Monday, February 27, 2012

BBQs & Meetups

Wow I finally found some time to blog!

Well, not really. I'm kinda multitasking right now at my dad's place, waiting for my brother to finish his dinner so we can cut his birthday cake. In the meantime, I'm trying to finish some Excel sheet for work, watching TV, talking to my family and reading some article on the Internet. 

I feel so busy yet unproductive. 

Anyway, I've got some pictures up today. 

Two weeks ago, we had three birthdays in the office, two of which were on the same day! Jeff was nice to invite us to his place for his birthday BBQ. I really enjoyed the fact that he actually hired chefs to come and barbecue so we that didn't have to work at the grill. 

Then on Saturday, 15th Feb, I finally got to hang out with Chayana who used to play netball in TK. The cool thing about this meetup is that we actually see each other everyday since she works in the same building where I live, however I didn't recognise her at first. It was only until she told me on Facebook that I realised who she was! 

What can I say, she looks so pretty and grown-up now that she's virtually unrecognisable!

After watching The Iron Lady at I12 Katong, we had Katong laksa.

I'm sad that this stall is completely renovated and looks different from what it used to, but at least it's still here. A lot of the older shops are gone now- replaced by swanky restaurants that look nice but don't taste that good.

I had a blast with Chayana and hope we get to hang out again soon. I love that she hasn't changed personality-wise since TK days. Still the same sweet girl I know :)

That Sunday, we celebrated dear Joyjoy's birthday at the Hane's Bible study.
I'm gonna start calling it House of Bread from now on 'cause that's what it's called :P

I love Joyjoy. She's such a cutie and she's one of my inspirations to lead by example. 

We had a great discussion that Sunday. I don't even remember what Bible verses we talked about, but thoughts were popping in my head like popcorn on a heated pan. 

Many exciting/fun things happened all throughout last week, but I either kept forgetting to bring my camera out or to charge it. 

For one, Talia and I went to KBox to spend the free vouchers I'd gotten from a flea that past weekend. I had SO MUCH FUN! And it was Talia's first time- yayyyyyyyy!!! I really hope we can go again soon, maybe when we get a larger group so it won't cost as much per pax. There's just something liberating about singing nonsense songs out loud, knowing that you sound horrible but no one cares. Hah!

Ok so this past Saturday, I finally got to eat the mee soto I've been craving since I came back to Singapore. Since October 2011, I kept wanting to eat mee soto. Yet every time I tried to order it, they either didn't have it anymore, or they just didn't sell it. 


Then on Saturday, I met up with Fatimah (also ex TK netballer and my former ex-classmate) and we ate awesome mee soto at Bedok Food Centre!

Can't believe it's been so many years since we've seen each other. Eight years, maybe? Yet when I saw her face at the MRT station, it was like old times again. It wasn't long before we started laughing and cracking up at stupid lame jokes like we used to in secondary school. 

We went to the arcade where I made her get on the DDR machine after shooting hoops. Looks like she hasn't lost her netball skills even without practice!

Walked around Bedok Point and sat here drinking bubble tea while chatting. All the time I kept feeling like i was back in my white and green uniform, loitering in random places after netball practice. The sun shone in just the right amount to jolt my memory all the way back. For those few moments, I felt like I was fourteen again. 

When I snapped out of it, I felt kinda sad. Why do people have to change? Why do we have to grow up?


But then I thought about the book I just reread, Tuck Everlasting. Man, it stinks to never grow older. It stinks to watch life move on without you. People grow up, get married, have children, die and meet the Creator. It would be even sadder to always remain the same. It's not natural. What is life when there is no death?

Alright, enough of that!

Later that night, we had a little family BBQ to celebrate my two brothers' birthdays. They're only days apart. How convenient right? 

Talia, Manda and Andrew came as well and we went swimming after dinner. I did a lot of terrorising- chasing Talia into the icy cold pool, and poor sunburnt Andrew into the hot tub. 

A rare shot of myself by myself. Can't believe I'm gonna be 23 this year... Nooooooo!!!!!!!! 
Okay the real reason why I took this picture is because I'm gonna appreciate it when I'm 25 and wrinkly. 


What's the point right?  

Also, Qiuqiu put this picture of us up on her blog! 


I feel like I just appeared on some major news channel and instead of taking a video of it, I'm screen-capping it. Wooo!!! 

Note to self: don't pose like a dork next time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Sinking Ship Called Friendship

At the end of the day, no amount of Facebook, Skype or Twitter interaction can ever replace the value of spending time with another person. On a social networking platform, people get to hide behind a screen. Behind the smiley emoticon, you can't see their true facial expressions. You only get a superficial idea of who they are, or rather, who they want you to think they are. 

This thought is really beginning to sink in my head right now. 

While I was living in the US, I always tried to maintain some sort of connection with the friends and family that I've left behind here in Singapore. How naive of me to think that these relationships could really remain unchanged over time! 

Fast forward eight years and here we are, heads filled with different ideas about life, walking in different directions with different kinds of people. 

"Breaking up" with friends over big quarrels is always a sad and bitter affair. But one other painful and sad breakup that no one seems to notice is the one that occurs slowly over time. When two friends slowly stop spending time with each other because they just decided that they'd rather do different things. 

Eventually, just a shell of that friendship remains. 

On the outside, we're still "good friends". Best friends even, too, maybe... But we hardly know each other anymore. We wouldn't even know what to get each other for our birthdays because we don't know what our friend likes. We think we know, but we actually don't. 

Sometimes I look at the older people that I know and observe their longtime friendships. A lot of them only recently caught up because they found each other on Facebook. They used to be really good friends, hung out everyday and stuff. Now they hardly know each other. 

Somewhere along the way, they just gave up and started going their own way. Now they look back in a kind of bittersweet regret- where have the days gone by? My, how your kids have grown! 

I watch all these things and I think to myself: I am standing on the edge. This is where it starts.... This is where you and I begin losing touch and falling out. 

Goodbye my friends. 

I guess we'll hang out someday in the far future when our kids are grown and we meet through some new social networking platform.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Let's see... it's now... 2012? This will be the fourth year in a row since I last spent this day without a legit valentine. I know some of you reading this have NEVER had a valentine so you're probably rolling your eyes right now. But before they roll to the back of your head, please hear me out!

Four years ago, I never thought that I'd be able to survive without a boyfriend. 


I know it sounds stupid, and it really is, but I gotta tell you how it was back then. 

Truth is, I was always searching for that someone to fill the lonely gaps in my heart. You know, not just a person to talk to after school and stuff, but a warm body next to mine, a reassuring presence on the couch while watching TV. I never thought I'd see the day when I was fine being on the couch alone. 

Then in 2008, God saved my life and opened my eyes to the stupidity I was wallowing in. 

I realised that I was searching for love in all the wrong places. Not only that, but the "love" I sought wasn't even close to what true love was about. I was chasing an ideal that we see in the movies. I thought that as long as a guy was "spontaneous, cute, caring and has a good sense of humour", he'd be the one for me. 

How immature and silly of me to think that way!

True contentment can never be found in another human being except Jesus Christ. Every man, every friend or relative will disappoint you in some way at least once in your lifetime, but God never will. He is always the same, always faithful, always righteous and just. 

So I haven't dated since 2009, but plenty of temptations have come my way. I know you're thinking that those temptations mean there are guys who are trying to date me. I don't mean to sound like there are literally mobs of guys after me. There are no mobs. But there are other temptations, such as temptations to give up my beliefs in purity before marriage. 

I've been challenged so many times by non-Christians and strong Christians alike during these years that I've resolved to not date (not fish for a partner). Sometimes those people make me wonder if I really am being too extreme. Yet time and again, I just couldn't shake the feeling and conviction that the world's pattern of dating doesn't keep the marriage bed pure. I just can't bring myself to date, let alone date a non-Christian!

I know this supposedly means that my chances of getting hitched are significantly reduced. 

That's good. 

That also probably means that my chances of getting emotionally scarred are also significantly reduced.

Call me scared and timid if you wish, but I value my heart enough to not put it through the stress and pain that it's been through before. Why would I throw it in the washing machine again for a few spin cycles just to see if it would come out unscathed? That would be pure stupidity! 

But in case you're wondering if I'm refraining from dating out of fear of getting hurt, let me assure you that is not the sole reason. The sole reason is honouring God. Realising that He has bought my body and soul with His own blood shed on the cross, willingly giving my life and my all to Him, because I trust Him. 

But I will tell you that this is a daily struggle for me. Keeping the marriage pure is so much more than simply not having sex before marriage or not fishing around for a partner. It's about keeping one's thoughts pure, about being honest with one's intentions at all times with the opposite sex, about honouring other people's future husbands and wives as well as yourself. It is so much harder than it sounds. So many times I fall, I feel like it's just impossible to live according to God's will, then I feel like giving up. 

Yet God keeps reminding me that although "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26) and "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6)

Dear Lord Jesus, you know the moments when I feel like giving up. I know You are watching me from your heavenly throne. I know Your heart breaks when You see me fall and wander away from Your Word. In my weakness, You are strong. In my desperation, You are my hope. God I pray that You will lift me up on wings like eagles even as I grow weary. Help me to be patient with people and with myself. Forgive me for being unfaithful to Your Word and help me to overcome evil with good. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) Renew my mind and refresh my spirit with Your love, in Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Last Week

I really admire people who lead busy lives and still manage to blog regularly. The last time I actually did blog daily was when I was stuck in homeroom every morning for at least one hour without anything to do! Ever since, blogging has always been an on and off thing. I'm sure many people out there can relate...... 

Anyway, since the last time I've updated, this is what I've been up to:

Went out to lo hei with the company peeps last week. 

We had it at Crystal Jade in Great World City. Food actually wasn't bad at all. It had been some years since I last ate there, and I thought the food quality might have fallen since more people started eating there. 

THEN let me tell you what this girl... MANDA, did.

She came to my hang out at my place last week and didn't say ONE WORD about it being her birthday! So we ended up watching a movie and that was it. Didn't even get her a cake or sing a song or anything! 


Okay okay... I know it exposes the fact that I'm a really bad friend, can't even remember people's birthdays... but I really don't usually keep track of birthdays. I don't even wish people happy birthday on Facebook. 

But I gotta make it up to her somehow!

On Thursday, we had a really beautiful sunrise, coupled with fresh cool morning air.

Early that morning I had to head to Paya Lebar MRT, where I met this kitty who looks almost exactly like Koshka!!! When I saw her, my heart flipped. I couldn't believe my eyes; it even rolled on the floor in the same lazy manner as Koshka!

This bowl of mee siam looks good right? Things are not always what they seem though... It wasn't spicy enough and tasted too sweet. 

You might be wondering what I'm doing at Paya Lebar MRT early on Thursday morning, staring at kitties and eating mee siam instead of going to work. 

In fact, I was working, at this event in the Singpost building. 

The conference hall was held in a CHURCH of all places. Didn't see that coming, but I felt a lot more at ease afterwards. 

Early in the morning, not many people besides the reporters were there to listen to the live interviews. Basically the conference was for showcasing all the new upcoming IT stuff from around Asia. 

We were there to promote our iPhone app.

Free gift packs for those who downloaded the app on the spot!

On the first day of the two-day conference, the rooms were really crowded and the air-conditioning didn't seem to function at all. Not only that, but the Wifi and 3G connections were horrendous. We could hardly get anything to function. At least people were sympathetic because everyone was having right about the same connection problems. 

Spent the whole day doing demos and speaking till our throats were hoarse. 


The next morning, Talia and I went near the Singpost area to walk about and to have breakfast. 

Still kinda sleepy from watching movies till late.

It's so sad to see Tanjong Katong show traces of change. All the places we used to see on a daily basis are starting to either disappear or look renovated.

Had porridge for $1.50 here! 

Then on Friday night, I met up with Manda again and her foreign exchange friend Andrew for dinner and arcade. Had a lot of fun! But the arcade was a little too crowded and we ended up spending a lot of time just waiting around for machines to be free. 

Sunday morning, went to breakfast at the good ol' Boon Lay Market where I used to spend a lot of time as a kid. Things look completely different now, but I still remember the uncle who used to sell us pork every morning. 

The sights and smells of this place has been altered somewhat, but all I have to do is close my eyes and the memories will come rushing back. It's sad to know that you can never return to the past sometimes. I wish I could come back to the old Boon Lay with its unpopulated streets, cheap food and wide sweeping carparks with tall raintrees over them. 

All gone now.

On Sunday afternoon, after the Bible gathering at the Hanes' house, Papa drove me to MacRitchie where my siblings and I participated in the bimonthly MR25 5k time trial. I totally wasn't in the mood to run, let alone race, but I was really curious to see what times I would run now that I haven't actually trained or run regularly for months. 

Turns out that my times didn't depreciate that badly at all!

I ran the 5k course in 22:52:55, about 3mins slower than my fastest time. 

Next week, I'll begin running on the track again now that I've found some people to train with. I hope that will help to get me motivated again to train regularly. 

Thing is, I can't run just to stay fit or look good. That to me is hardly motivation at all. I need to race, need to feel like I have to improve my times- that's the only way that I'm gonna jolt my lazy butt into action.


So much is going on in my head these days concerning church, God and my spiritual life that I don't even know where to begin. I think I need to just quiet down and BE STILL.