Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A Scottish guy told me while we were drinking wine on an island off coast Ho Chi Minh City on New Year ’s Eve a few years ago.
Isn’t it true?
What exactly happen after the count down? Other than it’s another day, nothing! Absolutely nothing. In fact you actually interrupted your merry making for a moment for that. Again by that I mean nothing!
How much fun did you have during your last New Year ’s Eve reveling? What was the significance of it? I don’t think many of us can recall as vividly.
How about your new year’s resolution? Let’s face it, how many of us actually resolute and resolve enough to see that throughout the year?
So, at the end of the day, what’s the point?
Well, I suppose we all can, and we should start the new year with as much cheers, joyfulness, enthusiasms and most important of all, hopes as possible, especially in the current gloomy and volatile economic climate.
So, go on then. Have a blast. Rock on!
There’ll be no plan for a big bash for me to usher in 2009. I’d probably be sipping wine and shooting fireworks from a balcony.
Happy New Year 2009!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"Is there a CCTV installed in there?"
Dude, it's a gym locker room, not a softcore gay porn production house!
I'm still laughing my head off when I think about it.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Everything gone! Money, ID, driver’s license, credit cards, bank cards, medical card, donor card, and membership cards, all gone!
The only photo ID cards I have now are my gym membership card and my office security pass. Both are inadmissible and invalid to prove my identity in the eyes of law. I was without proper papers.
I’m now illegal, I'm an alien, for the weekend at least.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Perhaps it was the overflowing crowd.
Perhaps I was sleepy.
Perhaps I was tired.
Perhaps I was jetlagged.
Perhaps because you weren't there with me.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In the end, mine turned out like this: dough was not enough for the crust, pie crust slightly burnt and the apple filling was a tad too moist and too sweet. Well it was tasty nonetheless, according to me!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Dad is diabetic. The healing time, especially the surgical wound might be longer. Therefore we ensured he took his medication taken religiously. Mom prepared his meals accordingly and I would control the portion stringently. His blood sugar level was monitored at least twice a day.
I found that dad was perhaps slightly depressed and anxious about his recovery, his ability to walk again after the operation. He was becoming cranky and moody. I called a counselor friend in to speak with dad, trying to get into his head and get him motivated. We gained some insights, hopefully would be able to communicate with him better and cheer him on.
Dad was bed-ridden for almost a month prior to the operation. His muscle strength was deteriorating significantly, quite a challenge for him to even stand up on his own, let alone walk. I resorted doing simple work out with him two to three times a day. We helped him to start walking again with the walker frame, as frequent as possible, as ordered by the doctor. But how would he maintain the exercise routine when I return to KL for work? We talked about hiring a physio-therapist. Then my sister came back and we agreed that she would take over the working out part.
One of the most troubling troubles was whether mom would be able to cope with dad’s care taking when all of us kids go back to our work. While mom was adamant that she would be fine but we have our reservations. Together we explored several options such as getting a live-in maid to help around the house, and even sending dad to an elderly home. In the end we decided to sleep on these options and would just cross the bridge when we come to it.
Truth be told, those were a lot of work. They weren't some challenging laborious hard work though, most of merely some errands. But I supposed under such intense and stressful circumstances, it could be quite draining emotionally.
Friends and family had been calling, emailing and text-ing with the well wishes and to check how I was holding up. I told them I was doing OK, business as usual. I replied them very matter-of-factly. Indeed, I found myself getting through fine. Everything over dad's operation was dealt with mechanically and objectively, almost devoid of any emotion.
Business as usual!
Devoid of emotion!
I was, well still am, not certain if that was a good thing. One certain thing, to me, it sounded cold. Heartless. Emotion was cast aside. Somehow I was able to detach my feelings almost completely. Everything was an issue or just another problem at hand, which could be defined and clearly expressed with a problem statement. With some deep digging into the root cause, looking into cost benefit, identifying then mitigating risks, solutions were formulated, with contingency plan in place. All the who-does-what-and-when-and-where-and-hows were set. The problem could be resolved!
Perhaps I was being an optimist.
Dad was hospitalized and went through an operation. All that was reduced simply to a scientific problem with a means to an end.
Perhaps that was how I deal with things. That was my fight-or-flight response.
Too mechanical! Too objective! Too systematic!
I'm an engineer, well a man of science one may say. In science, everything must have got a sensible, scientific explanation. Facts are facts, universal and indisputable. Emotions have neither part nor value in the search of solution or making judgment call or drawing a conclusion. That’s how science works. That’s how an engineer functions.
I kept telling myself that.
I keep telling myself that, still.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
We were told to wait at the waiting area at the exit of the operation theatre. There were few stiff wooden chairs and a slouchy old couch. Why are all the waiting areas at the hospital so bare minimum, so awful, so grey? Good thing it was well lit, but still it’s lifeless. And worst still, hopeless.
So, the waiting begun. We sat around quietly and talked occasionally. A family friend was there waiting with mom, keeping her company. I flipped the magazine pages. Everyone fidgeted endlessly at their seats, trying to find that comfortable spot at the uncomfortable seat. Everyone tried looking at the clock, tried looking at the clock and not letting the rest knowing. The waiting was painfully slow, excruciatingly so.
The doctor said the surgery should take about 2 hours. By 11:30 am, the doors remained shut and still. If time had been inching by so very slowly for the last two hours, it was now zooming by at light years speed. Time could be healing but time could be so cruel at times. Everyone looked at the clock more frequently, wondering why was it taking so long. The minds were ravaged by an emotional tsunami, but the body must remain calm and collected. It was draining.
I remembered an afternoon during my high school years, I got so frustrated waiting for dad to fetch me home. Time ticked by annoyingly sluggish. I hated waiting. I still do. The afternoon heat was unbearable. It was hot, I was angry. I got so mad looking at the second ticked by on my watch, I yanked it off, started whipping in on the wall. I just kept going at it. Time finally stopped. I broke that bloody watch. I remembered dad bought me that watch.
Then there was one evening I waited for dad to pick me up after a tuition class. It was early evening when the class ended. I waited for about 2 hours and he have not showed up still. I started walking. To walk home, I think it’d take me a good two hours. It was getting dark, but I just kept walking. But I remembered very vividly I was calm, extraordinarily calm. My pace was slow and steady, in no way hasty. I was strolling in fact, almost leisurely. I was so calm that evening, to this day I’m still surprise at myself, why had I not erupted furiously? So did my sister Y, who came rushing, found me walking by the road. She pulled over, I got on the car. We drove home silently.
How I was hoping for that unperturbed calmness be upon me as I was fidgeting at the slouchy couch, waiting restlessly. But it never came.
The door suddenly opened. They wheeled dad out. He was groggy and exhausted from the surgery. The doctor said everything went well. We let out a collective sigh of relief.
It was 12:30 pm.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Oh, may we find in our stomachs the ample space to stuff ourselves silly with the delectable spread of festive goodies too.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
On this very same day seven years ago the world changed for ever. Unfortunately, not for the better. With the change came along pain so tremendous and suffering so great. Are we ever going to recover from that terrible and dark episode?
So, on this day, cry your eyes out, grieve for those who parted, remember those we loss for both the sorrow of such abrupt departure and the joy we had with them, light a candle, say a prayer, have a moment of silence.
Then, count your blessings, learn about the lives of the others, embrace the difference, respect the diversity of values and perspectives, have faith in humanity, kiss your family, hug your friends, wave to passerbys, smile to strangers, trust each other, love each other, be brave, live life, just LIVE.
The world can be a better place.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
First, the alleged sodomy victim, M Saiful Bukhari Azlan did it to show the seriousness and weight of his allegation, that he was sexually violated by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, his former boss, the former deputy prime minister who now the de-facto leader of the opposition party.
Then there were calls from various quarters asking Anwar to do the same thing to counter-clear his name. Unfortunately he did not do it. Well, not yet anyway.
Later, the current deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, did the same thing to deny any link of himself to the high profile murder case of the Mongolian lady, Altantuya.
Now, the Perak state UMNO chief Datuk Ser M Tajol Rosli also ready to do the same thing, the clear his name from being accused of master-minding the arrest of the two Perak State assemblymen, from the opposition party, by the Anti Corruption Agency, ACA.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Job well done in hosting the greatest sporting event in the world.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I went to the Sahara again last evening. The sand was still warm to the touch, as the sun had been merciless to them all day. The wind was picking up though, sweeping across the Sahara dunes soothingly, dissipating the heat. The mid day sun was so ferocious but the fluffy clouds in the evening softened its rays. The desert was silent but the wind was howling. The dunes seemed calm but the sand was swirling restlessly. The vast Sahara was mighty and harsh but the sand I was sinking my feet in was super fine and super soft. The land is arid but certainly not lifeless. The elements of nature at work here are extremely powerful, and may appear to be contradicting, but they are very much in complementary and often amazingly breath-taking. The sun baking the sand golden brown. The wind shaping the dunes and drawing beautiful sand wave lines.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tonight, I had my first beer!!!
I then walloped another 2!!
I know I'm easily amused. The simplest thing in life makes me the happiest.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
This was one hour plus before the flight AND there was no boarding call yet. These people, mostly my fellow countrymen were already lining up, wanting to get onboard, beating the rest and grabbing the best seat in the flight. Super duper fucking kiasu.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Just as they moved in swiftly and unannounced, they were just as quick in moving out. I came back to a empty quiet place on Saturday morning (after spending a night out). After more then a month of camping at my place, R and her family move back into their new place, as the touching up of the renovation was completed.
Finally, they moved out.
Liberty regained and yeah, I can finally walk around the house naked again!
But the euphoria faded just as swiftly. The silence in the room sank in really rapidly. The air in the room is thick with loneliness. It's tough adjusting to that again. As I now sitting in the living room, I realized Uncle Boonsky wasn't there to wave and kiss them goodbye.
I miss their energy talking, no shouting endlessly and running around. I miss roughhousing with them playing pile up. I missed them hugging me and kissing me good night. I miss correcting them saying may I have something instead of saying I want I want. I miss those sheepish faces when they said may I after I corrected them. I miss calling the good one the champ and the bad one the chump.
A and J, I miss you two champs very much.
Monday, May 19, 2008
First of all, dice everything: a few cloves of garlic, an onion, a couple of potatoes, three celery stalks, two fish fillets, handful of de-shelled and de-veined prawns and a few crab sticks. Marinate the meat with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and set aside.
Next brown all the vegetables in the order above in a pot with a good dollop of butter. Upon smelling the fragrance of the vegetable, empty a can of chicken stock (or a cup of water) into the pot and bring it to a boil before turning it down into a slow simmer for roughly about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and the celery turn soft and slightly mushy.
Then put in the fish, crab sticks and finally the prawns. To thicken the chowder, stir in a cup of pure cream. Simmer for another couple of minutes and remove from the heat, as the seafood, the prawns especially, turn chewy if overcooked.
“Oh boys, lunch is ready!”
That was an instant hit. They LOVED it.
Oh, of course I helped myself with a bowl of the seafood chowder, topping it with Parmesan and roasted thin pork rinds I saved from my bacon ham.