Behind The Candelabra

I am at Spianata in Spitalfield Market with Mr.B, sipping latte & looking at passerby.

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Such a lovely weather today.
Gentle breeze caresses my forehead like an exquisite silk chiffon scarf.
And chilled out Mr.B, snuggling up on my lap and sniffing the air occasionally.
At this very moment, my life seems to be just perfect…

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By the way, true to my word, I carried out my second solo film outing!
The film I viewed was, goes without saying,  Behind The Candelabra…

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The very next day of the film was premiered, I was in a queue for a ticket at Odeon West End, Leicester Square.
Against my guess that the cinema would be deserted since the weather was gorgeous (as a British standard) and the screening was in early afternoon, the foyer was busy with a substantial crowd. Wow, what’s going in?!
Shimmying through the crowd with a large cup of latte and some sweets, I made my way to the screening room. My expectation mounted up as I shuffled on the plushy carpet…

After settling down in my seat, I swivelled my head like a periscope and studied the fellow audience.
There were roughly three categories:
1. Gay couples (mainly male)
2. Pensioners (mainly female)
3. Singletons (male & female, including me)
Those with companions were chatting busily in a hushed tone. And loners like me were fiddling smartphones or sipping beverages, killing the boredom.

Shortly afterward, the lighting was darkened and customary ads for future screenings commenced.
Oh yes, I must watch Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring”!
Then finally, the main act, that was what we were here for, had started. Everyone was holding a breath and the excitement was truly palpable!

How did I find Behind The Candelabra?
I thought it was brilliant! Matt Damien’s performance was gutsy and very convincing. And especially, his special effect make up! It was remarkable. How did the studio manage to make him look that much younger than his actual age of 41?! Was it a skill of their make up
artist? Or post- production retouching? Or both? It was astonishing. I wish if I could borrow one of those miracle workers for myself for one day (or even one hour!).
And Michael Douglas, my, my, he was the legend, wasn’t he?
His performance, as the legendary pianist, Liberace, was truly mesmerizing.
How his fingers flew over the keys! Did he have a hand-double or something?
The film was peppered with numerous entertaining moments and our bellies were tickled non stop. I was particularly taken by the scene when Liberace’s bitchy house boy, Carlucci, presented a plate of canapés to Scott played by Mr.Damon, thrusting his tightly clad a** to his face!
I wasn’t sure how those male gay people in the audience felt about the scene. However, all pensioner ladies around me broke out with rapturous laughter. It was soooo funny!
Another hero of the film was the plastic surgeon brilliantly played by the 80’s heart-throb, Rob Lowe.
Together with his permanently arched eye brows and a contoured half-smile deadpan expression, he offered one of the best LOL moments in the film.
In his post production interview, Mr.Lowe confessed how his scalp was pulled tightly and taped in order to create that distinctive “over-tweaked” look. As the result, he suffered with a terrible migraine throughout the filming.

My verdict on the film was 5 star & highly recommended!
The last word of Liberace was “Too Much of Good thing is Wonderful”.
I agree with him entirely…

Unrequited Love (Pad)

I just came back from UPS Customer Centre in Camden.
To be precise, the depot was right by Kentish Town Tube.
I had to return the dog house I bought through Fab because Mr. B didn’t like it at all.
A super helpful guy from Fab suggested that UPS could come & collect from my address if their depots weren’t in my neighbourhood.
However, the damn UPS website was down. So I asked Hubbie to drive me there.

Ta-dah!
This was what I ordered for Mr.B.
Doesn’t it look fab? It was a love at first sight when I first laid my eyes on this cutie.
The shell is made of plastic and a yellow polka dot cushion accompanies it.

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Hubbie & I opened the package, getting very excited.
How will Mr.B react to this unexpected gift?
Our eager fingers couldn’t move any faster while peeling off layers of sticky tapes.
Mr. B was observing it from his dog bed with a mild interest. And he approached the pod cautiously when our cheerful voice called him over.
He stuck his head in first followed by his paws…
Then, something spooked him. He jerked himself out of the pod and retreated to his dog bed in a lightning speed! Oh no, what’s happened?!

We tried really hard to lure him into the pod again.
However, our effort was in vain. There was no way to bargain with or to reason with dogs if they have made up their mind.
We were so disappointed that it didn’t work out. Because the pod would be a perfect addition to our minimalist apartment…

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His crash pad, the Strawberry House, is aging so badly.
It’s now lost all its freshness and is sagging like a rotting one. That was the original reason why I wanted to replace it in the first place.
Oh well, I will have to find an alternative…

Mr.B looks at me reproachfully, “Nothing’s wrong with this pad!”
Well, it is an eye sore, actually…

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He is crawling back into his beloved Strawberry HQ before I change my mind.
Oh dear…

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Natto My Love

Hubbie is in Belgrade, Serbia at the moment, giving a lecture.
And I & Mr. B are left alone to roam free. Yipee!

Not that Hubbie is a controlling kind of guy. Far from it.
However, he can be quite picky when it comes down to food.
So I eat what I cannot eat normally when he is away!

He is born & bred in Yorkshire with very plain foods (so I gather).
Therefore, his taste bud is rather conservative. Serving him anything un-British, his cutlery stops moving.
Ever since we started to go out together, I introduced him to more diverse culinary experience.
However, old habits die-hard, he can’t take anything overly spicy, sour nor pungent.
One of the foods I look forward to enjoying during his absence is Natto.
Natto is a soya product which is an everyday food amongst Japanese, especially in the east half of Japan.
It has a certainly smell & texture due to its making process – fermentation. The distinctive smell of Natto, which resembles smelly French farm cheese, presents a definite challenge for any non-Japanese. They meet their Waterloo…
As being a picky child myself, Natto was not my favourite side dish either. My heart used to sink when I caught a whiff of that sticky & slimy brown stuff. Detecting my disapproval, my mom sternly ordered me “Take 2 more spoonfuls. It will make your bone strong”. I gingerly transferred 2 large scoops of Natto on my rice and shovelled the mixture into my mouth as quickly as I could manage…
I can’t remember since when I started to appreciate and enjoy eating Natto. Maybe in my twenties? My taste bud seemed to have grown up. And learning that Natto had many health benefits helped me to overcome my initial reservation too.

When Hubbie visited my family the first time, my parents opted for a large tray of sushi as a welcome dinner.
My dad became mischievous and chaperoned him to try one of Natto gunkan-makis – Gunkan-maki is a type of sushi consisting of sushi rice shaped in a oblong cylinder and wrapped in a sheet of nori. The top is adorned with fish roe, Japanese style coleslaw or Natto.
Hubbie was so keen to impress his future father-in-law, therefore, picked the one up obligingly and placed it in his mouth. His eyes widened with a shock then became slightly teary. While I held my breath, he gulped it in one go like a starving crocodile and followed it up with a large swig of beer.
Dad’s eye glinted of glee and uttered “Outstanding!” Naughty dad.
Ever since, Natto never goes anywhere near Hubbie’s lips…

Anyway, my lonely feast starts earnestly…

Typical Natto comes in like this.
3 or 4 are bundled up as a set. I buy them from a Japanese supermarket and keep them in a freezer.
Accompanying Natto is a small sachet of seasoning (soy sauce based sauce) and mustard…

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Seasoning & mustard will be added later.
First of all, the Natto is transfered to a bowl…

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Then, whisking commence!
My mom used to say “Stir 100 times at least!” At the beginning, the natto is very sticky which makes getting going rather tough. The Natto spins white web and it sticks to the surface like a Spiderman’s!  Still, I persevere with firmly held chopsticks in my right hand and gripping the bowl like a vice with my left.
This is how it looks after stirring 200 times…

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After it is whisked more than 200 times, the texture loosens up and turns creamy.
Then, I add the seasoning. Mmmm, it’s ready…

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Natto can be enjoyed as it is, or with a bowl of rice.
It can also be added to omelette or even be served on top of Japanese style curry!
Natto provokes and divides opinions. Some love and some loathe.
It’s a bit like Marmite, don’t you agree?…

The Apple of Eden

There is one thing I have been lusting after since this morning.
Sony XBA4ip in-ear headphones.
Ahhhhh, quality audio equipments never come cheap, do they?

My expensive taste when it comes to in-ear headphones has started five years ago, since that fatal moment, when I stuffed my ears with a pair by Ultimate. My life (& my ears) has changed forever.
I definitely bit into my Eve’s Apple that afternoon…

Unlike any other luxury experiences, a sensory one such as audio is specific and unyielding.
Once one is initiated to this sensory treat, it is just impossible to downgrade to any lesser equipments.
Most definitely not one of those whinny white pairs comes free with iPhone!

Ahhhh, I don’t know what to doooo!
The more I think about it, the cloudier my mind gets. Should I spend that money on my new iPhone?
Or should I have a better audio experience? I am soooooo confused.

No shoes nor frock can give a spine-tingling sensation like good headphones can every time I wear them.
Therefore, my intention is not all wrong. I only wish if it didn’t come with such a steep price tag.
Mmmmm… I gonna sleep on it…

Fantasy & Reality

Previously, I wrote how much I loved the film, The Great Gatsby.

There were many things I was taken by in those 142 minutes.
Especially, the luminous complexion of Daisy, together with her adorable bob hairstyle, captured my attention throughout the film.
I started to hear a little voice in my head whispering “Let’s get a new foundation”.
And it got louder and louder as I was increasingly transfixed to her flawless skin and her fabulous costume.
So once I stepped out into the late afternoon sunshine, the next thing I did was scurrying to the nearest Laura Mercier stockist.
And less than an hour later, I was an owner of Laura Mercier’s Mineral Powder Foundation in Natural Beige.

Next morning, I was so looking forward to trying out the new makeup. A small amount of the powder was scooped up with the brush and applied on my face with circular motion…
Then… WHAT?!
The face looking back to me in the mirror had a strange sheen – greyish pinky metallic texture which was not at all flattering. Instead of being luminous, my skin looked unnaturally shiny with every accentuated pore and line on display. I was simply…mortified.
Sure, my face had clocked up more mileage than the girl who played Daisy. And it was very silly of me to expect even slightly that a mere makeup could erase and eradicate all the flaws on my face. I felt deflated, foolish and even depressed.

The pot was duly tossed into the cupboard which was dedicated specially for a collection of my unloved makeups (& out of sight from Hubbie, of course).
Oh well, it didn’t work out this time (again). But one day, may be one day, a miracle foundation may cross my path and fix my imperfection… *sigh*

Sent from my iPhone

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