Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Perspective

2008 has been a fairly remarkable year for me. I started my yoga teacher training, wrote my MBA dissertation, got a new job, passed my MBA, passed my teacher training......and became proprietress of an online store - the latter being the final culmination of my MBA and yoga training combined. The year started out very challenging especially at work, but like the saying, "trial by fire", well it's through fire that moulds character. With all the extra activities through the year it's also a test of physical limits. Outcome of this test? One needs a lot of collagen supplements, face masks and plenty of retail therapy.

2008 is and was a good year. Because of all the learnings I've encountered. Yes economy sucks, but even from that there is a lesson to be learnt - 1) no money is safe, except under the pillow, and 2) it's probably better to invest in a birkin bag vs any other stock.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Size matters

C remarked to me how he doesn't understand why a small little bag would be housed in such a huge box (alongside with stuffing paper etc). It's very simple really - because size DOES matter. Not size of the designer bag, but size of the designer PAPER bag that the item is put into. The bigger the box encasing the designer item, the bigger the paper bag, the better.

C: So you mean so say, the doesn't matter if the item inside is a tiny keychain, it's more important they put the item into a huge box??
Me: Yep.
C: err....and why?
Me: Because the size of the box and the corresponding size of the paper bag gives the illusion that the item inside is a big and expensive item.
C: So literally you can have nothing in the box, as long as there is a huge box and a huge paper bag?
Me: Yep. Not just a paper bag, but a paper bag with a sticker or ribbon sealing the top.
C: and why??
Me: Simple. So this way we get much better service when we walk into other designer stores.

Yes, it's a fact of life. People judge you by appearances, and yes, the number and size of the designer paper bags one carry. The service is attentive and prompt, you can almost see the quick calculative gleam in the sales assts eyes when they spy you walking into the boutique with 'bags' in tow. So in our shamelessly materialistic society today, size does matter. Nevermind what's inside.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Gastronomic Orgasm

How to achieve G.A. (and I don't mean general anesthesia):

1. Read Chubby Hubby. Orgasm ultimate via food sex on a blog.
2. Subscribe to Appetite magazine. The oh so ooh la-la food styling on the cover is always a trigger for rapid heartbeats and orgasmic bloodrush.
3. Watch Nigella Lawson. Need I say more?

Today my haul at Borders equals 2 cookbooks, 2 food periodicals (Appetite and Singapore's Best 100 Restaurants) and 1 yoga book. Hmm, maybe that's the way life is - I enjoy my yoga very much but maybe because I'm at practice so regularly I feel less desire to possess much reading material on it. On the other hand, the dream kitchen and the dream food are things I don't use much but highly covet. Life is about wanting what we cannot get. Only then will we desire it more.

Speaking of yoga, since I've completed my teaching certification, I'm suddenly struck with the reality that I do have to write my sports resume. I've got a career resume I'm really proud of, and to suddenly have to write another resume as a rookie is almost stunning. So out come the stash of certificates of workshop attendance etc etc. One thing good about being anal and having a rather neat filing system since my school days, is at least I know where everything is kept.

Cooking up for lost time

It seems in the last 10 days I have cooked up enough to make up for the lost 1 year of kitchen time. On my accomplishment menus were potato skins (Gary Rhodes), couscous salad (Tessa Kiros), Vietnamese fish cakes (Red Lantern), Hot german potato salad and Kimchi fried rice. The latter 2 are self-adapt recipes. All in, I must have cooked for over 20 people. Most went well except the fish cakes which went somewhat too liberally with the fish sauce, oops.

My poor dogs are wondering how come they don't get a piece of all these action. But just as my friend John noted when he saw both Bis and Hol recently, they kinda look like chunky monkeys already.

Ok time for dogs to diet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Blend blend blend

My newest acquisition in kitchen equipment - the Philips HR2068 blender which suceeds the my old Philips blender which met an unfortunate and untimely demise when attempting to obliterate fish paste for Xmas dinner. The old faithful had served me well for over 4 years, nevermind that in the last 1 yr I hardly cooked. The adrenaline and excitement of standing in the household section of Takashimaya with all these beautiful offerings of kitchen gadgets and once again I began to dream (and oh so dream) of my dream kitchen which would be the size of a 3 room HDB flat (it's only a dream ok!!!). Ok dream aside, it's a nice feeling when brand promoters rush to attend to you in hopes of convincing you their products are the best for your needs. The HR2068 costs twice the old faithful did, but it's more powerful and more zippy. Oooh I like.

Friday, December 26, 2008

When in Recession...

When in Recession, spend spend spend. Apparently this is what Singaporeans do. Recession? What recession? Looking at the tremendous crowd at the Isetan VIP preview, it looks like half of Singapore is a Isetan VIP. It's so crowded one does not walk - one simply gets pushed around by the hordes of shoppers. Recession?? Cashiers are ringing up purchases non-stop it seems everyone is buying enough to populate half of China. Even worse, there's no service when you want one. I feel sorry for the poor sales assistants.

I love retail therapy, retail is good. But going to a sale so crowded is no therapy. My total damage at Isetan - $18 for groceries. I guess I'm one of the few genuinely 'recession' customers of Isetan.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peripheral Vision

Guys generally do not hae peripheral vision. They see straight ahead, focus, and zoom. Girls on the other hand, have in born ability of 180 deg pheri vision, can see left and right and center, focus on SALE sign, and zoom all over the place, and still remember which shops on left and right still need to check out.

But recently have found out there is maybe 1 exception for guys - that pheri vision is possible for them (or maybe it's only for C) when guy is driving the car down the expressway, and female passenger flashes body part at the same time a red sportscar is zooming down on the right lane. C's apparently has very superior 180 deg vision; in that 1 split second, identify the make model and even exact car plate license of the speeding red car, as well as identify the flashing body part.

When female tries to do the same thing, she gets a hole in the retina. See lah.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's a Bird, it's a err....

Was picnic-ing at upper seletar when I spotted a white bird perched at the very lush green slopes of the golf course overlooking the reservoir.

Me (to C): Look look! there's a white bird there!
C: yep
Me: It's a...!!
(now, at this point I was about to say PELICAN, but of course considering the recent animal disasters I've had recently I very smartly decide to let my sentence trail off).
C (smirking, and waiting for me to launch into disaster): It's an ibis.
Me (blank look): Ahhh..... (goddamn I truly don't know what an Ibis is. But now at least I know what it looks like).
Me: err, i was about to say Pelican....
C: (sigh). well if you had said heron or stork, you would have come close. But Pelican, that's really quite far from it.
Me: well maybe the pelican migrated, since it must be cold where it was residing...
(note again - if one recognizes my 'animal speech' patterns by now, this is the start of an impending animal disaster).
C: The nearest Pelican is found in Australia! So it flew from oz to sg? That's quite a far distance to travel to warm climate
(not to mention it's Summer in Oz now)...

At this point I decide to smile very sweetly and offer C some food from our picnic basket, before I had a chance to explain that maybe the "pelican" hitched a ride with a Qantas or SQ flight to SG. Or even took a boat.

Some things are just better left unsaid. At least C didn't have a headache this time.


Xmas party at my good friend's house is always a smashingly fun affair - lots of food, sweets, gift exchanges. And I finally made my kitchen re-debut with a potato skins recipe from my latest Gary Rhodes acquisition, 365. Fuss-free and excellent recipes for everyday living. Tessa Kiros' couscous salad was reintroduced, I've always had good success with Tessa's recipes and am a proud collector and owner of every of her cookbooks. Now with a little more time since having completed by yoga teacher training, I'd reckon I could be spending more time in my kitchen and making C's tummy a very happy one.

As a side remark - Paragon Marketplace is ridiculously expensive. Prices are premium even to Jason's by 10%. But did it look like it was recession in there? Obviously not.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How many Cows make a Birkin Bag?

Poor C is as sick as a dog - chills and muscle aches, headaches and sore throat. Brave enough yet to pick me up from yoga class, only to be rewarded by ....yes, yet another painful conversation. Topic of contention was how many cows makes a birkin bag.

C: why don't you find me a cow so I can shoot it, you can take the leather to make a bag?
Me: but you're the guy. Guys are supposed to do the manly thing by hunting and shooting animals while their helpless gfs just wait prettily for a present.
C: I already gave you a cow. Don't you have a cow?
Me: Ya.....but that one cannot make a bag...
C: there are NO (real) cows in singapore. I checked already.
Me: I'm sure you can find some at Dairy farm
C: Dairy farm got no cows. I checked already
Me: Got got!! I'm sure of it...
C: where...?
Me: There's a goat farm at Dairy Farm...
C: OMG!!! A Goat is *NOT* a cow ok!! Cows and goats are totally different animals!!
Me: (sudden realization dawns) .....but they produce milk anyway...
C: Yes! but goat is not a cow and cow is not a goat
Me: err...I thought you are sick?
C: yes I'm sick. I'm very sick. However being sick doesn't mean I'm stupid.....(moans. groans in pain).

so there it is again, poor bf with who looked like he was 1 sec away from vomiting blood. Mentally thinking OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY does he have to suffer this when he went all the way to pick me and send me home.

Moral of story? That's what bfs are for. ahaha.

I am Zen

It's official, I'm certifiably zenned. (or pretend to be zen). I passed my yoga teacher training (with distinction). Woohoo. Am so karmically proud of myself. Now I just need to find some guinea pigs......

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Childhood dreams

Car prices are falling these days, friends and acquaintances would often ask if I should not already be buying a car. Well, the thing is, due to a childhood "obligation", I can't just buy any car. During my budding teenage days where teens often dream of ambitions and the adult life to follow, I promised myself (amongst many other things) that my first car would be a BMW. Of course it's already been 20 yrs since. So yes cars are cheap, petrol is cheaper, and taxes (forget about taxes, it's ridiculous).....

But because I have to stay true to my childhood commitment of a BMW, so still no car yet, cuz it really doesn't make sense to buy a BM when one can get a decently good jap car (C swears he will burn down any Nissan march parked outside his gate). And here's my other rationale:

- cost of monthly financing = 1 tods bag (or 2 tods shoes)
- 1 yr of financing = 1 birkin bag
- birkin bag value is recession proof (proven)
- birkin will appreciate or hold steady. Car will depreciate
- birkin does not need to pay parking or taxes
- car is a status symbol. so is a birkin
- carry birkin bag into upmarket designer boutique will award one instant megastar attention from sales assts. Can't say the same by simply flashing bmw or jap car keys.

Yep. I think, BMW won't be part of my inventory for a long time to come. Thanks to childhood dreams.

On the other hand, Birkin (nor Tod's) were part of childhood dreams. Look how much quicker I'm progressing here. hah.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Heroine once more

I saved the world again. Yes I did - I did my part for world peace and etc etc by donating blood. Other heroic acts I performed this week?

1. Contributed to the growth of the economy (yes, by shopping).
2. stood up for equal rights for lower ranked colleagues in my team.
3. fight for salary adjustment of lowly paid overworked employee.

Damn I'm so proud of myself.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Passions and Desires

For all the recent rant and raves about shopping and my obsessions, finally I am drawn back to my real true love - books. I must say that Borders' strategy with those steep coupons have snagged a loyalist fan like me for life (for as long as they give steep discounts). So here I am armed with coupons and my latest lovely cookbook acquisition - Lygon Street.
. Only a few true loves in my life - food and books have always been beloved childhood companions, and like old friends, we are seldom apart. Lygon street is another testament of the fact, though C often bemoans nowadays I haven't been cooking for nearly a year and is dying for me to get back to action. Indeed, Lygon is the 12th cookbook I have acquired this year, and have not even touched a recipe from. Yes well, with love comes many desires, and yes I dearly desire to have that Dream Kitchen.

And speaking of Dream Kitchens, check out Chubby Hub's latest kitchen pix. Is that *GASP* 2 Kitchen Aids??

So, birkin or dream kitchen? When one is in doubt of which to choose, always ask the question , "which would you sell your soul to the devil for"?

Ans: Dream Kitchen.