny Sunny Singapura.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I don’t game because...

Aileen and I tried to play this simple game involving clicking your mouse below a tennis
ball to bounce it in the air. The more number of times you can keep the ball in the air without letting it hit the ground, the more points you get. 1 point for each time the ball stays airborne.

Our respective scores:

Aileen's Score

My Pathetic Score: A grand total of 8 points!

Aileen managed to obtain the score above after a mere 3 attempts. I feel so dejected! I managed to achieve this score after half an hour of pure grit and concentration. I am sure that had she tried as hard as I did, she would hit a hundred points or more. This fateful day documents a new low in the self esteem index. Haha! Nope, I am not such an extremist. But it definitely didn’t feel good, alright. Why am I such a gaming klutz???

I still remembered sometime in the distant past, I had this Nintendo console and we love playing Super Mario on it.
I think the mission was for Super Mario to save the princess trapped in a castle. And you know what? I never ever got to ‘see’ the princess. I think my personal best was to ‘step foot’ on the Fifth World—and this is because I went through a time warped port-hole. Don't laugh! ='(

Aileen roared in laughter and typed me the following MSN message:

Aileen: Book Club will not make you good at Vidiots!!!!

Ivy: Crying 1

To play the aforementioned game, google The Optus Tennis Challenge.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Buffet: The Sin of Gluttony

I love buffets! It gives me the same delight as going into a confectionery and biting into all the Godiva chocs sitting prettily on paper dollies. And I pay a fixed price! Yea—dream on!

Problem is, I haven’t been to a buffet for the longest time. Why? I hate the Singaporean mentality of buffets. Since it’s an eat-all-you-want concept, people tend to gorge themselves on the food. It’s usually the juiciest oysters and lobsters (pricey seafood) that captures the hearts of diners and they always make a beeline for this section.

As for myself, I don’t eat raw oysters (nor any form of raw food) and have to miss out on something good in life. But fire was discovered for a good reason right?

Whatever it is, I love buffets because I like the food tasting opportunities they offer. It’s when I can go on a dish pinching spree and taste a lil’ of everything. My taste buds will be in for a treat! Fresh seafood, yummy Asian food, fine European cheeses, lovingly made pastries and out-of-this world desserts! Buffets are great because I get to sample many different culinary styles and take the headache out of picking a singular dish off the menu on capricious days.

Unfortunately, most people attend buffets to get their money’s worth. I suspect if they really eat more than what they have paid for, the restaurant wouldn’t survive long enough to welcome them on their second visit. The very fact that buffet serving restaurants are still thriving is testimony to its lucrative nature.

Anyway, I wouldn’t bear to allow anyone to treat me to a buffet because I know deep down the person’s heart would bleed to see me eating in moderation. Unless the person shares my sentiments of the right way to approach a buffet.

I wish I can go for a dim sum buffet soon. The Line at Shangri-La Hotel would be a fantastic choice too. But my ultimate short term goal would be to drop by The Fullerton for their Chocolate Buffet!

Look at the gorgeous spread!

Main table of delight-yummy cakes and "pop in your mouth" finger food.

5 tiered chocolate fountain, flowing with the nectar of life. Fruits and marshmallows on platters-waiting for their skinny dipping session.

I haven’t been there yet, so photo credits goes to stormii from Storm in a Teacup!

Apparently, the quality of the chocolate laden treats is not compromised. Obviously, this has to do with its pricey charge. Still, it’s fine to indulgence once in a blue moon. I heard from credible sources that the sumptuous spread of luscious chocolate creations and the famed Chocolate Fountain will catapult one straight up to seventh heaven. And the drink station with its premium chocolate blended drinks is also the highlight of the buffet selection.

Come to think of it, a Starbucks drink cost around $5.50. A tiny box of fine chocolates cost around $12. This price of this eat-your-fill buffet then doesn’t seem too exorbitant after all. Drink aromatic traditional kopi at $0.80 from your regular coffee shop and save the balance for this. Sure makes more sense.

The Fullerton Singapore - Chocolate Buffet

Where: The Courtyard (tel: 6877-8129)
When: 8-11pm every Friday and Saturday
Cost: $32 per person before tax!!!
Highly recommended: The chocolate mango yoghurt mousse and mint chocolate cakes. The drink station also spins the smoothest chocolate-y concoctions

Anyone wants to go with me? =)

Daily Trivia:
The "all you can eat" buffet has been ascribed to Herb Macdonald, a Las Vegas hotel manager who introduced the idea in 1946.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

A case of genius, talent and good rubber!

Schumacher takes championship lead in China

Conditions started off perfectly for Renault as the tracks was damp and greasy. Alonso was leading the pack with Fisichella behind him. The rain however, had stopped falling and the tracks were beginning to dry. So, here comes the exciting part that caused a turn of events. Pit stops visits became a must.

On lap 35 Alonso pitted for dry tyres, but the team struggled to get the rear right tyre on, costing him another four seconds to Schumacher. By lap 39 Alonso was a second faster a lap than the leaders on the grooved tyres and Ferrari responded instantly pulling Schumacher into the pits. Fisichella pitted on the next lap and despite emerging comfortably ahead of the Ferrari, lost it completely in the first corner and let Schumacher just waltz through into the lead.

Why did Fisichella let Schumacher past during the corner turning??? Cos, he pitted 1 lap after Schumacher. The Ferrari driver had 1 lap allowance to ‘warm’ up his dry Bridgestone tyres and knew that even if Fisichella managed to stay ahead of him after his stop, he would have the chance to pass Fisichella going into the first corner as he would be in trouble with the temperature of his tyres and that is what happened.

This, my friend, is called strategy.

And with this, Michael Schumacher scooped his seventh win of the season, his first points in the Chinese Grand Prix ever, and crucially the lead in the drivers' championship in a completely intense and unpredictable Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.

What an extraordinarily beautiful sport Formula One racing is!

Kimi Raikkonen is an exceptional driver. However, Mercedes McLaren is seriously doing his skills and talent a great disservice. On Lap 14, Raikkonen finally dispatched Fisichella for second place and immediately set a new fastest lap of the race, cutting Alonso's lead by half a second to 16 seconds. Unfortunately, Raikkonen's hopes disappeared on lap 19 when his McLaren slowed and spluttered to a halt in the middle sector. ARGH!!! No wonder he’s ditching McLaren for Ferrari next season. Enough is enough. 2007 is the time for Kimi to win.

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