August 31, 2009

Tiny Ice Pebbles

Last week's crazy winds and rainstorm brought this to our balcony carpet.

20090831 Sleet

Sleet! I haven't seen sleet since I left the UK. I remembered how painful it was to be outdoors without an umbrella when sleet was hailing down like they were high on steroids. It was definitely NOT fun to have tiny pieces of ice whacking your face.

August 27, 2009

The Book List

20090827 Books

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers."
- Charles W. Eliot in The Happy Life (1896)

I saw this at May's, and thought I'd nick it and see if I've read any of the books on BBC's must-read book list. Apparently, the average person would have read 6 out of the 100 books listed below.

The crossed out ones are the books I've read.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien (I only managed the first ten pages. Sigh)
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne (finished this at the bookstore. It's counted, right?)
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien (couldn't even do #1, never mind this)
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Only 27 out of 100. I haven't read as many classics as I'd have liked. These days I don't seem to have the capacity to sit through heavy fictions.

In fact, I hardly read fiction these days. Most of the items on my reading list in the past months have been non-fiction (mostly finance). Either those or glossy mags.

How I miss the days when I was so engrossed in a good book, I'd stay up till the wee hours of the morning just to get to the last page. I know of people who'd skip the middle pages and go directly to the last chapter (or even just the last couple of pages) to see what the ending's like. I never understood that. What's the point in reading a book then, if all you wanted to know is the ending? It's not just the destination that matters, it's also the journey, is it not?

Anyway, I should get back to that reading list above. There are plenty of books in that list I'd love to read. Thank goodness for the inexpensive Penguin classics available at Target (also available at Borders, but the same books are cheaper at Target). I'm going to get me some of those. Hopefully I'd be able to cross off more books on that list.

August 14, 2009

Shoop Shoop

Update: The ski trip was canceled. Hubs was too tired. Oh well, next year then.

Guess where I'm heading to this Saturday?

20090813 Mt Buller
Image credit:

I haven't done this in years, but I reckon it's time to face my fears and head the skis full on once more. To cut the story short, some kids laughed at me when I tried skiing for the first time, fell down, and couldn't get up. Not only did they not help me up, they pointed at me, laughed, shouted to their parents what I was doing wrong, and then ran away. Nasty lil' tykes they were. I was traumatised, I tell you.

Anyway, let's do this baby one more time, eh? Mt Buller, here I come!

August 13, 2009

Enough Is Quite Enough

I'm sorry to have to say this, and you know I never, ever swear out loud on my blog, but this is it. I've had enough, and am putting an end to this. Those who keep calling me a tai tai or lady of leisure, can quite frankly, fuck off. Oh yeah, I actually said it. I have the courtesy of not calling you a bloody workaholic or a mindless drone for getting stuck in the office at least 10 hours a day, so you can leave me the hell alone. You don't understand the frustrations I have to go through, so zip your mouth.

I do NOT ask for a handout from the husband. I earn my keep, even in the house. I do not "lunch" with other ladies. I do not go shopping everyday (in fact, I only do it once a week, like most of you do). I do not take anything from the government (well okay, except for the pittance of reimbursements from Medicare, and even then, I very hardly see the GP) so you taxpayers can stop whinging.

I'm currently working on launching something of my own. I know it's taking a lot longer than originally intended, but at least I'm doing something. I hated what I was doing before all those years, and yet, I have the balls to take a different path. I don't know where that road will take me, but I just have to give it a try. I have the support of my husband, my closest friends and even my family (who took quite a bit of convincing at first, but I know they're on board), so who are you to judge?

So if you ask me if I'm working yet, yes I am. I just don't do it in an sterile environment with cubicles.

PS: Yep, for once I'm actually disallowing comments, something that I very rarely do. So there.

August 10, 2009

Lawrence Leung's Why Can't I Be More Chinese?

I don't normally post Youtube videos here, and I know this is probably very late and that it's already widely circulated, but I just have to share this with those who's not seen the video.

Here's Lawrence Leung, trying to be more Chinese. It's hilarious!

As much as a banana that I am (y'know, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Hey I've been called that all my life, so I don't find it offensive. Apologies if you do), I'm glad I've got a leg up over him ;)

August 04, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Ahh guilty pleasures. Those little things you do in secret that give you an immense high. I don't mean sex and drugs, of course. I've got lots of little guilty pleasures that I enjoy. Like reading trashy mags while I'm in the loo. Sneaking a cheese slice and ham from the fridge without forming a sandwich. And many more.

What's your guilty pleasure?