Friday, April 04, 2008

The Last Lap

I'm sitting here writing 'Thank You' cards. Save for one last card for a particular kutiya whom I can't seem to have anything pleasant to say about .... am still thinking, hence the break and the need to blog a little.

It's my last day with the firm. Feels very surreal. Somehow, it hasn't really sunk in yet. I feel like I'm going on a vacation instead! *touch wood* It'd better be a permanent vacation.

The last lunch with the gang took place on Thursday at our usual hangout. Am sooo gonna miss you guys!!! Really really ...

Lunch + tea breaks + dinners will never be the same without you guys.

I will absolutely miss same-timing j-mee in the morning (and at various points of the day) with flirtatious chat-up lines, teasing bee about the most ridiculous of things, responding to @loy's sheparding calls prior to lunch, occassional chats out of boredom and bitching sessions with tee and lee.

It's absolutely heart-wrenching when I think about it. We have had some very good moments together. This is NOT farewell, we WILL keep in touch.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The King & I

My breath smells like durian.

I'm burping durian - Ultimate joy!

Mum bought the durian sampler from Goodwood Park hotel's durian feast and I had an entire box to myself.

Never had so much durian delicacies in a span of 3 days. Well, it had to be consumed within 3 days.

I'm happy and stuffed.



First and foremost, happy birthday to me!

If you had remembered and extended your warm wishes ... early or late ... thank you so much!

For those who raced against each other to see whose SMS came through first .... extra points for you!!

For those who graciously took time off to spend some time catching up over food and drinks ... thank you so very much as well.

Oh yes, presents! The lunch/dinner treats and presents were lovely! Love them!!!

There were many pleasant surprises that day.

I was surprised that people whom I don't exactly keep in touch with, actually remembered. Facebook and Friendster birthday reminders are a darl! Elephant and dinosaur memories are a darl too!

The nicest surprise I received was the day before my birthday. It was what I had hoped for. A new job ... a new beginning ...

I haven't exactly been happy in my rather new 6-month role in the department. It was a risk right from the start. And unfortunately, things did not work out. Internally, something in me cracked and somehow could not be put together again. I had lost a certain drive, getting complacent and no longer motivated. Externally, there were several issues that I was unhappy about. On hindsight, perhaps I should have talked to the higher authorities instead of hearing echoes of my own voice. Perhaps, perhaps ...

So, with that, I signed my new employment letter on my birthday and turned in my resignation letter on the same day.

As I approach the new chapter in my career with excitement ... there is also a sense of nervousness and trepidation. Nevertheless, I hope that I am taking a step in the right direction. I need to rediscover the drive and passion that I have lost.

Happy birthday! Cheers!

The Girl With The Missing Big Toenail On The Left

Pulled it out.

Not as painful as I had imagined.

Not as disgusting as I had imagined.

Not as disfigured as I had imagined.

Just happy that the nailbed has finally seen the light.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nailing It

Okay, this one is for you dahlin' j-mee ... after much prodding over several sametime messages in the office and lunchtime sessions ... this is my go at blogging for 2008.

This is gonna be a lil disturbing for some ... so read on at your own risk ... But its been bothering me for awhile, so you might just wanna hear me out ... You see, I have this loose toenail on my big left toe ... and the problem is getting worse by the week. I think the culprits are tennis (too much impact) and golf (really uncomfortable shoes).

My poor feet are crushed and sore usually after a round of golf. And the impact from weekly tennis sessions has its fair share of painful contributions.

Based on some preliminary research online, seems like serious runners are plagued by the same problem as well. I was contemplating yanking out the loose nail which is now hanging precariously by a thin strip of flesh, but by doing so, it appears that this might lead to an ingrown nail later on. So this option is out. On the bright side, if the nail does drop off on its own, at least I can expect a new one!

Further into my surfs .... now this is where it gets fun ... I came across this blog ... someone made a necklace out of toenails! Yes, I kid you not. Not just his own toenail (well, mostly his), but donations from others as well!!! Eeee-yewwwww!!!! Click here for a better picture .... I dare you!

Now, can anyone tell me if a toenail fairy exists? I might just be tempted at yanking the nail out ;)


Monday, December 24, 2007


It's just a about a week left to the new year.

And time to take stock of the more memorable happenings in 2007. A reflection of my year as follows ...

The Good :

1) The most significant would be having my own home! I don't know how I did it but I did it. It was something that was the cards two years down the road. But due to unforeseen circumstances (high rental rates) and the nagging feeling of living like a nomad, I took the plunge and began house-hunting only in mid-April. By then, property prices were already on the upswing and it was tough finding a place that was convenient and within budget. Anyhow, it was love at first sight and I'm loving the small lil' hole in the wall which I now call home. It was and still is great fun buying stuff to decorate the apartment, albeit the bigger hole in the pocket. It has also been great having friends over and chilling over my not-so-comfortable seating arrangements. But what the heck, its the company that counts! I have never found coming home to and having guests over such a pleasure.

2) Driving - Something which I have not done for seven years since I first got my license. Its been a mental to-do note for the past few years which I never got round to cos' there was no real need to. The only thing that fuelled to desire to drive again was actually linked to the getting the house and golf lessons. Rather than rely on the movers and on chauffers to ferry me around, a greater boost to mobility would be to start driving again! So on came refresher driving lessons (just three) and the onslaught of struggles with directions ( is a god-send!), reckless taxi drivers, fearless pedestrians, etc. I have not fully come out of the comfort zone as yet, preferring to drive only to the places that I am comfortable with (that excludes the far flung eastern and western parts of Singapore) and preferring to drive at night and during off-peak hours. Hopefully, it will get better with more practice. The increase in taxi-fares are a real pain!

3) More travelling to places that are immensely rich in culture with plenty of photo-whore opportunities with fantastic travel mates no less - Cambodia in May and Greece in September ... and of course the annual shopping/feasting pilgrimage to Hong Kong which always leaves me floored for more ...

4) Golf -A new sport which I took up in July, 10 intensive lessons to learn the swing, chipping and putting techniques which ended with a rewarding Proficiency Certificate (which on hindsight was not difficult to get at all!). That said, it is a very difficult sport to pick up with lotsa practice, patience and investment both in terms of time and money.

5) Jogging - Okay, lame as this might sound, since everyone is capable of jogging right? I finally FINALLY went for my first run this morning. Probably about 3km or more? Not too sure, but it lasted about 25 mins. This is one activity which I hope to do on a more regular basis to build up stamina for tennis and golf. So @lloy, who knows, I might just do a marathon with you next year, altho' not the 42km or 84km ones!

The Not-so-Good :

6) Year after year, I have been bemoaning about the loss of really great colleagues who have left the firm for greener pastures. Beth to Beijing, Angie to Melbourne, Jacq and Shimin to the financial big-wigs, Amos to Famous Amos (joke!) ... but Tee made a come-back, which was absolutely wonderful in reuniting the original Seven! No one knows how much longer we can remain as a Seven ... it is very scary to think of who might be the last one standing ... altho' if anyone makes it to partner, its a not-so-scary thought after all ...

7) Work has taken on a more stressful turn. Life in the advisory team is not all a bed of roses as most would imagine. While it doesn't come with a portfolio of clients, its a constant sea of change which requires adaptation on an almost daily basis. It's a steep learning curve and a brand new arena which I am keen to embrace. At the same time, it also comes with high expectations which are a current struggle. Being, the only STC in the team, I feel like I'm treading on thin ice over the next six months. I can only hope for the best.

8) I was just reading through my musings over 2006 in last year's blog, and it sounds like I have done a lot more this year. Which is absolutely fantastic! And just a year ago, I was contemplating Lasik for that elusive 6/6 vision. It is something which I have been mulling over for a long time, since wearing contacts or specs on board long haul flights are such a pain. Before you roll your eyes and start the vanity debacle, I think waking up in the mornings with perfect eyesight without fumbling for that pair of specs or prying those half-shut eyes open to insert those contacts, is such a pure feeling. Anyway, I did give a shot at my chances at Lasik earlier this month. But my medical history of having done retina detachment previously put me at greater risk as compared to most patients. Rather than run the risk of being in the range of that 2 - 3% of complications and the possibility of going under the knife for another round of surgery or lose my sight, with much prodding from Mum, I decided to give it a miss. Well, at least I tried.

I guess the above summarizes my feelings at this time of the year as I wrap things up. So, here's looking forward to 2008! May there be more positive things to come!


Monday, October 29, 2007

My first 18

I know I should resume blogging about my Greece trip ... but I have gotten lazy ... sorry! Will try to resume when I feel like it lah ...

Anyway, I'm back to tennis lessons ... my first lesson on Sunday promptly demolished all the confidence I had in the sport. Going back to the intricacies behind the forehand and backhand was like learning how to drive a manual car ... too many things to look out for!

Didn't realise that I have been getting the basics wrong all this time. While I can hit past the net and rally sufficiently after a warm-up ... its not the 'correct' way to play tennis ... argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And on to golf ...

Did my first 18 holes today .... one word ... STRESSFUL!!! Definitely not leisurely ...

It was our first 18 holes game ... and on hindsight ... it was way too ambitious. We should have perhaps stuck to a 9 holes game instead ... cos by the time we reached the 9th hole, we were already tired out. Besides, MBGC is a tough course to manouvere, even for experienced golfers.

We were so slow at the initial stage that the golf marshall had to repeatedly hurry us to complete each hole. We even had to skip one hole to make way for the group behind us. If you see anyone running across the greens ... its probably us. With balls going haywire, time spent looking for missing balls, buggies going off course (cos' we weren't sure when the buggy was allowed on the fairways) and a near buggy accident, we wasted a fair bit of time.

All in all, it took us 4.5 hours to complete the course. Thankfully, the weather was perfect.

Can't wait for the next 9 holes ... at an easier course that is.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Greece : Olympia

After a terrible first night at our shabby tourist class hotel where we could feel the creaky bed springs each time we tossed and turned and where we tasted food that was the most awful ever, we made our way to Olympia, the site of the first ancient Olympic games. It is also the place which houses the Temple of Apollo, the Sun God.

:: after a terrible night at Ilis Hotel ... ::

:: Wrestling at the grounds ::

:: Claudine & Jerry from Wisconsin, the more haps couple in the group of oldies.
They even got the bus driver pretty drunk on one night which got us rather worried on the downslopes the morning after. ::

:: Jerry on his 'throne' ::


Greece : Mycenae

Ok, I don't have much to elaborate on cos' I just returned my overdue library books as soon as I could. So no boring commentary here ... just some cam-whoring pictures.

This is Day 1 of our land tour with our American fuddy-duddy travel mates at Mycenea which houses a fortified hill and some ancient tombs. The first of several archeological sites to come.

:: stop-over at Epidarus to check out the amazing acoustics at the outdoor theatre ::

:: The Lion Gate ::

:: Ms Universe wannabes ::

:: and of course the irristible and irrepressible Xena ::


Greece : Athens

So, we departed Singapore on 16 September for a cool 13 days in Greece.

Our itinerary started with Athens as a base. After which, we joined a 4 days 3 nights tour comprising some *ahem* old American tourists and travelled up north-west to the Peloponnese area to cover Olympia (where the first ancient Olympic games were first held), Delphi & Mycenae (2 other archeologicals site similar to Olympia except that they were on higher ground). We then moved onto to central Greece to visit magnificent Meteora (hanging monastries perched on huge rocks/boulders).

Thereafter, we were left on our own to explore the rest of Athens and island hopping! Our trip to Mykonos was delayed by a day due to strong winds. As such, we had a day less in Santorini ... bummer! We took a vote on whether to shell out some extra S$250 per pax for another day at Santorini ... the result? Wait for the video which will be uploaded in due course!

To start, here let me introduce the travellers who assumed Greek monikers for the trip. Starting clockwise from left to right :

The God Hadrian - who according to Greek mythology took on a gay lover Antionoos (who happens to be damn cute in sculptures!)

The Goddess Loukia - a distant cousin of Finnish Goddess Nokia.

The Goddess Thessaloniki - a pasta addict, very distantly related to the Italians Linguine, Fettucine etc.

The Goddess Oochi - which incidentally means 'no' in Greek, and is very adverse to 'koo-chis' i.e. tickles.

:: streets of Athens, with lots of grafitti and cool wall art ::

:: at the hotel rooftop, with the Acropolis in the background ::