emspace thoughts

What's floating around in Em's brain today?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Plungers, Rabbids, Sword-slinging, Appraisals and Christmas...

The past few days have been a bit of a blur really and has left me in a state of confusion about whether I should spend today fighting the crowds in the high street to get myself a new diary for 2007 or whether I should just stay in the warmth and comfort of home and just get some rest for another day...hmm... in the meantime, I'll write up what I remember of the last few days.

Christmas Day was pretty quiet. My hubby cooked the roast and his family came round. There were no battles and I actually got to spend some quality time playing with our nephew. He can walk now, so he was busy doing circuits of our living room and thoroughly enjoying himself.

We headed back to Liverpool to see my folks on Boxing Day and we joined in the Christmas Party at the local Chinese Community Centre, where I have been meeting up with a friend for the last couple of years because she goes with her folks too - so we swap presents and have a good old catch up. (Contrary to popular belief, I don't go there for the Old Fogey's Karaoke Competition and we never win anything in the lucky raffle.) Volunteered to be the sound engineer again because my dad was having a time trying to juggle being photographer, sound engineer and president at the same time.

Dinner was at my parent's house in the evening and we had roast duck and pancakes, steamed fish and char siu. I do miss my mum's cooking so much nowadays, the only thing missing was her soup, but she didn't have time to make it after the party. My bro and sis bought me "Rayman Raving Rabbids" and an extra Wii-mote for Christmas, so I took my Wii over and we had a Wii-fest in the evening. Such great fun and that Rayman game is soo funny. I especially like the music game and the crazed nunchuk shaking games, reminiscent of the days of DDR and Bishi Bashi. The animation is soo funny as well, especially the end of level shoot-outs with the plungers!

Shame the evening had to come to an end as we were having so much fun, but a re-match is planned for New Year's Eve at my sister's house party.

It was back to work on Wednesday and my mission for the rest of the week was to get as many appraisals written up for my team. That's 10 x 6 page reports on how well my staff have been doing this year. Yawn.... I was sooo losing the will to live. You have to be positive or constructive with all your comments - that's not easy for some people who you don't rate at all. Well, after a long hard slog, I have just one left to do and that can wait until Tuesday because my brain is already mashed enough.

Have also been playing Zelda on the Wii and it is such a beautiful game. It's pretty addictive once you get into it and before you know it you have clocked up three or four hours gameplay on it. I'm not one of these who just whizzes through these games (some people claim to have completed it in 19 hours... madness and what a waste of money!) so I am taking my time.

I smell food...

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve has been a quiet affair this year. The family gathering was pretty brief, but it was nice to see everyone again and look in wonder at how my cousins are growing up so fast! My little 6-year-old cuz Phoebe ran up to me and gave me a huge hug when she saw me and that made me feel all fuzzy inside. She is so lovely!

Will be catching up with family a bit more over the next couple of days, eating, lazing and just enjoying being away from work until I go back on Wednesday, but let's not think about that right now.

Pressies so far: haircut and massage from hubby, a book on beadworking from Secret Santa, shortcake & lucky packet from Gran, book token, memory stick, some chocolates and a DVD set...

Hope you have a great time this Christmas too, whatever you get up to!

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Wii Related Strain Injuries

Got home yesterday and finally pulled my Wii out from the box after banning my hubby from touching it until I got back! There then followed a two hour Wii Sports and Wii Play session with my uber-competitive husband who I am unable to beat in any game apart from laser hockey! The Wii is sooooooo cool! I am so glad I kept it!

Unfortunately, I think I may have overdone it a bit on Wii Tennis as I woke up this morning with an extremely sore shoulder. It's a good workout though because you do end up breaking a sweat after a couple of games and my shoulder started to loosen a bit this evening after a few more games. Wii Boxing is great to let out those frustrations and break a good sweat. Haven't quite worked out the intricacies of Wii Golf yet, especially putting - we are too impatient, but tenpin bowling is simple enough except for my ball always veering off towards the left all the time. As a Brit, we don't really see the point of baseball, so I can't see us playing that game too much.

All I need now are some generous friends and family to buy me a few more controllers and games... hehehe.

My boss gave me his annual Christmas gift of a cold last week, so I am suffering now with a runny nose and a tickly cough. Not good - why can't people keep their germs to themselves? This is the fourth year on the run that I have been ill over Christmas. It's not fun... snif snif...


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wii for Meeee.... hehe

Part of me was secretly wishing for my Wii not to sell, so I could play with it - especially after the mad advertising campaign on TV. It didn't, so it means I can finally get my hands on it, well, later on today when I get home.

Didn't make a profit on it, but at least I didn't pay over the odds for it and still have it for Christmas...


My Gran's out of hospital now finally and back to her old self again. She just needs to take it easy now, so I hope she will not let her hyperactivity put her health at risk again. Went to see her today at home, she is so glad to be away from those weirdos in her ward and nurses who didn't have a clue. Can't believe they asked a male nurse/porter to help her bathe - that's so wrong! The NHS has definitely gone downhill and I blame poor management, we pay so much in taxes and it all goes to a bunch of muppets who are more interested in squandering it on stupid things like publicity and propoganda when they should be caring about the patients and the standards of care and hygiene.

My hubby arranged a surprise Christmas present for me today, which didn't turn out to be a surprise in the end, but less said about that the better. Went for a haircut in a posh salon (waved bye bye to about 7 inches of my hair, but it does feel good - not used to how it looks yet) and a really relaxing massage. I was falling asleep at random times during the treatment and throughout the day, thanks to the therapist and she was targeting the tight areas of my back so much it felt like a Thai massage where they bring you out in bruises at first, but then you feel so good after a couple of days. The bottom of my back feels like it's been punched and bruised, but it's that good kind of bruising when you know it will be so much better because the strain has been brought to the surface. I will definitely be saving up for another massage - I think I should be able to afford one every two months or so if I cut down on buying breakfast at work and taking porridge instead.... will probably do my waistline some good as well.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Project Free Wii is now underway...

My Wii arrived this morning, but it's still in the box.

With the current shortage in the UK, I'd be silly not to try my luck at doubling my money on it really, so the listing has gone up. If it sells, then great 'cos I don't mind waiting, if it doesn't, then I have a Wii to play with over Christmas. Been changing my mind over and over again in the last day or so - such a dilemma, but decision has made now, the 1% won.

Wish me luck! Hahaha....


Thursday, December 07, 2006

2 days to go...

And to mark the occasion, my bro pointed me in the direction of this funny article:


Had me chuckling away...

I have 99% decided that I will keep my Wii and start using it as part of my drive to move more instead of sitting around after work wondering why I am so bloomin' tired. Hopefully a couple of games of Wii tennis every night will get my heart pumping a bit more. (Which isn't hard considering my current level of activity...)

Trying to get into the Christmas spirit at work, but it's difficult when everyone around you is so apathetic. Picked up our £20 budget to decorate our area of the office today, so maybe after the tinsel and baubles go up, then people will start being a bit cheerier. There has been a lot of stress kicking around recently and even the men are all suffering from PMS. Also organised this year's Secret Santa and Christmas lunchtime party for the team... I guess this is as fun as management gets!

At least they are not making us stick to corporate colours this year. Even though blue and silver tinsel is quite pleasing on the eye, when the whole place looks the same then it gets a bit boring! I think the girl organising the decorations this year is planning to get the new trendy lilac tinsel. The guys will complain about it looking girly, but hey if they are so bothered, then they can put their own decorations up!

I will be going to three Christmas do's this year - that's a whole three more than last year! Woohoo...

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Thinking of Gran, Christmas Shopping and Old Friends

Visited my gran in hospital on Friday, she's had a pretty bad setback and is coming to terms with not being able to live as active a lifestyle as she has been over the years. She was telling me about how she won't be able to sing Cantonese opera any more or go shopping in the market for the best cuts of beef and pork and I felt a lump in my throat, but didn't want to show her how sad I felt. She seems so weak at the moment - a far cry from the strong independent woman who looked after me as a child. I am glad that I managed to take her on holiday earlier on in the year, but I am sad that we won't be able to do it again. I hope that she will regain some strength soon and my grandad will look down from heaven and protect her.

Then yesterday I got dragged out by hubby to go Christmas shopping. I really wanted to just stay in and sleep, but I guess it's better to get the inevitable out of the way. Picked up some toys for the kids and wandered around Ikea after stopping for lunch there - we like the meatballs and the ice cream there. I wasn't really in the right frame of mind for shopping though because I wasn't in a spending mood, so I left all the spending to my hubby and kinda just wandered around in a bit of a daze. I perked up a bit in the evening when we visited another shopping centre and my credit card finally came out to get a couple of presents for people. In the evening I wrote out a load of Christmas cards for my mother-in-law to people who I don't really know, so I just kinda guessed what to write in them and hoped for the best.

I started writing my own cards today and I realised how rubbish I am at keeping in touch with old friends who don't email or go on MSN. Sending them a card once a year with a few lines scribbled inside is about all the contact we have nowadays, but I guess that is better than not having any contact at all, which is the case with 99% of my primary and secondary schoolfriends. Sad, but true. I also finally got round to physically writing a reply to one of my old penpals who still sends me the odd letter once in a blue moon because she says it's nice to receive an old fashioned snail mail letter once in a while. Have to admit though that it took an awful lot of effort to pick up a pen and rack my brains on how to express myself with pen and paper and in Chinese too. Evolution in action - soon I will forget completely how to write and depend totally on this keyboard to express myself.

The Hong Kong press have been keeping me busy recently with the whole 'Gay Affairs' piece and surprisingly the other hot topic at the moment is who the traitor is who sold out on Sammul Chan and caused him so much bitterness that he has had to let it out as soon as he leaves TVB. All fun and games, but personally, I think he is being quite petty and childish about it all. He may feel justified in airing his views and he probably feels bad that TVB haven't even considered him for any awards this year, but to stamp his feet and throw his dummy out of the pram is not really the best way to build up your own image. The spearhead is pointed at Kenneth Ma, but I think that even though Kenneth isn't quite the innocent that he portrays, at least he is playing the game right, keeping to the rules and this in itself is deserving of an award. Face it Sammul, everything in this society is all about politics. You can't beat 'em, so if you don't join 'em, then you're out of the game. Same with any workplace really... including mine.

TVB-wise been watching 'To Grow with Love' and 'Dicey Business and am three-quarters into rewatching 'A Step into the Past'. Gotta take my hat off to Raymond Lam, even five years ago, his portrayal of the young First Emperor was exemplary. Raymond Lam, Louis Koo, Derek Kwok, Jimmy Au all in one series... what more could I ask for? Hahaha!!

Wii arrives in 5 days - to sell or not to sell, that is the question!

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bargain of the Week 3 - Well I have plenty of cupboards to fill with stuff

Motto tableware - 19p per piece at Ikea

Dropped by at Ikea recently primarily to have lunch (Swedish meatballs £3.75 per portion with potatoes and gravy) but we took a look around anyway and I came across this week's bargain. Rice bowls, serving dishes and plates for just 19p a piece! So for less than a fiver, you can get a full set for 8 people. Not bad at all. We'll be doing some entertaining over Christmas, so I bought some rice bowls and some serving dishes. Nice size too - good for serving when there are only two or three of us and the portions aren't so big.

Other great things on sale at Ikea - soft ice cream cone 35p, plastic bag dispenser £1.25, footstool £9, leather sofa £300...