Thursday, December 31, 2009

Something New

The next year, yes, but that's not what this post is about...

My guitar has lots of things - chips, discolouration, dust hidden in unreachable crevices - and recently, new strings! Bright, brilliant, beautiful new strings, courtesy of Mr Guitarist Extraordinaire. The set they replaced had been there since Y2k, when they replaced the inferior ones the guitar came with. Though I can't say I am so glad to get rid of the faithful nearly-ten-years-old strings, for they had really been with me that long, but the new ones befit my guitar really well! Just look:

Lovely, aren't they? I'll try not to make them last me another ten years by playing more, and more often...

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Feast on Christmas Eve

Ever since I got my bestfriend's call, inviting me to a dinner at her place on Christmas Eve and informing me that they're preparing a turkey, I'd been over my head with excitement. I made very little, or no, effort in concealing my eager anticipation of the feast; I have to admit - I shamelessly boasted and gloated for a whole week. This extreme behaviour would probably be easier to comprehend if I reveal the fact that this was the very first time in my life that I'd have turkey for Christmas (well, the eve, but close enough), and a home-roasted one for that matter! Enough of words - a picture paints a thousand words, and I have several here:

This was absolutely the smallest turkey they could get, I was told, but it was huge all the same. Roasted to perfection and stuffed full of minced onions, mushrooms and a host of other ingredients I didn't catch when the Chef was explaining them, it was every bit as yummy as I expected it to be.

Here, it sat pretty and mouth-watering on a bed of edible garnish. There were greens, sausages, mushrooms (mushrooms! mushrooms!) and cherry tomatoes. The photo is not properly focused but I guess I didn't realise it at the time of taking it, probably because all I could only think about was how good it smelled and how great it'll taste. I thought I wrote "enough of words" earlier but here I am, still writing incessantly! I can't help it - I guess the roasted turkey rush hasn't exactly worn off just yet. I'll try, though.

The turkey was the main course, and just as any proper dinner would have, we were also treated to starters - freshly-baked bread, mashed potato, gravy and salad - and homemade cranberry sauce! Pardon the hand with a pointing finger, though; not part of the spread, but part of the means of shoving food into the hungry mouth.

Just how much did we love the turkey, you wonder? Here's the "aftermath", as when we're all so full we attained the mobility of a beached whale:

When we finally could move our heavy selves away from the dinner table, we gathered in the living area and sung some Christmas carols. I don't know if singing actually increases metabolism rates or burns more calories, but after the singing, we're ready to eat some more. It was really convenient, for we had a great dessert awaiting:

Reader, you probably know I don't usually write about food; firstly, I don't describe them well enough and secondly, so many people blog about nothing but food the world doesn't need another one. Still, I must make this an exception, for I still want to gloat about this incredibly scrumptious dinner I had the honour to partake... Do bear with me!

Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas, you (you - as in you who are reading this right now); may your home and life be full of love and laughter always.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not Always the Elephant

Those who'd known me a long time, I imagine, would, sometimes, marvel at my memory. It isn't unusual that I would remember the tiniest, the most insignificant things and events that took place years ago. I remember, for instance, the lecture in my Psychology 101 course, in which the lecturer delivered a lesson on short-term memory. The average person's short-term memory, she said, stores 7 items. She presented an example (yes, I remember the example she used) of a person who goes to a party and has people he didn't know introduced to him. He could easily remember the first 7 people he met, but when he is told the name of the 8th new friend, he would likely forget the name of the first. I wonder if it works the same for faces, and if it does, why it won't apply to me. Here's the story:

I was freshly enrolled at college, and as each new student was, was assigned a mentor, who was a lecturer I'd never heard of. Though I wasn't exactly sure what a mentor was really meant for, or if I actually needed one, I knew I had to meet him at least once, for I was given a slip of paper on which I had to have his signature. After a round of asking seniors, I found out where his faculty room was, and made my way there. I walked into a quiet office where several well-dressed gentlemen, presumably lecturers, sat at work. I must had looked really small and lost, for within moments, one of them approached me and asked me who I was looking for. I said my mentor's name. The nice gentleman then told me, "He's not here at the moment. Maybe you could come back in a while?" I thanked him and left the office. I took my time, wandered around for an hour or so, and went back to the faculty room. More courageous this time around, I approached the first lecturer I set my eyes on and asked for my mentor. Once more, I was told he wasn't there. Being suddenly in a conversational mood, I rambled on about how I was there earlier, and someone told me to come back in a while. He looked at me curiously, and said "Well... yes, I was that someone who told you that." Being overwhelmed by embarrassment must be a condition during which nothing registers in the long-term memory, because I simply cannot remember what ensued.

Perhaps it would make sense to say I remember better people and/or things that actually matter. This is because there had been numerous times, in my college and university days, where I'd met "strangers" on sidewalks, stairways, anywhere, and had them smile at or greet me in ways that suggest they were not really strangers, but were surely not friends either. After a while, I got really good at pretending I know them too - or so I thought. Here's another story:

I was in a washroom on campus, washing my hands, and noticed in the mirror a girl I don't recognise, at the next wash basin, smiling at me. I smiled warmly back. She started some small talk and I played along. I was starting to take pride in how well I was doing, when she stopped abruptly and stared at me, a mix of bewilderment and amusement clearly in her eyes. Her friendly smile turned teasing, "You don't remember me, do you?" Once again, I have no recollection of what ensued.

Just today, I discovered my memory also has blind spots, if you could call them that. I came across a friend of a friend with a very familiar pseudonym. I know it because he used the exact same for his ICQ account TEN years ago, when we were still in touch. I met him at a camp organized by our college's student representative council. We were in the same team, along with the girl from Christian Fellowship. Each team had to present a short sketch, and for ours, we prepared a "medley" of scenes from Evita, where the guys did all the acting and the girls did all the singing. We were a hit because everyone nearly laughed till they rolled on the beach when 'Evita' (a guy wrapped in sarong) appeared for the 'balcony' (a guy with arms extended on either side, draped over entirely by a white bedsheet) scene, and we sang Don't Cry For Me Argentina; and laughed even harder when 'Evita' died, and we sang You Must Love Me. I remember it all - and yet I can't, if my life depended on it, remember this guy's name.

No, I don't think I deserve to be known as one who has the memory of an elephant. The matriarch of a herd of elephants is said to be able to remember and to locate a place abundant in food and water, even after having not been there for several decades. I have been known to be unable to locate my car after leaving it in the shopping complex's carpark for several hours.

Friday, December 11, 2009


That, he couldn't help. It is past midnight, afterall, on a still night. I am reading my email, and bursting into seemingly random, unprovoked, unexplained peals of laughter:

Sixth grade research projects...

1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. the climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven porcupines.

3. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

4. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java.

5. Queen Elizabeth was the Virgin Queen. As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted hurrah.

6. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet is an example of a heroic couple. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

7. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

8. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large.