Monday, August 18, 2014

EVEN WHEN I LOSE I'M WINNING

(music: All of Me - John Legend)

Last Friday was Guillaume's 29th birthday and I Am... Cafe's anniversary. It was raining heavily in the morning so at the train station, I kept my wallet and phone in my backpack, closed it (because it was raining, I made sure of this) and ran to work.

By the time I reached my workplace and opened my bag, my wallet and phone were gone. I have no idea whether it was stolen or both had fallen out, I mean if I know exactly how it happened then it wouldn't have happened, I guess.

Nora walked me back with an umbrella to retrace my steps and made sure it wasn't anywhere along the way, then she gave the staff at the train control station her details in case my things were returned.

I did the morning shift, afterwhich I changed into my I Am... T-shirt to be an emcee for the night.


In honour of our first anniversary, everybody had a T-shirt with I Am... and their choice of slogan, to be worn with suspenders and jeans. Mine was my online moniker misspinkalot, designed by Yus. The tees were a collective effort between Yus and Fazleen, and they were so nicely done!!! I loved mine!!!




Ainul was "I Am... Groot", which was FUNNY because that was essentially Groot's entire script in Guardians of the Galaxy (okay well, apart from when he expanded it at the end, which made me tear a bit HAHAH).

I usually take the pictures but Danial took up the position of photographer/videographer because I had other tasks. He had never used a DSLR and his lens focus was generally wrong, as you can see from the video, but I think he managed to capture the essence of I Am... Cafe quite well.

He got people to interact, and got their birthday wishes, etc. If you like the photos, then look for Dan. If you don't like them, it's still Dan you're looking for... ;P





Fazleen designed the I Am... tote bags (still available! $25 or complimentary with a $100 bill), printed by the very talented Huda (the other Huda, not mine hahaha) and her boyfriend Mags.




The very pretty belles of I Am... Cafe. Yes Ainul is that tall. She is basically a tree (therefore Groot!). Also I didn't realise Yus photobombed the photo until I was editing it hahaha.


Many diners visit us for our cakes. Bhavs, Shereen and Jai have had the red velvet before, when they were there with me, and they love it. \o/





Man Poi in da haus!

There was a singer Fathul who was singing dedication requests from the diners.


At the above table, one of them passed me a coaster with a dedication request.


She requested Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars for her best friend Ana who was leaving to Paris the next day with the message "till we meet again".

I was just thinking this could be me with my best friends next year.

Also, there was another table with two French guys, one from Marseilles and the other from Paris, and the Marseilles one insisted Marseilles is the best place. And there was a group of three French girls confused about their bill until I counted out their change in French.

There were so many French people, and I wanted to tell G about all of them, but I had lost my phone and I didn't know how to contact him because I didn't have his number until I got a replacement SIM card. No, I don't have any other details of his, only his number.

I was so depressed because I wanted to share everything with him, and ask about his birthday, but I couldn't.

Anywaaaaay... I had to go on with the celebrations so I told myself to be happy.







It was easy because the crowd was very nice, and they were all generally congratulatory and sharing the positive vibes with us. :)


Abang Jam and Kyla! They have already just given birth to their princess this afternoon!!!! YAY!!!!! Alhamdulillah. More blessings for them!!!!




Usually diners order birthday cakes from us but this time we had a special cake baked for our own birthday! SUCH A GORGEOUS CAKE. \o/


The video above was filmed by Dan, I tried to compile and edit it as best as I knew how.

It contains birthday wishes from the staff, a little speech by the bosses, the crew being their crazy selves (Zahra videobombing behind Abang Jam and Kyla - that's totally her), the cake-cutting ceremony, and a snippet of the drums by Wicked Aura.




I'm sorry girls, I think Dan did tell y'all the photo would be dark without flash.. I tried to salvage it but couldn't do much. ;P

Although I really felt very proud of I Am..., once I was done with my emceeing duties I was just so tired and so sad by the loss of my important things that I had to break down and go home. Nora saw me and gave me a hug and a pep talk, and so did Siti.

When I got home, Lyssa showed me this.



Luke sent her a screenshot that he had texted me "well done" but then realised that I didn't have my phone and couldn't read the message. He also told me his shirt said "I Am... Thankful" (which is such a great slogan), I'd been asking him all night 'cos I couldn't read it, and he wouldn't tell me.

The next day I went to work and Abang Jam lent me his spare phone with his extra SIM card, just so that I would be contactable. Min said he would start a fund to contribute to the replacement of my IC ($100 I think??) and it just made me feel so much better.

It really isn't about the money. I'm just really grateful that these are the people I spend my time with. I am so proud of my cafe, so glad we have hit our one-year mark, because these people deserve it.

The kitchen crew toiling in the limited space available to keep churning out quality food to the all-day slam, the baristas and bar people taking pride in their drinks and presentations (just hearing compliments on our coffee would make our day), and of course, all the floor crew helping to make diners' days.

I love I Am... and I am so glad to be one of them. They have taught me so much about loving, laughing and living my life. I've learnt so much about how to be a human, being patient, and respecting other people regardless of their backgrounds. I've learnt more than just cramming stuff into my brain.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BIGGER THAN WE'VE EVER DREAMED

(music: PTX)




So yesterday I went for the second night of the PTX concert.


Viv's blue hair always reminds me of Blue is the Warmest Colour/La Vie d'Adele, hehehe I cannot unthink it. ;P

I didn't get fantastic photos, we couldn't really see their faces, because we were cheapos seated in the actual very last row of the very back/top level of the entire theatre.







It really didn't matter though, because their vocals were out of this world. For just five people performing, you never realise that there are no instruments (save the cello for two songs), no fancy schmancy systems needed, just five voices.

They were all natural entertainers too, so amusing with their audience interactions. Kevin's beatboxing while playing the cello was so amazing, when the audience had gone quiet I yelled "you can use your fingers on me!" and I think Viv's friend Wayne was appalled by me HAHAHAH.

And Kevin was so good at speaking Mandarin??? He really sounded like a native Chinese speaker, who even knows why??? It did not at all sound like he was any ethnicity but Chinese... And his content was so cute too, he said in Mandarin that Singapore's food is delicious, and he had just eaten chicken rice.

FYEAH CHICKEN RICE?!?!?! \o/

Avi and his usual crazy sexy bass voice. He did overtone singing, in which he sings two notes at once. And he would always be the one announcing "ladies and gentlemen, I'm so excited for this next song" which sounds HILARIOUS coming from his sex-voice.

Kirstie and Scott were as usual just darlings, and were on point the entire time, and Mitch's DIVANESS. Mitch wins all diva points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They invited a female audience member for a lap dance, and then she got to hug all five members of the band. Everything was just so fun and friendly!!!!!!!!






They ended the night with We Are Young, which they asked us to sing and dance along to. It was spectacular and filled all our little hearts with love!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though Viv and I got the "worst" possible back-row seat tickets, I doubt we had any less fun from the ones right in front of the stage. Their voices were just mesmerising, just like they are on Youtube. I'm so excited to see them as the rival band in Pitch Perfect 2 now!!!!!!!!!!

I think there are still last-minute tickets being sold for their third and final show in Singapore tonight. If you have the budget, GO. It does NOT matter what seats you get, I assure you you will enjoy it!!!!!!!!!! It's one of my favourite concerts ever, the high I felt was WHOOOOSH!!!!! Somewhere up there with Jason Mraz at Gardens by the Bay!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the concert....




The next one I'm looking forward to is....


I FINALLY GET TO SEE HER LIVE! I'm SO THANKFUL, THANK GOD FOR THIS! \o/

I might even get some photos that show Sara B's face, because I'm second row from the stage, hehehehehehe. (And my seat is 28??? Favourite number ever!!!!! Sistic was being so nice to me, for once!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


I love Sara so much we danced to Brave in New Zealand last year, hehehe.

(I also have a recording of PTX's performance of their original composition, Run to You, which I love love love! Love the song, love the lyrics! Youtube is not cooperating though, so if you want it, lemme know!)

Saturday, August 09, 2014

STEAL TIME JUST FOR ONE DAY

(music: Elephant Love Medley - Moulin Rouge)

Two days before Raya, the cafe decided to do a baju raya (Raya outfit) theme. Unfortunately I wasn't scheduled to work and I was also burning out from staying up late to write articles, so I just passed them my camera to take photos.


This is one of our bosses, the famous Sarong of Haji Lane.


Our Big Bear burger. These were for the staff. It's presented nicer when it's served out to diners.


Rhel and Annie in a melodrama.


Yus the barista and Min. Customers tend to ask if Min is the boss/supervisor etc, 'cos usually he's immaculate in his dressing. Dress pants, vest, tie. The guy is crazy. He doesn't dress for Singapore weather at all.



Nora and Annie did henna for each other. Such pretty designs! I haven't had henna in a long while, I feel like doing it for my cousin's wedding next weekend. Hmm..


There was a performance of sorts by Sarong, Lukman and Que. I don't know what the performance was about. It's hard to tell a story when I wasn't there to experience anything firsthand. I'm basically just introducing people here. -.-



Kak Nad and Abang Salleh's daughters playing with sparklers. :)


They celebrated Min's and Akmal's birthdays. :)

A few days ago, Akmal asked me why my jawline was slimmer after Ramadhan (technically it shouldn't be because I had been feasting for a week since Raya??) so I think I favour him now. HAHAHA.




Their Hari Raya wish, along with some dancing. Such adorable people. ♥

*

On Raya itself, Mum made cereal prawns.



Cereal prawn is the bomb. To be honest, I took photos of the food this year for G's sake. I've been photographing practically everything to introduce my culture to him, actually, and vice versa, too. I see Paris thanks to him. :)



My sister says I have crazy eyes. Like Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black. She says my big eyes are scary. :( Butbutbut if my eyes are big, then what are Huda's????


I try to soften my look by making my eyes look not so big. Does that even make sense??? Who knows.


Before we left home, I was tearing a bit. I saw that my sisters were all fully decked in pink so I exclaimed to my mum that she didn't love me, because I was the only one she didn't get a pink outfit for. She said "yes, you don't know, you're the one I don't want! you're not part of this family"

So I went to my room and cried and Lyssa had to calm me down and assure me that it was a joke and I am not unwanted. She said, "aiya Mum, she could have said it to any of us but she said it to the sensitive one whom it actually matters to."

You don't understand, telling me I'm unwanted makes me feel really sad because in a situation like my own conception, I would feel unwanted too. -.-


The parents look ready for Chinese New Year as well. ;)



:)


Nyai looks so uninterested in the photo. :(


The food was good, as usual. This was mainly for G's knowledge. :P



Eva was helping to "bobok" Rayyan. So adorable. The baby has now left the throne for another baby! How do babies grow up so fast?!?!


Kak Syafiqah preparing for her own turn at being a mother. ;)


The mother of the baby, post-birth and back to her usual camera-ready self.



Kak Long and Eva. Eva is basically Boo from Monsters Inc???? I love it, Boo is the best!!!!!!



Zara and Fazrul were wearing pink and blue as well. They were playing in my room on the weekend of Raya, and they are such cute siblings omaga want to cubit/pinch them all the time.


One of the dancers in our family, Nurul. She's so pretty and fit, and her dancing wahhhhh daebak!


Zara seems to be the only one prepared for this photo...


Rayyan Fikri!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)



I really don't know if I want kids?!?! It's like I love babies 'cos they're cute but who doesn't like babies?? I'm not the sort to take care of kids though, like when my little sisters were growing up, it was Lyssa who looked after them.

BUT BABIES ARE SO CUTE. I'll just wait for my sisters and best friends to have them.


Hazwani is always so innovative, just like her mum. She used a see-through drawer from Muji as her purse, it looked so cool.


Family portrait. I can't wait to see photos of Rayyan in photoshoots and stuff, apparently Faiz and his girlfriend Sabi are trying to get animal costumes for him. SO CUTE TAK BOLEH.



These two parents ah, wahlau their ego. Whenever anyone says Rayyan is cute, each of them says "oh thank you, thank you" bashfully like you're praising their genes. Ish.



Hazwani looked like such a princess that night!!!! She had gold accessories on her tudung, wah super pretty and her outfit was also super nice, I loved the material omaga I just wanted to be her, a tudung princess. -.-



Our family's 90-line.

Two of them are attached... Myself? Hmmm... Not sure yet. ;P

*

On Wednesday, I met the guai-kias (minus Andrea who was busy at work, poor bb) for a belated birthday celebration (yes mine which was in May hahahaha, and Tim's).


5 is to Viv what 28 is to me!


Cuifen and Pearl. :)

We were at Stateland Cafe, a lane away from my workplace, and Cui, Pearl and Kelsen were all complaining about their main course pastas. I ordered an omelette from the all-day breakfast menu and it really was.... quite pathetic.

The portions are measly and even the taste is something we could easily prepare at home. Kelsen kept listing all the foods he was craving and wanted to eat next.



We had red velvet and Smores waffles for dessert, and that was quite alright. I guess waffles are their specialty but even then, it's nothing to die for.

So... since we were so near to I Am... Cafe, they decided to head over for a second dinner. o.O Also we were waiting for Tim to join us.


We had the platter. I really like our platter now, after the menu update. The platter is so much more worth it and delicious. It's got baked prawns, mussels, soft-shell crabs, battered calamari and hot wings. :)


Yus made me a chai tea latte, and he didn't know it was for me. He hadn't seen that I was in the cafe as a customer. I let Pearl and Cui try the latte though, and they said it's the best they've had. \o/



Yay, thank you for the treat, besties! I can't wait for a late-night supper with Andrea sometime! :D

But also, a while ago I met Pam (which will be further expounded later) and she said I looked retro. That's always the case for me. No matter what outfit or what look I try to pull off, I end up looking retro, and I've just realised it's the hair.

It's my puffy curly hair that makes me retro!!!!!!!!!! Next time I go for a theme party, it's the hair I need to take care of. -.-

Last Saturday, I spent the night with my family, Rayaing.



Caught in the monopod act.

Hazwani and I were so engrossed in watching a pranking show, we didn't even realise we were the last two left in the living room of Cik Wati's house, everybody else had left HAHAHAHA.

Inside joke with Lyssa: "12th floor? 12?? O.o"

On Sunday, Lyssa and I went to our dad's place to meet his family, and our half-brother Ira and his mother for the first time in our lives.



Our father and his daughters.


So like, Ira had never known about the identity of our dad before this, but he asked his mum to get to know him, which our dad told me and Lyssa about.

Lyssa grew up without a dad for the early formative years of her life (whereas he was around for the earlier part of mine) so I think she might have felt lacking but after she found out about Ira, and how he hadn't even known who his dad was for 16 years, Lyssa felt so much for the boy.

We got to know one another and introduced ourselves and each other. We found out Ira loves Frozen (YESSA because: YES FROZEN?!?!), which Lyssa has never liked (Ira and I: "how can you not like Frozen???").

Lyssa: "because! it's boring! and the characters are not memorable! like I don't even remember much about it, that's how sad it is! there's nothing to like..."

Ira: "sounds like you just can't let it go."

Ba-dum-TSSS?!??!?!? This be our bro, yo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So also we found out Ira and I like Bastille, and he won a T-shirt signed by the band.


What the heck?!?! My 16-year-old half-brother likes Bastille and won a T-shirt that has been touched by the sexy Dan Smith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of him!!!!!!!!!

Ira was so happy that I was also a Bastille fan, he instantly gave me a fist bump. Awww bro likes fistbumps too!

He also said he'd trade me the shirt if I get him an Olaf plush toy. That was a bit dubious, because I mean, c'mon, if you were willing to trade a SIGNED SHIRT for a generic OLAF, I'm not sure what's wrong with you....

But then he took back the deal when he found out Lyssa and I are Manchester United fans. HAHAHAH. He's a Liverpool fan? OH GOD NO??? Lyssa and I call them Loserpool!!!!!!


Unsmiling so you can see the similarities in our faces.

When our dad asked who's more like Elsa and who's like Anna between Lyssa and myself, Ira said "of course Lyssa is Elsa, look at her dress!" (it's blue HAHAHA but truly Lyssa is the ice queen between us)


Smiling with our mouths closed because neither of them can smile while showing their teeth. The two of them look so similar tho, I just feel like the proud elder sister of my two little dorklings.

On the other hand, I can't really smile with my mouth closed 'cos my braces cause my lips to protrude lolol a few more months left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! \o/


The boy already picked his "favourite" half-sister HAHAHAH, that's too premature. He doesn't even know us yet, he doesn't know Lyssa is the better elder sister who took care of our younger half-Chinese stepsisters and who is adored by them.

Lyssa also volunteered to get an Olaf plush toy for Ira for nothing in return, because she's just a really good sister like that. Ira will soon learn who's his real favourite sister. ;)

But also he can't cycle, so his mum tasked us with teaching him to cycle after his N-levels, hehehehe! That I can definitely do! If I can teach Han to cycle, I can teach anyone. :P

When we got back from our dad's house, Mum was a bit apprehensive that we went to meet Ira and his mum. I mean, it's understandable because I think she was the biggest collateral damage out of that but then again when it comes to my family, I think we are all, in our own ways, collaterally damaged.

My mum, Lyssa, myself, Ira, Ira's mum, Cik Mis, even my dad.

Mama should know Lyssa and I will always love her most and no other family will ever replace her and our family. The Uhum-Peh sisters unite forever!!!!!!

*
On Monday, Lyssa and I went for a last-minute open house at Luke's place. There was a spread of food.


All the lauk (dishes) was so delicious!!!!!


We also had spaghetti, which Luke would not stop giving his mum grief about. He asked whether she'd bought udon instead of pasta, and she said she'd intentionally bought the thicker kind of pasta, and it went back and forth, it was so cute!!!!! His mum is cute. Mother-child interactions are the cutest.


There was even kacang pool. Mmmmm.


This is Luke introducing the buffet feast to Que and Yani, and proudly telling them that all he did was cook the sunny-side up eggs for the kacang pool. He repeated that joke to everybody who would listen, hai Luke.


Luke's collection of caps.



;)

We went out to take photos at the corridor. The view from the block (in Telok Blangah) is stunning!!!!!!!!! I should have taken more photos of the landscape, wow.






Rhel doing some merepek thing during the burst shots.

*

On Wednesday, I had my dental appointment (the gap in my front teeth is slowly closing up, yessa!) then met Pamela for lunch at Rouse, and yoga afterwards.


I had the quinoa quake. It wasn't as good as the first time I'd tried it, sad to say the standards aren't maintained. The outside of my quinoa patty was completely charred. :(


How is Pamela so Korean without being a Korean????


We bumped into Huda whom I was actually supposed to meet on that day HAHAHAH. #soultwins

She went to celebrate Lyana's birthday instead, so it's okay, also since Lyana is my namesake. Also because Lyana is so smart and amazing and I admire her so much I wish I could be her. ♥_♥

Pamela and I then went to LaSalle for her to guide me in yoga. She's currently taking classes to become a yoga instructor.




She's really flexible...




And her core is so strong!


I was perspiring so much??!?!?! It was disproportionate to the workout I feel like I was going through. :/

I've always wanted to enroll in a ballroom dancing class, but I just realised how inflexible my body is. ;~;




Just helping Pamela to stretch.



I don't know what I was doing, just following what Pam told me to do.

If you would like to join us on our next yoga session, or if you'd like Pamela to teach you yoga personally, let me know and I'll give you her contact details.

I remember going for five free yoga sessions at True Fitness last year, and although I felt they were nice, it's completely different having a personal instructor.

Pamela was able to observe my posture and my poses and see that I was doing them properly so that I could benefit the most out of them. I felt the right stretches in the right places, and I really enjoyed it.

Also, before the lesson, I'd told her that it was the first time I was exercising since my surgery, and my scars under my arms would be visible. She said "scars are nothing to worry about, they are proof that you were brave and strong enough." Awww man, this yoguru!

I especially liked when, towards the end of the session, she asked me to close my eyes and chanted to me "breathe deeply, take in the new air, exhale the negative thoughts" and I really felt it. Her voice is crisp and cool, and I liked her pacing. I could follow it, but it was fast enough to make me feel like I did sufficient moves in an hour.

If you're interested to give yoga a try, let us know! :)

Two nights ago, I met Huda for "Raya" which basically meant I crashed on her bed. We rambled on and on and although I was having my period, talking to her like that made me forget about my discomfort and I am so glad for the internet, so glad for technology that brought me one of my best, creepiest friends. ♥

We'll see if technology can bring me with someone else I could love in life. ;P

I got home and found a gift from my mum.




I love it!


It even matches the wooden board Hazwani had gotten me. I love being a princess just by virtue of having the name Sarah. :P

*

As you might have noticed, I'm still talking to my Frenchman.




Last week, he spent 5000 SGD on a Cartier watch so I went rambling on a tangent on how I don't like branded things and how I don't want a diamond when I get married etc. He listened to me rambling and then said I was still welcome to wear his watch anytime. -.-


He also bought a navy suit for a friend's wedding this weekend. Navy. \o/ He got it adjusted because it didn't fit him well.


I teased him about his English errors so much he pretended he would only speak French. To be honest, I think he likes it when I make fun of his English, sometimes I think his mistakes are intentional. -.-


We have plans to play Scrabble in French, hehehe.


And talked about Sherlock...



And movies....





And rambled on about sharks AGAIN. I am DREADING shark week. D:



And we were silly/manja together....


Also he wanted to reward me for having finished writing my articles so he sent me a photo of himself. He loves his face as much as I love my face, hehehehe it amuses me. (I love his face too, though. HAHAH I think he's very attractive, I don't care what you say! My mother and Lyssa don't think much of his looks.)



He went to a nice beachy-cliffy area in France last week, called Etretat and sent me photos.

I'm sorry our courtship is mostly screenshots, but I mean, the man is 10,000km away, I wish I could upload photos of us together, but I can't. So there's that. Unless and until we Skype, I guess, but we've both been too busy.

He has a wedding this weekend, and I have my cousin's wedding next weekend, and Raya as well. So it's just texting for now. Even so, I adore him. :)

Also, I've been going around singing and humming silly love songs like Mirrors and All of Me, so yes, I'm in too deep. Till next time! Bisous!

Oh last thing! 15 August, next Friday is I Am... Cafe's anniversary and I'll be the emcee! Do come by to say hi! It just coincidentally happens to be G's birthday too, so I have double reasons to celebrate, hehe! \o/