Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drama Club BBQ, and a random cat pix

Oops, did I interrupt whatever you two boys were doing? Sorry!

Drama Club kids bid farewell to their seniors -- one last hurrah before momentum picks up and hurtles us through to the end of year exams. Apart from the sporadic, often failed attempts to dunk random victims in the condo pool, it was an easy, remarkably sane and civilized cast & crew party to celebrate Wow!Pow!Bow! 2010 and thank various club members for their contribution to it's success.

NYeDC is now in the hands of an organized and by-the-book exco, if tonight's event is anything to go by. Just as well. Admin is such a nightmare for me, and if the kids are willing to pitch in and help me out, I'll be the more grateful for them.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wearing out our freedoms

Given a choice between wearing a bikini and a headscarf (of the religious sort), would anyone actually choose the latter voluntarily? It seems counter-intuitive to think so, but perhaps that's because we have certain cultural biases that value the freedom of wearing whatever we damn well please over the freedom to cover up our bodies and not call attention to ourselves.

Yes, they're both freedoms, but the sad thing is, it's a zero-sum game: we have to choose one freedom over the other; and regardless of which we choose, when we find ourselves running with a crowd of 'the other' we do call attention to ourselves like it or not. In that situation things can get uncomfortable, if not hostile.

The two choices of dress reflect two mutually exclusive philosophies regarding the self. The headscarf route is taking the comfort of anonymity, hiding oneself to look exactly like everyone else so that there can be no basis of comparison between one female individual and another. Regardless of what she looks like -- fat, skinny, flat-chested, pot-bellied, knockout gorgeous or hunchbacked -- everyone looks like a generic 9mm slug, and that's ok because no physical characteristic can possibly make her self-conscious or feel the need to do anything about it. Being comfortable with oneself, knowing there can be no pre-judgement from other people over the trivial matter of physical appearance is one of the best freedoms the world can afford.

Wearing a bikini represents the freedom to, um, I'm not really sure what. Bikinis show off things about oneself that we'd rather not show. We're constantly worried that we could come undone and reveal more than what we're prepared to reveal. What it does is that it places the responsibility of our presentability in public squarely on our own individual shoulders. To ensure the right things stick out and keep the wrong things tucked in  requires Work. It means eating right (in most cases that's mistaken for eating less); it means a punishing exercise regimen to sculpt and maintain a shape that first satisfies the self (good luck with that) and then satisfies others. And yet, not be too satisfying to the wrong others to avoid attracting unwelcome attention. That's a lot of rules to follow, many of which lie in fuzzy grey areas, for what we consider our "freedom".

Me, I'm not really sympathetic to either camp. I myself have never lived in fear of a wardrobe malfunction; nor been a victim of lascivious staring; nor had any such related problem. Regardless of what I wear, I swear I'm quite invisible to the crowd. I imagine even if I wore my skimpiest speedos in public few would notice the pasty apparition ambulating in their midst -- except for a sensitive minority mainly comprising  small children who would react in horror, recoil from the ghastly sight and maybe have nightmares for weeks after.

The happiest women, I think, are the ones who wear bikinis and can't be bothered about what anyone thinks of them. Think I saw some of those in Florida...

In case you're wondering, I'm just musing over "Bikini or headscarf -- which offers more freedom?"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Power failure

In the case of my mobile phone, low batt DOES effectively mean no batt.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Perfect 10

June arranged for us to have dinner with Adrian and Jen. In our search for someplace to eat, 10@Claymore's "Plates of Pleasure" promotion topped the list. Everything on the menu (above) in unlimited servings, plus the rest of the buffet spread. The 4-dine-for-3 deal for participating credit cards was the final deciding factor. 

Here is the saucy little fillet mignon that I had my eye on. I didn't really need to see the rest of the menu, this was priority number one. A very decent steak, cut large enough to savour but not so large as to overwhelm the appetite. There were so many other things to sample besides. Oh, the pinkish mass just below the asparagus spear (above) is mashed beetroot, which tasted way better than it sounds.

Adrian shows off his latest inspiration: a "canape" comprising a beetroot base and topped with avocado, alfalfa and a sprinkle of almond shavings. Each ingredient is strong-tasting on its own but combined, the tastes sort of cancel each other out, making a rather palatable blend of flavours. Night of strange tastes -- I thought the blue cheese on Carr's crackers was fantastic too.

Jen and June gamely sample Chef Adrian's new concoction.

It was a pleasant evening mostly devoted to discussing our individual mid-life crises over unlimited portions of food.

Final parting shot: remember the 10!

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Have to take my hat off to the octopus. The Xmac curse finally came to an emphatic end with the German World Cup machine stamping its authority all over the Argies, 4-0. This is one time I didn't mind losing to an invertebrate in a contest of prognostication. And if his foresight saves him from becoming tomorrow's tako-ball, more power to him! Great job, Paul!

And in the pix, Germany has another proud supporter of the non-human animal species. Yes, Q-tip, nice jersey.