Friday, December 30, 2005

me: "Oh, what must i do so that you'll be clean?!" "Hey, that sounds like what Jesus would say."
sis: "Getting into the Christmas spirit, are we."

(exclamation made after sweeping the floor but only to find that it was still felt grainy and sandy)


Girls, this was a lesson learnt you know?

"Wearing a bra ah, is an Art. It's not just, put on already then, "Let's Go!" " said the aunty in Triumph.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The one by the Cell.

"Because of our busy schedules, we coudn't really do much, so we got you this present..."
"Oh, and this present was very thoughtfully put together"

And K hands me a package in silver, which i accepted with thanks. I mean, a present is a present, so i was grateful. (later when i opened it, it consisted of Skittles, Ferraro and this other munchie. HAHAHAHA.)

At that point, i was wondering why everyone was looking at me strange, with these little expectant and if i may dare say so, even CHEEKY smiles, on their faces.

Well, i didn't want to make it like i was expecting anything big, because, erm, who am i to do so? It was too bad i couldn't stay with them further for dinner because i had plans for the night, hence i left early.

Little did i know that when i left, KW told my cell group, "How could you do that to your CG member?!"

23rd of December came, and we had a cell Christmas gathering at N's place, just like we did last year. Everything was going fine and dandy, sumptuous dinner with great company. I have to admit that i was wondering if they were going to pull off a birthday surprise again, like they did last year.

When there was no mention of anything, i felt... Ok, a little sad. C'mon, for people who always make sure to give meaningful presents to birthday folks, 3 packets of munchies was very unlike them, unless they had honestly thought that munchies are my most prized desires in my lifetime.

(Though frankly, i enjoyed the munchies a lot while i was on the way home, because i was absolutely famished that day. I hadn't a thing to eat from morning till night. Only drinks.)

After having my fill, i was slouching contentedly on the cushy couch when suddenly, someone began to announce loudly from behind me, "And now, we would also like to celebrate... I's birthday!" ("I" refers to someone's name) Yay!!! The birthday girl covers her face in surprised embarrassment as everyone claps and as someone brought out a log cake with the candles that indicated 22 years of age.

Jo thinks: Don't expect anything for myself lah...

A birthday song ensued for I and then K chirped out of the blue: Hey, it's also joline's birthday right?

And so a second birthday song ensued and at this point i was thinking: "Oh hey! So they did remember, or at least, K did..." And to my utter amazement, a SECOND log cake emerged from behind me. Oh gosh... I was totally taken by surprise and i had honestly thought that they'd just take off one candle from the first cake, so that it'll indicate 21 years of age.

Oh man... So they DID plan to play that trick on me! *ROAR!!!!* Haahahaa. So those WERE cheeky smiles i saw, a week ago.

And what do you know? Even though Gem couldn't be there with us because he had Christmas musical responsibilities... His thoughts were there with me, because when i opened the gift from the cell group, it turned out to be a small and compact NKJV bible: Something i've been eyeing for a while, because my usual student bible gets too heavy to lug around sometimes. And he, being the observant guy he is, remembered that need/want and suggested getting it. *smile* Thank you. Thanks to K too, for picking out the pretty bible. ;-) Very good taste.

Once again, i've been so blessed and provided for. And i have done nothing at all, to deserve what i have been given. Ah, Thank God for putting these people in my life and Thank God... for simply just, Everythng.

These were the people who stood by me during my stormy exam period this year that proved to be so nerve wrecking that i thought i was going to lose my mind, and these were the people who offered counsel and care through their words of encouragement and kind gestures. And they are the very people who had no qualms about praying for your needs and who always had valuable insights into life and its lessons.

Oh! Be blessed, precious cell group members. :-)

The one by Library Gang

And once again, i was fooled by an ingenius bunch of friends. HA! But how i wish that there wouldn't be an end to all this merry making and joyful shrieks. Oh... Birthday surprises are so heartwarming! :-)

I tried to go into details about my first birthday surprise hatched by my Library Gang of ACJC '02, but the whole excitement and mad elation of the occasion was lost in the uninspiring story telling and limited vocabulary i have. *mutter* But because i will not allow my memory to betray the efforts of my friends, i shall attempt to blog about what happened.

And yah, never underestimate Miss L, the brains behind the plan. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. *thumps chest*

Birthday Surprise No. 1 : Library Gang. 13th of December

Unknown to the blissfully ignorant me, the day started off innocently enough with my Gem coming over to my place, i quote: "To spend some time with you" before going off to church for his Christmas musical rehearsal. At this point, everything was just happening as per normal, and I didn't suspect a single thing, not a whiff.

Nothing much happens from then till the time for the plot to unravel. We watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" once through for the first time and we laughed over the ridiculous british comedy group. More time was then spent on doing various things like tinkling on the piano and making dinner for the parentals.

To cut out unneccesary details, i shall just say that my mom had conveniently asked Gem to stay for dinner, which became a very handy activity, as you shall later find out. While i was off in my room getting spruced up to supposedly "Meet L and the rest of Library Gang at City Hall at 8pm" (oh, what a trick it was!), Gem told my folks THE REAL PLAN.

When i came out from the shower, i found the folks and the Gem still talking over dinner and i was thinking: HELLO?! I am going to be LATE for my meeting with the girls and Gem was going to be SUPER late for rehearsal. I tapped his shoulder and pointed to the clock to indicate that we had to leave.

BUT NO... The 3 of them kept talking and eating (sorry, we made you overeat!) and so, i figured: Oh, never mind. I'll just call L to tell her i was going to be late.

Which i did, and was told not to worry, to take my time, that she (L) was still buying something and that another friend, let's call her FSH, was still at home, in the throne room, making cakes. So i was told not to worry about being late.

I noticed that Gem was getting a lot of smses and i was wondering why. Little did i know that HE WAS IN IT TOO. RARH!!! Apparently, he was suppose to delay me, to keep me at home, so that the girls could execute their plan. And so, the poor boy had to eat, and eat, and eat. *buah hahahaa* Oops, sorry. :-(

When i finally stepped out from the house, after my folks bid us "goodbye" and "enjoy yourself" (the actors!), my attention was brought upon this little green and yellow note stuck onto the stairwell wall.

It read: "Happy Birthday! Hello gal! Surprise? We are no longer meeting at City Hall. You are now part of an exciting treasure hunt. Follow the path of the candle light to Level 1 in search of your first clue. *wink*"


My first thought was that the note wasn't for me, that it was for someone else's party, but nope, it was the first of the clues to bring me around a small area of the condo estate.

Ok, so the excitement was building and i was thinking: Ohhh! WHOOPEE! SO FUN! WAH! I cannot believe the girls are doing this!

So Gem and i went down the stairwell, of course not without bringing the note along. We met with a row of prettily lit up candles about halfway down. Took a photo of that.

I got to my first clue, that was pasted on the wall on Level 1, which read: "Joline G: Wah! So obedient ah? haha... Really follow the instru(...) By the way, any idea who am i?"

Upon calling the mysterious clue leaver, i was given my next hint to find the next note. And so in the same fashion, i was led on to find two other notes, each time being given a hint of its location from the person i was to guess (who it was) and call. (Level 1-->Bench-->Hair Salon-->Back to my OWN HOME.)

Ha, i only 1 out of 3 right. Hey, it wasn't easy because the same person wrote ALL the notes, so it was impossible to guess from handwriting alone.

Back to my own home? That was a strange answer to arrive at after being given the last hint to my final destination.

Gem was with me all the while, brisk walking from place to place, and KNOWING all along that this treasure hunt was going to take place. And he was playing right along like he was none the wiser. I tell you, i cannot trust him anymore man! His combination of poker face and seriously CONVINCING-NO-CHUCKLING-OH-WHAT-IS-GOING-ON act was FLAWLESS. Hur hur.

Some more, i asked him: "AYE!!! You're LATE FOR CHURCH LEH! CAN YOU GO OFF NOOOWWW?!?!?!?"

And he can still tell me: "No, it's ok... I already told them that i'll be late."
And i am usually used to this line of his because of other instances, so i didn't really suspect anything. Wa liew! You should've seen his facial expression can? DESERVE OSCAR ALREADY OK? His usual concerned, calm and in control disposition. There is NO WAY, that you could've guessed that he was behind anything.

He still claims that he didn't know anything besides the fact that there was going to be a hunt, but i shall sustain that he was in it. Period. *ROAR!*

And so as i clacked down (wearing slightly elevated footwear, which luckily didn't give me blisters when i went around on my hunt) the stairs to me home, i saw no note. I thought: "Strange. But i DID hear Jed barking (while i was downstairs) as though someone he doesn't know stepped into the house. Maybe... There's something/someone in the house."

So out came the house key. I didn't really know what to expect, except that: Ok, there's certainly something prepared but what?

I unlocked the door and i stepped in...


And i saw a life size wax model of KEANU REEVES!!!!!!!

Right. Ok, not really.

Actually when i stepped in, i didn't see anything. The house looked exactly like the way it was. And there was no one.

But that only fed my curiousity. I ventured past the hall and lo and behold as i looked down towards the kitchen, what did i see?

A flash of white shirt making a beeline for our storeroom so he could hide! AH HAH! It WAS J, XH's (our gang leader) boyfriend! And then my mom who was talking to J ran up to stairs to distract me with some nonsense about "HOW COME YOU ARE AT HOME?!" And i was like, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!"

Not long after, i turned to face the doorway of my room and was confronted with the 3 glowing faces of my Library Gang members, and in one of the girl's hands, held my birthday cake.

And so the cat was finally out of the bag. And in the moments that came, i asked the girls what on EARTH happened, with lots of laughter and shrieks, and also found out that Gem was in it. Plus, he got to formally meet my girls for the first time. :-) Yay! It was unfortunate that he had to rush off to church, for real. But my dad was really sweet and gave him a lift there. :-)

After the cake cutting and phototaking, we adjourned to this Turkish restaurant at the Rail Mall. Hohoho, the food is authentic Turkish cuisine (the owner who was also the cook for that day, is from Turkey) and it was a slightly exotic experience on the chinese suaku's (*ahem*) tastebuds.

Over dinner, my girls, J, and i had good food, good fun and i felt really blessed. Did you know... That they had make Gem keep me at home initially, so that they could buy time to decorate the restaurant with balloons?

How can one not feel incredibly blessed with friends who would go through all the effort and trouble of liasing with people they hardly know to create a treasure hunt, and then coming into my home to prepare the surprise and even decorating a restaurant beforehand, just for me? Of course, i had the presents too, which i WILL put up on the blog soon.

My birthday was memorable BECAUSE of all of them, and if it wasn't for the girls and the significant other(s), i'd have let the day go on by without much fanfare.

There is no way that i can jot down all that i wish to say to thank them because my words do no justice to their caring gestures borne of our deep friendship.

But what i can do, is to treasure them in this lifetime. Treasure them and to always be there for them, to provide a shoulder to wet with tears, an open heart to show love and care, and a willing listening ear to hear them out, in all the seasons of their lives.

God willing, i hope to grow old together with them, like we've always said we would.

Friday, December 23, 2005

2000 years ago, He was born. But no one at that time, had a physical place fit for a new born to be brought into the world, and so He was born in a stable. A very humble beginning to the many glorious happenings to come and for that one powerful act of ultimate love that created history.

This Christmas, let's remember the real reason of why our calendars are marked. It's not about a ruddy, obese, sack-carrying man, who rides on a sleigh with a reindeer suffering from a perpetual nose bruise and who most certainly won't land on your HDB rooftop. Neither is it about engaging in self indulgent, unruly behaviour, although it does seem like the perfect time to do so.

Burning all the peripherals away, this's really about Jesu (no spelling error here), and this season is to remember his Birth Day. It's a celebration for, and of him. So let's not keep him waiting on the outside of our hearts as we busy ourselves with the stereotypical Christmas activities, denying him access into our lives, the same way he was kept out and away as a baby due to be born.

I know some of us don't celebrate Christmas the same way Christians do, but i would just like to wish you a time of warmth and love as you spend the holidays with family, friends and special ones, and perhaps take some time to reflect on the past year and what all of it meant, and what needs to be addressed in the future ahead.

Inevitably, some of us may feel more alone than ever, feeling quite the contrary to what is going on around you. But believe me, when you embrace the real meaning behind Christmas, you'll know and find that you were never meant to be alone. Jesu was sent just for you on Christmas, to later on die for you, so that you'll never walk alone, even if every other physical particle, living or dead, has left your side.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's been sort of crazy busy over here, what with the annual sleepover i had with my home girls over the weekend which was filled with juicy updates, and then having to make my way to orchard in the last few days to help at the archery booth, a ktv session, and now, a 2 day outreach overnight activity thingy coming up, followed by Christmas activities, and then possibly more archery stuff, a worship team Christmas gathering on boxing day and then finally a Settlers Cafe debut.

Tired and weary is me. I want to curl up into the tiniest ball, find a corner to squish myself into and do nothing but... Breath. And maybe eat some nice strawberry Hello Pandas.

This rush of activity comes after a state of being stagnant and non-productive. Too little and too much helter skeltering, surprisingly makes me feel depressed.

Like on my birthday, i awoke feeling an uncontrollable, unexplainable and a deep unpleasant sense of emptiness and unfulfillment. A terrible sense of heavy dread was somehow born and it sat inside me and festered. But i Thank God for my sister who was going to the gym that day which encouraged me to get up and out, because i figured that if i were to continue to lie moaning on my bed and feel depressed, i may drift into a worse psychological state. That morning, i had experienced something that i never had before, and i don't ever want to come face to face with that again.

Apart from cramming into a corner, an escapade to the beach would be lovely. And tons better, it would be, if i needn't worry about when i have to go home. Or, perhaps to have an apartment/hotel room overlooking the sea (Sentosa?), with me at the balcony enjoying the breeze that the night brings.

*** ***

In other bo liao news, my wandering and wondering mind has been bitten by the drumset bug. Which made me thicken my skin mysteriously and enabled me to asked to kope the drumsticks from the drummer guy after band practice.

Nicely enough, i bumped into JC from the Sonic Edge Band who gave me a tip on how to begin to er... em, dis-coordinate myself so as to let my hands and legs engage in different activity at the same time. That's drumming for you, i guess.

I shall begin my search for drumming classes though i have a hunch that it's going to be waste of dough, worse still, i might cause the death of my instructor, maybe from high blood pressure or a heart attack.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Archery Booth RaRa Time

Ah hah, Coach Joline STRIKES AGAIN! dun dun duuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But excuse me, i have produced pretty good students ok?

The Chronicles of Narnia movie is having some sort of publicity thingy going on at Orchard Road and my archery club will be there once again to introduce archery to the public. We'll be having a little booth, not sure where exactly yet, but i'll be there first thing tomorrow!

Orchard Road (not difficult to go right... Not like Expo)
17-24th of Dec, 12-9pm.

Sigh, i hate to tell you this, but because i am honest to goodness, shooting arrows come with a price. Rah. Oh well. We is non profit organization.

A good thing that there isn't some silly suit (not to mention some other totally undesirable outfits) for me to wear, if not, i am sure that my club members will make me dress up and bring a bow and quiver around to promote our booth or something. Eeee.

So far, they've made some pretty scary suggestions during other such events, but jokingly of course. This is the price to pay when you are just one of the few female archers in the club. I am b*** ugly but they got not much choice for females as a promoter, if ever needed. Ha ha ha.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Today... Is the day... When i brought both pain and joy (i hope) to my mommy, some 21 years ago... In a hospital... When i got smacked to see if i was alive... When i first breathed in air from this planet called Earth... When my folks received someone or something, otherwise considered a gift from God, though hohoho, they sure didn't know what was coming to them...

MUahahahahaha... Yes, 21 years ago on this day, i came along.

I promised a blog post on what happened when 8 people collaborated seamlessly with each other with me blissfully cloaked in ignorance, to spring me one perfectly executed birthday surprise.

Lesson learnt: Never. Ever. Underestimate Miss G.L.

Details in a bit!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Done and conquered, have i, the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Muah hahahahhahahha!!!

I wonder if there's a xbox version for The Matrix, and i wonder if it's any good. Sister suggests that i should do some reading up on the game reviews first. Okie doke.

*** ***

Oh, i tried to take a photo each of the "before Frosty Beige" hairdo and "after Frosty Beige" hairdo, and found less than a molecule of difference. So, i think i will just post a photo of what it looks like now. The back view of my head of course. This is a non-violent, no-gore, family friendly, G-rated blog, remember?

Goodness, it looks like a mess. :-( My hair kinda reminds me of the tentacles from the big purple octopus lady from The Little Mermaid. Eeee.

*** ***

My days feel empty. I feel as though each day passes by without meaning, without purpose. And the nagging sense of dread and emptiness is even more acute when i am just done with a 2 hour session with the xbox.
But my incorrigibly lazy self prevents me from doing much else from, yeah, borrowing a coupla books to read in hope that some good vocab will do me some marginal cerebral good.

I have said so much, but have done so little. There are fears to be faced, and challenges to take on by the horns. I can't keep hiding and cowering away from them. Some day, if i keep this sorry attitude going, these vices will get the better of me, and i will forever be held captive in a little sheltered world, not knowing and not seeing.
There is a need to get myself in order.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I think i saw her. And seeing her brings back memories of a time long ago, of a time that i have put behind me. Time not withstanding, the emotions still felt a little raw and I felt them creep up on me from the crevices of my mind, but i chose to beat them back ferociously into a state of submissive hiding. But i can hear its sneering, taunting me, making me feel a tinge of that familiar pain all over again.

She looks different. Older and bears less of that childlike disposition, though she still retains the same resemblance to the young primary school going child i saw about 3 to 4 years ago. But most of all, she looks like her brother: Echoing that face i knew so well.

There was a time when she, in all her cheerful innocence, brought me to her room to show me her collection of toys and knick knacks and introduced them one by one to me. And there were other times when she would boisterously pounce on my back and delight in piggy back rides from me. She made me feel included, she made me feel that she accepted me, enjoyed being with me.

Today, her gaze followed me as i walked on by. If it was really her, I wonder what she thinks of me now. I wonder if she hates me or sees me with disdain for all the things that she must've heard that i've done from his side of the story.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I've been guilty of delying comment replies (but i've replied oreddi! but yes, you may stone me) and blogging because i've been stuck to the xbox for the last couple of days. Someone save me. Either that, SOMEONE PLEASE BE MY XBOX PLAYMATE! And WE GOTTA AIM TO PLAY TO WIN!

Note: My gem came over to my place and i erm... made him play the game with me. *pai seh* But he had to pick... Gimli! *piak* (Gimli is that short, ruddy, hairy, chunky Dwarf in Lord of the Rings)

(my sister has now grown slightly bored of my choice of game, and is already grumbling that i've been hogging her xbox and depriving her of her games.)

Thing is, she doesn't make a pip when i'm playing and when i'm not at it, she's on her PC. I'm not selfish lah...
As you might have guessed, i have decided to go through with this game until i complete it. Deadset on its completion. Which looks like an end that is no less near. Soon.

I love having two blades. Wah, and i've been playing until i feel slightly giddy-ish when i stop to pause for a rest.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My hand muscles have been sore for about an hour. My two thumbs throb. My fingernails threaten to puncture the flesh of 4 of my digits. My backside may rot. My eyeballs may drop out.

Xboxing: Lord of the Rings.

Unspeakable Fun-ness.

Oh. Yes.

It may be just a matter of time before i go search out some LAN Gaming? Uhm, you know... Just to give it a try.
Feeling all sleepy from a good dinner that's been due for about a week, in celebration of the parentals' anniversary. Got to say that even after slightly over 20 years of marriage, they still ooze them lovey dovey mushy stuff. Not really through words (not that i get to hear any of it outright anyway) but through their affectionate touches and gestures.
Whee, i sure hope that i'll be able to have such a relationship with future spouse.


Some time ago in year 2002, it was after the 'A's when i was given a part time job at The Body Shop located within Turf City. It was the Christmas period, and i had easily gotten the job but it being the Christmas season, there was plenty of work to accomplish everyday, i had loads of stuff to learn on the spot and tried my best to handle customers and colleagues with tact.
But i was blessed with a manager who is a family friend from church and the other sales assistants were a nice bunch.

But during that time, i was still nursing a broken heart, with the year being the same year of that nasty split. It didn't help that the store had to play this particular Christmas CD over and over and over again, for the entire friggin' day.

The songs included were stuff like, "Give me a Maaaaaannnnnnn, this Christmas!" and you know, another the one that goes like, "Last Christmas, i gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away..."

Not that the songs spoke of my sob story, but they weren't very conducive for emotional healing when you have such angsty music playing overhead. Most of the time, i psyched myself into being strong and to think naught of such matters of the heart.

Yeah, so you can imagine me singing with gusto (em, under my breath actually, lest i be deemed kuku by customers and colleagues) "GIVE ME A MAAAANNNN!!!! THIS CHRISTMAS!!!" And i'd be thinking of myself as a strong, proud, chin-up-and-fighing-fit-confident women who deserves nothing less than a superb male counterpart who knows how to treat his woman, and that i will have better.

These songs, till today, have never failed to bring back memories of that time. Though that period of pain is now dead and gone, but from time to time, i find myself go slightly grim inside when i hear these songs. Thank God that these moments are mostly fleeting.

And then there are those other songs that once upon a time would bring you joy and that fuzzy feeling whenever you hear it over the radio. And you'd beam warmly. But now, they only rekindle memories that pull out from the bad and good times from the past.

It sucks when some songs that started out being personal favourites are now songs that you'd rather not hear. That happens when, because of some event, grew to have sentimental meanings attached to them, and sadly so when it wasn't meant to be intentionally laden with such meanings.

Nah, i am not in a rubbishy mood. Just thought that i'd type this out. Just because.


YEAH! We've gotten a bronze in the women's compound event. Congrats to MG! Well done girl. :-)


Reactions to my currently bleached-streaked hair:

- "Hey! New hairdo!"
- "Hey, nice!"

- WHAT. DID. YOU. DO. TO. YOUR. HAIR?!!?!?!?!

I kid you not. ALMOST ALL the guys said that to me. Now, what sort of conclusion shall i draw from this? Muah hahahaha. Doesn't bother me in the least bit really, because for all its bright golden-monkey-kind-of-gold, plus white blond, plus brown and black, i am strangely pleased.

Have decided to dye it over soon in the colour, "frosty beige". Whatever. I just hope that my theory of Creating Highlights work.