Arts & Entertainment, Everything Else

The Time Traveler’s Wife movie

Four years ago, almost to the day, I wrote about a book which had left me completely enthralled and intrigued. Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife made me smile and it made me cry and I have carried a torch for it ever since.

Four years later, Hollywood’s adaptation has finally been completed. Starring Rachel McAdams as Clare and Eric Bana as the time travelling Henry, the news of the movie had made me ponder about how I would feel about seeing these characters on screen. It sounds mildly obsessive but it honestly pains me to see my favourite books mangled on the big screen (Harry Potter, anyone?). Elegant, flowing prose and a lively imagination can sometimes be a better companion than the loud explosions of Hollywood.

But from the looks of the trailer, I can honestly say that I am thrilled and looking forward to the movie. The casting is perfect – McAdams looks beautifully luminous and fragile and strong, all at the same time, while Bana is a compelling mix of masculinity and pain. I’m hoping that the movie won’t be a soppy, watery affair but will, instead, express the complexities of the De Tambles’ relationship and the intelligent writing of Niffenegger.

Photography, The organised chaos

The story of how I fell…

…down the stairs.

One fine and balmy Thursday evening (ie. this evening), I was on my way to the gym at The Cathay when, inspired by the beautiful sunset, I decided to whip out my Holga and snap a few shots.

I was so taken by the view in front of me that I failed to look beneath my feet. If I had, I would have noticed that I was standing on the precipice of a flight of stairs. But I wasn’t looking and this was how I missed the step and tumbled down.

With one hand holding on to my precious plastic camera and the other clutching my shoe bag, I watched in dismay as my foot fell and landed on its ankle. As it twisted, my mind went blank and I could only sit down in despair when it was finally over in, oh, three seconds.

Nobody came to my rescue, nobody helped me up as I sat on the stairs in shock. I finally gathered my wits and grabbed my phone to call the husband. As I spoke to him in near hysterics, he asked, are you laughing or crying? That made me even more hysterical and I promptly burst into tears.

I’ll be right there as soon as I finish this, he said.

I sat down on the steps, all silly and teary-eyed when I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and took the photos that I had meant to take.

Thankfully, Popartgirl was nearby and quickly came to my rescue by taking me to the gym where a pack of ice was procured. Even now, the ankle is still swollen, still in pain and still wrapped in ice.

What a doofus I am!

At least it was a gorgeous sunset…


Cookies epic FAIL

So. Popartgirl and I tried to make choc chip cookies one Saturday evening. It turned out like that. We were greedy and chucked big lumps of cookie dough onto the baking tray. And instead of many cookies, we had one big cookie.

But it’s all good. For our second batch, we grew a bit smarter and spaced them out further and they looked and smelt wonderful!

The cookies, based on Ann’s recipe, turned out to be deliciously sweet and moist. We used about 1/4 cup less sugar and it still tasted sweet, probably due to the huge amounts of chocolate chip that we used, and I think we could use less. We also added a packet of pecan nuts, which added a nice crunch to the cookies. The recipe yielded almost 30 cookies.

We like very much!


Happy meal #7: Familiar favourites

My mum is an awesome cook and I used to be spoilt silly by her food when I was still living with her. I took it for granted that she would always be feeding me and never stopped to appreciate her efforts.

Now that I have moved out, I started craving for the food that she cooks. One of my favourites (never realised it till now!) is actually chicken stir-fried in dark soya sauce and ginger. It’s deceptively simple but the taste is so delicious, especially when you are having it pipping hot late at night. Deciding to arm myself with the ability to recreate it at home, I gave my mum a ring and got her to share the recipe with me.

I haven’t stated the amount of dark soya sauce – like many cooks of her generation, she doesn’t measure out her ingredients but adds them based on instinct. She told me to add according to my preferences and I did just that. I used drumlets out of convenience but you can use any other parts.

The result? Not quite as tasty as mama’s but it’s a start!

What you need (serves two):

  • * 1 packet of drumlets
    * 1 small ginger – julienned
    * 1 clove of garlic – crushed and chopped
    * 1 tsp of corn flour
    * Dark soya sauce
    * Cooking oil (I use olive oil since the temperature won’t get too high)
    * 1/2 cup water
  • Marinade:

  • * 1 tbsp sesame oil
    * 1 tbsp light soya sauce
    * A dash of pepper
    * A dash of salt
  • Directions:

  • * Marinate the chicken and leave it for about 30 minutes.
    * Heat the oil up in the wok.
    * Add the garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant.
    * Add the chicken drumlets and fry for about 5 to 8 minutes.
    * Pour in the water and stir the drumlets around.
    * Add dark soya sauce.
    * Mix the corn flour with a bit of water and then swirl it into the chicken.
    * Cook for another 5 minutes till it simmers and reduces to a thicker consistency.
  • Little Miss Shopaholic

    Club 21 spoils

    This is long overdue but one fine afternoon, I took off from work to meet the cousins for lunch and a spot of shopping. Our destination? The famous Club21 Bazaar at Pit Stop Building.

    Because it was a Friday afternoon, the crowd wasn’t as unbearable as we had expected. The room was divided into two parts: the more affordable lines like CK, A/X, DKNY and Diesel in one and the higher end labels like Marc Jacobs, Maison Martin Margiela (swoons) and Comme des Garcons (swoons!).

    I saw several weird and wonderful CdG pieces but at sizes 40 to 44, they were too big. There were lovely Marc by Marc Jacobs overcoats too but I didn’t think it was practical to buy them, as much as I loved them.

    In the end, I went home with A/X wares and two shirts for Mr Thick. I also managed to get my hands on something I had desired for the longest time. Here’s a clue:

    This is what happiness is:

    Wellies! I had spied these lying in the bin at the children’s section and fished out the biggest pair. To my joy, they fit perfectly, were really cheap at $30 and I promptly chucked them into my shopping bag. The cousins were baffled but as they were used to me wearing weird stuff, they soon forgot about it.

    Another of my spoils is this feminine v-neck blouse from A/X. I liked its gentle ruffles at the neckline and the pretty mix of gold and beige.


    Happy meal #6: Three course meal

    Hello there. If you are looking for yAnn’s emo rantings, I am sorry to tell you that this site has warped into itrytocookdotcom. In my efforts to become the next Martha Stewart, I have compartmentalised all other emotions in order to cook and clean efficiently.

    Har har.

    It’s more like I am so lacking in sleep, in between the husband’s voluminous snoring and his ridiculous attempts to hijack my blanket in the middle of the night, that I cannot summon the energy to write.

    But I do try to cook as often as I can – I find it extremely therapeutic, even if the end result is, shall we say, surprising. And one afternoon, with Mr Thick at work and my nose being blocked to the point where the doctor was helpless, I decided to cook.

    The first course was cream of mushroom, a favourite of mine. I used this recipe from All Recipes, adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce (yum) into my concoction.

    The main course was prawn aglio olio, which is quick to prepare. Or so I thought. Being ambitious (a little like trying to run before you can walk), I decided to give w’s recipe, which I had always admired, a go. So there I was, boiling the prawn heads into a tasty stock so that I could use it to cook the pasta later. And then as I was boiling the pasta in water, I forgot about that step and cooked it to al dente perfection – which meant that after I had tossed the pasta into the pot with the stock, it became soggy. Fail. Luckily, the taste was still pretty decent despite the mushy pasta.

    For desserts, I was inspired by Curtis Stone’s Homemade Waffles with Caramelised Apples on one episode of his show, Take Home Chef. Since we don’t have a waffle maker at home, I replaced waffles with pancakes, using Jamie Oliver’s recipe – the best of both worlds!

    Now, all I need is a long weekend for me to try whipping up a three-course meal again.


    15 things in June: Lula

    I finally sat down and finished my stockpile of magazines on a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Project 10 Things has now officially graduated to Project 15 Things in June!

    I should have had more photos in the lomo but I stupidly opened the back of the camera before rewinding the film back into the cannister so I think I have just lost 36 pictures. Sigh. Got another roll just now and will be loading it into my Holga. Fingers crossed, this should be fun!

    Arts & Entertainment, Photography

    Day at the National Museum

    So the trip to catch the Christian Lacroix exhibition was an epic fail. We got to the National Museum at almost 5pm and was informed by the staff that the exhibition was closed due to “special programming”. Meh.

    I was already in a foul mood and this made me even more annoyed. I stomped around the museum, convinced that there was nothing that could possibly interest me.

    Ah, how wrong I was.

    The second floor of the museum housed the different Singapore Living Galleries, showcasing the history and culture behind our local fashion, food, film and photography. Needless to say, the fashion gallery was my favourite. Looking at the various genres of designs and the different textures of textiles gave me heart palpitations.

    The museum was relatively quiet but it was a peaceful and beautiful sort of silence. Entry to the galleries is free so do go on and have a look!

    Couldn’t resist a reflection shot

    Traditional Chinese medicine

    Vintage wedding dress. Love the lace!

    Chinese opera figurines

    More in my flickr set.

    Arts & Entertainment, Little Miss Shopaholic

    Kids these days

    When I was 12, I was busy skipping recess so that I could play “zero-point” with my classmates. In class, I would be reading a book hidden below my desk during Mathematics lessons because I just couldn’t care less about multiplication. When I got home, my darling mama would rub off that smudge of dirt on my cheek in exasperation.

    At 15, I was in the “act cool” phase. I refused to carry a backpack because I thought it was a very nerdy thing to do. After school, I would go to MacDonald’s at Far East Plaza (that’s how old I am) to grab a strawberry sundae with my friends. I would make notes in my Literature texts in different colours: green representing envy, blue is MacBeth, pink is Lady MacBeth, black for the witches etc.

    When I was 12, I was not into fashion. I didn’t know who Coco Chanel was and was wearing my sister’s hand-me-downs most of the time. At 15, I practically lived in jeans and was reliant on my sister’s assessment of what was cool and what wasn’t.

    So when I got to Tavi’s blog, I was amazed: she’s a teeny tiny 12-year-old who writes like a seasoned pro and has the most marvellous dress sense! She’s so cool that the sisters behind the super fab Rodarte spent a day with her when she was in their neck of the woods recently, and gifted her with coveted items from their collection.

    Gosh! When I was 12, I was writing inane things like “Roses are red/Violets are blue/Sugar is sweet/And so are you” in autograph books. Tavi, on the other hand, is waxing lyrical about fashion design and artistry.

    Another genius is 15-year-old Kristin, the editor of the online Prim magazine.

    Yes, you read me right. Editor.

    The mag is brilliant! I love the styling, the photography and the general vibe of it. In fact, I think it’s so much more edgy and fashion forward than some of our local reads, which tend to pepper their fashion spreads with big labels. Kristin probably has a team of super stylish and artistic fashionistas working with her but as editor, I am pretty sure that every story idea and every storyboard goes through her before it gets published.

    I am seriously impressed. They are so savvy and smart and sassy.

    Excuse me while I pick up my jaw from the floor.

    Prim cover


    10 things in May: Bedtime story

    I’ve been really busy with work, gym and east end so posts have been reduced to a mere trickle.

    I really do like this picture. It makes me feel like I am opening up an intimate part of my world to you and yet it’s not too revealing. Plus, the lighting in our room makes it look quite romantic.

    I have been rereading my Harry Potter series of books so that I won’t be lost by the time the movie “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is on the big screen. I did weep a little towards the end and I have no doubt I will shed more tears during the movie, if the movie is as good as the trailers make it seem.

    Horcruxes, anyone?