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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Except for the first line, this poem is unrelated, just a spontaneous epihany yet again.

If ignorance is bliss,
Tis folly to be wise.
Heresay and murmurs strife,
how much that you hear are simply lies?

Those remarks, they stab so deep,
Like nightmares, they start to haunt you in your sleep.
You flip the sheets, you cry aloud,
paranoid, you leave home with a pout.
Sadistic and brutal, they feed on fear,
It's your sanity, that they hold so dear.

Relent, however, and soon they tire,
Their interest falters, like a dimming fire.
It's your anguish, which they were yearning,
So assume nothing, and soon life is turning.

Hence don't let judgements cloud your mind,
Lest they do, head back, rewind.

This is self composed, in relation to a friend's blog post, and also something I have to remind myself to do, every now and then. Maybe I should make a poem of the month feature, I've done three or four already, and I find it a shame to leave it in the dust of thw web through old posts.

Updates coming up, please be patient, sorry.

penned by joel at 7:08 PM


101st, grub's up!
Friday, March 21, 2008

Food food food, here's the update! two significant events in my life for the 101st post.

I began preparations from tuesday already, having to make the lemon tea, then the hectic Friday proved the meal took 8 hours to prep. From 10am to 7pm, break for two hours, plus the one hour for the tea. As promised, four courses, and drinks. Admittedly, drinks were only good for two and a half refills.

The kitchen turned into a slum shortly after the end of dinner, and I had to wash and dry dishes like mad. Heh.

Appetizer, homemade garlic spread with lemon zest, jiucy tomatoes garnished with lemon pulp, and buttered diced mushrooms for toppings. On the left, the Latte Frappucino with the whipped cream half gone already. Got milk? :D

The sixth guest, mmm! The country loaf had multigrains sprinkled on the outside, toasted to perfection with a firm crust and slightly toasted centre. There's the lemon tea to the right.

Cream of mushroom and potato, sprinkled with parsley and pepper, but witht he unsightliness of a spoon innit, and a half glass full of latte frap.

The main course, which I admittedly didn't do as well in, as I thought I'd do. A bit too dry, and the bacon's flavour was somehow not there. I can't explain it, but Joseph knows it didn't taste like last time I cooked it. The bacon really, the natural oils and flavour didn't permeate as they should have, perhaps it was cuz I threw in everything to cook, instead of seperating them into individual portions to cook...

Five out of five for my taste buds, This toasted waffle with Passionfruit ice cream and homemade apple sauce really took the cake. The Washington red delicious apples were juiced first, then boiled to remove excess water and make it thick. Cinnamon went in, so did castor sugar and flour. For my first time, I'm amazed at the success. >D

Tea for the finisher, and I think I drank one too many cups of coffee. I only fell asleep at 3am + that night. I think too much, and sleep is impossible when you've got the world on your mind. I was in between the dining table and the kitchen most of the time, perspiring from the rush of food and the heat in the kitchen.
Dishes lay yet to be served, or stood soaking in detergent amidst the pile in the sink. sugar and specks of spices were littered on countertops, and outside, tha laughter of my guests were beckoning like the tempt of a devil. Plates zoomed in and out of the kitchen, filled, dirtied, or emptied. I was intimidated by the amount of washing I'd have to undertake, along with the mess I'd have to clean.

But overall, I'd rate the dishes like this, from coulda done better, to the epitome of cuisine (my standard, not michellin)

Under expectations - Main course, Bacon and Mushroom aglio olio. [dry, a bit too plain]
Over expectations - Cream of mushroom and potato.
[last cuz it wasn't fully my cooking, canned with alterations]
Bruschetta [second cuz practice makes perfect, my second time making it]
Dessert, Passionfruit ice cream on toasted waffle with apple sauce

The other pair of twins are coming over to crash for the night, and maybe I'll make another round of dessert again.. Hey guys gimme your comments on the dinner when you can k? the simple truth, no cover-ups, I'd rather know than cook something off. Thanks, and hope you had a swell time.


Sweet is the dew on a warm Sunday morning,
Like the scent of of your hair, in the breeze gently swaying.


Cheryl wen't to Hokkaido, and some of the pictures were brilliant, artistic with quite some nature on macro mode. Enjoy!

On another note, today couldn't have been a more wonderful day, it may have been all along, but only now did I realize, I only had to wait. It could take months, years, but I'll definitely wait. Take it slow, and there'd be more memories to cherish next time, there's no rush.

penned by joel at 11:25 PM

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This internet sms service is a godsend for those trigger happy people who sms way too much. And cover their own bills unlike those (rrr) teens who get it all covered by their parents.

The terms and conditions are simple, and so are the charges. The internet user gets unlimited smses, but once he/she gets 20 replies, it disables the service. However, it is renewed every day. Neat, eh? But wait, don't log on and use it just yet, just in case, I'm waiting till I get my next bill to check whether there's any fine print cost. From what I read in the t and c, it was clear that only the recipient pays if he/she replies, and it's the normal 5c fee that can be included in your free bundled smses. So if there really isn't any hidden cost come the next bill, (I'll follow up to this post as soon as I get my next bill) then I guess this service will be pretty handy.

As it is my bills go to $45+ and I have to cover anything above $20. My parents subsidise a fixed $20, and the plan itself is $25.20 (before it was upped to 7%GST) And those pathetic losers who claim they have $100 bills are really desperate attention seekers. They expect you to go 'Whoa, how come so much, you have that many friends??' sigh, cheap thrill. Lemme see you really foot $100, turd.

Signing up is easy, and so's using it. Try it today! lol nah, wait till I get my bill and post an update, then it's safe to use.

penned by joel at 1:20 PM


makan! :d
Saturday, March 15, 2008


Ice Lemon tea


Latte Frappucino
Topped with whipped cream and caramel


Bruschetta slices
Toasted Country grain bread spreaded with homemade garlic spread,
sauteed diced mushrooms and tomatoes with lemon zest


Cream of Mushroom
Mushroom and potato blend with a creamy texture, garnished with peppercorns

Main course

Bacon and Mushroom Aglio
Linguini pan fried in olive oil, garlic, chilli, back bacon and swiss brown mushrooms


Vanilla Waffle with Apple syrup
A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top a warm waffle, laced with homemade apple syrup and cinammon

Grub's up at my place on friday evening, cost price of produce estimated at $50, for six persons. I'm cookin. :D

penned by joel at 1:17 PM


Friday, March 14, 2008

Yeh, that's what I'm trying to be lately. Finished cooking dinner tonight, wipped up something new, Bruschetta, with a twist of my own. Blended onions and garlic together for my own garlic bread paste, added butter, tomato and sauteed mushrooms. Fantastic by all standards, considering it was my first too. No self praise here, Joseph can vouch for me. :D Made homemade ice lemon tea too, whoa 4 hours of hard work preparing for the impeccable dinner. (I moved it from Saturday to today) And of course, washed up everything too.

Came up with some slogans voluntarily too, for the student council election, for MJC and TPJC.

Lemme hear your voice, make Joseph your choice! (lol)

Vote Xavier Ong, you can't go wrong.

Let's vote Jake, you'll make no mistake! (doh!) [that's new, Jake you can use it if ya want]

Tennis was from 8 to 12 again today, except this time I woke up later than normal and I couldn't be bothered to rush. Everyone was there already this time, by the time I came to the courts, so I hurriedly warmed up for games. I played with three seniors, on doubles, and we lost 6-0, 6-0, 0-6. We just played the last round for fun even though it meant they won already, and my partner finally played normally. He was a wreck for the first two, no kidding, hitting far and into the net.

WE're up for competitives in April, and I'm not looking forward to being trashed. I know I'm far from the rest, lagging behind in both experience and skill, so it'll be no surprise if I disappoint my doubles team. ): Furthermore we're going up against the formidable RJC, MJC and NYJC. MI should be an ok, if not easy match, so says my captain. Can't count on luck now, it's all practice and I'm afraid I don't have enough time for it.

penned by joel at 10:02 PM


lunch, life
Thursday, March 13, 2008

I bought the ingredients for cooking for my family this Saturday again, and a little extra for my lunch today. Diced ingredients all at the ready, I began cooking the Aglio, only to find in the middle of my cooking, the gas tank ran out. Brilliant. Thankfully however, the bacon was already cooked, and there was little to finish, so I popped it into the microwave oven and it was done. (induction cookers seem pretty cool, and you don't have to rely on gas but electricity)

No kidding, but the best one I've cooked so far outta the three times, practice makes perfect. But I'd rather cook for someone else and myself too, eating alone's boring.

which brings me to a thought. Bachelor'hood'. I often look at unmarried teachers ( or anyone for that matter) and wonder what life is like for them. Who they live with can really change a person. Their parents? (unlikely at that age, but not something I'd dismiss), a room mate? Or worse, alone. To go to an empty house everyday may have its perks of privacy and not having to put up with the shortcomings of someone else living in it, but in the long term, sounds dreary doesn't it?

Sure, upkeep is less too, and the place is more spacious, but to keep to oneself all day cooped up, it's not really healthy for social well being is it? Having a family but not conversing much with them still seems better than no one at home.

I hope I can settle down early, heh, living a life where nights are spent alone doesn't come easily to me.

penned by joel at 12:50 PM


insects, Zheng Wen?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not for the faint hearted, this is one gross video that SHOULD NOT BE WATCHED BEFORE MEALS. It depends on your threshold of nausea, but people like myself wont be able to stomach this sorta documentaries. Blood clot/infection sucking leeches I can accept, but not this. Enjoy, or whatever. :Y

It's nearing the end of the holidays, and by gosh I still have lots more revision to do. Got to get off the com and onto my desk. Once I turn it on, there's just so much surfing and watching thats tempting. :[

penned by joel at 5:09 PM


525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year?
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year? Rent OST - Seasons Of Love.

I recalled this from the trailer to Rent years ago, a really meaningful song, Enjoy.


Pre-University seminar briefing today, and I left home for TPJC this morning. I'm overjoyed, as the teachers in charge called only my group back for a revamp of the proposal they submitted, and asked for our imput rather than every group. Perhaps it's cuz of the enthusiasm we showed, but it's nice to know we've got a little rep with the teachers, yay! I'm looking forward to the seminar, it sounds like lotsa fun, with overnight bunking at NTU's hostel. Free food, free lodging, new people. I don't see the cons to this 5D4N seminar..

Tennis again tomorrow morning, gotta work on my serves and topspin. Goodnight.

penned by joel at 8:17 PM


today, a lousy title
Monday, March 10, 2008

Tennis from 8 to 10.30, badminton from 12 to 2 (Joseph fanatically carried on to 3), whoof, I'm tired. I did meet Eileen though, since I had some extra time, and decided to get off the bus when the prearranged breakfast with Joseph was cancelled when he had to backtrack to retrieve the shuttlecocks.

We went to the veri nostalgic Vari Nice food court somewhere opposite Damai Sec, and I munched on their roti prata, mmmm... :P prices have risen, or portions have lessened, it's all too obvious. Anyways, managed to catch up with some stuff with her, still slightly sarcastic. Heh. But still engaging, glad much hasn't changed since. (phew I thought I'd lose friends quickly once we went to JC)

Chatting up with the guys really has it's hilarity, and I can only hope with growing time, we will find some slots here and there to meet up. Yi Chen with his raised eyebrows all the time, fanatical Joseph and Xavier about Ganbatte Meridian, Jhin's quiet but deathly korean stare, Jake and his serious demeanor (seems to be more light hearted nowadays) and Mark and Ben busy with their DS or asking weird questions all the time.. Ah. :)

Joseph texted me today en route to Eunos CC for badminton. ...rain is looming. That sentence sounded the slightest poetic, so i typed this in reply quickly.

Rain is looming,
faith is fading,
up ahead the saint's are calling.

Down below,
men tirelessly sow,
but mounting against the king, an quiet overthrow.
Work they must,
with spades they thrust,
But not as slaves, this wasn't just.

So with the twilight,
that fated night,
took arms they did,
with torches lit.
Spears sharpened, senses heightened,
blood was spilt
before the king could be frightened.

Rain has fallen,
blood has flown,
and this day shall by all, be known.
The saint's have a sinner,
men's burdens has lesser.
We've all moved on to something better.

(I added the last paragraph just now, gimme your comments! It's a bit crude, but an attempt nonetheless!)

penned by joel at 9:08 PM


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fonts and a portion of art, my forte, but all along I've been drawing with little purpose, only for the posters I needed, cards I made. I shan't publicize my drawings as some may regard it as showing off? =/ Hence it was a really nice feeling when I managed to help Jake with my art, designing a poster for the nomination of an independent student councillor vote.

I had no prior intention of doing it, but spontaneity got the better of me, and I thought it'd be a waste not to help. The feeling of giving is truly warming, and selfishly, I haven't felt this in a while now. Last morning, however, I woke up at a wee 5am to get hotcakes from Mcdonalds for Sabrina's birthday. Cheryl and I met at Bedok interchange before popping over to Sabrina's doorstep with breakfast. Niki came along too, since she's been meeting Sab every morning before going to school.

We got a last minute card for her, and if you zoom in, you'll see a cartoon version of her in it.

Soon we'll all be 18, oh crud.

I caught a glimpse of Phyu Phyu at the interchange, whilst alighting. Messaging her, I realised it was her I really saw, but a shame we couldn't exchange hi's. Like before, a tight uniform that eccentuated a figure, heh, looks like some things never change.

We got a mini cake too, a sports water bottle, tennis socks and a couple of chocolate cookies from a shop she liked.

I'm sensitive. Receiving makes me feel guilty most of the time, unless it's imperative. Like for example when I'm so low on cash that I can't afford food. I've got to cut down on my bills and other expenditures. Come to think of it, I haven't paid for the badminton court bookings for a while now, I think for three games, got to remind myself to ask Xavier how come he hasn't asked, and chide myself too, for forgetting.

After tennis that evening, we went our seperate ways, only to meet back again at Cheryl's aunt's place at 10.30pm for some stargazing, chatting, before she left the next morning for Hokkaido. I'll be bored during this short break, with little to keep me company. Hopefully badminton or a movie'll come out of the plans and I won't keep thinking about missing someone away overseas.

Her aunt's place, Villa Marina, only a short 10 minute walk away from my place. En route, I took a shortcut via some grassy field, only halfway through when I noticed a solitary tombstone eeriely in the middle of the field. I brisk walked all the way, keeping my eyes firmly on the lamppost ahead.

The clubhouse looked like a hotel in the night, stunning, with shimmering stars above. Mesmerizing..

Or, I could stay at home all day and play ft. Hur hur. JC life's starting to toughen up, wonder if I'll lag behind. Some of the retainees I know scored 12 and 13 for O's, a bit of a fright. Naive was I to think that only those with perhaps 15+ would stay back :S

penned by joel at 8:16 AM


Thursday, March 6, 2008

To have loved and lost, or to have never loved at all.

Not a tempest of infatuation,
incomparable to your heart's palpitation.
Neither the blindness of lust,
nor a fleeting crush.
There's no simplicity,
it is all but monotony.
It is not a hunch, neither an obsession.
From a butterflies in the stomach to a jittery confession.
Distant from the trickle of your tear, yet far from a skip of the heart.
Little can be done, to tear that desire apart.
Little of the material but everything from the soul.
Without you, I'd be everything but whole...

(do not rip anything, this was self composed)

To the optimist, to love and to lose. I once thought I was in that position, where I lost, but countless times, I was given second chances, sometimes I felt much to my disdain.

I thought I wanted to escape from it all then, look in a new direction and hardly turn back. Now I'm at a fork, deciding between friendship and love. The road behind has been smooth, with minor exceptions. But you know what really sucks?

When the one you love starts becoming your best friend too.

penned by joel at 7:01 PM


priorities, updates
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

One of my greatest flaws, my poor sense of priorities. I often put my friends before family, because I have the unfilial mindset that my family would always be there, but for my friends, JC induced stress could take over anytime.

As such, this distances myself from my family unlke Joseph, who almost all the time is at home. Either he rarely goes out, or he knows his priorities better? I don't know. But perhaps I have to start facing the truth that if he's there more often than I, certain disadvantages may be incurred. If you don't know what I am implying, then you probably won't face such problems like mine, but I assure you it's never as simple as it sounds.


The last week of the term, it's flown by so fast because of the PAE period. Every morning I wake up at 5.35am and it's doing poorly for my body. With this lousy body clock of mine, I find myself lethargic during lessons. Dozing off is not seldom, and I was embarrassingly caught by my human geography (wig-donning) teacher in front of the lecture theatre. Crap. I must get something to drink or not fatigue will take over, and I'll find myself sleeping half the lectures away.

Maybe a thermos of coffee or tea, but apparently coffee in thermos mugs turn sour if they're the freshly made ones. Ah well, maybe instant coffee. Good for the freezing Auditorium too, since I have yet to get a cardigan.


Tennis seems to be doing well for me now. Among the JC1s, there is little competition for me. But that also adds extra pressure to me, from the captain of the team. Still, I hope to achieve something out of tennis. A medal, a trophy, I'm all for working towards it. Unlike other CCAs, Tennis has a no retainee rate. Either 'cuz it's a slack CCA, or it's easily handled with studies. I love the tennis wall. :D

penned by joel at 8:44 PM


Aglio Olio (ah-lee-oh oh-lee-oh)
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bacon and Mushroom Aglio

For 1 person


80g of Linguini
1 1/2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Clove of shallot
1 Chilli Padi
75g Bacon
A handful of Mushrooms, Button ones do just fine
Olive Oil

To garnish

Chilli Flakes


Dice garlic, chilli and shallots to desired size. Slice bacon to small strips, and chop mushrooms from stalk down. (in case you never knew)

Boil Linguini till a perfect texture. (roughly less than 10 mins once the water starts boiling) and drain. Hold it in a pot temporarily.

Coat the pan generously with olive oil, and throw in the shallots, garlic and chilli. Add a sprinkle of salt. Once the garlic starts to brown, add in the bacon. Savour the mouth watering aroma, and when the bacon seems about cooked, in goes the mushrooms.

Stir fry that for about 5 minutes, then add in the pasta. Leave that for a short while, the linguini should be coloured a little darker. (not burnt, i mean saucy)

Serve, and sprinkle with parsley, chilli flakes, peppercorns and if desired, some parmesan cheese.

Wondering how it'd taste? Well the bacon gives it natural salt flavour, and the mushrooms are moist and a teensy sweet. Plus the spice, it's everything nice. :D


penned by joel at 2:02 PM


A budding curiosity

Recently I've developed a budding curiousity to experiment with ingredients in the kitchen. Just days ago, I successfully stirred up an Aglio, on my first try too, and it was gastronomic. Wanting to experiment again, I volunteered to cook dinner last night, hoping to replicate my success with the Bacon and mushroom Aglio.

In to the pan went 5 diced cloves of garlic and shallots. I threw caution into the air, and chopped up 6 chilli padi's. In they went too, along with 280 grams worth of back bacon, and two thirds of a punnet of mushrooms. The aroma was heavenly, a tinge of chilli flakes sprinkled atop the heap of ingredients, and olive oil generously simmering in the wok. With the spaghetti cooked, (I wanted Linguini, but we didn't have any) the whole cahooney was complete. I had no idea who it would taste, but began dishing it out for 5.

As I sat down at the dining table, the jittery fear of a poorly cooked dinner came to be, but it was soon dismissed as I tucked in. It was light, not like the oily Aglio Olio's I try outside, nor was it too dry. The texture of the pasta was perfect, so was the spice. Too spicy, however, for Joseph and my mom, so I guess the next time I'd have to cut down to 5 or four. Ingredients wise, I had a little too short.

I made a mental note of the next time I'd cook, but overall it was an interesting dinner. The second time I cooked dinner, the first being an overly successful spaghetti bolognaise. (I've since forgotten how to cook that)

This morning, a single banana was left in the tray. An idea struck me as soon as I saw it. Another first, I sliced a gentle notch in the centre. Taking out the butter, I lathered some into it, a thin layer. After that came the strawberry jam, around thrice the amount of butter I added. Mmm, a literal banana split. I suggest you try this for yourself, It could be a fantastic, albeit simplistic dessert, to a wonderful dinner. Make sure you chill it till the banana's really cold, it'd be good with a thin layering of icy shavings around it. More savoury would be, of course, for you to add scoops of ice cream.

Bon appetite! Augh I'm still hungry :D

penned by joel at 9:07 AM