Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Happy Birthday H!

Dear Daughter of Ummi,

Here’s wishing you the happiest of birthday. May you always look at the world with wonder as you do now through that 2-year old eyes of yours. May the world remains to be adoring of sweet little you for many many more birthdays to come.

You are such a lucky little darling. Although God chose someone else to give birth to you, He gave you Ummi ~ that fine woman, to be called mother.

Have fun in Bali!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Auntie Oody

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ali's Dictionary

It is now school holiday week. And it so happened that it is now the hungry ghost month. The gate of schools are open, hell is let loose!!!

My sister, her hubby and their brood have been in town since last Saturday. And my mom too. so I have been very very busy. For the first time, they bunked at my place. And so my place was like a country just got hit by a garuda, padang jarak padang tekukur. The kids were real something!

As I am typing this, they are on their way back to Johor. Phew, I said. It had been a very chaotic week indeed. But I am also left smiling and very very happy, almost delirious. This is now the calm after the storm phase. Ahhh…. The house suddenly feels as quiet as a mausoleum and I swear it has somehow expanded too. I am so going to miss the children. Fine little rascals they are! Love them to bits!

I hope i have justified why anakikan has been dormant lately. Yes yes, I have been kept occupied wth family matters. And as I spring clean anak ikan’s tank today I saw this piece on Ali’s Dict. I drafted it in June but for some reasons forgot to actually complete it. Oh well.

I was in a painfully lengthy meeting last week. There was me, Ali (the inventor), Harry (local guy) and two koreans (winter sonata.. yeeeha!). Ali would be describing to me his wants in his very own Ali Language. And i would translate that to Harry in English. Harry would tell Pak (Korean No.1) in Mandarin and Pak would tell Junsang (cant remember his name, so let's just name Korean No.2 as Junsang) in Korean. No wonder the meeting lasted from 1030 am to 8pm.The reason why i always act as translator for boss is because he has his own dictionary that for some reasons, i know better than others. His language is a wee bit different but rich nevertheless, one that must be shared.

catillory = category
wallaby = wildebeast
kerabi = kerabu
labak = lepak
macdonald = madonna
aroma = aura

I planned to update the list of words but obviously I didn’t. Maybe because i haven’t been paying much attention to what the boss is saying. But then again, there isn’t much to pay heed to. If during an all-important engineering meeting, things like, ‘macdonald is very sexy singer’ and ‘let us go labak at 1-utama for kerabi manggo’ and ‘I plan to improve my aroma energy’ were discussed, well, I might as well zonk out yes?

When I told my boss that I needed to take leave because my mom would be coming, he said,‘awak emak akan kata, oh anak sial saya tidak mahu cuti untuk saya.’ Ahhh… it sure is nice to have people put words into my mom’s mouth. Anak sial indeed.

And when I couldn’t reach for some files from the top of the shelf I made a wish out loud, ‘I would give anything to be just 2 inches taller’, Ali went tsk tsk tsk at me.
‘You know beauty is in the eyes. Don’t ever change’

Three atomic sized issues here.

First, are you implying that I am ugly because I am short? I am ugly and I am short but the two are not in consequence of each other.
Second, I don’t think I can will myself to grow the extra vertical inches. And in my limited demented brain capacity, I don’t think you can use botox or vitamin c injections or silicones too. I don’t think I can ‘ever change’, you know.
Third, what is wrong my eyes? Oh no…you are giving me another reason to feel rendah diri (pun intended) about?
Thank you for trying to make me feel better. Next time just keep quiet okay?

Yesterday I had wonderful wonderful wonderful lunch date with some warm-like-fresh-toast people (can I blog about it?). Boss needed me for some things so I asked him to please pick me up at the hotel.

I was so happy with how the lunch date turned out and was excitedly telling Ali, ‘we met for the first time and we got on so well with each other. It has been such a long time since I last had interesting conversations!’
And Ali went, ‘aiyah… you make me feel so bad! I am not interesting meh?’
‘No Ali, I did not mean it that way. Let me rephrase, I haven’t had INTELLIGENT conversation for so long.’
‘Ahhh… better!’

My boss Ali, isn’t he such a duhh-ling?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Once In XS, now In-Excess.

I was crowned bayi sihat when I was a baby. I grew up thinking that the baby on Dumex can was me. No, it wasn’t me. But I was as sihat.

I was born a big baby, Mak said. I was so huge I got stuck at the door on the way out. I got my head out and that was it. Mak didn’t deliver me in a hospital, it was in one of the rooms of Tok Aji’s house. Not the easiest of delivery but thank God, the Bidan was experienced and there were lots of ‘segala dukun and pawang’ there too, one poofed and puffed at the door, one spit and spat in a glass, others were using all sorta, kain lah what lah… and finally I was through. I was almost blue, probably lose a few hundreds of brain cells due to lack of oxygen. Which explains why my IQ is only 550 (I am gifted, what can I say).

Mak said I was huge.
‘LAPAN KILO!’ She sounded proud.
‘Takkanlah mak… dekat sekampit beras tu!’
‘Iye’.. Mak insisted.
‘paun kot, bukan kilo..’
‘eh entahlah.’

So I was between 8 lbs to 8 kg. The eight was consistent, the unit was not.

As a kid, I was skinny though. My hair would always be in the china-doll hair style, but because I was skinny, from afar people would think I was wearing a motorbike helmet. I was a skinny runt alright.

As a young adult, I could eat all I wanted and would not gain a single gram. When I was in ITM, I had an eating buddy. Dila and I would binge on food whenever we were .. the word back then was, tension. Everytime tension we would ‘makan sampai mabuk’. We would go Seroja Inn and ordered mi goreng basah, and then nasi goreng dengan telur mata, and satay and roti sadin and all sorta. We would eat for hours, one plate after the other and downed them all with coca cola. Exams and boys were always valid reasons to get drunk on food. We were always drunk!

When I graduated from ITM, I was 21. And weighed only 39kg. I would call this the famous Eat-A Lot-But-Remain-Thin Era.

And then came the Must-Diet-To-Remain-Thin Era. I was in my early 20s. I wasn’t fat but I was no more skinny. I could be thin if I diet a bit but there was no real need for it. I was perhaps looking my best, my weight was ideal-shy. If I diet, I would be skinny again. Easily. Effortlessly. ‘Exercise’ was a dirty word, I don’t do ‘it’, unheard of!

And then Must-Diet-To-Not-Be-Overweight Era dawned. I had to diet or bust. I was always on the borderline of the ideal weight range. If I put on make up or apply that second layer of mascara, the few extra grams of colours would make me exceed the weighing scale to be ‘overweight’. Dieting was necessary. Exercise was optional.

Those were the good days.

I am now in the Diet-Also-Will-Still-Be-Overweight Era. I am seriously considering to change the name to be Diet-and-Exercise-No-Longer-Work Era. Even when I diet, I still gain weight. Even when I jog and 'be-on-top' I will still gain weight. Luckily I am married (poor Yamtuan, he got cheated. He married lean meat of 43kg and ended up with fat 10kg extra, tsk tsk tsk). Being married I can always use pregnancy and childbirth as excuses.

When I help myself to seconds,
‘I am pregnant. I am eating for two.’ Never mind that the pile on the plate was enough for six.
And then,
‘I am lactating. I am eating for two.’ Never mind that the kid only gets about two drops of breastmilk.

When people commented on my thickness.
‘I just gave birth.’ Never mind that the new-born is now almost one year old.
‘I had a caesarean so the tummy will always look like THAT.’ Never mind that other people with c-sections look like they have a six pack (mine looks like a barrel).

When the weight problem gets really out of hand, I just go get myself pregnant again.

Reason for this ranting about weight;
* A girl gave up her seat for me in the train. She probably thought I was pregnant.
* A friend said she was asked too many times lately whether she had any neat little buns cooking in her oven. She is NOT pregnant too.
* Yamtuan kept making jokes about my bum size. Not funny.
* Dot said my bum is so big macam-macam ada, whatever that means.
* Nothing fits anymore. I am contemplating wearing my maternity clothes. They’ll fit.
* I once wore XS, now L.

Sigh… I do so look forward to Ramadhan.

Now where did I put that chocolate bar? It will go so well with this steaming hot mug of milo. All this talk about weight problem is making me depressed. Making me tension only. I need a new eating buddy. Anyone interested? Just grunt, no need to raise your hand, too much work. Just grunt and snort, babe!

I have indeed come full circle. I am now Baby Sihat again and i have difficulty going through doors. Must walk sideways or be stuck. Cant have bomoh pawang help this time though.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

London in Kuala Lumpur

I sit typing this in my office in United Kingdom. London maybe, yes.

From the window right in front of me I cannot see much of what is outside. The sky is grey and I can’t really tell where heaven/earth starts and where it ends. For all I know, there might be the Thames River right next to my building, or maybe my office is on the second floor of Buckingham palace. Maybe I am at the Principal’s office of Hogwarts, maybe I am a prisoner at Azkaban. It is very grey and hazy outside. Maybe i have died and this is hell (sitting in office is NOT my idea of heaven!).

It is very cold, as usual in this part of the world (I am the only occupant on this floor, and the air-cond is centralized and so I can’t regulate it. As usual, for some reasons unknown to me, the air-conds in Malaysia are always set at 16degC). It is cold and I am in my winter suit. Red gloves and turtleneck sweaters and jackets and warm wool hat too.

I have a pot of tea ready. I don’t have scones and clotted cream and homemade jams, but I do have cheese and crackers.

London has reached Malaysia!!

I heard the news yesterday that the plan to do cloud-seeding to make rain has been postponed. Reason: too hazy to fly a plane. So maybe they will do it after the haze is cleared. But wait a minute, why do we want to make rain to wash the air off the haze when there is no more haze? I am not very bright, I am very hazy in fact.

Indonesia warned us that the haze will worsen in the next couple of weeks because the Dayaks in Kalimantan will be busy burning burning forest for replantation activities. So they DO know the cause and the whens. Great. A problem anticipated is a problem half-solved. So what will be done to prevent the Dayaks from doing this? They are being pro-active about this of course. They give us warning ( 2-weeks notice) us and apologizing to us BEFORE the haze worsens. Right. Pro-active indeed. I feel so much better.

And why is it that we always look beyond the shores of the country to put blames on whenever the air is as choked as this? Don’t we think that we contribute as well? Our diesels are not exactly top grade, and our practice of bakar sampah belakang rumah, and the stack smokes from our factories, and our own agricultural practice, and our cigarettes and our smoky farts? If we all start looking at ourselves and each of us try to make our own little difference, maybe, just maybe, the haze problem will be reduced by some fractions?

So will the haze be an annual thing? Yes? Okay.

Can we do anything about it? No? Really? Uh.. okay.

Okay. In that case we will start stocking up the house with masks. Already the price has increased from 20cents per piece to RM1. Can fashion designers do something about it? I mean, make it more interesting, put some colours and designs perhaps? Put a big picture of red pouty lips maybe. And please make children sizes too. And make it less scary to them too.

Some of us may have some spare ribs in the fridge. Ribs are okay. But I don’t think anybody has spare lungs at home, do you? And Body Shoppe does not exactly sell body parts, no matter what its name may imply. I might as well smoke a cigar. It will not make any difference, to my lungs or to the lungs around me.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com AP Index like the stock market, bullish! Going up and up and away!

In the meantime, dahlings, I may just pretend that I am in London, oi i may. Ye have any problems with tha'?

Tea anyone? Lovely.

Monday, August 08, 2005

CSI: Kuala Lumpur - Tails of the Smelly Hamsters

I love animals. At any time in my life, I remember having pets. I have kept caterpillars, maggots, snakes, cats, fishes, tortoise, birds, rabbits, ducks etcetera etcetera… Just because I like them does not mean I am good at keeping them, though.

My beautiful green caterpillars turned into butterflies and flew away.

The maggots (I carefully collected at Dewan Makan of my school) to my horror became flies and flew away.

My mom insisted that the baby snake I found in the bathroom was actually a worm. Could be a worm from MY stomach, infact (gross). It disappeared (probably my mom was behind its disappearance).

Mimi the cat had something in her eyes. She was busy rubbing her eyes and I swear I just wanted to help. I can’t remember what I used but I poked and tried to fish the impurities out. It made Mimi blind one eye. I was about 7 (Mimi I am sorry!).

Fishes I had quite a lot. My favourite was this tilapia I caught at Sungai Langat. I had no place to put it so I made the fish a hippie aka squatter at the office’s aquarium. All the pretty fishes there died while my tilapia became the true example where ‘might is right’. He was killed by the office’s cleaner (the owner of the pretty fishes that once roamed the tank).

I had one male tortoise. When it was about the size of my palm, I decided that the poor soul needed a mate. I got him a female double his size. The male tried to climb on her but I think she was not very interested. He was perhaps too small for her. She bit his neck and broke it. He died of course. I got angry at the female so I let her loose (the loose girl!) in one lake in Kluang. That one was just bad news and nothing else.

I have a strange affinity to birds. A sick bird just flew in my window and sat on the floor. I nursed it for a few days before it flew away. One time, I was lying on the floor in my room, writing a a letter, when a bird, from nowhere just fell right into my hands. I have nursed.. maybe about 5 different types of birds. They all flew away of course when they could. I don’t believe in caging birds.

My rabbits were breeding .. like rabbits and so my mother gave them all away.

My little ducklings all hanyut during a flood. They seemed all too happy to hanyut away though.

And like that lah. The story of my life. Love pets but they all don’t fare very well under my care. Then came the hamsters.

I had a couple of hamsters not too long ago. The male was named Jantan while the girl was Zulaikha. Zulaikha was an angry female. She was always pissed off at Jantan. She was only kind to Jantan when she was, you know, in the mood. Thing was, she was SELDOM in the mood. She was always hitting at Jantan. He lost one ear because Zulaikha bit him. I should have called her Minah Tyson instead, yes? Jantan was always bleeding here and there, some days he would be limping, most days he would just hide. It was almost pathetic, the poor guy! Zulaikha was mean and angry. And she was a lousy mom too; she ate all her babies. But for some reasons, I could 'relate' to her, dont let me elaborate. I just loved my Zulaikha. She was pretty and fat and regal.

I don’t know how Jantan died. I don’t know if Zulaikha had any part in his death. Maybe it was old age, maybe it was suicide. And so he died. I did not shed a tear. Boys come boys go, sometimes they die, no big deal.

I shed lotsa tears on the day Zulaikha died. It was her weekly grooming day. As usual I bathe her in a little container. The water was about an inch high. She was a big girl. Standing, the water would be just knee-deep for her. Scrubbed her with hamster’s shampoo (and got bitten in the process by the wild-one) and then let her soak a little in the water as I clean her lair. When the bedding was ready, I turned to pick Zulaikha up, but she was under the water. You see, it was slippery in the container and she must have slipped and fell head first into the water. She was dead. No amount of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation could bring Zulaikha back. She died and it was my fault. Of course I cried. I loved her and I was guilt-ridden. I swore I would never have hamsters again!

It was a good many-many years later that I got myself a couple of hamsters again. Both girls this time. Better looking, sweeter nature. Not very me, but love them just the same.

I was careful this time. Bathed them at the sink, never in a container, never use shampoo too. They were both called Hamtaro (how original, yes?) because I could not tell one from the other. They looked so much alike, probably twins, haha.

I came home from work last week and received a whiff of foul smell the moment I opened the door (their cage was near the door, you see). I switched on the fan and the smell disappeared and so I thought nothing of it. And then Yamtuan complained of the smell too and he went to investigate. He found both Hamtaro(s) dead.

CSI by Yamtuan showed that the death was caused by extreme dehydration and starvation. Murderer was some oody fella who forgot to refill the hamster’s water and food. They must have suffered, they must have died horribly and they probably cursed and swore at me all along the way. It was negligence on my part. I was too busy the whole of last week and I forgot to check on them. I saw them about two days ago, running frantically, extra frisky and I saw that their food was finished. But I was late for work and they always had all the food hidden underneath their beddings. So I thought to myself that I would refill the container after work that day. Me being me, I forgot. And I forgot to even check the water.

It was my fault I know. Work and forgetfulness should not be an excuse. They were my responsibility and I have failed them miserably.

Hamtaro(s), I am sorry, I am. And I do sayang you two. I am sorry I am sorry.

I have punished myself too by going without food and water for a few hours. Please forgive me.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Gambar Hiasan

Love Sonnet
(for Hamtaroes)

You were small
you were not tall
no, not at all
brown was your coat
patches of white here and there
teeth like that of a goat
or maybe a mare?

Your nuts and seeds were nada
(you were both females, of course)
Your water bottle was empty too
I forgot, I am such a duh
Fill them up, I was supposed to do

And so you died
A thirsty death
And so you died
A hungry death

I am sorry hamtaroes
I really am.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Busy Week Part II

My eyes are both red and swollen. They are generating like eeeeuuww amount of eeeuuwww discharge and so I wake up in the mornings with eyes glued together like baby kittens. Except Yamtuan would not come near me or help clean my eyes like mother kittens would. I have to feel my way to the bathroom and wash my eyes myself. When my kids have conjunctivitis, I just squirt some breastmilk into their eyes. Works like a charm. Except I can't do it to my own eyes. The ‘eyedrops’ are not located strategically for the purpose. And this kind of thing you don’t go around asking for donors either. I am learning to distort myself and bend and fold and say hayahhh to aim right. One sweet day, soon, i'll master the art.

And so in the meantime, I suffer. To make myself less icky to others I put on my very alternative eyewear. Red geeky frame with pink tinted glasses. No, they don’t go well with my career. Or my age. Or my attire. Or today’s fashion. Or Yamtuan for that matter. But never mind. The world will have to suffer my red glasses. It is either that or my red eyes (with yellow discharge supereeuuw category).

I have been rather busy the whole of last week. And what a dramatic week that was too. Major headlines of last week;
1. My hamsters died
Will write a tribute page for them. In the meantime, tafakur people, tafakur.
2. Sun fell off the bed
He was born in the year of the monkey. Enough said. Am seriously considering to invest in a cage.
3. Dot had a fever
The GP found pus in her piss and so we were afraid that she had urinary tract infection. We went to see a paediatrician and spent the whole morning waiting for Dot to give a sample of her urine. She could not perform under duress, haha. We used all tactics; pujuk, rasuah, threat and amarah. We gave her the sample bottle, cannot. And then nurses attached a collection bag down there, and we forced her to drink lotsa water… it took hours! Results were negative, so the paed was positive that it wasnt UTI.
4. Bumped into all the Malaysian Idol finalists at Holiday Villa
Not that I watch the show. I was hoping to bump into the alleycats hair tho. Didnt get lucky. Oh but i saw Ali Mamak there!
5. Went Yamtuan’s kampung
Mother-in-law asked us to balik kampong to take bidara (mata kucing) and langsat. To get to the trees, we had to cross a paddy field and then a 2m-wide stream infested with leeches. Awesome or what! Yamtuan does have the best of kampong! He is such a Tikus Kampung and I am a Tikus Pinggir Bandar!!
6. Mawi won big time
I read in Metro that his fans spent about RM13million on smses. So with his win of about half a million, it is actually such a small fraction to what Astro and Maxis are getting. Hmmm… I should set up either (a) my own telecommunication company (b) my own broadcasting company (c) produce my own reality show (d) marry Mawi
Item (d) seems more attractive due to my limited funds. I need to discuss this matter further with my Tikus Kampung. With the condition of my eyes right now, he would perhaps agree too readily.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Busy Week

I will be in training from today till end of the week. Boring stuff but i do look forward to it; i need the sleep. What better way to sleep than in a seminar room, yes?

If you see me go online, please dont say hi. There was this one time i was doing the training and had my laptop connected to the LCD. So screen was projecting my page and since my place has wireless internet connection, i came on air. Yamtuan saw me online and typed naughty lovey dovey messages. He didnt know that he was actually romancing all the participants as well. Luckily the room was darkened.

Moral of the story:
1. always come on air 'appear offline'
2. always darken the room for a presentation
3. do plastic surgery, change the whole face if something like that happen. If you cant afford the bills, just cut off the nose so people wont recognise you.

Monday, August 01, 2005


I gave her direction to my place over the phone. Make a left turn, I said as I wave wave my left hand, to make sure that my left-right direction was not wrong. After the toll, take the first left and turn left and turn left again.

And so when she called sounding like a damsel in distress because she found herself in wasteland, with abandoned palm oil plantation on her left, and ruined buildings of the ancient on her right, I thought to myself.. waaa this one got more problem with left and right than me. Good, good. Another thing we have in common (the first one is: we both leaked in class in standard 1).

And so I walked out from my office, left the impossible-to-miss yellow building and waited for her by the roadside. Saw her car (she gave description of colour and registration number) and waved like mad.

Luckily she stopped.

The car was quite a climb to get into. She should have warned me, I would have carried ropes, helmet, safety harness all.

Hugssss. Hi-s. Smiles. Grins.

She wore red over black and I was green over black. None of us were in kebayas. No sangguls, face not made up too. No pretense, no cyber-synonym to hide ourselves, we were washed off of any alias. We were both either jennifer garners or sydney bristows. And I felt so comfortable. We decided to eat in a proper restaurant (the gardenia bread I carefully selected for her would be kept for tea later, she said).

And it was not at all like meeting a new friend. Honestly, the coziness made me feel like I have known her for ages. We talked and talked, and laughed a lot and even shared the food (no, she did not steal my spaghetti). There was age difference of 5 years between us, but I did not feel it. If there were any other stark differences between us, they weren’t obvious to me. There was our whole lifetime of not knowing each other but the gap was closed like it was never there at all, in an instant!

How to describe her?

The sweetest of face, an ever-ready smile, great sense of humour, a huge heart, very much lovable, intelligent, doesn’t need dieting, loves seafood. Lucky blessed me! It is like being promised a gardenia bun but getting tiramisu instead. If from reading her spot you think she is a warm person, well you should meet her. She is just volcanic!

More important than the tiramisu and the fahrenheit, she is like a well-worn cotton tee. Comfortable like mad! I like!