Sunday, May 31, 2009


Clarification from Jimmy: It is north-eastern chinese cuisine and the name of that dessert is 拔丝地瓜.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Glazed in Balsamic Vinegar & Honey

One of my most memorable lunch outings with Jimmy was when went to an authentic Southern Chinese cuisine in KL last year. Noting the sweet tooth that I have, it was the sweet potato dipped in molasses and water that stood out among the rest of the dishes. The sinfully sweet combination of the warm crispy sweet potato and molasses. I was particularly excited at seeing how the molasses hardened after dipping it into a bowl of water. Anyways, my lunch today of baked sweet potato glazed with balsamic vinegar-honey is a reminiscence of that dish and that oddly memorable afternoon.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back in the kitchen

In the middle of working on my essay, I got hit by the stress bug.SO what do I do? I cook. Yes. And it's been a long time since i did (i don't count chopping vegetables and mixing tomyam paste with water as cooking). Anyway, i was quite satisfied with the outcome of this so you can give it a try....but at your own risk ok?

What you need...

julliened carrot
julliened celery
sliced white onions
julliened ginger
julliened red chilli
chopped garlic
organic udon
canned straw mushrooms

1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or less)
1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce (estimation)
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Boil udon (careful not to overcook) then set aside. Heat the wok. Add in oil. Sir fry the garlic, ginger and chilli, then add in the rest of the veggies. Add some water. Throw in the noodles. Sdd in mushrooms. Add in seasoning. Stir fry then serve.

Go easy with the ginger and chilli if you dont like it to be spicy. I think capsicum would be a good substition for any one of the veggies above too.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

i want to wake up like this

Like warm milk,
gurgling at the corner
of a satisfied baby's grin.
The odour of a baby's breath
an exudation of dawn
over the shortcomings of life
An incense named life.

As sunlight nestle among us,
our white cotton sheets
still wet with the dew
of last night's dreams.
A dream that trails off
at our entertwined feet

Before the jostle of a busy street
the demands of a sturdy work desk,
the pot of coffee,
brewing on a burning stove,
or even freshly buttered scones
Before the anticipation of these,
attempts to steal my attention away;
I cushion my cheek against your chest
and You...
You smell like...
Like warm milk,
Like baby's breath to me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I think you belong in North Pole

ARGH. I seldom do this but I need to do it lest I will resort to do something that repel the values of which i was taught as a child even more. And that involves a fist, a hefty punch and a bloody nose.

I mean seriously? This is a shared apartment, you pay just as much as i do. You know a very quite public space that is very quiet? Hint. It starts with "L" and rhymes with You-Are-Crazy.

Do I think the music was loud? NO. I should've just played Metallica and blast it at full volume. Colbie Callait? At 60% volume from my Laptop? Mind you, it's 12pm. You might as well tell the birds outside to shut up.

While you're at it, can you also for once take the initiative to clean up the stove after you cook, or wash the clothes, or take out the rubbish, just once?! The cleaners come just once a week, who is the cleaner of the house the rest of the week? Yours truly. But it's fine, I enjoy doing it. So we'll leave that part out.

But coming back to your zero tolerance level, may i remind you, this is a communal living space and I dont think I am a loud housemate, you can bring in a judge, I am ready to be judged.

She saw it
the shadow that trailed the heels of his feet,
as he limbly walked out of the door,
pulled a monkey face and stuck its tongue out.

She saw it
battered, dreary, even phobic.
a simple web of misplaced affections
wounded agressions, misnterpreted semiotics
an entanglement that has been prodded, knotted
twice, three, too many times.

She saw it
She even cajoled it, pleaded, forgiven,
yet a step taken behind remains unjustifiable.
temporary withdrawal, however dignified
on the surface, hesitant in the core
remains an unforgiven act of betrayal.

She saw it
hence she cut the wound that pained her
and blood spewed like a fountain of secrets.
if any did she erradicate,
was not of the pleasurement of
seeing it wither, but of
the impingement of her child-likeness.
However ironic this may be,
she was liberated from her age of innocence,
yet shackled by a new found immaturity.

She saw it
the departure of a traveller
whose fingers,
dance on cow's skin for a living
embark on a journey
that once
led him to her.

Where's Crystal?

Right here! I got caught up reading golden updates from Xiu and Ana that I decided to drop one in too.

The place I spent most of time in the past week is...
My room. My tiny 10m * 12m room.

My closest companions were...
My laptop. My bed. Anita Desai's Fasting, Feasting.

What did I do that I now regret?
Procrastinating. Being in complete denial.

What did I not do that I now regret?
Not watch Changeling. One more out of the 3 movies I've watched couldn't hurt.

I've been a Movie/TV Buff because...
I watched Star Trek, Slumdog Millionaire and Valkyrie...and Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother and Russel Peter's Red, Brown and... (oh forget it, i can never remember the freakin title!)

Something I've done that I'm not very proud of...
That I've been a movie buff...not at this crucial hour in time.

Something I've done that I'm proud of...
I returned $30 to Nick at the record store for giving me extra change.

I strongly recommend...
1. Watching Slumdog Millionaire.
2. Reading Anita Desai's Fasting, Feasting
3. Running on the threadmill while listening to Slumdog Millionaire's Movie Soundtrack--Track 1 to be precise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All the lonely people

(, 2009)

Kelvin, 23, uses the blue public phone to call his own mobile. His msn status reads: Can someone call me, just say hi or how are you? For 9 years, he had been receiving calls from the one same girl.

David, 34, calls a 20 year old undergrad to ask if they can go out again some time. He, a sound designer, had hoped to pick up some signals by listening to her tone of voice over the phone.

Crystal, 20, does not want to call anybody or receive any calls tonight. For she knows all she would do is listen to that one familiar voice, tears streaming down her cheeks.


MR TOUGH- 快乐王子 says:
su en?
redpepper says:
redpepper says:
how are u?
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
tis shall be my question wei
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
how r u?
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
redpepper says:
not so good
redpepper says:
redpepper says:
u dont sound too good too
redpepper says:
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
i am not tat good too
MR TOUGH- 难过的快乐王子,还快乐吗? says:
two sad fellow meet in msn....maybe will becum happy

Monday, May 18, 2009

Have you ever felt like talking without saying anything? That's exactly how i feel. I wish i can book a session with someone to talk about the past two and a half years and the suitcase of unfilfilled promises and dreams still lying under my bed.

Is that what I'm after? The fulfillment of fulfilling an unfulfilled desire? Of reclaiming a love that has been short lived? The quest to find out what it's like to position ourself in a functional relationship? To find out what's it really like to be with you seven days in a week, to go on a proper date, to function normally as a couple.

Will i stop thinking about you when i brush shoulders with another who wears the same perfume as you? When i hold another's hands, would I forget how our fingers would draw circles in each other's palms?

I always say, our relationship is constructed and sustained by conflicts. If my observation is true, then, am I after the resolution of these conflicts, once and for all?

I want to talk without saying anything. Does anyone know the art of listening without hearing?

Sometimes I do seek a listener. Someone that does not listen to the words from my mouth, but from my heart. Someone who has seen it all, someone who understands what I don't.

Maybe i thought for once you will be the wall i can lean on, and for once i don't have to provide the answers. Maybe i expected you to say, go ahead, I will wait, I will stay because i think you're worth it, I wont regret it.

So maybe i am not worth it. I am sure i am not.

Just leave if you want to. I don't want to play tug of war anymore.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Well Do You Know Me?

A new wave of 'How Well Do You Know XXX?' trivia has begun to rock the boats of Facebook users like me as I found myself falling victim to one of the forms of subtle interrogation I hate most. I can equate the same feeling of tension and anxiety of answering such questionnaires to the same emotions experienced during a final exam. Why? Because the proposers of these questionnaires, often closed friends and loved ones, usually demands a high score on the You-Know-Me-Well pedometer. Friendship,loyality and trust is put to the ultimate test by seemingly important questions that is assumed to be a known fact by now. I am not considered a Good-Enough or a Close-Enough friend if I don't know what your favourite number is. The tension and conflict heightens when it comes to lovers, because for lovers, the difficulty level is raised as intimacy level increases. My knowledge of you, my lover should range from the flavour your first birthday cake to what you had for lunch an hour ago. Any struggle over easy questions such as 'Where did we first meet?' or 'What were our first spoken words?' will be dealt in with unforgiving doubt over the 'sincerity' of my love to you. Loyality and betrayal will come into the ugly argument... 'How could you not remember the colour of my bra on the first night??! Are you seeing someone else??!!'

The grass in not greener on the 'Girlfriends' or "BFF-Best friends forEVA" clique. Knowing that female bondings are depended so heavily on loyality and The Secret Girls Code... one will be axed for not knowing her BFF's favourite seafood faster than you can even say SUSHI.

I sound like the grim reaper i know but i really dislike answering these questions as much as i hate asking them. Haha. Self denial... i dont want to be disappointed. Hope you wont be too.

COMING UP: Well then, how well do YOU know YOU?

Sunday, May 10, 2009



/ 喜歡 /

片段中 有些散落
還不懂 這一秒鐘
怎麼舉動; 怎麼好好地和誰牽手

那生活還過分激動, 沒什麼我已經以為能夠把握


片段中 有些散落
就快懂 這一秒鐘
怎麼舉動 怎麼好好和你過

那生活還過分激動, 沒什麼我已經以為能夠把握

畢竟是有著怯怯但能 給的沉默



Friday, May 8, 2009

This to me, is Infinity.

Sometimes I think you and I are both trapped in a white empty room with a white-washed wall that touches a borderless ceiling and reaches out into infinity.

As much as we try to escape from this room, we often find ourselves locked in, staring mindlessly at the colourless wall, weeping.

We weep at the infiniteness that lay beyond this wall. The infinite sadness and hopelessness juxtaposing the childish fantasies it once displayed.

Sometimes, I yell at this wall, and my voice reverberates across the infinity. The wall yell backs at me, its voice hollow, echoing my very own innuendo, making a fool out of everyone in the room but me.

But i don't mean to kick and scream at it. It once and still does hang beautiful portraits of you and I. Yet there is something cynical about the way this infinite beauty reaches out to no where. There is something cynical behind the smiles of the young couple in the portrait. Temporality guises the price one has to pay for such infinite beauty.

What if there was no end? What if there was a wall just as white and just high behind this one that was facing us? What if we escaped out of this yet find ourselves trapped in another room as similar as this? What if our presence here was a result of running from the same circumstances before? What if we never got out?

But what if we do? What if we finally found the way out but never find the way to stop finding the way out?

This to me, is infinity. You and I, we're infinity.


Trust Yan to surprise me again. At the start of the week we actually planned to watch Wolverine (downloaded leaked version). My idea of this Friday night was dinner then home to watch the movie... but trust Yan to come up with the most 'BTW' stunt. He called me after work, told me the Japanese dinner reservation was done (i left the reservations to him) and ... 'oh, by the way, I've got the tickets to watch the movie at Hoyts yea...'

Pause. Hoyts is the GSC or Tanjung...oh well, it's the GSC of Melbourne. Located at Melbourne Central (which is a train station/shopping mall...think KL Sentral meet The Curve) I've always wanted to watch a movie at Hoyts and hence felt blessed to be able to do it tonight. We had Japanese dinner, then coffee and less-than-worthy Tiramisu and movie at Hoyts. I think X-men is still the best but it was not bad.

After the movies, I went to meet up with Kelvin, Ivan, Zune Hsien and their friends at Purple Emerald, our favourite jazz lounge. Well, it has been two weeks since I saw them and since I've been alcohol free, so despite the drizzle and the fact that I had to come back to get my passport, I made it a point to meet up with them. Kinda miss hanging out with that. Yet at the back of my mind, i also kinda missed the eyes of the drunken philosopher whom as usual was not present.

I don't like this post at all but i don't want to scrape off what I've just typed. It's 3am now and it's still drizzling outside.

Thanks again Yan for the wonderful dinner and movie. I can definitely get used to these surprises. Back then, I was usually the one doing the planning and pulling the surprises, it's nice to be genuinely surprised.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First love never dies, haven't you heard?

It's great that we are talking again. As usual except not normal. I like it this way actually, finally, without the longing, worries, hope, stress... but rather, two adults, coming to terms with whatever that once bound them together.

First love never dies. Haven't you heard?


Kudos to UniMelb's Chinese Theatre Group for their Canton production satirically titled <>. It was entertaining and as the title implies, very much vulgar (I still can't get over the phone sex scene where the male character 'masturbates' himself) Nonetheless, it was one of those few plays that managed to make me laugh out loud, and at times, gaping in horror. There were a few glitches in the acting and sound effects, but overall i think it was very commendable. With approximately 60 short scenes, it manages to sail below the wave of complexity, which many plays that tries to do too much end up doing. I am unfamilar with Hong Kong society but i think a lot of messages that was hidden in the play could be applied accross cultural boundaries. I particularly like the <> scenes that intercepted in between the main scenes. All the while, i kept wishing Xiang or Hands team were there to enjoy it with me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shades of Grey

A guest lecturer at General News Reporting class yesterday said something that struck a chord within me. He said, "The world is painted in shades of grey." I thought it was a beautiful yet apt thing to say, because most matters of the world fall into a grey area. Mankind's progression is built upon volatile theories and idealism, depending on the dominant powers of a certain era. No absolute freedom or democracy exist in this world. Authoritarian ruling is justified in the name of maintaning social order. Democracy, liberalization, postcolonialism is often disguised in a veil neocolonialism. The constitution does not protect one's freedom to a certain extent. The enforcement of law is often misconstrued by layers of obstrusion, often under the grips of power and greed. We all know that the mass media is a significant platform for the ruling power of a nation state to practise hegemony through political and social discourse.

On a daily basis, men as the individual self constantly battles with his innermost enemy. The conflict usually arises as a result of his organic compulsion to shift between the lines. Our likings for roses today may evolve into an obsession with daffodils tomorrow. The human mind is a complex dimentia, one that does not rely only on reasoning (though philosophers may argue otherwise, but how many of us out there are actually Aristotles or Proust?) but on emotions. Hence, the never ending cycle of questioning, arguing and counter-arguing begins.

Even Morality does not exist in totality. With so many moral theories to consider, men faces a "moral dilemma" when reasoning and justification of the 'rightness' of his conduct.

However, it is this aspect of greyness in our lives that makes it interesting. If there weren't questions, there would certainly not be answers, even though these answers are not necessarily solutions. I shall share with you Billy Joel's song called 'Shades of Grey'...

Some things were perfectly clear,
seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear,
I claimed the corner on truth
These days it's harder to say
I know what I'm fighting for
My faith is falling away
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there were trenches and walls
and one point of every view
Fight 'til the other man falls
Kill him before he kills you
These days the edges are blurred,
I'm old and tired of war
I hear the other man's words
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years
I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear
are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men,
and all the causes they're for
I won't be righteous again
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
when I look to the enemy line
There ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colours I see

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
There ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Sometimes, we let our minds wander into places they shouldn't be. Images, sounds, actions touch a nerve in our brains and a flashback of memories surges from wherever they came from.

Just as I stand in the crowd before a live jazz band, my eyes fixates on the percussionist and even though I see his deft hands thump the surface of the djembe or congo, it is not that percussionist, a stranger, that I hear, but him instead. The rhythm resonates with the one engraved in my mind. Those hands are brought to live, it takes center stage in my mind.

I turn to the one beside me and say,'My ex, he plays a mean piece of latin percussions too...'

The Bar at Buena Vista

When Yan showed up with a box of chocolates, I knew my notion of the tonight's date was wrong. I don't think anyone has ever given me chocolates on a date nor do I think I've ever been on a date as 'complete' as tonight's in my life, IF this is to be considered a date to begin with.

We had to tweak our initial plans for the night because the Cuban-Indian fusion restaurant I suggested had (according to Yan who went all to St Kilda to check) had turned into a bar. The Japanese and Mexican restaurant that came up subsequently on our list were fully booked too. We finally found ourselves in a corner of Cafe Andiamo at Degreaves Street.

The Bar at Buena Vista is considerably one of the best concerts I've seen. The props and costumes really transported us back to Havana in the 50s. Te audience were enthralled by two hours of Cuba's Grandfathers of Son such as Reynaldo Creagh,Maracaibo, Maestro Rubalcalba and Siomara Avilla Valdes Lescay...all of whom are friends of the late grammar award winning Son Legend--Ibrahim Ferrer. Mind you, all these Stars are well over 80 years of age...the oldest being 91 years old...yet they were dancing and singing away. You have to be there to understand...all i can say is, if they were to ever come back to Melbourne, you can count me in.

I had a great time and Yan was a great company. Here are some pictures as illustration.

Friday, May 1, 2009


There is something about contentious, ambiguous one female-one male friendships that unnerves me. Particularly more at the stage I'm in, i find such acquaintances fun but horrifying at the same time. Horrifying because firstly, they are formed on the basis of first impressions and first impressions are fragile and unreliable. For instance, he/she has a nice smile, hence he/she is a nice person is not a very firm judgment. The fragility of first impressions subsequently leads to greater disappointment, which brings me to my second point. Such friendships are usually pursued with an intention, a hope, like the longing for a relationship, we hope that a particular person would make us complete. This hope then quickly fizzles away into disappointment once the knowledge of something we would rather not know surfaces. Thirdly, and this is my based on my standings and my standings alone, they remind me too much of a past relationship or they seem to have elements that overlap or override the past, both of which i do not want.

Hence though I think it will be cool to swing by Essendon one day, have coffee, listen to your LP's, sip wine by the fire side, listen to you play your guitar, have Japanese dinner together... i think it would be better if there was no romanticism involved...or the false illusion that this could be going anywhere...

Saturday Late Morning @ VSL

I intended to stay in and finished de Botton's Essays in Love last night, but i achieve no progress. I did stay in, but was sidetracked. Anyways,I'm back at the VSL (Victoria State Library) on a Saturday morning again, vowing to finish the book before I surrender it back to Ballieu next tuesday.

I miss home and my family very much. Yesterday, I braced myself to text daddy in the afternoon because I have not spoken to him in a month since he's always travelling. it's one of humanities greatest irony i think, how absence makes the heart grow fonder.

There is something magical about yearning for home, for familiar faces, but then magic evaporates when you eventually get to that state. Just like how I think and miss my family a lot lately, and even think of corny things to say to them, but as soon as I'm on the phone with them, the tone of voice i project fails to portray that deep sense of longing and love. An invisible wall is erected out of no where, and that magical feeling i suppressed by formalities constructed long ago. Still, the warm feeling still manages to nuzzle through moments when mum would call to ask if my cough is better, or when she keeps going through the list of things to bring for me when they visit, or when she tells me that everyone in the office loves her new bag and hence she wants to buy one for me too ("What colour do you want? White? Oh yes, I think white is nicer..." )

Mothers day is coming up and I have already prepared my card...but i hope the magic will be projected across through post.

I have cool Techies!

For a short period of time I had a small crush on the Technicians who operate 'underground' at Building 6. Seth, our EMT lecturer, calls them Gods and they really are, and they're the buoys you want to cling unto if you can't swim in the sea of technologies. Anyways, I've posted up two sites which are theirs (Kowshowko's is Martin, who is a tall Polish guy with a subtle Polish accent) and the other is David's (a local who's very much into Asian culture)