Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Struggling to stay awake

Imagine a female with tanned skin, hairier on top and many years younger and you would get me... I am struggling to stay awake nowadays to do my coding. Just loading the bloody android SDK is making me feel like shooting myself in the head. To tell you the truth, everytime loading the SDK kills my wavering interest, and I run off to watch tv or play CoH. I admire Mr Bear's determination. He's been staying up to read Objective C and Android coding, which is probably the reason why he is walking around zombified nowadays. And me, hopping around like a Chinese vampire, which make us look like petrified undead.

I was grumbling to Mr Bear about having difficulty building the game that I have been thinking of doing for many years since Burgerstacko. He suggested a different approach which is actually really quite simple to do. Will need some time to build the graphics though, but pretty doable. Hmm. Damn.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A different slice of Johor Bahru, Malaysia - What I bought

I am going to copy cat my favorite blog, Life of an American mommy living in Japan, who sometimes share on stuff she buys from the USA back to Japan (I wish I could convince B1 to become a professor  work at an airline instead :D, but I doubt I will be free to fly anywhere).

As usual, I didn't bring enough money. I was so confident that this trip would be devoted to walking and enjoying new sights, that I only brought 50SGD on top of the 133RM I already had. As usual, all the money was burnt up buying stuff, only I still can't figure out what did I do wrongly. I think I only brought 10 cents back or something *hopeless*. This is why I backpack when I travel if not I will go bankrupt buying stuff back. Only the weight of lugging luggage around can deter me. Just refer to the number of books I brought back from Germany...12.
Preserved Fillipino mango and plums for Bär. He loves preserved stuff (whereas I don't really like them and spent a lot of time walking around this new big store in Tebrau City, totally devoted to selling preserved fruit). I told him if he didn't eat it I will give him hell. Indeed, the present that keeps giving. :D
I bought a tee and shorts for B1. The man keeps wearing the same bloody grey tee that shows up so much in this blog, that I simply have to tempt him with replacements.  
This pussy cat bag is for me. The *^%$# red one (I am pissed because its clasp came undone and my COACH sunglasses fell out) has pretty much rotted through, so I am trying to repair it with my bad sewing skills. In the meantime, I needed a new one.
Towels, especially microfibre towels. My apartment is a bloody water trap (more humid than normal), so I need things that can dry quickly), and an oven mitt. You'd be surprised how many times I burnt myself when using my wicked microwave oven.
I bought some rose tea, and specially concocted ginseng and rose tea (left) and Shark's Bone Abalone soup (right). No need to figure out the amounts myself. Instant restoratives!~

Friday, February 22, 2013

A different slice of Johor Bahru, Malaysia - 2 Bakeries

There are two famous bakeries near Jalan Dhoby, JB, Malaysia. The word Dhoby is derived from the Hindi word dhona, which means to wash. So it is a no brainer that that road is filled with Indian laundries that take the pride in bashing the shit out of your laundry making everything white and pretty again.
Salahuddin Bakery - famous for their samosas
One being the Indian Muslim Salahuddin Bakery. I feel somewhat pressured to buy something because I traveled all the way there, for chris' sakes. But this bloody uncle in front of me in the queue was really gross. Salahuddin being a very traditional shop, keeps its wares exposed on trays along a long counter, so that customers can point and choose splutter and sneeze. But no, this uncle was really disgusting. He was very impatient because the lady was serving someone else, so first he grabbed some buns with his bare hands, then worse, he started to move the banana bread around with the same bare hands so that he could take the biggest loaves for himself. I wondered when did his hands last touch soap and water... and felt visibly ill.
No loss, according to Ms Bear. According to her expert eye, it seems that the samosas were unnaturally dyed anyway. Not sure what she meant, but after that horrible uncle, I no longer wanted to eat anything there. So we moved onto look for the other famous bakery, Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory.

Anyway while wandering around looking for the bakery, we got lost. Luckily a nice lady sweeping outside her shop helped point us in the right direction. In the meantime, I had a fun time taking photos here and there.
These grapes at a cafe reminded me of Onkel H und sein Garten
A remodelled event hall. I have a massive thing for architecture
Chaiwalla Honest tea
Chaiwalla Honest Tea is cut out of two containers!!!! Too bad we were stuffed from Hua Mui. Next time next time...
Bunch of young Chinese tourists in the know of the famous bakery
Everything at Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory, like Salahuddin is baked on site. Unfortunately I wasn't in time to catch their famous banana cakes which were still baking in the huge cavern of a wood-fired oven. Other than the famous Dragon kiln in Lim Chu Kang for firing porcelain, I don't know of any other wood-fired ovens in Singapore, so I was very impressed.
Bananas ready to go into the famous banana cakes (bloody hell, still not my fav kind)
Wood fired oven!!!
Ms Bear, clever bear that she is, bought some kaya buns that just came out of the oven while I was harassing the friendly uncle for banana cake ("Gimme me my banana cake now!!!"). We had them on the bus while waiting to go to Jusco. It was yummy and super hot!!!
Full of hot gooey sugary kaya
Kaya is made of eggs, pandan and sugar stirred at low heat constantly for HOURS so that the eggs don't harden in the mixture. It's a bloody pain to make. My aunt used to make some... *plotting*

A different slice of Johor Bahru, Malaysia - Little India

Disclaimer: I wish I could bring my better Nikon camera but I didn't dare to tempt the gods, so I stuck to my shitty Canon. So pardon me for the badly taken fotos. 
Strung up fresh chrysanthemums perfect for hanging up in  your house
Some Saturdays ago (I am getting really bad at writing my blog), instead of playing CoH, I went JB with Ms Bear, and got to check out a different side of Johor Bahru. Usually I always hop onto the bus to go directly to the shopping mall. But that week, I got to appreciate a different side of JB, the Little India.
I just wanted to go out and walk about so I was totally cool with accompanying Ms Bear as she ran her various errands. In return she accompanied me to Jusco (which she wanted to know how to go anyway) and checked out various famous eateries which happened to be the Little India area. So it was a win-win.

We walked past Sri Mariamman temple. While waiting for her to exchange money, I gave money to the old Indian lady begging just outside the money changer. It was near the Indian harvest festival, and somehow she reminded me of my late grandmother so I gave her some. Instead of putting the money in the plate in front of her, I handed the money to her. She grabbed my hands in appreciation and whispered something with a toothy smile, which made me sadder. 
While Ms Bear was busy in the shop, I was busy admiring the handsewn embroidery on this blouse
Ms Bear made a blouse at a tiny dressmaker shop along the road (shown in above picture). She said that you would make a similar blouse in Singapore for the same price (RM55), but save so much money here instead due to the exchange rate (I think it was 1SGD to RM2.445, the Onkel at the money changer was very friendly, but usually we change in Singapore because the rate is higher there). 
Ms Bear buying prayer stuff and flowers for the harvest festival
Indian Tidbits
Ms Bear is bloody strong, I'd tell you now. She hauled BOUQUETS of flowers, kaya buns, tidbits, prayer stuff all the way from Jalan Dhoby to Jusco back to City Square (with loads of new clothes, frying pans, etc- I forgot the rest) then over the Causeway (think of it as a massive u-turn of several miles on foot) to her home on the other part of Singapore. I wanted to drag myself to some barn and shoot myself between the eyes to escape from the exhaustion and I bought barely half the stuff she did. I was in awe.

She then brought me to an Indian accessories shop (you know, if she wasn't there, the likelihood of me going in would not be very high), because I asked her to. And then we walked to Hua Mui to lunch on their famous fried chicken chop, before walking around the Jalan Dhoby area.

Buses to popular shopping malls in Johore Bahru
Jusco Tebrau City  (see my earlier post)
KSL (the new shopping mall near the Causeway) - Take bus S1 from the bus interchange downstairs (building next to the customs and JB train station).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nameko なめこ

There seems to be a new japanese kiddy anime called なめこ (meaning mushroom), which is deadly popular today. When I read about it on my favorite blog, I couldn't help but think, doesn't think thing look like a cross between an inverted nose and a penis?

Check out the official website here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

[20 Jan 2013] OpenHouse at MBFC [Part 2] - MBFC

When the tour started, the guide introduced himself as Phillip and gave us some background on the events. He also said that the tour will last 2 hours and we would be covering different areas in the Raffles area culminating with a visit to the DeutscheBank trading floor. I was glad we got Phillip as a guide because he was very informative and took pains to explain everything clearly to us, even about the Custom House (I posted about the Oyster Bar there before).
We saw 4 of the 12 exhibits/performances at MBFC itself. Just walking out of the makeshift waiting room (which was a function room), we saw Mintio's photograph exhibit capturing all the colors and shapes that local shopping malls and office buildings make against the Singapore nightscape in a sort of giant film-roll.
Phillip looks for a Shelf Help buch... just kidding

Then we took a lift to the cafeteria area where we saw studioKALEIDO’s “Shelf Help”. It pokes fun at our love of self-help by having a hilarious display of self-help books which all have blank pages within.The Pièce de résistance is all on the book cover. You laugh at the title and then you turn to the back and laugh some more. My favorite is naturally "How to Accept That This Shit is As Good As It Gets" because its advice captured my favorite catchphrase... "Suck it up..." I wanted to buy that book. Seriously.
Book Cover of My Life
Inside the Book
My Life Philosophy captured in the book. Couldn't be better described than "Tiny Plasticine Penis"
I loved the display so much that it was the single artwork that got the most fotos from me. Enjoy the next few fantastic "Shelf Help" books.
Important life skill I should learn
Another one I should learn...suffice to say, I am better at cutting them.
WTF is an armchair general?
Moving on, we walked to the windows where we saw Joy Ho drawing onto her display with the Marina Bay Sands as her backdrop.  As the rest were happily clicking away, I eyeballed the strangely large number of cleaning aunties and even an uncle hovering nearby on a non-working Sunday. Weird, then I too became super involved in trying to capture Joy's artwork against the city backdrop nicely when the cleaner aunties and uncle suddenly broke into dance to "Bengawan Solo".
Joy Ho drawing away
Das me?
Their cheerfulness and enthusiasm were definitely heartening, and we cheered them appreciatively. The idea is that usually most people would be busy going about their lunch and work and ignoring these (really working there) cleaners who fade into the background while clearing dirty dishes and wiping down tables. 
"I am going to kill the cockroach with this dishcloth!!!"
"我要代表月亮惩罚你" Sailor Moon style
"I caught a fish this big"

WTF there is a Company of Heroes Movie?!

How come nobody told me about it? Wtf! It's is released in DVD on 26th Feb 2013, as a theatrical teaser for COH2 I guess...oh THQ, you poor baby you.

[20 Jan 2013] OpenHouse at MBFC [Part 1] - Start of La Tour

This guy is quite a cutie huh :D Hope he didn't think I was secretly taking photo of him. Because in the two photos taken here, he was smiling into the camera both times. Hahahaha. I just thought it was a very nice way to capture everyone's interest in an artsy fartsy way.
I alternate between dreading and looking forward to this series of posts about the third Open!House event at Marina Bay Financial Centre. One, it is going to be super long. Yet, of all the activities so far of 2013, I find this one of the most interesting art events I have attended. I am super glad that I managed to catch it on its last weekend. I missed the Tiong Bahru Open!House which would have been the piece de resistance especially since I used to walk there once a week and I used to and still am EATEN with curiosity on how do the enclave residents live there. I know that there are a lot of people who are involved in the local art scene in one way or another living there, so needless to say their apartments will be super arty and pretty.
I myself am still trying to decorate my own apartment walls with my kiddy art. I am still not done, so that's why I am not posting anything yet.
But I digress. Anyway I am still super disappointed that I missed the event going right under my nose (stupid me). So when I got to the MBFC registration desk to pay my S$20 registration fee, I vaguely "face2palm"ed when the registrar said to me "you look really familiar, did you attend our event last year at Tiong Bahru?"
To tell you the truth, I get rather intimidated when I meet really arty farty people and I hear them talking in their snobbish accents. So when the tour guide of the initial tour I joined said that we were oversubscribed and asked if some of us could wait the extra 15 minutes and join the next tour, I was totally ok with it (also because my companion Miss Bear had gone to the WC), especially when someone else in the tour said in a targeted tone, "We have been waiting for fifteen minutes."
So I moved to the next tour (it was a win because we got Phillip as tour guide) and twiddled with the pass we were all given when we wrote down our details (MBFC requirement). Our passes were colored according to which tour we were on, to differentiate between the numerous participants. And there were many!

Click on the label OpenHouse to read more about the event (ok, I am still posting, so wait a bit before clicking).

Soft Kitty Warm Kitty Little Ball of Fur

Erstmal... ich wunsche alle einen Schönen Valentintag!!!
Mein Valentintag Geschenk für Bär
I bought this at the Handmade Movement. The kitty was too cute for me to resist especially because it reminds me of Bär and his love for all things meowy and furry. It cost me S$8 which is kind of ex for this tiny little thing. But the cuteness is ∞.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[3rd Feb 2013] Pop Up Noise @ Woodlands Civic Centre

We were in the area (ok, it was deliberate on my part) because I wanted to return my books at the library located within the Woodlands Civic Centre. It was a rainy day, as usual, and we were late for our dinner appointment, so pardon for the 'blur' quality of some of the fotos. I also note that my hands are getting rather shaky nowadays and it affects the quality of my fotos quite badly.
Pop-up Noise Setup just outside Woodlands Civic Centre
I am not sure whether it was because it had been there for at least two weeks but there were thankfully, not many people at the exhibition, despite the heavy foot traffic between the Centre and the main mall, CausewayPoint. 
Food related art :D

Prawn Mee - Prawn luxuriating in hot soup
There weren't many exhibits and some of the artists I had seen before at the last year's event at ION, e.g. Ziqi, who is a Malaysian artist based in Singapore. 
By Ziqi
Also seen before, artwork by local artists
B1 likes the Priestess (top left)
My favorite set of pictures, esp the bottom right and middle
Just like last year, there were alot of free and fun stuff to try. This exhibition allows you to make your own postcards or take the ones which are being circulated for free (Bär and I already took some at Orange Thimble). You could also draw on the drawing board, which I didn't because we were rushing to the library and onto our next appointment. 
Check out Noise Singapore to not miss out anything on the local art scene today.


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