Thursday, January 28, 2010

My keyboard is VERY insensitive

I’m using the DELL inspiron 14 right now. Remember my chio pink laptop from a few entries back? I happily backed up and trf all the files from my old dying laptop to here and am shocked by the keyboard.

I’ll not backspace to correct any error from now. You can see how insenstive the keys are.

I’m typing at he speed and style of ow I usuall type. Forall the computers and laptop I used so far,my pressure s fine. Words ppear in full.

I totally hate it coz even as i type my very sort email @, ‘ve got 3 letters not sensed. I often type m password rongly despite typing a few times and even slowingdown to key by key. I i ust my laptop or re alleyboards from this series like that?

It makes me slow down in etting work done when I’ve to constantly go back to correct my mistake.

And for the 1st paragraph with no error, I’ve to go back tochange 15 mistakes!

PISSED!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Maintaining a blog is like being in a relationship


[Picture credit: Sorry picture file was saved in my folder and I forgot where I got it from]

I’ve read somewhere that maintaining a blog is like being in a relationship.

You know, something along that line.

Most relationships entail love, commitment and attention; a blog too.

I love to blog.

It keeps my friends posted. It keeps my sanity. It keeps my memories.

I could never have remembered so many events if not for my blog. I’m a rather forgetful person, so you see blogging helps to recollect my thoughts.

How could I forget the few internet friends I’ve made from my readers?

When I don’t blog often enough, I feel that I owe my frenz and readers some updates and bite-sized entertainment after a hard day’s work.

When I don’t blog, I feel constipated.

When I don’t blog, I just don’t feel good.

I’ve got the love, the commitment and the attention for my blog.

What else does a relationship need?

TIME.

Hopefully I’ve got the time to blog more.

And here comes the irony.

I’ve been on this page since 2004.

My stories, my feelings, my memories stashed away in a wonderful cache of reminiscence; in old school wooden drawers archived neatly.

However, the layout is getting stale. I don't know how to fiddle around with the new blogger.

I'm seeking a more obscure url. I'm too easily found ever since Charmaine's plight came into public. I don't quite care who read my blog as whatever I dare type in public are things which are fine to be left that way. Yet I've to exercise some caution too.

I've been getting spam comments on an average of 3 per day. Links to websites, autobot language, unintelligible English that seem to be written from a translator beam. I simply do not publish them but it's really sickening having to do this frequently.

My extreme tracker has stopped recording accurately by 50% ever since I missed the upgrade period. I'm anal and I don't like it when both my trackers do not tally in figures.

My blogger photo storage bandwidth is at its last 20%.

Nitpicking on these, I’m thinking of moving somewhere else.

A fresh leaf from a book.

New title.

Crisp pages.

Modified layout.

Yet, I’m just too sentimental.

Maybe I will move. Maybe I won't.

Don't be surprised either way should you see a long hiatus or continual updates.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Resolutions?



"He who breaks a resolution is a weakling;
He who makes one is a fool."

~ F.M. Knowles

I’m not the type who makes new year resolutions as I think in terms of periodic goals rather than the year’s.

A fool I shall be in 2010 for I’ve since made some at the end of last year and managed to accomplish one right in the first week of 2010 -- I finally let go of my tuition assignments.

It was a tough battle with my inner self, weighing the pros and cons and arguing with one Jolene and then the other.

It was even tougher to break the news, having taught the boy since he was in P2. He is in Sec 2 this year. As for the P4 girl, I was intending to teach her till P6 but if I retain the mentality of teaching them till their major exams are over, it would be a neverending cycle of PSLE and O-levels.

I’ve given up all other tutees along the way except for this siblings pair as I always feel that I’ve an important role to play in their lives.

To be honest, I really enjoy teaching them and watching them grow. They also enjoyed my company whenever I stayed past tuition hours to talk to them, play games with them or just helping them in their art or project work or other everyday tasks. In a way, they became too reliant on me for all the tasks in their lives since their parents were always not around.

They were not receptive to having other people teaching them and hence I continued on while my energy allowed me to do so. Teaching them on off days, on early knock off days and even took leave whenever I could to teach them during their mid years and finals.

They were that important.

Now that I’m finally able to let go of them, I would have more time to accomplish my other goals.

I’ve always wanted to take up some courses.

Throughout the years, there would be friends asking if I’m interested in taking up some courses.

Diving, wakeboarding, surfing, tennis, hip hop, salsa, freestyle…

Culinary course, lifeskill course, language course…

So many courses, so little time… I was/ am interested but I could not take any course with all my off days packed.

Driving has been put on hold since I was 18. People who know me from then would know about my gripe on this. Having the time but no money since my savings would always be put into better use back then and then after that when I’ve got the money, time wasn’t on my side.

It pricks me whenever people widen their eyes and exclaim, “I thought you knew how to drive!”

Anyhow, I figured it’s wiser to take and pass driving before all the centres relocate to one big centre in Woodlands, before the “cheater” parking poles are taken away, before the multi-storey carpark tests are administered… in short before all the major changes set in.

There is also something which I want to learn really badly. It has been a dream since young and the dream of learning it is further fuelled by some changes in my life the past few months. While some may perceive this skill as inadequate, I consider it an essential lifeskill in my situation.

I heard that it’s really tough for ladies to pass this course but I’m determined to learn it. Even if I fail at the end of the day, I would have no regrets. At least, I could tell myself that I’ve tried.

I won’t reveal what it is and I think only 4 of you know about it. To these people, shush about it ok?

I will also strive to live the mantra of “There is more to life than just working and making money.”

I think I’ve shared this story before but I’ll share it once more. Hopefully, we could all pay more importance to the golf balls and the coffee with frenz instead of worrying about the sand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an emphatic "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things. Your family, your children,your faith, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter. Your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Trailing embers of 2009

the embers of November in…
~*Lazy Sunday with Shan*~

It was supposed to be a day of crazy shopping but it ended off as a relaxing Sunday. Shan and I met up with the intention to shop ourselves crazy at the Kate Spade Warehouse sale which was going on for 3 days. Unfortunately, we went on the morning of the last day which was a Sunday and was greeted by a sign which screamed “SOLD OUT”. Apparently all goods had been wiped out on the second day of the sale.

Feeling peeved for that short moment, we lamented that the status of the warehouse sale should have been updated on the website. Nevertheless, we consoled ourselves by saying that we could save more money and spend more time chatting and catching up with each other over lunch.

Walking along the eateries at Siglap, we stumbled onto Montreaux Bistro which served great brunches. Some of the dishes we wanted were sold out as this place is frequently patronised by regulars who know what they want.



After that, we headed to Sushi and Karen’s yard sale. We got ourselves some pretty dresses and I also got a nice pair of brown boots from Sushi at a great price. I wore the boots half the time I was in New York. Aside from shopping, we had a nice chat with Sushi (who looks so cute with her never-before-spotted bangs) and Karen (who is ever so friendly).

After a whole day with Shan, I realised that she can be super bitchy and gossipy yet sweet at the same time. Well, I guess all my frenz are lidat. That’s why we click! We had great fun talking and talking and talking and finding so many things in common. *winks*

Shan commented that it has been a long time since we could hang out for the whole Sunday which further prompted me to weigh my priorities and make a mental checklist of whether it is worthwhile to drop all my tuition assignments.

I’m really missing out on all these time out with myself, my friends and my loved ones when I spend all my off days giving tuition.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*Tiffy’s birthday dinner & Xmas Light ups*~

You know, I really like it when my besties hit off with one another. Tiffy and evan is a good example. These 2 babes can jolly well hold their own party without me around. Then again, it could be due to the number of things we have in common and also a common _______________. (You babes can do the filling in of blanks your own.)

When evan wanted to meet up for our annual photo-taking of the xmas light ups and when I wanted to meet up with tiffy for her birthday dinner treat, I decided to put it all on the same day. Boy did we have fun!

We were to meet at Ootoya @ Orchard Central as there were a number of good reviews for that restaurant.

Evan and I took the super long escalator that was outside of the building.

Evan is so terrified of heights that she was holding onto the escalator handrail for her dear life. I had to switch places with her and stand on the outside but even after that, she continued grasping the handrail tightly while facing the building.



*Note: I’m afraid of heights depending on what the bottom view is.
Greenery… No
Roads… No
Cemented pavement… No
Shopping complex with many levels in view and glass parapet… VERY VERY SCARED

Had a ridiculously sweet (or act sweet) hairband on that day.



Tiffy was so touched by the Magic Mates book I gave her that she (pretended to) tear(ed).



The food was oishii!



But don’t order any fish if you detest bones. The bones were everywhere. We opted for the one which the waiter recommended as according to him, there were lesser bones. After picking bones with every single bite, we concluded that the waiter was a big fat liar.

Off we went to snap loads of pix...













It seems like it has become a tradition of evan and me to have a metal bauble shot every year.



The blue blue place that made our heads go dizzy inside the tall tall tree





Reflections



Beautiful Christmas window display at TANGS



Our fave window display…



We took a couple of ridiculous photos mocking certain groups of annoying people and imitating some posters which would never make their way here even though they’re hilarious.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*The twins birthday*~

Sweet eug threw a “surprise” birthday dinner party at Firestation Hillside Gastrobar for her fiancé (and his twin) which was no longer a surprise when a few people unwittingly gave the game away. AHEM… silly kh was one of them.



It was great catching up with kh’s work buddies. They’re such crappy and funny peeps.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*Steamboat dinner & chill out session with Sushi*~

Sushi was craving for something warm and soupy on a cold night and so we had steamboat. The food wasn’t exactly good but it’s ok coz I always think that it’s the company that matters.










~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*Dinner @ PS Cafe*~



It was the first time the 4 of us met up as a group and we could all click quite well.





PS: Thanx Karen for the pics!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*Cozy Home Wedding cum Housewarming*~

Shir’s wedding was the most unique wedding I’ve ever attended—right in her home.

Not many pictures taken that day. Here are 2 of the curriculum department.



After shir gave out the fortune cookies, we immediately opened them and read our fortunes.



I was reading the English part and thinking how lucky I was to have a positive fortune. However, I can’t say the same when I read the Chinese words bit by bit.

Dashing and bold adventure?
Good!

Rallying myself for challenges?
Bad!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of November in…
~*You mean spiders weave cocoons?*~

One fine day when I was folding the clothes, I discovered an intriguing thing on kh’s t-shirt in the form of this:



Before these photos were snapped, there was a spider lying on its back inside the woven white parts.

At a glance, I thought the spider was trapped in between the cloth and brought the t-shirt close to my eyes. I had a rude shock when all of a sudden, the spider struggled out from an invisible tear, leapt up, fell to the floor and scuttled away.

Upon closer inspection, I deduced that the woven white parts were the cocoon and whatever roundish yellow stuff inside were the eggs. I’ve never seen anything like this before and decided to leave the t-shirt there to show kh and my MIL.

Although intrigued by the cocoon for we had never seen such stuff before, we were all quite disgusted as it is a shirt that kh wears frequently and it had been washed at that time. I guess the spider had woven the cocoon when the shirt was left outside in the open to dry.

My MIL tore the woven sack away, half expecting to see little spiders scuttling out from the yellow parts. Alas, they were empty.

Of course, the t-shirt was washed again and kh is still wearing it occasionally. In fact, he was wearing it today.

Nothing dirty about nature right?


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


the embers of December in…
~*Caleb’s wedding at Marina Mandarin*~

Cheers to 10 years of friendship!



Uh-oh, no pics of our dear groom at all. Shit happens when our main cameraman in the group has a marathon to run the next morning.

Thanx wq for the pix!

Outfit pix – silvery theme.



Curls and ribbons make Jolene the otherwise chor lor gal look so demure.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*Last minute Christmas shopping with evan*~

Orchard was CRAZY I repeat, CRAZY in CAPZ that day.

It seems like the entire denizens of Singapore were out in town doing last minute shopping that day.

And after so many rushed meet ups recently, we finally had some time alone to catch up on each other’s lives over lipsmacking beer batter fish and chips at Taka basement while gossiping over laksa for dinner.



Huggies Huggies babe. Dun stress yourself at work! If I give up my tuition assignments, we could hang out on some of the Sundays. We can do some sports and regain our sporty selves as in jc.



Evan loves domo so I got her a domo calendar which was quite cute even though I know nothing about domo.

-

My little bro-in-law (who is 18 but still little to me) went Hong Kong with his cuz and bought everyone a gift. My PIL scolded him for “anyhow buy”. Kh chided him for wasting money. My 2nd BIL had no comments. I was the only one who appreciated his efforts.

It’s a top from a Levis warehouse sale I supposed. It is rather large and he apologized for he did not know how to gauge sizes for ladies.

I wore an inner spag, put on a belt and voila! The top fitted me perfectly.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*The Christmas dinner that wasn’t*~

The night was fun, fun, fun(ny) coz it was a Christmas dinner that wasn’t and there were quite a number of (inside) jokes.





Tiffy and I exchanged gifts.



For her: Agnes B passport holder and thermos flask.
For me: Thomas Sabo charm bracelet

She knew what her gift was as we went out to buy together coz this Madame cannot make up her mind about the passport cover colours. All I know is that the thermos flask is pure white and so damn chio and it is bleddy ATAS to sip water from an Agnes B thermos flask la.

I had a little surprise for my gift as I did not know exactly which charm she was gonna get.



Everyone had gifts coz tiffy was so thoughtful and went out to get books for the boys.

We should do this more often! The meeting up I mean, not the buying of gifts. =P I am officially broke from buying presents.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*Thank you nuffnang*~

I decided to be a nuffnanger a few months back when a friend introduced me to it. She said that every click on the ads placed on one’s website/ blog would earn a few cents and so I thought there was no harm in trying.

Then when Charmaine was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, I decided to include the nuffnang ads on her blog too since readership was and is still high, urging readers to click on the ads as all proceeds would go to Charmaine’s cancer funds.

Soon, nuffnang came to know about Charmaine’s predicament and came knocking on our doors. They offered Charmaine/ Jolene to be the featured blogger for July 2009.

Ming, co-founder of Nuffnang.com, approached Cynthia and expressed his intentions to carry out a fundraising campaign through Nuffnang.com.

Soon a microsite for the fundraising was launched.

Nuffnang managed to raise about SGD7K for Charmaine. There were also little notes and letters of encouragement pouring in. It’s really touching how people had gone all out to help someone they barely even knew.



Thank you to all the human angels out there.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*Preparation for co Xmas Party 2009*~

My group was in charge of planning the xmas party for 2009. Being the leader, I had high expectations of how the party would turn out accordingly as planned.

The theme was Toying with Christmas and the colour was blue and silver.



With xmas songs blasting from the speakers, Viv and I (and 2 other colleagues who helped a bit) had great fun decorating the tree and planning the decoration at the new hall out of office hours.




How I missed having a xmas tree at home.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*Last weekend in Singapore before NYC*~

Deardear and I went to settle some last minute stuff before my impending trip and ended up at Suntec’s Aston’s for dinner.

Well-known for their affordable steaks, queues were often seen snaking outside the premise. There wasn’t any queue that evening and hence we thought it was a good opportunity to try out their steak.

It was alright. I dun feel good whenever my medium rare steaks turned out medium.



After that, we headed to tiffy’s house for the dear gal had got winter stuff to pass to me.

Got to see her new pooch which was so super gentle and guai1. I felt that it was so fragile in my clumsy arms.

Oh yes, we collected the custom-made badges for attendees of the xmas party and also for our own friends. Spent a bomb but it's worthwhile making people's day. =) Sadly not many people at work knew that the badges were from me instead of the company. =(






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the embers of December in…
~*Just Toying with Christmas 2009*~

There weren’t many pictures taken for I was busy in the organizing team and making sure that everything ran smoothly.

Even though many people came up to me and praised everything from my effort, to the team, to the cozy ambience, to the food, to the games, to the cute badges, to the creative ideas, to every little thing, I felt that it could have been better.







By the end of it all, I was in a dreamy state due to the frequent lack of sleep; wishing and hoping that I could recharge myself on the plane and in New York.

I've still got loads of shopping photos from the recent months. I haven't been putting up photos of my shopping hauls as I was catching up on my backdated updates.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sleepless in Singapore


[Picture credit: http://www.davidbyrne.com/]

Hi all,

I'm back in Singapore. Tot I would be jetlagged but hell no, I'm still an insomniac through and through. There would be times when I spaced out and felt tired but I just can't get to sleep.

I've got dear Joyce's wedding to attend tmr, I mean later today and I hope I don't stone... coz I'm just so excited for her.

xoxo,
Jo

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