Thursday, July 31, 2014

New floor lamp means more titles to read...

Just a random post.

I finally got myself to buy a floor lamp over the long weekend. Damn three day holiday! I ended up having quite a few unplanned purchases. Haha!

There's an app called carousell, which I guess is somewhat similar to eBay. I came across an Ikea floor lamp that was being sold dirt cheap. The best thing was the seller was also in my neighbourhood.

I've been meaning to get a floor lamp to put by my bedside. Previously, I just have a desk lamp and the ceiling light. Thankfully, the latter was provided in a warm tone and not one of those *gasp* hiddeous white lights. Haha! Pag galit sa white light, alam na. My previous problem was that I couldn't read in bed just before I go to lalaland. The ceiling light was too soft tone and couldn't provide good lighting to the Kindle. Add to that the trouble of having to get up after reading just to switch off the light. Hahaha! Now that the floor lamp is in the room and right by my bed, all I need is reach out to the side to turn off the lamp once I start feeling sleepy. Haha! I've made a conscious decision not to accumulate unnecessary home items since I don't know how long I will be in Singapore. So far, I've been very successful. The only home furnishings/appliances that I have bought are a side table (which I use as a book shelf), a steam iron and the floor lamp. I'm pretty sure I can give these away one day or leave them with my dear landlord.

These past few nights, I've been enjoying the convenience of having the floor lamp by my side. I got a Philips bulb - yellow light, of course - for just $2.90 and I'm quite sure it will last for a year or so.

Hoping to read a lot of titles under the light of this new lamp. Haha!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some more Malacca photos...

So, a few weeks ago, some friends and I headed north to the UNESCO World Heritage City Malacca for a weekend trip.

Though it's my second time in the UNESCO World Heritage City, it was a different experience since I was with friends. The first trip to Malacca was with PG Boy some time last year.

It's surprising how much has changed in the historic city in a span of one year... commercially, I mean.

There is now a huge H&M store beside Hatten Hotel. There are a number of outlet stores adjacent to H&M.

One thing remains and that is the charm of the area where the old town centre was.

As I previously said, there are still other places in Malacca that I want to go and check out. In addition to the museums, I want to just walk around and try the different cafes/restaus.

Btw, I finally tried the chicken rice balls. It was unique, but I don't see the whole fuss behind it. Hehe!

It was also so damn hot the whole time we were there. Thankfully, there was always a cendol store every few steps. Haha!

I wonder when I'll be able to visit again. Mon and Richie are planning to visit. I'm quite sure Mon would be interested to check out the Nyonya Jewelry Museum.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Random thoughts on the past...

Did he ever really love me?

The thought crossed my mind these past few days. In the almost four years that he and I were together, did he ever truly love me?

I knew that I held a special place in his life. I knew that I was part of his life. I just wonder if he was really in love with me.

Why did these thoughts suddenly appear? To be honest, it was because of this new person I recently met. I know it's not good to compare. I know that it is unfair to the ex. It is hard not to when the new person is the stark contrast.

This new person has only been in my life for a little over month and yet, he has already made me feel wanted the way most people would want to feel wanted.

He is courageous enough to reach out for my hand without so much subtlety when we sit side by side in public transportation. He will stand closer than usual when we're riding up the escalator. Anyone who could see us would know we are definitely not best friends. He would suggest taking the bus instead of the train because the former would mean getting to spend more time together.

He is daring enough to plant a kiss on my cheek when it is just me and him inside the lift.

If I dared to hold his hand while we walked along Orchard Road or some crowded mall, I am quite sure he would welcome it and not care about the world.

This is a surprise because he is not Filipino. And most people from his background are often described as reserved and lacking emotion.

His genuine care and affection has led me to tell him, "You are the exception and not the rule."

All these are but a few reasons as to why the thought of whether the ex really loved me crossed my mind.

He and I still talk. Sometimes, I am tempted to ask him. Then I realise there is no reason to it, so I leave the thought a thought. Add to that the fact that he and I are still friends. We still chat regularly. It will be stupid to ruin the friendship because of something that is done and over with.

Maybe one day, I will get to ask.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Happy, fun long weekend...

What I thought would be a restful weekend turned out to be a weekend packed with happy activities with good friends! Haha!

It started Friday night. After the movie and dinner with NB Boy, I headed to Tipz's place to freshen up and change clothes for the second agenda for the night - get-together with Richie, Mon, Jon, MkSurf8 and RKGreg.

We reached the usual hangout place in Neil Rd before midnight. It was great seeing everyone. Richie and Mon rarely have late nightouts because Rich has work even on weekends. This week, he is on leave so he was able to join us for hohol time. On the other hand, the last time I saw MkSurf8 and RKGreg was when Makii was in town. After that, everyone seemed busy that we never got to arrange any gatherings.

We finished clubbing around 3AM and then had supper at Maxwell before heading back.

Saturday morning, I thought I would have some time to recov from the clubbing the previous night. However, a good friend messaged at the last minute that some company was very much needed on Saturday morning. Tired as I was, I knew how important it is for this person. Add to that the fact that I still get up at 7AM no matter how late I hit the sack. So, with only four hours of sleep, I managed to go on a leisurely walk and have lunch with this friend before heading back.

In the evening, I traveled all the way to the East for dinner with Richie and Mon. Richie brought back a few dishes by his mom, Tita Merlita - pinakbet, monggo, and adobo. Tita Merlita knew how much I love her cooking. It was really kind of Richie to have me over for dinner. We then watched And the Band Played On.

During dinner, I received a message from MkSurf8. Since I didn't get to chat with him and RKGreg the previous night, I decided I would head over to his place from Richie and Mon's. Hehe! It was just MkSurf8, RKGreg and three other people. RKGreg prepped delicious Purefoods goodies. Haha! Thank you! I was slightly tempted to meet up with Tipz at Neil Rd for clubbing/dancing. In the end, I decided I will just head back for rest. Second night that I've been hitting the sack close to 4AM.

Sunday was also just as packed. Mr. Lim and I attended the 11AM Mass at Church of St. Mary of the Angels. Later that day, we met up with Des for picnic at the Botanic Gardens followed by dinner at Ivins.

The last agenda for Sunday night was a movie marathon night with Tipz and Jon. The plan was to watch Before Sunrise, Sunset, Midnight trilogy. I only managed to finish the first two. Haha! I already crashed by the third movie. I need to see the last one for closure! Haha! Third night of sleeping way past midnight.

Today, I get to have some rest time before heading out again. Hahaha! NB Boy wanted to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit and the Dinosaur exhibit at ArtScience Museum. I promised him I would accompany him. I was hoping to get some work done during this long weekend, but oh well. Hahah!

It's been a tiring weekend, yes. But it has been a very good one. It was spent with really good friends. What could be better done that?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday morning thoughts...

Not much happening this week, which I guess is somewhat good.

Work is still the same. There is nothing new. I expect the changes to take place sometime in late September.

Uhm, I've booked two more flights in addition to the Borobodur trip with Mama in September. The other flight I booked is for the long weekend because of National Day. A Manila friend is flying over to Kuala Lumpur for a look-see. Since the flights were cheapo, I decided to fly to KL and meet with him there. The other flight I booked today is for another trip later this year.

That's it. No more travels... unless there's a very good sale.

I should start saving for the big trip I want to do in late 2015 - New York and San Francisco. Truth be told, the only reasons I want to go to the US are these: New York - watch Broadway Musicals: Wicked, If/Then, Book of Mormons; visit museums: the Cloisters to see The Unicorn Tapestries, the Frick collection, MoMA, and the Anna Wintour Costume Center; window shopping: 7th Avenue, Barney's; check out and pay homage to the LGBT scene: Christopher St.; and for San Francisco: because my best friend Tey is planning to visit as well and I am putting pressure on her to bring me around.

If not for these, I would rather go to Europe again. The flights are more affordable and there are more things to excite me. I want to go back to the Netherlands and Belgium once again. Though this time, I want to include a visit to Haarlem and to The Hague (Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring at Mauritshuis!!!!) in addition to Amsterdam. In Belgium, I definitely want to do a day trip to Bruges and Ghent to see the Michelangelo's Madonna. I'm also excited at the thought of going back to Brussels because I now have two friends living there. Lastly, I want to include a trip to Paris! I hope it doesn't have the same effect on me as Rome did. Hahaha!

It would be so nice to travel again to these countries. Last year, I told myself I wanted to take a break from Asia. I have done my part in contributing to Asian tourism having visited Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Nepal. Haha!

So it was really such a grateful moment for me to have been able to do a trip to Europe. Never, never have I thought one boy's dream would become one man's reality. I am just really thankful. There are other places I want to see - Machu Picchu,Bhutan. Augh!

But for now, I should end this post and start working. Lol!

Happy Friday...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

509 words and PS Cafe Dempsey...

After being charged with lacking in enthusiasm because of disappearing for a few days, I thought I'd make it up to NB Boy by accompanying him to PS Cafe at Dempsey on a Tuesday night. Lol!

Other than because of the gym or if there is some rare occasion, I usually prefer to be home and zzz by 10:30 or 11 at the latest on work nights. The main reason is I want to get enough sleep so I can wake up for the 7AM group workout classes at the gym.

Last night was one of those rare occasions where I decided to head home later than usual.

I will admit that there was a deliberate intent on my part to be out of NB Boy's radar the past few days. Previously, I told him that I just got out of a relationship and I am certain that I do not want to get into a new one just yet.

It seems that there was a need to reiterate the point. Otherwise, there would be no claims which make me comparable to a Filipino snack I'm kinda missing right now - palitaw. Lulubog, lilitaw. Hehe!

So, I ended up composing a 509-word letter to explain myself again.

Uhm, I was expecting a letter of equal length in reply but instead, the reply was getting asked to go to PS Cafe in Dempsey on the same night and to an exhibit he's been meaning to see. Lol!

For once, I'm enjoying the gray area I am in right now. Being a black or white kind of guy, this is all new to me. I still dislike gray areas but for now, I am finding it a bit comfortable.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happiness and contentment talk at 5AM...

Does happiness follow after contentment? Or does contentment come first before happiness?

It sounds like the "Chicken or Egg" question would be easier to answer. Haha!

After a long night of partying and clubbing, I was just about ready for shuteye. But having taken a shower minutes earlier, I was a bit awake.

Not knowing if Tipz was still awake, I just started talking in the dark room. Lol!

Earlier during the night, PG Boy and I were at the same party. It was the first time we saw each other since we parted ways more than a month ago.

He was looking good. E and Tipz both said he lost weight. I blame his work. It was good seeing him again. I missed the guy. And I have to say it was just really great that was no awkwardness between us when we saw each other. We talked the same way as we did before. The only difference now is that our sentences are no longer punctuated with "babe" in between words.

Minutes before I fell asleep, I started ruminating about the events that transpired during the night.

It led me to some thoughts which I voiced out to a sleepy Tipz. Lol!

And so he asked, "I thought you were happy! When I asked you before if you were happy, you said you were!"

I was happy. I really was.

Then Tipz raised the topic of contentment. I think there was a part of me that was not contented. That thought was further reinforced because of some events that happened some time in the latter part of June. Those events led me to realise some things.

So again, I ask. Does happiness follow after contentment? Or does contentment come first before happiness?

Tipz and I never got to dwell more into it as we were both fast asleep soon after the discussion has started. Though I can say that I think I have a better idea now.

The photo above was from E's birthday party. I thought I'd use the photo since it somehow looks like we're about to lunge into a discussion. Haha!

You know it's not a straight party....

I attended E's birthday party last night.

The post on the birthday party itself has to wait. It's 830AM. I've only had 2 hours of sleep. And I'm starting to feel sleepy. Haha! I just have enough time for one quick post.

I thought it was amusing that it took some time before someone started to touch the hors d'oeuvre. Haha! E said he was not going to prep real food since there was so much food wasted at his party last year. Only canapés and small treats would be served. (I thought this was a good idea. Wasting food = thumbs down.)

The other thing that amused me and I found quite nice was the size of the red velvet cupcakes. They were super mini. This means less guilt over a sweet treat? Hehe!

So, two signs you're at a happy and gay party? When it takes hours before someone starts to take food and the cupcakes can be eaten in one go. Haha!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Very late Thursday night...

Thursday night ended up not being the usual Thursday night.

I was feeling a bit rebellious last night. I've been dealing with stupid colds since the weekend, which means I haven't been able to go to the gym since last Thursday.

Thursday night is usually back-to-back Pump and Combat classes with Tipz.

While I did get to do Pump, Tipz and I decided to skip Combat and instead head to the movies. Haha!

I was hoping to catch Walking on Sunshine, but I was also okay to watch Begin Again.

Jon gave me the impression that the movie might be a bit of a downer since it involved Keira Knightley getting dumped and Mark Ruffalo getting fired from his job.

The movie turned out to be quite the opposite. It was pretty enjoyable. Uhm, it actually felt like an indie film to me. Hehe!

Adam Levine was also part of the cast.

That made missing Combat and getting home past midnight on a work night(!!!) okay.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More changes...

A lot of changes have been happening at work.

We didn't think the change would reach the shores of Singapore but it did. And boy, what a change it was.

That was just the start though. There is something else that is going to happen soon.

Well, to be honest, we don't know yet if it will happen. A group of colleagues is serving as the guinea pigs for that potential additional change. If it does turn out okay, then that change will happen.

Hmm, I was initially resistant to the idea because it is something completely different and something I am not used to.

This morning though, I thought to myself that I'm being reactionary to the news. Maybe I should be more open and see the pros of the proposed change. Maybe there is actually more good to it. Maybe it will serve as some sort of trigger for my personal plans as well.

So, yeah, I'm more open to it. One cannot be left behind I suppose. One must keep charging ahead, if possible.

I've been thinking about it earlier when I got back to the office after lunch.

How feasible is it to live on the other side of the Causeway while remaining employed in the Little Red Dot?

Needs more thinking, that's for sure.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Short trip to Malacca...

So our group of two Malaysians, 1 Singaporean, 1 Malaysian turned Singaporean and 1 Filipino boarded a bus headed to Malacca last Saturday.

It was my second time in the UNESCO World Heritage City and still I feel that an overnight trip is not enough to explore and enjoy the city. Hehe!

I've heard quite a number of people say that Malacca is boring. It's this. It's that.

The two times I've been to the city, I didn't feel bored at all. Hehe! I wish I had more time to go to the museums or walk at a leisurely pace.

Again, I've missed checking out the house at 8 Heeren Street. The shophouse has a permanent exhibit on the conservation and restoration process of the building. One can also learn about the history of early shophouses and Dutch architecture, which obviously had an influence on the local architecture.

Two new places I got to visit this trip were the Malaqa House and The Baboon House. The former sells authentic antique Peranakan furniture while the latter is an art gallery/cafe/boutique hotel. Why it was named The Baboon House I have no idea. Hehe!

I want to go back again soon. More cafes and restaus to check out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Away for the weekend...

Heading to Malacca tomorrow with a few friends.

I've been looking forward to the trip since it's an opportunity to take a break from the little red dot... even if it's just for two days. Hehe!

A few people I know find Malacca to be boring. I don't really agree.

If one is interested in historical places or if one just wants to visit a place where a Catholic saint was once buried, then Malacca shouldn't be boring at all.

I enjoyed walking along the old streets and marvelling at the Peranakan mansions. I enjoyed the canal cruise during sunset. Hehe! I said a prayer when I visited the burial place of St. Francis Xavier. It's just a bit sad that not too many people know that a sacred man was once buried there.

A Twitter friend is in town this weekend but I didn't know he was flying in. Had I known, I would have scheduled the road trip on another weekend. Still, please enjoy Singapura, Jepoy. Maybe next time you can also do a side trip to Malacca.

Happy weekend to everyone...

How awesome is Apple...

Just how awesome is Apple! :)

I'm a proud customer of a company that supports the LGBTQ community. ;)

What I wouldn't give to work for Apple, move to California and raise kids with 1:23. Haha!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gotta love the Dowager Countess...

Gotta love the Dowager Countess...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday was just as busy...

Sunday was no different from Saturday. Haha! It was just as long and as tiring but also fun!

I woke up at 7 so I can meet Mr. Lim at 830PM at our usual breakkie place for our nature walks.

By 9, we headed to our destination for the day - the old Bukit Brown Cemetery. Though I've been to Bukit Brown a few times, I was too unsure about our plan as it was just me and Mr. Lim. In our previous walks, we have always been part of a huge group. That was less scary since I would be running away with a big group in case zombies started to rise from the graves. I've been watching too much of The Walking Dead. Haha!

The theme of our walk for the morning was "Let's get lost." That's exactly what happened. At some points, we had to turn back because we reached a dead end. But for the most part, it was enjoyable because we've reached areas that we've never been to before. We also took a rugged path that led us out of the Bukit Brown grounds to the area where the National Equestrian Center and Mediacorp were. That was interesting.

We finished our walk by 1130. Thankfully, it wasn't a very hot day. From Bukit Brown, Mr. Lim drove all the way to the northeast part of the island for lunch at a biryani place we've been to a few times.

Afterwards, he dropped me off at Ang Mo Kio because I wanted to go to the gym to shower and feel human again. Haha!

In the afternoon, I was initially planning to check an education fair at Suntec. Instead, I ended up at my favourite level at the National Library. While waiting for Mass, I just spent a few hours relaxing at the library going through some of the books I want to have in my book collection.

The last agenda for the day was dinner with Mon and Richie. It was Mon's birthday last Saturday. He doesn't really do anything for his birthday. Hehe! Since I haven't seen them in awhile, I decided to ask Richie if they were up for dinner. We decided to eat at the Asian Kitchen at City Link Mall because Richie was raving about the roast pork and the fried rice. Our excuse for the (sinful) meal was Mon's birthday. Haha!

It is always nice the pair since they're the friends I've known for the longest time. Richie and I met in 2002, if I'm not mistaken. I met Mon a few years later. On my first visit to Singapore, I stayed with Richie and Mon.

Rarely do I go out or stay out late on a Sunday night. That is because I want to spend the last few hours of the weekend prepping for Monday and just relaxing in the comfort of my room. However, there are nights when I could make an exception. Last night was one of those nights. Hehe!

It was an activity-packed weekend, wasn't it?!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Looong Saturday it was...

What a packed day today turned out to be! Not that I'm complaining, but I'm a bit surprised how busy I can get on most weekends. Lol!

Hmm, it could mean one of two things - the hours pass by so fast or I have too much on my plate. Most probably, it could also mean both. Haha!

Though I went to lalaland a little after midnight last night, I still had to wake up today at 7AM. First order of the day was to attend a public information session on the docent programme of the soon-to-open National Gallery. Still deciding whether I should give it a try.

I thought I would have time to have a relaxed breakkie at my neighbourhood Toastbox. I was wrong because by the time I left my house, it was almost 745. Still, I managed to pass by the kopitiam and wolfed down a heavy breakkie as fast as I could.

Afterwards, I rushed to the MRT station so that I can reach SMU, the orientation venue, in an hour.

From SMU, I walked over to the bus stop near the National Museum and waited for 64 to arrive. The next stop for the day was to visit my friend Jean and her fiancé at their home in River Valley for lunch and catchup. Jean was also kind enough to hand carry some documents I asked my Mom to handle.

After lunch, I took the bus going back to the centre. My next destination was FF Cathay to attend the Combat class with Jon. As expected, the Combat class was just awesome as it was handled by one of my fave instructors.

Combat was followed by a well-deserved early dinner at Aston's. Early dinner was followed by a well-deserved dessert and coffee treat at Hoshino.

Initially, I thought I would have time to catch a movie but I was just beat from the long day. Lol!

On the way home, MkSurf8 messaged regarding a hohol at his place. However, I had to skip it since I already said yes to Mr. Lim to go on a nature walk tomorrow morning. I haven't seen MkSurf8, RKGreg and the other guys for quite some time now. Everyone's busy. Lol. Hope to catch them one of these days.

Earlier, I just finished watching the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey season 4. That's it! I'm officially up-to-date with Downton and I am SO ready to watch Season 5 when it airs later this year. Addicted to the series. Seriously.

So, yeah, that's how the day went. Is it busier now that I'm single? I think so. I thought I would have more time for resting and sleeping in. But really, who am I kidding? Haha!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Downton women on Bazaar...

Usually, the only women's magazine I look forward to every year is the September issue of US Vogue. I've been collecting the said issue for a few years now. Haha!

This year though, I'm excited to get my hands on the August issue of Harper's Bazaar UK. Looks like the mag has a wonderful feature on the women of Downton Abbey.

Too bad Lady Sybil is gone. :-/ However, if the pages above are a preview of what will be in the inside pages of the issue, then I must say it looks like it's going to be really super.

I am loving the spread of the women in the fantab dresses!!!

Hmm, I'm sort of wondering though why the Countess Dowager wasn't included. And how come they chose to have this as the August issue rather than the September issue?

Maybe the Countess Dowager will be on the cover of the September issue. Lol.