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Fifty Shades of Grey – On My Bed

I’ve actually stopped reading since “The Historian”…some years back. Recently I was determined to start reading again. Just picked up “Pride & Prejudice” from my bookshelf and started the first 20 pages, then I got my hands on this “Fifty Shades of Grey”. I borrowed it from Mun See when I was back in Ipoh the last time, when she told me that she had just finished with it.

I’ve heard of it from somewhere before but I didn’t know that it’s such a big hit. Suddenly now everybody’s talking about it on Facebook and when I googled it, Wikipedia said it has sold 40 million copies worldwide…and many many critics have written about it already.

Anyway I’m not trying to be one of the critics…just sharing my opinion & thoughts about it, if you’re contemplating to read it.

If you don’t know what Fifty Shades is all about, it’s about a young innocent girl, Anastasia, who is deeply attracted to Grey, an extremely rich, handsome & charming young man. However she soon found out that Grey has a dark side…he enjoys a BDSM relationship – Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism. So in order to be with him, she has to decide if she wants to be the ‘Submissive’, while he’s the ‘Dominant” to do anything as he pleases, to her. Soon they embarked on a passionate & erotic sexual affair of discovering each other.

First of all, it’s a very easy read. Easy, as in simple English. Hmm…may be a bit too simple if you’re one who’s interested in expanding your vocabulary. Some words, I thought, were overused (i.e. smirked, murmurs, chuckles, etc.). Unlike “The Historian”, the language lacks richness. But on the bright side, it means you’re able to read it fast & finish the book sooner. However I finished it in slightly less than a month, which is considered slow. Anyways…

There are lots of sex scenes in the book. If you’re looking to spice up your boring sex life with your partner, this may be the catalyst you need. 😉 And because it’s about sadism & masochism, there’re some tools used here that I don’t quite understand. But anyway, it doesn’t matter…you can imagine it to be anything that you want. Haha.

I personally find the whole BDSM here a bit mild. I was actually expecting more pain, intensity & coldness in the relationship…but what I read is a lot of lovey dovey scenes. So it was a bit contradicting…about Grey. He’s supposed to be this cold-hearted & screwed-up soul…but he turns out to be quite sensitive & a gentleman in most parts. So I felt it wasn’t hardcore enough. Therefore, I thought this is more of a romantic novel than anything else.

But there are some parts that are quite hilarious & witty too. Because the book was written with Ana as the narrator, it’s very much a woman’s read. We, women, will be able to identify with many emotions & thoughts expressed here. I can’t imagine a man would actually enjoy reading Fifty Shades. Haha. Unless he wants to understand what goes on in a woman’s mind better. 🙂

Anyway, here are some quotes that I picked up which I thought was quite funny:

  • “Grey – you’re on my shit list and I’m watching you.”

  • “You didn’t have to track me down with whatever James Bond gadgetry you’re developing for the highest bidder.”

  • “Which medieval chronicle did you escape from? You sound like a courtly knight.”

  • My heartbeat has picked up, and my medula oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe.

I read that some people commented that this book is a bad influence to women, especially those in abusive relationships. People are working hard to tell these women that it’s wrong to be beaten up by their partners and that they should be walking out of the relationship. Instead, Fifty Shades sensationalises the whole issue of being abused into something erotic & sexy. So there are moral concerns here to know before you start reading it.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is the first part of a trilogy. The 2nd book is called “Fifty Shades Darker” followed by “Fifty Shades Freed”.

Anyway I found out why the author had kept the hardcore part to the end (of this first book). Because there are 2 more to follow. So perhaps the 2nd book would be more intense…I don’t know. I haven’t decided if I want to continue reading the other 2 parts. Well, I kinda think that there are other more ‘informative’ books to read, that I can gain more knowledge from, than Fifty Shades. Like “The Historian”. Haha. OK I think you can guess that I still like the latter better. 🙂

Read it if you’re curious. But if you decide not to read it, you don’t miss much either.

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A Great Leader – The Goldsmith Way

This morning on the way to work, as usual, I tuned into BFM 89.9 for their Breakfast Grille programme. Today they interviewed Marshall Goldsmith over the phone. He’s an Executive Coach, meaning he trains CEOs to become even better CEOs.

During the interview (which normally my brains would wander somewhere else half the time), something he said caught my ears, which I thought was very interesting indeed.

When asked what is the biggest challenge that leaders face today, he said it’s their ego. He said that a great achiever is all about ‘me’…but a great leader is all about ‘them’.

See, when someone just starts out in his career, he would work hard to achieve his targets, exceed his expectations and learn all the technical skills in order to get himself noticed & move upwards. But when he moves up to become a leader, he needs to understand that it’s no longer about him anymore…his success now lies in the people that he leads. And it is at this transition period that most leaders fail (to become good leaders) because they can’t let go of the ‘me’ factor.

A good leader is one that is his people can learn from & is able to guide them to achieve their own successes.

I thought this is so true. A high achiever in a company may not always be a good leader. And I can honestly say there are so few good leaders out there nowadays…and I can also honestly say that I’m far from it myself. Hehe. But it’s OK, one doesn’t necessarily need to be a leader to be successful.

Then he talks about success…that it has nothing to do with earning lots of money.

Anyway I thought it was a good interview. Check out the podcast here.

He also displays some of his work on his website. You can check out his website here.

Carrot Cake: My Premiere

Fred finally got some time off last Monday to teach me how to make carrot cake. I was told (by his wife…which may be a bit biased but I shall believe her, since he’s the professional & graduated from the ‘notorious’ Freemason cooking school in France) that he makes the BEST carrot cake EVER. 😉

So here are some snippets of my first baking session.

Results: PASS with Distinction. OK lah, A2 lah. Hehe. 😛

Well, this wasn’t set by me…I brought half of the cake to office the next day and ALL my colleagues said it was very nice. OK to be fair, it wasn’t completely my effort…maybe 50% mine & 50% Fred’s. 🙂

Anyway I discovered some things during the session:

  • Waaahhh the amount of sugar used in a cake is…err….well, A LOT! Goodness! Even when we put less than recommended, it was still A LOT. Gosh. OK, less cake for me from now on. 😛
  • I have pretty weak arms. Make 3 more times of this & I’ll surely grow the biceps. But thank God for mom’s mixer. Hehe.
  • Now I know why carrot cakes are expensive. Because the ingredients are not cheap either. The pricey ones are the cream cheese & pecan nuts. The rests are not much but adding them all would come up to quite a sum too. I haven’t done the maths yet but I think the cost for a whole carrot cake is probably around RM35-40.
Now for the recipe. I know you’re just dying to ask me for it, right? Hehe. OK so here it goes:
Ingredients:

A. Vegetable Oil – 320 g
A. Plain Flour – 300 g
A. Bicarbonate Soda – 10 g
A. Sugar – 420 g
A. Eggs – 210 g
A. Salt – 2 g
A. Cinnamon Ground – 9 g
Carrots – 400 g
Pecan nuts – 100 g

1. Mix the “A” ingredients in a mixing machine for 5 minutes.

2. Grate the carrots and chop the nuts, then add them to the mix.

3. Bake at 160°c for 45 minutes. Check to see if the cake is cooked then remove from the oven and allow too cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and placing it on a cooling rack.

For the toppings:

Cream cheese  – 400 g
Icing sugar – 150 g
Whip cream – 400 g

1. Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar.

2. Mix the whip cream in a mixing machine until it’s fluffy.

3. Add “1” & “2” together. Mix them thoroughly. Then add some lemon juice and lemon zest.

That’s it. Good luck & let me know how it goes. 🙂

The Hungry Hog

We’ve been discussing about trying out this new place for some time. Then we finally made it last Saturday.

So how was it, you asked?

My verdict: 4.5 / 5.0 points. Very good indeed. 😀

The remaining 0.5 points is for the pork sausages, which I thought was nothing great. It was a bit hard & a far cry from the typical German bratwurst.

Bangers & Mash

We liked the Bacon Spaghetti very much. It’s mixed with chili, making it slightly spicy & tasty. Very nice!

Bacon Pasta

But the one we liked best was the Pork Chop. It wasn’t in the menu but written on the board outside. They had pre-warned us that it will take 20-30 mins to prepare…and usually when that’s the case, it could only mean that this is one dish you shouldn’t miss! And true enough, sink your teeth into the succulent meat and it would make you scream, “More! More! Moreeeeee!!!!” Hahaha! 😛

Pork Chop

The pork chop, I find, was better than the one in Betty’s Midwest Kitchen @ Aman Suria. Betty’s porky was a bit too hard, I thought. This was just nice. And you don’t need to burn your wallet for it, it only goes for RM18.90, and for a pretty big portion too.

We also ordered one of their snacks, Keropork, which was pretty interesting, I must say. You must try it.

The prices here are all very reasonable. Maybe because of the crowd of college students around the area.

You can check out their website for their menu – The Hungry Hog

Address: 71, Jalan SS15/4C, 47500 Subang Jaya (on the same road as Nasi Kandar Pelita)

Tel: 012 – 225 0877

Opening Hours: 12:00 – 2:30pm, 6:00 – 10:00pm (closed on Mondays)

Here is the map to the place:

Tau Eew Bak

Following up from my previous blog, so I made the “tau eew bak” last night. It turned out pretty well, I must say. Hehe. Though the meat could have been more tender, I thought. Maybe I didn’t boil it long enough. But it was still OK. And looks pretty good too. 😉

Here is a very brief recipe of the “tau eew bak”:

  • Cut the pork meat into cubes.
  • Chop the garlic into small pieces.
  • 1 hour before cooking, season the meat with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, pepper & chopped garlic. Mix them thoroughly & then let it season for an hour.
  • To cook, add some water to the seasoned meat. Pour them into a pot or wok. Heat it up & stir.
  • Sprinkle some sugar.
  • Close the lid to let the meat cook completely, maybe for about 15 – 20 mins. Stir occassionally.
  • You may also add “tau pok” and/or chinese mushrooms, according to your fancy.
  • Taste the sauce first before switching off the fire.
  • It’s ready when the meat is tender enough. Don’t cook too long, as the meat will shrink when overcooked.
Then, bon appetit! 😀

Keirsey’s Personality Test

I read Rachel’s blog and saw this personality test she was blogging about. So I tried it. And taa daa…..


Custom Keirsey Temperament Report for: WD

Your Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results indicates that your personality type is that of the
Rational

Rationals are the problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us. Rationals might tackle problems in organic systems such as plants and animals, or in mechanical systems such as railroads and computers, or in social systems such as families and companies and governments. But whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.

In working with problems, Rationals try to find solutions that have application in the real world, but they are even more interested in the abstract concepts involved, the fundamental principles or natural laws that underlie the particular case. And they are completely pragmatic about their ways and means of achieving their ends. Rationals don’t care about being politically correct. They are interested in the most efficient solutions possible, and will listen to anyone who has something useful to teach them, while disregarding any authority or customary procedure that wastes time and resources.

Rationals have an insatiable hunger to accomplish their goals and will work tirelessly on any project they have set their mind to. They are rigorously logical and fiercely independent in their thinking — are indeed skeptical of all ideas, even their own — and they believe they can overcome any obstacle with their will power. Often they are seen as cold and distant, but this is really the absorbed concentration they give to whatever problem they’re working on. Whether designing a skyscraper or an experiment, developing a theory or a prototype technology, building an aircraft, a corporation, or a strategic alliance, Rationals value intelligence, in themselves and others, and they pride themselves on the ingenuity they bring to their problem solving.

Rationals are very scarce, comprising as little as 7 to 10 percent of the population. But because of their drive to unlock the secrets of nature, and to develop new technologies, they have done much to shape our world.

Rationals at Work
As a Rational, you seek to acquire and apply expertise. You thrive in an autonomous and intellectually stimulating workplace, working alongside other competent people, pursuing knowledge or creating systems. Your core need to follow the driving force of your own intelligence leads to particular career challenges. For example, recognition of your expertise may lead to your being put “in charge” of other people, as a manager, when you might prefer to remain immersed in projects of your own.

Curious and imaginative, you are happy when you have the opportunity to explore the universe of ideas. You do not usually seek leadership positions and prefer independent work to teamwork. In your ideal job, your superiors create a structure, provide you with resources, set some general expectations, and let you loose. Inasmuch as you are not particularly goal oriented, your ideal job situation provides you a sort of private enclave where you can work autonomously. Like other “creatives” (scientists, computer engineers and even writers and designers), you work best when you can deliver your work products–rather than yourself or your process–to others.

Verdict: Hmm…quite true, actually. Amazing. 😛

Birthday Carnival – Day 2

And my birthday carnival continued on to the next day. 😉

Last night, we had a double birthday celebration for Uncle Lek & myself. Uncle Lek’s birthday is today. It was a tradition carried from last year that we would celebrate our birthdays together. I don’t mind, it was good fun to catch up with the uncle & aunties & cuzzies.

So we went to Coconut Flower @ Teluk Gong for seafood. The food was nothing great to shout about. I felt that the crabs were not as fresh as they used to be…the meehoon lala was pathetic…and the tomyam prawns were too sweet. But then maybe because it was Sunday & the place was packed with people, so inadvertently the quality was compromised as well…giving them the benefit of the doubt. But people still flock to the place…I mean, I know I will still go back there again la. Haha. Suckers, aren’t we? 😛

Anyway, here are some (unedited) shots taken by Sia (except the cake, by yours truly) of the cake cutting session:

Yummy cake with cutesy tootsy decos bought by Sau Mun from San Terri Cottage, The Gardens.

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