Friday, March 31, 2006

not-so-thin almonds

It's little May's day off!

I decided to take today off to just laze around, without much plan in mind. It's been awhile since I've had some time out during a work day, and it feels kinda cool, with no worries in mind! Aren't you jealous? *Grin*!

Went to the gym in the morning for a quick workout. I've not been consistently going, perhaps just once a week the past few weeks due to morning meetings in town. I don't seem to like evening workout sessions anymore, partly because the crowd would be there, and evenings are for me to just kick back and relax instead of sweating it out on the treadmill.

Wandered around MPH after that, and bought a book on Breads, which was on 30% discount. Hmmmm, some pretty interesting recipes in there. Don't y'all look at me at once! I'll take my time in experimenting with some of these. For now, I have something else in store for you...

Almond Thins
! Recipe is found on Michael Thompson's site.

1 cup butter or margarine; unsalted
1 egg
1 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups almonds; sliced

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Sift together the flour and salt and slowly add to butter mixture. Mix until just blended.
  • Divide batter in half and place each half on in the centre of two un-greased, flat-sided cookie sheets.
  • Dip a spatula in warm water and spread batter to cover the entire baking sheet, making sure batter is spread evenly. Sprinkle almonds and press gently into dough.
  • Bake each sheet about 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven.
  • Cut hot cookies into neat 2-inch squares. Return to oven and bake until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent over-baking.
  • Remove from oven to a wire rack. Slide spatula under cookies to loosen. Cool completely on cookie sheets. Store in airtight containers with layers of wax paper between layers.
Makes 6 dozen.

Ok, I must say that this wasn't exactly the "almond thins" was expecting. I had wanted to make those that were like biscotti, the really, really thin and crispy ones. I had bought a book with a few recipes on that a couple of weeks ago, but I thought this should be similar. It's thin alright, but not with the biscotti texture. Cookie texture, more like. And I had to bake it for longer than stated, yielding less than 6 dozen. Maybe it's because my cookie sheets are smaller and I didn't spread out the dough thin enough.

I should've guessed from the beginning that this recipe isn't the biscotti-type thins, looking at the directions of making them. If memory serves me right, biscotti dough needs to be baked in a shape of a log, then sliced into thins later on. Right, Kat & Boo? It's still very sweet and flavourful (with one cup of sugar, it had better be!), nice to nibble on. Lovely for teatime!

Thins... errrr... cookies, anyone?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

icky green globs

Isn't it just typical of me to fall ill after a "holiday" away from Blogland?

Since last Friday night's yummy-licious dinner of black pepper lala with beehoon and steamed fish with garlic among other dishes, my throat had decided to retaliate the burning torture of spicy peppers and chillies by giving me a dish of its own.

Icky green globs.

You know, the kind that looks like Calvin's (of Calvin & Hobbes) plate of green mush which were supposedly vegetables.

It started as a tight sensation at the throat, with slight difficulty in swallowing, as if something's always stuck at the base of it. Almost like having a piece of gum stuck under the table that wouldn't go away. It got worse over the weekend, and by Sunday I was regularly hacking my lungs out at irregular intervals just trying to make it un-stick. It was quite an uncomfortable feeling especially at night when I try to fall asleep. Just as my brain starts shutting down, I'd choke on a fleck of phlegm and be awake again, swallowing down the discomfort. I'm surprised I didn't snore my way to oblivion according to a reliable source who witnessed my quiet slumber. Oh wait... that's only if I have a flu, hor? Duh.

I, being the stubborn cow, refused to see the doctor about my cough. Why get some awful tasting medicine when you could indulge in home-remedies? Ok, can't really call store-bought Robitussin cough drops as a home remedy, but anything's better than visiting the doctor for cherry flavoured syrup. Yuck yuck yuck!

Someone LB dear kindly recommended drinking lemon juice to calm down the throat and ease the soreness after coughing endlessly. The first time I had it on Sunday night, I had squeezed in a whole lemon, one teaspoonful of honey, and some water. Ohhhhh... sour!!! But with a brave face with eyes all screwed up and squeezed shut, I drank it all. I think that's what started the glob to un-stick. I bought a couple of lemons today as well on the way back from my morning meeting.

It's not miracle cure, but it still tastes better than cough syrup. Squeezing the lemons have made my fingers smell like them as well. Kinda like good ol' dishwashing liquid. Some may find this disgustingly strange, but I actually like the smell of lemons (dishwashing kind or otherwise). Very homely scent to it.

Anyway, the glob finally started dislodging itself from the walls of my throat, bit by bit. It's regular phlegmy, yucky coughing now that would wake up the dead. This morning, out came a sizeable chunk of it, again looking like the green mush monster on Calvin's plate. Sorry if it's too graphically described for you to digest. There's some more to go, though. I guess I'll still be disrupting the silence every once in awhile till the end of the week.

Juice from half a lemon,
2 teaspoons of honey,
some hot water to mix.

Wanna wanna?

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

the great escape

There is no evidence whatsoever that what you are about to read is in any way true or false. This blog does not authenticate or support the report submitted by the reporter, and is simply a vessel in bringing the latest feed to your doorstep. Reader's discretion is advised and at own risk. An itch or two might occur.

* * *

This is an exclusive interview by Bloggarella Barbie, renown scandal reporter of Bolehland. She caught up with the likes of LB taikor and May mui-mui since their mysterious disappearance exactly 6 days ago. Posters of LB's face were circulated on hot blogs in hopes to find the missing casanova and his innocent victim. The interview was held at an exclusive Maldives resort run by the Italian Mafia.

BB: Oh my darlings, how are you? (muah muah)

LB: Doing fine, thank you. (muah muah)

MM: (Mumbles incoherently... muah muah)

BB: I must say, the entire Stalker community was out looking for you for the past few days! You really had them worried, alerting Interpol, sending out FBIs and all. But oh, you were so good in playing hide & seek, even our best spy Agent Cocka couldn't trace your footsteps. But before we go into those details, I'm sure this is the one question which had everyone's tongues wagging, including mine, darling: where on earth have you two been?

LB: Oh, nowhere much... went on a little holiday. Isn't this a lovely place? (Looks around the fabulous resort)... Perfect setting for a romantic getaway, beautiful sunsets, moonlight walks on the beach, skinny-dipping in our own private waters, catching little hermit crabs...

MM: (Squeaks shyly... blush)

BB: That sounds absolutely to faint for! Oh, how romantic, darlings. But what sparked this escapade? What happened?

LB: Well, we were talking one day about how it would be to be alone, just the two of us, in our own private little world. I must say, MM was a little sceptical that our plan would work. Didn't you, honey?

MM: (Nod nod)... (mumble)... handcuffs... (mumble)

BB: What did you say, dear? Handcuffs? (Leans forward, recorder readily poised)

MM: (Cough)... I was doubtful, but it sounded fun so I willingly agreed; he didn't have to use the handcuffs. No force involved.

LB: (Pats MM's knee)

BB: Well, well, well! Isn't this news! And to think the Stalker community was going to send out an International SOS! I knew you could be such a scoundrel to pull this off, LB, but MM... oh sweetheart, I never (well, almost) suspected you had anything to do with it! So dearie, how was it being with Mr. Casanova here for the last few days, having him all to yourself?

MM: (Squeak!)

BB: What was that, hon?

MM: (Beams shyly... blush)

BB: (Laughs musically)... Oh alright, darling. That told me everything I wanted to know! You really do know how to get it good, don't you? (smiles slyly)

MM: (Sighs contentedly)

LB: Do pardon me, BB... but we have a yacht waiting to take us out to sea for a quiet, private dinner. Visit Nemo, perhaps. We really have to run. Are there any more questions?

BB: I do, but I simply mustn't keep you two from your little romantic rendezvous! Goodbye my darlings! Thank you so much for this exclusive interview, we absolutely have to catch up soon and talk about the juicy details! Send my love to Nemo. (muah muah)

MM: (muah muah) Lovely meeting you, BB. (smiles)

LB: (muah muah) Thanks, will catch up soon.

(Both get up to leave...)

LB: Oh, and BB... just to keep things interesting, here's a little bit of juice for your column: MM's preggies. (winks!)

(BB stares after them with mouth wide open)

* * *

Certain characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

quis ut deus

Sweetest Sin tagged L B about schools.

Those schoolboy days of.. time tables, school buses, schoolgirls, textbooks, slide rules, rubbers, school badges, dissecting frogs, hair spot checks, chapel, cramming for exams, Negara-Ku national anthem, Sports days, acne, extra-curricular activities, Pythogoras' theorems, e=mc2, homework, detention, Showaddywaddy, dormitories, bed-sits, thesis, field trips, and so on, and so forth, blah blah blah...

How many schools did I go to?
1 Ho Seng Onn, Canning Garden ~ Kindergarten
Most horrific moments:
My uncle picking me up on his bicycle daily, and me having to sit on the middle 'bar'. I was terrified. However, I never did pee on him.
I have lost all photographs from this era!!..

2 St Michael's Inst, Ipoh ~ SMI, PreSchool, Primary, & Secondary
Most memorable & horrific moments:
Children's Days' goodie bags of sweets & junk.
The School Dentist From Hell & BCG inoculations.
The girls from the Convent, and MGS.
Inter-school Interact Club Debating Champs. A show-off even then.
School Soccer Captain.

3 Coleraine Academical Inst, N Ireland ~ GCSE, A Levels
Most memorable moments:
Froze ass off during that first ever Winter!
Boarding school meals & food fights.
Discovery of a different breed of girls.

4 University of Ulster - Art & Design, Belfast ~ Ad Dip in Fashion
Most memorable moments:
Part-time cook in a Chinese take-away, and in an Italian trattoria.
Wild parties/orgies at the Students Union, and everywhere else.
First live-in GFs!

5 Royal College of Art, London ~ MA in Fashion
Most memorable moments:
Hob-knobbing with models, wanna be actresses, arty farty types.
Winning the International Wool Secretariat design competition and being sentenced to Australia for 3 weeks.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
Last Minute Hero sounds almost gallant, so I'll stick to that, because it was mostly true. I excelled at Last Minutes. If there was a subject called Procrastination, I'd score 100% every time, I am certain. Lots of midnight oil, massage oil, those days, right up to the final Graduation Day at the RCA.

Was I the class 'taiko' (big bully) or the teacher's pet?
It fluctuated from time to time ~ I went through the entire spectrum during my career as a student. I was only a serial teacher's pet at Art classes, and I was a serial 'taiko' when it came to selecting sides for football. All other times, I was probably too busy being a wanker.

What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
Caught red-handed with an inmate from the girls' boarding school nearby, by the House Master in my bedsit dormitory at Coleraine!! 'Gated' for 2 subsequent weekends - no going out of the school compounds, which was a big deal to us back then! No chinese meal from the local Chinese restaurant (there was this cute Hong Kong waitress there).. And I could never forget that look of sheer utter bewilderment on his face, reflected by his torchlight.. It is forever seared into my memory.

Three subjects I enjoyed
English - but I abhorred Bahasa Malaysia!! I devoured Enid's books, and lots of those dog-eared 'adult' pulp fiction circulating in class. Improved my grasp of new specific words and phrases no end.
Art - What is Art but recess? Fun time with finger painting, then the brushes, magic markers, charcoal, chalk, mixed media, and the part-time nude models.
Chemistry - I had no freakin' clue what I was blowing up, but those bunsen burners were so cool! And the whiff of ammonium nitrate!

Three (or seven) teachers that inspired me
1 Std One at SMI, David Loh (I think that's his name). Old school snappy dresser, he will always remind me of the art of behaving like a gentleman.

2 Kindergarten pretty school teacher whom I had this terrific crush on. I wish I can remember who she was, rather than just a pretty blur in my memory. Then again, I might get a shock. Let sleeping dogs lie..

3 Olive Clegg - Head Tutor at Belfast Art & Design, who personified mentor & friend. She was also a bit cranky, and a bit horny.

4 Michael Foo, a bulldog look-a-like, well versed Mathematician who when 'A Beautiful Mind' came out, I thought of immediately, for the insane way he spat out formulae like they were machine gun bullets.

5 Timothy Chee - Artist foremost, and Art Teacher secondary. He of the flared pants, colorful print shirts, wide ties, big sunglasses, long hair, and platform shoes!! Totally against school regulations, but what did he care?!!

6 Eugene Almeida - Scary School Disciplinarian (so scary I almost forgot his first name), & Head Soccer Coach. I was totally indebted to this great man for believing in a punk like me, and for showing what a mess a lesser teacher can do in the same job.

7 Siaw Tak Keong - I cannot leave this brilliant man out. Primary Class teacher in Standard Four, and also Home Tuition teacher. We got along so well we were more like pals. Much, much later on, he remains a family friend.

~ ~ ~

Just one person I am gonna tag for this, and it's the one and only muffin making, apple pie crumbler, candle burner, ex-school prefect, wanna wanna may, or maybe not..


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

new toy! new toy! yay-hooray!

Oh gosh, oh gosh, oh gosh!!!

Guess what, guess what, guess what?

After months of hinting (ok, more like downright complaining) about my slow, ancient Dell 12" screen laptop which was crawling like a snail, with applications crashing now and then - definitely not more than 5 in a row otherwise it'll just die - the Company finally presented to me a shiny, spankin' new toy!

May I present...

The Dell Inspiron 630m, 14.1" Wide Screen notebook!


*does a quick dance on the spot*

Oh, this baby runs fast; it zoomed 10 - nay, 100 - times faster than the oldie. Ok ok, I'm exaggerating, but I could really feel the difference. After a quick check that most of the data's still intact, I spent what's left of my afternoon installing all the extras I needed. Guess what's the first application I installed?

Yup, it's Yahoo Messenger! Ha-ha!

Then came MSN Messenger, Skype, iTunes, Quicktime, Picasa, Bit Comet, Bit Torrent, iScrobbler... There are still some yet to be installed, like the DivX drivers, but those could wait. Till tomorrow. *GRIN*!

I brought this baby home (did I mention I just absolutely love it?) and immediately set it up to connect to my local Wi-Fi. Oh yea, it has built-in Wireless! How gorgeous is that? I spied a little icon for Bluetooth, but I think it's just there in case a dongle is inserted. Minus half a point there for not having built-in , but who the heck cares... for now.

Check it out... it has funky multimedia control buttons at the front. Cheesy, if you ask me. But who am I to complain, since I didn't have to pay a cent for this, right? Granted that it'll have to be returned if and when I leave the Company, but till then, it's all mine... all mine!

Look at Rolf sniffing out the machine. He could even see his reflection on the XGA TFT display, with 1280 x 800 resolution. Did I say Wide Screen? There's so much space to the left of my blog now, it actually looks small on this screen! No more scrolling left and right, no more grumbling about sites not being 800 x 600 to fit in a proper window.

Ooooh, and this is the best-est, best-est part:

8X DVD+/-RW Combo Drive!

I can finally watch all of those DVDs I bought months ago but never got around to since my DVD player kah-puted. No more of that external drive nonsense too, so glad I don't have to carry extra pieces of peripherals around. Burning data to CDs or DVDs would be a breeze too, instead of having to rely on someone else's machine to do the job.

There's only one thing I'm a little miffed about - it doesn't fit my nifty little Moderate Embarrassment Crumpler bag. The padded sleeve only fits up to a 12", maybe a 13", but definitely not a 14.1" Wide Screen machine. Sigh! Guess I'll have to resume using my other Samsonite backpack which was a birthday gift from my brother last year. Thank goodness that fits up to a 14.5" lappie, so I don't have to spend more on buying a new bag.

My friends are telling me to sell the Moderate Embarrassment and buy a bigger Crumpler bag, but nuh-uh, I'm saving it up for the REAL baby. Granted that this brand new Dell is mine to use, it's still my adopted child, my "kai chai", my "anak angkat". I'm still waiting for the day I acquire my own darling. What else could it be but a MacBook? Teehee!

Till then...


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Monday, March 20, 2006

short takes 20.03.06

I was in the mood for some oldies today. The Platters' Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is playing on my iPod as I type.

I realised I have iJun's meme to complete. It's a rather long one, I'll save that up for later this week. Happy Birthday, korkor. Did you have a good time?

My ex called me up today to say hi. He sounded well. He might be going to Japan on holiday soon to be with his other half. I'm really happy for him.

Our Client is in the property business. We visited their Semi-D show houses today (quite impressive), and took a short walk around Ikea's showroom and marketplace after that. I'm beginning to itch quite badly for a place of my own. And I bought yet another block of vanilla scented candle. Can't get enough of them.

My brother has a habit of forgetting to turn the bathroom lights off. I have a habit of not turning them on when I go wee in the middle of the night.

Matta Fair was here and gone before I knew it. Then again... I didn't really have anywhere to go.

Once in a blue moon, late at night whilst hugging my woofs, a wave of sadness would wash over me. That's when the nights would get long and dreary.

Phantom of the Opera was the first Broadway Musical I'd ever watched, many years ago in Sydney. Before that, I had a 2-cassette soundtrack of the full musical and I listened to it almost every day for a period of time. I knew most of the lyrics by heart. I felt so sad for the Phantom. I see why he wears the mask now.

I'm so guilty of procrastination. I haven't written to a close friend of mine in weeks, and I keep putting it off. Well... no more. I'll write to her right after this. Even if it's just 2 lines.

You make me smile.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

diamonds are forever!

fatt-hau (fät hou)
  1. To act of preening oneself to look good, which would not happen ordinarily, e.g. highlighting one's hair, or perming one's eyelashes.
  2. A manner or method of doing something that gives the impression of wanting to be trendy, e.g. changing blog templates every once so often.
  3. Another, milder variation of "kiasu", but in relation to trendiness.

For the benefit of Simple American, I tried putting a definition to the Cantonese term, fatt-hau. Evidently, I seemed to have failed miserably.


Guess what?

I bought myself a pair of diamond earrings for the very first time! Ok, before your eyes start to go really wide, let me close them back to a squint by saying - they're really, really small ones. This is just a macro shot. Very, very up close. The Chinese might be familiar with the term, "pei si dou mou koon sai lup" (translated: boogers aren't even this small).

Really, really small.

The reason was because I have a slightly larger pair given to me by Mummy dearest some years back, and I wanted a tiny pair for my 2nd pierced earhole. Matching mah!

(See? Fatt-hau-ness in action.)

Hmmmm, come to think of it... all the diamonds I have are all given to me by my Mum! A pendant, a ring, a pair of earrings. Not show-pieces, for sure. Subtle pieces that still look nice if you stare at them long enough.


Still waiting for my knight in shining dollars... err, I mean, armour to give me that lovely, lovely criss-cut pendant / earrings / ring set at Goldheart, which I look at every time I pass by their window display. Terribly pricey. Absolutely gorgeous!


I guess these'll have to do for now...

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

cinnamon bread

While you were sleeping...

I went out with mum today to Chan Tung and picked up a few baking needs. She wanted to buy butter and a pre-packed orange & poppy seed muffin mix. Chan Tung stocks heaps of the Red Man ready mixes, from chocolate sponge cake to crumbly chocolate cookies. I suddenly remembered that I too had bought a Red Man Cinnamon Bread Mix from them a couple of weeks ago. It contained pre-measured wheat flour, sugar, vegetable shortening, skimmed milk powder, bread improver, salt and cinnamon powder, so for the lazy bums like me, this is a quick way of making your own bread instead of having to measure ingredients from scratch.

1 500g pack of Red Man Cinnamon Bread Mix
1 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast (included in the pack)
8oz (238ml) UHT milk
1 egg
100g raisins or sultanas
60g mixed peel

Mix 1 3/4 teaspoon of dry yeast to the Cinnamon Bread Mix. Let mixture rest for 1 minute.
Add the milk and egg. Mix for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add in the raisins / sultanas and mixed peel.
Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Cut to desired shape and put in baking tin. Let it rest for 45 to 60 minutes.
Bake for 25 minutes at a preheated 180 C oven.

Ok, I tried making a funky twist shape like how you'd find those nice ones in the bakeries, but I failed miserably, and it came out looking like a huge worm with black bugs:

And because I didn't use all the dough to make that fatty, I shaped the remainder to a little 'O':


I didn't mix the raisins and peel into the dough enough, so they were mostly on the surface instead of inside the bread. Oh well. The texture and taste was still there, goody goody! Lovely soft bread, none of that chewiness you'd find in bagels. Fluffy enough to sink your teeth into. The taste of cinnamon's not too strong though. If you're a cinnamon fan, maybe you might want to try adding a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon to this ready mix. The raisins and mixed peel add a hint of sweetness to the bread.


Nothing like the fresh smell of bread from the oven!

Want some?

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Friday, March 17, 2006

masquerade unmasked

6:31 p.m. and I was stuck outside my office, trying to make the U-turn at the traffic lights in heavy downpour. The lights weren't working, the drivers weren't giving way to one another. Yes, typical Malaysian kiasu-ness.

Needless to say, I was going to be late for the bloggers' meet in KL, happening in just half an hour's time. I arrived outside the building about 7:40 p.m. and received a text message from Lin Peh. "Nobody here yet! Come straight to R1." *Phew*! Everyone else must've been caught in the rain and traffic as well.

Lin Peh yamade-ing under covers

When I entered, 2 men were sitting at the table. Oh, I immediately knew who Lin Peh was from the sound of his voice! The other... hmmmm... took me awhile, but after a few rounds of guessing games, it was none other than Wingz.

GBYeow made his entrance next, with Zara's Mama, King's Wife and Seng Kor following suit. Siao Cha Bor, after doing a few wrong turns and asking for directions, joined us at the table. In strolled KL Podcast clad in his leather jacket. Two more spaces left. Who could it be?

Cock-a-doodle made it to the scene not long after that. The last to make his grand entrance was 9393 (formerly 9394), who went to the wrong building and had to walk 5 minutes to get to where we were!

delicious Siao "Har" Bor and crunchy Seng Kor

Dinner was good, the company even better! We were constantly entertained with Wingz's spontaneous humour, joined in by Cock-a-doodle and Lin Peh. GBYeow was too busy laughing and kept knocking the back of his head on the picture frame. 9393 was still trying to figure out who's who (since he came in last with 10 pairs of strange eyes staring at him).

deep-fried 9393

Siao Cha Bor was busy playing footsie with Seng Kor throughout the night, whilst King's Wife was the ever vivacious Silai of the Month, batting her permed eyelashes, and wow-ing us with her dazzling smile and bubbly personality. Zara's Mama whipped up her big-ass canggih digital SLR camera and put all of our little ones to shame. KL Podcast had our whole conversation recorded, and was badly in need of a translator for half the session spoken in Cantonese.

curry Cock-a-doodle with fanshee-Yeow and KL Bread-cast

We made a surprise call to JoMel, who was serenaded with the rooster's rendition of "You've Lost That Lovely Feeling". Ah Pek was also given a curtesy call at his home, semi-long-distance. (Pssst... it was Lin Peh's fault, he sent the invite to the wrong e-mail address!)

And me...

I was just soaking it all in. *GRIN*!

healthy eating for Ze Mama, fit for a King's Wife

So here's my take on things.

We all come from different backgrounds, from different parts of Malaysia. Some are parents, some are still single (no prizes for guessing who it is). We write different things on our blogs, talk about totally opposite topics which will never have any correlation.

duck Wingz noodle

Yet everyone at that table tonight is special in their own way. People with good humour and great hearts. Uninhibited, unpretentious. Like Randy Jackson would say, "Just keepin' it real, yo. Just keepin' it real."

Thank you all very much for an absolutely lovely evening, yummy food and the wonderful company! Special thanks to 9393 and Lin Peh for organising this roll-on-the-floor-laughing event!

*muah muah muah*!

Related Posts:
GBYeow: Bloggers Mini Makan (Got Picture!)
GBYeow: Full (Photoshopped) Blogger Picture (By Popular Demand)
Wingz: Mini Blogger Meet : Who Are You? I am ME
King's Wife: Gila KL Bloggers Meet
Zara's Mama: Crime Scene Jigsaw
Seng Kor: The 69th Annual Blogger's Meet (Unofficial)
9393: It's Fun After All
KL Podcast: Death of an mp3

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

10-in-1 blind date

I've never been out on a blind date before.

And tomorrow night, I'll be dating 10 people all at once. Or is it 11? I've lost count. Oh hang on, I'm the 11th. D'oh!

Yes, it's the unofficial bloggers' meet in KL. And I'm as nervous as a little girl on her first day at school.

How do you prepare for your first blind date?

What should I say?

Would I be recognised?
Oh... that's a bit silly. Everyone knows how I look now, especially with that fatt-hau picture of mine!

Now, what should I wear? Must make a good first impression, but not too dolled up until I look like a Geisha. Not too "chin-chai" like... errr... aunties buying vegetables at the morning market. (Apologies to the aunties who do dress up nicely and dolls up to buy vegetables at the morning market. I needed to generalise somehow.)

What if I'm too shy and tongue-tied, and don't know what to say? I'm not that talkative with strangers, yea. Contrary to popular belief. Contrary to what I write on this blog. I always "talk" way too much here anyway. Yak yak yak. Bla bla bla. Ya ya ya. You get the drift.

Mind giving me a list of questions beforehand so I could have some time to prepare the answers for them?

Maybe I should pre-record some Frequently-Asked-Questions type of responses e.g. family history, where I work, what I like doing, what I bake, have I poisoned anyone before... Nah, too much effort. I don't have a tape recorder anyway.

Well, whatever it is...

Be kind to me tomorrow, please!


Monday, March 13, 2006

i so the fatt-hau

Oh, what has got into me?

I can't believe I actually took photos of my coloured hair to show it off to you!

I definitely have moved up a couple more notches up the fatt-hau ladder. Am I nearly at the top yet?

My colleague, Christine had hers done over the weekend too, in bold reds. Looks really chic (yes girl, much better than the blonde do). So yea, Julie offered to take a picture of us with her SE camera phone, and this is us at almost the peak of fatt-hau-ness:

Ok ok, waaaiiittt!

Before you exclaim, "Eh, you call that highlighted hair? It still looks darn black! Christine's definitely look better!"...

...let me explain.

I kept my base black colour and chose some really dark something-or-other-copper colour, so it won't look too obvious like I had been through some bleaching process. Besides, I'm not much of an exhibitionist, and didn't want to draw stares from passers-by.

So, yea...

The camera phone didn't quite catch the highlights at the best tone.

So, yea...

I did the next best thing - take a few "love shots" of my hair just for you. It certainly wasn't easy getting the angle and lighting right - fluorescent white just isn't flattering - and it just didn't want to focus! Darn it! Many, many wasted shots (I won't tell you how many or else you'd know how major fatt-hau I was tonight).

So, yea...

Here's the crowning glory in streaks!

Oh, and another, more artistically tuned photo...

Ok, now that it's over, I need a place to hide my face now...

*stands behind the door with face in hands*


Sunday, March 12, 2006

biking baking brunette, baby!

Busy, busy, busy Sunday! Was up, out and about for most of the time since 9:15 a.m., and now it's almost 11:00 p.m. Time to take stock of today's activities.

Biking @ Ulu Yam
Biking seems to have become a monthly (or longer) affair for me now. We went for a 15km ride this morning, which took us about 2.5 hours. We've done this Ulu Yam route before during a bike hash some months ago.

This time around, we made a pitstop at this old mini resort-like building at the edge of a palm estate, which had stables for horses (empty now, of course). Apparently, this used to be where Mahathir came for a little getaway and ride his horse. Not sure how true that was, but either way, it was quite a picturesque place.

It was blistering hot, and route was super dry. Didn't have to wash our bikes after the ride! Yay! Although on the way back, it rained and instead of washing away the little bits of splattered mud here and there, it just dampened the bike. Still had to hose it down a bit. Poop.

Sheila's Pudding
Darling Kat passed me this recipe a couple of nights ago when we chatted on YM. Thank you, babes! It's a slight modification of Jamie Oliver's original Sheila's Pudding recipe. I had to try it out tonight. Let's see...

6 peaches or nectarines (substitute with plums or apples), halved and pitted
4 tsp sugar
125g butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Cook the fruit with 4 tsp sugar and 4 tbsp water. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Place into a well-greased and lightly floured ovenproof dish or bowl.

Beat the butter, caster sugar, vanilla essence and eggs everything except flour, until light and fluffy. Add flour, mix thoroughly and spread over the cooked fruit. Bake in preheated oven of 180C for 45 mins. Remove from oven and serve with hot custard or something cold, like vanilla ice-cream.

Nice and fruity, almost like apple crumble but with a cake-like texture for the crust. Yum! My crust turned out a little too crumbly though, so it kinda fell apart when I scooped it up onto plates. Ha-ha! I think I might've baked it for a little too long, I got distracted by the TV and didn't pay attention to the time. Doesn't quite matter, we all know that the taste is what counts, right? *winks*!

*muah muah* to Kat!

Colour Me Brunette
Yes, today was a major day of fatt-hau-ness. I guess as we get older, we transcend to a level of fatt-hau-ness that only we could understand. (LB, it's all your fault!)

I made a trip to Monsoon-id, the same salon I went to the last time I had a haircut. I was tired of my dull black hair, so decided to give it a nice highlight - dark... something... copper. Something. Whatever. It turned out pretty good! Not too commonly light, not too dark until there's almost no difference. Sorry, no photo of my new hair colour as I forgot to take my camera out with me. Yes, it's my lousy excuse!

And how was your Sunday, darlings?

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Friday, March 10, 2006

of drugs and defence

of Drugs...

Yesterday morning I woke up with sharp pains in my tummy every once in awhile. It was a case of indigestion, said the doctor. Strange, I don't usually get this. In fact, I don't get this at all, except maybe once in a blue moon and they're mostly easily solved with lots of water. Not in this case, I suppose.

I decided to leave work early - around 3-ish in the afternoon - and get some medication from Doc. By that time I had a bit of fever as well, and I felt cold despite it being a warm day outside and me wearing a rather thick long-sleeved top for this kind of weather. Anyway, got my Mum to accompany me for awhile to the clinic. She drove home, which was kinda scary since she hardly ever drives, and she was in her slippery Japanese thongs too. You should hear me trying to be the best backseat-driver ever, "Change gear, change gear... Watch out for that car! Ehhh... Stop, stop... Wahhh, no need to step on the gas so much..."

'Nuff said.

By the time I got home and crawled to bed, it was close to 5p.m. I logged on to see if I missed anything at work. But, being drugged and half comatose at that time, my responses to the various online messages were going at quarter speed. Halfway through my conversation with Lin Peh, I fell asleep... Sorry, Lin Peh!

The rest of the night I felt better. Despite the Doc's advice, I still ate a bit of curry chicken, and luckily didn't have any repercussions from it... *teehee*!

...and Defence

This morning I woke up feeling almost 100%. My tummy still felt kinda full and queasy. With air, no doubt. I checked back on what Lin Peh had messaged me before I fell asleep. Hmmmm, a link to another chap's blog. Apparently he had "graciously" given us a review on the Lin Dynasty which a lot of us had participated in writing.

Well now, for those who've read his "review", no doubt it wasn't given a 5-star rating. more like a minus 5. I was rather amused at how he had commented it was a grandmother's story. Oh well, maybe his grandmother wrote more interesting stories than us. Fair enough.

What troubled me a little after that was how the "si-lai" bloggers were targeted to the most offensive type of slander. Oh dear. This became a little more serious. I'm rather saddened at how the blogging world has become a place of war with rude and disrespecting comments. It does no one - neither the attacker nor defendant - any good except creating a bad atmosphere for everyone involved.


Come a little closer.

Let me tell you a secret.

Well, not so much a secret anymore, since a few friends know about it. I was a target of slander too, not very long ago. Was called a bitch, a whore, a shallow know-it-all... you catch the drift. It caught me totally off-guard. My friends whom I'd run to with a very heavy heart told me to calm down, keep cool. The attacker obviously was upset about something that I supposedly did. They knew those words were untrue. Nevertheless, it did get me very, very upset, especially since I personally knew the attacker, although denied by the other party.

And what did I do in defence?

Absolutely nothing.

I was upset enough as it was with all the commotion caused. But I knew if I had said something in retaliation, goodness knows the situation might've become worse. I didn't want to have a catfight. I didn't want to turn my blog into a fortress and fired missiles to anyone who said anything bad about me. I remember saying this in someone's comment box - "Even Jesus had enemies". It's one of my favourite lines. We can't please everyone, we sometimes can't even please ourselves.

I have to say though, special thanks to King's Wife and Zara's Mama (oh, and "Anonymous" too) for being our Damsels in Shining Dresses and Petticoats for defending the Lin Dynasty's many authors! *muah muah muah muah muah*! You babes are the best. Don't worry about the attacker and what's written. We know who you are, and you're both lovely beings and terrific writers. Oh, same goes to all the other "si-lai's" and non- alike.

So hey... the next time someone steps on your tail that way, and if it's absolutely untrue, "peduli-kanbiarkan dia" (ignorelet him / her be). You have friends who know who you really are, and who stand by you. And that's all that matters.

Peace, y'all.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

old dog, new tricks

So, ok.

It all started last Friday night, after a couple of drinks (my soda was without alcohol, but it was still a drink) with my colleagues, my Biz & Client Services Director Magda commented to me, "You know, you should think about doing a bit of strategy. I mean, you're doing PM work yet you're also doing well in contributing ideas during our brainstorm sessions, perhaps you might want to branch out and start heading towards strategy 'cos I think you have the potential. It also helps you grow as a person."

And that got my mind all whirring and thinking about it.

The day after, Magda had another farewell dinner with a few other friends, and I was there as well. Again, she brought it up. "Think about it."

Here I am, starting on the 4th decade of my life, pretty good job, comfortable in my own skin, going about every day like any other day. I guess these past few years, although I've made a switch from being an IT auditor to a project manager, my so-called career still lacked what it really needed the most to give it a competitive edge - paper qualifications.

I'm a business graduate, never learned anything about IT until my first job where I made the head-on plunge into the tech world without a backward glance at accounting and finance. And though I had enough of numbers, I still completed my CPA papers during my stint in the accounting firm and have professional certification for that.

Today, if I really scrutinise my work experience vs. my qualifications, it's a total mismatch. What's an acc/fin business grad doing in an interactive media agency, managing web projects? Duh. You could say I was far from what I thought I'd be, some financial analyst or traditional bean counter.

Back to "thinking about it".

I did. For the rest of the weekend, the past few days.

Here's what slapped me in the face.

5 years from now, I could be an obsolete dinosaur in this industry if I don't catch up. Just like in any other industry, if we don't constantly develop new skills and keep abreast with the latest developments, we become stagnant. I guess some people choose to not be part of the rat race and I thought I wouldn't want to either. I still don't. Yet funnily enough, I'm tired of being complacent. I'm tired of settling in on a job without the proper qualifications. I guess I'm just tired of myself. I need re-inventing.

The past few days, I talked to a few friends and asked for opinions on what it would mean to move towards marketing and business strategy. "An MBA would be a good place to start, apart from hands-on experience."

I checked out the Global MBA rankings for 2006 by Financial Times. I looked up a few business schools, checked out the syllabus and subjects, and went through the admission requirements. The tuition fees are definitely not cheap - London Business School (ranked 5th) was at a whopping £41,970. The cheaper alternative, Lancaster University Management school (ranked 30th) was at £17,000. Still a lot of money once I made the conversion to Ringgit. I had to keep reminding myself that these were only the tuition fees; there were still the living expenses and other costs like textbooks to factor in. Even INSEAD (ranked 8th), which had a campus in Singapore, was still at a very hight EUR45,000. I didn't bother looking at US schools, they were way too far for my liking. 13 hours of flight to London was bad enough as it is.

I had another problem at hand as well. What about my Oz visa? Hadn't I already made up my mind to take that giant leap and start anew? I definitely am not in the position to request for a deadline extension; I hadn't a good enough reason except being a major procrastinator. I had to look for a path that went my way.

I checked out the only 2 Oz business schools that were listed in the top 100. Melbourne Business School (ranked 69th) was one, Australian Graduate School of Management (ranked 75th) was the other. And since my heart's set out on Sydney... it'll have to be AGSM for close to A$50,000. Although the rank isn't so good - the last among the few I've looked at - it's still not bad either. Sometimes, we can't always afford the very best. And hey, I wouldn't have to compete with the super-duper smart, either.

So, here I am.

All these options at hand, and the right decision to make. I had a look at the submission requirements for application, and they'd already scared me half to death with essays to write and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to sit for. I probably wouldn't be financially stable enough for the next couple of years until I settle in nicely in Oz, and earn a bit more to cover expenses. There's always a scholarship but that would mean competing with thousands of other students vying for the handful of handouts. Either way, it requires planning and preparation until I'm ready. That'll be about 2 to 3 years' time. If I'm going to be serious about it, I have to start now. Not going to be an easy road for sure. Oh, my mind gets all screwed up just thinking about it (especially financing the MBA).

Alternatively I could do the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. That was what I had intended to do when I first started out in this line of work. If I compare MBA and PMP, however, of course the former had much more appeal and ease in moving to other aspects of business rather than being stuck in just project management.

If at the end of the day I decide to chicken out and not pursue any further paper qualifications at all, my last resort would be... a Yoga teacher. About RM15,000 to take this locally, I think. How did this come across my mind? Well, a couple of friends asked me this before (incidentally, one asked just 4 days back), and I did give it a passing thought. But hmm, do I really want to give up the corporate life? Oh my goodness, what am I saying? Ok, really out of my mind now. See what happens when your mind is too idle?

This would be a great time for a Sugar Daddy to appear. Any volunteers to be my sponsor?

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

short takes 07.03.06

My body has a knack of convincing my brain that 1/2 hour more of sleep is better than waking up for an early-morning gym session. I have a feeing that tomorrow morning's going to be one of those times.

I've downloaded so many movies and TV series, it's beginning to crowd my hard-disk drive. Crazy. Thank goodness it has a pretty big capacity.

Remember to put air in your spare tyre every once in awhile. You'll never know when you're going to need it.

I missed out on posting up a few happenings these past couple of months, I'd like to mention them here:
  • We have a new addition to our family - a sister- / daughter-in-law. My brother and his new wife registered a few weeks ago back in mid-February. Congratulations, darlings. Long and happy marriage to you both.
  • Magda, our Business & Client Services Director, left for Hong Kong on Sunday night to be stationed there instead of the KL office. Best wishes, babes. Come back more often for so-called meetings, and drinks after.
  • Met up with my old University school friends and their other halves during CNY. Scrumptious dinner at a coffee-shop styled restaurant in PJ. Thanks for a great time, dears. Meet up again soon.
  • My colleagues and I went for a little party last Friday night. (Almost) wild pictures. Not suitable to be posted up, too embarrassing.

I wish I wasn't so needy for money to get things done on a comfortable level these days. I find it rather appalling, and scary, too.

I seriously need to get rid of more shoes. 54 pairs (sandals, slippers and adventure footwear including) are way too many.

I haven't gone to the dentist for a check up in more than 3 years. I know I'm long overdue for a visit, but I'm too chicken shit to get going.

Do you ever wonder what happens to expired food, or things that are never sold off the shelves and racks? I hope they're being made useful somewhere, somehow. If not... what a waste.

I hate the shape of my nose.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

they don't look like muffins but...

I went looking for the Muffin Man again today. Decided to go with something a little different - no chocolate, no blueberry, no banana - but with apples this time around. I spied this recipe for Fresh Apple Muffins on Recipe Source, thought I'd try it out. So here goes...

3 apples (Granny Smith) peeled, cored and cut in small pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 12-cup standard size muffin pan.

Combine the dry ingredients, sifting the baking soda with the flour. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and combine them with the oil. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-oil mixture. Using a spoon, mix together only enough to incorporate them. Do not over mix. Fold in the raisins and nuts just until evenly distributed. Bake for 20 minutes in the centre of the middle rack. Remove the muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ok, so here's what puzzled me. As the muffins baked in the oven, I checked it every 5 minutes to see if they're cooking well. However, not a single one of my muffins' dough raised like my lemon poppy seed ones. Hmmm, did I put in too much dry ingredients? Should I have cut down on the walnuts and raisins, to give more space for the dough to fill the cups? Maybe it was the pastry flour. I guess I'm still not a master baker to know the real cause of it. Heck, let me eat one and I'll know if anything went wrong...

Verdict - it tastes absolutely heavenly! Despite the weird, rocky terrain surface look (due to all the nuts, raisins and apples), it made me reach out for a second one immediately. Not overly sweet, kind of like apple crumble but the dry version without the applesauce. I don't know quite how to explain it, but as long as the taste is there, I don't mind them looking a bit like the Thing out of a Marvel comic!

I think the next time I make this, I should stuff the cups as much as possible so that it's packed nice and tight. I didn't do it this time around, just scooped it into the cups but without patting it down and filling in the gaps. Maybe that's why they didn't turn out as puffy. Plus I had enough to make 20 muffins instead of 12, so the "extra" 8 could've filled the others a little more.

I suppose I could reduce the walnuts and raisins too...

Haiya, tastes good enough to me! *winks*

p.s. The only place I found pastry flour was at the supermarkets that stock the Radiant Whole Food organic range (Giant and Cold Storage).

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

as i move along

Less pubs and discos.
More cafes.

Less whiskey and vodka.
More wine.

Less TV.
More movies.

Less running.
More yoga.

Less solution.
More contemplation.

Less competition.
More collaboration.

Less caffeine.
More water.

Less wants.
More needs.

Less talking.
More listening.

Less complications.
More simplicity.

Less crowds.
More friends.

Less grudges.
More forgiveness.

Less battles.
More peace.

Less me.
More we.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

lin dynasty chapter 11

Honourable Mr. Sextary of Pukilitzer Prize Award a.k.a. LB a.k.a. Sek Pau Mou Yeh Chou passed the Lin Dynasty baton to me. Shocker of all shockers, I never thought I'd get it! My worst fear (and best glee) had arrived at my doorstep.

These are the Rules.

Chapter 1 - Lin Peh
Chapter 2 - PJ
Chapter 3 - Lilian (password: chapter3)
Chapter 4 - Cocka Doodle
Chapter 5 - Ah Pek
Chapter 6 - Helen
Chapter 7 - Zara's Mama
Chapter 8 - King's Wife
Chapter 9 - Seng Kor
Chapter 10 - LB

Rated XX. All following characters are purely fictitious. Any similarities are coincidental. Please do not proceed if you think you may be offended with explicit sex scenes or profanity. Read on at your own risk.

* * *


As they waited in the lounge during transit, Nia Mah watched Helen closely. Again, her worries about Helen pulling out at the last minute began to cloud her mind.

"Helen. Remember what our plans are," Nia Mah spoke quietly, looking at her counterpart through slit eyes.

"Of... of course, Nia Mah. How could I not do anything for you after how well you've treated me the past month?" Helen replied, laughing it off nervously.

"I mean it. If you fail me... you will watch your son Lin Peh die in flames like what I did to Penny."

Helen's heart stopped for a nanosecond as her hands turned icy cold. Despite being incomparable to Albieno's powerful prowness and command over their wild sex escapades, she couldn't help but long for Lin Peh's sweet, innocent love-making. She taught him everything, after all. How to please a woman, hitting the G-spot, making her cum over and over again. She gave an involuntary shudder as her mind flashed back to those scenes. She felt herself going wet below, her vulva swelling tenderly at the thought of Lin Peh's kkc penetrating her. Pretending to cross her arms, she brushed her hardened nipples with her palm. Her lips parted, a soft gasp escaped her lips.

Nia Mah mistook Helen's glazed look and shudder as fear for Lin Peh's life. Pleased with the results of her threat, her mind begin to go over the plot for doing old man Unkle Lin in.

"Another half hour to go," Nia Mah thought, glancing at her Rolex that belonged to Penny. It was her only reminder of her toufu-grinding sessions with her lesbian lover. The King's wife should be in position by now. She dialled the secret number on her mobile phone. It began to ring...

* * *

Meanwhile, back in Penang...

Seng Kor a.k.a. Dr Horsey waited agitatedly for William and David. KNNBCCB! Where are those fuckers? His patience was wearing thin; they are already one hour late. His imported White Coffee from Ipoh was getting too cold too fast. Where was a microwave oven when you needed one?

Something didn't feel right. Seng Kor felt the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. Suddenly, he felt an urge to check the contents of his briefcase. *thup! thup!* The briefcase clasps were unlocked and opened. His hands slowly lifted the top... No... No way... Where are the blardy documents??? He began to panic big time. His kkc shriveled until it was smaller than his thumb. His balls... let's not even go there.

The casino... the King's wife...

Cold sweat poured down Seng Kor's face. Shit had certainly hit the fan big time.

* * *

*Tooot... Tooot...*

"Hello?" a sultry voice breathed on the other end.

"Mrs. King. This is Nia Mah."

"Oh dah-ling! Finally, I hear from you! Everything's going according to your brilliant plan," Mrs. King laughed a deep, throaty, sexy laugh.

"Very well done. I knew you wouldn't let me down."

"How could I ever let you down, dah-ling? After all that toufu-grinding with me behind Penny's back in prison so many years ago, I'd do anything to repay the favour..."

Nia Mah smirked. She knew grinding Mrs. King would be to her advantage one day. "Will be in contact again. Good-bye."

Nia Mah dialled a second secret number. Unbeknownst to everyone, another mobile phone in the waiting lounge began to vibrate silently. Fantasyflier walked to the farthest corner and picked up the call.

"Did you enjoy screwing Helen in the toilet?" Nia Mah asked amusingly.

"Let's just say it was memorable," came the reply.

"Humph. Now that you've had your fun, remember the arrangement. Take care of Helen when she's done with that Lou Yeh Unkle Lin."

* * *

And the Lin Dynasty baton goes to...

*Drum roll*




Good luck. *two very enthusiastic thumbs up*

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

whaddya mean, a ticket?

Little Miss May is not squeaky clean anymore.

She got a ticket today.

For not parking in the proper parking lot.

"But the boss said it was ok to park right in front of the building! It's a shopping mall, for cryin' out loud. He parks there himself all the time. And so do other people... look at them lined up at the curb!"

Nope... not according to Majlis Perbandaran Klang (Klang Municiple Council).

"I wasn't there for shopping either. It was business. I had a meeting, less than an hour!"

I don't think they'll waive the ticket just because it wasn't a frivolous visit.

"Look at the other cars... they don't have tickets clipped on their windshields. Why is it just mine? Why? Why???"

Just your (bad) luck today, girl. Wrong place, wrong time.