Archive for the 'la famiglia' Category

when love does more harm than good

I thought this was a rather meaningful piece!

When love does more harm than good
In trying to shield my children from hurt and rejection, I sometimes end up discouraging them from giving things a shot
By Tee Hun Ching

It was a week before the food and fun fair at our church, and my son was brimming with excitement.

“What can we sell?” he kept asking.

“Nothing,” I replied for the umpteenth time.

Continue reading ‘when love does more harm than good’


not just a pretty boy

Since we’ve been keeping two lovebirds (a type of small parrot) for the past few years (since they hatched!), I’ve begun to take greater interest in birds, particularly parrots – which are considered among the smartest birds in the world.

All birds occupy a non-mammalian ‘otherness’ that, except for two scrawny legs, makes them seem alien and, at times, as Alfred Hitchcock knew and exploited, even threatening. They can’t entirely repel our powerful urge toward anthropomorphism, but they resist many of the other hallmarks of rewarding pet ownership. They don’t curl up on your lap or spring in the air for your ball, or sleep contently at your feet, or catch mice. How we choose to keep them, moreover, is curiouser still. Perched in tiny cages, often with their wings clipped, they are denied their very bird-ness: that is, the awesome power of soaring flight that is their most salient characteristic.

And yet many people forge a profound bond with birds, and love their winged animals with a fiercely felt reciprocity. This is especially true of parrots.

Read this very evocative article on the complicated bonds between parrots and their humans.

yellow highlighters

Yesterday night, I was observing my brother studying feverishly at his desk, and suddenly noticed that there were no fewer than ten yellow highlighters – from various brands – scattered around him……

toothbrushes and toothpaste

My friend Gabriel posted this question on Facebook:

Why do I have 3 tubes of Colgate toothpaste in my toilet?

Responses I really liked:
– ‘Asexual reproduction’
– ‘Life will find a way. / No wait…’
– ‘There were 4 and someone took one?’
– ‘42

And this was mine: ‘there are more toothbrushes on our toothbrush rack than there are people at home. best thing is, some of my family members keep their brushes elsewhere… :/’ Curious, indeed!


Today’s Yuanxiao Festival, which marks the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration period. It is a tradition to eat tangyuan on this day, I popped into the nearby Mr Bean outlet on my way home, and bought three bowls of tangyuan (only those with peanut filling were left) in soya bean milk home for the family. Everyone enjoyed the dessert tremendously! As did I! But most of all, I can’t believe CNY is over! Definitely need to find some other New Years to make a big fuss of!!! :D


Went to eldest uncle’s house, parents played mahjong with the older folks, I played blackjack and in between with the younger ones, a whole group of us trooped to eldest uncle’s daughter’s house nearby to see her family’s new cat (an orange tom called Waffle), cat was pretty scared to see so many strange faces, lazed around for a couple of hours, went back to eldest uncle’s house, then play more blackjack and in between, and finally emerged with my wallet about $30 lighter close to midnight!

the very hungry caterpillars

About three more days to Chinese New Year, but my family has nearly finished our entire stash of festive goodies: pineapple tarts, cookies and our aunt’s cashew nuts! Only two pineapple tarts, a handful of love letters, and an unopened container of cookies are left…… oh and some bak kwa hidden deep in the freezer and safely away from the very hungry caterpillars!!! :D

great minds think alike

Had ten jiaozi for lunch at Tiong Bahru Market this afternoon. Bought them from a stall selling northern Chinese cuisine.

When I got home after work a few hours ago, I immediately asked my mum what she cooked. ‘In the oven,’ she replied.

So I went to the oven, opened the door, and lo and behold! Couldn’t help but exclaim in surprise when I saw what was inside……

It was a plate of mum’s jiaozi!!!

another one bites the dust

My mum finally bought a handphone, a Nokia Asha 305, after years of people asking why she had none. (Actually, she did get a brick-sized Nokia in late 2000, but gave it to my dad for some reason or another.)

So she called me at work this afternoon to announce her new number. After that, at 1.10 pm, I sent her a message, ‘Hello mummy!!!’ About two hours later, at 3.05 pm, she replied, ‘Tks’.

The manual her phone came with is unsurprisingly scant, so I’m helping her google for information on how to use some functions. :P

cook a pot of curry

Bought tickets to Cook a Pot of Curry yesterday, and really really really felt like eating curry after that.

When I got home after work today, I was greatly amused to see that my mum had cooked…… a pot of chicken curry. :D

finally an adult

A very happy birthday to my little brother who turns 21 today! It seems like it was just yesterday that the parents brought him home from the hospital! Yes, how time flies! :)

toilet stories

Was at VivoCity yesterday afternoon when I felt an urgent call of nature and immediately rushed headlong down a corridor into a toilet. The moment I stepped inside, I stopped short: it was full of men! I had gone to the gents by accident! There had been an uncle behind me in the corridor who kept calling out, but I didn’t realize that he had been calling me! Naturally, I beat a hasty retreat and went to the right toilet this time.

This amusing toilet story reminded me of another amusing toilet story which happened when I was very young:

Once, when my family and I were at a library, my late paternal grandma took me the the toilet. Somehow, she carried me up to urinate into this tiny toilet bowl fixed high up on the wall. This incident puzzled me for quite some time as I didn’t understand why the toilet bowl was so oddly positioned and also because I never encountered a toilet with such fixtures ever again. It was only until very much later that I realized that the odd toilet bowl was a urinal and my grandma must’ve brought me to the male toilet! She was illiterate so she had probably been unable to read the sign at its entrance.

you learn something new every day


My brother cooked some mussels with white wine, a tiny piece of ham and mozzarella (which disintegrated into tiny, disgusting-looking debris) for supper on Saturday night. I was watching him plate them when I suddenly realized that the mussels were in different colours – some were orange and others were cream.

I asked my mum why this was so, and she guessed that different colours meant different sexes. Googled, and found out that she was quite right! As this page explains, in greater detail:

What is the difference between a male and female mussel?
The different sexes of mussels can be identified by their colour. The flesh of a sexually mature male is creamy white, while a female is a reddish apricot.

Anyway, I tried one of my brother’s mussels, and gave him only a 5/10 cos it was rather tasteless! :P

a farewell dinner of sorts

The sister left for a one-week holiday in Korea yesterday night, so we decided to have dinner at the airport before her flight, and settled on Sakae Sushi. Haven’t eaten at a Sakae Sushi for maybe four or five years.

We ordered two bento boxes. The first was chicken teriyaki and tempura,


Continue reading ‘a farewell dinner of sorts’

korean bbq

Second day of Chinese New Year today, and somehow my brother and I found ourselves home alone. >.< So we decided to go out for dinner at a nearby mall. Most of the eateries (and other shops) were closed, but SsikSin BBQ wasn’t!

The restaurant features a Korean barbecue buffet ($24 per person for dinner) with a dozen types of meats in various marinades: about half are beef, and the rest, pork and chicken. We tried nearly all the meats. I am not a fan of beef but I thought the beef bulgogi was the nicest! One type of chicken with a similar marinade tasted pretty good as well. There were also other meats like sausages (which we didn’t bother with), prawns (which didn’t taste fresh) and bacon (which tasted really hard and horrible). There was also a large variety of kimchi, pickles and other condiments to go with the meats.

My brother did the cooking mainly!


Actually we just threw everything haphazardly onto the grill set in our table. But we noticed the tables on both sides of ours cooking their items in a neat, systematic way. We should do that next time!

Continue reading ‘korean bbq’

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