Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, March 30, 2006

'Tai Tai' In The Making

On the sad news, it's Koala Bear's last day today. BUT we'll be seeing him again on Tuesday. Yay!

On the brighter side, I went for my first ever manicure and pedicure sessions. Really 'tai tai' in the making, man. Felt so odd coz I've never had people scrub and wash my legs and hands, take out all the dirt and beautify the nails. Oh! It was especially hard to keep myself from messing with my fingernails. Fingernails are pretty short though. I tried keeping them long but coz I'm so clumsy and rough, most of them broke. Had to spent 12 bux for a fake fingernail. *Sighz*

Manicure & Pedicure
Guess which is the fake fingernail?

We are bringing a couple of things for our photoshoot tomorrow. We get to set our own sceneries and all. We're going for the fun mood - Picnic style!

Preparation for Photoshoot
Picnic basket, cloth, cheap wine, soap bubbles, balloons & loose rose petals

The flowers behind the wine is my hand bouquet which was collected this afternoon. It comes together with the photo package. I am supposed to keep it in an air-cond room. I hardly switch on the air-cond in my room, but I have to tonight. I hope I won't catch a cold tomorrow!!

Gotta go to bed now. I have to wake up at 5 plus and reach the bridal house by 6.30am! Pray for sunshine all day long tomorrow, yeah?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Interview

If I had written this on Monday, I would have said that I went for a weird interview. In fact, I wouldn't even know if that was an interview at all.

I got into the office about half an hour earlier than the scheduled time. Have to show punctuality mar! Armed with a file of documents, I introduced myself and was told to take a seat. The HR Manager approached me and handed me 2 forms. One was to fill up my personal details (education background, work history, hobbies, yada yada yada..). The other one was a personality questionnaire. I was told to answer the questionnaire within 30 minutes.

So I got to fill up the personal details and all. When I got to the questionnaire, I realized it was a Mensa test. 30 questions. Wah! Got anagrams. Got algebra (x + y = z). Got prime numbers. Got calculations. It was a good thing that I was already wide awake, but too bad, brain wasn't functioning 100% at that time. Tee hee hee.. When the time was up, the HR Manager came back and collected the papers. "I will evaluate the test. If you are successful, I will call you back for an interview", and sent me on my merry way.

Aiyo! I was suprised and stumped. From what I heard, I understand some interviewers will give tests before bombarding them with questions. This is very different. I thought it could either mean the interviewer is not available at the very last minute, or they've already gotten their man (or in this case, woman) and just waste my time la. I told my colleague about the test, and she gave me this link which is the exact set of questions I was given! I submitted the same answers and got a score of 24/30. Cheh wah, not too bad considering I was still very blur at that time. *lol* Then I wondered, what if I had earlier on did this test so many times that I could even remember the correct answers, how is it possible for the interviewer to know if I'm really qualified or not?

Anyway, they called me back yesterday and decided to interview me through the phone. At that point of time, Koala Bear was briefing me on his projects (I'm taking over a couple of them since he's leaving this Thursday). I was totally unprepared for the phonecall. I walked out of the room to speak privately but unfortunately I wasn't able to concentrate on the conversation coz my colleagues kept walking past by me (and some were really 'kaypoh'. Hehe..). But basically he asked the common questions..

"What is your current job function?"
"How do you handle a given project?"

"How do you handle as an individual/team leader/team member?"
"How do you discipline yourself while executing a project?"
"How much are you expecting?"
"Why do you want to leave your current company?"
"Are you a people person or a task person?"
"If you are to be recruited, how will you cope with your new team?"

I was so nervous!! I hope I did alright. But I made a mistake. I told him honestly that I would only be available after 4 months. I told him that I am getting married and it wouldn't be fair for the new company coz I will be taking a lot of leave days and it will surely disrupt any ongoing projects; that I'm also in a midst of a project with my current company and if I leave very soon halfway, it wouldn't be fair to them also. *Sighz* I think that does it, doesn't it? There goes my chance of knowing whether I actually fit their requirements.

Oh well.. Say, why don't you try taking the Mensa test? See how do you fare in it. And oh, memorize the correct answers kay. It could be useful for your future interviews. *Nyek nyek nyek*

Monday, March 27, 2006

Choosing The Perfect Gowns

I did my gown fittings on Saturday. I must admit, it was fun playing dress up! For a moment there, I felt like a princess! *lol*

We, along with Mum, Sis and Gummy, spent about 4 hours in the bridal house - The first half an hour was a discussion with the photographer (what settings we want, what positions and all that). The rest of the time was 'fashion show'. Hehe.. It was initially pretty embarassing coz the girl followed me into the fitting room. I had to strip off my clothes (well, except the panties la!) while she turned her back towards me.

For each gown I tried on, I paraded in front of my troop, did a few turns here and there, really like fashion show! Inspector, Sis and Gummy would snap pictures of me in the gowns with their canggih-fied handphones. This is one of the things I like with the bridal house. I heard from others, especially Ricepot who had just recently done his photoshoot, that they were not allowed to take pictures unless they have confirmed the gowns. A bit of restriction there. But in our case, we just kept snapping away, the girl didn't even bother! *lol*

One thing to note for when you're choosing your gowns - what style matches you. There's so many out there... Princess, fishtail (mermaid style), A-line, ball (with cancan netting underneath it), etc. For the top part, there's tube, spaghetti strapped, sleeves, one-sided sleeve, corset (just tie like shoelace), etc. You can refer here, here and here for more info. For me, because I'm stick thin, I have to choose A-line skirts. I definitely need to do alteration so the ones with laces on the top are out from my list. Corset is out as well, coz when it's tied, one is supposed to be able to see the criss-cross lines - I'm too small, hence the criss-cross lines cannot be seen already. Hehe.. Try to avoid cancan netting if you can. It's pretty ticklish and can be quite uncomfortable for you to move around. Fishtail can also be slightly harder to move around, you'd have to walk reaaaaaaaally slow and gentle.

The other embarassing thing is that whenever I turn around during my 'parade', you can actually see a huge, black paper clip holding my dress from the back. There were no pins anywhere around, and the clip was the only thing that could really hold tight. *lol*

Gown Clipper
Nice ah, the clip?

If you are choosing your gowns, check if they come with breast pads. If they don't, ask if they can put in the pads, otherwise you have to get your own silicone bra (stick-ons, I heard you can get them from SaSa). Or if they have already added in the pads but you want to make them look 'fuller', then you wear another bra lor. *smile*

I chose 2 bridal gowns for this Friday's photoshoot. Am still contemplating whether I should bring a simple evening gown along. Inspector's gonna bring a few coats and collared shirts. Wah! He'll have more looks than me!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Job Interview.. Help!

I'm going for an interview on Monday (finally somebody wants me!).

The problem is, I have literally not gone for any interviews in my entire life. Well, I don't really count the one with my current company as an interview which was, what, 5 and 1/2 years ago. I mean, Dexter practically asked these :-

"Do you know what we do?"
After I told him that I had read the company website, he took out this huge product catalogue file and started explaining each and every single product.

"Why did you study Engineering? Not many girls take that course."
Understandable that during my time, there were only 5 girls out of 150 plus students. But am sure by now, there are more females venturing into that field, aren't there?

"The R&D staff are all males. I'm trying to hire more females to balance it out."
What the??? Hence I got accepted without further question, started the job few days later and became the one and only female in the dept for almost half a year.

Now, does this count as a proper interview? You tell me. My friends used to tell me they had to undergo many personality tests, and they were bombarded with lots of technical questions. I guess I'm pretty lucky that way!

So, how should I prepare? What should I do? What do interviewers usually ask? What should I say? What should I ask about?

I've been contemplating to leave for a while now. I occasionally browse for job vacancies and try my luck. I guess either I'm just not qualified enough or coz the fact that I can only be made available after 2 months. So yeah, I'm really happy when I got the call for this interview. It's just that as much as I'm quite keen with this one (listed company, should be quite good, right?), I don't plan to leave the current job until at least after the wedding. Coz I still have a month's leave and my Long Service trip to take. Should I be honest and tell them that if I get accepted, I can only join them after 4 months time? Am sure even if they do accept me, they wouldn't want to wait for me for so long, right?

What should I do?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Remembering The Deceased Loved Ones

Ching Ming is a few weeks away. But because of Nai Nai's recent passing and it's her first year, we were to make the trip to the cemetery way before Ching Ming.

Just like the previous trip back to Dad's hometown, it was awkward not being able to see my grandparents at home. I guess the only consolation was seeing a month's old niece and another one who's started to walk (she walks up and down all over the place! I think we are more tired catching up with her. Hehe..) . It was also a time for Mum to announce to the relatives that her eldest daughter is getting married. *blushes*

Nai Nai and Yeh Yeh's grave are just next to Tai Poh's. Yeh Yeh got his land about 20 years ago. The first few of my Ching Ming trips were to follow Yeh Yeh to offer prayers to Tai Poh. We would help him clean the grave while he prepared the food offerings and he would lead the prayers. Time really passes by so quickly. The land beside Tai Poh's was no longer empty now.

We woke up early that morning and left for the cemetery, armed with parangs, sickles, prayer items and lots of food. The sun had just risen. We made the first stop at the small temple which is located after the entrance to the cemetery. We offered joss sticks then we drove up the hill to my ancestors' graves. It was so serene and quiet there. Flowers blooming everywhere. We cleared up all the 'lalang's surrounding both the graves and swept the floors. We placed coloured papers and huge, lit joss sticks on the graves. I don't know what these means actually.

Ching Ming 2
Look how colourful the graves are!

We offered prayers, food and wine (Hennessy XO!) to Tai Poh first and then to Yeh Yeh and Nai Nai.

Ching Ming 1
Tai Poh

Ching Ming 3
Yeh Yeh & Nai Nai (I took out Dad's and his brothers' names that were engraved on the tombstone)

Then we burnt lots of paper money for them. We also burnt a few of Nai Nai's items such as her blanket, slippers and clothes.

Ching Ming 4
Will they be able to receive the 'goodies'?

The last time we went to the cemetery for Nai Nai's funeral, we threw a bag of beans on her grave. They're actually growing now! Hopefully they will grow even more and provide some shade to Nai Nai and Yeh Yeh. *grin*

We saw a few families at the cemetery too. They were also doing their 'first year visit'. Some of them brought firecrackers to burn at their ancestors' graves. Macam CNY la. *smile* We lingered on at my grandparents' grave for a while more as Dad and his brothers cleared up the neighbouring grave (one of Yeh Yeh's old friend) and offered prayers and food to him. My aunts would use coins to 'ask' my grandparents if they were happy, if they 'sik pau mau' ("are you full already?" in Hakka).

After we were sure that they have eaten enough, it was time for us to leave. We will be back again for Hungry Ghost Month in August.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bad Day? No, Busy Days!

Time is running out yet there's so many things to do, especially in these 2 weeks...

Today: Dental appointment (I hate visiting the dentist but oh, for vanity's sake!)
Saturday: Gown fitting (I definitely have problems with this, I failed to gain weight *cries*), meet the photographer (ada bonding session sikit - discussion for the photoshoot session), shopping for bridesmaid dresses
Monday: Job interview (woo hoo!! I feel kind of bad coz however it goes, I don't plan to leave until after the wedding. How ah?)
Thursday: Koala Bear's farewell lunch, manicure & pedicure (Bubble persuaded me to do this. I cannot tahan with pretty fingernails for soooo long! Never been for one before, how is it like ah?), collect hand bouquet
Friday: Whole day photoshoot session

I WILL make sure I won't make any plans during the weekend after the photoshoot. Not gonna do or think anything about the wedding. Although.... I need to meet up with the photographer (which we're gonna hire for the actual day) and also go for food tasting next month. But no... Need to clear my mind off!! *grin*

Just so if you ever happen to have a bad day, do listen to the song "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. It's really catchy. However bad your day is, you'll at least be cheered up a bit. I actually came across this song but couldn't remember where I heard it from, until I realized it was used in the latest season of American Idol. Hehe.. I told Sis about the song and she replied, "Wah you so outdated one. It was already out since last June". Ya kah?? Oh well, it's now my latest ringtone. *lol*

Too bad I don't have my own hosting, so you'll have to go find the mp3 yourself. *grin*

Where is the moment we need at the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to grey
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces everytime
And I don't need no carryin' on

Coz you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

Well you need a blue sky holiday
The point is they laugh at what you say
And I don't need no carryin' on

You had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don't lie
You're coming back down and you really don't mind
You had a bad day

Oh.. Holiday..

Sometimes the system goes on the blink
And the whole thing turns out wrong
You might not make it back and you know
That you could be well oh that strong
And I'm not wrong


So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost

Coz you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day
You had a bad day.

As for now, I'm shuddering inside thinking of my date with the dentist later. *gah*

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Striking A Relative Off The List

As the wedding date draws nearer (4 months away, actually!), it's time to really look into the guest list. Who to invite, who to exclude. Due to the limitation of seats and what's more, we will be doing a joint dinner, we will only be inviting people close to us - relatives, friends and colleagues. None of those Hi-Bye friends. None of those "your great grandmother's sister's son's children". Not even parents' business clients.

As much as it's gonna be a much close-knitted affair the way I'd want it to be, I will never be fully happy. I will not be able to share my big day with all except one of my grandparents - Mum's stepmum, Po Po whom Gong Gong married with years after Butterfly Po Po passed away when Mum was in her teems. I will also not be able to share my big day with a dear aunt and her family.

Mum's eldest sister, Big Fish (loosely translated from Mandarin's "Da Yi") was Mum's closest sister and my closest aunt. She'd gather all their siblings and families to hold birthday celebrations for Mum. She'd take care of me like her own daughter. Sis and I would be so close to my younger cousin brother, Cheeky. So close that Mum would let him bunk over during the weekends or come over after school and she would make him learn up his Maths. Sometimes Sis and I would go over to Big Fish's place to play. I remember the days when Cheeky would pull out a huge fallen banana leaf - He'd let Sis and I sit on the leaf, he'd pull the leaf by its stem, and run across the garden. It was so hilarious! We would feed his bunnies with so many carrots, or listen to his Kopy Kat Klan cassettes.

Big Fish's husband, Snake were business partners with Gong Gong. During Gong Gong's final days, Snake, the one person Gong Gong trusted his business with, played him out. All the sweat and blood Gong Gong had poured onto his business ended up in ashes. Snake even sold off the office building and kept the profits. All that's left now is a dingy office lot in the building with only 1 staff (super loyal since she started working for Gong Gong) and the business is barely surviving because of the very few loyal clients. It can practically "close shop" anytime now.

There were many disputes going on within Mum's family - Snake and the fact that Big Fish 'betrayed' Gong Gong and her siblings by choosing to stay with Snake. Add to the fact that Snake had a mistress yet Mum and her siblings never understood why couldn't Big Fish leave him and start a new life. The siblings living abroad stayed on the fence. The ones over here, including Mum, cut ties with Big Fish and her family. It's been almost 10 years now, we've only heard of them through the fence-sitting siblings but we've not met them. She wasn't invited to any family gatherings - reunion dinners, birthday celebrations nor weddings. The older generation caused the war, yet it's the younger generation who are affected the most.

Time after time, I'd try to talk it out with Mum, to ask her to forgive Big Fish. She herself kept telling Sis and I that we are sisters, that blood is thicker than water. Then why the heck is she not doing that herself? Maybe I'm still too young to understand their issue, but I really don't understand why can't they make amendments, forgive Big Fish and her family, live happily ever after like how we all used to be. I mean, no matter what had happened, she is still Mum's sister, she is still my aunt, isn't she? Must that ending exists only in fairy tales?

As much as I'd love to, I'm not allowed to invite them to my wedding. I'm not allowed to offer her tea and say, "Ah Yi, yum char". I so want to drive over to her place to hand her the invitation card without being literally killed by Mum. I want to tell her that I miss my favourite aunt. The only consolation I had was to track for Cheeky in Friendster and correspond with him through it.

I have no choice but to strike her off from my "wish guest list". What can I do to be able to re-bridge the relationship yet not 'betraying' Mum and her siblings? Mum had, at various times, objected whenever I brought up the issue of "thinking of visiting Big Fish myself".

What can I do?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I'm a Fun Flip-Flop!

Played this quiz, courtesy of Moorish. I'm a pair of flip-flops. "Laid-back and casual, you're comfortably chic in style and substance.". Cheh wah! *grin*

Glam.com Shoe Quiz
That's me! That's me!

It suits me well coz I really do love wearing flip-flops, sandals, slippers, super low-heeled shoes, etc. With flip-flops, I can do all my little skips here and there. I do not have to act so feminine and posh. I can wear them for travelling or even shopping all day long (no need to worry for blisters or 'sakit kaki'). I can run anywhere without having to worry that I will fall. The only problem is that, because I'm soooo clumsy, I can still trip even when I'm wearing flip-flops. Yah lar, wear so flat shoes also still can trip, what is this. I would laugh at myself so loud after that. But, oh, sungguh memalukan!

Once in a while whenever I leave my high heels at home, Inspector would comment, "You quite short ahhh?", or rest his arm on my shoulder. It's ok, I'm totally fine with that. See? I put my height to good use. So nice of me! Otherwise.. You would see a pair of fun flip-flops flying towards his direction. *lol*

So, what type of shoe are you?