Friday, December 30, 2005

Once in a while I give out "model answers" to exam questions.
There are a number of things I planned to say over the last couple of days, but I can't summon the energy to put them all into coherent thought. It's the end of the year and I'm tired, so I'll just dish out a little practical vacational advice here:

DO NOT seek to maximize vacation time by minimizing sleep time (duh!). For the last couple of weeks I've been sleeping past 4am trying to squeeze the last remnants out of December 05. Some days I don't go to bed until I realize that birds are singing in the trees! Those are really wasted days since I don't wake up again until past noon, so the whole exercise of maximizing time becomes a total farce.

Result: bio-clock gets upset causing loss of temper, loss of patience, loss of good humour, thinking of uncharitable thoughts, even outright hostility. June noticed this especially when I'm playing NFS:MW in the wee hours -- I'd be verbally abusing my virtual opponents for their anti-social driving behaviour in language that's unprintable in a PG site like this one. Can you say, "road rage?"

Will be going into hibernation mode these last few days before term begins again, if only to stock up on lost sleep.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Discovery of the Day: "Don Your Personal Pie Club." Weird name, I know. June and I were wandering around China Square when I noticed this signboard advertising chicken pie. We still haven't quite got over Harry's pies of last year's vacation in Sydney so of course we had to go check this place out.

The counter guy was very happy to see us and immediately introduced us to the pies on display. The look in our eyes must have told him we were an easy mark. The regular sized pie is shareable between 3-4 pax, assuming it isn't the only thing on the table. We bought a quarter pie to sample and it was good. The Signature pie has a light flaky crust, hot and moist inside with bits of carrot, potato and green peas accompanying the chicken strips that define it as a chicken pie. The guy said there were different grades of spiciness, and the wedge that we tried already kept our stomachs warm and happy.

Also on offer were NY cheesecake, which the guy assured us was of pure Philly cheese manufacture, and chocolate fudge cake for those who want "afters."

And so...

unofficially, the end-of-year vacation has ground to a halt. Back to work tomorrow, and in a way, it'll be nice to get back to the old routines I've grown accustomed to. Nothing like a bit of structure and predictability for direction and purpose again. Bear with me, I'm trying to be positive here. But Workyear 2006 is still a few hours away from now, so let's imbibe the last of our vacation to the dregs while we still can.

Monday, December 26, 2005

And so the day we anxiously wait 364 days of the year every year comes to an end. Well, there're still a couple of homes left to visit later, but officially, Christmas is over.

Didn't feel all that Christmassy this year, though. It was more like, suddenly It's here! Lots of seasonal food on which to over-indulge, lots of family to greet, a frenzy of wrapping and unwrapping of presents, all over in a whirlwind 48 hours.

It must have been the lack of an adequate build-up to the event for June and me. There's usually a sequence of activities to undertake that enhances the anticipation. Things like putting up the tree, taking slow strolls through the malls selecting gifts and admiring the deco (which was horribly commercial this year in particular, I thought), and preparing our share in the feasting (we usually roast up a fab turkey and put some salad together) gets us in the right frame of mind to celebrate properly. We've been naughty this year and did none of the above. No wonder we feel more like Grinches than Santas.

Oh well, 364 more days till Christmas 2006. Let's hope it's a good one.