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)

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?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My worst meal of this year possibly

It's the month of Ramadan the fasting month for Muslims all over the world now.

This is a different fasting month for me because working 8-8 shift hours means I am still at the office by the breaking of fast time. So, yesterday was my first ever breaking fast at the office or at any my life.....ever!

How was it then? Horrible. It was the worst Ramadan day I ever felt.

Breaking fast has always been a sort of celebratory affair for many of us and certainly for me. No family. Only a bunch of exhausted colleagues. The thing is, the best part about breaking fast is the build-up to it among which includes preparing the food, laying out the table, counting the seconds by the clock on the wall and the variety of TV shows chronicling the lives of other Muslims especially the less fortunate around the world. It isn't really about the food but being together and sharing with the people who matter to you and knowing that millions around the world are doing the same too.

So, tonight, I'm just going to go back to old ways in the Middle East many centuries ago. Breaking fast with dates and a sweet cordial drink (since I don't have milk with me). Then, off to my prayers. That's better than having to queue up at the canteen with hordes of production operation girls 'fighting' for the best food we can get.

Maybe this is the real spirit of Ramadan that the Almighty wants me to learn after more than 3 decades of living. Moderation. Moderation. Moderation.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The dream with the Japanese group in it.......

I had a bizarre dream last night.

I saw a big group of Japanese guys in nice clothes coming to our factory here shaking hands and saying goodbye to everyone. What a dream it was because I knew who they were!

Due to economic reasons, our Japan HQ had to retrench some members from the organization over there. I heard about 50 employees were affected including my ex-boss. My current Japanese boss wouldn't divulge the actual figure and the management wished to keep it hush-hush so as not to scare the employees here.

The thing is, our branch is the only one in the group still making profits. So, the profits have to be distributed among the group of companies. Unfair if you ask me because when they were making profits, none was shared with our branch. We get among the lowest increment and the lowest bonuses and minimal allowances among the group.

Now, back to the dream.

What struck me most about the dream last night was the first face I saw. It belongs to a femininely pretty boy designer from the HQ. He came down to our branch a few times and I was always mesmerized by his 'beauty'. He looked like a Manga character came to life with his perfectly shaped arched eyebrows, girly pretty eyes, velvety smooth skin, small but full lips, pointy nose and spiky hairdo. He was mega-shy around me because he knew I liked looking at him. Well, he was shy with everyone, I think.

Then, yikes, I saw my ex-boss. Though he and I never really got along great, I did feel sorry for him when he got retrenched.

As for the pretty boy, dang I'm going to miss him. I had always tried to take his picture everytime he was here but he somehow always noticed it and hid his face. Now, I will never have a picture of the pretty manga boy.


The Japanese electronic designer guy was pretty. Something like this picture. Seriously! I wish I had his picture taken. Now I'll never get that chance :-(

Moral of the story, if you feel like snapping a picture of a pretty face, just do so. You might lose that chance forever.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My First Shift Hours Working Day....EVER!

Yeah, I survived my first day of working shift hours!

I'm home as I'm typing this. It was ok. Wasn't bad at all. I didn't even use my MP3 Player. Believe it or not!

It felt like a trip down memory lane actually. 8 years ago, I would have been slaving myself in overtime hours up to 9.10pm every night. Now, THAT was tiring. I kept on wishing I could walk out at 8.10pm.

So, now I have the best of both worlds. I have the extra working hours with payment (only peanuts but better than nothing). I can catch up on my piling workload. I can go home before my eyes get sleepy.

I think I can survive this till next year. Hopefully my financial situation would be better by then.

Here's to the working girl. Congratulations!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

PC Fair again.......thought I could resist it but then again

I couldn't resist the August PC Fair which started on Friday here in my home state.

MP4 & MP3 Players
I might need entertainment now that I'm going into shift working hours.
What a crappy logic!

I knew I needed the money for other important causes but somehow I found the logic to grab myself the tiny MP3 Player.

MP4 & MP3 Players
The black one wasn't broken after all.

The black one was bought last year (Read here). I thought it was broken but I have since discovered that it's working ok except that it cannot read the SD Card. The internal memory works fine. Damn.

So...two mechanics made one decision...for me


It's about my car again.

I remember when I bought it, I told everyone who cared to listen that I'd drive it till it falls apart. I think that time has come after almost 8 years of its service to me.

First, I went to get the wire for the spark plug replaced. The mechanic, who was a relative of mine, teased me about getting a Kenari, an ugly boxy nationally produced car (design from Japan of course).

Second, I went to the air-conditioning mechanic. He said there was nothing wrong really about the aircond system. It's just that the compressor, which is not an original since the car has long been discontinued, is not working to the quality that the original would. He also said that it's a sign telling me that it's coming to the end of its life.


This is it (like the final words of Michael Jackson)!

I have to work my ass off starting from tomorrow for the new car in December. Yes, it's going to be December.


I might have to borrow some money from somebody to help topping up the downpayment to reduce my monthly repayment.

I'll be back to square one. Hwaaaahhh!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I see myself "kow-tow"ing to the system.....blessing or curse?

I did talk about my anger about the forced car scrap thingy. Yes, I was furious.

Today, I found myself leaning more and more towards the system. I'm starting to behave like the failed hippie who has started to wear business suits because she needs the money and has to leave behind her ideal dreams.

Ok. I stopped by at a major supermarket where they always have car salesmen doing promotion outside at the entrance.

I purposely walked to a car on display and appeared interested in one of the price flyers. A smiley salesman came to me pitching a sale. He looked like one of my relatives so I immediately felt at ease with him.

Ok. Back to the car. After a lot of thinking and consideration over the past 2 months, I think I might be settling for this model. Perodua Viva 1.0 Manual Transmission.

perodua viva

Of course, in my dreams, I would have preferred to get the Premium Auto Transmission MyVi or a High End AMT Proton Savvy but those two are well beyond what my bank account could reach.

perodua-myvi savvy silver front
Myvi(left) and Savvy(right)

My old man reminded me a few weeks ago that the MYR5K voucher that the national car makers are giving out in exchange of old cars would expire by the end of this year. Sadly, the salesman confirmed that the info was true.

Therefore, I would have to give up my car much earlier than what I expected. I was hoping of taking the new car next year. With this piece of news, it's very much unlikely.

Why oh why?

Oh, the salesman dropped another bomb on my head. The Viva 1.0 is now only available as Viva Elite. A sportier-looking update which I'm not too keen of. I prefer the clean and smooth appearance of the original Viva.

Perodua Viva Elite Black Front
The Viva Elite.
I won't choose this colour. I'm weighing between the exquisite Pearl Jade or the easier-to-maintain Metallic Silver.

Perodua Viva Elite Black Rear
The Viva Elite Rear.
I feel that the look is too 'busy'. Guys would like it. I still prefer the original smooth look. Those are 14-inch rims btw.

There is only one thing that keeps me on the positive. Who would have thought that I would buy one important point that a car salesman made?

The car salesman casually asked have we all ever felt hesitation and worries when we have to do a long journey with our 17-year-old car?

The question struck a nerve in me.

Yes, I do feel worries nowadays when I need to travel outside my tiny home state. What if my car stalled somewhere miles away from home?

Ok. That's a very good reason to get a new car.

Would I cry over giving up my well-serving little car? Possibly. It held many memories for me. Sometimes, we do have to believe in goodbyes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Goodbye Freedom for She Works Hard for the Money

I did the unthinkable today.


I walked up to our new Manager and requested to be entered into the 12-hr shift of 8am-8pm. Just last month, I wouldn't have thought of putting myself through that!

The thought actually crossed my mind yesterday as I was cramming my workload at 8am in the morning before going for a Quality System training at 9am. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to finish it and added to that, I have many other assignments piling up due to lack of manpower, I began to surrender to the fate I had managed to avoid in my 8+yrs here.

Since the HR barred me from claiming OT on weekdays, I have no choice but to go for the shift hours in order to be 'compensated' for the extra hours I unwillingly had to put in daily in order to finish my workload.

Hey, I might as well find a way to get the company to pay me for that!

My new motto:

Work for the MONEY, honey!



Goodbye to freedom.

Goodbye to leisurely 'walk' at the shopping malls after work.

Goodbye to giving sorry excuses for turning up late for work coz they'll cut your shift hours payment if you do so.


Hello to having to shower at 9pm in the evening.

Hello to going to bed by 11.15pm the latest so I wouldn't wake up late and lethargic the next day.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

I miss Cinnabon.....!

I'm missing those luscious Cinnamon rolls lately. Yes, I'm talking about Cinnabon.

I first encountered Cinnabon at Suria KLCC over in the capital city while waiting for my buddy to get off work.

It was quite early in the morning that day. I was broke but hungry. Hadn't had my brekkie. In that situation, your choices for munch-munch were limited to only how deep your pocket could go. How I'm glad my choices were limited. It made life easier. I'd eat where it was cheapest.

Then I saw it! The only food stand that sold a cup of tea at MYR2.50 where others were selling at an average of MYR4-5 a pop. Cinnabon!

That was when I fell in love with those cinnamon rolls.

Cinnabon -tracy,CA
This one is in Tracy, California but since I have no pic of the one here where I live, I just have to take this one from Wikipedia.

Imagine how excited I was when they opened a stand in my home state's most famous shopping mall, the Mahkota Parade (MP). I would stop by after work to buy the rolls. The Minibons were surprisingly pretty cheap for an American franchise product. You could mix any flavours you wanted in one box.

Cinnabon Pecanbon
My favourite....the Pecanbon!
Btw, the one they served here had more pecans.

Then, the stand was gone. I guess the cinnamon rolls probably didn't cater too well to average Malaysian taste buds. I don't know but I was crushed.

gordonfamily cinnabon recipe page

I did find a good recipe here at


I haven't tried it but reading how they went through many tries and errors in their quest to clone Cinnabon's signature flavour, I would love giving this one a try someday.

By the way, I didn't know that Cinnabon's first store is in Seattle, Washington! More reason to love Seattle besides Heart, Queensryche, Chris DeGarmo and Frasier. Yeah!

Also, all these times, I pronounced the name as "sinna-bond". Yes, "bond" as in "Bond-James Bond". Out of curiosity, I surfed the net to hear how other people pronounced it. Apparently, the "bon" is supposed to be pronounced as "bun". Oh, dear. So, it's "sinna-bun". That doesn't sound so "attention-grabbing" like "sinna-bond" would.

What if the bridge was never built?

I talked about wanting my bridge unbroken before.

Some people never even got the bridge built.

What if the bridge was never built?

I've been listening to this song a lot lately and thinking about how opposite my life is from the songwriter, one of my musical heroes, Chris DeGarmo.

- Bridge (by Chris DeGarmo) -

You called me up on the phone today
struggling with the right words to say.
Time can change a thing or two.
Time has changed the lives of me and you,
but you know... it could have been different dad.

The word brings back a sweet memory.
I'm sitting on a bluff on a broken tree,
by my side a distinguished man giving me
encouragement, telling me I can, and you know ...
you're not there.

You say, "Son, let's forget the past,
I want another chance, gonna make it last."
You're begging me for a brand new start, trying
to mend a bridge that's been blown apart, but you know...
you never built it dad.

So I sit here through the night, and I
write myself to sleep, and time keeps ticking...
Time has made you finally realize your loneliness and your guilt inside.
You're reaching for something you never had,
turning around now you're looking back, and you know...
I'm not there.

You say, "Son, let's forget the past.
I want another chance, gonna make it last."
You're begging me for a brand new start, trying
to mend a bridge that's been blown apart, but you know ...
you never built it dad.

- Queensryche -

It's a deeply personal song he wrote about his relationship with his father who walked out on his family when he was young.

For someone who carries such an emotional baggage, Chris certainly grew up into a fine man. An accomplished musician and a family man who has managed to stay married to the same woman longer than most rock stars out there.

It is just the opposite of myself. I wonder what kind of a person would I be had I lived his life instead?

What if I got "a distinguished man who's never there telling me I can", instead of "a distinguished man who's always there telling me I can't do this or that"? Would either way made me bitter that it really wouldn't matter which life I had?

Chris' father passed away during the making of this particular Queensryche album, Promised Land.

It's now July. Chris' birthday is in June and there is one thing I can learn from this Gemini star. The way I see it from observing him, we are what we choose to make out of our own life. Sure, life makes us but to Chris, only to a certain extent seemingly. I see him making choices and steering (or pilotting :-)) his life into the direction he wants to bring his destiny to.

Ok. I used to trash it when people said that Gemini is a good balance for Aries, which I am. I said Gemini people were boring. Looking at Mr. Chris DeGarmo, hmm....I'm 'pilotted' to change my mind.

Thank you Chris. You've always been a magnificent bridge.

Here's the song:

In Memory of Yasmin Ahmad, the Story Teller

The Story Teller

That's the name she gave herself for her blogs right here on Blogger, Yasmin - The Story Teller and Yasmin - The Story Teller Part 2. Indeed, what a master story teller she was.

Just one month after the passing of the world's beloved and irreplaceable King of Pop, our country lost one bright star who had been captivating not just us but advertisement and film lovers around the world with her mastery of telling stories of human relations and emotions. We lost the beautiful person Yasmin Ahmad.

I first knew about Yasmin before she became a film-maker. One of Malaysian women magazines did a feature on the important figures in the world of advertising in our country. That was when I first saw her picture. With her long straight hair and her warm unmistakable smile. She was already a highly respected prominent advertising figure in the world at the time, working for Leo Burnett. In the article, her creative partner talked about the respect they had for each other and how they were perfect working together as a team.

Famous for her award-winning Petronas advertisement series, I was excited when I heard that she was venturing into movie-making. She didn't disappoint me. I had long been disillusioned by the industry in Malaysia at the time and she was a welcome breath of fresh air. If it wasn't for her, other indie film-makers here would have had an even harder time trying to break through. It's the bureaucracy. Heck, even Yasmin herself wasn't spared of the attack from those so-called Malaysian cultural 'preservers'.

Last night, TV3 paid a tribute to her by screening her award-winning story of an innocent first love Mukhsin. You watch this and you'll long for that kind of sweet first romance before your life started turning topsy-turvy, a journey we call adulthood.

Sweet romance at its best*smile*

....and he asked her to promise not to cut her beautiful hair...*sigh*

Somehow, it reminds me of the time when my last ex (a movie lover) told me how the ending to Yasmin's movie Sepet left him dumb-founded because the character Jason was pictured dead and yet there was his voice answering the telephone when the then teenager Orked called.

I explained to him my interpretation of the scene. I said that Yasmin's film is about the message it wants to convey. The message in Sepet is 'love that transcends all barriers'. Races, religions, cultures. Even death. Therefore, the way I saw her message was "Our love transcends all and even when I'm dead, my soul will find yours".

I remember my ex's face lighting up as if the last piece of a puzzle he couldn't find had been put into place.

Indeed Kak Yasmin. Your soul found ours with your work and may your legacy live on.