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I write with no particular theme in mind, because I am random like that.

01 2010

2009 in a nutshell

Hello, 2010. Goodbye, 2009.

2009 was a really crappy year, possibly the worst year I’ve ever had during my 23-year lifespan and I can’t want for it to disappear fast enough. 2010 is finally upon us, and I hope it’ll treat me well.

Here’s my 2009 in a nutshell. How was yours?

(+) Travelled to Hong Kong with one of my bestest girlfriends – just the two of us in a strange land, but we didn’t get lost because yours’ truly has an inbuilt GPS in her head. Hurhur.

(+) A distant cousin returned to Singapore for Chinese New Year, and it was a fantabulous reunion with an attempted solar eclipse watching (there was a partial eclipse that day), being dragged to a movie, and a catching-up session at Starbuck’s thereafter.

(+) Auditioned for Virtuoso ‘2009 – a singing competition. Passed the audition round and advanced to the Quarter Finals.

(-) Had to make a decision whether to travel to Macau for a group project. Hem and hawed, decided to go and eventually backed out … before deciding to go again. I think the professor and teaching assistant were extremely pissed with me.

(-) Performed my song during the Virtuoso ‘2009 quarter-final, forgot my lyrics midway and subsequently went off-key. My video playback showed me screeching like an injured cat. Eventually deleted the video from my camera, never to be seen again. Had a good laugh about it, though.

(+) Secondary school reunion. Gee, almost everyone looks the same as they used to … six years ago. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

(-) Heart condition went downhill as I experienced my first flutter attack … which later became a whole string of them.

(-) Hospitalized for a night for persistent chest pains and heartbeat irregularities. T’was a torturous, sleepless night since I was unfortunate enough to have a roommate who snores like a buffalo. (Later bonded with her because we found that we were wearing the same pair of Birkenstocks! Hur.)

(-) Doctor informed me that they had to extend my hospitalization stay for another one or two nights, but I had to bail because my class trip to Macau was just the next day. Was eventually discharged, although the doctor was grudging about it.

(-) Went to Macau. Heart condition flared up, flew back to Singapore a day earlier. Subsequently underwent more tests.

(+) I remember being overloaded with project meetings and presentation rehearsals for one particular module. But it was all fun, so I rather enjoyed myself.

(-) I left the water heater switched on for too long. It overheated and short-circuited the power in the dead of the night, leaving my hot water supply kaput for about a week. Had to contend with cold showers in the meantime.

(-) Caught a cold from them cold showers, which aggravated my asthma condition.

(+) Some lady approached me at City Hall MRT station asking me to be a model for her company. I was flattered, but declined.

(+) Travelled on an impromptu trip to Genting Highlands with the parents, and I remember being on the edge of my seat throughout because my results were due to be released anytime soon. (Trip was good, though.)

(-) Results was eventually released. Weren’t good. Screwed up my entire semester, and my term GPA has never been so low. Had a damn good cry over it.

(+) Upside: My overall GPA was still good enough to be counted as a cum laude.

(+) Took on a part-time, ad-hoc job as an exam invigilator at Singapore Expo which required me to be on my feet 24/7. Met a load of nice people, though.

(+) Nice, cousinly “just the four of us” gathering cum biking trip at East Coast prior to David’s departure from the country to pursue his studies overseas.

(-) Sent David (and his family) off to Canada. Would really miss (and still missing) the little fella’.

(+) Wrapped up my last invigilation job at Singapore Expo.

(+) A really awesome possums 2-week long vacation cum road trip in Perth, Australia with two really awesome people (and their family members). Freezing weather, but with fantastic scenery and some really solid shopping to wrap things off.

(-) A mad-ass 3-day long cold war with the mum due to some misunderstanding over my multiple health conditions. Shall not go into detail.

(+) Flea market with some of my favourite people which involved weeks of sign preparation, pricing and logistics such as the gathering of clothes racks, hangers, and securing the space.

(+) Offered a full-time position at a friend’s company as a mobile applications and web developer. I turned him down, offering to freelance instead.

(-) Came down with suspected H1N1 which eventually became ‘suspected dengue fever’. Spent most of late-June resting at home.

(-) Still no sign of recovery which led to more investigations which involved going for three blood tests within the short span of one week. Initial ‘dengue fever’ prognosis was eventually thrown out of the window. I eventually recovered, but still – no one had any clue what I had.

(+) My graduation ceremony … which until now, I still feel that it wasn’t that big a deal, really.

(+) Travelled to Shanghai (and made a stop at Macau) to witness the longest Total Solar Eclipse of the century. This also included a crazy race to the central line at 5 in the morning of eclipse day to maximize our chances of a great show.

(-) It was unfortunate that Shanghai (and the surrounding cities) experienced 90-100% cloud-cover which completely dampened our eclipse-viewing attempt. It was really cool watching the surrounding area turn pitch-black during totality though. Plus, the sun played peek-a-boo with us a few times during the eclipse duration so I had some good snapshots.

(-) I became even more convinced that certain government agencies are run by brainless people – especially when SMRT began clamping down on people sucking mints or drinking water on trains and even prosecuted people with genuine health problems who required hydration.

(+/-) The family maid returned to her home country for about two weeks, which meant that mum and I had to cope on our own. She handled the housework (since I was ill most of the time), although we both had a pretty good time experimenting with some new easy-to-prepare food dishes which mostly came out pretty well.

(-) Came down with H1N1 which resulted in much violent coughing which in turn, brought back multiple relapses for my asthma AND heart condition. Admitted into the A & E about two or three times.

(-) H1N1 episode left me reeling with sharp pains in my right hipbone, along with an outta’ whack asthma condition which led me running to a coupla’ new specialists for evaluation and advice.

(-) A good friend was admitted to the hospital for knee surgery and I spent the entire day with her in her ward, even if it meant having to eat alone and falling asleep at the table next to her bed due to sheer exhaustion.

(+) Cousin David returned to Singapore for a holiday, and the extended family took a short trip to Genting Highlands. The trip was generally characterized by good weather, the lack of crowds (we travelled during the low season), Bollywood-style dancing and loads of bad ‘I want nobody, nobody but you’ singing.

(-) A otherwise bad month, health-wise. I’ll sum it up as such – more tests at the cardiologist’s, more investigation into the right hipbone pain which cumulated with a visit to a specialist who attempted to religiously preach at me.

(+) Took on my current part-time/freelance job at another friend’s company doing PR and new media. Job scope involved content generation, writing of media releases, blog design and maintenance which I absolutely enjoy.

(+) Another one of my favourite younger cousin turns 21, which resulted in him being horrendously ragged at his own birthday party. Much as I wanted to spring to his rescue, I had to document everything down in pictures as the official photographer.

(+) Squirt, the cuddly chocolate-brown guinea pig, enters my life with her little squeaks and quirky personality.

(+) Trip to Hong Kong with the parents, which resulted in yours’ truly spending a little more than um … expected. Also came down with a bad stomach bug midway during the trip which meant I had to sacrifice all my cravings for Hong Kong’s dessert goodies.

(+) Manually fixed my beloved computer’s power supply with my dad, the handy-man. This is the first time we’ve actually managed to sort anything like that on our own. Normally, the repair person gets called in.

(+/-) I hit the big 2-3. Amazing how time flies, although almost everyone who comes up to me tells me that I don’t look a day over 20. Oh, well.

(-) Began having persistent nausea with low-grade fever, and regular visits with my doctor started all over again. Resulted in several clashes with his bitchy clinic assistant with an attitude problem. Hmph.

(-) SMU decided to lock me out of my student account (and laptop files) completely. Had to take a coupla’ weeks off from work to troubleshoot.

(+) Got thyself a new laptop – a Sony VAIO, which I affectionately named as Duffy.

(+) Spent loads of time with one of my favourite girls (along with some of our favourite professors) before she heads off to Michigan to further her studies. Why is everyone leaving the country?! No, wait – don’t answer that. I think I already know why.

(+) Supported my cousin (and Singapore) at the Nations 1009 Netball Tournament during which I practically screamed my lungs out rooting our home team on. Normally, I don’t get so hyped up during events like these but somehow, the atmosphere just got to me.

(-) Nausea with low grade fever still persisted from which kidney infection was suspected. Was (and still am) referred from one specialist to another for further evaluation and tests. (Not going to further elaborate here in view of my recent decision to no longer going to involve anyone else in my health struggles.)

(+) Yet another trip with the extended family to Genting Highlands to round up the year. One of the more memorable trips with my favourite cousins whose dirty minds can rival that of infidel’s. I will reminisce some of these moments in my next entry, so stay tuned for that!

Happy New Year 2010, everyone. May the new year treat all of you well, too!

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  • 02 Jan 2010
    11:17 PM

    Maria Celina

    I’m amazed that you remember your year with such acute detail, in spite of your feeling bad about 2009 in general. I do remember reading some of the items on your list in some blog posts! I sincerely wish for a much better year for you this 2010!

  • 06 Jan 2010
    10:12 AM


    I’ve always envied the amount of travelling you’ve done! I hope your holidays went rather well (but again you got to travel to Genting Highlands and that’s even more exploration you’re lucky to have experienced). Best wishes for 2010. Keep healthy!

  • 12 Jan 2010
    3:30 AM


    It’s amazing that you remember so much of your year. It sucks that you had so many health problems. It’s cool that you got to travel a lot though. I hope 2010 will be better.

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