Sunday, 30 November 2008

Dirty Advertisements

We caught this banner near M.Krapotkinskaya.

I'd like to join the Nokia-sponsored party!

Shitdisco.. now what exactly do I wear? LOL

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Mystic Mists

Turkish and I took a bus to Vladimir this morning. Hahahahaa my ass was numb from the 3-hour ride there and back. Total time we spent exploring the place? A little close to 4 hours! Too little! We only managed to get a thorough superficial view of the city and I must say, Vladimir has much to offer.

We headed toward Nizhny Novgorod on M7 highway

Thank God the driver made a pit stop!
(I set the timer and miscued Turkish's head LOL)

I wanted to stay a night so that we could fully enjoy the historical capital but Turkish disagreed. Since its neighbouring town, Suzdal is just another 1/2hour ride away (by car), I insisted until I realised our camera was running out of battery. Guess we'll have to keep a raincheck then :P

The weather was very gloomy. It made the view not too attractive, just old and sad. Plus you know there's something wrong with our camera.. the pictures aren't as nice as before *sniff, sniff*. Anyways, we covered the cathedrals inscribed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, visited the Water Tower, encircled the Golden Gate, caught a breathtaking view of the valley and Klyazma *woot, woot*.. come to think of it, we basically saw 80% of what we were supposed to see.

Vladimir is very tourist-friendly.. it's easy to get around!

Ta-daaaaa.. the Assumption Cathedral in the background :)

View of the Klyazma River..

The east side of town and the Water Tower (arrowed)

The Water Tower turned Historical Museum upclose

Boring museum with heavy ass doors!

To see pictures of Vladimir in its heydays LOL

Turkish and the Golden Gate (left)
and 1/4 of the Holy Trinity Church (right)

Main street of Vladimir, Ulitsa Bolshaya Moskovskaya

Turkish longed for Mister Gamburger which I denied him LOL

Pardon my expression!
I wasn't very serious in front of the Roman

Catholic Church of the Holy Rosary of the Virgin Mary :P

Okaylahhh.. enough of these unflattering pictures. Should we visit Vladimir again, hopefully with some sunshine, let's hope for a more picturesque effect AND make it all the way to Suzdal WITH enough battery to last :)

On the bus, returning to Moscow

Friday, 28 November 2008

Trick Candles II

My boyfriend turns 29 today!

The Birthday Boy and I *giggles*

A toast to health, success and happiness!

Well.. I didn't do much to be honest.

I wasn't kidding when I asked around for suggestions LOL

I am so unromantic. For someone self-claimed with creativity, I sure ain't creative this time! I got Turkish a present, a bouquet and took him out for dinner at the Black Cat (Chornaya Koshka) at M.Taganskaya (he found the place) and we had an amazing, authentic Russian dinner.

We had a good time.

It was a wonderful evening.

And we both enjoyed :)

Extra Class

There was yet another Dermatology conference at Dom Ucheonei (House of Science) where our graduation took place today. Hehehee I attended it this morning, any reason to miss work. It was pretty good! The conference was held by the Derma-venerealogy Dept. of the Russian Medical Academy of Specialisation. Many famous professors were VIPs of the event, including Prof.Ivanov from our hospital.

I got there at 9am to register. Didn't see any of my colleagues (not like we planned to meet or anything but I heard they were interested to come). Anyways, I went up to the 2nd Floor to see many girls, both plain and hot. There were many pharmaceutical companies promoting their products, distributing pamphlets and giving out free cream samples etc. I took a few bags myself.

Free advertising for them :)

I know how to dress for the right occasions okay :P

Booths patronised by medical enthusiasts

The theme for this conference was "New In Aesthetic Dermatology- Science and Practice" (known as Cosmetology/beauty treatment/any name to make fake sounds real LOL) which was interesting. The presentatives covered topics such as Role of Aesthetic Dermatology, Topical and Complex Treatment For Skin, Problems of Illnesses for Laser Therapy, Alternative Therapy for Keloid Scars, introduction of this drug, that drug and many more themes on slideshows.
I learned soooooo much in these few hours! :)

If you feel ugly, come to me quick! After you've undergone my beauty care, I promise you that you will realise your old look was never ugly. You did look beautiful *rofl*.

The opening presentation by the organising Academy

One of my favourite presenters, Dr.Yarovaya
(briefly done but packed with vital information)

90% of the attendants were females, like myself LOL

There was coffee break in between the sessions. Not to say very grand but at least they served us Bread with Ham plus unlimited coffee and tea to go with. I should really attend more of these conferences. Some are exclusive, only by invitations and some require fee payment (from 500pyb to 500euros). This one I attended was free and even came home with a cheapkai Certificate of Attendance LOL

Book sales! Too bad I didn't bring money with me today :(

Hahahahahaa it's not as ugly as it looks

Thursday, 27 November 2008

My Butt

I slipped and fell down this afternoon *cries*.

Ouchhh.. it was badlahhh. My trenchcoat bottom was wet with dirty snow, my sleeves too and my fingernails were caked with dirt.

I had to edit this sign, the stickman was fat LOL
And I fell elegantly, the stickman looked like a hippo

I must have missed a footing and the next thing I know, I was sitting on the road. Damn sadlahhh. But you know what was funny? A guy helped me up. I thought how kind of him. But when I looked at his face to thank him, guess what I saw?

He was giggling! (wtf.)

Why did he help me if he laughs at my fall???

Please beware of slippery roads and mad people nowadays.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Taras Bulba

Turkish took me out for dinner this evening. He said the light falling snow makes city walks romantic. We took a walk towards Hermitage Gardens and I can tell you I was shivering each time the cold, hard wind blew. I can't recall the romantic part LOL

I'm not sure what this phenomenon is called.. "ice on roads"
It's very slippery and if not careful, you'll land on your butt!

We went to Korchma near M.Pushkinskaya on Ulitsa Petrovka (main branch). We have walked past many other branches of this Ukrainian cuisine restaurant at many districts but oddly, we only decided to try out the joint today. Korchma was established in 1999 and today, there are 14 branches. I'm telling you.. I should open up an eatery outlet too! Afterall, Moscow is the most expensive city in the world. Nobody will complain if the price is ridiculously high. The Russian Richie Rich families and foreign expats like.

Taras Bulba.. can't get more Ukrainian with that name!

They deliver too :)

The menu is as thick as the Biochemistry textbook. They sure have a HUGE variety of everything. I couldn't even hold the menu properly. The prints were on colourful and fancy background, I had a hard time reading its contents. Turkish likes when the restaurant has so much to offer but I prefer otherwise. Sometimes I can't even make up my mind after the next table had finished their meal and left.

I don't really fancy its interiors *shrugs*

I like the beeper though!
Very efficient! The waiter came immediately!

I find this painting on the wall (beside us) sooooooo cute!

Prices are very affordable and at Korchma, you can order half portion. That way, you can easily try more appertizers/dishes. I'm sure the chef cooks authentic Ukrainian cuisine. Their Borscht is lip-smackingly delicious! We both had Pork dishes, pheasant style which was very filling! In the end, we were too bloated to have Dessert! Ooohh.. one reminder about the garnish. They don't come with the Main Dish (charged separately) so don't be surprised if the bill comes a few hundred roubles extra. I mean, we were LOL

Me posing drinking some Homemade Kvass LOL

Borscht is indeed Ukrainian, not Russian!

Turkish said the Green Borscht like his mum's Chicken Soup

He also said the Pork Baked On Egg is similar to Schnitzel LOL

My Pork Cutlet with Buckwheat! OooOooohhh.. very the yums!

Since we couldn't budge, we decided to end our meal with Ukrainian tea. Okaylahh, taste the same like every other :P Then I started to look around.. I observed 2 things. 1 is that we weren't the only foreigners. English was heard left and right, very loudly too (after all the Taras Bulba Hot Shots (pepper vodka)). 2 is that I was the only female in the area, now how strange is that! I was surrounded by non-smoking local and foreign men! Now THAT is rare LOL

What an evening.

Machinery Methods

We had a seminar with Dr.Olisova today for 2 hours. It was refreshing from the usual routine. In Dermatolgy, the patients take other forms of therapy apart from medication and cream/lotion application. Therapy such as photochemotherapy (PUVA), ozone therapy, acupuncture, electric therapy (electrophoresis), and the list goes on.

I have witnessed but not even half of the treatment procedures personally, usually I bring my patients to the door front and ciao. But after today, I think the next time I come around, I will stay to learn more. Of course the equipment aren't new and shiny.. in fact I nearly cried when Dr.Olisova said, "We were the pioneers in using these methods" and she tapped on the cranky metal box. OMG. The world out there is like using sleek, state of the art machines!

Classic example of Wall-E vs Eve.

Hahahahahaha I loved that movie!

I was engrossed in our little hospital tour actually. It was educational and reminded me of the good ol' Rombongan Sambil Belajar in school. Except that they are my colleagues and out of the number of 20s.. I don't know anything about the other 15. I speak and work with a few of them, that's about it. Apart from the usual "gang", I'm not sure if it's even possible to make some friends within the department. Even when we chat, it's never personal but solely about the cases.

Like.. "I ain't here to be best friends with you" mode. Errr.. okay.

A racist, arrogant and fake bitch for colleague (3rd from left)

Dr.Olisova is 100% against tanning salons, the whole artificial tan scam. She explained that PUVA therapy (Psolaren+ultraviolet A rays) are meant to treat Psoriasis, eczema and other skin mycosis. Patients need clearance to undergo the therapy because there are certain health and skin conditions which contraindicate its usage. When you go to the tanning salons, they don't ask for your health reports, they don't ask if you have any illnesses (you might not even know if you have any for sure!).

Plus, UV radiation causes skin cancer. One study showed that radiation on tanning beds penetrate 3-8 times deeper into the skin than natural sunlight.

Why deliberately lie on the tanning bed like a coffin? >(

This PUVA machine is quite new.. German brand
The Wall-E version is hidden at the next room LOL

I'm having a bit hiccoughs lately in giving my zacheot *sniff, sniff*. Prof.Kochergin said the textbooks I have are not good enough and suggests I buy a 4-volume American textbook by the author Rook. The set of Dermatology collection costs 24,000pyb (US$875).

Sure. I'll get it.. IN MY DREAMS!!

I only hope I'll be able to clear some before our trip to Malaysia. That's in 3 weeks time! 4 weeks to be exact but.. I don't care! :P

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Mais Polenta

Polenta is made from cornmeal and cornmeal is coarsely grinded corn/ground corn. This evening I prepared an experimental dish, coincidentally an Italian dish too! I was grocery-shopping the other day and thought about an alternate side dish. I mean it has always been rice, bread, potatoes so I just wanted to have something different.

I bought a packet of cornmeal (kukuruznaya khrupa) from the supermarket. I made the Basic Polenta, boiled with only water and salt. I read that the ways of making Polenta is innumerable. This is one dish which you can add or substitute any ingredient, and it'll still taste good!

Polenta (for 2-3 persons)

3 cups of water
1 cup of cornmeal
1 teaspoon of salt

*optional: herbs/spices /milk /butter/ cheese/ cooked vegetables/ ham/ fried onions or garlic/ chicken stock/ Maggi cubes/ anything that strikes your fancy.. go wild!

Italians are brilliant when it comes to gastronomy! Polenta is really easy to make and it can be served soft, hard, grilled or boiled (recipe differs naturally but not much). Hardship is that you need to keep stirring. Try not to leave it unattended for too long because it will clump and stick on the bottom of the pan, not forgetting the possible spillage!

Poor corn.. from an ear to grains and it will turn to mush soon! :P

Not necessary with this IKEA cup LOL
Just remember to measure with the same cup!

1 teaspoon of salt and bring the water to boil

Meanwhile, soak the cornmeal to rid its dirt and whatnots

When the water boils like it's never been boiled before..
Stir in cornmeal and be careful not to splash on yourself

Keep whisking until it becomes fluffy and soft (test yourself)
Note: this would be the point if you want to add anything extra

Goes well with almost any main dish especially with sauce!

Buon appetito!

(okay, okay.. next time I'll try to cook a different cuisine :P)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Snow At Night

I had to snap a couple of pictures with the Night Shot on my digital camera. Problem is, I had to be very, very steady with my hands so that the pictures won't be blurry. Voila, after a few tries. I just wanted to share these pictures here.. two sceneries (if can be qualified as sceneries LOL) I look at before going to bed :)

View from the bedroom window

Front view of the apartment

Time Travel

The last episode of Supernatural Season 4 I watched was entitled In the Beginning when Dean travels back in time to stop "it". On top of that series, Turkish and I have been watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 1 which also, rolls back and forth with time.

We may have watched many movies or read books about this affair, be it returning to the past or leap into the future (with different reasons and course of actions), and as fictional as it may be, it just can't happen. I don't mean the possibilities of creating a time machine AND able to time travel, I'm saying there is no logic in doing so, not forgetting the cause and effect.

I surfed one article after another and I have to say..

I strongly oppose the idea of time traveling, even stronger now. Just like most people, I am a movie buff. When I watch a movie that involves time travel and ridiculously written, I get very angry. I'm having troubles digesting the Terminator series but that's another story. I will use a few movies as examples to explain why I think time travel is more like physics gone wrong.

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban when Harry and Hermione (in the ward) turn time around a few hours earlier to free Buckbeak. I remember my horror to see when the two return to the present, they hide outside the ward watching themselves disappear in thin air.

What does this tell you? Time is circular. It's a cycle. Harry and Hermione who returned reel on film with the rest of the movie, while the "themselves" they saw.. are trying to free Buckbeak. They would return and see "themselves" again, and again, and again even after we leave the cinema.

2. Twelve Monkeys starring Bruce Willis. So the world ended, he is sent back to the past to prevent apocalyse (deadly viral spread) from happening. One event leads to another, and another and ultimately Bruce Willis fails to stop anything. Instead, he is shot and a small boy parked at the sidelines, is actually young Bruce Willis witnessing his own death later in adult life. Exaggerated coincidence.

What does this tell you? Again, time is circular. The past is fixed, inchangeable. Bruce Willis dies in the end of the movie meaning the virus contaminated all life forms but young Bruce Willis will grow up to be sent back to the past and re-do what we just watched for the past 1 1/2hours. But I liked this movie because Brad Pitt plays a madman extremely well LOL

3. Frequency.. heard/watched the movie of a father and son communicating over an old radio? Father in 1969 and son in 1999. The son changes history, saves the father from the fire (his father is a fireman who died in line of duty) so a new timeline is created from there. Events that wouldn't have taken place took place and the plot deteers, his mother gets murdered instead. This one isn't exactly about time traveling.. more to bending time and space.

4. The Lake House.. similar to the above. I don't have anything bad to say about this movie because my ex-boyfriend, Keanu Reeves is so handsome and his movies are always good. I can accept any kind of travel he makes, better with me :P

Anyways, enough of the bloopers. I'm not all rooted at the Opposition of course. I do acknowledge movies that are sensible to this subject, this time travel theory and there are a couple of titles which I very much approve of.

1. The Time Machine (2002) based on H.G. Wells novel. The protagonist grieves his fiance's death and builds a time machine to go back into the past to save her. But no matter how many times he tries, she still dies in different ways. This is Hedges Theory.

If an event happened and that is the reason for the traveler to go back in time, how can it be changed because if the event were to be changed.. then the traveler wouldn't have the reason to return in the first place! Confused? Okay. Back to the movie example. The leader of the mutant race explains very well that the past cannot be changed because of the existance of a time machine. The protagonist couldn't have saved his fiance because the time machine is built upon her death. How can she be alive when the time machine exists?

2. Butterfly Effect is the only movie I remember with time-space travel, with a bit of a twist and touches the memory part. Have you wondered how, let's say, a traveler that goes back in time to save someone (very noble right) and the person lives.. let's say someone close like a brother. Should the brother live, isn't it mysterious how the traveler's memories don't change?

(Theory says it's because another timeline has been created, like a time clone, parallel to the world the traveler came from. Thus, he moves forward with time of the "past" and even if he returns to the future.. it wouldn't be the future he was before. Everything would have changed.)

I mean, there and then, the memories should jam into his head like a train because he saved his brother. They should have played sand and went to school together but interestingy, the traveler doesn't remember any of it. Butterfly Effect is good apart from it's one of Ashton Kutcher's few intelligent movies, he gets the memories and every time he lives another life, they get refreshed.

3. A Sound of Thunder is one cheesy, cheap ass movie with lousy computer effects, like cut and paste LOL The movie plot concerns "time tourists" who go to the prehistoric area to hunt dinosaurs. But everything is arranged in time perfection so it doesn't interfere too much with the past. What movie is there if it were perfect right?

So things go wrong at one trip. Someone brought something back to the future. And that is the one thing which had failed to evolve from one species to another and another, then the attack of time waves causing organisms to evolve, from vegetation to wildlife and humans, also a result from changing the past. All hell breaks loose and when it comes to evolution.. nothing evolves into cute little 3-eared puppies. It's always 3-headed hellhounds that kill and shred humans into pieces (it's a figure of speech LOL).

So.. this is more or less my opinion on time travel.

What about if I have the chance to go back in time, would I?



Yeah ;)

Sunday, 23 November 2008

What The World Eats

My father's words, in memory : "The amount a person can eat, clothes can wear and how long he/she can live is destined".

I ran through the old forwarded emails and found something interesting which I'm going to share here. 15 family potraits in different homes around the globe (2007) with a week's worth of food. I've arranged them by their budgets. These photographs are taken by Peter Menzel from his book "Hungry Planet" :)

Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros ($500.07)
Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring,
fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding

United States : The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week : $341.98
Favorite foods : spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

Japan : The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week : 37,699 Yen ($317.25)
Favorite foods : sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips

Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week : 214.36 Euros ($260.11)
Favorite foods: fish, pasta with ragu, hot dogs, frozen fish sticks

Great Britain : The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis
Food expenditure for one week : 155.54 British Pounds ($253.15)
Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich,
prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream

Kuwait : The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City
Food expenditure for one week : 63.63 dinar ($221.45)
Family recipe: Chicken biryani with basmati rice

Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos ($189.09)
Favorite foods: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken

United States : The Caven family of California
Food expenditure for one week : $159.18
Favorite foods: beef stew, berry yogurt sundae,
clam chowder, ice cream

China : The Dong family of Beijing
Food expenditure for one week : 1,233.76 Yuan ($155.06)
Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce

Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week : 582.48 Zlotys ($151.27)
Family recipe : Pig's knuckles with carrots, celery and parsnips

Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week : 387.85 Egyptian Pounds ($68.53)
Family recipe: Okra and mutton

Mongolia : The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar
Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs ($40.02)
Family recipe: Mutton dumplings

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week : $31.55
Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage

Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum ($5.03)
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork

Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week : 685 CFA Francs ($1.23)
Favorite foods : soup with fresh sheep meat

What an eye opener! I'm not really sure how much I spend in a week but my roughest estimation is about 1800pyb (if I cook daily on weekdays) plus eating out on weekends and Costa Coffee on Sundays.. I think the numbers might alternate somewhere between the families from China and Poland LOL

Why not run the slides of What The World Eats - Part 2.