Friday, December 28, 2012

Italiano Dinner

The start of this particular dinner, came from a random talk. It was just a casual conversation and we sort of thought if it is possible that we have a full course meal at home and Kelvin took up the challenge – of course with the help of several others who keep on incubating the idea. So we decided on an italian-themed dinner, since the main chef will be Kelvin, whom by all means, looked up to Gordon Ramsay dearly. We prepared tiramisu the day before, which could be seen in the video. We whipped the cream and I helped out here and there, that kind of not-really-much kind of help. That explains how I get to video all the things down.

On that day itself, Kelvin revealed the recipe!

Several preparations were done before we gained momentum in the culinary.

Our appetizer was *drum roll* bruschetta. Yes, it is italian. We toasted the baguette (I know it is kind of French, deal with it.) and Kelvin prepared the toppings and we arranged them accordingly. Please give me a moment to admire myself for my wonderful presentation of the dish.

The main dish includes spinach salad, potato salad garnished with little tomatoes with pan fried fish. I have to say the one I’ve got is good, aesthetically and taste-wise.

Of course, how can a full course meal be without wine, right? We had rose wine, which was given to us during housewarming, chilled.

And with that, we toast ‘for better future’.

We ended our meal with dessert Tiramisu. Mine looked a bit too much with the cocoa powder as it was supposed to look like the second one. Nonetheless, I have no problem with it *chuckles*.

Photo album here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Please, Mr. Snowman

It started last year when I wrote my first short story for Christmas. I never thought of continuing it even though it feels fun to do it. This year, I thought why not make this an annual promise to at least write a piece every year. I still can’t guarantee I will be able to write annually, but I do have my work done this year. It was not really nicely done as I had a rather big transition at the last quarter of the year and I really had diminished amount of free time for writing. I shall elaborate more on that point in my resolution post, I supposed. But anyway, this year’s piece is titled ‘Please, Mr. Snowman’.

It was funny because I came out with a rough idea mentally quite early and even before Doctor Who’s Christmas Special title was announced. And coincidentally, the Christmas Special was ‘The Snowmen’. I watched it today and realized, in some way, my story had captured a certain similarity with the show – but I am pretty sure all the ideas I had inside is original. The story was actually accompanied by a drawing, which I guess I will only be able to upload once I get back to Singapore.

Here it is:

Please, Mr. Snowman

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Joyeux Noël!

Joyeux noël à tous! Merry Christmas, ho ho ho! Pretty much for most of the year, Christmas mood came to me rather early, perhaps somewhere in November or the last quarter of the year. The reason was not because I love Christmas so much but it was because when Christmas came, it means I am going home (so far it is true). So, after summer holidays, there weren’t much holidays or chance to go home usually and the best thing I can do, was to look forward to Christmas. The joy and jolliness of the season might have played a part as well.

It had been days since I reached Penang and I had quite some fun around, but this post is really just for Christmas. I made a vlog and will post more about the events in future:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

One Day More

The title might mislead most of you because you thought it has something to do with Les Misérables just to realize this is a personal post.

Yes, one more day and I will be off back home for Christmas! It’s actually less than a day because it’s slightly after midnight now that I am still packing while listening to songs. For the record, today as the 21st of December 2012, is quite a big day to Earth, because many people believe it is the end of the world and it all came down to because the Mayan calendar ends on this day. That aside, I have more exciting things to do, which is going home after work.

It’s exciting because it’s almost half a year since I went home and I really start to miss Penang food for real.

Right, I shall go back to packing and turning the computer off. Before that, however, let me share the real One Day More by Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert Version:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Short Tea with Aunt Emily and Yuen

I was rather exhausted by the week’s work (Yes, you heard me right – I’m tired at some point) although it is a happy exhaustion. Satisfactions aside, I do realize I need some rest and decided to take the weekend off and settle things before going back home for Christmas. One of it, of course, is my annual delivery of Christmas present to my Aunt Emily. She and her family has been very nice to me and were sort of my ‘emergency’ contact in Singapore aside my other relatives. She invited me to her church and also certain events, which sometimes I do decline. But after all, she is very nice so I decided to give her presents, haha!

But in return, I received presents from her too, which is funny because I didn’t thought of that. It was a luxurious present with many things inside, big THANK YOU:

Other than that, we had a little chat before my other cousin joined in. Yuen, whom I met previously during Jas’ wedding, just came back from a vacation in Japan. We talked about his trip and also some talking from Aunt Emily over her miracle happenings. She shared a lot of verses with me, which I might want to share one here:

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Well, in life, sometimes, for some reason, we lose ourselves and started to get worried about things – things that may seem ridiculous when you look back in ten years time. Sometimes, it is good just to let nature take its course and see what you can learn from it at the moment. As what the verse has said, let your wish be known but not to worry on it, because there is time for everything.

This reminded me of one of the Buddha teaching, which talks also of not to be anxious (well, most of the teachings are, ha!) Basically, you just need to free yourself to make life easier because you only lose what you cling on to.

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. – Buddha

Anyway, a nice chat with the two.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Perhaps, my duty?

I did not really think it was a big thing or what when I came up with some philosophical question, or wisdom quotes, or geeky lines, or even funny pickup lines that I might not even use in my life, but someone’s comment had got me to think about it recently. I did get some ‘whoah’ compliment by others sometimes but that was really just a ‘whoah’ I thought. But the other day, someone commented ‘you are like a walking philosophical, geeky pickup line and wisdom quote’. I laughed at it but it really did get me thinking. To think of that, I was rather philosophical given that I am not even in anyway an official student of philosophy (I even yawned when I tried to look at their webcast); geeky, perhaps I have a little background in that; pickup lines, oh come on, I have no idea how I get this one; wisdom quote, perhaps I have done my readings? And I wondered how much I could use this as a chance for me to help those around me. Perhaps, it’s a gift for me to be able to instil things that I can see in those around me, and help them to appreciate what others can’t. Perhaps, it’s my duty – or a calling? I know I still want to do something solid, like research – but being able to use such lines in daily life with friends and family, it’s like what clowns do (not to me). They bring laughter by entertainment, and make the world seemed to be a better place. Though I don’t really like clowns, to be honest…

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Perksofbeingwallflower1

THIS BOOK. D;

Not to hide anything, I was quite annoyed by this book at first. The Perks of Being a Wallflower started with the narrator telling tales about himself. Everything was okay, except he tends to tear all the time, which was quite tiring for me as a reader sometimes because I want to know the story! But starting from the middle of the book, I started to understand why the emphasis of crying and the narrator’s inner world. It tells of a boy who was quite an introvert and going through his high school, set in Pittsburgh suburb. The stories went in letter forms, which allows us to explore Charlie(the narrator’s) inner voice as a first-person point-of-view. He narrates how he lose his previous friend and as a shy and unpopular kid he did not really see how he will ever meet new friends until he befriended Sam and Patrick.

The story went along like any high school stories, but now focusing on how events affected the growth and development of Charlie psychologically and how it effects in his future life. Other than that, the book did focus on Charlie’s experiences on other people stories, which cast a light on teenage and young adult’s life thus far.

It is a thin book and definitely a good book to read. It might not be as famous or welcoming or appealing like most ‘big’ books, but the emotion part was done quite well by Chbosky.

Some favourite quote from the book:

So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.

I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won't tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn't change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have.

Because it's okay to feel things.

Please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Spend Sunday Evenings?

28th of October, 2012

I had a date with Carmen, haha. Well, it all came down with me craving for someone to sing and play guitar with, and I won’t mind watching Step Up Revolution because I did not watch any of its previous ones. So we decided to have a good vegetarian lunch, which was sadly not achieved because the stall below JE MRT was not operating that day. In the end, I had this soup thing while Carmen had dessert.

After deposited Carmen’s guitar at my place and had meal, we headed towards the cinema. We were too early, and ended up getting some goods at a bakery and went for a drink at Mos burger. Now look at the bakery, it was filled with such interesting bread!

I’ve got the bread which was not bad and see how happy I was!

Not happy enough? Try this one: (All such photos thanks to Carmen who was fast enough to capture the moment! Open-mouthed smile)

We actually took a photo in the washroom! o.O The scene and pose was not intended but I am glad we actually looked happy in there.

Anyway, the movie was nice! It was fun to watch movie about dance because, I guess, because I can’t dance. The moves were so nice and cool. I think I should post a review somewhere. But the more fun stuff started after the movie because we get back to my house and we had a singing session. It was really a long-sought luxury. We got to sing really nice songs even though might not be professional standard. Happy day can be that simple!

Thanks Carmen for the photo!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food For Thought with CelebrationS

What is it like to be late for an appointment? Run! I promised to attend this meetup with fellow Keviians in Singapore Botanic Gardens for the Food For Thought and yet I unknowingly signed up for WriteCamp 2012 right before it. In the end, I have to skip a rather tempting drinking session and rush across half the island with bad traffic near Orchard area plus with a fault map-reading session bringing me all the way to little India for God-knows-what reason. In the end I reached alright, still in my sweater and sweating like mad but I ordered my meal still: Grilled Barramundi Fillet served in Basil Almond Pesto Sauce with creamy mashed potato and Ratatouille as sides, and a cup of hot chocolate to curb my hunger. The meal was actually quite nice, especially the fillet. It was rather sad because the portion of fish is definitely one part smaller than the usual course but it was tasty, especially the nicely grilled fish skin. The session was accompanied with talks and updates from each other until the very end when they actually did celebrate our birthday, which I thought was a joke initially. Each of us gets one cupcake with candle on it, four birthday boys and girls.

Right, this is my cupcake!

Later, of course we had photo taking session. It was supposed to be a G3 photo, then became a G photo, then in the end, it became the all-girls-come-in photo. So, yup!

Just a view of all the attendance on that day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Volunteer at Buddhist Library Family Day

Remember I just had my first henna months ago? I had it again today, just that this time it is at a bigger scale. Carmen was asking if I am interested in helping out as a volunteer for some event – and I did not even ask what event was it except I know it was some Buddhist event. And I sort of emptied my day for it because I think it is a good way to spend my day and good experience getting the chance to paint on others. The photo above showed one of the design which I actually manage to paint despite my initial perception of it ‘not going to happen’.

And since my last henna experience was way back then, the starting a.k.a ‘trial run’ was not really okay. You could see it from the pattern I had on my hand and the skill. However, as time went by, I did rather well. My first customer was an old uncle who looked cool because he had like two ear studs in total. Oh wait, I think the first customer was another lady who asked me to write her name. But anyway, I met this little blonde girl who wanted a design and I said ‘I try’ when I started the painting and she actually says ‘It’s okay, just try the best you can’ and I smiled. And the sweetest thing was after I painted, she was so happy when she looked at her hand and said, ‘It’s pretty, it’s perfect!’. That is a satisfaction we are talking about, ha!

Anyway, I have no idea what kind of volunteer were we because we were actually given six dollar ticket to spend on our lunch each. It sounds a lot but since it was like a fundraising bazaar, some of the food was at an incredibly over-market-price status. We had corn cup and this interesting food called Kong Ba bao. In penang, we served Kou Rou with yam and man tou at the side, but here they put it together – and mind you, this is vegetarian.

And obviously I still feel hungry and I found this restaurant just beside the tent near Aljunied MRT, Penang Seafood Restaurant. Since Carmen wanted to have some vege, we went there. I tried the laksa and the smell was there. The part of taste and authenticity still needed some improvement though. I had lime with sour plum and Carmen had vege.

This is an interesting course of events Smile!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What happened on my birthday?

It has been fifteen days since and I haven’t even tell in exact what happened on my birthday. It was not about cakes because many things happened on that very day. On my birthday this year, it was my first day on my new job as well. I was nervous and anxious for days before the job start because I don’t know what should I actually expect. I know the life will be tougher and partly I have put in a tiny bit of emotion to my old workplace. It was rather bad because I was again in the period of ‘exiting my comfort zone’ just like when I ended my NS – you know you are going somewhere for good but you are too cowardly for that. But I still went to work alright.

Early in the morning before going to office, Zhuangli, Kelvin and I went for a cuppa and Zhuangli passed me this – a planner. It was meant for my birthday but I treat it as also a good start for my new job because it is so linked! ‘Chaque jour est une bonne journée’ means ‘everyday is a good day’ and I guess that is a good mentality to brave everyday. Thanks Zhuangli for that!

However, the rest of the day did not really went as planned. I was informed on that day that I have to work extra hours to invigilate CA and also prepare for practicals. It was not really a memorable experience because I guess everything was new (stop right here). I had a late lunch, Subway to be exact. And I only get to go back to my lab in the evening for almost an hour and they were sort of having some snack time to welcome me but I have to give it a miss because the time to go for CA is near. So this is what happened, I missed my own welcome part on my first day on job, on my birthday. The invigilation went on well though and I have to cancel my planned squash session and go straight for ICN.

I missed a few programmes but managed to catch up while eating my dinner packed from hall dinner by my friends. The event was great and really gave me space to breathe a little after the day. And as we walked back to our block unit, I noticed Zhuangli was typing to Stephanie. I have to admit I did guess but it was not really surprising because Stephanie talked about anything on whatsapp – it could be just about some cats. But well, when I arrived at the doorstep, there it is, the pseudocake…

Check this out. I have got my present which is what I wanted. Stephanie did ask me what do I want for my birthday and I thick faced in replying her straightaway ‘SOCKS’. I would not wish people to feel the obligation to get me anything. To be truth, my parents did not give me birthday present for a very long time, except some soft toys they randomly got for me – because they bought me a lot of things that I need along my days. I would see that as an enough gift. So when someone asked me that question, I naturally thought that if they really want to get me something, it should be something I really need – like socks.

I am literally running out of socks all of the time. They kept on having holes in them and the bad thing about socks – you can’t sew them when the holes are underneath because it will just give more friction to your feet. I was complaining about it and even joke about needing socks from Santa but not even having a proper socks to put my Christmas list in. So, here are two pairs of socks that I’ve got – pink and blue – and fluffy (you can rub them on your face before anyone use it). Great present!

And of course, birthday celebration always comes with wishes and photos. I wished the same thing again and here are the photos. Thanks for either Zhuangli or Stephanie for all the photos. It is my birthday, so I obviously was not the photographer. Look at my adorable smile!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Deepavali Open House

On Deepavali, I would like to show my appreciation to Aunt Sajora for inviting us to her open house, which of course, was dubbed with an assortment of Indian food! It was not easy to get really good Indian food in Singapore although they are generally okay. And having one from a family who actually know their stuff is great! People who went were in the photo with Reuben as the camera holder. I enjoyed the curries – like A LOT! They were all good and I was being upset because I just had that limited amount of space in my stomach, or I would have finish off the few trays of nice food! Happy Deepavali!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Desperate Celebration

It would be too obvious that the photo above was not by me because since when did I decorate my photos as such, right? BUT, I appreciate it nonetheless. Soo Ling arranged a meet up with me just the day after my birthday, desperately. And I was like ‘why on earth do you really need to meet me around these days?’ because I had my schedule planned. But it was not easy to meet fellow boatmates after coming to Singapore so I shall cherish each moment and agreed to meet up at McDonald’s in Plaza Singapura.

I just ate my allowed McDonald’s portion the other day and I definitely can’t have a meal. So, I had apple pie with lemon tea, which was treated by Soo Ling. And she even came with a cake, a card and a present. It was quite surprising because she managed to hide them all in her bag – amazing bag. This is the mousse…

And look at that lovely cup. If I am going to use it, it is as though it is my birthday everyday!!! Love that cup/mug!

At the same time, we edited pH’s photo in to co-celebrate her birthday which was a few days after me. Since she was not around, I ‘helped’ her to finish up that mousse cake Smile with tongue out!

Finally, thanks boatmates!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Brave: Not a Usual Courage

brave-movie-poster1

To be critical, the basic concept of this animation was just like most Disney animation. However, what was interesting was that the settings was in older times of Scotland. The soundtracks were doing great to bring out the culture and the flow of the story. Plot-wise, it was plain moral story, which was fine actually, just not for those who expect some blockbusters. Brave was interpreted not just of the usual courage we might have defined. Instead, it chose a female main character during that time line to be the one who bring out the word ‘brave’. This is where the concept get interesting. She showed courage from the aspect of physical strength to mental as she went through her challenges. The moral of the story was very simple, but warmed the heart. Other than that, the effort on accents in the animation was quite prominent and greatly appreciated as it was accompanied by amazing soundtracks. Worth watching!

Trailer:

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Stolen Script

But express this but none other,

It is a gift I wish I could not bother,

Even though it is killing me sometimes,

But all I could do is to keep it mine.

Then change it I shall.

But change I opt out,

It is a gift I am without;

Even though I know it is for my own good,

But all I could do is to stay where I stood.

Then hide it I shall.

 

And hide I shall,

For this is what I am all about;

I am always this well,

For this is what everyone wants to hear about.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Officially 24

CCI31102012_00000

24. A number to indicate how many hours in a day. No, that’s not the point. It is about me. 1st of November 2012, I am officially 24. To think of that, I have survived 24 years on this earth and I strongly feel the urge to do something, something great or good or meaningful – like saving the world. It’s funny because I have been telling myself the same thing for a few years since I start to feel more responsible to the world and yet I am no hero. The way I see it, by saving the world does not mean I have to fly across a country to save a whole nation from a crisis. I just need to do good and do my best in equipping myself to be a good human being. So, I will continue my life with the same goal.

Other than that, I drew a drawing to celebrate Pleasure’s and my birthday, as most of the years. Unlike previous years, I included my parents. I am grateful to have my parents who celebrated all my birthdays gleefully. They actually sent me a message early in the morning! Even though we were all busy with our own schedule, they will never forget such a big day. And I am grateful they raised me up a kid that sees birthday as something fortunate. We don’t expect presents. We don’t expect parties. We do expect cakes because it is tasty but that is all. We made birthday celebration a kind of family happiness and a moment of celebrating our existence. And I think this feeling is wonderful.

Of course, I do thank all my friends who sent me birthday wishes by all means. That is very sweet of them and I should post some of them separately somehow. I don’t really feel very comfortable being in a crowd or being very social, but I do appreciate having people who still comes into my circle once a while despite my hostile ‘behaviour’, because by the end of the day, it was the experience with them that make things different, no matter I like it or not. I may not treat friends like most people do, but they are still occupying some space somewhere in the heart.

Seems like I have been talking quite a lot, talking nonsense. So, let me close this up by wishing myself a Happy Birthday and keep going!

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