Thursday, October 28, 2010

Qualities I look for in a friend

I cherish friends who:

- Are spontaneous and don't expect me to always book his/ her time a few weeks in advance cos they are such important people.
- Don't treat me as one of his/her many options to spend time with.  Who don't try to fully explore more "fun" options they have before responding to my invitations, usually after me chasing.  It sucks having to organize, invite AND f*cking chase someone to respond.
- Are open-minded.
- Have a point of view and have something to add to a conversation.
- Are transparent:  I hate people who are secretive.
- Are intelligent and can follow the logic and flow of a normal discussion.
- Don't fuss about little things.  Who are forgiving, and don't hold a grudge.
- Initiate meet-ups and gatherings, not always rely on me to do it. 
- Have something fun and insightful to bring to the friendship.
- Don't count pennies with me.
- Generally have a positive mentality and outlook.
- Are responsive.  I hate people who hardly pick up the f*cking phone AND reply to text messages after days.
- Treat me as an equal and care about me as a friend.  Not view me as competition, or an embarrassment.
- Stick around when I need company and support.
- Accept me as I am - my bluntness and spontaneity.

I am blessed with some good friends who have the above qualities.

Blog Stalking

Many people are not aware of this, but actually as a blogspot/ blogger user, I can see what search terms people used to search for my site and from which search engine they found my site.  Of course, for 99% of my readers I can't tell who they are even with such information.  But if, for instance, I only have one friend who has some Japan background/ linkage, who would use to search for things, and specifically searches for "Tea Yee", I can be pretty certain he/she is the person I know. 

I recently noticed someone who's been searching for my site all the time, and specifically searching for Tea Yee, using a specific google search engine (not HK, not US).  This has been bothering me quite a bit, and is quite a turn-off, like someone I know stalking me.  If you friggin want to check out the site, just bookmark it properly.  Don't search for me every friggin day!  Nobody calls me "Tea Yee".  It is the name of my teddy bear.  So that person specifically wanted to look me up, rather than search for something random and stumbled onto my site by chance every friggin day.

It bothers me because I have to think twice before writing about certain topics, trying to be sensitive and all that. 

I won't give a damn from now on.  I'll just whatever I want to write about.  If you think it'll hurt your feelings, please just stop reading.

Friend Turned Financial Planner - Scary!

Oh my god, it freaks me out when friends turn into financial planners, insurance agents, etc. and start chasing you in impersonal ways in order to find business.  I can fully understand they need to make a living and they are taught certain aggressive ways to find business.  Yet, having known them as friends before, it seems so bizarre when they treat you like a customer.

Just now, on facebook, a friend whom I haven't talked to in a while, sent me an instant message:  Have you thought about where you want to be in 5 years?

I freaked out and closed facebook.

Last time I talked to this person was on the phone - and he wanted to sell some business solutions.  Even though I stated that I wasn't the person to decide on these admin decisions, he relentlessly probed in other ways to try and obtain other contacts from me, the way sales training courses teach you.  I don't know what they teach in these companies - that everyone they know is a business opportunity and should be leveraged fully?

I find it sad because he is to me a friend, and I'd like him to think of me as a friend.  He is normally a very nice person.  He used to comment on my facebook.  Now we have zero interaction except sales calls/ messages.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheesebread

The past weekend was such a lovely one with a dear friend in town, to just chill and enjoy doing nothing together.

One of the "nothings" that we did was baking pao de queijo (Brazilian cheesebread) with the mix I had at home.

It was such "saudade" (roughly means sweet nostalgia in this context) when we enjoyed the freshly baked pao de queijo - dry and slightly crispy crust,  slightly moist, soft, chewy inside with a mild cheese flavor.....  It wasn't exactly the same as the homemade ones in Brazil, but it was close enough for a packaged mix.  I loved eating it just plain, but adding some butter, sugar, and cinnamon to the center surprisingly turned it into a very delicious sweet treat!

I will try the next batch with some parmesan cheese mixed in for more cheese flavor and chewy texture.  If you ever happen to visit Brazil or can get hold of these packaged mixes in your local Brazilian grocery shop, do try it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Recommendation: Sh*t My Dad Says

I've been given a book recently, called Sh*t My Dad Says, written by Justin Halpern.  It is among the funniest books I have ever read.  I don't think it's one of those books you try to learn something from, it's more for a good laugh, many many good laughs!  It is a book of quotes from the writer's dad who has been super blunt to his son even at a young age.  The son grew up, quoted his dad on Twitter on a regular basis, and became quite famous with a lot of followers who found the quotes extremely amusing.
Without spoiling the book for you, here's just two of many quotes:
 "You are four years old. You have to shit in the toilet. This is not one of those negotiations where we'll go back and forth and find a middle ground. This ends with you shitting in a toilet."
When the author was in university, his dad said to him one day, "All I ask is that you pick up your shit so you don't leave your bedroom looking like it was used for a gang bang. Also, sorry that your girlfriend dumped you."
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chocolate Indulgence: VERO Lounge (Pictures)

I wrote about Vero Lounge (Chocolate Indulgence: VERO Lounge, Hong Kong) some time ago but that time my phone camera's flash was too weak to take any pictures.  I went again last night - still without my DSLR camera - and took a few cute snapshots of the beautiful hot chocolate and the little chocolate gallery.  Hope this can entice you to pay a visit in person and experience it yourself.  Please DO call (25595882) before going to make sure they are not closed for any private events.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

More on iPhone 4: Camera Apps

Recently I travelled to Singapore with my iPhone 4 and it was such joy!  With web surfing made so easy with iPhone, and the phone camera having good resolution (for phone camera), I was constantly seeking out Free Wi-Fi spots to surf the net, Whatsapp with my friends in Hong Kong, and uploading pictures to Facebook.  Never before did I have a phone so perfect for traveling.

In particular it was extremely useful taking snapshots of Google Map, as the resolution was good enough for me to blow it up on the phone to zoom into smaller streets.  You know how expensive it could be to real time data roam overseas, using Google Map.

Taking snapshots with this phone was also tons of fun.  Since I didn't go to Singapore for any expectation of sceneries or interesting things to shoot with a proper camera, I did not bring any cameras at all.  The whole time I only used the various camera apps I loved:

Hipstamatic - an imitation of film photography with option of different lenses, flashes and films
LENSES - other fun special pre-set effects to choose from
LOFI - an imitation of slide film & cross processing effect
Polarize - an imitation of polaroid photos, very contrast and saturation, good for well-lit lighter colored subjects
Color Splash - making selected parts of a photo with colors, and rest in black & white

TrueHDR - a better camera app than the default, this allows users to take pictures with better control of exposure, allowing more details in both bright and dark areas of the picture

After the trip I also got an app called ToonCamera which cartoonizes pictures:

You probably did not notice:  I did not tag any of these blog posts with "i Shoot Photos" because I am a conservative and do not consider phone camera "photography" photography.  These are fun apps, no doubt, but imitating Lomo does not make it a Lomo picture.  It bothers me when I see some non-close friends on facebook calling their fake Lomo iphone pictures "lomo".

Hope you enjoy these camera apps as well!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Singapore Fav Food, Shopping & Play

Spent a few days in Singapore to visit good friends.  It wasn't a typical touristy trip, as the intention was mostly to spend time with my friends there, rather than going to all the tourist spots.  Still, I managed to revisit a few of my all-time favourites in Singapore, and discover new ones.

  • My Little Spanish Place - as its name suggests it's a small Spanish restaurant with very nice tapas
  • Three Wombats Cafe - a small cafe on Kim Keat Road serving nice coffee, good breakfast, wonderful ca.esar salad, and peach cheesecake
  • Icecream waffle sandwich vendor on Orchard Road near TANGS
  • 211 Roof Terrance Cafe in Holland Village.  Food is alright, but drinks not that great.  It is a nice oasis on the rooftop of Holland Village Shopping Center.
  • Lau Pa Sat - for years I loved Fatman Satay (Stall #1 and 2) but this time I tried Traditional Satay (Stall #3 and 4) and I actually liked it better.  I think mutton and duck are both particularly good.
  • PS.Cafe is a nice brunch restaurant set in a very green, park environment.  I loved the whole atmosphere even though the food is mediocre and overpriced.
  • Newton Hawker Center is NOT my favourite.  I prefer Lau Pa Sat, East Coast, and Maxwell.  Regardless, I always love sugar cane juice with lemon.
  • Founder Bakuteh was alright.  It's very peppery and I think I prefer the Malaysian herbal version of Bakuteh more.
  • Ion Shopping Center's food court was pretty nice, with large variety of food choices and a clean environment.  I loved that they had a wash basin for customers to wash their hands in the middle of the food court.
  • Bengawan Solo is always my favourite for Indonesian cakes and desserts.  I often buy pandan cake at the airport both on arrival and departure.
I love shopping in Singapore (even more if the exchange rate is more favourable).  I just always manage to find things to buy there.  A few of my favourites:
  • TANGS is always my first stop.  I love the earring and accessories brand, Metalli, and I often bought more than 3 or 4 pairs of earrings each time I visited their counter.
  • TANGS also sometimes have pretty shoes at very affordable prices.  They may not be the most comfortable shoes though, so I rarely buy heels from them.  This time, I bought 4 pairs of ballerina flats cos they were really pretty.  I am still trying to find a way to make them softer and more comfortable as I do not believe in torturing my feet no matter how pretty a pair of shoes is.
  • Holland Village is also a great place to look for trinkets, home decoration items, or ethnic wear.  In particular, I love Lim's and Creative Dimensions.  The former has plenty of home decoration products, mostly Asian style with a modern twist.  I bought cushion covers and a jewelry box there.  Creative Dimensions is heaven if you are into sequins and beaded bags, coasters, cushion covers, etc.  I got myself two little purses, some coasters and a small coin bag there.
  • Another favourite shop of mine in Singapore is Island Shop.  It's great for beachwear and summer clothing.  I have a lot of clothes from there, accumulated from each of my Singapore visits.  This time I didn't buy anything as it wasn't on sale.
Apart from Night Safari, I never had much idea what else to do for fun in Singapore.  Thanks to my friends, Janis, Pat and Gautam, I was taken to some new places this time.
  • Night Safari has always been my favourite.  I love taking the park train to see different animals, and love the walk up and down the jungle in the dark even more.
  • Peirce Reservoir was a really cool place my friends took me to, as I wanted to get away from all the traffic and crowds, and be near to nature.  It was a really lovely walk, with a very flat trail by the reservoir, and lots of greenery perfect for a picnic date.  I really loved it.  
  • A new and chic rooftop, open-air bar/ lounge is Ying Yang.  We walked past Chinatown to get there.  It was really happening.
  • We also spent time just chilling in Starbucks, Page One etc in the mall for some aircon (the humidity in Singapore was unbearable, even my clothes and bag were damp most of the time).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

iPhone 4 Obsession


I am embarrassed to say that I have been slow in updating my blog because I finally joined the iPhone 4 community last Sunday and have become fully obsessed with the phone and everything related to the phone.  Such is the power of Apple!

It was my first iPhone - and I so wish I could take a picture of my phone to show in this post - and I spent countless hours navigating through the different features, learning to maneuver the iPhone, finding the best value for money "apps", making more online purchases ("apps") in the past few days than my whole life combined, organizing the many "apps" on the phone, testing them out, waiting for friends to "whatsapp" me.....

I have to say it is a fun experience.  Highly addictive too!  I have been behaving like a kid with a new toy in the past few days - attentively playing with my phone during dinner with friend, playing with my phone while walking down and crossing the street, making wrong turns, missing entrances, almost run over by traffic :P