Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of 2009

It's the last day of the year 2009, which has seen so many celebrity deaths and Ponzi schemes exposed and financial meltdown... and on a more personal level, a couple of changes and new experiences with many moments of self-doubt and also immense unexplainable joy. It's been another crazy year but nonetheless enjoyable - especially December!

So how am I spending these last hours? Reading about a murder case whilst savouring good bossa nova by Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. What irony!?! Some Chinese PhD candidate at Virginia Tech decapitated the girl who rejected his love at a cafe on my birthday earlier this year. And now he's sentenced to life in prison. He doesn't even look like a murderer. He looks decent. Just proves again that one can't judge what's going on in the mind.

How strange that life just goes on. A death, however devastating or heart-wrenching at the present time, is just another ripple that eventually fades away and becomes a shadow which people remember at the back of their minds. Nothing really stops the world from turning.

P.S: this is the mid-afternoon lethargic mind high on bossa speaking...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas was Here

A good friend (RC) had been spreading the Christmas spirit to me via sms! And I got infected =)

There's just something, dare I say 'magical', about Christmas. There's no other time of the year that I feel an anticipation for something special - even when walking around in the mall. And as RC said, the Christmas carols being played over the PA system of the shops just makes us happy! As a Christian I'm just glad to hear these songs played in the open, however commercialised they may be, because they're all singing of the Good news - the birth of Jesus, our Saviour! As for the other shoppers, the carols are good cheery music, but if by chance they were to meditate on the lyrics - it would truly be a blessing to them!

I used to think that Christmas was over-commercialised and the spirit of the celebration was gradually being watered down. Perhaps it is, in a way. But then I learned something in my Alpha Bible Study class:

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill...
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
(Philippians 1:15,18)

So I think this is a good subtle way of evangelising! :)

How was my Christmas? The busiest ever! I had morning Christmas service in church, RC's Christmas tea party to attend and a Christmas family dinner at night.

I stayed up till 4am trying to ice the store-bought banana cake that was to be my contribution to the tea time pot luck. It was pretty frustrating because the colour of cream cheese frosting basically doesn't give much space for creativity and as much as I tried to make a Christmas log cake, the icing just looked so drab - like a wet cloth all scrunched up! But after poking in some plastic Christmas decorations, it looked more "festive" (I guess). Judge for yourself!

Due to the late night (or rather, early morning), we couldn't get up in time to attend the Christmas celebration in DUMC. So, we went straight to our church. Met YC and her sister there. I'm really thankful that YC joins us this Christmas! I hope and pray that this will be the beginning of His work in her. Christmas service was good - the main sanctuary was packed and the usually super cold air-conditioning was barely keeping me from sweating (that's how packed it was!).

After service, we had lunch with YC and her sister. Before I knew it, my watch was showing 3pm! Amazing how time flies on the sly! So I had to cut it short and rush back to Shah Alam, pick up the cake from home and head over to RC's. I was late (but not the last haha *winks*). It was super hot outside and I was melting, but thankfully the cake wasn't! It was refreshing to meet up with half of the gang! And sad to say, but... we're getting old! We were even taking out our school year books and pointing to pictures inside it! On TV, you'd only see that sort of scenario with a group of people in their 30s reminiscing about their past... hahaha.... well, well, that's the reality of life, I guess! Anyway, since K brought her other half, the tradition of grilling the boyfriends commenced! hahaha... He did well! Our OSC was relentless! hahahaha... it was so funny and seriously cute!

However all the fun time had to come to an end. I had to rush off for the family reunion. We were super late (again). Mum had been non-stop cooking since 3pm... and I was no help because I was at the tea pot luck! But her efforts were all paid off, as it was the only dish that was finished without any leftovers! She prepared Vietnamese spring rolls (cha gio). And although during the Chinese winter festival dinner on the 22nd, the host  said the "cha gio" did not match the Western menu they were planning, his wife gave us a 'go ahead'! It turned out well! Sort of gave that 'umph' to the bland fine dining feel to the whole dinner table! But I've got to hand it to my aunt, she really knows how to set a table! Looks like something out of Martha Stewart or O!

I would rate the communication level of that night as pretty good! We all had quite a lot of fun talking, joking and thanks to my nephew's antics, the scene was liven up. And I've come to think that raising kids in Singapore is not so bad - you just need to have really good parenting skills. I've noticed that the three niece and nephews from Singapore are really great kids! Not at all 'kiasu'... Kudos to their parents - my cousins!

This Christmas was also special because CL came back to KL for 14 days. And although we didn't spend Christmas day with him and Ah Yee and Uncle, we did see him quite a lot when he was back here - maybe too much... I even fell asleep twice! :S

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Don't fall for the ploy! Don't fall for the ploy!

Eeek! Plop...

You did. You always do. Ah well, it's just part of life right? Always falling for the same old crap that caught you in their snare an age old while ago...

Ooh, btw, I've been having this memory lapse, where one day I just woke up and tried to remember what I learned in STPM Biology... and I couldn't remember what word was used to describe the appendix... the word bugged me for quite some time and today I rediscovered what it was! Vestigial!!! (although that is kind of an old school thought about the seemingly useless appendix... it has been discovered that the appendix does have its purpose and is not just another thing rendered redundant by the process of evolution)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nasi Lemak Makes Me Sleepy!

In the past, I've always complained of uncontrollable sleepiness in office (as those who IM me during office hours will know). However a couple of months back, I started to use my free time to study The Word, and my sleepiness problem got better. So it has been awhile since I've had a terminally sleepy day.

Last week, I decided to buy a pack of 'Nasi Lemak' for breakfast. When I came in to office, I did my work first before attacking my 'Nasi Lemak' (directly translated as Fat Rice). The effect was not immediate, but I suddenly started feeling so helplessly sleepy and at first, couldn't explain why I felt so. I had had a full night of sleep save for the few minutes when I woke up with an ENT allergy (which Xyzal helped to cure). Then it dawned on me that it was the effect of too much carbohydrates! Even my brain was working slower!

While in uni, I took a course on Food and Nutrition by Dr Salihin Baba, and he told us in a humorous way, why we felt sleepy after a meal. It was because more blood was needed in the stomach area in order to hasten the digestion of food. As an effect, less blood is pumped to the brain and so, comes the sleepiness as the brain cells receive less oxygen. Perhaps he said it in a too light-hearted way that many of us thought he was joking. But in actuality, it is a fact! Anyway, here's an article that explains this process better.

I think perhaps I should decrease my 'Nasi Lemak' consumption. A friend said that it makes us "stupider" (in her own words)! Hahahaha...

However, if we try to break down what goes into preparing this Malaysian specialty, it doesn't seem like such an evil food. Take a look:

The 'lemak' rice part:
polished rice (high glycemic index - BAD for sedentary people like me)
coconut milk (medium chain fatty acids - GOOD, fast digestion)
ginger (anti-cancer and GOOD for getting rid of 'wind' or 'foong' in Chinese)
screwpine leaves (gives nice aroma)

The 'sambal' part:
cooking oil (too much is BAD, it's better to use palm oil)
onions (gives great flavour and aroma - GOOD as antibacterial, antifungal)
anchovies (GOOD source of calcium)
belachan (too much is BAD I guess - due to chemicals used during processing)
chillies (GOOD - has many benefits, while too much could burn your stomach)
tamarind (GOOD antioxidant)
chilli paste (might be BAD if it's store-bought)
sugar (too much is BAD)

The sidelines:
cucumber (GOOD for skin)
hard-boiled egg (GOOD - protein)
fried anchovies (fried - BAD)
roasted peanuts (roasting kills the good in it, so its BAD - especially if fungus is accidentally overlooked)

So there seems to be a tie between the GOOD and BAD. I started out thinking there were more GOOD ingredients than BAD ones. So I guess I was neither right nor wrong...

(Suddenly lost interest in posting... this post doesn't seem to have hit the point I was thinking off... Sorry)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Happy Keropok

Look! There's a face on my keropok! I didn't arrange that, honestly! ;)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Have You Crossed That Thin Line?

I'm sure everyone has had a friend or acquaintance complain about an over-clingy partner. Or perhaps that experience could be hitting even nearer to home.

I was searching for Technology news when I came across 'Youth using phones to harass and spy on partners'
which reminded me of a few cases I've came across. What I've always thought of as pettiness and immaturity is actually harassment. Sometimes when the offender is someone you trust and have a close relationship with, we tend to overlook things like these - our basic human rights, saying "nevermind... I should be more understanding."

It's quite sad to see that someone who supposedly loves you would do such things to you. Obsession can really take over a person, eating away his/her conscience till there is none left.

Anyway, if you think you are a victim or guilty of such harassment, you can take a quiz here. BTW, for the record, I'm not speaking of my personal experiences (I have none! hahahahaha), but this comes from conversations I've had with close friends and family.

After the Lightning, Comes the Thunder

In an electrical storm before the rain starts, there is the warning signal of a symphony of lightning and thunder. The lightning flashes first, warning of an impending gloom. Then comes the thunder, rumbling its second warning. And finally the rain storm comes, bringing with it torrents and waves of angry blows upon those who are left out there in the vulnerable open spaces.

The lightning has come, fading away with time. And yesterday, the thunder has sounded the impending woes. Next will be the rain. I just pray it does not get ugly. Pray is all we can do.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Emptiness Syndrome after Study Cessation

As of 1745 hrs on December 4th, 2009 I was freed from the pressure of studying for my ICSA Corporate Governance and Corporate Secretaryship papers. (Not that I actually suffered much from that pressure, in fact I effectively ignored it and am hoping I won't need to learn the hard way)

So what did I do to celebrate this "MERDEKA!" of mine? I went shopping with mom. I don't know whether the shops were just plain uninteresting or I was still in the post-exam state of mind, but somehow, I didn't really relish it. However, I did buy a blouse from Forever 21 on 'credit mom' and so, am broke again before the month has even reached its maturity. Great work SM!

Again, as with all the past examinations I've sat for, I've got the post-examination emptiness syndrome. It's a directionless feeling I feel when I suddenly stop studying (after the culmination of the exam) after routinely cramming for an exam for a period of time. It's that loss of momentum that throws me out of balance. All the wonderful plans I was dreaming up to realise after the exams suddenly disappear into thin air! Maybe they were just that proverbial "carrot" that I subconsciously dangled in front of my eyes as motivation. Haha... the wonders the mind can do!

December will be a good month for meeting friends and family. Although that sounds like a Zodiac Star prediction, I do really think December will be lovely. Christmas is coming and there'll be people to meet, meals to eat and... some plans to make.

More to come when time allows!