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)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Got my year-end bonus!


Yesterday was 'bonus' day. Yeah!

I desperately need the money especially after having to replace the cooling coil and air-cond compressor of my dear old car.

Bad news, I don't think I got an A. I heard some people got 2.0 mark. C being 1.7, I think I'm far from A. Well, as long I'm not rated C, I'm fine. I know I'm not an A+ employee but I certainly am NOT a C grade employee.

Good news is I got 1.85 which is far from 2.0 but quite a bit of a distance from 1.7. I'm grateful to the Almighty that I'm still visible to the Management. Who knows, after my near-outburst over the organization re-shuffling, they might want to 'erase' me? Apparently, they are not cruel people. So, I'm ok.

For a bit of butt-kissing moment, oh, I even thanked the Manager for my rating like I used to do with the previous Manager. Hey, it's important to keep this etiquette at workplace. Besides, I'm truly thankful for the money I didn't have the day before but today sitting comfortably in my
bank account.

So, off to my online shopping in full-gear. Ha...ha...!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Calm after the November Storm

Can't believe it's already December.

Another year shall be in soon and I still have the Looney Tunes 2008 Desk calendar from last year in front of me. It is too cute throw away.

So, I'm trying to have a December Resolution. 2010 can wait. Another chapter of my working life is already beginning with my friend's departure and my heated arguments against the Management about it. There's nothing I can do to turn back the clock. So, it's better to just make peace with myself and the people left behind. I'm working on building a new working relationship with the Management. Well, it won't be the same as what I had with the previous fatherly Manager but you can count on me to treat colleagues as respectful co-workers.

I'll be supporting my friends whenever and wherever I can. Well, those I deem the most deserving only. Ha...ha.. I'm no angel ok.

Talking about outdated calendars, my friend left behind a few new ones for 2010 that people gave her as parting gifts for us. There are TWO on my desk now. One is a series of 'appetite-whetting food photography' and another is the normal 'scenery & inspiring words' kind. Flipping through, I found this gem of a quote which can be my December Resolution.

"The art of being wise is knowing when to overlook ~ William James"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

May that one light burn for me.....

I'm truly unhappy at work.

It's hard for me to swallow it that my colleague has truly left us because of the management.

Things didn't get better this morning.

I'm still hoping for that light to burn bright for me.

So, for now, let me console myself with this song which I first heard when I was probably 18 or 19. I was at a low point and this lifted me up.

One Light Burning from Richie Sambora

All alone in the dark
No walls no windows
Trying hard to define
Heaven from hell

Standing out in the rain
With just one shadow
Nothing to see or believe
Beyond myself

See my life going by
Each moment I am alive
I keep reaching out, holding on, hoping

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning
I feel it like my heart beating inside

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning

All alone with my fears
No words are spoken
A story yet to be told
Locked in my mind

Hope is somewhere ahead
Shining brightly
But the past is always following close behind

See my life going by, each moment I am alive
I keep reaching out, holding on, hoping

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning
I feel it like my heart beating inside

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning
I feel it like my heart beating inside

Somewhere in my life
There's one light burning
Leading the way, leading the way

Friday, November 13, 2009

Me and the retail therapy.........

I did something I never thought I would do last night.

I went for retail therapy.

So, how did I end up with this? Let's begin by saying that I'm not feeling happy at work lately.

A very close colleague has made up her mind to leave the company heartbroken when our current Division Management decided to 'erase' her Section on the silly ground that all she did was paperwork and that her Section did not live up to their name of 'developing our suppliers' ( Read my story on the office space relocation which was the result of this sad event). Those were the shocking words said to me by the Management.

Hurt by the sudden move by the Management, my colleague did the drastic thing of taking up a similar job at a rival factory even though we all know very well that the rival company has a not-too-favourable work condition either. She said, at least the pay is better, the place is nearer to her house and most importantly she doesn't have to look at the face of the.......'eraser'.

Truth be told, she is not the only one hurt by the Management decision. I am one of those badly affected by this as well. My colleague and I have always been co-operative and supportive of each other at work. I know the hard work she has done. Even our Customers praised her for controlling our Suppliers so well. Isn't it sad that outsiders can see what you do and yet your own management are blind to it all?

Even from the moment the Management decided to 'erase' her Section by placing them under another Group ( notorious among the Division for their failures & lack of co-operation with each other ), she and I have come to a stumbling block. As the person who is in charge of procedures and Quality standards, I suddenly found myself with 'ghost figures' for the rules, job responsibilities and guidelines we have set up together. My colleague suddenly found herself having to report to at least THREE different people for different tasks. The Management has dropped onto her lap all the unfinished tasks by those people for her to follow up and conclude. It's crazy. So, now how about the jobs that she and I and the previous Management had discussed together and agreed that she was officially assigned to do?

I went to our Management complaining how disappointed I am that we, the middle management people, we were NEVER informed or consulted before making a major decision like this. I told him that at the end of the day, we are the people who have to perform the jobs and why were our opinions and views never taken into account?

Feeling frustrated and broken, I drove to a Shopping Mall on the way home and walked to a perfume shop. It's true that I'd been eyeing some designer perfumes lately but I had never felt really compelled to buy any till last night.

So, I approached the counter and asked to smell Nina by Nina Ricci, Love by Nina Ricci, Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker and Glow by JLo. The lady at the counter also recommended a Ferré Limited Edition perfume whose name looked like Rossé to me. At least smelling those perfumes took my mind off the problem at work, even only for that moment. It was a nice dilemma to have. Making up my mind which perfume to choose with the little money I have.

Love by Nina Ricci
What a pretty packaging!

I settled for Love by Nina Ricci as it was a Limited Edition item, the packaging was just me and I knew that if I didn't get that pretty bottle and packing tin, the images shall stick to my mind for the rest of my life. It's bad enough that what we had held on to at work had been snatched away from us but at least, here in my own world, nobody can take this sweet pretty Love away from me.

Love by Nina Ricci

Thank you Nina.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from a Single Lady!


Halloween is here again.

It's Halloween!
Now where's my pumpkin cake?

It's the one day I look forward to every year but never really celebrate.
*Note: How on earth would i celebrate Halloween here anyway?

This year I couldn't be home for it. I had originally plan to try making some mini pumpkin shaped cakes. Just my personal celebration. However, I wasn't home today. Instead I was there with 90% of my fellow factory workers having our Annual Dinner. I was the host and I made myself dance onstage to this song..........

All you single ladies.......put your hands up.....woo.....hoo..... :-)

Sure.....I made a total baffoon of myself. In front of 90% of my fellow factory workers no less! But at least I was a cool baffoon.....ha.....ha...

The only thing that made me sad was the way I looked. I was slapped with this vampire-wannabe makeup. Silver eyeshadow with black accent, fake lashes and pale lips. It was awful. All the other girls who got the free makeup from our event sponsor looked beautiful but I ended up looking like I just stepped out of a failed audition to impersonate Lady Gaga.

Well, many people said they enjoyed it. So, I do have a reason to smile. Now I'm home sitting in front of the PC and it's Halloween. yeah! So, I'm happy.

So, the old folks' tale says that the spirits of the dead come back to visit us on Halloween. So, in case any of them comes back, I certainly want this Teutonic cutie to visit me. Love u Ingo :-)

Pink Pumpkinz at the rock garden (708x877 80qlty)
♥♥Ich liebe dich Liebling♥♥

Monday, October 19, 2009 new office workspace

I have a new workspace in my office!

Let's just say that when my Division management instructed us to 'relocate' our workspace according to our Sections, I was far from thrilled to hear it. I was happy with the location I had been occupying since 2005. It was perfect. I could see people at the corridor. I had easy access to our pigeonholes. The air-conditioning vent wasn't too cold. Also, most importantly, I was surrounded by my closest officemates whom I shared banters and laughter with everyday. 'Relocating by Sections' meant we would be separated.

I came on Saturday on OT hours and helped around with the relocating. The guys had already 'relocated' our desks accordingly.

I am now seated by the door to the gent's room. That's restroom if you're American. That's the boys' toilet if you're from the rest of the world.

Got to tell you, the new location was my own request as I refused to sit right under the air-conditioning vent they originally planned for me. I can't stand cold temperature. My years in the UK had failed to take the Tropical girl out of me.....ha....ha.

As a compromise to my 'unwilling move', I cunningly asked for a computer at my workspace. The Management had no problem with it as my title actually had given that privilege which I never took advantage of. I shared PCs with everyone else.

My new office space 2
The floor is dirty coz apparently the synthetic tiles have been there since mid-90s.

Anyway, this time I asked for a PC for my own use with the excuse that the new location did not have enough space for 5 PCs. Only 4. So, 1 had to go to my desk. Yes, with the LCD screen too. Yes, our factory can be such cheapskate that CRT monitors and 1st Generation Pentiums from the 90s are still used. hey, they ain't broken. So, why throw 'em away?

So, here comes the surprise.

I think I actually like my new workspace despite loathing the idea originally. This is why.....

My new office space 1
I finally get to have my chosen wallpapers on the Monitor after years of staring at that blue Windows standard desktop display.

I think I'm going to change wallpapers everyday. I think anyone who's familiar with my ramblings here will know that those wallpapers will definitely feature some Teutonic cuties named Ingo and Tom and a Seattle-ite named Chris.

tom kaulitz looking at the lense greyscale Ingo in 1987 Japan program Chris DeGarmo on Kerrang Cover 1988 (698x877)
♥ Tom, Ingo, Chris ♥

I think it's fair to celebrate. Yeah!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seriously......the Alien needs to be deported back to his Planet!

Everyone, it's OFFICIAL!

Today is the day that I declare that the Alien shall be deported back to Planet Zeug that he came from for good.

Oh...I wish.

For those who are new to this blog, The Alien I'm referring to is my HR Manager.

I should have ranted about this weeks and weeks ago. I tried to think that it's not important but today I have reached the almost-breaking point.

This year, my management had chosen me to be in the company Annual Celebration committee. So, with a heavy heart, off I went and immediately got picked by The Alien, who heads the team this year, to be the Secretary as he was familiar with my work as the Secretary for
Canteen Committee some years ago.

Then, my nightmare began when The Alien also picked me to be one of the Emcees for the Event. Pairing me up with a guy who is so quiet and untalkative. By the next meeting, I managed to fight to get my colleague, who's loud and lively, to be the other Emcee. Thank God, the Alien relented. I thought the problem was over. I was wrong.

So, today we have our hmm....8th(?) meeting? I remember the Alien telling us, the Main Committee members, to do some sort of a performance this year as it was something that had never been done in previous years. Damn it! He also had the nerve to suggest doing this mega stupid "poco-poco dance" that has now become some sort of a staple in the itinerary of many government and state functions in this country. That fact alone is enough to trigger "allergic reaction" in me. Every nerve and every piece of hair on my body must have resisted the idea that each of them seems to have sent information to my brain that says "vomit, vomit, vomit".

What angered me was that he asked us in previous meetings for ideas of what to do for the performance.

I did the initiative and picked a song I thought would be very easy for us to do. No singing, just waving our hands and clapping. Length of the song is just several seconds over 1 minute. It's the TV theme to the show Happy Days. That one with the Fonz and Richie. It's a great happy song. The best thing is, the song is short and sweet.

Happy Days Theme song

ABBA - Thank U 4 the Music (on Swedish TV)

Then, somebody in the committee replied to say he preferred something without dancing. Just singing. So, he and I agreed on ABBA Thank You For The Music. Classy song. No need to fool ourselves onstage.

I even emailed to EVERYBODY in the committee last week about the two proposals. I thought they would get discussed in this meeting. I was wrong again.

The Alien had the nerve to say in our meeting that "No choice! We have to do the poco-poco".

I felt like bopping his head with an anvil. I tried to speak up. Thankfully some members did try to back me up. However, The Alien kept on talking and talking and totally shoving his words down everyone's throat. I was livid. See, I'm not the type who likes to hide how I feel. I'm sure my facial expression was obvious to those who saw me at the time.

After the meeting was almost over, I finally got to butt in asking for my proposals to be considered. Only then did he loosen up a bit. But it was useless because the people from the Entertainment company were already gone by that time.

It's so annoying that here is someone who can barely walk straight. Limping all over. He has a few serious illnesses. He also is hardly here at the company premises. It's always business trips to Indonesia, the South, the capital city, the government offices bla...bla... He can barely stand like a human. Let alone have the time to practise how to dance. Now he thinks he can dance the "poco-poco" which is basically line-dancing for people who can't afford real dancing class.........and
WITHOUT rehearsals. Yes, he flatly refused to let us have full-rehearsal the day before the Event to cut on cost as using the Hall even the day before still incurrs cost. Unbelievable!

What about my emails? Wait, come to think of it, he never replied to my emails. Everytime I sent him the meeting reports, he'd just call me instead to tell his comments. His fingers probably limp too that he can't type. I don't know.

Should I say that the example video that the Entertainment company showed us was a decent one. However, this Chairman conveniently ignored the fact that the people dancing in the video were a group of young female lawyers with tiny waists and flowing dresses. Of course, they looked good!

Now, the HR guy thinks he can do what those ladies did. He really thinks he blends in when he sticks out like a sore thumb. He really IS an alien.


Maybe he already knows he looks silly and he just wants to drag everyone else to look just as silly along with him. Hmmm....

To top it all off, he crushed my spirits when I found out in the meeting that the radio-controlled helicopter gimmick I was excited about was slashed from the agenda due to his refusal to make way for extra cost. I'm so sad as that helicopter thing was the one I was eagerly looking forward to in this year's celebration.

The helicopter gimmick was initially planned as we wanted something extra special for the 20th Anniversary. The copter would be flying carrying the number 20 to the MD for him to put it on the backdrop of the Stage. I had already prepared the script and the scenario for it. I even had prepared the theme song to the TV show Airwolf to play during the copter entry into the Hall. Wouldn't that be cool? A copter (albeit a tiny one) flies into the Hall to the stage with the Airwolf theme playing? It's never been done before at any of our Anniversary. Then, I'd love to have Van Halen's instrumental version of Jump to mark the Grand Opening as the MD put the No.20 on the wall. Hey, even the national media station uses excerpts of that song sometimes.

Airwolf Intro

Van Halen - Jump

Can you believe what they had as alternative to the copter? Someone carrying the number 20 on a tray and hand it over to the MD to pin on the wall. Boring-a-mundo and Crap-tastic if you ask me.

OK. So, now there would be NO Airwolf supercopter to save the day. My Happy Days seem to go down the drain and there seems to be slim chance of Thank-ing You for the Music.

So what is my only way of saving myself from this misery? OK. The Committee members shall be wearing dark trousers and black vest. We will be just a-jacket-and-a-pair-of-dark-glasses away from being "Men In Black". Maybe I can try infusing THAT into it.

Now......where is that deportation space ship?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nostalgia and memories of 30 years ago

I was made the driver today as my family went to visit my father's elder siblings.

Couldn't help feeling all nostalgic as 30 years ago, the trips to their houses were the some of the highlights of my childhood. We all did not have a lot of money back then but we were rich when it came to family ties.

A lot has changed of course.

We used to be able to run around on the wooden floor. Now we have to tip-toe around and still feel worried that the house might collapse. A lot have been renovated especially the kitchen. But their houses are still beautiful to me.

Old Malay house 2
I couldn't capture the natural light coming through the windows. This picture had been retouched but still the soft light I wanted wouldn't come through. Well, I'm no pro.

I fired the flash for this one. That's my nephew btw.

Old Malay house
Now this is what I wanted to capture!
This is another section of the old living room though. The natural light beautifully brings out the colours.

The gathering we did not really ..........(I can't find words)

There was a 'gathering' at my grandmother's house yesterday.

For some reason that nobody can fathom, someone in the family had chosen to have her engagement ceremony at our matriarch house instead of her family's very large house.

Well, if you ask me, I'd say, it was to save on cost as it's the holidays and the rest of the family are here. So, free labour. It so happened that we have more males in the family. Imagine the money that can be saved from having to pay caterers to do the works. Oh, btw, the cooks are our close relatives too, from my mother's side.

The 'throne' where she got her ring.

The 'floweries'.

The pot pourri which they didn't perfume.......surprisingly.
(Truth is we were not bothered to make the 'pandan leaves' pot pourri for her)

Enough about the ceremony. I want to talk about the food.

I thought I had seen 'decadence' at all the hotels I went to during Ramadhan. I never thought that I would see abundance of food like that now that the Ramadhan is over.

rival buffet 100_2955
The ones I faced when I went to the kitchen to help out

The trays and trays of food for the guests

rival buffet 100_2957
So, what were in the trays?
Asam pedas, Javanese beef ungkep, Percik grilled chickens, stir-fried veges, Javanese 'sambal goreng' which is a dish of savoury hot and rich tofu and tempeh combo with chillies and certain parts of cows.....he....he....

The Javanese 'ungkep' beef

32 chickens in the giant pot!
I can't believe it myself.

Would I want something like this for my ceremony someday (though highly unlikely to happen)? Hmm....maybe not. Most of the family members were NOT smiling. They were tired. It's the holidays and we wanted to chill out. Not working our asses off for some 'ceremonies'.


In the end, I was grateful for just one thing. My auntie's Tako. She makes the best Takos in the world. So, any family gathering would normally mean I get to devour these lovelies. Yumm! Yumm!

My fav Eid Mubarak treat this year

The month of Shawal is here according to the Islamic calendar.

Now we're talking :-)

As usual, all I want to do every year is to go to my maternal grandmother's place and see what delicacies that my aunties have brought home to the village.

This year, my favourite is this. A delicate tasting cookie the Samperit. It's the Spritz if you're European. However, I'm so sure that we Malaysians make the best version.

The princess of all Samperit cookies I've ever tasted.

Not that I never tasted or baked Samperit before but the ones at my grandmother's house this year has got to be the princess of all the ones I've tasted. The texture is so delicate and fragile. The colour is so light almost like uncooked newly spritzed dough. The taste is only lightly sweet but still with the hint of rich 'undertone' as a result of mixture of custard powder and regular flour.

I am so going to make some soon. I have found a recipe I think would be close to this one at my grandmother's. Well, judging from the picture anyway.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kek Lapis (Layer Cake) 'Misadventure'

I was determined to try making layer cakes on Sunday. My old school buddy was on her 5-day break from work and she kind of challenged me into making one so she can have a taste.

So, there I was. No experience. No hands-on knowledge. Just a couple of layer Cake recipe books as my guideline. I chose to make the ones with cream cheese.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2916

I got all the necessary gears. The 8"x8" cake tins. The cheese. The butter (real butter!). Grade A eggs. The Hong Kong flour. The caster sugar. The colourings and the flavourings. My Kenwood Patissier.....wink...wink.... . This would be her 'maiden voyage' on my mother's new portable kitchen island handmade by my father.

The one with the Lemon Flavour.............

I tried the first recipe which originally required 14 egg yolks and 7 egg whites. I changed it to only 10 whole eggs. I'm pretty hopeless at separating eggs so as long as the weight of the eggs added up, I'd changed the recipe.

Basically layer cakes are done in two mixtures. The egg mixture and the butter mixture which are then joined together. So, that's what I did.

I was a bit worried about beating the flour together with the eggs as I remember what happened to a cake batter I beat for 12mins once. It was all-purpose flour which had enough gluten and made the cake tough like a badly cut badly cooked piece of beef. But this time it was Hong Kong flour which was low-protein and the mixture was fantastic.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2917

Then, the cheese and the butter mixture. It looked curdled. My sister theorized that it could be because we kept our cheese in the freezer instead of a normal fridge. Whatever the cause was, my batter looked curdly and runny. Nothing like the pictures in the book. Now THAT was worrying.

The book also included instruction to make the 'layer adhesive' which is a thick mixture brushed on each cooked layer before pouring another one. For this particular recipe, it was a mixture of margarine and condensed milk. I felt that the combo was too rich but I persevered (BIG MISTAKE!).

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2924
Easy to tell when the basic uncoloured batter is cooked.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2930
How to know when the coloured batter is cooked?

I ran into a snag with the purple layer. This cake had yellow and purple layers with lemon flavour. I really couldn't tell how cooked is the purple layer because the colour is dark enough not to be able to tell the browning. I 'marched on' and diligently brush each layer with the condensed milk/margarine mixture.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2925

It was strange how the cake didn't layer as high as I thought it would. I already dubbed the cake as a failure before even finishing it. It looked awful.

The TWO recipes baking in the oven.
I don't have the proper picture for the 'lemon' recipe as it turned out so bad that I had to throw it out to the chickens in the backyard.

The one with the Chocolate Rice.........

Being impatient as I am, I was determined to go for the next recipe. It was still cream cheese and no different coloured layers this time. Just sprinkles of chocolate rice on each layer.

So, off I went beating two basic mixtures. I beat the egg mixture with the Patissier and the butter/cream cheese mixture with my hand-held mixer. The Patissier worked fine except I thought the mixture was not as fluffy high as the first recipe. Maybe it was because this second recipe had more flour.

My butter/cream cheese looked curdled at first but this time I continued beating till the curdles were gone finally. So, you DO have to beat the butter/cream cheese THAT long, huh?

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2923
Now this is what it should look like. No curdles. Just fluffy.

AT LAST! My batter looked like the one in the book. Smooth and fluffy.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2926

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2932

I had a good feeling as I layered the cake. I went overboard with the chocolate rice as I'm a chocoholic. I still diligently brushed each layer with the margarine/condensed milk mixture. A LOT.

kek lapis (layer cake) 100_2936
The cake looked OK till I turned it over.

Then the cakes were finished and when I turned them over, I didn't like what I saw. I couldn't see the layers and they were way too soft/fragile. What was wrong? It was supposed to be firm, dense but soft to cut. Certainly not fragile and crumbly.

They were oily. I guessed it must have been the 'adhesive' mixture. As for the invisible layering, did I need more time to heat the cake to make each layer browner? How brown should it be?

I tasted the cakes and they did taste rich. Cream Cheese, condensed milk, pure butter and blobs of margarine. Yes, lots of eggs too. It was a bit too sweet for my taste. Maybe I need to reduce the sugar next time because obviously the condensed milk made them sweeter.

So, I decided to re-bake the cakes. Then, I went off to do some ironing while the cakes were heated. BIG MISTAKE!

When I returned, the cakes were overbaked and the outer sides were all crusty. OMG. The cakes were tough and seemed to be missing out the milky rich taste this time. All I got was sweet and too sweet. It was a disaster. It was embarrassing as the whole family saw me slaving over the cakes for the better part of the day and I failed BIG.

The lessons learned were:

1. Don't bother brushing the 'adhesive' on every layer. The cake becomes too sweet. ONLY use the 'adhesive' when I need to make the patterns (similar to the sugar candy in Blackpool, UK).

2. Beat the butter mixture thoroughly till the curdles are gone or else you will not get the smooth and fluffy cake batter.

3. Don't be afraid to beat low-protein flour on high speed for a long time.

4. If you still feel the need to re-bake your cakes, 5 minutes will do. 10 minutes max and that is with watchful eyes. BTW, I was using a gas oven which did not have a temperature indicator. Assuming your baking temperature as 180°C or 350°F or Gas Mark 4.

5. If it's a first-time recipe, always always always halve it at the very least. I had successfully put 1/2kg of cream cheese and 1/2kg of butter to waste. These items are not cheap. Yes, I also wasted 20 Grade A eggs.

6. Don't go overboard with the chocolate rice. Ha...ha...! My cake was kinda crumbly and very fragile because the chocolate melted in speckles.

7. Layer Cakes need to be left to cool first before cutting. THIS IS A MUST. Only proper cooling down could firm it up. Or just put it in the fridge. No wonder I saw stacks and stacks of filled baking trays being cooled off in a video of a Layer Cake House. I was way too impatient and dived into it not long after taking the cakes out of the oven....ha...ha...

Ok. So, at the moment, I certainly do not see myself making money out of selling Layer Cakes. Certainly not AFTER the mess I had made.

Anyway, I haven't given up. I certainly will try again. Yes, I'll remember to halve the recipe next time....ha...ha...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The buffet, the 'shower', the ex and the fart

Went to another Ramadhan buffet yesterday at a nearby resort. The Everly.

Everly 100_2937

Everly 100_2939

Everly 100_2938

Everly 100_2941

I'm quite partial to this particular resort as the have a pretty wide variety of food everyday. The space and the layout are nice too. Good parking space. Enough shady trees and well-maintained bougainvilleas for the splashes of colours against the mainly light-coloured buildings.

So, the fact that they seated us outside this time (grrr....) was not a big problem. I even jokingly said to my colleague that if she still wanted us to be moved inside, there was still an ample space right in front of the main door at the lobby. Guess what? My words were a prophecy. Read on.

They had the grilled stuff (satay, beef and lambs), rice and accompaniments, desserts, pasta, fruits, ice-creams, snow ice, salads and seafood (mussels, crabs, fish).

Everly 100_2943

Everly 100_2947

Everly 100_2950

Everly 100_2948

What I had :-)

So, everything was fine until......


Ok. I usually refer to this ex-bf as No.4. He's gained weight whereas he used to be super skinny when we met. He's a father now too. I don't know whom he married and honestly, I don't f***ing care. He dumped me saying I was old for him. The jerk didn't even have the guts to say it to my face and told a friend instead.

Seeing his face again yesterday, I'm glad he dumped me. Sure, I was crushed. No, I was broken to smithereens. At the time anyway. By the time No.5 came along, he was history. Ok. No.5 dumped me too but that was expected as our age gap was still unacceptable by our society's standard. Besides, he already had someone when we met whom he conveniently forgot to tell me. Duh!

Back to the meal, I had a blast. My colleague and I sat with the guys at my insistence. Guys don't gossip much. When they're out, they just like to have a good time, share jokes and devour as much food/drinks as they can afford to. Precisely the reason I prefer to hang out with the guys.

Then, amidst our laughter, we were shocked by the sudden "shower" from a top balcony. We were seated outside yesterday. Yikes! What water was that? Cleaning water? Eewww.

The fun started when a colleague complained to the F&B Manager. He jokingly said we were going to sue for negligence. He also thanked another colleague for sending him away to the dessert buffet at the time of occurrence as his seat was the worst hit by the "shower".

Then I saw the Manager instructing his staff to set up another table inside RIGHT AT THE FRONT OF THE MAIN DOOR AT THE LOBBY. my words really were a prophecy. Just like when I said to my buddy during Ramadhan Tarawih prayer back in our college days to imagine the little son of our hostel warden farting. The little boy was busy teasing people around and I just imagined what more could he do to really take away our concentration from God? So, I turned to my buddy and said, 'Imagine what if the boy suddenly farts". Then he DID. DURING our last prayer verse no less. Like a grand FINALE to our prayer. My buddy and I had to stifle our laughter till the prayer ended that it hurt our stomachs. Right after the last salaam, my buddy dropped to the floor laughing hysterically. It was so frigging hilarious.

Wouldn't it be great if ALL my words become prophecies?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's 09.09.09 today and my day started quite gloomy.....



I'm sure somewhere on Planet Earth, somebody is getting married or celebrating something to that effect. What is it about humans and their fascination with dates and numbers?

My day started gloomy not because something bad happened but rather I felt the absence of my sister and my younger brother at home. They're both in the capital city. One working temporarily and one had to send her thesis. Btw, my sis has not even graduated and already she has a job offer in our home state. She was kind of 'head-hunted' as the company apparently contacted her college to offer employment and they gave them her name. I was unemployed and hopping from one miserable job to another for TWO years before landing my current job. Lady Luck doesn't smile at me much.

At the dining table before dawn, it was just me and my parents. The nephews were sleeping.

It was quiet. Just an elderly married couple with their spinster stubborn-headed daughter who doesn't have that much money. I feel like a loser.

I hate to imagine the day my elder brother moves out someday. I will so miss the little ones. My nephews and new baby niece. Their laughter and the way they would look at me adoringly.

My head keeps on flashing me images of the things I dreamed of doing, the men (the rock/metal musicians I mean...ha...ha) I wanted to meet and the places I wanted to go. Will my feet ever step on the ground of Berlin and Hamburg? Will I take a walk along Brooklyn Bridge in New York? Will I watch the performances on Broadway? Will I go to Seattle and witness for myself the seemingly close-knit musical community? Will I go back to the country I once dubbed my second home, the UK?

Only I can make it all happen.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

When a Japanese wants a pet cat........

My Japanese boss had a rather strange question to me yesterday.

He inquired whether there is any centre where his pet cat can stay temporarily should he want to go on holidays. Me, thinking that he's Japanese and how they are famous for coming up with all kinds of weird inventions, immediately assumed that he was thinking a 'cat hotel'.

Now, we Malaysians are not THAT nutty.

I tried to think of a possible alternative for a 'cat hotel'. How about an animal shelter? I told him that I had seen the SPCA signboard somewhere at Bukit China area. Sorry fellow Malaysians, I'm not sure what SPCA stands for. Never bothered to find out because I live in a village and even monkeys come to our backyards, not just cats. I assumed it is a Shelter for Protection against Cruelty to Animals. Hmm.....that made sense.

It turned out that the boss doesn't even have a cat. He was just making inquiries IN CASE he wants to keep a cat. Oh, dear. SO that's why the Japanese are so inventive. They think ' case we need this...', ' case we need that...', ' case we want to do this....', ' case we want to do that....' and all the '...what ifs....'. Make something exist first. Then, somebody might use it.

We asked him whether he was thinking of getting a cat. He said yes. He was also very specific about the cat that he wants. He's looking for a cat that.......

  • silver-coloured
  • ........has long upwards tail
  • ........has white whiskers
  • ........has to be male
  • ........costs MYR50 only

Just when I was trying to decipher what he meant by 'silver colour', it was the price he asked that made my jaw drop. MYR50?! That's like USD14. Nobody will sell a 'pedigree' cat for that price!

Back to the 'silver colour'. Knowing how our products are described in our drawings in this factory, I assumed he meant 'grey-coloured' and it would be a 'pedigree cat grey' like a Siamese, a Persian or a Birman. The competition standard kitties. Be prepared to fork out MYR1000+ for one, we told him. Seriously, when I was still in school, a 3-month-old Birman could easily fetch MYR300 minimum. Imagine the price after 20 years.

The kitten my nephew named Henry.

He won't sit still.

I doubt Henry knows he has been named Henry.

I half-jokingly told my Japanese boss that my Malaysian cats are all 'multi-coloured'. Just like us.

Then, a colleague told him that it could be possible to get one for that price over in the capital city or its surrounding districts and it has to be only the SPCA. Somebody rich in the city might have sent over unwanted extra pedigree kittens to the shelter. The SPCA people would be very happy to give a kitty a home for as low as MYR15 I heard.

Now, anyone sees a silver-haired, white-whiskered cat with an upward long tail? And are you desperate for MYR50?

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Indonesian oven's a real trooper.......

After that fiasco over the electricity bill, I finally got the gas-heated oven from Indonesia I had wanted since last year. Got it from a nice Sarawakian lady named Dayang via her blog "Dayang Kek Sarawak" here after Googling for the oven online.

Sadly, this being Malaysia, with its bad services and all, my oven was delivered by Pos Malaysia in this condition :

Indonesian oven before repair

Even with the layers of bubble wraps, Malaysian postal people still managed to damage deliveries.

Indonesian oven damaged body before repair

That is sick!

Thankfully, Dayang made up for it and her husband came over with her father to fix the damage.

Indonesian oven after repair top side 2

This is how it looks like after having the body replaced.

Thanks to Dayang and family for the great service. It gives me hope that there are responsible Malaysians actually existing.

Indonesian Oven after repair

Now if only I can find the time to actually use it. Ha...ha...

So much for my Ramadan moderation....

I have one big vice when it comes to Ramadan. It's the hotel Ramadan buffet.

I know the fasting month is supposed to re-instill the meaning of spiritual cleansing and material moderation in me but I have always surrendered to the "sin" of gluttony when it comes to Ramadan buffet.

So, a colleague of mine got us a booking to a fairly new small place called King's Hotel near the highway. Offering only a mere MYR18 nett per pax for a seat, it was fairly cheap. It was a full-fledged buffet with main courses, barbecues, free-flowing drinks, salads bar, pastry/dessert bar and ice-creams. So, that's a real value for money.

Ramadan Buffet 2009 King's Hotel 1

My friends were confident they could demolish everything here.

Ramadan Buffet 2009 King's Hotel 2

What I had that evening, fully thinking of 'gluttony' and at the same time moderation in mind.

Ramadan Buffet 2009 King's Hotel 5

The grilled stuff. Roast chicken and satay among others. They had squids and fish wraps too.

Ramadan Buffet 2009 King's Hotel 3

My FAILED snow ice!


Those who know me should know the reason for this one. I can't resist pastries and baked goods.

Ramadan Buffet 2009 King's Hotel 6

Now, my friends took all these. At least I demolished what I took.

There's nothing worst to make you feel guilty in Ramadan than untouched food being thrown away just because some greedy tummies thought it belonged to them.

Despite that, I'm already planning another one at another small hotel in the city.......the Naza Hotel.

So much for my Ramadan moderation, huh?