Monday, May 30, 2005

Yummy lunch & stolen dinner

My colleagues and I gave our director a farewell lunch @ Straits Kitchen @ Grand Hyatt. It was a lunch buffet - different stations serving different local food. My favorite items are oyster omelette, satay, naan with the various sauces, sesame ice cream, pineapple tart, kung bao chicken. I didn't have any more stomach space to try the roast duck and egg tart that the others said are good. At around $31 with quite a good variety, Straits Kitchen leaves quite a good impression on me. However, nowadays I being health conscious would rather go for ala carte than big scale eating. However, if friends or family would like to try, I won't mind tagging along.

I reached my home before 8pm and saw Frisky @ the void deck. She came near me and rubbed her body against me when I squatted near her. I broke the Vit E softgel and smeared the oil onto the dry cat food but Frisky smelled and refused to eat them. A black and white cat approached and ate a piece of the cat food. Next time I would have to try to put the vit E oil into the can of wet cat food I bought and see if Frisky will eat them.

I saw Sis eating the dinner that mum has left for me. Sis thought that the food in the container was for her. It was mum's new dish - steamed rice with cabbage, sausage, belly pork, chestnut and I have yet to try it so far. Sis felt really bad and kept apologising the whole night. Haha. It's really alright as mum would still cook that on other Mondays. I chomped on cornflakes with milk and some cheesebread.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sun and rain

I woke up to a sunny morning and went for my Basic Buddhism Course @ Bright Hill Temple @ 9am with my 2 friends. We learnt more about Buddha's teaching about doing good, avoiding evil and identifying who our true friends and false friends are. As usual, our teacher peppered his lecture with interesting and relevant examples and life experiences.

We had lunch @ S11 coffeeshop @ Ang Mo Kio Central. I bought a bottle of Vit E (200IU d-alpha tocopherol) soft capsules that Dr Ling suggested I could give Frisky with her food. My friends and I visited Popular Bookshop and I couldn't resist buying this box. I hope I can understand the diagrams shown in the instruction sheet (written in Japanese) and create the 2 pretty origami dolls. Shall fold them when I'm in the mood :)


On the way home, it rained heavily. I saw the shopkeeper uncle protecting his goods with a plastic sheet from the rain and I asked him if Frisky has been taking her medicine. He said she spat out the tablets after eating them. I asked if he has tried pounding the tablets into smaller pieces or powder or I could help him to do so. He said he did try that method. He also asked if we still want to bring Frisky to the vet 2 weeks later. I replied that we would monitor Frisky's condition and decide then.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dim sum and friends

Frisky was cleaning herself in a corner of the void deck in the shade when I was leaving to meet my friends for lunch. I just let her sniff my hand and say hello and bye to her.

I find that I have lower tolerance for oily, rich food as I'm older. @ Wah Lok, we had har gao, siew mai, char siew so, lotus leaf chicken glutinous rice, prawn chee cheong fun, deep fried prawn dumpling with fruit salad and steamed carrot cake with pu-er chinese tea. I still prefer the I'm happy that my 3 other friends enjoy the dim sum and we were quite full that we had no space for desserts. The meal cost about $40 - a reasonable price. The next time if I ever return to Wah Lok, it will be for their double boiled apple fish soup and some other cantonese dishes I had @ Wah Lok with a friend the past 2 times.

We headed for the Awareness Place @ Bras Brasah Complex and it was there I found my birthday present - the Vegetarian Times. It has interesting recipes and articles. I'm not a vegetarian but I'm always on a lookout for healthy recipes. Maybe I could try the recipes in the magazine one day.

veg times

I went to Serangoon North to meet my parents and we bought hamster food and also admired all the adorable guinea pigs and hamsters. It was tempting to buy a syrian hamster (same breed as Ebon), especially one that is in a not very clean cage. However, with 5 hamsters at home, mum won't be able to manage and I'm not always home early everyday.

We saw Frisky drinking water from a small container outside Uncle's shop when we reached home. I shall make a point to check on her whenever I'm at the void deck.

Relaxing morning

My body clock woke me up @ 7.15am. I did some light exercises by working with my swiss ball and practise my basic taiji strokes. 2 slices of Sunshine wheat bran bread with margarine and toasted wheatgerm, a small piece of mum's raisin coffee butter cake and half an orange formed my hearty breakfast. After reading the Straits Times, I checked my emails, surfed the net about FIV and worked a bit on my blog.

Later, I'm going to give a teaspoon of Quaker's Oatmeal with milk to Ebon as he has been losing a bit of weight. I adopted Ebon from a friend in May 2003. He was already an adult then and should be around 3 years old now. Mum fed him that oatmeal concoction some time back and it helped to fatten him up but Mum stopped after a while. So I'm going to continue with that treat :) Below is a photo of Ebon taken not too long ago. So adorable, right?


I will be meeting my 3 secondary school girl friends and treating them to dim sum lunch @ Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant @ Carlton Hotel. (This explains why I feel the need to exercise this morning.) We have this tradition of birthday girl treating the rest to a meal and the rest in turn buy her a gift that she wants. I still haven't thought of what I want. One idea is to ask them to buy me hamster food and cat treats but they may think I'm mad. Haha.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Frisky's visit to the vet

Namly Clinic was heavily booked today but I was lucky that Dr Ling had a free slot @ 4.15pm. I am very happy that Dad wanted to accompany me. He was initially a bit upset that I was so kaypoh but after that he was grinning and said that I'm crazy. Dad and I went down to pick up Frisky from Uncle the shopkeeper @ 3.30pm. His wife helped me to put Frisky into the carrier. She smelled like Dettol as Auntie gave her a shower earlier.

Frisky meowed very loudly and when we got into the cab, she continued to do so and I tried to calm her down by stroking between the ears and talking to her. @ the Namly Clinic, the clinic assistant commented that Frisky looked very bad. Dr Ling had a bit of difficulty trying to get Frisky out as she was scared. I helped to pin her down firmly so that Dr Ling could do a skin scrape to see if there were any skin mites. Frisky meowed very loudly again but she was very tame and didn't try to scratch or bite me at all. Dr Ling couldn't find any mites but gave her an injection and topical application on her neck for mites just in case. She said the skin problem could be due to fungus or even FIV, the feline version of HIV. The tablets she would be prescribing would be antibiotics, anti-fungal and anti-itching. She also suggested giving some vitamin E together with the food. She asked me to bring her back 2 weeks later and if Frisky's condition does not improve, we may have to do a skin biopsy and sent it for lab testing overseas. She also mentioned about the cakey stuff in her ears and commented that someone must have put a lot of powder in them. Since I couldn't get any infor from Uncle about the medicine he has been given to Frisky, Dr Ling has to start from scratch.

I also asked Dr Ling where there is any cure if my hamster has cataracts. She said there isn't. Anyway, I have checked on the net that cataracts don't really affect hamsters since they rely on smell rather than sight.

Frisky was more subdued on the way back home. I managed to take some photos of her in the carrier. See how bad her skin looks.

Frisky Stray 1

Frisky Stray 2

Frisky Stray 4

Frisky Stray 5

Uncle wanted to return me the cost ($61) but I declined as I hope she would get well soon. On the labels, I drew pictures of the amount of tablets to be given to Frisky daily, so that it's easier for him to understand. I will buy some Vit E and some nice treats and see if I could catch Frisky in the mornings or evenings to give her these.



What's that clicking sound?

I must check that out!

Slowly, carefully

I mustn't be detected by my enemies.

What's that weird silver object hovering over my food tray?

Phew! It's just my beloved friend taking photos of me :)

The cat carrier

Frisky and Ebon

For the past few weeks, we have noticed a stray cat balding with tufts of fur. I then emailed Dawn of Cat Welfare Society and she suggested some vets nearby for me to bring the cat for checkup. Yesterday, I went down to Pet Lovers @ Shaw Centre to buy a cat carrier and some cat food, so that I could bring the cat to the vet today.

Last night I had tennis lessons with 2 other friends. I have quite bad ball sense, so most of the time I would miss the ball but at least I am getting familarised with forehand and the basic techniques. I managed to spot the cat outside the shop at the void deck of my block cleaning herself when the shop uncle was closing his shop. I asked him about the cat and he said he has brought her to the vet in Sembawang and the medicine is finishing soon. She still sheds fur but eats well. Uncle doesn't know what the problem is. Apparently this cat used to be quite pretty. I suspect she is the cat that my sis and I called Frisky and we have wondered why she has disappeared.

I got a shock when I carried Ebon, my old syrian hamster and saw that he has some kind of cataract in both eyes. I have not noticed that when I carried her a few days ago but may have mistake that for glint in eyes. This morning when I looked again, the cataract is not there anymore. Then I have a theory that the cataracts can only be seen at night and in the dark. And true enough when I brought Ebon to the dark storeroomwith Mum shining a torchlight, I could see the cataracts. But long-sighted Mum said I am seeing things and want me to monitor and ask Dad and sis to see tonight. Anyway, I shall bring Frisky to Namly Clinic in the afternoon, so that I could ask Dr Ling about Ebon too. Dr Ling has successfully operated on my late syrian hamster to remove a tumour. I hope I can find Frisky at the void deck later.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Follow your heart

I received this joke from Slushy via email this morning

A joke about HR persons
One day while walking down the street a highly successful Human Resources manager was tragically hit by a bus and she died. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter himself. "Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had a Human Resources Manager make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," said the woman. "Well, I'd like to, but I have higher orders. What we're going to do is it you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in."

"Actually, I think I've made up my mind, I prefer to stay in Heaven", said the woman. "Sorry, we have rules ....." And with that St. Peter put the executive in an elevator and it went down-down-down to hell. The doors opened and she found herself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of her were all her friends - fellow executives that she had worked with and they were well dressed in evening gowns and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the country club where she enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner.

She met the Devil who was actually a nice guy (kind of cute) and she had a great time telling jokes and dancing. She was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook her hand and waved goodbye as she got on the elevator.

The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates and found St. Peter waiting for her. "Now, It's time to spend a day in heaven," he said. So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had a great time and before she knew it here 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got her. "So, you've spend a day in hell and you spent a day in heaven. Now you must choose your eternity," They woman paused for a second and then replied, "Well, I never thought I'd say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell."

So St. Peter escorted her to the elevator and again she went
down-down-down back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolated wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks. The Devil came up to here and put his arm around her.

"I don't understand," stammered the woman, "yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a country club and we ate lobster and we danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable."

The Devil looked at her and smiled. "Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you're staff....."

I forwarded to my good friend who is working in the HR line and laughed when I read her reply:
"Haha, I read this before many times, which is why I try very hard to give realistic job previews lah. so realistic that I have candidates who changed their minds halfway thru the interviews. Haha."

I applaud my friend for being ethical and not paint a wrong picture for the candidates. Many a time, we may have to decide whether to follow the orders of our boss or parents' instruction even we feel that the action clashes with our personal values. But not obeying we may be seen as disrespectful, naive, foolish. However, at the end of the day, we will feel good about ourselves when we follow our heart :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Lucky me got a free ticket from sis to watch the preview of Madagascar @ Cineleisure. There are some interesting ideas used in the show. The beginning was a bit predictable and lame. However, it is still quite enjoyable because it is a story about friendship and freedom and it did manage to bring some laughter and wonder from me. So watch the show without high expectation but rather to appreciate creativity and remember that good friends bring out the best in us and are there for us when we are down or doubt ourselves.

I brought home a bookmark and postcard for remembrance :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What I have

I was wondering earlier to my friends whether I would have the stamina to post on my blog daily. I was thinking today will be an uneventful day and quite true enough, it has been smooth sailing at work. Yummy lunch too @ my favorite economy rice stall in Far East Plaza. I had nice sweet sour pork chop, small kailan and some french beans omelette with rice.

Now taking a little break before I continue working, I look around my workstation to see if there is any interesting thing for me to mention. Aha! There is this nice quote I have copied from Today some time back to remind myself how fortunate I am:
"The happiest of people are not those who have everything, but those who made the best with what they have."
I don't know the person behind the quote though but I am grateful to him/her for these words of wisdom :)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Reading fever

No baking today. I continued reading Alain de Botton's "How Proust can change your life". It's an insightful book. My friend lent me this and another of his book "The consolations of philosophy". I prefer this book to the other one as it is witty and I could relate to parts of the book. For example, in one of the chapters aptly named "How to open your eyes", it talks about how beauty can be found in simple and ordinary things like bowls of fruits, bread and sometimes the work of some artists can bring out the charm in the environment we are so used to seeing everyday. There is no need to be envious of others or wish we are surrounded with glittery things or expensive objects to be happy.

The 2nd book I read was Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic & Sister - a birthday present from a friend. This is my first time reading her book and any books about shopping. At times, I do find the main character Becky Bloomwood a little irritating at not able to curb her shopping addiction but she can be endearing sometimes, especially towards the end. It is an easy read as compared to de Botton's books which require some digestion and pondering of personal values.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Vesak Day

I almost forgot that today is my 5th year anniversary in my 1st job until my friend sms me and wished me a good year ahead. Time really flies and there have been so many changes in my life and around the world.

I woke up early @ 7.15am so that I could have sufficient time to eat breakfast and read Sunday Times before leaving @ 8.45am with my parents to pray to my late maternal grandparents and relatives. But something happened, making me upset and in tears. Anyway, the purpose of my blog is not to dwell on sad things but my search for simple joys.

I decided to stay put @ home. Baking has always been a therapeutic experience for me, so I started to flip through my recipe books. I finally settled on the recipe called "Lemon jumble" which called for grated rind of lemon, lemon juice and other stuff available @ home. Cautious me halved all the amounts of ingredients as I don't want to finish eating so many cookies if they don't turn out nice.

I didn't shape the dough into a "S" shape as suggested. I rolled them into balls and flatten them with a fork. Suddenly I recalled I have some colourful sugar bits and sprinkled them on the dough. Take a look - aren't they pretty? I renamed them "Happy Lemony". They tasted only a little sweet with a slight lemon fragrance and did help to cheer me up a little :)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The experiment

I baked these cookies on Sunday based on a recipe from a BBC book. Hershey's choc chips, raisins and M&M dark choc and less sugar instead of Smarties. Initially, it was frustrating because the cookie bottoms came out slightly burnt. From this incident, I realised I have to bake my future subjects at lower temperature and half the time indicated in the recipe. After scrapping the cookie bottoms, they still taste a little bitter but yumm - not too sweet, crispy outside and chewy inside.

The rest of the cookies slowly disappeared into my mum's and sis' stomachs over the week and this morning, I finished the last 2 for my breakfast this morning :)

A start

Today is a sunny day and strangely I just want the first picture to be this rainbow I managed to capture outside my kitchen's window one evening. It makes me feel at peace everytime I look @ it. It is a good start of a long weekend to feel this way.