Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ode to my Father.......

I know it’s a bit late to say Happy Father’s Day but before this month is over, I would like to share with the world what the only man I ever said “I need” means to me. He is my father.


According to my mother, my father and I share the same characters. We are fiery, sensitive, highly particular about our possessions, artistic, penny-pinchers, young at heart and stubborn.

Needless to say, in my tweens, late teens and early 20s, our relationship had been the rockiest with me rebelling against his ideal mould of what his daughter should be. The old man had high, high hopes for me. I was the only one of his child whom he nurtured since I was in the womb. He gave my mother holistic medicine/nutrition for bright child development and later direct to me. I was able to read by age 5 before I even joined kindergarten. Reading came naturally to me. In fact, my first English word was ‘story’ and I never even heard of the word at that time. I thought I invented it. Take note that the year I was born, there still was no electricity in our village. Therefore, I was a major achievement for a village child.

My father was never too happy over the fact that I was into hard rock and heavy metal music at such young age. To him, it was all noise from drug-infested gender-confused creatures. Like I cared what he thought….hah!

I wanted so much to wear jeans and T-shirt yet he bought me only skirts and dresses. I wanted a radio with a cassette player when I got good marks in class yet he bought me a gold necklace so I’d be on par with other people’s daughters. I wanted a series of Enid Blyton books when he bought me a history book on the lives of holy Prophets. He thought brown and beige are the ultimate colours that I ended up the dullest dressed student at boarding school. Thanks to my auntie, I had a pair of hand-me-down pink shoes which made me feel like Cinderella (I might not have the nicest clothes but nobody could beat my shoes!).

The friction between me and my old man peaked in my uni years when I totally lost it trying to follow his mould. Yes, it was a bad episode but now I think he finally understands that I’m as free-spirited as he is yet matured and sensible enough to set my own values which surprisingly still on the conservative ground.

Over the years when I look back, I ‘ve come to realize that even with my rebelliousness, he has always been there for me whenever I fall.

He fixes my little mishaps.

Burnt like toast Russicher Zupfkuchen

When my Russicher Zupfkuchen burned like toast from trying to use instant cheese powder…….

Marble Cake

............ he rebaked the disaster to this edible Marble Cake.

My car was HIS find. It had everything I wanted. Compact size, 1.0 engine, cool accessories, huge sounds, the best-looking exhaust and the paint was what I wanted too.

He taught me the importance of personal financing and living within your own means when he caught me cheating MYR60 out of my school fees at age 16.

He taught me that a woman’s body is a precious treasure to be guarded at all times. To these days, I will never wear sleeveless stuff outside our home or wear waist-length tops with tight-fitting jeans. Ditto for see-through clothes!

He thinks that children need not be banned from watching TVs because he himself finds a lot of wonders and windows to the world outside he’ll never reach otherwise through TV. Sure, like any conservative father, he thinks violence comes from TV but to him that’s a matter of controlling your kids not banning the TV from them.

He counts his kids at home when it’s midnight to make sure we are all safe and sound under his roof. He’ll go at ay length to find any of us missing from home after midnight. Though he never set a curfew for us, that’s somehow understandably it to us. Subconsciously, I live to that curfew even when I’m away from home. If I have to be late, I’ll always inform somebody at home.

We have never been rich but he taught us that if we are sincere in the job that we do, the reward will come to us on its own maybe not in cash but a pleasant life. I think he’s right because for all I know, we have never been hungry or unable to pay any bills. We have a home even stray cats like to call home, cars, nice food. Puzzling how he didn’t understand back then how I wasn’t blinded by gold or anything that glitters.

My Graduation Up CloseMy Graduation in the Studio with the family

I never attended my own graduation at the university because I didn't have any money. My father arranged a private graduation for me at the photo studio attended family.

My fathers wall of pride

My father's Wall of Pride

For all his conservativeness and despite his own marriage in an arranged setting, my father made his wedding as special for my mother as it would be for any other couple. He wrote her love letters (he loves poetry). He prepared the bridal gifts for her and even took her on honeymoon which he preserved in a wedding album.

The most important thing however, he would never meddle in his children’s personal lives in the matter of the heart. He says that ‘Life partner choice must be left to one’s own for you can’t force love.’

I’m glad because I know that even if I come home with a long-haired rocker as my hubby-to-be, he might still give me his blessings.

All my friends know me as the one who doesn’t really need a man but if there’s one man I can say I need…....he would be my father.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is a Wedding only as good as the Goodie Bag it gives out?

Just last week, I was at a cousin's wedding in the capital city.

It has become a habit of mine in the past few years to look through each and every Goodie Bag from any weddings that my parents or anyone in the family bring home. Will I get a chocolate? A packet of crisps? A hard-boiled bird's egg? A tiny spoon? A handkerchief?

Wedding Thrones

Where the newlyweds sat in the Wedding Hall.

Things certainly have changed in weddings since I was a kid. In the old days, our old folks give out small packets of the food from the wedding menu for guests to bring home. These are called "Berkat' which is derived from the Arabic word "barakah" which means "blessing". The gesture was meant to share the blessings bestowed upon the newlyweds with the guests.

The practice however has become more and more impractical as time went by as people have less time for the preparation. In the old days, especially in the rural areas, the whole village would come over to cook, serve and pack the food together. Life isn't like that anymore. People especially in the city justdon't have time for it. It's more practical to pre-pack dry food and other small gifts days or even weeks before.

With this wedding, my auntie combined the element of today's society of "pre-packed Goodie Bag" with the old tradition of driving the manpower consisting of the whole army of her brothers, sisters, cousins, in-laws, sons, daughters, nephews and nieces including me to handle the whole event.


My job was handing out Goodie Bags! These are the Corsages my sister and I had to wear as "identification tag" for the job. Now I use them to "embellish" my CD basket. That Smiling Sun belongs to my sister. I just put it there to cheer up this picture. Man! I can't describe how painful my feet were standing and serving people around like a waitress for the whole wedding.

Stocking Flowers and the Basket

The Wicker basket is from the Bride for our side of the family (my cousin was the Groom). The flowers are literally called "The Stocking Flowers" because the fabric is the same fabric used to make women's stockings or pantyhose.

Wedding Favours Galore

The Wedding favours ~ the Goodie Bags, the "Egg Flowers" at the back, the porcelain casings filled with chocolates

Dodol Flowers

The "Egg Flowers" up close. They are named so because normally a hard-boiled egg would be attached to it at its stem.

Why eggs? I used to ask my Mother. She said that eggs symbolize fertility. Giving out eggs to guests is like a prayer for the newlyweds to be blessed with kids. Ooh...judging by the number of eggs normally given out at weddings, that means loadsa loadsa kiddies! My auntie just replaced the eggs with pre-packed sweet local delicacies called "dodol" for convenience.

Pouch Handouts

I just love how these Goodie Bags appear to look like Halloween trick-or-treating pouches. So cool! I took home some to give to my officemates. They loved them.

Wahey! The Goodie Bags were ALL handmade by our family. Told ya we still keep the tradition.

Wedding Favours Porcelain Beaded

Wedding Favours porcelain ribbons

The porcelain casings given out. My auntie let us keep some of the "English flower printed" ones as gifts for helping at the wedding.

Tropical Flower Bouquet

I'm a freeloader! This is the fresh tropical flower bouquet I hoarded from the hall after the wedding was over. My auntie paid a lot for the fresh flowers. If we didn't take them away, the Hall people would just throw them away!

I had to carry the bouquet on my lap in my car (my brother was driving) all the way from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur to our village in Melaka. Our living room was beautifully fragranced for a week after that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mu Buddy's Starting a Business! Hooray!

My buddy just called me today telling me that she's in the process of registering and applying for a business license to operate a car workshop with her mechanic little brother.

Hooray! I'm so happy ecstatic.

I mean, here is a friend who decided to do something about her life. Just dare to do it. It's never too late to start anything.

She's helping her brother who's just starting out after finishing his mechanic training. Problem is he's got no capital to start with and he's tied to Mercedez for 3 years. This is where dear old sister stepped in. It's what family is for. Got herself a personal loan because it's so less hassle than getting a business one. Business loans require paperwork and proper documentation. For an average inexperienced beginner, this is a major obstacle. They never care what is it for if it's a personal loan as long as you have the documents like salary slip proving your means of paying back.

My dear friend,

I wish you success coz you deserve it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What? No Credit Cards at the Petrol Stations?

Ok. What is it about Malaysia and Petrol prices?

Still reeling from the shock of the price hike a couple of weeks ago, I got another bomb dropped on my head today.

"ALL petrol stations in Malaysia have stopped credit card operations starting from today 24th June 2008"


Apparently the station operators have been complaining to the government to transfer the charges imposed by the banks to the customers. As always, the government side say they're looking into it.

What is it about this country that whenever there is any price increase or extra charges, they will always transfer them to the consumers? It's the greedy Banks that they need to press on. NOT us. We are the customers and we are the ones who keep you in business.

I use credit cards because I hate having to carry so much cash on spare for Petrol every week. Now that the price has gone uphill, the amount of cash I have to carry will go uphill too. It's so unfair.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm a D-List Bloggerlebrity!

Haha....This is fun.

Ok. I admit that at the moment i'm so at the bottom of the tech-savviness pile when it comes to popularizing my blog. I'm still at the crawling stage.

Found a blog called Kineda today which has a nice little Technorati widget form that you enter your blog URL into for a Rank Badge.

So here's my Rank:

D-List Blogger

Haha.......with my current stat, actually I deserve to be on Z-List if only they have it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Petrol Price to Rise Again this Month in Malaysia?

Got alerted by a friend today that there could be another petrol price hike for Malaysians this month. Wasn't aware of the news as reported by Bernama. =-O

Apparently Malaysian Finance Minister II had announced that since the world price of crude oil had risen to $178 per barrel, subsidy restructuring is inevitable soon. When the last price hike was announced on 4th June, the crude oil was priced at $138 per barrel.

Current petrol price is MYR2.70 with a subsidy of MYR0.30 per litre to offset market price of MYR3.00 at the time of announcement. With this new development, the price may rise to MYR3.15 per litre for Malaysians........

When Malaysian Government says "subsidy restructuring", it simply means "subsidy cut".

Malaysian Government terminology :
Subsidy restructuring = Subsidy cut

Price restructuring = Price Rise

That's another dig into my already shrinking monthly budget. Me and my trusted old Charade will be best friends for a longer time it seems. I can't afford a new car. When I renewed my insurance on Monday, the bank told me that my car was too old to qualify for a First Party Insurance Scheme. It means, if the Charade ever got into an accident, it might as well be declared a write-off total loss. It's THAT old and only worth a tiny penny! :-(

By the way, I spilled about 2 litres worth of petrol when I filled up on Wednesday at a Petrol Station in Bukit Baru, Melaka. In a desperate attempt to get the maximum litres of petrol, I tried to follow the recommended tip of filling in the "minimum" mode. Normally those Petrol Nozzle Trigger has THREE modes but somehow this particular station installed Triggers with only TWO modes. I decided to "manually" have "minimum mode" by literally holding the Trigger and controlling the flow with hand. As the petrol reached the top, the Trigger suddenly got stuck and wouldn't let go. WOAHH! The petrol spilled out like mini Niagara Fall all over the floor and MY TROUSERS! :-[

I screamed not knowing whether to laugh or cry, frantically wriggled the stupid Nozzle free. The elderly station attendant smiled saying something in a warm friendly sarcasm how I managed to throw away precious petrol when everybody else is struggling with price hike.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How she cured her hubby's male pattern baldness!

A colleague of mine gave me some aloe vera baby plants to grow at home.

The reason?

I was aware of Aloe Vera's properties in helping with falling hair and asked around for anyone with the plants at home. Then, she told me that her husband successfully cured his male pattern baldness.

"It's true! His hair was in that M-shape pattern already. He's cured now. It works!", she exclaimed.

Aloe Vera  (aloe barbadensis)

Cut the Aloe Vera and get rid of the thorny bits. Chop the remaining part to small pieces.

Hibiscus 1

Pick some Hibiscus leaves. NOT the flowers. The leaves! Cut the leaves into small pieces as well.

Put the Aloe Vera and the Hibiscus leaves in a blender. Add in a little bit of water just to make the blending easier. Not too much water because you don't want a runny mixture streaking down your back, don't ya?

Put the mixture on your head and leave it on for 1/2 hour. Then wash as usual. Do it everyday or every other day.

Well, my friend's hubby did it everyday before taking his shower. The last time I met him, he really did have a full head of hair and not a trace of white hair. His wife has thick jet black hair too. So, I trust her.

No, I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. Haha. I'm the world's worst procrastinator.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I'm in a Romantic Mood today withThe Glass Slipper!

Uploaded another video on You Tube today! Yeah!

Been wanting to do it for weeks. It's a response to my first video for actress Leslie Caron from her movie The Glass Slipper.

It has been surprising to me that The Glass Slipper isn't as well-known as many other classics from the 1950s. Considering that this was inspired by a 'damsel-in-distress-like' tale and the fact that the movie was made in the 50s, The Glass Slipper breaks away from the usual Cinderella mould. This Cinderella defies convention. The character of Ella is tomboyish and feisty. Unlike the usual obedient Cinderella normally portrayed, this version is rebellious, has un-princess-like short hair and tells people that she has beautiful stepsisters. Yes, beautiful stepsisters. It's too boring and predictable to make the stepsisters ugly. By making her stepsisters conventionally beautiful, the lead character Ella stands out more for her personality rather than looks. Credit where it's due, gorgeous actress Leslie Caron certainly didn't have to compete much in the looks department.

This was the breakthrough Cinderella movie where she isn't portrayed as someone who needs help but rather that the purity of her heart and her boldness are the qualities that draw people to her namely the weird old lady as her "godmother" and of course the Prince himself.

It is also interesting that the writer made Ella go to the Ball because she has been invited by the Prince himself. Certainly not the usual story where Cinderella gets noticed by Prince Charming after she joins the Ball. This Ella doesn't go to the Ball to see the Prince like the other ladies. She goes there to meet her new "friend" the "son of the Palace Chef".

I chose the song Goodnight Girl from the Scottish group Wet Wet Wet for my video because I feel that the words somehow match the lead characters' situations. How she is his "goodnight girl" whom he won't tell a soul about......well....except his friend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petrol and Diesel Price Hike Frenzy in Malaysia again!

The Malaysian Government announced that there wouldn't be any price increase last year which simply meant there would be at least one this year.

Sure enough. Last night, as I drove home, suddenly there was a massive traffic jam. Thought there was a major accident or a nocturnal construction activity going on. Made a U-turn to another route. Same massive traffic jam. I started to think that there was a major state government event. WTF, in mid-week?

Then, as I made another U-turn to escape into another route i.e the new highway, it finally struck me that drivers were queuing up for petrol.

The Malaysian government suddenly announced a price hike of petrol from MYR1.92/liter to MYR2.70/liter last night. The abrupt announcement caused a frenzy on the roads to ALL petrol stations all over the country. There were massive traffic jams everywhere a petrol station is located.

It was hell for me. Left the office at 6.30pm and arrived home at 10pm!

This morning, I filled in a full 30 litres tank of my 1000cc Daihatsu Charade 1992 and was gasping for breath as the total clocked at a whopping MYR82.26! Just last week, it was MYR60 for a full tank of 30 litres.

The full tank shall last me a week going back and forth to work. With an increment of MYR22 per fill-up, my monthly total is now increased to an additional MYR88 minimum and may reach up to MYR100 more. That works out to MYR100 x 12 = MYR1200/year!!!!

I just finished paying off my monthly MYR90 installment of PC purchase. Thought I'd have extra MYR90 for my pocket. It has ended up replacing paying off petrol hike now. It's so cruel.

However, the government also announced a rebate of MYR625/year in cash to an owner of a car less than 2000cc engine capacity. The payment shall be made when a car owner goes to renew the road tax. OK. I'm due to renew mine by 19th June. I'll see whether they'll really keep up their promise.

Hey! The rebate only covers HALF of the total hike in my yearly petrol budget then.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My TWO cents worth I worth TWO cents?

Got the FIRST statement from Al-Rajhi Bank not too long ago. I got the account opened on my birthday in April.

Well, I was already earning interest. On that post, I was thinking a few micro nano cents a day. Man! The bank certainly puts the "O" in "nano". After 1 month, I earned MYR0.02 for the MYR100 I banked in. Exactly 2 cents of Malaysian Ringgit.

That's not a few micro nano cents a day. That's micro nano nano nano cents a month! Hey, 2 cents a month shall count as 2 x 12 = 24 cents a year? That's NOT even a quarter of ONE Malaysian Ringgit. OK, I'm guessing they will add the cents from the previous month in next month calculation but still it shall be less than MYR1 a year for every MYR100. How sad is that?

Now, in British Pound Sterling, the exchange rate is about 6.9 to every GBP1 or in EURO, it's like 4.5 to 1 euro or 3.2 to USD1. Oh man! I wouldn't even go about calculating my micro nano worth of 2 cents.

Well, I'll count it as my TWO cents worth of blessings.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I'm a Mummy to 200 bags of Seedlings!

What am I saying?

Mushroom Momma

I helped my brother a little recently with his mushroom shack project. Since he didn't have the dough to buy his first mushroom seedling bags, I funded him MYR300 for 200 bags of them ready-made by a supplier.

So, now, I'm something like a "foster mama" to my brother's muhroom seedlings. I told him that I see this as being a "shareholder". It's exciting to see how things will turn out. I hope things will be "alles gut". Sorry for my terrible German. Somehow I think that's grammatically incorrect.