I have just finished my very first Boyzilian waxing session. Yup, it’s the male version of the Brazilian, where they remove all your pubic hair and the ones around your anus/crack too. I’ve made it a point to keep my dick clean shaven coz I like women to be hairless down there too and I thought I’ll return the favor. Most females prefer a shaven look. I have usually taken to it with a razor but it’s so annoying to have the little hairs grow out and tickle you down there.
Thus, I called up a waxing place and they told me they’ll give me RM 39 for my first time. It turns out to be RM 60 but it’s still really cheap compared to their usual price. I also went for underarm hair removal, everything was RM 89. I have heard many horror stories about the application and removal of wax by force to the nether regions and I must admit, I was a little apprehensive.
I also wasn’t used to girls I’m not sleeping with touching my junk. However, I’m not an excessively modest or conservative person so I really didn’t mind either. I honestly would prefer a female to a male.
I stripped down to my birthday suit and got on the massage table. First up was my pits. Not very complicated, although I had just recently shaved so she needed to pluck out the smaller ones with tweezers. I had to control my tickle response though. I kept bursting out in laughter when she touched my armpits. Ticklish.
Next, the main event. She did the area below my ballsack first. The sides of the legs where it’ll show the most when you don swimwear. It really wasn’t that bad at all. I didn’t even find it painful. No big deal. I was puzzled by the feedback on Brazilian waxes being painful.
Then she moved on to the sides of the balls. No problem too. She removed all the hair beside my testicular region and moved to the upper part.
The part that joins to my actual penis. I was playing with my phone, taking photos and such when she pulled off the first strip. I actually had to bite my tongue to prevent me from shouting out in pain and surprise. It was surprisingly gnarly. I was half afraid she’ll accidentally rip my penile shaft off.
You’ll notice that my toes are curled in at this point. I was doing that in trepidation of the next time the wax strip is pulled off. It’s not unbearable but definitely uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. Worth it for a clean bush though.
I’ve never even done any sort of waxing before this so it was a learning experience. I would do it again, but I’m too lazy for this to be a regular thing, unless I’m sleeping with someone. I’m not currently banging anyone so I guess the only people I have to show my new cleanly shaved dong is you guys. Enjoy! Hehe
So…I have taken a 1 year sabbatical from blogging to find my passion again and I’ve recently started to feel the faint stirrings of that. Or maybe it’s just an urge to share my inane thoughts with you all. Haha. Since then, many things have happened. I shall try to condense and distill them in point form.
1. I am into the fitness lifestyle now
Those who follow my personal Facebook will have no choice but to see this, as I’m fond of posting gym photos to my timeline. I do it several times a day even, since my workout routine is 3 hours per day, 9 days out of 10. It’s been more than a year now since I’ve joined the congregation of the Church of Iron and my gains has been coming along. I like being buff. I enjoy displaying my beautiful body and getting compliments, so remember to give me some. Thanks.
2. I have quit drinking, smoking and recreational drugs
This is somewhat related to 1. I have gotten many puzzled questions about this. Did I find God? Did I have a near death experience? Maybe got arrested again? Some other close call? No, no, no and no. I just decided I wanted a change. It’s that simple and boring. I feel that these things usually are. True change comes from just wanting a change, nothing too dramatic. I think change that is derived from those sensational life events tend to be short lived. I even quit Suboxone (my maintenance opiate medication) and benzodiazepines. I really mean no drugs anymore. Suboxone (buprenorphine) was really hard though. Couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks, felt like shit, will tell the story some other day. Been clean ever since. I also stopped drinking. No reason, it’s not a religious or moral thing, I just don’t feel like it anymore.
3. I am single now
Again, no surprise here for people following me on FB. Things didn’t work out and I have been hitting the Tinder scene for a while late this year. Nothing promising from Tinder, although I did have a few hook-ups. Including with a girl half my age! Oh boy, do I want to tell you all that story someday. Hehe. I’m so happy I still have it. Whatever it means. Also, since I’m kinda jaded with the Tinder scene now, I’ve taken to asking people from Facebook for dates. So don’t be surprised if you suddenly get a message from me asking you out for lunch or dinner. It’s coz I find you attractive and I’ll like to know more.
4. I have a cat
I recently got myself a cat. Her name is Chika. A friend of mine told me the stray she’s taking care of has a litter and I picked one. I was initially apprehensive about having a feline companion in my place. Sounds like a lot of work. And responsibilities. I wasn’t a huge fan of either. However, I am really glad I have her. She’s one of those friendly cats. To me anyway. Waits for me when she hears my key in the locks coming back. Sleeps between my legs at night. She’s always beside me. Her warm and furry presence soothes me. I love my cat. Best thing I did this year.
5. I moved into my own place
I bought a condo in USJ and have been living it it for almost a year now. I’m still very behind in furnishings, the only area I can call fully furnished is the kitchen. I cook my meal prep so having a working kitchen is important. The living room is empty. I haven’t even taken off the plastic the contractors put over the living room air con coz I’m always in my room. It’s nice to have my own place though, and I got it for 380k, which is 20k cheaper than the market price. The best thing is it’s above a mall so grocery shopping and gym is just a lift ride down.
I’m struggling to find new things to talk about and since my musings have veered into cats and condos, I should probably stop. I’ll try and update more frequently now.
I haven’t updated my blog in a long time and I want to start off the cycle by writing about something I’ve always felt the need to hide. I’m not even sure why besides a vague sense of it being right, and I’ll explain that the best I can now. I have had problems with substance abuse in the past and I’ve let my misadventures with methamphetamine, heroin and other fun and interesting chemicals define me. I’m the guy who was all for “better living through chemistry” and I wasn’t afraid to say it out loud to everyone who wanted to hear (and the ones who didn’t as well).
However, as I have grown older, I found myself looking askance at people like that. Admittedly there aren’t many people like me, and even less who has built up such an impressive chemical resume as I have. But the ones who have told me straight out that they’re users, I find that I tend to judge them a little. Even though I used to in the past? Especially coz I used to. I knew what kind of deviant I was and I’ll have no part of that. Now that I’ve quit for so many years, I find myself wanting to dissociate myself with other drug users.
My point is, most people have something against substance users, no matter if it’s recreational or a dependency. It speaks volumes about your character that you’re not willing to make your personal life private and maybe that’s why I stopped divulging so much. It doesn’t matter if you pop MDMA once a year or you’re shooting up smack every morning and lunch in the toilet. People don’t need to know.
There is an odd comfort in being truthful though, as long as you’re not shoving your personal politics down people’s throats. I’ve stopped using all illegal drugs for many years. However, a lot of my legacy is still there. I’m still on buprenorphine (Suboxone) and benzodiazepines.
I’ll talk about Suboxone first. It’s a very, very expensive and legal opiate substitute that the government has been pushing for several years. Government? So it’s free then, you say? No, it’s not. It costs RM 40 per 8 mg tablet and I take 2 per day. I used to run up RM 80 daily, RM 2,480 per month, RM 29,200 annually. RM 30,000! 30 fucking k per year! It was ludicrous.
I got on Suboxone as a legal way to get off OxyContin in 2012. I had a HUGE oxycodone problem. I was a monster. I would take 280 mg per day. That’s 14 tablets (one blister pack) of 20 mg OxyContin. It was, strangely enough, about the same price as Suboxone and offers a much superior high. However, it wasn’t legal, since I obtained them via doctor shopping, and that’s why I ultimately chose to switch over to the government Suboxone program. It was expensive but it was legal and I could travel all over the world with my prescription (except Singapore, who considers buprenorphine a Class A drug).
I was happily on Suboxone for several years before I realized I was hooked on it. Yes, that’s how buprenorphine works, it has a STRONGER binding affinity to your opiate receptors, that’s why you don’t crave other opiates like oxycodone. It’s not very pleasurable, but it’s good enough to prevent you from seeking other MORE pleasurable opiates like heroin. The buzz is acceptable, and it staves off withdrawals. Many Suboxone users already know this but I bet the general public doesn’t. Suboxone works by making you dependent on it. That’s why you don’t get withdrawals, it’s coz you’re still on opiates. In other words, you become addicted to Suboxone.
Quitting was hard. It was harder than OxyContin due to the longer half life of Suboxone. I tried once with the help of my better half and I’m not ashamed to say that I tapped out after 4 or 5 days, just when the withdrawals hit me really hard. I’m not embarrassed coz with my life experience now, I know that you’ll know when the time is right to quit. It’s when you want to, above all else, without any other reason, no pressure, no one to nag you, no guilt. You quit coz you want to be rid of it. That’s when you succeed.
I tried cutting down and I got down to 1 x 8 mg Suboxone tablet per day. After a few weeks, I cut it down to 1/2 then 1/4. It’s hard to get rid of that final bit, the “boost” you need each morning and which comforts you, but when you cut it out of your life, it’s a lot better. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner but I know the answer to that. It was coz I wasn’t ready to.
The same thing with benzodiazepines. This is the most insidious drug I’ve ever taken. Not worse than meth, methamphetamine is the worst thing I’ve ever taken, all in all. But I personally think benzodiazepines are more insidious than opiates. You know why? There is no honest “value proposal”. I took benzos for fun at first, then to help with the come downs from meth, then I obviously got addicted to them. The one time I tried to quit was cold turkey, in drug rehab, coz the sick sons of bitches at the center didn’t know anything about benzodiazepines or how dangerous it is to quit cold turkey.
I seized in the jail cell while my ankles were shackled and my hands were handcuffed. I cried, I had multiple seizures, I thought I was going to die, and I wept again. It was a fucking nightmare, going from 10 mg clonazepam (Rivotril), 2 mg alprazolam (Xanax) and 20 mg diazepam (Valium) in a day to complete zero, cold turkey, back in 2007. I’m not sure if I can do it a second time. That’s what I thought for the next few years anyway, since I started taking them again after rehab.
However, and I’m really not sure what the catalyst is, I somehow decided to take less and less starting from last year. I was on 2 mg clonazepam (Rivotril) daily for many years and then I decided to start taking 1/2 of the tablet. Thus, I was on 1 mg. It felt better, and my head was clearer and I was feeling a lot more emotions and I thought that was good. It was. I cut again to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (which is 1/4 of the tablet).
One day, my doctor said he ran out of clonazepam and it’ll take 2 weeks to get the new stock so he gave me diazepam (Valium) instead. It was a 10 mg pill which is about equivalent to 0.5 mg of clonazepam (don’t look at the mg, trust me when I say these two doses are “similar” – think of clonazepam as being 20 times stronger than diazepam) but it wasn’t. I felt significant amount of anxiety and had mild panic attacks but I liked the clarity. Clonazepam has stronger anti-anxiety effects but it’s not as hypnotic as diazepam. I felt sleepier and I hated it coz it felt like I was “going back” on my progress.
I didn’t want to let myself acclimatize so I cut it again by 1/2 to 5 mg. I cut it again the week after to 1/4 of that and within a week I titrated the dose to 1/8, 1/10 and 1/12. Then I switched to 5 mg Valium (diazepam) – it’s half the amount of my previous 10 mg tablet so it’s easier to split for a smaller dose. The doctor didn’t have 2 mg ones. I then started splitting the 5 mg pill to 1/20 until I had to pinch just a bit. It was effectively nothing coz it was about 1/30 of a 5 mg pill – or 0.16 mg daily. Most people take 5-10 mg and I managed to cut it down to zero with my own super fast taper plan. I was essentially clean. The last bit to get rid off was more psychological than anything.
It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t as bad as when I kicked it cold turkey in rehab. I kinda like the new clarity. It gives me purpose. It also made me feel bad about the time I’ve spent “under the influence” (kinda). Now, this is not medical advice, everyone is different and you should never cold turkey quit benzodiazepines coz you might die of a seizure.
However, I have grown to belief that it’s more like US FDA precaution. I’ve done plenty of things which should have killed me. I’ve taken things which I KNOW as a fact that’s over the LD50 (lethal for 50% of the population – everyone is different) many, many, God so many times and I’m still alive. There’s nothing wrong with being on benzos, some people need it for anxiety.
I just didn’t want it anymore. It was a personal decision.
This is probably the last thing I’m going to write about drugs. I’ve said I was off all illegal drugs. Well, now I’m off it all – legal and prescription included. I don’t want it to define me anymore. I just want to write an appendix for the blog. This is it.
It’s my lucky 13th blog anniversary! sixthseal.com started 13 years ago on 19th April 2002. It has gone though a lot since then. I’ve actually spent more than 1/3 of my entire life blogging and the number is only going to rise as I get older.
I’ve done one blog anniversary post wrapping up the best of the previous year each and every year except 2007. I was in drug rehab at the time and Internet privileges are something that only exists for rich celebrity rehabs in the US, not real ones in a third world country. I was locked up in a cell in shackles and handcuffs for the first 3 months!
I couldn’t even type if there was a device (and there was none, but plenty of manual labor). You wouldn’t think someone would be able to pluck grass while in restraints and stripped of everything except a sarong (wraparound cloth – it’s meant as punishment) but I can tell you it’s possible, and I’ve done it in the sweltering afternoon heat.
[Title translates to “Evil Website – Computer Graduate Shows How (to be an) Expert Drug User” – this is an article about me with all the photos taken from sixthseal.com by Harian Metro Ahad]
Lots of things have changed since then – I nearly lost ALL my blog archives prior to 2007 (coz I couldn’t renew my hosting from rehab) if not for the efforts of a kind reader called David from Australia who backed up my blog in HTML. I managed to recover my archives thanks to him but lost *all my comments* since the HTML files were of the posts only. I’m still glad I have them though, even though all the comments are missing prior to 2007.
I came out in 2008 and never looked back.
In the past year, I have also started up tumblingminis.com – a site I manage with my better half to share our passion for LEGOs. That’s why the feature image I put for this post is done with 13 LEGO minifigures, it symbolizes my 13 years running sixthseal.com. The two LEGOs in front represent me and my better half. I guess that makes the cameraman YOU, dear reader. :)
That done, let’s do the the best of the previous year’s posts, in chronological order:
Our 2 Michelin star lunch at Le Relais LOUIS XIII
25 April 2014
I travel to Germany and France with my better half for our annual overseas trip. It just happens to be our birthdays at the time and I wanted to surprise my dear with a fine dining experience at a classic French Michelin star restaurant – Le Relais LOUIS XIII in the heart of the 6th arrondissement of Paris.
Molecular Gastronomy Experiments: Silkie Black Chicken “Soup” Jelly
29 May 2014
This is one of my experiments with molecular gastronomy. I wanted to create a jelly with chicken soup – specifically black chicken soup – and intended for the jelly to be crystal clear so you can see the black Silkie chicken and red goji berries inside. It didn’t turn out as well as I imagine it would but it was a good first attempt.
Sandboarding in Port Stephens, Australia
13 June 2014
This is one of the best things I’ve ever done. We took an ATV over sand dunes in what looks like a desert (but it’s actually just beach sand claiming landmass) and I sandboarded down a sand dune. You use a skateboard-like device and basically hold on while gravity does the rest.
Zumbarons @ Adriano Zumbo Patisserie
15 July 2014
Adriano Zumbo makes the best macarons in this part of the world and I went to his signature outlet in Sydney to grab some to bring back. I wanted my better half to try them and see how they compare to Pierre Hermé (below) and the Ladurée macarons at Champs-Élysées, Paris. Macarons don’t travel well but it still tastes awesome when I got them back!
Dinner by Michelin Star Le Gavroche’s Chef Alexy Fuchs Malaysian visit
18 August 2014
I brought my better half out to a RM 711.10 dinner for two when a Michelin 1 star chef came to KL to cook a limited dinner series for a couple of days. It was the best dinner we had in Malaysia, the chef hails from France so it was a good throwback to our time in Paris earlier in the year.
Adriano Zumbo limited edition Tim Tams
4 September 2014
Adriano Zumbo partnered up with Arnott’s to release a series of three limited edition Tim Tams – Salted Caramel, Choc Brownie and Raspberry White Choc and I lugged heaps of them back to KL for my better half. I was in Australia at the time and he came out with the new Adriano Zumbo Red Velvet Tim Tams after I left so I got them mailed all the way from Australia for RM 144. It makes for good reading, how I micromanaged the delivery. Haha.
My experience with dengue fever
17 November 2014
I come down with dengue fever. It wasn’t fun – this is my report on the experience from the moment I fell ill to the recovery phases. It’s not that bad either, but it’s certainly not a walk in the park.
Our Pandoro Party!
30 December 2014
We had panettone the previous year and this year, we had pandoro! It’s a different Christmas cake from the Verona region of Italy and the kids loved it coz it doesn’t have the fruits in panettone but contains heaps of sugar (to look like an ice capped mountain).
Our annual poon choy dinner with whole baby abalone @ Hakka Siu Poon Choy
8 February 2015
Yup, it’s our poon choy tradition going on for the second year! I got our awesome big bowl feast from a smaller shop this time so more care was taken into making it – it was so much more delicious than the previous year’s. My better half’s parents also came over and I got some craft beer for her dad and myself to go with the feast.
The 2015 Chinese New Year Fireworks Roundup!
6 March 2015
This is the bigger and better fireworks roundup, the one from Sibu. I purchase the largest fireworks cake I have to date – a 27 kg 333-shot monster that takes 2 people to carry.
Greetings from Legoland Malaysia!
22 March 2015
We bring the kids to Legoland! The hotels and entrance made it even more expensive than an overseas trip but the kids loved it and that’s all that matters. I enjoyed it too, we managed to catch LEGO Friends Live! – a musical with real people!
My late mom’s first Ching Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day)
31 March 2015
We all flew back for my mom’s first Ching Ming and took care of her tomb, sung some hymns and said a prayer for her. It was good to have the whole family together, I’ve always thought it was more for the living than the dead.
It’s been 13 years since I started this blog and I’m going to be doing a few changes around here. The first thing is to commit to a 24 hour schedule as I originally intended – *one post per day* and the second is to do a complete makeover. The categories are hard to find and the archives even messier and I want the experience to be smooth for everyone who comes here.
Here’s a big THANK YOU to everyone who has passed by, commented or followed me since 13 years ago. I couldn’t have done it without you – thanks for reading everyone! :)
The title might seem a little odd, considering that I just wrote about my 11th blog anniversary yesterday. However, these are events that happened one (and two, respectively) years ago. My blog is actually celebrating it’s 13th anniversary this year and I’m doing a quick spot of catching up!
This is the part where I collect all the noteworthy posts of the previous (in relation to this post) year, which means 19th April 2013 to 19th April 2014.
Just think of the date today as 19th April 2014 and it’ll make more sense.
Come and jump back one year with me while I go through some of the most interesting posts of the “previous” year, in chronological order:
How to cook kangaroo meat: A kangaroo roast dinner!
20 April 2013
I cook a 5-course meal with kangaroo roast as the highlight with the limited kitchen in our Melbourne serviced apartment. We were at our first overseas trip together and I managed to cobble together a more-than-passable dinner for my dear with a dessert of kiwiberries in white chocolate and caramel during our last night in Australia.
My girlfriend’s two birthdays!
25 April 2013
I surprise my better half by planning a trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia without her knowledge. I just told her to bring her passport. :) The boutique hotel we stayed in was awesome – they made a “Happy Honeymoon” sign with leaves on our bed and spread rose petals, had champagne on ice, and even agreed to spring a surprise birthday cake while I got my dear to wait at the swimming pool!
Eating pong tia koon – Cambodian balut!
30 April 2013
There was a balut post last year and there will be one this year! We went to Cambodia to try out their version of fertilized duck embryo. They call it pong tia koon and the Khmer style is a lot more delicious than Philippines preparation. They add a lot of lime, chilli and herbs, making this a truly delectable street eat.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Scam
22 May 2013
I’m very proud of this entry. It was an adventure in hindsight (even though I was quite pissed off at the time) and the best thing that came out of this was random strangers thanking me via the comments and email for letting them know. There were many cases where they were literally inside the taxi when they read my post and aborted their trip. It feels good to write stuff like this and get appreciative notes from people who managed to avoid the scam via my blog post.
Home made deep-fried Mars bar
26 May 2013
I’m quite chuffed to have made this at home…with EVOO to boot! I also deep fried Twix, Snickers, Kit Kat Chunky and Cadbury Crunchie.
The infamous RM 35 bowl of noodles in Sibu!
16 October 2013
My dear came back to Sibu with me for the first time! She met my mom and dad, and they both loved her, which was a good thing since my mom passed on not long after this. It’s shocking to think that in the span of a few months, my mom went from fine, to assisted walking (with her stick), to wheelchair, to bed-ridden before she finally left us. I’m glad my mom knows I am in good hands before she went.
Our weekend trip to Gold Coast Morib Resort!
23 October 2013
This is another trip we took with the kids just a month after our Langkawi trip – the smallest one is about to start school so we’re making the most of the time while she still can go. Now both of them are in school so we can only do trips on school holidays.
Poon Choi @ Restaurant Lee Hong Kee
15 February 2014
This is another great family tradition that we started this year – having poon choy (big bowl feast) together with her mom and dad. The kids enjoyed our two traditions so much that they’ve requested for turkey this year again. I love cooking turkey for Christmas and hunting for a good poon choy during Chinese New Year.
10 things we did during our weekend staycation
25 February 2014
I love taking the time out to spend quality time with my soul mate, even if it’s just a staycation at a hotel in the middle of KL, it still feels like a holiday! It’s not about where you go, but who you go with.
My mom’s funeral
25 March 2014
My dear came down to be with me in this time of need. My mom passed on earlier in the month – it’s a good thing all of us were beside her at the time. We had her wake a few days later. I didn’t post much this month – only 5, the lowest ever recorded in sixthseal.com history, except for the time I restarted blogging after losing everything when coming out of drug rehab (a story I will share in my proper 13th anniversary post tomorrow).
This is actually a very late post – 3 years late, to be exact. Haha! I haven’t done a proper blog anniversary post since April 19th 2012, the year sixthseal.com turned 10. Thus, I’m going catch up by doing *one blog anniversary post per day* until my actual 13th blog birthday on April 19th 2015! It’ll be the 11th anniversary post today and the 12th tomorrow, just in time for this year’s (lucky) 13th anniversary on Sunday!
I’ll do it in the classic sixthseal.com way – a roundup of interesting posts for the “previous” year. For this post, this will mean everything from 19th April 2012 to 19th April 2013 since my blog was created on 19th April 2002.
Also as a tribute to Sesame Street (and also coz I took out a photo in the My Birthday Conspiracy post) our letter today is K.
(It’s the 11th letter of the alphabet, yo)
That photo was actually from this year (2012) and it’s real. This is also the year which I quit all opiates, read on to find out more. It’s actually a very instrumental year in my life.
Here’s my favorite posts of the previous (relative to this post) year in chronological order:
Steyr M9 semi-auto 9mm handgun
6th May 2012
This is a semi-automatic firearm review. I actually have a Category H firearms licence in Melbourne when I was studying there. I wrote about one of my trips to the local shooting range in 2002. I realize it’s a bit dubious having a photo of a loaded handgun so close to the picture above, but oh well, I mean well. Haha.
Couchsurfing in Jakarta – don’t forget your towel
10 June 2012
This was an impromptu trip to Jakarta, which I still haven’t finished writing about. My resolution this year is to stop procrastinating so after my real blog anniversary on Sunday, you’ll see daily updates and more interaction as well as a facelift.
My mom’s battle with lung cancer
14 June 2012
My mom was still alive three years ago…I just came back from her first Ching Ming after she moved on last year. It’s a blessing that we’re with her during her final moments in Singapore, it was hard to see her suffer from end-stage lung cancer and the pain and immobility that came in the end was terrible. She’s in a much better place now.
Only in Germany – beer and bubble tea at McDonald’s!
26 June 2012
A quick post I wrote while I was travelling in Germany. I was in Dresden at the time and they really serve beer in McDonald’s in Germany! There’s no age checks either, but then again I’m no spring chicken. I know they serve beer in other McDonald’s too but Deutschland is the most famously quoted place. You can read the rest of my Germany travel posts but the most recent one is the trip I took with my better half last year, this trip was the trip before that. I’ve actually been to Europe five times within the past 8 years.
Seize the day!
22 July 2012
This was the day I quit OxyContin (oxycodone) which was what I meant by tattooing the date in the post. I went on the government Suboxone opiate maintenance program after that and eventually kicked that too. I had a really serious opiate habit but it turned out that Suboxone was worse in a lot of ways (and more expensive too).
Timothy and Audrey’s Up Themed Wedding in Penang
30 July 2012
This is one of the cutest weddings I’ve ever attended. I had that suit made in Phuket and lost it two years ago while buying chocolates for my dear. It’s a funny story, I was trying to surprise my better half by getting her Patchi chocolates and left my car at the mall’s underground car park, which had a car wash. I took my dry cleaned suit out to put in their lockers…and forgot all about it until several MONTHS later! -_-
11 photos from the Fraser’s Hill trip
19 September 2012
I told you I was travelling a lot during these few months. Hey, I had to do something to combat the withdrawals after quitting opiates, you have to go cold turkey before you can go on the government’s NDST (National Drug Substitution Therapy) program for Suboxone due to the way buprenorphine works.
Helmet diving in Boracay
26 September 2012
This is a fun way to experience the sea if you don’t have a SCUBA diving licence. I did but my travel partner didn’t so we went on this instead, which is my first time!
The Prodigal Son
17 November 2012
The About Me behind the About Me, the one you wouldn’t know unless you’ve been following the blog since it’s inception. I had lead quite a chaotic life. Interesting, yes; and the less travelled path, most definitely; but you pay for the life experiences you get. One way or another, you pay.
The firecracker and the cat
17th February 2013
A funny story about a firecracker and a feline. No, nothing that would cause PETA to come after me, this is actually a rather tame story. Pardon the pun.
Daytime fireworks colored smoke salute cakes!
21 February 2013
Amazing smoke bombettes that flies up and bursts in the air in the form of a fireworks cake. It was the first commercially available daytime fireworks and my only regret was not setting the exposure correctly in the video, coz lighting and seeing the smoke bursts in real life was amazing!
Like I said, this was the best year of my life. I met my soul mate, who kept me on the straight and narrow and I’ve been very lucky to have her in my life. I love the kids and I love my dear and everything I do from this year onwards is reflective of that so that’s the end of shenanigans like ketamine…and the start of being a better person.
I woke up early Sunday morning with a burning fever that came on suddenly. I had a pounding headache and worse still, there was an intense pain behind my eyeballs. I couldn’t even blink without substantial pain.
I was also burning up. You can reach over 40 degrees Celsius in the first few days of dengue infection and the heat was baking off me – so much so that my better half couldn’t stand the heat when she was beside me.
I went to the doctor the next day and she didn’t even know I had dengue fever or diagnose me as such. I was just given a 30 second consultation, given paracetamol and was out the door.
High fever, chills, pain at the back of the eyes
I was really, really sick. I couldn’t eat anything and I didn’t want to move at all. When I went to the doctor again, I was bent over from fatigue. It was worse than any flu that I’ve ever had. I slept.
High fever, fatigue, stabbing pain behind my eyes, aching joints and muscles
It didn’t get better the next day. The fever had gotten worse and I was waiting my IgM and IgG dengue antibodies results so I could confirm that this is a case of dengue. I slept most of the day.
Fever, fatigue, aching joints, muscle pain, stabbing pain behind my eyes
I would say that the most characteristic feature of dengue fever is the stabbing pain behind your eyes. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I got my results and it was dengue!
Diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea, aching muscles and joints
The fever had broke but I was still too tired to get up from bed. I can honestly say that I was bedridden for a full week! I also threw up anything that I tried to eat and couldn’t keep down any fluids.
Nausea, fatigue, itching all over, rashes
This was when I got a mysterious rash all over my body. It’s very itchy and I couldn’t stop scratching myself. It’s on my feet, my hands, my body and it kept me scratching the entire time I was awake. The only respite is sleep.
Itches all over, hives, rashes, nausea, fatigue
It got better on the sixth day and I had daily blood tests to monitor my platelets count. It had dropped really low and I couldn’t seem to heal from the smallest lacerations.
Lacerations from scratching, itching all over, fatigue
It’s the seventh day now and I’m mostly feeling better, although I can’t get up for long periods of time. It’s very tiring to do even minor chores and I’ve been sleeping 12 hour days without any fluids – a bad thing to do which probably made my recovery slower but I had lots of isotonic drinks courtesy of my dear.
Dengue fever isn’t as bad as some people report. You won’t die if you’re a relatively healthy adult. I got a letter for admission to the hospital but I didn’t go – that is if your platelets count is dropping and doesn’t rally for some reason and it’s a precaution. They really can’t do anything for you – your immune system just has to get rid of the dengue fever virus by itself.
I’ve been through a few (mis)adventures in my life and out of them I’ll rate this as a 4 from a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most painful. 10 would be withdrawing from benzodiazepines without a taper plan at a shitty government rehab centre – you’re shackled and handcuffed and you’re seizing every hour and trying not to bite your tongue and you’re peeing blood from the exertion and your brain feels damaged from all the minor and grand mal seizures and you’re just begging for a higher power to not let you die.
(and you can very well die from cold turkey benzo withdrawal after 14 years of heavy usage)
I’ve also done cold turkey withdrawal from opiates (heroin, oxycodone and methadone) and I’ll rate that a 7 – nowhere near the death experience of benzo withdrawal but still painful. I’ve also had an emergency dialysis done on my neck and that discomfort is probably around 5 so my rating of 4 for dengue fever is just according to my personal experiences – your mileage will vary depending on what you’ve been through.
There’s a positive thing that came out of all this though – I’m immune from this strain of dengue fever forever! You can only get dengue once, you’ll have immunity after that, and considering there’s four (4) known strains out there – that means you’ll get dengue a maximum of four times and you’re set after that. :)
This is the best dish I’ve cooked to date! The chicken breast is really *poached* i.e. it’s cooked in ambient hot water with no direct heat for 20 minutes. I learned this technique in a MasterClass and it’s an exact replication of that dish.
It’s quite a simple dish but the trick to cooking it is the perfect poaching of the chicken. The way to do it is to season a pot of water with garlic scapes, rosemary and salt and let it boil.
I used garlic scapes (also known as garlic flower) to flavor the broth coz it tastes milder than garlic. It costs a lot more though at RM 19.90 / kg.
When the water has started boiling, take the pot off the flame/electric hob/heating element and slide in the crown of chicken breast. Set a timer for 20 minutes and put the lid back on. You do not need direct heat to cook this – just the residual heat from the boiled stock.
Meanwhile, I exchanged the vegetable puree that was in the original dish with a beetroot and nectarine puree. I also used raw goat milk while processing the puree. I felt that the colors look nice, and more importantly, it tasted awesome!
The sweetness of the nectarine balances out the beetroot and you get a nice red puree for plating.
The crown of chicken breast should be taken out right at the 20 minute point, skin removed, and sliced into the two breast meat that it contains. I further made three cuts to each chicken breast be faithful to the dish replication.
The last step is to grind up some nuts or cereal and scatter it on the top of the plated chicken. It looks beautiful (if I can say so myself) and best of all, it tastes great!
I’ve never tried indirect heat cooking and got it right at the first try. The beetroot and nectarine puree is smothered over the plate before the chicken breast is plated for the dish to pop (yes, you can roll your eyes right about now ) but the sweet puree was so good we ate it in other dishes too, like the king grouper in fish pastry shells.
My dear better half finished her dish and it was good to be able to do a restaurant quality dish from just watching a show. Haha! I’m putting this into Best of sixthseal.com – a category which I put very few of my posts into. :D
I went to the Phuket Shooting Range yesterday to get some range time in. I haven’t shot a firearm since my initial foray with a .357 Magnum revolver, 9 mm and .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns while I was studying in Melbourne.
I went quite often after that and got a license to own but I heard it’s a perishable skill – if you don’t practice often, you won’t hit the nice grouping you used to be able to do when you went every other weekend. I also…er, examined an Steyr M9 pistol while I was in Malaysia but I wasn’t interested in handguns this time and wanted to shoot a rifle instead.
Phuket Shooting Range had a great package for a .22 caliber long rifle with sights for just THB 890 (about RM 90) for 10 bullets. You can get a semi-automatic or fully automatic (!!!) rifle with a scope for indoor shooting and I was sorely tempted to do this but unfortunately I only had 15 minutes since the girls wanted to go catch the sunset.
Thus, I settled on clay pigeon shooting. It’s a package with 10 shotgun shells for THB 1,190 (about RM 120). I honestly don’t know if this is skeet shooting, trap shooting or sporting clays since the Phuket Shooting Range is huge and I was at a station with clay pigeons flying from two different directions and angles.
The registration process was incredibly lax – I didn’t need to hand over my passport or even prove that I am who I say I am. I just wrote my name on a piece of paper – I didn’t even sign it! You can get a variety of semi-automatic handguns from .38 caliber revolvers to shotguns and there’s even a full outdoor tactical range.
I’ve never been clay pigeon shooting before. I did see President Obama (purportedly) skeet shooting in that well-publicized White House propaganda photo as he made more restrictions to gun laws in the US though. I do know shotguns since I grew up in Sarawak (locals are allowed to own shotguns) but this is a special skeet shooting double-barreled Over And Under design (O/U) that I’ve never used before.
The skeet shooting shells are 24 gr 7 ½ inch 70mm meant for competition – the Olympics uses the same shotgun shells. I was given a short primer () on how to follow the arcs with my shotgun and shoot. The orange clay pigeons came from two directions – a bit like trap/skeet shooting in just one station.
I pressed my cheek against the stock of the shotgun, rested it against my shoulder and waited for the recoil that I thought would hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt nothing at all! There’s barely any recoil from this break open Over And Under (two barrels stacked vertically) shotgun with this particular shell.
However, I found that tracking the clay pigeons (which is automatically thrown into the air from two stations – you’re supposed to track, lead and shoot it, breaking the discs) was harder than I thought. I wasn’t very comfortable with the shotgun – I wanted to have a front pistol grip, which is absurd, that’s something for tactical use, but it would be much more comfortable. :)
Full video of me skeet shooting!
I liked the double barreled shotgun design though – it gives you two chances to break the orange clay pigeons and you can fire it like a semi-automatic. It has a very light trigger pull and you literally break open the stock and reload two shells when you’re done.
I would have loved to go on the shotgun course too – they had metal silhouettes that ping when you shoot it with buckshot but I was pressed for time so I could only go for this one. I have finally shot a classic break open O/U double-barreled shotgun at clay pigeons flying in the air at high speeds! :D
I call this the Silat Buah Edition of my continuing bread story!
1. Mangosteen sandwiches
It’s the season for mangosteens now. Mangosteens season is the end of the year and the smaller ones do not have seeds, making it perfect for sandwiches!
It’s a refreshing experiment but to be honest, not all that good.
2. Starfruit sandwiches
I saw this jar of local government FAMA produced belimbing (starfruit) jam on sale once and bought a tub of it. I then sauntered over to the fruits section and got myself 3 starfruits.
I decided to slather the starfruit jam and then cut starfruit slices on top of it to make a starfruit sandwich with real fruit.
I had to choke it down – the jam is crappy and almost inedible, full of sugar and a weird flavoring that has little to do with starfruit. Another one of my failed experiments. I still can’t bring myself to eat the jam – it’s still sitting in the fridge after another try on it’s own. Vile stuff.
3. Jackfruit sandwiches
You can get the fresh ones at SS2 night market. I found it much better than the ones at the local hypermarket. It’s one of the more expensive fruits around at over RM 9 / kg. I just slid the fruit between bread since it’s quite flavorful by itself.
It should probably be noted that seeds should be taken out before inserting into bread. It’s pretty good – especially when paired with cream cheese spread!
4. Durian sandwiches
It might be heresy to some to use the precious durian as a sandwich filling. It’s expensive (recently bought a Holo durian for RM 33 with less than 10 seeds, costing over RM 3 each) so I used the more common D24 strain (RM 6 / kg) for this experiment.
I thought since it works so well with glutinous rice (seriously, durian and mangoes are perfect with glutinous rice) I reckon it might be okay with bread.
Nope, I still consider it a waste – I had to use about 4 seeds to gather enough flesh for a sandwich – it’s good, but durians deserve better treatment.
5. Jambu sandwiches
I saw this juicy local fruit at RM 8 / kg from a local roadside stand and it turned out to be one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever made! :)
The secret is chunky peanut butter.
Jambu with chunky peanut butter has a very complex texture – the pure water squirting out of the fruit, the stickiness of peanut butter and the chewiness of bread. The flavor profile is amazing too – kinda like eating an apple with peanut butter (used to do that as a kid).
This is the tropical version – salty and buttery and sweet with refreshing bursts.
I did a lot of tongue-in-cheek sandwiches for fun but this…
…this is the eureka moment, I discovered something I’ll really continue eating. It’s truly a great fruit sandwich! :)