Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Away for the next few days...

It's that time of the year...

when I go on holiday with mommy dear...


Monday, June 22, 2015

Post-birthday birthday dinner for Jon...

Sunday was a bit busy as well.

Just a quick recap, the day started with a visit to the library. I wanted to borrow some books for the upcoming trip this Thursday. I headed to the National Library where I met up with PG Boy. He has been my official "library borrower" since it's free for him to borrow books as a Permanent Resident. Maybe I should consider getting a library card if I'm going to keep on borrowing books. I think non-PRs have to pay $50 to get a library card. Hmm, something to consider. Maybe I'll wait first for the renewal of my work pass in January 2016.

From the National Library, I took the bus to the museum. Initially, I was thinking of going to the Toa Payoh library. Eventually, I decided to go to Bugis since it was closer to PG Boy and for me, closer to the museum. If the Saturday guided tour started with more than 10 people, the Sunday guided tour started with a very small group of 3 plus me. However, as is usually the case, more people joined the group when we started to walk around the gallery. There were about 15 people by the time the tour ended. A few of them spoke with me again after the guided tour. It really felt good. :)

The last agenda for the day was a post-birthday birthday dinner for Jon. He was in the Philippines on the day of his birthday so we were not able to meet up and celebrate. I made reservations at Tonkichi at Shaw House. Partly, the reason for Tonkichi was to make up for the so so Japanese dinner during Pink Dot. Hehe! Plus, it would be a good venue for dinner as it is in a quiet location. Our party was an intimate party of seven - Richie, Mon, Ian, MkSurf8, RKGreg, me and the birthday boy. Tian3x is in Australia for work, and Tipz is in Australia. It would've been great if both guys were also around. I bought a cake at Awfully Chocolate. The cakes from the store never disappoints. Hehe! It was a vgood dinner. Time with these guys is always, always a fun time. I love how the conversation just keeps on flowing and I love how the entire night would always be punctuated with bursts of laughter because someone would say something funny.

We ended the night with a round of drinks at Robert Timms. After a looooong time, I had a mojito again. Lately, I've only been drinking whiskey and coke on the very rare occasions that I drink. I have MkSurf8 to thank for introducing me to the wonderful, wonderful whiskey that is Maker's Mark. Hehe!

Anyway, we all parted ways close to 11, I think. What a really nice Sunday it was!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A "Don't you forget this" moment at the museum...

I like this scene from Dead Poets Society, one of my favourite movies of all time.

This afternoon, I had my own "Don't you forget this" moment. Nope, no mentor said it to me. I said it to myself... right after I gave a 330PM guided tour.

The guided tour this afternoon has got to be one of my best and one of my most memorable tours.

To be honest, I wasn't feeling very well. I knew something was up with my throat because my voice sounds different today. In addition to that, I was a bit short on breath when I was doing Pump. I think some bug is going around again because our Pump instructor was not his usual self.

Going back to the tour, I started with just a little over ten people - Singaporeans, Hong Kongers, British, Australians, one Korean, one Japanese, one Brazilian.

By the time we reached the end of the tour, the group had already swelled to close to thirty people. Along the way, people joined the tour, some people also left the tour.

At the start of the tour, I also told my guests that the whole activity would be at least an hour. Well, guess what?! It took me close to two hours! I think I spoke too much at certain sections. Also, today I covered some sections which I rarely cover. I was thankful I did that because the president of the Museum Volunteers group followed the tour when I was already at the last part.

Usually, I would gauge how the tour went based on the applause and the feedback. Today, I got a tremendous applause and a lot of the guests shook my hand and thanked me for the tour. The Korean guy asked for a photo with me. Hehe! And then, the president of our volunteer group approached me with two of the guests and the latter told me how they enjoyed the tour. Among my guests also was an elderly couple from Australia. As I was exiting the gallery, the wife walked up to me to thank me. She also said that she has a grandson who's also named Angelo and that she hopes her grandson will grow up to be just as lovely. The best thing she said was that her husband told her that he enjoyed the tour very much. The pair has been traveling around Europe and Asia for the past three months. The husband has a hearing problem and he told his wife that he did not have any problem with my tour and that he enjoyed it.

Hearing all these feedback, my heart was just swelling with joy. It was a good reminder why I love museums, why I love volunteering, and why I must always, always keep on studying and preparing well for my guided tours.

Thank you, Lordy, for today.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday random stuff...

Not much happening these past few days.

Work has been very manageable. Some of the more toxic issues I have to work on are not due for production til next month. Hence, I do have a day or two when I finish work earlier than usual.

The other things that have been keeping me busy are my Japanese classes and my museum docent training.

Japanese lessons are starting to be more difficult, as I have mentioned in a few other posts. The basic forms/rules are easy to remember. What is difficult are the verb conjugations and constructing the sentences. I'm confident with simple sentences beyond こんにちは。 わたし は アンジエロ です。 おげんき です か。(Hello, I am Angelo. How are you?), but I am still struggling with long sentences. Haha! I'm glad I have the once a week italki sessions with Yoshisan. That is a big help and practice. I'm not sure if I'll continue with my school lessons or I should take a break first. I'm paying for the Japanese lessons out of my own pocket and well, I could use the break.

Anyway, we'll see how.

Museum docent training is also equally demanding, if not more demanding. The time to write the tour paper has come. I will be spending several Saturdays (and possibly, Sundays) in the library with books, my notepad and Stefan (my MacBook) to work on the paper. A few more lectures to go and then it's showtime.

To be honest, I'm very excited for the opening of the new museum. I'm sure it'll be fantastic. I'm really excited to see the art pieces, especially the ones by Filipino artists. Hehe!

That's definitely something to look forward to.

Okay, today is a so so day. I'm done with most of the things that I have to do. So I decided I'll go for a run during lunchtime. Initially, I was planning to just go to the nearby park connector for my run. But then, the sun is out and it's going to be very hot. Hehe! I'll just go to the gym then for a quick run and head back.

Tonight, it's Japanese classes... and possibly, a coffee date, if I hear from someone. Lol.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ready to rumble... for fantastic food...

Yesterday was a day of double celebration.

In the late morning, it was for the wedding of fellow museum docents/friends Zuraidah and Red.

After lunch, I headed to Potong Pasir for the birthday party/celebration of good friend JoAnn.

JoAnn, along with girl friends Jackie and Sugar, prepared a sumptuous boodle fight style feast for the very lucky few of us. Hehe!

The star of the feast was a roast pork belly courtesy of Sugar's business Lechon Nation. In addition to the lechon, there was grilled squid, grilled pork and chicken, sambal prawns, pancit, grilled bangus and tilapia, okra and talong and so on. Just thinking about the fantastic food we had yesterday makes my mouth water again. Hehe!

Without a doubt, I know that that meal was one of the best meals I've ever had here in Singapore.

I spent the rest of the afternoon up until evening with them. It was a tiring but a very great Sunday.

Really grateful to be invited to two great celebrations of two good friends.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The first Singapore wedding I've ever attended...

Yesterday, I attended my first wedding ever in Singapore.

Though I've been living in Singapore for a few years now, I've never really been invited to any wedding. The reasons I can think of and which I think are valid are the following: 1.) most of my colleagues are still in their mid to late 20s and I guess are not thinking of marriage yet; 2.) most of my friends are AJ and naturally, cannot get married here. Hehe!

That is why I was so happy when fellow museum docent Zuraidah invited me to her wedding to Red (who also happens to be a museum docent). In fact, Red is one of the most senior and knowledgeable docents, in my opinion.

The reception was held at an atas place called Mamanda in Kampong Glam, just in front of the Malay Heritage Centre. The reception venue looked fantastic. The food was awesome! Above all, the bride and groom shone on their big day.

Thank you again, Zuraidah, for inviting me to the celebration of your marriage to Red! Definitely a very memorable experience to me as well.

Friday, June 12, 2015

This weekend: trainings, Pink Dot, wedding, and birthday party...

It's going to be another packed weekend. Haha!

Saturday morning will start with a three-hour lecture on Southeast Asian art. This is still part of the docent training for the National Gallery. I'm getting more excited, especially after seeing a number of works by Filipino artists included in the lecture. Yay! I can't wait to visit the National Gallery again and see all the fantastic pieces from artists around the region hanging on the walls of the galleries.

For now, I have o be content with seeing the pieces on my lecture notes. Haha!

In the afternoon, I have to go to Raffles Place to attend a makeup class for the Japanese class that I missed last week. Because I had an activity with my groupmates in the National Gallery docent training, I had to skip Lesson 17 of my Japanese class. It was okay though because I really enjoyed the time with my fellow docent trainees. Hehe!

The Japanese classes continue to be challenging. It becomes more challenging as each lessons progresses. Haha! I have not yet even started studying kanji. At some point, I need to start delaying kanji and start studying. So help me God!

The last agenda for Saturday is Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park. My views on the event have changed through the years, since the first time I attended it. Anyway, I'm still going to support the event tomorrow. I will be meeting up with some friends and together, we will all show our support for Singapore's call for freedom to love. :)

For Sunday, I have two gatherings to attend. Around lunchtime, I will attend a wedding reception in the Bugis area near the Malay Heritage Centre. It's my first time to attend a wedding in Singapore and I'm really, really looking forward to it. In the afternoon, I will be going to the birthday gathering of Mrs. B. I dunno yet where the venue is, but I promised her that I will be there.

My main dilemma is the outfit. Lol. For the wedding reception, I'm planning something semi-formal. The birthday gathering, on the other hand, is a BBQ pool party. Hehe! Maybe I should just wear my swim shorts under the wedding reception clothes and I'll just take off everything when I reach the birthday party venue. Haha! Kidding.

So yeah, it's going to be a busy, busy weekend. I need to find time to squeeze in a workout. Pump class tomorrow morning is definitely out. Same goes for the Pump class on Sunday morning. Haha!

Anyway, let's see how.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weekend was all about the SEA Games...

The weekend was all about the SEA Games.

Saturday afternoon, we headed to Bishan Sports Hall for the Men's Gymnastics. In the evening, we went to the OCBC Aquatic Centre for the Swimming events.

Sunday afternoon was also spent at the OCBC Aquatic Centre. This time, it was to watch the 3m springboard and the synchronized 10m platform.

At the end of each day, I was just dead beat. It felt like I was in another country attending the games as a tourist. Hehe!

I would've wanted to watch the Equestrian events, Synchronized Swimming, Volleyball, Badminton and maybe, Water Polo. However, the event schedules were in conflict with work schedule. Oh well.

Monday, June 8, 2015

28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony...

Here are some photos from the 28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony last Friday.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thanks for dinner...

Wednesday night's dinner was a little bit special thanks to two ex-colleagues from Manila.

The food was good but I was craving for a burger after. Hahaha! For a few minutes, I was tempted to get myself a cheeseburger from the MickeyD's near my place. Thankfully, there was a long queue and that was more than enough to make me just head home, prep for bed and zzz. Tbh, it is the long queue every night (even though it's already 11PM or 1130PM) that stops from me getting myself a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets or even just a corn cup. I dunno. When one gets old, one's patience for queuing shortens I suppose.

Anyway, the week has been going so so. Hmm, I guess I should be grateful that it is not a busy period for the journal package of the colleague I'm covering for. The same goes for my own journal package. I have two issues in production but those are very manageable. The next crazy periods will be in July and August.

The other day, I had my bi-weekly meeting my manager. She told me that news regarding the salary increment and the incentive package for last year will most probably be ready by a particular date close to the end of the month. The thing is I will be overseas with Mom and Tey on that particular date. Oh well, I guess I will just have to pray and call on the powers of the temples we'll visit to ensure that the news from the boss will be a good one. Haha!

Tonight, I'm meeting my groupmates/fellow National Gallery trainees. Since some of the girls in the group are new docents, someone suggested we do a mock guiding activity at St. Regis. The hotel's lobby doubles as a museum with all the wonderful art pieces hanging on the walls. The St. Regis is one of my fave hotels because of the art pieces in their collection and because I love that the lobby is not like marketplace unlike ... Hehe!

I didn't prepare anything for tonight but I did read up on one of my fave Singapore artists - the late Cheong Soo Pieng. Let's see how things go and I may volunteer to talk about the artist and how he served as the bridge between Singapore's first generation and second generation artists.

Nice Wednesday evening and looks like I'll have a nice Thursday evening as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Random thought...

Image from here

Haha! Make up your mind because I already did.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hello, June...

Image from here

Whoa! It's already June! In a few more weeks, the first six months of the year will be over! Wow! Time is flying by so fast.

And in an hour or so, the short long weekend will also be over. Haha!

So today, I decided to take it easy. By taking it easy, that meant spending most of the day in the house (Yes, that's possible!) while still keeping myself busy.

The first thing I did today was to go to Ang Mo Kio to pick up a side table from a Carousell seller. The lady was selling one of those simple Ikea side tables at a cheap price of $9.90 and the piece was still in its packaging. Since I reached AMK quite early, I passed by Toastbox and Breadtalk to have a quick breakkie.

After getting the table, I headed back home and spent the day in the house. I did my laundry, organised the clothes in my closet, cleaned my room, put my bags in the closet and assembled the table. Now, I have four tables in my rather small room. Hahaha! One table is my "office" space. The other table is my "UP Boy" space, which I got from Tipz. The other table, actually I think it's a TV stand, is where all my books and magazines are. The new side table is beside my "office" space and is where my extra-curricular-related materials are.

When I was done with lunch, I tried very hard to fight siesta because I was worried that I might wake up at 5PM. I didn't want to spend the whole afternoon sleeping. Haha! Thankfully, I only slept for a little over an hour.

The next thing I did was to prepare for my Japanese class with Yoshi san. I'm really enjoying the sessions I have with him. He speaks very clearly and he can adjust his speech to a pace that I can understand. He also prepares extra materials for us to use during class so I thought that was really great!

My class ended at 6PM. It was still quite early so I decided to go for a run around the neighbourhood. I didn't get to go to the gym today to attend any of the special classes but I already had an inkling that I will miss gym today. That's why I was rather set to go for a run.

Run was followed by a quick dinner and dinner was followed by a quick trip to Bukit Gombak to meet another Carousell seller. I couldn't resist it and so I finally bought a new iron. This time, it's a Philips iron. The current one I have right now is not working very well anymore (I burnt my white shorts using the current iron!). It's time to get a new one.

The last few hours was spent just relaxing and reading the ebook I recently purchased.

Hello, June, indeed! I can't wait for the end of the month to come.