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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

Dear Blogger,

There were way too many photographs to load onto one day's post. So I've decided to break them up into series. Ipy and I went to the National Museum today because I wanted to catch the "Greek Masterpieces" exhibition. I knew he was too lazy for such things, but he did it anyway because I asked him to.

We started with coffee and toast at Ya Kun Kaya at The Grand Cathay. I found this tablet right outside the art deco building. Apparently, this building was used by the "Japanese Propaganda Department" during WWII. I never knew that!

Tablet found outside the Grand Cathay housing the Japanese Propaganda Department in Singapore during WWII

Ipy and I at Ya Kun Kaya before we headed down to the National Museum (check out the new bling on my finger!)

Good old breakfast set at Ya Kun Kaya Grand Cathay. The half-boiled eggs were superb!

YMCA at 1 Orchard Road, just next to the National Museum

The not-so-busy streets through SMU campus

This way to the National Museum

The newly-renovated National Museum of Singapore

Entry to the "Greek Masterpieces" at the National Museum is chargeable. Adults pay $8, but it doesn't include entries to the other galleries. If you've never visited the permanent galleries at this museum before, get the package at just $15 per adult. Or you can wait till 6 p.m. to enter the permanent galleries for free.

Moddie, the would-be goddess?

Ipy trying his hand with some hardware installation

"Live" video wall installation at the National Museum


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

Dear Blogger,

Without realising it, I've become more involved in this tuition gig than I had ever planned before. It started out as a mean to earn extra allowances 10 years ago. But now, the thought of doing this full-time does not seem preposterous.

I was running between tuition lessons with only 30 minutes in between today! It wasn't my students' fault. I had misinterpreted my schedule for the day. Yes, it was brain-draining, but you know what? I reveled in it! I get to participate in a child's educational development without the politics of an MOE teacher. The best part of it all, I have control of my time!

Sure I don't get to enjoy the year-end bonuses or the promotion perks or even CPF contributions. Those don't bother me anymore. I have changed, and I've only recently been aware of it! It's such a weird feeling. It's like... a revelation of sorts.

I'm content with the way things are. Yet, I'm expected to be a somebody. Somebody who slaves in the office cubicle. Somebody who earns big bucks. But I'm happy now! Doesn't that matter more?

The Universe told me that for every fork in the road, there are often two paths to choose from... the one you "should" take and the one you "want" to take. Take the second. Always take the second.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

Dear Blogger,

Something funny happened on our way out of the Parkway Parade carpark in the evening. If anyone has ever driven at Parkway Parade, you'd know how dangerous the turns are. The carpark there is not meant for most women or beginner drivers.

Anyway, we were down to the second floor of the two-way carpark when this soda orange Kia Picanto came out of nowhere in front of us! Of course we had to brake! He was in our lane and he's going the other direction! The driver in the other lane couldn't move in his big SUV either. So the traffic was halted for about 10 minutes because of this irresponsible Kia Picanto.

What was funny though, was that this guy didn't know what to do! He wanted to go forward but we couldn't let him. There were already cars queuing up behind us. Besides, he was in the wrong lane and he was supposed to give us way.

So Ipy had to take charge and be the temporary traffic controller. He managed to clear the other lane first. Then another hilarious thing happened. The Kia Picanto didn't know how to reverse and get into his lane! He kept inching forward till I was so damn sure he was going hit our car.

What was so difficult about driving a Kia Picanto? It's a small, cute car! If he was driving a big SUV or a truck, maybe we'd understand the challenges of driving a shift stick. The guy was practically begging us to give him way, but we really couldn't move!

Kia Picanto in soda orange

You should have seen the guy's face. He looked as if his wife was about to give birth. He wasn't a young driver. He looked like he was in his 40s. I didn't think he looked Singaporean either. More like PRC Chinese. Oh well... Only God knows what was going on his head at that moment.

Later in the evening, we had desserts at Spize The Supper Club at Simpang Bedok. I ordered the Fresh Mango with Lychee while Ipy had the Ice Chendol. When we arrived, the big eatery was showing "I Am Legend" on its two flat screen TVs.

For free movies like "I Am Legend", catch it at Spize The Supper Club (food not included)

Considering that the movie was just screened at the cinemas last month, this minor screening was obviously illegal. It didn't matter though because the DVD was pretty good quality (but the often-incorrect subtitles were very annoying). We were lucky that we had arrived when the movie had just started.

We chewed on fried chicken till the end of the movie. We thought Spize had it good with the movie and food combo, only if it wouldn't get caught by the MDA authorities. Last month when we were there, we caught "Die Hard 4.0"!


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Monday, January 28, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

Dear Blogger,

All I asked for was a simple affair between his immediate family and my immediate family. Was that too much to ask??? I thought, for once, my mother would do what I asked for. But guess what? She had to ruin my special day by inviting my grandmother, my aunt and uncle to this exclusive event of ours!

If I had wanted to make this like a traditional engagement thing, I would go all out for it. But I didn't! I wanted it SIMPLE!!! Ipy's coming over only with THE ring, and nothing else. So you could imagine the confusion my mother's covert operation had caused to his family when my extended family turned up.

We could have just had coffee and a birthday cake (Ipy's father had ordered a birthday cake for me), but no! My mom had to have a feast! She just had to! Why? I don't know! Who could understand that woman???

The birthday cake my future father-in-law had ordered for me. Simple and fuss-free. Just the way I liked it!

Why did she do this to me when I've already explicitly told her how I wanted it to be? And she had even acknowledged understanding! Why? Why? Why? I've asked myself that question the whole night, and my only conclusion was that she was doing it purposely to hurt me.

Did she not realise the effects of her actions? She has not only opened a new can of worms within THIS family, she has also exposed Ipy's family to awkwardness! I won't be surprised if the gossips about this engagement has reached relatives' ears as far as Tuas by now.

Especially since I refused to follow protocol by not hiding in my room, and that Ipy had brought only the ring. No trays of gifts. None of that nonsense. I had even refused to put on the ring when his sister had offered it to me! I had practically growled at her when I said I didn't want it. I wanted Ipy to give it to me, and no one else!

I was too upset for propriety

I didn't even bother to hide my displeasure. I was very upset and I was very sure everyone knew it! If some of them were oblivious to my coldness, they'd know it when the winds of gossips reached their ears.

One of the kueh (don't know what's the name) that my grandmother had brought

My sister was very sweet. She ordered a birthday cum engagement cake for me at her own expense. It must have cost quite a lot for her because the cake was from "Angie's The Choice". They make really good cakes. It was very chocolaty but very yummy. I was told that the huge slice I packed for Ipy was ravaged by his nieces and nephew. So it meant that it was really good.

The cake my sister had ordered

I was trying my best to put on a smile

I was resisting the temptation to stab the cake

Finally got this pose right!

Ipy, always the poser

This was me, all radiant and excited, before my mother surprised me with her insensitivities

Incandescent with the pearls Ipy had given me for my birthday

Earlier in the day, I spent the whole afternoon embroidering monograms on a handkerchief for Ipy. The letterings turned out fine. Unfortunately, the flowered heart didn't show up very well. But I think I did OK with it, considering I did it freehand. By the way, it wasn't a cheap handkerchief.

The hand embroidered monogram handkerchief for Ipy (I've forgotten to spray my perfume on it)

I didn't want to give it to him in the presence of our families. So I gave it to him, with the CK limited edition Steel underwear afterwards. We went to Mount Faber Park. This was where it all started last year. We haven't come up here ever since that first time. I don't know if it was meant to be significant.

The gorgeous packaging from CK. I love the way the ribbon was tied!

Introducing the low rise trunk, a new sexy, masculine silhouette. Sophisticated, premium, ultra luxe microfiber fabrication - exclusive fabrication to Calvin Klein Underwear. Pouch front. Steel waistband with bold black logo on all color-ways. Imported. 87% Tactel® nylon, 13% spandex.

I had given him a pair, one in "tiger rose" colour and another in an exclusive tan colour. He said that they were super comfortable, and he felt aroused when the fabric touched his skin. His only disappointment was that the "Calvin Klein" was in the front, not at the back. So he can't show it off from the back. To show it off from the front, he had to have abs like the model above.

Ipy finally presented me with the ring by going down on one knee. If I knew he was going to do that, I would have dressed more appropriately instead of bedroom shorts and t-shirt. And I shouldn't have laughed out of embarrassment. Another couple was looking at our antics you see.

Gosh the ring felt heavy! But it sure looked good! Even in the middle of the night with limited lighting, you could see the brilliance of the ring. At that moment, I felt like, to quote Jack Dawson from "Titanic", "I'm on top of the world!"

The Tiffany platinum Lucida ring, still in its heavy, velvet box

I only put on the ring because my sister wanted to take a photo of me with the ring

Ipy and I discussed the night's events. He was always positive about things, whereas I, was the realist. I don't want to use the word "pessimist" because it wasn't exactly correct. I seriously don't know how we're going to manage the wedding with surprises like these.

I pity Ipy. I've gotten him involved in this family madness and he's not even my husband yet! I won't be surprised if he decided to quit on me. I won't blame him even.


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Sunday, January 27, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

Dear Blogger,

I've gotten my birthday presents early this year. It started when my colleague gave me a box of chocolates. We share the same birthday, but I haven't given her a birthday present yet. I didn't expect her to give me one anyway.

Then in the evening, Ipy was late picking me up from tuition. Apparently, he was on a secret mission. Well, it wasn't exactly that mysterious. He was out shopping for my birthday gift! I didn't expect that either! I kind of figured that the Tiffany diamond ring he would be giving me tomorrow was enough already.

Early birthday present for Ipy's princess

It was well-wrapped, so I couldn't deduce what it was. It rattled though. I even thought I had broken whatever it was inside! I resisted tearing the wrapping paper off till we reached our dining place. We decided to try out Mad Jack at Simpang Bedok.

We ordered the Grilled Chicken with Orange Sauce and Mushroom Rice, and Grilled Rib-Eye with Black Pepper Sauce and Mashed Potato. What was an outright robbery was that they charged us $0.50 for a glass of tap water!

If the food was insanely great, then it would have been amusing. But the dishes that we tried were just average. I personally think that the western food served by Spize right across us were much, much better. Ipy liked the mushroom rice though. He did agree that the western food at the Banquet food courts were comparable.

Then again, I've never dined in an Australian-concept restaurant. So, it wouldn't be fair for me to compare Mad Jack with other western-based restaurants. I'm not aware of Australian cuisine. I've not been to Australia yet.

Grilled Chicken with Orange Sauce and Mushroom Rice, and Grilled Rib-Eye with Black Pepper Sauce and Mashed Potato

Anyway, back to my birthday present!

I carefully unwrapped the present. I like to salvage as much of the wrapping paper as possible when unwrapping presents. They're so beautiful, so it's sad to just rip them apart!

The wrapping had finally come off. Oh look! It's a big, red box!

It's a pearl necklace!

The pearl necklace in its big, red box. And the box matches my shirt!

Isn't it elegant? Hopefully, this one doesn't break apart (sorry Em!)

Ipy at Mad Jack (I think he's chewing on his chicken)

Oh wow! Diamonds AND pearls! What more can a girl ask for on her birthday??? I just hoped Ipy didn't spend too much on these pearls. Knowing him, I think he did. Why he didn't just get me a digital camera is still beyond me. Sometimes, his rationales can be something to be desired.


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Saturday, January 26, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

Dear Blogger,

It was very busy at work this morning. As soon as one customer's done, I had another customer. I didn't even have time to breathe! It went on like that till about 2 p.m. I was starving, and my bladder was almost full. But at least I was satisfied. We haven't had sales like that for quite a while.

By the time I knocked off at 4 p.m., I could feel the exhaustion all through my body. My brain was worn out. All I wanted to do then was to take a warm shower and snooze in bed, among the comforts of my pillows and soft, furry friends. But I couldn't. I had a make-up tuition afterwards.

While waiting for Ipy at the lobby, there was a group of cosmetic girls on their break, hanging out at the lobby. They were smoking and most likely gossiping away. After a year of departmental retail, I've come to realise that it's just like school. The cosmetic girls are the retail equivalent of the "mean girls".

When Ipy finally arrived, I could feel their eyes on me. But I ignored them. I know Ipy was looking at them. He wouldn't be a man if he didn't. He said those girls gave me top-to-bottom looks when I stepped into the car. Why would they?

He jokingly explained that the girls must have been wondering how this plain Jane geek (that would be yours truly) could have nabbed a handsome "mat" (a Malay man) driving a BMW. I gave him a bewildered look. Ipy can be so full of shit sometimes.

But he's kind of right. At times, I feel that some people fawn over him because of what he has. The ladies in my family especially. You should see how my aunts are falling over themselves for him. It's humourous and pathetic at the same time! It wasn't as if the guy was born with a golden spoon fed into his mouth. He works hard for it in a high-risk job! His status is like a double-edge sword.

Ipy at the Spring Festival in Eunos

Ipy and I at the Spring Festival in Eunos

It's less than 48 hours to my 28th birthday. It's also less then 48 hours to a possible family fiasco for our first major family meeting. I really, really hoped my mom didn't invite the whole clan over on Monday. It would be very awkward for Ipy as well as for me if she did.

We don't have trays of gifts for exchange nor a feast. It's NOT an engagement ceremony! I really don't understand why some people can't understand that! He and his immediate family are just coming over for a chit chat. And of course he's going to present me the long-awaited diamond ring. But that's it! No fuss!

I'm not going to be hidden away. He's not going to be loitering downstairs. We're not going to let our families run the show! We're going to be beside each other the whole time! So you see! It's not an engagement ceremony! What's so difficult to understand that???


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Friday, January 25, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

Dear Blogger,

I was still thinking about the conversation between Ipy and my mother yesterday afternoon. Of course all this had happened when I wasn't physically present.

Ipy was puzzled why my parents refused to bring up the wedding when I was around. They only asked him about it when I was in the toilet or in my room or anywhere else but beside him. He even said that they were in the middle of a conversation when my parents immediately clammed up when they heard my footsteps approaching!

I don't know if my parents were practising some Malay superstition or what, but for a more contemporary reason, that didn't surprise me at all. As I've said before, my parents and I are from two very different school of thoughts. We get along fine without the need to talk to one another.

My mother thinks that the reasons I don't divulge certain information about myself are because I don't care and that I want to distance myself from the family. They are partially true. Yes, at times, I want to leave but it doesn't mean I'll forget my family! And it's not that I don't care. It's because I care so much that I choose not to share with them! I believe, with my parents, ignorance is bliss.

My mother has too much to worry about already, what with my father being sick and all. She does not need to be additionally burdened with this wedding nonsense. She thinks I'm unaware or purposely ignoring the fact that there's this big black financial cloud threatening to flood over our heads every day. I do know! She just can't understand that it's not that I don't want to help. I just can't!

I know all these boil down to just a communication breakdown, but every time I want to open up, she shoots me down like a game bird. We just can't communicate like normal people. I've accepted that fact a long time ago. So why don't they?

On another note, our path to our dream house was almost interrupted because one of the owners did not turn up for the first agreement signing at HDB Hub this morning. Apparently, she's in the middle of divorcing her husband, another owner (the house had 4 owners!). So the house has now become a property dispute in a divorce settlement.

We will still get the house. Everyone had signed the legally binding "Option to Purchase" document in November last year. So if she delayed this affair any further or worse, back out on the deal, she'd have to pay a monetary penalty. I don't know how much though.

Was I upset about it? A little. I was more curious on why a grandmother of 3 young children would want to go through a divorce now. Didn't she realise that in her quest for freedom (or whatever her reason was), she's taking away her grandchildren's home?

I've never been personally exposed to divorces. So I find them intriguing at times. I know they can be messy too. But aren't finding out about the messy, scandalised ones make our coffee and tea worth drinking every day? Do we live mundane lives or what???

Ipy and I discussing (and gossiping) the day's event over cool glasses of sugarcane juice at East Coast Park

Back to weddings again. I've been receiving recommendations of bridal houses and their specialties since yesterday, and they help I guess. My most common disappointment with the local Malay bridal houses here is their collection of outfits. They are either too traditional or too contemporary. If I like one set, I can't bring myself to compromise on the other.

My ideal European bridal gowns

My ideal traditional bridal outfits (yes, I do have a thing for long coats)

The perfect dress!

I wouldn't do all these if Ipy wasn't around. Believe it or not, he knows about this stuff more than I do! He's a very active wedding event participant (i.e., he attends as many wedding invites as possible), so he has accumulated decades worth of wedding dos, don'ts and what nots. Besides, he's the one signing the all the cheques! Furthermore, he had promised me to be very active in the wedding preparation, or I wouldn't do it at all.

I'm the wedding-hater remember?


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