|Subject:||Moving On: Resolutions 2014|
An early one...
- BE healthy (which means keep clean in every sense of the word especially of my surroundings especially at home in my pigsty room) so that i fall sick less.
- Shop less which also means hoard less which is in a way linked to the one above.
- Be thankful of the loved ones and friends who stick around i.e never take them for granted, ever.
- Change job. 'nuff said
|Subject:||We should never take our health for granted|
Two random bit of news put me in my place and things into perspectives.
|Subject:||The not-very-short recap of USA 2013|
Because i'm in one of those very rare good mood and this is also one of those experiences that i need to document down and so here i am.
The highlight of 2013 for me which you would know or guess by now if you are with me on FB or Twitter has got to be the trip to the west coast of the US. No doubt it was only to that one small strip of California and for a mere two weeks covering SF, LA and Monterey, it was momentous enough for me coz i really didn't think i'll ever step foot so high up in the western hemisphere in this lifetime. Sure we talked about it since 2005/6 when i was at TSP but it has been so long that i had given up hope that it'll even come about. Well it did so i guess it was 7-8 years in the making?
I am a tad sad that i didn't get to experience SF it all its glory. I was with a companion who doesn't drive too and so we had to get about in the city by foot or public transport which can be quite a pain. But that didn't spoil the mood coz it was quite liberating (though quite excruciating at times) to be the one and only person to navigate and find our way around everywhere we go. Some unpleasant moments transpired and we didn't get to experience SF in its full glory, like seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from one and only one angle and not even attempting to climb it; not visiting the famous Lombard Street while we were in the city; not visiting Alcatraz; not being able to enjoy the day trip to Yosemite aftering the bus broke down midway; not knowing and thus not visiting the Gate of Paradise at Grace Cathedral coz i didn't know there was a replica there; not taking snaps of the famous US shopping malls while in Union Square, et cetera. All that aside, we did take all different modes of public transport i.e. the tram, MUNI, buses; experience getting lost in SF; witnessed the Pink Parade; ate the bestest clam chowder and bestest half lobster at Fisherman's Wharf; took the Greyhound to Gilroy (and arrived in one piece); and getting a Chanel in the US (yes, insane coz who gets Chanel in the States and especially in Cali with high sales tax with no tax refunds). Well, that's about the gist of it in SF. Almost, if you count witnessing the wreckage of the fallen Asiana plane at SFO on the runway as our plane taxi-ed out to bring us home. A tragedy that left me in chills when i got wind of it while in LA.
Anyway Gilroy itself was fun. In a way i guess coz that was my first time in such a mega huge factory outlet (not knowing i was gonna visit another two more in LA). Again, being unable to drive was a royal PITA coz Gilroy was not well constructed compared to the other two. The outlets were spread out like a cross and we had to cross the roads to get to each block. Imagine lugging bags of loots under the hot sun waiting for traffic to change to get to the other block. And holding our phones up high to catch wifi signals to WA home to ask our folks on stuff (mainly Coach) that they have given us their wishlists of. Even though our hotel was right smack in the factory outlet itsef, it was really very tiring at the end of the day. And that was like just half a day since we got there around noon time or past. Reprieve came in the form of In-and-Out Burger; not so much of the burger but the fries coz it simple is The.Best.Fries.Ever. Better than Macs and LJS, trust me on that. When i had my first fry, i thought i've died and went to fry heaven. Yes it was really that good. I wish we have that here in SG coz i'm making me crave for me now. Now let's retract abit and talk about the part of us getting there to Gilroy. Greyhound was thankfully a safe mode of transport despite much negative reviews. It could possibly be because it's not a long haul journey and it was day time when we got on and off. When we got off at the Gilroy station, it was a diferent story altogether. The station was not that near the 'heart' of it i.e. the factory outlet i.e. our hotel and we had to get a cab there. Except that there wasn't any cabs readily available and the town near the station was so sleepy and whatever shops that flanked the road looked as though they were having a perpetual siesta. Either that or they all went out of business. We saw one hatchback cab come along and flagged it down immediately. The driver was a Latin American and had a ragged old man who resembled a homeless seated in the front passenger seat. Seeing that should raise alarm bells in my head but guess what? We got on the cab after agreeing to a price and was driven around and around going to workshops and that's when major alarm bells came on. When we enquired, the driver that he was looking to replace his tyre and would drive us to the hotel after he checked with the workshops. Mercifully, we did arrive at the hotel in one piece and i have to admit that that wasn't the smartest decision i've made on that trip. In fact, the stupidest coz we could have been driven anywhere coz we had absolutely no idea what he was talking to those people in the workshops: they could be negotiating a price for the sale of us in Mexican or whatever langugage for all we know. Trust me, i learnt my lesson on that one.
We spent a day at Gilroy and our friend came over to fetch us to his nest in Monterey County. It was my first time seeing fog upclose and it was so so surreal. I actually love (and miss) the fog when i came back! Anyhoo, Monterey is a quaint self sufficient town away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It reminds me of Perth in a way, all laidback and chill. If there is one thing that makes me wanna stay in Monterey forever, the weather will definitely be it. Sunny and cold, how not to love you tell me? You can feel warm and not perspire ever, that's my kind of weather for sure. And have i mention how much i love supermarketing? The variety is just astounding so much so that i wanted to lug almost everything back. Keyword here is 'almost' ok. We had the opportunity to step into Costco, which is a Members-only supermarket that sells everything in bulk. I tell ya, my aunt would definitely have a field day there. Maybe me too coz i am such a hoarder haha. There are several towns in Monterey County itself - we were in Monterey and visited Del Rey Oaks, Marina, Seaside, Pacific Grove during our stay there. As we drove down to LA, we passed Salinas as well; not a very safe town as i was told especially at night coz there can be alot of gang wars going on. Jumping ahead to our last full day in Monterey, we drove down to Carmel-by-the-Sea, the atas part of Monterey County and thereafter down a stretch of Highway 1 so that we can check out the scenic coastal route which we missed during our roadtrip to LA. The highlight of the drive down to Big Sur was the stop at Pfeiffer beach, one of those beaches where you gotta know where to turn into that easy-to-miss-one-lane stretch. What's special about Pfeiffer beach is that it has purple sand. Ok the sand isn't all purple but it looks purple from the manganese garnet in the hills that got washed down. It was truly a sight to behold and our dear friend brought small pill bottles for us to bring some of the sand back home as a souvenir. It wasn't easy to get the purple sand in coz 1) it was too sunny and we couldn't really see what we were scooping in for nuts; 2) we had to make sure that we scooped more purple sand rather than normal sand sand in; and 3) the ocean breeze was extremely strong and despite the sun shining down relentlessly, i was freezing cold being underdressed that i usually am. Nonetheless, i was glad that we made that trip down. Driving through the fog that hid the green mountains and clear blue sky and along the coast with the Pacific Ocean next to us was really an experience of a lifetime. The drive along GOR pales in comparison to this somewhat though i love it too.
Now, the drive to LA. Have i mention that i really love roadtrips? Even if i don't drive? Well, probably coz i don't drive that's why hehehe. Despite being warned beforehand not to get our expectations and hopes too high on LA, it was still quite disappointing to see that the true LA isn't as glamorous as it is made out to be. The flashing billboards and lights add on to the image at night no doubt but Sunset Boulevard, despite the hype and all, looks old and tired. We drove to DTLA in the day and i couldn't imagine how it would be like at night which i was told is full of homeless people hanging and wandering around. Highlights included visiting two more factory outlets and scoring more loots; visiting the entrance of Griffith Obsevatory so that we can view the Hollywood sign; visiting the Sunset Stripe, seeing the Hollywood Stars on the ground and shouldering the human mascots that plow the streets; witnessing the LAPD and Home Team Security patrolling Rodeo Street on the 4th of July; witnessing the 4th of July fireworks at the Palisades while seated on damp grass in the cold somewhere in the Palisades; having fireworks being set off left right front back as we drove on back to Sunset Boulevard on Independence Day (or night); visiting the iconic USH on the Forth of July weekend and getting sunburnt while queuing for the rides (Studio Tour, Transformers, The Mummy, The Simpsons); visiting Venice Beach (and Abbot Kinney along the way) and Santa Monica, narrowly missing out Malibu Beach where the Korean drama The Heirs was filmed; driving through Rodeo Drive; having the most awesome prawns at Hot & Spicy; trying Bubba Gump Shrimp for the very first time and wasn't impressed with it.
There are plenty much more that i can talk about of my virgn trip to the US but i guess it is not possible to put them all down in words but the memory will definitely remain in my head. Especially if it's gonna be my one and only and so the last trip there perhaps? (Even though i would really really love to visit the east coast too :p)
|Subject:||Cockroach 2 gwennie 0|
The pesky pest of a cockroach scored another one on me again when it crawled on my arm at 4 in the morning of Wednesday while i was in light sleep mode (coz i was dreaming). I woke up feeling something on my arm and as i sat up with my body slightly turned to the right, i saw the shadow of one yucky roach scuttling away down into the stuff near my bed. For that stunned moment as i tried to wake myself up from slumber, i just sat there unmoving. Later on, as my brain started to wake, i went to the bathroom to wash my arm and then got the insecticide out and sprayed. And sprayed. And sprayed. As lightly as i could without waking my aunt and suffocating the two of us with the fumes. I doubted that i managed to kill the roach (as long i don't see the carcass, i cannot bring myself to believe that it is dead) and so have been sleeping amidst paranoia and worry for the past few nights, hoping that i don't get a repeat of what happened. So much so that i sprayed the room for two consecutive nights until the aunt told me to stop it last night lest we kill ourselves breathing in too much of the insecticide. Which i acquisced but i kept with the spraying on the ledge that connects the kitchen with the living room and the entrance to the bedroom, with the hope that i would at least stop the roach from crawling in. And keeping my fingers crossed that none that is already hidden in the room would crawl onto me again while i sleep.
|Subject:||Cockroach 1 gwennie 0|
It's not something pleasant (as you can figure from the subject) coz i "smoked" myself with insecticide as i tried to kill this particular roach that crawled out on the table onto my laptop screen and towards the cover. Well i couldn't spray insecticide on the laptop obviously and so had to wait out till it crawled away to some other part of the table, unplug the laptop from the adaptor, bring the laptop onto my bed and pull the adapter and wire away before i started spraying. Nonstop. Everywhere. At every crevices and nooks possible. Until i managed to "smoke" out the damn pest and it wriggle and wilt to death outside on the kitchen map.
Well then. I killed the roach didn't i? Of coz i did but at the same time my room reeks and stinks of insecticide that i wonder if i would suffocate from inhaling too much of it too. And since the aunt and i share the room and i sprayed in those nooks around her bed, i don't think she will be much pleased (to know what i did) and to have to inhale so much insecticide (though not as much as me) because of what i did. Which was only because i dared not catch/kill the damn pest with my hands, even with paper to paw and crush it.
So in the end i opened the windows wide, made sure the fan was blowing at maximum speed and mopped the areas where i sprayed to minimise the damage. She hadn't said anything after she came back though i still detect the lingering smell so i guess i'm in the clear somewhat. In her case at least. As for me, excuse me while i go smell coffee powder. I hope i don't OD on caffeine through inhaling it.
|Subject:||For posterity reasons, i want it noted down...|
The most amazing and magical moment of my time in the States was during our drive back from the Palisades to Coral Sands Motel at West Sunset Boulevard on the 4th of July, where we saw fireworks lit up in the sky from every corner of LA (it was neverending!) and like the excited kids we were, we kept pointing and shouting "there" "there" in the car and poor CS who was the driver had to keep his eye on the darkened highway road and couldn't turn his head at every of our single excited point and shout. So much so that he had to request that we stop "there" "there"-ing and state where exactly (in terms of the clock-hands movement) whenever we saw the next fireworks up in the sky as he drove us back.
If the title sounds/reads familiar, translate it to Hokkien and you'll get it.
The aunt took to the Hokkien saying quite literally this morning. I was making luncheon meat sandwich toast this morning and as i was spreading the luncheon meat on the bread on the toaster, i saw cockroach feelers peeping out from underneath the metal plate. I was shocked when i saw those feelers coz there was barely any opening for the roach to crawl in in the first place. Granted that the metal plate was not fitted in tightly, i couldn't for the life of me figured how to roach crawled in. Anyway, i shrieked when i saw the feelers and grabbed my bread slices off the metal plate lest the feelers contaminated my food.
I called out to my aunt and she told me that it was ok and i should just continue with making the toasts coz there was no way the roach could have crawled out. She took the toaster and hit it by the sides, trying to get the stupid roach to come out but it didn't. She placed the toaster back on the kitchen top and told me to continue. Which i did. Well we forgot this one step of heating the toaster up to force the roach out or even kill it with the intense heat before i started to toast the bread proper, coz the feelers came out from the other side of underneath the metal plate again as i was spreading the luncheon meat on the other bread slice. I shrieked and asked the aunt again that it was indeed safe to use the toaster and she gave the affirmation.
So i completed the spreading, pressed down the toaster and switched on the electricity. About a minute through, i saw the damn feelers again and this time from the back. I screamed for the aunt again and she switched off the electricity and hit the toaster again. This time, the roach crawled out and she caught it as it was crawled onto the kitchen wall. I asked her if it is still safe for me to eat the toasts since the roach crawled out from underneath the metal plate and might have contaminated the toasts. She said it wasn't possible since we hadn't used insecticide on it. Well, being the gullible one that i am, i continued on and ate the toasts. That it didn't taste as good, attributable to either the brand of the luncheon meat or the roach, i did not know. All i knew was that i needed to down the toasts coz i was to have a long day ahead which ended in naught coz i was chased home for being still so sick.
So yeah that was the story of la1 sap4 jia3, la1 sap4 dua3 :p
|Subject:||The first (or amongst the first) to know|
I may not have a wide circle of friends but i am heartened that the few whom i know felt that i am a good-enough friend (to them) to be let in on their big news: one with a wedding (or a ROM to be precise) to come and another with a third BB along the way. And yes, they have since 'announced' it publicly now but to be in the loop of first-hand news back then really gave me a warm feeling through and through (:
|Subject:||And so the typical Sunday ritual goes|
I have dinner (food) at tea time and yes i am done with dinner for Sunday already.
(Time check: 3.41pm)
|Subject:||In other news, besides the rain-everyday phenomenon|
CNY 2013 came and gone and boy am i glad that it is over. The pre leading up saw me busy with work and somehow being tired and puffy-eyed almost every single day despite sleeping and waking around the same time. Then there were the massive spring-cleaning that spanned across four Saturdays and knowing me as you do, i absolutely LOATHED spring-cleaning to the max; it doesn't help that i'm a hoarder and the custom-built furniture meant that it's home to pests (namely ants and roaches) which meant that it's hell to clean and clear up. Have i mentioned how much i hate roaches? And that i got multiple ant bites all over my legs which itched like crazy and leaves awful looking scars?
CNY itself was pretty nondescript. As usual. Nothing out of the ordinary and as usual, nobody asked me that one question which i believe (and hope and pray) that will never be asked. I also spent the time getting on a K-drama marathon of Rooftop Prince which i know i'm slow to but then again, i was never into Yoo Chun (i think he looks kinda ahjussi even though he is younger than me) so i started watching it coz i needed a distraction and something to entertain me on the second day.
I think i almost caught a tum bug on the third day which was spent on the drama marathon after getting outta the house to get myself a muffin and a cuppa bright early in the morning. Which was why i was so surprised that i woke up feeling pretty ok on Wednesday to get to work. Not that i was looking forward to it coz i had some damn awful Wednesday blues that morning but at least i didn't feel lethargic nor do i have a pair of goldfish eyes on my face (something that had been plaguing me for the two weeks leading up to CNY).
Work was pretty blah this week but then again, i kept a low profile and didn't go antagonise the boss or stir up trouble (aka more work) for myself. I just want the work week to be over fast so that i can rest again over the weekend. Oh but the highlight of the CNY or the start of the work week in the year of the Snake has gotta be shaking hands with one of the more prominent figures in the jud.icary. It's nobody based in the building i work in but one whom i find to be down-to-earth and a decent fellow amongst the field of eagles. Cheap thrill i know but hey at least that made my day, or at least some.
|Subject:||Sometimes, you really can't have your cake and eat it too|
2012 has been a tumultuous year, full of ups and downs and more downs than up, which make me glad that we are at the tail end of it with the new year in sight.
Somehow, the Chinese saying "有得必有失" came to mind all of a sudden just like that. Not that i don't find it relevant or applicable to whatever had transpired over the year but i guess it is something that happens every year (and no, i ain't being pessimistic but merely being truthful, the way i am and can be). Just like how i titled this post with what i firmly believe in. Well, at least i don't mean for that to happen *all* the time which would be downright negative :p
Anyhooz, this is my last post for 2012. Have a splendid time counting down tonight (the weather's holding so it's all good isn't it) and as usual,
MAY 2013 BE A BLAST AND A BETTER YEAR FOR YOU!!!
|Subject:||Moving on: Resolutions 2013|
Until i get in the mood to review my achievements (or non-achievements) of my 2012 resolutions, here's a short and sweet one for 2013.
- Eat healthy (with the occasional indulgences once in awhile permitted) and be happy.
- Don't sweat the small stuff i.e. getting mad is fine but get over it soon too.
- Be thankful of the loved ones and friends who stick around i.e never tak them for granted, ever.
Ok they sound quite similarto my 2012's innit?
Before i hit 32, i told myself that i had better document that hilarious visit into the Horror Maze at Everland in Seoul.
Seoul was sorta an impulse trip for me. Having seen the piccas of ST in S.Korea earlier this year stirred up a keen wanderlust and when RTLS and YC told me that they were planning a trip there, i kinda 'invited' myself along and asked if i could go with them. Fortunately, my dear friends were accomodating enough and let me joined them and so it was a solo flight to and fro, with me meeting up with the two and part of her family (who were there for a family photoshoot) in the middle of their trip.
Everland was one of the days where all of us spent together. The three of us reached Everland first while her family joined us later. I took the roller coaster for the first time in 4 years (i think) with my last adventurous ride on one at Tokyo Disneyland. I must say that i didn't spend the ticket-worth there that day and the visit into Horror Maze came at an additional fee too. However, i surprised myself and RTLS by suggesting to go in and so the three of us paid for the ticket and waited for our turn to enter.
We were to enter the haunted maze/house in our own group and i being the scaredy cat (ironic i know, since i wanted to go in in the first place) told them that i wanted to be in the middle, with YC taking the lead and RTLS behind me. So i was holding on to YC's top and holding RTLS' hand as we ventured in the narrow-path maze.
The maze was all to be expected, with human actors masked as ghouls, vampires, mummies and dead carcasses chasing after us. We were running and screaming and laughing all at the same time through the maze (it wasn't a maze maze per se but a single route to the exit to be accurate) as those scaries were chasing us and coz it was so narrow, we bumped into things and at one point, RTLS fell and as she pulled me down, i dragged YC down as well and one of his shoe fell off. RTLS got jabbed by one of those poles that hold a hospital drip and as YC grabbed his shoe (without putting it back on) and pulled us all up, RTLS was in much pain, except that we didn't know it. We continued running through the maze and RTLS starting crying 'hajima hajima' and 'stop stop' alternately and since both YC and i had no idea what 'hajima' meant and we thought that she was asking the scaries to stop chasing after us, we continued on running and i dragging her along.
We literally ran through the maze (ok i know you know we ran through the maze as i have mentioned countless times already) with the scaries chasing us throughout and Rei crying out relentlessly. The last part of the maze was this corridor of doors and as we ran past it at top speed, the doors opened with the scaries in the room wanting to scare us. Except that we ran too fast for the scaries to open the doors and there were too slow to scare us coz we had ran past them and made it for the exit. By the time we burst out of the exit, we were literally bent over laughing out loud and those people who were waiting in the queue to enter the maze were staring at us, wondering what the hell is wrong with us coz we were all ROTFLOSO.
That done, as we collected ourselves, reality set in. RTLS scolded us for not stopping and YC and I defended ourselves coz we had no idea what 'hajima' meant and that she meant for us to stop running (as opposed to the scaries chasing after us). YC also tore his fabric shoe and was limping all the way back coz it was difficult to wear a shoe that was torn off.
That, was the highlight of the day and probably the trip. 真是一生难忘哈哈
|Subject:||As i progress to the second year of my 30s|
I realised that growing older doesn't make me mellower. It has just taught me to control my temper better compared to when i was younger and i've also learnt not to take BS from people which will 'shortchange' myself.
As sad as it, people do change and friends do come and go. Even those whom you are close to previously may end up moving out from your circle of friends; which is why i treasure those who are still in even more.
And at times like this, i wish i wasn't such a typical Capricorn.
|Subject:||You gotta give it to the ant|
I trapped an ant with water and observed how it struggled in the attempt to crawl out of the puddle which it couldn't do so without 'dragging' the water along with its body and eventually to its death, probably from a combination of exhaustion and drowned.
[ETA]: Oh no wait. The ant was merely resting to reserve its energy while waiting for the water to dry up so that it can move again. Great survival tactics!
I haven't been this angry in yonks.
|Subject:||A dazed and confused moment|
Perhaps a confused moment to be more accurate.
What happened was that i hopped on the train towards home coz i was headed for my facial at HV. I went through the motions i.e. my usual route to the MRT station, past the gantry, escalator on the extreme right down and turn left to the platform. The train arrived just as i got down the escalator and so i got on without a second thought.
I stood by the connector and was just stoning and minding my own business when it was going towards OP that i looked up towards the directional signs on top of the train doors. I was shocked to see that it was blinking towards Kallang and for that few minutes, i was stunned and thought to myself: did i board the train from the wrong platform (recalled my route and ey, it was correct, leh). The thought that "hey it sure is taking a long time to get to the next stop than what is usually." came to my head and i paused the song on my Nano and waited to see if i needed to get out and get on the train at the opposite platform.
As i was waiting for the train to stop at the next station i.e. Kallang, i looked around and then took out one side of my Klipsch and coincidentally, overheard a tele-conversation of this man standing opposite me with someone on the other end of his mobile. What he said assured that i was on the right track home coz he was telling whoever was on the line that the directional sign seemed to be faulty and that he was reaching Tiong Bahru next. By the time his convo ended, the train reached the next stop and lo and behold! It was Tiong Bahru station indeed!
Relief swept through me. I wasn't going bonkers that i wa hallucinating nor was i so darn stoned that i got on the wrong train. For awhile there, i even thought that SMRT changed the directions of the trains and i was headed the other way to the east instead lol.
Yes that was the moment that summed up the work day.
I'll be back to blog about that eventful moment in the Horror Maze at Everland.
And yes, i've gone to Seoul! One item of my (non-existent) bucket list.
|Subject:||While SG is just a tiny red dot on the map...|
It is funny and strange that our paths never seemed to cross, despite us visiting the same joints/places. Serendipity lost me along the way i guess.
|Music:||It Might Be You - Stephen Bishop|
Miracles happen every day of our lives. And the reason wedon't realise it is that most of the time we are in too much of a rush to notice the angels going about their business.