Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara ala Danilela

Made this for today's meal! Easy, quick, deliiiiicious :)

Recipe loosely based on this vid:

Eggs, bacon, mushroom, spaghetti, milk, cheese, garlic.

 I don't have cream, so used semi skimmed milk instead. Don't have Parmesan cheese either, so instead used cheddar singles - sliced them really small. Nyahahaha ala anak kos!!
Mix whole egg, egg yolk, bit milk, and cheese into bowl.

Put a bit of olive oil in the cooked pasta so they don't stick to the pan. Then pour the egg mix into pasta.

On separate pan, heat a bit of olive oil. Put in cloves of garlic, I personally like to cook with A LOT of garlic. Then mix some bacon until it's a bit crunch, then throw in mushroom and spinach.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wondrous Wednesdays

Me and Amaka started this habit since weeks back, perhaps around the time before second term's deadline. After the last class, we arrange to have a day out every Wednesday. We wanted to ensure to still have a bit of social life besides pressing deadlines. Normally we just had lunch or dinner at the Oxford Pub or Ford Maddox. Other times we go to museums.

A few weeks ago we went to the Manchester Museum. It's right in the middle of the uni, free entrance applies for everyone, so we went.

However, this past two weeks we have missed the Wondrous Wednesday. One reason is because we've been to all the free museums hahaha. We don't have any WW schedule for tomorrow either.
Oh well. May be next week.


Olympic Torch Bearer...


The London Olympics will start next month. The Olympics Torch Relay has been started and last Sunday it was relaid in Manchester. One of the torchbearer was Leehom Wang, apparently a famous Chinese singer. My friend Yuke likes him a lot, so instead of watching the whole relay show in Albert Square, we went to... was it King Street? Well it was right beside Harvey Nichols. We waited for that guy for an hour, saw some athletes passed by, some dancing, and when Leehom Wang finally showed up we saw him for a mere eight seconds. Hahaha. Oh well. He was a damn good looking guy, so it's ok. However, Yuke, the one who waited the most somehow didn't even see him. She was distracted by her cellphone or something. Of course after she was a bit disappointed, so I made her this slowmo video.:D

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We Call It Sunday Comfort Food

Meet my dear dear friend Amaka the Chiamaka Callo! She is a smart funny witty woman and also a good cook.

Last Sunday I asked her to cook a rice dish. She doesn't exactly have a name for it, so I'm just gonna call it the "Sunday Comfort Food".

First, you take regular long grain rice.

Put some tumeric, because "I like my food to have sexy colors" - A.O., 22y.o.

Add paprika powder, pepper, and cayenne pepper.

And a bit of Knorr to ensure it tastes great.

Mixed it up, then add some coconut milk and water then boiled it until the rice is cooked.

Put some carrots, mushrooms, and other vegetables of your choice.
Stir some more until vegetables are cooked, put rice aside.

For the protein, we marinated pork and put it in the oven.  


Since we like our vegetables, we also stir some spinach with okra and red onion, mix with butter and some olive oil.

Served with some more fresh tomatoes!! Full of vegetables so the dish is very healthy and appropriate for two young sexy ladies.

However, since the rice is cooked with coconut oil it somehow didn't really go well with pork.
Better to have this rice dish with some other protein like roasted chicken or maybe fish...


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Game of Thrones - TV Series

*reader discretion is adviced*
FREAKIN FANTASTIC *with the Brit accent* is the appropriate term for these installments. 
FE-REAK-IN-FAN-TAS-TIC. Bloody hell, it got me excited and blown my mind away over and over throughout the series. I just finished the last episode of its second series, so the excitement is still very much overwhelming me. I love fantasy novels, probably not as hardcore as some other people, but I still do. Even though I just recently discovered this series, which probably means I'm a late entrants of this fandom, but bloody hell I don't give a damn. A credit's due where a credit's due. 

The storyline in freakin complicated, the problems felt so real. You have traitors and uprisings, a woman eating raw heart, incest within castles with a king whom is the son of that relationship - good grief that one is very very sick, zombies within the snowy northern wall, and so on. Oh no, the scandals do not stop there. Those are just some of the first two season of the tv series. I haven't read the books yet.

It is a story when people thought they are the civilised people (don't we always do?), the thought of magic is laughed at, while dragons hatched on different land. The story has so many characters. The  main characters would struggle on issues and concepts such as seeking the greater power of gods, justice, treacheries, question the existence of magic and magical beings, and so on. There are no telling of plain good or bad character. Not exactly a black and white story. One time you'd think this person has a gentle heart, but as the story goes she kills her brother. One time you like this character but it turns out he is stupid. Or even someone who was portrayed as the evil one could turn out to be the hero of the moment. Every character has a background story. The queen conduct incest because the king love a dead woman far more than he loves her. A sister made his barbaric husband pour hot melted gold on her brother's head because he abuses her. Then she walked into fire and hatched dragons. A man betrayed the man he called his brother to prove loyalty to his real father. It is fckin complicated. There is no one character pin as the 'bad guy'. Well, some do characters seem evil, like the red witch for example. But maybe her story hasn't been told yet.

Since it takes place in ancient time, I can accept that people at that time have many gods in different lands, degrade woman, eat human flesh, go to despicable pleasure houses, and show almost no sign of human rights practice. I mean, to my understanding, it took our species a LONG time to get around the idea of human rights, law, democracy, and such. So of course there would be time when people conduct what seems to be very barbaric to us but very normal to them. Like vengeance, for instance. I think most people nowadays are thought that vengeance would give more harm than good, that it is more noble to forgive those who have wronged us. But there were times when the noble and good thing to do is to do revenge. Even if the result is war.

Goodness. I've got my mind blown away many times by this series. It's so good, I've made an order for the books. Not buying the whole series tho. I'm waiting for the collection set hahaaha.

This TV series is adapted from a novel series - Song of Ice and Fire. It has five books already, out of the seven planned. Judging from the tv series alone, the storyline is beyond excellent. But the characters are built so vividly. They have different souls, different traits. It doesn't feel like there is one author telling the stories. You know how in some stories some people say things which are out of their characters? Well, haven't see such thing in in this one. The storyline is also unpredictable. Let me try to make a comparison. In The Secret of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series there is a certain plot the author uses plenty of times. He would build a tension, then as the climax someone whom first portrayed as the enemy to save the day. Repeat at the next chapter. Well. Probably it isn't exactly like that. But there is a certain style he uses over and over again which makes the stories kinda predictable in each books. Don't get me wrong, I like The Secret of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel. It just didn't didn't amazed me as much as Game of Thrones did. Or perhaps I'm just being over excited here, I can't judge the book - haven't even read it yet. However, if wikipedia is factual on this one, the author said that the tv series is very faithful to the original books. Sooo, there's a considerable chance that the books are, in fact, EPIC.

Now that I think about it, I'm glad I discovered this series very recently. The reason is the vulgarity of the story. It shows violence, adulteries, raw flesh eating, a lot of sodom and gommorah kind of things. The books series started in 1996. I would be too young to read it then. If I found it during my teenage years, well I'm not sure how I'd handle it. But now I'm older and hopefully wiser, I can digest a more complicated stories like this. Harry Potter's last book, for example. I read it as a 2nd year undergrad student and was kinda disappointed with the ending. For me, to end the most powerful dark wizard with an open big battle like that was too, for a lack of better word, smooth. It just didn't feel epic enough. But then, Harry Potter is aimed for younger audience. It shouldn't have accurate and sadistic war scenes. Meanwhile, A Song of Fire and Ice is within the epic fantasy genre. Not everyone, nor should they, stomach the indelicacy of the story. The killing scenes are probably as sadistic as the Raid. They freakin show you people beheaded and cutting off throats. And. There were many sex scenes. Good grief, this is no story for kids. Nope nope nope. Ok I'm going off topic.

Overall, I'm super excited for this awesome series, looking forward to the day the books arrived, looking forward for the new season, and I recommend it to anyone age 21+.

I hope the Imp will survive and prosper, as will Arya. And of course, may the mother of the dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea will always be victorious. 

Two Weeks of Sun in Manchester

About two weeks ago, we had quite a lot of sun. There was no rain whatsoever and the weather was just plain hot. So hot it made me bought sunscreens. You'd see people walking around half naked. Well, it's understandable, really. Imagine people who are very used to cold weather that they wear only thin jackets in winter, if they feel that warm in winter, the warm weather was probably unbearable for them. Even I feel so hot. What worse is, my room has narrow ceiling which makes it even warmer.

I prefer cold weather really. I mean regular MCR cold, not like, I dunno, north pole cold. During regular rainy Manchester cold, I can turn on the heater, wear layers of clothing, use the umbrella. However, when it's super warm, I've got no AC in my room. Good thing I have a fan. Not electrical fan. A kipas lipat, which I used to kape-kape all night.

The warm weather and the sun didn't stay long, though. Manchester has already returned to its usual rainy and windy days. I'm going home in three months. Honestly, I hope the weather would stay like this until then. I can have all the sun I want once I'm in Makassar.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

14,400 words

There are no exams for the classes I took on the second term. Instead, each of the courses have assignments and reports with various grade ratios. If I remember correctly, there were three reports and four essays. Each required various minimum words count and in total it's 14,400 words. Quite a big number, but after all the writings demanded for this course so far the total word count is not as daunting as it was when I first started the course. I'm not saying it's easy, far far from it. For a few weeks I didn't have any social live, after ICN I so rarely left my room. My days would start at 7am in the morning, usually began with a number of Carmina Burana - O Fortuna. Such powerful, only slightly frightening but it does motivate me. The classical playlist have helped me write until noon and I usually ended my days at 2am. The next morning start again at 7. Of course there were a lot of breaks in the middle, for food and youtube videos. But somehow I got through it all.

May the Lord lead the way for my dissertation, the final challenge to get the MSc degree. The bloody Msc degree. Man. The head and heartache I've endured and tears I've shed  to pursue the degree. Whoa. That last sentence is totally dramatic. Bloody hell. So what if I'm dramatic. I'm an adult, I don't need to apologize for my actions. Unless I offend anyone, of course.

Now I'm in the middle of preparing data collection for my dissertation. I'm not quite sure why in the UK they called it dissertation instead of thesis. Anyway.

Here is the playlist for the classical music I listen to help me concentrate. Perhaps some of you would find it entertaining or probably even help you studying as well.

Indonesian Cultural Night - PPI GM 2012

I was given the opportunity to become the project leader of Indonesian Cultural Night, an cultural and culinary event of  Indonesian Student Society in Greater Manchester. After months of preparation, by the grace of the Lord, we succeeded. The show and the fair was a great success and we managed to make a very sound profit and donate them to an NGO in our homeland, an organization called "Indonesia Mengajar". The idea was, as Indonesian students in Greater Manchester, we are very fortunate to pursue knowledge here and we would like to help others with their education to our abilities. In addition, we are sick and tired of British and many other people not what where and what is Indonesia. Thus we attempt to make the event.

We had dances, song performances, free photo booth with traditional costumes, food, even batik workshop and traditional dance classes. Some Indo students from different cities also helped us with the event: Putu from Leeds (I think) danced a Balinese number, Haikal (Lanchester) gave the batik workshop. The ambassador and his team also payed a visit. Amaka said he looked like powerful Bollywood actor hahaha. He was very kind, tho.

What more is, I was amazed with the commitment all of the committee gave. Our main purpose of coming to Manchester is to study, unquestionably. But the effort they have put out and to balance between all the preparations and rehearsals and the crazy assignments is more than I could asked. My salute to PPI-GM 2011/12!!