Wednesday, 27 October 2010

About food

Sito and I like to eat.

I love it that he eats quite a bit and just about anything, well, almost.. And he loves it that I’m not the kind of girl who doesn’t eat carbs or picks at food and leaves a lot of leftovers. Nah, we have a healthy appetite :)

When we first started dating, our favourite was zi char. We had that very often – hor fun or fried rice or yee mee, with tofu, vege and/or meat. Got a little chubby from that :p

Along the way, we stopped the near weekly zi char, and had Crystal Jade pretty often.. By the time we got married and moved in together, we had mixed rice most of the time - $2.70 for a meat and two vege! But with good food around us, we continued our zi char and Crystal Jade when we had time :)

And now that we’re in Evanston, with no Crystal Jade and on a student budget, we’re mostly eating at myrfy’s kitchen! :p

Thank goodness both of us don’t really crave for Sg food, cos I don’t do char kway teow or hokkien mee etc. Thank goodness mixed rice works for both of us too, cos that’s what I’ve been making mostly, although it’s not the sweet and sour pork or kung pao chicken we used to have back home.

Don’t know why many Singaporeans miss their food when they go overseas. I suspect some miss their food more than their family and friends! There are even a number of Facebook groups or pages of people missing Sg food! (I don't find as many about missing family overseas..) I have witnessed this myself too. In the second leg of our 10-day, four-city work trip some years back, two of the group went to Bugis for dinner. I didn’t and still don’t understand *.* Maybe cos, while you can skype your family and friends, you can only 望梅止渴 when it comes to food??

Well, I’m happy having pasta all the time. Except that I’ve found that rice is better than pasta when packing bento, and rice is cheaper than pasta :p That’s why it’s mostly mixed rice for us..

But there is one bad thing about my cooking compared to $2.70 mixed rice, which is that, Sito has lost weight eating my non-oily food in limited portions! So poor thing :( I’m going to get more protein for him. I should aim for a generous mixed rice portion, which is, come to think of it, twice of his current intake of meat now *.* But I guess that the good thing is that I haven’t put on any weight, although I definitely haven’t lost any either!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

What I don’t like about cooking

It isn’t the dishes, although I’ll prefer to do less of that so I minimise my cooking equipment for each meal.. In fact, when we have a bigger family, I’ll very likely want a dishwasher :)

I can’t remember when I started cooking. Was it before Oxford? Likely. Just instant noodles. Cooked more exciting things in school during home econs class – trivial: I topped sec 2 home econs..

But the first time I really cooked a proper meal was definitely in Oxford. I didn’t have a kitchen when I was a fresher staying in college but I had this electric pot that I used to cook everything in my room (illegally! :p). Later, I had access to four-hob electric stoves – flat top, not the coil types! We seldom saw gas stoves in the UK – they seemed to be paranoid about fires...

So I was pretty surprised to see gas stove in our room when we first got here. When I first turned the knob, I could smell only gas so we bought a lighter to ignite the thing. Later, I heard that others didn’t need a lighter... That was when I realised what the “LITE” at the end of the knob meant..! Got to turn all the way to ignite! Gaaar!

Anyway, this morning, I happened to look towards the stove while sitting here, studying for the dreaded Montessori exams, and I saw something odd.. Upon closer inspection, I found two sparks of fire below the cook top! They help the ignition. No wonder the stove top is always a little hot.. Don’t think the one Mother uses has such a spark. Different forms of ignition mechanisms, I guess..

Actually, I don’t like cooking on gas stoves. Mother has been working with a one-hob gas stove. Sometimes she also uses her charcoal stove but with age, it is getting difficult to move that heavy thing from storage..

After Oxford when I wanted to carry on cooking during the weekends in Sg, I wondered how Mother could use just one single hob!! And the stove was quite difficult to control – the knob was stiff, and the entire stove could move as it wasn’t fixed to anything... So for years, all I cooked was pasta. Once, I was stirring in spaghetti when I smelled burning hair and my little finger hurt – it was so hot near the pot that the hair there was singed! *.*

And now, using a gas stove again, I didn’t smell any burning hair but I definitely feel the heat on my hands when cooking and in fact, I don’t see much hair on the last two fingers of my right hand! And I keep getting food stains and burns on the cook top that are so difficult to remove! I was also fearful of setting off the fire alarm when my food sizzles.. The smells get into the bedroom but closing the bedroom door early in the morning when I prepare bento will disturb Sito cos the door creaks. And the light is right behind me.

Bah...

I miss our kitchen in our marital home... We have a two-hob induction cooker – no risk of burning hands, all stains are gone with a simple wipe after cooking... Oh, and we also had a kitchen hood with lamps above the cooker that clears the air and allows me to see my cooking. Sighs, too bad we didn’t have the opportunity to cook often then..

Friday, 22 October 2010

Whirlyball!

KWEST Costa Rica played Whirlyball today!

It was great fun but I only had one game – I just couldn’t steer the WhirlyBug!! Kind of reminded me of bumper cars when I was a kid. I loved it, but I could hardly move the car! Guess some things never change...

We had fun going to the court too. So we had the party trolley for CIM Ball. Today we had a hummerzine!

Source: Hummerzine company, I suppose.. (Anyway, ours didn't have such a pretty inside - will try to update this later..)

As usual, we were drinking all the time. Today, I had a beer – happy :) Sito had two cos he was baton-ed, twice!

And speaking of the baton, I was sorting some old photos the other day when I came across this:


I was baton-ed way back in Xmas 2004 *.*

So we headed out for more drinks after Whirlyball. Walked a little and I talked to Amy’s friend Val. She works with children with autism – it’s pretty interesting.. If I’m up for more studying after Montessori, I could look further into that...

Next was a karaoke place. It was quite funny on many counts. First, the place was smelly, like puke smelly.. Ok, that wasn’t funny, just gross.. Second, the men playing pool were a seriously dodgy bunch.. They all looked like that drunk vagrant who wandered High St in Oxford when I was there! And third, when the karaoke started, I was brought back to the 1990s – they had books of song lists!!

We had to go just as they were starting to sing cos dear Sito wasn’t feeling well. And I saw the screen flashing lyrics. No MTV, just words! I remember seeing that in Oxford many in 2001 or 2002. So many years on, karaoke outside of Asia seems to remain the same! I’m so looking forward to KLunch with CY on 17 November..

Anyway, had a revelation while bathing.. I think mf-ism died a little as I progressed in work in the past few years. I mean, it used to be more colourful and lively when I wasn’t churning paper after paper.. When I started writing more and more civil service papers, that officious style must have crossed over and devoured mf-ism.. Now that I’m off the paper-writing track, hopefully mf-ism gets revived!

Halloween is coming!

Just realised Halloween is coming.. Where is my cute little hat??

That was a really old picture taken in 2007 in the office..

Passed by this house on my way to the supermarket a couple of weeks ago.


I kind of jumped a little when I first saw the setup *.*

Thursday, 21 October 2010

娶的娶,嫁的嫁,生的生!

There’s this thing about seeing your best pals getting married, having kids, going through life’s rites of passage..

When Jo got married at 24, it was such a whirlwind I didn’t have time to think about it.. When she gave birth at 26, I was like, I’m watching two kids having a kid *.* Maybe cos she was the first close friend to have a kid. Or cos I think we were still kiddish at that age?

Now that we’re all hitting 30 – ok, I’ve hit 30! – I thought it wasn’t such a big deal anymore. But when I realised that it was three weeks to Kel’s wedding, I just couldn’t take it – I was like, huh? Kel is getting married??!

I guess it just shows what I think about Kel, haha! Ya, can’t help feeling we’re still in JC together since he is still bullying me!! ... And now D is on his side too! Gaaar!

And now, we have Tok. He just gave birth this week! Or rather, his wife XR gave birth.. But, same la when you’re a couple! I mean, I don’t really expect Tok to physically give birth right? But I’m digressing.. CONGRATS on your baby boy, you two!

Who else.. After Kel, we have WX in January.. Then I expect my sisters CY, Na and Yan to walk down the aisle next! And YX soon too? *wink* Kok, when's your turn...? And all of us girls trying for kids, jia you!:)

Ranting (a bit)

Saw a few unhappy facebook updates from friends today. Actually, I was a little crossed this morning too. Not like angry but like, heh? Well, if you know me, you’ll know that look!

No one, NO ONE, ignores me. Unless I allow myself to be ignored, in which case I’ll give my I-don’t-give-a-fuck look and/or carry on whatever I’m doing. But when I have put in effort to think and make suggestions, the least I could expect is an acknowledgement? Zilch.

Ok, one para of venting. I’m cool now. I will continue to put in effort – because I want to :) – but I probably won’t have much expectations going forward. Putting on my Montessori hat, I would have had the satisfaction of putting in my best. Shan’t be unhappy over what I cannot control.

And talking about Montessori, I’m so sick of studying!! Thought of going out this pm but now my nose is a little drippy... I’ll probably head out for a short while anyway.. Go to the bank, go to bookshop to find cheap pilates mat – could very well get a yoga mat! Classmate told me she got hers from Barnes & Noble. I went yesterday but forgot to check out the mats! As I was writing the above, I remembered another bookshop – the university bookshop! Here mf goes...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

McX

We love Macs. Unfortunately, the nearest Macs is, according to google maps, 29 min away. On foot of course, since we don’t drive.

In Singapore, it’s McSpicy.

When we were in Japan, it was McPork.

When we were in the UK, it was McCrispy.

And that day, as we saw the cute little rabbit hopping about outside McManus again, he went “McBunny”..

*.*

Love how Macs is everywhere back home. In Tomato Town, I could easily walk to two outlets. In HV, we only have Wendy’s, which took over BK’s spot. I like their baked potato, but then, the nearest Macs is only 10 min away by bus! :)

Don’t think I’ll walk 30 min to Macs here unless I’m quite desperate, haha! But we do walk a fair bit. It takes me about 15 min to get to Jewel Osco for our regular groceries. And I do that about twice a week. When the cold eventually strikes, I’ll probably head over to the more expensive Whole Foods which is just across the road.. I never know which is worse, to eat things grown in shit or sprayed with pesticide... Ok, so I’m generalising but I like to say that. Bah.

Update 3 Nov 2010
There are FOUR Macs in Tomato Town now, woohoo!

And today marks the seventh anniversary of my working life - I started in 3 Nov 2003 *.*

Monday, 18 October 2010

Happy little mf

Mondays are horrible cos (a) it’s Monday! And (b) Sito’s classes start at 8.30 am.

But today, it was lovely cos guess what I found when I lifted my macbook screen!


Sunday, 17 October 2010

I want to run a marathon!

But I’ll never do it of course – 心有余而力不足 :p

See, last Sunday, Lydia was running the Chicago Marathon so five of us went down to support her. We got there really early at about 7.30 am. It started with me being late and running to the El station to meet Janet and Dan to catch a train to Chicago – I already felt like I did a marathon by the time I got there *.*

Met Dave and Alyssa on Jackson where some of us got a glimpse of Lydia going by – the rest of us were cluelessly blind *.*

Nvm, we could have breakfast before stalking her again... We went to Lou Mitchell’s!

I love their notices:




Um, noted :p

We were seated very quickly, after the staff gave each of us a box of milk duds and a donut hole! Yum yum..

While waiting for our food, we had their famous coffee – think I had two cups.. And that’s me and my pancakes! Buckwheat pancakes ok.. Thought I’d have the healthier version. With plenty of maple syrup and butter.. Oh well!



Headed back to stalk Lydia after a good breakfast. This time, all of us saw her and she saw us too and gave us a huge wave! Her happy fan club:


Oops, mf’s bad hair day..

We walked to the next spot to try to say hi again.. The atmosphere was really good. People were cheering for strangers while waiting for their family and friends to run by. Many runners wore their names on their shirts, which made it easier for people to cheer them on. We saw this guy with “Costa Rica” on his shirt, twice, and we cheered him on, “pura vida!” He must be feeling bewildered :p

Then there were some fun runners too – like the juggler, the guy who wore an Eiffel Tower on him (!), Minnie Mouse.. And looking at some of the runners, I felt really lousy cos they were like double my age and going strong! I’m so nua and unfit *.*

Many supporters brought cards along, or wrote on cards distributed by sponsors. My favourites next to each other:


So we spotted Lydia a third time (second for some of us) and left cos the ending point would be too crowded for us to do anything. We later heard that Lydia completed the run at 3 hr 22 min! I think I can run no more than 13 miles in that time, gaaar!

I stopped by Argyle on the way back to grab some frozen crab meat sticks, sotong balls etc :p Now our freezer is complete! Yeah!

But that was a very tiring weekend, cos we went to an outlet shopping mall on Saturday, which meant we got up at 6.15 am as well! By Sunday night, I just wanted to sleep. In fact, I want to sleep now too... Yesterday, I went to the farmers’ market again with Namrta before Sito and I went to Chicago to meet friends for lunch and tea. We ended the long day with Sashimi Sashimi :)

I just came back from grocery shopping – got some ingredients to make apple tart some time this week :) Also got some tonkatsu sauce from a Japanese restaurant with a mini supermarket section – making tonkatsu tonight! Pictures will go up on facebook – if it turns out well :)

See, I’ve progressed from marathon to food, sighs... But I pride myself on having done some pilates on Tuesday :) It wasn’t easy but well, that was a start! Hope I could do more with some practice.. Think I’ll take a private lesson when I go back to Sg..

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Chronicles of a housewife

I was twiddling (thumbs) earlier, procrastinating against ironing clothes, when I remembered something I heard on FM 93.3. So I signed into my super inactive Twitter account, and searched for celebs :p

And I decided to tweet stuff too - chronicles of a housewife! That will be where the nitty gritty details of my mundane life will go to.. Will continue to mf-ise more interesting and exciting bits here.. E.g. I did a pregnancy test last Friday!

Negative *.*

Ok, not too exciting.. To be updated when it gets exciting!

"We are being tracked..." Oh, pls!!

Heard from friend that when she and her family went to visit some friends in Australia, her friends gathered a few other Singaporeans for a little party. And when they heard that she worked in the government, they thought she must be there to "track" them...

!!!

First of all, that was her personal holiday to get away from work - visit friends, climb rolling hills, see sheep etc.. Second, she does corporate HR and finance lor...

I wonder why people tend to think that they are being "tracked" by the government.. Who do they think they are?! And just what is meant by "tracking"? Where you live? How much you earn? And, what does that say about what people think of the government? Control freak (must track everything but is that possible?)? Very efficient (so that can track everyone)? Very free (have time to track*)? Or clueless (so need to track)?

* I get totally incensed when people think public officers are very free! Not so!

In fact, I think commercial companies may have more information on us than any government agency - when was the last time you wrote your email or mobile number on a government form? What about that lucky draw or membership form from the makeup counter?

I get mail from my banks for things not related to my accounts with them or asking me to transfer my credit card bills. Some people kept calling me to ask me to go try their latest facial peel or apply for some credit card that gives me $100 voucher. My inbox shows a lot of newsletter from various cosmetics brands and some fitness centres where I have been for trials. And somehow, this matchmaking website knew when I turned 30! Even now, there are days when I get more SMS notifications of special promotions etc than personal messages - how sad.. I've been trying to unsubscribe (some unsuccessfully, unfortunately) to a few mailing lists; when I go back to Sg in Nov, I'll do that for the SMS as well...

Now I quit giving my address when I go for trials to save some trees. (Of course I still go for trials, especially if they are free! Hohoho!) And if I don't intend to go back at all, I'll even give a pseudo email address and phone number.

But I still want my CPF and IRAS letters to reach me - important!! When I first moved in to our little flat, I forgot about changing address until Mother told me about the accumulating letters back home - oops, I didn't go back a lot :p

Anyway, I suddenly remembered just now that we did not change our address after coming here :p Was thinking of not doing so since we would probably be going back every so often but a thought occurred to me: what happens when elections come around? Um, holiday? :p

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Right here waiting

I should feel proud of myself: after a month, I’ve finally starting flipping through our WSJ :)

And today, I came across an article, “Sick of This Text: 'Sorry I'm Late'”. This really struck a chord with me.

It’s not that I’m always on time and waiting for others, or – worse – that I’m always late! Actually, I’ve been on both sides..

I think up until maybe four years ago, I was mostly on time. But for some reason, my closest friends were mostly late! I spent many anguished minutes of my youth waiting along the road, at a restaurant, at the station, etc.

For example, I was planning to leave the office to meet two friends* for dinner one fine day in 2008** but learnt that a paper MUST go up that evening! So I stayed back quite a bit to finish it.. At least my demanding boss gave me a lift to make up for some lost time.. And the incredible part was, I actually turned up earlier *.* I guess punctuality is always relative?

* Don’t want to shoot anyone here! :p
** I still remember the year cos I still remember what exactly I had to work on!

Then, I started to be late as well, for two reasons. One, I refused to wait anymore so I would start to get ready later and plan to be late! Two, last-minute work, urgent or otherwise, as illustrated above. I would tell Mother to hold the nag until I come back; I would stop surfing net to get out of the house; I would take a cab to make an appointment; I even have alarms to remind myself to prepare to go out! But I could not say no to work. I know, it sucks!

Maybe that’s one more reason for not wanting to work like I did – I can’t just drop my work and go even though I really don’t like to be late. I don’t know about others but I feel bad when I make people wait; alerts via phone calls and text messages just don’t make up for anything at all. And, I don’t like to feel bad. Makes sense?

记得“新广”吗?

那是新传媒的前身,新加坡广播电台!

(其实我不太记得全名了⋯⋯)

刚在早报读完一篇有关移民新加坡的(前?)中国人对于本地电视剧的美好回忆,不禁有所感触。(《新移民的新加坡影像记忆》,早报,4 Oct 2010; 就新中正式建交20周年庆报道之一)

有一点意外吧,从来都不知道我们的电视剧曾红到中国去。

想当年,我最爱追看电视连续剧 - 以前可没有 You Tube 啊!早期的《雾锁南洋》,《调色板》,《小飞鱼》等等,我大概都有看,只不过看的似懂非懂,我应该还没上小学吧。

求学时代是我对电视剧最熟悉、最热中的时候,除了傍晚和晚间的电视剧,下午没课我也会收看三点中的重播!还记得好像是小三的时候,老妈要我在假期读书备考,因为那年 streaming,不让我看重播!我很生气,只拿着书本却偏偏不读!很坏呵?:p

让我印象深刻的有《最后一个大侠》,《双天至尊》,还有那部主题曲是张惠妹的那手“天天都有落叶⋯⋯”!当然还有困扰了我很多年的《迷离夜》-有很多蝴蝶的那个故事真让我对蝴蝶恐惧到现在!

除了本地电视剧,我也追看港剧,尤其是金庸武侠片!还记得《神雕侠侣》最后一集那天,我重感冒,想睡一会儿才起床看电视,却一觉到天明,错过了结局 *.*

追看电视剧的喜好在我上大学那年停止了。我还隐约记得,我走前还在看一部由郑惠玉主演、主题曲好像是陈洁仪唱的⋯⋯暑假回来时,一是时间短促,二是忙着外出,不记得追看过什么连续剧。后来工作了,不是加班就是外出,哪还有时间关心什么电视剧?

就有一位受访者说了这么一句:本地电视剧的困境,多少也是因为大家太忙没有时间支持。

我也这么觉得。从大学时期起,我只断断续续在网上看了些日剧、台剧,不受播放时间约束。在新加坡,我也追看过那些11点中之后播放的 Desperate Housewives 之类的。其实,就只有 Desperate Housewives 啦⋯⋯可是就连一周一集的连续剧,有时也会错过,更何况是七点挡、九点挡,太早了!尤其是七点!天啊⋯⋯

除了不够时间,另一个不再追看连续剧的原因应该是喜好问题。这些年来,总觉得本地剧情都不怎么吸引人。可能是离新一阵子,对新进艺人不熟悉,就没兴趣了。现代剧情对我也没什么意思-我每天都在过城市生活啊!看自己就够了!

还是小时候的古装剧最引发想像力,对我也最有吸引力。 过去几年,印象较深的连续剧只有大制作如《小娘惹》和《当我们在一起》。后者算是我看得较多的连续剧,可能因为正准备离职,工作量少了?最近比较受(我?:p)欢迎的《小娘惹》等,也似乎属于非现代剧情。这是否意味着观众年龄层和/或喜好的改变?

现在的我很有空,在这里六周,已经看了两部台剧。如果 xinmsn 将来允许海外 IP 观看本地连续剧,我也许就能重新认识新广新传媒连续剧了 :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Time to get fresh! :p

Went to the farmers’ market early Saturday morning with Canque and Raquel.

Pretty shot of Raquel and Canque against various stalls:


Me with the pumpkins, big and small:


Then we saw so many varieties of squash and gourds, many in odd shapes, and many I never knew. And I’ve never seen brussel sprouts in a stalk before!


And I’ve also never seen capsicums with their leaves on! Check out my spoils :)


I froze most of the raspberries but two of the tomatoes were promptly used for lunch :) Maybe it was all the excitement of shopping, or the late night before cos we watched The Social Network which ended at 1 am, I was very sleepy after lunch! Took a nap :)

Fruitful day, literally...

Friday, 1 October 2010

Wispy mf

Maybe it's the way I dry my hair these days - bowing over and flipping my hair over my face to blow-dry - I've been noticing a lot of wispy hair around my hairline..

Just now, I suddenly realised why I didn't hate those wispy strands. Cos I think I look something like this:

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:p

Been feeling cute this week too as I was watching 下一站,幸福 - 小小彬 is so cute :) I like to feel cute. It makes me happy :)
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