Monday, October 31, 2005
Buffets are a waste of money. In my case anyway.
I pigged out, or at least, tried to pig out on McD's buffet with the gang last night. I ended up with a stomache ache to pay for my efforts. At RM18++, the fast food chain still makes a killing. How much can a person eat anyway? I had countless chicken nuggets, some fries, a sundae and at most, two cups of coke. Of which amount, I'm sure would not come up to RM18. The guys would probably make a decent killing of their RM18 spent.
A recent foray to The Royal Bintang at The Curve proved even more disappointing. True, the buffet was cheap - RM48++ - but it was even more dismal than McD's. Considering it's a hotel buffet. Crap local food, which they didn't even bother to refill once they were running out. I shall not go into gory details and thrash the hotel nor the buffet. It's a waste of energy.
I also took a chance on Chinoz at KLCC. RM55++ and just as disappointing as the Royale. At least McD's has the redeeming factor of being cheap. Chinoz had crap local fare (again!!) and lousy selection. I really, really am not a fan of buffets mainly because they serve the same old international or local fare. And you don't get local fare as good as at the mamak or hawker stalls. Hotels and posh establishments just don't know how to do it.
The diamond in the rough so far that totally blew my mind is Al-Marjan's at KLCC. It is Lebanese food at it's best. Generous variety, copious servings, excellent cooking, great desserts and, hold your breath, Middle Eastern coffee. Sigh...now THAT's a buffet to die for. And all for a meagre RM38++!!
I remember the chef carving up the lamb on the buffet table. At first glance I thought it was a pig (the animal was intact save for head and feet), and then I told myself, "Wait a minute, it's a halal and middle eastern restaurant, they can't be serving pork!" Imagine my delight and surprise to find out later that said juicy lamb (it was superb! tender, succulent and tasty) was stuffed a fragrant herbed rice. I almost died.
Tangy salads - eggplant in tomato based sauce, french beans, leafy greens (a generous variety, perfect for the fussy eater like my sis); delicious pastes to go with breads; various stewed meats, a variety of fragrant rice (i love the one with raisins), eggplant and more eggplant, meatballs, mmmm...I swear I could have just died there and then. Instead I went one step further, I stuffed myself sufficiently (not too much, mind you, for that would have taken away the enjoyment) and enjoyed every bite of food I set on my plate. And topped it off with two steaming espresso cups of Arabian coffee (at least I think it was Arabian), poured into my cup from a quaint Middle Eastern coffee pot by the well-mannered wait staff (or supervisor, he was wearing a tie).
One thing I must definitely say about Al-Marjan: they have NEVER disappointed me before, buffet or not. The wait staff are friendly, their food is excellent and quite authentic, I think, as I don't see any locals around. There're always the Middle Eastern guys walking in and out of the kitchen. Prices are reasonable, what more could a foodie like me want?
I continue to sing praises for this little gem. Those who haven't tasted the offerings here, please do head over and do yourself justice: Level 4, KLCC. Forget all the crap buffets out there. Al-Marjan's is the place to go!
At long last Streamyx is up and running. However, the smarter other half went and got a funky wireless router which is proving more than difficult. It can ping but just won't connect to the PC, Therefore, we can go online. But we can't connect to the line via wireless, so whoever wants to download or surf will have to do so within the cozy confines of the study, amidst the unopened boxes stashed in one side of the room.
Plus, smart me that I am, overlooked the fact that the phone line is in the living room but the PC is in the study. When the Telekom contractor was by about a month ago, I didn't think of getting him to connect an extension in the study. So we have a cable running all the way from the wall behind the TV across the carpet, past the dining room, into the halllway and into the study.
Talk about a mess.
The better half thought the router would solve that problematic mess, but looks like he got himself into more of a mess with said router.
Men! Why can't they check with reliable sources before going ahead to part with their hard earned cash? It's what I would do. It's only logical.
Oh well, if he can live with the mess, I suppose so can I. For the moment anyway.
At least we're finally wired.
Friday, October 28, 2005
The operative word here is, of course, almost.
The contractor came in this morning with his list to the area stating that the Streamyx jumpers had already been installed on Oct 22.
Well, turns out they haven't been installed. He cursed a mile at the other contractor and after speaking with someone on the mobile, told hubby that it would be another week for them to fix in the jumpers.
Lucky for him, ours was the first house in the area that he dropped in at.
So much for Streamyx.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The extended four-footed family at my office. The two kitties (from left, clockwise) are the offspring of the white kitty on the right. The brown/grey one in the middle appeared out of nowhere one day and has a grey tabby sibling who isn't in this picture.
I wonder how much my dad spends on cat kibble for this bunch for a month's period.
Monday, October 24, 2005
I watched part of a Discovery programme titled “Living With Wolves”.
It was eye-opening. I’d always know wolves lived in packs but I didn’t know the pack structure was so complicated. The Dutchers, Jamie and Jim, a couple working on documenting and researching wolves, lived with a pack of wolves for almost 6 years to make the documentary. It was awe-inspiring to witness their love and concern for the wolves. And even more surprising, the wolves’ attachment to them.
I learned that:
- There are alpha, beta and omega wolves. Alpha, is of course, the pack leader, omega the loser whom everyone bullies and the beta, who is the caretaker and minder of all the wolf cubs.
- Wolves mate for life and there can only be one pair that reproduces within the pack, and that’s usually the alpha pair.
- An omega wolf can elevate its status out of being the omega to be a regular wolf.
- The pack is really a tight knit family and their communication system is quite complex. Barks, howls, non-verbal and body gestures, the whole works.
- The wolves really are so adorable!! Thick fluffy fur with distinct markings, each with their own distinct personalities.
- Their fur is so thick that no amount of heat escapes it during winter. They can romp and frolic in the worst of conditions and the snow would still not melt if it stuck on their fur.
- There are black wolves (somehow always thought they were brownish, grayish)!
It was a very informative programme and I loved it if only to watch the wolves and their interaction among each other. They really are soooo adorable. Even though we know they are hunters and carnivores. It just strengthened my conviction that animals are so much more complex but more deserving of this big wide world than humans are. Why? They don’t go about destroying or using up limited resources for their own benefit.
Actually, we two-legged beings can learn a lot from the rest of the four-, eight- and many-legged or winged friends out there.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Been buried in my books, I LURV them SO MUCH! To the exclusion of human contact. Crazy, crazy. I leave them in the car with me so that I can read them when I'm stuck in a jam. I lugged one (hardcover) with me all the way to and back from Singapore. I love the smell of my new books; I love the feel of the crisp pages; I love the fonts and text used; I love, I love, I LOVE! I also have a new favourite author. In another blog entry I will rave more about him.
BACK AND KNEE
I went to bed on Wednesday with a lower back pain. I woke up Thursday morning crying out with pain trying to get out of bed. My back was shot. I couldn't bend forward without screaming. So I called Merv for SOS. He sent me to his physiotherapist, Mrs. Wong. I discovered, it's my left knee that's the culprit: fluids & swelling. She also told me that my spine is curved to the left, so left hip is lower than right and shoulder lopsided. I have exercises to execute and a mission to stuff an insert into my left shoe. Oh, and to see her again Saturday to get the back treated this time. Thursday & Friday were just the knee.
Well, there goes salsa.
I still don't have streamyx and am on a waiting list.
I am running around much more these days. And happier for it. Being out in the market is GOOD.
Pixel now has his third spot of ringworm. The first is now filling up with fur, the second is still bald and the third is getting better. Only because I got him the watchamacallit collar and subject him to abject torture for at least an hour a day.
Meg still tries to sleep on my pillow.
Trixie knows how to head up to the room and bask on her chair in the coolness of the airconditioning when we turn in on.
All three love their new catfood to bits: it's a combination of a little of what's left of their old food (10%), Tuffy's (which I think must be tasty coz they gobble everything up; 65%), and Royal Canine's Furball Formula (25%).
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Picked up my new MyKad today. Yes, I am one of those that left it till the last minute to do the job. And I had to drive all the way into the boondocks of Kota Damansara to get it. Luckily I was smart enough to ask the JPN people there for directions over the phone before I went. I would have ended up in Timbuktu if I hadn't.
Granted, I didn’t give this Malaysian Idol as much time as I did the first one. Imagine my reaction when I found out he’d won over the girl (what’s her name?).
He must have a lot of fans, most of which I bet are Chinese schoolgirls.
Recently though, I’ve been catching his single, Mimpi, on air quite a bit. I must say, for someone I didn’t think could sing all that well, the song showcases his voice very, very well. He actually sounds extremely pleasant on air and the song is honey-coated pop. It’s all very well executed and a delight to listen to.
Wow, so Daniel may really have a shot at stardom. Amazing.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Meg and the boy went straight to bed after their shots. Slept the few hours straight through. The girl was more lively; she came downstairs in the evening, walked about and stretched her legs. By night however, she was zonked out. Lifeless and sick. I felt all their furry bodies and hers was the warmest. Delayed reaction on her part. By night, the boy was back to his normal self and moving about.
The two brown cows shared Trixie’s furry chair and by this morning, she was still sick. I had to carry her down for breakfast, but she refused to eat. Instead she curled up under the dining chair and squeaked everytime I picked her up.
I hope she gets better later today.
Friday, October 07, 2005
- I drove through the Smartag lane at the toll booths without my Smart tag on yesterday. Luckily I was not driving at my usual speed but was
- Last Friday, I drove home from the office with the intention of dropping my Crumpler and T41 home before I headed out for dinner and salsa. The main other objective of heading home were to feed the cats. I had no problems with Number 2. I plain forgot about Objective #1 and headed to dinner with the blinking Crumpler sitting in the trunk.
- Heading towards a stoplight, a friend tells me to turn right. My brain is high on exhaustion and doesn’t register that or hears a ‘left’ instead of ‘right’. I head left. Friend says right again. I still head left until at the very last minute I realize what I’m doing. “Oh Shit!!” Too late. We’ve gone left.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
This brings back memories of days when I’d feel depressed in college or uni. Here’s what I’d imagine would be happening to me when everything in my life seemed to go awry. I’d put on the CD and lie on the bed and envision this for real:
Imagine Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata imbuing the room with ambience. Low lights, or no lights is ok. But it’s in the late evening and it’s a haunting tune, Moonlight Sonata. Perfect for the occasion. I’ve got the tealights and candles burning and I’m surrounded by them; on the floor, on the shelves, near the bed, on the table.
I’m on the bed. Dressed, of course. I’m lying diagonally across the bed. My arms are flung wide. My right wrist hangs over the edge of the bed. Blood seeps from the cut I’ve made on my wrist. It’s a deep enough gash to let the blood push through broken skin and trickle steadily through, dripping down. Down onto the carpet, creating a growing puddle of crimson.
My eyes are open and I can see the ceiling fan rotating overhead. I can still wriggle my toes, I can move my left fingers a little. But moving the right fingers is a bit tricky. They’re starting to feel numb. The blood is flowing faster on my right arm. I turn my head left and then move it to the right, then back to looking at the fan. The longer I lie there the more effort I need to move bits and pieces of my body. The fan keeps on spinning, blowing my fringe across my forehead, fluttering the thin cotton of my shorts.
I feel very little pain, but I know the life force is draining out of me. Slowly, surely. Drip, drip, drip. It takes a while but I feel sleepy, tired, so tired. Drip, drip. My eyes start to lose focus, I try to keep them open. It takes too much energy. Drip. I can feel my breathing start to slow. Drip. A few more breaths, another haunting note. Drip. Drip.
The blood keeps on dripping as the Moonlight Sonata fades and what’s left of me is just a shell. Vacant. Lifeless.
I feel like a fish out of water. No more books to read. Well, technically there're a load more of books out there to read. But I don't feel like reading what's available.
Out of desperation, I picked up Stephen King's The Stand from the bathroom floor and started thumbing through that while on the throne. The first chapter somewhat caught my interest. But the sheer thickness of the book is daunting: I swear it's gotta be about 2-3 inches thick, gack!
I am waiting for my Erotica to get here. And my Jill Solloway too. I think I'll drop an email to Kino and see if they're here.
I have this inane urge to dig up Luna from one of the buried boxes in the study. Everytime I open the door and step in there, I chicken out. I know I must read it at least once more before I hand it to Sasha.
Hang on! Sasha just passed me her Banana Yoshimoto. I think I'll take a look at that one.
Sigh...nothing to read...sigh...
Monday, October 03, 2005
Seven things I plan to do before I die:
- Write and complete a book, preferably a YA fiction or kiddy book.
- Visit the rest of Asia, preferably travel the Silk Road; and also visit at least one of the islands in Greece and when that’s done, visit the rest of the world.
- Hopefully my ears will be fully recovered and patched up so I can jump into the sea and go scuba diving or swimming.
- Contribute to the animal cause: do something to rid the earth of useless humans who harm animals; help find homes for stray cats; go on a rampage together with like-minded humans and bring those wildlife poachers to justice (and see how they’d like their balls or penises chopped off because consuming them makes for a good aphrodisiac).
- Choose one of my many interests and try to concentrate on just one or two till I become really good at it and hopefully make big bucks from it or win an award or something (yeah right, hahahahah!!).
- To be fluent in another language, and since I already have some knowledge of the Japanese language, I suppose I’d choose that to be fluent in. It would be too ambitious to say I’d like to be fluent in Mandarin.
- Figure out what I want to do with my life and how to live happy.
Seven things I could do:
- Be more patient.
- Be nicer to my family.
- Work harder (or smarter) and make more money.
- Actually start work on that book I’m planning to write.
- Be more organized.
- Complain less, suck it up, and just do it (whatever it is that needs to be done).
- Be a better leader.
Seven celebrity crushes:
- Johnny Depp
- Gary Sinise (must be all his military/men-in-uniform roles)
- Viggo Mortensen (but only in LOTR and when he’s all scruffy)
- Julian McMahon (yummmm…anytime good or bad.)
- Liam Neeson
- Harry Connick Jr. (the man can croon!!)
- Ewan McGregor
Seven often repeated words:
(note: I usually utter strange unintelligible sounds. Words are used only when necessary.)
- What the..???
- Fucking Asshole!! (only in the car or when parental units are not around)
- What lah you?!
- …you see.
Seven physical traits that I look for in the opposite sex:
- Nice eyes
- Nice complexion (can’t imagine snogging a guy with a pimple-ridden face).
- Not too tubby but not thin as a rake either, can’t stand skinny guys. Athletic build would be ideal but we all know that’s like asking for the sky.
- Nice smile, hearty laugh.
- Average or more than average looking (intelligence is great but if you look like Gollum, sorry, I don’t think my mind will remain as interested. Sad to say, but ‘tis the truth.)
- Hands. I’d have to agree with Sasha here. If a man can’t keep his hands and his nails in good condition, I don’t want him touching me. Somehow the shape of the nails plays a part too. I may sound like a freak, but somehow short, stubby-shaped nails turn me off.
- A rich, deep voice.
Seven things I do to make myself happy:
- Read lots of YA fiction or flip through picture books.
- Play with my cats.
- Listen to and blast my rock or latin music
- Go for a session (or more) of retail therapy.
- Eat lots of ice cream
- Look for and hang out with friends.
So in retrospect, I think my sevens list is just as, if not lamer than Sasha’s.
Oh, and for my part, I’m tagging Chin Lai, Ai Ling, June (if she’s reading this), Wendy, Sam, the hubby…anyone else who feels like it lah. Heheh.