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



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.

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