Thursday, March 29, 2007

Migraine

There is a light hint of migraine in my head, which, if unchecked would evolve to a severe head-splitting, eye-gouging, barf-inducing one that will cause me to wonder around the office bumping into things and looking like a zombie.

I’ve popped a couple of Panadol Actifast and hope that it will go away soon. The small ones like this normally can go away with immediate Panadol action. If it has unfortunately transgressed to the severe one, God-forbid, there’d be nothing that I could do other than to sleep it off.

I’ve had this since I hit puberty. At first I didn’t know that this is what they call migraine. To me it was just a headache that came every so often, particularly on hot sunny days or when I’m in a crowded noisy place. Later, I realized that it comes regularly once a month just before something else.

Lucky for me, I have never been dependent on painkillers to wipe out the pain. I’ve always had a high pain threshold and therefore able to bear the attacks if they’re not too severe.

Panadol Actifast come in handy only when I’m having the attack in my office or anywhere where I can’t sleep it off. Otherwise, if I’m at home, I’ll just have a shower and go straight to bed no matter what time it is.

I have a friend who, back in school, while I was relieving my pain by sleeping it off, she was popping one painkiller after another. Now, many many years later, my migraine attacks are at the same level then and hers have gone up 12 notches- there wouldn’t be a migraine attack on her without the accompanying stomachache and vomiting. Scary!

According to doctors, the body can develop tolerance of drugs if we are too dependent on it. In other words, if we pop one too many pills, sooner or later, that pill ain’t gonna work for us no more. The attacks would be more severe and we would have to get stronger drugs to counter it. Which is why for me, sleep is the best remedy available.

I was trying to find some information on migraine and check out what I found:-

1.Migraine attacks about 15% of people 40 years and below.
2.First attack takes place between the ages of 5 and 30.
3.Usually starts during puberty with equal ratio for both boys and girls.
4.When at the age of 40, it affects 60% women and 40% men.
5.70% of migraine patients are inherited.
6.Migraine attacks could be moderate, severe with occurrence rate once every two years or one to three times a week.
7.Personality wise, migraine patients are perfectionist, compulsive, ambitious and USUALLY VERY INTELLIGENT.


Now, I like No.7 very da much, thank you.. While I do not admit nor deny the accuracy of the first 3 traits, the fourth one, ehem, is VERY DA TRUE!!! Although, how they associate head-splitting headache with intelligence, I have no idea. Perhaps, when your head splits, the brain gets fresh air and the mind works wonders. But then, this gives a new meaning to airhead, innit?

8.Behavior wise, they tend to be tense, sensitive, vulnerable to frustration and prone to obsessions.

My friends would say this is 100% accurate! I am always tense, always very sensitive, rather vulnerable emotionally and prone to depression AND always OBSESSED about everything.

It’s a no-brainer that anyone having a headache would be tense, not to mention being very sensitive to everything. But I’ve never thought that my emotional vulnerability and obsessions had anything to do with my migraine attacks.

So now, when I’m obsessing about cleaning my hands or counting shrimps at the supermarket, I know it’s because of migraine that I’m like that. Or when I have to match the colours of my clothes to the colours of my undergarments, it is because I’m a migraine sufferer.

Now, the best part:-

9.Migraine however will subside after menopause.

HUH???

So, I have to look forward to menopause, izzit???

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TV Talk #2 - Grey's Anatomy

Bummer! Grey’s Anatomy season 2 ended last night on NTV7. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to see the next season (even though I have already checked out all the episode guides and know exactly what’s gonna happen next).

I love everything about the show, from its very clever title to the terrific cast and to the fantabulous script. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a doctor. I would watch all the medical dramas on TV religiously and dream of one day becoming Dr. Sue. I even tried to read my sister’s Gray’s Anatomy in order to learn a thing or two about medicine (For the uninitiated, Gray’s Anatomy is the Bible of Medical Students, hence the clever title of the show).

Alas, my dream of becoming a doctor lasted for only one year, as did all my other ambitions back then. Let me see, among other things, I wanted to be a spaceship officer (ala Maya of Space 1999), a Thundercat, a combat pilot (ala Hawke in Airwolf), a police officer (ala Cagney of Cagney and Lacey), a superhero (ala The Greatest American Hero), a truck driver (ala B.J. and The Bear), a cruise ship captain (ala Love Boat) and at one time, I even wanted to be Godzilla.

Such was the influence of TV in my life. Even now, as an adult, I can’t stay away from TV. Ever so often, there comes a show that is so addictive, my whole life revolves around it.

“Sorry, I forgot it’s Tuesday. Can’t watch 300 with you tonight”.

“I can’t stay back at the office today, it’s Tuesday, gotta go home early”.

“No, I don’t wanna go out for dinner tonight, I’ll just tapau and eat in front of my TV”.

“Can we do the gathering tomorrow night instead? It’s Tuesday today, I’ve got something to do tonight”.

“The Sale has got to wait, I’m going home to watch Grey’s Anatomy”.

Now that Season 2 has ended, I know I can now go out on Tuesday nights, but life will never be the same again. At least, not until Season 3 is aired.

Last night’s ending, where Meredith looked at Finn, then at Derek, then back at Finn and then Derek, showed the dilemma she was in, having to make a choice between the 2 guys. What a superb ending! I can totally relate to that, having been at a crossroad every so often and unable to make a choice. It would have helped though, if my choices then were 2 very hot guys like Finn and Derek (on 2nd thought, there wouldn’t be a choice, I’ll just grab ‘em both!).

I can’t wait till next season.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What If?

In the wake of my birthday last Tuesday, I am left with a sense of regret for a lot of things that didn’t go quite well in my life. At times I feel like I’m having an out of body experience, travelling in time looking at the things I have done or didn’t do -- sort of like the ghost of the Christmas past, if you will.

Most of these times, when I look back, I wish I had done some things better.

Why is it that we often dwell on the ‘what ifs’?. My life isn’t so bad that I’d have to resort to a dreamland where all the mistakes I’ve made would be magically erased and I’d live a perfect life. If anything, the mistakes made and lessons learned made me a better and wiser person. Still, I can’t help with the ‘what ifs’.

What if I wasn’t so playful back in school?

What if I had scored straight A’s?

What if I had studied Engineering instead of Law?

What if I had bought that condo I wanted way back then when it was much cheaper?

What if I had been frugal and saved every penny I can?

What if I had not eaten so much in the past few years?

What if I had bought a 40 inch TV instead of 29? (Okay, I don’t know what relevance this is, but just, what if?”)

Granted, these are all choices, and not necessarily mistakes. But the ‘what ifs’ remain.

(Speaking of choices, The Kimster has an excellent piece on the subject here).

All in all, I want to be better at everything I do and generally to be a better human being. But in order to get there, I suppose a little bit of ‘what ifs’ is in order. It helps us reflect on things and make the best available choices in life. And then perhaps, there’ll be a future where I dwell no more on the past. I look forward to that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TV Talk

I am a child of TV. Can’t live without it. I was born and raised in an era where High Chapparal was ‘THE” adventure series not to be missed and Quincy M.E. was ‘THE’ C.S.I. of the old days.

TV was different back then. Sex and violence were dealt with class. There are no PG ratings to be had. Everybody can watch anything, and the issue of censorship; almost nil.

I can’t remember exactly when colour TVs made its way to this country -- I was too small then, I think-- but what I remember was that I was a little bit upset because our black and white Sierra TV was still in very good condition that nobody even talked about getting it replaced with a new coloured one. How I pouted for months for not being able to watch my favourite cartoons in technicolor!



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Me And My B&W TV




As a kid, I think my whole life revolved around TV. I even made my own TV list to refer to at all times, just so I don’t miss my favourite shows - Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, The Flinstones, Ultraman, just to name a few.

My mother still talks fondly about the old TV shows like Dr. Kildare and many others, which I don’t even know because that was way before I was born. But I get why she misses shows from those times, because I miss some of those from my childhood too. Though very different, it’s not as if TV shows back then were way better than the ones we have now. It’s just that it seems that anything from the days of yore always manage to make you feel good about something. It’s the nostalgia factor methinks.

(On the other hand, I think my mother loves Dr. Kildare simply because she’s secretly in love with Richard Chamberlain – she watched Shogun religiously, and would always plonk herself right in front of the TV if this guy is on any show - but that’s another story.)

And what about the local TV shows, eh? Remember Opah? Gosh, I can’t for the life of me remember the essence of a local TV drama I saw a few weeks ago -- something about a boy who was adopted -- but I can remember Opah like it was yesterday.

Looking at some of the stuff on TV now, I feel like puking my guts out sometimes. Ever see “What Women Want”? That was a sad sad excuse of a reality show. Then there’s these countless talk shows hosted by a multitude of young, pretentious, not-so-bright glamour-babes and glamour-blokes whom I suspect can’t even spell sensational yet tries to sensationalize everything from the choice of wardrobe to the choice of life partners. And what about those silly catchphrases that these kids on TV come up with to make themselves ‘one of a kind’, so to speak, such as “Watchaaa!!” and a host of other stupid ones? Arrrghh!!! Don’t get me started on that!

I wish someone on TV can come up with something better to watch, something that doesn’t make the audience cringe, something that is smart yet easy to digest, something we can all be proud of. I hope this is not just wishful thinking. Perhaps, somebody is working on something along this line even right now. Guess we just have to wait and see if that ever happens.

In the meantime, can somebody bring back Opah? Man, I love that show. Loved Kathy, Burn and Boboy – Opah’s grandkids, and of course Opah herself, that dear dear old grandma whom everybody loved. And in the early episodes, there was the late Mustafa Noor playing hubby to Yasmin Yusoff’s character. I absolutely loved the guy! For some strange reason, I remember one particular line he said,

Mustafa Noor: (Reading) Ibu kucing sangat sayang kepada anak-anaknya (paused, eyes glazed and deep in thought, then said, almost as if subconsciously), tapi tak semua ibu sayang kepada anak-anaknya….”

Aduh….. sayu siot!

I love the old TV shows, really.

Gawd, I'm OLD....


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Saturday, March 17, 2007

To Speak Or Not To Speak

I was at the Malaysian Bar AGM earlier today, and as usual, my fellow lawyers tend to question anything and everything. While most speakers at the AGM are their usual eloquent self, some of them, sadly, BORED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!! Now, that is not to say they are not good lawyers. Most of them have been practicing law for decades and have successful practice throughout (not to mention, tons of money in the bank!). But there is a reason why they have not been actively speaking at the AGMs all these years. It's because they suck at it!!!

The belief that lawyers are good orators and orators make good lawyers are sadly, mere fallacies. Often, when a child is such a chatter-box, everybody would say that he or she will grow up to be a good lawyer. What a load of crap! Many of these kids who talk incessantly, grow up to be people who talk incessantly, and never listen. Some of these people become lawyers, and they talk and talk and talk, and they never listen!

In my limited years at the bar, going to court on a daily basis taught me among others, that you must speak as well as you listen, because arguing your case before a judge is not like picking up a microphone and simply addressing a crowd. In order to make the judge listen to your arguments, you must always play it by ear -- listen to what he is saying, understand the hints he drops, read between the lines, and react accordingly. You don't have to be a superb orator in order to do all this. You just have to know what to say, how to say it, and when.

Which is why, even if you are a wonderful orator, there is no guarantee that you'll be a good lawyer (or vice versa).

"To speak or not to speak" -- that must be done at the most opportune moment. And most importantly, when you are at the Malaysian Bar AGM or EGM, DON'T BORE THE CRAP OUT OF EVERYONE!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Know Where My Rectum Is, Thank You Very Much!

These days, it seems like everybody wants to take a shot at bloggers. Why, eh? That sorry-ass Tengku said bloggers are liars, in particular, women bloggers are liars. Then, Rehman Rashid said this:

The local blogosphere is the domain of life-challenged grumblestiltskins and disenfranchised pundits whose asinine maunderings only show why they should never have had day jobs in the first place.Rumour, inuendo, half-truths and damned lies are their stock-in-trade, and previously sacrosanct standards, principles and ethics are now laughable.Are they not entitled to their opinion? Of course they are, as much as everyone is entitled to ignore them. I would venture, however, that everyone has an opinion and a rectum, and not that many seem capable of telling one from the other.


What is it about bloggers that make people want to whack us so much? Is it because these people can’t read anything that’s not printed in lead and on felled trees? Is it because they simply can’t navigate their way through cyberspace to reach these blogs that they are taking it out on us rather than admit that they are PC illiterate? Is it because bloggers write what we feel as opposed to what our bosses tell us to write? Is it because bloggers come up with better and more interesting things to write compared to newspaper columnists? Or is it because more and more readers are turning to blogs for ideas and input these days, leaving the non-bloggers feeling a tad inadequate?

Whatever it is, I don’t really need to know. What I do know is that I am quite capable of distinguishing my opinion from my rectum and if anybody thinks that there are people out there who have problems distinguishing the two, perhaps that somebody has had such problem himself. It takes one to know one.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SPM Result Letdown

How could SPM results be leaked to the public one week before official results are announced? That was the question in my mind when I read about the girl who purportedly scored 19 1As in the exams.

In the newspapers yesterday, we all found out that she didn't quit make it. She scored a measly 18As – only 14 1As, four 2As and one 3B. All the hype, all the fuss, not to mention all the built-up excitement this girl had gone through since the news leaked last week, and all for what? Read the story here.

I can only imagine the devastation on her part when the official results are finally announced. Sure, she said she's bersyukur anyway. Of course, but who knows what is going on in her mind. And to think that her hometown was already celebrating her 'success' by putting up banners and buntings all over the place.

I remember when I read the news about it last week, I thought to myself that this girl has got it all wrong. She wanted so much to beat Amalina's record that she left the boarding school that didn't allow her to take up extra subjects. Her objective was solely to beat that 17 1As record set a few years back.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the focus should be on doing well on the core subjects, particularly ones that can guarantee admission for a good tertiary education, and not merely breaking records. After all, if you wanna break records, you can just walk backwards and barefoot all the way from KL to Perlis and your name will be in the Malaysia Book Of Records (not to mention, a Datukship on the way!).

Kids these days, getting all A1s, from as low as 11 As to the current record 17, I am truly amazed by it all. Particularly so when looking at my own SPM result; what they got in 1As, that's what a lot of us got in aggregate back then when getting aggregate below 15 was such a big deal!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Liar Liar, Pants On Fire!

I’m a bit left out here.

Women bloggers everywhere are bashing the self-proclaimed Tengku for saying what he said on March 8, and I wasn’t even aware of all the hoopla till today! Been a bit under the tempurung lately. (*red-faced*).

He reportedly said this:


"Bloggers are liars. They use all sort of ways to cheat others. From what I know, out of 10,000 unemployed bloggers, 8,000 are women."

"Bloggers like to spread rumours, they don’t like national unity. Today our country has achievements because we are tolerant and compromising. Otherwise we will have civil war.Malays will kill Chinese, Chinese will kill Malays, Indians will kill everybody else.”

He asked people not to believe bloggers and gamble away Malaysia’s future because 50 years of Merdeka (Independence) takes a lot to achieve it.

“We have to show to the people our positive attitude. If the world learns from us, there will be peace and no civil war."


Read about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, … (the list is endless, mind you, we women bloggers are pissed!)

My take: this fella is a very intelligent, very charming, very sophisticated man who is gentlemanly and royal to the core. But please, don’t believe a word of what I'm saying - I am after all, a woman blogger!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ne Me Quitte Pas

For those who have seen Mukhsin and is mesmerised by that French song Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me), the lyrics are as appended below. The song in the movie was sung by Nina Simone, an African-American singer with a big voice and lousy French accent (so the French said). The original version was done by the giant of a French artiste, Jacques Brel in the 60s (sort of like our P.Ramlee la kut!). I found a YouTube of his version. Enjoy!

Ne me quitte pas
Il faut oublier
Tout peut s'oublier
Qui s'enfuit deja
Oublier le temps
Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu
A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures
Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi
Le coeur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)
Moi je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre
Jusqu'apres ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps
D'or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine
Où l'amour sera roi
Où l'amour sera loi
Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)
Ne me quitte pas
Je t'inventerai
Des mots insensés
Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai
De ces amants là
Qui ont vu deux fois
Leurs coeurs s'embraser
Je te racont'rai
L'histoire de ce roi
Mort de n'avoir pas
Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)
On a vu souvent
Rejaillir le feu
De l'ancien volcan
Qu'on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraît-il
Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé
Qu'un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir
Pour qu'un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir
Ne s'épousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)
Ne me quitte pas
Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler
Je me cacherai là
À te regarder
Danser et sourire
Et à t'écouter
Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir
L'ombre de ton ombre
L'ombre de ta main
L'ombre de ton chien
Ne me quitte pas (4 fois)

My French teacher would probably ask me to translate the words. It'd be good exercise I suppose, what with my French test coming up in 2 weeks time and all. But as it is, I'm having trouble giving street direction from Alliance Francais to KLCC. At last night's class, anybody following my instructions would've ended up in Jinjang!


Speaking of street, my French teacher said most French people in Malaysia cannot pronounce Jalan Yap Kwan Seng and so they refer to it as Yap-Yap Street. Hahaha!

And oh, why am I blogging on a Saturday? Aren't I suppose to go out and have fun or something?

Fun? Yeah, right. I'm at the office la! Instead of doing work, I'm blogging again, as usual. But I do have some activities planned for later today, hope I can carry it out without worrying about work. C'est Samedi. Samedi est mon jour prefere!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Holidays

Yesterday (7/3/2007), a tiny tiny news in Other News And Views at page 30 of The Star caught my eyes:-

“First Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s birthday, February 8 should be declared a national holiday, an MIC branch says.

Makkal Ossai said a resolution to the effect was passed at the Simpang Renggam MIC’s 27th annual district meeting recently.

P.Ramakrishnan, president of the Sri Renggam MIC branch who made this proposal, said that Tunku had done much for the country, ensuring that the three major races were united and maintained good ties.”

With all due respect to the late Tunku and what he has done for this country, I don’t think the country needs another public holiday-- although I must admit, another side of me (the lazy employee side) would say, AYE! AYE! We want more! We want more!

Seriously, all laziness aside, do we really need one more?

A quick check shows that we already have a total of 14 public holidays and this doesn’t include the ones applicable at state level only. Meanwhile, United States has a total of 10 public holidays per year; Australia has 8, and Singapore 11.

An American friend of mine once commented that we have too many holidays, and this results in lack of productivity in the workplace. Although I resented that statement at that particular time, in hindsight, I can’t help but agreeing to it now. Yes, we do have too many of those, but it is not something that we can easily avoid since we have 3 major races in this country and the religious/cultural festivities of each one must be considered.

In contrast, America’s public holidays, with the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving, are generally not based on religious/cultural festivities, but on historical significance such as Martin Luther King Jr’s Day, Washington’s Birthday, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and Independence Day and internationally accepted standards such as New Year’s Day and Labour Day.

I’m sure someone would take this as a cue to say, “See? The US honours Washington, their first President by declaring his birthday a holiday and therefore we should honour Tunku our first PM the same way”. Well, if that is so, then we must also have Parameswara Day and a bunch of other holidays since we have a multitude of great persons and names in our history. Let us all then have Hang Tuah’s Day, Tok Janggut’s Day, Mahsuri’s Day, Yap Ah Loy’s Day, Sambanthan’s Day, Dr.M’s Day, just to name a few.

Better still, let us all declare all the other special days that we know of as public holidays as well; Valentine’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teachers’ Day, Children’s day, April Fool’s Day, and most importantly today, the International Women’s Day. Let this day be a holiday!

Heck, let us just have holidays all year round and only declare the days we actually have to work, that’ll be easier.

Oooops.

Bloggers all over are calling for women bloggers to show solidarity on this special day by putting up posts celebrating women, and here I am writing about wanting more holidays. Doesn’t reflect too well on girl-power, does it?

Oh what the heck! It’s girl-power with a twist. I attribute this to the flu bug still nesting inside me. I’m still under the weather, yet I’m not in bed moaning and whining. I’m at work, busting my butt off trying to earn a living. There.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVERYONE!


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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Demam

I am sick and feeling very very miserable. It started with some light coughing on Friday which I thought was nothing. So I went swimming on Sunday. After 3 hours in the pool, that night, my throat burnt like it never burn before and yesterday, my temperature went up sky high.

Last night, I was woken up at around 3am by some weird noise. Scared me to bits coz I was alone and I heard someone snored. Then I realized it was me. Damn!!

Hey, I don’t snore, ok! It’s just my sinus acting up. Serves me right for not going to see the doctor. I’ve always acted macho, a little demam don’t scare me. So, I didn’t even bother to have it checked. But I would have to do that now. Tak tahan la wey….

Monday, March 05, 2007

Serawa

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I have this itching craving for a hot bowl of serawa pisang. That’s the northern term for pengat pisang. As a kid, I used to eat bowls of this at one go. There is something simply divine about this sweet dish of heavenly banana cooked in divinely delicious rich creamy coconut milk with a little bit of sago thrown in.

I remember coming home from my kelas mengaji Quran in the afternoon to be welcomed by the sweet sweet aroma at the front door. I would practically sprint to the kitchen to get this steaming bowl of my favourite dessert, which as far as I’m concerned is a meal all in itself. The sweet and sour taste is so sinful, I would savour every spoonful, slurping it ever so loudly it’s almost obscene.

Mum still makes this wonderful serawa every now and then but I never get a chance to enjoy it anymore. Maybe it’s my fault for making myself scarce.

I know I can get it at the pasar malam or some other eatery, but somehow, no matter how lovely the presentation is, it just doesn’t taste the same. Perhaps it’s Mum’s ‘air tangan’ that was the missing ingredient.

The next time Mum is in town, I’ll ask her to make the serawa for me. Heck, I’ll beg and grovel if I have to, I’m craving it that much. While I’m at it, perhaps it’s time I learn some of her tricks in the kitchen. I want to be able to cook my favourite kari udang with yam, the ayam golek, the scrumptious sambal ikan bilis which no nasi lemak seller in KL can ever equal, the crispy yet tender cokodok, and mostly, the delectable array of sinful desserts, bubur jagung, bubur pulut hitam, bubur caca, cendol, and the list goes on and on and on.

And there goes my diet.

Oh, by the way, I just found the recipe for serawa pisang at this link:-
http://www.nst.com.my/Misc/goodbites/Recipe/20041008155453/pp_index_html

and a whole lot of other wicked recipes here.
http://resepi.mesra.net/