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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 17, 2011 @ 10:49 am

Dear Blogger,

For the past 2 weeks, our evenings have been spent doing nothing but watch several episodes of Korean drama, Pasta. It was my fault really. I rented the series out of curiosity.

Synopsis: Pasta tells the story of a spunky kitchen assistant, Seo Yoo Kyung who was just promoted to a cook at fancy Italian restaurant, La Sfera. When a new head chef, Choi Hyun Wook, joined the restaurant, all hell breaks loose as he has a "No women in my kitchen" policy.

Korean dramas featuring food have always been popular. Pasta is no different. If my husband makes me wait for him every night so we can watch this romantic comedy drama together, then it must be a good one to watch.

At first, Pasta felt like a B-grade drama because it didn't have the gloss and sleek production of a KBS drama. It was produced by MBC. It also didn't have unbelievably gorgeous and handsome leads unlike other K-dramas. The last K-drama we watched, The Fugitive: Plan B had 3 handsome leads! My husband had a major crush on Daniel Henney.

How Yoo Kyung and Hyun Wook met at a pedestrian crossing when he saved her goldfish was also unbelievable. But it works! Somehow the attraction just works! Just like Yoo Kyung, for some unknown reason, I became more attracted to Hyun Wook episode after episode. He's arrogant, sexist and he shouts a lot but maybe those are his magnetic factors.

He became even more dreamy when he showed his tender side somewhere in the middle of the series. He also wore scarves better than any man I've seen. Who doesn't like a confident, sensitive and fashionable man?

Yoo Kyung wasn't much of a beauty either but her plain jane appeal made her romance with Hyun Wook real. They were enduring and cute as a couple. I got a fuzzy feeling every time I watched them together, whether they were bickering or just conversing aimlessly.

What about the food? I am craving for pasta as we speak. Either carbonara or alfredo. The dishes served in the series looked as good as those served by Catherine Zeta Jones in No Reservations. I must say that chefs' uniforms must be one of the smartest uniforms because both Hyun Wook and Zeta Jones looked damn good in them.

Doesn't he look good in a chef's uniform?

Also watch the bittersweet, unrequited love of Yoo Kyung's secret admirer, her boss Kim San. He's rich, handsome and sweet yet he couldn't get the girl he wanted after 3 years of watching her from afar.

Altogether now, awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww~


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011 @ 11:59 am

Dear Blogger,

Sundays are always great spent with family at the park or at the beach. Especially when the weather is not too hot and not too wet. We went to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at the Singapore Botanic Garden. Next time, we'll bring a picnic basket.


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Friday, January 07, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

Dear Blogger,

I don't know much about boxing except that it seems to be the sport of choice for award-winning movies. I have never watched a boxing match except in movies. Even in movies like the Rocky series or Raging Bull, boxing did not look so much like a sport other than a dramatised, choreographed act.

Yesterday, due to the good reviews in the Straits Times Life and Channel News Asia, I decided to watch The Fighter. I was more curious about the good review than anything else. My husband was more interested in Mark Wahlberg. He idolises Mark Wahlberg.

I must have been caught up in my own little world for a while now because I have not heard of this movie till a few days ago. Suddenly, this movie is winning awards left, right and centre! Even an Oscar supporting actor nomination for one of my favourite actor, Christian Bale. Deservingly so I must say!

The plot is simple. You would have probably seen similar storyline elsewhere. It is the great acting from the cast that makes this simple story engaging to watch. I have always believed all along that you don't need fancy special effects or smarty pants storyline to make a good movie. Just good, old-fashioned stellar acting.

In summary, The Fighter is about Micky's (Wahlberg) bumpy road to a boxing championship. He is constantly struggling to balance his family's expectations and his own's. The brotherly love insight between him and his once-famous, cocaine-addicted half-brother Dicky (Bale) is I think more compelling to watch than the boxing matches themselves. His mother (Melissa Leo) is also a hoot to watch.

The poster above may show Wahlberg bigger and centred (he produced the movie after all) but look again and you will no doubt be attracted to Bale's profile. That's just how he is! Christian Bale is such a charismatic actor and he is now being regarded as one of the finest in his generation.

I don't really approve of his intense-to-the-point-of-scary method acting but the guy sure delivers his characters every time. As Dicky, he was so charming and might I say naive, that we can't help but root for him despite his destructive drug habit. Just give him the Oscar man!

Everyone else in the movie played their part very well. None of that Hollywood bigger-than-life caricatures. The Fighter isn't exactly indie fare nor is it Hollywood studios' production. All that is important is that it's a good movie. Go watch it!

Oh! It has an M18 rating in Singapore. Not sure why. Probably because of the cocaine-smoking.


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Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 9:26 am

Dear Blogger,

Yesterday, I went to my first job interview in over 4 years. I thought it would have been nerve-wrecking but it wasn't. I was certainly nervous of becoming an idiot. Fortunately, the cat did not run off with my tongue.

First of all, why the sudden interest in job-hunting when all along, I was happy being a housewife? Not just any housewife, mind you. A housewife who still devotes a third of her time helping less academically-inclined primary school students pass their exams.

It all started with the politically-confused term "economically inactive". According to the OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms,

"Economically inactive population comprises all persons who were neither 'employed' nor 'unemployed' during the short reference period used to measure 'current activity'. This population is split into four groups:
- Attendant at educational institutions
- Retired
- Engaged in family duties
- Other economically inactive"

I guess I would be in the "Engaged in family duties" group. I thought it was an odd term to define me. Yes, I am not officially employed by any company and I do not have any formal source of income. However, I certainly do spend a lot of money and isn't that being economically active? Doesn't economy work in 2 directions? Don't shoot me because I'm not a statistician.

Secondly, Ipy had thrown in one too many cues about me working. Cues such as, "If my wife works, we could afford a bigger car" or "If my wife works, we could go on longer-journey holidays", or "If my wife works, we could..." etc, etc, etc! At first, he said he was just joking but when a person repeats the same "joke", is it really a "joke"?

By the end of the year, I got so irritated by his "joke" that I took it as a challenge. So I updated my resume and sent out copies of it to every company looking for suitable candidates. The first to reply was for a childcare teacher post. Will describe it later.

The funny thing was, when Ipy saw me getting serious about job-hunting, he reacted unexpectedly. I thought he would have been delighted. On the contrary! He seemed confused and conflicted. Then how did you think I feel? One minute he wanted me to stay home and nurture our children, the next minute he wanted me out the door and earn some money!

It is not like we really need the double income. Everything was fine with the current arrangement. I seriously don't know what he wants. I thought he understood clearly that I was not the type to work for the money. It even says so in my work personality report!

Back to the childcare teacher post. Can you imagine me being a childcare teacher? Why not??? I enjoy being with kids more than adults. I seriously believe in the value of learning, in and out of the classroom. Early childhood education is a booming industry!

The recruitment process is still in early phases. I haven't decided to accept or not. This post includes a bonded, fully-sponsored training programme. Sounds like a good deal at first. Just like a wedding proposal! But like in any relationship, this post is a commitment. Am I ready to take on such a commitment? Do I WANT to take this commitment?


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Monday, January 03, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

Dear Blogger,

For the first time ever, I rented and watched a Hindi movie from start to finish! Only because this movie was one of the most critically acclaimed foreign-language movie of last year. From the title of the movie, one might think it was a biography of a mega-famous Bollywood actor. No it wasn't. The movie was "My Name is Khan".

Shah Rukh Khan stars as Rizvan Khan, an Indian Muslim with Asperger's Syndrome. He went to San Francisco to live with his brother after their mother died. He met future wife, Mandira (played by Kajol) who was a Hindu divorcee with a young son. Life was fine and dandy until the Sep 11 attacks.

Years after 9/11, their lives and other Muslims in the States were still being tested. When their son was murdered after a soccer game, Mandira became disillusioned and sent Rizvan away. She told him he could only return after he had delivered the President with this message, "My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist". So we followed Rizvan on his trip across America to meet the President.

The melodrama of a Bollywood movie is evident in this film and so is the length of film. However, it has no song and dance that typifies a Bollywood movie and it has a strong Hollywood arthouse production feel to it since it was produced by Fox Searchlight.

I think when any moderate Muslim watches this movie, he can't help but feel like he has gone through the experience of prejudice and racism that 9/11 brought at some point in his life. Even though I live in multi-racial Singapore, Muslims here were unfairly and uncomfortably brought into the limelight just because of one deranged man's actions. Fortunately, our government (say whatever you want of our government) went all out to ensure peace and tolerance rule the day by educating everyone about the true nature of Islam.

The same can't be said of the government in America. Sure Osama bin Laden did a horrendous thing. The whole world condemned it, even till now! But do you know who made it worse? George "trigger-happy" W Bush. He made Osama bin Laden his personal vendetta and all of us, not just the Muslims, are still bearing the brunt of his actions. Only God knows why he was elected president TWICE!

What frustrated me even more was the soft vocals of the moderate Muslims. How we could have allowed the extremists to be so loud in their actions was beyond me. We have made improvements though. Over the years, moderate Muslims have become more vocal in upholding the true meaning of Islam. We are more critical of those who use Islam for their own destructive agenda. We are slowly but surely educating the world that Islam is not a violent religion. No religion is violent. It is people's behaviours and actions that are violent.

We should all learn from our children. Children are blind to colour, gender, size, race, religion and lifestyle choices. All they see are people with a head, a body and pairs of limbs. They will play with anybody. They don't know what prejudice means and segregation is unlike that of an adult's. They want to be friends with anybody!

In the movie, when Rizvan was a boy, he had heard a couple of men talking about killing the Hindus for the massacre against the Muslims in a just happened Hindu-Muslim riot. His mother was shocked to hear him repeating what the men said. To educate the boy with Asperger's, she drew 2 pairs of stick men. A pair with swords and a pair with lollipops. The pair with swords were bad and the pair with lollipops were good. From this picture, could you tell who was a Muslim and who was Hindu? Of course not!

His mother concluded that there were only 2 types of people, good people and bad people. That was brilliant wasn't it?

So let's all shout to the world! My name is _______ (fill in your name here) and I'm not a terrorist.


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Saturday, January 01, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

Dear Blogger,

It's already 2011! You thought this day won't come didn't you? Well it did and that just means we are still alive to live one more day and hopefully one more year.

So now that I will officially be in my 30s in 27 days (last year didn't count), what do I strive to do? Here's my list:

1. Become a more practising and educated Muslim.
2. Be more attentive to my children's and husband' needs.
3. Wake up earlier so I can do more in my day.
4. Post blog regularly, at least once a week.
5. Be more disciplined with my diet and exercise.

The above are not resolutions. Just... I don't know. Something that I really, really, really should be doing but for some reason I'm slacking in those areas. It's never easy to do things that are good for you. If it is, everyone will be happy and go to heaven.

So who's with me?


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