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Posts by Sheela Goh

This post marks Day 01 (24 hours late) of a 30-day initiative created by The Daily Post.  These geniuses came up with Writing 101: Building A Blogging Habit.  For our initiation piece, we were commanded to loosen up, and write for 20 minutes.  To freely write without planned thought or reservation for 1200 seconds.  Here’s what I came up with.  And I only checked for spelling.  Pinkie swear.

 

What do I write?  This is a timed piece, 20 minutes to be precise.

Step one, poise fingers above keyboard.  Step two, start typing.  And step three, pray most fervently that something appears.  I don’t think I have much to say though.  Spontaneous writing isn’t the issue, it’s the timed element which feels like a noose around my neck.  My mind is blank.  I have Chopped on the tv screen and the chefs have been tasked with transforming Root Beer Schnapps , Squash Blossoms and Ostrich Steak.  And some Lap Cheong which is Chinese sausage, I believe it’s a concoction of Pig’s Blood with Pork, deliciously fat and rich and flavourful.

Speaking of Lap Cheong, I do so love it.  When I lived in Singapore (which was for well over a decade), one of my favourite weekend meals was a plate of Crab Meat Fried Rice which came with generous dollops of sliced Lap Cheong.  And Black Pepper a-plenty.  The stall which sold the fried rice was considered one of the top 10 Hawker Stalls on the island at the time.

I’m fast running out of ideas.  I suppose I could talk more about Lap Cheong and how else you could cook it but that seems really retarded and I really don’t want to appear retarded.

I was supposed to make Chicken Ramen for dinner tonight but I didn’t have time to dash to the grocery store to purchase a bottle of Sake so I’m going to have to wing something to put on the table in about 1.5 hours.  There’s always Kim Son but we try so hard to not eat food from outside because it simply isn’t very healthy.  Furthermore, I just had a bowl of sliced ripe banana with Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream so no more indulgences for me for the day.  Damn it.  Incidentally I typed the word “damn” around seven times because apparently I can’t spell very well when writing under (timed) pressure.  Grr face.

I am stumped yet again.  Chopped is still on and the last two chefs standing are now facing it off in the dessert round.  I love the concept behind Chopped although if I were standing there as a competitor, I’d probably pee in my pants.  And that’s 20 minutes.  Of course I had to end it on a pee note.  Oy.

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Two years ago, I started this blog with grandiose plans of being one of those enviable commercially-successful blogs (you know which ones I’m referring to) but oh my, those castles, how quickly they crumble to dust. I very quickly discovered a new-found respect for those who blogged on a regular basis.  It was also around this time that the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference was scheduled and I had to have a blog in order to register as a participant (which, incidentally, proved to be the very best thing I could’ve done).

And the third catalyst? In the “real world”, I develop branding strategies and, yes, I write for a living.  Blogging was, theoretically, a way for me to let my hair down and write whatever I wanted without censure.

Everything came tumbling down fairly quickly though.  I had a job.  I had a husband and three teenage children.  Work got in the way.  Running a household got in the way.  Simply making it through the day got in the way, and, as you can clearly see from the Archives, blogging took a seat all the way at the very back.

It was never meant to be like that.

I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old, fiction, non fiction, plays, poetry.  Writing is all I’ve known for the most part of my life and yet blogging consistently was so very hard.  I’d start and stop loads of posts, each with a promising beginning but without an end.  Honestly?  I’ve been lost for a very long time now because writing is such a part of me that to feel like I’ve failed in this aspect of my life is nothing short of a heartbreaking sense of defeat.

Someone once told me that I was afraid of success.  That I often place roadblocks in my path to achieving any measure of success because I feared being successful.  I think that’s the craziest piece of truth I’ve ever heard.  Success scares the shit out of me.  I fear the change that success brings.  I fear the fame (or infamy) that success brings.  I find comfort in the status quo and I know that will no longer be the case with success.

That’s why I decided to take on the Blogging 101: Zero to Hero Challenge.  I’m not sure where this new journey will take me.  I don’t know with any measure of certainty if I’ll achieve any form of success through this process but I’m truly praying that in fulfilling the daily assignments; in having to blog every single day; I’ll stop being so frightened of externalising how I feel, how I think, why I do what I do, who I am.  And maybe along the way, should success stop by, I won’t shy away like a deer caught in the headlights.

 

Love, Sheela

p/s this is Day 01 of a month-long project put together by the people at The Daily Post, homework of sorts :)

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Sunday, oh Sunday, how quickly you arrive!!

Many of us use this day not merely to relax and rejuvenate but also to plan.  I know I do. Sunday is when I try to infuse some order into the coming week (at this point, I must confess that most bits usually only last up to end of Monday, at best, but hey, I take what I can get).

A typical plan involves:-

Breakfast for the children the next morning – weekday fare alternates between toast (with scrambled eggs and Pesto spread for her, with Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jelly for him alongside a cup of Greek Yoghurt), French Toast, and sausages, bacon and mini bread rolls.  The man and I make do with either Cereal + Lactose Free Milk or scrambled egg whites with diced tomatoes, and some fruit.

School Lunch – I take it easier in the beginning of the week and prepare something like Agnolotti or Tortellini.  In our bid to eat cleanly, the adults have Poached Chicken Breast or some fish or turkey with sides like avocado, brown rice and/or salad.  Some defrosting required.

Dinner – since we leave for the gym at 5.45pm, I make sure dinner is cooked and ready for when we get back (dinner is around 8pm in the Stella residence) so I decide what I want to prepare, defrost the relevant raw ingredients the night before, that sort of thing.

Work – jot down the key things I have to complete on Monday which, in the instance of tomorrow, is to write/review content for our to-be-revamped website, and edit two articles as well as a blog post in conjunction with the National Health IT Security Week.

Blog – make a mad dash to see what I’m supposed to be posting on Monday and Tuesday, and make fairly futile attempts to start. This bit here is relatively new, I must tell you.  In the past, I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants where blogging was concerned, and since that hasn’t worked very well for me at all (read: averaging a blog post every 6 months), I’m trying to go all fancy and organised.

Oh oh and Gym – this is when I plan my workouts for the week.

There you have it.  Let’s see how closely I follow this as the days progress.  So, what’s in your plan?

 

Love, Sheela

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I suppose I could start this post by examining the historical origins of Chocolate. Where it came from. Or how the word “chocolate” is derived from the Classical Nahuatl word xocolātl (which means “bitter water”). Perhaps investigate why, despite knowing it entered the English language from Spanish, we have absolutely no idea how or when it came into Spanish at all. But I’m not going to.  Instead, I’d like to talk about how we eat chocolate.  Isn’t that a much more delicious topic?

Does a word exists which accurately describes the way we eat chocolate?

I’ve personally witnessed chocolate-consuming acts involving an initial sniff, tentative licks, a gingerly executed bite followed by a complete devouring.  A process yielding grunts, groans and sighs in abundance.  Indeed, we’ve all been there at least once in our exploration of that creamy delight.  And then, there are those who partake of chocolates with mechanical precision – bar by bar, cube by cube, with little or no emotion whatsoever.  I find that odd but perhaps they prefer to compartmentalise their feelings, saving them for private moments later.  Who am I to judge a fellow fan of the cocoa treat?

Generally speaking, we crunch. We chew (sacrilegious). We suck.  Some of us marry a few styles into a single gulp. I know, I live with a man who does just that.  Yet no one of those terms accurately describes what transpires once we pop these confections into our mouths, no matter if our poison lies in dark or white or liqueur-infused. Personally, I begin by carefully nibbling a teeny morsel then slowly swirling it around my mouth as it melts, enjoying each short-lived moment. I suppose you could say I enjoy my chocolates like a sommelier would introduce a new year to his taste memory.

Would I describe it as savouring?  Or tongue-feeling?  Or mouth-rolling?  I don’t know, I don’t know. I do know that I’m curious to find out how you eat your chocolates.  How would you describe the entire endeavour?

I also know with dead certainty that eating more chocolates won’t bring me any closer to describing just how I eat them, but that’s not about to stop me from popping a little white bonbon into my mouth.  Right.  Now.

 

Love, Sheela

p/s Happy International Chocolate Day!!

So with the prospect of a new school year looming over all our heads (countdown T-Minus 9 hours), I thought it only apt to do this back-to-school post featuring an Instagram conversation with my teenage daughter and her friends, on how they feel going back to school.  More on that later but first, here’s a quick look at me during my high school years (cos it’s my blog and I wanna).  Although, in Malaysia, we call it Secondary School and it lasts 5 years, between the ages of 13 to 17.

761_1057542523185_9760_nThere’s me at 13, with my cross-between-Anita Mui-and-Andrew Ridgeley do.  My brother’s proudly displaying his Sade album back when cassette tapes were cool.  And isn’t my mum gorgeous?

1959515_10152324365438390_6875849994800939423_nA group shot of the class in our final year.  Can you guess which one I am?  Clue:  I’m at the very back.  Do you also see the adorable face of the genius behind one of my very fave blogs, Chocolate Cookies and Candies??

257403_10150200795002960_924221_oAnd here I am at 18, going from 3 years of zero skirts and super short hair to, well, the picture’s fairly self-explanatory.  Sidenote, I made that skirt myself.  I was so proud.  Yeah, I’m very much Daddy’s girl.

Moving on to how things are done in 2014.  This is the Instagram chat I was telling you about, verbatim:-

sheelagoh After three months of late nights, sleeping in and zero teacher presence, you’re about to dive into the fray in less than 24 hours. Tell me, in just one word, how do you feel? p_i, z_z, r_rj, help me out in tagging a few others?
z_z Disgruntled, mostly
r_rj Hmmm …
r_rj I asked others and this was their answer: groovy, depressed, anxious, worried, nervous, overwhelmed, crestfallen, distressed, melancholy…in conclusion, they just feel poopy
sheelagoh Disgruntled = Despondent & Depressed so you get a hug z_z
sheelagoh Groovy? r_rj I like poopy.
p_i Pissed off
p_i Crappy
p_i Exhausted
p_i Worried
p_i Annoyed
p_i Depressed
p_i Distressed
p_i Troubled
p_i Agitated
p_i Flustered
p_i Nervous, anxious, eager
p_i Excited, ambivalent, refreshed
p_i Hesitant
p_i I promise not all of these are mine LOL
p_i Sad, an intermittent pain, a scared emoji
p_i Prostrated by pressure
p_i Roweling, depressing, whetting competition
p_i Worried, delectation of wisdom, ordeals
p_i Nonplussed
p_i Dread
sheelagoh Well then p_i LOL LOL LMAO
So I wonder if they realise that it’s not just students bemoaning the dawn of tomorrow?  That parents are in mourning too?
Let’s see if I survive the next 24 hours.  You know you’ll hear all about it soon enough, right here, so be sure to come back and see if I’m still alive.  Until then, stay strong, you parent you.
xo Sheela xo
p/s I know the last bits of this post are all messed up in terms of font and I have no idea how to fix them INSERT ANGRY FACE
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