Monday, March 31, 2014

CH215: DIYs

So, we've recently moved house. Since my room is a lot more spacious, since there's no study table or what not, I decided to allot some budget for furniture and stuff for my new place.

The design peg I saw while in Muji is the picture below:

The rug costs about 299 and the coffee table I believe is 499 or maybe it's the other way around. The small leg less chair is 79.

I decided they're too expensive. (Duh) So I decided if I can find the items in ikea and try to see how closely I can recreate the design. The result:

Modified coffee table: 39.90.
-I had to modify the level of the extra ledge under so my legs can stretch out still given the cushion from the leg less chair.

Leg less chair is 79

Bedside table: 69.90

Rug: 59.90

Other things i DIY-Ed

Dining table: 299

1 Stefan chair: 25 (the other 3 were constructed by my housemates)

I also DIY-ed a curtain and the extra trimming you can see on top:

Curtain was 45 (discounted from 70).

There's still a last DIY I need to accomplish and that's to give new life to this otherwise dreary wardrobe:

I've got the material ready to cover it up and fix it.

To say the least, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of it. All in all, everything was finished less than 24 hours - from purchase to cleaning up the room and tidying up and to constructing all the furnitures. I must say, it was a rewarding experience. I can't wait to buy my own pad and decorate it! Well, that's going to be in a long while. Maybe I can ask my brother if he wants me to design his condo he bought near MOA. I thought I could suggest to my mom, but she reminded me they bought a unit in SM Light that's fully furnished. Oh well, I'll have some input when I go to the house my sister bought in LA. Id like to spend their money and design a portion of their place! :))

Update: wardrobe revitalized

Friday, March 28, 2014

CH214: Blitzkrieg

I will be moving to a different place this weekend. From a condominium in Farrer Park (City Square Residences) to an HDB block in Bradell. The place I'm moving to is just 4 train stations away and our block is right on top of the MRT.

Unknowingly, well at least, in no way was anything planned ahead, I've spent the past several days out late at night and not getting much sleep. Since one of my close friends from college is visiting Singapore, I decided to do last minute (i.e. spontaneous) meet-ups with him during his time here in Singapore.

I decided last minute to attend a Body Combat class. The one I can get to in time is in One George St, so I asked Norman whose office is close there if he wanted to join. And he did. Afterwards, we were just supposed to find a hawker place to eat at and have some beer. Out of stupidity, I transferred what savings I had in my active ATM savings account to a more dormant less accessible multi currency savings account. I didnt realize I didn't leave enough! Only 44 sgd was left and the closest DBS only allows withdrawals in 50 sgd denominations. So, Norman was able to withdraw cash and I just used my credit card. Since hawker places don't allow it, we ended up in Wings Bar in Clark Quay for some nachos, chicken tenders and beer.

I accompanied Ange as he looked for comfortable shoes to wear for his trip to Europe. 

Since my good friend Eugene said he wanted to try the Cookie Dough Oreo I got from my sister, we decided to meet up so I can pass it off to him. We didn't have plans where to eat but just met at Tangs in Orchard. I randomly suggested Jollibee, and that's where we ended up eating! I ordered the spaghetti and chicken combo and ordered extra chicken. After eating it, to be honest, I feel that I like Popeye's chicken more. Or maybe they didn't give me enough skin? lol

Along with Eugene, we were joined by another good friend Paul. Paul revealed to us he had an upcoming TV-ad shoot. Congrats Paul on getting those modeling gigs!

Since Norman will be leaving on Saturday back to PH for our college organization's 20th anniversary then back to Sydney, I asked him if he wanted to catch up and go out for drinks. He of course confirmed being one of my kaladkarin friends even before since college. We didn't have plans where to go. One friend suggested Brotzeit Vivo, but I was like, erm...that's a bit far and sounds B-O-R-I-N-G hahah but I didn't tell him that. I just suggested we meet in Clark Quay and decide from there where we want to go as Clark Quay is quite central to all of us...unlike Vivo.

After we all met up, we still were one person short so I suggested we go have drinks and load up by the Clark Quay Bridge before deciding where to go to next.

We ended up in Highlander. Danced. Drank. Listened and grooved to a live band. I got home around 230 am and slept at 3 and woke up at 7am to go to work.

If I count how much hours I've slept starting Friday last week, I've slept around 32 hours out of 168. I'm 24 hours short of what people say is necessary. I'm still functioning though.

A blitzkrieg towards 28.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CH213: The Internet of Things

With the different news I find about acquisitions by big companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, etc, I sometimes feel like maybe I should have stuck with the engineering field. For our research project in college, my group built a wearable device with an accelerometer. The device was called Axel. It was actually just an improvement of one batch ahead of us who built the foundations necessary. What we did with it though was to enable it to recognize movements of people - from walking, standing and other actions. The goals we had were to:
1. Improve functionality of the device
2. Lengthen battery life and make the device actually wearable
3. To create software that will enable the results to be interpreted and activities plotted by time
4. To enable the device to be compatible with using SD cards since initially data wasn't in the format that's ubiquitously recognizable

And now, what do we have, Samsung, Google (through Motorola) and other tech companies releasing devices that perform the same things we built 4-5 years back. A lot of companies are pitching themselves in the prime position for the inevitable age of the "Internet of Things."

This blog entry was inspired by the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook. At first, I thought it was interesting for Facebook - primarily a social media platform - to purchase Oculus Rift - a virtual reality hardware+software company. But then, thinking about it, it does make sense for Facebook. Facebook will be a good platform where Oculus can reach the masses. As Zuckerberg justifies:

"Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can’t wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us."

On the other side of the spectrum for the future, we have Google funding R&D for computer driven cars. Tesla as mentioned in the article - through Elon Musk - has done research for Hyperloop which could be the future of mass transit. And also, on the topic of Elon Musk - who I think is a visionary almost on the level of Steve Jobs, he's company SpaceX is building rockets that could enable people in the future to inhabit Mars.

The future is starting to be not as how Sci-Fi pictured it to be. Not exactly, but close to it. We've seen parallels of IPads, smartphones and the like in Star Wars and other science fiction shows. It's exciting to think what the future will be like with more innovations and technologies in research and development. It's actually something I hope I could live to see and experience.

I'm happy that the big companies are not just focusing their monetary muscles to make profit in the now, but investing heavily to position themselves for the future.

Monday, March 24, 2014

CH212: Long Distances and Celebrations

Last Friday, I received a mail in the office telling me that a package was attempted to be delivered but unfortunately, our reception was not allowed to sign for the package so I had to get it from the post office. I had made arrangements with my friend Ange to attend body combat class and also made arrangement with my friend visiting from Sydney to meet in the gym. So, because of this unexpected delivery, I had to drop by the post office before going to the gym. It's a bit far off from where I'm currently staying in the city and I didn't want to waste time from my weekend just to go on a side trip.

To my shock, the package that was apparently delivered was 13.31 lbs. That's a 6.04 kg big box without a bag and nowhere close for me to buy a bag to be able to carry it properly. It was drizzling that Friday, and I only had a long umbrella (not the short ones we usually see in PH people use for commutes). So, I had to carry it with two hands, and then eventually decided to throw away the long umbrella I had for the comfort and ease of carrying the package.

I think I walked almost 1km to get to Ang Mo Kio Hub where I figured I could buy an eco-friendly tote bag from Fair Price to put the big package in. I was practically sweating even while it was drizzling and cold because of the effort it took to lug it around. Considering it was a Friday, there were a lot of people walking about as well so it was a bit hard evading people and avoiding bumping into them.

The effort it took to get the package was well worth it though. My sister sent me (what I think is) my birthday presents for April. Now I don't need to look around for thicker t-shirts to bring to Portugal and Spain.

She also got me my request for the cookie dough oreo! I read about it I think on BuzzFeed and immediately contacted my sister to get me some as they're only going to produce a limited bunch - maybe to test how the people respond to the product? She also sent me several spreads which I assume are sort of house warming presents for me. She sent some packs of chocolate (which I don't plan on eating by myself) which I might share with friends. The only one I'm keeping for myself is the tub of almond chocolates! Haha, I could finish the whole tub by myself.

I also requested my sister to send me Aveeno in small packs so I can bring it to Europe in my travel toiletry kit. I'm not sure of the humidity in Portugal and Spain so I can't be all dry and itchy. (I have sensitive skin :))

As a side update, the card holder (pseudo-wallet) I most often used has been fixed by Mont Blanc. Thankfully, i found the warranty card in time. I saved myself 75 sgd for the cost of repairs. The damage wasnt that big, but the adhesive binding they had at the bottom was peeling and I didn't want to go to Europe without this.

Lastly, RkGreg had a belated birthday celebration for his friends here in Singapore. It happened last Saturday hosted in Mksurf8's flat. Super fun gathering of friends with fun and games. Unfortunately, there were some casualties: an empty bottle of Absolut Vodka was shattered, a couch was dirtied and DiwangBughaw got really drunk and later on passed out. He couldn't remember anything (selective amnesia?) the next day.

For discretion, this is the only picture I could share. With Ange and Chris R. Belated happy birthday RKGreg! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

[Random] Experimentation

For the lack of entries, not because there's been any absence of social life to blog - more because I can't really put it out without breaching my friends' privacy, here's one!

I've been meaning to grow my hair out to get something like this from college again:

Or this:

I decided yesterday to trim it a bit and see what id like my hair to look like before I go off to Europe.

There. That's my update. Hahaha just kidding. My mind has been preoccupied with waiting for results for an assessment I submitted for. I haven't even finalized my itinerary for Lisboa, Madrid and Barcelona because I can't concentrate with the assessment in mind. Results should have come out march 13, but I wasn't able to consider the assessing body had 3 weeks for holiday break over Christmas and new year. So my anticipation has been building up because it will define a lot of things ahead of my life.

So once the dust has settled, I hope to say I can go back to regular programming! :) 


Saturday, March 15, 2014

CH211: Transitions

Moving on is a state of being and a state of mind that's only reached not by distance or effort - but by the passage of time. It's ultimately a battle against one's self fought in the mind and heart. But, there is always a choice on how we approach and face the experience. Do we wallow in regret, fear, disappointment and sadness? Or do we stay strong, be happy, hold our heads high and look forward to the time when the pain is just but a distant memory?

...And I bet sometimes you wonder about me
And I just want to tell you
It takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you
And I hope you know that
Everytime I don’t,
I almost do, I almost do
I bet you think I either moved on or hate you
‘Cause each time you reach out there’s no reply
I bet it never, ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you
And risk another goodbye
We made quite a mess, babe
It’s probably better off this way
And I confess, babe
That in my dreams you’re touching my face
And asking me if I want to try again with you
And I almost do

It's a painful process. But it's a phase by phase process. Each stage reminds you of the pain that once you reach the end, that it is indeed over. Period. Non existent. A distant memory. Over. It takes a certain kind of strength to take the leap and do something about actually moving past the stages and being okay again.

For now - despite initially wanting to be friends, I can't be there anymore without getting the impulse to take the leap again and give it another go. It's not going to happen anymore and we both acknowledged that to some extent - despite bits of protestations. I can't be friends with the specter of us hanging around. We both wished each other the best. But for now, I need some time to switch off and just be able to get over certain things. I need to excise you from my psyche which you seem to have deeply ingrained yourself in.

 So to you, I bid adieu.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CH210: Sweet as a Gumdrop

People have different forms of self validation. As was published by Time recently, the Filipino people rank overall as the top selfie takers in the world. People #hashtag their pictures with hopes of a positive feedback in the form of likes.

Some people get their validation by being antagonistic bitches and fucktards. You have online trolls and haters who put others down to get their fix of dopamine. They revel in their mask of anonymity. Fuck karma they say. I have hate to give and so I shall.

Other people are validated by the friends and network they have. The need to belong, the need to socialize, the need to be out there, the need to be seen, the need to be present. They are most happy in the company of others, but sometimes, they're unaware how to be happy if alone.

We all have a reliance on certain things to make us feel relevant and valuable. It differs from person to person.

I'm single and have been single for ... Err ... Some time. And it feels as if I'm slipping back to my old ways to get validated. There was an article I read (again, from Time), that people who are most happy are the ones who keep strong social ties. I've been making good effort on this front I would say for 2014. Identify the people who you believe will make you a better person and strengthen those social ties. Yes, I get my fix from my friends and I'm thankful for having good ones who will be there when I need them.

But for my old ways, let's have a play with words.

Sweet as f*cking honey.
Sweat as f*cked.
A Spaniard,
An Argentinian,
Three's a party,
Fun fun fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CH209: Dinner Dates

Last Friday, I was the delegated organizer for my dragon boat friends' dinner get together. Well, actually, I suggested it and volunteered to organize since I haven't been active with dragonboat and have not seen some of them for a long time.

A friend suggested we go eat at some place Italian. A quick google for Italian restaurants resulted in a food blog that suggested Pasta Brava. By the name of the place, I wouldn't have been able to tell that we were set to eat some place fancy. Price range from their menu was around 20-30 sgd, and well, you couldn't tell from the price that it was upscale-ish. 

Before heading down there, I met my good friend Paul and we had something light to eat at a farm to table concept restaurant. The place looked fancy (no pictures though). I had mushroom soup (you can smell the truffle put in and it was delectable!) and white wine while he had an open faced sandwich and coffee. Afterwards, our friend Abu came by and we all went to Platitos to chill and wait for other friends. Eventually though, only three of us went to Pasta Brava while others went straight to there. It was a nice evening of sorts. From the craziest discussions to catching up, it was every bit fun and fulfilling to have organized such a get-together. Now, we're going on assignments to organize a monthly meetup! :)

For food pictures, visit my friend Eugene's blog entry on our "Dinner Dates" entitled Sweet Weekend. The food was really nice and authentic. I especially loved my ravioli despite how unappetizing it looked. But then again, it's ravioli! Overall, based on price, food and quality of service, I'd say it's worth going to...and coming back to again! The place is suitable for a date or a gathering of friends.

Having more white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) at Platitos

Waiting for food to be served

I had the salmon ravioli.