Friday, February 25, 2005

Screen saver

Screen Savers

It has been bugging me so much that the work load at college has increased, my new teachers do not allow me to voice my opinions more than once and all my other little personal problems take place all at the same time. What do you do when your day just keeps getting worse?

Here is a solution. Try watching your screen saver in action! Got this idea from my sister and it really works. Now save those screen savers that move in abstract form like the one of the pipes filling the screen. Now having loads of things on my mind, I glanced a quick look at a friends lap top while the screen saver was on, it quickly drew my attention away from everything else. At that moment, it was as if I had just seen the most handsome guy on earth. Nope, it was more around the lines that it was something so cool, so different, so distracting.

Did you ever think that a bunch of pipes filling a screen could clear your mind from everything else? Well it surely works. It could be a great way to meditate. Want to get some stuff off your mind? Watch your screen savers!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Our top park

Our top park

The grass is green
wet and soaking;
the swings all seem
cold, no swinging.

Your absense molds
this park to be;
what it now holds
for you and me.

In the stillness
wonder and beauty;
it feels the warm less
without you, just me.

(dedicated to my monkey)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Cool watermelon

Cool watermelon

Lately the weather as been really hot making us release a large amount of sweat, and craving for a nice cold glass of water. Did you know that eating a watermelon is much more cooling than drinking an ice cold glass of water? Well, I just got to know that as I was eating one I realised that watermelons was something I could put on my blog today. So I started surfing the net and found loads of information and recipe ideas on watermelons. There was a study conducted by University of Leeds, UK that Watermelon has 53% more cooling effect than a ice cold glass of water. So why dont we all crave for watermelon rather than an ice cold glass of water?

After all Watermelon is also very nutrious as well as a good prevention to certain disease. Watermelons are low in calories.Watermelon is high in lycopene, second only to tomatoes. Recent research suggests that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, is effective in preventing some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. According to research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, men who consumed a lycopene-rich diet were half as likely to suffer a heart attack as those who had little or no lycopene in their diets. Watermelon is also high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, in the form of disease fighting beta-carotene. Research also suggests that the red pigmented foods provide this protection. Lycopene and beta-carotene work in conjunction with other plant chemicals not found in vitamin/mineral supplements. Potassium is also available, which is believed to help control blood pressure and possibly prevent strokes.

Watermelon is truly one of summertime’s sweetest treats. It is fun to eat, and good for you. Sometimes on a hot day i feel like pouring ice water on my head. So here is an idea, smash watermelon all over your body! hehehe....alright bad idea as its a little too messy.

Want some watermelon recipes which I found off the net:

Watermelon Granita

5 cups seeded watermelon pulp
1 cup sugar syrup*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Thin watermelon wedges, cut into strips for a garnish

1. Puree watermelon in a food processor.

2. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Stir in the syrup and lemon juice. Freeze for about 4 hours or until frozen solid.

3. To serve, scrape up granita with a large spoon and place in goblets, tulip shaped wine glasses or ice cream dishes. Garnish with a narrow wedge of watermelon. Makes 4 servings.
*To make sugar syrup; Combine 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for one minute. Stirring constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved. Cool in the refrigerator.

Watermelon Smoothie

1 - 8 ounce lemon, fat-free yogurt
3 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 tablespoon honey or strawberry jam
3 ice cubes

1. In a blender or food processor, combine yogurt, watermelon, strawberries, honey and ice cubes.

2. Process until smooth and frothy. Serve in tall glasses with a straw. Makes 4 servings.

Well that is all I have to say about watermelons. Have a good day, and don't forget if your feeling hot to drink a nice cold glass of watermelon juice. Cools you down!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Birthdays to remember

Birthdays to remember

I went for a 1 year old birthday party today. It has been sometime since a kids party. Don't kids birthday parties just bring so much joy to one? It seems as if as we grow older, we forget how to have so much fun. With a simple birthday party, yet quite a happening one. The clown, the balloons, the ice cream, the games, the decorations, the funny parents running after their little ones, and the cake.

Yes the cake! Do you remember how your first birthday cake looked like? Wasn't it the best one you've had? Well at least for me, it was the nicest one i've had. It was lavender with purple flowers on it. On my 16th birthday, my parents actually tried to re-live that and yeah, the cake looked similar. But isn't it funny how as we grow older our birthday cakes just become dull. The cake I had today was this 4 floors noah's ark cake filled with loads of animals on it with two outstanding giraffes topping the cake. That was a lovely cake, which was very hard to cut as everyone was saying how beautiful it was that no one wanted to cut it! Think about it, as we grow older, our cakes are not usually so exciting as our first birthday ones were.

A party with kids running here and there, just everywhere, playing games, blowing bubbles, amazed at the clown's tricks, eating cake, rushing for the ice cream and torturing the poor dog. Those were the good old days. Today it is very much different. Yes, we have the kids running everwhere playing games, and blowing bubbles, but there is the get together to bully the clown because he looks silly, smashing cakes, scared of the dog and not want ice cream. The little things from my observation.

Although i must say, they still know how to have fun. They still play games my great grandmother used to play which still brings so much thrill in their faces. Musical chairs, Pass the parcel, Statue dance, newspaper lover, and the famous chicken dance! Games that have been here for centuries. Games that still bring smiles to faces. Oh how I wish I was still a kid and when I say kid I mean 5 years and below. At least then you are entitled to no rules what so over.

So how come we dont still have parties with these games? It may not seem so happening to say pass the parcel, but just watch the smiles on people faces when the parcel is being passed. Its complete irony on how people can say "oh not another kids party-not happening lar!" Well i guess that is for you to decide. A kids party seems like the perfect party to have in my opinion. Re-live your childhood! You cant turn back time, but you can certainly re-live it!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Magic Trolleys

Magic trolleys

I dragged myself into the supermarket forcing myself to keep up with my mother and sister's pace. It was hard as it was either they were after the bullet train, or it was just me being paranoid of the fact that we were here to shop. Shopping is just not my thing. Some people just love too shop. They don't even have to have money to shop, as they find the thrills still present when they window shop. Well that is just not me. I do not find anything fascinating with shopping. When i need somehing, I go get it at a specified place, even then I would plan ahead on where I have to go, and how long I would take in that shop. Talk about being paranoid yet organised!

I do not usually do the supermarketing. I find that is a mother's job. Although I do know that someday i'll be a mother too, and I would need to do the supermarketing, but hey, there is a long way for that day to come and hopefully in time, we would have for confidence in e-bay supermarketing that it will be a norm to click online for your marketing and have it delivered at your door step. Now that's me dreaming, although i do believe such things already exist.

Well today, was no ordinary day, as I had to shop for groceries. Why? Simply because my mother insisted that I come along as three quaters of the shopping was done for a youth event I was involved in which she volunteered to cook for. So yeah, we were at Tesco. It has been quite sometime since i last set foot in this huge british supermarket.

I decided to stroll along wih the trolley finding much enthusiam in it as the wheels were so smooth that it could just literally take you 100km/h in just 5 mins. It was brilliant. I wondered why they would create such a trolley for housewives( my supermarket ladies)? I remember being a kid sitting in the trolley being pushed around. It was a lot of fun as I had always a seat, and i could pull loads of things that i liked at my reach into the trolley. Actually i never really focused on the buying bit, it was just lots of fun pulling things down when mum was not looking. Pushing this trolley brought back lots of memories from the past, the amount of fun I had tagging along with mum was not so bad after all. Maybe I did enjoy shopping. Maybe i still do...

We spent a whole 2 hours at Tesco filling the trolley with things. Spent a whole lot of money on food, groceries, sun shade, car air freshner, sweat pants, crushed cherry sparkling juice and lots more. Oh, yeah and black pepper roast chicken! Yummy! which we had fo dinner.

This supermarketing was some fun. It did not turn out so bad which i had in mind when i walked into the shop. I tell you those trolleys have some magic dust in it. I makes you want to come back again!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Rainy day blues

Rainy day blues

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there will be sun! Yes i would certainly like to be a meteorologist for a day after my rainy day incident today.

It is about about 3.30pm, my friend, Jess and I drive to to main block of our college to settle some payments, hoping to get back just in time for law class at 4pm. It was bright and sunny at that time with not a single cloud to be found in the sky. Upon arriving at the main block, we park the car, and walk to the book shop to get some books. When we came out, the sky was dark grey. We had only taken about 2 minutes in the bookshop. For a sky to turn from light blue to grey in just 2 minutes was some irony. We knew at that moment it was going to pour. We had no umbrella nor a book to shelter our head. Thinking we had some time before it came down, we went to settle our payments.

At 3.50 pm we walk out the door of Help University College, only to find it pouring outside. Now the rain was not really our problem. The problem was that we had class starting in 10 minutes and it was all the way in the other block. Lucky for me, i had worn a cold long sleeve sweat shirt with a hood that kept me quite warm. Talking about hoods, i decided to put the hood onto my head and run to the car to get an umbrella like an admirable hero, thinking i would not wet my hair which i had just washed and steamed this morning. Unfortunately for me, my hair got soaked wet, as i had forgotten that my sweat shirt was made out of cotton, and so was my hood. Cotton absorbs water(Duhh..) Yeah i was wet from head to toe. By the time i reached the car, i felt like someone had just poured a bucket of water over my head. My jeans were so wet, it was dripping. I felt so heavy like as if my pants were trying to glue me to the floor so i would not move again. Talk about putting on extra weight. After sitting in the car for about 10 mins, i decided to get out with 2 umbrellas. It was still pouring, but it did not make much of a difference as i was already soaking wet. I get back to Jess. She looks at me standing there like a hero who just returned from war all scruffy and dirty, in my case wet. We decided at that point to forget law class, and head to mc donalds for some hot fries. We make it to mc donalds still soaked, get our fries, and decide to head to Jess' place to dry up. We put up our umbrellas ready to go. Just as we open the door, we could feel the strong wind pushing us back. We got out, and that's when i looked at my friend Jess in desperate help as my umbrella was about to get off my hands as the wind was pushing it off. I was trying my best to hold on to it, that the wind nearly swept me off my feet. That is one of the disadvantages of being slim. You get pushed around by the strong winds.

Jess got hold of the umbrella, we shared one umbrella and walked to the car like ducks. It was such a cold ride home, snacking on the hot french fries we had just bought. My shoes were bubbling. It was filled with water, that it started to pierce itself through the cotton and bubble. It was a rather unusual sight. Want to see that happen? Purchase reebok, and get caught in a storm like this. You would have some thrill just looking at it.

We got to Jess place still soaking. The rain had stopped by then. We dried off, i got a baga-lose shirt to change into which i had lots of fun swimming in and then settled down for a nice hot masala tea, which Jess makes so well.

This is the first day I have ever gotten so wet in the rain that i was literally dripping from head to toe. Never in my life have i gotten so wet in the rain. It was a new experience. A rather thrilling one i would say. Never thought the rain could inspire me to blog.

Next time it starts to pour, don't frown, as you might just have lots of fun!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ceasar's Salad

Ceasar's Salad

We all have our favourites when it comes to food. My favourite food would be the Classic Ceasar's Salad. Now this is one dish that would make me travel out just to get the best Ceasar's Salad around town. As it stands, TGIFridays hasnt failed to let me down on their Ceasar's Salad. A huge portion but done extremely well. The next time you go to Fridays, and can't decide what to have, be sure to try their Classic Ceasar's Salad. Let me tell you a little about how Ceasar's Salad came about.

The creation of Ceasar's Salad has been attributed to an Italian, Ceasar Cardini, who at the time was a restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico. According to records, supplies in the Cardini establishment ran short one holiday weekend in 1924. Ceasar experimented and that evening the Ceasar's Salad was born. "Take everything to the table" he said, "and make a ceremony of fixing the salad". Let guests think they're having the specialty of the house". Later, it was voted " the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in fifty years" by the International Society of Epicures in Paris*.

For purists, ceasar salads are made from simple, fresh ingredients, and contain fresh garlic (used to flavor the oil), cold, dried heart of romaine leaves, fresh ground pepper, a dash of salt, imported olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce (where the anchovy flavor came from), homemade croutons and Parmesan cheese. The cheese is usually grated in front of you. More upscale restaurants may prepare caesar salads right at your table (tableside), although these have been more difficult to find.

Of course over the years, ceasar's salad has been improvised to meet our taste buds. My favourite mix of ceasar salad is when its topped with bacon bits, turkey ham, cajun chicken with olives. Now that's rich and yummy!

For those who want the ingredients to a simple but tasty ceaser's salad, here you go:

Baby Romaine and Lolll Rossa leaves
Cherry Tomato
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Croutons
Bacon bits, or cajun chicken, or turkey ham, or just mixed them all together

For dressing:
3 medium sized eggs, 2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic, 3 anchovies
1 tsp worcestershire sauce, 2 tblsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 200ml extra virgin olive oil

For Croutons:
6 slices french baguette, 20g butter and garlic

1. Dressing:Using a food processor mix the eggs, garlic, anchovies, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and mustard until smooth. Finish off by folding in the olive oil to produce creamy dressing.
2. Put the leaves into a salad bowl and toss the leaves gingerly with the dressing. Mix well and top it with the croutons, bacon, tomato, olives, and parmesan cheese.
3. Serve immediately.

Well thats done for today. A simple subject to tickle your tastebuds. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Not What it used to be!

Not What it used to be!

One of the least romantic days of the year is Valentine's Day. Yes you heard me correctly. The majority of men act like robots, purchasing flowers and chocolate for their sweethearts because that is what everyone else is doing. Many people celebrate the day out of obligation rather than celebration. Today we celebrate valentines day with roses, chocolates, and candle light dinners, but is it really what Valentine's day is all about? To answer that, let me take you through the history of Valentine's day, how this special day came about.

This is an article i found on the net:(read on)

Valentine's Day- Not what it used to be!
February 14 is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop. For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year. In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the box would contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year. Needless to say, many of the young Roman men were not too pleased with the rule changes. Instead of the pagan god Lupercus, the Church looked for a suitable patron saint of love to take his place. They found an appropriate choice in Valentine, who, in AD 270 had been beheaded by Emperor Claudius. Claudius had determined that married men made poor soldiers. So he banned marriage from his empire. But Valentine would secretly marry young men that came to him. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he first tried to convert him to paganism. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead to convert Claudius. When he failed, he was stoned and beheaded. During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. His love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since. Although the lottery for women had been banned by the church, the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine was still used by Roman men to seek the affection of women. It became a tradition for the men to give the ones they admired handwritten messages of affection, containing Valentine's name. The first Valentine card grew out of this practice. The first true Valentine card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time. Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards.

So that is how Valentine's day came about. Now it is rather romantic for a guy to give the girl he loves roses, chocolates, or maybe even take her out for dinner, but don't do it because you have to do it. Do it to celebrate this day! Most girls would love to be pampered every other day. Going out of the way is an act of love done only if the heart chooses to do it, if not it's just another obligation. So since we have all made Valentine's day a must celebrate day, then celebrate it with true love! Make your loved one's feel special on this one day, but remember do it out of LOVE!
A couple i know pretty well, on a long distance relationship, celebrated valentine's day talking to each other on the phone while eating ice-cream in an ice-cream parlour. Neither of them had spent a penny on the other, but they both spent loads of their time on the phone with each other. Don't make valentine's day all about money, just do it out of love. What ever it may be, making someone feel special is always a good thing.
Go out there and show you care, blog love-birds! Make it the most romantic day!
(dedicated to Ralph, thank you for teaching me so much)