Saturday, 31 December 2016

Screaming at an Arcade

Ash and Steve live on the west coast of Singapore, very far away from us (as "far away" goes in Singapore), so she asked us to buy a book from a specific bookstore at Star Vista. Apparently a church owns that whole mall (or a big part of it) so the bookstore only had that one location. Since Ash and Steve have been so kind to us we of course went there. We planned to be super-efficient and go in and out within a few minutes, but when arriving at Buona Vista, a station we know inside and out, we went the wrong way twice. At least be bought the book and sent many photos to Ash to show how good we had been, we love patting ourselves on the back. Then we travelled on towards Bugis.

Ash and Steve were having dinner at a hotel buffet since they had vouchers for free dinner. John and I wanted to join but changed our mind when we saw that it was sixty dollars per person. Instead we went to Bugis+ and ate at a place called Poulet. Both John and I had looked it up online on different occasions and so we thought this was a good idea. It was not. Within twenty five minutes we had looked through the menu, ordered, gotten our food, eaten our food, waitress removed our plates and we paid. It was such a disappointment! The menu never told me that my chicken leg would lay in a very weak tasting soup. When I read potato I expected a small pile of potatoes - I got one fourth of a potato. The chicken was easy to eat, fell apart under my fork but did not taste much. John had half a chicken that came in a bland and watery sauce that had little taste. To that we had mashed potatoes but it tasted a lot like instant mash. This very small meal, that left us hungrier than we were when we got there, costed around forty dollars. It was overpriced and overrated. I am so pissed at this restaurant that I will definitely find as many places I can to review it and give it a honest bad review. Just you wait...

Since we were not the least full we went next door to WingZone and ordered some wings and fries. It was good wings. Not the best I have ever had but I think that depends on what you are looking for in wings. They were crispy and had a lot of sauce on them, so they were made to get you all dirty around the mouth and fingers. What was interesting were the two screens showing a slideshow of other people eating wings and holding up signs with what spiciness level they were eating. We did not understand why we should look at it while eating.

Soon after we were done we found Ash and Steve, who had finished their buffet and walked over to Bugis+. Ash led the way to the Bugis Junction's arcade. It was called Virtualand. It was my first time at an arcade so I was very excited. First impression - very loud. Ash impressed us with explaining how it worked. We paid to get a card containing hundred and fifty something credits which we would use to play the games. John found a shooting game he wanted to start with and so I picked up the other gun. He then looks at me and says he wants to play with Steve. I hand the gun over and walked over to stand by Ash. We look at them play for a very short time before going to find our own machine to play on. We had fun at our first game - throwing balls into a basket and earning points. We laughed a lot.

During the hours we spent in the arcade the guys played their games, Ash and I played ours. We walked between each other to get the card since all four shared the credits. Ash and I found a scary 3D game which we enjoyed, screaming and jumping, so we wanted the guys to play. They were very chill with it and did not seem to understand it at all. One game that particularly felt good to play was Dance Dance Revolution. You stand on a platform with four arrows and you dance to music while hitting the right arrow showed on the screen. I got really into it and jumped around and got sweaty. I had the revelation that I lived in Asia, I could feel it. Another game that was interesting was Mario racing where you sit in racing chairs and have an actual steering wheel. I tried one round then suddenly I felt motion sick and had to stop. The three of them raced without me but I was a very good supporter!

Half past eleven we were running out of credits and we all felt like it was time to leave. With the last few credits we tried those grab-a-price-machine and even though I grabbed one at the first try it did not fall down correctly... I call them corrupted, since I clearly should have gotten that cheap plastic ball with a small insignificant figure inside. We went outside and felt the silence of the midnight street pressing in on us. Fresh air felt good and we strolled down the street looking for a place to have some beers. Most places we passed were closing though and so we made a fine little loop until we were back where we started. It was past midnight and we decided to split and go home. Ash had work in the morning and I had a headache creeping up on me. Before ordering cabs though we sat at a street corner talking for half an hour.

It was an interesting day and I enjoyed being at an arcade for the first time. The loud noise is not understandable for me but it was a load of fun! I want to go back soon and leave with a price from one of those machines. Stupid machines... I should have gotten that ball!

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Sowing seeds

I grew up in a house in a small town. We had a medium sized backyard in which I spent a lot of time. When I was younger that backyard had a lot of edible plants. There was an apple tree on top of a small hill that had green apples during spring and summer. There were a lot of apples and the ones we could not catch fell to the ground and made the ground wet and mushy. The ones we picked we ate, made apple pies or took with us to the stable to feed the horses. Eventually that tree was cut down when we could not take the mushy ground any longer. In its place we put up a large trampoline.

We had a cherry tree as well! I really loved to climb it and sit there picking them fresh to eat immediately. Mother made cherry pie and cherry jam, also just sugared cherries in a bowl. One day when I was sitting in the tree I noticed an ant. Then another one. This was during the time when my phobia for ants started to really kick in. I could not handle it. There were so many ants, they probably lived inside the trunk. We cut it down and I remember the man cutting it down made an X over the little stump to prevent it from regrowing.

Another thing that we had was a snow pea tree but we did not do anything with them. I do not think anybody understood what these were or that they were even edible. It is only during later years that I have realised this. I remember picking green things from the branches, which had a lot of these green balls, and I opened them to drag my thumb along the slippery inside and watch as small balls flopped to the ground. A pure joy for little Ellie. Never did I know that I could have tasted them (but would probably not have liked them).

Apart from trees we had bushes. One with black currant and one red currant. I never liked the black but I went there often to pick some of the red ones and carry around with me to snack whenever I wanted. They never lasted long though and I often went to get more. Next to these two bushes was a third which had gooseberries. These are still my favourite berries of all time, even in sodas and desserts. I ate most of them and loved the sweet taste. I usually picked them too early so they were still sour in my mouth but I liked them just as much.

Lastly we had raspberry bushes along the outside of my bedroom window. These had a lot of raspberries during summer and they were picked often in large quantities. We made raspberry pies and jam. I also just filled a bowl to eat on the trampoline. I used to close the door to my room and lock the door for ultimate privacy, then open the window and reach out to pick the largest I could find.
14 year old Ellinor.

Growing up with all these plants in my backyard has made me truly excited to plant my own one day. After moving away from the house I was anxious to have something to snack on in my home. Not until my dad and I moved to Stockholm did we actually try to plant something. Strawberries in three pots. Naturally we noticed only afterwards that these were specifically made for gardens, needing of a lot of sunshine and space. That did not stop them from growing and eventually give us some berries. When I moved in with John those plants stayed behind. Living with John and two other guys for a while stopped me from even trying to plant something.

Today I planted two things... well, one really. Not berries, although I wanted to but John told me to try something simpler. We bought chives (which I also have a childhood story of when we planted chives in our summer house and I stole the bucket and sat in a hidden spot where I ate them all until there was only short grass barely above the soil left). I also planted cat-grass which we already had, but last time we planted them it was in this small plastic container and Ymir could not eat it because everything just came out when he tried to grab it. I was so happy to put my hands into soil and pour seed onto it and put it outside! Gardening makes me happy, even the smaller gardening made inside an apartment and only in pots. I will keep the blog updated on how it goes!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Surprisingly Entertaining Tour

Today John received his last Christmas present from me. I had planned it to be a total surprise until we were at the scene, but being so unsure of myself (specifically when giving gifts) I felt that he needed to know before we arrived. Just in case he was not interested and I would have dragged him there for no reason. So I told him last night that we were going on the Tiger Brewery Tour and to my relief he was very excited and happy about it.

At three o'clock we went out to grab a cab. I was a bit unsure if I was going to make it, getting motion sickness fairly easily, and the cab stank of cigarette smoke so I was not very happy. After a short while I asked for some ice cold air from the AC and that helped a lot with both the smell and the sickness. We drove west and went further than we had ever been. The building lay in the middle of a huge industrial area and next to Coca Cola company (which was the most stylish building).

When entering we paid thirty six Singaporean dollars and were handed two "4 PM" tour cards to hang around our neck. Our tourguide led us to the "start of the tour"-room were we hung around waiting for the four minutes to pass before the tour actually started. With that much time on our hands we made the most out of it inside their souvenir shop called Tiger's Den. Imagine everything you can buy at a normal souvenir shop and add Tiger's logo to everything.

A few minutes past four (which was interesting since at first they had seemed so keen on keeping the time) the tour guide came back with four other people in tow. These joined our group and the tour began... with a strange video of how the company came to be. It is owned by Heineken and according to the video a man went to the tropics, wanted a beer he could drink in the tropics, needed the skills of somebody else to brew the beer since he could not and in the end he named it tiger because he was in the tropics. The video was around five minutes long, maybe shorter, and contained two scenes; one in an office and one in a digital tropical forest. The characters were ghosts, which made no sense to me since the video could just be old and there would be no use for the ghosts. At least it was entertaining in sense of ridiculousness!

The guide named Zac then brought us to the first stop where we learned what was in the beer. Malt, hops, yeast and water. There were some samples which we could smell and some basic information. We then proceeded to the brewery where we were not allowed to take any photos. It was hot and sweaty inside. Zac the guide went through a script he had rehearsed and pointed at a board (which reminded me of a power point presentation). At one point one of the women asked a question which he did not know the answer to. John did know however and taught our beer tour guide something about beer. I thought it was hilarious! The guide knew what to say from what his boss probably told him to say but had made no research himself and could not answer many of our questions.

We then saw the packaging building which I found most exciting. I found the spot where the cans were folded into a cardboard box and every single one made the same motion at the exact timing. It was very hypnotic. John got into a conversation with one of the women and I with another. We followed the guide through a small cinema, where I thought we were going to see another movie but did not, and came out into a history room... kind of. There Zac showed how to pour beer into a glass and then let the visitors try. The beer was delicious, much better than the cans and bottles we have been drinking from.

The tour ended shortly after that. We were ushered into the Tiger Tavern as the end of the tour experience. John and I were handed two free tiger beers from tap and sat down to enjoy it. Really good. The other people from the tour sat down by the bar and we joined them after finishing up the first glass. There we could order small glasses of beer as samples and we conversed with the friendly people we just met. More beers were drunk and it soon got to a point where everything just started to feel very happy. John and I were challenged by two other women to play darts - which we both won and so the other two bought us two more rounds of sample beer. Then there was more and more. Their company made the whole tour so much better! It was unexpected but so much fun!

Around seven we had to leave and the two of us decided to join these newly met people on dinner. We squeezed into their car and drove for ten minutes to a place near Beauty World MRT; an area John and I had not visited before. There they took us to a restaurant called Boon Tong Kee where we all shared plates of chicken, seafood, vegetables and pork. It was all very delicious. The chicken flavoured rice was probably the best (along with the shrimp but I think I ate all of them). They were kind enough to pay for the dinner which we were truly grateful for! Afterwards we all wanted dessert and so they led the way to a Korean dessert cafe called Non Song Yee. All six shared two dishes; one mango bingsu which was mango with ice cream, shaved ice, mashed peanuts and something that we think was yoghurt (or something else very similar). The other dish was a Korean rice cake; four balls of pressed rice in a sweet sauce with almonds. I really liked it! A bit sweet but I do like sweet stuff.

We split after that. People went of to find their ordered cabs. We hugged and said our goodbyes and thanks for the day. John and I called an Uber and headed home. I was surprised to find myself not getting motion sickness after so many beers. I think the food helped a lot! It was a good day and one I will not forget any time soon.


Monday, 26 December 2016

Space Battle

Planning how long a board game day will take is impossible. Today we travelled to a couple that lived not far from us. We arrived around half past twelve. This hour was set because the hosts did not want to drag it out into the night. Yet, given the chosen games, we played for over eight hours...

There was another couple there that we had not met before. They seemed nice and friendly. I could have today's couples as the regulars on board game nights. After introductions and small talk we soon opened the first box called 7 Wonders. The hosts, being really good hosts, explained thoroughly how to play it. Each of us got a randomly picked wonder (I got Alexandria) and each wonder had special "abilities" that could be used after reaching that building stage. Ten cards were handed to each player but the player could only pick one to use. There were resource-cards, end-of-the-game-points-cards, science-cards, military and such. If you are interested I recommend you follow the link to get the full description. I totally missed one part of my wonder where I had a lot of resources but instead of using them I paid John a lot of money to use his. He in turn had a lot of money which he could use to build his own stuff. It is clear I lost pretty bad in this game, but I thought it was fun and I would want to own it.

We had a lot of snacks to eat all the time. We had had the impression that they did not have a lot so we brought some with us. Apparently this was not needed since, after we unloaded our backpack, we almost needed a whole table just for the snacks. Then later we were served a very German desert which was an apple stuffed with jam, nuts, raisins and honey together with vanilla ice cream. It was interesting and good, I enjoyed it.

The hosts were dog-sitting a friend's dog so the little furry ball ran around our feet most of the time. He was very excited to meet John and jumped up on him to say hello but the dog barely made any notice of me and was very wary of my presence. I wonder if I smelled cat. Ymir had been sleeping on my pants earlier. The dog's name was Oki, which I naturally thought was a Star Wars reference but when I said that, people laughed.

Next board game we played was Battlestar Galactica. This was originally a movie, then a series and has evolved into something much more. There are two coasters at Universal Studios named after it and I have tried them both when we attended the Horror Nights in October. So we knew what it was about but not where the name came from. After playing this we added the movie and the series to our to-watch-list. I made a big deal out of the gender equality problem that this parallell universe seemed to have - I noticed there were only three women and seven men to chose between as playable characters. My biggest problem was the fact that if this was a parallell universe then why could not women be a majority of a military vessel? I rolled the highest number on the dice and got to pick my character first - female pilot called Kara but nicknamed Starbuck.

This was one of those games where half way through a player suddenly gets a card that tells them that you are now against everybody else. Those are called cylons. John started as one and was soon discovered by our captain and admiral (it was random that the same person got both titles). He had bad luck with his bad guy-moves and it looked like the humans were going to win. Then halfway through I received the card that told me that no, you are not a human, you discover that you have been a cylon all along. I tried to sabotage the main ship from the inside but the humans made it quite difficult. Instead I announced myself and teamed up with John on our cylon locations. Together we almost managed to kill them and we got so close. I rolled many good dice to hit the rooms they needed but in the end the humans got away with one simple card.

It took hours to complete this game and in the middle we ordered pizza for dinner, but that did not stop us from playing. I did enjoy some parts of the game but most of the time I was at a loss. I asked for a lot of advise when it was my turn and I almost always let other people tell me what to do. I could not wrap my head around the actions I could make. This is not a game I would buy and play myself. John compared it to Eldritch Horror, a board game he had bought me as a birthday present, and even though I could almost see some resemblance I did not enjoy playing it as much as I did Eldritch.

By nine in the evening we had left the building. The Uber got there much faster than we had expected and so we left rather quickly after the game was over. The ride home was snaky, just like the last time, and I got motion sickness almost directly. The driver was very kind even though we talked a lot about death in his family. His grandfather died last night. Not the most cheerful topic I have ever heard in a cab, but it felt rude to ask him to change subject. I made it home alive and John took care of me.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Successful Swedish Christmas in Singapore

Merry Christmas! John recently told me that you do not say that in USA because not everybody celebrates it and apparently it is offensive. Instead you wish them a happy holiday; being very unspecific feels like the way to go in America. I do not understand how a phrase meant to cheer someone up can be interpreted as offensive. Then again, I barely celebrate Christmas and do not particularly like it. I only do Christmasy things for my John. He really loves Christmas and I want to make him happy.

Yesterday, the 24th, is the day to celebrate Christmas for John and I. We open presents, we eat Christmas-buffé, tradition tells us to watch Donald Duck and on the 25th Christmas is basically over (apart from the leftovers, the decoration and enjoying the gifts). It is not the same day as the people in Singapore (and other parts of the world) celebrate Christmas. Therefore it was fitting to have our friends, Ash and Steve, to join us in the evening.

John had been out buying two types of meat to make his own meatballs and two baguettes from the small mall just outside the condo. Later he travelled to IKEA (I stayed behind since I was not sure if I had fully recovered from being sick) and bought herrings, salmon, Kalle's caviar, mustard and dill sauce, potato gratin, lingon berry jam and mashed apples. He also bought julmust (which I can not translate and so it seems can nobody else). Ash and Steve brought with them two different cheeses, sausages and ingredients to some of the former mentioned dishes.

While John cooked for us I entertained our guests with two rounds of Sushi Go Party. A board game we recently were given as a Christmas gift from John's sister's fiance. It was fun to play with new players. Ash was very urgent during the rounds and made the game fast and smooth. She won one of the games in the end (I can not remember if I won the first). Then dinner was ready and John instructed our friends what to take on the first round of a traditional Swedish Christmas-plate. The cold plate. I could not remember if I liked herring or not so I did not take it onto my plate, but after stealing a small piece from John I was surprised to realise I actually liked it and had some more. The must-have ham was missing. We could have bought it from a local grocery store, but the size for the price was not worth it. I really miss it though and I know John does too. Then we had the hot plate and John put everything on their plates while I quickly assembled mine and got out of the way. Food was tasty and I was very full in the end. Ash and Steve seemed to like it. Steve compared it to Thanksgiving dinner, but I have no idea what you eat during that holiday so I did not know if it was comparable.

After dinner we moved to the sofa just a few steps from the table. There lied a pile of wrapped gifts that were about to be opened. John had not been able to contain himself that morning and forced me (I was very willing) to open my gifts before everybody else. (I do not have a picture of this.) I received a Nintendo 3DS XL with Mario already installed and Pokémon Sun, Animal Crossing and Kirby: Planet Robobot. Without knowing it I wanted this. I felt ridiculously happy! I have an old GameBoy SP - still functional with a some games - but it was getting ancient and I could not find any new games to go with it. This is why John gave me this gift and why I was so mad he gave it to me, because it was perfect. He gave me the most thoughtful gift he could ever have given. I have spent the whole Sunday with my eyes on the screen. Back to the evening and when our friends were there to open presents with us. Steve got some Zelda stuff from Ash, Ash got some Harry Potter stuff from Steve. To John I had bought a luminous Newton cradle which sadly does not work perfectly, but it does work. The light is cosy and the sound it makes is annoying. He also got a wooden catapult that he has to build himself, only I had had no time to buy wood glue so he could not assemble it immediately. They were good gifts he said but I knew it was not a good as his was for me. This is one of the reasons I dislike Christmas - he always gives me something perfect, something I really want, something thoughtful and loving. I never find the perfect gift, never know what he needs or wants. I am completely lost during this holiday.

Steve had gotten a Zelda-themed Monopoly which we decided to play (much to John's complains since he does not like the game). Ash had a bad first round. Steve moved first, bought a place and then Ash landed there her next turn. This happened three or four times during the first time around. Most of us were lucky enough to avoid all of John's houses and so he did not make a lot of money. I made some deals and traded cards with both John and Steve to make things happen. If not then nobody would have been able to build anything. I enjoyed the game, possibly because I was the luckiest. In the end I was declared the winner.

It was getting late but nobody was done with the day. We started up the Vive and Steve was the first one to enter virtual reality. He spent a long time in job simulator, working in an office and not keeping it tidy. I was on cat-watch; sitting in the living room and making sure Ymir did not walk in the way of the reality-blind player that walked around on the carpet. Over at the computer John and Ash laughed at what Steve was doing. Then Ash got to try for a while. She proclaimed she was terrible at games in general and it showed. There was a lot of shouting and laughing from her side whilst I heard advise coming from John and Steve who were watching what she was doing at the computer screen. Lastly John had a quick go at the same game as she played; a zombie game I have yet to play.

Around three in the night it was time for them to go home. There was hugging and thanking, Ymir got some cuddles from the guests (I am not sure if they came to be with us or just to snuggle the cat) and then they were gone. We made the counter cat-safe and headed of to bed. I fell asleep very fast whilst John could not. He lay awake playing Pokémon on my Nintendo for a few hours. Eventually he also entered the dreamland and Christmas was officially over.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Stevesassin's Creed

Greetings and salutations, blog readers! Let me share with you a tale of Steve, movies, food and more Steve.

Steve who, you ask? Good question! He's a by-product of Ellie befriending Ash from our mutual chat group - turns out she had a boyfriend. Or well, has a boyfriend.

Regardless, he's a great guy, albeit a bit unusual but very, very likeable. So when Ellie fell sick on the day of our planned Assassin's Creeed movie pre-screening, I decided to bring him along for the ride instead. Solid choice all round, we had fun.

Before the film we ate at a food court in a mall called Wisma. Not sure what the actual stall was named but they had, uh, black pepper hot plates? You got semi uncooked food on a plate and whilst it heated one had to mush things into a form digestable by an infant. Good stuff.

The movie itself was as expected - not an Oscars winner by any means but definitely worth seeing. I smiled throughout, people around me laughed in French so I am unsure if they enjoyed it or not. At least we had popcorn, and nachos. The latter sucked. Who salts their nachos?! Although this is the same country that does sweet popcorn, so I guess it's not that weird.

And that, my friends, was my Wednesday.

On another note: my boss (Antoine) has been here for a week now working with me. Lovely fellow. Super French by all means but in the best of ways. I'm truly happy to have such a hard working and supportive manager, it really does make the job exponentially better. Not that he'll ever read this, but thanks for the visit Antoine!

Monday, 19 December 2016


I am not having the best day. Not that I have had a very active and interesting week, but this day tops it all. I can not walk. Nothing is wrong with my legs it is just that I do not have the strength. Let me spell it out - I have my period. Some of you might think that it is not okay for me to write this on my blog, but I am a feminist and there is nothing wrong with expressing what is natural and current. John will be reading this and I know he has difficulties with the word feminist because it has lost its meaning. I am the old school kind, the kind that knows a woman has to fart, bleed every now and then and deserve every right a man has wherever you may be in the world. That kind of feminist. The good kind. The right kind. Not the one that hates all white males and think they should all die. Yes, there are those kind of feminists as well.

In other news - Rebecka left today. She spent almost a full three weeks here. A very good guest; helped me put the mattresses back, vacuum cleaned and stuffed all the sheets in the washing machine before leaving. The apartment is clean and I did not have to do anything.

I gave John one of the smaller Christmas presents today. It was minor and one out of three (plus more non-wrappables). It was a fidget cube which is supposed to help with his fidgeting and ticks. No idea if it will work. He did play with it, sounded like he found one part of the cube he really liked. I heard clicking. Might work. If not then I will search for something else. I have looked up tangles. They look like fun. I have seen some people on YouTube use it and they recommend it for people with all sort of keeping-the-hand-still-when-not-doing-anything-with-it problems. I might buy one of those if this fidget cube does not do the trick. It will not, but maybe a little for a short time. I just want to help John relax his hand. He is complaining about it hurting a lot and he is concerned it might damage the nerves. If you have suggestions on toys and tricks - leave a comment.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Star Wars - Rogue One

Yesterday Rebecka and I (John) saw the new Star Wars 'middle movie', namely Rogue One. Since it's still a super fresh film and I'd rather not spoil anyone, I'll talk completely in vaguer terms and avoid any plot points - this is not a review.

What I can say is that it was absolutely GREAT! I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. Sure, I like the movies, but I'm definitely no die hard nerd that live and breathe the universe. It's just a cool sci-fi series. Yet I, and many others, host a sense of investment in these epics. There's a story to be seen through and after roughly four decennia on air, Star Wars finally managed to fill a big, big hole: how did the Rebel Alliance manage
to get their hands on the Death Star plans, and why is it such a big deal?

Rogue One sets out to answer both of these questions and does so in a splendidly action filled and intense fashion. Prior to release it was said to be a 'darker' movie, less of a hero's journey and more of a war movie; and honestly it managed to do this perfectly without feeling preachy, cheesy or pushing the limits.

One got to see darker sides of one's previously flawless heroes, as well as humanizing aspects of the Imperium that has acted out as a ubiquitous bad guy with no other aspirations than being simply evil.

Something that made me exceptionally happy was the addition of a droid that had some kind of human(esque) personality. Being a fan of the game series Knights of the Old Republic and its amazing character (err, droid) HK-47, it was great fun to see the movies borrowing its sense of witty remarks and off-beat comic relief - albeit a bit more safe for the family than HK's rants on ways to kill us... meat bags...

Pacing wise they managed to introduce a varied and interesting cast without spending more than half the movie on their backstories and why one should care; yes I'm looking at you every DC movie released in the 2000's. I was actually surprised how much they managed to cram into two hours without anything feeling dragged out or abusing exposition.

With that the movie actually had more than enough time in the final act to conclude in an absolutely stunning finale and a hugely satisfying end. Once again, I won't spoil, but I left the cinema with a massive smile.

After the overly safe and lukewarm The Force Awakens, Rogue One managed to revitalize my faith in Disney and their purchase of the Star Wars IP. I'm looking forward to more 'in-between' movies that pad the release schedule, with a sprinkle of modest hope for the eigth entry not going back to what's tried and true.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Slow Days

I have not been writing about my daily life in a couple of days. It feels strange. I do not have the compulsive need that I have to do something worth writing about, but I have been writing a lot recently so the strange feeling comes from not writing at all. Not even in my book.

The other day I tried to work. I read and changed things in the chapter, but never wrote anything new. Instead I came up with new names to fill in fifteen classmates. I colour-coded them to see how many males vs females and also how much each gender got in the spotlight. So far it was a lot of girls. I aim to change that. Male-characters that gets one scene in the previous chapters will be at least mentioned a bit more. Who says a teenage girl can not be friends with a guy? I think I am writing from my own experience when I was in the age of my main-character. I had no guy friends and so I do not write them in. I am planning on switching at least two girls to guys to mix it up a bit.

During the course of these event-less days I have not been sitting a lot by the computer. I have been watching a series, colouring a lot in adult colouring books (doing the zen mode thing) and also reading. My goal on GoodReads was to read fifteen books in 2016. I am currently at twelve. I did have a few slow months with reading and also I read a couple of really thick books that did take a lot of time to get through. Although, I am not giving up! I am currently reading Mostly Harmless, the last book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, which only has 240 pages or so. I will get through it soon enough. Then I will pick two other short books and reach my goal before the new year. I will probably keep my goal to read fifteen books a year since obviously I am not ready for more yet.

Last night Rebecka made a pretty massive dinner consisting of a lot of wonderful ingredients (apart from the yellow bell pepper). It was a lot and I ate a lot. I ate the most. It was so good! She filled a whole bowl full of tzatziki, chopped up a mango, feta cheese and avocado. We had the small amount of chicken we found in the fridge, which was actually a perfect amount since if it had been more it would have taken over the dish. In a mixed bowl there was cucumber, tomato, corn and that sneaky bastard called bell pepper trying to disguise itself as either corn or mango. As you can tell I am not a big fan of bell peppers - no matter the colour. There was also some baby spinach, lovely green substitute for normal lettuce which is boring, and also bread with garlic and oregano butter. To this we saw Alice Through the Looking Glass. Without high expectations this managed to receive a three out of ten from me. The others gave it a bit more. I did not like the story, the bad acting, the overly used green screen and the poorly made plot. I have not read the book yet, I do own it, but I have heard it is a different story. I am looking forward to see what sets them apart.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Several Spots and Gifts

Today I needed to buy Christmas presents. Not needed by anyone or anything. I just had this feeling that if I do not buy them today, I will chicken out and buy something else. I am not very confident with buying gifts. I had discussed them with Rebecka a few days earlier and she said they were good gifts. Today I talked to Ash about it and she said the same. I bought them. It was so scary. The price is my biggest issue. How much should I spend? How cheap is too cheap? Luckily I had asked John for a budget... well, a preferred budget from his side and I kept it within his wishes. So that could be called a gift as well!

I was out shopping before noon. Normally it takes me a few hours to get ready and I rarely go out before lunchtime. This was new and I liked it. I travelled half an hour to go shopping and was home before one o'clock. Then I noticed how hungry I had become and needed to eat immediately. Not sure if the plan was to eat with Rebecka, she had gone down to the pool during the forenoon, so I sent some messages. In the middle of my half Subway leftover from yesterday she came upstairs. She had already eaten so I continued with my lunch.

Then I did what John asked me to do this morning. I took some burning hot water, some soap and a sponge, went to the window in our bedroom and scrubbed away blood. Ymir has an old wound on his paw that he recently re-burned (if you can believe it) in the same way as the first time. Now it is a hard black spot there and we are not sure if everything looks normal. It looks burnt, but not as flesh and fur should. Or maybe it does, not sure as you probably can tell. This wound is what leaves blood everywhere. It is not always but sometimes he manages to open it and bleed wherever he goes. Right now the window looks like a polka-dotted area, the sofa is spotted and the floor is bright red in some places. The floor stains are the easiest to remove, just water and swoosh it away. The sofa we bought and can throw away, but for now we are just putting the fabric in the washing machine. The window on the other hand is the worst part. The paint soaks it in and makes it harder to remove. We have several old spots and a lot of new ones. Right now we are thinking that we might need to repaint it before leaving this apartment (whenever that will happen). Hopefully no one will notice then. Right now it is kind of a mess and not much we can do. If you have any suggestions on how to remove old blood stains from white paint... let us know!

After that I sat by my computer working. I wrote two pages the other day and read them out loud last night to John. At the end, before he could say anything, I said I heard. I know how bad that was. I was ashamed. I did not expect it. It was really bad. Not badly written, but it did not suit the story and it felt like a filler or just simple facts about the city. Not good enough. Not good at all. So today I decided to read everything in that chapter so far and then understand where I want to go from there. I did not read everything today though, I got caught editing small things instead of just reading.

John had to work late and came home around half past eight. It was really late and I had no idea what we should have for dinner. We decided McDonalds. Do not judge us. I ordered when he left work and they delivered just a few minutes before he arrived. I had rice to my nuggets, pretending it was the healthier option once again. John had burger, fries and Coke. I think this is why I can pretend that I am eating healthy. I need to get down to the gym soon, my body wants the exercise. Maybe tomorrow... and then lay by the pool. I love living in a tropical country when I know there is only cold and snow where I used to live. Suckers...

Silver Street

Yesterday John and I had lunch at the food court. We ordered prata, a flat indian bread, and put ourselves at the end of a long queue just so John could get the best char siew. While standing there John walked away to pay and retrieve the prata. He then picked a table and put down the food, I watched from the queue, he came over to take my place and I went to sit down at the table. Cooperation! We are like ninjas. Unfortunately the queue was so slow and long I had finished my banana prata and almost my half of the cheese prata before he came over with his food. He was okay with eating cold prata though. He headed of to buy drinks and my food. He came back with two lime juices in glasses. Those glasses never look clean but I am sure they are. Somehow they got red paint underneath which is slowly falling away. Looks strange. I had cold rice and cold chicken - not the most appetising as you can imagine. Not a single vegetable. John was kind enough to give me some of his. When we were done we bought food to bring up to Rebecka.

During the afternoon I realised how much I needed some quiet time in the apartment. Not that anyone is in my way, but it was needed. The two of them left around four and travelled to Bugis. I spent my time gaming, laying in the sofa, playing with the cat and listen to the silence. I asked where they were around six or seven to see if food was on their mind as it was on mine. They were still at Bugis, discovering that the big market there actually had three stories and not just the one on the ground. I learned something new. Now I need to go explore Bugis Street some more! They answered that they were not hungry at the moment but John and I started talking about whether they should eat out or come home and eat with me. While this conversation was happening they came home and before we had an answer they were nearby so I waited for them.

When they came home I sat in the living room colouring in a book. Immediately John came jumping over to me, looking very happy and presented a blue paper-bag. A gift! he said with a big expecting smile. I was very confused. I am not very good at getting presents, but I suppose giving them without notice is the best way so far. I opened the bag and inside found a small blue box. I opened the box and found two small earrings. Silver with some glimmering parts. Very cute and fancy. He knows exactly what I like in jewellery. He said that they reminded him of some earrings I used to wear years ago, but these were much nicer. The old ones lost colour and were cheap. He just bought me the earrings I already love but these were so beautiful! I feel so appreciated. He is the best. Truly.

Rebecka did not want anything from FoodPanda. John and I ordered Subway and discovered you can order just like in the store but over the internet. It was very convenient. He picked the melt and I the teriyaki (since my lunch chicken was such a disappointment), but I changed the bread that I always take. Instead of parmesan oregano I chose honey oat. A bit darker bread but not too dark. I am not a fan of too dark bread. I can eat the little darker ones that I pretend are the healthier option. We ate next to Rebecka by the TV, watching a series she introduced us to called Flaked. It is slow, cosy and warm. It is about an idiotic guy who lies to everyone and his friends who are somewhat nice and somewhat jerks. I am conflicted around this.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

Star Wars Oblivion

I managed to work a little yesterday. Not a lot, but a scene where I let the reader know more about how the city works. Not sure if John will think it is necessary. Maybe I will shorten it a lot and keep the pace. He just wants me to get to the more interesting part now, but I need the slow moments before switching. The decision of the main character will have a different feel if I do not.

I had the rest of my pizza for lunch and even though it was good I regretted it. Pizza for lunch after pizza for dinner never feels good in my stomach. I wish I had not, but then again, it was good. I made myself ready and around three we left the apartment. John would meet us later so we had no rush.

At the center of VivoCity there was an exhibition of the new Star Wars movie. I am so uninterested in Star Wars I did not even know it was for promoting the "second" new movie until Rebecka told me. Merchandise was sold in small stores around the big AT-AT (John told me the name); the thing was actually well done! We walked around in different stores and bought coloured pencils for me at Giant. Leaving that store we entered ColdStorage next door and bought sushi to snack on until dinner. I was cold and so I suggested we would eat outside. There were some ants where we sat but I was cool, I was fine... until they showed interest in the spilled soy sauce. Then we shifted to another round bench thing but... they found us. Luckily we were done and I could get into safety inside!

John arrived half past seven and met us at Starbucks where Rebecka had a cappuccino. We tried to puzzle together a plan for the night and had some good ideas, but nothing was ever really decided. My feet were sore and tired, all I wanted to do was get home and lie down. Cinema was suggested and even though I would want to go there was no movie that night that I wanted to see on a big screen. We had dinner at Carl's Jr. John ordered and afterwards we went searching for a table - only to realise that literally all tables were taken! How could they still take orders when there were no seats? We hovered over some guys sitting by a table, clearly finished with their food and staring down into their phones. Eventually they got the hint and left. My taco salad was a disappointment. At least I had my vanilla ice cream shake.

Since the plans for a movie were cancelled (by me) we made our way toward the escalator down to the MRT. On the way though we passed H&M and I asked for a quick run inside. We walked around in the sale area and I managed to find seven items I wanted to try. So I stood in line and then tried them on. Then I changed colour of one item and picked two more of the same but in another colour. So, I bought one black casual dress, three pairs of shorts (red, black and green), a pair of the most amazing capris in purple I have ever worn and by the counter I also sneaked a pair of sunglasses into the pile. John also bought something, two pair of shorts, both in green but in different shades. His first green shorts. They looked really good! I love him in the colourful outfits he wears.

Then we took the MRT home. I walked away from the two of them because I really needed to pee, but the elevators had trouble opening the doors so they caught up with me. Then I collapsed in the bed and read my book - almost done, soon there will be a review over at Goodreads. I ate some yoghurt before falling asleep since my dinner was nothing to brag about.

I forgot to mention the top left (blurry) photo. We crossed the roof when we walked around the two wall to wall malls and there was a large Christmas tree up there! Also a beach and ankle deep water where you were allowed to walk in. We sat down in the grass but the rain started so we quickly left.