Hari ini aku masuk ofis. Macam sengal. Kerja bertimbun-timbun. Aku seorang yang bermati-matian. Sengal. Dengan kesihatan yang kurang memberangsangkan. CLK versi kecil yang meragam, buat aku mengamuk pagi tadi. Sengal lagi. Siap kau, CLK. Kami sudah berbincang hendak jual CLK sekarang dan beli CLK baru. Muahaha!

Aku serius mau tukar kerja. Pada awalnya aku teragak-agak sebab kompeni tabur janji-janji manis. Masa depan yang cerah. Trip overseas. Gaji naik. Pigidah! Tipah tertipu lagi. Trip overseas tu sudah kensel. Aku dah agak pun. Dan sengal lagi. Macam-macam alasan dieorang kasi. Dan macam-macam sebab lagi menghasut fikiran aku untuk memecat kompeni sekarang pada tahun depan. Dan tahun depan tu besok! Tak sabarnya!

Ho-ho. Alang2 bercerita pasal sengal, teringat meeting di JB itu. Memang sengal tahap dewa. Dia panggil buat meeting dengan vendor. Tapi semua dia harapkan aku sediakan. Dalam meeting pulak dia asyik main sms. Kalau ikut hati, aku baling je handphone dia kat luar. Aku memang dah lama makan hati dengan dia. Dulu dia tak macam tu. Dulu banyak benda aku belajar dengan dia dan aku respect ngan dia. Tapi sekarang. MACAM SENGAL! *jerit sekuat hati*
To begin this ramble, this posting is where I make a love confession with a swanky, practical foreigner from Sweden. The name is IKEA. It's a long-lost, twisted love, born out of my endless desire to put everything in a context and a context into everything. Well, basically, I have a psychology condition which is called 'compulsive obsessive nature to be organised.' (read about it here and here). Therefore, when I found out IKEA has all the solutions to an organised life, I fell madly, deeply in love with it. So much so that I am short of naming my kid IKEA. Ikea bin Junaidix. How totally rowks!

Recently, we decided that our store room required a massive spring-cleaning job. I am too ashamed to post the 'before' image of our store room because it was really cluttered and untidy. Boxes stacked haphazardly. Some boxes were in too poor conditions that the contents were half-spilled on the floor. Most boxes were overflowed with things. Raincoats on the floor because we have nowhere to put them. Some files and papers were also placed on the floor. There were many paper bags containing wedding door-gifts lying around. In short. It's. Total. Chaos.

The solution to this problem? A complete tour of the IKEA store where I found
these two useful items that change my life the store room's look:
- Habol, Box with Lid (left)
- Portis Hat Rack (right)









With mountain-high enthusiasm, we reached home and immediately set to de-clutter the store room. Our stuffs were divided into three categories - junks, items rarely used and items used more often. Junks were thrown out. Rarely used items packed in one of the box (top) and labelled according to whose items they belong to. Those rarely used are stacked at the bottom. Items used more often are placed at the top of the stack.

The results:

- Ok, so it may not look pristinely tidy because the boxes are still stacked haphazardly but papers bags are no more on the floor, little items stored away in boxes which no longer overflowed. We have made 70% progress on improving the tidiness. I am hoping to save enough money to buy a racking system (also from IKEA) to solve the stacking problem.

Next:

- This is by far, the solution that delighted me the most. No more raincoats on the floor! No more helmets lying around! No more jackets on the sofa / on the bed! The world is now warded off evils, corruptions and environmental problems!

This feeling of achieving tidiness is why I never fail to be excited at the sight of IKEA.
Trump sangat baik hati.
Dia belanja makan malam untuk aku dan Suami Terchenta.
Di Chalet, Equatorial Hotel.
Sempena ulangtahun perkahwinan kami.
Makaseh Trump!

Jadi, semalam kami keluar untuk sesi makan malam yang romantik. Tepat pukul 9 malam, kami muncul di depan pintu restoran. Tukang jaga pintu bawa kami ke meja untuk dua orang. Ada lilin seperti yang diminta. Ada muzik romantis jugak. Kami sangat teruja (dan sangat kekok! Bukan hari-hari kami makan di tempat yang eksklusif ini!). Buktinya, orang lain sebok berbual2, kami berdua sebok amik gambar. Muahaha! Memang sangat jakun! :p

Hasil tangkapan gambar kami

Menu
Kami duduk. Pelayan datang, bawak menu (dalam Bahasa Inggeris & French). 10 minit kami terkial-kial baca menu di bawah cahaya lilin. Gila! Telur ikan (caviar) harganya RM700! Ini telur ikan ke atau telur dinasour? Buat 10 saat, aku terasa mahu memesan caviar, tapi aku rasa Trump mungkin tidak akan rasa murah hati untuk bayar sebanyak itu. Haha.

Suami Terchenta - Pakej Krismas
Juice - Mango juice
Starters - smoked salmon, fresh oysters, sup cendawan
Main course - Steak (tak tahu nama)
Dessert - Mango pudding, cinnamon-orange sherbet, iced chocolate ball
Hot drink - Tea
Aku
Starters:
- Raclaitte Valaisanne (traditional melted swiss cheese with baby potatoes and homemade pickles)
- sup 'Crème de Champignons de Forets' (Cream of Wild Forest Mushrooms served in a Giant Roll)
Main course - 'Filet de boeuf' (tenderloin steak, medium)
Dessert - Gâteau au chocolat (chocolate cake), cinnamon-orange sherbet, iced chocolate ball
Hot drink - white coffee

My Verdict:
Starters >> boleh tahan, aku suka sup cendawan yang diletak di dalam roti bulat itu. Tapi Raclaitte valaisanne itu buat aku muak lepas sesuap dua.
Hidangan utama >> Dagingnya sangat liat! Menyesal order tenderloin! Sepatutnya order rib-eye atau sirloin sahaja. Tapi kuah steak (gravy) itu, not bad. Aku cuma dapat makan separuh sebelum aku surrender.
Dessert >> Aku boleh kasi rating 3/5. Not bad jugak.

Suami Terchenta's Verdict:
Starters >> uwekk!
Main course >> mmm...
Dessert >> Too sweet.

Sambil menikmati kopi panas, 3 orang pakcik yang bermain alat muzik datang ke meja kami.
'Would you like some song?'
'Erm...' saling berpandangan, 'please play some romantic music for our first year anniversary.'
Pakcik-pakcik itu terus mendendangkan sebuah lagu dalam bahasa Swiss dan lagu 'Everyday I love you'!

Sebelum kami balik, pengurus restoran ambil gambar kami dan berikan sekuntum bunga ros untuk kami.

Wah, seriously, ini ialah the perfect dinner date! :) Mungkin tahun depan kami boleh datang lagi ke sini...

Atau INI KALI TERAKHIR KAMI KE SINI.

Bila tengok bil dinner kami, kami terus mengubah fikiran.

Satu makan malam yang sangat expensive... sama dengan bayaran ansuran kereta kami sebulan.

Nasib baik Trump yang belanja. Sekali lagi... 1,2,3!

TERIMA KASIH, TRUMP!
On dee83's request, I'm going to show how to create this layered image:


Step 1 - Open 'New...' in Adobe Photoshop and set background content 'Black'.

Step 2 - Open selected image, copy-n-paste on black background layer. Name it as 'Layer1':





Step 3 - Choose Layer1. Click 'Layer' > 'Layer Style' > 'Stroke...'







Step 4 - In Structure area, set Size '8' (depending on how thick the frame you want it to be), Position 'Inside', choose Color 'C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=0' (also known as white).

Step 5 - Duplicate image, twice (by clicking on image, then press 'Alt'+click).





Step 6 - Tilt images at the back at different angles:
(Click image to view larger)






Step 7 - Arrange the images accordingly. Then, using Rectangular Marquee, draw a rectangle underneath top-most image, and paint it white using Paint tool:

Step 8 - Type a title inside the white rectangle. Tadah! Siap! :)
Early in the morning, after solat Hari Raya, this conversation ensued between a husband and a wife:

Wife: Which do you choose? Cooking (laksa Sarawak) or washing the toilet?
Husband (considering): Cooking.

Hubby headed to the kitchen, prepared to cook. Wifey went to the toilet, armed with detergent and stuffs. Hubby called out, 'Dear, what is supposed to be put into this pot?'

Wifey gritted her teeth and called back, 'Just read the instructions on the packet!'

2 minutes later, they switched roles. Wifey cooked, hubby scrubbed the toilet.

1 hour later:

Wife: Dear, help me make thin omelettes by whipping one egg at a time. Make 3 eggs, ok.
Hubby (nodding): Got you.
(Hubby whipped the 3 eggs together and fried them all in the pan)
Wife (big eyes and murderous look at hubby): Why did you fry all of the eggs together????
Hubby (looking wise and satisfied with himself): The pan is big enough to fry all 3 eggs.
Wife (looking not so satisfied): I. wanted. thin. omelettes. Grrr...

What an amicable start to the Aidiladha celebration.

So this was how our celebration looked like:

Some of the feast prepared, and some given by our next door neighbour (photo courtesy of Kak Retna)

From left: Topek, Fysal and Mr Shai (photo courtesy of Kak Retna)

As Fysal helpfully pointed out, our special menu was laksa Sarawak. Hubby prepared everything, and I merely helped to prepare the gravy :p (photo courtesy of Fysal)

Our Hari Raya guests (photo courtesy of Kak Retna)

Thank you to Kak Retna, Shai, Fysal & Topek (who drove all the way from Perak and Tanjung Karang) for coming for Hari Raya visit to our house and helping us to finish off the laksa :) Thank you also to Shai who came with lemang Pak Ali and the delicious serunding.

In short, we are certainly very happy to welcome guests to our house. Hopefully, we get to host more eating sessions at our home for more friends. Check out Suami Terchenta's blog from time to time!

Lastly, it's not too late to wish 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha' to all my blog readers.
The tale of two crazy husband-and-wife at the leaning tower of Teluk Intan. Nope, it wasn't the camera that made this tower looks 'senget' (slanting)
Finally, after reviewing so many oh-so-romantic holiday options, we settled for a day excursion to Teluk Intan, Perak instead. Why Teluk Intan, you ask? Well, blame it on watching LOTR 'The Tale of Two Towers' for arousing our interest in the leaning tower of Teluk Intan, also known as 'Menara Condong'. Hehe.

Let me tell you - Teluk Intan is worth a trip there :) So, let's go Cuti-cuti Malaysia to Teluk Intan!

Welcome to Teluk Intan, Perak. The town of fruits.

In a true fashion of ours (fashionably late, as usual), we set out of the house only to turn back because we forgot our camera. But after filling up the petrol, we were speeding non-stop to Teluk Intan via Kuala Selangor route. For those who are unfamiliar, you can check out Suami Terchenta's blog to look at the route.

It took only 2 hours to reach Hutan Melintang where we were supposed to meet up with Fysal at Petronas station. Fysal came and took over behind the wheel. Since it was noon already, we went to have lunch at a mamak restaurant before setting out on our Teluk Intan adventure :)

After Zohor prayers at a charming mosque in the town centre, we were off to firstly, check out the king prawns (udang galah) at the jetty. Unfortunately, the price was a killer or we would cart off 1 kg of the prawns to barbecue later. The finest grade of fresh udang galah costs RM48 / kg. Mukah is still the best and cheapest place to buy udang galah :)

Oh my yummylicious, udang galah tastes heavenly when barbecued, or fried in my mother's secret udang galah recipe!
It was the only time I felt disappointed that I was not pregnant - otherwise, I would beg and cajol Suami Terchenta to buy the udang galah because 'baby wants it'. Hehe.
Next, we were off to Menara Condong, which is just 5 minutes away (In a small, quaint town like Teluk Intan, anywhere is just 5 minutes away) from the jetty.
CLK, enter-frame. Look at the borderline of this photo, the angle shows that this is truly a leaning tower
My review, the tower is a charming architecture of wonder. It's actually a clock tower, and when we arrived, the clock chimed merrily to tell us that it was already 1.45pm. Originally, the 122-years-old-tower was built as a water reserve tank by a Chinese architect (thus, the Chinese architecture look). It has 110 steps, and 3 storeys.
Inside the tower, at the top storey


The Wishing Well. Some superstitious visitors throw one-cent coins in the well and make a wish. If I was them, I wish that all the coins in the well become mine. Muahaha!

Me, at the foot of Menara Condong
Next, we were off durian-hunting. We had Fysal to thank for his help as our local tour guide. He knows where to find durians in the remote kampung areas. After driving for half an hour, we stopped by the road side to buy durians:

The fleshy, creamy durian for RM8 per durian... Not bad.
3 huge durians later, we were feeling the heat and decided to stop by at another stall selling ABC (Iced Concoctions). The friendly and generous stall owners upon finding out that we are out-of-towners, welcomed us with another huge durian, on the house! Oh, our 'durian runtuh' day! :)

Makan, bang. Jangan tak makan...
Stomachs bloated from eating too many durians, we finally called it a day and sent Fysal to his house.
On the way back, we captured this replica of the Menara Condong, for fun:


They even made it 'condong' (leaning), bless them!
Tips for travellers:
Travel time: Approximately 2 hours from KL (using Kuala Selangor route)
Budget: Only for fuel (RM15 one-way, if using Kancil) and of course, durians (depends on the season).
Accommodation: Not necessary, since it's only a short distance away from KL. There are though, a few homestays along the way.
Local attractions: Oh goodness, just read the posting above! Or, you can check out Wikipedia.
Might want to check out: If you are using Kuala Selangor route, you will pass by Bukit Belimbing (or specifically, Firefly Park Resort) famed for the sight of millions of fireflies flashing in synchrony, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. A must visit place of interest in Malaysia and our next destination! :)

My Wedding Ring, originally uploaded by Carneyz.
... was sweet and simple.
We spent the day watching our favourite movie - Lord of The Ring.
Then cooked our favourite meal.
Lit a candle, and had a candle light dinner.
After dinner, we snuggled up on the sofa.
To watch our favourite soap - Ugly Betty.
Which Suami Terchenta downloaded from the Internet.

Suami Terchenta surprised me with a gift.
Which made me cry because I did not expect any.
He said, thank you for being my wife.
Though I am not rich, nor famous.
Yet you still marry me.

To which I replied, thank you for being my husband.
Taking care of me and everything.
Though I am not pretty, nor rich.
Yet you still marry me.

Happy Sweet Anniversary. May our love and marriage lasts.
From Here to Thereafter.
Ulangtahun perkahwinan kami yang pertama bakal tiba Sabtu ini.
Persediaan kami: Zero.
Disebabkan aktiviti transaksi yang paling mahal dalam hidup kami (membeli rumah), maka dana untuk berhooray2 ke Bali sudah kering-kontang.

Alangkah seronoknya kalau ada orang yang sponsor percutian kami ke sana :) *hint hint*

Tapi kami masih bersemangat untuk menyambut ulangtahun perkahwinan kami yang pertama *mata berkaca2 penuh kegembiraan*

Kepada pengantin-pengantin (atau bakal pengantin) baru yang masih mencari-cari tempat yang sesuai untuk ber honeymoon, dengan sukacitanya boleh rujuk lokasi dan anggaran bajet di sini.



Cadangan-cadangan pelaksanaan:


1. Cuti2 ke Bali!

Ini ialah sambutan ulangtahun perkahwinan yang ultimate sebab Bali terkenal dengan pantai yang cantik, budaya unik, shopping pun best. Penginapan pun boleh tahan harganya.

Anggaran bajet: RM750/couple (tiket penerbangan AirAsia & penginapan 3H2M)


2. Pakej honeymoon di Awana Porto Malai, Langkawi

Pakej ni sangat sweet - 2H1M di Langkawi, satu candelight dinner, hadiah coklat / sejambak bunga, dan sunset cruise. Memang sesuai untuk honeymoon atau menyambut ulangtahun perkahwinan tak kira yang ke-berapa (Nota: Ayat ini ditujukan khas kepada Suami Terchenta)

Anggaran bajet: RM998/couple. Muahaha! (Gelak kecewa)

3. Penginapan di Avillion Village Resort, PD
CLK tak perlu berlari jauh2, cuma ke PD je. Chalet atas air ialah suatu pengalaman unik yang menarik. Especially pantai PD yang terkenal jernih airnya. Me like-y!

Anggaran bajet: RM700++ /room. Sudah semestinya kami cuma boleh menelan air liur sahaja.



4. Romantic Retreat Three Night Package, Four Season Hotel, Langkawi

Anggaran bajet: RM5773/couple. Untuk orang-orang kaya sahaja.


5. Gunung Kinabalu

Seriously. Mungkin ada yang kata aku gila, anniversary atas puncak gunung yang sejuk bagai tu? Carneyz, you give a new meaning to ice queen. Miahaha! Tapi, untuk couple yang suka cabaran, this is the place to proclaim love - with the world at your feet. Haha. The height of love is as high as Kinabalu's summit :p

Anggaran bajet: RM800+ (2H1M, tak termasuk tiket penerbangan) Haha. Maybe next year sahaja...

Antara yang turut dipertimbangkan:
- Trip ke Perak (Fysal) sempena 'musim luruh'... :p

Verdict: Hmm... Disebabkan bajet yang agak menyedihkan, kami bercadang untuk buat candlelight dinner sahaja :)

I came across this popular folklore rhyme while searching for wedding anniversary ideas:
January - Marry when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true.
February - When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate.
March - If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
April- Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.
May - Marry in the month of May, you will romance the day.
June - Marry when June roses grow and over land and sea you'll go.
July - Those who in July do wed must labour for their daily bread.
August - Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
September - Marry in September's shine so that your life is rich and fine.
October - If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
November - If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember!
December - When December's snows fall fast, marry and your love will last.

Source: www.anniversaryideas.co.uk

P/S: Not that it matters in Malaysia where couples choose school holiday months to tie the knots rather than the significance of the month ;)
I have failed you. But I did know what else to do. Should I stop and go under the car to pick you up. Then where should I bring you to? I do not know the nearest help. I felt as helpless as you. I am now punished by thoughts of how you fared. I feel angry at the inconsiderate driver who knocked you down.

I cry now for you. Did you manage to get up and crawl to safety? Or did more cars come to knock you down until you are no longer the black kitten I saw this morning? Why are humans so cold-hearted nowadays? Why didn't I stop and pick you up to safety, until I can figure out what to do to save you?

I feel irresponsible. I feel that I have failed you. I feel that I have failed myself. Because I have pledged to help those who cannot defend themselves like you. I wish now that if God has taken your life, let it be quick and pain-less. What now, should I answer to God. That I have failed you.
www.thegoldencompassmovie.com

Synopsis:

Lyra Belacqua is an orphan who lives happily in Jordan College, Oxford, playing with local boys and terrorising the professors. However, when Lyra overhears scholars discussing a plot against her uncle, Lord Asriel, centering around a mysterious substance called Dust, her curiosity is roused. Soon Lyra is in over her head as she uncovers a frightening plot and a whole new world of possibilities.

My rating: 4/5

Ok, I must read the novel that is adapted into this movie (note to self: find 'The Northern Light' novel by Phillip Pullman). Even though the movie tells sufficiently of the storyline, I still need to understand some finer details to get the big picture. But it doesn't need me to read the book to know why some people are crying foul about this movie being anti-Christians. The Magisterium officer looks like he's wearing a priest robe and the leader slightly resembled the Pope (no puns intended). Enough said.

My two cents' worth:
I do feel a strong objection to Mr Pullman's statement in the Time magazine, that religion should not get mixed up with every day life. Yes, some religion-based organisations are fanatical, but it's not the religion itself which is at fault. After all, religion is to guide people through every day's life, guiding us on human relations, human-environment relations, etc. It provides a sense of purpose to us human beings as well. Otherwise, people would be asking, 'Why should I do good deeds? What good does it come from it when bad people can benefit more?' In conclusion, religion is our moral compass. For me, religion is the path to heaven.
HSBC ads: The World's Local Bank (source: www.adsoftheworld.com)

WARNING:
DO NOT apply for credit cards just because the credit card salesman won't stop pestering you to fill up the form and cancel later. What kind of sales tactic is that? A trap to a consumer, most likely. Especially a consumer who was stuck manning a booth next to a credit card sales booth (read: ME). This posting is to illustrate why you should not rampantly apply for credit cards.


Last Friday, I took a day off to pay a visit to several banks and settle a few banking issues. Three banks to be exact. Sigh. It's really tiresome to be this rich :p

Bank #1
Firstly, there's this problem with one local bank of which I applied for personal loan to settle our house's MRTA and legal fees totalling nearly RM10,000. Since RM10,000 is too dear to part with, (there's a lot of things to do with that amount of money - we can buy two kitchen cabinets from IKEA for an instance, or we can go to Kota Kinabalu for our Mount Kinabalu ascension trip next year) we decided to get our aunty a bank to lend us the ringgits.

I was confident that the I will get instant approval because I honestly think I do not have bad financial track record. WRONG! I received a shocking call from the bank to inform that my application has been rejected due to a non-payment of my HSBC credit card. Wait a minute. I cancelled my credit card application before I even got the cards, how can I be charged for it?

Bank #2
So I called HSBC's customer service call centre to check this allegation. They confirmed that the cards had been cancelled, but it was only this year because I had not paid the annual charges. How can I pay the annual charges, I cancelled the cards and therefore, never received any statement! The CSA at the call centre was not very helpful. She kept asking for my previous home address when I was in JB and then told me to personally go to the nearest branch to settle the payment.

Bank #3
Before I lost more money to pay for non-existing cards, and because Suami Terchenta would not stop bugging me to save extra money this month to go to our first new house (dammit, I feel like cancelling the house purchase with all this financial hey-pening) I stopped by my bank to deposit half of my salary (bye-bye Bali anniversary getaway! Uwaaa!!) into ASB.

Back to why HSBC is the best when it comes to customer service...
HSBC Bukit Bintang branch is in Menara Genesis. To reach there, stop at Monorail Bukit Bintang station and walk a few metres and cross the road to a building with a big, hard-to-be-missed HSBC signboard. The bank occupied 5 levels (if not mistaken) and customer service is at Level 3. I like the way the bank makes everything personalized. Each CSA has their own desk which is kept sparsely from each other, so customers can have the privacy to air their banking problem.

I met with the Customer Service Manager himself, and he was ever so helpful. After giving a short recount of my problem, he immediately picked up the phone to contact the credit centre and checked the amount that is still accredited to my so-called closed account. In total, I was supposed to pay RM240+ before I can bid adieu to my problem. I bit my bottom lip and immediately switched mode to the rarely used 'damsel in distress' expression. It usually works. Including in this situation.

A few minutes later, he delivered the good news - my account has been cleared and all payment waived! No more blacklist from the bank! I can now go to as many aunties as I want to borrow money! Yippee!

I thanked the Customer Service Manager profusely and asked for a confirmation letter to show to Bank #1 that I have solved the credit card problem. Now, that's what I called 'First Class Service'. Kudos to HSBC Customer Service division! :)
Siang tadi.
Aku sedang bersuka-ria dengan Photoshop Brush baru sebok bekerja.
PA Trump datang. Seperti biasa, periksa supaya staff tidak curi tulang.
Tiba-tiba dia datang ke tempat aku.
Aku lekas-lekas sambung kerja.
Tapi dia tak berganjak. Dia letakkan hp atas meja.
Dan RM10.

'Tolong topup.'
Erk? Aku musykil sekejap.
Macamana PA Trump boleh tahu aku seorang usahawan topup?
Nampaknya berita tersebar dengan luas.
Aku?
Pasti sangat gembira.
2 minit kemudian, topup telah diisi.
PA Trump sambung meronda2 bagi pihak Trump.
Aku sambung explore Photoshop.
Cerita tamat.
(Entri ini ditujukan kepada Photoshopolic seperti aku)

Dalam pengembaraan alam maya hari ini, saya terjumpa sebuah website untuk download Photoshop Brush macam ini:

Sumber: www.brusheezy.com

Saya rasa seperti dapat durian runtuh! Kerana aktiviti salin-menyalin ini adalah percuma secara sah di sisi undang2 (baca berita hari ini: pemuat turun tidak sah akan didenda RM50,000) jadi saya menjadi rakyat berhemah yang memuat turun secara agresif dari website ini. Syabas diucapkan kepada website owner ini.

Kalau ada lagi website yang offer add-ons Photoshop percuma, saya sangat berharap2 agar korang akan berkongsi maklumat itu (Peringatan: Kedekut info tidak mendatangkan manfaat kepada sesiapa) ^_^

Sekian.
My CLK's (Cute Little Kriss) lubricant oil has been leaking for the past few days. We kept saying that we will go to the workshop to get it checked, but we were too lazy to get out of the house last weekend :p

So we only went today after work. We headed to the motorcycle workshop near our house. The last time we went there to change the oil, we were given good service. And to find a good workshop nowadays are not really an easy task.

Anyway, the mechanic informed us that it's probably the gasket which is causing the problem. Besides, CLK has not been fully serviced since... last year? :p

When it comes to choosing the lubricant oil, we always opt for Shell Advance SX2. We really can feel the difference :) For more tips, maybe you can check out this site.

To cut the story short, in total we will have to fork out RM100 to get the gasket changed, another refill of lubricant oil and a complete service on the engine. Ok, CLK. We know you deserve it. Go ahead and splurge.

Since the complete work will only be finished tomorrow afternoon, we had to walk back home. Suami terchenta was so tired that he slept early tonight. Kesian.

Siang tadi, aku concentrate bekerja bersungguh2. Sebab ada 2 poster yang perlu disiapkan untuk die-mail ke JB. Nasib baik hari ini jiwa aku sangat artistik. Dan... Aku perlu mengaku. Sebenarnya konsep ini bukan idea original aku. Aku sangat heart stripe dan bila aku jumpa di Internet, lantas aku mencilok idea bernas ini. Syabas, diri-sendiri! *tepuk bahu diri-sendiri

Well, sebenarnya kerana aku perlu siapkan dalam 2 jam sahaja sebelum dihantar ke printer. Masa yang suntuk itu, ditambah keringat disumbang secara relapaksa tanpa upah ekstra (mana bonus tahun ini???) memandangkan graphic design bukan skop pekerjaan, menjadikan aku seorang designer cetak rompak. Sigh. Tapi aku takkan serik untuk buat lagi :p

Nota kaki & tangan: Ada satu lagi design tapi aku malas nak sambung. Perlu buat business presentation yg lebih utama. Dan... bos aku baru mengkhabarkan berita gembira. Kalau ada rezeki (kalau betul2 terjadi, sebab sebelum ni pun Trump penah janji tapi tak penah2 jadi), kami mungkin akan menghadiri course di luar negara. Kalau betul, so suami terchenta, saya mahu awak renew passport secepat mungkin. Kita berbulan madu di Eropah sahaja!

… I have to change info on 2 designs, and 1 new design to do. 2 of the designs to upload on website by Friday. All have to be sent to JB by today.

And I have 1 business presentation to prepare. Luckily the other project’s meeting has been postponed to tomorrow.

*Claw my eyes out*

I’m so bogged down.

One fine day, one couple went shopping at Jusco. At Jusco, they decided to buy a house. Other people go to Jusco to buy smaller things, but they went there and bought a house. Other people save up a lifetime to buy their dream house, but this couple, this crazy couple, bought a house without any savings at all except for the savings to go to their dream honeymoon in Bali.

It was just one of my many impromptu habits of waking up one day and saying, ‘Hey, let’s do something outrageous.’ Like buying a house without any money for the downpayment.
(Before this incident, I once decided to go to Australia, called my dad to give me some money and then boarded a flight to Melbourne.)

Luckily, it was a university-sponsored trip then. And luckily, in this scenario now, we only need to pay RM1000 for downpayment. That means that we have to apply for full housing loan.

To be honest, after that, I felt scared sh*t. Like, omigosh, are we ready to own a house??? What about kids? We haven’t saved up for kids! What about that gung-ho statement ‘I’m-quitting-my-job-no-matter-what-happens’? Now cannot-quit-no-matter-what!

Then again, I persuaded myself that this is totally the right thing to do. Properties in KL are not getting any cheaper. Anytime, we might get kicked out of our rented house, if the owner decided to occupy the place. Or, we might be forced to pay higher rentals in subsequent years and we are not even getting anything at the end of the day! So, buy a house now while it’s still affordable!

We’ve gone through several housing loan brochures and have submitted our documents to one bank we felt is the most competitive. But, if anyone of you out there who had purchased a property under construction (an apartment, to be precise) and have any advice on which loan is the best, please drop comments. We really appreciate it!

JEN’S GOT A BOYFRIEND! JEN’S GOT A BOYFRIEND! JEN’S GOT A BOYFRIEND! =)
Attention!
Kepada sesiapa yang baca story ini, lepas tu ingat aku dah jadi mak duyong pregnant, harap segera buat pembetulan otak di wad sakit mental, Batu 7. Sebenarnya ini ialah dialog yang dipanggil ‘family planning’. Segala kesulitan adalah ditanggung sendiri. Terima kasih!
Akhir-akhir ini, kami selalu berbincang soal yang serius. Soal anak.Atau sebenarnya.Aku selalu berbincang soal yang serius. Nama bakal anak.Malam semalam, lepas membaca bedtime story book (katalog IKEA!), kami berbual-bual sebelum berguling2 mendodoikan mata.Topik yang sama dibincangkan.
Aku: Tahun depan, kalau ada rezeki dapat Little Carneyz, kita nak beri nama apa?Suami Terchenta (separa sedar): Hmm..? Tak tau. Berilah nama yang ada makna.Aku: Orang suka nama ‘Aleeya’. Orang suka nama ‘Ayeesha’ juga, tapi mesti mak tak setuju.Suami Terchenta: Aleeya tu ada maksud ke?Aku: Tak tau lagi. Besok la Google <-- em=""> jawapan standard!Suami Terchenta: … (ntah apa2 la wife aku nih)Aku: Ada jiran kiteorang kat Bintulu dulu, nama anak dia semua start dengan huruf ‘Q’.Suami Terchenta: Hmm? Macam nombor plet kereta Sarawak je?
(Gedebuk! Suami Terchenta dibantai dengan sebiji bantal busuk)
Aku: Serius la! Kalau kita nak bagi nama anak, mesti la ada persamaan… baru orang tau dieorang adik-beradik!Suami Terchenta: …Aku: Pastu member orang ni, nama dia Mediha (hi Mediha!), suami dia nama Wan. Pastu nama anak dieorang Wan Mikhail. W & M welcomes WM. Sweet kan? Kalau kita nak ikut cam dieorang, kita nak bagi nama apa yang start ngan J ngan K?Suami Terchenta: Oklah <-- span=""> dengan nada tegas dan yakin!Aku: Ok, apa?Suami Terchenta: Kita bagi nama anak kita… JK Rowlings.
Aku: (terasa macam nak belasah dia sekali lagi, tapi tak jadi sebab rasa geli hati yang amat sangat. Dasar si Spongebob Squarepants!)
On second thoughts, kalau nama anak kami JK Rowlings binti Junaidix, kami boleh la jadi super millionaire! *ibubapa materialistik!*
Hari ini... stress lagi cari brand sample. Kepala dah terasa nak pecah!

Shopping! Siapa tak suka shopping, sila terjun bangunan! Sebenarnya, aku suka shopping. Tapi keadaan kewangan tak selalu mengizinkan. Aku suka shopping di Ikea. Kalau aku kaya macam Paris Hilton, aku akan beli Ikea. I love Ikea! (Iklan: Next month wedding anniversary kami yang pertama, sila hadiahkan barang2 dari Ikea kepada sesiapa yang belum belikan hadiah wedding utk kami :p Muahaha!)

Tapi, yang aku tak suka ialah projek latest ini. Projek shopping mall. Trump mahu buat shopping mall. Jadi, selepas brainstorming nama2 untuk shopping mall ni (termasuk ‘Kepak’. Hahaha!), beberapa nama dah di shortlisted. Oleh sebab aku seorang sahaja kaum Hawa di dalam bilik meeting (dan kaum Hawa ialah penyumbang nombor 1 di shopping mall!), jadi Trump suruh aku pilih nama untuk shopping mall itu. WALIOWEH! Berapa kali korang berpeluang menamakan shopping mall dalam seumur hidup korang???

Probably my best working experience so far. Pilih nama shopping mall. Walaupun sebenarnya aku lebih suka nama yang ada perkataan ‘Avenue’. Aku suka bangat word ‘Avenue’ itu. Gaya, mutu, keunggulan.

Tapi kan. Itu sahaja experience yang aku suka. Lepas tu, everything is extra work for me. Sebab aku kuli. Jadi, aku yang kena buat semua kerja (Sila rujuk posting lama2 tentang kerja). Never mind. Bukankah aku akan ‘membelahkan’ diri dari sini tak lama lagi? *Menghitung hari dan jari*.

Jadi aku bersabar sahajalah.

Petang tadi. Kami meeting pasal shopping mall ini lagi. Branding consultant itu menyerahkan proposal design dan concept. Secara jujur aku ingin bagitau mereka…

I don’t like your designs. Pergi buat balik.

Tapi, mereka consultant kesukaan Trump. Kalau aku tersalah cakap, secara tak langsung, aku menempah tiket maut. Maka bonus yang ditunggu-tunggu tu akan melambai selamat tinggal kepada aku.

Have to be very careful nowadays.

Korang bayangkan design mereka sangat hambar. Ada satu warna dengan tone berbeza. Dan ada logo. That’s all.

Bagi aku apa-apa yang berkaitan dengan shopping mall mesti lah exciting. Mestilah promote lifestyle. So design harus masukkan elemen FUN, LIFESTYLE, EXCITEMENT. Design untuk marketing material shopping mall mesti CLASSY, STYLISH, TRENDY. Mesti buatkan shoppers rasa, ‘Wow! Tempat ni ada style-lah!’ Something like Pavilion KL punya brand identity. Classy.

Jadi, untuk idea brilliant aku itu, aku pulak yang kena carikan sample. Kalau macam tu, better aku yang dibayar gaji consultant? Betul tak?

P/S: Why nobody wants to hire me??? L

Finally!
I signed up for yoga.
After almost a year of giving lame excuses to myself, postponing, trying to psycho myself and doing a bit of research on the its benefits, I finally found a good place to kickstart my involvement in yoga. A nice cozy studio that caters for women and children only, located in Jalan Telawi, Bangsar. As usual, my decision is made at-the-spur-of-the-moment; I called up the studio owner last Friday and on Monday, I was there for my first class. The initial investment set me back at RM300 (oh, for the sake of toned arms and body!) for a yoga mat, annual fee of RM35 and the foundation programme 8 sessions at RM200. Not to forget a new track-bottom and tight leggings which I wore inside in case the track-bottom slid down when we have to do one of those legs-up-in-the-air movement.
I changed at the office at 6pm, and by 6.30pm Suami Terchenta came to fetch me. We were rather early; the studio hadn’t even opened yet. About 10 minutes later, an Indian man came, unlocked the door and after two minutes of bickering discussing on whether to go inside, we went up after the man. It turned out that he was the instructor. I was taken aback. How am I going to take off my headscarf when doing yoga if the instructor is a man? I was doubtful and was prepared to leave with Suami Terchenta. Then again, what the heck, I’ll just keep my headscarf on if that’s the case, what’s the big deal. That was how determined I am to keep my yoga resolution.
Back to more than a year ago
It was Abby’s idea to start yoga. Abby is my school best chum, and she has been practising yoga for more than a year. On her last visit to KL, she kept harping about the benefits of yoga. Relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, tone up body, improve flexibility and most importantly, lift up your mood. Everyone knows I’m such a moody person. Wouldn’t it be great that after going through yoga, I’d turn into a chirpy bunny? Wait a minute. Bunnies don’t chirp. But they are happy happy lot, that’s my point. Plus, who knows that from yoga, I’ll be ready to join physical activities such as jogging and playing sports? My next year’s resolution will be to become more active physically (a.k.a. lose more weight).
Coming back to yesterday
I came to the studio yesterday for my first two sessions in the foundation programme. For the first session, there were me and another girl which I think her name is Savithri. She speaks eloquent English with a bit of British accent and she explained that she signed up with her sister but missed the first class because she had just come back from the UK. That made me feel slightly inferior – this girl must be a high-powered career woman and I am just an ordinary executive *feel small*. When the lesson started, I pushed out the negative thought so I can focus on the instructor’s instructions. We started with relaxing our mind and our body as we lie down on our yoga mat. The idea is to clear out all irrelevant thoughts, emptying our minds to prepare for the exercise. After relaxation, we sat up to do the eye practise - looking up, down, right and left – without moving our head. Then we did neck practise, rotating our neck around slowly. After that, we sat cross-legged and were taught the proper way of breathing.
‘Think of a balloon… As air comes in, the balloon expands. As the air goes out, the balloon contracts. When you watch a baby sleep, you will see that when he breathes in, his stomach swells up as air fills in. And when he exhales, his stomach goes down as air goes out. This is the proper way of breathing.’
When we both have mastered this, we went to the next level – the ‘sun salutation’ steps. The step starts with standing straight. Then as we breathe deeply, we raise our hands until our elbows are straight above our head, then we clasp our palms flat together towards our chest as we exhale. Inhale, the hands go up again and we arch our upper body as far back as we can. Exhale and we go down to touch the floor while standing with straight knees. Inhale and we kneel with one leg to the back. It goes on until we complete the steps in sequence. The first try was pretty bad. I can’t arch back, my fingers can’t reach the floor, I was often off-balance. As we repeated for several times, the movements become more fluid and easier to do. That was for the first class.
For the second session, there were five students in the class. I noted that the other ladies are all slim and have great figures. I instantly felt like Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty. Then again. Oh Carneyz, just shut up and focus on the yoga steps.
We repeated the exercises in the first session, and then moved on to more complex steps. Raise our feet up in the air while breathing in. Then slowly let down our feet while exhaling. Easy? Not if you have heavy legs and weak stomach muscles.
At the end of the yoga session, surprisingly my body feels a lot more relaxed and refreshed while my mind is clearer and lighter. I really enjoyed my first class and look forward to the second class. Only thing is, I wish I have a friend to accompany me for these classes. Then at least when there’s a need for a partner, I won’t be the only odd one out. And even though the other ladies are nice and polite, it’s very obvious that they are not interested to become friends. They already have their friend / sister who signed up with them. Or they are there to do yoga and nothing more.
So, kalau ada kawan2 yang teringin nak join yoga tapi takde teman, jom la join yoga. Best tau. Lebih2 lagi kalau yang kerjanya stress J

We were staring at the news release in The Star incredulously. Me, Trump, my boss, the Finance GM. All standing and looking as if a cat had swallowed our tongues. A famous cat with red and white fur.

 

‘How dare they make such claims?’ Trump started.

‘With them, we are not too surprised. Their lies can be phenomenal.’ My boss quipped in.

‘What 1b?’ the Finance GM nearly choked on the figure.

‘Where 1b?’ Asked Trump.

‘This 1b.’ I jabbed a finger at the statement.

‘What 1b?’ the Finance GM was near hysterical. ‘They owe us, not invest in us that figure!’

‘The ‘bee’ in their bonnet la. That stung their brains.’ I grinned.

‘You think of something to respond to this.’ Trump gave the order and left.

‘Can I leave the counter-attack to you?’ my boss asked.

I flexed my fingers – fingers that will be responsible for the war of words in this vicious corporate battle. My fingers that will shape sentences dripping with sarcasm; sharp and piercing words to cut deeply into our opponents’ PR defence. How dare they lie to the world about what an angel they are when in truth, they are the reason why I didn’t get my Raya bonus this year.

‘Of course. Leave the battle to me. I have a double-edge strategy that I will develop further to counter their claims.’

Which reminds me why I was a debater before. I love a good fight. Especially when you throw words around.

Aku baru masak bubur. Bubur ntah apa2, aku main campak je bahan2 dalam
periuk (udang, bebola daging, udang kering, bla2x). Harap2 sedap.
Suami terchenta tak larat nak makan makanan pejal. Jadi kena masak
bubur untuk dia.
Harap2 suami terchenta cepat sembuh. Berdoa supaya bubur yang aku
masak membuka selera suami terchenta masa sahur besok. Amin...
Suami terchenta jatuh sakit. Demam panas. Huhu... Aku sangat risau. Rasa bersalah jugak. Sebab apa? Well...

Semalam. Aku berjaga sampai dinihari, siapkan design e-kad dari kami berdua (nanti kami akan hantar kepada semua teman2). Semalam, bila suami terchenta balik dari solat terawih, dia mengadu sakit kepala. Aku ingatkan dia pura-pura nak bermanja. Sebab dia selalu sakat aku :p Aku tak pedulikan rengekan suami terchenta, terus berhempas-pulas buat design e-kad yang dia minta. Akhirnya dia tertido di sofa. Seperti biasa. Aku isteri yang jahat.

Pagi tadi. Buat pertama kali, aku tak sediakan sahur. Sebab aku terlalu mengantuk! Aku minta suami terchenta sediakan dua gelas minuman nestum. Lepas tu aku tido balik. Bangun untuk solat, dan tido lagi. Aku kepenatan tahap cipan.

Bila aku bangun, suami terchenta terdampar di atas sofa. Badannya panas. Aku kata pada suami terchenta, please jangan demam. Aku perlu pergi shopping raya hari ni. Tapi dia terus demam. Aku letakkan tuala basah atas dahi suami terchenta beberapa kali. Dengan harapan suhu badannya akan turun dan kami boleh keluar bershopping. Minggu lepas kami tak berkesempatan keluar di hujung minggu. Aku sudah bosan tahap dewa. Aku mesti keluar berlibur atau aku naik gila! Minggu ni aku sangat stress dan aku perlu retail therapy. Huhu...!

Petang. Suami terchenta terus terbaring. Demam. Aku masuk bilik air, cuba untuk tak jerit kuat2. Aku sangat tension duduk di rumah sepanjang hari. Kalau aku keluar sendiri, maksudnya memang sah aku isteri yang jahat. Suami terchenta jatuh sakit, aku pulak bergumbira di Jusco. Sungguh tak berpatutan! Jadi aku terus tension di rumah.

Lepas asar. Aku sudah tension sampai menangis. Bermacam-macam fikiran negatif mengasak kepala otak. Lalu aku tarik nafas dalam-dalam. Aku capai tafsir Al-Quran, cuba untuk tenteramkan diri dan cari petunjuk. Lalu aku jumpa sepotong ayat. Jadi malu sendiri. Aku tutup kitab, berdoa panjang-panjang dan keluar untuk mengejutkan suami terchenta.

Kesian suami terchenta, boleh dapat wife macam aku. Sungguh tak berpatutan. Selalu aku rasa sangat selfish. Kenapa aku selalu mementingkan diri-sendiri? Terpandang suami terchenta kelihatan lesu. Aku kejutkan dia, basahkan tuala dan lap seluruh badannya. Biar sejuk sikit. Lepas tu, dia solat dan aku ajak dia ke klinik. Suami terchenta berkeras nak pergi gathering buka puasa. Aku pun tak larat nak tahan. Lalu kami pergi, tapi sebelum tu singgah di klinik untuk ambil ubat.

Gathering. Suami terchenta sangat lesu, kesejukan. Tapi badannya panas. Aku belikan Coolfever, letakkan di dahi. Lepas berbuka, kami terus balik ke rumah. Suami terchenta mengadu, badannya lenguh-lenguh. Aku urut-urut dengan minyak panas, lepas tu beri dia minum air zamzam (thanks Shai, bawakan air zamzam) dan biarkan dia tidur. Kesian suami terchenta. Hopefully besok dia akan sehat semula.
... is when I completed the promo design and newsletter writing waaaayyyy before the deadlines:





Sorry guys, been busy lately with work and more work and more work. Will be off for Hari Raya leave for a long time so work has to be completed as early as possible :)

For the past few months, I have been working hard on closing a deal on website advertising with a third-party system provider in Singapore. Working hard means I have scouted around for the service providers, got in touch with them, provided and collected data, met face-to-face, proposed layout design, discussed with web agency on integration works, and then became the middle person between Legal department and third party to finalise the agreement. And this A-Z works are just a tiny part of my work.

Finally, last Friday I was ready to show Trump that my department is not just a cost-centre. We are BOTH cost centre and revenue-generating unit. Perhaps, he won’t be so hard in giving his approvals, which will be good news for my successor once I am ready to re-hand in my resignation letter. On my part, that’s something to gloss up my resumé. ‘Despite being a cost-centre, I succeed in contributing monthly revenue for the company.’

With flushed face and thumping heart, I sat in front of Trump and said, ‘I bring you good news, Datuk. We have managed to get in website ads in our website, which translates into a revenue forecast of RMXk per month.’ I can hear Trump’s brain gearing into motions as he comprehended my rushing words. ‘What is this Carneyz talking about? Revenue? More RM? Cost centres don’t generate any revenues…’ and I had to explain in bits and pieces of how I started the whole project, how does the mechanism works, and showed him the memo & the finalised agreement.

He was, undeniably very pleased at this news. ‘Very good. RMXk? Good work.’ Were his two replies. He signed the agreement and studied the memo intently for a minute.

Then…

‘Don’t you think our website looks too cluttered? I find things all over the place. Don’t you think so? Why isn’t the Business section updated? Didn’t you ask from the related departments for feeds? I want it updated by end of this month!’

Suddenly he shot all these questions to us endlessly. It was as if we had wrestled the compliments out of his mouth, of which he had regained the control of his brain from our evil clutches and back to being Trump. The Trump who criticizes and then gives us the axe, and our heads roll out of his office back to where they belong. In a lowly ghetto.

This is probably my 1,865,394th reason to quit and look for a real job (instead of acting like a slave) - the fact that getting appreciated verbally is already hard enough, let alone getting salary increments.