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Monday, January 31, 2005

Tiny Jumbo Jet

Had another go at bread-baking yesterday. Slightly better texture but still a bit on the firm side. Should have let it rise a little more after dividing the dough into buns. *impatient*

[French Village Bread: Voulez vous manger notre pain de village francais? Un peu dur mais tres delicieux!]

The following photo was taken from our apartment balcony.

[Heavenly Blessing: Blessing us and the tiny jumbo jet]

Tonight, we had Indian fried noodle at the coffee shop at the opposite end of the former Double Dragon restaurant in Island Park. Delicious but very, very spicy... Photo taken was blur :o(

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Farewell, Mgr. Fr. Stephen Liew

We had a farewell ceremony for Fr. Stephen Liew during the Sunset Mass this evening. He will be posted to the Church of St. Anne in Bukit Mertajam from February 2005. The Cathedral Choir was in attendance and so were the children's choir, Chinese and Tamil cantor groups. Church was packed with parishioners not wanting to miss the chance of giving father a good send-off.

Had dinner at a little 'joo char' (cook dishes) place at the junction where Jln. Dato' Keramat, Jalan Utama and Lorong Kulit meet. A meal of 3 dishes: 'pai kut ong', belachan kangkung and bean curd, and rice cost only RM15.90 for 3 persons. Very cheap, and reasonable serving size too. There's also a satay stall there which serves good satay at 40 sen per stick.

This afternoon, after posting our earlier blog, I read 5xmom's post about Real self vs blog self. Admittedly, it is easier to 'let ones hair down' in a blog because you don't have certain 'societal constraints' to hold you back. In a way this is healthy because then there's a balance... both your rigid-self *serious and straight thinking* and your gila-gila-self *monkey face and naughty thinking* have their respective outlets :o).

Personally, I categorise our blog viewers into 3 categories: (1) those I hope they'll read our blog, i.e. friends and family, (2) those I don't mind if they read, i.e. those whom we don't know well or don't know at all, and (3) those I mind if they read, i.e. my students and colleagues, ha! ha!... if they do find out, well... can't be helped-lah. One of the reasons why we changed our blog address to the present one (besides wanting a better address) was because a student stumbled on our blog and wrote some comments! He said he liked the photo in which Angie and I made funny faces! Oh, no...!

Angie and 5xmom was in the Cathedral Choir this evening and I was on the organ. Even before mass started, Angie and I were already indicating to each other, "She's the one, she's Lilian Chan (5xmom)..." They all sang well... and 5xmom and I finally broke our verbal silence after the choir was dismissed after mass. The conversation went something like this:

5xmom: I blogged about you today.
Bart: Ya... I read already this afternoon :o)

'Touch and Go' Nasi Lemak

Working Saturday today... so, gotta wear batik... Malaysian batik.

For lunch today, we had 'Touch and Go' nasi lemak from Island Glades. RM1 each only. This is one of our favourite nasi lemak besides the one in the food court at Beach Street. Really 'syoik' :o). For me, the presence of the banana leaf is important... adds to the presentation and taste. Washing it down with a hot and sweet cup of Milo is simply heavenly. Why? Because nasi lemak is already spicy... the hot drink takes you to the point of *beh tahan already...*

[Nasi Lemak: Touch and Go, Island Glades]

Reason why some people are addicted to spicy food? You see... spiciness is interpreted by the brain as pain. When there's pain, the brain produces 'feel good' hormones to counter the pain just like some patients are prescribed morphine when they are feeling intense pain. So, spicy food tricks the brain into producing these hormones and that's why some people feel the 'kick' or 'syiok'. Good thing is, the brain never gets used to the 'pain' and we get to get 'syiok' over and over again...

Okay, enough of spicy stuff... let's go on another little tour of our apartment. Here's a view of our living area from the dining area. What's that at the lower right hand corner? That's Angie's batik painting... painted when she was in Form 3.

[Our Living Area, Out Liking Urea?]

[Angie's Batik Painting: Can I make into batik shirt for office?]

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Wedding Photos

Forgot to mention that we've uploaded some of our wedding photos. Almost 9 months overdue :o).

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dylan the Dragon

We ate in tonight – finally...

[Chickenette Omelette]

We have a new companion at home... a little dragon - we'll call him Dylan... he’s cute and his gaze will follow your every move... not quite the correct animal zodiac for the coming Chinese New Year, but WHO CARES??!!! He’s cute and we like him. Want one for yourself? Visit the Grand Illusions Toy Shop.

He’s photogenic too... see how he likes being photographed? :o)

[Our Cute Little Dragon: Always looking at the camera]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Dinner at the Lakeside

Today, I’m making a little contribution to our blog. Intense marking is finally over and I can now breathe and spare some time to blog.

Today is Thaipusam. I left for work much earlier than usual (yes, I was working – but just in the morning) so as to avoid any traffic jams. Fortunately traffic was butter-ish. So I actually arrived very early.

For lunch, Bart and I went to Batu Lanchang so we could also do some marketing. Now we’re all stocked up for more culinary adventures. I spent the afternoon catching up on some relaxation while Bart made bread – Solvita Bread. I was too far away to give him a hand…

[Solvita Bread: Don't cry for me, Solvita... :o)]

This time round, the result was much better. I would prefer it a little more moist, but on the whole a fair attempt. The baking tip we received today was that we should not keep the bread mix in the fridge. It affects the texture of the bread. So that could have been the problem with the bread this time round. But fear not! We have another lot of bread mix, ready for another round!

Dinner was at Niq and Chui Ying’s at Lakeside Towers – Western food. *yum, yum* Chicken, with a special secret sauce, broccoli, tomatoes and another favourite – potato chips! Papaya for dessert. Sumptuous, indeed!

[Chicken Chop ala Lakeside]

And tonight, I leave you with pictures of LoLo & SoSo – our tortoise friends who never fail to greet us when we go near their home: an aquarium at Niq and Chui Ying’s.

[Which one is LoLo & which one is SoSo? You decide!]

Not [Censored!]

Angie finished her marking early last night. Yay! Yay! Hoorayyy!

Today is Thaipusam and it's a holiday but Angie is invigilating an exam today at college. Should be back any moment... so, gotta make this entry quick :o)

After dinner last night (at Jasmine Garden next to the Diocesan Centre on Macalister Road), we watched NCIS on 8TV. In last night's episode, there were 2 car-bombings. In the first one, I was surprised to note that the name of a well-known terrorist group was censored verbally but this was clearly shown in the subtitles. Ha! Ha! But when they analysed the second bombing, they found out that it was NOT [the name of the terrorist group] and this was NOT verbally censored. Good grief!. *sorry, but I'm blogging cautiously here*

Anyway, on the whole, Angie and I felt that last night's episode wasn't as interesting as some earlier episodes. But that's understandable :o)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand!

Pingu was on TV this morning at 8am. What is interesting is that although the characters seem to be speaking in some unknown language, the message still gets communicated. I like the way the characters walk or slide (in the case of Pingu’s friend, the seal).

Fr. Stephen Liew did not preside over the 10am mass today. The visiting priest stressed on the destructive nature of being divided, disunited or focused only on the differences amongst us. The Gospel reading also mentions that “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand” and calls for us to repent. Imagine, this was the message 2,000 years ago and we are still reminded of that message today. Perhaps, we often think of time according to our human measurement of time. Perhaps, there’s no such thing as time to God. Perhaps, the “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand” refers to it being near us now, i.e. in the situations around us, in the people we meet, or in the opportunities for us to land a helping hand to those in need. And perhaps, the call for repentance here refers to a continuous need to return to God, not just because “the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”...

Fr. Stephen Liew is leaving the Holy Spirit parish at the end of the month. We had choir practice today to prepare for his farewell on 29 Jan 2005. I’m accompanist again but am hoping to resume singing duties in future... can wear the choir robe and the ‘bip’ :o).

[Holy Spirit Cathedral Choir Robe]

Spent a good portion of the afternoon reading magazine articles while Angie continues marking her scripts. Have you wondered why small children sleep so soundly that they don’t even wake up when they are carried from one place to another? On an article about sleep in Time magazine (24 January 2005 issue), there are apparently 4 stages of non-REM (Rapid Eye Movement), i.e. non-dreamy, sleep. In Stages 3 and 4, the brain emits low-frequency electrical waves (slow-wave sleep). Children are “champion slow-wave sleepers”. That’s why they sleep more soundly than adults do.

Tomorrow is Monday *grumble, grumble*

But Monday would most likely be the day Angie finishes her marking *merdeka! merdeka!*

And Tuesday is a public holiday for Thaipusam *yay!*


Angie had an interesting question: "How does one know that he/she is in love?" My answer: "From what I learned in psychology class last time, the professor said that a person's underarms would sweat when he/she is in love" We disagreed but is this good news for deodorant companies? *fooh-la-mak*

Angie was at work on Saturday morning while I did some house work. The apartment was in dire need of a wipe and mop as we constantly had some excuse to postpone doing them.

After dinner, we spotted a huge banana amongst other normal-sized ones in a small comb... not uncommon to see a huge banana but interesting nevertheless :o).

[Big Banana: See how the pencil pales in comparison?]

Angie is down to the final leg of her marking spree. Hopefully, it'll be all over by late Sunday or early Monday. So, for an early celebration, we had a bowl of Magnolia Tripolitan ice-cream with banana chunks.

[Banana Bonanza]

Friday, January 21, 2005

Mutiara Madness

I read from the December 2004 issue of Reader’s Digest that the Hollywood movie industry and the US Ministry of Defence (MOD) work quite closely in terms of analysing terrorist activities. For Hollywood, they consult the US MOD to make their movies more realistic and to ‘rent’ hardware. For the US MOD, they consult Hollywood, especially the scriptwriters, to help predict possible terrorist plots. The movie, The Siege, in 1998 featured a terrorist attack in New York in 1998. Look what happened there 3 years later.

It is Hari Raya Haji holiday today but was working from home, at least for a few hours in the morning. Then it was lunch at the Batu Lanchang food court. We had ‘hawker junk food’ today: Chee Cheong Fun, Pasembur, Otak-otak and Chai Kuih. Both of us felt a little sick after that... *muak*

[Chee Cheong Fun: Fun with who?]

[Otak-otak: Penangites love food and they don’t care... so let’s cook their brains and make them square!]

Here’s a photo of our apartment block taken from the pitifully puny patch of a ‘paddock’ we call a playground :o).

[Mutiara Place a.k.a. Puncak Mutiara: The peak of Mutiara madness]

Angie is on the verge of making a full comeback, health wise. All those marking must be doing her some good. *grumble, grumble*

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Happy 2nd Anniversary

Life is so difficult to live when you’re not free to do what you like in life. Do we have to do something that fits the bigger picture or fulfils a goal or generates profit? Why do we care so much about prestige, respect, ‘face’, security and building ‘empires’? *mumble, *mumble*

Okay! Enough of the verbal diarrhoea of a prologue... now on with other stuffs.

The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit celebrated its second anniversary today. Msg. Rev. Fr. Stephen Liew was the main celebrant for the mass in view that Bishop Anthony Selvanayagam was away in Brunei. The Cathedral Choir sang today and I was one of the accompanists on duty.

Some pictures of the Cathedral and its stained-glass windows are featured on Peter Tan’s blog.

Thankfully, Angie seems to be feeling better today but she still had to forego attending the Cathedral anniversary mass to mark her exam scripts. *grumble, grumble*

Most people are in an extended-weekend mood due to the Hari Raya Haji (21 Jan 2005) and Thaipusam (25 Jan 2005) holidays. Angie and I would not be looking forward to going anywhere in particular. *marking, marking*

Monday, January 17, 2005

Cough and Cold

Angie is down with a cold. As usual, it started with a sore throat and she is now coughing while running after her nose. It is not severe but bad enough to make her sound miserable. To make matters more difficult, she is in the midst of marking her exam scripts.

We ate out tonight and I believe this would be the routine for the next one-and-a-half weeks. Two reasons: (1) maximise time for Angie to mark her scripts, and (2) avoid having to move things on and off the dinner table where Angie is camping for the next one-and-a-half weeks. Both of us had bah-kut mee suah in herbal soup.

After an early dinner, we stopped by the Chinese medicine shop in Island Glades to buy some herbal cough/cold remedies. The lady-boss recommended the Jie Hou Bao beverage. I threw in another Lo Han Kuo, Zhen Zhu and She She Chao beverage. Both are in granule form. We also got a medium bottle of Pei Pa Kao. I asked the boss about a monkey tonic that used to be on sale when I was still a little boy. He hadn't the faintest idea what I was talking about...

After dinner, I took decided that I should take some photos to share on the blog. Here’s a shot from our apartment block. This time facing the back towards the hills. There's an orchard there with a family cemetery.

[The Back View: The Orchard and Island Glades housing area]

Zooming in, there’s some hill-cutting going on. Perhaps its for the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR). Hmm...

[Aduh! Aaaa... pedihnya luka saya... waaa!!]

Okay... time to show you some objects we have in the apartment again :-). These are some things Angie took to college for her class today...

[The Little Piggie is our favourite...]

Friday, January 14, 2005


Work as usual yesterday (Thursday) but had a nice surprise during lunch at Bayan Baru wet market food court. Someone came up to me at my table and said, "Remember me?" He was well-dressed and wearing a nice tie. My mind was racing... where have I seen him before?!? For a split second, all my neurons were firing like crazy. Luckily, my neurons fired the right connections... he was a classmate during our upper-secondary school days. How time flies. He is an assistant general manager now with a well-known chemical company. He is up here in Penang for business meetings.

Last night, I was chief cook again. Angie returned later than usual. Menu is getting stranger due to our increasing crankiness. Okay... we had cocktail sausages, scrambled eggs, sausage buns and sawi-swill. The novel dish is the sanity-challenged sawi-swill consisting of shredded sawi, chopped onion and garlic, tomato and chilli sauce, pepper and some mixed herbs.

[Food... can't think of a better caption... groggy already]

[Haute cuisine: Sawi-Swill]

Wednesday night, we ate out. After dinner, I snapped a shot of the new moon.

[Hear the wolf howl? Huh? You mean wolves howl only during a full moon?]

Okay, okay... very groggy already. Better stop before I turn lunny...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Constipated Sun

Lately, the view of the sunrise from the apartment has been quite good. These shots (altered digitally a little for better contrast) were taken just three minutes apart (between 7.37am and 7.40am) and they show the sun popping out of the clutches of the mountains.

[Nggghhh! Nggghhh! Nnnnnnggghhh!]

[Aaahhhh! See fook sai!]

Was at the airport today. Had lunch at Kelab Kafe which is located at the departure level but outside the main entrances where the bus-stop used to be. Had some fried beehoon mee with a piece of chicken and some bayam. Also had a glass of iced tea. Total came to RM7! I thought since it was outside the swanky interior of the airport, the price could have been more forgiving towards a miser like me.

No cooking tonight as I had to come home late. Angie packed a Shariff Nasi Kandar dinner home from Gelugor. She must be addicted to it... we only had dinner there 2 days ago. I had a burger. Very exciting.

Angie is still tensed and I am feeling groggy and cranky. Better stop before I start writing nonsense.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Tension Mounts

This is going to be a quick entry...

Angie is beginning to feel anxious in view that the college exams are approaching and soon she'll need to mark exam scripts. Deadlines are tight and there is a lot to mark. I am also feeling a bit tense... tense for Angie (heard of resonance?), and also because things are also beginning to pick up at work for me.

I was chief cook tonight. Angie arrived home later than usual today. Main dish was chicken chunks with mixed vegetables in tomato sauce. The second dish was Chinese cabbage.

[Chicken in Tomato Sauce: Angie said, "Tastes like baked beans..."]

At 9.45pm, we watched NCIS on 8TV. We love the series.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Bukit Genting

The cows were at it again this morning... grazing on the open field where the transmission towers of Bukit Pemancar are erected. Nice place for a nibble and a sun tan. Not many places like that for cows in urban Penang. It is also nearby the construction site for the new Customs Department's high-rise quarters. Got to treasure this view from our apartment...

[So give me a home, where the cows roam... and the skys are not cloudy all day...]

We had dinner at Bukit Genting this evening on Eric's invitation (thank you Eric) plus 3 other friends: Sally, Helen and Chan. This is the second trip there for Angie and I, but this is our first evening trip. So, we got to see traces of the setting sun. Bukit Genting overlooks Gertak Sanggul and Balik Pulau. There is a very good view of Balik Pulau and its coastal areas from here. The effects of the tsunami was not clearly seen.

[Sunset from Bukit Genting]

What did we eat for dinner? Essentially, the restaurant at Bukit Genting serves Thai food. We ordered Meng Kam (a spicy salad), Seafood Tom Yam, Deep-fried Crispy Kangkong, Chicken Green Curry, Mango Kerabu, Sweet and Sour Fish, and Water Chesnut and Nangka in ice-shavings dessert. On the whole it was 6.5/10, not too bad.

[Partially devoured food: don't make me angry... you won't like me when I'm angry... grrgrrrr...]

[Dessert: Strips of Nangka with Ox Blood... *slurp*]

After getting delirious with all the ox blood (just joking... obviously), we did the 'tourist thing'...

[Angie and Bart at Bukit Genting]

[Just the Six of Us: Brings back memories of the 60s and 70s... but in colour]

Okay, time to go home. Eric kept rubbing my tummy to check if I was full... *barp!!* No need to check-lah, Eric. Careful on the way down the hill...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tuna Quiche

Received my copy of Time magazine today which featured the aftermath of the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami. It is obvious that what we see on TV or read in newspapers or magazines are only fractions of the true extent of the horror and damage. Being actually there to see the waves coming, and now the aftermath, must be truly terrifying.

This evening, we had Niq and Chui Ying over for dinner. On the menu, we had tuna quiche and mixed vegetables with chicken chunks. They brought papaya for dessert. Later, we had green tea to wash down a hearty meal. *burp*...

[Tuna quiche]

Yesterday, we had pork leg in black sauce... just for the record :o)

[Pork leg]

Now, perhaps we'll start introducing some sights around our apartment. Our two-door Sharp fridge is spacious with a freezer that is as big as some hotels' mini bar. Useful for freezing meat to ice-age standard. The surface on the outside is a nice and cheerful grey... duh... so, we have decided to turn it into a mini exhibition area.

[Our Sharp fridge]

Over in the living room, we have our little companions. Meet Eroica the Poodle, Huggy the Bear, and Terry the Lamb (who travelled all the way from New Zealand).

[Eroica, Huggy, and Terry]

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Goldilocks and the Two Bears

Angie was chief cook for dinner. It was decided that today we would have porridge with minced pork with 'toong choy' (preserved vegetable) balls and Chinese ham. Angie's parents gave us the pork and ham when we visited them last weekend (thank you Mummy & Papa!). The Chinese ham had a slight waxed taste to it which made it pretty interesting and tasty. Here's a shot of the end-product.

[Stay away from this one, Goldilocks! This one's for Baby Bart...]

Hmm... we seem to be posting our dinner menus so far. Gotta get out of the apartment more often. *sigh*...

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tau You Bak

Today, nothing much happened. Work - as usual.

We (notice the 'we' now) changed the blog title to Angie & Bart's blog so that it's more of a 'couple' thing now. Postings will of course continue to be handled by Bart until Angie finds time to create an account.

Tonight's dinner menu was 'tau you bak' and cauliflower with bread. Couples need a change from the regular rice, once in a while, you know...

Till the next jotting, we bid you farewell with the 'tau you bak'...

[Tau You Bak ala Angie]

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Another New Year's Day... though a sombre one this year. The effects of the tsunami lingers on - physically, mentally and emotionally.

Today, Angie and I attended the New Year's Day mass at the cathedral. Then, at about noon, we headed to Tesco for lunch and some minor shopping.

After shopping, I decided that I'll bake a loaf of onion bread. This turned out to be a disaster. Not only the bread didn't fully rise, it was a bit too salty! One-and-a-half teaspoon of salt the recipe said... yulck!

[Onion Bread: Nice to see, nice to smell, once you eat, it tastes like hell!]

After the not so successful baking experience, Angie and I decided to have a little portrait-taking session. But too many distractions as these samples show...

[New Year Portrait: The Boogieman!]

[New Year Portrait: What's that on the lens?]

[New Year Portrait: Noooo! Don't eat us!!!]

Later at night, we headed to Fisherman's Grill at Sungai Ara for dinner. We ordered the New Year set meal and another Chicken Italiano ala carte meal. The set meal had a Blue Hawaii cocktail drink, a tomato soup, Butter Fish and bread pudding. Overall rating: 7/10, good.

[Fisherman's Grill Interior]

[Chicken Italiano]

[Butter Fish]

On returning home, we had a winged visitor...


After the New Year experience?... sleep... zzz... good night...