Your Ad Here

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

It is that time of the year again where we all distress over what to get our mothers for mother's day. So to share my thoughts: In the past, we've covered flowers, so this year I figured, why not a cake? At least it is edible! You can be super personal and make her a cake or if you are not at home, you can send her a cake. They have super convenient shops where you can order a cake online and have it delivered these days- just make sure you know where your mom will be on the day.....A good idea, if I may say so myself, is night wear. Unless you REALLY REALLY know your mom, you will never find an item of clothing that she'd really like and would wear in public. So the next best thing is night wear. They are generally less picky about pajamas and robes since they are worn in the confines of home. You can even get them super cute matchey matchey ones (above: Victoria's Secret)! Or you can get her cute cushiony slippers (though Chinese superstition prevents me from giving anyone anything related to shoes...shame!) to walk around in or a set of luxury towels- hey, its practical, a home cannot ever have too many towels! (left: Victoria's Secret, right: Ralph Lauren).More items for home. You can consider glass vases and bowls, like this very elegant Nambe Piroett bowl (left). Or there are essence like this Anthousa Blossom Ambiance Trio (right). I know, it doesn't sound very useful. But surprisingly, my mom actually uses it!!
For something more personal, you may try getting them facial treatments. Not the daily ones since they probably already have a routine, but those intensive ones used once a week. My grandmother really really LOVES this intensive treatment one from Darphin (left) and if she loves it, it must be REALLY good. Or you can try the Estee Lauder intensive lifting mask above as well (right). I don't have any personal accounts about this product, but they are usually good with their rejuvenating products.
And when all else fails, I always turn to Shutterfly- it is personalize but very easy and convenient. I quite like the canvas photo idea.

Happy Mother's Day!

Image Source: Torrance Bakery, Shutterfly, Victoria's Secret, Ralph Lauren and Saks

Heidi Klum Sexy With Bikini

Heidi Klum Sexy With BikiniHeidi Klum Sexy With Bikini

Heidi Klum Sexy With thongHeidi Klum Sexy With thong

Hot Bikini Of Heidi KlumHot Bikini Of Heidi Klum

Jennifer Connelly Sexy Girls

Jennifer Connelly Sexy GirlsJennifer Connelly Sexy Girls

Beautiful face of Jennifer ConnellyBeautiful face of Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly Hot Photo ShotJennifer Connelly Hot Photo Shot

Pole Dance Lessons in Tokyo

To be completely honest I just don't do sexy. My underwear never matches, I quite enjoy slobbing around at home in my pajamas scratching my butt and high heels give me shivers. So the pole dance craze never really had appeal to me.

Sure I had watched plenty of pole dance lessons on youtube, read countless blog entries about it's benefits and liberating power but the thought of shimmying up and down a pole with plastic stilettos on kind of just made me cringe.

That all changed when fellow hooper and athlete Erin gave me the full report after taking a pole dance class here in Tokyo at Art Flow. She assured me there was no sign of plastic stilettos, no cheesy strip music and no talk of doing this as an act of love for your partner.

I had read about pole dance instructor and performer Lu Nagata, and watched an interview with her on Spinshell TV a while back. Her strong features and independent style were definitely a draw card. So I was up for the challenge and joined Erin at one of Lu's classes today.

After running through the pouring rain to make it just in time for the class I was greeted by a very welcoming, gorgeously open and clean studio. The Art Flow studio is set up specifically for pole dance lessons, although they also offer pilates and other dance classes, so it is an interesting atmosphere. Super stylish yet warm and comforting.

I was looking forward to a strong work out as well as gaining some inspiration for my own hoop dance classes. Lu began the class with a strong and dynamic stretching session demonstrating her superior flexibility from years of dance experience and study.

The basic class with Lu was a 70 minute class in which she gradually demonstrated and guided us from a basic walk and pivot to an elevated spiral down to the floor with a sultry yet powerful dance routine back up from the floor to standing. At no point did I feel the need to start stripping my clothes off or pressing my chest up against anything, the moves and instruction were strong, graceful and artistic. Best of all they were a work out from head to toe. Try standing and walking on your tip toes for an hour - hello calves. Try swinging round and round a pole supporting your whole body weight with arms stretched above your head - hello all upper body muscles.

A trial lesson is only 2500 yen and gives a strong introduction into the kind of workout your body is in for should you chose pole dancing as your new favorite past time. My only wish is that the class was longer, I wanted more, I always want more. Although my back muscles will probably be thanking me tomorrow that it ended when it did.

Pole Dance Classes at Art Flow

70 minutes (of which 10 minutes will be self practice time)
Member ¥4,200, Non-Member ¥5,250, Trial Class ¥2,500
Open to women only

Model Sexy Indonesia

Friday, May 9, 2008

Upon Meeting Bravo Bride, Amuse-Biatch Thinks It's Not in Kansas Anymore

As you ought to know by now, possums, in the name of bringing you the chercest bits, we're happy to ferret out any Top Chef-related detail, no matter how trivial, provided, of course, that it's entertaining, or at least informative.

We were, of course, curious about the wedded pair at the heart of this week's Elimination Challenge, and yet, when this bit of (public) info hit our inbox on Wednesday, we refrained. Heartless though we are, it made us a little uncomfortable. In the end, though, it is public, so here goes.

The bride, as you may remember, indicated on the show that she hailed from Marietta, Georgia, but according to a newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas, the Journal-World, she also has roots in the Kansas prairie:

For Lawrence native Corey (Smith) Marchetti, her October wedding included...80 crew members, eight top chefs, four judges and about 2.3 million of her, um, closest friends.

Her Chicago wedding to J.P. Marchetti is getting the reality show treatment on...Bravo’s popular cooking competition “Top Chef”....

Yes, the bride puckering up her face at her wedding cake in the show’s tension-filled promo is a 1999 graduate of Lawrence High School and a 2003 graduate of Kansas University.


So, how did the couple end up as special guests on such a hot reality show? It all comes down to a phone call from the show’s producers and a date, Oct. 21.

Producers were in Chicago filming this season’s series and were trying to find a venue for a “Wedding Wars”-themed episode. The producers were exploring the possibility of using Galleria Marchetti for the show, a prospect J.P. Marchetti, who runs the venue/restaurant, and his then-fiancée Corey, who does the marketing, found very exciting as “Top Chef” fans. J.P. Marchetti returned the producers’ message as fast as he could.

“Usually when people ask us about a date, they want the date to be open,” he says. “And I said, ‘Well, there’s nothing going on that day,’ so I was hoping you know, they’d move forward. And the guy told me, ‘Oh, that’s too bad.’”

The producers were looking for an existing wedding on that date so the chefs could take over the catering as a show challenge. Upset that despite holding 70 weddings per year they didn’t have the right date, the couple began discussing what they could do to make it work.

“And I was like, ‘Well, you know, we could get married.’ And we thought about it for a minute and we were like, ‘Yeah, we could get married,’” Corey Marchetti says. “So we called back and just kind of threw it out there, thinking maybe they’ll be interested, but probably not.”

Turns out they were interested and got the OK from the network.

But, of course, the couple couldn’t escape a reality show-type hitch ... they had just 27 days to plan a wedding in Chicago that had been planned for April in Kansas. They already had everything set in Lawrence — a church, reception site, florist, photographer and cake.


First up on their to-do list? Making sure her family was OK with the switch. The bride’s father, Michael Smith, is unable to travel because of a severe brain injury. It was decided the bride’s mother, Marcia Smith, would walk her daughter down the aisle.

Well, possums, that last bit especially made us reach for our lace-edged handkerchiefs. It's so wonderful to see a couple who, in Meat Loaf's immortal words, would do anything for love. Or for a chance to be on TV.

Finale-Bound: Where the Sunlight's Streaming and the Natives Steaming?

And, West Side Story reference aside, possums, by steaming natives we mean, of course, the hopped-up, cage-match-ready little denizens of Top Chef (Dale, Lisa, Spike, Andrew et al).

But there's a reason for the allusion, and it isn't simply because we're Rita Moreno fans.

See, earlier this week, our pal Lesley at Eater LA let drop a little tidbit no doubt fed to her by a chappie or lassie in an underground parking garage and fearing the all-seeing eye of Big Bravoer:

We have it on very good authority that the Top Chef finale will start taping this weekend. We don't know who is in the finale, and we don't know for sure where, but rumor has it Big Tom, Pads, Gail, Ted and the happy band of guest judges are heading out to the Carribbean (think: sofrito, arroz con pollo, Salsa, J-Lo)....

And then yesterday, Raggaydy Andy, whose blog we scrutinize with quasi-Kabbalistic assiduity for just this sort of thing, let this drop:

My allergies in NYC are so bad that I want to rip my eyes out, which is reason enough for me to be sitting here at a gate at JFK very early this morning. The real reason is that I am heading to a shoot far away.

Coincidence? We think not.

UPDATE: We have confirmation from Ted Allen in The Dallas Morning News. Besides throwing out some coy hints about frontrunners perhaps not making it all the way, Ted reveals that the finale will be shot tomorrow night, and that by the time he arrives in Dallas on Sunday, he will know who won "the title of Top Chef."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

In Vogue Book Giveaway

Vogue.TV is going to have the first ever Viewer’s Choice Awards for the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this year. Starting today until May 16th, you can vote on your favourite red carpet fashion online here. Voters can also enter a sweepstakes that includes: two round trip tickets on JetBlue Airlines, a $2,500 shopping spree at J. Mendel, a pair of red carpet stilettos, red carpet clutch, red carpet hair and styling at a top NYC salon and a free two night stay at The Lowell Luxury Hotel in New York City. *salivate*

After our extensive coverage this week of the Met Fashions this year, I'm sure you all have a good idea who your favourites are!
In celebration, we will also be giving away five copies of In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine- a must-have for any fashion/Vogue lover. All you have to do is tell us what you like the best about Vogue (the magazine) and why in a paragraph. Do you like a particular photo editorial? A feature article? Anything. Send your answer and your mailing address to iamfashion AT by May 16th midnight EST. And don't forget to subject your email with "Vogue Giveaway"- otherwise, we'd probably delete it!

The best three answers may be published in I am Fashion and we will notify the 5 winners through email by May 19th.

Dance Dreams

The universe sent me a little message yesterday...
Happily, deanne, we've got forever and ever. And fortunately, it's never too late to see what one's missed, remain focused on the dream instead of the "hows," and move with unwavering faith.

The Universe

So I thought I should share my dreams with you...

Claska studio filled with hot hoopers!

Silhouettes during Craft Club

check out the nice silhouettes, more pics to come soon!

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Much to Our Relief and Delight, Nikki Cascone Finally Beats It

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Exclusive! New “Batman” Villain, Asshat, Revealed!

Amuse-Biatch Photoessay: Groom Wonders Whether He Should Have Had Indian Rather Than Italian on the Menu


Any Foochow woman who had a confinement in her life would be familiar with the tonic wine,Wincarnis. I was particularly fond of it and would always have a bottle in the pantry, ever ready for a visitor to have a little bit of chicken and mee sua, even when I was not having a confinement. My youngest is now 20, and occasionally I would still find myself buying a bottle and having a glass or two when it is extremely cold. Any friend is welcome to help me drink it, any time really.There is still a bottle in the cabinet.

I have often wonder who started all this almost customary Wincarnis drinking habit. We Foochows have only been in Sibu since 1903. We should be able to trace who started it all.

During a traditional Foochow confinement,the family would make several importnat purchases like old ginger, Foochow Red Rice Wine, a few kilos of mee sua, lots of eggs,lots of Sesame Oil, dried mushrooms, chickens and some Wincarnis and even XO Martell. Friends and relatives would come by bring appropriate gifts and a bottle of Wincarnis would make the best confinement gift for the new mother. A baby gift was not that important!! It might be very different nowadays.

Perhaps I did have a fine head for good wine. After I had given birth I would delight myself with a few glasses of the wine any time of the day. Perhaps I was just having a good excuse to drink.

I found Wincarnis very helpful because I could go to sleep very easily. The sweating involved with drinking Wincarnis and eating mee sua every day, would help one to lose weight. Besides I was told that Wincarnis could help a new mother recover faster and her womb would shrink back very quickly.

Wincarnis as a wine also helped the confinement woman's room to acquire a special fragrance. I felt that a very damp, humid and hot room of a confinement period to be very stale with breast milk. As we could not open our windows to let fresh air in so often, the fragrance from the wine helped a little. Later when I could use the air conditioner, my room was better and I felt more comfortable.

Also, you see, confinement women had to have their food in the room, and not in the kitchen with the rest of the family. So it was of utmost important that she kept her room clean and fresh.

So then why did the Foochows particularly like Wincarnis? Actually I never knew why but it was just the favourite wine for Foochow women. And I guess that it was one product that was well promoted by the Borneo Company.

According to one of my favourite websites, Wikipedia, Wincarnis (which is Latin for 'meat-wine') is a brand name of a British tonic wine, popular in Jamaica and some other former British colonies. It is a fortified wine (14%) made to a secret recipe of grape juice, malt extracts, herbs and spices, but it no longer contains meat. It tastes a bit like sweet sherry.

Wincarnis was first produced in 1887 by Colman's (of mustard fame) in Norwich, UK. It was originally called Liebig's Extract of Meat and Malt Wine. It eventually was owned by Hedges & Butler (part of Bass), which was acquired in 1998 by Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd of Broxburn. Wincarnis is currently made by Broadland Wineries in Norfolk, and sold by Macleod.

Wincarnis is now marketed as an aperitif wine. In Jamaica it is mixed with Guinness and milk. In Singapore, Malaysia and the Gulf it is taken by new mothers as a tonic. It is well known by older people in the UK who use it as "tonic" when not well. Ian McLeod Distilleries marketing offers the ingredients:

"Wincarnis Tonic Wine is a carefully formulated blend of enriched wine and malt extract with a unique infusion of selected therapeutic herbs and spices including gentian root, mugwort, angelica root, balm mint, fennel seed, coriander seed, peppermint leaves, cardamom seeds and cassia bark a natural tonic incorporating herbs traditionally recognised for their ability to combat common ailments and alleviate their symptoms. It is rich in vitamins, especially energy-giving Vitamin B complex, and can have beneficial effects on the circulation system and blood pressure."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The Europeans fought and clawed to get to the East Indies for spices in the 1500. The Dutch triumphed because of their more powerful ships and guns. And then in the 20th century, the American company, McCormick is a leading spice company in a different sense. Singapore warehouses are always full of bags of spices, especially cloves, from Indonesida. "The spice of life" continues to leave our lips. And we never miss to check if we have enough cloves in our spice cupboard.

Pungent, sweet and strong, clove is an important part of the 5 spice powder and is used in making tea, curry powder,chutneys and achar.

Besides, it has been known for centuries by both the Chinese and the Indians as an important cure for lack of energy and sexual disorder. A tea made from only half a teaspoon of clove powder can do wonders to a person's body. It is just as simple as that according to Chinese traditional doctors and Indian ayurvedic practitioners.
But be warned, it is not for those who are already overheated or afraid of heaty food. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why so many men like to smoke kretek cigarettes which are spiced by cloves.

Cloves are the rich, brown, dried, unopened flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. The name comes from the French "clou" meaning nail.

Cloves come from Madagascar, Brazil, Panang, and Ceylon.

Cloves are used in spice cookies and cakes.

Ambiona is the original home of cloves and the Dutch are well known for having a monopoly of its trade sicne 1600 until 1816 when a bloody war between them and the Indonesians changed the history of SE Asia forever.

Other interesting facts are listed below:

Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.
In the U.S., cloves are used in meats, salad dressings, and desserts.
Clove is a key flavor contributor to ketchup and Worcestershire sauce seasoning blends.
Chinese and German seasonings also depend on Cloves to flavor meats and cookies.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MET Costume Institute Gala 2008: The Mortals

Now that we've looked at the "superheroes", I thought we can take a look at what the mere mortals were wearing that night.
One of my favourites (besides Christina Ricci and Camilla Belle) was Bee Shaffer's Nina Ricci dress. It was very fairy tale like and whimsical. It looked like she was floating on a cloud. And I thought her messy bun was a nice touch. It kept the whole outfit from looking too put together and sophisticated. It was a good balance.A super hero we missed yesterday. I thought Amber Valletta looked absolutely fabulous in Atelier Versace. The sleeves and the little cape at the back totally fit the theme too. I also liked the dresses on Lauren duPont (left), from Valentino, Margherita Missoni (center), from Missoni- where else?, and Candy Pratts (right), from Givenchy Couture. They were fun, youthful and cute. I loved how Lauren paired her ruffled pink dress with such a tailored black jacket- it was genius. And Margherita and Candy's dresses were just refreshing but still very flattering and cute! Somehow my attention was caught by the champagne colored dresses on the red carpet. It has a certain elegant yet feminine quality to it that makes Kristin Davis (left) in Michael Kors and Scarlett Johansson (right) in Dolce & Gabanna look poised and sophisticated. Then there are the Gossip Girls, Michelle Trachtenberg (left) in vintage and Blake Lively (right) with Penn Badgley, both in Ralph Lauren. Michelle's gold dress is a bit of a hit and miss, but I think it suits her. She looks like an evil Egyptian temptress- just like her character! Blake's outfit just looked kind of standard and boring.
Also spotted some of my old TV favourites on the red carpet, Mischa Barton (left) in Missoni and Sarah Michelle Gellar (right) in Bottega Veneta. Mischa usually looks good in everything, but I really don't think this dress suits her. Something odd about the neckline... too weirdly low I think. Sarah Michelle dress was nothing special, but I just love her timelessly elegant look.
Speaking about timelessness, Michelle Managhan (left) in J Mendel and Emmy Rossum (right) in Phi were definitely not. This may sound harsh and maybe a bit farfetched, but does anyone else think that these two dresses and their cutting a bit dated?
I don't understand how or WHY Donna Karan (left), a fabulous designer, would dress herself in a drapey bag of a dress. And in such a clashing color too. I especially didn't need to see any glimpse of her sagging chest. Then there was Amanda Brooks (right) who dressed herself boxy dressed from Marni. To give her credit, I thought her squared shoes were a good match to the dress.
Colourwise though, Donna Karen's dress could not have been more clashing than Joy Bryant (left) in Emilio Pucci and Allison Sarafim (right) in Alexander McQueen. I thought both a bit too much. I understand that Joy's dress is just pure Pucci, but there really is no excuse for Allison in her rainbow colored wrap. It looked more like a sari or something she picked up on holiday in Phuket or something meant for the BEACH, than something coming from Alexander McQueen for the red carpet....
No one can fault Lake Bell for not trying to fit into the theme in this Balmain dress. Its super tight and has sparkly red lightning bolts all over it. It's just......not very aesthetically pleasing. I thought the whole over the top layer thing was over with last season's YSL, but seeing Alexandra Kotur (left: from Vogue!) wearing this Carolina Herrera, it is obviously still here. Shame. She looks like an multi-layered cake. And I love Burberry, I really do. But all this feather on Cat Deely (right) is just too much. Maybe it is just my aversion to all things feather period, but she looks like an overstuffed black bird.
There is too much and then there is too little. I don't care that Thandie Newton (left) is wearing Chanel. It looks like she's wearing lingerie- which should be kept inside the bedroom! As for Gisele Bundchen (right), her Versace Atelier dress is actually very elegant, I just thought the bodice part could use a bit more cloth.

Image Source:

Who is Hugo Stiglitz?

By popular demand (and for those wondering just who in the hell Hugo Stiglitz is) more Hugo Stiglitz!!! The Nightmare City trailer is wonderful. Just click on the 'continue reading' link to see a slew of wonderful Hugo moments in some truly awful (read: wonderful and brilliant) Italian and Mexican films. Enjoy!

here is the trailer for Nightmare City be careful -- NSFW -- contains lots of boobs.

Here's another video that is hilarious. Someone put together some of the best moments from Nightmare City with funny sound effects and a cliche zombie checklist. The best is the opening scene where Hugo shows that he knows how to please the ladies. Folks!

Here's another one...again fact just assume they are all that way. This is for a wonderful jungle movie called The Treasure of the Amazon where according to IMDB he plays the boat captain. You don't get to see him in the preview (at least I couldn't find him) but this gives you a good idea of the kinds of movies he was in (he made like three of these a year). This has all of the usual jungle/cannibal goodies in it: hooks going through body parts, eyes gouged, lots of zooms and stock footage, a scene directly stolen from The Beyond where instead of spiders chewing apart the dudes face, you have crabs. Troy donwload this movie! It has Donald Pleasence!

Here he is saving some kids from zombies in Cemetery of Terror. I could only find this in Spanish. But important is the dialogue. But look at Hugo go!

Here is our hero Hugo showing his love for felines in The Night of 1000 Cats. Hmmmm? A metaphor for how he treats women? This could be interpreted in a couple of ways...I'll leave you to deconstruct it. Also, it is worth noting that except for Nightmare City all of these are written and directed by the same hack director of Mexican cinema Rene Cadona Jr. Hooray Rene!

Another survival film. This time what we in the states would come to know as Alive this film by Rene Cadona Sr. was made in the early 70's and called Survive. Perhaps this was Hugo's attempt at serious cinema.

Here he is in a Mexican Jaws rip off. Are you getting the hang of it? Nothing these hack filmmakers or actors made was original. However, this is probably my favorite trailer on here because it is everything that is wonderful about film trailers from that era. I love the narrator's explanation of Susan George as "the girl who came to the island to have fun". Very concise. And Hugo "as a rich young man looking for romance and adventure". Ha. This looks wonderful. "But the Tintorera changed everything!" or "The lived for laughs and love, until the Tintorera struck." Watch and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into Hugo's career. There are many more films that are all equally as awful as these, I was just too lazy to keep looking on You Tube. But there are other films like Cyclone and The Bermuda Triangle that are all essentially the same thing: stranded people struggling to survive who have to stave off the creepy jungle creatures like snakes and spiders and end up resorting to cannibalism to survive. All in an attempt to show that we are no different than the 'savages' that inhabit the jungle. Ah good 'ol 1970's Italian and Mexican cinema...quite progressive, eh?

The Sibu Photographic Society (1952-1987)

During the Sibu Cultural Festival recently, the Sibu Photographic Society put up a very nice exhibition. Syabas. Chia Yew.

Sibu actually has produced a large number of good photographers like Soon Lee Guan, Ngu Nu Soon, Lau Sie Kiu,etc. And other younger ones like Kelvin Song, Tiong Tak Liong, Ling Liong Hui, have made Sibu very well known through their photographs.

According to Kevin Song's book,"The Impending Storm", the Sibu Photographic Society (SPC) was founded in 1954, April 25th to be exact by Dr. Neffrey, Ang Choon Meing, Soon Lee Guan, Ting King Yu and Chen Zse Chai with more than 30 other members. The President was Peter Chiew Kuok Ping, the earliest Accountant of Si bu.

Their first activity was to travel to the interior of Sarawak to photograph the indigenous lifestyle and activities of the people. Another important development of the society was the passing of International photographic qualification examination by Song Lee Guan. He was the earliest Sibu photographer to earn an ARPS after his name.
(translated by Sarawakiana from Chinese)

A few of their activities were:

1. 1971 - Sarawak Students' Photographic Exhibition in Sibu.
2. 1972 - Under the leadership of the late S. K. Lau, many photographic activities were conducted and he initiated a weekly publication of amazing photographs.
3. 1974 - under the guidance of Chew Peng Cheng, the Presdient of the then society, a huge International photographic exhibition was held in Sibu. the Opening Ceremony was graced by the then Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Celestine Ujang. Photogrpahers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore sent in their entries.
4. 1975 - With Chua Siong kee as President, the SPC,(with Chua Chong Hieng, Tang Yew Sieng, Ling Liong Hui and others, manned a forum for student photogrpahers

Many visits to various parts of Sarawak were made and exhibitions were held. As a result of these activities, the members of the Club gained a lot of experiences in photography and won many accolades.

Kevin also has recorded the names of the various Presidents of the SPC:
1. First - Peter Chiew (1952)
2. Second - Chew Peng Cheng (1970-1974)
3. Third - Chua Siong kee (1975-1979)
4. Fourth - Tiong King Poh (1980-1982)
5. Fifth - Kelvin Song Chi Ming (1983-1986)
6. Sixth - Ling Liong Hui (1987 - )

Photography is an art and it is also a marvellous medium of recording history and culture. In future, many of our peoples' lifestyle, economic progress, political development and other living images will be studied in institutions of higher learning, displayed in museums and various other instituions of cultural activities.

The SPC has in a way make a good start for the people of Sibu. Syabas.

Main reference :

The Impending Storm, Kelvin Song, 2005

(My apologies to any one whose name I have left out, due to lack of documentation.)

Hoot Attack

Kevin Styles

MET Costume Institute Gala 2008: Superheroes

Ahh, the most important annual fashion party, the Costime Institute Gala was held last night, chaired by Anna Wintour, Julia Roberts and George Clooney. I big huh? on the two celebrity chairpeople, since I can't remember them being particularly linked with fashion. They didn't even dress up to the theme! And even though I can't decide whether to think Anna looked like a Chanel-clad space alien, I feel like we shoudl all appreciate that she's obviously super responsible and dressed up for the theme.

The theme was Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. Most people looked nice -afterall, celebrities and models are pretty people in general, and they have their pick of expensive dresses. But it's such a waste and bore when people don't actually dress up to the theme. What's the point and fun when you don't? Anyway, here are my favourite dresses from last night.

My absolute favourite dress from the night was Christina Ricci's dress. I LOVE the red corset at the center (-very Wonder Woman,) and the pink chiffon-like material covering and flowing around her is just so pretty. The dress is kind of costume-y, but it's still such a normal gorgeous dress. Ricci just looks so cute and pretty!

My other favourite dress is Kate Bosworth's vintage Chanel couture dress. I love the colourful, sequinned print on the dress. And I like the cut -it's unique and not like all the other huge puffy dresses around. Plus the shoes! Her outfit isn't very obviously superheroes-themed, but hey, she obviously tried! The dress, the shoes and her makeup -everything is so colourful and metallic! In some odd way, the equally shiny Karl Lagerfeld's black and white outfit complements on dress!

Not a fan of Mary Kate's dress, but Ashley's dress is so nice and simple, yet those cut-outs make the dress sort-of into the theme. I wish Ashley added some colour somewhere but she just looks so pretty!

That acqua colour looks gorgeous on Camilla Belle. I think the should strap is what makes the dress sort of superhero-ish.

I usually love everything Diane Kruger wears on the red carpet. Her outfit last night was really fun and young-looking. I can't say I love the dress, but the whole outfit is cute.

Katie Holmes really bothered with dressing up for the superheroes theme. The dress is a bit Disney-ish -it's long, A-lined, sequinned and red. And those blue shoes -a bit Wonder Woman (except the costume isn't tight and short) isn't it? Her makeup looks a bit scary in this photo, but it looks better closeup.

That's it. Like I said, many people looked pretty, but I liked these because they went with the theme and looked gorgeous. Which were your favourite and least favourite dresses?

Wonder Meals and Wonderful Five Spice Powder

I am going to write about five spice powder which is to me is the wonder powder of Chinese cuisine, and of course Foochow cuisine. And in separate postings I will write about each of the five spices which make up this wonderful concoction.

Five spice powder is the most important ingredient in the great dishes of Pa Lo duck, crispy roasted duck, chicken and pork, meat rolls, and other lesser dishes. To me Five Spice Powder is part of my mother's good cooking. Catching of whiff of it is imagining my mum cooking in the kitchen and soon a wonderful meal would be on the table. It was so much a part of my childhood.

We moved from Pulau Kerto, our Hua Hong Ice Factory site,to Grand Father's eight room - double storeyed house on Kong Ping Road in 1955. I was to start Primary One and my sister, Kindergarten. I could not exactly remember the actual moving but I remember an interesting incident: my mother was very particular that we should not forget the galvanized wash basin. She made sure that it was on top of all the things we moved to Sibu town.

We also moved the stone mill which was placed in a nice corner at our new home and it remained there until we moved out more than twenty years later. Mum still keeps the stone mill, an heirloom, from great grandfather.

After moving into this new home, I began to realise that my parents liked good food and one interesting ingredient they used a lot of was the five spice powder. And I believe it was my father who would walk down to the Chinese medical stores, Poh Nguan or Hui Choon to buy the powder each time they wanted to cook a Loo Ark (Pot Roast Duck) or Loo Nuik (Pot Roast Pork).

We did not have these two dishes all the time. We had them for the four festivals and birthdays. I suppose five spice powder was the favourite flavour of our family. So we grew up with a lot of loo ark (Five spice Duck) and loo long (Five Spice Eggs).

I cannot remember if Grandfather ever stayed for lunch (I remember he would always go home for lunch as a dutiful husband) His visit was always a short one if he came to visit. Grandfather's birthday was always celebrated in his Sungei Merah House. And when visitors and relatives came from outside Sibu we would go to a restaurant, which was either Lok Huong or Hock Chu Lieu. We would always have sharks' fin and loo ark besides the other important dishes.

Perhaps because of all these, my mother was always very careful that she should buy the best of five spice powder. So she would only recommend the powder from these two shops. You have to decide for yourself which is the best actually. Because the composition of the five spice powder depends very much on the person who makes it in the chinese medicine shop. Some are sweeter, some are more bitter.

Today you can also buy Chinese Five-Spice Powder your local supermarket but if you are more adventurous, you can make it yourself.

Extra Notes from Wikipedia : The five basics for Chinese cooking are blended into Chinese Five Spice Powder-sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. While this may sound like an odd mixture, the tastes compliment each other and when combined they make a wonderful blend. The blend is based on the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang and it contains star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and Szechwan pepper. Some blends have ginger and cardamom added, and other times they are simply added into the recipes using the five spice powder. Star anise is the major ingredient, but some blends also use it equally with the other items.

Five spice powder has a unique flavor and should be used in small amounts. Use it in marinades or as a rub for meat, poultry and fish, or add it to rice and vegetable dishes. A dash or two in any stir-fry dish is also a great addition. For something different try adding it to muffins, breads, waffles, cookies or scones. For a unique burger or meatloaf add some five spice powder to the meat before cooking and serve it with a sweet and sour or plum sauce.

Five Spice Blend from Herb Companion Magazine You'll need:
4 tablespoons Szechuan peppers (or you can substitute other peppercorns)
4 tablespoons whole cloves
4 tablespoons broken cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoons fennel seed
12 whole star anise

Grind each ingredient separately in a spice mill or mortar. Combine and mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Steamed Five Spice Peanuts

1 tsp. five spice powder
1/2 tsp. salt (optional if you want it salt free)
3 cups peanuts

Place five-spice powder and salt in a bowl and the peanuts, stirring till nuts are evenly coated. Leave to marinade for about two hours.

Transfer nut mixture to a dish and steam until the peanuts are soft.

Cool and then serve.

Five Spice Chicken

3 pounds chicken pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp. ground fresh ginger
2 tsp. five spice powder

Wash the chicken and pat dry. Mix the soy sauce, oil and vinegar. Crush the garlic with salt and add to above mixture. Add the chicken to marinade and coat all sides. Marinade for 1 hour or longer-over night is fine in the refrigerator. Use a plastic bags or covered container. After marinating, place the chicken in roasting pan, spooning about 2 tbsp. of the marinade over the pieces. Spoon honey over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until pieces are crisp and done inside. Baste every 20 minutes or so with the juices in the pan. Notes: You can also grill this. If you do, bring the marinade to a boil first before using it to baste it as it cooks on the grill. If baking, discard the remaining marinade after the 2 tbsp. and use the pan juices to baste.

Slow cooked Five Spice Pork

3 pound pork shoulder roast
1 1/2 tsp. five spice powder
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce

Trim fat from the pork roast. Check to make sure the roast will fit in your crock pot. If not, you can trim it to fit and place the extra around it where it will fit, or save to make stock at a later date by freezing. Rub the roast with five-spice powder. In a large skillet brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Place roast in crock pot. Stir together, vinegar, and soy sauce in the pan you browned the roast in. Stir with any juices and scrape the pan for any browned bits. Pour all over the roast in the crock. Cover and cook on low setting for several hours.

If the juices in the crock are not too fatty you can make a gravy with the juices or place in a pan and reduce the juices to make a sauce. Serve with rice or noodles,buttered boiled vegetables, sautéed green beans and salad.


Jeff Ooi for Jelutong MP, Bukit Jelutong, Jelutong of Brunei Darulsalam, Jelutong of Singapore. These are famous 21st Century references to the word "jelutong".

But 105 years ago, a small band of Foochow desperadoes were cutting through thick jungles for the first time in their lives and looking for the wonder jungle produce, the jungle rubber or jelutong. They had been introduced to this special "rubber"
tree by the men of the Rajah Brooke government if they wanted to make some quick money out of an easily ready tree in the swamps. Many died because of it: snake bites, extreme heat, virus,etc. A Sibu tombstone could even have this inscribed "Here lies Wong who fell to his death because he tried his luck with jelutong" if it was possible to do so in the witty western sense.

When the first Foochows arrived in Sibu in 1903, many took the opportunity to explore and exploit the land to the best of their ability. Grandmothers used to tell their grandchildren how they feared that they would never see their loving husbands again the moment they set out to fell trees in the jungle or to look for wild boars or other animals.

My grandfather was a young man when he first arrived, a mere seventeen year old boy. As he was very determined to do well and establish himself as soon as possible, the whole Rejang Basin was a wonderful place for him. While felling the trees of the jungle he was also on the lookout for jelutong trees because he knew very well then that it was a tree that could help him get extra income. However it was not as easy as he had expected and many times he got lost in the jungle and even feared for his life.

The mortality rate was high amongst the Foochows at that time. He often told us that in a morning, they had buried more than four or five friends who had died from the heat or disease. He told us that there was a great deal of fear all around. Who would be buried the next day? It could even be he himself as life was so fragile. But his belief in God helped him through many days and years of uncertainties and even fear.

So what about his great desire to collect the latex from jelutong? He tried his very best and did find a little bit,but he finally gave up looking for more jelutong because his rubber trees, the wonder plants, were ready for harvesting after a few short years and rice was also being harvest on his newly acquired land. There was a great deal of happiness after about 7 years.

The jelutong (Dyera costulata), or lotong chiew , in Foochow, is a species of tree in the oleander subfamily. It grows to approximately 200 ft (60 metres) with diameters of 5 to 6 ft (2 metres) and boles clear and straight for 90 ft. It grows in Sarawak and the Rejang River basin is a much favoured habitat for this tree.

Jelutong is also used for its wood and is quite similar to balsa wood. Often designers use this wood for building special models. The roots are used as a cork substitute.

Jelutong has been very famous amongst the Foochows as it was be tapped for latex and from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Perhaps jelutong has been overharvested or people have lost interest in it. We seldom hear about it amongst the local people. Many have said that it is a threatened species. But I am sure some reafforestation programme can put it back in our state. It would be an excellent wood for organic toy making.

I am including in this posting a good article on jelutong.

Sources: Lemmens, Soerianegara and Wong, 1995
"Population status and trends Jelutong has a scattered natural distibution and has declined as a result of tapping for latex and felling for timber. The risk of extinction was recognised 60 years ago. In Peninsular Malaysia the species has been reported to be threatened (Ng et al 1984). Jelutong does, however, regenerate readily in logged-over forest. It is also planted commercially for timber. Role of species in the ecosystem Threats Exploitation for latex, felling for timber, conversion of lowland forests to agriculture. Utilisation It has a number of speciality uses such as pattern making in foundry work, for drawing boards, pencils, picture frames, dowels, carving, blackboards, wooden toys, clogs, brush handles and battery separators, and it is also used for furniture parts, door knobs, ceilings, partitioning, matchsticks, matchboxes and packing cases. The roots are used as a substitute for cork and their wood for axe handles. The latex is used in the manufacture of chewing gum, in paints, as priming for concrete, or for sizing paper. Follicles are occasionally used as torches by the local population or burnt to repel mosquitos"

2. (Lemmens, Soerianegara and Wong, 1995). Trade In the period from 1980-1990 the export of jelutong sawn timber from Peninsular Malaysia was 32000-44000m3/year with a value of US$ 5.1-10.8 million a year; in 1992 it was 19000 m3 with a value of US$ 8.3 million (US$440/m3) (Lemmens, Soerianegara and Wong, 1995). In 1995, Malaysia (Peninsular) exported 5000 m3 of sawnwood at an average price of 710$/m3 (ITTO, 1996). The export from Sabah was 67000 m3 in 1987 with a value of US$4.5 million and 23000 m3 (55% as sawn timber, 45% as logs) in 1992 with a total value of US$ 3.5 million (US$ 215/m3 for sawn timber, US$ 82/m3 for logs). Japan imports comparatively large amounts of jelutong, mainly from Sarawak and Sabah

3. (Lemmens, Soerianegara and Wong, 1995). In 1987, Indonesia exported 2,183,462US$ worth of this species as jelutong (WWF and IUCN, 1994-1995). In Malaysia, the trade in latex has declined since the peak production period 1930-1940. The export of jelutong latex from Indonesia was still around 3500 t in 1989.

4. Indonesia is the main source of jelutong gum. Most is exported to Singapore, mainly for re-export to the US. Some is exported directly to Japan and Europe where Italy is the main importer (Coppen, 1995).

5. IUCN Conservation category LR-lc (Asia Regional Workshop, 1997). Conservation measures Jelutong is subject to a log export ban in Peninsular Malaysia, and special permission has been required to cut the tree in Thailand (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Decree of 1988). Regulations on the methods of tapping the latex were introduced in the 1930s (Coppen, 1995). Forest management and silviculture In Peninsular Malaysia D. costulata is chosen for enrichment planting because it is easy to handle in the nursery, survives well when planted out, has a good rate of growth and has good market potential. Prolonged contact with acid water in peat forest harms young plants. D. costulata is a very light-demanding species and once a young tree is well established in full light, it tends to spread its crown and develop into a pronounced 'wolf tree'. Sudden opening of the canopy is favourable for its development

Gripe Water : Ngu Lek Wook (Woodwards)

Did you ever experience an overdose of Gripe Water?

When I was about three or even younger and living in Hua Hong, I took an overdose. Mum said I really liked Gripe Water and I must have downed half a bottle of it. She found me red in the face and a little strange looking. I had to be forced to vomit and very little came out. I have a strong stomach ever since. But she also made me sit on a tampoi/spittoon for about an hour.

I was as fine as a whistle after that. But everyone remembers me as the child who overdosed on Gripe Water until this day. May be that is the reason why I do love my wine and liquer.

Here are some interesting stuff about Gripe Water today:

What Does Baby Have To Gripe About?

When air bubbles get trapped in a baby's stomach, the stomach thinks it is full of food, so acids that would normally break down the food particles are produced. These acids are not needed and can cause irritation.

At the same time, because the stomach is full of air bubbles, its muscles are unable to relax causing cramps and spasms.

How Woodward’s™ Can Help

Woodward's™ Gripe Water’s contains oil of Dill herb and Sodium Bicarbonate and brings rapid relief of wind and gripe. Dill Seed Oil warms and relaxes the tummy, breaking down trapped air bubbles. Sodium Bicarbonate neutralises acid in the baby's tummy.
Feeding your baby one teaspoon of alcohol-free Woodward’s™ Gripe Water everyday can help prevent those stressful wind attacks before they happen.

The results are usually a resounding and satisfying burp!
Woodward’s™ Gripe Water has been used by generations of mothers for over 150 years to soothe baby’s distress and stomach gripes and discomfort brought on by trapped wind in the stomach.

Woodward’s™ Gripe Water does not contain alcohol or colouring and is certified halal.

Recommended Dosage

Woodward’s Gripe Water is suitable for babies of all races, from those aged one month and above all the way up to toddlers aged two years and above.

Shake well before use and store in a cool place.

Care should be taken to avoid an excessive dosage for infants:

• One to six months - 1 teaspoonful (5ml)
• Six months to two years old - 2 teaspoonfuls (10ml)
• Two years old and above - 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls (10-15ml)

These doses may be given during or after each feed or up to 4 times in 24 hours.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...