Tuesday, September 20, 2005
i haven't been posting for a week because i was busy observing the sheer beauty of how the mooncake festival brings people together. the soong people were united against the mongolian hordes by hiding secret messages in tasty snacks. somehow in chinese history even while rebelling against barbaric invaders, the chinese manage to incorporate a tasty snack into the mix. likewise, in present day singapore where people are shoving tasty mooncakes into the arms of friends, relatives, and hard-to-please prospective mothers-in-law left right and centre, the mooncake festival is bringing people together for the common goal of eating gigantic amounts of fattening pastry and burning up each others lanterns to simulate the adrenaline rush of fighting off yakskin-clad invading troops. it befuddles me why they don't make yakskin-clad invading troops anymore. can you imagine how much more exciting life would be with them around?
renjun had another party at his house where everyone baked mooncakes and then sat around tasting the mooncakes that each person made even though every mooncake, having sprung forth from the same dough and lotus paste, tasted the exactly same, with the exception of isaac's innovative mooncake which was a baked skin stuffed with a clod of more baked skin. it was the first mooncake we picked out to eat, and jasper cut it into eighths and all of us took a piece and nibbled it daintily for quite awhile before toh han remarked that it was quite dry and that the lotus paste tasted funny. and that was when we realised we were chewing on nothing but a huge lump of dry dough. who else wants isaac for president?
my snowskin masterpiece, zhongyang's amoebic lump of dough, and greedy lynn trying to get a head start on the eating; pretty michelle and her appropriately pretty mooncake; hanboon and zhongyang trying to decide whether muscles bigger than mooncake or mooncake bigger than muscles; i put into action my plot to knock lynn unconscious with rolling pin and flee with her mooncake.
besides isaac's tasteless abomination of nature, all our other mooncakes tasted pretty good, considering that it was our first time baking them, with the exception of renjun, who's a master of the art of mooncake making, thus accomplishing part iv of his master plan to win the hearts of girls and swooning aunties far and wide.
up, zhongyang! up! up! ; dannyboy posing with his tasty piglet; even mooncakes need their nutrients; knife-wielding yauhong hard at work butchering mooncakes.
we lit lanterns and wandered around renjun's neighbourhood sucking our singed fingers while enjoying the warmth of tiny candles. ET ran around flambe-ing all the guys' lanterns, and when all the lanterns were tiny piles of ash, we decided to entertain ourselves by pushing dannyboy around violently on the springy aeroplane at the playground. i think pushing dannyboy around was more fun than any of that lantern lighting stuff, and we should make the shoving of dannyboy a traditional mid autumn festival activity.
today i did some studying at gelare with jean and carol. it was all fine and dandy until mid-afternoon, when the staff cranked up the airconditioning to try and freeze us out like cockroaches. we stood our ground and clenched our pens with trembling blue fingers in a heroic attempt to learn more about influenza virii while the hairs on our arms stood up in angry protest. i was tempted to curl up into a fetal position and rock back and forth on the floor to warm myself, which i would have done if the gelare floor hadn't been made of a very cold, hard cheap tile. eventually we succumbed to the big brainfreeze (insert courteous chuckle here for bad joke) and went for dinner. whatever happened to the good old days when students could study at cafes and selfishly occupy the seats of paying customers without having to worry about hypothermia? the next time i study there i'm bringing a mink.
| mando | 8:51 AM
Saturday, September 10, 2005
it is now the mid-autumn festival, my favourite chinese celebration of the year! sure, everyone likes chinese new year, except the people who have to pawn the gold fillings they received as dowry so they can line the pockets of little kids who inevitably waste the money buying flags of the world erasers to throw at their friends, or to make the longest eraser shaving the world has ever seen. but lao zi say, what goes into mouth just as important as what goes into pocket, and my reunion dinner usually involves eating abacus beads which could break a window in the house across the street if catapulted off a balcony with a bra (a fun-filled family activity to try on a rainy day, or if entire family placed under house arrest!). the mid-autumn festival involves ingesting vast quantities of funnily-flavoured lotus paste and snowskin, and this is why in my house, the mid-autumn festival is also known as "weighing scales of the world run for cover month".
the atrium at the esplanade has lanterns made by kids aged 6-12 on display. if by kids aged 6-12 you mean middle aged housewives who help their spawn cheat at art. "what are you doing for art project this week? make lantern? ohh so exciting! okay mummy help you bend the wire now. wire sharp. you watch mummy okay? your tetanus jab so long ago, surely expired already. wait until after your PSLE then go and jab again, later jab now your arm pain pain cannot do assessment paper. okay mummy help you paste the cellophane paper. okay now you can draw the eyes. dot there. dot there also. very good! wahh boy you very artistic! must show mrs lim, see if her lantern nicer than my lantern. i mean, your lantern."
i remember when everyone used to carry around paper lanterns under strict parental supervision in case their kids were all pyromaniacs who would proceed to burn down the entire estate. when we had to be left on our own, the adults gave us all battery operated lanterns that emitted soft comforting 5watt glows. that was all these battery operated lanterns used to do, besides giving you a pointy, rabbit-shaped weapon to swing at your brother's head and then run away. now things are different. battery-operated lanterns come with ferris wheels that move in slow circles with lights that turn on and off in time with the music, and plastic lion dancers move their feet robotically as the lion's head slouches from side to side. soon, raging advances in lantern technology will ensure that every kid on the block has a highly-intelligent lunar-powered lantern droid that responds to your every command, and that can be deployed during lantern festival celebrations to run around burning up other kids' paper lanterns for you so you don't have to do it yourself like in the olden days, and can just watch with your remote control in one hand and a snowskin single yolk in the other. and we wonder why our kids are getting fat.
| mando | 10:12 PM
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
charles, me and ruxin ready to roll at east coast; party in the park with mc, hweech and the NUSSO; m2s showing support for our super stringers; me and kiru, (onstage sisters miranda and matilda)!
| mando | 11:40 PM
happy birthdays : lynn with our balloonmobile, me and carol and singing spongebob, carol and cake after m2 august babies' celebrations, the photowhores under the impression that their faces are small enough to smoosh into one screen
| mando | 11:35 PM
lately for some strange reason (possibly residual viral activity stealing my inner chi) i have been walking around on what nat calls screensaver mode. i think it's my body's unconscious effort to conserve energy during the day for the vigorous intellectual gymnastics i must perform in my dreams. so i would like to put out a public request that if you see a girl walking around bumping into inanimate objects, please kindly steer her away from pillars, oncoming traffic, rabid squirrels, and flag-sellers on orchard road for her own personal safety.
on another note, my american aunt, cousin karl and his girlfriend vanna are in town! so we have all been doing whatever it is we normally do when my american relatives come into town, which is eat, shop, eat some more and then lie around at my house like beached porpoises diligently digesting whatever food of the whichever gods that my mom and my maid have been slaving in the kitchen over. cousin jethro has been taking karl and vanna zouking, and my aunt wants to go along and run madly through the place grabbing random girls and yelling "are you my daughter? where's my daughter? is she here? i need to find my daughter!" maybe after that zouk would finally be empty and the management would finally stop this whole shoe-shop-closing-down-sale-but-never-actually-closing-down business and finally close for renovations already.
last tuesday, we celebrated carol's birthday in school! we were extremely scheming and decided to celebrate it one month after her actual birthday so that she wouldn't expect anything (which is also known as the tricksy maneuver for excusing oneself for putting off throwing your best friend a birthday surprise.) put into action by liana, the plan was that we decorate my car with balloons and streamers and cram all of us into it like clowns in a volkswagon and run down carol with the car in the carpark. then we decided that the last part of the plan might be a little bit too
surprising, so we just settled for driving towards her and popping a few party poppers. lynn and wayne drove out to buy the decorations while i distracted caroline in the library until she went off for tutorial. lynn came back with a bag of balloons, party poppers, party horns, and a pack of spongebob squarepants party hats and happy birthday banner. so i met her in the carpark to tie things onto my car and generally attract a lot of unwanted attention from people who i am thankful didn't seem to know the number of the admissions office at IMH.
at 1600hrs, we lured a very confused carol to the library and we (lynn, daniel, zhongyang, yauhong, isaac, liana and me) rendezvoused at the science carpark to put on spongebob party hats and to pose for photos again. wayne lured caroline to the carpark without managing to call us, so carol saw a bunch of idiots taking photos with a ludicrously decorated toyota and was about to go and see who the crazy people were. wayne managed to distract her by flailing his arms around like a spastic pigeon while we all piled into the car and drove towards carol blowing our party horns and singing the birthday song. carol unfortunately didn't have the surprised yet ecstatic look we were going for, but instead was a pretty picture of "what-the-hellare-you-guys-doing?" we took a video of her, and in the video you can clearly hear her saying "what are you doing with the car? are you giving me a car? is the car for me?" carol, we're your good friends. but not that good. maybe if we were your good friends AND direct descendants of bill gates, or donald trump, or Yong Loo Lin, you'd have a shiny new toyota. but fate is cruel.
carol hopped into wayne's jaguar to get driven to Outback bar and grill, and me and lynn took a detour to holland V to pick up carol's surprise birthday cake (we had to tell carol that i got lost on the way to millenia walk so that she wouldn't suspect a cake coming. for some really weird reason she believed it, even though everyone knows that i normally have an impeccable sense of direction.) daniel and yauhong couldn't stay for dinner, so they walked off into the sunset together, still wearing their spongebob party hats. half an hour later, lynn got an sms from daniel saying "me and yauhong are having a bet to see who takes off the hat first. we are on the mrt together now and we are still wearing them." i am glad they are setting a good example to the community! nobody gets excited about birthdays anymore!
anyway carol hope you had an awesome time on tuesday! we all love you so mucho, blocky!
on saturday, charles asked us out to go blading at east coast, and we got a good workout before me, jean and ruxin rushed down to the botanic gardens to catch the end of mc playing the butterfly lovers' concerto at the NUSSO concert in the park. the three of us took a cab and raced eugene on his bike to the gardens, and he still got there before we did. respeck! ian and cheok got there first after their CMS ethics talk, and spent a short while enjoying romantic coupledom in the park, carrying a picnic basket and flasks of coffee and tea across the field, and laying down a sarong so they could settle down and enjoy the music. all they needed was a gurgling baby in a stroller wearing a bib that said "my daddies love me" to have no success with girls whatsoever for the rest of their lives.
we picked out mc onstage and watched him play passionately for awhile before they ended their set and then we rushed to the stage to present him with dinner! the ten minutes that we managed to catch sounded really good! and no ants bit us during that entire ten minutes, which is a big plus! like i always say, it is always nice to be able to watch a symphonic orchestra concert without the interference of nibbly insects. i fully expect that line to be put in a book of quotable quotes soon, so watch out for it when it goes on sale at Borders.
| mando | 10:46 PM