Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.


Of Culture and the Flyer

One of my most favourite things to do on a weekend is to go museum hopping and I’m really glad that Dude loves going to museums as much as I do. I don’t really mind going to museums alone but having company is even better since you get to talk about the exhibits and sometimes make snarky comments because well, I’m bitchy like that.

Anyway, two weekends ago, we ended up going to the Peranakan Museum as there was a new exhibition; Ramayana Revisited: A Tale of Love & Adventure. Interesting, no? We went through the permanent exhibit first, looking at what makes up the Peranakan culture. It wasn’t just the food or the clothes, but also the cultural things that, while may seem similar to the Chinese culture, are remarkably different.

One of the most interesting, at least to me, things that I saw was this kebaya top that immediately reminded me of Wena Poon.

kebaya top

Wena has new book out titled Alex y Robert, about a young lady wanting to be a matador. So the bull and matador motif embroidered on the top totally reminded me of her book. I barely took any pictures at the museum after that since my camera battery was dying and I still had the rest of the day filled with activities to attend.

After lunch, while Dude went to work, I went to meet up with the Adventure Crew (Avariel, Joelyn, Raven and Sarah) and Jerrick for the next part of my day’s adventure; going up the Singapore Flyer.

ticket frontticket back

Actually, the tickets weren’t free. Since Sarah and Joelyn had coupons for the Flyer from their Big Walk goodie pack, when you divided up the cost of 4 tickets between 6 people, it’s heck of a lot cheaper. So yes, once we paid for our tickets, we went up to the ‘boarding’ platform and had to go through the security checks that is not unlike the ones that you go through to board a plane.

Boarding the Flyer is a little tricky since it doesn’t stop moving, unlike a normal Ferris wheel. You just have to quickly get through the door and into the capsule when it reaches the platform and try not to trip or fall as the capsule keeps moving on.

MBS

Once in the capsule, almost everyone went “Ooooh! Aaaaah!” at the view. My camera battery was in it’s tail end of battery juice so I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. However, I did manage to take a few of the surrounding sights, like the Marina Bay Sands building. You can’t really see the curved ship hull-shaped roof from the angle I took.

marina barrageconservatories garden

As our capsule moved up the arc, you could see the Marina Barrage, where we had our kite flying adventure a few months back. The Conservatories Garden was currently under construction and according to my sister, the plant expert, when it’s done, it should look like a tropical garden forest. Or something along those lines since I wasn’t really paying attention when she was explaining these things.

cbd 2cbd 1

We also got to see a beautiful view of the CBD. Despite the construction going on, you have to admit that the CBD area is beautiful, especially at night. The night time skyline is the one thing that always makes me feel like I’m home whenever I take a night flight back to Singapore from wherever.

It was a full day of culture and adventure for me and by the time we went off for home, I was exhausted but glad that I went out. Awesome company and and awesome day out will always make up for the exhaustion.


School Is Now In Full Swing

I just came to the realisation, some time this morning, that due to the fact that I won’t be having any exams for both my units this semester, I’m going to have a buttload of assignments. Is it strange that while I’m feeling a little stressed out at the amount of school work that needs to get done, a part of me is excited at the prospect of doing assignments?

I’m weird that way.

There are readings to be done. Superbly dry readings at that. There are seminars to attend and participate in, followed by essays to research and write. A full work load, if I must say so.

This semester is totally going to be an interesting one.


Letter To My 16-Year Old Self

Looking back to the teen that I was, I couldn’t believe how angsty I was. If I could do one thing to make me less of a miserable person, I wish I could send a letter to that teenage girl that I was and tell her that life won’t be all that bad.

Sixteen / Ninety-One
(via bixentro)

Dear Teenage Me,

At sixteen life might feel so hard. You might be wondering why the world is against you. Or why you don’t have have as many friends as you think you should? Or why aren’t you as popular as those other teenagers? Or you’re wondering why you don’t have a boyfriend? Or why aren’t you as pretty as the other girls your age? You feel like your parents don’t understand you at all and that your sisters are bratty kids and you can’t seem to get along with them.

Well, don’t worry because life will get better. Sure, even more than a decade later your mother would still look at you in puzzlement, wondering what the heck cosplay is and why can’t you go as a tapir if all you want to do is dress up. Your sisters would still be bratty kids but you’ll get along better, even though they do get on your nerves sometimes.

Don’t worry about not making friends because the one that matters will stick with you through everything. You’ll meet more people make more friends, more interesting friends as you get older. They’ll be like-minded and know how to have fun without all that alcohol and what-not that you see your teenage peers refer to as ‘fun’. They’ll be smart, funny and you’ll be able to talk to them about anything and everything and they won’t judge you, no matter what you say.

As you grow older and mature over the next decade or so, you’ll realise that all that popularity that you wanted in high school doesn’t mean jack shit in real life. Move to the beat of your own drum. Not only will you be happier, you’ll be less of a bitch to everyone. You’ll learn to stop caring so much about what people say or tell you.

School won’t be a chore the moment you get out of high school. In fact, school will be so much fun and you get to see the world, albeit a tiny part of it but still, you’ll be out of your country alone for the first time in your life and you’ll love the experience.

Pretty boys will not interest your that much as you mature but instead, the ones with smarts, who engage your brain and make you laugh will catch your attention faster than a cute boy on a dirtbike. Yes, you’ll find a boy who loves you and you’ll love him back. You’ll get your heart broken but you’ll bounce back and be stronger than before. Not having a partner isn’t all bad. You get to do what you want, go where ever you want and kiss whom ever you want without the arguments, the tears and the cold shoulders. Seriously, enjoy that singlehood while you still can.

It’ll be a long, long while before you’ll finally be comfortable in your own body. You’ll be confident in not only the way you look but of your abilities as well. You’ll love dressing up, with the accessories and especially the make up. Yes, you’ll finally figured out how to put on make up without looking like a runaway clown bride. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Just wait four years and you’ll find out.

So, my dear teenage self, don’t worry about all the things that make you such an unhappy person. Enjoy your youth, what friends that you have and the little things that make you happy. Life will get better. Just wait and see.

Love,
Your Future Self


Books To Add To My Ever Growing Pile Of To-Read Books

I love books. If you haven’t realised this by now, you must have just started reading this blog or you just don’t know me very well. On top of loving books, I also hoard them. I have multiple plastic storage boxes full of books that are read and a few more boxes filled with books that I have yet to start reading. This, of course, doesn’t stop me from wanting and adding more to the already growing pile.

With one of the local book stores having a sale (when is it never having a sale?), I might just drop by to check if they have the books that I want.


1. The Malay Archipelago
This book was actually introduced to me, in passing, during my Evolution & Phylogeny class when we were discussing about Darwin’s theory of evolution. I’ve never been that much interested in studying evolution in depth, so it wasn’t until this class that I discovered that it’s actually a lot more interesting than I thought it was.

Anyway, the book was written by Alfred Russel Wallace who was a naturalist who lived in the South East Asian region back in the 1800s. Basically, the book is like a chronicle of his travels, his scientific research and his observations. I’m very interested in reading on how different the region must be like more than a century ago and if we can still find at least a tiny speck of what was seen back then if we travel through the region.

2. Blameless
The third book in The Parasol Protectorate series. I’m still currently reading Changeless, the book before this, but my friends are bugging me to quickly finish it so that I can get on to the third book, just so that we can squee about it together. The ladies I hang out with don’t squee very often and it’s usually over books and from the previous books, this series is very squee worthy.

On top of wanting to know what happens in the next book, I wonder what Madame Lefoux will be wearing in the next book. That lady has the most outrageous and yet amazing outfits in the book. Or at least I think so from the image I have of her in my head.

3. The Phoenix Transformed
This is the third book in The Enduring Flame trilogy. I’ve been waiting at least a year for this book to be out in paperback and as of yet, I have not seen it in the book stores. The story takes place a thousand years after the events of The Obsidian Trilogy, which is one of my most favourite trilogies by Mercedes Lackey.

There are dragons, mages and magic in this series. Unfortunately no unicorns, which I miss since the unicorns in The Obsidian Trilogy have such distinctive personalities that make you wish you had one as a friend, though you had to be chaste and celibate to even come close to one. Tough, huh?

I realised that I have not included a romance novel in a reading list for quite some time now. Truthfully, I’ve not actually found one that made me impatiently waiting to read it. Lately, it’s been the fantasy and the science genres that has been grabbing my attention. Is this what it means to have a maturing taste in reading? Or not?


The Last Year Of My Twenties

29のローソク
Via masahiko

I turn 29 today and I just realised that it’s the last year of my twenties. By the time next birthday (hopefully) comes around, I would have left my twenties and start a new decade. I’m not really sure how I feel about that.

A number of things changed since my last birthday. You can’t go through life without getting knocked down but you just learn to pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and carry on; and most of the time, you’re stronger for it.

At 29, I may not be able to walk up and down town in heels or have the stamina to shop but I’m more adventurous, not afraid to give physical activities like climbing and rope swinging a try. I may not be curvaceous with boobs to die for or an ass that would rival J.Lo but I know that I look good (in fact better than I’ve had in years), I’m healthy (most of the time) and comfortable with myself and my body.

At 29, I know what I want and I’m working towards making it happen, one way or another, barring any unexpected circumstances. I’m happier now than I’ve ever remember being and I’m making my own happiness when I can.

This birthday has been wonderful so far, starting with a wonderful, wonderful dinner last night.

Leia 1Lego Leia 2

This morning, a colleague, the only other Star Wars nerd on the floor, gave me Lego Princess Leia. I’ve got Darth Vader at home and all I need now is Han Solo, Chewie, Luke and the droids to complete my set.

birthday cardkitty stickers

Then came the cat themed presents, a birthday card and sheet of stickers. I love cats!

So, this being the last year of my twenties, it isn’t so bad. Someone once told me that age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel you are. I’m hoping that this year brings with it more joy, happiness and love. May this year be awesome and wonderful and totally kick-ass (in a good way).


Taking Back My Weight

Your weight indicates your health
Via sylvar

Most people wouldn’t realise that I’ve actually lost a lot of weight. I’ve always been slender but lately, I’ve lost enough weight that I’m the same weight I was four years ago. My ribs, collar bone and even my elbows are more pronounced now. My clothes and especially my jeans are much looser. It says a lot when I actually have to put on a belt and I had to hook the belt a notch higher that I used too.

At my current weight, according to the Health Promotion Board BMI Calculator, I have a BMI of 17.5. While I may not have the obesity health risks, I do have a risk of nutritional deficiency and osteoporosis. It’s just not healthy and I need to regain back the weight I lost.


Previously, I weighed at least 6kg heavier but the events of April had me distraught enough to stop eating almost entirely for a week. Even after I recovered from that setback, my appetite didn’t fully got back to what it was. I didn’t eat as much, I tended to drink a lot more caffeine and sleep didn’t come as easily. Couple all that together and you get a good cause for weight loss.

I was maintaining relatively well at 49.5kg for the past few months but when the fasting month started, I lost another 3kg within the first two weeks. I’ve been falling sick a lot more often too and I think that this weight loss didn’t help either.

Now that the fasting month is over, I want to start regaining back the weight that I lost and it’s got to be healthy weight. I need to start going back to the pool and resume my yoga practice. I find that with school starting again, I’m going to fall back to my old unhealthy snacking diet, so that needs to change too. Less caffeine, less sugar and more fruits and veg in the diet.

It’s not going to be easy but staying healthy should be a good motivator to get me doing what needs to be done. Also, what little curves I had are now all gone! I want my curves back! I want to fill out my clothes like I used to. I want to be hot again. *wink wink*


Overloaded On Meat

botak's favourites

The fasting month always brings with it weird cravings. When you can’t eat for the whole day, you start craving for things that you wouldn’t normally would have. That’s what happened to me.

I was telling everyone that I was craving cow; a whole cow. I had such an intense craving for meat that all I could think about for the whole of last week was meat, meat, meat, meat and meat. When the AdCrew came over on Saturday for Eid, they decided to go to Botak’s Favourites for dinner. Since the outlet wasn’t that far from my house, I thought, might as well go with them and get my craving for meat satiated. Boy, did I overload on the cow meat.


The journey to the food outlet started with the usual AdCrew style; having a detour before the adventure started.

soleless

We had to make a pit-stop at a shoe store since one of use ended up soleless (hur hur hur. This is a pun on Gail Carriger’s book.). After the emergency purchase of footware, we made our way across two roads and up and down four flight of stairs, to the food outlet.

It took us all of five minutes to decide on what we wanted and after making a list (writers always have at least a pen and a post-it pad with them), we placed our orders and waited somewhat impatiently for our orders.

stuffed jalapenos

The five of us shared a bowl of whole jalapeño peppers that are stuffed with mozzarella cheese, breaded and deep fried. Everyone liked it but not everyone loved the spicy, cheesy taste of it. I finished mine and the heat of the jalapeño didn’t hit me until much, much later.

nz ribeye

Like I said, I was craving for cow meat and I got myself a New Zealand ribeye steak. That’s 300g (just under a pound) of meaty goodness, with a side of coleslaw and cheesy baked potato mash. That set me back $22.80, which is way, way under what I would usually have to pay for a much, much smaller piece of meat anywhere else.

medium wellmedium rare

Raven Silvers and I ordered exactly the same thing, except that she had a side of cheesy baked potato mash and corn on the cob. She requested for her steak to be medium rare while I had mine medium well. I like mine to be just a tiny bit pink and not overly raw.

Everyone had multiple foodgasms with their meal and there was not much talking over the next twenty to thirty minutes as everyone was too intently enjoying their meal. I must say that it was the best steak I’ve ever had to date. I really should have gone for the smaller piece since I couldn’t finish the last quarter of it. It was so good but I was too full by the time I got to the last portion of it and I still had my potato mash and slaw to finish.

dinner aftermath

At the end of the meal, everyone was not only satisfied but we made a point to come back again at the end of the month (or something) to celebrate mine and Joelyn’s birthday.

My craving for cow was totally satiated by that slab of meat. I must have overloaded on the meat eating because when I thought about having meat again the next day, my immediate reaction was the urge to throw up. That’s a good sign because that means I get eat regular portions of meat now, instead of wanting the whole cow, roasting over a firepit.

I would so recommend this to anyone with a hankering for meat. The portions are huge (at least to me) and the prices are reasonable too! The next time I feel carnivorous, I know exactly where to go to get my meat fix.