Thursday, December 24, 2009

Never Ending Story

As I'm gasping out the last of my write-ups, the next month's starting to come due. Urgh. Doesn't help that last night I forgot to pluck out my thumb-drive so I couldn't clean up my piece at home. Nak pergi ambik, dah lewat. So decided to come in early instead.

Since my sleep pattern pun dah gone bonkers already, I woke up at 4.30 a.m. and was in the office by six. Unfortunately tertinggal my tudung on the table, so had to ask my colleague if she could bring one for me. In the meantime - am wearing my red shawl. Mengarut betul.

Have been fine until I ingested my breakfast - 2nd half of Subway from last night. Started feeling sleepy right away. Darn it! Too heavy kot. I so don't need to go to sleep again!! Had some coffee - still not working. Haiya.. A walk usually helps, but I need to finish my work la! Adehh... Why did you think I came in so early???

Besok - wanna do my washing and clean up the new apartment. Can put up the curtains and start moving stuff already. Unfortunately will need to sort out my tons of papers and magazines this weekend. No point moving garbage, is there? Am looking forward to this. Have been so worn out, I haven't paid any attention to the poor house at all. Hopefully a smaller pad would be easier to take care of. Am letting go of the inherited junk. I need a new life :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Insane Obsessions

Was just looking at some discussions about benefits of mangosteen juice - including pericarp (the kulit). They were comparing ORAC values - oxidative whatever - and the numbers look scarily high to me. 21000 ppm? I don't even know what unit they use. Should we be ingesting something so potent? What if it backfires and start oxidising important organs and cell parts?

Sorry to my American friends, but many seem to be obsessed with statistics. A number of people are so obsessed the numbers that they forget to consider other factors such as optimal amounts, instead of excessive (perceived as impressive) numbers. Brings to mind certain stories about girls who go all out eating everything soya to avoid breast cancer and ended up getting exactly that because she ingested way too much of it. Most foods have a combination of phytochemicals and nutrients in it, which is why we should refrain from taking too much of anything.

And strangely, every so called 'new' diet discovery will be completely turned around in the next 2 years. First palm oil is bad, then other oils - containing trans-fat - is now bad. so basically we'll need to see who can survive the constant change in mind to find a consistently good choice - eg olive oil. Eggs - same thing. First it's good, then no good, then whites only, then whole eggs are better. Hello! Make up yr mind, please? Reason I take a lot of so called 'literature' and 'research findings' with a bucket of salt.

My personal take - do things in moderation. Raw food diet anyone?

Monday, December 21, 2009

I wish for...

... A nice cool bed to crash in
... darkened, air-con room
... sweet scents
... warm bubble bath
... but mainly, a nice place to crash in.
... oh ya. Work all done and a week off. So that I can crash. How nice!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why is it that...

Why is it that some brands impress us more than others? Is it imaginary? Is it marketing? Why are some brands so much more popular than a competitor we feel is more deserving?

Take stationery. I don't know why I love Faber-Castell goods so much. There's so many different brands out there! I just bought a simple sharpener and I'm already in love with its nifty swivelling design and sharpening prowess. It's not advertised, but I know from experience that it won't break apart after a mere few weeks!

Then there's the coffee chain S***bucks. Personally, prefer CBTL. But for one, it's slightly more expensive, and there are less outlets. Look and feel, about the same. But CB stuff taste so much better, probably due to less sugar and better Dutch cocoa! But since SB is so much more agressive in its campaigning, so many people swear that it has the 'best' coffee. Hmm.. the power of marketing...

Or sometimes it's blatant manipulation. Had a smoke last night and couldn't resist the Sampoerna. Other than the lovely cengkih smell, they also put sugar on the filter! Geez, what a way to encourage poisoning your own body. At least it doesn't make me cough like whatever thing I confiscated from my Tai Kor all those years ago. Hmmm... should I get another dose of poison today? Sigh.. what does it mean when you start trying to kill yrself?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fening...

Selangor cuti, I pun cuti lah... So penat rasa macam nak tidor 5 hari 5 malam. Been pushing and pushing and pushing non stop sampai rasa macam dok tolak tembok batu - takde guna dah. Tak larat. Badan sakit2 and kepala sengal. Rasa macam otak ni dah bengkak dah kat dalam tu.

Took the day off, petang shopping sikit, balik rumah nak semayang Asar terus lena depan TV sampai ke Isya'. I donno what I'm doing in the office right now. Nak beli cat food, kedai tutup. Anak2 aku dah mogok taknak makan dry food. Satu hari dok melilau macam orang hilang akal. Pening. Would it be any better if I actually had another half? I doubt it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Today is Bad Fiction Day

Ever since I enthused about Hans after watching Cuci the other day, someone has been convinced that I'm in love with the guy. Eh, hello, I'm so not eighteen okay? And as for fans, the guy can petik jari and a gazillion girls will come swarming over to him la. I'm just behaving like any other girl enjoying the scenery. Or like boys drooling over Angelina Jolie. 1) They know they can't beat Brad Pitt, and 2) They know she's so way out of their league. But what if...

[Disclaimer: the rest of this is purely out of the demented writer's overactive imagination]

I can't believe this. She set me up! Dragging me along for an event, inviting me to join 'an old friend' for dinner, and then excusing herself with some cockamamie story. Unbelievable.

So there I sat, incredulously watching my bl**dy ex-colleague sashay off to her imaginary appointment. I was left with a cute movie star whom I enjoyed watching on stage but had no delusions of dating. What would the gossipmongers say? That he'd run out of luck and ended up in an escort service? One, I have no budget to pay for social escorts and two, do I look like someone he'd voluntarily ask out for dinner? Dammit. We'd already ordered and truth be told, I was hungry. I decided to suffer the uncomfortable silence until after I've stuffed my face. They we can politely say goodnight and I can go find that woman and strangle her.

"Ehm.. so... you're a freelance writer?"

Alamak.. he's trying to make polite conversation la pulak. Oh well, what's the harm in that? I put on a fake smile. "Partly. I prefer translating, but writing jobs help fill in the gaps."

"But you used to write full time? What do you write about?"

Alaa mamat nih.. Bagi la aku translation job. Takyah la tanya pasal writing. Adeh... "Yeah, used to write full time for My World magazine. Got tired of it after a while. Had no time to do stuff, working all the time. I did the feature pages, interviews, health stories, stuff like that."

I decided to turn the tables on him. "So, what are you working on now? Any new projects?" Darn, now I sound like a gossip columnist prying for a scoop.

"I have some ideas, I need a scriptwriter to flesh it out into a story." Oh no! He's angling for a scriptwriter. Aku mana la reti tulis skrip cik abang oi! saba ajelah. I need a way out. "Hmm, I could ask a few friends. Hey, I heard you scuba dive. Is that true?" Cross fingers, hope this works...

"Yeah! Do you dive?" He was enthusiastic. Good!

"No, I just swim. And snorkel sometimes." Amazingly, the conversation turns to nature and outdoor activities, which we both enjoy. This isn't half bad, I thought.

After the dinner, he walks me to the car and we hug goodnight. Okay, yes, I feel guilty doing it. But I couldn't resist. Can't be too prudish at this age la. It's just a hug...

As I crawl into bed that night (early morning, actually), I saw a message on the phone. It was him. [Hope you got home safely. Good night!.] Oops.. when did that come in. Oh well, too late to reply now. Never mind, I'll do it tomorrow.

The next morning I decided to go for a swim before breakfast. I had finished a job the night before (hence the late hour) and the next thing won't be due until next week. I could spend an hour doing laps in the pool.

As I swam back and forth, I reflected on how lucky I had been. I recently managed to get my own pad, after years of dreaming about it. My unit is on the first floor of a walk-up apartment block. I initially wanted one on a higher floor, but those are larger and more expensive. Anyway, I wanted a place low enough for Leo to go roaming about without worrying about height related accidents. Now I'm back to freelancing, I could spend time cleaning, cooking and exercising instead of working all the time. Plus, I could nap in the afternoons and take a break during Ramadhan. My body clock gets really screwed up with all the bangun sahur and whatnot. Projects are coming in, and payments are not too bad either. I wasn't worried about car and house installments. Even managed to stash some money in KWSP and savings. I wasn't doing too bad at all.

Walking home after my swim, I noticed someone loitering near my front door. Uh oh! Darn, could it be some felon who sailed past the security guards? As I got closer I realised that it was Hans. Omigod... what the heck is he doing here? I ventured an unsteady hi.

He looked up and saw my dripping wet form. He looked closer. Eh hello! Stop ogling me in my swimmers can or not, you pervert? Don't you have enough pretty girls to look at? Now some tired old woman also you want to kacau? I cocked an eyebrow. He had the temerity to grin at me. Shit. I'm a sucker for cute guys and... "What's up?" I blurted out. Sigh. Stress always made me say the stupidest things. No wonder I don't date!

"You never replied my SMS."

"Oh, sorry. I forgot this morning. It was late when I saw it. Please don't tell me you came because of that. Don't you have appointments or something?" Damn, my mulut totally lost its insurance there.

"I wanted to talk to you about my story idea, see if you want in on the scriptwriting."

Owh.. that makes more sense. I invited him in and started a pot of coffee brewing. He made use of my computer while I changed. Now, how do i tell him that I've never done fiction in my life? Oh well, I'll wing it...

And that, was how our friendship started.

**************************
I'm obviously not much of a fiction writer, but I decided I need to exercise my creativity a little bit more than usual. Today was an off day for me, no work whatsoever, so I actually came up with this crazy story while playing Bejeweled 2. Did you enjoy it? It really doesn't matter. I just needed to get my brain moving, that's all. Good night!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mari Merarau...

Tiba2 teringat perkataan yang dipelajari 2 tahun lepas semasa mengikuti kursus terjemahan.

Selama ini kita selalu menggunakan ungkapan 'makan tengahari' untuk menterjemahkan 'lunch'. Satu yang aku kurang gemar dengan menulis BM ini adalah perkataan2 yang panjang2 belaka. Namun di seberang laut Cina Selatan sudah lama menggunakan perkataan yang straight to the point bila tiba time lunch - MERARAU.

Usaha mempopularkan perkataan ini di semenanjung masih belum berhasil, tetapi alangkah senangnya kerja penterjemah kalau perkataan ini digunakan ramai...

Mari tingkatkan penggunaan Bahasa Malaysia yang betul. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh Wither Did Thy Heart Go??

Sometimes when things just ain't right, the answer boils down to not having the heart. The heart is all powerful. It drives you- your wants, your desires, your needs. It gives energy and zeal and excitement. It can race or skip a beat. It can also stop dead in its track, or cause you to stop short in yours...

But what if you have no idea where your heart is? You don't know where it lies. You don't know what excites you. And you don't know how to get it back. Is it dead? Can it be revived? What caused it to die in the first place? Was it a poison? Was there ever a spark?

I don't know...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Ode to a Baju Buruk

As I was putting away my clothes the other day, I noticed how frayed the collar of my favourite pink shirt has become. Over the years, I've bought and given away a pile of clothing, but two of my favourite shirts are still my weekend favourites. Bought 13 years ago when I first started work, I remember paying a mere RM9 for each at a discount store in Atria.
Tried buying others, but the material was invariably too thin or too thick. My dad's old shirts - didn't make the grade either. Just spoke to a girl who is a bit butch, she seemed a little shy to be wearing men's shirts on our magazine. Assured her that I wore men's shirts too and realized that it's true - i love those old shirts!
Reasons -
i) I love the cotton that absorbs sweat as I hike/bird/kayak/do marketing/wait for car repairs
ii) I love the feel of the cotton which, after years of washing, have turned so soft and comforting on the skin. They even qualify as nightwear.
iii) The length and cut is just right. They cover my ass and hips without being too boxy.
iv) They're fuss free. They don't snag, they're easily washable. I can take them to the market and the forest and not worry about stains.
Due to job requirements I never wear those shirts to work la, but darn, can't beat them when it comes to my weekend activities. What WOULD I do if those shirts finally give up the ghost??

Monday, November 02, 2009

What's Up Doc?

Am feeling a bit run down now. Been a long day, but want to finish something before I sign off. Esok ada assignment, meaning half the day will be outside. Lagipun kalau tak push sekarang, esok karang tonggang terbalik nak kejar deadline.

Last weekend - layan personal matters. Nak repair keta aja dah 4 1/2 jam! Tak tau la kenapa kedai tu tukar bulb lampu dengan hon pun sampai 2 jam. Pastu tukar absorbers + arm lagi 2 jam 1/2. Boring gila tunggu kat situ. My regular shop ok sikit...

Ni dok call sana, call sini, email sana, email sini.. write up tak siap2. Jangan la jam kepala hotak aku ni. Niaya!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Zakat kucing???

Masa balik raya hari tu, pergi la rumah nenek sedara ni. Ada ibu kucing kat sana. Anak dia sorang tu (pangkat makcik) tu ngadu la, diorang bela kucing nak control tikus, tapi si ibu ni asyik beranak la pulak. Pastu dia kata tak sempat nak bawak anak kucing tu buang kat rumah sedara lagi satu yang suka kucing. I feel that this is a very irresponsible way of doing things.

Since we all selalu duduk rumah sedara yang lagi satu tu kalau balik kampung, I know macam mana keadaan rumah dia dan keadaan kucing2 tu. It seems semua orang kat kampung tu dispose anak kucing diorang kat rumah dia. Dah terlampau banyak sampai tak terjaga. Hari tu diorang buatkan kandang, tapi lantainya simen. Memang senang nak cuci, tapi baunya busuk ya Rabbi! Lagipun, diorang tu bukannya kaya raya. Nak kasi makan kucing tak cukup duit, so bagilah apa yang ada. Rata2 semua kucing2 kat situ bantut and berpenyakit. Tak zalim ke namanya buat kucing macam tu? Yang dibenarkan masuk rumah, suka berak kencing merata2. Lagipun, tak adil la masing2 lepas tangan buang kucing kat satu rumah tu aje, assuming the lady will take them in. Take in boleh la, tapi jaganya tak betul!! cara mudah elak kucing beranak - kasi makan antibiotik, biar gugur. Dia kata pil mandul, I tanya vet, dia kata no such thing! I pernah bawak balik some of the cats, semua mati or lari pasal memang dah berpenyakit semua.

Bila tanya makcik yang mula tu kenapa tak mandulkan aje, dia kata takut berdosa. Habih tu buat diorang menderita tak dosa la pulak. Kucing tu bukan macam manusia. Only humans & one other species enjoy sex for pleasure. Yang lain tu semua out of natural urge to reproduce. Kalau tak beranak pun diorang tak rasa rugi. I tak sanggup tengok kucing kena langgar sana sini, buang sesuka hati, merayau2 mintak makanan, kena pukul, kena simbah air panas... kesian...

From experience, mama cats can be a pain in the ass. First, they tend to become flatulent, dok kentut aje. Busuk pulak tu. Then selalu cirit/ coroi. Then bergaduh dengan kucing lain to protect their babies. Case in point - Mama cat & Leo. Kesian my cat curi2 balik rumah makan takut Mama Cat pukul. Then satu hal nak carikan rumah untuk the babies. Nak bela semua, mahal sangat. Kalau setakat kasi makan, ok la. Kalau dah sakit? Sekali pegi vet dah beratus2 habis. Semput makcik! Yang jantan pulak, suka memancit & bergaduh. Merayau2, balik dah calar balar sakit. Kesian la pulak. Kalau dah fix, diorang happy jer. Lagipun, takde la diorang kencingkan kasut orang sebelah. Itu hak jiran tu, kena jaga.

Hukumnya: This is what I found dekat website Jakim:-

Apakah hukumnya jika kita memandulkan/mengembirikan binatang peliharaan seperti kucing jantan dan betina?

Hukum mengembirikan/memandulkan kucing peliharaan adalah haram sekiranya memberi kemudaratan kepada kucing berkenaan.

Namun begitu, sekiranya bilangannya sudah terlalu banyak dan tidak sempat untuk menguruskannya, maka kucing tersebut bolehlah dimandulkan untuk menjaga maslahah ammah. Wallahu ‘alam.

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As I understand, the operation is safe if performed properly, so not mudarat to the animal. Since the reason I spay/castrate my cats is so that I can take better care of them, my conscience is clear. Lagipun, I find that kucing jantan yang dikembirikan masa kecik (<1 yr), they are still active, pandai berburu & still pandai bergaduh bila perlu. females pun OK aje. Takde la jadi bodoh & obese macam orang kata. Kucing kampung pun kalau dijaga elok, lawa & menghiburkan. Tak payah beli baka mahal2 pun.

Pastu, tetiba terdengar pulak ada org kata kucing yg dah mandul kena bayar zakat... Zakat?? Makcik ni takde la tau sangat hukum hakam agama, tapi tak pernah la pulak dengar yang kucing yang dimandulkan kena bayar zakat. Yang amazingnya, orang yang kata tu cakap pernah disebut dalam khutbah Jumaat! Oleh itu terpaksa la makcik mencari jawapannya dari sumber2 yang boleh dipercayai. Finally found this dekat website Pusat Pungutan Zakat.

Bagaimana zakat untuk kucing sekiranya hendak dimandulkan?

Kewajipan menunaikan zakat hanya ke atas orang Islam sahaja yang cukup syarat wajib berzakat.

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So I hope this post will help convince orang2 yang masih ragu2 dalam hal ini supaya kita boleh berhenti menganiaya haiwan, walaupun secara tidak sengaja. Buang kat tempat makan atau pasar tu OK la sikit pasal harap2 ada yang sanggup kasi makan, tapi kalau boleh, nak bela, bela la betul2. Wallahu a'lam.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Forrest Grump

A messy house is so not good for me. Was about to leave for work when I decided to fry some cekodok for breakfast. Kitchen was a veritable mess. Everything needed cleaning up. Lost my temper when mama cat closed in on my cekodok batter. Now she's gone into hiding and I'm feeling rather guilty. But then, she has her food, and there's lots of biscuits which she now mengada-ngada refuse to eat. I haven't had time to buy and serve fresh fish for a long time. I haven't had time for anything the past few weeks! My garden is a veritable jungle. Loret's dill has beranak pinak and I have no idea what to do with the herbs! I wish people will quickly come and pick up their kittens so I'll have less mess to worry about. K Ayu will have to take Obi for vaccination tomorrow. Should be able to fix them in a couple of weeks time. Not really in the mood for Singapore, too many loose ends to tie up over here. Am still at sea about documents and people needed for Monday. No one else has stepped up to take care of things while I'm trying to finish stuff. Been spending too much money on various things. I'm tired. Work - busy as usual.

Went to work anyway, counting on her colleagues to cheer her up as the day progresses. Driving along, got stuck behind super slow Citra. Oi! Lesen kopi-O ke? Press horn. Nothing. Horn broken. Yeesh. Roundabout - needless jam because no one follows traffic rules. Drive into crappy parking lot - most spots closer to gate is full (obviously, what did you expect?). Then grumpy ol' git (that's me) decided to squeeze her M sized car in an XS sized space because it's nearer. Managed to squeeze in without harming anyone, but discovered that SHE could not exit. Drizzling some more and reluctant to open bulky big payung. Carrying heavy watermelon pakcik gave her and don't think can finish at home. Move car? No way! In the end, put payung on roof, bag and food on the ground and squeezed herself out of car.

On the way up, ignored old parking lot uncle and totally dissed gatal old guard. Dammit, I want my cute young guard back! Now have had some cekodok and chocolate, so feeling a little better. Hope the day improves as we go along. Getting more work done would surely cheer me up!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Backing Up

It seems that inanimate objects do have feelings too.
My simple old phone works perfectly and I have no reason to replace it just yet. It IS 3 yrs old and sometimes do funny things, a sign that the electronics may be starting to age. But as I said, still doesn't need to be replaced until it dies...
Well, I fell a little in love with the E63 when I saw Endang's last June. Diyana wanted one too so I went and temankan her look for one in Mustafa. Off and on, I'd wander to a phone shop and enquire about the E63. Not that my phone needed replacing immediately, but I wanted to have some kind of idea what I'd replace it with just in case it died. Caught unawares, I might not have the cash to buy the replacement I like. New phones are not cheap and the cheap ones don't seem to appeal anymore. I think I'd like one that could pick up my emails if necessary and bluetooth stuff to my laptop for backup purposes. I also don't want to spend too much hard earned money on it. My office does not pay 6 months bonus, and whatever extra money I make are all earmarked for something else. Got a bit excited when a guy in DigiMall said he could get me one for RM880, original. Seems a pretty good offer, and I suppose I could save up a couple of months for it.
Got a bit of a shocker when later that afternoon my current phone went on the blink and started asking for the Sim which was, of course, already inside. Eeps! Maybe it felt that I had 'strayed' by 'looking at sexier new models' in its presence. Had to pujuk my phone and reassure "it" that I'm not ready to buy a new phone and beg it not to quit immediately. Nasib baik it complied and started working again. Adoi. Phone pun dah pandai merajuk. But at least now I know what I'd like to get next :) Just don't tell my phone, OK? Heh.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Contraceptive Failure

And here are the results.. For the record, I had all the intention of spaying the mama cat, but the local tom beat me to it. So there!

Now, these babies need good homes and lots of TLC. Yanie has booked one. I'm reserving Curly Wurly, the sweetest one for her. Another 3 to go. There are 2 males and 2 females. Mom is a Persian mix.

Babies are healthy, playful and TOILET TRAINED. Already over a month old and eating solid food. Interested? Call me at 019-267 4896. Thanks - Oza

Friday, September 18, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya!

Ha. Inilah aku.. Orang semua dah selamat sampai kampung baru aku nak ucapkan selamat beraya... My own plans pun dok tukar sampai seblas juta kali baru nak confirm. Sebenarnya takde mood nak raya pasal tensyen kerja tak siap2 sejak tiga minggu lepas. Pastu bukan ada nak beraya dengan sapa pun.

So, supaya dapat R.I.P. (Raya in Peace), aku pun nekad la stay back nak menyiapkan dua mukasurat yang dari hari tu tak setel-setel. Dah la overdue, takde idea pulak. Masalahnya, selepas calling2 dengan berbagai pihak tadi, my plans dah tukar dari balik kampung 1st day to balik early tomorrow morning. How that's going to happen, I don't know. Tawakkal ajelah. I dah nak habis bateri dah ni. Takde mood nak buat apa-apa. The thought of going home and hitting the bed is so very the appealing right now... Pathetic kan? Abih tu camna, kata nak siapkan keja, tapi dok main telepon tak sudah2. Hish. Napalah benda alah ni tak boleh nak disiapkan awal2 dulu? Budus betul.

Monday, September 14, 2009

DIY Culture

I'm pretty used to doing bits and pieces myself, even though plumbing is rather beyond me. Some things are just too scary to contemplate - like changing a damaged wall socket. That one my daddy took care of. Other minor minor things I can do la.

Lately, have been DIYing my cats' various minor ailments. Dulu impian nak jadi vet tak tercapai kan... So now jadi quack meow doctor la.. Leo's tail didn't heal well after treatment so i used a combination of antiseptic spray, squeezing out the pus and TLC until it healed completely. Vet mahal ma..

Then the mama cat pulak appeared with a stinky ear. I donno what happened, but the ear stunk BAD. Something akin to smelly feet like that. At first we just stayed well away from her and occasionally ventured to spray antiseptic in the infected ear. Later, I figured that it needed much more than the occasional spritz, so I looked up the topic on the internet, hunted up a bottle of ear cleaner and proceeded to deal with the cat. How difficult can it be, right? I did watch the vets closely on previous occasions..

On my first attempt - after I put in a few drops of cleaning lotion, she vigorously shook her head and stinky droplets flew onto ME. Ewww!!! The things I do for the cats! There was lots of caked up stuff too so maybe it's ear mites. Sigh. Where DO these things come from? But fifteen minutes and a pile of dirty cotton later, she was relatively clean and smelling much better. Phew! The next day it had improved. Bits of caked wax came out each day. It's still a funny consistency but much better anyhow. So now it's kind of a ritual to check her ear every night, no matter how late I come back. Sometimes I give it a rest and clean only if it smells. Hope she gets well soon. Cats meds are so much more expensive than human ones.. :(

Now, she needs spaying. Neighbourhood vet - RM200. UPM.. was it RM120? But then I'll need to get her jabbed first, send her to Serdang the day before and pick her up the day after... Might cost more in the end. Tapi bulan ni... budget duit keta double, Raya, wedding in Singapore... Bulan depan la kot... Nak DIY tak boleh!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hepi Hepi Soda Gumbira

If ever there was something to rejuvenate jaded souls, it would be the most wonderful Tekadmons. I was so horribly lazy the whole of Saturday, takde semangat even to go and buy items I needed for my pengat pisang. But by the time we entered the Istana Gema Bali Putra, my spirits had perked right up. And by the time we had a few glasses of the super special "Soda Gumbira", we were all climbing off the walls!

It's been a long time since we all got together for makan2. The change in venue was a blessing in disguise as we were free to be as hyper as we wanted at Lan & Aizan's place. The only thing missing was my beloved Cyber-shot. It was superflous in my bag, so I took it out and forgot to reinstate it before we left. So no personal collection for me this time :(

The camera has become the new "don't leave home without it" item. It used to be the binoculars. Anyway, since I now have my good friend "Mac", I'll be free to roam the wilderness on weekends again. Thinking of booking an apartment in Frasers in October. Anybody wanna come with?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

It was supposed to be funny!!

Well, it was funny. Quite, really. But some parts were so poignant that I started crying instead! To make things worse, I rummaged in my bag and there were no stray tissues available. In the end it was Pakcik who gave me some of his... sigh.

I cried when his wife died, I cried when the nasty developers sent him to court, I cried whenever ,, dammit, I'm starting to cry again. Damned hormones!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Exhausted

I'm exhausted. A bunch of information I was promised never came in the mailbox. I spent the day chasing after people trying to organise things. Boss is super angry with me because for whatever stupid reason, everything is super overdue. I just can't manage to get my work done. It's like my brain as well as my sense of urgency had left town. Plus reliance on external factors. So here I am, well after office hours, still struggling to put my stories together.

At least car finally came, so I have transport again. Especially now the rainy season has begun, motorbikes are not a good option for moving around. Last week had to deal with motor rosak as well as kena saman for roadtax mati. Otherwise I'd be at sister's mercy since we shared her car. Add to the fact that I detest the suspension on Kelisa. It sucks.

So unhappy with the thought that if I don't make time to do things around the house, they just don't get done. Period. Sis is super-picky about doing things. It seems she's afraid to get her hands dirty, so guess who has to play Indon maid... I'm over-stressed about work, and I don't get any pampering at home. :( So tired right now... I need some TLC.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Psychology of Fasting

Ramadhan is fast approaching again, and for those of us who were too lazy to puasa ganti awal-awal, now's the time to "pay up" before the next round starts.

Have forced myself to start fasting today, after a few false starts. Still have 8 days to go and Ramadhan starts next Saturday (22nd). Now, halfway through the day I'm starting to feel antsy. It's not as if I'm suffering... it's just that we're used to eating every so often that we crave the activity. I'm not even hungry! I had a late meal which qualifies as sahur. Don't expect me to wake up at 4.30 when I sleep at one la.. Don't ask why i sleep so late. My body clock is certifiably cuckoo.

Sigh.. why la we always wait until the very last moment to ganti puasa? It's not that difficult. It even gives you extra time to work because you won't have to worry about going out for lunch. We're just creatures of habit, aren't we? I think fasting is so much more a mental exercise than a physical one. Yes, we do get a bit tired after half a day without food, but it won't kill you.

Anyway, if it gets TOO bad and you fear for your life, then you'd have valid reason to break your fast and try again another day. But from experience (when I was a kid), it's mostly because we cannot tahan the mental strain of NOT doing something we're so used to doing. Heh. Even at this age it's kind of hard to fast outside of Ramadhan because we can always do it another day. :-p

Oh well, at the end of THIS day, at least, will be a sumptous feast awaiting me and my colleagues, so that will be my reward for being a good girl for another 6.5 hours. La la la...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To Rally or Not to Rally. That is the question.

Personally, I hate crowds, so don't count on me to attend rallies and stuff like that. Saw what happened on Saturday on TV and wondered where I stood on the issue. Seriously, I haven't been paying attention, so I don't understand why there are 2 groups for and against ISA planning to rally. The "for" group nak apa? ISA kan dah ada?

Anyway, being the perverse being I am whenever it comes to my sis, the moment she said the rally organisers are stupid, I immediately defended them. Ye la. We're supposed to be a democratic country. How come we're not allowed to have any kind of protests? Takkan la semua protest dikira threat to community? Kalau kita asyik accept aje benda yang salah pun kita diamkan aje, passive, banyak le benda yang jadi bernanah dalam our society. Kalau nak kira permit, any permit applied by opposition semua ditolak. So nak buat apa harapkan permit yang dah for sure tak dapat? Belasah ajelah!

Next issue, ISA itself. Is it really necessary? What happens without it? What are the repercussions? I think these are the issues that need to be figured out logically, not by political parties for and against it to protect their own interests. Rakyat punya interest nak letak mana, bang?

Moving on, the rally itself. Was it really unpeaceful? Were there property damaged before the FRU came along and threw tear gas and water cannons? I heard people were chanting 'Allahu Akbar". Why? Apa kait mengaitnya dengan ISA? Tolong terangkan sikit. Yang pasti, chanting loudly can create fear among bystanders and overexcitement among ralliers. It's a natural phenomenon, like mass hysteria. Kalau sorang start destroying property, yang lain sure ikut punya. That would be so unnecessary. Personally, kalau orang kata peaceful rally, I'd visualise a quiet sit in, maybe a candlelight vigil. No chanting. That would be peaceful. Kalau dok terjerit2, mana peacefulness nya? Nak hantar surat kat Agong, pegi la hantar. Was it necessary to berarak ramai2?

So... salah ke orang yang organise rally tu? Salah ke orang yang turut serta? Salah siapa semua orang bertempiaran lari, orang awam yang takde kena mengena pun terlibat sama? Kenapa permohonan permit ditolak? Why can't people in power accept that sometimes there are differing opinions which should be considered, maybe accepted. There must be a reason people membantah. Perhaps we need to follow better guidelines, we don't need to tear the whole system down. Starting from scratch is not easy. There must have been some valid reason ISA was created. What are the risks we face without it?

What we need is accountable people on all sides, not idiots who jump to conclusions and force their will upon others even though they know that it is wrong. The problem of our country is that too many people are trampling over each other to get higher up. Cina kata Melayu malas, Melayu kata Cina penipu, India kaki kelentong, pengabisnya, siapa yang untung? Semua rugi!

Buat sekolah kebangsaan, kata terlampau Islamik, terlampau Melayu. Orang lain rasa tersisih. Dekat sekolah Cina, dia ajar budak2 Melayu bodoh. Sekolah Tamil I tak tau. How are we supposed to be unified? Kenapa tak boleh dalam satu sekolah bahasa Mandarin & Tamil dibuat matapelajaran elektif? kenapa mesti ada sekolah lain?

Jawapannya - because we don't trust each other. Do we? Be honest with yourself. We are all racist. So? How are we going to fix this problem?

Accepting the problem is a problem may be a good place to start.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

One Hot Dude

Went to watch The Proposal again last night. Seriously, i'm hooked. It has entered the list of my favourite rom-coms together with The Holiday, Runaway Bride and Kate & Leopold. Some may not agree with my choices. Whatever la. I loooove rom-coms. It's balm for my empty soul. Somehow it gives me hope that someday, my Gilbert Blythe or Drew Paxton will magically appear :D

Didn't think much of Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, Maybe; but I do like his character in this one. Maybe it's just me, but it was a HUGE turn on when he turned the tables on Margaret. And the guy he turned into - hmm... nice combo. A little manja, a bit rough, sweet, caring, strong.. OK OK, I know it was just a character, but you know... I wish a guy like that would like me. Ha. Maybe I'm just a sucker for bossy guys. [Flashback: "Chilis. NOW"]. Big turn on :D

Nuff said. Back to work, woman..

Friday, July 31, 2009

Celine Dion - Tell Him (Duet With Barbara Streisand)

Celine:I'm scared
C:So afraid to show I care
C:Will he think me weak
C:If I tremble when I speak
C:Oooh
C:What if
C:There's another one he's thinking of
C:Maybe he's in love
C:I'd feel like a fool
C:Life can be so cruel
C:I don't know what to do

Barbra:I've been there
B:With my heart out in my hand
B:But what you must understand
B:You can't let the chance
B:To love him pass you by

B&C:Tell him
B&C:Tell him that the sun and moon
B&C:Rise in his eyes
B&C:Reach out to him
B&C:And whisper
B&C:Tender words so soft and sweet
C:I'll hold him close to feel his heart beat
B:Love will be the gift you give yourself

B:Touch him C:(Oooh)
B:With the gentleness you feel insideC: (I feel it)
B:Your love can't be denied
B:The truth will set you free
B:You'll have what's meant to be
B&C:All in time you'll see

Oooh
C:I love him B:(Then show him)
C:Of that much I can be sureB: (Hold him close to you)
C:I don't think I could endure
C:If I let him walk away
C:When I have so much to say

B&C:Tell him
B&C:Tell him that the sun and moon
B&C:Rise in his eyes
B&C:Reach out to him
B&C:And whisper
B&C:Tender words so soft and sweet
B:Hold him close to feel his heart beat
C:Love will be the gift you give yourself

C:Love is light that surely glows
C:In the hearts of those who know
C:It's a steady flame that grows
B:Feed the fire with all the passion you can show
C:Tonight love will assume its place
B:This memory time cannot erase
B&C:Your faith will lead love where it has to go

B&C:Tell him
B&C:Tell him that the sun and moon
B&C:Rise in his eyes
B&C:Reach out to him
B&C:And whisper
B&C:Whisper words so soft and sweet
B:Hold him close to feel his heart beat
C:Love will be the gift you give yourself

Oooh
B&C:Never let him go

Thursday, July 30, 2009

4896

Jusssssttt only found out this number's meaning. Dah la keta 4896, hp no pun 4896, rupa2nya ada makna tersirat. Haiyaa...

When Jay said my number "like bully like that", I didn't think much of it. Baru tadi I dok teringat the comments I got about the number so I Googled it. This is what I found:

4896 = see peh kau lat

See Peh : somebody
kau lat : powerful/strong/abusive

It is an expression. Here is example of typical usage : "His speech 4896","He screw people 4896".

Alamak! Had no idea it was that bad. Lalala... Wonder if 4720 is a good number :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Addict or Habit?

Things I've got into the habit of doing before sleeping, no matter how late it is: -

1. Read Anne (of Green Gables fame) - for the uninitiated, this was a popular Canadian series penned by L.M. Montgomery in the early 1900s (i think). The tale starts with little orphaned Anne being brought to the Cuthbert household in Prince Edward Island. Mistakenly, as it turns out because they really needed a BOY to help in the farm. However, soft-hearted Matthew Cuthbert took to the lovable child and soon his sister Marilla began to love her too. The story is about her frequent adventures (and mis-adventures) due to her curious and fanciful nature. I've come to the part where she is principal in a secondary school and live in a lovely rented room in Windy Poplars (that's the name of the house). One book is missing from the set and I hope I can find it somewhere before I get to that part.

2. Play games: Yes, childish as it may seem, I play computer games like any 11 year old might. I could be playing Scrabble online, Zuma, Typer Shark (to improve my typing) or whatever else. I just discovered Typing Maniac. God help me!!!

3. Try to work: Yeah. i religiously save my unfinished work in my thumb drive, bring it home, faithfully open the file on my laptop and TRY to work on it. Needless to say, it is more often than not the 'bedtime story' that whizzes me off to la la land in no time flat. Sheez. Bring work home indeed! Sudah la. Duduk ofis la sampai keja siap...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Good Weekend

These days I barely have time to do stuff anymore. Give me a chance to clean house and read, I'll be ecstatic. Managed to clean house, but needed to work too, so overall, so so la.

Abang came by with the kids last night. Tania had given me an "Omnitrix" and a cuddly monkey, I gave it to the kids. Wanted to give the monkey to Yasmeen, but Anis intercepted it. Oh well...

It's funny, the things that tickle you at this late age. Anis saw our stash of Maggi Mee in the kitchen and asked for some. I obligingly cooked a packet, then watched in amusement as the kids attacked the bowlful with gusto. Even little Yasmeen pun sibuk jugak. Hehehe.. the joys of sharing a meal. I remember when we used to share nasi ambeng that Yaie brought back from kenduri. That was so much fun!

Abang was upstairs helping K Ayu setup her computer. eh? I thought that machine dah qa lu dah.. Hidup pulak.

Adik of course seronok naik turun tangga. Plus any gathering with kids tak sah kalau takde yang melalak. nasib baik sekejap je. Pah dok bukak my mags with recipes. By the time they went back, the table penuh huru hara dengan cawan, buah, jag air, mangkuk and tah hapa2 lagi. But it was fun la.

Even gave them my Delicious. For some reason, dulu suka sangat. Bila dah beli tak suka pakai pulak. Biar la depa pakai lak. Banyak lagi perfume lain kat bilik.

Today - kerja + main2 sket. Sigh. Dah pukul 11... esok pagi2 dah ada shoot. Pieces - berapa lagi tak siap? Adess. Tarik nafassssss....!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dead Whale shark.


Why la our Malaysian kids not taught to respect wildlife? Dah la kesian the whales shark terkena jaring, naik darat jadi mainan budak2 pulak. No respect! BTW, the newspaper report captioned it as a whale. Hrmph.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Masked Marauder

Came back from the office late last night. I just happened to look up at my porch roof and saw a common palm civet reaching out towards the papaya tree. Ah hah! Just as I suspected. The culprit to missing ripe papayas is literally the "musang kepala hitam" (dark headed civet). (The phrase actually refers to a human thief). I have no proof, but actually, I don't really mind. I don't really want to eat papayas that often, so he's welcome to have a share.

The animal slipped away while I was rummaging for the camera. By the time I got hold of it, the civet was already high up on the roof. Snapped a few shots, but it was too dark to see details. The next thing I knew, it was coolly walking along the telephone lines across the road, just as if it was a tight-rope. So cute!

Well, Civvy, if you wish for any more papayas, you're welcome to them. So nice to see wildlife thriving in the concrete jungle :-)

Eating Elephants

If you had a job eating elephants, and you're not sure you like eating elephants, would you still do it? You're basically pretty good at eating. Give you anything as big as a cow, or a moose perhaps, and chances are you'll gobble it right up. But elephants.. now that's rather extreme. There are perks that come with eating elephants. The money's not that great, but it pays the bills. Plus, you manage to earn a few extra bucks shucking corn here and there every once in a while since the elephant masters are pretty relaxed as long as you get your job done. But then it comes again to the matter of eating elephants. An elephant now and then probably won't hurt, but if you're constantly forcing an elephant down your throat, it gets kind of hard to stay the course... Then you start wondering again if you actually like eating elephants. That said, if you're not eating elephants, what else are you good for??

Monday, July 06, 2009

So much work, so little time...

I guess I haven't embraced the art of time management like many others. I envy those with the skill to show up at events for a limited time, gracefully withdraw and continue with other assignments. I normally show up just in time, leave when the show is over, plus dawdling a little if I'm in good company. Sometimes stupid things like a forgotten handphone means a detour home to pick up the necessary instrument, costing me more time. by the time I get back, I am swamped with a thousand details that would take more time than I have to sort out. Oh, for the skill to juggle everything, take care of nitty gritty details and get ahead!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Work, work, work..

Have been working like crazy since last week and still tak sudah-sudah. Some things which are supposed to be easy becomes complicated thanks to responses yang merepek meraban masuk bakul angkat sendiri. Now I'll have to contact them and nicely ask what they really mean - yeah, extra work for me.

Semalam went for a spa review and came back reeking of peppermint oil. Is that why people avoided me at the play that night? Sheesh. Silap haribulan la. Couldn't bathe immediately after and tak sempat nak mandi before going to the theater. Before that memang dah gila babi exhausted, almost feel asleep at the wheel on the way to Subang. Show was OK, but socially very disappointing. It was attended by snobs who don't even acknowledge your presence. They only wanted to say hi to the rich and famous. Hrmph. The really rich & famous takde buat perangai macam tu.

I conked out the moment I got home and lay on the bed. Woke up late in the morning! Ergh. Therefore started work late, meaning I'll need to stay back and make sure everything is settled before boss comes in tomorrow. Hopefully can get everything else settled tomorrow so I can actually rest during the weekend. Adehh... Tired.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Regresa a Mi

No me abandones así
hablando sólo de ti.
Ven y devuelveme al fin
la sonrisa que se fue.
Una vez más tocar tu piel
el hondo suspirar.
Recuperemos lo que se ha perdido.

Regresa a mí,
quéreme otra vez,
borra el dolor
que al irte me dio
cuando te separaste de mí.
Dime que sí
Yo no quiero llorar,
regresa a mí.

Extraño el amor que se fue,
extraño la dicha también.
Quiero que vengas a mí
y me vuelvas a querer.
No puedo más si tú no estás,
tienes que llegar.
Mi vida se apaga sin ti a mi lado.

[Chorus]

No me abandonas así,
hablando sólo de ti.
Devuelveme la pasión de tus brazos.

[Chorus]
--
He he.. Me Il Divo fan. Walaupun sepatah haram aku tak paham amenda dia kata :D

Friday, June 12, 2009

My experience with...

... Transition lenses. OK. Like buying a cuckoo clock, after a while, the excitement dies down. I was so excited when I picked up the new specs on Wednesday night. It felt a bit strange, though. The plastic refracts a little differently than glass, I suppose. I'm glad my optician advised me to get thick plastic frames, because the lens really are rather thick. But I think they gave me the high index ones, so it's not too bad. Thanks, Transitions. You guys ROCK!
Yesterday morning noticed that the lens DID grow darker as I was walking up from the parking lot. Most of my time is spent in front of the computer, so no photoactivity there. Had a photo shoot in the dead middle of the day, and this time the lens did grow quite dark as the sun came out (it was cloudy earlier on). Then I realised that most of my time is spent indoors, mengadap the royal highness (my computer). But it's lovely to have specs that will automatically protect your eyes as you drive long distances on the highway in blazing hot weather. Or simply try to get to your event in KL in the middle of the day. :-D I like...









Then there is the deep red Chanel nail polish that had always taunted me from the bag where it resides behind my desk. So one fine day (night, actually), I decided to give it a go. Little did I realise how tricky it was to smoothly layer the paint onto that little square of nail. It doesn't look nice unless you smooth it on evenly, and some nails are just tougher than others. Mine is the ring finger (jari manis). It kept a) being uneven, b) getting smudged off, c) accidentally wiped off while I do the other hand. Aiyooo! It took a while to do my toes too.
The end result: I like the ones that are smooth and shiny, but overall, I'm so not used to having blood red fingertips! The toes look pretty cute though. I might do it again sometime with a less dramatic colour, but it has to be during a girlie session so that we can do each other's nails instead of playing contortionist just to reach the toes. :p

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Instincts

We were all born with instincts. It's just that as we grew up, we were taught to ignore them and go with what we had learnt. Now I've learnt that ignoring your instincts is a bad idea. Because many times, I had found that that little twinge of uncertainty was basically your instinct telling you that you're making a mistake. My best stories are the ones where I basically followed my gut feeling. But after years of ignoring our instincts, how do we actually learn to trust them again??

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Makanistan

Malaysians are well known for our obsession with food. We can eat all day, and be picky about what we actually want. When you're sick, as long as you can still eat, you'll be fine.

Therefore I am getting a little perturbed about my lack of appetite these days. Not that I shouldn't be losing weight anyway, but it feels kind of strange not to know what to eat. I've lost interest in my meal halfway through. I have brought back leftover chicken a few times already, and each time I end up gaving it away to the cats... Maybe the flu screwed my tastebuds. Some things are bland while others taste overpoweringly salty. Some herbs and spices directly put me off... I'm not in the mood for dry western fast food, nor am I interested in mixed rice or soupy noodles... I'm not even in the mood for chicken rice! Hrmm...

I do still eat, of course, but not with the same zeal as I used to enjoy food. Maybe it's the upcoming blood works I need to do, or the reminder that certain organs are not working as well as they used to anymore. Or perhaps I'm just jaded with eating the same outside food over and over again. Some home cooking might be in order. Shall I stop by somewhere for supplies tonight? But what should I buy, ya? Sigh... how la...

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quickbites

Snippet from a H1N1 article in the press:

Checks revealed that the man had returned on a flight from Hong Kong on Sunday and was down with fever and flew.

Wow! Some fever! :D

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sniff...

Haven't had the sniffles for a long time, but nothing lasts forever.... Been breaking all the rules of tropical good sense - jangan mandi malam (don't bathe at night); even if you do, don't wet your hair; keep the fan away from your head. And what did I do? It was so terribly hot and humid that I showered just before bed, thoroughly wet my head of hair, switched on the aircon AND the fan to circulate the cool air. Plus I was working overtime on a projek XYZ again. So - not enough sleep, cold head - this morning my sinuses are probably drowning - hence the sniffles and blur brain. Been so blur I even burnt myself drinking piping hot coffee trying to warm up. What the??? Sabar ajelah. Hope this clears up by lunchtime. Have a gazillion things to kaotim today :p

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bingeing

You know how people on a strict diet can break and suddenly go nuts? I think I'm experiencing a financial version of it. It's like being deprived and suddenly all hell broke loose. Have been keeping a tight rein on my spending, until suddenly I found myself spending much more than I was supposed to. Darn it!!

From one baju and one spectacle frame, the shopping spree balooned to include contact lenses + solution, tudungs, brooches and a not very desperately needed bottle of perfume. Aarrgh!! Stop before you do some real damage, girl! Sheez...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Malufying Moment...

I needed new spectacle frames, so have been scouting for sales. Looked up the internet and found a Focus Point warehouse sale scheduled for this weekend. Went there to buy and.... saw there was no crowd. There was a banner at the corner, so I thought it was on. When I looked into the building, there weren't any goods on dispplay, no sale, nothing. Puzzled, I asked the receptionist and she said there was no sale scheduled this weekend. I went over to the banner and found that it was for Kose, not FP. Suspecting I might have the year wrong, I headed back to the office to check. True enough, the sale was held last year. Adeh.. what a waste of time and so malufying some more... But I do need some frames, though. Hmm.. tengok la esok, kalau tak, I tunggu my payments first. My budget is a bit tight due to lots of farewells and b'days & wedding in Singapore. La la laaa...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Days of Innocence

I overheard a few girls gossiping this morning, and I suddenly remembered days of yore, when the boys were innocent and gentle teasing was as far as they went. One of the girls recounted this tale. A guy she passed by greeted her with a salaam, then said, "Ha, jawab salam gatal, tak jawab berdosa!" The silly situation brought a smile to my lips. The girl rightly exclaimed, "Then what was I supposed to do?" It was a Catch 22 situation, isn't it? Albeit a silly one.

I hardly noticed it, but it's evident that in our culture, gentle teasing is the norm for showing interest. The boys would tease and tease until you can no longer keep a straight face and break into a smile. I remember one time I was coming back to KL, sitting next to some guy from some maktab. He was trying to chat me up, and I was trying not to succumb. A few of his friends joined in with their nonsensical chatter until by the time we reached KL, I just had to smile and say a few polite words. I wasn't exactly thrilled at being a target, but neither was I upset at their forward behaviour. The teasing was gentle and they were actually funny!

More recently, a bunch of us were sitting in the pantry having breakfast when one of the guys walked in to make his morning cuppa. Some of us started ribbing him about the way he made his coffee, and he responded with the sort of cryptic remark that could be a double entendre, yet totally harmless in itself. Something in the lines of "we should start with something sweet", supposedly referring to the way he put in the sugar first. It takes intimate knowledge of Malay culture and norms to grasp the hidden meaning behind such a mundane pronounciation! I think I fell a little bit in love with him after that :D

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when the boys were pleasant and caring, to have my Abang2 behind me. But then, we all grow up, grow older, deal with responsibilities, become jaded and different. I do wish I could have more of such gentle humour around me, life is so stressful and bland sometimes. I guess things like this can't be forced, we take whatever we can find. Even staid old Pakcik has moments when he goes all silly for no good reason. Whatever it is, sure is nice to have some honest laughter in your life :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

I Couldn't Care Less...

I don't know what's happening to me. I spend weekends cooped up in my room either reading or watching downloaded videos. I wake up late & eat junk. What happened to the house-proud woman who used to spend hours cleaning up everything while cursing her s***** sister for not helping? Now I don't curse her anymore, I'm competing with her 'couldn't care less' attitude! Maybe I'm just too exhausted to care anymore. I work my butt off during the week, I can't be working my ass off weekends too. Anyway, she always pretend to help these days. Swipe the floor, take out the mop... but the floors still look grubby afterwards and I end up doing it over. What's the point? Buat sakit hati aje. I so need to get my own apartment. If only I could afford one...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wanted: Energy

I was waiting for a series of posters to come in for translation weeks ago, but they never showed up. Then, in the middle of a crazy week, the guy sends them to me, expecting them in 2 days time. I tried working on them as soon as I got home, which is atmidnight, but keep falling asleep. Finished one and started on the second during my lunch break. Someone used my computer while I was away and closed my files. When I wanted to continue working on them, horror of horrors! My half done document was a blank again!! I had to start over! I was quite upset and messaged the other girl way past midnight. She apologised and offered to make it up to me. But then, what's the point? She can't do my work for me... I didn't have the heart to make a big deal out of it. I should have saved it before I left the desk, shouldn't I? (My mean side says she could have saved my doc b4 touching it too).

Wanted to stay up and finish it last night, but fell asleep, thanks to my relaxing swim. Wasted the morning watching TV. Now, when I want to start working again, I look at that blank document and I get annoyed all over again. It's hot, and I wish I could just sleep instead of re-doing something I had already done yesterday. Sigh...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Pen is Mightier Than a Sword

I have always worried about my articles, knowing that if I somehow get the facts wrong, there will be hell to pay. I'm thankful that so far, my editor has been very supportive, but I worry anyway, knowing my weakness and foibles, and trying not to get into trouble.

The other day, I interviewed someone for her life experiences. For whatever reason, I must have asked the wrong questions, because I left with a pretty unflattering view of her. Subsequently, the story too, caught on a rather negative angle. Furthermore, it had a very sensitive subject matter. the story didn't look good at all! In my desperation to put things right, I had to call her again to seek further clarification, and the truth shamed me. I had gone off the mark altogether. Only my boss' intervention saved us from coming up with a terrible injustice. Am so ashamed of myself :( Next time, will have to do better.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of Crushes and the Crushed

. Had an event this morning, something I couldn't miss out on. Was totally in love with their stuff. Great advertising, guys! After the serious stuff, they had models show off their products, and one of them was the guy above. I knew he was in a few ads, but as usual, I'm totally clueless as to his name. The only thing I noticed was that he looked a lot like Santi - a younger and cuter version, of course. My so called friend now very the sombong sejak ada hot girlfriend sekarang nih. Saba ajelah. So I took his photo to send kat Santi, just to kacau him. ekekeke... Typical me, boleh tak, mamat to tanya if I nak ambik gamba dengan dia, I kata tak nak? Kecik ati kawan tu. But then, shy la. Hingat bebudak sekolah ke nak amik2 gamba dengan selebriti? Lagipun, karang keluar gamba macam susu kawan dengan kopi... Baik tak payah.

But then, kekadang seronok ek, dok main2 and mengarut2 nih? Happy! Sampai ada orang tanya kalau I ada BF baru. Hahahaha.. dengan Pakcik pun dah lama tak jumpa, apa lagi mamat baru. Kalau takat main2 mata tu ada la kot.. hehehe.. Here's to a happy go lucky future!

On Reorganising

After a few weeks of coming home relatively early, reorganising my various spaces and feeling guilty about overdue work, I've come to realize that the hours I spend in the office is not an indulgence, it is necessary. Well, I can say that I was really worn out each time I left the office, that I wasn't in the best of health, that I needed my exercise, and I needed to take care of my pets and home too. On the other hand, I need my job if I'm ever going to get ahead and buy another car, an apartment. What I actually need is balance, I guess. Spending so much time in the office makes me crave entertainment in the weekends, sometimes sampai the chores don't get done. Last weekend, sampai tak cuci baju. Now ni menggagau nak cari baju kerja... Malam karang kena cuci sekejap.
:p

Friday, May 08, 2009

Reading is a Good Habit

Really?
A tiny sampling I did in my uni years found that 80% of those interviewed in Puduraya only read URTV. How conducive is that to critical thinking, I wonder.
Some people read 'buku ugama' exclusively. Hmm.. OK. That's good. To a certain extent.
Some read novels, in BM and English. Just for fun, I hope.
Some people read multiple newspapers and subscribe to news feeds on their mobile phones.
A good number of people read magazines - business mags, women's mags, guy's mags, sports.. bla3x. That's good, right? (Some people even end up writing for them. Heh!)

For those who don't read, I don't really blame them. Books are damn expensive compared to our meagre incomes. I wish books were sold in ringgit as per the suggested price instead of being converted to the equivalent. If the price in US is a mere USD4, they're sold for RM19.90 here. A 7 pound sterling book ends up sold for RM64.90 in some outlets. (OK, I didn't really research the exact prices here. My point is, they're expensive.) If only USD 5 books are retailed at RM5 to be commensurate with our smaller incomes. Did you know that our mean per capita income is stated as USD 6540 (about RM24000 pa/RM2K per month) only? That's not much to live on, imagine if you wanted to buy books on top of that? How la?

Thankfully, some shops are cheaper than others. I tend to borong books during warehouse sales, and I buy most fiction from second hand bookstores. Even better are book rentals, but I got tired of going back and forth and not keeping my favourites. I only buy the most important books new, almost everything else is used. Bottomline, it's still possible to read if you really want to.

I guess my point is, we were taught that reading is a good habit, but how come no one taught us that THINKING is a good habit? I suppose most people figure that out for ourselves la kan. But then, ada jugak orang yang tak paham2 that little fact, kan?

They know all the stupid things that's happening around the world, but is blithely ignorant of the fact that kittens had crapped in the back room and SOMEONE is simply not around to clean it up. Does it need to be in the news before you notice that there's a pong in the house?? They go around complaining about this and that, when they themselves cannot be bothered to do better. They complain ofis jauh, bos membebel, kerja boring, etc, etc, etc. Tapi bila tanya WHAT they want to do - blank. Donno. Oh, mommy forced me to take this course. The truth is, she would have been perfectly happy sitting home doing absolutely nothing except read rubbishy novels while the world moves on. No one would let her starve if she didn't cook, and only I would ever kick her out on her sorry ass if she didn't contribute. Even if you expected to marry a prince/duke/handsome rich man, you could have done SOMETHING to achieve that dream. But that's personal...

Anyway, was reading MM's blog, and again, pops up people who lived their lives following the norm and fighting for the 'established' lines of behaviour without giving thought to what they believed in. People who think anything that is told by an ustad is true and it's a sin to question them for fear of damaging their aqidah. It bothers me because I feel these people are not giving thought to what they believe in. Isn't that scary? Sometimes thinking has to come with heart, because sometimes I am also questioned about why I choose to cover up, to pray, to be celibate... But I can explain my decisions because I have thought about them, and thus I'm at peace.

I worry about kids who give in to their boys because 'the other kids do it too', or 'it's expected'. Or because they will lose their boyfriends if they say no. What about the risks and repercussions? Have you thought about that at all? Have you actually considered contraception and preventing STDs? Frankly, I'd rather these kids know their options and do it properly rather than simply follow the 'norm' and end up leaving their illegitimate child in a plastic bag to die on the steps of a surau.

Why do papers and mags that feature tahyul sell so well? Do they make any sense at all? We all read our doa naik kenderaan, but we don't drive like maniacs and hope that we'll arrive in one piece either! When people ban and condemn movies they never even watched, it makes us look like fools who never seek the truth before passing judgement. It hurts me to be judged based on general beliefs and prejudices.

But it's even worse when people who have not read, and cannot think, rule a nation. I can't think of anyone worse than the Taliban in this matter. They are doing a grave injustice to women and children in the name of God, and is there no man with a brain there to stop them? That might happen to us if people who follow blindly rule our country. Nauzubillah. So fellow Malaysians, read, and think. And pray for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Skyping Again

Sometimes I really layan strangers on Skype just for the hell of it. God know's I'm too cynical to take any one of them seriously. Semalam, I buli one boy sampai dia senyap terus, dah tak nak layan dah. :p Sori la ye... what to do... Don't really trust people who spend hours online in the middle of the night. And what's the deal with these guys? They think Skype is a social network! It so is not! Can't I keep in touch with old friends without having to layan all these people?

Yea, yea. I know. My fault for allowing them to contact me. I'm just curious to see what these people are like. Unfortunately, most of the time I just feel uncomfortable with their poking and prodding. What's the deal, guys? Can't you make small talk without prying into my personal life?

Maybe we should teach these kids some social skills.
First off, if you want to find a girl, ask someone you've actually set eyes on. She might be happy you asked.
Next, if you speak to a total stranger, make small talk first. Ask about her job, her interests, talk about the weather for God's sake. Like if you want to have sex you should start with foreplay, right? Takkan la terus main hentam ajer... (For all you know that's how they do it lah..) Why in the world should I tell you my marital status in the first 5 minutes?? Next thing you know they're asking you if you're available for a romp. Chee. So annoying.
Then, if you're getting along nicely, baru la boleh tanya personal questions. Nicely. Without being a bossy brat. Geez.

The worst thing is, I feel that I'm not a person to this people. They're just interviewing candidates for their wife/bohsia position. Oh, you're over 26 and single? On the shelf. Expired. Not human anymore. Next...
Sakit hati tak to be summarily dismissed like that? Nasib baik la ada my old man. At least HE treats me like a woman. Sigh... How la...

Monday, May 04, 2009

New Fave Writer

Had borrowed Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt from Lan a few weeks back, and thoroughly enjoyed the book. If ever anyone has the slightest intent to feel sorry for themselves, this would surely cure you. Written in a way that is not depressing, it tells the story of his childhood, growing up in Brooklyn, and later Limerick, Ireland with a drunkard father, suffering mother and 3 other brothers. They grew up in poverty, where their father could hardly keep a job, and often spent his wages on drink, leaving his children to starve. His mother was forced to beg for charity, and for the most part, they did what they could to take care of each other. This journey ends when he finally collects enough money to go back to America, where he was born.

On my annual raid of the MPH warehouse sale, I came across the sequel, 'Tis. I managed to find a copy selling for only RM9 and bought it. I actually enjoyed it more, as this time, he is an adult, and is less of a victim as he forges his way in a foreign world. I actually saw the next sequel, Teacher Man, but didn't buy it, something I rather regret right now.

I like the way he draws readers into his story, in a self-deprecating way, without being pathetic. He doesn't give out airs, and he writes in an endearing Irish twang, the language he grew up speaking. He really deserved the accolades he received for his books. He is definitely a man to remember, and I would be honoured if I ever have the opportunity to meet him. (Yes, he's 78 and still alive in New York).

Friday, May 01, 2009

Love is Blind...

A friend of ours is head over heels in love - with someone she hasn't even met! Needless to say, it makes us antsy. Naturally, we don't want to see her hurt again. And she has been hurt before, by taking up with the wrong guys.

I read her blog and saw that his cousin was going to pick her up at the airport. Now why can't HE go and pick her up himself? Sounds very the fishy to me.. I left a note for her, but god knows if she's in the right frame of mind to take it positively.. I'm just so worried that something bad will happen to her. You can't be too careful these days, right?

On the other hand, we all take unnecessary risks. I've met up with strangers before.. But I've always fled at the first sign of a crock. Anyway, who am I to talk, right? I'm always so guarded that I've never gone past first base with anyone but the most trusted of men. But then, that's how I want it to be. I don't want to regret things when it's already too late.

Back to this friend, she's over the moon. Records conversations on her blog for all to see.. And I get even more worried to see that he refers to her as his wife.. It's just too corny to believe. Any normal guy would actually meet up before saying such things, wouldn't they? Unfortunately, I firmly believe only liars would say such things, because they know, at the end of the day, that is what we want - a real, lasting relationship.

Right now, our dear friend is overseas. One would imagine that if this guy is for real, he could have bought a plane ticket and gone over to see her. I donno la. I know how it feels to be in love. When everything is rosy and nice. I also know how it feels to be let down. Thank God I've never been cheated before, never lost money on bogus men. Emotional heartache is bad enough without financial loss. To our dear friend, I sure hope this guy is for real. I'd hate to see you hurt again...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brain Constipation

Do you ever have trouble outputting all the stuff that is crammed into your brain? Have been struggling with a few stories lately. Sometimes I finish a story in an hour while some drag along for more than a month. And in the end, I'd wonder, what was the holdup? I had all the info, but somehow the story just didn't read right. So frustrating sometimes... Must learn to control this problem...

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Biggest Loser

Who would have thought that a bunch of obese Americans can finally drive the importance of exercise into my thick skull. I started easy, just a few laps in the KJ pool. Unfortunately, I got a little sick after that. I continued with some easy trekking the next week, a few laps in KGPA after that. Finally, the scale budged from it's horrifying 80 kg high.

I'd gone down to 74 kg last year, but an abundance of free biskut raya and various free food made me gain weight. The irony is, it got worse after I started taking meds for diabetes. As with many type II diabetics, there is often a lot of insulin in the system, but the body has stopped responding to it. One way to reverse this problem is to exercise. Unfortunately, I got into the terrible habit of working late and eating junk because it was the most convenient option. McD delivers, KFC has a drive-through nearby. And working late means no time to exercise.
Being sick made me go home earlier to rest. It also reset my system so that I don't stay up so late anymore. Eventually I managed to squeeze in some exercise once a week, increasing to twice later on.

This morning I woke up late, but still went over to Abang's to swim. The kids were so excited last night, I didn't have the heart to not show up. As expected, I didn't get many laps done, but I did teach the girls some skills, so it was fun. Having 2 girls clinging on to you as you try to swim must burn SOME calories... Not to mention swimming over to rescue the forgotten float which had drifted away. Along the way, I discovered something that I craved - the human touch. I'd forgotten how heartening it was to have kids sit on your lap and snuggle up. With adults, a nice long hug, even a quick squeeze on the shoulder does make you feel better. Hmm..

Anyway, I find that with swimming, I see so much more progress than working out in the gym. Painlessly. I do cheat a little, since I have some cellulite cream which I make use of sometimes. I'm not sure how it worked, but I have gone down 2 jeans sizes so far. I can't imagine WHY I ever bought that horrible size 38 pair. The 36 is already too loose, so I'm wearing a size 34 now. Reduce it some more? I sure hope so!

Anyway, I like this show because unlike the other reality TV contests, participants actually continue training even after being sent home. And there are prizes for them in the final round. Plus, everyone is so supportive of each other, unlike the other shows where there's so much politicking and backstabbing and what have you. I especially love to see the finals where horribly obese people have transformed into beautifully hot guys and girls. Did anyone see Heather, the one that couldn't do the final weigh-in because she became pregnant? It's so heartwarming! I was afraid she had a nervous breakdown or something. It's incredibly inspiring to see people lose more than a hundred pounds when I have trouble losing five kilos! I WOULD have trouble working out so much though, especially when I hate gyms.

At least I'm getting SOMEWHERE. I do want to look nice again. I hate being all flabby. Have a good week ahead, peeps!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obituary of the honourable Common Sense

Picked this up from a sister's email. Sad, but true.

The New York Times carried a front-page article titled, "Obama Calls for Common Sense on Executive Pay" -
to which Robert Hensler responded (An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true):

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair; and
- Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, think. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Malaysia

Frankly, this is only possible if we treat each other as equals. There should be no superior or inferior race. We value each other based on merit. And we learn to hold our tongues when we don't quite agree with the other. Or at least learn to comment/tegur tactfully.

I have met people who admit that in (Chinese) school, they were taught that Malays were stupid and lazy. And I have met a (Malay) woman that thought I should not have given up my seat on the bus to an Ah So. Like why?? That is so mean... How to live together la like that?

I actually feel that a lot of people are being treated unfairly due to racism. Each try to give special treatment to their 'own people'. So everybody is vying to be better than the other, at the expense of unity. They band together against 'the others' to ensure the survival of their own culture and way of life. But who wins that way? A win-lose situation is never sustainable.

It seems to me that people who are more 'westernised' that tend to unite, mainly because they have found a common platform where everyone is equal and race takes a back seat. I would like to see westernised changed to Malaysianised, where we understand each others' strengths and limitations and capitalise on them. Instead of using La this and De that to sound pretentiously classy and international, why not create international class products using Malaysian names? I like seeing Pink Jambu and Cekodok.com which is modern without being pretentious. After all, Selangor Pewter and Anakku made it without pretending to be an 'Italian' brand!

It just takes a little effort to assimilate. For instance, most KLites are familiar with a smattering of Cantonese as well as Islamic phrases like "insya-Allah" and "alhamdulillah'. In fact, rather than belittling us for taking the trouble to solat every day, my colleagues actually expect things to magically run smoothly for us because of it. If I have a bad day when everything goes wrong, they will ask if I missed my prayers that morning!

In our mag, we always try to balance up the articles with something from each race. In the office, too, we try to have a good mixture of people. Personally, I think it's counter productive if an organisation is dominated by a certain race, because then it will just become more and more racist. In the end, the politicians can talk until the cows come home, but it will not work out until people on the ground actually make the effort to make it happen. Here's to a Malaysian Malaysia!

P/S: Ee Lynn - I found the perfect private pool to swim in! KGPA allows visitors to use their facilities for a small fee. Their 25m pool is open 9 am to 9 pm and charges RM10 for adults. It's more expensive than a public pool that is not so clean, but much cheaper than True Fitness that holds us at ransom whether we go there or not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Antsy

Sometimes I wonder what it is that bothers me to the point of unproductivity. I guess having a backlog could do the trick... Been really antsy the past week. Not feeling too good, plus frustration at not being able to complete stories despite having all the facts. Also not being able to visualise stories, think clearly and organise the flow. Sometimes I feel completely disassociated and unable to 'feel' what I'm trying to do... Sigh. Writer's block!

A major event went quite smoothly last night. Am happy it went well. Wish I had 'hotter' clothes though. I'm in the middle of beautiful people and have nice makeup yet my clothes were so plain. Actually wanted to buy something tapi takde budget... Kind of hard to juggle my limited income with so many 'extras' that make me look 'presentable'. Unfortunately, don't have anyone I can borrow from and so far other things have had to take precedence over evening wear.

Am happy that I actually took the weekend off to spend time with friends. Went up Fraser's with Pakcik on Sunday. Was happy to meet old friends and check out my favourite spots as well as hiking 2 of the easier trails for exercise. The peace and serenity was exactly what we needed. It was tiring, but there's nothing like old growth forests, the ringing of cicadas and a spot of birdwatching to rejuvenate our tired senses. We stopped at Sg Chilling on the way up. I managed to dip my feet in the water and relax while Graham took photos. There was a flock of beautiful Rajah Brooke birdwing (butterflies) near the campgrounds. I wondered anew at their beautiful red thorax which contrasted with their black wings and legs. On the drive home, we saw a pair of yellow-throated martens cross the road just ahead before disappearing into the undergrowth. That was amazing! How often do we come across wildlife in our lifetime in the urban jungle?

I hope to get back to being productive this week. There's so much to catch up with, there's always new things to do... Tired, but in a good way.

Cheers, peeps. Have a good week ahead.

Monday, April 13, 2009

WTF??

I'll admit that I'm not the most 'normal' person in the whole world, but when people who were supposed to be my friends suddenly turn a cold shoulder, it bothers me. I know a lot of people think I'm less than wonderful. I'm fine with that. But why the sudden iciness? We haven't been friends only yesterday... And I have no idea what brought it on!

So on one hand I feel like asking "What's going on?"; and on the other I feel like saying, "Go fly kite!" Seriously, are we in school again? Are you like some other people who are so insecure that for some strange reason think I'm interested in your husband? Please la. I knew yr husband before you started sleeping with him. If he had other girls, it never had anything to do with me.

I guess there could be a million and one reasons why she suddenly turned funny, but it would be interesting to know why. Think I'm imagining things? Well, if someone never bothers to pick up my calls, and never has the courtesy to call back, it's rude. To be cut off when it rings, it's downright insulting. Urgh. Whatever...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lemau...

Have not been feeling well since the past few days. Went for a swim in Kelana Jaya Saturday morning and was quite unhappy about the water quality. It wasn't as 'fresh' as those in other places, but it's a public pool, what do you expect, right? Am so used to UiTM pool which is nice, clean and cool, thanks to it being an indoor pool. Or Abang's place, which is in a condo, so takde la ramai sangat orang. As usual, the place is not maintained properly. The changing rooms bau pesing, and the lockers don't work. They were designed to use the now defunct RM1 coins. I was a little worried about theft, especially cash and the car keys. Luckily they were safe. Got quite dark after the late morning swim because I had neglected to put on sunblock.

The next morning I started to get a runny nose. It wasn't so bad, but you know how uncomfortable they are... Met with the girls and kemas2 sikit. Generally, nothing much got done.

Semalam really felt unwell, especially after a stupid lunch in Bondi Beach, The Curve. The appetizers were gila salty and portions were minuscule. With a stuffed sinus affecting the ears, I felt positively dizzy. Needless to say, I was QUITE useless in the office yesterday. Went home early, bought dinner, and watched TV/read before conking out early. Then pagi tadi 2.30 pagi dah terjaga, baca buku citer, had a midnight snack and went back to sleep after Subuh. Damn my huru-hara body clock!

So today have to catch up with things so that I don't get into trouble later on. Urgh. Don't like being sick. But at least I have avoided it for quite some time despite my gila babi working hours. Honestly, need to be more efficient. Don't work hard, work smart! But if smartness is being elusive, one has no choice but to resort to toiling away... Wat to do? Like that la...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Let's Have More Guy's Guys!

Heh? (For sure u all say this one..)
I mean, we need lots more guys that behave like men. And I mean responsible men, not people who go around fooling around where they're not supposed to. And not men who do girl stuff.

I never used to think about the roles of guys in the social landscape. Guys used to be just there. The other half of the population. Dudes who did the rough stuff while we did the more intricate bits. People who temanned us and made us feel safe traversing a deserted parking lot. But lately I've actually felt comforted by the simple presence of men in my daily existence.

I've never been much of a girly girl, but lately have learnt to enjoy it. We tease each other and send nonsensical messages to each other. We listen to the one who is trying to get over her ex. (Babe, you have one more month to go before ex-bf ancient history gets banned on the girly channel, ok?). So why am I so perturbed by unmanly men? Maybe because they seem to vie with our existence? Because it reduces the number of men we can flirt with? I dunno..

I find it nice to watch guys do guy things - teasing people, horsing around with the boys, make crude guy jokes... You feel comfy giving them a hard time about their guy endeavours. It makes me wonder, do guys find similar comfort in girls doing soft girl stuff? Of course they make fun of our girly nights out and shopping sprees. But deep inside, does it assure them that us girls are real girls for doing ultimately girl things? After all, we don't lose our intelligence by doing what comes naturally. We still do our work and get necessary things done. We pay bills and spend time with our families. We can be tough when we need to be. Then we go and layan babies and small kids because we like to do it.

I'm assuming that guys actually like to see girls doing girl things, and I don't need to be so serious all the time. I don't know where this is going, but I guess I might start to relax and spend more time with the girls after this (as opposed to staying home and playing with the cats). Would like to go shopping too, if I can squeeze a bit of cash to pick up a few necessary items. Darn, need to bug people for my payments soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Midnight Marauder


Heard a commotion outside the house a few nights ago. It sounded like something fell through the ceiling onto the porch roof! Peeped outside but couldn't see anything. Shrugged it off as the cats fighting and went back to playing online Scrabble. Sometime past midnight, there was more commotion and heard the cats come inside through the upstairs window. I switched on the staircase lights and what do I see if not a common palm civet! At first it looked like a tabby cat, but the head belied its identity. And such a handsome specimen it was too! I was so chuffed to meet a wild visitor in my home.

By then my sis had also come out of her room and we went to look for it at the back. We tried to let it out but Leo was in the way and of course spooked the visitor. It ran off into the kitchen. We found it frantically trying to escape through the back windows, but the louvres were opened too narrowly. When I came near to open them wider, it went and hid itself behind the storage cabinet. We left him alone and shut the kitchen door so that the cats won't get into a brawl with the bigger animal. Vet bills are expensive, you know. Anyway, it was gone the next day, so I hope he's safely on his way. Good luck, pal. Nice to see you around!

Heartless

One of the most difficult things I find about writing is injecting emotions, something you don't always feel.When my colleague asked why my piece was missing all emotion, I resorted to a glib "Because I'm Meredith Grey. I'm dark and twisty and I want my McDreamy". In a way it's true. I won't say I'm a Goth who wants to die all the time, na'uzubillah. But it's kind of dry to live without hoping to get hooked. I kind of gave up on the idea since all the good men are married anyway, so why bother? But it's turning out to be really boring. Maybe I should just flirt again. Why not, right? Hey, I'm 35. I'm not DEAD yet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I can't live without internet connection

When my internet was cut off following mess-induced non-payment of bills, it spurred me to get my bills in order. I made numerous phone calls and tried all avenues to get re-connected to the world wide web. Reason? I'm just an addict, nuff said.
Felt really disconnected if I can't confirm that I have 11 messages and 110 spams in my email. PLus, desperately needed to download the latest episodes of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and CSI Vegas. Am having trouble getting CSI, but have the others up to date now. Even got Bride Wars and Slumdog Millionaire. The fact that I haven't got time to watch them yet is irrelevant.
Anyway, how else do I pay my bills when I can't get on Maybank2u? Going to PO/TMPoint? where got time la.. Also too used to googling for any info I might need, from maps to writing research. Kesimpulan: I need it to work!
And play games. I play computer games to wind down. It's a form of relaxation. No games=a very stressed writer=slow output.
Oh well, am back online now. Thank God. Time to put the rest of the house in order...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There's Malay food, and then there's MALAY food...

One of the things I miss most these days is good nasi campur. This is a warehouse/factory area, and food joints are limited to roadside MPPJ stalls, fast food, a few shops in the surrounding area, and expensive stuff in Jaya One & Jaya 33. Section 14 market - food not bad but hygiene sucks. I'm not very particular, but I think ANYONE would draw the line at watching roaches scurry accross tabletops while you're trying to eat. Maybe it's psychological, but I always feel queasy after eating food bought there. The stall where we usually buy from has pretty good local fare, but I always find it too heavy and greasy. Even the soups are ultra salty and a little oily. I needed a change.
After a shoot today, I decided I could afford to go and get better food instead of settling for the usual substandard stuff. So I detoured to Damansara Jaya and am SO glad I did! The open air food court, located outside Atria, (Lotus restaurant side) is simple and clean. Have been there often enough to know which stalls are the best.
My all time favourite stall is Gerai Ramah, a corner unit next to Uncle Ali's shop. The food is simple - sayur kampung and lauk kampung. No funny2 pretentious food here. Just simple things like sulur keladi, gulai lemak pucuk paku, gulai pucuk ubi, ikan pari masak asam pedas, jantung pisang, ikan goreng, ikan bakar, kerabu perut and the like. Their sambals are really good. Price - pretty competitive. Plus the uncle kenal my face oredy. Have been going there since I started work 12 years ago. And the drinks stall next door offers air mata kucing and asam boi. Yum! Was so happy I even tapaued some for dinner. Ha ha.
Another stall I like is on the other side of Atria, near the Post Office. Also a corner shop, the abang makes the best Cantonese kuetiaw in the area. The cook is a Malay guy, but makes good chinese food. Have heard rumours that they're going to tear down Atria and build a high-rise complex in its place. If they do, my favourite stalls may either have to relocate or shut down.. Oh no! With the current economic climate, it seems that the plans have been put on hold. Would be sorry to lose my favourite Malay lunch place if the project takes off... Wish there were more good, cheap eating spots in our area lah.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Keja Orang Takde Keja

Ever since my bag got left behind in NL in 2006, the combination lock hadn't worked. My theory is, the Dutch authorities were worried I'd constructed a bomb out of their stinky cheese and strawberries, so they held back my luggage to check things out. In any case, by the time I got my luggage bag, most of the stuff had deteriorated, berries stained my clothes and everything reeked of spoiled cheese. Plus, as I said, the lock was broken. It didn't open at the combination I set, and there is at least a thousand combinations to choose from.
So one fine day, inspiration struck. Miss Big Boss had told us of the time her combination got screwed. Apparently it often happens if the bag falls on it combo lock, causing the locking mechanism to be 'turned' to an unknown combination. She solved it by methodically trying each and every combination until she struck the 'mystery' combo, somewhere towards the end of the long list.
I knew I could never succeed using this method due to my short attention span. I needed a different strategy. While being bored by a presentation in the morning, my brain wandered to other, more interesting things to do. Like discover a lost combination. And a plan was hatched.
The moment I was back in the office, I quickly did a simple spreadsheet which listed all the possible combinations, neatly lined up on a single piece of paper. That night, while watching TV, I randomly tried combinations and crossed them out from the list. Simple, right? After a while, i discovered that it was quite easy to do 20-30 numbers in sequence at a time. Soon, I was doing a hundred numbers at a go. Not wanting to go through all the numbers before striking it rich, I jumped around instead of following the sequence.
It was a bit frustrating when I didn't get anywhere after trying out 870 combinations. I finally found the unknown combo somewhere near the 900th mark. It came as a bit of a surprise, like doing the impossible, but hey, it worked! It took less time than I thought too. I was prepared to slog it out for half a day. Instead, it took less than two hours.
So now my luggage locks again. Flimsy defence against professional thieves, yes, but at least it can deter less trained petty filchers... Not a very important thing to do, but there's a certain kind of silly satisfaction from actually solving a mystery...