Thursday, October 28, 2010

A brief explanation on our absence - no, really

I know. I know. We've been away for a long, long time. But it's not really because we've been nestling into married life and forgetting that we have a blog and that children are going hungry in first world countries turning away their dinners in exchange for "a few more minutes" of refreshing These Glorious Days because "maybe they will update something soon". No, of course not.

In fact, the main reason why we have not been blogging is because on the way back from our honeymoon, we were kidnapped by the Thai mafia right off the Karak highway, blindfolded and sold to Myanmar where we were then trained to become child soldiers. Yes, and when they IDed us and discovered that we were not in fact children, they sent us to Laos, where a monastery of Buddhist monks awaited our arrival to commence what was to be a six-year course in translating Pali scriptures into Hebrew, which didn't make sense to us cos we know neither language, but we thought we'd play alon-

Athalia: Ooh, you're updating our blog!
Fergus: Yes, finally.
Athalia: Are you telling them our story?
Fergus: Of course.
Athalia: Don't forget about the lambs in Karachayevsk.
Fergus: Slowly, slowly.

So where was I? Yes, we thought we'd just play along, but when we got there, there were no monks, no books, no translators, just a goatherd who offered to sell us some electronics on the cheap, which we did eventually buy - but only out of charity. Unbeknownst to us, though, somewhere in the depths of the crappy plastic mp4 player was a chip so sought after by various illegal stakeholders and steakholders (this will become clear later) that within minutes of our goodwill purchase, we were nabbed once more, flung into a Hummer and driven for days and nights with stops only for toilet break (us) and cigarettes (them). I wasn't clever enough to recognise what they were saying but Athalia knew at once that they were speaking in Uzbek - not just any Uzbek but that from the region surrounding Oktyabr'skiy.

True enough, when we had the sacks lifted off our heads, there we were, outside a deli in where else but Oktyabr'skiy, Uzbekistan, fending for our lives and being questioned by large bearded men with whisky breath about what must have been our possession of the dinky mp4 player with the prized chip. Before we knew it, there was a police siren, a group of feminists dressed as multi-coloured octopuses (I kid you not), a Hasidic Rabbinic scholar, two Taiwanese Ah Lians and the butcher from the deli running out with a steak in one hand and a cleaver in another - all of them, read my lips, all of them, entered into a melee for the chip.

We were lucky enough to escape that disaster but unlucky enough to have ran into a dog farm, where we were chased, bitten and hounded for hours and kilometers by furious canine, whom we later deduced were only really acting out of fear of being exported to China as beef, but all the bite wounds did wear us down till we found refuge in a village, and reluctantly received treatment by a one-headed faith healer (who branded herself as a two-headed faith healer, but we could tell that one of her heads was fake), who then wrote us a referral letter for another goatherd (what's with these goatherds!) who would continue our treatment.

Half dead and half exhausted, we were kindly put on a travelling wagon on which we must have passed out for days, and when we did eventually come to it, we were in Karachayevsk, somewhere in godforsaken Russia, where lambs - about thirty to forty of them - had been and still were licking our wounds till they healed. In fact, I remember now that while being licked by those lambs, I pulled out my phone, got on some 3G service and blogged to say we were alive, wait let me check when was that - September 11th, omg could it not be any more ominous! But yes, so while we were being licked by lots and lots of baby goats, we were told of the curative qualities of their saliva and that we-

Athalia: Ah, I see you are writing about the lambs in Karachayevsk!
Fergus: Indeed, I am!
Athalia: Cool. I'll leave you to it.

What was I saying again? Yes, and that we were on the brink of death and were saved by these lambs because of enzymes in their saliva and something else in Russian that neither of us understood or even remembered. Days turned into weeks an weeks into a month and by mid-October, we were eventually well enough to get off the lamb licking treatment. Magically, we still had both our credit cards with us and after another wagon trip to the nearest city, which neither of us remembers now, we took a train to Moscow, flew to Frankfurt where we then got an Air Asia flight back home, which got delayed till about three days ago - during which we met several another men at the airport also selling cheap electronics, all of which we were very careful not to buy.

Eventually we did get on the plane from Frankfurt and reached KL like last night, wait no, two nights ago - what's happening to my brains - and Athalia was saying all the way back from Germany that we must, must, must not forget that we have a readership on These Glorious Days who have been waiting for so long to hear from us and we cannot dally any longer to explain to them why we've been missing for so long. And so, my friends, we are back - bruised, scattered, resurrected from near extinction and released from numerous captivities, and we are so glad to be back on this blog with you to tell you all about what's been happening in our lives since we got married.

The end.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We may not have been blogging much, but we are very much ALIVE!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We are married!

(Deep breath.)

We are married!


We are married! We have survived the wedding - more than that, maybe even thrived through the wedding! And why stop there - we've even made it back from our honeymoon alive! And fat!

Yes, we have been married now for a week and three days and the entire behemoth is nestling itself comfortably into our respective and shared existences. There is much to say about the wedding - so much, in fact, that an old adage told us we could save on every thousand words by posting a picture for it. Which we will do. But that will take time, cos bridal photographers need time to crunch all the raw photos into what you will soon see here. Patience my friends - the story will follow.

In the meantime, a quick table of contents on what is to follow in the next few days and weeks.

Chapter 1. Matching phones // In one of their first consumerist acts as a married couple, Fergus & Athalia get themselves matching Nokia E5s.

Chapter 2. Wedding stories // The spotlight shines on some of the most memorable narratives from the wedding.

Chapter 3. Wedding photos // The remaining few thousands of words will be compressed here.

Chapter 4. East coast travelogue // Two delinquents on a trunk road with only hedonism on their minds.

Chapter 5. West coast travelogue // Two families meet at a riverside town and enjoy a night out under the stars canopy.

Keep reading!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


... we're getting married in four days.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funny dancing penguin cards

Yes, it's high time for some wedding updates. Especially as we might get some traffic here now that our cards are going out! Plus, it's suddenly now less than a month away now. Glup!

Most importantly, our cards are FINALLY done and hoo boy, what a ride that has been.

The cards were only sent to print on Thursday, picked up on Friday afternoon, and we spent the weekend addressing, stamping and bundling the first batch along with figuring out how to get them out to as many people on our list as possible. But lets rewind a bit and look at how it all came about, which was an arduous process that took about 1,000 revisions and then some.

We originally had a Polaroid concept in mind, but at some point I picked up a box of vintage Penguin book cover postcards from Borders. Admittedly, I had no real justification for buying it other than a vague idea of stringing it up as deco for our wedding? House? Something? But a few weeks later, Fergs was messing around on the comp and said, "Hey, what if we use the design for our cards?"

Iconic, British, retro, literary. Qualities we like. It was a resounding yes!

That was settled quickly and painlessly enough. Then I said "I love patterns can we please have patterns please patterns are pretty, please." So Fergs gamely tried his hand using a book of patterns I had as reference, also from Borders.

Now lets pretend this is a movie, and a whole montage of pattern and colour combinations will now proceed to play. But long story short, I felt that each combination we tried didn't work as a whole. In most cases, it was hard to say why or how to fix it. So eventually, we roped in our superduper graphic designer Wei Yu and she helped us out immensely, reillustrating the penguins, drawing us some new patterns so the set finally looked cohesive and helping us with the alignment for printing, printing contacts and so many other little details that she deserves a giant penguin trophy. Plus she was super patient with us even when we delayed on the copy for the back. Hip hip hooray!

Ah yes, our copy. We knew that we didn't want to use a conventional template, and anyway the postcard layout wouldn't fit it. It needed something more compact and friendly-sounding, but it was hard to find the right tone and decide what information really needed to be included. For example, we didn't put any maps in on the assumption that people will just google or ask. Also, we didn't put our contact numbers because we everyone should have them already. In the end, we had to write a few versions before we settled on a style that still sounded like a postcard but was also proper enough for aunties.

The final touch was when Wei Yu suggested sticking stamps on, and I remembered that the weekend antique flea market in Amcorp mall sold old stamps for 10 cents a piece! Some of the stamps date back from as far as the 70s and are from countries that don't exist any more, or carry values from currencies that don't exist any more (for example, East Germany, Yugoslavia and the European currencies before the Euro was introduced). I love the romance of getting a piece of another country from another era and imagining the correspondence that stamp was originally on.

In fact, my role was to select and stick on the stamps, and it was a lot of fun matching stamps to people we knew - either countries they liked, have visited or had some connection with. I am proud to disclose that Fergs has done a marvellous job of hand-lettering all the wedding cards, and he is the only guy I have ever known to do that. It's a joy to sit side-by-side working and see the little piles of cards neatly tied together grow.

I love how our cards sound and look and feel completely us.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June in pictures

The month of June came and went, and in many ways, was characterised by the World Cup. We got our living room up to scratch progressively so that by the time the knockout stages had come along, all our new lights were beaming from the ceilings. June also saw the arrival of some key appliances - some whose stories are told here, others whom we'll talk about another day. Here is our June in pictures.

The big box came in just before the World Cup, which we watched on projector all month!

Every good tournament needs its corresponding decorations!

Our pick of toilet-inspired Penguin postcards! You haven't seen the last of this yet!

A poster of Italian cities on postcards. It was from a Singaporean shop and we must return for more!

Our collection of retro glasses, half of which were picked up from flea markets. Spot the Ikea ones!

Athalia's Pixar lamp, illuminating our study room for the first time.

My cell members gave me like a billion dollars worth of Ikea vouchers for my birthday - and it went into this!

Say goodbye to the dobi - here's my jeans hanging out after its first domestic wash. Bliss...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hitler reacts to Germany vs England

This is a video I made to commemorate England's survival in the World Cup - the one where they ran directly into the warpath of age-old rivals Germany. These Hitler videos have been remixed to no end on Youtube, but it's always still a lot of fun. So here's my contribution to that scene. Hehe.

Enjoy the video, and if you like it, help us send it out to all your friends!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

These glorious birthdays

We are sensationally late in posting these up, but late has it's charm and late is better than never.

Athalia turned 27 on May 20th. We had quite a lot of fun that day, careening with abandon down the smorgasbord of Tenji's lunch buffet. I had six coconut drinks (yes, out of the coconut) and something like five slices of durian cheesecake. Athalia made the most of the sashimi, sushi, maki, more coconuts and ice cream. Too bad their octopus wasn't that hot (and by that, I mean it was hot, in a weird spicy way), and too bad we only discovered the crouching Häagen hidden Dazs stand after we had finished.

The partying continued for a few days after, with a surprise dinner with her cell the next night ending up with more overeating at Italiannies, Empire Gallery. The next morning saw breakfast with her family at Dome, where Athalia cracked open her gift to reveal ... a Pixar lamp!

I turned thirty on June 13th. I know, spelling it out doesn't make me seem so old but the truth is, I love being thirty, and as such, I shall use numbers instead. I am 30!

Had lunch at Bavarian Bierhaus with Athalia's parents, and that was followed up with a return to Empire Gallery's Italiannies (can you tell we like it there?) with my siblings for dinner. We then adjourned to my sister's to catch the remnants of Serbia vs Ghana cut the cake and rip into all the gifts. In keeping with the correlation, I also got (among other things) Ikea lamps!

The days and nights of binge gluttony culminated in a surprise party Athalia organised for me, attended by my cell, the Dengkil Squad and my Large Door Pictures buddies-for-life. I've always been nervous about my different groups of friends coming together but it was as memorable a birthday as they come. Special does not begin to describe it.

Oh yes. And The Netherlands snuffed out the Danes 2-0 that night. See the orange connection in the photos? If turning 30 was so fun, being 30 can't be that bad.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Buying dish-washing liquid with Athalia kicks ass

Grocery shopping with Athalia's gonna be fun.

A few nights ago, we hit Carrefour and what began as a simple stopover to pick up some cleaning products turned out more like a dress rehearsal for a lifetime of supermarket shopping. I'll drop you in just as we began bickering about what dish-washing liquid to get.

Fergus: I know your mum uses Sunlight, but do we really have to buy it as well?
Athalia: But why? I like Sunlight.
Fergus: Yes, but it's like, twice the price of the other brands.
Athalia: It's not twice.
Fergus: It is. Look, it's RM5.50. That's twice the price of Labour.
Athalia: No it's not. That's 3 something.
Fergus: No. Look, RM2.60.
Athalia: But my skin is sensitive. You don't want my skin to be hurt do you?
Fergus: No, that's why, we can get Glo. See, Glo is a good brand and it's like, 4 something.
Athalia: No Glo.
Fergus: We can't walk down these aisles and pick up all the premium products.
Athalia: But we're not doing that. I gave in on the Scotch Brite.
Fergus: True. Still, why can't we just get Labour?
Athalia: Because I support the Tories.


Fergus: Ok, you convinced me.

(30 seconds later)

Fergus: I love that you can make these kind of jokes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ring V: Inscriptions

As the date approaches for us to collect our rings from Sofia our jeweler, the entire narrative draws to an exciting climax. And one of the finishing touches we've had to consider has been inscriptions on the rings.

Most people inscribe something on the inside of their wedding rings - usually the wedding date or a short message or the couple's initials or a combination of them. We've decided to go with a short message, or what turns out to be not-short-enough message. See, it's not easy to get inscriptions done with more than 12-14 characters. That's pretty much the standard limit for I dare say all jewelers here in Malaysia. But there is a solution. We can bring them to Singapore, where we've located one or two folks who inscribe up to 20-odd characters. And so, we figured, we'd collect the rings first, get married first and then get the inscriptions done later. When we make a trip to Singapore. (And I might add, not have to stay in backpacker dorms no more.)

So what are these inscriptions that require this extra trip out of the country to get done? Well, Athalia's is the longer of the two, namely FAITHFUL TILL THE END. I like it, and she loves it. Maybe she should explain why she chose it for herself in the comments. For me, I'm gonna go with LEST WE FORGET. If this reminds you of visiting a military memorial shrine, it's because it's used in those places, but I really connect with the meaning of it. On the surface, it's a reminder of the marriage covenant - lest we forget, Fergus, we're married, so behave accordingly. (Incidentally, I talk to myself often in plural form - no, I'm not schizophrenic. It's more like: "Come on Fergus. Let's do this. Come on!" - which explains why I've decided to keep the original WE pronoun.)

But underneath that lies a second meaning that's more important to me. Marriage on earth, as I've come to believe, is but a dress rehearsal for the divine marriage between Jesus and his church when this whole creation thing gets rolled up. The Bible calls husbands to love their wives as Jesus loves his church. LEST WE FORGET for me is a reminder that my marriage to Athalia is to be a mirror and a representation of Jesus' eventual union with his family of believers. And because this higher union is for those who remain faithful till the end, the LEST WE FORGET requires the FAITHFUL TILL THE END. They complement each other.

Of course, it could also just be a war memorial tagline - which would give my bachelor days the glint of militant heroic sparkle that it actually never had. But ssshh... let's imagine for now that it did!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Before we marry, our books will marry

Okay, so getting Athalia to move in with me two months before the wedding is about as kosher as char siew at a Passover table. But I'll tell you what can move in. Her books.

And in fact, they have. A few nights ago, I lugged home one box of her books and began the task of consolidating her collection with mine. It's the kind of thing that makes me happy in the pits of my stomach.

I mean, it's not just a practical act of putting belongings in the same place. No, it's a quasi-union of the works that shaped our minds. It's a marriage of two families of thinkers and authors - hers, from her shelf, with mine, on mine.

The books on my shelf are divided into genres and filed alphabetically from left to right. I've got Fiction on the top shelf and General Christianity on the second shelf. The third shelf houses a mix of Philosophy, History and Christian reference while the fourth has the artier categories: Music, Films, Theater, Poetry, Travel and Football. The fifth shelf has General Reference and Language.

From among the first few of her books, I'm confronted by the need to create new categories. I had pulled out from her box a book that can only be classified as Inspirational. I swear, I've never owned an "inspirational" book in my life. Where does it go? In terms of mood, it'll find the most friends on the Christianity shelf, but it's not a Christianity book. It's just good old-fashioned Inspirational. Okay, create a new one-book category.

Next comes a bunch of fictions and suddenly I meet another pair of books for which there is no existing grouping: a book by writers about writing, and the journal of a writer's jottings. I guess I could put them with the languages but they're not really about language but about ideas and writing. Hmmm... ok, another new category. Nice - now we've increased in breadth.

But it's not just the new genres that matter. It's the enrichment of the existing ones too. My fiction shelf is all the more cultured for it. Now, somewhere between my fixations for Calvino and Eco is a Roald Dahl. One shelf below, between the church-enforced purchase of Rick Warren and a Ravi Zacharias now quaintly sits a Yancey number. (More Yanceys will follow when the other boxes arrive!)

One more shelf below, right next to my copy of Plato's Republik is ... her copy of Plato's Republik. Yes, what do we do with the repeat titles? Leave them both there? Hide one? Give one away? What if both have sentimental value? Mine's a birthday gift from Ernest. Hers, she bought with me when we had just started dating and was not presumptuous enough to imagine this day would come. Elsewhere, Jewel's anthology of poetry is also repeated, uncorroborated, as are the first two books of the Narnia series (I have the first two, she has the whole set).

Mind you, this is just the first box. There are many more boxes. I've had to move Travel and Football down to the fifth shelf to make space for the rest. Once the other boxes come in, I'll need two rows for Fiction alone and that's gonna send the Christianity books into a diaspora so extensive, they'd think the Babylonians had returned.

Of course, all of this is a good problem to have. And as I add more of her books into my shelf, the metaphor becomes clearer and clearer - marriage is gonna absolutely kickass, not because it's addition but because it's amalgamation. So, for now, books. Yes, just books. Keep it kosher.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hullo, second half of 2010

It's the first day of June. At least it was when I started writing this and left it sitting incomplete in the drafts till now. But anyway. This marks the first day of the second half of the year. Which got me thinking.

1. I counted and there are exactly 10 weekends left before The Wedding Happens. Across 4 of those weekends, The World Cup Happens. Meaning, there will be less time to think about The Wedding That Is Happening. Btw, I came up with this month's tagline. Surprised?

2. I can't really imagine what married life would be like. At this point, it doesn't feel like anything will change, other than when I wake up I wouldn't be alone in my room anymore. To be honest, it sometimes feels like I've been married to Fergus for a while now. Mainly because how we interact is hardly inwardly-orientated and exclusive or "couple-in-love" anymore. Instead, it's evolved into running around carrying out other relational obligations together - my family, his family, my church, his church, his cell, my cell, friends, countrymen, lend me your ears. Add to that: facing all the chores and duties and errands of being adults - servicing cars, paying bills, budgeting and buying household supplies (more on that coming up!). See, don't we sound like a married couple already?

3. I've always known I wanted to get married. Some people are in the "It'll be nice if it happens at some point but I'm not too fussed about it either way" or "I don't think so right now, maybe when I'm older?" camps, but I never was. There never was a question about it, but right now asI get nearer and nearer to changing my single status permanently, I'm thinking about how I don't want being married to define me in big way. Or maybe, I don't want it to redefine me in a big way. It's like I imagine that after the 14th of August, I'll have a big label stuck on me that says MARRIED WOMAN that I can't take off or cover up and everyone will stare and point.

Hmm. Maybe I'm feeling self-conscious among our mostly unmarried friends and cell members.

Anyway, those are my muddled thoughts so far. And now I'm gonna throw this out there. Tell me, how do you think being married re-defines someone?

Monday, May 31, 2010

How can you not be excited about the greatest event in the world?

It's June my friends. June. The month of the World Cup. And boy is the fever on!!

World Cup has always meant a lot to me and now it's meaning a lot to Athalia as well. She's a fervent supporter of Germany and Spain. I support what she likes to call "the dirty Italians". Of course, there's the English and the Dutch for me too. Our rivalries are heating up, and I think the only safe ground for our kids next time is Argentina. Or France. Actually no. That might get them killed.

And so, here's a toast to many late nights, many roars of joy, sobs of defeat, and may this World Cup be the best one yet!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ring IV: Mockups

Having chosen our design and deciding to go with gold, we brought our thoughts to our friendly local jeweler Sofia and look what she turned out in one week! Mockups!

I don't even know if 'mockups' is the right word because these are the actual rings that we'll be wearing, just unfinished. If you look closely, there are red lines where some trimming needs to be done, and red dots where some stones will be placed (on Thay's ring) but by and large, that's it! And we absolutely love them!

I mean, look at them! Could these rings have been forged anywhere other than in Middle Earth itself? Could anyone other than ancient dwarven goldsmiths have done this? I wore it and immediately felt like a king. I mean, if I were to ever sprout a beard while wearing this ring, I'll get shocks from testosterone poisoning and my chest will explode into a million swords! Swords, I tell you!

Athalia: Can I get you a drink?
Fergus: Yes, I think I need to calm down.
Athalia: Ya think?
Fergus: Writing this post is giving me hypertension.
Athalia: Come, let me finish this up for you...

Yes, it's me, Athalia, and I must admit that the rings also had me falling in love. They looked strange on the display tray but when I put mine on, it immediately looked like it belonged. The colour was just right, the mobius twist was strong but not overpowering. And yes, those little stones...

Fergus: I'm back.
Athalia: I see you've stopped shaking.
Fergus: Can I see the picture agai...
Athalia: No, wait!
Fergus: Garrrkk gweargh gwarkkh!
Athalia: Oh dear. Sorry, readers. I think I've to tend to my fiancee for a while. Tata!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wedding decor: Poms, poms and poms

I loooooove fabric poms. Look at the strings of frilly joy!
They're real easy to make (tutorial here) and can be done while watching TV, sitting around yaking or going to cell. Hehe. Really, it's just drawing circles on fabric, cutting them out, folding them into quarters and stitching six together. Repeat 1,000 times. Piece of cake.

These larger, hanging poms don't even require stitching, just hot-gluing onto a styrofoam sphere (tutorial here).
I plan to make these to decorate the edge of the pews like this:string the smaller poms across the chapel like this:
and stick individual poms around every other place like this:
See why I need 1,000 poms? However, I'll settle for how ever many can be reasonably made.

Best part is, we're going to reuse all these in Muar for the garden dinner - with the addition of fairy lights! I think that it'll look as lovely as this. Minus the tent of course.
Sigh. I love poms.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fourth birthday of the year

We celebrated my brother-in-law CP's birthday last Friday and to call it anything less than a gastronomic shangri-la would be to lie! Lie, I tell you!

Eating started off with tapas at the cafe in the National Geographic Store and then the real dinner happened at L'Opera. The tortellini, when bit into, gave birth to sensations I had never known before. And I had a Cuban beer, this Bucanero Strong - I swear, this thing was brewed with the spirit of the revolution itself. Castro himself would have closed his eyes just to savour its taste.

Alas, describing food can never really come near actually eating it, and as an object lesson on what gets lost in translation, I shall show you only the most austere, the most sedate photos from our reel. Anything more, my friends, will kill you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ring III: Golden

Yes. Our rings will actually be golden in colour. It's fashionable these days to go with "silver", ie white gold or platinum, but I've always thought that a simple gold ring was the most charming and quaint thing. Fergs was initially sceptical about the idea of anything in gold looking good - tsk tsk to him letting modern marketing dictate his taste like that - but after a few "looks vintage" and "that's what our parents all had" pitches from me and some internet pictures, he's fully behind the idea.

Dear readers, let me continue to dispel the notion that gold means a garish, bright yellow Poh-Kong horror:

Aren't these rings so elegant and refined? I later learned that this pale, glossy sheen is called an European finish. My ring will have this finish, while Fergs is going for a matte finish like the ring on the right above.

I can't wait to show you the mock-ups we received!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Up until a few weeks ago, the word "monogram" would be for me the unloved, lonely sister of the record label Polygram. But apparently it's not. It seems that a monogram is a logo-like design that usually comprises the initials of a couple that's getting married, bridged by a plus sign or an ampersand. It's big in the wedding scene, or so I've recently discovered.

Which means that I've been handed the juicy task of digging through all 679 of my fonts to pick out some of the more suitable ones for our monogram. Of course, the one we pick (which may not even be in the picture here) depends largely on what message we want to convey through typography. Are we trying to say we are very oldskool vintage? Or very delicate girly, perhaps? How about edgy literary? Pop arty? Subtle? Patterned? Generic?

Still, a lot more goes into a finished monogram than the dull encircling oval I lazily made last night. Vines? Circular lines? Repeat motifs? My education in wedding art design just keeps on going on.

So, what do you do with this thing called a monogram? It seems, quite a lot. Other than getting it on all your printed material, you can further brand your wedding by printing it on your napkins and aisle runner, arranging it on the wedding car or in your bouquets. Or have it embroidered onto the train of the wedding gown. Or tattooed onto the face of the 4-year-old flower girl. Yes, that should leave a lasting impression, especially for the flower girl. Superduperidea!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Evil evening series 01

These were taken from our apartment balcony and processed really long ago. Yes, I was trying very hard to channel Tim Burton. Yes, I recognise that it doesn't really work. No, the originals were actually very yellowy. Heh.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wedding watch: week 16

Right. Sixteen more weeks to go. That's four months. Gulp.

Anyway, it's taken a long time, but we've finally gotten around to articulating our "Wedding Manifesto", ie guiding principles and ideas we'd like to build this whole project around. Yes, I do think of it as a big, once-in-a-lifetime, oddles-of-fun project. Keeps the stress at bay :)

So, here are some words we'd like to have associated with our wedding. (Warning: umm, wordy post ahead.)
Basically, we don't want to be blindly mainstream. While this obviously applies to the choice of music, it also encapsulates our overriding approach.

For example, the reason why we didn't visit any bridal boutiques is because we didn't want to just purchase a templated wedding. Instead, we wanted to assemble it piece by piece, with the ability to emphasis the parts that are really important to us and leave out the parts that don't matter. Also, this way we're not bound by current trends or ideas on what looks good or is acceptable. The ability to express yourself the way you want to - that's the indie ethos.

This flows naturally from the indie sensibilities above. Also, handcrafted items have that much more special charm and beauty, and the sense of satisfaction you feel after making something yourself is a pretty awesome one.

We also hope that working together on various projects would create chances for the different groups of people we know and love to meet and form a shared connection. I'm excited about some of the ideas I've collected and can't wait to share them in this space. So here's to creativity, beauty and friendships.

This one's a bit of a given, isn't it? One day I should sit down and pin down why we're both so inexplicably drawn to previous eras, because all I can come up with right now is that we're old farts at heart. But till then, bring on the old-school charm in a retro polka-dot dress and douse it generously with nostalgia for the yesterdays, oh yeah.

One of the resolutions I actually made this year was to get married with minimal drama. This was deliberately done because big occasions like that have a way of creating friction, especially among those closest to you. It was also a reminder to me to keep any Bridezilla tendencies I may have on a tight leash, preferably chocked to death. So far so good, though I must admit that the real testing period hasn't started yet. Deep breaths.

Also, on the actual day itself it's important to us that everyone present enjoys themselves. This
means careful planning to get as many things as possible done or delegated in advance. The priority is for our immediate families and wedding party to be with us and have fun, not run around and look into things. If it means having to hire help for the more "back room" tasks, that's a price we're willing to pay 'cos you know, money can't buy you presence. Hee hee hee.

Okay I know that this is a dirty word for some, so we promise not to go overboard with this. The main measure will be to avoid using styrofoam or plastic disposable utensils during any of the functions. We will also minimise the use of plastics where ever we can, and decorations will be made to be reusable so they don't have to get trashed at the end of the day. This is one of the reasons why I am minimising the use of fresh flowers.

So there you go, ladies and gentlemen. Five lofty ideals to attempt to live out. God bless us!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fifi and the pig

My first stop motion sequence! I meant to just make a simple animated gif but Fergs fancied it up very nicely with opening and closing credits, plus music. Now I'm inspired to shoot a longer one to do it justice.

Piggy bank's borrowed from my pastor's daughter and the Fifi lunch bag is home to my camera Iris :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

She & Iris - Week 2

Q and I finally posted our second week of photos! Yes, I know it's late but at least it's up :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our fantastic bridal team dinner party of gluttony and laughter

I've always been the kind of person who keeps his different groups of friends fairly separate. I don't always succeed, and most of the time, it's much better when I colossally fail. And fail I did, because this past Saturday, Athalia and I invited our bridal/groomal team over to her house for a meet and greet dinner.

Soon, we'll be introducing you to our team of bridesmaids, groomsmen, family reps and our in-brand wedding planner. It's a group that consists of a complex mixture and overlapping of childhood friends, my church friends, Athalia's church friends, work friends, siblings and whatever plus ones we could get our soon-to-be-wedded hands on.

And so it ensued, this wonderful mash bash of our 0.1 degree of separation people, eating, getting to know each other and eventually settling down for me to clumsily run through some wedding planning while my brains sat at the table eating baked chicken. And all this information, of course, is just a lengthy excuse for me to attach this, the invite we spent four hours making, the real point of this post, so voila!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Because my hobby is starting new blogs

I've started a shared photo blog with my partner-in-camera, Q; most of you would have seen her in the comments over here.

We're going to post three photos we've taken from the previous week every Sunday night, so if you're interested in following the photographic progress of two girls with their d90s, do head on over to She & Iris. Yes, her camera is really called She - it started of as a joke and ended up sticking.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ring II: Mobius

Mobius. Yes, mobius because our wedding rings are going to be in the shape of a mobius strip: a band with a twist that makes it mathematically one-sided. Run your finger along the outer side of the ring and you'll end up in the inner side of it. Keep running your finger and you'll end up back on the outer side again. And we like it. No, we love it! In Athalia's own words, it's the "ultimate expression of two becoming one".

Of course, with a mobius strip for a ring, I can also sock an attacker in the face and cause more damage. No? A bit lame? Ok, lemme think of another one. Ooh, with a mobius strip for a ring, it would be easier for me to distinguish my ring every time me and the boys remove our rings to form the Audi logo. No, no, that's terrible. That's really bad. Wise people always stop when they're off form. So here goes.


(Onwards to a jeweller.)

March wedding updates

March wedding flurry takes us closer to the wedding march. Here are all the highlights:

Commissioner of oaths - We went to the commissioner of oaths to confirm that we were actually the same people as those in the wedding application forms. I swear, it's a bizarre but fascinating process: "Is this girl in the photo the same girl as her?" "Yes." Chop. Chop. Chop. "Is this man in the photo the same person as him?" "Yes." Chop. Chop. Chop. Done.

The Chinese dinner - We visited seven Chinese restaurants to enquire about having our Chinese family dinner there. Incredibly, all of them had our date vacant (seriously, nobody wants to marry on our date!). Some, you walk in, and you immediately know it's a no. I fell in love with one, and there's also another distinct possibility. Here's to an April of decisionmaking!

The rings - We explored one option, which was prohibitively expensive, went back and forth as the price came down but not down down down and we moved on, explored other leads and we think we've arrived at a decision: a local jeweler. Custom designs. Apparently my stubby finger is a size 15.

The gown - Yes, yes, we sat down with a friend who's a designer and Athalia talked about what she wanted as he (the designer) weaved his magical pencil up and down a piece of paper. One hour later, another custom design was born. Two words: "flowy" and "chiffon".

The suit - Aha. After once declaring that I'll be a one-suit man for life (I'll get married in this suit, I'll get buried in this suit"), I ate my words and decided to get something less businessy and more retro-fitting for the wedding. An afternoon's shopping with Athalia and Shu led me to what we think is the one. Three words: mad skinny retro.

The fabric - More shopping as the wedding carousel cranks up another notch - Athalia, her mum and her gown designer hit Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to trek through one trillion fabric shops. She came back with a great report, plonking it down for 7 metres of champagney chiffon, 3 metres of lining, and four different swaths of green chiffon (pic) as samples for the bridesmaids' dresses. And all this while I was sitting on my arse!

Actually, not quite.

The budget - We both continue to bring home the daily bread and squint at it as we assemble, disassemble and reassemble our wedding budget spreadsheet. I'm telling you, the similarities between costing for a wedding and a film shoot are amazing.

The rockout friends dinner - Ok, so I've left one of the most exciting ones to the end - just today, we received the confirmation email from the venue for our rockout friends dinner! After a bit of ding-dong with negotiations, all is agreed and we just have to saunter over there with a briefcase full of money labeled "downpayment". That's coming up this week, with much thanks to Eevon, our in-brand wedding planner of awesomeness.

And so, as you can see, March has not been a quiet month for us after all! Quite the contrary - there's been a lot of loud, exultant exclamatory words being bandied around all month, like "Yay!" and "Wheee!" and "Westilldon'thaveaphotographer!"

Monday, March 29, 2010

March house updates

There's an old Malay idiom that goes "Blog yang tenang jangan disangka tiada updates". And it makes perfect sense! March has been a slow month for this little nook in the internet but that's not to say that we haven't been working our crocs and socks off. In fact, it was a deliberate strategy to not post till the very end, and put everything up in one shot. Yes, now I remember. It was entirely deliberate. No? It doesn't work? Ok then, we'll revert to standard method in April. But I repeat, it wasn't because we were lazy or anything. Yeah.

Here are some of the things that went down in our house this month:

Floors - We relaid 95% of the laminated floorboards in the home office, replacing a few imperfectly-cut pieces and finished the entire room's floors! Sawing the end-planks vertically proved to be more Herculean a task than we imagined, but we braved it with aplomb. Victory lap.

Couch restoration - Athalia cracked open our newly received leather restoration kit and began her pet project of feeding our 60s-styled vintage red couch with water from the fountain of youth. The results? More in a dedicated post!

Middle room - We laid the middle room with temporary linoleum flooring and I've moved in, leaving the living room vacant and ready for us to...

Paint the ceiling! - Ohmystars was this a bumper day of labour! Nine hours of painting the ceiling, the skirting where it meets the wall and two beams turned out to be the poster-child of our March adventures in DIY. I think it's the handsomest ceiling in the entire world (pic), or at least will be once we paint the walls, which will tidy up the edges where they meet. And I know what you're thinking now - OMG it's black! Almost. Almost. Nippon's "Flint black" is a dusty, smoky, deep grey-green that's virtually black to the naked eye. Yet, it's not quite black in the blacker than midnight on a moonless night kinda sense.

And so that's the house. But wait. There's more... up next: March updates on the wedding!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ring I: Prohibitive

So, getting a wedding ring is not quite the same as buying a bag of cheezles. Ignore the fact that after a bit of shopping, all wedding rings, like cheezles, start to look the same - they're not. Nonetheless, after a bit of online browsing, we thought we'd be extra clever and get our rings custom made.

We even found an amazing online jeweler based in Singapore and Thailand whose work involved sustainable support for a community of indigenous Thai mountain silversmiths. Or something like that. She was cool. Her work was way cool. And so, a few emails later, we set up a Skype meeting, got on the phone and nervously talked terms. We were both enthralled.

She understood what we wanted. We talked about the concept. We talked about the material. We talked a bit about design details.

And then we talked about price.

End of story.

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