Ten on Tuesday
  1. Spend more time with my mom (not that I didn't spend enough time with her, it is just that she was no longer around and I could never do anything with her again. If only we can turn back the time...)
  2. Travel (it's hard to go traveling nowadays with a 3 year-old around; and provided I have the money!)
  3. Enrol in an arts institution instead of an administration college (that's explains why I'm stuck with my current job!)
  4. Apply for a Graphic Designer position (all right, since I took up a part-time course some years ago, why didn't I switch job back then?!)
  5. Save more money
  6. Join my favourite idols' fan clubs (I think I'm too old for this now, hehe)
  7. Learn to swim (no kidding!)
  8. Put more efforts in my studies
  9. Take up volleyball (one of the 'in' sports then during High School. I chose to be a librarian since books is my passion!)
  10. Be more outgoing (I guess I spent too much time worrying about grades!)

How time flies! If I didn't recall wrongly, it was 1980 when I was in Primary One. Let me share some of these memories with you...

  • My school was nearby (maybe about 15 - 20 minutes walk) but my mom will still arrange for a 'school car' service for me. I remember it was a middle-aged lady who drove the car, and we loved calling her 'Kaya' (maybe it was the colour of her car!), and the thing is she wasn't even angry when we called her by that name. Come to think of it, we were rude and didn't show any respect for her.
  • There was a subscription for fresh milk in school (optional). They came in triangular packets and we were always looking forward to the different flavours everyday (e.g. chocolate, strawberry etc)
  • I love the sardines puff (a small pie with sardines fillings and are deep fried) which costs only 20 cents then.
  • After meal during recess time, my then good friend and I would patronize the school bookshop for cute letterpads and stickers (I remember the bookshop was small and crammy) and the owner (an elderly uncle) was very patient with his little customers
  • There were these brushing sessions after the recess time and we would squat down by the drain and brushed our teeth with a mug.
  • I was addicted to Nancy Drew and thought she was one cool lady detective, and had read most of her books from the school library.
  • There were always rumors that some cubicles in the toilets were haunted. (Very 'believable' when they used light bulbs).
  • We were most happy whenever National Day arrives because that was the time we would go home early, watch the performance on stage and receive free stationery.
  • Autograph books were circulated amongst the classmates during Primary Six (that's Final Year) and poems were often written (e.g. Birds fly high, hard to catch. Friends like you, hard to forget.)
  • Most of us would wear raincoats and slippers to school during rainy days, and would slip on our socks and shoes once we were in class.
  • Every class there would be one or two Prefects (they wore a tie over their school uniforms and they would list down your name if you were late in class or whatever).
  • Tissues were seldom used at that time. We used handkerchiefs with various printed designs.
  • To top it all, I was exhilarated when my two essays were published in the local newspapers! I think I got about $10 fee for each essay. (I was in Primary Six then, and those $$$ meant a lot to me! LOL.)

Well, those were the days...

Week of Feb25: Would your rather....
1. a live cockroach (the big hissing ones) or eat a stick of butter? stick of butter, of course
2. ...go bungee jumping or sky diving? No and No; am afraid of heights!!!
3. a lime or a lemon? Don't they almost taste the same?!
4. stranded on a deserted island alone or be stranded on a deserted island with someone you hate? alone, of course!!!
5. able to read minds or be able to become invisible? read minds
till next time....

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Yikes! It's Monday...what can I say? And this bulldog picture says it all about my mood today...grouchy and sick. I didn't really sleep well last night, it's bad enough to have a sore throat and feeling feverish, and to top it all, my daughter isn't feeling too well either; she has been having flu since last week. Must be the viruses in the air...

So there she is, asking us to bring her to the playgroup just this morning (has been absent since last Wednesday), so of course we didn't bring her. And that tells me another thing, what am I reporting to work today anyway? Good question. (What am I trying to prove anyway?! Haha.) Oh well... doctor, here I come... Grrr...I hate Mondays!

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I am a

What Flower
Are You?

This is what flower are you?
Booking Through Thursday
  1. A couple weeks ago, we asked about how you take care of your books, with one of the questions asking whether you write in your books. Well, what about books that are meant to be written in? Like, say, a journal or diary? Do you keep one? Obviously, if you're answering this, you have a blog--do you just let your blog be your journal? Or do you also keep one for private stuff also?

Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments--or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Well, I don't write journal or diary, but I do blog (obviously ;P). My blog is everything to me... from book reviews to movie reviews, my personal lifestyle and thoughts. I used to write diary when I was younger (I think in primary school) and I stopped doing so when I was in High School (since it took up much of my time - studying and school activities), but I didn't stop there and took up writing essays instead (since it was beneficial to my grades as well, haha). I won 2nd place in an essay competition in school during my last year in HS (after some persuasion from the teacher). Now that I'm out working, I don't write essays anymore but I turn to writing short stories instead whenever I have some time to spare.

I have never read anything by Thomas H. Cook, but this book had "wowed" me. It is no wonder that Mr. Cook received six Edgar Award nominations to date, most recently in 2006 for this novel, Red Leaves, which was also shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger and the Anthony Award.

Eric and Meredith Moore seems to lead a happy life, together with their teenager son Keith. But one evening, their neighbours Vincent and Karen Giordano are out visiting and they ask Keith to babysit their eight year-old daughter Amy. This is not the first time Keith babysits Amy so he said yes.

But the next morning, the Moore family receives news that Amy is missing, and suddenly everyone in the neighbourhood thinks that Keith is involved since he is assumed to be the last person to have seen Amy last night. Eric and Meredith think otherwise and don't believe their good son will do anything to Amy. However, Eric notices their son has been acting very strangely ever since he returns home on that fateful night although he didn't voice out. He consults their lawyer friend, Leo who thinks someone might be planning something against them and ask if they have any enemies. Eric couldn't think of anyone, but he does remember someone, likely an insurance man asked about his family when he was younger. His brother, Warren is then an alcoholic, his sister dies of a brain tumor and his mother is suicidal.
The suspicion builds on when Eric begins to look deeper at his own family history and later even wonder if Meredith is betraying him by having an affair. From there the story slowly unfolds and the ending leaves me speechless.
Although Red Leaves classifies as a crime thriller, I can say it is also more like a family drama where one will look at his own family members and wonders if he really knows them well even though they are the closest.
Red Leaves is beautifully well written, both gripping and haunting. It has definitely leaves me a deep impression.
You Are Pretty Logical

You're a bit of a wizard when it comes to logic
While you don't have perfect logic, you logic is pretty darn good
Keep at it - you've got a lot of natural talent in this area!

Wow, is this really me? LOL.

From left to right: Zuo Yi Quan (played by Wu Zun), Rui Xi (played by Ella) and Jin Xiu Yi (played by Jiro Wang)

Oh my gosh, I absolutely LOVE this Taiwanese drama serial! Hanazakarino Kimitachihe was adapted from a popular Japanese manga; starring Ella from S.H.E, Wu Zun and Jiro Wang from Taiwanese boyband Fahrenheit.

In this drama serial, Rui Xi, a young girl lives in the States, and she admires high-jump athlete Zuo Yi Quan so much that she decides to return to Taiwan and disguises as a guy so that she could get into the boys' school where he is studying.

Her plans work so well that no one in school knows about her true identity, except the school's medical teacher and surprisingly he agrees to keep this secret for her, although he thinks her behaviour is both stupid and daring. And Lady Luck seems to smile on her when she knows she will become Zuo Yi Quan's roommate, but that will mean she will have to be extra careful whenever she is around him. But an incident happens and exposes her identity but Zuo Yi Quan pretends he doesn't know of her identity. Their good buddy, Jin Xiu Yi admires Rui Xi and began to wonder if there is anything wrong with his sexuality preference.

Hanazakarino Kimitachihe is an entertaining romantic comedy, and there are several hilarious scenarios when Rui Xi tries so hard to disguise as a guy, or/and Jin Xiu Yi making those exaggerating silly faces etc.

There are a total of 3 parts in this serial and I have only Part I and II (since Part III isn't out yet!) of the DVDs; and I can't wait to find out the ending!!! ;P

Ten on Tuesday

  1. Liver

  2. Brussel sprouts

  3. Crab sticks (I love crabs, but definitely not in sticks! Moreover, they aren't 100% crabmeats anyway!)

  4. Raw celery

  5. Jellyfish

  6. Clams

Hmm...I wish I can list more but I can't think of any, moreover I love food! LOL.

Based on the Chinese calendar, Lunar New Year falls on 18 Feb.
So...Happy Piggy Year!!!
Hmm...I love eating these! Bak Kwa (or otherwise known as "barbecued pork") is one of the 'must-have' items for the Chinese New Year. It is also considered as one of the popular gifts to friends or families during this festive period. (In fact, we bought a 1-kilogram bak kwa to the in-laws last weekend).

Besides pork, there are also beef or chicken but pork remains the most 'sellable' amongst all. The pork meats are marinated with sugar and spices and cut into square pieces (for the festive period, they are also cut into bite-sized pieces to resemble coins) before they are barbecued. There are even some outlets who sell crocodile bak kwa, although I haven't tried them...yet.
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Booking Through Thursday

So, in honor of Valentine's Day . . .
  1. Love stories? Yes or No? Well, it doesn't matter what story I read for this occasion, although it would be nice if I happened to read a love story before this. For your info, I have just finished reading All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz. Talk about great timing. :)
  2. If yes, "romances" as a genre? Or just, well, stories that have love stories? (Nobody's going to call "Pride & Prejudice" a "romance," right?) It was a romance suspense.
Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments--or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!
Irene Stenson was fifteen when she returned home from an evening drive with her best friend, Pamela Webb to find her dead parents on the floor of their lake house. Police suspected Hugh Stenson, Dunsley police chief attempted suicide and shot himself after he had shot his wife. Irene was too young and shocked to acknowledge anything behind it, and was then taken under care by her elderly aunt.

Seventeen years later, she returned to the town again. This time, she was a reporter with a print media and the reason she got back was because she had received an email from Pamela whom she had lost contact ever since that horrendous night. She stayed at a secluded lodge, which is owned by Luke Danner, an ex-Marine who was curious and fascinated about her at the same time. Then, Irene's behaviour began to arouse his curiousity and he decided to trail after her, as his mind wasn't 'out' of his Marine life and that he had suffered his own share of post-traumatic stress.

But Irene didn't have a chance to meet Pamela, for her friend believed to have died of a drug overdose. Irene didn't buy it, and she got a feeling that her friend had something to tell her; that had something to do with the past. On the other hand, Irene didn't really trust some of the town inhabitants, from Sam McPherson the police chief to Pamela's rich family members like Ryland Webb who was a senator. While she tried hard to dig deeper into Pamela's mysterious death, she was also surprised to learn Pamela harboured some secrets before her death. With Luke by her side, they followed the trail and fell in love along the way.
I enjoyed reading it - the characters are likable and the plot is good, filled with enough suspense to keep me going.
This is a nice capture of a mother and daughter's private moment in my opinion. The lady in the picture was actually me, holding my 3 year-old daughter while we strolled at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

This was taken by Jennifer Todd, who is my best friend while she visited us last year. I am thrilled to hear she is setting up her own photography website, knowing that photography is her passion and she is serious of making it as a career! Please feel free to visit Jennifer Todd Photography and she renders her services for all occasions (i.e. wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, christening, portrait, etc). I know she won't be charging a lot, LOL! And what's more, she does her work in Digital Format.

Jennifer, you go girl! Once again, congratulations! :)
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Ten on Tuesday

So I have classifed them in dialogues and in general, hehe.


1. “I’m late!!!” (If the alarm clock doesn’t go off)
2. “Can you stay late today?” (Uh oh...not some last minute stuff)
3. “I’m sorry, but you have got to go.” (In other word, you are being laid off!)
4. “OMG, I have forgotten to pay the bills/taxes!” (Don't happen often...but I do tend to have a short memory at times)
5. “They are fighting, again!” (The in-laws will complain about my 3 year-old daughter and her nephew who's 8 months older squabbling over toys and food; there are times they will bite each other on the arms!)
6. “I don’t want to go to school!” (Some years down the road, I worry my daughter will shriek about this)
7. “I’ve flunked my exams!” (Some more years down the road when she is schooling...and the list goes on)


    8. Health problem (You can never take health for granted, even though you are healthy!)
    9. Environmental problem (One of the major problems we face around the world)
    10. Terrorists Attacks/War (Ditto)
    Picture with courtesy of Jody

    I stumbled upon this picture at Flickr by chance. I like the simplicity and especially the meaning to it.
    Thanks to Jody, for allowing me to use his picture.
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    This belongs to one of the older releases by Linda Lael Miller.

    Bliss Stafford is both shocked and furious to note her father wants her to marry an aging magistrate. So the best thing she did is to escape, to the rugged New Zealand countryside where she thinks no one will find her. There, she meets Jamie McKenna, a handsome and headstrong rancher who has an agenda of his own.

    But things didn't go right with Bliss, for her father did manage to find her; and with a twist of fate and a compromised situation, Bliss and Jamie wed under the threat of her father's pistol. Although Bliss is frustrated with her "new" position, she has no choice but to swallow it. Then, she begins to notice Jamie isn't as bad as she thinks, and slowly she falls in love with him.

    But Jamie had his secret past before setting up his own ranch, and Bliss is determined to find out and lure him out of his dark past.

    A sensual story which features both headstrong hero and heroine. Though the plot might seem outdated (as compared to the more popular genres like paranormal or romance suspence today), I won't complain as I mentioned earlier - this is an older release, which I am sure the genre/plot is the "in" thing then.


    Week of Feb 11: Love Is In the Air

    Well with Valentines Day coming up soon, lets talk about it.

    1. Cupid, man or myth? Man
    2. What do you want for Valentine's Day? Spending time together, just the two of us (our 3 year-old daughter tags along whereever we go now, although we aren't complaining!)
    3. Who was your first Valentine? Believe it or not, it's the hub!
    4. Do you even enjoy Valentine's Day or do you think it's a made up holiday? Although I enjoy Valentine's Day, I also think it's more like a commercialized holiday
    5. Any bad Valentine's Day experiences? Nope

    till next time....

    Mo Hayder has done it again! Hayder has a unique voice that gets you hooked to her stories and never let it go till you have reached the end. I am glad to say Pig Island is no exceptional. I first read Tokyo (otherwise known as 'The Devil of Nanking') and it has left me a deep impression; from then I began to look out for her books. Her stories are darker as compared to some authors I have read; a colleague even told me her books made her depressed, so if you belong to the faint hearted one, I suggest you should give her books a pass.

    Joe Oakes is a journalist, and he goes out exposing supernatural hoaxes and the likes. He has a bad history with Malachi Dove, who is a leader of Psychogenic Healing Ministries, and also a strong believer of faith healing. Joe blames him for causing his aunt’s death indirectly, and especially making him believing he had a deadly tumor. He then published an expose on Malachi, and Malachi threatened him with a lawsuit but it fizzled because everyone presumed he was dead.
    Some time later, Joe visits a remote Scottish island after seeing a video that captured a glimpse of a creature roaming in the island by some tourists. The locals believe it was Malachi's doings and warn him that he shouldn't cross the border and provoke him. Joe is fascinated with the island's electrical fencing, gargolyes blocking some pathways, the toxin-filled oil drums and even the smell of dead pigs but he is not going to let these barriers stop him from investigating.

    In the mayhem of doing so, he later learns from a local's daughter that she has tried to trap the "creature" by digging and camouflaging a manhole but it was an unsuccessful attempt. She then offers to show him the place and stumbles upon a young woman whom is Dove's mysterious daughter Angeline. Joe wins her confidence quickly and she began to tell him what his father is capable of doing, although she wouldn't say what he has done to her in the past.

    Joe believes they are in danger, and with his wife they left the place and brought Angeline with them, but they didn't know that danger has the capability of following them no matter where they go.

    I wish I would write this review in details, but then it would be spoilers. I was totally blown away by the ending. What a twist! You can say I am now an official fan of Mo Hayder.

    What kind of care do you take of your books? Let's review, shall we?

    1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?

    I'm very careful with the spines. Call me fussy or anything, but I cringe whenever someone cracks them.

    2. Do you use bookmarks? Or do you dog-ear the corners? If you do use bookmarks, do you use those fashionable metal ones? Or paper?

    I use paper bookmarks and never dog-ear the corners!

    3. Do you write in your books? Ever? If you do, do you make small marks, or write in as much blank space as you can find? Pen or pencil? Highlighter? Your name on the front page?

    Never, I don't write in books unless I want to give this as a gift to someone and I will scribble some personal notes (in pen) on the first page after the cover.

    4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into bookbags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?

    I treat them tenderly.

    5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?


    6. Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?

    Big no-no.

    7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?

    Most of my TBR pile are kept in the bookshelf, but it is overflowing lately so I have stacked them neatly on our study desk.

    8. Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?

    I don't buy hardcovers.

    9. And, to recap? Naturally, you love all of your books, but how, exactly? Are your books loved in the battered way of a well-loved teddy bear, or like a cherished photo album or item of clothing that's used, appreciated, but carefully cared for?

    I definitely love my books, and always handle them with care. I don't eat when I'm reading, and even if I have a drink next to me, I will make sure my hands are dry. Well, I can say I love my books like a cherished photo album as there will be time I will re-read them if I find the stories are good.

    10. Any additional comments? -

    Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments--or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

    This is thought provoking... thought I would share (Received from a forwarded email).

    "Decision Making

    A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track. The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. It was not possible to stop the train but you could make the train change its course to the disused track and save most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way? Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make...

    Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. To save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, normally and emotionally. But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

    Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to p lay where the danger was. This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are. The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

    To make the proper decision is not try to change the course of the train because the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train's sirens. If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe.

    If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundres of people to save these few kids.

    While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one. "Remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."

    Everybody makes mistakes; that's why they put erasers on pencils."
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    Week of Feb 4: This or That?
    Pick one!
    1. peanut butter or jelly? peanut butter
    2. hiking or swimming? hiking
    3. football or baseball? nope
    4. christmas or thanksgiving? christmas
    5. grade school or high school? high school
    6. summer or winter? winter
    7. romance novel or mystery novel? both!
    8. mickey mouse or barney? mickey mouse
    9. road trip or airplane? both!
    till next time....
    Ten on Tuesday

    1. Dark Water (Japanese version) - I know, this is supposed to be a horror flick, but I was touched by the love of the mother for saving her daughter.
    2. Titanic
    3. English Patient
    4. King Kong
    5. Pearl Harbour
    6. Spirited Away
    7. Cars
    8. Finding Nemo
    9. All About Love (chinese movie)
    10. Home Sweet Home (chinese movie)
    This is originated from a Japanese manga series. I have never read the manga but the movie is entertaining in my opinion.

    The protagonist, Light Yagami is a University student and life seems normal to him, until he finds a mysterious notebook with the title 'Death Note' on the ground one day. He is a righteous fellow and he resents the crime and corruption in the world, given that his dad works in the police field. Feeling curious about the book, he opens it and learns that if someone's name is written on it, the person shall die. He is skeptical at first and think it is all a joke, but decides to try it on the criminals who have escaped from their penalties. The next thing he knows, they are dead. After he meets Ryuk, who is the master of the Death Note and doesn't seem to be unfazed by the 'new' owner, Light seeks to hold righteous by eliminating all the baddies in the world.

    Soon, the number of unexplainable deaths of reported criminals catches the International Police Organization attention, and with a mysterious detective who is known only as "L", they began to track the mastermind behind the mysterious deaths which they feel it isn't right for this person to kill unfairly, although the intention is good in some ways. With L sharp wit and observation, he soon finds out the mastermind is located in Japan and that he is a student who can kill without laying a finger on the people.

    Light began to realize L will become his greatest nemesis, and the two began a race to prove they have the mental superiority against the other.
    I watched this on DVD and this is just part one of the movie. Now I have to wait for the other DVD Death Note: The Last Name to be released.
    I started reading Dean Koontz when I was still schooling (can’t remember if it was High School or thereafter), anyway I was hooked. I can still remember the first book I read by him, the title is Shattered. It was such a thrill reading that book and from then onwards, I began to look out for his books.

    Mitchell Rafferty is a landscape gardener. Life is simple for him and his wife Holly, until one day he receives a call on his cell phone, the other party informing him that they have got his wife and they wants him to raise two million dollars cash within sixty hours, or else Holly will be dead. Mitch tells them he is only a gardener, and he hasn’t had that kind of money in his account, but they just don’t care and assure him that he will know what to do.

    To prove to Mitch that they mean business; they killed a man who walks his dog across the street after the phone call. Mitch is shattered, although he wants someone to help him badly, he has no one to turn to, especially not the police.

    Not only the kidnappers are ruthless, but Mitch knows they are professionals also, because they manage to bug his house, follow him around discreetly when he is driving without leaving any trails. Mitch is desperate, and doesn’t understand why he is chosen for this extortion, but he will do anything to save the life of his beloved wife, including risking his life and that of others.

    There are lots of tensions in this story as it moves along. Fast paced and filling with twists, fans of Dean Koontz will love this thriller.
    Your Career Personality: Practical, Easy-Going, and Determined

    Your Ideal Careers:

    Airplane pilot
    Civil engineer
    Fire fighter
    Forensic pathologist
    Graphic designer
    Marine biologist
    Police officer
    Professional athlete
    Race car driver
    Software engineer
    Well, there is one career which suits me on this list: Graphic designer!
    I have a cert. in this, but I think it's too late for me to do a career switch right now... anyway when I first signed up for the course, I did it only for interest.
    Picture with courtesy of Jennifer

    I simply LOVE this pic! Such a cute little thing... and not to mention it takes time and patience to capture that special angle. You did a wonderful job, Jen! I am so proud of you; one day you will make a GREAT photographer! ;)

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    Booking Through Thursday

    What are your reading habits? Do you tend to read at specific times during the day, or does it vary from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute?

    I don't really have any reading habits. Being a working mother, I read whenever I have the chance. Usually I will read on my way to and from work, because it helps to kill time and let me catch up with my TBR pile! And also when I don't feel like lunching out, I will eat in the office and do some reading.