Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fit For Royalty

The Dress has been revealed.

not to brag, but i had a feeling that sarah burton would be designing it (okay, there have been reports of leaked information from alexander mcqueen that kate middleton was very keen on having burton design her wedding gown after she saw the dress burton designed for tom parker bowles' bride in 2005), since it would have been the best way to pay homage to one of britain's most shining beacons of fashion.

perhaps the duchess of cambridge's choice was cemented by burton's first womenswear collection for alexander mcqueen last fall, which i thought brought some much-needed reprive and sensibility to mcqueen's satorial antics.

two thumbs up for burton, who succeeded in not only inheriting the best elements of the fashion industry's enfant terrible, but also designing a beautiful, timeless gown that is truly fit for a queen.

the duchess's choice may have been a tad conservative, but i liked that she didnt overdo any of the dress details or go with a ridiculous 10m long train. and the veil was simply elegant.

kind of reminds me of grace kelly's gown though, which to me is still the best wedding dress ever.

however, what really caught my attention was the long column sheath worn by pippa middleton, which was also designed by burton. simple, form-fitting, understated - now that's what i call a dress!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long Overdue

We've been married for four months but our wedding pictures only arrived in the mail this week.

it's a small shame not being able to look at the photographs at the height of our nuptial glow, but we had fun trawling through the pictures anyway.

ken and i arent the posey-posey sort, so we decided to forgo the de-rigueur pre-wedding photo shoot in favour of a short picture-taking session after the wedding (considering how we were blanching at some of the poses our photographer had us do during the shoot, i'd say that was probably a very good move).

surprisingly though, most of the posed shots turned out pretty okay. here are a few of my favourites:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Basil Me Silly

On a whim, I brought home a huge bag of them from the fresh fruit and vegetable market in downtown naha.

i didn't know what i could do with such a mammoth pile of leaves, so i tried making my own basil pesto.

40 basil leaves, two tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese, 100ml of olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic were blended to yield quite a handsome portion of homemade pesto.

tossed in a saucepan with some penne, shiitake and bacon, the basil pesto made for an effortless, lip-smacking lunch.

the rest of the larger leaves were left to dry in the sun. i figured dried basil could come in handy for soups and oil-based salad dressings. plus, they'd make good company for the jars of rosemary and lemongrass sitting on my kitchen window sill.

when all the work in the kitchen was done, i caught up on some overdue reading (i know i know, it's a magazine and not quite such an intelligent read) over a hot cup of lemongrass tea.

best way to combat a headache, if you'd ask me.

Last Weekend

Turned out to be a pretty lovely one.

okinawa heralded the arrival of spring with the nation's first fireworks display of the year. we make it a point to attend the festival every year since it's held at the beach just ten minutes from our apartment. usually, the streets leading up to the venue would be flanked by food and game stalls and the place would be thronged with visitors, but this year, such pasar-malam gaiety was nowhere to be seen.

despite the shadows cast by last month's earthquake and tsunami, we had one of the best (free) seats in the house. beer, fried chicken, great company and an hour and a half's worth of man-made stars exploding across the sky. you can't possibly ask for more.

the day after, we marked Qing Ming by trooping down to the family grave for some tomb-sweeping. okinawa is the only prefecture in japan that still observes chinese customs such as lunar new year and qing ming, and the similarities with the practices carried out in singapore are uncanny. tombs in okinawa are huge and tortoise-shaped, making them very similar in appearance to some of the older chinese graves back home. offerings to ancestors consist of paper money (yellow in colour too!), joss sticks, brewed tea and お節-like food consisting of stewed pork, fish tempura and rice cakes. what's most interesting about qing ming in okinawa is that everyone sits down to a picnic at the grave after tomb-sweeping is complete.

i went armed with a camera to fulfill my intention of chronicling the day with photographs, but that task had to be set aside when i was handed a pair of workgloves and a small parang. the next time though, those gloves are coming off for some picture-taking!

two hours of grass-cutting and a short picnic later, us and the rest of the extended family ended the afternoon by settling down to a fancy japanese lunch at one of the city's fanciest hotels.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

To Feel Good

I think music nowadays has become disposible.

with the advent of the digital music movement, along with mp3s and ipods, people tend not to listen to the same things too often. play something you've downloaded cheaply off itunes five times and you're ready to buy a new tune online again.

and so to cater to fickle consumers, music factories have had to churn out more artistes, more songs and more albums just to keep up.

jay-z calls them "auto-tunes", and i think i'll have to agree. there are less golden melodies and more forgettable white noise dominating the airwaves these days.

i miss the days when i made my own mixed tapes, and when i mulled over which cd to buy because they were too expensive for a 15 year old.

some feel-good songs that you hardly hear on the radio these days:

Lenny Kravitz, "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" (and here he is, looking incredibly good in this live performance)

Mark Morrison, "Return of the Mack"

The Cranberries, "Linger" (i can still remember all of the lyrics!)

East 17, "Deep" (i loved east 17 before i ever began to like take that. my idea of the best boy band from england.)

PM Dawn, "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" (i think i only ever liked spandau ballet's "true" because of this song)

ah, the simple bliss of nostalgia.

Of Cubs and Hindi Movies

Of late, the mood has been sombre.

cherry blossoms are close to blooming but this year, people are worried about celebrating in the face of misery and suffering.

to lift spirits (and also perhaps in line with media guidelines in times of crisis), there's been a bumper crop of light-hearted variety programmes showing evergreen song specials and funny video clips.

here are two that really made me laugh out loud:

this little cub, abandoned at birth by his mother, is terribly shy and doesn't quite mix well with others. watch what happens when zookeepers place him with other animals in a bid to help overcome his fear.

always wondered what will happen if you match a hindi movie dance sequence to a traditional japanese marching band song? here's a video to satisfy that curiosity of yours: