Saturday, May 29, 2010

Library calling

Book delivery day. We've been assigned the northbound run, which is great for us. Familiar recipients, everyone knows the drill, which makes today's run relatively painless.

Well, there was this one family that made us wait outside while the kids scrambled around the house looking for the front door key. After a frantic few minutes, Dad -- clad only in his boxers -- emerged from his lair, eyes half-open. He shambled over to unlock the door, muttered some unintelligible pleasantries, then headed straight back from whence he came.

Apart from that little drama horror story, everything else went fine. No navigation problems, no admin snafus. Yay! We're getting the hang of it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stand behind the yellow line

Vesak Day public holiday. Bad day to be taking the MRT. Lots of fire trucks and rescue vehicles at the station. "Home Team" personnel milling about looking busy. Southbound train halted mid-track. Jumper. Sigh.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pasta at Porta

Our mid-year paper is over and that officially commences summer vacation at last! Celebrated at Porta Porta with June and Jojo. Jojo is easy to order for: minestrone, salad and bruschetta. June fell in love with the oriecchiette ("little ears" pasta). I ordered a penne for myself.

In the end, the two girls picked at their food, leaving me to polish off the bruschetta, the "little ears" and my own penne and minestrone. But the food at Porta Porta is so good, I just kept eating until there was nothing left. Only then did I realise how full I was. Oh, wait... why does this story sound so familiar?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer is here!

It's been one heck of a slog, but summer is finally here. The time has come to get off the hamster wheel for a bit and slowly gnaw through the next batch of assignments. Maybe I'll take some time to mull over the ideas that came up in my meeting with the Mengs committee -- wonder if we're going to tread on anybody's toes or if people will thank us for what we are about to propose. As always, the content isn't going to matter much, but the packaging and the selling are going to be the hardest part.

But the main things is, after tomorrow, the days are going to stretch out before us again. We'll be busy, but free of the rigid structure of term time.

Just for good measure, we celebrated the arrival of summer with a crab dinner at Melben Seafood (AMK). It wasn't so much the food today, it was the company. Most of us have places to visit and will be flying off in a few days' time. Me, I won't be going anywhere. I aim to get my physical self healthy again, and maybe work on my tan some. Universal Studios? Well, maybe not till they get the BSG ride operating again. Hope we hear some good news about that soon.

Summer. Right. Now, where did I put my shades...?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jojo and the flying tahini

June and I have been attending fitness classes with Jojo since she recommended her instructor to us. After today's class, we had dinner at the newly opened Salad Stop in Novena Square. Sure, the servings of salad are large and the menu choices are quite varied and flexible, but still, it's a bit overpriced for essentially a bowl of vegetables.

As we still had room for dessert, we went downstairs to Cedele for their cake selection. Jojo had her eye on what was left of a tahini cake. Tahini, she explained, is a sesame seed paste. Interesting.

Tahini, it turns out, must be quite slippery 'cos when the guy at the counter reached into the display cabinet to pull Jojo's cake out, the whole cake took a dive, crashing onto the bottom shelf. Jojo, who cannot bear to see food wasted, immediately offered to buy the suicide victim for half-price. The counter guy simply said, "no," and wouldn't budge after that.

Sensible policy, I thought. No F&B operator will knowingly sell spoiled food to a customer. Dumping food, from the business perspective, is a better option than a lawsuit.

The door at midnight

It's close to midnight. I'm Monster Hunting on the Wii. Behind me, there is a sudden noise. It's the unmistakable sound of my store room door opening. June's already in bed, so it's not her. I turn around to look. The door that conceals the store room door is still closed. Conclusion: someone... or some thing... has opened the store room from the INSIDE.

I'm freaked. The cats are equally freaked. They're tense and alert, staring intently at the door from the safety of the living room.

Wait a minute. Cats? There're Kaiser, Momo... where's Maui? Mauiiii!!! Cautiously, the two cats and I open the concealing door, and there's Maui, relieved to escape his confinement. He must have sneaked in at some point during the night when the doors were open and didn't make it out when we shut them later. Stupid cat.

Actually, maybe he's not so stupid. He can open doors! He's long known how to open my bathroom's bi-fold door, and now he's got the heavy store room door figured out. I told June that feeding him human powdered milk when he was a kitten would make him a clever boy. She didn't listen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Japanese cuisine in quantity

In celebration of a number of reasons, most of which were that we were hungry, the Wongs descended upon Irodori Japanese Restaurant at the Riverview Hotel. The restaurant is quite small, but because we had made a reservation for so many of us, we got a private room to ourselves.

The set up is an a la carte buffet of every popular style of Japanese cuisine. At a very reasonable $33+++ per pax, we can order anything we want on the menu and keep the top-ups coming. While all the servings are small so it's possible to sample everything the restaurant has to offer without getting too stuffed too quickly, the strategic thing to do is focus on the stuff you know you like and use that as a base before becoming more adventurous.

No worries about the quality of the food. The sashimi is fresh and preferably the table should be packed full of raw fish eaters to share the bounty. But there's also a lot of cooked dishes as well so the others will not feel left out. Check out the buffet menu from the link above -- there's something for everyone. Well, dessert's extra.

Must commend the service also. Very attentive with the orders, not shy to make recommendations about the house specials and the green tea just keeps flowing. A little girl carrying a big pot makes sure of that.

Current promotion: UOB, OCBC and RBS credit card holders get 25% off the lunch menu, valid till the end of the year. The Wongs had a special coupon: every third person gets to eat for free. In our party of nine, we paid for six. Not a bad deal at all.