Wednesday, June 26, 2013

World War Z and then some ...

Just before the movie started
So Monday (24 June) was Stephen's day off and we decided to take the advice of 'Andy Z' to watch the movie 'World War Z'. 

We had hoped for the earlier show but ended up buying tickets for the 2.20 pm slot which gave us a bit of time to have some nice iced tea before it started.  While waiting for Stephen to get the drinks, I announced it on Whatsapp, in a private family group.  My girl, GG, commented that I wasn't going to like it and I was intrigued by that.  I asked her "why?" but there was no reply.  I guess she didn't want to spoil it for me.

When we went inside, we were pleasantly surprised to find that our tickets were for the 'love seats'.  Nice!  This means that there is no divider between us!  Hahahaha We need so little to make us happy.  

Once the show started, I was excited to see what the hype was all about and as the story unfolded, I realised that it was about zombies and the undead!  How on earth would I have guessed that?  I thought it was going to be some "Armageddon" kind of show.

Anyway, I thought to myself, "no problem".  How bad can it be?  

Well, to be honest, I had my fingers in my ears and my eyes shut for many of the scenes.  I know.  I'm such a coward.

As the show progressed, it became very clear to me that this is not how I wanted to spend an afternoon with Stephen.  Sitting in the cool, dark room and being shocked out of my senses is certainly not a fun thing to do.

I had to concentrate on other things while my eyes were shut.  My fingers weren't effective enough in a small room with sensurround.  The fear is always heightened when the music gets dramatic and loud.

What did I think of?  I thought of 24 June 1992.  It was the day, date and year that I joined the Embassy.  It's no longer a milestone for me but somehow the date crept into my thoughts as I tried to filter out the eerie sounds. 

Fast forward to 24 June 2013 and I am now brought back to being next to the man I love.  There will always be memories of this day and date but now I shall add to it, sitting in the Cathay Theatre, Ang Mo Kio Hub with Stephen and feeling comforted that despite the millions of zombies on screen, I'm with the one who will protect me from them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lazy, crazy and hazy days.

Pic taken on Monday, 17 June 2013

The last few days can only be described by these three adjectives:  lazy, crazy and hazy.  

In keeping with my new lifestyle which is being lazy, I've not found being stuck indoors, difficult at all. In fact, being home is what I love best.  I always have something to do and I sometimes feel that there aren't enough hours for me to do everything that I want to do.

Recently I saw someone sharing on FB about needing an alarm clock to go to sleep instead of for waking up.  It got me thinking because I no longer need to set an alarm clock to wake up but I really should set one to go to bed.  Or maybe not!  It's true for many people these days because there is so much to do online that going to bed seems like the last option on anybody's mind.  I've been awake at odd times and always there's someone around.  It's one of the wonderful things about being connected to so many people from different parts of the world.  Well, it's not necessary to be in another time zone to fine someone on FB since people do shift work or they are like me, without any timetable at all.

The last few days have also been crazy and I have watched, with morbid fascination,  the climbing PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) every hour on the hour. It wasn't the only thing I did but I was monitoring the numbers and peeping outside to see if things looked as bad as they sounded.  The crazy high that Singapore reached was a PSI of 401 yesterday.  I didn't feel really sick or anything but to be on the safe side, I stayed in the air-conditioned room as much as possible.  With my laptop, book, drink and handphone, I was all set for a quiet afternoon in my cool kingdom.

Of course, the hazy weather outside kept me worried about loved ones who were out at work. I also thought about some of the elderly folk and wondered if they were okay.  Just then an sms came in, to ask if I was okay and I realised that I am already considered one of the elderly.  Someone was worrying about me as I was worrying about others.  It made me smile.  It made me feel loved.

Today, we have a nice reprieve from the haze.  By late afternoon, the numbers dropped to double digits from the triple earlier in the day.  As at writing this, the numbers are still below 100 and the brief respite is a welcome one.

I hope that tomorrow the wind shift will favour us here but I know that if it misses us and moves up north then the south-west area of Malaysia will be affected.  I just heard that Muar in Johore has now reached a PSI of nearly 400 and I feel for them.  We were in the same boat.

Lazy, crazy and hazy days are expected to last until August or even September.  If this is true, we've got a long way to go.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Coffee Morning

Pic from FB

Coffee Morning used to have a different meaning when I was working.  Now it's a simple pleasure I enjoy as soon as I am up!

Last night was rather warm and I woke up without the blanket.  Usually I sleep with it draped over my shoulders and arms.  So when I realise that there is no blanket on me, I know that somewhere during my sleep, I had pushed it away.  The brain works for us even when we are not conscious of it.

My morning routine is usually to check my phone and emails, get on FB and catch up with news while sipping my coffee.  No, wait a minute, the first thing I do is to open the back windows before anything else.  It's an automatic act that I no longer think of it as the first real thing I do.  Okay, even I thought that sounded weird.  Somehow the things that are second nature to us becomes habit and we do it without thinking, like washing up and brushing teeth.  You know what I mean.  Don't you?

Anyway, my routine is to open the back window, look at the sky and breathe in the moment.  There's something about it that reminds me of infinity.  This morning, it was dark and gloomy.  We all know that it means rain is imminent.  

What do I see?  I see a huge backyard.  Okay, not my backyard but a huge one that I consider a part of my world.  There is a gigantic tree, almost 10 stories tall that is majestic, surrounded on three sides by the tall apartments that surround it.  It isn't directly in front of my window so it doesn't block the natural light.  There are shrubs as well and the well-manicured lawns are always a sight for sore eyes. There's something about looking at greenery all year round that makes everything fresh and refreshing.  If ever there is a stray plastic bag or bits of thrash callously thrown by idiots, they are usually gone by the next day.

In Singapore, it is common to see apartments that are back to back. We are fortunate not to have anything directly in front.  At the back, I am happy that we are separated from the next block by this lovely and pretty stretch of flora and fauna. I don't know how many times I have just stood at the window just looking at it all. Note to self:  I should take more pictures.  Better pictures, I should add.

I have wondered many times if I am the only one who  appreciates the beauty in all of it.  I look at the numerous windows in front of me and I am curious if there is someone else, like me, who enjoys just looking at the sky and the green, green grass of home. (Now the song is stuck in my head!).

Why am I writing all this?  I guess I have the hope that my grandchildren will be able to formulate a picture of these things when they read this one day.  I do not know if I will always live here.  They many never know anything except for this glimpse into what I see everyday.

I can hear their questions already, "Grandma, can we go see the majestic tree?" or "Who is that man in the picture?".  Hahahahahaha!

Part of the view from my back window.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

How long does it take?

After reading a book, how long does it take before you can start the next one? 

Sometimes I need at least 24 hours before I can pick up a new book to read.  I get so wrapped up in the story I read that I almost need a debriefing and some time to unwind so that I can start fresh on a new story.

My neighbour generously gave me a set of Reader's Digest books.  Albeit condensed stories, they are easy reading and I have so far only ticked off two from the thirty-two titles.  The reason for not attacking these is only because I had four borrowed books from the library.  Now that I'm done with them, I shall continue with the remaining stories.  The first on my list in the set was "A Prisoner of Birth" by Jeffrey Archer and then I went on to Nicholas Sparks. 

I broke out of the OCD mindset to read the stories as they appeared in the book by starting with one of my favourite authors and then jumped to the next one who was  recommended to me.  Ordinarily, I would have read the stories in order of how I stacked the books.  The defiant gene in me is still strong.  

There are many authors in the series that I had never read before. Hence, this would be a good way to find out if I will like their style of writing.  I don't think I have a favourite author.  I read whatever catches my interest these days.  When I retired, I thought that I would read biographies because now I have the time but some of them put me to sleep.  It felt akin to studying history.  Hence, I've put them aside for now and am into light reading of fiction novels.  

I just finished my book yesterday and haven't felt able to pick up the next one yet.  Sometimes when the story is riveting, I am left with wanting more.  I don't want it to end.  

While I announced to Stephen that I finished my book, I also told him that I couldn't start the next one yet.  He found it amusing!  

So let me know how long it takes you before you can move on to the next book?