Showing posts from May, 2007


By the way - while this is hardly anywhere near a food blog - Buono, the new Italian place in Lichfield Road, is excellent, and worth the trek to the Serangoon Gardens area. Still thinking about their seafood soup. Almost like a fine wine, in that it had such a complex interplay of flavours.

Hooked on Phonics

I have to say, one thing I had totally not expected when I got my iPod was how hooked I would get on podcasts. And not just the podcasts I might've expected to get hooked on (NPR's All Songs Considered, the Economist, the Ethicist - which is actually funnier when read, and ESPN's Baseball Today, among others), but the language ones. I'm currently alternating between Coffee Break Spanish, trying to pick up rudimentary Spanish, and Deutsche Welle's "Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten" - the news, read in German, slowly. It's funny and sort of surreal hearing about, say, the G-8 summit in German while walking down Sims Avenue. But I do know I also speak along to the podcasts, to get some practice in, and have startled people in the process. So if you pass by a guy with his iPod on who seems to be muttering to himself oddly, please forgive me...

I Will Follow You Into the Dark

I like to think of this as the Persephone myth recast as gorgeous music:

In Memoriam

S o we sat around the table with the peanuts, exchanging stories of Grandma. Tales that were long buried resurfaced. How she sat in my overcrowded kindergarten class, the only parent/grandparent allowed to do so, barking out orders in Teochew to 40 screaming kids to keep them in line. Apparently my mother went to the teacher to apologise for my grandma sitting in, and she was told that no, actually her presence was much welcome. Of course, stories from my early childhood are all a little fuzzy - that's a tale I only know in the telling, not one in my memory. What I remember: I remember her taking me to some shop in Geylang, and she needed to get down the road, and back then you could actually took a trishaw for transportation, rather than for any novelty value. I remember going to the wet market with her and nibbling at the dried shrimp. I remember going to the hawker centre where she would take me to my favourite Western food store, probably the only place in Singapore where a ham

I, For One, Welcome Our Animated Overlords

I 'm a huge Simpsons junkie - smartest show on TV, even if it might never hit the seasons 4-8 peaks of consistency - and I'm really looking forward to the Simpsons movie , but with a bit of trepidation - what if it just becomes some extended shaggy-dog story (not that that couldn't be funny) on the order of Saddlesore Galactica ( Worst. Episode. Ever. )? Still, even this little snippet on the plot from the NY Times made me laugh: The plot seems to involve the town of Springfield dealing with an environmental disaster that Homer accidentally starts. (Also, for some reason, Homer has a beloved pet pig.) Pet pig! (Homer-like-chuckle.) In anticipation, here's 101 jobs of Homer Simpson:

Linksfest: Throw it out of the window

M an, I can't believe Melinda Doolittle got kicked off "American Idol". With Jennifer Hudson, she was probably the best singer that the show had seen. Hearing any rendition of "I Am Woman", I must say, always makes me think of the Muppet Show episode where Miss Piggy bursts into Raquel Welch's version of the song and starts singing "I am wopig... W-O-P-I-G". Anyway, some more fatuous links, thinking about childhood: Ah, I suddenly recalled that old "throw it out of the window" song that I always found fun as a kid. The Village Voice article on the Night of a Thousand Stevies made me think, only in cities with a big enough population would you get something like this. Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies. Busy lives prompt speedier games - i.e. quick-playing Scrabble variants. I'm not so sure about that "busy lives" hypothesis - I played the game the article calls Grab Scrabble and that I always knew as Snatch all the

Soul food

B ack from New York and a side incursion into North Carolina for a friend's wedding. Ate at Mama Dip's while I was in NC - have to say, ribs, fried chicken, cornbread, collard greens - they all do taste better in the South. Dang - just writing that made me hungry. While it's 6.30am in the morning now (thank you jetlag), I must leave my desk and forage for food... Man, I miss soul food. (Image taken from Deep Fried Kudzu , as I stupidly forgot to take a pic. Hey, you can't spend your whole life documenting experiences - you have to actually experience sometimes...)

The Arcade Fire, United Palace Theatre, New York

J ust caught the Arcade Fire live at the United Palace Theatre up in Washington Heights in New York. Incredible show. Especially the one-two punch of " Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out) " and "Rebellion (Lies)" that closed out the main show before the encore. "Rebellion (Lies)" is amazing to hear live - the build up, and then the release, with the whole crowd screaming. Seemed that the Funeral songs were better concert songs, although maybe that was just because the crowd were more familiar with them. "Antichrist Television Blues" was outstanding - have to say though, it does sound like Springsteen - and the spare version of "Neon Bible" I thought played well in the converted church... Family, religion, they tackle the big subjects and do them well (and with every conceivable instrument). All right, while sleeping is giving in, I think I need to head to bed. More on the show when I'm not as dazed...