It’s Monday (July 19, 2021)

Happy Monday! How’s your week been?

Some things last week:

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My sister ordered some cookies for my birthday last weekend. It arrived on Thursday and were enjoyed by all. There were some fun flavours like birthday cake and a toffee/coffee cookie.
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The kids went to a friend’s birthday party. And had a blast playing video games, eating pizza, hanging out. The parents hung out in the backyard. Instead of a birthday cake, there were birthday mochi doughnuts. This is a Smores one.
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Yelp recommended this new Asian eatery. It’s interestingly a sushi joint on one side, and the other has rice bowls – Korean and Thai. There’s also a Korean deli section full of various banchan. We picked up some kimbap (Korean-style sushi rolls), some rice bowls, and banchan. I had the spicy pork rice bowl.
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The banchan were anchovies and fish cake.

Currently…

Reading:

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Watching: Making The Cut on Amazon Prime. It’s a fashion reality show, the first series was quite fun where they jetted off to different countries. But this season of course that couldn’t happen. So they’re on a big fancy estate in LA.

Listening: Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s The Pluto Files

Eating: For breakfast, pancakes leftover from yesterday’s breakfast.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

After seeing this on Smitten Kitchen, I might make some chicken cutlets.

Then I’m intrigued by this recipe for crispy coconut kale. Although this is the first time I’ve heard of coconut aminos…

Last week:

I read: The Only Child – Mi-Ae Seo

The Other Half of Happy – Rebecca Balcárcel

I posted: Library Loot (July 14 to 20)

Book Titles That are Questions#TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (July 12, 2021)

It was my birthday weekend and we went out to a seafood restaurant in San Jose for lunch.

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Soft shell crab sliders
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Sushi
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My favorite thing to eat here – uni pasta. So rich and creamy!
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The kids wanted clams.
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Instead of a birthday cake, I had an assortment of petite cakes from Alexanders Patisserie in Mountain View. From top left: London Fog (Earl Grey chocolate mousse, blackberry centre, on a salted chocolate sable), Tahiti (very vanilla-y with a yummy buttery sable), Empress (chocolate, hazelnut, dulce de leche caramel. Maybe a bit too much caramel for me), Opera (lots of coffee flavour).

All in all, a very lovely birthday!

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Other things last week, I made crispy pork belly for the first time. Used this recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen.

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At the park

Reading:

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Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (a reread)
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We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon.

Watching: Howl’s Moving Castle (a rewatch)

Eating: Cake for breakfast!

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

It’s going to be a slightly cooler week (we had a rather hot weekend). So maybe I’ll make some tomato soup!

Last week:

I posted:
Library Loot (July 7 to 13)

Why I Love Reading #TopTenTuesday

I read:

Giant Days volumes 6 to 10

Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (July 5, 2021)

If you’re in the US and have the day off today, hope you’ve been enjoying the long weekend!

We watched fireworks from around the neighbourhood from our house. Technically fireworks are illegally in my city but the neighbouring cities all sell fireworks so obviously people are still buying them.

And we had a nice backyard bbq and a backyard hangout, reading books, listening to music.

In case you missed it, last week, I posted my “It’s Monday” post on Wednesday, as we’d been away in Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite that week. So check out my post for some photos of this beautiful area!

Some things last week:

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We’d been having nice weather last week! Very nice and cool mornings!
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Matcha and sakura softserve in a taiyaki (fish) cone of sorts
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Taking a walk around the lake

Currently…

Reading:

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Surprisingly, I’m reading a physical book. And it’s a book I actually own instead of a library book as usual!

Watching: Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime. I’ve enjoyed watching Top Gear/The Grand Tour for years, but I wasn’t so sure about watching something with just Jeremy Clarkson and without the other two (Richard Hammond and James May). Clarkson isn’t exactly the easiest person to watch. On the other hand, I’ve happily watched James Mays’ Oh Cook! (yes! He has a cooking show, where he faffs about in the kitchen and surprises himself by being able to cook some things) and Our Man in Japan.

Clarkson’s Farm is really a show about farming. Clarkson had bought a farm in Oxfordshire in 2008 and then decided to farm it himself. He of course buys himself a Lamborghini tractor (no joke), starts plowing and sowing and all that, and also has chickens and sheep. He does have the help of a shepherd, land agent, and a farm worker, also the help of random other people like a veteran sheep farmer and someone who seems to build stone walls?

It’s really entertaining. But also, a sobering look at how hard it is for farmers. Too much rain. Not enough rain. Then the pandemic hits them in episode 5 and the value of the sheep drops drastically.

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: Homemade walnut bread for breakfast

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

We still have some bbq leftovers for today, so I don’t need to make dinner. Hooray! I’ll figure out the rest of the week another time….

Last week:

I read: Wicked and the Wallflower (Bareknuckle Bastards #1) – Sarah Maclean

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee

The Princess Trap – Talia Hibbert

I posted: It’s um Wednesday? (June 30, 2021)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s um Wednesday? (June 30, 2021)

I skipped Monday’s post because we were on a road trip to Mammoth Lakes. Mammoth Lakes is a mountain town best known for being a ski destination, but it’s a great place to go in summer as well. It’s located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and is closer to LA than the Bay Area. Bay Area people tend to go to Tahoe for ski/mountain stuff.

But wow, does Mammoth have some amazing views!

We first drove through Yosemite, out via Tioga Pass, stopping at Tenaya Lake for a quick lunch.

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Also stopped at the Tuolumne Meadows.

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This is the alkaline Mono Lake.

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A rare selfie at Tenaya Lake.

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Even the restaurants have great views! This is Mammoth Brewing Company. They make great beer and food. And more importantly, a really large outdoor eating area. We are not ready to eat indoors yet.
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This is chicken confit with corn and jalapeño griddle cakes. So good! I also had a gooseberry sour, a seasonal beer that was really fruity and refreshing.
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One of the many lakes that we visited in the Mammoth Lakes area. This is Twin Lakes.
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Horseshoe Lake. Interestingly, the soil around the lake has a lot of carbon dioxide, and has resulted in the deaths of quite a few trees in the area. We went on a breezy day and didn’t notice anything weird about the air there.
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The breathtaking views as we hiked around Convict Lake (a 3 mile loop). It’s named for the escaped convicts who found refuge here in 1871.
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Probably the most well-known landmark is the Devil’s Postpile National Monument. It formed less than 100,000 years ago when a cooling lava flow cracked into multi-sided columns. We also hiked 5 miles (roundtrip) to the very pretty Rainbow Falls in the same park. It was hot and dusty but we got there and back.
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Of course you can’t drive through Yosemite (which is the quickest route from Mammoth back to the Bay Area) without a photo of Tunnel View. There’s El Capitan on the left hand side, and that little point sticking out at the back is Half Dome.

Some things last week:

Currently…

Reading:

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Watching: Hospital Playlist (new episode each week!) also Prison Playbook, which is by the same director

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: Homemade scone for breakfast. Before the road trip, I did quite a bit of baking, so that we could bring some scones along for breakfast.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

We mostly had American food during our road trip, so I’ve been cooking Asian food.

Mushroom soondubu jigae. This has become like a comfort food for me.

Probably some noodles.

Last week:

I read:

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow – Laura Taylor Namey

I posted:

Library Loot (June 30 to July 6)

Quicksand by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

Operatic by Kyo Maclear and Byron Eggenschwiler

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (June 21, 2021)

Some things last week:

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Made some chocolate chip cookies
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Rainier cherries at the farmers market
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I missed writing a blog post last week, partly because I had gotten up at 215 on Sunday morning to catch a live concert! It was 230am or 1830 Korea time. Then I did it again the next day because I had bought the two-day ticket. The concert replay was the past Friday and Saturday, thankfully at 1800 California time.

Currently…

Reading:

The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert

Watching: Season 2 of Hospital Playlist. Also, Loki.

Listening: No books, just music. But the kids have been listening to The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Eating: Walnut bread

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

Hainanese chicken rice

Fried noodles

Last week:

I read:

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Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala

Once Upon a Marquess – Courtney Milan

Whereabouts – Jhumpa Lahiri

I posted:

Library Loot (June 16 to 22)

Summer 2021 TBR #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (June 7, 2021)

Happy Monday! Hope you had a nice weekend.

It’s the last few days of school! We made it through a full year of distance learning (it all started end March 2020. How long ago that seems…).

The school district hasn’t exactly said what’s going to happen when the new school year begins, but the plan at least is to be back in person, finally.

Some things last week:

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White nectarines from the farmers market
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Rainier cherries are back!
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The boys made Japanese curry last week (with some help from me). I usually throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand so this time it had carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli.
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The husband’s office had some “international snacks” box sent over. I mean, ok there were a few things I hadn’t seen before like tamarind candy and a Brazilian drink with guarana (apparently has more caffeine than coffee??). But I reckon they could do better than just rice crackers for Asia. Asian snacks are the best! I mean, prawn crackers, salted egg yolk fish skin, White Rabbit candy, all the different Pocky flavours etc..
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I wish I could take credit for this spicy beef soup, but all I did was open the packet and warm it up. I did add green onions and instant noodles though. But it was a packet of Korean beef soup I picked up at the supermarket. It was delicious though!
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Dinner yesterday was takeout from our favourite Malaysian/Burmese restaurant. We had beef rendang, char kway teow, hor fun, curry mee.

Currently…

Reading:

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Minor Feelings – Cathy Park Hong

Watching: Hospital Playlist

Eating: Homemade sourdough bread, toasted, with butter.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

Maybe some soondubu jigae (tofu stew) I love making this! At first I started out with a soondubu “kit” that comes with a packaged paste and tofu. But I realised that I could make it with the chili powder (gochugaru), kimchi, some broth, and your favourite ingredients. I usually make it with just mushrooms and a packaged vegetable broth paste. And the soft tofu too. Of course, it’s not the traditional way (see the link for a better recipe).

Last week:

I read:

Heiress Apparently – Diana Ma

Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

I posted:

Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

Library Loot (June 2 to 8)

Classics With Great Covers #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (May 31)

Happy Monday! We’ve got a long weekend here in the US, as it’s Memorial Day. Hope you had a good weekend.

Some things last week…

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The school had their book fair last week. It was all outdoors, socially distanced, and we had to book a half-hour appointment. It was the boys’ first time back on the campus for over a year.
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A nice hike along the hills. As always, once it hits late April, it’s all brown.

We also had our first barbeque of the year. Steak, sausages, asparagus, and a tomato salad. It was a nice day to sit in our backyard and hang out.

Currently…

Reading: Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

Watching: Hospital Playlist. It’s my first K-drama! It’s maybe a bit less typical for a K-drama as it’s set in a hospital and is about a group of five doctors (4 men 1 woman) who have been friends since medical school. I always presume that most K-dramas are about romances (let me know if I’m wrong!), and so far there hasn’t been any in this show.

The five of them also play in their own band. Which is probably the “playlist” part of the title.

But what I found quite interesting is learning that hospitals in Korea also host funerals. They have their own reception and dining areas for the wake.

Listening: Butter by BTS

Eating: Had some toast for breakfast and a bit of mozzarella cheese.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

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The 8yo has discovered that he likes cherry tomatoes. Or at least the tomatoes that we got at Costco the other day. It was a mix of different types of cherry tomatoes. He decided we had to have it both at lunch and dinner.
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An order I placed with online Asian grocer Weee! So I have to now figure out what to do with the sprouts and broccoli.

Last week:

I read:

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Heiress Apparently – Diana Ma

Nuclear Winter Vol 1 – Caroline Breault

I posted:

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Library Loot (May 26 to June 2)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (May 24, 2021)

Happy Monday! Oh we are almost at the end of May already…The kids have just a couple of weeks of school left!

How was your weekend?

We had originally planned to visit Singapore in summer. But the situation in Asia has gotten worse in the past few weeks. So we canceled our plans. So unfortunately, we won’t be seeing our families for yet another year…

Hopefully we can go back next year!

Meanwhile, I have to figure out what the kids will be doing in summer.

Some things last week:

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A hot morning for playing tennis with friends. I took this photo while outside with my younger one – the only shade was outside the court under the trees. He said he was too hot and wanted a break.
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Farmers market haul.
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Since we can’t go back to Singapore, we had to go satisfy our need for some Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice.
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And the kids wanted pizza so we got from our favourite pizza place. It so happens to be an South Asian pizza place. So we had a half paneer masala.

Currently…

Reading:

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The Avant-Gardes – Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes

Watching: The Veronica Mars movie. I had been browsing HBO Max and this was one of the movies that was leaving the streaming service. Somehow I hadn’t seen it before?? Which is interesting as I loved the series!

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: Homemade waffles. I made plenty of extras yesterday. Some for the freezer. And some for today.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking: I want to make some pad thai. And maybe some beef rendang.

Last week:

I read:

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Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

I posted:

Library Loot (May 19 to 25)

Complete Sentence Book Titles #TopTenTuesday

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (May 17, 2021)

So this whole, oh if you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask, thing is a bit premature, isn’t it?

I don’t know about you, but I won’t be giving up my mask any time soon. As you may know, I’m fully vaccinated. But my kids are 10 and under, so they aren’t able to get vaccinated yet. And we don’t know yet when that will happen. So as long as they’re not vaccinated, I’m still going to wear my mask, and still take precautions.

I know this “off with the masks” thing is about encouraging more people to get vaccinated but ugh, it’s way too early. Look what’s happening in so many countries in Asia!

Some things last week:

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The kids wanted zhajiang mian. We also ordered some shrimp fried rice, xiaolongbao, and shrimp and prawn dumplings (they’re purposely fried together like that). I made a tofu noodle salad as well.
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Also, this is the kids’ new favourite ramen place. Because of this butter miso ramen. I was heating up the soup so this is before I poured any soup. Also, the plastic part is how they separate the ingredients from the noodles. You just slide the ingredients on top of the noodles when you’re ready to eat.
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We finally went to the farmers market again! And hooray they had cherries and (giant) strawberries. There were some stone fruits like nectarines and peaches but they didn’t really look at their best yet. So maybe in a couple more weeks?

The cherries were sweet and so were the strawberries, in case you’re wondering. It was nice to see the farmers market bustling again. And you’re actually allowed to touch the produce now. I especially appreciate that they still enforce masks.

Currently…

Reading:

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Watching:

I finally decided to watch Falcon and the Winter Soldier. So far I’ve seen the first two episodes. And it’s pretty good so far. I like that we see some of the other characters from the Marvel movies, like Zemo, Rhodey, Sharon Carter. And that we get to know Falcon’s family.

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: A slice of lemon, blueberry, almond flour cake. It’s an Ottolenghi recipe (Recipe here).

Drinking: Tea

Cooking: I might make a slow cooker bolognese this week. I’ve not tried it on the slow cooker before, so I’m just curious to see how it goes.

Last week:

I read: The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn

I posted: Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner

Library Loot (May 12 to 18)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

It’s Monday (May 10, 2021)

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For Mother’s Day, I felt like having Indian-Pakistani food. So many yummy things. Three vegetable curries, tandoori fish and chicken and lamb chops! Also garlic naan and plain naan.

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The boys made me some cute bracelets!
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Hope you all had a lovely weekend and here’s to a great week ahead!

Currently…

Reading:

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Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Watching: The husband and I watched Tenet over the weekend. It was very action-packed and mind-bending with its whole time entropy and backwards thing. But as I thought about it more, I realized that Nolan (who wrote and directed it) forgot about the emotions part of it. I really like his other movies like Memento, Inception, Interstellar. But as I thought more about it, while those movies also play a lot on time and memory, there was also emotion.

If you haven’t seen any of these shows, don’t read any further!

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Those three other movies were so much about lives lost and memories of loved ones. And that wanting to stay with a lost memory of a person who’s not there anymore. There was feeling and emotion and relationships.

Tenet was a lot harder. I think you can’t have the Protagonist be any more than that because his whole journey has, in a sense, just begun. And because of the play with time, there is difficulty bringing in anything more in terms of background and details about him.

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Eating and Drinking: I had a slice of sourdough toast and a goat milk brie.

Cooking:

It’s going to be a much warmer week from today onwards! We will be hitting the 30s (Celsius) and while that number may not seem very high (Singapore is always in the highs of 30+), I feel that in CA because there’s so little (almost no) cloud cover, once you’re in the direct sunlight it’s so much hotter than 30.

Last week:

I read:

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Peaks and Bandits – Alf Bonnevie Bryn

Loveboat, Taipei – Abigail Hing Wen

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) – Patricia Briggs

Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner

I posted:

Library Loot (May 5 to 11)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date