Oh Look, Krill!

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


Celebrating My 30th Birthday In Style

Or not.

cake

Last Friday, I talked about my feelings about turning 30. I didn’t really get to celebrate all that much on Friday since I was at work but my colleagues were really sweet and someone had gone out during lunch to get me a double chocolate cake.

I’m not much of a birthday cake person since I’ve always associated birthday cakes being smothered in sweet cream stuff which I hate, so I took to not eating cake until quite recently when I discovered, hey, not all cakes are like that. Anyway, I got a candle to blow out and everyone sang the birthday song for me. The beer party at work didn’t hurt either, even though I don’t drink.

My sisters decided that pizza and soda were needed to celebrate my birthday at home and that’s what we had for dinner, while screaming at the TV during the rugby game.

Anyway, it wasn’t until the weekend that I got to celebrate my birthday properly. The way I want to, by spending it with Dude.


I met Dude for lunch at Charco’s Clementi. I had it once before when it was still at Ang Mo Kio and remember how good the food was. However, the lunch we had (ribs roast and a side of 2 salads) was frankly disappointing. The ribs were tough and cold, instead of tender and hot. The Chicken Avocado Salad didn’t even have any avocado in it. Both of us agreed that weren’t going to go back there again.

Then we drove to West Coast Park to see if we could fly our kite but sadly, the air was still and so we decided to take a walk instead and talked. There was this little body of water that I’m assuming was a mangrove area in the park that was like a little nature reserve thing. While we stood there, we saw a waterhen and a collared kingfisher.

As we walked through out the park, we saw black-naped orioles, olive-backed sunbirds and a lot of squirrels. We even saw tiny mud skippers on the sides of the drains too. Who knew that just a small park like that could have such a diverse variety of animals, if you paid attention.

When we’re walked enough, we ended up at the McCafe nearby to cool down.

flat white

I had my first cup of coffee of the week and then promptly got my ass kicked at Monopoly Deal. It’s a rarity that I lose 5 games in a row and Dude was so damn smug at the fact that he didn’t even need to strategise to win. He just kept insisting that the cards wanted him to win, to which I say bullshit but that could just be me being a sore loser.

Since it was still too early for dinner, we drove down to another park near my house. Admiralty Park was a place that I’ve only been to a couple of times just to eat at the Sakura International Buffet, but never to wander around. I was glad that Dude was open to the idea of walking around the park trails even though we were both not dressed for a hike.

walking

The weather was wonderful as it had rained earlier, so while the ground was a little wet and muddy, the air was cool and not very humid. There were a number of people already in the park, jogging, cycling or just walking around like us. Even though there was a clear sign that said no fishing was allowed in the area, there were a couple of people with their fish hooks in the water, hoping for a bite.

As Dude and I walked further up the trail, we saw less people and a lot more trees, squirrels and even monkeys. We saw a sign that said that there was a mangrove area and so we went to look for it. It took us about half an hour of slow walking through the trails, under the canopy before we got to the mangrove area. We were lucky that it was low tide and we saw more than a couple of giant mudskippers and another waterhen. I saw more animals that day than I’ve had in the last couple of months combined. It was fun.

Being on the trail and under the canopy, it felt like I was in a different place and the scent in the air was a lot like being back in my dad’s home town, away from the city, when in truth, it was less than a kilometre from the main road. I never knew that such a place existed so near my home and I’m definitely going to make a point to go back again sometime.

canal

As the sun was setting and it was getting dark, we made our way out of the park and to the nearby Botak’s Favourites for dinner. I had a really fun day even though I was hungry, I couldn’t eat much, so we finished what we could and we packed the rest.

dinner

The next day, we tried to see if we could fly our kites again, this time at Jurong Central Park. We managed to get the kite up for a little bit but there just wasn’t enough breeze to hold it up. Even the other people who were there to fly their kites were left waiting for the breeze to pick up again.

After a couple more tries, we gave up and decided to go for lunch instead. Of course the breeze decided to pick up after we had lunch and by then were we just too full to unpack the kites again.

kiting

As we were leaving the park, I saw a lady with two tiny dogs. She had unleashed the dogs so that they could run around, I guess but unfortunately, one of the dogs decided to chase after a boy no older than four. The poor kid was screaming and trying to run away and the dad was trying to kick the dog away. The dog owner finally managed to catch the dog and leashed it again. That was the most exciting bit at the park.

Over all, I had a really great birthday weekend. I got some wonderful presents and I hope that next year would be just as great or better.

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Turning 30

Truthfully, I’ve rather been dreading today for the past couple of weeks. I used to be excited about my birthday but turning 30 and leaving my twenties behind feels like it’s finally happened; I’m old.

When I look in the mirror, I can see the fine lines around my eyes. I can see how less firm my cheeks are and well, my body isn’t as toned as it could be. The last two years of school and late nights too their toll. I now have dark rings under my eyes that are almost permanent and I’m tired all the time.

But with age comes wisdom and knowledge, I hope.

In the last decade, I’ve learnt a lot and what doesn’t break you down, just makes you stronger.

I know what I don’t want.

I know what I like.

I’m no longer afraid of trying new things or meeting new people.

Change still scares me a little but I cope (by having a panic attack first) but once I’m all calm, I deal and try to make the best of the situation.

I’ve met wonderful people online and some of them have become wonderful, great friends or more.

I know that I’ll never be a full-time writer but that doesn’t lessen my love for writing random stuff.

I know that life is not fair but you just have to try to make the best of the cards that you’re dealt with and maybe, you may even come out on top.

I know where most of my strengths and weaknesses are.

So I guess, growing older isn’t so bad after all. You learn new things about yourself, and everything and everyone around you.

I hope that this year forward, it would be wonderfully awesome, filled with people I love and respect. I hope to finally finish that mussel project and get it over and done with. I want to be happy. And loved. And also, get my hands on wonderful gadgets that I’ve been lusting over.

But mostly, I want a happy and blessed life.


I Fucking Hate Mussels

mussels

And I’ve barely started my damn project. The stupid things keep dying on me and have you seen a dead, decomposing mussel? They’re freaking disgusting because they don’t rot, they liquefy!

Now, imagine half a tank of those liquified fuckers! Do you know how rank the entire lab can be?!

Right now I have tank of about 60-70 mussels but when I went back to feed them and change the water today, third of those fuckers died and it was horrendous.

Seriously, if they keep dying on me like this, how the heck am I ever going to get anything done?!

Fuck you, mussels. Fuck you, I say!


The Blogging Itch. What Am I To Do?

Every couple of years, I have the urge to do something different with my blog. The last time the itch got so bad that I changed my blogging platform from LiveJournal to Blogger, mostly because I wanted a platform where I could easily modify the layout to one that I like.

Lately, changing the template has not been able to quell the itch and once again I’m thinking of doing something different. However, I do have some questions that I’d like to blast to everyone out there to see what they have to say.

1. Should I get my own domain/host for my blog? Actually, why do people get their own domain/host thingies?

2. Should I export my Blogger blog to WordPress? What at the pros and cons of both?

3. Is there a local domain/host provider that you recommend? Why?

4. I’m thinking of combining my different Tumblr sites into my main blog. Is that possible to do if I get my own domain name and hosting?

Even though I’ve been blogging for a couple of years, in some aspect I’m still considered a n00b too, so I’ll be most appreciative if you guys could tell me what you think in the comment section.


10 Things That I’ve Never Done.

1. I’ve never been to Pulau Ubin. Really, I haven’t. I’ve been to Kusu Island, St John’s Island and Pulau Hantu but not Ubin; and for an environmental student, that’s pretty strange.

2. I’ve never driven on the express way before and I’ve gotten my drivers licence since 2008. In fact, I’ve only ever driven once since I passed.

3. I’ve never had an alcoholic drink.

4. I’ve never tried illegal drugs (even though I had ample opportunity when I was in uni, if I’d just asked).

5. I’ve never roasted meat before. Chicken doesn’t count. I’m talking about red meat.

6. I’ve never paid utility bills ever in my life, even though I’ve stayed on my own for a while. Staying in student accommodations in uni, I only paid rent and internet usage. I didn’t have to worry about the water and electricity bills.

7. I’ve never tried sashimi before.

8. I’ve never watched a midnight showing of a movie.

9. I’ve never stayed out the whole night and return home in the wee hours of the morning or after the sun is up.

10. I’ve never successfully baked a cake in my adult life.


Testing out the iPhone Blogger App

It’s close to 5pm on a Friday when @hai_ren tweeted a link on Mashable about this app and so I thought I’ll give it a try.

At first glance the app looks clean, with white background and the orange header.

When I first signed in, it brought me straight to the posting page to one of the blogs that don’t use anymore. I had to figure out how to change to the blog hat I normally use.

I’m disappointed that I can’t type this post in landscape. It most uncomfortable for me to type in the portrait keyboard.

Personally, I think this app is just for quick updates, with pictures and little texts since I think it would be difficult to create posts with links and multiple pictures.

Also the damn autocorrect is annoying me like crazy.

Any way, this is just my first impression of the app after only downloading it not 5 minutes ago. I’m going to give a couple more tries before I make up my mind if I like it.


Remember The Kampung Days Through A Child’s Memories

Eid is a time when members of the family, how ever extended, comes for a visit and without fail, they tend to talk about the good old days of staying in a kampung. Everyone assumes that I was too young to remember life back then but I do, though it’s through the eyes of a four year old, it might be a different kind of memory.

My grandparents moved from the little wood and mortar house to our current apartment in the mid-80s, when the government was gobbling up land for development. My parents had taken my sisters and I for a drive to see what had happened to the site of her former home. It seemed that the area had been developed into a series of private condominiums and also some industrial area.

I might have been four and might not have spent a lot of time at my maternal grandparents home as I was staying across the Causeway at the time, I still had many fond memories of the laid back, simple life back then.

I remember the big, shady trees by the road side as my mom and I alighted from the bus. The bus stop was nothing but a metal pole with a metal sign with the numbers of the buses that stop there. A little, mom & pop shop with sweets, snacks and other wonderful things that a child loves, was situated very close to the bus stop.


My mom would take my hand and we walked along the sandy lane, hedged by tall lalang grass. I was small for my age so the grass looked so very tall. I remember hearing the cicadas chirping as we made our way to the house.

My grandparents’ home was relatively brightly painted in glossy blue, green and yellow. The verandah was where my late grandfather would sit, smoking his pipe or talking to guests. As a child, the house compound seemed so big; the kitchen to one side of the house and the other side made up if fruit trees and a large (to me) poultry coop.

The house was shaded by a large tree that grew on a slope behind the house, so the darkest part of the house was the room facing the slope, where the fridge and the large grandfather’s clock was. That room had always given me the creeps and I found out much later that it creeped out almost everyone too.

I had very fond memories of spending time with my grandparents at their house. In the morning, I’d follow my grandma to the poultry coop to help her feed her chickens and ducks. All I had to do was grab a handful of corn and chuck it at them. It fascinated me as the animals would waddle over, making a lot of noise and pecking at the ground for the bits of corn.

Grandpa would be feeding his pet songbirds while I watched. The afternoons had me playing in the sand in front of the house or helping my grandma gathering the fallen dried leaves for burning. (It was the 80s, everyone burnt stuff openly)

Great-grandma was staying with them and on days that she was well, she would sit outside and preparing the central vein of the coconut leaf to be made into a broom. I’d sit outside with her on the concrete wrap-around the side of the house.

Being the youngest grandchild at that time, I wasn’t allowed to roam off the compound unless I was accompanied by an older cousin (which rarely happens) or by an adult (which is even rarer). So I spent a lot of time getting into mischief with sand, disturbing my grandma while she cooks or just doing what most children at that age do; nap.

I’m a little sad that my sisters never got to experience a similar childhood since they were born a couple of years after we moved but at least we have pictures to show them and so many stories to tell.