Stay-home guide for Monday: Discover cute online comics for kids, order some nasi lemak and more


1. Watch: Pretend It's A City

I want to be Fran Lebowitz when I grow up. The American writer-commentator has parlayed being a full-time grumpy old woman into a fine art and her brand of sarcastic observation is showcased to perfection in this Netflix series.

The premise may sound off-putting. Lebowitz complains about a long list of things that bother her in episodes that splice together her lectures, talk show appearances and a series of conversations with legendary director Martin Scorsese.

The latter is her long-time friend and evident fan, and he is happy to play the straight man, chortling delightedly at her various salvos at everyone and everything.

The first 15 minutes of episode one will determine whether you are a fan or not. As someone who hates meanderthals (my portmanteau word combining meander and neanderthal for pedestrians who do not look where they are going), I feel a deep kinship with Lebowitz's cranky attitude towards the breed.

The first 15 minutes of episode one will determine whether you are a fan or not. PHOTO: NETFLIX

But there is an abiding affection for New York too that comes through in the first episode. And therein lies the appeal of this series. Lebowitz might complain, but she complains with wit, a deep self-awareness and affectionate exasperation. She is filled with incredulity for the general silliness of humankind, who really should know better than to do the self-sabotaging things they do.

And really, complaining for a living - how much more Singaporean can one get? Dream job.

Info: Watch on Netflix

2. Read: Gardens by the Bay's cute online comics for kids

This series of Web comics created by the staff of Gardens by the Bay boasts super-cute character designs. Created last year when the circuit breaker shut down everything in Singapore, the one-page comics have reached episode 13 and there are plans to introduce more episodes.

The early episodes are a tad wobbly in terms of narrative, not a surprise considering the staff had no prior experience drawing comics or conceptualising graphic stories.

But persevere and the series starts finding its groove around episode seven. Using cute characters to offer insights into the Gardens' operations is a good idea and the creators have started incorporating feel-good messages into recent episodes, which is a good way to cheer the kids up.

This series of Web comics created by the staff of Gardens by the Bay boasts super-cute character designs. PHOTO: GARDENS BY THE BAY

There are plans to expand the characters into downloadable colouring sheets, crossword puzzles and other DIY activities so parents looking to entertain the kids during the school holidays might want to bookmark this page for future reference.

Info: Gardens by the Bay's website

3. Listen: Temujin: An Audio Drama

This is the little podcast that could. Made by a group of Singapore-based creatives, this was nominated for the 25th Annual Webby Awards for Limited Series Podcast - Scripted Fiction.

It got beaten out by The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and Insecure: Looking For LaToya, but it did win other awards including Best Fiction and Podcast of the Year (Bronze), at the Asian Podcast Awards 2020.

The podcast tells the story of the Mongol conqueror Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan, from the perspective of Jamukha, his sworn brother and best frenemy, played with sly wit and swaggering poise by Aditya Karkera.

Temujin: An Audio Drama tells the story of the Mongol conqueror Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan. PHOTO: ANDAS PRODUCTIONS

The script is cleverly structured and the voice acting well done, with atmospheric sound effects used judiciously to recreate the sounds of the steppes and nomadic life. The intimacy of the sound design and the format of audio drama harks back to a time when humans gathered around a fireside to listen to oral stories.

Moreover, at just five episodes that run for between 19 to 49 minutes, this is just long enough to be satisfying and short enough to binge listen in a day.

Info: Temujin's website

4. Tar Pau Nation: Nasi lemak ideal for home delivery

Signature French Poulet Leg Set from Coconut Club. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

There are some dishes that just need to be warm and not piping hot to taste good. Nasi lemak, coconut milk-infused rice served with various dishes and sambal, is one of them - which makes it ideal for home delivery.

So, when I was craving some spice to perk up my sluggish appetite last week, the dish came to mind immediately. And my go-to place is nasi lemak specialist Coconut Club in Ann Siang Hill, which is No. 1 on my list of Top 5 nasi lemak.

What makes it even more attractive is that the delivery charge to my place is just $6. It is usually more than $10 for that distance.


5. Shelf Care: Reclaiming joy in Pooja Nansi's We Make Spaces Divine

Singaporean poet Pooja Nansi (left) shows how spaces can be reclaimed in this vibrant collection. PHOTOS: ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY, MATH PAPER PRESS

One is often told one must rethink space in the pandemic, but this vibrant collection from Singaporean poet Pooja Nansi shows how spaces can be reclaimed.

This book, coming seven years after her last collection Love Is An Empty Barstool (2013), shows all the benefits of letting your work simmer. It is rich verse, deepened and assured.

Nansi paints a city that she loves fiercely, though one she is not always sure she belongs in - the burgeoning aisles of shopping complex Mustafa Centre, the changing face of Marine Parade, the now-defunct nightclubs that were havens of her youth.


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