Category Archives: Out of this world

Custom Design

I’ve always dreamed of buying an upgrade from the WordPress Store.

Somehow, I’ve managed to stop myself in time before I decided to get a personalised URL that deviated from the usual (blahblah).wordpress.com, or that particular gorgeous premium theme that I cannot maximise it to its fullest potential because it requires plenty of pictures and videos. My entries are usually text based, you see.

So when WordPress chose to publicise and show off their Custom Design upgrade, by allowing users to preview and try out the function without having to purchase it – I tried.

Guess where that led me.

If you’re currently viewing my blog (visitors now probably make up of myself, myself and myself) – you can see that I’ve gone over to the dark side.

I have bought an upgrade, for $0.08 usd a day – which technically meant 30USD a year.

Now my theme, Chunk, has been spruced up with a background that’s totally me (hello stripes, and shades of orange&brown) – and some of my favourite bright colours and custom fonts. This Custom Design made me realise that I didn’t need any premium themes – I just wanted a good simple layout with bright colours that would make me happy when I visit my own little blog. Of course, I’d add the occasional pictures (probably not videos) once in a while to make this space a little more happening.

As of now, I’m pretty pleased and proud of my purchase. It makes me feel happy, and a little more inspired to blog about thoughts, life and random ideas in general. Seeing colours like these brighten my life, and makes me want to dream.

Of course, I could possibly sink deeper and get that personalised url in the near future, and then consider that perhaps with all that wedding prep slowly coming along, we could do with a wedding blog and blog our wedding updates (the boy would absolutely detest that – I don’t think he is particularly fond of the idea of blogging every single wedding prep and inspiration we I might have). Then I could potentially strong arm him into agreeing with a premium wedding theme..

Okay I think I’m running away with ideas here.

Speaking of which, we’ve started our wedding prep, slowly and steadily. We’re going to start venue hunting this weekend by doing on site recces of the hotels, and visiting the bridal fair on Saturday. I shouldn’t forget my wedding lunch on Sunday as well.

Thank god my marking is done. I finished it this morning, after receiving it yesterday morning. Spent the entire day marking, with Dancing with the Stars playing in the background as minimal distraction to help me focus and concentrate (ironic, yes I know). My hands are sore and aching from the intense marking session yesterday night and this morning. I didn’t want to bring the bag of marking back home for the weekend. So I cleared it.

Now I get the time to dawdle, float around the house and do random things – like buying that Custom Design upgrade.

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COTD: Conversation of the day

Me (while packing my bag): My head is pounding. I’m going to go home and take a nap.

Zack: Good for you!

Me: Or maybe, I’ll try logging into Battle.net.

Zack (spins around wayy too quickly) (exclaims): A girl is not supposed to speak like that! 

Me: WHY NOTTT (whines like a little girl)

Nearby colleagues had a good laugh overhearing our conversation.

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Tazo & Cupcake!

Literally. 

The barista at Starbucks Cityhall thought it was an odd, but refreshing pairing.

He said, “The oddly perfect light pairing pre-dinner. Never seen this combo, never would’ve thought about it.

My response to him, “I had lunch at 11am, will have dinner at 8pm. It’s 6pm now, I can’t drink a frap or anything heavy!

He nodded in agreement.

It was almost like our little shared moment. He’s pretty charming, I must say.

Waiting to have dinner with Shu & Ling, with our companions in tow. Can’t wait for drinks & peking duck pizza at Substation!

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A perfect present (I hope)

for a dear friend.

The wheels in the head are turning.

All I need to do, is to put the action in plan.

I have about 2 weeks to get it in place. Need to start cracking on it, and get the materials required. I hope it works.

Moving On.

I never once pegged myself to be one who would move on so quickly.

3 – 4 years: would you call that long or short?

I strongly believe in 長痛不如短痛. Since my future is not meant to be there, I should not be idling there for long. I’ve never believed in climbing to the top, I mean to smell the roses in my life. If I don’t smell it now, when would I?

Pull the plaster off, let it bleed. Soon it will dry, and new skin forms over.

People move on. Everybody has places to go, things to see, experiences to try.

I once wrote to my graduating students indirectly, “The world is your oyster.  Go forth and seek your passion.” Shouldn’t I practise what I preach? I wonder.

I’ve given myself a deadline and I will not remain comfortable.

I took one mighty small step today.
Small, but mighty step.

What beckons come end 2013 – que sera sera.

We finally got it!

We finally got a number.

It’s not a fantastic number, but it assures us of a place, a unit and a flat at Lakevista.

Booking day is next Saturday – it is a huge huge step for both of us.

I had my little panic attack a while back, and I was scared of growing up and officially becoming an adult. It feels to me like we’re (all) currently in this very sweet spot – no debts, not much baggage and can afford to buy and spend however we like. We could use the money any way we want, justifiable (or not) – buy a tablet (or lens) on impulse and live to survive another month.

We will probably not be able to do that any more.

He had his panic moment yesterday when he saw our ballot results yesterday, and whatsapped me the screenshot he took of his browser. My heart stopped for a few seconds as I took in the results.

Out of 680+ units, we had a queue number of 449. It’s not fantastic – but we’re hoping that people before us may choose to drop it (because of Lakevista’s location). Apparently, despite Belvia’s 1300 applications, the take up rate in the 1st round of selection was only 40%. So in retrospect, we are probably in good standing. I think.

That was followed by mad whatsapping between Peanut and I, where we threw around ideas and options, considerations between Lakevista and Trivelis (which is crazily oversubscribed and not as nice as Lakevista). It’s extremely nice to have another house-shopping bestie (aside from the boy) to turn to.

That moment was slightly marred when I realised to my horror that the boy missed out on the married child family scheme which I (we) was actually suitable for. The horrific realisation that we could have gotten an extra $10k caused me to chew the boy’s ear off before he could try and rectify the situation – which he did, in the end.

I’ve digressed.

The thought of growing up and committing myself to an item this big (in value) is extremely scary. It freaked me out then and it still freaks me out. We’re taking a very big leap of faith here, both of us. It is scary to know that from next Saturday onwards, we could possibly be making major changes to our expenditure, to take into consideration paying for the future roof over our head, of course, provided we can get the flat of our dreams next Saturday.

Next Saturday is going to be a life changing day for both of us. 

Despite this really gigantic step, the possible changes in spending and lifestyle, the thought of growing old with the boy makes me smile. The idea of having our own place (with babies, kittens and puppies running around) is extremely exciting and daunting at the same time. I don’t know what other couples might be thinking at the point in time when they settle on a flat/house, but I’m sure I’ll have a stomach-full of butterflies next Saturday.

This entire process has truly made me reflect and ponder about the future. No matter what happens (whether or if we get that flat next Saturday), this has forced me to consider the various possibilities and scenarios that may come once we take that first step in the direction of settling down.

And I’m pretty damned sure, I want to grow old with you (with babies, kittens and puppies).

SWC 2011

Duties have been officially over for me last night (it’s currently 1:30am in the morning the day after).

Came back, showered, did some cyber talking (not telling) and looked at old blogs and old SWC pictures (2008). Couldn’t find the 2009 pictures. I wonder if I even took them and uploaded it to Facebook.

Helping out in SWC this year reminded me of plenty memories. It reminded me of the good and the bad: how I started working in SSA, how ST dragged me into this whole big event and got me addicted onto having 16hour crazy working days with very little sleep, the fun of meeting new people and organising huge events, and of course, the emotions I was feeling in 2008.

SWC2011 felt very different. In 2008 and 2009, I knew what was going on, and I was the go-to person for most things, except when they needed ST which I then referred to him. I had a handle on everything and things were done to my liking, my standards. I had control of the situation. SWC2011 started out good, when I felt alive thinking that I was going to be actively organising and managing, until I realised that there were too many unknowns which I had no control over because I wasn’t the one with the required information, and without the responsibilities as well. Somehow I felt more tired from the beginning (perhaps I was working as well, educator by day and liaison officer for SWC by night) and I didn’t felt like I had the energy to make idle chat with the swimmers. I felt like I couldn’t be bothered, because there were young fresh faced volunteers who were more than ready to provide them with chirpy grins and overly-zealous answers.

It didn’t help matters when instructions given down by different people contradicted, and it made me feel that my past experience in previous years didn’t matter. If that’s the case, why was I down for duty then? Was it just simply to join in the fun and do as told? I didn’t think we used to work this way. Of course, my role now is completely different from my role then, and perhaps since I didn’t have the knowledge (of the swimmers, the countries, the arrangements, the transport and everything else) – there was barely anything I could do. I felt like my hands were tied and the only thing I could assist was preparing accreditation passes. Any young new volunteer could have easily done that.

Maybe expectations were not explained clearly, maybe it was just miscommunication. For once I felt uncertain of my friendship with ST, and how I thought I couldn’t mention certain things to ST – when we’ve always been pretty honest with one another (or so I thought). I completely didn’t understand my role as a volunteer this year.

Towards the end, it just felt terrible. Of course the experience was made better with familar friends like S and new friends like Y, who was crazily entertaining to no end. However, that dead weight emotions of not being able to connect with one fellow LO, and wondering if I was just being sensitive, drove me nuts. I honestly tried to see the good side of her and gave her the benefit of the doubt many times, but I suspect she’s a heck lot more manipulative than I thought. I’ll never know ST’s stand on it – because we have our suspicions and think he may not like hearing it. Knowing ST, he probably would only have good things to say – which is a trait I admire. He never fails to see the good in everybody, and I don’t know how he manages to do that.

One experience like this should suffice. There is no need to bring myself through this, drive myself dead tired every working day (and burning the weekend) to bring myself through such emotional turmoil. It’s frustrating when you need to put the emotions aside and get through the day. Thank God for whatsapp and S’s company.

I don’t know if I want to do SWC 2012. I really really love the fast and hectic run up to the events day, providing the efficient services for the people participating in the event at the hotel, being physically there at the venue watching it live and getting invested in the swimmers you would have interacted with prior to the event. I really really love it, even though I end up dead tired. I don’t even complain about the tiredness – the adrenaline allows me to run this marathon and crash afterwards when the event is over.

However, I’m just not sure if I can be in a role where limited information is made known and I go about doing simple menial labour, while frustratingly wanting to do more but I can’t because I only have limited information. I’m not sure if I’m okay with the bit where previous experience count for nothing. If things have changed, make it clear – else I’ll be left with the old impression / expectation which differs from that of yours.

SWC 2012 is a year away. I think I may have already made up my mind. I’m not sure if this 26yo body and mind can keep up with  the 20yo fresh faced volunteer who over enthusiastically talks your ear off, manipulates actions/words, intrudes into your private space, acts without thinking nor considering the consequences and is over-defensive / trying too hard.

I give her my white flag.

Tired.

I thought I knew what I wanted, but perhaps I don’t.

I’m thoroughly confused. I don’t like to feel this way, and I don’t want to feel this way. It’s very draining when insane thoughts flit through your head and you wonder why you feel so strongly about certain things.

Sitting at a Starbucks alone for an extended period of time (while doing small admin work), waiting for the next invigilation slot in the afternoon, can be therapeutic. Soothes the frantic nerves, slows down the overclocked brain.

Barely slept last night, need the sleep desperately but there’s still 2 hours to my next invigilation. Contemplating on eating places for lunch, am torn between portion size, type of food and cost. For once I’m considering things that I usually don’t, and it pains me. It makes me think about the things I’m not sure about, things that I thought I could have, but I actually don’t have.

It’s painful, and tiring. I wish I didn’t have to, but I have to.

Then I wonder, if I’m in such a situation, how about the others? How did the others ever manage? How does everyone manage? Perhaps it’s just me.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been this cryptic – but it doesn’t really matter anymore here – since I do know that there’s barely any readership here anymore. It’s just an outlet for me to write, and I need to get it out, madly. Roo probably knows what I’m talking about, because we just talked about yesterday when I met her. Which was a very good meet up, just to chat and get away from work – which is something we both should do, since the year is winding down anyway.

Maybe, it’s just time to grow up and some dreams just have to give way to reality.

Johore Bahru

I’ve been spending way too much time there.

Out of the last 4 stamps I have in my passport, 3 of them are to Malaysia, day (could we say afternoon?) trips. One in May, two in the recent last week.

We’ve (the staffroom friends) been running into JB very recent. Of course, the recent start of exams prompted these few jaunts into Malaysia. One was simply for lunch and idle chatter, but the other (just yesterday) was to see a friend’s newborn (ooh he was tiny and I actually cuddled him, like a soft toy!), and for food (dinner + dessert).

Twice we went in, I had Secret Recipe both times. Same price, different currency! Hooray for our strong Sing dollar. There are plans of going in next Tuesday again, simply just because it’s pupils release day (and we presume that everyone would be done marking by then).

Life at work has been getting exciting.

Perhaps it’s because we have finally reached the time we all have been looking for since the start of 2011: it’s the beginning of the end of 2011.
Perhaps it’s because we finally have time to breathe.
Perhaps it’s because we finally can look up and beyond our cubicles (actually we do that all the time) and smell the roses.

We actually played True Colours in the staffroom today. Everybody needed a break from marking (and me from intensive revision). So we laughed the house now, and hopefully did not incur the wrath from our neighbours. The things we thought about one another came spilling out – it was so hilarious. The game was really fun, and apparently really old. Hmms.

Absolutely can’t wait for the break to come!

Lazy Rainy Tuesday morning.

The kids are almost gone – almost.

Spent the morning trying not to fall asleep, rearranged my entire side cupboard with the huge mounds of leftover prelim papers that some chose not to take, and partly arranged my table as well.

My colleague kidded by saying that if he left his mound on my table, I’ll probably end up alphabetizing  everything and return it onto his table, neatly compiled. I stuck my tongue out at him.

Am trying to get used to this sudden lull-ness – but my kids have all (almost) graduated and it suddenly feels really empty. Have my life this year been largely circled around them? That’s a horrifying thought. I’m pretty sure I had some time left for myself. I think.

I guess I could re-arrange other stuff, get rid of unwanted papers and do some filing. Do it now while I still have the time, before the marking comes in. Marking is coming in on Friday, and it’s considered pretty early. The exams only end on 17 October, Monday. My marking is coming in on 7 October and I only have 1.5 classes.

I shall make use of this precious time wisely. Beautify my working table, read some quality magazines, or review the packages (if only I can get them divided already!).

I’m sure there are things to do when I’m in school if I dig hard enough.