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Jul. 3rd, 2010

Hungry Hui

I was making a list of restaurants that I have visited and wanted to review on hungrygowhere (especially to clear the name of restaurants that have been unfairly rated and given an undignified reputation) during my 10 week summer break in Singapore and an epiphany happened. Now I know why I gained so much weight!!! :P

Just look at the list below...
  1. Pump room at Clarke Quay
  2. Thai express at Vivo and Holland village
  3. Crystal Jade at Holland Village
  4. Ajisen Ramen @ Plaza Singapura
  5. Restaurant in the square @ Sentosa tourism academy
  6. Pu Tien @ Marina Square
  7. Champaign brunch at O'chre Orchard Central
  8. Mr curry at Novena
  9. Hi Tea @ TCC Novena
  10. Villa di Parma (formerly Ristorante de Parma) @ Serangoon Gardens
  11. My Little Spanish Place @ Bukit Timah
  12. Food for thought @ Queens street
  13. Tsubohachi @ Ebisboshi Shotengai (Iluma @ Bugis)
  14. Finns @ Vivocity
  15. Goodwood park hotel L’ Epresso
  16. Shangrila - Rose Veranda
  17. The villa @ chijmes
  18. Saboten at Parco Bugis Juction
  19. Nantsuttei Singapore (Parco Marina Bay)
  20. Spinelli at Suntec
  21. Ootaya at Orchard Mall
  22. El Patio Mexican Restaurant & Wine Bar @ Holland village
These are those I can remember so far and what I deem that I should review. Not accounting for the simple hawker fare and common chains. My conclusion is...

I am a PIG. :P

And a very broke one... $ :(

Jun. 28th, 2010

Next to Normal

This musical is about a mother who develops bipolar disorder after the death of her 18 month old son from intestinal blockage. The family seems like a perfect suburban family but she struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family. The musical also addresses such issues as grieving a loss, suicide, drug abuse and ethics in modern psychiatry. For more detailed synopsis, please read below

I was very affected by the play as I see the parallels with my family. How my mom blames my dad for having an affair (which I think never happened) before I was born. My mom then had a miscarriage and after that she had me and she has hated me from then on. She would be nice to me and the next day she would scream at me and say that "I am the worst thing that happened to her." Not exactly the best way to bring a child up. And do much worst things to me and my sister... However, people think that everything is ok and we are a ok family.



Synopsis from wikipedia
Act I
Suburban mother Diana Goodman waits up late for her curfew-challenged son and comforts her anxious and overachieving daughter. Dan, her husband, then rises to help prepare her family for "Just Another Day." But when her lunch-making takes a turn for the bizarre with sandwiches covering the table, chairs, and floor, the rest realize something is not right.



As husband Dan helps the disoriented Diana, Natalie hurries off to school and the refuge of the piano practice room ("Everything Else"), where she's interrupted by Henry, a classmate who likes to listen to her play — and clearly likes her.



Over the ensuing weeks, Diana makes a series of visits to her doctor, while Dan waits in the car outside, questioning how to cope with his own depression ("Who's Crazy/My Psychopharmacologist and I"). It is revealed that Diana has suffered from bipolar disorder coupled with hallucinations for sixteen years; Doctor Fine continually adjusts her medications until she says that she doesn't feel anything, at which point he declares her stable.



Natalie and Henry grow closer until one day he professes his love for her ("Perfect For You") and they kiss for the first time. Diana witnesses this and realizes that her best years may be behind her, but she misses feeling her high highs and her low lows. ("I Miss the Mountains"). With her son's encouragement, she flushes away her medication. A few weeks later, Dan looks forward to dinner with his family ("It's Gonna Be Good"), but when Diana emerges with a cake singing "Happy Birthday" to her son, Dan and Natalie are devastated. Dan holds Diana and explains that "He's Not Here."



Their son has been dead for sixteen years after dying from an intestinal obstruction before Natalie was born. Natalie storms off, and Dan mentions a return to the doctor, but Diana refuses as Dan tries to coax her into trusting him, their dead son joins them onstage, trying in vain to get Dan's attention ("You Don't Know/I Am The One").



Up in her room, Natalie vents her anger to Henry, then refuses Diana's apology as her brother watches and taunts her ("Superboy and the Invisible Girl"). A few days later, Diana starts work with Doctor Madden. As her son rises to assert his presence ("I'm Alive").




Dan and Natalie doubt the sessions are helping, but Doctor Madden proposes hypnosis to help Diana discover the roots of her trauma ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling"). Finally, Diana agrees it's time to let her son go. Diana goes home to clean out her son's things, pausing to listen to a music box ("I Dreamed a Dance"). Her son appears and dances with her, then invites her to come away with him ("There's a World"). She does.



At the hospital, where Diana lies sedated and restrained, with self-inflicted gashes to her wrists, Doctor Madden explains to Dan that ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is the standard course of treatment for drug-resistant patients who are imminently suicidal. Dan goes home to clean up after Diana and decide what to do ("I've Been"). The next day, Diana lashes out at Doctor Madden, refusing the treatment ("Didn't I See This Movie?"), but Dan arrives and convinces her it may be their last hope ("A Light In The Dark").



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSlvIlXgCI8&feature=related

Act II
Over a period of two weeks, Diana receives a series of ECT treatments, while Natalie further explores clubs and drugs ("Wish I Were Here"). When Diana returns home from the hospital, she and her shocked family realize Diana has lost nineteen years of memory ("Song of Forgetting"). Natalie escapes to school, where Henry confronts her ("Hey #1"), wondering why she's been avoiding him and inviting her to the spring formal dance.

Dan and Diana visit Doctor Madden, who assures them that some memory loss is normal ("Seconds and Years") and encourages Dan to use photos, mementoes, and the like to help Diana recover. Dan gathers the family to do so ("Better Than Before"), with minor success, but when Natalie pulls the music box from a pile of keepsakes, he whisks it away, leaving Diana puzzled. Her son appears, unseen ("Aftershocks"), while Diana tells Dan there's something she's desperate to remember that's just beyond her reach. When Henry arrives looking for Natalie, Diana is given great pause, studying his face and asking his age. He reminds her of someone. Unnerved, Henry hurries up to Natalie's bedroom, to convince her to join him at the dance the next night ("Hey #2").

Diana returns to Doctor Madden ("You Don't Know (Reprise)") who suggests she further explore her history and talk more with her husband. Diana goes home and searches through the boxes of keepsakes, finding the music box, Dan tries to stop her, but the memories of her baby son rush back ("How Could I Ever Forget?").




When Diana confesses remembering her son as a teenager, and demands to know his name, Dan refuses and instead insists they need to return for more treatment ("It's Gonna Be Good (Reprise)"). Henry arrives to pick up Natalie, who has dressed for the dance, just in time for both of them to witness an agitated Dan grab the music box from Diana's hands and smash it to pieces on the floor. Diana confronts Dan, wondering why he perseveres after how much trouble she's given, while upstairs, Natalie asks Henry much the same question ("Why Stay?"). Dan answers, echoed by Henry, both vowing to stay steadfast ("A Promise")




But just as both couples embrace, their son reappears ("I'm Alive (Reprise)"), sending Diana running to Doctor Madden, asking Natalie to drive her, leaving Dan and Henry behind. Diana asks Madden what can be done if the medicine has missed the true problem. With her questioning comes the realization that it's not her brain that's hurting: it's her soul ("The Break"). Madden assures her relapse is common, and suggests more ECT ("Make Up Your Mind/Catch Me I'm Falling (Reprise)"). Diana refuses, and though Doctor Madden urges her to continue treatment for her chronic, deadly disease, she thanks him and goes. Natalie, waiting outside, is distressed to learn her mother has left treatment, and Diana explains herself ("Maybe (Next to Normal)"), opening up to her daughter for the first time.


She urges Natalie on to the school dance, where Henry awaits to comfort and embrace her ("Hey #3/Perfect for You (Reprise)"). Diana finds Dan at home and tells him she's leaving him, explaining that he can't always be there to catch her; she needs to take a risk and deal with things on her own for once ("So Anyway"). She goes, leaving her son with him. As Dan wonders how she could have left him after he stood by her for so long, her son approaches, telling Dan he's not going anywhere ("I Am The One (Reprise)"). Dan grows more distraught until at last he faces the boy and calls him by his name for the first time: Gabriel.



Natalie comes home to find her father sitting alone in the dark, in tears. She comforts him and turns the lights on in the room, before assuring him that the two of them will figure things out. (This reminded me of my Dad hugging me once, both of us crying, when my mom came back and screamed at us after going out to gamble again...).

We see Henry arrive to study, and Natalie tells him Diana has gone to stay with her own parents. We see Diana, alone and still hurting, but hopeful. We see Dan, visiting Doctor Madden for any word on Diana, but staying to talk about his own struggle. We see Gabriel, watching over them all. And life goes on ("Light").



I couldn't stop crying... It just hurts so so much. Maybe many more families are "next to normal"...

Jun. 24th, 2010

Not the nicest person

Hmm...Had a little tiff with my BF today and he said somethings about my character that are not too nice but I know are true. Upon self reflection, I realize I am not the nicest person.

I am rarely the person whom people come to when they have problems and and not the best at keeping nasty comments about other people to myself. All I am saying is I do not make mean remarks intentionally. To pout it nicely, one friend has said that I am careless.

The silver lining is that now at least I am aware (Yes, I was that self centered and pathetic to have not been aware). Now when I am with people, I think about whether or not the comment is appropriate or necessary.

Thing to do now is to actually materialize the hopeful thoughts into actions. I will try to be a thoughtful person, cheerful person and hopefully a better friend.


Jun. 22nd, 2010

airplanesnstars.livejournal.com

Hi friends,

I have started a new blog to share my other thoughts at attempts to sound intelligent. Another reason maybe that I found my existing username a bit erm... personal.

So here are some of the topics that I will be posting to my new blog coming soon near you...

1. Rising aspirations of young Singaporeans - is it alright to be middle class?
When I come back to Singapore every summer, I see property and car prices sky-rocketing. Does it really have to be so much harder to
attain our simple dreams of a car and a home?

2. Does Singapore really not have any pretty soldiers?
Went to stomp to cure my boredom, only to read an interesting post on beautiful soldiers around the world. Personally (my friends would know why), I took offense at some of the comments that Singaporean female soldiers aren't pretty...

3. What happens to SPG gals after their expat leaves?
Something that struck me after I saw many young Malay girls lap hopping onto the laps of old Caucasian men after one night in pump room. So I went to google this question and didn't find any answers...

4. Caucasian men vs Asian men
Read a Cleo magazine article about it - maturity? Confidence? Better action in bed?

5. Why the fascination with vampire stories like the twilight series?
Only this year, I watched the second in the twilight series. It was at the very most - tolerable. Yet I wanted to know more. Maybe by my previous unfanthomable love for buffy the vampire slayer. Will hopefully talk about it more after I watch the 3rd part - Eclipse or maybe not?

Jun. 11th, 2010

Because of you

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way, to never let it get that far

Because of you
I will never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake, a smile, a laugh
Every day of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

Because of you
I will never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry
Every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry
In the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

Because of you
I will never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
Because of you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWvJjG3zWkc

when I need help the most

I am lost and helpless. My parents have been fighting since I was born. Years growing up with my mother giving me to a nanny to bring up. When I came home at a age of 5, they were staying in separate rooms. Fights turned physical with my sister and I watching and crying as they hit each other. With my mother gambling everyday losing thousands of dollars and my Dad scolding my sister and I for not scolding her. Years of relatives asking me if they are still fighting. A long term relationship broken because my ex-bf was tired of listening to me cry when my parents fought. Somehow I could ignore it all and study and get decent grades and study abroad. My little escape. Now that I am back, I have to deal with it all over again. And now, my bf says he wants to end our relationship because he is so angry with my parents and tired of it all. What am I to do?

Jun. 7th, 2010

Home

Its been a month since I am back in Singapore.
Bliss with Jon. Awesome reunion with friends.
Sadness and Anger with my Mom.
Each time I adjust to Singapore, its time to return to the states again.
Then again, I do miss my car!
And its a good way to escape from the family problems at home.

Apr. 5th, 2010

Pop music

Ever since I got my car, I was kept updated with the latest songs instead of oldies. haha... so I was looking for the following song. Its such a cheery song for such a cheery weather! :)



P.S I really thought he was a girl initially. But at least now I know he is a 16 year old boy. The lyrics are super sweet and naive! What does a kid know about love? :P

Apr. 4th, 2010

April 1st

More than just a date

Submitted my honor's thesis after much debate and misunderstandings with my professor and advisor. Rushing through it, doing the data analysis and all and fretting over it. Combined with the stresses of other papers and all, I even broke down in tears when I went for office hours with another professor. But thank God, its over.

Feel like I have just closed one chapter of my life. Now its time to move onto to graduate school. Although I am already doing 7 grad sch classes and starting the experiments for my graduate thesis, I still feel like an undergrad and still have yet to make my decision for Grad sch. Michigan or Yale?


   
Rub his foot for luck!                            Part of campus


After my visit, I fell deeply in love for the friendly people of New haven, the students, profs and the beautiful campus. Sadly, the decision doesn't lie with me but with MINDEF but we shall see how it goes! When I visited yale for the admitted students day, I couldn't help but to attend Sunday service at St. Mary's cathedral. It was one of the oldest churches in the US and its beautiful.
  
St Mary's catherdral at night             Inside one of the quads 


It was a good sermon in one but one phrase stuck with me. We all go through trials and tribulation so that we are reminded of God. If we live our lives perfectly we would not remember his existence and forsake him. How true. Many times, I ask why me? But instead I should be praying for a stronger relationship with God and trusting that he has a greater purpose for me and You too!

Feb. 25th, 2010

Exam season and snow storms

Car buried in 10 inches of snow, stuck and getting all wet trying to get it out.

2 midterms down, 2 programming homework.
2 more midterms and 1 more midterm lab report on Rift valley virus and 4 different experiments due.

Can't wait for spring break to come!!!

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