Saturday, July 30, 2005

it's saturday

I realise there are so many restaurants I have not eaten at and am just dying to.
Perhaps it's time for a list, from which I can strike off and feel a sense of foodie-accomplishment.

There is one place I have to start the list with.
Although that means having to travel to Spain.

I'll post that up sometime, after letting my stomach muse over it for a while...

Anyway I'm starting to realise what a mishmesh of topics appear in this blog.

I once started a book blog with the intention to write about another obsession of mine, but I gave up, at that time being kinda busy (okok i'm just lazy). I think I'll start that up again.

And while I'm at that, I think it's time to start on those lovely food books that have been sitting on my shelves, and which I haven't started on...

* MFK Fisher named by WH Auden as America's greatest writer back in 1963. She died in 1992.

* Jeffrey Steingarten - Vogue's food columnist, always in search of that perfect (name of food here)

And now, on to the subject of music

I recently got hold of Coldplay's Parachutes (going for only $12.90 at Gram's warehouse sale) and that now makes the collection more or less.

* Parachutes
* A Rush Of Blood To The Head
* X&Y
* Coldplay Live 2003
(the last two are copies hehe.. thanks to mej)

After listening to their three albums, I have to say that I like Parachutes best. I think it's partly cos for ages tracks from A Rush were just playing over and over on the radio. Like Clocks and The Scientist (both are great songs though). I like Warning Sign as well.

Maybe these are songs that are meant to be done live - on one of my random channel-surfing early mornings, I checked Coldplay out on this VH1 special on MTV. Think it was called Storytellers.

So here's one of my favourites from that one, Shiver
(my apologies, it's a WMA file. I can't really dl anything onto this PC at work, cos I don't seem to have administrator privileges)

And speaking of MTV, I keep missing Viva La Bam and . I always end up seeing Burned and Boiling Point (which I'm not too fond of) and it seems that for the past three mornings when I turn on MTV, it's always Kaiser Chiefs (I predict a riot), Green Day (wake me up when september ends), Kelly Clarkson (behind these hazel eyes) and Rob Thomas (i dont know which one cos whenever it starts, i change the channel, otherwise i'd have to throw up)

I've been here for four hours and I haven't done a damn thing.

Making resolutions isn't just for the new year

Somehow my post about Mag's Wine Kitchen got lost (i was email blogging again) and I can't be bothered to rethink it so here are the key points.

* Ate there on Wednesday with J and Eps (both abandoned me to go back to work afterwards)
* Had a crab and roe appetiser that reminded me of tuna salad
* Main was a well-textured rack of veal, on a bed of mashed potatoes with some vegetables (not bad)
* Dessert (shared with J) was a chocolate fondant with a teeny scoop of vanilla ice-cream (safe choice, also not bad)

* Service was good altho waiter tends to mumble so not entirely sure what we were to expect for the meal
* Wine was really great altho we had to get over the initial shock of the price of the winelist and I had to ask the waiter an important question: ""Do you have any with just two digits?''
To which he joked: ""99 is also two digits!""
But he was nice enough to recommend a lovely red from France at $60.

* After being abandoned, went down to velvet where I missed the lomo exhibition and consoled myself with more drinks.
Which was probably a bit too much, esp since I didn't stick to one type

* On Thursday, was thinking, I probably should drink less.

* That I should stop eating such rich food, especially dessert, so often. And that I should really try to get off my ass and go jogging more regularly.

* Then I had some fish and chips (which were really quite good)

* Then on Friday, I woke up and watched TV, finishing the last of Season 4 of Will & Grace (now what do I watch??)

* Then today, I made couscous with prawns and asparagus for dinner, (to bring to work) and had an avocado, a bao, strawberries and a slice of cake for lunch. And I was too lazy to pack gym gear.

* So I'm making the resolution now to
- jog tomorrow
- swim Monday (cos I'm off)
- and probably do more of the same on Wednesday and Friday
(I'm getting an extra day off cos I'm working National Day and requested Friday off to go see The Bravery and got stuck working next Sat AND Sun)

* Tomorrow I'll probably wake up and not do any of that.

* But isn't it really the thought that counts?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

midnight nosh

another thing about working odd hours is that somehow, I always manage to get hungry when I get home after work (these days usually 130am).

A colleague said he needs to get a full meal when he arrives home, but for me, I like to snack.

Midnight madness menu has included:
- a scone with butter on one half and strawberry jam on the other
- a slice of walnut bread, toasted, with jamon
- cake
- char siew bao

(mind you, not all on the same day!!! I'm not that big of a pig you know)

And last night, or is that this morning?, cereal.
Somehow cereal always tastes better when it's not eaten in the morning. The last thing I want to eat after I wake up is cereal.

An ideal breakfast would include - poached eggs, bacon, grilled tomato, toast w butter, pancakes, sausages, freshly squeezed OJ, a glass of milk.

(ok so i am a pig)

Hot Heat Heat's Talk To Me, Dance With Me (click to dl)

Monday, July 25, 2005

random thoughts

The Observatory's new album will be out in September. Can't wait!

Jasper Fforde, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last year, is back with a new book. This time, no more Thursday Next investigating classics gone wrong, instead the Nursery Crime Department attacks nursery rhymes gone bad!

The Big Over Easy tracks Humpty Dumpty's downfall.

What will Fforde write about next?
Hansel and Gretel?
Sleeping Beauty?

I'll tell you more once I get to read the book.

I'm a fan of his previous books - The Eyre Affair, Lost In A Good Book, Something Rotten. (And was obviously thrilled to meet him - I made him sign my copy of The Eyre Affair and the copy of Something Rotten the publisher had given me. I'm afraid I still don't have Lost In A Good Book - should probably pick that up next time Kino has a sale)

And his website even offers book upgrades.

3: Earth the book by touching it lightly against a dictionary.

4: Disable any third party ancillaries such as bookmarks, pressed flowers, old bus tickets, etc.

5: Using a fine black pen make the following corrections:
18: When you have finished the corrections reset the book by closing it and then turning it cover uppermost.

19: Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of The Eyre Affair V1.4. To fully authenticate your copy download the file 'upgrade1.4.jpg', print out the download, cut it out with scissors and affix it to the title page of your copy. Thank you for using the upgrade service.

Bill Gates' billion-dollar high school experiment in Seattle

Mountlake Terrace High was one of those to accept the Gates Foundation grants and as part of the plan was divided into 5 smaller schools, with smaller class sizes.

Achievement, Opportunity and Service (AOS), a "traditional high school experience in a small school setting"; Discovery, where students "design your own projects instead of taking tests"
Innovation, "aimed at creative thinkers: writers, artists, inventors"
Renaissance, a bridge to four-year colleges with the bulk of Mountlake's advanced placement classes
Terrace Arts and Academic School (TAAS), a 2-D and 3-D arts-oriented program. Each school would offer the basics—English, math, science, and history—but try to do so in different fashions. The Mountlake Terrace High School building, designed to be divided into subject areas, would now be divided into entirely different schools. Teachers' classrooms would be moved, depending on which school they were attached to.

But it seems no matter what you do, kids will always be stereotyped.

Lisa Bao, who just finished her freshman year, agrees. "Kids say AOS is the preppy, white school, Discovery is the Asian, gangsta, druggie school." "The Discovery School is mostly about self-discovery, but kids call it the 'ghetto school,'" says upcoming senior Morgan Redfield, who attends the Innovation School.

The Business Times decided to go on a rate the burger spree.
But why did they miss out on the american diners like Seah St Deli, Blooie's and Hard Rock Cafe?
And other gems like Handlebar?

More than just a mere burger

HERE'S the dining question of the week: Can a fast-food burger be as good as a gourmet burger?

That question came to light with the entrance of Carl's Jr to the local dining scene. At $7.90 for a double bacon burger (and a little over $10 for a combo meal that includes a drink and choice of fries or deep-fried zucchini), it's just a couple of dollars less than what some proper restaurants are charging for their gourmet burgers. Les Amis Cafe at the Botanic Gardens, for one, charges $11 for a regular burger and fries, while Baize and China One charges $11.80.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

and the week begins again

i used to work Tuesdays to Saturdays, relishing my Sundays and Mondays off.

Now with off days that can be any weekday plus either Saturday or Sunday, I feel in limbo.

It's weird not to have two days off in a row. It's even weirder for me to admit this cos that was my work schedule two years ago when I started at this company but at a different department.

As a friend made me realise, I've never worked a 9-6 day.

At my previous stint, Tuesdays and Wednesdays might possibly be 930 - 7 days, but for the rest of the week? Forget it! More like 930 - 930 or 11...12....

And now it's 4pm to 1230/1/130am

So I guess my life is a little less than the usual.

And I would truly cherish being able to have Saturdays AND Sundays off for a change. Think of the many things I would plan to do, and then not do!

I know some people who would jump at the chance to work the hours I do ("you get to sleep in!") but I feel like i'm wasting the sunlight. I've never really been a night person, I guess I just prefer daylight. So to me, sleeping at 3am and waking at 10am is quite a waste. Especially since I spend 2am to 3am vegging out in front of the TV, to deaden the brain before it's time for me to sleep. I guess I could try sleeping earlier, but when I get home, there's still that buzz from being at work. I mean try going home from work and sleeping straight off. It's tricky.

And waking at 10am just puts me in this lazyass mode. I've not gone for a jog for a long time, so on Friday (my off day) I thought I'd better get some exercise and took myself for a jog, only to find out that it's been quite a damn long while and it shows. On Saturday, during dinner, I headed up to the office gym for a bit, but an hour's a bit of a rush to change, jog, cool down, stretch, shower and get back into office attire (ok I admit that it being a Saturday I was pretty casually dressed).
So I made the resolution to only do this on weekends, I don't think I would enjoy rushing (and eating dinner after) on weekday shifts.

Anyway after that long ramble, it's back to work tomorrow. I'm hoping the sun will be out so I can go for a swim before work.

I swim at Buona Vista and it's always full of guys preening in the sun. The deckchairs are hot property and if there's no space, people'll just bake next to the pool.

Woxy Vintage is playing Cracker's Euro-Trash Girl

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Why do you blog?

It's a question that I never really answered people, so I might as well tap it out while I've got the time.

I guess I started out wanting to find out what this whole blogging phenomenon was about.

I suppose I carried on too long, essentially writing to myself, and somehow friends found out about my blog and I discovered that I had myself a little audience (thank you thank you!)

A blog is like having a column to myself.
To some others, it's like having a talk show.

But whatever you're preferred medium, blogging is about giving yourself a voice in this always-on world of way too many choices.

For me having a readership (I think it's about 15 now, up from an original one so it's actually increased 15-fold over two years, bravo me!)makes me rethink my entries.

No longer can I just yell and whine about stuff, but I feel a need now to edit and re-edit (although I obviously don't really do that - what editor would allow all these damn brackets?) and sometimes before I start to write about something, I wonder: wtf would people think of me after that? (putting wtf as wtf is a good example)

I read many blogs (totally 79 feeds now on Bloglines and do admire some of the writing, gorgeous photos (esp of food), ideas and occasional zaniness of the bloggers.

And without blogs, I guess the only place for all these great people to express themselves would be.....?
(Ok so it ended with a fizzle, I ran out of steam for this one, mostly because a story had come in and work was calling so no choice yeah)

more irrelevance (what to do i'm in the office on a sat)

The Guardian's film pages has an interview with one of my favourite directors.

He says this about London, where he now lives.
His favourite thing about the city? "Everything." Like what? "Well, the weather..."

The Guardian Weekend's also got a fabulous article by Guy Browning on How To Snack

Chocolate is therapy in a bar, and snacks generally count as comfort eating. Be aware, though, that too much comfort eating eventually leads to comfort trousers with an elasticated waist. There are two ways of dieting: cutting out snacks between meals or cutting out meals between snacks. There is a third way, and that is
snacking on nuts, raisins and oat bars. But, quite honestly, if you can stomach that, you might as well live in a hutch.

And then there's this:

A tourist stops in front of the Free Stress Test table.
Tourist lady: How much for the stress test?
Scientologist guy: 8 bucks.
--Times Square station

From Overheard In New York

Burger Kings

When it comes to a juicy beef burger, fast food just doesn't cut it.

The latest player in town, Carl's Jr has
its large double burgers topped with cheese, bacon, guacamole and more. But somehow it all still boils down to the beef.

And I like mine medium, thank you.

So a good burger place should be judged on whether they ask: "and how would you like your beef to be done?"

Unfortunately that is where Handlebar falters. It doesn't ask.

Handlebar, located at the rustic Gillman Village, is one gem of a joint.

Don't be intimidated by the Harleys sitting just at the entrance, step on in, for its not tattoo-only entry.

You can park your ass on picnic tables outside or you can opt to sit inside where there's plenty to look at. But outside's nice and breezy, and what can be better than dinner under the stars (provided no one's smoking and it's not too hot, of course says miss prissy)

It depends on which way you're facing though.

Face Alexandra Road and you're still in Singapore. A towering office block's just
opposite and cars whizz by.

But face the eatery and you might just forget you're in the tropics and imagine yourself somewhere in middle america.

However, when it comes to eateries, no matter how nice the place is, or isn't, it's really all about the food, isn't it?

Start your noshing with some popcorn (thankfully the salted kind - who ever eats the caramel corn?) and some buffalo wings.

But don't have more than a nibble, because the portions are sizeable.

The burger has a choice of toppings including cheese, bacon and chilli. Or you could just have it plain.

It's a fairly large beef sandwichand people have been known to do the oddest things like eat the burger with a fork and knife. (It's the same as eating a pizza with utensils - what's the point?)

I prefer my burgers this way - remove the tomato slice and lettuce and eat those first. Then, squirt some ketchup and some mustard on the patty and spread around with the top half of the bun, to make sure it's all nice and covered. The place said half of bun squarely on top of the patty. After which, squirt more mustard and ketchup on
the plate for the fries. Now pick up your juicy burger (with your hands, mind) and enjoy!

(Tastes best with a Coke or a beer)

I've no idea if Handlebar does anything remotely sweet... I usually have no place for dessert after the burger.

Other burger kings include:

Seah Street Deli
- where I enjoy their California burger, which seems to have been taken off the menu now, but is really just a burger with some avocado on top (I can't resist avocado, unless it's in a shake).
- and where they have a winner in their spinach salad and chocolate cake.

- where you sit by this weird pond in the middle of an empty ghost-town of a Science Park
- and where they have these great paprika fries. (and if you ask for mashed potatoes instead of fries, they give you both, but the mash is free) Burgers are not bad.
- and also where they do not have milkshakes on the menu and for good reason because they really didn't know how to make a good one.

- i'm presuming it's good. I've only had their steak which wasn't too bad. But I can say for sure that those are some damn good buffalo wings! And spicy too.

Carl's Jr
- offers decent burgers conveniently and slightly cheaper than at the above places.
- they do serve waffle fries and their drinks are refillable!
- they even have a breakfast burrito but i've only been there once so i've not sampled the rest of the menu.
- but so far, not bad. (except for having to do
the foodcourtstare when trying to get seats)

Let me know if you can add to the list.
I hear those at Dubliner's are good and so are those at Hard Rock but I havent been to HRC since secondary school and the closest I've been to Dubliner's is to take the bus from the bus stop outside.

a saturday at the office

meant I had to make full use of my Friday night.

It meant a 5 1/2 hr wine and snacks at Wine
Company - far too crowded these days for my taste
but it's still far better than Network (a bit too
cobwebby for my taste - I'm not saying I was
covered in cobwebs the last time i was there, but
that it's too much like a dark cellar where the
walls might just be full of cobwebs)

wine co changed their cheese platter - instead of
these 1mm by 1mm by 1mm cubes of cheese speared
with toothpicks they've now gone upmarket with
slices of cheese with toothpicks. But where's the
carrot and celery sticks guys? That's supposed to
help clear the palate before moving onto the next
cheese. And since we're on the cheese, how about
not having the smoked cheese which my friend
reckons tastes of ham and I thought tasted of
pepper. (it's almost like eating a damn pizza!)

We didnt start out too well, the Chardonnay was
quite average, and reminded me why I don't like
Chardonnays very much. The award-winning red from
Scotts Brook was not too bad but the best wine
was a little sparkler from South Africa. We were
fortunate to get the last bottle.

And after that, had prata at that little cafe
beside NIE/SMU/NUS law.

I think I need to go find another place for wine.
One far less crowded.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

its thursday 12.36am

Here are some random bits of information that one day might just come in handy.

Maybe Mr Steve Wynn isn't such a hot casino mogul after all

In a Chicago Tribune review,
""'s the bottom line: Wynn, who left the casino business in 2000 when his Mirage Resorts Inc. was bought out, has created in his big comeback a nice but overpriced and highly pretentious property that discourages ordinary people from visiting. Worse, though, it fails to shift the epicenter of this tourist mecca in a way it would seem $2.7 billion would.''

The Kronos Quartet goes Bollywood with their latest album

Now if wine is made from grapes, why don't they taste of grapes instead of chocolate, mint, raspberry and countless more descriptions that I can't personally fathom

As quoted in a recent London Times story.... At a recent tasting a man inhaled deeply and proclaimed: “I’m getting Brazilian woman.”

On another note, when Bloglines faltered Tuesday, I was at such a loss of what to do.
That mean I had to actually go visit each blog? The horror and inconvenience of it all.
I decided to just read The Guardian Weekend's story on Coldplay and How To Have A Picnic (""Some people, often elderly, take neat wicker baskets packed with a 48-piece crockery picnic set. That's more than the average person has at home and it weighs as much as a bag of cement. No wonder the elderly often picnic 12 inches from their car."")

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I bought Edith Piaf's Chante en public on a whim today, and also cos it cost less than $10 at the Gramophone warehouse sale at Orchard.
The signature song of Edith Piaf (her stage name Piaf means Sparrow) was of course La Vie En Rose, redone by...
Louis Armstrong, Cyndi Lauper, Dee Dee Bridgewater and so many more...

The office is just not the right place to listen to her.
She needs a smoky room, with a little stage, and audience sitting at tables, rapt with attention and admiration.
A bottle of wine, or two. Preferably red.

I know I'm a bit late to discover her, seeing how she died in 1963.
But you know, better late than never or mieux vaut tard que jamais.

no more sneaking in of food

how cool is that?
Seattle's got its own neighbourhood movie
It's a cinema plus bistro, where you can chow down on popcorn (five varieties
including butter, dijon & dill, and with brewer's yeast), pizza, sandwiches and wash it all down with some cold beer! And to finish it all off, chocolate cake!

But does that mean you'll walk out of the cinema with cheese stuck to you? After all, people already spill food while eating in broad daylight.
I suppose you'll just need to be really careful when you eat... but might be tricky when you're slurping down your white bean and spinach soup.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

and more

oh yes, and if I were a power blogger or wannabe power blogger who wanted to be deluged by 500+ comments, i would've said something about the recent you-know-what that's just absolutely been the focus of everyone's attention here.
But I'm not, and anyway I've had plenty of that at work, such that I've only been able to leave at 130 (that's AM by the way) for the past week.
Today (Sunday) ie Monday will be a relatively ___ free day, so maybe things will start to die down now.

Although the jokes will surely continue, as they did yesterday during the blog con - yes I attended and was frankly a bit bored but cheered up at the thought of freeflow water-ohsorrythatwasactually-alcohol (although the two drinks I had before the free drinks started actually did taste of gin)
Didnt like that there was an outofbounds area (not that i wanted to go in in the first place) only for the blogerati
Found out that DXO looks quite nice, esp the secondfloor outdoor seating....
...but that either the party there starts really late or it doesnt start at all - the only pp there that night seemed to have been from the blog con
That there was actually some clubfest at suntec convention centre that seemed really quick popular, with people streaming in after 1am, that's really not my scene...
... and that I'd rather sit down somewhere and have drinks with my friends and listen to some good music.
That dim sum's still one of my favourite suppers
Oh and that Carl's Jr isn't too bad but I'd still rather seahstreetdeli, handlebar or blooie's for burgers. At least that way I dont have to foodcourt-loiter-and-stare the other patrons down until they get the hint and leave.

meanwhile, at work today I learnt the following things:
christopher doyle definitely thought 2046 was a mistake that wong kar wai made
'I feel that 2046 is unnecessary, in retrospect. I think probably Wong Kar-Wai realised that somewhere, and that's why it took so long.'

and that Nick Hornby still writes better music journalism than he writes fiction

that a bar in Paris has somehow found out how to freeze vodka to make a martini lolly

(i'll hopefully link these properly later cos write now i'm doing this in a very inconvenient location - done!)

and that while i like pete yorn's rock version of china girl, david bowie's still the best

read this

People often remark about how I seem to read a lot.
I admit to being quite a voracious reader.
I usually have a minimum of two books going at one time - one for at home (maybe a hardback or a thick book too heavy or bulky to carry around) so that I can read for about half an hour before I go to sleep, and the other's for me to travel with, so that I've got something to do on buses and trains, besides listening to the iPod.
I read magazines as well, and am quite the sucker for women's mags like Cosmo and Glamour and Elle. There's also the regular Newsweek my family subscribes to and The Atlantic, which I seem to stockpile more than I read these days.
The company resource centre's a great place to borrow other magazines and international papers' supplements like The New Yorker and The Sunday Times Magazine.
I also occasionally borrow from the library (although the copies are quite old) stuff like Empire, Premiere, EW and er, Runners' World (something I hardly qualify for).

I like visiting libraries and bookstores and I check out online bookstores (like my favourite Powells - I have dreams of one day heading to Oregon to worship at this great store) as well as websites and online book sections in papers.
I buy books and borrow books even though I have plenty yet unread at home.

The library I frequent has to be Queenstown, especially since they decided to lengthen operating hours and not close at a ridiculous 4 (or was it 5?) on Sundays as they used to.
It's a great library as it's less than 10min away from home by car, has free parking and the shelves are well stocked with books.
Although I'm terribly fond of the Orchard library as well (what a fantastic location to rest after being all shopped-out) the books there tend to be too well-read and magazines are always in high demand.

But as much as I like libraries, I find it hard to stay there for long.
It amazes me the way people will hang out and read books for hours at a time. I only do that occasionally, and prob only for 1/2 hr max, when waiting for people.

I love to browse in libraries, even when I've reached my borrowing limit and am lugging four books in one hand.
But while I cannot wait to sit down and read these books, I'd really rather take them home, where I can relax and take my time.

I read in bed, I read in the living room with the TV on, I sometimes read on my rides to work and even at work sometimes. I read by the swimming pool after having done my laps.

I can't go on a trip without bringing a book. And even though I get home at 2am, and sleep at 3, I still need to read a little before turning out the light.

I want to work in a bookstore and buy books.

So hello folks, my nick is olduvai and I'm addicted to reading.

Monday, July 11, 2005

thank you!

to everyone for your lovely birthday wishes!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

have my cake and eat it too

After a week of bad dinners, I'm pleased to announce two days of good eating!

On Saturday, after a simple lunch of porridge, long bean omelette, and fish, headed out to catch Fantastic Four at Cineleisure then it was off to Handlebar for some great food, atmosphere and company! Had the cheeseburger - always yummy, but this time my fries were a little overfried... - some chicken wings (thanks for leaving me the ones doused with BBQ sauce ones, guys) and beer.

Once the tummies were filled, it was off to Prince Of Wales for a little blues (cover) music. Band, called Raindogs, was pretty good, though had never heard of them before. Finished their set really early though, which was weird... (did they have another gig somewhere else? or was it bedtime already?) But I guess that enabled us sit down to talk instead of having to yell at each other to hear above the music.

And today, lunch was with the family at Summer Palace for dimsum (decent food, not very good variety though - I miss HK!) and then met a friend for some longjing cha at Tea Chapter. Now it seems the family's off for some Japanese food for dinner - and I'm still full from lunch!

(I suppose it's a way of lining my stomach with some good food, in preparation for tomorrow's dinner - now will it be zichar stall no 1 or zichar stall no 2? sigh... It's only week one of bad dinners. How will i last until Dec 30? Might consider occasionally bringing my own food for dinner... But I shall reserve these bad food thoughts for another time. I think there's a sashimi platter with my name on it. And cake from Cedele when we get home!)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

got the munchies

One thing about working nights is having to eat dinner near the office.

Dinner to me is always a big thing. I don't mind having crap food for lunch, but for dinner? I don't know how long I can take eating zhi char...

So these days, I've been making sure I get proper lunches, mostly cos, as previously mentioned, I have to cook for the family.

Today's lunch was wholemeal spaghetti with pasta and mushrooms, done agio e olio (garlic and olive oil) style, with some extra parsley, chopped chilli and lemon juice to give it a bit more kick. (altho i realise later I could've added more chilli, cos there wasn't much heat to it). The pasta comes with a side salad of romaine, butterhead and zucchini.

Yesterday, I made some vegetable soup! (got a bit lazy about taking photos, so i suppose you'll have to trust me on this one)
Threw in some carrots, celery and potatoes, into a stock made with chicken, corn and ginger. I was trying to get something a bit spicy and yet sweet... dunno if I did too well with that one. i thought it was ok.

(this is lately starting to sound like a food blog, but you know, i just love food and i'm starting to realise that i quite enjoy cooking, albeit very simple food, and going to buy ingredients.)

Of course, the stuff I cook is very simple, especially in comparison to those found on blogs like ChubbyHubby or Kuidaore.

And now, it's time to get ready to go to work (and for more kopitiam food later).. today's an early day, i've gotta be in the office by 230.

what to do at work when stories aren't coming in

* load up the pc with MP3s - today the Ts to the Zs (ok so my CDR doesnt have a band with a Z, just a W - it ends with Wilco and starts with Teitur) and play them, of course.

* Surf various blogs, or just read them on bloglines

* check out music sites like pitchforkmedia or stylus magazine.

* check out book sites like Guardian's review page, Powell's, Amazon

* read international newspapers like IHT, The New York Times, Guardian, The Times....

* listen in to conversations around you, in case you can find interesting anecdotes for a site similar to

* daydream

* pretend to look busy by occasionally opening up a story and reading it, reading the sked, or checking the basket for stories

* check out upcoming movies on Yahoo! or Rotten Tomatoes

* send emails

* wander around the office

* message colleagues (but not on msn cos for some reason i can't get onto msn)

* write inane blog entries like this one (but only in text form, to be uploaded only when it's safe and no one's around)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

n the greatest american rock band is...

pearl jam!
hands down! (i've always thought so but now it seems that i'm not the only one...)

i read in USA Today's Pop Candy column that readers feel the same way. Columnist posed the question a week ago, asking readers to email her with what they feel is the top band. She said she was expecting to see Aerosmith top the list. But
Pearl Jam beat out Aerosmith, Van Halen, The Eagles, Journey (who rounded out the top five).
And here's why:
*They've stayed true to themselves.
"Instead of selling out with videos and constant press coverage, they pulled back at their height, and focused on the music," wrote Willie McNabb in El Dorado, Ark. "They belong up there with Neil Young, Zeppelin and The Beatles because they never compromised their integrity, which is really all any of us have."

*The music rocks.
From Atlanta reader Tom Baker: "They've continually reshaped their sound, album
after album, and are still making great, vital music 12+ years into their career. What else could you want?"

*Their records sell
"... because they're good, not because they've been hyped to death by the media," McNabb added.

* There have been scores of imitators.
"How many Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder knockoffs have invaded rock radio since Ten?" asked Scott Jordan, another Atlanta fan.

*Their concerts are first-rate and affordable.

Jake Mohlman from Barrington, R.I., praised the band for keeping ticket prices low. "It's unique in an era when most artists gouge their fans to the limit," he wrote. "Likewise, releasing their shows on low-cost bootlegs brings a new dimension
to seeing one of their shows."

Monday, July 04, 2005

day two (of work this time)

so i'm about to head into the office to start day two of six months. it's been quite smooth-sailing so far (then again it's only been one day!)

yesterday i started at 4pm and caught the 1230am transport home.
but before that i watched Code 46 on dvd.

Code 46
stars Samantha Morton and Tim Robbins, it's a bit of a sci-fi flick, set in the future, and for some reason in Shanghai.

The movie's far less of a sci-fi flick than a romance. not too much of this not-too-distant future is explained so you tend to need to figure out things for yourself, which I like cos i'm not fond of the obvious.

i liked the imagery and the direction but the film sort of failed to capture me and it got kinda boring here and there.

(this is not a very good review but i dont really feel like writing out a proper one at the moment... i'm just rambling... while getting ready for work...ha!)

anyway, besides the film, i had to cook lunch. my mum's away so i'm the designated cook - i guess it makes sense cos my sister only gets home from work at ard 8, and my dad eats at around 7.

so here's what i made yesterday (i've even got pics for proof!)
steamed pomfret(which i forgot to take a pic of)

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spinach and mushrooms

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grilled teriyaki chicken wings

Today's menu:

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Spare ribs with black bean sauce

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Broccoli with shitake mushrooms

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Fried tofu

and rice of course

iTunes is currently playing Manic Street Preachers' Strip It Down

(oh and i finally get to listen to at work!)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Epic disaster

Saw War Of The Worlds last night. Didn't expect too much of it. didn't get too much.

I must first off admit being a bit biased as I never liked Tom Cruise(except maybe in Jerry Maguire) but even if he were to be replaced by a far more likeable fella, the whole movie wld still be quite the flop.

Oh please! Zap him away already!

Here's the thing - if you go expecting an epic film (it is War Of The Worlds after all) you'll be disappointed. It's merely another summer blockbuster - relatively brainless, lots of action, big stars, special effects etc.
Much like Day After Tomorrow.

But unlike Day After Tomorrow, it's a movie based on the epic tale by HG Wells.

I think they should've just named it something else entirely and not have it associated with War Of The Worlds.

When it comes to alien movies, I still think Mars Attacks! wins hands down! (Ack ack acckk)

War Of The Worlds it is not.

2.5 out of 5 stars

and now.... the end is near

and so i'll be
be at work tomorrrrrooowwww....

it's been a great two weeks off.

i've appreciated the time to relax, not think about work (except when I had to check something abt various stories and at mortinis...) and do whatever I want.

I swam, I read, I shopped, I feasted, I karaoked, I drank, I slept, I watched movies, I hung out at cafes, I picnicked at Sentosa, I met up with friends, I watched DVDs, I listened to music, I travelled to Chiang Mai, and more.

Life was good.

And tomorrow, I enter the office to take over a new desk and a 6-mth stint doing something, well... not that new in some ways and new in other ways. A bit like first day of school again, the same feeling I had six months ago. (and the butterflies later just turned into acid, but that's another story y'all have heard already anyway).

So I will take each day as it comes.

And despite the terrible timetable, I hope to continue to meet up with friends and spend time with my family and do as much as I can of the above list as possible.

I'm not really much of a late-night person... in the sense that I never was into burning the midnight oil. I'd sleep early and wake up early to study in the quiet calm of the early morning.

So I'm hoping I can somehow adjust to the new working hours (and sleeping hours). Will take some time I expect!

iTunes is currently playing Eliott Smith's A Fond Farewell