Why do people almost always use the line "think about our children" when objecting to 'objectionable' things from bar-top dancing and reality TV to topless revues and risque magazines? Do they command so little influence or control over what their offspring reads and views, much less the kind of values inputted into their minds, that the iron glove of the state is called upon to nanny every household in lieu of their own parental inadequacies?
And why on earth does the sole show in Singapore featuring bare breasted ladies face a multitude of rules, as if a paying audience mentally capable of withstanding naked tits is unable, or even disinclined morally, to accept suggestions of coitus or other kinky acts in the course of the performance?
About the only exhibits (apart from the excellent www.aquaticquotient.com booth) at Aquarama that drew my harried attention and dwindling batteries this afternoon at the Singapore Expo. The halls were monstrously crowded as there were several consumer fairs running concurrently and it was a deluge outside (fortunately Aquarama itself was fairly empty thanks to the unfriendly $8 entry fee ($4 for kids) charged to the public - yay!). The Singapore Expo's horrendously narrow inner corridor is a death-trap and the open concourse area utterly useless in sheltering visitors from both rain and sun. In the halls, refreshments are hugely overpriced – $2.50 for a plastic cup of Milo.
On the top left is some species of glass perch. Beside it is a cichlid. Below left is a Japanese lionhead goldfish. The green scene, located in the aquaticquotient.com booth, was done up by my friend Roland, who offers related services to those who would like an underwater garden in their abode. Also, glad to have met you at last, BFG!
I feel funnily tired, so very weary, and yet lucid at the same time. Too tired to arouse my usual irritation at the over-an-hour long journey from work, but not nearly lucid enough though to recall how exactly did I get off the bus and cross the road to mrs budak's mum's flat. I must say sorry to my fishy friends, including those who have come from afar and who seek crabby counsel, for having to miss out on the week's festivities, for my weariness extends to all spheres – in body, mind and spirit, and even the attractions of ichthyological pursuits fail to supercede the burdens of time and energy that I inflict upon myself. It seems a bitter irony that slow-and-slothful ducks can find employment in deadline-centred positions where the care and time of a quality job can come into conflict with the diktats, admittedly self-imposed, of a print-run. Alas, it may be at last close to the time when such contradictions are either resolved or result in collapse altogether.
I must also say sorry to mrs budak for shouldering less than my fare share of care, and for being unable to stop, or even know, these grimacing gestures, blinded as I am tonight by hazy street lamps and mind-altering substances that forcibly capture my mood and swing my senses to collisions imagined and ends unsought – lover of life that I am. Better writers have written of it, but I feel it then and now, a weight that fixes the flesh and sinks the soul like a castaway chest of painful yet unopened thoughts, prompting me, among other concerns, to write off tomorrow's rendezvous, delicious as it may be. Can hope be found in the realm of clinical mind-delvers, or might all these efforts be part of the problem? Solace finds me not, for a bleak but empty anxiety has settled in my heart. I find the words to say how, but not why.
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Besides ample portions of chocolate, beer and other belly-bursting morsels, budak's life calling boring job brings him to certain events where he is feted more on account of his professional title than his utterly charming personality. The product launch today turned out to be a sour show of citrusy concoctions. Much tart juice was spilled and splattered as the corps braved the biting bugs of Fort Canning's spice garden for lemony snippets and blimey quotes.
The menu of the day was appropriately yellow: lime potato and crab cake with yellow fin tuna salad. We left the tedious task of putting the patties together to those three blokes on the right, who plattered their way through the session without causing too much trouble. Budak's job was to add the right dash of lemon oil to a mesclun salad tossed with Thai asparagus, tuna, arugula, coriander, lemon strips, bean sprouts and juliennes of capsicum and chili, and dress the whole lot with a fine grape seed and vanilla oil (from pods purchased at Culina, said the robust Mr Angelo).
For dessert, we had mixed marinated frozen forest berries with lemoncello topped with warm lemon scented white chocolate, candied lemon and lime peel – served for optimal effect in a top of the range angular rimmed bowl. To cleanse our stinky feet thereafter, a foot spa was proffered, whereby the island's dainty pensmen lost their dignity by trampling their soles in basins full of chopped fruit to the bewilderment of passing tourists. What else could budak do in such a circus, but to put both his feet down?