Arts & Entertainment

High on V

Poor, poor Mr Thick.

These days, he has but a shadow of a wife because she is swimming in a sea of True Blood. To say that I am piqued by the series is an understatement. But to be honest, it’s kind of his fault because he was the one who introduced me to the TV series like two years too late.

And now, I can’t stop myself. I’ve watched two seasons’ worth of episodes in a week and then I went online to search for rumours, gossip, trailers and PICTURES. After that, I decided to buy the series of books that the show is based on and thankfully, the poor relegated husband of mine got me the e-book version and loaded it into our iPad. For the past one week, I have been devouring the books (when I am not watching the latest episode of the current season) and suffice to say, the iPad hardly leaves my hands. Sorry dear. It’s mine. For now. And no, we are not getting another 3G set.

Back to True Blood. It’s incredibly dark, gory and violent but it’s also unbelievably funny, emotional and sexy. The cast is strong and the characters have depth. Oh, who am I kidding. Yes the plot is good, the acting is fab but the REAL reason why I watch it is because of the nekkid bodehs and the hot SEX. These people cannot be real, they have super defined abs and super firm butts. Like, HELLO, I AM ALL MUSCLES AND STRONG, TOUCH ME! Forget about sparkly boy vamps who should never take their shirts off, this is ALL MAN.

Now my site is going to show up when people search for “hot sex firm butts”.

I’ve now got a picture of Alexander Skarsgard smouldering in a grey suit on the wallpaper of my work laptop. Very fan girl, I know. Needless to say, I am firmly in the Team Eric camp. I will be extremely pissed if the producers of the series deviate from the books greatly and end up with a Sookie-Bill happily ever after. Bill has uncle hair. I don’t like uncle hair.

Here’s why Eric is the man, no, vampire of my dreams.

And one more.

Oh, let’s have another, shall we?

I’m going back to staring at my wallpaper now, if you’d excuse me.

The organised chaos

Summer fun

Well, it’s not quite summertime now, is it? As I am typing this, my curtains are swaying gently and the rain drops are pelting my window. Such strange weather we have!

The reason for my radio silence is that I’ve been busy with life! Working, going for yoga/pilates, movies, catching up with friends, playing with the cats, spending precious time with husband, getting some sleep…suddenly the hours fly by and hey! we are at the end of July. Even my plans to prepare a big pot of stew and a cheesecake today were nicely thwarted by a birthday celebration with my friends.

There’s a lovely trip to Ubud planned for our second anniversary (can you believe it, we’ve been married for almost two years!) – we’re going to go cycling, cooking classes, hiking, the works. And then…well, and then we’ll see what life has in store for us.

Will be back intermittently – I hope everyone is doing well and loving life!

The organised chaos

10 grown-up things

I’ve resumed my love affair with books again, after a long break of indulging in magazines and blogs. And despite straying from the path, I find that my fingers still enjoy the sensation of flipping the pages of a book and my mind still paints vivid, beautiful images of what I am reading in my head.

It’s still an affair that’s full of affection, longing and pleasure after all these years.

So what have I been reading? The first is Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind and now it’s Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love (I know, I am like four years late to the book but I strayed, remember?). Without going too much into the details, all I can say is that the books inspire and depress me alternatively. I identify very, very strongly with the books but at the same time, they make me feel slightly hopeless.

However. And this is a big HOWEVER. I have decided that I need to banish pessimism from my thoughts after reading the two books. A lot of my negativity stems from my need to be in control – it pains me when things don’t go according to my plans – and my tendency to worry about everything and everybody. Yes, I am a bit of a doormat. Meh.

Rather than worry about things that are beyond my control (GREAT EPIPHANY: THE TWO ARE LINKED!), I need to understand that letting go is not a scary thing to do. I’m still working on it but in the meantime, I have decided to put together a list of 10 things that I would like to be/do when I am, you know, all grown up. Let’s not think about whether these goals are within reach or not – that would take out all the fun of it, wouldn’t it? – and focus on the dreaming part.

1. Earn a decent keep through blogging/writing
I’ve said before that I am not one for climbing corporate ladders. Being a stay-at-home-writer is perfect for me. I am my own boss, earn some money and do the very thing I like to do.

2. Run my own fashion boutique
I’ve already got an idea of how it will look like: white walls with bright lights, jazz music playing, furniture with clean lines from Muji, the Expedit shelf from Ikea…

3. Be an online content editor
This is slightly different from being a freelance writer/blogger in that I will be respectably employed. No more politics and less of the ego managing that I have to do now.

4. Be an expat wife
Uhhmm. Absolutely beyond my control, of course.

5. Go to India and learn to be a yogi

6. Grow skin
I suck at taking pictures mostly because I don’t have a thick hide. I get shy about swinging a camera in the direction of a human being. I don’t dare to ask shop owners if I could take pictures of their interior. I’m lousy at being thick-skinned.

7. Go travelling for six months
Some places I have in mind: California, New York, Cuba, Greece, Rome, London, South of France, Barcelona, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet.

8. Go to cooking/baking school
I love food and I actually enjoy creating food. But if only my creations are always spot on and look good to boot. And oh, if someone could teach me how to plate and art direct my shoots, that would be awesome.

9. Learn to sew
Some of the blogs that I follow are stay-at-home-mums who actually create clothing for their kids. How cool is that? And then there are those DIY bloggers who sew their own curtains and whatnots. Wow.

10. Be a mom
Because, seriously, the world would be a cooler place if my descendants are running it.

What are the 10 things you want to do when you grow up?

Yes, I have two watering cans
Health Goddess, Two of Us

The unberable lightness of being

In Singapore, it’s hard to be married and not have anyone asking intrusive questions like “when are you having kids?” The older generation is especially guilty of it, it’s almost as if having children is our act of filial piety towards them, that we must have children because they demand it.

What these people fail to realize is that sometimes, it is not our choice to not have kids. Meaning, there is a story in the facade that we have been hiding behind, a story that we have not told and are not comfortable with telling. And these same clueless people – who are asking only because they think they have a right to – don’t realize that the story is not a happy one. When my mother-in-law went from joking about us providing her with a grandchild to making an outright declaration, it made me reluctant to want to step foot into their home again.

In the past months, we have done tests that we never thought we would have to do. We’ve been prodded and medicated, poked and jabbed. Even before we have a child, we are already spending hundreds of dollars in trying to get to the bottom of the problem. And now we are faced with the prospect of going through IUI – a procedure that would not only decrease our bank account balance but also involves more poking and prodding.

I’m not against the procedure, and neither is Mr Thick. It’s non-invasive and generally painless. It’s like, as Mr Thick joked, getting his boys to take an express train to meet my girls. And it’s a way of moving forward. There’s still a fair bit of wishing and hoping involved because success is not guaranteed. But at least we know that we are one step closer to getting what we want.

At the same time, the pessimism in me is rising. If we are successful this time, there is a high chance that I would not want to have to go through this process all over again. And if we are not successful, then the notion of undergoing IVF is looming closer and closer. And that’s another can of worms altogether.

The positive thing is, I’m still considered young and there is nothing biologically against my getting pregnant. Hopefully, the IUI goes well and that’s the end of that!

Kitty Tales

One year of Coco

One year ago, on this very day, a little furball came into our home.

Oh, she wasn’t a willing party at all. The moment she spotted an escape route, she put her tiny legs to good use and powered out of the room, out of the house, and into the corridor. It took four adults to finally catch her and bring her back in. Boy, could that cat run.

That was our first glance into the cautious and wary mind of our kitteh.

We named her Coco, because she had rich chocolate stripes and also because I had recently watched Coco Avant Chanel. But it suits her perfectly and gave us the excuse to call her our Coco Beans. She seems to love it too and responds to it.

For the first few monthsthough, she wouldn’ t sleep in our presence. Her eyelids would droop and her eyes could close. But the minute we shifted or made a sound, her eyes would snap open. It was a long while before she would snooze with us around.

I wasn’t sure she would forgive us for bringing Emi home initially. She was really mad at us and refused to go near the bedrooms (where we had stashed Emi) for at least a week. One night, I woke up to find her in our bedroom hissing at her own reflection in the mirror. She wouldn’t come near us, wouldn’t let us pet her head and hid on top of the fridge.

Eventually, she grew used to Emi and went back to being the adorable little brat that we had come to love. She still swipes at you if she doesn’t want you to be stroking her fur, whines persistently outside the bedroom every day and eats my plants. But she also boinks my head with hers whenever she is in a good mood, purrs contentedly when she is simply sitting on our bed, trots out of the room when we tell her to and still waits for us on top of the oven every night when we come home.

One year ago, Coco not only came into our home, she also entered our hearts.

What a dream cat
Big eyes
TV cat
Baby cat
Two of Us

Married life #10

Yesterday, while I was having dinner with Beks, she asked me this insanely insightful question: How do you and Mr Thick get along in your marriage?

I was completely stumped, I couldn’t answer the question. I mean, we just get along splendidly (we have to, we are married!). Let’s put it this way: sometimes, he picks up after my slack and at other times, I do it for him. We sort of balance each other in the sense that we pick up where the other left off. Like, I feed the cats and he cleans their litter box. I cook and he cleans. I book the tickets and he makes sure we have our passports. That sort of thing. We also laugh a lot AT and WITH each other.

But as do all relationships, ours is not the happily ever after. Marriage is fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a hell lot of WORK. And sometimes, I get so mad at him for being a slob.

Just the other week, I was so pissed off with him for being a rude ass. He had gone off for his Saturday footy game with his mates and I stayed home to chill. But me being me, I couldn’t chill for too long without wanting to do something (ADHD runs in my family) so I put together a lunch for one, chucked the laundry into the wash, took it out and put it out to dry, took the laundry in and folded the clothes, cleaned the kitchen, fed the two bratty furry things living with us AND had my lunch while reading the papers. All within, oh, three hours. Can you tell how proud of me I am? By the time he was done and we were due to meet, I was hot, stinky and in need of a shower. Instead of me going out to meet him, he decided that I was taking too long and drove back to pick me up.

The first words that he said to me as he stepped into the house were, “Wah, so slow.” I wanted to PUNCH him, I swear. While he was having fun with his friends, I was CLEANING OUR HOUSE. Stupid man. Luckily, he later bought me a nice cup of mocha at Shots cafe AND went to Tangs with me to get our Le Creuset 4.5 qt French oven so I forgave him. Cos I am nice like that.

Lots of lurrrvin'
Health Goddess

Shiny new peepers

After 20 years of looking like a lab nerd with my thick glasses, I have finally made the move to undergo Lasik and ditch my specs.

Before I took the plunge, I went online and researched extensively on the clinic and the procedure. The pros and cons. The reviews. The doctors’ take. Everything I could find, I read. I talked to those who had gone through Lasik. In the end, I decided that having perfect vision for the next 10 years (till I suffer from presbyopia, anyway) was well worth the cost.

I have to thank my salah boyfriend Trevor for this. He was the one who got the clinic to call me and was super reassuring when I rang him up numerous times going OMG OMG OMG.

I’ve been wearing contact lens since I was 18. I never had problems with it till three years ago, when my eyes started getting really dry. It was so bad that one of my lens broke into two in my eye. I was diagnosed with giant papillary conjunctivitis – my eyes had grown allergic to contact lens. My ophthalmologist told me I had to give up contact lens or risk having eye infections. Boo.

Geek alert!

The clinic
Practically the whole world looked at me and said ARE YOU MAD when I told them where I was going to get my eyes fixed: Optimax Eye Specialist. In Johor Bahru.

Yes, cost was a key factor but more importantly, it was word of mouth that swayed my decision. Trev had his done at Optimax JB and he had only praise for them. When we went for the free eye examination, the consultants were genuinely friendly, and were not pushy at all. They did not push us to go for the most expensive treatment but instead weighed the pros and cons for us. I surfed the net for reviews and most that I had found were glowing (with the exception of a poor girl whose surgery was aborted midway and was subsequently refunded. Let’s not think about her).

Plus, they had a comprehensive post-surgery followup system (you go back for checkups one week, one month, three months, six months and a year after the surgery) and offered lifetime enhancements.

Eventually I went with the Intralase Conventional treatment. Because my cornea is thicker than normal, I was given two options: LASIK, where the flap of my cornea is cut open using a blade or Intralase, where the flap is cut using laser. Then, there are two ways to correct your vision: Conventional vs. Custom.

The procedure
It was really over in less than an hour. First, the nurses will numb your eyes with anesthetic eye drops. Then your eyes will be cleaned and disinfected. I lost count the number of times they wiped my eyes down with cotton pad. Finally, I was brought to the freezing operating theatre. Brr. The staff were thoughtful enough to equip the room with a giant quilt but it was still COLD.

I was asked to lie down on one of the two beds hooked up with giant machines and the doctor told me to do two things for him: tilt my head upwards towards the laser and FOCUS ON THE LIGHT. Sounds simple but so hard to do! At a certain point, after my eyelids had been clamped, my eyes went BLANK and the good doctor reminded me to look at where the light USED to be and fix my gaze on that. That was the cutting part and it took about 20 seconds per eye. Frankly, I wasn’t keeping count because I was all FOCUS ON THE LIGHT even though I couldn’t see the light.

Then I was led to the other bed. This time, the doctor said, he would say incoming laser and there would be lots of bzz bzz bzz sounds. I was to relax, not move my head and FOCUS ON THE LIGHT. Again, that part was over pretty quickly but I was breathing through clenched teeth because I was freezing and I wanted to FOCUS ON THE LIGHT. The doctor kept telling me to relax but seriously? Relax while a laser is zapping my eyes and I had to FOCUS ON THE LIGHT?

After the whole microwaving, there was lots of washing and that was the part I really couldn’t stand (I hate having water in my eyes). My eyes wanted to close but they couldn’t because of the clamp. So they did what they could – they started to roll inwards (which is what you do when you sleep, apparently). The poor doctor was all FOCUS! OPEN UP! DON’T SLEEP!

But he was very sweet. Throughout the surgery, he kept encouraging me and telling me that I was doing great. And when it was all over, he actually said to me, “Well, your torture is over! Great job!” Hmm, thanks?

The aftermath
I wish I could tell you that I opened my eyes and tadah! A brand new world awaited me! But of course not. I could barely keep my eyes open immediately after the surgery and I was miserable. It felt like there was a strand of hair in my eyes and I couldn’t get rid of it.

When we reached the hotel, the first thing I did was jump into bed and under the covers. By this time, my eyes were tearing uncontrollably and my cheeks and chin were all wet. I popped a sleeping pill that the nurses had given me and when I woke up, three hours later, there were salt sediments at the space between my left eye and my nose. I’m not kidding.

But it was all good. Although my eyes were red around the area where the suction had been (to make the cut), I could see relatively well. The discomfort was minimal and everything was bathed in a romantic light. I could even go downstairs with husband to watch footy (stupid Netherlands).

The next day, we went back to the clinic for a checkup and it was all good. My eyesight is currently 6/6 but it’s certain to fluctuate and will only settle in a few months’ time. The doc said that the eye was healing well and I should be on my way to recovery.

Till now, I still feel strange to be looking at my surroundings so clearly without glasses. I have this funny feeling that I should be taking my contact lens off soon but no, it’s for real.

So, would I go through the whole procedure all over again on hindsight? Hell, YEAH. I was terrified and miserable but at the end of the day, I think it was worth it. Dr Yip was very nice and encouraging, and I absolutely trusted him with my eyes.

Of course, I did feel assured of my choice when he told me, “Oh good thing you went with Intralase. With blade, it’s like using a knife and cutting thousands of cucumber. No one cut is the same. I wouldn’t be telling you this story if you had chosen the blade method though.”

Thanks Doc, I feel SO much better now!

Hello, clear eyes!
Letters to

Letter in summer

Dearest little elusive bub,

So I guess this is not the month for you to make your grand entrance.

But it’s okay, I know you will be here eventually. As long as your Dad and I remain happily, blissfully and madly in love, so you will be made. I’m in no hurry, I’m in no rush, you will come to us when God feels that you and, more importantly, we are ready.

I’m not angry, I am not bitter – I think I have reached this zen place (OHM) where I am just patiently wondering where you are. Who you will look like. What sort of personality you will have. If you will be a sweet baby or a feisty one. Will you have big eyes. Are you going to be comfortable around strangers. What will your singing voice be. What’s the first word you will utter. Will you be a bookworm like your Mommy is. Or will you be a games genius your Dad secretly hopes you will be. Who your first love will be.

The problem was, as I have admitted to your Dad this afternoon while we sat in Starbucks sipping our coffee, I over plan my life. I plan my future in such minute detail despite the fact that many important things have not come into fruition. And, as your Dad pointed out, I have also not included him in the equation. I naturally assumed that he would go along with my plans (because he usually does, he loves me THAT much). But this time, this one teeny tiny but EXTREMELY CRUCIAL portion of the equation was from him and things weren’t looking good.

Oops? Oops.

Ah well. Lesson learnt, baby. Don’t be like me. Thankfully, your Dad doesn’t see me as this neurotic nutter (AND YOU HAD BETTER NOT TOO BECAUSE I WILL BIRTH YOUR LITTLE ASS OUT OF MINE. SORT OF) and thought I was hilarious. Which I probably am. I make your Dad laugh. And that’s good.

When you grow up, you will understand how strong an aphrodisiac humour is. Don’t waste your money on stupid things like champagne and oysters: laughter, really, is the best way to a person’s heart.

Also, even though you are still a dream to me, I am hoping that this dream will come true soon. And that you will share the exceedingly good taste in music as your parents. I was listening to this on my way home one day and almost cried in the bus. Tsk.

Love you already,
Your Mommy

The organised chaos, Two of Us

A game show love connection

One week ago, husband and I had our eyes tested. Today, as I sit typing this, I am not wearing any glasses nor do I have contact lens on. I have perfect vision.

It was an impulse – but one that was thought hard and long. Sounds ironic? Well, I’ve always wanted to undergo the necessary surgery to correct my vision but I either did not have the money or the will for it. But once the wheels were set in motion, I just jumped into the flow of things and didn’t look back.

Along the short, quick journey, I suddenly came to the realisation that I was so very glad we were just the two of us. This may sound completely selfish but I think it’s a thought that many couples who do have want to have children have.

And that’s the freedom we enjoy.

We wanted to get our eyes tested, we just hopped onto the bus and did it. I wanted to go ahead with the surgery, and I didn’t have to worry about the repercussions it may have on our child or his/her standard of living. We want to head to London to catch West End musicals, to go up to Manchester and cheer on United at Old Trafford, to take the train to Paris and soak up the Parisian way of life – and we are planning to. We want to watch the upcoming match between Argentina and Germany, and we will do so at the nearby Harry’s Bar.

I could go on and on but there you have it – with no strings attached, with no – dare I say it – burden to make us think twice, thrice. It made me realise that it was perhaps a good thing that we are, as yet, childless, because there is so much out there that we would love to do.

Don’t get me wrong, we want to have a family soon. But maybe, just maybe, this long wait is God’s way of telling us that we are not ready for a child and we should learn to appreciate our life and each other more.

Because I am enjoying myself, Mr Thick and I are madly in love with each other, and I love this life.