Saturday, November 11, 2006

Anniversaries

By Karen

Seasons change as the year turns, slowly but surely revolving around again to the anniversary of our union.

Tonight, reflecting on it all, it seems like everything and nothing has changed, not even the weather, which is still a cool and slightly rainy November.

Alone, in a room at my parents place, tapping away on my keyboard, it's been a busy start to the weekend - Friday night drinks at a bar, drinking too much, staying out all night with friends at St James Powerhourse, doing slightly too many things, meeting too many people and a breakfast after at the Telok Blangah porridge and Yu Sheng place.

Almost a year on, this has been my only weekend completely out and about without Dustin, what with his week long shoot in the Phillipines. Our longest seperation yet, barring the ten days I had in Japan last year.

The only time we've had apart, really apart, out of Skype and MSN and webcam contact, relying on tinny mobile phone signals. The furthest and far since we both realised, at the same time, how significant and lifelong the bond we formed bond was.

Alone, on my own, leading the ghost of a life I used to lead, in the same tropical cool that only November has, it feels like nothing has changed. I am still me, myself, I, the same person answering to the same name. And yet...

When I think of D, how I am with him, everything has changed. I am happier, more optimisitic, readier to face life with D by my side, looking forward to a home, a life, time and travel with a person I'd hoped for but never dreamt of finding:-

my mate, my lover, my twin soul.

Dustin.

So, maybe, everything really has changed. Even if things do feel the same.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Quote of the Day

By Karen

This evening, over MSN - Dustin: "don't fuck around with me or i set my grandma on you!"

...

Yesterday night was surreal, to say the least.

We were up late moving all the assorted bits and bobs that make up our lives and make it possible for us to function (relatively) smoothly. D disappeared downstairs for the hardware box (mine, actually) to find a pair of pliers.

When he didn't return after a more than decent length of time, I went down to look for him. To which I found him furiously plugging in bunch after bunch of keys and twisting them around the spare room off the kitchen.

The tiny Indonesian maid had locked herself out of her room, you see. And couldn't get any of the spare house keys she had found to unlock her room so she could go to sleep. At this point, I jumped into the fray too - grabbed a length of wire and fiddled around with the lock. Then I tried all the keys - still no go.

After another 10 minutes of to-ing and fro-ing, twisting and turning keys, D finally gave up the ghost and said "I guess we're going to have to call Ah Ma - she'll know best what to do."

After another ten minutes of the furious gnashing and bashing of keys and the addition of Singer oil, Ah Ma finally issued the executive order to break the door knob, after which she promptly got a screwdriver and attacked the knob with gusto and verve. (Bearing in mind that this is 11 pm at night and she is 78 years old, give or take a couple of years. )

Dustin, being the manly man that he is, took over and prised the door knob from the door about half an inch - after a couple of minutes.

In the meantime however, Ah Ma had muttered, under her breath and in hokkien "cut the damn thing off" and promptly toddled outside, returning with a wicked, foot long chopper, gleaming a faint, wicked grey under the flourescent light.

Nudging Dustin aside with a "let me at it", she started hacking away at the door knob, chopper in hand, the sound of metal on metal a resounding thunk in the still night air, sound reverberating through the neighbourhood.

Mouth agape, I didn't know whether to laugh or be very, very, very scared.

...

We eventually got the door open after D got Ah Ma to bring him a hammer. And I ran upstairs to get the camera. I didn't get Ah Ma with the chopper, but I did get a picture of her having another go at the door with a hammer.

(picture to come)

Here, she looks most pleased with herself. Note the hammer in motion. Wonder why Dustin's laughing so gleefully too.

(picture to come)

Feisty old bird, that one. (I mean this in the best possible way)

...

So, as of today, after yesterday night, I believe D. Really.

So I'm going to be a good girl, Auntie and Uncle. And treat your son real nice.

*crosses fingers and hopes for the best*

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Silence is Golden...

... and discretion is the better part of valour.

Not that I can't say anything, or haven't thought about saying it, but I shan't. Dustin's interest is Marc and the interest in maintaining a veneer of civility in the group of friends. Ergo, mine is too, personal attacks notwithstanding.

I'm not sure it will delay Marc's recovery by all this hating via blog surely can't help it along. And dragging all possible interested and uninterested parties into the fray.

And that's all I really have to say, given that I have no history, much less presence in this group of people save by Dustin's somewhat central involvement. But if your man got's into this shit, then well, you have to get his back. Even if what you really want to do is annhiliate people.

So, silence it is, even if uncharacteristically. Over and out.

Will talk about food and fun and other random things from now on.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Food Review: Pivdofr Update

We ended back there at 11 pm on a Saturday night.

This time, we different soups and D had a different main. Dessert was a creme brulee.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Food Review: Pivdofr

By Karen

We stumbled into Pivodofr at 11 pm on a Wednesday night, hungy and tired.

It is, at first glance, an unprepossesing continental restaurant off Bugis Junction on Liang Seah street, the decor a distinctly bad cheery version of the late 80's - black wooden picnic chairs, bright yellow walls and the standard continental nudes and guitars on the wall.

Did I mention the black nekkid enameled neck collared nubian statutes? No? That probably sums up the ambience best.

But they were open, we wanted a change from Phin's Steakhouse down the road so we took a chance. That and the set dinners were writ large at $16.50 +++ - no service charge, tax or GST. Considering that it promised mixed salad, soup of the day, garlic toast, choice of main course, drink and dessert of the day. So no, not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 6 items, yes 6 items for $16.50 - and no GST.

Settling down at our table, we consulted the 3 page menu and plomped for the the set dinner with black pepper steak as the main course, adding half dozen escargots at $6.50 to a set meal, instead of the usual $8.00 a la carte price.

Service was prompt- the drinks came for us, with D having a sprite and me a homemade ice lemon tea. The lemon tea wasn't half bad, fresh, tangy and refreshing, with just enough lemon and no bitter rind taste, sweetened with a mix of honey and suger. Made with some care, obviously.

The salad was unremarkable in an 80's way, lettuce, mixed peppers, onions, cucumber and tomato generously plastered with a light, slightly tangy thousand island sauce. A done to death trite combination even though everything was fresh, cold and crunchy, finely sliced with even widths but the mix was 80's to the point of blah to a jaded palate like mine. But still, not bad for $1 6.50 - we weren't expecting much, can you tell?

Then the soup came. Soup of the day, it was a potato soup.

I've never been one for restaurant soups - they're usually mixes of stock and too much flour, leaving a gunky coating in your mouth. But it wasn't potato soup we got - it was Potage au Pommes in the best classical french tradition.

A pale, almost milky emulsion of cream, milk and yolk, it had been sieved to death and was nothing but a nectar of creamy, warm goodness. I've been to too many restaurants have tried but failed too game this soup using lesser ingredients and shortcut techniques. This Potage was, from a platonic point of view, the is the real thing even as campbell/bad restaurant soup are mere shadows on a very bad wall.

This is the real thing for which a home cook (like me) would slave for an hour on the stove doing or even more if you consider that the stock didn't come out of the can.

Needless to say, with bacon bits floating in it and a light dusting of spring onions, the potato soup didn't last long - which is why there are no pictures. The accompanying garlic bread was a crispy, light slice of baguette fragrant and rotten with garlic. At this point, we started patting the chef-owner, Jeremy, on his back about the the potage. He modestly said that it was home made and took a bit more time than usual but hoped we liked it and that we would be back for his mushroom soup.

Then came the escargots, baked in a mix of vpernod, white wine, olive oil and garlic and slathered with a healthy dollop of hollandise. D attacked one, after which he had a stunned, slightly glazed look on his face (I call this the lookof love in his face, the same one he usually reserves for me and my food only). There was silence for a long moment before he softly exlaimed, "these are better than whatever I've had in Paris and Monmartre."

After trying one or two, which was all I was allowed by D, I can safely say that they were the most tender, giving, deliciously succulent escargots I've ever had the good fortune of coming across. As usual, Jeremy was understated, with the one liner: well, you can't overcook them.

My response was: well, they were just right!

Then the main. Pomme frites with steak with a trio of carrot, beans and baby corn, each perfectly julienned and seperately boiled, lightly salted yet tender with the hint of crunch. The steak was a tender, juicy airflown NZ sirloin marinated and plumped to perfection. The pepper sauce is made with fresh ground peppers and the brown sauce is from a stock that isn't out of a can or cube. Not a demi glace but mighty tasty still.

Dessert was an edible custard puff sprinkled with icing sugar. No superlatives here, just something sweet to round out a meal.

We stumbled off into the night, full and happy.

Date:
27 September 2006
Time: 11 pm
Service: Good, but the manager and co-owner, Jeremy's wife is a tad dour. She's probably had a long day but I've seen other blog posts about this as well.
Total Damage: $39.50 and 2 distended stomachs. Pay cash after 11,30 pm - otherwise they accept Mastercard and Visa.
Dishes: Cream of Potato Soup (Soup of the Day), Garlic Bread, Ice Lemon Tea, Pepper Steak, Custard Puff.
Verdict: Unfussy, solid continental food with decent service barring the manager-owners slightly dour attitude. Don't expect the most forward or innovative combination of yuppie flavours - no wasabi aiolis, rocket etc. What you will get is well executed comfort food of solid hainanese steakhouse favourites in the tradition of silver spoon or the devonshire grill. This so kicks Han's cafe as. This, for a bit more, is real cafe food. They have a Roast Pork set meal Friday nights that we'll be back for soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Small graces.

By Karen

We were busy packing tonight at Holland Road - mostly my kitchen shit and the leftover odds and ends of stationary from my desk and his and my other desk and my bookcase...you get the idea. Then D got into taking down the shelves I'd put up and then patching up the holes until a work call came - a last minute client request from the clients' client. According to D, it's the only sort of requests clients' like his know. What D thinks of some of his clients is not fit to print or publish. Who knew Pu Bor could be used in so many ways?

Caught between a pot of plaster and a client plastering, he dropped the plaster pot, soothed the client and scrambled desperately around for a wireless connection, all so that he could get at his e-mail and the animation file from the graphics guy. Then his laptop hung as it was starting up.....

and D wasn't a pretty sight. No siree.

So I made myself scarce and went to buy supper/dinner. Food sootheth the savage Dust.

Half an hour later, sambal stingray, rice and cold sprite in hand as I strolled back into the empty flat, D was a contrite picture of calm.

He apologized for yelling at me earlier (I was standing somewhere in a small room between him and his laptop at the point it malfunctioned). [On hindsight, it might just have been because I was holding all the food, so he had to be nice to me otherwise he wasn't going to get fed. I mean, that's what the monkeys in the zoo do....]

Opening up the foil pouch of stingray, the sambal and heat wafting through the room, he brightened up visibly "It's nice for a change to have someone walk out in the heat and buy me stingray - while I sit on my ass and surf the net in the aircon."

And I replied, equally glad, "It's nice to have someone appreciate the things that I do for him."

Then I fed him.

...

It's nice to be appreciated for the small things. I hope we always do that for each other. The day we take the small courtesies for granted, as expected rights, is probably the day when they start vanishing.

D, shall we always be kind to each other?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Privacy is Dead, Consistency is King

By Karen

The last hubub of events got me thinking - why people (myself included) post things on the World Wide Web and expect there to be privacy. It is, afterall the WORLD WIDE web, with the necessary implication that if one like yourself can read it, so can your mother, brother, sister, boyfriend and all their second cousins.

We live in an age where the pervasiveness of recording media means that all our communications, including those on the world wide web can be, for better or worse, captured in full for posterity. The longevity of our communications mean that you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the pepople all of the time. There will, eventually, emerge a chain of communications showing one up to be exactly what one is, not what one or what one's spin doctor proclaims one to be.

The death of privacy means that you shouldn't say anything that you aren't prepared to defend by way of explanation or proof. Or a combination of them all. And if you aren't prepared to defend it later, then don't write it at all. Or say it. Or do it, just because privacy is now a figleaf in your imagination. Rather, you should assume that everything you say and do (but not think out) will be on public record, or is capable of being on record

Did you really intend to be as honest as what you said you were? Are you as nice and forgiving and trying and positive as you claim to be? Are you as neutral as you claim you are? As intellectually rigorous?

If privacy is dead, then consistency is King. Which is not a bad thing. Maybe people will finally be forced to say what they mean and mean what they say. And do as they say. Finally, not only does Santa Clause know who's naughty or nice, but everyone does too. The worms will come out of the woodwork...but then so will the butterflies.

Can't be a bad thing.

Justifications detract from the matters at hand

By Dustin

I don't want to spend any more time justifying my actions, because the effect of that is moot.

Even if it's established whether I have or have not the right to reveal certain openly posted facts, the crux of the issue really is how the aggrieved parties deal with the situation and move on.

If you feel I have no right, so be it; let's move on and deal with the issues and stop arguing about the tur kwa.

Berating me and calling me George Bush doesn't help Iraq.