Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Price of Freedom: $150. The Journey: Priceless

Corrupted files, crashing software, missing data, disappearing acts, pain in the arse formatting, bad printing - all in a day's (actually several full days and nights) work to write up an MBA dissertation. Everything I knew would go wrong did. No surprise, my techno(less) karma is here in full force.

1. thinking I could get away from software errors and the dreaded "Word is unable to save due to insufficient memory" with a powerful macbook - Wrong.

2. thinking that MS Word will not crash in a mac - even more Wrong.

3. knowing that formatting the entire document is going to be a real pain (especially with bad page break and font controls) - Ouch ouch and triple ouch.

4. suspecting the table of contents is going to be more trouble than its worth - can microsoft make our lives any harder?

5. suspecting files will go missing or data lost - Without a doubt.

6. suspecting something will go wrong in printing - do I need to say more?

7. suspecting I will end up paying more than I needed to - Desperate times need desperate measures.

8. suspecting I will have problems uploading the file to the University - 'enuff said.

9. suspecting I will end up submitting the wrong file for printing and uploading - Damn friggin' right.

So there it is. My not.without.pain journey of the last 5 days and 5 nights (and wee hours of morning). The most amazing and I still cannot believe it happened part is how at 1am in the morning, when I am still revved up and alert with the adrenalin rush, I make final modifications to my document, save save and double save in both mac and thumb just to be super anal and sure, the document I finally print out and upload is still the "previous version". I mean like HUH?? how is this even possible when saving and replacing (overwriting) the previous version should be a fail-safe way to g'tee previous versions are totally wiped out? Apparently not when techno(less) bad karma me is the one writing the document. Too late now since the dissertation has already been bound.

Nonetheless, at least it's over now. I've regained my freedom, am $150 poorer (and a lot of time invested). And know what, it could have cost me only $40 if I submitted the journal 2 days ahead for binding and had it printed it at my office for free - yes, typical Singapore exploiting office assets. But procrastination always wins. At least Ultrasupplies saved the day. These printers are real pros. Really. (psst, for 60 cents per coloured page these printers are really turning in the profits).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

And you think I was bad....

Sunday lunches with C is often enjoyable, we'd find ourselves at some nice, idyllic cafe eating what we like best and just chilling back. I would smile pleasantly at the service staff, pay them compliments for good service and act as if I'm the most pleasantly happy customer in the whole world - quite a departure from my usual very brusque, snappish and demanding self. Yes indeed, I can be an excellent customer if I want to, my very sweet voice in all ernestness and big big sparkly eyes just making them want to go the extra mile for me. (message to C - you think I can't do it? Of course I can. Oh yeah).

'K, 'nuff with the self compliments (myself, I'm choking on it). We've always liked Choupinette, but the female at the neighbouring table obviously has a bone to pick with the whole world. Imagine yourself being an unwilling audience to a loud (mostly one-sided) conversation whose owner's nearly screeching pitch of a voice was just going on and on like a high speed locomotive. If we were on a race track, she'll be one crazy driver in a ferrari, and C would have no qualms about running her over even in his volvo - 100 times. Just to be sure she's good and truly really dead with no chance of resurrection. Her guy companion (certified FRIEND at this point) is of course trying to keep up with her, he wants more than just friendship, no doubt, but hey dude, what looks like a strong independant, intelligent spirit now, is just going to be a real pain in the padded backside later. Take for example how she was describing an incident at a restaurant...blah blah blah..bad service..blah the end of which, she eyeballed the dude and asked him, "so, am I a bitch?".
HELL YEAH, I'm thinking. Poor dude could only stammer a, "well I think you should stand up for yourself". I roll my eyes. C, who typically has the patience of a saint, was so annoyed at the entire experience he actually had to go squat in the cafe toilet so he could read his magazine in peace.

On a positive note, C always thought I had a lot of 'bitch' in me. Think today, he's just met the #1 all time champion and uncontested winner of the Ms. Bitch is Me contest. Me, I'm only the squawking chihuahua in comparison.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Economics of cow

Again, newspaper headlines today are on 1) extension of full day bus lanes, and 2) all time high inflation of 7.5% in June. This business of inflation and rising costs is as sensational as the Anwar trial (now that one, is fact or fiction?). As C so puts it in his cow-like perspective,
"so with full day bus lanes, we are getting fined for having less road to drive".
Well yeah, if you put it that way. And then,
"so we get fined if we drive in bus lanes, so what happens when the buses cross into our normal lanes. Do we fine them? Do we take pictures of them and demand they be fined?"
Good point. Now gah-men of course will say this is not a fair comparison. Nyah nyah nyah. So demand and supply. Gahmen demands that we pay more for transportation, and supply us less road. Where's the free market?

As for inflation, 7.5%, if everything costs more, who's actually making money out of this? Surely there must be some rich geezer out there who's benefiting from the cycle of rising costs.

C says my blog complains too much. But yah, gotta agree with YP, blogs are for whining.

Whine Whine cow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Poop on Demand

Not my dogs, but really about my adventures at the annual medical health check today. Executive health screening must be really big business, because a whole clinic of it is devoted to purely that. The clinic was even nicely done up, very posh-like, really suited for the office class. However the whole business of it is very...mechanical. One gets shoved 2 plastic bottles and was informed rather unfeelingly to provide samples of business #1 and #2 into there. Ok so pee on demand is not too difficult as long as there's plenty water on hand, but err, poop on demand? I dunno, but it's damn stressful to be sitting there in the very nice and spacious loo (of which there is only ONE) and a bunch of women queuing outside waiting for their turn on the toilet seat. If it's any consolation the same problem seems to be apparent at the gents cubicle too. Judging by the basket in the loo which has a decent count of number #2-filled containers and sadly bereft of #1 populated containers......everyone seems to be suffering the same fate.

That aside, I've a number of other observations:
1. Doctor is crappy. Old geezer who really looks like he should be the janitor, and I wondered how he passed med school.
Doc: ..[eager to tick medical form] You got any health problem?
Me: ...cough for 3 weeks, haven't gone away.
Doc: you should see your own doctor [carries on ticking the medical form]
HUH!! crap, all this guy wants is to make everything on the form joyful and happy. I've never seen anyone in such a hurry to complete a form without even asking the right questions. As for the physical exam, for goodness sakes if I want someone to be pressing at my boobs, I much rather a young good looking (or a more professional) doctor. Old geezer does it like he's wiping tables. Double crap.

2. Blood pressure is taken by an automated machine. Just insert arm, nurse press button and voila. Same for weight and height machines. Ok so medical devices are big business, companies are just making expensive machines to do the simplest jobs. All we will be come is just a button-pressing workforce in future. (That said, is there a Poop on Demand button???).

Health checks have always been a strange experience for me. I guess no one finds it pleasant, but at least crappy doctor aside, they do have a very nice beverage bar (with espresso machine and pellets) and personally serve each 'patient' with danish, sandwiches and fruit.

Just get rid of crappy doctor please.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

CelebriTea Break

This is a chinese variety show hosted by Guo Liang and Quan Yifeng which I came across while channel surfing. The interviewee was actor Tay Ping Hui. While generally I do not have any opinion of local media artistes since I stopped watching local shows eons ago, the interview with Tay left me with the conclusion that he's quite an arrogant character and comes across as a real jerk in some parts especially with the over the top machoism. Though I must say, the show is pretty good and excellent choice of hosts as both GL and QYF are straight talking, candid people who are able to guide the conversations quite deftly yet no afraid to dig under the skin. Something like Oprah singapore style. One thing did strike me was when they discussed the topic of love. GL and QYF both made the point that they are people who believe in loving passionately, crazily and total immersion of oneself into the relationship and feeling. Very gutsy people, and very admirable. Very like their straightforward characters. No beating about the bush type. If I could turn back time, I would like to be like them too.

The TPH interview episode can be found here thanks to a great link at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Picture worth at Thousand Words

My MBA thesis is due in less than 2 weeks. I only have about 7,000 words out of the required 15,000 down. 50% more to go. Well yes I'm guilty of succumbing to intense periods of K-drama obsession and procrastinating to the nth degree on writing this paper. And in conversation with C today:

C: How's your assignment?
Me: It's coming along.
C: How much?
Me: 7,000 words to go in less than 2 weeks.
C: You're not going to make it.
Me: But I got a lot of graphics...
C: they don't count as words duh...
Me: There's a saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words"...
[pregnant pause]
C: then all you need is 15 pictures of Biz and Holly to finish your assignment!

Wow. If only. If only I knew this to be true from the start. I could have saved myself a lot of effort. But has anyone out there submitted an MBA thesis with only pictures and passed? Will this brave soul please stand up?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whingy whiners

For many of us out there, the workplace is certainly a very complex environment. When I was a kid growing up, I'd look forward to becoming finally an adult and joining the corporate world and have financial freedom. Now as an adult, in retrospect it's much better to be student. The world has evolved, cultures become more integrated and hierachical structures are much more flatter. It's no longer "do it because the boss said so and the business expects it", but now apparently employees expect more "let me explain why we have to do this". HUH?? Ok so people want to feel involved, feel connected (and all other feel good emotional crap) but a line really needs to be drawn between genuine and reasonable feedback, vs whining. Do teachers have to explain and justify to students why homework is necessary? Do parents have to justify to children why they need to be back by curfew? If the company pays you a salary to do a job, then do the job. Whinging on how "I don't like to do this" is clearly immature. So is demanding an explanation for every task. Dude, did you all not read the job description? In an article I read, apparently it's called "entitlement mentality"In economics, there's no such thing as a free lunch, but in singaporean speak, apparently people will even complain and whine about the quality of their free lunch.

On the other hand, getting reasonable and genuine feedback and doing nothing about improving the situation is clearly a no-no either. People do get frustrated. Look at how our government deals with the issue of traffic woes. Increase ERP? Increase surcharges? With inflation getting out of hand, how is increase in cost of living justified? The standard response is, Don't whine, just do it because we have a pool of brilliant scholars who did a comprehensive study and we're convinced its' in the best interest of the people. OK, so when did these brilliant scholars last stepped into an overcrowded MRT or bus during peak hours hmm? If govt paid us a salary then I'd say ok maybe we're obliged not to whine, but as tax payers, where's our right to voice and be heard?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chubby Hubby

He's like the Nigella of Singapore with a damn good camera. The blog is incredible. It's so sexy to read, and nearly orgasmic. It's enough to make vegetarians weep. Ooh la la.

Fish Tales

C went fishing and brought me 2 very beautifully fresh fish. One small and one really big, he jokingly named them Wen and Con. Well, "wen" fish became my lunch today, teochew-style. It's been awhile since I've been really in the kitchen cooking (though most recently the lemon roast chicken and german hot potato for gatherings), I do miss the kitchen. The joy of cooking is truly food for the soul. Now I must pat myself on the back for my brilliance, teochew style is only something I've eaten outside, not made at home (usually we do the hk or canto-style), but I was able to replicate it very nicely sans salted veg. But damn it's good.

On a separate topic, now that I have a cure for coughs at night, I'm looking for a home remedy for pretty nasty phlegm. I found a pretty interesting phlegm remedy at a blog called Audrey Cooks, and my my, she's also an avid cook and foodie. What joy for me, especiallly when I notice Nigella and Jamie Oliver is on her fav list.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Depression remedy

Holly got punished today for doing something she really shouldn't have done. She also got banned to her crate. Strangely enough, Biscuit suddenly acted more lively, even jumping to get his toy to lure me to play. I swear his eyes look brighter and he was actually smiling and even prancing around. It's as if he knows, "she's been put away! she wouldn't bother me anymore! I am Free! FREEDOM!!!". Where usually he'd settle to a depressing oh-woe-is-me type of lethargy around the house, he was suddenly following me around with zeal and vigour. Umm, I think it's a hint that if I want Bis to be happy again, I do have to remove Holly from his presence. Just minutes before I left the house I let Holly out. And yes, Bis just laid down at the corner, chin between paws with a very depressed, forlorn look. He didn't even bother to see me to the door as I waved goodbye, as if he couldn't be bothered. Guess it's a really strong hint. No dog psychologists needed. Life is miserable with Holly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buddha's Fruit and Painful Silliness

For a person my (small) size, I can sure produce some pretty big chesty coughs. Sad how the word chesty is used to describe my coughs instead of my less than ample bosom. Anyway, my hacking coughs were enough to raise the dead, even my boss had to jokingly shout from inside his room down the coridoor, "Shut up!!!". My colleague suggested if I have tried LuoHanGuo (Buddha's Fruit) remedy. And suddenly the lightbulb flashed - how could I have forgotten??! So silly of me, I know that LHG is an excellent TCM cure for coughs and I often buy this as a beverage. Shouldn't have wasted my time on silly modern cough mixtures.

My feet are pained today. The very beautiful, very expensive and now turned out to be very uncomfortable brand new pair of Marc Jacobs shoes for which I was drooling, nosebleeding, lingering over for weeks; for which I swopped down like a starved begger when I spotted it on sale at a steep discount (even though price after sale is still exhorbitantly high) turns out to be a beautifully expensive and painful mistake which gave me the most number of blisters I've ever had on 2 feet. Ankle, sides, and every single toe. The price of vanity is expensive. It's the most expensive pair of shoe I possess. Now looking back I don't know what made me pay so much for a pair that is not good ol' faithful Tod's. It's just another testament of women and their incredibly silly foot fetishes. And sheer stupidity.

Aww my poor feet. Aww my poor (chesty) lungs.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vaporub: Not a Myth

Ok so this Vaporub remedy REALLY DOES WORK. It's not a myth or a legend, it's honestly the best idea and remedy for a good night's rest. I slathered vaporub on my feet, put on some thick socks and within minutes was asleep. Though I did not feel a tingly sensation (in fact, felt no sensation) which one normally feels when menthol is applied to the rest of the body. However what I did get is 4hrs of very good uninterrupted sleep, until I was woken by a coughing fit. But hey, no problemo, put on another layer of vaporub and then there was another 4 good hours. Best sleep I've had in days. So yay, cough mixtures are a thing of the past, Vaporub is my new best remedy for curing night time coughs. Doctors should really learn a thing or two from old wives and grannies cuz home remedies are often some of the best stuff out there these modern day chemicals and medications cannot replace.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Vaporub Urban Legend

The nasty persistent cough has been plaguing me for days, and I have barely slept in 3 days. Modern cough mixtures are totally useless - I knew that from years ago, but I braved myself again to put faith on Robitussin. Of course, faith was misplaced, it's totally pointless. I don't know why doctors and manufacturers can't figure out by now this stuff is crap. Now, researching on the web I came across an interesting "cure" which promotes the use of Vicks Vaporub on the feet as an effective way to suppress and manage coughs at night and to enable a sound nights sleep. Ok sounds kooky, but if modern researched tried and tested cough mixtures don't work, nothing wrong with giving the urban legend a try and see if it does. Just so my expensive monthly facials don't go to waste cuz I'm starting to look like an old hag by now.

On a side note, if anyone wants to feel their oblique muscles and can't get to the gym enough to work out their 6-pack, try developing a persistent cough. The spasms from intense coughing is strong enough to squeeze the abs area to tight one can actually feel the oblique muscles by just placing hands above the waist. Whoa.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Natural Diet

Not another blog about dog food, but rather, an ironic observation the benefits of being ill. Yes indeed, the my tummy is slimmer, butt is smaller, and I actually have a rather sexy curve as the waist-hip ratio is accentuated. Comes from not being able to eat much except drink soup, and have no interest in food whatsoever. Speaking of food, I bought another beautiful cookbook, which emphasises the use and technique of good quality olive oil. Best of all, its recipes boast great salads and inventive uses of olive oil for beautiful and simple uses. Great for the vegetarian convert. Yum.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Recent conversations with C.

C: you can turn the volume of your iTouch louder...
Me: there's no vol buttons on the side. Only can listen to sound by plugging in earphones.
C: Huh??? (checks iTouch). There ARE no volume buttons...

another time.

C: is your iTouch's bluetooth turned on?
Me: How?
C: go to Settings, General...
Me: there's no bluetooth selection.
C: What????? Can't bluetooth? Then why the heck I paid so much for this thing.
Me: (silence). (but mentally telepaths an "I told you so" expression).

Me: I'm running out of storage space. (Looks at apartments outside as we cruise down the road). When can I buy my own "storage space" (meaning: apartment)?
C: In fact, they sell storage space for you to store extra items (meaning: storage hubs)
C: I'm really tired and sleepy. I'm falling asleep at the wheel.
Me: Wanna nap at my place.
C: Nah, it's too hot there.
Me: When I get my own storage space, I will be sure to provide you air-conditioned cupboard space.
C: It's actually called a REFRIGERATOR. I don't know what world you live in, but in my world, an aircon cupboard is known as a refrigerator.



1. Why doesn't iTunes store have a Singapore version? Just when I finally figure out how to get album artwork on my iTunes collection...but damn, I can't buy just single songs that I like instead of an entire album.

2. Baby strollers. There are strollers and there are THE Strollers. The mercedes benz or rolls royce of them strollers, it's even called the MacLaren (gives some association of how upmarket the strollers must be). When these strollers go into the lifts, they take up like 1/3 of the whole lift space. Speaking of which, have you seen strollers squeezed in with us ordinary folks in the MRT? They take up a heck lot of space, especially during peak hours. Ok so the govt has something to say about encouraging baby population and veering people towards public transportation especially in light of rocketing oil prices. But obviously our genius pro-family pro-public transport govt did not put 2&2 together and figure out we definitely have an overcrowding problem when more strollers board the trains. Even worse when you put a couple of the Maclarens together.

3. Children. Why do parents think it's OH-SO-ADORABLY-CUTE when their little monster toddlers scream and yell in a restaurant and attempt to shred the paper table placemats to bits? Doting parents just look on indulgently while other restaurant patrons (like me) get pissed to bits.

4. Dresscode. Today's newspaper article groused about how Singaporeans are the sloppiest dressers on this planet. I agree. Our shorts n tee n sandals culture is prevalent everywhere, and even creeps up in posh hotels and lounges. You think Singaporeans are sloppy? Hello you haven't seen those china uncles down in orchard road, they make us sloppy singaporeans look chic and sophisticated in comparison. Though for some strange reason, their China female counterparts are much better dressers.

5. Organs Trading. Yes recent newsworthy topic and ethical debate. Today's papers has people who are and against it. Hello, someone should contact C about his kueh-chap man analogy. It helps puts things into perspective.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Recently C happily announced, "I've got pressies for you!". Oh man, I'm so excited, I hold out my hand, and voila, I look down at a black box. No no it's not a diamond ring. But its the diamond of all ipods, the Ipod Touch. I was speechless. After all, if you had read my earlier post sometime back about Pinky the ill-fated ipod which went missing soon after misguided handling, and the entire incredulous journey of the OS upgrade....ah well, I had rather sternly reminded and insisted to C, "do not get me another ipod again. Do not. Do not", I drone. The chap has been buying me ipods of every generation for years, I mean, how many ipods do I need? One. Just one ok. Buy me Tiffany or Swarokvski instead can?

Ok so back to the new Touch. Use it now, he insists. I decline, since it looks rather nice mint condition in shrink wrap. Of course the next day I bring it out with me, but duh, it doesn't work because it hasn't been charged. Ok, nevermind, I'll charge it in the office. But duh, my office PC doesn't have iTunes installed. So ok, nevermind, just download iTunes. But duh, office PC OS does not support latest iTunes. You can see where this is going? My luck with technology and electronics sucks. And it's been sucking a long time. Anyway, skip a few chapters ahead. C was checking out my new toy proudly when:

Me: So why doesn't it have camera functions?
C: because it doesn't.
Me: So it can store photos but not take photos. So it means i have to take photos, download it to PC, and upload it to Scandal? (name of the Touch).
C: err. Yeah. (Long silence). Err, this iTouch is pretty useless isn't it?
Me: (rolls eyes).

Friday, July 04, 2008


You know how when one is so sick, it's too exhausting to walk or get out of bed, one's wish is for someone to bring some comfort food. Pat the head a little and tuck into bed. Of course C will always be happy to bring me food, but also very true to form, he will be late. Very late. Today, a record of 2.5hrs (and I nary a whine). I often say to him how one day should I be kidnapped and he is tasked to deliver the ransom, he'll turn up - eventually - after being very late, and I will be a bag of rotting bones. On my grave, the headstone he carved will probably say, "I was late, but at least I tried".