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a little less than the girl next door
26 February 2018 @ 12:05 am
this past week has been the best of my year so far, imo. i'd give it a 5/5 - a marked improvement from the previous week's 3.5/5 (the extra 0.5 only because it was cny hols). details if i ever find the time. this past weekend was also pretty fab. got my hair cut, brows trimmed, self scrubbed raw, lots of laundry done, flat cleaned, and even spent a few hours practising - poorly - on the keyboard; my poor neighbours. also, smallbully returned. now 只欠东风 colin 了! this cheery little piano duet sums up my nice weekend. :)

a little less than the girl next door
19 December 2017 @ 01:27 am

wow, i love jj and hereby repent all those years i wasted hankering after jay chou. this was actually a 优客李林/林志炫 song that i've loved from eons ago, and this jj rendition has certainly done it justice. <3
a little less than the girl next door
just some notes on my very superficial thoughts about south korea:

- things seem so much cheaper in korea... random hats, touchscreen-enabled gloves, warm-lining pants and furry pajamas... of course, not to mention the beauty products, many of which i found out only belatedly that they don't seem available in hong kong or singapore; it was also a surprise to me that their masks come in like humongous packs of 20/30/60. should really have brought so much less and bought so much more!

- tried this briskin deep moisture mask (costs 5,000 won or s$6.20 each normally but bought it in olive young at a discounted price of 3,500 won or s$4.40; i suspect they do such offers regularly to increase reach for unknown brands cos there are just too many out there to try!). i was actually quite tentative about it cos the packaging was pastel pink (which usually suggests rose-scented or filled with vitamin e, which i'm allergic to) ... but it turned out to be really fantastic! somehow my face felt really smooth and moisturised for two full days after the 20-minute mask that night; never has a mask had such long-lasting effect on me before, so i'm still kinda wondering if it might have been a fluke after all. but i did find one recent glowing review for the mask, which seems really obscure or must be quite new to the market cos there's very little else about it online. when i visited olive young's airport branch in the hopes of getting some to bring home last minute, it was sold out of the one i used! :((( only had the others (soothing, firming, anti-aging...), so i just bought one each of the others anyway, heh. well, you know i hardly, if ever, find myself compelled to rave about any beauty product, so you should know that i really liked its results!

- the fruits in korea are amazing, which, again, is new to me. i feel so damn suaku. the strawberries we picked up from any random stall (we tried only three boxes from three different places, sadly) never failed to be juicy and sweet. actually i've never been a real fan of strawberries because my experience with them in sg/hk has always been "more prone to be sour than sweet". and in hk, in fact i will often shell out a good bit of cash for strawberries at supermarkets only to go home and immediately open it up to find the bottom layer coated with mould, and have to throw the entire box out for fear of killing my stomach. the persimmons, which seemed to be growing everywhere on trees in korea, were also always just-ripe and soft and sweet and juicy and fleshy... none of that unripe powdery/furry sensation you get on your tongue when you try a not-quite-ready-for-consumption one. my mum also randomly picked up a grapefruit ... and even that turned out to be sweet!!! actually, i don't think i've ever tasted a sweet grapefruit before this! i thought the key characteristic for a grapefruit was its sourness and that a sweet grapefruit is actually a pomelo. its bananas taste pretty normal though; clearly not made in korea, lol. (haha, yes, i do know they can't grow bananas there!)

- don't think i'm a big fan of korean food, though. i mean, i do actually eat it quite regularly (probably not-so-authentic versions of it) and am quite fond of some things, like the spam in noodles, japchae, zhajiangmian, tastier versions of the bibimbap, fried chicken, etc ... but they do seem to have overly disproportionate amount of spicy food, so annoying. speaking of fried chicken, however... this also seems to be the same as our strawberry experience... you anyhow go wherever to buy fried chicken, the chicken will also come out tasting fantastic. so strange. this reminds me of the time when i had a visitor in hk who remarked that in hk, you anyhow walk into a diner and the food will also turn out great ... to which, i responded that i did know several horrible food places and asked if she'd like me to bring her there to try. she wisely declined, haha. (by the way, i also had a major bout of food poisoning in seoul, which crippled me for an entire day and two nights, which i spent shuttling between bed and the toilet to puke and diarrhoea, often one immediately after the other. nightmare.)

- i think the temperature dipped to as low as -9 degrees celsius while we were there, but most days hovered around -4 to -1 degrees. it snowed several times, of course. but it actually felt much less cold than i expected it to be ... i mean, everyone warned me about how bitter and biting cold it would be, so i was actually a bit worried and brought all my thickest, warmest clothes there. end up, very hot, kept having to remove clothes so my bag kept becoming fatter and heavier (i guess this is still better than freezing to death). i guess i forget how far technology has come since, with all the heat tech and thermal sportswear, etc. my first memory of cold and snow is still stuck in new zealand at kindergarten age, when we trudged around the country and flew up to the peak of a snowy mountain (mount cook?) via a small jet in our sneakers (not even reebok) and sweatpants over thick, heavy beige cotton(??) thermals.

- okay, that's it for now. turned out longer than i planned to write, as usual. will add more later if anything else comes to mind. feels like i should post photos alongside this entry ... but i'm still stuck in the early-2000s journalling (not "blogging"!) era, when people were neither expected to post pictures nor promote their own posts with seo keywords, etc. so i will continue not doing so, being lazy and all, unless the mood strikes me at some point, heh.
a little less than the girl next door
23 November 2017 @ 09:16 pm
just spent the last two hours frantically trying to fix a sudden internet connection problem on my home pc. after much frustrating to-and-fro with two unhelpful pccw technicians on the phone and then applying a truckload of googled suggestions on my own to no avail, i finally decided to reset my entire win10 network as a last resort. the reset, which involved uninstalling and then reinstalling all network adapters and software, took what felt like an eternity -- about five minutes. to my utmost relief, that did the trick ... just as i managed to dial through to a 24/7 computer repair guy, already planning to shell out some good cash for someone to come fix the problem *immediately*. i had to sheepishly confess that i no longer needed his services, before hanging up.

the incident made me reflect on what a terribly impatient person i had become, so used to being able to have access to everything instantly, that even this minor hiccup could cause me such turmoil. my multi-tasking during the troubleshooting process was also a symptom, i suppose. already suspecting that the two pccw techs would be useless, i was on my ipad googling for help and opening multiple tabs even as i spoke to them -- separately, in between lines -- on the phone. then after convincing one of them to schedule a pccw maintenance guy to come down to check tomorrow afternoon, i proceeded on my own to apply the googled suggestions one by one on the pc. after everything failed, i then reset the whole network ... but even as the network reset was taking place, i was already googling for a 24/7 computer whiz and trying to ask if he could come down right now. that's how it happened that i resolved my own problem even before i could finish explaining the issue to him. so impatient, so anxious. i didn't even wait for each step to be completed and proven unsuccessful before proceeding to the next step.

and yet, there is no time for patience. this style of impatient multi-tasking problem-solving approach would in fact be sought-after, applauded and encouraged in the real world. think about it, the more quickly the problem is resolved, the less time needs to be wasted on trying to find a solution and the more time can be devoted to actually getting on with real work. in this case, i was indeed trying to meet a deadline ... though i've now taken the time out to write a reflection piece instead, haha.

once, in another lifetime, i wrote in the defence of generation y kids that you could not blame them (i.e. us) for being impatient, having been brought up in a world of microwaves, instant messaging and two-minute noodles. and knowing well that one of my "inherent gen y" flaws is certainly impatience, i have at various stages of my working life tried consciously to apply patience, restraint and more enlightened self-interested thinking. yet with most of the developed world geared towards producing, promoting and propagating exactly such impatience, the odds do seem stacked against one trying to practise patience.

there is something to be said (again) about how technology has enabled us in making us so much more efficient and better equipped, and yet left us utterly helpless, dependent and entirely at its mercy. it has even shaped our character traits -- patience/impatience -- and has the power to mould our moods -- like me, anxious and on edge over a faulty network system tonight. people say everyone should impose tech breaks on themselves every once in a while, switching off all devices at some point of day. but, studying the pace of your own life, your living habits, family needs, work requirements ... is this really feasible?
a little less than the girl next door
hello, i'm back in hong kong now. arrived home at 2am (exactly 24 hours ago); flew back a day (or more) earlier than planned because of a talk i somehow signed myself up for. on the cab home as we rounded the tsing ma bridge in the wee hours, the shiny container ship lights winking at me in the harbour down below, it felt good to be back. there's after all still something about hong kong that continues to captivate me, that tugs at my heart even now; might it be, could it be ... love?

hong kong, like a lover i left in a "we need a break from each other" huff, and returning now seeing each other for the first time in two months, still finding joy, warmth, comfort, relief at falling back into his/her/its embrace. i think i know that feeling. it feels like ... that starchy crinkle of his shirt against your ear, that little clink as plastic button meets metal ear stud, that emanating warmth, so slight, that subtle muted scent, so reassuring ... it's like, it's like...coming home to your person. you know you can do without him, you know you could even do with someone new, no binding contract holding you together, no strings attached but for a month's notice and a promise you'd be back (to pack, if necessary). and yet you return, because at that moment of embrace, in this moment of passion, it feels good, it feels right, it feels like you belong -- for now -- even if you do part ways the morning after, even if you know you'd never grow old together. this, surely this, is modern love.
Music: Carole King - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
a little less than the girl next door
today i tried bike-sharing (mobike) for the first time in my life and rediscovered the wonders of singapore's park connectors and everything was simply awesome, including the fact that the ride was totally free (for the whole month of october)! even if it weren't free, it would have been just 50 cents an hour -- such a vast difference from the price they charge at those bike rental shops at east coast park, where you pay, like, $8-$12 per hour and still have to hurriedly cycle back to return the bikes in time and still put up with the cocky attitudes of their staff.

basically plenty of things were really cool about my bike-sharing experience today, starting with the fact that we cycled from home to ecp and then back home, no need to even waste money on any other transport, so fang bian! the way there, we used the bedok park connector, and returned via the siglap pcn; cycled for about 3 hours and a distance of about 35km, according to the app. that's actually quite slow, but that's cos i was made to go slow and also get off and wheel every time we came to a traffic light or overhead bridge, kkml. and also, both park connectors had a section that was closed for construction (especially the bedok one!), so going there, we had to go through stretches and stretches of other people's houses and agar-agar anyhow cycle until we reached bedok south avenue 3 (very near church!) and then anyhow again until we started recognising some bedok army camp that eventually led to east coast park.

then we went on until we reached the lagoon hawker centre and then stuffed myself silly (thereby consuming far more calories than i had spent) before taking the siglap park connector home. the siglap pcn was a far smoother ride and we reached home in exactly half the time we took to get to ecp! but a section was also closed, so we had to do a big round around vj, where i got to take a quick peek into what the school looks like now and mused in my head about how we used to have tutorials in the "container block" and also how we would roll out of class from the back and sneak out of school through the rubbish dump. we were always terrified of getting caught by mr seet or whoever else, and came up with these really ridiculous plans like diving into the dumpsters if he appeared and then popping up holding some half-eaten chicken drumstick we found inside and claiming that we were just having lunch.

the only downside apart from the blocked-up parts of the park connectors was that we couldn't figure out how to switch on the bikes' headlamps at night. they're supposed to be solar-powered, according to the internet, but when we rode, the lamps didn't come on -- anyone know the answer, please tell me hor... i'm sure there's some really simple solution to this and i'll feel damn kkml for not having realised earlier. (just like the time when i moved house and plugged the tv in to the power socket and expected to be able to watch programmes without plugging in the cable. and also the time when i tried to make the washing machine work without switching on the water supply.)

all in all, a very enjoyable and convenient ride, and they've also addressed the anyhow-parking problem by marking out parking spots from place to place; no wonder those bike rental shops are going bust thanks to these bike-sharing businesses. coupled with our park connectors, it's little wonder so many people are using these bikes these days - for leisure as well as just to get out of their housing estates to the nearest bus stop/mrt stations etc. it's actually quite amusing to see some bikes parked outside people's houses; reminds me of colin, hehe. and now that i know the way, i intend to go farther the next time (35km is too little and i am still so fat, so sad) - either to gardens by the bay and back, or the other way to around the changi airport area. oh and by the way, the two mrt stations nearest my place opens next week and apparently it's free mrt rides on the new line next weekend. oh, air-conditioned nation, just what shall i do with you?!
a little less than the girl next door
05 September 2017 @ 04:45 am
dear dear journal, on my first official day of freedom today, i woke up feeling ... a little lost, empty and uncertain. i know it'll all come together soon enough though so i'm not worried about this strange strange feeling of ... just having nothing i'm obliged to do. Read more...Collapse ) i expect that over the course of the next few months, i shall be writing here far more often. will share the full range of my wide variety of (still half-baked) plans in time, haha. <3

有什麼 放不下
昨日如煙火 未來如流沙
誰知道 下一分 下一秒 會如何變化
有什麼 放不下
青春如曇花 歲月如流沙
天再高 地再大 也容不下寂寞啊
a little less than the girl next door
15 August 2017 @ 11:10 pm
"put all other considerations aside and do what is best for the story."
a little less than the girl next door
27 June 2017 @ 07:39 pm
lessons to learn from other people's mistakes. some things -- like credibility, and a solid reputation -- can be so fragile. one wrong move and it can undo all those long years of good work you've put in in the past.
a little less than the girl next door
13 May 2017 @ 10:20 pm
​today, i finally managed to go through a three-year-old, 97-page report ... while getting my hair trimmed. found it still quite insightful, despite having been produced so many years ago. so that i don't have to save it somewhere else, here's a par that particularly resonated with me.

When we have good ideas, we should treat them with the urgency of a news scoop. Otherwise, we risk letting our competitors get there first. A year and a half ago, Andrew Phelps presented his bosses with a tool he developed: an automated, visual homepage of the day’s report. Editors were enthusiastic, but there was no structure to support the initiative and after several months he gave up. More than a year later, an identical feature appeared on The Washington Post website. Immediately, the New York Times business side put out a request for a designer or developer interested in building a visual homepage.