Sushi and birthdays


30th July, was my (god) brother’s birthday.

It was a very stressful time for me simply because…

I didn’t know what to get him.

I would have baked for him but I don’t think he liked sweet things very much. All these years of knowing him, he never really fancied anything sweet. Normally, he’d drink water while I had ice cream or something at MOF so I thought baking a cake or cupcakes would had been a bad idea.

I couldn’t buy him anything either. He has everything.

He has all the gadgets I want and like because we like the same stuff. I didn’t want him to overdecorate his room with photo frames or small paperweights. Everything I ever gave him was hand made and honestly, I was getting sick of it. It’s not that I didn’t want to make a card or some sort, it’s just that after all the years he’d taken care and pampered me, I should give something back that held more value. Sure, sincerity is priceless. But hey, something materialistic feels good once in a while you know.

This is why I thought of this.

Food

I love food. Correction. I love  good food and normally, good food comes with a price. But I’m totally fine with it, as long as my tummy is happy.

I took him to a sushi place called Sushi Tei.

Personally, I like that place better than Sakae Sushi b’cause the salmon sashimi cuts at thicker and fresher. Simple as that. Many people can’t taste the difference. But I feel there is so yeah. *shrugs*

Here’s some of the food we had.

We had a Salmon don too. But he dug into it too quick and I missed my chance.

After dinner, we walked up to Courts, this electronics shop that sold cameras, laptops, speakers, television and a lot of other stuff. He was running out of battery on his phone so he came up with this bright idea of charging it at one of the Apple Iphone supported speakers. This got security suspicious cause we were just standing around a speaker blankly, doing next to nothing. We didn’t get thrown out, we really didn’t. Mr Security Guard over here decided to be a dick to us so we decided to be one back. He tried to guilt us by asking if we were buying of not. If it were me, I’d had smiled shyly and bow apologetically. But not my brother, no way. He can be one helluva jackass when he wants to be. He asked, rather irritably, where the sales lady was, that he was considering the model for his room. A little back ground story, he bought his 2k surround sound just one month ago.

In disbelief, the guard called the salesgirl over and watched as my brother grilled the poor girl on her said product. The outcome? He didn’t buy it. Thank God. Reason? The interest was too high and the sound quality wasn’t as good. I asked if he would have bought it if the interest wasn’t that high, not leaving out the fact that he bought another model not long ago. He replied in the same frequency that yes, he would have and that it didn’t hurt to have another one. Right in front of the guard who was positively fuming. Really, what an asshole. Both of them.

After which, we walked over to nuBox next door. I must say, the service there was way better. We stood there, with sales assistance for a goof 45minutes, testing Apple products and earpieces. Let’s not forget wasting their alcohol swabs. They were really nice! Even let my brother charge his phone while we were there! It was also there that I decided I was getting an ipad by the end of the year. There was so much I wanted to do with it and I was just staring at it. Got me pumped.

Unlike how another family friend would react, my brother didn’t put me down. He simply asked me if I was really rich and that if I really wanted it, I should just go for it. Which was very encouraging and yes, I will go for it.

Overall, a very enjoyable day, even though it was just walking around and window shopping. A day well spent!

Alrighty, it’s late so I gotta run.

Bye,bye boo!

Cherie.

Eating and baking.

Ah the joy food brings me.

I just realized that this section of my blog is pretty dead. No, it’s not because I haven’t been eating. I’ve been saving up!

I have been eating and because I have been eating, I can’t afford to eat anymore. It’s not because I’m getting fat or anything, I’m broke.

Yes, I spend a hell lot on food than on clothes. Hell, I can’t be bothered to buy my own clothes. So you get my point.

I’ve been baking a lot recently. My goal of finishing a bottle of vanilla essence before it expired came true a little earlier than I expected. Now that I’m out of vanilla essence, I’m essentially ‘grounded’ from all activities requiring sugar, butter and flour.

Here’s the few recipes I’ve been trying out though.

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I don’t really know what to call it. I wouldn’t say I was actually working on it. It just came to me because I was tired. Very tired and desperately needed something sweet. So I pulled whatever I found around the house. Rice krispies, left over chocolate and marshmallows. That’s exactly what it’s made of. There may be a few additional liquids such as hot fudge and coffee, but it was all good after I shoved it into the oven and let it reduce. What it tasted like?

Diabetes.

But it sure woke me up!

Up next,

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Red velvet cupcakes!

I loved these. My family loved these. Had to pick up my battle axe to fend them off!

Made them a few times and practically memorized the recipe. Screwed up the frosting a couple times. The sugar didn’t melt well but it still tasted great on toast.

It’s evolution

Not many people know… actually, no one knows but I substituted the cocoa in the cupcakes for milo because that was all I could find in the house. The next time I made them, I bothered to buy cocoa and sort of overdid it abit, resulting in this.

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They look deathly don’t they? They also looked much better on instagram. But they were delicious. The chocolate was very rich and the cupcakes were light. Simply delightful.

Additionally, I’d like to blame the food colouring. Red velvet cupcakes call for red food colouring, since I don’t have beet juice nor a chemical reaction. I admit, I was pretty afraid the colour would turn out too dark because of the redness so I stopped adding the colouring. Not to mention, too much colouring could make the cupcake a little bitter.

Overall, a very successful accident on my part!

I quickly got bored of making cupcakes so I tried something else.

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Snickerdoodles

These cookies are the love of my life. They are cinnamon-sugar coated vanilla cookies that happen to be chewy, just the way I liked them.

When I baked them, the house smelt heavenly. Simply out of this world glorious. Smelt warm and welcoming for once.

I made a batch to share with my project mates the next day and they were snapped up really fast. Made me really happy (:

Being able to make them, I got cravings for them all the time and soon found myself baking them again.

This time, they turned out like this.

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Awesome looking right?!

I decided that since they were chewy, therefore soft to cut into, I could cut them into slices. I’d have made them in cookie form again but I didn’t have an ice cream scoop so all my cookies we in different sizes. Which really pissed me off. So I made them this way, where I could cut them into any size I want. Cookie cutters work too!

Verdict: Probably making them for the next close friend’s birthday. Note to self, ask if they like cinnamon if not it’s the usual chocolate chip cookies.

However, over the course of the month, I’ve been eating more than baking. This also explains why I can’t simply afford an ice cream scoop. Why spend your money when you can eat it? You can’t eat an ice cream scoop now, can you?

Here are pictures some of the food I’ve been eating this past few months.

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I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I have a good reason!

I forgot

Yes. Unfortunately, a growling stomach can make my mind go blank. You’re lucky I even have photos of these!

Alrighty, there’s school tomorrow and a birthday to celebrate. Crossing my fingers for good food!

Nights (:

Cherie.

Stress spamming

Just a few text-posts on tumblr that I thought I could relate to or described how I felt at points in my life.

Been feeling horrible for a long time and I’ve been worrying people. I tried to get better; I’m still trying and I’m getting there somehow. To all that bothered about me, I’d like to say, thank you for worrying and caring. The act alone brought tears to my eyes. I can feel myself getting better and it feels great. I just want to say that I owe it all to you, the LOML, and all my family friends.

Been trying to stay positive for for long periods of time. I slip occasionally but I get back up. I can’t deny that the thoughts are still at the back of my head; worry… stress. But I’m strong enough to keep them there, rather than let it devour me.

Plus side, my appetite is coming back. Been eating like a pig instead of a bird these few days.

Here’s to getting better (:

Cherie.

 

Does education empower?

I was in school as always, chatting with secondary schoolmates over Whatsapp when this topic came up.

Does education empower?

It’s a tricky question to answer. I’ve been thinking about it, for a good three days.

Of course, it is unlike me to simply say, Yes, education does empower. Especially when this topic is so very interesting.

My stand.

This topic is very controversial. There are many shades of grey that I will very likely overlook but who cares. I’m going to go ahead and say No, education does not empower.

Let me show you both sides I have been pondering on.

Education empowers:

The government always tells us students,

‘Study hard, get a good job for a good future.’ 

But now that I think of it, what we are studying for is, simply put, a piece of paper that certifies us a set salary once we start working. Example, an O level graduate would earn more than a PSLE graduate while a polytechnic graduate would earn more than an O level graduate and so on.

So I ask this question. What empowers us? Education or that piece of paper we slave the first half of our lives for or maybe more?

Also, education is only provided to those who pay money for it. In Singapore, it is mandatory to be brought up to a certain level of education. But if you want to go any higher, you’ll have to pay for it. So does education empower or is it money that empowers? Take tuition kids as an example. I’m not hating on them, I used to be one too. And in Singapore, bless your soul if you haven’t been to one because it is hell. Back to the point, what do we do in tuition classes? We pay money to be educated. You see where money comes in again? Better education is afforded by the rich. Or simply the more well off.

But why would anyone spend that kind of money? Because education promises more money. Everything is based on money. Money empowers education that empowers us. Education is merely a stepping stone to other riches.

But the less well off has a chance at higher education too. Take scholarships for example. The harder someone strives to get the best grades, the higher the chances he has to earn ‘free education’. This means it’s not about the money but the effort and brains right? Though I’d see this as a disgusting play out of a donkey being lured forward with a carrot, I have to admit that it has it’s advantages. It proves that even the less well off has a chance at higher education too. But do note that scholarships are open to all, rich and poor. A better off child with heaps of tuition has a higher chance of fairing well in examinations than a child with no tutoring at all. It is sad to know that all these encouraging articles of students who are awarded scholarships through their pain and efforts happen rarely. Why else would they be on the cover of a newspaper?

Education does not empower:

However, to me education does not empower. Instead it brainwashes people into doing things they do not want to do. Education these days turn people into aimless and goalless vessels working for the sole purpose of buying society’s ‘basic’ necessities such as cars and housing. Think about it for once. Why do we study? To get a good job. To save for a house we would probably spend the rest of our married lives working to pay off. To buy a car that drains us of our savings monthly. Sure, there are those who earn big bucks. They have their own companies and can easily pay for a house or two. But not everyone can be a big boss or a CEO of a company. There’s always going to be someone working admin and hey, their educated too. Are they as powerful as their superiors? No.

This is not counting those family businesses that pass the dictatorship of a company like a birthright. For all you know, the next CEO was only educated in business related fundamentals while his subordinates had taken pure sciences and advanced mathematics. But are they in more power than he is? No. In most cases, it is these people who end up without a job, on the streets and living with their parents. As funny as it sound, that’s reality for you.

I also feel that education, drains people of creativity and independent thinking, discouraging people from what they the board of education feels gives the individual ‘no future’. Education is a requirement that often stops people from pursuing their interests. For example, artists are required to learn statistical mathematics, pointless to their field of study. Furthermore, one must differentiate from education of the institutional kind or whether the education is  private or not. Institutional education has many faults. For example, sorting student according to their age and not their mental capacity. For instance, Primary 1 and 2 may be a waste of a child’s bubbly time because he or she has a higher mental capacity while other child may choose to wait another year or two before starting education due to theirs.

We aren’t all the same. We aren’t robots with a fixed software/mental capacity for people to decide if a mod/education was right for that batch of us. We differ from our personality, mentality all the way to our thumbprints and tongue prints. We aren’t machines yet we are being treated like one. We just don’t notice it because we are too used to everything. The moment we are born, we are taught our alphabet and launched into this messy rat race all of us are in now, most of the time running to no where in particular, simply yearning only to be first and the best in everything. Hence the loss of individuality and individual thinking.

What happens to the people who actually want to pursue what they want? They are forced into blindly weaving their safety net (education), together with other people who probably have no idea what they are doing, before being free to do what they want. From this point of view, education looks very much like a burden. A weight on the person’s shoulders. These people normally end up living bleak and dull lives, spending the rest of their lives in a cubicle, making love to a computer screen. It’s probably because of years of, in their opinion, pointless weaving, they grow tired and quickly lose interest of what they are chasing after. They are weary and what they are chasing after suddenly seems so far away. They decide that settling for a typical admin job would be good enough. They are old. Low on spirit and energy. They need to settle down. But can they can’t do what they want because they aren’t qualified enough. So they settle for what that safety net promises them. An admin job with a fixed pay, just like everyone else.

In conclusion, though there are pros and cons to how education empowers oneself I feel that education does not empower simply  because education is can be a conflict of interest at times and a hindrance to ones aspiration. Cynically thinking,I feel that education is a very well built sham to have people spend money whether they need it or not. It’s an excuse to make us all the same. Making us all easier to control and dictate. It’s a cruel waste of time at times and occasionally, a blessing in disguise. It really does depends on the individual if he has enough willpower and determination or not.