Sunday, March 29, 2009

Family Guy does TNG!

Tonight!


Ooooh I can't wait!!! :)

... and on another note?

IT'S FRIKKIN' SNOWING??!!?!?!?!!!!!!!
I already packed away my winter boots. So that's settled then. We ain't going out nowhere. Not until it melts. Well it already kinda is, it certainly sounds slushy, and the temp is supposed to be right at 32F right now. But still.
Grumble grumble grumble.
rabble rabble rabble.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A free Friday?

No proper edition of Foody Friday (no major adventures in the kitchen) or Fitness Friday (derailed once again by that snot-nosed niece bug!) this week.

Instead, let me highlight that tomorrow is the first ever World Blog Surf Day, brainchild of Golden Prague. I'll be participating on my a malaysian abroad site, so do drop by as we go around the world visiting participating citizens of the world who will write about how life is living in a foreign country.

Hope y'all have a good weekend!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

more Twitter news; I found The Shat!

... so, I found William Shatner on Twitter. I am now one of his 39,690 followers.

He's only following 5, though. And they are
  • J J Abrams (the mind behind Fringe and Lost, who is also in charge of the new Star Trek movie)
  • TrekMovie.com (the new Star Trek Movie)
  • Fran Drescher (wtf? Bwaaahahahaahahaha!)
  • Paul Camuso (a producer I've not heard of), and finally..
  • Priceline Negotiator


Excuse me while I roar with laughter, especially at that last one.

How about you? Anything funny to note about celebs you're following? Do share! :)

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Year One: coming this summer...

This sounds just painful...

"When a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers (Jack Black and Michael Cera) are banished from their primitive village, they set off on an epic journey through the ancient world." They meet Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac, and many more famous people from the past, never mind that those two pairs lived in very different times, so there's no way anyone would be able to meet them, unless there's time travel or major suspension of belief, but wait, it's a Jack Black movie, duh! :P

Anyways, here's a trailer for it:



This is another Judd Apatow movie. Okay, so I was pleasantly surprised by 40 Year Old Virgin. And mildly amused by Knocked-Up but found it a tad long. I couldn't sit through Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Superbad I absolutely couldn't stand. So I've got no illusions of probably loving it. I think I'll just go ahead and add it to the Netflix queue. Looks like something I would be interested in seeing, only to suffer through it so that I don't "waste" the rental. No way I'm shelling out $$ to see this in the movie theaters.

You?



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Friday, March 20, 2009

Foody Friday: mega taco puffs?

I saw this simple recipe for Grands Taco Melts and decided I was going to try it out. Hopped to the local grocery store yesterday, got the biscuits, and I was ready to go!

First, the filling. Sautee some onions. Add 1 bag of Morning Star farms crumbles. Add 1 packet taco seasoning. Add one can of diced tomatoes, undrained. Add 1 cup of hot chunky salsa. Let it all mix together and cook for a while for flavours to gel.

Heat the oven to 350F.

Wrestle the tube of biscuits open. I got a small (5pc) can of extra large ones.

Take one and press it out to make a flat circle of dough.

Scoop some of the taco filling onto the middle of the dough, add some shredded cheese and other additions you think might go, then fold the dough over, and seal the sides together.

Easier typed than done!

At my first attempt, I scooped about a half cup of the taco filling, and could barely get the dough to meet! Ooops! So I switched to using a quarter cup worth: much better!

For two of them, I also added a dollop of my precious Porgy's extra hot BBQ sauce. That stuff is SO GOOD, even if you feel it on its way out the next day if you take too much of it. (tmi?)

<--- If you look closely you'll see the dollop(s) I'm talking about.

Folding the dough over and sealing the edges shut wasn't something that came easily to me. I tried to put in a little pinch & twist, hoping the edges would turn out like a karipap (curry puff). The dough didn't really cooperate, so I ended up just kinda blending the dough together.

This made the things look like a swollen banana rather than a half-circle.

Here you can see all five finished items on the tray, waiting to be popped into the oven. The one on the far left, that's in a "boat" of its own? That's the one with a half cup of filling that wouldn't close properly. Didn't want it leaking its guts out all over.

And the two with brown stuff on 'em? That's to mark them as containing the extra hot bbq sauce. Certainly wouldn't want to bite into one of them unknowingly!!

All in all, I used about half of the prepared filling - no worries, I can always make southwestern-themed scrambled eggs or something this weekend.



Above are more "before" pictures, close-ups of a "regular" and a "bqq" version.

And here's how they looked after about 18 minutes in the oven:



As you can see, I completely failed on the pressing the edges together to seal them. Anyone have any tips on that?

So for dinner last night, Kosh and I had one normal-sized puff each, split-shared so that we'd half each of a regular and a bbq version. We then split the mega taco puff too. Avocado went really well as an accompaniment.

We had one each of regular and bbq as leftovers: guess what I had for lunch today?



The verdict: having the taco-seasoned fake meat wrapped in a biscuit was a welcome change from the other things I've tried before. Of course, let's not think about the extra calories and carbs, k? Getting tips on how to properly seal the edges would be nice too. Overall? This is definitely a repeatable recipe.

My thanks to pattye who blogs at Quick And Easy Cooking within the today.com network, for prompting this week's Foody Friday :)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

... my ghostly school?

Some people are sharing their ghost stories! Check out Lina... and Foong (71 comments and counting!)... and here's me, from a few years ago.

My school has had its share of spooky happenings.

You see, during the Japanese Occupation, it is said that the building was used as a hospital, and that many people died there. Apart from Japanese soldiers, there have also been sightings of a headless nun, brandishing a bloody cross.

It seems that a few years after I graduated from high school, there was a case of mass hysteria at the school, where many students reported having seen these otherworldly beings. I can't help but wonder if I would have seen anything, if I'd still been there... but it's okay, I think I'll be fine having avoided that experience! :D



Back in the late 90's, there was a reunion organised to bid goodbye to the school building: the school was moving to Selayang, so the real St Mary's School building was going to be left empty, another victim of development. So a whole bunch of St Marians, from still schooling to yuppies to mothers to perhaps even grandmothers descended to 7 Jalan Tengah for one last time.

The event was due to start at like 8pm, and of course a bunch of us arrived early, and, with nothing else better to do, explored the buildings,,, and then one of us suggested to visit the old bungalow.

This old bungalow situated behind the main building is surrounded by old trees, and is where the Prefects Room was, where the small bookstore was, where the Sick Bay was, where Christian fellowship was held, where an old piano was used during said CF sessions, where the trumpets and clarinets of the school band would practice when not marching on the field with us drummers. It was also the location of reports of the piano playing when no one was around, of voices being heard but again, no one around, and other spooky stuff.



Turns out later that there were one or two sensitives/sighted people, who ~SAW~ the nun as we approached the bungalow: they tried to dissuade us from exploring the rotting building, but, well, we didn't know any better.

One step in, though, and I knew just from a practical perspective, that the building was unsafe. Like I said, it was rotting badly. One of the girls, though, was kinda running around exclaiming loudly at everything, and when we said to be careful, let's just go, she said, no lah it's safe, see? and started jumping up and down on the floor.

The floorboards broke, sending her through the floor!

Well, actually she was stuck about halfway. Thankfully! If she'd fallen all the way through?? Under the bungalow?? Where it has always been creepy even in the middle of the bright afternoon? And there we were at night??? Bleeaaahhh!! I got the shivers just thinking about it!!

Anyways, so we pulled her out, and got the heck out of there!

Okay so the above isn't a actual ghost story, but, as discussed recently among some of who had been there that night, it wouldn't be surprising if "the spirits" just didn't appreciate all that din she was making...

... who knows...

For the longest time, the school building lay deserted.

Those of us who worked in the area, or happened to pass by, would update us every once in a while. "So sad, it's just left like that..." "Can you imagine? The canteen is now a mamak shop?" "The school field is a parking lot!"

Someone reported about having gone to visit the deserted school, and having chatted with the pak gad (the guard / attendant) about having gone to school there. He then shared that "... he used to work till 11pm but, then, these days, he stopped at 7pm (maghrib time) because..normally after maghrib hours..he would hear people singing an English song in the hall (his table & chair is placed at the seniors toilet-next to the hall kan??) and sometimes, he'd hear books being flung around..."

Early this year, the news came: after lying deserted for almost a decade, the buildings were gone. Development had started. The image on the right is a birds eye view taken from the nearby KL Tower.

So sad! But the deserted building really was an eyesore, so I suppose it's good that things are finally being done?

... but word is they are going to build luxury condominiums there.

I kinda doubt there will be many, if any at all, former students from St Mary's who would be lining up to get a piece of that pie...

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Blogrolling Schmogrolling!

so, what is up with blogrolling.com?

For the longest time, we couldn't login, they said they were upgrading things; I heard elsewhere they had been hacked, which is what prompted the freeze and upgrade.

Then we could login and add new links, but couldn't delete any.

And now?? Now they have friggin ads!! At least the target="_blank" function is working again... but I'd REALLY like to have the links in alphabetical order please?!

... oh, and how do you like the new look? I'm still missing a good header, and need to figure out exactly what goes where... This template can be expanded into 8 columns, I probably don't need them all though, LoL! Anything specific you'd like to see in my sidebars/footers? Drop me a line!


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Friday, March 13, 2009

Fitness Friday: Picking up the Pieces

The problem with going on vacation is the disruption of your exercise routine.

While in Malaysia, during the first week or so, I continued to Shred sans weights, every morning upon rolling out of bed, sweating like a stuck pig in the sauna-like conditions of the room with the s/c off. Unlike my other times "home", I really did not want to deal with the crappy gym at my parents' apartment, so it was Shred or nothing! Then in the second week, Shredding occurred every other day or so. By the time I left, I might have Shredded twice that week.

Then came Switzerland, where I certainly did no such exercise.

Then I returned to Chicago, with my immune system battling germs my snot-nosed niece had so kindly given me (hard to avoid getting the germs when she sneezes in your face!). I never developed any fullblown symptoms, but there was no doubt I was battling SOMEthing over the following few days.

The dreary weather didn't help much either!

So it was only recently that Kosh and I dragged each other to the gym. Knowing that I would be almost starting from scratch in terms of treadmill achievement and endurance, I figured I might as well look to add some more structure to my workout (rather than just alternating the 5min walk 5 min jog thing).

As such, I am now going to be trying out the Couch to 5K running plan.

The name pretty much says it all: it provides a systematic way for someone who starts off at couch potato level to work his/her way up to running a 5K, or for 30mins continuously.

I have jumped in at the Week 5(1) stage: brisk 5 min walk followed by 5 jog 3 walk 5 jog 3 walk 5 jog then cool down. According to the treadmill this took me 1.6 miles; Kosh, who goes at a higher speed, got to 2 miles. I plan to stay at this level for a week to get my body used to jogging again, and then I'll ramp up the speed a little, followed by moving on to Week 5(2) onwards.

Wish me luck!


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm all a-twitter!

I have no idea why this happened... but I signed up for Twitter.

Kinda funny, I immediately had followers: Fake Hugh Jackman and someone else I can't remember (she's no longer following me - LoL! Fickle?!). Overnight I've also attracted Headlines India. Huh??

One of the first people I followed was Wil Wheaton. Yes, I suppose I am a geek. That and his was the only name I had any remote interest in of the list of suggested people to follow that Twitter presented as soon as I signed up.

At this point I'd like to give a shout-out to the six real people/bloggers who are currently following me:
- adam (Thanks for the welcome, btw!)
- atlfreestyle
- ravyn (Thanks for the nitey-nite wishes, btw!)
- june
- kapgar
- ling

I doubt I'm going to be using this tool to its fullest potential, but hey, if you want to join in anyways, do add me (lynneNaranek).

Ciao!


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm alive, really...

So, it's been a bit silent here, sorry!

I was unabashedly concentrating on the paid blog while on vaykay, even though that meant posting some content that would have been more appropriate here. After all, I am trying to keep that other blog a more detached/professional one, while this one continues to be my personal and mixed bag one.

So in case you missed out, please check out a malaysian abroad for posts on
1. my mega spice shopping trip
2. my mega chocolate shopping trip
3. my snot-nosed niece

Another reason for the silence is the fact that I've had to battle whatever germs that snot-nosed niece gave me! I had staved it off with some Panadol during the Switzerland-Chicago flights, but with the screwed up jet-lag and the subsequent mega-crappy weather (rain rain rain rain rain - at least no floods where I'm at!), I was laid low for a few days.

I'm relatively better now.

Will share some food experiments and the start of a new exercise regime in the next posts. Stay tuned!


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