Friday, December 29

sub zero

I know, I know, it's ridiculous that I'm wearing a trenchcoat AND a scarf in Singapore AND indoors. But I'm cold cold cold.

Sunday, December 24

doggone it

I'd set my heart on Dipsy after seeing him on the SPCA website yesterday.

So bright and early this morning, we set off excitedly to get him, with blankets and newspapers and all. But alas, being too cute for words, he'd already been adopted the day before.

I'm sad. I was looking forward to bonding with my doggy over Christmas, a rare day without any work whatsoever. Instead, I'm spending it watching Ugly Betty in bed.

Saturday, December 23

cool yule

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Mr Brown, Mr Browner, Mr Brownest and me.

Thursday, December 21


Suddenly, unexpectedly, unintendedly, I found myself applying for leave next January.

And equally surprisingly, I realised I'd somehow accumulated enough frequent flyer miles this year to go almost anywhere [or rather, as far as Australia].

I want to just fly away. Question now is, where?

Wednesday, December 20

au naturel

Read this from the perspective of someone who needs half an hour of primping before she can leave the house. Kinda reminds me of the Brazillian millionaire plastic surgeon who devotes one day a week to "charity" work in the slums because, to paraphrase him, even the poor deserve to look beautiful.

The Natural Beauty Myth

Garance Franke-Ruta

The Wall Street Journal
December 15, 2006

What the critics of the beauty industry fail to recognize is that the doctrine of “natural beauty” and the desire it breeds in women to be accepted as they are or to be seen as beautiful without any effort, is a ruthless and anti-egalitarian ideal. It is far more punishing than the one that says any woman can be beautiful if she merely treats beauty as a form of discipline

Only in America do we think that beauty is a purely natural attribute rather than a type of artistry requiring effort. Look at the French: They are no more beautiful as a people than we as Americans, but they understand that every woman can be attractive – if not beautiful – if she chooses to be.

Yes, we are given forms by nature, but how we choose to present them is a matter of our own discretion.

Few people are blessed by nature and circumstance with the Golden Mean proportions that seem to be universally appreciated. Thus, in the end, it is more democratic to think of beauty or attractiveness as an attribute that one can acquire, like speaking a foreign language or cooking well.

Full story here.

Monday, December 18

the eyes have it

Posting this belatedly. Stole my current hair style from The Sartorialist.

Have been trying to achieve the same chunky, swept-aside bangs, with little success. And even less success with my smokey eyeliner effect. To date, I've tried two different brands of liquid eyeliner, one pencil eyeliner and one brow pencil, and only managed to look like a panda/racoon hybrid.

Sunday, December 17


Do I really need to buy this or will squeezing a hard-boiled egg into any cube shaped container do the trick?

what are you doing new year's eve

For the past three days, for almost nine of my waking hours daily, every 30 minutes or so, the divine Miss M croons with gentle yearning on repeat mode.

When the bells all ring
And the horns all blow
And the coubles we know
Are fondly kissing
Will I be with you
Or will I be amoung the missing?

Maybe it's much too early in the game
Oh, but I thought I'd ask you just the same.
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night?
Welcoming in the New Year... New Year's eve

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose...
Out of the thousand invitations you'll received?
But in case I stand one little chance,
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's Eve?

Out of the thousand invitations you'll received?
Oh, but in case I stand one little chance,
Here comes the jackpot question in advance...
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's Eve?
What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 15

stupendous sartorial success

Fashion shoot from Swirl Swap Swop, which lends itself to all sorts of superlative alliterations.

{For the sake of my loyal readers and any potential stalkers out there, I tried to upload the photos here, but failed. So please click on the link above.}

Thursday, December 14

alliterative girl and rhyme man

ME: I was thinking as I showered about this question posed to so-called celebs in Urban: What's the nicest thing you did this year? I couldn't think of anything!
HE: Remember helping that Australian girl with her groceries?
ME: That can't be the NICEST thing I've done all year... And yes, I remember...
HE: Well that's a start. How about not yelling at clowns who browse your brooches but make no purchase?
ME: What's the nicest thing you did this year? I thought it was an inane question until I couldn't answer it... Heh.
HE: I'm a meanie
ME: I think you're just a big softie at heart, but trying to act tough on the outside...
HE: What rubbish. Where on earth did you get that?
ME: Don't worry, your secret's safe with me... Hee
HE: Bah. Go away.
ME: *Slinks away with tail between legs*
HE: Huh not getting any sympathy here. Spank
ME: Kitty is hurt. Meow.
HE: *Grabs kitty by tail, finds small room, starts swinging*
ME: *Kitty bounces off the ceiling and walls* Wheee!

HE: Hey pussycat
ME: Meow... I need a cat nap

[Still later]
ME: Kitty sold five brooches to one customer *grins like cheshire cat*
HE: Crazy customer cherishes cringe-worthy collectibles?
ME: How long did it take for you to come up with that alliteration?
HE: About 3 min. Wasn't very good huh?
ME: It was fantastic. I couldn't have come up with anything better myself. Heh, can you sense my sarcasm?
HE: Subtle sucky sarcasm shouldn't show significant signs of scolding
ME: Girl grudgingly giggles. Guy gleefully gloats.

[A few days later]
ME: Alliterative girl strikes again. I'm holding an event today called Swirl Swap Swop!
HE: Shouldn't it be something like Swirl's sumptious super swap swoop?
ME: Swirl Swap Swop a stunning success. Suzanne supremely satisfied.

[A few more days later]
HE: Hi, apologies for the silence. You kept catching me in non playful moods
ME: Sokay. I never expected you to reply to every single inane message... especially those with bad alliterations! But why so glum?
HE: Glum? Who's glum, chum?
ME: I'm glum, chum.
HE: Sup? Pup?
ME: Moody and broody
HE: Truly? Suzy?
ME: Suzy sleepy
HE: Coffee maybe?
ME: Bunny's nose is runny. And why isn't it sunny?
HE: Poor bunny, want some hunny?
ME: Rhyme time is over for me. Can't come up with any more! You win! Heh
HE: was fun, hun. Same game getting tame?
ME: Stop it stop it or I might erm vomit!
HE: Fine fine. Don't whine.

So. What's the nicest thing you did this year? I still haven't come up with anything.

Monday, December 11

parade of wanted things III

H&M is having one super cheap item (as if they aren't all super cheap already!) every day till Christmas. This is my current object of desire. Not that I have any balls to attend, but it's still desparately coveted.

Sunday, December 10

feeling grey

No Grey's Anatomy until January 4 next year. How am I supposed to survive the rest of December without McDreamy?

Thursday, December 7

lady in red update

We saved the lady in red from a fashion disaster. She offered profuse thanks and said she'd return in a couple of days to pay for the emergency surgery on her zip.

It's been four days and still no sign of her. May all her zips spontaneously explode the moment she sits down from now on.

swirl uniform

Is it a coincidence that the only dress I sold so far happens to be the very same one I'm wearing as the Swirl "uniform" today? I think not.

Now to figure out a way to wear multiple outfits a day as shameless self promotion. Oh wait, that's what Aubrey, Heidi and Su Mei are for. They're our mannequins, always standing tireless with their best posture in the shop window.

P.S. Why are they called mannequins when they are of the female form? Shouldn't they be womannequins?

Wednesday, December 6

a body in motion

It was the last pantry break I'd be having with my twin for a while. A very long while. We spent it complaining of being sleepy and "men men men" -- meaning bored, not referring to the male species -- and snapping idiotic fake Lomo photos.

And now, for a commercial break.

Fancy this pink and brown wrap dress in the Swirl colours? You know now where to get it. Also available in blue and black. Grey version sold out, sorry!

A customer came to the shop and immediately spotted the Sheryl top on the racks. She told my elf: "I saw a girl crossing the road just now in this top and I really liked it." That girl crossing the road was me. Butofcos she bought it.

I was swishing around the shop in this skirt when a customer came in and asked to try it. As she was admiring herself in the mirror, a second customer saw the two of us looking so good in the skirt, she also wanted to try it. I sold two champagne gold ones and a black one within an hour.

Shameless self promotion is the way to boost sales.

Sunday, December 3

hello & goodbye

It was a 2D1N trip back home for my sissy, due to some visa issues. It was so rushed that the only way we could eat ice cream together was in the car on the way to the airport. And we could only Photo Booth at the airport minutes before her flight.

Saturday, December 2

it's an emergency

As we were winding down business for the week today at about 7pm, a statuesque woman in a floor-length gown in deep red swept into the shop, with a worried looking make-up artist from the studio next door.

"Do you think you can fix the zip?" the make-up artist asked tentatively, pointing to the woman in red.

It was then that we noticed that the bustier part of her gown was gaping open on the left side. The zip had burst. Yet, she couldn't take off the dress because, under her armpit, the top part of the zip was still stuck fast.

While she stood still, imprisoned in her clothes, three pairs of hands tried to tug the zip down, but the teeth refused to release their grip.

I suddenly had a brainwave: The seamstress who does alterations for me across the road happened to be working late. So I lent her a jacket, for modesty's sake, and we rushed over.

There, she kicked off her Christina Louboutin killer heels -- absolutely the most beautifullest shoes I'd ever seen -- while my seamstress snipped apart the zip. Then, she sat in the fitting room in her strapless bra and knickers -- shivering, I imagined -- while emergency surgery was carried out.

The entire zip had to be taken out and a new one fitted in under the lining. No mean feat, and it was accomplished in less than 15 minutes.

The dress was still too tight, though, and it took three pairs of hands to zip her back in to go for her cocktail-dinner thingy.

She said she was not going to eat anything that night. Or even sit down. I think she might spend the whole evening sucking in her tummy.

Oh, she also said it was the first time she was wearing the gown and that it was "frigging expensive". In case anyone is interested in labels, it was a Karen Millen.

drive me crazy

HE: Drove past Stamford House and thought of you.

Wish I had the resolve to reply, "Don't drive past my place anymore."

What's the point of thinking about me, when he does nothing besides that? Either stop it or do something about it. Or just think about me without telling me.

But I guess I'm guilty of the same.

ME: Had a dream in which we got hot and sweaty. We were having Korean BBQ.

It was a perfect dream, totally innocent, easy conversation, endless laughter, unlimited yummy beef. I could have kept it to myself, but when I woke up, I just had to tell him.

Friday, December 1

swirl swap swop

Ladies, are your wardrobes close to bursting point? Are you discovering long-lost clothes that you will never again wear in this lifetime? And would you like to swop them for something pretty -- without spending a cent?

Then the Swirl Swap Swop is perfect for you.

This is how it goes:

-- Spring clean your wardrobe. Be ruthless.
-- Stuff a shopping bag full of clothes you no longer fit into, fashion disasters and impulse buys. Someone else will love them, we promise.
-- Come by the Swirl boutique on the day of the Swirl Swap Swop.
-- Empty your bags into a giant pile with the cast-offs from other swoppers, who, needless to say, have extraordinarily good taste since they are Swirl Girls.
-- Rummage through the pile and grab those items you fancy. No cat fights, please.
-- Return home with fabulous finds. Mission accomplished.

Swirl Swap Swop
Venue: Swirl boutique at 02-05 Stamford House
Date: Sunday, 10 December
Time: 2pm
* Registration required as the event is limited to the first 30 respondents due to space constraints.

Sounds like a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Get your girlfriends all excited too and sign up together. Just drop us an email at to let us know how many of you are coming, and we will send you more details.

Remember, waste not want not. A penny saved is a penny earned. One woman's cast-offs is another woman's treasure -- or something like that.

Happy shopping and happy swopping!

stamford house 02-05
39 stamford road
tel: 6338 5020
monday ~ saturday
12pm ~ 830pm

parade of wanted things II

Contain yourself! How much do I covet these useless kitchen doodads from The Container Store. No more resting spoons while cooking and dirtying the countertop. And no more guessing if that frozen piece of mystery meat is worth thawing.

i scream

When three pints of Ben & Jerry's -- Magic Brownie, Chubby Hubby and Fossil Fuel -- in as many days still don't work, you know it's serious.

Tuesday, November 28

parade of wanted things

I'm so in love with the paintings of Kendra Binney. So pretty, yet with a tinge of the morbid and a touch of sadness.

She sells on Etsy and I can't stop looking at the prints, especially It's A Secret Only We Know (above) and Parade Of Unwanted Things II (can't post the pix, for some reason, but go admire it on her site. Vaguely Dali with the ants on it).

So tempting, because it's not pricey at all. Am I on the verge of buying my first piece of art?

[Note: I have shelved my grand plans of being an artist-slash-fashion-designer-slash-writer. It is impossible to learn to paint from a library book. And I don't have time for classes.]

half hearted

For dinner, I had half a pint of Ben & Jerry's Magic Brownie, half a punnet of raspberries and half a bar of Morinaga dark chocolate.

One tummyache, coming right up...

Saturday, November 25

i want my tintin back*

The two of us were playing tourist around Covent Garden in the autumn cold, when we chanced upon a Tintin** shop. After agonising for the longest time over which characters to buy, we both decided on Tintin and Snowy***.

That was the last time I saw him while he was still attached. The next time we met, back in Singapore, he was living the too fast too furious lifestyle of the swinging "eligible" bachelor.

Somehow, we ended up making a pact, which I'm sure he has forgotten by now: Whoever got attached first would have to buy the other the complete Tintin collection****.

And somehow, as every year drew to a close, we would end up commiserating about hitting our year-end slump -- stuck in a rut yet running around like a headless chicken at the same time, going nowhere with work or relationships or life in general, another year over with nothing to show for it. No one else seems to hit the same slump, which starts right about November.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we were still going on with our annual lament. But how quickly things change.

He's seeing someone new, someone serious, for once [ie. not some random "pussy" he picked up]. And I'm left with a sour taste in my mouth.

Not because I have a thing for him -- We are so not each other's "type" -- but because I had counted on him being as moody as I would be over the festive season.

Because we're so purely platonic, he completely understood when I blurted out, "I'm jealous. I'm not jealous of her. I'm jealous of you. Because you're happy. And this makes me a small small person. I don't like this feeling. This year-end slump is going to be so bad for me."

* He whines all the time, "I want my car back." His Paul Smith car, which is supposed to cure text addiction, is still hanging on my mobile phone.
** Tintin the boy journalist was a serious crush of mine when I was too young and stupid to realise comic book characters can't quite requite.
*** Snowy is still with me, but Tintin was nicked from my desk some months ago.
**** My Tintin collection lacks 16 titles.

Thursday, November 23

what was his name again?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a common name attached to an even more common surname, and I found myself asking M, "What was Daniel's surname?"

To my horror, I found that I couldn't remember my ex-boyfriend's surname. Or that of the Daniel who came before him. [Yes, I dated two consecutive guys with the same name. I have issues.]

Yesterday, I was having dinner with an old friend J, who knew me when I was with Daniel the Second. She related how, right after we had broken up, she and her now ex had run into him at Borders and waved most enthusiastically at him from afar.

But as they came closer and closer, she realised she had committed a faux pas. What do you say to your friend's recent ex?

"How are you doing?" just opens up a can of worms. Your only common friend's name can't be mentioned, for obvious reasons. And you can't even say, "You're looking good", cos you'd be lying.

I found it hilarious, even when she told me she felt so bad because he looked so sad.

Today, as though by merely remembering him I'd conjured him up, he called me out of the blue.

It was nice to have a conversation with someone who can drop words like lambasted and flabbergasted without sounding like he was trying to use big words. And it was nice to hear the pride in his voice when he told me how cute his 19-month-old daughter was.

I now remember his surname. It was Ong. And the one before that was Choo.

Wednesday, November 22

call me god

The endlessly entertaining Poison Ivy has come up with a completely unscientific personality test: If you could live your life over, and were given a choice on what kind of person you could be, what would you choose?
  1. Being a millionaire with the ugliest face that even a mother wouldn't be able to love
  2. Being a great beauty who is destined to live and die alone
  3. Being with the love of your life, but afflicted with a chronic illness, which may or may not be diabetes and may or may not involve your leg being amputated
  4. Being a genius inside an obese body
  5. Being a workhorse who is blessed with good luck in little things, such as always being able to find a parking lot
  6. Being well-loved by countless friends but living in a two-room HDB flat for life
  7. Being powerful and influential, but short as a midget, not unlike Deng Xiaoping
What you choose reveals what you value. Most of the lunch kakis didn't mind being ugly millionaires. Me? I'm willing to live with one leg for love.

Sunday, November 19

who's that boy

I'm well pleased with my new haircut. Now, I just need some cheekbones to go with it.

Wednesday, November 15

down with dunkin donuts

Why is Krispy Kreme called Krispy Kreme, when it is neither crispy nor creamy?

But I don't really care, since I just had a surprise delivery of them this morning to my door at 8am.

Just 8 seconds in the microwave and it almost achieved HOT NOW status.

Thanks, lurve, for the morning sugar rush!

Tuesday, November 7

fool me

HE: How are you feeling?
ME: You must be psychic. I just saw a doctor cos I'm still not well...
HE: please just take two days to rest. REALLY rest. instead of trying to use it to do other things
ME: Im at work, actually. And I rejected the offer of an MC.
HE: you fool
ME: There's too much work. And I need the money, And you're supposed to say poor baby instead of you fool...
HE: Poor baby, you fool

Monday, November 6

i don't care if monday's blue

For days now, I'd been feeling crappy, for numerous reasons which will make me seem silly/superficial/selfish if I list them here, so let's just leave it at my feelings of utter and complete crap.

I was so surly that the Girl Next Door could tell from just exchanging two sentences that I was in a bad mood.

My mother didn't dare to even talk to me, much less nag, and my father felt compelled to, awkwardly, say something along the lines of, "You can tell us if you have any problems".

And I almost snapped, "Unzip it and pull it over your head, lor!" when a clueless customer pointed to a vintage dress and asked, "How do you wear this?"

But let's focus on the happy things which kept me from going completely over the edge (in order of appearance):

-- Downloading Sudoku onto my phone so I can now feed my latest addiction wherever I go
-- Jay Chou on repeat mode
-- Clarinase ["Poor baby" he said when he found out I was sick, but now I know all too clearly that that's all he can offer, so that's progress for me]
-- Totaling October's sales figures and, more importantly, finding that they tally
-- Tangy tomato soup from The Soup Spoon [Mushroom's good too, but then I'm partial to soup, especially when ill and feeling sorry for myself]
-- Managing to drag myself out for a nice quiet drinks after a long Friday and going to not one, but two new places at Dempsey Road [That's a major accomplishment for someone with zero social life]
-- Resisting the urge to party and imbibe on Saturday night and sleeping early instead [See above, about zero social life]
-- A clean house after three weeks of not cleaning [My laundry is another matter altogether]
-- Napping with a warm body next to mine on a Sunday morning [Memphis loves me only when the Girl Next Door is not around]
-- Confirming that there are only expensive and ugly bras available in Singapore [Good news for the Swirl Girls, who have exciting developments in the works]
-- Recovering from the nasty flu bug
-- Instant noodles and luncheon meat at C-Jade [which suaku me hasn't been to before]
-- Deciding that I want to take up painting, so that I can call myself a journalist-slash-dsigner-slash-artist [nevermind that I can't draw]
-- Cute buttons from TopShop which I can still afford
-- Productive production meeting for this month's designs, which includes a ultra pretty top I can't wait to wear [currently it only exists in my head in a buttercup yellow chiffon]
-- Tako for dinner at Sakuraya [yet another new place I haven't been to, so that makes it four over one weekend. I need to get out more]
-- Conquering last-minute panic and banging out a 10cms piece of fluff that doesn't even qualify as a story, let alone a column [I need all the peanuts I can earn]
-- A brand new episode of Grey's Anatomy [Semi-spoiler: I finally understand the "ham and eggs" relationship analogy]
-- And finally, finding this just before I was going to go to bed: Feeling popsicle?

Have a good Monday!

Monday, October 30


The Girl Next Door is looking for baby photos for a public service announcement.

Also, she's looking for volunteers to write some stuff for the website and newsletter, so lemme know if you can help out.

Saturday, October 28

first love, last rites

In death, I learnt more about my grandfather than when he was alive.

But first, a "What It Should Have Been" [known also as a WISHB to journos].

His "companion" -- as my very proper school teacher aunt discreetly informed me, when I asked her about the identity of that skinny auntie waiting with us for the body to arrive at the casket -- did not have a family with my grandfather, as I'd thought [that would be my grandfather's philandering younger brother, but more on him another day].

Instead, she left her presumably grown children to be with him after her husband died. While my grandfather left his wife and children for her.

They had, perhaps, less than 10 years together. Or perhaps they'd always been lovers, meeting in secret, regretting their choices but trying their best to keep their respective families intact.

There's no polite way of saying it: They'd shacked up together, but as two old folks well past their retirement age, it could hardly be for the red hot sex. So, in the immortal words of Roxette, it must have been love.

I expected her to look like a femme fatale, some floozy with a poodle perm and red lipstick smeared on her lips. But she looked like one of those tiny wrinkled aunties who regularly elbow me in their bid to be the first to board the bus whenever I try to get out from Chinatown.

As we shuffled round the coffin while the Buddhist priest chanted the last rites, I saw her hand reach out, as if in slow motion, and tenderly touch his face.

No one heard her silent sobs. And there was no one to comfort her. Because he was gone.

Thursday, October 26

till death do us part

My grandfather is lying in a hospital bed, dying of lung cancer.

His wife -- my late grandmother -- threw him out when she found out that he not only had a mistress, he also fathered an entire brood of children and grandchildren.

So all these years, he's been living with his "other family". We only see him once a year during Chinese New Year, and when my grandmother was still alive, she wouldn't even glance at him when he sheepishly turned up on the first day of Chinese New Year.

But when she died, my uncles and aunties prepared a tablet with two slots for photos -- one for her, the other for him.

So even though the dirty mistress -- as known on my current fave show, Grey's Anatomy -- had him for a few years, the legitimate wife will have him for eternity.

There is a lesson in there somewhere.

the curious incident of the ninja in the night-time

Somehow, I always dream of being back at my old house, in my old room with its peeling wallpaper, in my old bed with its snagged satin blue sheets.

It was late at night, and I was dozing off, when a ninja -- yes, true blue ninja who can scale high-rise buildings -- came in through my ninth-storey window.

Like lithe lightning, he was standing over me before I could even blink. In his hand was a sliver of a blade, sort of like a barbecue skewer, only sleeker and deadlier.

He then stabbed me in the stomach. Once. Twice. And then back out the window.

As I lay there, my hands pressed against the two puncture wounds, bleeding out, my Mum came in and I managed to gasp, ""

But while she was calling for an ambulance or the police or the seven samurais, the masked ninja returned.

With short staccato moves, he proceeded to stab me over and over while I tried and tried to scream, even as my throat closed over and no sound came out.

I woke up with my mouth wide open in a silent screech -- and stabbing period cramps.

Wednesday, October 25

are you ok?

I'm sure that, like me, you have walked past this Singapore's OK Sculpture Park before. It features these pint-sized bronze figures of indeterminate sex with titles such as:

Keep Public Toilets Clean

See Doctor, Avoid Crowded Places If Unwell. Spit, Cough And Sneeze Into Tissue

Do Not Litter. Bag Your Rubbish And Place In Bin

Wash Hands With Soap Frequently

Eat Healthily, Exercise Regularly

I was grinning like an idiot while trying to get the best snaps of these Sculptures With Very Serious Messages. Bet the residents of Holland Village who were on their way home that night were wondering, "Is that girl ok?"

Monday, October 23

reality bites

He texted to say he was within spitting distance of my place.

I told him I was still closing up at the shop.

Later, he told me he was at Michaelangelo's.

I told him I just got home and was dying for good pasta.

He felt it was just wrong to tarpow Michaelangelo's.

I couldn't resist asking who he was with.

He said they were ex-colleagues.

Later, he asked me to join him at Wala.

I told him I was going to Cold Storage to get food.

He said me he'd help me with my groceries.

I thought he was kidding, until I crossed the road.

He was waiting by the entrance.

I wandered down the aisles under the harsh fluorescent supermaket lights.

He carried the shopping basket.

I decided to send him back to his friends, while I had Burger King alone.

He drove past my place after having some drinks and decided to come in.

We fooled around -- no, no, not that sort of fooling around -- with Photo Booth for five minutes.

He suddenly got up and said he should go.

I saw him out.

He described Friday night as "so surreal".

I can only agree.

Sunday, October 22

heavenly creatures

My fave White Dog Bobby painting, currently proudly displayed in my shop. It's supposedly for sale, like all the other paintings, but I refuse. Cos this is "our painting", my sissy and I. We were travelling in Italy and, somehow, ended up posing as Raphaelite angels. I'm always on the left, she's on the right.

I'm still waiting for the artist to get back to me on the price.

lazy hazy daze

I have been getting dirty looks when I tell people I like the haze.

Yes, I agree that there's a acrid smell in the air, but it is not altogether unpleasant. Sorta like a barbeque, no? And don't hate me, but I don't get difficulties breathing or eye irritation.

And I love the way it imparts ordinary roads and buildings with a soft-focus, Christopher-Doyle feel. Even having lunch in the office canteen seems extra special, like we're in some highlands resort instead.

Friday, October 20

trick or treat

As Halloween approaches, the denizens of Chip Bee Gardens start taking on otherworldly personalities...

There is the little girl from Japanese horror movies...

The girl-turned-vampire from next door...

And presenting the one-eyed cat.

located located located

I'll be the first to admit that I am not very good at keeping in touch with friends.

I don't know where all my primary school friends are, except for a psycho who once had a crush on my neighbour and calls me now and then to ask if I know where he is now. Another long-lost primary school friend emailed me after seeing something I wrote, and I emailed back with the obligatory "let's meet up". But we never did.

I only keep in touch with two secondary school friends. A third one, I know what she's up to only through her blog.

My JC friends have all drifted off to god knows where. The last time we had a reunion was three years ago. But last week, two old friends whom I hadn't seen in more than 10 years turned up at the shop. They had seen the article in Today and came to look for me. Amazingly, I could recognise them instantly.

My clique in uni still maintain a email list but they're all so busy with kids and career that we never manage to meet up.

Then there are the miscellaneous friends from different faculties and weird activities from my misspent youth, such as MUD. A mudder friend came by the shop to look for me yesterday, but I wasn't there. He came again, specially, today. I hadn't seen him for five years at least, and I was quite wary, espcially when he told me he had tried to call me to wish me happy birthday in January, but I'd changed my number. This is the same guy who once folded a whole box of paper cranes -- How nostalgic! Same era as those paper stars! -- for me.

But I needn't have thought too much of it, even when he politely and none too subtly asked about my "boyfriend". For he then proceeded to tell me that he was planning to get married in December. Phew. I think.

Sunday, October 15

cupcake is the new black

Check out these cute cupcakes! And more adorable stuff made from recycled sweaters here.

Makes the curly wurly scarf I'm knitting at the moment seem so dull.

Saturday, October 14

saturday swirl shenanigans

HIM: What's the address of your shop?
ME: Stamford House. Why?
HIM: I'm telling my friends. May drop by later.
ME: Who you coming with?
HIM: Some friends... and my girlfriend. Would it be weird?
ME: Why would it be weird?
HIM: Well... you know... you sure it won't be weird?
ME: I'll be fine.

I'm fine. Because he didn't turn up. It would have been weird.

But quite a few friends did turn up, so it was a fun Saturday in the shop. We had tea, we ate piglets, we played with the giant Swirl chop, we caught up.

So, come visit if you're in the area.

Friday, October 13

10 times 10 things

I turned on the telly this morning to find cable repeating 10 Things I Hate About You. I had to watch it. I even taped it, even though I'd seen it 10 times at least, for future rewatching.

How can anyone resist Alison Janney as Ms Perky the guidance counsellor? Or any movie that has an opening scene with the words "pulsating bratwurst"? And Heath Ledger, butofcos!

The Weakness In Me

I'm not the sort of person who falls in and quickly out of love
But to you, I give my affection, right from the start.
I have a lover who loves me - how could I break such a heart?
Yet still you get my attention.

Why do you come here, when you know I've got troubles enough?
Why do you call me, when you know I can't answer the phone?
And make me lie when I don't want to,
And make someone else some kind of an unknowing fool?
Make me stay when I should not?
If you're so strong then resolve the weakness in me.
Why do you come here, and pretend to be just passing by?
I need to see you - I need to hold you - tightly.

Feeling guilty,
And I'm worried, and I'm waking from a tormented sleep
'Cause this old love, you know it has me bound,
But this new love cuts so deep.
If I choose now, I'm bound to lose out;
One of you is gonna have to fall...
I need you, baby.

Why do you come here, when you know I've got troubles enough?
Why do you call me, when you know I can't answer the phone?
And make me lie when I don't want to,
And make someone else some kind of an unknowing fool?
Make me stay when I should not?
If you're so strong then resolve the weakness in me.
Why do you come here, and pretend to be just passing by?
I need to see you - I need to hold you - tightly.

Thursday, October 12


Fooling around with the nifty Photo Booth application on my new baby. Coneheads look normal compared with what we subsequently came up with...

We think we look like those baboons with red asses.

But these two really crack us up. We look like figments of Tim Burton's imagination. We considered uploading them onto the Swirl site, but then got worried that it would scare off customers.

Sunday, October 8

dot dot dot

One day after the Swirl launch, Dot launches her Dotted Line. I love her Anna's Blouse, but somehow, I look horribly washed out in the peachy-pink colour. Or perhaps it was just my tired complexion.

You can see her lovely clothes in person at the Maad market, Red Dot Museum, Maxwell Road, this coming Sunday, 15 Oct, from 11am to 6pm.

She is also offering 15% off that day, so hurry!

Swirling good time

The Swirl boutique is finally open.

s w i r l
stamford house 02-05
39 stamford road
tel: 6338 5020
monday ~ saturday
12pm ~ 830pm

We had a little tea party yesterday, a soft launch of sorts. No, no, no ribbon cutting or lion dance. Thank you, all who came and for all the marvellous shop-warming gifts.

See more photos here.

Please help spread the word. Tell your girl friends about our pretty frocks, and your guy friends about them too. Who knows, they may want to buy something for their girlfriends. Or they may be closet cross-dressers. I need all the customers I can get.

"What keeps you awake at night?" Ms Midori likes to ask her interviewees. For me, for now, it's the thought of not making the shop rental.

Wednesday, October 4

akan datang

White Dog Bobby joins Swirl, together with good fwen Wabbit.

This Wabbit's briefs can be removed. Hmmm...

You can get an explosive hair style under this UFO.

The swing and the plant were both shop-warming gifts we shamelessly requested for.

More chandeliers.

Sunday, October 1

ready, get set...

The clothes have been taken down for the move to the shop.

The Swirl Girls are excited over their new mirrors.

The mirror uncle is amused by the enthusiasm over shiny reflective surfaces.

Sneak preview of the shop decor.

Gee Wee Goes To New York's new display.

The glass cabinet we got for $30.

You do know pink is our favourite colour? And this is just one of the four chandeliers we have.

We're so poor, we're making our own paperbags. All 500 of them.