Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Low Down: Inuka and Omar. Chia and Kiat


collage
Swiped from williamnyk.
During my first day in Singapore, didn't spend much time with my dearest as KH's boss demanded that a stupid task be completed and tickets to a play were already bought beforehand. So let's just call it bad timing. Hoewever, it wasn't a total loss as it gave me a chance to meet my long lost friends Chia and Kiat whom I had not met in 4 years. They had recently gotten married and SK and I wanted to treat them to a meal since we both couldn't make it to their wedding as it clashed with our BKK trip. We met at the Singapore Zoo and we were an hour late (due to my zombie-ness in the last post). By the time we arrived in Mandai, Chia and Kiat were already waiting in the KFC (wonder what's with KFC and zoos). Chia had woken up at 7:00am to prepare egg mayo and sardine sandwiches-- just like old times in Form 6. Brings back nice memories.

It was a wet morning and we nearly abandoned our plan, but the rain let up so we did go in. We only paid for one ticket as a nice gentleman with a corporate entrance card let us tumpang him. Such a nice guy. The Singapore Zoo is really nice and green. Plenty of greenery. Clean and no unpleasent smells. The open zoo concept is fantastic. We didn't see everything as it started to rain again and we were quite tired. But all in all, we got to see some white bengal tigers (Omar!), parrots, otters, wild boars, spider monkeys, orang utans, baboons, kangaroos, emus, pygmy hippos, snakes, polar bears (Inuka!), penguins and elephants. We bid the animals goodbye and headed to City Hall. We stopped at TCC for coffee and cake. Excellent food and service, but quite expensive. Kiat ended up paying the bill, so SK and I still owe them a meal. Pengz.

Some random observations about Singaporeans:
  1. PDA among young couples is prevalent. Lotsa drama-drama. Clinging. Hugging.
  2. Teenage girls like to congragate on the floor. Reach any mall, and you'll see them having a pinic on the floor, minus the tikar mengkuang. So clean ar? See them enter the MRT, and they'll sit on the floor. I hope somebody stepped in dog poo that day.

SK and I met KH at 6:00pm and we were introduced to POD, James and Benji. They had hoped that we'd go for POD and Daniel's birthday BBQ but I declined. Wanted to spend more quality time with KH and I'm sure POD understood. For dinner, we headed to Ding Tai Fung. Always wanted to try that place, but I was quite disappointed. Should have went to Crystal Jade instead. However, all was not lost as the beef soup I ordered was excellent. Full of flavour and the slices of beef were marbled with fat, making each bite melt in your mouth. After dinner, we walked around City Link Mall a bit before calling it a day. Couldn't wait to get back home. :P. More in the sequel...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Low Down: The Bitch and the Prawn

Hi everyone. I've been real busy trying to chase my deadline lately and frankly, it ain't looking good. Sooner or later, the gauntlet is going to be thrown and someone's neck is going to be on the chopping block. A responsibility I can't shirk. My team is already working very hard and I only have myself to blame. To make things worse, an ad hoc thing has popped up and I have been given the green light to forget about my current project at the moment. Well, let's just say that it isn't a pretty distraction. I'm nearly at my wit's end. Just waiting for the final straw. Heh.

Negativity aside, I'm sure there are quite a few of you (DanielH!) who're dying to learn about the sordid details of my 'conjugal visit' to Not-So-Sunny Singapore. I'm not one to kiss and tell, so I'll just say that I had I loads of fun down south. Heh. Some random observations about JB:
  1. Motorcycle shops open till late.
  2. Every moneychanger I saw had a giant dollar sign in neon lights.


I reached Singapore at about 1:30am (thanks to the Friday jam + accident + rain) on Saturday and KH was already there waiting (My baby is so sweet :). Wanted to plant a kiss there and then, but anyway...). By the time we sent SK to my bro's place and reached KH's place in Tiong Bahru it was already 2+ in the morning. o.O.

There were two things about KH's place that Frankie told me to watch out for:
  1. The Stupid Dog
  2. The Prawn


The Stupid Dog is KH's landlord's bitch. Yes, bitch. She barks everytime I use the bathroom, because that's where she's leashed. And when she barks. the whole house is alerted. She has to be placated by brandishing a broom and feeding her with doggie bisuits. I couldn't really get her to familiarize with my scent. That stupid dog. On the other hand, The Prawn is the landlord's son. As to why he is given this moniker-- when we eat prawns, we just eat body and throw away the head. The guy loves to laze around the house half naked. Tanned. Lean. But Frankie doesn't find his face cute. Hence the name. However, I wolf the head down anyway, with all it's cholesterol-ly goodness. Heh.

I finally got to see how KH lives. Quite a spacious room. A tad on the unruly side, but I'm like that too. And the kid is a hoarder. Singapore could declare an emergency and our friend can live off the rations for 3 weeks at least. -_-". By the time we showered and got ready for bed, we were already exhausted. As with any strange bed, I couldn't really sleep and KH wasn't used to someone else on the bed too. The next morning, we were practically zombies. We didn't spend much time together as KH had to work and I had to meet friends. More in the sequel...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

IOU


Photo-0088
Swiped from williamnyk.
An interesting bi-lingual notice I saw stuck on the side of a TNB wiring hub:

WSS Ah Weng: Where's my 11 days petrol money and salary for sending your indon up / down USJ, Cheras and Sungai Besi site

I'm from a national school, so my Chinese is definitely sendirian berhad. But I guess that the part in chinese is not quite talking about the same thing. Seems different. Can anyone verify this?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fuego


Photo-0104
Swiped from williamnyk.
We pre-empt today's episode of "Healthy Cookin' with Richard Simmons" with a small weekend food segment. Skanky details of my SG trip delayed until further notice. :P. Guest chefs are SK and my sister.

Tortilla Chip Dip
SK brought back a EUR2.00 packet of Fuego Tortilla Chips, so my sister whipped up a dip that ironically costs more than the chips. Here's the recipe:
  • Mayonaisse
  • Cream cheese
  • Parsley
  • Boiled eggs
  • Lemon juice
  • Bits of crispy bacon

Directions:
Baling all together. Voila!


To demonstrate a slice of her life in Germany, SK prepared us her typical breakfast. Here's the recipe:
  • Wheat bread
  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Coral lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Paprika-Pepperoni Salami

Directions:
Stack 'em all together. Voila!
Trivia:
She told me that she used to boil / fry the cold cuts before eating them. Kinda like cooking sashimi? Hehe.

Had junk food the whole day. Satay. Durian. Leftover soup. Instant noodles. Prunes. Bak Zhang. Dragon Fruit. Char Kuey Teow. Curry Puff. Welcome to Calorie Chaos.

Photo-0103

Friday, July 20, 2007

Advent


Untitled#5
Swiped from espion.
After two long months since KH departed, we finally get to meet again. I will be going down to Singapore to "improve bilateral ties". Heh. We parted in very clouded circumstances. Thunderclouds over our heads. The last time we saw each other, SK needed to whisk me to KH's side by the cover of night. The last time we touched, embraced. Looked into each other's eyes. Kissed. Since then, we had resorted to the distant crackle of voices through copper wires, strings of 1s and 0s floating through telco waves. Sweet SMS. Skanky MMS. Simple chats via IM. E-mail conversations. A rare hand-written card. A treasured letter. Some lost thoughts in the mail. Good things come to those who wait.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Animal Farm

KK did the impossible the other day-- he actually managed to set up a gathering with a few of my ex-coursemates from UM whom I have not seen in ages. I had thought them extinct. I got off work and had KK pick me up from Sri Petaling where we picked up Egg and Fan before heading off to The Curve to meet the rest of the rare species.

Specimen I: L3
She was such a sight for sore eyes. I have not met her since I graduated in 2003. We were never that close, but she was part of the gang. Had been hiding out in Banting ever since. My expeditions never go that far. Nothing much had changed. Still the lion-maned woman I knew from years back.

Specimen II: Fan
The last sighting was 2 years ago at a mamak hang out in Seri Sentosa. I knew her usual watering holes, but both of us just didn't bother. She always played the busy card. Well, I guess it's true by the looks of things-- panda eyes. Always the nocturnal creature.

Specimen III: Lok
A depleted natural habitat must have driven her to a frail, gaunt look. A far cry from when she thriving in the forests of UM's Computer Science faculty. Seems that her chances to mate have also been met with some difficulty.

Specimen IV: KK
The only other male in the group, I had not seen KK for the months since I tagged him. Mostly seen marking his territory in Sri Petaling.

Specimen V: Egg
Of the bunch, she is the more domesticated kind. I visit her exhibit on and off during lunch. So, no surprises here. Same old gal, but with one difference. She has her own enclosure now.

Specimen VI & VII: Yin & Hew
I just lump them together coz this cross-species couple is really quite a pain to encounter. Can never get them to confirm. And one would not turn up without the other. It's rather troublesome and I really don't bother. But they did turn up. Oh goody!

Nak datang tu, datang je,
Kalau tak datang pun, tak kisah le.


The "Animal Farm" gathering was held at Nan Xiang Mantou Dian where the waitresses speak with a fake Beijing accent (our second choice since Itallianie's was full). Food is quite expensive, but I can say that their Xiao Long Bao is much better than Dragon-i's. Chock-full of porky goodness. In addition to that, I ordered Noodles in Chicken and English Gourd Soup. Quite good. Drank some Pu Erh tea. My first time, and I must say that it's not quite to my liking. We later proceeded to La Gourmet House: House of Meals & Memories for some coffee since Laundry was way crowded and noisy. The Macadamia Nut Latte there is not too shabby. The waiters wear cowboy hats and it kinda reminds me of Black Canyon Coffee. Or Brokeback Mountain. I was quite surprised at the amount of people at The Curve. So happening on Friday nights. Even met some of my colleagues there and even caught sight of Adrienz. I guess it's the place to be. Until my next expedition... signing off.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Meme 8


through
Swiped from _Neverletmego_.
I have been tagged again. QueerR this time. I will not bother with the rules as I always believed in buang yang keruh, ambil yang jernih.

So, here are some quick facts about myself:

F1
KH and I are in love, but I must admit that we still have a lot to learn about each other. And I definitely have a lot more to learn about love.

F2
I talk too much for my own good. I hate lulls in conversations. I have lost count of the times my mouth has gotten me into trouble. I endeavour to follow Thumper's mum's advice: "When you got nothing good to say, don't say anything at all".

F3
I'm a giant mess. My mind is most cluttered thing in the world. My desktop looks like a typhoon hit it. My room is in disarray. Organize me.

F4
I am on the brink of being labeled a procrastinator. Perhaps, this has something to do with F3. I'm not making the best of my time. I don't get things done as they should. I always have to force myself to finish a checklist. I always have to force myself to do a checklist. Heh.

F5
I can't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday and I even forget what my Significant Other tells me at times, but I can remember the most obscure mania and general knowledge.

F6
I like to be included in conversations. Something to do with F2 and F5 perhaps. Nobody likes a loud-mouthed know-it-all. Smack me if I risk becoming one.

F7
Regret weighs heavily on me. This makes a fickle person. A bad decision-maker. Push me! Show me the way! Point me in the right direction. Give me some assertiveness.

F8
It took me 26 years to become who I really am. And the journey hasn't ended. Thursdays child has far to go...

Epilogue
I'm quite the impatient person. And I get ticked off off pretty easy these days. Gotta rediscover my centre. My inner peace. If only writing it down helps.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Decade Apart


...
Swiped from Tiquetonne2067.
Today is the 10th anniversary of my father's passing. I miss him so, but I loathe to admit that the years has stolen some of my memories of him. His voice doesn't ring as clearly in my mind as before. His face is partly shrouded. Is his shade slipping away?

So many years.... Does he approve of who I have become today?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Last Duck in Macau


Photo-0095
Swiped from williamnyk.
Wanted to try out this duck place at Sri Petaling with my di the duck enthusiast, but never got around to it. Before eyebrows are raised, the duck mentioned here is not the the Metro Tokyo Club Raphael sort, but rather the more boring roast duck rice. Walked into Chan Kong Kei (Macau) Roast Duck on a rainy Sunday afternoon and ordered some of their signature dishes, namely the Traditional Roast Duck over Noodles, Black Pepper Duck over Rice, Dumplings and Wanton in Soup. To wash it all down, I ordered a glass of boiled Haw (Haw Flakes that Haw). I must say that the traditional roast duck is quite good. Very fragrant and the meat is moist. Can't really say the same for the black pepper variant, but still a refreshing change from the norm. The black pepper duck is drier and crispier with loads of black pepper corns. On the first bite, you may find that the duck tastes bland, but trust me, the black pepper effect runs on a time-release mechanism.

The dumplings (sui kow) are also very good. The portion isn't quite big (let's just say I can down four ore more in one bite, but I have a big mouth and can dislocate my jaw on demand), but it tastes really good. The meat and prawn is fresh and overall, it has a "crunchy" feeling. The soup they use is also a bit different, darker unlike what I'm used to. Now let me rave about the chilli sauce. Made with fresh chillies. No scrimping on the
ingredients here. Not watered down. Thumbs up! However (I also have something to bitch about), the service is really quite slow. They practically need 2 persons to make one plate of wanton noodles. It's so funny watching them fumble though the shop isn't exactly packed. Time will tell whether their operations will improve, but the taste of the food is already good enough. Finally, the price. Quite pricey, but they give you a little bit extra. Duck rice is RM6 and mixed-variants will cost you RM8. Other than duck, they have steamed chicken, salted chicken, BBQ pork ribs and BBQ pork.

So when thinking of ducks, think of Macau.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pass the Test

KH, my significant other gave me this parable the other day:

"You've done well in your STPM, and so you secured a place in university. It's now your first year and you're slacking off. Not working hard for your final exams. You may still have time to catch up, but to succeed, you must start to work hard..."

No need to scratch your heads. I'm not going back to school. It has to do with a personal battle of my own.

The exam is my Mother.

The syallabus is the Truth.

I find it real ironic that my situation is likened to that of a boyfriend being pressured into introducing the girlfriend to the parents. He loves her, but parents object to their union. Typical Sunday afternoon Hindi movie fare. But there is a difference. KH has met my mother. And the truth not only spells acceptance for KH, but for myself as well.

I am still walking the path of daggers. I had somewhat forgotten. Thanks for reminding me, dear.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Little Prayer


Ocean Streams
Swiped from copeg.

A little prayer for Mel and her family in this time of uncertainty. Hope her mum gets well soon and things settle down.

SK's finally coming home from her long stay in Germany. Wishing her a safe journey.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Harajuku Tea


collage7
Swiped from williamnyk.
I've been working on a Saturday again. And boy, it ain't pretty. The heatwave's here again (together with the durians) and as usual, the office is without air-conditioning. After enduring a stifling, gummy 6 hours in the office, I'm now down with a low grade headache. Ugh. Out of the blue, DanielH called me for a meet up and I agreed. Lucky for me to catch him as it was his first off day in a month. He picked me up from Taman Bahagia LRT and we proceeded to The Teapot Place at SS2 after a fruitless discussion on a venue. I'm a Libran, so sue me. :P. A quaint place. No points for guessing that they serve specialty teas there. The interior is very English and woody, with most of the wall space taken up by shelves and shelves of teapots. Shaped like houses, dinner tables, sewing machines, castles, clocks, modern teapots, antique teapots, oriental teapots, mini teapots, you name it, they have it. They even have a teapot mosaic on the floor outside.

We walked in at around 5:30pm and there was already healthy crowd inside. The first thing that caught DanielH's eye was a bunch of "Harajuku Girls" having a tea party at the far end of shop with their more "normal" friends. Kinda like a scene from Alice in Wonderland, only without the Mad Hatter. The other characters were there though. Haha. Most of them wore hats and pinafore-like dresses. Bows, frills and lace. Goodness. One of them reminded me of Anne from Green Gables. The same trainwreck material. I couldn't help but stare. DanielH suggested that I surreptitiously take photos of the gang on my to the loo, but I think I can't carry off a look with a Vivienne Westwood spy camera tote.

Disturbing as it looked, they did stir up some feelings in me to don a bonnet and call myself "Little Bo Peep". Juuuusst a bit. Anyway, to the food. I ordered an interesting dish of Fillet of Sole. Not a shoe sole, but sole fish. It's basically a baked fish fillet spinach roll, served with salad and potato salad in a rich cream sauce. The fish was nice, flaky and the potato salad was quite good really, but overall, the dish was a little
too creamy for me. DanielH ordered a slice of blueberry pie and a pot of Whittard Apple Crumble Tea. The tea was quite interesting with scents of apple (duh!) and an aftertaste of banana. They actually bring a whole bunch of samples to the table so that you can choose. And sniff. And choose some more. And sniff some more. The next time I go there, I'll try the Italian Almond. Fair price. Decent ambience. Interesting menu. Give it a try. Who knows, you might catch a sighting of the rare "Tea Party Harajuku Girls".

"Would you like some more tea for you, Polly Prissy Pants?"
-- Eric Cartman, South Park Episode 113

Friday, July 06, 2007

So Young, So Stupid

Out of the blue, I received this sms from +60162066131:

SO YOUNG is so good. Makan kesihatan untuk lelaki. Isteri pasti gembira. Tiada side effect. Ajen dikehendaki. soyoung2u.com call 03-4294 6436 cik Rozi / Angel

What the f*ck?! Anyway, feel free to call the numbers. Might help in the bedroom and you might earn some extra income. If your partner experiences multiple orgasms from using it, don't forget to drop a testimonial or a thank you card. If you go blind or get a permanent woody that won't go down, you have yourself to blame. Caveat Emptor.

I should stop writing my phone number at the back of toilet doors.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Passing Fixation


3
Swiped from mr.nz.
Have you ever had a fixation on something or someone that you saw in passing? The lack of information would make your mind work overtime to conjure up a perfect picture and you would be desperately pining for it. Wondering about the possibilities. No rest until you pursue it.

Case I:
Walking pass a clothing store, you see a shirt in the display window that catches your eye. From afar, it looks nice, cool. But due to some time constraints, you would have to walk away without scrutinizing it. Back home, that particular item of clothing would play in your mind, like an itch deep in your nether regions that wouldn't go away. You would obssess about it, telling yourself that you should have bought it and it would've looked nice in it. So, when you finally break and surrender to temptation, you would rush back to the store with a serious intent of buying the shirt, hoping that it's still available. Upon examining the garment and perhaps tryng it on, you would find that it's nothing to shout about. Not worth it. You would walk out empty-handed. You would say to yourself, "What was I thinking?".

Case II:
We see someone for the first time. The first impression is very good and we are immediately attracted though there was no exchange of words. No "getting to know you". Observing from afar, we find that each gesture and facial expression is priceless, and our mind fills in the blanks. Putting in a pleasant voice. Dreaming up the perfect personality. A caring soul. We are smitten. And yet, when we face reality, we find that the image we projected in our mind was really much better than the real thing. Like saying that masturbation is better than the sex. Heh.

In conclusion, I just wanna say that obsessing over something that is fleeting is really not worth risking the concrete things that we have in our lives. Take a better look. Get the facts. Weigh the pros and cons. Then and only then make the move. Take the risk. Don't regret only after the realisation dawns on you that you were actually chasing after a shadow, a pipe dream.

In the tradition of Karam Singh Walia (of TV3 fame):

"Yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong keciciran..."

Or is this more accurate?

"Seperti anjing dengan bayang-bayangnya..."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

People Die, Buildings Collapse

Had a scare today. One of my more useful colleague tendered in his resignation today. Though he was scheduled to leave for another project anyway, his departure from the company would be a loss to the companys technical expertise pool. The news caused a panic. My technical manager initiated damage control and got me in to gauge the impact. Not to say the person is so indispensible, but the timing is really off. Fires are burning everywhere, things are at its most critical. It would be a pain to train up a replacement on such short notice.

A few discussions later, the fellow decides to stay. He cited money problems as the main reason to leave. Does this mean he was given a counteroffer? I was told no. It is ironic in my company that people who want to travel, means more money are not given the chance, but those who do, hate it. And people leave because of it. It is just plain stupid. Will HR ever learn? Will they listen? Such a mismatch. Such mismanagement. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

CafePress


OSB
Swiped from williamnyk.
When I first met DanielH, I had noticed the cool tattoo at the back of his neck. He told me that it was the Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti, or in other words, The Cross St. Benedict. He said it was suppose to protect him from evil. After doing some reasearch on the internet, I found it to be the image at the back of the Jubilee Medal ex Montecasino which was forged 1400 years after the birth of St. Benedict. The medallion is used to ward off evil as the abbreviations are phrases normally used in exorcism rites.

Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas!

Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!

From my research, I also came across the CafePress.com website and found them selling button badges with image of the bronze medallion. On a whim, I bought two of 'em and after 14 days or so, my package arrived from the US. It took faster than my letter to my Significant Other in Singapore, as my letter is still MIA. Anyway, I now pin it on my knapsack. Tada!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Doubting Thomas

A late bloomer. Something that I have tagged myself with, especially in realm of relationships and love. I wouldn't blame it on my parents, but sometimes I do wonder whether their displeasure of teenage "love" had anything to do with it.

"You can start dating after you finish your studies."

Does this sound familiar? Most parents use the exact same line. Most children don't give a shit. Unfortunately, I was born with the obedience gene, where one is biologically unable to resist parental commands. Or perhaps I was just a loser. Heh. Anyway, I now know and admit that my late venture into love is deeply rooted in my psyche and I guess it has now only started to unravel. But that's for another time to kupas.

As usual, my introduction has now passed the threshold from "sligtly long-winded" to "draggy", so I'll just get to the point. I hooked up with my Significant Other, KH at the end January 2007 and we just recently celebrated our 5th month anniversary. As expected, It kinda slipped my mind and I only realized when I received an sms on my way to work. It's funny that when relationships are starting out, every single day can be considered a milsestone but when things go along, we might not care as much anymore. Imagine being with someone for twenty years, to actually celebrate your 240th
anniversary is kinda overdoing it and it would seems like marking the days that it would end rather than celebrating a new day with each other.

Before my Significant Other or any of you get me wrong, I'm not being cynical, OK, just making a "realistic" observation. I definitely enjoy these small gestures from KH. It's very important that he remebers these things as I am inherently forgetful and quite the unromantic boyfriend. But I try. I digress again. Since this is my first relationship, I cling to it like my life depended on it. I am insecure with myself. I think too much. My mind cooks up 101 scenarios. I play these what if's over and over again in my mind. I jump to conclusions. I guess it's the distance. I guess I'm playing mind games with myself. Poking holes in my own boat.

I really feel that my doubts and fears have somehow hurt my relationship, putting a strain where none exist. However, I'm glad that I actually talked it out with KH and I have come to a realization that when in doubt, one should really ask. If the answer you receive does not convince you, then it is an issue of trust which I guess can strangle any relationship. I shall now endeavour to live Mel's principle:

"Don't think so much. Just enjoy it."

So simple, yet I was unable to do it. From now on, I shall kick back and relax. Putting things on auto-pilot does not mean that we can't look at the radar once in a while and release some anti-missile flares when trouble appears over the horizon. I think everything is gonna be OK. I think everything is better now. I know it.