Sunday, February 26

must support support

The incredibly outstandingly talented Alfie Lee has done it again. Check out

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others -- will Sesame Street sue him for copyright infringement, I wonder? -- is my fave. I'm torn between the chick, the bunny and the doggy! And I lurve the duckie and hippo too! Too many choices! Too little money!

Tuesday, February 21

three days happiness

While throwing random items into my suitcase -- that qualifies as packing, my most hated task of going on trips -- I felt this insane urge to text him. But I didn't.

With my phone out of commission for the next three days in Tokyo, I hope to kick my text addiction.

As my lurve said: "Hopefully, it's out of sight, out of mind...And not the other one."

Sunday, February 19

sheng sheng sheng

That's what Xiang Yun says in the Shop N Save ad on TV. [TPL and I both lurve her, by the way, after we spoke to her in seperate interviews. She is the most gracious, most down-to-earth, most hardworking, most genuine so-called artiste.]

Anyway, I'm now watching my money very carefully. No more of the little luxuries of life, such as:

-- British Vogue and Elle Decor [annual savings of $300 from kicking this bad habit alone!]
-- Cabs [Take bus! Take train! Walk even!]
-- Facials [Just DIY at home with masks.]
-- Pedicures [Sigh. I do so adore pedicures. Even the pain of your toe jam being gouged out is a pleasure.]
-- Royce chocolates, Bee Cheng Hiang gourmet bak kwa and other decadent junk food [Only cheapo Chicken In A Biscuit from now on!]
-- Bed linen and towels [No matter how pretty the print or how many per cent off on sale or how high the thread count or how fluffy the towels are or how matching they are to my walls and curtains.]
-- Jeans [I already have six pairs!]
-- Non-sale items only for clothes, shoes, handbags, etc [This is going to be so tough.]

Thursday, February 16

supermarket sweep

At 2359 last night, I was ambling along on my way home with a winter coat in a shopping bag in one hand and Swirl's marvellously pink inventory folder in the other when the bright fluorescent lights of my neighbourhood Cold Storage summoned me like an alien to her mothership.

Since I have sworn off shopping -- going to be partially employed from April! -- my only form of retail therapy involves groceries.

So I ventured into the [for once] blissfully empty supermarket and treated myself to a new mop, Colgate and four Chinese pears.

As I wrestled the mop onto the checkout counter, I tried to ignore the strange looks from the lethargic cashier and the handful of sloppily-dressed midnight shoppers. [One couple were lugging a DVD recorder together with their groceries. More bizarre than mop, Colgate and Chinese pears, right?]

At least no one saw me swinging the mop like a deranged wiccan as I walked home.

And speaking of supermarkets, I am determined to visit Three Minutes Happiness in Shibuya. The Japlish name alone is enough to make me smile and fall in lurve, but a supermarket AND 100-yen store rolled into one as well? What more can an impoverished shopaholic ask for?

Friday, February 10

cold cases

Inspired by orangeclouds and her description of snow in Beijing, I'm wishing for snow right now. Not rain. Not sun. Just a blanket of freshly fallen snow.

I remember being in Shanghai on my birthday, a lifetime ago it seems, and telling someone who actually missed me back home, "I wish it would snow". And it did. Just a few flakes floating down and dissolving into cold pinpricks on my upturned face, but they were enough to make me believe that wishes do come true. I was young and innocent and in love then.

I also recall thinking when I was in London, "Well, wouldn't it be nice if it would snow on my birthday?" And it did. Typical slushy British snow, but snow nonetheless. I wasn't so easily suckered by flukes in the weather by then, being older and more cynical, but it was still rather magical.

Butofcos, it never snows here. Bah.

And anyway, my birthday is over. Double bah.

Thursday, February 9

done the deed

So. I have done the deed after sleeping on it for so long. [No, no, no, not THAT deed.]

I told my bosses that I needed to go part-time for the sake of my health.

She was awfully nice about it, even though she was disappointed and had even harboured hopes of me returning to writing. I told her I still preferred a deskbound job and I really liked subbing, so perhaps I could work three days a week on Urban. I also told her I felt bad because she has always been good to me -- she's sending me to Tokyo at the end of the month! -- but she said my health was more important. She's so welfare.

Then I told my immediate boss, who was an ass about it and kept trying to force me to say I would work on the worst days of the week. But I just kept resisting.

He has more evil plans up his sleeve, I bet. But I think she will get my back. Now just to wait for the okay from HR.

Tuesday, February 7

decisions, decisions, decisions

Have to come to a decision about:

-- what to tell my bosses about my job [Deadline: this week]
-- what to tell my parents about my decision about my job [Deadline: next week]
-- what iBook to buy and where to get it from for the cheapest price [Deadline: end of the month]
-- what dog to get and whether or not I have given it enough thought [Deadline: next week]
-- what location for a shop and whether The Heeren is a good place [Deadline: next week]
-- what to do next after deleting all text messages and whether to delete his mobile number as well [Deadline: next week]

My brain is working overtime running in circles.

Sunday, February 5

going, going, gone

"Delete all messages from Inbox?"

I pressed the button for "Yes" on my mobile and wiped out over 100 saved messages in less than 3 seconds.

Till now, I'm not sure if it was the li xing or the gan xing which made me do it.

love, all

I did watch Match Point. Alone, in case anyone was wondering.

Ahhh, those scrumptious British accents, that familiar walk along the Thames under a cloudy sky, the cavernous Tate Modern and the best gift shop in the world...Nostalgia blocks out all the bad stuff like soggy feet, smelly rivers and having no one to discuss the art pieces I'd seen but with myself.

Of course, unlike in the movie, I was nowhere near any upper crusty tennis court or posh champagne-fuelled parties or genteel country estates. I don't move in those social circles, mine was more Elephant and Castle than Kensington.

Ostansibly, the film is about adultery, but really, to paraphrase Woody Allen, it's more about how "being lucky is more important than being good". And to me, it was also a visit back to London via an $8 movie ticket.

Even though having a bit on the side, as the Brits would say, has been on my mind, I would say this doesn't come close to the palpable yearning of In The Mood for Love [Oh! Tony!] or even the slow smoulder of Unfaithful [the presence of Richard Gere is quite a dampener].

But having said that, this is still a classy piece of work. And for anyone who has ever cheated before, there are lines and scenes which cut just a wee bit too close to the bone. But in quite a delicious way.

Saturday, February 4

how many years

My sissy, back from Ho Chi Minh for one night before flying off to Shandong to teach for two weeks, had the album of this Vietnamese Julio Iglesias warbling in the background while packing.

"He's singing something about 'How many years?' and then '25 years'," she explained to me, with the limited Vietnamese she picked up during her three months there.

I started guffawing while he continued to croon in an overwrought manner.

"You mean, 'How many years will I get if I kill someone?' and then '25 years to life'?"

She gave me the glare of death: "It's a romantic song!"

By then, I was convulsing on the bed with tears rolling down my cheeks, totally amused by my own joke: "How I know? I thought he was the Vietnamese version of Eminem."

"He is NOT!"

"You have no sense of humour."

We both started laughing uncontrollably.

I miss my sissy already.

Thursday, February 2

doggy style

Even before I realised that this year is the Chinese Year of the Dog -- I don't pay attention to such things, even though all those dog decorations should have been a huge tip off -- I had decided that this year would be the year I fulfilled my lifelong dream of dog ownership.

As I was telling a colleague who was going to buy a terrier from a pet farm that I wanted to go adopt a doggy from the SPCA, I suddenly blurted out a fear I didn't even know I had: "What if I see a really ugly dog and fall in love with it?"

Wednesday, February 1


Ventured to the ginormous new library for the first time. And, on the recommendation of MS, borrowed a couple of Chinese books, also for the first time.

Whether I will actually succeed in reading them remains to be seen, since I have never ever in my entire life finished reading a Chinese book. [I reviewed the same book -- Wang Yang Zhong De Yi Tiao Chuan -- all the years of my secondary school life, without ever being caught by my Chinese teachers, who changed every year.]

As I was beeping the books through the borrowing machine, it prompted me that I had outstanding fines for books like When We Were Orphans, which I was 100 per cent sure I'd never borrowed, much less read.

Anyway, the fine was only $3.30, so I thought I'd just pay up and not kick up a fuss. But then the machine decided to eat my ATM card and I had to go queue up to speak to one of those rare species -- an actual real life librarian.

While in the queue, I eavesdropped on the funniest conversation ever.

MAN: I lost my IC and someone borrowed all these books and never returned them and now I'm being fined $50!
LIBRARIAN: [Low indeciperable mumble of disbelief]
MAN: These are all Malay books. I'm Chinese, as you can tell!