Resistance is Futile

22 May

Of late, I find myself craving for chocolate. So for the past several evenings, I’d have a little piece or two or three but not more. Hopefully this won’t go to the waistline.

I must say I am holding up okay in terms of my weight after the weight loss due to the recent health issues. In other words, I have not gained what I have lost which is good. Although I have gone back to eating normal, in moderate portions, and even having an occasional glass of alcohol, I cannot eat much. I think the tummy has shrunk and unable to stomach big portions which probably explains the zero weight gain.

The one thing I find I can’t get used to now is coffee! I don’t need it and I can function without it, so it’s okay if I don’t drink it at all. There’s no urge and the Earl Grey tea, decaf mind you, suits me fine.

I even went back to having onions, again in moderation and no reactions. As for the other food items that I avoided before – wheat, cheese, dairy, eggs, tuna and white bread, somehow I just don’t eat them anymore. There’s no sense of missing any of it. But if I do eat, there’s no reactions. Thank goodness.

Now, chocolate… it’s a totally different thing because resistance is futile.

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Bigger and Bigger, Part 2

21 May

The carving seems to have taken a toll on me. Lately with all these bigger pieces that I am working on with Meranti wood which is harder than balsa, I could feel a slight pain especially on the right elbow when I exert some strength. The tennis elbow problem! And this is evident when I try to play golf. Sigh…

When an injury hits, one never truly recovers. The body is weakened, the game suffers and the confidence drops, a vicious cycle. Add in the lack of playing because of my other problems (the Infectious Colitis and the laparoscopic surgery recently), I simply have not had much opportunity to go onto the fairways.

I need to find the right balance to carve and play golf without one activity suffering at the expense of the other.

Bigger and Bigger

18 May

It looks like the flavor of the month has changed. In April, I was carving up Gnomes, this May it’s Monuments that I am doing. And they are getting bigger in size too.

Excited with the result of the 3-Citizen Meranti Monument without a platform, I went on to carve another Meranti piece but with four Citizens. And in between painting it up, I started an even bigger 3-Citizen piece. Soon the house will be full of Monuments!

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The latest and biggest Monument

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Comparing the height of all the Monuments

A Proud Stain

17 May

A week has passed since the 14th General Elections and the index finger that was marked with indelible ink still has some leftover stain. Initially, the finger was a light lavender shade when I left the polling station after voting. Then as time passed that day, it became darker to the point of looking grotesque and gangrenous.

I tried cleaning off the stain by combining two drops of Clorox with some laundry detergent because a girlfriend said this worked, and it did but not the whole lot came off.

So I let it be, ignored the color and just used my hands normally the next few days. I must say the friction of my daily actions did most of the work. There’s no need then to Clorox my finger further.

However until today, the stain on the fingernail is still there. It’s okay, I am proud of the stain, a reminder of that historic day when the course of Malaysia has been changed for the better.

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Towards the evening on 9 May after the cleaning attempt

Life Resumes

15 May

I think enough of elections and politics after the five-day euphoria, life resumes.

Last night we were back at the gym again now that I have almost recovered from the laparoscopy. Why I say almost and not totally because I find my strength lacking. Yes I lost weight but I seem to have lost my strength too; so I need to build it back.

The gym session was not too gruelling and I even managed to use the ten-pound weights instead of my usual four-pounder. I need to be more disciplined if I hope to gain my strength as soon as possible.

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A Historic Day, Part 3

14 May

It’s a new beginning for the country as the nation goes back to work today after an emotionally charged five days stretch over the election drama. I have never been so engrossed with headlines and news prior and the last five days, it felt like an addiction. With the outcome and measures taken after the stunning result, it’s like a sense of liberation for everyone.

Now that the dust has settled and fear subsided somewhat, I should go back to my life – work, the home front, carving, gym and golf. We all need to go back to normalcy and routine needs to go on as we entrust our wise 92-year old Prime Minister to make right and steer the country towards greatness again.

A Historic Day, Part 2

11 May

We are still trying to absorb the unexpected results of our nation’s 14th General Elections. There were a lot of emotions, mostly frustration and anxiety the last two days because the whole nation was kept waiting and waiting for the final results. In the end, the masses’ wish for change came through and it was as if a new nation was born. Once it became official that there will be a change in government, euphoria, joy, relief and mostly positive vibes was all over social media.

Our 7th Prime Minister, finally sworn in on Thursday, at 92 years old is also the oldest democratically-elected one in the world! Amazing. I say orange is out, old is the new black.

We are also trying to get used to the unexpected five-day break, starting with Wednesday being a public holiday to go to the polls, the two-day declared holiday after the polls for the unexpected win and the weekend. Suddenly I find myself disoriented and quite unsure what to do.

I couldn’t carve nor had any desire to go out because the polling results was too gripping and important. Time is really the essence to test our patience and trust.

Now that this momentous event is over, we are looking forward to better days and years ahead. Malaysians, I am proud we stood as one to make the change!

A Historic Day

10 May

I don’t normally like to write about politics but today’s a significant day for my country, Malaysia. I can now truly say I am a proud Malaysian and a patriotic one too.

People power rose to the occasion yesterday during our most important election ever in our country’s history, the 14th General Elections. And people power voted and threw out the incumbent government who has ruled the country for the last 61 years since our independence in 1957. The wish for a better nation came through. Well done fellow Malaysians!

As we celebrate this transition with two days of Public Holiday, the country will begin to pick herself up again in many areas, be united and stand proud of her diversity. A historic day indeed.

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I voted. Indelible ink on my finger as proof of my duty. Color darkened as time passed!

 

Massaged Kale

8 May

Yesterday M1 sent us a picture of her dinner, bought at San Francisco Airport. She was en route to another city but that is not the point. The point here is her dinner.

What is ‘massaged kale’ pray tell? The food that I am used to, Asian or Western or otherwise, does not need any massaging. The only thing I know that needs massaging (besides me) are them cows that give us Wagyu Beef. I never knew vegetable also needs to be massaged. We thought it was funny.

Then I decided to google up the meaning to find out exactly what ‘massaged kale’ is. Ahh… it’s the preparation step.

One should massage the kale with bare hands to soften them. And this process apparently will yield a softer texture, making it easier to chew compared to just using a utensil to toss the greens.

Hmm… We learn something new everyday. I may try both methods just to see the difference if I do buy kale the next time I am at the grocery store.

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Ten Little Gnomes

7 May

The Gnomes of Gnomie-wood are taking over my life! Citizens of Gigglesville took a back seat last month as I found myself carving up Gnomes instead. With so much Meranti wood at my disposal, I was glueing pieces to make big blocks to carve into giant Gnomes.

And each one gets bigger than the previous. With the latest Gnome 10, standing at 5.5 inches tall, I now have 10 Gnomes in Gnomie-wood! But Gnome 10 is not the tallest; it comes in second. Gnome 9, a two-piece Meranti stands the tallest at 7 inches, while Gnome 2, carved from balsa, is the smallest and shortest among the lot at 43mm tall.

It’s been so addictive and fun. More Gnomes to come is all I can say!

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Family group shot

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Gnome 10 before the paint job

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The beginning of Gnome 10