Tuesday, September 30, 2008

oh my word....

It's a personal library like no other! (via Books on the Nightstand)

Walker's house was constructed specifically to accommodate his massive library. To create the space, which was constructed in 2002, Walker and architect Mark Finlay first built a 7-foot-long model. Then they used miniature cameras to help visualize what it would be like to move around inside. In a conscious nod to M. C. Escher (whose graphics are echoed in the wood tiling), the labyrinthine platforms seem to float in space, an illusion amplified by the glass-paneled bridges connecting the platforms. Walker commissioned decorative etched glass, dynamic lighting, and even a custom soundtrack that sets the tone for the cerebral adventures hidden in this cabinet of curiosities. "I said to the architect, 'Think of it as a theater, from a lighting and engineering standpoint,'" Walker says. "But it's not a performance space. It's an engagement space."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ben Folds and Regina Spektor!

You Don't Know Me, (also streaming from his website) from his new album Way To Normal (out on the 30th)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are you happy?

DSD brought up this series of articles from The Guardian, essentially asking people, 'Are you happy?'

It's hard to say yes or no straightaway. Instead, I mulled on what makes me happy. Or not.

Happiness is when I’ve got my hands in something – cookie batter, flour, shortcrust pastry dough. And when that smell wafts throughout the house. And even more so when it turns out well (I’ve had a couple of disasters recently – still edible but sadly not up to par). Being with friends and family and enjoying good food and wine always brings happiness. The smell of coffee percolating, the smell of rain, the smell of freshly baked goods. That incredibly fresh, clean taste of sashimi. Some sinfully good dark chocolate and a good cup of coffee. Mmm...happiness.

Happiness is reading a good book. One that makes me laugh, and cry, one that draws me into a new world and I stay there, way past bedtime, because I can’t bear to leave it.
Happiness is listening to an amazing band, and drowning out the rest of the noise that comes with living in a city-state. No more cars blasting their horns or tyres screeching or heavy vehicles blasting their way down the street, and more importantly, no more detestable TV Mobile.

Happiness is being able to feel stronger when doing Pilates - knowing that I did better this week than the weeks before, even though it’s just the slightest of improvements, and although I know I ought to practise more.

Happiness is when I talk to R, a smile that sneaks onto my face without me noticing it. But happiness is not wedding prep and having to wait till December to see him again. That’s not happy.

Happiness is not work. I used to be happier at work, now, the projects just seem to bog me down. Perhaps it’s due to my having given three months’ notice (yes, that’s right, three months) a couple of weeks ago. And time seems to just be ticking away slower and slower. And yet, while I'm happy to have resigned, that question continues to linger: what am I going to be doing next year? Plus it's always the question that's asked of me. So my answer is, I'll take a break for a while, and then I'll see what happens. It's too early to think about it, when I'm here and not there.

If you go by points, it seems like happiness wins. But while there are all these little things in life that make me happy, there's this feeling that there's something missing - job satisfaction perhaps, and the fact that the man I love is far away (at least for now). But I've had a good life so far, and I think I'd like to focus on the things that make me happy. Such as today, when I get the assignment to spend the next couple of days viciously editing an article, written by a student* in Beijing. I'm only on the first paragraph, and it's full of red marks. How delightful.

*Actually, not a student. But an assistant professor.

Earl meet world


Meet Earl.
He's the newest member of the iPod family. His two relatives are, sadly, now dead and gone so for now, the kingdom rests on the shoulders of Little Earl.

Little Earl may be tiny but sure packs a punch with a battery that doesn't seem to need charging for more than a week. About the length of my thumb, he slips into my pocket and delivers music without complaint. Though the lack of a screen is a bit disconcerting, he makes up for it with his portability and usability. And you know what, that'll do for now.

Thanks go to R, who somehow had the prescience to bring Earl over in July.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

eating the world (or so)

Hot on the heels of the Omnivore's 100, is the Traveling Omnivore's 20 (via Serious Eats) (And originating from Fork in the Road)

1. Assam laksa in Singapore (why Singapore, I don't know. However, I will be in Penang next month, so assam laksa there too!)
2. Barbecue brisket in Texas (I'm going to guess that it's a yes, as we had all kinds of barcbecued meats in Texas, and it was a long time ago)
3. Uni sushi in Tokyo
4. Fried fish tacos in Ensenada, Baja Mexico
5. Pav Bhaji in Bombay
6. Stuffed quahogs on Cape Cod
7. Wine in Sonoma Valley
8. Beef rendang in Indonesia

9. Pizza in New York

10. Grilled steak in Argentina
11. Boudin noir in Paris
12. Fried oyster po'boy in New Orleans
13. Banh beo in Vietnam
14. Braaied game in South Africa
15. Prawn curry in Goa
16. Hot pot in Szechuan province
17. A carnitas taco from a taco truck in L.A.
18. Jerked chicken in Jamaica
19. Barbecue burnt ends in Kansas City
20. Single-malt scotch in Scotland

Haven't done too well. In four of the listed places, it's more like been there, haven't done that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Making mooncakes

It's that time of year when restaurants come up with all kinds of things to stuff into a mooncake.

And it's also that time of year when I avoid trying any new-fangled mooncakes and instead, with my mum, make our own snowskin ones with the simple filing of lotus paste. They may not look as nice, but I quite like them.

snowskin mooncake

Happy eating!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

oh i like

I did the morning blogrun and found this very useful post reviewing notebooks - not the plug and play type.

Warning: coveting ahead (via) especially those by Tyler Bender!


Having spent the past hour trying to revive my ipod, I think it is time to come to the sad conclusion that it is dead. Of course as I write this, I cannot help but try the reset again, just to see if that brings it back to life.

There were faint flickers of hope in this dramatic hour, when resetting it and connecting it to the macbook's itunes triggered a prompt to restore this ipod. But when I hit the restore button, itunes suddenly realises it is not detecting the ipod anymore.

It was working perfectly fine this morning. I had fully charged it last night with no problems. And I had just been thinking how well behaved this one is, compared to the previous one, which had a wonky battery, and would barely last an hour sometimes. Oh my ipod, you have been such a good friend for more than two years, accompanying me on commutes, drowning out TV Mobile, offering non-stop music anywhere.

I am sorry to see you go.