Saturday, October 29, 2005
We rushed back home to get Q-tip bathed, then back off to Bishan Park for more 'blading. Meantime, I'm coordinating orders for a KFC take-out which Amy picked up for us on her way over. By the time June, Q-tip and I arrived, Vince and NBS had already done quite some exploring of the park on their rented in-lines. JY joined us soon after and we all had a picnic under the trees when Amy pulled in with our lunch orders.
After another hour or so in the rink, we broke up the party and took Q-tip home to get her ready for tonight.
Robertson Walk threw a "Halloween with a Howl" event in which pet owners could bring their pets and dress in costume for prizes.
Q-tip went as a fairy dogmother. Haha.
But in order to participate in the festivities, we had to spend some money at any of the F&B places there. We chose Bistro Cameleon where the tuna sashimi salad (above) was deliciously fresh, the tuna so smooth, and the garlic chips were surprisingly addictive.
My order was the hot-plate beef (again served with those yummy garlic chips). The beef was tender, juicy and had streaks of cow fat, so it tasted really good. Have to remember not to soak the beef too long in shoyu. It doesn't need to be that salty. Cameleon's menu prices don't seem too expensive for individual items, but it all adds up if you lose control and order whatever the staff recommend.
The coupon booklet entitled Q-tip to a free pedicure (above), us to free ice-cream, and some discounts on other stuff we bought for her, like food and fashion accessories. Blush.
But when the festivities ended, we were such lucky sods. We walked away with the 3rd prize in the Grand Lucky Draw, thanks to No. 0040 who didn't collect the prize she won, thus causing the re-draw that our ticket won. $100 worth of Centrepoint vouchers, though only redeemable at Robertson Walk. Good enough! Food and drink. What better way is there to spend unearned money?
Friday, October 28, 2005
And as of 1620hrs today, Echo got traded-in for Amy's new car: a pearl-white Swift. Hardly any space for plushies, except for a cubby hole in the front dash. It's now being occupied by a duck and a baby seal jostling for elbow-room with a blue hippo. Good luck!
Too bad Anthony isn't around to see the car-shopping process we started through to completion. But he's off to Japan so he's probably got the better end of the deal.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Times have certainly changed. In these last couple of years, the JC1 cohort lost the post-exam period. That's because immediately after the promo exams were over, they all had to face a real Cambridge exam -- PW. And a lot of importance has been attached to this new subject, too. It amounts to 10% of local uni admission criteria and as such it's not to be trifled with. Kids are all so busy preparing for the exam after the exam there's no time to celebrate the end of their first year in college. As of last year, we threw a party, but hardly anyone came. This year, no one can be bothered any more.
What's ironic is that before PW became serious the kids were informally working on a real project that actually had to come to fruition -- they had to pull it off for real. They were already collaborating with one another, and even across disciplines by involving talents and skills from a variety of CCA groups who were willing to pitch in mostly for the fun of it (ok, maybe I'm romanticizing a little here). They had to plan schedules and activities, organize logistics, mobilize human and economic resources, and be ingenious in creating something out of very little. There was an actual purpose behind the Halloween Project. It was entertaining, it was student-led and run, it was creative, it was compassionate (proceeds went to charity), and there was potential for community outreach as well, given time.
Wait. Did I say Halloween is dead because of PW? Maybe not. It'll take a brave PW supervisor to mobilize a CT's worth (or two) of project groups to make Halloween the focus of their group projects. Each group could focus on different aspects of organizing the festival, after all according to the Ministry, the project task -- regardless of how the question words it -- is flexible enough to accommodate any proposal the kids wish to put up.
Halloween might be the perfect project focus because of its timing in the PW cycle. All the plans have to be laid down, carried out and documented in the groups' Written Reports; following which there are a few days left before Halloween to get the logistics and publicity together; there can be one huge bash involving the entire college and maybe the community outside as well; and everything ends just in time for the groups to report on their involvement during the Oral Presentation.
But like I said... that's gotta be a brave PW supervisor, or a pretty smart one, anyway. He or she will have to run by his or her own schedule, not necessarily in keeping with the college's schedule but still abiding by Cambridge's. Not easy. Anyone wants to revive Halloween, next year's JC1 tutors?
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
It's going to be like this for the rest of the week, plus a few other duties and details to take care of as well.
Am lookin' forward to the weekend already...
Monday, October 24, 2005
We sat in the outdoor area under a large canopy. It happened to be breezy and cool at the time, so outdoors was a good choice. No set lunch today, but today's special was the sirloin steak. It was quite a large chunk, quite thick and reasonably tender. On the side were a handful of crispy home fries and a stir-fry of zucchini and carrot. I ordered my steak rare but it came medium instead -- pink inside, not bloody. Kitchens tend to be rather conservative around here, I guess. Price-wise, for my steak and fresh lime juice: roughly $11.50. Not bad, indeed.
It rained for a spell during lunch, but the canopy held up well and we didn't even get splashed. But the one important thing I found out about this place is that it probably is pet-friendly, as long as we sit outside. "Probably," because the wait staff said, "yes," but her face looked doubtful. Q-tip will have to take her chances if we bring her next time.
Amy and NBS abandoned us after lunch, not at all interested in our after lunch activity: to drive over to Weng's and use his PS2 for the rest of the afternoon. Male bonding time, then, over Pringles, Tai Sun garlic flavoured peanuts, coffee and Konami's "Winning Eleven 8." At this game, Vince and Anthony make a pretty good team. Weng and I are still barely getting used to the controls. Silly afternoon. Wheeee!
Sunday, October 23, 2005
But because we had a dog in tow, we had to lunch at dog-friendly Acacia rather than at J8, our original plan. No regrets, though. Acacia serves up very generous portions of presentable food, particularly from the a la carte menu. No set lunch on weekends.
My fettuccini with mushrooms and ham was such a delight. The pasta was bouncy and the cream sauce was light and tasty. There was an assortment of mushrooms and small chunks, rather than slivers, of ham. Each mouthful had a satisfying bite to it, and it all went down easily without the feeling that it was too heavy a meal.
Amy's orange duck looked gorgeous: the drumstick lashed with an attractive orangey-red gravy and resting on a mound of mashed potatoes. JY ordered a wild mushroom salad. She went wild over the sauteed mushrooms but couldn't finish her salad. But June's fish 'n chips came in such a huge platter that even with us picking from her plate, there were still quite some chips and June's 2nd chunk of fish remaining at the end of our meal. We were sorry to see it wasted, but there was no help for it. Where's NBS when we need her?
Amy was tired out from last night's nuptial duties (er... coordinating the festivities, not what it sounds like) so no bike for her. June kept her company in the shade but JY and I hit the rink again after lunch. Yay! After 3 sessions, JY is off the railing and is gliding on her own. She still takes tumbles every now and then but she's learned to fall without hurting herself, and she can stand up again without assistance. She's moving with much more confidence and all that's left, as I told her, is to work on looking like she was enjoying herself. Q: can JY rollerblade now? A: She's passed basic theory. More learning needed, but congrats for making it this far.
Next step: to do the stuff the inline hockey guys were training to do. Hur hur.