Remember how I said I was sick and tired of being sick and tired? This was me, at Changi General Hospital, 11pm on a Saturday night... I couldn't bear the discomfort in my chest and difficulty while breathing any longer, so I called my friend Nich up and he immediately drove down to my house, drove me to the hospital and sat right next to me for the next 3 hours plus while I got several check ups and x-rays done. So loved ♥
Doctors ran a few tests and it took so much longer than expected. Thank goodness I had my friend there with me, something about hospitals really scare me. Perhaps because I've been fortunate enough to never have to be admitted once throughout my 20 years of life, and I'd like to keep it that way. The only time I ever go to the hospital is 1) When I have to visit desperately sick people and 2) When I'm sick as hell and the usual clinics aren't open. So yea, totally hate hospitals. (Yes, I know no one actually likes them.) I was there for almost four whole hours... I failed 3 nebulizer tests and my doctor wanted to have me admitted because I was still wheezing despite being pumped full of drugs that are meant to clear my airways.
Electric blue and drapey dresses are so in right now ;)
In the end he submitted me to a chest X-ray, and found out that I have a lung infection.... and bronchitis. :( I was right about my condition!!! I couldn't be admitted to stay the night in the end (thank god) because there were other patients in worse conditions needing the hospital beds than me. Walking through the beds with all the miserable sick patients made me very sad. Some looked like they were on life support and I saw bloody victims, burn victims etc, ugh. The Accident & Emergency unit is not a pretty place. The doc was very sketchy with the details when I asked him about my situation, and simply said he has scheduled a specialist appointment and that I should go home and take all my meds promptly then come back for my appointment next time. While I was being inspected by a few doctors in the hospital wards, I was sat down next to this other bed with a patient in it, although I couldn't see who because the curtains were drawn. The first thing that caught my attention was 2 policemen standing a few feet away from me. I stared at them with curious eyes that almost bulged out of their sockets when I heard the patient suddenly scream out vulgarities, scolding the nurses. I assume he was a pretty dangerous criminal because he was all chained up (I could hear the metal chains rattling against the hospital bed as he struggles to break free) and he keeps saying stuff like "LET ME GO!!! *struggle struggle clang clang* I DON'T WANNA BE HERE, YOU BLOODY FUCKERS, #@%@^#"....
Major FML moment was when I looked around and saw that this was the only empty bed in the ward, next to le criminal (with good reason) and briefly considered what would happen if they firmly insisted on admitting me and I had to lie there beside that noisy asshole the whole night... e_e
Sam came to visit me when I didn't come home after 3 hours (he thought I was only going to see the doctor's and get a quick round of meds) and he brought along Phillip & a box of freshly baked red velvet cupcakes! Seeing Phillip made me feel a lot better. (& Sam too I guess hahaha) A red velvet cupcake with cream cheese was exactly what I needed to cheer me up after being surrounded by so much sickness and solemn patients!!! So if you're wondering what my condition is like now, after weeks of taking an insane amount of medicine and breathalyzers, I'm much better now.
I think I still have a mild infection in my airways coz I still wheeze sometimes, but I have stopped coughing like crazy (finally good sleep omg), the fatigue & fevers & flu have pretty much gone away, now all I need to do is to completely get rid of the phlegm and mucus that's still inside of me! I am sososososoo happy that my condition drastically improved after being prescribed the right kind of medicine. I had gone to another doctor's before this hospital check up and the meds were useless!!! Moral of the story? Next time I'm sick I'm heading straight to A&E instead of wasting my time at GPs because they really don't seem to ever know what's going on!
With my sickness out of the way, I've been in a better mood these few days!
Ohhh and before I forget, I have another interesting story to share. Someone on Formspring said that they saw me, and my friend Gwen's photos being used in a condo showroom!!! Nich & I drove down to Sky Habitat, the new condo in question, located at Bishan to check out whether it was true or not. We pretended to be potential customers, walked around several showrooms trying to locate my photo when we found it next to a bed!!!!
The photo they used!!! Sky Habitat, why are you so unethical? :[
You're like a multi-multi-multi-million dollar establishment and you had to steal MY photo from my blog to put in your show room??? What pissed me off was that the other photos around in the showrooms looked like they were professional stock photos (which is perfectly reasonable and makes sense) mine seemed like the only personal photo there?
Next to the 3 bedroom showroom, if you guys wanna check it out, it looks like this.
I questioned the person (real estate agent / property salesperson) who was showing us around the room on where they got this photo from and she was just completely clueless, saying that it was the interior designer who put it there. I was hopping mad - I'm pretty sure this is illegal!
This is the original photo from my blog post "Hi, 2012. Be nice to me please"... what makes me even more mad is that I'm not the only one in the photo - my friends are in it too!!! If you wanted to use my own personal photo coz I'm a blogger, I guess I can understand. But, dafuq, you have not only violated one person's privacy / modesty, but FOUR in total! Those are my other friends Kexin and Wayne at the back, Gwen is the one beside me. I haven't even told them (Kexin and Wayne) about this yet. For a brief moment in time, while standing in front my own photo frame in the condo showroom, I considered stealing the frame and putting in my hand bag and walking away. WHAT? It's mine after all!!!!
But of course, I have loads more ethic than that, and I walked away with my head held high knowing I don't steal from people. I guess an interior designer must have read my blog and decided it was a funny idea or good decision to include this in one of their future projects. Honestly, did you think I would never find out??? Now I'm wondering what I should do about this. Sky Habitat is being built by Capital Land - should I called Capital Land and ask which interior designing agency placed my photo there and demand for it to be removed? Nicholas keeps telling me I should be compensated. Whatever happened to copyright laws?! I can't believe their nerve! Pffft.
What would you do if you were me?? :/
All negative thoughts aside, here's a barrage of happy pictures taken with my iPhone over the past week!
Peekaboo. I see you.
Lounging around in the sun, having high tea with Nich at our favorite haunt. I don't even drink tea normally but this lychee tea is freaking fragrant and so yummy!! Totally worth the $12 that it's priced.
Going shopping at Orchard Road, cruising around with the hood down in good weather, tea & pastries break while we snap photos and gossip, then shopping some more till our legs break & then a nice dinner... My idea of a good time! :)
Outfit of the day! Recently I've been quite mad about teal. I've been sporting a lot of blue and greenish hues than normal.
You can see Sam unglamorously eating at the back.... He's eating the home-cooked lunch that Nich kindly brought over because he knew it's my favorite dish - super yummy!!!!!
No idea what this is called in Chinese, but I just call it the "black praised pork with egg and tau kwa". It's sooo good, my grandmother used to make it all the time, reminds me of childhood days spent at her place :') Tastes like CNY, tastes like nostalgia!
People ask me all the time why I don't cook more chinese food. This is the reason why, lol. Chinese food looks hopeless in photos!!!! I like making western food because it looks better, and I like to post pictures of it online. As simple as that. I love food that looks and tastes good, hence why I love decorating cupcakes too.
A good example is this creamy salmon & basil pesto linguine that I made for dinner the next day... it's totally photogenic (although not as much as my burger), and you can pretty much tell how awesome it's going to taste just looking at it. See what I mean? With Chinese food, you need to taste it before you're convinced.
Speaking of pretty food, Sam decided to make me strawberry shortcake the other day and it was soooo good!!! Much better than any I've had in a store because this was so fresh.
Fluffy light vanilla sponge cake with lotsss of whipped full cream and juicy strawberry bits everywhere! I dusted mine with cinnamon and Nutella. I love dining at fancy restaurants, but I LOVE home made food, haha... I told you all about that in my previous post already.
I took this photo yesterday. Sometimes I feel like I live in Willy Wonka's house - sweet treats and crazy colors everywhere! That's what my rainbow cakes look like before they are stacked and turned into art! When you love what you do, work tends not to feel like work at all.
Ma new necklace - isn't it pwetty?! I have a thing for long gold chains! Especially if they're heart shaped and filled with diamantes in the middle ;_
Ending this post off with photos of this lovely new dress I bought!!! I tend to stay away from tube dresses because of my flabby arms and broad shoulders, but I couldn't resist this one.
It was love at first sight. I crazily ADORE crochet & lacy dresses - they are basically all I've been buying these days. :)
By the way, I've picked the winners for the Mother's Day Cupcakes Giveaway last night - thank you to those who participated, reading your heartfelt comments and stories about your mums made me shed a tear (or two, or three). Some of your mums sound like my mum... Speaking of which, I totally miss her now. I'm happy for her that she's always traveling, leading the good life & seeing the world, but some times it makes me sad that she's hardly ever at home any more. The house just doesn't feel the same without her around.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me, how your mum has stuck with you through the good & the bad times, they are all wonderful, I wish I could give more cupcakes. In fact I doubled the winners and picked FOUR instead of the announced two! For those who didn't win any cupcakes, you can still make this Mother's Day the best one your mum's ever had by being extra sweet to her and show her your love through your own ways!!! :)
P.S - You can read 2 of the touching winning entries here, and here (this is my favorite one!!!) And lastly, the most creative entry of all.
Tells me nothing about her mother... but 10/10 for wit and creativity!!!! Put a huge grin on my face ;)
I love my momma, and I'm sure you do too. To celebrate all wonderful mummies out there, Shiberty's Sweets is giving away TWO sets of complimentary cupcakes!!! You get to choose the flavors and design you want, that you think will suit your mum best. :)
To qualify for this giveaway you
1) Need to have a public Twitter account
2) Need to live in Singapore (or if you have someone who lives in SG to collect cupcakes for you that's fine too)
"I'd love to get Mother's Day cupcakes from http://shibertys.blogspot.com/ because ___"
...Copy & paste the above, fill in the blanks and include #shiberty in your tweet to enter!!!
Tell me all about how you love your mummy and how special she is to you! You may tweet more than once if 1 tweet just isn't long enough. ♥ Winners will be contacted via Twitter tomorrow (29th of April).
I have an announcement to make. Today, I woke up feeling terribly excited about one thing - cooking lunch.
Yep. I literally woke up with a huge grin on my face because I knew I was gonna get down, dirty and gritty in my tiny kitchen, slaving over the stove and chopping onions and having them make me tear and having the garlic stink up my hands when I touch em. It's a joyous activity. I can't decide if I have no life or I choose to be excited about the simplest things in life, lol. But one thing's for sure, I realized my love for cooking cannot go unnoticed. It has to be acknowledged, it's too passionate, too strong. It's positively consuming me. (see what I did there?)
All pictures in this post are of my most recent home-cooked meals. Here we have linguine with sun-dried tomatoes, pan fried scallops & prawns! Pasta is one of my favorite foods.
Almost every day, I will crack my brains just thinking about which culinary I should attempt to conquer next... what should I cook for lunch later? What should I cook for dinner tomorrow? I think I can almost safely say that I enjoy cooking more than I do eating, which is a bold statement. We all love food, but I don't know a lot of people who like to cook the way I do. Most people in other countries cook because they have to, because dining out is expensive, but in Singapore you can dine out everyday and still get by. Hawker fare is cheap, available everywhere, and delicious. Don't get me wrong, I love digging into my food once I'm done beautifying it in the kitchen. That is half the reward. But the true beauty about cooking is knowing that your food is appreciated by other people. Food has a very special kind of effect on people. It makes people of all ages, languages, races & backgrounds speak the same language... Hunger. And a well fed-person, is a happy person. I like making people happy in my own little ways.
Roasted red capsicums stuffed with cherry tomatoes, basil, sun-dried tomatoes (as you can tell I am obsessed with tomatoes) along with other random goodness, topped off with cheese and breadcrumbs! Look ma, no meat.
And here, I'll just admit it - I like the attention. I love getting reactions out of people when I cook. Most people don't expect it from me, which makes it extra fun and dramatic. It's like when a fat guy finishes first in a marathon.. They're happy that you tried, but they're over the moon and completely dumbfounded that you actually succeeded. Do I really look that prissy? I guess so. Less than 3 years ago I could barely cook anything, you could leave me with a kitchen full of raw supplies in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and I'd still starve to death. I couldn't even fry an egg, or prepare instant noodles myself. My idea of cooking maggi mee is dumping the entire contents of the packet into a large bowl filled with water and popping it into the microwave for 3 minutes to "cook". Before I discovered the microwave technique, I never even dreamed of touching the stove. Microwave-food alone was an achievement for me. I've always had an innate fear of stoves, microwaves.. anything fire or electricity related that could possibly explode, I'd stay far, far away from. So I don't know exactly when it was, or what inspired me to get my ass involved into the kitchen, but one day I decided I would stop being such a pussy princess, and that I'd man the fuck up and finally learn how to cook, like a woman should. (Don't mean to sound sexist, but let's admit it girls, the way to a man's heart is his stomach) I have an inkling it might have been when I toyed with the idea of moving to Australia to live. People kept drilling it into my head that living alone in your own apartment and fending for yourself is hard, and that cooking was a necessary skill. Sam, and my very own mother would subtly rub it into my face that I couldn't survive by myself.. I recall hearing this sentence in a slight taunting and challenging tone, "Who is going to cook and clean up after you???" And in my head a small proud voice screamed, "I'll cook for myself dammit!!!"... Sam's mum also did not particularly like me very much back then when I visited his family in Melbourne, and I was told by Sam it's because I was "too spoilt." As a result of indignation, a new hobby and skill was born.
Here's my list of reasons why cooking is awesome!
1) It's cheaper than eating at most restaurants, while being equally or even yummier, if you do it right. Singapore has a serious lack of individual, unique restaurants... I'm sick of dining at the same old franchised outlets!!! Perhaps cooking is not cheaper than hawker fare, but you can't eat hawker food your whole life.
2) It ups your "future amazing wife potential" (Yay for me, take that Sam's mum! Hah just kidding.)
3) You can do your food exactly the way you want it to be done! If you're a fussy eater and control freak like me, it works out perfectly.
4) While Singapore lacks new & exciting restaurants to try, they do exist but they're all terribly far away and tucked into strange little obscure corners, and easily accessible. Cooking at home saves me taxi fares!
5) It's an awesome way to kill time. Not sure what to do on a mundane Sunday? Attempt to cook your favorite food or dessert! Even if you fail, you'll have fun trying.
Learning how to cook was not an easy thing to do. But it is undoubtedly one of the best things I've ever done for myself.
It is messy, a lot of trial-and-errors, is a big time investment, difficult to grasp at first and most of all, pure hard work. There's a lot of physical exertion involved. Being a non-sporty person, the only time I ever perspire or get covered in sweat in my air-conditioned house is when I have to babysit my food sitting in a stove-crib. When I first started out experimenting with different cooking styles, I had to put up with the awkward looks on people's faces when they were asked to try my cooking and they didn't like it, but didn't know how to tell me. It was quite a difficult blow to stomach considering I always try to give my best. At least I know they weren't lying, and they will only give compliments when they're real.
Speaking of compliments, if someone tells me I'm pretty, I'd curtly respond, "Thank you. ^.^"
On the other hand, if the same person said, "I LOVE your cooking / baking!!!" I'd be all like, "Really? Why thank you!! I'm glad you liked it!!!! :D"
A compliment has so much more meaning when you know you earned it!
These days, even when I have become comfortable with cooking, I still face new problems and questions everyday - what is affordable to cook, that I haven't cooked recently, that everyone home will find suited to their taste buds, that I already have the ingredients for in the fridge because I do not have time to go out and buy groceries? ...Sheesh, it's like the problems never stop coming. But that is also part of the reason why I find cooking fun, because it is a challenge. If something is too easy, it's probably not worth doing. I am always learning.
To digress, I solved that problem last night by doing a fried cauliflower dish coated in seasoned batter, I also prepared a garlic aioli sauce to dip with. Do not be deceived by it's plain looks! It is crispy and full of flavor, normally I wouldn't even take a glance at cauliflower. Everyone raved about it and the cauliflower costed me only $1.30. Hoo-rah!
Just today, I decided to make hamburgers for lunch, at the request of my boyfriend. I thought to myself, "Hey, McDee's can serve up a hamburger within minutes. How difficult can it be? No problem-o!" but I ended up spending over an hour wreaking havoc in the kitchen, and by the time I was done, I was almost too tired and hot and bothered to enjoy my meal properly. (But I did, anyway, because it was good. I fell asleep after that though)
Was the pain worth it? You bet. Toasted buttered bun.. Cheddar cheese.. Creamy portobello mushrooms.. Fresh lettuce & tomatoes.. Home made fatass juicy beef patty.. Fried bacon.. White onions.. Accompanied by deviled eggs. Food comas are made of these.
Most people would look at the picture above and go, "Oh, yum, a burger!" but to me, it is a work of art. (Don't laugh!)
I look beneath the exterior to see what lines beneath. I think about frying the bacon that made the hot oil splatter and how it hurt when it landed on my bare skin, about how it took 20 whole minutes to cook that monster of a beef patty, about how my eyes still sting just a little from cutting the onions and let's not even get started on how messy my whole kitchen was after the fiasco. Since picking up cooking, I have been extremely aware of what I am putting into my mouth. I feel like most people don't know what they are putting into their bodies when they dine outside. Did you know that your tasty McDonald chicken nuggets are actually made from this disgusting laboratory-produced piece of inedible looking thing?! At least when I make my own burgers, I can make sure real minced beef goes into my beef patties! (well I know supermarkets are full of preservatives and other random shit but it's still an improvement to cook yourself) Perhaps it's just easier not to know the harsh reality, but I say, it is a damn good thing to know as much as you can, ignorance is never bliss. These days, I am better at telling real food apart from fake food, from what are genuine flavors & aromas and what is just laden with unhealthy MSG. I don't eat as much junk food as I used to, and have become more health conscious, because I always think twice before I buy food outside.
How much nutritional value is this going to give me? Am I really going to pay $8 for a McDonalds meal when I can cook a nicer, healthier burger and with the same amount of money I could double the portions? I don't know about you, but I always feel sickly after eating McDees. I like McDees, and I am not discriminating against anyone else who does, but surely I am not the only one who feels like my throat gets all dry and congested when I finish their burgers, and the slight nauseating feeling when you've finished your whole meal, downed with those oily fries (that aren't even made of mostly potatoes?!) and diluted, watered-down soda. (P.S I am very proud to tell you guys I have given up my soft drink addiction!!!! Big milestone in my life.)
Another sense of awareness that cooking has brought to my attention is eating meat. I roasted this whole chicken for dinner last night. (Of course I didn't finish it alone, it was shared among 6 people) Here it looks like a tasty roasted chicken, fresh out of my oven, ready to eat. 2 hours before this, however, before the marinating and roasting in the oven, all I saw was a dead, cold chicken carcass sitting on my table waiting for it's head to get chopped off, and for it's guts to be de-gutted so that I could have it for dinner. I hate touching uncooked raw meat, but it is a solemn reminder that another animal had to die, so that I could live (better). Not just one, but many, many animals. Now you could say "You can live without meat!" but I've enjoyed eating meat for all my life and will not (or can not) stop now. I am not interested in preaching about animal cruelty or being vegan because I have nothing to do with that, however, I just wanted to highlight how this prompts me to waste food less often, I try to finish everything I have on my plate. If an animal had to die, at least I'd make it's death worth their while. It makes me appreciate food this much more, gluttony aside, I realize I am privileged to be at the top of the food chain and how lucky I am to have food always readily available, and that I never have to go hungry. Many other people in this world suffer from starvation, a depressing problem that shouldn't exist in this era considering our abundance of food.
In a lot of ways, cooking is like baking to me. It's a valuable and convenient skill to have, it impresses people, and I am always guaranteed some sort of a reward. I'm fussy with my hobbies and interests, if I feel like they don't provide me an instant sense of worthwhile-ness, I will drop it almost immediately. With cooking or baking, even if people somehow don't like it, at least it fulfills the human being's most basic need - having something to put in your stomach. No food is ever wasted when it satiates your hungry. Watching people dig into my food gives me a similar sensation as to when I see people gawk and squeal at the sight of my decorated cupcakes.. At the end of the day, it's not so much of smugness, or self-gratification, but mostly I am humbled that something so simple can evoke a response like that from another human being. Please continue to make orgasmic noises and pull funny expressions while wolfing down the food I made you, it puts a smile on my face.
And that, briefly, is why I love cooking... Other than how it tastes so good.
Now I don't even have to worry about what to cook for lunch the next day, because my best friend is cooking and bringing lunch to my place for me tomorrow. The only cooking I like better than my own cooking is meals that are cooked by other people, with utmost sincerity, just for me!!!
I dragged my sorry sick ass out of bed yesterday to go on a date night with Sam... I'm going to make it a point to go on specifically-arranged dates twice a month! We're nearing 3 years together and I think it's important to try and keep the flame alive, especially since we live AND work together!!!
The dress I chose for the night, which fetched me a lot of compliments! Yay! My mum has impeccable taste (most of the time), she bought this for me :)
The back of le lacy dress!
Wore teal eyeshadow to match my dress... somehow I didn't get the memo that your eye make up's color is not meant to directly match your outfit's color, lol. What a noob fashion mistake. I just thought it'd be fun to have some color on my eyes since I wear brown all the time, and now I realize why I stick to brown. It never fails you.
My new favorite bag which made its debut last night even though I bought it months ago!
All this fancy get up was actually just to have a nice-ish dinner (I say nice-ish dinner coz we have nice dinners almost everyday hahaha) and to watch TITANIC 3D!!!!! Which I was extremely stoked about. I sobbed like a baby in the cinema. When the hymn of the sea played in the very beginning of the movie, I was already close to crying. I was so thrilled to be able to catch my favorite movie on the silver screen, considering I was only 5 years old when the original Titanic was released in cinemas. Pretty pissed that they cut off Rose's topless scene though. WHY DENY US SINGAPOREANS GREAT TITS???
I don't think there will ever be another movie as timeless and classic as Titanic. I love tragic love. I went home and ended up spending hours reading up facts about the real story of RMS Titanic.. I was surprised at how accurate the movie portrayal was compared to the real story!
Here are some of the most gripping facts:
Were Jack and Rose based on real people?
No. Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, portrayed in the movie by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, are almost entirely fictional characters (James Cameron modeled the character of Rose after American artist Beatrice Wood, who had no connection to Titanic history). The movie's love story is also fiction. It was created by Titanic screenwriter and director James Cameron. In addition to Rose and Jack, a handful of other characters associated with them are fictional as well. They include Rose's fiancé Caledon 'Cal' Hockley (Billy Zane), her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher), Cal's valet Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner), and the third class passengers, who include Jack's friends Fabrizio (Danny Nucci) and Tommy (Jason Barry). Some of the third class passengers were modeled after real people.
Who sketched Jack's drawing of Rose that we see in the movie Titanic?
Director James Cameron did the sketch of Rose (Kate Winslet) wearing the necklace. It is actually Cameron's hand, not Leonardo DiCaprio's, that we see sketching Rose in the movie. James Cameron also drew all of the pictures in Jack's sketchbook. --- (RESPECT!!!)
Were the movie's underwater shots of the Titanic wreckage real?
Yes. Most of the underwater shots of the Titanic wreckage are real. In 1995, James Cameron hired the Russian vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh and its two submersibles. He made a total of twelve dives to film the underwater close-ups at a depth of 12,500 feet below the North Atlantic. Special cameras and housings were designed to withstand the 6,000 pounds per square inch of water pressure. Each dive lasted approximately fifteen hours, but the cameras could only store 500 feet of film, which meant that only twelve minutes of footage could be shot per dive. As a result, a few of the underwater shots had to be faked.
Did some of the passengers choose to go down with the ship?
Yes. Near the end of the movie Titanic, we see an old couple embracing in bed as water pours into their cabin. The couple is first class passengers Isador and Ida Straus. Isador was the co-owner of Macy's department store. In real life, Isador and Ida were both offered a place on Lifeboat No. 8, but Isador chose to stay on the Titanic so long as there were women who remained on the ship. Ida refused to abandon her husband. Witnesses on the deck and in Lifeboat No. 8 heard Ida tell her husband, "We have been living together for many years. Where you go, I go." The couple was last seen sitting on a pair of deck chairs (not lying in bed like in the movie). Only Isador's body was recovered and identified.
Was the Heart of the Ocean (Coeur de la Mer) a real diamond?
No. The Heart of the Ocean diamond is a fictional device that James Cameron added to the plot in order to give Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) a reason to hear Rose's story. The Heart of the Ocean is based on the famous Hope Diamond that King Louis XVI of France gave to Marie Antoinette to add to her jewelry collection. The Hope Diamond is currently on display at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It holds no place in Titanic history. As a result of moviegoer fantasies surrounding the fictional Heart of the Ocean, the Asprey & Garrard jewelry company decided to make a real Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace. The 170-carat sapphire, surrounded by sixty-five 30-carat diamonds, was worn by Celine Dion during her performance of "My Heart Will Go On" at the 1998 Academy Awards Ceremony. The necklace later sold at a benefit auction for $2.2 million.
Information above credited to this website.
Another interesting article I read about the Titanic's real story was the inaccuracy of the portrayal of rich people in the film. The wealthy passengers, in the film, were made out to be snobbish, valuing their own existence much more than the poor but it is said that in actual fact, a considerable amount of First Class passengers sacrificed their lives to save the poor ones out of good will. I was most shocked to know that the ship's wealthiest man, John Jacob Astor IV, did not even make it out alive. He refused to get on a lifeboat, as with many other First Class men, they believed in the policy of "women and children first". I'm pretty sure someone as wealthy as him could have gotten out alive if he wanted to, but gave up his place so that women and children from Third Class may live. It did not matter to him that he was the wealthiest man on the boat.
I hate being sick SO much. I know it's obvious enough that nobody likes being sick, but it seems like every time I fall sick, I have it worse than other people. I don't fall sick super often, but when I do, I get very very sick. I'd get high temperature fevers, coughs that last for weeks, and I get hit by so much fatigue I find it hard to go on with my daily activities.
I think that means I have to boost my intake of Vitamin C? I'm not exactly the healthiest person you'll find around. I haven't been in the best of health, dealing with issues like anemia since I was a kid. So for the past 1 month I have been coughing like a desperate motherfucker. At first my coughs were mild, and dry, and I took no notice of them. I mean, a little coughing won't kill me right???
Or so I thought. The coughs have turned from dry, to really loaded with gross green-ish thick phlegm, and I don't know if you know what it feels like to cough so hard and frequently your head and neck and joints literally hurt, but it sucks. Coughing so violently you gasp for air and coughing into the night at 5am. I haven't had a decent night sleep in weeks. Every time I think I'm getting better, I get worse. From dry coughs to phlegm-y coughs to on-and-off fevers to body aches to runny, stuffy nose to headaches to now, fatigue and having difficulty breathing.
At the start of my sickness (almost a month ago) I just took cough drops and panadols because it wasn't so serious, thinking my illness would go away soon, I brushed it off... but it didn't. So after awhile, I took more meds from the pharmacy.. but nothing seemed to work. I didn't go to the doc's because I thought a cough was pretty straightforward. Cough syrups, what else? But the idea that there might be a bigger, underlying problem dawned on me yesterday... So Sam finally dragged my stubborn ass to the doctor's yesterday afternoon, and le doctor reckons I have mild asthma. He prescribed me more medicine, and gave me an inhaler to use. I'm appalled.
I haven't had asthma since I was a child.. is he for real?
I'm sick of my mum, grandmother, boyfriend lecturing me about not taking medicine and being "heaty"... They don't see that I AM TRYING to get better!!! But I just can't, goddammit, do you think I enjoy wheezing like an 80 year old with lung cancer? Mum keeps telling me not to have chilli or cold food but that only makes sense if you have a sore throat. My problem seems to be much deeper rooted. I honestly thought my cough was derived from drinking hot tom yum soup and burning my throat (as I had a sore that that day after drinking soup which led to a cough) but I can actually feel the discomfort in my chest instead of in my throat now. My throat in fact seems perfectly fine, there's no irritation or infection there. I'm afraid my illness has to do with my respiratory system. When I take deep breaths, there is a horrible sound of a dying person's last breath, and I end up choking and coughing so I tend to take short, sharp breaths now. The doctor told me yesterday that it is not normal for coughs to go on for for a month (wow you don't say) so he's referred me to go for an X-ray check up. And I am going tomorrow.
The whole of today afternoon and yesterday, I could do nothing but sleep, and sleep. It kills me to know that I am so weak, I can't even find the energy to do something as simple as replying emails. I am rid of all my capabilities. I am even afraid of touching cakes in fear of transferring my sickness so I get my boyfriend to help me do things instead. My head just hurts, all the fucking time. The thing is, my mind is wide awake, but my body is completely exhausted, perhaps from battling the virus. I have no idea how I even produce so much mucus, it's no wonder I constantly feel dehydrated. I was so angry at myself for not taking better care of myself and so pissed off at being sick for the 4th week in a row, that I cried myself to sleep. Well in between my sobs I had to get out of the bed every 2 minutes to blow my stuffy nose into a tissue or to spit out more phlegm. I realized how lightly I take my health and how important health really is. You can have it all, money, love, family, friends, good looks, success, youth... but nothing guarantees health. Look at Steve Jobs! All the money in the world couldn't save him. And it's not even his fault for what happened to him.
To make matters worse, I actually had a recording session (for a Youtube video!!!) 2 days ago, but failed miserably because I sounded too nasally due to my stuffy nose and I just couldn't stop coughing. My coughing has led to a shortness of breath so it'd even harder to sing. I could barely breathe normally, let belt out lyrics. You have NO IDEA how much I was looking forward to recording the song and how badly I want to do this. Now the next recording session is pushed back to almost a month later. :'( It makes me so disappointed.
I have been trying to be healthier recently, so it makes me angry that I should fall sick now, when I'm actually starting to give a damn. Did I start too late? I think I really am older and more vulnerable, when I was younger I felt like I could take on the world and nothing could bring me down. Now, it feels like a simple flu could get the better of me or even kill me. I don't see why I should be so sick. My eating habits have been quite good I think, I eat lots of fruits, I have been cutting down on more than 80% of the sodas, desserts, and junk food that I normally eat. I try to be more active, by doing sports like badminton, and I've actually lost 5kg in the past month by just eating less and better, but I'm not sure if the weight loss has got to do with being sick as well. I hear sick people lose a lot of weight. But still, trying to be healthier didn't stop me from turning into this miserable thing that I am this very instant :( I would literally hand someone $2000 cash right now, if they could rid me of my illness instantly. It seems like no matter how many pills I pop, which is more than 9 a day, I am not getting better.
I'm not a doctor, but I have been doing a lot of googling, I think I might have either:
Mycoplasma has been very prominent in Singapore in recent years. The infection can make a person feel unwell, with typical symptoms including aches, coughs and fatigue, though many infected people don't feel bad enough to visit a GP. It is, however, important to understand and diagnose Mycoplasma in order to avoid infecting others.
Mycoplasma infection typically refers to the respiratory illness caused by Mycoplasma Pneumoniae, a microscopic organism related to bacteria. Most infections involve the upper respiratory tract (such as sore throat, bronchitis). In five to ten percent of patients, the infection can progress to pneumonia. The medical term for this lung infection is Atypical Pneumonia or Community Acquired Pneumonia. It is also commonly referred to as "Walking Pneumonia", as the symptoms are usually mild and most patients are able to function quite normally. Hospitalisation is rarely required. Complications are relatively rare.Symptoms usually develop around two to three weeks after exposure to the organism. The symptoms develop slowly, over a period of two to four days. Typical initial symptoms include fever, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, headaches and dizzy spells. A dry cough, often in spasms, is the hallmark of the infection. Early stages of the infection can be very similar to that of the common cold or even influenza. However, with Mycoplasma infection, the symptoms can be persistent, especially the cough and fatigue, which can linger for weeks and sometimes months.
Acute Bronchitis (info from wiki):
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs that is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks. Characteristic symptoms include cough, sputum (phlegm) production, and shortness of breath and wheezing related to the obstruction of the inflamed airways. Diagnosis is by clinical examination and sometimes microbiological examination of the phlegm. Treatment for acute bronchitis is typically symptomatic. As viruses cause most cases of acute bronchitis, antibiotics should not be used unless microscopic examination of gram-stained sputum reveals large numbers of bacteria.
Bronchitis may be indicated by an expectorating cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea), and wheezing. On occasion, chest pains, fever, and fatigue or malaise may also occur. In addition, bronchitis caused by Adenoviridae may cause systemic and gastrointestinal symptoms as well. However, the coughs due to bronchitis can continue for up to three weeks or more even after all other symptoms have subsided.
Seriously... not looking forward to getting either a chest X-ray or blood test tomorrow. Expensive, and extremely uncomfortable, to say the least.
For all of you who have read my long winded, wordy, ranty entry until this thus far, thank you for being my listening ear. You have no idea how awful I feel.
The rest of you who are well, please, please please take good care of yourself. This is the time to be vigilant. There is seriously an alarming number of sick people recently, and you don't want to be one of them. I have a feeling a highly contagious bout of illness has been hitting Singaporeans. I know at least 3 other people with the same symptoms that I have, goodness knows what viruses they, or I, carry. If you see someone coughing non-stop, (likely me if you live in Simei) run FAR FAR away.
And for everyone else who is sick, fuck your life, and fuck mine too.
Wish me luck for my check up tomorrow, I hope it's not anything too serious!!! I've been sick for a month now, and I am TOTALLY READY to get better ASAP.
If you didn't already know, my boyfriend Sam is half-Vietnamese, and half-Chinese. But I just think of him as only Vietnamese because his whole family follows the Vietnamese culture, they speak, eat and look like viets, not Chinese, so his Chinese ethnicity is sort of invalid in my opinion.
Now, I don't eat a lot of Vietnamese food, I generally prefer Thai food as they're similar but Thai is more tangy and spicy. The one Vietnamese food I really like is Vietnamese spring rolls, the fried ones - not the fresh ones! And Sam happens to make this REALLY well.
This is what I'm talking about!!!! It looks so deliciously crispy and golden brown omg ♥
For every single occasion, be it a house party, chinese new year, etc.. people will always ask one question: "Is Sam making his famous spring rolls?"
My relatives will not stop hounding him until he fries up a whole big batch for them! Mind you, they don't eat 10, or 20 of these. When Sam makes a batch of these, 50 is the minimum amount he'll make, and they are ALWAYS snapped up... There are no leftovers whatsoever!!! I've seen people fight for the last piece on the plate hahaha. Word of warning, when you cook this, it'll all be gone before you know it.
This dish will be unlike any spring rolls you've ever had before.
When I think of spring rolls sold outside, I would never order them. I would think they're too oily, just full of lousy vegetables, and a waste of carbs and money in general. These however, will blow your mind. They're crazily addictive because they're perfectly sized, small enough to make you want to pop another, and another into your mouth. It's not too filling, although they are hearty - normally I have at least 10 of these for dinner. The SUCCESS to this dish is the sauce that comes along with it - without the sauce it's good, but nothing to rave about. However dunk it in Sam's secret recipe sauce (not so secret now!) and it becomes the best thing ever!!!
So I'm about to begin teaching you guys how to make this, however..
I do want to make this very clear that this recipe is 100% original, not "inspired" from recipes taken from other cook books or websites. Sam wanted me to credit his mother for these as he grew up eating a very similar dish she cooked, but he's made some slight modifications since then. If you do make these or want to share the recipe / pictures online (even after altering it), do remember to credit and link back to this entry. It took me awhile to convince Sam to give me the recipe to share with you guys, so please use with integrity. :)
Let's rock and roll!!!
YOU WILL NEED:
♥ -- 200g chopped minced pork (if you're muslim, try this with minced beef!!!)
♥ -- 200g chopped fresh prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
♥ -- 100g grated carrots, wrung (squeezed) dry
♥ -- 150g cooked bee hoon / rice vermicelli
♥ -- 150g diced shitake mushrooms
♥ -- 4 cloves diced garlic
♥ -- 1 small onion or half a large onion diced
♥ -- 1 egg
♥ -- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ -- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
♥ -- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
♥ -- 3 teaspoons of salt
♥ -- A pinch of MSG / flavor enhancer (you can leave this out if you want, but a lil bit never hurt!)
♥ -- Spring rolls pastry, defrosted (NOT the fresh, rice paper type. I use this, available at NTUC)
♥ -- 1 egg white (you will need this for wrapping the spring rolls)
♥ -- 1/2 cup water
♥ -- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ -- 2 tablespoons white sugar
♥ -- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
♥ -- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
♥ -- Juice of 1 Calamansi
♥ -- Half a chilli padi, cut up (use a whole chilli padi if you like it super spicy, or 1/4 if you have low spice tolerance, but don't put none at all if you can help it!)
Step 1: Combine all the main ingredients together in a big bowl!
Here's Sam doing the dirty job for me. Well somebody has to be holding the camera, right? It's not truly authentic unless it's made by a Vietnamese!! Lol... kidding.
(actually I'm not, but yeah. :P)
After combining all your ingredients it should look like this!
Yeah, it's not pretty or gourmet, but it's yummy nevertheless. Honestly, the measurements are pretty forgiving, so you don't have to go nuts trying to measure all the ingredients so accurately... and I think it's pretty much impossible to mess up because of how straightforward it is. If you manage to screw this up, sorry honey, you have no business in the kitchen, time to learn dancing or juggling instead.
Now, that's the easy part about this recipe. Who can't dice a few mushrooms and grate a few carrots then combine them? The difficult bit will probably be learning how to roll your spring rolls nicely. If you don't do this properly, your spring rolls will either be 1) Ugly 2) Tastes yucky due to weird texture 3) Not as appealing as it could be.
I took the liberty of taking Step-By-Step pictures of how Sam does it, so follow these instructions carefully!
1) Get a big tray for working on, and place a sheet of the spring roll pastry in front of you, in a diamond-shaped position.
2) Spoon a decent sized amount of your spring roll mixture and place it 3/4 down your pastry. You want a small amount of filling, no more than half a tablespoon (or use the above to gauge!).
3) Take the end of your pastry...
4) And fold it over the filling, as shown above.
5) Fold it across from one side
6) Now do the other side! ...I hope you're good at origami, haha. I kinda suck at this because I was never good at symmetry.
7) Take some egg white and spread it across the area which the finger is pointing at. This will keep your spring roll from unfolding involuntarily.
8) Now to finish it up, roll it all the way up from the bottom! Do not roll it too tightly, or loosely. Sam tells me the less you think about how you're doing this, the better it will probably turn out.
If you do it too tight, your pastry will loop around the mixture too many times and will not be as crispy as it should be when fried.
9) When you have something like this, you're done! Yay, congratulations, you just rolled your first spring roll! :D
It's actually pretty fun... for the first 20, at least. Then it gets tiresome. Now the awesome part about this recipe is that you can keep the rest of the spring rolls that you think you can't finish in the freezer for a long time. I'd recommend keeping it for a week or two tops, but according to Sam, his mum kept it for months. LOL. Make sure you keep it in an air-tight container.
Now, how do you fry the spring rolls? Well I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how to fry stuff. Pour a generous amount of oil into your frying pan (shallow fry if you're health conscious, deep fry if you don't care), wait for the oil to become really hot (otherwise it won't be crispy), then fry your spring rolls until a gorgeous golden brown color, while turning it on both sides constantly!!! How long your frying time takes depends on how big you rolled the spring rolls and how much oil / how hot your oil is. It's not rocket science, you can figure it out :)
And wait! Just when you thought we were done, we still have the sauce to make!!!
Refer to my "WHAT YOU'LL NEED" list above, and scroll to the Sauce section. Combine all the ingredients, Sam threw in some leftover grated carrot to boost how the sauce looks and popped a whole calamansi into the bowl.
This sauce is DA BOMBDIGGITY. You won't be "dipping" your spring roll in the sauce, you'll be dunking it in to say the least, most people leave their spring roll "swimming" in the sauce for a good few seconds, lol!
This is the p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n you should get if you've followed this recipe correctly!!!!!!! ♥_♥
Sooo crispy and such a gorgeous medley of flavors! Prawny and meaty with just the right amount of vegetables to complement all the textures and flavors. Burly men will not scoff at these because they are hearty and filling, despite how they look. I want some now even though I just em yesterday, oh gee.
This is less than 1/4 of what we fried yesterday - this recipe makes A LOT of spring rolls, more than 50!! (remember, they freeze well)
The spring roll pastry packet I bought had 50 sheets of pastry and we ran out of pastry before we could finish using up the filling. I highly recommend these for parties because the ingredients are cheap (estimated cost for today's recipe is $10 or less and could be the dinner of 4 hungry people) and they're easy to make in big batches! Or definitely make these if you wanna impress your boyfriend / girlfriend's family.. I have a feeling it especially appeals to middle-aged Asians (and ang mohs!)
Although I'm sure anyone would love these tasty bites because I've offered them to my nearing-80-year-old grandmother and my little neighbor who is less than 10 and everyone who's ever tried them has thoroughly enjoyed them!
Happy rolling your spring rolls guys!!!
Let me know how these turned out for you and the responses from people who are going to eat it! I'll positively chop my head off if you don't get raves, haha. Sam, and his mama, would be so proud of their family recipe. :)