Pretty Eveel Adventures

Pretty Eveel Adventures: July 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

courtesy for u and me

took the bus to work today and was really impressed with some of the sporeans i came across today.

First up on bus 980, two men leapt off their seats when an old lady supported by her daughter clambered up the bus. Leapt! No hesitation!

Second from bus 165, i watched as a most cheerful man held the bus behind in the bus bay so that would- be passengers could catch up to the bus. It was so surprising as my experiences have been with singaporeans who would pretend not to see you while you run for the bus although all they'd have to do was to hold up their hands to signal to the driver to wait.

So so happy to see what i saw today. I guess i have to stop generalising that all singaporeans are rude and that's there's no space for courtesy and civic responsibility on our little island.



Monday, July 27, 2009

preserving traditions

last few weekends have been wedding filled. i typically detest weddings unless they're for really very close friends. otherwise, i think they're boring events especially typical malay weddings where everyone under the sun is invited, and the experience never personal. often, you'd go to the wedding and not have time to say hi to the bride or groom at all. yucks. that's why i made sure my own wedding was fun-filled and i had lots of time to hang out with everyone.

anyway, wak's wedding was fun. and he had a very traditional javanese wedding processions accompany him when 'collecting' his bride. it's been a long time since i've seen such a traditional procession, and i did love the music and the colour.

i think its important that we preserve our traditions and cultures this way- its just that i wouldn't want to be the bride or the groom- too much attention and fuss for me. i prefer it a little low key. hmm... i know i sound hypocritical, as if i think culture should be displayed or exhibited in a museum, but not part of my own life and way of living.

i guess.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

hello flawless - benefit

i've always had a problem with foundations and powders. it never stays on well, and slicks off as my combination skin begins to oil up. attracted by the so cute packaging of hello flawless by benefit, i decided to give it a try.

it's worked fabulously, my skin is much closer to flawless in make up than it ever was. and better still, the make up actually lasts. in fact, i headed to the gym after work with the powder on, and my skin looked still nicely made up after 30 minutes on the treadmill.

it comes with a sponge applicator and a little brush, and the little brush is perfect for touch ups during the day.

i love!


le grand mcdonalds

came home from my shopping spree to a hungry husband with only one thing on his mind- mc donalds.

i thought he was craving the double fillet o fish, but instead he tried the Le Grand Beef Sandwich and i tried the Oriental spicy chicken. thumbs down for the Le Grand Beef- premium beef slice, with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and oniones between 2 slices of focacia. the beef was tasteless. the focacia wasn't toasted well, and was just soft. it was like eating a big mac, in between slices of gardenia bread. and for $5 bucks for the burger, i'd recommend just going for the big mac.

the oriental spicy chicken isn't too bad. for $2.50 it was a decent piece of chicken with a hint of spice, and some nice tangy coleslaw type topping. i'd probably have the mcchicken though.

i'll stick to the usual menu thank you very much!


Friday, July 24, 2009

quiet friday nite

it's friday nite. Finally. I'm exhausted. Been such a hard couple of weeks at work. Emotionally, it was difficult to bounce back to work after the miscarriage, but work is so busy that i had little choice but to jump back into it. And when i did, it was so easy to get lost in it all. I'm just happy that tonight i get to chill. And hopefully steal at least 8 hours of sleep tonight.It hasn't been easy sleeping at midnight and waking up at five. Nite!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

to travel or not to travel?

i need a break. well, yeah i just got back from Sydney barely a month ago, and already, i'm exhausted and need a break. been looking for an opportunity to get away, but nothing seems to be possible, its work work and more work.

i'm looking at December. my hubby has very little leave left. maybe for a week or so. and we're already going to Padang with the family, but i wanna get away just the two of us. somewhere far

i was thinking rome. or zurich (i miss toyo, sob!). in the thick of winter. flight tickets aren't too expensive. the deals are pretty good. but then i start to think about whether, in these times we should spend less and save more. especially since, the prospects of a decent bonus looks ever bleaker.

and if we did want to go, then is this a good time to buy the tickets, or would tickets get cheaper? as if someone out there was reading my mind, i stumbled across this NYT article- which told me basically, just buy the tix, COS i'll probably be travelling during the peak period. But then it said, if was planning to travel to Europe, i should wait. i'm getting irritated at these articles that try to inform you by just confusing you further. sigh.


KK Hospital again

went for a follow up visit to KKH again. It's been exactly four weeks since the D&C. How fast time flies? Went to see Dr Ben again. Wasn't really looking forward to it, but i thought-better be safe than sorry.

Waiting time zipped by quite quickly! Well, i'm there as a private patient- not sure if that has anything to do with it, but everything was quite painless and very quick. It was good to see Dr Tham again. He had a couple of follow up questions, and counselled me again. He has this unbelievably soothing voice, makes me feel so so calm. And he even said sorry again for our plight before i left. I bounced out saying- nah it's ok, i'm ok.

And i am. I mean, all those pregnant ladies, i was happy for them, and a tinge jealous. But well, tis wasn't meant to be.

Anyway, was happy to see that KKH was taking all the necessary precautions with H1N1 going around. I think they have some kids warded there with the flu too. So besides taking the temp, we were also given masks to wear for precaution. I wore mine, well no point throwing it away, when they've handed it out. Mostly people were being careful and wearing masks, but not everyone- i think the pregnant patients should- they would be in the higher category.

Anyway, i have no complaints about KKH at this point- everything's been smooth and comfy. I'm glad i decided to go with Dr Tham. Hopefully, when we try again for a baby, i'll go back to him again!


ion orchard

was in town today for a bit and on the way to orchard mrt i had a glimpse upclose of the ion orchars- singapore's latest shopping mall. I rather prefer it in the day w less bling. You get to appreciate it's architecture a little better. But i really liked how the entrance to the mrt station blended in with the architecture of the rest of the mall- very diff from the other utilitarian designs of other stations. I like.

And the debate bout whether we need all these new malls? No complains from me. This lil island needs all the excitement it can get!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

managing complexity

attended a Dave Snowden lecture about the Cynefin framework and managing complexity. it's been creeping up on me, this feeling that i'm not keeping up, and i'm stuck in the past. that i'm comfortable with the little organised boxes i draw up, everytime i start a new project at work, or need to get something done. chaos is good he said, well a balance of chaos and order, which really encourage creativity and innovation. i suppose that's why, i've been feeling that since i've become a straightlaced Public Service officer that i've lost that creative edge i had when i was more active in theatre, etc. well, i'm honestly terrified of complexity now, i just like it nice and simple. unfortunately, that's not the reality i'm living in.

i need to catch up! =(


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Still on the subject

My colleague sent me a very interesting article "Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter: It's Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity today" by Chris Anderson which is really worth a read. It's about how, we're all wired to think and behave in a world of scarcity when in fact there is also great abundance in the world, and we don't seem equipped to be able to think, behave and optimise the abundance so that we can produce and achieve great things. She sent it to me, because we're always bitching about how our organisation expects us to keep mailboxes with only 25MB of email space- yes can you believe? Chris Anderson here makes a case for the fact that we're wasting more resources in time deleting emails than just paying for a terabyte of space (1000GB) for about USD130.

Anyway, it was something else that he wrote which resonated with me.
" However, the rest of nature doesn't work like that. A bluefin tuna can release 10 million fertilized eggs in a spawning season. Perhaps 10 of them will hatch and make it to adulthood. A million die for every one that survives.
But there's good reason for it. Nature wastes life in search of better life. It mutates DNA, creating failure after failure, in the hope that some new sequence will eventually outcompete those that came before and the species will evolve. In other words, nature tests its creations by killing most of them quickly—the battle "red in tooth and claw" that determines reproductive advantage."

=) i hardly think about it anymore, only once in a while, when i stumble across things like this.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

An honest account of my D&C at KK Hospital

Excerpt taken from an account i related to my best friend (who lives abroad) via email.The account is true but names have been changed to protect the innocent. =) Please be warned, that the account is pretty graphic, so brace yourself.

anyway, the D&C went alright. actually, the whole experience was pretty pleasant. I was scared shitless the night before. Started to get really nervous about everything. Mostly because, dum dum dum...miss-i-not-scared-go-pakistan-for-meetings-alone...was so distressed that her hubby couldn't be with her throughout the procedure. They told me, that he should just drop me off, and the i call him when i'm done. And i'm like, "what? who's going to hold my hand and tell me everything was going to be ok?". He kept telling me, while he drove me to KK Hospital that it was going to be ok, that i shouldn't be frightened. I was about to shit in my pants really

So he dropped me off. Then i waited for the registration, and it was horrible. Utterly horrible. There were some other ladies, some who were definitely further along than i was, all red eyed or puffy eyed, holding on to their already big tummies. I was so sad for them, that i really didn't think about being sad for myself. I mean- i kept telling my hubby, better earlier than later. you know?

Anyway, got in, they put me in a recliner chair after i changed, and i was all nice and comfy under a blanket, with a tv hanging in front of me. Then this very very maculinish lady-nurse came and introduced herself. "I'm CHEN ok. CHAN, Mary". SO strange i thought, why would anyone introduce themselves like that. Anyway, she inserted the pills into my *you know*, and told me to lie back. And then told me i may feel some menstrual like pains and stuff. She also said, that i could get headphones for the tv if i wanted. But i was quite content just staring into the tv, my thoughts entertaining myself. Zoning out.

But there was a silly woman next to me, who was so so unnecessarily loud. I think she was undergoing the same procedure as i was, but probably voluntarily, cos she kept saying that she needed to rush home to breastfeed. And she wanted to do the surgery quickly. And it was late already. I was so going to push the curtains that divided us away, stare her straight in the face and repeat what the nurses had repeated a thousand times over, " LADY! you're supposed to wait for the meds to kick in, and it'll take 2-3 hours? Any earlier, and the doc might as well remove your entire womb! Would you like that? NO! so shut up!" BUT, i decided to be Singaporean, sink deeper into my chair, furrow my eyebrows and just grumble to myself.

Then, THEN! She asked the nurse for headphones. And i think she must come from some planet where they don't teach you how to wear headphones, cos (i don't actually know this for a fact, but i think, i'm sure!) she had them on so loud, and next to her instead of over her ears, that my watching martha stewart cooking a roast, really sounded instead like some hokkien woman swearing expletives as she stuffed a chicken. Hokkien really doesn't suit Martha u know. And did i say anything then? Oh no, of course not. I mousely asked the nurse for headphones myself, turned them up, and happily watched martha finish the roast to perfection!


ah well. then it was time for surgery. it was quite late already cos Dr Ben was off on an emergency c-section. i didn't complain. i mean, i was watching afternoon tv, in a very comfy recliner and under a nice blankie (def not as nice as the big girl willa blankie you pampered me with when i was holidaying at your place, but it was a hospital, i didn't think i should have such high expectations!)

then it was time. they walked me to the surgery. and suddenly all the relaxed good feelings disappeared. instead i had a terribly case of jello legs going into the operation theatre. there's a good reason, why in the hospital movies they wheel you into the opearation theater- cos people would just collapse in fear. Anyways, i made it in, and onto the operating bed, and they started fixing me up with things. Oh i musn't fail to mention at this point that all the nurses were so sonice so far, protectively holding me while i walked (they may have had people collapse on them before i suppose) and saying nice comforting things.

I laid down, looked up at that goddamn awful lights which covered the most sterile ceiling ever. I was quite excited- so grey's anatomy you know? I've never been operated on before, and never been into the theatre. the mood was incredibly fun as the nurses bantered with each other. And gossiped. But did that relax me? oh no. my legs were shaking so much that the nurses must have noticed for the shifted their attention to me. They were really nice, told me that that we had to wait just a bit for my doc, who was on the way down from his other surgery (god bless his soul, it never occurred to me that he would have been exhausted, and may have fallen asleep on the job and screwed it all up! But he's the gentlest and most professional, so i definitely had no cause for worry). Another nurse, just stood by my right, her hand lightly on my shoulder, it was all so reassuring.

Then the anaesthetist came in. So hilarious this Indian dude was. He came in and exclaimed,"What? The most important man is not here yet? How could you have rushed me, you cannot make a man leave his lunch halfway you know?" He was so not serious, he had such a funny tone to it, that i turned my head to him and said in my most sympathetic voice, " Oh no, i'm so sorry that you didn't finish your lunch. But i haven't eaten anything since last night. Compared to me, you're much better off". He gave off a hearty laugh and said, "Girl, i never scold you ok. I scolding the big doctor who isn't here yet! Anyway, if you'd have eaten, you wouldn't be here would you?". I laughed, and he said ," We're just joking and having fun on the job you know". And i said, " Well, humour is a saving grace, when you're in a situation like i am". He gave me the kindest look and said, " Let's give you something to just relax you a little, so all this becomes easier ok?" And he injected me, though the drip thingee, while i replied ,"Oh i'm ok i'll manage...oooooooh...i do feel all relaxed now". Oh it felt good.

Then that very minute, i heard the doors open, and Dr Ben said, "you ok? So sorry i'm late, you ok?" I said yes, and the very hungry anaesthetist jabbed something else into the drip and said," You're going to feel some pain, and then you'll fall asleep ok?" I said something like, " Oooh you're right, i feel the pain..." and then suddenly it was all quiet in the room. I turned to the nurse who was on my right, and i asked, " Where did everybody go? Are they at a meeting before the op or something?" She replied, "What everybody? What are you talking about?" I opened my eyes and looked around, and hey i was in a totally different room. There was a clock right across of me, i was out for an hour. Heh. it was funny, she gave me a funny look when i replied ,"Oh, finish already, so fast!". Apparently, the surgery was just 10 minutes long. I was out cold the rest of the time.

Anyway, the doctor there gave me the ok, and they wheeled me into the recovery room. I was at the post-op area before that. They got me to sit up, and i was happy as a lark- very high still on the anaesthetic (the stuff rocks!) They gave me some water, milo, biscuits and some sweets- and a plastic bag. A mousy little Indian nurse told me to drink the water slowly and if i throw up, to do it in the bag. And then she said, if after 5-10 minutes, i'm ok i can drink the milo and eat the biscuits slowly. I looked longingly at the milo and the biscuits, and obediently drank the water. slowly. after i put down the cup, i thought about it a little, still looking longingly at the biscuits and mily, my mouth watering. i counted to ten. hey i was ok- no throw up, yet, so i just gulped down the milo, the khong guan biscuits and happily sucked on the sweets too.

She came back and exclaimed, "All gone? So fast" So sue me, i was starved, more than 14 hours without food by then! She let me rest for another half an hour. I just watched the nurses go about their work, still high as a kite. And then they gave me a phone, and asked me to call my husband, with instructions to pick up my prescriptions first before picking me up. Hubby was so worried by that time. I was supposed to be done by 3pm, but because Dr Ben was delayed, it was about 4.30 by the time i called.

The nurse went through the discharge procedures, told me i could eat anything i wanted. And when i yelped ,"Yaay!" She said sternly, "Don't go overboard lah, don't straight away drive out and eat durians ah girl!". Then she helped me off the bed- saying, "You very good ah, no drowsiness, nausea." Gleaming with pride i lept of the bed, and suddenly this what could have been a gallon of red thin blood gushed from under me, spilling onto the floor. You would never imagine how this looked like. As if someone gutted me there and then. Apparently, they gave me this old 60s pad with just the string holding it, and it wasn't properly positioned, and maybe cos i was lying down, it never flowed out, until i stood up. I just freaked out, obviously no longer high as a kite, saying sorry continuously- all that pride gone and totally mortified and embarrassed. Nurse was cool about it, asked me to not freak out and just go to the toilet and clean myself up. Eww i thought- poor housekeeping.

So i cleaned myself up (It was so bad, that the soles of my feet looked like i had dyed them red) And then waited for them to take the drip thingee stuck on the other side of my palm. And then hubby picked me up and drove me home. I swear he looked relieved to see me in one piece.

We drove home, and I proceeded to wallop 2 bowls of porridge that mom cooked for me while my hubby painfully explained the medication that i had to take. It was so complicated, and i was so not paying any attention, that i proceeded to take double the antibiotics dosage than i should have. Of course, i blamed him for not watching me (my mom-in-law proceeded to side with me later when i recounted the incident and she also gave him a good dressing down for not dispensing it himself, seeing that i was post-surgery and definitely all wonky!). So he had to watch me all night in case i had any negative reaction to the extra dosage. But I was ok.

It started out as a truly terrifying and emotional experience for me, but the professional and most caring nurses and staff of KKH truly made it such a pleasant experience overall.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

not so pretty eh?

when i started this blog and closed my previous ones. it was a commemoration of a new chapter of my life. i was just getting married to someone i love and cherish and was looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life with him. i was filled with so much hope, optimism, enthusiasm about a future which then was to be no less then perfect.

i forgot something i learnt from David Davidar's 'House of Blue Mangoes':

" As she bent to light the fire she gave thanks for her perfect day. Even the shadow cast by Aaron had its place in it: too much happiness wasn't good for you; it was bound to be followed by great sorrow, as the world tried to keep the balance"

i was too happy. happy that i was in love and married. i was ecstatic that we got pregnant so quickly too. but the world needed to keep the balance.

first, my husband and i lost his grandmother who he was unbelievably attached to. it was painful, waking up to his gentle sobs. then, we lost the baby. the experience, the loss shattered me. i remember sobbing in my husband's arms trying to understand how, i could love someone/something so much, only after a mere seven weeks.

it's been exactly a week since i had the surgery to evacuate my uterus, and tomorrow i go back to work. i must confess, it still hurts. there's this little ache when i think of what could have been. i want to jump back on the bandwagon as fast as i can and try to get pregnant again, but my husband isn't sure. he said, he couldn't see me devastated again.

amongst all the pain, i've found joy in the arms of my husband. my family and his. my friends and colleagues. i cried for 2 days straight. tearing continuously. but at some point, the almighty blessed me with the realisation that my husband and i didn't harbour our pain and anguish alone. We were blessed with an army of devoted souls who were ready to hold our hearts in their palms and help us heal.

my optimism and enthusiasm about the perfect future and days to come have not diminished completely, only slightly muted.

thank you for the love. i'll cherish it forever.