Everything Else

Remembering the music

Pulling in 12-hour shifts at the office has been running me ragged. I’m perpetually low on sleep, talk a bit slower and write like an idiot, which leads to rewrites after getting a caffeine fix in the form of green tea.

But that’s not the point of the story. Music is the point. When I need to concentrate hard, I usually plug into my iPod and dig into the “Yeah Yeah Songs” playlist. As its name suggests, the songs there are usually catchy, uplifting or have a rockin’ beat that keeps me going and going. And strangely enough, whenever a particular song plays, a visual image of the song actually appears in my mind.

You see, a large part of my music comes from movies and TV shows that I catch, like The O.C. and Grey’s Anatomy, or on Internet radio (Virgin Radio) and podcasts (The Scott Mills Daily). And invariably, listening to the song brings me back to that moment when I heard it and liked it.

For instance, South’s “Paint the Silence” would take me back to when Ryan and Marissa on The O.C. shared a tender kiss as the ferris wheel ascends. When the strains of piano of The Fray’s “How to Save a Life” flit through the earphones, I see Grey’s Anatomy’s Derek staring intensely at Meredith even as they are both dancing with Addison and the vet (forgot his name) during the prom. Meanwhile, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol would bring on an image of Izzy lying wretchedly on top of the very dead Denny Duquette, who died unexpectedly after a successful heart transplant. When I hear The Ting Ting’s “That’s not my name”, I immediately think of Scott Mills’ “party in my tummy” episode. The image of the large fish tank in Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting pops into my head when Desiree croons “Kissing You”. And Mika’s “Happy Ending” would bring to mind the ill-fated romance between Serena and Dan.

Rather than being distracting, it’s actually great. It allows me to take a couple of seconds off my work, smile and remember the wonderful shows that I love. And then I go back to work, feeling just a tad happier.

Wedding March

Thicknthin: We finally do

Walking down the aisle

When I reached outside of the ceremony room, there was a small group of people there but I just wasn’t seeing them at all. It’s very hard to explain it, it was like I was in a bubble and my heart was pounding so hard. Finally, my inebriated sister and brother-in-law ambled over and we stood outside the room, waiting for the cue to enter.

“Okay, go in,” said Peter, our saviour emcee and then he disappeared into the room. I don’t know why but somehow, that remark didn’t register in our brains and we stood there stupidly, waiting for the sign that had already came. According to poor Mr Thick, he stood at the end of the aisle as the piano refrain from Five for Fighting’s 100 Years played for four times, wondering where the hell his wife was.

“Eh, go in!” It was Peter, who had appeared again. I took a huge breath, linked arms with the Sista and A, and walked in.

The crowd was huge and my breath almost stopped. Okay, given that I was 30 minutes late, it wasn’t that unbelievable, but still, that moment was mine to savour.

Except to my right, my sister was almost dashing forward to my very handsome husband-to-be, and to my left, my brother-in-law suddenly let rip a loud and hysterical guffaw and I thought, What the hell is going on? It certainly wasn’t your typical stately and elegant walk down the aisle as the Sista half-dragged me while I looked on to the still-guffawing A in bewilderment.

At least, we got to the my husband-to-be. He looked mightily relieved and to be honest, so was I. We held hands and moved behind the table to take our seats. One thing that I am grateful for was that my uncle, as our justice of peace, had shifted the seats around, such that the two of us were facing the room while his back faced the audience. While most seating arrangements saw the audience staring at the backs of the couple, this new arrangement allowed everyone to look at us clearly as the ceremony was taking place.

As Mr Thick said his “I will” and “I do”, my eyes misted over and I almost cried. Surprisingly, I managed to curb the waterworks by taking a deep breath and telling myself that I cannot cry now. My mascara would run and I would terrible! That worked, almost instantly. Ah, vanity.

We reached the point where we had to exchange our rings and he said his vows without a hitch. As I slipped his ring over his finger, I started saying my vows. Except, it wasn’t complete. It sounded like this,
…To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part…

Gah! I continued saying my vows as calmly as possible, hoping against hope that nobody noticed. Not a chance. As we sat there as our parents signed the certificate. Mr Thick whispered, “Did you miss out the for richer part?” I giggled and nodded, and we sat there shaking with mirth.

But the hilarity wasn’t over. We signed the certificate and it was time for the husband to unveil me and give me the first kiss of our married lives. But we were thwarted by…my mother! Even before I had put down the pen, my mother was ushering us and going, “Take family picture now! Quick, family picture! And remember to give the red packet to your uncle!” We dutifully took that picture, with me still wearing that veil, and then wondered how we were going to get to that kiss afterall.

His eldest brother, Steven, saved us from the blushes. “Kiss the bride!” he shouted and we duly obliged. Mr Thick flipped up my veil very coolly this time, having had his practice this morning, and we stared at each other for a second.

“We didn’t practise our kiss!” I murmured. No matter. We leaned in for a sweet, demure kiss and then…ah hah! The real deal! It wasn’t practised and it was damn satisfying. Heh.

We walked down the aisle as confetti was tossed at us and then we reached the end. Now what?
The newly-marrieds

Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?
Part III: Sunny skies
Part IV: The “passing” rain

All photos by Eadwine Lay of Plush Photography.
More photos here and here.

Little Miss Shopaholic

Hello, Miss Edna Mode

So yes, I have done the post-wedding chop.

It’s just hair, really. It will grow back eventually and if I do miss my hair (a question that everyone has been asking, alongside “how’s married life?”), I can always go back to the olden days of dry ends and poufy mane. Besides, I don’t associate femininity with long hair and I am lucky to be married to an evolved individual who doesn’t really care what I do with my hair.

I suppose I do look like Edna Mode but hey, I am not complaining. Short hair offers me a lot of freedom – quicker and more thorough shampoos! No more dry ends! – and I think I am not going back to being a Rapunzel anytime soon.

So yes, you can say that I am loving my days as a short-haired, quirky creature. Next up, an Agyness Deyn pixie cut, perhaps?

Wedding March

Thicknthin: The “passing” rain


Back in the suite, my make up artist Lawrence was busy trying to transform me into a princess. It was a tough job because the lack of sleep had given me ridiculously dark eye rings and I wanted to have smoky eyes. Panda alert! But he did a fantastic job and I cannot recommend him enough.

When Mr Thick came back to the suite, the prognosis wasn’t good. Dark clouds were billowing in the horizon but we crossed our fingers and hoped that the wind would blow them away. Unfortunately, it started drizzling lightly, and he received several frantic calls from the banquet manager, who wanted to know if we wanted to move indoors.

Frankly, that had to be one of the toughest moments in my life. I had to sit there quietly as my face was being painted but my mind was whirling with pessimism and prayer. Our perfect, beautiful wedding that we had been planning for the past year was about to be washed down the drain, literally. Poor Mr Thick had to quickly – he didn’t even style his hair! – move downstairs to survey the situation. Throughout the night, he kept all the stressful decision-making to himself and protected me from the excruciating details. I never thought it was possible but I think I, to paraphrase Ingrid Michaelson’s song, love him more than I promised that night.

In the meantime, my anxiety further heightened when my god-sister began complaining about the hotel staff’s poor service and when my uncle, who was also my JP, got lost with my mother in his car. I received several high-strung calls from the matriarch, which stressed me out. Forget about being polite, I wanted to be by myself, and got my cousin to shoo everyone else out.

Best decision, really, because once I had the space to think, I decided that there was no point in getting depressed. Sure, I was extremely disappointed that our dream could not be realised but there wasn’t anything that we could do and if this was what the big guy up there intended to happen, then so be it. I focused my attention (not enough, as we found out later) on writing our vows and keeping calm.

But. We were running late! 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony, Lawrence was still fussing about with my hair. At 6.30pm, the husband-to-be rang me to ask if I was ready. Nay! The hair was still being curled! At 6.40pm, Trev came into the room to ask if I was ready. Nay! The flower was still being pinned into the curled hair! And it was still bloody raining!

Finally, Lawrence was done and I hurriedly got dressed. We darted to the door and, of all people, Trev and Al – two non-straight men – helped me into my heels. It was a hilarious moment when I dropped my skirts, thinking they were done hooking up the straps of my shoes.

“Not yet, not yet!” screeched Al, whose bald head was engulfed by the skirts. Oops. I giggled and quickly lifted them up again and in a wink of an eye, he was done. By then, it was almost seven and I was a whopping 30 minutes late. Urghs. I walked as quickly as I could in my heels and made a dash for the lift.

Screw the rain, it was time to get married!

Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?
Part III: Sunny skies

All photos by Eadwine Lay of Plush Photography.
More photos here and here.

Two of Us

One month, or 30 days

We were officially one month old yesterday.

First kiss

It’s really strange how time just flies past us. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were married? And then we had a wonderful time doing nothing in Lombok? And now, a month has passed us by so quickly.

I was feeling poorly yesterday – a recurrent cold – but as Fate would have it, our schedules were in sync and we managed to squeeze in a simple dinner and a leisurely stroll down the beach. Yes, irony was staring at us straight in the eye. The moon was out in full, a gentle breeze was blowing and the dark skies were rich and velvety. It would have been the perfect outdoor wedding – except we were one month too late.

But it’s okay. The most important thing is that we are married and very happily so. We have each other and a wealth of hilarious memories about our wedding that we can share with our children. And I have a husband who surprises me with his eloquence, and who will send me home even though I wasn’t out with him and he was lounging around at home.

And that’s enough.

All photos by Eadwine of Plush Photography.
More here and here.

Photography, Wedding March

Thicknthin: 700 plus

No, this is not a new variant of the isotonic drink.
It’s the number of pictures we sat through after our photographer handed us a DVD of our wedding pictures.

I’m just, well, speechless.

(Which means I am really thrilled by all the pictures! I’ve never looked so gorgeous in my life and oh, how happily married we look. Photography is easily one of the best things we had spent on for the wedding and we had lots of fun looking through the photos and identifying what we were saying and doing at that moment the picture was taken. Kids, to relieve the beautiful moments of your wedding, don’t rely on your fuzzy memories and go for an ace photographer. You won’t regret it!)

(Click for bigger image)

(Yah. I’m one of those girls who can’t laugh girlishly and delicately. I guffaw loudly with my mouth wide open.)

Wedding March

Thicknthin: Sunny skies

!(imgcentre)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3142/2864893569_311693b433.jpg(Ribbons flying)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/33587399@N00/2864893569/

After tucking into a nice catered lunch, we went on our merry way to the hotel. The sun was blazing hot and so the top of the car stayed up. It was a perfect moment – we were young and in love, the weather was bright and sunny.

The plan was to catch a bit of shut-eye in the afternoon because I was absolutely knackered. But I didn’t manage to get any sleep because our room was not ready when we arrived at the hotel. And when we finally did get the room, our friends were already decorating the venue and it did feel a bit diva-ish to nap while they worked.

So it was off with the thick make-up and cheongsam, and on with the slippers, tee and shorts. I packed myself downstairs to see what I can help with, while the husband was already marshalling people around.

Standing there while everyone pottered around, I was left speechless. Ribbons were being tied everywhere, candles placed in strategic places, strings of crystal being hung on The Tree, lanterns strung up on strings. It was wildly beyond my imagination. All I had wanted was a line of paper lanterns around the circumference of the dinner area and a huge ribbon on The Tree. Not this elaborate set-up. It was hard not to be impressed and immensely moved, because it was as if someone had stepped up to me, gently taken my dream wedding off of my hapless hands and transformed it into something so much more amazing and breathtaking.

I’m now writing this with a smile on my face now because looking back, I was so gullible and distracted. I had brought down my high heels to the ceremony grounds to see if I could walk properly without tripping during the solemnization. At that point in time, Sandy, Peter and the husband were discussing the details with the banquet manager and I joined them for a bit. I didn’t notice the worried looks exchanged (the husband assured me that there were plenty) and before I knew it, he was pulling me up from my seat and guiding me to the stairs, telling me that I needed to practise walking in my heels. He even stayed with me throughout the entire time I was practising, which I had thought was weird at that time but chalked it up to the mood of the wedding. And when five o’clock came, he promptly booted me upstairs to get my make-up done. Something fishy going on? We’ll find out.

The one thing that I really regret is not having seen the venue in all its glory. When I went back to the room, the guys were stringing up the lanterns and some of the linen had not been set up yet. What’s imprinted on my mind is thus the “almost-there” version. I wish we had taken more photos but I guess I can only make do with my own imagination.

Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?


Everyday musings

Almost everyday, I wake up in bed and ask myself, “What do I want to do with my life?”

You know, when I was a kid, I thought that life would fall neatly into place when I grow up. I would get a job, get married, have a house, have children and just sail through life. But things aren’t that simple. The family and marriage part is coming along nicely – it’s the part about career which worries me.

I am not an ambitious person. I strive to be happy in what I do and to earn a comfortable living. So what if I don’t become an editor, so what if I can’t afford to buy that Prada purse? It’s not that big a deal to me. All I aim for in life is to be happy and have enough time for myself and my family. But the problem is, as much as I don’t want to be a career ladder climber, these days, my job shapes my mood and my feelings.

I don’t know when exactly it was that I started losing confidence in my writing here. Somewhere along the way, I became worried that I am not suitable for the job and it has lingered. And now, I am faced with a problem: I don’t know what I want to do, or can do. If I stay on, which I want to for a while more, am I able to deliver? Can I work with my boss, who, although very nice, drives me up the wall with her inefficiencies and disorganisation? If I go, where am I to go, especially with the economy looking like such a miserable cow? What do I do – stick with writing, or a writing-related job (like editing), or completely abandon the writing ship and jump to be a corporate executive?

In my dream scenario, I would be sitting at home, writing up a storm and earning my keep from freelance work. But with my name unfamiliar to commercial entities (where all the money really is), it’s going to take a huge leap of faith for me to do the unthinkable.

And so, invariably, I ask myself, “What do I want to do with my life?”

Everything Else

Love Lifehouse long long time


I heart you, Jason Wade.
You cleared up the stuffy nose I had and even stopped it from running and sneezing. The wonderful, miraculous healing powers of music.

Thanks to Nokia, who had invited me (and the husband) to the Nokia Remix: Singapore private showcase at Red Dot Museum.

I wish I had bought tickets to their concert at St James Powerhouse now. Darn