(Updated 9 February 2016)
…has long been forgotten but I need to revive it as the 30th is looming.
Making lists is not new to me. When Babs turned thirty 48 years ago (he won’t like me including this in here), I tried coming up with a list of 30 gifts for G but only ended up giving him 9, with my list going only up to 15. I have also written a birthday wish list before turning twenty-five and ended up forgetting the part 2 of the post. Oh, and these I-have-no-list-for-my-26th-but-I’ve-this-countdown-26days-before-but-only-did-three-days-of-it post, and the Project 365 on Instagram and here on the blog which never really got past Day 10.
Despite my unsuccessful attempts on these list, this time last year I tried coming up with a 30list to achieve / do / be before I reach 30. But as you can see below, I haven’t achieved a quarter of it before reaching 22 February 2016 so it’s gonna be on or during my 30th. At the same time, I can only list down twenty-two without being repetitive or sounding too materialistic or be too vague and prophetic i.e. wanting world peace.
So yes, If you still haven’t gotten it yet, I’m turning 30 this year. It must be a big deal for most people turning thirty. However, as much as I want it to be a big deal, it does not feel like it. But as much as possible, I am trying to make it a ‘subtle’ fanfare – if there is such a thing – for myself and with my loved ones.
So without further ado, here’s my incomplete list of #30on30, with some commentaries. I am open to suggestions / recommendations to complete the list.
(1) Dye Hair Pink
I am also considering a deep purple or blue, just so it does not bother with work. I guess it is best to do it NOW when I’m still ‘young’ and it’s more acceptable than, say, when in I’m in my 40s. Nothing wrong with women of any age to dye their hair in different colours as long as it suits them.
Well, maybe just a crazy but subtle highlights will do.
(2) Travel Alone (DONE)
I’ve done this in my early twenties and just recently. In my early twenties, it was sort of liberating to be a solo traveler. I didn’t have to stick to anyone else’s itinerary but my own; I went to places or chose which food to eat according to my preferences without consulting other people; I can let myself be during those trips.
But it feels different traveling alone now that I’m much older and married. My recent travel to Europe was somehow filled with moments of longing, of wanting to have shared those precious moments with someone. Don’t get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed my recent #30for30 travels to Europe but I can’t help but think about things like “Oh, Babs would really love this” or “This is a good #ootd place for Jett”, etc. The three things I’ve mentioned above are still achievable even when you’re traveling with someone (in my case, it’s almost always with Babs).
Traveling alone is still the best form of ‘soul searching’ for me (I guess this is what an introvert would tell you!). It does not mean that you need go to places far away to do this. I suggest that at least you take a long walk alone or go get a nice dinner by yourself. A “me time” is always precious and good for the soul.
(3) Cook 30 Specialty Dishes from a Cookbook or Gordon Ramsay’s Recipes
I am working on it. I did a couple of GRs recipes like the Gnocchi and Beef Wellington and I’m working on some others. I hope to complete this 30 specialty dishes and share with you a Joyceee-fied version of it on this blog. And yes, I’m a fan of GORDON RAMSAY – I’ve stalked in London. Now, if only I can get a signed copy of his cookbook…
Someone is clearly a fan. 🙂
When I first came to Singapore six years ago, my aim is to start a career in the non-profit space. But logistics and circumstances stopped me from pursuing one. I tried applying for several volunteer jobs here but they are either looking for a (1) local person or (2) the timing is within office hours. I am still looking and my mindset now is that doing good things starts from your immediate surroundings.
One thing I want to do though is to teach children. I have fond memories of going out every Saturday doing good news classes to kids in low-income communities and having my own class during Daily Vacation Bible School. Those were good times and something that I want to do again.
(5) Own A Pug (DONE)
@IamMrPies on Instagram. Enough said.
(6) Be Financially Stable
At thirty, everyone should be financially stable and I’m working on it. Almost there.
(7) Own a Designer Bag
Now, I am a bit on the fence about this. I’m not a sucker for designer labels and ‘branded’ stuff. I buy my clothes from shops that are on ‘sale’, I do not own a single item that is worth more than $100, except maybe for gadgets and, erm, face cream. My current ‘bag line-up’ is composed of a Pug Tote Bag which somehow looks like this for weekend getaways, a Mango leather bag which I bought from London on sale, a Nike sports bag which I lugged around my trip, and some others which are not worth mentioning. These will probably be replaced when it’s all worn out. So, yeah, owning a designer bag might be a good ‘investment’ (they all say this) so I am considering it as I still don’t see the value (apart from the ‘ social status’ but correct me if I’m wrong, bag owners, maybe it’s just nothing for them. 🙂 ). If YOU are thinking of buying one, here is a list of Designer Bags to invest in 2016 from Forbes to consider.
(8) Reach 60kg – 65kg in weight this year (DID it ONCE, will do it AGAIN)
Achievable? Yes. I just recently joined the #Fitbit bandwagon and religiously completing my #MyFitnessPal journal. Both Babs and I are committed to getting fit this year so we’ll see, yeah? Be healthy, stay healthy.
24 15 books to read this year
I initially was planning for twenty four books, as in 2 books a month, but even Mark Zuckerberg is only aiming for 10 quality ones. I have loads of books that I have yet to read – including my Narnia set – so I’m making it 15 this year.
(10) Read the Bible Through
And while I am in the subject of books, as a Christian, it is imperative for me to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, at least regularly. I have not done so and I am to do it this year and every year moving forward.
(11) Learn the Basics of Mandarin
I have tried enrolling in EDx courses last year. They offer free courses on almost anything! But due to work constraints, I was not able to go to my online classes so this year, I aim to do a bit of Mandarin courses. I would have preferred French or German but hey, these Mandarin-speaking people are taking over the world soon so better join the crowd! 😛 Kidding aside, since I am living in a predominantly Mandarin-speaking country, it could probably work to my advantage to have at least as a small understanding of the language. And I actually am not too bad at understanding context clues when Babs and friends are speaking Chinese. 😉
(12) Enrol in a Short Course
As in #11, yes, I’ve tried enrolling myself in online courses but I never really did anything apart from reading the first module. I will see to it this year that I will finish one course. It does not have to be a ‘professional’ course, I’m looking at some enrichment classes as well.
Side note: I did attend a course on pasta making! 🙂 It led me to buy Jamie Oliver’s pasta machine which was only ever used 3x.
(13) Quit My Job and Go Travelling (DONE)
Yes – did that in 2013. Backpacking through Southeast Asia for 3 months.
(14) Full Medical Checkup
I aim to do this yearly moving forward.
I used to work with a pharma client back in the Philippines and I’ve leaerned that Cervical Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the Philippines? One dies of Cervical Cancer every TWO minutes in the Philippines. Despite the shocking statistics (you can research them out yourself, it pays to know), the illness is easily preventable. It only takes regular screening (i.e. #14 in my list – which I have not done ever in my entire life) and vaccine to prevent that.
(16) A real bucket list item: See Aurora Borealis (DONE)
IT. IS. A. MUST. DO. MUST. GO. MUST. SEE. I can’t compare it to anything. The northern lights are darn beautiful and enchanting and give you those goosebumps. Those in the south can catch the Aurora Australis (southern light) but it’s a rare occurrence they say as most of it happens above the sea.
(17) Another ‘Standard’ Bucket List: Meet Santa (DONE)
Despite coming from a Christian background, Santa (US) / Father Christmas (UK) is still a good story to tell to kids without, of course, making them the hero of CHRISTmas. And of course it was a thrill for me even as an adult to meet the ‘real’ Santa (although it was a sad news to hear that he filed for bankruptcy last year). 😦
(18) Create my Own Ebook of Recipes
See #3. A Joyceee-fied version of common recipes. Maybe a healthier version? We’ll see. I have a few drafts here and there and own a couple of recipe notebooks (yes, I’m old school like that), so I’ll have to see what I can get from that.
(19) Wine and not Whine
Be an expert of <something>. I was thinking of coffee but I think I like my red too much over beans. If wine isn’t that expensive in Singapore (and unhealthy), I’d have a cellar in our (hot and humid) house by now.
I just recently discovered that German wines are to die for. Yes, Italy and France are famous for their wines so not enough credit goes to German. But recent visit proved it otherwise. I even “packed” a couple of bottles home (which cost 8 euros, at least – in Singapore it would be like $50, yes, I checked) and I refuse to drink it unless it’s a momentous occasion (say, my birthday, maybe?).
30 22 Countries Before 30 (DONE – Almost)
Taiwan. France. Austria. Switzerland. Germany. Russia. Estonia. Sweden. Finland. UK. Brunei. Cambodia. Laos. Thailand. Indonesia. China. Macau. Hong Kong. Vietnam. Malaysia. Singapore. Philippines. And hopefully more this year.
I know people younger than I am were able to travel 50 countries before they reach 30! Shame that I only started traveling later in life but still hashtag blessed and hashtag grateful that I had the opportunity to see places and my teenage dreams of ‘backpacking’ through Europe became a reality. Maybe by the time I reach 40 I would have reached 40 countries (that would mean at least 1.5 new country every year for 10 years!). Dream on.
(21) Run 10K, a half marathon or a full marathon.
The first one I guess is much more realistic as I am not that fit. But something to work on towards the end of the year, if my knee is one with me on this one.
(22) Own a Pink Vespa.
When I only have an expired non-professional Philippine driver’s license. Maybe Vespa is not for me this year. But I can also settle for the pink selection from this!
(23) Surprise trip. (DONE)
Yes, B@bs gave me a surprise trip for as present for my birthday. I was only told to (1) pack my bag (with one evening clothes and swimwear) and (2) bring my passport. I never knew about our trip until 1 hour before flying – even through immigration he was able to keep it a secret. 🙂
We went to Bali. We’ve never been. We did not have a good impression of Bali before, thinking that it’s another tourist trap. But where we’ve been, in Seminyak, it was lovely. ‘They’ say Ubud is lovelier.
(24) %#(!&@^$ (DONE)
Something PG. 🙂
So, that’s it folks. Again, I have yet to complete this list and I probably have the whole year to do so. Again, suggestions and recommendations will be considered. I will also update it as and when an item in the list has been completed.
I have never done a film review before – only because after every film my only comment would most likely be just limited to these three: it’s really good, I didn’t like it, it’s just so-so. But I guess it’s kinda different for Before Midnight (not just because this is a free movie screening! :P)
I feel that the film was a good break from all my watching of sci-fi and superhero movies lately (with the rubbish Pacific Rim and disappointing The Man of Steel) and I left the cinema feeling good, pondering about life and love, our current state and everything else in between.
Anyway, I do believe this film represents the place where I am right now, maybe at its early stages, which I can somehow relate to. No – I don’t have kids yet and I can fairly say that I am a newlywed, but looking back at the first two prequels, it feels like I can connect more to Before Midnight than the other two films. Before Sunrise was a romantic aspiration of mine – going backpacking through Europe, meeting one blue-eyed guy for a summer fling – which didn’t materialize. Before Sunset, a follow up of the first film obviously, was a continuation of that dream which clearly won’t happen without the first stage setting in place. But with what I have been through (nothing dramatic, trust me, just an ordinary past just like everybody else), I am where Celine and Jesse were right after Before Sunset but I wouldn’t wish on myself to be where they are right now.
Jesse and Celine still have that same chemistry from when they first met 18 years ago and their second meeting nine years back. Equally lovely and charming, the two characters clearly complement each other, either as an on-screen couple and as actors. I have noticed that Jesse still has in him that young boy charm and that I-don’t-care-about-the-world attitude but seasoned in maturity brought about probably by his love and responsibility to Celine and his family. On the other hand, Celine has grown into that strong(er) feminist mom who portrays a more opinionated and compelling persona who is vocal about her beliefs and truths. But throughout the film you will slowly witness the questions, issues, insecurities, and probably weakness, she is harboring behind that brave face. (Although G has formed other opinions about Celine – given the short time he was awake and watched the film). Their relationship clearly is on the rocks – probably a right representation of what the majority of people at that age and phase in life are facing and it really is up to the couple on how to move forward in their situation. And that is where how the movie ended, similar to the first two, leaving you to come up with your own ending.
Of course, not to be missed in the movie are the extremely long takes of just the couple talking about marriage, sex, relationships, what ifs, what could have been, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of their conversation, it feels like I am eavesdropping and listening in to someone else’s hopes, dreams, difficulties. But at the same time, it left me thinking about my relationships – with beloved G (who was asleep during the first half of the movie!), my family, friends – and comparing/contrasting ours to theirs. It is easy to relate to the characters as they could be just any other ordinary couple talking about ordinary and yet important things that will move and change the direction of their lives. The argument, on the other hand is quite revealing and so perceptive that sometimes I find myself wincing deep inside overthinking about G and I! lol
The conversation of that group of people – representing different age groups and relationship status – in that dinner scene is rather insightful. From the very basic topic – what is the notion of self – to subjects about aging and death, the energetic discussion of the group puts Jesse and Celine’s relationship into a a bigger perspective, making it even more universal(?). The natural flow of conversation between all characters is simply believable and you can’t help but join in (inside your head).
Despite the lengthy dialogues in the film, it is more than enough to hold your attention for two hours and learn more about the reality of love, which is complex, life, which is uncontrollable and romance, which is unstable.
P.S. I just love the preview theatre of Shaw Cinema – it felt like we were professional movie critics. lol Thanks omy.sg for the invite! 🙂
Cuddle a dog at WTF: We’re The Furballs
This is what caught our attention when we happened to pass by this shop at one of our favourite ‘little areas’ in Singapore, Katong, one fine Saturday afternoon. I was hesitant at first but it was G who convinced me to go in to WTF: We’re The Furballs! Little did I know, the visit changed the course of our lives.
Ok, so I am exaggerating. G and I have been, for a while now, deliberating on getting a doggie. Initially, we wanted to get a pug because of Pigi and Wigi, our pug friends, (‘owner’ is our good friend) but having been exposed to Poppy, our office boss (toy poodle), and Pepper, G’s officemate’s shnauzer, we are now confused on what to have. Visiting WTF didn’t help at all! We were bombarded with little furballs, making pa-cute to get our attention, with their waggin’ tiny tails – now we, or maybe it’s just me, want to take them all back home!
WTF is a doggie cafe or a dog playhouse which claims to be the first in Singapore! When we first came in, we only paid S$7.50 to get in with a free bubble tea. But when we visited recently, they now have an admission fee of S$5 plus the cost of your bubble tea which is about three dollars. After your purchase, yu go up the second floor, and then you get to play, cuddle, run chase and sleep with the little darlings for as long as you like (or for as long as they like you!).
Bui Bui – The Pug. She was so cute sleeping on G’s lap the last time we visited.
I took it home! G, not the dog. 😦
From Top to Bottom: Mochi, Duchess and LuLu all fast asleep.
Well, the dogs were not the only ones sleeping when we visited…
The coolest thing the last time we visited was that they were all crowding around us both and comfortably settled on our laps for a nice little nap. *sigh* And I was in dog heaven!
That’s Slinky (the Dark, Little Sausage) and Mochi fast asleep on my legs.
Feel like I’m a dog whisperer! They were all around! I can’t even leave as Mochi was growling at me when I try to move her! The brown little one is Yuki-Chan.
Anyway, a trip to WTF does wonders. It is even a good way to de-stress. Imagine if I have all of them at home? Hmmm… I’d go crazy! 😀 I think I can only handle one! But seriously, we are really thinking of getting one and is researching on what best to have! In G’s head, it’s good for me to keep my ‘baby’ thoughts at bay! In my head, it’s so it will keep me company when G’s away for a night of boys and booze! 😉
Before we left, we had to sign a visitors’ book and we came across this sad little note from one of the visitors:
This is a sad, don’t you think? Or maybe this was just written in jest!
And this is our note to ze doggiez! 🙂
So if you’re a dawg lovah and doesn’t own one, try visiting WTF: We’re The Furballs (and take one home, put it in your bag!). :p
WTF: We’re The Furballs | 45 East Coast Road, Level 2, (Shophouses opposite Roxy Square, Near Katong Laksa) Singapore 428765 | Contact: 6348 6330 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Facebook: We Are The Furballs (WTF)
Work kept me busy so I haven’t updated in a while. But let me entertain you with some brilliant customer complaint made by my G (this was made in his pre J days) to Mr. Ted Baker for their unsatisfactory service. I never knew the full story, only that he made this complaint some time ago, until I read this a few days back. Sit back, relax, get some crisps as you read along and enjoy. I know it’s a cheat post, but, at least it’s something worth your while. 🙂
I hope you are well. I had a lovely day today Ted: the weather wasn’t nice, but I’ve got a week off work, money in my pocket, and a spring in my step. Everyday in the newspapers I read about the abysmal condition of the economy, so I thought I would share some of my good feeling (and cash) by treating myself to some good old fashioned retail therapy. An excellent objective I am sure you’ll agree Ted, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to share some of my hard earned pounds with you today, even though I really wanted to. “Why’s that B@bs?” you may ask, and I’m glad you have. Ted, let me tell you a story of what happened to me today.
On December 30th 2009 I walked into your Covent Garden branch and fell in love with one of your suits. You may know it. Actually, I hope you do know it as you apparently designed it, though no doubt the particular one I saw was sewn together by one of our hard-working Chinese cousins. They’re such an industrious people, aren’t they? Anyway, the suit in question is a lovely three piece, grey, and is part of this season’s range. It’s called “Pashion”, which as you know Ted, is an amalgamation of “passion” and “fashion”. Very clever.
A lovely young man called Ken helped me out. Ken was charming and helpful, very much like a young Will Smith, or an old Gary Coleman. Since I had just spent a ton of money on Christmas presents and only received socks in return, I didn’t have quite enough funds for all three items of the suit, which were priced individually.
“No problem,” said Ken, “They are all sold separately so just buy what you want now and just come back for the third item when you get your next pay cheque.” See, I told you he was helpful.
I considered buying just the waistcoat and the jacket, but then realised my front bottom would probably be on show. Thus, I chose the waistcoat and trousers, thinking that I would only take the jacket off when I was out later in a nightclub anyway. I handed over my Visa and they were soon mine, all mine. I looked at the jacket straight in the button and tearfully promised him I would return someday soon.
Oh Ted. That New Year’s Eve I felt like Cinderella in my new suit. I dazzled and radiated, even though I missed the jacket and my arms felt a bit cold.
If I’m not mistaken, I think it was the piece/s he wore on our wedding day…
Let’s fast forward now to today: February 24th 2010. I had a week off work so I decided to return and claim my prize. I had money to burn, and luckily I had kept my receipt in case I needed help off one of your staff finding the jacket I wanted. In I walked, spotted a helpful looking chap (though I didn’t care for his stubble), pulled out my receipt, and he immediately directed me to the jacket I wanted. Great.
“I’ll take it!” I announced. However, that’s where my troubles began.
You see, he wouldn’t let me buy the jacket. To my confusion he said the jacket was not to be sold separately, and if I wanted it I would have to purchase the three piece suit as a whole. I was puzzled. I explained that I had been told I could come back for the jacket, but unfortunately he had never heard of “Ken” whose once precious name was printed on my receipt.
“Can I buy the trousers separately?”
“Can I buy the waistcoat separately?”
“Can I buy the jacket separately?”
Ted, I honestly thought he was joking. I couldn’t understand why the store had such a ridiculous policy, and I couldn’t understand why if this was the case had the assistant told me that the jacket was the one item I would not be able to return for. I asked to see his manager, but he wouldn’t let me claiming the manager was too busy. I asked could I return the suit then, he said it wasn’t possible because I had already worn and altered it.
So there I was. In possession of an incomplete suit which I couldn’t complete even though I had the money right there in my grubby little hand. I had no choice. I walked out of the shop, down Covent Garden, and into the premises of a lovely little designer called Agnes B. The gentleman who helped me there was again very helpful, although he too had that designer stubble look which I’ve always associated with tramps. Like a gay couple picking out new clothes for their upcoming civil partnership ceremony, we looked through their range and discovered a nice grey jacket that was almost identical to the one I wanted to originally buy. You remember that jacket don’t you Ted? It was the one in your shop that your staff refused to sell me. I paid for my new Agnes B jacket. It wasn’t cheap at about three hundred of our English pounds, but I was happy with my purchase, so happy in fact that I spent another two hundred there and then on a couple of shirts to go with it.
That’s my story. I’ve always had a soft spot for you Ted, although I have to say I think the mobile phone thing you’re doing now is probably misguided (I have an iPhone since you asked; it was a gift from a woman who smelled of dogs). However, this has soured things for me a bit with you. When I bought the first two pieces of that suit I felt like I’d just spent a night with Cheryl Cole. When you refused to sell me the jacket despite being originally told that I could, I felt like Cheryl had rang me the next day to tell me that she had the clap and Ashley knew where I lived.
I look forward to hearing from you either by email or by phone: 0xxx9 6xxxx6.
So there you go. That earned him a lunch at the Tedquarters with Ted Baker’s Brand Communications Director.
But he still didn’t get the jacket that he wanted. I think . 🙂 Sorry, I was wrong in saying that. He have them the jacket for free and a whole lotta freebies! 😀 That’s amazing, Mr. Ted! Updated
By Guest Reviewer: GBibby
There are no unattractive women in Ted. Even though the viewer is asked to suspend logic enough to believe in the concept of a boy’s favourite teddy bear magically coming to life, perhaps the greatest leap of faith demanded of the audience is to imagine that every woman is a slender smoking hot babe in a country that has an obesity level of 35%.
Just as Ted blinds itself to the physical decline of the United States and western civilisation, it also blindingly highlights the west’s cultural decline inherent in every single scene. Ted is the product of a society where nothing is sacred, everything is to be mocked, and the post-modern liberal geniuses of today can point and laugh at the excesses of past. The creator, Seth MacFarlane, has already established himself with the cartoon Family Guy as a name in humour based on sneering references to the 1980s and irreverent swipes at anything people not as clever or post-modern as Seth may hold dear. The entire movie continues in the same vein of Family Guy and seems to be have been written by a group of smug and self-congratulating East Coast liberals: high-fiving at every retro-reference that can be pointed to and laughed at. Did you really find Flash Gordon a fun film in 1980? Then you deserve to be mocked as the idiot you obviously were. Do you find a reference to Star Wars more funny than character based humour that adds to the overall development of the plot? Then this is the film for you.
Unlike many of those 1980s films that Ted machine-gun references, Ted contains no real heart and no actual substance. For those that don’t know, the plot consists of a boy whose childhood dream of his teddy bear coming to life becomes reality, and it continues into adulthood where the relationship between the now grown-up boy and his bear threatens to get in the way of the relationship between the now grown-up boy and his boring, ever-whining girlfriend. With hilarious consequences! I could go on, but really, what’s the point? Seth MacFarlane couldn’t be bothered to write a decent film and instead just cobbled together a truck-load of 1980s references, so why shouldn’t I do the same? Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rubik’s Cubes, Knight Rider, Cheers, Teddy Ruxpin, Superman 2, Top Gun, I Think We’re Alone Now and the Cabbage Patch Kids. Three Stars out of Ten and I’m deducting a point because Seth MacFarlane recycled his Peter Griffin voice for the voice of Ted AND still made some smug meta-reference to it instead of just admitting that he’s a fat, smug arsehole. But then again, there are no fat people in Ted, so why would he?*
*Actually, there is one fat person in Ted: a chubby boy who serves as the film’s antagonist. I’m surprised that Seth didn’t make him black and call him Fat Albert, but perhaps he’d already reached his 80s reference quota.
By IamJoyceee: Thanks OMY.SG for the invite. 🙂