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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Don't be a parasite to your classmates."

I would utter the above sentence each time my students borrow stuff like foolscap paper, pens, correction tape and the likes from their classmates.

Whenever it is composition week, the kids who borrow foolscap paper are the same.

The kids who lend/give their foolscap paper would be the same too.

So you can see it's pretty unfair to those who always bring their stuff to class.

I would tell my kids to draw a picture of a parasite at the top right hand corner of the foolscap paper whenever they borrow/take a piece from their friends. Those kids who have been with me long enough would know what a parasite is and would automatically draw mushrooms, toadstools, bedbugs, leeches etc.


I'm beginning to suspect they relish the idea of drawing parasites on their paper.

Today I had a new boy in my P5 class. He is cute; good-looking for his age. He looks really prim and proper, definitely an agreeable young man with proper upbringing. He wasn't shy for a new boy and participated well in class. I had very favourable impression of him and more so after I found out that he's from a prestigious primary school that begins with "R".

When it came to compo writing, he informed me that he didn't have foolscap pad with him. Of course, I forgave him as he's new and told him to borrow from a classmate. The kid next to him immediately drew out his foolscap pad with great enthusiasm and went in his usual pixie voice,

"Nah lend you but you have to draw a parasite at the corner."


It was hilarious to see the baffled look on my prim and proper new boy but very soon he took delight in drawing a parasite.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We are so accustomed to disguising ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves

[Picture cedit: weheartit]

I came across this quote by François Duc de La Rochefoucauld on my nokia mobile quotes and I love it a lot. It made me ponder.

Don't we all disguise ourselves at one time or another?

Donning a mask, we mask ourselves from others.

Putting a face upon our face, we assume another identity, conceal our true emotions and overcome our insecurities.

Sometimes the mask we put on contrasts with our inner state, our character, our true identity. It does not fit and at the end of the day, we remove them and our true self emerges once again.

[Picture cedit: klopp via weheartit]

At other times, the mask grows into us and we grow into our mask, becoming all but one entity. We struggle to peel off that mask but it has become a part of our identity. This time, are we still masking ourselves from others or have we truly masked ourselves from ourselves? The mask becomes us as we become our mask.

Disguising ourselves, we slowly become our own disguise.

[Picture cedit: elle, flickr]

Stripped of all our masks, does one true mask remain? Or is the one true mask the multiplicity of masks that we put on?

We wear layers of masks so often that if one is removed, the true self is not found directly beneath. It is just another mask. Yet it is necessary to wear masks and disguise ourselves every day.

I change and form myself around different groups of people. I believe many of us do that too. People always tell me how genuine I am, how certain behaviours, acts and mannerism are just so me but the truth is I'm never 100% myself. Nevertheless, I always keep a little of my base personality involved -- the true face beneath the many masks.

[Picture credit: Audrey Kawasaki]

On the other hand, does being different with different groups of people necessarily equate to putting on different masks just because I open up different aspects of my personality among different people? I could probably be masking certain characteristics to tune in to the situation accordingly.

I find that I've been changing a lot, acting the charade and being the chameleon. Yet friends who haven't seen me for a long time would always exclaim that I'm still the same old Jolene. On the other side of the plane, friends who are always in contact with me could out of the blue tell me that I've changed whether for the better or the worse and that I don't used to be like that.

There are times when I don't really know myself. As a true Gemini, I encompass so many opposing traits.

The melancholic sanguine.

The uninspired artist.

The wordless writer.

The reserved extrovert.

The smiley grouch.

The plucky wimp.

The frugal spendthrift.

Two counters of contradictory extremes displayed on a single bar. The single bar representing myself. I try to bring the two counters closer to each other, slide them towards the middle. However, there is no way of integrating this duality. I seek to search for my identity but I found myself lost in my SELF.

Most people search to be found. I searched only to be lost. Is the confused self who I really am?

[Picture cedit: ohbabyitsnatalie via weheartit]

And then I read Carl E. Pickhardt which helped me shed some light.

Whatever outward mask I choose to wear only affirms some inward part of me.

I don't have to bother about which part is masking which and which side I shoud trust.

I don't have to be bothered about being dsguised to myself.

Because a mask worn on the outside can actually encourage my inner self to come out.

People change over time and who we are is not something that can be cast in stone. We are the sum of our experiences -- the multiplicity of masks that we put on.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Colouring my health

It's the throat infection again. I thought I would be able to cross the one year all-clear mark. I hate myself for succumbing to throat infection so often.

Think healthy! Think healthy! Think healthy!

Breathing through my mouth now as both nostrils are blocked. Fortunately the sore throat is gone or every breath I take through the mouth would feel like sandpaper scraping my throat.

After two days of sleeping, I went back to teach today since I had my voice back. Save for the fact that I nearly died teaching my kids, everything went smoothly.

I suspect I'm becoming hyper after overcoming 3 cycles of drowsy medicines without sleeping for the day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done.

Procrastination: The assassin that creeps up on my every opportunity and murders them with precise strokes. In short, my biggest enemy.

I have a bad habit of leaving things till the end. I always tell myself what matters most is getting the job done eventually.

Recently I've been occupying myself with lots of activities which I had not the chance to do before. Activities which I told myself a long time ago that I wanna do but have since been put off due to all sorts of excuses.

If it weren't for the last minute, I wouldn't get anything done at all.

Hence, I am determined to "find that picture" before it's too late.

Keeping to my resolution, I am determined to complete all these tasks before it gets too late, before a little one comes along the way, before I hit the age of 30. Afterall, I won't have all the leisure and opportunty in the world to put my thoughts into action at the very last minute. I'm also more health-conscious and am determined to be as fit as OAC days. Therefore, I'm taking some time to execise as well.

In the course of it all I haven't been keeping to my word.

There are question marks on some of my readers' minds to be erased. I mentioned before that I may be doing a write up on certain services used for my wedding since the email questions and comments more or less asked the same stuff.

I also realised that many of my friends are waiting to see photos from my NYC trip and other photos taken this year. I'm still editing and putting 28745903612 photos into collages whenever I've got the energy to do so. "Just upload on Facebook if you got no time to blog about it. At least let us see the pictures first." But I can't coz being me, I like to add words to the pictures and do a photostory update. I like recording and reading my memories like a book.

So these would definitely be added to my list of to-dos as well.

In the meantime, I'm gonna grab a bite and ponder if I should go see a doc for my bad throat and erupting cough. I was glad that for almost a year, I've not been plagued with "老师病" (aka teacher illness aka upper respiratory infection aka full blown throat infection, cold and cough). Now I undstand what it means by never jinx yourself.


I completely jinxed myself. Spent half the day rolling in bed in discomfort and the other half sleeping away.

I hate to be sick!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I love reading...

but never would I attempt to finish a book in one sitting. The last time I did that was in primary school and it was an Enid Blyton book.

[photo credt: Bunnyrel]

That night, I finished reading a book in one sitting.

It was by Haruki Murakami.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.

If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.

If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home.

If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal.

If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart.

She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.”

Happy IWD to all the women out there!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Case: Cyn's birthday... Mission: Plan a surprise

As part of the surprise for cyn mommy, Godpa kh and Godma Jolene "kidnapped" Jase while char was sleepng after her radiation.

We went to The Icing Room to decorate a cake for cyn mommy.

Special shout out to pretty mummy Maggie:
Thanx for texting me the details on the Icing Room and for all your replies to my queries. Jase enjoyed himself and cyn loves the cake cos like you, a mother loves everything her child makes with his whole heart.

After that, Jase chose a bright and cheery "sunflower" bouquet for his mommy as he knew that Cynthia loves sunflower.

PS: We're aware that the flower pictured above seem to be some other species of flower instead of sunflower.

Before heading back, we went to buy some chicken wings. The stallholder who is every bit the benign-looking uncle asked Jase teasingly,

[loosely translated: All for you to eat?]

Jase who is usually uncomfortable in his mother tongue piped,

[loosely translated: No. It's for my mother. It's her birthday.]

The uncle laughed heartily and said,

"这样的话,记得跟你妈妈讲 uncle 祝她生日快乐!"
[loosely translated: If that is the case, remember to convey the message to your mother that uncle wish her a very happy birthday.]

With that, he passed the bag of chicken wings to Jase.

Back at home, Jase remembered to relay the message to mommy whereas godma has clean forgotten about it.

Before dinner started, a sweet old friend popped by with delicious fish head curry and pork knuckles. Together with some home-cooked food prepared by cyn's dad, we all tucked in.

Next came the moment the kids had all been waiting for-- singing, cutting and eating cake.

There are 2 cakes seen above as the delicious cheesecake was brought over by Charlene jie jie when she popped by during the day to surprise cyn.


Feisty Char needs bullets to fight!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Roaring Tiger New Year

I've been really slow in my photo journal updates.

A myriad of NYC photos awaits to be edited, put into collages and watermarked.

Since it's still February (March by the time I publish this) and still CNY, I'll continue my photo journal update from the Lunar New Year happenings before the festive mood dies off.


~*CNY Eve (13 Feb)*~

I had dinner with my new family at Soup Restaurant. That was the very first reunion diner with kh and family.

Nobody brought camera. I thought my bil would bring his slr. In the end, I'd to snap photos with my lousy nokia hp.


~*CNY Day 1 (14 Feb)*~

A family portrait before we set off

or 2

I kinda like the faded effect done by my bil and he likes that too. However, since CNY must be bright and cheery, he did another one with a richer tone. I think we look really colourful up there.

This is my first CNY as kh's wife and Day 1 was spent visiting his relatives. We visited distant relatives and I soon lost count of how many homes we stepped into and got quite confused by the sea of faces around me.

The weather was hot and humid and by the time night fell, all I could think of was heading back home for a cool shower.

Some random shots

Outfit for the day
Theme: Bright and Bold
Style: Fuschia pink top paired with bib necklace; denim super minis; patterned stockings with casual chic grey shoes; hair was self curled using curling tong


~*CNY Day 2 (15 Feb)*~

First was to head back to my family home for a sumptuous lunch.

The rest of Day 2 was spent visiting my relatives. It had been the same for the past 2 years. Everybody would gather at small aunt's place for my dad's side and 6th aunt's place for my mum's side.

6th aunt is so cute lor. Aside from her cute infectious laughter, she actually had our weddng photos framed up in the study room. We see liao also pai seh. Machiam our study room. Wahaha...

Some random photos

Outfit for the day
Theme: All things sweet and lacey
Style: Tokyo Fashion net yarn outer piece over flower print inner piece; white cropped leggings with pink frilly lace shoes; hair was styled simlar to Day 1


~*CNY Day 3 (16 Feb)*~

Back to visiting kh's side. This time we practically "camped" at Holland V coz that's where most of his paternal relatives stay.

It was a long long dinner table and a long long dinner.

The cuz played lots of bridge and tai tee during the day.

The evening was spent chatting with my friend cum cuz-in-law. I'm always so glad to know her before she married into this family coz we understand each other very well and there's always so much to talk to her about.

You know how some people exude positive vibes and genuine warmth? How some people do not make you feel awkward or uncomfortable in your own skin? She's just like that.

At night, we went over to that cousin pair's house to play mahjong. They played mj while I flipped cuz-in-law's endless Japanese magazines while watching Memoirs of a Geisha on channel 5.

Outfit for the day
Theme: Gold for a golden year ahead
Style: Gold outer piece with chains over frilly white blouse; casual Levis Jeans; strappy black stiletto with golden zipper; hair was blown sleek straight

That day, I tried on a trial pair of freshlook Illuminate in big eyes effect.

PS: Pardon the bad make up. The picture was taken in the wee hours of the morning after I got home with falsies removed, tired eyes and all.

I always feel that "big eyes" contacts make no difference to my eyes overall. However when I removed one of them and compared up close, I could see a significant difference. Could you see which is the one without?

Special thanx to a sweet old friend of mine who handed me 5 pairs of big eyes Illuminate, 4 pairs of coloured Illuminate (blue, green, grey & hazel) and 5 pairs of Focus Dailies and urged me to try them out. They were all complimentary of course.

I will try the rest of the colours slowly.


~*CNY Day 4 (17 Feb)*~

While most poor souls had to get back to work, there were some souls who had that day off or were on leave.

I confess that the "no-lifer" me did think of going back to work coz I was really quite worried about the SOW for term 2 and all the other work piled up due to the CNY holidays. However, I decided to have work life balance -- enjoy the 4 days of break and work doubly hard when I get back to work the next day.

There was an impromptu meet up with sushi and regina before the former head back to Melborne for her course.

Our so-called last photo till she comes back in April

After that, kh and I had a post Valentine's day cum 9-year anniversary dinner at the Boathouse.

[Aside: Xmas wreath still hangs at the door even when CNY is here.]

V-day clashing with CNY Day 1... Booooooo
V-day celebration away from the rest of the crowd... YAY!

I was surfing the internet for fine dining restaurants to check out and asked kh to picked one from a few options. He chose this place in the end after reading the review from ladyironchef.

I fell in love with the place once I saw the exterior. I looks just like its name.

Step inside and I felt as if I was transported back to those days when the maritime adventures rules history texts.

Ancient photographs bordered by antique frames and old fashioned map on the wall contribute to its classic nostalgia; white, earth tones and wood lent a hand to its clean and laidback feel. However, they could do with cushions on their wooden chair. I felt like Goldilocks on Papa Bear's chair.

The tables are placed quite far apart which gives a feeling of emptiness if you decide to see the glass as half empty or a feeling of spaciousness if you see it as half full. Nobody would go through great lengths to eavesdrop on your conversation that's for sure.

There was only another couple there and seeing them talk was like watching a silent movie. They were chatting and laughing but we couldn't hear a thing except for alternative jazz music playing softly in the background. kh and I whispered for fear of being too noisy. After a while, we were more relaxed and started talking in our usual volume. I bet the other couple was watching a silent movie of us too.

They have huge wine bottles everywhere

I don't understand the lukewarm reviews from other food blogs and websites. Kh and I found the food much to our liking.

I won't be doing a full review as lots of what I would write about would wind up being similar to ladyironchef (since kh ordered similar food according to the recommendations) so let's enjoy the photos without much of my interjection.

Alright, the main excuse is I'm famished now and it's 2.34am. The food photos are making me drool.

The fish chowder sea bass carpaccio was interesting.

A bowl of what looked like slices of "yu sheng" or shashimi was served on the table. We wondered if they've gotten our orders correct. Next, the waitress started pouring hot chowder in circular movements around the carpaccio, slowly drizzling the slices with creamy soup. The fish slices were cooked to perfection from the heat of the soup.

The chowder was so good that we lapped up every golden, creamy drop.

The foie gras was HEAVENLY! MMmm.... rich, buttery, velvety. I'm craving for foie gras now as is always case whenever I blog about foie gras.

Desserts of white chocolate semifreddo and creme brulee weren't cloyingly sweet. I love desserts which are not cloyingly sweet as they tempt my tastebuds for more to come.

Even though desserts were delicious, I wouldn't really pay $15 for each. Kh had initially wanted to try out some desserts at Prelude-- a rooftop bar upstairs which serves desserts as well. Unfortunately, it was closed that evening.

We lamented good-naturedly that it was just our bad luck and the waitress replied with a smile that it must had been planned that way so that we could return another time.

Can't decide if I like unflashed with warm tones but shadowed silhouette or harsh flash with bright faces.

We hung around on the "deck" for a while, taking in the beautiful sights of the "chun dao he pan", hotel skylines and the Esplanade while the gentle breeze playfully ruffled our hair.

Reflection shots

Outfit for the day
Theme: Jappy cute
Style: Nautical knitted dress; chunky round necklace in stark contrast to the stripes, patterned stockings with casual chic grey shoes again; hair tied in a cutesy girlish style (1st experiment but I kinda like the look and so went out with it... kh didn't like it though.)

Green eyeshadow to match my act-cute green hair accessory

I'm still experimenting with Urban Decay eyeshadow primer potion over tape and a Mayelline Diamond Glow in Green Copper shadow palette. I like how shimmery it looked that I lined the beige colour all over my lower rim as well. Photos certainly can't capture the shimmers well.

The whole yummy series and lot more not pictured here.

[Picture credit: mywomenstuffcom]

~*CNY thoughts and reflections*~

On giving ang pows...

Before CNY, I thought that being married means being a lot poorer during the CNY period. As hubby and I calculated the number of people to dole out ang pows to and the amount in total, we nearly died.

Getting married and being married certainly is an expensive process one has to go through in life.

In Hokkien speak -- Jin jiak lugi ah.

In Malaysia, the newly weds have to give 2 ang pows to each person. Fortunately in Singapore, we don't have such practice.

We were rather confused as there are many people who said newly weds are exempted from distributing ang pows during their first year, yet there are others who say otherwise.

kh and I tried to recall if we've received ang pows from our married cousins during their 1st year and yup, some of them did give during their first.

We decided to give even though it's our 1st year and were glad that we did.

Big returns you know?

It was great to see smiles on the kids' faces. Some cousins who are older or about the same age were embarrassed while there were many others who received in glee albeit mischievously.

We were also glad that we've put huge smiles on both sets of parents. My in-laws did not expect us to give at all and they thought that we "很会做人". Enquired about how much we 包 for grandparents and upon hearing, were beaming non-stop.

There were a few relatives on both sides who gave us ang pows, explaining to us that it's ok to receive during the 1st year.

One of my aunt gave us in front of everyone and jokingly said,
"This year I give you all. Next year, remember to give my 2 grandchildren ok?"

I answered,
"Oh but we're already giving this year."

For the next few moments after that, more aunts came forward and gave us ang pows.

LOLz... That wasn't my intention but since they give, then we take lor. =D

By the end of it all, I actually felt a sense of satisfaction giving ang pows. I texted some of my married frenz and those who are on the same wavelength as me all agreed that even though giving ang pows would set them financially back by a considerable amount, they felt really happy making people's day.

To quote a good friend,
"We are the same. That's why we're all so poor but happy."

As cliche as it sounds, happiness is something money cannot buy.

On I could kill the next person who asks "When are you gonna have kids?...

No boyfriend that time, people ask, "Got boyfriend or not?

Got boyfriend that time, people ask, "Why never ask him come?"

Got boyfriend since time immemorial, "When getting married?"

Finally gotten married liao, "When 抱 baby?"

It's really annoying but I've learnt to laugh it off.

On marriage is between two families and not two persons...

Understood it long time ago but finally experienced more of it during CNY.

My nsensitive keyboard problem is still an ssue. Forgive me if you see lots of missing letters and spelling error in the whole post. I got too tired having to cnstantly amend the mistake. That's wy Itook a long time to get this post up.


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