Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Viva Monsoon

It has been raining for the past TWO days, NON-STOP. Serious.

Johor Bahru is a wet wet city of potholes, flood and supa-dupa traffic jams. Fun and laughter for everyone. Here's a tribute to one of Paul's colleague who left Taman Century at 7.45am for work, and arrived at Taman 1.30pm !!! (it's a supposedly 20-30 min drive) Damn jia lat. Damn miserable.

Finally, the rain stopped this morning, and the sun is out! And my table is filled with chocolates! SO happy.

Monday, December 18, 2006

An Open Letter to the PM

An open letter to the PM
by Jacqueline Ann Surin

Dear Prime Minister Abdullah, When you first came into power after the 2004 general election, you promised us that you would be prime minister for all Malaysians.

In fact, I still have the letter you sent out to voters before the elections that promised you would fulfill your duties with sincerity, integrity, efficiency and fairness.

It was a letter that moved people, including staunch Opposition supporters.

There was hope that a new leadership which was more conciliatory, more willing to listen to differing views and more just was in store for the country.

And people invested in that hope by voting the Barisan Nasional back into power with a clear majority.

But recent events, including your administration's reactions to these events, have been deeply troubling.

The most recent has been the disruption of a peaceful and legitimate public forum in Penang organised by a group of non-governmental organisations that wanted to help people reclaim their rights under the Federal Constitution.

It was unfortunate, but really no longer inconceivable, that those who opposed such a civil discussion should frame their opposition in ways that incite hostility, threaten violence and make false accusations in the name of Islam, a religion that in fact promotes peace and justice.

What is actually more troubling is that as prime minister, you have also publicly announced that these issues of Constitutional rights are "sensitive" and the organisers of such events must be careful not to tread on "dangerous ground", lest the government has to use the Sedition Act against them.

Why would you lend legitimacy to the argument that Malaysians should steer clear of discussing issues which affect us all as citizens, whether Muslim or non-Muslim?

By continuously telling Malaysians these issues are "sensitive" and "dangerous", isn't your administration really creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? Aren't you in fact supporting the argument that these issues should not be discussed?

Additionally, Malaysians have been reminded by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz that it's not for no reason that the word "amok" comes from the Malay community.

Non-Muslims - and that easily translates to non-Malays in this country - are told we cannot speak out about the way Islam is used to formulate laws and public policies in this country even though they affect all of us.

We are told that not just the Sedition Act can be used, so can the Internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial.

In fact, I found it deeply paradoxical that Nazri could repeat the threat of the ISA at an international meeting of experts on Islam and human rights last month.

How can an unjust law be Islamic? We know it cannot, and yet, it would seem your administration is wielding it as a way to silence citizens in a democracy.

The way I see it, naming something "sensitive" and "dangerous" is just a disingenuous way of saying, "This is not open for dialogue and discussion. We might tolerate your views but only to a certain extent."

What that extent is, is left to be seen. We hope your election promises will be kept for all Malaysians, but really, many of us are more fearful than reassured.

From a non-Muslim perspective, the events leading up to the need for public discussions such as the Article 11 forum in Penang, have been disconcerting and troubling.

The painful injustice suffered by S. Shamala who found that her estranged husband could unilaterally convert their children to Islam, and the widow of M. Moorthy who discovered she could not bury her husband according to Hindu rights, are real and frightening.

But those instances of injustice are not being framed as "sensitive" by non-Muslims. They are not being used to threaten violence or incite hostility in order to silence discussion of the issues at hand.

Additionally, when you upheld the decision for the tudung to be used in police parades, did you consider how it would make non-Muslims feel? How can it still be a surprise then that most non-Malays will not join the police force?

Really, I don't need to be a Muslim or a Malay to have a stake in this country. But even that might be delegitimised because in more ways than one, I'm a minority.

And I'm constantly reminded that my views and concerns must give way to the privileges and rights of the dominant race, and a specific interpretation of the faith they profess.

But really what I want to ask you is this: Why do I have to constantly feel afraid in my own country? Why am I continuously told I have less rights to discuss important issues affecting my community?

You promised to be prime minister for all Malaysians. We hope you will remember that promise.

A Malaysian citizen.

Jacqueline Ann Surin believes that you cannot be neutral on a moving train. She is an assistant news editor at theSun.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Life's Lesson

This is one of those forwarded send-this-to-10-people mails that you probably read before, but the most meaningful one I find.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Xiu Ye Tzai

Got him a man's man pajamas. Look so xiu-ye ( young master of a rich and influential household in typical olden Chinese soap opera)

The hubbie will be spending half his time in KL from next month onwards, having been assigned some projects over there, in which his performance will be heavily evaluated by his superiors and peers to determine if he'll be the right person to fill in the position of a manager. It will be a rather stressful few-months period, not to mention tiring, as he will be travelling to and fro. But this is a golden opportunity that he has been waiting for, and I support him all the way.

So IF he does get the big seat, I'll be packing my bags too.

I'm scared. I'm excited. I'm happy. I'm sad.

To leave my comfort zone and land myself in uncertainty is definitely mind-boggling. But I will have to do it. KL is a place I wished to live in, 5 years ago. In my impression, it's a haven for young hot clubbin', minglin' singles. Maybe it is a good place to raise a family, I don't know, but I saw a glitter of hope when recently in the papers, the Sultan of Selangor says he envisions Selangor to be a dream state for every resident who wants development and loves peace. His Majesty's Vision*fingers crossed*

I worry for Daniel and his generation's future in Malaysia. There are so many factors arising recently that make me doubt about our nation's stability and development 10 years from now. Is Daniel going to be safe here? Will he get the opportunity to develop himself fully to be a good person? Will the education system improve with time? Are the leaders in the government going to be fair? We'll never know. But I hope they know the people are getting smarter and won't tolerate stupidity and injustice. Talk about those useless manipulative unscrupulous money&power-hungry politians can vomit blood.

Oop, sidetracked there a little.

SO. Right now and all along, the hubbie has ample time for himself which he spends mostly on golf. Me on the other hand, have 15 minutes a day for myself which is spent showering and applying lotion on my body ( doesn't take long, as surface area is small ).

I start to imagine a reversed fate. I look forward to better times.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bollywood Night

T'was my company's D&D last Friday and Bollywood t'was the theme.

I made myself a choli, which is a top worn with saree or long skirt according to traditional Indian costume. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the process because my camera was out of orbit then, which would've been quite interesting to see. I cut out an old red T-shirt and sewed sequins and silver borders all around...and wa la!

I spent about 5 hours in total and S$15 on my choli that won me The Sexiest Award! Had to work for the prize leh. Anyway, the prize money will probably be spent on diapers. Or... maybe not...heheh.

As usual, the event was made even more fun with individuals who dared to dream and make it a reality.

I hope he hadn't gone ALL the way.... to Dr. Ragu's Indian Vulva Design Clinic at Homo Sutra Complex.

Me and my wonderful colleagues who have become like one big happy family.

That's it for pictures from my strange camera that worked after I pressed a few buttons like crazy. Will post more if there are good pictures from other cameras.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just some pictures

Both pics below taken with phone camera. Quality of pictures is proportionate to light.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When mothers are judged

Recently, I have this feeling that some of my friends are judging me as a mother. A working mother.

No doctors, experts, baby books or bible have ever discriminated against moms who chose to work. But yet I feel discriminated by my own friends. Or maybe it's just me being over sensitive.

It was never an easy decision to go back to work, believe me. It is a constant battle of guilt and deliberation, but I decided to take it in stride, to be strong and to exploit the pros.

Every mother-child relationship is uniquely different and in many ways, instinctive. No outsider can feel what you feel towards your own precious one, even when that outsider is a mother herself. My decision to work is based on those instincts and also my environment.

Where I am now, working moms are aplenty. Two of my neighbours and a lady who works in the sundry shop around my place, have their babies whisked off 300km away to be cared by the (babies') grannies, and could only meet once a month or so. My babysitter used to care for two kids whose mom worked in KL. Heck, even Paul himself was under his grandma's care in Ipoh while his parents worked in Singapore. I am not debating or justifying anything, but merely stating facts that are common here.

While it helps that there are many experienced, reliable and reasonably-priced babysitters in every neighbourhood whom we affectionately call "Auntie", factors like increasing cost of living (we're talking about Johor Bahru which is literally inlfuenced by Singapore whether you like it or not) , having to support aging parents as an only child( are you giving your mom and dad allowances?)and expensive medical care ( did you have to pay RM10,000 for having a baby?), no wonder everybody agrees that you cannot survive with single income. This is the kind of environment that compels you to do the right and wrong thing.

When I am with my baby, I am completely his. My time with him is filled with my reserved energy, fun and quality play. My life is in moderation and I am happy with the way things are now. I am a mom, and I have my professional and social life too. And I am financially capable of providing my family with the best, without having the hubbie to carry the burden all by himself, and that makes him less stressful and a happIER man. Most importantly, my happy baby loves me as much.

I believe everything happens for a reason and it happens when the time is right. Maybe I'll have the chance one day to be a stay home mom, I mean who wouldn't want that right?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Apple Rules the World

Pulled this out of a website sent by a friend. H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S.

"What does it mean when you really, really want to lick a new MacBook, and swoon?

I have right here in my hot little hands that actually aren't all that little and are only slightly warm at the moment a brand new lick-ready smooth-as-love Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo Super Orgasm Deluxe Ultrahard Modern Computing Device Designed by God Herself Somewhere in the Deep Moist Vulva of Cupertino Yes Yes Don't Stop Oh My God Yes.
I believe that is the actual name of the product. I might be wrong. I do not really care.

This machine, this silky hunk of aluminum and wire and divine Chinese factory-made love, was recently delivered into my hands by a squad of naked cooing angels who all happened to look exactly like Jenna Jameson or perhaps Eva Green and who also gave me a free foot massage and four hits of premium Ecstasy and a complimentary 3-hour tongue bath, all at the same time".

Hmm... I think that's what happened to me when I received my love machine too.

Romance Never Dies

On our first anniversary, the hubbie made me cry. He remembered, but lacked the planning effort to romance his *fantabulous* wife. His contingency plan included a sobbing wife in the nearest cozy little steakhouse he could find, which he claimed made him felt like the worst man on earth. Thanks for screwing up our first anniversary which I happened to place an utermost importance on. But the best thing about feeling hurt a few hours is the days and days of apologetic affectionate stunts that followed and the joy of smirking.

This year, his beloved mother left us, on our anniversary. I've cried on my anniversaries consecutively. How cool is that. There was a moment when I felt angry. From now on, a supposedly happy day filled with warm loving memorable thoughts will always be shared along with sad ones. Sigh, call me a perfectionist.

Last night, the hubbie made me smile. I came home to a pleasant surprise in the form of a dinner-for-two lamb chops.

Actually, the sweet juicy honey tomatoes made me smile.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Maternal Instinct & Reaction

On one of the days during my MIL's wake, I demonstrated a mere maternal instintive reaction that was deemed negatively by my sis-in-law, H, who loves kids but does not have her own yet.

The baby and I, hubbie, H and her bf were at the table, just chilling out and snacking, when I noticed Daniel holding a small clear bottle containing a few tablets that was my father-in-law medication. He was screwing and unscrewing the cap, like he usually does with anything screwable. THEN, to my horror, I saw his mouth moving as if he was chewing on something. At that time, he also had swollen and sore gums, of which could be the reason he was trying to sooth himself by moving his tongue around in his mouth.

Now, if he was your flesh and blood, what is your first reaction?

Like duh... search his mouth right? I bloody know for sure that I did it as gently and swiftly as I could because of the fact he was having a sore mouth too. But the essential life-or-death point was to ensure he had not swallowed any of the pills. NEVER ever underestimate what adult medication can do to a small child.

So, our lovely H commented that I gave him a big scare. Maybe I did shocked the little one, who wailed after my finger-sweep-in-the-mouth stunt, but HELLO? Did I not mention life and DEATH consequences? And by the way, during the wake for 3 days, Daniel was not himself, he became this totally different baby who wails even when you make funny faces at him. So, as expected, he would definitely wail after my good-intention act of love.

There was a hint of insult that I did something wrong to my child, like I don't know how to be a mother. Like I scared him intentionally. Like I enjoyed it. F.

What's worse than being judged by other mothers? Being judged by a NON-mother. F.

Being a gracious person, I soon forgotten about it, until last weekend. When I arrived home (Seremban),

FIL: How is Daniel? Is he OK now?
Me: Yes, better and back to his usual happy self.
FIL: That's good. He must've been disturbed a lot during the commotion last week.

H: Ya la! Frightened him summore by 'korek-ing' his mouth!
Me: (Super-stunned and silent)

I never did managed to regain my composure to defend myself. I was literally on fire. I MUST BE THE DUMBEST MOTHERLY ASS ON EARTH.

Again, being the dumbest gracious person, I dimissed it and didn't have any grudge towards her at the end of that day.

I hope some day, when she brings it up again, I will be calm enough to stun her the way she stunned me.

I also believe that what goes round, comes around.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My New Toy

Nothings beats a sleek, shiny, spanking new Macbook, armed with 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, 80GB space available for my porn collection,Superdrive for me to burn my porn collection to DVDs or CDs, and in-built Bluetooth and Airport Extreme for wireless networking.

Photo Booth is one of the new feature which vain people will absolutely love. Unfortunately, I'm not... THAT vain. But it is a load of fun I tell ya. There's some little holes above the monitor/screen if you zoom in to the Macbook, and that's iSight which is like a webcam. What's fun about Photo Booth is, that it not only allows self-potrait, it has got all these fun effects that you can view as you pose!
Mirror effect
Pencil Sketch efect

Fun stuff aside, I am actually using it for work. Faster speed, enhanced performance means a more enjoyable experience with data analysis.
Mummy doesn't want to play with me anymore. SABOTAGE MACBOOK!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Hakka Funeral

This is the most elaborate traditional ritual I've ever been involved in, more dramatic than my Cantonese grandfather's wake several years ago. Amidst the chantings and kow-towing, I was fascinated at how rich our Chinese traditions are and how lost I was during the entire event.

Firstly, let me say that this post is mostly for educational purposes rather than entertainment or intentions of mockery.

The ritual took 3 days. 3 days of hustle bustle in a home full of relatives and friends... and a toddler who became my worst nightmare. Daniel ( and mummy indirectly ) suffered from anxiety attacks, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, mouth ulcers and on-off fevers. He became this totally different being I knew... insecure, unhappy and very disturbed. The only way I could get him to nap during the busy day, was cuddling and walking. And he'd wake up crying a few times during the nights as well. Poor boy.

So, apart from the typical sessions of 'sitting-in' while the priests chants and strikes his cymbals, there were several interesting rituals, some of which are rather hilarious. The entire ritual was conducted in the Hakka dialect which was foreign to me, so all I did was follow what Paul and my sis-in-law did. Though I couldn't understand what the priest said and did all the time, I kinda gather what the purpose was. I presume we were paying respect to the many Gods and celestial powers to bless and guide her spirit into the kingdom of heaven.

Two sand-dragon was made side by side, outside of the house, with a large bowl of oil in the middle and burning 'hell papers' beneath it. In front of the dragons' heads is a circular sand-platform scattered with coins. Two priests chant and walk around the formation chinese-opera style. And in between their melodic chants, the bowl of oil is lit up in a flame that reached the nightsky. We were then asked to pick up as many coins as we can on that sandy platform. That represents the wealth we gathered.

Here comes the comical relief. The priest had to 'bless' the paper house, paper car, paper maid and butler and paper driver to be burnt for her. Paul, being the eldest son, had to negotiate a 'salary' for the celestial maid, butler and driver. Here is what took place (in Hakka):

Priest: How many jossticks for maids... 2, 3 or 4?
Paul: 3
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks for indicative yes or no) .... Not enough
At this point, the crowd burst into laughter.
Paul: 4 sticks
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks again) OK
Crowd still laughing.
Priest: How much for bonus?
Paul: 13 month
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks again) OK

Talk about globalization and modernity.

I can't really remember the rest of the ceremony from then on, but it did came to a part where we stood around her coffin to see her for the last time and say goodbye. That was when it hit us hard. This is it. For real.

We proceeded to the gravesite which was a 15 minute drive or so. Along the way on public road, the priest flings 'hell papers' up in the air. It reminds me very much of Tsui Hark film scenes... hauntingly abstract. Standing on freshly dug soil, we paid our last respect. Rice and coins were thrown at us. And the rice is to be mixed with our existing rice supply at home. The coins are wealth blessed by her spirit. And that wraps it up.

I still think she's not gone.... just absent.

May her soul rest in peace.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Tribute To My Mother-In-Law

My beloved MIL drew her last breath last Tuesday. I'm still not used to the fact that she's no longer around. We were still hopeful when she stabilized after a marathon of organ failure complications, but I guess we were fooled. She is gone now, forever and will be deeply missed.

It is going to be very hard for my father-in-law, because my MIL literally did everything for him. In fact, the entire house just remind us of her because she manages everything, from the kitchen to the praying altar. This is the woman who worked her entire life, for her children, for her husband, for her home. And it's so unfair that she had to leave without having the chance to enjoy her golden years. On the brighter side, she had the chance to see her first grandchild.

The wake lasted for 3 days and was based on the traditions of the Hakka Chinese, the first I've ever seen and it left a deep impression on me, most of which are rather hilarious.

Still can't believe it.

Monday, November 06, 2006


It felt like a lifetime since I touched My Preeeccioouuus (my ibook, not something else of the place-the-sun-never-shines kind).
The latest cause of death is: Denied of Internet Access

The words death and die are very sensitive lately. Some people don't like to say those words at all, they always substitute it as "If SOMETHING happens to him/her" or "If he/she... *silence and the you-know-what-i'm-trying-to-say look*" It's like a taboo, if you say the word, it'll happen! Or maybe it just hurts a lot to associate death and a loved one.

First of, my MIL's condition is under control. There were many challenges and hurdles that kept coming the past few days that it seemed like the end was coming. But fortunately, she fought on. Lupus is one of those rare condition that you hardly hear of, but if you have it, treat it VERY seriously. Like heart disease, it is a silent killer, because there is no apparent signs until it hits your kidneys and lungs, the two most commonly affected major organs. At the initial stage, lupus may manifest itself as arthritis-like symptoms, aches and joint pains that may be thought as unevitable old-age condition. And if left untreated, it can lead to many complications, kidney failure being one of them. Bad news to women, 99% of lupus cases are usually suffered by women.

When I was stepping into the Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban for the first time, I felt nervous, like the time I had to sit for my ABRSM piano examinations, or the time I was waiting in the labour room for The Moment. I was preparing myself of what I was about to see. I had to control my emotions. I was imagining a typical ICU scene like those you see on TV, and trying to make it as dramatic as possible so that when I do see the real thing, it won't feel so bad. Also, another thing was the smell. The smell of a hospital. The horrid smell of pain and sorrow.

I almost burst into tears when I held her cold swollen hand. This is something you don't ever want to see happening to your loved ones and friends. Ever.

It was a rather painful and scary sight. And it's very real. There's literally tubes everywhere, and I don't think I'll describe in detail here. The first thought was "How the hell did it get so bad like this". The other patients in the ICU are either major accident or cancer cases, but lupus?! So like I said, treat it VERY seriously. She was given sedatives as a normal procedure for using the ventilator/respirator machine, so most of the time, she is 'sleeping'. But we were encouraged to talk to her because she could still hear. Isn't the brain an amazing organ or what? I once heard somewhere that there are 7 levels of consciousness. I am probably at level 1 because I don't know what I'm doing most of the time!!

I chatted and sang to her, rubbed her feet and watched her vital readings. Usually after 10 minutes or so, the nurse reminds visitors to keep to the visiting time limit. That was all we could do. In and out we went, taking turns to watch her, the entire day. And Daniel could only hang out at the corridor outside the ICU because misi said "Ini budak kechik tak boleh masuk ya"

Daniel was there as a hugging cushion. This was the time everyone needed a hug or something to rest their weary head on, or just someone to kiss and coo. He also took away their worries and painful thoughts now and then. This is the joy a child brings to the world. That same evening, he whacked my knee with a cane accidently, that resulted in a painful swollen knee for 2 days. Oh yes, painful swollen unbendable knee+squat toilet=M I S E R A B L E urine-shooting-everywhere encounters.
I should've taken a picture to show you how bad it was... but nothing could be as bad as what my MIL is going through now. So I'm not going to be a crybaby.

I cooked dinner on two consecutive nights. I used her kitchen like it was my own, for the first time. But I can never replace its mistress. The soup I make is never as good as hers. Nothing I do will be the same as the way she does them. Well, this is what I think my father-in-law probably thinks. But I held my head high, and I served my dishes with pride.

To be continued...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Drama Weekend Anyone?

Drama drama drama. This weekend itself, I get to meet up my old Convernt school friend whom I haven't seen in a couple of years, AND her little babe who turned one this month. At the same time, my mom-in-law's health has taken a turn for the worse.

Pictures first. Know the Murphy's Law? I'm a great follower. God knows how come my camera's setting changed. All the pictures I took were dark. Usually even in poor lighting, my pictures turn out ok, but this time, of ALL time, I couldn't fix it... UNTIL this morning when I realize the exposure is set to the lowest *banging-head-on-the-wall-until-concussion*

Anyway, here are the pictures I tried to rescue by adjusting the brightness and contrast.
Little Darren

Da-Niu and Da-Ren playing masak masak.

Beauties and Beasts

It is always fun to see how your child interacts with another baby. Fortunately, Daniel has learnt to control his forceful pat. When he was younger, his harmless intentions to 'sayang' other kids always end up as a big slap, including me, who took countless of his 'sayang' pats, especially in the morning when I'm still sleeping and unprepared for the Good-Morning-Mummy-Give-You-Big-Slap-On-The-Nose. I always wake up crying...

Kids have no ice to break, unlike adults.
Strangers for 2 seconds.
Playmates for the rest of the evening.

Great family party!
But not so great with my mom-in-law. Initially Paul cancelled his trip back to Seremban this weekend but rushed back when his mom was admitted to Seremban General Hospital. She has been controlling her lupus by taking steroid medication to somewhat make her immune system sluggish so it won't attack her own body. But this also make her prone to infections. A couple of days back, she complained of difficulties in breathing and was becoming weaker.

On Saturday, she was admitted for lung infection which later caused one side to collapse and required the ventilator to help her breath. There was a possibility of kidney failure, hypertension and diabetes. What a shock for everyone! How could she become so ill all of a sudden? You know it is very critical when the doctors tell you to inform any relatives to come visit her and be prepared.

She was at a fork. She could either get better with the antibiotics medication or her organs could fail and be hooked up on a life support system.

It felt terrible not being there with her. I was forbidden from driving up with Daniel. I have to wait till this Friday to take the trip with Paul, and hopefully she will be discharged by then. I could be taking a few days off to help watch over her.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Gift for My In-Laws

Got these for me in-law folks to match their Chinese antique furniture at home. Carved jade stones or something, with prosperous wishes. Nice?
I bought them at JUSCO Permas Jaya just last week, at the atrium bazaar. This dude from China brought in truckloads of Chinese traditional and antique furnitures and home decorations for sale here. I reckon it's the same bazaar I saw at Carrefour Hypermarket in February. I guess it relocates here and there throughout the cities in Malaysia. I spotted these wall decorations the last time but never had the 'kick' to take cash out of my wallet. So when I saw them last week, I didn't want to miss the chance again. I would like to have them as my own, but they'll kinda look out of place in my home.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Long Weekend Break

I did it again. I tire myself mad during the 4-days Deepa-Raya holidays for the sake of spending more time with my mummy and daddy... oh-so dearest.

I don't know what's wrong with me. I tried pulling this stunt the last time and gotten so exhausted and angry that I made a vow not to do stupid things like this again. But yet again, I refuse to accept the mental defeat. I want to try... again. I want to exhaust myself again. So the opportunity came in the form of a delicious 4-continuous-day break for Deepavali and Hari Raya Puasa.

For the first time, I said no to the much-expected trip back to the in-laws. I think it is not fair that they get the long holidays everytime and my folks only get mealtimes a weekend. I don't really get to have an entire day or two with my parents. So this was the chance. I spent a night my mom's place.

My shoulder ached and I did not sleep well. My throat was sore and I was cold because she sleeps in a blasting air-conditioned room. She didn't sleep much too, because she kept checking on little Daniel. Though my mom was delighted to have us for the night, I could see in her eyes, that perhaps it wasn't really a good idea.

The next day, sleep-deprived, I joined my dad for a day. The usual itinery? Pooltime! As usual I had to literally drag him and his pruned-up fingers out from the pool while he kicked, screamed and rebelled.

I joined my mom for a day-shopping at JUSCO Tebrau City the next day, well, window-shopping for me. I am broke. Mummy dearest seem to have an affinity for expensive dining and lunching of late. We ate lunch at Fish Manhattan, and there was where I discovered how thoughtful Daniel is. Next to our table was a family of four, including a baby less than a year old who was fussing a lot while the mom was trying to distract him. Daniel sat and watched him for quite some time, he looked like he was thinking hard and analyzing the baby's situation. Then he straightened himself up as if he suddenly found a solution for a long and difficult problem. He took his pacifier off, and reached it out to him. The things your child do just amazes us sometimes.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pink Princess

It's fun being a girlie girl. And it's more fun putting together a birthday present for a 7-ish yr old girl, niece of a good friend.
No matter how old you are/feel, admit it, you want them too. I wish I had duplicated one set for myself. Just to keep them, you know, and look at it once in a while. It's literally like eye-candy, in pink!

Monday, October 16, 2006

It is a FACT

One-third of Johor crimes committed by Indians

We all know that mothers knows best. A month ago, my mom, who was a snatch-theft victim for 7 times, said this,

Mom: Girl, you know, ALL the snatch-thieves and robbers are Indians!

Me: Where got! No lah! Don't judge and be prejudiced.

Mom: I'm telling you. All those victims are mostly Chinese, and some Malays. Have you seen any Indian snatch-theft victim? No right?

Me: (ponder) I don't know.

Mom: So ah, better wear SARI when you go out. Then they won't rob you.

Me : !!!!!!!!!

Hmmm... perhaps I should visit the Deepavali bazaar and find myself a nice shining bell-ridden sari.

Hajimemashita! An-Yong!

Man, I look suave.

Typical Japanese dramatic expression when they see chicken/cat roaming around in the streets of Malaysia. I kid you NOT. My mom, the tour guide finds this amusing too. It seems that the streets in Japan is so clean and 'disciplined' that you don't see animals of any kind roaming about. So sad right, we here can see cows crossing the streets if we're lucky that is. We live in harmony with the animals... including the politicians ( we try ).

Notice he's been holding my new phone throughout the photo shoot. It was the only way to get him to stay still for a few seconds to get sharp images. I had to sacrifice my phone! And he dropped it TWICE!! For your viewing pleasure.. *sob sob*

No Chinese Samfoo pictures yet, by the time I changed him, he was sweating already. Hehehe.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My Wasted Day

On Tuesday, I drove in for work, and used up my 10th and last day of free VEP ( Vehicle Entry Permit for foreign-registered vehicles) charge, which would cost SGD20. Imagine driving in everyday, that would cost you a handsome SGD424, including tol.
That's equivalent to a monthly car loan installment.

I used up my VEP-free day to pick mummy dearest from Changi Airport, and boy was she pleasantly surprised, while I was dreadfully sleepy because she arrived at midnight, which was way past my bedtime.

If you're looking for a single place where you'll find the entire spectrum of emotions, the arrival hall in a busy airport is probably it. If you've watched Love Actually, you'll find the opening of the movie very meaningful and true.

Love actually, is all around.

I spotted this young attractive girl who was obviously very excited to be reunited with her lover. There was this alluring charm about her that was hard to miss, but she wasn't super-beautiful or glammed-up.

She was a bit tanned, like a Japanese, and she had this pixie-like face with side-parted short brown healthy hair. Clad in a simple white tee and asymetrical slinky black skirt, she paced to and fro, tiptoe-ing among the crowd to catch a glimpse of her lover, and waving excitedly. And though I also noticed that people around, especially the men, did steal a few glances at her,she was totally oblivious and unconscious of the attention she was getting. She just had this sex appeal.

When her guy came out, they hugged really tightly, right smack in the middle of the crowd, for a whole 5 minutes or more. Not moving, just holding each other tightly. I know this is nothing in America/Canada/England/Europe/other whitepeople land, but in Asia, this is quite fun to see. This shows that we are not that open-minded yet. If she wasn't wearing bra, I tell you, big hoo ha, the men will be wiiiiidddeee-eyed.

I reached home at 2am, and alone because hubbie is in KL until Saturday. I had the best sleep ever. I read somewhere that you sleep better alone. The QUALITY of your sleep is better. I'd say, the quality of your sleep is the best, without a baby!

The next day, I felt so refreshed! What a difference a few more hours of sleep makes! The best thing is, it was totally undisturbed.

And I had a great day because of a good deal I got for a pair of shoes for only RM26!

And 50% off for men's contemporary stripe shirts. God bless the Deepa Raya sales. Notice that women's good day is not necessarily determined by good hairday, good sex or good coffee. It's good sales, and finding something we really like!

I didn't get any for Daniel because from now onwards until he is 5 years old, he won't need new clothes. Back from Japan, my mom and aunt bought him a 9-inch thick stack of clothes and 5 pairs of shoes. My mom got him a really cute pair of kimono pajamas set. Now, he has two kimono set, a Korean set and a pair of bright red Chinese samfoo. I will torture him to wear all those and take pictures. Bua hahahha.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My First Mid-Autumm Festival

Firstly, night photography and toddler do NOT go well together. Even panning doesn't work.
This is my best shot.

He swings his traditional paper lantern, those with a REAL little burning candle inside, of course held very securely by metal guards, and inspected 12 times by mummy. He bangs the lanterns into the gate, the ground and almost everything he walks pass, but miraculously, the lantern was still in one piece. But in the end, he tore it to pieces.

Now this is the modern, battery-operated lantern in the form of a drumming butterfly, and there's music too! DO NOT buy those with continuous high-decibel admission because you will go deaf, but amazingly your kid won't, and will insist on switching it on the whole day. Thank goodness, the drumming butterfly was just fine. And yes, they ALL come in that loud pink colour.

By the way, I found out the bedangdangs movie that was shown in a family foodcourt some time ago.

It's Komodo vs Cobra. Go watch it and have a good laugh, though it's supposed to be frightening.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I am THE SuperWoman

Let's see what mummy did during the weekend...

Cooked lunch and dinners. That includes washing up, WITHOUT a dishwasher. For the benefit of the western readers, Asians are not into dishwashers. We'd die without a washing machine instead.
Perhaps, I should share my recipes next time, those I learnt from my mom, grandmothers and colleagues. Simple dishes, really.

Laundry. Ironed Paul's shirt and pants for work.

Washed the toilet.

Vacuum-ed and mopped the floor.

Visited my dad. (Mom's away holidaying at some mountains in Japan)

Made a couple of new greetings cards, and a bead keychain.

Managed a short good nap while Daniel's nap.

Went cycling with Daniel. And of course lots of playtime with him too. Speaking of which, I joined him in the kiddie plastic pool one evening and one of my neighbour's kid said to his mom in absolute amazement "Ma, ni kan! Baby de mama i chi wan sui eh!" ( Look mom! The baby's mom is playing together in the water!) Well, what can I say while sitting in the pool in my shorts and tee, and having loads of fun with Daniel. Poor kid. To be a fun parent, you gotta be a kid yourself!

I think I am a capable woman. Of course, Paul could help out, but I was just in the mood for house work. And don't ask me where the energy and zest came from, I too have no idea.

And all the little guy did was...

Friday, September 29, 2006


Another weekend... will be gone in a second.

That was two years ago. Now, with a restless curious itchy-handed boy, weekends are .... non-existent.

Last night, I managed to sit my ass on the couch for a one-hour TV programme called Child Of Our Time. It is a documentary on child development and the quest to answer an age-old question, are we born or made?

In this unique British-based project, 20 babies born in the millenium are observed, and during the 20 years, a massive series of experiments will be conducted to study how genes and environments interact to build a person. The selected 20 babies represent the widest possible range of genetic, social, geographical and and ethnic backgrounds.

It is fun to watch even when you're not a parent, because generally, it is a documentary about life. It is THE reality show.

I will talk more about the show next time, or you may check it out here

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


NO TEA FOR ME... especially after dinner. Not even the harmless teh-o-ais. But what else to drink at the roadside stalls? And what is better than teh-o-ais to go with the popular Johor Jaya Nasi Lemak.

I tucked myself to bed last night at 9.30pm ( record time!) but woke up at 1 am, and had chicken sleep till 5.30am. In that period of 'active' sleep intervals, I dreamt of my schoolmates from Convent. I was a bundle of nerves, and having a persistant nose block (left nasal passage tend to block more) did not help either. Yes, it is my fault, I brought this upon myself, that is the thing I hate most. I chose to have tea at night and I have not been using my nasal spray for nose block prevention. There. I hate myself.

So in my dreams, I was in a house with some familiar faces. I think this is largely influenced by reading Badgurlsguide's blog which is hosted by a few of my classmates from Sekolah Rendah&Menengah Kebangsaan Holy Infant Jesus Convent. By the way, Holy Infant Jesus was dropped after we left school... eons ago. Hui-hui was back from a long trip and some of us were gathering at the kitchen for a little chat and snacks. She freshened up and appeared in a girly country night-dress. That's all. Yep, all I remembered was that frock. Red and white checkered fettuccine-strapped frilly frock with a few ribbon bows. Something you would NOT wear in reality if you want a good sleep or in front of your hubbie.

Then I was in a cafe ordering drinks, and I met my cousins. And I saw KerHui standing nearby, as if waiting for someone. She looked so beautiful! She had this perfect hair, a half pony-tail and her soft curls fell carelessly by the side of her face. She wore this simple black dress, and her lips was Gwen Stefani red. And then poof! Another sleepless interval.

This is going to be a sleepy day.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Zen Home

Just some shots of my lovely home.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How to Make A Bead Lanyard

I have been wearing boring monotonous nylon lanyards at work for years now, like these:

So I went to get some basic jewellery-making accessories and tool, and of course with my collection of beads,

I made a vibrant and lively lanyard!

Well, kind of 'rojak', but that's the trend nowadays anyway. There is still a lot of room for improvements, and I will need practice, especially in making near-perfect loops. It is NOT easy, you need quite a a good dexterity with pliers and thinny thin wires, and lots of creativity and patience. But the fun is endless, when you have all kinds of beads and trinket to mix and match to your heart's desire!

Monday, September 18, 2006


It's been two months since Daniel and I made a trip to Seremban. Paul was there last weekend and a month ago too, on his own since he was travelling to KL for work purposes. In fact, we should've postponed the trip because he had to fly off to KL this morning for a training till Wednesday. So much travelling for him.

This trip was a must anyway. My mother-in-law has been unwell recently, menopausal symptoms and rheumatism being the suspected causes. She did not sleep nor eat well, had joint discomforts and very recently, her feet swelled tremendously. The same doctor she went to, kept giving her painkiller jabs. At this point, I felt she should've sought a second opinion. But being the typical old folk who are strong stubborn creatures of habit, she still trusted that doctor.

One morning at the market, her feet swelled so much she couldn't squat, and her arms went numb. My father-in-law and her panicked. After a few quick arrangements, some relatives came to her aid and whisk her off to a private hospital.

She was diagnosed with systemic erythematosus lupus, a condition of chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease. It is believed that her kidneys were starting to be affected, hence the feet swelling. There are more blood tests and possible biopsies to be performed before establishing a treatment regime.

Now she is on REAL medication, and her symptoms have subsided rather significantly, which is a positive and happy sign for everyone.

During the initial period of diagnosis, she thought her kidneys have hopelessly failed. She was very fearful. I can understand how she feels, being 'uneducated' about biology and medicine. People always have more fear about the unknowns.

When we left yesterday, she asked me when we are coming again. I told her we all try our best to visit as often as we can.

Some say that as we get older, we have less time for ourselves. How true. Suddenly, the clock is ticking so fast I can hardly breath. Every minute in my life has to be decided whom it should be spent with. Friends whom parent just passed away would tell me " Spend more time with your dad/mom, you will regret that you didn't do more when they're gone". OK, more time for my mom, dad and in-laws. And yah, it doesn't help much when my parents are separated, and I am bonding with them separately which means more time has to be allocated for each of them.

And then there is the "Spend more quality time with your growing child" which is very crucial for the development of the nation's coming generation, we won't want any sampah masyarakat (trash of society) now do we? OK, more time for Daniel and his little antics.

Oh, then there is "Make it a point to spend some private time with your spouse to keep emotional engagement going for a happy(ier) marriage" OK, more time for Paul and I ( sex not counted OK, we're talking about EMOtional engagements)

Best one I've heard so far " Have some time for yourself" WOW, you mean, there's ME?? OK, more time for myself, and it starts now.. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Done.

Our parents went through this at harder times. Why do I feel like I can't do it as well as they did?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Macbook vs Maldives

Just an update from my previous post.

I choose both!! Well, kinda.

I placed my order for a white 13 inch 1.83GHz Macbook about 3 weeks ago, only to cancel it a week later.

Because MAC OS X LEOPARD will be out early next year! It is worth the wait. I just love the tag line " Advancing the World's Most Advanced Operating System". So orgasmic.

And for the beach holiday, I can easily take a short getaway to Pulau Rawa or the new boutique resort Japamala at Pulau Tioman at a fraction of the cost and time. Equally orgasmic.

Seriously, I never knew Tioman HAD a gorgeous beach like this.

Rattan Craze

If you happen to be in Johor Bahru and looking for rattan basketry and local handicrafts, do drop by JARO, the Johore Area Rehabilitation Organization. No, it's NOT a drug addict rehabilitation centre.

It's a place I fondly remember in my growing years. And when I visited the place recently, I found that nothing has changed and it brought back those old feelings I had when I was young and carefree. The exterior nad interior of the building is still the same. They still make the same rattan doll house and miniature bed sets. I was so immersed with reminiscing and going through all their products that I didn't take any pictures. Next time.

This quaint centre is a sheltered workshop that caters to the rehabilitation requirements for the physically and intellectually disabled, spastics, visual or hearing impaired and the chronically ill. The inmates have produced simple yet beautiful items from rattan baskets, small rattan furnitures like a child's rocking horse, handsewn ragdolls and animal toys to many household items like letter pocket-holders, tissue box covers, handbags and purses made of the local batik.

I bought a rattan laundry basket and a chest to keep my bags.

Rattans can give a room a very homely and warm effect.

I had these many years ago, but you know what, whenever I look at them, I just feel so nostalgic!

I don't know why, is it the 70's child living in JB syndrome? My biggest regret is losing a yellow handsewn monkey. I still think of it now and then. The soft toys made in JARO are just... different. They're so simple, they sit quietly in a corner waiting for a little one to take them home, but you see so much love and life exuding from their button eyes and embroidered smile. It's almost like a home-made toy made with love by your grandma. Nothing fancy but it's filled with warmth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Birth of A Celebrity

One of the big news in the entertainment world recently was the first public photos of Suri Cruise on Vanity Fair, a beautiful baby girl of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, born April this year. Amid their joyous occasion, there were dumbfounded speculations and gossips about her and her entire family.

You won't believe what some stupid blardy people can say about her. Here are a couple of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever read:

1. She doesn't exist. She was photoshop-ed. Tom and Katie faked the whole pregnancy and baby stuff up for a publicity stunt. Wah lao eh. Those commenters have no life whatsoever. Even if if it's true , we should at least give them the credit for the brilliant entertainment stunt, no? And then we'll all learn that Photoshop can give us that translucent oh-so smooth fair skin.

2. She has ASIAN features. She has Asian ancestors. She will have Lucy Liu's eyes in years to come. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Those people obviously have NOT seen an authentic Asian bebeh. Real stupid. Imagine little Suri going "Papa, why people so jia lat wan, nia seng go and talk about me lai dat. Basket case la they all" Now, THAT is someting worth a million dollars.

This is the beautiful Suri Cruise. Dark thick mane, blue-eyed beauty. Gosh, she's just gorgeous!

Now, THIS is an Asian baby... my Daniel of course la, hehehe. Almost the same age as Suri when this picture was taken too.

Hold on, oh my sweet mother of cow, do you see a freaky striking resemblance?! They look so good together hor! Except the hair of course. I promise, Daniel wil have a head full of thick black healthy shiny Pantene hair. How? According to Chinese tradition, I will rub his head with brandy. You see, I was a totally bald and ugly baby girl for a year or so, until my traditionalist grandma did that stunt on me.

It worked.

There were some more comments on baby Suri but I was just too amazed to read on. So hurtful. I hope she can have a peaceful painful-gossip-free life, but it is an impossible mission.

Anyway, not all babies are blessed with thick wild mane like hers at birth. Daniel's hair is not even close to what she has now.
See la...