Archive for December, 2017

Corpse rice

Murder, sarcophagic conspiracy, family mystery.

I have parents. There is a dead body in the house discovered. They have dug a hole in the garden for it.

There is rice from the garden hole that was next to supplies next to the dead body, to disguise the function of the hole. The rice is in a jar now. Some of the edges are blackened and I’m not sure if they’re burnt or from exposure to the corpse.

We are back in the house. I am not there but I can see everything. I am an adult woman. An aunt. The man offers me grapes. The children will be home soon (from abroad) he says. He is doing carpentry. Asks the lady colleague/me to help pin down the long strip of wood he’s working on — the tool normally used for it was worn out in the last festival and he has the wood balanced on it. She/I hold the wood down, make conversation. He talks about ponying up some funds to buy tickets for the show. He hints that his children who are abroad will be back soon and performing. I grin. Oh that’s my turn to pony up. Yes. I am a white woman in farming/horse riding clothes, brown leather britches. I concede.

I see a bunch of grapes hanging , partially obscured by a calendar, outside the fridge. I realise someone else has been eating them. I realise to my horror the children have been hidden from view in the house all along. Caring for them must have been a nightmare. They have to be kept quiet and children inevitably fight, at that age. My brother doesn’t like green grapes, but this one is a purple bunch with some greens at the edges — those are the ones that have been removed. The children must be the ones snacking on them. This will reveal us. They cannot realise we are french by blood! The children will have to pretend they didn’t manage to pick up any foreign language (French?) in this supposed boarding school, the lie is too flimsy to hold. At best they look stupid. He freaks out. I cannot expose them, he cries. Murder is at stake here, the body is still in the garden.

The body has been exhumed from the garden. I helped carry the dead weight in with him. I hold the bloated arm — the body has been soaked in water and is heavy. The body is separated into cardboard boxes by him. Packed back with different things. Some are to be reburied, better disguised. Others sent to separate bins.

One day, the rice is given to me in a jar. If hands like a bunch of grapes in there, touching some of the sides, doesn’t fill the jar the way rice should. The rice bothers me.

We go to a restaurant. It’s level is lower than the car level.

I stare at my jar with the blackened rice wondering how I will eat it. Corpse rice.

Birds, giant birds, are in the underground tunnel. L-shaped hole. They tunnel down and then a bit sideways, to nest away from sight. This woman patted the side of their solid bodies and left them alone.

A small part of me realises I don’t have to eat the rice, but it doesn’t occur to me to not keep it. This small part isn’t really voiced.

I am in a house party. This man is going to be my partner, and he has a son. Maybe he teaches, or has that demeanour. He lives in a house on wheels, it is neat, spacious, but populated. Many books. Light grey-blue carpet. I ask him if this is his house or his transport. I get the impression from the answer he has a landed property as well, but this trailer has become the main accommodation.

The ex housemate is there. I think about it. I talk to her. She has two bindis, small on plaster-sized transparent wide stickers (complete with rounded corners), which she has put on both right corners of her eyes — so one lies on the outside, and one on the inside of her other eye, touching against the bridge of her nose. It’s distracting and makes it difficult to speak with her. Talking to her startled her, but she recovers. I ask her about her current place, she feigns. How many months has she lived there now, one? Oh, five? Oh I’ve moved out for that long? It is an insincere and guarded conversation, with a forced levity. She has been in a few movies since, which she downplays. She’s been in how many now, one? Five?

Reading about de-cold war, and de-cold-ware, and wondering if the chilly metaphor was forced just so that pun could exist.

My god. Daryl is a father now.

Epicuro in Uptown has closed down and I am reminded once again that I loathe changes I don’t have time to prepare for.For the past few years Epicuro has been my sole dinner destination when I visit Jac and then I’m too lazy to go home and cook after.

Since I was already here, I tried to tell myself to give the new restaurant a chance, but it was difficult because I knew exactly which pasta dish and drink I wanted, and suddenly I was having Indian food instead.

I am a creature of habit and I don’t enjoy having my habits challenged.

RIP Conchiglie with spinach cream.

It’s been on my bucket list to write about my encounter with sexist lawyers, and now I’ve been offered pay to do it. 😄

Talking about someone we know who is an ex-gay.

“I don’t really understand how it can actually just turn on and off”

Me neither, babes. I think he’s in pain, that it’s a sign when both our instincts say so. As I get older, I better understand that I can’t fix every problem I see, and not everyone wants fixing.

Chinese Oats Porridge Recipe

I fucking love porridge. When I searched for porridge recipes and saw my results contaminated with recipes for oat porridges, I always had this judgey suspicion it was because white people dominate recipes on the internet, and white people don’t understand the delicious comfort of white rice.

It never crossed my mind that I in turn didn’t understand the delicious comforting potential of oat porridge until recently. Btw, I can’t even confidently distinguish rolled oats porridge from homecooked white rice porridge.

DP9gBwgUMAEHguB.jpg-large

First of all, oat porridge comes out super smooth. Like a proper Cantonese-style porridge. Look at the consistency of that porridge — flat out smooooooth. The grains are all meltedddddd.

My oats porridge recipe is good for 1 portion, because I use a small 1-person rice cooker. Good thing too, if I cooked this in batches, I would eat them all.

This recipe is more an approach, a four-part system (base porridge, stock, toppings + seasoning) I use to produce many different oat porridges. You can easily adapt it.

Oats Porridge (1 portion)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • ~3 cups or 600ml of water. Basically, 1:9 ratio of oats to water, doesn’t have to be exact.
  • Stock ingredients of your choice (to flavour the porridge)
  • Toppings
  • Seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Put oats, water, and stock ingredients in rice cooker.
  2. Cook as you usually would rice or porridge in the cooker. Hit the button, walk away.
  3. Oats cook faster than porridge, so you can scoop it out as long as it’s melted to the consistency you like, and everything is cooked.
    I prefer to let it cook all the way, because I want more flavours from the stock ingredients in the porridge.
  4. Add toppings and seasoning

If you are using a small pot and the water level is close to the edge, occasionally let some steam out — or, when it gets to a rolling boil, I just take the lid off and let it reduce.

It's not pretty, but it's tasty

Tasty  pumpkin oats porridge — I took it off the cooker 15 mins early, so it’s not as melted, but the mouthfeel was the same as smooth porridge

Stock ingredients (optional):
Stock ingredients are what I use to flavour the porridge, by cooking them alongside the rolled oats and water. I dice most items finely (except for the mushrooms) to help them cook faster.

My default stock: slices of dried shiitake mushrooms (I buy them pre-sliced), and 3 small dried oysters, diced

Alternatives I have used:

  • 1 TBSP organic white miso (yum)
  • leftover roast chicken (yum)
  • chicken bones
  • dried scallops
  • spinach (kinda turned brown on me, so I prefer to use as toppings now)
  • pumpkin cubes (I love this, it melts into a golden porridge — make sure you cut them small)
  • tom yam paste
  • ikan bilis stock (powder)
  • chicken soup stock (powder)

Basically, anything you can use to make soup, you can chuck in there to make porridge.

You can also use ingredients typically used in Cantonese porridges/congee, eg: pork ribs. I mostly use my default stock of mushrooms and oysters, and add on any leftovers or food I feel will go well with it. To be honest, if you get your stock flavours right, and enough water for the oats to melt into the right consistency, it doesn’t matter much what your toppings are. It’s already delicious.

Toppings:

These are toppings I have used, mostly based on convenience, whatever I like, and whatever is available.

I will usually dice the pickled lettuce more finely — I must have been feeling lazy

The difference between topping and stock ingredients is that toppings don’t hold up as well to long cooking periods. So chunky veg becomes stock ingredient (carrots, pumpkin, potato), and leafy veg become toppings.

This is what I usually have (all diced):

  • Leaves of green leafy veg — I tend to always have spinach leaves or rocket on hand, sometimes I just shred them by hand and drop into freshly cooked porridge
  • A big handful of coriander
  • Chinese pickled lettuce
  • century egg + salted egg (1/4 each, refrigerate the rest)

Alternatives I have used:

  • crumbled Tempeh fried with a lot of diced French beans
  • roast chicken
  • canned foods (braised peanuts)
  • luncheon meat
  • tuhau serunding
  • fried button mushrooms
  • thinly sliced ginger
  • leftovers

Something like roast chicken can be used as either topping or stock ingredient (or both!), so you can choose. Maybe see which side has fewer ingredients, and use the chicken there.

Seasoning:

I only season at the end. Dried oysters are kinda savoury, so I don’t usually need much. Taste before adding:

  • White pepper
  • Few drops of sesame oil
  • Small dash of soy sauce

Notes:

Calories: If you’re counting calories, take note that oats contain more calories than white rice. Past the calories though, oats are nutritionally very useful and great for keeping cholesterol levels healthy, which is why I started this.

Measurement: If you plan to eat oats regularly, get measuring spoons to help you scoop out the correct portion (1/2 cup and 1/3 cup will be the ones you use most frequently). It’s harder to gauge quantity of oats correctly compared to, say, shaking cereal out of a box.

Choice of oats:

i. Instant oats if you only have a kettle in your kitchen
ii. Quick-cook oats if you only have kettle and microwave in kitchen
iii. Rolled oats if you can actually cook stovetop or in rice cooker.

General rule of thumb is the more whole the oats, the more flavourful they are, so rolled oats > quick cook oats > instant oats.

Oats tastiness do not interfere with porridge tastiness. I know at this point you might be thinking of brown rice porridge, and how much you prefer white rice porridge. Fear not! Rolled oats porridge with good stock tastes like white rice porridge with good stock. I hope this very important point helps.

No kitchen: You can still make instant oats porridge. Instant oats + hot water gives you a base porridge. You can use miso (if you have a fridge) or stock powder (bonito, chicken, ikan bilis etc) to flavour it.

Add pickled veg or tinned foods as toppings (I use pickled lettuce and tinned braised peanuts). Then season as needed.

If you grow parsley or buy green things in small amounts, you can add them to the porridge while it’s still very hot. Dice them ahead if possible.

No milk: Milk is unnecessary in all versions. The key is to use enough water so the oats can melt into the creamy consistency.

Dried goods: I use dried shiitake mushroom slices and dried seafood (oysters/scallops). You should ideally rinse before using. I leave the thin mushroom slices alone, but I dice the seafood into smaller chunks so it will cook and soften in a short period of time. You can also pre-soak the oats with the dried goods ahead of cooking, and then cook it in the same water when ready.

Teochew: If anyone is gonna make Teochew style porridge with oats, please share the results.

Lastly, let me save you some time. There are no other recipes on this blog, and no useful information until I finally get around to writing my tour guide post to Ipoh.

🍷🍷🍷🍷

I was likened to Rolly, my poor ego.

打是情罵是愛 / Mahu tapi malu

it’s a 👉🏻 Taming of the Shrew.

If all things go well, I’ll have a new tattoo this Sunday.

Low key feeling quite excited about this. Maybe am in the mood for frivolity with permanent consequences.

The key to happiness is to not have relationship problems with anyone you’re not in a relationship with.

Salma Hayek’s revelations of Weinstein’s constant assault is deeply affecting me. Just the environment of deep oppression, and the violence that culminated in a scene so beloved in my queer community, one that involves an icon also much claimed and beloved in the community. The violence that is visible is always just a drop in the ocean.

I almost feel like I’m in mourning. I am glad I am detaching more and more from the products of Hollywood.

Chomelnya .___.

Companion bear 😄

A new book. Five new games. Goodbye willpower to work.

The most annoying thing about being born in 1983 is I got the generational bashing for Gen X growing up, and now I also get the millennial bashing in my 30s. Ugh have to wait one extra generation ke to demonstrate how to be in an older generation and not bash the younger generation.

Omg what is my problem why do I keep leaving my laptop behind in the cafe near home. Luckily I always get it returned to me when I realise it’s missing.

  • Me: Do you speak Mandarin?
  • Mak: Yes
  • Me: *points to symposium* do you speak that kind of Mandarin?
  • Mak: *mata super terbeliak* no no no no no *panicky giggle*

I am not your ex.

Repeat after me: “You are not my ex”.

😐

Home at the end of a two day workshop, an impromptu dinner party, and a birthday in Bangsar today.

Unwind, relax, stretch out, loosen up — the point at the end of the night, when it’s quiet, it’s cool, everything is done, all is on track. My body creaks when I move.

Should I reflect, sort through the input? Maybe it’s better to be quiet instead of reflecting.

Was offered pay to do something I had been planning to do anyway. Finally, the highlight of “keeping receipts like a Kardashian”.

Pets is right. I may forget a lot, but some things I will take to my grave if I have to, and they won’t be unused tools by the time they rest with me.

Practical. Longevity. Warfare?

Suspicions confirmed by Angela, who said the guy who wants my attention wouldn’t come in contact with feminism unless he was trying to get it in his bed.

Why is my validation important to the annoyings of the world? And why do they think contact is all I need to change my mind?

I can’t believe these are the men my straight feminist friends have to choose from. No wonder so many wish they were not straight 🙄

这是她. 是我. Repeating a question repeats a card. Dah agak dah pun. 🔥⚒🔥🤦🏻‍♂️

I am reacting because this card in my deck is defensive. Back against the wall. One against six. To fight a path out.

This is a torch. To light the way out. To clear a path by fire. A gap in the fence.

Both are a card of conviction. That work lies ahead, so I need to know what I want.

Need to put my cards in a house they desire, they tengah merajuk with me now.

Found out today

• I am (still) loved by Mother Bangsar

• the babies think J is super intense

• I can get really worried about my glucose levels

• if I work continuously, my teeth grinding comes back full force, and it takes much longer to get rid of it again

• I’m not psychic at all, but some of the things that happened today lined up to the second in accuracy and immediacy, it was a string of coincidences. Pets says I am but I suppress it. Tbf, that is definitely what I would do if I thought I could do that stuff.

• I’ve entered the world of speculative assets. I’m going against my stars and I hope to rise abovethem.

I just thought of a way more important question I should have asked instead of berhiaoing🏘

7-11

“You keep popping up everywhere, like a 7-11”

It’s the only superpower I have, excessively showing up at events. Apparently, even after I’ve slowed down so much, it’s still a lot.

Today, I covered three workshops, one music show, an intensely nerdy symposium (with three separate events within it), a visual art launch, and a theatre show.

It sounds like a lot for a day, and yet I had still planned to attend another two after the theatre show. I was disappointed I couldn’t work up the willpower.

By the end of the theatre show, it was late in the night and I was still waiting for my first proper meal of the day. So I traded in a night with friends, fun, and some serious cuci mata action, for hot food with the company of Puspa and 8 men(!).

I wasn’t capable of socialising much or anymore mental input after 5pm, my mind was already full. And thanks to the bratty cats I was extremely sleep-deprived. Add on work exhaustion and hunger and the commutes and too much continuous translating and thinking. So 8 men was kind of overwhelming in its own way, but I would have avoided that dining scenario if I had the presence of mind, and i actually got to talk with interesting guys, so yeay.

Honestly, the work load kinda felt like I was right back in a regular weekend work day in Kakiseni. Even the exhaustion felt familiar. A part of me lit up, but it’s the part that lacks self preservation.

My mind was so full tonight as I drove towards DPAC. The route my GPS app picked for me took me through familiar roads in TTDI — I have driven from TTDI to DPAC countless times, I even know exactly how to accelerate, when to let go of the pedal so momentum carries my car comfortably up the slope to Damansara Perdana, and I start edging right at the same spot on the road each time. It’s a driving path I have perfected since DPAC first opened its doors.

I was surprised to rediscover the mechanical habits built in my Kakiseni days so easily. But I was in the perfect state of mind to menyelam my Kakiseni days: noisy.

Every stimuli on the road set off a whole chain of thoughts or emotional reactions. I was generous, angry, irritable, friendly, every little thought led to a bigger one about events or imagined realities, every action was weighed for the potentials it could carry. Was I always like this? …I think so. For a while again today, I was.

I bumped into Ren Xin at Amangkurat, Amangkurat. I wish I had time to pick her brains about the show to see what she thought of it.

I personally enjoyed so many thoughtful touches. No excess. Only the necessary was onstage and well executed. Most admirable, and the actors knew how to take their time, they were so attuned to the audience they weren’t just following their cues as they came up. Lighting was beautiful, I liked the sound design (altho crickets got a bit loud for me), and the physicality of some of the actors was SO GEWD.

I’m not much invested in the trials of royal characters, but I was pleased with the movement work of one actor (playing rivals with his sibling, also a prince), so I leaned over to Puspa during the show and whispered “I hope the gay one wins.”

I think this play will make it difficult for me to watch more pompous “court” shows or those that try to do Bangsawanish stuff (dear god save Malaysia from trying to recreate Bangsawan theatre in an artificial “traditional” form), or when beautiful movements are unintentionally failed by the bodies of the performers.

Sleepy. Day 3 of symposium tomorrow. Should sleep. Need to quiet the mind. Maybe need to brain dump more.

I want an access card at work! Goddamn elitist management, how do the elitist people end up being the most barbaric? Hopefully I have a better hold on my emotions tomorrow when I get locked out again.

Jingle bell jingle bell

Rolly and Grey fought until nearly 4am, as I drifted in and out of sleep for hours to murmur and scold them. I finally fully awakened and threw a blanket over them, which ended the fight. 2 hours later a stomach upset woke me.

Now it’s 9am and I have a long and serious and thinky day of work ahead of me, and I’m shattered.

I think I might have to wear a Santa hat at work today. I refuse, unless I can wear a beard too.

I say only. I see hat sure want to wear one. Maybe I can get the cats Santa costumes.

Just let the Valkyrie take me

Woke up to an epiphany: not everyone wants to endure. (??) it is not a natural state of being or a desirable one (??)

Removed the yellow prayer strings from my wrist with a pair of scissors. I’ve worn it for much longer than the intended period. It still feels strange — my wrists feel naked.

At least I won’t be so easily mistaken for a religious person now.

Why is the world suddenly so filled with straight queer girls? Reminding myself not to be overly keen on the cute girl’s Instagram. No more straight girls, Lainie! *grunt*

Maybe I should get back on OKC or Tinder. Or, say yes to blind dates. Or, just leave the house.

Maybe Instagram is the path of least resistance after all.

Why am I liddis.

Quite taken with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. So white, but positions itself as the progressive and liberal sort for white content. I can feel my inner white bougie being fed whenever I watch the show. It’s good company while I recover from this bug.

Really sexy old cars in season 2 for the racing episode. Nak.

Bumped into Tera at the mamak — she was back in KL because she had trouble with Air France, and it looks like they’ve done her wrong. They’d better fix this. Otherwise, I hope their asses get sued.

Juans suggested it could also be a reaction from Trump’s travel ban being enacted. I think France need not draw from current events of other nations to tap into a ready source of Islamophobia (which Juans said was fair).

  • Me: I think I want to make my Twitter private.
  • Juans: Why?
  • Me: Because I want to tweet irresponsibly.
  • Juans: Just for that, I think you should leave your Twitter public.
  • Me: (is this a vote what is happening) Why?
  • Juans: Because you should tweet responsibly.
  • Me: Goddammit you are such a cikgu.

Blah blah blah kena lecture something about the size of my audience warranting responsibility 😑 I just want to be an online wastrel can’t I have that.

I should have just said I wanted a break from social media. Now every two weeks I’ll have to claim to be a flat earther to weed out followers.

…I flatter myself. Being my own self will probably be more than enough to weed many out.

Favourite episode of Song Exploder so far: Lin-Manuel Miranda discusses the process of creating Almost Like Praying in aid of Puerto Rico. It’s such an energetic origin story, I prefer listening to the podcast over the song itself. But I guess that’s not the point.

  • Me: omg I’ve discovered tongue rings are sold on Lazada
  • Bella: You have a tongue piercing?
  • Me: We’ve been friends for a decade, you haven’t seen it when we talk?
  • Bella: When I talk to someone, I look at their eyes…
  • Me: …The entire decade?

Y and I are going to the hardware shop and N called it lesbian haaj 😂

  • Y: Today we eat hot pot, tomorrow we ride into battle
  • Me: You know my anthem well

It always seems to surprise people that Y and I are alike or have been mistaken for each other…until they think about it.