Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gone Sun-Worshipping

Will be back with a bragpost and a sun tan.

Happy holidays y'all!

P/s: Anyone going anywhere? :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dr Melinda Tong, Dermatologist: The Second Appointment

So yesterday I went to visit Dr Melinda for my second appointment.  Click here if you haven't read about me gushing like a fangirl when I met her the first time.

I was so excited to meet her that I mistakenly heard my name being called, hence cutting the line of a very pissed off lady.  Of course, my face burnt with embarrassment when the doctor exclaimed, "You're not Helen Voo!"  I know it's not even remotely close and now you think I should get my ears checked but I blame the mumbling nurse.

As I entered her spacious office, she looked at my face (after brushing off my embarrassing act, of course )and said, "Are you wearing make-up now?" And by make-up she meant foundation.  She glanced at my file and continued, "M.A.C., right?"

It's pretty a no-brainer to wear foundation on a derm's appointment, no?

So beaming with pride, I told her no.

She couldn't believe  her eyes! And of course she thought I was bluffing.  Then she too beamed with pride on how her meds work and the cha-ching she'll be making for the rest of her life.  You could've shove your fist into my nostrils 'coz it was flaring with pride.

Of course, my forehead was not so clear yet, but my cheeks were porcelain, minus a few acne scars.  And my skin doesn't seem to produce sebum enough to suppy KFC for a year any more (Guinness Book of Record, anyone?)

I'm sure you're dying to see some before and after photos, so I will fulfil your dying wish.

Please bear with my naked face and the earlier photos of treatment.  And please don't run away when it gets ugly.

This is the first day on treatment:

Ok so you might think, "Hey, that's not so bad.  You could have just get over your vain self."  Well problem is I can't.  This is a first-world problem, people.

Week 2:

As you can see, some parts got better, and some got worse.  Acnes popping out on places I never had on before. Humongous and cystic.  Every man's dream.  This process is called purging.  The meds work first by pushing out all the crap out of my face.

Week 3:

By week three, the cystic acnes were slowly disappearing, but the fine grainy ones started colonising my skin.

Week 4:

It's clearing up! Albeit a few pimples still popping up in random places.

Week 5:


Even though I may have made my dermatologist cum a little with this amazing result, she decided to up my Acnotin dose and prescribe more antibiotics for another two weeks, to blast away the remaining motherfuckers.  Amour!

At this moment I still get little breakouts daily, but with the powerful Differin, it'll dry up the next day.  However the side effects of Acnotin is that it dries your lips.  Like, dried prune dry.  In which the petroleum jelly is god-sent.  With the lack of sebum, my face got a little sensitive.  For example, when I trimmed and shaved my eyebrows, my eye lid skin burns.  And the sensation last for a couple of hours.  Then I saw the warning sign on the Acnotin box - no masks, no scrubs, no facials, no peelings and no waxing.  You don't say.

Speaking of masks, scrubs and facials, I did ask her on how effective these pampering products are.  She was totally against it.  Including the so-called 'blemish balm', BB creams.  Simply because these things do nothing to our face but clog our pores.  But then again, for those who do these things and yet their skin is still as soft as a baby's butt, I see no harm.  All I know is I'll be saving lots of money on NOT doing these things.  A relaxing facial spa is still tempting though.

And oh, I'll be going to an island vacation soon (will totally make a big announcement and brag about it later), so she prescribed me some sunscreen pills.  I thought she was making an unfunny joke about 'eating' my sunblock.  Apparently, the sunscreen lotion that we slather on our bodies lasts for only about 20 minutes, especially if we're in water.  It would be a futile attempt to keep slathering on sunblock every 20 minutes like a dork.  Hence, she introduced me to oral sunscreen protection, which lasts for about 4 hours.  Since my skin will be peeling badly from the increased dose of Acnotin, I need every sun protection I can get.

My next appointment will be in six weeks.  So hopefully, by then, my skin will be so flawless, you'll worship me as an idol of perfect skin.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why Last Minute Work is Not Always Bad

I am not a procrastinator.  I repeat, I am not a procrastinator.

I like my work completed early, and fast.

If I get an assignment, hell, I'll do it one week earlier even before I receive it.  Okay, exaggerating there a bit, but you get my point.

'Coz I hate last minute work and cramming.  It stresses me out.

But since the dawn of that bloody mind-controlling Facebook, I started to procrastinate.  Somehow reading about people bashing other people is more interesting than my work.

And people post A LOT of interesting, funny, gruesome, horrifying, cute, touching, inspiring links.  You just gotta read 'em all, you know?  You don't wanna be left out, do you?

After spending hours mindlessly on Facebook and reading reviews on hundreds of beauty products and make up I can't afford to buy, I'd feel horrible.  Like a person on a diet who succumbs to a glorious cheese cake.  You'd hate yourself for wasting time; time you could have used to mark overdue papers, time you could never get back.

So it is a habit I'm trying to kick.

However, there are circumstances when you did not choose to do work at the eleventh hour.

When you're working as a teacher in school, sudden assignments would be thrown at your face at any minute of your working AND sleeping day, and guess what, you have only 24 hours to do it, when you should have been granted a week or two to get it done.  But no, the admin is not that nice nor have an excellent record of management.  You can't complain 'coz that means now you'd have 23 hours to complete the assignment.

In my first year of teaching, I'd get burnt out with stress.

But this year, I have become a pro.  There were so many cases where despite the lack of time, resources and energy, I managed to pull off an excellent job.

The best example was managing my team for Sports Day earlier this year.  My partner and I managed to find and train athletes and prepare all those thingamabobs in 5 DAYS.  When we should have been given a month.  But guess what, our team came out as champions.

Also, sometimes we overlook memos.  A couple of days ago, I saw a memo on the noticeboard, reminding all head teacher advisors to update and spruce up their clubs' noticeboards.  When I saw it, the due date was the next day.  Very much aware that my English Language Society noticeboard was a wasteland since 2010, I went on 'overdrive' mode.  I had a meeting till evening, so that meant that I had only a few hours to make it pretty.  I just went crazy that night.  The good kind of crazy.

Then I remembered something that I've vaguely heard about while studying in university, a thing called 'eustress'.  Eustress is why last minute work is not always bad.

Eustress is defined as "stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the filling of fulfilment."

Working under pressure, I was more focused and driven, with one main goal in life at that point of time - finish the damn job, and finish it good.

I didn't remember feeling hungry, tired and sleepy.  Even when I was done, I was still pumped, and super proud of my last minute work, even though it wasn't much.  Like the definition above, there was a sense of fulfilment to be able to complete something something at the very last minute.

Last minute = Minimalist mod

But of course, if given the chance to do an assignment within a given time span, of course I'd still jump at it the minute I get my hands on it, provided that the Internet does not get to me first.  However, if I were assigned a job last minute, I'm pretty sure I can rock it either way.  Because it is all about perceptions.  Whether you want to view stress as a negative threat, or a positive challenge.  Yeah, I totally stole that line from Wikipedia.

So, what do you think about last minute work - live for it, or hate it?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teacher's Day

This is the perception of my life as a teacher:

[Click to enlarge]

But every year, one particular day tells me that everything is A-OK.  And that it is all worth it.

It's my favourite new day.

And I'm sure it's every teachers' too.

Happy teacher's day, you crazy people. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My 11 Dogs Part 2

This is part 2 of me boring you with details of my dogs.  You gotta give some credit to me though, 'coz it seems like most blog updates in my reading list are about babies, babies and more babies.  Congrats to you hot  mommas! So here's me retaliating with my kind of babies, four legged, furry and twice as cute.

So Part 1 is about 6 of the first batch of my 11 dogs.

Part 2 will about the new babies. :D

Sookie gave birth to eight adorable, so-cute-you-can-die puppies, last July.  Oh, did I mention Toby and Cody are their fathers?  I say 'fathers' 'coz they took turns humping Sookie.

We reluctantly gave up two puppies for adoption.  And one died in a car accident, Gabby.  I've written about him, so you can read all about him here, if you haven't done so.  Be warned, it's a tear jerker.  Unless you have no soul.

Then there were five.  Okay, they are now 10 months old, so you may find little resemblance of them with the term 'puppy'.  To me they'll always be puppies and it's easy to round them up by yelling 'puppiiiies' then 'dooogs'.  Oh, consider this as a puppy update too. 

First up, Chocolate @Choky.

And this is her today.

We call her Choky 'coz duh, she's the chocolatest of them all.  But she's short!

Wan Wan, the offspring of Bubut and Ting Ting is only 6 months old, yet he is almost as tall as her.  Methinks Bubut has something to do with this.

Anyways.  Among all of them, she has the coolest behaviour.  As in, she won't jump on you like mad.  She does however, when get excited, NIP YOU AT THE BUTT.  It's not so much as a bite, but more like a pinch.  She is very independent too.  She doesn't need to seek your approval, or to be showered with love.  When she wants love, she'll come to you.  Also, she knows/loves to play fetch too!  I completely forgotten about her when I mentioned about Bubut being the only dog who knows how to play fetch.  But of course, I can't leave the tennis ball unattended too long.  It'll be destroyed in a matter of seconds.

The next puppy is Puput.

You must be thinking, "Hey, I thought she gave this pup away?"  Well, at last minute her new owner couldn't adopt her for a good reason and we couldn't find other good candidates after that.  We decided to keep her.  Plus we grew to love her, during the period of finding her a new owner.  

This is her now:

We're glad we kept her 'coz she was the most alert one.  And she barks a lot too.  She will be the one who will start barking if she hears/sees something, then only the other pups would follow suit.  She makes an excellent watchdog.  She is however very submissive in nature.  She yelps in fear when the big dogs intimidate her, yet she's the one who goes to them and be all 'dominate me'.  Sometimes we think she's a masochist.  She's even submissive to the submissive Ting Ting.  When you stand next to her, she'll just roll over for a belly rub.  So cute.

Up next is Hershey.


Her skinny, lean built may have decreased her cute factor, but that doesn't mean she isn't as adorable and loving as when she was a puppy.  She's a kisser, always has, always will be.  That's how she got her name.


Now.  Forgive the grandma attire. Concentrate on cute puppy.

And she knows she's the favourite.

She'll be the first to ask for hugs, and wiggle onto my lap - like a boss.  And she is indeed the boss of the puppy pack.  Even though she is the smallest, she is the fiercest and dominant.  She also plays fetch - only she and Choky will run and fetch the ball.  The rest of the puppies would make an attempt, but give up the moment these two girls get ahead of them.

Her quirk is sleeping at various locations:

In a hole.
In a drain.
In Ting Ting's feeding cage.

And now, Mikey.

You might remember him (if you have followed this blog religiously) from the maggot incident.

Being separated from his mom for a week, he was rather small, compared to his growing siblings.  We seriously thought he wouldn't make it.  But being the little hero that he is, he did grow up to be a handsome pup.

Mikey is very hyperactive.  Has ADHD, you can say.  Meal time is the time when I get pounced, bumped, pushed, scratched and nipped.  HE JUST WON'T CALM DOWN until I get the chain on him.  For them, chain = food.  So until he isn't chained, he won't fucking rest.  Even when he injured his leg, and walks with a limp, he will still run and jump, albeit limping.

Besides that, he is absolutely lovable.  He will be all over you (note: 'climb') once you stay put.  Like food, he won't calm down till you show him some TLCs.  It's like food and love are his drugs.

Wiggling his way into my arms is his specialty.
Forever and ever.

The last of Sookie's pups, Raphael.

He is the biggest and fluffiest pup of them all.  Fluffy like a sheep.

And now he looks like a wolf.  You might say he is a wolf under sheep skin. :D

He's colossal.  And looks scary.  

But he's such a big, sweet, doofus.

It doesn't help either that he is as hyperactive as Mikey.  When he pounces at you for a hug, you could fall.

And he is SO FURRY!

We think he inherited his coat from his German Shepard grandpa.

He is also very impatient.  He will yowl and whine to get your attention to untie him after feeding time.  He'll only calm down if you pay attention to him.

Even though he is huge, he is submissive to the other dogs.  He would urinate all over when intimidated by his dads.  He even submits to Alpha female Hershey.  And also the tiny Ting Ting.

And last but not least, the last puppy of the pack, Wan Wan.

He is the love child of Bubut and Ting Ting.

Two loving parents and you get...This.

Okay I'm sorry, that was rude.  Hope you weren't eating while you're reading this.

This is him now.

He is a reversed ugly duckling (but many awesome readers think otherwise), hence our attempt to cutify him using a bow tie.  Unfortunately the bow time disappeared under the fur on his chest, so we just had to put it on his head.  He looked so much better.  A bit gay though, but still better.

Being the youngest pup, he is of course the most stubborn one.  Sometimes we think he is deaf when he doesn't listen to our instruction.  Well, we kinda spoil him more till he kinda forget his boundaries.  Hey, you'd do it to your youngest kid, right?

Every time it is meal time, he begs to be let in the house so just he could get his food earlier watch me prepare their food.

And when I turn my back around, he'll steal some of the food from the other dogs' bowls.

He really looks like he could use a bath all the time.  However, the problem is that he'll get dirty within minutes.  Especially on rainy days.  He will look like a rescued dog from a flood.

Plus he loves getting in wet bushes.  He does that every morning.  Only in the afternoon he'll look somewhat fluffy again when his fur dries.  So yeah, don't judge me for not bathing my dog too often.

So that's the story of my 11 dogs.

Sometimes, they can get a little out of hand. (I saw your 'you don't say' smirk)

But they do bring A LOT of joy into our boring human lives.

We might have room for just one more. :D

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My 11 Dogs Part 1

I have 11 dogs.  People say it's a lot, and it's crazy to keep so many dogs.

But at least I don't sound like The Crazy Cat Lady.  I just sound like that cool person who loves dogs :D. No offence, cat lovers!

Anyways.  When we moved to our new home, which has a huge unfenced compound,we NEED dogs.

And now that we have 11 of them, accumulated over the 2 years living in our new home, (okay, now it sounds cray cray), I'd like to make a formal introduction of them to you as if your life depends on it.  Well, we had 12, but one died in a car accident.  Can't use the term 12 apostles anymore :(.  Rest in peace, Gabby.

Meet our first dog (since we moved in), Bubut.

He's a Japanese Spitz mix Terrier or any dog with short legs, long hair and pointy ears.

If you remember, I posted about him about his balls.  Nothing gross though, just some cottony delight :D.

Being the first pup to ever move in (even before us!- the builders kept him company), he is the Alpha of the pack.  Despite his small size and short legs, he is one fierce canine when guarding his territory.  The other bigger dogs submit to him, and according to several testimonies, he is the most feared one when he barks at people he doesn't know.  Somehow people get scared he'll just nip at their foot because of his shortness.

His one trait that makes him different from all the other dogs is he detest dirt, or anything wet and mushy.  If you call him to come towards you, but there's a puddle of water in front of you, he'd go around it.  If you throw a ball and it lands on wet grass or mud, he'd think twice whether to fetch it or not.  With that being said, another unique trait of him is he LOVES playing fetch.  Unlike the Labs who destroy every tennis ball they get their paws on, Bubut would come running back with the ball/stick in a frenzy delight for more.  And I didn't even teach him how to play fetch.

However, his nickname is Grumpy Old Man.  Being the oldest, he is also the grumpiest.  He'd growl at the twins (more on them after this) and frequently display his dominance.  Sometimes, no, most of the time it is annoying because a fight would ensue over the tiniest thing, say, the twins want a belly rub.  He just can't stand any attention given to the twins.  He also doesn't play with other dogs.  Only with humans.  He probably thinks he is one.

These are the twins that Bubut dislikes the most, Cody and Toby, left and right respectively.

They are Doberman Labrador mixes.  We got them after a month or two.  We figured that we could use real guard dogs, big and mean looking.  Well, they didn't grow as big as we expected a Doberman would, but they do get the job done.  Besides barking the bejeezuz out of strangers, they'd follow us if we walk to our neighbour's house for parties (which is a nuisance and sometimes embarrassment when they bark at other guests because they feel the need to protect us), and only return home when we do.  They will also 'send us off' when we're driving out to the main road.

It was hard telling them apart initially, as besides having the exact same colour, their eyes are the exact greenish gold colour too.  With pink noses.  But we noticed that Toby has an extra toe on his hind legs (as you can squint at the photo above).

Though they look the same, but their characteristics are very different.  Cody is the playful type.  He may bark at you madly initially, but once he sniffs your butt, he'd want to play with you and rolls over for belly rubs.  If you stop rubbing his belly, he'll nudge you with his paw for more.

Toby however, is more reserved.  It takes time for him to warm up to you.  Even with us, initially.  We figured he was probably traumatised by a human when he was a puppy.  However, once he warms up to you, he'll be very clingy and whiny (you know, like humans).  He's also very afraid of thunders and lightning. He is also a fan of belly rubs.

However, these two fight A LOT.  And when they fight, Bubut has to 'take control' of the situation, which makes everything worse.  Mating season is the worst.  Everyone wants to mount Sookie.  It's a nightmare.  There was one time they fought so bad,  Toby's left ear was left dangling over his head.  Another half an inch torn, and he would lose his ear forever.  Hence we decided to snip their balls off.

They have fought with each other throughout their life growing up, till we stopped bothering 'coz we know they'd kiss and make up.  After a session of shredding each other, blood spluttering everywhere; they'd lick each other's wound by nightfall.  One time, Toby was almost bulldozed by a car, as in, the rear tyre was literally over his ribcage, but the driver managed to shift gear in time before his guts explode.  Toby was so traumatised by the event that he ran away to our neighbour's house.  He wouldn't return when we called him, but later that night, my mom saw Cody going over to our neighbours, and came back with his brother by his side.

In fact, they never fail to amaze us with their compassion and intelligence.  Every time we have a missing dog (remember, huge, unfenced compound?), and there we are, frantically calling out their names,  Toby and Cody would straight away go on a mission to find said lost dog/puppy.  And most of the time, they'd come back with the strayed dog/puppy.  Happened to Sookie, her eight puppies and also Wan Wan.  Bubut did it once too; after Toby and Cody rounded up the wandering puppies, and one was still missing, he went to look for the missing one and came back with it.  DOGS ARE JUST SUPER AMAZING.

However, their need for dominance over Sookie's pups is irritating.  When they intimidate the them, the puppies would pee all over in submission.  Hence, we call them The Disciplinarians.  But when things get out of hand, pack leader Bubut will make The Disciplinarians stop with the torture.  Like friggin humans.

The third K9 to join our family is Sookie.

I've talked about her before, and well, she is basically still the same as she were when she was a puppy.  Super active, super playful, super naughty, super clumsy, and super lovable.  They say that if you want to find a dog that stays a puppy forever, get a Lab.  I couldn't agree more.

Being the only female (at that time), she is the princess of the pack, until now.  The three males adore her, including Bubut.  When she was a puppy, she loved hanging out with the big dogs, even going down the roughly-made gabion at our backyard.  

The first time she got down, she wasn't able to climb back up.  I kid you not but my mom and I saw this with our own eyes - Toby pulled her ears, and Cody pushed her butt using his nose to help her get up to the ledge.  It was indeed a hallmark moment. They never intimidate her, or display aggression towards her (like towards her puppies).  They even allow her to steal their food.  In which if that happens with the other dogs,  fangs would be flying.  Bubut who is very possessive of humans and his tennis balls, would allow these things to her.  Bubut who only plays with humans, would allow Sookie play bite with him.  What a privileged dog.

Being the princess of the pack, it drives Toby and Cody mad every time we take her to the vet.  They would claw the paint off my car, and chase after the vehicle down the road until they cannot catch up.  When they have lost her (us), they'd come back and start howling as if they have lost Sookie forever.

Labs are known for their intelligence, so I decided to teach Sookie some tricks.  We never got passed 'sit' and 'hand'.  But when it comes to chaining her, or spraying a wound, she could smell our intention miles away, and miles away would she run away.

One horrible behaviour of her is that she hunts poultry for fun.  Every time her ancestral calling kicks in, she'd be gone for hours, only to come back with a dead chicken.  She doesn't eat 'em.  She just kills 'em.  Or maybe she just plays with it too hard and broke its neck.  I really hope it's the latter.  She even dropped one right at my mom's feet before, as if saying, "I love you, this is for you mommy!"  Oh, and she brought her puppies on a killing spree once - broke into the neighbours' chicken coop (which my neighbour swore she latched it up, which made her wonder how did they do it), and massacred 7 chickens.  BAD, BAD GIRL.

When it came to mating season, like I said earlier, a fight between these three studs would ensue.  Bubut, though the Alpha, never could mount her, much to his sexual frustration.  So we decided maybe we could use a smaller female dog.   

And that's when our fifth dog, Ting Ting came along.

I've also talked about her before, so I'll just add a few things about her.  She was only the size of a guinea pig when we got her, so she is the smallest among the pack.

Also being the smallest, she is also submissive towards the other dogs.  They don't intimidate her though, but she does allow herself to be dominated by the others.  However, when she's at the backyard with the 5 puppies, she's the bawse.  

She is very pampered and loves being pampered.  She is quite human-like, sometimes, with her snorting (you know, the kind where people clear their nose and throat to spit out mucus type of snort), and she groans when you say 'no' or ignores her.  Oh, and she sleeps like most humans do too.

 Okay, I'm sure you had enough reading to last you for a year and all my cat-lover readers are gone, so I think that's all for today.  Will continue Part 2 in another post :D.