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Oft misunderstood soul. Shy, reserved, likes to stay in the background, but inevitably mistaken as not shy, extrovert etc. Originally meant to be a culinary blog, but in due course discovered man does not live on cake alone..hence the waffle.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Still Happening Oldies

I think I've been going to this girl's birthday almost every year since 1998, probably the only exception being the time that they were in Cambridge. In my mind, she's still in her twenties, although she has long since crossed the Big THREE threshold. Time flies.

Anyway, last night, after family dinner, I was about to start playing with my new digital imaging software, when the familiar dit dit of an sms caught my attention. It read, "Oi, are you coming?" It was then, I realised that to my horror, I had COMPLETELY forgotten about the birthday drinks get together. Not only did I forget entirely, I also couldn't for the life of me remember where the venue was!!!! Instead of diplomatically masking my amnesia, I rather foolishly, in my brutally honest way, replied, "AIKS!!! I COMPLETELY FORGOT!!!! WHERE'S THE VENUE?".....

Of course, took a while an and earful before the birthday girl finally forgave me, bless her, the dear sweet young thing. It was nice to see everyone again....this particular crowd shows that one can be parents, in the late 30s, or early 40s, or heck, even late 50s, and STILL be happening. If one considers hanging out in Labodega Lounge sipping orange juice as happening that is. But give me these nice quiet places anytime, compared with places with loud blasting music. Already get enough of that in the Les Mills classes in the gym.

Birthday girl had a flaming lamborghini. I am still a Flaming Lamborghini virgin...I don't recall ever having sampled one of those vile any case, I seem to have developed a dairy alcohol intolerance. Give me dairy mixed with alcohol, and inevitably, it will be followed by wretching and puking. So wines with dessert that contain dairy are no no...

I also don't understand why in photographs, the pictures of the flame always disappear. Maybe its the flash. But I have yet to be able to capture a picture of the streaming flame that flows through the glass of sambuca to the chalice below.

Anyway, dear girl, Many Happy returns, and God bless you always. Thanks for a lovely night.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Many years ago, when I was a young impressionable year 12 student, naive and innocent, a certain gentleman, who was a defacto mentor in my cell group, gave me this advice, which resounds in my mind till today. He said, "Fatboy[sic], make sure you study HARD for your HSC, because it will determine which university you go to, but once you're in university, you can take it easy, just study enough to pass". Which I thought was brilliant advice, until it dawned on me, that all the filthy rich amongst us were mainly commerce and econs graduates. In those days, commerce and econs were the easy courses to get into. Engineering, on the other hand, wasn't so hard to enter, but was a major slog, with 40 contact hours per week, as opposed to what? 10 hours the commerce students had? And who's raking in the money now? Who???

So, in retrospect, it was BAD advice. He should've just said, take it easy, both for HSC AND univeristy. That way, I would have failed to get into engineering, and would probably be swimming in wealth now.

Anyway, that self same gentleman, was in town with his lovely wife, (aka Mr & Mrs Tiger Chin), so of course, the least I could do is to host a dinner party for imparting such stellar words of wisdom so many years ago.

As Tiger himself hails from the noble profession of Hippocrates, most of his contemporaries here are also in a similar league. I have never been in the presence of so many intellectual luminaries before...I must have single handedly brought down the average IQ of the entire room.

Anyway, the menu is posted above. It was an interesting crowd, but I can safely say, all older than I, as they were from Tiger's vintage. So, for a change, I was the baby in the group once again. Made the durian poppy seed cake, with durian cream, and flourless chocolate cakes with molten centres for dessert.....

Mrs Tiger Chin gave me this dazzling array of silicone bakeware, which is absolutely fabulous. Thanks soooo much, I am genuinely thrilled to bits.

It was very nice catching up with you guys, and hope you had a good time. Hope the food was up to scratch as well. And dessert.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle Of Rum

I actually baffle myself that I liked this movie, as I also did with the prequel, Curse of the Black Pearl. For the latter, I had watched it on DVD, with zero expectation, and was delighted especially by Johnny Dep's Jack Sparrow. Other half obviously wasn't that enthralled by it, nodding off to sleep at certain parts.

The new online pre-paid ticketing system is really a godsent as far as buying tickets is concerned. I am amazed that not more people use it, considering the fact that the youth of today must probably have a credit card, as banks virtually shove it down their throats the minute they're weaned from formula milk. The ticketing queues are still amazingly long. One of my pet peeves is waiting in a queue. I get impatient waiting at the express queue in the supermarket. Wild horses and naked women prancing couldn't drag me to the movies if I had to queue for tickets.

I am not sure how Disney thinks that these movies are suitable for kids. Then again, kids these days seem sooo desensitized to violence and gore. Even Superman I found a tad violent. Storyline wise, it was an interesting premise, but the ending sucked big time. Better not inadvertently give away the plot, but suffice to say, there'll DEFINITELY be a Pirates 3. As usual, stellar performance by Johnny Depp. Not sure if I like Orlando Bloom. Keira Knightley's okay. Jonathan Pryce, I am amazed at his ability to switch between playing a villain, and a good guy. He actually has quite a kindly face, but yet, capable of being sinister. Of course, he was the original "Engineer" in Ms Saigon, the musical.

Was commenting that in a space of four days, we've watched Orlando and his girlfriend, Kate Bosworth (lois lane) in two separate movies.

Actually, there has been quite a lot happening, even socially, but trying to keep the limited .

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Yay, Superman Returns!!!!

I am unashamed to admit that I am an ARDENT fan of superman. To me, he personifies everything that is good, and pure, and he doesn't have that whole baggage that other superheroes carry around with them. Batman is bordering psychopath, Spiderman, well, blames himself for his Uncle Ben's death, and is only an accidental hero, Wonder Woman was a chick in love, chasing after a man in mortal land, Hulk.....well, not even in the same league, then the Fantastic Four fellows....

Frankly, I was a bit wary about the movie, as I had gotten a text from friend saying Superman was a waste of time. What do these kids know, they didn't grow up with this iconic role model. All they had were the power puff girls and Mr Bean. Did they go through the life and times of the Man of Steel, from his death by Doomsday and his subsequent marriage to that trollop, Lois. I think he deserves so much better. But anyway, the movie storyline, apart from the Origins from Krypton, I think do not follow the DC comic strips.

I remember back in 1978, or 79 it must have been, when Christopher Reeve was Superman, and how he turned the world backwards to save Ms Lane from that earthquake at hoover dam. Honestly, she's quite the klutz isn't she, getting into scrapes only possible for Lois Lane. Who walks into a suspicious looking luxury yacht with no invitation, leaves her cellphone in her car, and brings along her 5 year old kid??? Who????

Brandon Routh bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Christopher Reeve, with that likeable, trustworthy look. Unlike actors like Tom Cruise, or Brad Pitt, who look so full of themselves. Brandon looks like a down to earth but yet incredibly good looking chap, and really, perfectly cast for the role. Granted, there were some cheesy moments in the movie, in the Lois - Supes love dances, but ah, the nostalgia....I'm so glad they kept the John Williams theme, and even the "Can You Read My Mind"...... Kevin Spacey was great as Lex Luthor, then again, give him any role and he'll shine. Actually, I quite liked this Lois. (Kate Bosworth). Didn't seem quite so helpless.

So, to that young kid who sms-ed me that it was a "waste of time", may you rust in peace. Superman, YOU THE MAN!!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tai Tai-dom and Chef-dom All At The Same Time

Our dear friend, Kung See Lai, has been on a cooking rampage. Whipping up desserts, at first, and now into full fledged chinese/asian cooking. Which is no mean feat!! I reckon asian cooking is one of the hardest cuisines, due to the lengthy preparation times, and cooking times. We were the lucky beneficiaries of her newly acquired culinary skills, and were treated to a lovely sit down dinner at the hallowed halls of their home.

Dont you just love these intimate soirees, good food, good friends, good wine, ah, it doesn't get much better than this.

The darndest thing was against my better judgement, I had some coffee because Lanky Lawyer had brought along yow char kuai, (chinese cruellers), and ham cheen peang, which were crying out to be dunked in thick local coffee.... this moment of weakness caused me an entire sleepless night. It's like having a hangover, without the highs of the night before.

Beancurd With Dried Shrimp and Chilli

Kailan With Beef

My favourite, ribs with an assortment of spices, cardamom, cinnamon, with Lea Perrins sauce, if I am not mistaken.

Prawn Vindaloo

There was also a steamed fish, but by the time I remembered to take pictures, the food was almost half gone. For dessert, we had the tiramisu that I brought, doused in a bit too much kahlua I think.

Thanks for a lovely dinner, Kung See Lai.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Another One Bites The Dust

It's that time of the year, the christmas decorations equivalent for weddings, everywhere you turn, it's there... weddings weddings weddings. As the groom put it, it's one of those events where you actually pay for your own dinner....

Anyway, this time, it was the wedding of our former youth pastor. The event was held at the Holiday Villa. He had originally asked me, about a year ago, to emcee the event, but seeing as to what a shy and low profile person I am, I had to politely decline the honor. (also, I have emceed about 25 weddings, and have completely run out of material). Next, he asked me to be wedding coordinator. In retrospect, if I had accepted, I'd probably be in a box by now; what with having to contend with making a wedding cake for last weekend's wedding AND becoming wedding coordinator for this one. Cannot, cannot. So, I had to politely decline that request as well, as was beginning to feel like a lousy friend. I repeatedly asked him if there was any OTHER role I could play in his wedding, and for the longest time, the answer was no, thanks. I couldn't help feeling that he might have a bit slighted at my earlier two refusals. Nevertheless, about a fortnight ago, he calls to ask if I can help out at the reception, ie, registering guests and collecting ang pows etc. Of course, this time I said yes.

It was a mammoth wedding by any standard. The expected guest numbers for the church reception, which was at a different ballroom, was about 400 plus, and 800 plus at the dinner. We were to greet guests by saying, "[Groom] and [Bride] appreciate your presence here today". I couldn't resist adding "would you like fries with that" for people I knew.

As we (the ushering and reception team) had to sit outside most of the time, I missed most of the vows, and sermon. Managed to catch a glimpse here and there, but what was really touching was the groom's thank you speech to his mother. His mother is really quite something, raising him single handedly.

Waiting to enter the ballroom

Couple cutting the fake cake

Because the church reception was at the same hotel, most of the guests were already there, so dinner started unusually early, for a chinese wedding. But with 80 odd tables, we figured, if the couple spent a minute on each table, that alone would be almost 1½ hours. Dinner ended at 10.15, leaving me enough time to go for my phase 2, a housewarming party in Izen Kiara.

To my horror, they were watching football, the Portugal vs England game.

After the match, Mr Red Planet said he had prepared a Ms Universe game....we were to pretend we were finalists and answer very difficult questions. As I had one too many Canadian Club with soda, I really can't recall my questions.

Pictured below is the Ms Portugal, who was runner up....

Ended going to bed at 4am. Thank goodness, that was the last of the happening weekends for now...