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Monday, April 30, 2007


Day off

E and I took leave to celebrate Kiddie E's birthday in school, and then the rest of the day to celebrate my birthday, belatedly.


E wanted to buy me a good meal, i felt like having a bloody slab of steak but thought lunch was too early for meat. So i decided to fall back on an old favourite: Turtle Soup at MacPherson. Unfortunately it was closed! Closed? But but but it is Monday! The sign board says "closed on Tuesdays" what!!! pout* pout* pout*

E then suggested Liang Seah Street since we havent really explored that area. Okay lor... pout*

We happened to park near a Ma-lah Hot Pot place and decided to try it out on a whim, despite the hot weather. We ordered a double pot with medium heat (out of Low, Medium, High and V High settings) for the ma-la hot pot soup, and a chicken soup on the other side. Then dishes of Beef Slices, Chicken Slices, Cockles, Fish Balls, Prawns, Toufu, Spinach, Tang Oh, Chinese Cabbage, Tang Hoon, Button Mushrooms and Golden Mushrooms. We were pleasantly surprised by the good portion of each dish, unlike the famous Coca...

We were each served a dip that consisted (as much as i could tell) beaten raw egg, soy sauce, vinegar and green shallots. It was a good meal! The hot pot was just about manageable, if you were careful not to bite into those fiery peppercorns, and the savory dip doused some of the heat if you had picked up too much chilli oil with the food.

Yum yum. Mark the name, 庭园, we will be back! ahhh... soon but not thaaat soon, gotta let the stomach recover. :D

We were told later that this place served a very authentic hot pot, same as what you would get from 重庆 in China. What luck!

After that we hopped opposite the road for deserts at Ah Chew's for something cooling to douse the fire in our stomachs.


Next up was Wild Hogs (because SpiderMan 3 hasnt opened yet) at Orchard Cineleisure. 12% discount with OUB credit cards! sweet!

The succint review: City Slickers on Motorbikes with 4 guys instead of 3. Funny. Funnier if you are approaching middle-age. Too close to the bone if you ARE middle-aged.


Orchard Cineleisure is just too young for my taste, and we hopped over to Taka instead. Angie is going to USA and offered to help buy Coach/ Furla/ DKNY/ etc stuff as they may be 50% cheaper based on current exchange rate and she knows where to buy them.

I saw this first, my style and it looked alright on me, but it was also S$875...

E offered to buy it for my birthday, but nah... EIGHT HUNDRED OVER BUCKS for a BAG?

We then strolled opposite to Tods and a beige bag with red trim that looked fabulous on me was... S$1250. good grief. To his eternal credit, E offered to buy THAT for me too. but again, seriously, no lah!

I looked at a leather key chain, and THAT was $210.

ah... i think we need to go liao lor.


We finally did buy something, a lego set for Kiddie E, 20% discount from Metro birthday card some more :)


Even though we were strolling round Paragon, we decided not to eat at Lawry's. We were just not that hungry, and it is not doing a bloody hunk of a steak justice if you are not hungry.

We spied a small alcove inside Project Shop and decided to have a light meal there. We shared a HUGE caesar salad, a roast beef sandwich (i did get my meat fix afterall!) and a banana cream pie.

Happily, we were served by a very friendly waitress who attended to our needs but was never obstrusive or patronising. Even humoring us to check with the kitchen what was that nice smell we spied, it was pan fried salmon. Nice.

The caesar salad was good, with a poached egg, huge pieces of croton and bacon pieces. The roast beef sandwich was alright though the meat was a little tough, but the potato salad that came with an interesting crunch from celeries. :)

BUT the banana cream pie was HEAVENLY! a tall pile of whipped cream (i reckon 3 inches tall) on chunky banana slices on almost a cm thick coat of caramel on top a dense biscuit. It made me happy just LOOKING at it. And it tasted like HAPPINESS! I've found my comfort food for manic-depressive days.

What a perfect end to our park-tor date.


E was just a little apologetic about not finding me a present for my birthday, but seriously, the date was good present enough.

PLUS we decided to do this every quarterly.

I cant think of anything better. :)

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

What i bought from the Times outing

What i bought from Borders, and let me tell you that these were the pared down version of what i had wanted to buy. And I was *worried* that i cant find 4 books that i want to get the 25% discount. i actually had the discipline to ditch at least 3 books before going to the cashier. HA*

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Just for fun, i share the same birthday as these famous people:

- Uma Thurman (37)
- Andre Agassi (37)
- Michelle Pfeiffer (49)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (50)
- Jerry Seinfeld (53)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Buddhist Wedding

Was invited to a colleague's wedding over the weekend and it was held at Shuang Lin Monastry 双林寺 at Toa Payoh.

I said yes of course.

Ang Pow issues
Before the day, we were discussing amongst each other how much angpow to give. Should it be at the level of a full fledged wedding dinner in a hotel, or a dinner in a restuarant, or malay wedding held in the void deck? Seriously, how much do mock meat and vegetable costs?

In the end, the going rate for colleagues in the same dept was $60, and i decided to give the same as i would for a full fledged dinner in a hotel. Angpow is not merely money in exchange for a meal right? It is also a form of blessing to the newly weds.

Clothing issues
On the morning, i had a problem choosing my clothes. Ok, it is a monastry, so nothing too tight, revealing or flamboyant. All i could think of is black, blue, brown and white. But but but it is a wedding, so cannot wear this type of sombre colors also right? dilemma, dilemma.

In the end i opted for a pretty 2-layer red blouse over dress pants. Only to see that some of my colleagues wore black shirt and jeans... *rolleyes*

The Wedding
As we were stepped into the 观音殿 temple, we started taking off our shoes but the usher told us that we were allowed to keep our shoes for the day as they got special permission. The temple was grand, swarth in gold and many lights, with rows of chairs on 2 sides, a long white cloth with red rose petals strewn on top and a table in the front center for the solemnisation.

First a nun came in, with all us asked to hold our palms together as a sign of respect to welcome her. But old habits die hard and some started clapping their hands.

The wedding couple walked in amidst chinese instrumental music, and the audience throwing red rose petals over them. I was a little bit relieved to find that they were very normal wedding clothes, he in a suit and tie, and she in a long white dress with flowers in her hair and no veil.

The Ceremony Part 1
They proceeded to the table and knelt down, and solemnisation proceeded. I was some what moved by the simplicity of the ceremony and the (hopefully) eternal vows that the couple exchanged to cherish and love each other.

The nun gave a small sermon about mutual respect 相敬如宾, accepting each others shortcomings 互相包容 etc. and abit about financial planning where 1/4 is for essential living expenses, 1/4 for investment (studies/ self-improvement etc), 1/4 savings and 1/4 for charitable purposes. All very earthy and reality based. Interesting seeing that it comes from a nun who has devoted her life to a higher calling.

This was over in 15min, then the surreal part.

The Ceremony Part 2-99
A high monk in ceremonial red robe and 4 other monks came in and started religious chanting, with the beating of the gong, brass urn and a small drum. It was foreign to me, maybe even in a foreign tongue, or was it heavily accented mandarin?

I endured the whole 40min standing, and tried not to fidget, since it was (i guess) to bless the newly weds. But i couldnt stifle a yawn that came when the ceremony was finally over.

The banquet
We were then ushered to a basement 2 event hall for lunch. An 8-course vegetarian meal. A colleague joked that it will be comprise of 1st and 2nd courses flour, 3rd course tofu, 4th and 5th course flour, 6th course veg, 7th course noodle and 8th course fruits. LOL.

Well, he was almost right. Though he forgot mushrooms and tomatoes.

Unfortunately the courses were served really really slowly, 2 hours for 4 dishes. We joked that perhaps the meal were cooked by a solo monk who had to chant over every dish before serving them. :p

I had to leave at 230pm before the rest of the meal was served, stomach only half full.

and went straight to tapao laska with extra hum for lunch.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

25% discount @ Borders 20-22 Apr 07

After the disastrous shopping at times, my prayers have been answered.

25% discount at Borders from 20th ~ 22nd Apr 07 on 4 or more regular priced books!


and i signed up for email subscription at www.borders.com.sg for a 20% discount voucher on 1 book till May 14 too.



Thursday, April 19, 2007

Times at Centerpoint

Have been a Times member for the longest time, besides the 10% discount on most things, the best bit is the 1-time 20% off on most things card in your birthday month.

I already have a few books in mind:
- A salmon of doubt - Douglas Adams
- Last chance to see - Douglas Adams
- 700 Sundays - Billy Crystal
- a few more... (ok, a lot more...)

was in town yesterday and decided that i should go to Times @ Centerpoint, it is the flagship store, right? plus i get to stay within Orchard after paying the entry toll, but need not pay the exit toll if i stay long enough.

Parking was easy, the lots were wide though a little short (but ok for my March lah). I thought it would be a good day.

Unfortunately, the 5th level of Times no longer exist.

the Times consists of only 3 units. 1/3 being kids books and stationary.

It was a sad sad sad selection of books.

it was almost like a sad and expensively centrally located 7-11 compared to Giant hypermart in Tampines (think Borders)

- The bestseller shelves were uninspiring

- The staff's favorites were stocked with all Sherlock Holmes.

- they had a shelve which was named "books for women" which was stocked with fluffy chick lit, and that was hugely offensive to me.

- The 2 shelves in humour was stocked with 1.5 shelves of comics and manga.

- books were placed in the wrong sections. A million little pieces by James Frey was in Biography... 'nuff said. It was good reading, but it was hugely embellished fiction. OKAY?

It was the MOST BORING bookshop i've had the misfortune of stepping into. Even Popular in an suburban mall has more energy than it.

but i have a 20% discount card which i had to use, cos no time go shopping liao.

i walked round and round and round. Almost purchasing books that i've read and loved just so i have something to show for it. A Complete Works of Jane Austen. The 50th anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings. The Stand by Stephan King.

in the end, i picked up only 3 books. The Millionaire Mind, Last Notes from a Great Island, and another book. The bill was only $43 after discount.

i need to go Borders. soon.

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Was in Sentosa with the family for a 3-day 2 nights holiday, but more on that later.

What eventually happened was that i pulled a back muscle while ferrying the kids on my hip around the island. They were alternately too tired, feet to painful, too scared, to walk.


it hurt when i turn my torso
it hurt when i sat down
it hurt when i got up
it hurt when i lie down
it hurt when i toss and turn in bed
it hurt when i check blindspot when driving


took a day's MC and went for a long-overdue massage at Janet's.

She managed to knead and sooth the muscle, pounding the knots into submission. Then a overhaul from top to toe, ending with foot reflexology.

I walked out feeling much better, slightly sore, but no pain.

I'm going to be so dead if and when she decides to retire

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Surprisingly good steak

needed a huge chunk of bloody juicy red meat.

i was in Compass Point.

cant imagine going to Jack's Place or Swenson for 1.

decided to try out Delifrance Bistro's new menu which featured several types, the most expensive being Tenderloin @ S$20.95++, plus $2.00++ for a side of salad/ drink/ some stuff.

I went with middle rare steak + ice lemon tea.

First 4 small slice of baquets which cold, not warm :( but it is free...

Then the main dish came.

The salad side looked unappetising, basically shredded rabbit food, but the tangy sauce saved it.

The steak came in 2 slabs, not sure if they cut it in half for easier cooking or they came in thinner slices which required 2 pieces to make up 1 serving.

It looked too cooked to be medium rare (always order 1 level less cooked than your preferred doneness on steaks in non-steak houses, as they tend to OVER-COOK), but to my surprise it was juicy and nice and chewy, even that bit of fat on the edge.


the potato gratin with melted cheese was good too.

Overall a good combi and value for the price.

might go back again the next time i have a craving for meat, but dont want to bust any budgets. :)


Friday, April 13, 2007

Air Horn in my right ear

Oh good grief. The snoring has since grown to be a full blasting train air horn.

It is so bad that if for what ever reason i'm woken up from sleep (which only happened due to pure exhaustion) i cannot get back to sleep. ARGH.

Went to my regular doc for a second opinion.

Oh guess what?

I do have a blocked nose, even though i do brief normally and there was no running nose.

BECAUSE the blockages and swellings are in the SINUS, the tube and the side of the throat.

Thank goodness my doc did a thorough check.

Was prescribed steriods, antibiotics, nasal spray and med to clear the nose-block.

It better work this time...



I guess it had to happen. Sooner or later. An accident.

But thank goodness it was only in a dream, though a very realistic one.

It seemed that I was in some nightspot, and having had some drinks decided to drive to check out an auto-center nearby to change my tyres with my friends.

They left first and i was anxious to catch up, so i gunned my car when reversing out of the lot and backed into the front of a very expensive old car, instantly waking me up from my drunken high. As some un-naturally beefy men came menacing towards me, i found out soon enough to belong to some underworld figure.

The good news was my boss knows him and they decided not to kill me, the bad news was there was no way to repair the car or to make an insurance claim because of the dark connections. So they gave me a bill for $25k to settle on the spot.

By then i was not only stone-cold sober, but also had the greatest remorse of driving under the influence.

As i sweated and sweated over the troubles that i was in, i managed to wake up from this nightmare.

If you drink, dont drive.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Old man snoring in my right ear

well the good news is the pesky bullfrog has gone away...

but the medication is imperfect as

i now have a man snoring softly in my right ear...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


My name is YoJanJan and I am a Perfectionist

My last transgression was today when a staff came to me saying that we needed to print new namecards, but the bureu's ISO logo had changed from a squarish to long rectangle one. A simple replacement cant work as the new logo will be too small in that design.

She showed me her suggested artwork and printer's suggested artwork but all CMI IMHO.

So I spent over an HOUR to redesign the whole damn thing, AND THEN i double checked the brand/ products listing at back of namecard, found that it needed updating and HENCE reworded and redesign THAT whole damn thing too

I could have minded my own business, let things slide and saved myself 2 HOURS but my pride and perfectionalism couldnt accept a job that is less than perfect

I will try less next time.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Perils of multi-syllable words

My almost 5 year kiddie-E's vocab is growing by leaps and bounds.

She gets tripped by some:

- when seating awkwardly in an unsuitable car seat: I am very incomfortable!

But when it works:

- when asked about fixing a huge zigzaw puzzle "is it difficult?". Yes, it is very challenging.



pesky bullfrog in my right ear

Have been irritated to nth degree.

A pesky tiny bull frog has been living in my right middle ear, grrrling every 30 sec, and the huge pillow stuffed up to the outer ear doesnt allow its escape.


Thot it was a severe case of ear wax, but eurax (to dissolve ear wax) didnt help. Went to the doc in hope that he will flush out the ear wax and i can regain normal hearing.

Nope, very little ear wax. Not infection. No perforation of ear drums. I dont see why the problem


Maybe caused by blocked nose. Any cold or blocked nose?


Then there's really no reason for it.

oh good grief, does that mean we cant do anything about it?

Want to see a ENT specialist?


ok, try this med for blocked nose, in case the tube between the ear and throat is blocked.


Nurse, when dispensing the med. Here's your med for blocked nose. beat. ALSO for blocked ears.


i hope it works

(btw, my first try of merging 2 pics + stitch 2 pics + trying out layers + degree of transparency + magic wand to crop on photoshop. All WITHOUT referring to manual or help. :D)

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Take That - Patience

I was watching Take That in Manchester on MTV and some how their new song "Patience" moved something inside me.

I've heard the song many many times, on radio while driving, while channel surfing MTV and even on a compilation CD i have in the office (it was The Rose by WestLife which i keep skipping :P), but this is the first time I've really heard it.

Take That - Patience

Just have a little patience
I'm still hurting from a love I lost,
I'm feeling your frustration,
That any minute all the pain will stop,
Just hold me close, inside, your arms, tonight,
don't be too hard on my emotions,

'Cause I~, need time.
My heart is numb, has no feeling.

So while I'm still healing,
Just try, and have a little patience.

I really wanna start over again,
I know you wanna be my salvation.
The one that I can always depend,
I'll try to be strong believe me,

I'm trying to move on,
It's complicated but understand me.

[repeat chorus]
yeah have a little patience, yeah
'Cause the scars run so deep,
It's been hard
But I have to believe.

Have a little patience,
Have a little patience,Woah,

[repeat chorus]

I'm not sure what prompted this aching,

just empathy, i hope.

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what i threw in 1 day of cleaning

I've taken the last 2 1/2 days of the last week to throw out old docs, clean out my KIV/ Filing/ Out tray, Pending files and folders.

Some stuff had already been actioned upon

Some i managed to save and filed in the right files

Thrown a lot away (2.5 times the pic above)

- some mailers that i had missed the first time they landed on my in tray

- those that were dead in the planning stage and never got off

- those interesting bits that i thought i might take a closer look when i can find some time, but it turned out i never did.

- those that were so long overdue that it didnt matter anymore

I've now reclaimed 1/4 of my table and 1/2 my in-tray (which doubled as my KIV tray)

- more elbow room

- more space to spread out docs for studying

- no more hunting for pens that rolled under piles of papers and files

- no more patting over papers to see where are my phones and keys

in fact, i FOUND some pens and reclaimed lots of plastic folders, metal clips and paper clips.

At the end of it all, i even ran an antiseptic wipe over my keyboard, my desk phone, my calculator and desktop.

cathartic to say the least.


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