World Vegan Day

I became vegetarian in 2002, in August to be specific so that’s about 15 years! In 2001, if someone told me I would be vegetarian, I would laugh. Ha. Ha. Ha. I wasn’t sure I could ever give up Char Siew, that’s my bacon. An Asian barbecued pork marinated with a sweet sauce. And that’s because I never associated my char siew with Babe. I knew where it came from but rarely made the clear and distinct association.

I started learning a form of mediation that encouraged a vegetarian lifestyle. I thought, “What the heck! Give it all you’ve got for 6months, resist temptation no matter how hard it gets and at the end of 6 months, if it’s too difficult, have a big plate of char siew for your birthday and recognise it as a phase in my 20s.”

It turned out to be easier than I thought, way easier and for the last year, I’ve started cutting out dairy too. In the beginning and with all my research, I was motivated by ethical reasons and the associations between char siew and Babe becoming very clear. But after a while, I found my diet having very distinct improvements to my health. And this is probably why my family who started out being resistant to my new lifestyle became more supportive.

As years became a decade, I started learning to eat better … because you can be a very unhealthy vegetarian. What kinds of fruits and vegetables provide which kinds of vitamins and minerals, white rice versus brown rice, sugar is like a drug, how to supplement B12, yada yadda yadda. All in a sort of ad hoc, internet researching, talking to naturopaths kind of way, which can be REALLY confusing, bringing me to earlier this year when I decided to investigate a more whole food plant base approach.

My aim is to learn what constitutes a nutrient dense plant base diet and how to get it optimal for me. So this World Vegan Day, I’m starting a new Instagram account – Eat to Love, Love to Eat as a record of this journey. Mostly to keep my motivated when I get lazy … which is more often than I like :p and hopefully connect with some like-minded souls along the way.

Happy World Vegan Day!

Kong: Skull Island

Alright there will be spoilers so if you haven’t seen Kong – Skull Island and don’t want to know anything except that it is a really fun ride, please stop reading now.

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For the rest of you, it’s Monsters on an Island and Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t win but the creature work is breath taking. It’s a good monster movie with enough eye candy to keep everyone happy. Geeks because there’s so many so many monsters and monsters going full on at it with each other. Well animated monsters with out of this world abilities. Happy happy  happy. Girls too, will be happy, there’s Tom Hiddleston ‘nuff said and the boys have Brie and Jing who managed to keep their hair in place the whole movie. Even when they were running from monsters, out of this world type of monsters.

Story wise, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting so I think that’s why I was sufficiently satiated. Like I said, it’s a monster movie so keeping it real is a good way to go. I was expecting out of this world creature work though and I wasn’t disappointed. My fascination with creatures started when I was about 7 and saw the Kraken come alive in Clash of the Titans. The next time I was 18 and after watching Jurassic Park, I walked out of Lido believing that dinosaurs were well and alive. ILM definitely did not disappoint again and it was extra warm and fuzzy because ILM Singapore had a big hand in this movie too. Kong was awesome as the beast with amazingly believable eyes. The eyes  always give bad computer graphics away and that’s why I wasn’t disappointed. The director Jordan Vogt-Roberts sets up the scenes with the eyes really well too where the close ups of the human’s eyes and Kong’s eyes were shot in the same way. Now I am really excited about Kong vs Godzilla now! Something to look forward to in 2020.

Till then, I did fall in love with Kong and somewhere in my heart, I do long to be the girl in the middle of his palm and then I start to wonder what would he smell like?

Half Way There

Boom! Right on schedule, cue feelings of uncertainty, lack of direction and hello!! We have a mid-life crisis approaching.  If you ever read this blog, you know that I have this silly hunch that I’ll expire at 84. The last couple of months have pretty much confirmed this hunch so I better take good care of myself if I have to last another 42 years.

That’s beside the point. What actually is the point then? These feelings of uncertainty, unsatisfied yearn are so familiar yet subtly quite different. At 21, I had them … this sense of clueless-ness. This time it feels like the same thing but not … exactly. For one, I’m a lot more confident that whatever the next year (or the next 42 years for that matter) may throw at me, I’ll be alright. I may have to adapt to new normals but alright I’ll be. That’s the key difference between a quarter life crisis and a mid-life one. You’ve gone through enough “plans not happening” and coming out of the other side that few things faze you anymore.

Yet there’s the same uncertainty because well, that’s life, if it’s anything we can depend on, it’s change. Change we can’t control which normally would drive control freak me a little on edge, I’ve come to learn to accept. To surrender. If anyone told me when I was 21, I would have to learn to surrender, I would have to laugh in their face because I was taught to always fight and fight hard. Some times it’ll pay off, other times it won’t but you have to fight. As of yesterday and at 42, I’ve come to acquire SOME wisdom and know now the ability to surrender isn’t a reflection of myself or some ego-filled acknowledgement of the virtues I’ve come to have in my older age. It is a blessing bestowed on me through the lessons from the first 41 years of my life.

Truth: the more I try to control, the less I have control of. At the end of the day, it’ll be alright and be just between me and Him. I’ll let you in on a secret though, I haven’t really learnt to completely surrender yet but hey, I’m only half way there. Lots of lessons learnt, a lot more to go 🙂

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Where Have I Been?

It’s been more than a year since my last post.  Close to 15months.  What’s been happening in  my life?  I was wrapping up on a job towards the end of 2014 and started a brand new job in 2015.  This brand new job was kinda going back into production, which I totally forgot how full on it can get when you pull up your sleeves and get deep into it.

So that’s what essentially happened.  Work took over my life – spending most of the year with an amazing team of people, creating and telling stories, seeing it all come together.  Honestly, 2015 flew right by so quick I barely remember it.  That’s why as I turn 41 today, I’ve decided that I’m going to be more conscious this year.  This year isn’t going to be too different on the work front … in fact, it just might even be a tad more hectic but it isn’t something impossible.  Even if it is, I’m going to be more aware of the decisions I make, the choices I have and the people who make my life as wonderful as it is.

Life will always overwhelm the best of us and we may be stuck between a rock and a hard place but how we look at it is always up to us.  Check back tomorrow when 41 and a day old though.  I may be singing a different tune :p

Till then, 41 is pretty good!

The Ability to Give

Over the Chinese New Year weekend, my dear friend , Claire and her family didn’t think twice to help a couple who needed it.  In their own words, Claire shares how each of us in our own ways can change the world we live in.

Yesterday evening while we were on our way for a CNY visit, we saw this old couple stuck by the side of Opera Estate along Siglap road. For those of you who know the area, the roads are very slopey and not at all conducive for pushing a wheelchair. We quickly stopped our car and Pann got out to help the uncle. The wheelchair was in a bad condition and was unable to be maneuvered properly. Eventually the tire gave way and Pann had to call a taxi to send the couple home. We could not stop thinking about them the whole night.

Today, we spoke to Renn and Aira and we decided to use all our Ang Pow money to buy the old couple a new wheelchair. We knew the block they were staying at but had no idea which floor nor unit. We were very lucky to be able to locate the old auntie and eventually got to the uncle. And we realised they had no relatives keeping in touch with them in their one room flat.

They were so happy and surprise to receive the present along with some Ang Pows.

This got to be one of the best days knowing that the kids were very passionate about helping others because Chinese New Year is not about receiving Ang Pows but sharing with others.

I was fortunate to be part of the CNY visit that very night and they shared the story with us before it went viral online.  We got the low down scoop on how their giving led to others giving too.  The cab driver that took Pann and the couple back didn’t charge them for the ride either.  The story even gather enough interest to be picked up by the local publications 🙂

For me, I love the fact that a simple story about giving and sharing love made its way around.  I love that it isn’t just depressing or hateful stories that run amok online.  I love that I’m blessed enough to have friends who remind me that living is about sharing, giving and filling it with moments of love.  I also love how the Year of the Horse is starting off in my world.

2014

I can’t believe my last post was 2 months ago and from LAST YEAR!!  The end of year came and took me by surprise … well, actually not that big of a surprise, I did expect its coming but the speed of which it came and went … that surprised me.  I’m still a little shell shocked that I finished Christmas shopping, put together a last minute proposal for a client, celebrated family birthdays, solved a missing payment at work, enjoyed the season celebrations, made a bid for a new client, learned how to cook popiah, worked some more and ushered the New Year zombie style with my family quicker than you can say Happy New Year.  A whole bunch of milestones all rolled into 2 happy busy months.

Now it’s 2014 and *drumroll* on to real milestones.

My 4 year old Goddaughter got her ears pierced!!  She didn’t cry and only said that it was “a little bit pain”.  Needless to say I’m very proud of her.  I was a wee lass of 3 years old when my own ears got pierced and the very clear memory of burning pain pulsating through my ears still sends shivers down my spine.  So when little girls want and eventually get their ears pierced, I have nothing but respect for them.

My little Rachie is growing up quick.  It’s 2014 and she wants earrings … I have a feeling come 2024, it’ll be tattoos.  Part of me is missing the baby she no longer is but I’m looking forward to the new shared experience of getting older that I already share with her brother and sister.  I love how they develop their own opinions.  How very similar or very different they can view the world from me.  How from them, I relearn and am inspired to try harder and be better.  I think that’s why God puts kids in our lives 🙂

Here’s to a 2014 filled with reasons to try harder and be better 🙂

Kangaroo Airline

I’m calling Qantas my favourite kangaroo airline and with all the best intentions too.  It’s been AGES, maybe like 15 years since I last sat on Qantas.  It’s not on my father’s list of airlines to be on so I was very apprehensive when I bought my Emirates tickets to Perth, only to learn they were a code share flight with Qantas.

My flight left on time, arrived slightly before ETA, the pillows and blanket were comfy and the service was better than my last experience with Singapore Airlines.  So all in all, I’m happy with Qantas and all ready to use them again.

Oi oi oi Aussie Aussie Aussie!!

中秋节快乐

My family got together early to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival 中秋节 (zhong qiu jie) where we had mooncakes galore, even vegetarian ones with vegetarian yolks.  It was yummy!!  Coupled with tea and good conversations, we ushered the full moon in about a week earlier than everyone is going to do today.

Of course, there was the customary walk with lanterns and traditional ones at that.  None of those music blaring battery operated modern lanterns … actually we had a couple of those but when came time to take a walk everyone chose the candle lit ones 🙂  And not forgetting sparkles.

There’s something about sparkles that just adds to the celebrations.  From my family to yours, may mooncakes fill your belly and the lights of sparkles fill tonight and all of your nights!!

Ilo Ilo

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I’d say check out the latest Singapore film, Ilo Ilo.  I didn’t get a chance to watch The Girl in Pinafore, which I heard was lovely too but I did catch Ilo Ilo.  I’m happy to say that I did enjoy Anthony Chen’s first feature film.  I know how immensely difficult it is to direct, much less a feature film so in spite of the fact that there were a couple of rough first time directional calls, the film was strongly held together by a genuine heart and that’s consistent in all of Anthony’s other projects.

It was a simple story that all Singaporeans can relate to, actually it’s pretty universal, it’s about relationships.  How we build them, take them for granted, destroy them and try to rebuild them again.  The acting was very strong, even from Jia Ler, the lead boy who is making his acting debut with Ilo Ilo.  The art direction was impeccable.  I couldn’t tell that the film was shot in 21st century Singapore and I left the cinema hoping that Anthony keeps at his craft.  This doesn’t happen often with me where I root for a director’s next film before I’ve even finished contmplating his current one.  Anthony even managed to make me ponder about my own scripts.  That doesn’t ever happen when I watch big Hollywood studio films :p  For that alone, I’m grateful I made the time to catch this film.

Ilo Ilo may have won the Camera d’Or award at Cannes and has been shortlisted for Singapore’s submission to the Oscars but I don’t think we’ve seen Anthony Chen’s best work yet.  At only 29, I’m hoping the harsh media environment in Singapore doesn’t kill his spirit and there will be more of where Ilo Ilo came from.

Binge TV Watching

I’ve been quiet the last couple of weeks since I came home from Canada because my husband was still in Canada.  What that means is that I’ve been binge TV watching the rest of August away.  Yes, other people binge eat or drink.  I watch ALOT of TV when I’m left to my own devices.  It didn’t help when I went over to my sister’s for a week because we’re both binge TV watchers :p

I’m happy to report I’m pretty much caught up with the shows I’ve been avoiding because in the 21st century, I no longer have the patience to wait for weekly episodes.  I avoid news of TV shows until they are all over and then watch them all in one go.

This post is about the life lessons I’ve learnt from my current binge TV watching session.

Game of Thrones and Downtown Abbey have reminded me that the universe can be very cruel.  The moment you fall in love, it usually gets taken away from you.  It seems like as soon as I get attached to a character in either shows, they die.  I’m not sure what to expect in Season 4.  I’m afraid to root for anyone because they may die too but like life, better to have love and lost than not to love at all, I say.  So Jon Snow and Old Lady Grantham, I’m rooting for you both now.  Something tells me Old Lady Grantham has a better chance to surviving into Season 5 of Downton Abbey than Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones Season 5.  We’ll see.

The Americans is a new series about Russian undercover spies living in suburbia America during the Cold War.  Together with the eighth season of Criminal Minds, I don’t know who I can trust anymore.  Real life does inspire reel life.  So with these somewhat unimaginable murders that happen in both series, I’m starting to wonder about my ‘American’ neighbours next door and the seemingly quiet software developer geek in my office.  If you don’t hear from me soon, you should call the police >__O

Meanwhile, Keri Russell has redeemed herself in my books.  I was one of those who got irritated with Felicity.  It was a pretty show to watch but man, Felicity just whined and whined and whined but as Elizabeth Jennings, she’s actually not bad at all.

Another new series is Orphan Black, produced by BBC America (what that means I don’t even understand) it’s science fiction that made me a fan of Canadian actress, Tatiana Maslany.  She plays like 6 roles in the series.  It made me think how some days I feel like my life is just like that.  Having to be very different people in very different situations just so other people can understand me.  I’m not quite a clone yet but there was just about enough intrigue in Season 1 for me to look out for Season 2.  I also like the completely different look it had.  Compared to the usual Hollywood overly slick TV series look, Orphan Black had a flatter look that made you wonder about the nondescript city it’s set in.

Then I finally got around to The Good Wife.  I’m a fan of Alicia and have been rooting for her.  Actually I’m a bigger fan of Dianne Lockhart but for this season, Alicia is giving her a run for her money in my books.  The legal cases are a little far fetched but I love the hard choices these characters have to face.  Truth be told, they aren’t too unlike the ones I know my friends and I face in our lives.  That’s what I can’t wait with Season 5, does Alicia stay true to constantly wanting to be a better version of herself.  Excite!! *clap clap*

In the meantime, I’ve started on Revolution, another science fiction series that I hope will be more satisfying than Lost or Heroes.  Come September 18, I’ll be back on Survivor watch too.  There really isn’t enough time for all the TV I want to watch :p  With my husband back in town, it will back to regular programming … that means maybe an episode or two a week.

Till my next binge.