Smile

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April. Avril. Aprile.

It’s been a lovely 2-week break from blogging and the weekly night classes on Digital Comms at UofT. Actually, I kinda miss going to class. I had a great lecturer (Hi, Donna!) and classmates from diverse backgrounds who bring unique experiences to our class discussions.

So, blink of an eye, April’s coming to an end. It’s been an eventful month. Let’s see…

  1. Survived the winter. #SomeSunFinally. Woohoo!

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    Bonjour! Not quite April in Paris. But I’ll take ’em – the sun, coffee and canele.

  2. I turned a year older. Boo! But also had the MOST AMAZING coconut cream pie from Scaramouche for my birthday. Yummm…

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    Happy. Indeed.

  3. Celebrated fifth wedding anniversary. Has it been 5 years??? Yay-zer Amay-zer!

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    Cheesy, I know. But sweet. But cheesy. Sweet.

  4. Revisited New York City after 2 decades. I wonder what took me so long. Still my bae.

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    Never gets old. @empirestatebuilding @easter2017

  5. Completed the digital communication course and received a decent grade with such encouraging comments for my virgin attempt of a blog, which I am so so so grateful for. Nice being a student again. Triple Yeahs!

  6. Successfully baked a pandan cake, without it sinking like Titanic! (Pandan = Screwpine leaves, a popular flavour in South-east Asian cuisine. It’s green. It looks radioactive but smells and tastes so good. Pain in the a*s to get the cake right though.)

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    It looks simple and harmless – 6 egg yolks, 9 egg whites and 55 freakin’ minutes later.

This has been an eventful month. Indeed. And to top it all off, the hubs and I went to check out the beautiful sakura at High Park. I have this thing with flowers. For a moment, soaking in the vibes there transported me back to my Tokyo trip 2 years ago. #IHeartJapan

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Sakura in full bloom @highparktoronto

The month of April typically put me in a reflective mood. It’s Spring. It’s about renewal. I get older and wonder if I have lived a useful and fulfilled life. Wonder if I have accomplished what I set out to do.

Because my wedding anniversary also falls in April, I contemplate if I have been a good wife, if we have tackled (or averted) any crisis well, and take pride in my ability to annoy the hell out of him. 

For most parts, I am thankful for all the wonderful people, things and circumstances in my life. I try (and sometimes I fail) to take all experiences, even painful ones as positive learning points.

This year, I celebrate these moments with a new identity in a new city. I have been particularly pensive. There is a lingering tinge of what-ifs.

What if I did not come to Toronto? What if I return to my job in 14 months and decide that I do not want it anymore? What if I can’t keep up? What if I am no longer relevant? Self-doubt and negativity. Did I mention pessimism is my middle name?

But then I also snap out of it pretty quickly. Or at least my inner angel tends to put up a strong fight against the demon. Mostly 🙂

I have much to be grateful for. I am keenly aware.

Goodbye, April Lady. It’s been good to have you around. ~ “Smile” by QUEEN

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TO. Rose-tinted.

Fun in the hunt

If you have read my <<About>> page and the previous post, you know I love shoes. I said I could wax lyrical about them the entire day so of course, I am going to have another post about them.

Actually, to be precise, I am not solely talking about shoes but how, in my last three months in Toronto, I have managed to find solid bargains and spent more than I should. I am also aware that I have mentioned in my previous post about becoming more price-tag sensitive. Ha! I mock myself.

Before I stopped earning my own keep a couple of months ago, I have always enjoyed indulging in some beautiful and at times expensive shoes once in a while. The Carrie Bradshaw in me, fortunately, and unfortunately, is still very much alive and kicking, all pun intended.

Not a single person I know prior to my trip gushed about the shopping in Toronto. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I remember the words “boring” and “meh”. Let’s face it, this city is known for many things. Great shopping? Not so much. So imagine my surprise, pleasant of course, by the number of good stuff I found.

In my 3rd week here, something magical happened. I discovered Winners (cue magical harp music).

Yes, Winners. They are everywhere in the city. In fact, there is one just across my apartment building. The dangers in life.

It was a cold but sunny weekday afternoon, rare and a much-needed window for me to get out and explore the neighbourhood. I walked in, not expecting anything at all. At first glance, it was not impressive. More like a mishmash of items ranging from active wear, equipment, shoes et cetera from different brands, somewhat haphazardly put together.

As I delved deeper and began to check out the merchandise and their price tags, things got more interesting. I mean, I love a good bargain just like anyone else. It is only smart to hunt down the best price one can get on any item of desire, especially if that item is expensive. I walked out with some beauty and hair care products. I also kept in mind to check it out again. Like the next day.

Things got really interesting when they started their Runway event – a collection of designer labels for less, which I found out from its customer newsletter. Actually, I want to digress a little. From a marketing perspective, I think Winners has done a great job. I was introduced to its reward card by its sales staff. It is free and the process to sign up is fast and simple. I started following them on social media. It was also around the time of the event when I started noticing their TV commercials. Super hilarious. Check it out here.

 

 

Ok, back to bargain hunting. I visited the one near my apartment and lo and behold, they were not joking about the goods! I made a beeline for the shoe department. It was crowded. There was a dizzying array of merchandise. In a good way. I spotted Saint Laurent, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta, just to name a few. All new and many in unbelievable prices. I had to do double takes on the price tags for quite a few. (Disclaimer: I am not saying they are inexpensive. I am referring to their significantly lower price compared to their original retail. Even during a sale, I am not certain if it is possible to get that sort of price point on offer here.)

resistance was broken. It must be the lack of oxygen with all those women also hyperventilating around me. I scored a pair of BV flats in a gorgeous cobalt blue in soft, woven lambskin for less. Way less.

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Guilt trip #1

I walked out feeling high and elated. Also, a tinge of guilt because, you know. Then the unthinkable happened a week later.

I went to the store with the sole intention to purchase earphones for running. I walked out with a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.

OMG. Yes, it was in my size and further marked down to an (repeat after me) u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e price. I was feeling high and guilt-stricken at the same time. Maybe it was the stress of the relocation acting up. I put it on my own card, a poor attempt to alleviate some of that guilt. Ok, all lousy excuses. Please don’t judge me. I know you are. I will judge me too.

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Guilt trip #2

So, yes. The discovery of Winners has been one of the highlights since my move here. It has also caused, erm, some damages to the bank account.

I am glad the madness has somewhat subsided. I still check out the store weekly. It is an entertaining place to visit, much like a treasure trove where part of the fun is in the discovery. (Disclaimer #2: I am not working for them nor am I paid to talk about them. I am just amazed so it is a genuine, voluntary shout-out. Another pat on the back for its marketing team. Word-of-mouth is priceless.)

Oh, and my husband doesn’t know about my shoes. Yet. I plan to keep it as that for as long as I can. Or come up with some excellent excuses when discovered.

Any other great places for good value and bargains that you are aware of? Sharing is caring.

Money money money, must be funny, in a rich man’s world

You can never be too skinny or too rich. So say some.

Be it in dollar, euro, pound or peso, money is something that many people think about all the time.

According to the recent The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, as reported by The Telegraph, my home country – Singapore, has been rated the most expensive city in the world. For the fourth time!

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This is Singapore, my home country – the most expensive city in the world. Credit: SALVADOR III MANAOIS / ALAMY Extracted fromThe Telegraph.

So I cannot blame people for the common perception that all Singaporeans are rich. But that cannot be further from the truth.

When the cost of living is high, it takes a toll on its people. Obviously, not everyone is in the top 1% (I am definitely not) What the report did not cover is the fact that Singaporeans work long hours to keep up with the standard of living and are often stressed out by the possibility of not being able to make ends meet.

My husband and I were fortunate to hold good jobs that bring in stable income that allowed us certain indulgences if we so wish. It was essentially a dual-income family with no children. But even then, I know how tough it can be financially if we have a child and one of us (probably me) were to stop work for a while to look after the child. Apart from the changing mindset of young, married couples (career-first, lifestyle choice etc.), that is one of the reasons why the birth rate is fast declining. It is an expensive city and even more so to bring up a child. Keeping up with the Joneses is a choice but most parents are extremely competitive.

Having said that, it is only after we moved to Toronto that I realised I have taken for granted some of the things I used to enjoy without thinking much about it, and of course, some great stuff in Toronto that I wish I can have back home.

Public transportI was unpleasantly surprised that each trip on the TTC costs C$3.25! So if I decide to venture out, I need to spend C$6.50 on a return trip. And that’s if I am only headed to a single location. The system also benefits only those who travel a longer distance.

Depends on how you look at it, it may encourage walking if the distance is manageable but what happens when there are rain and snow storms? Sure, cars are relatively affordable here but what if I do not own one, a parking lot or know how to drive? Back home, public transport is decent and one can travel to various parts of the island quickly and affordably – less than half of what it costs here.

FoodEver since my ‘metamorphosis’ into a dependent, I have become more sensitive to the price of goods and to my surprise, food is much more expensive here in Toronto than in Singapore.

While you get more high-quality fresh produce here that may be slightly more affordable than back home, restaurants and cafes prices are higher. Even fast food is so pricey. So if you do not cook, then eating out (and not fast food) is an expensive affair.

For example, a Chinese takeout from a simple food court stall consisting of rice or noodles with two types of meat or vegetables cost almost C$9 plus tax. That same price can feed 2-3 people back home, like for like.

Surprisingly, the bill is lower here for the more classy, high-end restaurants compared to Singapore. Back home, you pay a really high premium if you dine in a top Japanese or French restaurant – easily S$200 a head.

Tax (Gosh, the tax!)13%! On everything! When I get excited about a certain item, be it on the price tag or menu, I always want to kick myself when the time comes to show them the money. It’s like those travel discount websites where the final price of the plane tickets on sale is not really as attractive as it seems after all the ‘extras’ are included.

Back home, tax is about 50% less.

TippingI acknowledge that for most of the American and European worlds, tipping is a norm. At some places, it is an absolute must, unless you are prepared to be humiliated and never to return.

The tipping culture is something I do not understand. Isn’t the rationale for tipping, a form of reward – voluntary on the part of the giver – for the great service provided? So why does it feel like it is mandatory? In Singapore, tipping is not a must as there is usually a 10% service charge included in the restaurant bill. If you have received excellent service and want to tip above and beyond the bill, it’s purely your choice and you will not be made to feel like you owe them something. Here, if you do not tip between 15-20%, even if you have received lousy service, be prepared to be screamed at or given the evil eye.

So, while my home country is and has been the most expensive country for the last few years, there are several parts of it that one can only appreciate after moving away and experiencing life in another country.

One thing that may make my Canadian friends feel better about car ownership here compared to Singapore.

I was at the 2017 Auto Show recently and was shocked (actually more amused and annoyed with my home country) to find that a BMW – what most would call a luxury sports car costs almost 500% less! There is no restriction for how many cars or the number of years you can own your car. In Singapore, your car is only yours for a maximum of 10 years and you can ‘renew your right’ to own your car for another decade by paying an arm and a leg for the certificate issued by the government.

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Five figures. Still a lot of $ but this will never happen back home.

A basic car that gets one from point A to point B – a Toyota Corolla costs about $120,000 Singapore dollars. Singapore dollar is now almost on par with the Canadian dollar. Go figure.

Any $$$ saving tips in this lovely city? Do share!

Spring is here (croons Sinatra)

It is officially Spring.

IMG_4041According to the many social media feeds in the last few days, Spring is a time for renewal and how it got its term was the description of crops springing from the ground. It has also been widely reported that Spring is not going to feel like Spring as all the imagery describes – flowers blooming, birds singing and clear skies.

Now, I would not have given much thoughts about the above-mentioned. Sure, I have read books, watched movies and admired paintings and photos depicting the beautiful season. The closest association I have with Spring (and Summer, Fall and Winter) is with fashion.

Due to the lack of distinct seasons, exposure to seasonal produce, apparel (and footwear as mentioned in the previous post), florals and fauna (even though Singapore is also known as a garden city) and the general seasonal vibes is subdued. It’s just not the same when you celebrate Christmas in 30 deg C and ‘snow’ made off styrofoam.

I am from a tropical island in Southeast Asia that is about 144 km or 89 miles from the equator. To me (and most of my fellow countrymen), there is only one season and that season is HAH! – Hot And Humid! 32 degree Celsius (89.6 F) on average. All. Year. Round.

Singapore is an urban city, similar to Toronto. Singapore is similar in size, very slightly larger to the City of Toronto but contains twice as many people (moving close to 6 million). It is also a multi-racial and multi-cultural society. In fact, there are many parities, not just in the physical sense but also people and the way things work, as I have noticed since I got here.

Despite the lack of natural, home-grown produce, food or access to a wide variety of food is never an issue in Singapore. In fact, Singaporeans are very proud of our cuisine. Ask anyone who has left the country long enough and the first thing they miss is almost always the food.

But there is something about feeling, wearing, buying and cooking seasonal that I find quaint. Perhaps it is a novelty for me who do not get to enjoy four seasons back home and hence not take it for granted.

What I have enjoyed in terms of seasonal changes since the move to the Great White North (sounds so Game of Thrones) are:

  1. Snow – I know, I have a well-documented love-hate relationship with it

  2. Seasonal produce – How amazingly fresh and beautiful are those apples and asparagus!

  3. Me paying attention to said seasonal produce and trying new ones – Housewife who cooks but has never touched squash.

  4. Abundance and price of fresh flowers – Gerberas (my favourite), tulips, iris, hydrangeas. They are very costly back home. And don’t last because it’s way too hot.

I am no botanist but I have always had some green fingers. I used to have pots of hydrangeas (those cute balls of blooms lasted only for a week) and bamboo in my apartment and the money plants in my office. My work desk used to be identified as the one with “that mini tree over there”.

I plan to add on pots of plants and building my little indoor flower garden. My chrysanthemum, daisies, bamboo and tulips need more friends. Le husband thinks it’s too much in a tiny apartment. Who cares what le husband thinks.

I am also looking forward to check out the fresh fruits and vegetables in the local markets. Those small family-run ones are the best. (Sorry, Metro and Loblaws.) Gotta give those foreign vegetables a go 🙂

Even though it has been a foggy start to Spring on this first day of the season, I hope the weather clears up soon and I can enjoy Spring as per those storybook and movie imageries I so anticipate.

What do you appreciate most about Spring? Share it!

I want to put on my my my my my boogie shoes

I LOVE SHOES.

I am obsessed with them. I can wax lyrical about them the whole day. I won’t. For now.

My relationship with shoes is complicated. While I subscribe to a strictly monogamous relationship IRL (you are my one and only, hubs), the same does not hold true when it comes to shoes.

When it was decided that we would move to Toronto end of last year, apart from my well-documented rants posts of what was to come (which, in all honesty, has not turned out too bad), I did something that allowed my excitement and misery to play out all at once. I went shoe shopping. Specifically, boot shopping.

I went nuts. Didn’t help that it was sale season online. Net-a-Porter Sale? Yes! Zara? Perfect! In a matter of weeks, I acquired five pairs of boots and a pair of Nike sneakers in wool (the best!) – all gorgeous and of great value. I tried using this term incessantly to convince my husband that I was normal.

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Do re mi fa so

Do re mi fa so –  All gorgeous. All not wearable this winter.

 

Unless you are from or have grown up in a tropical country, you may find the excitement nonsensical. Watching actors in gorgeous coats and features of knee-high boots in fashion magazines induce much winter fashion envy.

The closest I have gotten to being so heavily-shod was in a pair of Doc Martens boots during the 90s grunge period (which I soon realised was not for me. Not cool enough. Love Nirvana though.) Under the Singapore sun and humidity, clomping around in boots of any kind will not only bring about strange looks but also the ‘fetching’ scent of Eau de Stinky feet.

Closer to our move, my husband and I started googling about the weather in Toronto and what people wear. You would think I should have done this first, BEFORE buying my boots, but I was not thinking. I was drowning my sorrows through shoe therapy, remember?

Our aim was to be prepared for winter but not look like we were going hiking at Eaton Centre. We got acquainted with Sorel, LL Bean, Kodiak and Blundstone, none of which was available in Singapore. Yes, by this stage, I realised that apart from the wool Nike sneakers, I could not wear any of the boots acquired. NONE. Unless I want to slip and fall on my ass the moment I step out on the slush. Great.

Other than the 12 pairs of shoes – Boots x 5, Non-winter shoes x 6 and Nike wool sneakers x 1 – that I lugged across the continents for 18 hours, I bought a pair of Kodiak the very next day upon my arrival in Toronto. It was really more for its utility because the snow and slush were getting the better of me. My husband, for once, was all for spending the money because to deal with me fearful and frustrated of slipping was a bigger catastrophe. To me, I thought, this is it. Too many pairs of shoes in an apartment that is too small. One and done. Until the next pair came along 6 weeks later. I needed something dressier but still waterproof and can handle the elements. (Argh! I am ill-disciplined, vain and gross. I know.) The Artica  knee-highs was it. It was made for walking and it was on sale. The husband was not happy. I was ecstatic. “Happy wife, happy life”I had to tell him on repeat.

Kodiak Artica

The Lucky 7

So, I now have a total of 7 pairs of boots. Worn 3. Can’t wait for better weather to come around to break out my remaining ones but it looks like a long shot. Winter came again last weekend. It’s snowy and wet all over again.

But that’s it for boots. These lucky seven, sept, 7, sette pairs have to last me through my next Fall/Winter adventure in Toronto.

Until number 8 – the luckiest number in Chinese culture – comes along 😉 

Do you have an encounter of the winter shoes kind? Share it!

‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar (aka anthem for every 8th of March)

Credit: 8tracks.com

Yes, we can.

I tend to think in songs or specifically, song lyrics. I don’t know why but it is a strange habit. So you may have noticed that I have song titles or part of its lyrics frequently featured in my posts.

Today, being the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as I write this post, uncontrollably I start thinking of songs and lyrics that are girl-power focused. (I hear a succession of Katy Perry’s Roar, Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman, Aretha Franklin’s Respect and Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women in my head..)

International Women’s Day is not usually a special day for me. Don’t get me wrong. I respect and love my fellow female family members and friends. I admire the Sheryl Sandbergs and Michelle Obamas of the world. I applaud women who are dedicated spouse, mother, sister, daughter and everything in between – THE ultimate multi-hyphenated multi-taskers in the world. But IWD is not one that sparks deep reflection, like how a birthday or an anniversary does for me.

This year, though, because of the particular political climate that has placed emphasis on the topic and my new ‘stint’, it makes me ruminate a little more.

Transitioning from a working woman who earns her own keep to one who stays home and depends on her spouse for almost everything (and I still hate thinking/saying/typing it), I am like an anti-thesis of the women marching in today’s #ADayWithoutAWoman protest.

The protest, happening at noon today, is against the discrimination and salary differences between men and women in the working world.It encourages women to not show up for work and not to shop, as a sign of protest against inequality.

Credit: Twitter #ADayWithoutAWoman

I don’t have earning power now. I have to buy groceries today because I need them. Does it mean I do not stand for equality?

How about all the stay-home spouses and mums (and dads)? Many take on this role by choice or simply because it is a practical thing to do for the family. Does it mean they do not contribute to the society? Does that make us less worthy of respect from fellow females who are out there protesting now?

I was watching a talk show yesterday that introduced a new book by Stephen Marche, titled The Unmade Bed. It talks about the role reversal of the author moving here and staying home while his wife works as the editor for a key publication, and all the changing dynamics in such a situation (sounds familiar to me…) With how society perceives and expects of men, in general, I can only imagine it is 10,000 times worse than how I feel in my situation. Does that make him less worthy of respect from his fellow males?

As of now, there are already several notable figures and celebrities showing their support for the movement via social media. There are also many (men and women) who came out to criticise the action.

If you have read my previous posts, you know I relish my independence. My sense of self is also closely tied to my ability to be self-sufficient. While the situation has changed, it does not mean I have to surrender my voice to have an opinion (my husband can vouch for that, grudgingly).

Reading about schools cancelling classes and business closing for the day in anticipation of staff participating in the protest, is disturbing. I get what the underlying issues are, but is this the right way to do it? Perhaps inspired by the march in January following the inauguration of the new POTUS and the A Day Without Immigrants protest in February, the organisers and many women around the world feel that such a protest is a good platform to be seen and heard.

Honestly, and I know this may incur the wrath of some women, this act seems so negative to me. I am not going to show up/ return your call/ give you what you want so you know who’s boss. What is this? Throwing tantrums? Yes, I am angry to know that women are paid less than men doing the exact same job. Yes, I am incredibly pissed by society’s warped expectation of women to be ‘the full package’ yet judge harshly when we voice our displeasures. I get it.

But I do not see the need to punish everyone for this, including the innocent bystanders. Can you imagine how stressful it is for the mothers (and fathers) whose children are affected by the school closures? Even if they scramble to find and willing to pay more for babysitters, they cannot find one, because they are also out there marching! Or those poor business owners already struggling to make ends meet (who may happen to be women too)? For me, as a teacher, to let students miss their class because of the need to prove a point, to me, it is self-serving and irresponsible. As an employee, it is simply unprofessional. I stand for women (and men) who are marginalised in the working world for no good reasons but I cannot stand for this. Are these ideas and actions what we want to push and show the younger generation?

No need for bra- and corset-burning here (blame it on the pop culture symbolism) although I believe many issues regarding inequality need to be addressed. I think we possess the strength and maturity to discuss them in a more targetted and meaningful way. I do not think we need to go to that extent of not showing up to prove our worth and get some well-deserved R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Credit: pexels.com

We need more star jumps.

Happy International Women’s Day.

I can’t stop the feeling (So just dance, dance, dance)

I am posting this in the middle of the night. I have taken a tad too long to recover from the shock I watched on TV hours earlier. Yup, I am talking about the Academy Awards.

Photo credit: theindependent.co.uk

“Best Picture goes to…La La Land!” NOPE.

I started this post about 12 hours earlier with the intention to write as I watch the show and post after it. But the last 5 minutes happened in the strangest way and then I was glued to my phone reading the flurry of social media madness that exploded almost immediately.

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I LOVE WATCHING THE OSCARS. Live.

Like, love. I love it like:

  • I find myself smiling, or feeling in awe (doesn’t it feel nice to see people win?) as I follow the 3-hour show with such intensity. My husband had to tap me to remind me to breathe.

  • how I would go on leave if it didn’t clash with work schedules (of course that was not what I told my boss) just to stay in to watch.

  • I am so NOT a morning person and yet, I would wake up at 6 am, (back home, 13 hours behind) to catch it from the red carpet arrival to the end of the ceremony.

  • Nuts!” (what my friends would say) when I’ll be giving them a running commentary via a slew of WhatsApp messages while they are at work.

Over the years, many people have trashed the Academy Awards saying that it’s passé, pointless, and totally commercialised. That it celebrates a bunch of overpaid, under-qualified and self-absorbed people in their own la la land. Maybe. Maybe not. Don’t care.

I can’t explain my obsession with the Academy Awards. Movie magic? It’s been like that for as long as I could remember. I never wanted to be a performer so it is not really an alter-ego thing. But I have always enjoyed a broad genre of music, fashion, and moving pictures, old and new. I tend toward movies like A Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting and The Theory of Everything but am also a fan of Marvel and DC superheroes and of course, Back to the Future (all of them). In fact, I have not found anyone who dislikes BTTF (you’ve got issues if you are not entertained by Marty McFly).

Aside from the sometimes long and strange speeches (remember Roberto Benigni’s for his win for <<Life is Beautiful>>?), the Awards is fun, shallow, glamorous, condemning and inspirational, all wrapped in a shiny package. What’s not to love?

This year, thanks to my husband (Ha! Sarcasm.), I am finally able to watch the show in peace, same time zone and not find an excuse not to go to work. Ok, not really in peace because I have to make dinner AND live tweet during the red carpet arrival for my assignment.

I am rooting for Emma Stone. So many great movies in the running for Best Picture this year. I want to hear more searing remarks about Mr FakeTanFakeNews from Jimmy Kimmel. I know all these people don’t know me and what they do have nothing to do with me but that’s the magic of pop culture, I suppose.

I love checking out the celebrities – what and who they are wearing? Hair! Make-up! Jewelry!

I scrutinise the gowns, their material, texture, colours and how they fit. Like how on earth, with all the resources, would one choose such ill-fitting and unflattering stuff? (Fire the stylist!) I enjoy fashion and the business of fashion. I studied fashion marketing and worked in the business before I went into teaching. That furthered my interest and it was part of my job to pay special attention to it.

My live tweeting assignment is about the red carpet arrivals and how it goes beyond just wearing beautiful clothes and jewellery. I was in PR and would be ecstatic like, literally jump and punch my fist in the air (uncool, I know) whenever the celebs stepped out in our pieces and the brand names got mentioned. The angle is about how celebrities (or their stylists and agents) choose to wear who they wear and if it is more of a business transaction than a great look. You can read about it here storify.com/SuddenDependent/oscars-red-carpet Well, all I can say is, competition on that red carpet is BRUTAL and not just for the celebs themselves.

I think there are a number of great moments from this year’s ceremony:

  • Jimmy Kimmel. Get him back next year! With a side of Matt Damon.

  • Bags of candies and cookies raining down on the audience. So cute!

  • The musical performances by Justin Timberlake, Sting, John Legend and Sara Bareilles. Proves that a great voice is all you need.

  • Surprised unknowing guests from a tour bus led into the ceremony

  • Emma wins!

  • Bonnie & Clyde presenting Best Picture to La La Land! Except, it’s not the Best Picture! What a strange moment. And what a big upset, not in the win for Moonlight but in the mix-up.

  • What a memorable way to end! It beats the “Adele Dazeem” moment hands-down. What the hell just happened???

Thanks, hubs (no sarcasm here) for letting me take over the TV since 4 pm last evening and just watching my madness unfolds. I am tired but it’s a different and fun experience watching it here.

Ok, I need to zzz. I know I will continue with Academy Awards overload on social media when I finally wake up from this Oscars coma.

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Monday morning office pantry topic of the year