Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Keeping tabs

I need a straightjacket, one specifically to keep my hands bound to my body so that I won’t reach for my purse to pay for more books.

If there is one area where I know I need to exercise more restraint in my life, it’s books, or rather, the buying of books.

This month, I’ve gone through 5 books already and am into my 6th book. Normally I don’t keep track of the number of books I read but Rizal asked me early in the month how many books I read. I told him on the average, maybe four. These were numbers I sort of just plucked out of thin air because who keeps track of how many books they read anyway? The national average, I think, is less than one.

The reason I go through the number of books that I do may be because I read mainly YA fiction or kiddie lit. Sarah Dessen and E.L Konigsberg take considerably less time to get through than either Raymond E. Feist or Jennifer Weiner.

However, my record for this month so far were The Devil Wears Prada, Goodnight Nobody, Little Earthquakes, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and Up From Jericho Tel. Only two of those titles are YA fiction or kiddie lit.

Back to the issue at hand: I bought three books from PayLess yesterday. I really could not help it. I was there to scout around for used and cheaper copies of Feist’s Riftwar Saga. I found Silverthorn but as I am just rereading Magician: Apprentice, I thought it pointless to jump the gun and purchase Silverthorn even though it only cost RM6. While looking around in the Fantasy section, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea caught my attention; Rizal had misplaced my copy and now I have the entire Earthsea Chronicles minus the first book. Buy! At only RM7.90.

I walked over to General Fiction, browsed around and stumbled upon Anne Rice’s erotic classic, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. What luck! If there is one genre that’s as close to endangered here, it’s erotic fiction. Or anything erotic, for that matter (romance does not count). And it was only RM15! One shelf up and I came across Megan McCafferty’s Sloppy Firsts for a reasonable RM12. I couldn’t believe my luck. New, it costs a whopping RM55.66!

How does a bookworm and bibliophile like me resist such temptation? Where else can I get three books in generally good conditions for RM34.90? I can just about buy a single new tome of fiction for that price.

My three books? An absolute steal!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Surviving Time

Eleven long years. That’s how long we’ve been together. Married only for three. At the risk of sounding cliché, time really flies. Today’s the anniversary and Rizal woke up with mild food poisoning and he needs to fly off to Jakarta later. I’ll be at home later hopefully with a Subway sandwich, enjoying the solitude, curled up on the couch reading a book.

Out in full force

You see them too late at the last minute when you round that corner. If you’re on the mobile without a handsfree, you’re as good as dead. For more than a year now I’ve been driving around the same corners in the same routes that I’ve been taking to and from work daily. I’ve never seen a shadow of the cops other than occasionally.

These days it’s different. In the span of a week, I’ve seen more cops around corners than I have in two years. At first I wonder why the sudden diligence on their part. Then I remember: fasting month looming ahead and Raya is just around the corner.

Yes, they’re out in full force to collect duit raya, how could I have forgotten the annual surge of cops out on the roads. Every year in a dash to accumulate duit raya before the Raya season, the cops will head out in full force to nab or book errant drivers. The sudden diligence can be quite alarming to those who haven’t experienced the cops out in force. There will usually be a group of them, usually 5 or 6 at a time. One will be stationed right where the turn or the corner begins where you can’t see them, hiding behind the pillar. The next thing you know, a few feet up, you will be pointed at to stop. And then, god bless you if you don’t have a well-oiled explanation ready. Or a full pocket handy.

It's about time the government started revising the police force's meagre base salary of RM650. Even a factory worker earns more than that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blighted Ovum

“Blighted Ovum. Sounds like good name for an alternative rock band. Can imagine the members all look a bit off coz slightly blighted when they were ovums.”
- Evelyn Heng (close friend)

“Sounds like a command or a spell one of your RPG characters cast during your gaming sessions. ’Blighted ovum! Take two points damage to internal organs and five points hit to reproductive system. Roll D12 to determine survival .'"
- me to hubby

Three positive home test kits, a momentary lapse into panic and some moments of elation, two visits to the gynea, a no-show embryo on the ultrasound and a blood test finally resulted in the doc calling me.

“Your blood test came back with low HCG Levels of 440. At 7 weeks, if it was a high positive pregnancy, you should be having HCG levels of about 2,000 – 2,500. So you can rest assured that you most likely do not have an ectopic pregnancy. What happened most likely was that the pregnancy resulted in a blighted ovum. In short, you had a miscarriage.”

At this point, I heaved an audible sigh of relief.

1. No ectopic pregnancy = no blockage in Fallopian tube = no surgery = intact ovaries.

2. Not pregnant = another few months of respite and life is back to normal.

And we're back in the saddle again...

Monday, September 04, 2006

When the cows come home

Many go through life expecting signs from up above or attaching meaning to things that they see. One area of my life which seems to be trying to tell me something is when I travel or drive long distance.

Whenever I travel on the highway to get somewhere outstation, I never fail to come across trucks transporting livestock to the slaughterhouse. It doesn’t matter whether I’m heading south or north nor does it seem to matter what time of day I travel. I will inevitably come across a truck crammed with cartons bearing chickens or ducks and once or twice, pigs. It happens to me ALL THE TIME, sometimes even in KL, right after the Subang toll heading towards the office or even on the Federal Highway or on the Seremban highway.

On the way to Melaka on Friday night, we came across a truckload of ducks. On the way back up to KL from Melaka on Saturday afternoon, it was a truckload of chicken.

Rizal said to me that it’s a sign; the day that I see cows being transported to the slaughterhouse, I can and should declare myself a vegetarian.

Errant parking discouraged

There is a small little green patch of grass presided over by a wisp of a tree between our neighbour’s unit and ours. That spot has got to be less than 4’ wide; it can just about fit one car, if anyone decides to park there. Usually it’s left empty as our cars are normally parked in our own driveways.

Lately, one of our neighbours has begun to indiscriminately park their cars in that spot. It isn’t the neighbour who shares that small plot with us; they have only one car. I’m quite definite it is one of the neighbours on the left of us but I am not sure who. There was a MyVi parked there two days in a row sometime two weeks ago. Last week, some Indian lady parked her proton there overnight and then again over the weekend when we were in Melaka.

It is irritating because when someone else parks in that spot, it leaves very little room to maneuver our cars in and out of the driveway. That, and if we have any visitors, there is no spot for them to park.

When I found the proton there on Saturday evening, this is the note I left the lady on her windscreen:

To whom it may concern:

If you would like to park your car here on a regular basis, please leave us your car keys so that we can move it when we need to.

Poh Ling

When I came back from Little Havana a little past 2am the car was gone.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another one bites the dust

Warning: the following is a brief illustration of what board games can do to the psyche.

"I've been dreaming about this game since Tuesday!!" Johan opines as we started a round of Ticket to Ride Europe last night. His first taste of the game was on the Sunday before.

"I haven't been dreaming for 5 years and I couldn't stop thinking about the game!"

As a second time player, he kicked all our veteran asses. So we inducted him into Ticket to Ride - Märklin Edition as well. Is it a surprise that in his brimming enthusiasm he kicked our asses yet again?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin