Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Extraodinary Movie Outing

When my wife mentioned she badly wanted to catch a show I realised it had been roughly 20 full moons ago since we caught one. How is one going to manage a baby, a pram, 1 milk bottle and a bag full of baby toiletries in a theatre? I would like to point out Adiddas’s current marketing tagline, “Impossible is Nothing” is a total BS (bullshit) in this context. No one can manage a new born baby in a cinema.

Years ago, the forum section under the local newspaper sparked a big debate. Some idiots actually brought their babies to the theatre complete with prams parked alongside the seat aisles. Fellow Singaporeans have been accusing these parents as inconsiderate, selfish and dumb sods. Being the carefree much younger designer without parenting responsibilities, I couldn’t care less. All I cared was where to hang out on a Friday night and how to hang a crying baby when I am watching X-Men. Heck, I even almost agree to the insensitive comments hurled at those parents.

Now I can empathise with the accused.

I too, badly wanted to bag a heap of popcorn in a cinema watching the latest blockbuster. But with a baby daughter lugging around during our every available off days, this can only be happen in dreamland. Yes, even a simple leisure such as catching a show is merely a talk in the air these days. Parenting does come with many things, joy, excitement, fun, and of course sacrifices.

So you can imagine the ‘shiokness’ when my wife and I were slumped onto the seats of Cathay Cinema yesterday during an office afternoon hour (We decided to screw work and just go for it). A lover’s combo means a bag of popcorn and 2 soft drinks, and that was just what we had... but alas it was not for long.

Barely 20 minutes into the show, Ben Stiller was just trying to budge into the archive levels of the museum (We were watching Night at The Museum 2), and then everyone sitting in the theatre were asked to move our ass out of the cinema promptly.

A fire had broken out. The whole mall had to be evacuated. Sluggish and annoyed cinema goers thronged out of the multiplex to be greeted with a smoke-filled shopping centre. And suddenly everyone wasn’t so sluggish anymore. Everyone was becoming excited! How often do you get to be trapped in a fire broke out mall on a Friday afternoon? Especially when you haven’t been to a cinema in eon years and you finally decided to skip work to catch your favourite movie only to be kicked out of the theatre seats you barely warmed (pointing the finger at myself of course). And imagine if you were doing your mani and pedicure and you had to be ushered out of the shop dripping nail polish. What about those in the salon having their hair colored mid way? Hordes of them would be scrambling out of the shop in multi-colored procession. How totally awesome is that?

In the midst of evacuation, I saw kay pohs snapping photos everywhere with their cam phones, I saw excited aunties excavated from hair salons still combing their wet hair as they sashayed down the escalators, and I witnessed SCDF fire fighters with their water hoses combing the top floors of the mall as my wife and I descended from the topmost cinema level among the crowd. I only had one thought in my mind then, “I don’t want to die.” And the imagery of my daughter’s face hogged my entire vision. I kept thinking “I don’t want to die...”

Perhaps to kill off the dramatic scenario, what I saw when we climbed down from the higher floors to the lower basements was business still going about. It was quite clear smoke had reached these areas but most shoppers maintain indifference. Wow, this is the true Singapore spirit I thought to myself. Never mind the chokiness I can manage, but take away my shopping and I will die. Instead, let me die shopping. All right folks, you can continue to hunt for your bargain blue ray DVDs; I still want to be alive to see my daughter.

Both the missus and I scrambled out of the mall and drove out of the car park like a pro racer. In the process of it, I renacted Vin Diesel in the movie “Fast and Furious” pulling off a car park stunt because a fellow driver was stuck at one of the exit gantries with a undervalued cashcard. I had to swerve out of the queue and cut into another gantry lane like a GTR racer. Yes, a rather selfish act it seems, but returning home to Baby Angel with a full intact body was my priority, besides I did it with a skill act that could have put Vin Diesel to shame, ahem, because I did it without obstructing any fellow motorists. (Alright, I suppose any lame excuse counts when one is scrambling for his life)

Outside, we saw 2 fire engines and the excavated crowd. Interestingly, we saw some more cars trying to drive into the mall. Yeah, long live the Singaporean shopping spirit, my deepest salute to fellow countrymen with such steely determination with regards to credit card abuse.

Finally, we arrived home safely with a cup of ‘Zapple’ still in hand. And more than happy to greet our baby Angel with opened arms. This is indeed one extraordinary Friday afternoon for us. We might really have a higher chance striking the 4D, like I said how often do you encounter a fire while catching a show. Speaking of which, the missus is still sore over the incomplete movie outing. But that's gonna be another excuse for another slack afternoon...

Probably “Angels & Demons”?

Yeah, it’s gonna be Vin Diesel meets Tom Hanks. (guffawed laugh) Well, I can sense the mockery coming from you guys already...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now & Then

My wife walked into my office while I was looking intently into my 19 inch LCD monitor. Not that she was going to “tarik” and walk away even as I appear seemingly serious and focused onto something very, very important.

I should have known the missus, without a hoot she marched right towards my desk and looked into my monitor screen.

“Wah lao, you slacker!” she said.

Well, I was not onto something work related, instead I was casually surfing the blog sites of fellow bloggers. All the more I had to put on a “I am busy so call on me later” face, I had to act like I am busy even though I am the boss. I shamelessly told her I needed time to relax as I had been so cooped up with work for the past weeks. I guessed my lame excuse didn't stop her from pulling in a discussion on project schedules and concepts needed for a forth coming meeting.

Yes, I was slacking, but that means I finally can get my hands off on some work as my work load eased off a little. I finally have some decent time for simple leisures, and that includes updating this very expired blog.

Angel soaked off much of our energies for being ill for almost 3 weeks the past month. A flu virus was passing around the house and eventually everyone living under the roof caught it. The recent swine flu thingy also sparked some precautionary measures and we avoided going near anywhere crowded. All is well now and everyone had recovered since. But something caught me rather off-handed.

My little girl is now very long. I mention long and not tall because she doesn't yet stand on her feet. And If you place her lying on the bed now, she is rather long. I realized what everyone told me was true, they grow up faster than I can imagine.

A few days ago, I was organizing some files on my new laptop for a coming presentation and chanced upon the digital photos snapped from since Baby Angel was born till now. She was so tiny when she was brought home. Her reactions then were so much different from now. Then, she was just like a little cat mewing softly all the time, now she chuckles and shrill occasionally. Then, she doesn't have a clue who I was yet, now she recognizes me as her dad whom she will gladly open her arms wide indicating she demands a carry whenever I walk pass her. Then, she was just drinking 30ml of milk from the bottle, now she consumes organic porridge and drowns 160ml of milk at the same time. Then, carrying her was a breeze as I could sweep her off in a scoop and carry her with a single arm, now I have been thinking of picking up Yoga to correct my twisted back. There are so many 'thens' and 'nows' that I could probably draft out a list that could crawl the great wall of China over and over again. Alright, I do have the tendency of exaggerating things but you get the point.

The 6 and half months of living with this new joy of mine, our baby Angel, have been one of the most enjoyable rides of my humble life. I realize I cannot live without her anymore. It is like falling in love for the first time all over again. I know this is freakingly mushy, and if none of you can bear to read on, I do not blame you. Call me a wimp, sissy, weak, or anything you like. But these feelings are true and I shamelessly want to document it down :P

I am also glad Baby Angel's face is still silky smooth despite the pool of saliva I had smacked on her after all the kissing and smooching all these while (including the extras from Anton). I only pray she will grow up with beautiful white facial skin like her mum and not my crinkly skin texture that have once been described as a tangerine or orange skin peel. (This is true, which is why one fine day the missus brought forth a slew of Biotherm products for me and smacked them on my face. I am glad she did that, otherwise I would have resembled my neighbor's bulldog by now.)

Angel's mum walked into my office again 5 minutes ago while I finished typing the above liner. I was greeted with a slap on my arm and and reprimanded “Want to die ar you, writing blog here in the office.” But she was smiling and cringing like a sneaky thief as she spoke. Oh I love her expression, and I am sure my daughter will one day be as animated as her.

Alright, this mushy cushy stuff is really suffocating everyone. I better call it off and let the pictures do the talking. As of today, Angel is 6 months and 19 days old. And she is waiting for me as I prepare to go home from work.

You didn't think I was really going to stop this mushy conversation did you...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mr Lee Revisit & A Long Break

Something is very wrong with me. I woke up in the morning, fed my daughter, took a shower and assess my stress factor.

Cannot be what... I am healthy, exercise regularly, not psychotic, and I look like the Japanese heart throb Takeshi Kaneshiro. Alright, the latter is a sick joke, I resemble nothing near him. The only reason why I mentioned Kaneshiro is because I have been using the skin product he so dearly endorsed.

But why do I keep dreaming of our MM Lee (Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew). He revisits, in my dream after a 2 month long hiatus. The last time he appeared in my dream he was doing his “meet the people session” at my house. This time he chatted with my mum! I was dumb-folded and rightfully so, and I was still as nervous as a misbehaved kid waiting to be spanked.

The fact that my mum doesn't speak English doesn't bother him either. They had a great chat, although I couldn't make up whether they were conversing in any sign language of sort. But Mr Lee is in a great health of younger days about the age of 60 (similar of my previous dream). And my mum? Weird, she looked much younger in her early days too!! Even while sleeping I am concious I was dreaming. And dreams are not supposed to be logical, so I am sure my mum does not know him on a personal level…

And this time round in dreamland, no wailing from Baby Angel, no bodyguards, I gleefully presented something for him to sign on it. I glanced around the superficial room that never existed in real life for an item to have his signature scribbled on, I only managed to grab hold of a bright red T-shirt I designed for my company a couple of years back. The print on the T shirt with a devil-like creature read “Jian Gui Le” in mandarin (translated in English as: Seen a Ghost).

Now, how hospitable is that… He revisits my house and I present him with a “Seen a Ghost” pictorial for him to sign. Still, like a under-aged ignorant kid, I handled the T shirt to him with shaky hands. The great man had never for once smiled when he appeared in my dream, but he nevertheless signed on the T shirt even as he was wearing his signature stern expression.

Surprise surprise!! I finally got his priceless signature! And that was not the end. I also managed to have him signed on my ‘Lee Kuan Yew Memoirs’!! This is like lottery! No, this has to be a lottery. The morning I woke up from the absurdness of this dream, I dived into another absurd conclusion. I am going to strike “Beh Piou” (4D in hokkien). So I jotted down all the dates related to Mr Lee and marched fiercely to the Singapore Pools.

Of course none of the numbers came out. What was I thinking. I concluded I was just a regular stressed up chap in a Government aided economic buyout environment.

I am sure the common man on the ground must have their own fair share of absurdity on certain days, such as dreaming about dating a film star or something. But mine has gone a fair bit far fetched…

That happened more than 3 weeks ago.

Which means I haven’t been free of work load since, and I haven’t had the time to post and ratter complaints on Blogosphere like a true Singaporean. But I will be back. Because Baby Angel is now 6 months and 2 weeks old. She has made tremendous progress since the last update. And I feel imperative to document my daughter’s growing up moments before she start to walk and become less of a baby but more of a toddler.

Meanwhile I am stitching up a collage of Angel’s recent and past photos, including the missus’s birthday pic at Verve restaurant. Til the masterpiece is done, take care all, on this Vesak Weekend.

Be blessed.

PS: And if anyone can interpret my silly dream please let me know, preferably with a more accurate set of numbers…