Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas revelry

The angel with the halo was held down to have this picture taken. Just so you know that sometimes, things are not as they seem, not even with halos. Queeni froze the minute the halo was put on, and refused to co-operate. Rupert, on the other paw, acted like he didn't realise there was something on his head. Eventually, he even fell asleep on the couch with the antlers still on.

L is wearing beer-tinted glasses -- a matching present for Rupert's bottle of beer. We figure that since he is 3 -- making him 21 in human years -- it's about time he had a drink. That was one present I couldn't resist, I love how it looks exactly like a bottle of Heineken, down to the label and the red star on the bottle cap. And it's called Houneken, how cute is that?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas reading

I really don't know what made me pick this up at the library other than the thought that it would be supplementary reading for the usual passages from Isaiah and the Gospels over Christmastime.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Read any good books lately?

I finally got round to reading Khaleed Hosseini's The Kite Runner. Hosseini spins a good story and there's enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. But then again, so does Dan Brown. I think the only reason why this book, and his subsequent book, has captivated so readers the world over is probably because of a renewed interest in Afghanistan. And Obama's recent surge will only keep Afghanistan in the world theatre for a little while longer.

It's kinda like not too long ago when every Chinese woman who made it out of China and was living in the West churned out a spate of literature, fiction and non-fiction, set during the Cultural Revolution. There's a fine line between starting a genre and overkill and that red tide somehow was on the excessive side of the line.

So I don't really know, maybe the novel setting du jour has moved from Cultural Revolution China to Taliban Afghanistan. But there's always a story in there somewhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time flies

When we first moved here, we were -- like many of our neighbours -- newly married and settling into our first home. It was only when the neighbour upstairs invited us for his second child's first month celebration that we realised it's been quite a while. Not that long ago, he had invited us for his firstborn's first month. Do years past by so quickly?

We watched the mak cik's daughter next door get married, move out and now mak cik's a grandma. We watched the young couple across the landing come home from hospital with their first baby. We watched the kid take his first steps and now he's running around driving his parents stir crazy. Soon, we'll be watching him go to school.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New world order

First off, a disclaimer. I don't watch beauty pageants on TV, nor want to have anything to do with them. But Saturday night TV programming gave me no choice -- it was either Miss World or the SEA Games. It was truly between a rock and a hard place.

One thing interesting came out of the Miss World pageant though -- the talent segment was quite a mixed bag. Miss Canada was an ethnic Chinese who performed a soprano aria; Miss Korea was a classical ballerina; Miss Australia was a white woman who did a Bollywood fusion dance; and the most amazing of all was Miss Sierra Leone, who perfected the traditional Chinese opera art of "face changing". Now that's globalisation for you.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Boy bands

There are some music groups that I follow loyally to the extent that I'll buy their new albums unquestioningly, even if I haven't heard the new songs yet, because I know they'll deliver.

That's why I picked up the new Bon Jovi when I went past the record shop. Then I noticed that The Priests also have a new album out so I grabbed it as well. I never thought that I'd be groupie-ing after a trio of priests.

I was rather amused that they had abandoned the sober, classical approach of their first album for a rock-star pose in the cover of their sophomore album. I was even more amused to find that the last track of the album was You'll Never Walk Alone. Maybe they're secret Liverpool FC fans. Although they did take pains to point out in the liner notes that it didn't originate as a football song but a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What I get up to

A meme, courtesy of The Dahn Report

Things you have done during your lifetime:
( ) Gone fishing in the snow
( ) Saw Elvis in Vegas -- saw a lot of things there but Elvis wasn't in the building!
(X) Lived on a barge
( ) Danced on TV
( ) Performed at Disneyland
( ) Gone on a blind date
(X) Skipped school -- who hasn't?
( ) Gone snow-shoeing
(X) Watched someone die
(X) Been to Europe
( ) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
( ) Been to Florida
(X) Gone White-water rafting
(X) Gone Kyaking
( ) Been to Texas
( ) Been to Pennsylvannia
(X) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
( ) Been on a helicopter
( ) Been lost
( ) Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Sang Karaoke
( ) Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.
(X) Made prank phone calls
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain-naked -- I danced in the rain but not naked!
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Been bowling
(X) Sailed a boat
(X) Played tennis
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
( ) Drove a dune buggy
(X) Gone roller skating -- fell more than I skate though
(X) Gone to the movies
(X) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
(X) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
( ) Gone snowmobiling
(X) Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser in person
( ) Seen the Statue of Liberty in person
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
(X) Been on a cruise
(X) Travelled by train
(X) Travelled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
(X) Ridden on a San Francisco Cable Car
(X) Been to Disneyland/ Disney World
(X) Truly believe in the power of positive thinking
(X) Been in a rain forest
(X) Seen whales in the ocean
( ) Been to Niagara Falls
(X) Ridden on an elephant
(X) Ridden on a Camel
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
( ) Been water-skiing
( ) Been snow-skiing
( ) Been snowboading
(X) Been to Westminster Abbey
(X) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to the Great Pyramid in Egypt
( ) Been to a Major League Baseball game
( ) Been to a National Football League game
( ) Been to Jamaica
( ) climbed a waterfall
(X) Climbed the Eiffel Tower -- I didn't climb, I took the lift

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wild life

Spotted a monkey in the grassy area next to the playground in the flats across from the office.

And I thought the only monkey business in Toa Payoh North took place within the office building.