Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easy Steak Dinner

Hi guys, if you have been following me on Insta, you'd know that I recently made steak for dinner, complete with peas and sauce and mash!

Here's the recipe for the sauce: click! I used fresh diced mushrooms instead of the garlic steak powder so it has little bits of yummy shrooms.

If you're lazy to click on the link, here's my variation:

Ingredients:
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cube of beef stock
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 - 3/4 cream
- 1-2 tbs corn flour
- 1 or 2 fresh button mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 tbs salt (or whatever rocks your boat, really, you could even skip this step... I love salt so I PILE IT ON)

1. Peel the garlic and then crush them and toss into pan (without oil)
2. Add water and beef stock
3. Add garlic powder and cream and lastly, flour
4. Add diced mushrooms
5. Salt to taste and you're done!

For the steak, all I did was marinate it with LOTS of salt and black pepper overnight. Do not be afraid to be generous with the salt because steaks are thick and you're only coating the outer layer. You'll need enough salt on the beef to make it tasty or you'll end up with bland chunks of meat.

As for the mash which I consider to be my specialty cos we practically lived off mash and bacon last year... You can follow the instructions from my shepherds pie recipe. But for this dish, I added chives on top of the potatoes to give it extra flavor.

And viola!

(Taken from my Insta, if you're not following me... Click on the photo!)


Oh yea, for the peas, you just boil em. Make sure not to undercook/overcook them!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reflection

This semester at Swinburne University of Technology, I undertook Project A which is essentially a unit which allows students to gain work experience in their field of interest or to start an independent project. As I took Project B last semester, I have a good understanding of what Project A entails as they have identical unit outlines. The only difference is that Project A is available in the first semester of the year, and Project B the second semester.

Since I pursued a collaboration for Project B, I decided to go for the second option of gaining work experience for Project A. I contacted Nuffnang Australia and expressed my interest in interning with them as I was hoping to be able to become more involved with Australia's blogging scene and also to experience a professional environment.

David Krupp, the country manager, got in touch with me and scheduled an interview. As their office is in Prahran, I decided to go right after my class ended to scope out the area so I would not end up lost and late. Doing so allowed me to be confident I would be on time for the interview and minimize the pressures of going for the interview. Going in at 2pm was rather nerve wrecking as I have never been to an interview before and I was extremely conscious about making a good first impression. However, David was very easy going and chatted with me casually. I gave him my timetable and he said that he would be in touch.

Looking back on the interview, although I secured the internship, I think that I could have better prepared myself by going for the free interview practice sessions at Swinburne. It would have given me a better idea of what to expect from an interview. Furthermore, I was rather quiet as I did not know proper interview etiquette. I was afraid I might say or do something inappropriate, so I kept my answers short and limited my questions.

About a week after the interview, he emailed me and we worked out which days were best for me. We settled for Mondays and Fridays from 11am-5:30pm.

I was very excited about the prospect of working in an office and getting the opportunity to meet new people outside of my social circle. I was well looked after and everything I was asked to do were very task specific so I did not feel unsure or confused.

The environment Nuffnang provided was rather casual. While everyone was expected to contribute to the company in a professional manner, the importance of balance between work and pleasure was understood. Therefore, during my internship, I had the opportunity to get to know everyone over lunch and a few drinks.

Although I tried my best to complete all the tasks set out for me within the day itself, to treat my internship as a real job with real obligations and responsibilities (meaning no procrastination, getting to work on time, keeping superiors informed about situations - eg. unable to make it to work due to sickness or if I am going to be late with an acceptable reason), I felt that there must have been something I could have done to make the experience more worthwhile. But reflecting upon it now, perhaps the expectations I set for what I would get out of the internship was too unrealistic.

I suppose it is hard to limit one's expectations when there is no prior experience. All I had to build my expectations on were movies I have watched and friends who are already in the media industry workforce. Despite knowing that movies glamorize everything, my expectations still fell short. I had thought that big events and parties were part and parcel of any employment in the media circle. Project A and Nuffnang gave me the opportunity to experience office life and helped me better understand what I want from a job, which would aid me in finding a better suited career for me once I graduate. Although events and parties are definitely a plus to any job, I have decided that I would much rather have a non-office job as working in an office is not for me. I found that working in an office environment is rather dull. Although the people are all very pleasant to work with and I was able to distract myself by changing tasks every half an hour, I want to be able to experience something new frequently, if not every day. I do not like the stability that an office job entails, or the fixed routine. The experience reminded me that the reason I chose to study media and communications was because I wanted to escape having to get a 9 to 5 job "when I grew up".

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dinner at Sahni's (Hawthorn, Melbourne)

Sahni's on Urbanspoon"What do you want for dinner?"
"Where do you wanna go for dinner?"

I'm sure these questions plague everyone, but since coming to Melb, we either eat at home or if we head out for food, we always end up at Rococo (one of the nicer restaurants in Glenferrie road) or have junk food like pizza/kebabs/burgers.

We want to try new food but every time we go out, we end up at one of the few places we've been to and liked so we don't have to risk a bad dinner! I know there are websites like urbanspoon.com, but everyone's taste in food and standard is different. What one person claims to be the best may be the worst for another individual. 

So, we're starting from one end of Glenferrie road, all the way towards the other end and back. And when we're done with that, we'll start nomming our way around - but always nearby, and on every Saturday. We've skipped one Saturday already, but that's because I was horribly, horribly ill with fever. But we'll make up for that by going to two places this week! 

Here's from the Saturday before last: Sahni's. 


The atmosphere of the place is rather dingy as opposed to a classily dimmed restaurant. The place looked drab and uncared for. I'm not saying there were cobwebs or unhygienic. It just looked stained. Like the menu. 


Anyway, appearances aside, the service was less than stellar. Actually, I felt like the staff really couldn't be fucked. Upon entering, we waited to be seated, but since no one came towards us, we made our way towards a table and as we we seating ourselves, a waiter (which I suspect to be the manager) asked us to sit at another table. He didn't even make the effort to approach us, he just stood at the table he wanted us to sit at and gestured to it.

After we sat down, he gave us the menu and water and went behind the counter and started playing with his phone. I couldn't care less about the phone, but he didn't realize we were ready to order and when I called for him he told me to give him a second and continued to poke his phone.

Dafuk? I don't care if you own the restaurant but if you honestly think it's ok to ignore customers in favor of your phone, well... Shit. 


We ordered beef briyani (left), chicken vindaloo (right). While the portions look small, they are deceptively so, because we couldn't finish it all. Look at all that coriander! I hate coriander. I also found out I hate spiced food. The chicken vindaloo was too salty and when either of us say something is salty, it damn right is. Because we love salt. We are the sort of people to pile on the salt and smother our food in it. And that chicken vindaloo tasted like they used half a cup of salt in it. On the other hand, the beef briyani was alright despite the coriander. 


And then there's the garlic naan. I like naan. I used to make my friends drive me up to 7th mile (in Kuching) for cheese naan. So I know what naan should taste like. But this naan - although tasty - had that store bought texture. 

The whole meal costed about $30. 

So all things considered, I will NOT recommend this restaurant. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

5/5 will go down in Malaysian history...

... as the day we realized we live in a country which uses democracy to hide dictatorship.

But I don't know anything about politics.

What I know is waking up yesterday and having my newsfeed flooded with posts such as 'ubah!' (change) and 'ini kalilah!' (this time). Both are part of the tagline for DAP, one of the opposition parties. I knew deep down inside that Malaysia has been a corrupted country too long to truly be changed by the people. But I couldn't help feeling hopeful because everyone was positive THIS TIME.

Then posts of inked fingers began showing up.

Then posts of fraud, aggression, shady tactics. But there were also posts asking people to accept their fates, whomever the winner. Posts about praying. Well, whatever rocks their boat.

I stayed up till 2am, receiving news about the results and tasting defeat in my mouth.

What did I expect?

BN has been in power for years and understand the game of manipulation (media, people, electoral votes - go wild with your ideas). I've both read and heard that BN purchases votes, gains them through fear and practices dirty tactics. Did I truly think that the opposition had a chance against BN?

I was ignorantly hopeful that the people are finally willing. But those people, my social circle, is merely a handful in an ocean of Malaysians.

Today I logged on to facebook and saw black profile pictures and numerous shares regarding GE13. I've read many immature posts, enlightening posts, empowering posts, condescending posts, angry posts. I feel their despair, their frustration and disappointment.

I love seeing Malaysians come together. The changing of profile pictures may be overdone but I think it signifies something. It is a small step towards action. Malaysians have never been rioters or protesters. And often tend to look the other way, minding other people's business from a safe distance. Well, the Malaysians I know. But the internet has liberated us. In this technological age, free press and freedom of speech can no longer be suppressed. Videos, stories and pictures are abound. There are some who do it for the attention, some who do it because they have a message, some who still believe that our chance will come.

Then I googled for GE13 news and was smacked in the face with "Chinese tsunami". Excuse me? Why are we singling out one race by the one person who conceptualized '1Malaysia'? There is no justifiable reason to specify, except to create hate and fear between ethnic groups.

Furthermore, it was alleged that BN flew in thousands of foreigners to vote for them in exchange for citizenship. Causing Malaysians to assume all foreigners are phantom voters which in turn causes dissatisfaction and the result?

Violence.

Acting independently and aggressively is never the best solution because innocents may be hurt, but can't you see? Desperation calls for desperate measures. If I were mistaken for a foreigner, I would gladly cooperate because I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. But who gains from this? Who gains from all the confusion and mayhem? Not the ones who attempt to keep the elections clean and fair, no. The ones who do are blamed for their actions, the ones who strike at foreigners will be portrayed as the guilty ones. Nobody would care who flew in those foreigners, but focus on the fact that it was Malaysians who brutalized them. And who gains from that?

But honestly, can we drop the racism yet? Enough with the 'go home cina babi' and 'bangla' this and 'bangla' that. Because race is NOT THE POINT.

And then there are those who go about matters the wrong way. Appealing to Obama and Queen Elizabeth by spamming their facebook pages. Making funny gags is one thing, but actually writing to the white house? Need I remind you that senator Xenophon was freaking deported merely for wanting to meet with the party leaders and discuss politics. Nobody is going to come to our rescue. We have to rescue ourselves. This morning I signed a petition for international intervention but truth be told, aside from generating global media attention and international witnesses, I expect nothing else.

But what do I know? I don't know anything. I don't know if people are actually making informed choices about the votes they cast or if they are just doing what everyone around them is doing. Politics is a game played in the dark, anyway. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me because at least they are becoming interested in what happens to the country they live in. It doesn't matter because at least people are starting to actually give a fuck.

I just have two questions.

1) What did you expect from the GE13?
2) What do you want for Malaysia? (Do not confuse this with what you think you want)

I've written about what I expected. But I think that many of us do not know what we want. We have been taken in by propaganda, fueled by our distaste of the current government. And while change is always exciting, change may not always be good. We do not know how it will be like to be ruled under a different party. It might be worse, might stay the same or might be better. We just hope that it would be better. So I don't care who you voted for, I want to know what you want for Malaysia.

I want to see the dream of racial harmony being realized. I want Malaysia to have an efficient government system and police force. I want Malaysians to be able to feel protected by and confident in the government and the police instead of fearful and distrustful. I want harmony, racial equality and overall, a country with a society I could be proud of.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Meet Monstar!

Guess what arrived in the mail today!

(And yes, I named it)


Now, I'm not even going to pretend that I know anything about laptops. I mean it took me 5 minutes just to find the power on button. It was seamlessly designed into the frontal speakers, you sneaky little thing. So if you're a techie, these are the specs (that matter lol):

95% Gamut Matte LCD
120GB SSD Samsung
AMD Radeon HD 7970M 2GB GDDR5
i7-3630QM Quad Core CPU 2.4GHz up to 3.4GHz
16GB DDR3 1600Mhz RAM (4 x 4GB)

My previous laptop has been with me since 2007 or 2008. That is a good 5-6 years. She's still working fine but the thing with laptops is that you can't really upgrade them like a CPU. She can't handle the games I play and the software I use anymore... So, it's with great sadness that I kiss my pink, ancient laptop behind and say hello to Monstar!

Hello, Monstar!

I woke up at 8am to wait for the mailman. I can get a little obsessed at times. AHAHA. A little. First thing I did was to get it out of its cage, made space for it on the table and set it down like a king. Then I started doing what every girl would.


Customize it. Yes, girls, the backlight is A GRADIENT OF WHITE, PURPLE AND PINK!

And then I logged onto blogger.com. HI I AM BLOGGING FROM MY NEW LAPTOP CAN YOU FEEL MY EXCITEMENT?!! On a side note, my blog looks so different on a 1920x1080 resolution. Apparently, 1280x800 is obsolete now.

Typing on a new laptop needs some getting used to. I like typing with my whole palm kinda resting on the laptop but I can't do that anymore because the trackpad is quiet sensitive and big so I'd end up clicking somewhere if I continue to type the way I used to.

The trackpad has a smooth, matte feel. Touch one of your matte book covers, that's how it feels. Actually, the whole laptop is kinda matte, which has a downside: oil stains will show up easily. I guess that's a good thing cos then I'll stop eating while using my laptop.

A definite plus is the numpad on the keyboard. My bf will probably say "duh, it's a gaming laptop, all gaming laptops have a numpad" but I've never noticed numpads on laptops so forgive my ignorance! That was sarcasm btw.

But talking about gaming, I was excited to check out the graphic card so I did a trial run with my friend vs 2 cpu on Age of Empires III. Upon defeating one of them we explored the entire map and found the other settlement:


Lulzwut! They were trapped on an island of raised land! AHAHAH.

Overall, I love my new laptop. Smooth performance and rather fast. The only thing I dislike is the hugeass adapter. I know that this laptop requires a lot of power, but seriously?


Taken with the webcam just so you can see its quality. NOT because I'm lazy. :P & CHECK OUT MY MARIE HAT.

Anyway, LOOK OUT WORLD BECAUSE I HAVE FINALLY UPGRADED!