Sabtu, 29 September 2007

0 Lights among the ruins

The New York Times reports today on what it calls the "Pompeii of World War II," an abandoned village in Italy now "overtaken by vines and lime trees."
That village is San Pietro, an "11th-century cobblestone mountain village nestled among wild figs and cactus," as well as the scene of months of horrific fighting between Allied and German troops.

[Image: The reconstructed abbey atop Monte Cassino, as photographed by Stephanie Kuykendal for The New York Times].

Nearby, atop Monte Cassino, was "one of the holiest sites in Christendom," a monastery "founded by St. Benedict in the sixth century, a shrine of Western civilization" – indeed, "a center of art and culture dating back nearly to the Roman Empire" – which the Allies bombed into rubble, suspecting (or not suspecting, but caught up nonetheless in the machinations of bad intelligence and unquestioned orders) that German troops had taken refuge there.
"After the battle ended," we read, the entire chain of small mountain valleys in which San Pietro once stood "would be left uninhabitable for years, demolished by Allied bombs, beset by malaria."
So this may be a bit rambling, and otherwise unrelated, but while working on The BLDGBLOG Book tonight (due out Spring 2009! from Chronicle Books! buy loads!), I was re-reading W.G. Sebald's extraordinary On the Natural History of Destruction.
At one point in the book Sebald describes the literally shell-locked life of people who had managed to stay on in the destroyed cities of northern Germany during WWII. He describes "the unappetizing meals they concocted from dirty, wrinkled vegetables and dubious scraps of meat, the cold and hunger that reigned in those underground caverns, the evil fumes, the water that always stood on the cellar floors, the coughing children and their battered and sodden shoes."
Battling grotesquely bloated rats and enormous green flies, these "cave dwellers," as Sebald calls them, lived with the "multiplication of species that are usually suppressed in every possible way," amidst the gravel and shattered windowframes of their now "ravaged city."
Based on an eyewitness account written by an Allied Air Commander, Sebald then refers to "the terrible and deeply disturbing sight of the apparently aimless wanderings of millions of homeless people amidst the monstrous destruction, [which] makes it clear how close to extinction many of them really were in the ruined cities at the end of the war."
For some reason the next line just haunts me:
    No one knew where the homeless stayed, although lights among the ruins after dark showed where they had moved in.
Which leads me to ask myself whether it's simply a factor of my age – I'm not exactly getting younger here – though I do drink a lot of orange juice – or if it's something more closely related to the weirdly militarized political climate in which we now live, but I've started to react to things like this with a kind of concentrated studiousness, as if reading – absurdly – for advice on how to survive my own generation's coming, perhaps even more calamitous, future.
What "monstrous destruction" of world war and oil shortages and global terror and climate change might we, too, have to face someday?
In twenty years' time will I be out holding up some pathetic light among the ruins of a destroyed city, wondering where my wife is, dying of thirst, deaf in one ear, covered in radiation burns?
Or is that just a peculiarly American form of pessimist survivalism? Or do I just read too much Sebald?

0 How to Make a Chicago Hot Dog

My buddy Yan over at Diethack is going to hate this post but que sera, sera.

I have spent my entire life of 33 years in Chicago. This fact alone makes me a hot dog connoisseur. Once you add in the fact that I actually worked at a hot dog joint, you may almost consider me an expert.

No matter. Today I am going to tell you how to make a real Chicago Hot Dog. I don't care where you are on the planet and I really don't care what your Grandma says. This recipe IS the real deal. If you want a bad, fattening meal - this is absolutely fantastic.

  • Buy some all-beef Hot Dogs from the butcher, from Vienna Beef (my favorite), or if you get desperate, your local grocery store.

  • Steam the dogs for about 10 minutes. If you don't have a boiling table like in the restaurants, boil the dogs until they begin to float. Once they are floating, turn down the heat right away.

  • Grab a dog out of the water and place it into a poppy seed bun. If you have no other buns available, a steamed unseeded bun will do, but you are missing the 'seed in your teeth' effect. This is not recommended.

  • With the dog in the bun, add the following condiments EXACTLY as instructed:
    • 2 swipes with Mustard: Starting from one end, squeeze the mustard in a line from one side of the dog to the other. Do this twice.
    • Add Relish: I call it relish my wife calls it picalilly (sigh). Take the Relish and spoon it across the top of the dog. In my estimation, we are talking about 1 full tablespoon of relish.
    • Add Diced Onion: Were talking white onion here. Dice it up and scatter about 1 tablespoon across the top of the relish.
    • Tomato: I skip this step because I hate tomatoes but this important. You are not dicing the tomato, you are simply cutting it in whole. Grab a tomato, cut off the end and then cut a full circulat piece. Cut that piece in half so that you have two half-moon shapes. Take those and place them across the top of the dog.
    • Pickle: This is a simple pickle spear placed on top of everythng.
    • Celery Salt: This makes the dog a dog. Sprinkle some Celery Salt across the entire hot dog.
    • Sport Peppers: Sorry, you have to endure the pain if you want to really experience the Chicago Hot Dog. Grab 2 sport peppers and place them on top of everything.
Do that, eat it and then you can say you've had a real Chicago Dog.

By the way, I don't care what you do in your house but if you're in Chicago and you ask them to add ketchup to this, you will most likely be escorted out of the restaurant. DO NOT ASK FOR KETCHUP, CATSUP OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT! Ketchup conceals the taste of the ingredients and people seriously get offended by it.

0 DLM Search Engine that only Searches the Best Sites

This morning I spent some time on a little project that has been on my to-do list for at least a month. I created a custom Google search engine that only searches the sites that I consider superior (no spam, no pop-up ads, etc.).

Essentially, the search box below will search over 140 handpicked blogs and websites. All of the sites pertain to personal finance, increased productivity, business, and DIY. It's still a Google search, but it's not going to hit any spam sites.





At some point I may actually put this on DLM permanently but until then, feel free to use this one. If you have a site you want me to add, let me know and I'll take a look. I do know that I will be adding a lot of sites to this search as I find them.

- Jay

0 Monster Database of Keyboard Shortcuts

A while back we talked about increasing your productivity by using keyboard shortcuts instead of mousing all over the place. While that post listed 101 different tricks, it's going to be tough for us to keep it updated. So, if you're into it, KeyXL is the place for you to go.

Quite simply, KeyXL lists tons of shortcuts for Microsoft, Apple, and even Google. From their site:
Keyxl.com is the largest online database of keyboard shortcuts in the world. Our keyboard shortcut database is searchable by software program and covers all the major operating environments including Windows, Macintosh, Linux and browser-based applications.

Check it out at KeyXL [via Download Squad].

Jumat, 28 September 2007

0 Learn Internet Slang so You Can Understand your Kids (LOL!)

I spend enough time online and in instant messenger to understand what most of the chat slang means. You know what I am talking about; LOL (Laugh out Loud), BRB (Be right Back), etc.

If you aren't a technically minded person or if you simply don't have a lot of experience with chat, text messaging and instant messages, you are most likely confused by these. If you have kids old enough to be online and chatting away while you're watching Murder She Wrote after dinner, you are probably actually a little concerned. Even if you did have a way to read what they were typing, would you know what it meant?

Well, here is a simple tool that you can use. Simply enter the mystery term in the search box below. You will be taken to a site named NoSlang that will define it for you.


No Slang

Kamis, 27 September 2007

0 How to Cure your Road Rage

Road RageDo you find yourself getting angry while driving? Is that an understatement? Does your blood boil? Do you curse like a sailor and secretly wish to launch projectiles at fellow drivers? Would you like to break this cycle of road rage? Well you can and it's not that hard to do.

Controlling anger offers two great benefits. You will put less stress on your body which will keep your blood pressure down and you'll also feel better. Secondly, you will you can lower your risk of an accident, since driving while angry makes you more likely to get into an accident.

Tips to Control Anger While Driving:
  1. Commitment
    This is the first step. You must know why you want to change. This way when your triggers occur you can remind yourself of the benefits that will stem from becoming a more relaxed driver.

  2. Analyze
    Take a few moments right now to simply jot down all the things that trigger your anger. Also identify the scenarios that trigger your anger. Examples: getting cut off, heavy traffic, running late, tailgating, being passed, etc.

  3. Prepare
    Next, write down the positive new actions you can take when these triggers occur in the future. Here are some examples:

    • Getting Cut Off - I will ease off on the gas and mentally welcome others to go ahead of me. I know that it won't make much of a difference in when I arrive. I realize I'm not in a race.

    • Heavy Traffic - I will make a choice to enjoy the ride. I won't mentally fight situations that I can't control. I will relax with the slow pace. I will look for and prepare ways to enjoy the ride such as listening to music, talk radio, audio books, or talking to friends on my cellphone headset.

    • When I'm Late - I will plan to arrive early from now on so traffic won't bother me. If I am late, I won't get mad at other drivers. It's not their fault I left late. I won't get mad at myself. I will simply call ahead to my destination to announce that I will be late. I will accept it. What's done is done. I will choose to relax and enjoy the ride regardless.

  4. Adopt New Habits

    • Arrive Early. Always plan to leave 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally would. It's amazing the amount of stress that this prevents. This one habit has made a huge difference in my life. Always bring something to occupy your time when you arrive such as reading or writing material.

    • Intention Power. When you get into the car, before you turn the ignition, close your eyes. Take 5 slow deep breaths. Consciously relax your body. Blow out any stress or tension you are holding onto. Then commit in your mind to drive slowly, to remain calm & peaceful, and to enjoy the ride. Now smile and turn on the car.

    • Yield. Make it a habit to yield to others both on the road physically and in your mind. Assume the best about people. Give the benefit of the doubt. Smile. Wave people on. What have you got to lose? (Not time. Remember you've left early, right?) And, next, expect nothing in return. Do this simply for your own benefit, not for gratitude.

    • The Journey Philosophy. Every time you drive remind yourself that you're not in a race. Wrap your mind around a completely new philosophy of loving and enjoying the journey. Save your racing instincts for when you are running, biking, or some other sport.

    • Handling Kids. Make the ride fun. Talk, sing, and laugh with your kids. If the kids are unruly, always start off on a positive but firm note. Use sugar first. Appeal to them as if you are all on the same team. Ask them to help you out by not fighting or making too much noise. Refrain from sounding exasperated. That negative energy will make the situation worse. If you don't get cooperation, simply state a consequence that is realistic, time-bound, and that you will follow through on. For instance if you are going to the County Fair, don't make the consequence that you'll turn around and go home (unless that is what you would prefer). Make it that the child will lose the privilege of their favorite toy for a day. Or something that only impacts the child and not everyone else. Your children will heed future warnings and comply if they know that you always follow through.
How do you keep yourself calm when driving? Please share your tips in the comments!

Written for Dumb Little Man by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Financial Life and Simplifying Your Goals.

0 How to Diffuse an Explosive Situation

ArguementYou know the feeling: your patience is shot, you’re about ready to throw your fist through a wall, or (if you’re like me) you’re on the verge of tears.

Maybe you’ve seen it in someone else: they stop listening, you can practically see the steam pouring out of their ears, they keep interrupting you, clenching their jaw, and looking downright threatening.

Yep. The situation is explosive. At any minute, things could go very wrong. Either you or someone else is on the edge.

When you work with the same people day in and day out, chances are you’ll eventually encounter a situation that can be deemed “explosive”. Whether it’s caused by just a bad day or a long standing feud, these kinds of situations can be enormously damaging to the team, not to mention the actual work that needs to get done. When you find yourself in a volatile situation fueled by anger, frustration, or any other highly unstable emotion, try following these steps to diffuse it:
  1. Inject humor
    In some circumstances, you may be able to lighten the mood by using a little humor to show you’re not taking it too seriously. Be careful though, you don’t want to give the impression that the other person’s feelings are not important. And you certainly don’t want them to feel you are laughing at them. Use this mainly as a way of taking the gravity out of a situation that is being dramatized. When a small disagreement has blown up into a huge fiasco, it may be helpful to throw your arms in the air and laugh about it. Bring things back down from their heightened emotional state by shrugging off the stress and having a good chuckle at the absurdity of it all.

  2. Invite a neutral third party to mediate
    There’s a reason most legal contracts include some form of mediation – it works. Involving an objective, respected third party can help both sides feel that they are being heard. Ideally, the neutral party can work with you to come to a mutually agreed upon resolution (or advise you on how to appropriately resolve the matter). If the person is truly neutral, and respected by both of you, the decision should be considered fair, balanced and acceptable by all.

  3. Shift perspective
    When you find yourself teetering on the edge because of a disagreement with someone else, stop for a moment and consider their point-of-view. It always helps me to remember the things I know about people; their past, the other things they’re dealing with in life, their patterns. Many times you realize that the situation isn’t even about you or what’s going on now. People take their emotions from one part of life and displace them onto other parts all the time. If you know your co-worker is going through a messy divorce, you might have a little more patience when they seem argumentative. You might overlook things that would typically frustrate you because you know they’re distracted and upset. I’m not saying to make excuses for other people’s behavior, but just try to understand where they’re coming from. This will also help you explain your opinions in a more relatable way.

  4. Compromise
    Being stubborn typically doesn’t get you very far. You simply have to understand that there are different points-of-view in the world and you can’t have it your way all the time (unless you’re the boss in which case, your way is THE way). For the rest of us, we have to compromise – give a little, take a little. Don’t get so caught up being “right” that you completely overlook the possibility of creating an equitable solution. Compromise is a necessity for any relationship, professional or personal. When a situation is verging on explosive, take a minute to consider what kind of compromise you are willing to make. Open the discussion. You’ll probably find that, by showing you aren’t a hard-headed inflexible person, your antagonist will likely be willing to also show flexibility. Together, you can then create a solution.

  5. Surrender
    All too often we get consumed with the idea of being right. We block out what the other person is saying because it doesn’t matter – we’re right, they’re wrong. In my personal opinion (and many will probably argue that I’m spineless) it’s typically more important to find a peaceful resolution than to stay “right”. Even if you’re right (which I always am!), it may be appropriate to concede and simply wave the white flag. If arguing isn’t getting you anywhere, and the situation is escalating due to emotions, consider the consequences of continuing to argue. Could this potentially damage your long term relationship with this person? Could this cause irreparable harm to your ability to work together? Could this person go crazy and slash your tires? Consider how important it is to be right versus how important it is to keep the peace.

Let me be clear: There are definitely times when you should not back down. However, there are plenty of times when the argument is petty, unimportant and truly irrelevant in your life. Those are the times to consider surrender. It’s never easy on the ego, but it could save you a lot of unnecessary pain.


Written for Dumb Little Man by Chrissy of the Executive Assistant’s Tool Box, where popular articles include Energize Your Workday, How to be Proactive and 10 Ways to Build a Better Team.

Rabu, 26 September 2007

0 It's disheartening

to be a blogger sometimes.

Or rather, to be a blogger who says out her views.

(Warning: Super long blog entry...)

I haven't been reading the comments, but I'm presuming that loads of you must be asking me to blog out my next entry - but I just don't feel like it.

I am saddened and hurt by something that happened some time ago - and I decided not to blog about it, but yet, I keep getting abused for nothing, and it's time for me to defend myself.

Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about my Just Shoot 3 (it's a Chinese talkshow) appearance.

In that blog entry, I mentioned the questions that were posed to me, as well as commenting that some of the questions were asked rather rudely.

Of all people to respond, I never expected host Dasmond Koh to, because he was the most civil to me that day, and I liked him and thought he would be neutral about me too.

His post is here, read it.

I read his article with my jaw open. Seriously?

I mean, what was so offensive about what I wrote on my previous blog entry?

I merely stated out the questions that were asked - I WASN'T COMPLAINING, WHINING, OR OTHERWISE DISGRUNTLED about the questions.

Obviously, I knew difficult questions were going to be asked before I got on the damn programme, and I was prepared to answer everything.

The only seemingly bad thing I wrote was (besides about Steven Lim, but that's taken for granted that everyone writes bad things about him...) that the questions were asked to me in a rather rude way.

AND THEY WERE.

You can view the clips:



Part 1


Part 2



To say that I don't use my brains when I blog and then snigger, isn't that rude? IT IS WHAT. **


But the rude questions were not asked by Dasmond - they were asked by the fat pock-marked bespectacled man who knows nothing yet talks about everything, and the scrawny ex-councilor who tries to teach others important life morals.

I felt really upset because this was one entry I didn't expect backlash from - its content being all innocuous - but yet I still got it.

Let me give you an example.

How would you feel, if one day, you said, "Wow, the weather is so hot today!"

... and immediately, people all sneer at you, saying loudly, "SO HOT FUCKING GET OUT OF SINGAPORE LA! Apparently even the bloody weather is not good enough for the fucking princess! Spoilt bitch."

Won't be upset meh?

It's just a bloody innocent comment I made leh!

However, I understood that Dasmond might have thought that I was referring to him as rude and got offended by what he misconstrued as my complaining, so I wrote him a long comment.

In the comment I wrote for him, I stated the following points (although by now I have almost forgotten what I wrote).

- What I wrote on my previous blog post was not meant to be complaining about the questions asked me but merely stating for my readers what they can expect from the show if they watch it.

- I like Dasmond and Quan Yifeng very much and I understand that they were just doing their job of asking questions...


And lastly, I told Dasmond I was sorry for spelling his name wrongly, for I've always known his name to be Zhen Rong - back in 1996 when he was my favourite DJ in 93.3 and his Xian Ge Ji Yi show always brightened up my nights.



I posted the comment, feeling an influx of emotions due to nostalgia... Here is Zhen Rong, a celebrity I've liked since I was so young, disliking me. Am I really so disgusting? I merely sat on that stool that day and answered all questions shot at me, rude or otherwise, with a (I think) rather benign demeanour. Not so unlikeable what. And I definitely would never have said anything bad about Dasmond.

Below his seemingly mild blog entry were venomous comments - most of them banking on what he said...

What's most scathing is that... these comments were all approved by Dasmond.

Going on his programme and getting accused at is not enough - I had to get all these things written about me... Looks, intregrity, baseless libel... it was as if I raped a young child to deserve all these, but what I did was to just go onto a damn programme.

Some said I can't handle people being straight-forward towards me, some said I had my comeuppance for being rude to others, some fucking absurd guy said I edit my comments even though I haven't even read them for ages.

Honestly, I can't even be bothered to refute these comments.

(Even got Maia and her "friend" commenting lor! They are fucking full of nonsense.)

I only cared that Dasmond would see the comment and understand that I meant no harm.

The next day, my comment was not approved (it was moderated), and there was an influx of even worse comments appearing.

I'd never know if Dasmond didn't receive the comment, or he deleted it...

Perhaps he would kindly let me know, but until he does so, the most possible thing I can presume is that he deleted it, and that, my readers, is most disheartening.

I'm heartily bothered and I keep thinking I don't want to blog because I don't want to get attacked for some innocent thing I write about again.


**Mr Cai Shen Jiang, if you fucking think you, or any other person, can do any better than me at blogging, than I cordially invite you to fucking set up a blog and TRY.

You know, you act like Steven Lim and I are morons - vapid and fake.

I don't know about Steven, but since I presume you have never read my blog, your presumptions about me are all based on the fact that you know I periodically criticise people.

If you think about it, YOU AND I HAVE BASED OUR CAREER ON ENTIRELY THE SAME THING - criticising people and getting our opinions heard.

You and I are not so different, you know. (We might even have came from the same institution in our youthful years - when our morals values were most strongly imbued into us)

You think your opinions are more valid than mine - but they are merely different.

People have different interests, yours is perhaps in editing Chinese news, playing the gu zhen, or perhaps role-playing as Chang Er this festive season with your pet rabbit, I don't know.



But just because my interests lie in frivolous stuff doesn't mean I AM NOT CAPABLE of being as knowledgeable, or as intellectual as you like to act like you are. I am just interested in other things.

Perhaps it is time for you to learn that not everything that is different from you is bad.

And try as you might, I would bet you can never write a blog more awesome than mine, so you know what? Don't underestimate what I have achieved, and SHUT THE FUCK UP.



*************



Digressing, let's talk about feelings.

I'm gonna talk about Harry Potter again.

Often, in the book, Draco Malfoy insults Hermione and looks down on her being a Muggle-born, just because he thinks that by virtue of the fact that his ancestors were all magical, he is somehow more qualified as a wizard.

There was once he shouted at her to shut up, saying, "Nobody is asking for your opinion, Mudblood!" or something like that. I felt soooo unjustified for Hermione that I almost punched the book - which didn't cease my anger at all, so I punched Mike.

That's complete BULLSHIT, because who knows, Draco's mother might have been a horny slut and fucked the muggle postman thus giving birth to him, and people would be none the wiser (memory charm obviously done to the postman).

Hermione's mom might have also been, perhaps, a more discriminating horny slut too, and fucked the last heir of Ravenclaw (I know she is a girl, but imagine la...), thus giving her the same blood status as Voldemort.

But whatever, all these doesn't matter, because as Hagrid said, "They haven't invented a spell that our Hermione can't do," thus making Hermione blush maroon or something.

How do you feel when somebody unworthy looks down on you?

Like how Umbridge was talking down to Hagrid and acting like he is a retarded person - when she herself is so prejudiced and cowardly and evil! Just feels so... URGHHH! for Hermione and Hagrid, you know?

I get that fucking feeling all the time.

I don't (always) feel like I am superior to whoever is talking down to me, but most certainly I don't think people like Cai Shen Jiang has a right to criticise my flaws when he has not proven himself worthy, you know?

Is he the best at what he is doing? No, he is not, unless you count being most irritating on television, in which he has a good few contenders. What was he even doing at the age of 18? By that age, I've started to entertain thousands with my writing - so who is he to be yakking so much?

I don't mind if some smart professor insults me lor...

But these unknown online critics? Who the FUCK are they?

My point is just that there should be a word for this sort of feeling you get when you get looked down on by an worthy person!!

Imagine it is "orapple" or something... (mixed orange with apple...)

A sentence could go like,
"I'm feeling super fucking orapple because today the road sweeper told me that me graduating from Harvard is easy and he could have done it."


Yup, the English (and come think of it, even Chinese) language doesn't seem to be complete.

Another word I always wanted to be included in the dictionary is the disgruntled feeling you get when you think somebody is unworthy of credit.

Often, people call this particular feeling "jealousy", but it is not! Jealousy is when you wish to be the same, but in this situation, you are obviously not looking forward to BEING like this person because you think this person is not even good enough.

Paris Hilton, for example, seems to evoke this reaction mostly among men, who are often saying she is unworthy of fame or adoration because she is a talentless whore.

This feeling, let's call it "oranana" for now, often creates feelings of bitter dislike for the subject, especially after hearing prolonged praise about the subject.


Example:

Guy A: "This fucking F4 (boy band) is fucking gay. I don't understand why you stupid girls are so interested in them. They are not even good-looking!"

Girl B: "Oh, cmon... You are just jealous of their smothering good looks!"

Guy A: "I AM NOT JEALOUS. I am just oranana. Hate them."


Well, if you there are existing words that you know which can aptly enough be used for orapple and oranana, please let me know!



Moving swiftly on to happier and more frivolous things... PHOTOS!


Beef fillets pan-fried with red wine and garlic,
mushroom ragout and mashed potatoes mixed with pumpkin

(the pumpkin recipe credits to Shuyin and Weili)

COOKED BY MOI!



I AM A HOUSEWIFE AUNTIE CAN??

Mike was complaining that I don't cook for him anymore, so I made my way to NTUC White Sands (renovating some more, so irritating) to buy groceries!!

Last time every time I go into a supermarket I always think that aunties will look at us young 'uns like we were wrecking havoc at their territory, but I don't know whether it is me... the aunties all seem to have accepted me as one of them now!!

Bah.

Weili and Shuyin are even more auntie and uncle lor... That day for our Mid-autumn celebrations, the duo decided they would cook and Weili taught me two important new supermarket rules:

1) We were looking for something, when I found it and grabbed the first one that I saw.

Weili smacked me on the hand smartly, put my item back, and took another brand two rows below.

"Items on the eye level shelves are the most expensive!" he proclaimed with the wisdom of a age-old supermarketer.

"Perhaps not
your eye level..." he added unnecessarily.


2) "I want to eat watermelons!" Weili announced to the entire fruit-shopping clientele at Giant Tampines. I told him I am very anal one, if watermelon not sweet I don't eat.

Thinking this would persuade him not to buy a watermelon which I am not keen on, I was proven wrong immediately when he happily said, "OK! I choose sweet one!"

I thought maybe the darker green the sweeter, but was greeted with a funny sight at the watermelon bin.

A mass array of aunties were curiously smacking the watermelons while having their ears near to them, as if the watermelons have been quite naughty and didn't dare to protest above a whisper.

Weili made a beeline and took up an melon which had just let an auntie down, smacking it with his fingers. "Hear! Got hollow hollow and will reverberate one then is sweet!"

"Ahhh.... This one not bad. I find one not sweet one for you..."

"SEE! This one not sweet! Not hollow hollow one!"

I asked enthusiastically, "I want got fen fen (powdery) inside one leh... Can you pick those out for me???!"

Weili ignored me.




Aye, the things one can learn when one becomes auntie.

Just in case you think Weili seems more auntie than Shuyin, you would be proven wrong now because Shuyin once said if you want to wash coloured clothes that run, just pour vinegar into the water and the colour won't come out lor!

AUNTIE!!! Auntie with shrill voice.

Back to my cooking! The beef looks very raw but Mike says he liked it! He ate 4 pieces of it. -_-




Pink saucepan (Shuyin buy for me one...)!


Loosening noodles...


Boiling chicken...


Hungry boyfriend...


Beansprouts plucked while watching E!

I am making laksa!












Although the egg is not cut properly and the sauce is a premix, I am still very proud of myself coz it is so delicious!

There was a bit of sauce leftover and I put maggi mee inside... YUMMY!



************


Plastered outside the greasy walls of Mustafa was a random Nokia poster...

I walked past it and did a double take.

.
.
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.
.
.
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See anything funny?













Completely looks like our Prime Minister la!!!


I'm sure it is not him, but still? That smile, the nose and the bowl-cut hair... quite handsome hor!!

To think our Prime minister can be Nokia model lor!

*chuckles to oneself*



************



Ming invited me to a Charity dinner organised by food blogger cum doctor Leslie Tay, whose food blog is getting increasingly popular!

I also wanted to come up with food blog last time but my whole point was to eat free food and earn money - but I don't seem how I can be completely honest when I earn money/get free things so I dropped the idea.

But I really admire these foodies, they can really take the effort to travel to different places to eat and actually pay for their food lor! (Or don't they??)

I can't stand being hungry - if you asked me to go look for some particular restaurant all the time before I can eat I will confirm become super grumpy one. Mike is scared of my "hunger anger".

So, the charity dinner! Ming bought 6 tickets on behalf of Nuffnang.





My hair is uncharacteristically horrible for event standards. I washed it before going out, and the fucking hair won't dry fast enough for me to curl it! Grrr...

With me is Estee, and we are designing placards! There is a compeition, so I took it very seriously lor!


See? Adding final touches...

(photoshopped the arm a bit too skinny)


Estee too


Our cards!

I think Mine is chioer than the winner's lor (not shown), whose card admittedly had a lot of effort put in but look a bit like a garden, haha!

Is it very sore loser ah? haha... But I don't love my own artwork who will, right? :D


Ming's card! He draw the Nuffnang logo super warped lor...

The food at the newly opened Aston something something (so sorry I forgot!!) is at Joo Chiat (you can check Dr Leslie's site if you really want to know) and the food there is fab!


My caesar salad - super good!


Everyone else had prawn cocktail


Succulent prawns! The prawns are super HUGE and fresh!


Minestrone soup. Yummy!


My clam chowder... Hmmm, not that great.
The cream tastes a bit like bottled cream sauce kind.


"Take photo!!!"

"Oei! Serious one leh!"


"Better!"




Cam-whoring


Pretty drinks



SUPER DUPER YUMMY PRIME RIB OF BEEF!!

Oh man, the beef is so fresh and it just melts on your mouth, and there's such a thick slab of it!

Selling at $46 (I think) with red wine sauce.

(Don't worry la Indulgz, I still love you all the most, different price range mah!!)


Estee's salmon

I honestly think this is the best salmon I've ever had. It's so fatty, the bloody thing just brings you right into heaven can? I rate it 700/10.

Yeah la yeah la, I can't be a food critic coz my judgements are always so extreme.


Lastly, Estee and I with the good doctor!

He raised like $7000 plus that day for charity lor!




************




Mike's 26th birthday!

I organised a surprise BBQ party for him.




You know how much the bill from Giant came up to?

$251.

That's right! I bought SOOOOO much stuff (which, fairly enough, also included bed sheets and some lingerie), and all these bottles of soft drinks/beer/raw food were all chunked into the over-stuffed fridge the night before.

MIKE NEVER NOTICED A THING!

He just thought I bought all the groceries like I do normally!

One hour before he reached home, he was still under the impression that he and I were going to have a quiet dinner at Al Forno's and messaged me "Super can't wait to go to Al Forno's, baby!".

He is damn kua kua lor!

I didn't take a lot of pics coz I was busy bbq-ing, not to mention sweaty, sun-burnt and ugly.




Can see immediately that it's a girl who did this hor? Judging from the coals la, dumbass, I'm not talking about her hands!



None other than Miss Fan QQ lor!

Damn tak glam.

The boyfriend...


Lying on my couch as lazy as the U zap next to him.

Stop asking me if U zap works! I never use it enough to know leh... Stupid purchase.

Kelvin is a changed man lor. He is now a reliable workaholic!




By night...

See our guests all using pink plastic cutlery!! :D

Wah... I really worked damn hard for this, ok?

I scurried around the whole day, marinating the salmon, mushrooms, prawns, scallops (chopped garlic, lump of Plantas butter, slice of cheese) and cleaning the house myself!

Thankfully got QQ who came early to help me lor! AI NI!



Me giving the cake to the birthday boy...

By the time he blew the candles, he had drank about 20 or so cans or beer (I might be exaggerating, but I think it's close) and the alcohol transformed him from quiet geeky engineer to loud life-of-the-party.

It's a remarkable sight that everyone was giggling at lor.

At one point he even stood in front of everyone and announced his pleasure that they had all come to give him an excuse for his intoxication.

While speaking animatedly, he splashed some beer on the floor ("oops!") and continued by candidly announcing, "If you all want to splash beer on the floor, you are welcome to as well!"

I gave everybody a look that plainly said if they do so, I will personally see that their family clans are eradicated, then screamed at Mike to clean it up.

That belligerent drunk merely informed me that the beer will evaporate soon enough, and I had to stop my mahjong game to clean it lor!

ANGRY! Thus explaining the explosion graphic on my face.



I don't think he noticed that there was cream on his face until several hours later, but he was indeed very, very happy that night.

Happy birthday BB!

Thanks to everyone who helped, especially QQ, TSY and Uncle Robert for bbq-ing!



************



I got inspired by this:



From fafi.net, so I decided to paint my room!


Around the toilet light switch!


Adding in the details...

I know it's not very symmetrical, but freehand mah!

It's the best I can do.




Almost done, but it's already 6 in the morning (I started at midnight) so I'm damn sleepy!

The whites need to be touched up, they are not opaque enough.



With the rest of the room...

Mike drilled up my mirror yesterday! I am super happy. Soon you guys can see it when it's completed!


**************

Are you saddened because you are reaching the end of my blog entry, where your internet experience becomes bland and pointless again? Fret not! There's always internet TV Xiaxue to watch!


NEW EPISODES!!

Xiaxue's Guide to Life



If you are bored of waiting for me to blog, at least you know that every week my show will confirm be shown on Click Network!

This week's ep is fucking funny (in my opinion la) and involves me and Kay Kay bimbo-shopping for slutty clothes at City Plaza!

Just in case you are wondering, when I was asking for sexy clothes from the shop auntie I was MAKING FUN OF THE AUNTIE, OK! Not serious one hor!


News Asia on the Net



Hosted by Debbie Wong and Howard Lo (such newscasters' names), and I can't get enough of their mad China news la! This ep is about a fake China Disneyland and the top 10 men desired by Cheena women.

Go watch!!

It has just started raining! I shall go read some more Harry Potter and sleep!

p/s: My mood changed drastically throughout the writing of this blog post.

UPDATE: Zhen Rong messaged me to clear up the misunderstanding (although I keep forgetting to reply, sorry!!!). As it turns out, my comment for him somehow got into his spam folder, it wasn't that he deleted it.

No hard feelings dude... Please stop insulting his entire family in the comments la!

Meanwhile, Cai Shen Jiang wrote some beautiful prose in Mandarin about a metaphorical "xia xue"!

I shall unabashedly presume he is talking about me, or rather, my stupid internet nickname.

Blah blah blah, say what snow used to be pure and innocent, but after being downtrodden by the city and its vices, became... eh... a puddle of evil water!! HAHAHA!! My literal translation!!

And he concluded in his moral superiority that snow is dirty and shameful - or something to that effect la.

You know what old fart?

FUCK OFF LA!

Don't act like you fucking know me so well lor! What cb pure and innocent at heart. Well... fuck you! I'm evil and horrible at heart! And stop acting like people's mother la, want to insult just do it la, must whimper around and talk in circles. I spit uncivilisedly on the parquet flooring of my room.

I love being childish to people who act so dignified. HEHE
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