Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Happy Birthday, Patrick!

First of all, a big happy birthday to Patrick! Shaz was terribly nice to plan a surprise birthday for Patrick at The Italliannies, The Gardens Midvalley in the evening, and he extended the invitation to me as well (thanks!). I arrived a lot earlier – around 1.30pm, to meet up with my university mates (namely Tee, Kay and Ell1). Seeing that Food Junction was literally overflowing with the Saturday crowd (to make things worse, it’s the first weekend of the local mid-year break), so we settled for Sushi Zanmai restaurant at The Gardens. It was a lot less crowded, although Kay did say that he had to check with his ‘financial advisor’ before heading in for a meal.

Ell hails from the state of Kelantan, which is on the other side of the Malaysian peninsula. I was a little surprised that he came until he explained that he’s currently living with his uncle near town, and he has an awesome part time job which mainly requires him to remove carbon-copy papers from a stack of documents and watching anime online at the same time.What dream job!

Tee is also living near town, with his uncle too! He’s currently working in this American cuisine restaurant opposite the Kelana Jaya town lake. He works the evening shift and it’s kind of painful to hear from him that because of raunchy, unruly customers who refuse to leave even it’s past closing times, he reaches home around 2am. Outrageous, but he’s still looking upbeat and all, no big eye bags so I think he’s coping fine :)

Kay brandishes two mobile phones – one of which is an iPhone and I was totally gawking over it secretly (no longer a secret now though). Seeing him multitasking between the two phones is really hilarious!

We talked and talked and talked for hours in Sushi Zanmai, drinking rounds and rounds of bottomless green tea as our mouth run dry after every couple minutes of non-stop talking. Kay ordered this huge bowl of Japanese fried chicken and cold soba combo, which he found a little hard to stuff it down at one go so we ended up hogging the table for at least two hours – not to forget, another friend of theirs, Cee2, dropped by for lunch.

The gargantuan plate of chicken teriyaki that came along with the cold soba Kay ordered

The gargantuan plate of chicken teriyaki that came along with the cold soba Kay ordered

Kay also ordered some sushi to go along with his cold soba, and if you eat it without wasabi it’s not fun:

Wasabi and soy sauce. Oh, and that's the hand of Kay.

Wasabi and soy sauce. Oh, and that's the hand of Kay.

We had so much green tea – I had around 5 or 6 glasses – that all of us were hunting for toilets after settling the bill. All thanks to the Saturday crowd, the long queues snaking amongst the stagnant crowd littered with craning necks reading for movie times scared us away. The gawking 45-minute waiting time at the 20+ lanes bowling center didn’t help to make us feel a little better. Finally, we went to the arcade, where a curious crowd gathers around the para para paradise dancing machine watching this group of cosplay girls waving to the beat. Kay chuckled out a laugh as we watched on.

After exchanging some tokens, they tried their luck with some sniping game, where they’re supposed to take out some criminal in a hotel or in a ferris wheel from the ground. Instead of taking others out, the bad guys kept taking them out… and they generously fed the game machine with more tokens. I realized my stupid mistaken when I non-hesitantly bought 5 tokens and had no idea how to spend them – and all of them went to the Bishi Bashi Champ, where you hit the red, green and blue buttons like a mad man on a drunken rage. It was a good workout for the arms though – I bet if you spend enough time playing it, you wouldn’t have to head to the gym to actually have calluses growing all over your palms.

After Cee and Tee left, Kay, Ell and I hunted down possible venues where they’ll be organizing the university freshmen guide/handbook to our juniors (I’m still in a daze that I’m actually turning year 2 next year). We approached the staff from Starbucks in Borders bookstore and MPH bookstore, and they unanimously gave us the same response – “email their marketing department”, and for us who are budget-conscious, the word marketing means expenditure and some degree of capital outlay. Big nono. In the end, we went to meet the floor manager of a rather high class but glaringly vacant food court in The Gardens – they didn’t mutter a word on the pricing part and Kay decided to give it a shot when he emails them his application. Good luck, dude.

Patrick’s surprise 21

Patrick’s birthday party. Kay, Ell and I actually arrived around 10 minutes late because we coincidentally bumped into a second Ell (in case you haven’t realized it now, all the pseudonyms are the approximate pronunciation of alphabets, which logically represents their actual names). We went to New Zealand Natural for their huge 30% discount (it was the 30th of the month), where the second Ell brought his two other friends over. Kay, Ell and I shared this $17.50 (plus minus a couple of cents) regular tub, containing around 6~7 scoops each for cookies & cream and frozen mango fruit yoghurt. The yoghurt was melting way too fast and was ruining the cookies & cream – whoops, my bad! It was my idea to get the mango thing. When I told them about this interesting beverage my college drinks stall aunty supposedly invented (blended, crushed oreo + water), we all stared at each other and then peered into the tub of melting cookies & cream. LOL!

We rushed over to The Italliannies, WernChiet, his other half and a few other invited guests were already there. I met GuoZhang over there – he looked so different from his previous trip to Singapore and I totally didn’t recognize him at all – not to mention embarrassing myself, hah. We made a quick dash for the toilet and when we returned, Patrick was already there! Damn, we missed his entry – the look on his face would have been priceless. We sat on a same table with a guy (I only remember that he’s a 1988 baby), his girlfriend Sophia, another guy and Jon. I remembered Sophia because we were sitting opposite to each other and were talking away about her mass communication course in HELP college and my life in Singapore – and Jon because Shaz told me the other day that the designer behind his green, electric blog skin was nobody else but Jon.

I think I’m the youngest. I was born in 1989. I was a quite shy at first, and I guess it was written all over my face going something like “Hi my name is Terry and I’m too shy to bring any conversation further.” Blah, I’m bad at gatherings, especially when meeting new people. Thank God Kay and Ell attended, whos at beside me which really did an awesome job in calming my nerves.

The dinner went pretty well – the smart 1988 baby suggested that we share several dishes and a pizza to split the cost since their single servings are too large for our individual stomachs to handle. That was an excellent idea because the supposedly for-one-only spaghetti bolognaise ended up being shared between five guys. Woah.

Patrick, the birthday guy!

Patrick, the birthday guy!

Then the moment came – the über-friendly crew of waiters brought the cake in, complete with candles and started to sing the birthday song. Patrick stood on the chair and after making his wishes, tried to blow the candles and then it came to me that those were trick candles that Shaz bought! They had those tiny little sparks in there so they’ll reignite the candles that were blown out – brilliant. Pat had a great time slathering his salivary gland secretions all over the cake, which I did take a bite later, I’m so proud of myself, hah.

Patrick doing the great blow jo... I mean, blowing work.

Patrick doing the great blow jo... I mean, blowing work.

The waiters and waitresses are very nice and helped to distribute the tainted birthday cake (with you-know-what), and many of Pat’s ex-schoolmates started to leave messages on his poster (yea, Shaz got a couple of them printer and hung them around the venue). I heard that they’re having their finals real soon, so whoever you are, good luck! The rest started to leave soon after, leaving me and around 8 to 10 other people remaining at the venue. That’s also when I finally get to introduce myself to Chris – I’ve heard so much about him online but have never met him in person before. He’s a totally down-to-earth guy, dressed pretty casually and completely at ease, but he’s so soft cookie to deal with, that’s for sure. I did a little pack up for them until my parents arrived and had to run, so a big thanks to the remaining people who helped Shaz to move all the stuff back to his car.

Happy belated Fonty Friday

Sorry for the late Fonty Friday feature again! Anyway, a reader of mine sent me an email yesterday asking how to install a font. It’s actually quite easy – for those running Windows XP, you will have to unzip the file and get the font files out. Copy them into a folder named ‘Fonts’ in your Control Panel. You might want to switch to Classic View first to make searching for the elusive ‘Fonts’ folder easier. For Windows Vista, it’s a breeze – right click on the font file and an ‘Install’ option will appear in the menu. After installation, you can delete the unzipped font files from their initial directories. To uninstall a font, simply search for the font in the ‘Fonts’ folder and remove the file.

Back to the Fonty Friday feature, we are having a sans-serif font called Aller, designed by Dalton Maag. It has this excellent blend of sharp edges and smooth corners, making each character very reader-friendly. The vertical alignment of numbers reminds me of Georgia – quirky but not confusing. I always love the difference in the baselines of different digits in Georgia – the same goes for Aller.

Fonty Friday - Aller

Oh, and I stumbled upon this funny image on Digg the other day – I shot the serif.

I shot the serif.

I shot the serif.

  1. Tee, Kay and Ell are pseudonyms, not their real names. In case you’re interested, they’re all guys.
  2. Also another university mate, guy, pseudonym as well. His real name is way sexier, I think!
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