Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oz Open

I happened to watch Verdasco and Nadal play yesterday in the Semi Finals of the Australian Open. We watched the start of the game, switched channels so that Mum could watch her Korean drama, had dinner, watched the news and I tried Googling to find out who won but there mysteriously were no results.

Then we tried switching back to the channel and lo and behold, they were still at it! It was an awesome and exciting game as they fought point by point. I was rooting for Verdasco because he is the underdog, playing against Nadal the World No.1. 5 hours 14 minutes! Man, those who were watching it live really had their money's worth and square backsides for sitting so long.

Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow's finals with Nadal and Federer. Hopefully it will be as exciting as yesterday's match!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recycling MFK Container

Speaking of recycling junk, do you recognize this little plastic container?

It contains my husband's most favourite junk food of all time, Mo Far Ko. This little container is so small and yet I've used it for two different reasons before. Okay, okay, I won't call it recycling since I threw them away once my little experiments ended.

And what, may you ask, could I possibly store in this wee thing?

The first time I used it was way back in late secondary school. I found a jejentik (mosquito larvae) and scooped it into the container. I was hoping to observe how it would turn into a mosquito but unfortunately, I didn't get to see it. It had already evolved into the familiar flying insect by the time I came back from school one day. My intention was to leave it there until it grew tired of flying and simply drowned in the water.

After three days, it was still flying in the little space of air and I just couldn't kill it. So I let it out of my window, consoling myself that it wasn't an aedes.

To digress, also in high school, I kept two lizard eggs in a matchbox to watch it hatch. They hatched while I was at school so I didn't get to see their birth. Dang, that's why I prefer watching Nat Geo where you just sit for half and hour and you get to see it all captured on film.

Anyway, back to the MFK container, so that's Usage #1 - mosquito larvae.

Usage #2 was also similar in the sense that it was a living creature. I kept a fat leech which I collected from FRIM during my first trip with my old company. It had just filled its belly with someone's blood so it was really fat and fascinating.

After a few days in the container, it started to grow pretty thin. I took pity on it, pricked my finger and let some blood flow into the container. The fella latched on hungrily to the side as I observed the suction of its mouth. I also set it free after that.

Now what else can I do with this thing?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ox Year Celebrations

This year, the Chinese New Year celebrations have been somewhat muted. There have been less fireworks from the previous years, a luxury many may have opted not to have with the impending economic slowdown.

Back in Melaka, there were still fireworks but none of those huge ones which were comparable to those displayed at the annual KLCC New Year celebrations. Still, the nights have been filled with sharp cracks and bangs, much to the bewilderment of Amber and Maple.

We barricaded the girls to one side of the house on the first night as we had guests. In the midst of all the firecrackers going off, here are the reactions of the girls:
This is Amber, easily distracted with a bone. Here she's seen chewing while the fireworks were going on, not even flinching.

And this is Maple:
Petrified and stressed (see her worried frown - she's normally very carefree), pressing herself to the fence to be as near as possible to any human who may protect her from the horrible explosions. Poor gal's heart was thumping wildly as I hugged her.

And as always, we aimed to leave early so that we can reach Masjid Tanah before lunch and what time did we leave? An hour later than expected (KS and I seem to be always the last!) but still, we managed to squeeze in time to snap our annual shot:
And no, I'm not pregnant. I was experiencing high water retention. It didn't help that my dress had an empire waist. Now that I'm looking at this photo, looks like we had a theme going, gals in reds while the guys were garbed in light shades.

Oh! And one thing that I was proud to be working for my current company was its gorgeous ang pow packets this year.

Every year I look for one design of ang pow which I will keep to use for weddings so looks like this year I'll be keeping some of these. Aren't they gorgeous? I'd love to keep an entire stack of them but then, what would I do with a bagful of ang pows in 5 years? It becomes trash.

Or would anyone have suggestions on what to do with old ang pow packs which cannot glue itself at the folds anymore?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mind Your Language

So I walked into a shop selling DVD this morning intending to get the full set of Mind Your Language. Scanning the shelves, I could not seem to find it and decided to ask the guy in charge.

All this while, there was this guy at the counter, smoking in an air conditioned room, looking slightly pissed and furiously SMS-ing while a young boy looked on. He finally got up and was about to walk to the front of the shop when I approached him with a tentative, "Do you have Mind Your Language?". He looked at me and said, "What your language?" So I repeated, "Mind Your Language?"

He threw me a disgusted glance but said, "Okay, I'll mind my language!"

In shock, I said, "No, no, the series, Mind Your Language! Aren't you the guy in charge of the shop?"

"Oh! No I'm not! I'm also a customer waiting for the guy who's at the back. Er... there should be the boxed set somewhere.."

Ish. Malu sial... By the way, the boxed set is "The Complete Set of the Best Episodes of Mind Your Language" Apalah. Where do I go get the Complete Set?

Bali Is Off

Right after I blogged about Bali, the trip has been cancelled. Sheesh.

Never mind. We're still looking at going there this year with KS family.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bali - Next Month

Next month I'll be going to Bali, piggy-backing on KS's company trip. Quite excited about it since I've heard so much about Bali and I only need to pay for the airfare. The place where we'll be staying is apparently 3 hours from the airport. We'll be there for 4 days 3 nights, food included plus a nightly spa.

KS will be away for a day of work so I'll be left on my own for one day. Quick! Give me suggestions on what books to buy now to bring! I just bought David Sedaris' latest "When you are engulfed in flames" but I doubt if it will remain untouched until next month.

Another thing, Bali = beaches = bikini babes. I hardly swim and the swimsuit I have is the neon one which highlights the part I'm trying most to cover. Plus the fact that it is over 3 years old. All good reasons to get a new suit, no?

So I went into the shops to take a look. Man! The lesser the material, the more expensive it is! Sigh. I'll have to just make do with what I have then.

NZ Updates

Just updated my photos of NZ here and here after 4 years. Why do I even bother but makes me miss NZ all over again.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Going Public

This year, I plan to open up this blog to a little bit more people via Facebook. But before I do, I'd like to give you a chance to let me know if there are any blog postings which should be removed. Please let me know by 14 Feb 09.

Oh, with the exception of Eric. Only to correct his stories. Sorry.

Classical Music

I was recently given to a set of classical music CDs called Hooked on Classics for Christmas. The title of each piece looked a bit weird, with many popular classical pieces listed under one song. My expectation was that it is a compilation of famous classical bits and pieces stitched into one song, which I am rather used to although it leaves me unsatisfied, like having a whiff of Famous Amos but not eating them, know what I mean?

Anyway, one morning, I popped the CD into the player on the way to work and was awestruck by the fact that they weaved a steady synthesized drumbeat to give a rhythm to stitch each snippet like a quilt. For the pieces which had different rhythms, the timing was adjusted to fit into the complete composition.

Now, art appreciation is extremely subjective. Growing up with Ron's influence on appreciating classical music, the first time I listened to the CD, my jaw was at my feet. It was too incredible and I just had to listen to the entire CD and popped in the 2nd CD after that.

After listening to the 1st CD for the 4th time now, I am beginning to appreciate it for it's many pieces which I am familiar with but never knew the title of the song. I haven't started on the 3rd CD yet as I plan to write down each title that I'd like to collect the full version of. I'm gonna have my cookies after having a good whiff of what I like!

It's actually a very clever way of getting people to appreciate classical music as I am told by Ron that he's had friends who started venturing into classical music after listening to similar versions of the set I have.

Angry Day

As mentioned, we had admitted KS into the hospital just after New Year. On Sunday, he was already feeling better with no fever for the day. We mentioned to his doctor that we would like to discharge him the next day and I took emergency leave so that I could help.

The next day we got up and reminded the nurses that we'd like to be discharged. However, until noon, the doctor still didn't come to do her rounds. We were told she was stuck in a jam on her way back from an external meeting. So we waited.

At 2:30pm, I walked out of the room and spotted her at the nurses' desk. Thinking she'd start doing her rounds, I went back and waited in the room. Half an hour later, we asked a nurse when the doc will see us who told us she was coming soon, "Appreciate your patience..." never mind that we waited half the day already.

We watched the next movie on the TV and when it ended at 6pm without any interruption from the doctor, we got really mad and I went down to complain to the management. The supervisor tried to calm me down and brought me back up to the ward where we found the doctor frantically writing out KS discharge documents, without even going in to check on him to see if he really was fit enough to leave.

And when I checked the bill, they:
1. Charged for the extra day of waiting for the doc
2. Overcharged us by charging us over RM1,500 for 92 bottles of mouthwash
I know this is being funded by insurance but please lah, this is ridiculous! We had the advantage of having my dad staying the same duration in the same hospital for the same illness less than 2 weeks before for less than half of what they were going to charge us.

Then there was the dispensary. They gave KS pills for "your stomach problem". What stomach problem?! Oh well, they shrug, I'm only dispensing what your doctor prescribed.

Fuming and tired, we went to the car after paying the maximum car park ticket for two days since I parked the car the day before (max of RM5 per day). Loaded everything into the car and damn car couldn't start. Flat battery. KS AAM (auto assist) card was in his wallet which I left at home. Managed to call Toyota Auto Assist. Found out we never paid for their service but they were willing to send help as long as we paid on our next trip to their office.

An hour later, mechanic arrives. Yup, battery problem. Never mind that two weeks ago KS sent the car for service and asked about the battery life-span. "Boleh lagi!" was the reply.

Big sigh. Pull out of the carpark, slot the ticket into the auto-gate. Ticket expired, had to go down to pay again for another RM3 for 2 hours. #*$%^%@^#^&!

Oh, while waiting for the battery to arrive, KS developed rash which spread to entire body the next day and had to go to a clinic as I wouldn't have sent him back to the hospital to the same doctor.

By the way, hospital was Assunta. Great service from the nurses but don't EVER get Dr Thye.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hospital Mileage Points

Happy New Year 2009 to you!

And how do we start off the new year? By chalking up more mileage points with the hospital. After Dad recovered from suspected dengue and was discharged from the hospital, a few days later, Mum started having joint pains on the 1st of Jan. This was right before we stepped into the hall for Mamma Mia! (which I will blog about that when I get the chance). That very evening, KS also started to develop similar symptoms.

Mum is still having mild fever but KS has been admitted to the hospital with a shocking 40.1 degrees. He seems to have a rash that looks like burst capilaries which the doctor wasn't too happy about.

We were supposed to be helping out Kenneth with his wedding today. KS was the Groomsman (thank God he wasn't Best Man so his role wasn't as major) and I was to help out here and there. Unfortunately, the doc said KS may have a viral fever and being at the wedding would only endanger everyone present.

Sigh. What a way to usher the new year. Now off to the hospital again.