Food for thoughts

Almost exactly a year ago, at the stroke of midnight 1 January 2010, we were watching fireworks at Damansara Perdana. After which we went to a nearby mamak to have our supper. I had that colourful drink, which some way or another reflected my 2010. The drink was delicious and my year had been awesome.

Not that I am Iranian but for the fun of it, now that I’m thinking of what to eat later when we usher in the new year so that it will be reflective of my year ahead. Perhaps I should do what the Iranians do, eat fish so that the year would be very progressive indeed. But fishes only look forward and never sideways and I don’t quite want to be too hardcore focused like the fish that I won’t be able to see the side scenery and the bigger picture ahead.

Would rice be a good choice? Because I am thinking of the peribahasa “Ikutlah resmi padi, makin berisi makin tunduk”… because I would like 2011 to be a very productive year in every aspect, be it career, martial arts, self-development and spiritual and yet, still be able to continuously crush my ego under my feet and keep it firmly there.

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A note to remember

Finally, we have internet connection yet again in our house after an eventful day of 22 Dec 2010 where there was a freak storm in our neighbourhood resulting with a flash flood, many trees struck by lightning, houses zapped–and this included our house which left us with a zapped modem (by lightning), no electricity overnight, an almost zapped cat (luckily Tito made a quick flash dash when she saw lightning coming towards her direction) and the roof on in the guest room leaked like never before– which basically summaries that day to be one scary day albeit a hilarious one, when we look back at it.

I am jotting about that day here so that I will remember and let it be my constant source of reminder. That day was scary enough as it was for me and I should remember that the final day of this earth is going to be so much worse than that freaky day with the terrible storm. So in times of peace, lull and serenity, I must always remember to count my blessings.

The Morning Tragedy

I went out to the bank this morning and when I came back, I had wanted to do laundry before my first batch of students come for their English lessons. But when I went to the backyard, I noticed something was not quite what it was. The nest, which had been a home to a species of yellow bird, was no longer hanging from the string from the roof.

Ok… I was about to wonder what happened to it, when I saw where it is!

It plunged straight into the laundry basket, on top of my sweater and the Tupperware lunch bag.

Then I saw something moving in my sweater. Upon closer look, it was a nestling! OMG!!! It looked as though it has just hatched.

I overturned the fallen nest and lo and behold! I saw another one in the midst of hatching!!! Oh myyy oh myyy

After consulting the man of the house, I carefully scooped the first one out using a cupcake casing…

And scooped the other ‘in the process’ nestling into another cupcake casing

After so much efforts of huffing and puffing, it managed to get the top shell off its head! Subhanallah…

Now left to remain and wait till mummy finds her way back, insya Allah.

Ok confession time. I cried. Of happiness and sadness. I’ve never seen an egg hatch live before and now I do.. It was amazing! And I am sad because I am not sure if the mummy or daddy of these babies would ever come back. 😦

Stollen Moment

Christmas is coming and the husband, being the mummy’s boy that he is, asked me to please go and learn the art of making Stollen from his mother. So I did. But it didn’t last for long (because her darling son aka my mann had it for breakfast on most days) so the schwiegermutti (MIL), who is hosting the Christmas eve dinner here this year, is making another one on Thursday.

Assemble all the ingredients together. I cringed at the amount of butter used.

With your hands, mix the ingredients up

Watch the pro do it…

Ramasssss

Knead

Until it becomes a dough

Fold it

Get it ready for the oven

Wait for them to rise

Once out, shower it with generous bowls of melted butter!

Drizzle it with powdered sugar

Tadaaaa!!! We have ourselves some really schmeck gut Stollen!

All pics courtesy of my trusty BB Bold 9700. Heh…I never knew camera phone can capture these moments nicely, I’d say that a thousand times over.

Maudlinism

I was feeling rather maudlin these past few days despite all my attempts to be gung-ho and positive. I am not quite sure the reason why. Perhaps it has to do with this whole auld lang syne mood around that the year is coming to an end and all that stuffs. Perhaps it may also be for the fact that I have my only surviving grandmother on oxygen support on full time now, because her lungs have kaput. Reality check, probably this is her last phase of her life’s journey. That fact has finally sunken in. And what makes it worse is that I am not anywhere near her where I can safely say that in her last installment of life, I was with her throughout. And that feeling sort of sucks big time.

Top Ten Hits

The year is about to end and I just want to slack the rest of the year away before 2011. Which means I won’t attempt to achieve anything else other than keeping the house clean for guests who will come one after another till 3rd January.

Looking back, this year I managed to :

1. Overcome my fear of being in water by learning how to swim proper. I can now do some laps and that’s an achievement for me who, at this time last year was only contented with staying at the the shallow end of the pool and berendam cautiously.

2. Read 25 books, which means an average of 2 books a month. Not bad considering my schedule.

3. Lose 4kg. This time last year, I was 4 kg heavier than what I am now.

4. Attach myself to a halfway home to teach English, hence finally contributing something to my host country after more than 3 years of enjoying all the good food here. tsk.

5. Attend my first Aikido Camp in Jakarta, and survived it. *phew*

6. Co-translate the breast-feeding manual for international use. That’s one up in our company’s resume.

7. My two UPSR students whom I have been tutoring since Year 5 passed with very good results.

8. Ok this is the most unbelievable, but I taught Secondary 1 Math tuition to my friend’s daughter in an international school here, using British syllabus and pulled her marks up from the 60s range to 90 in her finals! What a self-esteem boost for me!! *heee*. Now I am wondering why I hated Maths so much back then. But it was not all rosy. To teach her, I myself re-learnt all the Sec 1 Maths as though I was sitting for exams and sat for tuition myself–with the husband as my tutor! LOL.

9. Take up Swedish.

10. Upgrade from a basic text and call phone to a smart phone. It was a big move, considering my resistance to technology and gadgets. Now I love my Blackberry to bits because I can take pictures of all the yummy food I ate and irritate my contacts on FB.

So those are more or less the positive things I’ve achieved this year. This year was also interesting because I went to Jakarta every 4 months or so and discovering different aspects of life there with each visit, my sister got engaged, it was the World Cup year, I attended an Rm 1k self-empowerment course- the most expensive self-paid course I’ve attended here, and lastly, I got hooked to Glee.

It has been quite a good year, aye? 🙂

A & B

I am finally done with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, which means I have completed the Trilogy involving the Swedish government, a casanova journalist who, albeit his brilliance, can’t seem to keep his pants up and of course, the protagonist, the tiny aneroxic-looking hacker with the dragon tattoo. The trilogy was all about, in essence, exposing the ills of the Swedish government in dealing with the mafia world and the corrupt practices of government agencies in their ‘behind the scene’ dealings.

I finished it within the same week Julian Assange was arrested by the Swedish government for ‘rape’, in which he denied all charges, claiming that it was consensual, although he admitted that he didn’t take take any precautions.

Somehow, I saw a parallel in Julian Assange and Mikael Blomkvist lives, although Assange is in flesh and blood while Blomkvist is fictional. Both are with the media. Both are on the warpath to expose governmental secrets and hideous government crimes, both are controversial figures, both make the authorities a lot nervous, both, unfortunately have a weakness for women which landed them in trouble some way or the other and both are not popular at all with officials whom they are threatening to expose.

While Blomkvist was described as a charming and good looking man, which makes it understandable why women became his ‘sidekicks’ easily, I can’t say that I find Assange attractive. I think he reminds me of the Megamind character from the cartoon MegaMinds recently shown in the cinemas.

But in any case, in both of them, who dared to expose the ills of the people whom we trust to govern us and to lead us but in actual fact are doing things that are way beyond our expectations– I find that very charming. And brave.