Thursday, June 29, 2006
Times at Funan
Got my info messed up and chiong all the way to Times @ Funan last nite for nothing.
A comedy of errors actually:
1. Times @ Plaza Singapura didnt have and were not planning to bring in "In Praise of Slow" when i was there last Thurs
2. then they told me that Times @ Funan had some copies.
3. And then i thot that their 20% storewide members discount was till end of June
4. And since i will be away for the last few days of June, i chiong all the way to Funan IN A CALLED CAB DURING PEAK HOURS
Only to find that:
1. Times @ Funan sold their last copy on Tues
2. The 20% storewide discount ended last weekend.
On another note, I've just realised that Times Bookstore staff are mostly very very very nice and helpful. Not as polish as Borders perhaps, but they dont have that bored snobbish look either.
The staff on duty at the cashier/ info counter offered to place an order for the book for me and transfer to Plaza Singapura for me if it is more convenient...
How can I say NO?
Labels: to Read Think
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
ROM Anniversary : A dinner and a movie
Dinner at Pepper's Lunch at Scotts Lido.
E asked me when I steered him towards the eatery in basement 1, "Eh, Lunch leh, are they open for dinner also ah?" kekeke
I had the Loin Steak set w rice + green tea (without sugar), he had the Beef slice + Hamburger Combo set w rice + ice lemon tea, and we shared a spicy tuna salad. It struck me that we should have had 1 set with the rice and the other with the soup, just to try... next time?
The food came sizzling in a hot plate with a rim of paper thoughtfully placed around it to catch the splattering oil and steam. and it came with instructions too:
- SHAKE the salad!
- turn QUICKLY! they cook FAST!!!
- place cooked pieces ON TOP OF THE VEG to stop it from cooking further!
- TRY the SPECIAL SAUCES!!! (cos the meat and veg come otherwise unseasoned and unadorned)
and oh~ the veg consist of a whole bunch of beansprouts, 2 slice of carrot and 3 pieces of long bean. if you dont like beansprouts... you're out of luck. the veg cook well with the soya and garlic sauce tho', giving it a very good yasai yaki taste.
it was a decent meal, costing us only about $36 in all.
It was Hokkaido festival at Isetan, and we bought a piece of Fresh Cambert Cheese Cake from the supermarket to share over our coffees from McCafe outside.
And then we caught X-Men 3- the Last Stand.
E, as usual, peppered the movie with questions and distracting me from movie:
- "what's the blue guy's powers?"
- "why like that?" when Mystique morphed into the President in her cell
- "huh? then he die ah?" when the Professor was confronting Jean
- "who's that?" when the "cured" Mystique was given details of the base to the President's men
- "why? she become good huh?" immediately when informed it was Mystique in the above question
- "is she good or bad?" whenever Jean appears
- "why he cannot die one?" when Wolverine regenerates after every attack
- "then why they die leh?" when mutants get killed by Wolverine
- "She so strong, he can fight her meh?" when Storm asked Wolverine if he can "do it".
- "How he can kill him?" when Juggernaut was sent to kill Leech
- "His father huh?" when wing boy (dunno his name) saved his father from the drop
- "ORRRR... he still got powers!!! but very little lah." when Magnetto moved a chess piece at the end
okaaaay, i still love him.
but maybe i should get another movie kaki...
Labels: to Eat Drink Party
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
KL 29-30 Jun 06
Labels: to Travel
Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century
Going through the list, i have read some of them some time or other. Others i have not even heard of, and those i hope to read.
1. Ulysses by James Joyce
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
6. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
8. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
9. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
10. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
11. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
12. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
15. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
16. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
17. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
18. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
19. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
20. Native Son by Richard Wright
21. Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
22. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
24. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
25. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
26. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
27. The Ambassadors by Henry James
28. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
29. The Studs Lonigan Trilogy by James T. Farrell
30. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
31. Animal Farm by George Orwell
32. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
33. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
34. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
35. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
36. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
37. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
38. Howards End by E. M. Forster
39. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
40. The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
41. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
42. Deliverance by James Dickey
43. A Dance to the Music of Time (series) by Anthony Powell
44. Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley
45. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
46. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
47. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
48. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence
49. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
50. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
51. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
52. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
53. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
54. Light in August by William Faulkner
55. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
56. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
57. Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford
58. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
59. Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
60. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
61. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
62. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
63. The Wapshot Chronicles by John Cheever
64. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
65. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
66. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
67. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
68. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
69. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
70. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
71. A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
72. A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
73. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
74. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
75. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
76. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
77. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
78. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
79. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
80. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
81. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
82. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
83. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul
84. The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
85. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
86. Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
87. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett
88. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
89. Loving by Henry Green
90. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
91. Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
92. Ironweed by William Kennedy
93. The Magus by John Fowles
94. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
95. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
96. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
97. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
98. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
99. The Ginger Man by J. P. Donleavy
100. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington.
9 out of 100... not too shabby i suppose.
But this is not the definative list of books i want to read... i mean, no Ayn Rand? no Jane Austin? no Shakespheare (ok, he's not modern...), no Oscar Wilde (he's about 100 years old too), no Umberto Eco (forgot to list "The Name of the Rose" as my favourite book, to Dan Brown's fans, read this and weep!), etc etc...
Ok, waitaminute. If all these authors were included in the list of 100 books, i'm probably done by now. LOL.
i'll work out a list of must read but UNREAD books for myself.
or i'll find another more authoratative list. :D or leave me a comment of your recommendations. :)
Labels: to Read Think
Books that i want to but cant read #1
the chief of all: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
I've read the book once when i was a kid, and then watched a movie adaption, and it scarred me so much. The cruelty, the hopelessness and the helplessness.
There had been several times where i almost picked it up from bookstores, libraries, but i've always put it down at the end.
I want to read it again, but have not found the courage yet... it is stupid, cos i know the ending.
Labels: to Read Think
Monday, June 26, 2006
Canton Wok 24-06-06
Flashy sign board with huge poster of Chef Kang with the restuarant in an old style stand alone bangalow (errrr... not the colonial kind at Rochester Park hor...), with seating in the main hall of the bungalow with aircon/ 2 VIP rooms with aircon / outside the main door of the bungalow with fan and aircon air from all/ and if you are unlucky, the tentage next to the car park.
There was a car park for maybe 10 cars? Jockey is available (free service) but they dont wear the restuarant's uniform, so it was kinda scary giving our car keys to akin-to-any-stranger... Otherwise, you can wait (long long) and park along Joo Chiat Road yourself.
We made a reservation, and there were no seats anywhere when we got there. Chef Kang was there to hello-hello and spoke nicely to us in cantonese "吾好意思,就好,有人买紧单,就有位啦,等一静间了呵." (So sorry, somebody's paying and there will be seats soon, dont mind waiting for awhile). Nice... And in anycase, we didnt wait more than 5 min, seeing that it was almost 8pm when we got there.
The wall behind the main counter in the hall was decorated with medals and plaques and citations to the celebrity-award-winning-media featured-food committee Chef Kang, and the more important ones were printed behind his name card. I dunno, could be the OTT effect, but i was inclined to take them with a pinch of salt.
The clientile were mostly local with a smattering of foreigners with locals, families dressed in weekend casuals, and some dressy in that underworld/ night club way... must be heading to the less savory spots in Joo Chiat next...
The menu came with the "best of" complete with color pictures of the dishes, and an ala-carte menu. We went with the recommendations plus a few:
- Deep Fried Prawns with Coconut floss ($20). nice, you can eat the prawn with the shell, but the deep fried coconut floss was too salty
- Pork Rib in 2 style - honey glazed and coffee ($20). The honey glazed one was forgettable, but the coffe one was quite good. And most interestingly, the pork rib were the complete with skin + layer of fat + layer of meat + cripsy bit at the end type.
- Fish Slice with Kai Lan ($12). nice 锅汽 hot wok smell on the fish, but portion was misery, about 1 pce of fish each for our party of 5 adults + 2 kids
- Deep Fried Eggplant with pork floss ($12). Really deep fried thin sliced cripsy eggplant here, not the cripsy on the outside and mushy on the inside variety (which i prefer), but it was a hit with the kids. a tad oily though.
- Cripsy Duck Skin with foie gras on deep fried bread ($35). Kind of novelty from a chinese restuarant, but the foie gras tasted a little from-the-can-like for me, overwhelming the ok-cripsy duck skin on a deep fried overly oily and sweet bread. very coying after the 1st piece, not for me...
- Toufu Dish ($12). unremarkable... 'nuff said.
- 3 deep fried + 2 steam buns ($5) for the fun haha. These came in triangle shapes... the deep fried ones were better.
We saw alot of cards promo stickers on the door, including 1 for AA. :D but the only promo available was 10% off for OCBC card on dishes, so the bill came up to $120.10 for the dishes + 4 rice ($2) + pickles ($2) + towelettes ($3) + chinese tea ($3). I'll say that it is pretty decent, especially since no GST or service charge...
Oh, and we did get back our car... phew~*
Labels: to Eat Drink Party
Friday, June 23, 2006
Where the Hell is Matt?
i'm not often inclined to post links to news/ quizzes/ blogs/ videos/ whatnots, but i felt i had to post this video, cos it had wow'ed me and it makes me happy. The simplicity, the music, the jubilant dancing, the LOCATIONS!
and it helps that he blogs well too. ;)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
........... that took me a while to answer
the first was easier, i read anything from 1 book a month snatching time from where-ever to maybe 16 books (borrowed from the library) a month, and i most times have various books unfinished waiting to to be picked up and to be finished off, depending on mood.
the second one was tougher as i rattled through the list of genres and authors, all i ended up was telling her that i read widely and almost indiscrimately, AND i'm still thinking about the list now.
- Fantasy - LOTR (10th/ 11th reading at least)
- Mystery - most stuff by Stephan King
- Sci-Fi - Dune, Hitchhiker guide series,
- Detective - Argatha Christie, Japanese Detective series translated to Chinese ones, JD Robb, Sherlock Homes
- Crime Stories
- Sports - especially on running, mountaineering
- Health/ Medical - Highly Recommends "How We Die"
- Autobiography, biography
- Screenplays (mostly Singapore theatre)
- Cook/ chef books (Sylvian Tan, Antony Bourdain)
- History (the world in general, China, WWII, Holocast)
- Self-improvement/ Motivational
- Finance/ Investment
- Communication/ Writing
- Children's fiction - Narnia series, Harry Potter series, A series of unforunate events
- Classics - i'm trying to read all the worthy classics Jane Austin, Egar Alan Poe, Shakespear, Chinese classics too etc etc
- How/ Why things work
- comics - I have all the Baby Blues books, 娃娃看天下 (translated from Spanish to Chinese by 三毛) and others mostly Japanese traslated to Chinese ones but i had a thing for 天下 for awhile)
- Magazines - Readers' Digest, Runners' World, Shape
and Arthors that i read a lot of:
- Arthur Hailey
- Ayn Rand
- Stephan King
- JD Robb
- J R R Tolkein
- PD James
and lots more. LOTS more, WAAAAAY LOTS more.
i cant imagine a better way to spend an afternoon shopping for books either in a bookstore or a library.
in fact a few of my fave hunts when i was a kid were
- The National Library
- The library @ Queenstown
- Bras Brasah Complex
- MPH at standford
and Fave Hunts now:
- Libraries at Jurong Point (moved to Community center), Compass Point
- Times at Plaza Singapura
- Kinokuniya at Taka
and i almost always have a book with me, bag and occassion permitting. :)
My Fave Books:
- The Lord of the Ring
- Atlas Shrugged (thank you Vale)
- How We Live/ How We Die
oh, just to make the list complete...
the genres i dont get:
- romance - mills & boons, 琼瑶, sweet sixteen
Labels: to Read Think
the Mitsubishi i
the buuny-shaped 660cc, 3-cylinder intercooler-turbocharged MIVEC engine, automatic four-wheel-drive hatchback, keicar class Mitsubishi i with rear enginer layout complete with xenon headlights, air conditioning, power windows, twin airbags, keyless entry and a hard-disk-based navigation unit AND 3l per 100km fuel consumption.
i want 1 in red with grey interiors!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
New bookstore in Great World City
went looking around and chanced on a new bookstore called HARRIS.
At first glance i actually thot it was a christian book store but found out that they have an interesting lot of books with various genre (that i remember):
- manga/ comics, a whole shelf! no kidding
- self-improvement (i spied something abt "improving your sex life" here :D )
- fantasy/ sci-fi,
- magazines etc etc
and the perfunctionary stationary for a book store in an office building.
Nice clean airy layout reminiscent of kinokuniya but less confusing, warm bright but not blinding lights, an atmosphere that makes a person feel smarter just by being in there :D
prices were reasonable too but decided against buying anything there and then cos 1. i still have the 50% discount cards from Times, and 2. i anticipated a long nite. ;)
unfortunate abt the unsmiling staff tho... maybe they only smile at pp who actually buys stuff.
a fine Jap dining resturant in very classy settings. we had a private room and the chef even came in to say hi.
we had lots of sake, 2 salad dishes, sashimi (i actually tried something new, some kind of thick colorless raw fish skin... well, it tasted better than i'm making it sound), a fried/ dried kinda chip made with a layer of small whole fish, soup and yakitori.
but overall the food was a let down for the price... the best dish was the salad for us and we didnt even finish all the very expensive food (ok, we did finish the toro belly and such)
Monday, June 19, 2006
coming back to 2 sick kiddies who havent recovered...
had an sms from angie that kiddie k was in hospital for pneumonia and high fever while in BKK. :(
it is often worst for everybody when kiddies get sick. simple.
- they wont take the medication
- they spit out the medication
- they cry
- they fret
- they cling
- you worry
- you feel wretched and hope that you can take over their suffering
- you worry some more
- they cant sleep, you cant sleep
- you cant work
- they cant eat, you cant eat
- you really worry and think of all the unimaginables and hope that they'll never happen
the powers that be really ought to invent medication in the form of chewy jellybean bears, we parents will pay 10 times the money so that our kiddies will eat them with less fuss, and perhaps ask for a second helping, while we parents will have to gently tell them, "no, darling, you cant have more medicine."
Labels: to Despair
jaded too. like there is nothing new under the sun. i dont remember the last time actually feeling excited about anything about visiting a new country, tasting new food, seeing new sights. Happy, yes. Like visiting Yu Yuan in Shanghai, but excited? nahhh.
then it struck me, long gone are the days that i used to collect the boarding passes of places i've travelled to. these days, i almost lose them as soon as i get to my seat, or i use them as book marks for the book i happen to be reading on the plane, or whatever.
i dont even look out of the plane windows on approaching and landing any more too, other than to calculate how long before we disembark...
jaded. not just a song by areosmith. was it that sad a song too?
Labels: to Despair
BKK 13~16 Jun 06
was booked on 2-to-travel tix with my colleague. no mileage accumulation, and she couldnt stay longer in BKK without me staying too. DUMB, and it is not as if we had ever bothered to try to say money for travel. ARGH~
Watched 2 movies. the out trip was abt Leon Lai becoming a gigolo in Japan, interesting movie and i liked the dream scapes. Leon Lai should just stick to the low IQ roles from now on, just nice for the number of expressions he is capable on camera. the in trip was 13 going 30 with Jennifer Garner. i love the girl. it was a corny movie but i managed to laugh out loud twice, simultaneously annoying and scaring my travel companions at the same time. :D
Stayed at Swissotel Le Concorde which had mattress and pillows that were too hard, and only 1 pillow per bed, luckily i was given a twin bed room and i used both pillows, but darn, i'd much rather that it had been a queen bed with 2 pillows
It was really weird, the main hall had no waiting area with chairs, so we were forced to gather under a gigantic flower display on a huge round table while waiting for transport every morning. dumb dumb dumb
World Cup TV
Chang Beer actually sponsored free live world cup matches on free-to-air TV channels, and at least 1 channel for all matches. Cool that there were no crawler ads, no annoying logo at the top corner of screen. I didnt even mind the Thai commentary. The only prob was that ALLLLL the F-T-A channels were showing the Royal celebrations of the Thai King's 60th year of ascension to the throne the whole time from 9-12 Jun! groan.
We actually managed to accomplish more than we had expected (but less than we had hoped). Unforunately, a deal was loop-sided that 1 side gain more than the other even tho i was hoping to play fair, but what to do? i was out gunned and out numbered.
Met more customer big shots, Viet counterparts, and i'm going Vietnam next month... gotta get my vaccinations...
Drinking was Heavy as usual, red wine, whisky and brandy, bad.
Interestingly, the cute chubby victoria look alike at Exotica recognised me anda wanted me to pick her. bor pian, she wasnt picked by her mamasan to be presented to us. or maybe becos i havent forgotten how she commented that i had a nice watch the last time i was there....
One of the dinner was at Log House where they had different areas serving Tepanyaki, BBQ, sushi/ sashimi counter. We had the tepanyaki buffet set and ate it right in front of the TV, showing the Ecuador - Costa Rica match. Both were boring, with the food faring the poorer. Seriously, i dont get tepanyaki, chopped food sprinkled with salt and pepper and garlic and cooked over a hot plate with lots of chink-chink-chang-chang spatula and fork work with some acrobatic throw in... urgh.
Yakitori? grilled pieces on skewer with charred bits spinkled with salt? that i get. :D
Labels: to Travel
Monday, June 12, 2006
Another BKK trip
And then the weekend burnt to prepare for presentation on Mon to big shot, unless i somehow manage to finish the presentation while in BKK... which means lugging lots of stuff there.
AND the worst bit... no world cup in the hotel that i'll be putting up in. GROAN.
Not a happy camper. :(
Labels: to Travel
Friday, June 09, 2006
Cold crab dinner
An air-con'd eatery at level 1 of a row of 2 storey shop houses, right in the middle of those where the 1st 2 serves teochew porridge in the dead of the night for pp after pub/ ktv hours.
- 2 pcs Cold crab with lots of roe (YUM YUM YUM)
- prawn roll
- pork rib
- oyster omelette (YUM YUM)
- steam fish
- small fried hokkien mee
- Or-nee deset
- rice and tea for 6 adults
all came up to less than S$130. good deal. gonna go back for the cold crab alone another day
pity E and I had to miss the finale of 至尊红颜 for the dinner tho, but no fight lah, good food always wins. :)
Labels: to Eat Drink Party
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Also discussed the possibility of Chronic Fatique Syndrome with the doc since i get "nap attacks" for times when my body system shut down, which may take me out for anything between 3 to 6 hours.
But doc says that the underlying courses of CFS run into the 100s and the symtoms must be present persistently for over a month; and for pp my profile, he thinks it must be stress + not enough rest + overworked induced migraine and fatique, and advised me to take a break.
a.... B R E A K ?
hmmph. right. i also know how to say.
Labels: to Despair
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Great Singapore Sale
oh bummer, there isnt a 15% discount at Times for Amext cards when i got there. X(
anyways, i still had my Times card which gave me 10% off, so since i was there...
and i bought a few books:
1. Elements of Style - A must have guide book for writers, as recommended by Stephan King
2. The Nasty Bits - I enjoyed Kitchen Confidential, and am not about to miss the chance of getting the low down on the food business
3. My Friend Leonard - I enjoyed A Thousand Pieces and liked Leonard
4. The Hungry Years - More expose! even on the atkin diet.
Total damage $69
There was a promo for scratch and win card which you can get 20%, 30% or 50% discount cards for every $30 nett spending, and I got TWO 50% discount cards!
The counter staff even commented on how lucky i was :D
And then i passed by G2000 where Amex card holders get additional 15% discount on top of store discount. Nipped in and bought a pair of black pants, a grey skirt and a pink knit top. Total damage $83, but E may not ask me to pay him back for the charges on the Amex he supped to me :D
But dunno why, i'm getting more joy from the 4 books then the 3 articles of clothings, even tho i might get the latter for free...
Labels: to Shop Buy
Thursday, June 01, 2006
- an interview
- meeting with lawyer
- meeting with prospective partner
- meeting with sales team
it is gonna be a whole week, ok whole WORK week, in BKK from 12-6-06 which i am not relishing... :(
on the other hand, i might be able to cramp some exercise time there if the hotel gym has cycling machines, was told by Philip from SgRunners that this might help with the ankle rehab while training the quads.
always look for the silver lining... :)
Labels: to Travel