Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thank You, Asian Food Channel.

Thank you for the apron. What can I say except to say something like this; I'm gonna watch Asian Food Channel like I've never watched it before now that I can put on the apron, feet up and throw away the remote commander so I don't have to switch channel no more.

To Mr David Ratner, you made me feel like a real chef. And that, sir, is enough to make me feel good for ten years.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Too Much Brain Ain't Too Good For Ya.

(An entry in between class and lunch).
Aunt says; You're a smart kid. No need to believe her because I know better how can I be a smart kid when I'm always the last in class. A smart kid is like Ibrahim bin Long, or Suhaimi bin Putih, or Nor Azmi bin Shamsuddin or Aminuddin bin Ros. I know they're smart because they are always top of the class and there's no way you can beat them. Not in a million years. But I'm smart enough to know that when Aunt says; you're a smart kid, she wants me to drag a huge branch of daun nangka that got blown off by a big wind that comes around this time of the year when it is musim tutup kuala and the fishermen can't go out to sea to catch fish and we all have to make do with ikang sardeng and telor maseng.
But I know this much. I know that each of us has about the same amount of brain. Some of us may have a bit more, maybe two hundred and fifty grams or thereabout but not by as much as 1kg. An extra brain that much won't do a poor guy any good because he'd be too smart for himself that he won't be able to tolerate people like us who have about 750gm or thereabout of brain nicely packed in a head the size not bigger than a handball, or a honey dew.
You can't tell if the guy is smart or dumb as a teapot by the size of the head. I'm pretty sure all the smart brain surgeons in the world will agree with me that the size of the brain doesn't correlate with being smart, medium smart, very smart, or too smart. There are cases where a child with a head not bigger than an olive is smarter than a guy with the head bigger than a stadium.
But this is not the point. The point is; 99% of the people in this world has about enough brain to get by, like survive a traffic jam, price hike, government officers, taxes or politicians. Which is why 99% of the people you or I know are not bothered to talk about issues that may require us to think a little harder than we should. And so when the professor says; Mr Bergen perhaps you'd like to discuss aspects of human rights you may find the government could have violated or abused. And so I smile and say; I think human's all right and they're okay.
But the good professor isn't satisfied with my answer that he has to say something like this; What do you mean exactly by 'okay', does it mean you don't find there's anything wrong with it, or does it mean you are not affected by the events that have unfolded over the last couple of weeks?
I'm not smart enough to know where the good professor is gonna take me with those questions and so I say; Whadda ya think, prof? I know this is not a smart thing to do but really, I don't have that kinda brain to give him the kinda answer he wanna hear. Which leads me to this;
That too much brain ain't good for ya because you wanna intellectualize everything that in the end a simple thing becomes so complicated that you can't see what's in front of you. It's like you look at all the weather charts to find out about the weather when all you gotta do is just look outside the window to see if it's cloudy or sunny. As it is, I'm okay with this much brain I've got and I don't think I need more than what my head can carry.
Okay, gotta run - next class is at 3;00pm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What If It's Really True?

Curry is good for you. It must be true because I read it in a newspaper and since it's in the newspaper I believe it has gotta be true since people don't write things that are untrue and got them published. Which is different from blogs. You can write anything in a blog and get them published. But my blog's different. It's written based on what I've read in a newspaper. So in a lot of ways, my blog is as good as a newspaper. So if a newspaper says curry is good I'd say, it's really true. Which is why I've been consuming curry as if it's food from heaven ever since I read that incredible report in the newspaper.

The newspaper says something in the curry that's so good for the brain that it can delay diseases such as Alzheimer. I can't remember if it's the cardamom or the turmeric but either one of these can slow down the brain from going under that you may actually die first before Alzheimer could get to you. I'd say what better way to eat your way to a healthy lifestyle than to enjoy your curry and let the world turn upside down as it is.

Don't you go on accusing me of sucking up to one of them curry houses in the city. They don't pay me to write this. Maybe they've paid the guy who wrote the report in the newspaper but they haven't called me to talk about money for this entry. So you can bet your left toe that this blog is as clean a write-up as a baby fresh out of a womb.

I'm inclined to believe that cooking curry is the same as playing the drums, or bass guitar. Every one can do it but not every one can do it well. Which is why I don't cook curry at home. When it comes to curry I trust only a handful of Mamak restaurants in the city. I won't tell you where they are because the information may cause a lot of problem for me later. Say for example I need my daily fix of curry and I go to my favorite restaurant and lo and behold who do I find there? You and the rest of the gang waiting in line to get your fix of curry too. And this is a problem because I don't have the patience to wait more than 3 seconds for my curry. Which brings me to a phrase I once read in a newspaper that claims; curry, hurry and worry isn't too good for your blood pressure. Since this is a newspaper report, I'm inclined to believe that it's true but it's gonna take more than this to make me stop from doing curry. So what did I do?

I'm a smart guy, in fact I'm so smart I could be a dietitian or a doctor. The way I've figured it's purely mathematics. There are three elements in there that can raise your blood pressure i.e curry, hurry and worry. All I gotta do is take out the hurry and the worry, and leave the curry alone and I've got nothing to worry about. Now tell me if I'm not good with my brain. And it's all thanks to curry I tell ya.

Okay, maybe it's gonna take more than one entry to convince you but quite frankly I'm not too worried about this. The way I figure, I don't owe anybody anything to make anyone who isn't a curry lover into a curry fanatic. I'm not on a mission to turn this country into a nation of curry lovers. There's no hurry to do that and since you know hurry isn't too good for blood pressure, I'd be the last person to get everyone to love curry. In fact I'd prefer that the number of curry lovers be maintained at the current level in order for this thing called curry to maintain its mysterious appeal to people like me. You can't do curry the way you do McDonald or Kentucky Friend Chicken. Curry just doesn't cut it good for this type of marketing. But then again, there are a lot of people with big ideas out there who are fully capable of turning everything into an industry. As for today, I gotta go to that favorite restaurant of mine for a bit of lamb curry.

Keep this entry a secret. Promise?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Abba - Super Trouper

Abba - Super Trouper
Video sent by ABBA

Abba - Super Trouper
Pop - (C) 1980 Polar Music International AB
Universal Music Division Polydor

Monday, December 03, 2007

At The Movie With Aunt & Uncle Got Into A Fight.

Everybody in the world knows that I love Aunt very much but I don't like it very much when she comes up to you to say something like this; How about you and me we go watch a movie? She never takes me to watch cowboy movies or war movies or sword fighting movies because she doesn't like this type of movies very much. And so when she says something like that you can bet your whole head with all the hair on it that she's gonna take you watch a Hindi movie that can last for hours what with the singing and dancing and crying and a fight that can last for days where the hero beats up the bad guy real good before the policemen come in a convoy of jeeps to take the bad guy away.

Of course I have to say something like this; Okay. And she will say something like this; Good boy, now don't you go play outside that you'd be gone missing the rest of the afternoon that you might as well being hid by a ghost. This leaves me no choice but to listen to her and stay inside the house to play with little toy soldiers.

We have an early lunch so she can bathe and scrub me good with a sponge even though I haven't been outside the house to breathe the morning air. She says something like this; You'd better put on the navy suit I bought you for Hari Raya. And so I say something like this; Okay. I'm in her room to watch her put on a nice dress and nice smelling perfume and mascara that she looks very pretty. We don't have to wait very long before Encik Musa the trishaw man shows up to take me and Aunt to a movie house made of wood in Padang Jambu.

At the movie house Aunt gives a wad of money to a guy who has sold his life to the movie house helping people get tickets for women like Aunt who has no one to turn to in times like this when every body in Dungun, except Imam Wan Long, comes out of the house to watch a movie the title of which I can't make out because I haven't started school to be smart enough to read.

It isn't very dark in the movie house. You can see the light from outside coming in through the wooden walls that someone has forgotten to join properly but after a couple of minutes your eyes get used to it and when the movie comes on you forget about the light because it has suddenly gotten dark outside which makes the inside of the movie house all dark and hot but I shouldn't complain too much about anything when Aunt keeps saying something like this; Shhh sit still, shhh sit still, shhh.

Half way through the movie a guy sitting right behind us pushes Aunt's seat every now and then that she has to sit upright away from the back rest. I turn to look at the guy and he says something like this; Hello, boy, do you want sweets? I don't say nothing because I know Aunt won't like it and so I turn to the front to watch the movie. And then he pushes Aunt's seat real hard that the whole row of seats start to shake. Aunt whispers to me something like this; I think we'd better go home. I say something like this; Okay.

Every now and again the guy keeps pushing the seat that makes Aunt pretty mad that she turns around to look at the guy to say something like this; What's wrong with you? But the guy puts up his legs against the seat to push it again, all the time making fun of Aunt. Out of the blue, I see a guy walks up the aisle towards us. He comes up close to my seat to put his hand on the back of it so he can lean to face the guy sitting behind Aunt. He lights up a lighter to look at the guy's face to say something like this; Are you man enough to go outside to settle this?

After that the guy never bother us again. I know who the man is that came up to help us. He's Aunt's brother who comes around the house every now and then to tell Grandma that he's getting married. Again. He's the guy I told you about in one of my entries. He had 16 wives all together throughout his life time and I have always wanted to be like him.

We leave the movie house real quick because Uncle tells Aunt to go straight home in a trishaw. Years later when I was in Standard 5, Aunt told me Uncle beat up the guy who disturbed us real good that it's a miracle the policemen didn't come in a convoy of jeep to take the bad guy away.


Since I've made a life out of going to class to learn a thing or two about having an opinion, I can't help but to notice that I've been making less and less trips in a week to Carrefour. There were times when I made three trips in a day just to get a lemon, and then to go back in the middle of an afternoon to get coriander leaves, and then one last trip in the evening to get me another bottle of liquid detergent because I don't feel too good if I'm down to only two bottles of liquid detergent in the house. World leaders can fight tooth and nail over issues like the price of oil, or they may decide to start World War III between them. Or the world may be in total chaos because of something like alien invasion, or ozone layer suddenly burst open. These can happen either in a series of events, or they may happen simultaneously. As far as I'm concerned I gotta have at least three bottles of liquid detergent in the house because I need clean plates, clean cups and saucers, clean pots and pans, clean forks and spoons, and clean knives. As long as I've got these cleaned, I believe I can take all the madness that the world has to give so you see, I won't last a day without liquid detergent.
Same thing with saffron. I gotta make sure I have to have at least 500 gm of it in the house at any given time of the year in order to feel safe within the comfort of my humble home. Saffron means security, peace of mind, and the will power to see through another day. That's why I gotta be a bit more careful with it compared with the way I use liquid detergent. I get my supply of saffron from Isketambola and since Isketambola isn't exactly on the South side of town, I gotta make sure that I only use it in dishes for special occasion. I started with about a kilo and half saffron about a year ago. You can imagine how much cooking I've done with dishes where saffron is an important ingredient. These days I try to resist the temptation of putting saffron in every meal I cook but sometimes it is hard since I'm used to having it even in non-Moroccan or non-Middle-Eastern dishes like ikan kembung goreng kunyit, or masak daging pindang.
A thief may break into my house to cart anything he wants but he'd better not touch my saffron which I've kept in a dark cool place together with extra virgin olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. This compartment in my kitchen is out-of-bound even to myself that I have to have a special clearance if I need to open it. I fill in the application form, put it in an envelope addressed to myself and I then all I've gotta do is stamp approve it myself. It's nice when you are accountable only to yourself in matters such as this but I reckon this shouldn't be standard practice if you are the CEO of a company. You might put in the proposal for a bigger share option and then you put the recommendation letter in an envelope addressed to yourself and you ask your secretary to open it and then you stamp approve it the way I do with saffron. A lot of companies went belly up this way but in my case it is pardonable because all I got after a good meal with saffron in it is a filled up belly. Which is different from belly up.
Speaking of the belly, it has become quite trendy these days to organize charity dinner featuring belly dancers performed by members of the organizing committee so people who have bought a table may bid a dancer with whom you can have a picture taken in a dramitic pose like you are about to smack a kiss on her bosom. I left the room quietly when the bidding was going full swing and there was so much noise in the ballroom that a plane might belly land on the roof of this hotel and these people wouldn't know what hit them. So I left quietly for them to carry on what they were doing. No. That's not entirely honest. I left because I thought the belly dancing wasn't the kinda performance that I'd consider first class. I've seen the best so I reckon it's best that I not see one unless it is any good. Besides, the food they served had no saffron in it which I think is not right since the event was conceived as a Middle-Eastern experience. The only thing Middle-Eastern about it was supposed to be the belly dance but I thought they got it all wrong with the kinda clothes they put on. Let's not talk about it because you might think I'm trying to be smart commenting on something I know little about.
I started with saffron. How did I get from there to belly dancing?