Saturday, March 28, 2009

Surprise Flowers

Received some surprise flowers from god-daughter today...

with a messsage of thanks for babysitter
and testimonial writing services.

Such thoughtfulness is to be commended.

She Won!

Yes, she won! My 'bee is the shutterbug queen and she's bagged herself a Panasonic Lumix G1 camera worth RM2999!

My Babee Is Fehmes!

Yup she's one of '5 famous female bloggers participating in a mini "Amazing Race" like competition' at Sunway Pyramid right now.

Mee is cheering you on 'bee!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Funeral Singer

After the karaoke awakening I have come to the conclusion that I'm lousy with pop songs especially with the newer songs but I can still manage to carry the tune for the oldies.

I'm not too bad with Christian worship songs but - it is so embarrassing to admit this - I excel as a funeral singer!

I found that out last Sunday night when I was roped in to lead in a wake service. I could start the song in the right key and carry the tune without any back-up and with only a guitar accompanying me. I must say I did not sound too bad over the PA system, even if it's by my own evaluation.

God in His mercy probably did not want me to wake the dead or cause the bereaved family further pain.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Custom-Designed Blog Header

My blog header is no longer bare! This beautiful design is 'bee's handiwork. She took the time to prepare three designs for me to choose from.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pastor Sean's Advice to Girls

He said that girls should choose their life partners wisely.

"Choose the one you love and love the one you choose"

Here's his tip for the girls. He said that you can know how well the guy will treat you by observing the manner in which he treats his mother, sister and dog, especially the dog.

There is some truth in what he said. If a man treats his mom and/or his sister horribly it would be difficult for him to unlearn his bad habits and he will also treat his wife badly. It is worse if a man is unkind to dumb, defenceless animals because it just goes to show that he has a mean streak in him and that he is a bully at heart. That is something which will surface once he has you in his clutches. So girls, if you see someone like that run as fast as you can and as far away as you can.

The theory however is not foolproof if the guy is a filial son, loving brother and/or friend of animals. Most of the time you may end up with a good guy but sometimes you could end up with mama's boy who is tied to his mother's apron strings, who cannot leave and cleave. That is a sure recipe for disaster in any marriage.

A man should honour and respect his mother but he should also speak up and defend his wife if she is not at fault. He should be fair and just whenever the women in his life clash. If the man knows how to make wise, righteous decisions based on truth, that is, if he knows how to cho lang (literally, "be a person" in Hokkien), there will be peace in the home. Most household strife between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is the result of the preferential treatment being given one party.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cherry Blossom Season in Penang

Here are more pictures from forwarded mails.

It's Spring Time in Penang!

Don't believe me? Pictures speak a thousand words, so see and believe.

Trees in blossom along Persiaran Mahsuri

Such a lovely sight!

For once this tree has more flowers than foliage

Close up of the white blossoms

I've seen these trees in bloom but have not gotten around to taking pictures of them. I received these from a forwarded email so the credit belongs to someone who took the trouble to take the photos.

The trees would normally blossom during the hot season but this year they have put on a most spectacular display.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pastor Sean Prasad

We had a guest speaker this morning - Pastor Sean Prasad from Good Tidings, Shah Alam. He told us he is an evangelist and a former Youth Pastor. Even if he had not told us, we would have guessed from the pithy quips which peppered his message that he used to be a Youth Pastor.

Pastor Sean at the pulpit

The message was on "Divine Presence" taken from John 20:19-23. In the presence of the Lord there is . . .
  • Peace, or Eirene in Greek, which means "unity, tranquility and concord." He defined unity as the ability of agree in disagreement. (Agreeing to disagree?) Contrary to demon possession, where there are many demons or spirits residing in one body, in unity there is one Spirit with many bodies.
  • Power from the Holy Spirit to be "unified, empowered and to testify."
  • A Promise of forgiveness. God's forgiveness is Full, Free and Final.
Pastor Sean after the service

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Counting Calories & Blessings

That reminded me of the good, old days when I could eat as much as I wanted to and not put on an ounce. In fact people used to say I have hollow legs. I wouldn't believe if anyone had told me then that there would come a time when the weight would start piling up and I would have to reduce portions and watch the calories.

Nowadays I put on weight just thinking about food! Susah la.

BTW, that comic also reminded me that I really should count my blessings. For something as basic and as common as strong water pressure. I used to complain about unsatisfactory water pressure at home until I experienced what low water pressure was while I was in KL.

The water pressure was so low that bath time took longer than usual because I have to wash section by section or parts of my body will not get wet at all!

I was never as grateful and neither have I enjoyed my shower that much as on the night I reached home. Isn't it so human of us to take our blessings for granted?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday in KL - Day 3

First thing I did in the morning was to mop her bedroom floor. Another mission accomplished.

Then we rushed out of the house to collect her orders for facial masks.

On our way home to sort out the orders, we decided to stop by at Li Er Restaurant for an early lunch. The prices were very reasonable. If I remember correctly we paid not more than RM38 for Sweet Sour Fish, Hot Plate Tofu, Fried Kailan with Garlic, rice and drinks.

Delicious meal for less than RM40

Isn't my 'bee too lovely for words?

After sorting out the orders for the masks, we went to Sunway Pyramid (again) to shop and enjoy another Kwai Ling Gou treat.

Dinner was at a Japanese Restaurant at Sunway Pyramid and too soon it was time for her to send me to Terminal 3 for my flight home. That was when the misadventures with the canceled and transferred flights occured.

Menu at Sushi Zanmei Restaurant

She didn't want me to take her photo hence the funny faces. I think she still looks adorable whatever the face she wears.

Three days went by so fast. Not enough. It's always never enough. I miss her. Dreadfully.

Need to plan my next trip down or her trip up.

I made her bed for her. A farewell gift to put a smile on her face
when she climbs into bed tonight.

Sunday in KL - Day 2

Sunday was the karaoke day.

"Operation Feed My Babee" didn't have a good start today. We just ate the Subway which we bought the day before for brunch and after that we headed for Mid Valley. Walked around a bit before we had to be at the mysterious somewhere by 3.00pm.

They do serve food at the karaoke but nothing that met my criteria for "Operation Feed My Babee." Anyway only one mouth so we could either sing or eat. We chose to sing and leave the eating for later.

After the karaoke session 'bee took me to Fong Lye, a Taiwanese Restaurant at the Gardens. The food was fantastic! I suspect that's because it's been adapted for Malaysian taste buds.

They provided nice comfy chairs for us while we waited to be seated. Such thoughtfulness for the comfort of the patron is to be commended. They also served us little glasses of lime juice. The juice is full of flavour yet not sour. Absolutely delicious.

'Bee knew what she wanted to order so she didn't even look at the menu. That's my 'bee; she always eats the same thing at the same restaurant. Never change once she finds something she likes. Not willing to take risks.

After yesterday's fiasco with the Chicken and Leek Pie I decided to order what she ordered. So we both ended up ordering the Miso Fish Set and some Sweet Potato Balls for appetizer . No regrets this time.

Miso Fish Set that comes with a bowl of rice with minced meat,
soup, some kerabu thingy, some green stuff and a slice of egg roll

Mouth-watering Miso Fish

We also ordered a pot of what we thought was chrysanthemum and oolong tea. Somehow we wrote the wrong number and ended up with twin oolong instead. The tea was too bitter for us once it had steeped for some time.

Lovely tea set

Cute drawing of a Chinese girl on the tea-pot

After dinner we went to fill up the car which was running on an almost empty tank and then it was home sweet home.

Saturday in KL - Day 1

'Bee picked me from the airport and "Operation Feed My Babee" commenced with an early lunch at delicious, Bangsar.

I should have ordered the Smoked Salmon with Angel Hair Pasta she recommended. Instead I pandai-pandai ordered a Chicken and Leek Pie thinking that it would not be as rich compared to the pasta which was served with cream sauce.

When my meal came, regret was served along with it. It was not that it wasn't tasty. Pastry crust was simply not the best food to stuff down an already dry and scratchy throat.

Chicken and Leek Pie at delicious, Bangsar

Hot honey lemon to balance the heatiness of baked pie

After lunch I accompanied 'bee for a walk-in visit to the dentist. We expected a long wait but we did not anticipate leaving the dentist's office 3 hours later!

We entertained ourselves watching episodes of "Gossip Girl" on her Samsung Omnia before she went in to see the dentist.

She disappeared in there for more than one-and-a-half hours. Only came out once for an x-ray. I was left to entertain myself watching a little boy riding his "horse" (an umbrella) up and down the hallway.

'Bee later told me that she was first given one jab. When she did not feel any numbness, the dentist gave her another jab. I think the anesthetic finally took effect and the accumulated potency was such that she fell asleep on the dentist's chair!

I tell you, this girl of mine can have an adventure any time anywhere.

We went to Sunway Pyramid and had Kwai Ling Gou for pre-dinner dessert before going to Dragon-i for dinner.

Kwai Ling Gou for teh complexion and to cool down the system

I told 'bee that there was no increase in price but the portions have shrunken tremendously. Anyway, we ordered our favourite Prawn in Salted Egg Yolk. We could not believe it when the dish came and we counted only 7 prawns for a dish that costs RM38++!

[Edited at 9.39pm: Mistake. The dish costs RM32.00++.]

7 miserable prawns garnished with half a cherry tomato
and a few pathetic strands of dehydrated pea sprout

Just last week I had dinner at Dragon-i at Queensbay Mall Penang and we also ordered the same dish. My dinner companions and I were commenting that overall they have significantly reduced the portions but I was very sure (based on the no. we ate) there were defintely more than 7 prawns. At least 13, maybe 15 prawns.

After dinner we dashed into Jusco for some urgent purchases before the store closed. By then our energy level was also running low so we headed for home.

When we reached home I accomplished an important item on my agenda for the weekend. I changed her bed clothes for her. I had a boo-boo moment there which you can read here.

Mission accomplished. She's finally using the new comforter set we bought her.

We ber-mask-mask and then it's an early night for both of us. I strongly suspect that for 'bee the early night was the after effect of the anesthetic overdose.

Can Sing No More

'Bee gave me a surprise on Sunday afternoon. She booked 5 hours of karaoke at Red Box at the Gardens. We sang until I was hoarse.

At Red Box

If I was out of practice with my writing, it was worse with singing. I realized that:
  • I am only able to sing selected oldies.
  • I could not start any of the newer songs 'cos I only know the chorus.
  • I am lost whenever the song has a bridge.
  • Sometimes the tune is in my head but the sounds I produce are nowhere near what I am hearing in my head!
I am sure poor 'bee suffered throughout the whole 5 hours getting me in tune and on pitch while desperately trying to find something I could sing to.

Help! I have lost my ability to sing. I need more singing practice. Anybody for a karaoke session?

Flying Firefly

Came back last night after 3 Pam-filled days.

This trip I decided to fly Firefly to save time and also because it was more convenient for her to pick me from Subang Airport and send me back.

I must say I was pretty impressed with Firefly on the way down to Subang. They have nice leather seats (not sure fake or not) that don't give you the "jijit" feeling associated with fabric-covered seats that could be harbouring a whole colony of germs.

I thought they don't serve anything on budget flights. To my surprise, they served a cupcake and a drink for my morning flight.

After the nice first impression I was prepared for a pleasant flight home but the trip back turned out to be a total mess up.

First of all, I was a wee bit late arriving at Terminal 3. Rushed like mad to scan my check in luggage. Wearing shoes with poor grip did not help, especially when walking fast on slippery tiled floors. My head seemed to be sending me contradictory messages - "Walk faster or you're gonna miss your flight" and "Slow down, you're going to slip and fall."

I had to swing my arms to keep my balance and generate speed - my PE teacher used to tell us that we could run faster if we swing our arms faster - and my feet were slipping and sliding all over the place. I must have looked a sight with my arms and feet all lintang-pukang.

After scanning my check-in luggage, I looked up and to my horror there was no check-in counter for Penang! Have I missed my flight?

After asking around, I found out that my flight was canceled and they had transferred all passengers to a Malaysia Airlines flight which was flying out from KLIA in half-an-hour's time! I checked my sms and found the message they sent at 3.13pm informing passengers of the tranferred flight.

Haiyo! At 3.13pm we were at Sunway Pyramid. I was commencing withdrawal and trying to maximise my last few Pam-hours. Of course, I did not bother to check my phone for messages.

Pleaded with the officer to get me on the next available flight and, bless him, he did. There was no way I could make it for the 8.10pm flight but he managed to get me a seat on the 9.10pm flight out of KLIA.

Called 'bee. Asked her to come back and pick me from Terminal 3. Then we rushed to KLIA and I managed to make it for the flight home.

Just thinking of all that rushing here and there makes me breathless. You can imagine the state I was in during the whole episode.

Episode. Sounds like some TV series. My life so exciting meh? Maybe once in a while la.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Weekend Is Here!

So happy!

Going down to see my 'bee.

Would be happier if darling hubby is coming along as well.


It was already 2.45pm and we were in Sungai Ara running an errand for 'bee. (The things parents will do for their offspring!)

Since it was already so late, we decided to have lunch around that area and that was how we ended up at Victoria Station.

To our surprise, Bomb(e) Alaska was one of the desserts on the menu. It brought back memories of our courting days when we were very gila Bomb(e) Alaska so we ordered one for dessert.

Bomb(e) Alaska, for the uninitiated, is a spectacular fluffy white meringue dessert that is flambed, or set aflame, with brandy at the table before the dessert is served. Inside the meringue shell is an ice cream layer and underneath the ice cream shell is a combination of sponge cake and fruit salad.

Sponge cake and fruit salad covered with ice cream
under an 'igloo' of meringue

I was so busy enjoying the flambe show that I only thought of taking photos after the pyrotechnics was over. What a waste!

Meringue with peaks burnt by the flaming brandy

It takes skill to prepare a good Bomb(e) Alaska. The ice cream must not melt when the meringue is being baked. That could be the reason why Bomb(e) Alaska has, over the years, disappeared from the menu of most restaurants. All the experts must have passed on and younger chefs prefer more fail-proof recipes.

At the end of lunch we were already so full that dessert was an over-kill. Much as we wanted to enjoy every morsel of the dessert we realized that we could not indulge like before.

Ken's messy plate with his unfinished dessert.
Looks like the handiwork of a demolition squad.

I finished most of the filling. The meringue was all that's left
so the plate was not so messy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hurricane Season

It's hurricane season!

The madness started last Wednesday and the going has been tough ever since. Sometimes I don't even know whether I am standing on my head or on my feet. I just know I am being carried along by a force bigger and stronger than I.

My nerves have been pulled so taut that some of them are already in shreds. I need the weekend.

Weekend, come quick before I go berserk.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sister Melinda

The office was very quiet. Everyone was engrossed in their work.

Suddenly she broke the silence and asked: "Melinda, you are a sister ar?"

For a moment I was at a loss. Is she asking whether I have a sister or whether I am someone's sister? But that doesn't make sense 'cos she knows I have a sister who visits the office once in a while.

Then it dawned on me that she was curious because there are people from church who calls up the office and asks for SISTER Melinda and she was thinking in terms of the nuns and priests!

We had a fun session explaining to her the family of God and how having the same heavenly Father makes brothers and sisters out of believers.

We're joking that I have to turn up in a habit one of these days.

Monday, March 2, 2009

People Who Talk Too Much

Lillian and I attended the Green Apple Charity Concert last night.

We have seen some of the costumes and dances before but that is to be expected. From the performance we reckon that their forte is in hip-hop and jazz. That was the general perception as well 'cos the modern dances drew the most applause from the audience.

The only other dance that reaped a thundering applause was the belly dance. The ladies, and there were so many of them, were so good with their "camels." In fact most of the time they were doing the body roll and hip lifts. There was very little variation in the steps but the use of veils added a real Arabian night flavour to the dance.

We would have enjoyed the evening more if it weren't for a talkative lady MC who spoiled it all with her endless chatter and broken English. Her English is not really that broken, but tak jadi lo especially for a big event like that.

I really cannot stand her instructions for another round of applause after every performance, after we have already applauded.

She also has the bad habit of telling the audience the comments of the stage manager to her. That's washing dirty linen in public! So lacking in finesse and not professional at all.

Doesn't she know that we are at a show? Even the radio stations acknowledge people's lack of tolerance for talk and they have come up with programmes like Music Marathon or 9 In A Row where listeners can enjoy the music without the interruption from the DJs.

We want to feast with our eyes, not listen to some grandmother stories. Summore tell us what is going to be on stage as if we cannot see the props when the curtain opens. That's so silly. Geram only.

I think she is just stage-struck. Give people like her a mic or put her on stage and it's disaster in the making.

They would have done better to just use the Chinese speaking MC. He's bilingual and does not grate on my nerves with all the self-promoting nonsense.