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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Form 6 - Revisited

Now that I'm back at my parents place in PJ for Chinese New Year Celebrations and a little free, I've decided to snoop around my brother's study. Armed with only a camera, I started taking pictures of his mess. Honestly, while rummaging through his papers and piles of books, it made me miss my own school days where I myself was a four eyed geek who had more books than clothes. One of the must haves on the table (or at least handy) is a dictionary. Be it a language or subject dictionary (i.e Biology, Physics), these books are a must which help me (back then and even now) with my vocabulary. One funny example I remembered was a story my friend wrote something about the protagonist who looked like he's suffered crenation for soaking too long in a bath... or something like that.
Dictionary with Movie Ticket as Bookmark
While looking through his homework, I came to realize that both my brothers have similar handwritings.
Chemistry EquationAnd of course, for any 6th Former who's in Biology class, this is also one of the must haves - dried pressed plants. Back in my school days, I was so good at this particular field that I can name most of the plants by just looking at it's leaves. Now? I can only remember a handful of plants which have significantly special shape or pattern.

Dried Press Leaves on News PaperHowever, I must say my brother's collection of school bags supersedes me. All this while, I've been associated as a crazy bag collector of various shapes, sizes, functionality and brands. It looks like it's time I pass this Bag Trophy Award to him!
School BagsStudies = exams = results. This is one equation that every student dreads. Everything we studied in school was for the sake of getting good grades during exams. Even though my brother here did not get a string of As (yet) it doesn't mean he's no good. It's just that Form 6 is one of the toughest pre-uni exams in the country (some say the world as it's harder than A Levels). But for him to have simple Bs and Cs would get him to university but not popular courses like medics.

Exam Results
And finally, among his clutter of things, there's thing wonderful little toy which inspires and motivates me to study smart and work hard - The Globe. With knowledge, one can travel the world!Small Globe - Malaysia

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Year of the Ox
I'm now back in Petaling Jaya with my family preparing to usher in the Year of the Ox. Before my arrival in PJ, I've been flooded with phone calls and smses for invitations to join my friends for a small gathering reunion. As much as I'm eager to meet up with friends and catch with old time, I would like to spend more time with my family and most inportantly my darling Oddball whom I adore.
To all Chinese bloggers out there, 新年快乐 and to everyone else Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

P.S. I LOVE YOU


About two weeks ago I was complaining about reading less since shifting to Penang. So on Sunday's trip to the mall (read the Paddington Post) I included 'book hunting' as part of my 'things to do list'.

Some time last month when I was helping my neighbor fixing her laptop she recommended a few movies which she had downloaded over the Internet. I copied them into my hard drive but until now, I have yet to see the movie - instead I'm done reading the book which I bought just 3 days ago!
The story revolves around the life of 30 year old Holly who has just lost her husband of 7 years to cancer. Being a woman who was highly dependent on her husband, it was hard for her to let him go and continue life. However, her husband had wrote her a package before his death with a list of things she must do so she can continue life without him. So each month she will open one envelope for that particular month and do what's being told in the letter. And in each letter it signed P.S. I LOVE YOU
This book carries a simple message that reminds us to love the people we love as though there's no tomorrow, it explores the human emotions at a different level which made me in particular think "Oh NOOoooo... I AM highly dependent on MY HUSBAND also!!" In short, this book can be served as a reminder for those who have temporarily forgot the reason why they loved their spouse and married him/her in the first place...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dinner at Paddington

Yesterday we went out for some serious shopping. To be exact we were out scouting for electrical appliances for our new home sweet home. After hours of walking around the mall, we only ended up buying one DVD player, one over-sized turtle neck top for ME and some books. The book is a friend's recommendation - I'll blog about it when I'm done reading. Then we headed to Paddington House of Pancakes for dinner. Which of course was the highlight of our day - pancakes. The staffs were friendly and kind enough to let us take pictures of their menu cover and food. Some places just don't allow customers to take pictures of their food - so I'm guessing that food critics will just have to eat blind folded when entering such restaurants! Anyway, since the people at PHOP was uber cool and friendly, I'll let the picture do the talking first.

Paddington House of Pancake - LogoPaddington House of Pancake - FlagPaddington House Of Pancake - Meal Number 006 Paddington House of Pancake - Meal Number 406Paddington House of Pancake - Meal Number 703
The presentation of the food was superb. At first glance we thought the portion might be a little too small for us. But once we start to dig in, we realized that looks is deceiving. I don't remember the names of the food and all of them have different taste which makes every dish special. In short, the first dish was sourish, the second was salty and the third was extreme sweet. By the time we finish eating, our tongue was numb with flavors. Among the 3 dishes we ordered, the middle picture was the one we loved most. Hash browns, pancakes, beef salami, sausages with cheese filling in brown sauce. The first picture is more for breakfast - which among all 3 is the smallest portion. The pancake taste different as the pancake was mixed with mash potatoes and served with banana and sour cream. The third dish is actually desert. Mini pancakes the size of 50 cents coins served with a variety of fruits, nuts and maple syrup.

Dennis and IIt took me 6 months to drop back to my ideal weight (BMI at 20) but only days to put it on. Sigh... I think if I'm really serious about loosing fats and stay slim I've got to fix my discipline problems first - be able to refrain from food!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Brocoflower - Brocoli and Cauliflower

The good thing about going shopping every once in a while is that you get to see weird hybrid or genetically modified produce. So while we were walking in Jusco the other day, we saw this particularly weird vegetable. From far it looked like the shell of a Sri Lankan Star Tortise - minus the extra bumps and added extra chlorophyll (green pigment in plants that aids photosyntheses).

China BroccoflowersBut upon inspection of it's label, it was a Broccoflower. Which is a hybrid of broccoli and cauliflower. Based on Taste.com you can cook it like cooking broccoli or cauliflower and it's nutritious in vitamin C.

China Broccoflower

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rodent Pest - But it looks cute!

Over the pass few weeks our neighborhood had some new residence. These squeaky night fellows had been running about causing much stress and fear among its residence. Those who have deity alter suffers the worse fate as these intruders would help itself on a 'feast' meant for the Gods. Leaving behind missing fruits or half eaten steamed cakes. However those who do not have deity alter doesn't mean they are safe - the kitchen becomes the rodent's play ground.

Initially I thought of nothing as the sounds of the rodent on the attic was nothing more but squeaks and scratches. After placing some mothballs [naphthalene], the sounds seemed to have stopped for some time. However, recently these creatures seemed to be getting bolder. Just last night, while watching television we saw this little creature running about on our metal grill. Instead of getting a broom to smack that fellow, I took out my camera and started snapping instead. The flash from the camera doesn't seem to bother it as it tries to make it's way into the attic through the spaces between the roof tiles and the support beams. After a few pictures taken, that rodent took flight and ran into our neighbor's home!

Mouse
Just last month when I was cleaning up my new home I did find a dead rodent carcass at one corner of our porch. But it was already dried up and what was left was nothing more but fur, it's long scaly tail and some wiggling maggots. I was so freaked out I emptied an entire bottle of Dettol (the biggest size - 750ml) and 'disinfect' the entire house! The floor, wall tiles, door knobs and windows were mercilessly wiped cleaned. While 3 packets of mothballs were scattered across the attic. My best guess it that carcass was left behind by someone's pet cat which had the pleasure of gutting that little creature. Even though there were some residence in the neighborhood whom had a few pet cats but most of them are so well fed by their owners only a handful are seriously active in catching rodents. According to some owners, their well fed cats just prefer lizards to rodents as lizards are easier prey.

I guess with my house still smelling of Dettol and the attic filled with naphthalene fumes, I guess these creatures will not be back for quite sometime (^^,)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Miso Udon Breakfast

School has restarted this week after a month long holiday and I get to use the kitchen in the mornings again (my MIL is a kindergarten school teacher). Since my hubby and I are the only two people in the house that LOVES Japanese food, we bought Miso and Udon from the supermarket for breakfast.

Miso LabelThe Miso is a Japanese food produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soy creating a paste. This paste is then mixed with Dashi soup stock to serve. We bought Miso, Udon (wheat-flour noodles), sea weed (there are two types - ready-to-eat and for cooking, get the cooking type) and water tofu (there are many kinds of tofu but the most suitable tofu is the wet kind commonly known here as 'water tofu'). Basically everything we bought was instant so it was easy to prepare even though everything was written in Japanese and I don't understand Japanese.
Miso Udon Soup ingredientsWhen the packaging is removed, it looks like the picture below. The only extra work I had to do was cut the tofu into cubes.

Miso Udon IngredientsBasically, the process was simple. First, bring the miso to boil, then add all the other ingredients into the miso soup and bring it to boil again. Serve while hot. Bon Appetite!

Miso Udon - Bon Appetite Dishes like these are actually easy to prepare and delicious. Of course some people may not approve of such instant dishes as it is commonly associated with 'full of preservatives' and unhealthy. Yet the Japanese have been living on such instant food since the development of instant noodles and they seem fine with it. Anyway, I guess the best way to put this is that we should eat everything in moderation.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Baking Bonds

Previously on my Friendster blog, I've posted about different ideologies of different people which lead to one being labeled 'big spender' while the other being labeled 'old fashion'. I received honest and straight forward comments from two caring friends - Alex and Rosidah which made me realize I must learn to understand the misunderstood. So I joined her to bake pineapple cookie roll for Chinese New Year. Pineapple tarts and cookie rolls are a must haves for CNY. Usually its cheaper to buy them but of course the taste doesn't really appeal to all.

Cookies PastryBaking cookies is something I've rarely done since schooling days. So I think I'll classify my skills as an amateur. Despite being an inexperienced kitchen helper, it was good that I did not 'mess things up' and I've learned many things along the way.

Filling up Pineapple CookiesDuring my 5 hours with her and our neighbor friend, I've learn that the process of baking the cookie is standard - it is however, the recipe that makes the difference. We even had enough time to try baking using expensive butter, cheap butter and margarine. On the outside, all three batches of cookies have the same look, but when it comes to taste, it was unique. Both the expensive and cheap butter yields about the same taste with fragrance slightly differed. However the margarine gave a totally different texture to the cookie all together. I even suggested that in future, we should try mixing butter and margarine together and see what's the results.

Pineapple Cookies on a TrayBut in that 5 hours, the thing that I've learn most is to understand her better. How a brief history on her life lead to her current choice of living a simple life with little demands. However, her choice of simple left more often than not resulted to her being ignorant and unaware of the advance development outside her comfort zone. This makes her easily 'CONvinced' by certain parties about certain things - especially concerning food and health.

Baked Pineapple cookiesEven though there are many things in life we don't see eye to eye (she's pro-vegies while I'm pro-meat) and our opinions in things are more often than not opposite ends, at least we can share a common passion in baking cookies for the festive season...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My birthday at McDonalds

Last Saturday was my birthday and I asked my hubby to take me to McDonald's for dinner. Even though I could have picked other restaurants for a try but I still choose McDonald's as I was eager to try out the new double beef prosperity burger.

Beef Prosperity and Fillet-O-Fish Set Large
So I ordered a large beef prosperity set while my hubby took the fillet-o-fish set. The burger was LARGE with double beef patties in black pepper sauce and loads of Bombay onions. The set that I took cost almost RM20 (approx USD5.70) while in comparison my hubby's fillet-o-fish was only RM9 (approx USD2.50). For the price to pay for a set of prosperity burger, I can get two sets of fillet-o-fish. But since it was my birthday and that was WHAT I wanted to eat, I just went ahead with it.

Beef Prosperity Burger
While I was dining there, there were some staffs pumping up balloons for kids and I took the opportunity to grab one myself. I know I look too old to be carrying a balloon around, so I gave it to one cute little girl after taking this photo.


After dinner, we took a long walk around the shopping mall until closing time as I had over ate and was desperately in need of some form of exercise to help digest the beef burger in my stomach! And I dare say that will be the last time I will ever eat that double beef prosperity because the portion is just way too much for me. Next time, I'm sticking to Big Mac.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cleo Mini Magazine

When I was at my regular news stand last week, I saw something intriguing. My favorite magazine had shrunk! I quickly bought one without even reading its contents. Before I went to the cash register to pay, I noticed that Cleo wasn't the only magazine that had shrunk it's magazine - there were others too; mostly foreign publications. As the picture shows, the mini version (measuring approx. 166mm x 218mm) is slightly smaller than the old version (measuring approx. 206mm x 275mm)

Anyway, with it's main article titled "Instant Sex appeal" I can gladly say this little magazine does instantly appeal to me. It is small enough to be fitted into my handbag so I can read it anytime and anywhere I want, instead of solely depending on my cellphone to entertain me. But with the words "Limited Edition Mini Cleo" printed on the upper right corner, I'm wondering if this will be their one and only publication of Mini Cleo or will there be more to come...

That aside, I've come to realized that in pass year being in Penang, I've been reading lesser that what I usually read while with my family in KL. My daily dosage of reading the papers had reduced to reading the online versions - the feel of reading paper print is never the same as online reading but with the Northern publications only half the size of Central KL publications, it's just not worth buying it. While my regular weekly book browsing at giant bookstores (like Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular) which usually leads to more buying of books and magazines; has shrunk to monthly or bi-monthly visits to smaller sized bookstores filled mostly with text books and revision books for school going children and leaving most of the time empty handed.

I think this is why Penang and KL are very much different, if I wanted to enjoy simple life in the rural areas, I have no choice but to forgo the modern stuffs of KL (including double story mega bookstores deeply rooted in the heart of KL). And if I want to stay in the fast lanes of life I can't relax as much as I'm relaxing right now...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Starting all over AGAIN

This is actually my 3rd time I've shifted blog host. My first blog was in Xanga. During that time, Xanga was where my friends and I blog about school, other friends (yea... we do gossip ALOT) and basically everything under the sun.

Then there was Friendster. Unlike Xanga, Friendster blog was relatively new at that time and there were many new features unavailable in Xanga yet. At that time, I tried my best to maintain two blogs without actually realising that the people who are reading my Xanga and Friendster blogs are the SAME PEOPLE! So after a period of time, I decided to terminate my Xanga account. By the time I deleted that account, Xanga was upgraded!

Anyway, with the Xanga account deleted, I became a loyal Friendster user. My hubby (then-boyfriend) was a Blogger user and also has a Multiply account. During one of our conversations, he said that Blogger was better as you can make your own designs for a more personal taste (or professional look). So I tried Blogger. After using Blogger for almost a year now, I've decided to export my Friendster blog into Blogger. However due to different formats, I am forced to start this blog from scratch...