Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The Day Spa

I was treated to an unforgettable experience this Valentines day when I joined my girlfriend to an afternoon of papering at Blush Day Spa.
The "couples package" includes an overnight stay at Duxton Hotel and limo service to Blush.
Firstly, I have to say Duxton is fantastic.  

Its everything you'd expect from a five star hotel.  It has an impressive entrance with gold-ish furnishing and trimmings.  I was giddy all morning because Anh told me we were doing valet parking!  I've never done valet before! I was already excited and this was just the parking!

It wasn't long before the limo arrived.
Superstar treatment. I like!

On the ride to Blush, it finally dawned on me that I was heading to a day spa. 
Now I have nothing against beauty spas.  I think its great that there's places for women to enjoy women's stuff like massages, manicures, salon and skin therapy stuff.  

But that's just the thing, these places are for women!  How will my manly manliness cope with all of this?
So the idea of going to one didn't really sit too well with me.  Much like the pink champagne served in the limo.
But if it means spending time with my girl, I will make the sacrifice (the things I do!)
Once we got to Blush, we were greeted by disturbingly happy people - like smiles were permanently moulded to their faces. Its a good thing, but borderlining scary.
We were asked to fill in forms about the massage and treatment we wanted.  The kitchen wanted us to fill in the form for our food afterwards. Yes food!! This may turn out quite good! 

The forms were pretty straight forward stuff, until the section which asked what skin treatment formula I used


eer.... soap? 

Then it asked what skin type I have.....



err... brown skin?

Thankfully Anh finished her forms early so I copied her answers.

We were soon greeted by two lovely and beautiful beauty therapists(?!) who led us to the massage room. They confirmed how we answered the forms and told to change and set ourselves on the massage tables.
I was really quite okay up to this point.
Then she said the words that will now forever haunt me.



Now stupid me for wearing boxer briefs that day, otherwise I could have kept my underwear. 

But because my boxer briefs cover a bit of my thigh, I had to wear this most awkward and disturbing looking underwear. 

The disposable g-string *shudder*
I was very against the g-string.  

But between wearing that and doing the full monty, I chose the lesser of two evils. 

Putting it on felt VERY WRONG!!
It did not feel right and was exposing

Probably because I wore it the wrong way around...  but still...

After adjusting it, I felt a bit more decent.  But it was still not comfortable with that 'string' riding up my crack. 

The Massage
Ok.  This may seem rude.  But one of the things I've always been afraid of having during a massage is this
I mean, someone is rubbing you and getting into VERY personal places. 
Wouldn't this happen?  And what if the masseuse was a guy!!
What do you do then?!!

Fortunately enough, my massage at Blush was robbed of sexy thoughts.

I was too busy worrying about not dying!! 
OMG!!! It was painful!!
I mean, it started off nice when she was massaging my legs.  She asked me if the pressure was okay, and it was really quite good. 
But for some god-forsaken reason, the pressure started getting firmer and harder.  

At one point I thought she was going to rip through my thighs and grab my femur. 
Oh the pain!! 

Her fingers were like nails piercing through my rib cage.
And its not as if I could say something about it.  I was getting the "Medium" massage.  And my girlfriend was getting the "Firm" massage. So I was already on a lower 'wuss' level! 
All I could hear from my girlfriends table was her stomach moaning for food. 
And me? I was silently crying in pain.

The Steam Bath
Next up was the steam bath.

Apart from reliving my past life as a boiled chicken, I really didn't know what the point of this was.
I sat there for fifteen minutes inhaling and coughing up steam.  There's not much you can do in the small confines of the steam box except meditate or drink the glass of cold iced water provided.
I amused myself by drawing happy faces on the steamy window. 

Then I started doing the Titanic steamy scenes.  

Minus Jack.

I was Rose.  

I must say, the shower afterwards felt really good though.

The Facial
Ever had that moment when someone is talking to you and you don't know what they're talking about, but you just nod in agreement?
Well I had one of those moments.
The nice beauty therapist was saying something about skin therapy, about how important it is and how I should look after my T-bones because it was oily?
I just smiled and nodded.

For the next half an hour or so, she was putting layers of stuff on my skin. 

I couldn't see what she was putting on, but I remember one smelling like eucalyptus, one like a berries and one like cheese.
I had no idea what she did but at the end of it all, my skin felt softer and nicer.  

And for some reason I was thinking about Jack in Titanic a lot.

The Afternoon Snack

The afternoon ended with the snack we previously ordered.  
The food was really nice, but I was ready to go to sleep. 

I don't know if I was super relaxed or just tired from the whole experience.

Maybe its a bit of both. 

Sunday, 22 February 2009


My house is almost complete. 

Like 90% complete.

My house and the "babypoo" doors

I'm stuck in them 'close but not close enough' moments.   I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like my running is not getting me closer to the end. 

Every time I finish something, something else crops up that needs attention. It's really quite draining.

And frustrating.

Frustrating because I'm constantly arguing with myself.  Do I do this myself or do I get someone else to do it for me?


And why the hell would the tiler steal my dustpan?!!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Maybe She's Into You

A friend of mine called because he wanted to talk.

First thought - a guy calling a guy.  

To talk.

This is weird. 

Alarm bells rang in my head.  Code red alert!  

Maybe he's decided to bat for the same team and he's making his moves on me!! Yikes!!  

Or maybe he just wants to talk.

'Sure, lets meet up' I awkwardly replied.  So we met up after work at a nearby park.  I made sure it was a public place.  The thought of him beating me up and taking my wallet did cross my mind.

Thankfully that wasn't the case.  

Its a simple matter of him falling head over heels for a girl.   He wanted to talk and get some expert advice. 

"Ha-ha! You've come to the right place my friend!"

I couldn't help but smile.  Such a happy time for my friend :)

To cut the long story short (and spare you the juicy details), he's fallen for a girl and he's overwhelmed by intricacies and the complication that is women.  I sympathise with him because I know when you meet that special someone, its both a wonderful and frightening experience.

Wonderful in that she makes you warm and fuzzy and happy inside. Frightening because suddenly your on stage and all eyes are on you. And you will desperately try to make this warm fuzzy feeling last by not fumbling and end up losing her.   

And of course my friend was worried.  He hasn't been with a lot of girls and he's not sure if she was even interested!

Though I haven't been with a lot of girls either, I have SEEN A LOT of romcoms and Korean dramas, so I was pretty confident in giving him expert girl relations advice.  

To get a feel if she's into you, I suggest the following:

1) Reconnaissance 
A good tactician will always know the field before the battle.  Although stalking is illegal, its only illegal if you get caught.  So try to be careful.  

If you think this is a bit too risky, perhaps seek her out in them social Internet sites like MyFacester. Find out what she likes, her hobbies, her favourite food.  Maybe she likes the same things you do.  Maybe she doesn't.   But unless you get some background information, you will have no where to begin.

2) Multiple birthday disorder
Get to know her better by inviting her and her friends to your birthday party.  

The group environment makes it easy to socialise And because its your birthday, she has to be extra nice to you (birthday kisses perhaps?).  

It doesn't matter if you've already had your birthday.  Just say you're having a second or fourth birthday this year.  

If not birthday, make up another occasion, like a promotion or the cat's anniversary or the arrival of your first google adsense cheque.

3) Borrow some Butter
Get to know her by by borrowing something from her.  

It would be best if you borrowed something personal like her favourite book or music album.  If that fails, try borrowing something you genuinely need like a shovel, spanner, road map, cookbook, pan, blender, towels, soap, underwear.   Okay, maybe not her underwear.  

But remember to take good care of her property!
You can use this as ransom in the future (aka Plan B).

4) Friendly coincidence
Spend lots and lots and lots and lots of time with her friends.  

This has multiple benefits.  You'll get to know alot about her because I'm sure her friends are more than willing to spill the beans on her.  Having them on your side may also benefit you in future endeavours, so make sure you spoil them as well!  

But most importantly, if you hang out with her friends long enough, you're bound to bump into her, eventually!  So its like a win-win situation for you. 

Just be careful that you don't get swallowed into the "friends" zone. 

5) Read the signs
The most important tip I can give is learn to read body language.  

Don't make silly girly mistakes of over analysing what was written on Facebook or the blog page. 

What's most important is seeing them in person and getting that first hand impression on how they dig you.  

There are heaps and heaps of articles on the Internet about body language.  

What does it mean when she twirls her hair or when she stands this way or bite her lip or pick her nose or laugh this way.  She can communicate quite a lot without having to utter a word.  

Once you can read body language, everything about how she feels about you becomes quite obvious.  Does she stare at her french manicure when conversing? Or do her eyes twinkle with delight when she sees you.

And that's it!  Five tips to check if she's into you.  :)

Now go and check out this movie

He’s Just Not That Into You
Only at the Movies! Now Showing


PS - I dedicate the cat pics to the cat stuck inside my girlfriend's stomach. She didn't eat a cat, but her stomach sounds like one.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Tres Lecciones del amor

I was having one of them long days. 

I got up at five and had to do stuff for my house before the electricians came.
Then traffic to work.
Took ages to find parking.
I got to my desk and looked at my diary. 
Three meetings, internal audit and phone calls to make.
What a fun day this was turning out
I needed to ZHHHINGGG my day, anything to make it more special.
I re-discovered my Christmas KK present!!!
It was hidden in the bottom drawer of my desk!  Its a hot chocolate pack which has everything you need for a nice cup of hot choco.  Its got a mug, choco powder and the best part - Mini-marshmallows!
I was grinning from ear to ear.  

With this, I could take over the world!  I could be the most popular guy in the tea-room (just for one day!).  

Power through marshmallows!
But when I looked at the marshmallow pack, I realised it wasn't a resealable.
Once opened, left over marshmallows would be left to dry up and harden. 
I only need about five or so for my first cup, but if I open the pack now, the remaining thirty or so would have to go stale!
The economist in me said 'no deal'! 

So I ended up having my choco with no floaties.  :(

What an uneventful day.

Love Lesson: Love can end before it begins.  Jump in when the oppurtunity arises.
Went to Karaoke last Saturday. I had a good time because I got to hang out with FC and co.
But I couldn't help this uneasy feeling around the place.   

Partly because I've been privy to information that's exposed the complicated web tying the friends together.  There's so much complication and history left unresolved. 
And the idiosyncrasies which, I would have otherwise missed, have become all too apparent.
It would have been a much happier time if love, and life turned out differently.

If only.
Love Lesson:  Love is like a roller coaster.  It goes up and down.  And sometimes, you even throw up.
Me and three boys had our monthly man dinner last wednesday.  

We met at Shimizu Grand.  The $42 fee got me a glass of wine and all you can eat Japanese buffet. 

It was alright.  Good value if you like sashimi and eel sushi.

We got to talking about what we were getting our partners on Valentines day.
One was not sure.  His original plan was to do nothing.  But he's now upgraded to a card.  Apparently its complicated.
One just came back from his honeymoon so he assumes his exempt from Valentines day duty.   I don't like his chances.
One is taking his girl to a special dinner. He admits that he's playing his last remaining romance cards.  He's taken her to all the swanky places in Perth.  So its getting harder and harder to impress her.  I'm guessing it won't be long before he finally gives in and plays the Ace of diamond.
Me, I'm hanging off the girlfriend's Day Spa pampering birthday present which she awesomely booked for Valentines day.
My gift for her is me.
See I created a demand for me by making her miss me.  

I only had short conversations with her this week. Hardly any emails and little texting.   And on Saturday I will give her the thing she wants the most - me!!
Haha! One point - me, Valentines day blues - zero.
Love Lesson: love is blind, because its unconditional - doesn't matter lame we are

1) I've just started playing Syberia.  I bought Syberia I and II for $24. Bargain!
2) Currently hooked watching Skip Beat on Crunchyroll.  Its just hell funny.
3) Chris Brown took "No Air" literally didn't he? Chill with "Flo-Rida feat Keyshia Cole - Right Round" instead

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

20 Under $20 - Poppo

Poppo is another restaurant in our 20 Under $20 restaurant quest.

Poppo is conveniently located across the adult stores in Barrack Street in the city, so its easy to duck inside for lunch if you're a city worker or a stop-over before Sunday shopping.  Anh and I made a visit during them hot summer Sundays.

You order at the counter but they bring the food to you

They offer both Korean and Japanese dishes in a fat book they call a menu.  It was a struggle to pick a dish because they all looked so good! 

Salmon sashimi with almonds!  California rolls are massive! And I'm pretty sure I saw sushi with cheese!  We have to come back and double check.

And coming back shouldn't be a problem because the food and value is fantastic.  

My bimbimbap was yummy (although its a huge dish - best shared!) and Anh's tempura and cold soba was really refreshing.  Definitely a step up from the greasy fast-foodish jap from Mr Samurai and Takka's (which are also on the same street).
The Bimbimbap bowl was as big as my head

Anh's given the food the fat thumbs up.  I've value for money a fat thumbs up as well.  So its a double thumbs up from us.

The other cool thing about Poppo is its located next to a Korean convenient store where you can get all sorts of Korean stuff.  

We were there for quite a bit because there were so many Korean snacks we wanted to try!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Victorian Bush Fires

Yesterday I was whining like a little girl about problems I was having with my house construction.

There was so much to do and I was already over my budget and I'm running out of time.
I guess we all get a bit testy when it comes to (lack of) money.

But when I saw the news today I got choked up.

Hundreds of families across Victoria have lost everything to bush fires.
There were stories of heroism and close calls.  
But many would have lost too much.

It takes losing something to realise what we already have.

Please help fellow Australians and give to www.redcross.org.au

Monday, 2 February 2009

Lessons from a Wedding Day

The wedding day has come come and gone. 

I think we're all relieved its finally over.  

Everything turned out really well and I'm sure many had a great time.  

The blistering heat, I think, was the only hindrance for the day.

But like every other day, I learnt lots of new things.  :) I thought maybe I'd share a few.

1. Sleep the night before is (almost) impossible
With the amount of things going through your head, its really difficult to get some good shut-eye. 
And the fact you need to get up and look fresh for the photos compounds the need for good sleep.

But to sleep early is too difficult for norturnals like me.

I tried to work myself tired by doing some training exercises and lots of push ups. I got all worked up from the Donnie Yen movie (Ip Man) that we saw.

Donnie Yen is da (Ip) man!

But exercising just increased the heart rate and kept me up even more.  Even worse, I woke up sore from muscles i didn't exercise, let alone muscles I didn't even have.

So perhaps to get some shut eye try Valium? or a bottle of vodka?  

Or if really desperate, an Ethan Hawke movie.

2. Do not underestimate the power of Wasabi Peas
Chinese traditional requires the groom to pass a series of test before he can get the bride.  

The tests include mini-games like eating lemons or doing squats.  

In our case, we had to eat a bowlful of Wasabi Pees in under one minute.  
Small but deadly

Wasabi peas are alright one at a time.  

But collectively, as in, a handful, its enough to bore you a new nostril.

3. Black absorbs light, heat energy
I knew it was going to be hot, but I didn't know it was going to be THAT hot! 

I must have sweated 10 litres of water in that black suit.

We looked hot

The funny thing is that I rolled on the armpit anti perspirant, so I wasn't sweating from my armpits (in the beginning).  Instead I had sweat streams flowing down my back.  

So lesson learnt - layer on the anti-persperant. 

If you're unfortunate enough like me who can't afford the spray on stuff, roll that thing everywhere!! To every nook and cranny you can reach!! 

There will be a slight chance of fainting from heat-exhaustion, but that's probably better than winning the wet t-shirt competition.

4. Photographers are Nazis over their work
I was enjoying my time taking photos until the Photographer told me off for taking a photo of the bride in the 'setup they created'. WTFBBQ?? 

In all honesty, photographers and how they 'own' the photos is a really messed-up setup.  Why the hell do photographers insist on owning the photos? what? someone going 'to pirate' the photo and create thousands of it?! Someone going to see the photo and copy their style? Pffff!

What they should do is put a really small watermark on the bottom corner and sell the digital files to the clients.  And if the clients want them to print some pics and put in an album then, yeah, do so.  That way we all know its their work and the clients get all the photos they rightfully deserve.

I can't wait for some talented photographer to do this.  Its just a matter of time before this archaic I'm-the-photographer-I-own-all-photos business model fall apart. 

5. Do not underestimate the power of the Emergency Kit
You can tell how well a wedding is prepared by the size of the Emergency Kit. 

The emergency kit that I saw was so prepared! It had sewing stuff, umbrellas, cleaning kits. 

I swear there was another bridal dress there somewhere!

6. Weddings are not goodbyes
As quoted by the groom 

'to my new parents, don't think of it as losing your daughter, think of it as gaining another problem'


I've been to too many weddings where it sounded like the couple were going to vapourise to another planet and everyone is saying their goodbyes!

7. Speeches are best served warm
Liquid courage goes a long way.

8. Little people do big things too
Lots of preparation goes a long way.  

But on the big day, the bride and groom are incapacitated with entertaining aunties and uncles and photos and hair and makeup, etc. etc....  

You really need other people to round around to tidy up the small things like greeting the florists, telling people where to sit and tackling the video guy if he's done something wrong.  :)

Really quite a great day.  
Thanks Alvin and Lisa.  

I'm honoured and really glad I got to part of your special day.