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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fever for baby and me

After a bout of cough and flu that I got over really fast, I was hit with a massive fever which had me crying like a baby, mostly because my baby was ill as well. I was worried sick because his fever was quite high and didn't sleep a wink that night. The next day I was a total wreck.

My parents took me and baby to the doctors, got our meds including major antibiotics and tried to rest. My little baby however didn't much like the meds and it was quite a battle getting him to down it all. But the little trooper did (after much tears) and recovered nicely. Both of us are still a little tired, but hopefully will be up to full strength by next week. I hate feeling so weak, can't wait to get physical again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mamma Mia! The Musical

Me and hubby were lucky enough to get free tickets to the premiere of Mamma Mia! here in Kuala Lumpur at Istana Budaya.

The show was absolutely brilliant. I've never had so much fun at a theatre show before. The story itself is quite simple, but the music really made it memorable. They sang mostly Abba songs including Mamma Mia (of course), Dancing Queen, Super Trouper, Chiquitita and lots more. In fact, hubby wanted to run out late last night to get the soundtrack and movie DVD immediately. Most of the audience members (me included) were bopping our heads and singing to the songs.

At the end of the show, the cast performed three songs and some people got up to dance, albeit with no rhythm, but they more than made up for it in enthusiasm.

I would not recommend going to a premiere show though. First, the VIPs were a little late, then they shortened the intermission for a cheque presentation ceremony, then the VIPs caused a jam, because no cars could get in or out until the VIPs got into their cars, all of which I think is a waste of time for people who just wanted to enjoy the show. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for charity, but do you have to make such a big fuss in handing our mock cheques? That, itself, is a waste fo money and time. A nice write up along with a list of all the charities benefiting from the charity premiere would have sufficed. As for the VIPs, would it hurt to hurry it up a bit?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cobwebs

It's quite embarassing, but I just noticed this morning the tonne of cobwebs on my bedroom ceiling. I vacuum, mop and dust all the time, but somehow I tend to forget to do the ceilings. So today, armed with my trusty mini vacuum cleaner, I managed to clean up all the cobwebs in record time.

I think it's the best mini vacuum cleaner I've used. It's actually a small upright vacuum cleaner, but you can remove the handle and use it as a dustbuster for small jobs or for the car. It's also got an extra tube attachment which I used to make the vacuum even longer, enabling me to vacuum the ceiling without having to use a stool or ladder. I've never heard of the brand before, it's called Shimono, but it's quite powerful and does the trick. It's sold in the Live It Up shop (formerly the IS shop) in 1Utama. It cost me (well, my husband) RM299.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No more neck pain!

Whatever the chiropractor did, it worked! There is no more pain in my neck. I woke up the day after the treatment with no more pain whatsoever. I even managed to go for my Kali class in the evening.

Kali class was very enjoyable this week. We did some stick drills and ranging drills. It was a very good workout. Between Kali and Belly Dancing, I hope to maintain some form of fitness. I try to jog once in a while. Jogging bores me to bits, but now I've created an exercise playlist on ITunes. It's mostly rock songs to keep me pumped. I actually didn't mind completing more than 20 mins of jogging + walking on an incline. Then it's sit ups, squats and push ups for some body weight exercise. I really have to get to the gym soon, I feel my muscles turning to mush slowly. I try to do the Kali stick drills at home, but it can only be done outdoors. I'm hoping it doesn't rain this afternoon so I can get some exercise.

Chiropractor appointment


I don't know if it was the paintballing, but my neck was aching since Sunday. I thought maybe I'd slept wrongly, but came Wednesday, the pain was still there. Hubby kept pushing me to see the chiropractor but I waited to see if it would heal by itself. That, I found out, was wishful thinking on my part, I couldn't even turn my neck on Wednesday morning.

So looked up on the Internet, found one in Bangsar (www.bangsarchiropractic.com) and quickly made an appointment. I haven't been to a chiro in four years so I didn't know what to expect. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how gentle and relaxing the session was. The chiropractor, Dr Twink Lim, was calm, professional and very nice. I came out of the session more relaxed than I've ever felt in ages. She said I was very tight in my lower back and neck. She basically manipulated my spine and worked her way up to my neck and head. I wish it would have lasted longer, but alas, all good things must come to an end. The initial appointment cost me RM168 in total including three boxes of Epsom salts which I'm supposed to use to soak my feet in.

It didn't hurt that parking was free and easy. I'm going back for a follow up next Tuesday and I am so looking forward to it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Paintball


Went paintballing on Saturday with about 16 other people and had a great time. This is my first time piantballing and I think I did quite well. I was initially apprehensive as i'd heard about how painful it was when you got shot and friends have talked about how badly bruised you're going to get. Well, it was all that, but it was a whole load of fun. Everyone got down and dirty, literally, and shot and bruised.

We went to Rimba Harmonis Paintball (www.rimbaharmonispaintball.com) in Gombak and spent around three hours playing 7 games. At the end each person paid around RM69 or RM74 depending on whether you rented a vest or overall. They had two paintball areas, one larger and on a steep incline as the place was near a hill. The other site was smaller and the game more intense. Both were equally challenging. Everyone went home talking about the next paintball outing.

It's Tuesday now, and my bruise looks awful. It actually looks worse than it feels. There is just a slight soreness but it doesn't bother me at all. My hubby has me showing it off to his friends. It makes me a little self conscious to wear short sleeves now. I still want to go again though.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tired Out

Last night I had my Kali class and it really drained me. Even then I went off earlier than usual, but still could not get a good nights sleep. My son still comes onto the bed at night. In fact, he came onto the bed three times. At first I tried putting him back on his mattress, but he kept climbing back up and I was just too damn tired to do anything about it.

This afternoon he refused to nap and kept disturbing my nap. In the end he fell asleep and I didn't get my afternoon nap. I wish he'd fall asleep more easily, but it looks like he has difficulty sleeping just like me. Like mother, like son :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Slooowwww Payment

People think freelancing is a breeze, it's not! I'm supposed to receive my cheque for two jobs which I completed two months ago and the person in charge is on leave for a week. Arghhh...

Not only is it a bitch to get jobs, payment is so slow. You just have to keep hassling and pushing them to get your payment out. It's probably because they don't see you, so clients don't have any urgency. So it's important to show your face once in a while. If you can, pick up your cheque yourself, don't ask them to post or bank it in for you. It's also great PR, they will remember you over the rest and will, hopefully, offer you more jobs.

Of course, you do have to make sure your work is top notch. I've seen horrible translation and editing jobs and wonder how in the world do these people get projects? I think that clients just refuse to pay for quality work. They pay peanuts, then complain about how terrible the completed work is. It's too bad, since there are really good translators, writers and editors around (including me!), if only they're willing to pay us what we're worth.

USANA Nutritionals

I've got a pounding headache but I've been wanting to update this blog for ages. The recent trip to Cameron Highlands threw me off a little because 1) I almost caught a cold and 2) there was no wireless connection.

Luckily I did not catch a cold. A whole load of vitamins put a stop to it. I'm currently taking USANA vitamins, the Essentials and Biomega. I'm not a believer of multi-level marketing (MLM), but I joined USANA because of these vitamins. These are high quality vitamins that you can't buy in the local pharmacy. Their compensation plan is not bad, but it's the products that sold me. The Essentials range are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So many people around me are falling ill and getting cancer, I just want to make sure I stay as healthy as possible. Because, seriously, I cannot afford to get cancer. Have you heard about the prices they charge for cancer treatment nowadays? Hospital stays are getting as expensive as staying in a five star hotel.

I was getting flu and cough every few weeks before. After taking USANA, alhamdulillah, I have not fallen ill yet. The most I'll get are some sniffles, which are mostly due to lack of sleep. I've been recommending them to my family and I think they're getting a little tired of listening to how USANA is the best. USANA seems a little expensive at first, but when you compare it to all the vitamins you have to take to get the same benefits, it will turn out cheaper.

With all the environmental pollution and stress that we put ourselves through every day, it's no wonder more people are getting ill. Cancer, for instance, is a disease of the immune system. When your immunity is extremely low, cancer cells will start to spread. Virginia Livingston-Wheeler author of The Conquest of Cancer says "the ability of your immune system to successfully prevent cancer is directly dependent on the state of your nutrition". So are you confident that what you're taking in is giving you enough nutrients? I'm a firm believer in supplements and if you can afford it, why not take one of the best around?

If you're interested in finding out more about USANA, go to usana.com, or you can just e-mail me at mariam.azaman@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exercising with children

It's Tumble Tots day for my little rascal. He goes once a week for 45 minutes to get some exercise and socialise. It's the 2-3 year old class and the parent/s still have to accompany their child. So I'm there every week making sure he listens to and follows directions. Usually the trainers or 'aunties', as the kids call them, will supervise the whole thing, but my 2 year old still wants me around and needs a bit of a push sometimes. So there I am running, jumping, stamping and rolling along on the exercise equipment and dancing to the tune of nursery rhymes and children's songs.

I consider this part of my cardio regime. Some people say they have no time for exercise, I say try to make your daily routine a part of your exercise routine. If you're looking for quality time with your child, go to the park for walks and runs. Children are a bundle of energy. Let that spur you to be more energetic. When you're with your kid in the house, don't just watch TV, wrestle, have a tickling session or just play some active games. Even a few rounds of 'Ring-a-Roses' will leave you puffing, I guarantee.

You can even put in some strength training by being a bit creative. My son sits on me while I do push ups and sit ups. Believe me, 13 kgs will definitely challenge your muscles. When you're watching TV with them, why not do some lunges, squats and dips? These exercises don't take up much space but are highly effective when done correctly, so make sure your form is correct. This is also to prevent injury.

Why not try it? The only thing you'll lose is inches.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Losing Weight with Belly Dancing

I've been learning how to belly dance for slightly more than a year now. I started because 1) I wanted to lose weight, 2) I wanted something fun and 3) I wanted to actually learn a skill instead of just exercising mindlessly. Luckily for me, it was all of the above, plus I have a really great teacher, made good friends, gained some coordination and lost a lot of weight. I guess I'm still pursuing it because it's also convenient. The studio is in Taman Tun and it takes me less than 15 mins to get there from home.

So far I've done roughly 7 songs/choreography and performed twice. I ain't no Shakira, but I can shimmy away reasonably well and, I don't screw up the steps as much which to me means I am getting better at it. Thank god Nancy (my teacher) is unbelievably patient with me because it took a while before I was totally comfortable with the moves. Some people may not realise it, but belly dancing for 1 hour challenges your muscles in different ways and areas as there is no fixed movement to dancing. I feel my core has gotten stronger and my legs are more toned. Well, that's what I think, but then, the most important thing about fitness is how it makes you feel, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Grand Plaza Park Hotel City Hall, Singapore

Went to Singapore over the Deepavali long weekend and had a really good time. We stayed at the Grand Plaza Park Hotel City Hall and I have to say the service was excellent. The hotel is slightly pricey (as with all things in Singapore), but the staff made it a very pleasant stay. Our room was very nice with a king size bed, tea making facilities, mini bar, iron and ironing board, robes, slippers, toiletries and turn down service. I loved that the bathroom had a separate bath and shower.

We had to pay for breakfast since it's not included in the rates, but we were advised to have breakfast outside instead. This was not a problem as the hotel is located right next to the Funan Centre which had a McDonalds, Delifrance and an excellent kopitiam that were all opened by 7.30am. The hotel is also right next to Plaza Peninsula and is just a five minute walk away from the City Hall MRT station which made travelling easy peasy.  

Although it would have been nice to stay near Orchard Road (for which we would have to pay a bomb), the Grand Plaza Park Hotel was right smack in the middle of the city, so we didn't have any problems looking for a taxi or taking the MRT. We could walk to Clark Quay if we had wanted to, but with a toddler, we took a car instead.

Definitely a hotel I would recommend.  


Monday, October 13, 2008

Dr. Ci:Labo

I'm currently using Dr. Ci:Labo skincare as it is the only one that doesn't use preservatives. Due to the presence of cancer in my family, I've decided to avoid preservatives such as parabens in my cosmetics and skincare.

I use it's Aqua Collagen Super Moisture Gel and Everbright Sunscreen (SPF 30). I love the Super Moisture Gel because it moisturises, nourishes, brightens and acts as a base for make-up or you can just use it on its own. It's non-greasy so I don't have to worry about oily skin anymore. My skin just feels really clean and soft. The only downside is it's price, at RM124 for a small jar, it's quite pricy for me. The sunscreen also costs RM124 for a small tube, but it does last for a couple of months. However it leaves a whitish tinge on your face, I think it's due to the titanium dioxide. All in all a good skincare line.

I'm still looking for a cheaper skincare line that doesn't contain parabens though. Working freelance means I don't make that much and with prices of everything going up, I definitely need to cut down here and there.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Malaysia seems doomed. We manage to get rid of an ineffective 'flip-flop' Prime Minister, and what do we end up with? A more corrupt regime the way I see it. With Najib at the helm, and Mat Taib, Ali Rustam or Muhyiddin as deputy, the people of Malaysia are going to suffer. They are going to further rape and destroy the country, suck the coffers dry and enrich their families and cronies.

It's disgusting to see these politicians jostling for the post of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as if it's their god given right. Especially when we don't even want them. Najib, too tainted. Ali Rustam, corrupt to the core. Mat Taib, urghh, don't even want to go there. Muhyiddin, just the same. It's just too embarassing to have any one of them as a community leader, what more a leader of our country. The people should be given a choice as to whom they want as Prime Minister and Deputy. The decision SHOULD NOT be left to just one racist party.

It is so sad to see that we have such a dearth of good, decent politicians. The decent ones are stepped on, threatened or just thrown into ISA for no good reason.

God help Malaysia and it's people.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nachos!

I just love, love, love cheesy nachos. Unfortunately it's not practical nor financially viable to keep on going to Chilli's or TGIF to get my nacho fix. So, I have to make it myself. I usually use Chachos Original corn chips as the base. Grate some cheddar cheese, sprinkle it over and nuke it until the cheese bubbles. Voila! You have cheesy nachos.

As for the salsa, I usually chop up some tomatoes, capsicum, coriander leaves, red onion and mix it up. A bit of freshly ground salt and black pepper and you have fresh tasting salsa. Sometimes I'll make some guacamole as well. I used to think it was difficult to make, but it's actually very simple. Mash up some very ripe avocados, add in lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and red onion, salt and pepper to taste and you have guacamole.

I make it for buka puasa sometimes, and I usually melt the cheese just before the azan so the nachos are piping hot. Hmmm...this is making me crave nachos again. Looks like it's nachos and dips again tonight!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Very Intelligente Pocket (VIP) by Tintamar


As a woman, it's a bitch to keep changing handbags because of the all the stuff we need to transfer i.e purse, keys, coins, phone, cards, sunglasses, and all sorts of knick knacks we tend to lug around.

I read about the Very Intelligente Pocket (VIP) by Tintamar a few years ago, but only managed to find it on the net a few months ago. It's basically a washable pouch or handbag liner which you use to put all your stuff in. If you change handbags just grab the pouch and place it in the handbag you want to use.

I manage to fit in my purse, phone, pen, coins, note pad and card wallet, with space to spare. The VIP comes in three sizes, the VIP classic, which is suitable for small handbags,the business pocket, which is slightly bigger, suitable for the corporate woman who needs space for her Blackberry, PDA, make-up etc and also more useful with bigger handbags which are all the rage now. They also have a sun/baby pocket which can be used for totes or baby changing bags as it has more and larger pockets and a matching little coin purse as well.

Fortunately for me, I was able to order it through the internet from the UK. They sell it in Malaysia at the Gardens, Mid Valley at a shop called M. However it's bloody expensive. The classic pocket goes for RM285 here, whereas you can get it around a hundred ringgit cheaper if you order online or buy it overseas.

It's made changing handbags a whole lot easier and keeps my handbags cleaner as well, a nice bonus.

Pak Lah in Denial

Now I tend to believe that Anwar Ibrahim does have the numbers to for a new government. Pak Lah seems to be stalling for time, perhaps time to arrest Anwar on trumped up charges of sodomy. If he meant what he said about Anwar bluffing, then he should just call for an emergency sitting and call his bluff, instead he delays - again. Pak Lah also says he's got his ear to the ground, did I hear right, or was it his ear to the pillow. Please Pak Lah, you've lost so much credibility, wouldn't it be more graceful (and less embarassing, I must say) to leave before being ousted?

One might be inclined to believe that Khairy had a hand in the decision to switch portfolios. With the switching of portfolios, Najib and his supporters will have to support Khairy's bid for UMNO Youth Chief. Najib should be wary taking on the Finance Ministerial responsibility in such a tough environment. It'll be very easy to just blame Najib for any screw ups later on, despite it being Pak Lah's mess in the first place.

Interesting times we live in. Can't wait to see what unfolds tomorrow.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Cruel, Cruel Government

I was extremely shocked to read that apart from Raja Petra, Teresa Kok, MP, and Tan Hoon Cheng of Sin Chew Daily were also arrested under the ISA, in the month of Ramadhan as well. This is from a government that proclaims to be Islamic, when in fact they are nothing more than hypocrites. Islam abhors any form of discrimination or oppression, but that is exactly what the Barisan Nasional government is about. You know what they say about hypocrites in the Quran - they go straight to hell.

If they think this will shore up more support for Pak Lah, they are sadly mistaken. They are playing the racial card again and I just hope that cool heads will reign and resolve this intelligently. I think it is definitely time for a big change in Malaysia, we cannot allow this kind of government to rule anymore. It's time the people flex their power and show the Barisan government that we won't stand for this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bora Asmara @ Sungai Penchala

I've been to Bora Asmara twice and although the ambience is amazing, the food is so-so. I'm not saying the food is bad, but don't expect fantastic food there. It's just a nice place to hang out (oh yeah, they don't serve any alcohol, just cigars).

I would, however, recommend the Chicken Chop, both normal and oriental. They also make good Nasi Goreng and sambal and we also liked the steak sandwich. The second time I went there, the fish for the Fish & Chips was off, so that has turned me completely off the dish. They have a good selection of desserts but the ice shaving machine wasn't working both times we went so we had to make do with just half the dessert menu. The fried bananas with ice-cream is a safe and delicious choice but I'm not too crazy about the coconut jelly.

Overall an OK place, better food and ambience than Rasta TTDI if you're looking for al fresco dining in the TTDI-Damansara-Sungai Penchala area.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Everly Resort Melaka

We had to attend my cousin's wedding over the weekend in Melaka and decided to stay at the Everly. Never again. I have no complaints about the service at the hotel since the staff were very nice and helpful. The rooms, however, were terrible. When you go into the room, it smells musty, the mattresses sank when you slept on them, the shower was leaking, the sink tap was loose, there were ants in the room and the water was lukewarm, there was no proper hot water. The shower in my Aunt's room didn't work so she had to use the bath tap to bathe. The only saving grace was that the room had loads of space with a separate sitting area and kitchenette.

When you pay RM240 for a room you expect to get properly maintained rooms at least. We're not expecting Mandarin Oriental standards here, but please fix the taps, showers and water heaters. Having shabbily maintained rooms really spoils a holiday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Samsons & Estranged @ Bar Savanh Too

Hubby was very excited at the prospect of watching Samsons live. I'm not much of a fan, but I do like Estranged and I have heard some of Samsons' songs. We got tickets as soon as the started selling it at 8pm. The only bother was that it was a sponsored event and we had to produce our MyKads and answer some survey questions before we could pay for the tickets which were RM50 each. We had to go into Bar Savanh then went back out again to get something to eat since it was still early.

We went back in around 9pm, but was told Samsons were only playing at 10.45pm. Unfortunately for us, we didn't get any seats so we were standing for a good one hour before Estranged came on. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. Estranged were fantastic. I've never really heard their songs, but all of the songs they played that night were excellent and got the crowd warmed up for the main act.

I was almost disappointed when Estranged had to make way for Samsons, but Samsons did live up to their name. I never realised how popular they were until that night. Almost every person there knew the lyrics to every song they sang. That night was definitely a whole load of fun.

I hope they'll organise this kind of small live concerts more often. It beats driving to places like Bukit Jalil then having to contend with parking, jams etc.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Sign of Cancer

My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in February 2006. She underwent surgery, then chemo and after that, radiotherapy. Yesterday she went for the scheduled check up which included a colonoscopy and endoscopy. The results were all normal, there is no sign of any cancer.

I'm so relieved that everything is ok. The period during her treatment was extremely hard on everyone. On her because of the side effects and on us seeing her go through the horrible side effects of chemotherapy. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Alhamdulillah, everything turned out well for us and I still have my mother here with me.

All I can say is, early detection saves lives. It doesn't matter for what, go for routine check ups and listen to your body. If something feels wrong, go check it out. You owe it to yourselves and your family to stay healthy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim-Shabery Cheek Debate

I managed to catch the live debate yesterday between Anwar Ibrahim and the Malaysian Information Minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek. Was very impressed with Anwar's reasoning using facts and figures, but extremely disappointed with our Minister of Information. Instead of countering with facts and figures, he was spewing history lessons and making personal attacks on Anwar. Seeing as Anwar is an excellent orator, Shabery should have been more prepared.

I was actually looking forward to an intellectual albeit heated debate, but Shabery was just out of his depth. But to give him some credit, there is no one else in the current Cabinet that has the charisma and oratory skills equal to that of Anwar Ibrahim. What about Pak Lah you say? Hahaha, he would have just smiled and asked "Apa soalan tadi?"

If that was the best the Government can throw at the opposition, God help them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trying to Get Pregnant Again

I've been trying to get pregnant for the past year with no luck. So went to see my doctor yesterday to see what my options are. Since my endometriosis is considered mild and scans show no obvious cysts or otherwise, he prescribed Danazol. It's supposed to treat my endometriosis and hopefully allow me to get pregnant.

Unfortunately it is less tolerable than the injection that I took before. I read on Medicinenet.com this medication "may cause dizziness, headache, fatigue, appetite changes, stomach upset, bloating, or anxiety. These effects should disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. Other side effects reported include oily skin, weight gain, flushing, changes insleep patterns, change in sex drive, muscle cramps, chills, fluid retention in the hands or feet or nasal congestion". Yup, not too much fun. However the doctor gave me the lowest dose and said that I can stop if I can't handle it.

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pekiti Tirsia Kali

I've just attended a class on Pekiti Tirsia Kali. It's basically a Filipino martial art that teaches you how to fight efficiently with or without weapons. I've done Silat Cekak Malaysia before and hopefully will be able to supplement it with PTK. It's been quite a few years since I've done Silat Cekak and I can only remember some of the moves, but it is similar to PTK in that it is straightforward and effective.

The first PTK lesson was tiring but a lot of fun. But ask me again in a months time. It seems it can get quite painful if you're accidentally hit with a stick and there may be a lot of bruising as well. Plus I'm the only female in the class. Hopefully I can keep up.

For more info on PTK Malaysia go to www.pekiti-tirsia.com.my.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

PS I Love You

PS I Love You the movie is based in Cecilia Ahern's best selling novel of the same title. I read the book before I watched the movie. I liked the book a bit more than the movie, the writer made it both humourous and touching at the same time, making me laugh and cry throughout. The movie was, however, enjoyable in its own way. I had some reservations about Hilary Swank as Holly the young widow, but she gave a touching and funny performance. Gerrard Butler was charming in his role as dead husband Gerry and Harry Connick Jr was hilarous as the best friend/love interest, Daniel. The movie was quite funny, in a more American comedy kind of way, but it had it's moments.

It's not a movie that I'd watch over and over again, but it did leave me all warm and fuzzy after.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh So Screwed!

Najib Tun Razak may be moving to another country by tomorrow. The statutory declaration by P Balasubramaniam linking him to the Altantuya case may well be the final nail in his political coffin. Oh, and did you hear that scream? Is that Rosmah watching her aspiration of becoming the PM's wife slip through her diamond ringed finger?

That's the thing with politics, one day you're up, then one mistake and you're back at the bottom of the ladder. But they won't be too bad off, I'm sure they're got millions stashed away somewhere.

Knowing Malaysian politics, as long as you deny it and you can buy off the IGP, AG, police etc... you'll get away with it and continue as if nothing happened. Hopefully, Malaysians won't let them forget it and throw these scumbags out of the government so they won't have a chance to screw the country, again.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ahh...Malaysian politics

So Anwar Ibrahim has finally emerged from the Turkish Embassy and denials are abound. All the Ministers photographed with the 'victim' have come out with all sorts of denial. This boy gets around doesn't he, hobnobbing with Ministers while people who urgently need to meet Ministers have to pay so much toll.

Najib says he met the guy once three months ago (hmmm....that would be around the same time he joined PKR?) about a scholarship. Other SPM leavers are running around like headless chickens trying to get scholarships and this guy can just waltz into the DPM's office? So students, next time you need a scholarship, don't bother with the small fries, go straight to the DPM.

Sodomy again?!

UMNO really has no imagination. Everyone is just cracking up over the allegation that Anwar Ibrahim committed sodomy. It actually only proves one thing - the government is homophobic.

How a 23 year old can allow himself to be sodomised by a 60+ year old man alludes me. I think they're just grasping at straws, it's a sign of desperation. Things must really be going bad for UMNO.

BN may accuse Pakatan Rakyat of not being able to work together, but BN is falling to pieces as we speak. The disastrous elections, accusations against Rosmah/Najib, MCA leaders not contesting party elections, MIC Youth chief quitting, what else can happen? I don't think Pak Lah has the competency to handle all this. All Pak Lah can come up with are denial upon denial.

On page N2 of The Star newspaper today "The BN Government is not behind the latest sodomy allegation against PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister said." Were they behind the previous allegation then?

Also in the same article "I believe even my friends like (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun Razak) do not have an intention to do such a thing to him" This statement sort of suggests that Najib has a grudge against Anwar.

I think Pak Lah should just stop making statements or get a better speech writer/PR person.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beauty and the Beast Musical, Kuala Lumpur

Went to watch Beauty and the Beast on Saturday night with hubby at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. We were lucky to get free tickets from my father courtesy of Direct Access credit cards and were treated to pre-show cocktails as well. We thought we arrived too late to make it for the cocktails, but the show was delayed for half an hour due to a power failure earlier, so we had time to have some snacks.

During the cocktails some of the cast made and appearance and you could take some photos with them. The kids loved it, but I was more interested in the food since the show was obviously going to finish later.

We were given really good seats, right in the middle with a good view of the stage. There were lots of kids and even a baby (who cried at one point). I wouldn't really bring a baby to a musical but then they probably didn't have a baby sitter, so can't really blame them.

The show was really good. The cast was funny, the songs were entertaining, and the costumes were vibrant. My favourite character would have to be Gaston. The actor playing him really hammed it up and made Gaston deliciously evil, dumb, funny and at the same time, very popular with the audience. The rest of the characters such as Belle, Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and the Beast were also fantastic.

The only flaw was a technical glitch towards the end for five minutes. The show had to stop just as the Beast was about to turn into the Prince. So there we were, sitting in the dark theatre, wondering what the hell was going on. Hubby whispered to me "Is this part of the show?"

It was fixed in about five minutes and the audience gave an appreciative applause. The show ended on a high note with no more glitches. It is surprising to me that a Tony nominated show would encounter problems of the sort seeing as they have performed all over the world.

However, I enjoyed it very much and judging by the applause at the end, so did the rest of the audience.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stupid People

It amazes me how ignorant some people can be. I read in the Star that a municipal council in Kelantan has issued a directive to disallow lipstick and high heels targetted at Muslim women in business outlets. This is to prevent rape and illicit sex and protect women's dignity.

Damn...I didn't know ruby red lips and the click-clack of high heels would turn men into sexual maniacs. When I put on lipstick, hubby would wipe his face when I kiss him. When I wear heels, he'll say "Those things are really bad for your feet, you know".

I sincerely hope this news was just wrongly reported by the newspapers. It's embarassing to read about Muslims making such stupid statements when, time and again, research has shown that rape is not about sex and beauty and/or revealing clothes do not invite rape. Perhaps they should spend more time educating men and punishing rapists severely instead of suffocating women with more and more rules and regulations.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sleeping with a Baby

OK...it's 3am and I'm still awake. Why? Because my son refuses to sleep on his own mattress on the floor. Forget putting him in his own room, he'll scream the house down. Asian parents are usually guilty of sleeping with their children in the room, on the bed etc. I slept in my parents room till I was about 12 years old or thereabouts.

I did however, sleep on a mattress on the floor. My son wants to sleep with us. Unfortunately he's getting too big. I don't like being kicked and head butted every night. I am a light sleeper and I need my own space and some peace and quiet. For some reason my son doesn't head butt my husband. Huh?? Why me?? Whatever the reason it is irritating the hell out of me and stressing me out. I cannot continue like this. My sleep is suffering therefore my work is also suffering and my health to a certain extent (I'm too damn tired to exercise).

So how do I handle this? I seriously do not know. I'm just too tired to force him to sleep on his own. When I go back to bed, he just climbs in again. He's almost 2 years old, soon he'll just push me off the bed :-/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time to Work from Home?

Ack...just filled up petrol in my little Kelisa. I only fill up once every two weeks since I work from home so this is the first time since the fuel hike. RM75! RM75 for a teenie weenie little fuel tank. It's just nuts.

Working from home has never been so attractive. Say your salary is RM2000, take away EPF and SOCSO, you take home around RM1800. Say you also drive a Kelisa, that would be RM75 worth of petrol every week = RM300 a month. Add in RM350 for your car installment and you spend RM600 just on transport. And I haven't even added in the regular maintenance cost.

Maybe employers should start thinking about flexi hours. Employees should be able to work from home if possible. We now have lap tops, internet access, faxes, phones etc. Everyone is contactable anytime, anywhere. We shouldn't gauge productivity by how much time is spent in the office but by how much work is actually produced efficiently. Just because someone spends 10 hours a day in the office doesn't mean he/she is doing a good job.

The petrol hike is a great chance for employers and employees to get creative:
a) Allow employees to come in less days a week and work from home the rest of the time. Not only saves the employee money on transport, but will gain in terms of less time spent in traffic.
b) Try flexi hours, some employees prefer coming in early and leaving early, some prefer later. Again, employees will be able to avoid traffic jams. Less time in traffic also means less stress.

Employers should really think about the welfare of their employees. I'm sure everyone agrees, happy workers produce better work. This of course, goes both ways, employees shouldn't take advantage of considerate employers. Don't go for teh tarik when you're supposed to be working at home. Discipline and integrity are key.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cupcakes!

I've been hearing a lot about these cupcakes called Cuppacakes by Wondermilk, so I thought I'd give them a try. The cafe is actually called Wondermilk and is located in the Damansara Uptown area at 41, Jalan SS21/1A. You really have to look for it or you'll miss it amongst all the car workshops along the row of shops. Anyway, back to the cupcakes - they are extremely delicious. My favourites are the Cookies and Cream and Cinnamon Cindy flavours but they have many others to choose from. The down side is that the cupcakes are also extremely expensive, to me anyway, they sell them in boxes of 4,6 and 12. They cost RM4.50 EACH! Though I must say they use fresh and quality ingredients. For me it's alright to have it as a treat, but for my regular cupcake fix, I head over to the Taman Tun Dr. Ismail market.

Head to the 1st floor of the TTDI market (top level) and look for Brownie Bakes. You can get delicious simple vanilla cupcakes with icing for RM6 for a box of 8 (I think, you can call 012 6020318 to check). Special themed cupcakes will cost more if you're planning to order. I also go ga-ga over the brownies there. They are absolutely gorgeous and they have them in different flavours as well such as Rocky Road, Mixed Nut and Double Choc apart from the Classic brownie. I usually heat them up a little and serve with some vanilla ice-cream, decadent!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

*sniffle* *sniffle*


Yup, I'm down with a cold. Fortunately it's not too bad since I have some editing work due in three weeks. Somehow antibiotics and medicines don't seem to work as well for me nowadays. Once I had a horrible cough and none of the cough medicines given by the doctor worked. After a week of hacking and coughing, I went online and got this great natural remedy of apple cider vinegar and honey mixed with water. It worked for me and cleared my cough in two days.

For my cold I'm taking a tea called Yogi Tea for throat relief and Manuka honey lozenges. The tea is actually quite soothing and naturally sweet from the herbs they use. You can get it at organic shops. I'm trying to get pregnant so I'm not too keen on putting lots of drugs in my body. I already have difficulty getting pregnant (it took me six years to get my first baby), so I don't really want to make it worst.

Hopefully my cold will be over in a few days, keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Need some Reflexology? Come to TTDI

OK, has anyone noticed how many reflexology centres have been popping up? Well, in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI), these centres have been mushrooming like crazy. I think there are at least 6 just around the Rahim Kajai/Aminuddin Baki area. Not that I'm complaining, because I can get my reflexology fix easily.

These centres usually use workers from China and they can't really speak English. I don't really mind because I like to relax when I'm having a massage, reflexology, facial etc and I don't really want to converse or listen to anyone's problems.

These people are really good at what they do and you get your money's worth. It's roughly RM35-RM40 per one hour reflexology session. You can also opt to have a body massage for a bit more. A lot of these centres have packaged these two services together so it's worth trying.

So if you feel like some foot massage, just drive around the shophouses in Rahim Kajai, TTDI, you're sure to spot a few. Then, well, just take your pick.

Monday, June 2, 2008

AliCafe Restaurant TTDI

Tried the new AliCafe Restaurant recently. You may know the AliCafe instant coffee and teas muxed with tongkat ali, kacip fatimah etc. Anyway, they've opened a restaurant and my verdict is - not bad. They have a mixture of western and eastern dishes.

Most of us ordered western dishes but Pa had chicken curry with rice, which was quite nice. I had the boneless chicken leg with honey butter sauce. The portion was just nice for me as I'm not a big fan of huge helpings which just go to waste and make you put on more calories than needed. I also tasted the Oxtail Soup (a tad too salty for me), grilled chicken breast (verrry nice), garlic bread (delicious), fries (home made) and the burger (ok). The menu has variety but not too much that your head spins. The standard and pricing is similar to that of Secret Recipe so don't think you're going into a kopitiam, despite the name.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sleep, baby, sleep - PLEASE!

Urghh....my son is sooo spoilt. After the holiday he has been just impossible. He absolutely refuses to sleep on his own and sometime during the night he'll start crying and eventually we'll bring him onto our bed - that is if he hasn't climbed up by himself. Very persistent that boy. I've bought all the toddler sleep books but I just don't have the energy to do the controlled crying and he just won't stay in his bed anyway.

It won't be too bad if we had a King Size mattress and if he didn't head butt us during the night, but we don't and he does.

I've given up on the cot and have put a mattress on the floor next to our bed. Hopefully he'll feel free-er and won't want to crowd our bed. Last night was the first night, well, he spent the night on our bed. BUT it's only the first night, so I'm hoping for the best.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Homst, Kota Damansara

Just had dinner at Homst Kota Damansara two nights ago. Their first restaurant is in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail which we usually frequent but thought we'd give the second branch a try. While the menu is similar, the concept for the second restaurant is slightly different. It has stalls inside the restaurant so you have a larger variety of food. Unfortunately most of the stalls only open in the afternoons and are closed for dinner. The only stalls that were open were the Hokkien Mee and Tahu Bakar stall.

The hokkien prawn mee is the one from the old Rasta TTDI, and is a favourite of mine. Glad to say it still did not disappoint. Lots of condiments and excellent prawn stock. I do have to warn you about the sambal they put in the dish, it gives the dish quite a kick, but if you have a sensitive tummy like me you might want to remove it. I had extreme heatiness and a tummy ache after devouring the whole thing, gravy and all. But what can I say, it was worth it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pushchair Mistake

As first time parents, I’m embarrassed to say we bought all the up-to-date items that parents, according to parenting magazines and brochures, absolutely needed. Well, what we ended up with was stuff that we hardly used and lighter pockets.
What we’ve discovered is – don’t get fooled by advertising and cool looking stuff. For instance we bought the Quinny Zapp pram. What we didn’t realise was it couldn’t recline, and could only take a child from 6 months on. It was easy when H was a teeny infant, we just borrowed the Maxi-Cosi Cabrio from my sis-in-law and snapped it onto the frame. When he got too big for the Cabrio, we had to look for a pushchair that could recline so he could lie down and nap in the pram.
We also wanted something easy to handle and light so we could bring it travelling. Hubby researched on the Net and discovered the Graco Citisport EDT (or Citilite). At only RM599 (compared to RM999 for the Zapp), it was very reasonable. It is light, easy to fold, has a 5 point harness, reclines and even has a basket for storing all the baby’s bits and bobs. We use the Graco constantly and most importantly H loves it.

Celine Dion in Concert, Kuala Lumpur 2008

My mother-in-law 'belanja' me and hubby RM1000 tickets to go see Celine Dion in concert last night at Stadium Merdeka. Our seats were smack in the middle of the stadium, no cover, the ground was wet from the afternoon rain and so were the seats, and they were 'kind' enough to give us cheapo plastic raincoats in case in rained, luckily it did not and we used it to cover the squishy wet seats. Oh yeah, not forgetting the insects that kept flying in my hair and face. For RM1000, I would have expected something a lot better.

The show itself was fantastic. She sang most of her old hits plus some new songs from her current album. Her vocals were amazing, of course and she apologised for having to postpone the concert due to an illness. My favourite part of the show was when she paid tribute to Queen, and sang a rousing 'We Will Rock You' and 'The Show Must Go On'. She saved the best for last, and sang 'My Heart Will Go On' (along with scenes of Leo and Kate on the stage screens) as the finale. It wasn't a concert that you could headbang and/or dance to, but I came away quite satisfied (with a few insect bites to show for it as well).

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

London, here we come!

It's ten more days till our holiday to England. This is the first time we'll be bringing H on a long plane journey. At 20 months old, he is extremely energetic and very loud. I'm bracing myslef and keeping my fingers crossed, hoping that he'll behave on the plane.

This trip has been planned for almost a year, so I've had some time to 'research' and think about how to entertain a toddler on the plane. He's into planes, trucks, cars and trains, so I'm looking for all sorts of suitable (i.e small and not noisy) books and toys for him. I'm also looking for inexpensive stuff that will probably get ripped and thrown away at some point. The local stationery shop is a haven for reasonably priced colouring books, stickers, colour pencils etc. I've also ripped out pages from magazines which have pictures of his favourite cartoons or cars, trucks and such. The plane itself will be his little 'playground' - walking up and down the aisles, playing with the remote for the invidual tv screens and just looking out the window during take-off and landing.

I'm getting more and more excited about the trip. It's been awhile since I've been to London, and hubby has family there. My sis-in-law hasn't seen H since he was born and my bro-in-law hasn't met him at all, so it'll be nice for H to meet his aunt and uncle.

Monday, April 7, 2008

One month eye check up

It's been more than a month since I did my Intralase Lasik eye surgery. I'm pleased to say things are going very well. My last check up showed my right eye to have 20/20 vision, my left still has a bit of astigmatism and long sightedness, but I do have 20/20 with both eyes.

The service I have received from Optimax Taman Tun Dr. Ismail has been excellent. I had a bit of an infection, but a visit to my eye specialist and the infection cleared up with help from some steroid eye drops and eye lid cleanser (seems I have oily eyelids, who would've thought?)

I'm due for my three month check up in May. My eyesight is still fluctuating from day to day, so hopefully the results will also be positive and I won't need any more corrections.

No more cleaning contacts and no more glasses. My eye sight was pretty bad before the operation so I had to spend quite a bit on glasses so I could have high index lenses that are not so thick and heavy. The monthly expense on disposable lenses and cleaning solution also tends to add up. The surgery was worth every cent of the RM6000 I spent.