Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Today, I bought happiness

I got myself a Nintendo DS Lite, which is jet black in colour. Yes!! And I am happy. Because I bought myself new stuff. That's what happiness is all about, isn't it? Getting new stuff.

And I am particularly happy because the DS Lite is a very handsome machine, and I won't feel ashamed about bringing it out with me now. I used to be a little embarrased about bring it's older brother out with me, but with the Lite, I can't feel anything but pride!

Haha! And tomorrow I go buy myself another board game! Coolness. The month of crazy spending has just begun!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Shopping spree... DVDs for cheap at HMV

I went out to town on my own this afternoon. I saw a number of DVDs at HMV yesterday and I wanted to pick them up today, while I still had money on me. I just got paid, and I needed to spend my money before it ran out. Yes. That's what I said.

There are quite a good selection of DVDs on sale at HMV, and I picked up 6 movies just now. I think most of them are Code 3 regretfully, but at that price and selection, I just couldn't resist. There were 2 price categories: 2 for $38.95, or 2 for $28.95. I spent just slightly over $100 for those 6 movies I picked.

I got myself:
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Anchorman
The Pianist
Lost in Translation
High Fidelity
2001: A Space Odessy

Quite an electic mix, I must admit, but these are all good movies, regardless of your personal taste in film. Some classics, some critically acclaimed, and some silly movies just to take the edge off. I'm very pleased with my purchase, and I hope that I don't feel tempted to make another trip to HMV anytime soon. I think there were another 4 films that I would be keen on getting. I hope I can resist.

On a seperate but related note, I really should start going back to the movies. I used to really enjoy watching film, and I haven't seen many really good films since I've been back to Singapore. There are constantly good films being shown here but I just need to break out of my comfort zone and really go and do it. I think I should go catch a movie I've been keen on for a while: The Beat That My Heart Skipped.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The V Tea Room

I went to The V Tea Room at the Esplanade earlier this afternoon with Audrea for afternoon tea. It's a really nice place, though it is a little pricey. It's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a place to indulge yourself, and to treat yourself to some very nice tasties.

The decor is very Victorian-inspired and creates a warm, inviting atmosphere without being over opulent. Floors are most probably fake parquet, and the walls are painted a textured red to give depth to the room. The cafe is not a large area, but with the finishings, manages to look very cosy. Furnitures are mostly wood; The chairs are highbacked and well cushioned, the tabletops are marbled.

The service was really good, with multiple staff ready to serve you. They are also very friendly, and look for all ways to accommadate you. I didn't have to wait long for service, and the staff was also very well-informed about the various menu items. When we arrived, there wasn't a table available inside and we were only offered a slightly less nice table ouside. I requested for us to be seated inside once a table opens up, which was quickly seen to. Other notable things about service was their insistence on pouring the first cup of tea, and distributing serviettes with a pair of tongs.

The food is quite good. We ordered a pot of tea, a quiche, and a melt cake to share. The tea was quite good, though as you already know, leaving the bag in the pot will render the tea a little bitter at the end. The quiche was quite tasty, and was quite a healthy portion. The melt-cake was very delicious, with a very interesting texture to it. The staff told us that the melt-cake was their own concoction, being essentially a half-baked cake, with had equal parts of firm and gooey cake. It was quite a good combination, and though they said it was a half-baked cake, it didn't taste undercooked at all. The gooey parts taste more like a sweet yoghurt, and complimented the firm bits very well. It comes in various flavours (Chocolate/durian, hazelnut, strawberry, raspberry) but we had the blueberry one. It is served with bits of fruit, biscuits and a small glass of liquer. We also had a Gula Melaka flavoured ice cream to accompany the cake.

It's not cheap though. Tea for two costs $12, the quiche costs $8, and the melt-cake costs $22.50!! The ice cream costs $5.50. The total bill came up to about $60! Other items on the menu aren't quite as expensive as the melt-cake, with each individual item ranging between $8 to $15.

This is a really nice place for afternoon tea, and I would most definitely give it a try again. The cost may be off-putting, but I'd suggest that you give the melt-cake at least a try once. It's quite different. The rest of the items on the menu look very intriguing, and there is quite a high level of quality. Sometimes you have to pay for quality, and The V Tea Room has that in spades. With the decor, staff and food, you're getting your money's worth. And if you are a tightfisted miser, you can just sit there for hours and keep asking for hotwater to refill your tea. The staff will still treat you like a privilieged guest.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

International Talk like a Pirate Day

This coming tuesday, 19 Sept 2006, is the International Talk like a Pirate Day. It is my duty to inform you all, and request that all must talk like a pirate for the entire day. We must uphold this worthy tradition, as we each have a personal stake in ensuring that pirate-speak is passed down to our children, and our children's children.

I have never taken part in this tradition, even though I've known about it for a few years now. It's really quite a shameful thing on my part. I might make a statement or two in pirate-speak, but I have never actually talked like a pirate at all. I aim to change that this year. Avast!

I have included links here so that you too may be able to talk like a pirate. Understandably, you probably haven't had much practice in speaking in such a manner, so hopefully these following websites will be able to ease your transition into full pirate speak.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I want DDs

Ok. This is going to be a totally geeky post. So if you don't like geek stuff, carry on walking.

I went a little crazy on spending these last 2 days. I spent a bit in setting up my Xbox Live, and getting Chrome Hounds online. But now I'm up and running, and I'm taking my hound out for many a joyrides.

Hound? That's the game's euphamism for big honkin' robots with big honkin' guns. But a mech by another other name would still sound as sweet as I crush my opponent under the weight of my guns.

I've got a Defender, a slow moving thing bristling with guns. Not really bristling, cos I'm still lacking most of the upgrades that would become available once I've played the single-player game. But til then, this is the best I've got. I've loaded my hound with 2 light cannons, 2 machine guns, and 2 rocket pods. That'll have to do for the moment, as I slowly acquire more equipment to bolster my offensive capability.

The game is quite an experience, as it's played as a team, and one must be part of a squad before one can play. So I've joined up with a bunch of Singaporean gamers and they've been giving me tips and watching over me every step of the way. They're a good bunch of guys, but mostly that's cos everyone's just there to play a game with like-minded people.

On a seperate issue, I've confirmed my flight to Seattle.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm flying to the States

I'll be going to the US in a couple of months, from 7 - 19 Nov. I'm really looking forward to the trip, as I'll be going to Dallas to attend BGG.Con, which would be a weekend of non-stop boardgaming goodness. I'm also going to stop by Seattle for a number of days to visit two very old friends of mine. I haven't seen them in years, and I am really looking forward to meeting them again soon.

I knew Shyamal when I was back in SJI, because he was in the same class as Adrian. I used to go over to visit Adrian all the time and after a while, got to know some of his classmates too. We hanged out regularly for 2-3 years, but we always just remained more as acquaintances rather than true friends. I think it was in year 2000 that we truly became friends.

Prior to this, we'd meet up for the occasional movie, or a swim at Adrian's place. Or we'd go get some cheap food cos we were broke all the time. I once saw Shyam and Nick trying to heat up a can of spagettii with a Zippo lighter, on a tripod made out of battries and an eraer, in the corridor of a shopping centre. This sort of behaviour was indicative of our activities. Sometimes we'd go drinking for a bit, looking for the cheapest beer in the most rundown and seedy of watering holes. And we'd go to Crazy Elephant, for some classic rock music by the Anson Brothers.

Shyam taught me how to play the drums and we'd go jamming with a couple of friends. We'd play all sorts of music, and most of which were improvisions.

And we would go to the Field. The Field was an open patch of grass where we used to spend many nights there, just looking up at the stars and having a smoke. Yes, Shyam was the one I picked up smoking from too. We'd just lay there in the grass, sometimes doing crazy things like setting a campfire, and sometimes just chilling out and hanging about. The view there was spectacular, with each star shining brightly, despite being in the middle of an urban area. Often times, we'd spend the night watching the stars and wait til the sun rises. I remember once we saw a storm cloud in the far distance with arching lighting jumping from one cloud to the next. Beautiful.

So I'll be visiting Shyam, and Divya too, this coming November. I'm really looking forward to it. Even more so than my little boardgames.

I haven't forgotten about you either, Div. I'm so happy that Shyam and you are together again. You two were made to be a pair, and all of us here wish you the greatest happiness. I'll be seeing you soon.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I slept for 12 hours last night

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately. I've been having slight sniffles and feeling tired very easily. So I went home straight after work, and had a light-ish dinner, and went to bed soon after. It was around 8pm, and I woke up at 8am this morning. I'm feeling much better now, but I wish I didn't have to come to work today. If only I can only just stay at home, laze around and yet still continue getting paid.

I think tele-commuting is the key here.

On a seperate issue, I want to eat steak. I want meat, red and rare, chargrilled over a hot fire and served with potatoes and a side of salad. I'm salivating just thinking of it. I also want to have a nice red wine with it. And I want to have my favourite people around me.