Foodnotes

Happy meal #3

Pasta is always the easiest meal to cook when you are lazy and dying of hunger. Right?

Well, not quite, when you are a resident of the east end.

One evening, we decided to whip up a fairly simple Bolognaise. We marinated the minced beef, chopped up the tomatoes, carrots, onions and chorizos, and boiled the pasta. Throw all the ingredients into one big pot, toss in a can of tomatoes and cook.

Except we went a wee bit overboard with our ingredients and had to exert some amount of effort to stir the mixture so that the beef doesn’t stick to the pot. Also, we added in a tad too much water and had to simmer it for a bit longer than expected so that we won’t be drinking soup.

The end result: a really fugly looking Linguini Bolognaise.

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We ended up with a mountain of ingredients AND a mountain of pasta swimming in tomato sauce. But as fugly as it was, the meal was yummy and extremely balanced.

I love cooking our own meals!

Arts & Entertainment, Everything Else

Coldplay after one month

Okay, so the photos didn’t turn out very nice. Boo. And I am very late in recording this recap. But one month on, I daresay that I am still thrilled by the concert. It was like a huge karaoke party, with everyone up on their feet, singing along with Chris Martin and bouncing up and down on their seats.

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The group first appeared behind a screen, silhouetted by the bright yellow lights and waving sparklers. Little excited me screamed my heart out, wondering what song they would open their gig with. It was…”Life in Technicolour”, one of my favourite tracks on the album!

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Coldplay didn’t disappoint at all. Chris Martin said all the right (cheeky) things, did all the right (hilarious) actions and sang all the right (amazing) songs. He jumped, he jammed, he waved and he pranced. It was electrifying to hear him sing live and equally mesmerizing to see the band play live.

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Hearing all my favourite tunes live was just a fantastic experience. The changes they added to the melody and harmony, the charming stage presence of Chris Martin and the cool backdrop and effects all added to the experience. And of course, when bright yellow balloons floated down onto the audience for – you guessed it – “Yellow”, I cheered and cheered even though the balloons never reached me (I’m still feeling aggrieved) and the stunt was used for their previous “Twisted Logic” concert. Who cares? It’s still awesome, three years on!

And just like three years ago, I waited and waited for two favourite Coldplay songs to be played and they never did. Resigned to the fact that they were not part of the playlist, I jumped onto Mr Thick and almost burst into tears when I realised that they had left it to the end as encore: “The Scientist” and “Lovers in Japan”.

Was it any surprise, then, that nobody wanted to leave the stadium? Instead, we all sat around and sang “oh oh oh oh oh” and relished our Coldplay dream, almost as if we were sitting around an intimate campfire.

Viva La Vida!

Arts & Entertainment, Everything Else

Do you hear the people sing?

Earlier this week, I was humbled by one Susan Boyle. By now, everyone should know that she is the wonder woman who stunned all and sundry with her amazing rendition of “I dreamed a dream” from the musical Les Miserables.

I confess to being one of those who cast a glance at her frumpy appearance and wondered what she was doing on national television. But having spread through the Internet like a wildfire, I should have reckoned that she was nothing short of inspirational. From the moment the first notes floated out, I was wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Her voice is so beautiful and clear and pure. It was a voice that all choristers would love to have by the time we hit 40. And here is Susan Boyle, singing effortlessly under that curly mop of hair that reminded me of the hobbits.

It was brilliant.

Consequently, I felt ashamed that I had judged her by her looks alone. It was truly a lesson learned. In addition, her video also revived my love for this emotional and heart-wrenching musical. I remember watching it when I was 13 or so. I sat in those seats that could induce a nose bleed and watched intently as the musical unfolded.

I fell in love.

I cried when Eponine sacrificed herself for Marius. I sobbed when Javert couldn’t reconcile his upright ways with his morals after being rescued by Valjean and threw himself into the river Seine. I sniffed when cheeky Gavroche had his life snuffed out mercilessly. I wept when Valjean died with the ghostly Fantine, Cosette and Marius by his side.

It brought out emotions that no movie or musical or song had ever done and after that, the scenes of Eponine singing “On My Own” and “Don’t you fret, Monsieur Marius” kept replaying in my mind. I never did liked Cosette much, she was too dull and good and had too little personality or colour for me to like her. Eponine, on the other hand, led a wretched life and had an unfair ending to her life. She loved and lost and felt and cried.

We’re off to catch Cats this coming Sunday but honestly, the musical that I would really love to immerse myself into again is Les Miserables.

The organised chaos

Snipety snip

Four hours and two cups of hot green tea later, it’s gone.

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The unruly curls. The heavy tendrils. The exploding volume.

Replaced by lightness and neatness and bluntness.

Ah, the perils of being born into this family. All of us cousins have the thick, wiry and wavy hair that my grandmother had and which my hairstylist gleefully proclaims is his favourite to work with. Even today, our mothers have lost none of their voluminous manes.

I was immensely tempted to go all Agyness Deyn/Twiggy but chickened out at the last minute. Maybe next time?

Friends

Say what?

Here’s a reason why I love my friends so much: our nonsensical ramblings. On a recent email discussion about the upcoming trip to watch Cats, here is what we had to say.

Skunk: Can’t wait to listen to all the familiar songs again! Who am I? Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!!

Wayne: uhm….u got the wrong musical? u just sang starlight express songs lor…

Skunk: My bad. Lemme recall another song from Cats.

No more talk of darkness,
Forget this wide eye fears.
I’m here, with you beside you,
To hold you and to guide you.

Wayne: much better. u really should brush up on ur musicals…

Jane: I know the ultimate song…

“are we human, or are we dancer…”
and i can so imagine christine singing to it.
i love CATS!

Me: imagine christine singing and playing the drums at the same time…wahahaha!

Wayne: she can bang on my drums anytime…

Jane: cool we’ll provide her metal sticks…

Skunk: Who is this Christine?

Bryan: Erm, the Phantom?

Skunk: Oh, I prefer Eponine.

Jane: Please, I am sure your favourite is the apparition of Fantine

Skunk: And urs is the Obildo…the stage hand that was hung by the phantom before he kidnapped Christine.

Jane: my apologies. i mean the pet monkey in phantom that ‘died’ at the end of the show.

Me: i like the monkey in the music box that goes round and round…he has got so much character and he acted very well.

Skunk: See? A fellow admirer too. Too much rave about phantom/Christine/raoul…monkey was actually the pivotal role in the entire musical. He was the only companion of phantom…the only “person” who did not judge him on his appearance…the only one who accepted him as an individual and not a monster.

Foodnotes

Happy meal #2

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I’ve always loved American style breakfasts. In fact, I used to pester Mr Thick to go for all-day brunch with me during the weekend but invariably, we either had no means of transport or we (read: I) would wake up too late to want to venture out of our separate homes.

Now that I have my own home, voila! Mini portobello mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and an egg, topped with freshly ground black pepper and basil leaves. Yums.