Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dinner at Tarbush

Last Tuesday we went to Tarbush for a Middle Eastern dinner to celebrate Lillian's actual birthday. My sis is always adventurous and likes to try new things.

Floral design in mosaic adorned the tables

The lights above the couch we sat on

Special request to be seated at the couch
which is normally reserved for big groups

Since we don't know much about Middle Eastern cuisine, we just ordered a mixed appetizer and a mixed grill. When the food came we were so intrigued by the many strange and unfamiliar flavours that we started eating and forgot all about taking photos of the meal!

Anyway I could only remember two out of the many strange names. The chickpea hummus which tasted better than it looked - like some baby food - and the tabbouleh (sounds like tak boleh), a parsley salad with lemon juice and olive oil dressing that was so refreshing.

The mixed grill was delicious with pita bread and briyani. These people really know how to grill their meat. Thank God we did not order more 'cos the protions were huge.

After we had our fill, we ordered dessert to go with Arabian coffee for Lillian and mint tea for me.

Some sort of milky custard with pistachio nuts
that has a really sweet aroma

The baklava was a disappointment. It looks terrible
and I've tasted better elsewhere. It's sooo expensive too.

My mint tea is just any English tea
with our normal mint (poh ho in Hokkien) thrown in

The Arabian coffee was a really potent brew.
No wonder it was served in such tiny portions.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Watch Your Diet

That was the message in the fortune cookie I received today. : (

I don't believe in fortune cookies but this is right on target 'cos I've gained 2kg from all the CNY feasting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The Cove" Wins Oscar

"The Cove" is an American film documenting the annual killing of dolphins in a cove near the Japanese village of Taiji. On Sunday night it was awarded an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

I just watched the documentary last Wednesday and I cried so much that my eyes were swollen the next day.

Every September, the fishermen would trap the dolphins in the bay. The dolphins that are not sold to aquariums and oceanariums are stabbed to death until the whole sea turns red. They could have just set the dolphins free but instead they massacred the poor creatures and sold their meat as whale meat.

Sea red with dolphin blood

Even though the dolphin meat contains high levels of mercury, they are given to the local school and served to schoolchildren for lunch. These people are without a conscience.

Those dolphins who ended up in the aquariums and oceanariums did not fare any better. We are under the impression that the dolphins are happy because of their smiling faces. In actual fact dolphins in captivity are very miserable. We know this from the man behind this exposé, Ric O'Barry.

He was the one who captured and trained the five wild dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the hit television series of the 1960s. The turning point came for him when one of the dolphins committed suicide in his arms.

Unlike humans, dolphins must make a conscious effort to breathe. The dolphin who committed suicide swam into his arms, looked at him then she voluntarily closed her blowhole, suffocated and just sank to the bottom of the pool.

When he realized the suffering inflicted on performing dolphins and dolphins in captivity he made it his lifelong mission to free as many dolphins as he can and to be an advocate for dolphins.

I will never visit any zoo, aquarium or oceanarium again.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby Sis Turns Fifty

Lillian had always planned fantastic themed parties for her children on their birthdays when they were younger. She loves parties so it is only right that she should have a memorable 50th birthday bash. It was my joy to give my baby sis her heart's desire.

Her actual birthday is in March but her son Josh was leaving for Perth on 19 February so we fast-forwarded everything to 17 February.

17 February happened to be the 4th day of Chinese New Year so most of her friends were either busy, out of town or away on holiday but there were 11 of us to celebrate with her. We even had to compromise on the cake because the cake makers only started work on that day and they couldn't prepare a royal icing cake for her in time for lunch.

It was meant to be a surprise party for the birthday girl but, knowing my sis, no effort we put in could be on par with what she can do to transform an ordinary venue to something really spectacular. So we had no choice but to tell her so she can work her magic on the place.

The private room at Suffolk House after Lillian had worked her magic
with red feathers and her own floral centrepiece

The birthday girl looking gorgeous in red with her cake
festooned with feathers, glitter, berries and sparklers

All the ladies at the party

Singing our hearts out to "That's What Friends Are For"
We really Power-rotied on it!

The belly dancer hired by Wei Lin spiced things up.
The rest of us had loads of fun joining her.

A thank you from my baby sister

Pam and I after the party

My forever friend

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Always My Babee

How can I not worry when my babee is sick and there's nobody to take care of her?

It's times like this when I feel so helpless. Of course, there is nothing much that I can do even if I'm there with her but least I'm there.

Anyway, she'll probably get more rest without me hovering around, so this is just me being selfish. My being with her is more for me than it is for her.

As hubby says I have to learn to mother without smothering but that's so difficult 'cos my babee will always be my babee no matter how old she is.

And all I want is to just hold her close and yang-yang her. But the only thing I can do is pray for her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do You Know... (7)

...what's a Bible Bump?

No, it has nothing to do with being religious or reading the Bible. It's actually another name for a ganglion cyst (also known as a bible cyst).

I learned about it when a little bump - like a mosquito bite - on my thumb (it rhymes!) began to grow bigger and bigger until it looked like this...

View from the top. Not so obvious, right?

Side view. Size of the bump after 4 months.

It doesn't hurt but it's unsightly (oh, vanity, thy name is woman) and not knowing what is underneath the bump (so kiasi) bothered me.

When orthopaedic surgeon saw it he immediately diagnosed that it's a ganglion cyst. Apparently it's a common problem and he was surprised that no one I know has ever suffered from it. Even the nurses could diagnose the problem when they saw it so it's confirmed that it's pretty common after all.

He said I don't have to do anything to it but recommended surgery to remove the cyst, in case it bursts through the skin that is stretched too thin and infection sets in. What do you expect him to say anyway? So I had that pesky little thing removed on 26 January.

An even bigger bump after the surgery!

So why is a ganglion cyst also known as a "Bible Bump"? According to Wikipedia,
The traditional method of treating a ganglion cyst was to strike the lump with a large heavy book, causing the cyst to rupture and drain into the surrounding tissues. An urban legend states that since even the poorest households often possessed a Bible (referring to the large family Bibles), this was commonly used, which led to the nicknaming of ganglion cysts as "Jillian's lump", "Bible Bumps" or "Gideon's Disease." This type of treatment is not recommended by some doctors as it can damage the area around the cyst and the cyst may come back anyway.