Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wordless Bear Day - Mr B @ a random tram stop in Germany

I find this tram stop really pretty :)
Sometimes you really can't judge a book by its cover. There was a taciturn looking uncle at the tram stop, who was the only one who bothered to help blur tourists like me and B1 buy tickets. I love uncles and aunties, they are always the nice ones who are first to extend a helping hand to others. :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

[19 Jan 2013] Handmade Movement Singapore

The rain was relentless. It started since Friday night, and continued all the way till late Saturday afternoon. Which was bad, because it was the inaugural Handmade Movement Singapore craft fair & pretty ironic that they chose an otter for their mascot.

We got lost looking for the place because we drove, and got lost in the maze of streets that was City Hall- Fort Canning area. We parked at Armenian street, thinking that it would be very crowded at Fort Canning's carpark, and then we fought, in our usual way, about where the fuck Fort Canning Green was. The rain was a real damper, and B1's mood was even stormier. I could understand, seeing how he was being dragged out of bed and into the rain hunting for something he wasn't even interested in.

Our favorite word "scheidung" was uttered plenty, you'd bet. 

In the end, we followed the music (B1 disagreed, arguing that it was probably music coming from a restaurant). Thankfully it was mercifully loud or we would have continued walking up the Fort Canning Hill.   
What it was supposed to look like

The actual scene
Instead of the lovely garden picnic scene that the organizers envisioned, it was more like bodies crowding into the big tent trying to stay dry against the merciless rain. I dragged the whiny B1 into the various smaller tents, ignoring the squishy sounds that my canvas shoes were making, trudging through the mud.

The main tent
The Milo van was a welcome sight and B1 was in a nicer frame of mind after getting pumped with the restorative Milo. We did a quick round around the stalls checking out the wares (it was a very quick round because I was FAMISHED) before buying some lunch from the Travelling Cow. Food truck in Singapore, so cool! :)
Traveling Cow's Mac and Cheese
I wasn't being a witch, seriously, but I really like mac and cheese, so I bought that, totally forgetting B1 HATES macaroni. Still, he ate it after much grumbling. Then we went one more round around the main tent.  Everyone was selling handmade items (naturally), mostly stitched work, which looked really well-made and some, even exceptionally pretty. There were stalls selling unique wallets and purses, e.g. a wallet for the kiddies to store their crayons. I admire their effort, considering my love and (mostly) hate relationship with my sewing machine.
cards and postcards on sale at evonleangelis' stall
I really like the postcards that evonleangelis made, and was so taken I kept walking back to her stall. I wanted to buy one of the displays, which was a framed picture of animals. B1 even agreed to buy it for me. I wanted to hang it on my walls, but as I was saying to B1, it was so going to make my own artwork look like shit.
evonleangelis' postcards
My artwork is spared the critique, because damn, it wasn't for sale. The picture was a sample of an invitation card she did for a previous client for a child's birthday. Double burn!

There were also ongoing performances and workshops. The free workshops were fully booked by the time I found about the event, but due to the rainout, there were still spaces available. I wanted to participate but B1's mood was darkly "verboten"ing.
She Falls Asleep
"She Falls Asleep" was bravely performing in a nearby tent, heavy raindrops forming a melancholic backdrop. Nothing against their music, but why is everyone and her grandmother channeling the Zooey Deschanel "New Girl" girlish style nowadays? And why is that style always associated with artsy fartsy events? I am growing tired of this trend.
Harmonograph made by two perpendicular, pendulating sticks weighed down by bricks
Greeting cards
The Science Centre also made its presence felt by having young scientists help visitors make harmonographs.  I bought a little something for Bär at one of the stalls specializing in doughcraft. This reminds me of the time I tried doughcraft with C, and not knowing that they are supposed to be small and cute, I made a huge bread-like thing. It soon developed mold despite the varnish and had to be chucked out.  

Dessert Bar's ornaments are super cute
All in all, it was a pity that it was raining. Otherwise it would have been pretty awesome. Very garden party style. And I loved that it was all high-quality handmade stuff, and not the usual China made products on sale pasar-malam style, in a casual setting with lots of activities and workshops.

One thing I would complain would be that the space was very narrow for the crowd they expected, given that the potential number didn't show due to the rain and we were still squeezing past people despite that fact. Perhaps the organizers will take note of this and maybe choose a more favorable place like Paya Lebar airport, so there will be shelter from the rain.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Singapore Memory Project

I was invited to join the Singapore Memory Project. I demurred for a while, not willing to be identified or have to explain why my blog is titled "My life as a Tiny Plasticine Penis".

But I decided to give it a go because I want to support local initiatives and events, and I do want to leave something behind (don't say cum!). Decided this after attending a weekend of art events, which I am still slowly blogging.

Natürlich only a small collection will go in. Still deciding which ones now...

Friday, January 18, 2013

A simple lunch @ The Orange Thimble

Shop Front
Today was supposed to be one of those lavish lunches that Bär and I have taken to having to nourish our pathetic souls. But because I didn't have the time to research on a place and I was already given the area to look into by Bär, we ended up at our favorite Tiong Bahru enclave.
Sorry for blur shot, camera low batt and me weak from hunger
Still don't get the hype about the Tiong Bahru Bakery. After making ugly faces through its glass windows (and frightening their customers) we made our way to its neighbor, Orange Thimble. Orange Thimble sells itself as a place "where art meets cafe". We missed the all-day-breakfast, which was only available until 1130hrs on Freitag. Sigh.
Buy art on the side :)
So I was doomed to have the BBC sandwich which comprised of sad streaks of bacon blanketed by lettuce and jammed walnut toast, and a companion side of mesclun salad. The little bears will be horrified at the amount of vegetables on that plate.
BBC stands for brie and bacon and eh???
I had a confused palate, while Bär had the OT which was egg mayo. I looked at the photo I took of the egg mayo sandwich and whispered to Bär "the sandwich looks like it has teeth!"
I bite!

Less frightening shot of the OT
To say the truth, I was a bit alarmed when I saw the wait staff pour the juice from the jug because we had ordered it as freshly-squeezed. But when we tasted the juice, ah, it was the right stuff. It was just that they stored it in the jug, that's all. I liked my orange juice, but Bär frantically added sugar to his grapefruit and orange juice, saying it was too sour for him. It was funny watching him trying to melt sugar in a cold beverage *giggle*
Juices under art
For afters, we both got double scoops of ice-cream. I was sure that I wanted irish cream after I got to taste a little bit of it (it was either that or earl grey with figs to accompany my vanilla pod ice-cream. I am all about matching flavors). Bär got strawberry and cookies and cream which presented contrasting tastes. So in the end he didn't finish.
Irish cream und vanilla pod eis!~
Orange Thimble is a great place to hang out with friends (the irony, considering how FA I am). Food is not great, but I liked the ice-cream, and the art it had on the walls. Very inspiring. I will do some mixed media art tonight (if I can stay up)!!
Other nooky areas to hang out with friends
Orange Thimble
Blk 56, 01-68,
Eng Hoon St,
Tiong Bahru

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Butterfly Kisses

Don't blink and miss the little brown moth on my portulaca
It's a joke really, because it is actually a moth. argh. But hey, if the thing can fly all the way to a penthouse unit and pollinate my flowers, kudos to its effort :D

The portulaca, lime plants and zinnias are my Christmas gift from B1. Unfortunately till date I have killed 5 out of the 8 zinnias already due to my noobish lack of knowledge, e.g. of the need to transplant them out of being overcrowded into 2 pots by the nursery.

It's kind of embarrassing because zinnias are supposed to be a beginner plant. On the other hand, the portulaca is super popular, with me, the moth and the crazy ass bird who lives upstairs. 

The stupid bird has been by, tick tocking on my hapless portulaca, and the bloody thing can't aim, bombing his nasty shit on the leaves.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Restoran Hua Mui - Cham stands for 儳

Hua Mui known for their Hainanese chicken chop
We didn't have any difficulty finding Restoran Hua Mui because it was really near Kota Raya Plaza and the big Indian Temple, which Ms Bear was very familiar with. In fact, it was along the route that she would take to get her washing done professionally. No kidding, there are still real Indian launderies along Jalan Dhoby (Hindi word for washing place), unlike Singapore's Dohby Ghaut.

There were a lot of quaint and interesting shops along the way, e.g. cloth shop, accessories shop (for the Indian clientele), coffee shops, and little shops selling flowers for prayers. There was even an undertaker. *faint*
Walking down Jalan Trus, we came upon Hua Mui. Downstairs was very crowded, so we made our way up some rickety stairs to the second floor which was also crowded. Only 2 tables near the windows were available. We slowly grilled on our seats under the relentless sunlight that spilled in through the open windows.
Early birds got the cooler seats
Opening the menu, I decided to choose the intriguingly named Cham. There were two chinese words, but I couldn't read them because they were very small. I should mention that while I am fairly fluent in Mandarin, my written and reading comprehension are pretty awful. I especially hate to read for small words, and would rather guess at the words than read them.
Hot lemon tea on left, cham on right
My guess in this case was that it was chilled chinese tea. I was like fuck, when it came, looking like coffee. Well it was sort of coffee, because it was "chan", i.e. 儳, which means mix in chinese. In other words, it was coffee + tea.

Cham! (meaning "dire" in Hokkien). I don't drink coffee, so I knew that I definitely would be unable to sleep later that night. Luckily it was sweet yet very confusing to my palate.
Check out the pulley system in the middle of the foto
Hua Mui was quite recently renovated, but it still relied on an old pulley system to convey its dishes between the floors. Then when the chicken chop reaches upstairs, the staff only needs to top it up with the sauce before serving. Hot liquids for the customers upstairs were all prepared upstairs, so there was no chance of spillage or scalding.
The famous Hainanese chicken chop

Hua Mui uses dark meat and not breast meat, therefore the tenderness of the meat contrasting with the crunchy coating. I didn't really like the potato wedges but I read somewhere that they were the pièce de résistance. I liked the tomato though (nice chickenly flavor).

Still, it was an interesting experience. :) I must say the place must be hankering for the tourist dollars, because this dish, no matter how nice, is not worth 12 dollars in a currency. If I had to pay SGD12 for this, I will say fuck you. As it was it was Ringgit 12 (i.e. SGD4.91).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hell hath no fury like this woman's wrath

I have been having a shitty week. As usual.

But I was unable to destress by playing CoH. Because for some reason, my internet bandwidth has crawled to a miserable average of 5-10 Kb/s.

Hello, I haven't experienced a speed so shit since my 56K modem. I couldn't even log into gmail, for fuck's sake.

But strangely dear B1 was still able to play his fucking BF3 with no problems. Since I was very tired, I went to bed early everyday this week. Yesterday I even fell off my stool after falling asleep. So I didn't mind so much, even though I couldn't do much. Besides I was still sewing my kangaroo back into her body. 

Anyway that was why I was very surprised when my Skype friends said hi to me yesterday when my phone logged in by itself last night.

And today. Today was the worst. My internet was so slow, I couldn't even use google. wtf? Then I heard BF3 going on in the background.


"What the fuck have you been doing to my bandwidth?! Why can't I use google!"

Looked very innocent.

"Eh, oh. ok, I will do something about it."

I walked back into the room. Suddenly my download sped up to 200kbps. 

"you fucker! You starved me of bandwidth?!"

"I don't know, I put 300kbps. How did I know you experience 7kbps? I had no choice, your download causes my BF3 to slow down."

"WIR HABEN UNS EINE SCHEIDUNG!!!!" I screamed."The next time you do this I will... I will put rat poison in your food!" (it was a very bad day to piss me off)
[image source: immaclaus@devianart]
The next time he does that, I am going to put my foot through his laptop. I'd see how he plays BF3. As I was angrily muttering that, he came into the room and hugged me.

"Please don't be mad...And tell me if this happens again ok? Don't put rat poison into my food first ok?"


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Poked myself a few times with the needle. *Karma*

In lieu of playing CoH, I have been penitently sewing back my kangaroo. To hide my ugly stitches, I used transparent thread, which is a pain to thread through the needle.
I am almost done. It has been three days since I started sewing. her right side has been severely damaged. Anyway praise be, I finally found the other ear, which I also have to sew back into shape before reattaching to her body.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Torn from limb to limb

To continue my moans about moving: I initially wanted to give away this kangaroo to The Salvation Army. She is totally clean and new because my mother wrapped her in plastic to prevent dust from getting to her. However being too lazy to move all the stuff there, I decided to keep her.

So I tossed her in the wash, together with Georgie Porgie and Gerard (also known as Tugs, the blue baby care bear). The other two came out fine (then again they are washing machine veterans, like Mr B), but Ms Kangeroo was torn apart in the washing machine in just the first cycle! Luckily I forgot to close the lid, so the washing machine stopped after the first cycle.

B1 said I should just toss her out, but I think I should restitch her. The weirdest thing was that one of the furry ears went missing, and now I don't know how I should proceed. Sew her back, sans one ear? Or make her a cloth one (which will look worse).
Can't see the thread. Threading is a bitch!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

5 Uhr Konzerte - Feinste Kammermusik im Herrlich Barocken Ambiente der Erzabtei St. Peter

To me, a trip to Salzburg doesn't count unless you watch a concert, and being the usual tight pussy that I am, I hunted for a free concert in Salzburg. Maybe my German was too crap, but I was sure that the Michael Haydn concerts would be free so we registered for that one. There were alternative choices, of course, because it was Mozart concert season during that period, but the tickets were very expensive (despite including dinner in the ticket).
Near the Michael Hadyn museum @ Erzabtei St Peter
B1 and I had to rush back to Salzburg after visiting the Kehlstein (ie. famous for Eagle's nest, Hitler Bavarian hideout. Will blog about that later, even though it turned out that Eva Braun visited that place more than Hitler did. The woman apparently loved to sunbathe topless, which is pretty amazing because we almost froze our bits off on a summer day)  instead of visiting the salt mines.
Waiting for the concert to start
When we reached there, it turned out that the tickets were 12 Euros a piece (which is about S$40 in total for 2). Argh. I kept thinking of whether to spend the money (+ the fact I hate flutes all woodwinds), while wandering to the St Peter's Abbey to buy Schnappi and Onkel H some holy wine. In the end we did.
Lena Riedlinger and Mayu Takahashi were playing a trio of songs by Mozart and Johann Georg Tromlitz using a flute and a sort of early piano called the Hammerflügel.
Fantasia in C-Dur für Hammerflügel solo
Sonata in F für Flöte und Klavier
Partita II in G-Dur für Flöte solo
Lena und Maya playing Sonata in F
I don't know why but Lena reminds me of a French girl. I was musing about that while watching the performance. The room had pretty good acoustics, and I thought the Hammerflügel had a unique quality (somewhat different from the modern piano). I can't say I can appreciate music very well but I liked the Sonata in F the most of all. I was glad we watched the concert because it was the first time I have seen and heard a Hammerflügel. What we remember most of the concert was this woman in the audience who loved to turn around and cast everyone the evil eye if anyone dared to make a noise. Lord have mercy on anyone who needed to cough (the place was STUFFY but the acoustics were fine).

NYE tea @ newly opened Benjamin Browns

I am cleaning my rooms now *moan* because Vater is evicting me from my old room. It never ceases to amaze me how 2 persons living in tiny bedrooms can transform all the crap from those 2 rooms into 1 big apartment and still run out of space. Dafug.

I have still have tons of stuff to move *groan*, so I have to clear out the shit before I can put in more crap. I have been buying tons of stuff since moving in, e.g. paint and paintbrushes, canvases, sewing materials etc. That on top of my two violins (I think I have to sell back the crap one back to Teacher so that I can save space). Like Ms Bear pointed out, my having too many hobbies is not relaxing me but exhausting me instead. So one of my new year's resolutions is to stop buying crap.

Anyway moaned too much as usual. How did everyone's NYE go? (‘ε’)

We were supposed to have a Xmas celebration (supposed to be teatime @ Brunetti) as per our tradition since long ago, however because I was taken down by a severe migraine, it was postponed. So we had a NYE celebration instead. Lucky Ms and Ms Bears had a heavy breakfast because they had to wait for me and Bär to finish our meeting which dragged to an unhealthy 2pm. Needless to say no one was around but the rats and cockroaches by the time we were done.

We made our way to California Pizza Kitchen, where Ms Bear had a seafood linguini by herself due to her teeth problems. The rest of the bear family shared a Kung Pao spaghetti, peking duck pizza and a tortilla spring roll appetizer. It was when the food arrived that I realized that the camera I had painstakingly brought from home had 0 SD card inside. How moronic... luckily the two little bears had their camera phones.

We were figuring out where to have our tea time, since it was still raining cats and dogs. Bär pointed out at the cafe opposite. None of us could see the name (we are all blind as bats, the name was written on the overhang). But we decided to check it out because the decor looked nice.
Benjamin Browns @ Forum, Orchard
The lady boss waited on us, which was very nice. We found out that the place, Benjamin Browns (opposite California Pizza kitchen) had just been opened for 4 days. I was still a stuffed bear, so I thought I would have a milkshake. How silly of me, considering that it was S$12 for a bloody beverage. It tasted nice but was served very plainly and was not worth the price I paid.
Check out my pathetic milkshake in the background
Personally the decor reminded me of House@Dempsey for some reason, but I really like the country chic of the cafe. Bär and I were sitting on the boxed seats, which we later realized was vibrating because there was a speaker or boom box underneath. And the cafe kept playing jazz music so we were shook at every bass note. Bär compared it with sitting on a giant dildo. Like he'd know?  

The little bears were cleverer. They both chose the 2 scoops of icecream portion at S$5 each. Since my milkshake is one giant ball of icecream beaten to death (they said they used the actual icecream), I'd say they got the better deal.
Actually I wanted to try the lotus root crisp but no one offered me *sobs*
As for Bär, he asked the lady boss what was their best dish, and she said that it was their banana pancakes. I whispered to Bär how did she know that, since they were only opened for four days so far. Bär replied, hello the chef will have some specialties before opening right? Anyway ignore my bimboticity, it turned out to be true. The pancakes were pretty good.
Bananas were hidden in these blankets of yumyum
I would say that Benjamin Browns is a nice place to hang out on rainy days. Other than the pathetic milkshake (which came served 3/5 in a glass with no umbrella or cream or anything and is totally overpriced), I would say the ice cream is a good deal. Pancakes were ok for their price. 

Benjamin Browns
Opposite California Pizza Kitchen (#01-23)
Forum the Shopping Mall


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