How to examine your balls

A friend sent me this video via WhatsApp. I love it. Cute, informative, and a very important public service announcement. Nadia Heng, a TV host and Miss Malaysia beauty queen no less, gamely teaches how to examine testicles. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do on and off for the longest time, and FINALLY there’s a proper tutorial. Now that I have finally come across material that so helpfully shows me how to actually carry out the examination, I feel some confidence to do it.

I have never done it before, to be honest. That’s probably crazy and highly irresponsible. Especially when I already know, like so many other guys do I’m sure, that it’s something we guys are supposed to do regularly, like women should with their breasts examination. I have put it off because frankly, I already squirm and feel pain at the mere thought of squeezing my boys. (I came across women who refer to their boobs as their girls. So yeah I’m calling my balls my boys.)

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But now I feel like I’ve been quite a neglectful father, now that I think about it. I suddenly realise I’ve never really thought of them much, have I? I’ve never really touched them (I mean affectionately, not incestuously, eeww.) I’ve never really appreciated them. Never patted them for a job well done in doing their part keeping my body running well. I’m not sure I would have hugged them even if I could and was limber enough. I was so selfish. And to think they were right there by the organ with the crowning glory, the star of the family! Just a step back, just shyly hanging around in the shadow of the one who got all the attention. I’ve been such a shitty father to my boys.

Well, no more. From tonight onwards I’m going to visit and say hi. No more just absentmindedly acknowledging them with a scratch when they itch, but actually engage them with the attention they deserve. I will pay closer attention, and affection, to them with monthly chats (If I don’t feel weird talking to my cats, I don’t see why I should feel shy around them). It won’t be all roses at first. It will be awkward, because oh God to be honest I’m still squirmish at the thought of fondling them, but I know I’m just chicken at the thought of pain. But I must be brave. My boys deserve the relationship and affection they have starved for for decades! I must make amends and be responsible for the sake of all our health. Better late than never. I guess I have a New Year resolution after all.

Baby steps. A gentle handshake to start with, so as not to make them nervous and shrink back from my touch. There’s no need to suffocate them with dramatic tight bear hugs either, God knows they must already resent me with the huggy boxer-briefs of stretchy synthetic material I like to wear. I will be gentle with them.

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Much thanks to Nadia and Creative Walk, the production team behind the video.

Please pass it on. If nothing else, it’s a fun and funny video that will put a smile on the face of the person (man or woman) you pass it to. But of course it’s much more than that, and that’s what makes this video so valuable and well done: it’s an important and useful message (with clear instructions) cutely wrapped in a little presentation that’s entertaining to watch.

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Indoor Walking Exercise Video

I’ve been using one of those fitness trackers in the form of a wrist band for a few weeks now. For the pedometer function, my target number of steps is now 15000.

Yesterday I was so busy that by around 9pm or so I was just too plain exhausted to go out for a quick walk. I needed just less than 3000 steps to hit the target, and in instances like these I normally just put on my running shoes for a quick jog or brisk walk.

Good ole’ Youtube comes to the rescue, as usual. I just thought I’d try my luck Googling ‘indoor walking youtube’, and this nice lady Jessica Smith’s indoor exercise routine above comes up. So cool I now have something to turn to on rainy days as well.

Her routine is so easy and pleasant to follow. I would recommend it to absolute beginners and also those who are too shy to exercise outside. There are options peppered at some parts to jazz it up to make it a bit harder, as well as guidance on how to make it easier on the joints, if that’s what you need instead.

And how adorable is that chill dog in the video. I think her name is Peanut.

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Blackie keeping me company while I exercise.

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Done for the day! Thank you, Ms. Jessica Smith!

By the way, this is the first time I’m doing a post on my tablet, which is such a slow and difficult pain in the ass especially attaching images, oh my God. So it’s probably the last time.

Heel Pain

I’m starting to freak out now that it has dawned on me that the pain in the heel of my foot is just not going away. In late March (or April, I don’t quite remember) I went out for a jog for an hour, as I normally did about once to thrice a week. But this time I ended up with a very sore left foot the following day. I brushed it off. The pain gradually increased in the following week or so. I still wasn’t worried because it’s not uncommon for me to feel some pain or discomfort after running. I always just took it as my feet reacting to the strain, and it always went away after a few days max.

Now it’s been four months. The pain abates or returns with varying degrees. I didn’t really realise the length of time except for the occasional vague thought, “Shit, when is this pain finally going away? It’s been weeks.” The reason being that I was particularly busy with our projects at work, which required a lot of physical effort and me being on my feet, and walking briskly, so I just put up with the pain the best I could. After about a month of that, we moved house. About two weeks of stress and exhaustion in packing boxes and furniture and other stuff. Moving from one double-storey house to another means a lot of pounding the stairs to get many of those boxes and furniture from one floor to another. And after that it was immediately back to work again.

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I know an injured joint/muscle needs to rest to heal properly, but I just coudn’t give it enough of that, even when I was limping and hobbling on some days. In addition, I’ve always been a fast walker (even when I don’t need to be somewhere quickly). When the pain is unbearable, of course I can’t walk quickly, but even when the pain has mostly subsided for a while, I find it’s such a strain to keep reminding myself to walk slowly so that the foot can properly heal.

It was only around last month when I was thinking of how much I miss jogging, that I was startled into realising that I haven’t jogged for three whole months. Started to be alarmed and wonder why the pain in my foot stubbornly won’t go away. Tried to make myself feel better by thinking, “Okay, I’ll just walk for exercise since that’s all I can do now. Let’s see what happens.” Of course the idiot that I am, I was soon brisk-walking because seeing all the joggers running past me made me jealous and miserable. I brisk-walked for almost an hour, and the next day, the sharp pain in the heel hurt like hell all over again.

I started searching online to learn more. As with other subjects, there is so much info online that one can become overwhelmed or confused, and spend way too much time reading. So I picked and chose randomly what to read/watch as I just don’t have the time to read endless articles.  I learnt the basics that the area that is causing the pain in my foot is called Plantar Fascia, and the condition is called Plantar Fasciitis. It’s an apparently common affliction even among experienced athletes. It was both comforting and depressing at the same time to learn that it is common to suffer for months from this condition, as I have been. What scares me most is that some people end up having it as a chronic ailment for years. I can’t bear the thought of going through it again even once more after I’ve recovered, let alone over and over again for life.

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So no more marathons, even after I (hopefully) recover from this? My last one was back in 2012. I don’t want to be a pussy, but it’s such a massive pain in the ass (or heel, rather) that I would just be scared of getting this Plantar Fasciitis crap all over again. Because, oh my God, the pain when it comes…. and being out for months, without being able to jog, is just so… *sigh* … damn irritating and depressing, to be honest.

I can’t afford to see a podiatrist or whatever specialist, so I turned online to learn some stretches to help myself, including from the following video:

I also like the advice of the following doctor Gary Crowley who not only recommends some stretch exercise, but explains what each is for and how it may impact the treatment. He also reminds the viewer to note which works or doesn’t, as I suppose not all work for all bodies, so we have to learn for ourselves what specifically works for us.

I discovered his excellent website, Do-It-Yourself-Joint-Pain-Relief, some years ago while I was searching online to learn to cope with some lower back pain. I find his advice and instructions sensible and easy to follow. Of course, being me, I also have to mention the bonus that’s he’s goodlooking and pretty hot. Especially when he smiles.

Videos for Step 2 and Step 3 can be found on his Heel Pain Treatment‘ page.

Cat delivers his verdict on Mac & Cheese: ‘Oh yum! Oh my God!’

I must have watched this short clip ten times, cackling away. I first saw it on tastefully offensive. It’s so funny. I have a black cat too and he is quite a character as well. Dog (the cat in the video is called dog) is so adorable.

I’m not crazy or anything (no, just kidding, I am crazy) but I swear I heard:

  1. Ohhh yum!
  2. Ohhh my god!
  3. Ohhhhhhh…….. YUMMM!!!
  4. Ohh my god
  5. Ohh my god
  6. Oh yeah!

And then he turned and gave a verbal hi-five to the kitchen cabinet before swaggering away. Probably ‘hell, yeah!‘, or ‘hell, yum!‘ or something.

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I’m reminded of one of the stray cats who we fed and who came and went as they pleased, a neurotic little thing we called Marco. We wanted to adopt him as he was such a sweet creature, and we felt sorry for him and protective of him as he was such a nervous wreck. One of those restless lone rangers who didn’t quite get along with the other strays (I can relate to that haha).

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Now who couldn’t love that sweet derpy face? Marco at his preferred point of entrance and exit: the kitchen window.

But he just refused to be homed and would wail to be released back outside. I guess the bond just wasn’t there because he was already a grown adult when he came to us, and not as a kitten. I think I read somewhere you have up to 10 weeks for a newborn kitten to know you and get used to you, otherwise they’ll never have a bond with you and be totally comfortable with you. Or something!

Anyway, Marco continued to come and go for a few more months, until he disappeared for good, and that’s when I really wished I had tried harder to keep him. I was worried sick. He seemed like such a fragile thing and I was sure something bad had happened to him, the poor guy.

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Like Dog, Marco was a very ‘appreciative’ eater (read: noisy) which always cracked us up. God I really miss him. It’s been probably close to ten years, but I still remember him well. He left quite the mark in my heart.

 

 

Fall at your feet by Crowded House

One of those days again, when I’ve been listening to the same song over and over again, because for some reason a tune drifts into my head and I just start to hum or sing it softly to myself. So I play it a few times. And then it still won’t leave my head.

Fall At Your Feet was released in 1991. Written by Neil Finn, the lead singer of Crowded House, it is from their third studio album Woodface, released the same year. The band was first formed in Australia in the mid eighties, and became well-known with their huge and memorable hit Don’t Dream It’s Over from their debut album. Although the band broke up a decade later in 1996, it reformed in 2007 albeit with some different members and is still active today.

It’s always fun to check into YouTube to enjoy again the music video of the songs I’m thinking of, and end up enjoying not only the song’s original release, but extra treats like live performances and accoustic versions, if I’m lucky to come across them. In addition to that, other versions by other artists as well.

I love the original:

I didn’t enjoy the 2010 version from Australian indie rock-folk band Boy and Bear as much. It’s a bit ‘over-produced’ to me. The first half was captivating and lush, and overall I enjoyed it, but at the same time I feel it’s a bit too grand a treatment for the quiet and intimate spirit of the song.

More my cup of tea is James Blunt‘s version below. I’m not normally a fan of his style of singing, which I find a tad over-dramatic to be honest, but I thought he did alright by this song.

After saying that I think Boy and Bear‘s version too grand and overdone for the ‘quiet and intimate’ song, it’s strange that I find the passionate and spirited flamenco style of Jesse Cook‘s version suits it stunningly well. I just like this one a lot more. It somehow clicks and fits snugly like a tight bear hug. Jesse is the guitarist in the vest in the video, by the way. I read in Wiki that he recorded the song with a singer called Danny Wilde, so I’m guessing that’s Danny singing in the video. An exhilarating performance by them both and the rest of the band! Song starts at 0:28.

And finally the version I love most of all, from the songwriter himself. Just a man and his guitar, his voice clear and sincere, and those haunting lyrics. Simple and unassuming, but cuts devastatingly deep. Just lovely.

 

 

 

Long live Bollywood

Just came across this video courtesy of Buzzfeed. I love it. The song, the colours, the handsome men, and of course most importantly the message behind the video.

The happy ending for the couple is the ultimate wish for those of us who love our parents and want nothing more but their acceptance and continued love. Behind the catchy music and the gorgeous sights, that’s the heartrending desire, but thanks to the festive vibe of the video it’s presented in a fun and sweet way, not as some preachy sob story. Nice.

The song and video, called The Welcome, is by the ‘United Nations Free & Equal’, which is an initiative of the United Nations Human Rights Office. Click here to go their website to learn more about them. I’ll be checking it out too. Looks interesting. The video features Bollywood star and Miss India winner Celina Jaitly, who, according to the page for the video, is their Equality Champion. I guess that’s what they call their ambassadors. Good work, Ms. Jaitly.

I also very much love the lyrics, lightly persuading the mother in the story, and us the viewers, to have love in our hearts.

It is a new look, it’s a new attitude

You might wonder where the old way of living has gone

But who is worried about who likes what

As long as in the world of love two people want to be with each other

You and me, me and you – are now unstoppable

So please don’t hesitate, you are always “Welcome” to my home

I love the colours! The joy and intensity. The jewel tones. They are a big part of why the video comes across as dream-like to me. Presented like a dreamscape, a joyous fantasy. If Bollywood ever does an ‘Alice in Wonderful’ type of movie, this would be a great opening, this garden party.

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A still of the video by the United Nations Free & Equal, via the Buzzfeed article. Click image to go there.

And I must have that green jacket. God knows where I will wear it to, haha! Maybe I’ll borrow it from him and slip it on in a dream later tonight. Would love to join, sing and dance, and get lost in that party. Oh my goodness, the jewel tone of that velvet green jacket. So beautiful. My next sofa will be of that colour and fabric! And of course I just love how there is so much glorious purple in that video. Long live Bollywood!

'Lotus Love' by Halim

Two hearts. This looks at home here in this post. From a visit to the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok, which I remember had been more interesting and delightful than I had expected.

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Day 98

An inspiring life

I saw this sweet video of a Thai ad from the blog Bryan Patterson’s Faithworks a couple of days ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Yeah sure, it’s an advertisement designed to tug at the heartstrings but I love it nevertheless. The story depicts the kind of person most of us wish we were and so strive to be, without fanfare or praise, but just as a matter of habit, quietly and in peace. It also reminds me of someone I have the privilege of knowing, but who I’ve lost touch with, and who I should try to contact again, just to say hi.

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A snapshot in Bangkok

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Day 81

 

 

And the Teacher of the Year Award goes to

It’s always fun to be enlightened and titillated at the same time. Not an everyday occurence. I had to play the video a few times because it was hard to keep my eyes on the spelt-out pronunciation of the words. Not complaining, though.

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spaghetti alle capesante

And this is Spaghetti Alle Capesante. That’s ‘Spuh-get-tee Ahl-lay Kah-pay-sahn-tay’

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Some other amusing examples of teachers behaving badly:

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Related:

  • 79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss

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Day 77

Call You Home by Kelvin Jones

I just had the great pleasure of being introduced to this talented singer and this beautiful song he wrote himself, via Gaybros.

He’s raising money to record an album in a professional studio. Link here at Bandcamp.

Related:

Hemming it up

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I almost went nuts trying to figure out what happened to my sewing machine. It just refused to budge. I didn’t want to take it apart even if I knew how as I might not put it back together properly. Luckily I didn’t attempt that as I managed to dig out the problem eventually: some excess thread had bunched up and jammed the machine in the chamber that houses the bobbin case.

I have a ‘new’ pair of jeans I bought maybe a year ago and it got stashed and forgotten at the back of my wardrobe. I wanted to wear it but it needed to be shortened a bit.

My machine is just a cheap basic one to match my rudimentary sewing skills, if I can call them that. I only ever use it for hemming, anyway, whether pants or panels of curtain. I haven’t done the latter for ages. Sometimes I come across nice fabric patterns I like and itch to buy like at Ikea for example, but I have to tell myself no, because all my curtains are still in good condition and I’ve cut out buying household stuff as my place is just too full of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years.

Anyway, I came across the following video, uploaded by YouTube user bellajeanboutique. I discovered it too late, but I’ll bookmark it for future reference. It looks like a great idea and simple enough, so I’ll give it a go next time.

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This post is Day 10 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: relieved