Thursday, May 31, 2007


Back in 2002, B gave us a bottle of vintage 1990 Dom Perignon as a wedding present. We didn't open it then and thought at first that we'd save it for the first anniversary. When that rolled round, we quite forgot about it as we had a party and there was plenty else on hand to drink. And after that, there didn't seem to be a really great occasion to open it. I mean, it's not just champagne, it's Dom Perignon. And it's not just Dom Perignon, it's vintage Dom Perignon. Meaning, it's not something you open to go with the pizza delivery.

And so it sat around for several years. And then the question arose. Do we age it some more or do we just drink it? See, that's the thing I don't get about collecting wine. It's not like books that you can arrange beautifully and admire. The stuff is meant to be drunk. But once you drink it, there goes your collection.

When we finally bought our flat and moved in last May, that would have been the next great occasion. I don't remember now but L said that I said we should have chilled it and opened it on our first night here. Only of course, we probably didn't know where it was among all our boxes of stuff.

Well now that it's the first anniversary of our moving to our home, L figured it was a good time to open it. We drank it out of the champagne glasses that we, err, took home from the Royal Hawaiian where we honeymooned. You can't exactly say that it was stealing when we told the staff that we intended to take the glasses. And they offered a towel -- see, you also can't say that we stole the hotel towels -- to wrap them in. Now that's aloha.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gone in 48 hours

On Monday morning, I was so refreshed by having the entire weekend off that I got up early and had loads of time for a nice leisurely start to the workweek. I had a nice lunch, several cups of coffee and even had the time to write some e-mails and add a post to the blog.

By last night, I was exhausted when I got home -- it didn't help that the paper today is a bumper issue and pagination was twice as much as usual.

By today, I could barely crawl out of bed.

That's how sapping work can be. And there're another three days to go to the week...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Move the dog

So we were walking the dogs downstairs yesterday evening at a time when the kids are out to play. One toddler who couldn't have been more than five years old was riding his tricycle on the path. He stopped when he came up behind Queeni. He paused to consider what to do next. Which was: he imperiously told L to "move the dog", so that he could cycle on.

L, of course, got into a snit at being told what to do by a stranger toddler and let Queeni do whatever she wanted -- which really was to take her time and sniff at everything. Toddler back-pedalled back to Mummy and complained loudly. L loudly declaimed about brats. Mummy kept quiet and looked away.

In a couple of years, Toddler will start primary school. Maybe being in a class of 30 will make him realise he's not the only person on earth -- okay, so he's a kid; but I've met really nice kids who knew they were not the centre of the universe. And my taxes will be subsidising his school fees. Maybe then I can tell him to move off the path.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A book by its cover

Another meme, this time from

So I'm still sort of taking the lazy way to blogging but this one is timely, it's about books and comes at a time when I've nothing new to read. Gasp. I didn't find the time to go to the library last week and the pile of $2 cheap books that I got from the Carrefour bargain bin last month has been exhausted (and some were good finds too, at $2). We were to have gone to the dog park yesterday but the weather changed in the afternoon. Why is it always beautifully sunny on a work-day afternoon when I'm going to work and the rain only comes on the weekends? It has been like this for the past two weeks already, much to Rupert's sorrow (and mine, I like for him to get a good run at least once a week to work the edge off his energy; and Queeni's joy -- she clearly prefers a nap to running at the dog park). The showers didn't last very long but it did mean that the ground would be wet and muddy. Rupert wouldn't have cared but L did, he had just bathed the dogs. So it was a stay-at-home day. With nothing (new) to read.

Do you like to read?
Oh yes. All the time and not just books. L calls me a compulsive reader. If there is a block of text in front of me, I have to read it. I even read cereal boxes at breakfast.

What is your favourite book?
Pride and Prejudice. It is like a comforting old friend. My very tattered copy has accompanied me to every place I've moved to and reading it settles me because it draws me into its neat, self-contained world and people and away from the unfamiliar around me.

Who is your favourite author?
Jane Austen, by virtue of the above. Also, Terry Prachett and Bill Bryson.

Are you the kind of person who peeks at the end of a book to see how it turns out?
Seldom. I'm the sort that is committed to sticking to a book till I finish it but if it gets heavy-going or boring, I will peek at the end just to push myself through it.

Do you hate it when they turn a book into a film?
I'm not a movie person so it doesn't matter to me. There have been good movies made from books (Babe, The Lord of the Rings spring to mind) and horrid ones (Da Vinci Code) and there have been movies that have made me want to go read the book. Mostly though, I've enjoyed the book version more than the movie.

Has a book ever changed your life? How?
I don't think so. Or I would be able to come up with a book now. But if I can add here what I personally consider to be the book that has packed in the most punch within its pages is the simply-written yet containing a deep message to be 'Heather Has Two Mommies'.

Do you tend to borrow books from the library or do you prefer to buy them?
Both. I buy books that are keepers, books from authors that I've enjoyed previously and books that I may have come across in a review and intend to read. It is an expensive habit though, and the library books are the fillers for when I haven't got anything I plan on reading so I just walk into the library and pick something that catches my eye.

Which book are you planning on reading next?
I never plan. I may however, "discover" an author -- usually on the library shelves -- then I'll go back and borrow everything else he/she has written. Or I may get stuck on a theme. The last time was books on book clubs so I ploughed through 'The Jane Austen Book Club' and 'The Reading Group'. Part of the joy of reading is the serendipity of finding a good book. So that's why I don't plan. When I make my choice at the library or the store, I'm really judging the books by their covers.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

If I was...

A meme from M, because I'm too tired/lazy to come up with anything and the easiest way out is to answer questions. I realised on Friday when I looked at the blog archives that we've been in this flat a whole year already. That means that I've been blogging for a year. And to think that I was afraid it would peter out. Well, it did the past week -- I spent time watching TV when I got home from work instead of on the Net. And now I'm taking the lazy way out for this entry.

If I was an hour of the day . . . I'd be 7pm, just about dusk
If I was a planet. . . Venus
If I was a direction. . . East
If I was a piece of furniture. . . a couch
If I was a liquid. . . coffee
If I was a sin. . . sloth
If I was a rock . . . slate
If I was a tree. . . silver birch
If I was a fruit. . . kiwi
If I was a flower . . baby's breath
If I was a climate. . . tropical
If I was a musical instrument. . . harp
If I was an element . . . argon
If I was a color. . . fuchsia
If I was an animal. . . dog
If I was a sound . . . waves on the shore
If I was music. . . 80s rock
If I was a music style. . . Baroque
If I was a song . . . Rockin' in the Free World
If I was a feeling. . . happiness
If I was a book. . . Heather Has Two Mommies
If I was a food. . pasta with bolognaise sauce
If I was a place. . . Maui
If I was a flavor. . . tom yam
If I was a scent. . . White Linen
If I was a word. . . aiyo
If I was a verb. . . relax
If I was an object. . . a coffee cup
If I was a part of the body. . . an eye
If I was a facial expression. . . a smile
If I was a cartoon character. . . Earl, in Mutts
If I was a movie. . . Babe
If I was a shape. . . pentagon
If I was a number. . . 30
If I was a season. . . autumn
If I was a sentence. . . Let the weekend begin!__

Monday, May 21, 2007

Aids Candlelight Memorial

The annual memorial wasn't candlelit this year as for the first time, it was held indoors -- in the auditorium at the Singapore Management University. Back in the 80s when the memorial began, it was held in a field where the SMU campus now stands. While it is nice to go back to the old grounds, something was lost by holding it indoors. The organisers made good use of being in an auditorium, so there were song and dance performances. However, the downside was that it became like entertainment. You showed up, you took a seat and you sat back to watch. The fact that there was no silent march -- it was not possible inside an auditorium anyway -- also made this the most passive memorial ever. I hope this doesn't reflect on the fight against Aids and its discrimination.

Also, as it was indoors, we didn't use candles. It wasn't the first time that we had to substitute light-sticks for candles. We did this two years ago when the memorial was held at the Botanic Gardens because they had a no naked flame policy -- although they let us have one memorial candle on stage. I can see Paddy's ( disgusted reaction -- he'd protest about how unglam a plastic light stick is. Even if we got a pink one for him.

We went for dinner after the memorial and I stuck our light sticks into a glass to take a picture. The wine is libation for Paddy. And for the others. Cheers and love.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Down the garden path

I don't live where this garden is, unfortunately. Or fortunately. This is the rooftop garden in my office building. The fuzzy picture taken by the cellphone doesn't do it justice. The plants on either side of the wooden path were knee-high when they were first planted but are now taller than I am. In the few seconds that I'm walking on the short path, I can actually feel I'm in the middle of somewhere nice and forget that I'm at work.

It also helps that that the canteen -- and some rather good coffee -- is at the end of the path.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hard rockin' ambulance

Either the Hard Rock Cafe isn't the only establishment using "love all, serve all" as its motto or they're running an ambulance service now. (It's painted across the doors, over the windows -- I couldn't get a close-up focus on the cellphone camera.)

You could say L did a little ambulance chasing to get this shot. :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pooch pacifier

Apparently, it is possible to fall asleep while chewing a bone, and remain asleep while holding it in your mouth without your jaw aching. Or maybe it's another one of those aberrantly Rupert things.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It's a knockout!

You know the evening will be nice and peaceful when the dogs are knocked out. And it's probably for this that I love the dog park more than they do. Only I didn't think two small dogs could take up so much space on the couch.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Long live the Queeni

I think Annie Leibowitz did a nice portrait of the Queen looking out of her window ( but I like L's portrait of our Queen looking out of her window better. And the fur she is wearing is her very own. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Before and after Rupert

These are the Galileo range from Nylabone, the toughest chews that they have. "For powerful chewers", the packaging says. Well, Rupert, ever the aberrant, has outpowered their expectations. He just chomped his way through them. The way he goes through the chews, I'll have to replace them almost every week. It's an expensive habit. But I suppose it still works out to be cheaper than replacing shoes and furniture...

Queeni has never been much of a chewer, a thin normal Nylabone lasts her for years. But now that Rupert chews, well, so must she. And she gallantly works away at the tough Galileo and you know her jaws are aching. But she'd rather suffer that than to drop it and have Rupert snatch it. It's a royal attitude.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gone green

There has been a lot of activity in the field as the flower beds have been dug up. All the lilies are gone. But there's a pile of ixora seedlings left in the corner so I guess there'll be new plants where there now are giant mud patches, I hope.

This morning, the trees were trimmed and the branches temporarily left in piles on the ground. Queeni and Rupert haven't left the window, they were thoroughly entertained -- which at least kept That Dog out of mischief.

When they went down for walkies, they were even more delighted -- piles of tree branches on the ground was like the trees finally being brought down to their level.

There was a sudden movement on the grass and Queeni moved like lightning and pounced. After so many attempts at catching lizards that ended up with her just treeing them as they climbed out of reach, she finally caught a lizard. She had it pinned down with her paw.

However, she hadn't stopped to think through about what she would do with a lizard after having caught one. She just stood there, looking at it almost confusedly until L made her let it go.

Rupe, all this time, just stood staring. So much for the terrier instinct.