This will be the background music as I fold my clothes during the weekend.

I just got these.

Newly-owned items that were paid with money and presence.

What is it?: A bundled pack of three pairs of socks from the bargain bin at Uniqlo.

Reason behind acquirement: cheap (discounted from RM39.9 to RM12.9), short rise (won’t bunch up if worn with leggings), interesting colour combination (drab and speckled like an abandoned DDR building).

What is it?: A 50ml bottle of orange oil-enriched body balm and samples of face care from the Parsley Seed range by Aesop.

Reason behind acquirement: A door gift for participating in a quiz hosted by x #BetterCities (I won first prize!).

New title alert – Alquimie #1 from Melbourne, Australia.

Very rarely do good titles fall into my hands these days. But luck was on my side when I found this premier issue of Alquimie at a back issue magazine shop at Damansara Uptown.

From the outside, one can tell it’s made with care, from the hotstamped cover to the elegant logo marking the spine. The back cover devoid of any advertisements (usually a brand like Bulgari or Rolex) further indicates its non-commercial background.

Touted as a ‘periodic research & analysis of wine & beverage culture’, edition one was published in September 2013 (that’s spring in Australia. I noticed spring is a popular season for new titles to pop up, regardless of geography). Edition two was scheduled to be out by December 2013, but to date, it hasn’t found its way to the newsstand.

The magazine is divided into sections: The Story, The Study, The Palate and The Excess (I’m still figuring out what it all means), each punctuated by striking split-second shots of a wine bottle shattering. Lovely!

Though much of the content revolves around alcohol, other closely-related matters get some exposure, like this tastefully-shot photo essay on the making of Bocconcini cheese.

And here’s a casual flip-through of the magazine.

The end page describes The Manifesto, kind of like a justification of the magazine’s existence.

Some find Alquimie is like a Monocle for alcohol enthusiasts, but it’s only the structure and logo that’s a giveaway. There are no fancy advertorials with vintage-looking illustrations, and you definitely won’t get stubbly, bespectacled European model types gracing the pages of Alquimie.

The recommended retail price for Alquimie is AUD18 (about RM53), but I got it for only RM10. Score!

Based on what I have gathered, this parody issue sums up what one can expect from the independent publication. It’s just for laughs, guys!
See the actual publication: Apartamento magazine.

Based on what I have gathered, this parody issue sums up what one can expect from the independent publication. It’s just for laughs, guys!

See the actual publication: Apartamento magazine.

Here is a 5-track instrumental/Deutsch/Sverige compilation that best describes the kind of sound that I find most agreeable at the moment. Top note: Almost ambient. Middle note: Slightly Schlager. Base note: Somewhat synth.

(Source: Spotify)

The tropics in a box.

There is this structure which I have been eyeing on since early 2012. The discovery was made after a tea break at a neighbourhood bakery in Damansara Heights, an area where senior politicians, high-ranking pensioners and billionaires call home.


After several drive-bys, I was lucky to find the house gates open with contractors working on the fittings. The exterior is catching up with nature as moss slowly coats the cold concrete.


There seems to be a reference to an art installation by Jean Pierre Raynaud in this bathroom.


The house is now occupied, so it will be difficult to gain access if you don’t know the residents. Let’s hope they have good taste in furniture as well.

More images on my Flickr: 15 Chempenai – 17.11.2012

By WHBC Architects (formerly known as buildingbloc).

Scan of the moment – A Cuisinart manual.

I picked this publication at a second-hand book sale some time ago. I was drawn to its presentation and clean-cut photography, not like user manuals of electrical appliances today that are of shoddy illustrations printed on grease paper and flimsily-stapled.


The wire-bound format is practical when placed on the countertop for cooking references; it lays flat and one-page display is possible.


This thoroughly-written manual acknowledges the issues that may arise and includes photographs of the actual view of when things go wrong.


Food photographed before and after processing.


The second half of the book is filled with recipes from dips to meatloaf and ice cream.


More images on my Flickr: Cuisinart DLC-7 Super Pro Food Processor manual.

Editor Ruth S. McElheny
Art Director Christine Goulet
Asst. Art Director Leslie Grenn

Copyright © 1984, Cuisinarts, Inc.
Printed in JAPAN

Once a place to serve*, now a place to be served.

Formerly an all-girls school established in the year 1912, St Mary’s School shifted to a suburban location in the late 1990s. After the site was flattened, up came the towering St Mary Residences.


This luxury service residence was co-developed by Eastern & Oriental Berhad and The Lion Group and given a landscaping treatment by Seksan.


Though there were a squadron of security guards on a march, one could easily puncture into the pool area with just a friendly nod to the concierge.


One of St Mary’s neighbours is The Weld, formerly a public swimming pool. Today it’s an ‘office hours mall’, meaning it serves the office crowd on weekdays and is quite dead on weekends.

*St Mary’s School’s motto is ‘I Serve’.

Making myself at home in another’s.

As I lay myself on a cushion pile in a gazebo one sunny weekday afternoon, I thought to myself how lucky I am to not be at an air-conditioned working space, hunching over a monitor. 

The lawn smells of orchids, not from the actual plant but a massive quilt that was washed with fragranced fabric softener being hung to dry.

Feels like a day in a well-to-do retiree’s life.

A case of housing oversupply.

There is a converted double-storey house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail that hasn’t been habited ever since it was built. At a glance it looks like a Seksan creation for heavy usage of fairfaced bricks. But it isn’t.

At the time this picture was taken, the neighbour’s cats who are friends with a caged dog are the only residents of this property.

Any interested buyers? Comes with complimentary pets.