Monday, October 09, 2006

happy family

Apologies for the dry spell. I've been away for some time and as you would have it, September was a month for everyone here to get cracking at playing wife, teacher, friend, mother, candlestick maker.

But let's hope that we'll see a rebirth of the blog this fall.

First things first, Divimama has joined us as a contributor. She's a travelling/ working/ partying supermom, and I believe our very first honest-to-goodness/ trueblue/ bona fide MOTHER. But while she's full of opinions and gripes and hilarious insights, she's also a novice blogger, so let's try to help her out whenever we can, and extend her the warmth that we reserve only for people we like.

Diva, just contact me or direct any questions you have to the chatbox on the left here, and one (or all) of us will help address them. Welcome to Disparate Housewives!

Secondly, I found this little clip on youtube and thought it worth sharing. It's cathartic for those little moments. ya. you know which moments i'm talkin about.

- Pip

Friday, September 01, 2006

My Husband, Capitaine Caveman.

Of all the Frenchmen ooh-la-laing the world with their sexy accents, their baguettes, their eau de parfums, and their reputation for immaculate taste in attiring themselves, I pick the one Frenchman completely oblivious to the fine art of dressing up, AND down, properly.

This means that while he wouldn't don a poofy french cuff dress shirt (you know the pastel ones with white collars and cuffs), it also means he'll wear his tartan-printed caddy/cargo pants out if I let him.

Which I don't.

That was 2 years ago. And since then, there have been improvements. Thanks to my secretly hiding his old and faded over-sized t-shirts and caddy pants (and the matching shorts) and introducing him to the wonderful world of Cool T-shirts and Hugo Boss. So much so that at our bbq dinner party last week, I trusted him to dress appropriately. But in the rush to go get extra chairs, prepare the apperitifs, and welcome the on-time arrivals while he showered, I neglected to make sure.

So while getting drinks for our friends in the dining room, Mr Ooh-La-La enters with much fanfare, hand-shaking and air-kissing all over the place. But there I was, rooted to the ground, shocked into silence.

And there it was. The faded grey Hard Rock Cafe Bali t-shirt.


At least Ondine's Mr Packrat got initiative and put some serious thought into dressing for pageantry his occasion. Mr Pip just took the first t-shirt he could reach. From the GARDENING-TEES-ONLY section. I think maybe I oughtta ship him over to Packrat for crash course in overdressing. that way maybe got chance for balance. ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My husband, Miss Universe.

She walked into the spare room to find him pulling out clothes from their dry cleaning bags.

"What in the world are you doing?" she demanded to know.

"Getting out my suit." he replied with his head still stuck in the cupboard.

"But these are our formal clothes. Hey...that's your wedding suit!" she exclaimed with realisation dawning on her slowly.

"Yup, I'm wearing it tonight!" he proudly proclaimed.

"But it's not your wedding!" she whined, slightly miffed that he gets to dress up while she stays at home in scruffy clothes. She's feeling a little bit like Cinderella having not been invited to the ball.

So the husband goes for the whole ensemble. 3/4 length jacket and pants, french cuffs, cufflinks, vest, the whole nine yards. He does look quite spiffy and for a split second, as he stood half in the shadows and the only light from the other room, he gave me quite a start. He looked like a combination of Lestat and Angel- all dark, skulking, dangerous and possibly deadly. Of course that's just for the half a second before he flashes what he thinks is his most winsome grin. Vampires don't grin, so I'm safe.

3 hours later, he returns. And not barehanded. In one hand are some shopping vouchers that he's won. In the other, a sash. My husband, in his full Angel/Lestat meets Keanu Reeves in the Matrix glory was crowned best dressed for the night. His first beauty pageant, sash and all. And should the winner not be able to carry out his duties, the first runner up will take his place.

And they named him too. Not Vlad the Impaler or anything cool like that. It was Packrat the Overdressed.

My husband, the beauty pageant winnner. Every girl's dream. :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

He is That Guy

Well, this is my somewhat inaugaral post. The first that I'm putting up myself instead of getting Penelope to do it for me. The husband, Packrat, felt I would feel truly at home on this blog and he's quite right.

Now, the only problem is that it's exam season now, which means a lot of papers to grade and often incoherent, non distinct stream of consciousness writing. So, to tide me over till I regain some of my sanity and who knows when that will be, here's something else I wrote a while back.

And I'm posting it because, really, the guy I married, even though he annoys the heck out of me at times and ignores me some of the time, is really quite the sweetie. He scored a whole bunch of brownie points when he went out in search of rambutans for me, just because I said I wanted some. And I'm not even pregnant!

So here's an ode to him.

You are the boy who spent your school fees on $10 worth of chicken wings thereupon getting a spanking from your mother.

You are the boy who grew up to play games every week with fellow boys.

You are the boy who got a Playstation 2 as an engagement present.

You are the boy who would eat like a boy if you lived alone, living on potato chips and Pepsi.

You are the boy who would like it very much if he didn't have to grow up.

But you are a boy who is also a guy.

You are that guy that she met at the pre-departure talk, who insulted her baby blue mobile phone in an attempt to get her phone number.

You are the guy that commented on how she stood like a dancer with her feet turned flat out.

You are that guy that apparently dedicated music to her over the radio and staked out the uni just hoping you catched a glimpse of her.

You are the guy that got lucky when you bumped into her at the traffic just outside uni on the first day of school.

You are the guy that repeated her phone number all the way home just in case you forgot it and missed the chance again.

You are the guy that she out ate on your first date.

You are the guy that had to bear all the crap when she couldn't decide who she liked better, you or some other guy back home.

You are the guy that won her heart by buying her gummi bears and walking her home from ballet in the cold.

You are the guy that she impressed by eating through half a bucket of fried chicken and then sat back and asked what's for desert.

You are the guy that had to be taught what relationships were and in turn taught her how to work hard in a relationship.

You are the guy that put your thesis on the back burner while she wigged out about her own thesis through the year.

You are the guy who proposed to her on the plane back to Melbourne and made her dizzy.

You are the guy that wanted to wear Bata shoes to the wedding and refused to be put into ill-fitting Kenneth Coles.

You are the one who got up there during your wedding and sang to your bride.

You are the guy that endured the pillows hurled at you in her sleep.

You are the guy who will go out there and look for yak's milk from Yemen if she ever demanded it.

You are the guy that buys her flowers and burns her cds just to make her smile.

You are the guy that believes, trusts and prays even when she has given up hope.

You are the guy of her dreams and her greatest fear is to live without you.

Who are you? You are that guy and I am that girl.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Circa 1955

The following post was contributed by Ondine, who we hope will soon become a regular contributor.

This was sent to me this morning. We all had a good laugh because there were so many things that were bizarre. It really is out of Pleasantville and it's hard to believe that, that was what was expected of wives at that time. (click on picture to zoom in.)

How many of us, wives, actually do these things?

Of course, my all time favourite is the point that says I should be a little gay and a little more interesting when I greet him.

In the current day context, that would require some deviation in my sexual orientation and another woman in the house.

And from what I hear, it will be a real big hit and it will really make it more interesting when I greet him!

But seriously.... We help facilitate marriage prep in church and we have to go through the oh so controversial issue of wives submitting but this really takes the cake!

And I'm not about to put on an apron and bake one!

This is the story of the HP sauce

This is the HP sauce. As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that Neav wanted to make Hainanese Pork Chops.
As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that made Neav drive to Hyvee
To make Hainanese Pork Chops
As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that made Neav drive to Walmart
Because Hyvee didn't have it
To make Hainanese Pork Chops
As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that made Neav drive to Saigon Market
Because Hyvee and Walmart didn't have it
To make Hainanese Pork Chops
As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that made Neav drive to Asian Food Mart
Because Hyvee, Walmart and Saigon didn't have it
To make Hainanese Pork Chops
As simple and brown as it can be.

This is the HP sauce that made Neav drive to World Market
and made Neav swear uncontrollably in Hokkien while driving, all over town
To make Hainanese Pork Chops
As simple and brown as it can be.

Which I haven't even made because I was too pooped after all that.


It is now sitting on kitchen counter top - rather smugly if I may say so myself.


lesson learnt? Never take for granted what you can buy from the local mamak shop in SG.

Mom and the President

three major events struck me yesterday.


Mom called to ask me to plan her vacation in Europe, which she intends to take after attending our wedding there. The thing is, when mom ASKS, she isn't really asking. She's demanding in a passive-aggressive fashion, as most mothers are wont to do. What she's REALLY saying is this.

"I'm coming AAAAALLLL the way to your wedding because you can't find a Singaporean man to marry and have to pick some ang moh who lives in God Knows Where in the Middle of No Man's Land, and since I'm spending ALL that money I might as well go on vacation with Aunty Mary and Aunty Sally and Uncle Kwek (BREATHE) and if you're a filial daughter by general standards you would appreciate the fact that I brought you up and put you through school and was nice to your western husband who has no concept of Asian values, so you better plan my vacation for me."

So. Nevermind that I have wedding to plan and a Mother In Law who's been doing most of the planning and who could potentially hate me because I've asked for bridesmaids for my wedding when in their part of the world they don't do bridesmaids because it's an anglo saxon ritual and they fought many wars with the bloody english who love the Americans who they hate. And I'm marrying her oldest son.

Ya. Major panic. Again.

So to the second event.


So we're watching Bush taking questions from journos, and hubs and I are doing the usual slamming of the American president when a half hour in, I realized I should just shut up. Why? Cos even though the dude comes across as an idiot half the time, he is taking questions from all over the bloody place and addressing them at least somewhat to the point, which is more than I can say for myself if I were president. Nevermind of the free world. Even if its the neighbourhood stamp collection club, I doubt I'd be able to focus after the journalist concludes her 3 minutes question. I'll be like, in front of billions of people around the world, "Erm... can you repeat again? I kinda zoned out."


And so I mentioned this to hubs, and Mr P added that seeing how I react when my mom calls, it's a good thing I'm not president of anything. Cos the whole world would have to stand still for 24 hours until after I recover from talking to my mom.

And then we pondered that scenario for a moment and thought about how a standard conversation would go if I were president and mom was First Mother.

"Penny? Why I call you so many times you never call me back?"
"Hi mom. Did you leave a message with my office?"
"What for? They talk so fast I don't know what they're saying."
"So you hung up on my white house office staff again? You need to stop doing that."
"But you have *69 in US what? He can *69 and know it's me what. And my phone number also come up on your white house machine, you think I don't know?"
"Mom. *69 only works in America. Not in Singapore. Ok. What's so urgent you have to call me before my press conference?"
"I wanted to tell you, Pen, that last night on TV you didn't wear enough blush. Blush makes you look younger. And must smile more ok?"
"Mom. I was addressing the country about the war on terrorism and the latest death toll and how much America is despised by the world. Not very good to rouge my cheeks and smile, I think."
"Maybe if you smile more and wear more make-up, more people will like America."
"Ok mom. anything else?"
"Ya. Are you going to Camp David next month?"
"No, why?"
"Aunty Mary and I want to come to America for holidays."
"No, mom. You CANNOT use Camp David for your vacation. I can't let you do that."
"But you are the President. i thought President can do anything?"
"Mom. I'm going to hang up now and hope that I break my neck walking up to the podium."

Ya. That would be it. Thank god Mom's never going to the First Mother of the Free World. Ever.

Friday, August 18, 2006

On a happier (hungrier) note....

Star wars, Christian crusaders and prayer warriors aside, found a delightful recipe thats pretty simple and some what quick that you guys might like to try.... Its a little Indian in terms of influence so if you're not into the tumeric n mustard thing, this may not be the thing for you. They are actually Indian friend potato dumplings (inspired, of course, by Neav's spuds).

For the filling
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
4 cloves of garlic (sigh, can one EVER have enough on non-date days)
3-4 green chillies (or less if you want)
4-5 large potatos
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
A large onion, finely chopped (if you like, if you dont like don't use)
couple of tbsp of chopped coriander leaves

For the batter
2 cups of chickpea flour
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
Salt to taste
A pinch of bicarb of soda
Cold water

Peel the potatos and cut them up into small cubes, which makes it easier for them to cook. Boil till they are cooked through. Shouldn't take more than 10 min.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan, fry the mustard seeds and let em pop, then add onion and fry till its translucent, then add the garlic and green chillies. Fry for a couple of min (but not till garlic is burnt yeah, it should stay white).

Add the potatos, tumeric and salt and fry a bit, and then while mixing, begin to mash em. When half way done, take off the fire, add the coriander leaves and mash it all up well.

Make em into little balls the size of ping pong balls or smaller if you like. Set aside.

Hokay, here's the fun bit - the batter:
Mix the chickpea flour, red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp tumeric, soda bicarb and salt into a bowl (sieve through if you don't want lumps)... Mix well, and then start adding enough cold water to make a thick-ish batter.

That's it. Dip the balls into the batter, and deep fry till its golden brown... Serve with anything from chilli sauce to chutney. Its not spicy hot so just about anyone can appreciate them... I know the English and Irish among my friends were not complaining :)


Sigh, tummy now growling...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

i think she watch too much star wars

check out this clip. It's from the American TV show "Trading Places" where two housewives/mothers switch families for several weeks. This mother returns home to her family and freaks out about the experience. Like totally goes mental.

CAUTION: content is quite disturbing.

Crazy Religious Mom - video powered by Metacafe

And before you start flaming any group of people (already been done at video source metacafe), remember that mad people come in many forms. They don't have to be americans, christians, fat, or darth vader.

Neav: 0

Lost a battle on Monday. Here I was preparing the spuds (the troops) and planning the ultimate weapon (peranakan bai ponteh)... and feeling completely in control.

I was humming in the kitchen, examining the bottle of tau cheo, chopping up garlic. It's allll goood - I had thought.

This, I had thought, would be a greal meal! True blue peranakan food, recipe as per mom's instructions over yahoo messenger, spuds and luncheon meat - some of our favourite foods, combined together! And a healthy serving of veg... served up spicy with some hae bi hiam.

Mr N would come home from work and ta-daaaah.

So I worked, and slaved over the meal. Went grocery shopping in high glee in a squeaky SUV, chatted with Vietnamese proprietress of Asian food store, and yes, even stopped for coffee and I don't like American style coffee.

But things started going wrong about 2 hours into the whole thing. I put a few mashed spuds and luncheon meat balls into the hot oil. But five minutes into the whole procedure, it became apparent that they would not hold together. Too soft.

Emergency application of breadcrumbs and egg to make sure they held into a ball.
But as I was handling this, some of them treacherously got burnt. ARGH.

At the same time, I was trying to reduce the Babi Ponteh to the consistency I wanted. I blame the tau cheo (what else can I blame). BUT horrors, its been 40 minutes already, and if I wanted to get it thick and syrupy enough, the meat would become... wayy waaaaay too overcooked. Damned. Strain the meat and the bamboo shoots.

Mr N comes home. Sniffs at the Babi Ponteh and goes: "What's that? It smeellls weeeeiiird".

At this point I finish up frying the spuds - which had absorbed too much oil because I was fiddling with the new batch and trying to get the burnt bits of he old batch out.

I flopped into couch and wailed: Let's go out for dinner.

Mr N attempts some comforting words, but chortles all the time, while patting my back.
He *does* proclaim the spuds as nice, and says I was silly and had too high standards. He is mad. They were oily and tasteless. Wait... is that the secret recipe to making husbands happy?

Household: 1. Neav: 0.

Today, I wage war on the lime stains in the sinks and bring battle to the laundry.