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Archive for April, 2009

5am and I can’t sleep.

I have a vision of my perfect life.

I bake once a week, and somehow always have all the ingredients on hand. I will bake cookies whenever I feel like it, and never turn down an opportunity to share a cookie with a loved one (husband/kids). Cold milk is a must. Birthdays mean Mummy will bake a cake, though she can’t guarantee they’ll be as nice as store-bought ones. I’ll bake madeleines and scones and cupcakes and brownies and cookies… and I will have an assortment of cookie cutters because shapes make me happy.

In my ideal life, I have a well-stocked pantry with all different kinds of pasta (bowtie is a must, and angel hair because it sounds magical). I will have small pots of herbs. Basil, chilli and maybe rosemary? I wil always, always, always have garlic and onions. And eggs, just because I could eat them in 101 different ways. I will have bread, never white. Hopefully by then 100% wholewheat bread will be easy to come by and affordable. I will have all sorts of grains and healthy stuff that I can sneak into my cooking. I will have couscous.

I will try and make my own sushi. And ramen and Oyako Don. And tempura. Mmm…Japanese food.

I will have a fruit juicer for mornings when I want a fresh start. There will always be fruits, always. Apples, oranges, grapes, pears (those juicy soft ones, not the hard ones), watermelon, strawberries and blueberries. I will have tons of lemons lying about (also handy for making lemon tart or lemon pound cake).

(There will always be vegetables and tofu. Tofu is King)

There will be potatoes (roasted potatoes with rosemary on lazy days. Lazy days will be DVD days.)

There will be many types of cereal, just like in Seinfeld. Although I will only eat muesli, I shall let the kids and husband have their pick of their favourite cereal (I’m guessing Honey Stars will make the cut).

Sundays will be a Special Day. I will make pancakes with maple syrup and fruits. Sometimes I will make choc chip pancakes and make smiley faces with the chocolate chips that will make my kids laugh. (After that we either go out cycling or walking about or we stay in and watch TV in our jammies)

There will always be nuts. Almonds, hazelnuts, macademias (a lil pricey though) pistachios walnuts.

And dried fruit…mmm apricots. mmm cranberries.

I think that should be it. Oh! I will have a nice spice rack as well, with both asian and western spices.

Oh! and in the fridge! Chicken…always chicken. Some beef, some fish (O Salmon!), some seafood. And oh….MUSHROOMS. How could I ever forget you.

Okay, that shall be it for now.

My perfect kitchen.

(Oh, and since we’re at it, my perfect kitchen will have a huge island, filled with every imaginable kitchen appliance [a pasta machine, a bread machine, a KitchenAid and an ice-cream machine have been suggested] And many, many bowls. I have this obsession with mixing bowls of many, many sizes. And square plates. In my ideal life, the best family memories are when me and my family are huddled around that island, sharing a cookie or two with a tall glass of milk. Even before taking a bite, I smile, because I am happy.)

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let’s talk

Have you ever wondered what actions you could have taken/avoided in the past that could change your life as you know it now?

I sit here in Starbucks, drinking a Frappucino I can’t afford, in a hour most would spend doing honest work, looking at the reflection of life in the black shiny surface of a floor tile, and I wonder “what if.”

It’s not a pleasant feeling.

I feel like I’m 8 years old once again, playing Street Fighter or some equivalent fighting game on my brother’s Sega, pressing any and all the buttons at the same time because I don’t really know what how to play.

Restart. restart. restart.

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My lunch today – simple garlic prawn pasta with mushrooms in tomato sauce.

First up, saute garlic and prawns in some olive oil. The prawns start to pink really fast, it’s pretty magical indeed.

prawns-and-garlic

Next, mushrooms (there can never be enough mushrooms), tomatoes and tomato sauce (I cheated, used the instant stuff)

red-tuesday

Add some pasta (colourful pasta makes me go whee!) and lunch is ready. Mmm…

garlic-prawn-pasta

Happy Tuesday all!

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This ad for Women’s Aid is equivalent to getting sucker punched, and drives home the message instantly. Do watch even if you’re not a big fan of Keira Knightley (like me). From imjustcreative.

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I’m at Starbucks Tampines right now using Wireless@SG, and it’s my first time blogging on the go! Is this considered mobile blogging?

Anyways, just came back from a run at Bedok Reservoir and something weird happened while running. See, when I run I find great pleasure in overtaking other runners (my competitive streak rarely rears its ugly head, but there you go). Having ran from my house to the reservoir itself, I was already feeling a little tired, but I decided to pick up my pace anyway.

So it all started all well, and I overtook a few people, and at the 500m mark I ran past this dude who had been walking but decided to run after seeing me catching up with him.

So I passed him, and suddenly after a couple of metres or so, I heard footsteps behind me. Thinking it was a runner wanting to overtake me, I continued running as per normal. But the weird thing was, the person (I suspect it was the guy I had passed) never overtook me.

I started speeding up and even as I passed the 1km, 1.5km, 2km markers, the pounding still continued behind me yet the person never passed me at all.

I guess I could have turned behind to see who exactly was following me, but for some reason I didn’t.

I reached the 4km mark, and decided to sprint the rest of the 400m. At this point, I couldn’t hear the pounding on the gravel behind me anymore, so I figure he/she must have slowed down. I completed the run, and headed straight to the water cooler, where I tried to see who it was who had inadvertently made me run slightly faster than usual (24 minutes). This was useless, because there were so many people milling about plus I never turned to look at the person (D’oh!)

And so, I still don’t know who it was who was behind me the whole almost 4km of the run. The damsel in me (for lack of a better word, because I am hardly a damsel) says psychostalkerrunner, but I suspect (actually Erfen suggested) that it was probably someone who was using me as a pacesetter. Which I am cool with.

So there you go. Is this a normal practice for runners? I dunno, but it sure was interesting. I guess I don’t mind being used as someone’s pacesetter, although I would have appreciated being asked first. Is it just me? There must be some sort of running etiquette, no?

If he/she was simply using me to set their pace, then I’m glad I didn’t turn around and yell “What’s your bloody problem, stop following me!” as I was tempted to do a few times during the run.

Oh wells!

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I’m listening to the Genny Podcast #1 right now and they covered an interesting point about Gen Y and our attitudes towards work. Despite it being an economic recession, the team feels that we are still discerning about jobs and value job satisfaction over job stability. Yinqi (I think! I tried to distinguish the voices but apologies if I’m wrong)  shared that two of her friends recently quit their jobs because of the desire to earn higher pay. Kris shared the opinion that Gen Y is not afraid of the economic downturn.

I found myself echo-ing their views. As a job seeker, I still prioritise finding a job that aligns with my interests and is challenging and interesting at the same time, and that forms the basis of my job search, as opposed to going for something, anything, with a decent pay. Some (my parents, other people) would say that this is a foolish approach, given the kind of environment we are in now. But you know what? I don’t care.

Some call us selfish, others say spoilt, indulgent, etc. But really, what’s the harm in going for what we want in life? Talking to my friends, it appears that more and more of us are pursuing what we are really passionate in. If not in our jobs, we derive satisfaction in other pursuits. We want to do something we believe in.

At the Flea-tique! flea market last week, there were many people that set up shop selling clothes, accessories and other assorted knick-knacks. While the concept isn’t new, I found myself reflecting on how entrepreneurial Singaporean youths have become. The internet has helped to popularise the concept of a blogshop, and some businesses are so professionally-run that they could set up a physical store the very next day if they wanted.

Thinking about this entrepreneurial streak that us Gen Y-ers seem to have cultivated, I am almost floored. People used to lament that Singaporeans don’t take risks, aren’t entrepreneurial and go for the safe option whenever they can. It seems that Gen Y is slowly staging a coup d’etat on the way things have been done here in Singapore. I for one see this as a positive change.

I find that with this economic crisis, I’ve been questioning what I truly want to achieve in my life, not just in terms of a career, but bigger questions like how I can make my mark in this world, using my talents to make it a better place.  I think that in better times, I wouldn’t have scrutinised myself so closely and in a weird way, I am glad for this lemon of an economic recession.

Now if you ‘scuse me, I’ma gonna make myself some lemonade.

The Genny podcast is brought to you by Daryl, Krisandro, Yin, Yinqi and Dorothy. The Genny podcast #2 is also out now, do give it a listen.

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I went to the library today to pay my fines and borrow books. I couldn’t pay with both my Nets cards (long story) and I didn’t have a cashcard with me, so I asked if I could pay by cash instead. I was politely told that they didn’t accept cash. Dismayed, I left the library.

I know that NLB has gone cashless and all that, but is it really that difficult to accept cash from people? I’ve read of people complaining about book borrowers who don’t clear their fines even when it is worth less than $1, but I have a feeling that like me, if they were allowed to pay in cash, they wouldn’t leave their fines unpaid for so long.

Not to make it a bigger issue than it is (and yes, it can be) but I don’t see why we make things complicated when they can  be simplified.

“NLB, why you dowan to accept my cash?”

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