Tuesday, December 29, 2009

eXtra turkey

I read in yesterday's papers that there's a spike in food wastage during the Christmas season and well, don't we all have EXTRA turkey leftover? So to assuage guilt, I've added into the curry devil I made.

That kinda saved me the guilt trip. The original store-bought turkey...

Whaddaya know, tomorrow's the last day of 2009. I'm so looking forward to ending this terrible blotchy year. Wishing you everyone in advance since I'll be away from keyboard, celebrating!!


ABC Wednesday round 5

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And so this is Christmas

Sweetly sing the angels.
Christmas carols around the fireplace,
glow of a choral symphony,
singing silent night,
what child is this.
The story of Christmas,
guiding star of Bethlehem,
the holy grail, an anthem of
joy to the world,
repeat the sounding joy (repeat).

The flight of flute and oboe
strangely instrumental
brings celestial longing,
brightens up the world tonight.
Warmer, drawing closer to the light,
we wish you a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year (repeat).
The Christmas tree
aglow, flickering candlelight burning
the scrooge of our hearts.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reverie - Cirque on Ice

Happy outing to the ice skating circus show in town - Reverie - Cirque on Ice.

It's a show that fuses circus acts with ice skating, with incredible soundtracks in a dream-like setting. Kind of creating a new genre like what its producers say. There's a moment when my friend turned to me and said, and that's when the Chinese acrobats will start bringing out the plates. So predictable that, so what we're saying is that the Chinese should know how to break out and bring an avant garde edge to their world class acrobatic acts. Take the cue from this show which takes Cirque du Soleil to the ice skating rink.

What's most mesmerizing are the trapeze acts, to me. The props and costumes are lavish couture pieces, creating a sense of spectacle though I missed out on their relationship to the storyline. There's a storyline but it's lost in the mist of pure acts of human grace.

The show which premieres here in Singapore runs at the Arina stadium near the Indoor stadium till 27 December 2009. Be advised to seek out the toilets at the Indoor Stadium pre and post show as the portable toilets at this temporary venue mar an otherwise delightful outing.

You can view rehearsal and interview clips at Youtube here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wheel of fortune

Actually not. But the end of the year surely signifies a completion of a revolution of 365 days so here's a wheel to symbolise that. It's a water feature at Raffles Link.
I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas this week and wonderful blessings ahead, and for a good turn of the economy in the new year. Season's greetings to all.

ABC Wednesday round 5

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis the Holiday Season

As Christmases stacked up year by year, it's easy to lapse into indifference. Yet for my little nephew, it will be his first Christmas, celebrated in the US!

Still, the holiday spirit is slowly snuggling up to me (due in part to the cool weather) and for those who celebrate Christmas, it's just a great way to wrap up the year, surrounded by family and feasting. It's a useful marker.

So here're my images of Christmas...the Christmas holly hanging on the door, the crib, that's for the Christmas tree covered with poinsettas and the gingerbread house, I borrowed those from Pan Pacific Hotel coz they're nice.. for further infusion of the holiday spirit for this post.

Happy holidays everyone.


Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity

Totally captivated by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, talking about the process of creativity and how not to lose your mind in the process by externalising it as a thing outside of self, a collaborative with an external muse, so to speak, a kind of paranormal thing. The ending is so inspirational.

I've read and enjoyed reading her journey in the book a while back. After watching the video below, I reached for the book which is collecting dust on the top of my bookshelf. Funnily, this is what I flipped to:

"Two nights in a row now I've had dreams of a snake entering my room. I've read that this is spiritually auspicious (and not just in Eastern religions; Saint Ignatius had serpent visions all throughout his mystical experiences), but it doesn't make the snakes any less vivid or scary." This is in the section on India, the 'pray' part. Immediately it held my attention because I had a dream about reptiles and have wondered since what it meant. Talk about serendipity.

I'm looking forward to reading the sequel which will be out pretty soon I guess. I think her message to writers, dancers, composers, et al,  is important: to not be daunted by naysayers and keep on showing up to do the thing you do.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Very convenient - Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza is located right at Changi  Airport. Imagine you have an early flight and you just want to be right at the doorstep of Singapore's international airport resting assured that your backside is already in the airport. Well, I guess that's the main idea? The hotel looks like a scintillating rectangular jewel box. In the bottom photo, you can see it next to the control tower. In the top photo, you see it's directly connected to Terminal 3. It's also connected to Terminal 2 and 1 via the skytrain. Of course this means you have all the F&B choices within the hotel or those located in any of the terminals. It's more suitable for short stay travellers who won't be making repeated forays to the central areas.

ABC Wednesday round 5

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wagyu steak

My son had his first taste of Wagyu steak at Swensons, Terminal 3, Changi Airport yesterday.

It was juicy and bursting with taste.

It cost something like $49 and if you top up $4.90 or something like that you get a free flow of the salads at the salad bar. There was a good assortment as you can see. So mummy took the salad.

Tonight he tells me he's thinking about it and dreaming of having another order of it. 

Food trip Friday

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Broadway Beng

The review in the Straits Times sucks but diss the review.

I fear lame jokes but while there're misses the hits make this a bang for your buck local musical. I know getai can be such a cheena scratchy old record but I did like one Hokkien song in particular which Sebastian Tan, Beng extraordinare delivers with aplomb. I love love the spoof of Les Miserables and of Queen (both the English monarch and the band).

We're people who straddle two cultures, and when Sebastian splits between Western musicals and getai, on a stage no less than the Esplanade, we've reclaimed our birth right and well and truly embraced both our mastery of Western and Eastern cultures in one sitting and we should send screaming applause down the aisles. As Sebastian urges the audience to say, 'HO SAY!' (translates roughly *thumbs up*)

OK, this one's strictly for locals. For the uninitated, a Beng is, according to the Coxford Singlish dictionary,
 'an unsophisticated Chinese boy, usually Hokkien. Stereotypically, he speaks gutter hokkien and likes neon-coloured clothes, spiky, moussed hair and accessories such as handphones or pagers, all of which are conspicuously displayed. '

A Lian is the female counterpart.

The musical runs till this Saturday. Just go watch it!!! Support local talent and not just foreign talent!

Underpass art

There're always some art installations in the underpass going to the Esplanade. It's called the tunnel.

The medium is paper, specifically storybook pages. Out of this paper comes pop out 3D art with a heavy penchant towards teddy bears. Painstaking, meticulous, mostly miniature, except for this big paper teddy bear with a crinkly red bow.

The creator, Cindy Harjatanaya from Indonesia, uses storybook scrap paper to depict the idea of children's perception between reality and fantasy. By bringing these fabled characters to real life, she blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

ABC Wednesday round 5

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taoist prayers

My World - Turn of the century mansion

Look at this, a dilapidated mansion. I couldn't tell you how old it is, but am guessing it's as old as the turn of the last century. Will it ever be restored? Wh0's the owner? Questions...I took the photo in 2006 and can't confirm its location. Dang~

It reminded me of Grey Gardens, which is this majestic mansion in East Hampton, New York, that decayed along with its occupants, a mother and her daughter, both called Edith Beales, who were relatives of Jacqueline Onassis, wife of John F Kennedy. They became famous because of a 1975 documentary film and more recently a film of the same name (2009) starring Drew Barrymore as Little Edie and Jessica Lange as Big Edie. It's an intimate portrait of the two eccentric recluses, a reality show before its time.

Here's a clip based on the original documentary. The mansion still exists having been beautifully restored by its new owners.

My World Tuesday

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thai spirit house

A Thai spirit house is a shrine to animist spirits placed in an auspicious spot to appease spirits. It is commonly seen in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, less common in Singapore. This one sits at the corner entrance to a food centre along Sembawang Road.

ABC Wednesday round 5

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prata Place

This is like a off-the-road diner and it's popular for serving up prata for breakfast. Prata is dough fried on a girdle.

The Indian kitchen. I note a big pot on right (can't see in picture) with a sign which says soup kambing which is a mutton broth. That must be for lunch or dinner. There're Indian curries at the counter for you to order if you wish to order chicken or mutton pieces in your curry. If not you get a meatless curry as a dip for your prata.

We order the side of mutton curry. This is the prata kosong (or plain prata). You can order prata with fillings of cheese, chocolate, banana, etc if you so wish.

Here's another view of the exterior. It's nestled in the Springleaf Garden estate (1 Thong Soon Ave) which is along Upper Thomson Road.

That's my World

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monochrome - the oldest church

This is the oldest church in Singapore. Built in 1835, it is considered a masterpiece by the Irish architect George Coleman who designed it. It was consecrated the following year and dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first Armenian monk. So the name of the church is the Armenian Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

A very old tree in the church compound.

At the back of the church is a little garden, It is actually a Memorial Garden with beautiful, ornate tombstones which are the tomb markings of Armenians who died in Singapore. It is worth a visit if you are in the area (60, Hill Street).

The gate close-up.

Somehow, the Armenian community is small but influential and stamped its mark in
Singapore. Like the Sarkies Brothers who built and managed the Raffles Hotel, Agnes Joaquim who is the inspiration behind the national orchid Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’.

For more monochrome maniacs posts, go here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sugar cane in frontyard

Don't you just love the taste of sugar cane juice? The cane stick goes through the juicer and out comes delicious juice.

In the past, my dad used to bring home sticks of sugar cane for us to chomp on. Nobody does that anymore. I think the dentist will approve as it kind of cleans the teeth. Hehe...

I was delighted to see sugar cane growing outside somebody's frontyard.

abc wednesday round 5

Monday, November 23, 2009

Singapore Slingers

See that cone shaped roof? It's our indoor sporting arena designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange.

Foreign performing acts have played here, including The Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Beyonce Knowles, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Pussycat Dolls, etc etc. along with ice skating shows like Disney on Ice, circuses, magic shows.

Did you know that the Singapore Indoor Stadium is home to our national basketball team, Singapore Slingers?

Here's the inside view. This photo was taken last Sunday just before the match between the Singapore Slingers and the Malaysian team, KL Dragons in the GE ASEAN Basketball League 2009/10.

The merlion mascot making a cameo appearance. Special guest appearance by girls from the Singapore American School who put up a choreographed dance item. Other than that, cheerleaders in skimpy outfits were the time fillers for intervals.

It was an exciting match with emotions running high, with the KL Dragons winning. The Malaysian supporters were out in force. The one seated next to me clapped so hard my ears hurt. The next four games are lined up in the next two months, with matches against the Thailand Tigers and Philippine Patriots.

Personally I'd rather watch basketball than football. There was a huge following by the American expat community at Sunday's game.

Below is the Singapore Slingers doing a warm-up.

That's my World

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monochrome - cricket pitch, Kallang

A sign says, "This is a cricket pitch. Do not play football here".

Cricket as a sport is alive and batting in Singapore. Football as a spectator sport (especially the English Premier League) is alive and kicking too.

Though the future of that is a bit uncertain now since Singtel outbidded Starhub for rights to broadcast EPL. Most of us already subscribing to Starhub's broadband and cable network do not wish to subscribe to another telco to watch EPL. The solution, the one that will be kind to consumers, is to have a universal set-top device. If not, we're ready to say bye bye to watching EPL at home next year.

For more monochrome maniacs posts, go here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reindeer, sleigh bells ring ka-ching

Miss Reindeer + fashion = Reindeer fashionista

She's in good company...all seven of them reindeers. Can't help gawking...

Where there're reindeers, there's Santa! Some things don't change. Annual tradition.

Tie me up Chanel!
On a street in Singapore, the malls are calling me!

ABC Wednesday round 5

Monday, November 16, 2009

a glitzy Christmas by the bay

Suddenly the stars of Christmas are all around us, looking like starfishes.

Those funny end-of-the-year vibes are buzzing. Courtesy of a shiny spangled portal to the bay area. Since the day view doesn't do it much justice....

here's the night view. Oooh glitzy. Seeing stars yet?

I love those shiny metallic discs. Is it just me?

More random Christmas pics tomorrow...

That's my World

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monochrome - Apertures

Aperture #1: Arches.

Aperture #2: Spiral stairway through ceiling, which is floor of first floor.

Aperture #3: Charming door, disused (a.k.a. Gate of Hope, for abandoned babies. Bless those sisters.).

All three photos are taken at Chijmes, the former Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ), a Catholic school for girls more than a century ago. Now its chapel is used for weddings and its grounds is crawling with pubs, restaurants, retail outlets.

Quaff a Guinness at Father Flanagan's, anyone? (You might want to follow that link for an interesting related bit of history.)

For more monochrome maniacs posts, go here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

Built in 1847, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in the civic district is the oldest Catholic church in Singapore and the seat of the Archbishop of Singapore.

As you can see, repair work is in progress and a major restoration is needed to repair the large cracks and other signs of wear and tear. The church is needful of raising funds as restoration is more costly than tearing down the building and rebuilding.

You can just make out the cross on top of the steeple. Its architecture is described as Renaissance style. The catheral's pipe organ is the oldest such organ in Singapore and still functioning, being installed in 1912.

For more scenic landscapes, go to Scenic Sunday here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chinese Heritage Centre

This Chinese archway dated 1955 is a legacy of Nanyang University, a Chinese university that is now defunct. Funded by donations from the Chinese community, notably Mr Tan Lark Sye, chairman of the Singapore Hokkien Foundation, who donated $5 million, the university (commonly referred to as Nantah) started classes in 1956.

The university merged with then Singapore University to become the National University of Singapore in 1980. Since 1991, this is the site of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore's second university.

This is the Chinese Heritage Centre (12 Nanyang Drive), housed within the university's former administration building. It's a research centre for research scholars of overseas Chinese communities housing a library and two interesting exhibitions. One is the 'Chinese More Or Less' exhibition which explores through its exhibits the Chinese identity and what it means to be Chinese. The other is a pictorial exhibition tracing the 25 year history of the former Nantah. Admission is free.

A pavilion in Yunnan garden which sprawls in front of the centre.

That's my World

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monochrome - Zebra crossing, Geylang

Just another day in old Geylang. Familiar food sellers, familiar customers. Familiar is nice.

For more monochrome maniacs posts, go here.