30 April 2007

Y.M.C.A jitters

  • Boogied to 70s and 80s tunes last friday
  • Lots of leggings and bling blings
  • Big-afro-hair was Mr.Popular, everyone had a go at it
  • Yummy lamb and blue cheese stuffed strawberries
  • I = paparazzi
  • Great sporting posers
  • The old felt young again
  • The young felt out of place
  • Y.M.C.A came on and brought back horrific memories of last xmas t'was crashed by uniformed men
  • No one caught on fire
  • Some suffered from memory loss the next day

26 April 2007

Because black and white is cool

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for..."

24 April 2007

Dive Heaven

Sipadan oh sipadan. This year, several groups of people have been and are heading to the legendary Sipadan Island. Caryn just came back early this month and told us her wonderful encounters. And the week after, Angel and I booked ourselves for a 6D/5N dive mania at end of May. You simply cannot resist.

After the disaster last year, the Malaysian Government forced the removal of all the accomodation resorts from Sipadan Island to Mabul Island and Kapalai. We'll be staying at the Sipadan Water Village in Mabul where you get FREE and UNLIMITED house reef dives. *feeling swoony here* And Mabul Island is a macro dream! argued to be one the the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life anywhere in the world. *faint* Apparently renowned underwater naturalist Neville Coleman dived there several times and reported that he never got more than 15 metres along the bottom each time he went under as they were just too many critters to shoot.


I just upgraded my Ixus800IS to Powershot G7, from 2cm to 1cm macro mode and a whole chunk of manual controls to fiddle with. I just learnt stg about Aperture values during my lunch break today.

left: Lower aperture value to blur the background
Right: Higher aperture value to bring foreground and background into focus

I have serious doubts of mastering all these controls before i go to Sipadan. eek

This will be my 3rd dive destination outside of Brunei. 1st is Labuan for obvious reasons and 2nd Oman back in Dec 2006.

Oman has the most surreal-looking dive centre. Built by their Sultan, it is situated in its own mini-fjord called Jussa Bay. The minute you step in, you cannot believe there is paradise like this hidden amidst enormous mountains. Clear blue waters and a pristine white sand beach stretching over 200 metres and palm trees!

Oh, I was wondering what is this man doing to the poor donkey. Strength training for farming chores? I couldnt get the image out of my head the whole day. What little do we know. The next day when we returned to shore from our dive, the donkey was already waiting to transport our tanks and gears back to the dive centre. Sobs. I later found out that his name is Chotte, the dive centre's resident cargo donkey.

With his charming good looks i'm sure he's the apple of everyone's eye in the dive centre, so i felt a wee bit less sorry for him. And word got around that they found him a mate recently!

It was reported that:
"Donkey Chotte is in love. The object of his passions and reason of his torment: Dolcinea, a luscious chocolate brown mountain donkey, recently enrolled at the Dive Center and soon to be sharing in his tank ferrying duties. Finally! A potential friend, a companion, a roommate, someone to go home to after a day’s hard work and have a good old bray and a gulp of trough water with.

All good in theory. Unfortunately, Dolcinea -whose deep brown eyes and silky coat have afforded her many an admirer in her time- remains decidedly unimpressed. But Donkey Chotte is not giving up. He is quite determined to win her over.

Yesterday he spent a whole hour practicing sultry looks in the rear windscreen of a dirty Echo."

And Oman has the most gigantic eels ever! Eeks.

22 April 2007

I suck at babysitting

My godson is growing by the minute. Everytime i see him, he's grown somemore. Eventhough i kept telling the mumma how much i anticipate the day he starts walking and talking, a part of me shudders at the thoughts of endless "WHY" questions. *shudders*

Someone once asked me what do i know about being a godmother. He said "godparents are supposed to act as spiritual guides, show them the right way kinda thing you know". I didnt know that. I thought being a godmother is me willing and wanting to look after that someone special. Play the good cop, bad cop with the mumma. The one to sneak him some chocolate when mum's not looking. Be actively involved in their life and making sure they are alright, because he means the world to someone who means the world to me. Is that right? I know nothing about being a spiritual guide.

I spent the whole afternoon with Lucas yesterday. He was having nenen + almost fast asleep when i went over. But lis assured me his afternoon naps usually last about 20 minutes. So we decided to get some shut eye too before we head over to Jungle Gym with Mel. We dozed off with cheeky bom between us. True enough, he woke up half hour later and i caught him looking at me.

Mel and her toddlers, Lis and Lucas, and I headed to jungle gym with no expectations of the madness in store. There was a birthday party going on. There were laughter, screams, skippytoes, cries, Nellie the elephant, pigtails, parents with SLRs, and SLUSH!! I love slush. But yeah, i havent been around that many children for a while.

Anyways, Kaiyum wanted to play in the pen so i tagged along with the intention of watching over him. We started off with shooting foam balls, picking up balls and shooting more foam balls aimlessly. I think to myself, hey, this is not too bad....

Until kaiyum decided to explore the maze. I had to run after him like a duck! Body bent, head tilted, back.is.about.to.snap. And other children are running about with no guidance. It is built and made for children afterall, isnt it! Supposed to be accident-proof, no? After a good 20minutes, i managed to persuade Kaiyum that he needed a break, "Let's get a drink and have some chips, ok?" He smiled and nodded. Thank god.

h Alisa poopoo finally got her driving license last Saturday. Sadly, i'm not her 1st passenger, hmpf. And early at this stage, she's already discovered road rage in her. eek
How time flies. We first met when she was 11. And our first conversation went like this,
Poops: "Do you eat turtle eggs?"
Me: "No way! That's evil"
Poops: "Good. I dont too. But coco and mummy does"

I feel old.

Kids are starting to call me auntie instead of cheche.

20 April 2007

The mysterious explorations of juicy

Was doing mailbox housekeeping when i came across something absolutely hilarious, a mail from JUSTIN LIMUS JUNIOR! He is one of my dearest friend, someone i love to hate, St.Andrew's Jughead, the bottomless pit, the most kiamsiap (stingy, he carries $5 with him at ALL times), the pharmacist, nuts about digital art, has the most unbelieavable imagination and the wickest sense of humour, draws comics that you'll laugh at and be addicted to, and bugs the hell out of fang fang.

I think he must have missed me that very day and decided to write me a short story with pictures to go along. I'm not kidding when i say he's got the wildest imagination.

"One day justine (I think justine is the overshadowed feminine side of himneutral) was getting ready to go to work. when he heard a meowing sound as if it came from a cat. so out he went from his old residence and there was the friendly neighbourhood cat, fiorella of which he had been calling fiorelli until his sister told him it was fiorella."

"Anyways fiorella approached him and wag its tail and magically a map fell out frm its tail! justine picked up the map and open it and it was a map that shows the exact location of hidden treasures!"

"Fiorella then rubbed itself against justine's leg."

"So off justine went using melbourne's public transport to this exotic place.
which is just 3-4 blocks up the street and got off the tram stop. for that is where the map said to stop."

"Justine saw the marker of the hidden treasure site! leeming place :O whata mystical and magical place. however he did not see any leemings about."

"At the base of this street sign... justine sawa note that said to find the hidden treasure u must try to climb the top of this slippery street sign to get ur treasure. (actually i wanted to pose with the street sign but it was too high so i had to climb to be in the pic with the sign. as u can see its very high and slippery) so at the top (i didnt make it to the top) he found a white psp !! wooo (why a psp u wonder. He has been bugging me to buy him a white psp for years... i never did but i bought him a nice kogepan t-shirt! biggrin "

He draws comics that is inspired by his daily life, significant and insignificant objects around him, pretty girls with nice-smelling hair, his friends, as well as his enemies. I dont know why but he removed a whole series of comics from his comic site. WHY juicy?!? It's only left with two entries made a week ago, but i promised it will make you laugh. Check it out here.

Darlis and I were crazy about neopets at one point and he forced himself to eat McD meals to get us this. Lis got an Aisha, and i got a sad donkey! rolleyes

Oh. Did i mention he's a Jay Chow wannabe? These pictures were his attempt at Australian Idol's 3rd season... in his room... and he was his own judge.

Come home Juicy!

19 April 2007

Discover your VisualDNA

18 April 2007

Camera, anyone?

Canon - Digital Ixus 850IS for sale (22/04/07 - SOLD)
For more information on the product specifications, please visit the spec's page.

The camera is 6 months old and is in excellent condition. Selling price: BND$800. Comes with the following accessories:

1. Camera Kit
2. Waterproof Case

Waterproof up to a maximum depth of 40metres. Comes with a neck strap, wrist strap and silicon grease.

3. 2gb Kingston memory card
4. 1 spare battery

Current Retail Price (in Singapore) for the above items are:
Camera: $700
Waterproof Case: $350
2gb memory card: $60
Battery: $90
Total: $1200

Savings: BND$400

If interested, please contact: cwmlim@gmail.com or bambee8911@hotmail.com

17 April 2007

Dive for Earth Day

Day: Sunday, 15 April 2007 - Day Dive
Crew: Myself, Caryn, Eugene, Ing Ing, Chang, Han Peng, Toun, Ricky, Kimmy and Boatman
Dive Site: Rig Reef
Viz: So-so ~5-8m
Max Depth: ~14m
Dive Time: ~60m & 60m

Today, we participated in Project Aware's Dive for Earth Day. During the week of 22 April, divers and water enthusiasts worldwide will make a splash for water conservation. Underwater environments continue to face numerous and alarming threats including pollution, habitat degradation, overfishing, and the effects of climate change. So Project Aware together with organisers and volunteers around the world will focus attention on local shorelines, rivers, lakes and ocean environments in need of protection.

Similar to last year, we focused on Fish Survey. Kimmy, one of the dive instructors in Brunei, gathered a small group of us and headed out to Rig Reef, the reef next to oil rigs wreck. We each had our own dive slates to record the frequency of a particular family of fish we saw. And before getting our feet wet, we had a quick look at the Fish ID charts but by now i presume most of us can tell a parrotfish from an angelfish, and a shark from a whaleshark? Hehehe.

We were told to dive as we normally do, not to stress over the survey and have fun. Last year, the type of marine life recorded in rig reef was parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, squirrelfish, pufferfish, anemonefish, grouper, coral shark and wrasses. This year, we continue to look out for the existence of the same family as well as others.

Just when people think women are fancy-pancy when it comes to dive gears/accessories and fuss over colour coordination, Ricky proves them wrong. He's yellow from head to toe, yellow mask, yellow snorkel, yellow striped wetsuit, yellow fins. Myyyy, you're my idol. And Caryn claims she's the chapalang one with all sorts of colour.

Caryn, Eugene and I buddied up and when we thought we could get a head start, Eugene's regulator decided to free-flow eek so we had to drift about while he climb onboard to get it changed. And in minutes we drifted away from the bouy. Reluctant to get in and out of the boat again, judging the distance, Caryn, Ing Ing, Ricky, Chang and I decided to make a swim for the bouy. Poor Judgement!. Put it this way, we finally reached the bouy huffing and panting for dear life, the boat came and the rest of 'em onboard just casually dived in, had they grin..

Again, the water's cold, and i got amused by this little fellow.
.Grumpy fart.I'm quite sure he's had a bad day.

There werent many fish during our 1st dive. This reef which is usually abundant with fishlife and schools of parrotfish appeared deserted. For Caryn and i, who loves searching for smaller and elusive creatures, it wasnt totally an unpleasant sight. For we usually have our heads glued to the seabed. But for the adrenaline divers with an eye for larger fish, even 20 minutes will seem like eternity.

We've probably only covered about 20m of the area during the 1st 50 minutes of our dive. This is the result of staring blankly at a coral, fans, rocks for minutes until something catches your eye. Time flies.

We feast on Kimmy's famous egg sandwich, watermelon, crackers, twisties, shared our sightings and exchanged photography tips during our surface interval. When you're on a boat, out on a diving trip, you become equals. Stripped off your life on land, diving is all you talk about.

The 2nd dive was more fruitful than the first. We saw a school of squids, never before have i seen a school of squids! Eugene beamed his torch at them, and one bugger flashed colour changes as a warning. Boh. Next up is a jellyfish, their delicate movement exude such grace. Some people think of jellyfish as boneless bags of goo but to me there's just some kind of alien beauty about them.

Since we are all using STI's gears, no one brought their tank banger along, so it's much harder to get ur buddy's attention so we resorted to muffled grunts through our regulator. Caryn grunt-and-point to a whip coral and introduced me to a new creature, the ghost goby or whip goby. They are about the size of my nail and at first encounter will try all means to hide from you, i.e. going round and round the whip that i had to hover vertically just to get a shot of it. They give up after a short while and obediently strike up a pose.

Are you convinced yet that there is more to see underwater than just big fish, turtles and corals?
.Yoga came in handy. That's me. Headstand (Sirshasana) while taking pictures to avoid coral damage.

At the end of our dive, back at the dive centre, we recorded our findings to be submitted to Project Aware as part of Asia Pacific Fish Survey.

Highlight of the dive: School of squids

The Kodak Moment

Day: Saturday, 14 April 2007 - Day Dive
Crew: Myself, Caroline, 3 JIS students and Dad, John, Bol, Takako (Instructor) and Boatman
Dive Site: Brunei Patches
Viz: Good ~10-15m
Max Depth: ~12m
Dive Time: 45m & 45m

.Huge brain coral and stacks of staghorns at Brunei Patches.

So Carol picked me up this morning and the weather has actually changed for the better. When we reached Empire, all our gears were prepped up and ready to be loaded to the boat. That's one thing i love about diving with STI (ScubaTech), i dont have to suffer days of backpain from loading and unloading tanks, and they have towels and a shower room to clean up when we return.. though these days Empire seems to have some shortage of towels. grumble grumble.

We had 4 newbies on board, Carol and 3 JIS students of which 2 are just about as big as i am! What do they eat? The water's pretty calm today, blue sky with the odd cloud about. The boatman took our boat on a nice cruising speed, with the occasional bumps and splatters of water on your face. Nice.

It took roughly 30mins to get to Brunei Patches. We searched for the sandy bottom right next to the reef so 'em students can do their skills. And when i saw formations of the reef from above the boat, i went 'oh my god, i havent seen water like that for ages'. Well, a few months of beating waves, bad weather and bad viz, u'd feel like it's been forever too. The water is clear, you can see rays of sunlight penetrating the sea and reefs reflecting through. We were given a quick briefing, assigned to our respective buddy and ready to roll. If i had it my way, i'd be the first to dive in and descend on my own. Yea, sometimes i tend to forget the term fear.

When we got in the water, i told Carol to look down, isnt it beautiful? As we descend, the first thing that hit me was the change in temperature. Brrrrrr... it's cold. The visibility wasnt exactly crystal clear but because it's quite shallow and under the scorching sun, it does make the surroundings look like an aquarium, and what's best.. i'm in it :)

Brunei Patches is a massive reef, it stretches from 6metres during low tide to about 14-15m. The 1st dive was an orientation dive for the students, so i followed suit as we swam over plateaus of reef, mostly covered in hard corals and gorgonian fans. We came across a huge brain coral, and when everyone else went for a closer look, i took the opportunity to look around me. It was the perfect kodak moment.

.Two nudis huddled together.

.medusa-looking nudi and its eggs.

Half of the 2nd dive for the students were spent on the sand bed, tested on their mask clearing , bouyancy and alternate air source skills.. then we swam towards the staghorn patch. Coming back here reminds me of the days when we spent nights on a seahorse quest.

There were hundreds of fusiliers swimming by, beautiful parrotfish that often end up on a plate in seafood centres, lots of different kind of wrasse, butterfly fish, the ghostly lizardfish, and one of my favourites, the clownfish.

You would think nestling among stinging anemone would seem like a dangerous way to live but they seem to have a strange kind of relationship. Initially protected by a mucus coat, they incorporate the anemone mucus into their own coat until the anemone no longer stings it and recognises nemo as part of its own. They then live happily ever after and perform an undying ritual of rubbing against each other.

.Seasquirt and Damselfish.

It's funny how even after 100 dives, you'll still feel excited over a site that you've visited a dozen times and even if you think u're familiar with the reef, it's never short of something new.
When we got back to shore... dragging my feet back to STI, Caroline suddenly shouted, "It's so NICE!!"

I got home. Knocked out until 9pm. And drank the rest of the night to DJ Chong's mixing.

.Mag, Lis n Me. Chong.
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