I Want To Be A Googler Too!

Alycia has a new ambition now. It is an ambition that is not too difficult to achieve, considering that she is addicted to the computer and she likes to loiter at Google during her free time. All she needs to do now is to study hard, ace in school, college and university. That’s what I told her. And she is all geared up to achieve her ambition of working in the best company to work for! At GOOGLE! She read this article from yesterday’s newspapers and has since been awe inspired by GOOGLE. She has been telling me, her Mandarin tutor, her grandma and her dad that she is now determined to work at GOOGLE when she grows up.

For the fourth consecutive year, Google was named the best company to work for by Fortune magazine. Why? Something tells us that the job perks have something to do with it — free gourmet food (note – GOURMET!), on-site laundry (WOW!), commuting shuttles with Wi-Fi (can save on monthly WiFi plan!), even five months of maternity leave at full pay (REALLY? Unbelievable!) and a host of other benefits. I don’t mind being a tea-lady at GOOGLE lidat!

Read on the article extracted from Reader’s Digest…

But how does Google pull it off? In the past couple of years, the company has hired social scientists to study the organization. The scientists—part of a group known as the PiLab, short for People & Innovation Lab—run dozens of experiments with employees in an effort to scientifically answer questions about the best way to manage a large firm. “What we try to do is bring the same level of rigor to people decisions as we do to engineering decisions,” says Prasad Setty, who heads Google HR’s “people analytics” group.

Major HR findings include how to give employees more money and help them contribute to their 401(k)’s. To learn more about how Googlers wanted their cash, HR ran a survey in which it asked employees to choose the best among many competing pay options. For instance, would Google’s workers rather have $1,000 more in salary or $2,000 as a bonus? After finding that Googlers wanted their extra cash in base pay, the company announced that all Google employees would get a 10 percent salary increase. Rejoice! And how should the company nudge someone to contribute to his or her 401(k)? HR found that it’s best to send employees many reminders and call for “aggressive” savings goals. If you implore an employee to contribute $8,000 to his retirement rather than, say, $2,000, he’ll tend to save more, even if he can’t afford $8,000.

Then there are the smaller findings: For the cafeterias, researchers determined that the ideal lunch line should be about three or four minutes long—that’s short enough that employees won’t waste time but long enough that they can meet new people. The tables should be long so that workers who don’t know each other are forced to chat. And, after running an experiment, Google found that stocking cafeterias with eight-inch plates alongside 12-inch ones encouraged people to eat smaller, healthier portions.

In time, Google’s findings, which the company often shares with other HR professionals, may improve all our jobs. “You spend more time working than doing anything else,” says Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations, who joined Google six years ago. “You like your job, but it should be—and it could be—something more. So why isn’t it?”

And my new resolution now is to help my daughter achieve her dream of working in Google. And I hope that some head hunters at Google lands on this page, reads this and offers Alycia a full scholarship and future job at GOOGLE!! 😀

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When It Rains It Pours For Days!

The jinx seems to be flying around me since last week.

First, my car was hit. Two days later, the AVR switch for my computer got burnt. Today, my washing machine konked out on me! Why oh why must it be my washing machine? Next to the computer, I can’t live without my washing machine. I am a clean freak with OCD remember? Having clean clothes, clean towels and clean sheets makes me happy. So when the washing machine just wouldn’t start since this morning, I was restless and very very unhappy!

Thankfully for this group in Facebook, one of my friends responded to my SOS cries within minutes of me posting up the  SOS message.

I quickly called up the washing machine technician and was laughing in my heart when he told me over the phone that he could come to my rescue in the afternoon, YES!!

A few hours later, the technician and his team arrived. They operated on my washing machine. I was praying that they could save it on the spot without transporting it to the ‘hospital’. My prayers were answered. The team saved my washing machine after an hour of operation. The entire kitchen floor was flooded with black gunk and green sludge, eeeewwww. But never mind, I wore thick rubber gloves and used several pieces of cloth to wipe away the muck after the operation was completed.

Never mind that RM420 flew out from my pocket. Never mind the kitchen floor looked like it was just hit by tsunami. I am so happy that they managed to save my Electrolux washing machine.

The technician replaced a set of carbon catridge which cost RM180, replaced the door delay thingy which cost RM150 and service charge was RM90.

After my washing machine was fixed, I quickly tried using it. Putting in my load of dirty laundry into the washing machine and removing the fresh smelling laundry from the machine after a spin has never felt so satisfactory! LOL!

My pail of half soaked laundry, forcibly taken out from the washing machine this morning when it konked out on me.

Jink Sat 22 feb

The moment the door was opened, soap water started to spill out everywhere onto the floor, gawd!  Hated today but it ended well!  Thank you God!

 

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Brainwashing Statement

Whenever Alycia and Sherilyn pass remarks like “are we bringing bread to school AGAIN tomorrow?”, I will reply “YES!”.

“Strawberry jam/ kaya/peanut butter again??” and I will reply “YES!!”

“I am SO SICK of strawberry jam / kaya/peanut butter mummy!”

And my standard long reply would go…

“when I was your age, my mummy, your granny would only buy apricot and marmalade jam, because these are her favorite jams. And she would only buy the same brand of jam – IXL.  For 11 years of my life, from Standard 1 through Form 5,  I would have to eat the same type of bread (Sunshine brown bread) with the same type of jam early in the morning before going to school.  Whether I liked it or not, I would have to force myself to swallow the dry Sunshine brown bread with just a few dabs of jam without a single complaint.  Roy and Raymond kau fu too.  And your granny would fix us a mug of really thick powdered milk with only 1/4 spoon of Milo to mask the strong taste of powdered plain milk. That tasted awful.  But granny wanted us to go to school with a full stomach, so she made us really thick milk.  We did not know what ‘choice’ was. We had no choice but to eat what koong koong could afford to buy and what my por por was able to prepare.  So don’t complain!”

This brainwashing statement would always shut their mouths up as well as to get them to accept bread with jam in their lunch boxes ha ha!

And what I always tell my kids is all truth and nothing but the truth. My brothers and I had to ‘endure’ 11 years of our lives ‘ngai min pau’ (suffer with bread) every single morning with Sunshine brown bread (which was as dry as stale bread and as tasteless as sponge, I kid you not) and just a few dollops of apricot jam on the bread. Till today, I still loathe apricot jam.  But looking back, it is with this kind of training and discipline from my strict and thrifty parents that help mould my brothers and  me into thrifty and sensible individuals 🙂

 

 

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Second Bout Of Jinx Explosion

… and it happened this morning! I was working on an invoice for a customer when the Excel file started to act up and then went ‘hang’. Then, I smelled something burning, something that smelled like plastic burning. The mil who was having breakfast also twitched her nose. Then the both of us looked at each other and we sprang out from our seats to quickly hunt for the source of the burnt smell. Nothing fishy in the rooms and elsewhere and I went back to my work place. Dang it, the smell was very strong there! When I looked under the computer table, lo and behold, I saw smoke!

The Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) switch that housed a bunch of wires from the computer was burning inside! I quickly turned off the main switch (dang it that I lost some unsaved dox!) and unplugged the AVR switch. I could not believe my series of jinx, one after another… from my car being hit by a stupid Beemer for no reason just 2 days ago to having my ‘rice bowl’ burnt today! Great!

Thank goodness I have a spare PC in the girls’ room but shiats, the dox were all saved in the hard disk of my existing PC and I could not turn it on to retrieve the dox.  So it made no difference, I still could not work!

With my brain processing at speed of lightning to find a solution, I finally got a light bulb moment!  After carefully examining  both the AVRs (the one that got burnt and the one in the girls’ room), I unplugged the AVR at the girls’ room and transferred it to my computer.

I have always been intimidated by anything that has a huge bunch of wires attached to it and never bothered to find out how these things are assembled or attached. I never needed to know anyway as I always have people doing it for me.  Back in my corporate days, we had IT guys to come over to help us out at the touch of the phone. I was working in the HR Dept. of a bank and the IT guys would always zoom to us during SOS moments like speedy gonzales, in the hope of getting good feedback on their performances.  And when I was the PA to the boss of the company, a dial on the phone for IT help would send staff speeding to my room  *ahem, clears throat*

Back home now, the hubs would always help me or he would get the computer guy to come over to help. So, I am a total idiot when it comes to computer wires and hardware as I have always been spoon-fed.  But today, I was forced to clean up shit myself.  After studying the AVRs and the dust-coated wires attached to them, I figured that it is just SO easy to unplug the bunch of confusion. But first, I had to use some wet wipes to clean the wires that had inch-thick dust, that were never wiped before.   Within half an hour, I got my PC up and about again.   And thankfully, the computer guy could come today to get me a new AVR and a new D-Link for the girls’ PC. So issue settled by 12:30pm and I was RM120 poorer!

Lesson learnt :

1) Must turn off computer and turn off main switch to the computer at night before going to bed. Thank God the AVR got burnt during the day and not at night when we are all fast asleep!

2) Always take heed of unusual sounds emitted from switches and computer hardware.  For the past few months, the AVR had been letting out a strange ‘tick tick tick’ sound and I just brushed it off.   It was indeed a time bomb, waiting to explode!

I hope that ends my series of jinx, with one that is quite explosive today!

 

 

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Worst Day In 2014

Yesterday was the worst day for us since we welcomed the new calendar year.

When I picked Sherilyn up from the enrichment centre at around 6ish pm, a Beemer car banged onto my car door!

I was about to start my car to move when this Beemer also wanted to reverse his car from the parking lot. My car was parked opposite his car. I waited for him to go first but shit, I saw the Beemer’s butt getting closer to my door. I honked like a mad woman non-stop and when the Beemer’s butt was just inches away from my car door, my mind was blocked. I wanted to wind down the window to holler but it was too fast, the stupid driver hit his new Beemer’s butt onto my car door! The sound of his Beemer’s butt kissing my Hyundai door was too awful. It was like a nightmare – to see a car so close to hitting yours yet you cannot do anything to stop it!

Long story cut short, the owner of the Beemer is the owner of a law firm, located just next to the enrichment centre. I had met this lawyer several times and we always gave a courtesy smile to each other. But after yesterday’s accident, Mr Lawyer ain’t that Mr Nice anymore. When I asked for his name card, he looked pissed off and asked me to walk up to his firm to get it from his staff. WTF!! Who knocked who now, hello? Are you short of hearing, of even loud honks? Or you had too many cases to solve in your head that you did not hear the continuous blasting honk? I sought the help of the guard from the enrichment centre (who is very chummy with this lawyer) to bring me to the lawyer’s office but everyone had gone home. So I asked the guard to help me get the name card today.

Actually, the damage to my car door ain’t very bad. There are white scratches on the door and the dent is about 1% bad. But having dull white scratches and a slight dent on the driver’s door look awful! Hubs said a polish may remove the scratches. I am going to ask hubs to call this lawyer to ‘king so’. I will leave this sort of job to the hubs.

Back home during dinner, Alycia dropped her bowl of soup and spilled the hot soup all over her hands, table and floor.

Hubs told me that he got his fingers squashed while he was at a client’s function yesterday.

And this morning at about 8am, I received 2 miss calls from Alycia and Sherilyn’s school on my mobile phone. No call from the school is a good call. I hate getting phone calls from my daughters’ schools. That scared the shit out of me. Hubs and I tried to call back the number but could not get through. Finally hubs got through and the staff in the office said that no one had called my mobile number. We were told by the staff that if something bad has happened to a child, the class teacher would call the parents. So far we have not received any call from Alycia and Sherilyn’s teacher yet. I can’t wait for them to return from school to find out from them what had happened this morning.

Dear God, please stop the jinx from falling on us further. Amen!

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Sherilyn’s 9th Birthday Celebration With Her Besties

For weeks, Sherilyn’s bff, B has been persuading her to have a joint birthday party at the pool-side of our condo.   B’s birthday is on 15 February and Sherilyn’s on 16 February.  Sherilyn’s other buddy’s birthday is on 17 February. So the girls wanted to have a joint pool-side birthday party.

But I wasn’t keen at all to have a party at home. I do not have the time to plan the games, the invitation card, the RSVP, the food and most of all, I did not want to be held responsible for the lives of over 10 girls.  A pool-side party for kids is almost every child’s dream but the parents would have a very heavy responsibility to shoulder.  I have heard of kids drowning at swimming pools during parties and I never want this sort of thing to happen.  Plus, Sundays are no-maid days, so all the cleaning up will be upon me. So no pool-side party or party at home.

We settled for a birthday lunch for Sherilyn and her 3 besties at iCook Italian Gastronomia @ Plaza Damas.  After the Italian lunch, we went home to have the cake-cutting session.

Here’s Sherilyn with B, her bff since pre-school days…

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We told the girls not to undress yet but the girls were all too excited to head to the pool and the minute we reached home, they all changed into their swimming attire.  So the girls were all dressed in swimming suit during the cake-cutting session…

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It ain’t no joke having to watch 4 hyper active 8-9YO girls swim.  Hubs and I reminded each other not to have our eyes glued to the phone but glued to the girls instead. We took turns doing head-counting.

Though yesterday was a partially cloudy day, the noon was scorching hot.  And despite sitting under the gazebo watching the girls swim and play, I was drenched in sweat in the 38 degrees Celcius heat, as if I was in a sauna.  For 1.5 freaking long hours!

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After swimming, the girls went up to shower, then came down to the pool side to have sushi, ordered from the Japanese restaurant at our condo. They also cycled and played tricycle before the party ended.  At night, Sherilyn called B to continue chit-chatting.  These 2 girls are only 9YO and they are already behaving like they are teens!  After the party ended, I had to wash 2 loads of towels, bathrobes and clothes and clean up the mess the girls created at home and in the bathroom.  Sherilyn was one very, very happy camper yesterday and that’s all that matters 🙂

 

 

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Sherilyn Is 9!

Happy birthday Sherilyn!

May you grow up healthily, happily and obediently with God’s guidance.

May you make your daddy and mummy proud of you always.

Can’t believe that you are 9 this year!  Still remember so vividly 9 years ago today. It was the 8th day of CNY and you were delivered via elective C-Section.

The moment you breathed your first breath, you already showed us all that you are one very loud baby and you are still a cry baby till today.  But it’s OK, I think it is good that we can cry to let out emotions than to stifle them and suffer silently.  You had the loudest wail among your sisters and you had the fiercest bite as you bit off a small part of mummy’s tit when you were just a day old o_O !!

Princess wannabe

Daddy and mummy hope that you will have a very happy time with your besties today.

 

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Cassandra’s 1st Appointment With Nephrologist & Urologist at HKL

Yesterday was the first time I stepped foot into the grounds of HKL (Hospital KL), the place that has always given me the creeps each time I pass by this building.  When I was working in the HR Dept of a bank yonks ago, our HR Manager and Assistant Managers would visit staff who were hospitalized at HKL.  They would then relate back to us gory scenes in the hospital – like criminals chained up to hospital beds, accident victims screaming in pain and much more.

The purpose of our visit at HKL was to bring Cass for a third opinion on her bladder issue.

True to what has always been in my head, the images became a reality yesterday.  It happened as the hubster dropped me at the wrong place – which was at the Critical Section and A&E section of the hospital!  The moment I alighted from the car, I saw a man, half dead being carried out from a taxi.  Then I saw a couple (Mynamar or Indonesian). The woman was sobbing away like she lost a dear one. She was in pain and had to be assisted by foot to the Ob & Gyn Building.  She was wearing a ‘sarong’ and her tummy looked bloated.  I think she lost her baby or something.  And there were many patients in wheel chair and in crutches at the A& E and Critical Section, seemingly from accidents.  Many policemen were stationed there.  I felt like I was in a nightmare and wanted to leave right away!  I was shit scared but did not want to show Cass my fear. I asked her if she was scared and she said “NO, not at all”  *brave girl*

After about half an hour asking and looking around, with bad traffic in the hospital compound, we finally found the right place.  Thank God the specialists building is a new building and does not have that creepy haunted look like the old building and had no gory scenes.   When I entered the Nephrology and Urology Floor, the place looks very new and very clean.   Queue was not as long as I had imagined.  After a 1.5 hour wait, it was Cass’ turn to do her urine and blood test.  Once again, my little tough cookie trained from her baby days, did not shed a single tear.  As usual, I hugged her tightly and consoled her as she winced in pain when the nurse drew out blood from her hand.  But no drama.

At about 1pm, we went out for lunch at a nearby Teochew restaurant.  Then we came back at 2pm to see the doctors.  After a 2- hour wait, it was our turn.   Our consultation with the urology surgeon and nephrologist took about 45 minutes.

In summary, Cass would have to go through a Urodynamics test  in April to see her bladder activities.  A catheter would have to be inserted into her urethra and rectum, with water pumped into the catheter.  She will be asked to pee.  Scary?  No.  I have confidence my baby girl will breeze through this again. She had gone through even much worse procedures in the past.

Cass was such a darling yesterday.  Someone in the house with itchy fingers disabled the iPad and I had no time to enable it.  So I told Cass that she could not bring the iPad along with her to the hospital, to which she replied “mummy, never mind.  I will bring  my school Math books and reading books.  It’s better right?”   When I re-tried to enable the iPad again, Cass said “it’s OK mummy, my Math books are enough. I don’t mind doing Math the whole day in the hospital. I don’t want the iPad!”  Isn’t she such a darling?   She drives me up the wall every single day but things like these that she says can really melt away all my anger instantly 🙂

So here she is, my Math lover, crunching numbers away to kill time while waiting for her turn at the hospital. She brought along a small note pad to do the workings, an eraser and a red pen for me to mark her sums!  At the shop while waiting for our food to arrive, she whipped out her Math books to do more number crunching LOL!  She now tells me that her ambition is to be an accountant.  I’ll see…

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When she started to get bored with Math, she took out her English  and BM books and read to me…. so loudly that all eyes were on us muahaha!

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My baby girl was very well-behaved yesterday. I don’t think I will meet another 5YO who can spend 4-5 hours solving Math sums and reading school books. On our way back home after the dr’s appointment, Cass said this to me “mummy, I did it without the iPad!!”

Oh yes, I think Cass thinks maturely too, way too matured for her age. God bless this baby girl and heal her real soon.

 

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Health Check Week

This week is a health check week for us.

Yesterday, I did my pap smear, vaginal ultrasound scan and ultrasound scan of boops.  Findings ain’t 100% rosy but good news is surgery is not really necessary.  My gynae said that the choice is mine – I can choose to undergo a surgery or choose another alternative.  Some decision making was needed and I have decided to do close monitoring through half or even thrice yearly medical check-ups and ultrasound scans.  Haih, this is just one of the many issues we middle aged perimenopausal ladies go through! I can eat like a health freak but I can’t fool those darn hormones from wrecking havoc internally!  And the thought of having to have my boops touched by the doctor and down under exploited with gadgets three times a year, gawd, I feel creepy and shudder at the thought of it.  But, what’s got to be done has to be done. What’s going through all these when you can have peace of mind (hopefully) and if some kind of crappy and deadly diseases were to be detected, well at least it is still early with good chance of being treated successfully, right?

Tomorrow will be Cass’ turn to see the doctors. It will be our first session with the pediatric nephrologist and urologist in a joint consultation at a government hospital.  It will be to obtain a third opinion on her bladder issue.  A friend who helped us to get the appointment has asked me to be prepared to spend up to 8 hours in the hospital!! *faint*  Wish us luck!  I hope the hospital has free WiFi, so that I can kill time by hooking my eyes and fingers to my smart phone ha!  And I will also bring along the iPad to occupy Cass, else that rascal will be running everywhere! Hubs will just drop us there whilst he goes to work. It’s just baby girl and me in the hospital again, just like we used to, haih…

 

 

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Clean Freak

In commenting to my earlier post on ‘Quirky Freaky Bloke’, one of my readers commented that I should bring a can of air freshener to the gym to deodorize the air if the quirky  bloke farts again.  Hmmm, perhaps I should do just that, instead of stepping down from the machine to leave the gym.  Why should I leave, right? I should walk around the gym to spray air freshener in front of the young fart the next time he  farts LOL!

Speaking of sprays, this reminded me that there is another freak in the gym who brings along a can of spray with him every time he uses the gym.  The first  time I saw him whipping out a bottle of disinfectant spray from his bag, both my eye brows raised so high I think they almost touched my hair line!   I was on the air walker and this 50-something year old Eurasian uncle (married to a Chinese woman) used the other air walker next to mine.  After he put his bag on the floor, he whipped out a huge bottle of disinfectant and started to spray on the handles of the air walker!  GAWD, I almost fell off the air walker trying to stifle my shock.  After spraying all over the handles of the air walker, he whipped out a piece of cloth to wipe the handles meticulously.  I thought I am a clean freak with OCD, which no one can live with but this uncle, he beat me to it!   Wait a minute, my eye brows raised even higher when I saw that the piece of cloth was wrapped up nicely in a plastic bag! HA HA HA!!   My hubs is always complaining that I am a plastic bag freak as I use plastic bags quite a bit. I think this uncle beat me to it once again LOL!  I may have OCD and am only very clean at home, but I will never bring a bottle of disinfectant to spray gym equipment and outside furniture.  I think I am going to invite this uncle to my unit one day. We should have some interesting topics to talk about haha!

 

 

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Quirky Freaky Bloke

For once, I am going to be bitchy, bitching about this bloke at my condo who is an obvious fitness and tan freak. He gets on my nerves as he is always rushing to get into the gym at the stroke of 7am sharp and showing that he wants to be ahead of me. In our condo, I am the earliest to use the gym. On most mornings, I will be waiting outside the gym for the clock to strike 7am, while I read the newspapers. Residents are only allowed to use the gym at 7am. Whenever this young fart sees me, he will speed walk to the gym, to beat me so that he is ahead of me. He will then stand right outside the glass door, with his hand holding on to his access card pointing to the card reader and eyes fixed on the card reader, waiting for the numbers to turn to 7:00AM. He will be in this pose for about 5 freaking long minutes… like a kid wanting to be the number one to get into the class and to ‘tell’ me that he wants to ‘chop’ (book) place LOL! Inside the gym, Mandarin songs will be blasting away from his mobile phone. For those who want some peace in the gym, she/he would have to bear with his blasting music. I told the hubs that this guy is a bit ‘sot sot tei’ (nuts). Even his facial expression looks a bit psychotic.

Besides this quirk, he only wears flip flops into the gym to lift weights. One time, a guard went into the gym to ask him to change into his sneakers but he bluntly ignored the guard. Like what can you Mr Guard do to me if I don’t change?! Report me? Or send me out? Another time, it was only me and him in the gym and this young fart farted out really loudly and gawd did it stink like shit! I was suffocating and getting giddy as the air-cond was turned on and windows were all closed!! He farted not only once but about 4 times. After the fourth fart, I stepped down from the air walker and left the gym.

That is his morning routine. Come 12 noon everyday, he will be swimming laps in the pool. Then, he will sun bask on a deck chair for at least an hour, after which he will swim laps again. He has been doing this for almost a year already. He must have been a tofu fair cissy looking fatso trying hard to shed off his fei jai image. I am NOT trying to spy on him OK. My kitchen overlooks the pool and each time I step into the kitchen, this bloke in his underwear sun-basking on the deck chair will catch my sight. In fact, he catches everyone’s attention whenever he pulls his underwear right up to his groin, so that he gets an even tan on his body, LOL! Who on earth would want to get a tan at 12 noon with the scorching hot sun piercing the skin? It’s more likely you get some kind of skin disease exposing your skin to the noon sun!

Just for fun and trying out my new Samsung Note 3 mobile phone, I stole a picture of this bloke while he was sun-bathing at 12 noon. Lense was zoomed in from the 5th floor of my room. Clarity of picture is really not bad at all eh? LOL!

crazy guy

Now, don’t you shoot me for shooting this picture ok? The bloke’s identity is anonymous and no name is mentioned and face is not shown. This desperate housewife just wants to get out of the rut from doing mundane chores muahahaha!

Happy Birthday everyone, today is Yan Yat!

 

 

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A Glimpse of Chinese New Year 2014

On the second day of CNY 2014, which was a Saturday, we took the 9am ETS (Electric Train Service) from KL to Ipoh. I woke up at 4:45am to get the girls ready and the taxi came at 8:30am to fetch us to KL Sentral to catch the train. So glad we were not late! We still had time to pack McD to eat on the train.

The ETS’ timing was impeccable and we reached Ipoh at 11:30am sharp. I reached my parents just in time to meet all my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad’s side. After a gathering and photo session at home, we adjourned to Kok Thai Restaurant for a reunion lunch.  The below dish, which is the Four Seasons is my all-time favorite dish.  All the dishes that my dad ordered were scrumptious!

CNY dishes

 

On the for fourth day of CNY, we took the ETS back to KL.  This time, we almost missed the 10am train, no thanks to the 2 Miss Dilly Dally. We hopped onto the ETS just in the nick of time.  As we were running to Coach F, which was almost  at the very end of the train station, we could hear the train engine huffing and puffing, all set to choo choo away.  Gawd, with heavy bags all lugged on our shoulders, we ran as fast as our legs could possibly lift and the moment we hopped onto the coach and found our seats, the train started to move, phew!  But know what?  My almost 70-year old mum, who is a Facebook addict, was so agile that she managed to hop into the train with us to quickly snap our pix before hopping out of the train ahahaha!

 

Phew, almost missed the train! *cold and hot sweat dribbling down our foreheads!*

 

This was our brunch on the fifth day of CNY, which is today, at Han Room @ Gardens.

The lap mei farn was delish, albeit not the healthiest of choice.
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We have been having loh sang almost everyday. The stir-fried baby french beans with salted duck’s egg from YMCA restaurant in Ipoh was super delish! It was my first time eating french beans cooked in this style.

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After brunch at Han Room today, we walked around Gardens to do some CNY photography.  The decor at Gardens is very impressive this year.

On a side note, the chilly weather forecast for this CNY is darn inaccurate. It’s been prickling hot (so hot that I can feel the sun rays pierce through my skin!) and dry this CNY, with temperature rising up to 36 degrees Celsius or even higher!

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Tomorrow school will re-open and we will be back to the grind. My pre-dawn morning jog will resume again tomorrow.  But I needn’t have to exert extra hard as I have been good throughout and did not binge at all, despite being back at the hawker’s haven in Ipoh 🙂

 

 

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Chinese New Year 2014

We broke our tradition for CNY this year. Every year if the MIL is here, she would cook ‘jai’ (vegetarian food) on the first day of CNY. There would be a stir-fried vegetarian vermicelli and a  ‘jai’ dish (dish made up of Chinese cabbage, wood fungus, mushrooms, golden needle mushrooms, glass noodles and fermented red soy bean). This year, we did not have all these but spent our ‘chor 1’ at the mall… and had Japanese food 😀

Our brunch at Yuzu Japanese restaurant.

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I wanted to take a picture of my Charlie’s Angels in red but Alycia the camera-shy one just refused to have her picture taken! I managed to steal a picture of them whilst they were playing…

… and stole this candid snapshot when she was caught off-guard haha!

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We had sashimi, udon, cold soba…

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… and a steamed beef dish on a wooden crate.  Beneath the wooden crate are some lemon slices, which impart a zesty aroma onto the plain beef, when steamed.   Under the beef slices is a bed of cabbage. The beef slices are to be dipped into a bowl of specially prepared sauce before serving.  This is a simple yet unique way to serve beef.  Beef lovers who love the natural taste of beef would like this dish. I did not quite like it as the beef had a strong smoky taste, imparted from the wooden crate.

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Sukiyaki has always been one of my favorite Japanese dishes as I prefer food that is non-oily and non-fried.  Check out the Kobe beef slices in the pot of delish soup, yummeh!

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After lunch, the foodie hubs brought the girls and the mil to Espresso Lab to enjoy their favorite cuppa coffee and his favorite Milicrepe cakes.  I almost wanted to puke when he suggested cakes and coffee but to this foodie, being able to enjoy good food is orgasmic to him 😛  As usual, while they stuffed themselves even fuller, I did the activity that gives me the most pleasure – my 2-in-1 hobby of retail-therapy cum exercise 😀

Oh yes, did you know that shopping can help you burn quite a bit of calories?

Check this chart:

Estimated Energy Burned

for a 160.0 lb person
Light Activity

Shopping

5 Minutes 15 calories
10 Minutes 29 calories
15 Minutes 44 calories
30 Minutes 88 calories
1 Hour 175 calories
2 Hours 351 calories
3 Hours 526 calories
4 Hours 701 calories

I think I burned all the calories from the cookies that I ate on ‘Chor 1’ after my 2-hour shopping marathon!

Here’s wishing all my readers a year full of high horse power and a very happy neigh neigh year! May you succeed in everything that you undertake and may you gallop away with lots of good fortune!

 

 

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