Our vegetarian wedding

2013 will be a busy year for us, with the new home and wedding happening within a span of months.

We are more excited about our home than the wedding.

Planning for the wedding (I cringe to say *my* wedding) makes me feel self-indulgent. I don’t think I would regret it if we did away with a wedding, and jumped straight to married life in our new home :P But Derek wants it. I think.

To minimise the carbon footprint of this event, we’ve decided to hold a vegetarian wedding party.

Derek does not fancy Chinese vegetarian food, so we are going for western.

Our number 1 preference is Flutes at the Fort, which is able to do vegetarian weddings. Its website rightly calls it a hidden treasure: I love that the restaurant is housed in an old colonial house that used to be firemen’s quarters, tucked away in lush foliage behind the Civil Defense Museum. It is a ten-minute walk away from City Hall MRT, which is incredibly convenient as far as colonial-housed restaurants go (Think Dempsey Hill, Rochester, Bukit Timah). We also went there for dinner on my birthday, and loved the food, ambience, and service. Unfortunately, they are making plans to renovate and can only accept bookings from July onwards, which is just too late and too bad for us. One thing though – they only provide plated service, which does not go down well with our parents. They have the perception that western plated meals are small in serving, unable to satisfy guests, and hence, not “presentable”. I think we need to treat them to a meal there before they can change their minds.

Second choice: The Halia

This restaurant is very interesting. When I first enquired a few months ago, their event coordinator said they do not do vegetarian weddings, as “Halia is a modern European fine dining restaurant (sic)“. It was a most peculiar reason, as I never knew vegetarianism and European fine dining were mutually exclusive. She also asked “Vegetarian meaning no meat, no seafood?” to which I rolled my eyes and said: “Seafood is meat what!” I am surprised that the staff from a reputable restaurant like Halia did not know what vegetarian food meant… From our conversation, I get the feeling that she might have equated the word “vegetarian” with 斋米粉. After spotting a vegetarian menu on their website, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of this. So I messaged them on Facebook, hoping to get a second opinion from the FB admin who should be their marcomms person. A few days later, the same event coordinator called me, and apologised for the “miscommunication”. It turned out that they can host vegetarian weddings; what a surprise. I am now awaiting their vegetarian buffet menu. They have two locations: Botanic Gardens and Raffles Hotel. I am inclined to go with Raffles Hotel because of its convenient location. I have heard of people getting lost inside Botanic Gardens.

Third choice: Artichoke Cafe

Which is an accidental google find. So convenient, at Middle Road! I pass by Sculpture Square all the time, but I’ve never noticed its existence. From the online pics, it looks casual, relaxed and unpretentious*eyes hover upwards*. I like that. But I am still waiting for them to reply my email.

Fourth choice: Riders Cafe

Colonial housed restaurant in inaccessible Bukit Timah. Email bounced as their mailbox is full.

自去年12月求婚到现在不过两个月时间,但我们的结婚计划一直都在演变。

婚还是会结的,只希望形式从简。

最初想要的是花园婚礼,问了几个地方,却不是每一家都能够提供全素餐食的。我很怕麻烦,所以极不愿意分开订场地与膳食。最好是租一个地方,食物布置音响由它搞定。因为要全素,选择不多。

就在上网到处打听餐厅、礼服、摄影师等等的价钱时,心里忽然飘过一丝惭愧,觉得这一切太虚无了。结婚本是两个人的事,婚礼也只是一天的形式,在那之后才是最真实的生活,何必只为了那一天劳神伤财?

更何况,双方家长也同意低调处理,旅行结婚,连我爸爸这个爱面子的传统男人那关都过了(我为此感恩他一辈子),我们还有什么好顾虑的!

还有,刚买了房子,需要存钱装修,我们若是把钱花在虚无缥缈的婚礼上,真的太傻了。我们俩也没有很期待在众目睽睽下穿着什么白色礼服走上什么红地毯这类“表演”。

所以,我向狗狗提出:“既然我老爸都答应了,我们就旅行结婚吧?”

“我们这个周末见面时再谈吧!”

哎呀,以为我脑袋不清醒,信口开河咧!我大笑:“为什么?你怕我会后悔?”

“对,你以后会怪我没有给你一个真正的婚礼……”

“不会的,是我提出来的,就算真的用这个挖苦你,也是开玩笑的”

“哎呀,周末再谈啦……”

该不会是他有遗憾吧!

我们已经决定拍婚照,就是那种两个人在长满杂草的田里看着夕阳的照片,看不到我们的脸,只看得到剪影那种。我认为既然有了求婚戒指,婚戒可以省却,狗狗却说想要戴戒指,真是难伺候。

Our war against loansharks

So Pupsie and I have just paid $5000 deposit for a resale flat with loanshark legacy issues.

Although the agent claims that the loansharks only came to splash paint once and the Completion Date will be sometime in April/May, I feel the need to arm myself with enough know-how just in case we get harassed in future. Might as well, since I have time on my hands.

I also feel that the seller should take full responsibility for her actions, not us. I am determined to protect my property and family like how a hen would protect her brood, even if it means war. I may sound a bit paranoid, since I am not even the official owner of the flat yet. But I prefer to err on the safe side so I know what exactly to do if the sharks come biting! And I’ll do all that I can to prevent that from even happening.

The sellers are a Singapore PR couple now residing in Malaysia, which makes the problem a little more tricky. I can’t exactly gauge the gravity of the issue at this point as the property agents (both seller’s and mine) are not very forthcoming. They are a mother and son pair, which makes it even more dubious. I guess I have to push them more to come clean. My ever-suspicious mind tells me they probably won’t since it is against their own interests, so I will do all the detective work before even pushing them. I must admit I have an innate distrust for agents of all sorts.

I hope I am just being paranoid and that this war is imaginary. I can only know after we move in.

 

 

A turn of events

I have many updates for you, blog!

  1. After two good years of freelance work, I am now officially unemployed and looking for a full-time job. The job should: pay enough CPF so that I can finance my house, be something I enjoy doing, not upset my work-life balance.
  2. (I believe I need a good life outside of work in order to be happy)
  3. Derek proposed and I said yes (can say no meh?)
  4. The ROM and wedding was planned as a combined event for Dec 2013 but we have to ROM within the next few months just so we can buy a house together, and enjoy the $30K CPF grant while doing so
  5. Why the rush? We chanced upon a resale flat online and found it a good deal, albeit with a catch. 
  6. We have already signed the Option to Purchase, which means the flat is ours, subject to HDB’s terms
  7. That’s a rather big turn of events within a span of two months, lor.

As I am very free now, I have started to shortlist wedding venues and caterers. I’d be happy to do without a wedding ceremony and spend the money on renovations, but my father will not be happy. Derek does not want him to be unhappy, so I guess we’ll have to respect his wishes somewhat. We had wanted to cap wedding expenses at $5,000 because we felt spending anything more than that is irrational. The money could be put to better, more tangible use – like reno, buying furniture, paying off housing and car loans….

Unfortunately, I think we may have to double this budget, given the number of relatives my father wants to invite. He listed 60 people, and that’s excluding my own friends. In his books, the “closeness” of our relatives is defined by their attendance at my late grandparents’ wake, and if they paid any 白金, although I’ve never met some of the people he listed。 I was pissed off about how 爱面子and 思想老旧 he can be, after questioning him about the relatives he listed and why we should invite them. I think inviting people whom you are not close to gives them pressure – they probably don’t quite feel like coming in the first place but feel obliged to, since you asked. Awkward.

Am I willing to put down my likes and dislikes in order to please him? To what extent? Much as I yearn to hold a low-profile, quaint, intimate wedding attended only by people I know and like (max 50 pax), I don’t think I can without making my father feel disrespected. As I cannot imagine myself holding a banquet/hotel wedding (the pomp!), guess we’d have to find a middle ground and package it nicely before selling it to my father. No far-flung locations, no angmoh food, must have aircon, must have vegetarian options, no mosquitoes. To sum it up, friendly to the typical Chinese-Singaporean elderly. 

No matter what we do, we have to do it in a 心甘情愿 way. 钱要花得心甘情愿,才有意思。我还是相信,我们可以找到一个不用委屈自己,也能令老爸觉得有面子的方法。

怎么没提老妈?她跟老爸截然不同,是个思想开明的新时代女性,跟我一样讨厌搞场面,支持我们“裸婚”,不用请客,去蜜月旅行最好。幸好,我有这样的老妈。

以忙为耻

好像都没停过

日以继夜地重复每天的工作,不停地写,脑子不停地转,几乎是不由自主地

很累。

本来很喜欢做的事情,就快变成一种负担。

我很想喊停 飞到槟城过懒人生活
一个礼拜也好,三天也好
只要可以远离现在的状态,就好了。

其实,没人说不行。
只是自己放不下罢了。 犯贱。

好想好好放个假!! 把我丢进森林里喂蚊子我也甘愿。

人活着,目的不是’忙’吧。为什么周围的人似乎都以忙碌为荣?
我却以忙碌为耻。 没办法或勇气去做自己想做的事,感觉无奈,可耻。

Geeky me

Although never my forte, I have been dabbling a lot with website design – out of part desperation, part curiosity.

I happen to know exactly what I want in my sites, and I find website designers either too expensive or too scarce. I also thought it was quite fun doing web design, so I went about building the sites myself.

All are built on WordPress, which I find very idiot-friendly. ‘Idiot’ refers to people who know zilch about coding, like me. To make up for it, I had to scour Support Forums for plugins I needed to customise my sites. That was a major pain and extremely time consuming. Whenever customisations needed me to change the coding, I would always paste the original code in Notepad and do the edits with trepidation.

Here are sites that I have “designed” so far, with the help of free themes, free plugins, free support from forums and minimal coding (yay to that):

http://www.inarts.com.sg/

http://sgbuddhists.wordpress.com/

http://thisfilmfest.com/

Not anywhere near professional, but I am happy with what I see.

Here I want to list plugins I love:

Logo Manager

Adds a logo to your site, fuss-free, works wonderfully

Jetpack

Gives you all the good stuff WordPress.com provides in one package – stats, sharing buttons, easy media embedding

Follow button (your site must be Jetpack-powered for this to work)

Lets people subscribe to all your new posts – and they can choose to receive updates on a by-post or weekly basis – how cool is that! No need to manually create EDMs!!

Collapse-o-matic

Create collapsible content blocks with simple shortcodes, like in http://www.inarts.com.sg/testimonials/

Date Remover

Remove uncool looking dates from all posts and pages

And for people who are looking to hide ‘No Comments’ in the Imbalance 2 homepage: this is the only feasible way that I managed to find after hours of searching -

http://wpshower.com/forums/showthread.php?t=461