Californicated by Mr.Duchovny

Californication Season 1

Maybe it’s because I was never really a huge David Duchovny fan or maybe it was because I like to do things at my own pace, but I have only just finished watching the first season of Californication and my verdict is….AWESOME! You can consider me a born again Duchovny fan! I can’t believe I let this little gem slip through my fingers for just over five years.

I find myself actually quite drawn to David Duchovny’s lead character Hank, the sex crazed writer with a heart. Before you get all hot and bothered, I would just like to highlight that I am NOT all hot and bothered about Hank, I just find him endearing. It helps that he has a killer sense of humour with a cutting sense of sarcasm to boot. Clearly this programme will never be shown on television channels in more conservative countries as it has a whole load of sex scenes. From car sex, bondage, threesomes and even female ejaculation….yes I know….eeek! X-Files this is not!

It’s actually ironic really that David Duchovny should end up doing a show like Californication. He did after all seek treatment himself for sex addiction in 2008 whilst still married to his wife Tea Leoni, whom he separated from in 2011. Apparently, according to the press, he was “discovered” by Tea to have an addiction to sex, and forced by ultimatum to seek help. I don’t even want to know how she discovered him. I am by no means poking (perhaps a bad choice of words) fun at David, I think it takes a lot of courage to not only seek help for something like sex addiction but to then have it made known to everybody else….wow, good luck buddy!

I now know why all my guy friends have always raved about this show. Surprisingly, despite all the “sexy time” that is featured (and honestly, what do you expect from a show called caliFORNICATION), it is actually really well written. The classic single male stereotype that humps everything in his sight with a heartbeat but who has himself lost his heart to his one true love who doesn’t really want him anymore. It’s his take it or leave it genuine nature and his affection for his young teenage daughter that make Hank a compelling character. The way he perseveres with his ex even though she has moved on, often in the face of her new partner, comes across almost as a new age style of romanticism….eternal love even in the face of a big “F#$K OFF”.

The writers on this show are my kind of people, some of the lines are real keepers…. “He makes my labia shrivel”…hahahaha!! I couldn’t have said it better!

Gone are the days where Samantha on Sex in the City was the only potty mouthed sex fiend on the box….Hank where have you been all this time? Sure some people will just hate the thought ofCalifornication, but trust me, how will you know if you don’t watch??

Gotta go folks, it’s been fun but I have a lot of catching up to do, five more seasons await!

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Indecent Conversation

Have you ever been in that really awful situation where you can hear the conversation that somebody is having but you REALLY don’t want to?? Well if you have you can sympathize with me….
I was attending one of many family dinners during this time of year and I obviously drew the short straw and got the odd seat all the way at the end of our long table. With nobody sat across from me my best bet for conversation was the person sat next to me and unfortunately that evening this individual wasn’t really riveted by the conversation I had to offer. So I figured I would sit silently and just eat, I mean how bad can that be? Oh how wrong could I have been??!! The table for two right next to our table was empty for the first twenty minutes of my meal but twenty one minutes into my meal, a couple sat down. The man was in his sixties, Caucasian and well, let’s put it this way, not what you would call “easy on the eyes”. His lady companion on the other hand was no older than twenty, had gorgeous long black hair, a pretty face and was wearing what appeared to me to be the tightest dress known to man kind (my first thought upon seeing her was how she was going to manage to eat all the food on offer at the buffet…clearly food is a priority for me).
Now, you can call me judgmental, whatever…I don’t mind, but the immediate reaction a couple like this in this part of the world gets is “sex tourist”. It sounds awful but it’s true. Mainly because it is so prevalent in this part of the world. It’s not uncommon to see Caucasian men visiting South East Asian countries and seeking the company of much younger Asian women. It is what it is, maybe they like the look of Asian women or they believe the myth that Asian women are more obedient and submissive, or maybe they’re just damn bored…I don’t know, and although I personally find the whole concept quite unappealing, I do get it. If there is demand there will be supply.

HOWEVER, what I do find offensive and what I wholeheartedly disagree with is having to be subjected to the “dirty talk” of said couples! I am chopsticks deep into my sushi platter, which I carefully took the time to arrange on my plate from the buffet counter, and all I can hear is this guy sat at the table next to me, whispering (I should say he failed miserably at this, it was more like a strained shouting) sweet nothings to his lady friend. Even the poor girl with him looked mildly embarrassed. It started off pretty tame with “I want you to tell me all your secrets”, and quickly moved on to the possibility of bondage, apparently he likes to be spanked. The thought made me gag on my beloved tamago nigiri. Needless to say by the time they left the restaurant I had a blow by blow (excuse the pun) plan of their evening, and it seemed their night was still young.

Why would anyone, I repeat ANYONE think that it is okay to say these things so audibly in public? Hey, whatever floats your boat, if it’s your thing, fine….but I don’t want to know about it and certainly not while I’m eating my dinner in a five star hotel restaurant. I’ve never been one to hold back on saying things myself but there are boundaries you shouldn’t cross in public. It’s not normal to stand in the middle of a busy street and shout out loud your daily bowel movements or to sit at the back of bus openly discussing your sex-capades the night before…it’s rude. If I want to know, I will ask.

As a result of the verbal assault that my poor ears were subjected to, I didn’t manage to enjoy the amazing food on offer, and I am now possibly mentally scarred for life. Well, at least I have to say this, when all was said and done, he did pull out her chair for her and stand every time she got up from the table. That’s one freaky gentleman.

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Chinese New Year…..Singapore Style

We are only one day in to the Chinese New Year festivities and I already have images I want to share with you.

Prosperity candles and golden gods at the temple, New Year decor in and around the city and the classic orange tree which is a traditional decorative plant for this time of year.

 Some of the yummy goodies I’ve been snacking on today….the classic pineapple tart, a staple in any Chinese home during the festive season, Kueh Lapis cake, probably the worlds most delicious multi-layered sponge cake and little white chocolate koi fish.

As a sign of respect I give each of my elders two mandarin oranges on the morning of the first day of the festivities. It’s also common to be gifted these fruits from restaurants and hotels during the Chinese New Year, sometimes presented in bright red carrier bags.

Celebrations generally last for two weeks, so get ready for many more!

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New Year, New Beginnings

Today is Chinese New Year Eve. This evening is a big deal for the Chinese community and we normally mark the evening with a family dinner aptly titled “Reunion Dinner”. The idea being that the entire family reunites around the dinner table for a big meal to mark the beginning of the new year. When I was a little girl, Chinese New Year was THE holiday for me. It represented everything I hold nearest and dearest to my heart, including family and good food. My grandfather was the pillar of our family and preparations for Chinese New Year would often start a month or so in advance with him at the helm instructing everybody. We would have brightly coloured and potted exotic flowers dropped off at the house to decorate our entrances and family areas. Along with the flowers we would also have what seemed like endless meters of red cloth to hang over our doorways and symbols of luck and prosperity would take pride of place on all our walls. Gold and red were the colours du jour! Food was another huge theme during the festivities and there always seemed to be a tray of something or other sweet lying about in our kitchen or living room….much to the contentment of a little girl. The hamper deliveries and lion dances were also a huge highlight for me. My Grandfather would always give me first dibs and I would investigate each hamper that came to the door for whatever goodies I wanted (usually boxes of chocolate) and then eat said chocolate during the lion dances that different troupes would come to our house and perform. It was win win! I think above all else what I remember most was the receiving of red packets. Of course the act of giving a red packet, or “ang pow”, has deep rooted cultural significance, but as a kid all you can think of is “wow I am getting free money!!” :) To read more about the meaning of red envelopes in Chinese culture, click here.

For dinner we would have the customary steamboat which is essentially the widest array of fresh foods, such as sliced fish, scallops, abalone, pork, chicken  prawns, meat balls, fish balls, tofu and endless amounts of fresh vegetables and mushrooms. Steamboat is a real “you snooze, you lose” kind of meal, you need to get involved or somebody else will eat your portion. You select whatever fresh food you want and you use your ladle to cook it in a shared pot of soup in the middle of the table….kind of like a Chinese fondue. It’s fun, it’s healthy but most importantly it gets everyone involved together. No reunion dinner would be complete without Yu Sheng, which directly translated means “raw fish”. Although this salad dish is served traditionally on the seventh day of Chinese New year, families have taken to having it during reunion dinner as well. The salad has to be mixed at the table and then everyone literally sticks their chopsticks in and starts tossing. The idea is to toss the salad quite high (but not to the ceiling like one of my young cousins did one year)  whilst saying your good wishes and calls for prosperity and good health. Read more about this traditional dish here.

Some of the traditions I keep to, include making sure your rice bucket is full, washing your car and having a full tank of petrol, making sure to wear something bright (preferably red) and new on New Years Day itself, and handing two oranges to each of my elders on New years day itself.

Some of the more unusual traditions we have include, not using the scissors to cut anything and not sweeping for the first day of New Year, as well as leaving a light on overnight at the entrance of the home to guide in good fortune.

2013 is the year of the snake and this one is especially important to me as I was born in the year of the snake, many moons ago. According to Chinese astrology we snakes are philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive and decisive (I don’t know if I completely agree with all of this). If you want to read more about your Chinese astrology sign you can do so here.

So, with that in mind, I wish all of you the best in 2013, may you have a healthy and prosperous year of the snake filled with love and lots of good luck!! Kung Hei Fat Choi!! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!

Chinese New Year 2013 Year of the Snake - Chinese New Year 2013 Custom Invites from Zazzle. Lunar new year 2013 vietnam

Image courtesy of www.zazzle.com.au

 

 

 

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All Glittered Out

I just had my nails done today and decided for my mani-pedi pampering session to try out a new colour and style. So I went for the shimmer glitter look. It sounds pretty horrendous but actually turned out quite well. I’m usually a straightforward one solid colour kinda gal, but I have to say after today I’m pretty open to trying out a couple of other alternative nail styles. Today I opted for a deep dark plum with pink sparkle on my tips.

 

So I had a look on the web for those of you who might be interested in doing this yourself at home and found a great website that does lots of different nail varnishes, shimmer and glitter and various DIY nail art; Born Pretty. They ship worldwide for free and claim to ship your order out within 24 hours.

I had my nails done at ALVEDA nail salon in Far East Plaza on Orchard Road. Great place with really friendly staff, I highly recommend it. Thanks to them, I’ve got my sparkle on and I’m all glittered out and ready for the holiday season.

 

Alveda

#03-15 Far East Plaza

14 Scotts Road

Singapore 228213

Tel: 6836-6561

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All the Pretties on Pinterest

I absolutely adore Pinterest. The concept is simple but so so effective, and so useful it has literally become a part of my everyday life. Its social networking at its best. It’s a place I go to find inspiration, style tips, home decor ideas and even recipes. Today I am blown away by the inspirational images I find, here’s a taster of what really caught my eye….

 

I have tried my best to give credit to each image where it was available. I just wanted to share these beautiful images with everyone, I mean, aren’t they just stunning? They have inspired me today and I hope that they have now also inspired you.

 

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Filed under Art, Design, Inspiration and Creativity

Destination Bucket List #2…..Isle of Skye, Scotland

Having lived in England for fifteen years before moving home to Singapore, I really kick myself sometimes (hard!) that I didn’t take the opportunity to explore the neighboring countries and take in all the natural beauty and culture available to me. So, without further ado, the second location on my Destination Bucket List is the Isle of Skye, Scotland….I think the pictures can do all the explaining as to why….

 These gorgeous pictures do not belong to me so I would like to give thanks and credit to, www.blacks.co.uk, www.indulgy.com, and www.paradiseintheworld.com 

 For more information on visiting Scotland please visit www.visitscotland.com

 

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A Taxi Driver I Like

Although I drive, when I’m making my merry way out for an evening of dinner and drinks with my friends, I like to order a taxi and leave my car at home.  The only problem is I have a real hate hate (note, not love hate……just hate) relationship with Singaporean taxis and their drivers. I however begrudgingly continue to use them as a method of getting from A to B.

Last night I was meeting friends for dinner in the Duxton Hill area and knowing there would be drink involved I ordered my taxi early. Fueling my over eagerness (some may call it my kiasu – Singaporean lingo for not wanting to lose – nature) to book a taxi several hours in advance was the fact that there was an almighty thunder storm pouring down and for some unbeknownst reason, it is next to impossible in Singapore to order cabs for instant use when it’s raining.

I finally get my confirmation for my taxi and an added pleasant surprise…my driver personally texts me with his name, Adam, and explains he will be driver for my journey and that he looks forward to meeting me in the lobby of my building later, finished with a “thumbs up” emoticon…….wtf?! This is new to me.

Ten minutes before my booked pick up time I get another text from my driver; Adam has arrived and he is in the lobby. I rush out of my flat and downstairs to meet this rare breed of taxi driver. I am greeted with big smile and a warm “good evening Miss Alisha, where can I drive you to tonight?”……holy cow!

You have to understand why I’m so excited, and quite frankly mesmerized by Adam….my experience of taxis in Singapore has not been great. Of course, these drivers are hard working people just trying to make a living, but they don’t have to be royal A-holes in the process now do they? Not so, for taxis, it’s their way or the highway, no pun intended. I even recently got hit by a taxi whilst out driving because I managed to change into a lane he couldn’t change into…..I mean, who does that?! Taxis, that’s who, and he didn’t even have the grapes to stick around, he just hit my car and drove off, whilst giving me the finger, or some sort of combination of fingers, out his window.

So, back to my new friend Adam…..his driving was smooth and efficient .i.e.. he did not play the game of “accelerator BRAKES accelerator BRAKES” the entire way. But more importantly he was just a really pleasant guy and we had a refreshing chat. We talked about growing up in Singapore, culture, shopping, food and even politics and religion…..yes I live quite a distance from the restaurant. Intelligent and soft spoken, Adam  was insightful and even gave me great new tips for outdoor local dining (always a bonus). I think what stuck with me most was when we talked about how different Singapore is from so many other places in the world and Adam said “you know we are such a small island, with such diverse cultures all living together as one, and we don’t have the kinds of internal strife, war and general unpleasantness you see around thee world”…..right on Adam, right on.

Hopefully one day soon I will have the good fortune of meeting Adam again and the privilege of being driven around by him….I’ve got a feeling the conversation will be good.

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Dean & DeLuca…as good as NYC?

So folks, I’m back!! Many apologies for the long absence, but you know how it is in life, sometimes s**t happens! :)

What better way to come back than with a post on food, everyone’s favourite!

Dean & Deluca is an established eatery and coffee-house in the US, but over in Singapore we have been treated to our very first branch which opened a few months ago in Orchard Central on Orchard Road. I met up with a friend for lunch today and decided to give it a go. It is tucked away in a far corner of the fourth floor of the building, and not obviously visible, so a bit of hunting was required. Upon arriving at the deli/coffee-house, you are greeted by staff who are pleasant and amiable. To the right there is a wide array of Dean & DeLuca merchandise and further past that there is even a cheese and meats counter. The merchandise includes coffees and teas, sauces, herbs, pastas, olive oils and even bags, recipe folders, various kitchen utensils and last but not least, chocolates and candies. I have to say that the pricing seemed a touch on the high side. To charge seven dollars for the worlds tiniest tin of milk chocolate covered caramel balls is nuts…that tin probably holds five pieces tops!!

I moved quickly to the food counter. You have to queue for your food and drinks, much like any Starbucks or Coffee Bean. However the only problem is that Dean & DeLuca also has a dining aspect, which makes finding and holding onto a table whilst queuing at times an impossible task (and let me tell you, it gets busy!). After browsing the menu boards and the food platters calling to me from the fridge display, I settled on the Berries and Flapjacks with a Mocha Latte. The all day breakfast offerings were impressive and next on my list for future visits will be the Sauteed Brioche French Toast and Eggs Iberico….yum!

When my food arrived my friend immediately announced “I have food envy!!” and honestly I don’t blame her, the pancakes were a sight to behold. Beautifully presented, they had me salivating. The true test however, was the first bite, and I give the dish two thumbs up as it tasted just as good as it looked. The oat and honey buttermilk flapjacks (smaller pancakes than the regular size you would normally have for breakfast) were light and fluffy and the cream and berries complimented their texture perfectly. The finishing touch was the awesome Dean & Deluca organic maple syrup. I cannot recommend this dish enough…..for pancake aficionados, this is a must!

 

 

 

 

A relaxing atmosphere, good coffee, great food and top service…Dean & DeLuca is a must, trust me :)

 

Dean & Deluca
Orchard Central
#04-23/24
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896

Open Daily: 11am – 10pm

 

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The Big “C”

I’ve been absent from my blog for a few days now and for very good reason. I recently received some awful news that my Grand Aunt was dying and she didn’t have long to go. It later came to light that she in fact has cancer, and not in a small way, it is so far gone it has literally spread all over her body, to many of her vital organs. I have had two maternal Grand Aunts I was lucky enough to meet in my lifetime and the oldest of the sisters passed many years ago when I was only a child. I have to admit I don’t know this side of my family as well as I would like to, but walking into the hospital ward to visit my ailing Grand Aunt, my heart nevertheless swelled with genuine sadness and sympathy. To see this sweet little old lady sitting on her bed, so frail and yet still so welcoming, it was overwhelming. My Grand Aunt hasn’t had the easiest life and I would have hoped that when her time came she would have gotten an easier way out than cancer, but I guess, as always, you learn the hard way that life is never fair.

I also lost my Grandfather to cancer many years ago. I can truthfully say that it completely broke my heart. These past few days when I visit my Grand Aunt in hospital the memories flood back almost like river banks giving way to pure emotion. I was young when my Grandfather passed away but the loss was deep and I mourned him in my own way. I was raised  by a single mother and my Grandfather was always the male figure in my life that I looked up to. He meant the world to me and he was my hero. I watched him literally wither away in front of my eyes. The worst thing of all was that as a child I had no concept of death. I had up until then never lost a close family member and although I could see that my Grandfather was clearly very ill and I knew it was not a good prognosis, when he actually died, I was shocked.

Despite doctors and medical professionals saying that he only had two months left in him my Grandfather fought on for two years before his body finally gave in to this awful disease. I know my Grand Aunt is a strong woman so I pray she also finds the willpower to fight, and that when it is her time, she can go peacefully.

Cancer is a bitch! I can’t even begin to count on my hands the number of people I know who have lost their lives to this horrendous disease or have lost a loved one to it. To this day there is no cure and we barely have ways to keep it under control. If you or someone you love is suffering from cancer, don’t feel that you are alone. There are institutions and societies which can help, such as The American Cancer Society or The Singapore Cancer Society.

RIP Grandpa, you are gone but never forgotten ♥

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