Monday, December 29, 2008

Library Haul

I outdid myself this week with even more books:
  1. Cybele's Secret - Juliet Marillier
  2. House of Dance - Beth Kephart
  3. Undercover - Beth Kephart
  4. Beneath My Mother's Feet - Amjed Qamar
  5. Keeping Corner - Kashmira Sheth
During school holidays, our library quota is doubled up, so instead of the usual 4 books I get to borrow, it's actually 8! Not that I can finish 8 books in 3 weeks. Oh well...

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year From A Not So Happy Reindeer

And best wishes from Mommy and Daddy for a Happy 2009!

Another Fun Day Out At The Zoo

It just goes to show how small Singapore is when, since coming over in April or so, we've been to the zoo about 7 times. And the bird park 2 times. How many times have I been to the KL zoo? Y'know, I can't remember when was the last time I was there.

The Singapore zoo is loads of fun, especially since they've redone the new Kids Rainforest: carousel, pony rides, goats, huge new water play area, what more can a kid want?

Mommy and Sophia enjoying the shade under the trees.

Yes, we are enjoying our walk.

This is what happens when the animals save their rainforest.

Sophia encounters a miniature pony.

The perfect end to a perfect day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Library Loans

I went to the Geylang community library to return my books today with a mental note to myself to only come away with ONE new book. I shouldn't even have bothered. Here're the books I came home with:
  1. Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta
  2. Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier
  3. Girl Overboard - Justina Chen Headley
Well, at least that's one less than my usual four.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The monster, the slob and the brown cow. As to which is which, you decide.

Taken some months back, this is what happens when everyone gets some shut eye except for mom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Am Piggy! Hear Me Oink!!

A picture's worth a thousand words. These three are worth a few thousand more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Smack In The Firing Line

I constantly wonder why the hell these Singaporeans have nothing better to do than to fly their fighter jets 24/7 in the air. Practice sessions? Who the hell cares?!! Because our apartment is directly under their flight path, we get audibly assaulted and bombarded day and night. As I'm sitting here writing this, there are jets shooting across the sky, 5 minutes apart, sometimes less.

Enough already!! They already had a practice run in the daytime!!! Oh I forget, gotta practice flying in the night in case they attacked at night! Idiots!

Maybe we really should think about getting another place after our contract is up. Even though I love the proximity of this place to the MRT station, wet markets, Fairprice, Shop N Save and the post office.

Fatwa This, Fatwa That

I've been keeping quiet of late on the ridiculousness of the Malaysian government on many fronts, especially their most ludicrous ban on Yoga for Muslims. It left me speechless, dumbstruck and my jaw on the floor for quite a while. But what to do? If I may say so myself (and I have many times and still think strongly), that they are idiots. I was, and still am, too dumbstruck to articulately say much about the issue, however Farish Noor has it down pat.

It just goes to show how faithless the idiots are when they actually believe the faithful can be swayed so easily.

Monster & Freaky Yellow Alien Become Best Friends

Her father brought home Laa-laa (aka yellow freaky alien) from his biz trip to Dubai. On the day he brought the thing back, she couldn't get enough of it, as the photos show....

The next day, she'd about forgotten about YFA already. But then again, we had a flight to catch so there were other, more interesting things to do like bully and abuse mummy on the plane. We did bring her new friend along though, stuffed into daddy's carry-on. Just in case.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Beauty & The Beast

See the cheeky little thing trying to convince Pixel to let her comb (smack) him. He knows her true intentions; his ears are pointing backwards. She can't fool him, not with that face.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Twilight No More

Crap! I just reread my posts about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight here and here and boy, do I sound like a woozy, love-struck teenager. Ack! What the fish?!! I mean, I liked the first book but by the third one, I was beginning to think that she was laying on the romance and mushiness and the love forever crap too thick already. By the fourth book, I basically just tried to gloss over the mushy bits as much as I could without puking and gagging.

Which brings me to the movie: no, I'm not intending to watch it. First off, Robert Pattinson (Edward) looks totally FUGLY in the posters and trailers. He does NOT a gorgeous vampire make. In fact, he looks too much like the undead. Hmmm...I recall the vampires in Twilight are supposed to look like normal people, just inhumanly gorgeous, but not deadly gorgeous. He looks way too pale and what's with the hair?

I suppose Kristen Stewart as Bella is passable but then, the male lead has already spoiled it for me. It's not Pattinson's fault. Rizal says it's the makeup and I think I'd have to agree with him. The make-up people for the movie ought to be shot. Or rather, whoever visualised the Cullens as they did in the movie. It's just too contrived.

Anyway, unless you're the last few directors who did a splendid job with Harry Potter or Peter Jackson who brought LOTR to life on screen, well...these movies based on books, especially fantasy, are hard to flesh out and usually disappoint. For me, anyways.

So, oh less movie to watch. Not that I watch that many movies anyway.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Feeding The Cats

Sometime today, I found Sophia toddling into the kitchen and then disappearing into the laundry area. I followed her and found her trying to scoop the kibble one-by-one into the bowls. At first I thought my little monster is a genius: she'd watched me countless times every morning feeding the cats just so and decided she'd like to try and do it herself. Right. I found out that her dad taught her to scoop the cat kibble and place it in their bowls over the weekend. Genius bubble burst, plop.

It's really cute the way she scoops only one or two kibble at a time but excruciatingly slow. So I helped her along and helped her scoop and directed her distribution. The only problem is, the cats are allowed a minimum amount of food per feed. Our friend didn't want to stop putting more kibble into their bowls. Even after I'd uttered the golden word, 'Keep!'. And when I wouldn't let her open the cover and held it down instead, she burst into tears and tried to wrench my hands away from the cover.

Plan B: I took the container full of kibble and stuck it up on top of the fridge. She trailed after me and when she saw where I'd put it, promptly fell onto the kitchen floor in her signature face-down, limbs-flailing tantrum pose. Right. Daddy'd better find a solution to this problem.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Rice Cooker, Saved Stew

Our standard Philips rice cooker somehow ended up with a few scratches on the rice pot. They then turned rusty. And it can't seem to intelligently cook rice without burning the bottom if I add more water to make the rice softer and fluffier.

So we went out and bought a more intelligent rice cooker on Sunday. A Toshiba this time. It can steam, boil soup, cook rice/porridge and bake! Bake? Wow. The rice pot is at least 5mm thick. That was one of the reasons Rizal wanted it. I thought he should decide this time since I told him last time all we needed was a standard rice cooker without all the techno-fuzz and look where it got us.

The basmati rice I use now turn out nice and fluffy even though I add more water to it. Yay!

On another note, thank gawd for mom's chicken stew. She very nicely made a batch of chicken stew while she was over on the weekend and divided it into four portions before sticking it into the freezer. I've had it for dinner today and yesterday. I may end up having it all through the week till Thursday. I have no issues with eating Mom's stew everyday till Thursday. Mom's the best!! Sophia smelled the stew in my rice bowl and couldn't resist sticking her finger in it and pinching my rice. And that was AFTER she'd had her dinner! It was probably an attempt to get attention as well. Poor dear had been pretty much ignored after we'd got home form a day out; I was intent into Chalice and near the end. I just had to finish it before I did anything else. I did have the good sense to stop and feed the poor girl her dinner when it was time, I'm not THAT much of a monster.

Now my eyes are tired from reading during lunch (Sophia was asleep) and in evening when we got back home. Serves me right; that'll teeach me to strain my eyes unnecessarily.

And now on to the dishes before cleaning up the cat's messes. Sigh... .

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Art Of Going Green

Having a child turns one's perspective inside-out and upside-down.

Nothing spurs a person to go green the way having a kid can.

I've been doing the research, reading up and surfing and finally decided I'll jump on the bandwagon too. I want to make sure that I do my share to preserve whatever I can of our much-abused earth so that there's a semblance of a liveable environment for my kids to grow up in.

So here's the thing: I've been trying to go green - organic, recycling and all - but it's much easier said than done. For starters, organic costs. Anywhere from 50% to double or more what you'd normally pay for the usual goods. So I compromise: I go organic where I feel it's necessary and where it doesn't feel too much like it's costing me an arm, a leg and my torso.

I even dabbled with the notion of making my own laundry detergent (because companies aren't required to list the ingredients used in detergent, gawd only knows what crap they put in there to 'clean' our clothes). But I did the math: by the time I got the washing soda ($5), borax (scrap that, I can't find it anywhere on the shelves in s'pore or in kl) and the soap (any bar soap), it would cost just as much or more than buying organic laundry detergent. So can the whole idea. I ended up buying and stocking up on organic laundry detergent (RM17.90 from a local M'sian manufacturer).

Then there's the recycling. There are no facilities for recycling at our current condo in S'pore. The recycling bins on the way to the MRT station is more often than not crammed full with all sorts of junk that I doubt it would make any difference if I just chuck the recyclables down the disposal chute. It makes me feel a considerable amount of guilt when I have to do that but, what can one do? I separate the paper and cardboard; collect them and take them down on a Sunday when an uncle comes by in a lorry to collect junk. Back at Bungaraya, there are at least serviceable recycle bins and they are NOT crammed with junk and non-recyclables and we used to (my family still does) diligently set aside our plastics, metals, glass and paper.

I turn off all the mains and switches whenever they're not in use, most notably when we head out or at the end of the day. The hubby, however, either doesn't see the point, forgets or is plain lazy. I dunno, I grew up in a household where it was drummed into our heads to always switch off the electricity whenever not in use. Why waste electricity and money? It's one of many habits that I'm glad to have carried over with me from childhood into adulthood ever since I've learned that it also affects greenhouse gases.

The ultimate, I suppose, would be to go vegetarian. I highly respect friends and people who are able to go all the way. I take my hat off to them. I can't stomach those videos that I posted earlier on about why we should go vegetarian but
I can't imagine not having fish, at the very least. Now hubby is making me feel guilty for eating the fish that I do (apparently the fish that us Chinese favour are usually reef fish and who knows how much we're contributing to their being endangered). I'm hoping that eventually, I'll get there. Hubby did say that he could go vegetarian if he wanted to. I'm thinking, if we were in India, we could probably survive and thrive as vegetarians. I LOVE Indian vegetarian.

But I'm trying to remind myself: small steps, small steps. At least I'm doing my bit, however small it is. Hopefully that small bit will keep on increasing as I find my way around.

What are YOU doing to preserve Mother Earth?

Small Fry At The Not-So-Big Screen

So, these days I have to beat her to my laptop. She likes to look at my screensaver; it's a Dream Aquarium with fish and effects so real you won't ever need a real live aquarium.

If I'm not careful, I may find a whole load of downloads or files which I didn't authorize.

Today's Library Haul

Another 4 books for this week:
  1. Chalice - Robin McKinley
  2. Saving Juliet - Suzanne Selfors
  3. Pretty Monsters - Kelly Link
  4. Ridiculous/Hilarious/Terrible/Cool: A Year In An American High School - Elisha Cooper
I'm gonna enjoy this stash :)

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