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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ramen Champion at T3 is now open - Power Riki Ramen (Toyko)

To my CEB"s delight. And mine too, having been subject far too many times to my CEB insisting he had to have his noodles at the food-court at T3.

The concept is the same as that of Ramen Champion at Iluma - at the entrance, one gets a card with a band to slip over one's wrist and that card is used to record one's purchases which one pays for by producing one's card to the cashier at the exist.

However, there is one huge difference - the Power Riki Ramen stall at Ramen Champion at T3 Changi Airport which is not found at Iluma. Below is a pic of the stall found near the entrance. The chef is a genuine Japanese chap who speaks rather good English and was able to give me a full description of his broth, compared to the others around.

And he indeed has good reason to be proud given what the Power Riki ramen stall is dishing out. Out of all the ramen that we've tried (there is the Ikkousha station at this Ramen Champion too), we think that the Power Riki Ramen which hails from Japan is the best. Not just in terms of taste, but more importantly, it is CONSISTENTLY good.

Especially the broth which isn't just plain chicken broth as is the case for the other ramen station with the red sign called SuKe (the ramen there tastes like a watery version of Campbell's chicken soup).

The Slog Reviews: 10/10. Solid good ramen full of healthy flavourful ingredients. And in portions that aren't overwhelming but just right. Great job, chef!

Bario Ramen at Ramen Champion at Iluma

Ever since being introduced to Ramen Champion at Iluma last year December where I tried out the Ikkousha station (click here), I was quite determined to introduce my CEB to the good stuff.

I recommended the Bario Ramen to my CEB since my fellow legal eagle had this the last timeand proclaimed it to be a pretty fulfilling meal. My CEB, having lately developed a penchant for spicy stuff, ordered the spicy ramen from the Bario stall which looked like this - a mountain of noodles in some fiery and oily looking gravy.

I on the other hand, ordered the normal Bario Ramen which looked like this but came with a heaping of noodles and fresh beansprouts. Both bowls were pretty aesthetically pleasing I'll say and we fell upon the bowls as soon as we had the chopsticks in our hands.

The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10 (my CEB said 6/10 for the record) for the generous portions of fresh thick noodles and beansprouts. The noodles were a bit heavy though on the stomach, and plentiful but somehow the broth didn't hit the spot the way 1 other stall's ramen did. Will post about that later.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Indo Padang Restaurant at Cathay

1 of my first buys on Groupon was 3 vouchers for SGD90 worth of meals at Indo Padang restaurant at SGD45 (SGD15 x 3 vouchers).

That was the worst buy ever. Not only did I not have the time to use the vouchers till the week before they expired, but it was an absolutely horror altogether. The ambiance was nice, the servers were friendly, the food didn't take forever coming...BUT the quality of the food! Awful doesn't even begin to describe the food.

Food from a Malay/Indonesian stall at a food court beats the food coming out of this restaurant's kitchen hands down.

I'll start with the beef rendang, the dish on the left of the picture. That was the only semi-decent dish out of everything we ordered. The dish cost almost SGD10, and the meat was tough, but not too touch to spoil the dish. No great shakes, but edible.

I wanted to order the giant prawns dish but was told they didn't have that. So I ordered the udang petai, prawns cooked with the petai vegetable. That is the dish on the right. It came with potato cubes and those were the only bits of the dish which were pretty good. The prawns were smallish, very tough and totally dry. Not the least bit of juice or sweetness. I, a noobie at cooking, have cooked sambal prawns and those were much better. Oh, and there were all of about 8 small prawns for SGD 10! What a rip off! Even with a voucher giving a 50% discount, I would not have paid SGD5 for this dish.

And sambal kangkong...how do you mess up such a simple dish! My sister and I love kangkong and we attacked the dish with great gusto, only to look at each other with wrinkled noses after taking the first bite. The gravy was overly sweet, almost to the point of being syrupy sweet. Ugh. And it was such a tiny portion for that price! Less than what you would get in a food court mixed dish stall.

Now, the fish. I intended to use 2 of the vouchers so I was looking to order SGD60 worth of food. Since the fish head curry was SGD22 and there were 2 of us, it made sense to order this dish. The fish head came in a pot with thin looking yellow gravy. Which was a put off but never mind, maybe it would be nice. My sister took 1 bite and spat it out. And I soon found out why. The fish was not fresh. Not even the curry (which was awfully thin) could mask the "Cao Seng" (rotten) taste of fish that was not fresh. We told the waitress who took it back to the kitchen. She said the fish came that day. If it did, it must have been left in the open too long. It was bad. And that was the only fish head the restaurant had that day.

So I decided to order another dish. The next most expensive fish on the menu. Only to be told it was not available. So I ordered the belachan fish. And tada,...look at the picture of the fish that came deep fried, about 8 inches long, had belachan paste dumped on its body and cost SGD 8. What a rip off! I mean, look at the size of the bowls...that should give you an idea of the size of the fish!

I also ordered tauhu goreng. And for some strange reason, despite the horrible fish, prawns and all, we were envisioning a mountain of warm toufu...but no, we were served with the above dish whcih consisted all of 6 pieces of over cooked deep fried toufu. At least the toufu was not spoilt, like the fish, but the dish had been so overcooked that the outer lawyer was hard and dry and chewy. And the inside was all shrunken. This cost SGD5...I wouldn't pay a dollar for this.

And the drinks! My sister ordered ice strawberry which cost SGD 4 and I ordered lime juice which was the same price. After one mouthful of the drink, she abandoned the glass together. Ice strawberry? It wasn't even blended ice but just water mixed with strawberry powder. My own drink was so overpoweringly sweetly sour that I could not finish it either. So that was SGD8 for you.

The Slog Reviews: ZERO/10. I've never rated a local restaurant zero before but any restaurant that serves food that is just so awful really shouldn't be in this business. The bill came to SGD62 but in effect I'd only paid SGD30 for this meal.

And it was not worth SGD30. If I hadn't already paid using Groupon vouchers, I might have sent every dish back to the kitchen after 1 bite and just walked out. And I did mention I bought 3 vouchers right? I just let the third one go to waste. I wouldn't give a voucher for Indo Padang restaurant to my worst enemy...or maybe. Nasty, just a plain nasty restaurant that ought to be really ashamed of the food it dishes out.

Great service at our local polyclinics

I know this isn't what I usually blog about but I really wanted to give a huge thumbs-up to Pasir Ris Polyclinic.

I had an appointment at 10am and I thought I would be there like...for 3 hours at least, 2 of which would consist of just waiting around. However, I was wrong. I was in and out of the polyclinic in less than an hour. And on a Monday morning at that!

I guess the horror stories of the long waiting time and overcrowded polyclinics are going to be things of the past.

I would write that I think we have a great healthcare system except that...for my appointment last Friday at KK, I had to wait 2 hours after my appointment time to see the doctor. Bah, humbug.

A little too late

No, I do not need another credit card. Not with the HSBC infinite card which has become my primary credit card. Especially with the great deals this infinite card has such as the automatic Hilton Hotels Gold Membership (found this out on this great blog called Flypoints ) which entitles one to 40,000 HH points if one stays 4 times before 31 May 2012.

I think I'll just keep the invitation to apply for the Solitaire card until end of this year though. Just in case HSBC wants me to pay the SGD488 for the next year's annual fee. SGD238 this time in exchange for 30,000 KF miles makes sense. SGD488, no.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fishing Season 2012

Ever since I've been with my CEB, I have not gone prawn fishing. The only fishing I've done was offshore fishing organized by his friend.

With my old fishing kakis jio-ing me to go pond fishing at Punggol and for upcoming fishing trips, I need to go send my reels for servicing and set aside some time to practice tying knots so I don't make a right fool of myself.

My fingers are itchy. It has been far too long. Going to cut back on personal and work trips to free up the weekends.

I MUST go fishing. The huntress in me is crying to be let out.




Friday, January 27, 2012

Celebrating CNY at our own home for the first time

I know I have been going on about CNY - the celebration with all its accompanying festivities took on a whole different meaning (and meant a huge amount of work too!) after marriage and having my own home with my CEB.

But I just wanted to remember the first time ever when I've played host to more than 10 people - so this will be the last post on CNY 2012 I promise. :D

Now, despite my CEB spending loads of time "fun-ning" around with Goh Buah Buah on CNY, I have to say that he really stepped up to the occasion. That is one of my CEB's strongest points to date - that he has never failed to make things happen when I need him to.

Even though of course my CEB was hardly involved in any way in the little nitty gritty details - such as choosing and buying good oranges to give...or finding a place in our house to place the oranges....

Or buying and then setting out nicely on the living room table, the Chinese goodies such as bah kwa, deep fried spring rolls, mixed nuts and pineapple tarts. Or to arrange everything nicely in the display cabinet (save for his tigers)....
Me "Eh, help a bit"
My CEB (cheeky grin) "My Mob-Soh will do it. I love my Mob Soh."
Me (suspicious) "Mob-Soh? What's that?"
My CEB (proudly) "You are worse than an "Auntie"... more like an Ah Soh...so Mob Soh"
Me "!@!#@$@@#@"

Anyway, that's how our guests found our living room area on the 2nd day of CNY. My in-laws decided to bring a hundred dollar Lo Hei dish from Peach Garden and truth be told, it was the best Lo Hei dish I've had. I usually detest the stuff but I really liked this one.

And so did everyone else who came. Even after polishing off most of my mother's dishes (she cooked and we brought the dishes over from her place), and having dessert (out of cans, I'm afraid - I don't have a oven here), everyone, old and young had the most awesome time in the dining area with the lo hei. Nian Nian You Yu, Man Di Huang Jing...!

I have to applaud my CEB for preparing the paper plates, bowls and cups, washing the numerous dishes, heating up the food on the stove, mopping the floor, making coffee for the guests..and all those million little things that need to be done if one is the host.

Although this was one of the most hectic and tiring days ever, it was definitely memorable. There are loads of times when I more than happy to take my CEB's head off, but this husband of mine, he managed to survive past this new year :)

Sibu Island Resort - our first holiday for 2012

There was a Groupon Promotion for Sibu Island Resort at SGD48 nett per person for a 2D/1N stay at Sibu Island Resort which seemed like a pretty good deal. So a week before CNY, my CEB and I woke up at the unholy hour of 7am on a Saturday for the drive to Tanjong Leman jetty.

We stopped for breakfast at the Macs near Carrefour (en route to Jusco Tebrau City) and it took us about an hour to get from Macs to Tanjong Leman Jetty which I had been to before. How to get to Tanjong Leman Jetty is pretty simple. Head in the direction of Jusco Tebrau City and basically just keep going all the way straight in the direction of Mersing. No turn-offs or turning to the right or left. Just straight following the signboards. The turn off the Tanjong Leman Jetty is very abrupt off the main road so it is wise to keep an eye out for signboards. This is how the jetty looks like. Parking at the jetty cost RM4 a day and there is a nice new parking area behind the main jetty building near the KFC.

From the main road, one gets on to a narrower road (1 way each direction), the start of which is marked by a police post. And on this narrow road (the journey from the main road to the jetty is pretty long - at least 25mins), it is easy to get lost and head in the direction for the Sedili jetty so follow the signs that say KFC. I kid you not. There is a newly built KFC at the jetty which opens at 10.30am. The first ferry out to Sibu Island is at 11am and the KFC is the only place in the jetty which is air-conditioned and has a nice view of the sea. The cost of the tickets to the island was not included so we purchased 2 round-trip tickets at Counter 1 of Tanjong Leman jetty at RM140.
The journey to the island on the ferry took less than half an hour. The ferry was supposed to hold just 50 pax and there was just the right number of seats for that number of people. Some folks put on life jackets and we followed suit though my CEB commented that this was a bad idea as we would be trapped in the cabin if the boat capsized. I made sure we sat very near the exit so we could get through the door. Just in case. The tragic drowning of fellow anglers at this same area couple of years ago is pretty much unforgettable.

Anyway, after we got off the ferry and started the short 3 min walk from the terminal to the resort (the only hotel on the island), I had a feeling of Deja Vu, that I'd been here before. And when I caught a glimpse of the staff singing and playing musical instruments at the reception area, I was even more certain that this was not my first time to the island. The peacock wandering across my path drove the nail into the coffin...especially when it let out loud and irritating caws.

My CEB on the other hand, had never been to the resort so I was careful not to spoil his experience by telling him what could be expected...he would find that out in due course. As we made our way to the room which was situated along the winding path up a hill, we came across some wild deer lazing in the shade. When we moved closer, well....guess from the pic below it is clear what happened. Forget Bambi cozying up to you.

The room (superior room) was just as I remembered it. Dank, dusty and dark. For the first time since a long time, I had to get up in the middle of the night and put on a pair of long pants so I could sleep on the sheets. I was scratching uncontrollably in my shorts and T-shirt before that and just praying I could fall asleep so I wouldn't feel how dirty the sheets were. There was limited cable access on the small (32 inch?) TV in the room and although we were told there was free WIFI access in the room, neither of us could get a working connection on our smart phones. We were "connected" but could not access the web so lying about the room (which is what my CEB loves) for the afternoon was out of the question.

So we made our way to the lobby where my CEB tried to access the web on his HTC but again the free WIFI service proved deceptive and he gave up after a fashion. To sit in the lobby and hear the cawing of the peacocks was not an experience I enjoyed prolonging.

We were entitled to enjoy 1 free recreational activity so we chose Archery where each of us would get to shoot 6 arrows under the guidance of an instructor. I was more than eager to let my CEB shoot my share of the arrows but because we had to wait so long for our turn (there were only 2 shooting boards so only 2 people could shoot at a time) I decided to have a go. The instructor was friendly and spoke good English so we had a pretty fun time there.

With 3 more hours to kill before dinner and no WIFI, my CEB and I decided to check out the sea sports centre for an hour of kayaking. The cost was only about RM30 per person, and when we got to the center, there were 2 staff there watching TV. However, they obligingly got to their feet and dragged one canoe to the water's edge for us.

My second time canoeing (first time was in Hanoi) and I was determined to get paddle around the island or at least head in the direction of the mountain which was most scenic. Unfortunately, the waves were pretty strong (monsoon season isn't officially over till Feb) and we found ourselves being rocked pretty violently in the little orange canoe.

From the pic below of my wet hair, it is pretty evident what happened. We capsized. The wave rocked us to the right and instead of leaning to the left, we let ourselves get caught in the momentum and before we knew it, we were in the sea. Salt water in my eyes, my haviannas floating around me...the canoe overturned next to my spluttering CEB...what an experience. The first thing I did was check that my camera was still around my neck (waterproof cameras rock), and then grab for my haviannas. My CEB and I then took an end of the canoe each and uprighted it before clambering on board. That was when he wanted to call it a day but with half an hour more to go, I wasn't about to. So the compromise was that we would just canoe near the island and not around any bends. Especially when my CEB pointed out that the resort staff in the sea centre were watching TV and not know if anything happened to us.

After the canoeing experience, we went straight to the pool, showered off the salt water and jumped right in. It was a really smallish pool with the deepest end being 2.3m which was really quite deep. Best not to let a child swim unattended in this pool despite its deceptively small size.

It started raining in the evening and to our amazement, we saw a peacock sitting in the rain at the small pool at the top of the slide (the pool). We had pretty much run out of things to do on the island short of fishing (which we didn't come prepared for and were loathe to spend good money renting rods and sitting at the coast) so we decided to take the earlier ferry (10am) back to the mainland instead of the 2pm one the next day.

Since there were no other restaurants on the island and there were no transport services provided between the kelongs nearby and the hotel, we had dinner at the same restaurant we would have our buffet breakfast the next time. There was a choice of having either a buffet at RM55 per pax or ordering from the ala carte menu but because we were starving, we didn't look at the menu at all. The buffet for dinner wasn't exceptionally good but the lamb curry was pretty delish. There was plenty of fish, green veg (kai lan) with mushrooms, and 1 other main dish but really the selection of mains was very limited. And the dessert sucked. Awful. Just awful. I would not recommend having the dinner buffet at all - a salad from the ala carte menu at RM20 would be a better choice.

Now that I have blogged about this and have some photos of the place, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to forget that I've been to Sibu Island Resort and there is no way absolutely that I am going back, esp given the bedsheets!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The 8th month of marriage

Oh my, and yet another month has gone by...How is it even possible that I have been married for 2/3 of a year!

And my CEB hasn't changed the least...I was totally tickled to look up from my work laptop (I have been so busy with work ever since the Xmas break) and find my CEB on his netbook, holding the stuffed buaya toy on his lap. What a sight!

Oh let the good times last.

Impressed.

Talk about fantastic service. I just happened to mention to the HSBC Infinite Card hotline service officer that I hadn't received my priority pass and I was travelling for work soon. She checked and said it hadn't been sent out yet and my natural response was to ask her to do so soonest possible.

That was on a Thurs evening. On Friday, she called to say that she had arranged for courier of the 2 priority passes to my home on Monday evening. The Krisflyer Gold Lounge gets pretty crowded so I think for my upcoming work trip this Feb, I'll try out the Priority Lounge.

That kind of service...impressive. I wouldn't be surprised if the complimentary 1 way transfer to SG Airport goes just as smoothly...and the best bit is that you don't even have to charge anything at all to the card to use this service.

I really dig this card.

Spring Cleaning 2012 - Credit Cards

When we were just friends, my CEB was appalled by the number of credit cards I had. That was then when I had about 20+ credit cards. At last count, I had almost 30. And I hardly use 70% of them. I only applied for them because there was some on-going promotion if I did.

As part of my spring cleaning for this lunar new year, for the first time, I decided to cancel all the cards which I hadn't used in the last 6 months.

It took me about half an hour of phone calls to the banks to make sure that there was no outstanding amounts or points/credits on the cards before reducing all the cards above to the pile below. Way to go!

And I also decided to concentrate ALL my spending to just two cards. But first I had to make up my mind what I wanted more - Cash (via cashback) or Krisflyer Miles. If it was the former, all I would need was just the Citibank dividend card and the NTUC plus card (for groceries).

Since I could not decide, the decision was made for me when I was invited to apply for the HSBC Infinite Visa Card. The annual fee for the card was S$248 but I would get 30,000 Krisflyer Miles as a welcome gift. Also, this credit card has 1 of the better KF miles earning program - 1 KF Mile for every SGD 1 spent. Here is a pic of the card which came in the post today.

And to add icing on the cake, I found out that this card comes with a Priority Pass for unlimited access to airport lounges (note: the priority pass is also given free of charge to the supplementary card holder), unlimited access to the JetQuay Terminal (for private check-ins at Changi Airport), and a 1 way free limo transfer to Changi airport for any trip (personal or business trips).

Filled with glee that I could replace all the cards in my wallet with this credit card and the DBS Altitude Card (which doubles as my DBS ATM Card and has 1 of the best Krisflyer Miles earning program at 1.2miles per S$), I opened my wallet eagerly to start taking out the other credit cards.

However, I found that I could not do so and my wallet still looks like this above despite 1 hour of deliberation. Excluding the corporate credit card, I have a total of 14 credit cards I simply must have, even with the HSBC Infinite Card.

Just in case there are any promotions that require any of the cards, you see. I mean, how could I give up using my Plus Card when I buy groceries? Or not take advantage of one of those fabulous ANZ promotions that come along like the 1000rewards points promotion last month? Or not carry the Ikea card which entitles us to free drinks at our friendly furniture shop?

Ugh. Somehow I don't think I can say that this spring cleaning of credit cards was a success :(

And I wonder how my CEB manages to only have 4 credit cards in his wallet max.

Edited To Add (Feb 2012): The HSBC Infinite Card rocks - The JetQuay Service is way cool, and cuts down all the hassle of having to walk to immigration, wait for your bags to come etc. Have blogged about it finally - click here to read.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CNY Reunion Dinner 2012 at Grand Copthorne

My CEB and I hit upon the brilliant idea of having our first reunion dinner as a married couple at a hotel restaurant. This would save both parents having to prepare, cook and wash, and also spare us the thankless task of eating two dinners on the same day and having to rush from 1 place to another.

Both MILs love buffets so 2 weeks before CNY, my sis and I went down to Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel to pay up in full for the reunion buffet for the 7 of us. We were informed that Cafe Brios was fully booked but the hotel would be opening up a second venue (the function rooms) and the same type of food and service could be expected. I was disappointed that we could not secure a table at the restaurant and rather apprehensive what the experience might be given that we would be eating at some alternative venue.

However, thumbs up for Grand Copthorne for pulling it off very well using their function rooms. We were shown to our table (the tables were arranged wedding-style) and were pleasantly surprised to find that the table had been thoughtfully decorated with ang pows, gold foil chocolate nuggets and coins and even an ang pow containing a 25% off discount card for future visits to Cafe Brios.

The spread of food was superb for the CNY reunion dinner - there were loads of sashimi (no shortage of tuna, salmon etc) and sushi. And oysters, scallops in shells, prawns (both the normal type and the river type with the big head), and even crab legs at the cold counter area. There was also a dragon beard candy counter (that had a really long queue each time).

The lobster bisque was extremely creamy and delicious, as was the black herbal chicken soup. For a buffet especially. Hot dishes-wise, there were just too many to choose from ranging from Indian curry chicken which my sister found mouthwatering good, to otah which I simply loved, and even sambal stingray and grilled seabass etc. There was also a counter serving beef (ribeye) and salmon wrapped in cheese. Oh, and there were pineapple tarts, tang yuan, red bean soup, jelly and even durian cake for dessert. Perfect. Just perfect.

And the price for all that food? Just slightly under SGD400 for the 7 of us. Money well spent and value for money. Grand Copthorne even had a Cai Shen Ye ("God of Fortune") go around the tables shaking hands and everyone at my table shook his hand for good fortune :)

Of course, when we got home, despite a fully founded belly, my CEB was not too sleepy to play with my nua nua buaya toy by putting all the nuggets the hotel had laid out on the dining table into a plate and having Gold Bar Buah (pun on Goh Buah Buah's name) offer them for CNY.

With such a fabulous experience at Grand Copthorne for CNY reunion dinner, I'm definitely going to be making my reservations earlier for CNY 2013 at Grand Copthorne's Cafe Brios!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year 2012

A message from the Goh family...

Happy Lunar New Year 2012! GONG XI FA CAI!

May the year of the Water Dragon bring you good fortune, health and wealth!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Viral Factor (2012) Movie

I have watched a lot of movies between now and the last time I blogged about a movie. However, I have not been compelled to blog about any of them, good, mediocre or bad.

I do now. Here is the Slog's Review of Viral Factor: (scream!!!!) VIRAL FACTOR SUCK EGGS!

Okay, great I've got this out of my system. I foolishly noted an acquaintance's post about how great Viral Factor was and insisted my CEB and I watch it on Chinese New Year's Eve. Instead of Journey 2 (which was no great shakes but which I would have happily watched twice on hindsight).The movie is like a 150 year old vegetable that won’t just quit despite being senile, incapacitated and annoying. The characters in the movie are worse – they get shot with bullets, front, back, centre and side and yet can run with the best of them and kick the baddies’ ass.

The opening scenes were shot in Jordan but there were only Chinese actors/actresses which made the whole thing seem rather unrealistic. The good cop lead actor played by Jay Chou was part of a team tasked to protect a scientist who was able to make a deadly virus. His girlfriend called Ice (what a name) gets killed in the shootout and Jay’s character gets a bullet in the head. He is told he will die in 2 weeks/months. His character’s mother then chooses to disclose that he has a father and brother. I hate the mum’s character – she is incredibly full of self-pity and sheds endless tears at every scene when talking about the past or when embracing the present. The tears are all for herself of course…ugh. Ugh ugh. Okay, so Jay takes an AirAsia plane (one would have thought he would fly by a better airline given his limited lifespan) to KL where his character’s dad and elder brother are. On board, he meets a doctor played by an actress who has been beat about the head with an ugly stick. She tells the pilot to fly at a lower altitude (is that even possible?) so that Jay’s headaches will ease. They part at the airport and incredibly, she just happens to be the one scientist that the baddies target to kidnap and work on the virus because the scientist got killed running away. Oh yes, a huge part of the movie is shot in Malaysia of all places (one is treated to repeated scenes of the twin towers ugh). Jay sees her being kidnapped and saves her from his bad ass elder brother.

In the evening, he susses out his good for nothing gambler of a father and what do you know, the first time he finds his father, the father is being pummeled for failure to pay his debts. What a family reunion. At this point of the movie, I find myself feeling genuinely sorry for Jay. He has been given short and bad lines which he delivers in a stilted stuffed monotonous voice. And sorry for his character too. With a mother like that and a father…and a bullet in the head. He gets the second prize pity ticket. He founds out he his a niece who is the only likable character in the movie. Nicholas Tse isn’t too bad either – he gets the first prize pity ticket because of the troubles in his personal life. Good acting despite the lousy script and lines.

I’m not going to waste anymore time reviewing the movie except that it is predicable. Jay with the bullet in his head sacrifices his life for the brother when they take down the baddie. The little girl gets saved and is reunited with the grandmother (the most annoying character who of course cries tears of self pity and stupidly asks for Jay – I mean, come on, how could she not have known). Nicholas’s character does time of course and the baddies are all killed by the superbionic brothers.

This has to be one of the worst movies ever.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Preparing for CNY 2012

The good thing about having a blog is that you can track/look back accurately. Memories sometimes become just that bit fudged, especially after a period of time.

Just 2 years ago in 2010, my preparation for CNY was limited to caring for me and my car (click here to read). Needless to say, as a wife and a host-to-be for the 2nd day of CNY this year, I've been kept so busy that I've had no time to blog - Be it Food (I just had 2 hotel buffets this week - Rise @ MBS and Carousel @ RP), Movies (Sherlock Holmes 2 , Ghost Protocol, Journey 2, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Contraband), Books or all the Travel.

My CEB calls me House Mob, or something like that. I've become quite domesticated (which is pretty much evident from my posts these days).

The first thing I did in terms of preparation was to spring clean - the clothes, the cupboards. (Okay, that isn't strictly true - I shopped for clothes for my CEB and me first hehe). The next thing was to prepare new bed-sheets to be used for the new year - these below have been washed, hung up to dry and packed neatly to be used this Saturday.

And how could I forget decorations? The first decoration I bought for our home was this. My CEB put it up on our door using blue-tack because his "hopeless mob" used double sided tape and paint (the one on top of the door) and double sided tape do not quite agree.

My father-in-law was of the strong opinion that we should have the "Fu" character in our house and he bought us this decoration to put up. I put it facing the door and snipped off the tail. This will be taken down after CNY because my CEB has....I'll let the pics do the talking.

We went to Chinatown 2 weeks back on a Saturday with his friends because I wanted to take photos of the 3D massive dragon decoration I'd read about in the papers. The dragon was not impressive. The massive crowd was. It was as bad as going on CNY eve (most pp go there because everything is sold at a huge discount that day - stalls are all closed after).

Nonetheless, my CEB was very much taken with another "Fu" decoration that we saw at Chinatown and he was absolutely insistent that we buy it. When we got home, the first thing he did was to put it up on the wall, right smack in the center of our living room. In the face.

And after that he got around to putting the decorations on the pussy willows that we bought from Chinatown that evening.

Followed by changing the cushion covers of the hall's cushions. My mum gave us 2 vases for the pussy willows - those vases have been in my family for more than a decade!

Because the second vase was standing empty in the dining room, we bought more pussy willow last week from Ikea and these were so much cheaper (SGD 8?) compared to the ones we bought at Chinatown (SGD 12). I'm pretty tempted to go to Chinatown on CNY eve to check out the prices of the pussy willows then...and maybe buy more. I don't know why I really like these.

After prettying up the house (did I mention I just bought a new sofa too!), we got down to hamper shopping for the in-laws. Both sides. I bought the dragon hamper from Eu Yan Sang for my in-laws about 3 weeks before CNY. My CEB was even busier than I was so we only went hamper-shopping for my side last week.

And that's my CEB in my house (okay, now my old place) looking very smug because his mother in law is very pleased with the gift.

I've bought all the new year goodies last week, and today I've changed the dollar notes for the red packets (our first year giving ang pows!), bought new matching dustbin, newspaper box and magazine rack for the living room...and I'm not done. Oranges, full tank of petrol, new garments to be taken out...