Boring and Uninspiring

That pretty much sums up a seminar that I had to attend for work the last couple of days. Hmmm … I wonder when I’ll be able to attend a cross-platform seminar that will tell me things I don’t know … they were simply rehashing ideas that I was throwing around with friends way back in 2000. So when I’m bored and uninspired, I end up doodling.

Breakfast at Our House

Back in 2002, when I first visited my husband (then boyfriend) in Canada, he introduced me to millet, a staple breakfast food for him. Apparently, millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous and like buckwheat and quinoa, is not an acid forming food so it’s easy to digest, which is good for people who are usually allergic to grains. He even told me that it’s a Chinese thing … I didn’t believe him coz up to that point I’ve never eaten millet or even seen any Chinese person eating it. Well, not until 2003 when I went to Taiwan and was introduced to ι»„η²₯, loosely translated is yellow porridge, to which I exclaimed, “Hey, my Canadian boyfriend eats that for breakfast too.” So millet does hail from Chinese cuisine but husband does not eat it like a Chinese person.

Now with millet as a staple in our household, we make a whole pot of it and he eats it his way, with rice milk, cinnamon and shredded coconut and I eat it my way, with soy sauce, pepper, coriander and fried onions … yummmmmm … I’m hungry just thinking about it.

It’s a really simple to whip up to, just cook it in the rice cooker like rice, add your condiments of choice and there you have it. A simple nutritious meal that will last me till lunch time πŸ™‚

Weekend in Singapore

If only more weekends were like this one πŸ™‚ It was as perfect as it can possible get, I guess … and as it winds down to an end I thought I reminisce a little before the work weeks gets to me.

Our dear friend, Ms Running Chan is back from Jakarta so we caught up at Mich’s for dinner. Thank you Mich for cooking up a storm, the beef stew smelled yummy πŸ˜‰ and I’m still thinking about the yummier gado gado. She even made dessert, eggless chocolate mousse with strawberries on top!! If I was a guy, I’d marry her there and then πŸ™‚ We were so hungry, no one thought of taking a picture of the scrumptious meal :p

So there we were all 5 of us together again, hanging out, watching the Olympics and catching up with plans. One of us is going to have some excitement in the office as a major head honcho makes way of a new one. Two of us just came back from a Habitat for Humanity vacation and yet another is thinking of moving to Belgium to take her MBA with her hubby (it’s his idea).

There’s something about hanging out with people you can trust and be yourself that makes time fly. After having dinner, we hung out in front of the TV, running our own much funnier commentary on the highboard divers, rhythmic gymnastics, track & field and synchronized swimming that before I knew it, it was like 1:30 in the morning!!! My idea of a perfect night out with good friends. So there’s plan for another night out, this time a party night before Ms Running Chan runs back to Indo, can’t wait πŸ™‚

On Sunday morning as some of my friends, Mr Running Minn included was running their hearts out at the Singapore Bay Run, my husband and I decided to head to MacRitchie and take a nice walk around the park.

It was already 11:30 when we started and did the yellow track, which is about 11km but we took in a detour to check out the treetop walk too. It’s really quite amazing there. Usually there are couple more people on the bridge but today it was just my husband and me. So we took our time, enjoyed the view, pondered about a time when the world didn’t have cars and how fresh the air would have been. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t bring my camera, which was a good thing because towards the end of our walk … just slightly after the treetop walk, it started to rain … we took shelter and when it eased off we tracked 5.1km back to the car and in the last 2km or so the sky decided to open!!! So you could say we were pretty soaked when we got home at about 4:30pm. Took warm showers, had a great late lunch of sandwiches and soup and squeezed in a nap.

Couldn’t get better than that!! If this work week is going to be anything like the weekend, I’ll be a happy chick come Friday … well, one can always hope πŸ™‚

Talent Does What They Can And Geniuses Do What They Must

I was talking to my Daddy the other night and we were discussing having passion for what you do, being talented and all that. When my Dad commented, “Talented people are those who do what they do well without any effort.” It reminded me of a quote I like, which is the title of this post and got me thinking about my own talents. So that night I was lying in bed, thinking about what is it that I can do well without much effort. Writing? Directing? Producing?

Then it dawn on me, I sleep really well and quite effortlessly too πŸ™‚

Yes, ask anyone who has ever shared a room with me or a sat next to me on a plane/bus. If it’s anything I do really well without effort it’s SLEEP. On a straight 17hour flight to LA, I can sleep for about 10. Once on a flight to Perth, I fell asleep before the plane took off and woke up only when the wheels of the plane hit the tarmac in Perth, didn’t eat, didn’t watch anything. A friend who was travelling once with me even told me that it’s a talent how I fall asleep on moving vehicles. My sister and my husband will both vouch about how I fall asleep midway while having a conversation with them. In all fairness to me, it’s late, we’re in bed and we’re about to sleep anyway. Heck, I’ve even fallen asleep standing and woke up only because my knees gave way. And the thing about sleep is that I really enjoy it. I truly loooovvvveeee going to sleep and I especially love napping.

One of my favourite memories about growing up is afternoon naps when I come back from school. I loved coming home from school, taking off my pinafore, lying down on the couch or my bed with the balmy afternoon breeze blowing and falling asleep. In fact, once I close my eyes and I’m in a remotely relaxed position, I’ll fall asleep.

And when I sleep I truly sleep, almost nothing wakes me up. My husband can be causing a racket in the bedroom, if it’s not time for me to wake up, I simply won’t … I can’t.

So that’s my superpower if I had any – the ability to just sleep.Β  Now if only there’s a demand for my talent and I could make some money off it … …

With that said I’m off to bed πŸ™‚

Weekend in KL

The last time I was in KL … was something like 15, maybe even 18 years ago!!! I’ve never had any great yearning to go back to KL, for some reason I’d rather choose Indonesia or Thailand over Malaysia … in all honesty, I’d rather go to Bintan for a quick weekend getaway. But but but I was duly surprised with KL, it had a pretty efficient train system, which allowed my husband and I to wage a war against taxi drivers who didn’t want to go on the meter πŸ™‚

Vegetarian food was easy to find and I think Buah Duku was in season so I ate my fill of the tasty fruit. The weather was quite gloomy while we were there though. Check out the view from our hotel room:-

The best bit about impromptu trips is that even if the weather is sucky it doesn’t matter. So that’s pretty much it, we just chill, woke up late (too late to even have breakfast at the hotel) and just hung out with each other. KL is alright, it still feels like I’m in Tuas or something … I don’t mean that in a bad way … just that I’m really comfortable in Malaysia i.e. I don’t feel foreign, kinda like I’m still home, just in a bit of home where everything isn’t necessarily in order. And that I kinda enjoyed :p I’m not sure if I’ll be back in KL soon but it has enough to be on my mind the next time I plan for a weekend getaway.

I did enjoy the bus ride though, it was comfy and I slept most of the way too. The thing I like about road trips are the rest stops and here’s one on our way home.

More significant than that, is the fact that this is the first trip my husband and I made together as Mr and Mrs MacLaughlan. No no no, this isn’t our honeymoon (and he better not get any idea that it is) but he pointed out to me while filling out his declaration card that it’s his first time since our numerous travels together that he’s had to put 1 in the box that asks how many family members are travelling with him. Yeah, it’s been over a year and instead of two individuals seeing each other, we’re a family. I can get use to that πŸ™‚

Downdown East

My husband and I have a friend who lives all the way in Pasir Ris … actually it’s more like the Loyang area … kinda all the way in the Eastern end of Singapore. Since we live in the Northern part of Singapore, we hardly find ourselves in the East so when we went drop by her place the other night, I was completely appalled with the monstrosity of Downtown East. There we were at the junction waiting for the lights to turn and I was faced with the changing lights of the faΓ§ade of the building. I couldn’t help myself and had to take pictures … that and it took forever for the traffic lights to change … maybe they want you to be staring at the lights of the building … …

What an architectual don’t? I can see how maybe something like that can work but in the middle of the quiet suburban town of Pasir Ris … it’s like a lunatic clown in the middle of a relax chilled out party by the beach. I wonder what drugs the committee was on when they decided to go for this.

Of all things C and D

It’s yet another Monday and in a bit to make it merry I’m going to post about people at work coz they’re the ones who make fun to come in on a Monday πŸ™‚Β  In my division there’s a strange number of us whose names start with C and D. Daphne, Danzel, Daryl, Donny, Doreen, Calvin and Carlene. Ok ok ok, just a strange number of Ds and the Cs have dwindled to one since Calvin has left. So the Cs are not that special any more. Nonetheless, I love this collage that Daph did up of us:-

Yes, we do get work in … every now and then πŸ˜‰

Happy National Day!!!

Singapore turns 43 today. It’s the only day in the year that I bring out my red Uniquely Singapore polo T and wear it with pride πŸ™‚ while my sister heads off to Bintan to enjoy the weekend … yes, that means I’m puppysitting again … she’s really lucky Wags, her dog is really cute so my husband and I don’t mind going over to watch her every now and then.

Yep, that’s me in my annual National Day outfit with Wags πŸ™‚ but before we started some serious puppy sitting I was off to Sentosa to catch up with three very sweet guys.

Watch this space coz in about 16 years time, these boys would be the number one boy band in town πŸ™‚ Left to right, we have the emo Lele who will steal your heart with his brooding looks and deep thoughts. Jonah is going to be your sweet boy next door who will sweep you off your feet with his killer smile and of course, we have Rayan whose gorgeous eyes and dimples will make all the girls weak in the knees πŸ˜‰ For now, this trio is the cutest bunch of boys who makes me think ok, I can be a Mummy to a little boy πŸ™‚

Thanks to great weather, I sat back enjoyed the breeze, the company and basically went trigger happy with my camera. I got some really nice shots of the boys and here’s a couple of when the daddies and mummies had to bring them into the water.

At the end of it though I think the kids had enough of Auntie Carlene and her camera, much like my husband when I’m home and his my only subject :p Jonah’s look pretty much says it all … …

so I packed my camera away and started throwing him in the air before it was time to head home. So before I’m off to more National Day merriment in my red polo T, here’s my warmest wishes to all Singaporeans at home and away, have a Happy National Day and may we always be grateful for all of our blessings!!!

Singapore Flyer

When work gets crazy what do you do? Well, I’m not sure what happens in your office but in mine, we decide to check out the Singapore Flyer, which is great for me coz my husband is not one for thrills that involve great heights πŸ˜›

The ride takes about half an hour and I think it depends who you’re in the capsule with but the ride felt a little way too short for me. it was fun checking out the different sights, it was a little hazy but still fun to bounce off the capsule with friends who are understand my pain of being stuck in pointless meetings and having to write papers :p With like a camera each, it was like a paparazzi in there ‘cept everyone was a willing celebrity πŸ˜‰ The pictures will tell a much better story, enjoy … …

It is a little hazy but I reckon still pretty πŸ™‚ So will I recommend the Flyer? Yes, it’s one of those things I reckon you should do once in a lifetime. I was pleasantly surprise how much I enjoyed it. Of course, the company is of utmost importance since there’s no escape once you get on board. Remember to have a few who’d pose like this:-

It definitely makes for a more fun ride and even more fun when you look back at the pics πŸ™‚

Mad About English

Feature documentaries are few and far between in Singapore so when I given the chance to check out Pek Siok Lian’s Mad About English, I was glad I did πŸ™‚ It was shot quite beautifully and had a couple of really inspiring characters. Especially the 78 year-old guy who volunteers as an English speaking guide and the elderly Chinese Physician whose English is better than my Chinese on a good day.

The story wasn’t a roller coaster ride but hey, I’ve shot documentaries before and it’s not like you can direct the characters into saying lines from a script. In a nutshell, the film opens next week and I reckon every Singaporean should watch it. While Ms Pek isn’t Michael Moore, she’s told a story inspiring enough for me to want to work on my Chinese and start seriously learning French.