Monday, March 25, 2019

For the record

Have I told you about my 2 kids? I have 2 kids now. They were born 2 years apart. They are 2 much 2 handle sometimes.

Daughter was born at 34 weeks and 1 day. (Star Wars Day baby. Also Audrey Hepburn and Kimora Lee Simmons's birthdays.)
I had an emergency c-section because I had preeclampsia. I still take that PE personally.
She weighed 1.125 kg at birth.
(She had intrauterine growth retardation [IUGR] because of the PE.)
She didn't need any help breathing.
She spent 5 weeks in the NICU gaining weight so that she could be discharged.
Sometimes I think she doesn't eat much because the feeding tube made her lazy :/

Son was born at 40 weeks and 5 days. (Same birthday as Mahathir Mohammed. And Nikola Tesla!)
I had an emergency c-section because my induction of labor failed to progress.
(I was induced at 10 AM on Sunday and went into the OT at around 1 AM on Monday. I spent the whole Sunday pretty much on my back. Boring, 10/10 do not recommend. I didn't even get to try the laughing gas because the epidural worked so well.)
(Dr Tew the surgeon burned off my first keloid scar and made a neat incision over it. Now the scar looks more like a red line!)
He weighed 3.245 kg at birth.
He didn't need any help breathing either, but he also didn't yell the OT down like his big sister did.
We spent 5 days in the postnatal ward because they wanted to monitor his bilirubin levels in case of jaundice.
He eats great.

They both got dexamethasone at 30 or so weeks though, to make sure their lungs matured. Daughter got it because her IUGR had been diagnosed and the doctors took no chances; Son because he was about 1 week behind on one of his scans and the doctor didn't want to take any chances (he continued growing well after that though). Sometimes I wonder if that's the reason they're both so fucking loud.

New life

Just saw that Kilian Jornet and Emilie Fosberg have had their baby! THIS is a child with an athletic pedigree, if there ever was one. I can't imagine the pressure.

I also wanted to make a crack about how a woman shouldn't have to have a marathon labor just because she's the world's premier ultra-runner, but there's no place for it on social media (actually I'm too chicken to have it linked to me, hahah), so I'll just leave it here...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Today, I asked Enfant Terrible what I now realise was a loaded question:

"Do you think you and your mum will ever be able to have a normal conversation?"

And he shot back with:

"What makes you think you and your mum have such normal conversations?"


I guess what I meant was: is it possible for adult children chat with their mums without becoming agitated? And why is there agitation in the first place?

Monday, March 18, 2019


I spent most of Saturday following a Twitter thread on a nasi kandar jaunt in Penang. I'm not sure if "epic" is the right word for it, but the 5 dudes had 11 (ELEVEN) meals in a single day. I don't know what time they started, but they stumbled back to their accommodation at about 1 AM, stuffed to overflowing with rice, curry, chicken and the all-important (so it seemed) bendi. I may not speak for everyone else following their escapade, but I felt relieved that it had ended, like I'd finished an ultra-race.

I am also now curious about similar food jaunts in Malaysia. Over a weekend, like those nutters, or a week or two? Sweet or savoury? By state or entire east/west/north/south regions? One type of food only? The specialty(s) of a particular ethnic group and state-by-state variations? Or districts? Meats? Vegan/vegan-friendly? Tambah cheese???

... Is there a published food history of Malaysia? Imagine wrestling all that history and culture onto a page. I imagine you'd need half a volume for nasi lemak alone.

For me, I'd do all things pulut. I don't even know where to start.


How to get that hotel room smell* in your own room (I know...):
  1. Get a cup of coffee with a little milk in it
  2. Set the air-conditioning at full blast.
  3. Bring the coffee in and let it hang out for a while. You're allowed to sip.
  4. Start work.
  5. Be transported out of your current surroundings!
  6. Realise it's not real and snap out of it, befuddled.
  7. Realise what just happened. Carry on.
*Courtesy of suspect hygiene and cleaning practices, and questionable ventilation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

John Cheever

Here is an article about John Cheever the writer: Vodka for Breakfast: On the Melancholy of Cheever's Journals.

I found Cheever's Bullet Park in a now-closed secondhand bookshop (isn't that the fate of all secondhand bookshops now though?) about 20 years (!) ago. In the blurb on the back was a line about sex and secrets in suburbia that led to me buying it, little knowing that I'd be taken on a ride more mental than I'd ever imagine.

Anyway, I thought I had a book by a writer who had that one book in him, but I was clearly wrong. Journals and autobiographical writings are actually my thing. I like reading about the minutiae of another person's life. It's probably part of being a voyeur. One of the things on my wishlist is a telescope, and I'm not into astronomy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


When I was in China with my mum, the hotel "buffet" breakfast usually involved plain rice porridge to which you added condiments and toppings (usually soya sauce, salt, pepper, and a bunch of salted vegetables). It was simple and filling and you had only yourself to blame if you didn't like what was in the bowl.

In the same vein, spicy noodles will give you a quick and simple start to the day:
  1. Wheat noodles (1 cake; I prefer wheat noodles over rice noodles because the latter can be too absorbent)
  2. Dominos chili flakes (1 packet)
  3. Soya sauce to taste (usually 1 teaspoon or so)
  4. Vinegar (a bit less than the soya sauce)
  5. Garlic oil (1-2 teaspoons/to taste; mind the greasiness!)
Mix items 2-5 together while the noodles are boiling, drain the noodles when they're cooked, dump it in the mix, and toss everything together. Get it down your neck (chopsticks work best) before your Enfant Terrible wanders by and expresses curiosity and you offer him some out of politeness and there's half of your breakfast gone.

"Wow, it tastes so street!"

Friday, September 28, 2018


I didn't realise how freeing it'd be to just delete a draft from my dashboard here. It had sat there so long I'd forgotten the context in which it was begun.

Well, that's not true. It was about soap. So trivial!

But I like soap. Or I like the idea that using a soap will see a brand new me emerging like a beautiful butterfly from its chrysalis. I guess washing off a shell of dirt is like breaking out from a cocoon, so there's that.

Anyway, I like soap. But I don't like browsing soap and seeing that one bar costs upwards of RM20 without knowing how much it weighs. For comparison, MooGoo soap costs RM28.30, and you get a 130 g bar, which is about the size of my hand. They even advise cutting it in half so it lasts longer, and it's hard to get a good grip on such a big bar of soap.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I don't think I've ever written about when I was in my last year of secondary school, i.e., Form 5, and had no idea what I'd do afterwards.

Everyone seemed to have a plan or knew what they'd study after Form 6. Most of it seemed to involve studying accounting in Australia and/or working there. In fact, virtually everyone (that I knew) with a plan involving Australia has settled there.

As for me. I was particularly taken with a manga I was reading at the time (Harlem Beat). One of the supporting female characters was a ne'er do well type, as far as you can be a ne'er do well in your last year of high school. She told those who asked that she would be a vagabond after she finished school. (Japanese university entrance exams being what they are, maybe that isn't too farfetched an idea...)

I thought that was a fine idea, and imagined myself living out of a van, travelling where the road would take me each day. I'd wash up at highway rest stops and cook over a camp stove. To make money, I would write! And no one would tell me what to do!

It was the perfect plan... only I sucked at driving in manual, and didn't have a van, a laptop, a camp stove, or a clue where I'd go.

For more irony, I haven't renewed my driving license.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Breakfast oatmeal cookie: bleh

I made a breakfast cookie today. It was nice but not something I'd rave about. I suspect that's why the recipe and other similar recipes call for toppings like nut butters and jam and fruit and whatnot: it's to hide the fact that anything made with oatmeal and a scant (stingy, some might say) half tablespoon of honey (I still can't believe it, tbh) will be quite bland. And dry. But it filled the stomach and there are worse things to have for breakfast, so.

(I wound up drizzling honey on top of it because I don't have any nut butters.)

(I mean, one can't have nasi lemak or masala tosei every day, or else one would begin to resemble a masala tosei lemak.)

(Nor can one have toast because we have to throw off the shackles of colonialism starting with the little things.)