Monday, December 28, 2009

Peekchures coming up soon! Just... random ones. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

In the past week... I,

... had some daddy-daughter time. Which is rare. But nice and necessary.

... almost got into a road accident. (this one was frekkin' traumatising. i went home and cried and actually crawled into bed to sleep with my mom. not kidding. i felt traumatized, fearful and lousy.)

... rediscovered grace, kindness, and once again felt the old NTU cell spirit when my friends stood by me after the near collision. They assessed the situation and gave objective advice for the future, assured me that i was a safe driver, felt the unhappiness with me about the behaviour of the road bully, made sure that i was ok enough to drive back home on my own. Somehow, they just said all the right things, in the best way. I could not have asked for better passengers, who despite having had gone through the same scary experience, still had the grace, gentleness and mercy to tend to my needs.

... knew that God's protection was upon us through the way things unfolded and how i managed to handle the extremely scary and new situation. Maybe i'll write about what happened in a later post.

... promise i will be a better defensive driver and expect the unexpected.

... was blessed immensely by people around me on my birthday and beyond the day itself.

... learn that butter noodles made by N is BE.AWESOME.
(garlic, onions, mushrooms and salted butter. With linguine. That's ALL. Goodness.)

... met my future cell leader and admitted that i am his phantom cell member. heehee.

... went for my previous cell leader's wedding. It was simple, intimate, beautiful. None of the extra stuff like gate crashing, no table to table photo taking. It was just all about the couple, but without sacrificing on giving the guests the best as far as possible. And i got to sit opposite one of Singapore's retired army Generals! And he's really nice with no airs about him at all.

... have been blessed by my folks.

... sat in for the first time to listen to what my folks' insurance agent was talking about.

... cleaned the car briefly for the first time on my own and found it very therapeutic. Getting the bird poo off, cleaning nooks and crannies, turnin' up the volume of the CD player (WOW Hymns by contemporary artists) while doing so. Yes, it was therapeutic. No one to hurry me or tell me what to do. Just the hot sun on a sunday afternoon, music, and getting some cleanin' done.

... drove to Seng Kang and Bedok with very good and skilled instruction givers at midnight, which was something i otherwise wouldn't have done, especially since i almost could have gotten my friends and myself killed or hospitalized just the night before. Gosh. Being a beginner driver is frightful. As frightful as being a beginning counsellor. All involving the care of lives.

... have more or less decided to graduate later. I will take 6 more months to complete my program because i cannot handle practicum, a module and thesis all at the same time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I just need to say this, before the day ends.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your well wishes and messages... Although i spent the day doing mundane stuff and thinking back on birthdays past and the hoohah surrounding it, it was your constant influx of blessings throughout the day (and one person was early, which i totally do not mind one single bit. ;P) that made me feel so special and remembered. The little gestures meant so much to me and it made me quietly vow in my heart that every person DESERVES to feel blessed and treasured on their birthday.

Thanks everyone. :) My heart is aglow and that's how i want today to end. :)
"Good Morning! Happy Birthday!", Dad very enthusiastically exclaimed with a big ole smile on his face, when he heard that i was awake.

He came by the sofa where i was half sleep with gift in hand, while i squeaked with delight and covered my mouth with my dog scented blanket.

"Good morning, and get up." He stood there and offered his hand to pull me to a sitting position.

"Can i just...". His voiced trailed off slightly awkwardly and said, "... just, hug...". Dad held his arms open in a gesture inviting me to hug him. And we embraced. Messy hair, out of bed smell, half consciousness and all.

It's been so long since my dad ever hugged me for anything at all. It's been years.

Especially since the saga in my family that we are still healing from, it means so much to me for my dad to reach out to hug his (still hurting) daughter.

Even as i type this, i realize the risk he took, the pride he (maybe?) needed to swallow and as I think about it, it brings fresh tears to my eyes.
I can't really explain the joy i felt when my folks returned from malaysia and without me expecting it, proposed to bring me out for my birthday dinner despite them feeling tired out from the long drive home and the whole trip itself. And as "luck" would have it, my sister who is usually running around with her own agendas was home and therefore could join us for dinner. It's been so long since we could go out as a family... As time passed by, our lives have slowly drifted in different directions and so this family dinner is a huge blessing to me.

For lack of a better description, i felt like i was 10 years old again... "with the power to decide where i wanted to eat, what i wanted to eat. Everyone just wanted to ensure that the birthday girl gets and enjoys whatever she wants". I'm a quarter of a century now really, but somehow, with grown people asking things like, "what have you been REALLY WANTING (like, craving) to eat?" and "You decide, you're the birthday girl...", etc, i really felt so... liberated. Like, man! Now, when was the last time that anyone paid THAT much attention to what I really wanted, saw it as something so infinitely important that it was ready to be given at the snap of a finger?

Needless to say, i was, er, behaving like a 10 year old at Bakerzin and Swensens. What with my happy grins, incessant chatter and laughter, clapping of happy hands when dad said, "Ok, quick, better go get your packet (OF BAKERZIN MACARONS. OMG.)" and when my Durian Supreme sundae arrived. The higher-than-normal tables at Earle Swensens made me feel even more like a kid at the dinner table that is too high for her.

I'm thankful that i wasn't brought up to be given every single thing i demanded for, so i really felt immense appreciation for the treat and felt touched by the time that spent together. I felt good to just let loose and forget about being all prim and proper, but instead just take joy in simply being my parents' daughter... Though she's changed from being the toddler wearing the plastic sunglasses/spectacles with the ridiculous bee perching on the frame to their now university going young adult with the, well still plastic, but now nerdy black frame glasses, she's still very simply, their younger daughter and child.

When my sister (3 years older than me) and i were goofing around while sitting opposite my parents, i saw, something so different and rare in my mom's smiling eyes as she looked on at us. I saw genuine mirth and even thankfulness in her eyes as they twinkled and crinkled when she smiled at our nonsense. Her eyes and smile looked, ALIVE. Something i have not seen in a long time. It was as if her eyes were saying, "I've not seen my children this way in so long, and i miss seeing them interact like close sisters. The way they are talking to one another now really makes me happy."

Edit:
I spoke too soon... I thought i had escaped the sprouting of white hair from all that stress, but my mom spotted one yesterday. Dangit!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Narnia is freaking awesome. Ok, I'm biased because i love medieval related war scenes (swords! bows! arrows! catapults! chain mail! armour!), horses, mythical animals, animals in general. But as i was saying...

In Prince Caspian, I love it when little Lucy emerges from the forest, steps onto the bridge and faces an army of probably hundreds. She's fearless as she unsheathes her little dagger. She appears all alone till the majestic Aslan comes up from behind to stand beside her.

I just love the image it portrays. Despite facing the odds of 2 is to hundreds, she had placed her complete trust in her hero, the one whom she believes had come to overcome and to save. So much so that she could step out in total confidence to confront grown and war bloodied men with her tiny "letter opener".

It isn't just about what we can do on our own. After all, all we can do is give whatever we've got. We can't go beyond that. What we CAN do however is believe in the One who has the utmost wisdom, power and authority, who will make up for what we lack to help us conquer our challenges.

That is what makes the whole difference.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tiger Woods seems to have some really mean time management skills. Juggling between family (1 wife, 2 kids) and allegedly 6 (and counting?) more women.

Sheesh, if all this is true... Then here's another one joining the ranks of multitudes of men who have cheated on their wives. WHAT SIA. Yes, we're all attracted to beauty but surely there is a head with a brain somewhere in these men that can be involved in making responsible choices, no?

It's not ONE woman, like he had a lapse in judgment somewhere. It's like, "hello there, you with the skirt? Wanna get it going?"

Like, hello? No conscience is it? And those frisky women. Shame on you! RAGGH!

It's beyond frightening to me that when i read the first page of an online article of this whole tiger woods fiasco, most of the comments on that first page actually are so blase about the whole thing. There were comments like, "Get over it", "He's only human", "I'm surprised that everyone is surprised". The worst comment i read was "Get over it! Life happens, monogamy is not normal and that is the truth." I mentally did a double take and would have choked if i was consuming something.

Are people so jaded and used to infidelity that they are able to close an eye and treat it as part of life? HELLO? Where have moral values in this world gone to?! Where have trust, respect, honour all disappeared to??? Seems like people are so used to hearing men cheat that it's no big deal anymore. Ok fine, if they say, "morality be damned, i live by no rules", then how about something as FUNDAMENTAL as the mental and emotional PAIN that they are going to cause the family? Like, for starters, the one they said their VOWS to, the person they PROMISED to honour and respect?

If people start off thinking that they are going to cheat anyway, then don't hurt others by getting married, bringing children into the world, only to desert them along the way.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

i don't get why the Jet allows the keypad to pop up when i select the field to type in my blog title, but it doesn't let the keypad pop up when i want to enter in an entry in the type-a-post field. touch screen phones. bleargh.

a trip to nie recently shot and blew up my holiday dreams to smithereens. my holiday dreams meaning just 4 weeks of peace, without having to think about work and school.

the good thing was that i managed to tie up the loose ends of one of the major problems i was facing academically, but in the meeting, i was also told that i needed to catch up with the others in dealing with my dissertation/thesis. i told my lecturer honestly that i was so worn out, so tired. i haven't had a break since the beginning of the year, and the stresses of school has taken a toll on me. i'm the not the only one, apparently. my classmates feel the same way. they're feeling more tired than before in this semester that just passed by. and of course, there was the major family issue that erupted in may, that killed my june break AND the peace of mind that i needed to face my practicum (which also started in may, so, no break either).

i actually cried in her office that day. i usually try my best to control myself in front of strangers but i didn't this time. i almost cried in front of my boss at work too when i told her that i had a family crisis and couldn't handle certain things.

i had hoped that i could breathe easier for these few puny weeks in december before school starts again in january. i find that this whole year, my stress levels have been kept at above the normal average levels and sometimes peaking at maximum or close to maximum. i marvel at the fact that i have not yet sprouted out white hair, which i did in JC... oh yes, i DID in JC. gosh.

and so when i finally settled some issue with the lecturer, she dropped the bomb that i still had to do readings for my dissertation and get some writings done because submission next year will be close and i will have my practicum to settle still, AND plus one more academic module. Ok, doesn't sound that bad in number, but finishing the practicum hours are very draining. So, to add a module PLUS carrying out a research and doing research paper writing, is just... monkey.

yet. one thing that took the heat off is that my thesis isn't meant to be a groundshaker, it's just suppose to give me an experience of carrying out a research. my heart slightly lifted when i heard that. lowered expectations is good. i just find it curious that they don't expect more out of masters students.

now as i'm writing this, i'm considering if i should take one more semester to finish this course off (ie, stay in NIE for one more year, versus the 6 months that i have now), or should i stick to my guns, feel the stress build up but finish along with everyone else. I'm thinking about my health, my sanity. My IBS problem started when i was doing my undergraduate studies, and back then, it was worse. Now, it's better but it still occurs. i prefer my stress related health issues to stop at IBS, thankyouverymuch. Through my practicum, i've seen how stress can really cause havoc in a person. It's quite crazy, what it does. I don't want that to happen to me.

i'm just glad that my topic for my thesis interests me. it's on fatherhood (prayed about it), but i don't know how i'm going to develop that into anything just yet.

i guess... i'm going to have to let my interest take me through and God handle the nitty gritty.

and then there is the question of whether i should spend the time left on myself, or spend it on others. that is, leading a group at a youth camp. i'm like... argh. i. need. time. for. myself. i don't know. quandary.

i think i may take up my lecturer's suggestion of taking a break. not some shopping break, not a break that would require moving around and doing things, but something that would allow me to SLOW DOWN to a STOP. to cease the erratic running around and frenzied thoughts that worry me all the time, take some time to chill, reflect, change my mindset on things, so that i can move ahead with a positive mind frame. i don't know what that may be because it's a bit late to go booking for holidays.

so, ambrose, you're right. i NEED TO DO SOMETHING, which is about doing NOTHING. Or, close to nothing.

maybe a trip to sentosa, a short stay at a cheap hotel there. near the beach. i do so miss the beach. then again. where's the money going to come from??? gagh... maybe home will have to do.

Thursday, December 03, 2009



This little dude was perched in a zen-like manner on the first step of the flight of stairs. ALMOST squashed him when i came pounding down the stairs. Isn't he cute? Check out his awesome curled tail with the tip just hanging over his head! He didn't even so much as budge or twitch when i stuck my camera near his lizardy face. I was ready to leap back if he jumped or anything though. Heh.

Driven by the reality of my gross natural curls that ruined my side parting, my bald spot on my preferred side to part my hair at (too many years at the same parting), the itch for a new look, i went to cut myself some bangs at JP. I really like it! Even though my sister thinks i look toot. I love my sister, she tells me her honest opinion without hesitation and i in turn appreciate her prompt and objective feedback. After all, i always prefer the truth over a lie that would make me "happy".
I was thinking about doing this for weeks and finally, when Van said "Just go!", i decided... OK, I SHALL! I figured that i might chicken out at the entrance of the salon, but somehow, something about the place made me take a step in to enquire about the price for cutting a fringe. A nice lady greeted me and answered my queries, and when i decided $5 was a good deal, i decided to give it a go.
I was praying, "God, please give me an experienced stylist!" (i was frekkin scared because i'm not one to follow trends and i've never had bangs maybe since i was a wee kiddo?!)
And true enough, God gave me the LEAD HAIR STYLIST can? Who was the same nice lady who answered my queries. In about 10 minutes, i was done, and personally i think she did a quick, professional and tidy job. Just by looking my hair over and flipping it about, she could pinpoint how my hair behaves (natural waves, cannot cut too short and not this way, etc) and what i should avoid and what would be suitable for my face shape and manageable for me to maintain. Ok, maybe i look like a goon here. HAHA. I like!

Ok, slightly more normal looking here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nothing like watching Bolt on the samsung jet while having Jed lie down next to me so that I can pat him as he sleeps.

Cried my eyes out again while watching the last part! Ah, a show for dog lovers...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Breathing a little easier now, now that the assignments have all been handed in. I have just my practicum hours left to clock (ARGH, i still don't know if i'll have enough hours), reports to write as i go along, and session preparations to be done as i think of the intervention plan for each person. It's quite draggy work, but give me this any time, rather than school work man.

I was just thinking of how much work takes up my time such that I am wondering how my involvement in church will be like in future when majority of my life will be consumed by work. I'm hoping that as a counsellor, work stops in the office, but with the way things are right now... I'm suspecting that reports will eat into personal time, which isn't the way i want to live!

I caught myself thinking a while ago, whether i can skip this and skip that and just go for service only. It was then when I pretty much realized that you know, it's because i am around in church a lot that keeps me encouraged because of the friends i meet and the whole atmosphere of being in the presence of like minded people. This isn't to say that God doesn't exist outside of church, nor does it mean that my Christian walk ceases to exist once i step out of church.

But what i DO realize as part of REALITY, is that if i become too busy, and church and Christian living is relegated to a trip to church for 2 hours out from the whole week, i am likely to go down the slippery slope of being a sunday Christian. A Christian in name only, with just a hollow heart. Honest.

That was when it DAWNED on me... why, it's so important to have some form of commitment to a ministry(s), where I am accountable to people and there will be at least two or three people who will care enough about me to check up on me now and then. (Ok, i'm thankful that i can think of at least three. Which reminds me. Have I ever bothered about those who haven't been showing up? I think i tend to take the stance that they don't want to be bothered, so i in turn don't bother them...)

It's important to have people check up on you to see if you're still alive, whether you've died from being blown up in the kitchen or something like that, but it's even more essential that there are people who will ask how you're doing, not judge/scold you about why you've not been around and will even ask if there's anything that they can pray for you for. Those people are so precious and far and few in between.

Then again, i'm glad that what i am choosing to do with my life is something i knew God has planned for me to do. And with that, i know that i cannot do it without Him, i know that i will always be relying on Him to guide me and to bring me through. Which helps me keep close in step with Him. By default.

But still, i may fall into the trap of treating God like a genie, and though I toil with and for Him, I may still lose sight of the purpose of the journey every now and then, right?

Which brings me back to full circle. I need to be kept active in my ministry and guard my walk with Jesus like freaking jealously.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Have always wanted to wear coloured contact lenses but the makers haven't gotten round to making lenses for people with astigmatism, aka almost the whole of Singapore...

ALMOST done with my wretched assignments.

After which, it will be practicum hours and report writing galore but still may not be enough to graduate on time. I don't know. We'll wait and see.

God HELP.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

my classmate put into words something i didn't realize i was going through.

Burn Out.

Yes, i am burnt out. Not majorly so, but it seems i'm on the route to being so. The only thing that can get me doing work is when i am pressured hard to do it. Otherwise, i can't bear to get typing or get my brain moving. I haven't had a proper break since january. and i'm still struggling with meeting the practicum hours requirement. I may not get to graduate on time because of that.

Recently, i experienced sour burps, something i've not had before/in a long time... And by chance, i happened to read an article about it and i found out that sour burps are a result of stress. i'm worried that i'm going to sprout out white hair soon. honestly, there are a few counsellors i know who seem to be hiding their white hair with hair dye...

I'm tired out from the work load and personal issues, and one of the only pleasures (other than FOOD) that i am refusing to give up is a good night's rest. I refuse to deprive myself of sleep even if it means that i can't get work done. i mean, c'mon! the stresses of life cannot rob me of that basic need man.

where is God? i do talk to Father now and then, but never more than a short simple prayer. i know He deserves more than that.

The good thing is that i got past that one period where i wanted to simply run off to a secluded place to have a good cry and get a breather from everything. I've moved on from there, but i can't say that there won't be another episode. i could just be running on a concoction of panic, responsibility and adrenalin right now.

i feel like telling the world to just get lost and frekkin' leave me alone, man.

i'm going to bed. it's 12:55am, i didn't get any work done and frankly at this current moment, i don't care.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

jet out, iphone in?

With M1 and now, STARHUB joining in the race, that is, selling the iphone as well... i am SO tempted. To jumpship AND to trade in my Samsung Jet.

I have to admit, i still hate touch screens. But i wonder if the iphone's touch screen technology and it's interface would be any better... The Jet's not a bad phone, it's just the fact that the touch screen and nitty gritty details to do with interface isn't that efficient, which makes its usage darn annoying for someone like me who's got to do things snappy and on the go. I've been quite frustrated with it recently. :-(

there are some features that the iphone is lacking (features which i count as important): a good camera with flash, a front pointing cam for video calls, bluetooth (the iphone's is next to useless), and decent battery life.

i guess... i just need to get used to this irritating touch screen nonsense. For now. Who knows, maybe my next phone will have the good old keypad, once the phone makers have figured out how to include big screens with keypads in a slim phone body. In my world, and probably everyone else's, life zooms by at a crazy pace and i find myself having to multitask as i move about. Thinking, planning, communicating, pondering, worrying, troubleshooting...

Maybe having this little monster called the samsung Jet will slow me down for a bit, to hone my patience and allow me to take time to see what goes into my smses. Might help my brain form more neural connections while i'm at it, since i'm still fumbling. But boy, i wish i could make the perfect phone!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

hello sekrit stawkur hannah: heehee! thanks for dropping by and dropping me a note. nice to know there's someone's reading out there! :) and yes, i have decided that i will not go. but, i think i will hijack someone's bag space... to pass something nice to some of the kids. I HOPE the someone won't mind too much. :oD Yeah, jenn said she can't go and it was sad to hear. it wld've been nice to experience the dynamics of being the same team as our worship pastor. :) Are you going?

***

Some random photos that i took with my old sony ericsson that never got onto the blog till now:

Was walking through my friend's HDB estate when i saw this AWESOME old school mama shop at the VOID DECK of the block. Oh my goodness. Check out the clock! It's SO OLD! Possibly from the 1980s??? I have no idea. It brings me back to my childhood, when trips to the minimarts were absolute excursion treats, with the possibility of being able to bargain (read: plead, pout, emotional coercion) with the accompanying adult to buy me candy or chocolates, or a mechanical pencil. :)

Look! LOOK! I love it that the place has been preserved and is still being run by an old uncle.

Moving on. I've never experienced drinking tea like this in a hawker food centre with such tiny tea cups. Really unique.

That would be our tea pot, perched beside us.

Was at Bugis when i passed by pet lover's centre and was stunned when they used a miniature pinscher as a doggy model. LOVE! You usually see other dogs like golden retrievers, spaniels or some other friendly looking fluffy thing. But here, you see a lovely, handsome little min pin. :)

Ok, in not so glamourous times, here's my own min pin under the covers.

Mom and i at a booth in the science centre being amused by one of the exhibits. Can't remember what the technology was about. If you can see, i'm holding up my phone to snap a photo.

Spotted at The Central. I kid you not. (original word bring "glass") Some smart*** probably wanted to have a laugh.

Ancient tomes in NLB. Was trying to search for information on work trends in Singapore. Not helpful at all. And look at how old school the books are! Where have all the publications from local writers from NUS, NTU, etc, all gone to?

O.o

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Yesterday, Gem and i went to the Samsung shop at JP to ask about the Jet's poor battery performance. Yes people. Promising as it may be, the battery life SUCKS for a new phone. One day of playing around with it, causes it to go flat already. It's only when i hardly touch it except for moderate amount of messaging does it last for a day without dropping a bar. But by the next morning (and i turned it off at night hor) with some messaging, it drops TWO bars. BLEARGH.

When Gem asked the guy at the counter, "Has anybody come to complain about the battery life for this phone?" The guy smiled, and said "no." I noticed he did not meet Gem's eyes, but instead looked at me. I immediately knew that this bloke was lying big time.

Ok firstly which person would give poor feedback about the phones you are selling unless you're the rare person who puts the customer FIRST and company (and potentially your job) SECOND? Secondly, a lot of people have had complaints about the battery life. I've read it online. (Sadly, i still took my chances.) Thirdly, which person, if telling the truth, would say "no" and SMILE (unless he was genuinely proud of the product. but he did not seem proud of it at all. and his smile was very "limited", not a full on smile.)?!

VERY put off.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

i finally, FINALLY bought my new phone!!! Been wanting to get one since december last year and so i've been looking out for a decent one.

My sony ericsson W710i (walkman cum sports phone) has served me very well for the past, close to 3 years. I've not seen anyone carrying this phone for a while already. Pretty much considered a relic. It's not totally dead but from time to time, it will decide to pull stunts on me like: multiple auto shut downs, forced silence.

I have lots of messages in there that are so precious to me and if the phone dies, all the messages die along with it too since messages are stored in the phone itself. So, i figured it's about time to let it retire.

I'm pleased to announce my newest edition: the Samsung Jet!

It's quite affordable for a phone that's packed with a lot of goodies. I did my research on it, and apparently, opinions on it are quite mixed. :oS. I'm hoping mine doesn't pull stunts on me like some of the earlier batches of Jets that were first released. I usually find that the first batch of phones from a newly released model will have bugs. One of my friends advised me against Samsung, citing reasons like poor service at the repair centres, outsourcing of non-Samsung technicians, tendency to misinfo at service centres, swapping of parts instead of changing to new parts. I was pretty put off, but i guess i decided to take my chances.

It's got wifi, HSDPA, GPRS, 5 megapixel autofocus camera WITH flash (YES! FINALLY!), GPS, DivX, video recording 30 fps/120fps, bluetooth, full touch sceen, AMOLED display, 800MHz Processer, document reader. Shiok a king kong.

I've never liked touch screen phones, i'm quite a stickler for keypads still... But because the Jet is the only touch screen phone that i felt comfortable typing on, it has a nice big screen (for viewing the bible and internet pages), and since most keypad phones now seem to be quite "backward"/ugly/i cannot get used to the qwerty, i decided it was time to "move on".

PLUS. Since i'm a student and thankfully below 26 as of now, i get to opt for the student plan!!!! UNLIMITED SMSES! OMG! Why didn't i sign up for this earlier, since i tend to increase my bill fees through high usage of smses.

I *might* install facebook, definitely a bible software... Mmm, what else? ACK! So fun! :oDDD

I'm just waiting for it to charge for 8 hours straight before i attempt to lay my hands on it since i just bought it and need to charge up the battery to the max level. My lovely white Jet!

(Gem said: You've got a Samsung Jet, and a Sam Seng Jed. *HAHAHAHAHHA* Ok, only those people who've met Jed personally will know what i'm talking about.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

In trying to finish up the leftover melted chocolate/fudge topping, i decided to make a marble cake. HAHA. For someone with close to ZERO experience with baking, who knows only a tiny miniscule fraction about the science of baking, i must say this is a daring attempt.

Instead of butter, i used butter and margarine (because i ran out of butter and i've never read of recipes which suggest using margarine). Instead of cocoa POWDER, i used MOLTEN chocolate. Instead of using the machine, i mixed everything by hand powered by brute strength (bored with doing assignments). The amount, ratio, of butter, sugar, fats, flour, eggs, liquid ingredients, etc, all play a part in whether your cake will turn out fab or flat. That is in addition to the skill of the hand, which is very important. You need to be gentle, firm but cool and light handed. None of which my hands possess at the moment. Hurhur.

It sure smells good, now that it's cooking in the oven. But i can't say much about the insides... The cake has risen, but going by the way it still wobbles when i shift the tin, it's still wet and uncooked beneath and by right, i should be cooking it for only 20 minutes more.

Oh boy. Haha... This is fun.

I ought to join the 3 guys on the show Food Jammers, if only because i get to mess around and experiment with food and see how it turns out. But i don't want to waste anything of course, hopefully whatever i create is edible...

Update: My marble cake is a ridiculous success!

Time to get down to business

To Do:

Practicum 1, Group Supervision (the most crazy module):

1) Presentation of individual session, intake interview WITH recording x 1
2) Presentation of group counselling x 1
3) Comprehensive Report on an individual session x 1
4) Comprehensive Report on an intake assessment session x 1
5) Term Paper x 1
All Due: 2 NOV
Status: UNDONE and Dependent on currently non-existent clients. PANIC.

Program Evaluation:

1) Program Evaluation Proposal x 1(Due: 17th Nov, Status: Undone)
2) Class Project x 1 (Due: TBC, Status: Undone)

Career Development in Counselling (the most ambiguous and blurifying module):

1) Big Huge Term Paper x 1 (Due: 11th Nov)
Status: No one in my class has any inkling on how to begin to do this
While having a trim at HV...

Hair Stylist (HS): You look like a friend of mine...
Jo: *thinks: shucks, i have a common face...*
HS: But my friend is a guy...
Jo: Uh. Ok... (!!!) I wonder what the similarities are...
HS: He is... how do you say. He's not handsome.
Jo: *thinks: huh? haha...*
HS: He's... Beautiful.
Jo: ?!?!?!?!?!

Hawhawhaw, beautiful man! Ok, not sure if i should take that as a compliment. :P

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First attempt at making a Chocolate Fudge Cake

This weighing scale might be as old as, if not, older than me. My momma has been using this for as long as i can remember!
Same goes for this dude as well.

Melting the chocolate (Hersheys semi sweet chips) and butter together, in a plate placed on top of a pan with boiling/simmering water. The hot steam is what melts the stuff into a goo. As a health freak making a cake like this and knowing EXACTLY what goes into it... This isn't one of my proudest moments. No way, hosay.
It takes faith to believe that it'll eventually become a smooth mixture. It was so lumpy for quite a while because the chocolate chips just wouldn't melt out evenly. So i used 2 spoons to mash the lumps till it became relatively smooth.

Mixing the 4 eggs and sugar.

Folded in the flour.

Into the oven!
Out of the oven! It looks a bit burnt hor. The new oven we have tends to be on the "powderful" side, for some reason. Have to be extra careful when baking stuff.

Cutting up pieces.

Slather on the fudge! (more melted chocolate mixed with pure cream). I had run out of Hershey's chocolate, so i dug around the kitchen and used up some Lindt and Royce dark chocolate that had been lying around for a while. Had to be careful during the melting process though, because the chocolate is meant for eating directly and not meant to be melted for baking. Since I didn't know the boiling and melting point of ready-to-eat choclate, had to be careful not to over melt it which will result in carbonized burnt chocolate.

Ok, ready to give to next door neighbour! :D
It's a weird cake. When i first baked it, it was moist inside. At night on the same day, it became dry. Then subsequently, it became moist again. Hur.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I typed out an email telling my pastor that I am unable to go to Maliana for the mission trip this december. I had tears in my eyes as i finished typing out the email. It is due to school, finances, due to family issues, that made me sigh and decide that I could not afford to go.

Maliana (in East Timor) was my very first mission trip destination, and that place and the children there have a very deep and special place in my heart.

I was about to click on "send". But something in my heart pulled back and i just clicked on "save now". I don't know when that email will be sent.

God, is this you telling me to go, is this me being reluctant to allow you to make a way for me? Or is this just a fact of life that I have to give this one a miss again?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Attempting to make a chocolate fudge cake... ;) But i'm calculating if i can afford the time to do so...
Well, if it happens, stay tuned for photos!

Thoughts at 9am in the morning:

1) Had put the car wind screen wipers on max speed this morning due to the rain... They were moving at such a madly frenzied pace that i giggled to thought to myself that they looked like they were on drugs.

2) So i got out of the car and got some rain on myself. When i entered the lift, my first thoughts and instincts were: "Cold. Wet. Now shake your fur from side to side." (A sure sign that a human being has been living for a long time with a dog)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I just got one of the periodical passion card promotion emails and wow, they're actually promoting tickets for upcoming Christmas events (artsy performances) in december.

I'm smelling and FEELing Christmas around the corner! It's my favourite time of the year... For some odd reason, i'm appreciating the efforts put into sprucing up Singapore for this particular festive occasion. I used to hate how it always looks so commercialized and how everything just crashes once the 25th of december is over. Well, i still don't like how it crashes.

But somehow, the glitter, the music, the cheer, the company of family, er, sales (hurhur), the rush or absence of activities seems to leave my heart with a warm, contented feeling.

I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it's just that... it's, well, Christmas. And i've always had happy, loving, fun-filled and fond memories of Christmas when i was young. Maybe those buried feelings from those years gone by are resurfacing and though it's going on replay, it's giving me a refreshing perspective and sense of wonder and appreciation all over again.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A group of 11 of us went down to Bottle Tree Park at Khatib and boy, "fun" is an understatement in describing our experience!

We paintballed for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and it was awesome. The adrenaline rush, the speed, yes, the pain, teamwork, strategising, etc. The instructors were really nice, and they were really accomodating to our requirements and managed to customize the games for us.

While we were there, we got to talk a bit to this guy whose nickname is Kiko. Little did i (later on) realize, we were actually talking to a REGIONALLY KNOWN paintballer okay (out of curiousity, i just googled him)! He's apparently well known in Asia for his killer paintball skills.

Singapore's hosting a paintball competition at West Coast (ah, near my place!) on the 18th of October, sunday. It should be fun to watch!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Been driving on my own recently for short distances, like to gleneagles and back, to church and back. i find that i'm way less tense when i'm driving alone than when someone else is in the car.

anyway, PEOPLE WHO DO NOT SIGNAL ARE BIG FAT CAUSES FOR ACCIDENTS!!!

I almost got mauled by this goon (sorry, but i'm really pissed with people like this) who was whooshing down the lane next to the extreme right lane. So as i was turning out from my u-turn onto the extreme right lane, this fella zoomed into my lane WITHOUT INDICATING. SOMEMORE CAN HORN AT ME.

This caused me to swerve to avoid and I ended up driving onto the curb of the road divider. Sheesh.

Then today, as gem and i were about to cross the road, another goon came whooshing down and turned into the minor road WITHOUT SIGNALING. AGAIN. If i didn't somehow pause to see if the fella would stop, gem and i might've been tomato juice by then.

RAGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Methinks.... God still wants me alive for a higher purpose. Hur.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Now that i think of it. It's quite amusing to see a mother's reaction when some ungracious driver bullies her kin who is driving.

I wouldn't go so far as to say: Beware, do not step on mommy's toes when daughter is driving (because after all, what can she do right?), but i would say, boy, my mommy ain't afraid to give 'im a good stare through the window!

You can sense the motherly instincts rising, her sense of justice and her protective support for her offspring (of course, if i ain't in the wrong lah).

***

Happened to watch a pretty old show called Centrestage (2000) last night. I am SO awestruck by the dancers (ballet dancers, in particular). I mean, the acting was so-so, no big names, but it was the grace and beauty of their movements whether fast or slow, and i could somehow understand a tiny bit what they were communicating through their bodies! I was ENTHRALLED.

Although i've got NO training whatsoever in dance, there's a part of me that just knows a good performance from a not so good one. Of course not as zhai as professionals, but somehow the sense of structure, flow, beat, angle, just resonate inside me so much so that it's just a sense i get.

I was so inspired that i wanted to get onto my feet and dance but i knew... my neighbours downstairs wouldn't be pleased with a bumbling elephant thumping above them at 11pm.

Monday, September 28, 2009



I got this song off Facebook from a friend who posted it up. Despite the current life situation, it speaks out my heart's cry...

These two songs, "No greater love" and "God follower" by Steven Curtis Chapman was written in dedication to missionary Jim Elliot and his team who gave up their lives for the gospel.

In 1956, the 5 American missionaries who left for Ecuador were speared to death by a stone age tribe of Indians known as the Aucas. This left 5 families in total devastation but this wasn't the end of God's plan. Two years later, the wife and sister of two of the murdered missionaries walked into the jungle to live with the same people who had murdered the men they loved. Today, the Aucas (now known as the Waodani) are a changed people. (excerpt from http://www.cbn.com/special/endofthespear/)

I watched it and it made me tear up... God is amazing, and he sure works in sometimes painful and mysterious ways but the outcome is ultimately powerful and beautiful.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I honestly don't care about what people say, but i believe that it IS possible to bring God's love to people through my field of work. Whether it may be to my colleagues or to the people I will see.

I have seen the ways, it is my purpose, and i WILL do so. Time is not something I am in control of, but as long as God hasn't closed the chapter of my life on Earth, my life is for this purpose. Even if i may not see immediate results, i would have at least set something going in some way or other.

Frankly speaking and i am not afraid to say this: If we keep letting "rules"/rationalizations/etc come in the way of making a difference in other people's lives, we actually just perpetuate those obstacles.

I believe, "To see things you've never seen before, you have to do things you've never done before".

AMEN.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

HAHAH. In the spirit of Information-Retro-Singapore, i am typing this out in the font Courier.

Am doing my research on work trends in Singapore in the national library, and i'm not sure if i am looking in the wrong place but why are the collection of resources on Singapore so old here? The book covers are of designs coming from the 1970s and 1980s, sometimes, there are no designs, just fabric hard covers.

Some of the books are even formed from binding typewritten papers, with the courier font and uneven lines! The alphabets kinda float up and down on an imaginary horizontal line. The imperfaction is endearingly cute.

But most dui of all, is that i cannot find current information... GAH.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I just made the most AWESOMEST codfish dish! I'm SO AWED!!! (k, totally not shy about it. :-D)

Ok, it started with remembering that i had some codfish in the freezer and it was perfect for dinner. Took it out to defrost while i looked for a recipe. I found a fairly simple one, but along the way, i spruced it up.

It's REALLY easy once u already have the ingredients. I would say it's almost idiot proof...

Ingredients (from the website):

cod fish (3cm thick is good)
a few slices of Australian mild cheddar cheese
Sliced fresh tomato
Dill weed (a herb)

Own fridge ingredients (to add some flavour/taste cos the original recipe sounded a bit bland. but i guess if you don't have the ingredients below, salting the fish earlier before cooking might do the trick. But don't overdo because the cheddar cheese will add some saltiness already):

Japanese onion dressing, Mizkan brand
Cayenne powder
Cajun seasoning powder

I used garlic butter to cook instead of the normal kind. To make garlic butter:

Salted butter, Golden Churn brand
Grated garlic
Parmesan cheese
Coarse Black pepper
Oregano leaves

Directions:

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in fry pan. Fry cod fish fast on both sides 1 minute each side. Then put cheese slices and then tomato slices on top (or the other way around is fine). Sprinkle on top with dill weed. Sprinkle own fridge ingredients on top and onto pan (the jap dressing) itself. Cover pan and cook for 15 minutes on low flame. Do not turn fish.

It might look like a lot of work, so, like i said, if you already have the ingredients, you can whip it up in a flash with minimal washing too.

I suggest making the garlic butter beforehand.

Sorry ah. No photos, cos camera is with sister and i ate it up real quick.

:-9 *slurp!*

I notice that the stuff that i "anyhow" cook always turn out the best. While the ones where i plan meticulously and prepare for people usually turn out... Bleargh.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've not posted much about thanking God for anything recently, but today i will. :)

I don't usually play the first keys for service, but this saturday i got the chance to, so in addition to my usual synthesizer duties, i could play the first keys aka, piano as well. I'd say that skill wise, i'm not as zhai as my other counterparts. My chord theory is quite basic, and my fingers just aren't as nimble as quick as theirs. Which makes me a better synthesizer player because my fingers don't have to move much and i just need to meddle around with sounds and simple or broken up chords. (though as i've mentioned before i think, i've hated the synthesizer since i was a kid)

Contrary to what the worship team in the congregation/choir said which were a lot of positives, those who were serving today (people with the in-ears) could hear all the boos boos, and somehow today, we just didn't seem as tight as usual. Part of me was fearing that part of the reason was because it was my fault for not being confident enough in my playing, for tending to launch into my own rhythm and tempo, or just not being a good enough musician. Especially since it's not common that i get to play both keys.

But underneath the skill part, i knew that i have not been able to worship at home on the piano as often as i used to due to my crazy schedule these days. So that means that i've not had many opportunities to practice and figure out new ways to play. The piano has sort of become a table of sorts. Quite sad, really. Also, I knew that i was playing with a broken heart... Not broken as in surrendered to God per se, but broken because of whatever's been happening in my life. I was like, "God... Just work through me with whatever i have. I really am just going to rely on whatever basics i have. All i have are the simple stuff."

I knew the countless mistakes i made, and so when we wrapped up the service and headed for our team debrief, i was all ready for the firing squad... Though at the back of my mind i was asking God, "God, please, please, i'm ready for the firing squad, but can you just give me some encouragement?"

God being so sweet, really did send people to encourage me... My team's bassist came and said to me that the chosen notes that i played spoke (in a musical sense) to him, it brought him to a place of peace with God. He said, "I saw a picture, of me in a cave, on a lake in a cave. You know, a place of peace, like how everyone has a place of peace with God."

I also got encouragement from my worship leader who said i played well, and another worship leader also gave feedback that the synthesizer patches that i chose were good. He said, "There were some really good patches here and there. Eh! This kind of thing cannot keep to yourself, must share!" Later when i asked him which part exactly he was referring to, he said to go listen to the recording, but he added, "You have this... ability to hear sounds and use them to make them work."

Boy, was i SO encouraged by the end of the night. I was thinking: God. Thank you. I REALLY needed that. Inspite of my so called inadequacies and numerous mistakes, you know the state of brokenness i'm in and what i just needed to hear at this point in time. And you sent people to encourage me, to tell me that You spoke to them through the music played. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How can i forgive someone and move on with my life if the person in question may not have even repented, may not even be remorseful, may be living a life of continuous lying and deception? RIGHT IN MY FACE?

What's the point of so called being committed to moving on, forgiving, etc, when in the first place, the person on the other side hasn't even settled their side of the bargain.

Don't even think about building ANY relationship with me if you are still involved in your $%^&. As long as you are not clean from your wrongdoing, you're not getting ANY real respect from me.

Recently, we've been going through the topic of honour in church and i'm like. What the.

How do i honour someone who CLAIMS TO BE FOLLOWING GOD BUT IS STILL LYING STRAIGHT TO MY FACE?!?!?!

The very least i am doing is being civil because the person is a human being. That's ALL i can manage.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just back from my youth worship team camp over the weekend and i had a 12 hour sleep when i got home... I knocked out once i took a shower and had my face mask on. :)

And so i woke up this morning having satisfied the sleep debt, but somehow, my systems still aren't working too well. I keep misreading words and seeing wrong things, for example:

From today's paper on why young people don't use helplines (rephrased): "when i'm feeling troubled (...), i would want to speak to my closet (correct word: closest) friends."

From work schedule: "Jesus (correct word: Jessie) On Leave"

Goodness. Hurhurhurhur...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ARGH!!!! ALL THREADLESS TEES GOING FOR $9!!!

I WANT!!!!!!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Was talking to one of the church leaders about dress code in church for leaders and on-stage worship team members.

While i totally understand their good intentions for not wanting us girls to wear sleeveless tops (leaders and on-stage musicians and singers), i can't help but feel that it's such an archaic rule in these recent times. It just reminds me of my ex-boyfriend who refused to allow me to wear sleeveless tops when we were together in junior college.

Sleeveless tops are SO normal these days. For me, they are staple because well, it helps me not get ARMPIT PATCHES from all that perspiration! I sweat a lot lor. And it's not as if i am dying to wear revealing clothes. The sleeveless tops i have are SO normal!

I commented to him: I wear sleeveless tops for practical reasons lor.
He shot back: I also wear slippers for practical reasons.

On hindsight, I should have told him that the issue is different. Slippers is a matter of just casting a presentable image. Sleeveless tops is a matter of seduction of the mind and/or having a presentable image. (Anyways, who says that you can't look presentable in a sleeveless top?)

So my question here is: So what is the difference if it is ok to choose to wear sleeveless tops OUTside of church? If the basis for not wearing them is to not stumble people, then we should not wear them AT ALL, for the good of ALL mankind, right?

But just think about it. No wearing of sleeveless tops AT ALL? Till you're like, 70 years old? Ridiculous!

It just reminds me again of how some people blame women for being raped because they wore seductive clothes. Do men not have parts of their brain meant for self control? Anyways, it's not just the clothes, but behaviour as well.. There is truth in saying that if a woman behaves like she wants trouble, then part of the blame is on her, but then again, can you honestly tell me if ANYONE really DESERVES to be raped?

My point here is: Choice. Whose choice? Freedom. Whose freedom? Logic. Whose logic?

***

I've currently taken to eating blocks of chocolate all by myself. hurhur. First, it was a cadbury milk choc and almond block, then it was a hershey's symphony milk choc and almond block, now it is a cadbury desserts creme brulee bar (courtesy of gem's mommy!).

I'm glad i'm meeting V to go jog later.

***

The bible says: "In your anger, do not sin."

Grr... While reversing out of my parking lot at HV yesterday, this driver in a mercedes wanted my lot and REFUSED to let me out because by moving, she would risk the chance that other drivers will get the lot. So she did not budge despite multiple horns from me (upon my sister's advice... otherwise i wouldn't dare and i didn't how know to because i don't know how the feeling of a horn blast is suppose to feel like.). Woah, i tell you. ALL she needed was to move forward a bit, but she NGIAH NGIAH didn't want to move, which meant that I could not move away, which meant that i was blocking the other cars in my awkward position and this caused a mini jam, with 3 cars lined up in front of me and don't know how many behind me.

Thankfully, there was space behind the mercedes to maneuver to allow the other cars to pass by first. Once the road was empty, i managed to drive out.

When we passed the driver, my sister and i were so curious to have a look at who that silly merc driver was. So inconsiderate!!!! My sister and i were quite disgusted.

I realized that quite a huge number of judgemental, angry, insulting thoughts can be generated just by driving and meeting such people on the roads.

Must guard my thoughts while driving man... Cos while it is natural to become angry, i cannot let the anger consume me and allow myself to speak negatvity into other people's lives.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

We talked about driving through the hills in the UK, going all the way up to Scotland. AFTER i graduate next year, making it a proper graduation trip for me. Since i didn't get one after my bachelor's. Erm, but with my folks, not exactly all independent and alone.

OH GOOD LORD JESUS, WOULD YOU PLEASE MAKE THIS COME TRUE STILL?

"The rolling moors of Yorkshire, the tranquil atmosphere of the Lake District, the mysterious highlands of Scotland, the ancient forests of Nottinghamshire, the stunning beaches of Wales, the chocolate-box cottages or vibrant cities at the forefront of modernity, the UK has something to offer everyone" - from the ukguide.org

The nature-explorer-photographer-romantic-freak in me is roaring for time to fly by to say hi to the United Kingdom!

To LT: i think we did talk about grad trip together didn't we? Hm... d'you think this is your cup of tea/within budget?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

my recipe for yummy garlic spread:

butter (salted)
grate (NOT CHOP!) a bunch of garlic
oregano leaves
coarse black pepper
grated parmesan cheese
MIX EVENLY.

for nice yummy toast = spread onto bread + add pre-cooked/raw chopped onions if you want + fresh tomato slices + cheddar cheese + ham/any other meat (or you can just go vegetarian)

***

PAINTBALL!!!!!!!!!
(all this talk about therapy is happening, but in the form of adventure therapy. haha. organized by the singapore psychological society... Going with La. AM SO EXCITED!)

Friday, September 04, 2009

People's behinds should be fitted with brake lights, like cars.

They would come in handy especially in crowded places such as malls that have shops boasting huge posters with big number discounts.

Monday, August 31, 2009

If my current life could be summarized into a song title, it would be: What the @#$%.

Not only is my workload crazy, if that isn't bad enough, my personal life has to take a beating as well.

Yeah. What the @#$%, is a good song title.

Am i mad at God? No. Am i still dependent on God and trusting in Him? You bet. In fact, God is all the more important to me now than ever before. He is the only one i trust. Because humans can be so damn heinous.

But right now... God is out of the picture. My head and heart is just simply swimming in anger and sadness and i think the amount of poison being generated inside me right now can kill off a few hundred rats.

I need counselling. Pronto.

I want to run away. From school, work. Life.
Just make me freaking disappear.
I feel like crying when i think about my workload.

Does anybody hear me?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

a huge part of my schooling life involved around playing in concert/military bands... as i'm listening to persis overture, and gloriosa, i am hit by such a longing to be part of a band once again, playing the alto saxophone as part of a contributing sound to the overall band sound.

gosh.

i miss, like crazy, those days. where can i look for a good and established adult band that won't be THAT particular about whether you'd be a liability in terms of technique and skill, but will just be a group of people who play well and also just want to play because, MUSIC is BEAUTIFUL. Period.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ho hum.

I think i'm going to sign up for the 10km New Balance Real Run but not the Standard Chartered run.

Tradeelala.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There are times when i'm walking along the street and i think about the amount of work piled up and when i realized how much uncertainty i am facing, how many loose ends i have and tend to forget to address, i begin to visualize myself in my room trying to get an opportunity to cry my eyes out.

I am so stressed.

But when i get home, i am seized by duty and responsibility. I do what i need to. But it doesn't mean it's all ok. I still drag all the frustration about with me at my heels.

Sometimes i just need to let out the frustration to start on a cleaner slate.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Today i came face to face again with something that i wish i did not have to face anymore. But life never says that things are forbidden to go on repeat.

This brings me once again to the often said, corny statements: "Lift it up to God, He'll take care of it.", and, "Don't focus on your problems, focus on God".

Maybe it was easier to do that in the past when some of the problems were "smaller", or more temporary.

But some problems are just... you know. Pervasive. It eats into your personal space. It has slid into and invaded your emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological life. Your EVERYTHING. It LIVES with you. It EATS with you. It WALKS with you. It SLEEPS with you. It's a LONG TERM issue. Not something that would resolve in a few days, with a few prayers here and there, or a few months and then people stop asking how you're doing. No.

We're talking about years.

It's like if a loved one has a terminal disease. If a loved one is living an alternative lifestyle, or a life on the edge. If a husband/wife abuses, or has cheated. If a loved one went missing overseas and there is no news of his or her existence. The future of a loved one with special needs. Suffering the pain of having BEEN abused, abandoned, rejected. There are many other issues that people face. You get the drift.

Because of the problem that just chose to lift its ugly head, though I know all the "good Christian" theories, I am now finding it to be of utmost difficulty to separate the act of focusing on God and lifting it to Him, from, denial. That is, choosing to not look at the problem. Trying to push the worry and pain away. Believing it will somehow. Just. All. Go. Away.

I still tag this as Walking with Jesus, and not Walking away from Jesus, because this IS the process of walking through difficult life lessons with Jesus even when I DON'T KNOW HOW. I can't run away from Jesus just because shit happens.

Like what Jess said on sat which i believe with my heart was a fantastic and true comeback to her friend's statement:

Friend: I'm not a Christian anymore because shit happens.
Jess: Shit happens, that's why, I am a Christian.

This is life and this is starkly real. I don't know how to live like i should. So I learn. I cry. I crawl. I get abrasions along the way. I am stunned, feeling weary, stuck in my thoughts and feelings. And I don't know how to continue this post anymore because i am at a loss for words.

I just know that there is only one way up... I sigh as I say this because i am so human... The one way up is, to pray.

Praying is but merely an action. Anyone can pray. The problems may remain for a while to come, but knowing who i talk to is what brings me to a better state of mind and heart.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

i can't stop me

Just when i told van, myself 2 weeks ago and over dinner to joy and denise that i was going to give my knees a break , i was once again bitten by the running bug. Argh. I can't seem to stop myself. Talk about a love/hate relationship with running, a la New Balance advert.

So when i got home from cell group, instead of doing my paperwork, i took out my running gear, went running and got home around 12ish am.

Surprisingly, despite having taken a break from running (though i still did some brisk walking) my body felt lighter than i've ever felt in a long time, and my breathing came clear and easy. I also found that i could keep running, as long as i took it at an easy pace which given was slower than my usual pace that's done along the canal. Still, the physical difference i felt was a 180degree change from when i was actually training purposefully and regularly a few weeks ago. How odd.

A big part of the reason why i took off running at a weird hour (other than that i was hoping to find my mates at holland v) was because of defiance. I told myself that the reason why my knees were feeling weird lately was because i WASN'T running (as opposed to what most people would say... that it is stiff from having injured them so much). Maybe i'm in denial but i really felt like the stiffness was because i wasn't using them.

Well, my knee joints were kind of tender when i got home... There is pain only if i place weight on it without using my quads to support the knee cap area or if i twist it in a funny way. Did some strengthening exercises and stretching. I wouldn't say all is fine and dandy... Looks like glucosamine is going to be part of my regular diet.

I guess i enjoyed my run also because i chose to go off the canal with the marked distance, and instead allowed my body and mind decide how far i wanted to go. So, there was no pressure to finish a certain distance by whatever time, and there were no expectations of how much distance i should cover.

It was just me, my asics (am still not a convert though), the road and feeling light and free.

I digress... When i think about my asics, it reminds me of that funny trip to running lab where i got them. The sales guy and i were talking a whole lot about running while waiting for me (i took 2 HOURS to decide) to choose a pair of shoes from 4 pairs that he recommended to me. And after i paid and left, it was gem who showed me what was typed and printed at the end of the receipt. Sales guy had typed at the bottom: "Really cute smile! =)" No wonder he seemed to be taking longer than usual to process my purchase. Teehee.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's amazing how close minded/tunnel visioned/under exposed/etc some pastors can be.

Case 1:
"Secondary school kids having sex? No lah! So young, how can they be having sex?"

*ROLLS EYES*

Case 2:
"You don't know about the 3 Ss? How long have you been a Christian? Usually if you've been a Christian for a long time, you would know."
(3 Ss refers to self governing, self sufficient, self ...., it's one of the terms used in the misson field in a particular country)

HELLO?! Not everyone is exposed to missionary work terms ok? How can people equate the length of one's walk as a Christian to whether the person knows about some specialized jargon used. Ridiculous conclusion.

And these are pastors in the age range of 50ish. Embarrassing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feel like screaming.

Suicide assessment.
Bookmark verses.
Devotionals.
Report writing.
Journal writing.
Closing cases.
Research.
School assignments now beginning.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO STRESSED OUT. STOP GIVING ME THINGS TO DO!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Update 2: I is going to paste triangle on zee car window. And face the temptation of driving around the carpark on my own. Heh. I feel so handicapped not being able to park properly now that i have no poles to help me do things mechanically. Oh well. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Update 1: PASSED. With 12 demerit points. Hurhur. And i got to drive my folks around the carpark at home.... but boy, parking is a #$&#%&##@(#!!!!!!
(no more poles! Dangit!)

***

I want to pass my driving test, i want to pass my test!

(sing song to the tune of "I want to ride my bicycle!" by Queen. I think it's a pretty odd song, but anyway.)

Monday, August 03, 2009

I happened to find this photo of gem from long ago... HAHA. So cute right. I asked for permission leh! He says it was due to the post lunch slump... (i think his branch mates took the photo and added the effects. hurhurhur.) Can you find/see the little stick men?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

it's not for us to fight the fire, but the fire (God!) who fights for us!

I'm getting old, man.

Went for The Fire Fight's Album Launch concert, where we had to stand for an hour. I got a backache after that (but the rest of my friends didn't). Fail.

(The Fire Fight is a local, indie band made up of a group of young chaps who love music and are using their music to reach an audience for a bigger life purpose.)

I really enjoyed the music (though i was as stiff as a BBQ skewer) and saw the boys enjoying themselves on stage as well. They were telling a simple but true story of a bear named Henri. But really, the "bear" represents us living today and the story that unfolded was the story of how when we were woo-ed by the devil who lured us into loving the material things of the world but getting burnt in the process, God pursues us, back into his loving arms, back home again.

The boys deserve thumps on their backs!

It was quite funny how the name most heard last night was Jon's because he's a friend of ours, and a couple of us were getting high and it was hilarious what being high does to you. And... quite a number of the audience were from the same place *ahem* as i, and boy, if we wanted to, we could've started a praise and worship session. Haha...

Well done Fire Fight. I know this is your ministry, and I pray that God will continue to partner with you guys to speak the same loving message of God to those who need it, in the language that they know and understand, and find meaning in.

Friday, July 31, 2009

when we see Christ in someone, it should be evident in their everyday lives right? not only when the person is in their christian-ny element, eg. preaching, evangelising, befriending, cell leading, worship leading, etc.

something i noted. a person whose private life's deep truth is far from the superficially professed ideal, should refrain from preaching that they pursue only after God loving/centred/consumed women/men.

it makes them not just look stupid, but it is hypocritical and stumbles others.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Driving Instructor Uncle Vocabulary Trivia

Update:

Generous = Dangerous
Hedges = Hazards
Kuiz = Squeeze
Prup = Pull Up

It's funnier when i get to pronounce it outloud for you! ;-P

Hello folks! For your and my entertainment, i shall now present you with a Driving Instructor Uncle Vocabulary Trivia! Try to guess what these words (really) are!

"Generous" = ?
"Hedges" = ?
"Kuiz" = ?
"Prup" = ?

Er, no prizes for right answers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Potato Bake Version 2

Cut up: 1 Red pepper, 1 big yellow onion, and grated a bunch of garlic. The pieces that were too small to grate are there on top of the peppers.

My cheddar cheese which i cut into small pieces, so that when the scattered pieces melt, they melt out evenly throughout the dish.

My button mushrooms. You decide how many you is want! :-P
Some random box of chicken nuggets that i found in the fridge. I've no idea who put them there and no one at home admits to its existence. Well, it no longer exists! It's going into the potato bake. :-D See the ones in aeroplane shapes. Hurhur. I toasted them so warm them up and give them a nice brown colour.
My grated garlic which i used to scatter in with the filling, as well as scattered on the top of everything with the cheese topping, mixed herbs and coarse black pepper (you'll see later on).
The boiled and scalloped potato base on the baking dish. OH YES. Don't forget to grease the base and sides of the dish with margarine or butter. This prevents the cheese and other stuff from sticking to it after some of it melts and burns slightly.
This is the cream i used. Instead of the 1 1/2 cups that i used in version 1, i used 1 instead. Healthier i guess. Less fat.
Fried up the bits of garlic, red pepper, onions, mushrooms in olive oil, and added a tiny amount of salt and black pepper.
Zees is the filling: red pepper, onions, mushrooms, diced chicken nuggets, grated garlic, cream and cheddar cheese, french onion soup, a bit of coarse black pepper again.

Put scalloped potatoes on top again with the grated garlic.
Top with mozarella cheese, cheddar cheese, mixed herbs, coarse black pepper. Dump in oven!

Ok, here we go. Kinda looks similar to version 1 anyway, but it's different on the inside!

Sitting pretty by the kitchen window. :-9
Close up for your viewing pleasure. Whee!
And finally... on the dinner table. It's a bit sad that i have to "force" my family to eat my stuff. I have to keep asking them if they've tried my food, or i have to bring a plate to them and ask if they want a bite. Only my dad took a portion by himself last night. Otherwise, no one other than myself and Van has eaten a decent portion! Grrr. I need food test subjects, and gem is too busy to stick around long enough to be one. I need daring, willing and FREE participants, or else the fridge will be full of stuff that i make and no one will eat!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Potato Gratin/Potato Bake sort-of-recipe

For those of you interested in making the potato thingy i made, here's the sort of recipe!
The reason why it's only a sort-of-recipe is because i did not use much measurements. I just added things according to how i liked it to be.

1) Boil 7-8 russet potatoes. Some people might find the russet variety too crumbly and soft so they use the harder yellow-er types.

2) Fry 2 (big) yellow onions in a shallow frying pan with olive oil, slow cook them, so that they don't burn and they should caramelize in the pan. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper to taste.

3) After the potatoes are boiled and tender, de-skin them and scallop them. Grease an oven-safe glass dish with a bit of butter, so that the food doesn't stick. Line the bottom of the dish with the potatoes. Don't use up all of them.

4) I had some leftover cooked chicken chunks, so i layered them over the potatoes. I also added ham slices, add half of the previously fried onions.

5) I used something like 1 and a half containers of Bulla cream (350ml to 400ml), and added dollops of it, scattered among the meat, onions, etc. Don't use all of it yet. As and when you feel that some corners/portions are dry, just put some cream there. Added dollops of butter also, but not too much.

6) Slopped ready made packet french onion soup all over to flavour the dish. Add amount according to your own disgression. Similarly, if you find it a bit dry, you can slop some more. Up to you! Just keep in mind that as you add, you are adding more flavour/salt into your dish, so you want to mentally keep stock of what you are dumping into the dish so that when you finally eat it, you aren't overwhelmed with the taste of one particular ingredient.

7) Also throw in cheddar cheese. I added red cheese and the regular yellow one. However, make sure that you cut up the cheese into little pieces, so that when it melts, it melts out evenly and not in little lumps here and there.

(at this point, i would recommend adding some cubed green/red/yellow pepper. Reason being it's good to add some vegetable and it also adds a crunch to the dish. You can either fry it first with the yellow onion or if you want it a bit more raw, just add it as it is in this layer.)

8) I sprinkled a tiny amount of salt, but in this case, i did so because not many of the other ingredients were salty naturally, except for the cheese and ham. If your version has other stuff that is salty, then don't add anymore.

9) Once the middle portion is done with all the layering and stuff, put your final layer of potatoes and also the fried onions as the top layer of your potato bake. Add the rest of the cream too. Use a ladle to gentle press everything into the dish. After that, grab a pack of shredded mozeralla cheese and add a generous layer of cheese on top of the potatoes and onions.

10) Lastly, sprinkle a tiny amount of mixed herbs evenly, and also coarse black pepper.

11) Throw everything into the oven and wait for the mozeralla cheese to brown to the colour you want!

Hope this helps and doesn't sound too messy or complicated. It isn't complicated once you get your ingredients prepared really.

Ask me if you have any doubts! :-D

Saturday, July 18, 2009

1. Did i mention that beginner motorcyclists in the circuit (relative to beginner car drivers) and inconsiderate ones outside are really pesky. I tell you, they are asking for an accident to happen, with the way they simply shoot out from the lane without considering or even SEEING that a car is coming their way/coming out or that they are the vulnerable ones when they try to squeeze by the side of the car. Sheesh.

2. Kitchen is mine for the next few days! Hopefully i can be making food that people will enjoy eating (which happens to be the minority of the time).

3. Shape run is tomorrow. I hope my lungs and legs won't give me a hard time. I'm mentally strong (in my mind, 10km is considered an ok-not-that-long distance, and 5km is considered to be a fun run distance) but i'm physically kinda weak, for some weird reason despite having been training for months. And i have 7 other girls coming with me. WOW, RECORD NUMBER! FINALLY!

Friday, July 03, 2009

i was enchanted...

Over lunch at home, i channel surfed and decided to watch Enchanted because it looked entertaining and quite amusing... Little did i know that i would find such a gem of a song. It's a little sad, message-wise, but it's just the moment that captured my heart.

I had goosebumps while watching them dance but most of all, through listening to the way the song was sang. The tone of the singer's (Jon Mclaughlin) voice, the pitch, dynamics, the heartfelt emotion poured into it. (oh man, the actor guy, ok patrick dempsey, sang a bit of the song softly to her, it was SO SWEET. Augghhh....)



Ok, a version without the actors talking midway.



Lyrics (Music Video of Giselle and Robert dancing from Walt Disney's "Enchanted"):

You're in my arms
And all the world is calm
The music playing on for only two
So close together
And when I'm with you
So close to feeling alive

A life goes by
Romantic dreams will stop
So I bid mine goodbye and never knew
So close was waiting, waiting here with you
And now forever I know
All that I wanted to hold you
So close

So close to reaching that famous happy end
Almost believing this was not pretend
And now you're beside me and look how far we've come
So far we are so close How could I face the faceless days
If I should lose you now?
We're so close
To reaching that famous happy end
And almost believing this was not pretend
Let's go on dreaming for we know we are
So close
So close
And still so far

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Part 2 of Home Cookout: Potato Gratin/Potato Bake

Just some of the ingredients... But i had more stuff sitting elsewhere. Like a packet of onion soup, cream, etc.
Slow fried (to caramelize) these yellow onions in a little olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Boiling the russet potatoes first before baking, otherwise it would take forever to bake and the cheese on top would burn to carbon!
Messy cross section. But just you wait! We have a potato base, onions, red and white cheese, chicken, ham, cream, dollops of butter, a sprinkle of salt, french onion soup.
The unbaked finished product. Topped with potatoes again, onions, mozarella chesse, coarse black pepper and mixed herbs.
Baking in zee oven!
Tadah!
Yummers. Everyone loved eet! For once, joline makes something that she didn't have to eat all by herself to finish it (like in most other cases because got no business from family members even...).

In future, i could add prawns, button mushrooms, red/green/yellow peppers and garlic. Muah hahaha...