Monday, 30 November 2009

Four Guy Stuff I Do Well

Here is a list of items I take pride in doing well because not many ladies know how to do 'em.

1) Map reading. I was in Singapore with a girlfriend and we were discussing how to get to Orchard Road from Waterloo Street. So we opened the map and I could pinpoint Orchard Road straight away, thanks to my habit of doing much research before visiting any place. A guy friend who was with us said that I'm the first lady he's met who is able to read a map. I was like, duh ...

2) Parking. I can park in all styles - side parking, 3-point-turn parking, L parking, backside-in parking; I can do it all.

You know what they say about women being bad drivers and poor parkers. I thought it was a chauvanistic way of thinking until I saw a girl struggling to park her Avanza backside-in at the Sunway Pyramid Shopping Complex. After many failed attempts, she drove off, probably hoping to find another parking space that can fit a 12-wheeler lorry trailer. I thought she was a disgrace to the gender.

Another time I was driving with a male colleague for a work assignment. When we reached our destination, he cynically asked if I could do the side parking. I said, "Watch me". With one turn of the steering wheel, the car was in. That shut him up.

3) "Offside". I understand what is "offiside" in soccer, thanks to my dad who patiently explained it to me during the numerous times we watched soccer together. I also learned from him that "offside" is known as "curi ayam" in Bahasa Malaysia. The year he died, I watched the 2002 FIFA World Cup Finals alone and reminisced what he would have said.

4) DIY. I can assemble a DIY cupboard all by myself. My sis bought a bookrack from Giant and didn't know next to nuts how to assemble it. I came to the rescue and the cupboard was standing in about 2 hours. My latest feat was assembling a whole lot of Ikea furniture on my own.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

What a Movie Experience!

Yesterday I went to TGV KLCC to watch The Time Traveller's Wife.

Since it was a Wednesday, I thought all tickets were RM7.00 each. See, see price already increase to RM8.00, WTH!

I was early so I browsed around in Isetan while waiting for the movie to start. Saw a lovely zebra print legging that costs RM39.20 after discount. But didn't buy cause got so many other expenses this month and the next.

Soon it was showtime and to my dismay the rows of seats were so close to each other I could hardly get to my seat which was about 5 seats in. Must make a mental note that Cinema No. 12 in TGV KLCC is super small only a hobbit could go in.

Since The Time Traveller's Wife was already ending its run, that was the only screening for the day. So I thought there'll only be a handful of people in the cinema and I could spread myself out over 2 seats. Alas, it was not the case - half the hall was filled! So much for high hopes!

When the trailers were playing, a guy in a baseball cap came and sat on my left. And then a plump guy plonked himself on my right. Since when did single guys come to watch a soppy, romantic movie like The Time Traveller's Wife??? Times sure are a changing, man!!!

The plump guy was coughing throughout the movie I was afraid his phlegm and spittle might end up in my Coke which was on the drinks holder beside the seat.

And because the bugger was plump, coupled with the narrow space between the rows of seats, he sat with his legs terkang-kang. Whenever I reached for my Coke, my hand would brush against the side of his thigh. He must either be enjoying himself or thinking I was trying to molest him, WTF!

That was not the end of my movie ordeal.

About 15 minutes into the movie, a fat broad came and wanted to get to her seat right in the middle! The fellas sitting at the end ignored her because I guess they knew how terrible it is to get in. And so the fat broad raised her voice, "I need to get in!"

So everyone had to make way for Ms Humpty Dumpty. Since I am rather petite, I just lifted my legs into a croching position. Otherwise I could have sworn her butt cheeks would have slapped me in the face as she waddled her way in. Yes, the rows of seats were that close and she was that fat!

The lead character in The Time Traveller's Wife is called Henry, played by Eric Bana. Halfway through the movie I realised that Mr Bana also played King Henry VIII in The Other Boleyn Girl. How come Eric Bana's character all named Henry, one?

I was amazed I could connect the dots about such nonsensical information. Maybe because surrounded by single men watching soppy, romantic movies and almost got slapped by the butt cheeks of a fat broad must have taken its toil on my psychological well-being.

And to end my entire movie ordeal, The Time Traveller's Wife sucked big time. I've not read the book, so I don't know whether the book is better than the movie. But whatever it is, I still think the movie sucked big time.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Introducing An Ugly Lover to Your Parents

What happens when it's time to introduce your gf/bf to your parents and your partner happens to be physically ugly?

You would have fallen in love with your gf/bf for one reason or another, and her/his physical attributes might not be one of them. After all, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

But parents think otherwise - they tend to look at physical attraction and not character. Most Chinese parents have a preconceived idea or notion of the perfect daughter/son-in-law:

Criteria for a Daughter-In-Law
Must look like Zhang Ziyi.
Must be able to cook like Martha Stewart.
Must be able to produce children like a dog, prefarably many sons.

Criteria for a Son-In-Law
Must look like Wang Lee Hom.
Must have a bank account the size of Bill Gates.
Must drive at least a Toyota.

I was having lunch with my friend ML and she was telling me about the time when her brother brought his gf (now wife) home to introduce to his parents.

His gf had goofy teeth and after the introduction, his mother (it's always the mother!) started complaining that his gf is not pretty. WTF! Is his mum going to be staring at her goofy teeth during humping time?

It is because of mother-in-laws from hell like these that puts pressure on any girl.

As a woman, cooking skills can be nurtured through practice. Babies can be conceived as long as she is able to (unless she is unable to conceive due to natural causes). But a woman can't change her looks.

She can improve her looks by changing her hairdo, use make-up, lose weight and wear impressive clothes; but these can only go so far. At the end of the day, in her mother-in-law's eyes, it's how sharp her nose is, how big her eyes are, how smooth her skin is, how slim she is and the list goes on.

To those of you who are planning that first introduction, here's my advice to you: Inform your parents prior to the meeting that your partner is ugly. Do this even if your partner is good looking.

By doing this, your parents won't complain when they meet your partner cause they would already be expecting someone ugly. Even if they do complain despite the prior warning, just say, "I had informed you earlier".

If your partner is good looking after all, then it'd be a pleasant surprise for your parents cause they would have been expecting someone ugly.

So you see, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

But whatever it is, tell your partner that your parents love her/him. We don't want to crush their spirits, because being ugly is absolutely none of their fault.

It's a pity that people tend to judge others according to looks and not character. For those who are good looking, the world is at your feet. To those who are not, we'll just have to live with it.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Buskers in Covent Garden

When I was in London, John and Nat took me gallivanting around. We were walking everywhere, from Westminister Cathedral to Trafalgar Square to Soho to Chinatown. Soon we passed through Covent Garden.

Covent Garden is an interesting place that reminds me of the flea markets in Amcorp Mall and The Curve. But unlike the markets in the Klang Valley, what makes Covent Garden a wee bit more interesting are its street performers or buskers.

Buskers are everywhere in Covent Garden:

This guy sang quite nicely. I think he was singing a Ronan Keating song.

You can even sit at a cafe and be entertained by a string sextet (not too sure if this is the right definition) while you enjoy a cup of tea.

This guy commanded the crowd's attention with his acrobatic stunts.

As we watched his performance, he asked for volunteers to help him in his stunt.

There was this oriental guy standing nearby. And the performer pointed to him, "Hey Jackie Chan, come here. I need your help."

Initially I thought the performer was being a racist, but then when I think again, it's quite hilarious actually. Imagine being refered to Hong Kong's superstar just because they belong to the same race. What an honour, hahaha.

Nat said we should go away in case the performer might call him Jackie Chan next!

I wanted to be called Zhang Ziyi, LOL !!!

Anyway, as you can see from the pic, the perfomer sought the help of a few guys, all of whom were from different countries sans the bald guy in red jacket who is a local. This goes to show the large number of tourist in Covent Garden.

The performer was talking too much and 'terhegeh-hegeh' want to complete his stunt. We couldn't wait, so we walked off.

Then we saw this guy:

Notice his left foot.

He tied a tin can to his foot and by tapping it, he created a musical instrument. How clever!

When the guy saw me shooting him, he obliged by waving to the camera. And when we turned to walk off, he called out through the microphone, "Hey camera woman, don't forget to drop some coins into the bag," or something to that effect.

I was like, wth! Since when did they get so bold in asking for money???!!!

I ignored the fella and walked away but he kept calling me.

I didn't want to give anything cause I was in a country where my currency is so damn weak. For a person like me who earns in the Ringgit, London's not the place to make donations in the British Pound.

So we contiued our journey to the Soho area where I saw this bunch of guys:

Ang mohs cycling rickshaws in Chinatown! They are certainly no match for the rickshaw fellas in Malacca!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Cobra Dream

Two nights ago I had a bad dream.

I was holding onto a cobra's head and trying to prevent it from biting me. The cobra was vicious and it's fangs were out, ready to strike.

I figured that if I held tightly onto the cobra's head and keeping my arms far from my body, it would prevent the cobra from biting me.

The same dream repeated itself twice and then I woke up.

I feel that this dream is telling me something because rarely do I get a dream that repeats itself. But what is the message behind this dream?

Am I holding on tightly to someone or something that is not good for me?

Am I afraid that if I let go of someone or something, I would get hurt in the process? And so therefore I hold on tightly?

Is God trying to tell me to let go of someone or something? If yes, what is it?

Dreams are confusing and I think only time will tell what this dream truly means. But I sure hope someone would show me the way.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Raju Restaurant is Expensive!

My colleague and I went to Section 5 in Petaling Jaya this morning to collect a few newspaper clippings that we had sent there for framing.

After collecting the clippings and leaving them in the car, we realised it was already 12.00pm. So I suggested we have lunch in Raju Restaurant (yes, the famous one) before heading back to the office. The restaurant is only a few doors from the frame shop.

It has been a long time since I ate at Raju's. Most of the time when I wish to satisfy my craving for banana leaf rice I'd go to Nirwana's Restaurant in Bangsar. Since I was already at Raju's, I thought it would be a good opportunity to eat there again.

So we went in, took our seats and placed our orders. Since it was just before lunch time, there wasn't many customers around; so service was prompt.

The curry was rather mild compared to the last time I ate there when it was fiery with lots of spices. So it was ok for me.

But what made today's banana leaf rice experience unforgetable was payment time - my bill alone came to RM13.50!

I had basic rice and veg (RM5.50) and a plate of chicken varuval (RM7.00). Other restaurants charge average RM4.00 for the rice and veg and average RM4.00 for a plate of chicken varuval.

But what got me furious was the RM1.00 charge for rasem!

While other banana leaf restaurants serve rasem for free, Raju's charge it's customers RM1.00. This is a blatant case of daylight robbery.

After paying the bill and grumbling in my heart, I vowed never to return to Raju's again.

How Do You Open This Bvlgari Perfume Bottle?

Someone gave me this recently:

I was delighted. I mean, which gal doesn't like to receive perfume, right?

But when I opened the packaging, I realised I don't know how to open these two bottles!!!

Since when a simple thing like opening a perfume bottle became so complicated? What happened to simplicity?

The designers wanted to create something impressive and futuristic; but they forgot about practicality and simplicity.

Can someone please tell me how to open these darn bottles? I don't want to damage them cause they are too pretty to be thrown away.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

My New Ikea Furniture

I bought a whole lot of stuff from Ikea recently.

Because I'm a cheapskate, I wanted to save assemblying fee and decided to do it myself. So I just paid RM65 for delivery charges.

When the Ikea fellas delivered the stuff I started work immediately.

The Ikea stuff was enough to fill my entire living room.

I've assembled bookcases of varying sizes from Giant and Jusco, and they were a breeze. That gave me the confidence of doing this job similarly well.

The advertisements always tells us that it's easy to do-it-yourself; just follow the instructions and you would be fine, yadda yadda yadda.

But in reality, it ain't that easy.

What makes assemblying Ikea furniture difficult is the sheer weight of these furniture and the number of instructions that could go up to more than 25 steps for one piece of furniture. But the positive side about heavy furniture is that you know you're getting quality stuff.

I've learned my lesson about buying cheap furniture.

When I moved into my apartment about 2 years ago, I bought a brand new 3-seater Cavenzi sofa that costs only RM399. I was delighted because it was not only cheap, but it was so light that I could lift it with one finger like Mrs Incredible while mopping my apartment.

However, the damn thing caved in after just 3 months. And mind you, that sofa was hardly used.

The fucked-up Cavenzi sofa.

Anyway, after following the Ikea instructions to the T, I still made minor mistakes like banging a hole in my beloved Billy bookcase! But luckily the hole is small and hidden. Otherwise bang balls, man ...

In the end I managed to assemble these furniture on my own:

Malm Chest of 6-Drawers

Two Hemnes side tables

And my favourites - two Billy bookcases and a 3-seater Ektorp sofa.

Now my living room looks like a page from the annual Ikea brochure, hahaha.

After the long hours of screwing, hammering, lifting and carrying, my whole body was aching for a few days. Terrible, man! Didn't know assembling furniture could be that stressful.

Throwing away the packaging was another bitch.

Here's a tip for you: Unless you're a carpenter or a handy person, pay the assembling fee (I think it's 5% of the furniture cost). Trust me, it's money well spent compared to you breaking back trying to do it yourself and making mistakes in the process.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

I Succumbed to Cheapness

After all the bally hoo and sandiwara about Celebrity Fitness taking over California Fitness, and the Lot 10 branch's facilities being sucky and all, I finally decided to renew my membership with Celebrity Fitness.

Reason is because I've got a corporate rate that was too good to refuse.

Paying RM999 per annum for a one-club membership is a steal. And if I wish to work my arse off at other clubs, it would cost me only RM1,080 per annum for an all-club pass. Celebrity Fitness got me by the balls.

The RM999 per annum is slightly higher than what I paid last year when the club was still under California Fitness management. I don't remember the exact amount, but it was something like RM60 plus per month and I had to pay it in a lump sum for one year. But even if the corporate rate has increased, it is still cheaper compared to other clubs.

However, the increase in corporate rate proves what my sister says is true - that Celebrity Fitness is more expensive than California Fitness.

She also commented that Celebrity Fitness is only out for money. Before they sign you up they'll promise you the moon. After they've got your money, they won't bother to arrange for your complimentary personal training session that they promised before you signed on the dotted line.

Whatever it is, here's a toast to another year of suffering in a cramped workout area. But hey, at least I get to work out, albeit in a not too favourable condition.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Enjoying Nature in Hovik

On my last day in Oslo I decided to explore the area around David's apartment before my flight back to London.

I left the apartment at about 12.30pm and walked down this road:

There was a school there and kids were playing in the park; must have been their recess time.

Soon I reached this clearing

and saw a body of water behind the trees.

David had earlier explained that I need to walk through the trees to get to the hiking trail. So I thought this must be it.

There was a signboard but I didn't understand a word as everything was in Norge.

Behind the trees was a small marina with lovely boats.

The surroundings were quiet and peaceful. Whenever I find a nice peaceful spot, I love to sit still for hours listening to my breathing and just enjoy the gift of 'being'.

But this time I had a plane to catch so I had to continue my hike.

Soon I reached this path

and sat on one of the bench to admire the scenery.

A lady with her dog came walking along the path. Her dog that was not on a leash took a liking to me and came bounding up to me seeking a pat on its head.

The lady rushed to pull her dog away from me and quickly tied it to a leash. She didn't even apologise that her dog made my clothes dirty, but I didn't mind cause the dog was a cute fella.

I didn't get a chance to snap a pic of the dog, but here's a pic of the lady dragging her dog away. Poor thing, it was just being friendly.

Later when I related the story to David, he said that Norwegians are so stuck up that they won't apologise when something like that happens.

Anyway, I continued my hike along the edge of the water.

I noticed that the sand was black, which reminded me of the black sand in Langkawi. The water was equally black.

Then I walked back into the woods. I was not afraid of getting lost because I just needed to follow any of the paths that have already been paved, and I would eventually reach the main road.

In my last post about Oslo, I mentioned that the Norwegians are great boating people. They are also great lovers of the outdoor. That's why you can find many opportunities in Norway to do outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and boating.

In fact during this hike, I met a few people from all ages and walks of life who were hiking in the area. Some of them were bringing their pet dogs for a walk, couples were jogging in the woods and some were just hiking as if it were their daily routine.

The Norwegian lifestyle is very different compared to the sedentary lifestyle of the Malaysians. While they love the outdoors and have an active lifestyle, Malaysians just refuse to walk anywhere. Even when it comes to parking also must park right in front of our destination. No wonder obesity is rising in the country!

When I was in Oslo, almost all the Norwegian men and women I saw were slim, fit and gorgeous! This is what having an active lifestyle does to you.

Now back to my hiking story ...

I saw houses and more sceneries like these:

After spending much time exploring the area, I realised I need to get back to the apartment to get ready to go to the airport.

I saw this opening along one of the path which led to the main road.

The path opened up to a futsal court. I had to snap a pic of it cause the sky was so blue!

When I reached the apartment, I told David that his apartment is surrounded by lovely landscapes and that he should spend more time outdoors. But he said he don't have the time as he is busy with work. By the time he reaches home, he's so tired and stressed he just wants to sleep.

Well, I thought spending time outdoors is one way of releasing stress. But what to do, as the Malay saying goes,

"Kalau hendak, seribu daya; kalau tak nak, seribu dalih"

If I were living there, I would make frequent trips to drink in the sights of the lovely natural surroundings of Hovik.

And then I'll be slim, fit and gorgeous as the Norwegians! Lead an active lifestlye is what I wanna do!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Inactivity on This Blog Thanks to FarmVille

I've not been been updating my blog actively these past few weeks. Previously I was very rajin (hardworking) and posted an average of 2 entries per week. Now one entry per week also susah (difficult) to do.

Well, my absence on Blogger is because of one thing - FarmVille !!!

If you don't know what FarmVille is, then you must be a Facebook (FB) virgin. This game has been on FB for some time but only lately I've found the time to learn the game.

In this game, I am farmer in-charge of my own farm. I need to plant trees, vegetables and flowers as well as rear poultry to earn gold coins and points to move to the next level.

What makes FarmVille addictive is that I am able to flex my creative streak and do all sorts of things in my farm.

I'm learning to plot my land carefully so that when the plants are fully grown it comes out as a picture; something like crop circles. My first attempt was to plant a shape of crosses within crosses using eggplants, daffodils and bell peppers. And it turned out perfectly!

Part of the challenge of FarmVille is to choose plants according to their colours and harvest time. You would want to choose plants that have the same harvest time and matching colours.

Some of my 'neighbours' farms, are so pretty with a full collection of decoratve items like a bird bath, gazing ball, bales of colourful hay, various kinds of topiary, hot-air balloon and the list goes on. To get these item you would need to have good 'neighbours' to send them to you. Alternately you could buy them using the gold coins earned from your harvest.

Sounds interesting? You bet it is!

So pardon my lack of updates on this blog for the time being. Things will go back to normal once this craze of mine dies down.
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