Friday, August 28, 2015

Water Woes Again

Water Meter

Took Monday off to replace Nuzul Quran on Saturday. Perfect opportunity for me to check out the water woes at home. Recently, the water bill had been erratic with the last outstanding balance at MYR100+. How can two persons with no cleaning obsession use that much water a month!? The plumber wasn't coming in so early. When I called him some time before 9:00 AM, he answered the phone groggily. Think he was still sleeping. Went to breakfast with mum at Taman Damai Utama. When he came, we did some testing and eliminated some possibilities. In the end, he put his suspicion on the bathrooms. Odds were high at the master bedroom. The pipes were empty after the valve was closed indicating some abnormal beaviour. Think we heard a constant trickling sound behind one wall. The plumber left some time before noon and asked me to monitor the meter closely after letting the water tank fill up. Don't think he will be returning anytime soon to solve my problem. Lets see what the bill amount is like in the coming months...

Still on the theme of water, I put on my swim trunks and went to the pool. Had the pool all to myself since it was a fasting month Monday. Chatted for a while with a 70 year old granny who told me that she was an avid swimmer during her VI days. Told me stories about her children and her days abroad. She had spent twelve years in the US but her husband decided to come back to Malaysia. When I asked her where she preferred to live, her answer said it all, "It doesn't matter. I have to be where my husband is.". She sounded resigned and a little bitter. Later in the evening, SK paid us a visit. She had just returned from a business trip in Saint-Malo, France. She got me a Saint Benedict Medal from one of the churches there. Love the design of the medal. First laid my eyes on it when I saw the tattoo on DanielH's nape.

St. Benedict Medal & Cross

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Selamat San Andreas

Hari Raya 2015

Bought tickets to watch "San Andreas" with mum on Sunday. It was a B1F1 ticket thanks to HSBC credit cards (the only benefit that is useful for me). But whatever I saved on the movie ticket I used to pay for parking. Wanted to park at the shopping mall, but it was darn crowded. Parked at One World Hotel instead. Lunch was at Ichiro Sushi Bar. So difficult to order. Not many good lunch sets and the ala carte stuff were mostly premium. nigiri sushi averaged at RM10 per piece. San Andreas was pretty entertaining from start till end. But the survival of the Gaines family throughout the whole ordeal was very far-fetched. And I couldn't really accept Paul Giamatti as the CalTech earthquake expert. Due to his distinct voice, I can't shake his villainous persona Hertz from "Shoot 'em Up".

Sushi Lunch

Didn't actually buy anything our whole time in One Utama although the Raya sales were in full swing. The decoration at the Centre Court seemed pretty low key. The budget didn'e seem too big. The typical rumah kampung scene that every shopping mall seemed to be doing. Don't think it's lack of creativity on the part of the design team but the fear of severe backlash if something 'wrong' is put up. So sad. So boring. Dinner was nasi kerabu from the Ramadan bazaar and vegetarian mixed rice from OUG. Post-dinner munchies was chocolate pretzels from Perth. A simple Sunday.

Nasi Kerabu

Chocolate Pretzels

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dharma as Water

Great Awakened One

Over lunch one day, KH told me about his colleague's involvement in Tzu Chi's "Dharma as Water" performance. She wanted him to see her perform so she offered him free tickets. He took four so that both of us could bring our mothers. Knew little of it was until the day of the performance, but I did know there would be a lot of people watching. Even the rehearsals caused jams at the vicinity of Putra Indoor Stadium. Trust Tzu Chi to be able to mobilise a force of 2016 performers and countless support staff to present something spiritually beautiful to an audience of 16,000! The culmination of 50 years of experience. Mum and I arrived at the venue a little after noon. It wasn't so chaotic yet, but the crowd was building up. Plenty of volunteers smartly-dressed Tzu Chi style (white shoes, polo T buttoned to the top and tucked into dark pants) directed traffic, ushered guests, manned product counters, took photographs and videos and helped out at food stations. And God knows how many back stage. Mum and I milled around waiting for them to allow us to enter the stadium. Bought some colourful vegetarian maki and kuih for lunch.

Dharma as Water IV

Vegetarian Maki



We were only let in at 1:00PM and the event only started after 2:00 PM. In the centre of the stadium was a stepped dais with long platforms radiating from it like fingers. Each finger was layered with Astroturf and lined with lighted mini pedestals. On the opposite side of the stadium were hundreds of volunteers dressed in white who acted as the choir. There was also a group of drummers. The master of ceremonies explained that it was a sutra adaptation performance of the Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Text written by Master Wu-Da in the Tang Dynasty. The main message is repentance to avoid karmic retribution. When the floor performers streamed out, it was quite impressive. Different groups perform different functions. The Dharma Espressionists use sign language while the Dharma Accompaniments use body movement and voice to express the teachings of the sutra. An amazing example of massive coordination with the help of lights and music. During the whole performance, the audience would be invited to make vows to shun evil karma. In addition to live performances, they also used video clips. Four large LCD panels would emerge from the peak of the dais at certain points of the performance. I was quite delighted by clips of Master Cheng Yen (founder of Tzu Chi) giving Dharma talks in super formal Taiwanese Hokkien dialect. The performance went on for more than two hours which I felt was a bit too long. KH even exclaimed that it was like an 'extra long mass'. LOL.

Dharma as Water III

Dharma as Water I

In the evening, I dug out my Private Structure swim trunks and went for a swim. Went to park my car only to find a MyVi occupying my space. It was the exact same car from last Wednesday night. Feeling pissed, I decided to let the security guards investigate. After my swim, I went back to inquire. Turns out that it's Lifebook's car! LOL. He left it there for week while he was out of town. Opps. The swim and the light lunch really worked up my appetite. Mum and I ordered some dishes nearby. Picked clean a steamed tilapia of good size and a plate of vegetables. Later in the evening, I asked Wai out for coffee at Genebin & Zo. Weird name right? A Christian establishment with plenty of references to Jesus. Even most of the customers seem to be from Full Gospel Assembly opposite the road. Whole lot of young'ns who seem to buat macam rumah sendiri. A latte is just MYR8 and a dash of flavour only costs MYR1 extra. I ordered the Hawaiian Red Velvet for KH's benefit, but I have no idea what was Hawaiian about it. I'll try their sparkling espresso next time, sounds weird enough. Wai was kinda guilty for rejecting my several recent invitations. Thankfully our stars finally aligned. He was fine, but things were still complicated in his 'love life'.

Neighbourhood Dinner

Latte

Wash Your Hands

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Coffee with Sharky

Chicken Cheese Roll

Right after Sunday mass, I sent mum to Seri Petaling to attend a free make-up course by "Beauty & Conscience". As with all 'Aunty' events, details are usually sketchy requiring some digging. All I had was an address. I found the name of the place via Google and roughly guessed the location from Google Maps. When we arrived at the venue, it was on the second floor of an old shop lot near Restoran Good Tea (shared a wantan mee with mum). The place didn't even have a signboard, just a poorly affixed banner. Since mum would only be a couple of hours, I went in search of a coffee shop to kill some time. Also tried my luck with Sharky and KH, hopefully they would be available. Coffea Coffee was the first place I stumbled upon. Got a flat white and chicken cheese roll (quite sedap) and waited for the guys. KH was the first to arrive. Wasn't sure if Sharky would come as he didn't confirm. At about 3:00 PM, he arrived. By that time, it was already a full house (popular enough a place that KH and I bumped into our colleague there). Upon sitting down, he exclaimed, "I hate this place". LOL. Drama betul. As usual, Sharky had plenty of stories to tell.

Asam Laksa

Mum's course ended earlier than expected so I passed the car keys to her and asked KH to send me home later. In the end, he didn't need to send me home cause mum was nearby at her friend's house. He dropped me off and I lingered there for a while. Mum's friend recounted her tale of her husband's triple bypass in Singapore and her numerous travel plans. Dinner was settled by our neighbour. She brought over asam laksa enough for two. Delicious, but it would have been even yummier with bunga kantan and shrimp paste. Finished the last of the ice cream in the freezer with a topping of sliced bananas and cherries. Yum!

Dessert

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sweat It Out

White Curry Noodles

Can't believe that I had not been to the OUG wet market for more than a month. My revisit rewarded me with jambu seller with big arms. In the coming weeks, I shall endeavour to get a spycam shot of him to share here. Wish me luck! Brought mum to Hawker Street KL for an asam laksa breakfast. She loved it. On the other hand, I gave the white curry noodles a try. Although it wasn't a recommended item on the menu, I found it quite delicious. On our way home, we passed by Faber Towers. Surprised to see that the building was given a makeover. There's an upmarket supermarket there now called De Market. A nice place to buy fruits, vegetables and imported groceries. The selection is impressive but not quite the level of B.I.G. By the time we got home, it was already noon. I had a booty call at KH's place while his parents were out to a wedding lunch. Hehe.

Fresh Produce

Got to his place before 1:00 PM and we freshened up together. The first thing I asked for was the dildo that he had bought from his last Europe trip. LOL. Lubed it up and introduced it into KH. The training begins! Hahaha. But anyway, he had me on my back soon enough and we had sweaty sex. He was so sweaty that big rivulets of his sweat dripped into my mouth as I moaned. That was unexpected to say the least. In the end, I released my reserves onto my belly while he was still inside me. KH exclaimed that it seemed like two loads. LOL. The first thing we thought about after sex was food! Both of us had not eaten. Jumped into the shower again and drove out to Le Pont (before the discount ends!). I had tried all their mains, so I ordered the roast beef and broccoli sandwich. Supposedly a chef's recommendation, but I didn't find anything impressive about it.

Roast Beef and Broccoli Sandwich

Potato Wedges

KH's sent me back to my car. I didn't drive home immediately, but joined my mum at a cooking demo in my neighbourhood. Basically those marketing events for kitchen products. I was just there for the free food. In the evening, mum and I watched "Jurassic World" at GSC, IOI City Mall on IMAX. Chris Pratt appears as a Velociraptor whisperer and Bryce Howard shows us how to outrun dinosaurs in heels. Two solid hours of dinosaurs later, we were hungry for food! Ate at Franco (don't know why they were ranamed from Miam Miam). Made it just in time for the last order. Not a fan of Japanese curry, but Franco's Riz au Curry is good enough for me to recommend. Rice + beef curry + cheese + chicken sausage + egg in a piping hot cocotte is just the perfect comfort food.

Ice Skating Rink

Riz au Curry

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Elf Will Cross The Sea

Mushi Namakake

Ever since Savante moved to Miri, Legolas joined the Overseas Wives Club. I recently exited that club with KH's return from Singapore and we have not looked back since. However, I recently received word that Legolas would be ending his LDR and joining his hubby in East Malaysia! Happy and sad news indeed. Happy that he would be reunited with his love, sad that the BFF lose another key member. Anyway, KH and I arranged a dinner with him on Thursday night at Ozeki Tokyo Cuisine, Menara TA One. Kinda shocked that BeautifulMale said that he would be joining! Normally have to book him months in advance le. Unfortunately, Legolas called in sick on Thursday morning. We went ahead with the dinner anyway. A farewell dinner became a catch up dinner. KH didn't really like the menu. It was hard to order from which reminded me of Sushi Tei's menu. And a big chunk of the house specialties was not available but not marked in the menu. That's kinda annoying in my book. Ryan ordered the hamburger set (perfect for bulking up) while KH and I shared some stuff-- the spicy premium roll is a scallop maki with cili padi, kushiyaki moriawase (assorted grilled skewers), mushi namakake steamed oysters and Taikama Acqua Pazza which is baked red snapper in a Japanese-Mediterranean style. Updated BeautifulMale on all we knew of the BFF and he updated us on his recent activities. I was also thrilled to learn that we both had bad experiences with a mutual friend. At first I thought that I wasn't diplomatic enough (very few people piss me off like he does), now I know that the fella is a bit kerek. Phew.

Spicy Premium Roll

Kushiyaki Moriawase

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

KH Over For Tea

Latte

Numerous visits to Le Pont Boulangerie later, I finally brought my mum there for lunch. Noticed that they had lunch sets now so I gave that a try. Came with soup, main and cake du jour. I choose the mini burger sliders over the risotto. Not much a fan of Italian rice. The cake of the day was flour-less chocolate cake which were too full to eat. We ventured up to the Oriental Art & Cultural Center to take a look at a photography exhibition by Kim Teoh. The OACC is an initiative by the Elken Group dedicated to the arts.

Fish

In the afternoon, KH gave me a visit. He brought over the Harrod's handbag for mum that he had bought during his UK trip. She loved the cute design of doggy prints. Mum prepared afternoon tea which consisted of grape juice from her trip to Voyager Estate, Western Australia, steamed custard buns and curry puffs. Definitely not your usual definition of afternoon tea. LOL. When mum's not in the living room, KH would still a kiss and cop a feel. His usual mischievous behaviour.

Fusion Tea Time

In the evening, we celebrated QueerRanter-D's birthday at MaisonSK. So ngam could use the tapau-ed slice of chocolate cake from Le Pont as his birthday cake. LOL. And Lifebook used his jobless hours learning how to rough weave a scarf. The finished product was quite huge and could be used as a samping! We had fun turning it into a turban, sash and tunic.

Harrod's Tote