Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lamp Hunting

Malaysians have no taste in lamps. Either that or lamps (of all varieties - standing, table) are so not in vogue that the shops only bring in the ugly ones. Or the really ostentatious ones that only datuks and datins will think of buying. Short of buying up Ikea's whole selection of floor or table lamps, one is really left with no choice to choose from.

Hubby and I went lamp hunting over the weekend but came away from the expedition sorely disappointed. We went to Sect. 14, Jalan Imbi, Sri Hartamas, D. Perdana and D. Jaya only to be 1) disgusted with the selection or; 2) disappointed with the lack of imagination. I mean, the stuff they had were butt ugly! In the end, we felt defeated.

Malaysians have a thing for hanging and wall lights but totally neglect standing and table lamps. That's the only conclusion we came up with. How else could you explain the lack of the latter in all the shops we visited? At first I thought the Ikea lights were too simple and too ubiquitous, but after doing the rounds, I think they're the best so far and that we may not have a choice but to get our lamps from the megastore.

I'm so sad. Merv suggested ordering from the US and getting Samson to bring it back for us. What?! Like I want my sis down my back and all over my head??!!

I shall persevere. I still haven't checked out Kepong or Salak South or Cheras or any of these places out in the boondocks.

Hubby and I came to a realisation though: we probably would not find the kind of lamps we want from the lighting shops. We'd probably find them in furniture shops.

I've yet to find my dream lamps...

Full Dress Rehearsal

The full dress rehearsal went well. Couple #2 were more poised and confident of their moves and the routine, so they shone to thunderous applause. Still not as much feeling as Couple #1 but a visible improvement over the previous night’s performance. Couple #1 on the other hand, were more nervous so their moves didn’t look as smooth last night as the night before. However, they still managed to carry off the emotion of the song and the dance better than Couple #2. Oh, and the lead for Couple #1 had a nice round derriere. Couldn’t see the corresponding physical shape of the lead for Couple #2: his jacket was too long.

It was great entertainment, nonetheless. Watching is such fun! Participating in the competition would be so stressful, I’m convinced. Not to mention tiring.

Good luck to all for Thursday!  Participating makes you winners already!

A Near Miss

I almost ran over a man yesterday. It would have been an accident and totally not my fault; he was rolling towards my moving car.

My normal route home from the studio last night could have turned into a nightmare. At the crossroads from Taman Tun towards the LDP heading to Ikea, I almost ran a guy over. I was on the fast lane. Immediately after turning a diagonal right onto the LDP, a motorcyclist cut in front of me to head left into Damansara Jaya. I only remember registering there was a spark when the motorcyclist hit the car in the lane on the left of me (or was it the car that hit him?). It happened so fast it was surreal. I'm supremely thankful that my reflexes were fast and that I was not driving at breakneck speed.

There was a spark as the front or side of the motorcycle hit the car in front of me in the left lane. The next thing I knew, the man was off his bike, the vehicle thrown to the right of my lane and almost to the curb from the impact of the encounter. The man was on the ground, rolling in the opposite direction, coming towards me. I remember these thoughts flashing in my head, "Oh shit, oh shit!! He's rolling this waaaay!! Hit the brakes, hit the brakes! Damn I hope my brakes are working. I hope the cars at the back of me aren't following too closely. I hope they don't kiss my bumper."

And the man was still rolling. After two or three rolls, he stopped. And my car stopped almost right in front of him. My heart was in my mouth, it was thudding at full volume in my ears. The car that hit the motorcyclist sped off and didn't even bother a hoot or glance as to what was enfolding. The driver in the car behind the culprit honked the the asshole hit-and-run, then was thoughtful enough to turn into the fast lane and stop about 10' in front of my car with the motorcyclist in between. By now, the motorcyclist had gotten up and was patting himself to see if he was hurt and started limping to his bike.

I was in my car saying to myself, "Where are my hazard lights?! How do I turn the bloody hazard lights on?". I didn't want the rest of the cars behind me to give me a dented butt. I found the darned hazard light switch after a few confused moments. By then the driver in front had already gotten out of his car and was talking to the motorcyclist and checking if he was hurt. I got out and stepped a little away from my car to see if he was OK. I yelled to the other driver, "Where is the guy?! Did he drive off?!" The driver nodded. "Idiot!!" I said. I asked the motorcyclist again if he was OK. He looked extremely shaken but at least he was up and he could wheel himself and his bike away to safety.

The driver got back into his car and so did I. He drove off first; I stayed stationery until the motorcyclist could cut a clean path into Damansara Jaya. I didn't want the cars behind me to finish him off when I couldn't.

I was so shaken by the encounter that when I got home, I couldn't stand or walk straight because my legs were still shaking and almost jellylike.

This is only the second time in my life that I've seen a motorcyclist knocked off his bike right in front of my very eyes. The first was when I was less than 10 years old and in the car with my parents heading back home to Cheras. It was also night. I've never forgotten the scene and the terror that froze me.

That same terror gripped me last night. And I still think I was so damn lucky not to have been driving too fast and that my reflexes were lightning quick. And that the brakes held.

That is one miss that was too near and one I wouldn't want to have happen to me ever again. Life being as it is, however, will ensure that even though you are minding your own business, will throw you a curve ball once in a while.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Take On Harry Potter

The latest HP movie left me wanting. There were too many gaps and there were times during the movie I found myself wondering, "Wasn't there supposed to be more before this happened?" or "Hah, we're here already? So fast?".

True, there were bits that had to be left out, if not the movie would have been four hours long, but the cuts ought to have been smoother in transition. I'll give Mike Newell one thing though, he came up with a good vision of Voldemort. The kids have all grown up; Hermione's turning into a lovely young lady, Harry's facial features look more chiseled, and Ron, Ron is well, quite ugly actually, the poor thing.

One scene which I thought was wholly unecessary was the long drawn out bathroom scene with Moaning Myrtle. I mean, she gave him the clue and all, get on with it. Newell chose to focus on that bit of the story when he could have put more oomph into Goblet of Fire with more scenes of Cedric, Krum and Fleur fighting their own dragons.

Overall, I still prefer Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban. It was dark but he managed to infuse some colour into his version. And it didn't seem as disjointed as Newell's Goblet of Fire. Or should I say, Gelas Berapi. Duh, the people who sub really should be more creative in coming up with their titles. Gelas Berapi indeed. Harry Potter and the Glass of Fire. Sheesh.

Oh well, I won't spoil the movie too much for those who haven't watched it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


It can't get more mundane than this. This morning, here's what I did:

1. Helped out with breakfast: I made coffee
2. Weeded my big bonsai and bouganvillae and added weed killer and fertiliser
3. Cleaned up the dishes in the kitchen
4. Cleaned the stove. Since hubby never washes or cleans the stove after cooking, it was long overdue and I could not get out spots and stains from the stainless steel even though I used vinegar and baking soda. So I did the next best thing: lined the counter top with aluminium foil.
5. Cleaned the kitchen hood.
6. Did the laundry (though hubby helped with putting it out)

And now that some of the housework is done, we have to head out for a family friend's wedding in Kajang. I'm hoping we can stop by at Kino on the way back to get my books wrapped.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Magic Carpet

I just fell in love with a RM16,000 carpet from Iran. It’s a pleasant buttery yellow and has the most original floral design. It feels heavenly and the weave of the carpet is such that if you look at the carpet from one end it’s a light yellow and if you view it from the opposite end, all the colours are played up and more vivid. It’s gorgeous. It’s about 3’x4’ and also astronomically out of my budget.

I saw its cousin first: a star-shaped very light cream carpet with hints and shades of pink and peach flowers. Beautiful! The weave is courser than its yellow relative but the shape is exquisite. Both are wool weaves but the yellow stunner has a silk lining. The star cousin is cheaper at RM8000 because of the coarser weave and a cotton lining.

Sigh…both are out of my league.

So I settled for a blue 5.5’ x 7.5’ Belgium machine made copy of a Persian design. The weave is quite fine and quite densely packed. The design is messy (according to Poh Ern). But I like messy; it’s very busy with lots of twirls and swirls and motifs all over the place, but I love the colour. I’m thinking of replacing my living room carpet with this one. It’ll feel nicer and since it’s heavier, won’t be prone to move out of position if the cats run around on it.

If only I could justify buying a RM8000 carpet…

Cough Attack

I’m sooo sleepy! This detox thing is making my body go haywire. My nose is running a mile a second and I feel exhausted. Driving is becoming a hazard as I find my eyelids drooping and my concentration lagging. Last night I woke up from sleep, coughing as if my lungs would burst. I couldn’t stop even though I wanted to. My chest was itchy and burning and my throat just continued filling up with phlegm. I hacked away like an old hag that’s trying to breathe her last breath. When I could finally slow down and sleep, my chest hurt and the phlegm was still there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I am into my sixth day of detox. My nose has been running non-stop and my eyes have been itching on and off. I was warned but I didn’t think my body would have such severe side effects. Apparently, the longer you’ve had problems, the more severe the side effects. I only hope they don’t last much longer. I don’t think I can carry on working very productively with a runny nose and itching eyes.

Twilight Once More

I am rereading Twilight.

It’s crazy, but I think I’m nuts. I just finished the book last night and am rereading it again today.

I’m rereading it so soon because I just love the story too much. I like the way Meyers portrays the interaction between Bella and Edward. There are tense moments, tender ones and humourous ones. Fairly erotic ones too, even though all they do is hold each other or share kisses. Chaste but tense.

I’m rereading it also because I went through it like a storm the first time around. I do that when I’m into a book: I race to finish it because I need to complete the story, along the way I skim through the descriptions. This time around, I’m taking my time to absorb the words and enjoy the scenery. And there are quite a few bits I missed in my haste to finish the book. Stuff I read which didn’t register.

I suppose it’s sweeter the second time around. It’s a more leisurely read and I’m not in such a hurry to see how it ends, so I savour the writing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


You see something new everyday.

Today was a dead bloated cow on the side of the road.

I was on the way home to my parents'. It's my first cow.

It was still light though in the evening. My parents passed the road too. They didn't see it. I asked my sis too. She didn't see it either. She has the excuse of night, my parents don't.

Or maybe it's just the morbid part of my brain playing up on me. I see pigs in the lorry being taken to slaughter.Chicken or ducks in lorries. And a few rare times, bovines. The rest of my family don't seem to run into this morbidity that often. Or if they do, they don't notice.

Like I said, I think it's just me. Me and my Moonlight Sonata.


Now I'm spent.

After expending all the energy (it takes a lot to keep your mind on what you need to do rather than doing what you want to do) on reading, going through everything that Bella, Edward and their loved ones are going through, I've finally finished Twilight.

I'm in a funk.

Coupled with the satisfaction of finishing a damn good book is the sadness of actually having to put it down, knowing you've reached the end and that there's no more to it (for now anyway, since Meyer is editing the sequel to Twilight: New Moon). After the high of a compellingly good read, I spiral into a short abyss of despair: where and when will I ever find another book as good as this?!

I started seriously reading and collecting YA fiction when I was in college in Sunway (all the Trixie Beldons and Famous Fives and Enid Blyton series don't coun't). And that was also partly by mistake. I'd picked up an older edition of Maniac Magee and then found to ym surprise, it was a pretty darn good book. Bookstores in those days however, had limited if any, good YA books other than your run-or-th-mill Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys.

It wasn't until I was firmly ensconced in my junior year at Western in Kalamazoo that I discovered the amazing world of American bookstores. I was sucked in and till this day have not managed to crawl back out. It didn't take much thought for me to enrol in Children's Lit 101 (or something like that) as one of my electives in my final year. I've never regretted that decision: it was one of my favourite classes. Or I should say, my favourite. I got to read YA fiction and collect illustrated books as part of class, wow! how cool is that? It was a dream come true. Did I mention somewhere in my blog that I even wrote a story? A short one, which I supposedly wanted Eve to illustrate. Oh well...

When I returned to KL three years later, I was depressed for a while because there was a dearth of YA fiction and illustated books here. All they had was still the Enid Blytons and the Nancy Drews and the Sweet Valley Highs. So I went book shopping in Singapore and online. And then, my dream came true: Kinokuniya opened at the fourth floor in KLCC. To this day, they have the best selection of YA fiction in the country (after Mischief Books in Yow Chuan Plaza closed down, of course).

But now I'm still in a funk. I've read only two books that have really moved me this year, and I go through a record number of books a year, believe you me (I usually give away the many receipts that I can't use to claim for tax refunds since I buy so many books a year). The first book that hooked its claws onto me and wouldn't let go till I finished it was also a fluke find. I bought it because the cover was beautiful. It was black and there was a picture of a moth one corner of it. Deceptively simple but effective in catching my attention. I picked up the book, read the excerpt on the back and was immediately convinced I HAD to get this book. Luna touched me deeply. It's about a young transgender teenaged boy and he dresses up in his sister's clothes in the night, transforming himself only in the light of the moon. No one knows, only his sister. And when he decides to "transition" permamently, all those involved are affected in ways immeasurable. It is a wrenching, poignant tale, told in a very sensitive and artistic style.

Failing to find a book to live up to Luna (I read it early in the year) as I browsed the shelves and added to my collection, I reread Flipped and Hoot. In the last two months I bought more than 20 books. And I've read them all (almost, save for one or two). And then last night I found Twilight. Hang on, I left out Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, which I read about two months ago. Finding a good book is like happening upon an unexpected natural wonder in the pollution that is today's world. You really never know how you will react to it until you read it. Or whether it will leave an indelible mark.

But boy, when you start reading and you feel the story taking a hold of you, you're already way in deep and it's too late to come out for air. For me it's that way anyway. And it's the best way to let a book get hold of you. You let go and become totally immersed in it. Eat, breathe, live it.

Damn, my friends are going to think I'm a nut (if they don't already). The hubby should know how I feel, although he wouldn't apply this feeling to books but to another area of his life.

I fear it is time to go out hunting again for another elusive book that will leave a scorching mark in my literary world.


Stephenie Meyer has me enthralled. Her debut offering, Twilight, is making me lose track of time, lose concentration on work and everything else that is happening in my life. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I decided to buy the book. What caught my eye (as time and again what normally does) was the exquisite cover design of the book. Take a look, and tell me if you’d been able to resist.

My reactions from good books can be extreme. But that’s what a good book can do to me. It gets to the point where I’m totally obsessed with the story and all I want to do is immerse myself fully in it; eat, sleep, breathe, live in it. Preferably I won’t have to sleep so I can finish the entire book in one sitting. I don’t ever want to put it down or stop reading. I can forgo eating or sleeping, and if I could put down or put on hold everything else in my life just to read and finish the book, I would. It gets to the point I can’t even concentrate on work. All I can think of is the book. (Note to hubby: does this sound familiar to you?)

Twilight is about Bella, a new student at Forks, a small town. She is irrevocably drawn to and falls in love with the cryptic, mysterious and gorgeous Edward. By the time she finds out that he is really a vampire, she is in too deep, even though she knows that at any time should he lose control of his vampire instincts and his blood lust, she’s as good as dead.

Meyer’s writing is flawless. She blends fantasy and reality, making the premise of her plot so believable. The tension and chemistry between Edward and Bella palpitates so visibly I can see everything in my mind’s eye. I’d say more but my powers of description really are beyond putting into words at this time.

Just like Luna, this book has totally and completely taken over my attention. There are not many books that can do that to me. Maniac Magee was one of the first YA books that got to me the same way. E.L. Konigsberg’s The View from Saturday, Wendelin Van Draanen’s Flipped and Carl Hiaasen's
Hoot are the few that have had a profound impact on me. I’ve read all these titles more than once, some three or more times. These are the books that I can read over and over and over and over again without ever feeling like I’ve read them too many times or ever getting bored or fed up.

I suppose one of the reasons why Twilight is such a compelling read for me is because it has that element of “forbidenness” in it. Bella and Edward really shouldn’t be together: he’s vampire and she’s human. What good could come out of it? Is there hope for them to be together? What’s to stop the situation from spiraling into the pits? But then I suppose that - and I am loathe to admit this - the romantic in me is sure that things will somehow work out.

I’ve always been attracted to what is “not good for me” or to people and things that I really shouldn’t be attracted to. It’s that “bad girl” complex that I have nurtured somewhere in that demented corner of my mind. Which would largely explain why I ended up dating my then-boyfriend (the now-hubby) back in college. There was an element of “wrong” about it. Wrong not because I thought it was wrong (nothing wrong in dating someone from a different race, I’m not THAT much of a racist) but wrong because I knew my parents (and probably most of the Chinese community) would frown on it. So I went ahead anyway. Besides he was a very nice guy and had the most gorgeous eyes of anyone that I knew. I had to be big enough and open enough to try this right? If things didn't work out, then at least I can tell people I dated someone from a different race. Well, look where I ended up.

It’s the same when someone tells me I shouldn’t do something. All the more I want to do it if you tell me not to. It’s that idiotic, stubborn streak. And it’s also testing the boundaries of limit. My own as well as every one else’s. Every now and then, I have this urge to see how far I can go and what limits I would go to. Which gets me worried because I never know when I have the urge to go do something stupid. And if I will do it. And then only think of consequences after the fact.

But I digress, back to the book…

I brought Twilight with me to work today. No, I did not read it at work. I had client visits to attend to and other matters at the office to look into. I left Twilight in the car. But I did take most of the surface roads while I was driving and made sure there were lots of stoplights wherever I went so I could take the opportunity to catch up on Bella and Edward. I even blew off my lunch appointment so I could sit quietly at Starbucks and read.

I am totally obsessed.

And then I get onto Amazon and find out that Meyer is writing the sequels to Twilight!! Oh glory be!!! Their story doesn’t end! I just hope that my expectations will soar only to be gunned down and that the sequels don’t disappoint.

That’s it. Enough distractions for now. I must get back to Bella and Edward…

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mommy Dearest

My mother is the greatest.

She is two years shy of 60. She scaled two 4’ walls in rain just to get my dinner to me. Just because she couldn’t get me on the mobile and she didn’t want to wake me by calling on the house phone or ringing on the doorbell.

I came down with a massive cold and despite trying to nap in the late afternoon, failed to do so because of the countless calls coming in on the mobile. So by 7pm, I gave up, left my mobile in the bedroom (the only place where you can get a decent signal) and headed down to watch some TV.

Tried Veer-Zaara but the disc refused to play, so I switched to Paheli instead. It was a good choice as it was light and entertaining. I must not have heard the phone ring because halfway into the second disc, I heard someone fiddling on the front door. Thinking it was Rizal home early, I opened the door. Only to find mom in her t-shirt and shorts with a basket of food. The gate was locked and there was a slight rain.

I was baffled. Mom said she climbed the two walls from two doors away. What?!! Aiyo!! I scolded her and told her she should have called or rung the doorbell. “I didn’t want to wake you in case you were asleep.” Aiyo!!

“Wah, your mother not bad, ah!” she congratulated herself. “Sixty already and still fit enough to climb the wall!”

My mother!

So I gave her the keys and remote control to my house and gate so she would not have to climb the neighbour’s brick wall fence again. And almost give me a heart attack.

My mother.

The greatest.

I must remember to be more thoughtful and nicer to her.

Sigh, my mother.

Tum Pass Ayye

Tum Passe Ayye...
Youn Muskuraye
Tum nein najane kya
Sapne Dikhaye...

Abb to Mera Dil..Jaage na Sota Hai
Kya Karoun Haye

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai...!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Will Survive

I survived!! I’m still alive!! On 3.5 hours sleep!! It’s the end of the day! Woohhoooo!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fish Head

I thought the feasting was over. I was wrong.

I’ve just returned from an aunt’s birthday dinner. Boy, was it a feast!

  • Fish head soup (best I’ve ever had!)

  • Braised spicy fish head with tau chim (fermented beans)

  • Fish maw and sea cucumber with broccoli

  • Mixed vegetables: lotus, celery, nuts, wood ear, etc. mmm…

  • Steamed chicken with ground ginger as dipping sauce

  • Egg noodles (sang mein)

I think there was another dish but I really can’t remember now. It was pleasantly filling but the fish head dishes were excellent!

Aunt and uncle brought the fish head themselves and got the restaurant to cook it especially for them. Yum!! Best fish head dishes I’ve ever had.

Wine and Chinese tea to boot. Mmm…am feeling a slight buzzzzz…I wonder how I’m going to finish off that presentation I’m supposed to be preparing for tomorrow.


And reality comes crashing back in.


Raya was a bacchanalian affair. Save for the lack of intoxicating spirits, it was a frenetic three days worth of visiting, salaming, eating, eating and more eating. Fundamentally, it was a full three days of stuffing our faces.

Raya Eve
Hubby’s plan of leaving for Melaka early in the morning was shot. He’s not one for early mornings. By the time we were ready to leave, it was past noon.

The drive was uneventful, no traffic jams at Seremban. Woohoo!

We headed straight for his parent’s house at Batu Berendam and then detoured to Semabok. It was a hive of activity when we arrived. The kitchen had pot full of this curry or that rendang or some other foods that were red and full of gravy. There was mee goreng and turmeric coconut.

I stopped by in the cat shed out in the backyard to say hi to Patrick, Black’s brother although I could have sworn he was related to Mushu rather than Black. He has the same colouring as Mushu: creamy Siamese but his brown spots are more evenly spaced and coloured than Mushu’s random patches.

By the time 6pm rolled by, we were getting all the food ready and an aunt was in the early stages of preparing Nenek’s famous bandung drink. I call it the power bandung because it’s the best bandung I’ve ever had. The secret? Come over to Semabok for Raya one day and you’ll see.

Came time to buka, we stuffed our faces worth of lemang, ketupat, mee goreng, beef rendang, chicken curry, turmeric coconut (my favourite), and whatever that was placed in front of us on the table laid out in the back kitchen.

And then it was time to hang around and wait for the neighbourhood men to come around for takbik prayers before we headed back to Batu Berendam.

One down, two to go.

Raya: Day One
Selamat Hari Raya!! Bright and early to Semabok. The men had to go for morning prayers. We women just sat around or fiddled in the kitchen while waiting for them to return. Early morning visit to Patrick. He’s so adorable!

Even more excessive food today.

On the menu:

  1. Ayam masak merah (PEDAS!!!)

  2. Chicken curry

  3. Chicken rendang

  4. Acar (homemade)

  5. Cucumber salad

  6. Lemang

  7. Ketupat

  8. Serunding

There may have been more or less, I’m not sure because after a while, the food we had on different days, just sort of blurred together. Breakfast became lunch became dinner became supper.

All I know is, I had lunch around 1 or 2pm. After most of the guests had been served. Three tables full, a couple of rounds for one of the tables. Wan, Sasha and I temped as wait staff. Now I know what the waiters at restaurants feel like and why they hover around your table and try to clear your dishes even before you’ve finished eating. It gives them something to do. And the faster you clear, the more food you can bring out. Your hands feel itchy and restless if it’s not bringing anything to the table or clearing the table.

We had a surprise visitor when we returned to Batu Berendam. Sam! He had called earlier while we were in Semabok but had not confirmed if he would be dropping by. I couldn’t give him directions on the phone (I’m not native to Melaka) and hubby was in the john. So he directed him to a Petronas and we got him from there. It was closer than we thought, only about 5 mins from Batu Berendam. We brought him in, plugged him with cookies and tidbits, talked, chatted, I made fun of him, he took a couple of swipes at me; same old, same old. Since there was no dinner at Bt. Berendam, we took him for chicken ball rice (or is it chicken rice ball) at Jonker Street while the rest of the family headed back to Semabok. We had to wait for a table as it was packed and then we had to warm our seats even longer before the food could to get to us. Verdict? Chicken ball rice is not all it’s cracked up to be. In a nutshell, it does not live up to its hype. When we got back to Batu Berendam, he got a strong dose of local kopi for his impending drive to Singapore. It was already close to 8pm or slightly after or maybe even later, I can’t remember.

A shower and a winding down session later, Rizal’s mum decides it’s time to head over to one of the aunt’s haus for supper. Ack! No choice, in-law say, me follow. So this time it was three huge wokfuls of mee goreng and fried kuey teow. Plus the tarik. Brrrr…We got done after 10pm. It was about this time on the way home that Rizal remarked, “I think it’s not the general culture to eat so much. In fact it may just be our family that eats this much.”

It was also during our drive either to or from said aunt’s place the Wan made a revelation: the immediate family’s not even Malay! Instead, they are half Indian, a quarter Chinese and a quarter Bugis. And I thought he’d realized it all along! I think he probably thought he was actually a quarter Malay not a quarter Bugis. Oh well, you’re never too old to learn. Being half-Indian is probably what drives hubby’s love of Indian food.

Anyway, two down, one to go.

Raya: Day Two
Open house at Batu Berendam.

The caterers came late. Appointed arrival time: 10am. Eve’s arrival: slightly before 11am. Caterers actual arrival time: close to 11:30am.


  1. Lontong

  2. Chicken curry

  3. Beef Rendang (which never got served because mom-in-law was afraid it may not be appropriate for Indian friends)

  4. Laksa

  5. Roti jala

  6. Mee goreng

  7. Nasi minyak

  8. Cendol

  9. Cordial

  10. Air mata kucing

  11. Meehoon

  12. Ketupat

We used paper cups and plates, so not so much washing up and recycling of plates needed. Sasha ended up washing the proper cups because we were running out of paper cups.

After a time, it looked as if Uncle Bakar’s entire dining room had ended up at our house. Uncle Bakar lives next door. He’d systematically brought over first his chairs, then coffee table, more chairs and additional tables from his house as the crowd over at our place swelled. It looked quite hilarious and haphazard. There were two tents out on our lawn and one table under one tent when we started (the other tables we had were on the verandah). By the time afternoon rolled by, the other tent had filled up with the coffee table and some comfy looking chairs. Soon our empty porch started filling up with tables and chairs as well.

Parents arrived at about 2pm, had food in the living room as it was crowded everywhere! In-laws were too busy to sit and chat, so they were entertained by a couple of teenage boys, one of whom was quite gregarious and chatty. At that point, I wasn’t even sure if they were related! All I knew was that there were so many people around and they had to share the living room with my parents. As the conversation went around and dad-in-law sat down to join us, I found out that one of his staff is actually my junior from Convent Kajang. Doi! Small, small world. Too small.

For dinner we adjourned to another uncle’s house (I really have a knack for selective memory: can’t remember which uncle this was) and stuffed ourselves with soto, some kuih from our open house earlier (recycle food where necessary, no point wasting!), more noodles and stuff and oh, I don’t know, by this time, I really can’t remember what or how much we ate. Everything just blurred into one big blob.

Thank gawd we didn’t have supper.

Tried watching Puteri Gunung Ledang but it was soooooo much of a drag that I fell asleep not even halfway through. The quality of filming was good. It’s just that I don’t see the point of showing what happened in their minds or telepathically first and then repeating the same blurdy scene all over again, this time in real life. What’s the point? There was too much unnecessary detail where detail was not needed and scenes not needed, angles not needed. Besides, in those times, events and things happened to people at an earlier age. I think Tiara Jaquelina looked too old to be Puteri Gunung Ledang. Dig those earpieces though. Wan thinks they look cool for Bluetooth devices of that era. Hahah!

Day of Reckoning: Back to KL
This was my favourite. Lunch consisted of:

  1. Four-angled bean cooked in turmeric

  2. Fermented fish assam (urgh, didn’t have any of it)

  3. Chicken curry or some kind of spicy chicken

  4. Assam prawn (spicy!)

  5. Pineapple in sweet & sour lemaky gravy

  6. Cencalok

  7. Another meat dish which I can’t remember

My favourite meal. Home made. The best.

Again, the plan was to leave early. Before noon, said Rizal. Saying is a totally different thing from doing. I knew we wouldn’t be able to leave without eating first. Since we woke up late (around 9am), it would have to be a return trip after lunch.

This is when we made the mistake of watching Mujhse Dosti Karoge! after lunch. And since it was so hot anyway, I didn’t feel like hauling my butt into the car and nodding off while being baked in the hot sun. So watch the movie we did.

By the time we left, it was close to 4pm. Weather was cooler but everyone else probably figured they’d head back up to KL in the late afternoon like us. So we got caught in traffic. Oh well.

We had the audacity to have dinner too later on. But we kept it simple. Sushi & a shared bento at Sakae Sushi.

Mission completed. Thank gawd this happens only once a year. Not because the food isn’t delicious, it’s just too much!


Today I feel like a prawn: all legs no arms, oversized head, bulging eyes and a body curved over. I’m tired and my shoulder aches, probably from being slumped over the laptop last night trying to get work done. The keyword here is “trying”.

Trixie is stir crazy and wants to go outdoors. Her weekend out in the backyard garden has got her all whiny and complaining a little last night and most of this morning. I managed to diffuse some of her stir-craziness by playing with all three of the furballs with their new toys.

My market report is long overdue (my own fault: procrastination can only get you so far) and I have a Power Point presentation to complete by today.

It’s only Tuesday.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wearing The Pants

If there ever was a time anyone questioned who is wearing the pants in this relationship, I would, without a doubt tell them it was me. Why?

  1. Hubby’s car batteries died because he never bothered to fill up on battery water (and they say only women are useless when it comes to car maintenance).

  2. Because of dead batteries he had to use my car to head out and meet a friend last night.

  3. This morning I had to call AAM (only because I forgot that AAM had a 24 hour toll free number) because hubby was still in bed while I got ready for work. Since AAM came earlier than the 45-minute lead time they gave me, hubby was still in bed when they arrived. So I had to see to them, let the guy in the porch and let him do his thing to the car. By the time hubby had woken up, got ready and got dressed, it was all ready and done. And I was late.

  4. Not only was I late, I had an almost empty fuel tank in my car. Considerate hubby had not bothered to fill up the gas tank after his trip out last night. Great. And when I brought it up, hubby was displeased. He, displeased? Yeah, right! Who called AAM and stood around while the guy changed the battery?

  5. When I came home today, the trash which was sitting by the front door was not taken out. You’d think he would notice two huge bags sitting at the side of the wall next to the front door sticking out like a sore thumb, screaming, “Throw me! Get rid of me!” Well, obviously to hubby, not.

  6. I signed up for Streamyx, not hubby because if he were to do it, we’d still not be connected, I can guarantee.

  7. He does clean the floor. I am not a floor person. I don’t sweep nor mop. I can clean up bathrooms. I do the sheets and some ironing. Laundry is my thing.

  8. Most of the time, he does the cooking. I can cook, but am too lazy.

On a final note, on weekends I don’t make breakfast. He does.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Late Bloomer

I am now a Hindie movie junkie. It’s official. I’ve bought four VCDs in two days and watched 2 epic movies in about as many. After watching Mujhse Dosti Karoge!  at Nenek’s in Melaka on Raya Day #2, I’ve suddenly and inexplicably become hooked. I’m a Bollywood junkie.


After we got back home, I insisted on heading to Speedy’s to check out their Bollywood selection. I walked away with Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...  not realizing it was a 4-disc movie and wondering why the hell I had to pay RM21.90 for a Hindi movie. I started on Disc 1 late afternoon today. Must have been Shahrukh Khans eyebrows that turned me into a junkie (I first caught glimpse of him in Devdas). Not satisfied with just Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... which I bought last night, I went out and splurged on Veer-Zaara, Paheli and Chokher Bali after watching just that first disc.  
So here I am, four discs later, one movie down with a stuffed nose and puffy-eyed from that damn drama of a movie. I am such a sap! I find myself heading to to check out the movies and noting down even more movies I want to buy and watch. I’ve got four on the list so far. I am even thinking of heading over to the shop tomorrow to see if they have these titles.

The clincher? I haven’t even watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai! But that is all about to change.

I am in so much trouble. We are talking 3-4 hour epic sagas here, even though these epic sagas are mainly love stories of sorts. This is what happens when one has been deprived of a certain “something” in life for so long. When you find out what you’ve been missing, you just want to consume as much of it as possible to make up for lost time and make up for what you’ve been missing.

If you don’t find me writing for too long a stretch, blame it on Yash Chopra  et al.

It’d be like killing two birds with one stone, watching these movies. Since the general English speaking public doesn’t seem to be fans of Hindi movies, I get to brush up my Bahasa with the Malay subtitles on these movies.

And I get to watch Shah Rukh and his eyebrows in all their glory.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I caught up with old school friends today. It was a Deepavali gathering.

Asunta, being the CNN of the group usually sends out invites or reminders for this gathering or that get-together. Since I don’t meet up or keep in touch with my school friends, I try to make an effort to meet up with the people who matter at least once a year. I’m proud to say that, similar to last year, I made it to Kajang. Of course, I was fashionably late as usual but better late than never.

I ended up talking shop with Uma who’s working at Bank Negara. I have not met her since we left school! At least with Sharmila, Li Huey, Asunta and Wai Meng, I’ve met at least once a year, but Uma just seems to have disappeared off my radar all this while. And found out that she’ll be heading to Argentina for 3.5 weeks for vacation!

And Sharmila’s getting married next year!

It was a good meet up. Other than homemade Indian food and cookies (I stuffed my face with that square sweet coconut candy), it was good especially to meet up with Asun. It seems decades ago that we were both prefects and that she was my assistant. Actually, the timeline is closer to 15 years ago. Wow! I am catching on in age…

And before everyone left and went their separate ways, I opened my big mouth and invited everyone for Raya over at my house, date yet to be determined. I did cover my ass though. I did say that if Raya open house happens to fall through, there’s always Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Came across this exercise that’s been going around a few people’s blogs. Meant to do it then but had no time. So I took opportunity of the festivities to finally do this.

20 years ago – 1985

I was beginning to wonder why all the boys from the neighbouring boys’ school were only interested in the popular girls in my school (I was a geek). Had good grades but it was getting difficult to sustain them; my interest in my studies beginning to wane as other extra curricular activities (wipe your brains, you sick people!) such as Girl Guides and Netball were starting to take top billing in my school life. I was old enough to start taking the public transportation on my own after my various activities at school but my mom would still come pick me up or drop me off if she could. Oh and of course, mugging started for Penilaian exams. I think I got maximum As, however many that is.

10 years ago – 1995
Suffered a major break-up (for the second time!) and this time it was for real. Enough was enough, I’d had enough of being either on an ecstatic high or a heart-wrenching low. Being in a relationship has got to be more than two ends of an extreme. So I gave up, but suffered the usual depression. Getting out of a relationship takes a lot out of a person.

After ending the rollercoaster relationship, I jumped almost right into another one. This was the total opposite of its predecessor. If the previous one was a rollercoaster, this was a cruise: even sailing all the way. Needless to say, the then boyfriend is now the hubby.

I was also thankfully in the US, finishing up on a business degree at Western Michigan, enjoying my Falls and Winters, getting ready to head over to Japan towards the last quarter of the year. For the few months before I left for home and Japan in July, I drove 45 minutes daily from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to a job which you see many older folk or younger people doing nowadays at supermarkets: handing out samples and freebies at the various nooks and corners or crossroads within the grocery store. A month or two of that and I graduated to stacking the cheese, yogurt and milk cartons at a hypermarket closer to where I lived. The locals and students would know it as Meijers. I spent whole 8 to 10-hour days working those shifts, all in the name of ‘practical experience’. I was pursuing a Food Marketing Degree. Being Malaysian and desperate didn’t leave me with much choices. My fellow Malaysians pursuing the same course as I was at that time also suffered the same fate. At least I didn’t end up in the fish counter like one of my roomates; it’s difficult to get the smell of fish off you after you’ve been surrounded in and by it for as many as 10 hours.

I also had the difficult choice of deciding whether to stay on in the US or to head home to family. It was my last year and tough decisions had to be made. I wasn’t too worried about getting a job, but I knew if I decided to stay on, it was highly likely I would not come back. Ever. So I made the decision.

Wrote my first (and last) kiddy book ever. It was to be an illustrated book. It was about a suffed cat who wanted to exchange his sewn on mouth for a real one. I don’t know what happened to it. I have it somewhere.

5 years ago - 2000
Had it up to here with the publishing world. I wasn’t getting anywhere as a writer with Malaysian Business. Too much of what was written got dropped onto the editing floor. So I did the next best thing: started working for my dad.

Was actively involved in kung fu, into my fourth year. Alex, my master had me handling the women’s lion dance team. I spent at least 2-3 days a week at kung fu. Played with weapons: double blades, single blades, daggers.

I think this was also the year where I first started salsa and as fate would have it, met up with a long-lost college friend, Sam, who also happened to be my salsa instructor. That’s when I also first met Chin Lai. And the rest, as they say, is history. My salsa leaves much to be desired, thanks to a wonky knee (from excessive lion dancing) and a lack of discipline.

3 years ago - 2002

Was proposed to on the eve of 2003 in Chin Lai’s TV den. Sam, his then girlfriend, Bernice, Chin Lai and his then girlfriend were happy witnesses. Was caught totally by surprise, a feat, considering hubby is not very good at surprises. I remember pummeling and kicking him for springing the surprise before saying yes.

I think I stopped kung  this year or the year before. Alex and I were getting on each others’ nerves. Also, my knee was starting to give me problems.

Last year – 2004

Went for our honeymoon at the beginning of the year – Bangkok. Had a gala time at Chatuchak and vowed to return again. We did, with sister in tow at the end of the year.

Moved into rented apartment. Took in three stray kitties who are now the light of my life.

Turned one third of a century old.

Started lomo-ing. Set up and started updating my site. Started blowing my bucks on developing film. Stumbled onto Blogger but was pretty much inactive because I had my lomo site. It’s the other way around now.

After a break from kung fu, had decided to do aikido. Well, I wasn’t into it for more than a year when injuries started cropping up again, so I stopped this year.

By this time had also stopped salsa for a bit. Started salsa again this year.

This year

Moved into our own house. It’s still messy and basic. It will be our work-in-progress for the few years to come.

Has been a trying year for me. It’s been challenging at work and I feel there’s so much more I have to learn and that I really have not been learning or doing the best that I could have in the years I’ve been with my dad.

Next year
I will be more dilligent in the workplace, hopefully be a better leader. Intend to develop the people I’m working with, mold them into leaders as well. Grow the business. It will be a work-orientated year.

Hopefully will step up salsa practice.

Try not to be so naggy and more supportive and understanding to hardworking hubby.

10 years from now - 2015
Grow old gracefully. I won’t be graceful, I’d be the same old loud-mouthed person that I am. Just not bitter or envious of others. Hopefully I’d be at that stage in life where I’m terribly comfortable with myself and my achievements and can step back and nod at the life that I’ve lived so far.

Oh, and of course, to continue learning, growing, living. And hope my kids or cats have not driven me up the wall by now. I hope my cats will still be alive.

So who else hasn’t done this? Good time to start.
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