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savoirefaire's BLOG
{Tuesday, April 29, 2008 . }

Things I have been meaning to blog about:

TV: I got up to speed with America's Next Top Model Cycle 10 and I am a firm supporter of Anya (picture courtesy of

I just saw a silly Yahoo Questions post and comments exchange and how so many people don't want her to win because of her silly accent and how it's "not Hawaiian". I don't really care, she takes amazing photos, has the soul of an angel (oh Bless Her) and is fucking HILARIOUS!!

Every episode, I am online with a friend and all I do is exclaim AAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAA when she comes on. I don't know, it's just the response she evokes in me.

Note: I concur with two of my friends that we'd all die if Dominique won.

Also I started to watch this new sitcom called The Big Bang Theory which is really good. The witty geeky science and sci-fi inspired dialogues are something I latched on to immediately (because I am SURROUNDED BY IT). And there's the dynamic between all the characters that is full of spark and comic-timing, which I would say exceeds that for the other decent sitcom running in the US right now, How I Met Your Mother. My favourite character is Sheldon, who reminds me of all the tight-assed annoying INxJs out there (probably 9) with a hint of Aspergers. He is far more clueless than his flatmate Leonard who has a bonafide crush on their neighbour Penny, a regular fun-loving blonde, a waitress who aspires to be an actress. What I like about the show is that they don't really dumb down Penny, because it's really not required. She's able to hold her own with these geeks and give good retorts to their insane babbling, acting as a good counter-balance for their insanity. Two recurring characters (whom I think are as much of the show as the other characters) are Howard who's a really horny, short Jewish boy who lives with his overbearing mother, and Rajesh, a post-doctorate from New Delhi (and lives up to that description. I think what struck me is how the fact that Raj can't talk to women mirrors some of the strange Indian boys that were in my Uni, who thought talking to women was the greatest aberration and continuously ridiculed their friends who liked girls. If you enjoy watching people who dress up as the Doppler Effect, or peoplel arguing over the physics in the Superman movies, or going crazy playing Halo 3, watch The Big Bang Theory.

Now I was going to ramble about other stuff like my 4 day work-week idea and erm (shoot I forgot!) but I am going for lunch. Oh and after 6 weeks, I am finally completely fine and not coughing like a maniac.

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savoirefaire blogged at 10:59 AM

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{Thursday, April 10, 2008 . }

The new vest/jacketOnly, it's all black and made of that slightly thick stretchy cotton knit material we see in those sweater/cardigan jackets. I am wearing it over a white t-shirt today and my light blue jeans. Oh and the drawing happens to be a mirror-image. Aren't the pockets so darn useful?

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savoirefaire blogged at 9:57 AM

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{Tuesday, April 08, 2008 . }

Yet another day at work and I am being unproductive. 20 minutes to lunch with colleagues and I am writing this post, when I feel I should spend much more time.

I am concerned.

Reading other socio-political Singaporean blogs yesterday riled me up, and I got all mad at the government yet again. Not to mention the furore over how we are complacent citizens expecting the government to do everything.

Well duh. If we aren't empowered as citizens to take matters into our own hands to do things the right way, and if the government loves behaving like a private corporate entity without some form of shareholder activism or checks and balances then all we can do is blame them.

The protests in Europe (Paris) against China through the Olympic torch relay events had China declaring these places had...poor security!'s called freedom of speech, deal with it. I read a really great article over how China's behaviour does not reflect the Olympic spirit and has gone back on its word to allow free movement of press in China at this time nearing the Games. It highlighted the two key issues these protests around Europe are addressing, China's role in the oppression of Tibet and its influence and ties with the genocidal government of Sudan.

Having been to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, India, the headquarters of the Dalai Lama in India and home to many exiled Tibetans, I am quite sympathetic to the Tibetan cause. They are a proud people with a very strong sense of pride and identity. I may have missed the intricate details through the years of the severity of the crimes against them as a people, but I will never forget that tree in one of the temple grounds that had all these red strings tied on the branches, twigs, representing a plea for freedom for someone wrongly imprisoned back in Tibet. Posters and flyers were stuck round the place with photos of people and surprisingly, male children (the age of 6 onwards) imprisoned for being the re-incarnations of various religious leaders (as they'd succeed these leaders in the Tibetan hierarchy). China sanctions its own re-incarnation candidates for religious leadership in the region.

They are a fairly peaceful lot, and the transgressions against them for 60 years now are despicable. It is sad that in the economic landscape today, with China being a raging powerhouse, we have to bend-over and recognise their claims for our benefit.


savoirefaire blogged at 11:40 AM

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{Wednesday, April 02, 2008 . }

I am sitting in my office, with two of my fellow interns snoozing away in my cold cold room. And I have this insane cough that keeps getting worse, and keeps me awake all night. I am drinking fluids, taking bromhexine to break down the immense amounts of phlegm and a cough syrup that is supposed to have expectorant properties but does shit all for my cough.

I did some research about traditional chinese medicine's classification of phlegm which I found interesting, and quite differentiated between the categories.

From Giovanni Macioca's Chinese Medicine website, I quote the two types I suspect I have (I can't tell if it is one or the other):

Cough with expectoration of profuse yellow sputum which may be blood-tinged, a feeling of oppression of the chest, dark eye sockets, red cheek bones, red face, thirst, oily skin, breathlessness, chest pain, insomnia, dark urine, feeling of heat, mental restlessness, Red-Swollen tongue with sticky-yellow coating, Rapid-Slippery pulse.

Cough with abundant sputum, nausea, vomiting, sour regurgitation, belching, a feeling of fullness in the epigastrium, a feeling of oppression of the chest and epigastrium, epigastric pain after eating that is better after bowel movement, Swollen tongue with thick-sticky tongue coating, Slippery pulse.
My acid-reflux returned just a day after being infected the Sunday before last. It is interesting to see the concept of tying the weakness of the spleen and lack of Qi correlating to the formation of phlegm, because I have been feeling lifeless and weak and my cough only seems to have gotten worse, while other people around me with Flu ("'tis the season!") seem to heal much faster.

Further investigation led me to a separate article about TCM's view of obesity. It seems that the visible and invisible ideas form a very large definition of phlegm than we know in Western medicine.

In this article, what struck me was this:

In cases of Qi Deficiency, the energy simply is not there to be more active. Both the obesity and the avoidance of activity are coming from a common Root - Qi Deficiency. The Root has to be addressed first.

It makes sense that you need to overcome inertia before you launch into weight-loss activity. When I came back from Europe in December, I was in an "active" state, I could walk for miles. I was actually gaining weight, I suspect due to the building of muscle mass. Still, my body felt less "weak". And while you say that energy is gone because I stopped (not true, I walk similar distances everyday and started doing yoga before I fell ill), I really think I stopped because I loss the energy and became much more lethargic. It could be due to very erratic dietary habits, or the weather.

If there is Lung imbalance or poor breathing habits (like breathing from the chest muscles alone instead of the belly), a lot of Air Qi doesn't get extracted. (This is part of why deep breathing exercies sometimes can help not only with obesity but with quite a few other things.)

Funnily enough they encourage proper breathing techniques in Yoga to stimulate metabolism and weight-loss, very powerful!

There are various things which can cause Qi to Stagnate (not flow easily and smoothly). Among these are emotions, trauma, Cold, and Phlegm. From the TCM standpoint, Phlegm is both a symptom and an etiology. Phlegm comes about because of certain imbalances in the body, and in turn Phlegm will trigger or worsen other imbalances. From a TCM standpoint what various poorly handled emotions (repressed, over-expressed, inappropriately expressed) or sudden and severe emotions do is they interfere with the smooth, easy, and proper flow of Qi in the body. For example, great fear and fright can cause Kidney Qi to desend (when it should be ascending), and the child wets his or her pants. Anger - including simmering resentment - can cause Liver Qi to flare up instead of spreading smoothing through the body.

O.O This is the bit that is interesting. It feels like it is more "incidentally" true than for real, because it is easy to fit those analogies to "phenomenas". I believe in psycho-somatic responses, I have fallen ill because of emotional stress etc. In any case, any therapy that has a "cleansing" effect and attempts to tackle the root cause is quite enticing.

I am burning up and I am dying to go home.


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savoirefaire blogged at 3:56 PM

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