Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shangri-La Hotel

We were all worn out from touring so much over the last week. Michael suggested that we treat ourselves to a 1-hour massage over at the Shangri-La Hotel. It was Jimmy's and Mary's first time, and I think they enjoyed it. We were all very relaxed afterwards.

It was still raining today, so we just stayed in. Around 4:30, I remembered that was the time that Big Jim always got Gloria a glass of wine. Poor Dad, I got distracted and didn't even offer him something! Jeez! What a dorky hostess. Finally, I got around to getting him a beer and then we "cheered" each other. I told them about Lucia's superstition that everyone must look each other in the eyes because if they don't, they'll end up with 6 years of bad sex. Dad replied, "Bad sex is better than NO sex!!" Great line Dad!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bum Boat Ride

After Mom, Dad, and Mary returned home from their trek in MacRitchie Reservoir, we had McDonald's delivered for lunch for them. Jimbo and I had just had them deliver an hour before they got home. McDonald's must think I have a bingeing problem!

We all rested a while and then Jim wanted to check out Bugis Junction. He finally found a cool game room there, but our feet hurt too much to hang around while he played video games. So, we headed over to Boat Quay for a river cruise in a bum boat.

After our little river cruise, Mom, Dad, and Mary headed home, but Jim and I ate dinner in a little restaurant near the Merlion. After dinner, we walked over to the Fullerton Hotel to get a taxi. We ended up getting what Mom calls "taxi-jacked". I think the driver thought he could get by driving in circles before taking us home. What should have been a S$6.50 trip ended up costing $10! I reported him to the Land Transport Authority and to the taxi company.

MacRitchie Reservoir

Mom, Dad, and Mary REALLY wanted to see some monkeys. I asked Jing where she thought they might see some, but not in a zoo. She suggested MacRitchie Reservoir, which is very close to our place. They took a taxi over there around 11:00 a.m., I think. I had some errands to run, so did those while they were out.

Around 2:00, the sky was ominous-looking and I decided that I should get a taxi and head over there to try to find them. If it rains here, it is virtually impossible to get a taxi and they didn't have a cell phone to try to even call for one.

I got down to the lobby and saw a taxi pull up, with the three of them! Thank heavens! We had huge thunderstorms!

They were worn out, having walked more than 12 miles, but they saw monkeys. Lots of them! Mary almost got peed on by one! Mom took these pictures

Monday, August 28, 2006


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Another Busy Day

Our first stop on the tour today was to The Asian Civilisations Museum. We were just in time for the 2:00 p.m. guided tour. It was a one-hour tour and very informative, but by the time we were finished our feet were killing us -- and Mom with a broken baby toe! I think I could spend days in there and still not see everything!

We walked over to The Fullerton Hotel which is also on the Singapore River. It is a beautiful building. We sat in some comfy chairs at The Courtyard in the hotel and had a glass of wine.

After relaxing we took one of those cool taxis over to the Raffles Hotel to have an original Singapore Sling in the Long Bar.

After sipping on our Singapore Slings, we took a taxi over to Chijmes to meet Jimbo and Michael for dinner at the Hog's Breath Cafe.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ngee Ann City -- Takashimaya

Today, we took everyone to Ngee Ann City. Mom wanted to get Nancie from the Harley-Davidson store, and there's one there. She immediately found what Nancie had on her list to purchase. That was nice.

Takashimaya is a huge department store also located in Ngee Ann City. In the Basement 1 level, there is a Cold Storage (grocery chain) and all sorts of food vendors that allow sampling. I think the first thing we sampled was a dessert soup, chestnut something or other that had corn in it. It was very sweet, but I liked it. Then I had them try my favorite, Bee Cheng Hiang Barbequed Pork (bak kwa). It is delicious!

Next, I had them try a Durian pancake. Durian is considered the King of Fruits in Southeast Asia. It has a powerful, pungent odor (I think it smells a bit like ammonia). There are different varieties too. When Durian is in season, it is used to make all kinds of desserts -- one of them, Durian pancake. Mom and Dad thought the pancake tasted like onion and garlic, while Mary and I thought it tasted very sweet. It's unusual to say the least, and I'm glad that they had a chance to actually taste and smell it! I'm told that it is against the law to take Durian onto the MRT because the government doesn't want to have it filled with its aroma. When buying it from the Cold Storage, it is sealed in plastic wrap and then put into another plastic container.

We sampled a few more foods, and then headed back down Orchard Road and over to Far East Plaza. Jimmy bought a cool watch from a small sidewalk vendor.

By this time, we were all hot and tired, so we walked over to The American Club and had some dinner in the Union Bar.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Our Birthday

Mary on cable-car ride to Sentosa

Mary and I share the same birthdate, August 26. After our jaunt to Sentosa, we came home to freshen up for dinner. We had planned on one place, but we were all too tired to go there. We ended up at Dan Ryan's -- not far from our place. After the waiter realized there were two birthdays at one table, he brought out a "molten lava chocolate cake" and a very gooey chocolate brownie. They were devoured!

Sentosa -- Underwater World and Fort Siloso

Mom and Dad on the cable car ride to Sentosa

Everyone toured Underwater World -- except me; been there, done that. They enjoyed it though. Then we took the bus up to Fort Siloso. Lots of stairs and big hills! Whew! I'm glad we brought a lot of water to drink.

Michael and the view of the port from Fort Siloso

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dinner @ River Quay Seafood

Friday evening, after our tour of the Botanic Gardens, we went to River Quay Seafood for dinner. We had lemon chicken, beef and onions, cheese lobster, and Michael's favorite, black pepper crab. As usual, we were treated like royalty and they were happy to meet my family. When they found out that Mary and I would be celebrating our birthday the next day, Madame Loh gave us a complimentary bottle of champagne. It was a delightful evening!

After dinner, we took everyone to Harry's @ Orchard for a drink and to listen to Tania. Jimbo had an interesting "experience" while wandering around Orchard Towers.

Singapore Botanic Garden

Here's a pic of Mom and Dad in the Orchid Garden

See how impressed Jimmy is with the Singapore Botanic Gardens????

Singapore Visit

Mom, Dad, Jimmy, and Miss Mary arrived safely late Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Al' Gebra

The following news update was provided by Jeff L.:

NEW YORK -- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al' Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al' Gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the "Axis of Medieval" with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'."

When asked to comment on the arrest, George W. Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Patrick called this morning to say that his apartment was struck by lightning, and now he has no internet, no computer, or cable. My SlingBox doesn't work either. I hate when that happens! I'm hoping that his renter's insurance will pay something. What a drag.

He sent me two pics from his phone showing his new nose. He said it is still a bit crooked looking because of swelling, but is happy to be able to breathe again.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Patrick's Surgery

On July 28, Patrick had a septoplasty (deviated septum repair). He'd had it done about 9 years ago, but the doctor couldn't completely repair it because he wasn't finished growing. He e-mailed me this morning to say that the doctor removed the splints from inside his nose a couple of days ago. He said he can breathe through his nose for the first time in years. I'll post an AFTER photo whenever he sends me one. He took these with his phone.

Rebecca was with Patrick after the surgery. She said that they had to get 5 or 6 nurses to hold him down when he was coming out of anesthesia.

Thanks to Tom, Rebecca, Andrea and Lili for taking such good care of my "baby"!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hauke's 40th Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was Hauke's 40th birthday. He and Geli invited us to celebrate with them at the Swiss Club. As always, we had a fabulous time!

Women and Public "Restrooms"

My sister sent me the e-mail below. It's been around awhile, but I think it is very apt in regard to Diane's and my experience in Mersing. Another friend, who shall remain nameless due to privacy concerns, actually did experience this in a SQUATTY-POTTY here in Singapore. That was several months ago and she's still alive!

Mom, Dad, Jimbo, and our dear friend Mary will be coming to visit us next week. I will do the utmost to insure they do not have to assume "The Stance" with a squatty-potty!

Women and Public Restrooms

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter.

The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there were one, but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance." To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you
had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!"

Your thighs shake more. You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail. Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of
your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing, altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.

It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain; her bare bottom
never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose that somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At that point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women, still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest??? you've got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I uploaded a short video of Tania to Google. I have yet to figure out why I can't also post it in my blog. Too high-tech for me! The video is here:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friday evening we went to Coastes at Sentosa for a going-away party for Joerg. Here are a few pics..............