Thursday, May 30, 2013

cold and gloomy days down under

it seems that i have come down under to hibernate..... well, i am doing that right now.
it is drizzling outside and it is cold. i have not experienced any late autumn weather going into winter in any of my travel before, so i really do not know what to make of this weather.
inside the house is just as cold as outside, so i have myself wrapped under a blanket and in three layers of top. my fingers are cold and my nose is slightly runny. what a bad condition.

the runny nose is the worst. it started mid-flight and was horrible yesterday with sneezes here and there.
this morning, i woke up feeling better since i got my sleep under those warm and thick blankets...yeah....blankets. switching on the heater will be useless and a waste of electricity in the living room since it brings no effect at all. in fact, the bathroom is warmer when the heating light is switched on.
got this pair of house of warm house slippers at target yesterday. it is definitely necessary to keep those feet warm. or else i would be clad in my boots even inside the house. lol

i have not done any of my exercises which i am supposed to do to strengthen my knee. touch wood, i have not experienced any pain in the knee after the second dose of hyalgan on monday and it is so far, so good.

target was the only place we went to yesterday since i was interested to look for pajamas, but they didn't have any on the rack. too bad. oh, also accompanied brother-in-law to the dentist. what a coward...he requested my sister go in with him to the room. hahaha.....
and wow, the dentist fee here is super expensive. just a clean is already almost 100 AUD. so malaysians, be grateful for the cheap services you have there and go get your set of teeth clean more often. which reminds me, i have to go for mine when i get back as well. have planned to go before this trip, but just couldn't find the time.

this morning, went out for breakfast and a short trip to coles.
the big breakfast at a salmon shop. well, can you spot two pieces of salmon behind those mushrooms?? we ordered another set of only poached egg and bread and shared the mushrooms, salmon, and bacon on this plate. it was a full breakfast of course. i am a small eater ;) and i also have to be on a diet since i have not done any jogging since last month because of the knee. and you won't be seeing me doing any soon. brisk walk yes, jogging no.

these are the titbits i got from coles. biscuits and chocolates. all to be given away. how generous of me.

me and the baby have not been on very good term. he is grumpy and crying because i am an unfamiliar face.
however, this morning was slightly better. when his mummy agitated him by wiping his face, he turned to me instead. he was happier when we were outside and that was when he let me carry him.

we have also baked a brownie here. heavenly. it was like eating a chunk of dark chocolate but with slightly saltish taste and lots of raisins and walnuts.

now to singapore.
mcdonalds and hello kitty have another collaboration!!!! this was already sold in hong kong last year and now singapore is starting this week!!! there will be another craze no doubt. the black one is really special. oh, did i mention that someone is going to eat mcdonalds for me and help me get these six???
bless her soul. these six are going to be my birthday present. i hope she will have no problem getting them. i am sure i will be seeing a lot of this pictures posted next week.

well, got to go and have my bath before night comes. i am dreading my shower every day. and i have to wash my hair today. arrghh!! standing under the warm jets of water is wonderful, but coming out and feeling the cold tiles on the floor, you just want to jump up and down.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

a bit of nostalgia here and there

it has been a while since i last read a good book and i am glad that last week i did find one. (finished the book in less than a week) and to make it even better, it is by a malaysian. woohoo!! malaysian pride.

this is the book: the garden of evening mists by tan twan eng, a man asian prize winner and shortlist for booker prize as well.

i had wanted to buy this book for a while after reading its synopsis somewhere but only finally got to buying it last month, after he won the man asian prize. kinokuniya even has a special cover out for the book, but i did not buy that more beautiful cover since it is more expensive than the copy above ;)

this is a book that really evoked many layers of emotions....well at least in me. i liken reading this book to peeling the skin of an onion, layer by layer. every layer will bring out different emotions and nostalgic memories in me. it made me thought of grandma most of all; the mention of japanese occupation, and the hardship of the people under the torturous treatment. also, the mention of tattoo made me think of grandma's reaction when she saw mine and i finally understood why she gave such a big disapproval.

the art of making japanese gardens made me think of my trip to the beautiful gardens and temples in kyoto and made me appreciate what i saw more. how i wish i had actually read the book before my trip to japan.

i have passed the book to uncle who has brought it back to australia to read. my brother is not interested in this kind of story hence i pass the book to someone who wants to know the story. hopefully he will be curious few months later when it is his turn to bring back the book to malaysia.
this book is really a good buy. make it a gift to someone you know who loves a good story or an avid reader. you don't really need to know malaysian history to understand the story although there are a smattering of malay and cantonese words thrown here and there. it does make me want to visit cameron highlands and feel the  mist and coolness of the mountain air. in short, get this book!!!

uncle has left after dropping here for 5 days to visit granpa. and when uncle is back, there is always a craving for certain malaysian food. he got his daily fix of roti canai. he also went to take away his favourite hokkien noodles. and i also went with him for satay and breakfast.
the new satay shop is really a good find. luckily the one we usually went to was not opened, so i was forced to think of another place to go. hence, we reached the one next to the new old town kopitiam shop. the satay was really good, big and succulent. one stick is only rm0.80 for both chicken and beef. the peanut sauce was good too. this is definitely the place to go for satay in tg malim.

this was the breakfast uncle and i had at old town kopitiam this morning. i wanted to bring him to one of the traditional chinese kopitiams here for our kaya and butter toast and half boiled egg, too bad it was not opened. hence, we reached old town and i was surprised to see them open at 8am already.
it was a satisfying breakfast as i had been craving for half boiled egg too. kakakakka.......

then in the afternoon, i went down to kl sports medicine centre for my second injection of hyalgan.
did a little physio and then it was time to ice the knee. uncle waited outside while i had my treatment.
huhuhuhu......bye bye $$$$ again. the next follow up appointment is in four months' hopefully the knee would have healed by then. it must!!!!!

after that, we went to 1 utama for dinner. met another uncle and aunt there and had meatball noodles. it was not bad. and finally, i could head home. haha......i did not have to go to the airport to send uncle to catch his flight back! the other uncle volunteered to do so. bless them.  the traffic was quite bad heading south and it was bumper to bumper even in the highway.

reached home at eight plus and had to start packing for my own flight the next day. my mind, there were only biscuits. i am bringing so many packets!!!! i hope there will be no problem at the custom over there. gosh, fingers crossed.
see, i did not even bother to take out the packets of biscuits from the box. am going to check in the whole box with my suitcase.

yawn.....past midnight. time to sleep.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

of teacher's day and knee

teacher's day has come and gone.
it was a very relaxing one where only less than a quarter of students in school turned up. there was no teaching whatsoever and all teachers just chilled out in the classes and staff room. they should have given us a holiday instead.
the attendance is getting less and less year after year. it is as if the students have it drilled in their minds that teacher's day is a day which has nothing to do with them and hence, what is the point of coming on that day.
yup, i actually had a kid who told me that vis-a-vis. he said, 'it is your teacher's day, what does that have to do with me?' yeah, coming from a 16-year-old prefect. and you would think that prefects are the role models in school.

anyway, there was the routined assembly, singing of this year's theme song, oath taking ceremony and a few performances from kids. lastly, a lunch in the canteen sealed the day.
i got 4 presents this year.....a very good haul hehehe.....but don't compare mine to all those primary school counterparts please. they get truck loads of pressies compared to us.
if you cannot make out the gifts above, well, they are handmade paper flowers, a scarf, candle and mcdonalds hello kitty. want to guess which is my favourite??

well, i also had a treat from a few kids in ipoh the day before- star trek movie, mcdonalds for dinner and baskin robbins ice-cream for dessert. that was wonderful. and star trek was awesome! heck, the star paper's review even gave it full marks! the cast was really great as in the space fight scenes too. well, i am a big star trek fan, so i can be bias.  i was so awed to see the enterprise again and again on the screen and everytime it appeared, my heart was like swelling with pride. it was like my baby is flying and exploring. hahahahaha..... more with teacher's day.
we each got a polo-shirt and they call it our sports day shirt. do you think i will wear that on sports day? haha....for your information, dad is seen going out of the house with the shirt on his back today ;) i guess that answers the question. the purple is kinda too dark right? many say it is quite ugly. well, you and i know that i won't be seen in that shirt for sure.

the day after teacher's day, i had taken a leave and finally went for a consultation regarding my knee which was long overdue. the pain in the knee was bearable, but it made me stop my running and all vigorous activities to do with legs. the injury was a result of a bad landing when i jumped over a cone and the impact hit the knee when i landed on my heel. it just got worse these few weeks and i felt a pinch and exhaustion in my knee which affected my calf and these few days, even my hamstring felt tight.

i have even stopped bending down for ping pong. so the bearable pain does not look serious to others but i know that if i don't get it fixed, the effect is going to be long-term and worse. all those tales of ppl getting knee replacement scare me and i don't want to end up being one of them like in 20 years time. i also want to continue running, jogging, hopping and playing i made that phone call and made my appointment at kuala lumpur sports medicine centre.

the initial plan was to just see an orthopaedic but  when dad mentioned that his friend goes to klsmc, i decided to go to that place instead since it focuses more on sports injury. i know the bill is going to be exorbitant already before i went, so i guess i was prepared for the final amount.

no one encouraged me to go to government's hospital, even my own colleagues.  one just told me to forget about gov hospital as the process is going to be long before i get to see an ortho.

so i reached klsmc at 10.30a.m. and i only left at 5p.m.! what a long long day. the waiting was not very very long to see the doctors actually. initially, my slot was at 2.45p.m. for that particular knee specialist, but the receptionist called two days before to tell me to come in the morning for my scans first since it was my first visit there.

i had 90 minutes break for lunch which i spent  in the italian restaurant on the ground floor of wisma perintis- nerofico. eating alone was all right. i had my cousin and siblings chatting with me on whatsapp and a novel i had brought along.

my lambshank. i am not a fan of mash potatoes due to my worry of carb intake, but man, the mash was good, and i almost finished all. haha.....i have a tendency to leave my food unfinished. anyway, i was full already.
saw many patrons ordering pizza, but it would be too big for me to finish on my own. what is wrong with my knee???

*photo from

the above is the mri scan machine where i put my left knee in. the scan took about 30 minutes. this is where the bulk of the bill comes from. rm1100 for the scan...i think that is the standard price for an mri. oh, my insurance agent came and took my original receipts, i am hoping for a reimbursement from my health card policy. my agent said that was the price so well, at least i know i am not dupped.

my knee x-ray. check the bottom pic, the knee cap. it is slightly tight and i have to do proper massages on the knee cap to loosen it. yeah, they taught me how to do it and it is an awe how much your knee cap can actually move.

the mri scan managed to show what is actually wrong with my knee. i have a condition called synovial plica. the synovial tissue is located in the inner side of the knee and mine is injured. see where the blue line is pointed in the film? that is the knee cap bone and it has slight aggravation due to the plica injury i sustained. that is why my knee hurts.

and of course when they tell me to bend my knee and hold their palms on my knee, they can feel the popping and creaking in the knee. you can even hear the sound clearly when i do my squats on the floor. it is the roughening of the cartilage tissue there that makes the grind.

hmm...i feel so old when i think of my knee. ppl usually lose cartilage tissue due to ageing and now i am already experiencing it. but i know mine happens because of sports. all those years of running, jumping and bending expose the knees to injury and exhaust the tissue there. so i guess for active ppl out there, do take your supplements. prevention is better than cure.

if i don't do anything to the plica, it might get bigger and rougher and when i bend my knee or impact is put there, the bones will grind....and i think you know how uncomfortable it will be then.

so in the end, an injection is recommended to improve the joint fluid quality. but before i went for the injection....i got massages on the knee cap and was taught the exercises i can do at home to strengthen the knee by a friendly therapist while lying on bed. knee locking is the key-word and while doing the exercises, i noticed how much weaker my left knee was because i had been adjusting my body weight to rest on the right due to the injury. the right knee had no problem locking and was not shaking, but when i did it with the left knee, oh how i shook.

after the session on the bed, i was brought to the gym area where they showed me exercises which would strengthen my whole leg muscles and which would help with my plantar faciitis as well.
oh, how i love the gym there. as i told them i am not going to head to the gym when i get home, they taught me exercises which will need minimal gym equipment. i can always improvise when i get home. i must be disciplined to do them i guess. even the right knee is making popping sounds now as i bend it. huhuhuhu.

so after all the exercises which really pull those targeted area muscles, it was time to ice the knee and get ready for the injection. aaaa......time to rest.

my injection which covers a course of 2 jabs over 2 weeks costs me rm900. sob sob.  it is hyalgan which is supposed to restore the joint fluid and acts like a lubricant and a shock absorber. it also activates the tissue repair processes in join cartilage, as mentioned in the brochure i received.

so i have to make another visit for a jab 2 weeks later and they have also slotted in another session of physio before the jab.

the puncture under the plaster. luckily my knee was all numb by the ice pack when they made the injection, so there was a very slight pain only. it caused no discomfort or whatsoever and i just walked as usual once i got off the bed.

my total bill in the sports centre came up to 2480 including x-ray, mri, injections, consultationf fee, and physio session. my sis told me to take it as life investment and i won't feel the pinch. well, i only want to be able to get active again and do my sports. at the moment, the only activity i can do is brisk walk and of course swim. 

the bill does not include the medicine from the pharmacy on the ground floor. anti-inflammation and gastric prevention from the anti-inflammation pills.

so that was the end of my day in kl. what a long long one.

now it is just rest, do the prescribed exercises, and apply ice-pack if the knee is sore due to too much walking at work. the rest part is the scary one. how much weight will i put if i don't jog? does that mean i have to reduce my food intake to avoid gaining weight? i am already eating very little nowadays.

aiyoh, don't want to think about that first. now, the immediate task is to finish marking all exam papers. luckily it is the exam period now, so i can sit most of the time in the classes....but the stairs in school are unavoidable of course.

to a non-related mater- free gift from la mer for mother's day. they only sent one card for this redemption so i could only redeem one. luckily someone from tm went to kl that weekend and helped me get it. or else it would have gone to waste since the redemption period was only on mother's day weekend.

Monday, May 13, 2013

just black for the week week of black, i think i have made my point.
with the election over, all talks seem to be still on the topic and all the brouhahas it has created.
no matter what happens, i hope things will turn out fine in the end and all malaysians stay united to help this country progress.

well, putting up black outfits for the week was a fun thing. i am not someone who is always decked in black so i kinda surprised myself with the pieces i managed to pull out from my wardrobe as well.
i think i did quite well lol as i got thumbs up from a colleague who is known to be quite fashionable as well. a compliment from another fashionable woman definite made my day.

here are the outfits from monday to saturday.

i was all fired up after watching the live reports of the election results and i decided to go black when i saw ppl's profile pictures on fb going black as well.
thank goodness the tummy was kinda flat on that day so the tuck in shirt on my button-front trouser was really chic. ;)
no more in first day mourning mood so something grey for the top.
something more feminine and less fierce. a flare skirt with flower embroidery motifs and beads and a ruffle cotton grey polka-dot blouse. the strappy birkenstocks complete the look.
one-piece black dress with knitted blue bolero. very office-look except for the pair of black comfy clarks.
another piece of knee length dress but this time in black and white. love my pair of espadrilles. not  too high but just gives me enough height to be taller and the most important thing, it is comfortable. am on the lookout for more espadrilles for my shoe cabinet ;)
going grungy on saturday. still had to go back to the office. pulled this black hard rock cafe shirt i got from hong kong from the bottom of the drawer. i think i have only worn it less than 5 times, thank god it still fits. black corduroy pants, my birkenstocks and mulberry alexa, black shades from bv and off i went for inhouse training. i also had the time to braid my hair into few locks while in the course and i pulled them all back into a high pony tail. it really rocked!
no more black. i think i will fall into depression if i continue. it is green spring and something fresh. braided and coiffed my hair in a style i had never done with the hairclip i got from japan. oh those girls really loved it so much. new ring from marc and my white toywatch. then the pair of trainers to complete the look...comfort still comes first and somehow it works with this above the knee a-line dress. well, i know boys love the trainers.

don't worry, i won't be doing anymore photo collages of my attires for this week. i myself can't stand the narcissism too. hahaha.....too much of one thing is bad for you.

now moving on to other stuff.
new discoveries in tg malim.

tutti fruitt frozen yoghurt shop just opened on friday and when someone said he would give me a treat on sunday, i of course did not miss the opportunity.

this was the queue in front of me. gosh, i still think it is overly-priced and this might be my only one time here. 1 kg of frozen yoghurt is rm53, so it is rm5.30 for 100g. yes, they weigh your yoghurt and the toppings you chose. they are giving 20% opening discount for one week, so go this week to do a bit of saving. my cup of yoghurt was only 102g....count yourself how much it was.

the second new store in tm is guardian pharmacy taking up a corner lot in front of the old rex cinema.
have not visited it yet as there is nothing to buy....yet i nkow mom has been there a few times to get cheap deals that she sees advertised in the newspapers.....almost everyday these adverts will appear in the newspapers.

that is all for today. am looking forward to wednesday when a group of boys have promised to give me a treat of a movie and dinner. hmmmh....i know they are making use of my car to get to mcdonalds. gosh, what do they find in those burgers? i think in the end, i am paying more for the petrol and toll fee. well, it is better than sitting at home i guess and there is that pretty face of chris pine and the oh-so-handsome zachary quinto (!!!)....well too bad he loves men.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

come what MAY

it is the month of may and there is only one word hanging on all malaysians' mouths regardless of sex, age and colour.
the word is none other than ELECTION.
the most anticipated day of the month will come this sunday and i am ready to get my finger soiled by the indelible ink. i will be proud to show my finger too ;)

and i am ready to get back some peace too. i can't stand all those flags, buntings, banners, smses, advertisements, etc....whether they are in printed, cyber or audio forms. urggh!! they are really irritating. what a waste of resources.  well, no prize for guessing which party has won this media war.

let me show you some examples of the different forms of adverts that have been bombarding the citizens. every vote matters i guess and by hook or by crook, whatever way there is, why not use them.

print ads in the newspaper.......everyday and more than 1 page.

do all the ads follow the advertising acts?? hmm.....personally, i feel that they have gone over the line in condemning the opposition party. promote whatever you want to promote but leave out all the bad mouthing.
can pepsi challenge coke in their advert or maybe breeze and fab have a showdown??

next- smses sent to the phone every other day....all from the same party of course. i guess my vote is really important huh.

banners and flags....everywhere in every nook and cranny of the town....and my residential is not spared as well.
blue banners circling the fence of the playground opposite my house.

flags blocking the junctions and sides of the roads.
of course there are more creative ones but i was not ready with my camera when i passed them. saw one in bidor in the shape of a fighter jet made using all green flags.

next- letters and pamplets sent to the house. my grandfather got it from mca, my brother and i got them from both the government and opposition, mom also got hers.

cyber ads:
have to see similar ads everytime before i log in to my mailbox.
so don't you think i've had enough of all these ads?? i need a break.....well...just one more day.

frankly, i still have not decided on the candidate that will get my X....but i am pretty sure about who i will not be voting.....still it does not make my choice any easier. so please don't ask who i will be voting ok? even those 14-year-old are curious....and if you give them the ballot paper, i am sure they will be so excited to vote as well.

ok...i am sick of election let's shop ;)

something came in the mail.....

from the usa......

a ring in pink rose......

and new phone case....kakaka....but i have yet to use it. i wonder if the arms and legs of the teddy will be slightly annoying to hold and put in bag. well, i have yet to find out. i remember posting about this moschino's case when they released it for iphone 4 and how i told myself, i would get one when i get my iphone. wish has come true albeit in a different colour. but i do think that this red case with black bow will suit my black iphone more.

and on 1 may, labour's day, i also made a trip to kl to get some cosmetic and facial stuff from shiseido since they have special sets for mother's day.

got these 3 sets......for sis, aunt and mom.

other than those in the shopping list, i also got myself a skirt.

i enjoyed myself that day.....filling myself with good food. muahahaa.....
my latte....when i arrived at 12 noon.

my super late lunch at 4pm......half a lobster!!!! woohoooo!!!!

and another latte sent to my table courtesy of karen. burp!!! i had no plan to have dinner at all although i had received an invitation to attend a baby full moon party.

but the no dinner plan was not carried out. one of the kids texted me while i was in the mall saying he would buy me dinner because it was his birthday. how sweet. well, i told him not to buy for me and in the end, he bought 3 boxes of large nuggets from kfc while i bought a cheese cake for him

it was feast time and i was happy to see so many happy faces while they were enjoying their little celebration.

spot the birthday boy and birthday girl.

and last pic for this post......sad....sad....sad
the tote bag which hold my notebook toppled and fell onto the road when i opened the door of the car....and this was the damage done to the notebook. a slight dent on the corner that was bumped on the tar.....and thank god, it was wearing its case at that time.

that is all for this week.. my eyes can't take it anymore. time for a good rest to be rejuvenated this weekend. many friends will be back and it is like a big carnival is coming and everyone is in festive spirits.  let's pray for a fair election and a peaceful end to this 5-year campaign period.