Let’s do it

What was going through my mind when my wife and I exchanged vows? A lot. I was wracked with nerves. So much that I stumbled on my words, as did the beautiful bride before me as we clutched each other’s hands so tightly we left nail marks on each other’s knuckles.

It was only two days later, as we recalled our version of the wedding march, made to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald’sLet’s Do It‘, that my wife said to me, ‘eh? how come they throw the petals before the solemnisation instead of after?’

Trust my family members to do things back to front.

I liked the peppery smell of the freesias on my boutonniere/corsage, which a friend who we asked, at almost the last minute, to help with my wife’s dress remarked, ‘why is it so big?’. It was a little on the large side, but I liked it like that. I unwrapped the paper from the bridal bouquet, which comprised more peppery freesias and white roses, and held together with a copper-coloured ribbon and waited outside for my wife to get ready – it was taking a while because make-up turned out to be more complicated than expected.

If I had checked my phone then, I’d have seen frantic messages from my best man which read ‘hey we gotta do this, we’re losing light’.

But no matter, as another of our friends came along and told us it was time to move from our suite. The walk to the lawn was a blur, though the smell of the freesias were a comfort, as was my wife’s arm in mine. It didn’t matter that we had only ‘rehearsed’ this two hours earlier, neither did it matter that we couldn’t remember how the vows were to be recited/repeated.

I think for the duration of the walk and the solemnisation, nothing mattered in the whole wide world. Not the floral arrangements, the food and the venue, the photography, the wedding cakes and the favors. Not then.

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Weekend gone to the dogs

Doggy weekend
Doggy takes a cat nap

Battling to stay awake and alert because of a flu is not a good way to spend a weekend.

So it was good that there was something to do to ameliorate the mugginess. There’s this society called ‘Action for Singapore Dogs‘ that takes in stray and abandoned dogs and fosters them until a loving family can adopt them. And they had a sorta open house thing at a pet shop on East Coast Road over the weekend.

Naomi and I went and said hello to the dozen or so lovable dogs at the shop, and would’ve gone home with one sweetie of a puppy if not for the fact that there’s quite a stringent vetting process for new owners, and of course, a little bit of common sense, as we’ve not thought of preparing our home for one extra occupant, seeing as Jake the Cat is still the landlord, and wouldn’t have been happy with the lack of consultation.

Still, it was a good afternoon spent. As good as getting to walk the dogs.

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No shit, Sherlock!

How about the relentless barrage of information in our local papers about how important foreign talents are, and how happy the ones who are already here are? No? Doesn’t get your goat? Then read about how our Apache pilots find training in Singapore so different from the Arizona desert:

No shit, Sherlock
Geophogry nosso good also can be pilot!

Then again, we live in a country where you really, really have to explain, on really big ads on taxis, that Summer’s Eve is for washing “down there”:

When you're not so fresh down there

And where you call the fire department if there’s something wrong with your toilet:

Multi-tasking multi-flushing firemen
You want to see prompt actions? I prompt actions all over the floor for you!

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How I use my Nokia N73

Note: The Nokia N73 was very kindly given to me and a few other bloggers to use and provide feedback

Manhattan Beach, CA
The macro settings are the best I’ve seen on any phone

Nokia N73I was only kidding about the phone camera not being able to take pictures of fireworks, but thank you all who have offered useful information about how to do it without using a nuclear powered flash.

The N73, like I mentioned, has a kickass camera, and its only just dawned on me that I’m using it more as a camera than a phone. I think I take 5-6 pictures a day with the camera, and make only 4-5 phone calls a day these days. And with a 2Gb mini-SD card, you can take like, many photos, before you need to transfer them somewhere else.

You could also send pictures you’ve taken on the N73 directly to your blog or Flickr account with Nokia’s Lifeblog application, but I think I’ve ever only done that once, when blogging immediacy necessitated it. What I usually do is to take a bunch of photos and then transfer them once a day via Bluetooth to my PowerBook G4‘s iPhoto application (because I also like to have bunches of photos on my computer as well as online), then select a few to upload to my Flickr account.

But of course, there are other things I like about the phone.

Nokia N73When we were in the U.S., we were enamored by the wonderful road maps that were available online, and which helped us tremendously getting from place to place. The problem was, we didn’t have a local mobile number to zap the maps to, and so, the next best thing to do was to print out the maps. But we didn’t have a printer. So how liddat?

Being the tech-savvy travellers that we were, we printed the maps to PDF format and Bluetoothed them into my N73, and it appeared, scrollable and more importantly, crystal clear on the big-assed screen of the phone.

(Of course, the maps and the phone was in the able hands of our navigator, and not the driver, so we didn’t break any traffic rules driving and fiddling with the phone, although in America, we saw a woman in a convertible drive with mobile phone in one hand and a latté in the other, but that’s Los Angeles, and we know that Americans are more skilled than us in multi-tasking).

Nokia N73The other useful thing I discovered about the phone was the ease with which it handled emails. The previous phones I used were a little difficult to configure when it came to emails. So much so I gave up after a few failed login attempts. With the N73, setting up the five email accounts I use was a cinch. And even though I don’t always check my emails (unlike mrbrown, who, when an hour away from his computer, starts to become antsy) when I’m on the road, it was pretty handy when people would call and say, ‘hey, I just sent you an urgent email, can you check?’, even though they could’ve just told me what was so urgent while calling me to tell me they’d sent an urgent email.

Of course, being the consummate blogger that I am, checking the measly number of comments on this blog daily is a necessity, and there is an RSS reader application that allows me to do just that when I’m away from the computer or can’t get a decent wireless hotspot signal anywhere. This ‘web feeds’ application is part of the web browser software that is also quite kickass. I love the way I can look at portions of any website without being redirected to a ‘mobile’ or ‘lite’ version of the site.

Nokia N73If data carriage charges for 3G services are of no concern to you because you are so monied, then you’d really enjoy surfing the web with this phone while you’re waiting for your wife to finish looking at what shoes she wants to buy. Although personally, you’d do a lot better helping your wife look at shoes she wants to buy.

And then, there was my wedding speech, which I wrote on my PowerBook, saved it as a text file, and because my printer was on the blink (and even then, scraps of paper always drop out of my pockets), decided to Bluetooth it to the N73 and save it to be referred to when I got up to speak. So, when the wedding photos are out, you’ll know I wasn’t checking for messages on my phone while I spoke.

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Your English also temporary out of service lah!

The Speak Good English Campaign may be working. But the Write English Just As Good one hasn’t been launched yet, which explains this sign at Changi Airport Terminal One:

Your English also out of service

COMPUTER SYSTEM IS TEMPORARY OUT OF SERVICE. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCED CAUSED

I’m not even going to ask why there’s a semi-permanent placard that announces computer breakdowns.

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The biggest day of our lives so far

The bridal bouquet

Thanks for your well-wishes and congratulations, if you’ve made any. Me and my wife, wife! Yes, wife! …

…me and my wife are recovering from the wedding, and we’ll be returning to work in the morning. But oh what a Sunday, and oh, what a wedding!

Friends and family alike know that this was a ‘simple ROM solemnisation and dinner’ with a little extra trimming here and there, including speeches from my best man, my business partners, and myself.

We had tea ceremonies at my in-laws, in-laws! Yes, in-laws!… and then a couple of hours’ break at the hotel, where, despite the madness that had been the preparation, or lack of, of the wedding, my fiancée nestled her head in my chest and closed her eyes to nap the last couple of hours before we were married, and I was an oasis of calm.

Then, she yelled at me, saying, ‘dammit, I can’t sleep like that when you’re heart is pounding so loudly!’

The rings
The rings

Hmmm...
And in other news…

Picked up our marriage certificate
The marriage certificate

Picked up a parking fine as well
and the parking fine

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Many miles to go

Drinks break
And many more coffee breaks on the way

I’m having a week like no other doing stuff for the wedding ceremonies. Like doing last minute arrangements with florists, last minute arrangements with the caterers, and last minute arrangements with the photographers.

I read somewhere that a day’s lack of sleep can cause your IQ to drop by as much as ten points. Or is it ten sleep of points drops your IQ by a day? Or sleep ten days? Or IQ sleep? Or ah fuckit never mind lah.

Nearly driving into the sea

South Stack
South Stack, North Wales

fferambaileymap.pngAbout ten years ago, I got lost trying to get to my cousins’ farmhouse in North Wales and nearly drove all the way into the sea.

‘It’s called Fferam Bailey, Benny, you can’t miss it’, said my uncle who was trying to give me directions as I drove northwest from London. Poring through the excellent Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, (which I think are the bestest maps in the world, bar none) I grumbled at the Malaysian-ness of my uncle’s instructions – my Malaysian relatives always did that – give incomplete driving instructions like, ‘ah, you coming up to visit? so remember to turn off the highway then go down the main road and then turn up the side road ah?’

There are never standard directions like north or south or even left or right. Just off and down and up. And that makes it very difficult to navigate because down and up are dependent on how that relative is visualising and orienting his mental map. If his or her brain is holding their maps upside down or even sideways, you’re basically a goner. Lost for good.

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