The Game Of Bridge

Well, to those who often hang with Nic & I, you’d probably know that our fave past-time is the game of BRIDGE!

We were introduced to this game about 2 years ago (I think!)… By people like Barry, Hendri, Andreas who’ve been playing this game for practically years. Coupled with the fact that Emerge 2007 had the Contract Bridge competition, and Mel & ZY participated in it, we were quite hooked!

So, Mel & ZY literally spent hours with Nic & I… in our favourite Bridge “haunts” (i.e. our house or the HK Cafe @ Cineleisure). Playing “free-style” bridge (i.e. no standard partner) was hard enough to catch on, but cos of Emerge, it literally forced us to read up on the rules of contract bridge! We had to learn what each bid we made meant to our partner, & how to communicate via our bids… Our Shi Fu then was Andreas, who was staying over at our place. Though the three of us were literally under one roof, we’d be huddled over our own laptops, honing our contract bridge skills over MSN Games! It was so much fun! Hahaha… And after Nic & I graduated from Andreas’ contract bridge training, it was time for us to “pass on” the skills to Mel & ZY! Hey they did well enough to secure for themselves 2nd place in the competition leh! And this just after a month of intensive “training”!

But with Emerge well behind us, we have kinda “lost” the contract bridge skills. Also, after playing Contract-style, we all realized the Free-style was less taxing on our brain juices. Cos you just need to be concerned about your own set in Free-style… No need to think of how to communicate to your partner!

The interesting thing is… Having had many bridge-kakis, there is really a LOT you can tell of someone from the way they play!

I am a very relaxed Bridge player… Especially when it comes to the bidding part. Most of the time, unless my cards are REALLY good, I am OK to be a supporter! Hahaha…

Nic, on the totally opposite end, is super analytical. Same as Andreas, actually. I am very in awe of their ability to be able to calculate how many sets they’d be able to win. Half the time, I am just hoping for the best! Hahaha…

Then there is Melvin. True to his personality, he is a very “chiong” kind of guy. He would drive the bid up & and is VERY intense when playing…

Zhiyong? Haha… Standard opening bid used to ALWAYS be “1 No Trump”… Roll eye. After much “therapy” sessions with us, he has improved! But you can always read his cards (i.e. good or bad set) by his actions… Non poker-face!

But cos we 4 always play together, we kinda know how each other would bid, so sometimes it is good to have some “fresh blood”. Like Barry. He played this game WAY before any of us 4. But his bidding ah… Haiz… We will practice more with you okie, my fren? Hahahahaha!!! He would bid very very high but his cards are… err… He has a “tong gui yu jing” mentality! Cannot give up the bid one…

Hendri is cautious… Quite analytical. Games with him, seldom can bid to 3… Haha!

May & MZ… oh man! They are super amusing to play with! Hahaha… MZ especially, cos he is very high-energy! And his optimism, in the face of horrid cards, is inspiring (for want of a better word…)

It’s definitely a game that we can play on and on for! =)

32 Weeks!

Yeap… This marks my 32nd week of pregnancy. Nic & I just went to KKH to see Dr Tan, and to have a looksee at Baby Jayvon once again. :) That, to me, is always the highlight of every gynae appointment!

Thank God – all is OK with Baby! He’s growing very well… Now weighing in at a whopping 2.16 KG! Big baby boy! LOL… His head circumference is in the 97th percentile. Must pray for a ‘scholarly’ baby! =P

Lil’ Foot Patisserie

Thanks to Edmund’s blog about getting a fabulously tasty Durian Cake, I went to the blog he recommended: http://littlefootpastry.wordpress.com/ And man o man, I am so sold by it!!!

The cakes look SO fabulous!!! Edmund tried the Durian Cake a few times & he has rave reviews on it… Haiz, unfortunately there’re no birthdays coming up in my family (save for my dad’s, and my mom already ordered a cake for him). I am comtemplating trying the Durian cake AND their Signature Chocolate Cheesecake (check out the checkered pattern IN the cake… way cool!)

Haha… When I do get to ordering a cake, I’ll definitely put it on this blog!

Congrats Yieling & Terence!

Congrats Yieling & Terence!!!

They had their matrimony & dinner @ Holiday Inn Atrium last night. Really happie for her… Haha… I’ve known Ling for YEARS. From the days when we were still at Hollywood till now, we are even colleagues!

I’m very happie for her, and of cos Terence la! LOL… After all the planning and preparations, NOW is the time they’ve been looking forward to. Being able to start a new life together!

Article In ST Forum (15 Nov)

Read a very interesting article in Straits Times Forum! Haha… It spoke to my heart too…

Learning Chinese was painful but fruitful
I READ an article in Melbourne’s The Age, bemoaning the lack of students taking a second language. It argues that savvy students are giving themselves an edge in their future careers by taking a second language.

I was one of those that went through most of my Chinese lessons kicking and screaming. Only comics and pop music managed to sweeten the deal. It took hours of tuition, blood and sweat to coax the grades out of me.

And yet today, I would gladly trumpet the Ministry of Education’s valiant campaign to keep learning and passing a second language a requirement for almost every level of primary and secondary education.

I have made firm friends, enjoyed the sights and sounds of China and Taiwan, and earned the respect of crucial people in my career, all because I can communicate decently in Mandarin. And on days when that section of my brain hits a barrier, people still give me kudos for trying. It is all too easy for parents and children to try and find ways to bypass the system, but can they really say for sure that the second language won’t be needed in the future?

I urge all students to try and see the positive side of learning a second language, though it may sometimes feel like torture. The homework may seem like a painful drag but, sometime in the future, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you can do, or can choose to do.

I often look back, glad that all the pain of learning Chinese was more than worth it.

Sarah Wong Su Yen (Miss) “

I totally identify with the “kicking & screaming” part! Hahaha… It took a LOT out of me to get through my O’s & A’s. Err… Make that my PSLE, O’s & A’s! Haha… In P6, my Chinese teacher gravely came to me one day after we finished a Chinese paper and said that I did “very well.” Made me so happie… But in the end, I obtained a B grade. Can you imagine? Hai… hope deferred made the heart sick.

Thankfully in TKGS, I hung out with a more “cheena” crowd, listening to songs by 林志颍 and Aaron Kwok and this made Chinese more bearable as I had to memorize their lyrics to be a true-blue fan!

And as a vindication, I even obtained an A1 for my O Levels!!! Hahaha… What a miracle of God! Shows the power of cramming! Till this date, Nic still cannot believe my grade, cos he only obtained an A2 and he comes from a Chinese-speaking family. Coupled with the fact that my Chinese pronunciation goes off at times… This is the only time I bested him in any subject (other than English la). Must milk it for all it’s worth!

Anyhow, I do thank God for my Chinese training too. Having gone to Taiwan & being able to read the road signs, haggle at the night markets and hold a decent conversation with the Taiwanese cab-drivers, I am thankful that I am adequately proficient enough in Chinese to hold my own over there. =)