Thursday, June 29, 2006

too much too many

This kid returned from the candy store with her hands full.

Luis Alberto Urrea - The Hummingbird's Daughter
Ariel Levy - Female Chauvinst Pigs
Maureen Dowd - Are Men Necessary?
Miriam Toews - A Complicated Kindness
Donald Antrim - The Verificationist
James Agee - A Death In The Family

Too many expectations?

Upon reading about this Myanmarese place in The Travelling Hungryboy's blog, I knew I had to go try it, mostly cos I was curious to see what it would be like.

I guess I was expecting it to be similar to Thai food - a little sweet, a little spicy, a little sour, in an explosion of tastes.

It was, however, quite different.

I ordered the nangyi thok, which was like chu mifen (thick vermicelli), in a dry chilli gravy with some chilli, strange fried bits, slices of hard boiled egg and coriander. It wasn't really hot, or spicy, or sour. It was a little blander than I thought, although squeezing some lime into it added more zing. I did like it better when eaten with the coriander too. However, what I wasn't too fond of was the odd powdery feel of the gravy, much as if lots of egg yolk was mashed up into it - I'm not that fond of the yolk of a hard boiled egg. It made me feel like I needed a gulp of water with each mouthful. The dish was interesting, but alas, I doubt I'd order it again.

MT ordered the traditional rice noodle in fish gravy which he said was like assam laksa. It came with some chickpea crackers, slices of hard boiled egg, coriander and banana tree stem. It too was better pepped up with some lime and chilli flakes.

We shared a Myanmar fried tofu - small triangles of fried tofu with a chilli dipping sauce. Not too bad.

As with the food, we were expecting the restaurant to be something else - a hole in the wall, small, cramped type of place. Instead it is large, spacious and with very efficient service.

Inle Myanmar Restaurant
Peninsula Plaza #B1-07

Have a look here for more on Myanmar cuisine

Not really a write-up

Ah Buko Nero. That lovely little Italian-Asian place in Tanjong Pagar run by Oscar and Tracy.

It's more than a year since I last stepped into this restaurant. But the food never fails. Although this time, it took quite a while getting to us.

First, a disclaimer: I wasn't planning to write about this. So I didn't exactly take note of the descriptions of the dishes. Apologies.

Dinner started off with something from the chef - a crostini of beef, horseraddish mayo and apricot. Delightful. Made me want to go to Morton's for their sandwiches.

Then the shared starter of more crostini - this time of parma ham and er mozarella I think. Sorry wasn't paying attention to the description in the menu, just remember popping it into my mouth and loving it.

We had also ordered a nice bottle of the house sauvignon blanc, which was described as fruity. And fruity it was, refreshing too. Nope, didnt note down the name.

A lemon and kiwi sherbet arrived after the starter.

Our mains only reached us at 930. We watched as plates exited the kitchen, only to end up on someone else's table. But finally, ours arrived.

What the others ordered: the honey and miso salmon (a special of the day), the veal cheek and mushroom ragu with penne and the tau kwa tower.

What I had: the risotto with mascarpone cheese and lamb prosciutto. The risotto was done just right, with the mascarpone giving it a rather milky texture, and the prosciutto helping to break through that creaminess. It did, however, get a bit jelat towards the end. But mm yummy. I love risotto.

And for dessert: the lemon curd and blueberries tart and the sticky date pudding. The tart was not too bad, although the blueberries came in the form of a jam on the side. I've never been a fan of sticky date pudding though, but I thought it was ok.

The girls bought me a going away present. How sweet! It's Bills Food by Bill Granger. I'm so thrilled! I turn the pages, just dying to eat everything that's featured. I already know his brownie is an amazing one... I have to try something else soon.

Buko Nero
126 Tanjong Pagar Road,
Tel: 6324-6225

And she's named Dakota Blue

Oh! They found Lyra!

Dissing the Devil
"In a world of 'fabulous,' " Mr. Wolfe pronounced, " 'pretty' just isn't good enough."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ready steady

I'm sitting writing this on a Tuesday afternoon at 335pm. A time when I'm usually running back upstairs to find my keys, ready to go out to catch the bus to get to work at 4pm. (Yes, I've had the luck to live a 15-minute bus ride from work, and at this time, with no traffic whatsoever)

But today, I'm at home, in a tanktop and a pair of shorts, not ready for work at all. It's not my off day, instead I've been made to take over someone's 6pm shift. I don't know how to handle starting work at 6pm. So it's only 2 hours later than usual but somehow it feels like eternity.

Guess it's just my luck to be quitting at this time, when all kinds of people are on leave, on MC or on course. So we're shorthanded. So I can't have an easier last two weeks.

But how odd it is to think that next Thursday will be my last day at work. That I will be unemployed. That instead of that little bit of money coming into my bank account each month, money will be just flowing out of it. And that I finally get my nights back again. Instead of spending my nights at the office, I'd be er...well... at home probably.

But man when I think of how close next Thursday is, I just want to jump for joy.

Listening: Muse - Starlight

Monday, June 26, 2006

bits and pieces

Joyless, angry, frightened, anti-human, and just plain rude. How can you travel and be a vegetarian? I don't like my grandma's cooking, but at least I try it.
Anthony Bourdain on vegetarians

If newspapers get any smaller, you'll have to read them with a magnifying glass. Also check out Slate's new look... oooh....

This part of the story fascinates me: the Washington Post Co.'s now employs an editorial staff of 65.
Now who'd like to guess how many staff the local newspapers' websites employ?

Listening: Gnarls Barkley - The Last Time

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend eats

The tough decision making continued on Sunday as I stared at the screen and pondered... should I use my UNI$ on food vouchers? Or shopping vouchers? In the end, I decided on a mix of both. I made a quick pasta for the tapow dinner for work (with some chicken meat, yellow capsicum, asparagus, a teeny bit of chopped ginger and some garlic, tossed together with some olive oil and spices) And then I went to work. So that's my terrrrrribly exciting Sunday for you. But then, there will only be one more Sunday like this so I guess it's meant to be cherished.

On Saturday, I wondered what the slow service folks at Pu Dong (Balmoral Plaza) meant by "arrested vegetables" in their menu. I was laughing so hard I forgot to read the Chinese translation. However, this Shanghainese restaurant did also have "jerry fish" and "duck tone" on the menu, in case you'd like to give those a try.

Me and my folks skipped those dishes and headed straight for the chicken in chinese wine sauce (nice flavour but full of bones), spring onion pancakes (a bit overfried), xiaolongbao (excellent broth but so stingy on the meat that the baos lay almost flat!), a plate of caixin and a dish of stirfried nian gao with cabbage and pork (it's not the niangao that you get at new year, btw)

Then a quick stop on the way home at Island Creamery for a baked alaska for my mom, a scoop of kahlua latte for my dad and a scoop of pulot hitam for myself. Always creamy, always good.

Pu Dong Kitchen
271 Bt Timah Rd,
#B1-02 Balmoral Plaza
Tel: 6732 8966

Island Creamery
10 Jalan Serene,
Serene Centre, #01-05
Tel: 6468-8859

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What ever happened

"This is a business, this journalism, that likes a good trend. We can examine it from four different directions and get some colelge professors to tell us what we ought to think, and we pass it on to the readers."

I hate that but I also know that all too well.

But I did not know that the story of Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist would move me, would make me marvel at the struggles he and his family went through, through povery and abuse in the South.

All over but the shoutin', he says in the prologue, is for his mother.
"It is only the story of a strong woman, a tortured man and three sons who lived hemmed in by thin cotton and ragged history in northeastern Alabama, in a time when blacks and whites found reason to hate each other and a whole lot of people could not stand themselves."

Bragg, who was not too long ago embroiled in a scandal at the NYT newsroom - and subsequently quit - and according to wiki now teaches journalism, writes straight from the heart. Brutal but true. His writing is vivid, as he takes the reader all the way back to his childhood, to when he begins working for small newspapers, then regional ones and finally makes it to the NYTimes, where he writes stories such as that about Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who killed her two sons by driving her car into a lake.

There is something about his story that moves me, maybe it's his passion for his work, for uncovering the hidden stories of the poor, the forgotten, the left behind. Maybe it's an admiration of his passion, which I know I'd never really have.

I'd been asked many times if I'd go back to writing. I usually try to worm my way out with a blah answer. The truth is, I love to write. It doesn't mean I do a good job at it. But I am too fond of words to ever give it up. But to go back to what I did last year... that would be impossible. People have suggested that I freelance. I greet that with a "yeah, I guess". But somehow, I just don't feel like I can deal with stories which make me wonder what the hell I'm wasting my time on.

There are good reporters, there are good writers and so far, from my backend experience, it is not often you get a good mix in one person. A lot of reporters are feted for their brilliance in chasing a story and chasing down the people and getting them to talk. I admire that. I could never do that. I am no reporter.

But I do like to write. I like to play with words. I like to have people read what I wrote. I suppose that's why I've kept this blog for five years now. I suppose that's why although I lost my way and gave up writing that I still work with words. I just polish them.

Do I ever want to go back into this? Maybe. Maybe years down the road I will realise it's what I've always wanted, it's what I went to school for, after all. It's just that right now, when I think of it, I just can't. I cannot imagine working for another ed, and another, and another, and then having the already pathetic story I wrote whittled down til it's just a sliver of a shadow of its former self.

So that's my answer. That's the truth.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lunch at Iggy's

It was so tasty and yet so simple.

A hickory-smoked trout, a slice of potato rosti and a bed of greens. Instead of the usual slivers one associates with smoked fish, this was a nice slab of trout. I love smoked fish and this was heavenly. The potato rosti was also beautifully crisp and tasty. I couldn't get enough. Can't really figure out what was in the greens but the dressing had a great tangy taste to it. Easily the star of my lunch.

Eps starter of capellini was a sizeable portion, but it unfortunately reminded us of fried mee, possibly because of the hei bee taste.

She went with Iggy's famous burger. A tall but slim tower, which tasted of truffles. Unfortunately truffles are lost on me. (er yeah, I know... it just doesn't do it for me) I guess I prefer my burgers simple, with cheese and bacon. However, the accompanying caramelised potato wedges were sweet and soft yet crunchy and the salad had a delightful zesty citrus dressing.

My main was ok. It was lamb, on a bed of vegetables i-dunno-what-you-call-it but chopped up vegetables cooked with a sauce. A tempura-ed eggplant lay on top but was strangely tasteless. Or maybe I've been eating oversalted tempura. I'm not sure.

Dessert was a banana tarte tatin. With banana ice-cream. Banana overload! Would've been nicer with a different flavoured ice-cream. But the tart was lovely - not too sweet, with just the right amount of banana slices and an excellent pastry.

But it was overshadowed by the fascinating creme caramel with candied tomatoes and basil ice-cream that eps chose. It all went beautifully together, reminding me of a tomato/mozarella salad with basil leaves. The ice-cream kinda grew on you and was rather refreshing.

Service was efficient although a bit strangely accented when the waiter gave his recommendations. But that is definitely how a set lunch is meant to be served. Done with the course, and ready with the next one. Not too immediate but with a satisfactory break in between. Efficiency, with an A+.

The restaurant - we set at the counter by the way - was packed full, with a mix of business-like people and tai tais (and one odd table of a tai tai and her young 10 to 12-yo son. A tai tai's version of fast food perhaps?)

The four tai tais seated at the corner of the counter talked rather loudly, except for those few moments of silence just after the meal when they all picked at food with toothpicks (weirdest sight ever at a restaurant). The windowless premises don't help as it's all rather solid, with nothing much to absorb sound. So you get to eavesdrop on your neighbours, or in the case of the tai tais, your neighbours' neighbours, if you're sitting at the counter.

Iggy's, in case you didn't know, was ranked 98 out of the world's best 100 restaurants, by British-based
Restaurant magazine, although Chubby Hubby felt that the voting system is hardly fair and subsequently devised his own restaurant survey (voting's now closed)

I definitely enjoyed my lunch but maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I'm supposed to go at dinner time and not for their set lunch for me to be blown away by the food.

Iggy's three-course set lunch is at $45 and a five-course set is at $75.

Level 3, The Regent
Tel: 6732-2234

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

eat my shorts

I'm going everywhere. I decide the destinations. If there is a driving agenda, it's how many Asia shows can I shove down the network's throat. That's really it. You think we can go to Vietnam again yet?

Anthony Bourdain reminds me why he's one of the best food/travel show hosts around.

The Boston Globe talks chocolate chip cookies, with some advice from experts

Justhungry makes notes on food photography

Esurientes makes me hungry with a Nutella cake that uses an entire jar of Nutella.

NY Magazine takes time to point out urban etiquette dos and donts, such as "How do you decide who gets what restaurants, bars, and friends post-breakup?", "How should you indicate to a cabdriver/person sitting next to you on a bus that you don't want to chat?" and "When is it okay to ask a stranger about something in the newspaper he's holding on the train?"

Listening: Bloc Party- Storm and Stress

Monday, June 19, 2006

I will see you in far off places

Oh I love reading The New Yorker.
Just for those lovely bits of stories by people like Nora Ephron, writing about her love for her NY apartment. And her falling out of love for it when the rent rocketed.
She talks about moving:
"It was as if we had died but got to sort through our things; it was as if we'd been reborn and were now able to start accumulating things all over again".

I know I'm moving for only a year (well at the moment, it's only a year and then a 'see-how' after that) but the thought of filling my suitcase with things I'd need for a year freaks me out. I don't know where to start. I don't know where to begin. I make lists, I write them down, I recite them in my head. What to bring? What to leave behind? How to start?

Forgive me. It is my first move. I know a lot of y'all have made your jaunts overseas, staying for several years at a time. But this is my first.

It's not that I've started packing - that would be a bit early at the moment. But I'm just trying to figure out what I need. What I can't get there. What I can. What I can get in the US instead. I guess I'm afraid I'll be falling asleep on the flight, high above the ocean and I jump up from my seat (or at least I try to, given the limited leg room) and shout: "FCUK. I forgot.....!"

Yeah I know I can easily buy things anywhere. But some things have do have their sentimental value. And I'm a sucker for that kind of thing lah.

And then there's the books... after all I'll be in the US for nearly two months doing erm, absolutely nothing.
I suppose I could bring a suitcase full of the books that languish on my shelves and buy everything else there. But i have a feeling that would be a tad bit overboard.
I will have to be extremely picky and just take those I know will be a fantastic read. And maybe throw in one I already know is a fantastic read, having read them time and time again.

I shall mull over this..

Sunday, June 18, 2006

happy father's (and grandfather's) day

Five years ago to this day, my paternal grandfather died after a fight with cancer.

My grandmother died a few months after.

So on Father's Day, we remembered my grandparents. Most of the family met at the Mandai Columbarium before noon. Visits to the columbarium are always accompanied by hot sunshine and humid weather. Today was no exception.

I stood there and thought of my grandfather, a man who loved Chinese paintings and collecting teapots. A man I once wrote about in primary school when made to do an essay on someone I admired. He was someone who was proud of his roots and was active in clan associations. He built a baking goods company. He supported his wife and six children. He was awarded a PBM (public service medal). He liked to take my hand and pat it as he talked to me. He often talked of going to see art exhibitions with us, but being young (and foolish) we'd get out of going.

My grandmother, I'm afraid, I know less of. I know she was always in the kitchen when we got to the house. She made the best kongbah and stewed duck ever.

So there they were, their ashes side by side.

And there we were - four of their children and six of their grandchildren - coming together to pay our respects to two unforgettable people.

There was no incense or paper money to be burnt. There were just some flowers. But there was family.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

my 06.06.06 surprise

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.

First, I worked normal hours for a change last week - ok, better than normal - as I was on course. It was four days of 10am - 430pm bliss.

I also wrote up my first ever resignation letter - with some suggestions from various pp - printed it up and handed it in to my boss one day after class.

"I hear you have a surprise for me," he said.
I was the one surprised. The grapevine works quick, doesn't it.

So there it is. I tendered. On 06/06/06. It wasn't intentional.

And another thing new... I drew pages. (For me a big deal, cos me and layout = just don't work) And more importantly, I did them on the new system everyone's been bitching about. And I realise I still don't know much about layout rules and design but it's a good experience nonetheless.

I picked up my airtickets. And said goodbye to a big lot of money (damn these airlines and expensive flights).

I attempted to get my Entry Clearance done at the visa office, only to be told that I can't do it more than 3 months before entering the UK. So I have to go back again at the end of the month. However, the nice staffer there helped me look through my papers and made some suggestions about additional documents I might need. So hopefully when I go back, it'll be painless.

Ok I suppose I should backtrack here, since I've not written about this previously. The reason I am leaving my job is that I'm going back to study. I'm not sure why really. All kinds of reasons I suppose. It's been something I've been meaning to do for a while, and I figured that without any major commitments - the decision to send out my applications took place early in the year btw - I should go do this while I'm still (relatively) young. Then I meet this great guy and somehow things all fall in place and well, this year is turning out to be a far better year than I was expecting it to be. : )

So at the end of next month, I'll be trudging onto a plane, ready for a lonnnngggg flight halfway across the world, with as many of my belongings as I can fit into two bags. And then two months later, a shorter flight to a new city, to a new school.
Can't wait!

I was meant to be a brownie

On a quick food note, I made brownies with Bill Granger's recipe (via tsogb here) and I must say that the recipe is so delightfully easy yet the brownies produced are absolutely moist and chocolatey.

Unfortunately I forgot about taking pictures so you'll have to take my word for it.

Instead of chocolate chips, I smashed up some unsweetened cooking chocolate from Hershey's (so I didn't smash it hard enough and ended up with some rather large bits).

And this brownie tastes good both straight from the fridge (mmm cold brownies) or warmed up and dolloped with some ice-cream - of course the ideal situation would be to eat it after it emerges from the oven, but the recipe seems to make a pretty large brownie so there's plenty to go around.

Definite must-try!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Love etc

When I picked up this book, attracted by its intriguing title and the fact that the introduction was written by Philip Hensher, I noticed how tiny the font was, and how thin the pages were. I deduced that these three novels by Nancy Mitford would take me a while but I was willing to give it a chance. It looked interesting enough.

And was I right. I'm into the second novel now - the one called Love in a Cold Climate (the others are The Pursuit of Love and The Blessing) and can't seem to put it down.

The upper class characters - which follow from The Pursuit of Love - are entertaining, funny and truly enchanting. I especially am fond of Uncle Matthew who writes down names of people he doesn't like and places them in drawers as he hopes that by doing so, they will die within a year.

"The drawers at Alconleigh were full of little slips bearing the names of those whom my uncle wanted out of the way.."

Cedric, too, is a delight with his brash campy-ness.

The two novels are loosely based on Mitford's own experiences and satirises the British Upper classes.

I hadn't a clue who Nancy Mitford was until this book. She was a bestselling author and biographer, and confidante of Evelyn Waugh. And it's easy to understand why she loosly based the story on her own family. Her sisters lived notorious lives, with two of them being part of Hitler's entourage - one of them even shot herself in the head when war on Germany was declared, only to live for nine more years. Another sister was communist.

But back to Nancy Mitford. Her writing is just darling - witty, bitingly funny and such fun to read. It really does deserve to be read in a large armchair with a pot of tea, but I've been reading snatches on the bus, and before I sleep. And despite being on my way to finishing the second book, I feel as if I ought to start reading it from the begining again.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

crepes and coffee

I have been lazy.
I really have no excuse.
But I am taking the slacker's way out and pointing you kind folks who read this inane crap I occasionally spew, to my good friend DSD's entry on Wiener Kaffeehaus , where she, the slumbering gal and I met for some Austrian food and some good conversation.

I shall add a bit though, since DSD didn't mention the coffee, which she didn't have in the first place. I ordered what is apparently the viennese version of a cappucino, but with decidedly less foam (good for me - I am the foam scooper) and thankfully no cinnamon (cinnamon and coffee... who ever thought that was a good idea must be crazy). But it was such a lush intense coffee flavour. Very delightful indeed. And they serve it on a lovely silver tray.

Since the owner had mentioned in an interview with Life that he missed cafes where one could sit "for hours", I decided to take his word for it and sat reading for the good part of the evening, until the two friends came by after work.
So go read the blog entry about the food. I do wholeheartedly agree with her.

But I shall add that after slumbering gal left, DSD and I went over to the nearby Creperie Ar-Men in Duxton Road, wandering first past some seedy bars with long-haired skimpily clad women plying their various trades outside.

Then climbed some wooden stairs up to the restaurant seating area, ordered a mug of cider (yummy) and shared a chestnut crepe topped with chocolate sauce and homemade praline ice-cream.

We ate and drank the Brittany-style treats, surrounded by pictures of lighthouses and to the tunes of bagpipes....

Wiener Kaffeehaus
148 Neil Road
Tel: 6226-3148

Creperie Ar-Men
37 Duxton Road
Tel: 6227-3389

Sunday, June 11, 2006

here's the scoop

So I dragged the family out to dinner at Tampopo.

The place is packed with locals. On hindsight, not a good sign when it comes to Japanese places - especially this one since it's next to a Japanese supermarket.

I ordered a miso ramen, my sister the shoyu ramen, my mom the korean ramen, my dad an unagi don. We also get some gyoza and assorted sashimi.

The ramen comes with a couple of thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth pork, the usual bamboo, seaweed, and unfortunately, beansprouts.
The noodles are nice and springy but the soup - while far better than the shoyu-based stock - is rather salty and I end up trying to avoid drinking the soup and just eat the ingredients instead. Tsk.

The gyoza is shoddily made. My sister does a far better gyoza.

The desserts look a bit more promising - with warabi mochi, mont blanc etc on the menu.

But I'm really at Liang Court for the ice-cream.

Just a few metres away from Tampopo, is this stall - also within Meidi-Ya - that does a rather delicious sweet potato and chestnut gelato. I ask for a double scoop on a cone - with the sweetpotatochestnut and a black sesame.

The guy piles it on and I feel like one greedy bugger walking away with a two scoops of ice-cream taller than the cone they sit on. One pale creamy mound, the other a dark cement-like tone with little dots of black sesame dancing all around it.

Mmm... gelatolicious.

Of course with two mammoth mounds to contend with, the family has to wander around the shelves of Meidi-Ya, checking out weird frozen items, that shelf of fresh tofu products, and that whole tantalising section of raw seafood.

I am a supermarket junkie. I like to wander the shelves of supermarkets that are not called NTUC. I love to feast my eyes on the fresh produce section - the crisp, colourful vegetables, fruits and herbs, the blood red of meats, the creamy lushy cheeses. I rather enjoy pottering around the baking section, letting my eyes wander around the alcohol and wine departments. And of course, filling up the basket full of goodies to check out.

Tampopo Restaurant
#B1-50 Liang Court Shopping Centre
Tel: 6338-3186

Monday, June 05, 2006

psapp it

Meet Psapp.
You may not be entirely sure how to pronounce their name, but rest assured, they sure make good music. (for the official pronunciation, check out their myspace)
As they say on their website, they like "making songs with little noises poking out".
In case they sound familiar, their song Cosy In The Rocket is the theme song of Grey's Anatomy.
Here's Tiger, My Friend if you'd like a listen.
Or check out this odd little video (warning: quicktime video)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Friday... Saturday.... Sunday

I braved the Friday heat and crowds and took a stab at some light shopping in town.

While waiting for the bus, some twenty minutes into my afternoon jaunt, my will starts to falter and I think instead of heading to the cool dark interiors of my home and watching crapo afternoon TV. Luckily, in a couple of minutes, the damn bus finally arrives and I find myself on my way to town.

I almost do not want to leave the a/c of the bus, but then I'd find myself in North Bridge Road. So I get off and drag my feet into Paragon - thinking some slightly more atas a/c will do the trick. It does, somewhat. My feet start to pick up slightly, and I saunter into one of those shops on the upper levels - the ones which don't cause your wallet to spontaneously combust - and am dazzled by the signs proclaiming 20 .. no wait... 30.... oh! 40 percent off. Unfortunately there's nothing I want, even at those discounts. And then I step into the POA store. I always like this store. Kinda dark, with surprises on every rack. And this time I fall in love with a bag. And a couple of dresses and a skirt.

But then, I remember that shitload of dough I have to drop later on this year. So I put down that lovely silky skirt, that great black bag with bronze studs, that cute dress and that other cute dress. I leave empty handed.

I do however, buy a pair of pants later at 30% off.

So it's not entirely a shop-less day. And I head home feeling hot, thirsty and not broke - at least not for now, that is.

The good news is I do later find a cheaper flight - which means more shopping money for the US!
The bad news is I somehow manage to drop a lock on my foot. I still am not sure how but I remember feeling a sharp pain, the lock clattering to the ground, me limping to the side and yelping.
The good news is it's nothing - not even, strangely, an orh-cheh yet.
The bad news is, damn no excuse - my Sunday evening's at the office.

Some other random notes about this weekend.

Hmm.. so you bring in some beer and they give you a Crumpler?

I watched X-Men on Saturday and was thrilled...
they got rid of Scott! I didn't have to watch James Marsden do a Keanu Reeves for the entire movie!

On Sunday, after a lunch of leftovers and a-third of a pizza from da paolo gastronomie, I popped by the library to return books due the next day. This time, too lazy to head into town, I drove to the nearest library - the Queenstown Library, which I have written about before as the Library of My Childhood. (And it seems, the library of many other childhoods, judging by the screaming brats running around the damn place. I shall definitely appreciate the relative quiet of the Central Library's dungeon otherwise known as its lending section)

Anyway, I was thrilled to grab a copy of the River Cafe ?, Jamie's Italy (I loved watching his Great Italian Escapade, especially that episode where he found out that Italian kids are fed well in schools and that in that one town, the Macs had to close down cos the kids wouldn't eat there. This of course will not happen in Sg.), David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Nancy Mitford's Love In A Cold Climate.

Thanks to the free parking across the road, I could've stayed the whole day but the seats were taken up by crowds young crammers upstairs (wait, isn't it the school holidays? ok silly question, this is Sg after all) and downstairs the yelling level had crescendoed - I was waiting for the glass to break.

And now here I am at work. Legs crossed, back straight. Darjeeling tea in my mug, set for a long night ahead.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

the wreckage on the overpass

I like Aimee Mann.

It took me a while but I finally managed to listen to The Forgotten Arm. And love every minute of it.

I can't get my head around it

Eating out

I eat dinner at the kopitiams around the office four nights a week - on Sundays I usually bring my own food as the thought of a fifth dinner at a kopitiam would make me sad. I have no choice. I work from 4pm till after midnight. So dinner is where the work is.

But tons of other people have choices, so why are they all eating at the kopitiams after work? And families... do these kids never get homecooked meals?

I guess kopitiam food isn't all that bad as long as you pick the right food, and it is cheap. But to me, it's just a bit sad to not eat homecooked meals regularly.

I've been very lucky - my mom who works full-time cooks. And by hanging out in the kitchen, I learnt to cook.

But there are many people less lucky - or maybe more lazy. People who da pow food home every night. Who never step into their kitchens - which are prob those spotless white kitchens. (How could anyone ever have a white kitchen!) And apparently, people who are doing away with kitchens from their houses altogether. A home with no kitchen - to me that's not a home.

Some things (ok 2) I learnt today

Barnes & Noble has only one literary fiction buyer.

James Blunt banned by radio station 'to give listeners a rest'