Wednesday, December 26

easy to please

I'm so thrilled by K's Christmas gift to me of a toothbrush holder. It has the same colouring as my doggie! I think he likes it too!

Tuesday, December 25

happy festivus

Here's my Christmas gift to one and all -- especially all the fellow aunties out there.

If you've ever been driven to the brink of insanity when trying to fold fitted sheets after washing them, here's how to get them all nice and flat.

Saturday, December 22

100% christmas

It's not Christmas until I hear Wham sing, "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart..."

I still haven't heard that or "Do they know it's Christmas time at all?", but I'm sorta in the mood after splurging on the most darling sweater (above) at Topshop. 100% wool, 100% handmade, 100% warmth. (Oh, and 20% off the regular price. Yay!)

And next year, the elves will get their act together and produce Mr Brown (not pictured), Mr Browner (left) and Mr Brownest (also not pictured) for sale. Hugging them is instant 100% happiness.

Here's wishing everyone warmth and happiness this Christmas! Big hugs from me and the Messrs Brown.

Thursday, December 13

of gingerbread & men

A furry human-sized gingerbread man came to the office yesterday. I was freaked out and fascinated at the same time. I couldn't stop staring at him but I didn't dare to go close to take a photo.

I believe he tried to eat some log cake, but failed because of his mouth does not open. He brought us a very large cake in his likeness which we were very thrilled with. Many photos were snapped.

No one could bear to do an autopsy on the cake, so it just lay there till the end of the day. What a waste of a perfectly good cake. So XY and I decided to follow the altruistic example of News Desk and send it to a children's home. BC very kindly drove us there. We hope there were some very happy kids at Grace Haven last night.

This is a palm-sized gingerbread man I got from one of the countless Christmas hampers in the office. He looks perfectly cute and innocent -- until you look at the junction of his legs.

Now for the "men" part of this post. There aren't any, which is a problem. A problem not so much for me, but for my Mom. She now has this idea to matchmake me with an old neighbour's son who looks very 老实. Apparently his mother was the one who approached mine. I'm horrified beyond words. Shall I tell her I have a thing for gingerbread men only?

Saturday, December 8

knit pick

Give me two sharpened broomsticks and yarn as thick as my wrist, and I will make you this scarf in any colour you want. If you sprain your neck, it is because the anaconda around your neck weighs approximately 5kg. Giles scarf, US$2,150, as seen in Marie Claire December 2007. Via Jezebel.

Too bad I don't have the right tools. This is what I just made instead. It weighs a mere 200g. Don't ask why I need a scarf in Singapore.

Saturday, December 1

all i want for christmas...

Since we started playing Christmas albums in the shop -- Bette Midler, Mariah Carey and Diana Krall on rotation eight-and-a-half hours a day -- I've been pondering and editing and rearranging my [shallow and materialistic] wish list.

It's so cold in the shop that I feel like I really really need this Kimchi & Blue Ruffle Coat from Urban Outfitters.

Miniature Leica digital camera, also from Urban Outfitters. Look how cute and small it is. Oh and it's packed with nifty functions too. A Polaroid camera would do nicely too, but I would ask for a year's supply of film, which is the killer part. But actually, I have my eye on a prosumer camera, specifically, the beautiful Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1, which I even dreamt that I had in a lovely aquamarine colour.

For the domestic goddess in me trying to get out, I want a transparent crock pot. [Every time I say "crock pot", I associate it with "crock of shit".] Unfortunately, I can't find any in Singapore. The auntie at the electronic appliances shop gave me a weird look and asked, "How can the clay pot be transparent?"

I've kicked my addiction to glossy mags, but I wouldn't say no to subscriptions to Domino, Dwell, Blueprint and ReadyMade.

Chloe Edith bowling bag in black, red or brown. Even a fake is fine by me, that's how much I covet it.

Santa, are you listening?

Saturday, November 24

flower power

One of the few joys of having a flourishing garden -- Flowers for the plucking! For free! To place on the window ledge! To gaze upon while washing the dishes! Oh joy!

The non-joys of having a garden include having to do actual gardening, over-abundance of weeds and lalang, and muddy doggie paws.

The green leaves at the bottom edge of the photo are from my basil plant, amazingly lush and still growing despite being plucked ever so often for cooking.

While overcome by a sudden urge to embrace nature, I planted a mini terrarium in an old pasta sauce bottle with everything -- soil, baby plants, pebbles -- taken from the front yard. Non-green fingers are crossed that it won't die on me.

Friday, November 23

run for your life

If these shoes could speak, they'd be saying, "Don't just do it."

First, the good news. I didn't keel over and die after jogging 100m.

Now for the not so good news.

I ran at a very slow pace. My doggie, who usually breaks into a gallop, was forced to merely trot next to me.

I set a very low target of 20 minutes, which was what I seem to recall experts recommending thrice a week, not that I ever paid any real attention to fitness articles.

After 10 minutes, I was on the verge of collapse. I wasn't breathless or tired, I was faint and light-headed.

Fearing an imminent heart attack, I sat on the curb with my chest heaving, while my oblivious doggie ran around in a circle with the radius the length of his leash and marked every tree in it.

That was not the worst. I then felt like vomitting, even though I had not eaten anything the whole morning -- which on hindsight might not have been such a good idea -- and started dry heaving.

Strangely, I felt right as rain after that and could even take my doggie to his fave park to run around. But I'm too demoralised by my inability to run even 500m that that may be the last time I attempt to jog.

Healthy lifestyle? Bah!

Wednesday, November 21

lawn furniture

ReadyMade magazine is like a vault of ideas for my never-ending list of WIP. The instructions for this green couch seem simple enough. I'm thinking of attempting an armchair, to begin with. Starting small...

i don't think so

Silly PR: Will you be able to make it for the event tomorrow?
Me: I don't think so.
Silly PR: You don't think so you can make it?

If you can't tell what is wrong with the above conversation, I don't think so we can be friends.

yo yo yo

The worst rap in the world. It doesn't even rhyme. And my beloved Mr Man looks like a fool, though not as big a fool as the rest of the pseudo rappers from MDA.

Wednesday, November 14

a rolling stone gathers more than moss

I was so intrigued by this mini sculpture -- the giraffe made me giggle -- by Jennie Maneri that I had to find out what the heck Katamari Damacy was. Yes, I'm aware the cool kids probably are no longer even playing PS2 and have moved on to Wii, but I'm still fascinated by a game in which you do two of my favourite activities -- rolling around and gathering tiny objects.

Monday, November 12

it's a sickness, y'all

I've been stricken again. I simply gotta have these two prints, The Barbie Murders, from Etsy seller Wilde Designs framed up and hung side by side. The fallen stiletto just kills me.

My twin has volunteered to shoot something similar for me. Just need to dig up my old dolls.

Sunday, November 11

in the pink of health

Boy, am I glad to see the last of that grapefruit juice.

For the past three days, I have been on the first and only diet of my life -- the grapefruit diet -- in the name of journalism.

Before every meal, I had to either eat half a grapefruit or drink a large glass of grapefruit juice. Since I couldn't find the fruit in the supermarket, I settled for three large bottles of the organic stuff.

The best part of the diet was the two slices of bacon and two eggs I was allowed every morning. After I had first downed a large grapefruit juice, of course, which felt very acidic on the tummy, but also rather refreshing.

Lunch and dinner was a meat and a salad, which wasn't that difficult, and I was allowed to eat as much as I wanted. But the tough part was no sugar and no carbo, which meant no desserts and no pasta or noodles.

By Day Three, I was hallucinating about a large plate of spaghetti smothered in tomato sauce and thoughts of the Ben & Jerry's in my fridge kept popping up for no reason.

All the deprivation was worth it, though. I'm proud to announce that I'm now 1kg lighter. But I'm not touching grapefruit again for a couple of months at least.

Saturday, November 3

bidding war

Do you have a practically worthless pack of Pokemon cards that you would like to turn into some spending money? One harrassed mother of six did just that on eBay, with a lot of humour, and made some US$142. Not sure how long more the page will remain since the auction ended some time ago, so faster click and see.

And yes, I'm back to my bad eBaying ways again.

Tuesday, October 30

friday night always is a happy day

For the entertainment of heavily pregnant women -- and I can't believe there are two such readers out there -- this may make you laugh so much that you go into labour.

I got this e-mail after I wrote about being alone and not lonely:

Dear Suzanne,

After reading your article at LifePeople... Sound like you are interesting person, I always wanted to meet. The fact that, I get inspiration from your words 'Sure I can, but it's easy to go by myself'.

Five years ago, I met one of my customer from American. She told me that, Singapore will become one of the great city in the world but are we facing the social communication change? Do we really have to work and live like that?

All I need, just wanted to meet up the same topic crowd to get my writing flow. Friday night always is a happy day. Perhaps, we can meet up for chatting in near CBD area. One of the bar or caffee...

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

There was an attachment with his CV {I call it a CV only to be kind}:

London College of Communication - Graduate Diploma in Creative Media, Graphic Design, 2004 – Recently, I have been working in printing and book industry after graduated; I do simple design and print all kind of books, letters, DM, invitation card etc.

Now, my work also involve in visual juarnal, creative writing, proof read checking and others. Beside, in some case we have to provide some suggestion topical letter.

I am Asian born Chinese, writer and designer. What made me to continued write well infor, funny and life? Once, I got your commission and gift


Another "fan" wrote the following, despite the T word not being used in the most recent column but one many months ago:

You wrote to your readers in a recent byline to drop you a line, so let me blast straight off the blocks and say, with my totally unabashed admiration coupled with a guilty tinge of male arousal - that you're one hell of a young woman journalist to pen the word 'tampons' in a family-friendly paper, alluding to personal use … I can't recall any other lady reporter brandishing that word so offhandedly in the entire history of SPH's English-language news print media.

Hey, don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those middle-aged uncle perverts out to score with provocative praise, then scurry off with grave urgency … it's just that until I read your article on, oh well whatever it was, I thought I was the occasional Singaporean who would get overly explicit in thought and talk, but now I know I'm not alone. There should be a chatroom committed to people like us (NOT that PLS, please!).

Meanwhile, I prefer to remain anonymous, awaiting your next piquant declaration! :- ))

I don't know which is worse -- a proof read checker who can't spell or a tampon-fixated pervert.

Sunday, October 28

the perils & joys of a well-stocked larder

On my supermarket sweep on Friday -- I was actually excited before it -- I got everything on my list for $29.90. Check out my very impressive shopping cart:

Extension cord
Two pints Ben & Jerry's
Valley Chef Sausages
Kitchen towels
Toilet paper
Canned mushrooms
Half a chicken
Frozen dim sum
Ant baits
Two large cans of Baygon
Breakfast ham 300g
Two good sized hunks of steak
Spring roll skin
Tinned tuna
Frozen prawns buy-one-get-one-free
Fish fingers
Fake crab meat
Magic sponge

Long live shopping vouchers redeemed from credit card points! Lugging home all those shopping bags was a pain in the arms though.

My fridge is ready in the event of a nuclear fallout, but the downside is that I keep thinking about what to eat next. Like now, I'm considering padding downstairs to get two scoops of ice cream. And what I can cook with frozen prawns. I'm thinking garlic prawns with pasta. Mmm...

And I'm still so incredibly impressed by the final item I grabbed on impulse, the magic sponge -- proper term is melamine foam -- which my colleagues had raved about.

The innocent looking piece of white foam can really work wonders. I tried it, half doubtingly, on a tea-stained mug. The yellowish marks came off when I wet the sponge and rubbed it like an eraser. I next tried it on my hot water flask, formerly grey, now back to pristine white.

I was on a roll. My sink, my tabletop, even my laptop. All so clean now. So effortless! And so fuss free! Just add water.

Okay, before I sound completely like a bad infomercial extolling the virtues of a piece of foam, I better end this auntie report. Back to looking for dirty surfaces to buff!

Friday, October 26

wip #3

I have an illness. I see a pretty picture and I have to frame it. Finally, after months and, in some cases, years, they are all up on the wall. {Please pardon the poor photography, it's hard to shoot a picture perfect picture of a picture.}

Two old school French advertisements sit atop my bookcase with my parents' honeymoon luggage.

I look at this pix of Nicole Kidman's retreating back in the fluffiest pink gown every time I go up and down the stairs.

This was meant to be a temporary home for this print of a girl reading in a tree, as it was just the right size to block the ugly wall socket next to my bed.

Ran out of places to hang this, so over the door it went. I still love the snoozing bear in the bottom right corner.

(Second row from bottom, right) Pink flamingos that I coloured myself. Strut. It also hides a bunch of messy wires behind.
(Third row from bottom, left) Lacquered cover of Le Lotus Blue, my fave Tintin story.
(Fourth row from bottom, middle) Postcards from The Elegant Twenties by George Barbier.
(Fifth row from bottom, right) Framed wrapping paper from Prints which once toppled off the shelf in the middle of the night for no reason.

I saved this eggy photo from my starving student days in London.

Artwork on loan from Mousey, who has just given birth to a piglet, and thus can't have this painting hanging over the crib for superstitious reasons.

I need to find some other way to display my collection of postcards. I thought of clipping them to a cloth-covered branch, but as you can see, that is still a WIP.

Sunday, October 21

let me count the ways

How smashed was I on Saturday night?

1. I lost count of the amount of champagne consumed. K said it was seven bottles. There were 10 of us. You do the math.

2. I had a nasty tequila shot. 'Nuff said.

3. I fought off extremely sleepiness, a sure sign of impending drunkenness.

4. I hugged K and wished him happy birthday, followed by the performing-seal clap. More than once.

5. The blisters on my foot no longer hurt. The healing powers of alcohol.

6. I sang along with THE William Scorpion.

7. I waved my arms along with THE William Scorpion and assorted bengs and lians.

8. I dozed off in a car with four gay boys singing along to Chicago's Hard To Say I'm sorry at 4am.

9. My doggie did his mandatory Welcome Home pounce and I lost my balance.

10. I fell asleep without removing my make-up and got up two hours later to shower at dawn.

Tuesday, October 9

i saw, eye sore

She noticed him the moment he appeared, because his hair seemed extraordinarily black.

Or was it because he strode about with such arrogance, like he owned the place?

Or was it the striped shirt with the rumpled rolled-up sleeves? [But no, she only noticed that later upon closer contact.]

He called out her name, just once, barely taking his eyes off the sickly green folder in his hands.

He glanced around, saw a figure in a blue dress trying gormlessly to gather her belongings while tangled in her ear phones, and returned straight to his room.

She scurried after him with her Big Brown Bag, ridiculously happy that he had not mispronounced her name.

"Sit," he said with his back to her.

She sat. He scribbled. She fidgeted.

He finally swiveled around. His movements were decisive. He did everything crisply. Time was of the essence here.

He was cute, was her first thought. Possibly it was because of her impaired vision.

Her second was, even though we were the only two in the room, he was not looking at me.

"Look straight at me," he said, his face inches away from hers.

So she did, staring directly into a blinding pinpoint of light.

"Look at my left ear."

So she did, stifling an inappropriate giggle.

"Now look at my right ear."

She did it with great difficulty. She was not used to staring at ears.

He reached over and touched her. No one had touched that part of her before.

As he flipped her eyelid over, she flinched reflexively.

He made consoling noises, like she was an obedient puppy, and then flipped it back down.

And then it was over to the other eye. Flip up. Good girl. Flip down.

Before she could blink, he was bending his head, scribbling away in that folder on his lap.

"Your corneas have minor scratches," he informed the folder.

He gave her a prescription and payment instructions, reciting them for perhaps the 20th time that day. Distractedly, harriedly, even wearily, but not unkindly.

He picked up another folder from the pile. She let herself out.

She had just seen the eye doctor. But he had not seen her.

Friday, October 5

puppy love

Six extremely cute, adorable-until-can-die black Labrador-mix puppies up for adoption. They will be put down if no one takes them in.

Let me know if you want to adopt one. I wish I could!

Friday, September 28

bush baby

"What's that I see in my human's hand? Ear drops! Nooooooo!

"I better hide among the bushes and hope she doesn't attack me with those foul-smelling ear drops!

"In fact, I think I should shake my head vigorously to get rid of the ear drops after the attack.

"Yes, that shall be my plan of action. I don't care if the ear drops sting her eyes or blind her!"

Sunday, September 23

wip #3

I've framed a couple of prints from Etsy, an old Chanel ad with Nicole Kidman and a colouring project of two pink flamingoes, intending to hang them all together over my bed.

But the thought of multiple brain contusions in the middle of the night deterred me, so I've to find alternative places to hang them. For now, they languish along the corridor.

As for the empty yellow wall behind my bed, I have a WIP #4. A mural!

Friday, September 21


Doggie ate in a restaurant today for the first time. It was a real classy joint, too, with a chandelier dripping with crystals, antique damask couches and a waitress:customer:dog ratio of 3:2:1. I'm glad he didn't embarrass himself by using the wrong fork, although he did get a sharp warning when he lifted one hind leg to mark his territory.

Although his food cost half of mine (human's carbonara, $11.90; dog's fish chowder with brown rice, $6), his enjoyment was double of mine. His speed, too, was double.

But I drew the line at ordering him a $4.50 Berry Milkshake. If I was drinking plain water, then so was he.

Thursday, September 20

i said bye to my drug pusher

So, after nearly two years of popping pills every morning, my doc decided it was time to stop. He'd tried to ease me off it a couple of months ago, but because I'd always had episodes in the past when medication was stopped, I kept resisting.

But now I feel ready to stand on my feet again without the drugs.

Friday, September 14

i do have a social life*

"Wake up, my human, wake up!"

It was supposed to have been a day for running errands and catching up on elf work. Not exactly the sort of day you bounce up from bed and greet with joy.

But the day got better just one hour after I dragged myself off my supremely comfy -- albeit dog fur-covered -- bed, when Mel suggested we lunch with Randolph at the Botanic Gardens.

Errands can wait.

We had a yummy laid-back lunch in the open-air cafe, which brought back so many memories of the golden age of the Friendship Programme**. Was it already that many years ago that we frittered away hours there planning a surprise birthday for TPL [which involved a hotel room and a half-naked Ah Gu]?

Doggie had fun, too, sniffing every single tree, pissing on every other pillar and basking in admiring looks from strangers.

After a very fruitful running of errands in Chinatown, it was off to the shop to do more mindless things like sending out mass emails about Swirl's latest collection.

Then unexpectedly, a Facebook event invite popped up. Drinks that night at Jessica's new place! I couldn't wait to see her spanking new and very white apartment, but oh, how it rekindled my dreams of home ownership. One day, one day, when Swirl makes it big...

Somehow, I found myself messaging my lurve in the middle of happy hour: "So many people here, but only two cute guys max."

Sadly, it was true. [Even sadder still, I later found out that one of the cute guys whom I did speak to was a practiced charmer, while the other one, who probably didn't even notice my presence, was married with a dozen kids. Oh, there was a couple of cute angmoh boys, whom I mistakenly picked up on my gaydar cos they were dressed so spiffy and air-kissed me and all, but then I've always preferred decent Chinese boys.]

Still, it was nice to talk to a whole bunch of really articulate people, including one who tried to educate me on the intricacies of the re-insurance business, another on the labour laws of employees earning above $1,600 and yet another on the joys of the SAF. No, really, it was more interesting than it sounds.

Happily, serendipitously, six-degrees-of-separationly, I also met up with a high school friend whom I'd not seen for -- get this -- sixteen years. Yup, we were both horrified at how old we were.

The night ended with me being driven to pick up my car -- parked stupidly far away -- by the SAF enthusiast, narrowly missing a police road block at Holland Village, and a very happy doggie who had stayed up all night waiting for his human to come home.

* Just a couple of days ago, I was lamenting to Mel that I have zero social life. My schedule revolves around sub-editing, elf work and dog-walking. Oh, and a lot of crime programmes on TV. Yes, I follow Bones, but don't look down on me please. But for once, I actually have plans for Saturday night -- Boogie Night! I've got my outfit all planned and it's a good one [ie. I think I look kinda hot. Haha, shameless!], so watch this space for drunken pix.

** The Friendship Programme deserves a complete post of its own, but it's shrouded in so much nostalgia that I find it impossible to capture even its essence in words. [Actually, I feel very clumsy with words these days. Coherent sentences, form with difficulty, by me.] Coincidentally, the subject came up thrice that day with three different people.

Sunday, August 26

who doesn't like baby pix?

One final look at my baby blankie, put to its intended use.

sofa, so good

The first (and only) photo in my Abandoned Sofas series.

why i'm a lousy photographer

Rain started drizzling down as I hurried to the bus stop.

It was that strange inconsequential silent sort of rain that hardly wets you and can barely be seen except under the streetlights.

My bus number 77 trundled past the National Museum where a kampung-style movie screening was taking place under the giant banyan tree.

I couldn't see what was playing on the screen but against the white of the building, there were the silhouettes of perhaps a hundred little heads, rapt and still. And here and there, above the heads, the distinctive upside-down-bowl shapes of umbrellas bobbed about.

If I were truly dedicated, I would have hauled my ass off the bus, rummaged through my tote for my camera -- which I'd borrowed precisely because I'd wanted to take better photos -- and captured that shot, rain be damned.

Tuesday, August 21

WIP #2

It started as a pancake stack of squares. Actually, it began as 10 balls of wool. No, actually, it was a sheep eating grass in New Zealand or somewhere. Anyway...

I took forever to join the 16 squares together. And then there's this mysterious process called blocking to make the not-very-square squares totally square. It involves the pins you see above.

Finally. Done. Done. Done. Just in time for birth of the National Day baby.

Bobo Wong keeps kicking it off though. It's the thought that counts, right?

Friday, August 17

salted fish

A frozen salmon, uncovered in an exploration expedition to the depths of my freezer, inspired me to attempt poaching for the first time.

I wanted to make some sort of terikayi broth and simmer the fish in it, but realised it would be easier just to pan fry it, then add the watered-down marinade. It was super salty, which is exactly the way I like my food.

Served on a bed of soba noodles, with seaweed and a ridiculous amount of sliced spring onions on top. Yum.

Wednesday, August 8


What I've been doing at work all day. Add me! Add me! Send me flowers!

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

i've had exactly the same thought

“There are nights when I can’t sleep. I go into a fantasyland and tableau sort of thinking, like, Tonight would be the perfect night to say, ‘Honey, I’m really tired and worried about work. And tell me about your day.’ Do you think someone will read this and try to get in touch with me? If I read that about someone, I’d drop him a note.”

Marc Jacobs, interviewed by Amy Larocca in Lost and Found.

Monday, August 6

bunny family

From top: Bunny me, bunny sissy, bunny daddy and bunny mummy. Boing boing boing.

Sunday, August 5

sunny side up

Lazy Sunday brunch. Looked like a frown, but still brought a smile to my face.

P.S. I've been trying without success to fry eggs that have whites that are, how should I describe them, bubbly, and the yolks still runny. Like those from Muslim food stalls with the dark sauce. I never seem to be able to get the oil hot enough.
P.P.S. This is also not a food blog. Heh.

Wednesday, August 1


After hearing snippets of this song by Eason Chan, I finally got round to finding out the title and "obtaining" [don't ask by what means] it. It was only then that I realised why I was so drawn to it -- it's written by none other than Jay.



我说了 所有的谎
简单的 我爱你
因为我喜欢 喜剧收尾
我试过 完美放弃
也不见得把 爱情唱得完美
我们的回忆 没有皱褶
我却得到你 安慰的淘汰
也不见得把 爱情唱得完美
我们的回忆 没有皱褶
我却得到你 安慰的淘汰

Saturday, July 28

WIP #1*

"Randolph! Sit! Stay! I need to take your photo!"

Y'all know I love my dog, right? I mean, you've seen the "I love my dog (and yours is cute too)" tee that I wear to death. For the past couple of weeks, I've been half-heartedly trying to snap a photo of the silhouette of my dog to then blow up and cut out on coloured paper.

Today, I stumble across this photo from Cut Arts. I'm now even more determined than ever to make this work.

*WIP = Work In Progress

Wednesday, July 25

printed matter

So, I'm torn. Which of these should I get?

The snoozing bear in the bottom right corner just did it for me. From Apak

Heart-broken pink bear, who can resist you? From Ghost Ghost Teeth

It's not a coincidence that all the prints I've chosen are sorta this shade of sea foam. From Alicia Bock

I used to doodle stuff like this, before I was convinced that I couldn't draw. Maybe I should just draw something on my own instead of buying. From Benben

Tuesday, July 24

be nice to the little people

My love for all things miniature should be well known. Check out this Little People website, where little handpainted people are left in London to fend for themselves. At 150 pounds for a print, though, the price tag is a bit too large for me.