Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lost – FBOFW (For Better or For Worse)

I am a bit lost today.
My favorite comic strip has come to an end.

I have been faithfully following this comic strip since polytechnic days, initially reading the copies available in National Library, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and subsequently the daily updates at http://www.fbofw.com/. Without fail, I would check the daily scoop everyday (with the exception of overseas trips), savoring the satires/ironies of life and those things we take for granted.

One simple reason why I prefer this comic compared to others; the characters follow the cycle of life. The characters grow old, some passed away, some succeed through pure perseverance and luck, and one is even gay!

It is almost a true life story (almost, some of which are fictitious) of the author (Lynn Johnston), unfolding slowly every day, providing with useful, entertaining insight of life and thought provoking lessons that you and I have experienced before, one way or another.

There was a scare (at least for me) a few months ago when I realized that the comic seemed to re-use past strips for its daily scoops. I was commenting to a colleague that the author might be ill or has run out of ideas. Worse still, she might have passed away since she is 50+ and we all know how ‘accidents’ can happen! Luckily new content surfaced and my heart was put to ease.

That is, until the comic strip for 30 August 2008 appears at http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/003335.php. I thought I was mistaken and it could be a joke (like the one kennysia had fabricated before); until I read today's scoop which i have attached below.

ITS CONFRIMED!

For Better or For Worse has ended its run. My daily addiction with this comic is forced to cease and I am bound to suffer from withdrawal symptom, constantly thinking of the characters; granny Marian passing, Farley’s heroic rescue, Elly’s bookstore, Deanna’s accident and many, many more.....

And yes, I am SAD.

Although I believe the reason may seem obsessive to many or even ridiculous to some, there will always be a minority (maybe majority) who will understand my feeling now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review - Money No Enough 2

Like books and food, movie reviews are always subject to individual tastes and preferences. I have always been mindful of Straits Times' movie reviews, starting from Mr Kelvin Tong, who has done a great job with movie directorship (I love The Maid) although i beg to differ on his movie reviews.

I learnt that movies with ratings above average by him werev not really my cup of tea. However, i did enjoy one show rated just 1 star (or is it 1/5?) by Mr Tong. I stopped believing in his reviews although i did take a more objective and trustable outlook for other reviewers. That was, until i saw the review for Money No Enough 2; a pathetic 1.5 upon 5!

Rubbing my eyes, i tot i needed a new prescription for my glasses.

It was unbelievable because i really enjoyed the first Money No Enough and tot it to be realistic and entertaining. I was even intending to break the promise to watch the new instalment with my mom (since 12 Lotus is coming up and im a poor guy). With a heavy and somewhat suspicious heart, i procrasinated for a week before finally watching it on a Wednesday!

Half-filled with aunties and uncles at around 6.20pm, the theatre is crowded for a weekday movie before 7pm. Curtain rolls and the first scene of ERP (or EPR) gantries were abit unnerving for me, since i drive. Luckily, mine is a weekend car. Hahaha.

As the story flowed, i felt scenes of happines, sadness, realism, past events etc. I can associated myself with the characters; with the love that the mother has for her 3 sons; with the faith that the wives has for the husbands; with the greed that everyone seems to be so obscessed with; with the dilemma of who to take care of the old ones; with the cruelty (but helplessness) acts that the sons have performed.

It was DIFFERENT from the first movie!

Everything in the movie was part and parcel of life. Sooner or later, we have to go through it (not all, but at least some). Maybe we are even going through it now. The movie tugged our heart strings; laughter ringed frequently, and tears just cannot stopped themselves from accumulating and dropping. There was also this extremely fabulous and meaningful hokkien song by 江蕙 - 家后.

It is a GREAT movie.

I was commenting to my mom after the movie. Maybe we should consider sponsoring tickets to some of our "dearest" relatives


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Imagine Prawns, Crabs, Fishes, Clams.................... @ Seafoood Paradise (Defu Lane)

It's been a long period of procrasination after procrasination! So many things swirling in my brain mass; eateries that i have tried, things that i have done, products i have bought, dramas i have watched, interesting events etc etc etc. Most humans are like that (procrasination that is); i would like to believe it that way and i am a mere human like many others. Hahaha.

So one question; what brings me to my desktop, typing on my filthy keyboard? One word; free. I am too free today! So currently, im squeezing my brain juice on the topic!

Hmmmmm....................

Hm...............................

!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, let's start with the usual; FOOD!

I have been eating (as part of a normal human activity and basic needs) and a colleague recommended this place called Seafood Paradise. I was supposed to eat with my fellow, dearest colleagues but concidentally, my dearest friend, Korny, invited me for a dinner session there as well (it's his birthday!).

I did a check (google; my favourite!) on this place and was surprised to see that it is highly acclaimed! To the extent that reviewers preferred it to Mellben; which, by the way, is THE place i go to for crabs and pork ribs. I was surprised to know that SUCH a gem actually existed, and for a moment, i was quite embarassed that i dunno anything about it!

ME, a guy who loves to eat, and i dunno about SEAFOOD PARADISE (SP) !!!

One word = Disappointing!

To make myself better, i promised to savour the food slowly, take some pictures and give a concise and obviously personal review about this place. Here goes!

1) Location
Located within the Defu industrial estate with ample parking spaces INSIDE and OUTSIDE the restaurant. It would be recommended to park within the premises of the restaurant, which is at the ground level of a 6 levels or so building. Parking wardens are usually on standby OUTSIDE the building, with their hawk eyes darting around for free loaders drivers.

2) Ambience
The decor is definitely better than Mellben or Uncle Leong, which is basically in a coffeeshop. Seafood Paradise looks more than a restaurant and im sitting at the non-aircon area! Cannot imagine how the aircon area will look like though.

3) Service
Fabulous! Although orders were taken swiftly, we waited a long long time for the crabs. One key point, they changed your plates every now and then; which is important and really helpful. You may also ask for plain water; refillable! A bowl of lime water is available for you to clean your hands; one feature seriously lacking in the others.

4) Price
Since ambience is better and service was fabulous, maybe price is the determinant. We ordered 7 dishes (crabs are medium sized) and i find them to be quite reasonably priced. We paid around $150-160 i think; so think it through, would you try them?

5) Food
Finally finally, the key feature of any restaurants. A restaurant/eatery has to serve good food no matter how much they charge! My common grouch is when i paid a high price to eat and the standard was appalling; hence i prefer to eat cheaper food (plus the fact im a poor man)

a) Tofu

I have never eaten tofu like this; with vegetables, prawns and pork floss. Taste was quite unique, especially with the pork floss. But i guess anything with pork floss will taste quite good!
Rating 4/5

b) Golden Dragon Chicken
 
This is supposed to be highly recommended; supposedly tastes like suckling pig, which i adore and always look forward to in any wedding banquets. Notice the word supposed. Because it did not taste anything like that! Even the sauce failed in delivering a somewhat similar taste! I had tasted better ones in Malaysia and there were no associating them with suckling pig! To be fair, i  admitted that the skin was crispy, the chips were savoury. But unfrotunately, disappointment played a big part here.
Rating 3/5

c) Cereal Prawns

The cereal flakes were fabulous!!! I dun really care about the prawns since prawns deep fried did not difer from each other after you shelled them. But the cereals flakes were unforgettable!! It's been a week but my tongue can still reminise about it!! You had the impression the cereals have just been fried; fresh, hot and oh, so tasty!
Rating 4.5/5

d) Honey-Pepper Ribs

Usually, i dun take pepper stuff and i stay away from black pepper crabs because i think black pepper covers the original sweet taste of crabs. But this variation of ribs tasted quite good. The honey sweet taste with just a tinge of pepperness, which was surprisingly appetising to me. My friends preferred the coffee ribs in Mellben though, but i felt that they were both good in their individual ways.
Rating 4/5

e) Crabs in Broth with Vermicelli

Not my cup of tea. My friends liked it better but likewise to black peper crabs, i think the broth actually covered the crab taste, instead of complementing it.
Rating 3.5/5

f) Butter Crabs

I love to compare the standards of different eateries on this dish. Because the first time i ate it (in Mellben), i was so fasinated with it that i ordered extra rice to pour the yellow thick savoury butter on it. The butter crabs in SP was good but just not comparable to the first time i ate the dish. The butter in SP's version was much lighter and thinner in texture; not to mention that it seemed to be the golden sand variation (which has butter but dryer). I was a bit disappointed but felt that it was still a good dish.
Rating 4/5

g) Man Tou

Bet most of you dunno how the word Man Tou comes about. Kindly google it and do some reading! Man Tou in SP was crispy outside, soft inside. Warm on the surface but streams of "smoke" swirls out the moment you teared it open. The taste was sweet but not "over". A dip with the butter (from the butter crabs) brought out a fabulous combination of senses.
Rating 4.75/5

The above is based on my personal viewpoint
You might like what i don't; likewise, you might hate what i like.


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