Take a Deetour

"I write to find out what I think." - Joan Didion

Friday, December 30, 2005

These are a Few of My Favourite Things


OK, I was in a foul mood yesterday. Couldn't stop eating. Then couldn't stop burping. But today, there's no reason to be a grumpy b*tch, so I'm going to be thankful for a wonderful (albeit filling) Christmas and wonderful people who showered me with wonderful gifts.

Front Row (L-R): Accessorize Make-Your-Own-Corsage Kit; gorgeous Agate and Jade Earrings from Mudan in Far East Plaza; special bangles from Miss S's trip to India; iPod NANO (finally!!!! from generous parents); Bobbi Brown pink shimmer brick compact; pretty tea mug with strainer from JellyGirl.

Middle Row (L-R): Leather and suede covered butterfly notebook from Giftica in Sydney; Miso Pretty Gift Set; hand-made turquoise & silver earrings; Miso Pretty Body Wash; Luxe Shanghai City Guide; hand-made gold & green earrings; Living Language Spanish : Daily Phrase & Culture 2006 Day to Day Calendar.

Back Row (L-R): The Fabulous Fairy Pack (fluffy pink magic wand included!); SEI boxed album kit.

But my favourite thing this Christmas? Being in a pretty good place, spiritually.

"The more we give away, the richer we become, and the more we keep for ourselves, the poorer we become. That's the mystery of generosity, neither more nor less. But it's the mystery of poverty, too... All those who lay up for themselves treasures on earth will be poor one day, but those who have given away all they possess will never be poor. Besides, they have had great fun... For the greatest joy on earth is generosity."
"That may be so," said Elisabet, "but first you must own something to give away."
At that the good-natured Bishop laughed so violently that his whole body shook...
"Not at all... You needn't own anything at all to feel generosity fizzing in your veins. A little smile is enough, or something you've made yourself."
~ St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (The Christmas Mystery/ Jostein Gaarder)



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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Colour Me Crappy

I'm all binged-out and in a bit of a post-Christmas carb stupor... Brain activity at bare minimum... Perfect time for one of these (courtesy of Kat via email)...

What's Your True Color?

You're green, the color of growth and vigor. Good-hearted and giving, you have a knack for finding and bringing out the best in people. Green is the most down-to-earth color in the spectrum — reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on you to be around in times of need, since your concern for people is genuine and sincere. You take pride in being a good friend. For you, success is measured in terms of personal achievement and growth, not by status or position. Rare as emeralds, greens are wonderful, natural people. It truly is your color!

Oh Dear. Lies, all LIES! That's what I deserve for getting a machine to pscho-analyse me. Bah. Pass me the mashed potatoes.


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Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Night - A Photo Story

They don't call it Puke Fest for nothin'!




The Were-Rabbit bore the brunt of the evening's festivities.
Me? In typical loser fashion, I just fell asleep on the sofa and woke up covered with cat hairs at 5am when everything was over!


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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. " Isaiah 9:6

Hope this Crimbo turns out warm and fuzzy and delicious for you!

I heard this one years ago, but it still makes me laugh. Hope it does you too.

A Russian couple was walking down the street in St. Petersburg when the man felt a drop hit his nose. "I think it's raining," he said to his wife.

"No, that felt more like snow to me," she replied. "No, I'm sure it was just rain, he said." Well, as these things go, they were about to have a major argument about whether it was raining or snowing. Just then they saw a minor communist party official walking toward them. "Let's not fight about it," the man said, "let's ask Comrade Rudolph whether it's officially raining or snowing."

As the official approached, the man said, "Tell us, Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing?"

"It's raining, of course," he answered and walked on. But the woman insisted: "I know that felt like snow!"

To which the man quietly replied: "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!"


HO! HO! HO! And God Bless one and all!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chocolate Truffles 101

In bid to tighten up purse strings in anticipation of 6 months away in New Zealand next year, Deetourguide attempted homemade gifts this Christmas.
After a 7 hour process, they turned out alright - quite profashional, even if she does say so herself!


*blush* Martha Stewart magazine circa 2000.






pre-dipped, pre-coated truffs. flowery old lady housecoat/ apron optional.


crushed candy cane coating.






cointreau, amaretto and peppermint choc truffs!


she's so cheap, she made her own boxes too.






et voila!


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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pieces on Earth and Good Will to All Men

Arrggghhh!!! My heart palpitates as Christmas Eve accelerates towards us. So many more little things I could do, my mind races, drawing up mental lists over and over.

Have spent large part of evening channeling the devil Martha Stewart and hand-making chocolate truffles in 3 different flavours - peppermint candy, Cointreau & Amaretto (adventures in truffle-making to follow). Oh, maybe palpitations are result of chocolate and booze overdose. I feel sweetly sick, yet strangely giggly!

Anyhoo, have finally acquired new book been dying to read: James Frey's A Million Little Pieces (as recommended by the devil's Oprah's Book Club). How on earth is it possible I'm juggling this many books at the same time?

WAIT! How is it possible I'm even admitting to following Martha Stewart's recipes and reading Oprah's recommendations?!


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Monday, December 19, 2005

Phnom-enon!

Who could resist faces like these?

Give me time, the old grey cells need to be gathered before I can even begin to describe the trip to Phnom Penh...


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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Jingle Balls

supplied by freefoto.com
I announced my arrival home from Cambodia and found this reply from T. waiting for me on my mobile:

"Did you bring back my mail-order bride? I'd like to arrange a viewing."

"We had a little trouble at customs, but HE should out of qurantine soon!"

"I think a grave mistake has been made. I'm allergic to testicles."

"I knew it! You have no balls!"

"That was below the belt."


AHHHH... It's good to be home and to know some things just don't change.


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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Phnom Penh is NOT the Brother of Sean Penn!


Once again, I bid thee farewell, fair netizens of Deetour.

The capital city of Cambodia beckons and a week of ministering to children in the rural provinces calls. Theatre training fail me not, these kids are expecting all the energetic singing, game-playing and miming our team of 10 can muster!

Check back in a week - I'll be home on the 16th! Joom-reap Leah!




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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

FalalalalalalalaLAH!

The house & tree've finally been decorated, presents bought wrapped, turducken ordered and the smell of pine, cinnamon and orange peel fills the air...

There's something I really love about the Christmas season. Something I can't quite put a finger on, but it makes grumpy, cynical old me a little lighter on my feet, more thankful about everything and yes, I annoy everyone else with my Christmas cheer and unbearable need to sing and flit and hug (sorry, barf bags sold separately).

I pore over back issues of (shock-horror-gasp!) Martha Stewart and House Beautiful magazines searching for cookie recipes to systematically try and ultimately fail at. Really, there are only so many ways to ruin peanut brittle and jam tarts. But yet, the eternal optimist within that lies dormant most year round springs to life and once again, I find myself dusting off dem recipes, ready to fail all over again. Haha.

Seasonal books have also gotten a dusting, all the better for me to read again. Some of my faves, in no particular order:
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas! - Dr Seuss
  • The Christmas Mystery - Jostein Gaarder
  • The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
  • 12 Days: Stories Inspired by "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - edited by Shelley Silas


  • Also, finally finished off Polly Evan's Fried Eggs with Chopsticks. Most interesting humourous travelogue about China, which fascinates me, partly because I'm Chinese, but also because I'm so un-Chinese. I feel no affinity with the country or its people and it surprises me. Two years ago, I visited Beijing and Shanghai and realised this gap existed. I'm curious about my roots, my ancestry, my ethnic past, yet being 3rd generation Singaporean cleaves me from "the Motherland". To the Chinese in China, I am a curious creature with a curious way of speaking Mandarin, too western in my ways. But then again, I think I have a very modern Southeast-Asian outlook - a mix of east and west, if you will. OK, OK, this is beginning to sound like a bad essay from my Migrants & Post-Colonials module at Uni, so I'll just ceasefire for now...

    That's the trouble with having too many thoughts, all jumbled up in the brain, only rusty equipment to untangle them with. I reckon I'll just go have a cup of Mariage Freres Esprit de Noel tea, then. Falalalalalalala...

    ----------------------------------------------

    yule be laughing here!

    They take their "trees au naturel" serious over there!


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    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Labouribus

    My view for 7+5 hours out of 48:
    Turns out the NiCE Bus wasn't quite so nice after all.

    What should've been a 5 hour journey turned out to be 7 hours long due to the blardee Causeway checkpoint traffic and then at the toll booth getting into KL.

    I actually didn't mind the length of the journey - I'm a good traveller that way, but I kept wondering whose greasy head had been resting on the seat before mine, whose grubby face had left the oily streaks across the glass window, what kind of ground up animal parts were in the "complimentary" hotdog they served...

    Plus the PRC (I could tell from his accent) guy the aisle over appeared to have swallowed an entire explosives factory, judging from the way he hacked and coughed the whole journey through. "Germs! Germs!" was my horrified, silent cry. Unfortunately and coincidentally, I happened to be reading this passage from Polly Evan's travelogue, Fried Eggs with Chopsticks - Around China by Any Means Possible when Phlegm Guy started his violent guttural symphony:

    "A painfully thin man aged about thirty hawked loudly and spat a great glob of phlegm onto the pavement just centimetres from my foot... I sidestepped away from the phlegm. It didn't seem healthy to walk close to fluids emanating from that man's body. A middle-aged woman picked freely at her nose. Then, in a glorious culmination of this open celebration of mucus, an old man walked past me squeezing the tips of his nostrils as he went, and, with a mighty blast, shot two great jets of snot out onto the road."

    So I was relieved to finally arrive in KL and to tumble off the bus, albeit on slightly shakey legs.

    Then I realised I'd forgotten to change my Singapore $$$ to Malaysian Ringgits. Nervously flagging down a cab, I crossed my fingers and hoped he wouldn't mind (you already know my luck with taxi drivers) me not being able to pay till I got to T & C's and called them to come downstairs with the money.

    Thankfully, this taxi driver didn't berate me for my single status, but did talk my ear off about why taking taxis are better than driving yourself round the very confusing KL road network. He then proceeded to totally contradict himself by getting lost on said network. 40 minutes later, C had to drive out in search for us instead. Lucky me, he paid for the cab before I had to do any explaining.

    The best was yet to come though. The rest of the weekend (save meals and toilet breaks) was an endless stream of voice-overs and audio dubbing. By around 4am the first day, things got pretty hazy.

    The view for a large part of my 48 hours in KL:

    But if I occasionally turned my head to the right, I saw this out the window:

    And then one time, a rainbow appeared to take the edge off non-stop slave recording.

    NICE!


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    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    There She Goes

    Song by the La's aside, here I sit, steaming bowl of pasta sauce in my lap (sans pasta - damn you, Atkins!), wondering if eating in the wee small hours is why I'm 4kg heavier, painful fingers on the keyboard, contemplating the fact that in 3 hours I need to have slept and woken up in time to catch the NiCE Bus to Kuala Lumpur for a fun-filled weekend of non-stop slave labour.
    Should I start singing "Oh, what a beeyoooteefoool moooorning..." yet? Tralala...

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    P.S. Hippo Birthday to you, O 34-year-old Bruvver o' mine!

    "Call this an unfair generalization if you must,
    but old people are no good at everything."

    Moe, from the Simpsons





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    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Cooking 101

    slutty spaghetti sauce!

    Question: Is it still Italian food if it's cooked in a wok?


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