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Friday, November 19, 2010

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick

I haven't written for a week since the last post because I pretty much lost the inspiration/will to get up in the morning, much less blog or write. No prizes for guessing why - I am the champion of wallowing - I could hit rock bottom and scrabble for some time there instead of bouncing up.

A friend of mine who had met my CEB told me to go hang out with my CEB because that "Bag of Nonsense" would make me laugh again. And indeed, despite my best efforts to bemoan my current situation, my CEB cheered me up considerably in no time at all, enough for me to burst out laughing even. We also went to Kong Kong Taison Seafood Restoran and needless to say, the RMB164 meal revived my spirits. Nothing to put a person in a better mood than food! We had 2 large crabs (more than 1 kg each) cooked in 2 different styles

Chilli sauce:

Black pepper:

And for once, we were allowed to sit in the air-conditioned area because we had breached the RM150 mark with all that food - crabs, lala and kangkong

After lunch, it was off to his favourite hotel in JB and despite us vowing not to have dinner at all after all the "pigging-out", we ended up driving out still about 8.30pm, at his behest, to have porridge at Tang Shifu at Sutera Mall. I wanted something different so I ordered the Shi Quan Mee Suah with Ginseng and Fish Maw (RM 16.90) and that, was pretty good!

Because they forgot his order, we waited a full half hour more for the food to be served, and by that time it was too late to get my craving for the white chocolate macademia nut cake fulfilled. Believe it or not, Secret Recipe would not sell me any cakes at 9.50pm on a Sat night because they said the cashier had gone home. So, we decided to head back and when we tried to start the engine, we found the batt was flat. I'm not kidding. There we were in an open-air carpark in a foreign land (without the same standard of public transportation as SG) with a car that wouldn't start. And oh yeah, it was raining to boot. My CEB found a guy who had the one of those jump-start cables but the cables were too weak (wrong voltage). Thankfully my CEB had the presence of mind to run into Carrefour just when they were closing and buy a pair of jump-start cables with the right voltage. The next morning, I was praying that somehow the batt would start up but no such luck. And, the brand new cables didnt work - the car batt was so low that the usual beep sound when I click the unlock doors button didn't even sound! I suggested asking the hotel for help and one of the staff found a cab driver who drove over and using that same set of cables, he managed to jump start my car by pulling on the trottle bit of the old cab's engine. Apparently the cables didn't work with the first two cars we tried with because the air con in the cars were turned on while they were revving the engine. After that, I drove to the Autobac place and paid RM250 for the battery to be replaced - it was a particularly nasty experience, esp when the batt first went flat in the night - but I think that my CEB and I are getting slightly better at handing stressful situations together after laying down some basic ground rules.

So when I read the book After Ever After a few nights ago , a book which was obviously meant for a different target audience (teens), one part of the book stuck with me. Ok, context first - the book is told through the eys of a young teen who is a cancer survivor (Jeff). Jeff has a best friend at school who isnt past the 5 year mark for cancer (Tad). When Tad has a relapse (and yes, he eventually dies), Jeff beats himself up for it and his school's guidance teacher asks him for his application form. Jeff is suitably puzzled (as was I). The teacher explains that the application form is the one he filled up to get cancer. Obviously there isn't such a form. The teacher then explains to Jeff that one doesn't always get to choose the cards one is dealt with by a higher power - one just has to play one's cards as best as one can, even if one is dealt a lousy hand. (As my friend, The Slug (not The Slog, mind!) would say "Go down fighting always rather than roll over and show your belly").

So this timely reminder that life is indeed a series of accidents and choices (both of which can be either good or bad), together with my CEB and my beloved boss's advice/plan, has set me right back up on my feet again instead of scrabbling at rock bottom. :)

I am The Slog, hear me roar...:D

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