Monday, January 31, 2005



Jesse is 5-months old now. We've just started him on semi-solids. We're feeding him a nice little rice cereal once a day and whaddya know, he's lovin' it!

Most people say that babies can start on semi-solids when they hit the 4-month mark. But these days nutritionists are saying that babies can afford to wait a little longer. Apparently, starting him on other foods can sometimes lead to allergies. Ugh! And this can lead to all kinds of complications. So despite having a strong urge to sneak him a sip of beer or coke behind Mommy's back, I'm gonna have to refrain. :)

Anyway, he's loving his cereal. Which is good. But he's loving it a little bit too much, which can get quite messy. Mae was feeding him when he suddenly grabbed the spoon to help himself. "You people are too slow!" he seemed to be saying as he licked furiously away at the spoon. So, as you can imagine, he's got cereal all over his face, hands, clothes and feet. Yes, feet!!! Hehheh!

That's my boy. Messy eater, just like Daddy.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Project Kasih

It's been a month since the tsunami hit our shores. Thirty days have passed since the devastation and there's still so much to be done.

A couple of weeks back a good buddy, whom we shall call Bud for now, came up to me with the idea of doing something for the victims. "We'll get the aid workers and volunteers to blog about their experiences," he explained. Aside from just reporting the day-to-day situation, the blog will also highlight the plights and needs of the individual victims. Readers can send donations and updates in the blog will let them see their money in action.

"Imagine a Pak Ali who needs a new roof," he elaborates. "Readers donate and in a few weeks, we see contractors building a new roof for Pak Ali. And all of this will be in pictures, and in progress, for the world to see!" Or something like that. Heh! Nobody quite tells it like he does.

Anyway, as a result of that conversation Project Kasih is born. If you think the name is corny, that's my fault. If you find the logo or the layout of the blog cheesy, that's my fault too. In any case, Project Kasih is up and running and the volunteers have begun blogging. Mind you that for most of them, it's their first time blogging so you'll excuse their inelegant placement of pictures and photos. :) Still, do log in to offer your advice and perhaps a couple of words of encouragement.

Bud, apart from initiating the project, will also be injecting some cold hard cash and pulling some cables to get his friends in high places to help out. These will come in monetary aid (which is always good) and some much needed publicity to get the gears shifting. Last I heard, Project Kasih will be put under the auspices of a government agency to help ease whatever red-tape that may arise.

On our part, bloggers can contribute in many ways. You can donate to the victims. You can sponsor an aid worker (volunteers need to feed their family too). You can blog in Project Kasih. You can spread the word. You can even volunteer to go to Banda Aceh and I'll try to get Bud to put his money where his mouth is and give you an all-expenses trip there - to help out, of course.

The plan is grand. And with all that cash, string-pulling and governmental involvement it could get pretty high-profile pretty quick. Some people might even ride this thing for the mileage it could potentially generate - mock cheques and all. On the flipside, however, more publicity can also mean more aid. And as long as aid gets across to the people, that can never be a bad thing. And all this offers the blogging community yet another way to help out. We can monitor this thing closely, scrutinising it's every turn and making sure that every "transaction" is well and good.

Well, that's that. If you haven't already done so, please log in to for a look see. By the way, if you'd like, do take one of these banners to link the page.

UPDATE:Thank you for all those of you who have put up links to promote Project Kasih. As much as I would like to see this blog project succeed, I cannot take credit for initiating or creating this thing. I merely volunteered some design ideas. :)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hippopotamuses Suck!

Hippopotamuses come across as such cuddly, friendly creatures. You see cartoon drawings of a Hippo and you go, "Hey, so cute!" but in truth, these creatures are anything but cuddly or friendly.

Last week, Mae and I caught a short snippet of an animal documentary at National Geographic Channel. The narrator tells us that Hippos are territorial creatures and proceeds to show us a "rarely recorded footage".

In the video, we see a mother Hippo and her little cub approaching a herd with the intention of being assimilated in this new community. Unfortunately a young Hippo, the alpha male of the group, has different ideas. He gets all worked up and proceed to attack Mom and Baby. Mom pushes Baby away and they're making a getaway under water when suddenly poor Baby Hippo gets separated from his mother. Alpha Male then grabs Baby by his teeth and shakes about, threshing the little cub around. Mae and I watched in shock as the struggling baby Hippo finally succumbs to the attack and sinks lifelessly into the depths of the river. That's when our parental instincts kicked in and we started screaming curses at the TV. Hehhehh... okay, so I was the only one. :)

So, the next time you see those Blue Hyppo ads on TV and you think, "What a cute fella," know that nothing could be further from the truth. Hippos are in fact the bastards of the animal kingdom. These savage beasts will stop at nothing to be at the top of their social order. We should send a bunch of Chinese fellas to eat up these vicious buggers. That ought to teach them!

Heh! We Chinese will eat any damn thing.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Typical Male

The way I see it, there are two kinds of guys. There are the Clarkkents and there are the Supermen.

The Clarkkents are the guys who drink fine wine, eat Caviar, smoke Cuban cigars, recite Dylan Thomas and read Shakespeare. These are the guys who colour-coordinate their wardrobe, dance the Tango, buy roses and deliver them a stalk at a time between their teeth. These are the guys who remember birthdays, anniversaries, first dates and the first time they saw you smile. These guys are a sparkling gems.

On the other extreme are the Supermen. We're the ones who drink beer (non-alcoholic ones too!), eat pizza, quote Schwarzenegger (I'm By-ack!) and read the Motor Trader. We're the ones who can't tell the difference between an Armani and our cheap polyester suits. Some of us don't even have a suit. And the only dance we do is the victory jig. But hey, we're the Kings of DIY. We do our own plumbing. Unfortunately, we're not the guys who remember special dates.

Which is why the 1st Anniversary of Loopy Meals came and went just like that. Heh! I would have liked to have a little celebration, maybe break out the champagne and perhaps even remodel the look of the blog. But I completely forgot! Oh well. I guess I am, after all a typical male.

So yes, the Supermen are no sparkling gems. But you know what the say; better an uncut diamond than a polished glass. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Interview With A Vampire

I get a big kick out of watching Jesse grow. He's got a new thing going every day. Hehh! At 4 and a half month, there's plenty to see.

This morning, as we got ready to go to work, I put him in the car seat and carried him to the car. Since my car park is outside the apartment building, I had to cross this little road to get to my car. Which is fine, except that my stupid apartment never considered a shaded passage to the parking bays.

So there we were walking under the sun, when Jesse started writhing about like a little snake hot lava. His arms were flailing all over the place, his eyes tightly shut and his face all distoted! He was like a baby vampire boy about to burst into flames in the sunlight. I mean, we're talking about 10 seconds of sunlight and he looked like he would disintegrate. I swear the boy picked up all this melodrama from his mother.

But damn, it was so cute to see him like that! Heehee!

Maybe I should change his name to Lestat or Blade or something. Baby Blade. Hmmm... has a nice ring to it.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Drink & Drive


I love beer. I love everything about it. The bitter-ish taste. The malt-ish aroma. I love the foam. I love how the foam stays on my upper lip everytime I take a swig. I love how cold beer feels colder than any cold beverage in the world. I also love how, when I down an entire mug non-stop, I get a little tipsy and my brains feels like a block of ice. And I especially love how beer makes me burp big time.

Beer, in my opinion, is the quintessential macho-man beverage. It's the drink for the everyman. It isn't elitist like wine. And it doesn't have the namby-pambiness of a bottle of cooler or one of those designer sweet soda-beer you get in the clubs these days. And it sure isn't as depressive as whisky, or as pretentious as brandy or as pansy as a tequila. Beer is cheap and it taste like fizzy piss (I'm guessing, okay) and that's good enough for me. I'm a man's man and I like to talk shit and drink piss. So as you can imagine, if your wife forbids you to drink beer at home that's as good as her grabbing you by the family jewels and slicing them off.

"It can't be good for your liver," Mae justifies. Of course she also lectures me about my... erm... fluctuating health! And she reminds me that I'm a daddy now. And so I agree to stop stocking up the fridge with beer. And then one day, I stumbled on the product that would change my life forever. Clausthaler Non-Alcoholic Beer! *gasp*

Made by the very people who gave you BMW and Claudia Schiffer, this product of clever German engineering has everything that you could want in a beer but is 100% alcohol-free. As I swigged down a mouthful of the familiar golden goodness, tears welled up in my eyes. My manhood has been restored. Well, almost.

So I won't be getting tipsy but I'd still be letting rip those super burps that I love so much. And I can drink and drive. Heck, I can drive while drinking the stuff! You win some and you lose some. *sigh* But it's all good. :)

Now, if only someone will invent low-cholesterol Fried Chicken.

Clausthaler retails for RM2.09 at SaveMart in SS2. Elsewhere, it's going for about RM2+. Cheap!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Thrills & Spills on Wheels

Every single parenting book I've read, every baby website on the internet lists car-rides as the secret weapon to pacify babies. If your child is crying his head off, "the gentle rocking and swaying of a car ride will calm him down."

It seems to be true. Pip's little girl loves it in the car. Five minutes into the journey and the kid is off to dreamland. Bulldog's 5-month-old boy loves his car rides so much that every stop at the traffic light ticks him off. But he does great on long drives. Maestro's kid falls asleep everytime he's in the car. Six years on and he still sleeps everytime he gets in the car. Cocaine's daughter is an angel in the car.

So what happened to Baby Jesse?

He hates it in the car. 10 minutes into the journey and it'll get his diapers in a twist. He'll be screaming to get out. Screaming! At the top of his lungs. Sometimes he'll cry so much he chokes on his own spit. Imagine it; crying, choking, coughing, gagging and all of it in full living colour. Try focusing on the road under those conditions.

Mae, who sits behind with him will try anything. She'll hold his hand. She'll sing to him. Play with him. Distract him with a rattle. Switch on his little musical toy. And nothing works for any more than five minutes. We've tried changing his position, padding the car seat, playing the CD of his favourite lullabies. Nothing. Sometimes I'm tempted to play the radio at full blast to drown him out. Hahhah. But he's louder than anything we have in our car. Heck, he's so loud that if my horn ever breaks down I'll just squeeze the boy.

Anyway, like any good desparate parent, I turn to other parents for advice. "Maybe he hates your car," Cocaine says unsympathetically, taking yet another jab at my unglamorous car. I drive this big blue bread truck that gets us from point A to point B. Sure, I could save up for a Beemer but by the time I can afford one, the only benefit that Jesse's gonna get is to score chicks with it.

I guess we'll be staying home this Chinese New Year. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Taunt & Tease

"Honey, your son hates it when I taunt him about crying," I told Mae last Friday as we stood in the lift on the way up to our apartment. Jesse had been crying in the car all the way home.

"No way," Mae didn't believe me. "He's too young to understand you." Jesse, meanwhile, was looking all forlorn and melancholic in his mother's arms. He was in the perfect frame-of-mind for a demonstration. And so I looked into the little boys eyes. Then I pulled my face into a frown in an exaggerated impersonation of his earlier tirade. "Waaauughhh..." I cried mockingly at him.

Then he burst into tears and buried his sad little face in his mother's neck.

"Oh my goodness," Mae was surprised at her little boy's grasps of things. She proceeded to calm him down. "Do it again, do it again," the evil mother urged her husband. And so I proceeded to demonstrate my theory once again.

Again Jesse bawled his eyes out. I had hurt his feelings. And then suddenly, I felt bad. The poor kid was like my plaything. My science experiment. "Aaallright boy, Daddy was only joking," I stroked his little head, "Don't be upset okay, Daddy's sorry."

And then the most amazing thing happened. He turned away from me. I was flabbergasted! I went to Mae's other side and tried to comfort him once again. And again he turned his head away. After 3 or 4 tries, he buried his face in Mae chest. Mae and I were dumbfounded. The boy was boycotting me!!!

I had hurt his feelings and now he was hurting me back. And it took me quite awhile to coax him out of it. Heh! Thankfully, he's okay now. We're friends again. :) That is, until the next time I decide to behave like an ass.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Recipe: DIY-CKT

I have loved Char Kuey Teow for as long as I can remember. It is pure genius how such a simple dish can bring so much pleasure to the palate. As a result, I have scoured the land looking for the best Char Kuey Teow in the planet only to find it in my own backyard - my hometown, Taiping. Now since I don't have the luxury of going home very often, I have been experimenting with ways to make this dish myself.

A recipe five years in the making, I present to you DIY Char Kuey Teow! This is the way the finest hawkers in Taiping have made it.
500gms Fresh Kuey Teow
300gms Bean Sprouts
2 Stalks Chives - cut in 2 inch length
2 Cloves Garlic - chopped
Chilli Paste (Cili Gilling)

Shrimps & Cockles

3tbsp Dark Sauce
3tbsp Light Sauce
3/4bowls Water

3tbsp Maggi Chicken/Anchovies Stock
3/4bowls Water
Now, any idiot can put a bunch of ingredients in a wok, but it takes a special idiot to make it taste good. So before we begin to make our Char Kuey Teow, there are two important facts to acknowledge. It is the Zen of Char Kuey Teow.
1. The Chinese make the world's best Char Kuey Teow.

2. Chinese cooking is like Chinese Kungfu.
This is not some racist jibe. In order to make a good Char Kuey Teow, the fundamentals of Chinese cooking must be employed. In this instance, there are two: Never ever overcook and never, in the course of cooking, quell the "FIRE" of this magnificent dish. Okay. Now that that's out of the way, let's Char Kuey Teow! In 10 easy steps.

1. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil. With your spatula, spread it all round the wok. When it starts smoking, the oil is hot enough. Failure to do so will result in the Kuey Teow noodle sticking to the wok.

2. Throw in the garlic. Most Chinese chefs will tell you that literally throwing in the garlic brings out its aroma. Who are we to argue? Fry till light brown. You have to watch it since garlic tends to cook pretty quickly.

3. Put in your shrimps, add in a dash of the Sauce mix and stir a couple of times. Do not overcook. Overcooked prawns taste like leather.

4. Quickly add in the Kuey Teow noodle. Now Kuey Teow is a flat ribbon-like rice noodle, not unlike fettucini. Most good traders carry two type - the narrow ones for soup noodles and the broader ones (almost 2 cm) which are perfect for this dish. Add in more sauce and add in the chilli paste. Then give it a couple of stirs to even out the stuff.

5. Now here's where the Zen comes in. Add in the broth. You'll want to do this with a soup ladle and NEVER pour it directly onto the Kuey Teow. That will "extinguish the fire" of your Char Kuey Teow. Instead, pour slowly around the edge of the wok in a circular motion letting it sizzle its way into the mix. This is a fundamental that can be applied in all stir-fry dishes.

6. Add in chives. The Chinese call this "Kau Choy" or "Kuchai". This gives the dish some color and it's really quite lovely to eat. Toss the mix.

7. Next, push all the wok's content to one side away from the main heat of the work. Put a dash of oil in the middle of the wok, break in an egg. Add a dash of the sauce mix and pepper for taste. Then mess it all up and let the egg coagulate a little. Once done, mix in the Kuey Teow.

8. Then comes a crucial part. Quickly throw in the Beansprouts and add more broth while exercising extreme caution. Undercooked beansprouts tastes "green". While overcooked ones taste like fiber! To know for sure, take a taste test. The moment it stops tasting raw, it's time to take out your Char Kuey Teow.

9. Finally, if you so desire, add in a few cockles and fold it in letting the heat of your Kuey Teow cook it. Now I hate cockles. I never eat the stuff. But say what you like, cockles actually enhance this dish.

10. Eat it while it's hot.

The ingredients above serve four. But never ever fry it all at once. Good Kuey Teow must be cooked one plate at a time. Also, most folks tend to overcook this. As a guide, the whole frying process should take you no longer than 2 minutes. And finally, always make sure your wok is hot.

By the way, I took a short cut with the Broth. For the real thing, check out Pick Yin's recipe! Now go forth and fry. And do tell me the results.

faster than instant noodles

UPDATE 10 Jan 04
As some of you might have noticed, this recipe is Halal - ala Doli's in Taiping. Also, I should mention that you must always make CKT in a large wok. Mine's 24 inches in diameter. You need the space to toss the mix. CKT in a regular frying pan just isn't gonna cut it. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Brought To You By The Letter "F"

All of my favourite things in the world begin with the alphabet F. Family, Films, Friends and Food. Okay, stop thinking about what other things I like that begin with the letter F.

As I typed that, I noticed that I placed Films before Friends. Hahahha. Yes, I guess I value my DVD collection over my friends. Friends die but DVDs will last forever. HAhahahah! I'm kidding. Really.

Anyway, I realised that I haven't blogged about food in ages now. It's like I haven't been eating since Jesse was born. One look at my gargantuan mass and you'll know this isn't true. But in a way, eating isn't the top priority these days. I hardly think about having my favourite Paan Mein or sneaking out for a good Char Kuey Teow, or bullying Mae into eating my favourite Chicken Rice.

That's gonna change. Heh.

Expect more blogs on food. And probably a couple of recipes too. That ought to be fun.

Monday, January 3, 2005

We Suck!

this sucks

Poor Jesse is having a bout of the flu and a little cough. Doc prescribed a mixture. "It'll make him sleepy," she said. And both Mae and I thanked the good doctor from the bottom of our hearts. A sleepy baby is never a bad thing. Hahhahh!

When we got home, we excitedly administered the drug with the help of a syringe. It wasn't exactly rocket science. Pump the contents into his mouth and he'll sleep like a... erm... baby. But then, Jesse had other ideas. He threshed about, screaming his lungs out. And the cough mixture came back out his nose. It was a mess. To make matter worse, his phlegm build-up was causing him great distress. Mucus was clogging up his nose!!!

We quickly took out our nasal aspirators, something we had bought for such an event. But it wasn't working - these things rarely do. Remembering a tip my colleague Pinky once shared, I told Mae,"We'll need to suck it out!" We both gave each other the "Euwww" look but we knew something had to be done. Baby was suffering. And so my wonderful wife rose to the occasion. "Slurrp!" Mae drew in a mouthful of Baby's snot. "Did you get it?" Her convoluted expression told me she did. I opened my palm and she spat the contents out into it. Euuww!!!! Vile!

But Baby was still threshing. Like his mother, he was a bit of a drama queen. It was distressing. I knew at once what had to be done. And I knew it wasn't fair that Mae was getting all the fun and so I jumped in for my mouthful. "SLUUURRRPPP!!!"

And there was peace throughout the land once again.

It was probably the most disgusting thing we ever did but the poor kid was suffering and we had already run out of options. In case you're wondering, it tasted a little salty. Hehhehh! I just pray that he never gets a constipation. Oh boy.