Saturday, January 28, 2006

Random rants

Amazing. It's one of those points when our brain's fizzing like fireworks with many many questions, probably like that of an Izzet mage's mind. And at night. And after we've reached a state of high that's induced alcoholically and/or nicotinically. And worse of all all these thoughts during a shower where it's not possible to jot down the points, where it's forgotten (or lost in further extrapolation) once out of the shower and ready to pen down.

So this time we're gonna blog like how we sometimes hold 'serious' conversations (I think some people will share this view): random jumps to different topic points rather than focusing on a main subject. And how we jump from topic to topic.

How did it start anyway? I guess:

Probably how men's thinking differ from women's. And how we have biased opinions about how the other thinks. Men being more focused and to-the-point, more towards confrontation, thoughts being on self rather than group. Women being more sensitive and caring towards the collective/others and thinking more about the whole than the singular objective. Had thoughts back towards Frank Herbert's Dune series, especially from God Emperor onwards, as to why the Tyrants army of Fish Speakers consisted of women only, and also how only the Bene Gesserit (guild of...for lack of a better word, witches) was the only guild to last throughout the thousands of years without suffering much change. Need to reread the books again to get the key points about that.

Damn I'm getting more sober as the clock ticks away. Can't remember the argument and if it was even valid or not.

Amazing how Frank Herbert can write rather engagingly. His emotionally-detached Bene Gesserit, his logic-dictated Mentats, prescient conversation have double meanings etc. Sometimes it does make you open your ears and eyes a bit to what goes on around you. And sometimes it does. Interestingly, two conversations (more like, two replies) of a certain subject told me a different story: their words meant one thing, but the reason why they replied such and how it was phrased told me another. Personally I wasn't offended in the first place but the response made me think, "What was that about?" While I know it's human nature to talk about people (especially discuss about people in their absence) it never really was an issue to me before except this sparked that curious question. Knowing myself, I'll soon forget about it so I won't really put any effort into it.

Speaking of effort. Having no direction in life really leaves us with no point in putting in effort anywhere. A downward spiral of degeneration. Work? Friends? Relationship? Future? Am definitely in a rut. What am I looking forward to? Even I cannot answer that. I may suggest something to myself and my own answer is along the lines of, "Too much effort." Bad. Very bad. Nowadays too many things get the "Too much effort"line from me. Personal self-destruction. A way out? "Too much effort."

Drat. Forgotten some line I thought about regarding infatuation. Can't remember what it was about also. Yeesh. 'How poor the man who discovers all it ever was was infatuation?' I really really cannot remember the exact line but probably around there. And I wasn't thinking of it due to personal applications. It was just a line. Reason I'm feeling chagrined is that I've forgotten the line so soon.

Sleepy. Probably randomly rant more next time and hopefully without the inner editor staring in horror at what I'm typing (he'd already deleted quite a few paragraphs of dead-end nonsense). Not like this one's getting anywhere.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

'Live' with Bambi!

Whoa. From minishorts we followed this link. Very interesting but unsure how informative. btw the Catergory 2 bit minishorts blogged about was informative.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Food Fiesta!

I find that I should really learn to be a camwhore if I want to do this kind of blogs right. Unfortunately our (pseudo)phonecam cannot do nightshots well as it doesn't have flash. But still.

Last night we tried a new place: Roadhouse Grill at Jalan Ampang. When I get photos I'll post 'em up. Orders varied from T-bone to Ribeye steaks to Filet Mignon to Mixed Seafood Platter to Lamb Chop...whooo. Food was good. There was a bucket of peanuts to while the time away while waiting for food also. Good place, good food. Just a wee bit hard to reach at Jalan Ampang.

Today met up with 'Ward and Pai Lian to lunch at Sakae Sushi. I guess ordering a sushi set wasn't really a good move as most of the sushi were the regular fare...not much in the lines of crabsticks or fish eggs or salmon...but at least the set was more filling compared to grabbing dishes from the tray. To bad we didn't try ordering 'online', mebbe next time. We did torture our tastebuds and palate as we kinda overdid the wasabi. As we left we filled in the Comments Form: can't recall about the gradings, we guess Pai Lian gave good/average ratings in terms of decor etc, but in the 'Others' we filled in 'Not Enough Cute Guys'. And left them Pai Lian's email. Should check with her one day regarding feedback on that.

After sushi we backtracked to this Chocolate Fountain store we saw...very tempting. A stick of choco-covered strawberries: RM3.50. A stick of choco-covered marshmallows: RM2.50. The chocolate orgasm that follows: priceless.

Our suggestion to spend the rest of the time at Borders had it's good and bad points. Undeniably Borders is a good place to hang out. Unfortunately very hard to control the urge to expand our library, especially when 'Ward also buys books. We encourages him to buy he encourages us to buy. And Pai Lian has to go look at books on food. With pictures. Tempting, sinful pictures of ice-cream. We just had to look for a sorta desserts place after that - ended up in Juiceworks for some yummy smoothies. We had a tropical breeze while both 'Ward and Pai Lian decided to *eat sheet*.

After watching Memoirs of a Geisha we decided to stop by Charms for nibbles (and dinner for njapf). Their Carrot Cake is good, the Fried Wantons were wonderful and the Pineapple Fried Rice came in a pineapple! (No photos to tempt tho' T_T)

After nibbles the family dinner was up! Jake's Charbroil Steak restaurant! Oysters and escargots seem to be our family regular's appetizer where available. Yum. Had me second Garlic Steak and tortured my tastebuds and palate again, this time with mustard.

And so ends our culinary capers.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Learn something new

Yesterday we learned:
  • There's only a 1 day returns policy on Padini shirts bought at Jusco Dept stores
  • Where to report our lost parking tickets at 1 Utama
  • Lost parking tickets cost RM20 now at 1U
  • TGIF's make people stand on chairs and give speeches before they sing songs for you
  • Making speeches still give me the jitters
  • Karaoke sessions need some 3 hours or more to cover most of the songs the majority likes
  • We can't sing the default pitch given without doing some falsetto
  • Things can only get better

Friday, January 20, 2006

Lazyman's Wrapping 101

We picked up a new trick for wrapping while shopping at MidValley. This be good for wrapping articles of clothing.

Tissue-type wrapping paper

Place present diagonally on wrapping tissue, front side facing downwards in the middle. Size of present should be roughly 1/3 that of wrapper.

Fold each corner towards the centre. Tissue wrappers have an advantage in that crease lines don't show so you can adjust till you get it right. If the corners fold over to the front, fold backwards and inwards at the edge.

Voila. Then tie up with string. Simple, no?

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Zen of ensuring minimal stress

To ensure stress does not ruin the day even before it begins, one must prepare one's path to work.
For less stress, one prefers to drive to work than commute as it takes less time and one is in control.
For this, the choice for one: 1) should one spend 20 minutes looking for parking space at Kelana Jaya LRT Station before proceeding to take a 45-minute trip to KLCC; or 2) should one drive 20 minutes to KL Sentral and park there before taking a under-10-minute trip to KLCC.
To choose, one thinks: "One is able to claim expenses for working in such a faraway branch, as was dictated by one's contract."
And such is that one has already minimised stress in THREE ways: one does not have to leave earlier to work; one does not have to waste time commuting; and one does not have to worry about expensive parking fees nor mileage nor tolls.

At work, one found out that one did not fully prepare oneself for the lunch meditation: one has forgotten to bring one's Book-Of-The-Moment.
To minimise stress one must have a book for the empty moments of lunch.
One decides the only way is for one to visit Kinokuniya - the retail therapy of shopping also reduces stress and increases happiness.
One decided on a major stress-reducing capable book: Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary.
See, stress again minimised TREBLY: one has new book; one's lunch is complete; and one did good positive shopping.

During work, one is happy to be able to 'wash one's eyes' as it leads to inner happiness and serenity: the 'quality' of customers in KLCC seen in one day equaled that which one had seen in ALL other branches in ONE YEAR.
One must realise what is meant by 'quality' may differ for different individuals, quite misunderstanding, but so long that the 'quality' looked for reduces stress in one, one is happy.
One also saw 2 happy couples, which somehow elicit the undiplomatic reaction of wanting to laugh within one.
By this, one had no control of how stress was minimised saved by the fortunes of the day.

After work, one must dare the after-work commuters' sardine squash.
One prepares to minimise this part of stress - newly-purchased book in hand, iPod plugged in and bags positioned to cushion one from crowd.
However, new challenge appears to stress one!
"Sila ambil perhatian tuan-tuan dan puan-puan: terdapat masalah di stesen Masjid Jamek, oleh itu kita akan bergerak dengan lebih perlahan-lahan dan berhenti untuk lebih lama di setiap stesen."
One is faced with new choices while one is pushed around by the LRT crowd: does one focus on book or does one watch a podcast, perhaps one like Happy Tree Friends?
Both options provided stress minimization in such an evil situation and so both one did as one desired.

As one prepared for the drive home one now faces the final challenge: the traffic jams at Jalan Damansara and past Plaza Tol Damansara.
One has preparations to minimise the stress of this challenge: Bodyjam 35 music.
One's stress is further minimised by scaring the cars about one by doing the dance moves in one's car to the music.
And stress again is reduced in many ways: time passed much faster with engaging music; dancing makes one happy; risk of accidents reduced with cars worrying for the sake of one.

And one is home.
The penultimate stress-reducing activity is Bodycombat by Calvin.
The ultimate stress-reducing activity is harmonious good dinner.
And the day is done, with minimal stress leading to maximal happiness.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Hopes and Fears

Hopes and fears are something that keep us alive.

I hope for the best but I fear the worse.

Hope allows us to continue living this sometimes dreadful, sometimes wonderful existence. If we hadn't hope, some of us would have jumped off a cliff or similar a long time ago. Imagine going through the drudgery of day-to-day without hope, like walking through a dark tunnel with no light at the end, if there is an end to the tunnel. It's hope that drives one forward:

I should get that bonus/promotion/confirmation by the end of this year!
Someone will come rescue us.
He/She is still single...
Maybe today will be different.
He/She will get better soon...

I hope that things will always remain the same even though I fear that can never be true.

I must say that I tend to live my life partly on a day-to-day basis, I haven't any plans or ambitions for the future. Maybe because part of my life has been handed to me on a plate and I did not question it. But now, life isn't that simple anymore. You could say that 'life sucks once you enter the workforce' but really, life just sucks when you're forced into a change of lifestyle that takes you out of your comfort zone with no aim.

I hope to live simple but I fear its complicated.

I used to be happy with the fact that I was able to stay up all night and take things slowly and leisurely. Now, that's a luxury. Waking up early is mandatory, you've to rush through things everyday, days off are rare and coveted.

And I've to start thinking of the future.

Financing for a car? A house? For retirement? For emergencies? To take holidays? I even have trouble financing my monthly expenditure! And that scares me, because sooner or later there won't be anyone around who can help me. I never really give much thought to anything beyond a month, unless it was a special occasion!

I hope to save enough money to travel by next year but I fear my spending habits make it difficult.

Fear, however, is what keeps us alive instead of blindly rushing into things without care of safety or consequence. It stops us from 'acting now, think later'. Fear for the sake of loved ones, fear of our lives and health, fear of the future...Fear is necessary. But should we let our fears get the better of us? How much fear is good? How do we know our fear isn't actually holding us back from achieving our hopes?

What if this new job I'm applying is worse than my last?
My parents won't approve of him/her/about this.
If I move overseas, I'll be alone...
What if he/she rejects me?
Would this business venture work?
I don't want to get out of bed!

I hope to be happy as a bachelor-for-life but I fear it'll be a rocky road.

I'm a rather shy, timid and tacit person. I don't generally make the first move, and I only show more of myself in the presence of friends. For example, when I go for Bodycombat/Bodyjam alone when the others aren't free I just go through the class as usual but I wouldn't interact with anyone before/after that. Mebbe smile/nod acknowledgement to other regulars, but will only reply if asked, "Where're your other friends?" And then remain in my private cocoon like I do with my lunch breaks during work.

Yeah, it's also my fault because I don't put in any effort to be more sociable. Otherwise I would have probably be much more friendlier with the choir group I was in in Strathclyde. See me, come to practise with my ears plugged in and face stuck in book, join in the singing, and leave after as I came. With the Fencing Club it was my batchmate who did the chatting and I hid in her shadow, joining in conversations occasionally but only with her.

My fault because I fear the effort needed to be sociable. Because I fear my approach isn't correct for building friendships but only acquaintences.

I hope I'm still able to remain aloof but I fear I'm not able to cope without friends anymore.

Now that I'm no longer studying the number of familiar faces has dropped. Thankfully doing my housemanship there was a group of us. And working in a retail pharmacy I met my junior there, along with other pharmacists who were easy to mix with. One thing I suspect difficult when I first tried a sales job was that there wasn't anyone that I could relate to - no one my age mainly or was a pharmacist. Man, I was suppose to be quite independant.

With most friends I don't share much because I fear their reactions (knowing some people). But the quality time spent with my friends now is much better, because with them I am able to be more open. And a part of me actually is afraid about this, because it makes it hard to live without them when they're gone (God forbid anything bad happens). When you've learnt to open up, it's hard to close up and be a recluse again.

I hope to be able to admit some things but I fear rejection.

How would I expect to meet new people, or at times when I contemplate about it, establish a relationship if I dare not make a move? One thing to fear rejection but I dread that it'll lead to a total cut-off. I really let fear control my life on this point. And I cannot move on until it's too late and there is no hope. Then life would move on, with new hopes and fears.

I hope some things were otherwise but I fear that's just wishful thinking.

So. I've been told that I have no backbone, which is true because I let my fears cripple me. How about you?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

This is a podcast 3!

My Magic Bean Stalk is getting creepy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This is a podcast 2!

Whoa. From the hearts-and-arrow symbol to the quote. Worra Magic Bean. Grow big! Reach for the sky!

Scabbed memories 1...

Been rummaging through my piano stool for something other than the Claydermans and classicals and Canon in Ds. And what did I find?

All my old songsheets and exam sheets! The ones from my old church choir days. Just last Christmas the P&W team had sung part of the Celebrate His Glory medley and I was wondering how long ago it's been since I'd heard that song. The medley had most of the advent carols in quite an upbeat tempo.

Another favourite was the God With Us production, originally done by Don Moen (I guess), with our WMCK's Bernard Shim organizing and leading everything. God With Us was big, I mean, BIG. We'd gotten the accompaniment tracks (just background music), we'd plenty o' singers for the SATB, the Praise Team SATB and the Solo singers. *Sigh* Bernard was very much dedicated in serving the Lord, and he did well in music.

Looking back at the songsheets it all just comes flooding back in again. Amazing how you can hear the music by just looking at the notes, all the naunces, the inflections, everybody's parts (having just past puberty I could juggle between tenor and bass then).

I'm gonna hunt down the CDs someday. I think I enjoy Christian songs best as battle hymns (think Cliff Richards' Millennium Prayer).

Then horror struck! Amazing how the brain can edit memories to allow us to continue living life sanely. An excerpt:

Test 8A

(i) To sing or play from memory the lowest part of a short three-part phrase played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated...

(ii) To identify the cadence at the end of a further (following) phrase, played twice by the examiner, as perfect, imperfect, interrupted or plagal...

(iii) To identify up to four chords in the above cadential progression, played twice by the examiner, as tonic (root position, first or second inversions), supertonic (root position or first inversion), subdominant (root position), dominant (root position, first or second inversions), dominant seventh (root position), or submediant (root position). Candidates may alternatively use the equivalent roman notation...

OMG ask me now I sure flunk straightaway man. Can't begin to wonder how in the world I managed to pass my Grade 8 (the second time). After all I didn't appreciate all this in my younger years. Thankfully I was allowed to drop my Music Theory at Grade 6. Even looking at the Sight-Reading sheets give me the shudders.

Still, nowadays I think my practical music level has dropped waaay below Grade 6. My best is still my hymnals (to some extent) and playing simple stuff by ear in G (not C, funnily enough, and not D, which is in vocal range).


Murmurs of discontent and puzzlement could be heard rippling throughout the Circles of Hell like raindrops on a lake. From the lowest imp to the Dukes of Hell, all wondered why the Prince himself allowed such to go on.

And so Beezlebub asked of Satan:

"What be thine reasoning that the peoples of the Earth be allowed to walk untainted? Surely our mission, nay our very being, against divine right, be to darken the hearts of men and bend their minds to acts of sin? All Hell is puzzled by thine order to quit the temptation and corruption of men and returneth to Pandemonium at speed."

And Satan replied:

"You could start speaking a bit more modern, you know."

"Thine chastenment doth answer not mine question, Lord."

"I want humans to start doing good."

"!" Beezlebub cursed, causing the air around him to turn into something unpleasant. His face squirmed at the thought.

"In the long run you will find that humans, in all their good works, will build their bridge to us. All we need do is wait. There is no need for Armageddon even!"

"I confess that thine logic be difficult to comprehend."

"Wait, and see."


And surely enough, in a small matter of time, a road to Hell was paved without the help of evil. Imps fluttered about Pandemonium, demons harassed lost souls already in Hell, the Dukes thought of other classical Grecian tortures, all denizens of Hell were bored and yet...souls were pouring in. Most came rolling down the road, while others still fell from Earth above (none fell from Above anymore however).

And Beezlebub spoke with awe to Satan:

"Lord, how be this?"

And the Prince of Hell told him.

And Beezlebub went to look at the road to Hell.

And he said, "Truely, the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions..."


All right. That was stupid. Prolly I'm bored.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ay-cee's recipes for the colds

This is mine personal concoction for when I'm sick. Not necessary to work with others but feel free to improvise.

The medication:
Tripolidine/Pseudoephidrine (Actifed) i/i tds-qid
Paracetamol (Panadol) ii/ii qid
Ambroxol (Mucosolvan) ii/ii bd
Guaphenesin (Woods Peppermint) 10ml prn
Effervescent ascorbic acid (Redoxon) 1000mg od

The self-pampering:
Manuka Honey with lemon slice as much as you like
Tea (no milk) of various flavours
Milo (no milk)
Horlicks (no milk)
Chocolates of various varieties
McDonald's soft serve vanilla ice cream cone
Kumquats as one likes

Of course, this is just a generalization! 'Farmists' and 'Lokters' should know better. Others ask your 'farmist' friends or 'lokter' friends. Even for items under self-pampering.

NB. In no way am I endorsing any of the brands I bracketed above, I'm just giving an example.

This is a podcast!

My Magic Bean Stalk loves me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I would like...

For the upcoming celebrations, I was thinking if I would like a duck.

Nah. Mebbe not. Quite misunderstanding.

Free endorsement - njapf cookies!

We are here today to proudly say that we are part of njapf's guinea pigs official cookie tasters and can say that YUM! Why oh why did we not visit C1-6-6 (noooo not very familiar then) James Blyth Court Block J9 to learn more cookery secrets? Reason very clear lah I shy of C1-6-6. Only went to JBC Blk J7 to have Adeline and Pai Lian teach me frozen cheese cake (which I had to share with everyone whom I borrowed materials etc).

Sigh must wait till I move out on my own before I ever experiment with terrors of the kitchen. Until then shall terrorrize njapf for more cookies!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Escape plan

My sis gave me this as part of my Christmas prez.

Ooo! An escape from it all! Should life ever get me down all I'll have to do is to climb away! And I didn't even had to take our cow to the market to sell. Must plant it now then.

Removed scupper and opened tin as directed. Whooo don't even need own pot and earth.

Next to slowly and evenly water into the tin till surplus water flow out of the scupper. Also told to 'water once every 2-3 days, keeping the material moisture'. The box says that the components are 'seeds, culture medium, long-effect slow release fertilizer'. Looks like rabbit litter to me.

Now to sit out by the window to get sufficient sunglight and fresh air. Errr. Toilet window though, not too sure about the fresh air bit, but window is open and there are good breezes!

Now we waits for our magical beanstalk to grow and take us away to faraway lands amongst the clouds! Goodbye cruel world!