2) I've got assignments to hand in the moment school reopens, which is tomorrow, a quiz tomorrow too and a test on Friday. Goddamn the lecturers!
3) I got scolded by Mom on the 1st day of the Lunar New Year cos' I was too vain, taking too long a time to bathe, makeup and get ready for visiting. Plus the strap of my heels broke while walking halfway. Goddamn my shoes!
4) My sister got two $50 angbaos, while I only got one. Now I'm $38 away from $300. Goddamn the people who made themselves absent to avoid giving out angbaos!
5) The dreaded question was finally popped again and again. "How? Got boyfriend already?" Goddamn Fate!
Haha.. I know I shouldn't be cussing so much during CNY period. So anyway, let me take you through what happened the past 3 days.
Reunion Dinner on Saturday 28th Jan
Aaahh... We had a simple but heartwarming dinner with Grandpa. This reunion dinner was the second one. Remember the first one ? After dinner, we went home so that my parents could get ready for the traditional Chinese rituals and prayers. While us kids, I mean my sister and I, just sat down to watch television. Ummm.. I slept at 3am that day as the eve of the Lunar New Year, also known as Chu Xi, symbolises longevity for the elders. That means, children are allowed to sleep as late as possible because that would ensure longevity for their parents. I loved Chu Xi Ye (night of the Lunar New Year Eve) since I was a kid, cos' it meant I could stay up real late and watch television!
1st Day of the Lunar New Year, Da Nian Chu Yi on 29th Jan
I woke up at 11am. Haha.... Took 2 hours to have a heavy breakfast, bathe and makeup. Rushed over to my paternal Grandpa's place to bai nian first. Got a scolding from Mommy for being horribly late. Then broke the strap of my heels while on the way to my maternal Grandpa's house. Mommy went home to get me another pair of shoes and when we finally reached my maternal Grandpa's place, it was 2.30pm. Meals, especially breakfast and lunch, on Chu Yi was a big thing. There was loads of food wherever we went. Roast duck, roast chicken, stewed pork, soup, vegetable stew, sweet soup, bak kwa aka BBQ pork, candies, cookies, etc. Truckloads of good food and a handful of angbaos! Reached home at 6pm and everyone was dead tired. I took a 2-hour nap and woke up at 9pm. Watched television as I had dinner. Slept at 3.15am that night.
2nd Day of the Lunar New Year, Da Nian Chu Er on 30th Jan
Woke up at 11am again. Took the same freakin 2 hours to go through the same freakin routine. Then took my time to sashay over to my paternal Grandpa's house. Good to see my aunts and cousins again. I'm very much closer to my paternal family than my maternal's. So yar, got another couple of angbaos and a little argument going on. BRRrrrr... Not to forget, my aunts were overly eager to introduce guys to me, eg. a 33 year old doctor. UMmmmm... Anyway, we also visited our Granduncle that same evening.
3rd Day of the Lunar New Year, Da Nian Chu San on 31st Jan
I am supposed to be finishing my assignments and also finish studying for my quiz/test today. But I'm also supposed to be going out later in the evening with my cousins. Sigh... But we have not decided on a place to go yet. Let me fret over that now.
Based on your drawing and the 10 answers you gave this is a summary of your personality: Your house tells the world that you ought to be a leader. You are a freedom lover and a strong person. You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You are very tidy person. There's nothing wrong with that because you're pretty popular among friends. Your life is always full of changes.
You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You have a strong personality and you like to command, influence and control people.
You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. It also safe to say that others don't see you as a flirt. You are self-confident and happy with your life.
The fact that this girl, Charlette, has said this and that , struck a chord in me, deeply.
Below I have included some excerpts from the links which I'm referring to.
"Friends. Makes me wonder why should I bother. I make an effort to keep in touch with people coz I dun wanna lose them as friends. An occassional meet up every/other month to catch up on each other's lives. Yet no one is co-operating. When I ask to meet this week, they say they are busy. When I ask in advance, they say cannot confirm. Can't you just set that evening free then? I am not asking for a whole day, I am only asking for a dinner. Now most of you should know I am as free as a bird. I don't really wanna arrange gatherings coz no one co-operates. But since I am so free, I decided to be nice. Yet no one appreciates. Can you blardie tell me your availability?! And remember our date to meet?! They tell me they didn't know it's confirmed or they forgot and have another appointment. THANKS LOR! Or I get some other silly reasons as to why people cannot make it. I don't know why I'm so bothered. Maybe my friends don't really care. Why should I? I guess it just boils down to one word, Priority, and I am not high up on that list of theirs. I shall not bother & not initiate meetings anymore. And I shall see a year down the road, how many friends I have left."
"I deceive myself that my friends are all busy with spring cleaning and CNY shopping...(and not having fun w/o me). It's so true. The older you get, the less friends you have. Good old friends drift away. New ones are mere acquaintances. I look like I have a lot of friends but it's all a farce. A farce. Love and friendship are actually very alike. There must be constant communication, sharing of weal and woe, sharing of troubles and laughter, knowing each other's lives, knowing the intimate details, being emotionally connected. Why is it that some of my friends now feel like strangers? Aaargh. If they don't bother, why should I?!"
Finally, I have gotten the closure I needed. And dare I say I've understood and seen clearly through you for who and what you are?
Went swimming with Sapph and her boyfriend this morning. But they were late. Humpf! Anyway, as I was walking to one of the seats beside the poolside, a white spotted and black, orange butterfly flew into my path and settled comfortably on my shin! I froze, not daring to move or even breathe. I stood in the middle of the walkway like an idiot for a minute, mumbling like a fool at the butterfly, wishing for it to fly away. But it just wouldn't budge. In the end, I decided to just walk with an awkward limp to one of the seats and sat down. Throughout the journey, the butterfly remained as stubborn as I am.
It accompanied me as I waited for Sapph and her boyfriend. All the while, I hoped that it wouldn't crawl anymore higher on my short stumpy leg. Then I decided that the butterfly must be a male one since it chose such a position on my leg that would allow him to have a peep at what was under my shorts. When I was finally convinced that the butterfly wasn't going anywhere, I whipped out my camera phone and snapped a picture of it.
Camwhore! The butterfly is a camwhore!
Lo and behold! A few seconds after the picture was taken, the butterfly flew off. The butterfly just wants its photo to be taken and put up on my blog! Just kidding. I think it has just came out from a cocoon and was trying to find a suitable rest place for it to dry and harden its wings before taking flight. Somehow, it has mistaken my leg as a tree trunk. Muahahhaa!!!
Soon after the butterfly flew off, I saw Sapph and boyfriend approaching me. Finally met up with her. Hoho... Out of the three of us, she was the only one who was still as slim and pretty. Her boyfriend and I have each grown pudgy or should I say, pudgier. She said my pudginess is obvious around my face and arms, but I feel that my waistline has expanded too. *cries*
So I passed Sapph her long-overdue Christmas present and she was so happy! She kinda reminded me to start my jogging routine again before successfully persuaded me to take off my shirt and go into the water in my bikini top and shorts.
Of course, we always had our Girl Talk first before swimming. So her boyfriend grabbed the float and rushed off like a little boy, who has been given a lollipop, into the water. With her boyfriend aside, we started our verbal diarrheoa, pouring out our troubles and the nitty gritty stuffs that are going on in our lives. Sapph also commented that Bro and I are too philosophical and we mindfuck too much. Haha... The dark cloud/aura around me was kinda lifted and a little light was once again injected into me.
We tanned as we talked, laughing now and then to disperse some of the seriousness in our conversation. Then we started getting restless and went into the water eagerly. I left her for a while to spend some time with her boyfriend while I swam around on my own. Hiak Hiak Hiak! Suddenly I heard a scream and saw Sapph's boyfriend ducking Sapph underwater. I burst out laughing when she came out of the water, sputtering and cursing.
So we swam around somemore before getting up and heading for the showers. Afterwhich, we bade each other goodbye, and not before we promised each other to meet up more often despite our busy schedules.
I have since learnt to give my thanks for small get- togethers like this. With friends like these, I should be content and not ask for more. I already have the best! *winks*
By the way, I think iGallop, that Osim machine, should be given another name like iHump. Sounds more apt, don't you think? Bwahahha!! Someone please get me an iHump please?
Ermm... Most people usually go ahchoo! But, that's how I sneeze and I've been sneezing the whole day today. Runny nose... Blocked nose... Breathing through the mouth... That sucks! All thanks to those ungentlemanly brainless-blind men yesterday for allowing me to stand in the rain without an umbrella. Bah!
So anyway, I only had a 2-hour tutorial in the morning today. And goodness, I love this elderly 2nd bio tutor of mine already! He looks, talks and act funny. A very warm, friendly and passionate man who has got a lot of tricks up his sleeves. And I mean it! He is a part-time magician. OOoooh... He loves to perform magic tricks and showed us three tricks today after proper lessons.
Then for one of the magic tricks, he suddenly unbuttoned his shirt. All of us were just sitting there with our mouths agape in confusion/anticipation and just holding our breaths, wondering what the hell was he doing. I kinda closed my eyes a lil, peeping through the narrow slits, not daring to look at him 'undress'. Then when we realised he was just revealing part of the magic trick to us, all of us broke the tension in the air and roared with laughter! Wahahhaa!!! I laughed till I was rocking on my side and my face turned really red.
Then I went to Jurong Point which was just nearby. Mommy wasn't going to prepare lunch, so I went to Liberty Market and got some bread from the bakery there. The bread there is heavenly!!! Soft and over-stuffed with yummy and healthy fillings. Too bad I was too hungry and devoured all of them without taking any pictures to show.
Ooops! Mom's nagging at me to go have my dinner. Till tomorrow, this is Steph, signing out!
My apologies for the lack of updates. Been busy the past couple of days with piles of tutorials, tons of assignments, quizzes and tests. This sem will be short, hence the tight schedule and deadlines. Also have been catching up on the much needed rest/sleep cos all the late nights are starting to take a toil on my body. Will be sleeping early again tonight. Hehe...
Anyway, you know how one's eyes would seem glazed and still when one is daydreaming? Yar, that was what my eyes looked like during maths tutorial today. My another maths module tutor caught me daydreaming this morning. Haha... Fortunately, I was only in a half stupor, so I still managed to answer his question correctly. Oh, give credits to my intelligence too lah.
I had lunch with Lao Jie, Yvonne, today. It was a coincidental meeting. I was walking around Jurong Point aimlessly after school. Then decided to buy some sushi for lunch. She came up from behind me and gave me a friendly shove. Haha.. This is Fate! Two sisters connected through telepathy and on the same wavelength. Hoho... Then we went into Fiesta, a japanese restaurant, for somemore sushi. Lao Jie commented on how listless and out-of-sorts I looked as if there was this dark aura lingering above me. Oh well... Stress, unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, too little sleep/rest, etc.
Then we talked bout some personal issues over lunch while waiting for her sister, niece and brother to join us. I couldn't have asked for a better confidante (other than Bro and Sapph). Then we went shopping after lunch with her siblings and niece. Lil Dana fell asleep halfway during the shopping trip. SOOooo cute ok!
Then it rained. No, it poured to be exact! I was caught in the bloody rain and the guys around me didn't even offer to share their umbrellas. Was half-soaked in the rain, the raindrops pelting down hard on me. Good thing I had my jacket on. All walked off so fast under the umbrellas they were holding. Goddamn it! If my boyfriend were to offer to share his umbrella or offer his umbrella to an umbrella-less lady, I would be very proud of him. But that is only allowed if I'm with him and have an extra umbrella or I'm not around at all to see his 'gentleman' act. Muahahhaa!!!
"Pang Guang (Peehole), Rong Guang (cousin's name), Sha Sha fen bu qing chu (Blur Queen can't differentiate between the two) ..." This just came to my head while I was glancing around the dining tables and spotted this asshole cousin whom I dislike a lot. And I grinned before whispering into the ear of my another cousin, Madeline. She giggled and then passed the joke on to my sister, who then passed it on to one of my aunts. We were all giggling like fools.
Haha... Reunion dinner was brought forward 2 weeks early to tonight. This reunion dinner included everyone on my dad' side, though not everyone was present. There were my grandpa, 7 aunts, 1 uncle, 7 cousins, my parents and my sister all seated at 2 tables. My grandma had passed away 6 years ago, but I still missed her very much. Just last night, I dreamt bout' the day I was called away from school to meet my Granny one last time before she passed away. Thinking bout' it now still brings tears to my eyes, but at least she was freed from her suffering.
Oh well... Mommy did 90% of the preparation work. Mommy rocks! Before dinner officially started, Madeline and I took the hotdogs back into the kitchen to 'decorate' them.
Traditional steamboat for reunion dinner! Yummy!
A closer look, what is this weird octopus/flower-looking thing?!
What is this in my bowl?! Octopus?! Flower?!
It is a HOTDOG! Madeline calls this an octo-hotdog!
I chewed off its 'legs'! Muahahaha!!!
Yup! So this was what Madeline and I were doing to the hotdogs in the kitchen. Madeline suggested that we slit the hotdogs halfway longitudinally into four parts, so that when it cooks, the four parts will split open and curl up to look like an octopus! So smart yar? Anyway, it was a big hit with everyone cos' everyone finished the hotdogs in 2 hours!
Dinner was very good and the company was even better!
So yar, I said I would blog bout' this bitch right? Just a quickie bout' her, ok? Anyway, in front of the whole project group, she would be acting all so polite and nice to me, as if she's such a friendly girl. But when she's alone with me or with me and 1 or 2 other girls, she would cast evil glances at me, glare at me, roll her eyes at me, and even speak in those impatient 'duh' tone when she talks to me. Honestly, I've never offended her at all, so why all these actions? What exactly is her problem?! So I came up with 2 highly possible reasons why she dislikes me a lot.
1) Bitch Asswipe is jealous of my talents and of me because I am smart and popular among my peers in the project group and she is crap.
2) Bitch Asswipe hates my guts, my mouth, my unorthodox principles and beliefs.
So, she dislikes me. That's totally fine with me because the feeling's mutual. I probably would try to be nicer to her and make her my friend, but since she's got such a lousy personality with a repulsive face and a deep ugly voice to match, I would not bother myself. Sheesh...
Belle thinks I'm paranoid and am reading too much into things.
But I'm 101% sure that Bitch gave me the ugly eye in the library the other day. *nods head fervantly*
The Life!Horoscopes in The Straits Times's Life! section is spot-on.
Well, at least for my case.
" Libra It's time to get centred so that you can get through this rough patch. You've made a brave decision and tried to change things for the better. They will improve, it's just the adjusting that's rocky now."
Totally hit bull's eye on what's happening in my life now. Umm...
Anyway, was coming home today when I saw 4 foreign workers sitting on the benches at the sheltered walkway. There was this heavy drizzle and they were taking a break from work at a nearby construction site. So before I stepped into the sheltered walkway, I took my big black jacket and covered up my chest, and adjusted my backpack. Then I walked through the walkway as quickly as possible, but couldn't shake off that irky feeling that their eyes were stripping me naked and the sight of their leering laughs/smiles is just repulsive.
Ad from today's The Straits Times. Lingerie Galore! You like? I like!!!
Ohmifuckingosh! John Little is having this Triumph lingerie promotion/sale! Yay! Just what I needed to get ready for Chinese New Year which is just round the corner. I really need to get new brassieres and underwear. Promotion/sale till 18th January 2006 ok. 1 more week to go.
I simply love the rainy weather. Pure bliss... Aaahh...
Things did not turn out the way I hoped it would. Not only did things not take a turn for the better, it ended in a total flop. Disappointing and frustrating...
Just when I thought we had finally reached a consensus, more unhappy things were raked up from the past and caused quite a stir. And I'm sorry things had to come to such an abrupt end because I was already 1 hour late and had to rush off.
Yet, I did not regret just walking off like that because as much as I would have loved to stay back, I felt that we all needed to cool down. I will reflect on all that had been said during The Talk and also look into my faults that were brought up. The Talk had drained me emotionally and I am having a pounding headache now.
In the course of going through this rough patch which was just one of many in Life, I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation and thanks to these wonderful people who have came into my unglam life and stayed on.
Alex - Bro, what will I ever do/be without you?! Probably rotting six feet under. Thanks for standing by me for all these years and having faith in me. Thanks for giving me that lecture and coming clean with me that few nights ago. You will always have my due respect and adoration. *salutes*
Chen Chuan - Babe, I think you've spoilt me rotten. Thanks so much for aiding me through the bad times and talking sense into me when others couldn't get through to me. Thanks for showering me with patience and understanding through these years.
Nora - Woman ah woman, thanks for the much needed listening ear at times like this. Thanks for sharing valuable insights bout Life. Thanks for taking me in hand and keeping my feet firm on the ground when I get too caught up in myself.
Jon - Remember, Jesus loves your ass. Haha... Thanks for believing in me and offering a listening ear. Thanks also for all the crappy jokes and teasing. You never fail to crack me up lah. Just don't make me lose my sanity can?
Yvonne - Lao jie!!! I love Dana too, can I be her Godaunt? Thank you for treating me as part of your family. Thank you for sharing so much joy and bringing so much light into my darkness.
Rina - I love your daughter to bits! Thanks for the delightful company at work. Looking forward to more lunch/dinner dates with you and Nora.
Xiao mei - Hey gurl, thanks for standing up for me in trying times. Sisters rock!
Mom - Mommy, I love you!!! Thanks for taking so much crap from me and yet never once did you gave up on me. Thanks also for being the guiding light. Mommy mommy mommy... *muacks*
To the rest whom I might have missed out - Thank you all! My life would not have been complete if not for you.
It's only the 2nd week of school and I'm already bombarded with tons of assignments and deadlines to meet. Some of the assignments seem really tough. But I'm not gonna back down. Rar!!!
It's only the 2nd week of school and things are not going well between me and some friends. That sucks. Sucks even more when these friends happen to be close friends in school.
P.S: I have decided to take back my previous post as there has already been enough misunderstanding among us. I can't wait for The Talk tomorrow. I can't wait to hear what there is to be said in my face. And I can't wait to clear the air.
Despicable is when my words have been twisted and facts are distorted.
Scary is when voodoo is done behind a smiley facade.
Disappointment is when actions differ from words.
Will blog tomorrow night and let y'all know the results of The Talk.
You understand what that means? No? When SPCA's advertisement says that pets are not toys, do you now have an idea what I've been trying to say?
Perhaps when we have learnt to put ourselves in the shoes/skins of others and see the world through their eyes, will we understand the plight others are going through.
Then again, noone's indispensable.
Have you ever felt like you're so alone, although you're surrounded by friends?
Well, I have... Countless times...
I'm a very sensitive person, too sensitive for my own good. Because of that, whatever emotions you or I feel, however tiny they may be, get amplified ten times when they run through me. To you, whatever thoughts or feelings I have may be insignificant. To me, they matter a great deal because it made me who I am today.
Yet, I have lost the ability to feel sympathetic towards others. Bro felt that I've forgotten how to be sympathetic, and he blames himself for not trying and letting me slip by. Truth be told, I've lost a big part of me 4 years ago, and some more as the years pass. In short, I've lost myself.
Why am I writing all these down here?!
Anyway, I've further proof that I will be a hazard on the road should I ever decide to drive. Other than the go-kart accident, this happened to me sporadically. It happened again yesterday.
Me: Uncle, please turn 'zuo' (left) in front.
Cabbie: This junction is it?
Me: Uh.. No, turn 'zuo'. 'zuo', you know? *a little annoyed*
Cabbie: Oh, next junction huh?
Me: Yes.. *relieved*
At the next junction...
Cabbie proceeds to turn left.
Me: *shocked* Uncle Uncle! No no, turn 'zuo' leh.
Cabbie: Correct ah, not here meh?
Suddenly, you see a beam of light shine upon me.
Me: *realisation dawned upon me* Oh uncle, I meant 'you' (right). Please turn 'you' up ahead.
Cabbie: Ok... *amused*
I was left muttering 'Shit shit shit' at the backseat, and felt like the world's greatest fool.
See, I've totally lost it! When it comes to directions, I'd rather show with hand signals where I want to go. But asking me to say it out, takes a minute for my brain to translate the directions from english to chinese and vice versa. That one minute of inner translation can have deadly repercussions on the road, not to mention that I have a 90% chance of getting it wrong.
"If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment at the tagboard with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want, either good or bad or both. I promise not to come after you with my rolling pin, either way.
When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you."
I just made scrambled eggs with ham and sausage, you like? It's american-style scrambled eggs, not the usual asian kind we make at home. The scramble eggs which we usually make is cooked using as little cooking oil as possible and eggs that have been beaten. Anyway, here is how I make my american-style scrambled eggs.
Ingredients needed: 2 thin slices of picnic ham 2 medium-sized sausages 2 medium-sized eggs 2 tablespoons of milk (more if you want it lighter and fluffier) a dash of salt and pepper for taste 1 tablespoon of butter
Instructions: Step 1: Dice the slices of picnic ham and chop the sausages into thin slices. Step 2: Cook the diced and chopped ham and sausages (without any oil) in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes and dish them up. Step 3: Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and add in the milk, salt and pepper, then whisk the mixture. Step 4: Melt the butter in the non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Step 5: When all the butter has melted, pour in the egg mixture into the hot pan. Step 6: After bottom and edges have begun to cook and solidify, scrape and lift the edges with a spatula and stir the the eggs continuously over the bottom of the pan. Step 7: When the eggs are still a little runny, add in the ham and sausages and stir somemore till the eggs thicken. Step 8: After the eggs have thicken, let it cook for another few seconds before dishing it up and it's ready to be served!
Easy ain't it?! I tell you, the buttery smell is heavenly. So absolutely sinful, so smooth. UMmmmm....
Haha... Watching Grey's Anatomy on Channel 5 while I tucked into my scrambled eggs. School starts tomorrow! Oh no.... Oh yes!!! Haha, I'm sick of staying at home with noone to talk to and laugh with. My cough is getting better, at least I'm not coughing every few seconds or so. I still need to take my antibiotics, cough mixture and another kinda pill for phlegm and clearing the airways.
I am looking forward to going back to school and hit the books! I am excited at the thoughts of what new challenges await me! Brain's been rusty for too long cos' I never once touched my books or lecture/tutorial notes at all during the hols. Muahahaha!!! Holidays are aplenty this beginning of the year. No worries, no worries at all. *winks*
Aaahhh... An old year has passed on, a new one has taken its place. Just like that, I've survived another year. I'm sure all of you would agree that the year 2005 has indeed been an eventful year. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, bombings, sports records broken, personal achievements, etc. In the year 2005, I've experienced many joys and letdowns. I think the most memorable thing that happened to me in 2005 is that I've made many new friends. Nevertheless, in the last few days of the old year have also allowed me to open my eyes to see through the hearts and minds of certain people, thus reminding me not to let my guard down and just accept anyone into my heart.
Man is selfish by nature.
'Nuff said. Let's leave all the unhappiness behind and move on to create more joy! Now that 2006 is here, let's make some new year resolutions like every other normal human being.
a) Make good use of my spare time and earn more money. b) Study harder and attain better results, a higher GPA score. c) Keep fit and healthy. (Good health for all too) d) Lose weight. (in all the right places of cos') e) Get a proper boyfriend and be committed to a proper relationship. f) Spend quality time with my family and besties. g) Improve on my pathetic social life. h) Be very careful in choosing friends. i) Start planning a big bash for my 21st birthday. j) Try to be more punctual for classes. k) Enjoy life to the fullest.
I think that's all for now. Went to see the doctor today after 10 days of being sick. Haha.. Just took the medicine and cough syrup, feeling kinda drowsy now. Shall go watch tv rest now.
+ a good man to settle down with
+ a GPA score of higher than 4.1
+ a ton of good crime fiction books
+ a few more pounds to be shed
+ to look and feel good about myself *****Wishlist*****
to be done soon
+ lose more weight
+ get a new pair of spectacles
+ shop for new shoes
+ a pedicure & manicure session
+ an eyebrow trimming session
+ a hair makeover
+ shop for CNY clothes
+ shop for bra and panties
movies watchlist 2007
+ Curse of The Golden Flower
+ Pan's Labyrinth
+ One Last Dance
+ Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
+ Hannibal Rising
+ The Number 23
+ Spider-Man 3
+ 28 Weeks Later
+ Ocean's Thirteen
+ Nancy Drew: The Mystery in
+ Harry Potter & The Order of Phoenix