Monday, May 30, 2005

Woman Lost in Fantasy World

I know I shouldn't have started playing that (exceedingly addictive) game... In a nutshell, that's how I lost 2 days of my life... Once I entered that fantasy realm, all reality faded away... wow, maybe that's how a drug user gets hooked... For the last 2 days, I was barely in contact with the real world, except when I switched my computer off. So now I have an inkling of my sister's addiction to her idiot box.

Now, I'm usually running around, juggling work, friends and house maintenance. For the last 2 days, hardly anything got done. When I emerged into reality and see all the things that should have been taken care of during the weekend, I know that I have made a grave mistake. Normally, I'm the pushover who goes crazy if the house is not in good condition. After all, this is where I relax, read, work and blog... It must be kept clean and welcoming, especially when I invite friends over. When I was in la-la land, the poor house was sadly neglected. My sis is oblivious to things I think should be done like cleaning floors and organizing the cabinets...

I think one possible solution is to barter with my sis to wash and wax my car, since she loves doing that; while to me, as long as the engine and other mechanical systems are in good condition, some dust on the paint can wait. Washing and waxing the car is perpetually at the bottom of my list and never gets done because MY priority is the house

Today, my Checklist is overflowing and "Tasks list" in Outlook is painfully red. Blast it, I'll have to work extra hard to get everything back on track now. Sigh... shut up and get on with it, girl... Serves you right to play when there is work to be done!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Love-Hate Relationship with...


OK, I'll admit, I'm a cyber-addict. I would be drawn to distraction and pulling my hair out should all internet connection capabilities are taken away from me without my express consent. It's OK if I decide that I'm too otherwise occupied to get online. I'm not a surfer, more a blogger and sometimes a Googler. But I'm always curious if there are any interesting emails waiting in my Inbox...

However, lately, emails have become a HUGE pain in the neck (literally) due to piles of news articles, activity updates, serious discussions and the birders' nonsense that enters the box. I'm thankful I'm downloading everything into Outlook and Outlook Express, so each will appear immediately and can be deleted in a heartbeat. I'd go bonkers if I was forced to read them all on a web-based provider.

The point is... I'd love my Inboxes to be full of happy, funny stuff - Tekadmons bantering all day long. Funny photos. Maybe an invitation from that sweet g... oops, let's not go there ;-D Anyway, what I wanted to say is... My emails are way too serious these days! I can't simply delete them, I have to READ them first!! WAAAHHH!!! Sob Sob... so much reading to do... They're typically dry as dust and I even need to make notes to keep track of who said what about which subject. No fun at all. Sigh!

I presume everyone has noticed what a spoilt ol' brat I really am, but seriously, mates... send in something cheerful once in a while, kay? This girl could use some fun every so often. :-D

Monday, May 23, 2005

The weekend that was...

Yeah, yeah... time flies... but not all for naught, fortunately.

Last night was at Royale Bintang visiting with the Singapore clan who are here for a mega shopping spree. Some other KL folks came over too, so it was quite the family gathering. They're leaving today, but have got things to do, so can't send them off like I usually do.

In the afternoon was Nain & Fiza's engagement. It was very nice. Fiza's really creative and she had everything done in flowers and stuff. The rings were really, really sweet. She looked lovely in blue, as was Nain in his baju Teluk Belanga worn Johor style. (Shoot, if I get any more maudlin' I'd better get a job in Johor lah.)Just Sheema and Eugene were there, the rest of the gang were off somewhere else. Well, Sheema's his cousin so she HAD to be there anyway. But Eugene? Hmm... the plot thickens. I went late, just to keep my promise to come, 'coz I was pretty tired from the previous night's party. Sat there eating soto and chatted for a bit before going off to meet the clan.

Did you say party? Yup... Saturday night, Agnes' birthday party in Enau Court, Ampang. My first full fledged non-close friend's do. It was pretty.... shall I say interesting? Well, those guys come to Malaya in the 1800s and wrote books those guys still read until now. So why not infiltrate their quarters and report on their way of life? Found that Cyril is into board games and he has tons of cool stuff like Casablanca, Lord of the Rings, Elfland and many many more. Most of them were in German and French, so I couldn't really understand how they were played, but they really looked awesome. Managed to solve a pretty tricky Vietnamese(?) puzzle while people were dancing. Cool puzzle, still thinking about it now, 2 days later :-) Maybe I should start collecting puzzles, I really love them. No wonder I liked the Da Vinci code... Am still deciding whether to do a full report since some things could be pretty risque, not to mention some shocking behaviour by locals...

Anyway, it was good to get out of the house since instead of working on a project draft, I was going into fantasy realms (read: playing Tradewinds on the computer) the whole day long. Sigh. So today has been declared a working day for me, so that I can get things sorted out before going to the office tomorrow. Had bought my groceries at the mobile van, so can cut out "buy groceries" from my list. Ugh. Better get going. Ciao, mates!

Saturday, May 21, 2005


I had counted on being a little richer this month, having worked on something that should pay me a comfortable little extra. Guess there's something to be said about counting your chickens before they hatch, 'coz this time, I was really, really disappointed. I was planning to spend the extra on gifts - my boss' wedding, friends' birthdays, Dad's birthday dinner... Unfortunately, the 3rd party client apparently rejected the job, and my contact didn't even have the balls to tell me that. His phone is off all the time, and I only found out from calling his office. I suspect the client might be trying to shave a few hundred ringgit of his cost. I sent softcopy of the work, for all I know he might be using it for reference. FOC!! I can't get an explanation, there is no proof, and it's so much trouble to get a reviewer... Even then I might not get the payment. I hope I get at least half of what it was worth. Shoot. Lesson learnt - never do anything on trust and never do a rush job without a foolproof contract. Sabo jelah, Oza... Shit happens...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Simple Life

My office is located in PJ Old Town; in the midst of low rise shophouses and a Malay kampung. As I walked towards my car tonight, I looked around and through a door left slightly ajar, saw glimpses of a simple wall hanging and sofa set. The hanging I saw was in varnished wood; the sofa low cost, those with wood frames and square cushions. The house was typical modern kampung style, single storey, made of cement blocks with standard issue doors and windows. But it exuded a warmth no amount of money could buy. As I walked along, I saw children waiting for mengaji to start. In the day, there would be kids playing on the streets, Pakciks gardening, chickens and cats. The place is alive and full of cheer.

I was transported to a previous life long, long ago, before I was acquainted with expats, Chili’s and salsa bars.

Those were the days when I was small, living with my grandparents in Batu Pahat, Johor. They were typically Javanese, as were most of the other kampung folk. The house was made of wood, elevated on stilts. The cracks between the floors and surrounding greenery ensured that nights were cool. When I woke up, I’d go and warm myself at the wood stove, where a kettle would be boiling away. Breakfast was usually boiled keledek, ubi or keladi served with sambal tumis or coconut and sugar. Sometimes Nyai (grandma) would make getuk or fry rice for a change. Then Yaie (grandfather) would go to tap rubber; Nyai and I would go to the kebun nearby to tend to the subsistence crops. We planted corn, ubi, keladi, keledek, cili, nenas and kangkung. Lunch and dinner were simple affairs. The usual fare was rice with ‘sayur bening’, tempeh, a bit of fish or sardines. Chickens were hard work; we had to slaughter and clean them ourselves. We sat on mats on the floor. There was neither electricity nor tap water. In the afternoons Nyai would sit on the anjung, making spare attap roof sheets or mending or sewing or cooking or something. We reared chicken. There was never an idle moment. Nights, we’d go to the nearby mesjid. I loved seeing the kunang2 that sometimes appear. If there was a wedding coming up, we'd go to help out days before the event. Otherwise, we would be in bed by ten, resting for the next day.

What stayed with me was the attachment I felt, the sense of belonging, love and security. The house was very simply furnished; but it was always clean, airy and smelled nice. That was something I’ll always remember – homes must smell nice and welcoming. I remember small things like Yaie’s shirt hanging on the wall, smelling of his minyak attar. Nyai’s Minyak Zam Zam. Making garlands of bunga tanjung for her hair. The kenanga tree outside my favourite window. My cousins and friends lived nearby. We often shared nasi berkat if anyone went to a kenduri. Nyai was always around, I could tell her anything. We had few belongings, but we had each other, it was enough. Guess I’ll always be a kampung girl at heart.

My grandparents are no longer here. Where I stay now, I hardly know my own neighbours. I need to call before I can see my Dad or brother. Thankfully they live nearby. I do my level best to keep the house clean. It looks quite nice, but something is still missing, there is not much cheer. Even the cats are doddering old specimens. I invite friends over every so often. Husband and kids? Maybe. Someday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Do you really know your friend?

Think about it. Most of us just think the best of someone and give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves unworthy of your trust. We take them as they come; if we get on well with them, we hang out with them. Otherwise, we see less of them. And some rare specimens we keep in touch with no matter how far away they are.

But what if you start to wonder if you're being taken for a ride? How would you check it out? How do you go about to see how legit your friend is? Is there a foolproof solution to this? You don't want to call your friend a liar, but you don't want to be taken for a ride either.

What if someone unwittingly embarasses you by being their own careless selves? Do we exclude them in the future, or do we educate them on how to behave? It would be pretty mean to shun them, but neither is it my job to tell someone how to behave. So what exactly should I do?

Sigh... relationships are treacherous at best, and sometimes, you really could use a pointer or two...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday, Monday...

Cindy & Teck Wyn are having their tea ceremony today, so office takde orang. Sesorang kat sini Ok gak, boleh re-organise my notes and catch up with housekeeping.

Had a pretty lazy weekend; just hanging out around the house. Well, half the time I was cleaning up, the other half I read. Slept late, played games, partied... Quite relaxing. Had a hankering for chocolate cookies, so made some to bring to Yumiko's going-away party/ sale.

Booked her Ikea floor lamp with reading lamp attachment and wood trim at a special price. Had lots of sushi and a chance to rummage thru her bags of stuff. Even her bathroom supplies were up for grabs. We girls split up quite a lot of er... gurl stuff (hand lotions & tissues lar, what did you have in mind??). Poor Chris was so disappointed. hehehe... The only thing the boys managed to grab was 6 rolls of toilet paper. Tu pun berebut dengan Yumiko!! kah kah kah... Such vultures... Am eyeing her coffee machine, but worried it might be wasted 'coz I'm too lazy to grind the coffee and brew it. Been drinking tea and instant coffee; much easier. Complained 'coz there was too little Coke and Chris was wasting it all on rum & coke. Brat! It was fun to meet up with everyone again; but made sure I escaped before they all got too drunk. Sloshed people are so not my type.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The NICE Blog: Rantau Abang Trip

Seven of us left from Mosin's (lama) after Ilham EP and some food at about 11.00 pm Friday night. Our journey via MRRII was clear, but we got stuck for about an hour somewhere before Genting Sempah due to a stalled car on one lane, and a stalled lorry on another lane, effectively reducing the 3 lane hiway to 1 lane only. Add on rain, hilly terrain and 1.3 manual car... you get my drift :-p But once we cleared that block, it was smooth sailing all the way. After 2 checkpoints at Temerloh and outside Kuantan, we arrived safely in Rantau Abang at 5.00 a.m. We all got into our rooms and immediately conked out, I don't think anyone caught the sunrise that morning.

I woke up at about 9.30 a.m., just in time for breakfast and going for BBQ supplies in Dungun town. Azura & Anaz also went to town separately looking for sunblock. Azam, Metesh and Bet went kayaking and Wong sambung tido. Farih arrived by bus from Kelantan at 12.30 pm. I arrived back a few minutes later, as did the rest. We had lunch, then rested until 4.00 pm when we convened to start the beach cleanup.

All of us trooped onto the raft and crossed the river to the beach. Then, each took a gunny sack and started collecting the rubbish. This time, we only segregated glass items and mixed the rest. The first section was relatively clean, having been cleared by the March volunteers. But everyone got a shock to see the back portion - it was full of miscellanous trash carried by the waves during the last monsoon and deposited on the beach. THAT was what they came for lah... We worked until about six when everyone had had enough. A few of us swam, then we got back to the mainland for a shower and rest. I went to the kitchen, but everything was well under control and i happily went off to shower and change.

Bet came to the dining area around seven to start barbequeing. By eight, everyone was in the dining area to help cook, taste or serve. We had a special guest that night, Dato' Yusof, who is an ex-ambassador and owns another resort about 20 minutes away. We told him how we met and about Projek Tekad during dinner. He was so impressed with our group (I'm not very sure why...) that he invited us to view his place the next day!! Lan, Aizan and Norma arrived just after 9.30, due to Lan's work commitments and delayed flight. After he left, we turned up the karaoke and belted away our favourite tunes. Bet's was Ada Apa Denganmu. Then we took out the cake for Anaz & Azam who will both be celebrating their birthdays in May. Aizan supplied the glam factor in the shape of a bubble blowing frog, and a whole bunch of people went to get ice-cream to top it all off. In between, we played Taboo until we covered all the cards.

All slept on the beach that night. Heard people chatting until very late, I dozed off almost immediately. Got up in the morning, went kayaking with Aizan, Norma, Wong and Farih; came back for breakfast and back to the beach to finish work. Half of us transported the stuff collected the previous day to the mainland, while the rest, esp the latecomers finished up work on the beach. We completed everything by 11.00 a.m.; Bet & me went for a dip in the sea; then went back to freshen up.

All in all, we collected 41 bags of rubbish, 10 less than the previous group, but with only half the manpower. Good job, guys!

By noon, a few went to look for souvenirs. Metesh helped to collect payment and I settled the bill with En Razali. Because so many had pulled out, the final figure wasn't much. Thankfully, quite a number of people felt guilty enjoying a free holiday that they forked out extra to give En Razali. A lesson learnt for me - collect payment in advance and set a deadline for cancellation so that no one is affected by the shortfall. We left about 2.30 to visit Dato' Yusof's place - Duta Retreat. He took us to see his house and rumah kampung which were very nice. Lan, Aizan, Bet & Norma stayed on another night while the rest headed home, stopping only briefly in Kerteh to meet Yuz and in Kemaman to buy "food souvenirs". All arrived safely in KL around 11.00 the same night.

Special thanks to Azura who sponsored the cake, Metesh for helping with the collection and all the rest for being your wonderful, wonderful selves. I hardly had to organise anything, you all organised yourselves beautifully. Thank you for making the last weekend special, TEKADTLES.

Over and out,

Monday, May 09, 2005


What can be more annoying than to “update” your OS, and then find that instead of making things better, it totally screws up things that had been working fine before??? What else could I be referring to other than updating my Windows…? Against my better judgement, I allowed the PC to install my updates, and then find that it totally blocks my office internet connection so that I’m connected to the server;

[You are now connected to RESCU.
Connection strength: Excellent]

but am not able to access the internet. So I waste all my time fiddling with my antivirus settings, this and that settings, trying to get back to what was normal not too long ago. At least I can still send & receive emails thru my good ol’ dialup, but then what’s the point of crawling on the dialup when you are connected to a 1Mb broadband? And work requires quite a bit of online work, takkanla I nak pakai my personal dialup?? Grrr…

Whoever created these “updates” and firewalls and viruses and trojans and worms should be shot!! It totally spoils my day despite my excellent weekend in Rantau Abang. :-p

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Tiresome things

I have never felt like I needed a full body massage until today!!!

Had attended a workshop on park management in Malaysia since yesterday. In one breakout session, we had to rate the adequacy of policies related to environment and protected area management. We had a good mix of park managers, private sector consultants as well as forestry and wildlife dept officials. Each point was well debated within the group. However, the government officials successfully insisted that we rate everything as adequate and add our concerns as notes! It was so frustrating I tuned out after a while! It was ridiculous. There was one guy who was so obviously afraid to record anything was amiss when everyone knew there were serious issues regarding staffing, funding, enforcement, etc, etc. God!! I felt like chewing his balding head off!!

At one point I got really mad when he cited his main stakeholders as the Government and political parties. What??? Those self-serving, money grubbing politicians were rated higher than the public you were supposed to serve??? This was the same guy who booted us to another campsite when some bloody VIPs decided to visit. Should we allow this kind of unethical practices? Simple boot the minions aside to accommodate these vultures?? We had gone through so much trouble to make plans, book, arrange for transportation, not to mention the difficulty of getting a time when a mixed, highly international bunch could actually be together; and you spoil everything by giving our booked dorms to some VIP. And he had the cheek to say that as a Muslim I had to accept that it was not my time, tak ada rezeki... What crap is that?? Tak ada rezeki is if I wanted to go on the spot and the place was full. THAT is tak ada rezeki. If I make plans in advance, book, pay, and you simply shunt me off to kiss some guys' butt, YOU are being UNETHICAL. Grrrh!! And thru all this I had to be sweet and nice and gentle because if I showed how annoyed I was, they would simply shut me off and that would be bad for future networking opportunities... Ugh... the price of being female and professional....

But it wasn't all bad. I met some interesting people. I met Hilary Chiew, the Star reporter - I really like her articles. And the award for coolest dude must go to Tg Nazim from MEC. He knew his stuff, sharp and witty. Lean and distinguished, he rides a (motor)bike instead of driving. Excellent dude. Also met a lot of people from various depts, companies and organisations. Thanks, Surin, for inviting RESCU. I owe you one. :-)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Time flies faster...

Last week was a flurry of activity - going to Bangi to pickup bowling ball for tourney, Jack, schmoozing session at the Australian Embassy, work, game night, shopping, tournament, etc...

Congrats to those who organised the tourney on Saturday - you guys did a great job!! Quite a number of champs and coaches turned up in One-U that day. My team got cili padi in Cher, but unfortunately, the others need more training lah...

Yesterday did my chores, played some games and went out for a bit. Some people went to see Peterpan's concert. I had no plans to go because I'm not much into concerts, and I abhor crowds. But was surprised to hear that I was supposed to be having a hot date yesterday... Wei!! Mana korang dapat cerita ni??? Sabar ajelah aku... I DID meet up an old friend for his birthday, on WEDNESDAY, but not MY bf lar... Long story - irrelevant - in a nutshell - wrong information.

Today spent most of the day building my Lemonade Empire in NYC - playing Lemonade Tycoon. Had to stop, finish a bit of work and submit to my boss, then continued. Har har har... learning how to become a businesswoman in the future!! Marketing seems to be the biggest challenge. He he he... business, jangan tak business...

OK, will now attempt to summarize beach cleanup preparations and email everybody. Good night, everyone!!