Arts & Entertainment

Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep”

Haven’t been updating much because there’s been so much happening in my life over the past week! There’s the Big News – the Twitterverse will know what I mean – and then we had the workers come in on Friday to put together our new-ish kitchen and living room. Loads of scrubbing and cleaning ensued.

And, not to forget, I also caught Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows not once but TWICE. And I loved every minute, so much so that I am dying to watch it a third time. But more on that later.

I’m pooped! (And not in the loo kinda way, if you know what I mean.)

But. I just want to share with you this beautiful, beautiful piece of music that I once had the immense pleasure of performing.

When we first got to know Eric Whitacre back in 2002, we knew he was some kind of superstar in the music world but we didn’t realise just exactly how famous he was. The songs that he composed were all amazing and so very different from the ones we were used to singing. They were poetic, beautifully discordant, angelic, vibrant, calm, lilting…everything a chorister could hope for in a song. And luckily for Chorale, he was in Singapore just to conduct us.

He came down for the practices and was charming, friendly and extremely funny. There were no airs, no diva behaviour, no tantrums and threats that we had grown used to with our conductor. His equally talented wife Hila was similarly warm and goofy.

That concert back in 2002 will always remain one of the highlights of my choral journey and this song will always be one of the best pieces that I have ever sung.

Harnessing the power of social media, he gathered almost 2,000 singers in 58 countries, had them sing and upload their parts (soprano, alto, tenor or bass) individually onto YouTube. The result: this wonderful virtual choir singing “Sleep”.

And here’s pictorial proof that we really, REALLY sang under his baton.

Eric Whitacre

Surely all memories should be made of stuff like that.



We love Loysel’s Toy

After months of inaction and lazing like pigs on weekends, we finally mustered up the energy to go explore our little red dot of a city and check out new places to hang out at.

This means that we finally got to have a cup of coffee at Loysel’s Toy!

Yes, months after everyone’s raved about it. We are a bit slow. What to do, this is what you get what you are dealing with old farts like us.

Anyway, the verdict is: we love that place! The coffee is excellent and none too pricey, the desserts are yummy, the little cafe is cosy and warm. The only problem is that it is ALWAYS full when we are there on Sunday afternoons. And because it is so COSY! and so WARM!, people tend to chill out there and not leave.

And because the caffeine fix is so brilliantly fragrant and smooth, I don’t think I can ever get myself a cup of Starbucks coffee again. Shudders.

Neither of us brought our cameras – silly cows – and so we shot with the best camera available: our iPhones.

Waiting for our coffee
Flat white at Loysel's Toy
Lemon tart at Loysel's Toy

Happy meal #33: Cheesy pork chops with spicy apples

I like buying pork chops (not my darling nephew, the piggy sort) and storing them in the freezer because pork chop can be the easiest meal to make. I tested this recipe twice and both times it didn’t fail me so I’m thinking that this is a pass!

The preparation can be a pain in the arse – you need to peel and slice the onions, peel and slice the apples, fry here fry there. But really, it wasn’t too difficult. I was just a little grumpy since the weather was nauseatingly humid and I almost melted over the stove on those two evenings after work. Husband liked it and if the carnivore says it’s good, it’s good.

Cheesy pork chops with spicy apples
Adapted from here

What you need

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • A pinch of chili powder (I used S&B nanami)
  • 1/2 apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pork chops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Olive oil

How to make

  • Bash the pork chops with a heavy pan. Season with salt and pepper, set aside
  • Put a grill pan on high heat
  • On a separate frying pan, melt the butter with some olive oil over medium heat
  • Fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add apple slices and sprinkle chili powder
  • Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, put the chops into the grill pan and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on one side
  • Flip the chops onto the other side, arrange onions and apples on top and then cover with cheese
  • Cover the grill pan and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes

Cheesy Pork Chops with Spicy Apples

Eschewing our usual staple of rice, I decided to make garlic aglio olio with the wheat angel hair pasta that I had in the cupboard. Erm, well. That wasn’t a success because I was going a bit mad trying to cook two things at the same time. Added a wee bit too much garlic and fried it for a bit too long. Gah.

Arts & Entertainment

An “awww” U2 moment

Blind U2 fan teaches himself to play the guitar while listening to U2 music. He goes to a U2 concert in Nashville, carrying a sign that says “blind guitar player”. U2 plays encore and prepares to go off stage. But. Bono stops, and gets fan up on stage. Gives the fan his very own acoustic guitar (one of 13 in the world, no less) and performs “All I want is You” with fan. Band joins in. Song ends, Bono gives guitar to fan. Crowd goes wild.

This is why the world needs people like Bono. Amazing stuff, I had tears in my eyes.

Everything Else

Capture the Everyday: Celebrating Freedom

I have always enjoyed the Capture the Everyday series on Lady J’s blog and thought I’d jump in as well. It’d be a nice repository of memories and moments. If anything, it may very well force me to take more photos, which is always a good thing!


Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

Capture the Everyday is about getting you to capture those everyday moments in your life! Each Thursday, Mel from Adventuroo will issue a simple challenge to capture something that’s a part of your daily life. It’s a quick, easy way to start capturing those little parts of life we sometimes take for granted.


This week’s assignment: Celebrating freedom

I come from a pretty traditional Chinese family, where the Self often comes second to the Family or the Society. It’s rather Confucian in that sense, which is hardly surprising given that I live in Singapore.

When I got married and moved out of my Mom’s flat and into our own, I felt a certain sense of liberation. Oh, it’s not that I didn’t love my Mommy or that living with her was a pain. Having Mommy around definitely had its perks: breakfast was lovingly prepared every morning, dinner was kept warm for me after work, I always had freshly laundered clothes. But moving out made me a more responsible adult and suddenly, I could do things that I couldn’t do in my mama’s house.

Such as cook. Bake. Play music and dance in the living room. Walk around in my underpants. Buy clothes and shoes without sneaking around. Enjoy a glass of wine in solitude. Put up a Christmas tree. Adopt two crazy funny cats.

So yes, everything that I do today which I never did before is a little celebration of the freedom that I got from moving out and growing into my own person.

Our estate, all lit up in the evening
Our first Christmas tree
Had a glass of my favourite Moscato on a sunny Sunday on the balcony
Health Goddess

Step by step guide to spawning

When people who are fertile maximus try to propagate, here’s what they have to do:

1. Shag
2. Go on with their lives
3. Do not get their periods on time
4. Pee on a stick and behold! two lines!
5. See their obstetrician on their 6th week of pregnancy

When reproductively challenged people try to spawn, this is what they have to do:

1. Shag
2. Shag
3. Shag
4. Hmm, shag?
5. Start taking BBT every morning
6. Examine cervical mucus in great detail and curiosity. Is it EW consistency?
7. See gynaecologist and horrors! no can haz baby for free?
8. Embark on life as a hormonally charged cow with little white pills or injections
9. IUI
10. Bedrest – no activities that might shake/frighten/push/jiggle/kill potential babies
11. Strictly no caffeine, no alcohol, no spicy food, no raw food ie. nothing that might poison potential babies
12. Pee on x number of sticks
13. Google “5dpIUI symptoms” and “cramping backache nausea” obsessively
14. Period arrives. Cry heart out at failed attempt
15. Retry steps 8 to 13
16. Cry heart out at failed attempt
17. Rinse, repeat x number of times
18. Give up weak attempts, let’s bring out the big guns! IVF, here we come
19. Turn stomach into pincushion and jab continuously for X number of days
20. Jab twice a day. May or may not feel sickly and pukey and exhausted
21. Get stabbed by IV and go under for doctor to suck out eggs from the ovaries
22. Worry obsessively about whether eggs are getting it on with sperm in petrie dish
23. Expose nekkid bottom to all and sundry as fertilized embryos get sent back to Camp Womb
24. Bedrest – no activities that might shake/frighten/push/jiggle/kill potential babies
25. Strictly no caffeine, no alcohol, no spicy food, no raw food ie. nothing that might poison potential babies
26. Google “spotting 5dp3dt” obsessively
27. Stick little white pills or tubes up the vajayjay day and night
28. Pee on x number of sticks
29. Period arrives OR go for blood test
30. Cry heart out at failed attempt
31. Check bank account for money left (if any)
32. Go back to the doctor and arrange for another cycle
33. Live like a normal person for a while
34. Repeat steps 19 to 28

No wonder we are all stressed!

Two of Us

Married life #17

One night in the bedroom…

Me: (looking at my reflection) Ooh I think my butt is pretty nice.
Him: (obsessing over his iPhone) Mmm.
Me: Don’t you think so?
Him: Yeah. Just get it a little more toned and you’ll be fine.
Me: I need to get my ass toned?!
Him: Yeah.
Me: WTF. Coming from you?!
Him: You said it yourself! You told me you have cellulite.
Me: I said my thighs are cellulite-y.
Him: Oh. Same same.
Me: Same same, my ass!!

You be teh judge.

Krabi 2010, courtesy of the ARSEHOLE.

Foodnotes, Two of Us

Saturday in pictures

Our weekends have been chockfull of activities recently. There seems to be so much to do and so many new places to check out. It’s tiring but I love it because it makes me feel alive and all sparkly again. Plus – and it’s a big PLUS! – I have been taking the camera out again so this instantly adds another 5000 points to my ALIVE! meter. Dingggg!

Yesterday, we grabbed coffee at Oriole Coffee just before heading to my godmother’s birthday party. We’ve eaten there several times but never had their supposedly famous coffee because our meals were at dinnertime and I didn’t want to mess up my beauty sleep. I had a flat white and I liked it. Wasn’t to die for but hey, good coffee is hard to come by so I’ll make do with what I can get.

Garlic prawn bruschetta
My flat white
Coffee lace patterns

After the party, we went shopping! Yes, again. I know, I can’t stop. This was when I had to let the perfect pair nude pumps go because they didn’t fit my tiny feet. URGHS. Small size 34/35 feet can be such a pain sometimes. BUT. We went to Uniqlo where I grabbed some fabulous +J pieces. Seeing how the collaboration is going to end soon, I figured it was time to stock up on some of these gorgeous pieces. The bonus? They were on sale!

We got tired of shopping after a while (v old farts, we are) and headed to Brotzeit for a drink.

Weisbier with mango juice
Mini cheesy pork sausages