Monday, September 26, 2005

The Magic Of A Juicer

It all started with my annual medical check up. While everything is clear and the doc said "I am as fit as a 22 to 25 year old lady", I took it with a pinch of salt. Perhaps he was talking about the BMI (Body Mass Index) which otherwise corresponds to James' new machine reading. I mean, I am aware of my unhealthy lifesytle, no exercise, and always outside food, if not instant tom yam mee.

The startling part was my cholestrol level. While the average is 5.2, mine is 5.8. And my pulse is about 80 over per minute. The doc casually said that it is normal for Asian people due to their diet and so it is acceptable and no worries and that I am perfectly alright.

So then, his professional judgment is based on the average Asian, and if most are having high cholestrol, it is then "OK" to be part of the gang? I wasnt too impressed with his remark. It dint sink in until I reached home that evening.

Anyway, since exercise is not an option for me, I have to find out other means to tackle this issue. A friend recommended cycling in the gym, I imagined myself passing out and hitting the floor instead.

While I am not overly worried about the results, I am perplexed because 2 years ago, my blood test showed that everything was fine and dandy. I concluded that apart from my non-exercise habitual hibernating lifestyle, age is a big contribution to this new problem. So for the following few days, I cracked my brain to find out what is not normal in my diet and what has changed. It was a Friday evening when it finally dawned upon me what could be the source of all this confusion. Apparently, for the past 2 to 3 months, I have been diligently consuming roasted chicken and roasted pork with rice for my lunch!!! Yes, that must be it! I used to have a combination of noodle soup and economy rice. Of late I am just too not bothered to think especially in between June to August as I was kind of stressed with my company's financial year end closing and other work matters.

I spoke to a friend and talked about our problems, and decided to get a juicer. She gave me the model number ~ Panasonic MJ series (remember Michael Jackson).

Another friend helped to source for it on Sunday (she was looking for a new tv) after the electrical shop we went to in SS2 on Saturday ran out of stock. So last evening, we dropped by a sundry shop to get some carrots, celery, green apples, and pears, on our way home from my regular visit to the Old Klang Road nursery for more pots. She helped me set up the machine, while I prepared the fruits, enough for 3 persons, including my youngest brother. We have some oranges left in the fridge too. The whole idea is to have a healthy diet and to replace my dinner with very healthy and fresh fruit juice, *slurp*.

When it was finally time to operate, I invited my youngest brother to grace the ceremony and had him chose his combination of fruits. Then it was my friend's turn. Then mine. Celery was not too popular so I cleared them up. It was nice and unlike what some friends said, I like the taste, mixed with the rest, about 700 ml of pure juice each. It was fun and very much refreshing. Everybody seemed pleased.

But guess what, my tummy started to growl again some 2 hours later.

Till then, have a pleasant Monday blues.

p/s Youngest sister called later in the nite and so I am going to try out bitter gourd later, upon her recommendation.

And oh, I am waiting for my parents' next visit. Dad likes his fruit juice topped with 2 strawberries. This will make his visit more homely now.

p/p/s Miraculously, I could feel myself "getting better" now.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Weekend Thots

"Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness."

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction."

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944), French aviator, writer. Wind, Sand, and Stars, ch. 3.

Le Petit Prince

written and illustrated by
Antoine de Saint Exupéry

translated from the French by Katherine Woods

A Must Read for everyone.

Here is a link for your reading pleasure ~

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Is Friendship A Licence To Put Us Down?

I guess all of us know where to go to and which friends to rely on when we are lost. Certain friends are there to help us with work related matters, some for sharing of similar interests, some for food activities, some brainstorming, some heart-to-heart talk, the kindred spirits, good-for-the-soul purposes...

The heart-to-heart talk category is the one whom we normally depend on for a shoulder to cry on. They revolve around our lives closely and always make a point to remain in constant touch. No excuses. They make it happen.

I treasure this group of friends the most as they provide me with very honest and constructive feedbacks, razor sharp they may be at times, but nevertheless respect my decisions ultimately, and always happy for me when I am happy, excited when I am, and sorry when I am sad.

Do you have friends who are in and out of your life, never gone thru the ups and downs with you or haven't seen you in troubled times, yet always question your actions/decisions if you ever met during one of those social get-togethers, hardly sharing the same excitement that you have, and nothing that you do seem right or deserving in their eyes? Their perceptions are somewhat warped, or rather in their eyes, it is the other way round. You just perhaps could not click. Nothing appears right.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, no matter what, the respect for a friend is a must, and it doesn't mean that just because we are friends, we are automatically entitled to put the friend down. One needs to know where the limit is, the boundary, when to stop. There comes a point when we need to stop talking and just be there. And yes, the other issue is, what is common sense or reasonable to you may not be common sense or reasonable to the other.

I have been blessed with a group of friends who are true to me and who are always around when I am in trouble and in need of support. Oh, Marita is one of them, my guardian angel thruout my life; and another one, my bestest buddy whom I argue a lot with, but always the one who is there for me, to cheer me up. I shall not put myself to further pressure by listing out any names further. Then again, because of the faith I have in this group of beautiful people, I am certain they know who they are and not at all offended or disappointed. They are mostly people who are very much at peace and ease with themselves, who understand the concept of self-love and self-acceptance. These are the ones who do not even bother to demand or expect anything in return. They are leaders in my eyes, people who inspire me... people who are loving, passionate, kind and compassionate... I do know that I am capable of finding out the solutions myself but it is the assurance and stand that they provide and declare that make all the difference.

It would have been good if we could have it all, both quality and quantity, but let's face it, the world isnt exactly round, and to strive for both would be relly asking for too much.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Tummy First Or Manners?

Say, if you had an appointment at a certain time, and just before you left your office, your friend sms to say he/she is stuck in a meeting and said he/she needed another half an hour. You said ok. You did a bit more work, left ofis, walked to the venue, then waited. He/she did not turn up, you sms; reply "coming now". 10 minutes later, still no shadow of your friend, by then your tummy started to retaliate. What do you do? You have about 40 minutes left before you get back to work.

a) wait for him/her
b) call and tell him/her off
c) sms him to say you will start first
d) none of the above

My Answer: c

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Of Music & Mooncake

Do you go about listening a song on a repeat mode the whole day and night? Are you capable of doing it with ease and peace?

Some people find the idea horrifying while some dont even see what's the big deal at all.

I recently bought 3 CDs by 3 different artistes of which I have absolutely no idea who they are. There was a 20% discount in conjunction with the Mooncake Festival at Popular Bookshop. All are from China and each of their style is different, 1 is dreamy like Enya, another one a bit jazzy while the guy has a Bass tone. I bought the dreamy one bc she has my favorite song in it (Only Time by Enya). I thot it was interesting when she has a score titled Butterfly, the original composition by Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Chia Fei Chia Er (thanks to my colleague for transcribing the name) is good, altho not as haunting or powerful as Enya, a wee-bit too sharp and lacking in strength. The other one with a hint of jazz is by Su Man. Something like Emi Fujita so it is soothing and easy listening. The Bass guy, Chao Peng has 3 of my favorite songs in it - The Moon Represents My Heart, So Sweet, and Scent. I like his arrangement, good original improvisation, neat, tho a bit slow and too low, but brings out the sentimental mood in me. Maybe it is time to replay my favorite movie My Comrade starring Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai. I actually prefer his version of So Sweet as compared to Teresa Teng. Err... as usual, I only listen to a few songs on repeat mode.

Hmm... Good buy :-)

During my parents' recent visit, I bought 4 pieces of mooncakes for us to try out, all lotus paste with single egg yolk, but all different brands. After finishing all of them, we still could not decide which is good. We concluded that each is different and yummy.

People talk about 2nd stream of stable income in this world of increasing cost (no thanks to the incessant hike up of oil price); maybe I should seriously explore the potential. I mean, look at this whole mooncake business, they are making such a hit in the market, and you could tell by the number of new stalls and brands setting up each year. It is amazing to see that we even have chocolate flavor, coffee flavor, green tea flavor... what's next. And oh yes, the packaging!!! Did you notice they even have lights in some boxes, and some with flip flap openings? Amazing isnt it...

Then again, nothing beats the classic taste of lotus paste with egg yolk, yum yum!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bad Luck Comes In Threes?

This is what's written on the front page of The Sun this morning.

The point is, something incomprehensible happened to me. I lost 3 contact lenses within a span of 5 days.

On Saturday morning, instead of opening up the casing and wearing them, I poured the contents in the tiny containers straight down into the basin hole. It took me about 5 seconds to realise what I was doing. Then, on Sunday morning, I cant even remember what I did but I had to open up another new set. I thot 2 times in a row was enough. Yet, this morning, altho I remembered clearly that I actually pasted the left lense on my left eye, shortly, as I was applying my lipstick, I felt that my vision was blur and spinning. After inspecting both eyes, I came to a conclusion that something freaky happened. There was none on my left eye. I spent about half a minute crawling on the floor, half dressed, to search for any sparkles or oval shaped lense but to no avail! It didn't help when that was the last pair I had back home.

I left home driving to work in half my regular vision left. Fortunately I kept a spare one in my office drawer.

Is that a sign of old age or something?

Do you think it is possible to have 2 lenses stacking on top of one another on the same eyeball?

Anyway, here is another painting I like by Vincent Van Gogh ~ The Starry Night, 1889

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reason, season or lifetime?

I received an e-mail from a friend on this topic about a week ago. This mail has been floating around the net for a long time and tho I have received it before, it still sent me to a "deep thot mode".

Could you identify who came into your life for a reason or a season?

I have a lot of instances of such wonderful people, and they normally leave an enormous amount of joy for me to get on with my life. To remain positive about the whole experiences and lessons can be rather challenging, especially when at times I am down and lost (the devil takes over the angel temporarily). Then again, there is no better way to cherish them & to take it as God's will rather than to let resentment and anger set in. Letting go is a process where only I can come to terms with such experiences, normally at my own pace. To learn to be graceful in itself is a lifetime lesson.

Lifetime relationships are by far the most beautiful of all. Then again, if one does not love oneself, how then does one expect to give anything in a relationship, let alone allow it to grow?

About a week ago, my chin area was building up some solid mini-pagoda-like acnes. It was horrible, I felt relly awful, and made a point to avoid seeing anybody at all (at the same time remained cool at work). They were starting to get out of control like some of those wall climbing plants. That afternoon, I went out lunch by myself. Then there was this young and sweet looking guy walking in to the restaurant searching for a spot. I smiled at him and after a while, he asked if he could share the table with me. We started chatting aimlessly for about a whole hour until it was time for me to get back to work. It was a light-hearted lunch. So, this guy actually made my day! I was comforted by the fact that despite my terrible and hopeless chin, there was at least one stranger (bonus point is young and sweet) who was willing to share his lunch time with me!

Speaking of which, do you think that one's bestest buddy may change from time to time, season to season, or year to year? For me, yes.

As naive as this may sound, I made a pact with my bestest buddy recently that no matter what happens between us (we are always arguing) we will grow old together and always support one another. To make it less complicated, I said "I promise you that we will grow old together no matter what happens."

Maybe I should stick to "Buddy", instead of "Bestest Buddy", just like "Good friends" instead of "Best friends". Surely there is more than one.

This leads yet to another related topic about serendipity, coincidence and accidents.

Till then, have a pleasant day.

p/s Here is one of my favorite paintings by Gustav Klimpt ~ Sea Serpents II

Kitty The Gardener ~ Passion Or Obsessive Compulsive

Of late, I have been rather addicted to gardening, or rather, buying and planting flowers. I am not sure if I qualified to be called a gardener, but hey, look at my plants!

Is this passion? Then again, how long does it take for someone to be considered passionate in something or in my case, just some sort of a suspected temporary compulsive behavior into buying and planting flowers, as compared to gardening. But to be fair, since we moved into our new home in March 2005, I have been planting and watering them religiously, not to mention trimming too.

Ok ok... confession... I employed a few short cut techniques like for eg, during Snow White's birthday bash recently, I rigorously drove to a nursery off Old Klang Road which has become my weekend routine to get a few more pots of petunias and periwinkles to make our home like relly... home. Look at both your hands ~ nope, your fingers are less than my number of pots purchased.

And here's the verdict, my dad gave me a 7 or 8!!!