mental indigestion

Angsty English August 26, 2010

Filed under: Mopey mops — mel @ 10:29 pm

For the past week, I’ve been on a rather surreal adult learning course where everyone around me could not really speak English. They are all lovely people, and I thoroughly enjoyed their company….but I felt terrible how I kept wincing in agony every time I heard the English language being crucified (e.g. “The staffs there can helps you, I likes it there because they put the very nice smiles on.”) What was even more disturbing is that the people sitting around me could not spell so they practically copied everything off my workbook just so they could get away with passing the course.

Most of these people are mid-career people, some even in management positions. I really wonder how do they get by with e-mails or reading business documents or  giving presentations for that matter? I’m so, so, so perturbed. After this, I’m actually really doubting that English can pull it off as a first language in Singapore.

However, because these said course mates could not really communicate in English, they did not have much choice but to tolerate my half-baked Mandarin. I bet they were wincing pretty hard too. And I’m starting to understand why the Chinese-speaking camp does not want me to torture their ears with my garbled Chinese.

And you know what’s even more scary? The so-called “next generation”, because of some weird form of language education they received, are not getting any better in terms of English AND Mother Tongue literacy.  In the end, this society has a lot of people not being really good in any kind of language. And with a limited grasp of language, it means a severe shortage of self-expression and meaningful communication.

I’m not sure why, but I find this thought so absolutely terrifying! 😦


Launch Pad! August 22, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration,plugs,Whee! — mel @ 8:22 am
Tags: ,

Out of the blue, I received an invitation to attend a Kotex WOW Blogger’s Party. I decided to attend this despite antisocial tendencies because of a long-held fascination with how sanitary products are marketed (butterflies, tight white pants, ice-skating, blue strips etc.) and also because I’ve never been for a mass blogger event before and I need to experience that at least once in my life, right?

I arrived at Heaven’s Loft, did a quick scan of the place and realised that most of the attendees there were probably a good decade or more younger than me. However, the event organisers managed to distract me from my inherent lao-ness by ushering me to the cupcake booth where I got to decorate my own cupcake, whee!

Later, I sat with this very friendly 15-year-old (hello Muffinie), a savvy blogger who oriented me to the lowdown of such blogger events. Despite the fact that she is half my age, she had a very streetwise, mature vibe about her and I will definitely look into her advice on blog advertising. I also spoke to Verlyn, a makeup blogger and Muffine’s friend Cherry, another sweet young thing who asked me in a very concerned fashion if I’d come alone for this event. I even bumped into a former student who is a celebrity blogger (and managed to snag a marketing job through that, good for her!) and she gave me her “approval” for having returned to the “real working world” and being able to attend frilly events like this.

There were lots of girly things to do: besides the usual tea buffet, there was a photo booth and photos were printed for you instantly (another random girl asked if I wanted to take pictures with she and her friend, bless their thoughtful souls but I declined), a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream counter and even some group craft activity where we were split into groups to decorate the WOW launch banner.

The more official name for these WOW pads incidentally is KOTEX LUXE Ultrathin Design Pads. Initially, I had come fully braced for fluorescent-coloured napkins given its colourful theme but their branding and packaging is a lot slicker than that and I have to admit I’m pretty impressed. The pads are still predominantly white, but come with subtle, intricately-designed motifs (akin to laptop skins) split into two themes: Girl-Next-Door and Indie Chic (see below for one of their designs).

I had a quick chat with one of the Kotex staff and asked her if these were actually just meant for teens. She told me that they are actually meant for a woman of any age and their focus group findings had revealed that most females, regardless of age group, were cheered up by such pads. Besides, since its invention since 1888, pads have always remained white – time for an image revamp, huh?

At the end, there was of course THE GOODIE BAG (the highlight of any Singaporean’s life) and I must say it’s the most curious bag of items I’ve seen. There was a Lookbook – a spiral-bound booklet with samples of each designer pad so I can show my friends and they can touch and feel the pads. There was also this really funky mug that turned from black to floral when you poured hot water into it (maybe I will use it for my featured tea next) and of course plenty of sanitary products samples (including tampons wrapped in an assortment of fluroscent colours) and a pretty flowery notebook. There were also all these fantastic social media promotions where there were chances to win iPads, Kate Spade Bags and tcc vouchers (if you are very gian to join you can find out more here).

What an entertaining afternoon! And I realise I love studying/observing marketing case studies (as opposed to executing them)  – Kotex has my vote for going all out in coming up with something truly innovative and tugging the right strings with the right target audience!


Getting Clearance August 14, 2010

Filed under: Life in general — mel @ 10:42 pm

Due to some health issues encountered a few years ago, I always find doctor check-ups terrifying. I usually commence dreading the appointment a week before, and my mind skims the infinite permutations of what-ifs and how I should proceed with each possible route. I start making bargains with God  too e.g. “Could you let me go to South America first?”

After the much dreaded appointment has passed and nothing’s wrong, I always feel like I’m given this 6-month pass to live life better and for the week thereafter I usually attempt all these little self-improvement projects. I just cleared my dresser, for a start, and cleared out all my expired make-up stuff. And if you check a recent tweet- you can see I have declared Mondays to be Meatless.

However, I kind of know that in a few weeks’ time, I’ll probably start forgetting about all this gratitude and resoluteness and go back to my unaware, in-a-rush ways of living. So this is just a reminder to the future me in September to stop slacking.


A Long Nap August 9, 2010

Filed under: In a blur,Life in general — mel @ 9:26 pm

I came home after an “on my toes all day” kind of work day, crashed from 6.30pm – 10.30pm and then woke up to take my bath, have a grapefruit and then proceed to sleep from 12 midnight – 10am.

14 hours. Longest sleep I’ve had in a long time. And what a lot of dreams I had, including “dreams within a dream” and all kinds of symbolism that made me stop and think today what exactly they could all have meant.

And if that wasn’t enough winks, after lunch, I slept from 2.30pm – 4.30pm.

Hopefully, this sort of clears the sleep debt!


Forgetfulness August 6, 2010

Filed under: In a blur,Life in general — mel @ 9:54 pm

I’ve started to use the term “slipped my mind” more liberally of late. There are always things “at the back of my head” that I meant to do, but forget to do in the end.

It’s quite irritating as I really don’t like flakiness in other people but even more so in myself. Perhaps it’s a symptom of ageing or bad time management, but now I really do know that it’s not personal, just a pure inability to recall.

There are more things I’m also tucking into the pocket of forgetfulness subconsciously, and when I am somehow reminded about something I’d totally forgotten had happened, it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth – whether it’s a good memory or a bad one. For the former, I feel I’ve been ungrateful and unappreciative of past blessings, for the latter, I wonder if I still have hang-ups. A reminder is just as double-edged as amnesia.

Let me not forget that.


Update on Kimmy Goh (nee Lee) August 1, 2010

Filed under: Life in general — mel @ 10:48 pm

Afternoon Nap

From Kimmy’s present owner:

Kimmy’s fur is growing long again . She had her last haircut in late May. The groomer took off everything as he claimed her fur was all matted (which was true to some extent because she hates having her fur combed). Groomer literally shaved off all her fur and left her face and tail intact! My heart sank when I saw her because she looked so awful! All botak and with very skinny legs. And Kimmy hated that haircut too because she sulked for 2 whole weeks, not a smile on her face! Really, no joking..she wasn’t her usual self , very sullen and angry with us, I think.

Well now, her fur has grown back beautifully. All white and shiny again and I will never allow the groomer to ever shave her botak again!

She’s now lying by my side while I’m at the computer. She follows me everywhere I go, like my shadow! Very manja still…but when the father comes back in the evening, she goes to him and totally ignores me, very smart.

She’s still enjoying the air-conditioned comfort in our room every night. We cover her with her own blanket which she will kick away when she feels warm. She wakes up same time as us every morning, at 6am and goes to bed every night at 10pm!! In the daytime, she gets her 40 winks or more. If I’m out for couple of hours, all she does is sleep and sleep!

Now that she’s getting on with age (she turned 12 in June), we usually carry her up and down the stairs with us. For exercise, she runs in the garden and plays catching with me. She’ll run to the other end of the garden and look back to see if i’m chasing her. And when she sees me, she will turn back to the front garden and run all the way to the back again,with her long fur flying in the wind (like a nun with her white habit)..and she will just be grinning and grinning!! 🙂

Needless to say, she’s given us much joy and happiness that we just can’t imagine how we managed without her… the kids are always not at home, so this ‘monkey’ has become our 3rd child! My hubby loves playing with her on the floor while watching TV and Kimmy will roll over for her belly rub. And she will always snuggle next to him on our leather couch!

We can’t thank you enough for giving us Kimmy. I know we have thanked you a hundred times before but it doesn’t seem enough.

I miss you so much Kimmers but you are definitely in the wonderful hands of people who love you very much and have done so much to give you a comfortable life. Enjoy your cod fish and chicken drumsticks!