Friday, September 30, 2005
On Wed night, I had my 2nd piano lesson. I'm trying really hard to keep the rythmn. It's not something that comes naturally to me, so I have the metronome cranked up and really, really slow and I'm trying to play a Sonatina to the metronome. Pretty much as soon as my concentration wavers, I lose the beat. Oh well, my teacher says that I should be able to learn it. I also signed up for private theory classes, so hopefully I'll learn that as well.
Thursday, we went out with Kate and her aunt Mary Ann. Kate has had a bunch of people visit her here, I'm impressed. We went to the Carl's Jr. downtown to get a real burger, which I haven't had in a long time. I watched with amazement as Kate ate 2 burgers! Remember, she's 7 months pregnant and growing. After lunch, Vince found the Toys R Us and was enthralled. I've been looking for this CD called the Hi-5, it's the soundtrack to a popular kids show here. I couldn't find it in the local mall here, but near the Toys R Us, there was a Tower Records and they didn't have it either. They sell it on Amazon for 11 dollars.
Today there was a really loud thunderstorm. I have never seen Ruby so scared - she was trembling. She couldn't decide if she wanted to be near me or in her crate hiding. So after each clap of thunder, she would either slink off to her crate or come find me in the apartment and tremble at my feet. Vince slept through the whole thing and Edda was fine about the storm.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
Jeremy's work is going gangbusters now. Lots of excitement and lots to do, he's enjoying it quite a bit. Which is great.
The kids and I had a quiet day. I don't know what happened, but the past week, the apartment has exploded into a pile of laundry and dirty dishes. Always more to do.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Today was a quiet day, it rained all day. So we stayed mostly inside.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Vince was sick a lot of today, runny nose, sneezing and a low grade fever. Not bad, not great either. Took some decongestant and Tylenol. We went out today while Rukia cleaned our house. Here is a photo of Rukia and Edda.
I started my piano lessons today. This is the first time that my piano teacher is younger than me, she's 20! Anyways, she is going to help me get the rythmn. Finally a teacher who will help me keep time with a metronome! I always thought I have had trouble keeping time in my music. I'm also going to work on having even consistent notes. So my first assignement is from the dreaded Hanon book, working on keeping time and the notes all the same. It'll be a challenge. Also, I'm going to start taking theory classes as well.
The speech went well. Everyone seemed to like it. Choon's father had some good quotes. I ended up using your dinner quote Doris. There was a quote in there about sex. It might have been too much, but whatever. I think everyone got a good laugh out of it. :P
It seemed a bit hectic also. There was some confusion about when they were saying the vows and the speech. Pei-sun ended up losing her vows right before the ceremony and we had to delay like 15 while we tried to reprint them. In the end, we just wrote them over again. It wasn't terribly complicated since she had written something almost exactly like Choon's vows.
There was good food as usual at Choon's. He had another malaysian friend cook a Salad of potatoes, and had ordered 1 thing from various restuarants. Seafood soup from a peruvian place. mutter paneer from shalimar. some chicken and beef kabobs from this afghan place. All the meat was halal for all the Karims who came to the wedding.
Arif and his new wife Tahera are funny. They were absolutely tearing up the dance floor! very very cute.
of course everyone was in town for the big event. for the last week I think i've gotten like 4 hours of sleep pretty much every night. stressing about the speech, hanging outwith friend, staying up doing work... sigh
well at least i get to sleep now... sigh
plus the Redskins win in Dallas!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Today we registered for Appletree Nursery school. Here's Vince playing with their kitchen set-up while I'm signing him up for class next year. So in November, there is going to be orientation and then in January classes start. I think it will be OK. I can't believe it's going to be months before he starts school.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Sunday, September 18, 2005
It was a quiet day here at the Martin/Lee household. Vince was just bouncing off the walls. I think he got a sugar high from this grape drink that he loves, Ribena. Just yelling and screaming and having a lot of fun and just sucking the life out of me and Jeremy.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Today we went to the pediatrician near our house to make sure the kids vaccinations were up to date and also to get vaccination recommendations for our trip to India this winter. This is the first shot Vince got that he was fully aware of what was happening and he screamed his head off, but got a gumdrop and a lollipop in return. Edda only screamed when the needle was actually in her leg, otherwise she was fine. She got 2 gumdrops, one for each shot. The doc seemed unconcerned about the walking and said to just give it more time which is what we thought anyways, although she is getting quite heavy to carry around.
We also went to the Singapore DMV to sign up for a driving test. We only have to take the written test to get a Singapore driver's license, but they have a pretty high fail rate, I think you have to get 90 or 95 percent correct to pass. Anyways, the earliest test date is at the end of next month, so we have a month to study.
Our friend, Agnes, came over because she heard from Jeremy that I've been homesick and grumpy, she's so sweet, she brought Vince those ice treats with red beans and weird toppings and lanterns and also this dragon lantern with batteries that lights up and the eyes blink and the ears twitch and Vince ran away from that lantern screaming his head off.
I also signed up for piano lessons which start on Wed evening. My teacher is Miss Chua. We will see how it is. We went there before the pediatrician's office opened and there are a million little rooms with upright pianos and little tiny kids playing Old McDonald had a farm and such things. Hopefully I will like my teacher.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I had lunch with your favorite librarian last week. she's a pretty funny lady. I forgot to tell you about it over the phone. But basically we had an interesting talk. Apparently when I joined, I thought this one person was pretty useless. Apparently she thinks so too. I think we were both happy to agree on that. We ate at the Golf Course Cafe. by the Stanford golf course (duh). I had an Arnold Palmer which, if you didn't know, was half ice tea, half lemonade. yum yum...
Monday, September 12, 2005
Hello secret pal -
I am a novice knitter, I have only 2 pairs of straight needles and one set of circular and about 10 skeins of yarn. My mother is a really good knitter and I want to be able to someday knit as well as she does - when I was young, she made all our winter sweaters that we wore all the time.
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
About a year ago, I started knitting, I bought all my knitting supplies from Walmart and I started learning increases, decreases, ribbing, etc. Then I got discouraged after my toddler son got into the Red Heart yarn and tangled it all up and although I was doing well with my self-education, I threw it all away. Now, I've vowed to get at nice knitting needles and nice yarn to support my local yarn store and I have to say, the nice bamboo needles and nicer yarn just feel good.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No, but I'm especially interested in crochet.
3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Nope. Although I don't like perfume or smoke.
4. How long have you been knitting?
On and off for about a year.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I love citrus.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
I do enjoy chocolate. Yum. I also do like hard candies and mint. Oh, I also like soft candies like Mentos and gummies. And I like salty things like nuts and DORITOS.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I like to cook for my family.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm so out of the music scene if you'd like to introduce me to new music that would be lovely, I think my computer doesn't have any speakers, so I could play an MP3, I just wouldn't be able to hear it. Although I do have an iPod that my hubby got me for Xmas (although he uses it more than me.) I think we could figure it out. I love the old Liz Phair, Counting Crows, Joni Mitchell, Abba, Kristy McColl (sp?), Gilbert & Sullivan, the Sound of Music, Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Wiggles, Britney Spears, Norah Jones, Billy Joel, Jethro Tull (OK, not really Jethro Tull and Billy Joel seemed really cool in the late 80s, but seems so sappy now, huh?)
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Love all colors, except flourescent colors.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
You'll see elsewhere on the blog - one husband Jeremy (37), one son Vincent (3), one daughter Edda (1), one dog Ruby (4), two goldfish Zilker and Zepher (1 month)
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Um, to knit a fishermans sweater and live somewhere where I can actually wear it.
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Ah, I really want to become a master knitter through the Knitting Guild of America.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like little things I can finish quickly without a lot of yarn, that way I can concentrate. A sweater or a full sized afgan seems so big.
17. What are you knitting right now?
Nothing, I'm looking around for a pattern for a nice felted bag.
18. What do you think about ponchos?
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Yes, in that order.
21. Are you a sock knitter?
No, but I want to be.
22. How did you learn to knit?
Through the Learn to Knit program with the Knitting Guild of America.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I have none.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I like the Tazmanian Devil and I like dogs and cats.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
26. Is there anything that you collect?
I collect nothing. I love decluttering. (But my secret, secret obsessions are bags and notebooks.)
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Hmmm. Not really.
29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
One can comprehend, though without despair, I am indeed concerned. But, I believe it could be better; it should be; it can be and it will be better. Right? Time can and will tell. But, at this very moment, I really don’t know “how” :)
Just a thought to share.
Friday, September 9, 2005
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Since we are use French design, some documents are written in French. I have to learn how to read French. I told my lead that there is no problem to learn French since I learn English by reading technical stuff. As a mater of fact, I use the equation to understand the French. I have to spend lots of time to understand French if there are no mathematical equations. So I listed a spread sheet to have French and English for my reference. It helped a lot since my memories are not like 40 years ago.
In the office, there are most temporary engineers to do the works. In our section, there are 6 engineers, 5 are temporary. One of them has been here for more than year. There is another old guy (may be ~ 70 years old) in next section. Two weeks ago, few engineers had business trip to SC. They could not find him in the Atlanta airport. Later, the airport security people found him. He disoriented due to his low sugar level and fall down in the airport. They sent him back to Denver hospital had quite few stitches and he is back to work yesterday. He looks OK. But, he said that he has some problem with his legs. It is very sad that he has to work at that age. Daddy and I worked very hard when we were young and we do not have to work at old ages. When getting old, the health is getting bad to worse. That is why there is a retirement and social security system.
Our boss is very nice and most time is hand off. He knows that we can help him to do the job since he is a MIT graduate and knows very well in the field. It is nice to have a boss knows technically.
We are staying in a very small studio with two cooking tops and a small refrigerator. I still can manage to do some cooking during weekdays. We had dumplings too. Daddy now helps to wash dishes every time we have supper at studio. We also found a nice swimming pool just like Rockville’s about 6 miles away. We go swimming twice a week. One of co-worker told us that here is cheap movie theater. The cost is $1.00/ticket. It is only $0.50/ticket on Thursday. We have found the place and going to watch a movie this week.
Our medical insurance is covered by COBRA. The premium is about $750/mo which is much higher. The good thing is that we will be 65 next year so we have to spend about $10,000 total. Not that bad if we have job.
Next long weekend (every other Friday is off day); we are going to Washougal, WA on 9/15/05 and come back to Denver on 9/18/05. We are going to take our friends couple out for nice dinner since they helped me lot in moving out of the Richland. It was nice I made Bechtel to pay the moving. Moving is a big hassle. Doris knows it all well. But it is much nicer let company to do it. They packed everything and moved back to Maryland. My friend Mrs. Ling helped me to open the door for mover to move all stuffs into the basement. Daddy went back to Maryland few weeks ago and took a quick look at the stuff and opened few boxes and found everything is in good order. We moved our desk top computer ourselves to Denver. Our place is too small for printer and scanner. So we only unpacked the computer, monitor and keyboard. There is no place to put a chair in front of the screen and I only use the computer for few minutes.
Last weekend, Daddy drove 1700 miles to National parks. We went to dinosaur National park in CO first. But they do not have any dinosaur bones. So we went to UT to see the dinosaur bones in the stone. They built a building to cover the part of the mountain where the dinosaur bones are located. It is very nice place. We would like to take Vince and Adda to see this place later on.
I like Zion National park most. Daddy went both Zion and Bryce national park before when he was in Los Vegas. But he did not take shuttle to see the best part of those places. In Zion, we saw two climbers on the vertical cliff. They slept against the wall vertically that night to rest. It can not climb into the top by one day. The tour guide told us that the sand rocks are difficult to climb. But it is very safe to climb since every climber knows what they are doing. However, the day before, there was an accident for a hiker. He was off the trail and fall into the bottom of the cliff. Of course, he did not survive. It is very sad.
I picked up three big rocks. One is from the Rocky mountain, other is from the Green River at dinosaur place and third one is from Zion. They are in different colors: Grey, Red, and black.
We took lots of pictures but I did not take the cable with me and daddy did not find the cable from packed boxed. We went Wal-Mart and dumped all pictures on a CD. Hope I can mail you some tonight.
We went to Dinosaur National Monument in the northwest corner of Colorado and northeast corner of Utah. A lot of Dinosaur bones are still on the quarry wall which is enclosed as a building wall, very interesting. We also walked along the Green River, an upstream of Colorado River. After that, we went to Fruita, Colorado; it is about 30 miles west of Grand Junction, Colorado. We then drove along Grand Mesa near by. We discovered a housing development right along the mountains there. Those houses are huge and with pretty views. 5 acres log itself is about $150,000. They are really nice just like those houses right along side the Scottsbluff Mountain at Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
The next day, we went Archers National Park and walked a pretty long distance to see the famous Landscape Arch which appears on many covers of the traveling maps. Its length is more than a football field and the thinnest point is just about 6 feet. Then we drove to a small town just west of Zion National Park which was named by first Mammon settlers about its beauty and its remoteness, and apparently, without religious persecutions.
The next day, we went to Zion National Park, Utah. There we saw two climbers on a wall. They stayed there overnight half way before going to the top. It is a pretty sight to see two small dots on this wall of a huge vertical sediment rock formation. After that, we went to Bryce National Park. The oldest tree in the world is there, it is about 5000 years old. In both places, we took park shuttles and it is a very neat idea, less driving by individuals and less pollution to the park environment. After that, we drove north to Capitol Reef National Monument, Utah. It is also very pretty. One segment of route 12 is right on the top of a tall mountain. It was very scary when we drove on top of that because both sides are deep cliffs without anything to block your view, very scary indeed.
We stayed in a small town at east side of this park. Next day, we drove home and passing by the famous ski town of Vail, Colorado on route 70.
Well, this week, we have to work to makeup our 40 hours a week to schedule. It is better this way because our per diem and payment rules.
With Mom, I do the dishes; prepare the bed; iron the clothes and move out the trash. Mom is quite surprise to find this :)
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Monday, September 5, 2005
Tonight we had spare ribs with orange/maple sauce. I thought it wasn't worth the effort, which actually wasn't that much, it just involved marinating the meat in the morning, then starting the cooking 2 hours before you want to eat and finally preparing the glaze. Jeremy thought it was OK though.
Thank yous go out to my parents for the thoughtful birthday present(s), it will go towards a nice dinner night out on Wed at the Jade Garden. Yummy! Also thank you to Katherine for Animal Baby and the Big Backyard. Edda is still mainly into eating them, but Vince was very excited to see them in the mail. We also got a 2nd package from Paragon with the same ice cream bowls and the book (which Vince loves and we use everyday, by the way). Hmmm.
Oh yes, and by the way, if you are totally nuts and want to see a billion pictures of us just click on the caption of the picture, I think it will take you to all the pictures I've ever taken, starting from a month or two ago.
Sunday, September 4, 2005
Sunday night again, the weekend passes so quickly here in Singapore. I know that it's Labor Day weekend, the traditional weekend for the Lee family reunion, but I guess it isn't happening this weekend, so here's a SHOUT OUT to all those Lees out there, don't work too hard. Today, I actually spent quite a bit of time away from Jeremy and the kids, grocery shopping, walking around the library looking for knitting needles, walking the dog, etc. Jeremy cooked for me and the kids all day today. Spaghetti for lunch and eggs and noodles for dinner. We were suppose to go see a free concert at the racetrack today, but by 7pm we are gearing down and getting ready for bed.
Saturday, September 3, 2005
So we headed down to Chinatown on the 190 bus line that is right in front of our apartment complex, Vince LOVES the bus. But he HATEs it when he can't sit in the back with the cool kids. We rode the bus all the way downtown and ate at a hawker center. We have this local guide called the MAKANSUTRA which tells us which street food we have to eat at and we've had it for weeks now and we haven't eaten at A SINGLE PLACE listed yet, so today was the day. There are a million stalls in this place and we had gotten a late start in the morning and by the time we got there, it was past kid eating time and they were both fussy and nonplussed by the lack of climate control. We still did not find a the "die, die, must try" stall because, well because Edda was screaming her head off and Vince was drinking only Ribena, this purple drink kind of like grape Kool-Aid but with better marketing. So Jeremy and I ate random meat at random stall and boogied out of there lickity split into an air conditioned mall where the kids calmed down and we bumped into Jeremy's boss from work out for his weekly grocery run. I finally got to go to the yarn store to start my new knitting hobby. Again. It was pretty nice, I got a lot of nice yarn and needles and it looks as if I can just go there and hang out to learn how to knit as long as I buy the supplies there at the store. About 10 women were just hanging out knitting, it was pretty nice. Jeremy and the kids were eating at a dessert place while I was milling about the yarn store, Edda bit Jeremy on the arm so hard that a blood blister formed and now a couple square inches of arm is bruised.
Then we headed to Suntec City to COMEX, Singapore's biggest geek-fest ever. We knew we had arrived when we realized that there was shoulder to shoulder max capacity waiting to just get into the mall complex from the subway station. And as we were going up the escalators to the 3rd and 4th floors, the officials were blocking the up escalator because the convention hall was so packed with people, but we finally we got up to the convention floor, which were populated with Nikon, HP, Canon, Fuji, Sony, Samsung, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. I don't like to shop. But Jeremy bought me a nice Sony camera which I hope to start using soon.
We got home at 6:45pm wayyyyy later than I though when we left for the day.