Asking for comfort

Text messages...

Ban: Just lost 5 men on Impossible Ironman mode in Xcom. Was about to rush alien base.

Me: So are you restarting the game? I accidentally deleted your contacts in my phone. I also lost my phone's stylus again. Haiz.

Ban: I can play on actually. Considering.

Me: Honey, aren't you going to comfort me over my misfortunes? :)

Ban: Hahaha, sorry. I don't understand. All your contacts or just my numbers?

Me: Ya, I noticed that you tend to remember only part of sms. So I usually try to keep it short. Just your contact. I can't find the stylus. Looks like I have to order new one again.

Rudeness

If someone is rude to you, how will you react? It will depend on the consequences of your reaction, won't it?

However, that itself will produce different reaction for each person because, among other things, it depends on how far ahead the person thinks of the consequences.

During the pen-and-paper RPG sessions I am in, there were at least a couple of rude incidents (by different people) where I was at the receiving end and these occurred without the knowledge of the rest of the people present at those times. I would like to believe that the reason I didn't react (yes, I just moved on) was because primarily I didn't want to cause severe unpleasantness during those sessions and thus spoil them, especially since I have a tendency to get angrier as I reprimand if the culprit doesn't make amend soon.

Still, at the end of the day, I felt aggrieved not only because of the rudeness inflicted upon me but perhaps more so due to my inaction to get the grievance addressed, although it was for good reasons. I also fear that one day, I will implode and the consequence would probably be far worse than it should, due to to past grievances that were not addressed.


Yama & J Japanese Restaurant @Jaya One

Yet another new restaurant that Ban and I tried after purchasing Groupon/Living Social vouchers (can't remember which one).

Unfortunately, it was off to a bad start: it was hard to read the details of food in its menu. Something about the colour combination of the background and the words. So it took us even longer than usual (compared to other new restaurants) to decide what to order.

Instead of amaebi sushi (raw sweet prawn sushi), they served me cooked prawn sushi (ebi sushi). I told them that amaebi was supposed to be raw and yet the waitress, even after talking to the kitchen staff, responded that the cooked prawn was amaebi. I was quite stumped. I then asked them what was the ebi sushi in their menu and whether that was the raw prawn. If so, why was it cheaper than amaebi sushi.

My question actually got like a whole gang in discussion: at least 3 waitresses and 3 kitchen staff. Goodness. They then admitted their mistake and after a long wait (I'm not exaggerating here) where to their credit they apologised a few times for the wait, they served the correct dish:

Yama 2

It was not juicy. Bummer.

Yama 3

The salmon in the handroll was the low grade kind. Sakae Sushi's salmon is easily better than this. Mind you, price at Yama was definitely much higher. Strangely, it was slightly spicy.

Yama 1

Yama 4

The salmon and white tuna sushi were, similar to the handroll, of low grade. Goodness, so stingy and yet charged so high.

Service was slow. We asked a waiter for green tea refill but it was obvious he forgot. There seem to be poor communication between serving staff and kitchen staff.

The only redeeming feature of this restaurant was that most waitresses were doing their best to serve. They even gave us complementary seafood soup. Spicy lol.

After paying, they offered free loyalty card that provides discount for members. I politely declined as I was sure I wouldn't go back there again. Any restaurant that cannot even beat Sakae Sushi despite charging significantly much higher price is certainly not worth dining at.

OldTown White Coffee: Coffee (where is the) Lava

I learned decades ago that one can almost never expect food to be presented exactly the same as its picture shown in the menu. However, I do expect some sort of semblance, especially not a blatant disregard to its description. For example, if the picture and its description indicate prawn will be in the food, then I expect prawn in the food. It does not need to be as large as the one shown in the photo or match the number of prawns but there has to be prawn.

With that in mind, here's a photo of OldTown White Coffee's Coffee Lava in their menu:

OldTown Coffee Lava

What do you see? Some sort of chocolate/coffee powder on top of the ice cream and a lava of presumedly coffee syrup at the bottom, right? I expect the actual thing to have some sort of semblance (again, no need to be exact) to the photo.

Here was what I was served:

OldTown where is Coffee Lava

Where's the powder? Where's the lava? Tsk tsk tsk. Sloppy. Very sloppy.

iSmile

About two weeks after my first appointment, my tooth was so much better than pre-treatment. It was time for my follow-up appointment at iSmile. It was still sensitive when I had cold drinks or dessert but it was not quite noticeable.

This time I brought along my mouthguard. At the end of the treatment previously, the dentist, Dr Mah, said that I should still be able to use it since she didn't alter the shape of the tooth. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was difficult to push it in place and hence needed to be loosen.

Her checks showed that the tooth looked fine. The air-jet test confirmed that the sensitivity was slight. So she just suggested that I continue my observation and to apply toothpaste for sensitive teeth directly on the tooth for 5-10 mins.

In addition, upon my request, she modified my mouthguard so that it now can fit in easily. Yay!

I was supposed to pay RM15 for that 10-minute session and I already had RM50 note in my hand to pay the receptionist/secretary. However, upon learning a little more about the situation with regard to mouthguard, she took upon herself to ask Dr Mah whether the fee could be waived or not. They did waive it. What a pleasant surprise.

So hopefully my tooth will be normal soon.

I highly recommend iSmile to anyone seeking dental treatment around PJ. Professional, friendly, clear explanation, comfortable ambience. Here's the address and phone number:

No. 76A, Jalan SS21/35
Damansara Utama
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +6 03 7727 2135

Steamboat @Zhi Wei Yuan, Butterworth

After hearing about it from my family for at least 6 months, my sister and her husband finally had the opportunity to bring me to Zhi Wei Yuan to have steamboat. There were attempts to do so previously but didn't materialise due to circumstances.

My first concern was whether we needed to wait for seats as surely it would be crowded if it was good and inexpensive, right? Yes, it was quite crowded but there were many tables and staff there were efficient in taking order, serving food and clearing tables. Mind you, they did all these without being pushy, as some restaurants do.

Zhi Wei Yuan 1

Instead of mini-gas stove, they used charcoal. Naturally it was smokeless but the bigger question is how was it fanned to get the remaining charcoal burn?

Zhi Wei Yuan 2

Ta-da! They used this battery-operated mini-blower. Neat, eh? So cute. Took a few minutes to get the charcoal hot enough to burn on its own.

Zhi Wei Yuan 3

As with any normal steamboat, there was a base price for a standard set of food and then you could pay to add more ingredient. The soup base was between fried and non-fried fish. We had the former, which was cheaper. The soup was delicious although a little heavy for my liking. Just a little. I am keen to try the non-fried fish soup base next time.

The food was fresh and sliced/cut up well. I don't remember anything I didn't like. Only other thing noteworthy was that they ran out of eggs, which was so unusual for a steamboat restaurant. Heck, it's unusual for any restaurant I would think. My bro-in-law went home and brought 3 eggs over hehehe.

I can't remember the price but it was worth it and not expensive for a steamboat.

Cholesterol 2014

It was time again to go for my annual cholesterol test. The results (as compared to a year ago) are as follows:

                                       Dec 2012           Jan 2014           Ref. range
Total cholesterol            5.5                     5.9                      < 5.2
HDL ("good")                1.32                   1.67                    > 1.04
LDL ("bad")                   3.8                     3.8                     < 2.6
Triglycerides                   0.8                     0.9                     < 1.7
Total/HDL ratio              4.2                     3.5                      < 5.0

Initially, I was disheartened at the increase in total cholesterol but felt happier when I looked at the details. LDL and triglycerides level are about the same but HDL has increased significantly. Woot!

As a result, the total/HDL ratio has gone down again, continuing the trend from a year ago. I guess the swimming (something I just started in 2013) helped a lot, although I was a little apprehensive because I didn't walk as much as I used to.

I'm still taking oat every morning and try to swim on almost daily basis, in addition to yoga on Sunday. Unfortunately, since Dec, it has been raining almost daily and so the pool was too cold to swim. Even on "good" days (where there was considerable period of sunshine), the pool was quite cold. Bah.




Hui Lau San @Tropicana City Mall

(Update: The name of the dessert should be pomelo icy sago watermelon. I left out "watermelon" in my post below. Sorry about that.)

This is a dessert shop on the ground floor of the mall. It's been there for quite some time already. I had wanted to try its dessert a few times but the problem each time was that it wasn't appealing to me after I was full from dinner.

So one night, I felt that I had room for dessert (or greed just took over hehehe) and decided to try their daily promotion: pomelo icy sago. It's normally RM8.90 but it was RM5.90 that day (both excluding service charge and government tax).

Hui Lau San 1

Hui Lau San 2

It looks great to have on a hot weather, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectation. The watermelon was not sufficiently sweet and I couldn't taste any pomelo in it. Quite disappointing. The only bright spot was its sago.

Overall, I believed it was fine if it was RM5.90++ but definitely not at its original price.

Information

Here's something peculiar about Ban: he knows how to get to, say, a particular restaurant but he usually won't know the name of the building the restaurant is in (if it's such restaurant), the name of the area (Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya etc), or the names of the various roads leading to the restaurant. This doesn't help him when giving direction to someone else.

I usually consider this an idiosyncrasy of his until recently...

Ban's mum: Oh, let's have lunch at the shop opposite the road
Me: (Huh? What road?) What's the name of the shop?
Ban' mum: Don't know
Me: Ummm ok, which road is that?
Ban's mum: Along the highway, where the church is.
Me: Oh, opposite the church.

Ban's brother: I just bought a new aircon
Me: Oh, good. What's the brand?
Ban's brother: I don't know.
Me: Huh? You chose an aircon without knowing the brand?
Ban's brother: I just asked for an aircon that will cool the room substantially. The price was reasonable and so I bought it. Didn't ask for the brand. Oh, no, you're disappointed!
Me: @@

Dental treatment

It's been donkey years since I had my last filling. Alas, I had to do it again recently.

About a week before end of 2013, I had an unfortunate incident. I bit onto tiny bit of stone while having my meal. Normally, that isn't something to shout about but this time, it seem to hurt my teeth a little. Then it happened again during the next meal (or maybe the next next meal). Collectively, this hurt my teeth, upper and lower at the back right side, a lot.

At first, it hurt when chewing food. After a couple of days, it was fine when chewing but there was still sharp pain whenever I drank hot or cold beverage. I doubted but did hope that it was just due to the teeth suddenly gone sensitive. So I paid extra attention to those teeth when brushing with Sensodyne.

However, after about a week, the sensitivity was still there and I was getting worried that it could be tooth decay. Hence I made an appointment to see a dentist at ISmile Dental Centre. It was my first time there.

The dentist was thorough in checking the teeth concerned. There was testing with jet of air, knocking and pressing. She said that one tooth had cracked, as I had suspected. On further checking, the tooth beside the cracked tooth had cavity too. Bahhhh. Surprisingly, there wasn't anything wrong with the lower teeth.

Upon her suggestion, I agreed to have fillings done for the two teeth. If that doesn't fix the problem, then I would need root canal treatment, which I hope I won't need.

Before the treatment, she asked whether I would like her to numb the area around the teeth i.e. apply local anaesthesia. I told her I couldn't remember what it was like when I had my last filling. She said that without the anaestheisa, it would be like having the sharp pain. Oh, then I definitely need it. She said it would last for 2-3hours.

She wasn't joking when she said she was going to be conservative in the treatment. She took quite sometime to clean the teeth properly before doing the actual fillings. I'm all for it honestly because I want to save my teeth. The whole session, from checking to cleaning and filling took an hour @@

The local anaesthesia numbed the right side of my mouth so much so that water was spewing out when I tried to gargle lol. So I had to gargle with much less intensity. Boy, when it wore off, I was so glad I opted for it because I felt the toothache. If I had gone on without it, I would have been in great pain, especially given how long and how thorough the treatment was @@

So that was how I ended 2013: with a toothache. Hopefully on the next appointment she'll confirm that the treatment is successful and sufficient to address the problem.

Looking back at 2013

It was the year I finally managed to sell my house in Seremban. Thank goodness. It was such a hassle. *shiver* I can finally channel more fund into share investment and thus make my investment portfolio less unbalanced.

Also, I finally got myself a new laptop. I'm thankful it's working well (came in good condition, phew!) and that Windows 8 isn't as scary as I thought it would be. Some preparation and googling helped a lot.

After having raised this possibility few years ago, I finally got some freelance actuarial projects from an actuary in Singapore that I know and worked with previously. So far, we have worked quite well together and for that I'm grateful. This not only supplements my rather thin income (compared to expenses) quite substantially but also let me use my actuarial skills once again and thereby not letting it go rusty for much longer.

I had my share of fun, new food, new games, new books etc. But on what truly matters, aside from the above (which are mainly related to money), 2013 has been a rather bad year personally and with other people. Don't get me wrong; it's not that people have mistreated me or something like that but it's just that bad and harrowing incidents happened of which I do not wish to experience again. It made me feel tired and sad.

So here's to a better year ahead in 2014!