Hero, and more from the list of stuff I’ve been wanting to blog about

I watched Hero with a friend at the theatre today. My friend had a craving for popcorn, and the movie was as fluffy as the popcorn that the friend got. There was no danger to the protagonist or anyone I cared for, and no danger that the culprit would get away, and so the movie kept my attention because it was like an extra-long episode of a cherished TV series, and I had wanted to spend more time with the characters, who were all so reliably themselves (even though I barely remembered all but the most prominent). And later, at an unremarkable cafe very near my place, my pal and I discussed the difference between Japanese dramas and Korean dramas, which have taken over the place of the former in many TV viewers’ hearts. My pal said that the good Japanese dramas (those shown in Singapore anyway) tend to be episodic, with characters who stay in their roles and do not develop, while Korean dramas – though formulaic in that the people who matter are always inter-related in some often perverse way – tell stories better than Japanese dramas. I wonder what sort of love stories the Japanese make nowadays.

***

I got hooked onto this story/song a while back – a long time ago, back when I was living in Bishan. It’s about a forlorn and steadfast and ultimately fruitless wait. Condensed in these few minutes is much more than the contents of many movies.

***

This song, I got introduced to more recently, indirectly by the pal who took a class in which she was introduced to Joni Mitchell. I had thought “A Case of You” referred to some illness or affliction – like a case of rabies. Recently I realised that Joni Mitchell was comparing “You” to a case of wine. So, addiction then. She has an amazing way of performing the song, strumming that zither-like string instrument in her blithe way, but I think my favourite version is Diana Krall’s.

This is the same Diana Krall of course (I never get tired of telling this story) who had an outdoors concert in Singapore on the weekend of the first F1 race ever held here. The concert was in Fort Canning, on the Friday, when qualifications or test drives took place. On the evening of the concert, the rain had stopped an hour or so earlier, and the field in front of the erected stage was muddy and the collapsible chairs just about in their rows. And that was when I learned that yes, the zooming whines of each and every car at the Padang could be heard all the way at Fort Canning, the aggravation and discordance of each squealing squelch of tyres somehow made worse by the distance. Possibly because of this, Ms Krall was not happy. At one point, she said something along the lines of, I think I just swallowed a bug, and I’m not even kidding. I can’t quite remember what she sang that evening.

***

The coffee in the cafe was quite mediocre – too milky.

***

The latest indication that I’ve been reading via the smartphone too much, in addition to (a) turning to the next page of a magazine made from wood pulp by sliding the edge of the current page and (b) looking at the top of the page to see the current time, is that, reading a Chinese book by this Taiwanese singer/poet strewn with her photographs, when I saw one I wished was larger, the first thing that came to my mind was to double-tap it to enlarge.

***

Had passable beef noodles – well, actually the beef and beef soup were passable and I didn’t really eat the noodles – at LeNu for lunch, but I may have been slightly unfair, since I had just had some superb Mum-cooked Hokkien noodles (thick rings of fresh sotong, succulent shrimp, thin strips/slices of pork belly, yellow noodles and thin rice vermicelli, stir-fried to perfection in some prawn stock and stuff) around 10am. The beef noodles, and the friend’s enthusiastic recommendations about Taipei food, got me sort of keen (that’s the extent of my passion these days) to head to Taiwan soon. I remember Taiwan from several visits in uniform half a life ago, and a more recent trip during which I discovered one of my five favourite places in the world (another is Monterey Bay Aquarium): an eslite bookstore, open till late, woody and welcoming of browsers, a reminder of when I was curiouser and less weighed down by self-imposed loads, altogether younger.

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9 thoughts I had while I was not blogging

1. [22 September] So today, in my fourth week in emy new department, which is one floor down on the sixth floor, I pressed 7 in the lift. Apparently a muscle memory built up over the last two years takes over when I’m in automaton mode.

2. [In a cab on the way to work, passing by Yishun Avenue 1 going towards the expressway, looking left] The clouds today are like fog-shrouded hilltops seen from a nearby peak. One can see which is nearer, and which further, and the nearest one actually looks approachable.

3. [About a coffee start-up near the workplace; I will call it X] The coffee in X really isn’t very good – this is after trying maybe 20-plus lattes from the place, generally around 8 in the morning, when sometimes I’d see my friend’s mum alight from her other daughter’s car – in particular compared to lattes from Symmetry (the only food I’ve tried from the place is the crispy baby squid – it looks cute written like that, not in the least edible – and it’s so good).

4. [About my normal day, and the song-list in my head) My alarm is set for 6.05am. I usually wake up a bit earlier than that. When I actually get off my bed and zombie-slouch-walk my way to wash up, there is usually a song in my head. For a few weeks it was the same 许茹芸 song. On 24 September, it was 那些年. The next day, the One Night in Beijing chorus caught me unawares. And on 26 September it was – I took a while to pin it down, my brain was playing only snatches – Pharrell Williams’ Happy. And today, it was the music accompanying this FANTASTIC and violent fight scene in 杀破狼.

5. [On my first MRT ride in some weeks] I had forgotten what it is like to ride the MRT as a routine – there are people you expect to see, and stories you begin to make up about them. The harried mum with two always sleepy, always not-quite-kempt children, the boy with a repaired cleft lip who is more tolerant than his older sister of his mother’s nudges to wake up when they reach Bishan. From this, my brother and I thought their family situation must be difficult. But I do not think of them during that MRT ride, because I see a motorcycle with lime-green spokes and it falls behind the MRT and I keep waiting for it to catch up.

6. [During a lull in a busy period in August] Huh – I haven’t changed the month on my calendar since May.

7. The nasi lemak from that corner stall at the Old People’s Park Food Centre is lousy.

8. But the nutella crepe – made by a lady from Saybons (I didn’t know they did catering) – is perfect.

9. A long time ago, I learnt about fastest plane in the world, faster than the F15 or the F16, with the highest cruising altitude: the Blackbird. And recently I came across this totally amazing story about someone who test-piloted this plane for a living.

Leftovers from Peru and other miscellany

I had meant to gush about the dessert we had at Punto Azul too. After leaving the risotto plate spotless except for smudges of squid ink and the mixed fried combo plate smeared with some of the excellent salsa (excellent according to my colleagues; I tend not to dip), we ordered tres leche – meaning “three milk” – supposedly the quintessential Peruvian dessert: milk sponge cake, moist and fluffy (the first milk), with a layer of whipped cream on top (the second milk), half sunken in a pool of condensed milk (the third and most yummy leche). And that was a simple and slurp-worthy way to end that meal.

***

Most weekday mornings at about 7am, I am on the train I take to work. Lately I’ve been looking out through the windows on the right side of the train. Somewhere between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang – just after Khatib – there is a clearing in the middle of what looks like the beginnings of dense forest, and usually several people would gather there. These few weeks, when I’ve seen them, they’ve been doing yoga – just today they were all on all fours, butts up, heads down, looking very silly and regimented on their yoga mats. And even though I’ve seen this group of people several times over the past few weeks – I have always imagined they are middle-aged or older folk, but really they are too far away to tell, and I am sure I’ve seen both men and women, though more women, their rolled-up mats slung across their backs – it just struck me today that, not so long ago, this same group of people – I imagine they are the same group, since they appear in the same place – were doing taiqi.

***

Just the other day, I came across something online about toolboxes, and a vivid memory bobbed up from the depths of my brain, of little me staring at my dad’s toolbox with its one compartmentalised shelf which detached itself from the top of the box when the box was opened, to rest solidly on its articulated hinges, presenting all sorts of nails and screws and drill bits for his assessment and selection and perfect and dangerous use – dangerous because there were sharp points and electricity and heavy and hard metal surfaces involved, dangerous but then all the more of a thrill when my dad asked little me to fetch him a pithily described nail or tool.

I thought my dad was awesome then.

I haven’t felt that way in many years.

I think I miss that feeling.

In Peru, stuffed

I’m going to write about food again. No pictures though.

***

At the end of a tough few days in Lima, my boss (for the trip anyway) brought me to a Japanese restaurant one Wednesday evening. He had enjoyed the maki there tremendously, he said. The restaurant’s name, Magma Sushi Lounge, fitted the premises snugly – sofas and coffee tables made up half, bar stools and high tables the other. Odd for a Japanese place.

My boss immediately ordered passion-fruit juice – he had loved it the last time he had it here, and had even got the owner of the place to write it down in Spanish for him so he could order it again. It took a while to come – I joked that they were still watering the passion-fruit plant – and when it did, pale yellow liquid in two tall glasses with straws and the rest in a small jug – in Lima juices are often served in jugs – he slurped up a good portion and then sighed, exactly like he enjoyed it a lot. I thought I’d drink it more culturedly, but the first inhale through the straw was amazing – I was hit with the sensation of sweetness and freshness and just-squeezedness, and the sweetness was passion-fruit sweetness but dialed down to a level that was not cloying and could be enjoyed in greater amounts. Before I knew it, the Peruvian server was topping up my glass.

We also had maki and salmon sashimi (fresh enough), but the yummiest dish of the night was something called the special ika roll – grilled squid stuffed with crab meat and shrimp, cut into rings, drizzled with a savoury rich mushroom gravy, just a teeny tiny bit gingery. It was so good – the gravy was magic: it should have been too rich, but it wasn’t – that we ordered and finished (ok, with some difficulty) another set.

***

The next day two colleagues and I went to Punto Azul. One of them had talked about this restaurant in glowing terms – very good, yet affordable. It turned out that there was a queue there – apparently it only opens 11am-4pm, and there is always a queue. After waiting for about half an hour and then ordering some food and then eating the cancha (crunchy toasted ears of corn, a little salted) and teasing one of the colleagues about the earrings he bought for his girlfriend and the other colleague then cajoling him into showing us the earrings (the other colleague saying he’d role-play as the girlfriend) and then seeing the earrings – I remember they were pretty and Peruvian but cannot for the heck of me remember what exactly they looked like; I think there were stars involved somehow – and complimenting him for his taste and pointing out other customers’ mixed fried combos in hushed tones, the food arrived. The mixed fried combo was calamari and fish and shrimp, with a light onion garnish on top that somehow took away all the oiliness so that there was just the batter and the freshness of the seafood to chomp into. The squid-ink risotto was black – they were generous with the ink, I said, and then we got to talk about how the chefs got the ink (I personally think there are ready packets of ink they can buy) and one colleague described the squid-ink seafood curry (curry!) his grandma makes – and was the star of the show. There was a surprising tang to the rice – think cherry tomatos, just ripe – and that actually made the risotto, usually so heavy, heartily appetising. The ample portions of shrimp, scallops, fish and octopus proved to be worthy accompaniment.

***

I got super-lucky when I checked in online for my flight back – there was an offer to upgrade to business class for about S$500 for the 12-hour-plus first leg, and I jumped on it after wondering if it was a trick.

Stuff I’ve found interesting lately

It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. Gonna take a while to get the gears smooth and the voice back. Anyhow, here’s some stuff I’ve enjoyed / found interesting in the last few months.

1. Depot, a great little eatery on Federal Street in New Zealand

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Potato skins at Depot. Heartily crunchy.
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Mussels, grilled in their juice, with croutons. Too few.

2. Gone Girl, a casually callous thriller with a characters I want to see more of

3. Hi, I’m Liz – animals and corniness – deadly combo. I especially liked narwhal vs. beluga.

4. How the experience of driving has changed – when I was younger, I didn’t care so much about the mortality of others.

5. The nature of friendship, the closeness built up over time and the sloughing off of judgement and extra expectations.

6. Introducing more people to arrowhead chips :)

7. This nerdy economics comic, which I will understand in about eleventeen more weeks.

8. How easy it is to feel worthless at work, from a loss of autonomy brought about by not being familiar with a new portfolio.

9. How long it’s been since I’ve had Nestle Crunch until I had it on a recent flight, and how sweet it is now compared to the perfect bite of milk chocolate and rice crisps I remember it as.

10. How satisfying it is to read books again. For some reason, though I’ve kept on buying books, I had lost the motivation to really read. When it started, I stopped reading fiction, except for genre fiction of a certain predictability. Then, I dropped that and my most challenging reading material became non-fiction books, easier to absorb in small distanced sittings. Then I dropped even non-fiction books, and for some months relied entirely on news and other snippets pulled to my screen via RSS. My favourite explanation for this progression is that my pool of attention was being squeezed dry at work, and only replenished during the weekends. Not sure if that’s true, but the year-end spate of public holidays helped to restore some of that resource, whatever it was, and I’m very happy to be back among the book-readers.

11. The Progress Principle. And from the notes inside that book, this paper. The key insight is that progress in one’s work life is more important than many other factors used to motivate performance.

12. If you listen to podcasts and are curious, 99% Invisible has to be on your list. It’s refreshing, wonderfully produced and endlessly thought-provoking. Episode 67 – about a broken window which haunted the window-breaker for years and years – is a recent favourite.

Musings & brilliant Starbucks customer service

1. For the second time in just over two years, I was in Melbourne on work. I was slightly more used to the place this time, and didn’t mind wandering around by myself as much. I had good pho at Mekong, visited Nobu a couple of times and realised the truth behind the advice to enjoy the best in life in moderation and remembered, while walking around one of the mini-marts near the hotel (or was this in Narita or Los Angeles? Darn – now I think it was in Narita, just passing through, when I was being nasty to an acquaintance-colleague) and coming across a display of Dove chocolates, that I used to adore those two-square packages of melt-in-your-mouth roof-of-the-mouth-laving luxury. Now I don’t.

2. Increasingly, I don’t know where to get good caffe latte in Singapore. In general, Starbucks’s has weak foam and no espresso kick. I now have almost all my lattes at Bakerzin – at least the foam there is consistently thick and the taste of espresso occasionally surfaces.

3. Starbucks has BRILLIANT customer service though. I have an egg-white wrap (double-toasted) and a venti iced coffee with a dash of milk nearly everyday at its branch at The Central, and the folks behind the counter there are unfailingly smiley even when they are really busy. (They remember my “usual”, heh.) When absent-minded me lost two Starbucks cards (basically stored-value cards which can be registered at the Starbucks web site and topped up), Starbucks allowed for the cards to be de-registered (i.e. made unusable, preserving the value in the cards), sent an email to say they were sorry I lost my cards, replaced the cards and allowed me to transfer my unused $$ over to the new cards. I didn’t expect all that! This reminds me: I need to put something on its Facebook page.

4. I wanted to write about this before it won all those Oscars, but I really enjoyed The Artist. I thought it was a vision sumptuously, painstakingly, lovingly and comprehensively realised :) (Though, to be very honest, I still think it’s gimmicky :p)

Since Bali

So, I haven’t blogged since that last past about Bali.  That’s a gap of more than eight months.

I’ve wondered why.  Simple laziness is the tempting and probably substantially correct answer, but I feel there’s more.  Maybe part of that is busy-ness, though goodness knows I haven’t been too busy to eat a lot and sleep a lot and read a bit and cruise the Web in near-obsessive, increasingly desperate hunts for pointless utterly pointless sports news.  Maybe part of it is the sort of busy-ness that squeezes mental stamina out of you, the sort of mental stamina that then has to be replenished by idly allowing your face to be tanned by the light from your desktop LCD screen over the weekend.  Maybe part of it is just lack of inspiration, or the self-perceived version of same (but when is something not self-perceived anyway?).  And maybe part of it was the (self-perceived) meaningless-ness of whatever I would have written.  Or maybe, the question is the wrong one: I wondered why I haven’t blogged; maybe it’s more apt to ask why I should have.

Hmm.  Well.  I should have, because I thought I liked to blog.  I think I like to blog.  It’s troubling that there was that long period of time during which I apparently did not want to blog.  *thinking thinking thinking* Blogging is writing, yes?  So, maybe I wasn’t writing well at work.  Or was writing too much.

(Heh, funny how I came to “work” as a reason for not blogging.  But maybe it’s not so funny – “funny” as in “strange” – maybe it’s not so funny, since we work for so much of our lives.  If there is a reason I haven’t blogged, it’s probably linked to my work, just based on the universe of reasons in my life it can possibly be linked to.)*

###

Anyway, while I have not been blogging, I’ve collected some thoughts to blog about.  A lot of these surfaced during my various work trips.  I was in Brussels earlier this year, and when I came back home and cleared out my suitcase, I found a red-tipped matchstick, nestled amongst my clothes.  I don’t smoke, the hotel room I was in was a non-smoking one, there was no sign that anyone had tampered with my suitcase, so it was a complete mystery how a red-tipped matchstick ended up in my suitcase.  But maybe what happened was, the lady who cleaned out my room smoked and carried around loose matchsticks and inadvertently dropped one in my open suitcase.  Something innocuous and non-esoteric like that.  Maybe.

###

I think it was during the second-leg flight to Santiago.  I ran through the in-flight entertainment system’s various contents, and there were two Jason Mraz albums, a studio album and a one with songs he performed “live”.  Both had the song “I’m Yours”.  I’d of course heard the song several times over the radio by this time, but listening to the “live” version in a artificially closed personal space – with the crowd going wild after the first two notes of guitar twang and Jason Mraz’s free-wheeling slightly raw style – was a more moving, more buoying experience, and something I credit for keeping me sane during that flight.  (I then listened to it on repeat nearly the entire way back to Singapore.)

I saw a few sides of Chile.  Santiago looked a little unmaintained, but walk-able and open, with wide wide streets.  Wine tasting at the Concha y Toro vineyard was an… experience, with the sommelier brandishing his classic sommelier’s nose and the likeably pretentious sommelier’s jargon, and truly in my view enriching our enjoyment of the bottles of red and white on show.  Valparaiso looked in many ways like a modern European seaside town, with posh developments all around.  We had lunch at a restaurant along the Valparaiso coast, and the appetiser of lightly blanched white fish, clams, crab meat, prawns and squid, fresh from the sea and drizzled with lemon juice, hit the spot!

###

Long-haul flights offer one time alone, to be introspective.  I think that’s the only enjoyable bit about them.**

###

I spent many hours with my bosses during these work trips.  One of them, retiring soon, is a generous, opinionated man who’s been doing his job for longer than I’ve known about Transformers.  Recently, back in Singapore, he was in a meeting, at which several briefings had been scheduled for very important and busy people who’d just joined the ministry.  The briefings were overrunning, as they do, and near the end of the day, even though it wasn’t his turn, my boss gave his briefing.  What he did not know was, there were some colleagues from another department outside the meeting room, who had been waiting and waiting for their turn to brief, and that in fact they had been scheduled ahead of my boss.  When it turned out that my boss’s briefing would be the last one these very important and busy personages would be around for that day, the colleagues from this other department were understandably quite upset.

This department is located on the same floor as ours, and, once he’d settled some matters in his office, my boss walked over to this other department to apologise to each and every colleague who had waited for their turn which never came partly because my boss took up some time to do his own briefing.  His was the good-natured sort of apology, “sorry about it”, with a smile, unreserved, un-phony.

I gave my boss a hard time about skipping the other department’s turn (well, as hard a time as I could – I know my station in life) – how could you!, I said to him.  When I heard about his apology afterwards, I really had to shake my head, in admiration.  Will miss him.

###

The influence I wield over the lives of colleagues that I supervise/manage/lead is unexpectedly heavy.  This struck home when a conscientious new (well, sort of new) colleague called me on the phone to tell me, in between choking sobs, that her dad had been diagnosed with cancer and the doctor had given him only six months to live.  As I held the phone to my ear and listened to her crying, I could only cast about for something to say, something comforting and decent and supportive and helpful and which did not betray the fact that one of my first thoughts in the mess of things, as I remember it, right alongside “what must she be feeling now?”, was “how about her work?”.

###

A couple of things I have enjoyed these months, that I’d like to share:

1. Theme song from “Cheers” – Over the years, I think I’ve enjoyed other sitcoms more.  But not other theme songs.  Poignant and meaningful and true.

2. 戒不了 – I enjoy this Malaysian writer’s little pieces of whimsy and philosophy.  (They are in Chinese, which in my opinion can carry boundless nuance in a small space in a way that makes one marvel at the human capacity for creating meaning.)  Try these two: http://kitcheah.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post.html (title loosely translated as “Only for a little heartbeat”, about why one writes) and http://kitcheah.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-post.html (“Reason for being happy”, about how one is no longer another’s reason for being happy)

*There have been some changes at work – five new colleagues since March.  And more changes to come.  Big, scary monster-type ones.

**On one of these flights, I saw a flight attendant who behaved in the same way I’m sure a colleague would have if this colleague had been one.  (It’s times like this when I think there may well just be a finite number of types of people in the world.)

Skinny pizza again and a Corrine lament

Since I discovered Skinny Pizza (see reviews here (with pics of the below-mentioned squid ink pizza) and here) last year when my colleagues and I happened upon the Wheelock Place branch for lunch, I’ve been there maybe six or seven times.  When I introduced my sis to the place, we had the truffle fries (a must-try that has gotten less and less special with each visit; I think it’s gotten more oil-laden and less truffled…) and the curry chicken babaganoush (we agree that the hard-boiled eggs are a touch of genius, and that the Skinny Pizza folks could be more generous with the curry gravy).  When I introduced my pal to the place, we had the squid ink pizza at the Suntec branch, and it was good – the squid ink gravy that soaks the centre of the pizza is an appetising mix of savoury and slightly sweet tartness.  And when we had it again last Friday at the Wheelock Place branch, the grilled calamari and prawns were done to perfection, with just the right bit of char.  The only imperfection was the red onion slices that were strewn over the dark crust and that left a lingering sting in one’s palate.  On Friday we also had the bitter chocolate tart, and while this was yummy on many levels – like a multilayered piece of fine chocolate – it also packed the sort of richness (heatiness, we Chinese would call it) that has been known to lead to spontaneous nosebleeds.

Later in the evening, we heard Corrine May’s Song for Singapore over the radio.  Corrine May has a wonderful rich voice, and I think she puts up a great performance for this song.  It’s just a pity that some of the lyrics are cringe/wince-worthy.  Seriously – “I want to sing, sing a song for Singapore”?  “You’re my brother, you’re my sister”? 

P/S.  I am reading a joke book.  I have been unable to read heavy-going fiction recently; “A Heartbreaking of Staggering Genius” and “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” sit mouldering and unread on my table and my bookshelf, respectively.

PP/S.  So here’s a joke from the joke book: “Men like cars.  Women like clothes.  Women only like cars when they take them to clothes.”  Funny, and with a decent level of accuracy :p

PPP/S.  Opposite to cringe/wince-worthy are the lyrics for Sarah McLachlan’s “Do What You Have to Do”:

foie gras

I had the fortune of tasting some very yummy foie gras at St Pierre’s – I didn’t even mind the slice of apple underneath it, which is a big deal (as those who know me would know) – but after watching this TED talk, I won’t eat it the same way again.

Discoveries

Recently, I discovered that wedding couples have the same glassy-eyed look at their wedding dinner.  You know, it’s been a long, hectic day, and they’re trying to take it all in because it’s so meaningful, but the day’s become a pageant of things done for tradition and there are appearances to keep up, especially at dinner, where strange relatives and old classmates appear together, groups of people who had nothing to do with each other, all gathering for the same important, happy event, and it is for you that they’ve all turned up, and there are speeches to be made and toasts to be drunk and drunk and drunk.  It’s a hectic whirl, and glassy eyes, from the couple of weddings I went to in the last few months, are the norm for wedding couples.

Also, I discovered that I can’t deal with salty toothpaste.  Colgate has this new ‘mineral salt’ formula I think, and the first time I used it to brush my teeth I was still barely awake, and my instinct was to swallow the damn concoction because it tasted savoury.  It’s a conditioning, part of my upbringing – eating savoury stuff was a satisfying experience, almost all of the time.  And I realised that the day they make deep-fried stuff-flavoured toothpaste is the day I die of toothpaste poisoning.

Another discovery, or re-discovery, because I continue to be surprised by it: MRTs are so much less crowded during year-end school holidays.  It’s stunning.  Wonder of wonders, I actually got a seat the other day, a really comfortable bit of space.  I could put my bag on my lap and open it up and take a book out and read it with my bag on my lap and everything.  That was the most pleasant MRT ride I’ve had in months.

Also not long ago, I discovered Kij Johnson, who’s rekindled my enjoyment of science fiction and whose kooky titles just make reading her that bit more fun.  I know so many of us read genres and you may not read sci-fi, but just try her out.  Read “26 Monkeys, Also The Abyss” here (you’ll see that the story’s won many awards and you’ll see a link to a cool reading of the story).  Then read “The evolution of trickster stories among the dogs of North Park after the Change” here (you’ll see it has nothing to do with evolution and all to do with an utterly superb re-imagining of the beginnings of a creation myth).  And then read some more :)

And just at the end of last month, I discovered “Skinny Pizza”.  Read a review here, and others here and here.  I have eaten at Skinny Pizza twice, both times at the Wheelock Place outlet.  Skinny Pizza’s gimmick is of course the skinniness of its pizza – basically, it’s to normal pizza what tissue prata is to normal prata.  Skinniness in this case made the pizza crust super-crunchy, which is both good and bad.  When I tried the curry chicken pizza, I found the gravy-laden centre portion absolutely delicious, full of the traditional Indian curry flavour, and the outer edges overly dry.  But I can live with that.  What I wouldn’t be able to live with, is if they discontinued their truffled fries.  It’s too bad that they are ordinary shoestring fries – if a higher grade of cut potato was used, they would be matchless.  As it is, they are still the most tasty fries I’ve ever had.