Foodnotes, Two of Us


It irritates me that he almost never plans dates. But then, serendipity can be fun too.

We killed our initial plan to head down to Sentosa, due to the hot weather. Just when I thought we would end up in a shopping mall, I remembered that there was Flea-tique at the Singapore Art Museum.

Once there, however, the sticky humidity killed my eagerness to hunt for a bargain (although I did buy a vintage pin and a beaded necklace). We dove back into the air-conditioning comforts and checked out theAlain Fleischer: Time Exposures exhibition (his b/w works are brilliant) instead.

!(imgcenter) Haven)!:

I have been good to my bank account, so I figured I should buy my favourite guy dinner at Absolute Haven (70 Prinsep Street). It was highly recommended on foodie forums and it was near the SAM so we took a leisurely stroll over.

!(imgcenter) rose)!:

Verdict: hits and misses. The ambience was nice: a cosy nook located on a quiet street in the city. Service was flawless too. But the food was inconsistent. The Spinach and Wild Mushrooms Salad ($8) starter was a yummy choice. The mushroom soup ($6.90), though, wasn’t his cup of tea. It had chunky bits of mushroom, which was good, but it was too bland. He wasn’t too keen on my main, the Seafood Risotto Rice ($22), either. The murky seafood taste was overpowering and the octopus pieces were tough. But I liked that the rice had flavour, unlike the tasteless risotto served up by rival restaurants. The favourite of the day was his main, the Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb ($22). It was juicy, tender, the flavours (and decadent fat) bursting with every bite.

!(imgcenter), toys, toys!)!:

Then, we were off to the Singapore Toy and Comic Convention! There were lots of excited fanboys but I’m not much of a toy fan and was just there to ooh and aah at the exhibits. The Domuya reminded me of Lester’s beloved Sharon, who is a devoted collector. And when I saw the Oyako Tofu, I thought immediately of Mel and her recent purchase. I almost caved and bought Tofu and Tokidoki tee-shirts but thankfully, common sense prevailed (I don’t wear tees) and I kept my wallet safely in my bag.

It didn’t stay in there for long, though, because when we went to Marina Square, I got myself a pair of Diesel vintage-esque high heels. I hardly wear heels and those were killer heels so common sense basically flew out of the window. But then again, I have been eyeing those chunky T-bar heels for the longest time and they were on 70% discount. Savings, no?

Maybe when we are married with kids, these dates will be far and few. Right now, I am just happy to indulge in the present.

And no, “impromptu-ness” is not really a word.


Happiness is….

!(imgcenter) glazed, and a cuppa tea)!:

Munching on an original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut, with a cuppa tea, while reading the newspapers.

Much love goes out to Sazza, who braved a typhoon in Hongkers to deliver my half-dozen box of doughnuts! She was trapped at the airport with six boxes of these babies while the storm raged outside. And when she finally landed, she managed to stuff the box into her utility Agnes b bag to bring me, in her words, “a slice of heaven”. I haven’t had it for almost a year now and I absolutely miss it!

And I was so happy to see her after a long hiatus. Get rid of Hongkers and come back here!

I’m happy. 🙂
What a great way to start my weekend!

The organised chaos, Werk

Faltering, faulty, flawed

Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

– J K Rowling, in her commencement speech to a group of over-achievers known as Harvard graduates.

It’s all too easy to dismiss Rowling’s words, really. Afterall, she is a millionaire many times over and is one of the world’s best-selling author. What does she know about poverty and hardship and life’s disappointments?

I’m cynical, and the older I get, the more jaded I become.

Today, I truly felt like a failure. After six months at this job, I wonder if I have become any better at it. Failure is not something I am used to in my career. In my past two jobs, my bosses have liked my work, they had great plans for my career and they tried to get me to stay on when I decided to leave. Three months into the job, I became proficient at what I was doing, such that they were contented to leave me to my own devices, knowing that I would produce the quality of work they had come to expect from me. They spoke of plans to groom me to be an editor, to run the show myself. And I gave it all up for a dream.

A dream that’s fast unravelling. Like Rowling, I am terrified of failure. That’s what poverty does to you. You grow an extra thick and long spine but you also develop a heightened fear of failure, of remaining poor.

What do I fear most in life? I fear not having enough money to give my children the life that I had and never had. I fear being apathetic, to the point that I can’t see love or passion in any of the things I do, encounter and feel. I fear losing my loved ones.

And most importantly, I fear that the problem lies with me. That it’s me who is never satisfied. That no matter how hard I look, it is never good enough. All I want is to do something that I genuinely enjoy, to know that my work is valued and appreciated by my superiors, a job that gives me healthy challenges and yet respects me enough to allow me to have the privacy of my “me” time, something that gives me profound job satisfaction.

Maybe being a failure, like Rowling says, is not a thing to be feared at all. Failure does force you sit down and strip away the layers of lies, excuses and reasons that you concoct to pull yourself through. And perhaps through this, I can find my way.

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

Jason Mraz is brilliant. I haven’t felt this way in a long, long while now.

The organised chaos

Nerdin’ out on weddings

Bedtime reading

These days, forget about Neil Gaiman or Haruki Murakami – the only words I am reading are off the computer (ie. blogs, blogs, blogs) and glossy pages of magazines. More specifically, magazines of the bridal and interior design sort. Oh, plus Nylon and US Vogue. But these are usually swallowed up by the mountain of InStyle Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings (the bible of all Weddings), Square Rooms, Home & Decor and Domino. Plus, my train/bus rides are now taken up by Scott Mills‘ podcasts (trust me, when your days are filled with stress, listening to him, Chappers and Beccy before work can make a whole lot of difference) so there is no room for any sort of reading.

I comfort myself by thinking that this level of shallowness is not permanent – once we get onto our minimoon, sipping iced tea by the pool under the warm sun, the books are coming right out of the cupboard with me for a tan.

In other news, I am happy to report that the last fashion-y purchase that I had made was almost a month back, on May 28. Then, I had snagged two gorgeous dresses from GG>5 for the princely sum of $51.25. That’s the advantage of getting married and preparing for a new home. You feel so acutely for your bank account that you don’t really fancy splashing out more cash for anything else. The only flaw in this theory is that your bank account really does decrease dramatically anyway.

And oh, I am heading for the great wintry Gold Coast a week from now and I have no winter wear in my wardrobe. If I had thought that Shanghai was cold, I think I am in for a freezing ride.

Two of Us



They don’t know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I’ll wait for you I promise you, I will

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
Lucky we’re in love every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

I just love Jason Mraz, don’t you?
Min says the song reminds her of us – happy, breezy, laid back.
Really great tonic for an emotionally draining day at work.

Wedding March

Crazy and in love

!(imgcenter) sleep)!:

I’m not working because I am busy admiring myself.
I mean, come on, the pictures taken by Ead are like, how gorgeous! And he makes me look super gorgeous glamorous too. My colleagues couldn’t believe that it’s me, since I’m always in my specs, shorts/jeans and teeshirts (with no makeup) at work. Granted, I do look like a vampire in some shots (I had a makeup trial right before the shoot) but overall, I have to say that the makeup looks pretty good.

And we did have so much fun! I was remarking to the boyf that it was a good thing we did the engagement shoot because it’s helped us articulate how much we love each other. We know we love each other but sometimes, we don’t show it openly and this shoot has made us realise just how crazy in love we are.

I’m going to stop talking and continue admiring myself. Thank you Ead for making us look so pretty (I feel pretty, and witty and light!)!

!(imgcenter) room)!:

!(imgcenter) out loud)!:

Two of Us, Wedding March

For better, for worse

Today, I understood why human beings need to have someone to rely on in their lives. And today, I came to realise how strong a wedding vow can be.

I woke up several times in the dark of the night to empty the contents of my stomach. At three in the morning, sitting on the bathroom floor and vomiting my guts out is definitely not my idea of fun. I didn’t say a word to my mother, who was leaving on her holiday, because I didn’t want her to worry. But after she had left, the sinking feeling of being utterly sick and alone hit me hard but all I could do was burrow deep into my covers and hope that it would go away.

It didn’t. I rang the slumbering boyf, who was clearly too muddled with sleep to respond to the urgency of my voice. In despair, I tried to will the chills away but when it showed no signs of ending, I called the boyf again and burst into tears.

“I’ll come over as soon as I can,” he promised.

And he did. I couldn’t stop crying, partly because of the discomfort and mostly because I was just so glad to be in the arms of someone who loved and cared for me. He got me food, stroked my back when I was back in front of the toilet bowl hurling the contents of of my tummy out and held my hand as I walked slowly to see the doctor. Without him, I wouldn’t have summoned the strength to do all that.

Back home, he sat down at the foot of my bed and waited patiently while I slumbered. For two hours, he sat there mucking around with his BundBook and everytime I opened my eyes, he was just there. His silent presence gave me strength and I started to feel much better, as mushy as it sounds. Plus, the various calls and text messages I got from my friends made me feel loved.

For better, for worse.

This may not be the worst “worse” that we will encounter in our future but right now, his unflinching support while I’m bent over the loo takes the cake.