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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

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This place has gone quiet due to my usual procrastination.

I wanted to do a post on moving to my new place in December 2014 but I kept thinking that I needed to unpack completely before I can showcase my new home. Of course that didn’t happen. I still have 2 boxes of unpacked stuff locked in an unused bedroom. And then Chinese New Year happened.

Oh well.

I do post regularly on my Dayre though. So do hop over if you are interested in following my (mis)adventures.

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Chocolate Madeleines made from the 2 eggs that were expiring on Monday

Chocolate Madeleines made from the 2 eggs that were expiring on Monday

Tall people do more filing

Tall people do more filing

the picnic list

the picnic list

Stress & OCD - It took me 2 hours to pop every single one of those little bubbles

Stress & OCD – It took me 2 hours to pop every single one of those little bubbles

"I think if a Jojo doesn't like you, then you are really screwed up as a person."

“I think if a Jojo doesn’t like you, then you are really screwed up as a person.”

Goodnight and have a great weekend 😀

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The Suspicious Chinese Cat

The Suspicious Chinese Cat


I met someone I hadn’t spoken to in about 7 years in court the other day. There were myriad and varied reasons leading up to our not-speaking which I, with my elephantine memory, have not forgotten over the years. Not that they were very important reasons, but I distinctly remembered having sat down and taken stock of the situation back then and deciding that the not-speaking did not add anything or subtract anything from my life.

Said person greeted me and chatted with me like a long lost friend, asking about work, about the firm, describing to the junior he had with him how we worked in the same office in the past and how we are friends. All the while, I peered out suspiciously from behind a wall, taken aback by the outward show of friendliness. Then at the first opportunity, I retreated back to my seat far away behind the bar tables.

Seriously, what was that all about?! I don’t think I can ever get how people can just forget the unpleasant stuff they did to you in the past. Or pretend it was never there. Makes me wonder whether (a) they had no idea at all how much it rankled in the past or (b) they are just really good at pretending.

If (a), that just makes them socially unaware / incompetent right? So I really shouldn’t have wasted any time and effort on the dipshit in the past. Dammit!

If (b), why the hell are you nice to me now? What are you trying to sell me?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, this deep suspicion of everything, is the root of my problem in life. I have always said that my greatest failing in life is the fact that I have a far more developed bullshit filter than the rest of humanity. Hence I don’t do orientations or team building or any of that kind of ra-ra shit they make you do in school and at work. I am incapable of connecting with people I don’t like or am suspicious of. And I am suspicious of almost everyone. As a result, I’ve spent most of my life being socially inept, shifty and weird and having very little friends.

No matter how good I have since become at making small talk and behaving appropriately in social settings, somewhere deep down inside, I’ll always be that suspicious cat peering out after darting round the corner. Save that with time and age, I am now able to avoid the physically darting round the corner bit and the looking visibly suspicious bit.

So just for the record, my instincts are still pretty good. Just because I look like I am listening to you does not mean that any of your bullshit is getting past the filter.

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The Other Half and I don’t read the same things at all. He reads Sci-fi, Fantasy and Philosophy while I read a lot of literature, both old and new, some fantasy, a lot of Russians and I have a current fascination with detective noir.

In fact, we don’t even read on the same medium these days. I buy truckloads of books every year while he downloads them onto his Note 2.

So sometimes, when I read something that I think he will like, I will text him and let him know. Most times he doesn’t get around to read them but I text him anyway, for that off day when he runs out of things to read.

*

Text conversation between The Other Half and I in reference to this book [which doesn’t really fall in any of my reading preferences but was written by Terry Pratchett and about cats so I bought it]:

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She: The cat book is hilarious. You should have a go at it.

He: Wilco

She: Who’s wilco?

He: Cousin of Roger Dat

She: My toes are laughing.

He: You have easily amused toes

*

Isn’t it amazing that after 7 years and two kids we still have these stupid conversations together? 😀

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toffee apples

1. Procure and wash some organic unwaxed apples and leave them out to dry on the sink.

2. Place 1.5 cups of brown sugar with 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Then decide that this should be an adult version and add in another 1/4 cup of dark rum. Stir till sugar crystals dissolve and leave it to heat, occasionally shifting and rocking the pot to get rid of heat spots.

3. Go and lie down on your kick ass sofa and wait. Check the temperature of the liquid about once every 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Take a picture of the inconsiderate cat who sits on your chest and pushes her butt into your bored and disgruntled face with the front facing camera of your mobile phone as follows:

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5. When the temperature of the liquid passes 135degC, stand over the pot with the thermometer and watch it like a hawk till it hits 148degC to 150degC. Turn off the heat and move the pan off the stove to cool.

6. Cut disposable chopsticks into half and drive them through the top of 6 apples. Lay non-stick paper onto a tray and place it next to the pot of molten sugar.

7. Stare at the molten sugar, wondering why the bubbles have not disappeared on their own. Then add 1 teaspoon of cochineal red colouring and stir the caramel till all the bubbles have disappeared.

8. Coat the apples and let it set on your dining table under the ceiling fan.

Toffee Apples complete!

Toffee Apples complete!

9. Serve them, gift wrapped, to your best friend in Court the next day for his 50th birthday!

The End 🙂

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image

I played a lot of piano today: started after I woke up, took the kids for their haircut then lunch then returning to the piano, baking a batch of chocolate orange cupcakes before dinner.

I lived backwards, surreally, reading old pieces and going over the bits and bobs of my life when I first set eyes on the particular piece, the clothes I wore, the things I said, the people I was with no more.

Then it started to storm.

I looked out onto my balcony at my dismal bean sprout tray, abandoned due to my self imposed fasting for Lent. The rain poured and poured. My kitchen timer went off. I got up and pulled out the last tray of seven cupcakes from the oven. Seven. One of them sits out of the muffin tray in a metal cup, a completely different shape and size. The one made from leftover batter, like leftover memories, all awkward and awry. I wished I could stuff it all into a cup, bake it, eat it, remove it from existence.

Wouldn’t life be nice if it all fitted nicely into Ikea compartments, stowed neatly away in boxes?

I sighed, recalling how earlier on while I was trying to extricate my muffin moulds from a cupboard,  a bottle of gelatin fell out into my cake batter.

Maybe I’ve just never been very good with real life. Like most musicians, real life is just something that happens between the music, when a piece ends and another begins, when you stop to go to the toilet or get a drink.

Maybe that’s why I’m so good at my job. I hop from one problem to another with great intensity and imagine my real life problems as small as possible to fit into the in-between.

I put away my aged scores and closed my keyboard then went upstairs to check on the kids. Peanut sat on the bed reading to herself while Lion hunched over the lion who teachers him about colours and letters with an electronic roar. He looked up and grinned at me, then tried to drag the lion over by its string like a puppy. I sat down, then got into position and stood on my head. Peanut and Lion clapped and laughed.

When the rain lightened to a drizzle, we headed over to Mother-in-Law’s place for dinner, where I mysteriously,  quietly passed out on the couch from the day’s exertions into a dark and dreamless sleep filled occasionally with the pressure of Lion trying to sit on me. I woke up in time to say goodbye and headed home.

Life will happen in spite of the music, in a very Chekhovian fashion, with all its attendant complications.

There will always be that leftover cupcake or that mishappened cookie at the end of every batch. Eat it, and appreciate it for what it’s worth. Ultimately,  the same amount of effort goes into every success as every fuck-up.

And screw the Ikea boxes. They’re currently lying around on the ground with their covers missing and their contents strewn over the toy chest.

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On Monday morning, while I was in my office with my trainee Asean Scholar going through some work, I reached out for my drinking cup for the first time during the day and found it missing.

Asean Scholar and I looked everywhere around my table but could not find it. The cover of my cup was still on my table, my teaspoon was still on my table but the cup was nowhere to be found.

How weird, said I. Just like how my stapler has gone missing after 10 years.

*

While we were all in The Buddha’s office to “take attendance” yesterday morning, he suddenly sniffed the air and announced that he smelt cat pee. Then he looked suspiciously at me.

Wait a minute, said I. I’ve been at work for an hour already and I don’t smell cat pee. I checked my shoes this morning and I didn’t step on grass! It’s not me!!

I didn’t say it was you, said he. I just said that I smelt cat pee.

The Buddha’s trainee, Champagne Truffle, stepped out of his room, sniffed and returned, confirming that there was a musky smell about.

Now that really set off my paranoia since cats marking in my shoes / clothes is something which has happened in the past before.

So I went back to my office, checked my shoes again, then sprayed myself liberally with linen spray for good measure.

But because my paranoia was triggered, I spent the rest of the morning asking people who dropped in on me whether or not they smelt cat pee on me.

*

Sometime during lunch, I went to the pantry and asked the Pantry Aunty whether she had seen my drinking cup.

She swore blue and black that she didn’t.

So I spent the rest of my lunch time wandering around to all of the places I could possibly happen by in the office with my drinking cup. My last stop was The Buddha’s room. When I entered his room, the smell of cat pee hit me in the face like a brick wall.

I stepped out, sniffed around, returned to my room, checked my shoes again, then sprayed myself with linen spray once more.

*

People drifted back into the office after lunch.

I still could not find my drinking cup anywhere and had taken to unscrewing the cover of my drinking bottle and swigging from it.

I was, by then, completely and utterly weird-ed out wondering about both the whereabouts of my drinking cup as well as the alleged smell of cat pee about.

Shortly after lunch, The Buddha swung by my room to get me for a meeting upstairs. He stood at my doorway and grinned at me cheekily. I doused myself with linen spray again and left with him.

*

After the meeting, I returned to my desk and there it was! My drinking cup! Right in the middle of my table and all scrubbed clean!

I looked at my girls. They looked back at me. Apparently the Pantry Aunty came by and dropped it off while I was in the meeting. Hmm.

I sat in my seat and eyeballed the cup suspiciously. Is it safe to drink from it?

Maybe you should rinse it out with Dettol, M2 suggested. Or Oral-B mouthwash, said M.

Or maybe you should just buy a new cup, said Asean Scholar.

I crossed myself, poured water into it, and drank out of it.

*

I promptly left work at 6pm (after spraying myself with linen spray and checking my shoes again) with School Marm to run some errands (during which I bought the most beautiful dress for Chinese New Year and hatched a ploy to convert my wedding cheongsam into something wearable for me in my current altered body shape).

When The Other Half got home, he inspected my shoes for me again to establish that the smell of cat pee was not coming from my shoes. Being the ever so dutiful husband, he even checked the compression stockings I had on.

I sprayed Febreeze into my shoes before I went to bed last night.

*

Leaving the house this morning, I checked my shoes again. It only smelt of Febreeze and old leather.

Then I wore a different pair to work, for good measure.

*

I am now sitting in my desk, drinking water out of my cup (still suspiciously), and I swear there is no smell of cat pee about.

But! My stapler is still missing (after 10 years), and I still can’t find Joie Chaton’s collar which has mysteriously disappeared 3 weeks ago.

*

See? The world is conspiring to turn me into a paranoid delusional.

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