Monday, June 26, 2006

Ana Catarina's 1st Birthday

Today is Catarina's 1st birthday. She is a beautiful baby! Alex and Cristina have invited us to celebrate her birthday and first haircut next weekend. Her Godparents who will have the honor of cutting her hair. It is a very important tradition in Romanian culture.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Straits Times Newspaper Headline

Today's top headline, (and as Dave Barry always says, "I am not making this up"):

"Stiffer Rules for Massage Parlors"

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Philips Family Day

Saturday Philips held a Family Day at the office. They gave tours of the building, had display booths, a luncheon, and lucky draw. No Singaporean function is complete without a LUCKY DRAW! We didn't win anything, but it was really nice to see where Michael actually works. No photos were allowed, but they did take photos of everyone with their families. Here's ours:

Friday, June 16, 2006

Harry's @ Orchard

Thursday, May 25, Harry's @ Orchard celebrated their 1st anniversary with free flow beverages and food. We invited our friends to join us and had a wonderful time together -- eating, drinking, dancing, and laughing.

Hauke, Alex, Mike, Joerg

Angelika, Lucia, Me, Cristina

Jamie Cullum Concert

We went to the Jamie Cullum concert with Cristina and Diana (Alex had to go out of town). Jamie Cullum is an AMAZING musician! All age groups were there from teeny-boppers to old folks. He played non-stop for a full two hours! He even broke the piano! Not only can he play piano beautifully and with such style, but he also plays guitar and percussion. He said that he took up guitar in his teens so that he could attract girls and get snogged! He said it worked and it works for him still. Loved it!

I only had my phone with me that night, and took this shot when Jamie was off-stage singing in among the audience.....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Andy's Visit

Andy is in Singapore this week for business. We took him to dinner for American food at Dan Ryan's then went to Harry's. Dorothy took our picture for us.

Jamie Cullum and Brandi

Wish I'd been able to record this myself.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ann Coulter

I just watched a video of Keith Olbermann's opinion piece on MSNBC regarding Ann Coulter

Coulter says the 9/11 widows are "witches" and "godless" and "are enjoying their husband's death". She also said something to the effect that "they should just shut up about it". How could anyone come to Ann Coulter's defense when she rants such venomous things? If I had been Matt Lauer, I would have been embarrassed to even sit down with her, yet he said, "it was fun". Coulter expresses her opinions, (mostly by shouting), but the 9/11 widows (or anyone else who dissents and criticizes "The Decider") should just "shut up". I think that Ann Coulter is the one who should SHUT UP! She is the one profiting from 9/11.

Our apartment

I thought I'd post a few pics of our apartment. We recently bought an antique Chinese screen I'm using to hide my elliptical trainer in the living room. We also just bought a new ship for our collection.

More Pics of Apartment

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

We went to a tax seminar hosted by AmCham Singapore to find out more about this "tax cut". Congress was very sneaky on this one (what else is new??). The act was signed into law May 17, 2006 and changes the rules for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The changes are retroactive to January 1, 2006. In short, we ex-pats are facing a substantial tax INCREASE. The regular people like us (not millionaires) will pay much more than the wealthy. Does this sound familiar?

The tax situation for us for 2005 is still up in the air. We have had to hire an accounting firm to help us; it is just too complicated. Even the accountants can't get the numbers reconciled. 2006 will be even more complicated and costly. This increase will in effect make Americans living abroad even more expensive for the companies sponsoring them.

Please check out the article from The International Herald Tribune.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Clothes....for LARGE Ex-Pats

OK, in my title I tell you the simple things that I cannot live without. However, I don't get enough characters to elaborate upon that. Almost all of the clothes that you see me wearing in the pics on this blog are from Coldwater Creek, Lands' End, Territory Ahead or Isabella Bird (the last two are owned by the same company). I also have some clothes from Chico's which I love to wear, but I've not ordered from here in Singapore. I will attempt to put the links to those catalogs in the sidebar on my blog. These catalogs have the best customer service I've encountered with on-line ordering as well as the best size consistency. I have ordered so many dresses from these online companies and have yet to return anything. Fortunately for me, I have a subscription to "Traditional Home", and there is always a $25-off coupon for Coldwater Creek (I hope they continue with that) which I use for the shipping costs. Most of the time, I order my things from the online sale or Outlet at the Creek sites.

At this point in my life, I'm just too "hot" to wear slacks or jeans here in Singapore. I feel I look my best wearing a dress or a skirt -- not to mention comfort. You really can't go wrong with any of the above-mentioned websites/catalogs. As I said before, I'll attempt to put the links on the sidebar.