Christmas



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Appetizers

Triple mushroom chicken soup with spices and herbs

Mains

Mixed greens salad, steamed cauliflower, thyme roasted potatoes*, roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce, champagne ham* with pineapple puree

Drinks

White wine (2010)

Roast turkey on the dinner table is as festive as the Lim residence gets this time of year. If I were to turn the festivities a notch lower, it only looks like a more elaborate version of our weekly Sunday dinners because Mum likes doing western on weekends.

We started preparations right after lunch. Soup was impromtu, it was only after we had the double mushroom chicken soup from Cedele that we decided to create our own interpretation of it. Turned out pretty damn good, had seconds and thirds and leftovers the next morning. We pureed the pineapple and did the cranberry sauce, mashed the chestnuts for stuffing and roasted the potatoes and garlic, popped the turkey into the oven, washed the salad greens, mixed in other things and finally steamed the cauliflower. The table was set at 6:30PM and we dug right in.

I hope everyone had a jolly good time this Christmas with their loved ones and a good feast! Happy holidays guys!


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John Green

“Not that smart. Not that hot. Not that nice. Not that funny. That’s me: I’m not that.”

Turquoise

It is some time in mid December now and I am cautiously watching the number on my calender app increase each time I wake up in the morning. Seems like there is a positive relationship re the higher the number gets the more anxiety I experience. I closed the final chapter of part 1 of 1Q84 over breakfast this morning and I’m halfway through part 2. Murakami has his way of drawing his readers in with minor details punctuated at the perfect points, I like him.

Met up with different people this week, recounted things I did over the holidays and reminded myself that doing things are always better than when I do nothing at all. On Saturday night I popped into Tessa’s for a bit, stayed around sometime before midnight, we did talking for till Dad came to get me. I hadn’t seen her in months it’s funny how the months slip by without you noticing at all. On Monday I went to the park to cycle for couple hours with ‘group 31’, don’t know what else to call ourselves maybe ‘mahjong club’ as how the whatsapp group is titled. We sat at the food court at Parkway after returning the bikes for a long while laughing and playing cards. I had 2 rolls of popiah and a fruit now everyone knows I always eat fruit. Feel good things about this group of new friends, feel like I didn’t expect anything at all which makes it even better I think. On Tuesday Stef and I caught a 12:50 show for Breaking Dawn and we didn’t feel like Chinatown after so we bought tickets to the Mint Museum of Toys. We did flaily-armed dances in the lift, wouldn’t say I recognised all of the toys and characters but it was still a bunch of fun.

 

I have been cycling some, running some, swimming some and lifting some with increasing intensities given I spent the earlier half of my holidays feeling like a glob at home and in the office. Body feels ok, maybe better than ok. Unsure if I should address the FAQs I get on Formspring over here, would a post help you guys better?

Next week I think I am seeing more people
Some of which
Are people who always makes things ok when I’m with them

Tuesdays with Morrie

days taken to read it: 2 (months ago)
recommended: most definitely
favourite quotes:

I ate my meals at my little wooden work cubicle and thought nothing of it. [page 43]

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself ot creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” [page 43]

Is this what comes at the end, I wondered? Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another [page 51]

Love is the only rational act [page 52]

He was standing on the tracks, listening to death’s locomotive whistle, and he was very clear about the important things in life [page 65-66]

Death
Fear
Aging
Greed
Marriage
Family
Society
Forgivesness
A meaningful life [page 66]

“The truth is, Mitch,” he said, “once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” [page 82]

Without love, we are birds with broken wings [page 92]

I worked because I could control it. I worked because work was sensible and responsive. [page 97]

“What I’m doing now,” he continued, his eyes still closed, “is detaching myself from the experience.”

Dont’ cling to things, because everything is impermanent.

But detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it. [page 103]

“And love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” [page 133]

“The second wave says, ‘No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.'” [page 180]

Summertime Sadness

Living in a country of summer, the occasional chills throughout the day doesn’t seem very real. It is still mostly hot so I can’t quite decide how I feel about the weather now. Sometimes I visualise the heavy rain outside to be snow or hail or maybe a blizzard and then make a ridiculously small wish I could have a “seasons” wardrobe and be able to say YouTube-ish things like “I have my knits tucked into the back of my closet/my staples this season are combat boots/scarves/beanies” basically I am a sucker for fall weather and it has been 18 years of summer clothing. I can’t really complain though, I need my vitamin D and I don’t think I am ready to give that up for 3 long winter months. What I can’t understand is why I started this post with the weather, which should be the least of my concerns right now.

The first time I went to MI was almost two years ago
A typical sunny morning
Dad drove me to orientation and we got lost and I ended up half an hour late which turned out to be otherwise because the time OGLs told us to report had a 1hr buffer period
Vividly remember muttering “what a waste of time”

When I think about time now
I no longer differentiate academic periods and breaks
Is that a good thing
I don’t know

Sometimes I feel like I don’t feel enough and that perhaps is the reason why most people think I am what I am
Can’t be too concrete about how people feel about me
Hence
Vague

Am both more and less lonely than I was a year ago I think
Remembered being very depressed going to school last year
I hated it so bad I couldn’t even talk about it
The only thing I seem most enthusiastic about are the morning walks to school and the rounds I make with Trisillia on the track when we have free breaks.
When I had a semi-breakdown in school some time back
I can’t even remember how I felt then anymore

Someone close said to me “you are over thinking”
Cannot be definite about desirable/undesirable company that surrounds
Feel unsure of the people around me sometimes
Feel uncertain of myself too
Seem disabled by my inability to sustain interest in most of the people around me
Maybe I’m trying too hard
But I feel more aware of myself
Or it could just be me finally acknowledging and admitting to feeling this way

A song that I have been listening to on repeat is ‘Summertime Sadness’ by Lana Del Ray.
Qianying recommended this and I recommend this to everyone too
It reminds me of many things in many ways
I thought about things and realised being away from people you like seems to make you lonelier than if you were completely alone from the start
And as time passes you lose people and people lose you

The thought that makes me most ill is the thought that there is no place where I feel like myself anymore
I am sprawled on the bed typing this
Hot Saturday night date is YouTube
The closest thing to warmth on this bed is the heat from my phone from playing an hour’s worth of sad-song videos
A thing I can take away from tonight is a new playlist

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous the gods wait to delight
in you.

Hurl

did these things today
woke up feeling dehydrated
eyes tore open like raw wounds
did washing up and heard the rain
had a slow breakfast, any meal with oatmeal is a good meal
dad sent me to school in the rain
a notable detail of the journey was mid-way an aggressive black mitsubishi car nearly crashed into us
turned out the driver was my vice-principal
surprised everyone with my early arrival
did flags for morning assembly
got sent to a new home room on the 1st level which i feel indifferent about
sat through a day of economics, literature, geography
vaguely remember trying to do math in the library but fell asleep i think
texted mum “i am bored”
by 2:45pm all that was in my mind was “i have to get the bus home”
did sprints to the bus stop but i missed the bus
detoured to the train station instead
slept
when i got home i had two boxes of watermelon an orange and some local fruit i do not know the name of
looked at mail, facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube
wanted to take ‘the bell jar’ down to the decking chairs but
did x1200 skips weights ran 4+km more weights instead
took a quick shower
had a good dinner
snugged up in bed
fell asleep unconciously
woke up to 3 missed calls 4 text messages tons of new mail and whatsapp notifications
got on the vaio and read some poems
logged food journal
read handouts from school
now idly browsing on tumblr and making weekend plans in my head
how has it been this many hours
average 18 hours i’d say
is there any way at all to use time to your advantage
like in a way that is advantageous despite the fact that time is a forced variable
does it matter
maybe
maybe not