1. 33 and Counting

    September 18, 2014 by barffie

    So I turn 33. I’m still married, I still have 4 cats, I am still somewhat intact although I am at my heaviest ever. My hair loss problem has slowed ever since I wash my hair every night now (it used to be alternate nights!) and the shampoo is light enough for me.

    For the first time in my life, I got eyelash extensions from this Japanese salon. It’s very nice and comfortable. No pain, itch or discomfort but I have to be careful about oil-based cleansers and not to rub my eyes!

    I am happy.

    I think work is working out well for me, but I think I could do with some breather now and then. It has been busy busy busy busy busy. I wish I had a little more time to think, read, watch anime and play my ukulele.

    Tripped and stumbled at work a few times here and there… Messed some some stuff in life here and there… But I think all’s good. I have to be better though.

    What can I say? Except to tell myself “Try my best. Enjoy what I’m doing. Be kinder to myself.” :)

    Here’s to more happy years ahead!

  2. Late Night Minor Verbal Diarrhoea

    July 28, 2014 by barffie

    Don’t get distracted from doing what is right and just in life.

    Don’t fall into vice even if it is calling out to your desperation.

    Don’t get sidetracked by comparing what others are doing and trying to emulate their success. You will never be them. You have your own context to live in, so live it well.

  3. Ukulele Thoughts!

    June 23, 2014 by barffie

    I am having a lot of fun with the Ukulele. I practice almost every night and although I’m getting slightly better but I think it’s still a long time before I get good enough to show off!

    That aside I am using it as some form of music therapy. I tend to get rather flustered and drained by the end of the workday, but playing the Ukulele, even just doing slow drills on 3 chord songs would help me in focusing my mind and also it helped me to maintain a calmness for hours.

    This has been much better than meditation – in the latter, I would be constantly thinking about stuff… or worrying if I am doing it right. Which is precisely the wrong way to go about it!

    So just strumming along and singing to myself on the bed… that would keep my mind focused and calm for a much longer period of time. I don’t think about much else, except to coax nice, sweet sounds from the Ukulele.

    I’m still a little tense when I play, that’s why my shoulders and back are getting a little achy lately. Need to relax more! My left fingertips are slowly forming calluses… which would be useful in future I guess! :P

  4. Me and Uke

    June 8, 2014 by barffie

    So my new obsession: learning how to play the Ukulele.


    An absolute beauty. It’s a Kamoa E3 Soprano and I really love it. There are other cheaper models out there for a noob like me (the logical, practical choice) but I fell in love with this one.

    Excited to start my lessons!

    The Moon Song from the Spike Jonze movie Her is the first song I attempted. I don’t have the courage to upload the video but I think I did ok, considering I haven’t gone to my first formal lesson yet!

    I am officially a hipster wannabe!!!

    Ola! I am a hipster wannabe!

    Time to practise!

    The Uke (I haven’t named it yet but I think I am calling her 小紅), the padded gigbag from Ukulele Movement and the grey kitty that I got from Kyoto. He’s the protector of the Ukulele!

  5. Little Miss Itchy Backside

    June 1, 2014 by barffie

    I am on the hunt for a new interest/hobby. I know I haven’t made any of my hobbies stick for long enough but I love the learning process. Picking up some new skills, new knowledge and with them, new challenges always appealed to me.

    It makes me feel alive, you know? In a very cheesy way. But I really enjoy being in a learning environment and absorbing new teachings. So fun lor. But I’ve never stuck with something to make it a viable 2nd career or something. But hobbies are just hobbies, they need not lead to any damn thing, isn’t it?

    Over the last 14 years since I’ve graduated from Poly, I’ve done these out of my regular work hours… And these include self-improvement courses…

    Body Combat
    Bellydance (for a damn year)
    Advanced Diploma
    Photography and Lomography
    Cycling (couldn’t cycle to save my life, but now I can!)
    Swimming (to be a stronger swimmer that’s all)
    Bachelor’s Degree
    KAPAP Self defense
    … Now? I am looking to learn how to play the Ukulele. Yes I am not kidding.

    I don’t know how to play a musical instrument and I like the simple, light sound of a Ukulele. So I’m going to learn how to play it. Even if I play it badly.

  6. Ohai US of A

    May 25, 2014 by barffie

    So we went to New York City and Washington DC this May! It was fun and tiring! Here are some photos :)

    A skyline to remember. View from the free Staten Island Ferry!

    Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry

    This was yesterday - helicopter ride around the city skyline!

    We went on a helicopter tour!

    Shopped at the flagship Kate Spade at Madison Ave! Whee!

    Kate Spade flagship store at Madison Ave. As a fan of their brand I had to buy something :P

    Onboard the Intrepid! This reminds me so much of my time with H2.

    The Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum by the Hudson River.

    After struggling for days we decided to try Chinese take out for once just to see what the heck was all about. This restaurant was recommended by the doorman but aiyoh. I don't like the food. :(

    Our first Chinese takeaway! Horrendous food :P

    At the Top of the Rock

    At the Top of The Rock!

    Empire State of Pretty

    Magic hour!

    Arrived at the Vatican City of Apple Stores. Pardon my sng buay face 'cos my hand was freezing in the cold wind

    Apple flagship store at 5th Ave! We also stopped by the Tiffany & Co store but as usual I didn’t get anything.

    Too famous. Cannot don't understand. @haha_lim 真的看了很感动

    The amazing Van Gogh at MOMA

    We went on a sunset stroll upstate to Stony Point Battlefield memorial with some friends who kindly drove us around!

    Went to meet friends upstate and after shopping at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets we went for an evening walk to Stony Point memorial. Lovely views!

    Zipping around on 2 wheels today

    Went cycling

    Touristy shot of the day

    Standard Brooklyn Bridge shot

    Earlier today, we had a nice dinner at an atas restaurant. Damn atas he had to wear shirt and pants

    Dinner at a super atas restaurant they require the men to wear shirt and pants. He ordered a Beef Wellington! It was perfectly done :)

    You can refill cat litter by the pound here at Petco!

    Cat litter sold by the pound… Only in America!

    Red Bull Stratos exhibit at the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum featuring Felix Baumgartner's awesome suit!

    The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in DC is amazing! AND FREE! This is the Felix Baumgartner and the Redbull Stratos exhibit.


    One of the kittens in our apartment

    Behold, the Space Shuttle Discovery

    Space Shuttle Discovery

    The Hope Diamond

    The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

    Abraham Lincoln

    Lincoln Memorial

    The Washington Monument

    Beautiful day!

    Mummy Panda Mei Xiang and Baby Panda Tai Shan!!!

    Pandas at the zoo!

    Earlier today at Tokyo Skytree. The boy is happy to see a 1:1 scale of the VF25F!

    On the way back to our side of the world… we stopped by Tokyo (still our favourite city) for a little while. The boy wanted to see the 1:1 scale of the Macross mecha on display.

    Somehow we've always missed her out. Finally we've met her!

    Tokyo Skytree!

    Obligatory luggage shot

    Done. Done. Done.

    For some reason Narita was overwhelmed and we had to do tarmac boarding and wait for the runway congestion to clear before takeoff!

    But not before doing a tarmac boarding for our ANA Dreamliner flight!

  7. The Thing About Growing Older

    May 21, 2014 by barffie

    I won’t turn 33 till about 4 months down the road. But growing older brings about new anxieties unlike the ones I’ve had in my 20s.

    “When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.” ~ Anne Lamott

    This quote from a friend spoke to me, out of the tons of status updates, quotes of the day posts and other information that I absorb throughout the day.

    Until this ripe old age of 30-something, I found that I still care too much about how others see me. I know, as a matter of fact, I am a conscientious, extremely self-critical person. And I have pride and integrity in my work no matter how much I tell myself to “screw it and anyhowly deliver it”. But it does still sting a little to face rejection sometimes.

    I try hard to be a human’s human. A kind, considerate, hardworking, fun, nice-to-know kind of person to the people around me… while I may not be the most efficient, or the most organised person around, I’ve always tried hard to do things to the best of my abilities. That’s enough… right?

    But I found myself craving praise. Craving for a pat on the back. Craving for some positive attention. That could be my self-esteem craving for some recognition, even though my conscious self says “I know who and what I am, I don’t need no validation”.

    So in my 20s, I was constantly on the search for a better me. I stumble and fall on my face sometimes, but I did manage to dust myself off and became stronger. I was finding my true self and discovering my true nature through work, relationships and even some good ol’ soul searching…

    In my 30s, I kind of got it made with a stable career growth and diminishing debts and having the opportunity to travel and see the world, like how I have always wanted. But with this stability comes some form of self-criticism that was stronger in magnitude than before. I feel the pressure to outdo myself constantly, for some reason.

    I feel awful about each little mistake, and I do treat myself quite badly when things go south sometimes. I’ve got to love myself and accept myself just that little bit more.

    Just a little bit more.

  8. I Flunked!

    April 13, 2014 by barffie

    … But it’s totally ok!

    I just got back from Koh Tao and Bangkok 2 weeks back and boy, was it tiring!

    Am I able to fight my innate fear and overcome the scaredy cat demon?

    It was a fantastic experience learning freediving with Blue Immersion at Koh Tao (near Koh Samui)… I learnt a lot about myself during those 2 days of training in the open water!

    Gear of the day

    Apart from the unfortunate head-down equalisation problem on my end but my instructor Pavel was patient, encouraging and professional.

    Koh Tao! We took the long way around by taking a 10hr sleeper train from Bangkok to Chumporn, transferred to the pier and endured a harrowing 1hr45min ferry through rough seas to reach this paradise. I need a shower!!!

    ^ This is PukeMobile – many people succumbed to the heaving of the ocean but thank goodness we were both fine!

    I went home with a renewed respect and awe for the ocean and the people who ply their trade on it.

    I also went home with a sunburnt scalp (protip: wear a swimming cap if you don’t have a freediving suit) and ugly, tanned feet.

    But I have challenged myself, pushed my limits and found unknown strength in myself, which means it’s all good!

    This lady served me perfect crepe and fruit shake (fruits blended with ice). She's very friendly so I will go to buy more from her tomorrow.

    ^ This lady was friendly and her watermelon juices were awesome. Naturally I became a “regular”!

    I liked Koh Tao leh. But a bit hard to get to. I enjoyed the chillax environment though… and the cheap and nice food!

    My brother and I had fun staying overnight on the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chumporn! The long boat rides were to die for (literally!) but it was a damn good adventure we went on :)

    My brother and I took a long wait at Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok. When in Thailand, do Chang beer.

    Next – more training!

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