Friday, April 30, 2010




Thursday, April 29, 2010















Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where did all my time go?

If you know me personally, you would know that on the surface, I seem like a well-organised person, constantly peering into her diary to check that her appointments are met and that they do not clash. I also appear to be a person who ensures that everything is pre-planned - from a simple weekend stayover at a girlfriend's place to a week long getaway with a group of crazy friends to a different state.


The me on the underneath is really, a person who is totally sucky at time management. Honestly.

Hm, let me state my case:

I had the ENTIRE day today to get some of my uni work done. I told myself last night that this morning, I will not laze in bed after the alarm goes off. Guess what happened? It rang once at 7:00am, another time at 7:15am and yet another time at 7:30am, after which I decided to SWITCH IT OFF. Haha, hm, I thought maybe I could just shut eye till 8:00am and I'd be up to drink my bottle of water. Na-ah. Didn't happen. By the time I finished the entire dream (it was an exciting dream, by the way), it was 9:00am. Great.

Okay, so drank my bottle of water and took my fish oil, chitosan and fibre pills. Freshened up and cleared the dish rack in the kitchen. Had my morning nutrition shake and made a bottleful of peach-flavoured herbal tea, which I think tastes way better than the original lemon and hibiscus one.

Then, I turned my laptop on to check my email inboxes. BAD MISTAKE. I stayed online for the rest of the day. I have utterly TERRIBLE control over temptation. Just terrible. Disastrous. Preposterous.

Not only did I check my emails, I was on Facebook uploading photos, updating statuses, chatting with friends, replying emails, checking out new websites recommended by friends etc.

Sometime during the morning, we also had an agent bringing prospective buyers to inspect the apartment. Very obvious China Chinese family. A few minutes later, the handyman came to fix all the reported damaged fittings in the house: the hole in the ceiling, the gap in between the tiles under the bathroom door, the broken laundry door stopper, the broken drawer handle in the kitchen, the piece of wood above the fridge that came off and the ill-functioning shower head in the bath tub. Due to the debris on the floor, I had to sweep and mop the floor, both inside and outside the unit, as well as the bathroom. Then, I gave my slipper a good scrub as well, as I suddenly remembered about the blood that spurted out due to the two leeches.

It was then time for lunch at about 2:30pm. I made myself a hash brown, fried egg, cheese with chilli sauce and mixed herbs wholemeal sandwich. As it was hitting 3:00pm, I also grabbed a piece of Lindt Orange Intense dark chocolate. Then I had a bombardment of comments on the photos of the Anzac camping trip I posted up in the morning.

4:00pm is when I shower so shower I did. I think showering is the one routine I do not break. I diligently shower at the same time everyday. I wonder if it is because I look forward to what I do after I shower, which is juicing! I just love doing it! I used Xin Wen's magical juicer to prepare three cups full of the juices of two green apples, two red apples, three oranges, one lemon and one vegetable of the week, which for this week is beetroot. Yummilicious, I tell you!

I also made myself a glass of nutrition shake to have before dinner. I made another glassful to keep in the fridge for tomorrow's breakfast. Today's recipe was one scoop of strawberry f1, one scoop of vanilla f1, one scoop of protein, one strawberry, one piece of banana (about a quarter of a whole banana) and one tablespoon of boiled red beans mixed with 100ml of organic strawberry yoghurt and 300ml of water. Not too bad, but would be better if the banana was slightly more ripe.

Xin Wen then reached home and I had an ex-student Skype me, asking me about international student accommodation in Melbourne. She will be going over in July to start her culinary course either at William Angliss or RMIT. Hm, if both do not get approved by her mum, she would probably be heading over to the U of SA. Then a dear friend came onto Skype as I was helping Michael in the kitchen preparing his mouth-watering dish:

No idea what it's called but it has chicken, mushroom, garlic, ginger, wolfberry, rice wine, lots of salt, sugar, cornflour and water. And we ate it with vermicilli. Xin Wen said that this dish is normally consumed by women in confinement. Haha, totally understand because it had a mixture of sour, salty and sweet!

And now, I'm sitting at my study table facing the laptop screen, yet again!

So, tell me, where did all my time go?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Observe and be observed

Studying this course has led to this realisation: many things are about observation.

According to Wikipedia, to observe is to receive knowledge of the outside world through senses. Concur?

Most of us would. But observation is much more than that, I reckon. To receive that knowledge does not suffice. Good observation, in my opinion, also includes good analysis of that knowledge and thoughtful application.

To observe is to be alert to what is happening to who, when and how (gosh, all this reading up on research methods is really getting to my head....). Let me illustrate:

You are at the food court waiting in line to order some food. While waiting, you watch a young child holding her cone of chocolate-flavoured ice-cream. What do you really look at? The ice-cream and the way it melts? How the child chooses to finish her dessert? Does she bite into it or does she lick it gracefully? Is her mouth covered in ice-cream? Do you look at what she is wearing? Is she standing or sitting down on a chair? Is she in a pram or is she perched over a shoulder of her caregiver? Or is that her mother, aunt, a close family friend? Her nanny, her neighbour? Her cousin? Is she so engrossed in it that she is oblivious to everything else around her?

You get the gist. So, after having observed all that, what do you do with all that information?

Assume? Make informed judgements?

Does that not make you think of yourself? The things you do and say?

I guess the example above does not fabulously represent life in general. Or does it?

We, being self-centred homosapiens with the primordial instinct of defense, very conveniently forget to not just observe the world around us, but also ourselves. In addition to that, we almost always fail to remind ourselves that we are also being observed by the world.

There was a display in mum's childcare centre many years ago that read: Behave, you are on display!

Most would think that it was for the children. However, we used it more for the teachers and carers working at the centre. I used it for myself, reminding myself to be a good role model for my students (I thank the heavens that I still have students who look up to me and ask for suggestions to certain issues). I also applied it to my everyday life but noticed that I constantly fall short of what I set out to achieve.

Observing is a skill that can be developed. I pride myself in skillful observation of human behaviour but haha, totally suck at the application of those observations. In summary, I still have a long way to go with making the world a better place for myself.

More observations of others and self-reflections perhaps?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Agonizing April

Must something happen to me every month?!?!

Look at what happened to me this time around:

And I didn't get it by doing something amazing for Sports Festival or anything of the sort. Instead, it was due to a stupid design of the elevator in my new home.

I was going to the basement to reach the car. Xin Wen and I wanted to get our groceries from Coles and Harris Farm. I did not realise that there was a 2.5" gap downwards from the lift as I was stepping out. Thinking that it was a flat surface, I walked out normally from the lift and ta-da! Twisted my left foot inwards, got myself a few scratches and heard three clacks of bone. After that, it f**king hurt!

I needed help to even get back onto the lift. Luckily, another lady was getting on so she helped me. I had to ring Xin Wen to get her to come help me back upstairs.

Ice pack and what not, I am now hopping about the house when I need to. No uni, no nothing for a week. SAD.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Home of my own

My bottle of ginger beer cools down on the floor while I type this entry with the tapping of white keys on a laptop. I sit stretched on a blue sofabed with the sound of DOTA in the background, and occasional vehicles passing downstairs. I can see the neighbours opposite chatting at the dinner table.

No, I am not at my own home at the moment, but while I type this, I am thinking of my own home. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I finally found a place to call my own.

After several rounds of browsing and shopping at IKEA, Target, Coles, Hot Dollar, Holy Sheet! and Bing Lee, the place is now nearly fully furnished. Well, I say nearly because we will definitely be getting more furniture as time passes. Hopefully, we won't be getting too many throughout our stay at this place, as it really is a bitch to move so many things around.

Ten minutes of brisk walking gets us to the DFO in Homebush. 25 minutes in the other direction gets us to Rhodes Shopping Centre. In between, we have Bicentennial Park and the Sydney Olympic Park. Yes, we are in wetland heaven, which means I get to go for evenings walks and jogs on wooden above-water boardwalks that snake through the wetlands.

The new place is situated in a large, high-density complex called Strathville. The different blocks have different balcony colours. Our block is yellow. We have a sizable balcony that faces the common courtyard and playground. We have a Foodworks in the front, which means we can just run down to grab a bottle of soy sauce at the last minute if we run out. To get in, we have a swipe card.

This lovely couple occupies the master bedroom. Their room comes with an ensuite and a built-in wardrobe. Their room is the room right next to the living room and has a window view of the playground.

My room is the second room and also comes with a built-in wardrobe. I have the widest window, which means that my room is the coolest. It literally is freezing when Michael turns the air-con on at night. I don't want to imagine what winter will be like... brr.... My window looks out to the train line - the trains go pass right outside my window.

This good-looking chap here is my other housemate. Michael's room is the only room without a built-in, making it the largest in floor space. His room is next to mine. Now, his room looks like a Man U show room. No other words to describe it, really. Oh, one more word probably - red.

Am glad that I have settled nicely into the new place. When everything is in place and when we have the time, we will set up a date with friends for our house-warming. So people, please be prepared for a weekend invitation soon. Then, you can come and see the place for yourself.

And for those back in Malaysia, I have started receiving bookings for a place to crash to save on accommodation for holidays. None of them are confirmed, though but please, do ask me before booking your flights.