Archive for November, 2012

Random Notes

November 29, 2012

Death and Funeral

Yesterday, dad suffered asthma attack after coughing for weeks. We told him to see a doctor, as usual, he prefers to be his own doctor. After taking almost 6 bottles of cough mixture with no sign of improvement, he finally relented to check into the hospital.. that is also, after he had to stop cycling twice, in a 5 minute cycle to the clinic. Not that we didn’t want to send him to the clinic, he’s just as obstinate as a cow wanting to do things all by himself. I was thinking yesterday, what if he kicks the bucket suddenly? Funeral expenses is really no joke. A recent friend’s mom funeral costs about RM100k, that is because they shifted their dad’s burial plot to rejoin their mom on final resting place. I am rather glad my parents are quite open about cremation to save space and costs. After all, once we are dead, we no longer exist.. so why bother to even waste a space on earth?

End of the World

Today, a colleague called me to talk about the end of the world, purportedly on 21st Dec 2012. She said, NASA said, the sun and moon would exchanged position and there would be three days of darkness on earth. I told her, it’s impossible because, simply, our solar system is not built that way. Moon orbit around the Earth while, the Earth and other planets orbit around the sun. The sun is the centre of the solar system. How would the moon be exchanging position with the sun? If that happens – meaning, it’s really shitty because the solar system would be totally hay wired.. we will be burnt to death…and why does she even need to worry about this? It’s beyond our control. And even if this does happen, the moon “exchanging” position with the sun, we will all die at the same time! So, really, stop reading about all the nonsense on the internet.. especially about the nibiru planet or planet X what-not to make your already complicated lives more complicated! Learn from the past, live in the present and anticipate the future.. do what’s right today.

Longest Cough

Till today, my cough is still here.. I was rather lucky that, this time, it has subsided tremendously and don’t interfere with my night sleep. I was a walking Zombie the past 3 weeks because of lack of rest, work stress and incessant night coughing. Can feel that the stomach is somewhat flatten a little. Haha! Which I think, is the only positive sign of being sick. Let’s hope the cough would go off totally soon… I’ve been to two doctors four times.. took countless bottles of medicine – both eastern and western. Found the eastern one is working for me, so I guess am gonna stick to that. I tried manuka honey too.. apple cider.. mint leaves.. but no.. oh well, at least now, I hope the nightly coughs would stay away from me! It’s a torture being unable to sleep!

Giving Up

Mark Twain is right when he said, “Don’t argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” I felt somewhat dejected with the things happening around the office. I should have taken advice earlier – not to bother about too many things. Sometimes, you just need to close one eye and let everything go, so you wouldn’t live a tormented soul. I guess no working place is perfect, so we just need to adapt to it, blend in like the rest. I give up.

Broccoli Casserole

November 25, 2012

 Broccoli Casserole

I think you guys probably have seen the photo above. Well, over the weekend, I have been receiving recipe requests for this dish. I actually google looking for lasagnas recipes but somehow ended up looking at casseroles. Way easier, simpler and faster to make! So, here goes.

The original recipe is here. This is my modified version. (Can feed 10 people!)

Ingredients

• A good hand palm sized broccoli, cut into pieces
• 1 big can of Campbell mushroom soup – you can choose potage with mushroom too.
• 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar
• 113g of unsalted butter, cut into pieces (Half block of butter. Why unsalted? Coz the mushroom soup and cheese themself are already too salty!)
• Pepper (optional- coz the second time I made it, I forgot and it still taste good)
• 4 pieces of Hup Seng’s cream cracker cap Ping Pong

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush some oil/butter onto two 5.5 inches baking dish or a 9 inch baking dish (up to you).
2. Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.
3. Mix soup, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, butter and pepper in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and combined. (To avoid the cheese from being burnt in the hot pot, I used a wok filled with hot water, and cook the mixture in a pot, placed in the hot water – experience!)
4. If you find the mixture is too thick to be stirred, add 2 tbsp of milk. (Not too much, otherwise, the casserole would be runny)
5. Pour cheese mixture on top. Drain broccoli; spread evenly in baking dishes. Sprinkle with crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.

To reheat

If you plan to leave it overnight in the fridge, you may also reheat it in the morning for breakfast/other meals. If you are using microwave, perhaps 2-3 minutes heating would suffice (not too sure). I am using oven, so I leave the dish for 10 minutes after taking it out from the fridge, then reheat it in oven, at 180°C for 15 minutes.

Notes

Eat it with whole grain wrap or bread (because it can be too salty for some people). Delicious!

Happy trying!

My Tuna Croissant

November 21, 2012

Before I went to bed last night, I thought of tuna croissant. A nice, fluffy buttered croissant with fresh tuna top with a generous blob of mayonaisse.. yumm… A clear sign that I might be recovering from my two weeks long cough!

I remember I always have this for lunch when I was in college. Every alternate days, I go to college, I would stop at this Meidi-ya shop near Jalan Tun HS Lee for lunch before going to class. Without fail, I always order the RM3.50 set. It comes with a set of tuna croissant, a small bite size of cake and a cup of cofffee. Good deal if you ask me. The tuna croissant is rather huge, so it’s good enough to satisfy my hunger pang till dinner. I was rather a small eater then. Haha.

It’s almost a ritual for me for a year and more. I would take the bus to KL, stopped by Meidi-ya shop for my tuna croissant, with tomato and lettuce, chocolate coffee cake and a cup of coffee. I ate alone at this cafe throughout the year. It wasn’t an issue for me. I would take out my notes to read before class, had a few slow bites, savoring every bite of the fluffy croissant and tuna. Sometimes I would look at people and see what they buy, and before their eyes caught my prying eyes, I looked down again on my notes, pretending I didn’t see them. Sometimes, I would be lost in thoughts, depending on how much time I have before class.

It was that short moment I had to myself, that I find utmost peaceful. I think I should do it again.

Random Notes

November 15, 2012

Sick

I never been sick this long. It’s been more than 2 weeks now I am down with cough, flu and sorethroat. I didn’t try the mint leaves remedy yet. Perhaps today. It’s difficult to get out from bed with two eyes glued shut with goo. Yucks! TMI! TMI! I’ve finished drinking 3 bottles of cough syrup and ate almost 2 dozens of lozenges! I am trying the apple cider + honey remedy now. Keeping fingers crossed the cough at night would go away. Been having interrupted sleep for a few nights now.

Old friend

My mom’s old friend and wife came to visit on Monday. He was her cousin, both my mom’s dad and his mom are siblings. He is probably in his 70s now with a head full of white hair. He looked rather well but he has got cancer. I think stomach cancer. But it’s in remission now, so it’s all good news. Since now he resides in Johor with his children, he went to Taiping to collect his old health record and shift them to Johor Govt Hospital so he doesn’t need to travel up north every 3 months. On the way back to Johor, he stopped by KL to pay us a visit.

My family took them out around KL for a short visit since they haven’t been to KL in such a long time. I was home because of sickness and also, to take care of the house, in case the contractors need to come over to do some minor renovation.

My mom said, this uncle is probably dying. That is why he’s been visiting all relatives the past 2 weeks. I said, perhaps, since he hasn’t been around for awhile, he took this chance to see everybody at one go. I guess this is how life goes. At least this uncle still has friends and relatives to visit and care about him.. rather than die a lonely death.

Renovation

The house has been undergoing renovation the past one month. My friend, Mei was right. She said, never ever trust contractors! She’s right! The guy – who is my sister’s friend told us, it would take 2 weeks tops. We are merely renovating two bathrooms because of leakage, add grill to the back of the house’s balcony and paint. Till today, one bathroom is still NOT ready yet and the grills were just installed yesterday. And it’s been more than a month. We are losing patience but then, we have been most lenient because we are not going anywhere and my parents and aunt are always home to oversee things. Imagine if all of us are at work and nobody’s home? I wonder how the working class people do renovation these days? Especially those living in condominiums.. they are limited to weekdays only to fix their houses!

Leadership

A certain dept in the office is suffering manpower “leakages”. Staff has been resigning the past 2 weeks, one by one. I guess it all boils down to how the head of dept is managing them. In this current era, nobody could tolerate shouting and belittling anymore. After all, most young employees now are all educated, at least tertiary level. You think, they are still the uneducated, form five leavers looking for jobs like 20 years ago? Hell no! They all have minds of their own and expectations. And no leaders should use force or rule with iron fist. Now, everybody has to work in a team to make things work. I guess this dinosaur technique of handling employees are still prevalent in the office. That’s rather a sad thing to notice.

The Cats & The Rain

November 6, 2012

It has been raining incessantly the past few weeks. Everyday, when it’s time to go home for lunch, it would pour! Go home, pour again! I am not complaining about the rain because I love the rain actually. I like the smell of the rain, the fresh cold air after the rain and being able to snuggle in the comfort of my warm bed during weekends. On the other hand, I don’t think city folks would appreciate it because they would be caught in unthinkable jams and floods!

The rain brought a lot of headaches not only for the city dwellers, but also the stray animals. Yesterday, I was driving through the back lane of my house and saw a kitten trying to stay dry from the rain, by hiding under a mop. Its mother is also lying not very far from the kitten, alongside the narrow pavement, trying to keep dry from the rain. I think its siblings were already gone. There supposed to be 2 other kittens but I haven’t seen them for awhile. I could only do my best, waking up to incessant barking in the dark of the night to chase away the dogs from attacking them in the middle of the night by splashing the dogs with a bucket of water. I wish I could put a box in my house compound, with some shredded cloth for them to keep warm but the family would frown upon this. They simply couldn’t tolerate cats, especially cats.

I still remember three particular mornings of having to remove cats and kittens carcasses from the back lane. Their deaths are either due to the biting cold in the night or they were attacked by the stray dogs, hunting for food. I remember vividly the hardened bodies of dead carcasses. I was watching a TVB series last night and it was mentioned, when a person dies, do you know how much does a soul weigh? A dead body weight normally shrunk by 0.3 taels so, the old Chinese deduced that, a person’s soul weighs only 0.3 taels. But I don’t think so. Dead people seem to weigh much heavier because of the constricted muscles mass… I remember having to remove a cat carcass to the side of the road, so it won’t be crushed under moving cars beyond recognition and I barely could lift it using one hand! And I remember the day when my grandmother died and my uncle had to carry her downstairs. She weighed rather heavily.. or perhaps, we hardly carry her when she was alive.

Oh, why am I writing this post? Well, the rain always made me think of the stray cats. That’s all.


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