New Project: Movie a Week

About a month ago, Mike and I decided that each week, we would take turns choosing one movie to watch at home. It would give us an opportunity to further share one of our interests (without resistance) and would facilitate discussion about the things we enjoy.

As it’s another one of those long term personal projects, I wanted to record our movie choices and thoughts!

#1. Michael’s choice – Total Recall (1990)

Although he had already seen this movie, the new Total Recall was out in theatres and had a surprisingly lower than expected rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A lot of the reviewers said they enjoyed the old one more so rather than go out to watch the new one, we decided to stay in to watch the old one.

Verdict: Thoroughly enjoyed the film. With the storyline and futuristic ideas, I can’t believe the new movie couldn’t live up to expectations. I had plenty of laughs and as usual, could not take Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent seriously!

#2: Sandra’s choice – Saving Private Ryan (1998)

A movie I’d always wanted to see. After seeing clips of this film in a fan-made music video for Metallica’s Fade to Black, I finally decided to watch it. Mike had already seen it before but because he liked the movie, he didn’t mind seeing it again.

Verdict: Great movie although very long. I think some scenes could’ve been cut and it wouldn’t have taken away from the movie. A lot of familiar actors and many gut wrenching scenes. The portrayed certain aspects of war that we will probably never see again, especially with such enormous advances in technology. Makes me hope that in future years, we will never forget the sacrifices millions have made for the world we live in today.

#3: Michael’s choice – The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Michael though this would be a good comedy and I believed him.

Verdict: By the time we finished half the movie, we were groaning and wondering when it was going to end. Although we wanted to give up and turn the movie off, we couldn’t because too much time had already been invested! Sure, there were a few laughs and funny moments (all the good parts are shown in the trailer), but overall the movie just wasn’t funny.

#4: Sandra’s choice – Ratatouille (2007)

This movie came up in a conversation and I suggested we watched it. I loved it when I saw it the first time and Michael thought he would like it too.

Verdict: Great movie with memorable characters. We also love food, so may be a little biased. But it was a nice story and didn’t have musicals as fillers which was a plus. And as usual, Pixar animation is amazing!

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

A few of my Facebook friends posted this today. I thought it was lovely and wanted to share!

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions–and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else–the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

It’s hard sometimes not to get caught up in the little things and forget the more important aspects of life. Hope you enjoyed the read!

Photo #211: Hazy Droplets

September 27, 2012

Took a few quick shots of falling water today. Most were terrible since I don’t have a tripod and was awkwardly kneeling on the ground but I was able to salvage one! It’s definitely not a great photo but I really like the contrasting light and dark sides πŸ™‚

Photo #208: Testing the Flash

September 24, 2012

Finally picked up some rechargeable batteries for the camera flash my brother got me for my birthday! Thanks bro! This was my first shot using it. Had all the lights off and Michael was just sitting in the dark patiently waiting for me to blind him πŸ˜›

A beautiful present

As mentioned in my photo-of-the-day post earlier, Yoni was over today for an art date.

He completed this awesome painting in 1.5 hours and I received it as a gift, yay! After asking for so long, I’m happy to have one of his pieces to display in our home – thanks Yoni!

Finished product πŸ˜€


Food Review: Malt Dining

It was Michael’s birthday on Friday but due to an OSCE practice session Saturday morning, we held off celebrating until that night.

With a 94% rating on urbanspoon, I decided on Malt for his special dinner and we weren’t disappointed!

Warmly greeted and shown to our table as soon we climbed up the stairs into The Attic. Michelle, our server for the night, was lovely and extremely friendly.

Mike started with Konynen Farm Rabbit Galantine with Walnuts, Tarragon, Apple, Beetroot and my entree was Pan Seared Hervey Bay Scallops with Watercress Potage, Compressed Tomato, Black Olive. Wine for the night: A bottle of Yealands Pinot Gris.

Michael’s dish was delicious! Rabbit was juicy and dish was perfectly seasoned. My scallops were a little underdone and two of them had absolutely no sear. The dried black olives added great flavour but the dish was overall too salty, so I was slightly disappointed!

I felt like the restaurant could use a little more lighting. There were only a few dim overhead lights and a single tea light at our table, making it nearly impossible to visualize the colours on our plates.

In such a small dining area, we didn’t want to continually use the flash on our point-and-shoot so unfortunately, no food pictures!

Next, our mains. Michael had Milly Hill Sous Vide Lamb Rump Herb Gnocchi, Spring Vegetables, Neck Jus and I had the Sous Vide Grimaud Duck Breast and Confit Leg Artichoke Pudding, Braised Napa Cabbage.

Again, Mike’s dish was beautiful with the lamb against the colourful spring vegetables, nicely seasoned as well. My duck was cooked really well and had the greatest crisp to its skin. Unfortunately, the confit leg was a little too salty (perhaps my tolerance for salt is just lower than most people) and the dish was not as visually appealing as it could be. Brown duck with golden potatoes on a bed of napa cabbage (which is nearly colourless) soaked in a brown coloured sauce… you get the picture. Delicious, but I think another choice of vegetables would have made the dish stand out more. The artichoke pudding was really interesting, never had anything like it. The outside looked like a tater tot/potato gem but oozed creamy smooth pudding on the inside. Yummy!

Did I mention there was live piano music throughout dinner? Yes! Their grand piano is definitely not just there for decoration!

For dessert, we shared the Passionfruit SoufflΓ© with Vanilla Yoghurt Sorbet, Citrus Biscotti. Souffle was amazing! It had a really nice height and was super light and fragrant. The sorbet tasted like citrus even though the menu said vanilla yoghurt but still very tasty. The biscotti, however, was the hardest thing my teeth have ever tried to bite into. Perhaps I had to let it soak in the sorbet, but it really shouldn’t be so teeth shattering.

I also wish we were checked on while eating. It would’ve made it even more enjoyable to be asked how the food was and be given a chance to ask any questions, I’m sure everyone was quite busy!

Overall a really good and satisfying dinner.

I would definitely recommend the experience to my family and friends… but I do look forward to trying other restaurants before coming back πŸ™‚


Malt Dining on Urbanspoon

Photo #204: Choppy Hair

September 20, 2012

Recently got my hair cut and after some criticism from Michael, I asked him to take a picture and show me. What the heck! I already knew that the hairdresser took my request of “as short as possible” for “as thin as possible” which, for someone going bald like me – is the last thing you want! But I did not realize how choppy and uneven she had made my hair. Luckily, hair is just hair and will soon grow back but never having her cut my hair again!

Photo #203: Macro Gold

September 19, 2012

I bought extension tubes to take macro pictures a loooong time ago and finally decided to use them! This is one of the gold components from my pair of black crystal dangle earrings. Definitely not a perfect macro, but I love the bokeh effect!

Photo #202: 2 Months til Home

September 18, 2012

Surprisingly miss my family and can’t wait to be going home – even though they’ve just visited me for over a month. In exactly 2 months, I will be on a plane to Canada for the holidays!

This picture was taken back in 2010 while visiting my dad’s grave.

5 more weeks of school

I cannot believe there are only a few more weeks of second year medicine remaining… how time has flown!

I’m starting to feel a little stressed as there is still a lot to do before the year is over! In just 2 weeks, I will have my Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, more commonly known as OSCEs. I must pass this practical exam, as well as my written final exams, in order to move onto third year.

The OSCE will be a series of 5 stations and I’ll have to pass each one. We’ll have 2 minutes for perusal at each station followed by 8 minutes to complete the task.

The stations will be:

  1. Taking patient history
  2. Performing a patient examination. This might be focused on a specific symptom/joint or it can be generalized to any given system.
  3. Clinical reasoning. Given a patient’s history, examination and investigation results, I will have to give a series of potential diagnoses with relevant positive and negative findings of each.
  4. Procedural skills. A number of skills could be tested, including venepuncture, cannulation, blood pressure, BLS, etc
  5. Communication skills. Could be facilitating behaviour change, breaking bad news, etc

Am I worried? Yes, definitely! Will be practicing every day from now until then. I am also part of the first batch of students to have their OSCE… scary!

And the rest of the year:

  • Oct 20 – a 10 minute group presentation in front of our peers for Global and Community Medicine. The topic our group chose is “Schistosomiasis in China” – should be interesting!
  • Nov 5 – Clinical Science imaging exam
  • Nov 7 – Clinical Science exam
  • Nov 8 – Ethics and Professional Practice exam
  • DONE EXAMS! Woo hoo!
  • Nov 10 – Halfway Dinner!
  • Nov 18 – On the plane home!

There’s a lot more to do before the holidays, but oh so close! πŸ™‚



Photo #200: A Place for my Money

September 16, 2012

I’ve always had the habit of buying cheap wallets and as a result, they disintegrate in a few months and I need to have them replaced. My last one died many months ago and I decided I no longer needed a wallet. Instead, I began to just throw my cards and cash in a compartment of whatever handbag I was using… and it’s become pretty annoying!

Went shopping today and finally decided to invest in a good quality wallet. White, leather, RRP $219 on sale for less than $50, yay!


Photo #197: Dukbokki

September 13, 2012

Made Dukbokki today πŸ˜€ Although I used the Chinese (?) styled rice cakes which are flat slices rather than the Korean styled logs. That gochuchang (red pepper) paste makes it soooo hot, but yummy!

Photo #189: Neon My Eyes

September 05, 2012

I’m noticing a new fashion trend and I’m not sure I like it. Mainly because I would never wear something like that and it’s kind of painful to the eyes. Neon colours! Almost every store now has some article in bright highlighter-pink, orange or yellow. From ballet flats, to sneakers, to bras, to these tights!

Would you wear?

Photo #182: Home Intruder

August 29, 2012

Home alone and house is completely silent when all of a sudden loud noises emit from the garage. Break in? Cockroach army? Possum?

Nope, just this cute little guy jumping around the cardboard boxes and wreaking a little havoc!

Photo #181: Gifted Journal

August 28, 2012

This diary/journal was a going away present from my friend ‘S’ 2 years ago when I left for Australia. This year, it has become my most used notebook. With me every time I’m in the hospital and full of little notes and details of amazing ‘first-time’ experiences on the ward. Thanks dear!

Photo #180: The Throat Whines

August 27, 2012

Throat began to hurt, then sores formed, then cough started, then green stuff came up… continuously… for over a week. It was bleh! I made the photo black and white so it wouldn’t be too disgusting, haha.

Oh, and Mike took this picture – I cheated. πŸ˜›


Yesterday, (second Thursday of September) was Australia’s national R U OK?Day.

I actually had no idea until my brother, who’s in Canada, posted the question on my FB wall and informed me. Like him, I too think it’s a great idea.

(Info below is taken from, please visit their website for more!)

R U OK?Day was inspired by the death of Barry Larkin (1940 – 1995).

Barry was a fascinating and successful business management consultant who took his own life. His son Gavin Larkin (1968-2011) partnered with television producer Janina Nearn in 2008 to develop a campaign that would inspire Australians to stay connected and support people.

This day of action is dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask their friends, family, and colleagues, β€˜Are you ok?’

By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our country’s high suicide rate.

More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females. For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life.

Most people don’t openly share their feelings, particularly if they’re struggling. The best thing we can all do is regularly talk to the people we care about – regardless of whether they are at risk – because connection is good for us all.

Now that I am aware of this cause, I have to say that it is close to my heart.

I have gone through a few really hard times (not suicidal ideation, not necessarily depression) during which I felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t try reaching out to someone for help and support. Some people think that it’s because a person doesn’t have a good social support network and therefore no one to talk to, but that’s not always the case. I have an amazing group of friends and family I know would be there for me in a heartbeat, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to reach out to them.

My friends have important exams, I want them concentrating 100% on their studies. My family is already having a hard time dealing with the same situation, I don’t want to burden them even further. My friends have never gone through this experience, they cannot fully understand how I feel. The reasons can go on and on.

It can be a struggle to open up to others and I will be forever grateful to the times when my friends took the initiative to ask me if I was alright. And I will continue to pay that forward.

It doesn’t have to lead to, or be as serious as depression, to warrant the question, “Are you okay?” And it certainly doesn’t have to be only one day a year!

So… who will you ask today?

Photo A Day update coming soon

I know… I’m so behind on my photo project! I should really try to post daily but I keep letting the pictures pile up… 😦

I have one last exam tomorrow (Global and Community Med) and then I will start posting for sure!

In the meantime, I’m loving Billy Talent’s Surprise Surprise off their latest album, Dead Silence. Check it out!

Overdue food update

Haha, haven’t seen food on here in a while!

Bunch of dishes from past months πŸ˜€ There will be a few repeats from my Photo a Day project and a couple of dishes made by my mom while my family was here visiting!

The first dish I made since exams this past Saturday – yum! Pan fried dumplings with homemade kimchi

Gnocchi, garlic bread and eggplant tempura

Toast, curried eggs and garlic yoghurt brocoli salad

Easy dinner – pasta!

Crispy pita with sauteed spinach with garlic and melted cheese

Fajita night

‘Banh hoi’ with roasted duck, roasted pork and veggies – always such a treat!

‘Banh cuon’ filled with thit nuong (BBQ ground pork) – one of my favourites, thanks mom!

Toasted baguette with lightly sauteed spinach and veggies

Butternut squash soup

Rice with spinach and mushroom stuffed peppers

Rice with beef curry, thit kho and stir fried snow peas

Hors d’oeuvres with buttersquash, curry, and spinach stuffings – so easy to make and fun to eat!

‘Bun xao’ – thanks mom!

‘Bun rieu’ – thanks mom!

Apple and cheese puff bites

Now that my oven is fixed, I’ve also been trying to learn how to bake (from scratch) and creating my own recipes. Can do better, but still many successes – yay!

Lime cupcakes with lime icing

Red velvet creamcheese brownies

Carrot muesli cookies – healthy and delicious!

Carrot and banana cupcakes – perfected my own recipes, yay!

Chocolate lime cupcakes

That online presence

Can you believe that I’ve been blogging for over 2.5 years? Crazy! Who would’ve thought?!

When I first decided to blog, there were a few people (including my mom!) who thought making my life public on the internet could be risky…

Agreed! While for the most part, being a part of the online community is extremely positive and beneficial, it can sometimes be dangerous.

Fortunately, a lot of troubles can be avoided if you simply…

These are my personal rules:

  • Scam – If it sounds too good to be true, it’s too good to be true. And never give away your personal details online – simple!
  • Harassment – I’m sure you’ve all heard of certain YouTubers being harassed so badly, it has ruined their lives. While I do feel sorry for them, it’s often because they decided to do or say something really stupid without thinking of the consequences.
  • Invasion of privacy – If you don’t want people knowing about certain personal details – then don’t ever post them publicly.
  • Stalker/theft – Don’t let the things you post identify and make you a target of crime. Don’t flash your wads of cash, don’t show off your colletions of pricey items, don’t post videos of ‘house/neighbourhood tours’, etc.
  • Future-biting-in-the-ass – Don’t post anything you know you will come back to haunt you!

While I have followed these rules from the day I started blogging. I cannot say it has been easy, especially the future-biting-in-the-ass rule – that one is always hard.

I know… everybody’s different. Even though I thoroughly enjoy many people’s honest-without-restraint blogs/vlogs – I always find myself needing to hold back. Before every post, I always ask myself, is this appropriate according to my standards? Especially as someone pursuing medicine, I now think, “Would I be happy if a future colleague or patient came across this?”

Yesterday, I read a post on our class group page on Facebook. It has since been taken down, but I’ve paraphrased it below. The bolded words are those he actually used:

To the guy on the stairs shitting himself before the ethics exam, I have your cheapie (insert brand) sunglasses. I was thinking of just keeping them for myself but I figured I should at least let you fight me for them.

Additionally, there was no “haha” or “lol” to imply that he was joking or being sarcastic. To me, rude and disrespectful. I actually thought, “What an asshole!” And unfortunately, if I ever meet him in the future… this will be the first thing that comes to mind. I could be uptight, but I do think that’s a lack of professionalism. We shouldn’t be calling out fellow colleagues (or anyone and in a public forum no less) for worrying about exams or owning cheap stuff in that way – or even at all. A simple, “To the guy studying on the stairs before ethics exam, I have your sunglasses. We can meet up” would’ve sufficed!

Perhaps he deleted the post himself after realizing how he came across or perhaps an admin thought it was inappropriate and deleted it for him. Either way…

Unfortunately, there is no undo button on the internet. You can get rid of it, but chances are it’s been copied, people have seen it and people have talked about it.

It’s all been said before, but you never know who will be seeing what you post online – family, friends, (future) employers, clients, etc. It can be hard to control reactions and actions in real-time, in real-person, but not online! Take advantage of that!

My online presence plays a big role in my life and fortunately, I’m satisfied with it. πŸ˜€

What are your thoughts?

Introducing a blogger and a friend :)

This is long overdue (and I’m sorry dear!) but I would like to thank my lovely friend and fellow blogger… let’s call her ‘S‘. That way, she can maintain her online anonymity πŸ˜‰

Thank you for a number of reasons!

1) For being one of my oldest and closest friends. We met back in grade 7-8 and became closer throughout high school. She’s been there through thick and thin and is one of the few high school friends I still keep in touch with. For that I am grateful. We rarely see each other, but when we do, nothing has changed and things pick up where we left them. Friends like her are hard to come by, I’m sure you know the feeling!

2) For having a blog! Being on the other side of the world, it’s often extremely hard to keep in touch with friends – her blog allows me to stay up to date with what’s going on in her life. Can you believe, she’s the only friend I have who blogs? I’ve grown to love blogging as a tool to record my thoughts and memories. But it also kills 2 birds with one stone. I can blog on my own schedule and those who are interested can check up on me whenever they feel like it. That’s why I wish more of my friends blogged – so I can stalk you guys! πŸ˜€

3) For her awesome shout out to me and Elle! You are such an amazing and strong woman, thank you again my dear! Like her, I feel like I don’t praise other bloggers enough. I’m terrible but I will try to be less of a silent troll reader!

S has 2 blogs, check them out!

Her first is Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire. Mostly laid back, many of her posts on this blog share mini life updates, her current interests in music and tv, as well as her own art pieces.

More recently, she started a second blog – Perception Overload. This one will serve as a platform for her more serious posts that will definitely be thought provoking!


Procrastinating… as usual -_-‘

I have 2 exams this Saturday: Clinical Science and Ethics & Professional Practice.

Am I ready yet? No.

Will I be ready? Maybe!

But as usual, I’m taking many breaks to go on (what Michael likes to call) YouTube Adventures!

Join me for a smile as I procrastinate!

Medical Terminology Concerto
(Not everyone will find this amusing as I do…)

2 Hamsters 1 Wheel
(Mike laughed so hard, he cried – for real)

Sugar Painting: Chinese Dragon
(Such a low cost business and so good! I wish I had such a talent!)

and because one video is never enough

Painting on Water
(Reminds me of doing marble nails if anyone has ever done that before)

Flexipan Small Cakes
(I really really want these pans now…)

Funny Japanese Pranks
(Because they never fail to make me laugh)

Gangnam Style!
(Come on… don’t tell me you haven’t seen this yet? :P)

Australia setting a ‘smoking’ example!

A few weeks ago, I was very pleased to come across a certain piece of news – Australia became the first country in the world to pass legislation making plain cigarette packaging mandatory.

Four companies, British American Tobacco, Britain’s Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco, had challenged the laws claiming they would be an infringement on their intellectual property rights. Fortunately, Australia’s High Court ruled against their challenge, with the majority of 7 judges believing the laws did not breach Australia’s Constitution.

Therefore, as of December 1st, cigarettes in Australia will have to be sold in plain and logo-free dark brown packaging with graphic health warnings… hurray!

Some examples of what the new packaging will look like:

“We hope other nations follow Australia’s lead and eliminate the use of tobacco packaging as a marketing tool, to help reduce the global tobacco death toll — which is on track to reach half a billion people this century,” – Australia’s Cancer Council Chief Executive Ian Olver.

The World Health Organization has praised the decision and many countries around the world, including Britain, Canada and New Zealand, are closely watching the developments and some are even considering the same actions.

With the National Tobacco Campaign, plain packaging, and tax increases, the Australian government hopes to bring down smoking rates from the current 15.9% to 10% or less by 2018. That would be amazing.

Tobacco use is responsible for millions of deaths a year worldwide and is the leading cause of preventable death. I know many people smoke and for a number of different reasons, but ultimately – a smoker’s health (and the health of all those around them) would be significantly better without cigarettes.


Once determined, I believe every individual has the strength and will power to quit smoking. You’re never alone! There are so many ways to assist with your decision to quit… please don’t forget your GP is always there to help find the best plan for you. πŸ™‚ And of course, remember to enlist your family and friends for their (hopefully amazing) support and encouragement!

I leave you with one of my favourite campaign posters in Australia:

There’s also a female version of this poster!

My Love Hate Relationship with Water

What’s your favourite drink?

Mine is water. πŸ˜€

Sure – juice is great, I absolutely love aloe vera, sometimes I enjoy pop, heck even wine and cocktails are nice but water is simply the best!

My only problem? My body gets rid of it too quickly! You would not believe how soon I need to go to the bathroom after having a glass of water. Come on, I’m just trying to stay hydrated and healthy! Exam times are the worse. I have to make sure not to sip any water before going… otherwise I would not be able to last a 2 hour exam without using the toilet. How annoying!

Anyone else?