Why am I here: An Introduction

This is something that I have not done and I found this Blogging 101 on WordPress and thought it might be a good idea to learn about blogging (which I have zero idea about). I am unfortunately 5 days late but hey!  it is never too late to start something.  So here I go:

Today’s assignment : Write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post

I have never given much thought as to why I have decided to start blogging when I could have just kept a personal journal.  I am neither a writer or a blogger who wants to be an expert in a particular field.  I guess I want to write about something, not necessarily being an expert but my opinions.  I am perhaps hoping to find something that I am passionate about and perhaps one day, my blog will shape more towards my passion instead of being all over the place.

I do believe in living life and celebrating life.  I try to be more compassionate towards others and be morally right.  I have a favourite passage that I hold dear to.  I read it recently on Huffington Post.  The passage is

So for the people in your life who have not known your worth, who have been reckless with your heart or fallen painfully short of your expectations, sincerely wish them well, forgive yourself for holding on to it and preventing yourself from really living, forgive them for their shortcomings (as well as your own), scoop up that huge beautiful life lesson and all the pieces of your heart, and sail on. You have mountains to move, dreams to dream, and a world to change, even if the only world is your own. –Page 83, I Am That Girl

I love the article written by Alexis Jones on Huffington Post.  It’s called How to be ‘That’ Girl.  I have not read the book yet but I will, when I get round to it.  This is basically what I aim for in life and why I have begun blogging.  To share my thoughts with anyone who might be interested in it and to write more in good proper English.  Not sure if I will get to be ‘That’ girl but I am willing to try.

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Easter Sunday 2014

Finally, it is here!  It has been a long time since the 1st day of Lent that I decided to give up alcohol.  Looking back, even though I did mention that I would like to fast for the duration of Lent, that did not happen!  I am disappointed that I did not have a stronger will, but I was rather satisfied that I did not take a drop of alcohol for the duration of Lent.  That is rather hard for me because I am always forgetting.  There had been close calls as I would be staring at the wine list thinking of what to order without realizing that it is still Lent.  Luckily I have always remembered before ordering and so have not broken my dry spell.

I had my first drop of alcohol today and boy!  that taste great.  It did put a smile on my face as well.  Going with Easter Sunday, it is always a good seafood feast which was why I made a stop at the fish market.  It is always a good place to get fresh seafood.

After getting the seafood, I made a pitstop at St Mary Cathedral.  I have never been there and I thought well since I am already in the city, might as well go there.  It was gorgeous! St Mary Cathedral The high ceilings, the awesome architecture what more can you ask for.  I found out that there is a crypt there.  Well who would have thought that there is a crypt in the cathedral.  They do charge if you wish to enter the crypt.  Unfortunately, I missed the Royal family who were there for the morning mass.  I am glad that I stopped by there.

On top of it all, the icing of the cake, I found out that next Sunday 27th April, 2 popes will be canonized, Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II.  It is interesting as Blessed John Paul II has been fast tracked to be a Saint instead of having to go through the usual centuries of process.

All in all, this year’s Easter proves to be a good one apart of the fact that the Easter bunny stopped by this year and decided to mess with my hot water heater.  I had a cold shower in cool Autumn to start of my Easter Sunday but it ended with a very warm hug.

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I made pupusas for dinner from scratch

I am not a cook.  I am no MasterChef or hidden chef.  Pupusas are Salvadorean food.  It is more of a street food in El Salvador but here, I consider it a delicacy as it is hard to find a Salvadorean restaurant selling pupusas in Sydney.  I remembered when I was living in Brisbane, I would just go for mass every sunday in a latino church and I can have pupusas for lunch!  Those were the days.  Recently, I was having cravings for pupusas and unfortunately, Brisbane is not 2 hours drive from Sydney so I decided to make some.

I did my research on the internet.  The internet is a good place to start and I found pupusas recipes (Thank you to all those people who post those life-saving recipes).  So, I wrote down my list of ingredients required and went shopping.  I bought all my ingredients but it would take me another 2 weeks to gather my courage to make them.  They looked hard to make and I was sure I was set for failure.  In the end, I turned to YouTube and watched videos after videos about making pupusas and trying to memorise what I saw.

Today is the day!  I came back from work and made the dough.  Being not a good cook, I was basically guessing as to whether what it meant by dough should not be too dry.  I waspupusas surprised it took me only 15 minutes to get the dough ready.  Whilst letting the dough rest, I made the tomato-based sauce.  I prepared the cheese stuffing as well (I decided to keep it simple by making cheese pupusas).  Following the videos, I divided the dough into balls and stuffed them with cheese.  I flattened the balls and cooked them on the frying pan (even though everyone on the videos cooked the pupusas on a flat griddle pan or the flat part of the BBQ but it is too hard to go fire up the BBQ and make pupusas at the same time so I decided to cook the pupusas in a pan.

Once they are cooked, you serve them with picked cabbage (curtido) and tomato based sauce.

Verdict: I invited my Salvadorean friend to try them and he says that it looks like what you would get at the pupuserias in El Salvador.  I guess he likes them.  I am rather surprised how quick you can make pupusas and eat them.  I was expecting to polish them off 3 hours later or so but it only took me an hour to make and cook the pupusas.  I was starving so it took me 15 minutes to polish off 3 pupusas.  I guess they are ok.  I will make them againfinished pupusa serve

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300 – Rise of an empire

I watched 300 – Rise of an empire recently.  I must say, if you haven’t seen the movie 300 yet, highly recommend to watch it first before watching the 2nd movie.

What can I say?  Firstly, I am not a movie buff so I am not going in-depth about why this movie is worth your time watching et cetera, et cetera.  I saw the trailer of this movie when I was watching another movie and I thought…wow!!!  I should watch this and it is on 3D as well.  Must be fantastic!

After watching it, I simply cannot understand the title “Rise of an empire”.  In my opinion, after watching the entire movie, I cannot see a single rise or fall of any empire.  Perhaps I am not very receptive to the undertones of the movie.  I am not sure.  And for me, the ending of the movie, wait…what ending?  I must have missed it because I did not see an ending.  There, I think I have given away the ending.  I am not sure what the movie supposedly to convey to its audience but it did not convey anything to me.  The movie is very well made, the quality of the 3D and all but I am a story person and yet I can’t figure out what the story is about.  I believe the title threw me off in the first place and I was looking for the story in the title.

Perhaps I should watch it again when the DVD is released just so I can take it all in and understand the movie properly.

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Being unemployed

I resigned from my work recently.  More like 3 weeks ago.  Nothing drastic or anything but I must say unemployment does not suit me very well.  Fair enough, it gives me more than enough time to blog about my life but other than that, I spend most of my time on my couch.

I have caught up with most of my tv shows that I had taped the last couple of weeks but I have recently taken to watch real life crime shows on Youtube.  I am talking about obsessively watching Youtube non-stop hour after hour.  The shows that I have been watching are US criminal shows and I am pretty drawn to them.  Not because I am interested in the why did this person do it but more how did the police solved it and sometimes, I can’t help but admire the perseverance of police detectives or the strength and perseverance of the surviving family members making sure that the mystery gets solved.

The other thing that I don’t like being unemployed is I can’t go shopping.  I used to troll shopping websites and putting items on my wishlist and purchasing them when I can but because I have to keep an eye on every single expense, I find it hard to stop viewing these websites.  Recently, I have just stooped to bookmarking these websites with the hopes that the bargains will be there when I am financially viable again.

On the plus side, I have recentlyt accepted a position so which means I am employed again.  Dang!  so much for thinking I can spend more time on the couch.  I better use this time to curb my Youtube addiction as well.

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PappaRich Restaurant – Chatswood

I went to PappaRich restaurant in Chatswood.  I did not even realise that this restaurant existed.  I only knew of Mamak in Chatswood.  I usually try to visit asian restaurants when I have asian food cravings.  Personally, I do not really like Mamak.  I may be desperate when I have cravings but not to the extent of being squash like sardines.  So there I was circling around Chatswood looking for a place to eat and came across PappaRich.  PappaRich is located at 63A Archer Street Chatswood.

There is a queue.  Most Asian food places, if you haven’t noticed, have a queue.  The queues get longer if they are considered authentic and located at a prominent location.  However, one thing that struck me was how quick the queue moves.  From the outside (since I was queuing), I was rather impressed with the interior.  None of the guests are shoved together like little sardines in a tin.  It is a nice warm interior with proper space separations between tables.

10 mins later, I was in.  As I said, nice warm interior, the walls were dark brown wood, kind of like a very posh looking cafe with lots of Asians.  I had been told that if a restaurant have lots of asians in them, it is good.  But remembering that this is afterall Chatswood, I reserve my opinion since Mamak was rather of a disappointment in my opinion.  We were seated at a table, right in front of the cooking area and the bar.  It is rather nice to be able to see your food and drinks being prepared.

The difference for this place is you write down your order and there is a little bell that you press (this is located on the cutlery container) when you are ready to place your order.  And the choices on that menu, I felt like I have gone to heaven.  So many choices, only one stomach.  I ordered the dry kwoay teow with steamed chicken and Teh C special.  I pressed the little bell and waited for someone to take my order away.  One thing I noticed, if the restaurant is really busy, the wait staff to take a while to come to your table.  I had to press my bell twice before someone took the order.  So I sat back and waited for the food to come.  To my big surprise, food came in like under 10 mins.  I am seriously impressed.  And it sure looked like this ( I took this image from the PappaRich website). N10 is the picture of the noodles I ordered.Papparich 7 (noodles)The drink followed not too long after.  I was mighty impressed with the speed of the arrival of the noodles and drink.  I dug into my meal. The steamed chicken on the side reminds me of Hainanese chicken.  The chicken meat was tender and juicy and the noodles were cooked perfectly.  The Teh C Special is nice and fragrant.

My personal opinion, I would come back again.  It is, by far, the most authentic place I have been to.  I cannot wait to visit the restaurant again and go through their menu.  I have decided to have a different dish each time I am there.  I do apologise for the lack of photos.  I don’t really take photos and was not really thinking about reviewing this restaurant till I had my meal.  I feel that this place deserves a mention and I am pretty sure there are lots of reviews on this restaurant since its opening and more will follow as long as the standards and quality of this restaurant remains as it is.  I was informed by my friend that PappaRich have franchises in Malaysia and Singapore, well, I rest my case.

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Lent – Week 1

It has been about a week since Lent started.  There has been a mix of emotions as well as trying to stay within the confines of what I have set out to to accomplish.  I did not quite meet my Lenten fast last week.  I had a few weak days where I had eaten more than 1 meal required.  And on Friday, I forgot to abstain from meat.  In my cheeky state, I had to say, the American styled pork ribs I had for brunch, tasted extremely delicious and mouth-watering.  After researching, I was informed that I can choose another day to replace Friday so I chose the next day, Saturday.  I was doing well, fasting and all, till it was dinner time.  In my weakened hunger state (not really), I am pretty sure my years of stored fats would have sustained me pretty well for one day, anyways, I had dinner with my friend and she ordered a plate of chicken wings and satay to share (I have decided to do a review on that restaurant separately).  I totally could not resist and I totally forgot that I was abstaining from meat that day.  I did eventually do the abstaining of meat on Sunday.  I fasted and had salad and fries on Sunday.  Not sure if that constitutes dinner but yes, the fries were mouthwatering and I did get through half of the salad bowl (I am not a big fan of raw salad, so to get through half is quite a good accomplishment).  And all that in only Week One.  Hopefully week 2 will pass without any issues.

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International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I have never shown much interest in this till now. I have no idea what triggered it but when I opened my laptop today and saw the news, this was what I saw. With my interest peaked, I decided to research on it like how this came about and what it was all about. This is Wikipedia’s explanation. The earliest observance started in 1908. Who would have thought that this had started so long ago.

This year’s theme is “Equality for Women is Progress for All“.  I like the theme.  It is a theme of empowerment.  I think back of all the places that I have worked in and I have noticed that nearly all the heads of departments are the male species.  Not that I am trying to throw a brick into the mix, I find it hard to believe that women are not as capable as men.  I believe that women are too busy trying to prove their capabilities in the male dominated world that they forget that they are capable and confident people who can make a stand for themselves.  I used to call the departments I see with a male at the top and throes of females under them a “harlem”.  Thinking back, I have yet to come across a workplace that supports women’s advancement at work.  Perhaps because I am disillusioned, I see women in top positions being considered the outsider.  The men in the same positions are quickly invited into the inner circle and go out for Friday night drinks and they talk like they are old friends, whereas women have to either act like them and ignore crude jokes or be left out of the inner circle.

Angelina JolieThere are women I look up to.  I often wish I am as confident and strong as they are.  I will get there one day.  I am still finding myself in all of this.  I am a bit slow when it comes to finding myself and knowing my strengths and weaknesses.  One day, I hope I will understand me and use that understanding to get me to where I want to be in life.

I admire my mother and my sister.  My mom because she has been my father’s sole carerStrong woman the last 11 years ever since my dad had his devastating stroke.  She has osteoarthritis on her knees yet I have never heard her complain.  She plows through each day, helping my dad with his exercises, bathing him, cleaning him u when he has his “accidents” and helping him to cut up his food to bite-size pieces.  My sister because she knows what she wants.  She moved back to Singapore to be closer to my parents.  She does not complain much even when my parents would drive her crazy.  Now that she is married, I wish her all the best in her new life.  I want to be more like them.  Knowing what they want and achieving it regardless of the challenges that are laid down before them.  My sister always tell me to do things without regret.  I hold that advice close to my heart.

strong woman 1So, today, being International Women’s Day, it is my wish and hope that every woman in the world will be confident in the knowledge that they are capable.  Don’t let any challenges get you down.  Life is a journey, I hope every woman will find their strengths in their life journey whilst being respected and supported by their loved ones for what they have decided to do.

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Abstinence and Fasting for Lent 2014

I have decided to put in more effort for Lent this year.  My goal this year is to abstain from alcohol (which is my yearly goal, since I heart my alcohol too much).  Apart from that, I have decided to abstain from having meat on Fridays during Lent and try my hand at fasting.  I shall continue to blog throughout Lent so as to keep my goals in view 

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Internet down

It has been 5 days since my internet went down.  I did not realise how dependent I was on the internet.  I feel like I was missing something every day.  One thing good that came out of this was I have been to the library everyday ever since my internet was down.  I signed on to be a member, discovered awesome books and chatted to the librarians.  I did not realise that you can use the library card at any of the local libraries where you live.  So basically, you can visit up to 5 libraries as long as they are within the same shire.  Hello…mortal instrument books, here I come.

Today, when I came home, I found that my internet was working again.  How that happened, I have no idea because I swear that the internet was still down when I left home.  Anyways, I was so happy.  It was like welcoming an old friend that you have not seen for ages, that was the feeling I had.  If I hadn’t decided to give up alcohol for Lent, I would have popped a bottle of champers just to celebrate its return.  And I fired up my laptop so I can check on my social media and give a little rant on my blog.  Happy days till the next disaster.

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