Monday, January 25, 2010

Chronic EarWorm solved!

What's an EarWorm? In a nutshell, it's a song that you just can't get out of your head. I've had a case of chronic earworm for many years now, where a song I used to love almost a decade ago but haven't heard for many years -- therefore have forgotten lyrics and singer, but not the tune! -- would keep popping up in my head at odd times over the past few years: I would get a snatch of the tune here, or a tantalizing snippet of almost-lyrics there.

Last week the earworm struck again, and this time I decided to enlist the power of Big Brother Google. It started with keywords 'Indonesian song, cinta [Eng: love] (because every song has that word, LoL!), 1999 or 2000' which brought forth Anggun, whom I had also forgotten but wasn't who I was looking for, but it helped loosen my memory somewhat because 'pergi saja [Eng: just go (away)]' sidled itself into my brain -- finally, a small part of the earworm's lyrics! Adding that to the mix, one or two searches later Big Brother Google pointed me in the right direction.

Here's what's been haunting me for so long... (you don't have to watch the video, it's ~so~ dated-looking, and kinda distracting from the haunting song itself)


Here are the lyrics for you to sing along to :)

Kris Dayanti's Menghitung Hari song lyrics from LyricsBay.com

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen the cry for help regarding one particular word from the above lyrics, and the many (sometimes contradicting) replies from my Malaysian pals. I explore putik vs putih a little more at a malaysian abroad, do drop by, k?

So now I have the identity of my chronic earworm solved! Doesn't mean I've gotten the song out of head: if nothing else, I've only made it worse, because guess what was playing non-stop while I initially typed this post last week? :p

Hey, at least the earworm will no longer be a memory of a haunting melody but instead can manifest loudly with voice and lyrics!

Wait, is that really a good thing?

Aaaarrgh?!!

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Monday, January 18, 2010

PLX2010: mark your calendars!


Life After Work is pleased to announce that our sister site a malaysian abroad will once again be hosting a Postcard / Link Exchange event!

Details on PLX2010 are still sketchy at this time, since I'm trying hard not to curl up into a ball and rock myself into oblivion from the shock of ticket prices.

Seriously.


Ouch.


I will be releasing full details as the time draws near, but in essence PLX2010 will be similar to its previous iterations: I send you a postcard, and you blog about it with linkbacks to a malaysian abroad, although extra credit will likely be expanded to include Twitter this time around.

I am also toying with holding some sort of raffle, but I'd have to come up with relevant/appealing prizes... Any suggestions?

So please mark your calendars, a proper PLX2010 announcement should be out in mid-March... stay tuned!!

Image credit: cancelled stamps from MS Office clip art; oh no by duduhp

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foody Friday 2010-01: enchiladas & cappuccinos

Life After Work welcomes you to the first Foody Friday of 2010! Today we cover enchiladas!! and cappuccinos!!! With liberal sprinkles of exclamation points!!!! All over!!!!!

Enchiladas!
This week I once again fixed us some enchiladas. This time around it was a particularly easy prep because almost everything came out of a tin can, even the chicken!

I snuck in fake chicken as well: can you figure out which is shredded canned chicken vs shredded fake-chicken soy strips?

Another variation this time around was the use of green spinach and herb tortillas, which added another dimension of taste and texture to the dish. I felt they made it a bit mushy; Kosh didn't think so.

There was also a side of refried beans (non-fat and therefore lardless, yay!), and hospital cafeteria shredded lettuce (notice the takeout container?)!

I only managed to squeeze five tortillas into the baking pan this time around: we each had one fresh, and the leftovers will probably be for dinner tonight. Yum!

Cappuccinos!
Gas station cappuccinos have been one of my many downfalls. Then a few months ago, when staying over at an Irish-Italian family's house one weekend, I discovered the existence of a personal cappuccino maker. Was all excited, went to amazon to look for it, and was taken aback by its price. Ouch. Never mind, it went on the wish list with a low priority flag and a comment "I'd really like to make my own cappuccinos.. but I'm not sure if I know how to use this... seems kinda pricey too..."

Fast forward to a few days ago:

Here's the pic I was pointing to:

It specifies "use espresso ground coffee only!" but I'm a n00b and didn't see any immediately available at the store (I'll build up the courage to use the in-store grinder one day...) so bought three different tiny packs of regular ground coffee instead. Last night I finally cracked open the box ... and was disappointed to find that its dinky plastic measuring cup was broken! :( It still held water though, so I decided to forge on and use the main contraption.

Round One:

Once on the burner, it only takes about 5 minutes! And yummmm look at all that froth!!

Threw it out, though - the instructions said to discard at least the first two rounds, and I obeyed.

After another round or two of rinsing and redoing, I finally got my cuppa:


Some thoughts on the drink produced:
  • I'll need to not snatch it off the burner as soon as it starts doing its thing, otherwise it delivers a too-perfect drink at the temperature where could I gulp it all down in a swig or two!
  • It says it produces two ~7 oz cups, but in reality it's more like a large single serving: to share, or not to share, that will be the question!
  • The hazelnut-cinnamon blend I used gave a hint of taste and flavor to the drink, but I wonder how different/similar it would be with the "correct" coffee in place. I'd rather not have to add sugar/sweetener, so more flavor would be a plus.

Some thoughts on the contraption & process:
  • Ugh lots of coffee grounds to discard every time - should look up uses for 'em?!
  • The steps are simple and straightforward - only when I was sloppy with measuring out the water needed did the thing threaten to overflow. So use full attention when preparing, and there should be no problems


Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

I've got cold feet!

I pity Kosh, he's got to put up with my totally frozen feet & toes whenever we hit the hay. No matter if it's summer or winter, but especially in wintertime, my feet turn into icicles! To say that I suffer from cold feet is putting it mildly.

And now with the low low low temperatures out there, my already cold feet get even worse when I brave the outdoors: the poor toes are frozen almost instantaneously, then take forever to thaw out.

So today I've been doing some research on how to prevent cold feet: the answer seems to lie in both warm socks and better boots... I found Big Sky Fishing to have great pointers and tips for me :)

Turns out I shouldn't use cotton socks during wintertime: cotton socks have little insulation; they also absorb moisture, but wet cotton socks then lose any bit of insulation they might have. A-ha!! I'll look for proper winter socks then, that might help! I'm cringing at the price tho, a 3-pack of medium weight socks is going for about $60! But my frozen toes are crying out for relief!! I wonder if these socks would also make a difference indoors...?

My current boots are officially winter boots, so perhaps the use of correct socks will help keep my poor toes warm when I go out? For some reason I'm not convinced that'll do the trick. Then again, I've also been salivating over these boots (the black version, of course) ever since I came across them a few hours ago... they are snow boots, which, according to this definition from Big Sky Fishing, means that they provide better cold and moisture protection. And yes, I prefer zips to laces, can you tell? :) btw, Kosh is way overdue for new winter boots, perhaps he'll be amenable to getting himself a similar pair for himself?

If you have a particularly warm and/or effective pair of winter boots or socks, do tell me about them in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!


[Disclaimer for FTC and curious readers: I have no affiliation to Big Sky Fishing, I just happened to find their site really useful and wanted to highlight it here. I receive no compensation whatsoever if you were to follow the links to their site or purchase anything from them. Ditto these amazon links.]

Image credit: icy fingers by foobean01

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Where I was, in photos

Here's a quick photoessay of where I was over the past two weeks:

It started with Xmas in Atlanta, GA:

(no, not everyone on this pic was on the trip, many were from Atlanta and its neighboring 'burbs)

followed by a long drive to a rather cold and dreary Panama City Beach, FL

(what bird is this?)

... but it turned sunny the next morning...


... so on our way to Mobile AL we stopped by a lovely beach...

... for footsoaking and jumping in the cold (don't let the sun fool ya, it was COLD!)

In Mobile I was amused to see not-so-creative variations of this sign at most of their rec centers:

Our trip then took us to Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia; lunch on one of those days was at a Buffalo Wild Wings ("let's play hollywood!"), where I was dared to eat one "sizzling" sauced wing (the highest on their hot sauce heat scale)...
... I can only say it had the heat, but there was no ...body... to it. Sure it made my lips and throat burn, but there was no ...satisfaction... to it. Tasted like concentrated tabasco, and I hate tabasco. Ugh.

Then back to Atlanta where we celebrated New Year's with much noise and rejoicing...

... so much so that most of us didn't sleep till 3, 330am. Of course, the next day was the long journey back... but it dawned once again nice and sunny...
... which made the trip pretty tolerable. It had been a fun trip, and I got to know the 13+ people, plus those who hosted us here and there, much better indeed.

Then I came back to Springfield, and all too soon was driving Kosh to work at 6 in the morning, peering through an ice-encrusted windshield that defied the scraper...


... and today I had this much snow to clear off of the car...

... and it continues to fall, wouldn't surprise me if when I go out again I'll have the same amount of white stuff to clear off again!

... so even as I had grumbled about the cold weather we'd had throughout our "escape from the winter cold" trip, on hindsight I see it had still been much more pleasant than what awaited my return.

Okay, I am SO ready for summer now.

Or a trip back to Malaysia, LoL!

Whaddaya say, Kosh? ;)

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