Saturday, May 31, 2008

"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world"

The same week that Nasa revisits Mars, somebody else makes an equally intriquing discovery in our own planet. Which only goes to show, there's a lot of wonder still in our own backyard.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Royal disdain


None of that hoi polloi cab sauv stuff for me, thank you. But a bordeaux, perhaps a Chateau Lafite, would be nice.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Masked Avenger strikes!

As a follow-up to the previous post, the score, 48 hours later, is now:
Poop: 1
Pee: 2

All thanks to Rupert, Double-O Blur, licensed to poop.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Masked Avengers

L was bathing the dogs (one after the other -- two together is impossible!) yesterday when he realised that the washcloth he uses on their faces was full of holes.


Go ahead, laugh, humans. We will avenge our b*ths yet! Poop is a solid weapon!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The men don't get it


This is a poster for the annual Eat With Your Family Day and it's directed at the fathers. It's almost pathetic. It has to spell out for them what to do -- cook (one dish it says, not even a full meal is to be hoped for), or take your family out, or at the very least, bring home something they'd like to eat. And if the dads register their participation at a website, they stand a chance to win prizes.

What about mums? Shouldn't they win something for doing something they do all year round?

Monday, May 19, 2008

To absent friends


As the motto of this year's Aids Candlelight Memorial says, "never give up, never forget".

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Leaping tall buildings in a single bound etc

It's not easy taking pictures of a jumping fox terrier...

... you end up taking shots of the baby gate instead ...


... but once you get it, it's spectacular!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Puppy love

You know your dogs love you when they lie down by the clothes that you've left out on the bed when you were in the bath, guarding them.

You know you love your dogs when you unhesitatingly put on furry underwear.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A drive down memory lane

Last night, when the company transport van pulled up and the door opened to let us in, a solid wall of Deep Purple spilled out. Most of my fellow passengers were rather taken aback but I flashed an appreciative grin at the driver and he didn't make any attempt to turn down the volume.

A couple of nights ago, there weren't many people on the bus so when I was the last passenger left, the driver gave me a somewhat apologetic smile and cranked up the music.

He needn't have worried. Santana (the early years) came on, followed by Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore/Rainbow, The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore.

He wasn't just driving me home, he was taking me back to my misspent 20s in a basement pub called The Cellar. I had just landed my first job after graduating and it was as a reporter covering the arts (simply because I had an English Literature degree) and nightlife (because nobody else wanted to do it) beats. I had an editor who considered sitting in the office a waste of time if you weren't filing anything, so he made me go sit in a pub instead. Like that was hard work.

I still have all that music stashed in a box in my mother's house somewhere. Only thing is, they're all in -- gasp! -- cassettes. Now to find them all in iTunes.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Crazy old world

Q: What sort of goverment expels aid workers who have just flown in when 100,000 of its people are feared have to died in a cyclone?

A: The sort of government that closes its embassy in Bangkok for a festival so more aid workers waiting there for entry visas will have to wait at least four more days.

Q: How many more cyclone victims will die in four more days if they don't get help soon?

A: ...

So the international community is leaning on China, Thailand -- countries with ties to Myanmar -- to get the junta to open up the country to aid workers. That's where I think Singapore should step in. As the Asean chair, it has been gentle with Myanmar during the crackdown on protesting monks. As a country, it has business ties to Myanmar; its hospitals has treated junta members; and it has very probably sold arms to Myanmar. We shouldn't be part of this shame.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

'The Bitch Is Back'

The last time we went to a concert -- the Police reunion tour -- L complained that we spent $350 on tickets for seats that we hardly sat on. Let's just say that this time round at Elton John, we made full use of our seats.

Not to fault Sir Elton or anything. This is the third Elton John concert we've been to and he's, well, 'Still Standing'. (And that was the song that got the audience on their feet -- other than the one soul in the $500 seats up right in front who danced a lonely dance all by herself at the beginning of the concert).

Sir Elton opened with 'Funeral for a Friend' -- much to L's consternation. I had no problem with that, it never sounded like a requiem to me anyway. And then, the other requiem, 'Candle in the Wind' came later. At which point, I think we were all unconsciously holding our breath to see if he would do the Marilyn Monroe lyrics or the Princess Diana version. L, the rabid Elton fan, said later that he would have gone off Elton if he did the 'England's rose' version.

Also from the 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' album, he did the title track and 'Benni and the jets' (which must've made our friend with that name also at the concert very happy, L leant over to whisper) so he had that album more than covered.

Nothing from 'The One' -- which probably was the first Elton John album I really got into (I can only console myself with memories of 'The One' concert which wsa the first time I saw Elton live). I don't know his early stuff, I'm an Elton John fan only by marriage. Nothing from 'The Lion King' -- that's a soundtrack, not a definitive hit, sniffed L. And noticeably, nothing from the last two albums 'Songs From the West Coast' and 'Peachtree Road' -- which yielded no hits whatsoever. Which is probably a sign of a waning star. And the reason why this tour is touted as the 'Rocketman -- the definitive hits' tour. Rocketman should be so lucky that a 30-year career has yielded enough definitive hits for a three-hour concert (he really earned his pay last night).

I thought it was going to be the usual white crowd and the usual middle-aged crowd and so was surprised to find two expat kids next to me that were probably around 12 or 13. They were kinda lost at the beginning with 'Madman Across the Water' and 'Levon' (to be honest, so was I) but perked up considerably as Sir Elton went through the years and leapt up to 'Crocodile Rock'.

Unlike the Police concert, I didn't see much recording -- until 'Sacrifice' came on and the whole stadium was lit with the glow of LCD screens of mobile recording devices.

Only two cigarette lighters came on at 'Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word'. Instead people were waving their mobiles, their cellphone display screens making little arcs of light as they did so. Either no one smokes any more or the era of waving cigarette lighters is well and truly over.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Playing footsie



The most powerful muscle in the world is a dog's chin. When a dog rests its chin against any part of you, you're stuck in that position till it decides to move and release you.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hmmm...

I think I need to get to know a politician.

People become discriminatory, bigoted even, because they form ideas of what they don't know -- whether it's a different race, skin colour, religion, sexual preference. And education, exposure even, is the first step to curb discrimination because the more you get to know a person whom you at first think is different from you, the more you realise how similar you both are.

So maybe I'm distrustful of politicians because I don't know any.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I am nothing

We're no strangers to Milo the Jack Russell and her mummy -- they always stop to say hello when we see them on walks and Milo gets plenty of play time with Rupert.

Yesterday, I was alone, walking towards the train station when Milo and her mummy crossed my path. No hello, no nothing, no sign of recognition.

I am nobody without my dogs!

I am even lesser than chopped liver. Had I been chopped liver, Milo would have at least stopped for a sniff!

Fashion statement?


I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this tshirt in the window of a store that's known for selling cheap ladies' clothing.

Where would a girl wear this to?

I can only think of nights at my uni's student union after the rugby team won a match.

Or a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert. Even so, they don't seem to do that sock thing any more. The last time I went to a RHCP concert, they'd gone respectable and Anthony Kiedis even had a hair cut.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Overheard

Sometimes you don't mean to eavesdrop but some people do talk so loudly on their cellphones.

"If you commit suicide, the problem is this, it would leave me dead."

I would have thought the problem is that it would leave the person who committed suicide dead.

The guy on the phone was black, and speaking with an African accent. I've had Nigerian friends who would be spitting and snarling at each other till you think that it was a blood feud involving the virtue of their womenfolk when actually they were having a conversation about the weather. It's just the inflection of their speech that makes you think they're having a fight.

So I don't know if this African guy was joshing with whoever he was talking to or if he was having a serious existentialist problem.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Further adventures in the kitchen


Why is it when Jamie Oliver roasts peppers on the stove top gas ring it looks so cool but when I do it, it looks ugly, bumpy, pimply and the kitchen stinks of charred flesh?

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to

So Singaporeans grumble about taxi drivers (and a whole lot of other things) all the time...

The cabbie waiting at the taxi rank at the shopping mall saw us coming out of the mall because he made eye contact with me. He watched as we made our way to the taxi stand, both burdened by lots of heavy grocery bags. He continued to watch dispassionately as we juggled the bags about so as to get a hand free to open the taxi door.

And he was driving a taxi with an auto door -- which meant that he could open the passenger door without getting his butt off his seat. He didn't say a word at all on the ride, no response to L giving him directions. We could have been driven by a robot. Although I think a robot would be a little more personable.

Maybe if he actually said something, I could have videoed it and uploaded it to YouTube.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Beer bread



Pix for the Catswhiskers who was curious. This is the easiest bread I've ever made because it is one of those no-knead recipes. But unlike the usual no-knead recipe, this one didn't take 24 hours to proof because there's a bottle of beer in it, maybe all that yeast in the beer sort of kickstarted the bread.

I put a bottle of Corona beer in it, I couldn't find Miller Lite or any light American beer at the supermarket and I think that hale and hearty local brews wouldn't suit the cheese in the bread. You can also add in bits of chives, ham or bacon. But I put cheese instead because I have a vegetarian coming for dinner tonight and one of the reasons why I made the bread (other than out of sheer curiosity when I came across the recipe in the Sunday paper last week -- I'd never heard of beer in bread!) was that we could have some with the lentil stew I plan to make.

Half of the cheese is grated and the other half cut into bite-sized cubes so you can actually bite into a piece of cheese as you eat the bread. The recipe also called for drizzling melted butter on top of the dough before putting it in the oven, and that has resulted in a golden brown crusty top.

It's more like a cake bread, like banana bread for instance, than an airy kneaded loaf. There's still nothing like thumping the hell outta your dough when you make bread, but this one was so quick and easy, it may just win me over to no-knead bread.

And that's not the beer talking.