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The purpose of life

IMG_1768-1.JPG This is a pic of a birthday card that I thought was meaningful.

AND Whaaaaaat?! It’s August already?! I can’t believe it.

I had a long well-deserved vacation in July and in that time I learned so much about myself. Now I feel I know my likes and dislikes even better than before. I’m starting to grow into my own person and I no longer have that fear of not fitting in with others. Why? Because I no longer care whether I am socially awkward or if I’m going against the social norms or whether people like me!

The most important thing I’ve learned in July is that life is short and you have to do what YOU want NOW; waiting for others to either make up their mind to follow you or force you to do what they like is a pure waste of your time. Why? Because life is short! Every moment you are not enjoying in it is a moment of your life wasted. The right moment is now and this moment is the best time of your life.

Also, the best relationship you can have is with yourself. Love and nurture yourself, because you deserve the best. Agree?

“The purpose of life is to be happy.” — Dalai Lama

And before I sign off, this song has been on repeat in my playlist the past two (three?) weeks and I just love the music video and the energy. It’s one of the most romantic, bouncy songs ever. Hahaha! I’ve listened to it so many time and I still get the feels. It also helps that Taylor Swift looks hot in it. Mega feels. Try it and see if you get the feels too. I think you would just fall in love.

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Love actually

The beginning of two great days

I first wrote this post shortly after we came back and I updated subsequently several times on 2 and 17 January, 21 February, 4 April, 24 and 31 Dec last year as well as a few times this year. But finally on the fourth anniversary of starting this blog, I thought publishing this post would be rather apt. So here goes.

This pic was taken moments before the ferry set off to our next destination and 15 Dec 2010 was the beginning of two fucking great days.

I couldn’t sleep the night before excited and fearful of what was to come because the past few days had been a torment in more than one way. But really, we didn’t have to worry so much. Things picked up where we left off.

It started with home-made heart shaped pasta for breakfast. We were sitting there waiting for the ferry when she whipped out a tupperware box and said: “Breakfast!”

Now I love surprises a lot because it’s rare that I would be surprised since I would have figured it out beforehand or forced the information out of someone. And trust me, I was trying really hard, almost persistent, to get the info out from her the night before so this was a literally real treat.

The pasta had crab meat in slightly spicy tomato sauce and a little hard-boiled egg at the side. It was 8.55am and I can rave on and on about how delicious the pasta was and how I was grinning non-stop but I really hate to brag, Internet, because there is so much more to come.

We got up the ferry and started snapping photos of ourselves in our sunglasses. I tried to look suave and failed. If you ever saw me, you’d know I belong to the goofy genre, or as what she would always say, I have this general sheepish look all the time.

She was portraying a 60s look, although it could be the camera filter I was using that gave her that classic retro look. I thought she looked amazing. Then again, she always does and she knows how beautiful she is to me even if I would only say it silently in my heart.

Sleep was slightly hard to come by as we were distracted by Ice Age 3, playing on the big television screen. I couldn’t tell you much about the movie now, except it had mammoths and an irritating sloth which was trying to raise three T-Rexes. What I remember is it was nice holding hands, enjoying the cozy moments of her lying on my shoulder with my arm wrapped around her as the ferry gently churns its way across the sea.

When we arrived, we were almost immediately chauffeured to BYT where friendly staff, cold towels and a rather disgusting drink that was touted to be full of health benefits awaited us. After checking in, we were ushered to the spa room where we would be pampered, oiled, scrubbed and massaged for the next two hours. It was paradise on earth and if the world had ended then, I would have died the happiest person in the whole universe because I was with her.

We then retreated to our villa, where we chilled, rested, tumbled around, dined and napped in luxury. When we finally woke up, it was close to last order for dinner and we hurriedly got changed and headed down to a restaurant within BYT. The dinner was okay, because nothing could beat what happened back at our villa. We had champagne in a bucket, the jacuzzi turned on, some entertainment show playing on TV and a cheesecake that she made herself and had my initial on it. She also gave me what was probably a whole year’s supply of presents. I was so dumbfounded and touched and delighted that I couldn’t speak. Maybe she really loved me after all, in spite of what had happened in the past, I remember thinking. And I have never loved her more since then. The next few hours of our night were some of the best sleepless fun we ever had, and also censored from public viewing. Haha.

We woke up the next day to a splendid ocean view. In a half-awake stupor, I turned to look at her. And she looked at me and we smiled. I said: “I can wake up to this view every day. I can live like this forever.”

Because baby, you’re amazing just the way you are.

There’s this kind of love that sneaks up on you and softly taps you on your shoulder when you least expect it and hits you really hard. Every moment seems a little crazy and impossible at first — from the person you are with and how they make you feel to the new things you find yourself doing for them. You’re almost freaked out by the depth of love you feel growing within you and there are times you find your breath taken away or reach new levels of frustration. You might shrug your shoulders and say: ‘Maybe this won’t last at all, let’s just enjoy this for now and see where this takes us.’ But then one day, you realise you want this person more than anything else you have ever wanted in your entire life, because what both of you have is more than love. It’s proof that you fit together perfectly and that you are soulmates and how incredible lucky you are to have found each other out of seven billion people in the whole world. So yes, in spite of everything and even though how the passing of time is supposed to dilute our memories and feelings, I love you still.

“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” — Nicholas Sparks

Merry Christmas, everyone! 😀

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Living la vida loca

20110916-113743.jpg

Guess I found the cure to lift the weight off my shoulders. Hot foamy joy in a tub. Not just any wooden tub, mind you. But one that is installed in a luxurious, amazingly beautiful, tasteful-looking five-star suite.

Every part of the suite has been so thoughtfully and exquisitely furnished that I feel like the king of the world and that I am pampered beyond pampered. A Chinese saying comes to mind: “BYT really is BYT.”

So loud dance music is blasting from the tv (Fashion TV has some of the best playlists, IMO. Hot people included), I have foam all over me, someone taking silly pics of me posing awkwardly with the bubbles, my aching limbs soaked in hot aromatherapy oil-filled water, and loads of fun activities to enjoy later…

You know what, I wouldn’t mind living like this every day.

And if anyone ever asks me what the best thing ever invented was, here is my answer:

20110916-115359.jpg

Yes, mechanically-operated warm toilet seat is the next best invention after Internet, wi-fi internet, air conditioner and iPhone. My Xiaohei has never known joy like this before!!!

You know how your butt would automatically cringe when you are about to sit on a hotel toilet because it fears touching a freezing cold surface. You kinda expect to jump up anytime when faced with a foreign porcelain toilet but not at BYT.

It is always primly covered with a lid. When you walk near it, it’d sense your presence and welcome you by gently swinging its lid upwards. So you sit without thinking and the minute your butt hits the toilet, a warm cosy sensation spreads through, gently warming your butt cheeks and your butt feels pampered, cuddled, comfortable and happy.

YES, MY BUTT FELT SO RELAXED THAT IT KINDA NEVER WANTS TO GET UP FROM THE SEAT EVER.

Is this how a happy butt feels? I think so.

You can now poop and pee while getting warmed up cosily. What more can a little butt ask for?

This toilet also has an internal bidet that can cleanse your down there at any pressure and angle you wish. It can even oscillate and pulsate the water if you so desire. And all emitted water is set at a nice warm temperature so you won’t get a shock. The mind boggles.

You know what’s even more amazing? It has a dryer that can gently blow-dry your nether regions with a warm soothing breeze while you eat, snooze, watch tv on this toilet.

You know what’s more amazing than even more amazing? There’s no need to turn back and flush after you’ve done whatever you have done. It has an auto sensor that will flush whatever junk you left behind and close its lid nonchalantly.

How’s that for living a crazily awesome life?!

I’m getting so pampered by this particular toilet that I’m half-expecting all toilets to behave in exactly the same way from now. This toilet has set the bar so damn high it’s my dream toilet now.

It’s true. Once you have experienced something that treats you so so much better than anything you had before, it’s hard, almost impossible, to go back.

I’m so going to install the exact same toilet in my future home. I really can’t bear to get up from the warm comfortable toilet seat!

The only thing I have to do is to keep reminding myself to remember to wash my hands when walking away. As far as I know, that part isn’t automated yet.

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Ring in the new year happy

This is the fourth day of the new year and I am having a bout of the dreadful “Back to School” feeling. I start work again tomorrow after a two-week break. Have I mentioned that it’s dreadful?

I bet I will have a sleepless night later – tossing and turning, wondering what to wear, what to eat for lunch and if I should go into the office early to start clearing the tons of work that has been piling up since 22 Dec and set a good example to my team. I am also mentally practising typing 2011 in my head.

I remember back in school when we have to write with 2B pencils and blue ballpoint pens, I always had difficulties adjusting my hand to write the correct year on my daily homework. I’d get the day and the month right but fail at filling in the right year. It takes me about a week or so to finally get into the routine. Ah-HA! But not this time, suckers! My mind has somehow accepted that this year will be an awesome year and therefore we are going to embrace it accordingly. Aw-yeah!

Plus, reading articles dripping with positivity and self-love always help. Barbara Hayes, author of “Beware of Dogs: How to Avoid Dating Disasters”, has some great advice for any of us still sulking about 2010 via CNN.

The new year is a great time to think about what we truly want, to look at ourselves in a new light. We can start training for a triathlon (well, you can), learning Italian (in case we ever meet Andrea Bocelli — sigh), painting delicate watercolors, or lounging in comfy sweats on a lazy day without anyone making cutting comments.

So, start the year by making big goals that you can achieve in baby steps taken every week. If you falter, do not think of it as failure, think of it as a temporary setback, a learning experience.

Research shows that reframing our “mistakes” in that way makes the difference between ultimate success and failure. Reward yourself for every tiny successful step. Keep it all in perspective: At the end of a week, a month, and so on, look back and acknowledge the small but significant changes that you have made.

If it made me smile, you will definitely smile after reading this last bit.

Then, smile! Research also shows that smiling sends a signal to your brain that you feel happy, which causes you to smile more, which causes you to feel even happier, and so the cycle perpetuates itself.

Which brings us to losing the holiday weight I’ve most unwillingly gained. I have been searching high and low online for a way to speed up my metabolism after the non-stop feasting I had days ago. Apparently, this is the best way to jump-start your metabolism after a plateau. I’m sure it’s useful. Just that it lost me after I realise I have to keep a food journal and that I have to do challenging exercises. I might revisit the article again.

Where on earth will I find myself in 2011?

I certainly hope it’s New York, listed as CNN’s top destination to be in 2011, or somewhere equally unforgettable before this year ends.

1. New York

A huge tourist destination in any year, the city will be especially unforgettable as it marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks next year.

Visitors who have been flocking to ground zero are finally expected to get a chance to pay their respects to the victims at the National September 11 Memorial, which is scheduled to open in time for the anniversary.

Visitors also shouldn’t miss the High Line, once an abandoned elevated railway track that’s been turned into a popular park.

Remember, your new year will be a great adventure because you will make it one. And SMILE!

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Top ten birthday and holiday gifts for me

So it’s been a while since I dusted the cobwebs off here. In my defence, I was busy having a life, hence the blog hiatus. Which technically is the truth since I haven’t been home at regular hours ever since I signed up for gym classes last month. Yes. I hear you gasp and your thought bubble went something like “Gym + Me = never happening / (or if you’re American) NO WAY.” I know.

Well, if it makes you feel better, my appetite has grown exponentially with the number of times I head down to the gym. Increased appetite = Weight gain by a hell lot. I swear all weighing machines lie. Anyway, there are classes for yoga, pilates, steps, taichi and body combat (which I love oh-so-dearly because the instructor makes you yelp “Hoi hoi hoi” as if you are indeed a mean killing machine. Which I am obviously), and of course, the lovely treadmill. How anyone could bear to run on it for 20 minutes staring at essentially nothing in front of them twists my head in. Until I tried it for myself. And I realised staring at the little stat box which shows how much calories you are burning with every step you take is rather hypnotic. Huff huff huff. One calorie burned. Huff huff huff. Two calories burned and you get the drift.

Oh and my birthday is coming around in 10 days’ time. While I have yet felt the rush of excitement and that tingling sensation ever since I was a child, I kinda like thinking about what others can possibly get for me. Even if they don’t read this. Ha.

I’m a hybrid of geekiness, gadgets, practicality and cleanliness freak with a dash of retro chic so for those of you who’d like to marry or be with someone like me someday, start taking notes.

1) The entire Discworld series by my number one favourite author of all time Terry Pratchett.

My ideal bookshelf

2) Otherwise, the latest book by him would do just nicely – Unseen Academicals.

3) Sennheiser CX300 In-Ear Earphones (black) or SE210 Sound Isolating Earphones (black)

4) Handheld / travel clothes steamer (because my wrinkly shirts are crying for help and I hate ironing)

5) Handheld vacuum cleaner

6) Mini espresso machine

7) A desk fan which is compact yet powerful and chic. Obviously.

8) A Nalgene water bottle and if possible, a tee shirt for it.

9) a portable DVD player so I can finally watch my shows on the flatscreen TV

10) Two DVDs – Say Anything (because I’m a sappy love fool at heart) and High Fidelity (because it really channels my inner geek and because I really heart John Cusack and the earlier stuff he has done pre-2001)

That said, I realise Internet is truly my best mate. Till then, have a lovely Sunday.

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Attention, shallow water ahead!

Ahhhh… Here’s a glimpse of my weekend that just passed. Or at least the first day of my little jaunt overseas during the weekend. I keep thinking of a nice cold beer whenever I look at this picture. Or maybe a cocktail with a tiny umbrella?

The signboard seems to be saying something.

The signboard appears to be saying something.

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How geeks say goodbye 2008 and hello 2009

Nothing as satisfying as POP!

Nothing as satisfying as POP!

</2008><2009> as seen on Reddit. Where geeks are seen arguing the finer points of the perfect programming script for 2009. Nothing quite like pointing at the screen and laughing at people geekier and hopefully uglier than you to start the head-throbbing day right.

If you are still sobering up from the massive amounts of booze consumed, aspirin and coffee do not, in any way, cure your hangovers. They are well, myths that can kill you. There goes my #3 and #4 surefire ways to get through a workday after a drinking session the night before. Ah screw you, Mythbusters. Now I’ll have to call in sick.

So, how was your New Year Eve’s celebration?

Feel free to share your hungover shame in the comments below.