Birthday Week, or 7 Days of TREAT YO’SELF

In between setting up a completely bare room/house and falling sick, I turned 22 on Wednesday.

Taken by my friend Shawn Teo!

Thanks to the shenanigans of my awesome friends and especially amazing boyfriend, I have had a ridiculously fun week. After all… Birthday Week is also TREAT YO’SELF WEEK:

Basically I have been buying stuff off ASOS and other websites, and even this sample beauty box service called Glossybox. Also… My sister got me a ukulele for my birthday because I got it into my head that my small hands will be more equipped to play it. In short, I LOVE SEPTEMBER.

But this September has been extra special cos I haven’t just been loading up on the material side. I have been doing something fun every day so far – and as millions of psychological studies have proven (why do they always overlap??), experiences keep your happiness lasting longer and fresher!


So I’m crazy about this crazily talented a cappella group that shot through the atmosphere with their ridiculous arrangements and vocal power… PENTATONIX. Fans of the Sing-Off would know that they won and that they won big: they’re touring all over the States now, to mostly sold-out audiences. The Union Transfer, where we went to watch them play, was packed with people of all ages: the silver-haired, little kids, college kids flipping the shit out (my favourite was this guy who wore a “Music Appreciation Society” shirt and danced like a dinosaur). So apart from having my hair stand up on end every time I heard they sing, I screamed and cheered extra loudly for every song, especially this one:

Even Alan enjoyed himself a lot :p And then he took photos for me with SCOTT AND KRISTIE AND MITCH :D:D:D:D But I don’t wanna put up the Kristie/Mitch picture cos I just look extra cui, lol.

AHHH squee.


On Tuesdays I have night class (a very interesting one on religion and US public policy by a very sagely Prof John DiIulio), so Alan decided to take me to one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Parc, for a late dinner. Parc is modelled after Parisian cafes and is great for people-watching in Rittenhouse Square. My dishes of choice are the chicken liver mousse and steak tartare, and for libation, their Lindemann Framboise beer float (which I recently found out I could get for much cheaper at this beer shop in the city but ya). We got them all, plus steak, so I was super full.

You can’t see it clearly in here, but Alan had called the restaurant ahead to tell them it was my birthday, so they put a sparkler in my beer float heeheehee.

I was majorly food comaing by this point, and wanted desperately to go home cos I was slightly tipsy and tired cos I’m lame like that. But Alan started behaving very suspiciously.

Me: Let’s go, I’m really tired.
Alan: Okay… Um, why don’t we walk around?
Me: But I’m in heels! And I want to be at home by midnight.
Alan: Okay… Um… Let’s take a bus.
Me: Are there even buses at this time?! Why not a taxi?
Alan: Yeah… Let’s just take a bus.

Haha I realize this makes me sound super whiny. I started to suspect something, like maybe he got together a whole bunch of people at my place to surprise me. Well, all these thoughts disappeared when I reached our front door – it was deathly quiet. There was no way that could be anybody there, I thought.


Taken by Shawn!

I was wrong.

Taken by Shawn!

Together with my roommates, my boyfriend got all these lovely people into our apartment to come wish me Happy Birthday. I don’t know how they managed to keep their voices to an all-time low!

Best. Birthday. Surprise. Ever. Thank you guys for coming out on a weeknight!!! Felt so undeservedly special T_T And thank you roomies for feeding people ice cream and coordinating stuffs!


Headed to Audrey Claire’s downtown with my ex-roomies and friends to celebrate my actual birthday. Goat cheese + fig flatbread was delish and all our dishes turned out pretty nicely – I had a lemon-crusted baked sole, but Fred’s salmon was really yummy too.

Wish I had a photo of all us but that’s in Michelle’s camera…


Alan was a complete sweetheart and planned a surprise Segway tour of Philadelphia for me. For a while, all he was saying was, “Just keep your Thursday afternoon free.” But I was freaking out about my computer science homework (which is due on Thursdays zzz) so he revealed the plan. It worked out cos I was inspired to not-suck and so we found ourselves at Love Park, finally getting to ride the Lazy Man’s Scooter! Woohoo! (Backstory is that I have been wanting to ride a Segway forever.)

It’s actually quite easy to ride, though your heels get a little tired after a while. I COULD USE IT AS AN ALTERNATIVE MODE OF TRANSPORT FOREVER. If anyone has $6k to give me.

For the tour we headed for the usual Philly sites – the Museum of Art, the giant fountain near City Hall — but it was only on this thing that I realized: four years on and I still know next to nothing about this city. I didn’t know we have a crazy ass collection of art in the Barnes Foundation, or we had a Rodin Museum. MUST DOS ON THE SENIOR BUCKET LIST!


We bought these tickets last freaking October. And we finally got to watch it. And it is hilariously awesome. It gets pretty blasphemous at times (I mean, it’s written by the South Park guys and they have not been kind to Scientologists) but at the same time, I do like what they acknowledge about religion at the end: you may not buy into it, but hey, it helps some people. To each his own. Also did I mention it was ridiculously funny? Darren and I were laughing non-stop for the first 20 minutes. The soundtrack is also infectiously catchy and I have been looping it on Alan’s computer / my head this entire weekend… Quite unlike a certain Billy Elliot.


Involved too many bottles (the Belvedere disappeared quickly enough), which were completely wiped out by the end of the night. Several casualties, mostly me: I am abstaining from alcohol for a long time.

Pictures taken while sober/semi-sober:

Yihan, Jo and her boyf Shenghao came down for my party <3<3<3 Yay so glad we’re physically closer now.

Halfway through, my ex-roomies made a very boisterous entrance only to reveal…

KUANGLI who came down from Boston!!!!! <3<3<3

Felt extremely loved. For the most part.

Anyway, in spite of all that partying, the most miraculous thing of all happened on Sunday, aka today. I wish I could say it was church or something but hey, I became one with nature, which is God’s first creation, huh.


Somehow managed to wake up at 9am to leave for Jim Thorpe, where five of us hiked in the cool, calm forest to see some waterfalls (and take a cold, cold shower). But I’ll dedicate a whole post to that. Here’s a teaser!


  1. I love my birthday
  2. This week was awesome
  3. I’m staying away from alcohol forever

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *