No such thing as privacy in the digital age?

I just read this post on how privacy and the digital age are incompatible, and in the most part I find myself agreeing with the author than not.

Throughout my digital life I’ve found my perception of the importance of privacy swinging wildly between the extremes, sometimes being paranoid about what data I give away about myself while being extremely cavalier at others.

Lately though, I’ve been finding that when it comes to privacy one’s pretty much out at sea when dealing especially with digital media — it’s such a hard and confusing fight that sometimes you just have to wonder if it’s all worth it.

Is privacy really all that important? Or is it only important if you’ve got something to hide?

Jo’s Birthday Party @ the Shanghai Dolly

The fiancee and I went to Josephine’s birthday party last Saturday, which was held at a cafe/bar called “Shanghai Dolly” (to someone who doesn’t go out much it seems to be quite a happening place), situated around the Clarke Quay area, right next to Liang Court.

Josephine had set a theme for this party, called “Old Shanghai vs. Urban Chic” (or something like that); and not being someone who takes much initiative in these sorts of things (probably because of my uber-pragmatic narrow-minded reluctance to spend on getting into theme), I was feeling a little stressed. Then again, maybe I just hadn’t gotten enough sleep.

Imagine the white scarf being toilet paper and you more or less got my outfit figured out.

(*QUEUE THE DREAMLIKE MUSIC* A long time ago back my brother was still a toddler, I remember my mom and/or dad always explaining away his crying with a “awwww, just tired/sleepy/hungry ar” as they rocked him to sleep — after months, maybe years, listening to this during my impressionable pre-teenage/teenage days, I’d since explained away all my bad moods with the same — my fiancee knows this only too well).

In the end, my outfit consisted of a black t-shirt, checkered pants I bought in Australia because it was cheap and looked ridiculous, a blazer, and some toilet paper. Yup, you read that right: toilet paper. It was the fiancee’s idea, no less. From far the toilet paper looks just like one of those long scarfs you see some mafia-looking people wearing in the old days over their blazers. The effect was quite spectacular, especially from far.

(Note that in the end though, I didn’t wear the toilet paper as all of Josephine’s relatives were dressed really, really well and I didn’t want to disrespect their effort; if this was Australia though, I’d probably have wore the toilet paper till it broke.)

The fiancee wore a checkered sweater/polo-T combi (and Christy asked, “did you just come back from playing Golf?”) as well as one of my mom’s pearl necklaces which she wore as a bracelet (which actually looked better as a bracelet than a necklace). And she wore a skirt. Yup,  a skirt. You cannot imagine how amazing this was to people who know her — almost as amazing as my getting together with her in the first place (I think Wei Hao almost died when he learnt of my interest in her).

The party consisted of a buffet dinner followed by some entertainment by Josephine’s relatives (singing + playing on the piano). The buffet spread was pretty good, with two notable mentions: mango pudding which only the birthday girl Josephine and her old schoolmates could taste; and Chicken in some sort of creamy gravy, which included salmon only the birthday girl Josephine and her old schoolmates could find).

After dinner we went to the bar area, which had helium-filled balloons scattered all over; these balloons provided us with endless entertainment throughout the night: we tied them together then untied them; held them down and released them; Caleb tied them to his butt, shoes, and later spectacles (we learnt that it takes approximately ten balloons to make them float); and Esther, who came later, inhaled some helium and talked in the funny helium voice.

Afterwards, we sat and drank and talked, took some photos — both polaroid and digital — and listened to people (in-house entertainment as well as Josephine’s relatives) sing and play the piano.

And finally, as a finale the cake (baked by relatives, taking TWO days) came out — beautifully done, and very interesting.

Yay to all! Will update with some photos whenever. 😉

Birthday’s Come and Gone

Thank you all for your birthday wishes. Now one year older, I feel that much wiser — it’s amazing what one day can do to you.

Thank you my fiancee for that wonderful treat! For the uninformed, we ate at the Melts restaurant yesterday, and it was one of the satisfying meals I’ve had in a long time. Coupled with exceptional service (including a unexpected staff-sung birthday song + birthday card with our photos in it), the food was thoroughly enjoyed and I haven’t had a better dining experience elsewhere.

Now just leaving my 25th year, a good year by most standards, I’m hoping my 26th will be my best year yet.

Cleaning up the room

“Why’d you throw these away?!” my brother and I exclaimed upon seeing the pile of books that’d been marked to be thrown or donated, the former because it was easier and the latter because it’d assuage some of the built associated with book-burning.

We couldn’t believe what our mom had decided to discard. Among them were one of my favourite books, The Remains of the Day, as well as a book I had never read before but had always intended to, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

My mom, visibly peeved that all her hard work cleaning up the mess we made was being met with disdainful incredulity as opposed to immense gratitude, shot back, “how many times have I told you to clean up your rooms?” Since we didn’t do it, she’d do it for us. Her way.

Well, to be honest, I don’t keep track of these kinds of things, but I really can’t recall the last time she did ask me or my bro to clean up the room. But even if she did, man, what are the chances we’d have followed up on it? Cleaning up the room’s like exercise, you know — it’s something we should and wish we would do, but it’s just something we don’t.