posts are personal. open-mindedness is essential.
who am i
Thursday, October 30, 2008 @ 11:42 pm
So many things to buy and do, and so little time with Ipy. He shouldn't have come home so early because now, he had to fly off again. He's probably on the plane en route to Perth right now. I couldn't even send him off at the airport because I had a meeting at the restaurant this afternoon.
The wedding bands have been already been bought. They are so lovely! Simple but lovely, though a little expensive. It was educational too! We learnt that not all jewellers sell pure platinum bands. We also learnt that a size difference can cost a lot. Like about $600 difference! I had them sent for engraving after my meeting.
My bracelet had also been bought. Although, I can't unwrap the ribbon-tied box to sneak a peek till on the wedding day. Now I've to decide how to present the rings and the bracelet during the ceremony. I thought ivory satin cushions would look adorable.
The meeting this afternoon was about the decorations for the venue. I already knew what I wanted and I was glad that the wedding planner was in sync with me. Bloody red roses contrasted with shimmery champagne gold ribbons and ivory pearls... I'm confident that the venue will look fabulous on that day!
What's left is the bridal outfit. I haven't gone for my fitting yet, but I'm deliberating it because I'm trying to lose extra inches off my body. I'm slowly getting there but I think I have to speed up the process. I won't do anything drastic though. I'm just going to make lots of changes to my lifestyle. Basically, move more and eat less.
Poor Ipy. He's signing off cheques faster than he could write! This is to be expected. As our big day gets closer, more dollar signs flash before our eyes. Nobody was joking when they said getting married is really expensive. In fact, one of the first things we learnt in marriage preparation course was that, if a guy can't afford to get married, then postpone any marital plans till he can afford to do so!
His birthday is coming up. I knew what I would get for him. It's a pity that he won't be here to celebrate his birthday though. He wasn't around for his birthday last year either. I know he keeps saying that he never celebrates birthdays, but no birthday person should be forgotten nor without presents and cakes.
Everybody should celebrate his/her birthday! It's the only life we have! Make our own celebrations if no one else cares! Celebrate the passing of 1 year and the birth of another year! We choose how to live.
back to top
Sunday, October 26, 2008 @ 11:43 pm
The uncomfortable ceasefire has ended and now another silent war has broken out between my mother and I. The cause of war this time: wedding invitation cards.
I've given her a blank guest list with maximum number of invitees for her to fill up. I've allocated tables according to her guest list. I've written and printed the guests' names on each card. So all she had to do was to send them!
And this she couldn't even do it right! I've already told her if the guest lives nearby, she may hand-deliver the invite. Otherwise, simply post it!
The first straw came 2 nights ago when she insisted on personally delivering a card to my paternal aunt in Bukit Panjang. That's like 45min drive and only if the expressways are clear!
The second straw came when she told my aunt to come up with excuses why she didn't hand-deliver the cards to my aunt and uncle who live 10min away from us. What kind of person puts another person, an innocent one at that, in a spot like that??? How could she get my aunt to lie for her just because she couldn't see eye to eye with the aunt and uncle in question???
The final straw that broke my back came yesterday when she again insisted on hand-delivering a card to my distant relative who lives in Woodlands! That's another 30min drive!
She had asked me the night before if I wanted to visit my uncle who had been hospitalised before. I said fine. What she didn't tell me was of her plans to visit all these other people whom I have not seen in ages, not even on Aidilfitri, along the way!
Worse of all, she brought her cousin along for the ride! Basic manners would dictate that she should ask me if it was alright if her cousin joined us because I might have other plans. She can't assume that what I'll be married into will automatically belong to her!
I really don't know what she was trying to do. It was a simple task which she wasn't even obliged to do in the first place. Since the very beginning, the least I want to do was to trouble my family members with this wedding, especially with my father's condition the way it is. So if it's so hard for her to deliver the cards, I'll gladly send them myself!
She shouldn't use custom as an excuse because some customs should be abolished! Those worth retaining are those which are not borne out of obligation and don't burden anyone! If a certain custom is beyond our capabilities, then it's OK to use alternatives!
She has to change her "kampung" mindset because everything and everyone else has evolved to adapt to the current times. But I can't change her. I can't and I don't think I will. I've learnt that I can't change what is beyond my control and changing a person's behaviour and mindset is beyond my control.
Hopefully she realises that with this change of mindset, it will be easier for my siblings and I to fulfill our duties as children to our parents. As of now, she's making things so difficult for us to even engage in any rational conversation with her! Filial piety has become quite a burden to us instead of a willing responsibility.
Even Ipy has said that she is being childish. Firstly with that drama when I moved out of the family home. Secondly with this wedding. She is not making things any easier for us, least of all herself.
I don't expect to hear anything from her till a week before the wedding. That is fine by me. It's pointless to engage in any peace talks with her unless she comes forward first. To any outsider, this may seem like a screwed up mother-daughter relationship, but I know my mother.
Ipy has been wondering how the relationship between my mother and I turned out the way it has now. My only explanation is that my mother has never approved of my unconventional beliefs and made worse when my father encouraged my liberal upbringing. I guess she wanted a mini-her, but what she got was an anti-her.
Ipy and I have also been talking about our relationship. What made our relationship work considering that we grew up in 2 different decades and raised by 2 different school of thoughts? Our amicable conclusion was that our differences were actually drivers for our complementary relationship.
Putting aside all the disagreements we have had so far, we actually have quite an enviable and admirable symbiotic relationship. This was a testimony from strangers on the streets! I guess we were destined in such a way that each of us had to go through all the pain and suffering first before we could find each other.
Ipy and I at home
Ipy and his Jonas Brothers-wannabe hairstyle
An old friend commented that Ipy looked a little like Malaysian actor Rashidi Ishak. I don't know about that...
Ipy looking cool while driving along ECP
Yesterday, after sewing class, Ipy and I went to town to hunt for our wedding bands. It's so difficult to buy a wedding band for him because he can't wear gold. We also don't have much time to customise. Most jewellers don't carry a decent platinum wedding band. The closest that he was looking for and liked was at Tiffany's and even then, there was no size available for him!
We hope to get our wedding bands before he flies off again. After that, there won't be much time to do anything else. No stress on the bride and groom.
The Singapore Visitors Centre was busy because Orchard Road no longer looked like Orchard Road. It looked like some developing town what with all the contructions going on.
Me having dessert at the restaurant
An unplanned grocery shopping at Carrefour
Ipy trying out the shirt which I eventually bought for him at Takashimaya
Ipy also brought me to Sungai Road because I have never been there and we had time to spare. What can I say about Sungai Road besides what I have heard from people? It wasn't what I had expected.
I had expected a little more flavour to this place. I was expecting unique finds like unusual homeware or antique centrepieces but all we saw were mobile phones and old electronic devices. I liked looking at the old postcards and photos though.
The haphazard makeshift flea market that is Sungai Road
back to top
Thursday, October 23, 2008 @ 11:39 pm
Ipy came home surprisingly early last night. I didn't expect his return till about 3 weeks later! If he did return 3 weeks later, his presence will be just in time for the wedding. Since he returned home early, it just means that he's likely to fly off again soon.
Anyway, since he's back already, he decided to join me in a meeting with the restaurant manager. He didn't need to, but I guess he didn't want to be left alone at home.
We took the public transport because driving into town was ridiculously expensive now. Also, we didn't have to worry about parking in Orchard Road. Thus, more time for potential shopping!
The meeting went well. Very efficient, very clear and very service-oriented. We were glad that everyone's on the same page regarding how we want our wedding to be.
At this stage, it was all about the execution. Planning had already been done to death months and months ago! So now, everything that was on paper was in motion.
We decided to come back to the restaurant in the evening for food tasting. We were entitled to invite 4 other guests for this food tasting session, but we thought the more heads there were, the more headaches there would be. So we should select the menu ourselves!
While waiting for dinner, Ipy and I headed to Tiffany's at Ngee Ann City to have my ring polished. After 10 months of grime and dirt, I was so thrilled to have my ring show off its brilliance again.
I've always loved walking into Tiffany & Co. There's just something so musical-like about those diamonds. I guess Marilyn Monroe spoke for all of us when she sang "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"!
I so very much wanted Ipy to buy me this exquisite diamond bracelet at the store. He's supposed to buy me a bracelet for my mahr anyway. Unfortunately for him, he never stated the limits of the bracelet when he filled up the registration form at ROMM. So my mahr is open to my "interpretation".
Although the diamond bracelet sang to me in the sweetest voice ever when I put it on my wrist, I didn't push Ipy to buy it for me. Simply because it cost $14,000!
I know my limits. He's been so sweet to me all this time and I already own the ring I wanted. Besides, he still needs to buy our wedding bands. $14,000 can be better spent elsewhere.
We weren't able to make our way to the other jewellers because we got caught up at the Takashimaya sale. I bought Ipy some cK trunks and a long-sleeved shirt which looked so cool on him. He wanted to buy more shoes but I reminded him of our fully-stocked shoe cupboard. He already has more shoes than I do!
Back at the restaurant, we were lucky that we didn't have anything to eat before. We had to taste 2 sets of menus and even though we were served small portions, by the end of the whole course, we were stuffed to the max! I can confidently say now that our guests will never leave the restaurant unsatisfied.
Now I have to decide on what kind of wedding cake I want. Do I want the classic cakes or the contemporary cupcakes? The classic cakes are simple, elegant and timeless but they can be quite a chore to cut and distribute to guests. Cupcakes are easier to be distributed but they may be too cute for my liking and I think they are less wedding photography-worthy. Ah... decisions decisions!
back to top
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 @ 12:33 am
I just told Ipy that I haven't been sexually satisfied in a long time, and I don't think he took it very well. That's to be expected. Every man wants to be told that he's great in bed no matter how far off the truth that is.
I don't know what the big deal is. If he's really smart and mature, he'd take it as motivation to improve. I don't see why I should keep this issue to myself when obviously something needs to be done for the benefit of our relationship.
This doesn't just apply to the sex. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually... all these or the lack thereof, needed to be addressed. I don't see why I should wait till after marriage to address these issues. I think by then, it might even be too late to consider the options.
Furthermore, I don't know why it surprises him when I'm being honest with him. These are issues which I have raised to him time and again! When they have been dealt with and things started to show improvements, he returned to his complacent ways! So how can I not raise these issues every now and then???
Also, if I can't be honest with my future husband, what hope is there for a lasting marriage? He's free to tell me that I can't do a decent blow (I hate blow jobs anyway). I would welcome such feedback! At least, I don't have to wonder in the back of mind if I'm doing a good job!
He's not perfect I know, and neither am I! I just think that we should not be complacent. There is always room for improvements. Men, I think, are easily contented. They get themselves very comfortable too easily.
I know I can never change my other half. He has to do that himself and for himself. But I can always try. I'm not asking for George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but I can always dream.
back to top
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 9:54 pm
I came across some former acquaintances either in person or online recently. The common reaction was of disbelief that I was getting married. At first, that felt funny. After awhile, it got boring and a little annoying. It seemed that they saw me as someone who would never settle down!
I don't know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult. If I translated that as being someone who would not settle for anyone lesser, then yes it'll be a compliment. However, if I perceived that as being someone who would and could never meet anyone to love and grow with, then it would be an insult.
The next common reaction was the sudden disappearance of friends I used to hang out with. It is common knowledge that I have more male friends than lady friends, simply because I get along better with men than women.
I can understand and accept that my male friends in general, feel uncomfortable to hang out with me now that I'm attached. But I don't see how that should be a problem if everyone knows everyone.
I think this is all a self-esteem issue. It's about how secure one is with oneself. If you can't be comfortable being in the presence of the opposite sex in a general setting, then that is something you have to address! Unfortunately, most men I know are insecure whether they are aware of it or not.
I hope to invite some friends over this weekend for just a casual dinner. Now that I've my own place, it'd be nice to start a culture where friends can gather and interact and blossom! Business opportunities may come up or a love match may evolve. The possibilities are endless!
While baking Eggplant Parmesan, I caught a Malay forum on TV ("Cukup Tak Cukup") discussing issues related to the recent Government incentives to raise the declining birth rate. Various viewpoints were considered and I liked that. From the young to the experienced. From the singles to the married ones. From the employers to the employees.
My only question was, why was there only one female voice among the panel of four? And that one female voice came from a former beauty queen whose law background is still questionable? I don't have anything against her personally. I just think that there should be one more female voice in that panel!
Will these incentives encourage more Singaporeans to marry and procreate? I noticed that among the younger couples interviewed in the forum, they generally agreed that these incentives will encourage them to start a family. However, among the older and more experienced couples, they were a little cynical about these incentives.
Their common concern was that children and raising a family should be a personal preference, not something that should be done to take advantage of tangible and intangible government-sponsored benefits. And I agree!
I wouldn't want to spend 9 months of maternity, losing my figure and sanity, just to pocket a few thousand dollars of baby bonus. I would want to suffer all those pain simply because I want to experience and enjoy motherhood! Same goes for fatherhood!
I've always said this. Children should never be viewed as an economical entity. They should be above dollars and cents. At the national level, I understood why the government rolled out all these incentives. But at the social and even personal level, the motivation to have children and a family should go beyond these incentives.
Eggplant Parmesan - very easy to make and healthy too!
Health benefits of eggplants:
(adjust serving accordingly)
Eggplant, sliced thinly with or without skin (I left the skin on because I like a little crunch)
Egg, lightly beaten
Pasta sauce (Traditional or with mushroom or garlic... up to you!)
Shredded parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses (reduced fat of course)
Dip the eggplant slices in the egg and breadcrumbs. Bake them in single layers in an oven at 175 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes on each side.
Cover the base of a baking or casserole dish with the pasta sauce. Place the baked eggplant slices in a single layer over the pasta sauce. Sprinkle the cheeses over the eggplant slices. Pour some pasta sauce over this layer and repeat the layering until complete. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
(Thanks to allrecipes.com)
back to top
Sunday, October 19, 2008 @ 9:39 pm
I read with tepid interest on the DBS High-5 investment saga in the newspapers today, not because I don't have any investments with DBS, but because this is a typical Singaporean reaction. If I'm not wrong, the investors were unhappy with the hard-sell tactics of wealth managers, thus, making it the root of their discontent.
That got me thinking. Nobody said anything about this so-called "hard-sell tactics" when the investors were getting monthly returns on their investments. So they're making national news now because their investments fell through? I may have only taken one module of Finance class in university, but isn't investing about taking risks? Even if that involves big losses?
I can't disagree that nobody would expect an American financial staple like Lehman Brothers would collapse. Still, over the years, haven't we seen many familiar brands become victims of bankruptcy or mergers? Barings, Arthur Anderson, Enron... just to name a few. So why would Lehman Brothers be any different?
I wouldn't be surprised if DBS, Singapore's "people's bank" would suffer the same fate. I have never liked DBS. Especially not after it swallowed POSB, the real "people's bank". There's just something so superficial about DBS. Maybe it's the government association.
Still, I empathise with the retirees who lost their savings. I don't know much about the actual story to comment much. Who knows what's true and what's fabricated in the media right?
Anyway, I was hoping for a lazy Sunday, but I don't do lazy Sundays. I can't do nothing for long hours! I didn't want to bake anything because there were still plenty of cookies in the cookie jars. I finished the chocolate chip cookies though!
So I decided to try making devil curry. It's a typical Eurasian dish, which is traditionally made on Boxing Day. I was told that devil curry was supposed to be extremely hot and spicy. The version I made was light because I didn't want to burst open my stomach lining with the spiciness.
It was very much like an indian curry except for the omission of coconut milk or yogurt. It was a little oily though and the chicken had to be fried before. Next time, I'll reduce the oil because the chillies and chicken skin will secrete enough oil for the dish.
Best eaten with warm rice, but I'm cutting down my carbo intake till after the wedding. If I have to eat carbo, it'll be wholegrained like these country loaf slices. By the way, I can't say enough how wonderful country loaves are to suppress over-eating.
What's a perfect way to end my Sunday than to catch "Mr and Mrs Smith" on tele? I will never fall out of love with Angelina Jolie. I think Brad Pitt should thank Angelina for his supernova status because he was just alright before he made this movie. Now he can do any movie he wants and still makes money! In fact, he actually looks better as he ages! The guy's 43!!!
back to top
Saturday, October 18, 2008 @ 8:56 pm
This afternoon was my first lesson in dressmaking. Even though I have actually sewn a skirt, with a sewing machine, in Home Economics class almost 16 years ago, I am as good as have never sewn at all.
The first lesson was on taking measurements. I never knew that measurements involved more than just the bust, waist and hip. In fact, there were actually mathematical formulae for certain measurements!
Next came pattern drawing. This I had never learned in Home Economics. This was cool before I have always been amazed at the wonderful sketches drawn by designers. Because of that, I had assumed that to be in fashion, one has to be apt in art as well.
Of course I have no ambition to be a designer nor do I aspire to be a "Project Runway" contestant. I just want to be able to sew some practical things. It would be awesome if I could sew and wear my own casual dress.
Measurement-taking and pattern-drawing took up the whole 3 hours. Although I didn't actually do any sewing today, I wasn't disappointed. I was consumed by the pattern-drawing! I didn't have my stationery set with me, so I wasn't really satisfied with my drawings.
That's the anal me talking. I have to have the line absolutely straight and the curve absolutely curve. I also have to have the length precise to near 100% accuracy!
Above all, I guess for the first time since I've started my education many eons ago, I'm glad I was given homework. That sounds crazy I know. It was just drawing more patterns but I am really ecstatic about doing my homework!
On my way home, I still saw Muslim families dressed in all their glory out Hari Raya visiting. It isn't over yet? Am I missing out on something? What day is it? I can understand teens and teenagers still out visiting, but whole families???
I am still on the hunt for THE chocolate chip cookie recipe. The ones I did over Ramadan were a complete disappointment. The second batch I did yesterday was a major improvement though I don't think it was supposed to turn into chewy chocolate chip cookies. Still, they were quite addictive.
back to top
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 @ 11:05 pm
Now that my Aidilfitri has officially ended, I had time to get back to outstanding matters, namely, the wedding invites. The guest list has been giving Ipy and I headaches for months! Not many of our friends and relatives seemed to understand that "small" did not mean at least 500 guests.
I've even received crappy questions like if I didn't want to invite anybody, why bother having a dinner reception at all??? Some people just don't know how to think before they open their mouths. Believe me. If I could get away with just the solemnisation, I would!
Since Ipy and I couldn't put off this wedding invite task any longer, we dedicated a full day just doing up the guest list and its seating layout. At least his dad is supportive of our arrangements. I don't think my mother still understands the plan.
The simple but exclusive wedding invitation card
The envelopes with guests' names printed on them
I was quite upset when she commented in that "laser" way of hers on why we didn't ask her to help fund the wedding. Then, Ipy showed me a side of his that I had never seen before.
He told her firmly and seriously that we have already decided since the very beginning not to spend so much on this wedding especially when there are other more important uses for the money, such as housing maintenance and medical bills.
My mother was left speechless. I was completely turned on.
I don't know if this is a typical mother-of-bride thing. My mother had unwittingly confessed that she wanted to use our wedding to show off to her relatives. Why? I simply don't know. I can differentiate between pride and pretentiousness. Her behaviour towards our wedding is definitely not pride.
Now that my brother has called off his engagement with his now ex-fiancee, I think my mother is relying on me to be her saving grace. I don't think that is fair. In fact, how dare she uses my nuptial as a stage for her dramas???
I hope she watches the new locally-produced shows on "Suria" every Wednesday night. Tonight's episode of "Dol dan Minah Nak Kawin" touched on wedding invites.
A typical Malay wedding would invite the whole of South-east Asia if it could, at the expense of the bride and groom of course. Doesn't matter if the couple would be swamped in debts for years to come, as long as everyone except themselves, are happy at being invited.
"Minah", as annoying as she is, is a hilarious caricature of a typical Malay bride. I would sack the make-up artist though. All that make-up on her face makes her look older than Aaron Aziz! The make-up artist was probably from Fatimah Mohsen, considering that the company sponsored the show.
"2x5 Dol" right after that is like a guilty pleasure on TV. Norfasarie's character is as irritating as ever. Everyone knows her character is a spoilt brat, yet they indulged her every time! My intolerance for her went super low tonight when she manipulated her bullied husband on letting her resign, just because she's pregnant.
Still, I'll keep watching these shows every week, just for a laugh. Also, Norfasarie's mother on the show reminded me so much of my mother. She even looks a little like her!
back to top
Monday, October 13, 2008 @ 12:33 pm
Phew! This Aidilfitri was definitely a busy one for Ipy and I. More me I think. It's an important one for us because we are getting married this year. Due to the nature of our solemnisation event (I refused to call it a wedding now because of the confusion it causes), we thought it best that we visit as many of our relatives as possible.
The day before Aidilfitri, I spent it in the kitchen trying to cook bryani, which didn't come out as well. Ipy cleaned the house as requested. I was very pleased with the work he had done, even though I had done most of the work before he returned from Perth.
On Aidilfitri itself, I wasn't feeling too well. I was still feeling the exhaustion of the previous day's work. Also, it was a Wednesday and the PSLE was just 2 days away. So I didn't really feel the joyousness of Aidilfitri as expected.
I really pity the school-going children. If they're not taking PSLE this year, their final examinations are just a few weeks away. Some of their parents are really not cutting them any slack. These are the parents which I try not to work with.
After 2 days of eating "lontong", "rendang", "sambal goreng" and "ayam masak merah", I was craving for other types of food. Didn't matter if they were Indian or Western. After 2 days, I still have those food left in the fridge. Considering that the US financial market is in a mess, we thought twice about wasting food.
On the first Aidilfitri weekend, Ipy and I spent both days out visiting relatives. We went out as early as 10 a.m., and returned home as late as midnight. Who would have thought that eating and chit chatting could be very exhausting??? I was so beat that as soon as my head touched the pillow, I was gone!
We thought that was the end of the visiting session, but there was still more to come! On top of the visiting, there were open house invites and even wedding invites! I have gained so much weight eating that I really didn't care anymore.
The past 2 weeks of Aidilfitri have opened up my eyes to the interesting facets of human personalities. There were people who would visit relatives who were too distant to be called relatives. There were people who plan their routes by the hierarchy of the family member. There were people who treat their friends like royalty and their family like commoners.
There were so many colours on show and they all made interesting analysis. We are actors in this world afterall. We all play different roles in different settings. I still think the act of seeking forgiveness on this special day is hypocritical but I see it as just a customary ritual now than anything else, a part of a scene in a very long play.
As expected, the topic of our imminent solemnisation event was brought up too frequently till I was sick of explaining it. I no longer wish to entertain questions like why it was done this way instead of that and why this certain person wasn't invited. When Ipy and I decided to do it small, we really mean SMALL!
Now that Syawal is slowing passing us by, Ipy and I are now busy with our nuptial execution. The bulk of the headache is of course the guest list. I left the invites of my side of the family to my mother with the strict order that she can only invite up to 100 guests. That is 100 persons not 100 couples!
Ipy had also settled the honeymoon. We are going to Israel! We are eagerly waiting for that. I'll bet that would be one hell of a trip! Sure green-eyed monsters can say that Ipy is the money machine, and I'm just milking him of his money. I see no reason to defend something that people have no idea what actually goes on.
If I make an interesting caricature to some people, then I'm glad I have brighten their lives with my entertainment. A wise woman once told me that when a person is critical of others, he is subconsciously being critical of himself.
At the end of the day, only Ipy and I know what goes on with ourselves and we are content. Just like in any relationship, it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Sometimes we just want to kill each other. There are times we just can't be apart from each other. Ipy likens us to "Mr and Mrs Smith". That was funny because we are so far off the Brangelina tangent.
back to top