Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moving or Staying

Lately I have been thinking about what to do with this blog. M has suggested that I should move my blog over to Wordpress. One thing I like about Wordpress is that I can upload a post that is password protected. It might be possible to do something similar on Blogger but I am not so sure. I will have to explore a bit to see if there is such a function on Blogger. When I started this blog in 2008, it was partially because I needed a space to remember my little Guinea Pig and I still do but I am also increasingly aware that my need to write about my (dead) Guinea Pig makes me look like I have gone cuckoo. So it might be wiser to password protect any post about him. Another idea would be to move everything except the posts on my Guinea Pig over to Wordpress for a fresh start and then turn this blog private in loving memory of my beloved pet.

I am going to take a little break from blogging to think about what I want to do but the first thing I have got to do right now is to take down our decorations for CNY.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Two New Bottoms

Just before Australia Day in January, I bought myself two new pair of bottoms from Target. I wore the denim shorts on Australia Day and wore the other grey cropped pants on the first day of CNY on Valentine’s Day. I desperately need new clothes. In fact, both of us need new clothes because more and more clothes are becoming too big!

With Summer coming to an end, many end of season clothes have been drastically reduced in shops such as Target, but we don’t really dare to buy any because if we lose more weight during the year, they may not fit by the time Summer comes around again at the end of the year. The new shorts we bought M in January 2009 are now so big, they don’t stay up without a belt. LOL. The new belt he received for Christmas is also becoming too big. He is down to the last hole. Is there a place to go to punch another hole? Mr Minit?

My own need for a transition wardrobe started around April 2008. I noticed that I constantly need to hitch up my jeans every few steps. I thought there was something wrong with my jeans and it was happening to all of them. It never occurred to me that my weight was dropping. So, I solved the problem by wearing a belt but by the time AFL Grand Final came around in September 2008 I had no other option but to ditch those jeans. Reluctant to buy new clothes for the warmer months because I tend to only like to play dress-ups in the cooler months, I went digging in the wardrobe for pants/jeans that I wore back in 2004 and found some Levi’s that fitted just nice. They looked alright still but they didn’t last. They too were becoming too big by May 2009 so I went back to the wardrobe for another dig. It was like going on a trip in a time machine. So until I bought the two new pairs of bottoms from Target last month, I have been wearing clothes from circa 2001! LOL. Believe me, the clothes from 2001 do look quite outdated and I don’t mean in a fashionable vintage kind of way. I did buy a few new pieces for Winter last year to mix and match with the old clothes but I just can’t bring myself to buy a whole new wardrobe every time I drop a size. That is just too wasteful don’t you think?

M and I are not on any miracle diets. We love food, including junk food. As I type this now, I am craving for some Pulut Udang - ewww… to some but absolutely delicious to me right now. We have however added more vegetables into our meals and we walk everywhere. I think the walking is playing a big part in the weight loss because I think we are losing more from the waste down. That doesn’t mean that my upper half is not shrinking. It happens a little slower than the rest. When M and I were queuing to buy super cheap Korean instant noodles last year, some guy behind us was going on and on about another guy’s unusual weight loss. He insisted that his friend must have undergone some kind of treatment (e.g., liposuction) because the resulted weight loss was ‘uneven’. LOL I tried desperately not to laugh at the time. Someone else I know also insisted that walking alone does not result in weight loss because according to her, walking is a good exercise for your heart only. I beg to differ and I think M will agree too that all the walking we had done had also contributed to greater improvements to our lower halves.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gold and Lollies for the Gold Digger

Back in early January, M went up to Ballarat for work. While he was there, he also went to Sovereign Hill and bought me some gold and some lollies. Aren’t I lucky? LOL. After so many years, M has finally bought me a vial of gold. ROFL. In response to the ‘Gold Digger’ label, M has always jokingly said that I have been digging up more mud than anything else. LOL. So, this must mean that I am doing a poorer job than those Chinese miners from all those years ago. Anyway I am super lucky that M didn’t simply buy an empty glass vial and fill it up with mud. LOL

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 – Year of the Elections

Time really flies. It felt like just the other day when the other guy’s game was over and the Chinese speaking Rudd came to play, but the fun and games are nearly over again. I don’t like elections. It does very little for 2nd time round minorities. On Sunday, M and I spotted three Victorian pollies in Chinatown. There are always a few that make an appearance every year. Do you think the ones that make an appearance on a non-election year pulled the shortest stick on the Friday before the event?

Do you recognize this man? No, I am not referring to good ol' Richard but the guy in a suit. Don’t blame me if you can’t see his face properly. M took the photo.

Where is Teddy?

Who is this? C’mon, surely you know this guy. Let me give you a clue – “Neigh”.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dragon Parade 2010

Things were done a little differently this year. The Millennium Dragon didn’t gatecrash the main lion dance this year. In the past, the dragon and his entourage would gatecrash just before the finale and it was fun to watch how the ‘creatures’ and humans greet each other to negotiate the tight space. This year the dragon and his entourage were later than normal. (Could it be the pollies’ fault?) M and I left the car park hoping to find a good spot where we could pat the dragon’s ‘cheeks’. We thought we found a good spot but when the dragon made its appearance, we were totally pushed back by the people. Pretending to be small and important like everyone else, I pushed and shoved until I got to pat his back as well. Surprisingly, M followed suit. LOL. We were so bad! We should have done the ‘right’ thing by letting all these small (in size not in age) people walk all over us. LOL. Below are a few snaps of the dragon parade.

As soon as you see the procession of small creatures like this Qilin pictured here, you knew that the dragon was not far behind them.

In the middle of the procession is a small group of lions and following his entourage ever so slowly at the back is the dragon loved by many Melbournians. His name is of course the Millennium Dragon. For years I had mistakenly call him Dai Loong but that is actually the name of the other dragon. Dai Loong has retired and the two live in the Chinese Museum. M and I always stay long enough to watch the dragon’s safe return to his home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Welcoming the Year of the Tiger

We welcomed the year of the tiger on Sunday. I got up nice and early to cook ourselves the same breakfast that I cooked on Christmas day – Bacon, fried eggs, grilled tomatoes and toast. After our showers, we put on our outfits that I had pre-selected and then headed off to Chinatown. We didn’t take the traditional ‘herbal’ baths because I still have no idea on how to prepare them and we only wore one new clothing each. M had a new T-Shirt and I had a new pair of cropped pants. I will post more about our clothing situation soon.

Our favourite destination to watch the celebration is at a multi-level car park. I prefer the first floor but there were two families already there standing at my favourite corner. So we went up another level and then up another level to the third floor. Although no one was there at the time, we returned to join a father and 3 kids on the second floor because I thought we could take better pictures from there. The only problem was that the floor was a little flooded. Below are a few photos taken of the event. Oh, by the way, I now know what it is like to be a guy who feels a bit inadequate. LOL. The guys who turned up equipped with all sorts of SLRs and big lenses made me feel very small. LOL

As with the previous years, once the VIPs were seated, the lions lined up to give them a warm greeting. The skinny CYSM dragon joined in as well.

Two VIPs marked the new lions to awaken their spirits.

The two are wide awake and ready to play. They are so cute!

This year the HGYS kids really did a wonderful job with the drums. I saw them performing the drums 6 times over three days. You should see the little guy with the little dragon boat drum. His confidence was clearly soaring by Sunday evening.

M and I used to laugh at these boys because they used to be so shy and were all over the place when they were younger. Look at them now. They are improving every year especially the one that has virtually turned into a muscle boy overnight!

The CYSM dragon dance team did a better job at Chinatown than at Crown Casino. They were a bit goofy over at Crown and I think the reason was because the stage was just simply too small for all of them to move around freely.

Oh look! The Big Head Buddha is getting up from his sleep. When I was very little, grown ups used to tell me not to be afraid of this character because he is only a little drunk. LOL. Because I am a little face-blind, I love looking at the faces of the people behind The Big Head Buddha in this picture. I have tried to study their facial expressions to figure out what they were feeling at the time. LOL. I have always wondered if people really want to celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown.

The two new lions came to survey the new obstacle course while this other one rested on a rock.

Just when I was distracted by another lion dance across the road, this little fiery lion emerged from the box with a puff of smoke! Luckily M had the camera.
This was one gutsy lion. He stumbled a little at first (which I still suspect to be part of the show) and then completed the crossing with some fancy footwork.
As the red one worked, the other lions were working hard too to entertain everyone.
Hooray! Everyone is up, but nooooo, did one lion fall over?

Never mind the fire crackers. This is the fun bit for lions big and small. Flash a big cheesy smile and get a big fat red packet from the generous VIP in return. Anyone would want a job like that!

Then a copycat who was not even smiling came to try his luck and he was offered two! Wait, wait, it looked like he was going to get more! Look at John So’s action. He was the gentleman seated next to the guy with a white t-shirt and red cap. It looked like he was reaching into his pocket, a common action repeatedly carried out by all grown ups during the 15 day long celebrations, to get a red packet. LOL.

The lions lined up again for the finale and this part of the event was over for another year. “Sob, sob”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Animals Big and Not So Big

It is the 7th of the month again and normally I write a piece starring my beloved Guinea Pig, but this time other animals will take the centre stage (or should that be centre ring?!). I will try to keep it short because I have less than a week to prepare the Pigeon Hole for CNY.

Let’s start with something not so pleasant first. M and I recently read in the paper about a lonely circus elephant named S in country Victoria. The paper dubbed her as the saddest elephant in Australia. This 55 year old is the last of her kind. I don’t think the circus will keep any other elephants after her. She is apparently not performing anymore. Click here to read the article. M reckoned that S should be retired to the zoo at Dubbo like other circus elephants have, but I wonder if she could really live without her familiar human handlers. I read somewhere that when factory farmed pigs (sows) are ‘rescued’ and transferred to a free-range setting, many die due to the sudden change. Maybe there is a way to slowly ease S into a new life at the Dubbo zoo. Meanwhile I hope her owners look after her properly and that the RSPCA will continue to keep an eye on her wherever she goes. I just want to make it clear that I do not condemn her human owners. They had the elephants long before most humans came to accept the idea that animals performing in circuses was cruel. It must be awfully hard for them to decide what is best for S next. Humans have a tendency to take ages to come to terms with their mistakes and may take even longer to figure out an acceptable solution. I am no elephant expert but I know from experience what it is like to never ever see your pet again. If S is retired to a zoo with other elephants, I am sure her owners can strike a deal to visit her often.

Now I wish to air my anger at what happened at the Melbourne Zoo. I am so very angry to learn that a certain person was there when Dokkoon delivered her baby. Is there a shortage of zookeepers at the zoo? Why does that person have to be there? Isn’t it enough that Dokkoon was giving Australia a second baby elephant? I actually thought that this person was transferred to another part of the zoo, like carting zoo poo, but boy was I wrong. Apparently elephants do not forget. So if that is true, imagine being stuck in labour for two days with someone you absolutely loathe.

I can keep on writing about unpleasant things but I won’t. Many hours were spent watching the Flying Trapeze at the City Square in these last two weeks. Unlike last year when I (and another child that sat next to me) was spat at on Australia Day (which happened to be the first day of CNY in 2009), I had a pretty good time of being left alone this year. Two weeks ago, a couple of men and a super beautiful Golden Labrador named Shelley came to sit under the big tree at the City Square. The dog arrived in style. She was riding in her own trailer attached to her owner’s motor bike. People walking past came to pat her and she loved the attention she was getting from so many passersby. Her owner would introduce her to anyone who looked her way and she would put out her paw for a paw/handshake. She probably worked with little children before reincarnating into a dog. LOL. When Shelley approached a yappy West Highland Terrier puppy, she crouched down to his level. It was like she was trying to approach him in a non-threatening way. She was such a friendly dog. Then on Friday evening, another dog turned up at the City Square with its owners. Now, I am still not sure what breed it is but it looked like the ICI Dulux dog (an Old English Sheepdog?!) except that it was brown all over. It was so beautiful and I absolutely loved its paws. Again the owners were happy to let people pat it and in return it absolutely loved the extra attention. One guy even hugged it. It is so nice to have such friendly pet owners that don’t mind sharing their pets with total strangers. Today is the last day for me to enjoy watching the Flying Trapeze for another year. After this the City Square is really quite boring unless you enjoy being approached by religious minorities being persecuted overseas or by people asking for money. I know that I sound insensitive for not liking them but try walking past them almost everyday and you will soon realise how unpleasant it is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We went to the city to get our groceries on Saturday. On the way to QV, we had lunch and then stopped by the city square to watch a show put on by the Flying Trapeze. The group is giving free lessons to the public and they put on a little show at around 1:30 pm each day. They have been doing this for a few Summers now. I love turning up to watch the volunteers teaching people who had signed up for a free class. They have no problem communicating with strangers. When they put on their little show, you will know right away that these amusing people have been practising their tricks a lot.

So here is my slip-up. It has nothing to do with the Flying Trapeze. Well, not really. After we got home, I was in the kitchen putting away the groceries when my thoughts turned to the little show we watched earlier. I asked M what he thought of the show and he said that it was pretty good and that we should go again on another day so we could take a few photos. Without him asking me what my thoughts were about the show, I invited myself to tell him that the best part of the show was this guy – one of the volunteers. M looked a little puzzled to me and so I thought I had better elaborate. I went on to tell him that this guy’s upper body is designed like a Mountain Buggy! M looked even more puzzled after this and I thought that I had better explain more. So I went on to compare this guy’s upper body to things like Tripp Trapp (by Stokke), Maserati, Nienhuis and I think I also mentioned Mountain Buggy again twice. I was trying to say that this guy’s upper body is well designed. By the time I finished talking, M didn’t look too happy. I now know that this was a look of dejection but at the time, I was thinking, “Just what is his problem?”

As I was preparing dinner, my thoughts turned to M this time. I wondered why he reacted the way he did. The TV was on and the local news was on a loop. I keep hearing about the murder of a millionaire and something about someone who now has his old mobile phone was receiving weird phone calls. Then for some reason I asked myself, “What if M said that so and so is build like a Goddess?” I paused and inserted Naomi Campbell’s image. Well, I didn’t like that at all. LOL. OMG! I hurt his feelings! But I wasn’t thinking about that guy in a sexual kind of way! The guy is probably married! I was comparing his sculpted torso to other well designed pieces. Anyway, I ran to the room to apologise and gave M a hug. A hug from me is precious because I am not the lovey-dovey kind that is forever hanging onto a man physically. M was surprised that I actually figured out the problem. LOL.

When I was reading a book I got for Christmas just last week, I skipped to the beginning of a chapter about the lack of empathy. I almost instantaneously discounted that I have any problems in that area. LOL. What happened on Saturday is a typical example of my tendency to say things without considering the emotional impact on the listener. I wonder how frequent does it occur? Talking can be so hard. There are so many things to take into considerations. Sometimes I think I am in too much of a hurry to get my message across.

Below are photos taken of the Flying Trapeze Show today. I hope they will be in the CBD again next year.

The guy hanging onto the bar just bumped the other guy off. LOL.

We have contact!

See how happy this guy is?

How I wish to be able to do this! May be I will pluck up enough courage to try it next year.

Mid-air photo shoot.
Missed again! That's OK. It was a difficult trick.

This guy falling down is funny.