Is there an evil gene?

7atenin9

What makes people evil? What is evil? Does “evil” merely mean “different” e.g. beyond the norms of what society (which obviously means the majority) expects a person to behave? Or do you think there is a gene that causes pure evil to manifest?

One of my favorite phrases is the one that go “True evil is defined by the antipathy of the common man to society’s ills”.

mixologist

Well, I’m not about to go into a religious or philosophical debate but I’ve always been fascinated by the Italian/Sicilian Mafia in the glory days. They were villains, but somehow, gentlemanly villains. They were suave, dressed well and offers you…well, offers you can’t refuse. ;)

party people

The omerta (code of silence) is a fascinating thing, sociologically speaking – it worked until the Mafia started to get into the narcotics trade which carries a far heavier sentence. I reckon the RICO act was the death of organized crime as it is.

you hit us we hit you

I just came back from Australia where I went to the renowned Casino Beef Week 2011 in Casino, New South Wales. Casino as in the small rural Australian town, not the place where people wager hard earned money on. Anyway, the theme for this year was simply “Italian” and a lot of the residents came out dressed like Mafiosi.

security under new management

I reckon the Mafia is the gold standard in villainy – a lot of people aspire to be like them (at least the ones who are still in their teens anyway ;)) but you have to hand it to them – it is an impressive organization.

joker

However, there are much cooler villains – like the ones in DC comics. I have to say my favorite has gotta be Joker from Batman Begins. Who would have thought “Why so serious?” would become a catchphrase for ages and psychopathic (or at least sociopathic) behavior has become the embodiment of cool?

Who is your favorite super villain?

I’m asking coz there’s an awesome party coming up and you will get to dress as your favorite super villain!

Details:

super villains

Encore is back the themed event Super Villains where you get to test out 4 new signature cocktails (Captain Jack, Juggernaut, Lady Luck & Red Sonja) priced at RM 17 each (or two for RM 30). There will be only 100 of these to be served during the night.

girls

You can also mix you own cocktails and after 11 pm, there will be 4 hot dancers to spice up the night. Super Villains will be the theme of the night so expect dressed your favorite villains to make an appearance serving you.

party

HORECA throws great parties; I’ve always attended all their events. In the spirit of the subject of villainy, let’s hear your thoughts on the Scared Pose Look (TM) that we thought up while we were down under.

Who do you think has the best scared pose? It’s the same set and setting, at an apartment we were staying at in Byron Bay:

ringo
Model #1: Ringo

alycia
Model #2: Alycia

Choose one and tell me why you think they have the most scared pose and I’ll give 2 free drink vouchers each for the 5 most creative comments. Just comment before 4 pm on 1st June!

I also have extra drink vouchers so if you bump into me there, tell me to buy you one of their signature cocktails…that is, if I haven’t already used it myself. ;) Come and have a blast with us this 1st of June. I’ve just got one question for you…

Why so serious?

Greetings from Gold Coast

point danger

Hola! Good day from down under! I’m still in Australia touring NSW and Queensland! I’ve been around quite a bit, going to go skydiving and visit the outback. Rural Aussie FTW!

ringo

Anyway, I’m here with Cheesie (eating the famous Flutterby cake). It’s a renowned pastry made with cream and homemade jam. Divine.

alycia

I’ve also had the chance to eat the Moreton Bay Bug (a kind of crayfish) here. That’s Alycia in the photo.

It’s been a great vacation so far! I’ll update again when I get back. Cheers!

Posted: 7:48 am New South Wales time (GMT/UTC +10)

What is your first car?

aussie-car

My first car was a second hand vehicle I picked up during my university years in Melbourne, Australia. The cars are cheap over there, especially used cars, and it’s served me well during my time there. I was rather sad to see it go.

However, it does make me wonder – if I were in Malaysia at that time, what car would I choose as my first car?

Well, if I used the same selection criteria, it would have to be economical, fuel efficient and yet look awesome. I can really only see one possible selection here.

roads

Did you know that the Myvi is the bestselling car in Malaysia for 4 years running? I can see why it’s so popular – it’s priced cheaper than most other cars in the market and unlike other Malaysian made cars, this one actually looks great!

The Myvi is a result of a collaboration between Perodua with Toyota and Daihatsu and even Richard Hammond (of Top Gear fame) praised the Perodua Myvi. I know a lot of people who owned Myvi’s as their first car – some of them still drive them. It is a rather neat car and the size and engine makes it very practical for use in Malaysia with our traffic congestion and parking problems.

myvi-boot

On another related matter (you’ll see), the song Marry You by Bruno Mars has been stuck in my head for ages. I saw the glee version of it first and I didn’t know who the original artists were. I was a bit appalled when I found out it was Bruno Mars coz I don’t listen to pop music so I decided this would be my secret guilty pleasure. ;)

I’ve always liked how the cast of glee can break into song and dance at the drop of a hat and pull it off so well. I can’t sing to save my life. People PAY me to stay out of their karaokes. ;)

Okay, I’m exaggerating there but you get the point. I’m basically tone deaf but I like to sing anyway. I love singing in the shower, when I work, and I occasionally also inflict my horrible singing upon all and sundry. This is one of those times. smirk

telawi

I made a video with my own version of Marry You – I totally butchered the lyrics, of course. It’s meant to be a bit of a parody, like the fun and quirky Singaporean “remakes” of popular songs back in the ’90s, and most importantly, leave a happy vibe. Don’t let my singing put you off, check out the video that I made:

This video is for The Perodua Auditions in conjunction with the launch of the Perodua Facebook page. They’re running a contest where you can win RM 10,000 by making a video and sharing it with your friends. The video can be about anything – sing, dance, act, jump, scream or just show why you’re Perodua’s biggest fan and upload it. Don’t forget to include the line “Perodua, lagi best” as part of your video – it’s the only requirement. :)

perform

Feel free to submit as many videos as you want as this contest does not require proof of purchase or anything ridiculous like that to enter. You can get a better chance at winning the RM 10,000 grand prize if by sharing it with your friends and getting them to vote for you. There will be also 5 consolation prizes of an iPad 2!

ipad2

Well, not this one, this is the custom engraved iPad 2 that I just got, but a new iPad 2.

boot

Like the new Perodua Facebook page now and start uploading your videos and sharing them in The Perodua Auditions to be a winner! RM 10,000 and iPad 2’s are up for grabs, so it’s nothing to sneeze at, and it’s just so easy to join. :)

Bak kut teh ramen with drumstick and egg

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #2: Bak kut teh ramen with chicken drumstick and egg

bak-kut-teh-ramen

This is the second meal that we usually have after a bak kut teh cooking session. Remember the first recipe of chik kut teh with oily chicken rice? You’ll still have a lot of leftover BKT soup after that so here’s a quick and easy meal for breakfast!

drumstick

Take a chicken drumstick out of the fridge and dump it straight into the leftover soup. I didn’t defrost it so as you can see, the intense change from freezing cold to boiling hot warped the bone of the chicken. Heh! You just need to boil this on high heat for 3 minutes for the chicken to cook.

egg

Next, transfer the cooked chicken drumstick and a bit of bak kut teh soup into a smaller cooking pan. I do this to avoid stray bits of noodles from going into the main BKT pot. Crack an egg into the new pan of soup for a more complete ramen meal. It’s probably wise to use low heat now if you like your eggs to be firm and yet have a runny yolk.

ramen

The final step is to open a packet of ramen and put the brick of instant noodles into the soup. The best thing about this is that the BKT soup is more than tasty enough to stand on its own and as a bonus, you have extra ramen flavor sachets which you can use in the future. I love eating 3 packets of instant noodles with 4 packets worth of flavor sachets. :D

chik-kut-teh-ramen

Let it cook for about 3 minutes and you’ll have a healthier version of ramen – a hearty bak kut teh broth ramen with chicken drumsticks and an egg. You can also try adding crab sticks if you like your breakfast ramen with more condiments. It’s delicious! :)

Keropok lekor and cendol pulut in Kuantan

kuantan-keropok-lekor

Now what says East Coast better than keropok lekor and cendol pulut, the mainstays of traditional food when you think about Kuantan? :)

fish-sausage

I just came back from a weekend there and tasted some of the best keropok lekor I’ve had. Kuantan faces the sea and there is seafood in abundance. This makes fish and the likes very cheap.

keropok-lekor-stall

Keropok lekor is made with fish and sago before being stuffed into a casing – it’s like a fish sausage of sorts. The keropok lekor is then sliced and deep fried. There are two version that we had but the definitive Kuantan keropok lekor seems to be the chewy type as opposed to the crispier Terengganu keropok lekor.

keropok-lekor

This cup of keropok lekor sliced into bite sized pieces just cost us RM 1.

keropok-lekor-kuantan

It’s eaten with a type of chilli sauce that’s black in color and sweet in taste. The chilli sauce is homemade – that’s the trick that makes it taste so good. The stalls in Kuantan all have their different recipes for the chilli sauce. This particular keropok lekor is chewy and tastes like a sausage made with fish.

keropok lekor

There’s also another version of keropok lekor which goes for RM 1 for 8 pieces.

keropok lekor authentic

This is the crunchy type and is the more traditional version. It’s also really good and you can really taste the fish in these crackers – it’s almost made entirely out of fish!

cendol-pulut

However, the best thing that I’ve had the pleasure of introducing to my taste buds in Kuantan is cendol pulut. We have cendol pulut over here, but most of them consists of a meager piece of pulut placed into cendol. The one we had in Kuantan has HALF of the cup filled with pulut.

pulut

It’s very filling and it tastes awesome – the gula melaka (palm sugar) used in the cendol basically seeps though the pulut (a type of glutenous rice) and the sheer quantity of it makes it an authentic Kuantan style cendol pulut. I think people eat it to get full – it’s like a meal in itself. -_-

Chik kut teh with oily chicken rice

Bah Kut Teh Recipe #1: Chicken bak kut teh with oily chicken rice

chick-kut-teh

Bak kut teh or pork bone soup is a hearty herbal delight that’s very versatile and delicious. We’ve come across a routine that can make the same BKT soup last for 3 meals with three very different recipes. However, I hear you asking – Why chick kut teh?

Well, for one thing, pork is damn expensive in KL. It’s really cheap in Sarawak. However, the main reason is coz this is fast and easy to cook without compromising on taste!

I remember when I was a kid, there was this huge Nipah scare and everyone stopped consuming pork. Chik-kut-teh outlets practically sprouted like mushrooms overnight! There were even dedicated chick-kut-teh restaurants when people started saying that it tasted just as good as pork. However, they were all gone within a year and people went back to eating real pork bak kut teh when the outbreak was over. Heh!

Note that this recipe is still not halal since we found the BKT package in the non-halal section of the hypermarket.

You will need:

chicken drumsticks

  • Yew Chian Haw Bah Kut Teh herbal mix
  • OXO cubes chicken stock
  • Quintessence Garlic & Parsley infused oil
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Garlic
  • Salt

bak-kut-teh herbal mix

This was actually inspired by the photo on the BKT package. You can use any brand you like but we found that this is the best tasting one we’ve come across so far. Yew Chian Haw BKT mix can be located hanging beside the open meat refrigerated shelves in the non-halal section. The ingredients are fresh and the bak kut teh package has to be put in the fridge (crisper section) so it won’t go bad, unlike regular ones which can be stored at room temperature. It serves 4-6 people and that’s how we managed to extend this into three meals.

water

It’s the second time we’ve cooked this. Drumsticks are the best cut of chicken that you can use – BKT soup requires a bone based meat for flavor. The trick is in the marrow that leaches out after boiling. :)

bak kut teh soup

First off, bring about 3 liters of water to boil and dump in the contents of the bak kut teh package. Put in two whole bulbs of garlic and add 2 heaped tablespoons of salt to the pot. The garlic tastes great when eaten like that. Unfortunately, we only had about 3/4 of a bulb left so we put in the cloves of garlic instead.

chik-kut-teh soup

It’s important to note that you should not peel the garlic or it’ll disintegrate during the boiling process.

bak kut teh chicken

Let the soup boil for about an hour on high heat and turn off the stove. Add in the chicken drumsticks and continue to let it simmer for another half hour on low heat. You can put in as many chicken drumsticks as you want – we put in 5. I usually eat 3 drumsticks and my girlfriend eats two.

oxo chicken cubes

While all that is happening, prepare the oily chicken rice by dissolving an OXO chicken cube into some water and adding it to the rice. We use 1 chicken stock cube for every two cups of rice.

garlic parsley oil

Pour about a teaspoon of oil into the rice and chicken stock mixture and turn on the rice cooker.

oily chicken rice

The garlic infused oil makes the rice taste richer and the bits of parsley lends a bit of much needed color into the entire shebang.

chicken bak kut teh

Scoop out the chicken drumsticks after the 1 1/2 hours of boiling is up and serve it with the oily chicken rice. You can chuck the BKT stock in the fridge for future use – it’s only going to get better each time as it absorbs the essence of each meal. :)

chik-kut-teh-century-egg

The garlic and parsley infused chicken rice goes very well with the piping hot chik kut teh. The drumsticks have absorbed the herbal notes of the BKT soup and it’s delicious! The meaty herbal soup complements the oily chicken rice and it’s great for those rare cold nights.

chik-kut-teh dinner

It’s a simple but rich treat that easy to make and delicious to boot!

Birthday card from Nuffnang!

I just got a birthday card signed by the Nuffies in the mail! :)

nuffnang birthday card

It was actually sent more than a month ago and since I move around quite a bit, I’ve always put my mailing address as my home in Sibu. My dad sends all my correspondence over in bulk about once a month so I just got it this morning when I went to check the mailbox downstairs.

My birthday is actually on the 5th of April. Heh!

Thanks to everyone at Nuffnang Malaysia for the personalized birthday card! I love it, appreciate you all taking the time to write the birthday wishes and mail it over. Nothing beats a good ‘ol birthday card – it’s all about the human touch. Cheers! :)

O woe! I lost in Resorts World Sentosa casino, chaos theory and the SGD 400 text message

resorts world sentosa casino

Dammit! I popped out of Universal Studios for a quick smoke (you get a UV chop for reentry) and the casino was just beside it. I had told myself:

DO NOT STEP INTO IT

last night. I passed by it on my way in but never thought about going in. It had an:

ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTERS HERE

large blinking neon sign in my head.

…but I succumbed. *hangs head

I wanted a mere SGD 100 win – just one bet at the Baccarat table – that was how modest I was vs my 5 figure bets last time. I just exchanged SGD 200 for chips.

Thus, I put SGD 100 on a hot table where everyone else had their chips on Player as well, and also on Tie. I had a STRONG URGE to move it to Banker to ruin everyone’s mojo but I didn’t. I also wanted to bet on Tie since in my last sojourn to the casino it came out as a Tie the first time…but I didn’t.

Guess what?

Round 1:
Tie

Remaining chips: SGD 200 (no win or lose)

Round 2:
Banker wins with a fucking natural nine (Ace, 9)
Everyone was still on Player – literally thousands on the Player side and when the Tie came I had an EVEN STRONGER URGE to move my chips to Banker.

This would have ended in a happily ever after story with a small SGD 100 win (my aim) if that had been the case. It wasn’t.

Remaining chips: SGD 100

I moved to another table since there’s this dude exchanging money and I wanted to be fast.

Round 3:
I told myself, don’t let the pitfalls of being attached to Player dictate your bets. I didn’t listen. I bet on Player.
Banker Wins.

Remaining chips: SGD 0

I topped up another SGD 200 for the buy in. Now I have used SGD 400 (about RM 1,000) in the casino and decided to end it once and for all.

Remaining chips: SGD 200 (after another SGD 200 top up for a total of SGD 400)

Round 3:
I put SGD 200 on Player despite it being an obvious Banker dragon (roll) on the table.
Player came out with a 7, which I thought was pretty safe, considering Banker only had a 3.
Banker drew again for an 8.
FML.

Remaining chips: SGD 0 (again)

Considering I only brought SGD 300 over and I lost SGD 400 (which is technically SGD 200 if you recall that I won SGD 200 in Marina Bay Sands casino) I didn’t have any more money to bet since I used some money for topping up taxi fares, drinks at Ku De Ta and a souvenir at Battlestar Galactica.

I think I’m down to SGD 12 or so in my wallet.

I shouldn’t have gone in. I told myself the SGD 200 win at Marina Bay Sands casino was good enough but I went through that door anyway. I lost SGD 400 (about RM 1,000) in the process. It took just 10 minutes to lose that.

It seems that I’m cursed in Genting casinos. :p

I’m totally broke now and it’s all my fault. T_T

Oh well, at least they checked my age to verify that I was above 21. Small consolation. :x

Chaos theory and the SGD 400 text message

You know how chaos theory goes right? Anyway, being broke is no fun, but looking back, if I didn’t lose in the casino, I wouldn’t have gotten a text message from an old friend (13 years since we first met).

It was technically two text messages and a phone call but it totally made my day. I mean, seriously, it’s damn worth it if chaos theory deems that must happen for this to happen. Heh!

Thank you for making my day. You know who you are. I still can’t wipe this stupid grin off my face. smirk

15 minutes in Marina Bay Sands casino = pure win

marina bay sands casino

Now there I was, arriving at Santi at 6:15 pm for the 6:30 pm dinner (tend to be on the early side) when this vista greeted me. I didn’t come to gamble though – I just have SGD 300 (about RM 750) on me so I opened the door the Santi…except it didn’t open. The lady came out and told me that they open their doors at 6:30 pm so I had 15 minutes to kill.

…where else can I go? smirk

I strolled down to the casino and I AM SAD TO REPORT THAT NO ONE BOTHERED CHECKING MY AGE. Has my liver been ravaged by my years of abuse that I look my age again (which is 30, btw)?

Saddened by the fact that they only wanted to see the cover of my passport to verify that I was a foreigner (locals have to pay a fee to enter the casino) I morosely trudged down and went to the nearest Baccarat table.

This was a cold table (meaning it’s empty, no punters playing and you’re the first one to warm the seats and cut the deck) so I sat at the lucky Number 6 spot and exchanged SGD 200 for chips.

…now I’m REALLY BROKE this month (and the next) so this is the MAXIMUM I am willing to wager. I sat down on a minimum SGD 100 bet table so I had to bet with a black SGD 100 chip each time. However, that was the plan anyway, I would have bet that amount even on smaller buy in tables coz I really don’t see the point in putting down SGD 25.

Well, since it was a cold table, the female dealer shuffled the cards while I played with my chips. I wanted to bet on Tie since this baccarat table pays out 8-1 for a tie. However, I am also VERY attached to wagering on Player (a weakness that even 5 figure losses has not been able to remedy) so I put in on Player instead. T_T

Buy in: SGD 200

Dealer says: “Cards facing up or down?”

I say: “All face up, let’s make this quick I need to be somewhere in 15 minutes.”

Round 1:
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws a natural 8
AND BANKER DRAWS AN 8 AS WELL
FML it was a Tie after all. >.<
Chips remaining: SGD 200 (no one wins or loses on straight bets if it’s a tie)

Round 2:
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws a natural 9
I didn’t even have to look at the Banker
WIN SGD 100
Chips remaining: SGD 300

Round 3:
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws King
Banker draws an Jack
Player draws a 3
A THREE!!! WTF!
Banker draws a 5
FML MAX
Player draws ANOTHER FACE CARD – QUEEN! (which means I’m still at 3)
Banker draws…a 6
Heh! Well, that was three straight wins in a row.
BTW, that makes Banker 1, lower than a 3.
Chips remaining: SGD 400 (nett win of SGD 200)

I didn’t even want to bet anymore – three straight wins in a row (or at least no losses) is good enough for me. I wasn’t even at the table for more than 3 minutes, all in all. The rest of the time was spent accidentally walking out and queuing in to come in again and going to the cashier and I was STILL early for dinner – had to wait about 2 minutes.

SGD 200 (around RM 500) is not that much but it covers some of my Singapore expenses and it’ll help with groceries when I’m broke for the next two months. :D

marina bay sands casino chips

Yes, this is the infamous toilet shot again, coz casinos generally frown upon cameras – you can bring it in but you probably can’t take photos without getting kicked out. Except in Amsterdam.

I just can’t wait to be king!

lion king musical

I’m flying to Singapore this weekend to catch The Lion King musical (among other things). I’ll be staying at the awesome Studio M hotel near Clarke Quay and there’s a lot of fun stuff on my itinerary that I’m really looking forward to! I’ll also be watching Matsumoto’s theater performance When a Gray Taiwanese Cow Stretched at the Singapore Arts Festival.

This is the first time Ishinha’s play is showing outside Japan and being a huge fan of theater, I know I’ll love it! I made a special request to see the play (thanks Kristine!) so my itinerary is kinda packed to accommodate for this but it’s all going to be great fun since I haven’t been to Singapore in a while.

It’s time to pack and grab my passport. I can’t wait to go! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...