Category Archives: Coffeetable talk

Confused.

I am very free on Friday. Yes this Friday. I end school at 12:30pm and I’m determined to leave school by 1pm, especially when it’s not my remedial week.

Here’s the confusing bit.

When I say “I am very free” – I mean I have absolutely nothing on. The boy is away on reservist and he is not available till Saturday afternoon. So my Friday afternoon, evening and night is FREE – like a bird. On one hand, I have the urge to call a friend, go out and paint the town red (in my own very lazy way) – but I don’t know who to call. On the other hand, the temptation to just go home and sleep the day away is there, largely.

I feel a little sad that I don’t know who to call up and say, “Hey Friday night dinner & drinks?” Along the way as I grew older, I just drifted away from people in general. The main reason why I’ve been feeling so hesitant about calling friends out – I haven’t felt social in a very long time. I feel awkward in social situations nowadays, except for Ling and Shu whom I see on a rather regular basis. We just had brunch at Symmetry just two weeks back, to celebrate Ling’s birthday and the food was amazing! And we’re meeting to cook next Monday evening at Shu’s place (it helps that she stays one street away from me).

I feel like there’s this unexplainable wall of communication, that I worry the chitchatting will run dry after an hour and we’ll sit there awkwardly wondering what else to talk about, aside from recent events that happened to both parties. It has happened during the school holidays before when I know I should call friends out to go out, walk, chitchat and catch up. Then I consider the possible awkward scenarios and I talk myself out of meeting up with friends. In the end, I either stay at home with a good book and read, or go out myself with my camera and wander about for a few hours before I go home.

It almost feels like I’d rather be alone, than to be out with friends. I think I over think the situation. It’s probably not half bad as what I envision it to be, but I’ll mull over the days when we used to be so much closer. Some days, I wonder all my friends went. Of course, I blame myself for neglecting the friends due to work, and spending more time with the boy. Of course, it’s not as if I can rewind time and change things, but I feel hesitant taking the first move. I worry.

And so I worry. And I continue to worry until the very day, where I’ll probably just decide to 1. stay in with my book and talk to the boy over the phone, 2. go out myself, hit my usual favourite spots (cue Kino, Esplanade and the likes) and go home thereafter.

I really don’t know what I would like to do this Friday, and I am extremely confused.

Sigh.

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Behaving like a stalker.

Was trying to look for information about a certain book that a good friend had received several years back from her sister, so that I won’t end up getting the same book for her birthday this year.

All thanks to Facebook, I checked out her birthday albums from 2009 to 2012. All thanks to Blogger, I stalked her blog for February 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. I found absolutely zilch. I am pretty sure that she has received the book before from her sister – I just need to know the exact title.

In the end, I whatsapped her for the title. It’s gonna be blatantly obvious – but I think I’d rather make sure I don’t get the same title, than to spend money getting a book she already has. I know the title has to be somewhere on the Interweb! Urgh.

It’s a Heston book by the way – I know she’s a huge fan of Heston Blumenthal and she wants to visit The Fat Duck when we go to the UK this June. On the other hand, I have my eye on Restaurant Gordon Ramsey.

Can’t wait for the June holidays already, but the March holidays and Term 2 need to come and go first before that can happen.

On another note, I really don’t like how the new environment makes me feel. I either need to cut myself a lot of slack, or look for a new place. Urgh sigh.

Eve of Chinese New Year

For the record, I have very little patience for the festive season this year.

I can’t put a finger to it – the mere sound of CNY songs drive me insane, I don’t feel the excitement for it and I am not looking forward to the visiting of relatives. Barely got through reunion dinner without yawning my head off, and making polite smiles at the aunt seated opposite me.

It didn’t help that my new school has no habit of celebrating the chinese new year. No special programmes, nothing. The old school used to drum up the festivities for us and I usually left the old school feeling a teeny weeny bit excited about the Chinese New Year. Nopes it was work as usual in the new one.

It feels really very odd, but I wish I had the long weekend to myself.

Note to self – to write up a January entry in summary. I had a pretty good January so far, in terms of activities. In new school, not so much.

Less talk here, more Walking Dead playtime!

Day #9, #10, #11, #12

Day #9: Stayed in – i.e. read, bought lunch, read, watched TV (Leverage), dinner, watched TV.

Day #10: Went to town for an appointment, browsed Kino and left with my favourite purchase for the year (also a frivolous purchase because I already have the book!), sat at One North Starbucks (while waiting for the boy for dinner) and watched more Leverage. This special purchase is absolutely gorgeous. I wanted to wait for the 20% Kino Year End sale before buying it. Then I looked at the shelves and noticed that they only had 6 left. I picked one up and without thinking twice, walked towards the counter and paid for it. Started feeling the sniffles – a sign that I was probably going to fall ill. Meh.

A soft leather-bound Hobbit with gilt pages.

A soft leather-bound Hobbit with gilt pages.

Day #11: The sniffles continued and hence I didn’t want to travel too far, so I gave the form class’s BBQ a miss. Met the boy for lunch (his first long lunch) at Holland Village, went back to D’ Good Cafe. We came to the conclusion that it’s worth the coffee but not the food. He went back to lab while I waited around for my hair appointment. Titus chopped off quite a fair bit of my hair – still trying to get used to it! Met xin for dinner and had a really good catch up. :)

Day #12: Toast for lunch (omg the crowds), browsed Kino (I know again!) and noticed that there were only two Hobbit books left and they looked really flipped through. Eventually settled down at Starbucks Raffles City where I watched some tv and did research on our upcoming Taiwan travels – the transport can be quite a headache. We’ll manage.

It’s the initial hours of Day #13 which I am looking forward to BARF in the evening – 1.5 hours worth of Budak Pantai, can you imagine! The travelling will then start subsequently. After all that travelling, it will be Christmas and then the new year will soon start again – omg the horrors.

I shall attempt to put that out of the head and focus on tomorrow’s concert. Wish Roo was around to join us, but she’s having tons of fun down under. Love reading the updates Roo! :)

Day #6, #7, #8: NUA!

Day 6: Life of Pi

It was an alright movie – expected a little more out of it, given the themes of the story but it was an enjoyable one. Wanted it to make me think about the story a little bit more, but it didn’t. Haven’t read the book, not sure if I will ever read the book.

Given that the film was an “unfilmable one”, went through 3 different producers before they eventually got Ang Lee to take over, and has “kids, animals, water and 3d” as filming difficulties – I think the movie came out just fine.

The boy is a phenomenal actor I must add.

We liked Richard Parker though – an adorable one.

Day 7: baker & cook, sold my laptop, did a photography walk around Chinatown/Clarke Quay, had sashimi and sushi @ 50% off!

baker & cook was a tad meh. Think the baked stuff might have been better, they looked really tantalising on the shelves. The generosity of the crispy bacon made up for the hollandaise sauce soaking up the bread beneath.

1st lesson of the day: I do not like the hollandaise sauce to run beneath the eggs and allow the bread to soak it up. The bread should soak up the runny egg yolks, not the hollandaise.

Went off to funan to sell the Toshiba since I have the Asus. It was a little traumatising  to let go of something that I’ve had for 4 years. We learnt that PCPRO and PC Dreams are different companies and they have very different ways of processing the sale of used laptops.

PCPRO took mine, looked at it and said – expired model, bad screen – can’t be sold, so no money can be given to me. I thought about it, and made the spur decision to ask them to dispose it properly for me.

It took me a long while to process the idea that I gave my laptop away freely to PCPRO. It didn’t quite make sense to me. Yes I agree that the screen was wonky and it’s a 4 year old model. However, everything else was working fine – I can even work and surf on it efficiently. It just overheats from time to time. I had a hard time getting over it, so I actually made the boy go back to PCPRO to get the Toshiba back. The boy kindly did it, and he said the people at PCPRO were just really odd. They took it back without asking any questions, nor saying anything. They literally did not say anything at all.

So we popped over to PC Dreams, where the fella took my laptop and assessed it from head to toe. Pointed out in a nicer way how my laptop was not considered full working condition , but also recognised that it was in good usage condition. Even blasted Gangnam Style on Youtube to test the speakers. The boy responded with a face palm. We managed to get $50 from them eventually and I left feeling much better about the whole incident.

2nd lesson of the day: Parting is difficult. We always need proper closure, even when we’re dealing with inanimate objects. Maybe, it’s just me.

Took the bus to Chinatown where we wandered about, took random photographs and explored the little drom store where I almost (very almost) bought a Uyii bag. Eventually walked our way to UE Square where we had sashimi and sushi at En Japanese for 50% (it happens daily from 6pm – 8pm!). Pretty good deal! Returned to Liang Court where we hunted down my weekly dosage of EW, sat at Dulcet & Studio for my usual cream puff and chiffon cake from Tampopo Deli (loves the cafe!) and took some more pictures along the Singapore River.

It was a really nice Sunday. I should really process the pictures.

Day 8: The Wedding Band, cooked lunch, Macau Research (all into 1 Google map), Leverage Leverage Leverage.

Very easy day in, doing largely travel research for the Macau trip with family. Tomorrow I will do research for the Taiwan trip, with my two books: 下課后的台灣小旅行 and 台灣北區:私房散步路綫.

It’s gonna be fun!

Day #5: Massage at St Gregory Spa

I’ve come to realise that the massage is never just about the massage. It’s about the whole package – the ambience, the music they play overhead, the scented candles they have, the quality of the masseuse and of course the type of massage.

Just had a really enjoyable relaxing massage at St Gregory Spa (Pan Pacific Singapore) and it was really good. The masseuse kneaded hard at the knots in my shoulders and commented that my shoulder muscles felt really tense. They have always been tense, partly due to the amount of time I spend in front of my PC, and the amount of time I spent bent over my table marking/writing. It gets really bad during exam season when the marking comes in huge piles of papers and it’s non stop marking for a few days.

She made it all go away. Of course, I was in a very very comfortable environment and it’s probably one of the best massages I’ve tried. It was just a 50 minutes massage and it felt like it went on forever.

Thankfully I’ve got one more to use before the year is up. Can’t wait to schedule that in, when I drop by next week to pass them the voucher I forgot to bring today.

The seats at Starbucks are really not meant for work – they just make one feel like throwing work all away and snuggle up with the books and magazines. Or tablet, for those e-mags and videos stored in them.

I think I always overpack myself with entertainment when I’m out. Better too much than nothing right?

I have wayy too many videos stored in my Xoomie right now. And I’ve finally started on Leverage (lest someone says I’m a dissapointment :P ) and they are turning out to be pretty fun! I also finally did something I should’ve done a long time ago.

I googled “shows similar to Chuck” and Google gave me the following: Castle, White Collar, Psych. Largely USA shows which I will watch and see if they match up.

I miss Chuck so much. I might just watch them again for the third time. Hums.

Days #2, #3 & #4

Day 2: Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve. Cooked lunch (Ramsey’s recipe). Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve, Don’t Starve. Dinner. Whines to the boy of boredom. Looked at Don’t Starve, went to sleep.

Day 3: Tidied up boxes brought back from school, TV (Amazing Race x 4 episodes), got ready to head to the far flung east for colleague’s house warming. Took the train from Lakeside to Tampines, got lost in Tampines attempting to find Isetan to buy vouchers. Arrived at house warming party, had good laughs over steamboat and cake, took a really long car ride in colleague’s car home.

Day 4: Hart of Dixie, Star Trek research, brought lunch to feed the boy who fell ill. Watched him fall asleep, fell asleep myself in front of his PC. Woken up by mum calling to go JP (to buy luggage). Went to JP with family, sister bought me a really nice watch (she felt generous), I bought family luggage. Came home and watched Emily Owens MD (CW is cancelling it damnit). Now wondering if I should Don’t Starve.

Cmon, I’ve got to be more productive than this.

To be honest, I still have worksheets from 3 topics to review. It wouldn’t take me too long, but I’ve been a huge procrastinator for way too long.

I’ve booked myself in for a massage tomorrow afternoon. Probably lug my Kindle, Xoomie and magazines out to read. Decided to make lunch at home (pesto, chicken and pasta). Now I’ve just got to decide what to do in the morning and plan something for the evening (lest the boy still feels unwell.)

The weekend is still wide open though. Considering watching Life of Pi (and GV only allows weekend bookings from Friday nights onwards), pre-booking the Hobbit for the weekend of 15/16 Dec (considering Gold Class but they decided to make it bloody expensive). There’s that Public Garden Flea Market this weekend (which we’ve went for several times), or we could go sell my old laptop at Funan over this weekend for some more cash.

All points for consideration. I need to figure out if there’s more stuff to do over this weekend. Perhaps I should check out Esplanade’s calendar. It’s been a really long while – I have not been to the musicals and productions in a really long while.

There’s BARF next weekend though!

I need to plan next week wisely. I’m free Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Meeting xinxin for dinner at JP on Thursday, thinking of going MAAD on Friday at Red Dot (haven’t pitched idea to the boy). BARF/Farmer’s Market (?) on Sat and Macau on Sunday with family. Need to slot in time for haircut at Holland V (need to text Titus). Need to do more Macau research lest family has nothing to do there.

Needs to spend less time in front of the PC. Hmms.

Day #1: Cafes, Coffees & Work.

D’ Good Cafe, facial, Starbucks (tea drink), work and dinner with the boy after.

That pretty much sums up my Day #1 for EOY hols 2012. Pretty slow, but good productive day in terms of work. Watched a fair bit of tv while having lunch at D’ Good Cafe, which might slowly become one of my favourite cafes for this end of the year – especially since it’s in Holland Village. They roast their own beans too – the barista pointed out their roasting machine to me. Plus, they’ve got the most adorable swings ever on the second floor. They serve proper food too – which was a good thing because if they didn’t serve food, I would’ve had to find alternative brunch places because Hatched was closed as well.

Reminder to self – to not sit at the bar top facing the outside on the second floor of Holland Village Starbucks. It may look nice, facing outwards watching the traffic but the table top is pretty shaky. Which means, anytime somebody shifts or shakes the table, the effect is felt across the long table. That’s not what I’m looking for when I’m attempting to get work done. The basic tables should suffice the next time I’m at Holland Village Starbucks.

Off to meet the boy for dinner – then home for some gaming (oh Tom got me addicted to Don’t Starve, with a copy that he bought for me) and perhaps some reading.

The holidays are finally here!

1 week 2 days.

That’s the amount of time left in current school.

Packed the whole of this morning – my life in current school can be packed into 3 big boxes and 2 small boxes. All ready to be moved to new school when new school has my seat ready. I would really love to have been able to move directly into new seat but I don’t think said seat is currently available.

There is something comforting about sitting in Starbucks, while the rain goes on outside. Oddly, I know.

Have been working for the past 1 hour 45 minutes and I think I could’ve been more productive – but things can’t move when people don’t reply or respond to emails and texts, which is downright annoying. I’ll need to remember to adapt and slow down when I move into new environment – I don’t know how slowly they might move. We’ll find out.

I’ve been recently observing things in current school that really makes me wish I could get out of the environment pronto – but it’s just 1 week and 2 days more. I will stay strong – it shouldn’t really matter any more.

Meetings will resume from tomorrow onwards, and Friday will be a hectic day. Then it will be just one week left. One more week – I can bear with that I’m sure.

I’ve been having pretty good weeks recently, what with SWC occupying part of my time, and catching up with friends in my free time. Slowly reconnecting with people from the old days and am glad that everybody has been responding well and gladly. Have done way too much packing in the last two days, as compared to the past few years and I’ve got Roo to thank for that. She watched over the packing of my room yesterday and did a very fine job I must say. Hurhur.

I really should get back to work.

After I had the kaching…

Refer to old post “When I have the kaching…” here.

So in January, I made a wishlist of the tech gadgets I wished I could buy if I had the money.

It’s almost year end now and I am actually pleased to say that I have purchased 3 out of 4 items in the wishlist! The last item is probably a wishforever-wishlist-item but nonetheless, 3 out of 4! That’s pretty impressive, I’d say. And I am actually typing on one right now!

I currently own the Galaxy Nexus, the Sony Nex 7 and the latest baby, the Asus UX31A (i7 model with 256 ssd and FHD screen).

UX31A

Picture courtesy of ultrabooknews.com/laptopmag.com

The UX31A is absolutely droolicious. The sleekness of it, I’ve made the guys in office jealous and salivating over it. Tom comes by every day to check out my new machine and proclaim his jealousness – it’s really hilarious and endearing. Today is Day 4 of owning this gorgeous baby and I’m pretty satisfied with it in all aspects (except for the inconsistent showing of battery life times – what’s up with that Asus? Perhaps I could drop them a call today). Probably going to get a 4-way USB port for it as well, given that it only has 2 USB ports (USB 3.0 though!) since my Arc Touch and internet dongle takes up 2 of them already.

So pretty, slim and gorgeous. It took me a while to find it though – both the UX31A and UX32VD have been out of stock for so long (presumably awaiting the launch of Windows 8) and even after the launch, stocks were extremely limited. I was lucky enough to find it in a Mini Challenger last Saturday where they only had one boxed set left, and one display set. Most of the big players didn’t have the i7 version (they only had the i5 version, which only has 128GB of ssd space) which didn’t make sense to me. Loves the weight as well (1.3kg) though it is slightly heavier than my Portege.

Speaking of which, I had to get this replacement partly because my Portege decided that the end of the year was a fine time to give up on me. It hasn’t died entirely yet, but it has started to overheat and make it unbearable to do work on the machine. Loud whirring noises were coming out from my Portege and it makes you wonder if it was going to explode on you. Miraculously, it hasn’t. I will sell it once I get the chance to.

Have been recently plagued with a series of illness, first the fever two Fridays ago when I was supposed to help Roo clear her room. Then the flu bug hit me on the weekend that just passed. Still attempting to recover from it, slowly and steadily. It sure feels like the body knows when to fall ill, when the kids are all out of school and lessons are not required to be carried out. Been clocking my 4 hours daily everyday and clearing things slowly.

The table has been cleared, almost. All I need now is to bring everything back – which will prove to be a hassle because I don’t think there’s enough space at home to keep everything. I will need to start tidying up the room by throwing away old materials before Roo comes over next Tuesday for the major overhaul. I think my room is in a worse shape than hers.

In the meantime, it’s almost 12 noon – time to clock out!