We love counting the days 'til Christmas is here!
Wrapping gifts is so much fun
We can't wait to sing out with everyone!
It's December, yo'all! And yes, we better mark our calendar 'cos what could be more fun than ticking the days away to build up the anticipation until Christmas?
My Christmas tradition isn't grand, it isn't even that posh. At home, we would bring out the christmas tree, put up all the ornaments with our own bare hands and our slightly mediocre decorating skill, then carefully adjust the fake snow, and last, circle the lighting bulb all around the tree.
Oh, no, that isn't the last part. The last and best part is to connect the lighting to the powerpoint, press 'on' and then tada! Christmas songs are played and the lights shine and change color according to the beat of the song. From afar, it looks cool as hell, like a 'dancing tree'. Of course, there are only a few selections of the songs, so eventually it ends up repeating the same song over and over again. After about an hour, and the novelty factor has dried up, it can be quite annoying and painful to the ear. And it's not like the 'rudolf the red nose reindeer' or the 'silent night', among many, are played with piano or soft-to-the-ear instruments, instead I think it's by trumpet or something.
We would prefer to sing, to be honest. We have a rather grand organ in our living room back home, so at night the three of us would sit by it, I'm normally the one who plays it although I don't have too good of a multitasking skill [dammit, I want to sing too!] We sing christmas songs and swing our bodies, at times Mom and Dad would also sit in the living room and just listen to our singing. Although most of the times, our only audience is mosquitoes. We don't mind that, because we're self-aware that we are no Mariah Carey.
After we're done with our singing [mostly because we were already sweating at this point - it can be really hot and humid at night in Jakarta], we would then proceed to Mom and Dad's room where it certainly would have been air-conditioned. It never occured to us that maybe our parents needed a bit of privacy after almost wrecking their ears.
We then, between laughters, would put on Disney christmas edition's sing-along-song VCD and again, sing. Knowing there's no escape, our parents would just ignore that we're there, Mom busily cutting fruits, and Dad...well..who knows what's he doing exactly. Sometimes they would look at us, a hopeless look on their faces as if saying, "are they really ours?" and then let out a big loud sigh. At that time we thought they were sighing in admiration, and we thought that desperation was really pride.
It is a low-key tradition, but it's always the same, year after year, and there's a deep comfort in it. And at this time especially, I feel grateful of my family, because who else would keep up with our singing, and who else would share my enthusiasm of being silly in decorating christmas tree and singing our hearts out to Disney VCD?
We're not big on exchanging gifts either. In fact, the only recollection I have regarding christmas present is that one time when Dad hid 'Home Alone' VCD under my pillow. Being a kid, and every kid is guiltily bound to be a fan of Macauley Culkin at some point in his/her life, I was pretty darn happy, and it never crossed my mind that Dad's merely being a cheapskate.
But Dad's never good in the gift department, and that's how he is, someone we've come to love. And Mom? Because my birthday is so near christmas, she would normally just give me a birthday present. Signed by both her and Dad, although I'm sure he had nothing to do with it. I mean, Home Alone VCD? It's so Dad. But beautiful necklace? Um, so not him.
What goes along with Christmas time during my younger years back home is giving away christmas cards to friends at school. This is such a tradition, that come December, people already start stocking and buying christmas cards in dozens. Some just fill them in with their friends' names, and some more creative ones would literally, write an essay for every card, specially customized for the recipients. I'm more to the latter, because I'm a geek that way.
I still keep those christmas cards from my friends because they are priceless, really. I guess I'm sentimentil that way, I keep most of the things I've gotten during my school years, let they be presents, letters, cards, photos, invitations and whatever else.
I was content with what we had. Christmas tradition means a lot to me, but I've been away for a few Christmasses now, and I'll be away again this year. The tree and the singing will have to wait, but come Christmas day, I will imagine myself home, doing exactly this with the people I love; there will not be a single thing forgotten.
Despite the heavy rain, people's mood weren't much dampened. We all gathered around in the bar to enjoy lunch and everyone squeezed in to avoid the strong wind. It's funny to see those big-muscles, otherwise-fierce-looking men seemed to mellow greatly when they were holding their children, like they would break if they held them too tightly. People really do change once they have kids, priorities are sorted out, what was important feels frivolous now.
Sushi, fried rice and noodles, teriyaki chicken and chicken wings were on the menu; beer, wine and soft drinks were available all around, of course. Music was blasting through the speaker, enough to get everyone in a light and outgoing mood, and just enough not to get them to move their arses as if this were a dance club.
After lunch, the rain miraculously stopped, and the weather soon became scorching hot. I must have had at least 5 glasses of fruit punch and 2 Ben and Jerry's ice cream at that point. I'm definitely full and in such a state of a happy daze.
I can get used to this.
I had tequila last night. Yeah, yeah, please 'boo' me, and feel free to throw me any kinds of objects! I really do have a bloody loads amount of self-control. Yeah.
Blame my friends. Well, no, don't, bless them.
We were trying to get drinks at Butter Factory, and the queue was as long as The Great Wall. What should one do to get a drink around here, for goodness sake? After more than half an hour, we headed to Arena, but you know how the lychee martini there is like. Very much dilluted, pretty much tasted like syrup and extra sweetener. Are you sure this is martini, mate?
At this point my friend demanded shots of tequila. But I'm not anything if not thruthful to my own words! Suddenly having an Obama moment, I held up my hand, harden my face and said, "No, no, no! NO NO NO tequila! It's a CHANGE we can believe in!"
I continued to babble on and on about how it took just a second to finish tequila and we wouldn't have had the chance to savor it. So I insisted to just get a jug of vodka lime.
Know how long did it take for us to, supposedly savor it? Well, a few seconds, tops. Man, who are these people?! Looks like tigers which have just been released from their cages! Deprived of alcohol! Die, die, must finish!
So, as expected, the vodka did little to our systems, and by the time we reached Attica, we were still reciting poems and solving trigonometry.
So one friend looked at me, a triumphant look on her face. "WE SHOULD HAVE HAD TEQUILA TO BEGIN WITH!" I noticed a dissapointment glance too, as if saying, "Tina..I thought you knew what's best for us..You've let me down..." And she marched to the bar and ordered five shots.
And that's how I broke my own commitment I just made a day before.
After which, they started to sway from side to side, wink to cute guys in pink, bat their eyelids to the bartenders, and pout sexily when the camera flashed!
Man, man, man! The power of tequila!
Oh, and yes, my non-existential bosom looks really, really appealing.
I can deal with vodka, martell and Jack Daniels, but give me a shot of tequila, and I'm out. Out, like the '80s fashion.
I found the taste of tequila to be quite unbearable and hugely nauseating. I made a fatal mistake of having this little piece of jackass last time and I was completely wasted in the cab home. Puking up was this close, but vomitting inside the taxi might not be the smartest move. But nothing held me back at home. Suffice to say, as much as the thought of holding my hair up while I was puking is deeply appealing, feel grateful that you're not around when it happened. Feel really, really grateful.
The next day I stayed home the whole time because my stomach felt like shit and the taste just simply wouldn't go away. It was just around noon that I made a mental commitment to swear off tequila forever. No, really. No more tequila for eternity.
I saw it coming, long before it finally came full circle. It’s like waiting for the tide to crash, and instead of ducking, I wanted to embrace it as much as I could because I was a simple girl, eager to get the first sip of her wine. That’s a metaphore, by the way.
The day started like any other day. The sky wasn’t much bluer than usual, the wind wasn’t blowing for too strong, the air was crisp, and everybody else was pacing on normal speed, oblivious to the change that would soon happened to us. No lives were affected but ours, and we were pretty damn happy nonetheless. The minutes leading to this, no stars would allign up differently, and the world would remain unfaltering. Funny how hugely unconnected people’s lives are.
I was young, way too young, mentally naive and physically awkward. People say the most important time on a girl’s life is the wedding day, but what happens to those moments in between?
It wasn’t perfect and I could picture a zillion other scenarios in which it could have been perfect, yet it was priceless in its own way, despite its countless flaws. Just like you. I was mellow and foolishly melancholic, thinking that I was lucky beyond belief, and that any girls in my class would have died to exchange place with me, just at that moment.
And it happened exactly as I had imagined, and so in a way, it was perfect. The thought of it now is probably rather sickening but I struggled to find words to describe it any other way.
The sight of you was familiar and comforting. The way you focused your eyes on the road ahead and gripped the steering wheel with so much concentration. I couldn’t help having the urge to brush your cheek. Or just mutter something silly to make you laugh.
You held my hand so I wouldn’t get lost in the midst of the crowd and you didn’t know, but my heart jumped. I felt inadequate then, this tininess and cluelessness against the strong and independent. I tried to appear older, like I knew more than I did, like I have been to places I haven’t been, but you took one look and understood. I was emotionally buoyant, like I was in such a daze. You looked…light, happy.
It’s probably nothing now, and the object of my then-affection has taken a different direction but the memory would remain unchanged. Introducing the prospect of something new? Teaching me to be less selfish? Making me think for two? I don't know if I can make it that dramatic.
You remind me how I was before. How trusting and emotionally innocent.
Do you know that?
But how much has exactly changed? After years of practising what you have started, I don’t think I’ve gotten any better. Mentally, fortunately or not, I’m still naive. It should take more than what he did to change that. And in a way, I’m proud of it. In retrospect, I think we turned out pretty good.
I wonder what you're thinking. We seem to be acting in the exact same way, but I can never know what's in your mind. Is it just a convenience because you need a company? At the time, it can't possibly be it, but in the broad daylight, anything is possible.
Just a silent warning; I need to keep my guard up.
She has to make some tough choices, irrational sometimes but they feel good. Is feeling good so unacceptable? She dares to follow through, to be a little more spontaneous, to enjoy life without analyzing it too much. Right or wrong, she's not so sure, and sometimes she just doesn't care.
Obviously people around her are bound to have different opinions. And they're not holding anything back to tell it to her face. And after everything these people have been through with her, she didn't think they would judge. Especially when they were doing the exact same thing, and she has never once muttered a judgmental remark, because people should do what makes them happy and as long as they don't hurt others in the process, than that's golden. She tries not to even silently judge. And it pissed her off when these acclaimed-self-righteous people did.
What's low is that sometimes people have to bring others down just to make themselves feel better. But she tries to be more unaffected, albeit hard as she considers herself to be too emotional. Guess she just has to realize that some people simply don't think. Don't assume all are conscious.
She wishes she can just live her life and not care about what others think. That 'I don't give a rat's ass' attitude. How do we become adults, and how do we make it stop...
Last Tuesday it was a day of many 'lasts'. It was the last time I would have to wake up at 6.30 am, it was the last time I would make my way to Tanjong Pagar, sweating and panting halfway walking to the station (you wouldn't believe how hot it could get at 8 freaking am!), it was the last time I would walk past Amoy Food Centre, it was the last time I would get inside my building and tap my card after nonchalantly glancing at gorgeous men from RMJM (their office unit's just next to ours), it was the last time I would make my usual Milo drink for breakfast at the pantry, it was the last time I would sit in my desk, facing the super-scary-if-you-work-directly-with-her-but-nice-when-you-don't Manager of Media, it was the last time I would work with my great colleagues and supervisors, oh the list goes on and on and I realize how dramatic I made everything sound.
But it's true! Couldn't help feeling rather sad about it, it truly was a great experience and everyone has been so nice and encouraging I couldn't imagine being in a more friendly working environment. The account director even already prepared a recommendation letter before I had to request it and what's written inside made me blush. It was such a glowing review that I had to wonder whether they actually have a template already and they just had to pluck in my name. Well, that's not a good thought.
So since then, I suddenly have all this free time and I feel like I have to do something. It's like having your routine disrupted. I still wake up early even though I don't have to, and I miss the sense of importance, the picking-up calls and sending mails. Man, I'm such a dork.
Yeah, so work's pretty much done and I'm leaving in 2 weeks roughly, wow.
Fortunately since yesterday I have been occupied with going out with friends and mate's in town so Jap and I have been meeting him up a lot. Give it a few days and I'm sure I will be running out of things to do.
Vibees, will miss you guys.
I guess I really have to start eventually, like now! Yes, yes.
Today cool thing happened at work, well, two things, actually. First was, the managing director praised me, mwa-ha-ha-ha, who's the man! Yo yo wassup! He was so impressed by me because quoted, the way I carry myself. Wooo! I somehow carry myself well in some cases, turns out I'm not always hopeless. That's cool, yo, but after this I won't be able to get through the door. At this rate my head is growing, I won't even get off from this clothes!
And the other thing, since there's only a few days left for me at work, I have to do a handout, well, basically a report on everything I have been working on during my 2-months stay in the company. Now I tried to embellish, but my command of english is not yet that excellent. I mean, I can't make a frog sound attractive, yet.
I sent the report over to my sweet supervisor, and she revised the whole document and, man! Wait 'til you read that. If you were my future boss, you would be super impressed you would want me to marry you. No kidding. It's true I did all those things, it's just the way she put it sounds a gazzilion times better. Maybe next time if I feel more self-centered, I'll post the report up. So that's really, really cool. Cool, yo.
Okay, before I go, though, I just wanna share this with you. Check out this, yo, a Glamour interview with Jason Mulgrew. Been a fan, he's one of the funniest blogger out there.
So, I better grab my textbook now, wish me luck for tomorrow's exam!
3 more working days, I can't believe it! Fine, so 2 months is hardly anything, but it seems like a big deal to me, miss short-attention-span. I'm doing pretty okay, I suppose.
Just last night too, I went on this new buffet place in Boat Quay who isn't even officially opened yet. The opening is just this weekend, so the place was deserted. In fact, we were the only people there, and the foodspread was just lavished. The waitresses were super attentive, they already took the plates away even when we still chew on the meat, well, not like I could blame them, I bet they're ridiculously bored. It's not bad, though, the all-you-can-eat price includes cocktails and all types of hot drinks as well.At this rate, I really should watch the food I eat. I've been having too many buffets, too many fast food and too many pork, but I've started eating fruits and more veggies these days, which is typically so unlike me. But naturally I don't not like fruits, I simply don't bother buying one. Now I make mental notes to buy some when I walk pass the market on my way home from work. Been successful so far, hmm. Wonder how long it'll last.
1. All-Star Charity - Just Stand Up
The track by Beyonce, Fergie, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, and many other female singers on behalf on the cancer foundation. This song has been playing in the radio for quite some time and I've always liked it, but I've never known the title and the singer until only recently. The song's really empowering and it's always great to see a good collaboration.
2. Jason Mraz and James Morrison - Details in the Fabric
My two favorite singers in one track! You know from the lyrics that it must be Jason's song, though, it's fantastic. I love their voices together, and James Morrison has such a unique vocal, he can almost make every song sentimentil. Even if he sings an upbeat song, it will most definitely still sound mellow.
My exam is in two days time and I barely touch my notes. I shall worry about that tomorrow night, that's cutting it too close! Looking forward to weekend, despite it all, though. I'm quite excited of mate's coming over next week, so I'm sure I'll have more to tell after!
You may say I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not. Everything begins with small things, right? If common sense can't even grasp the 'small' things, then what chance does it have towards the big ones? Exactly the point, if people can be so inconsiderate in such frivolous issues, what makes you think they can deal differently in a life-and-death situation?
First example. My sister was in the train a few days ago and due to the peak hours, it was packed and she had to stand by the door, pressed and nudged from every direction. At one point, the train made a sudden movement, and a guy in front of her literally fell down to her. His whole greasy, sweaty, and not to mention, heavy body, in all its glory, shoved my sister, and he didn't even look back, let alone mutter an apology. He did not even turn around to address the poor person he has fell on to! Now I'd say these rude, inconsiderate people with no manner should be banished from the island immediately. You would think that saying 'sorry' is already a form of spontaneouity in itself, something you no longer have to think sometimes. But no, to some idiotic guy, it's apparently a new concept.
One more thing. Avoidance is not the answer to anything, especially when you were the one asking for it to begin with. Let me be absolutely frank here, although I won't mention names. A colleague of mine is urgently in need for an intern to start soon, and I've been asking some friends of mine who might be interested for the position. Through a friend, this third party came along. She said she wanted the job so I guided and recommended her to my colleague who called her up and immediately set up an interview. Now any normal beings would be grateful, no?
Well, you can count on these inconsiderate, low-mannered people to spoil it all, really. Not only did she not show up for the interview, she didn't even pick up and return my calls and text messages. Suddenly she's Britney Spears, suddenly she's Miss Fucking Busy? Bite me.
If you change your mind about the job, the very least thing you can do, is call and let us know, really. Like, REALLY. Although it has nothing to do with me, I can't help feeling bad because I was the one recommending her and she didn't even bother to fucking call, wait, no, even text me. FFS?? Inconsiderate enough?
Here's a piece of advice. It's okay being scared, it's okay feeling intimated by the job, it's okay to change your mind when you're unsure, that's all your prerogative, like, I don't give a damn. But, you asked me for the job, you've agreed to come in for an interview, like, what the fuck? Is picking up the phone to cancel the appointment too much of a hassle?
Another instance. Just to lick your own wound, remember the time before the exam when we're supposed to divide the workload among us, and last minute you threw everything in my face, virtually said 'that's it' and I had to rush to write all my notes which were supposed to be done on your part? Remind me why you did that again? Ah yes, first was because your boyfriend initially agreed to make your assignment so you had the time to make notes. Now that's idiotic, but hey, your boyfriend, your shit assignment, I couldn't care less. But wait, there's another thing. After taking all my notes, you then said that most of them were the wrong answers. The end is still the same, you did not finish your part and I'm left with only a few days to scramble the pieces.
Just curious, how did the exam go? Since my answers were all wrong, I must have failed it, no? Afterall, not only did I not change the notes on my part, I also had to rush the remaining shitty half, remember? Enlighten me, please, you must have a fucking distinction, then, because I got a fucking A for that subject. Oh wait, A is a fucking distinction.
I don't get it. Some ungrateful, inconsiderate and unrealiable bunch.
So that's it, I'm officially fed up, I have no patience for high-level idiocy. The point? We've really been taking common sense for granted.
As I'm writing this in the office, I feel my blood rise once again. Today is a slow day in the office, I was able to have lunch with a dear former classmate of mine and there isn't much work to do as of now, so like after spending time browsing and struggling to make my school assignment, I finally resort to ranting. Before I know it, it's almost 6 already!
No, we didn't look that orange-y when the picture was taken. Well, I guess it's a good thing I'm not aspiring to be a graphic designer or some sort, yeah? Met up with Mai after work last week and had such a great time catching up and filling each other in with glory details of our mundane lives. No, that was only mine. She flies all the time, hardly ever boring, I'd say, especially with all those pilots.
Weekend was interesting, though. Aside from having to work, I did meet an interesting person. In fact, the story was so unlikely. Ah, but that's for another entry.
On a separate note, today was so crazy. The rain was overwhelmingly wild, I was drenched and I got in the office super late. An hour, to be exact. I scrolled in there as if nothing was wrong, well, you shouldn't create any attention to yourself in scenario like this! Today was busy though and the day felt like a breeze.
I have yet to finish my assignment, somehow I keep postponing it. The exam is a few days away, can you say 'hopeless'? I'm in a good mood today, though, hope to keep it up for the rest of the week! US trip is in two weeks time! Wooo!
Yo yo dude! I'm coming yo! Better get those films and guitar ready so we can wake all the neighbours up with our slightly-below-average-voices! We'll talk gibberish and pie each other in the face, I'll wear Boston Uni hoodies and you'll wear OCU's gym pants! Madness!
Have a friend's BBQ party this weekend, excited yo!
I'm really looking forward to this trip. I love travelling, it's just I haven't been able to do much of it lately. I like the anticipation, the early morning drive to the airport, the smell of the boarding terminal.
Maybe it's because I was just from the airport last night.
It's funny how things go sometimes. I wanna just sit back and enjoy the ride.
I'm sorry I seem all over the place. What I need is a proper sleep.