modgurl's
blog*spot
posts are personal. open-mindedness is essential.
who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

Dear Blogger,

After baking and cooking for weeks, I've decided that today, I won't do any of those. Instead, I should treat myself to some shopping! And I wasn't referring to grocery shopping. I haven't gone shopping for myself in quite awhile. So it was due time that I do that.

I actually planned to buy a pair of shoes and maybe a belt and maybe some other accessories. I decided against going to Orchard Road or the Marina area because of the heavy traffic and ridiculous road charges there. Besides, the roads around Marina Centre are already closed for the F1 race!

I am as excited about this F1 race as any Man Utd supporter watching a Liverpool match. I mean, this race looks great on the tourist calendar, but as a local, it's nothing but an inconvenience.

The tickets are damn expensive! Plus, not only can't you steal a glimpse of the race from anywhere (security will be tighter than a vacuum), you can't even go to Suntec City or Marina Square or any of the buildings within that area without either being charged an extra $5 if you're taking a cab or subjected to various security checks! It's like that IMF event again!

So anyway, I thought the next better shopping haven is Vivocity. There's ample parking there and I can convert my spending for free parking. Also, the shops there are not too heartland and not too Paragon.

Now I don't know why I had to make a detour to East Coast Road before that. I had this sudden need to buy a wooden bench and I remembered this shop that sells wooden furniture there. I should have driven straight to Vivocity because I almost crashed the spoiler of the car when trying to park near the shop. I cannot even begin to tell you how insane its parking design was!

When I got out of the car to check the front, I was so sure I had damaged it. But a part of me said that the front had always looked like that and I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I stood there for a long time not because I was contemplating to send it for another body work, but because I couldn't decide if I had really damaged it or not!

Lately, I have been seeing imperfections where there were none! So this could be one of those things. My insistence on order and perfection has reached a point of obsession. Maybe I need to get my head checked!

I was so torn about the it's-there/it's-not-there damage that I actually overdosed on the shopping. Seriously! It's true that shopping is some form of therapy, because I felt much, much better afterwards. Any woman would be if she had bought not one, not two, but six pairs of shoes!


This camel patent stiletos looked so classy and I love the crystal buckles in the front! The 20% discount was great too! (From Heatwave at Harbourfront Centre)


If these came in red, they'll be so like Dorothy's from Wizards of Oz. The ribbons won me over. (From Heatwave at Harbourfront Centre)


I loved the champagne colour. I couldn't decide between the bronze above and this champagne, so I bought both! (From Heatwave at Harbourfront Centre)


These shoes looked deceptively cheap, but once worn, my feet just looked fabulous! They were perfect for my other bridal outfit! (From Anna Nucci at Harbourfront Centre)


I just had to have these pink patent stiletos! (From Anna Nucci at Harbourfront Centre)


I also had to have these femme fatale red stiletos! At about 4-5 inches high, these shoes are killers! (From Anna Nucci at Harbourfront Centre)


I wouldn't have bought this Guess bag if it didn't stop me in my tracks at Tangs. There's just something so young Hollywood about this bag (Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Hillary Duff...). This was a serious impulsive buy (it cost more than several of the shoes above) but I love it! (From Tangs)


Rainbow cornflakes cookies I made yesterday. The colourful ball sprinkles made all the difference.

Now that I'm back on earth from a shopping high, it's time for me to assess and reflect on my expenses. It's highly likely that I won't shop like this again in a pretty long time.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

Dear Blogger,

Things are starting to get hectic, and I'm not even talking about the wedding. I made Ipy agree not to discuss the wedding during this fasting month. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is feeling this pressure. Teachers, educators and parents are feeling it too no doubt.

I'm talking about the PSLE, Primary School Leaving Examinations. Strangely, but not surprisingly, I find that it's the parents who are more anxious about it than the students who are actually sitting for it!

I know it's important to get good grades so one can be posted to the secondary school of choice. I know! I've gone through it! Still, must parents really burden their child even more with their own insecurities?

I can't do my job well when I have parents telling me what to do. If they know what should be done, why hire me in the first place??? They can save hundreds of dollars by not engaging a tutor!

Besides the parents' kiasuism, for students taking PSLE this year, they won't be able to enjoy Hari Raya Aidilfitri because their first paper will be 2 days after the public holiday. That sucks but everyone has to go through it.

After the PSLE, there'll be the N Level exams and followed by the big O Level exams. Ki...llerrr! Yesterday alone, I spent slightly over 8 hours revising Maths with my students! Three of them are taking PSLE and the other one is taking the O Levels. 8 hours of Maths! On a Saturday! That's crazy!

Of course by the end of the day, my brain was too fried to do anything else. Didn't cook. Didn't bake. Didn't clean. Didn't even watch TV! Just showered and laid in bed with a good book.

Today, I almost had the whole day to myself. I had to spend 2 hours of my Sunday tutoring my troublesome student. As much as I don't like to diss my students, this one deserved to. She and her whole family deserved to be dissed.

After what I've gone through with her nonsense, I can't believe her mother dared to dictate my tutoring schedule! Obviously she's panicking because her daughter only had barely 2 weeks to recover from an "Ungraded" score before she had to sit for her final exams.

If her mother had asked me for advice, I'd say suspend all her daughter's CCAs and social visits! Also, her parents should consider enrolling in a parenting responsibility course if there's any.

What did she think I was? A miracle worker??? She's not paying me enough for me to conjure up some magic! At Secondary 1 level, her daughter doesn't even know primary school-level "Area and Perimeter" formulae, so what can I possible do within these 2 weeks???

And another thing. Since when does a teacher rearrange all her appointments just because one of her students can't keep her eyes open after dinner on weekdays??? How is that any of my concern??? You want to pass your exams? You better as hell put in some serious effort!

I'm beginning to lose whatever slight faith I have in this girl. She shows no respect for my time. She hasn't showed me any interest in her studies. I think she thinks that just because she has managed to get into a secondary school (a CHIJ one at that!) after sitting for her PSLE twice, she doesn't need a reason or motivation to learn anything in this new environment!

I was so pissed with her mother's demands but I remained professional. I said no. She demanded again. I said no again. I have to be firm. It's unfair to my other students if I give in.

When I got home, I channelled all my pent-up energy on household chores. I was like a woman on a mission. A woman on speed. I...

  1. vacuumed the car interiors,
  2. sent the car to the car wash,
  3. had the car refuelled,
  4. bought mops and scrubs,
  5. vacuumed the house except for the living hall and balcony,
  6. mopped the floors except for the living hall and balcony (4 times!),
  7. wiped the window grills,
  8. hung new curtains in all 3 bedrooms,
  9. scrubbed the toilets and floors, and
  10. cooked
I now know that I could possibly be Superwoman. Yes, I probably am. It is no joke mopping 158 squared metre of floor! The frustrating thing was, 90% of those tasks were assigned to Ipy! And I assigned them to him!

If he thinks that there is nothing left for him to do when he returns, he is so wrong. There had better be some presents for me when he gets home. A pair of diamond earrings or diamond tennis bracelet would be nice. They had better not be from some heartland, Joo Chiat Complex or Tanjong Katong Complex jewellery store. Call me a snob or whatever. A girl has every right to have tastes.

If not diamonds, surprise me with shoes. I haven't bought any shoes for Hari Raya yet. Maybe a new clutch bag. Oh dammit! Just pamper me already! I deserve every morsel of it!


Kuih makmur before and after baking (It was my first effort at making these traditional Hari Raya cookies)


Comforting beef noodle soup I made on Friday night


Palembang-style chicken with eggplant and broccoli that I cooked hours ago. It tasted of a cross between curry and asam pedas. Here eaten with brown rice.


A justified bubble bath for my aching body and soul

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008 @ 8:09 pm

Dear Blogger,

I am thinking of ways to dismiss a student of mine. It's that same student and family who have been giving me headaches over the past year.

She has not had any tuition for a month because apparently, her CCA has more priority over her tuition. That was fine by me because her tuition days were scheduled on weekends (weekdays were out for her because of her school load) and I treasure my weekends. But that also meant missing on the last two lessons before her tuition fee was due. Still, I put up with it.

So when her mother finally called me to "resurrect" her tuition (because she was getting "ungraded" scores for her tests), I was doubtful that things would change. One lesson down last weekend and just one more lesson to complete the 8-lessons cycle.

I confirmed with her mother this morning about having tuition this evening, and she confirmed. In the afternoon, I reminded her that with tonight's lesson, she has to pay her tuition fee. I didn't expect to spend my afternoon justifying with her why her tuition fee was due tonight. But I did.

At 6 p.m., she text me to cancel tuition tonight for the stupid reason that her daughter didn't want any tuition on weekdays during this fasting month. She waited the whole day to tell me that? And right after I pushed for payment?

If that wasn't a coincidence, I don't know what is. But I'm not surprised. I have put up with their bullshit for a very long time. With the amount I charged her for my services, this inconvenience is not worth it.

Since I didn't have any dance lessons tonight, I was left completely unplanned. I hate not having any plans! If my menses didn't make its long-awaited appearance this morning, I could have spent the night doing terawih prayers.

I was going to cook beef noodles, but the beef hasn't thawed yet. While waiting, I decided to edit some photos from the camera. Ipy didn't believe that the wonderful photos I've been putting up recently was due to the magic of Photoshop. I think he was just trying to justify his $1,500 purchase.

So, I'm putting up the photos before editing and after editing, just so that he can see them for themselves!


F1 car display at Vivocity - Before and after


Ipy and car display at Vivocity - Before and after


Me at Vivocity - Before and after


Ipy at Marche - Before and after


Me at Marche - Before and after


Our meal at Marche - Before and after


Me at Bon Bon Tea, Vivocity - Before and after


Chocolate biscuits I made this morning, covered in snow


Chocolate butterfly biscuits


Chocolate ice cream cone biscuits

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

Dear Blogger,

I've never felt so lonely this Ramadan as I had been last night. It was just like previous weeks, except last night, I just felt crying.

I broke my fast at Darul Makmur mosque as in previous week. But last night, I realised that despite the many campaigns to promote the "kampung" spirit, women will still be as cliquey as when we were back in kindergarten!

I tried to join in the small groups of 3, but I kept getting pushed away. So in the end, I had the whole tray of dishes to myself. And it wasn't a good feeling. I drank the tea and had bites of the fried rice serving, but I had already lost my appetite.

For hours afterwards, I kept thinking about what I have done other than by myself. Nothing. I haven't met up with any of my friends for anything. If they still exist that is. I haven't really bonded with my family. Those walks with my mother to terawih prayers were no different than solitary walks.

I really, really felt like crying, but I couldn't! The tears just won't flow! I couldn't sleep, so I engaged myself in baking some Happy Cookies (Biskut Ria). And baked I did!

By the 3rd hour, my body was feeling tired, but I just kept on baking till the last dough was baked. That's something amazing about the woman spirit. No matter how tired she is, she keeps on working.


Hearts with cashew nut - Before and after


Stars with mini sugar star


Flowers - Before and after (These are my favourites! They came out beautifully!)


Squares and flowers in cookie jars


The kuih tart I made previously

So what will I do with these cookies? I made so many of them, so I'm going to give them away to my students, to my family, to neighbours, to friends, to charities... I don't care.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

Dear Blogger,

I knew it was a bit early to be making kuih tart (or pineapple tarts), but it was a toss between cleaning Ipy's leather car seats or making kuih tart to fill up my time today. So I chose the latter.

I've never made kuih tart before. I remember my father attempted to make those when I was very, very little. He didn't get past the pineapple jam. My father was picky about his kuih tart, and he still is! He's like a kuih tart connoisseur.

Even after savouring hundreds of kuih tart, he still favoured his late mother's version. That wasn't surprising. My late grandmother's kuih tart melted in your mouth faster than you can say "melt-in-your-mouth"! The pineapple jam filling was a subtle blend of spices and sweetness. I haven't had those kuih tart in years and still the taste lingers!

My father never got the recipe from my late grandmother. My aunt, who was fortunate enough to learn how to make the kuih tart from her, doesn't make them anymore. And I don't think she's keen on sharing. So, I can't introduce my late grandmother's kuih tart to the new generation.


Aren't they adorable???

At every stage of the process, I was so proud of myself for getting there that nobody could burst my pride bubble even with a nail! Seeing them so perfectly shaped from the mould made me want to cry. They looked so cute!

Although they didn't turn out soft and magically melt-in-your-mouth after baking, my father gave me 2 out 3 stars. The missing star was for the disappointing pineapple jam filling. It was too stiff! 2 out 3 stars were good enough for me as the pineapple jam was store-bought.

I still had time to fry some tai mak noodles for break fast. I'm getting quite good at frying noodles! You know, I have literally spent the whole day in the kitchen! I realised I have not sat down proper at all till I sat waiting for terawih prayers to begin. I think my legs shook in gratitude at that time.


Not too spicy fried beef mee tai mak with lots of vegetables as usual

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008 @ 4:28 am

Dear Blogger,

I woke up several times for several reasons.

I woke up and literally jumped out of the bed because I thought it was already 4.30a.m. (sahur time), but realised that it was only 11.30p.m.

I woke up because the rain had started, and switched off the fan.

I woke up to check my email. Yes, check my email!

I woke up because Ipy had not emailed me at all and thought what the hell was he doing???

I woke up to check if my phone was working. No SMS. No missed calls.

I woke up to check if my alarm clock was working!

I hate it when thoughts threaten a good night's sleep. Especially when the thought concerns a certain someone. That is why I hate to think too much about somebody! It's like not worth it!

If they must wake me several times in the middle of the night, let them be about solutions to some problems or ideas to some cunning plan.

I didn't have any appetite again, but I forced myself to eat something. Just a bite. I downed some Vitamin C and a couple more cold tablets. Here I go feeling woozy again. Better now than later. I can't teach or drive if I'm woozy later.

Hope I'll feel better for terawih prayers tonight. Been missing a lot this week because of tuition.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Friday, September 12, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

Dear Blogger,

I knew there was a reason for my recent "laziness". And today, I simply had no appetite at all! In fact, I've just vomited the mutton bryani, even though I was craving for it the whole day. My body was trying to tell me something.

I'm sick! I'm not well! My immune system is down! Ah how the mighty has fallen to a simple cold.

I've checked my temperature four times throughout the day. No fever. So it's just a cold. Then again, my glands have swollen a little. So it could be flu even if there's no fever.

I'm feeling a little woozy after taking a couple of cold tablets. The box said it has a non-drowsy formula, so why am I woozy??? I am definitely going to pass out after this.

My body just needed a break I guess. It's about time too!

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

Dear Blogger,

I was on baking overdrive today. After trying my hands at making cupcakes (I overdosed on the icing sugar, and still it came out watery!), I wanted to bake more! I didn't because... I don't know why I stopped. But I knew I wanted to keep on baking.

I haven't tried my orange cupcakes though. I'll bet they're damn sweet. My students love them though! Children have more sweet teeth than I had previously imagined. They probably think I'm the sugar fairy or something.

Some people bake because they're stressed. Maybe I'm stressed. I just don't know it yet. I hardly eat what I've baked anyway. I just like to know that I can do them.





Tom Hanks had Wilson. Jack Sparrow had rum. I have everything a home needs, except the owner. What does it say about me? I'm a castaway in my "bigger than average" island in one of the busiest heartlands in Singapore.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

Dear Blogger,

Some people have no sense of manners at all. Even if you're flesh and blood, please don't assume that you can ransack my cupboards or use my things without permission. Please don't infringe on my hospitality. Please have the decency to know that it's late so it's time to leave.

My sister thinks the whole world owes her, so she thinks that my home is just like her home. She comes here thinking that there is always food, so she heads straight to the kitchen and start opening the refrigerator and cupboards.

I think that is very rude of a guest. You don't go around people's home and do that! You don't expect the host or hostess to feed you!

Also, she has this habit of lingering at my home till late as if her own home doesn't have any TV nor computers. As late as till midnight! On a school night! I will not tolerate that anymore! The reason I move out in the first place is to have my own space and I will protect that with vigour!

She has to wake up and realise that nobody owes her anything. So what if she's only 16?! She's a spoilt brat! She was born and raised at a time when almost everything was handed to her at a whim. But not anymore.

She also has to learn manners! I've noticed that many youngsters now do not have any manners at all! They assume that we, as adults or parents, will give in to their every demands. Well, they have not met me. I will not hesitate to discipline a child for being rude, even if his parents are right there with him!

Exactly at 10 p.m., I told my sister nicely to leave as it was late and it was a school night. She didn't want to leave because she hasn't finished watching "Project Runway" on YouTube.

I only lent her my laptop thinking that she had schoolwork to do. "Project Runway" isn't schoolwork. Neither is blogging. Do you know how pissed I was when she told me how urgent she needed a computer, only to find out that her "urgency" involved YouTube and blogging.

I told her to fix the computer at home, but she refused because she's too selfish. She thinks that if she fixes the computer, her brother will spoil it again. I've griped about it so many times, yet I still fix that damn thing! Why? Because I want to use it!

I told her repeatedly to leave as I was tired and it was late. It became a test of wills for us. She was dead wrong if she thought I would give in. I warned her that I would switch off the laptop if she didn't do it first. She refused, so I cut off the power supply.

Obviously, she wasn't too happy about it. She stomped off and threw tantrums. Big mistake. I won't welcome such inconsiderate people in my home anymore.

She doesn't help out with the housework. She locks herself in her room all the time. She hides food in her room because she didn't want to share with anybody else in the household. If that isn't a selfish brat's behaviour, I don't know what is.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

Dear Blogger,

I've been forgetting many things lately. Like switching off the fan, the TV and the lights before I leave the house. I have even left the rice cooker on for 6 hours! Twice! I have also gone into a room wanting to take something or do something, and I've gone out without doing either. I must be losing my mind.

I've been experiencing persistent headaches too. I'm not sure whether it was because of the fasting or because of the diet. Malay cooking isn't exactly Weight Watcher's-friendly. Maybe I can't take any oily or fried stuff.

I've also found a bruise on my forehead. I must have gotten it when I knocked my head while entering the car last week. Funny that I've only realised it now. It's not blue-black, but I could feel a lump on my forehead. If it was bleeding, I would sue HDB for designing such a small carpark.

Daniel Powter has a new song, and it's such a catchy and hopeful song. I know Ipy would love this song because it speaks of his sentiments right now. I hope he could listen to this song and hopefully this song would be his motivation to finish his job on time.

Next Plane Home - Daniel Powter


I woke up early to baby blue eyes from afar
whoah whoah

And when the sun comes through and lights you like the angel you are
whoah whoah


I know I do you wrong
When I'm with you I've been gone


With every season change, it looks the same, November to June
whoah whoah

And don't these empty streets skip a beat the flowers don't bloom
whoah whoah


I can't believe I missed your birthday again
And I wanna come back but I just don't know when now

And I'm so lonely you're not here with me
That's why I'm gonna be on the next plane home

The road that never ends around the bend I see your smile
whoah whoah

I'd swim across the sea to be with you for a while
whoah whoah


Cos I've made a life of being gone
Now the way that I feel is I just don't belong here

And I'm so lonely you're not here with me
That's why I'm gonna be on the next plane home

And you're the only face I wanna see
That's why I'm gonna be on the next plane home

Stand around trying to make every moment
And be somebody yeah anybody
It seems the whole world is taking me over
I need somebody to help me get back to you

And I've always been a million miles away
But things are gonna change
I just wanna come home

And yeah you're the only face I wanna see
That's why I gonna be on the next plane home
Yeah I'm taking the next plane home
Now I'm getting the next plane home
Now I'm taking the next plane home

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

Dear Blogger,

I am so exhausted! I stopped at 8 rakaat for terawih prayers because I couldn't stop yawning. No point forcing myself to complete all 20 rakaat if all I could think about was my bed. I guess the shopping and cooking today has taken its toll on my body.

I made Laksa Penang by the way. Mother said it tasted and looked more like Laksa Johor. Didn't matter. I still made Laksa.



Mother and I went to Geylang Serai again this morning to collect my rugs. We bought groceries at the wet market first. Mother bought lots of fish and seafood.

Since this wasn't a supermarket, I was stumped at the types of fishes. I didn't know what was what! I think I'll stick to buying fish at the supermarket.

I also didn't like how some of the fish sellers had cigarettes dangling off their lips while handling the fishes. I thought it was inconsiderate and unhygenic.

I think the fishes have been polluted enough in the sea while alive. They don't need to be subjected to more pollution when about to be bought for the dinner table.

We met some relatives and friends at the market. Geylang Serai is after all the Malay community epicentre. If ever Geylang Serai was swallowed up by Earth, the Malays in Singapore would be at a loss.

I think constructing a shopping mall in the heart of the area spoils the look and feel of the place. I'll bet it'll be just like any other malls in Singapore. How many Giordano and Hang Ten outlets do we need??? Also, do we need another First Lady outlet within walking distance???

I bought a couple more tunics before collecting my rugs. Mother bought chair pads. Really! That woman can shop!

I also ended buying a small mat from the "abang" carpet. While completing the transaction, he suddenly asked me if I drove a Mercedes Benz. I smiled and said no.

Then his Chinese boss said out loud across the floor that I must be driving a BMW. I gave out a nervous laugh because I was trying to decipher the meaning to all these questions in my head.

Then he cried out. "I knew it! First time I saw you, wah so pretty! Sure must drive expensive car one! Eh, we exchange numbers you want?"

Mother burst out laughing. All I could think about was where the hell was Ipy.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

Dear Blogger,

Ever since the start of the fasting month, there has not been one day which I lament of boredom. There is always something to do!

There is tuition which takes up half of my day in most of the week. There is also cooking and baking, which I do almost daily nowadays. Then, there is the terawih prayers which take up my nights! At the end of the day, I don't have any problems hitting the Zs.

I wish I could do more though. Like sewing. I would like to be able to sew a clothing. Obviously partially inspired from watching "Project Runway". By the way, my fave was Christian Siriano. He is so talented! And fierce! In a bitchy way of course.

I wish I could have him as my best friend. We share the same taste in eyewear! How could we not be best friends?! I would advise him to lay off on the hairspray a little though.

Anyway, the last time I actually sewed was in Secondary 2 Home Economics (HomeEc) class. I sewed a skirt, which was wearable till my waistline grew out of it. Why aren't girls not required to do HomEc anymore???

I used to hate HomEc. I never liked my HomEc teacher. She was one of those prim and proper old bird. In an age when I wanted to be equal to the boys, cooking and sewing seemed like slavery for the modern girl. I openly envied the boys in the technical workshop. Imagine what I could have become if I was given the choice!

In case people think that I'm domesticated now because I'm getting married, they are so wrong! I do them because I like to and I want to and I think it's cool that I have the freedom to do them now.

I used to think that being a career woman was the ultimate social symbol of success. It's having the freedom to pursue anything you want and be happy about it, is the symbol of success! Maybe I'm destined for tai-tai-dom.


Fried chicken turned into...


Sweet and sour chicken!

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Friday, September 05, 2008 @ 11:40 pm

Dear Blogger,

Parking at Geylang Serai on a weekend night can be an excuse for a war. Unless you're an aggressive or at least, a confident driver, you will never get a parking lot anywhere over there, not even at any nook and cranny of Geylang Serai.

After spending nearly 20 minutes waiting, patiently I should emphasise, there was no way I was going to give in to queue-cutters! Not for rookie, young punks, nor a pakcik driving a family of God knows how many packed in a tin can. Sometimes, when you're driving a beemer, you have to have an attitude.

I was very surprised with myself for being able to wait patiently at the public parking lot next to Tanjong Katong Complex for that long. My blood didn't even boil at all! I thought that was worthy of a sainthood for me.

I guess I felt guilty for missing terawih prayers to shop at the bazaar. So I thought, if I behave, God will grant me a parking lot. He did eventually, but that still didn't make me forget about intentionally missing terawih prayers tonight.

My mother and I walked to Joo Chiat Complex to collect her curtains. I didn't dare ask her how much she spent for it. While waiting for her curtains, we skipped to check out the carpets and rugs nearby. Pretty collection, but didn't see anything that I wanted. Mainly they didn't have the size I was looking for.

Bamboo rugs are in apparently. I thought of buying those to add to my collection. Strangely, the runner size I wanted was not available anywhere. None of the sellers had any idea what I was talking about either! How could I have dreamt of it when I have one sprawled just next to my bed???

Mommy found a rug she wanted. She was looking for a small one enough for prayers, something like what I have in my bedroom. I couldn't remember its cost though. I had a feeling that after this rug and her curtains, it wouldn't be the end of her shopping tonight.

Her curtains itself was super heavy to carry! It must have been one of those with many layers type. Walking back to the car while lugging a rug and curtains, against a mob of browsers, was very challenging. I didn't burst a vein though. I amaze myself sometimes.

We headed to the bazaar across the street after dumping those items in the boot of the car. That was when my shopping started. Since my mother had gotten curtains, I didn't feel right going home empty-handed. So I bought curtains too!

I'll bet what I've purchased was way cheaper than what she had paid for hers. Mine was ready to be hung, while hers have little ribbons roses still needed to be pinned on the curtains at her creative freedom. We managed to bargain from $99 per set to $85 per set for my curtains. So I bought 3 sets for all my rooms.

My mother couldn't resist. So she bought another 2 sets! How many curtains does that woman need??? And where did she get the funds from? It made me wonder if she had a secret bank account stashed somewhere. It's always during this festive season that her purportedly non-existent wealth make its presence known.

Nevertheless, I was pleased with my purchases. Now I just have to drum up the will to hang them. Trying to even seduce Ipy to do them would be fruitless.

We checked out more rugs. I insisted. I didn't want to leave without a rug either. Found something that I wanted. Managed to bargain for a set of 2 runners. Was almost delighted about the possibility of buying until the seller said they only accepted cash.

I am a card-swiping girl. I don't know why anyone in his right mind would carry hundreds-worth of cash. How dare he even suggested to me to walk across the street to the ATM??? Why should a seller inconvenience a consumer by not offering various modes of payment??? We're talking carpets here, which could easily cost hundreds, not some sticker-selling booth!

We were about to walk away when the boss suggested I put down a deposit instead and come back tomorrow or the day after when new stocks arrive. I'll have priority of picking. Sounds like a win-win situation. I definitely wanted to buy one and the price offered was too good to resist, so I agreed.

Exhausted but happy, we made our way home. The traffic wasn't as bad by then. I also managed to get a covered lot at my carpark. Usually, it's most likely that we'll have to park at the rooftop if we arrive any time past 10 p.m.

I'll be extremely furious with HDB if I had to park at the rooftop tonight. The car had just been waxed and polished. I wasn't going to subject it to the mercy of nature while I'm asleep.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

Dear Blogger,

Tonight, I was mistaken for an "ustazah" at terawih prayers. Isn't that funny? I've been mistaken for one twice already. The last time that happened was just last month! I know Ipy will have quite a laugh about it. He did the last time I told him about it.

I also know that he's miserable on the rig right now. What did he expect? Work is supposed to be miserable! Maybe at least to me! That's why I don't consider my income-generating activity as work. My students thought I was weird because I enjoy doing all those Maths problems. That was only because I don't see them as work.

Anyway, all that misery on board is comfortably compensated. From a management's point of view, I think that is a fair trade-off. Sometimes I wonder why I don't join the paper-chasing crowd and be in some form of management. Then again, why should I?

Maybe it's tough out there with all that testosterone in the middle of the sea. I always believed that a little estrogen would do wonders on that rig. Maybe it might actually get some work done! I hold Margaret Thatcher's quote close to my bosom.

"If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman".

Ipy believes that too. That's why he usually leaves things for me to do, like picking up his laundry or possibly setting up the storage shelving system. He knows very well that I hate procrastination. Why bother telling me of intentions to do something when nothing was done about it???

Got to rest my aching bones. Spent 2 hours standing in the kitchen, baking and cooking. I think Nigella's spirit has seeped into my soul. I made another banana concoction, a Banana Crumble Muffin recipe turned into a loaf cake.

I also made Baked Brown Rice with Broccoli. To some people, that sounds yucky. However, when you add lots of cheese topping to broccoli, it sorts of bring out the full flavours of this healthy but mostly hated vegetable.

I can't wait to try making pineapple tarts.

Note to self: Get out of the house early tomorrow to collect car. Why doesn't Performance Motors have a delivery service??? Will write that down in its suggestion form. Then, do another round of grocery shopping.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008 @ 10:19 pm

Dear Blogger,

Today was one of the last few sessions of my dance lessons. I can finally do the headache-inducing turns for rock and roll now. When danced to a fast music, it was actually quite fun!

Images of 1950s America immediately sprang into mind. Hopefully all that twisting and turning burnt some calories in me.

I made cabbage soup for break fast. Cabbage soup is reportedly recommended by doctors for obese patients to lose weight. I don't know if that was true, but I sure made quite a big pot earlier.


Cabbage soup that supposedly burns fat

Makes 15 servings

Ingredients
1 large head cabbage, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, diced
10 stalks celery, chopped
1 can (14 oz) beef broth (about 400ml)
*2 cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
*2 quarts tomato juice
**1 envelope dry onion soup mix
salt and pepper to taste
water

Variations:
I didn't have all these (*) last night, so I substituted them with:
5 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
** I didn't know what dry onion soup mix was, so I omitted it.
Substitute the vegetables with any other firm vegetables, if desired, except the cabbage. That's why it's called Cabbage Soup (duh!).
May add chili flakes or Tabasco sauce if you like it spicy.

Directions:
Place all the vegetables in a big pot. Add everything else and enough water to cover the vegetables. Simmer till the vegetables are tender.

Great to eat with toasted wholemeal country loaf.

Note: Recipe adapted from Cabbage Fat-Burning Soup recipe from Allrecipes.com, courtesy of Nell Marsh.

I don't think it'll be a fair experiment tonight because I also made banana chocolate chip cake. I had some bananas that were going rotten. So I looked up online for recipes that use them!


Banana chocolate chip cake

The cake looked a little flat because it came out from the oven super moist. Apparently, based on the reviews of this recipe, a double dose of the recipe was required for the cake to turn out looking like a real cake. Still, it was sinfully delicious.

I've had 3 slices of it so far. It will go very well with espresso or cappuccino or even milk. It's also a type of dessert that comforts you in times of cool, rainy weather like tonight. Suddenly, I feel very Nigella... All I need is a silk negligee.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008 @ 11:56 pm

Dear Blogger,

I sent the car to its service centre at Alexandra, conveniently right next to IKEA. All the while I was driving there, I was thinking if I could tolerate travelling on the train in the morning peak hours back to home. I have not been on the train during these hours since SMU days. I've heard it has gotten worse.

The cost I should sue CapitaLand for: $600+.

Six hundred over dollars for just one door! $400+ goes to just repainting the damn door! Performance Motors sure knows how to extort its customers.

Then again, anyone who could afford to drive a BMW should be able to afford its high quality workmanship. I guess that's its rationale. Besides, I wasn't quite confident about sending it to any other workshops.

I wouldn't have accepted the cost if the service wasn't damn good. I couldn't even trim the quotation because the "Body Works Assessor" (yes, that was the guy's designation) only quoted the bare minimum!

He didn't even try to sell me any bells and jingles! He did throw in a complimentary wax and polish though, which I think the car desperately needs. No carpets. No shoes. No more dresses. Sigh...

As feared, the train ride from Redhill station was super duper packed with people. I even saw people being shoved out of the carriage! When getting in, I was suddenly pushed in till I almost fell into the arms of this huge Chinese guy at the back.

Breathing and counting to 20, I regained my composure. That would have been easier if a stale stench didn't waft through the carriage 2 stations later.

I don't remember peak hours like this before! Maybe it's worse coming from the east-bound train. The west-bound train, which I usually take, was more tolerable. God I miss the car already! I'm a spoilt brat I know.

3 tuition sessions later, I was sleepy and exhausted. Every time my head touches anything to rest on, I was in dreamland, even for a brief second. Since I had to take the bus home, I wouldn't reach home in time. So I broke my fast at the nearby mosque.

It was quite a treat because we broke our fast with porridge and chicken bryani. My energy regained a little but I was still tired. So tired that I could only manage 8 rakaat of terawih! I'm sure that as soon as my head touches the pillow, I'm gone.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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Monday, September 01, 2008 @ 11:30 pm

Dear Blogger,

My first day of Ramadan has passed successfully. So has my terawih prayers. I've attended the prayers for 2 nights already. I can't believe it either.

The first night was tiring because the imam conducted 20 rakaat for the terawih. I didn't expect that. In the past terawih prayers I've attended, the imam had conducted less than that. Surprisingly tonight, I could do it all without stifling a yawn.

I had planned to cook minestrone soup all day. I've looked up some recipes online and chose the easiest of them all. I've also added personal touches here and there to this recipe. Basically, I added whatever I could find in the fridge. After all, hasn't minestrone soup been traditionally made with leftovers?


A decent-sized pot of home and freshly-made minestrone soup enough to feed 4 people

It turned out quite a delightful actually! Who knew something delicious could have come out from scraps? And who said I can't cook??? I just didn't bother to cook in the past because there was always someone to cook for me.

Earlier in the afternoon, I caused a dent in Ipy's car. Just a tiny dent, but a dent nevertheless. Most people would not be bothered about it, but it bothered me big time! Why do mall developers have to design car-damaging carparks??? And to think we pay exhorbitant amounts to park in their badly-designed lots!

My mind won't be at peace until I get the dent fixed. To do that, I've to go all the way to Alexandra early tomorrow morning. Here I thought I could spend a quiet, lazy morning tomorrow. I guess no such luck.

I haven't had any "me" time for quite awhile. There was always something to do, whether I like to do them or not! I think I need to "shut down" my system for a few days. A few weeks, if possible. I can't wait for the honeymoon. Hopefully it'll be a chance for me to wind down and forget about the present.

I've recce the bazaars at Geylang Serai on Sunday afternoon. Even though 80% of the stalls have not been set up or in the midst of setting up, the crowds were already present. Mostly browsers of course. The shoppers were at Joo Chiat Complex, Tanjong Katong Complex and First Lady at City Plaza.

I guess they wanted to spend their last month's salary on new clothes first before it's used up for other stuff. I bought myself 3 long dresses which I could wear when I go for the terawih prayers.

Anyway, looking at the state of the bazaar, I think this year it'll be a flop. Already I've read that not all the stalls were taken up. What did the organisers expect when rentals were increased from previous years and consumer trend shows a decline in spending???

I mean, how many curtains or carpets do I need in a year? I guess I need carpets this year but I don't think I'll go and buy more next year. Same goes for curtains.

Sincerely,
modgurl.

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