Stalking is the new socialising

I’m back! But I probably have only one reader left because everyone else must have been scared off by the scary anti-virus warnings on my blog.

(Piers is hard to scare.)

The viruses (malicious codes) are gone now. Lionel from Ripplewerkz scared them off for me. Yay.

On the bright side, no readers means I don’t have to watch my words and can be rude if I want to. However, I’m not in the mood to be rude today, so I think I shall do a bit of updating, instead.

Shall be rude another day.




Studying in UK

I’ve finally completed all the paperwork and legwork. All that’s left now is to wait for my student visa to be approved and then for the school term to start (Jan 9, 2012).

My IELTS results startled me. I had expected to only borderline pass because it was such a tedious and tough exam. But I miraculously got an overall 8.5 (top score is 9).


IELTS results


For school, I have been given a reading list and tasked to read the first book before the course starts.

It’s rather old, the book, first published in 1948, so maybe some things have become either outdated or common knowledge. But I still find in it a wealth of information that’s intriguing and thought-provoking.

Can’t wait for the course to start.


Book list





When I quit Restaurant City and Cafe World (about two years ago, if memory serves), I swore I’d never play another Facebook game again because they’re too freaking addictive despite being exceptionally silly.

I was true to my word for two years.

I don’t know what happened, really.

I started spending more time in Facebook recently because I liked the latest layout with all the interesting additions such as scrolling real-time friend updates.


Facebook profiel


It took just one curious click on a Facebook game advert to suck me in before my brain remembered that I wasn’t supposed to click on ads.

But then I discovered that Facebook games have gone through marked improvements since two years ago; they are marginally less silly now.

I still hate how some games force you to beg your friends for in-game gifts. I had to make Piers play this cutesy game in order to gift me game items since he’s the only person I don’t mind begging from.


Facebook profile


But he was understandably horrified about Facebook putting words in his mouth (see above picture) and promptly deleted the app.

I started many new games in the last few weeks and also quit many. Even if fun and cute, I refuse to play games that make you beg for stuff. You could pay for them but they cost too much for the paltry purpose they serve.


My current active Facebook games list:

Family Feud
Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
Bingo Blitz
CSI: Crime City
1 vs 100
Games (has about 100 games in it)


By the way, feel free to stalk me on Facebook.

Stalking is the new socialising.





People in Facebook would have been able to see me jumping from game to game like a true gaming addict every day in the last few weeks.

I can’t hide. When I load up a game, my 1381 friends know that I’m awake and playing a game instead of doing something more useful with my life.

Piers noticed once that I was playing CSI: Crime City despite having said good night to him an hour earlier. It was a bit hard to explain to him why I felt compelled to solve crimes in the middle of a sleep.

On the flip side, I also know what my friends are up to every minute I’m in Facebook.

Supposedly, that is a scary thing. But it must also be cool. Times have changed, right? Stalking is not the exclusive domain of crazy stalkers anymore.

These days, people are willing to be stalked, which increases the demand for stalkers, a position easily filled because social networking has made it fun and easy.

Don’t try to stalk bulls, though. They don’t like it.




Piers and I encountered this bull in Guernsey (a little island in the English Channel) while driving around. It was standing alone just a few feet from the road, so I stuck my camera in its face and started snapping away.

It stood upright and bellowed at me angrily.





Other than Facebook games, I haven’t been gaming much. My iPad is only used for reading now but I expect to get tired of Facebook games eventually and go back to my iPad.

I recently tried a pretty cool game recommended by Swordplay. It’s a small independent game in alpha stage that’s a bit like Little Big Planet, called Way.

In this two-player game, you travel through a world, trying to get past obstacles with the help of a second player who is very likely a stranger from another part of the world. You’re not allowed to text or talk to each other, but you can communicate by manipulating your avatar’s facial expressions and arms. In this way, you try to work with each other to complete the stages.

It’s really tough and frustrating but also rewarding as you conquer each obstacle. But Piers and I cheated a bit; we were on webcam when we played it together.

We made this picture in the end:




You can “write” to each other in the game after you complete it.




Jet lag

It is so very hard to adjust my body clock every time I come back to Singapore. For two weeks, I was sleeping at 9 am and waking up at 5 pm.

I tried making myself really exhausted by waking up early even after only sleeping three hours. I’d then go to bed around 2 am, hoping to wake up at 10 am, a goodly hour.

But then, I would wake up after only two or three hours of sleep and not be able to go back to sleep.

I tried doing that for three days, managing only to sleep about three hours a day. I finally collapsed from exhaustion one afternoon and slept all the way through to 9 pm, which completely undid my heroic effort.

Give up.




And now it’s time to eat.

My appetite has been largely dead due to jet lag. But I only have one month left to enjoy Singaporean cuisine. What am I going to do?

Alienware M14x — Uber and stylish

Gamer Girl Friday with Alienware


I thought I was going to have to give up playing MMORPGs for a couple of years or so, what with my frequent travels.

From the perspective of a rabid MMORPG fan, that is the equivalent of a regular person having to give up drinking water or breathing air.

Yes, it’s very serious. I was stuck in England for two whole months without access to a gaming machine so when RIFT launched, I couldn’t join my friends in it. That was almost criminal.

But I came prepared this time!



Sheylara and Alienware M14x


The Alienware M14x


What a beauty! I borrowed a set from the fabulous people at Dell in order to play RIFT while visiting England for a month this time.

It’s very comforting to know that I can instantly boot up a game any time I feel like playing an MMORPG, and not have to wait till I return to Singapore.

It’s quite graphically intensive, RIFT is, but a piece of cake for the Alienware.

On the M14x, I can play RIFT on maximum graphics with no problems. The gameplay is smooth and it’s beautiful, even when I have my regular applications all running in the background: Photoshop, Firefox, Tweetdeck, MSN.




Running on Intel Core i7 processors, Turbo Boost 2.0 technology and NVIDIA GeForce graphics, there can’t be any other 14″ laptops better for gaming.

But because of its supreme processing power, the battery life of the Alienware M14x is not as long as I’d like it to be. On a full charge, RIFT gaming lasted 75 minutes.

It does last three to five hours when doing less intensive tasks such as word processing or web browsing, which is decent. When not needed, the Nvida Optimus technology switches off the GPU to rely on the default Intel integrated graphics. Some users have even reported usage of six hours.

But I see the M14x as a portable second-home PC so the battery life is not too crucial for me. It’s great for taking to the office for some lunchtime gaming, or for overseas trips, or having LAN gaming sessions at your friend’s place.

In these cases, you want something small enough to carry comfortably but powerful enough to play intensive games and you can always leave it on AC power.

If you want more portability off the AC, there’s always the M11x, but then you’re giving up the 1600×900 resolution HD screen of the M14x. (Although I’m at 1366×768 for RIFT, which is good enough.)




The M14x gets quite hot after about half an hour of intensive gaming, although not to a degree I would be concerned with. What’s more noticeable is the noise the cooling fan makes when it kicks in. But even that doesn’t bother me too much when I’m engrossed in a game, which is good. (Although the fact that I get too engrossed in games isn’t so good.)




What really thrills me is that the M14x is also a model of stylish perfection. I think you can up your cool factor a lot just by being seen with this gorgeous piece of killer machine.

I feel great using it everywhere because it at once identifies me as a gamer and as a person of discerning taste.


Sheylara and Alienware M14x


Here’s Ringo the cute dachshund (belonging to Charlotte, who is Piers’ sister).

You can immediately tell that Ringo is a fashionable gaming dog.


Ringo and Alienware M14x


Ringo’s favourite game is Pet Society.

I tried to introduce him to the fantastic world of MMORPGs, but it might take him a while to get there.


Ringo and Alienware M14x


In the meantime, he really enjoys playing on the M14x.


Ringo and Alienware M14x


Still on style, the colour-customisable backlit keyboard is just amazing. I’ve got my lights all in red to match the lid, but each section of the keyboard, even the touchpad, speakers and Alienware logos, individually, can be any colour you like.

It’s kind of fun changing the colours every few weeks or so, too. Makes you feel like you’re using a brand new machine.


Alienware M14x


I really love the keyboard. I think Alienware makes the best keyboards ever. (I’m also using an Alienware keyboard and mouse with my home PC.)

On Alienware laptops, the keyboards have a traditional tapered design which provides more space between individual letters. That makes it a lot easier and very comfortable to type and play games. Quite a welcome feature for FPS and MMORPG players who rely on the keyboard a lot for movement.


Alienware M14x


Now you want to know specs and prices, of course. The Alienware M14x starts at S$2,299 for the regular machine, which is what I’m using now. You have the option to pay more for improved processors and graphics cards and RAM and so on.

Click here to view full specs.

Oh, don’t forget that there’s now an Alienware concept store in Singapore. I think it’s slightly cheaper to buy from there than from online.

The store is at Suntec City Mall, #02-010C.

Or go to the PC Show this weekend. If you buy any Alienware laptops there, you can get free gifts with your purchase!

By the way, RIFT is a really great game. I don’t want to give my Alienware M14x back now!


Sheylara and Alienware M14x


Alienware comes out to prey

Gamer Girl Friday with Alienware



The word that gets the gamer’s blood pulsing madly within me.

The word that incites pure desire in my gamer’s heart.

The word that seizes my very soul and doesn’t let go.


When you own your first Alienware, you’ll feel like you’ve joined a very select brotherhood (or sisterhood) that understands the passion that is gaming. Your gaming days will never be the same again.

That was what I felt when I got mine a year ago, anyway.

I felt like I had arrived.





Alienware in Singapore

Last weekend, the first Alienware concept store in Southeast Asia descended upon our shores, no doubt raising the temperature of the gamer throng in Singapore.

It certainly raised my temperature as the irresistable call of the glowing Alien heads started the blood pounding in my veins.


Alienware concept store


I loved the glowing blue lights fitted all around the store, which made me feel like I’d stepped into a sort of Alienware universe. Even after gawking at the displays for 20 minutes, I still couldn’t completely believe that I was standing in an actual Alienware store. Such happiness a gamer and a fan has never felt!


Alienware concept store


Alienware concept store


A driving simulator complete with moving seats is permanently installed in the store to keep fans enthralled as they try out the processing and graphical prowess of Alienware machines. I didn’t get to try it out because there were too many people queueing up for it, and I had to go check out the roadshow downstairs.


Alienware concept store



The Babes

No doubt temperatures were also raised by the appearance of costumed babes milling about at the Galleria Foyer of Suntec City Mall, where the Alienware Arena roadshow was held.

I love costumed cuties! They always brighten up an event!


Alienware roadshow babes


Alienware roadshow babes
From left: Angel, Sochii, Me (I wasn’t really one of them), Francesca, Aki.


Alienware roadshow babes


Alienware roadshow babes


Alienware roadshow babes


Alienware roadshow babes



The Auction

On April 30, Four Alienware M14x laptops, each worth $2,299, went up for grabs with starting bids of $1.

Three lucky bidders went home with their new baby, paying $1,700 each, while the last winner of the day shelled out $1,900 in order to also take home additional goodies of Alienware merchandise comprising a cap, a t-shirt, a laptop sleeve and a beautiful headset.

Feel so happy for them. I’m sure they’re really enjoying their new toy now!

Class 95 DJs Glenn Ong and Vernetta Lopez made a guest appearance and heated up the action during the last auction.

The total proceeds of $7,000 were donated to Operation Smile Singapore, coincidentally my adopted charity, and also Class 95’s adopted charity.


Alienware charity auction


Alienware charity auction


Alienware charity auction



The Tournament

With rows and rows of uber gaming rigs set up at the roadshow, Alienware hosted the League of Legends Season 1 Qualifiers. Two teams of four pitted their skills against each other as supporters watched the action on the big screens out front.

For the next couple of hours as the tournament progressed, the crowd got larger and larger, mainly men, mostly young, a smattering of mature. Where were the women?

But I was happy to make the acquaintance of Kelly, the only professional shoutcaster in Singapore. She provides live commentary for tournaments, describing the action as well as giving her opinion on team strategies.

Kelly helped create an atmosphere that drew a curious crowd, who wandered in and stayed to watch together with excited fans and supporters that were already there. It was at times tense during crucial moments and at times light-hearted when the teams did funny stuff or mistakes which Kelly would point out with good humour.


League of Legends Tournament


League of Legends Tournament


League of Legends Tournament


League of Legends Tournament


League of Legends Tournament


Team Xan emerged victorious, winning for themselves $1,200 and an all-expenses paid trip to Sweden for DreamHack Summer 2011 to represent Singapore and Malaysia in Riot Games’ Season 1 Grand Finals.



League of Legends Tournament



The Challenge

On May 1 — Labour Day! — I got to work playing GO Kart for two whole hours against an endless stream of challengers.

Anyone who managed to beat me in a three-lap race won an Alienware goodie bag which included a cap, t-shirt, laptop sleeve and headset!

It was really fun. I was surprised to encounter all types of challengers, from experts to newbies, male and female, young and old. That fortunately gave me a chance to win races. I was worried that I would get only experts who have been playing the game since it was launched about half a year ago. (I’d only been playing half a day, max.)

I even had a few really young challengers, the youngest being a little girl of maybe four or five. So cute!

So, I won some and I lost some. Needed a finger massage after the whole thing ended!

Pictured below (in red) is Wei Song, my first challenger. He’s one of those experts I mentioned and he made me lose my first race, boohoo.

Oh, well. I’m happy for him that he got to go home with leet Alienware gear! =D


GO Kart Challenge with Sheylara


GO Kart Challenge with Sheylara



The Camwhoring

There was a lot of camwhoring that day, as you would expect at events. Here are a few more random posed photos!


Alienware roadshow


Alienware roadshow


Alienware roadshow


Alienware roadshow



The Machines

Now, we want to look at the three bestselling Alienware laptops, the M11x, M14x and M17x.

The M11x is a compact beauty for the gamer on the go. With a choice of Intel Core i5 or i7, and up to 16GB DDR3 SD RAM, the new and improved specs are causing me to hyperventilate with desire.


Alienware M11x


The M14x is the new kid on the block, touted as the most powerful 14″ laptop in the universe. It balances hardcore gaming needs and mobility requirements with killer graphics and processing power in a manageable package.


Alienware M14x


The M17x brings you the best in 3D gaming technology on an impressive 3D-capable 1920×1080 HD display. You could choose to get the non-3D version but why would you do that?? A pair of 3D glasses is included with each purchase of the 3D unit.


Alienware M17x


Prices vary depending on the specs you choose, so visit the website for pricing and full specifications.

Tell me you don’t already have a puddle of drool collecting under your feet!

Once upon a time, we had to buy Alienware machines online on faith (which wasn’t at all hard to do) because there were no Alienware stores in Singapore.

Now you can touch and swoon in person. My brothers and sisters, get your ass over to Suntec City Mall, #02-010C, to complete your life.

Getting married and having a kid

I have been gaming too much lately, so my mind is swimming in games, so I don’t want to blog about anything else.

lol sorry.

The good news is that I’m getting bored with The Sims Medieval already because I feel stressed having to level up all my 10 heroes so that my kingdom has good people to serve everyone’s needs.

It’s not fun having to learn how to play so many different characters. I’m the kind of gamer who likes to focus on one character and make her very good.

So I will now finish up the story of Piers’ courtship of Sheylara. =D

I’ve built the church in my kingdom so all that’s left to do is have the wedding!


The Sims Medieval


So, one afternoon, after Sheylara had finished up her royal duties of governing the kingdom, she went searching for Piers and said, “Let’s go have our wedding now!”

He said okay and started walking to the church ahead of her.

Quite rude!

He got to the church and stood at the pulpit waiting.


The Sims Medieval


It was a small, humble church. Nothing fancy. And the bride and groom didn’t have wedding clothes. Quite pathetic, really. Nothing like what a Royal Wedding should look like.

But there was a cheap special effect of the crazy priest beaming down from the ceiling in a shaft of sparkly light.


The Sims Medieval


He started mumbling what priests are supposed to mumble at weddings while the guests stood around not paying attention, instead chatting with one another. Piers and Sheylara waited impatiently.

Then it was time to exchange rings and seal it with a kiss.


The Sims Medieval


The Sims Medieval


Married! =)

After the very unceremonious wedding, it was woohoo time!

For those who don’t play The Sims, “woohoo” is the term used for, um, consummating a marriage. Or a relationship.

So that it’s safe for kids to play and they don’t learn words they’re not supposed to.


The Sims Medieval




The Sims Medieval


And… done!


The Sims Medieval


Two days later, Sheylara got pregnant!

Yeah, you do have to move things along in a game. Can’t have everything happen real-time or the game would be obsolete by the time anything significant happens.

A village child feeling her tummy:


The Sims Medieval


One day later, the child was ready to be born!

Sheylara stood in the throne room of the castle yelling in pain while her servants stared at her in shock.

Piers was training at the training yard and totally oblivious to even the fact that his wife was pregnant.


The Sims Medieval


The baby was born right there and then.

It’s a boy!



The Sims Medieval


The Sims Medieval


After cuddling and feeding the baby, Sheylara went upstairs to sleep.

Piers came home while she was sleeping.

He saw the baby in the throne room and said, “Oh! What a cute baby! Who left it here?!”

Then he picked it up and instinctively knew that it was his baby.



The Sims Medieval


The Sims Medieval


He played with the baby for a few hours then went to bed.

Two days later, baby Anthony grew up and became, like, eight years old or something.


The Sims Medieval


The Sims Medieval


Children in The Sims are randomly generated by the game, so it’s funny that Piers’ boy looks like Piers did when he was a boy himself. Haha. Got the same hair colour and style!

While all this was happening in the game, I was giving real-life Piers a running commentary. He was at the time playing Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox.

He managed to get excited about it even though his game was probably more exciting since it involved car chases and helicopter shootouts.

He said, “Woohoo again so we can have a girl next!”

Stupid men! You think giving birth is so easy meh!

Okay, I suppose it is, in games.

In games, you can do stuff that you can’t just do in real life without first stressing about the consequences.

And that’s why I play games!

Piers courts Sheylara in The Sims Medieval

When I first started playing The Sims Medieval, where I made myself Queen of England, I decided to make Piers a knight because I thought it would be amusing to see a knight court a queen.

Not that I have visions of grandeur or anything, but the game forces you to be a monarch when you start, so you either have to be a king or queen, okay?

Because I bought the Collector’s Edition, I get a variety of castle themes to choose from: Barbarian Stronghold, Princess Dream Castle and Sorceror’s Lair.

No prizes for guessing which one I chose. =D


The Sims Medieval Princess Dream Castle


This is the default castle for the normal edition:


The Sims Medieval default castle


Quite nice, too.

The Sims Medieval is different from other Sims games, being quest-based rather than freestyle. You start off playing the monarch but, as the game progresses, you create other professions (knight, physician, spy, priest, blacksmith, etc) and you control a different sim depending on what quest you choose to embark on.

All the sims you create live in the same kingdom and can interact with one another.


The Sims Medieval - At the clinic


Anyway, Piers was the first sim I created after myself. We were on Gtalk video while I was creating him.

(I’ve got Gtalk video on my Macbook while I play on my PC, so he can watch me play while watching TV, and I can watch him watch TV while I play, etc. In this way, we feel like we’re doing stuff together.)

Anyway, I told him to look straight in the camera so I could compare and make his character look exactly like him.

He said, “You mean you can make sims that ugly?”

Haha. So annoyingly modest!

Once I got it as near his likeness as possible, I excitedly MSNed him the screenshot:


The Sims Medieval - Piers


The first thing he said was, “This dude is far better looking than me!”

Then, he said, “Show me you, show me you!”

I hesistantly MSNed him a screenshot of me.

I could see his face change from excited to disbelief as the picture loaded up on his MSN.

“Why are you blonde?!!!” he cried.


The Sims Medieval - Sheylara



I really wanted this hairstyle and it looked better blonde than dark brown!

Anyway, I started up another quest in the game.

As I was doing my rounds and gossiping with a villager to socialise with my citizens, the villager shared a piece of juicy gossip with me:

“I heard that Sir Piers has been courting two maidens at the palace and neither of them know about each other!”

So mean! My character hadn’t even met him in the game yet!

I yelled into the Gtalk camera at Piers, “You are two-timing!! And I’m not even one of them!”

“What, what?!” he said bewilderedly.

But before I could get really mad at him, I realised that it was probably my fault because I had given him the trait of Courtly Love when I made him, and that probably made him a bit flirtatious.

(I had also given myself that same trait and had noticed my character making eyes at handsome strangers, lol.)

So I deleted the whole game and started over, recreating myself and him. =P


The Sims Medieval - Sheylara


I sacrificed my favourite hairstyle so I could have hair colour closer to my actual colour, but she still doesn’t look too much like me since the models are all Caucasian.

Piers looks a bit different now. I think maybe the previous one looks more like him.


The Sims Medieval - Piers


The Sims Medieval - Piers


The real Piers:


Sheylara and Piers


Once that was done, I started a new quest for a knight so I could control Piers and make him court me.


He was very good at it, winning my affections in no time.

So fun making him be nice to me and all. =P


Piers pays homage to me:


The Sims Medieval - Piers pays homage


That was our first introduction!

I had given him the trait “Family Love” this time (not very useful for a knight, but who cares) so he’s always thinking about having a family and stuff, lol.


The Sims Medieval - Piers thinking about family


First private chat where he praises my beauty:


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara



Both of us got along really well really quickly and I didn’t waste time developing a friendship. After a few friendly greetings, I made Piers move into romancing, heh.


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


So, it was that simple.

Seems a lot easier to form relationships in here than in previous Sims games!

I decided not to go any further just to draw out the suspense a little bit.

Anyway it was nearing night and Piers was tired.

I made him sneak into the royal bed once Sheylara was already sleeping, lol.


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


And then the next day…

First kiss!


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


And then….

The proposal!!


LOL so fast right?


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


That’s all for now.

We’re not going to get married yet because I haven’t built a church in the kingdom.

So we’re just betrothed for now.

Okay, a brief comment about the game.

I hated it at first because when I first started, the game made me do all sorts of stupid things like collect wood, cook my own meals, fight off a bandit and send a town bully to the stocks and throw eggs at him.

That was nuts because I thought I was a queen. Since when did queens have to do all these things themselves?

Plus the game wouldn’t allow me to save when I was in the middle of the quest and a quest could be like half an hour or two hours long, depending on how well you want to do it.

And the new gameplay format confused me, and I didn’t like having to use different sims for different quests


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


But after playing more hours, it started growing on me. Once I understood how the game operated, I started having fun.

The game did crash once while I was playing (lots of complaints online about crashes and bugs for this game) but otherwise, everything is great.

Now Piers wants to play, too.

He says HE wants to be king and not just a knight, so he needs his own game.

So silly!

But he should be receiving his iPad soon, so I don’t think he’ll have time for anything else!

Oh, I’m going make all the other sim professions people I know.

I’ve already made Minou the physician.


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


Looks like her or not?


Sheylara and Minou


Piers has to keep going to see her because his knightly duties always make him injured.

Here is Minou operating on Piers. LOL.


The Sims Medieval - Piers and Sheylara


If you scroll up to see the third picture in this post, that’s Minou applying first aid on Piers. It’s very funny first time you see it in the game!

Other professions left to be created: Merchant, Bard, Jacoban Priest, Peteran Priest, Spy, Wizard, Blacksmith.

Hmm, wonder who of my friends to put into which roles!