Sunday, October 09, 2011

fragility of life

last weekend, i witnessed a heart wrenching moment.. so heart wrenching that my eyes still get teary whenever i think about that weekend. i doubt i can ever forget, i probably never will. it was the first time i witnessed someone slowly losing to the cancer battle.

my uncle was diagnosed 3 months back that he was at the final stage of stomach cancer. back then when i visited him, he was still jovial, ready to battle the illness even though there was only 3 months. Mum called me last friday and told me that the doctor informed that my uncle may not last another day and asked me to see him one last time.

when i reached the hospital, i couldnt recognised the person lying on the bed. He had, lost so much weight.. his face was so thin, his whole body skeletal. i was close to tears and extremely shocked. i saw my cousin and gave her a hug. i knew and confirm then that i was never emotionally strong. i couldn't even say a word without crying. I really sucked big time in this.

he could not eat and could not drink. every breath he took needed immense effort, i could feel the pain and the strain and i think half the time i was breathing through my mouth. it was tense, it was scary. no one taught others how to handle such situations. i don't know what i could do to help, i just helped to cool him down together with my other cousin and massaging his toes and legs. when my aunt tried to drip water for him to drink, he bit the cotton bud so hard trying to get more water out of it. he was that thirsty but every drop he drank made him cough. he was really struggling very hard to survive.

stomach cancer is a frightening thing. you know you need to be healthy so that you can go through the necessary treatment. stomach cancer has no treatment. even after chemo, something like a nuclear bomb destroying everything in sight kills even the good cells leaving no defense in the body for anything. food eaten regardless how little the amount, was being vomited.

my uncle probably died hungry. he passed away in the evening last sunday. we watched him not being able to move his hands, legs and breathing becoming slower, then harder when family, relatives called his name. his determination to try his best to live, but to no avail. fighting his hardest even towards the end.

it's the hardest thing i have to see in my life for now. i can only say that life is so unfair and decided that i should not regret not having done things in my life. living life to the fullest is always easy to say, but whenever we get entangled in the hustle and bustle of reality, it's easy to forget. hopefully i will get to spend more time with my parents and family so that should one day when life decides to be unfair again, i will have the strength and courage to fight the tears and say what i want to say.

Rest in peace uncle Kok Seng. I am sure you are smiling in the house of God right now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Good Fortune

I hardly associate myself with the above two words. i always think my life is cursed and things never go the way i want to. For the past week, i realized that it came to me unknowingly.

My US trip was planned last Nov. Though my friend had wanted me to go last year, i had used up all my leave and had none left. The only period i could think of was in the early quarter of 2011. It was initially intended to be early Feb, but air ticket price was exorbitant and didnt make sense for the airlines i checked. Then i got the suggestion of checking out ANA which had reasonable air ticket price and also reasonably good service. So i checked and indeed, the price was affordable but i didnt like the duration of the transit time for my coming back leg. I called the company and asked if i could extend my transit and make it into a stopover, and i was told i can build my own itinerary at the same cost of the original trip. That was so awesome i thought and now what i had to decide on was the final date.

I finally chose 18 Feb 2011 as opposed to a week later which was one of the dates i thought about. I was lucky indeed. Had i flew a week later, i would have been stuck in Japan because of the tsunami and earthquake.

Many of my friends asked if my trip had completed or if i was still in Japan when the disaster struck. I told them that i was damn bloody heng (refers to 'lucky' in hokkien) that i didnt fly a week later. Else, the day where i was supposed to depart Japan at night was when the disaster struck in the afternoon.

I have never felt so lucky in my life when i watched the news in the hospital bed on Friday afternoon after having seen a post in Facebook.

I wanted to go to Japan for a long time. I was supposed to go two years back, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it didnt happen. So this time, 4 short days in Japan was more than what i can ask for. I enjoyed my stay there and even though i travelled alone, i made it back home well and proper. I was indeed lucky that i fulfilled my wish of going back to Japan, see, eat, buy what i wanted.

I hope the Japanese people will ride through this disaster smoothly and that less misfortune will befall onto the country. I am doing my part by donating some money and am glad that many organisations and artists and people from different countries are ready to lend a helping hand or their support one way or another. I guess it must be because people always remember the smiles Japan brings to their faces when they think about the country.

Have you done your part already?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

back to blogging

am starting to blog again because i have so many thoughts and i think i need to put into words either to formalise certain things if not, to get a sense of things.

embarking on the Mon-solution concept was well worth it. tide me through the first 7 months of 2010 and yes, i became complacent. in fact, each month that passed without me putting my mon-solutions into my blog, i felt uneasy.

this year, i need to embark on something new. i term it 'SPARKS'... it's something i have to do and am being measured to quite a huge extend.

sparks is something about innovation and thinking out of the box. putting ideas into workable reality.

sounds huge to me.. have been and always was..

this year, i need to change my mindset.

i need to embark on a daily journey in search of sparks and make them burn brightly.

i don't know how i am going to do it. i just started reading and using the tools suggested in the book.

first couple of pages, it already started making me think.

i guess it's a good start, but hopefully the environment will be encouraging.

let's see how it goes.

trying to get inspired so, will put an idea a day in the blog.

Innovation of the day:

Saw the news yesterday that scientists had problems capturing coloured images in mars because of the heat from the sun. inspired by the stained glass from churches, they noticed that even after years, these stained glass still retain the same colour as before. so, they used this idea and concept to design the lens of the robots exploring mars. They were successful in capturing coloured images not destroyed by the sun.

note: - ideas from old age can also be put into innovation of today.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October getaway - Korea Day 1

Korea Day 1 - 16 Oct around 1200 hours

Weather: Fair + Cool

Time: 11 ish (Korea is 1 hour behind SG time)

The fligh from Shanghai to Seoul airport was about an hour close to two. we managed to reach Korea safe and sound. I like Korea's airport for it's Zenish design at the same time, the colour of the wood they use are not too dark or too light. it gives me a sense of calm.

We met our tour guide and he immediately took us to the bus. I thought he was rather old. A head of white hair but somehow, his features didn't equate the age of an elderly. In any case, his age was quite a mystery then. He introduced himself as Han Min Yin and we could call him MY for short. He also had an 'apprentice' whom we can address as 'Xiao Wen' who is about 25 years old? Anyway, MY made us felt better when he showed his empathy of knowing the fact that our first leg was an unguided tour but we ultimately made it safe to Korea. He was talking away but i think some of us fell asleep. I was busy taking photos and didnt listen lots, though he was talking a bit of korea history and he even gave us the 'itinerary' of the things he was going to say for the rest of the trip. Some time during the bus ride, i fell asleep..

So our first stop was to have lunch. We had to eat food coz we were all hungry by then. first day's lunch was stewed pork which was at a touristy place and the pork was cooked too long. though rice and seaweed was pretty awesome and so was kimchi. after having a satisfied meal, MY told us that we will be Everland first instead of going to the hot spring at Aqua world coz he felt that we will feel better if we soak our tired bodies the next day. Everyone was ok, and so we went to Everland. I also think it's because the entire tour group were all adults as such, the time we had left to spend in Everland should be sufficient.

I like Everland, for it's deco. It has such fairytale-ish decos and because it's Halloween, it had this magical feel! Even though we were tired, we managed to cover quite a few things. We also managed to catch an animal show as well as the grand parade. We had OTOT till 8pm where we were supposed to meet MY and Xiao Wen by then at the entrance.

Everland is designed such that when you reach the entrance, imagine you are at the top of a hill. As you move deeper, it also means that you are going down the hill. so to meet back at the entrance, we have to go uphill again. Although there is this cable ride up, the queue was quite long. In any case, this didnt occur to us whilst we explore this wonderful, magical and beautiful place. It only occurred to us when we were walking back up, it was indeed a tough hike given that we were all so tired!

Thank goodness we looked good enough to take nice pics during our time day. But as night falls, the weather became really cold, especially with the wind blowing. However, it's still not the kind of cold where it's like you are being spiked with ice. It was just chilly. With my jacket, it was pretty sufficient. I also wore a quilted dress and tights with half tights as well as boots. Not too bad.

I bought quite a lot of souvenirs from Everland. The stuff were so pretty and cute, it was hard for me to resist for sure! I heart heart Everland :)

After that, we headed to the bestest hotel for the entire trip. It's Alpensia Holiday Inn. It's actually a condo and it's so homey! Super lurve the hotel. Too bad there was no snow during this period else we can see the peak covered with snow and people skiing! Really happening.

By the time we reached the resort, we were so tired. We all fell asleep on the way. The next morning, we had to get up early and meet at like 630am, in the end i only slept around 12 ish coz was watching WGM with no subs and waiting for my hair to dry. The bed was so comfy and the floor was heated. Very very cool.

Had a good sleep that night but not sufficient.

PS: Uploading of pics function not working now. Will try to upload when the function is working proper.

October getaway - 8 Days Korea + Jeju + 3 Days Shanghai

yes my blog is dead. completely! for two months i have not updated it. To restart the momentum, i will blog my Korea + Shanghai trip experience. Those who read my blog faithfully will know that i am a lousy travel blogger coz i never complete my travel logs. This time i will try since i did put up a summary in my facebook. See how it goes.

Day 0 - Oct 15 Friday night 1055pm

Reached Changi airport T3 and was quite happy for the fact that even though we were travelling by China Eastern, it is terminal 3 we are boarding the flight. i have not boarded a flight in T3 and was excited. Unfortunately, the experience of checking in was not a happy one.

The tour we signed up since Feb's Natas tour was with tour agency Super travels. We sealed the deal primarily because it was pretty cheap. for 8 Days in Korea + Jeju and free 3 days Shanghai, we only need to pay $1510 at that time. Subsequently, as the date draws nearer, there were additional taxes to be paid due to the change in airport and dunno what tax. The tour package amounted to about $1688 which was still reasonable.

This being my first time on tour, i always thought that there's the privilege of group check in. However, we were told to join the normal queue by this ah pek who stood there to 'welcome' us. We were confused but continued queuing. When we saw another tour group using the group check in, we were puzzled though we were told that even if we do group check in, we will have to check in family by family, individual by individual. Quite crap shit actually. When we completed our check in, somebody popped out of no where and asked to check our arrangement. We asked who he was and he said he's with Super. So we made our complains to him and ask why our seats were different for our Shanghai to Korea leg, he just said not to worry, when we reach Shanghai, he asked us to go to the counter to request to change. We then challenged what if cannot change, he said sure can. In the end, we complained and say how can the agency ensure that our seats can be changed when we reached Shanghai, what if cannot, then how?

The person then say that he's just a freelancer with the travel agency, that made us even more pissed. However, in the end, we had no choice. Boarded the plane and headed to Shanghai about errr.. 6 hours ride i think? China Eastern sucks coz they don't have any online entertainment, so just try to sleep our way through the flight. Somehow we managed and reached Pudong airport.

It was cold that morning and Pudong airport is pretty huge for the fact that we had to take a bus to the immigration area. We were possibly grouchy and that some persons were quite rowdy and just shoved their way in the bus. When we reached the immigration area, we were faced with more confusion.

We didnt know where to go, lucky we can read mandarin and can speak mandarin and can understand mandarin. We realised there that even though we were transiting Shanghai, we still need to go through immigration and then re-check in again. Imagine our irritation in the chilly morning as the whole process was not detailed to us. We were also pretty helpful coz we also informed the rest of the tour folks as to what needs to be done.

In the end, we managed to check in to our flight to Korea and spent 4 hours of transit time in Pudong airport. We hope that when we reach Korea, things would be better.

Took some pics whilst waiting. 

The expo design China Eastern plane
 Declaration counter as per signboard

 the official mascot for the expo

still wondering why the interior architecture is as such in general, the airport is pretty clean and looks pretty new. My impression of the airport was quite good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August project

for august, i decided to make accessories. this is the first but not completed.

polka dots are so pretty. i like how the wooden looking button with a black flower shaped button sewn onto it makes the entire removable brooch so much cuter!

a more entire view of the incomplete necklace. i also like the flowery lace. very very pretty!! can't wait to complete the piece :)!

July project

my project for july was to make a wedding guest book. i'm glad the bride loved it, i'm disappointed that i could not reach the wedding venue in time.

the materials i bought for the book. lots of stickers which are really awesome! i love the colour of the ribbon.

front page of the book.

the flowery antique piece is a sticker too!

a ribbon ties everything together.

this is where the sticker comes in handy. i stuck them on the pages of the book.

i really like this and put it in the last page.

MBS - the way i see it

took some shots last weekend, it's a nice walk but it's too crowded. waiting for the place and area to be completed entirely..


i have definitely neglected my blog. i'm just so lazy. if blogging was as easy as leaving a status update by facebook from mobile, i think my blog would have been uber active.

perhaps i'm just lazy in figuring out, the last i tried, i can only blog through the html format which was so boring. i will continue to try and see how it goes. i like to be able to upload as and when, where ever and when ever. sometimes i just think i have so many things to say.

i think i have been up to some lately but not much. another time perhaps? i hope the day will arrive.

hmm.. i think it will..

Monday, August 02, 2010


august has arrived

half a year has gone

how time flies

in a blink of an eye

christmas will be here

and i'd probably be alone once more...

Be objective

i wonder how snappy i can be to put up an entry.

this happened today in the afternoon where Mr C wanted to ask me to work with an 'old' colleague to organise a team bonding session. i down right refused and he commented that this was the first time without thinking i just said no.

it's interesting how such an immediate reaction came from me, and saying no to my boss so directly probably is career suicide.. haha well i guess when it comes to that colleague, best to stand guard.

i think 3 years of psychotic 'abuse' is nuff said. exaggerating perhaps, but this person is super crazy about mind games. from then till now, the traits havent changed. not even a bit. it's easy to know what she is thinking these days and not care so much.

somethings about people i cannot stand, yet there's no control over. i think if one 口口声声says that they have moved on, they jolly well mean it. i hate it when people starts lamenting about what's stopping them from moving on and how hurtful it is that people can't understand etc.. i just think they are not making an effort and finding someone/somethings to blame.

10 years ago, i'd pity and cry along with the person, a decade on, sorry.. i don't even want to think about working together for even the simplest project. i can be objective, yet i know the person is unlikely to be and would perhaps think of the best way to get back at me.

so mr C if you are reading this, it's how strongly i feel about this particular person. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

June Project

my creative juice has been going on a hiatus on and off, especially after the days of working as a shift personnel. 9 to 5 jobs simply doesn't give you much time to do stuff like these. maybe it's an excuse, but i am most creative when the it is late at night. somehow the cool and silent makes me think better.

the latest creative project i did was a love pledge for a very dear friend of mine. seems like these love pledge/contract/promises are the rage these days. couple of years back i saw one made by my cousin and it was very scrapbook style. i have not caught on to the scrapbooking craze and i probably won't. primarily i think the nic nacs to make up a scrapbook are not cheap, but the good thing is, they always yield very wonderful results.

for me, i will check out the nic nacs and what suits my design. i always like to use 'raw' materials. haha..

anyway, back to my project. the original intention was to use green.. almost satiny apple green with a little bit of shine to it. then some ribbons and laces.. etc. usually i hate to work with cloth but they are very flexible coz you can fold them anyway you wish.. but the horrendous thing about cloth is to stick them on. however, with technology being so advance, there's the ribbon type stickers whereby when you iron then on, the cloth would stick nicely.

somehow, apple green turned to pink. pink because i saw this super pretty wrapping paper one day. it's soooo pretty it was irresistable and i just had to get it. i liked the shine on the paper and the subtle embossed on flowers. it is super duper sweet! from there ideas began to form and the crucial thing was to get the contents of the pledge.

it came out to about 10 points in the pledge and initially i wanted to present it on an A4 sized paper but as i got on to buy the materials, i decided to present it in a book because of the medival theme of sorts which i read through the MC speech. haha. it was hard and i was torn between A4 or book because time was too short. the perfectionist in me decided on the book format finally.

below are the pics of the final product. i really like it a lot. my next project is a guestbook. Silver and black theme was the request. i am excited to do these two colours! :D

Materials i used for this project.. of coz it's not all the items..
a preview
the end product
a view of how the content looked like

Saturday, June 12, 2010

new skin!!

I quite like the new blogspot skin templates.

Still experimenting.

in the meantime, i'd stick to this red. I guess it's also about time to change the picture :D

see how.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Mon-solutions June

i guess this is how people's resolutions fizzle as the months of the new year go by. my MS haitus as i said was either intentional or unintentional. seriously speaking, very likely i had been busy with work and i had no chance to think exactly what i wanted to do for the two months.

i kinda predicted that the month of April was going to awfully crazy and i was pretty right. work occupied most of my time, yet thinking of an ad hoc trip to taiwan kept me going.

May came and went. reminising about Taiwan occupied most of my time and also getting into the reality that the project which lasted 3 long years was finally over needed some adjustment. it's like an actor getting so involved in a role and finding it a tad difficult to move on.

Fortunately, i had the chance to do a strength finder exercise and had the chance to relook into myself again. Secretly, i know i will adjust to the new projects ok it's just a matter of getting the engine started and Taiwan did rejuvenated me somehow. it was a well deserved holiday and i definitely had a great companion!

ok, anyway June MS i have not thought of anything as yet.

In reference to what i wanted to do over the last couple of months like taking up a course etc... i have taken up two courses.

Yoga every Monday (course fee sponsored by my youngest bro in support of my healthy lifestyle - so i guess he does read my blog on and off) and Piano lesson every Thursday. This Thursday will be my first lesson and i have signed up together with Edeline.

Ambitiously, i am considering signing up for Korean class soon. i am also thinking of learning how to make kimchi and other korean dishes!! Soon i'd be an owner of a real life tomato plant.. likely to be this Sunday. All these Korean gaga is because of JGS and the latest Korean drama i am watching which is 食客. All the dishes in the drama are so inspiring! Learning piano has been a childhood dream and am even more inspired after watching Beethoven Virus (also starring JGS)..

Ok so for the month of June, my MS are as such:

Life and health - i shall be less ambitious this month.

1) Go for my Yoga and Piano classes religiously and regularly

2) Try to sleep early on weekdays

3) If point 2 happens, i should have energy to go for BTNR trips again

4) Save even more money (though i think i am doing pretty good on this currently so i must keep up the good work)

5) Finish a book

6) Take more photos

7) Read the papers


I still try to drink a bottle of water regularly and i need to continue to further improve. Bro has agreed to go jogging with me, but he is equally busy this month. We'll see when we'd start. i am thinking of riding bicycle. less impact on the knees.

Let's see what happens this month. :)

雨下一整晚 - Mr Jay's new song!


Will write about the feel another day.

credits to kakashihin for availing this song's mv in YouTube!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chai Por spaghetti

this inspiration came from this bowl a noodle i bought from 7 eleven in Taipei. i only ate it like a couple of weeks after i returned because i was too hungry. i thought it was savoury, but there was a tad of sweetness to it. then it reminded me that this mix tasted like chai por. the one from tiong bahru chwee kueh stall. i always think the rice cake, oily chai por mix and the chilli were wicked combination. there is no other which can compare!!

so i decided that i will give it an italian twist to it. the noodles in the bowl had good asian texture to it. but i wanted my favourite spaghetti to be the combi. it's like alio alio but not with chilli flakes or chilli padi. i decided to use all the ingredients i can get from the chwee kueh stall.

ok i admit i didnt make everything from scratch, but the starting point is to see how this whole mix will taste like.

i postponed it for two weeks. today i finally managed to make it.

the initial thought was to just cook it with chai por and add the chilli as the final touch. however, in order not to waste the rice cake, i decided to add it as one of the ingredients. though the original intention was to mashed it and fried it till crisp. but i didnt have enough oil from the chai por, so i decided to mix everything together. Actually, the rice cake really has to be fried till crispy then i think it's nice. the one i made is not good enough.

mixing the entire mixture together, the oil is just nice if i didnt add the rice cake and the chilli gives the dish a slight savoury flavour which the chai por misses. The chai por adds sweetness and fragrance. though unfortunately i cannot get the bite of the sasame seeds which is one of the ingredient i liked most in the chai por mixture, but i guess i was too eager to eat the entire dish.

nevertheless, it's very yummy. just as i though. perhaps i'd add a little bit more chilli paste next time. in any case, it's quite solid. pair it with 2009 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc it's actually very awesome!