Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Monday, July 30, 2007

Contemplating my culinary flair

Don't you just love it when your food comes to you looking like a piece of art?

I like this whole concept of artistic presentation on my dinner plate. I love all those beautiful food photos people put up online of what they eat and all. They make me drool unglamorously. I love cookbooks - they have page after page of gorgeous dishes that make me believe I am capable of conjuring such artistry, and that the food would even be delicious. Furthermore, I would proudly serve it on beautiful dinnerware on a Martha Stewart table setting.

I do have this cookbook from the CIA(Culinary Institute of America) " Vegetables" that's really awesome.


This morning, I was so inspired to make myself a healthy protein power breakfast, I actually made use of what was in my fridge: I snatched up the crimini mushrooms and red capsicum/pepper and 3 eggs. Chopped 'n mixed 'em, salt 'n peppered 'em, and into the pan they go and fired away. Sizzles and smoke and all.

Wa La! My mushroom and capsicum omelette...unfortunately, burnt on the outside, bubbly and runny on the inside, flipped like a poor acrobat, uncooked and unsavoury.

I would post a photo, but it was even unsightly.



Alas, my beautiful food reality looks more like this:-

Our favorite cereals: Kashi GoLean Crunch, Heart2Heart, Cheerios Crunch, Raisin Nut Bran, TJ's Vanilla Almond Granola and Mixed Berry Granola...and more. This would rival Seinfeld's perpetually-stocked display.

Pour myself a bowl and add soymilk, eat with a ginormous(gigantic+enormous) spoon. I cannot go far wrong :D

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Squatter no more!

Granted I had the easy way out and did not have to stake out a corner for seven, eight, twenty years to claim my place legitimately, I am squatter no more. Hooray!!

The Drama:

After filing applications for my permanent residency status last October, I was given travel and work permits without further hassle. In May this year however, Scott and I were summoned for an interview, that basically required us to submit more supporting documents. So we dredged out love letters(emails!) when we were dating, put together photos of our weddings and sent them to Immigration Services via certified mail.

Last week, we received a letter: our application was denied. My work permit and advanced parole(travel permit) were terminated with immediate effect. I was to leave the country within 60 days.

The reason: we had failed to respond to requests for additional documents.

This must surely be a mistake. Horrified and in panic mode, we quickly got together our receipts and delivery proofs and sent them in with a letter to petition a reversal/re-opening of the application.

Scott and I were on tenterhooks over the weekend as we waited for a reply. On Monday, sooner then we thought it would, a letter arrived in the mail: Immigration Services has reconsidered and "the adverse decision is vacated"(the hubs thought the choice of words was pretty funny). Omg!! I can stay!! I shrieked in relief and hugged hubs. What a scare that was!

Then we realised that the letter was dated the day we sent in the petition to re-open the application. They must have found the documents and instantly rectified the situation with this letter, even before they got our petition letter! In any case, I was glad it didn't have to be a drawn out battle that would last years and stress us out. False alarm forgiven.

Two days later, another letter came that congratulated me on my new permanent residency status (yayyy!!), and also welcomed me to the United States. Funny this second part of it, for I have been here a whole year. I guess when I was alien and illegal, I was non-existent.

My green card arrived today. I exist.

Now I guess I will have to start paying taxes.

I got my hair cut!

Nice? :D

ok ok, vain la, i know :P

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A thousand cows in a burger

Uh oh, now the song is jingling in my head.

Supersize supersize the American Way,
Going down throwing down all day everyday
Supersize Supersize the American Way
Getting fat, going broke, either way you're gonna pay
Supersize me
Supersize me


Part of my assimilation syllabus into America is the very famous, very entertaining quasi-documentary on fast food culture in USA. From this movie, I learnt that

  • there are some very very...very large people
  • doctors don't have to look proper and kindly; they can look pretty scary and crazy (credit to: Dr. Daryl Isaac, who went on to look scarier and crazier with each scene, but eventually won me over with his fierce concern for his patient's health. I kinda thought he stole the show actually) and
  • fries will stay fresh for 10 weeks

Now, I will throw in a personal anecdote for good measure:

Just before I left for LA, Carl's Junior begun their move into Singapore. CJ ran naughty, tongue-in-cheek ads everywhere and we were just riled in anticipation of a new choice of burgers and fries. There is no lack of cheap, delicious and nourishing food in Singapore, but no one advertises Yong Tau Foo the way MacDonald does their Big Macs, or in this case, CJ their Cheeseburgers. Part of the excitement I accrue to the naivette that the burgers will come just as big and juicy, and the fries as plump as they look in the ads. We are simply incorrigible.

In LA, hubs and I are driving downtown, "What do you want for lunch sweetie?" as we waited at the light. I looked out the window and, spotting the joint to my right, chimed brightly "Carl's Junior!"

The hubs paused in palpable horror.

Nonetheless, the wifey has made up her mind, and she is hungry.

We go into the restaurant and I chimed my order happily, "Cheeseburger, with fries please!" and trotted to the table with my tray. I sat down, hubs across the table watching me. I unwrapped my burger and.. stared.

It looked like one of the very, very large people had sat on my burger.

I braved myself to take a bite, chew, and.. taste it.

It tasted like someone very, very large had sat on my burger

:( I felt tears welling up in my eyes.

The hubs sympathized with a chuckle, but as sweet as he might be, he could not help but launch into a tirade about the junk food industry. I felt too sorry for myself to pay attention.

I know someone who paid a hundred dollars(SGD) to try the UberBurger in Singapore. I hope that it comes from just one cow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Shopping in America

You know what the best thing about shopping in America is?

You can return anything you buy.

I would like to go get a baby, preferably brunette with twinkling hazel eyes and a delightful chuckle, and try being a mother for kicks. I'll keep the receipt for bailout.


One day walking into the grocery store, Scott and I came by a woman, presumably a mother, ladened with too much shopping, looking hassled and pushing a double pram with a baby in each seat, whereupon the very amiable hubs, without missing a beat, spouted cheerfully:

"Oh look sweetie! Trader Joe's is having a special on babies - get 2 for the price of one!"

The mother of two burst into laughter.

True story.


I, on the other hand, come home and ponder the above fun hypothesis.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Afternoon naps

Usually, daytime naps are taken in the car when hubs is driving us somewhere.

Something about riding in cars, buses, boats and planes just makes me sleepy, especially when the sun is beating in through the windshields. My eyes strain and squint to watch the road ahead and keep up with conversation, but inevitably, the eyelids hang too heavy and I slip into the unconscious. Strangely, I somehow awake from slumber just as we pull up to our destination :P

Yesterday, hubs and I took an afternoon nap together. I had been watching Oprah on tv, when hubs came over to cuddle. We were both tired, him from the nitrogen build-up and I from an active Sunday and work in the morning. Eventually, we slid onto the floor and drifted off in embrace, wedged in the narrow space between the couch and the coffee table...Zzzzz...snorrrre..zzzzzzz

45 min later - *awake and groggy*. Backs to each other, Hubs is now pressed up against the sofa, and I am wrapped around the coffee table(our table is a tree stump).

Irrational rant: Oh wherefore our allegiances lie?

I roll over and land on hubs and go back to dreamland, body aching from the confined and convoluted sleep area.

Afternoon naps make me feel privileged, and is particularly sweet when there is someone to nap with :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Beautiful Sunday

Hmm.. Scott says I've had a busy day today..

Woke up at 6am, sent the hubby off to his dive boat.

Had cereal for breakfast - Go Lean Crunch, my fav!

Cycled to the boathouse

Rowed for an hour

Cycled to the Farmer's Market at Ocean Park - nine grain toast from The Breadman!

Came home and messed with the MacBook

and out again to the beach - tonnes of people at the beach!

Boogie-boarded for an hour - the waves are rRRrooOllin' in! wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Came home and cycled to the plaza

Shopped for a list of stuff

Hubby comes home! Hug hug!

Drove us to dinner at Siam Best. Finally had the shrimp wonton with asparagus special - bleah. the phad thai was yummy tho. I really liked the mango sticky rice we had the last time.

Home to look at all the photos hubby took on his dives. Nice set of pics today.

Well, I'm pretty happy with my day - how many people get the luxury of a beautiful day like this? :D

Friday, July 06, 2007


KICKS ASS!!!!! woooooooooohooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! CGI rocks!! I am officially a Michael Bay fan (Armegeddon is another kick-ass movie- I felt a tremendous cathartic sense of relief walking out of the theatre after watching the asteroids bomb into earth.. can't say much about the plot though, ).

Funny how I grew up, not playing with Barbie dolls and Strawberry Shortcake, but watching Transformers cartoons in the late 80s/early 90s, yep, even when I was 19, I would tune into the Malaysian RTM channels to catch the cartoon. Nope, never owned a Transformers toy, but never missed (with my brother)an opportunity to plonk down in front of the tv for another battle between the Autobots and the Deceptacons...My brother and I used to sing that song Transformers, more than meets the eye, lalalalalalala lalaaaaathe Deceptacons, Transformers...ok ok, I never caught the lyrics, but here they are from Google anyway:

The Transformers,
More than meets the eye
Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Deceptacons
The Transformers
Robots in disguise
The Transformers
More than meets the eye
The Transformers.

...And Then the simple world was inundated with evil Tellytubbies and Tamagotchi and Yamagotchi and what nots..

The Transformers movie reincarnation with CGI is way cool, going to the movie made me feel young all over again hahaha. The theatre was filled with fans, clapping and cheering throughout the show, when Bumblebee spruced up into a shiny yellow Camero, when the Autobots crashed into earth a la the meteorites in Armegeddon etc etc. It was goo-oood.

Celebrating a year in America. Cheers.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

4th July 2007, my first Independence Day in America. We had friends over and went to the beach and had a smashing time boogie boarding, the waves were awesome! Then biked/bladed 4 miles to watch a pretty decent fireworks diplay at the marina, in fact we could see fireworks going off in several locations within view of the marina, so that was pretty neat.

This is a year to the day I moved to Santa Monica. A year living 14,000km from home.

In this year, I
1. Moved to America
2. Married the most wonderful person I know
3. Had 2 weddings - one in Singapore and one in New York
4. Honeymoon-ed in Bali
5. Travelled to New York, Buffalo, Portland, Mexico, Monterey Bay
6. Did 129 dives in the cold cold waters of California
7. Got chauffuered in a limousine
8. Became a massage therapist
9. Saw the magnificent Niagara Falls
10. Heard whales sing underwater
11. Cooked
12. Ate more cereal than I ever did in my life
13. Started rowing again, yay!
14. ...can't remember anything else now, but if I had kept blogging during the year, this probably would've been much easier...

this is a non-exhaustive list of major accomplishments and trivial pursuits for me to look back and remember how I spent my time, probably not too diligently for idling time away on the beach/in the sun/in the ocean.

What I know is that this has been the best year of my life thus far. I miss my family, esp my grandma, and friends back in Singapore, but how blessed I am to have my husband by my side, to have his love, support, encouragement, inspiration, to wake up in his arms every morning. I know moving here in the beginning was the right decision. I am happy =)

Happy Independence Day :)