December 26, 2008

A Christmas without a Clay Aiken concert

Posted in Music tagged , , , , , at 8:23 pm by myrlinn

… makes fans think of what else but a Clay Aiken concert! At least that’s what it did for my friend tribeca who has quite a gift for telling a story. Excerpted from from her blog post, “How Clay Aiken Made Us Cry“:

Since we don’t have a Christmas tour this year I felt like posting a story about Clay’s Christmas concert I attended last year…

Then Clay came on stage to sing  “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”.  That’s when my mind started to drift.  I started thinking about my Grandfather who died on Christmas day the year before.  This is when Jesse tapped  me on my on shoulder and said “What’s wrong?” and she pointed at the women sitting on the other side of her who was sobbing.   Jesse was rubbing her on the shoulder asking her if she was okay.  The woman said “this made me think of my dad who died around Christmas” soon the whole row was in tears.  My niece just kept rubbing that lady’s shoulder telling her it would be okay.  When that woman said “it’s okay.  I am okay.”  All of us in that row were strangers but we shared something that night.

When I went to work the next day my boss Kathleen asked me about the concert.  I started telling her this story about how we all cried.  Kathleen started crying saying how it reminded her of her mom.  Than I started crying again.   My assistant manager ,  Nancy ,came in the office and said “What’s the matter?” and I answered “I wa a s just tell ing a a a about the con con concert”

Nancy said “what kind of concert was this?”

What kind of concert indeed?

——–

Not Clapping during Church Performances?

Talking about Christmas performances, I was rather startled this Christmas to find that the church (Bible-Presbyterian) we just started going to doesn’t allow clapping after choir performances.

The reason? They want the congregation to remember that the music is to glorify God, not the performers.

I find myself thinking though: aren’t the performers’ talents’ god-given? And if you clap, aren’t you applauding God’s works?

And I find myself wondering why the church would institute such a rule. Is it a reaction to the types of services popular in some new churches where music, song and dance has become entertainment for the congregation?

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December 25, 2008

Dining at Jurong Point 2: What’s good what’s not

Posted in Food tagged , , , , at 2:01 pm by myrlinn

Mural - Din Xiao Er

Part of the mural at entrance of Din Xiao Er

Din Xiao Er
This restaurant strikes the right note immediately with the colourful  mural at the entrance, leading into a rustic-looking space. But the best part must be the food. We tried their signature dish, Herbal Duck, choosing the one with Angelica herbs, the Mongolian Spare Ribs, and Yu Mak in Fermented Sauce, and really enjoyed everything they laid out for us.

OldTown White Coffee
On the other end of the scale, mum tried the curry mee there, and could not eat it. Tasted like curry powder added to water! The icky part? the fish cakes were stale. And the staff just kept quiet when she made these observations while paying. Teething problems? Maybe. My mum had tried the food at another branch in KL, and rather enjoyed it.

Jia Xiang Mee
Noodles from Sarawak, or so they say. Service was fast, and their signature dish, jia xiang mee, was tasty. Ingredients were also fresh, another plus. But $6+ for what is essentially a bowl of wanton mee? hmmm…

Lai Lai Casual Dining
A neighbour of ours warned us not to eat the mee sua at this one. And she said that if we were to go, just try the beef dishes. She was not impressed.

Zhou’s Kitchen
We took a look at their lunch buffet spread, and honestly, it all looked very tempting. Good value if you’ve got a good appetite.

December 12, 2008

inSingapore: The Enlarged Jurong Point (Jurong Point 2)

Posted in Musings tagged , , , , at 10:13 pm by myrlinn

The extension to Jurong Point was opened to the public a couple of days ago. I took a quick look-around, and wow, it’s so huge, with so many “names” setting up shop here.

Slightly surreal to me, to be sure, when I think of how, just slightly over ten years ago, when we started living in Jurong West, and it was such a backwoods.

Now, can find so many of the same shops you find in the city areas. Jurong West has suddenly become much more attractive to live in.

Not that the shops themselves are exciting or different. They are much the same stores you’d find in many shopping malls in Singapore, but for those of us in Jurong, it’s certainly convenient not to have to make our way all the way to the city to find familiar brands. And it’s certainly a plus to have a wider choice of restaurants as well.

Shoppers checking out the extension to Jurong Point on opening day, Wednesday 10 December 200. It’s so large, it’s virtually another mall attached to the original structure (the space of the new “extension” is larger than the original Jurong Point)
new extension

What I like about the new extension is that it has the same sense of openness and light that you find in the older part. They’ll need to do something about the skylights over Starbucks and maybe a couple of other shops as well. At lunch-time, the sun makes certain areas HOT.

The only section I didn’t like — the part where they had a more Chinese theme. It feels too dark, closed and old-fashioned. Maybe the area will have a better ambience when Fairprice Xtra opens its doors.

If you’re planning to visit, though, be prepared for quite a few shops to be still in the process of setting up, with workers busily putting in furniture and fittings. It may be wise to wait a few days more before venturing to the shopping centre.

inSingapore: At Alexandra Hospital with mum

Posted in Tried-and-Liked tagged , , , , at 8:17 pm by myrlinn

I see I’ve been neglecting this blog lately. I’ve a good excuse, mind you. My mum suffered really bad abdominal/chest pains and ended up in Alexandra Hospital here in Singapore.

The stay really brought home to me how important intangibles are in helping you through a stressful hospital stay. You may be really ill, but things like professionals who talk to you with respect and knowledge, and even decor details which brings touches of beauty into the patient’s sphere, can help to make the experience less frightening and confusing.

I’ve been to Alexandra Hospital, and have always liked its overall ambience, but with my mother warded for quite a few days this time around, I was able to take a look round the hospital, and came away more impressed than ever with the hospital’s attention to decor  elements and their gardens, which I talk a bit more about here:  The “boutique” charm of Alexandra Hospital, Singapore.

But apart from that, I think we were fortunate to be under the care of a specialist with extra high EQ, Mr Tan T-J. Particularly with a patient like my mum, who’s filled with so much fear at the thought of operations and other medical procedures. He inspired a lot of confidence with his well-formulated explanations, and ability to communicate caring.  Now, I don’t know if he’s actually the most competent surgeon at the hospital, but I would bet anything he gets the best results simply because he makes patient and family feel more reassured. Hmmm… I wonder if they teach communication skills at medical school? They should.  Surely, we know enough now to understand that healing involves paying attention to the emotional as well as the physical.