Saturday, October 11, 2008

From YY: A must-read for all parents

Sorry YY, hope you don't mind that I'm putting another of your comment up front again. I will be reading this comment-post of yours again and again, lots of lessons for us all. You know, I've read in the papers of kids who attend 3 different kindys a day, and kids who say they hate school, but personally, I don't really know any of these kids. I feel for your stepkids, and am so glad they are both doing great now.

Yours is the third anorexia/nausea-related story I've heard in recent months. One of these was a high-achieving niece of my friend; she was extremely intelligent but was put under extreme stress by her parents.

Like your son, my boys love school (Sean has his bad mornings, but there haven't been many of these this year). Brian would get really upset on days when the driver can't take them to school, eg, when my husband needs the driver during school pick-up, or really early in the morning (usually when someone important is in town). I mean really, really, really upset. I've had to ask my friends to help with pick-up, which I don't like to do cos Moscow traffic is so bad that their journey home could be delayed by an hour or more just for making this detour to my place. My Thai friend here told me that her sons feel the same way, they hate missing school, cos school is fun.

Okay, I've gotta add. While Singapore's education system is undoubtedly high-strung, parents need to examine their own attitudes as well. The worst are the parents of kids who are already excelling but still push their kids so much. My friend Slim has 2 kids in Nanyang GEP who are so relaxed, laughing all the time, just happy kids, cos she doesn't expect her kids to top their class in GEP.

As I always say, C'mon if your kids are in GEP, they are already amongst the top 1-3% of the cohort, why push them some more? It all boils down to parental attitude, we've gotta know our kids and what they are capable of. Push your kids beyond what they can take, you'll be pushing them over the edge. And yes, they may still perform at top-notch level, but other symptoms will appear, eg anorexia, bulimia, facial tics, migraine.

Enough of that, on to your unintentional guest-post.

YY's comment on the Assessment Book post:


Talk about hating school:-

- hubby recounts to me that some years ago a survey was done amongst some P3 Nanyang Pri kids (my 2 stepkids were there) and >90% of them hated school! In contrast Sgp parents here in Vancouver tell me that kids here LOOK FORWARD to going back to school after the summer hols!

- That’s what I mean by being ‘age-appropriate’ I guess— First of all the system must not allow ‘learning’ to be associated with that gut-wrenching face-draining adrenaline-sapping feeling of dread of failure & having to be all geared-up for some Extreme Challenge.

- I used to ace the system all the way up to ‘O’-levels (got 9 A1’s leh, at that time in mid-80’s was the highest score around), but I recall when in P4 I actually vomited in class once during a test because I was so stressed out :-( [in psychology terms, that was a ‘hyperarousal’ reaction i.e. raised heart rate, blood-pressure, stress hormone, that fight-or-flight response]. I remembered in Pri school every morning while on the way I had to deal with the constant feeling of needing to retch. Perhaps I was in a home-environment that emphasized performance & over-conscientiousness (my parents were teachers!), & with my temperament (perfectionist, super-conscientiousness & hyper-sensitivity) it was a bad fit. In Sec 1 even as I topped the standard, during the weeks around the final exams I suffered from nausea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, sleeplessness… all ‘conditioned’ physiological responses to extreme stress. Such symptoms would plague me to greater or lesser extent in all examinations thereafter, and they are worst during ‘practical’ exams (like in my final year of Uni, or even taking driving tests and such like!!!).

- I think my stepdaughter was a lot like me, but not having had a good head-start (there was a family tragedy when she was in P1) she fell behind very quickly and her perfectionist self coped with all that mess by simply shutting it off and not caring much about it at all.

- My stepson topped P1 & P2 in Nanyang Pri. He was suspected to be ADHD for which they assessed his IQ amongst other things; it was found to be around 145-150 and they figured he was simply bored. Came P3 his strong-will put up a great fight against the rampant expectations and he pronounced to his parents: “Whether I get into GEP or not is MY decision and you cannot make me do it!!!” And he chose not to get in. The next yr his mom got cancer and I wonder to this day if he’s still not suffering from misplaced guilt & recrimination. Up until last year he still blamed his dad for having ‘done nothing’ to stop the incessant academic grilling he was put through AT HOME. He went like: “…even on my BIRTHDAY I was having to memorise this & that in the car!”. I’m glad from Sec 1 I laid my hands off my stepdaughter so at least she won’t blame me for THAT.. 0_o. But my stepson is doing really well now (after all he’s at genius-level IQ), since Sec 1 he was left entirely on his own to figure things out for himself and is ace-ing his Comp. Sci course here with scholarships covering nearly all his course expenses. He is also nearly completely financially independent since last year, when he had been working 3 days a week and handling the full course load as well! Kids here learn to be independent really early. From age 18 on the society addresses them as ‘men & women’ (as reflected in newspaper articles too when they would say, for instance: “…a 17 yr old teenager & an 18 yr old man were found…etc.”

What’s happening here in Vancouver with my grade-schooler is that doing ‘math-&-science’ at home (i.e. stuff) has fortuitously become an activity where he can get the best kind of undivided attention from mommy!! He often nags me for it when we haven’t done it for a few days.. ;-\ haha, lazy mommy.. I think he also associates doing ‘math-&-science’ at home with fun intellectual stimulation & meaningful accomplishment, a feeling he doesn’t get at school :-) . I have little problem getting him to cozy up in bed with me (oh, that’s too indolent surely!), relak and do ‘math-&-science’. But these sessions seldom exceed 20-30min and as soon as it starts to be a drag I would switch to something different. I also don’t want to beat myself up about it lor, what for?

He also seems to truly enjoy the social exposure he gets at school, often telling us with glee the variety of kids he played with during recess & lunch-break, and the kids he plan to make play-dates with. What is so precious is that here they’ve made school something kids really look forward to, with no feelings of anxiety or dread associated that is caused by the system per se (excluding cases of bullying, of course, but that’s not endemic to the system). In Sgp the system itself has become the Big Bully for many kids that do feel they’re drowning in it, but against which they have no recourse and even no permissible language to express their anxiety.



Alcovelet said...

Hi YY, your story is an inspiration and so describes the situation that so many of us have been through. I was, gulp, bulimic myself for over 10 years. I'm at a loss to describe the feelings I had. Strangely enough, I don't remember it negatively, but rather, as a period in time when it actually helped me to cope with impossible expectations. I told this to my son's psychologist, and when asked why I stopped (apparently, stopping without help is unusual), I realized that it was because I didn't need it anymore. I had started to work, become independent, and loved the energy of the financial markets. It may not even be the stress that I felt at home, but the lack of control, because, I sure was fine with stockmarket stress!!

Which is why, short of emigrating, and it is unlikely we will (like Mon, we're too entrenched here), we're homeschooling. I have to be careful NOT to take on the persona of the MOE, cos that's my position at home. And my son's personality is like a prickly hedgehog in a little boy's body, so I definitely don't want to mess with that!! We don't do stuff that he doesn't like or which he's not ready for, like writing words (aiyo, that one headache!). And then he has to have time, tonnes of time to feel bored even so he can go pick up whatever he wants to do. That's mostly Lego, but he enjoys it tremendously! My son has said he never wants to go back to school - playground time is 30mins, once a week - we go out at least 3 times a week for the whole afternoon. That's what a childhood is about!!!

monlim said...

It's the education system here coupled with the Asian mentality of scholarly excellence that kills the kids. I remember distinctly being berated by my mother in p2 for getting 2nd in class!! She was furious, like how could I let her down by not getting 1st! After that, I just felt so resentful, I stopped trying altogether.

Ad: I empathise with you and understand why u wanna homeschool RK. I'm so glad to hear your child is enjoying a happy childhood!

Lilian said...

Well, the third anorexia-nausea related case I was talking about in my post was you lah.

Speaking of bulimia/anorexia, I can say 100% that the term 'calories' wasn't in my vocabulary till I came to Singapore in 1989. Suddenly, I saw girls in the hostel counting calories, exercising furiously, and all around me Singaporean girls were so tiny. In Malaysia, I never felt big (sure I wanted to be slimmer), but gosh, I felt like a giant in my hostel.

And we definitely never heard of bulimia in Malacca (though I knew Karen Carpenter died of anorexia), but a then close friend of mine was bulimic. We only realised this vomit-inducing thing was called bulimia years later. And it wasn't cos of school that she was bulimic, but I believe something else altogether, pretty sad lah.

Yup, I read that bulimia isn't about getting thin, but being in control...don't know too much about that. Cos this friend taught a few of us how to do it haha, and I couldn't do it! I picked the wrong meal to do it lah, I was about 16 or so, had my favourite kuey teow soup drenched in spicy sourish chilli sauce, and my tummy was burning.

Was so shiok eating that. Then a couple of hours later, I decided to try out what my friend does regularly, ouchhhh, SUFFER, everything was acidic and things were coming out of my nose hahahaha! My eyes were tearing and red, omigosh, the next day I told my friends, and they say Ay Stupid lah, gotta do it immediately! That's why bulimics rush off to the toilet immediately after every meal. I told them, tak boleh lah like that, I love the feeling of my stomach filled with food too much to do this!!

Anonymous said...

Anorexia & bulimia are well known to be associated with or caused by an exaggerated response to external stress & often happens to 'high-performance' types individuals, particularly in young females.

However, what I suffered from was not actually these conditions, though it was none less alarming, distressing and symptomatic of a serious social pathology that it should be induced by the routine educational experience in our society.

Medical books describe that up to 10% of abdominal pains in school-age children presenting to doctors are actually of non-organic origin (meaning, no medical reason could be found to cause these abdominal pains). The term 'Recurrent Abdominal Pain' has been coined & they are attributed to stress, and I suspect their incidence may well be higher than 10% in Singapore. I think the kids are describing the effect that severe anxiety has on their digestive systems, probably pretty much like what I suffered.

What I experienced were the bodily feelings of extreme nervousness or anxiety. The adrenergic system (that which produces adrenaline) goes into overdrive and causes increased heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, nausea (sometimes intense enough to cause retching or vomiting), frequent stools, insomnia, etc. It's what a person experiences when he has, for eg, stage fright or when he suddenly realizes that the value of his stocks has vaporized overnight :-)

In contrast, anorexia has to do with a distortion of body-image (body dysmorphism, which also causes some people to compulsively go for repeated, unnecessary & disfiguring plastic surgeries). Bulimia has to do with the feeling of loss of control, which the individual tries to deal with by cycling between bingeing & induced vomiting of recently ingested food.

I hope this cheong-hei explanation hasn't confused anyone even further... :-)

alcovelet, it is courageous for you to share your experiences and it shows you've become really 'cool' with it and has gained good 'control' over it! haha..

Wow, you're homeschooling! That sure is a bold and intelligent step. I applaud your commitment to follow through with 'good sense' & what you know is really best for your child. Instead of 'kiasu'-ly following the crowd and then bitterly complaining about the system when it doesn't work out for them, more Sgp parents should just chuck it & take-up the personal commitment to do it the way they feel is better for their child--like you do!


Lilian said...

For years, kids have been using tummy ache to try getting out of school. Guess for some, the tummy ache was very real.

A friend's kid has so much on his plate that he doesn't get enough sleep every night (this has been going on for years), resulting in severe migraine. He's only 11. The doctor he saw said he's seen many such cases amongst Singaporean kids. Touch-wood, I've never experienced migraine, only had mild headaches, usually flu-related.

Primary kids doing homework/project work till past midnight, even on weekends, and then having to wake up at 6am or earlier every day to make it to school. Regularly getting less than 6 hours of sleep every day. Their lives are worse than many working adults', at least adults get paid every month and can job-hop if they're miserable.

I should dig up an article about how important sleep is in a growing child. My kids have been going to bed at 9pm and waking up at 7am for years, and that's already less than what some angmoh kids get I've been told. Even with 9-10 hours of sleep, the boys sometimes still find it hard to wake up some days.

Lilian said...

Oh Monica, missed your comment earlier. Goodness, you say you stopped trying and still you ended up being a scholar! Imagine if you had not stopped trying...:) just kidding.

bACk in GERMANY said...

My kids love school here, preschool=playground. In fact, so much so that they refuse to go home! Imagine the ruckus I have to put up with each time I pick them up... then again, they like doing this to me. It never happens to Daddy when it’s his turn to pick them up.

Come to think about my schooldays...
I had gastric pain. It wasn’t a figment of my imagination. It’s so real that I’d wake up at 4 am in the morning in pain. Not always around the exam period though, fortunately for me.
The first time I had a gastric attack, I was 11. I blamed it on my late night supper. Greedy me wolfed down lots of satay... and I was diagnosed indigestion.
Then it got worse and worse to the extent that I got it once a month, from 13 - 19 years! I would even get it when my body underwent physical exertion like running...

Then I came over to Germany for my uni. Everything changed. In those years, I only had two attacks, which might have very well been genuine digestive problems. I thought it must be the sleep I got here. I used to sleep 12 hours in winters, while in Sg, I’d be lucky if I’d get 5! Also the food (not many chili stuff - thus not acidic to stomach) and stress or the lack of it. I could even run without feeling my stomach burning. So by the time I completed my studies, I returned healthier, slimmer and I didn’t have dark circles anymore! I thought I was “cured”!

Just one month back in Sg, my stomach started acting up again... soon, gastric pain accompanied shuttlecock smashing at badminton sessions... dark circles were revived around my eyes! Weight started to pile... I think I’m one of those who binge when in stress.

Ok, I know I have been back in Germany for the past three years... conditions have not improved... coz it seems parenthood is stressful too... yet, it hasn’t been the case of gastric attack once a month. Though I send my kids to bed relatively early, my crave for some personal time has led me to longer nights and less sleep... can’t imagine how I’d be coping with my present lifestyle when I need to be back at work next year... as I type, I need to swallow down a couple of gastric pills... going back to Sg certainly means more gastric problems than I already have...

Lilian said...

Oooh I love satay! Sorry, when you mention satay, I get distracted, thinking of the satay and ramly burgers I used to wolf down for supper when I was a teenager. Almost every night.

You better take care of your gastric if it's occuring so frequently. Till today, I have no idea what gastric is. I don't think I've ever gotten it. Is it stress-related or due to lack of food intake?

Anonymous said...

Dear 'back in Germany',

Check out 'helicobacter pylori infection' and 'gastroesophageal reflux'. Make sure you've got these 2 excluded.

2 foodstuffs that have been proven to worsen reflux are (1) caffeine (2) coconut oil.

So for you, do late nights mean lotsa cuppas? And most commonly, coconut oil is ingested in the form of curries enriched with coconut milk.


Lilian said...

Okay YY, I'm now guessing you're medically-trained. Either that or I'm just very ignorant!

Anonymous said...

(*poker face)


Lilian said...

LOL!! ;)

Anonymous said...

To those who are very entrenched:

Being thus 'entrenched' in Sgp is nothing wrong and it's entirely usual for it to make a person feel that the idea of getting out is not for him. But that doesn't mean he can't leh!

Ever been to a motivational talk these days? Even gahmen also say what: Change is the Only Constant. Must always embrace change, mah.

Take some time to think about that... hee :-))


PS: for those with boys, if you ever get out, might as well get out NOW. Reduces the uncertainty while waiting for that ever arbitrary response from Mindef as to whether your boy has to serve NS or not. (yah, not just 'entrenched' but in 'trenches'!) Those people keep changing their rules: first it was 12yrs old, now it's 10yrs old or something... can't keep up. Serving NS is not so bad when you know you have to do it & you just get down to it; it's the uncertainty of not knowing for sure that's the pain in the neck.

ok I MUST go to bed now... see you girls tomorrow!!


Alcovelet said...

Lilian, I forgot I told you and Slim!! And YY & Cindy - gosh - I had that too! My teacher used to say - butterflies in the stomach. But they were more like giant flapping Pteradactyls!!

And btw YY, before you congratulate me for being so smart about wanting to homeschool (Monica, you too!), I have to confess- it wasn't my making. I started looking into homeschooling out of desperation. My son hated school cos he was bored to tears. We had changed schools 4 times, and he was just 4! But the deeper I delved into homeschooling, the more it made sense to give it a shot, since it would be low risk in the kindy years (or so I thought!!). Since then, we are loving it and I can't see us stopping unless I'm convinced that school can offer a better experience when he's older. The jury's still out on this one. I've also realized the work is the easy part; it's the socialization that's tough. In hindsight, we've been lucky. The most important thing I've learnt is to recognize and keep away from the crazees!!

monlim said...

Lilian: I stopped trying after p2 and my grades totally slid. By p4, my parents thot I was a goner. Then at p6, I suddenly decided I wanted to do well and you know, because my parents by then expected nothing of me, I did pretty well! (They were pleasantly surprised). So that's a lesson on pushing your kids too hard. After that, they figured I was old enough to manage my own studies so I was self-motivated.

When Lesley-Anne was in pre-school, she would often have fever on Mondays and say she couldn't go to school. I thought it couldn't be such a coincidence, but I dunno - can you actually work yourself up to having a fever??

Lilian said...

Working oneself up to a fever... whether medically explainable or not, gotta wait for YY to wake up in Canada then we can get an answer :)

I do know that when my kids were babies, and they encountered a fright eg from a fall, a fever often follows closely, and my mum always said the fever was due to fright! Dunnolah, old wives' tales.

bACk in GERMANY said...

Hi yy!
Thanks for the medical advice!
Caffeine now... oh no, I've been staying off this for years now.
During my uni days here, I used to down double expresso every morning. Strangely, no gastric problems. Then came one summer, I was back in Sg, and I had no coffee for a couple of months. Since then, coffee = gastric pain. Then for me, tea was as good as it got. Notice past tense. Yep, black tea is off too now after pregnancies + lactation. And also mainly back in Sg, too hot for tea for me...
problem with me is that I drank coffee and tea black, n sugar and milk. So staying off these beverages just cleaned up my stomach quite a bit.
Now it's juts fruit or herbal infusions for me, at most.

The other thing you mentioned: coconut oil. So true! I love curries... in the midst of heartburn and all during pregnancies, I only craved for curries! And my pain this morning wasn't really without a reason. I had curry noodle on Monday, and yesterday, I had Thai green curry + this super acidic glass noodle salad!

Am not too sure if I have this infection that you say, but perhaps this gastroesophageal reflux? How do I get this checked? Not through a scope, I hope! Does that explain why I had the most terrible bout of morning sickness? With both pregnancies, I threw up all my food a couple of hours after ingesting them. That was as close to bulimia I ever came. I had the most terrible heartburn... so Lilian, when you mention more kids, it's a big cross for me! No way I'm going through pregnancy again. I was always sick with nausea and retched each time I thought of food.

O yes, satay and ramly burger... yums!
My daddy likes to buy supper back from JB, whenever there's a chance. My weekends during childhood was out at pasar malam to wolf down ramly burgers with my cousins.... heehehee....

I don't wish for anyone to have gastric.... it's terrible... not just giant flapping Pteradactyls in stomach, it's like you had no stomach! remember the show "Death becomes her" with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn? Remember the scene Goldie Hawn was shot through her stomach and she got up looking through the hole? That's the feeling I get during gastric attacks! It's just immense pain like someone blew off my stomach! And it always happens in the early hours of morning....

Food has never been on schedule for me... as a student I even forgot to eat due to my packed programme.... my stupid school insisted that everyone must have two CCAs, house practice and on top of that I had my 3rd lang programme....

Ok... gotta look after my body...

Domestic Goddess said...

back in germany, I guess I also have the same gastric attacks as you then. I had it for the first time in Jan 2007 for 3 days, didn't know what it was so I didn't see doctor. Never thought I would have gastric pain since I never skipped meals. Even the GP didn't think it was gastric. Then it came back again in Oct 2007 again for 3 days and I took the same acid neutraliser kind of medicine leftover from my GP visit but it didn't worked this time. Suffered for 3 days and didn't eat much and it just went away! Then a 3rd attack in Jan 2008 and saw the same GP who think it is stress that caused these attacks. Now I get it everytime I feel really stressed! It is the worst pain, you are right! As if my stomach is being eaten away.

yy, what do you think? My GP said there is not much I can do except to reduce stress. Well, I do take coffee daily and love curries and spicy food.

Anonymous said...

Dear ‘back-in-Germany’ (this may be relevant to ‘domestic goddess’ too..),

Try substituting coconut milk with ?evaporated milk? in your curries and see if it’s better. It’s not the spiciness per se but apparently the coconut oil that’s the culprit. I don’t know if skimming the reddish oil off the top of curries would help, though logically it should, because the ‘oil’ part of coconut milk should consolidate with the other oils in the curry to float to the top right? Anyway you can experiment…

I think your gastric symptoms are significant enough to definitely warrant a visit to the gastroenterologist (specialist in stomach & intestines) if you haven’t been to already. There are various ways to diagnose H. pylori (short for helicobacter pylori) infection of the stomach but a scope is highly recommended to also exclude ulcers or tumors (tumors are not common in those younger than 35—40 but nonetheless if I were you I would do it at least once to set my mind at ease).

H. pylori infection is the top thing doctors want to check for in patients with frequent gastric pains because it’s so treatable and when left untreated will not only give the patients gastric pains that keep coming back, but more ominously it is also known to be associated with gastric cancer. It is also known to be relatively common in Asians. Patients need to be treated with special courses of antibiotics but once treated, voila!—symptoms improve remarkably & no more fear of it leading to cancer.
Check this out:

Strictly speaking reflux is diagnosed with a ph-probe (a wire-like thing passed down into your stomach to see if the esophagus gets a ‘reflux’ of acidic stomach contents) or ‘barium-swallow’ or a scope. But many GPs would start a patient on medications based on symptoms (heart-burn, water-brash, etc), and response to a specific type of gastric medication called ‘proton-pump-inhibitors’ (PPI) is especially good. PPI’s include omeprazole, lansoprazole, etc… medications ending with –prazole (you may or may not have used one before… ).

Switching to another topic: news has it that Jeff Goldblum is going to replace Chris Noth in the upcoming season of Criminal Intent this November!! Hurray. I think Goldblum emotes ‘intensity & high intellect’—the ‘sexy geek’ is what I think of him!


Anonymous said...

Dear monlim,

I find it so true that I perform best when there's very little expectations on me. I often find myself subconsciously doing or not-doing things just so that circumstances would favor a reduction of expectations on me.

As for 'working oneself up to a fever' it must be a common enough experience for it to have become a common expression, but to my knowledge it has not been described in medical literature because it has not been researched. This is probably because by and large the 'feverish' condition is transient and cause no harm, and it's probably difficult--in a lab--to recreate the extremely stressful conditions that would bring on those 'feverish' feelings.

On the other hand, hot flushes in women entering menopause is well documented & researched, probably because it's so prevalent, debilitating, consistent and externally observable (visible reddening of face, sweating, raised heartrate). Hot flushes are due to instability of the processes that regulate the diameters of skin capillaries.


Alcovelet said...

Jeff Goldblum, you've certainly hit it on the head for me about intensity and high intellect! Zowie! That's my austropithicus genes calling out for evolutionary change. The guy doesn't look good, but he sure looks smart!

monlim said...

You are so right, YY! I was pretty good at the piano, and when I went for lessons, sometimes the other students would watch me to see what I would play. I was so uncomfortable with being put on a pedestal I would play wrong notes on purpose and pretend to stumble. Makes me wonder what I could have done if I'd applied myself.

Anonymous said...

Dear alcovelet,

Austropithicuses & Pteradactyls??

Gee-whiz.. are you right now going through prehistoric natural-history with your son or something?? :-)
I could never wrap my head around those reptilian creatures.. In fact I dislike them & have never once taught my son anything about dinosaurs. I think they are the source of 'monsters' & 'dragons' in legends & tales--perhaps too much malevolent associations for me.. :)

Dear monlim:

Some people call that 'passive-aggressiveness'...:-)

I think my parents still think I perform beneath my 'potential'.. (you see lah, as a mature adult of not very few years I'm still thinking of what my parents think of me!).

But then EQ is also part of 'potential' and I just don't have the EQ to be so unfettered by self-consciousness as those truly standout individuals seem to be... They blithely go ahead & do their own thing, seemingly oblivious to all the surrounding brain-waves trained in their direction, which is actually a very freeing thing that I often wish I have. It would definitely save me a lot of mental energy which I could have just put into whatever it is that I'm actually doing...

For example, if you're an Olympic sportsmen you can't be too aware of those millions of eyes focused on you or it'll impair your ability to perform at your best, your ability to be 'in the flow'.

There are sportsmen who have been known to break world records during training sessions but they never make it on the Olympic stage. People like Michael Phelps who excel so repeatedly & consistently on the Olympic stage may not actually be the best sportsmen, but simply the best OLYMPIC sportsmen.


Anonymous said...

Dear alcovelet,

btw Jeff Goldblum is Jewish on both sides of his parentage (he LOOKS it, doesn't he? :). Besides acting he is also an excellent jazz piano singer (sort of aligns with my theory that many Jews are polymaths in diverse talents). His father was a doctor and his mother a radio-broadcaster who later ran a kitchen-equipment company. Cool parents, yah?


Alcovelet said...

Tell me about it. Men have it all - short, fat, old (!), but if they emanate power and intellect, we women just swoon. Gosh, no wonder we like Jeff Goldbum - he still has his hair, is actor-trim, and (I think) the full set of teeth are his!

monlim said...

YY: Passive-aggressive, that's me! I'm like you, I care too much about what other people think, even though I know it's rubbish and I shouldn't. Got cure for this or not??

bACk in GERMANY said...

Dear yy,

Are you a doctor with pathology background or what?

Ok, you're getting me really worried with my gastric conditions: Cancer! I think my weekend fiasco was mainly a case of bad coconut milk in a Thai restaurant. After gastric attack, diarrhea, throwing up, I'm back to normal again.

My family's first remedy of gastric is plain white porridge. No guess that I'm a teochew here! Maybe that cleared out my system fast, plus a whole day of rest without the kids!

Well, not that my case of gastric attack is back to the frequency of once a month again. And the things you mentioned about caffeine and coconut oil did shed some light on my past diet.
For curries I cook at home, no coconut milk/oil at all. Milk or sour cream is what I add! ;) And like I said, I have stayed off coffee for years now... I still get gastric problems... but I guess it's a normal digestive issue. Haha... self-diagnosis, in other words, too much a wimp to want to seek medical consultation.

But thanks for your concern! You have been very enlightening... and I shall observe the causes to each gastric attack with greater care. :)

On a lighter note:
Yes, Chris Noth is the name... Yay, Mr Big will be gone!
jeff Goldblum - not much quite of an impression of him. The two Jurassic movies got me all confused about him. The first one of course did not leave a good impression. Like him a bit better after the second one.

Yes, in any case, he's a much better choice than Chris Noth. Quite true what Adeline said about him still having hair and a good bod... haha... guess another one like Pierce Brosnan.