Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fabulous Week

A couple of weekends ago, I had the priviledge of playing host to a fellow CYT (cute young thing) aka chiku blogger from KL, along with zai2 and Tonnchita aka Dennis. Our dear Cookiedonut aka Jason is having a four month vacation *deeply envious* and one of his travel destinations involve the land of abundant delish and affordable food, PENANG! He was supposed to be on a trip with his college mates, but decided to arrive in Penang alone for the weekend before they arrived this evening. Dennis and I had actually met him in KL early this month when we were in Cheras for our leadership seminar, so Jason booked us for this weekend to have fun and food beforehand ^^.

Dennis picked him up from the airport early Saturday afternoon and checked him into Tune hotels smack in the middle of town. Seriously, if you're planning on dropping by Penang on a budget and limited transport or knowledge on how to move around while hungering for Penang food, stay in Tune hotel! You can get A LOT of Penang's best foods within walking distance at any time.

Without delay, Dennis brought Jason to Him Heang (on my recommendation coz he should not miss it) for their oh-so-famous Tau Sar Pneah, or Dao Sar Peng as Jason called it. This was followed by a nom-noming session at New World Park. Char Koay Teow (CKT), fried oyster, ais kacang, curry mee and I forgot what else they had, but they basically stuffed their faces XD. I could only meet up with them at night as I had a private function to attend that afternoon. For a slightly late dinner, I took them to have something 'light' at Esplanade. The food court in Esplanade houses one of the most HEAVENLY fruit rojaks in Penang (one of my ultimate fave rojak haunt is here), and so I ordered a heaping large plate worth RM12. We also have a famous Pasembur stall here so we ordered a pretty big plate too. We had two sausages, two eggs, one large fried prawn fritter, one fried beancurd (I think we call it that ><) and a potato as the main ingredients. All this is topped with lots of shredded turnip and cucumber, poured over with a divine sauce and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts. Both were so delish!~

After dinner, it was time to strip Jason of his BBC (Boom Boom Chambre) virginity. We got there early at about 11pm coz we wanted to secure a place to sit. 30 minutes later, the place was almost fully packed. I also noticed a new club opened right opposite BBC. It is the same mansion building occupied by the late MOMO club, and after being empty for almost a year, a new club called VOODOO has opened. A friend of mine took a few of us in for free to have a look. We even got ourselves stamped so we are recognized as paid patrons =P. VOODOO looks SUPER FABULOUS. Ok, jotting that place down for clubbing next.

Back to BBC, we had a blast there. I haven't been there in about 4 months (or more). The 'hostess' for the evening was Jada, and Brendan was right, she's absolutely hilarious! Laughed our asses off every time she spoke on stage. Freda was the usual 'hostess' and Jada only came to perform occasionally, so we were luckily that night. The dance shows as usual were great and well-choreographed with really jaw-dropping costumes. Loved the dance with the feather fans, so fabulous! For BBC virgins out there, BBC usually has stage shows every Wednesday and Saturday. On Saturday, there would be two shows, both featuring performances by the dance group and 'hostess', at 12am and 1.30am. The music at BBC improved a little from the last time I was there, which felt like a MJ or 80s nite at the time, seriously disappointing for clubbing music. And the DJ was still the same middle-aged fella who would gyrate of music only HE enjoyed, while the rest of the crowd stood still.

Last Saturday wasn't too bad, music was good enough that we could dance and enjoy it, although some of the Lady Gaga remixes were in bad taste. As the night progressed, the music spiraled back to disappointment. I think that's why the crowd usually leaves after the last show. Zai2 and I didn't drink, but Dennis and Jason did. And Jason drinks pretty fast too. Hehe, drunk CYTs can be fun to play with, especially during clubbing. Somemore, my little devil is around, so...habislah Jason, lost like 50% of his 'kesucian' XD. After all that dancing, shaking,
molestingand good laughs, we called it a night at around 2am since I had an Indian wedding to attend on Sunday morning.

On Sunday, Dennis again played host during the day. I was too pooped coz I slept at 4am+ and woke up early in the morning for the wedding. Zai2 and I picked them up for dinner and we headed for New Lane hawker food. We had sotong kangkung (heavenly sauce!), chee cheong fun with thick prawn paste, belacan chicken and beancurd, wet popiah, wantan mee and fried prawns(in place of oysters). Mmm...food was really good =P. After that, I suggested we went for lok-lok at Pulau Tikus, which elicited a high-pitch screech of excitement from Jason. That boy really loves lok-lok, or anything in a form of a stick, dunno which XD.

Lok-Lok at Pulau Tikus was average for me, didn't eat much of it. They were out of cockles (si hum!), which was Jason's fave. However, they did have skewered mantis prawn, first time seeing it at a lok-lok place. After that, I wanted to surprise Jason with a really luscious dessert place along Gurney Drive called Crepe Cottage. Turns out Dennis has already brought him there (potong stim), but we still headed there anyway. This is a place NOT to be missed when you're here. It's kinda difficult to detect although it's just by the side of the road since it doesn't stand out.

Crepe Cottage is a very affordable, quaint little gem of a place that serves both savoury and sweet crepes and desserts. It's run by a widow and her family (I think). Since we were rather stuffed, we only ordered two things. The expresso crepe came with a large thin slice of dark coffee-infused crepe, a side of large scoop of fresh almond-vanilla ice-cream and dollops of fresh cream and had a drizzle of caramel sauce throughout the dish. We didn't manage to take a pic coz it landed into our tummies pretty fast.

The HIGHLIGHT was the Mango Cup that came after. All four of us were astounded when it arrived. If the room was dark, we could've lit it up with the light from our eyes. Mango cup came with a thin, crispy crepe shaped like a bowl filled with generous slices of sweet mango, topped with two LARGE scoops of heavenly mango ice-cream and a couple dollops of fresh cream. And there was more cream on the side. A really BIG portion for only RM11, really worth it! Mmm...and it tasted as divine as it looks *DROOL*. Again, thanks a lot to Brendan for recommending this. With dessert, we also brought the house down with our intense laughter, especially Dennis. Laugh until wanna kena sawan babi liddat! Thanks to me of course XD

We went there again last night for Jason's last supper in Penang (his third visit there in a week XD). This time Shawn tagged along. Ordered a few of their savoury items and they did NOT disappoint. Crepe Cottage is very generous with their servings, despite the low price. Jason had the seafood pasta that was loaded with large slices of fish and prawns. Zai2 had the Chicken Cheese Pocket (I think that's what it's called) that was filled with lots of cheese and minced, herb-ed chicken topped with generous lemon cream sauce. One bite and you were in heaven, unless of course if you're lactose intolerant =P. I had the Cheese-crumbled Chicken. A butterflied, deep-fried chicken breast breaded with cheesy bread crumbs topped with a citrus sauce and came with a side of stir-fried vegetables and a crepe. After we finished our dinner, rain began to drizzle but we decided to continue sitting outside and held two umbrellas to shield ourselves, much to the amusement of the staff. We immediately moved inside when we saw a few people leaving and found a table enough for four and got ready to order dessert. Just as we're settling down at the table, THIS came to our table.

And it was on the house! Apparently the lady owner came and told us it was free for us since we stayed outside despite the rain and didn't leave. What a lovely gesture! Of course, we HAD to order the Mango Cup again. Seriously, love Crepe Cottage to bits. Awesome food, very affordable prices (the most expensive item on the menu is only RM20) and really generous with the ingredients. On top of that, NO service charge!

After having all the yummies in our tummies, camwhoring ensued.

Jason boarded a plane back to KL on Friday morning. We'll miss
molestingextending our Penang hospitality to you back here. Also, go back to gym to burn off everything you ate XD

PS: William Ng aka Suneo, bila datang Penang? BBC and food waiting for you!~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Self Defense and Safety Tips - Part 1

You can NEVER be too cautious these days. Crime can and WILL happen at any moment, especially when you least expect it. That is why I'm compelled to share these self-defense tips that I've received over the years. Today's post is going to be about assault and robbery:

1. Your elbow and knees are the strongest points on your body (why do you think Muay Thai fighters use them so much). If you are close enough to use it, don't hesitate!

2. For anyone who can't throw a proper punch, use the base of your palm (the point where your wrist connects to your palm). It is one of the hardest parts of your hand. This tip is especially good for women.

3. If the assailant is in front of you and you have a chance to hit him, hit that bastard where it's gonna hurt...BAD. He's not going to play fair, so why should you? Aim for the groin, throat, ribcage, eyes and nose. Here's what you can do:

a) Knee him in the groin as hard as you can.

b) Elbow him repeatedly into his ribcage or his face.

c) Claw at his eyes (this is good for ladies, especially if you have long nails). Don't hesitate to poke his eyes out.

d) Use the base of your palm and hit him repeatedly at the nose. It's gonna be really painful, especially if you manage to break it.

e) If you're able to land a punch, punch his throat. Aim for his Adam's apple.

4. If you're being held from behind, I've read a few tips on how to free yourself:

a) If there is a wall behind you, shove yourself backwards as hard as you can and hit the assailant against the wall. This will momentarily knock the wind out of him.

b) If you're able to move your arms, try to get a hold on one of his fingers and twist it backwards really hard (it's really painful, try it if you don't believe me). Don't worry about breaking it. In fact, it's better if you do.

c) If you can't move your arms, stomp on his FEET really hard. This may not seem obvious at first but it can really hurt and may temporarily loosen his grip.

5. As cliche as it might seem, you can always bite whatever body part that is close to your face. And bite HARD.

6. For ladies, keeping longer nails finally might have some merit. If you can't get near his eyes, dig your nails into the assailant's exposed flesh and draw blood.

7. If he has a knife and you're not cornered, turn around and RUN! If he has a knife pointed behind you but doesn't have a hold on you, just BOLT as fast as you can. Preferably run into a PUBLIC AREA.

8. If he has a knife and you're cornered, SCREAM as loud as you can. Usually petty robbers are afraid of drawing attention and will flee.

9. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern. (from a police officer)

I'm by no means a self-defense expert. I received these tips are from various sources (usually from emails) which come mostly from self-defense experts and law enforcers to advise people on how to defend themselves.

If you're being robbed, it would be better to give up the money than risk anything else. If the predator's intention is kidnapping, rape or physical harm, that's when you have to start to defend yourself. These predators usually prey on those they think are weaker than themselves. If you've fallen victim, DON'T BE AN EASY VICTIM. Give them hell! Especially if your life is at stake. Chances are they will leave you alone if you can put up a good fight. Whatever happens, don't be afraid to make A LOT of noise to announce that you're in trouble.

Be safe =)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can't Get This Outta My Head

Ever since I heard this song on the radio, it's always been playing at the back of my mind and I HAD to look for it.

LOVE the lyrics, LOVE the catchy melody, LOVE the MTV and trying SO HARD not to dance to it!~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Addicted To Aarti!

Aarti Sequeira is an Indian food blogger living with her husband Brendan in LA. She is the winner of the latest Season 6 of The Next Food Network Star. The winner will join the ranks of the biggest Food Network stars such as Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Alton John etc, and own their own show on the Food Network.

Aarti's culinary point of view is to infuse Indian flavours into American cuisine. Here are a few videos from her own channel on Youtube.

Gosh, isn't she just so pretty and adorable? I can't help but love her bubbly and cheerful personality. And her clips are absolutely cute, hilarious and informative. You can view the rest of her clips in her Youtube channel called aartipaarti. I just can't stop watching her videos.

Here's one of my fave episodes of Aaarti on the Next Food Network Star. She competed in an Iron Chef challenge where she needs to prepare 3 dishes within 1 hour and all her dishes must be inspired by the secret ingredient which is shrimp. Her dishes were then judged by the Iron Chefs themselves, namely Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Cat Cora and Morimoto. She received the best, most astounding reviews among the final 4.

You can watch all the Season 6 episodes in Youtube channel somebody7100. Seriously, I couldn't stop watching after I started. Pretty awesome show =)

I'm really looking forward to her upcoming show called Aarti Party in the Food Network channel. Congrats Aarti, you really deserve it! =)

All Grown Up

In less than 3 months, I would be leaving my 20s and becoming a full-fledged adult. The kid in me will need to share the space. Although I believe that I should always strive to look as good and never let myself go, I also believe that one should age gracefully. Aging is a part of life, it is inevitable. How you choose to do it is entirely your choice. With age comes experience, wisdom and maturity.

I may be a little dramatic and bitch about turning 30 sometimes, but the truth is, I like being where I am now. After all these years, I'm proud to say that I've changed a lot for the better. I'm so different now from the person I used to be back then. I have much better self-esteem. I noticed how much I've matured mentally and emotionally. In our youth, we usually let our emotions get ahead of us, leaving behind our thoughts of logic and reason, since we're basically ruled mostly by hormones and emotions.

I'm glad to say that I've left most of that behind, and I don't miss it. The maturity and increased stability now are priceless to me. My thoughts and emotions are a lot more sound and in sync. I'm a lot less impulsive. My actions are guided more by my thoughts rather than emotions. I'm not saying that life doesn't have its ups and down. I do feel a little moody, melancholy and slightly depressed sometimes, but I deal with it much better and get over it a lot faster now. Some things are just not worth being depressed about =)

I tend to see the bigger picture these days. I'm constantly thinking about the future. Sometimes I really need to pull myself back to enjoy the present. My views on a lot of things in life have changed. I tend to focus on stuff that really matters. My sense of judgement have improved tremendously. I always believe that continuous self development and improvement is crucial. The more you learn, grow and improve, the better you will perceive and feel about yourself. And a better person you will be ultimately. I've done a lot of learning, growing and improving these few years, and I'm happy to say that I'm more well-rounded and confident person.

Sometimes I wonder how did I get here. I just wished I knew what I know now back then. I guess the adult in me has really sprung into action. I just hope he doesn't put the child in me into detention =)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Love Bulan Puasa

Yes, I love the fasting month for several reasons.

Ramadhan is the time when you can get the best Malay food out there. And Ramadhan bazaars are indeed the place to be. All the grilled meats, a wide selection of delectable Malay dishes and desserts, and even fusion foods can be found. Usually I'm so spoilt for choice, I don't even know what to get unless I scout the entire bazaar before I can decide. It's like a huge buffet spread that is cheap.

Another reason I love it because the roads are usually clear, especially during weekend afternoons. However, traffic does tend to pick up when evening looms, when our Muslim friends scout for buka puasa food. Heck, I love buka puasa foods too, but I don't puasa lah ><. Even the shopping malls are a lot less congested on weekends, except at night.

I really miss going sahur with my Muslim housemates. I can still remember when I'd be head-shoting people in Counterstrike in a cyber cafe till the wee hours in the morning. Then, going for sahur with my Malay friends to adjacent Malay food shops that would usually open until 5-6 am to cater to the crowd. Ah, great times. Miss them a lot T.T

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lost The Buzz

Sometimes, I just feel empty. As if something is missing in my life. As if something is wrong. Sometimes I don't quite understand, or don't even bother to. Other times, I question myself on why I'm feeling this way. Although it might be a few reasons, but I think one of 'em is because I felt that my social life has taken a dump for a while. The usual group have been scattered or disconnected. Friends have moved off to other places. Friends having problem with other friends and then disconnect themselves from the group.

I miss the fun times a few years ago, when the usual group of friends were still around. When Momo was still around and we'd go clubbing at least twice every month. When we would religiously come out for drinks every weekend. When we would plan events and just enjoy ourselves. I miss going out and meeting new people. Not that I still don't, but that has toned down CONSIDERABLY. I just miss all those fun times with the group.

I'm beginning to envy those who STILL have a social life. I feel as if mine is left for dead. I know it sounds a little whiny, but it's true. I used to be keen on organizing outings, now I prefer others do it. Is my life really that boring now? Have I lost my buzz? What happened to me? I've lost the enthusiasm. I've lost the drive. I know I'm a lot more tired lately. I didn't used to be like this. Is life taking a toll on me? I suspect so, but it's not an excuse for letting my social wither away.

I need my buzz back =/

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Toilet 'Manners'

One of my GREATEST pet peeves is a freakin' dirty toilet. It's a private place where you need to relieve yourself and it should be CLEAN! Here's a few things I just can't stand.

1. It should be fairly common to walk into a Malaysian public toilet cubicle and be met with a toilet seat painted with dirty SHOE PRINTS! Seriously, LEARN to sit or at least take off your damn shoes if you're still bent on squatting to 'drop the kids off at the pool' or even pee (whatever strikes your fancy)!

2. Excuse me sir, does this urinal look like a rubbish bin to you? If you don't pee in trash cans, stop throwing your cigarette butts in the urinals. You can flush till kingdom come, it's still gonna float in there! Geez...

3. I'm sure you've had that dick installed on you since you were born. Unless it's a new one, you should be able to aim properly at point blank range. I don't care if you're staring down a toilet bowl or urinal, aim for where the hole is, NOT around it! Your pee ain't paint, stop decorating the toilet bowl and floor with it! What? Still can't aim properly you say? Ask the person next to you or a friend to hold it for you while you pee, but 2-3 shakes after that is enough though. Coz you know, any more shakes and well, kittens will die or something...

4. You need to stand close to the urinal when you pee, unless your dong is really that huge. So, stop testing fate and multi-tasking and see if your spit will land in the urinal while you pee. NO ONE wants to stare at a pool of thick, plegmy, sometimes yellowish spittle on top of the urinal when they pee! Go spit in the sink or toilet bowl instead.

5. Unless you're retarded, have no hands or have Alzheimer's, please please oh dear God in heaven please FLUSH after doing your business! I'm tempted to think you don't clean the brown eye afterwards neither. I find it nauseating to see the concentrated pee with crumpled tissues and poop floating in its midst, and worse...SMELLING IT TOO!

6. It scares the bejesus out of me when I see smeared poop on cubicle walls. Either that guy had a weird hobby or didn't have tissue had to use his fingers. Luckily, this is rare.

So, what else did I miss? Care to add any of your toilet pet peeves?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Very Close Shave

Yesterday, something almost happened that would have changed my life forever.

It was the early evening after work. I was a slightly groggy but still very much alert. I had just exited the Jelutong expressway via the Pantai Jerejak exit and made a U-turn around the Queensbay roundabout, which was my usual route when coming home from work. Right before I entered a small overhead bridge into Pantai Jerejak, I saw two motorcycles parked on the left, and a group of people with umbrellas near it. As I entered the left lane and passed that scene, what I thought was an accident turned out to be four ladies, each with an umbrella of different color, walking between the parked motorcycles to get through. I was distracted for about 4-5 seconds.

When my eyes shifted to the front again, I was stunned when I saw three men pushing a car up the bridge right in front of me! How did I NOT SEE THEM as I was going up the bridge? I was moving at about 50-60 kph at the time and when I saw them, I was only about 2 cars away. In a fit of utter shock, I knew in a split second I HAD TO slam the brakes. I don't know why or how, but when I lifted my foot from the accelerator to hit the brakes, it got caught UNDERNEATH the brake pedal! My right leg must've shifted a little when I was jolted with shock. It was like something out of Final Destination.

In the brink of panic, I immediately SWERVED my car to the right and NARROWLY avoided the guy pushing on the right. There was no screeching of tires, nor did I even have time to honk, so I doubt they even noticed. What good would honking do anyway? At that speed and distance, when they turned around to even look, it would've been too late. Thank God there weren't any cars or motorists on my right when I swerved. I really didn't have time to even take glimpse at right rear-view mirror to check.

After that REALLY close shave, I was terribly shaken, dumbstruck and in shock. My mind raced over what almost happened and I thanked God OVER AND OVER again for not letting something truly horrible transpire. I couldn't sleep last night. Horrible images of what could have happened kept flooding my mind, triggering fear and anguish. What if I swerved and there were other vehicles or motorist on my right? What if I didn't manage to swerve and hit all three of them straight on without any BRAKES? What if I swerved, hit a vehicle and without a chance to hit the brakes, still slammed into the men? Imagine what would happen if I had crashed into them head-on? All three of them would suffer the brute force of the crash and be crushed between two vehicles, mine and the one they were pushing uphill. I had almost killed three people and they didn't even know it. They wouldn't have even seen it coming. In a split second, ours lives would have taken an ugly twist, something that would've been irreparable and mar our lives forever.

NEVER had I been so grateful to God for watching over me and not letting something as horrific as this happen. I would've been scarred for life if it did.

Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU SO MUCH!