Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Of cute tutors, food diaries and hearing tests

I have an extremely cute, charming tutor for Exercise Psychology. He looks like James Marsden. If you do not know who James Marsden is, here are some visuals for you. He is Cyclops in the X-Men movies as well as Prince Edward in Enchanted. And the writer in 27 Dresses who falls for Katherine Hiegl.

For Exercise Nutrition, my first assignment is to keep a food diary for 3-7 days. I just started writing in today and I am suddenly extremely conscious of what i shove down my throat. I think I can never be a nutritionist. I'd be depressed learning about all the things that I have been eating which I shouldn't.

My flatmate Ruth is a Masters student in Audiology. She just performed a hearing test on me and I am proud to say I have very good hearing. I am especially good at picking out very high frequencies. So high pitch sounds? Yeah, I can pick those out pretty well.

Monday, July 27, 2009

book noob

Buying books is stressful. There, I've said it. For my birthday, a friend gave me a $20 gift card for Borders. About a month later, the manager at the gym rewards every staff with a $10 gift card for Borders. So I have $30 to spend on anything in Borders and I have decided, maybe it's time to buy a book. I've always wanted to buy a book. Just to diminish that jock-ish persona about myself a little, and integrate a little bit of intellectuality in my life.

In my defense, I do read books. I have read quite a number, I might add, but all of which I borrowed from friends and the Metro College library and what have you. Oh, and Jon bought me an Agatha Christie for my 21st birthday. I've only ever bought myself 2 books in my life. And they're special edition books from the teenage fiction series Fearless by Franscine Pascal. Yes, the one who wrote Sweet Valley. But I followed Fearless until Novel House disappeared from Taipan. I loved that series so much, I plan to name my future daughters Gaia and Katia based on that book. =) So eventhough, I admit to being an extremely slow reader, I have read books and popular ones, too.

So why is it stressful, now that I have free money to buy myself a book?

Well, for starters, I just realised books are pretty darn expensive! An average sized book costs at least $30. It's ridiculous! There I was thinking I could get 2 books with my gift cards and just pay a little bit more. But it looks like I can only afford one book and still have to fork out a bit more.

Second of all, because I can only afford one book, making a decision to pick the book is so hard! See, I don't buy books. So if I'm about to get myself this one book, I want this book to be a representative of me, my character, my personality. I want this one book on the book shelf, alongside my 2 Fearless books, to give people an idea of who i am! And I don't want to waste that $30 on something which I don't really like halfway through. It has to be a book i absolutely love from cover to cover because I don't buy books, but I "had to buy" that one. Even if it was a gift. Am I making any sense?

So i've been diligently browsing Borders and Whitcoulls whenever I have some spare time, either waiting for the train, or waiting for work to start. And each time I pick up a different book, I start reading a few pages and i realise...i am into it! And I really want to bring it home and finish it...but how can I decide?!

There're books by Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister's Keeper which i absolutely loved when I read it. I was reading A Change of Heart and The Pact earlier on and i loved the stories of both of them. But then I picked up this other book about romance and comedy and I thought, hey, that's pretty hilarious! And today i spotted a new book by Mary Higgins Clark, my favourite thriller author! I spent a good amount of my time reading her short stories while I was in Metro. Then there're those movie novels, like Twilight and Chocolat which I hear are pretty good as well.

Oh, the fickleness! I really cannot decide what to blow my $30 on. I have decided to put my book search on hold for now and start reading The Da Vinci Code, which the boyfriend lent me before I came here. I didn't particularly enjoy Angels and Demons until I was about 2/3 through the book. I don't know if I'll survive through the first 10 chapters of Da Vinci but I shall try, since the book is already here, now, in my hands.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Here I come...=)

Singapore, are you ready for me? =)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Xterra Trail Run - Waiuku

*edit* Results are out. I came in 2nd last overall and last in my category, which only had 5 people. heh.

If I had known about this race series, I would've definitely signed up for the entire series. But I only got to know about it about a month ago, so I only signed up for their 4th race which was held in Waiuku - a nice little outskirt town just about half hour drive from Auckland city.
Ruth did 5k, Sarah did 14k and I did 24k

It's nice to have my flatmates join with me. In fact they signed up before me even, they were so excited about it. So this morning, the 3 of us rose bright and early and drove out to Waiuku. It was gloomy weather at first, with splatters of rain and crazy wind, but I think my luck has been rather good with races, because the weather cleared up about half an hour before I started my race.

It was 24 km and I had had a full on gastronomical adventure in Aussie, and hadn't run much at all for a couple of weeks and really i wasn't feeling my fittest. But perhaps the Kiwi attitude got the better of me and I just wanted to go for a nice easy run. Which I ended up doing. I completed it in just under 2 hours 40 mins. Which was a little slow because the terrain was hilly but not exactly very steep. I think I could've gone a lot faster.

But for some reason my calves were really really sore. I think it could be due to the recent lower body strength conditioning exercises i've been doing. I am helping out a Post Grad friend do his research on Lower Back Pain with relations to core strength. So I've been assigned a 6 week training involving a resistance band and some leg and hip exercises. They're not hard exercises, but I am actually not very well i think these strength exercises can be a bit full on for me.

Anyway...the trail i ran was absolutely gorgeous. I am so glad I chose to do 24km. I really wished I had brought my phone to snap pictures. It started with a huge muddy puddle so my shoes were completely soaked within the first 2 minutes of the race. But then it was dry the rest of the way. It was a really neat pine tree forest next to the sea so the ground was pretty sandy which made it quite hard to run.I walked a couple of times uphill. And there was a point where I was running by myself for a whole hour or more. And they even labeled that part of the trail as Sleepy Hollow and the pine trees were towering over me, and the leaves were rustling in the wind and the branches creaking. I was really quite scared.
how dirty we got

But overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. Contemplating joining the next one, but $48 just to run again? hmm...i'll contemplate some more.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A year

it's been a year
a year since i wiped the tears off my face
put on a smile, and braced myself
for everything that'd come from this place
to put that degree upon my shelf

its been a year
a year since i took it all on
the anxiousness, the excitement, the heartbreak,
half of which have long gone
half of which is still there to take

its been a year
and much of me seem to have changed
my aspirations remain the same
though my journey seems rearranged
and a different frame of mind from when i came

its been a year
and my skin's a couple of shades fairer
my body a couple of kilos lighter
my purpose somehow got a little unclear
and my drive to go on a little shakier

its been a year
and ive seen all four seasons of this town
ive made friends and carved a life for me
yet still in my heart i found
there's a longing to be close to family

it's been a year
and ive seen enough to get a little wiser
learned enough to go a bit further
yet yearned enough to want to be nearer
but fallen enough to emerge even stronger

its been a year
and though my thoughts has had their doubt
though my choices i have questioned
i hold no regret about flying this far out
and no regret of sorts, will ever be mentioned

Sunday, July 12, 2009

winter of 2009

My winter escapades have ended. I have another week before uni starts again and my dad has somehow persuaded me to attend the semester 2 Orientations. I guess I should la, since I skipped the first 2 semesters'. Imagine that...after a year of being in Auckland I am still trying to find my fit in this place. sigh...the fact that Mummy said her colleague's daughter has already traveled to both north and south island of NZ has made me realise what an antisocial loser I have been this past year. My competitive side has kicked in. I am sociable. I am adventurous. I am keen. If there were anybody who could carve a life for herself in a new country it would be ME. It is about time I get myself out of this homesick puppy rut and get out there and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

Anyway, my aussie trip was awesome. I've already mentioned that a gazillion times. And I still wish I were still there.
With Fang, Bec, Kenneth and Siew Wan on the first night

With Jane, my primary schoolmate.

With Arvind and Elaine for awesome brunch which Elaine treated! Thanks Elaine!

Melbourne was mostly shopping and eating. There were moments where I was alone coz everyone was busy. So I just went about my own ways, which, try as I might to refrain from, became shopping adventures inevitably. I got myself a few new items, nothing too damaging though. They were cheap stuffs!

Then it was on to Sydney, and the first thing I had to do was catch Pei jien before she flew back to Melbourne!
With Pei Jien and Anne at Pancakes at the Rocks.

I think the best part of Sydney was tagging along with Mel and her collegue to do marin scientist-ish stuff. We went to collect seawater and then Mel brought me to look for sea animals!
Urchin at Little Bay.

Sydney Opera House and the best chocolate ice cream ever!

But like all good things, my Aussie holiday ended way too soon. I was really reluctant to leave. Even my ski trip wasn't exciting enough to trump the heaviness I had when I flew back to Auckland. But then, the moment I saw the ski fields, that changed. I was a happy girl again. =)
Mount Ruapehu, Ohakune.

View from the chair lift. Gorgeous.

I took snowboarding. It was awesome! It's true what they say. A whole lot harder than skiing. I have such a sore bum from falling over. My knees weren't spared too since i fell both backwards and forwards. Face planting they call it. Not fun. heh.

So now, it's back to work. I seriously need to earn back all that money spent. Seriously. sigh...

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I miss it already. the 1 week i spent with friends in Melbourne and Sydney was amazing. It was really good fun just immersing myself in the huge variety of delicious gourmet food, the company of close friends, the awesome sales, but it wasn't so much the diverse cultures and modern bustling city and efficient public transport that's got me wishing to go back, rather the company of familiar faces and reminiscing fond memories. ah...i miss all of them now!

but i guess all holidays must come to an end. i'm heading to Mt Ruapehu tomorrow morning to hit the snow slopes. and as much as i try to be enthusiastic about it, i can't help but wish i were going with Mel or Anne or Pei Jien or Elisha or even Wai Hong! haha...

Maybe it's just the fatigue speaking. I reckon I would be in a much better frame of mind tomorrow morning.
Ah...i think i'll dream of souvlaki tonight...

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Ok...i think i'd like to stay in Melbourne. =)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


The house has been rather quiet past couple of days. My flatmates are going home one by one. Admittedly I'd always have one of them around so I am never completely alone. But there were long hours where i'd have the whole place to myself before the other gets back. And it's just so...lonely.

Everyone I know has someone with them. Everyone I know has either flown home to their families, has their family over or has a boyfriend/girlfriend around. I really am glad I chose to go to Aussie in the end. I think I would've seriously died of homesickness-slash-loneliness if i had chosen to stay back and work.

But even in Aussie, everyone's got someone. Kenneth's going home shortly after I arrive. Siew Wan stays with her boyfriend. Everyone in Melbourne has someone with them. In Sydney, Mel's mom is around. Anne and Pei Jien are with their respective boyfriends.

And then it's back to Auckland, to an empty house again. This sucks. Winter is officially my most hated season. I hate winter with a passion so strong now. Which further affirms my decision to stay in a non-seasonal country. Gee, Malaysia doesn't have seasons. There we go. No need to think anymore. *hmmph*

I think I'd be extremely glad once semester starts. Because although I am getting used to the place, it really sucks to have no loved one nearby. It really does.

When semester 2 starts, it's only 14 weeks till the end of it.

Now if you'll allow me, I'll go sleep off my blues, thank you. See u in the morning, hopefully on the right side of the bed.

8 hours

People often say a healthy person needs 7-8 hours of sleep per night. "Some scientists have suggested that sleeping less than eight hours per night is a significant risk factor for increased sickness, and even death." That was from an article. Then some other articles say that anything more than 8 hours or less than 4 hours increases death rates. Anyway, i'm not gonna make this into a lit review, although I think that might be quite interesting.

I have always liked to have 8 hours of sleep a night. Ever since I got to Auckland anyway. Back at home I'd be quite proud if i didn't get 8 hours, which meant I could have my afternoon nap. I'd stay up late and sleep well into the day. But here in Auckland I seem to crawl into bed at 12 midnight latest. When i had classes I'd be up at 6.30 am. But I get afternoon naps. When I don't have classes I get up at 8. ish.

I was so tired I slept last night at 10.30 pm. By the 8 hour rule, I should've been up by 6.30 am. And believe it or not I actually was. But I decided to go back to sleep for a bit and woke up again at 7.30. that makes it 9 hours of sleep. And I am now worried that I may be dying a couple of minutes younger now.


Boring nana-ish stuff aside, I am done with my exams, and the reason why i haven't been blogging about it was coz this dude was over in Auckland and I was trying to be a nice host. I think I didn't do too bad. =)
navin, me, qing xiang

It's always nice to have friends from home around. So when's the next one coming? =)