Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Virgin Experience in Acrylics

I am more of a pencil person. But after being inspired by Natee Utarit's flowers, I decided to have a go too. 

Found out something about myself:
I realized I can't paint a straight line. 
I can't blend colors well.
I am impatient (well, this I know)
Painting takes many coats. And I have no idea what blocking means.

See? My second draft did not turn out as my original drawing (I painted coating after coating onto the original drawing). Now I understand the term "starving artists". The paints are ex, the easel is ex. Everything is ex.

One good thing was that, because I could not find a single tube of green. I had to go to Art Friend, where I was very pleasantly surprised to know that my stupid membership is for two years, not one year as Pretty Mummy told me!!! Shit. But it's good news so I am happy that I still can get 10% discount. =D

As I look at the pic, I think it looks better from a distance. You cannot see my mistakes as clearly. I am reminded of the Chinese saying "远看花很红,进看花有虫”.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Incompleted art

I was looking for drawing paper when I came across some old pictures I had drawn. My favorite medium remains pencil, though I am very regretful I did not buy a fixative to spray on some of them. Some of them had brown spots already. I had also thrown away a few that I used to keep stuck to my wall. So wasteful.

One of this pictures was done in 2002. Too bad I lost the original photo. So now I can't complete it...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giant Ravioli

I am convinced that if a person puts his/her mind, heart and soul to it, there is no reason why he or she will not succeed in whatever he or she wants to do.

Well, tell that to my hapless Vater. I bought semolina flour and asked him to let me cook for ravioli Sonntag mittagessen. I happily made my dough, and left it chilling while I ran off to the library to grab a fresh set of books as well as buy some ingredients. 

It was about noon when I got back. Not much time to work the dough, so I hurriedly ran the dough through the noodle machine (?), while furiously stirring my pasta sauce (I make mine from scratch ok!) and my filling. 

Turned out I made them too big. I counted 5 for everyone, but everyone was full after 3...

Fruit Juice anyone?

Whilst it is better to eat the fruit itself, drinking fruit juice is recommended for detox, fighting infection and general health :D

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taking the train home - The new JB Sentral Station

Last Thursday I finally managed to take one of my two Off-in-Lieus *yeah*.

I wanted to take the train from Singapore to JB Sentral in the morning so I could take some photos of the old Tanjong Pagar Railway station before they shut down the old place in July (and move the operations to Woodlands, thus reducing the path that the train cuts along Singapore).

But because we had to run some very last-minute yet coincidental errands, we missed all the trains going into Malaysia that day. I was in quite a mad sulk because I specifically took leave so that we could go on the train. We ended up debating whether we should even go into Malaysia that day, because it was already afternoon when we finished the errands. So since we were there just to spend the afternoon, we decided maybe we should take the train back

In the end, we just went to City Square. Interestingly the long path we now have to cut through on foot in order to get to City Square (and also to the Wong Ah Fook Road where we take buses to other parts of JB, e.g. Jusco Tebrau City) actually goes past the new JB Sentral Railway station.We could see the signboards all the way, but we couldn't figure where it was.

It turned out to be the building nearest and opposite the City Square. 

I don't know if it is because everytime we go to JB, whether it is because we are totally focused on getting to City Square and beyond or that I have returned every Bahasa Indonesia (somewhat similar to Melayu) knowledge to my teacher, but I somehow don't recognize that hey, it's a station?!

So we asked the lady  how much it costs to go one-trip to Singapore. Only 3RM (exchange rate that day: Singapore Dollar to Malaysian Ringgit was 1:1.375) so that was about S$2.18, which is ok if you are just joy riding, even if the train + MRT journey takes longer than the bus+ MRT journey back. Anyway the reason why the trip is so long has also to do with the long stops - 1 for the Singapore checkpoint, 1 for the Bukit Timah station, so another train can go past).

The train is not for the fainthearted. It is old, dingy and has a potent smell that reminded me of the BO from 50 old men. It because worse after we had to stop at Singapore checkpoint to check our passports (even the train driver) and let the K9 poochies sniff the entire train. I pity the dogs, because the air-con was switched off and the smell was pretty invasive to our senses. Luckily we moved to another cabin where the aircon was turned on strong after we left the checkpoint.

PS. When you go to Malaysia, it is always advisable to change money in Singapore first before going. Like I said earlier, the exchange rate was 1.1.375? That was the rate offered in Singapore. In JB it was 1:1.355, which becomes significant if you are changing a lot.

2nd PS. This is a very important tip. Say you want to train to Penang or KL (I don't know why though, when air ticks are cheap too, but this is what I did ten years ago, when there was no Air Asia), If you can, you should always go into JB sometime and buy the train tickets from JB to Penang or KL, instead of buying the ticks in Singapore. You know why? Because the prices quoted in Tanjong Pagar train station is numerically equivalent to JB's (e.g S$36 and RM36 maybe), but the exchange rate makes it very worth it. You can save so much money this way. All you need to do is commute by MRT to Kranji, Woodlands or Bugis (this is the stupidest, cos it will be smarter to take those long distance buses there, instead of bus to JB then train to Penang.) Switch to 170 or the Malaysian express bus. Get in JB, chillax and then catch your train.

ticket counter

Arrival/ Departure Hall. You have to wait again after you check your passport downstairs

The end of the train (I never managed to take the photo of the train from the front)
Leaving the JB Sentral railway station
Singapore's water supply

How close the train was to the vehicles on the Causeway. Fascinating

The toilet... not for the fainthearted. There is a squatting one opposite it.
Updated!!! (latest update: 18 Aug 2011)
There are different trains that go to Singapore from JB Sentral (this is the station you should refer to for JB city), and prices differ due to the types of trains they are (longer distance ones or shuttle ones). They even have those with beds (overkill, don't bother if you are merely travelling between JB and Singapore), separate by coach classes etc. But the cheapest ticket would be the shuttle kind, only one price RM3 from JB Sentral to Singapura (Singapore).

If you are planning a trip, you can try the official KTM website for the various useful options:
(1) Check how much it will cost to travel between cities, e.g. Singapore and KL. Note: you will need to sign up as a member to actually buy the tickets online, but the site is pretty useful if you just want to gauge how much it will cost based on the coach class you choose and what is the timing of the train.
(2) Check the number of seats available for all the trains for the week.

They are all air-conditioned, though I am not quite sure if it is a blessing >.<

Please note that as of 1 Jul 2011, the Tanjong Pagar train station has closed for good. Everyone has to get out at Woodlands. Don't waste your time =D taking the train from JB, unless you are already taking the train from elsewhere in Malaysia. Just take bus 170, 160 or special yellow Malaysian buses (not the ones which say "Sekolah". That is Malay for schoolbus *haha*) from the Malaysian Checkpoint. 

Interesting note: If you want to take bus 170/160, and it is super crowded (e.g. end of Holidays, or Sunday night), don't waste your time waiting in the queue.. just run to the front of the line. There are always some weird people who don't want to stand on the bus across the Causeway, so the bus conductors will let people who jump queue to board the bus if they are willing to pack themselves in. You still have to pay, of course...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In response to Foreign Talent =D

This was a super funny response on Singapore EDMW's forum to a Chinese Mainlander girl's advertisement  (I can only find the google cache. Someone must have flamed her hard. Her website is no longer published) for a Singaporean gentleman who earns at least S$4K.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Back Burner Guy - the guy you keep around

Every girl has a backburner guy. You know the guy she falls back on in the worst case scenario where nobody wants her and all her friends are engaged or are attached, she wants to spite someone or she feels like crap and wants a punching bag?

Herein comes the backburner guy. He is the guy who is just not rich enough, not handsome enough or not clever enough, but he likes you. A lot. So much that he can put up with whatever emotional nonsense you throw at him and still like you, i.e. the nice guy.

You need him to feel good about yourself. But it's only temporary. Because you will either feel unfulfilled being with him, or you feel like shit because you are using him or no matter how hard you try you just don't love him as much as he does you. Either way you feel bored and/or guilty and you chuck him aside, until the next time you are in the dumps. But it's ok because he is such a masochist, he will stick around until someone makes him wake up his idea. 

Usually this guy is the savior mentality kind, which is a very unhealthy prospect.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

La Bella Vita - Life, Love and Food in Southern Italy

[image source:]

Vida Adamoli fell in love with this ficticiously named Torre Saracena, when she, and her two little children escaped from the festering summer heat in Rome to this secluded village with a beautiful beach in 1968. In fact she loved it and its colorful yet sometimes close-minded inhabitants so much that they made regular voyages back to this village, even convincing her divorced mother to buy a holiday flat there. 

I loved the book, I found it engaging and entertaining, with bits of excellent descriptions, metaphors and imagery. "The intense glare of the sun bleached everything of colour and shadows cast by houses divided the streets into razor-sharp zones of dazzling white and deepest black. IT was like wandering through an abandoned stage set, almost too sculptural and picturesque to be true."

The characters are all fleshed out, and because the village is so small, it seems like everyone's lives are entwined in a way, and affected by the actions of others. The book also captures  the slow decline of the village. Initially the people were improvised and mostly welcomed the slow then rapid influx of foreign visitors, but as they became more affluent and later were driven to move to other parts of the area because all the foreigners were buying the old houses and leaving them empty most of the year, they realized the error of their ambitions. Other than the beautiful beach, the villagers have evolved to become strangers.

Rather depressing, especially at the end of the book, where the old village cinema was going to be torn down and the villagers went to watch Jasper's movies for the last time. He made a lot of little movies that involved the villagers and localized hippies as actors and as part of the backdrop. The author found it poignant when she remembered the late Giovanni, loyal and forbidding, lurking in the background of one of the movies. He was a symbol of the old days, when the life was simpler, "a happier and more innocent time".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A musical valentine for you

Too cheap to buy a CD? Or even burn one?

Now Mark Levy has built you a musical valentine that you can sent to your loved ones using musiXmatch API and

You just have to key in the url below and insert the person's name behind. =D

PS. I tried it, but it's pretty funny. I didn't hear my name at all...

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Men in TV

Yes, yes, you can continue to hassle me and call me a Sarong Party Girl / Pinkerton Syndrome Sufferer just because I share Hitler's love for the blond Germanic looking man (he must be myopic and geeky). The boys have now started egging me on by acting like my pimps whenever we go to high-class establishments for our gourmand experiences.

But when I was trying to come up with my 5 top favorite men (I seriously couldn't think of 10) in TV, I am shocked to realize that they were all dark-tressed men! Could it be that there are no good looking black haired men in TV or cinema? I also realized that there was more than one reason why I loved The Social Network movie, when Miss Piggy and I were enthusing about the Winklevoss twins, or more accurately the actor who played both of them? Hmm, does that make 6 of them? Damn.

As I look through the photos, I observe that they are all very tall, with some having clefts in chins. Didn't realize I had a thing for the latter. Interessant.

1. Andrew Garfield (as Saverin in Social Network *even though I love the Spiderman look MORE!*)
[image source:]

2. Mokomichi Hayami (as Night in Zettai Kareshi)
I died several times watching this show, especially the part where he sprays his robotic self with water while doing push-ups (even though my preferred manly sport is pull-ups) or making omu rice with ketchup hearts in a bid to please his owner. I <3 Night-kun! If they ever sell a love doll which looks like him, I will fly to Japan and smuggle him out!!!
[image source:]

3. Matt Bomer (as Neal Caffrey in White Collar)
Dangerously sexy in Chuck, sophisticated in White Collar. Yummy.
[image source:]

4. Topher Grace (as Eric Forman in That 70's Show)
He was my fav male actor for a long time. 
[image source:]

5. Christopher Gorham (as Henry Grubstick *wtf* in Ugly Betty)
Stupid show, gorgeous man. I stopped watching the show when he left. And he is married in real life, so that's why he is #5.
[image source:]

The only blond man I thought was cute: Armie Hammer
He is tall (6 ft 5), he was blond and came as a pair in this movie. Need I say more?


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