Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well Talk About Exhumed

Once while rummaging through my handbag for the gorgeous fantastic Mac lipstick case that Mr and Mrs Gremlin had given me for my birthday, I found a hamburger. Not sure how long it had been there. I was horrified, then I ate it, but that's another story.

It's really quite astounding to find, at the ripe old age of 30+ x, that there are still some people my age who are still virgins. It reminded me of how I felt when I found the hamburger. Well-blow-me-over-astounding. And what about these virgins? They really now really really want to lose that virginity. Like really really. But you don't get to keep your virginity for so long without learning some deft and cunning tricks. Like how to piss off members of the opposite sex so badly that they will never never ever go out with you again. Like how to avoid having a normal non-mono-syllabillic (hell, I can't spell) conversation with someone that you're interested in. Like how to irritate all your friends so they never want to talk to you again, let alone introduce you to someone even remotely nice.

So there's this, uh, friend (ok, not a friend, she pissed me off long ago and we are not friends). She's a virgin. She wants to experience the Joy of Sex sometime in this lifetime, before the cobwebs form, uh, there. She thinks it's like an ear piercing - if you haven't put an earring in for the longest time, it'll just close up by itself forever and ever, and then where will we be. Another friend has asked if I could, maybe, introduce a guy to her sometime within the next year or so. No freaking way. I would count that date a complete success if the guy didn't storm off within an hour and never speak to me again. Some women are just so sweet to each other. The friend who asked me to do this - she'd already introduced her own cousin to this girl. The poor guy agrees to go out with a bunch of them in a group, and she won't talk to him in any language other than Snooty. Then he buys her a drink and when he gives it to her, she says "DOES YER WIFE KNOW THAT YOU ARE OUT?". There was an awkward pause. "I'm not married", he said. Like he's NEVER been married.

When we were all 17 and trying to get into a pub for our first beer, the whole virginity thing, it was like,

Balance Sheet

Fixed Asset .................................Virginity

Then when we were in our roaring 20s and trying to meet as many guys as possible in a pub, it was

Balance Sheet

Current Asset ............................. Virginity

Now that most of us are married and having 2nd and 3rd kids,

Balance Sheet

Liability ..................................... Virginity

It would take a very very brave man to step up and put it in. Really. Between that and a bear trap, I'm almost completely certain that most men would want to take a second look at that bear trap. If you ever went out for dinner with a woman almost exactly halfway through her 30s, and during dessert she leans over and says, By the way, I'm a virgin, would you think (with tented trousers) oh yessss babyyyy. Or would you be running to the loo to ask a friend to call you with an emergency in 5 minutes (please man, you gotta help me).

To be completely fair and even though I'm really still quite pissed off with her, I did ask a friend (let's just call him The Cassava) if he would be interested in meeting hh... NO he said. NO NONONNONONONONO.

But I haven't even finished my sentence!

NONONONO. You told me she's your age and she's a virgin, right? And difficult with men? NONONONONONONONONO.

Well tell me how you really feel about it.

I suspect if she ever tried putting it up for sale, there would be several negative bids. Like men would want to be paid for their time. Plus a little premium for the stress and effort. And a fluffer.

Friday, January 26, 2007


I read with disinterest the article in today's paper regarding lawyers, uh, leaving the profession to go in-house or to join foreign firms. Hey, it's not like we're retired you know. We're still gainfully employed. And as lawyers. We're just not working in a local firm. Perhaps I should paraphrase that - we're just not working where they think we should be working, i.e. in a local firm.

What's the difference between a foreign firm and a local firm. It's an office, with people in it, all sitting in front of the computer doing the only thing they know how to do. Pay-wise, it's similar. The hours are quite similar. Why do certain parties make a distinction between a foreign firm and a local firm? Is it more patriotic in a sense to work for a local firm? Are we standing up for Singapore?

The only difference in my view is you are either working for a Singapore boss or you are working for a non-Singaporean boss. How does the nation benefit in a general sense. If we could all freely practise our trade under Singaporean or non-Singaporean bosses, then surely more Singaporeans could potentially benefit, wouldn't they. More prospective employers!

Enough grousing. Went to Waraku again today for lunch and was very amused by the "Waraku Bukkake" item in the menu. I know it's their special dish and all, but does it have any relation to ... never mind. If I order it, are all the waiters going to gather at my table and ... never mind.

I know where all this aggression comes from - it's because the S$10 Waraku voucher I had kept in my wallet for use today turns out to only be usable in their Clarke Quay branch. Goddamn. I'm not yer travelling monkey. Why would a customer of the Marina branch want to go all the way to Clarke Quay to try the same food, when I can get it at Marina?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gradually becoming more environmentally unfriendly

Well now it's 1 pm in the afternoon and I've been working for almost 24 hours straight, excluding 2 hours of sleep which were interrupted by crying son wanting bottle and husband wanting a cigarette almost simultaneously. WTF.

I can't figure out what I can take next in order to ensure that I can make it through the next 6 hours. There's already been multiple coffees and teas tossed into the system, with a vitamin pill to chase them down. I've got some manner of Lavender cream on my hands and feet (to supplement the caffeine with the power of aromatherapy!) and if I take a Red Bull or a NoDoze, I will KO in 2 hours.

No doubt I could enhance my efforts to stay awake by using anger and frustration (it's impossible to be sleepy if you're enraged) but once the adrenaline rush passes, I might faceplant at the desk. What if I'm still typing? I could ruin a document if my face lands on the delete button and the "Track Changes" function is not switched on. And where would we be.

Try blogging? It's not working. Still feel like I've been exhumed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Thursday, January 18, 2007

Local Boy Finally Potty-Trained By Army

Now that The Son has reached the ripe old age of 1.75 years, we've started getting tentative enquiries as to his potty-training and nursery school enrollment.

"Nil", I merrily reply. I've not potty-trained him, nor have I attempted to enroll him in anything more challenging than those toy rides you see in shopping centres where you put a dollar coin in the slot for 3 minutes of fun. The Husband and I have been making jokes about how he might still be sleeping in our bed between the 2 of us when he is old enough to date. "Son, I don't know how to tell you this, but since you got married last week it might be a good time for you to get your own bed."

Those jokes were funny, like, months ago. Now 50% less funny. Especially since my mother has taken it upon herself to buy him a potty and now we have to try and persuade him to use it. How the hell am I going to do that? I'm never around when he shits! Except on the weekends, but we're usually away from home. I am not toting that potty around the shopping centres of Singapore. No freaking way.

Yeah, I'm gonna print this out and keep it. When he's 18 and doing his National Service and I get a letter from his drill sergeant asking why my son is still wearing Drypers (Size XXXXXXXXXXL), I'll just attach this as my response. Hopefully the drill sergeant will get the hint and also take the liberty to wean him off the pacifiers.

I mean, seriously. I don't know how other people handle this. There's only 3 hours tops from when I get home from work to the time he falls asleep. How do I teach him to speak, read, write, shit, pee, not use a pacifier and everything else during that time? Most of which is spent watching High Five or (recent development - we are holding our breaths) Bob the Builder. Maybe we can build this into the dialogue. Look Son! Bob has no nuk! Bob has no diaper! Bob is GOOD!

I asked my potty-purchasing mom how she trained the lot of us. She said she didn't. Somehow my (then unmarried alleged virgin) aunt and then a succession of maids managed to do the job so unintrusively that she cannot remember when it all happened. I should've suspected this when she tried to change The Son's diaper and it fell off after he stood up.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

*Screams!* Someone Stoled My Cookies!!

Horror of Horrors!! Someone has stolen my ENTIRE JAR of strawberries and cream cookies and cranberry and oatmeal cookies!!!!!! Val very kindly baked the cookies, put them into the cutest little glass and metal jar and hand delivered them to me! Now they are gone!!!! Woe is me! Woe is me!

Stepped out of the office today and when I came back, a cat burglar had broken into my (unlocked open door) office and taken only my most prized possession which were ... the cookies! There were only crumbs left in the jar! Somehow the cat burglar instinctively knew what the most important thing in my office was. And tooked it. THEY TOOKED IT!!!

The Husband sez to me this morning, he sez, if you don't bring the cookies home, you don't come home. Now how? *gnashes hair, tears teeth*

Free Flow of Kani Nabe - S$58 for 90 minutes

After I stopped laughing, I read the description again and it really sounded rather appetising. Kani-nabe is a kind of crab stew that is cooked ingredient by ingredient in a clay hot pot - lightly cooked, split crab-legs, cabbage, cubed tofu and a mess of tiny pale enoki mushrooms in boiling broth - basically shabu shabu without the beef. Too bad the offer expired yesterday. Kaninabe. Would've liked to have tried it, although the time limit would've just wiped me out mentally - imagine trying to cook and eat as much as possible in 90 minutes without giving yourself diarrhoea from undercooking the food to save time.

Do you:

1. tip ALL the ingredients into the hot pot in an almighty effort to cook them in the shortest possible time, then realise your hot pot is now a lukewarm pot; or

2. cook only 5 ingredients at a time, and whilst you're eating, you toss in more ingredients (subject always to a maximum of 5) so that you keep the pot hot, yet you have a constant flow of cooked food and the only lag time is at the beginning of the meal when the first 5 ingredients are cooking; or

3. sort the ingredients by cooking time and fragrance, and toss in the durables first (e.g. crab shells) otherwise the stock will get completely screwed up and the soup will not taste nice!!!!

Looking into my brain would be a lot like looking into a multiplex restaurant. On the 1st floor people are thinking of food, on the 2nd floor people are walking around trying to decide what to eat, on the 3rd floor people are eating, on the 4th floor they are complaining about the bill, on the 5th floor they are hungry again.

Checked out Waraku, the Japanese restaurant at Marina Shopping Centre, close to where Denny's used to be. Amazingly affordable, very satisfactory. Especially liked the soba-in-hot-soup-sashimi-over-shredded-egg-and-rice combo, which is like ordering 2 meals for 1 person. A steaming bowl of soba in soup, with a huge bowl of vinegared rice with sashimi on top, including an ama ebi complete with the head. How good is that?! Yum city. The whole package for S$13.80. Also tried beef tongue in ponzu sauce (chewy, but interesting) and seasoned barbequed cod roe (Lot's wife-salty).

That was just yesterday. Guess where I went for lunch today. Yep. Even had the same waitress.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

2 days outside The V Tea Room

In my mindless pursuit of more BerryLite cookies, I manage to divert all social gatherings over the weekend to The V Tea Room at the Esplanade Mall where the small smiling Chinese girl at the entrance took 1 look at the small smiling Son and told us to sit in the safety area - outside the restaurant, away from the breakables and away from other patrons whose idea of a good time does not include someone else's crying screaming running toddler at their table.

On the second consecutive day I arrived, she smiled at me as we were asked again to sit outside the restaurant. Weren't you here yesterday? I cringed in embarrassment as I tried to order the same drink 2 days in a row. Some people just like to have a routine. What's wrong with that?! If she thinks this is bad, I wonder how she would react if I told her I've ordered exactly the same pasta dish every time I've gone to Pasta Fresca over the last 15 years.

Anyway, the food and beverages are WAAAAY overpriced, but they are very very nice. Top quality stuff, for which one pays top dollar. We had 2 orders of tea, 1 rum cocoa drink and 1 mango cake melt to share. Tab come up to S$57.70. Yesterday, we had a chocolate mud drink, a mocha mud drink, an orange/ mango smootie, 1 crepe, 1 ice cream, 1 quiche and 2 boxes of BerryLite cookies. Tab came up to S$120. I almost fainted.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and that is someone got food poisoning after yesterday's meal so if the expense (S$180 over the weekend on just tea!) still bugs me tomorrow morning when I wake up, then I'll write in and let's see what happens.

In other news, would just like to say to expat @ large that thick and short is NOT better. I tell you what's thick and short - a cha siew pao is thick and short. Imagine a flesh-coloured cha siew pao. Mebbe it's just me, but I've never seen a dildo on sale (or even clearance) that looks like a flesh-coloured cha siew pao.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Clearance Sale

The siew yoke platter at Crystal Jade Kitchen is the yummiest. You could talk to me about any number of unpleasant things and so long as I'm chewing on the little cubes of roast pork I'm like uh huh. uh huh. yeah, okay.

A friend and I sat down to lunch yesterday and as I chewed down on the crunchy roast pork skin, she asked me if I could set up a certain Mr D with anyone. I waited till I'd swallowed the little pork cube, then said no. Then picked up the next piece and said I'd think about it.

People who are in the dating market should have CVs. This would avoid a massive amount of confusion and misunderstanding. And CVs should come with executive summaries, just bullet points, so that all the essential items are set out on the first page.

For a certain Mr D, the executive summary would read:

1. Good income-earning prospects, excellent educational qualifications
2. Is looking to settle down and get married
3. Still quite young and has all his own hair and teeth
4. Below average in appearance; will not even consider plastic surgery
5. Cannot be trusted to show up for a date by himself (brings friend)
6. Needs to meet a girl who (i) is able to start and maintain conversations; and (ii) wants to have a conversation with him.
7. Quite possibly still a virgin.

I don't know. I think item 4 might be the deal-killer here, but have put all the good points first, so maybe that balances it out. Couldn't decide if item 7 was a deal-maker or a deal-breaker. Anyway.

Any interest? Available while stocks last!

PS. Gremlin, it's not F.O. Eggbert if that's what you are wondering.
PS2. It's not Ian
PS3. It's not Bachelor No. 3 from the previous group.
PS4. It's not my brother.
PS5. It's not your brother.
PS6. It's unlikely that you've gone out with him before.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Eh, Lanchiao

It's been a rough start to a rough week. Given my added maturity post-2006, I thought I would kick off the week by planning carefully and then carefully executing my plans. Somehow with the vacation and everything, I managed to ferget that in this line of work, there is no such thing as planning what time you are going to leave the office, and then successfully executing that plan, like, in a successful way (eh, Knobby?)

6.15 pm. A surprise conference call from UK lawyers. This is the third surprise call we've received so far, and the urgency of these calls still eludes me. What is so fucking urgent that you need me to be glued to the phone at 6.15 pm yet you couldn't send me an email, like, 15 minutes ago so that I'd have a little advance notice.

"Oh, we just wanted to have a chat with you about our email which you would have received this morning. We had a number of questions."

"Yes, I have received that email. In fact the revised drafts are ready, and you should be receiving these and the answers to your questions in about 15 minutes."

"Fantastic. Thanks then! Are you planning to be in the office late today?"

"No. I'm leaving right after I send you that email."

Lanchiao waited another half an hour after he had received my email, and then called my office. As it so happens, I was sitting there in the dark, waiting, having walked back in the door with a premonition that a Lanchiao was going to call me. Didn't have time to switch the light back on.

"Oh hello! So you are still in the office!"

"Yes. I forgot something and was coming back for it. Am leaving actually."

"Well if you don't mind, I'd like to have another conference call now regarding ...... and then if you could help us to prepare ..... and if you could also look at this document ..... do you think you could get this done sometime this evening?"

"Sure. In fact, I'll do it right now, and you'll have it in half an hour."

10 minutes later, the phone rings. It is Lanchiao.

"Would you mind awfully ... I have some questions that I need you to answer ...."

"Sure. I have time."

So leaving by 6.30 turns into leaving by 8.45 pm, with my eyes glued to the blackberry and the mobile phone, waiting for Lanchiao to try another one. He didn't.

Don't get me wrong. I don't treat clients like this. Dude is not a client. He is a lawyer who shares the same client with us. Somehow he got into the action for this deal and has started calling, writing, doing memos for the deal. Maybe he's doing this at the request of the client, maybe he's just churning work to generate fees. I dunno, doncare. But don't pull this shit after my office hours, just because your day has just started. Have some fucking consideration. You want me to call you on your mobile when my day starts? It'll be 1 am your time, but I'm sure if you think this client is important enough, you'll snap to it and answer all of my stupid burning questions.

I was pretty annoyed (The Son was asleep by the time I got home), but nowhere near as annoyed as another colleague who had set off for a fambly vacation in Indonesia yesterday morning, and got hauled back for a client meeting in the office yesterday night. He showed up for the meeting early. I think the client showed up for the meeting late.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Two Entries in a Day! She must be hungry/ bored/ stressed

Actually the voices in my head won't leave me alone.

A service provider that we have worked with for the better part of 2006 was kind enough to send us some goodies from The V Tea Room (Esplanade Mall next to Max Brenner's Chocolate Heaven). On Friday evening, I interfaced with the tin of BerryLite cookies (billed as Organic Blueberries/ Macadamia Nut Cookies) and accidentally finished off the whole thing.

Filled with a sense of regret (not deep regret mind you - there were only 4 cookies left anyway), the Smoot family hauled ass to Esplanade Mall over the weekend and forked out S$28 for a tin of BerryLite cookies (last box!), ostensibly for the office colleagues. I know there were about 30 cookies in the box, because over the course of yesterday, I picked them all up one by one and ate them. Now I just feel grossed out, and full of regret. Am never going to lose my post-pregnancy gut.

Actually, The Son did wander over to the sofa where I was stuffing my face to indicate that he wanted some cookies, so I spat out a blueberry and handed it over. So in fact I didn't really eat the whole box after all. I mean, those blueberries are just PACKED with calories. He must've taken 1000 calories off the one cookie. Good for him, and good for me!

And The Award for Least Responsive Parent Goes To...

I once came across a book called "The World's Worst Mom" in a bookstore in HK and have always regretted not buying it. Even if it's just for me to make a comparison every now and then with what's at the bottom of the barrel. Because I'm starting to suspect that the author may have been mistaken, since the world's worst mom could well be the person typing out this post. Why do I think so? Let's see.....

1. During our 2.5 week holiday to The America, I believe we bathed The Son about a grand total of 5 times. Now that he has returned to Singapore, he regards bathing as a non-necessity and is not afraid to share his views. "No need! No need!" is the shouted response when anyone suggests that he adjourn for his daily bath.

2. His standard breakfast, lunch and dinner (when no relatives intervened with alternative foods) on a daily basis would be Cheerios, all from the same box which we did not manage to finish before leaving, and which I tried to stuff into our handcarry. Although "child meals" were available on the plane, I forgot on every occasion except one to make a special order, so we did not get served any child meals and I was too lazy to go to the back of the plane to steal unattended child meals during the flight. On the single occasion that we did get served a child meal, I was hungry and The Son was asleep, so I et it.

3. My mother has had enough of The Son wandering around in clothes that ceased to fit him almost a year ago, and has taken it upon herself to buy him new clothes. Everything he wears (other than the diapers) is a gift, except for the one pair of pants that I bought for him 1.5 years back ... if you count something picked out for him by his other Grandma which I happened to pay for together with my books and toiletries when we got to the checkout.

4. We have not successfully brushed his teeth in months. The pediatrician, seeing him for the first time after more than a year, handed me the contact details of a dentist.

And to top it off...

5. This morning at about 5 am, The Son woke up, looked at his sleeping parents, and then turns to the father. Daddy. Daddy. Diaper. Change. I heard that and went back to sleep, but turned my back on him so as to avoid giving anyone the impression that I was available to assist.

If any mother can top this, then my hat's off!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Local Girl Attempts to Defy Mother's Instructions

Maybe when I'm 58,000 years old and the ruler of the universe will my mother finally decide that I'm old enough to make some of my own decisions. At the current time, we are embroiled in a bitter dispute about exactly this point.

It started when I had the unmitigated temerity to send The Maid home to her family in the Philippines for Christmas and New Year. Either that, or leave her to mind an empty house whilst we spend quality time with the In-Laws in The America. At the time these arrangements were made, I erroneously concluded that this was my own business and therefore failed and/or wilfully refused to get my mother's permission before booking the air ticket.

The Maid then made the fatal mistake of mentioning this to my mother's maid. Suddenly I started receiving urgent calls from relatives in Hong Kong and Singapore. How can you do this to your mother, they begged to know. Do you know she is very upset with you? Do you know you are not supposed to send your maid home for the first year?! Now you are prohibited from sending her home for another 3 years! Prohibited!

After these calls had been concluded, and as though there were some kind of timetable unknown only to me, my mother arrived at my home to deliver the prohibition order herself. She also asked me to please stop leaving my clothes on the chair in my bedroom (or else! I will disinherit! you!)

Being the oldest child and a filial daughter, I said "Hm hm hm" and did not agree nor disagree. Then I made myself scarce, leaving her to watch High Five (Space Magic!) with The Son. This tactic used to work, maybe, 13 years ago. Now she's starting to suspect I'm just ignoring her orders. So it's been nag nag nag and "Hm hm hm" for several weeks now and she's really starting to suspect that I'm ignoring her orders. I can sense the impending doom as she makes arrangements to change her will and rob me of my 33% of her estate (my stupid brother is getting 34% because he has a penis).

Now that the trip is over and my maid is returning today, I actually started to think that all this was said and done, then I get another call from another auntie today. Hey! Your mother called me last week! Did you send your maid home for a vacation? She slammed down the phone on me when I suggested to her that it was your own business! What's all this about!?

So now there's a whole lot of stress to deal with, out of completely nothing. Dammit.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Come on and Barty

Who knew what kind of a mistake it would be to leave the country for a 2-week holiday with a toddler and only 10 High-Five CDs?

Having watched each one of them about 20 times over now and I seriously need to get the High-Five songs out of my head. We have an emergency here. And still every day The Son clamours to watch his "Fie", and does not seem to notice that his parents are trying their best to leave the room while he's watching his "Fie". Sometimes we make the most vulgar jokes about the "Fie" just to pass the time. Like how Charli's husband probably makes her wear the "Ant" getup to bed, that Nathan seems to have traded his hairline for fame, and that the ever expanding Kelly should be the last choice for the "Got to remember to get the food" skit.

Note to self - need to buy more High Five CDs.
Further note to self - no need to overdo it, like you did when you bought 70 bags of chocolate coins.

He can even identify the CDs by their covers. The current favorite is "Come onand Party", except that he still gets the "b" and "p" mixed up. So we get repeat and urgent requests for "Barty". And all little doggies are "Buppies". Just kills me every time.

He seems to have picked up the Asian stomach in Texas. Over the last 30 hours, he drank 60 ounces of infant formula. That's 3 times more than his average daily requirement, and he's still asking for more. Just called to check on him, and he has eaten a bowl of porridge, an entire banana and now wants another 6 ounces of milk. Can't wait to bring him for a real Asian buffet!