Wednesday, September 30, 2015

二千二十八: R&R

Hooray! Holiday time!

We headed for Bali on 2-Sep, stayed at Seminyak at Mutiara Resort, in a 1-bedroom villa and it was pretty good! Daily breakfast for 2 cooked by a staff member in our kitchenette, and with a small pool in the villa, bb got all the swimming she wanted and we went to bed every night at 11pm somehow (I didn't even swim much so the reason for this is a mystery to me except that maybe the bed and aircon made me super comfortable). Mum, my sis & Calvin joined us for about 5 days of the trip and bb was happy to join mum to bed most of the nights which allowed us to sleep soundly for a few nights at least and have her out of our hair. It was hot, but very clear blue skies for all 10 days, and the roads were super dusty. Food was extremely cheap, but being in the tourist stretch, the food was slightly more expensive by Bali standards but still cheap nevertheless. We ate so much food every day just because we wanted to try all the different places at the low prices with good taste. By the last 2-3 days, everyone got a cold though and the flight back felt hellish (bad sore throat, bad fever, bad nose...). Luckily Garuda was a pretty good airline, at least food was good and movies were abundant to choose from.

After the holiday, I had to face the reality of not having to be online all the time to be "at work" and that my time was mostly mine (I still had to fulfill my final month of work contract). It was fantastic! I had time to read, I had time to clean up the house (just more than before) and I had time to check up materials to make to teach bb all the basic stuff in preparation for our home schooling foray next year. I also had time to catch up on my dramas online and also to think about what I wanted to do for the next few months mainly.

For the birthday this year, not much planned, just had a quiet lunch at eternite with Ryo the day before. After lunch, we just walked around the shops abit, bookstores etc before going back to pick bb up. On my real birthday, it was just bringing bb for her jab and my dental appointment haha. Old age... birthdays get less and less eventful.

Monday, August 31, 2015

二千二十七: 8 years 8 months

Last month working with the UAT team.
It's been 2007 Jan - 2015 Aug = 8 years 8 months. Colleagues became friends, and most of us were about the same age so we all went through life stages together - marriage, kids.
The main sadness is because the team of colleagues/friends will not be working together anymore. (T.T) 
This last month is more of just making sure the team from the other company taking over our jobs have everything they need (I don't think they will ever have what we have, experience). Although with all the unwillingness for this to end, a part of me couldn't wait for this to end as soon as possible. So that I can stop all the late night work, so that I can stop being so impatient with bb, so that I can pay more attention to bb, so that I can pay more attention to my hobbies and myself and also maybe to Ryo, and so that I can have a good rest from working overall. It wasn't easy to be sacrificing so many nights every time there was a release due to horrible work by engineering, with our last minute shortened test schedules. It was easy before bb, because it was just my sleep, but with bb, it was all our schedules (Ryo had to stay up to look after bb who was staying up because I was up..) To tell the truth, I was also tired of doing the same thing day in day out. I dreaded waking up to work, especially during the test periods, and there was just no motivation anymore except not to let down my teammates. 
So the whole of August was spent waiting for the end to come. 
Outside of work, we had a road trip with our neighbours to Nagoya, over 16th-17th Aug, stayed at a nice place with a good bed (of course I KO asap as usual in a hotel room), saw Nagoya Castle and had a good dinner at an izakaya with lots of Nagoya specialties. We drove to a water park, which bb & Ryo enjoyed alot, but just an opportunity for me to laze around as I didn't feel like queuing for rides. 
There was also Bon-Odori at Meriken park. This year seemed to be a downsized version, with alot lesser food stalls and the neighbours had a new bb with them so it was hard to fully enjoy the event. 
End of August, James came for a conference and we had a chance to catch up. Feels like forever since I got back from SG, it was nice to have someone to chat with about what we're both doing at that time. 
With the reduction in work (and also lack of motivation overall at being jobless soon), I tried to bring bb out more, to legoland, to the shops, just out. Although once a week is more than enough, haha. 
September - time to grow another year older.... 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

二千二十二: Old Friends and a Holiday

LokLok! - a Penang delicacy

After CNY, March was a slow month where I caught up with lots of old friends (>10years of friendship?). From uni, from JP, and I managed to take my first short break without bb!

in summary - because I'm blogging this in retrospective very very late:
- Met James / Shu Fen after like ... 12 years? I haven't met them properly since I left hall, besides James being at my wedding and although we are connected on facebook and we sort of know what's happening in all our lives, but it's just not the same as meeting up. Met the kids, met James' wife, had a good chat/playdate.
- Met Robert after 10 years? Last seen in Capcom until he resigned from his job, and I think he moved to Tokyo, and then by pure chance he was in SG for work so we met for dinner and drinks. Brought him to see the merlion, eat chicken rice, and basically took silly pictures today as tourists and had a good catchup.

Holiday!  I had to use up my miles by Dec-2014 so I redeemed my ticket to Penang since I haven't been there before. Umera was ok to go with me and she had a good friend who lived there and brought us around the whole time. (Thank you Ashley!) Penang was a fantastic place with good food. Lots of good food. We were eating all the time. I was supposed to facetime with bb in the night before bed but I kept forgetting, (oops...) but anyway she didn't seem to miss me so it was still ok. My parents and sisters kept her occupied and entertained very well! I'll definitely go again in future if I get a chance to.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

二千十九:A Warm & Cold Xmas

bb had her first ever performance. It was pretty fabulous, for 2 years old, (ok proud mum rambling on) but you can see for yourself.

After that, it was the last day of school on 12-Dec and we had to take off all the xmas deco from bb's classroom after school. It was a relief for school to end, so that I could have a holiday and bring bb to Singapore and no more fighting in the mornings to wear clothes and get ready for school.

We spent xmas and new year's day in Singapore. There was a few gift exchanges, etc, but seriously I abhor all the consumerism. You always get left with some stuff you don't know what to do with, although the really good friends will know exactly what to get which doesn't lead to waste. I appreciate all the sentiments, and of cos stuff for bb is always welcome, but I appreciate you making time to spend with me even more. A good meal treat is more than sufficient as a gift for sure.

This year was mild, and of course her godpa barely had time to spare for her. I kind of understand why we are shunned aside, now that he's attached. Because we're not as rich I guess.. and going out with us holds no benefit for him, unfortunately. What a materialistic world. I don't understand how spending time with a good friend living overseas will take time away from meeting with someone you meet with on almost a daily basis. But at least I met up with more friends this time, instead of prioritising my time for someone who didn't really want to meet. I had a good rest (from bb) with mum taking care of bb daily, put on some weight with lots of good SG food, had a taste of more normal working life in the office. I'll see everyone in Feb again, which is definitely too soon, but feels like it can't come soon enough. Although I know more of what to be doing this time. Spend more time with people who really care.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Oops.. forgot to do the post more so that I can read more in future.

First - the yearly birthday post.

Ryo made a big effort this year. I think it's sort of because I asked him (hinted?) a few weeks before the birthday if we could ask his parents to watch bb and kinda reminded him of my birthday. Then I saw the Cirque du Soleil advertisement and thought that since I haven't watched it before, why not? & asked Ryo if he was interested to watch and checked for seats on my birthday. Apparently tickets had been on sale since forever and there were not alot of seats left. Anyway, we took whatever best we could, and Ryo made secret arrangements for the lunch before the show. I wasn't feeling very upbeat about this birthday, to be honest, it was the first time I actually felt the pinch of getting old. Or just felt very jaded, tired, exhausted, blah blah etc. Because of bb? maybe. but it's just a combination of factors. I felt very underachieved, very unmotivated, very much felt like I'm wasting my life. I almost forgot that it was my birthday the next day until I got messages here and there from friends.

We went to Restaurant Varier (which accidentally happened to be just a short walk to the circus, because Ryo didn't know where the circus event was actually) and it turned out to be an almost 10 course lunch of french food. A very very very yummy lunch, it turns out, and bb was in the care of her grandparents, so we slowly ate, I could actually taste my food properly for a change. Alot of sweets and desserts towards the end & I got surprised by the candle on my cake. I'm not happy about my age but I did enjoy all the food. & I can always pretend to be 31 forever.

The Cirque du Soleil performance was amazing. It was alot of comedy and acrobatics mixed together, but no one seemed to really understand the miming or the acting of the performers. I was the only one laughing for most of it.

We went to Yodobashi to let me get my iphone 6 cover then we went back. Ryo went to pick the bb up from his parent's place, and I went home to try to make some dinner as we had to clean up the fridge of fresh food before the Hawaii trip. I had asked Ryo to call his parents ahead of time to tell them we didn't eat dinner, but as usual he ignored me and didn't call and they cooked alot of stuff but I was already cooking dinner also. super guilty.

Very mixed feelings.

I hope my thoughts clear up soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

二千十五:Looong weekend

It was a fantastic weekend!

I took leave on Friday because bb had her school excursion, so we went to Kawasaki World (all at Meriken Park so it was a convenient walk from home there in the morning.) I can only say it's not a great place for toddlers, not sure if they understood anything, more stressful for the mums to have to watch them in a public place. Since we are kinda preoccupied with watching our own kids, it was not really a good chance to interact with other mums. By lunch, almost all the mums and toddlers were exhausted, most were starting to throw tantrums, or wanted to nap. So we ascended Port Tower and bb suddenly began her tantrum. Whining, lying on the ground.. sheesh. With her teacher around I couldn't be more fierce, and was super exasperated.

bb trying to sing?
After it ended, I had high tea with some Kobe mummies at the Kobe Oriental Meriken park hotel. Bb didn't nap as hoped, unfortunately, but at least she had fun with the other babies running around. (the high tea venue gave us some good seats with a space for the kids to run w/o disturbing other folks.) And finally, when we left the hotel, she fell asleep on the way home.

On Saturday, Ryo had to work, so I brought bb to the bear cafe and we had tea time together. She was kinda hungry I think, so she quietly ate bread while I read my book and ate my pastries. It was quite a good lazy afternoon. Ryo joined us after work for dinner and we went for some Korean food. BB had not napped so she was hyperactive during dinner and refused to sit and eat quietly so it was a very rushed dinner.

Sunday - we woke up late, and I was kinda thinking if we should go to Universal Studios. Since we had nothing planned, we decided to just head there. Even though it was 3+ pm when we reached, there was a Halloween event going on, and the park was opened till 10pm! BB enjoyed all the elmo items and toys all over the place, it was great fun for her, but of course the rides queues were crazy and she was still too young to enjoy most of the rides as well. The adults of course can't take any rides with a bb around, so we just enjoyed ourselves walking around the park and watching the performances. The zombies were quite cool, they were dancers in disguise, so everything the park blasted Thriller, they got into formation and danced on the streets.
Sesame street performance
Yesterday, there was the SMAP concert. The last concert I went to was in 2005?? 10 years ago as well, but this is the first concert I successfully balloted via the official fan club ballot. It was quite fair I suppose, 9000yen (about S$130?) for each ticket and the system assigned seats. I was lucky to get the Arena seats - which was next next to the side stage, and just under their cranes, so my idol came so close overhead so many times!! It was fantastic, 4 hours long, and the Radwimps concert was a really quiet affair comparatively. The only thing was that the crowd was alot of obachans... and alot of grouchy obachans to say the least. bad experience with one of them, I would have pushed her down if she weren't so fat and anal. But that aside, I will definitely want to go again. IT WAS SUPER SUPER SUPER!

Last weekend, we went to a campsite at Awajishima for a stay at the log house with PS & Yusuke. We had bbq, fireworks, onsen, all in all a pretty good time, probably can make this an annual thing if possible!
bb playing with sparklers

Sunday, August 31, 2014


August = Summer = Fireworks

I was reading back on the older posts from 2008 and I realised that it's because I made an effort to post updates that I have stuff to read now. Although I must admit life was not as boring or as routine as now, now that I'm just at home mostly. And reading back on the annual birthday posts was quite interesting, to remember how friends celebrated my birthdays for me. Renewed appreciation for them in sg, and got me missing them all over again. 
August was like a week of breather after one project ended and then it was right on to the next project. Which kinda sucked, but I can't really complained because Andreu was long due on his vacation time and he did cover me alot alot alot for the past year so I had to hang on without him. & I really felt his absence very keenly - and Karthik too - when I had no one to cover me to do night calls or any other calls in case bb kicked up a ruckus during the calls. Thank goodness there were no major incidents, just small cute noises which the other managers laughed away. Also, I didn't realise Andreu was almost the only person chatting with me about random stuff daily. With him on vacation, I was practically talking to zero humans a day (online and offline, not counting the bb). how sad..... 
The older you get, the more complicated your life gets (maybe) , the more secrets you have, the less thoughts you share with people and the more you wallow in your own sadness and loneliness. 
There are so many things to worry about now that bb is growing older. School is one of them. Public kindergartens are cheap but lacks bilingual education. her semi-international pre-school / kindergarten has entry interviews for kindergarten level and cost like 1.5 million yen per year after everything is added up. I keep thinking I should send her back to sg for her education since bilingual is the norm instead there and CHEAP.  I mean, I don't think my university education even cost as much as her kindergarten.. So I've to check my finances, either mmm or cb in the words of Becky in Shopaholic.. (make more money / cut back) and hopefully my MMM plans get me some results. (trying to CB abit as well, but I think I'm already doing the max in terms of daily savings unless I totally cut out travel and lose my sanity)
I'm trying to get my driver's license converted as well, now that I've found the carshare program downstairs to be really useful for errands, but the process is so tedious that I'm already half disheartened by it. I hope I can get it by the end of this year at least. 
It's very weird how life (fate?) brings you in circles and take you somewhere you've been again and again. Every time I lose sight of a friend (J), another old friend (C) turns up out of the blue and contacts me. It's happened the same way 3-4 times, and I always wonder how does C know when to talk to me? We don't talk the rest of the time, only when he suddenly comes back into my life at the right time, and talk to me. After that we either talk more or run out of conversation. Actually it's my fault when the conversation runs out, because I'm not sure where the friendship is heading. But this time, J seems out of my life for good, so maybe I should try to be better friend to C. 

My year of being 31 is almost up... I hope being 32 will be the turning point for relationships, friendships and family, careers, wealth and myself. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

二千十三:Two years

bb turns 2!

The bulk of July I can remember is work.

Mum left on July 4th. It was kinda awkward, because we quarrelled so much the last few days.

Intensive reading in July, because I discovered the library books reservation system. And also, I was bored. Why would I have time to be bored you say... I have no idea. but I was mentally bored. very bored of having no human contact, having no social life, no one to really chit chat with and discuss rubbish with. Or I just missed going to the office. or something.

Bb discovered cicadas and I re-discovered online shopping. I think I bought a lot of clothes. Retail therapy and all sorts of reasons, but the short term high was so short I forgot about the clothes almost as soon as I paid for them. Which was good as a pleasant surprise when the clothes came in the mail.

Or maybe it wasn't work. July was quite a blank.

Just remembered Bb turned 2 in July. Hooray for me, and for her. I don't know if I want a second child. Seeing her play alone sometimes makes me feel guilty. But I don't know if I want to go back to square one of not being able to cope at work, losing all the freedom that's slowly coming back just to give her a sibling. and the finances. It's not that we'll be poor. but how will I work if I have to take care of 2 kids at the same time? They can probably entertain each other, but still.... I should stop thinking about this.

Bb knows her alphabets now, (most of them) she can pronounce most of them. Of course she can't form words yet, but it's a start. She seems to be catching on to Japanese numbers faster, maybe cos Ryo makes the effort to read poker cards to her.

I'm really a very lousy mum.. But what do you expect, after spending 24 hours with her daily, end of the day i just want to veg out and do my own things on my phone or read rather than do stuff with her.

Monday, June 30, 2014

二千十二:Mum in Japan

DSC_3369blog at Sumida aquarium, Tokyo Skytree

Mum came to stay for about a month and we had pretty good homecooked food, and lovely fatty rice dumplings (there's still about 4 more frozen in my fridge for rainy days) and a clean house, at least until mum fell sick with flu.

We took a short trip to Tokyo, but the weather was bad, everyone was feeling under the weather, it wasn't a very good trip.

The whole month was full of bad feelings, partly because BB was rejecting mum the whole month. Mum kept on saying "she wasn't like this in Singapore!" but I mean.. this is home ground, BB is quite a possessive and territorial creature. She shouted NO at everything mum did or handled, which I guess was quite tiring and made mum feel quite sad. Also, it meant that mum couldn't help much in looking after BB, and we all were quite angry with BB.

However, towards the end of the month, BB mellowed quite a bit, allowed mum to babysit her while we went to the Radwimps concert, and that's kind of all the couple time we had.

I guess some relationships are better kept distanced. I enjoy having my mum around, cos she's like a cleaning machine, and cooks, but we are all kinda subjected to her mood swings which is a super tiring affair. She criticises everything as well,  and doesn't really think about other people's feelings before commenting. Unless I can get out daily to recharge, I think it's inevitable that staying with her leads to quarrels almost all the time. She wants everything to be done her way, but this is my house! I know I'm a control freak, so maybe it's me. Anyway, mum's gone back to sg, a facetime relationship is better for both of us.

July will be a busy work month.. and BB's turning 2! I haven't had the slightest idea what to do for her birthday though.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

二千十一:New York New York!

Lego art exhibition at Discovery Times Square

We went to New York in May!

There was golden week earlier in the month, and we took a few days to just rest, and in the middle of the month, I visited XQ in NY with bb & my sis!

It was a very trying trip, due to bb becoming a terrible two soon, she was throwing tantrums all over the place, as well as the lack of babyfriendly elevators in the subways, high kerbs on the streets etc etc. But despite all the cons, I think we had fun, and we managed to cover at least 90% of our itinerary!

We went to a lego art exhibition, watched 2 Yankees games on the same day (due to some streak of luck because Friday's game was postponed to Sunday), saw Ichiro, went to most of the museums (loved MOMA), ate at a michelin 1star for lunch, ate a not so great hotdog, walked up and down upper east side, went to central park, met countless dogs, saw their sunday markets, walked across Brooklyn Bridge, saw the Statue of liberty from a distance, ate lots of burgers and steaks, took our touristy shots at Times Square, shopped at the outlet malls, survived the subway, talked to strangers, (or strangers talked to us).

There wasn't enough days to see everything in NY of course, so I guess we'll be back in future! When bb is older and doesn't need a pram anymore, we can do a proper girl's trip with all my sisters and bb! (although by then she wouldn't be bb anymore haha)

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