i’m on a roll

For some time, I have been exercising excellent control over my cravings and addictions. Well, actually it is never up to me to do it because in the flesh, we are weak. But I know that it is ok, once in a while, to just indulge. Which is what I have been doing, although maybe a little too often and too much. I have recently found places that serve shoestring fries, my favourite type. I don’t fancy chunky fries for some reason, although I don’t mind eating them but they kind of remind me a little of potato wedges and I am not a fan. I know they are still potato, deep-fried ones, but I still prefer them in this form.20140518-230716.jpgAnd no thanks for any truffle oil or the likes, I prefer my fries plain, neat, whatever you want to call them. Basically, you just need to fry them and serve them up to me without anything. I don’t even want any salt on them, which was why in the past when I go to Mac’s I always try, whenever I can, to request for unsalted fries, which also meant I can get freshly-deep-fried French fries! And the places that I found that serve these shoestring variety of fries know all about value-for-money because they charge a fair amount and give me a whole humongous plate of them I’d guesstimate it to contain at least 2 large packets of Mac’s fries. Gosh.

What are fries without beer to accompany them. Yep, to me, beer is the complementary item, not the other way round. Best of all of course, is the company to have the beer and fries with, while catching up on our lives. Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!

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Paulaner Brauhaus, Millenia Walk Singapore

Sometimes, I wonder if seeing such pictures from me more often signify a good or bad thing.

The small and the big. Strangely, the stereotype always stick. The service staff would serve the 0.3L to me and the 0.5L to the man. In this case, they were wrong. I recalled once when I was at a pub with my cousin and he ordered a wine (or a cocktail I couldn’t remember) while I ordered a beer and I think the first instinct was that the wine was coming to me, but the service staff was smart enough to ask before setting the mug/glass down.

20140306-090528.jpgI found the shoestring fries that I had been missing, and this was an awfully huge-ass ginormous portion that was well worth the $11.50 paid for it. Just thankful there was someone to share the calories and guilt.

20140306-090544.jpgLet’s see what happens. Habits die hard and I thought I’d already kicked this habit, especially when I could even go a few months without touching alcohol over the last couple of years.

Cornerstone, Singapore

Before I visited the Green Room at Bishan Park towards the tail end of 2013, it had been a really long time since I last went there. Years perhaps. But recently I made another trip there, to check out the eatery that my friend and I almost had our annual Christmas dinner at. I recalled that we stopped by Cornerstone, took a look at their menu and was quite ready to ask for a seat when we thought that we might want to take a look at other places, which was what brought us to the Green Room instead because of its interesting concept.

Apparently, Cornerstone is opened by a friend’s friend, in partnership with someone who is a chef. Or at least that was what I was told. It was a weekend evening after a short bout of downpour which left the air muggy but we decided to sit outdoors anyway because the inside looked like it could be cold.

And yes, I know I said I am cutting down and indeed I have done so, tremendously over the last couple of years or more, but once in a while, one or two beers won’t hurt. I still don’t really enjoy the taste of alcohol, to be very honest, but sometimes it just feels right to partake in this malty beverage, or perhaps wine or something similar.

20140227-094623.jpgBuffalo wings! These were pretty tender and easy to eat, with a fork and knife no less so that I didn’t have to get my hands dirty. They come in varying degrees of spicyness but what we ordered were mild stuff. I don’t see the point of torturing my taste buds with extreme spice that can only serve to numb my tongue and make my eyes water and nose run, isn’t it better to just savour and enjoy the deliciousness of the wings?

20140227-094630.jpgAnd as always, I can never do without fries when it comes to having beer. I am an odd one, who can order fries even with other types of alcohol, say cocktails and yes, even wine! So far, I think only one other friend has indulged together with me in such weird combinations but we just love our carbohydrates that much.

20140227-094636.jpgThese were a cross between thick-cut and shoestring; these days there don’t seem to be many places, at least from the few drinking holes that I know and go to, that serve shoestring fries. Between the two, I prefer shoestring, for some strange reason, I think shoestring fries taste better, or I wonder if it is the McDonald’s effect, since among the fast food outlets, McD’s fries are the ones that I used to enjoy the most, although A&W’s curly fries were also a favourite despite them being usually too hard and stale like they have been fried and left standing for too long.

These fries came with four different types of dips, which is pretty much secondary to me. I can have my fries without any sauces and still think they taste just as good.

20140227-094641.jpgCornerstone is a pretty nice and cool place, but I think I wouldn’t recommend alfresco seating these days due to the dry weather that have led to a high incidence of mosquitoes. Oh and this area is dog-friendly I think. I’ve seen people bringing their dogs there but I’m not too sure which ones allow dogs and where of the eateries they would let them dogs into.

unravel

For a long time, I had stayed away from these. But the link was probably never broken. And perhaps I am reverting to old ways.

20140125-225605.jpgAll the sinfulness imbibed in these things.

20140125-225610.jpgThe weightiness that it bears thereafter.

20140125-225615.jpgLiving from day to day is as tiresome as trying to look beyond and ahead. Mounting feelings of wanting to just throw in the towel, surrender but to whom and what? How can yielding be possible when there is no object or subject in sight?

have you begun to get bored already?

I think you may all have grown tired and bored of seeing the same type of pictures each week. I apologise but my life is not all that colourful and interesting to be honest, even if I believe I have a time management issue, weekdays or weekends. I am frequently grappling with the lack of time but yet there are days when I get bored despite all the things that I seemingly fill my time up with. Perhaps it is a routine that has grown stale at some points but nevertheless I am always thankful when the weekend is around because that is the time when I can really enjoy an entire day of bliss.

To me, bliss is simply-defined. This to me, after yoga, is bliss. And this isn’t an old picture, if you’re wondering. It was taken over the weekend, it’s just that the setting is always the same, coffee with muffin. Haha.

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There was still an oatmeal muffin left at Spinelli that day! Ok, maybe it is time again to wean off muffins because they are really unhealthy, but it is such a great mid-day snack with coffee, don’t you agree? Cakes are another option but I prefer muffins to cakes, and yes I still have yet to check out the scones places! Shall make a mental note about that and stop procrastinating!

But over the weekend, I did do something that was different from my usual routine these days. It reminded me of past days, when most weekends and even some weekdays were spent chilling out at pubs with great live bands, enjoying some beers and bar grub with friends. It is a good idea to cut down on the beer and bar food because these do nothing for the body and negates whatever good I’m doing with exercising, but with it also means socially I have become somewhat of a recluse. In fact, these days I have gotten so lazy at socialising that I barely can find the energy to meet up with friends regularly.

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Still, despite that I was completely exhausted by the end of that night, it was a good catch-up session.

breaking a habit

It has been a fairly healthy start for me so far! I have successfully reduced my intake of alcohol and before the CNY period, I actually had not taken a single drink. On New Year’s eve, just before 2013 began, I had a couple of pints of beer and that was that. Even when I attended a wedding dinner in January I steered clear of any wines or spirits, and I was so impressed with myself. Not that I consider myself to be an alcoholic of any sort, though there were periods of my life where I had drank a little too excessively. I don’t think that had created any problems for me except being the huge stumbling block towards my constant plan to lose weight. Although it probably wasn’t such a great idea that these bouts of hedonism and drinking led to some partial memory loss, which is something of a concern because if I had drank till I lost some segments of my memory, is that tantamount to substance abuse? Anyway, other than the endless quest for weight loss, I also wanted to stay on the healthy track and lessen my intake of alcohol, since too much drinking works in detrimental ways to my body which negates all the other good that I am doing. Besides, there aren’t many people around to go out for social drinking with so now I spend more time on healthy jaunts like practising yoga. LOL. Drinking coffee doesn’t necessarily count as healthy but that’s something I am not yet prepared to give up for now.

And I did say before CNY, because one of my long-time pals returned for CNY and we met up for some drinks at the usual places that we hung out at before. But as compared to years past, I think I have mellowed, tremendously, though I have to work on the guilt complex a little. Drinking once in a while on a social basis is perfectly fine so I don’t have to feel bad about it, like I did after that, especially when I considered the beer with all that deep-fried food! Well, they did taste really great together when I was having them though.  20130228-112850.jpgSo… habits are hard to break, yes, but not impossible. I’m trying to change some other habits now and shall see if I am successful in that! Let’s all work towards a healthier 2013 and beyond!

helsinki vantaa airport

No, this post isn’t really about the main airport of Helsinki in Finland. I just thought of using it as the post title for today, that’s all. But in my defense, I do have one picture of the departure hall of the airport when I was flying out from there one night, one cold, rainy night.

When I got to the airport just before 9pm, I was wondering if the airport was even opened because it was deserted and appeared devoid of any activity. It was after looking around briefly that I spotted one open check-in counter to deposit my luggage, then prospected around again to look for where I could scan my handheld stuff. It was that empty. With the airport staff working at that time, including one open convenience kiosk and one cafe, I presume that there must have been less than 20 persons around in the whole outside area of the airport.

Anyway, the inside wasn’t any much better. There are plenty of shops inside, but they were almost all closed by the time I was inside. I had a short dinner/night snack at one lonely little cafeteria, before proceeding to the passport control, after which there were slightly more shops that stayed open for the benefit of passengers on the international flights but it was still sad. I guess a lot of airports in the West are like that, because I don’t recall ever feeling this way in Asian airports. Or maybe it was just the timing, if I had been at the, say Siem Reap International Airport at odd timings, there could also jolly well be just a handful persons around.

Ok, enough of Helsinki Vantaa. Let’s move on already.

I had a wonderful weekend, I think it kind of depleted me of every single ounce of energy I could ever have in me! Weekend started with drinks that began at Kandahar Street all the way to Sentosa! It wasn’t the volume of alcohol but the distance covered. We were looking for a place that was recommended by a friend’s friend but then ended up feeling the place to be too ‘hippy’ for us. So we trooped along Haji Lane, Arab Street, before finally going to WitBier at Kandahar Street. It isn’t a bad place to chill at, a tiny little pub chock full of whom I guess are regulars, and they serve a really wide variety of European (mostly Belgium I think) beer, with a small selection of bar food, but if you are into fries and luncheon meat fries (called Porky Fries), here’s where you might want to check out!

Was a little miffed though because we were served by a new waitress who was on her first day, and she wasn’t able to be very helpful in answering the questions we had, and then she got our orders wrong. We ordered a bucket of 5 bottles and she served us two pints (in glasses) and said yes when we asked her to confirm that was what we ordered. It even went as far as us asking if the bottled beer were poured into the mugs and she still said yes. We should already have picked up on that and asked another waitress but we didn’t and it was when a second waitress asked if we wanted another round that we realised the mistake.

After that we went to SkyLoft, which I talked about in the previous post.

Then Saturday! The day I had been waiting for for a really long while… Big Bang Alive Concert in Singapore! I was out during the day, so by the time I went to queue to get into the standing pen area, just before 6pm I think, I was already exhausted. Consider the weather and us having to queue more than 3/4 way around the second level of the SIS, before we were slowly being led down the steps and finally into the arena. It wasn’t a long wait though, as the concert started just 15 minutes after its supposed start time. For 2 and a half hours from there, I never stopped screaming and jumping, and of course gawking at the boys. It sounds really cougarish, but I don’t really care, because that was just how great they were and they were so close, in such proximity with us that we were just about two arm lengths’ away. I wished of course I could then have limbs like Mr. Fantastic and reach out to grab them! More on the concert later.

Sunday was another concert day. This has been two hectic weekends for me, a far cry from the languid days I was having while on the business trip in Finland; of course work wasn’t slow but the pace there generally seems so much more relaxed. Attenedd Keane’s concert at the Max Pavilion at Expo, and recalled that the last time I watched a concert in that area was Lee Hom’s Evolution concert, way back in… I don’t even remember anymore! The sound system was crap but the concert was fabulous, even if this time I was so far from the stage and there were a number of songs I was unfamiliar with. Besides, I spent about half the time sitting down, and another half standing because they were performing my favourite songs, or because my view was blocked by the person in front.

Two very different concerts on two different days but I totally enjoyed myself on both occasions, I love the sound of Keane, like how I like some UK acts, like Suede and Coldplay. They have this quality in their songs that just distinguishes them from American bands somehow, maybe it is the way they sing i.e. the accent? I don’t really know but all in all, they were great that night and I silently berated myself for not taking the effort to ‘revise’ the songs before I attended the concert. I would have enjoyed it even more if I could sing along with them all the time!