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Meowing WAR





Books
Books I have completed reading since January 201:

1. Angelopolis - Danielle Trussoni
2. The Magicians - Lev Grossman
Meow watcher
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Stupid cat. Scare the shit out of me on 18 July 2010 at 11 pm.

I came out from the bathroom and saw a shadow staring at me at my house entrance. The house door was open too. The shadow didn't move and it was looking at me calmly. And I was shocked and scared so I shouted at my mum "Mummy, what's that???!!!while pointing to the shadow. My mum who was engrossed watching the Korean drama jumped up from her seat and looked where I was pointing. Then I realised it was my neighbour's cat sitting gently at the corner of my door. And I ran to it. I actually wanted to pat the cat!! But instead I frightened the cat and it ran back to the house. I missed my chance to pat!!!!

Well, the cat is extremely snobbish. It won't come near you and acts like a real princess. The owner makes it worse that no one is allowed to carry the cat. So my mum and I were shocked to see the princess came over to the house and watched us in silence.

That cat must be enjoying herself watching us in silence. That princess.

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Future payment
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I chatted with a long lost friend from France. I didn't know she is having depression and now attending psychiatrist sessions. She recommended me to take Prozac since I'm also in sort of depression. But I'm just afraid I will be addicted to it. Ha!

Anyways, she was telling me to go and relax and find happiness in every small thing I do or just do silly things like walking on the white lines on the road - of course I have to watch out for cars and python... don't know why recently the firemen here have been catching a lot of pythons. And etc.

To be frank, I do do things to relax myself like spending time over a book at Starbucks or some cafe in the mall before heading home. But I want a permanent relaxation even at home. Home is a place where you can rest, but if your home doesn't have that comfy ambience, you won't want to go home. Instead, it will be a dreadful task to just go home. I feel that way when my father is around. I just don't want to go home. The cheery feeling I have turns into a dreadful anxiety and teary. I can hear myself screaming.

But that's not the main topic for this entry. I was just thinking of money and happiness. To find happiness in small things ... makes me think which option is better (or not).

a) Save up the money for bigger activity like traveling and spend none on 'luxuries' like going to Starbuck or have a fine dining meal once in a while.

b) Every now and then spend on luxury items like Coffee Bean coffee and at the same time save up the money.

c) Just spend it all or save it up all for retirement. No fun activities whatsoever.

I was thinking hard over this because option a and b seems so impossible in Malaysia. Everything here has gone up in prices especially necessity items - sugar price has just gone up from RM 0.60 to over RM 1.00 per kg (correct me if I'm wrong) - and our salary has not risen in years. Workers in McDonald are earning like RM4.50 per hour. Even fresh grad is earning like RM1800 per month. Is that enough? No. It is not.

If you get to save for your traveling activities, then you won't get to save for your retirement. It's an opportunity cost and neither is relieving at all. Because our purchasing power has shrunk, the money we save for retirement may not even be enough despite having a mandatory retirement fund: EPF. The EPF money seems to be a lot in a pool but once spending it ... it's just so insufficient unless you stay in rural areas and give up on all luxuries. It would be best to camp in a forest to enjoy the nature luxury if there is any forest still left when we retired.

This is heartbreaking. This is a torn in between situation. Do you just give up your luxuries for your future knowing it's not a guarantee that you will have a better future?

I find this very heartbreaking. And oh, I'm doing option b. I don't see why I can't enjoy life NOW when I work damn hard to earn the money and yes I still save. But recently I have been spending quite a lot on items I know I should not indulge. But as I said, why save all when you don't allow yourself to enjoy at the very moment? Because it is not every time you have a moment like this to enjoy life.

My investment manager is so gonna scream at me if she reads this post because she simply doesn't agree but I'm better than her daughter in spending wisely. At least I learn financial matters on my own when the daughter doesn't even need to worry about money when her parents are already millionaires.

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Future=present
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My colleague and I looked at each other. He sees the past in me. I see the future in him. Before I continue, I'm not talking about love issue, I'm talking about life here.

I shared with him that I have lots of ideas to sell but I don't know how to market the products should I make or the idea alone.

He said he used to have that spirit -like me- when he was my age.

I asked what happened.

He said he had no time, or rather I sensed the word 'give up', to work on his ideas. And he added it is better to just get a job and work, and not to worry about how to market a product.

I looked at him and fear for my future. I asked myself what if I ended up like him? I'm trying my best to earn extra at this age and what if I end up like him though I have tried my very best? Do I just give up or just get a job and live a life in dreams until the day I die?

He looked at - not me -his breakfast, which he shared a curry puff with me. And continued eating. I looked at him and fear for my future, very much.

I don't want to end up like him. I have the time but I don't know how to market a product. What should I do next?

a) karate-shop the colleague till his wife can't recognise him.
b) continue to share my ideas but not executing it.
c) long live my meowing dreams.
d) be optimistic - but it's so tiring.
e) get a rich husband that will die the next day.
f) die early.

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Csirke Paprikas (Paprika Chicken)
Sunday, July 11, 2010
1.5kg chicken portions, 8 pcs
25g lar/butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15ml) sweet paprika
1 tbsp (15ml) hot paprika or cayenne peopper
salt and freshly milled black pepper
150ml homemade chicken stock
150ml (1/4 pint) sour cream

1. Saute the onion and garlic in a heavy based skillet in fat for 3-4 minutes over low heat.

2. Add the chicken, salt and paprikas or cayenne, stirring so as to seal the chicken and browning a little.

3. Add the stock and cook for 1/2 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Sprinkle the pepper over and turn off the heat.

5. Serve the chicken hot with hot boiled or buttered rice with the sour cream spooned over the top.

Serves 4

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Middle Eastern Pilaf
Sunday, July 11, 2010
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cups long-grain rice
3 1/2 cups boiling stock/ water
2 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup currants/ sultanas
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 half chicken breast fillets, trimmed
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
fresh coriander leaves

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and gently fry half the onions. Cook over a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes or until soft and light golden. Drain on kitchen paper.

2. Add rice to the remaining onions and saute, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

3. Add 1 3/4 cups stock, with spices and salt. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, adding more stock as it is absorbed. Ad currants, cover and allow to plump. Turn off heat and keep covered.

4. Season the chicken. Heat remaining oil in frying pan, add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, turning chicken over once or twice. Sprinkle with the almonds and golden onions. Slice chicken thickly and arrange on top. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Serves 4-6.

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Baby vegetables with Hazelnut dressing
Sunday, July 11, 2010
500g baby beetroots withleaves
400g baby carrots
300g baby green beans
8 baby (140g) zucchini with flowers
4 baby (240g) eggplants, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

Hazelnut dressing
t tbsp raspberry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp hazelnut oil

If hazelnut oil is unavailable, substitute 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/4 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Can be prepared 3 hours ahead.

1. Remove and reserve leaves from beetroot. Add beetroot to medium pan of boiling water, boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until tender.

2. Drain beetroot; cool, peel.

3. Boil, steam or microwave carrots and beans, separately until cool. Drain, cool.

4. Slice zucchini in half lengthways, brush zucchini an eggplants with oil.Add zucchini and eggplants, in batches, to heated, oiled griddle pan (or grill or bbq); cook until browned and tender. Combine beetroot, beetroot leaves, carrots, beans, zucchini and eggplants in large bowl; drizzle with Hazelnut Dressing.

Hazelnut Dressing: Combine ingredients in jar; shake well.

Serves 6-8 as an accompaniment.

Not suitable to freeze.

Carrots and beans suitable to microwave.

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