Wednesday, October 29, 2008
All things considered... the fact that she only started cooking ever since we moved to Labuan, that she doesn't have any formal training whatsoever, that she hardly has any experience at all prior (honestly, i don't think there was a time at all that i remember her cooking when we were dating, courting or engaged), that she's not the type who's really into food (at least not the way i am... although i do have to say i've influenced her somewhat...hehe) and that it's not like she has all the time in the world either to 'explore' or 'experiment'.
And despite all that, she manages (to be fair, not always but often enough) come up with stuff that just leaves me wondering - How on Earth does she come up with this? (and i mean that in the best way possible).
She disappears into the kitchen, whips up something that she vaguely feels will work and then, almost as if it were totally expected, comes out with a dish (or dishes) that is more than a pleasant surprise.
i don't know where she gets her inspiration. Definitely not me. Cos' all i've contributed, other than being the designated 'food-critic', is to clean up and help her wash up after. Which comes naturally cos' it stems from a gratitude for all the effort she put in (which most of the time translates to surprisingly wonderful results).
And i don't know where she finds the energy. i mean, she comes back from a long day at the clinic and most of the time even in between during lunch and really, out of a initiative and interest on her part starts 'working' at stuff in the kitchen... and she seems to enjoy it!
Again, i'm utterly grateful.
Sure, she isn't Nigella...
But hey, at the rate she's going i won't be surprised that in no time she'll be dishing up stuff that could put Nigella to the test ;)
well... maybe not.. but i'd like to think so ;)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Yes, no point having all that technology in the palm of your hand and all that speed at your disposal if your hand ain’t gonna MOVE any time soon.
IT’S STILL SLOOOOOOW!!!
i speak of such things because i find and am personally frustrated with the condition and circumstances revolving around bureaucracy and paperwork (and in my case, specific to the ministry of the government i serve in). It just takes ages to get one simple thing done!
My salary was a perfect example… but this isn’t just about that (because at long last i’ve got it).
i’m utterly disappointed and to a certain extent even disgusted with the way and the rate things ‘move’. Honestly, what’s the point of all the facilities and all the ‘power’ if the individual in possession of it fails to use it and use it to its best.
It’s a shame really.
It all boils down to our attitudes doesn’t it.
Let me be clearer in what i’m getting at (cos’ i’ve been told that my blog entries although insightful can be rather vague in what exactly their addressing).
Right now, i’m waiting. Yes, waiting. Why do i always seem to be waiting???
Anyway, i’m waiting for the Ministry of Defence to get back to me. You see, it’s always been a desire of mine to serve in the military (i’ll possibly tackle the reasons why in another entry one of these days… just take my word for it for now). And all the more so since it appears that overall the likelihood of ending up in KL and specifically back in ACTS is much much higher (or so it seems). So i wrote to them. And yes, initially they were quick to reply. In fact, in government terms they were super fast … almost moving at the speed of light (i.e. a few days in ‘government-time’) and i was pleased. Very pleased. Finally something’s moving at the speed and efficiency that it should be.
Later on, and in fact very soon after (you see i tend to move very quickly myself) my wife and i went personally to meet the people in-charge and again things seem to be going quick and smooth.
Now my ‘case’ is being handled by some sergeant who’s supposed to look into the details further (with regards to the paperwork) and push things through. And it’s all been left hanging…
And so i wait…
And it really doesn’t help that compounding the issue is that my ‘case’ is hanging in the balance of technicality! (i’ll express my grouses on that matter some other time too)
God, why is patience such a weakness of mine?
A lesson i’ve always needed to learn.
i admit to it and submit to You and Your timing. For You are not slow as man define slowness.
But still, i pray … teach ‘others’ (and You know who i mean) diligence and excellence and purge from them procrastination and non-chalance….
… i humbly ask …
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Anyway, it was such a thrill ride in my opinion. Enjoyed it immensely. Sure, there’s not much of a character development (perhaps i’m the emo type who would have liked to see the compassion and righteous anger shine through a bit more especially after the turn of events involving Tony Stark’s accomplice Yinsen)… but hey, do you really expect a lot of philosophy and life lessons from a movie based on a comic book character. i think not.
Still, it had a real good dose of humour, action, eye-candy and ‘wow’ in it to keep me at the edge of my seat.
And, i’m more and more convinced with every movie i watch that Jeff Bridges (the guy who played Obadiah...i think that's his name) is just a fantastic actor. Loved him in "The Big Lebowski'. Makes me wonder if i'd shave my head bald and keep a goatie when i'm in my 50s. Looks awesome! hehe
Overall, this movie is a whole lot of 'cool' and i dare say is one of the best movies Marvel has produced thus far (sorry Spiderman fans).
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
well, it's already released in the US but it should be coming really soon to Malaysian shores ;)
So yes, i'm planning to jump ship and join the bandwagon of Mac users!
And no, i'm never looking back!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Ever since i left my previous hospital where i did my housemanship by which in doing so i sort of changed ‘ministry’, i.e. from the ministry of education to the ministry of health proper (don’t ask me the details cos’ i really don’t understand it myself), i have been, as such, victim to the paperwork that so ensues of which the by-product is – DELAY!
Most of all, a delay in me getting my money.
So yes, i’ve been working for the past 6 and half months here in Labuan with absolutely no salary. How i survive? By the grace of God. In fact, the goodness of God is thereby more apparent because despite such dire circumstances with regards to my regular income, i’ve managed to fully pay for the wedding (with surplus… lots of it) and make a home out of the place we live in here in Labuan (which includes a 42 inch flat screen LCD TV, a home theatre system, a Nintendo Wii, a washing machine and dryer combination, a fridge, a king sized bed, etc. etc- you know, the necessities …hehehe).
To God be the glory!
Nevertheless, in principle it’s downright wrong for such a ‘delay’ to take place in the line of work i’m in (in any line of work for that matter). How in the world does the ministry of health (or whichever that’s to blame) expect me to uproot myself, reside and work in an altogether new place, hundreds of miles away from home for 6 months with no salary?
Finally this month, after much waiting, i’ve got my payslip stating the amount i’m getting as a lump-sum. But, mind you i said payslip because when i checked my bank account there was no money yet to be seen.
But that’s not the icing on the cake (not too sure if i can even afford icing…or cake). What’s even more peculiar and a huge pain in my… pocket…is the fact that apparently my previous hospital made a mistake with their calculations (mistakes…mistakes… that’s all that they can tell me… without apologies or rectifications at that). Somehow, they miscalculated my salary and ‘over paid’ me by 1 month. And they’re asking for that sum of money back. The thing is, as far as i can remember and as far as i know (honestly, i’ve got to check my bank statement again) there is no such sum of money banked into my account. But they insist that the transaction has taken place.
So now that i have my money (in theory... since all i have to go with is a payslip)…i can’t even have it in peace because i’ve got to look into this financial mess. i’ve got to clarify and clear it.
And all this is not at all due to a mistake, delay or omission on my part. None whatsoever. It’s all them and they readily admit to it (again without remorse…to the contrary… quite rudely)… but who pays the price for their mistakes… ME!
Monday, October 20, 2008
i’m talking about something that’s perhaps more universally relatable and dare i say relevant… a battle to preserve our conscience.
It says in God’s Word (and i’m paraphrasing) that He has written His laws in the hearts of men and women… i.e. He has given us all a conscience. So, there’s really no blame for ignorance, especially when it comes to right and wrong. Sure, we may not know what’s the “correct” answer to some of life’s questions but when it comes to right and wrong… whether we should lie… whether we should steal… whether we should kill… and the various permutations in between… there’s something within us that leaves no room for doubt. We know what is right. We know what needs to be done (or not done). We don’t need anyone to tell us or teach us do we? We just know.
It’s called a conscience.
And it’s constantly challenged isn’t it?
When you’re filling up that claim form to your office (which you know you’re entitled to anyway) and you’re tempted to put down claims that you know are beyond what you actually spent.
When you’re best friend offers you the answers to the exams that you so need to pass to get your degree with a promise that it’ll be a secret between the two of you.
When you see that money clip filled with a whole bunch of 100 dollar notes (not Ringgit Malaysia) lying on the floor with no one seeming to be looking for it in sight.
When you’re boss asks you to lie on his behalf and in so doing ensures that he’ll make sure you’re ‘taken care of’ when the time comes.
It’s challenged. There’s a battle that rages within. And the battle is not really about what’s right or wrong but rather about whether we’ll do what’s right or not. Whether we’ll drown out the cry of our conscience that screams for justice, equality and truth. Whether we’ll somehow numb ourselves to the guilt that always follows while we just ignore what needs to be done. Whether we’ll hide ourselves in the shroud of our own manufactured inaptitude and ignorance… almost deluding ourselves that we know no better.
But there’s a cost.
There’s always a price to pay.
Will we enjoy the spoils of our war or will we become prisoners to it, cursed to suffer and serve its master.
Well, i think the price we all pay for the stands that we make (or not make) is the price of our souls (and i don’t mean that in just an eternal death and damnation kind of way).
The more we succumb to the pressures that seek to rob us of our conscience the more we find that we lose a piece of ourselves with it. We lose who we are, who we’re meant to be. We lose the core of our being.
Without a conscience, deep sense of right and wrong and more importantly a conviction that drives us to stand upon it and act upon it… we’re nothing but empty shells. Void of what makes us who we are. Void of our humanity. We’ve regressed and undifferentiated ourselves into creatures that are driven by necessity. A product of circumstances. A dependent on the pressures or the lack of them around us and upon us. We’ve thrown away our privilege and honour to ‘higher function’ and the resemblance of the ‘Higher Being’ after which we were made in. We’ve sold our ‘birth right’ to something better and become mere mammals.
The peculiar thing is, many of us settle for that.
We’re fine with it.
We’re hardened to it.
i pray that as i brave to fight every day for all that i know to be true that the ‘scars’ of battle will not eat away at my fervour to win the war, my faith in Him who holds the victor’s crown.
i will stand!
i will not be shaken!
And i will fight!
So help me God.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Sure, it's old school in terms of the animation and the graphics are nothing to shout about but i tell you what a concept and what creativity. It's ingenious in my opinion at least.
It has some of the best elements i personally favour... food, cooking and an engrossing storyline. One of the most fascinating features however is how the story seems to come up with very 'logical' reasonings behind the fantastical and realistically impossible (although most of the time it leaves you wondering if it were) culinary feats.
It's easy on the brain but yet piques just the right amount of curiousity and interest without leaving you numbed or exhausted by the anxiousness.
And talk about throwing curve balls!
For a 'simple' story (which it essentially is), it sure does throw in a lot of unexpected (and i really do mean unexpected) twists... and not too far-fetched ones at that.
My only wonder is why isn't there a sequeal (although i must say that i prefer series that conclude at a definite point without any prolongation or procrastination to its ending - i hate series that just go on and on).
Anyways, if you're willing to take some risks and break-away from the 'usual' popular crowd pleasers amongst anime and are willing to take some queer looks for your choice... you won't be disappointed =)
C'mon, develop some personality and taste of your own. Forget what people may think or how they may look at you for that matter.
Even if it does mean you're gonna sound a little childish ;)
So i thought i’d come up with a list (just to entertain my wild imagination… see this is what happens when you’re bored) and in no particular order… cos’ like i said time was not an issue so therefore all are of equal priority:
*by the way, it’s sort of understood that everything listed is under the premise that it’s done together with my wife unless otherwise stated*
1. i’d go to Disneyland (the one in Florida cos’ i heard that’s the best one) and try out every single ride there is. Twice.
2. i’d go to Koh Samui and enrol myself in their short term Thai cuisine culinary school then come back and throw a huge dinner for my family and close friends with me being the chef for the night.
3. i’d watch a live Broadway musical. In Broadway.
4. i’d learn Mandarin
5. i’d learn Tamil
6. i’d go to Dallas Theological Seminary and get my degree in Theological studies
7. i’d buy a brand new home and spend the time furnishing and redesigning it’s interior (and exterior)
8. i’d get a dog (perhaps a Great Dane and I’d call him ‘Sergeant’)
9. i’d train the dog myself
10. i’d get my motorcycle license and get myself a brand new Harley and just ride it across the country (Malaysia –there’s still so much too Malaysia to appreciate and enjoy don’t you think?)
11. i’d go on a non-stop ‘makan trip’ with all my friends who are really ‘kaki makan’ (which includes my wife, in case you were wondering)
12. i’d learn to surf
13. i'd start a restaurant. One that serves Asian-fusion cuisine. Always loved the idea of owning my own restaurant which i could very well use for my own private use whenever i wanted to. Pure indulgence, not for profit.
okay, i've run out of ideas for now... boredom only gets you so far huh? ;)
well, will extend the list the next time i get a severe bout of boredom
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
i have a serious love for pork. No joke. i absolutely love it. Just thinking about a good dish of pork makes my mouth water and my stomach growl.
Crispy and ceramalised on the outside and oh, so tender and exquisitely soft on the inside with just the right amount of ‘chew’ in it to make you crave for the next bite and savour the taste that follows.
And it’s so versatile. It tastes delicious be it fried, simmered, roasted, barbequed, smoked, broiled… no matter how you cook it (at least the myriad of ways thus far that i’ve tried) it’s fantastic.
And not to mention the wonderful flavours and textures each part of the pig lavishes on your taste buds.
One of my ultimate favourites – ‘HUA ROU” or literally translated as “Flower Meat”.
It practically covers the entire ‘extent’ of pork and it’s available flavours. From skin to bone with lots of tender delectable meat and a generous layer of superb scrumptious fat (let me stop for a second to wipe the drool of my chin).
It’s the ‘mother’ of all meats in my opinion.
Pork, glorious pork!
*Anybody who’s thinking of getting me a birthday gift – if i may suggest, get me some real good char siew or siew yoke or even better yet BOTH and i’ll be the happiest birthday boy around*
Monday, October 13, 2008
But that’s not what i mean.
My heart (again, try to see what I’m getting at) is back in KL. Back in the company of family. My family, Ling’s family, and most of all our family in ACTS. i close my eyes and i see them. i’m constantly in the company of memories of them and a longing to be rejoined with them. Like i said, home is where the heart is and boy, do i so want to go back home.
i feel it necessary to say that Labuan really is a beautiful place. And both my wife and i have come to meet and know just wonderful people that have not only enriched our lives here but made it filled with the warmth of friendship and camaraderie. Friends that i know i will cherish for a long time more to come and for that i am thankful.
But, i have to be honest it isn’t home. And it has nothing to do with the lack of hospitality or anything of the sort. If anything, i’ve learnt a whole lot from the spectacular people here about being hospitable and open and warm (you guys know who you are)…
i guess i can best liken it to going to your uncle’s and aunt’s place to stay for awhile. They treat you well (like you’re their own child even) and they open up their home to you and welcome you to make it yours. And you enjoy and appreciate all the love and care and warmth they show you and reciprocate it in return. You even grow to love this “extended-family” of yours as you grow to know them more and live with them longer.
But after awhile (and in my case as soon as i reached Labuan)… you miss ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’. You miss your own home. You are filled with gratitude towards your uncle and aunt but you can’t help your feelings. Your heart is back HOME.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
From here on in what you read is unedited and uncensored and unprocessed. If some of the following comments offends anyone... my sincere apologies. Their just my honest opinions.
It's my venting out
There a host of things to be frustrated about in the practise of medicine. But none i think are as frustrating, cumbersome and downright infuriating as the attitude and disposition of patients with regards to their own health.
today is one perfect example...
i had a patient (and i do get them every now and then) who came into the diabetic clinic for her regular review with her husband. As i quickly flipped through the previous entries (i was seeing her for the first time you see) and as i read through the notes of the previous doctors including my specialist, it was apparent to me that i was going to have a problem getting through to this patient. Her blood sugars had been through the roof over the past 2 years and she's already been on almost 5 medications for her diabetes at maximum doses (the recommended guidelines is to not even exceed 3 maximum doses, in fact beyond two... it's time for insulin). And yet, she refuses insulin! No reasons given.
Fine, so i thought i'd better do her justice (i was particularly concerned about her future in terms of her health because once her condition deteriorates to the point of grave complications there's really no turning back...and she was sure headed that way)... and explore her reasons for being so averse to the idea of insulin (starting insulin early is now recommended and the majority of patients really have no problems whatsoever with the therapy). Guess what, she just refused to give me a reason. With no help from her equally ignorant husband who claims that she's been excercising and as such expects her to imrove on her own without taking our advice (thank you very much!), i looked at her blood results taken 2 days prior and improvement was far far from where she was headed! Blood sugars almost 3 times the normal, fat almost 7 times the normal and cholesterol almost 50% above normal!!!
And there they were just plainly telling me in not too may words... "I know better doc, just give me my meds and let's be done with this". ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
And to put icing on the cake (pun intended... since she's diabetic and all)... she finally tells me that a 'friend' of hers told her insulin is bad!!!
Who on earth is this friend!
Ask this friend then to start up her own clinic if he/she's so smart!!!
My blood boils just at the thought of patients who are willing to take serious risks with their health simply based on ...nothing! or worse still the brainless opinions of a uninformed and totally ignorant so-called friend. And i've seen too many pay too dearly to take it lightly!
Sure, it's easy for her friend to give some stupid remark...she's not going to bear responsibility for it, is she!!!
She's not going to have her own foot cut off, or go through dialysis or spend countless days in the hospital or intensive care unit.
THE PATIENT IS!!!!