Everything Else

Iron Man Robert

!(imgcenter)https://testing120181.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/downey.jpg(Yums)!

Robert Downey Jr is back.

It’s been almost 10 years since he stole Ally McBeal’s heart (and mine in the process). In those 10 years, he’s been in and out of rehab, making Amy Winehouse look like a mere petulant child. In fact, Larry Paul (the character he played) was written to break Ally’s heart because Downey Jr had been arrested for drugs possession.

Somehow, he’s kept me mesmerised all this time, even as a down and out drunk in Zodiac. In fact, while ploughing through the 22GB of music in my iMac recently, I came across an old track of him singing “Every Breath You Take” with Sting. It’s a really awesome track that I had forgotten about: the two men blending together in harmony, the suaveness of Sting’s voice complementing the slightly rough edges of Downey Jr’s.

There’s something really enigmatic and charismatic about him – you can’t help but fix your eyes on him. His effect on me is similar to that of Christian Bale. And while watching Iron Man at a special premiere (thanks to the cousin!), it’s apparent that he holds the centrestage and nobody, not even Gwyneth Paltrow in that token role, can hold a candle to him.

In Iron Man, he’s the playboy turned hero but a wicked, comedic twist. Tony Stark is wry, brutally honest, witty and extremely brilliant to boot. And as someone who changes his life following traumatic events (hello Batman?), Downey Jr is riveting. He plays Tony well, with a generous dose of charm, arrogance, confusion and then, subtle humility. At his lowest, you can’t help but cringe and fear. And when he is at his heroic best, your heart will give a little cheer as laughter falls from your mouth. Even when the plot feels threadbare, as most action films are, you ignore that practical side of your brain and carry on believing.

Watching a coolly sexy man at work is pleasant enough; watching a coolly sexy genius (hyperbole?) at work is like having ice cold water sliding down your back on a painfully hot day. As he puts together his gadgets and gizmos in a simple wife beater, the masculine curves of his biceps never look more inviting. And when he is striding around in that dapper suit, the smoothness of his gait is just too enticing.

Gosh, I’m gushing. But that’s the Robert Downey Jr effect for you. Without spoiling the show for you, all I want to say is that it’s great entertainment seeing actors getting tossed around like Transformers. And the little hilarious twist at the end was executed perfectly – not entirely unexpected but still a surprise nonetheless. It also sets up the sequel nicely, I can’t wait!

Fabulous fare for that lazy, hot summer night.

Wedding March

Oriental girl

!(imgcenter)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2349/2427670407_bdc00b4487.jpg(In the mood for love, no?)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2427670407/

Not quite In the Mood for Love because, well, I channel Audrey Tautou more than I do Maggie Cheung. Though I am tempted to buy a pair of opera gloves just for vintage kicks!

Nevermind. I like this cheongsum, which was made when I was in Shanghai recently. Basically, it entailed taking a cab to the fabric market, locating the tailor, shoving him that picture which I had torn out of a magazine, getting my measurements taken and voila! a dress is born less than three days later. It’s not quite traditional, not sensual, not womanly, not lacy and nothing that you would associate with a woman in a cheongsum. Definitely not Madam Wong material.

But it’s cool. 🙂

Wedding March

Shodding Cinderella

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/2427671029_60702f4e35.jpg(Gold heels)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2427671029/

After spending our past weekends at the malls trying to find Miss Tiny Feet (size 35, beat that) a pair of heels for the wedding, we finally struck gold (literally) at Haji Lane. The usual suspects – Charles & Keith (oops, am I too LC), Substance, Hue, Tang & Co – didn’t have anything that I liked while the pair that I was madly in love with at Pedder Red had ran out of my size (we went to Pedder Red four times in two weeks).

This isn’t the gorgeous gold Pedder Red T-bar heels, which reminded me of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, but it’s sexy and interesting. Good enough for Budget Bride here. Go check out Bianca for some shoe-whoring, girls!

The organised chaos

Age is not just a number

After watching the finals of the Contender Asia last night (’twas a mighty good fight!), the boyf, Shaz, the Cuz and I went off for supper. In the midst of devouring our ee-mian and fish slice bee hoon, the boyf joked that we would be seating the two of them, both single and in their 30s, in a table full of eligible bachelors for them to pick and choose during our wedding reception.

It has never failed to puzzle me why these two women are still swinging single. Both are successful in their careers, financially independent, stylish, youthful looking for their ages, funny, kind and generous. But because they are on the wrong side of the 30s, they are automatically overlooked by the other sex.

I may be jumping to my own pessimistic conclusion, of course. But that fact was crystallized by a comment that a male friend of mine, who shall remain nameless for his safety, made. He is a successful man himself, single and in his mid-30s. When quizzed about his criteria for his partner, he admitted that she has to be someone younger than he is.

“Look, I am in my mid-30s. If I marry someone older, she will be nearing her 40s and it is going to be very hard for us to have children and form a family,” he pointed out.

He is not wrong, of course. It probably is in the DNA of many males to procreate and prolong his family name. But somehow, it struck me as unfair and a tad chauvinistic.

A lot of it is due to biology, true. While men don’t seem to have biological clocks, those of women are constantly ticking against them, day after day. We are often told that it’s best if we had children early because it will be easier for us to bounce back from childbirth, because the risks of illnesses and disabilities are lower, because this, because that. When a woman at the age of 50 becomes a mother, the world condemns her act. Nobody finds it imperative to tell an 80-year-old man to stop sowing his wild and not-too-limp oats everywhere.

I may be belaboring the point a bit, I’ll admit. But when I look at Shaz and the Cuz, I am constantly questioning our societal norms and wondering why it is all so unfair for the fairer sex.

Wedding March

Under this tree, I do

So this is going to be the place where we will exchange our vows:
!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3079/2395564570_b6330575c3_m.jpg(Click for bigger)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2395564570/sizes/o/

How we picked the location is purely down to economics. The Fence would have cost us $1,500 in rental. Although it shares the same view as and is directly next to the Lawn (where our dinner will be held), it will cost money simply because it’s surrounded by a pretty, quaint white fence. On the other hand, this cosy little nook under the tree is part of the Lawn and rental charges have been covered in our contract. Therefore, it’s free!

And another reason why I am glad we are holding the dinner in Sentosa, it’s because we can get interesting and unexpected guests like Miss Peacock and Mister Monitor Lizard:
!(imgcenter)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2154/2395564848_34d93da188_m.jpg(Lizard)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2395564848/

Very rustic, huh?

Health Goddess

Being prideful

Today, the boyfriend said to me while we were on the train: “I am amazed by your thighs.”

No, this is not some R-rated conversation. We had been talking about my weights selection for the BodyPump class. I was relating to him the story of how a Caucasian woman had stared at my load for the squat track with a disdainful look on her face. If speech bubbles could be seen, hers would say, “Let’s see you squat with those weights, girlfriend.”

Well, I trumped her with my combined weight of 17kg (8.5kg per side on the bar), as compared to her miserly 10kg. And in other tracks, my weights were either equal to, or more than hers. So beat that, sister. Yes, you who made sure to glance in my direction every time I changed the weights on my bar.

I know it’s evil to feel so competitive but I can’t help it! It’s in the family, I swear. I honestly think that for a skinny twig like me, I have come a long, long way and I am immensely proud of myself for being able to carry weights that women twice my size would think twice about. Plus, I have finally put on a teensy bit of weight and that makes me really happy.

Sexy thighs, anyone?

Squats: 17kg
Chest: 7kg
Back: 10kg
Triceps: 7kg
Lunges: 5kg
Biceps: 7kg
Shoulders: 4.5kg

Silly things

My little Poupee

I’ve just started on this ridiculously addictive online community called, amusingly enough, Pupe.

If you have played with paper dolls when you were a wee kiddo, then Pupe would appeal to you. The premise is simple: you earn ribbons by uploading pictures of your fashion-related items such as shoes, bags, dresses, tights etc. With these ribbons, you can now purchase clothes and accessories for your virtual paper doll. Basically, it’s like shopping for things without using real money! You can also earn ribbons by commenting on the stuff that others have uploaded or when you sell off items.

I am so hooked onto it that I have been snapping pictures of the things in my exploding wardrobe, just so I can earn ribbons to buy more things. It’s madness. Anyway, here’s my poupee (the virtual doll) today, after four wardrobe changes:
!(imgcenter)https://yannisms.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/poupee.tiff(My Poupee)!

Drop me a note with your email address if you are as bored as I was and I will send you an invite! We’ll both get 30 ribbons to spend. 😉

Two of Us

Where do I begin?

Well, the past two weeks have been madness. First, there was the unexpected trip to Shanghai. Then, I rushed back to Singers so that I could spend the boyf’s birthday with him. After that, it was a week of WORK. Stories to be plugged, edits after edits, calls and emails and photoshoots. Finally, we both took a day off last Friday to just chill, go to the gym and have dinner. And it really was the break that I had desperately craved.

Let’s start with the man’s 28th birthday, shall we? About a month ago, I decided to book us a ride on this:
!(imgcenter)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2038/2395687198_d3e665728e_m.jpg(Singapore Flyer)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2395687198/

The Shanghai trip almost derailed our plans but thankfully, I managed to put myself on a red-eye flight back home. I touched down on Sunday morning at 515am and was promptly met by a bleary-eyed boyfriend. Hurray for love!

Later in the evening, we headed over to the big wheel after catching Mika Hakkinen do his thang down the road in front of the Padang. Being really into touristy, kitschy things, we were both quite excited about it. Of course, we were never without our trusty Canon cameras and were busily shooting.

The clever marketing brains behind the Singapore Flyer have made it such that you are forced to take a cheesy tourist picture before you get into the capsule. We debated telling them that we didn’t want that picture taken but decided to be the abiding Singaporean sheep that we are. We ended up buying the picture for a princely $15! Suckers, I know.

The journey into the air was quite interesting. The view over Marina Boulevard was astonishing – we could even see the footy pitch being carved out at the floating platform. It helped that a shower a few hours before our ascent had turned the skies into gorgeous slices of azure heaven. Unfortunately, once you turn into the other direction towards Kallang, the experience is dulled somewhat because the view is hardly as lovely.

And lest you think you can indulge in some romance with your other half in the capsule, think again. You are sharing the space with others and it’s really hard to cultivate any sense of romance when within the small confines. Plus, it’s hard to get lovey dovey when your partner is more interested in capturing the right picture, heh.

And once we were back on land, it was time for a Popeye’s not-so-surprise party! We had so much fun, it made me glad I came home for the celebrations.

So hope you had a happy birthday, boyfriend. The next time we celebrate our birthdays, we will be married and probably doing the laundry together. 160 days to go!

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/2395688858_ff090015c7_m.jpg(Sunset)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2395688858/

More pictures here.

Wedding March

My photographer is awesome

I’ll be the first to admit it: I am a horrible photo snob. It takes a lot for me to be wowed when it comes to pictures and I have to thank my 1.5-year stint at the Loiters pictures desk for that.

But if you think I am snooty, I can assure you that I am only half as anal as the fiance is. He’s got a much better eye for photography than I do and while I am the heart behind our likes and dislikes, he is the brain.

The good news is, this made our search for a wedding photographer a breeze. You see, our exacting standards meant that 95% of the photographers in Singapore were pretty much eliminated. Too cheesy, too boring, too unimaginative, too uncreative, too normal, too uninspiring, too inconsistent – you get the drift.

So how did we come to a decision? We knew we wanted someone whose pictures we would gladly hang up in our home. Something that we would want to thumb through again and again. Something that we would be proud to show our children and their children. Someone who could capture the emotions we had felt at that moment. Someone who was creative and could see beauty in light, angles, colours and facial expressions that others couldn’t.

And we found him.

Even though he belonged to the 2% that was out of our budget, we decided to just sod it and hire him because we believe that he is someone we could entrust our big day to. Well, the wedding dress is for one day but pictures are forever, right? So there you go.

!(imgcenter)http://www.eadwine.com/march/kj018.jpg(Gorgeous!)!:http://eadwine.livejournal.com/717266.html

It’s Eadwine of Plush Photography. I would put up more pictures except they are too big for the tiny column of my bloggie. Anyway, it’s a small world and it turns out that he goes to the same church as Denise and Joseph! And he is how awesome! Go check out his sites for more gorgeous pictures.

So all’s good on the wedding front. We’ve bought the domain of our website (it’s a secret!), know exactly where we will be exchanging our vows (more on that later) and I had my cheong sum tailored when I was in Shanghai! Plus, we have been coming up with heaps of ideas for decorations and stuff so yay.

I can’t wait to be married!