Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

It's halloween. I went shopping for deco so that we could dress up our cubicles. Needless to say it got a lot of attention in the office and won praises from people who were not creative enough to think to decorate their own cubicles. ha ha.
Dress code is gothic today, so I borrowed some ugly black top from mom and my own cop copine pants. Plus the gothic makeup, very grunge and black-dorothy like. Too bad no red pointy shoes. Gave the cleaning lady a shock when she came by to clean the house. A girl at the lift lobby made an immediate beeline for the stairs when she saw me. A mom hugged her 2 kids tightly to her when I stepped into the lift. Ah well, guess that means the outfit is working.

Even Slick got into the mood. I sewed his costume on the way to work in the cab. Not bad eh?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Economics of Caffeine

Why did the chicken cross the road? To maximise utility (according to economists anyway). Ok, econs exam over. AT LAST. Though I doubt I did well (or even average), which is a real shame considering in retrospect, the questions were kinda like econs 101 and I did (do, actually) have a basic degree in economics. But as with every econs exam, I got all curves confused at the crucial moment. Ah well.

By the way I'd like to state for the record, and declare the ultimate, most effective sleeping pill ever is not Valium, or whatever those drug companies make. It's an economics textbook. Pure and simple. Read it for 10 mins and guaranteed instant sleepiness and a visit to la-la land. I'm a caffeine sensitive person, and 1 cuppa at 4pm will likely keep me awake till past midnite, but for the sake of revisions last week, I risked downing caffeine in the evening after dinner in a bid to stay awake for revisions. The conclusion? Either I've built up a caffeine tolerance (thanks to Spinelli's at my office), or econs texts are the ultimate sleep inducer. No caffeine was able to keep me awake for more than 30mins (and later than 11pm) the moment I started reading the textbooks. Econs text simply and easily overpowered Starfreakingbucks. Amazing.

6th anniversary yesterday. Time really passes. We had dinner at Valentino's where the man himself came out personally to take care of our orders. Family home style italian cooking, yum. They even made us a special cake and nearly broke out into a song and dance, but sometimes things don't go like planned. Ah well, we can't have all we want in life - if I could, I want the winning 4D numbers (speaking of which, today's papers said a certain tua pek kong at AMK is quite 'zun'). Hmmm.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I have coupons (not)

So my buddies from the tekka market gang saved me the 30% Borders discount coupon which I was so eager to have so I could spend more unecessary $$ on pretty books. So I set Con-cussedcow up on the pretext of hanging out for dinner and coffee, hoping to make a quick drop-by to Borders so I can spend my coupons (of course, Concussedcow so gladly obliged, even though he sniffed a rat). So after a nice chill-out at the United Sq Starbucks (which makes a great great evening hang out btw), we rode out to Borders where I dashed in to make my coupon purchases. I pick out a few mags and a yoga book.

I plonk down the stuff at the cashier's:
Me: (pointing to the book) I have a 30% coupon for this one.
Cashier: Ok (scans barcode).
Me: (digging and rifling rapidly through my wallet)...which I did not bring...

Stunned silence for 30 secs from the cashier.

O...K... so I harassed my friends for coupons, I set my Cowdude up so he'd take me to Borders, to buy books I don't need and don't have time to read anytime soon (at last count, I have 6 copies of Vanity Fair still in shrink wrap, 2 novels, 3 non-fiction, 3 yoga books, 1 chinese novel, 1 chinese drama dvd yet unwatched/unread) - and the anti-climax was I forgot to bring the coupons which I 'worked' so hard to procure. Yep. Such is Murphy rearing his ugly head.

Lucky for me the story had a good ending, the poor cashier took pity on me and decided to give me the 30% discount anyway. Maybe cuz he was afraid I'd burst out in tears or something.

On a separate note, quite 99% sure we know who the nab-Codie culprit is. Took Holly with me to Veron's house for lunch, leaving Bis at home, with Codie on the bed. When I came back, Codie was exactly where he was. Aha.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jamie Oliver I am not

The thing about recipes is, when you need to double them or increase the portions, somehow the recipe doesn't work as well. Today we had potluck at veron's place, I contributed a spiced pork dish which had turned out excellent on the last occasion I made it. The first thing that should have alerted me to "something will go wrong today" is when the butcher mistook my "uncle, 1kg pork shoulder" as "1kg pork, 'shou-de'", which in chinese means 1kg lean pork. When in fact I wanted pork with a bit of fat which would make it good for stewing. 2nd thing that should have alerted me was when I cut the pork into cubes and realised, uh oh, they look too big and will take time to tenderize. But somehow I just ignored my inner wisdom and carried on. Needless to say I'm not too impressed with the final outcome, and I think, neither was anyone else, though folks were too polite to mention anything. Where's my culinary flair when I need it?? Sigh. By the way, cutting up 12 chillies, 16 shallots and 8 cloves of garlic to blend into belachan really left a sting on my left hand, it's been some 7hrs since i started the belachan prep and my hand still feels chilli-hot and numb. Whoa. Wonder how do the malays and indonesians actually do this day after day?

Exams on Sat, yawn. Not going too far with my reading, did I mention how reading 5 mins of the text puts me to la-la nirvana sheep counting land? No need for yoga therapy. Econs text is the ultimate sleep inducer.

Monday, October 23, 2006

She Drives me Crazy III

She drives me crazy
Like No one else
She drives me crazy...

Oh yeah, this is the song my poor konfusedconcow is probably singing these days. A mad cow being driven crazy will be a mad mad cow. I think he rather wish he'd be run over by a car, perhaps definitely less painful. Oww his aching head. Maybe there's something about the fengshui in my house that makes the females who live in there pain in the necks, butts and all unmentionable regions. Dunno about mom though.

I'm a bad mommy, gotta admit it. Even though I've got short haired dogs that only need 10mins of grooming weekly, I'm too lazy to even give them a weekly bath sometimes. Haven't clipped their nails in over 4 weeks, and haven't cleaned their ears in like....6 months. Haven't brushed Bis' coat in over a year I think. C was aghast. I think he was on the verge of calling SPCA, probably Slick would too, but his secret motive would be to get rid of Bis and Holly for good. Ok ok just for the record both dogs were nicely groomed last night, so officially they are now handsome/ pretty again. This just affirms I'm not having kids - I'll probably leave them in their diapers for weeks before I change them. Unless my dogs wanna lick their butts clean....EEeeeuuuuww.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Wandering

Ever since Mark Whitwell's workshop I've become too lazy to go to yoga, or have been using his philosophy "yoga is not about asana, but it's breath, bandha, pranayama" to cut back on hard, power classes, and opting for easy, simple, no sweat hatha style instead. Today, I opted to join Jason Birch's class on Kriya/ Pranayama, and then decided to go a-wandering in town rather than regular class at Pure. A rarity indeed, especially considering the hazy outside. Of course the 30% borders coupon today did play it's part in making that decision, in fact, I contemplated seriously to buy a few more copies of the ST so I could get a few more coupons. My cookbook craving is back - I've added to my collection (and to a struggling to stand, bursting at it's sagging shelves bookshelf) 3 more cookbooks. And another 3 more in the wish basket via acmamall's 25% cookbook promo this month. Not that I'm ever going to use most of them, they are just pretty to look at and to collect. I've a few books here in the shelves I haven't experimented with yet. In keeping with my yoga practice, I attempt to be vegetarian most times but find myself struggling quite a bit lately. As with most things in my life, impulse is a large player, waning and waxing through various cycles.

Spent time at the Action Hair spa thanks to a citibank voucher which entitled me to a cheaper rate for their Hair Spa. Hair spa is an indulgence - have only ever tried it twice before, both experiences very heavenly and satisfying, but at some $150 per visit, an indulgence I can ill afford, giving consideration how many yoga classes and cookbooks it can buy. Whilst I was rather reluctant (and still at this point till now, wondered if I should have) to spend $100 for a hair treatment, it was a lovely experience. I had forgotten how nice it was, to sit in a private lounge in a sofa, relaxation music and getting a scalp massage. The novelty of it, they even put me in an Osim massage chair for 15mins where I nearly dozed off. $100 for 2hrs was time well enjoyed, I was half expecting them to sell me a package, and was quite disappointed when they did not. Ah well, money saved for the future I guess.

Wandered down to - no surprise, the Jap soba place for the $5 tea time dessert. Today, as I contemplated over my red bean and green tea tofu, with Janet Seidel's jazz music playing from my ipod, that life is indeed transient. All that I own or have, will leave me eventually. There's just some music that brings a cynical smile to my face, a little loneliness, and a feeling of emptiness.

Now, who will be the final Survivor - Bis, Holly or Slick? Or could it be the much battered Codie??

Friday, October 20, 2006

She Drives me Crazy II

Ok so we took the Bis to the park sans Holly yesterday right? Bis was deliriously happy of course, as he understood the "NO HOLLY" concept almost from the moment we left our house. Unfortunately it seemed Holly too, understood the "NO HOLLY" concept at precisely the same moment, for my bro grumpily informed me last night that Holly started yelling and screaming her head off like a banshee the moment we left. Of course I've never heard anything like it, and I still don't, but according to bro, she was just yelling and yelling her head off non-stop, she paced in and out of his room, demanded (as in use her front legs to paw my bro) his attention, and then paced out of the room, to continue yelling. This went on for a good 2hrs. I suspect bro was a little miffed it sorta put a damper on his romantic interlude with his new date. LOL.

Bro tells me he now understands why Bis needs a break from Holly. He even had to shut his room door to keep the yelling down, but unfortunately the girl started to demand entry by scratching on the door non-stop, whilst yelling all the time.

Of course, when I arrived home...things were all peaceful and quiet of course. LOL.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

OM...no stress....no Holly....

Took 2 days off to attend a workshop conducted by a visiting harvard medical professor on yoga and reasearch, stress, and sleep issues. C remarked that it's amazing how I was willing to take 2 days off to attend a daytime workshop with a bunch of old ladies - I assured him I was sure there'd be other participants, but yes, once again he was right - rest of the participants are mostly a bunch of senior ladies. Several of them my former yoga teachers at Shambhala, haven't seen them in 5 yrs. Yet for the past 2 days we sat huddled together in the studio at Gaia, busy scribbling notes as the professor droned on and on and on. As for my comments about this workshop....well, I'll say that Kundalini sounds very much like a woo-woo thing, the 'yoga' exercises the prof briefly had us practise....really rather woo-woo. Did it induce sleepiness? Sure. Did it reduce my stress? Umm, don't think so. Did it help me meditate? Nope, was too busy thinking about grabbing a slice of Bazerzin blackforest cake from the outlet nearby at Paragon.

This afternoon after the workshop we took Bis to the park to celebrate his birthday. In attendance was Slick, minus Holly. C suggested that it would be good to give Bis a break on this special day, so we did. He sure seemed to know it, and was really smiling and prancing away. Until he spotted 2 large dogs at the park, and he froze and got nervous and edgy once again. His stress level was obviously up. Sigh, what a wuss. C bought him a nice banana cream cake from a doggie bakery (yum yum, nice, I snitched some). Bis took a whole 30mins but hardly ate more than 1/4. At home, Holly polished off a whole 1/2 cake in under 1 min. Yeah, we should rename her "Trash Compactor".

Econs exam in 1 week, I have barely started revision. Each night I try, I'm either too tired, or reading the notes put me to sleep in under 5 mins. Maybe I should conduct my own "Sleep" workshop, whereby I just need to hand out a bunch of econs notes to the insomniac participants and voila! All will fall asleep within 15 mins of reading those damn things. And I'll be rich, rich rich.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

She Drives me Crazy

...what was that song from the 80s (or was it 90s), that goes like this:

She drives me Crazy
Like no one else
She drives me Crazy
But I can't help myself....

yeah, that's what Bis will sing, and even Codie. Yes the song is about Holly. Whoever wrote that song back then must have known Bis and Codie would land in this situation someday. Codie has been nabbed repeatedly in the past few days; on Saturday when I went to market, I made sure to hide Codie under a few pillows and piled my laundry on top of the pillows. When I got home mom told me, laundry was strewn all over the floor, and pillows mussed, and Codie was found in the living room. That same day, after I came out from the shower, Codie was found on the floor again. On tues, taking advantage of the cleaning lady being here, Codie was once again kidnapped. What is it about Codie that could make Holly sniff him out from layers of hiding place???

As for Bis, well, we know Holly drives him crazy all the time. 'Nuff said. If Bis was human, I bet 101% he's gay. Yesterday was his 4th birthday, he seemed to know it and looked happy for once. Today he's back to his usual mulling sullen angst-filled self once more. As he ages, he becomes more and more ball-less (ok ok so he's already ball-less), as in, he's a total wimp. He doesn't socialise with other dogs anymore, and prefers to RUN home when he spots others from afar. Holly on the other hand, is as fearless as she is clueless. Actually, the only thing Bis is friendly with these days are the members of the Rat family living in the big field at Kim Keat Ave. Maybe he's cranky from not having rats to play with in the past couple of days, wouldn't be surprised if rats died of bad-air inhalation given the bad haze these days.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Facing up to Reality

...needs to happen when one puts on the pants purchased from a recent $400 Isetan shopping spree, to find that the pants are a little too tight.

...is when one puts on another pair of hipster pants, only to find that it's gotten so tight it's riding up to the crotch, and one cannot eat too much because a full tummy strains at the buttons.

...and the straw that broke the camels back is when one puts on her beloved Tiffany & Co. ring, but finds extreme difficulty in trying to remove it from the finger without the help of lotion or soap, because the fingers have become 'fat'.

Man, I love my jap desserts. It's my new obsession since chinese dramas no more. But maybe it's time to relook at my un-zen diet. Sigh.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Big mouth no more

Went to the dentist today for my regular polishing and mentioned to him about my 'off the joint' jaw problem on the left. Apparently it's pretty normal, due to wear and tear of the ligament. Most have it at some point in time, some more severe than others. Apparently I must have had a minor dislocation which was why I wasn't able to open my mouth for weeks to even slot a spoonful in. Dentist's advice? Don't yawn too widely (which I do), don't laugh with mouth extra wide open (which I do), don't chew too hard (I don't, I'm semi vegetarian now, yeah?). And oh yeah, eventually the wear and tear will occur on the right side too. It's only natural (whaaaaaattt!!!?).

Moral of the story? I will either be slacked jawed before I'm 40, or start chewing sideways like cows do when they munch grass. And oh, I better start mastering the art of sucking food through a straw. Yeah.

One thing for sure now, better not eat any steaks. Good news is, I can still eat durian puffs, and I had no qualms downing 8 of those really fresh puteri mas babies. Yum. I can see my arse now, baby.

Oh one last thing, C's lawyer must be some quack. Now we're all pretty sure Bis and Holly won't be destitute and homeless after all. But oh, Slick will still be buried with me (another loud yell of "Noooooooooo......!!!!") from the corner of my bed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Just a few comments...

1. Hugh Jackman - gawd, so sexy. Drool factor 10/10.
2. Scarlet Johanssen has a wide butt.
3. Woody Allen is damn funny. (and how can a guy who looks like THAT get a wife 1/2 his age? And she was his adopted daughter....sheessh).
4. According to C, the local legislation states that one's Will is only effective, or can be executed 3 yrs after one's death. HUH??! That means Bis and Holly will be homeless and destitute for 3 yrs? Or worse still, Slick may farm them both out to the SPCA as slave labour and they both have to lick cages clean for a living. Eeeuuw.
5. I'm contacting my lawyer on #4.
6. Wait, what will happen to Codie when I die??
7. Alright, Slick shall be buried/cremated with me when I move to the nether world. At least I won't be lonely (did I just hear something yell, 'Nooooooooooo.......!!' at the corner of my bed)? hmmm.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rat 1: Dogs 0

The Daily Rat Index is back! In a no holds barred match of Dogs vs Rat, clearly Rat had the upper hand (or feet, or whiskers, or tail....errr...). My dogs smell a rat from 100 metres off, no kidding. And when they smell one, they zoom off at warped speed, leaving me to breathe in their dust (or doggy fart). Tonight, it was a tough one - the rat was big, maybe the local rodent version of Hulk Hogan. I suppose the rat population might have convened a 'family gathering' ala mafia style, discussed the dog vs rat situation at length, and opted for 'Uncle Hulk' to represent them in the final showdown. In the long drawn battle lasting a good 30mins, I think Rat must have managed to take a few successful swipes at Bis, for I heard him yelp repeatedly and loudly a few times (kinda like dog version of "Ouch! Bloody asshole!"). Holly clearly had less of a clue what was going on, but she figured out enough to nip at Rat now and again. Of course there was one hilarious moment when Rat clearly must have launched an attack on Holly too, because she yelped and jumped some 1/2 metre into the air, did a half twist (sorta like competitive diving) and landed on all fours again. I wouldn't say she could qualify for the Bolshoi ballet company....it wasn't very elegant. 30mins into the fight and seeing how my dogs weren't exactly on the winning side, I decided to call off the match. Except 100m way later, Bis clearly decided he wasn't about to give up, and zoomed off into the field again to launch a second attack. Didn't exactly win that one either.

On a separate note, it's OOPS I DID IT AGAIN. No, not jap dessert, but spending $$ where I don't really need. So I went for the Origins mushroom facial (ha ha, no, they don't grow mushrooms on my face) and had $70 to offset against purchases. I was happy with what I redeemed for $70 when I spotted a large sign at the cashiers that said, "Free with purchase of $150 and above" - it was a pouch with a large sized Ginger wash. I was sold. Hopeless. Even though there was a feeble mental attempt to realise that I had to spend another $80 in retail to get a $30 ginger wash which I didn't really need, my weak inner self prevailed. What was that yesterday in the workshop about listening to my body? Yeah. Ok, so now I have a few more useless I-don't-really-need-these toiletries in my drawer stash. So there.

OM weak heart.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Heart of a Cow....at Yoga

Spent the entire weekend at Mark Whitwalls "Advancing your yoga" workshop. What I thought would be a no holds barred, bust your chops (and flabby arse) type of class turned out to be primarily a lecture and yoga discussion. No wonder very few signed up for this workshop - I was surprised, and then not, cuz most yoga students are only interested in asana, and not prana. Mark brought us back to Yoga 101 - that yoga is from the heart, and not the bastardized modern day version of now what has become 'american gymnastics'. How true, that yoga is for yourself, not about emulating and huffing and puffing our way to what we think is the 'idea' pose which we all try to achieve. If we can't do a pose, we can't. It's simply the journey there using bandhas and breath that counts. Speaking of bhandas, I think I have finally figured out my mula and uddiana bhandas. For the first time ever since I remembered, I was able to experience the elusive uddiana. If nothing else, this workshop has taught me how to engage the lock, by pure and simple breathing. Also for the first time, I felt how Bakasana with uddiana engaged made such a big difference.

Of course, slothful cow that I am, as it was mostly lecture and talks during the entire 12 hr workshop, there were times I almost nodded off to sleep. During the last 2hrs of the workshop, I was haunted by repeated images of dessert at the soba restaurant at paragon. Tea time was until 5.30pm where they had a $5 dessert promo. Whilst everyone else was intensely deep breathing, I was raring for workshop to end so I could dash out for dessert. Not exactly a very zen thing. Let's just say that if I were at the gates of God's kingdom, and there was a sign that says "This way to Heaven", and on the opposite side was a sign that said, "Beautiful Jap desserts for $5", no prizes for guessing which way my flabby arse will be heading for.

I made it to dessert 10 mins before 5.30pm. Dessert plus a pot of tea and only $5.55 poorer! I was ecstatic....but wait until my flabby arse tells me otherwise. Ah well. At the heart of this cow at that moment was only the image of dessert.

OM Dessert....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The model of the smoking Cow

What happens when a cow tries to smoke? It will become one rather charred slab of beef. Inasmuch as I'd like to, this econs exam there is an unwritten 'no smoking' policy. Because one just cannot smoke economics, i.e. cannot cowdung i.e. cannot bullshit one's way through the exam answers. What happens if one tries? One becomes charred beef.

Consider this - if the exam question were to ask "What happens if a cow tries to smoke? Evaluate." One would immediately jump to the conclusion: "You get smoked beef." Short, simple, succint. Straightforward. Right? Nooooooooo. Unfortunately the german fake Tod's would probably want us to write something like this: cow = female bovine. Smoke = i.the process of inhaling a ciggy; ii. the method of cooking food over the fumes of a flame; iii. the by-product of a fire. In our model we assume the defintion ii. Assumption - a. parts of a healthy female cow (already butchered) are procured through barter at the tekka market; b. a grill is available at one's premise; c. Slick, Bis and Holly are in standby to attack said bovine meat and feast with gusto upon issue of the command "GO!". Methodology - turn on grill, heat to high, put meat on grill for 5 mins. Repeat process at medium heat, and low heat. Findings - cow smoked at high heat = charred smokey overcooked beef. At medium heat the flavour is more palatable, but seasoning is needed. At low, it's smokey on the outside, and raw on the inside. C would probably enjoy version "low". Conclusion - when a cow tries to smoke, one gets Smoked Beef. duh. BUT...... the degree of smokiness will DEPEND on the conditions of cooking and the quality of bovine bartered at the marketplace (bearing in mind Slick would have likely executed a covert beef swap using his Panama-nian middle man who would help him hawk off the good beef at a stall in Jln Cowsung in Penang). So in the end, we are all screwed.

Man, we are really all screwed when it comes to Econs exams. Cows are not logical creatures. They just sit there, chew grass and contribute to global warming but outputting methane gas at the rate of 4x per hour. Few of us would analyze how many litres of milk our udders provide daily, and how much of that output is used to make milk, and cheese, and yoghurt. And the ratio of each that is consumed domestically and the ratio of export. Thus the resulting contributing factor to GDP.

No, cows brain dead. When it comes to econs anyway. :P

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Capitalism and 2 Cows....err, or is that Communism?

It has started - Economics class. Not home econs, but market economics - the buy, sell, trade, barter, exchange, where the whole world is represented on a couple of graphs on 2 axis and the intersections here and there apparently have some meaning and various implications. One of the subjects I dread most because one cannot smoke it in econs. Nevermind I have an economics degree, all that I have learnt in the past have now deteriorated to zero (possibly even negative) after years of mental rot. The fake Tod's this time round is one very tall made-in-germany. These fakies get better and better each round - this one also fast talking, very bright, very logical and very scientific. And of course, very technologically advanced....because he uses Apple.

The problem with econs is that it requires one to think like a scientist, using logic and processes to arrive at a conclusion. Wah, you can see almost all students in class blinking their eyes in compounded confusion. After all these years of being businessmen/women, none of us could really understand how the heck can the real world be explained by lines on 2 axis and a bunch of assumptions holding something or the other constant. Since the last 2 days, I've come to the conclusion that communism is probably best. Govt plans everything and everyone gets a fair share. Life is simple, right? Communism is like....you have 2 cows, everyone helps you take care of them, and we all share the milk. Actually, it's better if someone else has 2 cows, I go attend yoga classes, come home and get some milk. :)

Cow economy is so much more difficult in capitalism, I mean, so we have 2 cows, we milk them, on the way to the marketplace to sell the milk, some is spilt. And we are still taxed for 2 cows, the milk we produced (nevermind we split them), the prices we get on the milk we sell....and probably have to sell our remaining milk to demanding customers who want "buy 1 get 1 free" or they will go to the goatsmilk stall next door. C says, so we have 2 cows, we should just sell 1 and buy a bull, and we'll have many baby cows, lotsa milk and we can sideline into the beef and veal business. Maybe even open a steakhouse. Oh wow. The Marketing guy will probably say this is brilliant, the HR professor will likely say we need to implement a policy on 40-litres productivity per week per cow and provide benefits like monthly spa and ear-cleaning services. Economics guy will come around and try to scientifically prove that 40-litres is not the optimum output where the firm can maximise revenue, and the Accountant will suggest that we have 2 cows, we sell 3 to our publicly listed using letters of credit opened by Slick at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all 4 cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping 5 cows. The milk rights of 6 cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by a majority shareholder (who else but Slick?), who sells the rights to all 7 cows' milk back to the listed company and proceeds from the sale are deferred. The annual report says that the company owns 8 cows, with an option on one more.

Err, nevermind, I think I'll stick to being semi-vegetarian. And so we have 2 vegetables....