Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaron

Today, my husband joins the Quarter Century club. For those of you who are a little slow (but we love ya anyway), that means he turned 25 today.

I went down to the Post Office to help the mail guys put on their "surprise party". Of course Aaron had the whole surprise figured out by 10am and told me everything that was going on while the guys thought it was still a secret. The poor fellas have no idea who they're dealing with. Surprising Aaron is like trying to drive a Mack truck through Times Square on New Year's Eve. It rarely happens and when it does, you deserve a friggin' medal.

The guys put together a nice lunch to celebrate though. We had Sarpinos Pizza, pineapple rice and some various meat dishes from Taste of Thai. Nom nom nom. Very yum.

Da da da da...Here's the birthday boy on his big 2-5.
I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I have the most adorable husband ever. Wait, I'm not sorry. He IS the most adorable husband. Suckas.

So he got all of his candles blown out (all 7 of em, wah wah) and has been pampered all day. He's gotten surprise presents, bacon and eggs for breakfast, a Post Office party, a basketball game after work, steak dinner at home and dirt cake for dessert (he requested it like 2 months ago and I know he thinks I forgot).
Happy Birthday babe. I love you more than the dirt cake I almost ate while you were playing basketball.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Free

the rest are from IKEA for cheap.

I love our Expedit Entertainment Center. Please ignore the ugly regulator box sitting beside it and the extension cords that extend around our entire house. I barely notice them anymore.

My favorite part about our entertainment center?

Aaron says it makes it look like we live in a college dorm room. I don't care. They're cute.

I didn't have money to get cute things when I lived in a college dorm room. We also didn't have IKEA either.

The flowers are staying.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If this were America...

People would be rioting around this advertisement and burning bottles of this product. Even as the whitest person I know, I am very offended.

It's whitening skin cream and pills to make your skin paler. How messed up is that? Maybe these kids need to live in downtown Detroit for a week. I'm sure they'd get the notion that white is better pounded right out of em.

I was so bothered by this product that I even asked my Singaporean friend at work about it. I was hoping she could shed some light on the issue and make me understand some cultural difference that justified this whole thing. Nope.

Her response?

"Don't you know that white skin is considered more beautiful?"

Wrong answer.

My response: "So what about people who are born with naturally dark skin?"

"Well that's why they make the cream."

I could have screamed. I was angry. She chalked up my misunderstanding to the fact that Americans like to be tan and thus I didn't understand the desire to be pale. I wanted to go on a tangent about the Civil Rights movement and equality and all of that, but I was just too angry at Asia in general at that point.

Even though I'm trying to stay away from skin cancer triggers right now, it really made me want to go bake in the sun. It'd be my giant middle finger to the skin whitening people.

Thaipusam in Singapore

Thaipusam is one of the festivals in Singapore that I read about before moving here. I wanted to go, but never knew when it occurs. Thank goodness for my friend Danielle. She's got some kind of radar for this stuff. So she called me up and asked me to go with her. Heck yes I did!

What is Thaipusam? I still don't know. I even looked it up. I did gather that it's a Hindu holiday and it has something to do with carrying a burden to honor one of their peeps. So they pierce their bodies and carry these huge decorative cage thingys which are also pierced into their skin and walk a considerable distance. This is symbolic of their burden they carry for whoever they carry it for. It's pretty hard core. And here I thought giving up chocolate for Lent was torture.

Check this out:

They'll even pierce their faces and tongues with decorative metal stuff.

And in case you were skeptical like I was, check out this guy.
See those bars going through his man pooch at the bottom? Yep, they're really in there.
Here's a back view just to give my sister even more dry heaves. :)

Yeah, it's pretty intense. We saw about 15 of these guys and we were only there for an hour. According to our cab driver with horribly broken English, they start this shiz the night before and do it all day long.
This guy was having some issues with his poker things. They may have been puncturing something important. I'm not sure, but they stopped and starting throwing some scented oil on him and chanting as this guy fixed his prods.

So it was a frickin' hot day and I got sunburned, but I have to send a thank you to Danielle for asking me to come out. It was way cool to see and glad I was there to experience it. Also, thanks for lending me some of your pics. You are a way better and more dedicated photographer than I am.

Oh yeah! Here's a quick video of the Thaipusam "parade" that I took because I'm awesome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cake Wrecks

My sister once told me a story of a gal she used to know that thought she was a cake decorator. This person shall remain nameless as this is not a blog to discredit her self-proclaimed genius.

A while ago, I stumbled across the site Apparently there are millions of people out there that think they are also talented cake decorators. This site is full of f'ed up cakes or just downright wrong ones.

It's an entertaining way to waste some time while you're at work. :)

Sis, if you can dig up any pictures of those cakes from back then, I think we should totally send them in.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai

or "Happy Chinese New Year". Chinese New Year in Singapore is a ginormous celebration and one of the most important in Chinese culture. Since a good part of the population of Singapore are Chinese immigrants, these people don't mess around. They go crazy during the 15 day celebration. They have tons of customs and traditions for this one holiday and I cannot begin to name them all. I do know that they give out mandarin oranges (which is a homophone in the Mandarin language to golden luck) and red packets of money. And I know that everything they do is related to luck and prosperity in some form or another.

So since I work for a Chinese Singaporean, she treated the whole staff to an authentic Chinese New Year lunch last week.

Here we are getting ready to try Yee Sang.

Yee Sang is a very colorful appetizer that is actually kind of fun to prepare. As pictured above, the lady sets up the dish and puts all ingredients in neat little piles on the bowl. This dish contains raw salmon, prawn crisps (shrimp crackers), shredded carrots, shredded radishes, chinese parsley, plum sauce and lots of other stuff that I couldn't figure out.

Then, all of us gathered round the dish with our chopsticks. We then tossed the noodles and ingredients up in the air with our chopsticks while saying our well wishes for the new year. It sounds messy and it kind of is, but more ended up back in the bowl than I thought would. Then we ate it. It tasted like a sweet shredded noodle salad. Not too bad.

There were a couple courses in between, but I didn't want to be "that girl" who takes a picture of everything we were eating. However, I had to take a picture of this one.

When I arrived in Singapore, I vowed that I would never eat this dish. BUT, at the risk of being rude, I had to suck it up and at least try it.

This is the infamous black chicken.
And no, it's not marinated to look like that. It's a certain breed of chicken that has black skin and white feathers. Even the flesh underneath is a gray color. It's terrifying to see in person. It looks like a charred chicken leg that's been boiled until soft again.

The taste? To me, it tasted like someone dropped their cigarette butt in the broth that the chicken was boiling in. That could've been my very vivid imagination though. No one else seemed to share my sentiments.

After a few more not so scary courses, we were served dessert.

This is yam pudding with a sugar syrup.

Asians don't do desserts that are as sweet as we Americans do. This tasted like a warmed, plain sweet potato with some thick sugar water poured on top. I was not diggin' it. I'm more of a brownie and ice cream kind of girl. Yams are a vegetable in my house. Same with corns, beans and all the other things Singaporeans seem to think are desserts. Sorry kids. No go for me.
All in all, I'm glad to have stepped out of my box a little further. Will I be ordering any of these things on my own? Oh hell no. At least now, I know what the heck these things are when I see them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

View from my office window

Please ignore the big smudge of bird poop on the window.