Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's been a surreal week

Planned to take time off this week to settle some health issues. Needed to be homebound as a remedy recommended by a doc had some potentially serious side effects. Canceled most appointments, rescheduled some and gave one advanced notice. And as the best plans went, it went brilliantly... afoul.

I was hit with the devastating discovery of a lie on Sunday night, had to face some problems and issues on Monday and Tuesday and my worst fears were confirmed on Wednesday about a very dear colleague leaving us suddenly at short notice. By yesterday, my heart was weary and my spirit on the brink of breaking down. Tears were shed, accusations flung and hurtful words were exchanged till we were spent and drained. Sleepless nights were spent tossing and turning in bed, hoping and wishing for the best and thinking of possible resolutions to the various problems.

But maybe breaking point has its own breaking point. While helping to cook pancakes (comfort food) for dinner (dun ask y) yesterday, I think I might have reached that stage. Or maybe it was wat dear gal pal T smsed: "Sometimes it's good to take a "whatever" stance. If you have done all that you can already."

Two important people came into my life around this time last year and their sudden abrupt departure has taken me by surprise and sadness. I respect them both - one was a dear colleague who taught me how to taught, leading by example and always, always, placing the students first. Her endless dedication to the craft and students have earned her the respect of students and colleagues alike. More than that, she's been my inspiration when the going got tough at times. Her sudden departure's taken me by surprise, more shock than surprise really, and I spent the whole day yesterday and today mulling over the injustice she faced. Had lunch with her today - it wasn't the Kleenex affair as expected, but I think that she is one tough cookie and kudos to her for that.

Another one's a friend, before anyone starts the rolling of eyes and sniggering, I'll state for the record that in the end, I still think that he is one of the best guys I know. He has been there for me during some of my most difficult periods with nary a complaint and has an almost uncanny understanding of me. He's literally the guy who brings hot comforting soup on a cold rainy day, who accommodates me as much as he can, goes the extra mile and most of all, supports and believes in me and my goals. Think it's all too easy to focus on the bad stuff when things go awry, but in the end, after everything, hopefully some of the good stuff remains. Was reading a novel which bore an incredible semblance to the current situation, esp a line on pg 418. Think that line just about sums up everything perfectly from my end.

My spirits were buoyed today, however, by great news coming from BFF C - it's time to pop the champagne babe!! ;) Thanks for being the bearer of the good news I've been waiting for the whole day, even though it's your success. Totally needed that - some hope that good things do happen to good people after all.

Think tonight's post reminds me to be grateful to the people around me: family, friends, colleagues, students; who inspire, motivate and support me through every day, esp the bad times. Thank you.

"You raise me up... To more than I can be."

UPDATE: Re your smses and msgs, yes, comments have been turned off for this post. Friends know how to contact me if they want to; as for the rest, your take is not needed for this. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

After thoughts on the Proposals for Internet freedom in Singapore

I was at an open forum which put forth a proposal for Internet freedom in Spore last Saturday. It was a well spent 1.5 hrs which saw mainly a panel of bloggers as well as respected figures from the Institute of Policy Studies debating and discussing on the points raised by the proposal. Henceforth, all statements in this post are my own positions and not the stance of my organisation.

Some interesting points which struck me in the course of the discussion included how regulations should be platform-neutral and how media regulation should be harmonised. The latter, esp, was pretty interesting as it was something which came under debate in my telecomm policies class as an undergraduate, though usually discussed in a Western context.

While I agreed with points on how there is a need to revise certain existing legislation, even come up with a set of new rules in a new media environment, I found the point of using community moderation instead of formal regulation to address the concern of the potential abuse of free speech contentious to say the least. The approach proposed was to set up a IC3 - Internet Content Consultative Committee, to handle controversies which arise due from digital content (e.g blogs, forums, etc.). Their objective over time is to subject the more sensitive areas of speech to public reason, replacing state intervention.

Though this might be the ideal solution to "policing" the internet, I have my doubts about how this going to work. In an utopian society in an ideal world, this might actually work, where citizens, or netizens in this case, operate on the premise of rational logical systems. However, does it really make sense to replace state intervention with civic rules and moral authority? One reason why laws and legislation exist is to ensure consistency. The lack of consistency would result ultimately in chaos, which will serve no one any good. If current legislation lack consistency, perhaps that might be the starting point of how existing legislation should be revamped, instead of doing away with state legislation. Even among the three groups of people proposed for the IC3, each community comes in with their own values and vested interests. How will this ensure public reason and not organised chaos?

It was mentioned during the QnA session which ensued after the presentation that it is important for the netizens to exercise responsiblity. However, how does one enforce that? among the 1.5mill (& growing) local bloggers? I spoke briefly to one of the panelists after the session and he emphasised on the how it basically means relying on human decency. Which seems to be a pretty weak argument to me. With the relative anonymity that the internet proffers, it is all the more enticing for those who want to use it as a platform for abuse. Will reprimands work in this case? In fact, it might become another school shootings scenario, where people might carry out defamatory, anti-social, activities online just to get attention.

Although I agree that having the government on board might weaken the credibility of the IC3 Committe, I find it might actually be to their advantage if they are to position themselves as a conduit between the government and the people. Also, if the old adage of how absolute power corrupts absolutely stands, should the IC3 report or work with some other organisation? If not the government, a think tank perhaps?

All in all, I think this is a laudable event and definitely something that everyone who's anyone online should take note of. It was an invigorating exercise of intellectual stimulus and to a certain extent, common sense. Interesting stuff.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Those were the best days of my life

Finally met up with the Pri Sch bunch tonite, it was great meeting them after a break of a couple of years, as we usually only meet up when BFF P is in town during her hols, and I missed the last one. Think they are the only bunch of friends who stay near me or around the area. It was an interesting gathering tonight, BFF P and BMF T were there, whom I've not caught up with in ages! And my Pri School crush was present too! :)

We spent hours catching up at Cafe Cartel, reminisced about the good old days and even planned our next gathering before parting ways. It feels good to leave reminding each other "Eh, see ya in two weeks ok!" I am amazed at the repository of information from 16 years past which we still share among us which became more and more evident as the evening progressed and we started on the days long past, about our primary school, our form teachers, even the library. I was also taken by surprise how much I've forgotten about that period, especially the details, though the friendships forged then still remains strong till today. Think it's the shared sense of history as well as the P4 streaming and P6 PSLE bootcamps we went through together which really drew us closer and formed the basis of many memories which we recollected today as a group.

In the still of tonight, I am struck by a sudden pang of hankering of simpler days which have long gone past. I'm glad to have made such friendships, which I often half jest have lasted longer than some marriages. I'm grateful for the solid friendships which keep me anchored in this crazy world. Can't wait for July 3! :)

Meanwhile, the lyrics of this song perfectly echoes my sentiment of that time of my life.

"Oh when I look back now - that summer seemed to last forever
And if I had a choice, yeah, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life."

Get Smart the movie - Go watch it!!

As a child, I was a fan of the Get Smart series, was esp tickled by the starting sequence ; therefore, I've been wanting to watch this ever since I saw the trailers months back! I think I actually saw it for the first time last year when I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks during the Christmas season... by the time I saw it for the umpteenth time last month, I was wondering if it was going to be one of those movies where they show all the good parts in the trailers only to leave the audience seriously disappointed during the movie proper.

Tsk tsk, ye of little faith MnM. My worst fears were not confirmed, and on top of that, I had a great ball of a time at the movie! Seriously, this might be the best adaptation of a television series, besides SATC of course (though actually SATC the movie was a continuation of the series while Get Smart wasn't) which I've watched this year.
It opened with the familiar sequence used in the series - though the backdrop and plot's different, with the Cold War being over and all. The Cold War provided the backdrop for the original series which was filmed in the 60s.

Mr Big knew that I had my eye on the movie and the moment he knew that this movie was coming out this week, he booked the tickets for Wed, which turned out to be a rather dismal day as it was 1) raining and dreary and 2) confirmed once again why I am SO not a shopper. BFF S can attest to this. But the movie was a great mood lifter at the end of the day! This movie was a basket of laughs right from the word go!

Steve Carell is the perfect present day Max Smart as he played the role to modern day perfection! All the deadpan jokes we saw had us laughing a minute and there were some scenes which were so sidesplitting outrageous and funny that there were occassions where the audience in my theatre actually clapped for a while! That glint in his eye when he was on to something made it all the more funny when the situation goes awry the next moment mostly with his wrong timing.

Anne Hathaway was also an interesting cast for Agent 99. Though she may pale in comparison during the inevitable comparison to the original Agent 99, I feel her efforts were commendable in the movie and she did manage to deliver some brain and the brawn to complement Max Smart's corny antics. The rest of the cast also had more presence in the movie, the geeks: Masi Oka from Heroes and the rest of the agents had a lot of banter (brain vs brawn) which provided for interesting moments in the course of the movie.

Overall I love the movie, from the barrels of laughs to the various moments of comic relief and the use of irony in some of the comic situations. However, what I appreciated about the show was how they did not try too hard to present a movie on a blundering agent. Maxwell Smart is in the end, a guy with the smarts too, though he does end up in pretty awkward situations.

Move over James, Max's here. ;)

The first song of the movie, def feeling the retro-ness of the movie. Ha.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ever thine, ever mine, ever ours.

Watched SATC for the second time with a good gal pal and her sis. I felt bad that she really wanted to watch this movie and waited so long to catch it with me - think this movie is ending its run soon. It was a different experience, watching it again, I noticed different stuff, the details made more sense and somehow I felt more detached from the relationship stuff. Guess it is a different experience when you watch it with the gals, esp gals who are there for the fashion stuff, lotsa "ooh"s and "ahh"s when the lovely couture came out in rapid succession. Ah, don't you just love product placement in a movie such as this? ;)

Anyways, I was wondering about the love letter which Beethoven wrote for his "Immortal beloved", part of which was quoted over and again in the movie. Here is that love letter in its entirety:

Letter 3

Good morning, on July 7

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us -
I can live only wholly with you or not at all -
Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits -
Yes, unhappily it must be so -
You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never -
Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves.
And yet my life in V is now a wretched life -
Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men -
At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection?
My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once -
Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together -
Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.
Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
ever thine
ever mine
ever ours


I really like the last two lines of this love letter. Very poignant lines written by only a guy feverishly in the throes of love can.

Friends have often commented on my cynical stance on relationships, which was partly why I could not relate to the romantic relationships in the SATC movie, but rather the friendships and bonds among the gals. I would like to think of cynics as realists hoping their cynical stance will be proven wrong somehow. Anywho, like what Carrie mentioned in the movie, "It wasn't logic, it was love."

After seeing wedding gowns from names like Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Vera Wang, Lavin, etc., who wouldn't be tempted to walk down the aisle just for the sake of adorning such pretty dresses? ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Touch-screen phone Day

Just pulled an all nighter to get my paper done for next month's submission. I work better at night, when there are no distractions, just me, my thoughts, my PC and my media player on at full blast (or as loud as I go without irritating the neighbours). Finally, I finished it and just as I sent the softcopy to the organizers for compilation, my mum promptly comes in, just before 6am, and grabs me out of the house for a brisk morning walk and breakfast faster than one can say "Samsung Omnia".

Speaking of which, today's a self declared "Touch-screen phone Day". The moment we hit the mrt station, I picked up a copy of TODAY and my heart skipped a beat - I thought my iPhone had come to me... only to realise that in my morning blur, I had mistaken the full front page ad of the Samsung Omnia as the iPhone which I have been lusting for the past week. Through the milieu of reports and swirls of rumors in the past week - of the iPhone coming to Singapore, a vague "here by the end of the year", "will cost more than the USD199 when first launched", etc, I could feel my heart plummeting and for a while I wondered if it's more worth my while to move on to greener pastures. HTC, Nokia, LG all seemed to offer some attractive alternatives, with Samsung jumping onto the touchscreen phone bandwagon as well.

With the advent of CommunicAsia this week, there was more publicity drummed up over the latest IT technology/gadget - the touchscreen mobile. I got home and was bombarded by more articles on the iPhone (Straits Times Home Section Page 1, Digital Life main story). It seemed like Touch-screen phone Day, given the amount of coverage given to this phenomena on this day alone. Almost makes the oil crisis a walk in the park, but I digress.

My brain needs to take a break to digest all the information for this morning, but given the amount of choices available on the market, even as of this morning, I disagree with the Samsung ad on the front page of TODAY - touch-screen phones are no longer "The mobile of tomorrow", it's already the mobile of today. Me thinks that in the end, the brand might not matter as much to the average consumer like myself as I think there will be an impending price war that might break out anytime in the next six months. Power to the consumers!

So meanwhile for me it's gona be:

Don't look back in anger

Was watching Chuck tonight when this song came on while he was reminiscing. It was mentioned that this millennium is for the geeks. Totally agree with that. There's never been a better time to be one. This song though, got me taking a walk down memory lane, when this song was first introduced to me by a classmate sitting beside me in Secondary School. She was one of those avant garde students, brilliant with a real personality to boot, who introduced me to the world of Brit pop. Cool stuff. They don't really do songs like this anymore.

Been feeling under the weather again. Totally need to stock on immune system building stuff. Feeling the pressure of paper submission for the AMIC conference next month, got another surprise donut delivery this evening. But it was the company which took the cake. He came down for me even though he was unwell himself. My heart would have been touched, if I had one. Thanks for the much needed company, it made a world of difference to me today of all days.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In the midst of conference paper submission...

Was discussing this song with Mr Big, realised that we both love this song... and Mr Big especially remembered this song from a part of the movie When We Were Soldiers, when they had this dance the night before the soldiers were deployed. While I'm generally anti-war, I do think that this is a very nice song and made all the more poignant in the movie, when that night that they dance with their partners could well be the very last night they see each other alive.

One of my fav oldies. Alrighty, back to working on the paper...

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - originally by Mel Carter

Hold me, hold me,

Never let me go until you’ve told me, told me,
What I want to know and then just hold me, hold me
Make me tell you I’m in love with you.

Thrill me, thrill me,
Walk me down the lane where shadows will be, will be
Hiding lovers just the same as we’ll be, we’ll be,
When you make me tell you I love you.

They told me be sensible with your new love,
Don’t be fooled thinking this is the last you’ll find.
But they never stood in the dark with you love,
When you take me in your arms and drive me slowly out of my mind

Kiss me, kiss me,
And when you do I’ll know you that you will miss me, miss me,
If we ever say adieu so kiss me, kiss me,
Make me tell you I’m in love with you

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Falling Slowly

Glen Hansard - Falling Slowly Lyrics

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you had a choice
You've made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I'll sing along

Friday, June 13, 2008

You know that you have taught many students when....

you have two (and more) students from different semesters at the same booth of the IT show. Was served by them too! Ha. An interesting coincidence!

Just got back from the IT Show... kinda confusing this year as we have the individual brands - Sony, HP, Compaq, Canon, etc., as well as the megastores with IT sections such as Harvey Norman, Carefour. A niggling question - what's the point if they are selling the same products and having the same promotions? Perhaps it's to get more sales though I wonder how effective this really is.

Another suggestion to the organisers... if you are anticipating LONG queues, such as Starhub... please get some decent sitting arrangement up.. there's more than enough space anyways. We were waiting for TWO hours standing up... and the venue hosts started to switch off the lights... for a moment some of us wondered if we will get served at all... there were q a few irate customers and who can blame them?

On a happier note, I got the form to redeem my baby next month - HP 2133 Mini Notebook... thanks to my resisting signing up for plans and contracts for my broadband so far.... and also for Mr Big's geek input - okies actually what clinched the deal for me was possible Skype opportunities and "I think you will look uber cool when using this". Also, my home PC's been acting up and I can't keep asking him to come over to fix it yea? Ah, the superficialness of Man... or actually just me. =p Ha. Really appreciated his patience in waiting two hours with me, nary a complaint. Seriously he IS the BEST!! *hugs*

Came home and I've been reading up on the positive reviews of my new baby, specs and all... now I can't wait to use it! ;)

My NEW BABY!! HP 2133 Mini NB!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

To iPhone or not to?

Okies, I know that this might be a redundant question, but really... to iPhone or not to? I was really psyched when I heard about Steve Job's keynote and rumors swirling about the release of the 3G iPhone at an incredibly low price USD$199 for 8G! Some mental calculations based on current exchange rates makes it a very lovely gadget indeed! ;)

So imagine my horror and disappointment when I realised that this gadget on my gadget wish list will not be available here anytime soon?! And I mean anytime soon as in the July roll out in 22 countries kinda anytime soon. Sigh.

However, I find it interesting as to why iPhone is slashing its price - to gain market share; and doing the roll out - to reduce the cracking of the iPhone in places which do not have it. Me thinks that this situation might well replicate in Spore if Singtel continues to delay on the iPhone roll out here. I mean, even HK is getting it next month... seriously... seriously?! Soooo tempted to get my friends from UK and the States... (if you are reading this) to get for mi. heh heh.

But then again, there's the HTC Diamond Touch, LG KS20 - interesting review here... (which Pris got recently.. *throws her the green eye*), and the N96 (still not launched here). Though my confidence in Nokia has slipped somewhat, after going to the Care centre TWICE in as many weeks and getting some really lame excuse for my phoneware (aka Nokia's phoneware) problem. I like the iPhone as it looks simple and sleek - seriously tt's enough to do me in. Life's complicated enough without fussy technology to make it more complicated.... like my N73, for example. Bleah.

Seriously, they all look chic, almost a fashion accessory by itself... and kinda iPhone lookalikes... being PDA phones and all... what if the iPhone fever runs its course BEFORE they actually arrive? The search for my mobile gadget continues... I'm beginning to think it's easier to get a guy than your dream mobile gadget these days! Or maybe we shld exercise our civil rights and petition to get the iPhone here ASAP! Anyone on board for that?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bark Cafe @ Changi Chapel

After our workout on Sunday, (din really get to walk much that day actually), we went to check out this place which was featured in The Sunday Times and we've heard about. I used to frequent the place with my friends, but it's been some time. Well, as he rightly put it, the place will not be "ulu" anymore after being featured in the papers. ha. I like The Bark Cafe as it is relatively secluded, beside the Changi Chapel, and in my previous visits, we get to see patrons bringing their lovely four legged pets, most of which are really friendly and always ready for a pet!

As usual, we were greeted by polite and prompt service, shown to our seats and our orders were taken with efficacy and a ready smile. We decided on something simple to share as I wasn't really hungry that day. My usuals at The Bark Cafe were its wings, beers, as well as red plum soda. However, something more substantial was in order for that day, so we ended up with fish n chips as well as six jumbo-sized wings.

The fish and chips were average, with the house greens being fresh, but I'm not really a greens kinda gal. The chips were a let down, perhaps it's because I'm really into chips and fries, perhaps it's because the fries were less then well done; they looked fine, but lacked the crisp and crunch which comes with the really good stuff. :) However, I loved the fish! I'm not a fan of the beer batter variety, which makes the usual bread crumbed and fried to perfection one that I had really lovely! It was crumbly and a little crispy on the outside as well as warm, firm and succulent on the inside. Really nice stuff - in a comfort food kinda way. :)

Am not really a wings person, but even I know how to appreciate when I taste wings which are yummy and fingerlicking good! What impressed me was how there wasn't any oily residue on the plates as well as on my palate after the meal (though the jug of Coke probably took care of that.) ;) Haha. All in all, a good meal, and the al fresco surroundings made the place all the more relaxing to have a meal before the beginning of another week.

Weekend Ruminations

Rainy, Stay home Saturday. :: Woke up late (almost!) on Sunday to send bro to Changi Aiport at 5am. :: Breakfast with Bro before seeing him again next month. :: Breakfast at Lor Ah Soo Market with Mum - comfort food. :: Church. Interesting sermon. :: Met Grandma, cousin, Uncles and Aunts after service. :: Home. :: Mini Nap. :: Wheelock with Mr Big to repair phone... AGAIN. Bumped into Boss Jiang and friend. ;) :: Changi - weekly walk and dinner with Mr Big. ::

These past few days, think we kinda miss bro's silly antics and the house does seem a little emptier and quieter without him. Anywho, went for weekly walk and dinner with him. Am really glad for a kaki with whom I can work out (of sorts) and feast with! It's always great to have a friend with whom to enjoy food with. ;)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A night of slurpy goodness and good TLC

Finally, the weekend's here! I was still feeling a lil under the weather this week, with home being a war zone with bro's stuff all over the place for his last min packing for his Europe sojourn. Of course, my parents blame me for rubbing the wanderlust off him - this is what the elder siblings usually get, the blame for everything that the younger ones do. I take it as part and parcel of my sisterly duties. haha. The late nights hanging out with my bro going over trip stuff as well as talking to BFF also contributed to my feeling of lethargy by yesterday. On the school front, I've been going to the media lab to render and edit videos for the students' presentations too. I need to take time out for myself soon I think, to just snuggle up in bed with a warm drink on a cool day such as today and just immerse myself in reading - with my mobile off, PC shut down. Ah...

But I digress - today's a special update for my gal pals. The lovely ladies who made it yesterday and the one who's still reading this in a land far away. ;) I was excited about meeting up with my gal pals again - the last time we met was two months ago, for BFF S's bday in April and we were all so caught up with work and life that our promise to meet up more often did not come to fruition... AGAIN. Ha. So I was really excited at the prospect of meeting up for A's bday, though I totally suck at shopping for gifts, I usually come up with makan and drinking recommendations.

This time round, I suggested Ramen Sontouka at The Central for her bday dinner. Friends who have been to Japan have told me many favorable stuff about the place and the reviews I've read online have been overall positive too. After picking up the cake and card along the way, I made my way to The Central, where most of the food places were already seen with queues snaking out of the establishments and along the corridors. Met A and S who were already queuing for sometime and we were soon offered counter seats which we accepted. The seats were pretty decent and it was beside the kitchen, which gave us a glimpse of what was going on in the kitchen. The staff was prompt and polite even though the establishment was packed with hungry diners. We placed our orders of the house favourite of premium pork ramen (sho) and a normal miso ramen with a side of gyozas to share. We had time to catch up for a while over cold glasses of water before tucking into our food which all arrived round the same time.

Here's a pictorial of our dinner last nite:

Hot gyozas: Nice, crisp and hot on the outside, lovely delish meaty filling inside. Honestly not fantastic, but not bad either!

Plate of toppings as well as slices of premium pork for the premium pork sho ramen. What took my breath away were the slices of pork - texture's soft with the slightest hint of chewiness coupled with just the right amount of fat which melts in one's mouth, it was bursting with meaty juices and flavour, though it was a lil too salty for me - that was rectified when I immersed the pork in the stock before partaking it.

Ramen and soup for the premium pork sho ramen: Initially was surprised at how emulsified the soup was, but it does not leave an icky layer of oil and fat aftertaste, which was gd! Quality of the ramen was alright, but the stock totally takes the cake - makes it more filling than most ramen though, the three of us could barely polish up the two bowls we ordered!

The Miso ramen: After tasting the the premium pork sho ramen, this bowl seems... ordinary? Though the stock was just as flavourful, the rest of the ingredients seemed alright, not bad, just alright.

After a scrumptious dinner, we made our way to the ACM to grab some drinks. Wish I could say that it was a celebratory bday round of drinks, but I think the bottomline was that we all wanted to kick back and relax. We initially wanted to head to Timbre, but it was packed... with a long queue! We decided post-dinner that the queues were not our thing for the night and promptly traipsed over to Indochine nearby, the weather was not bad for drinks al fresco anyways. :) We were shown to seats right in front of the stage where there's a live band, Kewei and her musicians on for the night. They played many familiar jazz numbers though kinda reminiscent of another Spore Bossa Nova singer, Olivia Ong.

Took a couple of pics of the drinks before a round of toasts - ordered Frosty Jade, TLC and of course, the Cosmo. My fav was my choice of poison for the evening - TLC, which had a mix of pineapple and peach. Finally got down to the opening of the pressies - v lovely turquoise earrings which S got (told ya abt the impeccable taste!) and the cake from Canele - Rose L'Amour, (Yes C, eat your heart out, haha.) As usual, Canele did not disappoint, the rose mousse was lovely and not overwhelmingly "rosy" and the chiffon round the mousse light. Très Bien.

The gals also got to try the Raspberry Pavlova before we parted ways. I was glad to hear their positive comments and feedback - always gd to get feedback, with the positive ones being a plus. :D So far almost everyone who tried it liked it, even with the raspberry debacle. Think it was the different layers of textures (creamy, soft chewiness, crumbly bits) and the different tastes and flavours (sweetness of the meringue, bittersweet of the dark chocolate, and the layer of creamy nothingness of the double cream and tang of the raspberries) which made the dessert light and less cloying. Promised the gals I will pass them the recipe soon!

Made my way back in the dusk of midnight. Though it was a great evening with the babes, the night ended on a bittersweet note. The strong cocktails did not help either. I turned back and he wasn't there. There was a sudden catch in my heart. Maybe this is for the best.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Insightful discussion with the peepz @ Edelman

Had an eventful day today. Was invited by the students I took for the semester which just ended for an informal discussion session with the folks at Edelman. I think this goes to show how well received the Edelman team was after we invited them over to NUS for a talk on how what goes on in the industry, to give students a flavour of how PR works in the business setting. It took us some time to locate each other before making our way to Winsland House 2. I really like the location of their office, amidst the city yet away from the hustle and bustle of it all. Bumped into Bob Grove in the lift, I like his cheeky yet strictly business demeanor, it amuses me every time we meet, and he knows it too. Nothing like good old Brit wit, deadpan, self deprecating humor anytime.

The people at Edelman were hospitable, warm hosts. Even on a cold rainy Thursday afternoon, we were greeted with warm smiles and food and beverages by Bob's team, four really brilliant, lovely, ladies. Bob kickstarted the presentation with an introduction to Edelman as well as what it stands for and its emphasis on developing its employees before passing the baton on to his very capable colleagues who took turns to introduce the areas which they cover as well as the firms which they worked with. What struck me was how the ladies were so driven by their work, as well as the sense of pride in their projects as well as Edelman.

They are a bunch of really capable, articulate and friendly people, who've chalked up an impressive resume among the four of them. I think they handled the questions posed to them really well and I think that the students really appreciated that, esp since some interesting questions were posed. Heh. I did not ask many questions as I wanted the students to interact with them more, so as to get a flavour of what's to come should they decide to apply for an internship position. Perhaps, I might have ended up in the PR line myself, as one of them suggested afterwards during the mingling and exchanging of namecards, to which I quipped that I might have if I had interned at Edelman, and I mean it. One can feel the energy in this place! :) Can you imagine, a place where the interns are sent for the same training sessions as the staff?! Brilliant stuff if you ask me.

Also, they were pretty interested in my research area as they were looking at more ways to utilise Web 2.0. During the mingling session, I mentioned to one of them that it was interesting how they do not have a digital strategy arm in their firm, which some of the other agencies have. She concurred and informed me that instead of having one specialised department, everyone at Edelman, from account execs to directors attend sessions to get updates on what's going on in the new media scene. They are definitely interested in social networks and offered to help me in my research should I require information from them. They on their part as well have organised events for bloggers, even invited them for new media discussions with Richard Edelman when he was in town. I was really glad to see that and I think this reinforces how Edelman, as well as Bob and his team, believes in reaching out to schools. I left the session feeling inspired by the team as well as satiated by the amount I've learnt so much in two hours. It was great to see Gene and the rest of the students again, too bad we did not really get to catch up much!

Also bumped into my cousin and her friends at Cathay. She's a really cool character and it's always great to see her, as even family functions happen too few and far between for us to really catch up. She's heading to Bangkok this weekend.... SHOPPING!!! and another friend just got back from HK! Think I'm getting wanderlust again... Maybe I shld head for the beach hols with the gang when BFF returns!

A song which BFF thinks might be the next big thing in music... Bryn Christopher - and given his Amy Winehouse-Duffy-sque voice, he might just be it. His single, The Quest, is released 9 June. Somehow, this song resonates a lot with me tonight. Maybe not the best song to listen to when I'm reading the first three installments of the Sandman series which I borrowed yest. Might make mi clinically depressed or something. Heh.

Also, special birthday greetings going out to BFF A! She's such a rock of a friend, she's a gem of a find! Love you lots!! *hugz*

Ps: Mr Big told me that the soundtrack for SATC was sold out at Cathay's Gramaphone. Seriously?!

Pps: The raspberries which I sought high and low for and finally found at Carefour were horribly crushed by the time I got back. I blame it on the lousy mood and my rough handling. Poor them, lovely raspberries should not have been desecrated so. Sigh. Now how am I gona try my hand at the recipe I want to?

The Quest- Lyrics

I'm leaving tonight
Going somewhere deep inside my mind
I close my eyes slowly
Flowin' away slowly
But I know I'll be alright
It's coming stronger to me
And I know someone is out there
Lead the way
Lead the way
Show me the answers I need to know


What I'm gonna live for
What I'm gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can't answer that

Verse 2

All my life it is
It is all my love
All my life it is
I know it is a life to live lately
From above I hear
I hear the sound of them sinkin'
I feel numb, I'm alive
I know I'm getting closer


What I'm gonna live for
What I'm gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can't answer that


My life has had it's share of troubles
And now I found a place to go
I've said goodbye to all my troubles
'cause now I've find my place to go

What I'm gonna live for
What I'm gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can't answer that

Live for... die for... Fight for...
Live for... die for...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Billionaire Universities

Interesting article, esp since in Spore parents select certain schools to get their kids into, though we might be a little cramped for choices when it comes to local Universities. I wonder if this applies for grad schools too. Ha. ;P

According to this article, it's the usual list of suspects : Harvard, Stanford, U Penn, Yale, Columbia, etc. A v valid point which was raised in the article was not just about the great education that the students receive, but also more often than not, the networking opportunities, or the meeting of great minds which take place there.

Just got an email asking me to speak about the Second Life experience I had for the last semester, nothing's set in stone yet, but I think it's good that we are heading in this direction! Okies, totally unrelated, but even the latest upcoming season of CSI:NY has an episode on Second Life related crime!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Bird and the Bee - How Deep is Your Love

This song was also featured in the SATC movie, the scene where Miranda was having Vday dinner with Carrie. Was a lil soft and it was a blink and you might miss it moment, but this is one of my fav songs presently - too bad I missed them at the recent MOSIAC 2008. Bleah. Good stuff, it's reminiscent of the Carpenters plus some electro background. :) Almost makes it dream-like. :)

Yes, I'll take BFF's advice and take it easy for a while. She claims that I've not been taking care of myself, therefore the series of ailments which have assailed me in succession for the past two weeks. =s

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Laid back weekend & SATC - warning, spoilers ahead!

FINALLY, the weekend I've been looking forward to for the most part of May. A get away of sorts on Saturday to Sentosa, where the weather promptly pulled a damper on our plans. But managed to spend some quality time together talking and hanging out basically doing nothing. Also, the cloudy weather preceding the rain totally suited the non sun worshipper in me. ;) It was great just spending time with him, the ideal date in the sense that there was no pressure and it was just about hanging out and having a good, memorable time. The fact that this will be one of the precious few moments which both of us can do this made Saturday all the more poignant for me. No pictures from me for Saturday, just lots of beautiful, sweet moments. I wished tt time would stand still on Saturday, though we all know how wishes go yea?

Woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning had a great, relaxing breakfast before heading to Vivocity to catch SATC! I've been looking forward to this show for the longest time after I caught up on some seasons in London staying with BFF in '05, I like it not just because it celebrates being a woman and friendships and all, though these are definitely v box-office friendly themes. It's all about consumerism baby!!!! From the lovely fashion togs and fabulous getups to the lovely backdrop of NYC. Am not a shopping kinda gal as most of my friends know, but I was gushing over the lovely stuff that appeared regularly throughout the movie. My own Mr Big whom I watched this chick flick with, actually liked it!! He pre-booked the tickets when he found out that I won't be catching the premier. He's the best, my own "man-friend", to quote Carrie in the movie. Ha. And we actually managed interesting discussions post-SATC, now that impressed me quite a bit. Thanks for putting up with the laughter and tears from my side throughout the movie. *hugz* I'd definitely recommend this movie, coz if the beautiful clothes and shoes and NYC and themes such as friendships and celebrating life and love and a good soundtrack does not get to you , nothing will. I was laughing and tearing throughout the movie which was more than two hours, and I enjoyed every minute of it. ;)

What I loved about the movie, which picks up four years after the end of the series, was how it manages to move away from girly to womanly, yet still stay whimsical. There were flashes from the series interspersed throughout the movie. This movie is indeed about the lives and loves of four women and the loves of their lives.

Think there's a Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha in all of us. ;)

Lovely clip with scenes from the movie, as well as two songs which I feel summed up the movie perfectly: India Arie's "The Heart of the Matter" and Fergie's "Labels or Love"

** Warning: Spoilers ahead!**
  • Carrie selecting her wedding gown - all the lovely dresses!!!

  • Carrie making her way to Miranda's apartment just to make sure that she did not have to usher in the New Year alone.

  • Samantha's trying to keep her sexual urges at bay with hot new neighbour, Dante. Ha.

  • Miranda meeting Steve on the Brooklyn bridge.

  • Charlotte's run in with Big outside the restaurant where she delivered her one liner and promptly broke her waterbag.

  • Carrie's revamped apartment - blue and white, v nice indeed!

Hit a spot:
  • Carrie's breakup with Big after he chickened out on the wedding... we all so saw that coming yea? Really understood the importance of gal pals.

  • Carrie hitting Big with the flowers in the middle of the streets of NYC on the wedding day.

  • Carrie upon knowing the secret which Miranda kept from her about why Big might have chickened out on the wedding.