Monday, October 22, 2007

Radio Nowhere

After finally getting a computer account at work (so that I could finally stop using other people's accounts and get my very own sad abbreviation of my name as a user ID - which my boss remarked as "most unintuitive"), one of the first things I did was to load it up with mp3s. There's still a lot I'd like to put on the desktop. But I've made sure I'm surrounded by friendlies like Ben Folds, Rilo Kiley, Arcade Fire. And I've downloaded the Flaming Lips screensaver and Firefox. At least it's somewhat more user friendly now.

And since I've been asked, here's what I've been listening to: (I'll just point you to their websites where you can stream it)
White Rabbits - Fort Nightly (listen here, especially to 'Fort Nightly')
PJ Harvey - White Chalk (listen here)
The Go! Team - Proof of Youth (listen here)
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup (listen here)
Iron and Wine - The Shepherd's Dog (listen here)
Radiohead - In Rainbows (download here)
Bruce Springsteen - Magic (listen here)
And I'm still loving Rilo Kiley's Under the Blacklight (listen here)

Monday, October 15, 2007

I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter

I miss feeling cold. I don't mean the freezing in office aircon type of cold but that sharp biting cold that smacks you in the face once you step out of your (almost) warm building.

Yesterday I heard a 'cute' version of Tori Amos' Winter when browsing at Kinokuniya. Not that I thought it was cute but that the singer unfortunately had one of those cute-sounding voices (probably local), that is just wrong for the song. And then the album continued into a variety of other pop songs sung in the same way, cutesy. It made me just want to go and listen to the real thing.

Yesterday also saw dinner at the temporary Chinatown market (fishball noodles, carrot cake), followed by black sesame and sweet potato ice-cream at Liang Court, eaten on a wander through the Meidi-Ya supermarket.

The weekend had begun with Friday - with the sassy slumbering gal at Blu Jaz Cafe (the three, sometimes four piece band were good, the audio set-up was not), and Timbre at the Arts House, where a group of Caucasian men cut in front of us as we waited for a table, but we ended up getting a better seat anyway.

Saturday saw a very large dinner at Mortons. Onion bread for a start, a gin martini to wash it down. The ribeye was juicy and for want of a better description, meaty. I felt like I needed to chomp on a cigar. The baked potato was introduced with a clatter - as the waitress swirled her three buckets of goodness, the entire contraption fell clunking down, sour cream, butter and bacon bits. And my dad's complimentary molten chocolate cake arrived with the fourth birthday song heard that night in the restaurant.

At lunch on Sunday, former starlets of an era long gone smiled down on us as we feasted at The Cathay on baskets full of dim sum, some really good crispy chicken, noodles that had been sitting for a litlte too long, and steamed preserved egg custard buns (sounds weird, but trust me, it sinks into you and you only realise it when you reach for another and discover it's all gone).

Steamed preserved egg custard buns would be so good on a cold day.

Monday, October 08, 2007

keeping it simple


These are just some of the many ways to avoid using the word 'said'.
But sometimes, the word 'said' is far far better than any of these words. Especially when I've read 'opined' more than five times in five pages. And more than ten 'shared'. And I just spotted my third 'surmised'.

I'm working from home today as I've got no computer access at work yet. It gives me the chance to verbalise my irritation at this report writer's overuse of his thesaurus. It also lets me watch Will and Grace while having a nice salad for lunch (romaine lettuce, pinenuts, sliced button mushrooms, some Japanese yuzu dressing).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Botak Jones

'you ate a burger? I thought you avoid such food'.

Well, no. I like burgers. I just don't like those from Macs or BK.
I dream of one day sinking my teeth into an In-N-Out burger.
So on my first-ever visit to Botak Jones, I had to see what their burger was like.

It was weird being back in the area, feeding the mosquitoes and looking out at that building next door that was once my workplace. Now why didn't Botak Jones pop up a year ago? It would've been a welcome variety to the offerings available. The only thing open at night then at this canteen was a zhi-char stall, which wasn't very good. Now there's Il Piccolo and some stall selling Japanese food. There's also a pool table, and beer! (so the beer wouldn't have been a good idea as I used to work nights).

But onto the burger: it was overdone. Not burnt to a crisp overdone, but overdone enough that it was all I could remember. Was there cheese on the burger? Why yes, if I think hard enough, yes, there was. The fries were of the crinkle cut type, which I never understand: Why are they cut that way? What is wrong with a plain straight fry? And I'm afraid the appeal of coleslaw (even if it's the best in the world) is lost on me. Perhaps I have to eat at the other branches to see if there's a difference.

Here's one thing I liked, the beer. A pitcher of cold beer, and good company. Sitting outside meant the smell of cigarette smoke wafted in our direction a few times, as did that heady scent of sewage (we were next to a longkang) and the mosquitoes occasionally bit.

Damn good food at a damn good price? I agree with the second part of that sentence. And I would rather go to Botak Jones again than step into a Macs. Plus, you know, Macs doesn't serve alcohol.

970A Toa Payoh North
Phone / Fax: 6258-6-225