Dēsīderō you

Published on Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 by Tien Yew

Prope duōbus annīs post, it still isn’t easy to live sine eā. Dolōre, I write this nunc nam amōrem tam procul abesse dēsīderō. Especially adhūc with 6 weeks more to go dum intueor faciem. Putāvī numquam I would ever get used to it but it still surprises me id mihi dolēre. Et omnia quae facere possum sunt exspectāre et exspectāre et exspectāre et exspectāre.

My Lasik Experience

Published on Saturday, June 14th, 2008 by lizzie

After years of consideration and months of procrastination (probably due to the big hole it would leave in my pocket..), I decided to finally get my eyes fixed once and for all.? I went for a pre-assessment at Eagle Eye Clinic at Mt Alveria Hospital in end May and had my op last Thursday.? The doc who did my Lasik is Dr Julian Theng. He’s a senior consultant and was previously with the Singapore National Eye Centre. He’s this pretty good looking chap who’s very patient (very important for kan-cheong people like me) and very professional. Overall the procedure was painless, though there’s slight discomfort when they clamped my eyelids to keep my eyes open and used scotch tape to tape my eyelashes. For those of you who are considering doing Lasik, here’s a walk through of the whole procedure. I will also list what are the things to look out for before and after the op.

1) Dr Julian Theng only operates on Thursdays, so do watch your schedule there.

2) When I arrived at Eagle eye centre last Thursday morning, I was brought to a room where the nurses dripped lots of eye drops for me and dressed me in those surgical paper frocks (complete with shower cap). For ladies with long hair, don’t bother to tie cos you’ll need to lie down and your head must be totally flat on the headrest. Oh, my dad was allowed to watch the whole procedure. After that I was lead to lie down on this bed and the nurses and doc started to clamp my eyes and tape the lashes. Dr Theng started with my right eye.

3) He dropped anesthetic eye drops in both eyes and my left eye was covered after that. AFter clamping, he adjusted this machine over my right eye and told me to keep looking at this green blinking light (or was it red..). That was the hardest part where they cut a flap in my cornea. It was over in about 30 seconds. There was a few seconds where my vision totally blanked out by doc already talked me through it so I wasn’t alarmed.? I didn’t feel pain just a slight pressure..like something pressing down on your eyeball. Then came the part when they applied the laser to change the shape of the eyeball. That part was pretty easy but doc says its the most important part. You just keep staring at the blinking light all the way.? Oh yes you are allowed to blink as many times as you want, but cos my eyelids were clamped I didnt even realized that I was blinking…Doc says its impt to blink if not your eyes will dry up and it will get uncomfortable. The laser also took about 30 seconds.

4) After the laser, he kinda used some brush to like paint your eyeball? Anyway theres so much water/ eye drops in my eye that it was just a blur to me. haha. He then placed a contact lens in my eye (supposedly to protect the flap).? And that was it for one eye. :)

5) When he repeated the whole procedure for my left eye, I actually felt more pressure and a teeny twinge of pain..like your eyeball being scratched…eww..I asked Doc after that and he said actually many people experience that (more sensation in left eye rather than right). He says they think its the brain rationalizing the reaction of the body after going through the right eye. So when the body is anticipating something, its more sensitive, hence the ‘more feeling’ in the left eye.

?6) Right after the procedure, when I sat up, I could see! Amazing! Still relatively blur at the edges but definitely a 6/9 vision already. I could tell the time on the clock immediately.

7) My correction: Myopia (short-sightedness) of 625 degrees on?right?and 600 degrees on left. Astigmatism of 125 degrees per eye.


1) My pre-assessment took about 2 hours, during which I had to go for many tests..the usual ‘read off the chart’ degree check, the more accurate one where they used the machine, pressure check of your eyes (where they spurt this small gust of air into your eyes and watch the dilation), the dripping of eye drops to dilate your eyes to examine the back of your eye and the one where they analyse the shape of your eyeball and thickness of your cornea. I also had to be off my contact lenses for 5 days before the pre-assessment (to allow your eyeball to go back to its original shape).?

2) When I went for my pre-assessment, doc said I had a very thick cornea, which is good cos they have to cut a flap in your cornea, so the thicker the better (technically cos they have more ‘room’ to cut). People with thin corneas are mostly recommended to do Epilasik.?? For those who’s corneas are thick enough, its usually just the normal lasik. Doc said they also have this latest technology called “bladeless lasik”, in which the cutting of the flap is done by the laser/machine, as opposed to normal lasik where the doc wields the machine to cut the flap. He said there’s actually not much difference between the both. Both are very safe and have almost the same results. The bladeless, being done and calculated by computer, is just a tad more precise and the cutting of the flap is more even. I decided to do the bladeless and that cost me an additional $400 (total for 2 eyes).

3) Cost: EEC was having a promotion when i did my lasik, so normal lasik costs $2800 while bladeless was $3200. Usually pre-assessment costs $200 but if you do the surgery at the same place, they will waive the pre-assessment. All prices have not included GST yet.? You can also look up the current charges at their website.?I also had to pay a fair bit for follow-up consultations.? So in total if you are going for the bladeless lasik, do budget for about $3600-$3800 including GST and all the follow up consultations.? Oh yes, you can also opt for interest free 6 or 12 month instalments for UOB and DBS credit card holders.


1) PLS DO NOT RUB EYES. Or you may dislodge the flap (which takes about 2 weeks plus to heal). That also means no eye make up/ cream for 2 weeks for the ladies. No water should get into the eye (so cleaning of face has to be done carefully – preferably dabbing and avoid eye area). Also be careful when you bathe, not to let any water get in. Doc will give you goggles to wear during sleeping, to avoid rubbing your eyes. This unfortunately didnt work for me…I’m a very restless sleeper and have this huge tendency to rub my eyes sub-consciously….as a result, the goggles not only came off in the night, I also rubbed my eyes..:(? I had MICROFOLDS on my flap…will elaborate later…Thing is: DO NOT RUB. I had to tie my hands to my legs literally…to prevent my hands form reaching my eyes…kinda drastic but it works..

2) EYE DROPS. You would be given 3 types of eye drops. Two of which must be dropped every 3 hours for the first 2 weeks. And they cannot be dripped one after another immediately. There must a break of at least 5 minutes between the two types of drops. The other one is just the lubricant. That one can be dropped liberally, as and when the eyes feel dry. For me, I only have dry eyes in the morning when I wake. Doc explained that lasik destroys the eyes natural tears system, hence the excessive dryness after sleeping, but that will go away in time. Also, I couldnt wake up every 3 hours after the first night to drip the drops…oops..haha. But i think its still ok, just stick to the regime in the day. Oh yes, I do taste the drops once in a while cos its all linked…nose eyes throat. Bitter..yucks!

3) REST REST REST. Try not to strain your eyes too much. For me, I took MC from EEC for Thurs and Fri. I was indoors for 4 days and was back to work on Monday. Even indoors, I got bored cos i tried to stay away from books, TV, computer..that was enough to kill me..haha I slept most of the day (like till 4pm) but still couldnt resist watching TV and reading papers after that. Just try not to do it for too long.

4) RECOVERY & VISION QUALITY. I suppose this is what most people want to know: the Quality of vision after lasik. Almost straight away after the op, I could see pretty well ( I suppose this depends on your degree as well). My best friend who had 1000+ myopia per eye found her vision blur/foggy even after a few days. Mine was about 6/9 by the next day. I had to go back for check-up the very next day. When tested for eyesight, I still couldnt read the small letters on the screen (they appeared blurry or a bit of double vision) but doc says it will get clearer. After 1 week, i went back for another check. That was when i got the bombshell: That i had Microfolds on my flap. That was y when they tested my eyesight using the machine to see if there was any over/under correction, I was techinically a 6/6. My degree was zero, which meant perfect correction. But when asked to read the small?letters off the screen, they appeared blur. Doc checked my eyes and told me i had microfolds, which are basically small folds on my flap. Usually caused by movement like rubbing.? That was what was affecting my vision. Also, doc said it can take up to 3 months for one’s vision to fully?stabilize.? Anyway I asked him if it was a serious problem and what could be done. He said its a common problem and pple who have it usually experience such a sight discrepancy in their vision that it doensn’t bother them, but if I’m bothered, he can do a procedure for me to iron out the folds in the flap. He says this procedure will be done at no charge.? He also did say that this procedure is very rare. Only like 1 in 1000 patients go for it…I suppose the majority who have microfolds don’t. The good thing is that he said to wait for another week. After this week, he would be able to determine whether or not the folds have settled down by themselves or if they are going to be permanent. I’m of course hoping that they will settle down and I don’t have to go for the ‘ironing out’ procedure. My vision has been improving for the past few days so keeping my fingers crossed. :)

Feels like Winter

Published on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 by lizzie

Other than the rainy weather that seems?neverending, it also feels like winter in my heart. ?Its’s been ages since my last post and that’s probably cos Ty was back for 3 mths and most of our time was spent being together…it’s like we were frantically trying to make up for lost time…like gathering as many memories as we could now to last the many months ahead that we’ll be apart. Christmas came and went, The New Year, Chinese new year even and not forgetting Valentine’s Day. ?Still, long as it seemed, 3 months flew by and we were soon back to?a familiar scene: The airport. He left last Friday evening. Even though we’ve been through 4 partings for the last year, it didn’t seem to get any easier this time round. It was still painful and there was still a lump in my throat when he hugged me for the last time.

?But?something had changed since the time we first parted in Feb last year.? It was a renewed strength and faith in the relationship, forged from a year fraught with difficulties. ?And so we trudge on, in this 6 year?(now 5) long-distance marathon that thankfully has brief moments of respite.

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Nūgae ex Japan

Published on Saturday, January 5th, 2008 by Tien Yew

Laudā Bob!? Hīc quam rīdiculissimum est:


Iocus nōn est sed vērum spectāculum in Japan!? Bonus Bob…??Quās futuentēs rēs ibi faciunt?

Quoque in priōre versū oblītus eram notāre dē novō annō, ergo hīc est et novum annum magnō cum rīsū ex link excipiam.

In Latīnā

Published on Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 by Tien Yew

Hoc breve erit propter Latīnam malam meam.? Post multōs mēnsēs etiam adhūc nōn bona est et, propter quam, trīstis sum.? Hoc, autem, dē illō nōn est, sed vītā in Singapore abhinc vēnī.

Tū, pulcherrima, mēcum nunc es et cottīdiē quoque, mē beātissimum faciēns.? Quīdam aiunt, “nec tēcum nec sine tē vīvere possum”, sed illa ‘tē’ nōn tū et tē nōn scīunt.? Est, mihi, tantum “sine tē nōn possum”.? Sentiō nunc, nūllum hīc esse grave.? Aut gravior quam nōs.? Et, igitur,?optimum est tēcum nunc esse.? Tempus, quaesō, movē lente, ut alter cum alterā longior?esse?possīmus.

Ut vidēs, vīta in Sinagpore fuit nōn multa nisi cum eā.??Volō enim mē nōn?discessūrus?ā tē.

Cable car Sky Dining

Published on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 by lizzie

Ty’s been back for a week and we’ve been spending some quality time together. He gave me a pleasant surprise when he drove us to Mount Faber to enjoy our first cable car dinner. It was something he?had planned to mark our 2nd year together. How time flies. I must say its really quite an experience to be eating on a moving enclosure that’s hovering almost 20-30 storeys above the ground.

We got on?our cable car at Mount Faber with a pre-set table, complete with a romantic table light and soft music in the background.? The first course – a light salmon salad appetizer, was served together with tomato soup.? And then we were off on our first round trip to Sentosa and back.? It was a little unnerving at first, cos our cable car was slightly tilted and the move off caused quite a bit of vibration so we had to hold onto our glasses. However, the view of the city made up for everything. And there was just something surreal about being isolated from the bustle of the city, cooped up in a tiny box with your other half and?having dinner in mid air.

The main course was served a little frantically, cos the waiters had to clear our plates, serve the main course, serve our wines and top up our water glasses while the cable car was still moving. I was a little amused when the friendly waitress beamed at us and said “Enjoy your meal! We’ll see you in half an hour’s time!” It kinda reminded me like those Formula One races where the car stops for repair/refuel etc and the entire team is in a frenzy to complete everything in record time..and then when they go “hands off”, the car zooms away for the next course…

Our last?course was brownie with vanilla sauce and a cup of hot?tea. Overall, the quality?of food was only average. They should have timed?the rounds better, cos the main course was only lukewarm when it was served. The brownie was also a bit?dry…a nice scoop of ice cream would seriously improve it. :P ?Still, I must say it was a very unique dining experience. I would probably recommend those who havent tried it before to go for it, but unless the quality of the food is substantially improved, I probably won’t go for a second round.


Published on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 by lizzie

What started out as a regular salsa night at Xen ended with me getting mega hooked onto Tango!! It all started when I was downstairs waiting for Joyce to finish her training and I was introduced to this guy who?invited me to dance salsa but i couldnt follow his Cuban style very well. I later found out that he used to teach Tango at Xen and so he invited me for a Tango dance.

?Now that kinda freaked me out a little, cos the only time i did a bit of Tango was the short choreo we used to do at Xen…and i wasn’t particularly good at it. For the first dance, I struggled, cos I just couldn’t follow, couldn’t figure out what he wanted me to do…I was anticipating, guessing and kept looking down at his feet. I got a stern warning: Don’t look down (its rude to stare at the guy’s feet) and FOLLOW. He told me to move only when he moves me and that I?cannot shift my weight unless he moves me. So i just listened to the music and focused on the lead, which was very good, when I finally got used to it.

By the second song, I was totally into it and loved it!! I would have loved it more if it was Ty i was dancing with. Still, i was actually amazed that I could do the impromptu?stunts and poses by just following. At the end of the 3rd song, people were applauding. After the 4th and the 5th, I was hooked. Darn! I should have taken up Manfred’s offer to do a quick video for us. I would have loved to see klutzy me doing tango that was good enough to warrant some applause.? Anyway, I am going to work Ty when he comes back!! Tango, Rhumba, Cha cha and salsa!!

Lang Lang Piano Recital

Published on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 by lizzie

I didn’t start out as an ardent fan of classical music. In fact, I pretty much drfited in and out when I went to my first violin concert with Ty a long time back…and occasionally stifled that yawn. :P I’ve come a long way since then, after Ty started playing classical music in the car and got me hooked on Pachelbel in Canon D. Of course it helped that he plays the violin to me. :P

Nevertheless, the Lang Lang piano recital that I went with Joyce yesterday was an eye-opener.? Lang Lang, the piano genius in question, is 25, Chinese and looks like your regular taiwanese boy band, but when he sits behind that grand piano, Joyce and I dubbed him the Mad Pianist. Simply becos he’s playing with so much emotion that he’s practically bouncing on his seat, hair flying array, head bobbing so vigorously you would think he’s going to shake it off…and those fingers…amazing. They move with the speed of light and produce such heavenly notes.

Lang Lang started playing the piano at?3 and by 5, was doing his first public recital. Not to mention, he’s also the frst Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and other top American orchestras. These names sound foreign to me but Joyce went “WOW”!! So those must be some high level music societies.

Anyway the opening piece was Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C. I thought Lang Lang delivered that pretty well…light, fleeting, graceful. His next piece was Sonata No 3 in B minor by Chopin. For some reason,?I couldn’t relate very well?to that piece, so it kinda left me a bit flat….After the interval, he played Kinderszenen by Schumann, which I felt was not too bad. His last 2 pieces were Liszt and it was the last piece that really gripped me. It was Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 in C Sharp minor. Now that was what I called spectacular. The notes were powerful and he delivered it with so much emotion and concentration that I had goose pimples…I was utterly amazed at the dexterity?of his fingers. They literally flew over the entire keyboard at such high?speed and with perfect precision. ?And he ended the last note with such a dramatic pose: head and arms thrown back, that the audience gave him a standing ovation. Lang Lang was also sporting enough to play another 4 songs at the persistent cries of “Encore” from the audience.? For someone like me that doesnt have musical background (unless you count listening to the radio day and night..) Lang Lang’s recital proved to be an inspiring performance.

Fish and Fennel

Published on Monday, October 29th, 2007 by Tien Yew

I have some time right now, so I thought I’d write a bit.? Work is piling up but I’m hoping that that will be resolved once my increasingly irritating ethics assignment is done, which I don’t see happening in a while, which isn’t really good.? I think a mixture of its inherent difficulty and procrastination due to that is keeping me from making good progress, and I still have no idea how to start.? To “just do it” like Nike isn’t working this time?like it usually does.? And thus, I blog.

I’ve been experimenting with fish recently.? It’s good stuff and most importantly, makes me feel healthy even though some of my cooking methods aren’t.? But I’m not going to bother with such technicalities, it’s how I feel that matters anyway.? Not to mention how fun it is to slice up (fillet) a fish with my brand new knives.? I must admit, though, it was a tad freaky at the start because I’ve always had a phobia of fish.? I think I still do for those still swimming around, but I think I’m ok with the dead ones now.? Chopping things up sure takes fear away.

Anyway, I’ve discovered this amazing herb called the fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which is native to the mediterranean region.? It’s really aromatic and sweet but I really don’t care much for its taste.? What I mean is that the leaves are totally ok as an herb but I think the bulb is another matter – it tastes a bit like toothpaste.? But despite that, it’s done incredible things for my digestive system.? If you wanna know what it does, just go get it and have a taste.? If you have it for dinner, you’ll probably feel its effects in the morning after, and man did it make me feel clean and happy.

A Short Update

Published on Monday, October 22nd, 2007 by Tien Yew

It’s certainly been a long time since I’ve blogged but in my defence, I’ve been really busy since school started oh so many months ago.? But I’ve managed to snatch a brief respite after completing my torturous bit of project work to blog a bit about how things have been going.

Needless to say, my studies have taken over what little life I have as if they have grown tentacles grasping at every last patch of bare skin.? Yet reality isn’t as grim as the picture portrays it to be.? I am far from being strangled to death by tentacles, but I sometimes wonder how my peers cope.? The truth is that each course is just a brief 8 weeks, only that the end never seems near when you’re in the thick of it.? The fact that I actually like what I’m doing doesn’t hurt.? So perhaps I like being wrapped around but that doesn’t cease it from being overwhelming.

While not working, I occasionally take some time to do some real-world work with my muscles if only to feebly halt their atrophy.? But my lazy bones more often than not get the better of me and, well, let’s just say that despite my sedentry lifestyle, I surprisingly?haven’t fallen sick for a long time even though everyone seems to be falling ill.

I have also developed a keen interest in latin and have been aggressively studying it with my free time.? It is difficult, to say the least, to self study but I really don’t have the time to go for proper lessons or even the?financial means.? Nevertheless, I can make coherent sentences with a latin dictionary (tamen, sententias congruentes thesauro verborum facere possum), and evidently translate english to latin.? But the reason I’m working so hard on it is not because of my elitist or pretentious inclinations, but merely because it is practical.??And I’m not saying anatomy because that horse has been beaten to death and as I had discovered early in my pursuit, a grasp of its essential grammar is all that’s necessary, but because the vast majority of people don’t know much about it.? The practicality of that is obvious and I?really shouldn’t?elucidate.? The last sentence of this post will be in latin, as I suspect will most probably be the pattern in the future to hone my skills, and if anyone spots mistakes, as I tend to make many, please politely correct me.? Perhaps one day far away I’d be able to compose an entire post in latin.? One can dream.? I wish I could write more, sed labor vocat, tempus fugit et diem carpere debeo.