Sunday, August 31, 2008

Celebrations

Which so happens to be rather quiet this year, innit? In fact we'd almost missed the fact that it's Independance Day - no festive decorations or billboard adverts, we didn't see many flags a-wavin' from cars or shops, heck, we don't watch telly so we won't know about the latest patriotic ads.

'Course, it's not as if we're much of a patriot ourselves - we don't have that muhibbah spirit, plus we're admittedly racist, we don't feel that grateful feeling for living in an independant country, Independance Day is just another public holiday for us to celebrate.

If we were to think of anything to be proud of, it's probably for the food. And that we'd only ever suffered from floods and never earthquakes or other far more lethal natural disasters.

Um. There's lots of things (to be proud of and that isn't great) that we're leaving out, true.

But in short, we're actually feeling that it's rather a good thing that this year's celebrations have been kept rather quiet, whatwith the political circus that's been going on the whole year that our neighbouring countries have been following with much amusement.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Conference

This week started off with a three-day conference that was work-industry-related. Three days of meeting and catching up with coursemates and other acquaintences who're in the same industry too. As it's industry-related, this means that the company pays for us to attend talks, and more importantly, eat free food and take home goodie bags.

We must say that food in Sheraton Subang isn't all that great. Only their afternoon tea break snacks were good (fried chicken drumlets and samosa). And they ran out of coffee too darn fast.

As for the freebies, we'd gotten a nice bag that looks like a laptop bag sans paddings, and interestingly - normal saline eye drops. Surbex-Zinc tablets, Bio-Enhanced Fish Oil capsules and Booster Blitz Energy Drink powder that's "enriched with Vitamin B for an instant boost of energy". Rather smart choice of freebies...stuff that keeps you awake for the lectures.

If only they were considerate enough to provide coffee during the talks as well rather than only during the morning tea break/lunch/afternoon tea break.

Normally it'll be fun to attend any conference to have a change of pace from the job. Unfortunately for us, we couldn't beg off work as we had pressing matters back in the office during the same time - thus at night after the conference we'd be back in the office doing unpaid OT till the wee hours of the morning.

A bit stressful as we definitely lacked proper sleep. Add that on to a few other things and on our drive back home from the office at 3am we were actively cussing all the way home.

We think the stress showed up in quite a few ways: On Monday evening we started feeling rather blue for missing BodyJam for 2 weeks already, and found ourselves at the Curve before choir began to watch others enjoying the class. On Tuesdays we needed destressing therapy hence another trip to the Curve for BodyJam, a bit of window shopping (Mac City selling iPod Classic 160GB at RM999 while stocks last! Normal prices RM1399!) and then later on we just chilled a while at the Chief's place - before heading back to the office. On Wednesday, even more destressing therapy in the form of a bottle of Fresh Lime Body Oil Gel from Skin Food. Very therapeutic.

And now we've time to once more connect online! With no need to OT anymore, BodyJam after two weeks, and all that destressing therapy, we can certainly feel our personal happiness going up again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chief's Chain

So now it's the Chief's turn for the chain story. And we pastes it here.

Alexander
It wasn't a dark and stormy night - that's really a clich├ęd beginning for a story. For Julien, it was bright enough to see the faint outline of Philip's naked body. Philip was sleeping soundly on the silk satin bedsheet, but Julien just couldn't even get his eyes close on that full moon night. He was looking out the dusty windows, lightly holding the almost empty wine glass. Then, he caught a glimpse of a shadow... who was this stranger in the night?

Janvier
Julien silently shut the window and kept in the shadows, to avoid being silhouetted in the moonlight. "Must get the job done quickly now," he thought while appreciating Philip's physique, "before he gets back." He downed the remains of the wine, then took out his garrotte. Why do I always get the good-looking ones? he pondered as he got into bed, cradled Philip's head and slid the garrotte around Philip's neck. Then Julien yanked and Philip jerked awake, only to have Julien flip him facedown on the bed and pressed his body down on his, his face smothered by the pillow and Julien still strangling him, when the bedroom door slammed open.

Fable Frog
Julien retreat off of the bed leaving Philip's lifeless body. Swiftly he reached for his shirt, knocking the wine glass off the side table. "What have you done?!!", a loud voice came from the door, "Not this one, not right here!!". Julien stood by the bed quiet as a mice, with his head hanging low. The light from the door shine into the dark room, as if spotlighted onto Philip's body while a shadow grew longer reaching the face of Philip.

Adrien
But then it stopped. The creeping shadow halted, as if time stood still, and the approaching figures outside the door had frozen in place. Julien kept silent, his eyes and ears, vigilant, knowing that even the slightest of movements could trigger the shadows - the frozen figures that spoke of undesired calamity.

“For Hera’s sake, could you please keep that aside?! I strictly told you to refrain yourself from using the powerful one... Wait. He’s still in there. I can sense his energy. His fear. Even so, our beloved Phillip is far too devious to just play dead. Fine. Use it.”

It was a man, and he was not alone.

Ban
One of the men produced a verrrry suspicious-looking phallic instrument about 8 inches long which he flicked on. Brilliant white light shone forth from it to illuminate the scene at the bed but Julien wasn't anywhere in sight.

"I really wish you didn't bring that obscene looking flash light of yours here. Couldn't you be a little more serious about work?"

"Oh, don't bother about me and keep concentrating on finding him."

Lifebook
"Just switch on light, dimwit!!"

Julien looked around him. Now he had to get a way out of the room, and it had to be quick before the guys found him. For the moment, jumping out from the windows was his only option.

After a minute of rummaging around, one of the guys managed to find the light switch.....

QR
"I found it!" he says and flicked the switch but nothing happened. The light wouldn't turn on and both of them turned their attention to the faulty switch.

This was the diversion Julien has been waiting for. Swiftly, he sprinted fast and silently like a cat towards the opened window. It was freezing cold with winter winds but he had to get out of there.

Legolas
"Stop right there if you still want to be in one piece." Julien froze as his mind was turning quick about what to do next when the light suddenly came on.

"You idiot, told you to switch on the lights and you got the socket." The man had a gun in his hand, pointing straight at Julien. "So you think you can get away this time? I don't think so."

"You must know, bullets won't do me any harm," Julien replied calmly, while still thinking about a way to get out of this situation.

"Heh heh... I have the powerful one to help me this time. It's game over for you now."

Jason
"Is that so? Let's see how fast your bullets are," Julien replied and he dashed to the door with supersonic speed, knocked the second guy who is blocking at the door to the floor.

The first guy fires his gun towards Julien continuously but all of them misses the target, and without any hesitant, Julien sped to the main door but his steps stopped there.

"Hi Julien."

"Freddie... Get out of my way."

"Awwww... Why the rush? How long we haven't seen each other? Don't you miss me?"

Chief
Julien was immediately stunned by that statement. Yes. Julien used to have a wonderful time with Freddie. Freddie, being a pilot, was required to fly around at least twice a month, for a period of two weeks each time. Whenever Freddie was in another country, he would definitely give Julien a call, started off saying, "Don't you miss me?"


It's JL's turn next!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Closed Door, Opened Door Policy

This is something that the Chief noted about the differences in both our family...philosophy. It started with our bedroom doors.

See, the Chief notices that the bedroom doors in our house aren't closed (when empty) or locked (when occupied). 'Course, the only time a bedroom door is closed is when the aircon is on, so that the room gets cold. Otherwise, mum has this thing about keeping the doors (and windows) open 'for ventilation'.

Not that we found any need to ventilate the room, since we're only home at night when the room isn't so stuffy or such. In fact we've done quite well with our room in James Blyth Court without much airing (well yes we did have the windows open a slight bit once in a while, but that was because it was much colder outside and was our only aircon.

So. Bedroom doors open or unlocked. See, maternal conditioning is a fine thing in many different ways. Enough reminders for someone to do something and sooner or later you'll see it done without telling, just so that you don't have to keep telling. Ahem.

This essentially means that even when we're in the room doing anything, anyone can (and do) barge in. Quite honestly we're used to family members just opening our door followed by immediate conversation, heck, our mornings are usually started by mum coming in while we're still sleeping to steal clothings or our towel to make up the laundry quota, then our dad to wake us up (supplementary to our mobile alarm), then mum again to do vacuuming or whatnot chores.

In contrast the Chief's family practise a stricter privacy policy. Door remains shut (most of the time) and locked, with family members knocking and waiting for permission to enter. Cor.

Now this does sorta spill over to other things we do.

We've had friends over to the house before, although not frequently because the telly's normally taken up by the parents which means all videogaming and DVD Nites have to be done elsewhere, which leaves us househosting for boardgames generally.

The Chief meet up with friends outside. Not many know where the Chief's place is - rarer still those who've been inside. Well then again there's rather a number of family members staying together, much akin to those rich Chinese families in them Chinese television series, so a gathering of friends would be much easier outside.

You'll realize that this makes our presence there much more noticiable.

Well even the Chief says that we're a relatively much more open fellow, shy violet that we are.

Wonder what everyone else feel about their privacy settings. Then again, we adher to the Open Door policy because we're staying home with the family. Who knows how when we stay out (a long time more, probably...)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Clan Chief, Casinos & Chicken

Now last Sunday we were a tad stressed out, as we were invited along to follow the Chief's Clan up to Genting. It's not just with a few family members, but rather the entire family was going up to celebrate the dad's birthday. Initially Chief told us that there'll be extended family members and staff coming along as well, so we won't feel so out of place, but on Sunday morning itself it turned out that only immediate family members were going!

Well, immediate family members and their married partners, of course. And kids.

And there we were. Going along together for a family trip. While it's not as if we never met the family before, it still felt slightly awkward, as we never really talked much to them, being the shy violet we are. Fact that most of the family spoke Chinese too didn't help. Yet if the Chief think it's OK for us to come along, we weren't too worried yet. After all it's not the Chinese New Year family reunion dinner we're talking about mah.

And what's there for Clan Chief to do in Genting? Hit the casinos. Us? We don't gamble, at least not with stakes that high. Even during Chinese New Year, money we set out for gambling we already count as money meant to lose. But in any case we weren't prepared to just fling hundreds to thousands towards the croupier in exchange for chips, so we contented ourself by watching the Chief do so in the Genting International Room.

At baccarat the Chief picked up a hundred. After lunch at the jackpots the Chief picked up another three.

In fact, all family members who played (all save those babysitting the kids at the theme park), came out with earnings.

Once we all were back down at the Chief's place, we were interrupted midst Super Mario Galaxy to be informed that the family would be going to KFC for dinner later, and that the Chief's dad "wanted the two of us to be there".

Thankfully for both lunch and dinner we hid away from the Chief's dad well across the other end of the dining tables, in case all we get were piercing stares. Then again, it could be that we were making a mountain out of a molehill. The only question the Chief's dad asked us was if we still wanted more chicken. Other than that, dinner went well.

Stress stress.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Chow Cutdown

Now the weekend saw us having a couple of food outings - beginning with bah kut teh in Klang on Saturday followed by Oriental Spoon dim sum on Sunday morning.

We've been craving for bah kut teh for quite some time really, and with Aeon Jusco Bukit Tinggi open we thought to head down for bah kut teh breakfast, then followed by a romp about Aeon to see the stores, then head back up home. So there were five of us: Junior and his Sindy, dctw, Chief and us.

It took the Chief 56 missed calls before we heard the wake up call(s). The Chief's patience is really a virtue. Plus it wasn't easy to wake us up with a wake up call, unlike a wake up kiss.

Then it was picking up the folks before heading down to Klang via the unscenic route that is Kesas. Bah kut teh breakfast was different as we tried this place recommended by Sindy, featuring bah kut teh that resembled more of braised pork rather than bah kut teh. While the herbal smell of bkt was strong, the amount of soup we had in our bowl failed to satisfy our craving. We think we shall need another round of bkt again sometime soon.

We were all very lucky to have Sindy along, as Sindy was very familiar with ordering as well as the good kind of meat/bone etc. A-hem.

Once the bkt cravings were satisfied, it was time to move on to Aeon. Since our first visit there was just to do dinner with the Klangites at BBQ Plaza before heading off to 'Nic's house for Ticket To Ride, this time we decided to take a proper look around the place (regardless of Sindy's claims that there's nothing in Aeon to look at).

Hmmm. We missed that leisurely shopping pace that we had shopping at Queensbay Mall. Maybe it's because the Chief and us did that alone.

Still, Aeon saw us all dressing up Junior - from formal blazers in G2000 to snazzy jackets in Padini Concept Store. Took some pics of him in it to tempt him into buying the jacket later on. Yet after all that Junior still walks out empty-handed! Nevermind, we think the jacket is niggling in his mind. And somehow now that the jacket is mentioned, we think we do have that particular jacket at home...

From dressing up, it was on to lunch at BBQ Plaza (that makes our second time) before paying a quick visit to the Fitness First there. The lockers there caught our attention, new kinds where the locks don't use a key but a keycard instead. Then everyone had a gander at the weighing machine where we could check our height and it'll calculate our BMI.

We. Are. Now. 59.8kg. From the 50-55kg that we are familiar with. NO WONDER WE LOOK LIKE WE'RE IN THE START OF OUR THIRD TRIMESTER. We're gonna cut down to only eating heavily with the Chief.

After Aeon we headed into Klang town for the cendol. We all took the small cendol biasa to cool off from the heat, then it was time to leave. Leaving Klang town it was time to drop everyone back, this time via the more scenic route of Federal Highway. And what did we see in our rear-view mirror? Junior asleep on Sindy's shoulder. Patut the car very quiet in the backseat.

Given our shock at starting our third trimester, that still didn't stop us from having a spanking good dim sum breakfast on Sunday morning at the Oriental Spoon in Sooka Sentral. The place was booked 2 weeks in advance by Junior, and the Chief wanted to check the place out too (it may be true that us Klangites, used to bkt breakfasts, were never exposed to the idea that dim sum comes in many varieties other than sieu mai and lo mai kai).

Begging to leave a tad early from dim sum to meet up with friends of the Chief, it was down to Pavilion...and to also mooch some yu tiao - yao char kuay in soya bean milk. Then we decided to buy another pack of yu tiao for a friend who worked at Pavilion too, only to find out when we reached the store that she was off duty on that day...so we had to finish that pack of yu tiao too.

Luckily the walk from Pavilion to Low Yat (where we got ourselves a xxGB internal hard disk) and the Time Crisis games we had in Sg Wang helped burn off a bit of calories...

Only to head out of KL and into PJ for the iPoh Ngar Choi Kai Fan, where we had pork balls, a plate of chicken, a plate of taugeh, and a plate of char siew siu yoke to share between the Chief and us.

We so need to do more cardio, except we don't have the time to do so now. Soon we'll be 9 months and ready to give birth at this rate.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Chained

So Alex brings up the topic of playing a Chain Story game as a BFF Project. We remember the last time we tried anything like that was on GMail after reading NJAPF's post where she and some friends played this game too...only the one we played on GMail never really took off (we wonder how this one will fare).

Minichapter 1: The Chain Story
Minichapter 2: Read on!

Julien silently shut the window and kept in the shadows, to avoid being silhouetted in the moonlight. "Must get the job done quickly now," he thought while appreciating Philip's physique, "before he gets back." He downed the remains of the wine, then took out his garrotte. Why do I always get the good-looking ones? he pondered as he got into bed, cradled Philip's head and slid the garrotte around Philip's neck. Then Julien yanked and Philip jerked awake, only to have Julien flip him facedown on the bed and pressed his body down on his, his face smothered by the pillow and Julien still strangling him, when the bedroom door slammed open.

Onwards to Froggie to continue the story!