Friday, December 31, 2010

2, 102, 400 Minutes

Oh look. We've dropped to less than a hundred posts in total for this year! And we think of it as a good year overall.

To start, we took a break from the choir this year, after two years of joining and missing out on other activities like birthday parties and cybercafe sessions. And speaking of birthday parties, we celebrated ours by having all our friends meet up at Mage Cafe (and also had us hiding under the table out of sheer shyness). Birthday parties with others also saw us all dressing up as if it was Halloween or heading out of town to Fraser's Hill to celebrate, staying in a bungalow as if we were the Bennets in Meryton. And this year we took a break from trying to organize surprise parties for the Chief (otherwise where will the surprise be?), although we managed to surprise the Chief with a belated birthday dinner at what was thought to be Al-Rahji Bank.

As for trips, we've visited Sibu and Bali for the first time, revisited Bangkok (oh the thought of Bangkok makes us melancholy, how we miss the food!), Phuket (oh the thought of Phuket makes us melancholy, how we miss the carefreeness of it all!), and Sporeland, not once, but twice (oh the thought of Sporeland makes us melancholy, how we miss the spending power!).

Only in 2010 did we finally get to actively convert videos for the iPhone! Three years after getting our iPod Touch and five years after getting our iPod Video 30GB! Now we watch don't have to wait for our turn to use the telly, we can watch our movies or telly serials anytime, anywhere! And with the Chief having an iPhone too, we can easily share videos between us (although we must admit, as The Chief's taste runs more towards Chinese serials like Born Rich while ours stay English, although The Chief has started Dexter too!).

Other stuff this year includes only a single treasure hunt trip that took us to Kenyir, our first time waxing, and our return to our dentist (after years of absence) first to fix up our pearlies, then to remove one of them.

And it was this year that we became an Unker (and our sis has already been calling us and all her friends Uncle too)!

We'll say it was a good year. Time sort of flew by without us noticing, like how the TTDIans had a knockout drink session sometime in March, but we thought it to be sometime in the middle of the year!

Anyways, hello 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rowan Atkinson, Live

Another Christmas and this time we're reminded of something we've not been able to watch for a long time, since VHS went obsolete.

Some of our favourite videos, which we have on videotape, but over the years they have fallen victim to either fungus, insect eggs, damage from wear and tear, and finally, when all our VHS players finally stopped working.

Some we've managed to get on DVD, much to our delight. This plus the fact that we have converters and the likes mean we also have digital backups asides the physical copy (although we don't cherish the thought of converting all 200 episodes of Sailormoon into a digital copy, what more we have to decide if we're going to just convert them in a resolution just enough for the iPhone, or for the iPad, or use the default settings at the cost of hard disk space). Not all our favourite videos manage to make the leap to VCD/DVD, though.

This is why we love YouTube.

For a few good souls have managed to scavange some of our favourites, and although it's been a good seven years or more since we've watched them, we find ourself still able to quote lines without fail! Let's start with one of them.

All the time we remember how it is to dance as if there's something up the bottom (and otherwise) but muscle memory kicked in when it came to dancing too little when our hands did the job what our brain didn't recall, ha ha!

And there's also the fact that we were old enough to understand all the jokes at the time, although there were only a few scenes that were of the M15+ rating.

We've always found his skits far more entertaining without growing old. But we're sure we'll one day decide to do a Mr Bean marathon! Now, if we do find the DVD of Rowan Atkinson Live we'll be sure to snap it up in a jiffy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blessed Christmas 2010!

Right. As far as we remember, last year we stayed up late wrapping up the last few presents, all the way till (as we refer back to last year's post) past 3.30am before going for something to eat.

And we vowed, this year we shall make sure to begin shopping before December. And we did, then we stopped, because we sort of ran out of ideas for what to buy. Our attention was then distracted from presents to decorating as we were put in charge of getting the office tree and decor, much to our delight, as we've not really had a proper (albeit fake) Christmas tree for Christmas ever since mum decided against putting up the 4-foot tree as it was a hassle to put up and take down, or because it was coming to pieces.

Come to think of it we can't even remember how the tree decor looked like except for the lights, which were colourful and spiky. And we think there was a colourful tinsel that went around the tree. But asides from that we cannot remember what ornaments there were.

Anyways. We went about checking out the fake trees available in BSC and other places, and just as we've decided on a couple, we were told to go get a real tree instead.

To be honest we weren't keen on a real tree, despite the novelty of having a real tree for Christmas instead of a fake. Firstly because there were only two places we knew of offhand that sold real trees: iKea and BSC. iKea's trees costs RM99 for their 5ft to 6ft tree (member's price) while in BSC their 4ft to 5ft tree sold for RM799 (of course, the price dropped by half that as we progressed later in December).

This meant that we would most likely be getting the iKea tree, and based on what we saw in iKea, all we can say is that they never did bother to decorate it much nor upkeep it enough to make it appealing. And with all the trees wrapped up in netting, there was no way we could know if the tree we picked would be a great tree or one where all the leaves have dropped off and the top of the tree left bare.

And the amount of leaves shed! We wouldn't mind the shedding in the office as we would leave the cleaning duties to others, but Aidan really needed a wash and vacuum...

After we'd bought the tree, we went crazy shopping at BSC for ornaments and the likes (we never did see if Tangs at Pavilion had ornaments and decorations for sale, like Tangs in Sporeland's Orchard Road) as it was cheaper and better looking compared to iKea's ornaments.

Getting the tree into the stand wasn't so easy as we needed to make sure it was centered and steady so that the tree wouldn't topple while we were halfway decorating it.

And the first thing that went on? The lights. By far the easiest job. And to be honest, even with just the lights alone, the tree looked good. We suppose that was why iKea and BSC only decorated their real trees with lights. However, it wasn't enough for us.

Ornaments gave us a bit of a problem as we needed to put them on with a delicate hand to reduce the amount of leaves shedding! And some ornaments actually came with no string! Thank goodness we had ribbons with us, and we'd to spend some time cutting and tying loops of ribbons onto the ornaments before we could hang them up.

Still in the end we manage to get the baubles up all around just right, followed by the longer ornaments to help cover the gaps, then there was the problem of the stringed beads that would have made the tree looked horrifyingly gaudy if we just looped it around the tree like a giant rosary (solved by cutting it up and hanging it about like little candy cane ornaments)....

The wire ribbons we bought? Perhaps we didn't get enough. Our initial attempts looked as if we toilet-papered the tree. Only after much deliberation and readjusting and putting on the last of the decorations did the ribbons look passable. We still don't really get how others manage very pretty ribbonwork on their trees, unless the main reason why ribbons work so well with their trees is that it works well for fake trees.

End result? We like. We really like. Choice of red and silver for this year's theme was due to our Christmas gifts being wrapped in red this year with white ribbons. Ball lights were a last addition that required a readjustment of some baubles (we didn't have the energy to remove all the decorations and redo the entire thing), but it was a major improvement.

Throw in the presents we've wrapped in red and white for the family, we've got a nice set-up to put our neighbouring offices to shame. Of course, at one point our boss did ask our colleague if the presents were just empty boxes for decorative purposes...

Perhaps for next year we can spend a wee bit for a different colour. Maybe blue and silver.

Anyways, here's wishing all a very blessed Christmas! Enjoy the holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sporeland Shopping Slump

The X-Mini generation 1 speakers for less than SGD30, Gamecube controllers for SGD15, and the Wii Classic Controller Pro for SGD38 at Funan DigitaLife Mall.

Branded (and not the fake kinds too, but unfortunately we couldn't remember what brand) iPhone 3GS casings for SGD10 at Harvey Norman Suntec City Mall.

Calligraphy pens and nibs around SGD18 onwards from Art Friend, Takashimaya.

iPhone 3GS casings of Battlestar Galactica, Jurassic Park and Revenge Of The Mummy going for SGD13.90, two for the price of one, at Universal Studios Singapore.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in a large mug for SGD35 at the Hershey's Store, Universal Studios Singapore.

The X-Mini generation 2 speakers for under SGD50 at Urban Write, Orchard Central.

Various Super Mario Bros soft toys to bring to make the nostalgic gamer in us go crazy, from Boos to 1-Up Mushrooms and the Starman, not to mention Civilization V for PC for about SGD48, at Funz Centre at Orchard Central.

THESE ARE A LIST OF THINGS WE DID NOT GET WHEN SHOPPING IN SPORELAND. Because we were not in the proper frame of mind when shopping ie was trying to prioritize getting Christmas presents for family instead of shopping for own self when all we wanted to do was shop for ourself, and had absolutely no idea what to get for family in the first place, hence, aimless wandering in stores.

In the end we only got a couple of Zig Calligraphy pens for ourself, and at least had a night of excited shopping going through the Christmas decorations at Tangs in preparation for Christmas parties over the weekend when we were in Sporeland.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chronically Acute

That is how we shall describe our situation since two Sundays ago. For that was when our first ulcer made itself known to us, somewhere far back in the deep recesses on the left side of our mouth. From being something normally bearable, after three to four days instead of improving our condition worsen to the point where we could only eat on the right side of our mouth and there were frequent sharp spikes of pain shooting through the left side of our jaw.

Two Tuesdays back, after a long karaoke session celebrating Sinner's birthday (where we stoned out after a few hours, when a slew of
Chinese songs dominated the playlist), it reached a point where we had to resort to anti-inflammatories to lessen the pain (the past few days before that had us applying Oral Aid every hour, if not more often!), not trusting paracetamol to suffice. At this point the ulcer was so large that a large drop of Oral Aid could fill it without even overflowing!

Still the pain continued that we decided to visit the doctor to have him have a look at our situation. The doc was sympathetic with our plight after one look, and diagnosed secondary infection, sending us off with a quick bout of antibiotics while telling us not continue with our painkillers and Oral Aid. In hindsight we realize we should have taken up his offer for more painkillers, extra spare stock is always handy.

By last weekend, brushing teeth was like brushing with fire, the pain had us exhausted, waking up from sleep wasn't any better as our mouth would be dry and the slight movement with a dry mouth sent fresh spikes of pain from all over, and in the aftermath of a getaway in Fraser's Hill we had the same ulcer-turned-flesh wound, an ulcer or pimple (we couldn't tell, but the pain level is the same regardless) on the bite line on the left side of our tongue, and another ulcer was beginning to form at the front of our lower gums.

Generally we're not one who can't withstand some levels of pain but this was like having a cilice continually gouging a hole in the flesh!

In the end last Wednesday, the day just before we left for Sporeland, we crawled to our dentist for his opinion. We thought perhaps he had something better, like lignocaine mouthwash, or better yet, he could just jab us with local anesthesia and offer us some temporary relief. But the first thing he uttered after taking a look?

"The upper molar is biting into your cheek, causing the ulcer and not letting it heal. You better remove it."

A rational part of us was wondering if it was necessary, were there any other options, hey, surely we didn't need to have a perfectly good tooth extracted? Rational bit momentarily thought to accuse our dentist of just wanting to extract the tooth for profit, but we trusted the dentist to be experienced enough to know what he's about, and not out just for the money.

The other parts of us were in pain, just do it and end our misery. The pain of extraction surely cannot be worse than our current situation, bloody molar no wonder we've been hurting so much and the ulcer has not been healing but getting bigger!

Half hour after he'd jabbed us twice with local anesthesia and an x-ray, the tug of war started.

The steady pressure as he clamped down and pulled. The comment that the roots were long. A switch to a different instrument where he screwed (we didn't see, it could be some sort of modified G-clamp for all we know) into the poor molar. A sort of crunch as said clamp took hold. Onwards with the steady pulling. So much for anesthesia, we could still feel the tingle of the nerves. The nurse arrives to hold our head steady. The tug of war intensifies for both parties.

Our dentist wins! A bloody molar with long roots lay beaten in his tray.

Us, relieved and feeling light-headed from the experience walked out of his room, laughing to the nurse as we paid. Partly because we were still under anesthesia (and therefore happy we couldn't feel any pain), partly from the knowledge that the source of pain was no more, and probably partly from shock (even though we knew what to expect, this wasn't our first extraction).

And it certainly did feel better! The ulcer, while still present, ceased to hurt as the tooth wasn't there to aggravate it further! It seems that we no longer need be miserable, what more just before heading to Sporeland!

So here we are in Sporeland and we're now feeling the dull pain in the gums as it's healing from the extraction (as well as from the mild shifting of the remaining teeth), and the other ulcers occasionally remind us that they are still around, but it's nothing we can't handle with a bit of Oral Aid and Nurofen!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Isn't Christmas...

...till you've bought all your presents!

So last year we were rather late at shopping for presents for everyone, and vowed to begin early this year, preferably starting at the end of November. And we did begin shopping by the end of November!'s now the middle of December, our company Chirstmas meetup is looming close by, and we still have not bought any gifts for the Christmas gift exchange, nor have we bought anything for our colleagues.

Let's not even talk about presents for half our relatives. We're still stuck on what to give our baby niece asides from wee clothes and soft toys.

The best bit is that, after the initial scurry to shop for presents (and wrapping them), inertia has slowed and we've lost that sense of urgency to finish our Christmas shopping. And yet we've only about eight more presents to get! Eight! Why can't we just run down to The Body Shop and pick out their prepacked gifts or to a supermarket for a box of Ferraro Rocher immediately?

We guess it's just that we're not in the mood to shop just yet.