Wednesday, 30 May 2007

my two hearts

with this entry, i am hoping to bring up her new blog alerts to a nice round number of 210, hehehe *evil laughs*, as requested by her. there you go, nonah, for good measure :D.

it has been a while since i last wrote about my two children. and i thought the only thing that i would write about when i started this blog was them. well...

i am also giving up uploading photos into the baldigambar. their server is too slow and i just don't have the patience to wait for anything to come up into the screen after entering the address, signing in etc.


the five-year plus (she's a january baby) old is my eldest daughter, if you don't know that already. that plastic smile would always be there if knew that she is being photographed. the wayward and the very perasan one (but both of them are, anyway).

according to my retired doctor friend, from his psychology lessons, i am harbouring a genius in the house. how he came to that conclusion from the fact that she climbed up to the roof of his 1 year old aud1 a4 within 5 minutes of us not concentrating on her while talking or from jumping on another mutual friend's brand new bed in his master bedroom on the second floor when he invited us for his house-warming party, i couldn't figure out till the end.

of course i would like to brag about my daughter but i don't have anything to brag about, unfortunately. she still needs help in her reading though the pace that she's doing it now is somewhat tolerable. she still can't converse in english properly and the absence of those 24-hour cartoon on satellite tv is not helping her either. she is still below the international standard in her kum0n exercises, those 5-minutes-maximum attention span even received special attention from her teacher that she sets out additional time limit for her "wayward" activities. she is far from imitating those strokes of van gogh or monet which i myself can't tell apart anyway. neither has she composed her first note of any sort of masterpiece.

however, i can't dispute the fact that she has a very good photographic memory. you can never promise her anything you didn't mean or she would not be reminding you all the time about it. and she is very good at rebutting what you say. for example, on one weekend morning, she was bugging me about having roti canai and i asked her to get ready so that we could have breakfast outside, not to her liking. naturally, she started giving excuses like it was a hassle to get her still-sleeping adik ready, it was difficult to wake the sleeping mother and finally when all else failed, she said that she will be coughing and panting when i would smoke at the table afterwards, totally disregarding the fact that i would purposely go to another table to smoke and they would happily come over to me.


now, this girl is the more hopeless case. she is currently the little baby in the house and she acts like one. she still has the pelat in her and speaks very very slowly even though she is going to be 4 in the coming december. in my eyes, alyssa will be the pretty one and she is the cutey, lovey dovey adorable ones. definitely not as adventurous as the elder one but a very much more amiable.

she is the type that will not ask for anything (until quite recently) when you go shopping anywhere. most of her possessions are almost always the result of guilt-stricken parents buying something for her share following the elder one's successful campaign of getting what she had wished for.

i still couldn't pique her interest beyond ba in the iqra' reading. but she loves the book nonetheless, when i am the one reading. up until october, she will still be the baby of the house and while she is happy with the fact that there is a baby (whenever we asked her, she would always say that he is a boy hehe) growing in her mama's tummy, i doubt that she understands the "impending threat" towards her baby status in the house.

while she may seem to be not as smart as her elder sister, she must have a stronger right brain. she is almost as quick as her elder sister who is 23 months older in solving puzzles. and she creates faces from those magnetised pieces that is supposed to teach her alphabets, curves and shapes.


there you go. nothing mind-blowing or constructive in this entry. just throwing some thoughts of mine into writings that will serve as my reading pleasure on how i viewed those two little hearts of mine in the distant future as of this 29 may 2007 12:30 am. and also to rub in the fact that i would be on leave tomorrow and will have the luxury of waking up late and submitting the entry at this ungodly hour heheh.

Monday, 28 May 2007

expensive weekend affair

nope, you can wipe of those saucy imaginations of yours because this was not one of those "interesting" ones. this one was an affair that involved about 15 children, many young adults and much more grown ups. i was talking about my trip downsouth to the land of the big bats.

my cousin was getting engaged on saturday last weekend. so, we duly made our procession on saturday morning despite the horror of school holidays gridlock traffic and commotion. the weather was clear, traffic was excellent and we were on time despite the fact that i only had two hours of sleep, thanks to the first book that i finished this year, kane and abe1 the early morning before the trip. didn't i tell you that it is never for me to do 2 things that i would do compulsively if i were to start, read a good book and play video games? i would go on and on and will not bow to the pressure of sleep or lure of a warm comfy bed.

it was smooth sailing until we reached the toll exit. we had another break there to straighten up those crumpled legs, cleared up those drooping eyelids and refilled the sentuh'n'jalan card and wifey took the opportunity to change for the occasion. the 20km ride from the toll-plaza to the bat town via the dual-lane carriageway was smooth enough; until a tiny pebble from the other side of the road hit my windscreen and immediately brought about a hairline crack about half a feet in length. and i didn't opt for those daymn windshield insurance. and it has grown to about two feet in length (inwards, fortunately) for the past two days.

in addition, one of alyssa's cousin contracted conjunctivitis before the trip. since they played together a lot, when we were heading home yesterday night, alyssa unsurprisingly wore those red-yes as well. so today, wifey would have to take leave and it would be my turn tomorrow and the day after.

those two days of leave tomorrow would also render me ineligible to claim those additional allowance sitting pretty in the place of my immediate boss whom will be away for two weeks starting from last week. bah!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

i am only a mortal

the other one told me that i am guilty of two mortal sins. the first one, the usual complaint that has gone all the way from the day that i dated her 8 years ago. flirtatious. TOO flirtatious. the second one, is a more recent phenomenon that comes with the benefit of blogging; not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth by painting a picture-perfect image of a spotless son, husband and father. so what do i do about it? write an entry, naturally. with the hope of tipping the balance of the second sin.

i am guilty as charged, your honourable one.

i had a solid foundation to start my life. while i have an elder brother, the idea of an 11 year old boy befriending a 4 year-old would have been an alien concept even to me. so, the closest affiliates that i had at home would be the elder sisters that i have whom are 3, 4 and 5 years older than i am. of course i have a younger brother whom i would normally used as my experiment and sparring partner which would occasionally send him to the clinic for a proper patching-up process.

so, i learn the traits of communicating with 3 females with 3 distinct personalities and perceptions; the eldest one being the chatterbox punctuated with hearty laughs, the introverted second one whom would hide behind doors when the others were being punished for faults that could not be remotely attributed to her and the third one whom hated me for stealing the youngest child title that she had proudly held for 3 years before i came about.

however, my 5-year all boys boarding secondary school stint helped nothing in that department except for fuelling those raging and suppressed teenager boys hormone. excluding that little event which made me wonder how could a 24 year old woman be attracted to a nerdy, bespectacled and clueless 17 year old boy.

in the 10-weeks orientation program and english course (which i badly needed due to the me-speak-english-no condition of my language) after my spm result came out, i was again exposed to the myriad world of double exxes chromosomes. i was a slow starter, keeping mum and having no clue on how to communicate to the heavenly creatures. alas, owing to the solid foundation that i had that i was exposed to in my early childhood, i took in everything in leaps and bounds. at the end of the 10 weeks, i could entertain most if not all the whims and fancies of the girls (cleanly!) while keeping my ego and pride intact.

while it was all fine and dandy when i was not attached, my second nature started brewing troubles when i had a person whom called me her boyfriend. she was however, quite lucky in that sense because i was mostly interested in pursuing the perfect score and tactics in my computer games rather than a similar scoreline towards opposite sex. the greatest evil deed that i had done during that stint was writing another girl's phone number on her back in a party that she was invited to. but you could ignore that one because it was not as bad as how i made it sound like.

i would flirt with almost every other female that i come in contact with in any shapes or sizes, barring my essgeeemm (god forbid!), intentionally or unintentionally. my remarks, quips and smiles could be easily contrived as flirting even to non-observant eyes. even the males around me notice the change of tone and intonation of my speech and could easily tell if the gender of the person at the other end of the line if i were to answer that call.

but i just cannot imagine how difficult it is being my spouse. i could only guess that even the most understanding wife in the world would have trouble justifying to herself all of my actions, after pestering me for explanations that i could offer.

if somehow, you have this false impression that i could make fabio cringe out of jealousy due to my good looks, i am telling you that that is a purely an imagination of yours. you can ask theotheraj, lollies and gartblue and they will gladly concur with me on that. and if you're still not satisfied with those seasoned opinions, send a pm to olab, rotinina or dory, for brand new perspectives and reassurances.

oh! by the way, despite all the flirtations, lollies, gartblue and missklsentral had always drilled down the impression that i am "harmless" and i gladly embraced it.

so, have i tipped the balance?

Sunday, 20 May 2007

may i help you?

this episode of helping che' chomeyll proof-reading her final thesis and her subsequent glowing acknowledgements got me thinking about this business of helping people. are there any real intrinsic values when we reach out for those helping hands and where is the line between nobility and responsibility?

checking with the oxford online dictionary, the literal definiton of help is as given here:

  • verb 1 make it easier for (someone) to do something. 2 improve (a situation or problem). 3 (help someone to) serve someone with (food or drink). 4 (help oneself) take something without permission. 5 (can/could not help) cannot or could not refrain from.
  • noun 1 assistance or a source of assistance. 2 a domestic servant or employee.
PHRASES so help me (God) used to emphasize that one means what one is saying. there is no help for it there is no way of avoiding a situation.

i guess what lollies and myself did for che chomeyll thesis could be defined as the no 1 and no 2. we definitely didn't help ourselves with her thesis as in definition 4 and similarly, all the food that we got while doing the helping was our own servings anyway.

do we expect something else in return when we help people? i can't speak for everybody but for me, it is a resounding yes. the expected returns could be in any form of religous, social, financial or personal gains. i could assure you that i will not be included into one of those noble people that would unselfishly reach out to those pleading hands and expect nothing in return. but what matters more is what do we expect in return? it could be as simple as feeling good and appreciated to the more sinister expectations such as kickbacks and other scary repercussions that i simply could list down here. hence, the hutang budi dibayar body connotation which thankfully to myself and che' chomeyll, not what i had in mind. when all else fails, my justification of helping somebody is as simple as hoping that i would be able to find those helping hands myself in the future when i reached out for one. and could not help ourselves not helping her? i don't know.

the glowing acknowledgements from che chomeyll also got me thinking about the value and appreciation that we would receive in returns for being the knight in the shining armour. ever noticed that the appreciation that we would show to the helping hands is inversely proportional to the closeness of that person to us? i can't speak for the rest of us but for me, i know that i would express more appreciation to my office mates whom would offer generously his or her biscuits or banana fritters during those hungry afternoon compared to the wife who cooks dinner after spending her entire day in the office. another example to illustrate my point is that of a bed-ridden person in a hospital whom exhibits his or her gratitude to a passing stranger whom hands over that bottle of water compared to a similar act performed by his or her 5 year old child.

tonight is definitely is not my writing night. i've been staring at this for a good half hour and the words are just not flowing as it should be. my daughter's insistence on putting her to bed halfway through certainly didn't help either.

well then, there were several points that i would like to make. maybe i will just list them in bullet forms to get around the problem of looking for the best way to express them.

  1. while most of us cringe to cry for help for various reasons such as personal pride, admission of fault and others, my greatest fear is overdoing it to the point of overindulging hence personal backlash not unlike what happened to fd's "friend".

  2. the stranger the person, the more appreciated the help would be.

  3. we normally fail to acknowledge the "help" that we get from the people closest to us and dismiss those as their responsibilites. i should work more on that.

  4. when you really, really need help, just reach out for those helping hands. despite all the violent crimes, despicable acts and competitiveness, there are still many noble people out there who might surprise you with their helping hands (nope, i'm not referring to myself, lolies maybe)

  5. helping hands do benefit from answering the calls. at least in my case, i now understand completely what those future doctors meant when they said that their ams is completely unrelated to their medical profession and it only served as a vehicle to wasting away all those clinicals that they had done in their previous years. i also got to know the kind of studies that they did to measure the perception of exercise among different people. maybe i should read up more on this definition of exercise because definitely i'm not doing enough.

Friday, 18 May 2007

i am fine people

especially to those who took the trouble to leave a shout out and others who cared but didn't regarding my insecure post, i'd like to say;

thank you very much!

there's nothing wrong with me. i'm still the happy merry guy as i have always been. making anybody unnecessarily pumped also was not my intention though i would have to say the attention is flattering :D.

and no, it's not my insecurity that i'm talking about. i put up the post to let it out of the chest.

by the way, this is a registered user only post. how i wish everything could be shared but i guess it's better if some things were to remain unspoken.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

insecurity is

my number one enemy now.

i wish that i could be happy doing what i like to do.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

an afternoon in the market

everyday we create history. our first bismillah of the day, our first step of the day, our first coffee in the morning and our first alert that we are clearing. but in terms of submitting entry, this entry has a new definition of entry submission for me, at least. hence, i created a new category for it called meet and greet.

what is so historical about this entry, you might ask. because this is the first entry i submitted which had to go through a lenghty process of censorship from another two related blogger, namely olab and rotidua. hence, the delay of submission.

it first started with a pm that i sent to olab asking if she were doing anything tuesday. well, if they were going to gate-crash my house should their electricity supply got disconnected again in the future, i'd better get to know her personally first, right? my feeble attempt to rope in some others failed miserably. as usual, they had their own commitments. so it was down to only the two of us until olab managed to persuade rotidua, who was on leave, to join us. three is definitely not a crowd even if they said if two people are alone, the third person is the devil. well, in this case, you decide whom the devil is.

i came on time, being the gentleman, uncharacteristically. i had to endure staring into thin air for about 5 minutes, memorising every single word on the specials menu located outside the restaurant before a nice lady in purple tudung called me from behind. there she was, olab standing behind me and it was kind of awkward at first. we knew each other quite well in the blogs but never in person. then the ball started gathering momentum as we chatted without the distraction of food in front of us.

rotidua, living up to her reputation of a celebrity, came a good half hour later. the absence of food on our table was also part of her demand of being there. that we couldn't have anything before she arrived. somehow i wondered how she recognised me when she was on the phone looking for olab. could it be my charm be radiating so much despite the noisy restaurant background or i was too loud that it was foolhardy for anybody to ignore me sitting over there talking to olab? as she approached our table, she handed over a huge plastic bag to olab, citing barang perempuan, the normal citation given to guys to politely keep your noseyparker nose out of those business, hehe.

olab had her soup and something else (which i failed too notice because i was too engrossed with my own lamb shank) and rotidua had pasta that she hardly touched. she proudly exclaimed that she was on diet. pasta is not really a good dieting food but hey, she didn't ask my opinion. i too couldn't be my usual thick-skin self and you won't believe how difficult it is to pry the very last bit of flesh from those salivating lamb shanks using a fork and a knife which would be performed easily with both hands holding the thigh and biting of the meat like a caveman.

despite our work commitments (ehem!) (but rotidua was on leave, mind you), our chitchat was extended until 2.45pm and we bade farewell to each other. while the food was good, the company was even better. it was a nice warming up session for the upcoming meet and greet session slated to be on the 9th. july. i can't wait to meet all those people that i haven't met and compare the mental images that i had in mind about them and the real people.

by the way, according to the menu, marche is the french word for market hence the title. and pictures courtesy of olab's phone with camera.

Friday, 11 May 2007

head count and alternatives (edited)

due to the overwhelming requests by some people who would like to make me work rather than posting my comments around flooding their alerts :laugh:, i found myself elected unofficially to become the organiser for the efx2 (but i'm not a hostist so others can join too) meet. personally, i can't call it a reunion because i have never been to an efx2 union before.

our dependable and resourceful peebee, engrossed with her mountains of research and charts, had come up with a beautiful chart, visualising the tentative dates of potential people coming back to this bolehland. however, due to the width constraint of my current design template, need to reproduce the chart with the amendment of elisa's homecoming incorporated as well.

since it's a demokrasi terpimpin country, we all love options (limited, but alternatives nonetheless). from the chart you could see that we cannot accommodate everybody, so i am proposing 2 meets instead of 1! (ok maybe the second one can be called reunion). lollies has been kind enough to invite for a makan2 at her house so that should count as the second one. so, it is time now to discuss on the details of the first one.

but to put into perspective and limiting the discussion towards the subject matter only so that people won't deviate into other matters such as their kittens are having indigestion and pooing on their lawn or their children managed to secure 24 a's in their latest spm results, i'll put down these as starters. don't worry about posting a comment here because there is absolutely no toll and comments do not have to be directed to me also.
  1. atttendance: self-explanatory. we can't have a meet when nobody turns up, can we?

  2. weekdays/ weekends: to many pa's and ma's including myself, weekdays means extended lunch period and weekends means coming over with the whole regiment. pb had proposed 24th. june which is on sunday.

  3. venue: i guess this one depends on no 1. but if weekdays, of course i would prefer somewhere around pj area. but that wouldn't be good news to pb (seems to be quoting her all the time in this post) because she is so far away and i was also informed that she reluctantly drives out of her territory.

  4. food: this one will also depend on both of the above. if potluck, then i guess we'll have to find a suitable venue and a good avenue to show off all those wonderful recipes that people have posted.

  5. budget: i know for sure that i don't have a money tree growing in my backyard so if anybody else have any preset limit, please inform in advance (if the choice is eating outside la)

[edited]it would be nice if i could incorporate into the chart the availability factor of zan and lana, homecoming of nectar and any other sumo-lah extras who have to join their promotional tours.

that's all i could think of right now. my plea for ideas in che' chomeyll post never got any response. so, fire away people!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

a tribute

once upon a time in a big town
chanced upon a girl in a beautiful gown
chatted up a bit in a friendly way
exchanging numbers and initial outlay

while possibilities were small unto nothingness
tried up my luck or lose nothin' nonetheless
manage to secure one dinner and a movie
which befittingly cried "you complete me!"

when the phone calls were not reciprocated
and the inbox were always dry and desert
the message given was loud and clear
retreated back to nothingness of mortals mere

reading the local news that's all abound
about the wedding of a royal crown
heart rises to a flight of glee
crying out loud "we are not worthy!"

Friday, 4 May 2007

what it takes

do you know what it takes to clean up hobs and hood? well, even if you do, i am going to tell you anyway.

first, take off that shirt and show off those muscles. then, of course you gather around all those cleaning paste (in my case i used the one formerly known as jiff), rags and scrubber. and start by washing those oily dangling things in front of the hob. and dismantle everything that you could take out from the hob and hood to tackle those little nooks and corners.

then, tackle the hood. take out those oil sumps and scrape away those deposited grease into your trash, not the kitchen sink because it makes sense to do so. primary reason, you don't pollute the rivers and starve those oxygen for those poor fishes and other organisms trying to breathe in the rivers. it will also prevent you from another hassle of clearing up those clogged plumbing.

then, lather a generous amount of cleaning paste to your hood and wipe away all those grimes. don't forget those little nooks and corners of the hood and the hidden sides of the cabinet which will also be smothered with oily deposits. then, it is time to tackle those cakey black deposits hanging around those suction fans cage. then (curik from rotibabu- thanks gart and rotiroti) you could actually do this to make sure you get all those grimes and oil of the hood. well not that much bending required but you get the idea.

then, rinse off those oily and cleaning paste with a generous amount of water. by this time, you should be able to see the shiny hood that you thought you've seen before when you bought that hood. then, the third optional step would be to use a clean dry rag to polish off those stubborn oily trace.

repeat similar steps with tiles around the hob. and similar techniques could also be used to clean the hob, which should be the last one to avoid unnecessary repetitive cleaning.

it is also a prudent practise to use either a wire or in my case a disused metal saw bit to clear up those carbon deposits stuck in between the gaps of burner caps where the burning gas makes up the flame to ensure efficient blue burning flame. it has multiple benefits such as saving the environment while burning more efficiently, reduce the production of a more lethal greenhouse gas, carbon monoxide due to incomplete burning and lessen the risk of falling asleep while cooking and reduce those unnecessary scrubbing of the bottom of pots and pants.

so, moral of the story is, chuck away those stepper, sit-up machines and treadmill and head to your kitchen to exercise those fats away, beneficially instead of consuming energy to throw away your energy. and another point to ponder was, why they have not invented those self-cleaning hood when i bought that one 5 years ago, daymn!