The lovely Dora of Vintage Passions Just Like Mine and Josceline of Succeeding at Failing conferred upon me my second blog award.
Here's what I have to do:
1)Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2)Share 7 things about yourself
3)Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4)Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award
Let's see, seven things about myself:
Ms K & myself since 2004
I love cats-- it is in my blood. Whilst you often see The Chocolate Robber (here and here) in my posts, the main feline love of my life is Ms K, my black-and-white beauty with the expressive face and the large puppy eyes. She who loves to scream in photos as though she is abused, watch out for me from the study windows upstairs and run to the door like my loyal dog, and must be stroked and talked to in order for her to eat her food. Here's what I wrote about her a while back:
" I have four family cats back in Singers. This is my absolute favourite, not because of her colour or the fact that her facial and hind markings are perfectly symmetrical (I'd only realised months after adopting her, which makes it even sweeter, kinda like how happy I was when I realised D is actually a cordon-bleu chef masquerading as a designer) but because there was that something in her. I met her on the first day of volunteer duties at the SPCA and I knew she would be my cat. But, my father is vehemently anti-cats. Week by week, every other cat got adopted, but magically, this cat somehow never got chosen. Which was rather mysterious because she was the best-looking cat there (seriously! and there were loads of ugly cats). 13 months later, I finally convinced The Mother to engage in a smuggling mission with me (needed her to sign the papers because I was underaged). Execute first, face the music later-- 先斩后奏. And one stormy Monday morning on the 27th September 2004, Ms K went home with us in a taxi, to the backdrop of howling winds and merciless rains. And beyond everything else of what a wonderful (sometimes snobbish, sometimes loving) cat she is, She Who Looks More Soft Toy Than A Soft Toy has a crazy knack for shoes that I find both amusing and endearing. When I walk in with a new paperbag nestling a box of shoes, she will wake up and charge towards me, knocking things over (she never does that normally) and paw the bag. She'll sniff the shoes with glazed eyes and look a little high as she marks her territory (and brands her seal of approval) on them. I've never met cats like that before. So sometimes I miss her reaction whenever I buy new shoes here. Luckily for me, D shares in my shoexcitement too."
26 August 2008
from original post here
Most people who know me well-enough know that I am extremely cheeky. According to D, I always look like I am up to no good, which is not true. Then one day, I found old photos of myself as a child. I was always chuckling and looking naughty all the time. Even the above, at nine months old, has me looking all cheeky. Then, to my slight horror, I realised that I was an expert in posing for photographs since I was a baby, stretching, turning and changing my expressions before I could even stand properly. Also, I think that because I have four dimples (the first thing the nurse told my mother when she regained consciousness), I always look like I'm smiling.
Today, I continue to be cheeky and play tricks on people all the time, out of good humour. A bit of a minx and a bit of an imp, I think it makes life fun and light-hearted. I love making cheeky cards for friends, for instance in Lulu's birthday card which went, "School girls, behave!" (long story behind that) and D's birthday card which was based on a dodgy shot of him on the beach, complete with beer and smokes. And with the words "Draconian Chef" imprinted on the beer can. You should have seen the mad smile on his face when he opened the envelope.
original image source here
Growing up, I didn't exactly have the highest self-esteem. I don't even remember it being remotely healthy. I think it was the combination of bad haircuts, gangliness and those hideous pink plastic spectacles with large frames that made everything worse. From 7 to 16, I was called every mean name ever imaginable, which took a great beating on the ego. I think, coming from a convent school (in Singapore, convents are known for producing alpha females, bitches and confident women who look you in the eye and speak well) for that same period of time made it worse. I remember being 7 and people I hung out with would go, "Yeah, (my name) is the tallest and . . the ugliest in the room. Hahaha" and they'd laugh. Kinda mean-spirited for seven year-olds, but I still shudder at the memory. When I was 15, I remember this girl going, "(My name) reminds me of a fat ugly nun. You're almost there, just not fat". Otherwise, I'd get made fun of for my skinniness ("your legs resemble chicken wings" when pointing to the thigh muscle cut) and all sorts of unpleasantries. I think the only saving grace I had were my brains, which I took time to develop, and those times gave me moments of reflection and introspection. Something happened when finished high school, my looks started to change, my cheekbones started to develop, and I began to blossom. Sometimes when I look back at those times and meet some of those mean girls (of which I was even asked, "did you go for plastic surgery"), I do think I look way better than them, and probably achieved loads more. But I think the take-home lesson here is that I don't judge a person based on prettiness/ugliness. And when I mentor or tutor a young kid who starts to insult others' looks, I make sure I sow in the seeds of not condemning a person for his or her face.
I often love to say, "When I grow up, I want to look like Angelina Jolie AND Penelopé Cruz". Because I am greedy and can't decide, I want the best of both worlds. And I like to tell myself I'm not grown up yet and therefore can still evolve. Recently, I discovered Claudia Cardinale, and have decided she incorporates the best of both worlds. Therefore, when I grow up I want to look like Claudia Cardinale.
from original post here
I have a love-hate relationship with travelling-- most of the time it is the long (and expensive) trip to the airport that puts me off. I'm quite alright with squashing in planes though, probably because I first flew when I was 2 years old and have always associated flying with something immensely exciting.
One thing about travelling that puts me off is packed, hurried schedules and having to wake up early to pile into tour buses (read: The Father and 2813918239123 people I know). No, travelling, to me, should be loads of time for bubble baths and long mornings in bed. Sure, some sight-seeing, and yesh, I know you're all the way in a foreign place and must explore. I typically love to spend a few days just exploring a tiny place, getting lost and wandering about and chilling. Taking my time to eat and take loads of photographs. It's a crazy laid-back approach as compared to my usual high-strung self but it works for me. Also, I don't like to 'pile on the holidays' and travel for the sake of travelling. Some of my friends think I'm bit crazy having been to Europe for 15 months but having only travelled to some parts of the UK and then to Cyprus. But we also have to decide among food, shoes and travelling, right? Take my time, and like Billy Joel sings in one of my favourite songs Vienna,
Slow down, you crazy child, you're so ambitious for a juvenile
But if you're so smart tell me why are you still so afraid [...]
Slow down, you're doing fine, you can't be everything you want to be before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight. .
I think I am an immensely-loyal person. I'll go all out for those I care for, and for those I classify under "My People" and most people tell me they can trust me with their lives; but if you hurt me, I'll cut you out of my life without bothering to exact vengeance because karma will get your big fat arse with a bite seven-times harder. Hahaha. Okay, this was not supposed to be so mean-sounding. I am very close to my family-- it's like a mad drama if you watch/hear/participate in our family dynamics, but I love it. I was brought up with my cousins by my maternal grandparents, and loved having so much love lavished upon me by my elders. I think my cousins also provided a good model for achieving academic success, drummed early into me. Nevertheless, I craved a younger sibling, so I begged my mother for a younger brother when I was five. She said her heart melted and then my folks changed their minds on their original intention to have just one child. The day my brother was born, was the day I was seen the happiest, smiling my toothy smile. I remember my grandfather who was warded in the same hospital where my brother was delivered remarking, "You've been smiling all day!". I also make it a point to maintain close relations with my uncles and aunties, especially after all my grandparents whom I was extremely close to have passed on. Every year on their death anniversaries, I light a candle or visit their graves/niches if I can. . in remembrance of the people who made me what I am.
And I'm also not sure whether it's because I'm growing older, or because I knew that I was leaving Singapore one day, that I became more aware of digging into my ethnic roots and extended family (which is very very large). Chinese New Year home visits not longer became a chore but rather one which I started to love, for the sake of knowing the people in my life and where I come from. Apart from that, "My People" is also reserved for the exclusive echelon of people who have passed the tests of The Suspicious Feline In Me. Can't help it, experience has made me that way! But am I grateful to have amazing support and a lovely network of people who respect each other and celebrate our differences.
I think each of us has some sort of effect on others, and the major effect I tend to hear of is inducing experimentalism in others. From fashion ("you're the only person I dare to dress up or try on or buy these stuff with") to all sorts of subjects ("oh God I tried that! I never dared to tell that or discuss that with anyone. Why am I telling you?") to books ("Why have I never discovered that?") sometimes I worry if I might be bad influence. Lol. Even D keeps telling me he is getting more experimental with his cooking. I remember how he'd keep running to recipes all the time. . I actually like this more experimental and confident Chef more!
I always think that you cannot choose your family, so they cannot classify as the best things that happen to you. Conversely, the people (and cats) who enter your life can, and D would be the best thing that's happened to me, even if he gets upset about being classified under 'people'. I think it's an amazing story how we developed and maintained a strong friendship over the years from the initial spark, knowing each other better, trying to downplay the magnetic attraction due to geographical barriers and individual circumstances/situations. It seemed impossible. Nevertheless, time gave us the conditions for knowing each other's brains (very important!) and delving into nooks and crannies of each others' personalities, being rather blown away by the ease at which we flipped from the deep to the frivolous. Years of entanglement made me think I had enough, and then one day we just admitted that it was inescapable. I revealed that I was applying to Cambridge, initially thinking he'd never go back to the UK and I'd be safe there. Now I eat my words and yum, are they delicious. Then he goes, "I moved back to the UK for you!". And so whilst we trudge our ways out of whatever difficulties (trust me when I say we're not rich and you wouldn't want to trade lives with me), as the light looks increasingly brighter, I have myself a wonderful lover, chef, intellectual and Absurdist sparer, and everything else. Someone to force me to talk when I love to keep everything in. And most importantly, first and foremost, a deeply-rooted friendship, developed over good times and persevering through the rough.
"I remember wishing for all these in a partner, wondering if it was possible, and you're all that and more" . . and I realised, that's what I wished for too :)
DP in Cyprus, 5 May 2010.