Sunday, January 31, 2010

100% Responsibility

My dental assistant brought a book into work today.

How To Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be.

Apparently the first thing to do is to take 100% responsibility for your life and realize that wherever you are now, you chose to be.

Very true.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The days are long and warm this time of the year.

Brought Milton to the Benalla Rose Gardens. There's a playground there, where I chose to relive my youth. There's something about a swing that just begs me to get onto it.

It's quiet and we get the whole park to ourselves. Very serene. Exactly what country life should be.

I take the long way home. After all, what's the hurry? I have all the time in the world.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've tried to be nice.

I've tried to talk to the real estate agent nicely to explain that we have no hot water. Have been having problems for the past week already but now it's just totally stone cold.

I tried to explain to the plumber that whatever he supposedly fixed is still not fixed and I'm still forced to take freezing cold showers and wash dishes by hand (okay, fine. My housemates have to wash dishes by hand).

I tried to tell him the pilot light only stays on for like 5 minutes.

What is it going to take for me to get hot water in this house again?? With each passing day I'm getting increasingly frustrated and irritated.

Maybe there are other things in my life that are annoying me as well and I'm taking it out on the poor plumber. Or maybe they should just do the job the first time!!!


No. 43 - Try 50 New Recipes (23-25/50)

Had a cooking frenzy last weekend. Did not document all my efforts - particularly annoyed that we ate our creme brulee without photographing them!!

First attempts at pavlova, lamingtons as well as pumpkin risotto. Turned out well, even if I do say so myself.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


My boss asked me what was I going to do with myself next year.

I said I have absolutely no idea.

It's not that I don't like my life here in Benalla. It is a nice town, the patients are nice, I make a good living, I have good housemates - but where does it all lead to? I feel like it's more a journey than an actual destination. Which means I should continue on my journey.

So many of my friends have found some direction or other. Some have chosen to specialize. Some have chosen to go abroad. Some have chosen to go home. Me - blank.

The truth is, I have never been ambitious. I have never really wanted to be particularly successful in life. Well, not entirely true. In a very distant past I had aspirations to become a dermatologist or something along those lines. But somehow along the way I decided surely there is more to life than aiming for another goal. I want to live now. I guess what I want more than anything is to be happy. And surely that is everybody's ultimate goal in life?

Every day I see elderly patients and hear their stories about their youth, their life - and how now they're at close to the end of it. It's a daily reminder that youth is fleeting and should be cherished and not only that - be made the most of.

So what am I going to do next year? As Natasha Bedingfield says - it's still unwritten.

French Manicure

I'm currently obsessed with my nails.

If I some day have the time and money, I'd like to get my nails manicured weekly. As it is, I get it done occasionally and do the rest myself.

I particularly like my nails french manicured. There's something about the white tips that I really like.

People have been asking me how I do dentistry with long nails. The truth is, it doesn't really affect me much at all. Once the gloves are on everything's pretty much the same.

Ohh, and see my palm? Notice how it has a straight line running across it instead of the traditional two arching lines? I wonder what it means in the world of palmistry...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After much umm-ing and ahh-ing about what to do for my birthday I finally settled on...

A 2 day course at the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie Cooking school on French Style Gateaux.

Super excited I can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spent the past couple of days cooking.

THe truth is, I've let myself go for the past couple of months. Didn't cook, didn't clean, didn't do anything. That's what a preoccupied mind does to me.

Anyway, now that my pre-occupations are a distant memory, I am back to my culinary adventures. Managed to cook 9 different things in less than 48 hours.

Some were pretty boring stuff, like fried rice and braised ribs. Others are slightly more exciting and I shall blog about them in more detail when I get the photos off my housemate's camera.

Going down to Melbourne again this weekend for Australian Open. Nadal just retired from the match against Murray - there goes the eye candy of the tournament. Will have to be satisfied with other matches now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I have a Gen 3 20GB iPod.

I haven't used it much ever since I got a iPod Nano because the battery life on my old one was way too short.

Just dug it up and plugged it into the power outlet and voila - it's still very much alive and kicking.

It really amazes me that after 3 years of dormancy it still works flawlessly. I think I shall find a home for it in my surgery.

Food Weekend

My childhood friend has grown up and is now an air stewardess. She came for a flying visit to Melbourne and we met up for Koko Black, dinner and a night of trying out her skincare range.

Koko Black - I just love it. Seems like I can never get enough of their things.

Pop Restaurant - Located on Hardware Lane. Service was excruciatingly slow but I guess we weren't really in much of a hurry so it was okay. (32/50 on my new restaurants list)

World Cafe - After I said goodbye and checked out of the hotel, I headed down to Southbank armed with a trashy Woman's Day magazine and proceeded to enjoy my Saturday morning with a nice latte and some eggs. Felt so good to just spent time with myself and the city and watch the world go by. (33/50 on my list)

My birthday is less than 3 weeks away. Spent the weekend deciding what I was going to buy for myself. Have made up my mind. Will post when I receive it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (31/50)

Had some Thai food in Wangaratta midweek for two reasons - to welcome a newly graduated dentist who has chosen to come to our region to work (yay, more company!) as well as to celebrate my housemate's new job at a private practice.

The sad truth is that we spent most of the dinner discussing dental treatment options and moaning about difficult cases. I guess at the end of the day that's what we have in common with each other and that's just the inevitable direction conversations drift towards.

Heading down to Melbourne after work today to meet up with a childhood friend. Looking forward to a good time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have not been eating very well for the past couple of months. However, now that my worries are a distant past (well, at least past), I've been eating everything in sight.

Am also resuming my old habits and rituals e.g. obsessive rearrangement of objects in the house, recipe reading, dinner party planning and just plain doing nothing.

Dental Girl is back to her usual self.
Last week at work, in between patients, this cake was decorated.

One of the nurses at work made it for her friend. Made the day go a lot faster.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One Year

Today, I have officially worked in Benalla for a year.

Seems as if I just graduated from uni yesterday. I don't know where my time went to. Events that I thought were only a couple of months ago in reality occurred about 6 months ago. When my patients come in for their 6 monthly checkups I'm shocked that it's already been that long.

Does one's 20s just speed past in a blur?

I'll be 25 next month.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

White Horse

As I close another chapter in my life (lots of chapters being written in this short space of time), I am forced to ponder about the complications of life.

Sometimes instead of calling a spade a spade we choose to complicate everything so that we don't have to face the fact that it is a spade.

In 2 months I have been faced with 2 similar situations - with similar results. A stalemate.

All you can do is concede defeat and reset the chess pieces.

No. 44 - Eat At 50 New Eateries (30/50)

Last weekend I visited another chocolate store - Shocolate in Brunswick.

Bought back a few and I have to say they're not half bad at all. The green one is basil, which is probably one of my favourites. They had a Vegemite flavoured chocolate as well - very interesting.

Definitely worth a visit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

No. 92 - Get an iPhone

After putting it off for a good couple of years, I finally did it.

The truth is, I'm not very attached to my phone at all. I'm perfectly comfortable walking out of the house without it. My theory is, nothing can be that urgent.

Anyway, I quite like it. Been playing with it for less than a day and my left hand already hurts - it's the way I hold it I suppose.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I bought a pair of jeans when I was 18. They were slightly snug at that time, but I figured I'd be able to lose a couple hundred grams and it'll be fine.


Since then that pair of jeans has been my official measure to see how thin/fat I am.

Took it out of the closet today and they're actually loose.

Should I be concerned?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

As I sat in my surgery feeling a tad sorry for myself, my patient jolted me back to reality.

"I'm waiting for the test results for my lung biopsy. It's the sort of thing that just keeps you worrying."

My worries are insignificant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I didn't realize how much work dentistry was until I was left in a room that was just barely cool enough to keep me going and had to struggle with 4 extractions and several other very challenging fillings.

It's hard work!

Monday, January 11, 2010

So Long, Farewell

Was down in Melbourne last weekend. This time, it was to say goodbye to my very dear friend who's going to France to pursue his career in pastry.

Had lunch at the City Wine Shop, which was alright (no. 29/50 in my 101 list). It was such a hot day, and yet I managed to walk all the way from Queensberry Bouverie St, down to Spring and Bourke, to Lygon and Queensberry, to Lygon and Elgin, to Johnston and Brunswick!!!!

No idea how I made it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here and Now

When I got back to Benalla this time round, I realized something.

This is home.

For the longest time home was defined as the one I had in Malaysia. In every place I had lived in Melbourne I had never called it home. I'd say 'I'm going back to the apartment' or 'I'm just going to head back'. But now it has dawned on me that my life and my existence centers in this rather ordinary 3 bedroom house in Country Victoria.

I have been happy here. I'm not sure when or when or how, but I have put some roots into this soil.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When I was back home in Malaysia, I observed my little cousins.

When they wanted something and couldn't get what they want - they'd throw a tantrum.

When they were bored, they'd throw a tantrum.

When they get the point.

It made me realize how much self control we practice as adults.

Monday, January 4, 2010

White Chocolate

My latest interest has been white chocolate piping.

There's something very therapeutic about piping. True, sometimes the bag decides to unravel or leak. Sometimes the chocolate starts setting in the bag and gets lumpy. But overall, the results are so pleasing one can get quite forgiving.

Here are my 2 latest efforts. First is white chocolate butterflies, sitting on top of lavendar cream cheese icing on orange cupcakes.

Second one is one of my favourite cakes I've made to date. Baileys cheesecake with a biscuit base, glzed with a dark chocolate glacage and topped with white chocolate decorations.

Will probably continue to explore this medium for a while longer before moving onto something else.

Random Facts

1. When I eat a McDonald's Cheeseburger, I always take out the pickle. Hate pickles.

2. My pet peeve in dentistry is being given stale bond and not enough etchant.

3. I'm very snobby when it comes to certain things. For example, I don't believe in cheap candles. Or non-Mac computers. Or artificial flowers. Yet at the same time, I think Home Brand Fish Fingers are awesome.

Yes, I eat fish fingers. They're processed to the point of unfishiness, you see.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No. 43 - Try 50 New Recipes (22/50)

I have put my life shockingly on hold for the past couple of months. I've let my blogging slide and everything has just been a whirl of confusion. Totally apologize for that but here I am back again, all well and ready to continue ticking off things off my list. As per usual.

Here's some snow skin mooncakes that I made with my mom when I went back to Malaysia.

Had immense pleasure making them - even if all I really did was squeeze them into the mold and get them out.

They're actually pretty easy to make, it's the ingredients that are hard to come by.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Resolution

2009. Definitely an eventful year for me. Bittersweet. The highs were high - the lows were low.

I've been learning to remember every day that I live a blessed life. And to be grateful that I've been lucky enough to have my friends and family. Although I still frequently lapse into the state of ungratefulness, I try to remember that every day.

I learnt that there are things in life that you can't control. That you can't predict the future.

I've learnt to be a little bit braver.

Been thinking about what I expect out of 2010. The truth is, I don't know what to expect. I feel lost. But what I can resolve to do is to be as happy as I can be no matter what comes my way.

That's my resolution.

Friday, January 1, 2010

1. I've come to realize that my ex was... someone I thought I knew, but clearly didn't.

2. I am listening to ... Taylor Swift.

3. I talk ... when I need to sort things out. If I had no one to talk to when I had a problem I'd go crazy.

4. I love ... when things work out the way they were meant to.

5. My best friends ... have always been there for me, even through my bratty periods.

7. I lost ... my favourite pencil case when I was 15. Still upset over it.

8. I hate it when people ... try to tell me how to do my job. Did you go to dental school??

9. Love is ... a complicated thing. It shouldn't be. But it is.

10. Marriage is ... serious business. Very serious business.

11. Somewhere, someone is thinking ... about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

12. I'll always be ... trying my best to see the glass as half full.

13. I have a crush on ... Rafael Nadal.

14. The last time I cried was because ... of a movie. Can't remember which now.

15. My cell phone is ... seldom with me all the time. I'm perfectly comfortable leaving the house without it most of the time.

16. When I wake up in the morning ... I start thinking about what's in store for the day.

17. Before I go to sleep at night ... I always read something. Habit from childhood.

18. Right now I am thinking about ... how life is just so complicated and wishing things could be simpler.

19. Babies are ... expensive.

20. Last night I ... saw the Jakarta skyline alight with New Year's fireworks from my window seat on my flight back to Melbourne. It was an awesome sight.

21. Today I ... arrived back in Benalla and it felt pretty good.

22. Tonight I will ... unpack and organize my life in preparation for the year ahead.

23. Soon I will ... write a short story.

24. I really want ... this year to be the best year ever.
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