Dec 29, 2009

doodling 29.12.2009

i finally got around to start sketching again. i found a neat can of faber castell watercolor pencils on sale at the activity center at the mall. i love the new pencils. I tried it with some of my derwent sketch pencils and i tried using the watercolor brush too.
here are a some of tonight's sketches:

Dec 22, 2009

A Beautiful Girl's Life...Interrupted

I came home yesterday bushed from the usual routine at work. I made a quick dinner for me and my hubby. We usually have our meals on a tray table in front of our long desk because we'd watch a movie while we gobble our food. I kinda lost my appetite yesterday though. I read on the yahoo page that Brittany Murphy had a heart attack and died at the age of 32.

I couldnt believe it. It was shocking and very sad. While some people were dissecting her life and speculating about the cause of her death, I sat and wondered what happened too. Mostly I just felt a huge loss. I am one of her biggest fans and no it didn't start with the movie Clueless. I saw that movie for the sheer curiosity that it was a hit and of course to see Alicia Silverstone.

Brittany Murphy transformed from a chubby homely girl to a svelte, hot IT girl over the years. I even think she surpassed the fame of her pretty costar in Clueless.

Im kinda surprised though that there were rumors of her battling an eating disorder and being addicted to pain relievers. They say she had plastic surgery but I dont really know. Tabloids arent usually reliable. Most are just good for wiping your ass. However I do admit she has become creepy-thin lately.

Most of her movies are among my favorites. I seldom watch chick flicks and I am not really crazy about Love Stories, but I did like her in Clueless, Just Married and Little Black Book. In fact Ive been trying to look for that clip where she was singing a Carly Simon Song while she was laying on the bathroom floor. I never found it though.

I loved it when she sang Nobody does it Better in that film. I also liked her singing in Happy Feet.



The first film where I really fell in love with her was the movie Girl Interrupted. Again, she was not the reason I went to see that movie. I read the book and I also fancy Winona Ryder and felt compelled to watch it. That film had a bunch of gorgeous nutheads running around you know.

Her stint was short but she caught my attention. I dont think the big stars like Angelina Jolie or Winona Ryder outshined her. Although we all know who took home the bacon on the Academy Awards, I still think she made her mark in that film. That song in the movie, when she was found in the bathroom, still haunts me..and I think it forever will.



Brittany Murphy's death is probably front page news everywhere. This morning I came across a local paper where it blatantly read: "SHOCKING DEATH OF BRITTANY MURPHY DUE TO DRUG OVERDOSE?". Yeah, there was a question mark but it really didn't sit well with me. I just think it is unfair to jump to conclusions too soon without the results of the autopsy out yet. But what can I expect, she is a celebrity. As one close confidante told me, people are like that. They would do everything they can to ride her fame one last time.

The people writing those articles don't care how her family, friends or fans would feel. Opportunistic assholes I may say but maybe these writers are just doing their job.

Besides, its all part of the package of being a celebrity. I think people talk more about celebrities when they're dead than when they were alive. Also, tragic and untimely deaths of young celebrities sometimes even spawn a cult like following. I don't know really why but maybe its because of the mystery? We put these people on a pedestal and when they die like that, it leaves us with a certain insatiable eagerness to know why. We just want to know more about them. Especially for those who are at the height of their career and suddenly die. For example, take James Dean. He didnt have a lot of films. But after he died, he became more popular. In fact he is an icon and has left an indelible name in history.



I was enchanted with Brittany's beautiful voice in Happy Feet and that hit Faster Kill Pussycat with Paul Oakenfold.



Her versatility in acting is impressive too.

It wont be long before the cause of her death is disclosed publicly. It does not really matter to me. I will continue to admire her. For me she was a talented and beautiful girl who just left this world too soon.

I celebrate her life although I still mourn her death.

Rest in Peace Beloved Brittany.

Dec 13, 2009

12.12.2009 run log

Ran for 30 minutes only today. Nothing special except it was at 1130 pm. Yeah I finished at midnight and walked for 10minutes to cool down. Every 10 minutes made me feel like I was gonna pass out. Well this week was somewhat taxing since Im just adjusting to joggiging again. Hopefully I can increase my mileage by next week. For this week its mostly 5k per day and of course that one hour walk from Tampines to Pasir Ris yesterday.

Time to watch a movie now! Tomorrow again.

WENDY'S OUTLET IN SINGAPORE SOON!!!

I HATE THE NAME BUT I LOVE THEIR FOOD!!
cant wait for it to open!!

Dec 8, 2009

thought for the day -now or never

the first step is always the hardest. this applies whether it is quitting a vice, putting down that jelly donut or going out the door to walk or run. Its now or never.

where there is pain, i find serenity and personal gain

It has been almost a year since I last ran. In between those months that elapsed, I did some short runs and swore I would do it on a regular basis. Sad to say all those plans didnt materialize. I feel embarrassed to admit that I got really lazy and complacent. One month of putting off my run, turned into a year. With the additional unnecessary weight, I am back to square one. I cant believe in fact that I have turned my back on one of the things that truly makes me happy and fulfilled. Over the years I have turned to running when I encountered something major in my life. Breakups, career disappointments, failed exams. I would go running and feel a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. It was my sanctuary, my escape. After a run, I feel I can go back and face the world with a more refreshed outlook and confidence. I wonder why I even stopped. 

On top of ditching running, I have also gone back to a bad and disgusting vice. No exercise coupled with bad habits make it all the more hard for me. Going back to running is not as easy as it seems to be. Im older, not as limber and my lungs seem to hate me for all the abuse i put it through.

I am slowly taking baby steps to resume running. It has been 4 months since Ive quit my nicotine cravings and been running for a week but I really feel great already.  

This will be the first among the many note entries I will be making as I embark on a quite lofty goal. I will be going back to doing one of my sacred passions. It will not be easy at all but I am proud that I have taken the initiative and decision not to give up this time.

Botak, Im back!!!

(photo courtesy of runners world. com.)
motivational tips on running http://bit.ly/6fkYcQ

Nov 5, 2009

thump thump

We had a cat that mysteriously disappeared on the eve of Chinese New Year. To this day we dont know what happened to him. We left the house to get some ice cream and when we came back he was gone. We searched the entire house and turned it inside out. Not a trace. The thought of my beloved Timmy still haunts me sometimes. The feeling is still raw and I still cant look at his photos for more than 5 seconds. I really loved that cat and his loss drew a hole in me that I think will not heal for awhile. It sounds exaggerated for some but I was at the height of my love and fascination for him when he suddenly vanished.

In my desperate attempt to fill that void, I took the time to peruse sites that offered help on getting over a lost pet. It didnt work. I immersed myself at work but the more stressed I felt. I was on withdrawal and I needed a fix. A replacement.

We picked up a cat around mid February 2009. She did look a lot like our Timmy but there were of course a couple of obvious differences. The gender, the eye color, the "snout" the tail were a few to note. I secretly still thought my Timmy was cuter. But I didnt say a thing. Its kinda unfair for our new baby to be compared to our lost pet.

Ill go into more details about Timmy in a separate article. I believe it would be cathartic to finally let go.

For this entry I just want to share how happy the new cat has made us. Although the circumstance of us being forced to adopt her was kinda sad, Im still glad we did take her in.

Our little angels Boodapdap and Thumpythumpy bring a smile to our face each morning. Its so amusing how simple yet happy they are.A bowl of food and water, plus some little furry toys are all they need. Keeping up with them may be a pain in the ass sometimes but its all worth it.


Nov 4, 2009

smart and professional cat!

Each day I go to work I see this cat in front of my building. He looks like he is wearing a suit.

Look at that cute pose
Showing off!
Shy
Relaxed

Nov 3, 2009

Good Study Habits

Honestly, I dont know how I made it through College. It was 4 years of mostly rote learning. The effort I exerted in being part of the varsity team unfortunately did not parallel my enthusiasm for studying. I was up at 530 am doing my routines. But I usually slept through classes and slept in the locker room for most of the afternoon.

I usually slacked around until it was a week before exam day. Then I would spend sleepless nights, high on caffeine and knowledge that I swear leaked out of my nostrils. Too much information had to be processed in a short span of time. On every exam day I felt I was gonna die. Its not easy to get by with only 2-3 hours of sleep, 8 cups of coffee and a day long exam on subjects like Biochemistry, Physiology, Microbiology and Physics.

Im lucky I managed to graduate.

Truth is I never really knew how to effectively study even up until 4th year of medical school.

In line with my back to school agenda, I am contemplating on developing good study habits. It sounds like a lot of work but I know it will pay off in the long run. Im skeptical, hopeful and eager though. Im sure its not yet too late.

I googled the topic on study habits and found a lot of sites that offered information. But since I have ADD , I picked out the first 3 links I liked.

This one seem simple and easy to follow. It even recommended that you pick out the embed (sorry im not a computer geek, Im unsure if i used the right term) and post it on your blog. So here it is :


How to Develop Good Study Habits for College


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

College is an entirely different situation than high school. Classes consist of far fewer grades. Some classes have only a midterm and final. This being said, it is important to stay caught up. Do not tell yourself, "I'll read the assignment later," because oftentimes you merely end up cramming right before the test; research indicates that cramming is not the most effective way to study , so try to avoid it if possible.

Steps


  1. Review the lesson plan prior to class.
  2. Take quick notes in class. (see tip)
  3. If you read the material before class you will have an idea of what doesn't make sense, and concentrate of your professor's explanation.
  4. Don't make notes on what's already in the book, it wastes your time and attention. Highlight the parts emphasized, and listen to the way your professor relates it to what you've already learned.
  5. If it's repeated more than twice it's going to be on the test.
  6. Study for at least a total of an hour everyday before the next class. For each lecture hour you should expect at least two hours needed for study- more if it's a challenging class.
  7. Don't let social activities take priority before studying.
  8. Plan your breaks in the short and long term. If you HAVE to make the Saturday night party, know you'll have to spend the afternoon at the library. If you're spending the day hitting the books, plan an hour off at suppertime, and a treat for dessert.
  9. Study groups help some remember material, and clarify difficult points.
  10. If your friends are in different courses plan on getting together for stress busting periods, especially during exam week. Midnight power walks make great memories.


Tips


  • The problem about studying isn't the actual studying itself, rather it's the getting started part. Most people find that once they have gotten started, it's much easier to continue.
  • If you know yourself well enough that you know that you probably won't study for an exam until the few hours before it, then you could try fixing this by tricking yourself. Write it in your calendar and convince yourself the exam is on a certain day, when it's really a week later. If you get into that mode, it's much easier to start studying and continue studying.
  • A very wise professor once said, "How and when to study? Study like there is always going to be an exam the next day. That way when there is, you've been studying for it for weeks."
  • If highlighters and Post-It notes help you organize and stay focused don't hesitate to put them in the budget. It's a small investment, and you'll be committed to USING your investment,
  • To take quick notes abbreviate everything, for example: (message = msg, take = tk, learn = lrn); just make up your own abbreviations, you'll come up with what works best for you in no time.
  • You remember things better in short amounts of time - DON'T study for 4 hours; you will only forget half the things you read. Study for an hour, then take a 5 - 10 minute break to walk around, and study for another hour. Be committed to making the break work for you too- don't get distracted for an hour, make sure you get back within the time you've set for yourself.
  • Listening to calming classical music and chewing gum while you study are helpful items that can help you remember things better.
  • Coffee or energy drinks could help, but substance abuse is a huge black hole. Use them occasionally, but depend on your own good work for quality results.
  • If you don't study for an exam even though you should have, don't beat yourself up. It actually makes you avoid studying. Instead, tell yourself that you *will* do better next time. Make yourself determined. When questioning on whether or not to study, remember the time that you didn't and felt terrible after the exam. use this to motivate yourself.
  • Always give yourself a break time and always plan things out one by one. Viewing three tests as one obstacle can become overwhelming.
  • Everyone hits a point that they don't understand, or has a paper they're frustrated enough to quit over. Don't let that one obstacle ruin you- get help from your professor, your study group, whatever, and solve the problem. Quit only AFTER the problem is solved, if you still want to.
  • Do the subject you don't like first, and move towards the easier tasks. You'll last longer and get more done.
  • Listening to music can also enhance your study ability by a lot it doesn't matter what you listen to. People say listening to music keeps the thoughts in your head the next time you study because you remember the music and what you have studied wile listening to the music.


Warnings


  • Stay away from distractions while you are studying like computers, TV, non-soothing music (music with lyrics can distract you), etc.
  • Do not study if you're tired. But don't go with "I'm tired" all the time. Sleep, or go out and exercise, and start again.
  • If you're going to a party, budget the party AND the sick hangover time as down time in your schedule. Don't try to work through- you'll waste your energy and get frustrated.
  • Do not cram; there is no point in trying to, because you will only remember very little and it won't help your future career because you'll have rotten recall.
  • During all nighters you'll lose as much information from sleepiness as you'll learn from the extra time spent. Stay up late, but make sure you're budgeting at least 6 hours for sleep, even on your night before the big exam. Your brain processes what you've learned in your sleep.
  • Don't abuse substances too much. Don't use tobacco. Often times, caffeine as well will lead to jitters making it impossible to get any decent studying in.


Related wikiHows





Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Develop Good Study Habits for College. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.



Well the above would work though if I truly plan on carrying it out! A day at a time! Mine starts tomorrow. =) Happy studying!

Wow Meow!!



Guess what I found at Pet Lover's Center this afternoon? A bag of Meow Mix! I got excited and bought the bag right away. Ive been wanting to get one since Ive been reading good reviews about it. Too bad they didn't have it at the local pet store. I usually just get my babies a bag of Science diet and also some fussy cat wet food. When Im broke, its Fancy Feast, Friskies or Whiskas.

On my way to lunch this afternoon, I ran into the black cat that hangs out in front of the building where I work.I thought of giving him some kibbles for lunch since I was on my way to have lunch too. I went to the check out the store and I was planning to get a small can of whiskas or burp.

Then there it was. This lonely bag flanked by Iams and Science diet. I asked the staff where the rest was. He said they are still testing whether people will buy it. So the meow mix bag was sort of consigned for a trial month perhaps? Well i do hope it becomes a mainstay of the catfood section! Id be sad if they decide that its not selling and consequently tell the supplier that it didnt fare too well and has to be pulled out.

When I got home, i put a scoop of the kibble in the babies bowls and observed. The big cat didnt seem to care too much about it. I think she is still full. Well its either that or she is being her bitchy old self. As for the little baby Thumpy, she loved it!!! She kept coming back for seconds!

Here is a cute video of the meowmix commercial

2 days to go

Oct 25, 2009

A refresher course that doesnt seem too refreshing

A few days ago I wrote a post on how I wanted to go back to school. I had to look up my transcript of records so I could get an overview of the courses I had so I could prepare myself.
Whoa I guess I did get a little ambitious on my plan. Here is the list of the 4 year curriculum

1st year
BIOCHEMISTRY
HUMAN ANATOMY
PHYSIOLOGY
COMMUNITY MEDICINE
PSYCHIATRY
BIOETHICS
PERSPECTIVES IN MEDICINE
MEDICAL INFORMATICS

2nd year
PSYCHIATRY 2
BIOETCHIS 2
COMMUNITY MEDICINE 2
PATHOLOGY (ANATOMICAL/CLINICAL)
MICROBIOLOGY/PARASITOLOGY
PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS
PHARMACOLOGY
MEDICINE 1
SURGERY 1
OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY 1
PEDIATRICS
MEDICAL INFORMATICS 2
LEGAL MEDICINE/ MED JURIS

3rd year
MEDICINE 2
SURGERY 2
PEDIATRICS 2
OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY 2
COMMUNITY MEDICINE 3
CPC (CLINICO PATHOLOGICAL CONFERENCE)
PSYCHIATRY 3
ENT
OPHTHALMOLOGY
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY
RADIOLOGY
BIOETHICS 3

4th year (Clerkship)

Rotations (DUTY)
MEDICINE
SURGERY
PEDIATRICS
OB-GYNE
COMMUNITY MEDICINE
ENT
OPTHALMOLOGY
PSYCHIATRY
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY

Damn that list is pretty long and scary!
Im not going to enroll on all these courses again. I just need to review. Its just one more year before I finish my degree though.

Strangely, Im really excited but a little apprehensive. Thats a lot!=)

(photo courtesy of fotosearch)

Oct 22, 2009

Oct 20, 2009

my real love

it was 5 years ago when i quit and told myself that i hated what i was doing. i found a job and also moved out of the country. during that period also i did some "soul searching". sought meaning and purpose to my life . i thought the big bucks would make me happy. for awhile i admit it did. it was good to also be able to afford a few things that could make those people i love happy.

i ultimately got tired of just working and earning but not really achieving something on a personal level (if you know what i mean). i felt no fulfillment in what i did.the pay is good but i felt that there is more i can do out there and hopefully its not about just money. i wish to be able to impart of what ive learned all these years and share or use it to alleviate the condition of others. sounds ambitious? kind of. but all i want is to do something that could improve the quality of life of some people, even when they are obviously in pain or there isnt much anyone can do for them..

i miss my old "routine".

when i quit my "routine" 5 years ago to have that freedom, i felt excited to try something else uncertain. even if the other route doesnt hold any promise for me. i wanted out. i was bored.

it was like being in an 8 year relationship and deciding to end it. i needed a breather.

i did have my 5 year of so called freedom. i have no regrets and looking back, i honestly wouldnt have it any other way. the experiences, both good and bad, have made me more firm in my goal in life now. also, the years i was away made me more mature in my outlook in life. im also more appreciative of the things i used to take for granted.

i never stopped thinking of what i had given up. i tried but i just felt that although i was happy there seemed a void that could not be filled by just a high paying job.

it felt like a first love i never got over.

after having discerned on this for quite some time now, i have decided to pursue my true love. yeah its a corny analogy but thats the closest i can think of=).

i am going back.

this isnt going to be easy but ive always been up for such a challenge . ive always placed a high value on things i had a hard time pursuing. so here it goes.

tomorrow is the first day of "bringing back the old memories".

Lesson 1. Biochemistry

Oct 12, 2009

Tsokolateng Itlog

2 years ago my then fiance sent me a birthday box filled with a bunch of goodies. It had a book, combos, filler pads for swiffer (I requested for this one), a stuffed animal, bath products and a Kinder Egg

I loved all of it. The chocolate caught my interest because it was so good. It was the first time I ever had one of these eggs.
It was called a Kinder Egg. My fiance got it during a layover at Germany. It was really yummy. Unfortunately at that time they didnt have it in SG. This chocolate comes with a toy too that you have to assemble.

A year ago they started selling the "Kinder Egg" here in SG. I was so excited to find it at a local store. It looked like this

the inside looked like this :

(photo courtesy of http://bit.ly/jRvO7 site)

I was disappointed. The original Kinder egg coated the entire little container that housed the toy. The chocolate was also very good compared to the one I bought here. The plastic shell of the original Egg looked like a big pill that you can pop open and take out the toy. It looks like this:

I am unsure whether the kinder egg sold here are manufactured by the same company or its a cheap bootleg version. Im just disappointed with the taste and the toy. Not that I really care much for the toy. The local version also had a toy but it looked equally crappy. Like I said, I didnt care about the toy. My tastebuds were frustrated.

Imitation is the best form of flattery as they say, but I really dont agree on this cliche. Be it clothes, bags, shoes etc especially food.

Even if I am not into branded stuff, I just don't like fakes. Id rather have a totally unknown brand than get a knock off of a well known brand. It is really annoying as well especially if the price is almost the same (sometimes even a bit higher). My husband ate a"fake"oreo once and he threw the whole pack. He was so pissed off that he even thought of writing "to the forum".

Well now we buy chocolates mostly from the cocoa tree or fairprice where we trust the merchandise.

Here is a link that you may want to check out if you are interested in Kinder eggs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinder_Surprise

Artworks for my babies

Here are a few sketches of my 3 babies. We used Pencils, crayons and markers. I drew and did the outline. My hubby colored and did the final touches to these drawings.

Dapper


Timmy


Bouncy



Oct 11, 2009

October '09 cat treats

Like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, our cat has a special treat day each week. Sometimes its on a Saturday but oftentimes we do it on Sundays. For this month we already bought them their special treats wet food. Also, we got them a new cat toy. I realized their old stick toy has no more feathers. The life span of the stick toy is very short because this happens to be the cats' favorite. The first one I got them was a cheap one I bought at Daiso. It was a recommendation by Penny from Yishun (Ill write a separate post about her. Cat advocate in SG know Penny. She is a wonderful woman and a selfless cat caregiver).
That Daiso toy lasted quite long because I took the time to mend it and even stitch it together. Its amazing that 2 dollar toy endured for a year.

Last year was a very tough year for me. Due to financial constraints even the cats were deprived of getting new toys or good food. Just the same, me and my hubby tried our best to make do with what we had. The cats had to settle with makeshift toys and standard brand of catfood. The new cat Thumpy had some kink problem on her spine but we managed to get her a calcium replacement despite the very tight budget.

A lot has changed since we moved to a different house. We are happier and Im sure our cats are too. We are not big timing but we are hardly ever without good food. Even the cats get more treats than they used to. The cat goodies include toys and the quality of food. We make sure now that the cats have that special treat at least once every week.

For October this is what we have in store for our babies:

We also got them this new cat teaser from Pet Lovers. It costs $4.90 and the cats go gaga over it.


The cat that got away- A tribute to Whitty Part 1

It was on May 2008 when I decided to adopt a cat. I have been in the country for one year but taking in a cat is one big leap. I am aware that cats are not allowed in HDB and since Im just a foreigner here, I have to be extra careful with the laws of the land. Yes I know it is still illegal to keep cats in a flat but I know a lot of people who do it. None of them so far has been caught or penalised so I thought it was going to be fine. I got in touch with Jamie, an advocate for Cat Welfare Socieity. She invited me go all the way to Yishun to take a look at the cat. She said the name of the cat is Whitty. I was so excited to go all the way to Yishun although it was a little far from where I live (Tampines). I was contemplating on taking the cat home that day. I had to put that off though because I was about to move to a new flat. The current contract at the flat I was staying at will be expiring on June 9. I thought it would be perfect to get the cat after I have settled in the new unit.

Jamie told me that Whitty was supposed to be adopted by someone else. It was sad according to her. When the woman saw Whitty, she just said she didnt have any feelings for her. So Jamie put up her ad again online and changed the status from adopted to for adoption.

Then I called and emailed her. She seemed very happy to hear from me and asked me when I could pick up the cat. So I told her I had to see the cat first and also I was in the process of moving to a new house. I reassured her however that if I like the cat, I would bring the cat home.

Jamie and I scheduled to meet a week after our conversation on the phone. It was set, Ill come by on May 17 to take a look at the cat. A week prior to visiting Jamie at Yishun, there was an unexpected turn of event when Whitty fell from the 4th floor of an HDB flat. I was shocked. My first question was, is she alive? The woman said she is alive and was brought to the vet. After a moment of silence, she asked me if I still wanted to take her, I said, Ill have to see the extent of her injuries. I felt guilty and selfish saying that. But I didnt think it would be a good ideato take her in and then be unable to provide her with the extra care she deserved.

When I got to Yishun I met up with Jamie. She introduced me to the foster parent of the cat also but I forgot her name.

There was also one important information that she failed to tell me on the phone. Whitty has to be adopted with her sister Dapper.Hmm I thought. I was not sure whether I could handle it.But I just told myself, we will see.

So I met the 2 kitties.
Here is Dapper
and here is Whitty:

Dapper is a 3 colored short hair who seem shy at first but warms up within the next 30 minutes. Whitty on the other hand is more outgoing and friendly than Dapper. She is white colored and has some flecks of brown on her ears and paws. Among the 2 cats, I would say Whitty is the sweet one. Dapper is adorable too but she is just a little passive compared to her sister.

After seeing the two babies, I just couldnt resist the challenge and most of all Whitty's charming eyes. I decided to adopt Whitty..and Dapper too.

video