c*devotchka

having my Cake, eating it – and not counting every last calorie

the smell of home April 30, 2007

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me and mom

because moms are the best.

you don’t get more Chinese than this.

nuril and me 1

having too much fun with the camera at the airport.

sent dad off for exam in Frankfurt.

nuril and dan 1

at the 21st birthday party of mom’s colleague’s daughter.

at Singapore Khalsa Association.

 little girl at bday party

yes, kids hate adult parties.

i promise not to bring mine to 80% of such parties.

 mom bored

mom was bored. and partially deaf from loud Hindi music.

dan cracking durian open

ask me how much the X.O. (yes, as in the cognac) and 666 durians cost and i’ll smack ya.

it was more than it shoulda cost.

here, my brother attempts to split a quarter of a durian.

 million dollar durian

yum.

all hail Durian, the King of Fruits.

cafe del mar 1

at Cafe del Mar, Sentosa.

 cafe del mar 2

day beds, hmmm.

 gendang kasturi

gendang kasturi and fried keledek.

yu char kuay

yu char kuay.

one of life’s best comfort foods.

best with mayonnaise.

you know, that killer condiment?

yuuuuuuuuuuuuum.

chicken rice - new hawa

oh, how i’ve missed thee, chicken rice.

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Singapura, here i come. April 24, 2007

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am pretty sure i got fleeced at the Deira Spice Souq when i bought dates, frankincense, myrrh and Madagascar vanilla pods. we hate bargaining so both of us are plump victims at markets like these where others enjoy the very experience of haggling.

i prefer giant Sale! signboards where i just go in, grab what i like, pay at the cashier and leave. all without saying a word.

does hating bargaining have something to do with wanting to be liked? i think it’s also got something to do with knowing what the price really is, i don’t have imagination, i feel like i can’t demand the reduction of the price of something when i don’t know how much it costs. some people can go into a shop and right off the top of their heads, demand for 50-70% lopped off the offered price.

this is a disease. i should shamelessly lop 50-70% off everything.

alright, am off to Singapore now. cowabungaaaaaaa!

 

november rain April 22, 2007

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 4:23 pm
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i’ve been tagged by bigmista! 10 gotta-get-goals, originated here. *crumbles under pressure* somehow, this feels like a chain-letter adapted for web logs. except no one’s gonna die if you don’t do it it, and you ain’t gonna win $1,000,000 if you do.

10. jam in a bar. no, really. i love singing. this terrifies me the most, so it’s number 10.

9. play the violin before i lose more functions in my right hand.

8. visit at least 15 places on my To Visit Before I Die list.

7. have 3 kids, although Ravi only wants 2. i’ll just have 2 with him and the 3rd with Eric Bana. put a cap on dysfunction when Ravi and i have these kids. i promise i’ll try not to emotionally blackmail my kids or overwhelm them with The 10 Shades of Guilt. teach them that most of what “they” say doesn’t matter, as Goethe had said, “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” that it’s not about negotiating, it’s about convincing why you’re worth that much. that you can’t keep taking, you gotta give back. that you are what you eat. that some animals have the propensity to feel, no matter what people claim. that animals are put on Earth to feed humans and i’ll smack ’em if they don’t eat/doggie bag every morsel on the plate. that no matter how much it hurts, you cannot stop believing in love. that humanity extends beyond humans (don’t turn this into a vegan issue). that being a loyal friend is important no matter how much you get on each other’s nerves. that if you bite, it will bite you back someday. that after you’ve retched, screamed, scratched, yelled and spat on your parents, you’d be embarrassed 10 years later and realise your parents were right, so try not to scream too loudly so you won’t have to dig a deeper hole to stuff your head into.

6. open that shop. that we wanna open. you know, that shop. everyone has a shop, cafe or restaurant they wanna open. we have ours.

5. finish something i’ve started, like embroidering and Women in Love by DH Lawrence. and be impeccably fluent in a 3rd and 4th language. like French and Arabic. and while i’m at that, find out what “verb”, “adverb”, “infinitive” etc. mean, cos 20 years after my official education started, i only know what “noun” and “adjective” mean.

4. health and financial soundness. you know, the usual life goals that would be nice to have.

3. eradicate my ignorance and practise a little more temperance.

2. convince Ravi that cats are not the enemy, that we can live with one without acting like a moron. that fur in your curry doesn’t kill.

1. die with Ravi in the same exact moment. because i don’t think i could make it without him.

seeing how this goal is practically unattainable unless both Ravi and i fall off the same roof in the same instant, i’d relegate this to my Fantasies list and list another goal.

1. die before i’m old.

ok, also relegated to Fantasies list.

1. change the world. one heart at a time. because even if you’ve managed to win one heart over, you’ve already changed one world and that, inevitably, changes others.

stop throwing tomatoes at me. am tagging thegrouch cos i love torturing her.

am off to Mina Bazaar. i love Regina Spektor’s “On The Radio”, it moves me. these are my favourite bits.

You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else’s heart
Pumping someone else’s blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don’t get harmed
But even if it does
You’ll just do it all again

While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo’s really long
But it’s a pretty song

yes, it’s a real pretty song.

 

don’t bring me down April 19, 2007

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 6:32 pm
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Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” (thanks, Eds) is on eternal repeat loop.

because i like bobbing my head and sniffing to its catchy tune. i also like lifting each shoulder alternately à la MJ’s Thriller to its happy hippity beat. what i like the most about this song is that it makes me wink flirtatiously to imaginary beings in my presence while lifting each shoulder alternately as i bob my head and wipe the snort from my nose.

i like tunes which match titles. ELO, “you got me runnin’, goin’ outta my mind”.

as the weather in Dubai takes an about-turn towards something not unlike a sauna that you cannot switch off, people here have been catching all kinds of bugs. out of 5 cabs i take, 3 cabbies are coughing miserably with snort dribbling down their noses without a single tissue in sight. this is what i call a hygiene violation, “keep the change, no, really, please, please keep the change.”

a week later, i caught a phantom bug and my throat starting hurting so bad, even my ears were screaming. that, and a shawarma sandwich with veggies that weren’t washed well enough and kebab meat exposed to roadside pollutants, i’d say i’ve been in a pretty miserable shape.

through the haze of disease, i thought, “hey, this might be God’s way of helping me lose 2kg magically before i hit the plane to Singapore.”

but hum. no chance of that. i’ve been stuffing myself with baby food, oats and chocolate spread. chocolate spread is God’s healing balm. today, i even feel good enough to wanna bake us some wholesome dark chocolate cookies. if i were brave enough, i’d bake me some furry eggs. Easter’s long gone, but i can’t help but stare at these in wonder. who’d have thought to bake in eggs like this! the eggs look so … furry. it appeals to the part of me which has been begging for a cat.

here are my to do lists for my 13 days in Singapore, 3 days in KL.

things to bring to Singapore

  • dates
  • Lebanese sweets
  • abaya + shela + silk for mom
  • gold nose jewellery for mom-in-law
  • various other gifts
  • lots of space in luggage for stuff to bring back

stuff to find and consume within a span 16 days

  • mom’s and nan’s cooking
  • anything and everything Eds stuffs down my throat except for babi guling
  • nasi padang
  • mee goreng pattaya
  • roti prata
  • mee siam mamak
  • rojak mamak
  • nasi lemak
  • laksa
  • satay
  • anything at Iniavan’s
  • bubur terigu
  • bubur pulut hitam
  • soyabean curd + fresh soy milk
  • Killiney’s kaya toast
  • putu piring 

people to meet other than family

  • Joy
  • Ina
  • Sum
  • Shana
  • Sheela
  • Priya
  • Shawn + Rebecca + Qalam + Cecilia, if she ever makes it
  • Silke
  • Lena
  • Eds + ‘Chap + George + Sir Striped Atticus

things to buy/bring back

  • Canon EOS 400D
  • a 120GB hard drive
  • books, books, books! yippeeeee!
  • 3 enlargements of wedding photographs for our families, so no one feels marginalised
  • dried chillies, dried anchovies, belacan, real vanilla extract, nan’s killer sambal
  • some clothes perhaps
  • and perhaps, if i bump into that fucken asshole who screwed up our wedding by the name of Kevin (i think his real name was actually Kalvinder Singh), i’d get back SGD500 for his lousy service and SGD700 worth of liquor that he somehow refuses to pass to my brother or Ravi’s best friend. he never appears for the appointments and avoids all their phonecalls. this is what i call a balls-less rat. i’d organised the entire wedding to the T, all he had to do was take over on the actual wedding day and host, and he managed to screw up everything, but let’s not go there because i’ve let it go. though i’d still like my SGD500 back and the liquor, so drunken people we love can enjoy them.

i can’t wait to pig out. you can lose weight, but you can’t put value on the pleasure of eating familiar foods with people you love.

i’d also like to announce publicly, THANK YOU, RAVI, FOR DOING THE DISHES FOR ME TODAY.

on random, unrelated things:

i’m amazed at this, the dedication, ingenuity and creativity that went behind the Steampunk Keyboard. easy, but not really. typing on old typewriters make me ache. but i’m just aching to have meself one of these.

Steamfunk keyboard

Ikea, you either hate it or you love it. BoKlok homes by Ikea.

micro compact homes, for the ant in you. i wonder if this is what the future will look like. grounds littered with little boxes.

 

sometimes, they do ask for it April 16, 2007

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i’d joined Facebook only recently after Rash introduced me to it. i’ve been having some fun with my friends on FB, scribbling rubbish on each other’s “walls” and uploading tons of self-glorifying photographs. what i love is finding old friends and old friends finding me on FB. there’s a pretty large skeletons-with-cobwebs-from-years-forgotten-in-closet factor with social networks like this and Friendster, but that’s what the “Reject” function is for.

and occasionally, you get messages from random horny men who’ve got little else on their minds but the abused lil three letter word that begins with an S and ends with an X. and today, just because i have a sore throat and am a little on edge, i decided i would not simply ignore (sometimes they are really persistent) or send a short “no thanks, goodbye” message to the latest moron with an erection to disperse.

FB - Carlos Santana

and two days ago, a random Egyptian/British guy from FB asked if Ravi or i could help him get a job in Dubai. only in exchange for a real old pyramid. humph.

 

mad, quite ravin’ mad

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“what kinda glass do you use with your frames?”

“glass?”

“yes, glass,” i repeat.

“yes, we use glass.”

let’s try this again. “ok, what kind of glass?” i cock my head to the side and smile.

he opens door to dodgy store at the back. “cheap glass … ”

is he supposed to tell me that?

“… and that glass,” he replies, pointing to the picture of the ruler of Dubai on his wall.

“what kind of glass is that?” i point to the picture of the ruler of Dubai on his wall.

“matte glass.”

“ok, does it have UV protection?”

“yes, it doesn’t reflect.”

? “does it have UV protection, against the sun? so my prints won’t fade?”

“yes, it doesn’t reflect.”

pretty good start to finding a reliable framer for all our future framing needs. i was too afraid hiccup “acrylic”.

we went to Elements Cafe & Restaurant at Wafi City last night and i was really excited to be there. there were paintings from wall-to-wall, it was quiet and the ambience was perfect for young, flourishing, bourgeoisie buds and the yuppies (or overprivileged, spoilt Peter Pan Poseurs) they’d eventually turn into, and the average nobody or somebodies like us.

service was prompt (with a handsome smile, a shy laughter and a sense of humour), the food wasn’t too bad and their desserts are to die for. personally, my chicken burgol was a disappointment and the stack of stir-fried vegetables accompaniment was a little salty but good.

my eyeballs found their way to the back of my head when the chocolate fondant found its way into my mouth. i was properly stuffed but i cleaned the plate.

there’s always room for dessert.

Elements - Chicken burgol

 Elements - Chocolate fondant

Elements - Iram, Anita, me

Ravi and i took a walk after having dinner at Singapore Deli and chanced upon a small (and rather dodgy) pedestrian Indonesian eatery called City Moon, CM Supermarket that stocks up on Thai and Filipino foodstuff (and pork at the back of the shop, like a shady mafia-run outfit), a promising Thai restaurant called Bai Tong, a corner Indonesian foodstuff shop that was half empty and barely stocked, and a video rental shop.

i love finding new places. especially when they sell kangkong at reasonable prices and pandanus leaves (CM Supermarket) which the larger supermarkets like Spinneys and Carrefour do not have.

a couple of weeks ago, i baked Mini Bolognese Meatloaves, a recipe i adapted from Meat Loaf Muffins. i think certain words just shouldn’t be associated with each other, like pineapples + pizza, meat + muffins or meat + cakes, it confuses my brain, and my brain mustn’t be confused when my napkin’s wet with drool at the dinner table. having said that though, these meat cakes look pretty darn good.

these breadsticks are aptly named bouquet breadsticks and are oh.so.beautiful, i don’t know if one should eat them or just stare in wonderment *stares in wonderment*

Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook - Bouquet breadsticks

looks like the motifs on my mom’s vintage china.

which i hope to inherit.

because i’ve been a very, very good girl.

although we had an argument these afternoon about my dressing like an apparent slut at my wedding or at my brother’s future wedding.

because long tube dresses are the attire of choice of those who like getting chafed by leather underwear and being beaten to a pulp before sex.

because exposing one’s armpit is worse than sticking one’s nipples into one’s auntie’s face.

looks like i have to steal her china.

gotta go now, join Ravi on the sofa watching the subtitles-less Tamil VCD because i am one of those people who digs being tortured before sleep.  but before that, i’d like to leave one more person in the world a little more equipped to handle the large world of Google and useless sites – 12 quick tips to search Google like a pro.

Eds – this is for you. or your mom rather. get her this Jesus Pan and she’s gonna looooooove you like you shot out of her with a bag of diamonds 28 years ago.

 

bake night! April 12, 2007

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baked lamb chops + sautéed french beans + baked potatoes.

5 yummy, fatty lamb chops coated in mixture of 1 egg + 1 tsp worcestershire sauce, then in seasoned breadcrumbs.

Baked lamb chops 1

baked at 190°C for 30-40 minutes on parchment paper. turned the chops at the halfway mark of 15-20 minutes. and voila! the simplest things are the best sometimes.

Baked lamb chops 2

and baked potatoes with a generous serving of saturated milk fats, butter, i love!

 Baked potato

 some pretty good tips on baking potatoes here.