Walking through the Four Seasons

Monday, February 21, 2011

February must be the cruellest month of the year. First it was the infamous hallmark festival, thanks to T.S Eliot -- Valentine's Day. A day where every teen and adult is in a state of ecstasy. You must have noticed that this year, I chose the low key approach and did not even have a post dedicated to the wretched date. Next up in February is a day when I gracefully age. Lest you think I'm cynic, I'm happily married and am graciously accepting the fact that age is catching up (though mostly I still try to live in denial!) This year, the excitement seems mellow. Probably because we can't afford to be financially extravagant. Have to seriously manage my expectations for I believe this year he'll be an ultimate cheapskate. Cards, flowers and possibly cakes are not quite his thing, thus I shan't expect any form of declaration from him. He doesn't believe in being pretentious and insubstantial. Thanks to his unsentimental bent, I've learnt to breeze the day away as if it's an ordinary day ever since my 21st birthday. erm, well at least I try not to whine about it. it would be nice though, if in the years to come, there'd be a bag of my choice glitter or some girly gadget presented to me on the special day. Ok, materialism has set in, but from time immemorial, which woman wouldn't yearn for such simple pleasures in life? Grappling with the rigours and expectations of a relationship is certainly not easy. Friends J & W however have brought their love to the next level and decided to cement it last Sunday:

Singapore's ang baos are plain boring. Specially bought ang bao envelopes from HongKong. Nice :)

The lovebirds -- A matchmade in heaven. They have the same radiant smile! I was just commenting to sweetie that we smile differently. I can't smile with my lips closed while he on the other hand, often gives a purse-lip smile.

Are they not like two volumes of one book?

Food was pretty good. On a scale of 10, it would garner an 8 from me. In particular the soup which many of the boys thought was a tad sourish. The herbal chicken was however a slight disappointment. Couldn't taste any herbal ingredients. I would like to think that my version of herbal chicken's far better. In the midst of the banquet, friend J ordered his infamous bowl of rice. Lousy according to him as it was microwaved. Dessert was a generous portion. Pity I had to restrain myself and share it with the hub coz all were "cooling" stuff. sigh.

Unlike most other weddings attended, what was different here was that the bride had prepared a surprise. A song with exceptionally meaningful lyrics. I could have swore I had a tear rolling in my eye. It certainly takes courage to finally decide your man is the right one for you and to share the rest of your life with him.
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."

~ Germaine Greer~


Friday, February 18, 2011

Was not quite in the mood to blog honestly, but something inspiring just struck me thus here i am.

So what's the big news? SGD $1,280,233! That's what? Small sum to some, but it's an obscene amount to me! Friend W is one of the lucky 9 winners of tonight's TOTO! (not sure if it's true though) A depressed sweetie had been pinning his hopes on this but as usual, lady luck's not quite smiling at him.

ME: OMG u are one of the 9 lucky winners? SGD $1,280,233?? OMG OMG OMG (totally ecstatic)
W: ya (flaccid response)

It sounds like it's a norm for him! GOSH. With a 7-figure winning, I sure can fulfill most of my dreams! For now, they can only be dreams.

Sigh, wonder when are things gonna start changing? Some divine intervention would really be nice. In Sick and in Health, for poorer or for wealth. How true. Am really trying to cope but it seems so impossible. I'm becoming a nasty piece of wok with a mangled soul despite the "chio" superficial exterior. Last year was the year of the ferocious Tiger. A year which signifies placid pace of growth than in previous years. Prolly that's why things were moving ever so slowly. Dreams seems far and beyond. On the other hand, rabbits move at an unhurried pace and are tranquil and serene, so will that mean a slow year again? Come on! My birthday is nearing, but somewhat I'm having a surreal mix of emotions. A celebration of any kind at this juncture would be good, but this year, I don't foresee Sky on 57 or FiftyThree @ Armenian, or the Triple Three Restaurant. Not that it ever happened, but it doesnt hurt to dream right? Even on Vday, there was nothing but campbell soup cooked with loads of love after much whining and nagging. u can't fault me...the hub kept my hopes high by saying that he'll do some grocery shopping and whip up a steak @ 10pm. But at 915pm when i texted, his reply was: I had dinner. too hungry, go pack your own dinner. Thanks. so much for romance. Not that I'm that into this hallmark occasion, but the bubble of expectation was blown and deflated by him.

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place

Gosh, didn't I say I wasn't in the mood to blog? What started off as unbelievable news is tapering into the usual ramblings. Ok, I'd better stop and spice this post with photos:

The annual mahjongkahki reunion luncheon this year was held at the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant. Can't their name be a little shorter?? It's so cliche too! It's depressing to see creativity lacking.

Reservations was for 1:30pm but I think it was about 2pm that we had our three tables! Probably having vision problem due to hunger, most of us thought the above was a piece of chocolate! Turned out to be a mat for the tea pot! haha

The Family. Seems like it's growing with several new, young additions.

Service was horrendous. Given that it's CNY, I do understand they may be understaff but that's not excuse for forgetting my cup of hot water after 3 reminders! We were particularly exasperated when after the first or second dish was served, we were told that it was gonna be last order for the tim sum menu and that we had to hurry! Imagine our disappointment and frustration. To add fuel to that, when we queried the quantity of each portion, we were told that there'd be 4 pcs on each plate, thus after some arithmetic, we ordered, only to find out that some items came in 3s. The number of people @ our table was in mutiple of 4. Obviously the sum did not quite equate. We feedbacked to the captain, but she said it's not entirely their fault and that it's actually quite enough as we've ordered a large variety. That's not the point! We wanted everyone to have a pc of everything! It was clear to me the lady wanted the easy way out instead of changing the orders for us. To make matters worse, before everything else, friend X informed me that the cutlery was dirty! No matter how good the food is, if the service sux, customers are unlikely to return.

Playing with the new kid on the block.

Presenting: the old kids on the block!

"If you're going through hell, keep going. "

~Sir Winston Churchill

Hop for the best

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Woo, in the blink of an eye, it's Day 5 of Chinese New Year! Good times seem to fly by more quickly, in particular when there is a long wkend. Seems like 2011 doesn't have too many long wkends thus I was really appreciative. Technically, it's Day 1 of work but I'm totally not in the mood. Prolly due to the spill over effects of visitings and overdose of goodies. I'm glad I made it through the festival albeit being bombarded (as usual) by middle-aged aunts with annoying questions like when will I be having children. Typical conversation:

Aunt: So any news?
Me: yeah..there is news on Channel 5 or 8..or do u want China news on Cable?

Aunt: So when am I getting the egg?
Recently married cousin: Go to the supermarket and buy it!

Hahaha..i think my witty cousin is simply hilarious. Seriously, i think such queries are merely to fill up those awkward conversation lulls. Visiting is sometimes a drag, especially when you meet the same ppl at different location. Sweetie's family is more efficient. Meet up @ Granny's on the eve, have the reunion dinner, hang around till midnight and distribute ang baos. No individual visitations. Sweet. On the other hand, my family's visitations are spread over 2 days. But even if the new year rituals are a drag, i guess in some sense we derive a sense of satisfaction from having suffered through the motions. One minor ritual I dislike however, is the the giving of ang bao. I rather be on the receiving end but of coz, I have obligationis to meet as a married person. This isn't an uncharted territory, for I have about 4 yrs of experience now. But somehow, I still have a bit of a dilemma when it comes to HOW MUCH? Ang bao is a gesture of good wishes thus should not be a material yardstick, however, many may think otherwise. I recall this particular student who received a small packet of $4 from me (she had 2 other siblings!!) 2 yrs ago, and when I told her to write a composition on Chinese New Year, she wittily wrote that she was disgusted to receive a pathetic amount ($4) from a certain someone! The audacity! Clearly, her upbringing isn't all that good -- one reason for giving her that SMALL packet! 2 yrs down the road, she has not receive a cent from me! This definitely helps in the capital outflow that I have to contend with.

Now for a peek to what I did for the last few days:

Outfit of the day...nice fitting Cheongsam

One of the places we visited. Gardens @ Bishan. The structure is a reminisce of the condo we stayed at whilst in Guangzhou several years ago. Such architecture is rare in tiny Singapore.

Day 4's shoes. CUTENESS right?

Whipping up a storm for friends. Supervising my Sous Chef :)

Nice to make new friends

Yusheng is a raw fish salad which was popularised in Singapore in 1960s. The ingredients usually include shredded carrot and radish, ginger, orange peel, pomelo bits, golden crackers, slices of raw fisha and a plum sauce dressing.

Dish 1: Spinach with clams

Dish 2: Braised Mushroom with mock abalone

Dish 4: Golden Garlic Prawns
Dish 5: Emperor's Herbal Chicken (I forgot to take a picture of that!)

Soup of the day: Lotus Root & Peanut Soup

To top it off, a good bottle of white & red wine

My satisfied customers
The night ended really well and relatively early with mahjong and chit-chats. Wish everyday can be like this! Now I must really psych myself up for work amidst the festivities and hop for the best in all my endeavors!

Ushering the Wabbit year!

Friday, February 4, 2011

This may come a tad late, but then again, we have 15 days of celebration, so GONG XI FA CAI everyone! Hope it'd be a year full of good cheer and health!

Time really flew by like a speeding bullet. It was officially 2011 just a couple of weeks back and now it's the lunar new year. Frankly, things didn't really sink in till now. This new year is, again, full of repetition, obligation, tradition and duty. It's actually a great time to fly off and escape from it all as this year, CNY falls on a long wkend...however, we (or at least, I) have to stay. It's easier on the pocket too (unless we run off to somewhere near like Malaysia) Unfortunately, at this point in time, Frugal is the keyword. Was speaking to the hubs and we have really polar views on this entire visitation thingy. His family works very simply. Everyone gathers at granny's place, distributes ang baos and calls it a day. Mine, u basically have to visit one aunt to another, but seeing the same visitors over and over again. I would think it does force us a little to make that effort to keep something. Social relations.it's really quite important as mostly we see those relatives once a year and it's this time you find out what they are doing. You'd be surprised what news awaits you! ie. I'm gonna be an aunt (again) this Vday; the little no-longer-innocent cousins are getting weirder; the coming-of-age adolescents have suddenly shot up in height and we are holding more intellectual conversations...and the list goes on. One thing I hate most though, is how the old follies enjoy regaling the young ones with stories of their activities. + pressuring my biological clock. So jaded when I hear of such stuff. Things don't get any easier when you learn that your cousin who got married a year ago is going to be father this Feb. Don't they know, stress doesnt help? I liked though, how a fellow cousin answered when bombarded with such questions:
Old Aunt: So when am I gonna get to carry your baby?
Cousin: ohh u want one? go supermarket and buy one

haha how original.

The year has begun on a rather painful note. Painful due to the onslaught of migraine and ulcers. I seriously should try to be more obedient! Had two deep fried chicken wings the other day and the deluge of headaches and neckaches just poured. But I've been restraining. Keeping to the motto of drinking only warm water. I think I'm doing good in the face of temptation.

The above are gifts from kind souls! I can simply open a cookie shop!
Hopefully they'll vanish soon! The temptation is just so strong!

Reunion luncheon @ Mummy's. Was rather annoyed with her as she waited for me to arrive and slice up all the ingredient and marinate them! So she basically prepared the curry and plain soup! Was nagging the whole time how tiring it is for her to put this together! Sigh

Did not have many representation of the rabbit at home, thus did the next best thing -- DRAW!
and MADE two really adorable origami wabbits!

Reunion over at Sweetie's granny's house. Now this is what I call festivity! the mood is so apparent over there with 4 generations under one roof!

Sweetie luring the happy kid with food!

It's FA CAI time!
Outfit of Day 1. :)
Outfit for day 2: LOVE it max!

Visited godma today and am glad all is well with her. The dog (Lucky) is getting fat, but he's such an adorable member of the family! The moment he misbehaves, all the owner has to do is to say she's gonna get a cane and the little doggie will hide in between the sofa!

It lovessssss being tickeled and caressed!

After a great BBQ with family, it's time to head home for some gambling action.

Wonder if we'd be caught for mass gambling when this gets published?! hhaha...Sweetie really needs to do something about his luck...sigh.

With another year, the past gets left further and further behind. Reflect on this year and manifest what's next!