Friday, July 31, 2009

Surgeons discussion

Yes, it's friday again, so here's another joke to end the week! Have a great weekend!!

Five surgeons are discussing who are the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says, 'I like to see Accountants on my operating table because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.'

The second responds, 'Yeah, but you should try Electricians! Everything inside them is colour-coded.'

The third surgeon says, 'No, I really think Librarians are the best;everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'

The fourth surgeon chimes in, 'You know I like Construction Workers. Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would.'

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed, 'You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and there are only two moving parts - the mouth and the asshole - and they are interchangeable!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Toy

Hubby got his new toy last week.

He is not one that indulges in toys, but after observing his friends and fellow colleagues have so much "fun" with theirs, he decided to get his own. We are talking about the new iphone 3GS.

The family had a great time "exploring" his new toy. We have now downloaded games which unfortunately no one can play with unless its the weekend. You see, hubby relies a lot on that phone of his for work. And if everyone were to be playing games on it, the battery would only run out too quickly, and when he really needs it for work (which is 24/5 - 24 hours from Mon to Fri), he may be caught short. So we only get to play with it on weekends.

Smitten by it, but unfortuantely, I am not able to change to the iphone, coz it is only offered by one mobile company in Singapore, and I am not with that carrier. To buy it without a plan would just be too expensive!! So what can I do?

I am just making do with my current phone, which suits me fine. But guess what, I am getting the "brother" of the iphone - the itouch!!

It has all the capabilities of the iphone - except for the calling and messaging. So I can still have my games etc, and the kids will be able to play with it without worrying about interrupting Papa's work! So I have a new toy too!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cholesterol Heaven

Today, I made it to cholesterol heaven.

I had the famous Hill Street Char Kway Teow, and the sinful roxy Laksa.

And I had it both for lunch.


(Payback time will come later when I have to walk twice as long to work it off.)

Friday, July 24, 2009


(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(How come my kids use this on me ?!!?)

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome.' That will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying F--YOU!

(Woah! MY kids use this on me too!!)

(9) Don't worry about it, I'll do it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself.. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to # 3.

So men, now you know the meaning of these words - please know when to keep really quiet so that a storm will not ensue. This should also help you to know when you need to make a visit to the *Bling* supplier to get back into her good books.

And Ladies - we now know what we really mean. Heh! Heh! *wink*

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Entertaining at home

I love to entertain guests at home. I dont have to worry about getting someone to watch the kids, and being on "home-ground" has it advantages.

But I am one of those "worriers". Every time before the event, I will worry endlessly about any and every thing:

- aiyo!! the place is so messy. These guests will think that we are pigs. How come we can never seem to clear the mess!!

- will they be able to find their way to my place??

- parking - how are? Not enough space in my driveway sometimes!!

- what if the guests arrive late?? The food will be cold, and not nice!

- what if the food doesnt suit the guests??

- what if they think the food doesnt match??

- what if there is not enough food. Guess what? There will always be so much left overs as a result, and we can feed an army with the left overs.

- what if it rains?? - especially if we plan for it to be an alfresco event!!

- what if they bring ill-behaving kids and run the place over?? Or their kids may get bored. Will I have things to entertain their kids with??

Guess what? At the end of it, all that worry was usually unneccesary! Everything goes on as planned. Everything goes relatively smoothly. Even if there are hiccups - people just live with it, and we make do.

At the end of the day, it's usually the company and food that matters.

I am no Martha Stewart, so, no matter what, I still worry before the event.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Elephant Memory

'An elephant never forgets' is a saying, so if a person has a memory like an elephant, he or she has a very good memory indeed.

Just earlier this month, a former school mate of mine found me on FB. We have not met for close to 30 years. We were from the same secondary school, but were from different classes. But were in the same class in JC.

Wont say that we were terribly close, but we were fairly good friends in JC.

After close to 30 years, she managed to track me down, and you know what? She remembered my birthday!! And when I enquired about her family, she told me that her mum still remembers me, and even where my dad used to work! And my friend even remembered my nephew's name and age!! Talk about having an elephant memory, and this elephantine memory seems to run in her family!!

Now, I feel under pressure to try and recall her birthday!! My woman's intuition tells me its coming up in August, but I am not 100% certain.

Do you have an elephant memory?? I definitely do not!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bad hair Week

The week after you decide not to cut your hair and to let that great hairdressing discount lapse is guaranteed to be a bad hair week. Urghhhhhhhhh!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dont sweat the small stuff!

That's what I have been telling myself lately.

If others want to act idiotic, let them. It's none of my business.

If they want to lie thru' their teeth, it's their choice.

If they want to be selfish, that's their perogative.

If they think they are so great, let them think what they want, coz before they know it, they will be brought back down to earth, with a big thud!

Just as long as "they" are not one of my kids .... because I believe in teaching my kids good values :D

Which brings me to this poem:


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

By Wm. Henry Davies

So, I am not sweating the small stuff, I am letting others be, minding my own business, which leaves me some time to stand and stare!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Decisions! decisions!

I usually cut my hair once every 8 to 10 weeks. As I spot a short hair-do, it gets out-of-shape fairly quickly, and I always feel the need to cut it, or I will end up with "bad hair" days! Unlike those with long hair, my hair is too short to be tied, and hence the need for frequent trimming.

My hairdresser offers a 30% discount to his regular customers during the week before and after their birthday. I did not take advantage of the deal this year, as I had felt that my hair wasnt ready for a cut that week. MIL went for her cut last saturday, and negoiated with him to extend the discount to me for another week. She even made an appointment for me to go today!!

However, I woke up this morning, and felt that my hair actually looks really nice as is. A friend who I see regularly at little D's school also commented yesterday that she felt that my hair was looking really nice now. With the soft curl on my fringe, and a just-nice length, it gives me a more feminine look, she said! (I usually go for a cut coz I cant stand the curl on my fringe, and when it gets a little longer, the heavy curls at the back will start to act up - these natural curls that I have difficulty taming! Bah!) But now, she has given me a different perspective on my hair! *ding, ding* enlightenment?

If I do not go and get a cut today, my 30% discount will lapse.

To cut or not to cut, tis the question!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I remember when ...

... I was little, every visit to my maternal grandmother's house will be preceded with a request for yam rice.

You see, I enjoyed eating yam rice, but that was a dish which my mum never cooked at home! That was also one of the few things that my maternal grandma cooked that I truly enjoyed.

Yam rice is what you would call a one-dish meal. There is chinese mushrooms, dried prawns, belly pork, and of course, yam in it- all cooked together with the rice and some black sauce.

Today, I made a request for Yam rice, and my MIL indulged me by cooking it.

2 bowls of yam rice with one bowl of "bak kut teh" soup for lunch, and I was all set for my afternoon siesta.

That's the good life!!

Here's the recipe as requested by some of you:

Rice - wash, and put aside. After washing, meaasure out the water that would be needed to cook the rice as per usual, pour it into a cup

Fry some garlic in oil, and put it aside
Fry the dried prawns and put aside.
Fry the belly pork, then add in the chinese mushrooms. Add in the yam and fry for a little while. Add in the fried garlic, dried prawns, and the rice that had been washed (without the water). Add in some black sauce for colour and light soya sauce for taste. Transfer everything to the rice cooker, and add in the measured water, and leave to cook in the rice cooker. After a little while, say 10 mins, give everything in the rice cooker a good stir and leave it to cook until done.

Sorry no proportions are given, as everything for my MIL is agak-agak!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just one of those days!

Every morning, I usually check all my email accounts, my FB account, and the children's school website as well as the schools' parent portals. These portals are a source of info as they give the latest update on happenings in the school.

Last evening when my daughter was checking it, she mentioned that numerous school-wide activities have been cancelled for the rest of the term. This was probably due to the 2 new H1N1 cases in her school over the weekend!! As I keep details of all their school activities on my mobile, I thought I should take a look at it for myself and update my mobile. But I didnt do it right away as evenings are peak periods for computer usage at my home.

This morning, when I tried to log in, I found out that I couldnt get into the school portal. I was also locked out of my son's school portal!! I am very sure I got my passwords correct.

Sigh, it looks like its going to be one of those days!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's a Mum to do?

What does a mum do when her four and a half year old tells her she cant see?

A child that is fairly mature for her age, listens and takes instructions well, has a good command of the language, is able to explain things fairly clearly, and is being observed for a medical condition that could result in vision lost.

Well, the child complained about not being able to see well some 6 months back. The mum decided to observe her for a while. At the same time, the mum contacted the primary care physician for a referral to an opthamoligist that specializes in children with that medical condition. But, after a while, the child stopped complaining, and nothing was done.

About some 5 months later, the child mentioned she couldn't see again, and asked when she could visit the eye doctor. This time the mum called for an appointment, and the clinic, not deeming it an emergency, gave her an appointment 3 weeks down the road. In the meantime, the mum monitored the child. She noticed that at times the child stood as close as 5 inches from the TV. Mind you, the tv they have is not small, its a LCD that is almost 40 inches!! Is it true that she really couldn't see, which was why she was standing so close to the TV?

A week passed and the child enquired again about her appointment to see the eye doctor. When asked why she thought she needed to see the eye doctor, she explained again that she couldn't see clearly. This time she was more vivid in her description of her inability to see. She explained that when she was looking at the television, the fan, which was 2 feet to the left of the TV, is out of her vision!! A form of tunnel vision?

Immediately the mum called the eye clinic for an earlier appointment.

The day arrived for the doctor's visit. The child was all excited. At the clinic, they found that more than 10 others had the same appointment time as them, and most were new cases like them!! They were prepared for a long wait.

Soon the testing began. Many questions were asked. More tests were carried out in view of her medical condition. The brave child didn't even squirm when they gave her eye drops to dilate her eyes (where others many years older than her cried loudly!!), and went back again and again, uncomplaining, for more eye drops!!

After close to 3 hours at the clinic, and a few hundred dollars poorer, the final results were out. They were told that the child had no problems whatsoever with her eyesight. Her eyesight was perfect!!

What a relief!! But, the mum still wonders what triggered her child's complains of her inability to see?? Is it possible that the doctor missed something?? The mystery continues ......

At such a young age!

My son recently went on facebook. For him, its not so much to keep in touch with friends, but more to play games. But I must say, his number of friends are definitely growing on FB by the day ... many of whom are his classmates.

You probably know by now, if you play games on FB, after every game, there will usually be a post announcing your score. Depending on your privacy settings, you can then choose to publish it or skip publishing it.

Young boys, being young boys, will not hesitate to publish it, especially if its a new high score, or when they have beaten their friends's high score. I have told my son many times not to publish the comments, but he feels the need to publicise his successes and continues to do so after each game.

Well, yesterday, my son played a new game, and on one of his first trys he scored higher than a fellow classmate. My son immediately chose to publish the post. The post said something like "N has beaten M's high score in 'name of game' " and included details of his new score.

You know what his classmate M replied to my son? "Curse you, N!"

Woah! And it was a girl that said it! Why so vicious? And at such a young age? Was such a comment really necessary? Ungracious loser?

It's just an innocent game. And record scores are going to be broken all the time by others. A little while later, another of their classmate, J, indeed beat N's score at that same game!

Or am I over-reacting to her comment?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

She is going to make a good story teller

The other night when we were at dinner, (yes, that birthday dinner), the Guest Relations Officer from the hotel came with 2 "sculptured" ballons for the children. A pink and green flower - which Little D wanted and got, and a bird which my son quickly stretched his hand out for. My nephew, who is 6 y/o, thus ended up with none.

A little while later, the GRO came back with another 3 balloons. 2 swords - one which she gave to my nephew, and the other to my oldest. The other, a doggy ballon was given to my son, as he was very quick in stretching his hand out again!!

Naturally, one little girl was unhappy. Tho' she had the biggest, and in my opinion the nicest balloon, she was still unhappy. Why? Because all the kids love the sword balloons - as they love fighting and attacking each other with it.

I tried talking to my oldest to share or give it to her mei mei. Despite being 13 already, she is still a kid at heart and refused. 2 days later, Little D was still sulking and grumbling about not having the sword balloon. Nothing could pacify her ..... until her sister told her this story.

"You know why the lady gave us all those balloons? Kor Kor got the animal balloons, because sometimes he behaves like an animal. Jie Jie got the sword balloon, because I am skinny like the sword. You got the flower balloon because the lady thought you look as pretty as a flower!! Do you want to be skinny like the sword?"

Guess she will make up lovely stories just to keep her sword balloon!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another year older

..... and hopefully another year wiser.

But one thing I know for sure, it's another pound or even more heavier!!

We celebrated my birthday with a dinner at the Greenhouse, Ritz Carlton last week. The Greenhouse serves a lovely seafood buffet, with an extensive selection. Needless to say, we ate, and ate, and ate. Not so much to get our money's worth (it was definitely not a cheap buffet!), but to try as much as we could of what they had to offer - from Boston Lobsters, crays, chilli crabs, drunken prawns, black pepper prawns, oysters, not counting the Japanese selection of sashimi and sushi, Indian selection of naan and curries, roasts, pasta and the local specialties. For deserts they even served made-on-the-spot souffles!!

There was just too much to eat, and there was no way we could fit "just-one-piece" of everything into our stomachs!!. After that dinner, I told hubby that we are not going for another of these buffets for a long time to come.

I have been slim all my life. But over the last few years I have, on the average, put on close to 2 kg a year. At the rate I am going, I will weigh close to 80kg even before I turn 60! And, I just dont like having to breathe in and hold my breath just to button my jeans!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Too close for comfort

Not only has H1N1 reached our shores, we now have community transmissions here too. It breached the 1000 mark some 2 days ago.

I believe contact tracing now is not as vigorous as previously .... only those in direct/close contact are notified, and are quarantined or told to monitor themselves more closely.

My daughter came back on the 1st day school reopened and mentioned to me that the school advised them to practice social distancing. That was a new word to me!! She said they were advised to keep a safe 1 meter distance from their friends wherever possible. We had a good laugh about that, as she said that would mean canteen queues would reach the school's main gate.

Yesterday, she came home from school and said that there was a new H1N1 (there was one other girl in her school that had contracted H1N1 but that was during the school hols - so no panic on our part!) case in her school. OMG!! My brain went into over-drive!

Do you know her? What level is she from? What are they doing about it? Have all the students in that class been told to stay home? Have the teachers been quarantined? Is school going to be closed?

Luckily my daughter doesn't know her as she is from a more senior level. School continues as usual. Now canteen tables are set 1 meter apart (and it extends right out of the canteen), as are desks in classrooms. However, no teachers have been quarantined - only 8 girls who have been in close contact with the case have been told to stay home.

We always have this belief that these things only happen to others, not to anyone we know personally. BUT - it is now a little too close for comfort!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More blooms

This time, the wild orchids in my garden are blooming. They have not bloomed for a long, long time. I guess the unpredictable weather of a very hot spells followed by sporadic rain must have played a part in its flowering.

Isnt it beautiful?

Now to decide whether to cut them and put them into a vase, or to let them live their life as is.

Use it or lose it

When I was in school, I did Malay as a second language. I even did it all the way up to my 'A' levels, and passed - not a distinction, but a pass is a pass. I could converse quite easily with my Malay neighbours, and I must say, I was pretty pleased with my level of written and spoken Malay.

However, as all my children do Mandarin as a second language, I have more exposure to Mandarin now. I have learnt to read and write some basic Chinese. Sometimes I find that I can even use some of the Chinese proverbs that I have learnt in my everyday sentences.

But I seem to have lost some of the Malay I previously knew. The only time I get to use it nowadays is when we travel (to Malaysia), when I am buying food from a Malay stall, or sharing a secret with MIL. Even when sharing a secret - when wanting to say something in Malay, sometimes it comes out in Mandarin instead!! Looks like I am more wired into Mandarin nowadays!

There are times when I say something in Chinese, and wonder to myself what the Malay equivalent is? I tell myself that it cant be I never knew the word, coz if I can write a composition at 'A' levels and even answering those horribly difficult questions to the comprehension passages, I find it hard to believe that I didn't know the word - mind you, it could be quite a basic word.

My older daughter's school has made it compulsory for those learning Mandarin to do a basic course in Malay. She came back from class yesterday, and wanting to show off my knowledge, I asked her what she learnt. I tried to test her to see if she could remember what she was taught. She knew most of what they taught but she couldnt remember the word for behind. I kept telling her it was "hadapan", but she insisted it wasnt but "ber" something. I cracked my brains for quite awhile before I realised that the word was "Belakang!!". Imagine, if she depended on me, she would definitely fail her Malay!!

Language is something we have to use it, or we will lose it. How else could my mandarin improve so much!! I am glad my daughter is now learning Malay, as I am able to put to practice what I learnt eons ago, and hopefully, some of it will come back to me!

So better use it or lose it!!

P.S. - this applies to brains as well!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Youth day

Singapore celebrates Youth day on the 1st Monday in July, and all school-going children get a day of rest on that day.

Yesterday was Youth day. However, only little D had "school". Do pre-schoolers not qualify as Youth? Not in the eyes of MCYS - it is not a designated holiday on their calendar. However, Little D refused to go to school after she saw her siblings at home!! And I did not force her to, even tho I know she will be missing quite a bit of work, especially since her regular form teacher is back in school only today after the term break. That's my effort in loosening up and choosing my battles!!

So we celebrated it by going to the movies! Yippee!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

World's Best or Idiot Proof?

The other day my friend, N, came over for dinner. She brought a bag of mint choco-chip cookies (diameter about 4inches) for the kids. My kids always get really excited when Aunty N brings along goodies for them. You see, N trained at Le Cordon Bleu Pastry school in France for about 6 months in between her jobs. And her cakes and cookies, are oh! so delicious and professionally made!!

So I asked N for the recipe. Somehow her cookies always taste different from the ones I normally bake. She told me about how the difference in time the pastry dough spends resting in the fridge has an impact on how the cookies turn out. She said that letting them rest just 24 hours in the fridge will yield the best tasting cookies. It has something to do with how the butter interacts with the flour, sugar, etc. Keeping it for 48 hours in the fridge will yield a slightly different texture to the cookies. And with our weather, 24 hours in the fridge is really necessary.

But you know something, I am the sort that cannot wait 24 or 48 hours just for some cookies. If I make them, I want to eat them that day!! So the longest my cookie dough ever stays in the fridge is probably 1 hour. So I guess you can guess how my cookies taste next to hers. But, its ok - my kids enjoy it nonetheless. Like the Chinese say - no fish, prawns will do too!

She also advised me that when searching for recipes on the net, I should always include the words "world's best" in my search. I tried doing that, but I find that most of the "world's best" recipes are too complex for me. Being an amateur baker, I don't have all the necessary equipment (and sometimes ingredients too) and its seems such a hassle to be setting up all that equipment, and not to say, all the dismantling and subsequent washing up, just to make a cake or a small batch of cookies. Mine are all made with my two hands, and lots of L-O-V-E!! As long as it turns out good enough, its good enough for me! As for searches, I always look for "idiot proof" recipes coz I am one of those that dont like disappointments in the kitchen!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

An interesting cake

That's what my hubby told me. That he had ordered an interesting cake.

He came home with this:

Couldnt tell what it was at first.

Then, when I cut it, it was hard. I took a few bites of the crumbly bits that fell off. Left no impression on me. He said it's the red velvet cake from a shop called: "Food for thought". Have never heard of that cake nor the shop before.

Anyway, had a heavy dinner that night, so didnt think much about the cake.

Next morning, decided to do a search on the cake and the cake shop. Food for Thought according to their web page ".. is a quirky little indie diner where you can get great comfort food at a fair price, have fascinating conversations, find new friends and discover simple ways to give back to the local and global community."

"They believe in serving the community. Part of Food for Thought’s profits go into social causes that they support - including School of Thought’s Financial Aid Scheme for underprivileged students. Tap water is also served free there but you have the option to donate to international well-building projects instead so that other people may have free water someday as well. They also try to work as much as possible with local farmers, local cottage industries and collectives to support small businesses with a heart." ...

I managed to find numerous websites sharing recipes for red velvet cakes, but one particular blog that I read said something about how delicious it was eating this cake (ie the one baked by Food for thought) at room temperature.

So that afternoon, I decided to have another slice, this time at room temperature. It was ... oh! so delicious. It was no longer dry and crumbly, and with the cream cheese topping, it is a cake that you can get addicted to! Naturally, I went for a 2nd slice!

Interesting cake indeed!! And the best part, you are contributing towards a good deed when you purchase the cake!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Habits are easy to form ... especially bad habits. They take only a moment. But to break a habit, it seems to take forever.

A friend once told me that if you go cold turkey for 2 complete weeks, you will be off the habit.

I tried to break Little D's reliance on her lil Smelly bolster recently, and I took our vacation to do it. I told her that we could not pack her "lil smelly" into the luggage as it was already full and she had to try to go to sleep without it.

We were away for 6 days. The 1st couple of nights it took her a little longer than usual to fall asleep. But with the amount of outdoor activities that we did, the next few nights were no problem.

Before we left, I had told MIL to keep "lil smelly" away thinking that if it was out of sight, it will be out of lil D's mind. So upon our return she didnt have it, and she seemed to have forgotten all about it.

With the other children home on vacation, and hardly any running around for me, I was able to put lil D to her nap every afternoon after our return, and she managed fine without "lil smelly". Ditto for bedtime at night. So it seemed to me that the 2 weeks to break a habit thingey was working, coz by then 3 weeks had passed.

But yesterday, my son had his music class after school, so I had to be the chauffeur, and lil D was left under MIL's care. Guess what? She asked MIL about the whereabouts of "lil smelly", and MIL instantly went to her cupboard, took it and gave it to her!!

All my efforts in trying to break lil D off her reliance on "lil smelly" to fall asleep has now been wasted!

So the real way to break a habit is not only cold turkey for 2 weeks, but also to hide it from the grandparents!