The art of gift giving

February 21, 2009

I spent 3 days stressing about the present. On the one hand, men aren’t usually picky so I could pretty much buy anything and he wouldn’t hate it. On the other hand, it makes it harder to get something he’d really like.

Ironically, I knew exactly what I was looking for. Down to colour, material, texture and size. Unfortunately, it turns out that I also have extremely expensive taste in menswear and yet a lot of their stuff is absurdly pricey (i.e. I’m too cheap to pay for it). Little brothers who happily wear cheap flea market t-shirts are so much easier to shop for!

Fortunately (after walking around for 3 days), I did find something and the present is *finally* wrapped and ready to go. All is well with the world again.

(Another observation: After spring cleaning over CNY and putting all my gift wrapping stuff in the same place, I’m much more likely to take some trouble to wrap gifts. Unfortunately, the stock of gift cards I have is incredibly girly.  Oops.)

This road

January 20, 2009

I walk/run down this road a couple of times a week.  It’s on my 6km running route and on the way back from the gym/work.  It’s along a main road and any time before midnight, I generally consider the route to be extremely safe and don’t think too much about walking home.

Today, I changed my mind when some random guy on a motorbike pulled up next to me and offered me a ride.  (This is after he said hello to me a couple of blocks earlier.  Very disconcerting.)  “No, I’m fine.  Thank you,” I said.  Even when accosted, I’m polite.  I surprise myself.

It turns out that men find me more interesting when I’m not in my running gear or in sloppy weekend casuals.  And graciously deflecting unwanted attention is a useful life skill.

(Also a useful life skill:  Charming the waitress into giving you a table at a crowded restaurant when there technically isn’t one available.  It’s been an interesting evening.)

15 memories from Penang

January 13, 2009

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(Because Bryan took the bulk of the photos and I didn’t take a single picture of *any* of the char kuay teow we ate, here is a really random picture of a trishaw against the blue wall of the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion.  One day, I will plop myself in the front of the mansion with a sketchbook, pencil and my little watercolour set and attempt to draw/paint a picture of it.)

I am back from the land of too much char kuay teow!  Very nice trip.

Here are 15 random memories:

  1. Watching TV with Bryan at night.  I suppose this must be normal for most families but neither of us watch TV.  EVER.
  2. Trying to figure out if the wedding singer was a girl or a boy.  Oh dear.  (My vote went with boy.)
  3. The Cheong Fatt Tze mansion – the most brilliant shade of blue.
  4. Char kuay teow, rojak, ice kachang, assam laksa, chicken hor fun, kueh pie ti, satay and a whole bunch of other glorious hawker delights.
  5. Seeing E the happiest I’ve ever seen him.  Very nice.  It says a lot about the kind of person he is when university friends from almost 20 years ago would fly 1/2 way around the world just to attend the wedding.
  6. Bringing 5 pairs of shoes.  A new record.  Overpacking is a pain.
  7. Splashing/swimming in the hotel pool with Bryan.  I think the last time we did that was 15 years ago or something equally ridiculous.
  8. Observing my parents up close for a couple of days and noting with amusement who I get some of my personality traits from.
  9. Getting to know D a little better.  He seems nice and will be good to be in HK for their wedding.
  10. Watching Nemo with the kids in the side room in a totally ridiculous dress and resisting the urge to steal their food.  Mac and Cheese in a floor-length dress.  Classy!
  11. Sleeping in the car.  A lot.
  12. Amusedly replying really random SMSes from my really random friends back home.  Yes yes.  I miss you too and I bought you food.
  13. Doing our Chinese New Year goodie shopping in Melaka.  Pineapple tarts!!
  14. Fighting over the lunch bill with Dad.  I guess he’ll always think I’m 10 and penniless even though I’ve been working for a couple of years now.
  15. Hanging out with the extended family.  So many of them!  A total zoo.  In a good way.

(By the way, I didn’t run along the beach and I barely got a tan.  So much for my pre-holiday KPIs  Not complaining though. )

Now, if you would excuse me, I have to work out non-stop over the next couple of days and will be eating like a rabbit.  Chinese New Year is at the end of next week?!!  Goodness.

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Did I just post pictures of my shoes?  I think I did.  🙂

From charming the security guard into letting me into my friend’s apartment building to charming the guy at the front of the taxi queue into giving me a ride home, it is totally bizarre what a dazzling smile, a pink dress and high heel shoes can do.  The slightly-accented, alcohol-induced husky voice doesn’t hurt either.

So my first lesson for the new year is that you can have a Mensa level IQ but still it will be the superficial crap that gets things done.  Maybe I should go shopping this weekend.

I am amused but hey, whatever works.

This Christmas

December 21, 2008

There are very few things in this world that make me happier than being at a pub with friends, holding a drink in my hand, listening to a good live band (with guitars of some sort).  I am easily satisfied.

Yesterday was the perfect start to the Christmas party season.  🙂

Appleflower martini

December 18, 2008

The recipe for the appleflower martini that I had on my last night in Sydney.  It should be right – I did stare at the bartender and make mental notes.

2 parts vodka

1 part apple liquor

Elderflower cordial

White wine

Yum yum.  For some reason, I feel like having a boozy Christmas this year.  🙂