Weekend breakfast

Salmon, smoked; Eggs, scrambled

We live in such times as that where we don’t have time for a good meal to kick start the day because the day has already been kick-started and we’ve been dragged along, hanging on to the handlebars for dear life.

Oh, and the price of food and other household items suck too.

But if you can, and when you can, get up a bit earlier and make a nice breakfast for yourself and loved ones, sit down, eat, and say, fuck it, I’m having a good meal I don’t care what the rest of the world is doing. Try it this weekend:

Eggs, scrambled; Salmon, smoked:

Ingredients:

3 large eggs or 4 medium eggs

100 ml full cream milk

1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese

50g smoked salmon

chives or parsley, finely chopped

freshly cracked fresh pepper

25g unsalted butter

2 thick slices bread (ciabatta, white, focaccia etc)


(optional:

1/2 cup cherry tomato

rocket or spinach)


Method:

Combine eggs and milk in a bowl, melt butter on skillet on low heat until it bubbles, then pour eggs in, stir continuously until it cooks, then pour half the parmesan in, and keep stirring.

Turn off the heat, then stir in smoked salmon. Pepper to taste, and serve on toasted bread, top with remaining parmesan and chives. (serves 2)

More recipes can be found at this nifty website called Open Source Food (my page there), which I found via Uncle Dee’s Project Trattoria, where there are also recipes to be found.

Meet the Karen Cheng

Doing the Karen Cheng

I’ve been following Karen Cheng’s blog on and off since blogs were invented way back in 1976. If you’re not already a fan, she’s a hot Perth mother of two lovely kids who blogs about her family, shopping et cetera on a very pretty self-designed website at www.karencheng.com.au.

On occasion, she takes self-portraits in a manner which has spawned this viral thing called “doing the Karen Cheng“, where someone takes pictures of themselves in front of a mirror, with the camera visible in the picture, and with their heads tilted at a specific, precise angle, facing north by northwest.

The point of this all is that Karen will be visiting Singapore for the first time in six years, and instead of merely dropping in on the shops and hanging out with friends, she has decided to also raise money for the Singapore Red Cross while she’s here.

On Saturday, 5 July at a location to be finalised on the Facebook event page, she will “do the Karen Cheng” in front of a, preferably large, mirror. And everyone is invited to attend and “do the same Karen Cheng”, and donate $10 to the Red Cross.

If that sounds even remotely dodgy to you, maybe you, like me, have impure thoughts, and should really read Karen’s blog post for a clearer explanation.

(Thanks for the alert, Lancerlord)

Joe Augustin got what?

It was with shock and horror that I logged in to Facebook for the first time in yonks, to read amongst the hundreds of superpokes and superclittickles that Joe Augustin got fired.

I haven’t listened to radio for so long that I’ve never listened to 91.3FM (the station that fired Joe), much less known about his axing, even much more lesser known about the circumstances surrounding his axing, even though it’s been making waves on the ingterneck and other non-mainstream meejums.

The only inkling I had that something was going down was when a friend in the radio business texted in reply to my asking how things were, that things were “ok, except for upheaval in the radio industry”.

But, yeah. So if you want to listen to Joe Augustin in his new old former revamped radio show, tune in to Power98 (98FM) in the mornings, sit back, relax, and wait for the next upheaval.

Green neighbourhood. Not.


Here in Singapore, we send our trash overseas – Photo by Where is Clifford The Big Red Dog?

I asked our apartment block’s cleaner where the recycle bins were and he said there weren’t any. Just chuck everything into the big wheelie bin, he said.

What made me sicker was a friend of ours telling me he saw his neighbourhood’s rubbish truck dump everything from their block’s recycle bins into the same truck as the other regular rubbish.

I would like to think that the private company that collects our trash for a monthly fee has some super-duper system at their trash depot that does the sorting for us, but it is hard to give anyone the benefit of doubt these days.

My flu-induced headache was exacerbated by researching “green cars” over the weekend, trying to find out if the carbon footprint of a CNG car was significantly less than that of a conventional one, and how many CNG dispensing stations there were in the country besides the three in very far flung parts of the island which require a CNG car owner to use up a significant amount of gas just to get to.

The flu medication does stave off some of the gluggy feeling, but it doesn’t stop me from being delirious enough to think about such things as the total square footage of all the rooftops of all the HDB blocks in the country, and how many solar panels can be fitted on them.

I think the good people at HDB and NEA would have thought of it already, with or without the flu. Then again

When policemen still wore shorts

Tiffany lamp being taken apart

“Wah, you must have bought this when policemen still wore shorts”, said the lady at the lighting shop as she asked for my permission to dismantle some more of the tiffany lamp I brought in for her to fix.

As took the base off, the debris from inside the lamp fell out and dirtied her table, and I felt bad, until she told me it would cost around $100 to fix up the lamp and bring it into the 21st century.

I’m not complaining too much, because it’s a really nice lamp my mother bought in San Francisco in 1979 or 1980, and it hasn’t worked properly since. (Probably because we didn’t know the difference between AC and DC, and we probably melted the fuse or something).

And this lady’s shop was only like the seventh or eighth I walked into on Balestier Road, and the only one whose occupants didn’t say, “No, we don’t do repair. Only sell. Try other shop. Sorry”.

Then again, it was quite likely she knew how to fix this lamp, because her shop had several similar lamps, although she said, “Those different. All from China, not brass one”.

The lamp and some other stuff in the house should be ready by end of next week. Yay!

Settling

It takes a couple of weeks to unpack, say some of our friends who’ve also had the good fortune to change their surroundings once every couple of years. And we’re still settling in, moving things around the house because Jake the Cat has been displaying his acrobatic prowess by leaping from shelf top to fridge top and toppling some things we’ve put up there and breaking them.

Tomorrow the plumber-electrician guy comes over to fix some glaring defects in our apartment which somehow weren’t so glaring before we signed the lease.

There’ll be more. Curtain Guy comes over some time next week, hopefully, and we’re expecting a third visit from Starhub Guy because the ingterneck connection is seriously fucked up.

Oh, and Naomi and I have the flu.

What’s going on?

It’s like we’ve been in hiding with all this moving shit. We’ve hardly read the news, and although we know about the major calamities that have struck, it still feels a bit strange that when we’ve started venturing outside of our apartment (both old and new), the country seems to have changed a fair bit.

First, every second 7-Eleven and petrol station cashier / pump attendant seems to sport a PRC (Mainland or whatever you call them) accent, and every second waiter / supermarket cashier sports a Flipino accent.

Multiply that by the number of petrol stations, supermarkets and cafes in Singapore and you’ll have come up with a very rough but very large number of PRC (Mainland Chinese) and Filipinos working in Singapore.

I don’t know about you, but I feel it wasn’t like that, say, six months ago?

Maybe that’s why there was an apparent recent push to un-Pinyinise Chinese names in schools. We don’t want our kids to be mistaken for Mainland Chinese working at petrol stations and Chinese restaurants, do we?

Seriously Hossan

My best friend Hossan is going to perform at the Esplanade (again) on the 27th and 28th (and extra show on the 29th because of popular demand) of this month. So, even if you’ve something better to do (which I doubt, because it’s Hossan performing at the Esplanade), get your tickets fast, and book yourself in for a treat.

late-nite-hossan.gif

Since the morning that we came

Pensive Mac
Mac’s settled in easiest – as long as he’s got his cushion, he’s sweet

As with any new premises, there are things to get used to. But to call them teething problems would mean this apartment has more teeth than it was supposed to.

There are however, nicer things.

In the carpark, between the parking lots, are fruit trees. Mangoes and rambutans, and the other day, an Indonesian maid from an apartment spirited a ripe pineapple back to her employer’s apartment. (I knew she was Indonesian because she yelled “Mum, ada pineapple” as she cradled the pineapple up the block.)

Walking Mac the Dog has been a good way to acquaint ourselves with our new neighbourhood, and we now know that we have a cleaner who knows everything and everyone in the compound, and we have the best security guard the landlord’s maintenance fees can buy.

In the best martial traditions of a Gurkha, he sits, unmoved by anything and I mean anything, in the guardhouse, all day, except during lunch hours. The night guard is even better. He’s a sorta stealth operator, and we haven’t seen him since we’ve moved in. Intruders, be warned.

The cleaner, now he’s a character, has been really helpful, telling me things (in Hokkien) like, “Wah, you damn suay, your apartment on the top floor on that side of the building, furthest from the refuse point, you didn’t know there wasn’t a refuse chute did you? Raining you die”.

On our second morning here, we had a reasonably long conversation in Hokkien, halfway through which he said, “You know, It is a pity not many people will know how to speak Hokkien in a generation or two. A real pity”.

Then a Caucasian woman walked past us, and he yelled, “Bonjour!”

As she tripped and responded with not as much gusto, he turned to me and said, “There are a lot of Frenchies here, so I learned a bit”.

At that point, both Mac and I felt like breaking into song.