Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Happy Lunar New Year

let me first say:

Happy Chinese New Year! to one and all. :)

you know, i've been updating the LJ more often than this blog, lately - i don't know why - maybe it's the convenience of the LJ's Friends page. so if you are really interested in what i am up to these days, the LJ is probably a better place to look. but we'll see.

Chinese New Year. it's really good to be home for Chinese New Year - it's the first time in four years - but so much has changed over the last four years. yes, the family visiting is still the same - we still start with my dad's older brother, and then move on to my grandpa, and on the second day my extended family on my dad's side descends on our house. but all the other visiting that i remember, that we used to do, has been truncated, reallocated slots or just dropped altogether, and i find disconcertingly large slots of free time hangin' about in our CNY visiting schedules. (which means that we get to come home and take a nap, not necessarily a bad thing. especially when you have a huge sleep debt, like me.) but -mostly because of the ex-chiefs' reception today- we are not traipsing about to one another's houses nearly as much; and i haven't seen the other navy kids at all! (though admittedly that is partly because, well, we're mostly all grown up and scattered to the four winds now.)

so it's familiar, but not familiar at the same time, which is really disconcerting, and sort of strange. ah well, she says, times change, and people with them.

it's nice to know some things never change, though. i'm on laundry duty this week, since my maid is on Chinese New Year home leave, and this morning i managed to dye one of my tshirts violently pink, and gently tint the rest of the load of clothes i washed this morning...damn red shirts and their lack of colour-fast dyes! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

a meme!

oh lordy, i've been tagged by The Old Man with the four meme. -grin- but since i'd actually been contemplating doing it (though given i've not been behind a computer all week, not really contemplating it too hard), here goes:

4 Jobs You've Had In Your Life

1. Relief Teacher at RGS
2. Receptionist ("hello, you've reached ____, how may i direct your call?" chris tan once told me i have a telephone operator voice)
3. Cube Monkey/Foot Soldier (my current job)

i've only had three jobs - i blissfully did not work while in college. because i am lazy that way.

4 Movies You Could Watch Over And Over Again

1. When Harry Met Sally
2. Clueless (i know, i know)
3. You've Got Mail
4. Alex and Emma

4 TV Shows You Love To Watch

1. CSI (Las Vegas; and Miami; and New York)
2. Numb3rs
3. House
4. The West Wing (right up to the end of Season Five; Six is sort of sketchy...)

oh, i'd love to watch Firefly if someone would lend it to me -- i watched one episode prior to watching Serenity at my friend's place, and laughed my head off during the entire episode. it's really great writing.

4 Places You've Lived In

1. Newport, RI, USA
2. Chicago, IL, USA
3. Upper Serangoon, Singapore
4. Upper East Coast Road, Singapore

4 Places You've Been On Vacation To

1. ITALY (Rome, Florence, Venice, and assorted places between)
2. New York
3. Melbourne, Australia
4. Alaska!

4 Places You'd Rather Be

1. Hyde Park, in Chicago (in my apartment on the seventh floor, with the snow falling outside and tea boiling on the stove)
2. Florence
3. New York
4. London

4 Of Your Favourite Foods

1. Pisang Goreng
2. Roti Prata
3. Pasta. lots of Pasta. with tomato cream sauce.
4. Chocolate

Coffee isn't a food, is it?

4 Websites You Visit Daily

1. The New York Times
2. my Livejournal Friends page
3. About Last Night, at the ArtsJournal
4. Dan Drezner

urm. i'm not going to tag people - partly because the people i would tag have already been tagged - feel free to play along, peeps. :)

Monday, January 16, 2006

it's been a long time

my eldest cousin -the oldest Kwek cousin in my generation- got married this week (on a thursday!) in a combination of traditional Teochew wedding, tea ceremony and all, and formal solomnisation at the hotel at which they held their wedding dinner (rather than the Registry of Marriages). it was a rainy rainy day, but inside it was all warmth and cheer, and laughter and teasing, and camera flashes, and hugs. i haven't spent much time with this side of my family over the last few years -especially since i have been away- so every time we get together for a family function, i am struck anew at how much of me comes from them. how noisy and loud and uninhibited my aunts are (and the slightly bemused looks on the faces of the aunt and uncles who have unknowingly married into the craziest family in Singapore), and how the cousins are more alike than we seem.

Brian is the second of my cousins to get married -his youngest brother got married last year, or no, i think it was the year before, now- and my second cousin's wedding is going to be in November - and it is so weird to be surrounded by people who are married, or going to get married, and only two years ago this wasn't on my radar screen at all!

* * * * *

i'm on course at the moment, and this gem jumped out at me from an otherwise uninspiring lecture:
"They've got some kind of genuine Techno-Confucian Mandate of Heaven thing going on. It's being carried out by really bright, eager, workaholic city apparatchiks who are keenly rehearsed." - Bruce Stirling on Singapore
i greatly enjoy the notion of being a "city apparatchik".

* * * * *

i never thought i'd say this, especially not after i grumble and whine and complain about the long hours but --

i wish i were going back to work tomorrow morning.

* * * * *

february was so long that it lasted into march
and found us walking a path alone together
you stopped and pointed and you said "that's a crocus"
and i said "what's a crocus" and you said "it's a flower"
i tried to remember, but i said "what's a flower"
you said "i still love you"