Tuesday, December 28, 2004

memories of one

today was wedding day... after sleeping in, it was wake up, turn on computer, shower, eat and rush off... and out for the whole day. this is a pic of the newlyweds with the yf crew. kbc has well decked-out audio and lighting!

item #1 that bothered me today: i did recall seeing her during the ceremony, and maybe even before the ceremony started. there was zero recognition on my part. i figured she was just someone i didn't know - after all, there were plenty of other guests i didn't know. after the ceremony i found myself near where she was sitting, and someone else in an adjacent row called out to me and we started chatting. after a minute or two (by now i was standing less than a meter from her, though i think she had her back to me a bit as she was talking to the person beside her), it finally dawned on me who she was! sure i hadn't seen her for a while, and very rarely all year, but had i really failed to recognise her? it was both funny and a bit disturbing. maybe i'm making too much of it, but it did surprise me that it took me so long to recognise someone who not (that) long ago i had been close to...

straight after the reception and bushdance (in which i didn't participate, partly because there was only really one person i would have liked to have danced with, and well... it just wasn't going to happen, and so my heart wasn't in it to be having *that* much fun :p), i drove off to join my parents at a "party" held by my dad's big boss(es). let's just say that these folks are rich. maybe not rich like bill gates or whoever the guy is that owns ikea and is now supposedly richer than bill gates, but plenty rich enough for the likes of me. they own pretty much the whole street in a waterfront/bayside area, and the main house is easily double the size of what i live in. and this is just the holiday house, one of many in the world, where they or their family/friends stay when they're in town. i mean, check this dining room for example - the table seats TWENTY people. that's crazy in my books...

anyways, the party. the big/old boss is in town and has a party, and the families of the employees who help look after these properties are all invited. the food (main dishes) is catered by a well known local chinese restaurant. wait staff included. then there's the entertainment - a 20 minute private fireworks display! i have no idea how much this would've cost, but i know it's nothing i could ever afford... it's setup so that we had the best seats in the house - from the back porch, looking across the canal, where the fireworks crew were set to launch the fireworks from a park on the other side. of course, plenty of passing motorists stopped to view the free show. and that's not all - all us kids (ie children of employees and other friends) were given an ang pao (red packet). now firstly i was totally not expecting this cos it's like... i'm already getting treated to free food and a private fireworks viewing. and secondly i thought ok maybe this is just a token sorta thing... no idea how much would be inside right? maybe a $10 or a $20 at the most? of course it would've been rude to open it straight away, so i checked it on the drive home... and i guess i was close... just add a zero to my first guess. yeah. that's rich. so i decide to give it to my parents cos 1) none of the adults got any, and 2) i haven't given them anything all year and i feel bad about freeloading even though there's no obligation/pressure from them on me, and in fact my mum suggested i stop paying them when she realised i was still paying even after being unemployed for a few months last year.

item #2 that bothered me today: you'd think that having the sort of day that i had, i would/should be happy, right? sharing in friends' wedding, lots of free yummy food, having a momentary dip in lavishness... but no... at the end of (and during) all this i just feel kinda empty. like there's something missing. or maybe the thing should be a one. can't say more cos i'm incredibly scared it may all blow up in my face.



Monday, December 27, 2004

is that love i smell in the air?

  • 1x official wedding invitation for next month, received this afternoon
  • 1x wedding, to take place tomorrow
  • 1x engagement announcement (news just in a few minutes ago... she's skipped her two older siblings!)
  • 1x engagement from earlier this month, wedding to take place later next year
  • 1x wedding in april
  • 1x engagement in the pipeline

as for me? well... let's not even go there right now... i'll just try to be happy for those whom God has chosen to give the gift of marriage, while i learn to appreciate my singleness for however long i have it.

au revoir, mon ami

i haven't the words to express what/how i feel... today, this past week and a half, or perhaps even this past 9 months or so. i just know that the tears don't seem to want to stop flowing.

tonight, i said goodbye to my friend for the third, and quite possibly the last time in the space of 5 months. if we ever see each other again, the circumstances will be different than our past times together.

she says that this photo of us looks a bit suss... all i was doing was trying to block the camera lens cos i didn't want to have my photo taken, but it ended up looking like we're trying to hide something :p actually my eyes weren't even open so i didn't realise the outcome till later - all i was going by was the timing of the flashes, and sticking my hand up between the red eye reduction pre-flash and the actual flash for the exposure. or i suppose you could just call it art ;)

- - - - -

it seems that pretty much all the close and/or good friends i have, have in some way, shape or form "moved" away from me these past few years. this one has by far been the most emotional, perhaps at least partly because it is/seems so final.

i think i can count one remaining friend in the good/close category. most likely our friendship will change in the next few months also. i hope for the best, and so very much fear for the worst.

but life will, and needs to, go on. the morning will usher in a new day. i shall sleep long, awake, and get some therapeutic value out of a nice shower.

here's to tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

rain on my parade

the rain is falling with a bit of a vengeance at the moment. well, perhaps "falling" isn't quite the right word - it seemss too passive for what sounds like drops which are hoping to drum their way through whatever solid objects cross their path, similar to how a waterfall wears away and smooths the rocks below it, but on a slightly gentler scale :)

still new-jobless.

and people are reneging on and declining my free tickets, leaving me with half the tickets unallocated (with yours truly making up half of the allocated half).

i need more friends :p

i need sleep. if only this rain could continue all night, and i continue sleeping all day tomorrow!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

good one...!

as in, with sarcasm...

because i've "wasted" my afternoon and evening playing those darn addictive games trying to beat my best scores, watching australia lose the ODI to the kiwis, and generally pottering around, when i should have either worked on some job applications, or gotten some rest. now it's getting late, and i've achieved neither... (ok i did complete some things could could be considered productive... thought not quite of any great importance or priority...)

and i've just agreed to let someone cut my hair. someone who's only ever really cut/trimmed her own hair and her sister's hair. i have 6 days to fret over this verbal commitment... :o

dumplings & thanksgiving

work in progress - some of the (pre-cooked) dumplings we made yesterday. as you can see from the variety of shapes on the tray, we had a few different methods of dumpling "folding", harking from various schools of thought (ie what our respective parents may have taught us). i reckon mine look the best and are the most orthodox :p

can you spot the cluster that i made?? hehe

once again i underestimated the time required to make the dumplings (as happens when you don't have enough experience under your best to be able to judge these things), and i was still preparing ingredients when my helpers showed up some 20 minutes late. plus we ran out of dumpling skin, so i had to race out to buy some more (and the first/closest place i went to didn't have any!) but we got there in the end (albeit 45 minutes behind schedule!), and this is the pot of dumplings we brought to the yf thanksgiving night. i was pretty happy with our effort, and i think next time i'll be a bit more organised (experience is a good teacher!), and might have to get a few more refining tips from my parents - i don't think there were any problems in the taste department, but from an aesthetic sense a lot of the dumplings "broke", either during cooking or mainly after storage. i can't believe i just said that - i usually care nothing for presentation etc, citing the logical fact that it's all the same when it gets to your stomach. so maybe i do care a little bit, hehe. call it taking pride in your work :p

anyways, thanksgiving night has become something of an annual tradition in yf, i think ever since the mid-90s when the chings introduced the idea (having brought it over from the states). we gather for a pot-luck dinner [see photo], followed by a time of sharing, reflecting, and giving thanks for the year gone by. it was a bit of a feast, and as usual i would have loved to have eaten even more, but at two helpings my stomach had reached its limit and i had to give it some time to digest all the goodness i had fed it :p

before the real sharing began, we were treated to a skit summarising (in a somewhat cross-pollinated sort of way!) some of the things we had covered in bible study this year. this photo shows a re-enactment of the sinister assassination of ehud (read all about in judges 3:12-30). hmm... upon closer examination of the photo, i think our ehud is using the wrong arm! oh well...

in any case, it was an excellent night of sharing and hearing about what other people have been going through/experiencing, and most importantly what they have been learning as a result. it seems that a lot of people had tough times this year, nevertheless they were all able to still see the God who is good, despite whatever difficulties they had experienced. and that's just a mightily encouraging thing. to hear the same theme running through different contexts and circumstances, really makes you reflect on what being thankful is all about... and i did share and say something about that too, which i might write about in another post.

for now, i'm off to play a bit of squares and curve ball... very simplistic games, but highly addictive! (you have been warned... :p)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

alternative appendicitis and the winning wave

this is a somewhat backdated entry. the seeds of thought were there a few nights ago, and i jotted down a few notes, but now can't quite fully recall the precise details relating to the brief notes.

anyways... thursday felt like a not-so-good day. as i said i can't remember exactly why - there was definitely more than one factor, but i can only recall one of them. maybe the other was related as well. yeah, i think it was. so anyways i find out on thursday that this whole outsourcing/restructure thing which was announced like two and half months ago (and which was supposed to take place within eight weeks) is still dragging on as far as my particular role was concerned. my role/job function is now not going to be transitioned for another month...


i'm finding it hard enough dragging myself out of bed every morning, tossing up whether or not i should just call in sick and not bother with the whole thing. i feel so much like an appendix - an appendage hanging on all by itself, sitting there doing who knows what day after day. to most people it may seem rather useless and devoid of any real function, but having the potential to cause great pain and distress should it be inflamed. as i said, i am ready to go at the drop of a hat... i just don't have a good hat yet. maybe one with pop-out blades hidden in the rim that i can use as an uber-shuriken... and lined with explosive powder that detonates on impact, just as i stroll casually away from the building, out of reach of the flames and projectiles... !

so back to thursday. i'm not happy. this news doesn't help. and as i was leaving work for the day (don't get me wrong, i do still turn up to work and do my work. at the same time i'll freely admit that i'm mostly operating on a "doing the minimum" mindset...), my manager catches me and apologises for the delay in my transition. it's not really his fault per se... but that doesn't stop the whole situation from being just a bit of a "good idea at the time but did anybody actually bother to plan and manage it properly???" that it currently is. and he comments that he notices that i've been a bit out of sorts lately... which got me thinking whether it was so obvious? i suppose i'm struggling to keep a lid on it sometimes... he said he doesn't want me to one day say to him that i've had enough and throw in the towel, that i should look forward to the new role (which i'm not really, but it's probably better than this dead-end road i'm currently on), that i should try to prove myself there etc etc. i then let him know why i'm not looking forward to the new role, and why i doubt that proving myself will result in anything (since i have already done so in my current role, and got nothing to show for it except malcontent and disillusionment). i think he resigned himself to agreeing with me, especially since he's only been here a few months and i've seen and heard more of how this place works than he has.

i went home. wanted to vege and do nothing, so had a bit of idiot boxing lined up. to my pleasant surprise, i had some winning moments:
  1. my cheque from opionionspaid came! i had "won" some money from doing their surveys... i suppose if you actually calculate how much time i spent on completing the surveys vs. how much money i got from it, it would probably work out to be a not very efficient way of getting money :p
  2. while getting ready to wash up the night's dishes, i turned on the radio to 96.5 (which is something i tend to do whenever i wash dishes), and within a minute or two heard something about a movie ticket giveaway, so i rang the station. didn't get through the first time and fiddled for a few seconds with the home phone to get the last number redial happening. thought i'd lost the opportunity cos it took me 2 or 3 goes to get it right, but the second call started ringing! and i got through... and won myself 4 tickets to a preview of the new hilary duff movie, raise your voice. lol... the guy asked if i was a fan, and i said not really :p but hey, a free movie is a free movie, and while this is probably not something i'd usually pay to go see, it also isn't something i'd avoid like the plague. actually, having spent some time looking through the site, i think i might enjoy the music in it at least :) so now all i need is to find some friends who might also enjoy such fare, and treat them to a free movie.

- - - - -

well now that i've gotten that out of my head, time to eat and get ready to make some dumplings later this afternoon! this will be my first real attempt at doing things from go to whoa - previously i've only assisted here and there when my parents were driving the show. i don't really have a proper recipe either... some helpers will come later to wrap and cook, so fingers crossed my preparation of ingredients doesn't go too badly (i'm not much of a cook, so i worry when i don't have precise directions!) anyways, if they turn out looking anything like these (not that i'm following her recipe/directions that closely), i'll be happy :D