Archive for November, 2012

Guess what’s on my new shelf?

On cat politics

She: Have you noticed that Cammy has found her way to the top of the new shelf?

He: I saw her jumping off down onto the TV on my way downstairs the other morning.

She: She’s the only one who’s up there. She gets up from the scratching post side.

He: Really? Maybe it’s strictly one way.

She: Yes. With invisible sign posts we can’t see. Well, as a result of her being so high up, Aimee can now come out of the room and sleep on the dining table.

He: I know right? You noticed how Joie doesn’t sit on your lap anymore? Only Chinese Cat is allowed to sit on our laps apparently.

She: Joie sits on the back of the chair next to my head.

He: Yes. That’s the spot she’s allowed. I wonder how this cat territory thing works. Maybe it’s like the first who finds it claims it.

She: I don’t know, man…go ask Cammy.


Text conversation between Rebecca and I last night

Me: I have a problem.

She: So do I.

Me: I’m done watching TV and need to go and blow my hair. But Chinese Cat is sleeping on my lap. What’s your problem?

She: I’ve been smelling cat pee for the entire day and have yet to find the spot to clean. Mojo is laughing at me as I go round smelling various places and random things. 😦

Me: Is it on your shirt? Happened to me once. I got cat pee on the bottom of my pants before too. I went to work and had to borrow a skirt from someone.

She: No it is not. I have had pee on my yoga clothes before.

Me: How do you shift a Chinese Cat?

She: Bribe her. Chinese cats are easily bribed, black or white.

Me: She’s asleep…purring away…

She: Oh then you better grab a nearby book and read because it’s a lost cause.


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following up

At my last follow up appointment today, I asked my orthopaedic doctor whether I could do yoga even though my foot is still slightly swollen and I still can’t wear my Court shoes.

He gave me a look and said:

Well, that really depends on what you do in yoga class. If you’re just standing on your head only, sure, why not?

So helpful, right?

Oh well. At least I’m mostly healed up, though I have to postpone running away with the circus till next year at least.

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In the run up till Peanut’s birthday, I’ve spent the weekend past making hand-cut toffees for the goodies bags for her classmates at day care.

On Saturday morning, I made a block of Strawberry-Almond toffees which I wrapped at night. I was to make one more block this morning (so that each kid will get 4 toffees each) but I got out of bed late and missed the window, only settling down to make a Strawberries-n-Cream one in a hurry when we got home from buying a toy chest at Ikea at about 4pm.

After, we went off to Mother-in-Law’s place for dinner and I just started cutting these at about 9.30pm, some 4 to 5 hours later, after getting the kids to bed.

Now I usually cut toffees after they have completely set say about more than 6 hours after making them. So when I cut these, they were still a little soft and yielded to the knife far easier than the ones I cut last night, yet still keeping their shape.

After wrapping about 6 toffees (ie 2 cuts), a light went on in my head.

The trick to saving water and gas and energy when cutting toffees is to cut them once they reach room temperature (ie 4 hours later) and not when they are completely set!!!

[Water and gas because I cut toffees with a knife heated over the stove. In between cuts I soak the knife in water so that the bits stuck to the knife will dissolve off…very tedious process.]

The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was at myself. What the hell!! How could that not have ever occurred to me before, something so plain as day? How did I manage to hack through so many slabs of toffee over the last year (especially the ones that I accidentally cook over hard crack stage…which easily happens because for some strange reason, sugar heats up to 100degC easily, then slows down, then once it hits 150degC, it heats up quite fast again) without seeing something so fundamental?

Oh well. I suppose I should be thankful that the light went on at all. I will be comforted by the thought that I will not be spending the rest of my days hacking up toffee in the cloud of sweat and curses, especially with Christmas just round the corner.

Just goes to show that sometimes, the solution to our problems are just right in front of our eyes. What I had needed was to oversleep, trip over it and turn back for a look with my eyes wide open.


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dinner and a walkabout

Happy 6th anniversary, dear. Here’s to many more years of wandering through life together. 🙂

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Whenever I am stressed out or in the middle of a meltdown or just expended a lot of effort doing something or other, The Buddha will always say to me in this matter of factly voice:

Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you / I couldn’t have done it better myself.

When he said it the first time, I beamed and said You’re welcome.

When he said it the fifth time, I rolled my eyes and walked away.

When he said it the tenth time, I said Stop it! You are making my skin crawl!

On the twentieth time, I returned with an equally deadpanned No need I am just doing my job.

Today, I said This is not about you, you know? I’m doing this because it is what I’m supposd to be doing.

He looked at me, smiled and said I knew that all along.

But at moments before I leave work, or before I get to bed, I’ll sometimes remember the comment and remember why in spite of all the frustrations I feel at work I still keep at it, like chiselling away a mountain with an ice pick.

Because good company, good chemistry, good people are just so hard to come by.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks for (including and not limited to) these nice things today:

1. My parents for tea in the morning and fried fish and pumpkin soup for dinner; for all the effort to make our lives easier; for having so much love to spread around.

2. My wonderful little girl who, before leaving for school, reminded her little brother to be a good boy today; for being such a polite child; for trying her best to impart her knowledge of the world to her little brother.

3. My stoic husband who left work early to come home to settle the housework so that we don’t have to worry over it on the weekend; for listening and accomodating my crazy life always; for taking pains to make CDs full of Katy Perry songs for the kids to sing to in the car; for agreeing to go to the carwash tonight which made the kids laugh like hell in the backseat; for arranging dinner tomorrow for our 6th wedding anniversary.

4. The Buddha for agreeing to take over all of my court obligations this week, even if his idea of taking over my obligations involve calling my opponents to oppress them into agreeing to adjourn the mentions for me; for annoying me with his problems but in the process make us both smarter; for all our squabbles over points which also makes us both cleverer; for making me laugh like hell over stupid jokes; for letting me insult him and insulting me right back.

5. For home made tomato soup and breadsticks for lunch at my desk today paired with Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, a nice break from Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking, Trietel on Contract Law and too many analyses and permutations of exemption / indemnity clauses.

6. For my lovely assistants who did their very best to solve problems between themselves and stay out of my way so I could work on the submissions.

7. For clients who trust me with my opinions, even though I’m usually quite a pacifist, even when I’m really not quite sure what to do sometimes.

8. For friends you run into in the toilet after 2 weeks who mouth the word submissions with bleary eyes, to whom you nod me too and those are all the words required to unlock a well of understanding, empathy and sympathy.

9. For being able to get a cab off the street at 7.45pm tonight; for the cabdriver who was not too weird, didn’t talk too much or play bad music.

10. For my lovely cats lounging around watching TV in the dark with me; for staying up with me waiting for my hair to dry and The Other Half to come home from his run; for making me feel like I’m never alone in the night because working into the night can be a very lonely experience.

For yesterday and today; for having enough and being comfortable; for words and all the spaces in between words in which the intangible but palpable feelings reside while I stretch out on the couch tickled by whiskers, contemplating these words, the spaces, the feelings.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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view from my office window in the evening [not necessarily this one]

I am currently in the unenviable position of undertaking this massive legal research [massive because it is entirely out of my comfort zone and therefore tantamount to piecing together the law from scratch with some vague recollections of basic principles from Law School] which was supposed to have been assigned to various other people over the course of the last six months to a year but then remained woefully uncompleted to date and the submissions which requires the research is due in about 1.5 days.

In other words, story of my life. Business as usual.

I’ve been poised over small print text books and printed cases with a yellow highlighter for the last 6 hours. I feel like my eyes are about to fall out. So I turn around in my seat and see the fluffy clouds float by, yellow from the setting sun, reflected off the glass exterior of the next office building. Then I realise that my time really could be better spent teaching myself the law because time, as far as these submissions are concerned, is really not a friend I want to sit down, dawdle and have coffee and a nice chat with right now.

So big sigh and back to work, Mela. You will be cleverer after this.

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chek jawa

We took the kids to Pulau Ubin together with my parents on Hari Raya Haji for a looksee. Both my mother and I had never been to Ubin while The Other Half and my father haven’t set foot on Ubin for more than 10 years.

We took a ferry to the island and then a minibus taxi service to Chek Jawa. We then walked through the boardwalk and then took the taxi back to the jetty to have lunch at one of the seafood restaurants, before boarding the ferry back to the mainland.

We had a really nice time. The kids were really tired out though and took a really long nap when they reached home. This is something I would do with the kids again although the next time we should check out the tide times as there wasn’t much to see by the coast while we were strolling because of the high tide.

Arriving on a ferry

Welcome to Pulau Ubin

Boardwalk along the Coast

Hello, Mr. Crab!

A wild boar that I had to stop Lion from running towards

Grandpa and the stick insect

Muslim Cemetery

Love, Pulau Ubin

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