Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodbye 2012

2012 you have been an outstanding year!

Apart from the not so nice things (turning 23 years old), there was a whole ton of fun to be had. I didn't cry as much as I did this year as compared to last year I think... Well, at least not over bad things that happened to me. 

This year I travelled a lot to different countries and neighbourhoods. 

Facebook tells me that I've made over 200 new acquaintances and/or friends. 

But do all these things really matter to me at the end of the day?

I look back upon 2012 and its fond memories with a tinge of sadness not because I didn't have more time to do the things I wanted to, but because I suddenly feel as if all these things are just so insignificant

One day our time will be up. We'll die and move on from this world. I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say here, but I guess to sum it up in a word, I'm feeling GRATEFUL to be alive. 

Alive for the whole of 2012. 

Thank you God, thank you! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Weeks Around Christmas

In between studying and sleeping, I haven't really been staying home much. Below are just some photos to show what I've been up to recently. 

Skated to Woodlands Waterfront after a few months hiatus. 

Haven't seen them in a while because of the rainy season!

Went biking with DDR friends.

We skated from Bukit Timah to Woodlands. 

Lepak (lay around) there for a while to rest my sore behind... 

Met Alverina and Chen Xi to watch Amanda's church musical. 

It was really funny and entertaining!

Christmas eve dinner with ham on the plate... Yummy... 

Family at House of Bread for Christmas Eve. 

Tonight marks the last night that Timezone will be in operation in Cineleisure. As of December 26th, they will be permanently shutting down. 

For the past two months or so, Timezone Cineleisure has become my favourite weekend night haunt. I spent so many hours there perspiring on the DDR machine that I can't help but feel miserable that they're closing.

Guess this is it... 

You gave me many fond memories of laughter, fun and new friends. I will always remember you as the place where I first learned to play DDR properly! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Hmm... Once again, I've been slacking off with blogging, mainly because I don't have Internet connection in my room and I no longer go to work on a daily basis. 

Since I left my last job, I've been spending my time studying for exams, playing DDR, going to church and just hanging out with friends. I even spent a few days in China with my dad visiting relatives. You know, I thought I would really enjoy the trip there, but instead I spent most of the time studying for an exam. Such is life!

Christmas and New Year's Eve is almost upon us, and once again, I'm asking myself the same old question: what is it that I want to do this year before the time has passed? 

To be honest, the answer is nothing. 

2012 was an absolutely amazing and fun year so I don't feel like I left any stone unturned. 

I'm too lazy to write more right now, so... That's about it for today. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Is My Father's World

As it turns out, my boss and I have mutually agreed that this Friday, tomorrow in fact, would be the best time for me to end my employment here. He was afraid that I might be too bored in the office next week if I were to leave next Friday instead. 

So, that's it! 

A year of working in this interesting little startup called Feecha. It was a really fun time and I learned some valuable lessons. I think I could even write a book on it if I wanted to. My book would be titled "First Year Out Of College- Lessons Learnt On The First Job". It'll probably be in the self-help section and the chapters would be:

1) First impression counts
2) Always respect your superiors
3) Listen more, talk less
4) Always double and triple check information
5) God is in the details
6) Enjoying work to the fullest
7) Attitude is everything


I'm pretty excited to be starting work in a new place soon and to meet new people! I think that's one of my favourite things about changing jobs, locations, schools, etc... it's that, you get to meet all sorts of new and interesting characters. Although it's hard to be really close friends with all the wonderful people that you meet in life, life is still enriched with just being able to share in their experiences and hearing diverse perspectives on things. 

One thing that is going to be really really interesting about this new place I'm working at is that, they already know who I am. I'll be going in with a label on me already, that I am my father's daughter. I'd expect that people will see me in a different light when I start working there. In fact I already felt it when I walked into the office before. 

People will be expecting me to be smart, productive, precise, considerate, etc. 

I'm starting to feel a bit of pressure build up. 

For the first time in my life, I finally realised- this is what it feels like to be known as your father's daughter! 

As Christians, we don't always think about the fact that we are our Heavenly Father's daughters and sons in such a tangible way. Yes, being a son or daughter of God brings benefits of being known in His Kingdom, but it also brings the responsibility of upholding His good name. 

I don't want to dishonour my earthly father in front of his colleagues, neither do I want to dishonour my Heavenly Father in front of people who know me as a Christian. This is such a huge responsibility, why did I never see the gravity of it before?

I believe this is another lesson that God is teaching me as the days roll by. As a daughter of a king, I should always remember that people will judge my behaviour accordingly. I can no longer live with my own standards, but I must live as the daughter of the King of Kings. 

What a great reminder on a Thursday morning!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Each Month I Become Someone Else

It has been 11 straight days of nonstop dancing, dancing, dancing.

And last night I got my very first AA on a song!!! 


On another note, I just told my boss that I'm resigning today. My last day will be 30th November and then after that, it's celebration time! December ought to be fun. 

Friday, November 16, 2012


These past few days have been nothing short of crazy. Why? Because I have this terrible habit of becoming totally and entirely absorbed in something once it catches my fancy! Since last December, rollerblading has been the thing that caught my undivided attention. Call me up 3am in the morning, I'll probably agree to go skating with you just because I love it so much. However now that it's the rainy season, skating every night has more or less become impossible. 

Not being able to skate every night made me quite depressed actually. I can't go a night without doing something utterly exhausting. I don't know why. So then, full of itch and energy, my legs trotted into an arcade last Friday with the intention of playing one game of DDR. I never thought that the one game would turn into a few hours of sweating out endorphins by the bucket. 

That Friday night Shirley and I met some really pro DDR players at the arcade and they taught us how to use the machine. I never even knew that Singapore had some sort of DDR association. Those people apparently fly around Asia to go for competitions and stuff. Anyway I have a ton of respect for those pro DDR players now. Doing what they do, it's pretty insane and requires years of dedication and practice. 


Back to the topic. 

I've been going to the arcade EVERY SINGLE NIGHT so far just to play DDR. On Monday Shirley and I decided to go to Dhoby Ghaut instead of our usual Cineleisure and we discovered that the DDR machine there was quite empty. For me it was like discovering a gold mine. 

So...... Now every night before I fall asleep I still see arrows flashing in front of my eyes. When I type on my laptop or phone, the sound just reminds me of feet tapping on the DDR pad. The DDR songs keep ringing in my ears and I have an overwhelming need to watch Youtube videos and play along with my fingers.

I don't know why I have such a one track mind. My dad says this is a bad habit that I have to learn to control.

The habit of getting carried away.... 



P.S. This is Wei Li (one of the pros) on DDR. I can't even...........

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Girl Pains

You know what I think the number one reason girls fall out of friendship with each other these days? It's not boyfriend-stealing, as some would like to think, but the true culprits are ENVY and JEALOUSY. 

Disclaimer: Before I continue this, I'd like to point out that I know quite a bit about this topic simply because I've had to deal with it a lot. After years of confronting my insecurities and faults, I'm now comfortable enough to talk about it. And ever since I became a Christian, the Holy Spirit has led me to see the world differently. Yet once in a while, I still struggle with this girl-on-girl hating tendency. Basically, I'm not trying to insinuate that I'm the only girl in the world who doesn't have this problem. So if you're harbouring any thoughts of this post sounding something along the lines of "holier than thou", now would be the time to dump them, or stop reading.  



I'm sure you know what this movie is... Mean Girls! A favourite chick flick among many who grew up during the Britney Spears / N*SYNC pop era. 

Mean Girls gives great illustrations about the psyche behind girls hating other girls, especially the ones within their own cliques. I mean, isn't it counter intuitive for friends to hate on their closest friends? Wouldn't it make more sense for friends within a clique to hate on people in another clique? Well, as we see in the movie, this is often not the case. 

Let's start with Cady Heron.

When Cady first arrives at Northshore High School as the new kid from Africa, she doesn't fit in with any cliques and as a result, she feels excluded by the entire school. Nobody hates her and she doesn't hate anybody. Besides, she doesn't know anyone well enough to hate them. 

At this point, Cady feels insecure due to her being unaccepted among such a large group of people and has to eat lunch in a toilet stall all by herself.

It isn't long before Cady meets two other highly individualistic people who like her, don't quite fit in any other clique in the school. Together, Janis, Damien and Cady form their own little clique, and it is in this clique where Cady begins to learn the underlying social rules that govern the entire Northshore community. 

Note that the social rules of alienation or separation are not actually spelled out to Cady. Janis didn't explicitly say, "well from now on you cannot hang out with this person and that person because they belong in another clique". Instead, she gives Cady a cafeteria map that illustrates where the different cliques usually sit in the cafeteria. However, by showing Cady this map and describing the other cliques according to their stereotypes, Janis has just alienated Cady from the rest of the cliques, thereby sealing her position within the "individualistic group". It is a subtle act done to Cady's subconscious, but the new rules have been learnt. E.g. "I am not asian and I am not cool, so I cannot sit with the cool asians and hang out with them" or "I am not black, so I cannot befriend the black kids".

With these rules in mind, Cady's world is suddenly disrupted by a breach. 

Cady is invited to sit at the Queen Bee's table in the cafeteria- a big no no and a warning sign that would have been easily avoided by a veteran student at Northshore High. However for Cady, a youngling in the new world of high school politics, this is only slightly unsettling. So, she does exactly what she learnt back in Africa, which is to politely accept the invitation.

Now let's pause here for a second.

Why in the world would the Queen Bee of Northshore High want to be friends with the unknown, unpopular Cady Heron?

Well let's see. Regina compliments Cady on her bracelet and calls her pretty, but from her body language and tone, we can totally see through the insincerity of her words. Regina doesn't really want to be friends with Cady, she just wants to manipulate Cady into her clique so as to maintain her power and control. 

In fact, as we see later on, the queen bee clique is not about true friendship at all. Instead, it is riddled with power struggles, manipulation, jealousy and insecurities. Essentially, the clique exists simply to prop up each member's ego. It works like a pyramid. The one on top, Regina, gets the most props. The others like Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith get props too, but less than Regina does. Still, they are satisfied with the social status that comes with being Regina's footstools. 

Cady's entrance into such a clique means that she must now conform to the rules of that clique and embrace all things "plastic". Superficially, Cady beings to change- from the way she dresses to the way she talks, and eventually to the way she interacts with people around her. 

We must note that although Cady's transformation is influenced by the others in the clique, it is still a personal choice. Nobody forced her to become like them. She is also still technically a part of the "individualistic" clique so she has options of leaving, but Cady chooses to stay with the Plastics because she enjoys her new social status and all the intangible benefits that come with it. 


So, I started out this post as a piece about envy and I'm not about to end it as an in-depth analysis of Mean Girls. I had to bring the movie up though, because it illustrates my points so exceedingly well. 

First, let's go back to the first statement I made in this post. 

You know what I think the number one reason girls fall out of friendship with each other these days? It's not boyfriend-stealing, as some would like to think, but the true culprits are ENVY and JEALOUSY. 

Again, I say it's interesting that the victims of girl-on-girl hate crimes are often not from different cliques. They are usually within a circle of close friends. It's kinda like how people usually think murders are committed by crazy unknown psychopaths. But in reality, many murders are homicides carried out by members or friends of the family. 

Why do such hate crimes happen in the first place? 

Hate crimes in female friendships are often intangible and can range from anything between malicious gossip to subtle things they do to harm another person's self-esteem. Ultimately, the goal is to maintain or promote one's power position within the clique structure, with the intangible benefit being a superficial boost in self-esteem. 

Thus, a vicious cycle is created. 

1) Girls attack other girls within the same clique for a boost in self-esteem
2) Those attacks leave lasting emotional scars on other girls (often the scar is lowered self-esteem and an unhealthy image of self)
3) Those girls perpetuate the cycle by attacking others later on
4) The cycle continues

What drives all this? 

What drives the catty remarks, the back-handed compliments, the insincere hugs and the fake friendship that could hurt so much more than an outright war?

Is it really Envy and Jealousy?


But if we peel back the layers a bit more, we will begin to see that the true reason why girls behave this way is because of:

 Insecurity. Low self-esteem. Lack of confidence.

Let me just share some things with you.

Ever since I was in kindergarten, all the way up to primary school, I was a terrible bully who physically ill-treated countless girls and boys. Sometimes I recount those stories like they're really funny, but I deep down, I know that people were actually really hurt by the things that I did. Not a day went by when I did not pull someone's hair, take someone's stuff or call people names. Who knows how many bullies and insecure girls were spawned from those days of being bullied by me? Those of you who knew me since primary school days know that I was notorious in school for always being punished by the principal.

But the story doesn't end there. In secondary and high school, I became a more seasoned kind of bully who used words and superficial niceties to bruise and wound people. As a result, I made many more enemies than friends. I'm surprised that I even have true friends leftover from those days!

Anyway, when I first started really reading the Bible back in 2008, I felt like I was finally stripped of all my walls. The Bible was like a clear mirror that finally made me realise and admit that I am actually a NOBODY. I am not awesome because I am pretty, talented, smart, tall, funny, etc and all the other things that I've forced other people to believe.

As a result, I was able to see that by bringing other people down, I was actually exposing my insecurities, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. In fact, the confident cover was just... a cover. Underneath, I was a mess, and therefore quite incapable of forming genuine friendships with many girls. Though I had many "friends", I realised that almost all of them were fake friendships- they didn't really like me very much because they thought I was cocky, mean-spirited and annoying.

I'd like to say that after that realisation, I worked on my self-image and later became awesome from the inside out, but that is far from the truth.

What really happened instead was that I found my identity in something, someone actually, greater than myself.

It wasn't a boyfriend (that one failed miserably), nor was it my parents who gave me my identity. I couldn't find it in myself nor could I find it in any clique of friends, because none of those people could give me true and lasting stability. The person who ultimately gave me my self-worth was Jesus Christ, I kid you not.

See, I knew that I needed to find purpose in my life and to know what I was living for. I needed that healthy confidence from within- the kind of confidence that doesn't sway when people disappoint you, when things go wrong or when you're feeling down. And I found that confidence in Jesus because He was always there for me. He was also the first person who's ever truly loved me.

He told me that even though I was a broken person who deserved to die, He loved me before I was born and died on the cross for me before I repented and asked for His forgiveness.


That's like if your enemy got thrown into jail for 50 years, and you decided to take his place in jail even though he hates you and you don't know if he's even going to be grateful or repentant.

If that's not love, then I don't know what is!

Back to Mean Girls, if Cady had her self-confidence rooted in Christ, knowing that He loves her no matter what, she would be busy working on her relationship with Him. And the great thing about being in a relationship with Jesus is that He makes you do all these things that go against your human nature.

It's human nature to want to lie, to be attracted to superficial and temporary emotions, to steal and to harm others. No child in the world has ever needed to be taught how to lie when they get caught doing something they're not supposed to- it just sort of comes naturally. But when you're in a relationship with Jesus, He changes your heart so that you no longer love your human nature or think that it's natural.

If you spend a lot of time in constant relationship with the Lovely, Eternal, Everlasting God, you will be influenced by Him. It's like being influenced by a good friend that you spend a lot of time with. This is how Jesus changes people inside out. He puts His desires in your heart and takes out your sinful human desires! Soon, your heart will start crawl at the sight of things that are superficial and temporary.

 If Cady had God in her heart, she might have been safeguarded from the draw of "fame" that comes with being a member of the Plastics. She would have been able to see through the temporary nature of the social structure in Northshore High, thereby saving her from the problems that come with compromising to its rules.

And I think that's precisely what gave me self-confidence and the ability to see through temporary social structures.

I tried to find my confidence in friends, they failed me.

I tried to find my confidence in parents, they failed me too.

I tried to find my confidence in myself, but I found that I had none to begin with.

I tried to find my confidence in a guy, he failed me.

I tried to build confidence by changing the way I look, by manipulating my social position among people, by travelling, by gaining knowledge, by doing well in school or work, etc... But all that stuff was never able to last. I would always still come to an empty place, like a desert in my heart.

But when I encountered the love of Jesus Christ, MAN that was like... stumbling upon an unending spring in an oasis.


So where does all that leave me?

I still struggle with lack of self-esteem sometimes, and it's usually when I wander away from Jesus Christ, getting enticed by the pretty things of this temporary world again.

But my struggles are mainly victorious if I run again to Christ.

I have no fear of man, or woman now for that matter.

"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)

When people step on me or when life goes wrong, I can laugh in the face of adversity because my confidence comes from Christ, who lives within me. I have confidence in an unshakeable Rock... What and who could ever move me?

If you want that sort of confidence in your life, listen to what I say.

Jesus Christ will turn you from a barren desert to a fresh stream overflowing with goodness. He will take your timid heart of stone and turn it into one made of flesh, strong from the inside out. You will never again have to live in fear of people not liking you, or not thinking that you're "cool enough". You will be released from the chains of having to conform to detrimental social structures in your clique, school or workplace. Your days will be filled with love, hope and FREEDOM.

Are you in or out?


And just for laughs...

Keri Hilson's version ^

Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful 

Praise Invasion's version ^

Don't hate me cause He saved my soul

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

These Few Nights

If you go to Kinokuniya and see this person, be sure to mess up all the books she's packing on the shelf! 


Just kidding.... 

Visiting friends at work is fun, especially when you get to prank them on the job!

On Tuesday I cooked a very imperfect pot of борщ to last me the whole week. 

Many things went wrong with it. I forgot to buy beets or beetroot as they call it here, which is a main ingredient. Fortunately the missing beets didn't alter the taste of the soup much. Also, I was lazy and sliced the carrots into rounds instead of grating it. I've found that grating carrots instead of slicing them improves the taste by A LOT so that's inexcusable. Lastly, I didn't put enough cabbage in there and the soup came out more sour than usual due to the extra tomatoes. 

Not my favourite pot of борщ ever, but still passable. 

The good thing is, борщ gets better with age up to a week, so I'm really looking forward to tonight's helping. It will be the third night it's been out on the stove. 

I miss cooking daily, but in our small kitchen at home, only one person can cook there comfortably, so I try not to step on my mom's toes too often. However this week, I really have to stay home and study every night. Every hour is precious, so eating out is not really a viable option. Thus the pot of soup to last a week. 

Last night I finished three chapters and didn't hit the lights till 04:30 in the morning. 

The worst part was, even after lying in bed and closing my eyes, I couldn't really fall asleep because my brain was being overly active. It's such a terrible feeling- to feel so physically exhausted yet being unable to shut my brain up. 

That's life for now, and I know it will be my life for the next few months, but that's alright. 

I kind of missed studying anyway. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Lizzie's Wedding Weekend

This past Saturday was a very special day for Lizzie!!!!!!

On Saturday night, I met up with Manda

And her foreign exchange friends

We went to Thaipan for dinner since it was raining heavily in the east

Those crazy boys decided to go swimming at the pool there

Having no choice but to be indoors because of the rain, we went to KBox at Bedok Point

It was a first for the three amigos to be singing at a karaoke.

Manda and I got our sing on too!

Some hallway shenanigans after singing... 

Sunday after church, I had lunch with Michelle at Bukit Timah hawker. 

Tried the tom yam soup from the thai stall. Surprisingly amazing! I had to add some chilli powder though.

Found the tiniest mushroom I'd ever seen

Sunday morning gave us blue skies and sunny weather. It made me so happy since we have had rainy weather almost every day this past week. 

Really enjoyed the bus ride from Bukit Timah to Choa Chu Kang

Sunny all the way

When evening rolled around it was time to get dressed up... 

for Lizzie's wedding reception at the Mandarin Oriental hotel! 

I didn't bring a date with me so I had to sit at a table with people that I didn't know. It was an interesting experience :)

So happy for the two of them!

The beautiful (and enormous) wedding cake

Very touching and funny speeches were given last night.

After the wedding I met up with Shirley at Barossa in Esplanade to chill. 

Sampled their beers but only liked the Irish Ale. 

Time flies when you're having fun, but time waits for no man! I was very aware of that when I woke up this morning and looked at my studying schedule. Where did my weekend go???

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Back To School

Last night on the way home, I saw the most interesting scene- a secondary school boy on a segway at the traffic junction, obviously on his way home. 

When I saw that, every fibre of my 23 year old being instantly felt old

Come on, when I was in secondary school, people either rode buses, got dropped off by their parents or walked to school. NOBODY rode segways! At least not at my school......

Speaking of school, the last time I had to mug for exams was well over a year ago. However, in the next few months, this will be my life again. I started on the first chapter last night and my studying speed was about 5 pages per hour, which means I spent 12 minutes on each page!!! 

Can you say slow as a tortoise?

I sincerely hope I will get faster at this, if not I'll really be done for.

That being said, I remember reading something along the lines of Romans 9:16 a few days ago. It says: "it does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy"

Because of this verse, I think that God gives us seemingly insurmountable challenges to remind us of how much we need His grace and mercy. It's only when we are driven to the corner, stripped of all natural abilities, talents and knowledge, do we acknowledge His sovereignty in every little decision in our lives. 

So.... Here's to stepping into the unknown once again. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Hurricanes

Over the past two days, the entire northeast area of the U.S.A. has been battered by a strong storm named Hurricane Sandy. Since then, I've been actively watching all videos and following live reports from friends and various news sources. I didn't sleep till about 03:00 this morning because the videos were just so interesting! Case in point: 

I think I re-watched this video about 15 times before my aching stomach wouldn't let me anymore.

Anyway, in Singaporean news, Hurricane Sandy is given some airtime (punneh!), but I noticed there were a few things that might not seem obvious to Singaporeans, or even some Americans.

For example, have you ever wondered what exactly is a hurricane? Because if you look up the definition online, it sounds pretty similar to a typhoon.

Well, ten years ago, I used to have this encyclopaedia on my computer and "hurricanes" happened to be my favourite section to read. Why? Because it had the coolest pictures ever!!! So in the following paragraphs I will be highlighting some facts about hurricanes that I can still recall.

What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?

In simple terms, hurricanes are very strong tropical storms which occur in the Atlantic Ocean, around the Americas. Typhoons are the same type of storm, except that they occur in the Pacific Ocean.

That is why in Taiwan, you only hear of typhoons, but it is a hurricane that slams into the American coasts.

Just to confuse us a bit more, such storms would be called a "tropical cyclone" in Singapore.

Go English.

Why do hurricanes always have female names?

I'm not sure why the more famous hurricanes usually happen to have female names, but there are actually male hurricane names as well, like Hurricane Leslie, Hurricane Earl and Hurricane Isaac.

The names are from a list provided by the World Meteorological Organisation. While this list used to only contain female names, concerns of it being sexist were raised and therefore male names were added to it later on.

There are a total of six lists of names, one used per year. The names go in alphabetical order on each list. Every six years, they will go back to the first list and start using the names in order again. That means that in 2018, this year's hurricane name list will be reused again. Note that names that start with Q, U, X, Y or Z are not used.

Here is the name list of hurricanes in 2012:

As you can see, if another hurricane occurs after Hurricane Sandy is over, it will be called Hurricane Tony. 

Now, does this mean that there will be another Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy in the future? The answer is no, because the names of devastating hurricanes such as these are "retired" or in other words, permanently removed from the lists. 

 What do the different categories of hurricanes mean? 

If you're following news about hurricanes, you're likely to hear phrases such as these:  

"... Category 2, downgraded to a Category 1..."
 "... is now a Category 5 hurricane..." 

And if you didn't pay attention in Geography class, don't worry. I'm making this very simple. 
Hurricane categories are based on two measurements:

1) Wind speed
2) Storm surge

See storm surge diagram below:

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water that is generated by the strong winds. 

And these are the different measurements for each category.

Category 1: Winds of 74-95 mph (119-152 kmh) with a possible storm surge of 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) above normal.

Category 2: Winds of 96-110 mph (154-177 kmh) with a possible storm surge of 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) above normal.

Category 3: Winds of 111-130 
mph (178-209 kmh) with a possible storm surge of 9-12 feet (2.7-3.6 m) above normal. 

Category 4: Winds of 131-155 mph (210-249 kmh) with a possible storm surge of 13 to 18 feet (3.9-5.4 m) above normal.

Category 5: Winds greater than 155 mph (249 kmh) with a possible storm surge of more than 18 feet (5.4 m) above normal.

And there you have it!