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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Eternal Sunshine of the Jude Yew Mind

So how do I begin describing my foray into the complex and labyrinthine universe otherwise known as my husband's psyche? How do I make sense of a cartography that is meandering one moment, and straightforward the next? When will I begin to understand what makes a man walk into a car dealership, negotiate what I think (and I know deep down he thinks so too) is a pree-tty good bargain for a 2004 Toyota Matrix, come within 50 ft of the bank to extend our car loan, and then decide to change his mind?...

Maybe I'll never know, and that's what going to make the next 50 years of our life so interesting... Anyways, that more or less describes our past 20 hours. It's been a roller-coaster ride of decisions, indecisions, re-decisions, and at the end of the day, as frustrating as it was, I think we made the right choice. Climbing back into our seafoam green Hyundai after leaving the bank with our money still intact was one of the most liberating experiences in a while. The excitement of a new car gave way to the relief that we didn't take on an added burden, and that was a definite indication to us that getting a new car wasn't going to be the best idea. We would have had to compromise on too many things, and we weren't unhappy enough with our present car to do that.

Besides, if we did buy the car today, what would my precious husband do with his free time on the Internet? He wouldn't be able to meticulously research car deals to conjure up amazing bargains that discombobulated the most smarmy of car salesmen, and we wouldn't want to deprive him of that dear joy now would we?...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spring Break

So how much of a spring break are we on?
1) We woke up at 11.00 (which meant 12 hours of sleep for me since for some incomprehensible reason, I fell asleep before 11pm last night, right in the middle of Battlestar Galactica when Jude was trying to explain to me the evolution of the Cylons...);
2) Drove 45 minutes to Troy to look at a Toyota Matrix we were interested in getting;
3) Listened to NPR's hilarious Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me all along the way (they had Jeopardy's Ken Jennings on who by the way, knows EVERYTHING, including what to do when you wake up next to a naked woman with no recollection of who she is... and he's from Utah to boot!...);
4) Came within a hair's breath of being conned into trading in our 2004 Hyundai for $4700 (did they think we were a pair of math-impaired dimwitted Asian morons???);
5) Walked fruitlessly around Somerset Mall and reconciled ourselves to the depressing fact that we were probably the poorest people in the entire complex and about 10 years away from being able to afford anything from the shops there;
6) Decided to pitch lower and go to Loehmann's instead where they sell discounted branded goods;
7) Had even less retail luck at Loehmann's;
8) And are now sitting in Panera Bread doing what we do best, drinking coffee, eating in the middle of the day, reading our notes, and being poor.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hidden wedding photos

Stumbled onto our friends Darrell and Esther's photo site/ portfolio. They were our wonderful wedding photographers and guess what? I find a couple of pictures I never knew we had taken!

I really do love our wedding photos...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A cake and a crumb

The house smells deliriously good right now- all lemony and buttery and springy (as in the season, not the adjective...). I baked today- lemon cake with bittersweet chocolate chunks. The weather's been bitterly, bitterly cold and I figured we both needed something sunny to perk us up (even though it is technically 3 days to spring break- woo-hoo!). So on all counts, definitely an occasion for something sunny and citrusy.

The cake came out of the oven with a lusciously warm golden hue that made me giddy with glee (yes, yes, food makes Serene Koh happy- beautiful food makes me even happier!) It was yumms but the chocolate chunks I added kinda sank to the bottom even though I coated them with flour (thanks to Barefoot Contessa- guess who's been watching The Food Network???).

Have to confess though that I take credit only for melting the butter, mixing everything together and for the addition of the chocolate. Sorry, I can maintain this Wonderwoman-Ubergeek-Domestic-Goddess-Extraordinaire illusion for only so long. Let's just say I don't know what I'll do if Trader Joe's ever closed down. Wait, I know- for one, I won't be able to continue pretending I can really bake...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Help rebuild a library

Just a call for help on behalf of the New Orleans Public Library. According to the New York Foundation for the Arts, the library is asking for any and all hardcover and paperback books for people of all ages in an effort to restock the shelves after Katrina.

You can send your books to:
Rica A. Trigs, Public Relations
New Orleans Public Library
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
Apparently if you tell the post office that they are for the library in New Orleans, they will give you a discounted postal rate.

At the same time, here are two organizations which are helping the NOPL by raising funds, so if you can't bear to part with your books, consider a small donation:

New Orleans Public Library Foundation Rebuilding Campaign

Friends of New Orleans Public Library's Restoration Fund

Monday, February 20, 2006


And you thought you knew good food photography. Here's a collection of photos of tiny human figurines atop edible items transformed into landscapes. They're all so whimsically composed, so sweet (the photos, not just the dessert)- a delectable show of good art, good taste, and good food!

Two of my favorites: A team of construction workers investigating a crack in a chocolate eclair:
[click for close-up]

Franciscan monks in prayful contemplation atop cream puff cathedrals:

Others to look out for:
- A team of astronauts on a crème brûlée crater;
- Workers cleaning up a frosting sugar spill around a meuille-feuille;
- A Lolita-esque scene of an older man lusting after a bikini-clad younger girl from across a bowl of toffee and ice-cream.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Line

So how endearing is this? My dad brings my mum to watch Walk The Line (which he promptly informs me has just bombed in Singapore coz so few people have a frame of reference to country music, lest of all country music raging with fire and brimstone). He gives her a running commentary throughout the film about Cash's life (thanks in no small part- or so I would like to believe- to our Christmas present). She is duly moved. Cries. And now my dad's going to watch it again, this time without having to explain to the person sitting next to him why A Boy Named Sue actually has nothing to do with a girl.

I think it's so cool my parents still go on movie dates alone...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

i carry your heart with me

[click for iTunes link]

So here's my Valentine's Day present for Jude- an iMix of songs which have in one way or another defined our relationship through the years. It's meant to capture a narrative arc of some sort so hopefully, like one of my favorite soundtracks- Mad About You, the songs will illuminate the story better than words can.

Like my best friend so eloquently says, even if you have no idea when, how or why R.E.M's "Be Mine" rocked our world, enjoy the songs as something hopefully more than your run-of-the-mill V-Day collection.

And Jude got me this unbelievably adorable Gary Baseman figurine. Baseman's the same guy behind "Teacher's Pet" and those wild illustrations for Cranium. It's called the All-seeing Fire Water Bunny armed with the Yin of Water and the Yang of Fire on each hand. Balance the World In the Palm of Your Hand so it says... It's so well-designed and thoughtfully crafted, and oh so cute! Definitely going on the mantle at my desk :)

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

Monday, February 13, 2006

And these are the students we used to teach ...

Thanks to some hardcore surfing by Serene, she managed to unearth these exemplars of student behavior in Catholic Junior College, the school we used to teach at. Just click on any one of the videos below and see characteristic behavior that we had to put up with for SIX painful and debilitating years!!! Now, I wonder what would happen if I sent the videos to the principal?... (evil laughter)

P.S. Check out the following comment left by one of the students who linked to these videos:
("Why do i get the feeling our principal is going to track us down very soon?") Oh, he has no idea...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Couch spuds

So let's see, we officially received cable access today at 10.38am and I do have to say that I exercised an inordinate and admirable amount of self-restriant by only watching 20 minutes of it while having lunch (do you know that the person who first brought Area 51 to the public's attention was a man named Bob Lazar? Thank you History Channel...)

But that was this afternoon.

The moment after we had dinner, the night went by in a complete blur. Jude and I sat through 2 hours of back-to-back The '70s Show (I love Hyde and Kitty, well, not together of course...), channel-surfed between The Parent Trap (with a pre-pubescent Lindsay Lohan- don't ask...) and Battlestar Gallactica (Jude almost lost his breath when it came on...), a spot of Comedy Central, about 30 minutes of Space Odyssey: 2001 (15 minutes of which was a gratuitous LSD-induced nightmare-scape that looked as if Stanley Kubrick decided to commit his s screensaver to film), and a little bit of Emeril where he made chocolate fettuccine. By midnight, you would have had to scrape us off our couch... I swear, we were like Cookie Monster let loose at a Pepperidge Farm convention. We are even convinced that ads on cable are better than on network channels... We who have been deprived are seldom lucid in our rationalizations.

Did I mention that we now have 95 channels?...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Ann Arbor dinner

So like we don't already know that Zingerman's makes awesome sandwiches, that even though they are US$11.99 for basically some meat and cheese stuffed between two slices of bread, a sandwich at Zingerman's isn't really *just* some meat and cheese stuffed between two slices of bread... Jude and shared a large No. 13 ("Sherman's Sure Choice"- corned beef, switzerland swiss cheese, coleslaw & russian dressing on rye bread), a garlicky, mayo-ey, ooh-ey and ahh-ey potato salad, and a portion of beef and barley soup (which is more like a stew really).

We've been to Zingerman's before, but somehow, today was blog-worthy not so much because the food was particularly better than usual, but more because it was a really nice combination of good food and even better company. We were with a couple of friends and it was just an incredibly simple but comforting way to end the week. I can't think of a better way to unwind and refuge from the "mild-January-is-over-haha-gotcha!-now-it's-really-winter" cold than over carbohydrates, greasy meat, some kind of dairy, a token attempt at fibre, and most importantly, sugars, in the form of 6 oz. of gooey, sticky, lusciously sinful, deep dark chocolate gelato... and coffee of course. Oh, and we bought a loaf of chocolate chunk sourdough bread for breakfast tomorrow.

Sleeping in together, the promise of a snowy pretty morning, warm chocolate bread- the morning is so going to be just as wonderful as tonight. I can feel it already... :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Harry and the Potters

No. 3 on PitchforkMedia's Top Five Live Shows of 2005:

Unless you frequent, you probably aren't aware that the greatest rock and roll tour of the year took place this past summer in public libraries across America. Two young brothers, dressed up like pop culture's most famous adolescent wizard, simultaneously spread the gospels of DIY synth-garage-punk and the Order of the Phoenix, causing squealing fits in hyperactive third graders, teenagers in homemade Grffyindor t-shirts, and their chaperones alike. The Decemberists wish they could lit-rock like this.
-Amy Phillips and Ryan Dombal for Pitchfork

And especially for Terri, a song just about Sirius Black, The Godfather.


And so it begins. With Jon Stewart no less. Enough to make a girl contemplate cable.**

**Update: She did. [Dips head in guilt. Exeunt left. Slinking...]