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Leaving On A Jet Plane...

...to Denver, Colorado on the 8th of November. :(

This is the first time i'll be sleeping away from Tristan and i can already feel very very anxious about the whole thing.

Tried my best to weasel out of the trip, but to no avail. The boss has already made plans for me there and this trip (and the presentation) has already been included in my year-end appraisal. For the sake of my performance bonus (yes, i am that shallow!), i will just have to make the trip. Get it over and done with.

On the positive side, Tristan will be sleeping over for 2 nights at my in-laws place and i'm sure Ah Gong and Ah Ma will enjoy this bonding time with him. As much as i know the old folks pamper him to death, i usually let them do whatever they want (other than feeding him junk food) and enjoy their grandson however they want! The rest of the nights will be Tristan and Daddy home alone and i think it'll be great that the 2 of them get some father-and-son bonding time alone. Dan is already thinking of bringing Tristan out alone to Macs for brekkie while i'm away...the little one loves hot cakes and was stuffing his face silly when we went there yesterday. He's learning to use the fork and is getting much much better at self-feeding now!

This will be a busy 2 weeks...preparing for the trip, the presentation, getting some work done before i head off. Will definitely be travelling light because it'll only be 4 nights but i can already imagine bringing back lotsa junk for the hubby and Tristan (I Love Denver t-shirts, maybe?)...

I have every reason to believe that Tristan will be well taken of while i'm away and Jenny told me there's no reason for me to feel bad and guilty for leaving him here while i jet off. I can't believe i'm already having separation anxiety even though i'm only going to be away for 4 nights...SIGH! How do working mums cope with having to travel for worktrips?

For the record, I have already informed the boss that i will travel this time BUT expect to be given immunity and the right to reject anymore worktrips the next 2 years! Unless it's somewhere closer like Aussie where i can whip the whole family together with me!


This Is The Dog...

5 minutes ago, SKC finally confirmed Chester's JD (Jumping Dog) title and i cannot describe how proud i am of him.

It was an emo moment when we finished our last trial and got our 3rd and final clean run for the title. I was close to tears (or rather, i cried secretly without anyone noticing), patted Chester fervently and whispered to him as we walked out of the ring...

"I finally titled you, boy..."

It was never my victory to begin with. It was always his, but i knew he needed me to put in my heart and soul for him, to enable him to live his short Border Collie existence to the fullest. And i'd like to think i did...

Some people take 3 trials to get their title; we took nearly 3 years. Some people give up on training their dogs because they can't afford the time and effort; we never did even though Life piles on more and more responsibilities and obligations on us (or rather, me) every single day.

This is the dog with a lousy temperament. This is the dog that is edgy, territorial and so-very-often picks up a fight with other male dogs. This is the dog that i had to carry to the start line on our first trial, fearful that he will getting eliminated for fighting even before he entered the ring.

This is the dog that still does not see eye-to-eye with many other dogs. But this is also the dog that i can stand with at the waiting area now, in the company of so many other dogs before our turn during a trial. This is also the dog that i can now walk into the ring with, without the fear that he will bolt off and attack the next Golden Retriever he sees.

This is the dog that i never thought will achieve much because he lacks an even temperament. But this is also the same dog that i work so hard with because i wanted him to do what every Border Collie is made to do.

This is the dog that taught me nothing is impossible as long as you put your heart and soul into it. This is the dog that taught me that failure is not final but just a boost to spur you on faster and further. This is the dog that taught me the only competitor i have is myself and as long as there is progress, we have already won. This is the dog that taught me that nothing is more important than doing your best no matter what the outcome is.

This is the dog that i never gave up on, no matter how much his poor temperament hindered me. This is the dog that never gave up on me, no matter how much my poor handling skills, the arrival of Tristan, my general lack of time/energy hindered him.

This is the dog, Chester the Jester, JD.

"...And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that, in the end, your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name..."


Train Of Thoughts

Just trying to jot down my thoughts before i nick off for another morning meeting. Easing into the day with my elderflower tea, the queue at Spinelli's was too long and so i didn't manage to get my mocha.

Lots of things running through my mind. Some are totally random. Some are decisions i have to make. I'm still not sure if i want to go to Denver to present my poster. It will be a very very rare opportunity because according to the boss, i am the first local person to be doing so....but going there means i'll have to leave the Tristan and the hubby behind, and that is not something i like very much. I've made it very clear to the department that family is first on my priority list and thank God the boss understands and supports that. We'll see, i guess. i'm just hoping the people on top tells the boss we have no budget to send me on the trip, especially since i'm going to be ordering room service every day just like my previous trip to South Carolina and Florida...heh.

Maybe i really do have separation anxiety after all!

Have also been toying with the idea of going part-time. I know, i know...i've been saying it before Tristan even turned 1. I've never been the kind who will wait for the "right" time because i've always believed the right time is NOW (or never). Still, it is a big decision because of all the logistical issues. I really need to sit down and work out the finances because if i really do decide to work part-time, i'll be taking a 50% (thereabouts) paycut. I'm not a big spender but i like to make sure i at least have 2-3 months worth of salary in my bank in case of a rainy day. And yes, i have a house loan and a car loan to service too.

Other random things have also been popping into my mind. Like...alot of old scenes from the past. Like...the places that Dan and I used to go when we were a dating couple. I wonder if anyone remembers "The Green Place" or "Pennsylvania House" at Capitol Building? I remember spending one of my birthdays at Pennsylvania House and Dan had already bought a cake and sent it there before dinner time. When the waiter brought the cake out after dinner, i still exclaimed excitedly that "got complimentary dessert ah"! Dan still remembers that incident and that it was a Snoopy cake that he bought....even after nearly 10 years.

Maybe it's because i have been listening to so many sad love stories (rather, unrequited love stories) recently and how many people around me have been telling me they're not sure if they will ever meet "the one" and the love of their lives....i feel truly truly blessed that I've met a man that i can share my entire life with. If there's one thing Dad taught me about loving a person, it is to love unconditionally with no complaints and no regrets ("wu yuan wu hui", so he says). If there's one thing i want to teach Tristan about Life, i think i'd want him to be a loving person who will always find it in his heart to love all his neighbours.

My mantra in life - Live. Laugh. Love.

Random thought after seeing some firemen engaging in their fire-saving drill (or whatever you callit) - it's quite cool being a fireman! Nothing to do with them being uniformed men! I've also been looking at cars on the road and realise i can do with a new car! Although i'm more of the "i-just-need-a-car-to-get-from-PointA-to-PointB" person, i think i can do with a better (and manual) car. We've abused our little hatchback too much and i hate the new suspension. Not all things hard are good, you know. I'm pleasantly surprised that the husband's first goal if he earns whatever he aims to earn in a year, is to get me a car. I said i wanted a WRX when he asked me but i think i've changed my mind and want an STI (no less!) now. Tee hee hee!! I loved our Scooby and somehow, i just have a special relationship with it...

Another random thought...maybe i should convert this to a food blog since i've been cooking lots lately?

Good Morning!

There are good mornings and bad mornings. Today happened to be a good morning and i left the house with nice hair (with all the flyaway strands in place) and mascara. :)

Kissed the husband goodbye, in his crisp white shirt (YUM). Patted Chester before i left home - God, he smells so good and his fur is divinely soft after his bath yesterday! Walked hand in hand with Tristan to the car park (he got distracted multiple times and wanted to jump into the swimming pool!). Can't stop smiling as i watched Tristan "singing" Baa Baa Black Sheep from the rear view mirror. Put on my fave Jay Chou disc on the way to work and blasted the music, windows down with the wind in my face. Traffic was surprisingly good which i was thankful. Managed to get my mocha before heading to office...

"These are a few of my favourite things..."

Will be baking banana bread later tonight!


Border Collie, I Am Not

I think i can finally say that i am not a Border Collie and therefore should NOT try to do as much as a Border Collie is build to.

Even Leonardo (who was my trainer in one of the external courses) commented that i am the kind who wants to do everything and may run the risk of burning out or having no "me-time" if i don't take it easy and remind myself it is okay to do nothing at all. Leonardo only knew me for 2 days by the way, and he was spot-on.

Truth is, i find sleeping a waste of time. Very radical, i know. And with my recent goal to cut down on time-wasting activities like watching the tv and surfing the net, i'm getting less time to just muck around and veg out.

Even if i'm surfing the net, i'm looking for information about work, about training, about everything else that i hold important. It's almost as if i'm living my last day every single day and i have no idea why! It's not as if i don't already have enough on my plate, i don't know why i just get myself involved in more and more things (from trying to help "liak gneow" and mediate cases involving stray cats at the work place...to becoming an ex-co member of a work-related association). Even if i'm playing the XBox/PSP, i am trying to master a character, or beat my own timing/record at something.

Is there ever a time that i just do nothing? Hardly.

And if you ask me if i have me-time? Ironically, i'll answer yes. Training Chester at ungodly hours (e.g. 6am, 11pm), before/after Tristan sleeps, is considered me-time to me even though it can be mentally and physically draining. With the trials just around the corner, i think i'm pushing myself hard, possibly even more than i push Chester (afterall, he's a Border Collie and he sleeps his day away while i'm at work).

I know i eventually have to know how to ease off and just stop being a Border Collie and curb my "i-need-to-do-something" instincts because i am feeling the effect of taking too much on my shoulders already. I really need to start being a diva Poodle!


Back (For The Time Being)...

Another unplanned hiatus - 6 months just whizzed by like that! I'd love to blog more but unfortunately, blogging is quite low on the priority list atm (at the moment). Anyway, everyone gets updates on me via Facebook! Still, here's a summary of my life in point form:

1. Work has been superb. Very grateful to boss for trying to push me up the food chain (even though i really resisted it at the start). Later, i discovered (during one of our leadership/confidence building/communication training session), that i'm actually averse to power and it stems wayyy back to when i was young...(that's another story for another time).

2. Two increments in the past 5 months, can you believe it?

3. Boss is also in the midst of doing some negotiation for me to co-author a tree shrew chapter in someone's new book. Can't wait and hope it materialises.

4. Have been rejecting alot of overseas training opportunities because i still don't think i can come to terms with not sleeping under the same roof as Tristan (for now). Very pathetic i know but i'm grateful that the boss is cutting me alot of slack on that.

5. Back on the "training session" i mentioned in point 1. I've only had a few life-transforming experiences in my 31 years of existence and this is truly one of them. I shed some baggages i didn't even know i was carrying and forced a few skeletons out of the closet. I can't describe the experience in a few words but i've been sharing them with alot of people around me...so talk to me if you wanna know more!

6. Still training Chester and trialling him, not just for the SKC trials now but also for the USDAA trials. In the last 3 months, Chester has successfully gained 2 Qs (Qualifying Score) - one for SKC and one for USDAA. On our way to titling Chester as a Jumper Dog and hopefully by the end of the year, he'll be Chester JD (in human terms, that just means more alphabets behind your name).

7. I attribute the latest win at the SKC trials (and 2 good runs i had with him) to the "training session" because it taught me how to unleash alot of inner powers that i had but never knew how to use. Sounds abit psycho right?

8. Celebrated 11 years of togetherness with the love of my life last month and looking forward to our 2nd wedding anniversary next month! After not taking neoprints for eons, we finally had one taken again on that very day!

9. Little Tristan is growing, intellectually more than physically which is a good thing (he's not even 10kg at 14 months old and i'm not complaining!). Even though it's getting more taxing for us now that he's like a mini hurricane, i'd never exchange the joy of being a parent for anything else in the world!! The little one never fails to amaze me everyday - from his excellent learning abilities (i believe he has more than 40 words in his vocab, ranging from banana to spider to wheels) to his funny antics (his latest is trying to walk with his eyes closed)...i can't stop ranting when it comes to my lil' darling!

10. After neglecting my PSP for awhile (attention got diverted to the XBox360), i'm back at it again and playing the long overdue SIMS 2 atm (waiting for the launching of SIMS 3 next month)....anyone with good games, tell me!!

Ciao for now.


I Like This Feeling

The good thing about my current job is that it allows me to be more involved in doing my bit for the community animals as a volunteer (i just did a talk for the CWS over the weekend at the AVA Roadshow) because i have more free time and am not slogging my ass off during the weekend or after normal office hours.

i feel good knowing that i'm helping animals because i want to, and not because i need a pay check or because i'm obliged to fill my bosses' pockets by default. To those who have repeatedly told me they're "running a business and not a charity organisation", screw you!!!

Gone Shopping!

I've just placed an order for a new Coach bag which in my opinion is expensive but in my husband's words is "okay what...quite cheap what"! Perfect excuse for me to just bite the bullet and proceed with the buy! :)

The good thing is - and i've only just realised this, i'm blessed with a husband who doesn't raise an eyebrow about branded bags and such. In fact, he's usually the one who gets the big-ticket items for me (and no, he doesn't nag or complain or give me a guilt trip after that) while i spend most of my time searching for cheapo stuff. I suspect it's largely because he has an expensive hobby (car modding, that is) and so a bag that costs a grand or more seems pretty reasonable compared to his car mods which probably costs a lot more! (On hindsight, i can foresee him getting peeved reading this because i didn't give him due credit for the genuine effort he puts in to keep me a happy wifey. So there, i know you love me so can i use your supp card to buy more bags to make myself more happy? :))

I've been stingeing on myself for the past few months and splurging on Tristan mainly so i definitely have good reasons to pamper myself and go on a bag spree this month! I can so foresee that bag is not the only one i'm getting because i need a new workhorse too! See, the husband has been complaining about my excessively heavy Burberry hobo when he carries it for me and my retort is that it is a heavy bag in itself even without my barang barang! What's more, HE was the one who bought it for me so technically, he's complaining about his own purchase afterall! Heh!

Gone shopping! Going shopping again!


Morning Mooozik!

Nothing beats having good music to kick start the day. 

I'm not particularly a big fan of Keane and i probably only know 2 of their songs. But i love the whole feel of this song - the melancholy in the lyrics and the simplicity of the arrangement. Very very very pretty chord progression. 

Found a few other cover versions on youtube. I'm tempted to say some really butchered the song but i guess if they sang it exactly like Keane, then they would lose their individual style. Natasha Bedingfield started alright in the beginning (she's got a beautiful voice without a doubt) but as the song progressed, both the vocal and piano parts became more technical and complicated. I shut down instinctively because she totally killed the simplicity of the original version which was what i loved.

Laura Michelle Kelly - whoever she is, pardon me, did an ethereal cover of the song. Nothing too impressive but i got a lil' annoyed when the song ended with strings in the arrangement. Reminds me of Disney movies for some reason.

 Blake Lewis stuck with the original arrangement of the song and did a pretty decent cover version. But singing a cover version as good as the original only makes you a good singer. What made David Cook really stand out (he's the BEST AI in my opinion) is his knack for coming up with his own rendition of a song, making it sound better than the original version and finally owning the song. I can't even bloody hell remembered how Mariah Carey did "Be My Baby" but Cook's version is just so entrenched in my mind. If you asked me who the original singer of that song was, i'd probably instinctly say David Cook. 

Anyway i digressed! I wanna do a cover version of Keane's song too!! I know the hubby is looking at getting a good multitracker for the jam room so we can do our own recording in the comfort of our own home. Am definitely looking forward to that. 

So many other songs i want to share, mainly songs i hear on the hubby's IPod - songs that make me smile, songs that make me rock out, songs that make me boogie, songs that bring back good memories.... 

If music stops existing in my world one day, i think i'll die.


Gimme Thai! Gimme Thai!

In the car this morning, as soon as the newscaster reported about the unrest in Thailand, the hubby quipped, "I don't care what's going on there, just gimme my Thai food!!"  

And yes you've got it right, our latest craze is Thai food! 

For those that had asked me (too many and too incessantly) about Yhing Thai, we headed down to Purvis Street yesterday afternoon for a pig-out session. We just didn't have enough at Aroy Thai last weekend because the hubby's hands were full with Chester, my hands were full with Tristan, and we were dining together with 10 or more other people and as you know, such communal dining usually leaves you still feeling hungry afterwards! 

Yhing Thai Palace turned out to be a great experience not only because of the yummilicious food, but also because it's been some time since the hubby and i went pak-toring without the babies (Chester and Tristan)! I had been toying with the idea of having Thai food sometime this week and told the hubby that i probably will take a day off sometime soon to go on a date with him. And i did, to the hubby's surprise because he thought i was just paying lip service about the date thing! 

So yes, i had the day off and slept in (well technically, if sleeping in with Tristan babbling between us in bed counts), had family time (all 4 of us) at the field opposite our place in the morning playing frisbee with the dog, then trooped down to Purvis Street promptly at noon after dropping the little one at my mum's place. As expected, we couldn't find any parking at the street or the adjacent streets and had to park at Bras Basah Complex, which was cool because i wanted to check out the poster printing services there anyway. 

Fortunately, the restaurant wasn't that packed and we managed to get a table even without prior reservations. I must say the service is quite good and a long-haired female waitress rapidly (albeit eerily) appeared by my side as soon as we were ready to order. Also, one of the waitresses pulled a chair over for my bag when she saw me leaving it on the floor, food was served pretty quickly, we didn't have to wait eons for our iced water to be topped up (unlike some restaurants), a waitress promptly asked me what else i'd like to order the moment i touched the menu again and a waiter even bothered to open the door for us when we were leaving the restaurant.

We didn't take too long to decide on what to have, mostly standard Thai food stuff though we decided to give the curry and pineapple rice a pass. The olive rice was recommended so we went for that. Also ordered stuffed deboned chicken wings, thai fish cake, tomyam talay (mixed seafood) and minced beef with basil.... 

By the way, if you're interested to check out this Thai food joint, the review, addy and telephone number from Makansutra can be found here. Photos from this post courtesy of Makansutra too. 
Will definitely go back to Yhing Thai Palace another time but for now, how about more Aroy Thai this weekend again? (A friend who knows about my latest food fetish just recommended me Thai Ying @ Amara Hotel, any other recommendations from foodies?)





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