The 'working woman' syndrome

Having entered the realm of the working world this month, I am sad to say that I also seem to have acquired the characteristics of a working woman, namely:

a) Lunch means finish your food in 5 mins and use the remaining 55 mins to prowl the streets and shopping centres of ____ (insert location of working place- in my case, Bugis), in search of good bargains/ sales/ cheap things to buy, whether you need them or not.
b) If the above plan fails, move onto plan B: instead of walking to the bus stop after work, you walk into the mall nearby.

Now this is something I swore I'd never do. But I did :$ I have since stopped though, because I realised that the depression accompanying the price tag on the blue top that I really wanted and was the last one in the shop that also fit oh-so-perfectly, is not worth the effort.Nor is the bank statement that comes at the end of the month and serves as a reminder of why I swore I would never do this. (I also have covered all the shops and malls in the vicinity, so now I just go home after work :P but that's just a minor detail- its Singapore after all, so there's always a new mall to visit).

Moving onto the rest of the habits that I have picked up,

c) The kind of clothes that I now am interested in owning are the same ones I used to laugh at and make fun of 5 years ago. Same goes for shoes and bags and earrings. Comforting though, is the fact that I have not yet crossed into the land of frills, lace, skinny jeans and tights. I really hope I never do (my faithful readers are granted permission to rap me on the head if they ever see me wearing one or more of the above mentioned items)
d) My range of shower gels, moisturizers, and body sprays are increasing at an alarming rate. I really don't know how this has happened (ok maybe I just don't want to admit it to myself) but I found myself checking online for vanilla perfume today in office :| Gone are the university days where a few choice fragrances were enough. Smelling nice has suddenly escalated to the top of my list for no real reason :P
e) I have too much of a social life. Seriously, its not just living in Holland ville, but I'm coming home everyday at 10-11pm. Some days I have to juggle meeting several people. All this has led to the reappearance of the panda eyes and a lack of energy to get from a horizontal to a vertical position in the morning.
f) Lunch is now inclusive of dessert. This was unheard of in university, but my love for chocolate and all things related has taken over and now my afternoon tea in office consists of cookies/ scones/ chocolates/ muffins/ cake (a.k.a a lot of unnecessary calories).
g) I am thinking of saving money and travelling with it. Now this is not so bad really, except that I also have to work out how to get enough leave for the tour of Europe (the mediterranean specifically) that I have planned.
h) Weekends that used to mean parties, shopping, and fine dining in the good old days, now mean sleep till noon, do laundry, clean the house, and catch up on all the TV shows missed during the week.

While revealing all this to the world out there (and to my own self..) I've now sworn not to give into the syndrome. Tonight I shall be home by 6.30pm and will push away all thoughts of vanilla perfume, shawls, and going to Italy.


All about dance :)

So many of you (i'm hoping there are many :P) might already that i'm a huge fan of dance... Specifically hip hop, contemporary and what's known as 'street' dancing (Koreans are really really good at this)... I love going for the dance performances at NUS and some of my favourite dance movies are Save the Last Dance, Honey, and Step Up 2 (ok so the romantic angle of it doesn't hurt either ;) ) Anyways I came across this vid of Robert Hoffman ('Chase' in Step up 2- absolute hunk!), something like an ad for people who wanted to dance in the movie, and I was really amazed that people can do this :| I guess that's what got him the lead role (plus the good looks ;) )

Here's another clip...

So anyone who loves this kind of thing, if you haven't already watched it, go watch Step Up 2... That movie rocked! (esp. the finale :O)

People need to laugh more

This guy goes into a doctor's office. The doctor says, "Oh, Mr. Jones! We have the results of your test. Do you want the bad news first or the very bad news?" The guy shrugs and says, "Well I guess I'll have the bad news first." "Well the bad news is, you have 24 hours to live," the doctor replies. The man is distraught, "24 hours to live? That's horrible! What could be worse than that? What's the VERY bad news?" The doctor folds his hands and sighs, "The very bad news is...I've been trying to contact you since yesterday."

What a woman says:
This place is a mess! C'mon, you and I need to clean up. Your stuff is lying on the floor and you'll have no clothes to wear if we don't do laundry right now!

What a man hears:
Blah, blah, blah, blah, C'MON, blah, blah, YOU AND I, blah, blah, blah, blah, ON THE FLOOR, blah, blah, blah, blah, NO CLOTHES, blah, blah, blah, blah, RIGHT NOW.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Recently a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer wound up together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one question.
St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg? They just made a movie about it." The teacher answered quickly, "That would be the Titanic." St. Peter let him through the gate.
St. Peter turned to the garbage man and, figuring Heaven didn't REALLY need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the question a little harder: "How many people died on the ship?" Fortunately for him, the trash man had just seen the movie and answered, "about 1,500." "That's right! You may enter."
St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. "Name them."

My wife and I were comparing notes the other day. "I have a higher IQ, did better on my SATs and make more money than you," she pointed out.

"Yeah, but when you step back and look at the big picture, I'm still ahead," I said.
She look mystified. "How do you figure?"
"I married better," I replied.

(I thought this was really cute :D)

Of oatmeal and bananas...

I'm surrounded by healthy people and nutrition addicts :| And they make me, the chocolate chip cookie loving, coffee indulging, cinnamon bun hogging girl who spends half her weekend in bed, look bad :P My housemate, for example, is the model child and will be loved by mothers all around the world, and eats a lot of cucumber, asks for extra veggies, and has cereal and grapes for breakfast... At work, everyone goes on about the amount of oil in the kopitiam food (which I agree, is quite a bit, but i still love the food, specially this thai place that has awesome pineapple fried rice :$), the calories in buns from breadtalk, how switching to lean meat only has improved their physique (this came from a guy) and how having veggies and fruits as their afternoon snack has helped them maintain a balanced diet... Unfortunately, all of the 'unhealthy' food choices above are the ones that keep me alive :P (especially breadtalk!)

So in the last few weeks, i have succumbed to this health mania by doing the following:
1) I discovered cranberry and kiwi juice, which is now the main fluid in my system
2) I invested in bananas, something I haven't done in over a year, and they are convenient when there's nothing else to eat and also keep my potassium levels intact (to be all scientific about it..)
3) I have yogurt every day, in spite of it making my snifles a lot worse
4) My cheese went from the normal one to high calcium, reduced fat version, and it tastes the same ;)
5) My breakfast is toast (God bless our toaster!) and I strongly suspect I am getting addicted to it
6) I haven't had a burger in over 2 weeks (and i am experiencing withdrawal symptoms)
7) I walk to the MRT instead of taking the bus, which is 5 mins further away, even when I am in heels (but not when it rains :$), but most of the time because i'm late and the train is faster :P
8) I am starting to prefer whole meal bread to the normal white bread, even though i feel grandmotherly eating it
9) I discovered that Jacob's oatmeal cookies are lifesavers and taste much better than Oreos or cream crackers
10) I've gone back to my roots and taken an avid interest in drinking tea instead of milo or my second cup of coffee

I really hope I'm healthier now than I was before :P [I'm awaiting a sign from somewhere to tell me its working ;)] But strangely it hasn't been difficult at all... some of the changes just happened and I didn't even notice it on a conscious level... ( like the supermarket being out of normal bread and whole meal being the only option :P)

On the other hand, i haven't stopped my caffeine intake, or controlled the cravings for chocolate or scones or muffins or cookies (there's a place near work that has THE BEST scones ever!) but i am still quite content and i have convinced myself to eat while i can and worry about the rest of it when i have to (hopefully in 40 years from now!) ;)

A tribute to the HYP experience :)

I've been meaning to write this for a long time but never really got down to it... Those who stuck through the last yr with me will know how crazy HYP was... the long hours at lab, the dreaded mice experiments, the setbacks whenever the most crucial info was needed... Yup it was a difficult year, but I came out of it alive, with a really good project, and with some wonderful friends and memories too :) What I was most thankful for what that i wasn't just another student in for a year... Our lab was like a little family and we still keep in touch :)

My supervisor had a huge part to play in the whole thing... He was there everyday in lab too, usually earlier than me though I outstayed him now and then ;) And while he was always pushing us to work harder, he's a really great guy to work with... His awesome sense of humour got us through some really difficult days, and our lab was always the noisiest and ppl would shoot us disapproving looks for laughing ALL the time :P

As I once told Nips, your HYP isn't really a complete experience without your supervisor yelling at u AT LEAST once :P so yup I went thru it too.... I guess it was all for the best and I'm really glad I stayed the extra year and did Honours... It taught me just how much I didn't know before and I think I'm a lot better off now having gone thru it :)

Rashi and Qi Xiao were great too :) Hehe we were always caught giggling and gossiping in some corner and hogging all the munchies and b'day cake in lab and I miss them a lot...

Us at Thai Express in Holland ville :D

I also miss the others at the Immunology Programme... Fei Cheun, who's gonna be such a cute mum :D Nabeesa, with her cheerful good mornings when we were barely awake, Jason, my neighbour (in a way :P) who always checked up on me, and my friends from the other labs: Esther, Seah Fang, Timothy, Xavier, Sean, as well as the others I made along the way :)

I went to lab the other day to say my goodbyes and it was great seeing all of them again :) The new students were in and all my equipment's been taken over and they're no longer labelled 'amri' :( My old table's been taken over too... Apparently there are gonna be more than 10 ppl there instead of the 4 of us like it was last yr, so I see a lot of territorial wars happening :P But it was really good catching up and laughing like the old times... they were all so happy and supportive about my new job and the whole graduating experience and it felt really great to know that there are still people out there who genuinely are happy for u and stick with you no matter what you decide to do...

I'm in love..

... with Chris Daughtry.

His voice is amazing. I've been listening to him all day at work today, all wrapped up in my shawl, sipping hot chocolate, and watching Dilini battle with the aircon in the office hehe.. and working of course... :P I think my favourite song of his right now is Over you... It used to be It's not over (he's all about ending things :P), but Over you just turned my world around... It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside... :$ It sooo helps that he's a hunk too, and a bad ass one at that ;)

Anyway coming back to his voice... And the lyrics... And the fact that he's bald... *sigh* Ok so here's a video of Over you... You cannot tell me that you don't like it :P And it's all about getting over someone and being strong and all that (so he's motivational AND to die for...) And his favourite band is Live! :D (its fate I tell ya..)

You should also head down to Timbre or J bar and hear Surath sing this... Awesome :D Listening to him sing this one song makes it all worth it (for me at least :$) so imagine what its like if you go down for the whole evening ;)

Anyway I think Chris should've worn the Idol hands down... You can't say that just because he sort of leans into the rock genre that he didn't cut it (and while I am partial to bald hunks with a killer voice I am being totally unbiased here!) The fact that he's released albums and gone on tour (as opposed to the winners of American Idol :P) tells you all you need to know ;)

I am gonna go back to staring at him sing... :$

Little India and its unique.... atmosphere.

I've been visiting the Little India/ Farrer Park/ Serangoon areas quite a bit in the last couple of weeks, particularly during the weekends (I had no choice given my status as a working girl now :P). My last venture into that side of S'pore was on Saturday when Nips and I met Uda, Kadam, Saad and the gang for dinner there... Honestly, I seriously advice against girls going there on their own for a spot of shopping or whatever on a weekend, specially in the night... It's not that its dangerous really (its Singapore after all) but its a bit creepy still... you get throngs and throngs of Indians and the like all meeting up and hanging out in groups there... And what bugs me the most about them is the way they all STARE. I'm still trying to understand this... and i'm failing miserably :P They look at you like they're seeing a woman for the first time, and its not just a parting glance or glare but its a long oggling uncomfortable look :S

Now this isn't limited to just Indians, because Sri lankans are no better.. My SL girl friends will know what I mean; if u walk into a mall in Colombo, you're immeditely hit with a tidal wave of stares and sniggers and nudges... I mean seriously can't guys be a little DISCREET if they still want to oggle? There is a huge difference between checking out a girl (which somehow is a habit men in general cannot overcome :P) and looking at a girl like u're picturing her naked or something...If they think it bugs us, they're falling a bit short really... It peeves me off!! And even though Gen said its probably safer there with the million odd ppl than on an alley with a bunch of 5 hooligans in some other country, it really doesn't make you feel better when ur smack in the middle of all these people... Its really unnerving.. But i guess what makes it a little worse is that I've seen women stare too! Not in the same pervy way, but more of a disapproving, oh-my-gosh-what-are-you-wearing kind of way... I mean seriously, being in Singapore, people really need to be a little more open minded... its must be painful being so disapproving and critical of everything! :S

The second thing that I was thinking about is why Indians never move out of little India and those areas to hang out... I mean other than the food and the familiarity of the place I can't think of any other reasons why they want to stay localised... But you'd never seen a bunch of them in Orchard or Novena or Jurong on a weekend... I guess its the whole territorial feel to it.. But its strange that for the very same reasons, we avoid the place unless we really HAVE to go there :P

Life in heels...

Yup I've officially started work :D So u're now looking at the new medical writer ;) Its been a slow couple of days, but I love the people and the company... Everyone's just so nice :D It was a bit intimidating at first because all these people with PhDs and MDs were asking me for input on their projects, and I'm like the baby in the office, as D put it, the 'fetus' :p... But they're so down to earth and fun, and its such a cool mix of ppl :D We've got Americans, Australians, Irish, Malaysians, Singaporeans, British, Indian Americans, and Sri Lankans (yup I have company in that category :D)... We've already booked a couple of days for movies this week and today the girls went out for drinks after work (my boss actually dropped me home! how awesome is that :D), and yday was my welcome lunch... I also got my first new project to work on, and I'm really excited about it :) I came home today and couldn't stop beaming, a total happy high ;) (I strongly believe that one lychee martini isn't enough to make you high :P) Bugis is also a really nice place to work... Because of all the shopping that you can do (they seem to have sales ALL the time :D)

Onto other news, graduation was last week :D It was grand and a really big deal to me, specially having my family there in the audience, and celebrating with the peeps who've been through the last 4 yrs with me :) It was a pity that I missed a lot of my friends who graduated in the ceremony after us though :( Highlights of the event were that someone's sole got left on stage during the first part of the ceremony (this was really funny), the end of the ceremony marked by the streamers and balloons (I thought that was the best moment of the whole thing!) and the picture taking afterwards, which involved throwing our hats into the sky a million times to get the perfect picture, scanning the crowds for friends and posing and smiling and posing some more (pretty tiring I tell u, this graduation business..)

I got a graduation bear from Nips :D I absolutely love her (yes its a her, because I say so :P) and I'm still trying to christen her, but she's happy with the rest in the little soft toy kingdom in the corner of my bed, and definitely looks the most educated :P I've also given my room a new look... A little rearranging and voila, it looks spacey in spite of a double bed and a lot more stuff :$ My posters are up too and this time I have enough wall space ;)

All in all it's been a great couple of weeks.... I miss my parents a lot though :( it was so much fun having them here... And man did we eat... We tried Mexican, Indonesian, Swedish, Swiss, Western, Indian and Thai food, and in between were the little things like kaya toast, buns from bread talk, nasi goreng and roti johns, and sundaes from Haagen Daaz :D Yeah we all have healthy appetites :P

So things have definitely started to look up.. I love my new job and new apartment and life in general, and I'm glad the difficult stretch has passed... Now I just need to hit Ikea to spify up my room ;) I hope I get paid before the sale ends!

The gifted among us...

Erin showed me this vid last night... And i couldn't stop thinking abt it... Take a look :)

It's a bit difficult to follow the talk show host without subtitles, but in short the little 5 yr old girl on piano is blind, and the little girl singing is only 6 or 7 yrs old, and they performed together for this talent show.. :) I'm still in awe :D

The little Korean pianist has never been to music lessons or been taught the piano... She had been adopted by a family when she was a baby and had just started playing the piano when she was 3 :| Here's a clip of her playing "Fur elise" :D (There are more clips showing how she can just follow a tune the moment she hears it)

And the little singer has her own album out! This is her singing "i will always love you" by Whitney Houston.. It completely blew me away :|

Vids like these are just awe inspiring... And they give me the goosebumps every time :)

Moving on...

No no this is not going to be some emo post about some break up or anything :P it's just a fitting title I guess for the last couple of weeks (my avid readers would have noticed the silence :P)
So I officially graduated and moved out of campus last week... And as my housemate nicely put it, it was a BIG step.. I guess I underestimated myself though.. I knew I'd miss campus a LOT, the convenience of it, the familiarity and the feeling of leaving my makeshift 'home' for the last four years, but so far I haven't exactly had a breakdown or anything :P And i don't see one coming up either... Maybe because I absolutely love my new place! :D and I've been busy with work and shifting (hell!) and settling down...
Pictures of the new place will follow as soon as its in a decent enough state to be photographed :P I only started properly unpacking today, and its going quite slow :P I really have too much of stuff :S My housemates are awesome too :D Hehe Natasha is a total karaoke person (she'll kill me if she sees this) so we're planning to hit KTV soon :P For her benefit... I guess the best part about them is they're not nosy or bitchy, and don't calculate stuff down to the last cent... I think that comes with being a working lady ;) And they're really cool and laidback about everything :)
I also officially stopped working part time yesterday... And it was a really cool day to finish with :) the highlight of the day was going to raffles quay, to this french bank to meet the CEO, who also happens to be french :D Hehe so he kept me waiting a bit and entertained me with french chocolates and coffee... And an awesome view from the 42nd floor :D I'm not sure how many ppl actually get to meet the CEO... I mean even my friends who work in the same company don't get to meet them :P
I've also realised from the 150 odd ppl I've interviewed over the last few months, that the top level people, if they're guys, are super nice and really really down to earth... If they're women, they're extremely bitchy and really don't think being nice is a worthy investment... i'm still trying to figure out why :P
I also picked up my gown and hat last week, and was officially declared not to be a student anymore (by way of an alumni card and credit card offers :P) it reminded me of orientation 4 yrs ago, but on a much smaller scale and with less people egging you on to join stuff... It felt a bit sad I guess, but it was more of a bittersweet thing :) Met Seah Fang and caught up with her too, which was great :) I think the part i'm gonna miss most are my friends... I've been with roughly the same group of labbies over the last 4 years and we're quite close, and it's sad there won't be any more fooling around and laughing our guts out and not caring what really happens with the bacteria or the DNA we're supposed to be learning abt :P And i graduate next week!!
My parents arrive on Sunday :D It's gonna be awesome to see them... I'm so glad I get to spend the entire week with them too... I guess that way my new job rocks! :D
I guess all these things changes are a part of growing up and moving on :) I'm not trying to make a big deal of it, b'cos I know it happens to everyone at some point, but that doesn't make it easy all the time either... So if i've been stepping on people's toes lately I'm really sorry :$ I just need a bit of time to get used to everything :)