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Archive for July, 2009

Last Saturday, I had the privilege to go for a curated tour of a special exhibition at the Peranakan Museum. It’s called Baba Bling: The Peranakans and Their Jewellery and it’s an exhibition of the jewellery worn by the Peranakan Nyonyas (younger women) and the Bibiks (older women).

Speaking of which, remember Bibik Belacan? I vaguely remember watching it on tv, but the details escape me.

Anyway, the exhibition featured over 300 pieces of Peranakan jewellery from the 19th century till today. Those Peranakan women wore a whole lot of jewellery back then man! (And maybe even now?)

the mirror behind her is a little freaky

the mirror behind her is a little freaky

From the top of my head, a typical Nyonya would wear:

  1. necklace, usually more than one
  2. bracelet
  3. rings
  4. kerosang (like fancy ornate gold brooches used to fasten their blouses)
  5. hair pins
  6. anklet
  7. belt (can’t be seen, but they wear a gold, fancy one anyway!)
  8. keychain (serious!)

Yeah…I think they might just be more that I missed out.

Anyway, the curated tour was pretty awesome. Our tour guide (oops I forgot her name!) is actually a voluteer guide and is a medical doctor on weekdays! She was really knowledgeable and made the exhibition much more interesting.

To be really honest, I think that without the tour guide, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the exhibition that much. I’m the kind of person that always gets the audio guide when I’m in a museum, so I think that’s just me. It just makes the exhibits come alive, don’t you think?

But of course, you can visit the exhibition without going on the curated tour. There are tons of videos and information boards telling you the significance of the jewellery and explaining the history behind it all.

In fact, if I had more time I’d have watched all the videos and read all the information boards, but I’m anal like that (or typical Singaporean? Wanna get my all my money’s worth, hehe)

the forgotten babas.

the forgotten babas.

Here’s some reasons to go for Baba Bling:

1) Find out what it means when a Peranakan lady wears jewellery that’s made of silver with pearls or why why it’s rare to find hairpins in sets of 5 rather than the original 7 that they came out in

2) Look at photos of old Peranakan families and couples and try and get fashion inspiration

3) Get awesome printed gold stickers with different symbols that hold significance to the Peranakans –> This is actually meant for kids, but you should try and get your hand on it too! It’s so fun to go to the different machines to “collect” the different symbols!

4) The jewellery is so rare and their designs authentic that photography isn’t even allowed in the exhibition, for fear of copying. Hardcore!

5) Check out the building. I think the design is so lovely!

lovely place

lovely place

All in all, it was a charming way to spend Saturday afternoon. I’d recommend going for this exhibition, as well as the Peranakan Museum Collection. For me, it was an eye-opener to learn more about a culture I don’t know much about.

All bling-ed out

All bling-ed out

Went with Sherms who brought Squid along, and Ingrid came as well. I brought my friend Iris with me, who was visiting from Canada, and she enjoyed the exhibition too, especially since she’d never heard about the Peranakan people before. We also met Kanika and Dorothy from SMU as well!

Thanks to Riley from NHB for inviting!

More information about Baba Bling:

It runs from 29th May to 13th Dec

Peranakan Museum is at 39 Armenian Street

Opening hours: Mon 1pm – 7pm, Tues-Sun 9.30pm -7.30pm (till 9pm on Fridays)

Admission charges available here. Did you know that on Friday nights, charges are half-priced, at $3 for adults and $1.50 for students. Awesome!

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IMG_0004

Nothing special about this shot, except I asked Shirley to help me take it and was quite amused with the whole thing because she kept getting confused by my instructions. I told her to “hold the camera low”, but then we had to re-take because it was blurry. Then I said, “try not to shake the camera” and when that didn’t work, we turned on the flash, but this time my shoes got cut off. So we tried again.

“Can you see my shoes?”

“No, cannot.”

“Ok, go a bit further.”

She takes a step back.

“Lower the camera,”

“Ok”

“Can you see my shoes?”

“No, cannot.”

It was rather funny. It didn’t occur to me that she doesn’t handle a camera often.

But yeah, that’s the story behind this shot.

[I need new clothes and a haircut, bah]

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The Nice Post

Perhaps some of you have heard about the TweetSG saga. For those who have not, it’s been written at length by both Daryl and daphnemaia, who focus on the online reputation aspect of the debacle, as well as by the developer himself.

As for me, I don’t wish to rehash the conversation between me and the developer, but it did leave me thinking about the need to be nice.

Personally for me it’s important to be a nice person, and to keep a good account of myself. I don’t remember my parents actually teaching me this, but somehow it’s just something I’ve always believed in.

Growing up, I met some people who could best be described as naughty, but never “not nice” or just plain rude. But as soon as I left what I call the formative years and started university and mixing around with people from different backgrounds, it became clear to me, somewhat shockingly, that there are just people who are plain not nice.

Having grown up believing that we should be nice to one another, I struggle with this fact even now.

On one hand, there’s a part of me that thinks that there’s a higher power or some kinda karma that will come back to haunt people like this. So if I ever came across somewhat who I considered to be rather nasty, I’d usually stay far far away from them, mind my own business and hope that I never have to deal with them ever again.

On the other hand, there are people to whom being nasty is like their way of surviving this world. These are the people that, if you ever cry foul on them for acting badly, will say “That’s not my problem” or “Nobody owes you a living”. And the funny thing is that they are completely capable individuals who treat their own friends nicely, but they just don’t feel the need to be nice to everybody.

Of course, I know that it doesn’t pay to be nice to everyone all the time. Sure, in an ideal world it’d be nice, but you don’t want to be taken advantage of and sometimes you need to assert yourself in order to get what you want.

So as you can see, this issue plagues me a little.

I still personally believe that we should be nice to the people we interact with. And I rather not deal with people that are not nice to me, even if it’s not personal and that’s just the way they operate.

So how? Nice or not nice?

Btw, I use sgBEAT now to tweet from my mobile phone. So far so good. But now that I’ve been burnt, I’ve tempered my expectations a little.

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There are 8 cats in the office.

ziggy and boy

ziggy and boy

cumi and tux

cumi and tux

mini and lulu

mini and lulu

kimi

kimi

K that’s only 7. But apparently there a couple more, but these are the ones who more or less are inside the office usually.

So one day, my boss rescues two lovely orangey kittens from the monsoon drain. They were almost drowning, poor things.

jem and scout

jem and scout

The photo on the left (below) shows them when they first came. Monstrous, loud and pretty terrifying. To me that is! But I’ve never been a kitten person.

The photo on the right (above) is them now, a couple of weeks since they first came. Now they’re more adventurous and naughty too. They’ve started being very playful and they like to hang out on the “2nd floor” of this table we have. I call it The Condo. I call them Jem and Scout after the two siblings in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Anyways, assuming there are only 7 cats (which they aren’t), that brings the tally to 9 felines. We (the office) thought that that was plenty.

Until today.

new kitties

new kitties

Meet the new kitties, yet unnamed.

We found them abandoned in a box in the back alley behind the office. That my friends (if you’re still with me that is) brings the total to 11 kitties. 11 kitties! That is craziness.

Anyways, hopefully you’ve been reading this far, and if you are, you’re probably a cat person, which is good because my boss can’t keep the kittens and wants to find good homes for them. If you or someone you know might be interested, love cats and can commit to taking care of them long-term, please let me know!

The two orange ones are super cute and loveable (one’s a boy and the other’s a sweet girl), I can vouch for that after playing with them and laughing at their antics for the past couple of weeks. The new black ones are super tiny and frail but hopefully they’ll be up and running soon, they look so wee and fragile now and one of them didn’t want to drink his milk 😦

So those are the kitties in the office. They are my source of entertainment and I always go find them when I need to take a break, hehe.

But really, if you’re interested in adopting do let me know! 🙂

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My Michael Jackson tribute

My Michael Jackson tribute

Goodbye SMU. So long, and thanks for the fish.

Some of the best shots of the day:

heart on sleeve

heart on sleeve

it's my party

it's my party

sisters from the hood

sisters from the hood

in/out of character

in/out of character

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biting_hands_that_build_feeds

I attended the Open Room session organised by Ogilvy Digital Influence last week, entitled Journalism’s from Mars, Social Media’s from Venus. At first, I didn’t know what to expect, but as the debate became heated with both sides (bloggers/journalists) becoming very defensive, it became clear that the whole Mars/Venus thing was a pretty apt description indeed.

It was an interesting discussion, although I felt that the REAL CONVERSATION was actually in the live tweets from the various people in the room, a pity it could not be integrated into the discussion real-time.

Nonetheless, I have to highlight Daryl’s post on his thoughts post-Open Room (yes, I said post twice). It was mentioned during the talk that mainstream media won’t be going away soon, as many people still enjoy their morning paper with their breakfast/need a good read in the toilet (etc,etc) but what Daryl says about people our generation forming new habits at an amazing speed holds so true (think Facebook/Twitter/DSLR cameras/Mac books etc)

I know many friends who don’t read the paper anymore. Me, I tend to focus on the lifestyle pages, the “real news” pages don’t cut it for me anymore as I can get more timely news on the Internet. Or, as DK put’s it, “So why should I be paying for yesterday’s news when I can get today’s news free?”

Sure, with the internet, newspapers are hard-pressed to deliver breaking-news stories, but of course it’s not impossible. It’s called good journalism – seeking out news exclusives that we readers don’t have time to seek out ourselves. So, in a sense, social media is actually making journalists be better at what they do, which is a good thing, isn’t it?

Straits Times journalists are now on Twitter, that’s a good thing. Bloggers are now increasingly mentioned in the papers or even contributing to traditional media, that’s a good thing too.

I do agree that the two can co-exist, although I also believe both sides view the other with a little animosity sometimes, but hey, that’s natural i guess when you’re competing for the same eyeballs. But I still believe that MSM won’t die out anytime soon, so I guess journalists can heave a small sigh of relief.

As for the defensiveness, especially from the journalism side, I can totally understand. Being told that people prefer reading free news online than pay for a newspaper, that’s pretty hard to swallow when you’re livelihood depends on selling that paper. But I think that the smart journalist should adapt and work with the change, not cling on the old ways with a death-like grip.

As for me, I’ve always had to have my morning newspaper with my breakfast, but lately it’s morphed into having my morning newspaper AND my laptop open in f

I do believe that there is still a market for both, in Singapore at least. But that might change once my generation (gen Y) grows up and have children/grandchildren, etc..Flying cars and moving sidewalks, anyone?

Pardon the rather incoherent post, just thought I’d dash off some points lest I forget about the very interesting discussion hosted by Ogilvy Digital Influence. Looking forward to next session.

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run1
Unglam photo

Pardon the ugly watermark on the photos, I didn’t feel compelled to buy the photos for S$34.90!

I officially completed my first marathon on Sunday, 28 June 2009. It was the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and me and Erfen had trained for 4 months for it. I was actually quite nervous before the race as I had not been training for 2 weeks before the event due to work, but somehow, someway, we managed to do the entire 42.195km in 5 hours and 50 minutes. It’s not excellent timing of course, but i had set my target to be under 6 hours, since it’s my first marathon, so I am satisfied with the result!

The race statistics say that I am the 165 position for the women’s full marathon category. Not too shabby for a first-timer, I think 😛 Although, the winner of the women’s full marathon did it in 2 hours 40 minutes! And the men’s winner completed it in 2 hours 17 minutes, despited the fact that it was his first marathon! Craziness!!

I would say that though the idea of running 42.195km seems pretty impossible and daunting at first, I think anyone can do it, given proper training beforehand. Before the marathon itself the furthest I’d ever run was 24km! But luckily me and Erfen followed a running schedule, having proper training really helps.

[warning: running advocacy alert!]

Plus, besides just running you can train in other ways too, like doing circuit training, interval trainings, gym sessions and even swimming and cycling for cross-training. Running is an excellent way of keeping fit! Trust me on this, I eat a lot and exercising is the only way that I don’t weigh a ton now.

Running a marathon also challenges you to be strong both mentally and physically, as you are ultimately racing against yourself. Of course, there were times when it was difficult.

While training, sometimes I’d feel lazy to go for a run, or I’d want to walk halfway through my run, but sometimes I just told myself “You can do it” or  visualise myself running past the next lamppost, and the next, and the next, and before I’d known it, I’d have finished my run.

run2
Team Grand Kenyan

Plus, it’s nice to run with a partner as well. During the marathon me and Erfen listened to music via his phone, and we made sure to load songs we both liked.

When the song “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce started playing, we both instinctively started doing the hand actions for the “To the left, to the left” and then we got carried away and did actions for the whole song. I bet we were one of the few runners who were still laughing and joking while running!  It was really a pleasant experience for me and it was a great feeling crossing the finishing line together. It would have been very different had I run alone.

Also, it’s a great excuse to travel! We decided on going for the KL Marathon because it was a chance for us to get out of Singapore and do something different. It was quite a cool way of exploring the city, plus we had time to do some sightseeing/shopping before we left for Singapore. I think many cities have marathons as well, such as the Vienna Marathon (gonna do that one day!) or the Boston Marathon (one of the world’s oldest annual marathons, although I’d need a timing of at least 3 hours and 40 minutes to qualify!)

Boston Marathon 1910
Boston Marathon 1910

Next stop, Safra Bay Run and Army Half Marathon in August, and the Singapore Standard Chartered in December. Pretty exciting stuff! I’m hoping to improve my timing to 5 hours next…fingers crossed!

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