Friday, February 25, 2011

Berserk Button

When it comes to cockroaches in our house, they hit our Berserk Button because we can't abide to think of what they may contaminate with their touch (especially when you have absolutely no idea where they have been). See us brandish rolled-up newspaper and bug spray in search for extermination.

Mice don't really trigger our Berserk Button, even though when you think about it they are terrible pests too: they're dirty, they nibble all over, they leave their droppings everywhere. Perhaps we will end up playing broom golf if ever we bump into one of them in our house.

As for lizards, they may leave the occasional dropping after ransacking our rubbish bag for leftovers, but they scurry away oh so fast. Oh, not to mention we don't fancy dealing with a wriggling tail left behind if we decide to do something to said lizard. And there's the fact that you can already see a lizard's insides, what with a lizard not having the decency to have opaque skin, we were not looking forward to see the insides on the outside.

So tonight, here we were, sitting in front of our desk facing the wall, we turned on the laptop and...

...this great big spider skitters along the wall and stops right in front of our sights.

We spent about 5 minutes just looking at the thing. And yes, even took the time to bloody photograph it. Even went up close and personal, and boy, it had large chelicerae (or fangs or mandibles or whatever thing is related to its mouth) too. The entire thing was huge when compared to the usual wee spiders we come across in our previous house. This kind of spiders we expect to find outdoors, not in our bedroom.

We're not sure where we heard it before that it's the smaller spiders that tend to be the poisonous ones, but hey, small or large, with no knowledge in identifying exactly what kind of spider we were dealing with, we do not cherish waking up the following morning only to be greeted by said spider on our face greeting us good morning.

Only after a while we steeled our nerve and attempted to crush it with a bunch of tissues. And as we moved to the tissue box, the spider sensed our killing intent and scurried behind our rack of boardgames, bags and boxes.

Tissues were no longer an option as we would need to sweep it out. Sticking our hand in would only lead to unfortunate accidents. So we went downstairs to get a newspaper and try to find the bug spray.

We couldn't find the bug spray.

We didn't dare leave the spider alone for too long, as it may scurry into some dark corner and hide till we give up, only to ambush us some days later when we decide to take out a board game or when we stuff clothes into our gym bag. Or if not us, our mum or the cleaner when they go about cleaning the house, or our Wee Wog when she potters about in our room.

Arachnophobia it may be but we weren't going to spend all night thinking of an elegant solution to transport the spider out of our house. Not to mention, we haven't really figured how the bloody thing came into our room in the first place. Open window? Toilet window? Ventilation windows somewhere? Attic?

Some swatting and the spider managed to evade us as we chased it from the corner of the windowsill where it lurked, jumping to our bag straps (boy can it jump!), to skittering about the legs of the rack till it went behind our desk (which was up against the wall).

We really needed that bug spray now. We still couldn't find that bug spray.

Back to our room and we decided we need to shift stuff away and get to that spider before it disappears. Shifted the rack away from the corner, pulled the curtains away to the centre, started shifting boxes from under our desk to out of our room, pulled the table away from against the wall (the table was heavy as we have mountains of books on it, and we weren't keen on scratching the parquet floor).

We jumped more than a couple of times when, for example, the carpet brushed against our leg as we were pulling out a box from under the table.

Oh wait, we think we know where the bug spray is!

Rushed down, found the bug spray, came back up, and started spraying places where we suspected the spider could be. Much to our surprise Shelltox doesn't smell as strong as it used to 15 years ago. Still, we were not going to indescriminately fumigate our room just to try and smoke out a spider we weren't sure would be susceptible to bug spray marketed for killing mosquitoes.

In the end, we found the spider behind our table, fallen to the floor, writhing.

Made us feel like a heel for not being able to give it a quick death, and so we swatted it to end the misery.

Now we wonder just how the fuck does Froggie put up with all the insects and lizards and all manners of creepy crawlies he photographs. Perhaps it's because they're not in his room.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CNY Recap, 2011


This year's Chinese New Year was spent being sick the entire time. Started before eve where we picked up the flu bug of the backdrip variety, which meant itchy throat, some difficult sniffling, and lots and lots of chesty chesty coughing.

We thought it was an okay time to fall sick, since all we had to do was rest and there isn't much one can do during the first couple of days of CNY, hence we thought no problem.

Until the reunion dinner.

Now we think best time to fall sick is after the family dinners is best. Especially since our reunion dinner was held in a restaurant this year - while waiting for each course we had to head to the restrooms to hawk up and all that. Very inconvenient.

But being sick on CNY isn't all that bad otherwise. Sleep, wake up, eat, play Starcraft, play Cityville, sleep again. Stay far away from baby. No need to go anywhere, drive anyone, do anything.

It was a good four days of rest, and then we were back to work on Monday, still sick. Which wasn't all bad because we were the only one at work on Monday, hence we needn't worry about spreading it about.

We got better in time for the TTDI visitations last Saturday - the day was spent gambling at lad's (blackjack), Puddy's (In Between) and TTP's (Texas Hold'em Poker) houses. Texas Hold'em Poker was interesting because Long Leaping actually owns a set, complete with chips, cards and even bought a felt poker table mat!

Unlike gambling at Blackjack or In Between, where we only left the dollar gambled out in plain sight while all other cash remained hidden in the wallet, for Texas Hold'em we swapped money for chips, hence there wasn't so much a fear of losing money. Perhaps because we've already considered the RM10 we've swapped for chips as lost already, and it was a fixed sum (unlike the other games where we can continue playing till our wallet was sapped dry).


It's Chap Goh Meh today and we're still sick with a mild dry cough that probably gets aggravated in cold dry air-conditioned rooms in the middle of the night.

And we've not eaten a single mandarin the entire CNY!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Countering Commercialism

This is the season for florists, and we do remember asking before the prices and one particular florist did actually quote us different prices based on when we wanted to buy the flowers (naturally, with prices on V-day being anywhere up to twice the usual price!). Hence we'd only bought just one rose previously, balking at spending for an entire bouquet (and we think The Chief would have disapproved at the expenditure). No, it's not that we were being cheap, it's just that we thought it's possible to get a nice bunch of flowers at a decent price if we looked.

And then last year as we visited Petaling Street we came across stores and stores of florists! Selling bouquets in all sizes! Hence we made a mental note to come by this Valentine's Day to see if we could get a decent dozen or something.

Last we asked at a florist near home, we were told a dozen costs RM200 (on the day itself). As for our expectations for the prices at Petaling Street, we expected probably somewhere RM120.

Parked at Pasar Seni, crossed the road, arrived at the largest florist with the entrance filled with bouquets and such, and was pleasantly surprised to see that our estimation was actually higher.

We would have gone for the bouquet straightaway but decided to take a walk and see what the other stores had to offer. And asides from the ready-made bouquets, there were also roses, wrapped up in dozens, still with their leaves and thorns, for sale. Also in assorted colours! And as we were walking off, we heard someone ask the price of those roses. Turns out to be only a fraction of the bouquets!

And so in the end we bought a dozen pink roses, a few stalks of white daisies and a vase for only a fraction of a bouquet (although admittedly the bouquet looks nicer compared to our offering)! And the florist even helped us remove the thorns and excess leaves, trim it to a suitable height for the vase, and arrange it before tying it up and wrapping the flowers to prevent damage!

A covert method of delivery was required when it came to personally delivering the flowers, so our next stop was to iKea to grab a box. No need to buy one when there's plenty of used, empty boxes for free near their Customer Service counter.

And here romanticism went downhill as we didn't realise that while we chose a box larger tall enough to fit the vase, it wouldn't fit the vase with the flowers (we estimated too little on this). Hence we'd to carry a box and a plastic bag (opaque enough to hide the fact that there were flowers inside), call the Chief to come out and take the box and plastic bag, and told The Chief that water was needed urgently for the contents.

Hence The Chief had to arrange the flowers into the vase (well, basically undo the wrapping and place the entire thing as-is directly into vase) and water it instead of receiving an already prepared gift.

Sigh. Next year we'll do better.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thirty Years, Birthday Cheers

...because we're running out things to rhyme with 'years' that we could put in context with our birthday party at 42 East (yes well if we wanted to we could come up with something but it might be too sappy or cheesy for us to bear with sometimes).

For all the Chief keeps telling us how stressful it is to plan a birthday party, the Chief does plan well. We were left in the dark as to where the venue was, and quite surprised when we were told that it was actually nearby in TTDI itself. Better yet was when on the day itself we found out that it the Chief pulled some strings to get the entire place to ourselves (almost to ourselves, walk-in customers to the place were served too).

And just as we thought we knew where it was, we found ourself led to 42 East instead. Hey, goes to show how rarely we go that far up the pub street of Taman Tun.

This time, we had the tables set up with half of the chairs actually being wall sofas, so instead of a rather long table with eight people on one side, the proprieter of the place split it to two tables instead. Still meant we had to play Musical Chairs to get to chitchat with every one.

The food was good, although between the chicken and the pork ribs served for the set meals, we must say the pork ribs tasted better. The Chief thought that since we just had pork the night before, we might want a change of taste. Anyways, since most meals with The Chief are shared half-and-half (unless we've agreed not to swap), we got to enjoy the pork ribs too.

And so, Thaipusam lunch was a blast celebrated with our Chief, Alex, Bunny, carpe diem, Jaded Jeremy, Junior, Legolas, Lifebook, Little Prince, Luscious Leesh, nivlac, Ryan, Sinner, SK, and William! Many thanks for celebrating with us and welcoming us to Club 30!

We don't think anyone would appreciate us putting up their photos through the fish lens we got as a present though - but we're using it for our contacts list. And it's causes us a moment's hesitation every now and then when we get a Whatsapp text or a call and a blown-up face stares at us!

Thanks again to our dear Chief for going through the trouble for organizing this party, and to everyone for the effort in coming!

Now let's see the rest of this year through without feeling any older!