Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas At The Mall.

Being the good housewife house-child that I've been for the entire month of November, I treated myself with a trip out to the mall with Edward yesterday. I'm not going to say anything about it because I'm sure his gonna blog about it soon (and post pictures as well!) and I'll just link it up here when he does. I have to mention though, I had a really good time with Casino Royale and lunch (and the inevitable roam at the mall) with him!

Anyway, entering the mall yesterday, after a whole month of wifely duties, I must say I was excited! What else when greeted at the main entrance, where dad dropped me, by extravagant Christmas decorations! My heart was practically jumping in amazement to see how fast the mall's creative team have decorated the place so beautifully and festively! Think of - a water fountain as the center piece, complete with a statue in the middle with flowing water and a place to sit around the fountain, a huge Christmas tree decorated with lovely green ornaments and lights, topped with a fairy (or cupid angel, I'm not sure), suspended in mid-air, and surrounded by many other smaller trees amongst old-fashioned lamp posts as the main attraction to greet shoppers! Though I don't really agree to the excessive usage of green elements, it still looks authentic to me.

After a while of good gaping at the piece they have put together, I headed to cold storage, looking for some breath mints or a can of drink since I arrived earlier than planned. Instead of seeing the usual domestic household items decked obstructively, behind the cashiers for I-have-too-much-money-and-time housewives to buy them, it was replaced by boxes of candy canes, chocolates and Christmas baubles, all wrapped up i
n green and red packages, arranged neatly and uniquely according to the festive mood, waiting for the next shopper to pick them up! Venturing further into the place, it's hard to miss the fact that there was a couple shopping for Christmas trees, laid out at the intersection of multiple rows of lanes of diary products and the likes.

Plastic Christmas trees, to be exact, from 3ft till 6ft tall, decked in their boxes with price tags on them. Certainly not the likes of picking out the perfect and shopping for a real tree in the cold snow before having them delivered to our already deco
rated houses complete with a warm fire but it still gives it that tinge of reality in the world we're living in. I have no qualms about it. After all, I've been using the same old plastic tree, stashed away in the storeroom after every Christmas till the next year for almost 5 years now! Anyway, to the left and right of the stack of boxes hung countless of packages of Christmas decorations (items), ranging from mock wreaths and candy canes to electrical lights and the shining star to add into the glorious touch to the tree!

Darn, I was so tempted to get one of those shiny, glittery ornaments to add into my collection, if not the glowing plastic star to put on my tree this year, considering how worn out the current tree ornaments that I own look like now! Kind of disappointing when I don't have the extra cash to spare and I could only tell myself that getting anything as near as a box of chocolates for myself this Christmas would be counted as unnecessary spending, if not, causing a big hole through my pocket. Yes, I am that broke and I'm not complaining about it! So all I had to do was to look away and walk away, after a few moments worth of imagining how beautiful the tree would look this year with that added star! There goes my Christmas wishlist and probably, no Christmas shopping this year. Pfft, Christmas shopping is overrated anyway!

Things got a little better when I heard them playing instrumental Christmas carols in their P.A. system! It was kind of unexpected to me - kind of surprising too! Apparently, I'm not the only who's in a rush waiting impatiently for Santa Christmas to come! Honestly, I thought I was insane to be listening to Christmas carols at the beginning of November (or maybe October?) but I don't feel that strange anymore now that I know the public's been receiving the celebration well too, or maybe a little bit too early. I suppose as Malaysians, we're pretty used to the four celebrations all jammed up in close proximity that when Hari Raya was over this year, there's nothing else to look forward to celebrating other tha
n Christmas! Come to think of it, the whole mall and the shops in it are all playing Christmas carols and graced with mini Christmas trees or other seasonal elements! Isn't it a good time for business? Best time of the year, they say!

Seeing how the malls (possibly non-Catholics and non-believer of Christ) are awaiting the Christmas cheer, it really ticks me off that I haven't even got my own tree up yet! The Christmas carols are a sure thing but the tree is not up yet! How could this happen?! To top that, I haven't been doing any prior preparations to welcome the celebration also. No wreaths, no mistletoe, no stockings on the walls! OMG! This is a crisis! Haven't even received any Christmas cards yet, unlike yesteryears. At this time, usually,
cards filled with love and warmth come pouring in from the people who care and also, from people who don't care! Seriously, cards with images of sparkling diamonds, filled with brochures of promotions on the newest edition of rings and bracelets from Habib Jewels or tempting end year sales promotion from GAMA? Blame mom for having so many cards!

Damn it, I've got to start preparing! There're still so many cookie recipes I haven't tried out yet! And there's the spring cleaning that needs to be carried out and the house decorations (the tree is not considered decoration!) and the shopping for
presents (for family members, not for myself!) and so much more! Have I mentioned choir and caroling to various hotels? I'm still unsure if akak's going to come back tomorrow! I mean if she doesn't, my plans for this Christmas will be undoubtedly be affected, one way or another. Christmas sounds nice and easy but no one knows the trouble behind it all. Well, not exactly trouble, but the work behind it all. Oh well, I guess this is what makes Christmas, Christmas! Well, at least I have a little Christmas mood going on on my desktop (not to mention my playlist!).

Gee... I wish I could prepare a meal like that for Christmas...

PS: I can see Edward (if not, anyone reading this) rubbing his forehead, frowning at my Christmas rants by now. I mean, he's always giving me that weird look (somewhere between a frown, a scowl and a sigh) when I get all excited about Christmas! Anyway, this is what happened yesterday.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tenant Troubles?

Ever since I had temporary tenants at my home, I've been having a lot of people visiting my home lately. It seems to me that poh poh's some sort of human relatives magnet, attracting relatives from near and far to come see her. I was even surprised when amah said she wanted to come over and visit poh poh, which she did, yesterday. Seh yi has also been frequently visiting, making an effort to come from her home to spend some time with poh poh on afternoons, bringing Amelia along. While seh yi chats with poh poh, we will be taking turns to carry her in our arms or we just spend the entire time watching her poop, being fed or even cry (feisty one!)! I figured, if there's anything in the world that's worth you stopping for a moment to just watch and stare at, it's babies!

Through her many visits, and enthusiastically watching her change diapers and being fed, I realized that having a baby is something similar to owning a tamagotchi or a digimon or a pet (online or real) for that matter. Being me, I had all of the mentioned before. We go through all the trouble, emptying our pockets to purchase them and to take full responsibility on them (remember what you said to your mama when you wanted to bring that stray cat in?). After successfully managing to call it our own, we have to feed them, clean them, watch them, play with them and just wait for them to sprout fur, wings or superpower before we let them die after the lost of interest! Only in this case, babies are lifetime responsibilities and we only wait for it to sprout longer limbs besides watching them turn into pompous and annoying little devils!

Speaking of which, Edmund is undoubtedly one of those over-fortunate, spoilt little asses! Since Danushya came crashing our party to stay with us for the holidays, Edmund has been doing nothing else but filling his time with all the play he can get! Edmund has been taking every opportunity to pull that poor girl Danushya by the hand and make her play with him. Anything you can think off - PlayStation, UNO Cards, UNO Stacko, Monopoly, etc. Mind you, we do have a seemingly large collection of board games and puzzles over the years. He was going to get Twister out but after I lied to him about me throwing in it away since it tore the last time I played it, he decided to settle with Monopoly instead. Strange though,
eventhough she complains and whine at the beginning, Danushya seems to be happy when playing with Edmund.

A couple of nights ago, Edmund got this whole playing thing a little too far into his head. Carina was over for the night and we just finished a game of UNO cards and were preparing to go to bed, when Edmund started saying that he wanted to have a round of Monopoly. Danushya and Carina weren't being cooperative, seeing how boring Monopoly could be at 12a.m. which brought Edmund to a chant of some sort, going, "I wanna play, I wanna play, I wanna play, I wanna play!" It was nevertheless annoying and irritating because when I chose to ignore it, it really got on my nerves. Children just seem to be gifted when it comes to annoying chants, hysterical screams, hissy fits and

Carina covered herself with the blanket and went to sleep while Danushya left the room to go sleep with poh poh. I on the other hand, challenged him to the game when he refused to stop chanting. There were moments when I just wanted to storm out the room and wake dad up to fix him but instead, I laid out everything and even handed him the fake money and made him throw the dice. I mean, I really could do it if he was up for it. After realizing how stupid this was, his chanting got lowered down and I quickly took the opportunity to pester him back to sleep, which he finally relented to. This is what happens when a child gets too much playtime. It wouldn't take long before he starts sleep-talking in his sleeps which could get out of hands at times.

Since Danushya's here, her family has also taken an effort to come back to Penang more often, proven when they came back on Friday only after returning to their home on Tuesday. Usually, when they come back, they'll put up at poh poh's 3 bedroom apartment but this time, given that their daughter was here, they decided to crash at my place for a couple of days. Not that they're unwelcomed or anything. It's just that I have to do extra work and also put up with more screams and yells of laughters from the children and cheerful adult conversations over the dining table. After all, I am beginning to look (and work) more like the suburban housewife that I've always dreamt of being! The perfectionist Bree Van de Kamp or the busy Lynette Scavo?

The bottom line is, I've been pretty much spending (short and sleepless) nights at the living room, squeezed in with Carina and kai ma (she got the couch) and now, Grace. Yes, Carina and kai ma decided to crash in also, seeing that everyone's gathered here and I offered sam yi and her whole family my room, which pretty much explains the ache all over my body and the bags under my eyes. Besides, I kind of get the kick out of having to shift stone cold (literally!) bodies around the room in the dead of the night to get to my computer or just arrange them nicely so that everyone gets a space to sleep and then laughing to myself. Entertaining a crowd of hungry people and over-enthusiastic children also happens to be my specialty.

But the late night suppers and nearly-dawn bedtime really catches up with me sometimes, making me feel over the edge of bursting up into pieces and starts yelling at everyone to get out the house! Amazingly though, I do manage to keep a certain level of composure in front of my guests, wearing that smile only Bree does when I do feel like having an anxiety attack. See, the Chinese people (or maybe only this dysfunctional family) have this odd habit of gambling - yes, with poker cards and betting on real money with other relatives - especially on big occasions or the general get-together. I've always thought that it's a complete nuisance to be doing such a thing in front of all those little children, exposing them to the dangers of addictive gambling in the near future, but my cries fall on deaf ears. Strange way to catch up on family gossips, don't you think?

These people (who happens to be my family members) will gamble with all the time they've got (into senseless hours of the day!) as if gambling was the only last thing they'd like to do before the world comes to an end! They consider it as a way of bonding or catching up with one another but I think otherwise. Though, this sinful activity do (weirdly) manage to pull the most distant relatives back, and I've seen it happen more than once! It does get me worried at times that it might lead to a fight somewhere down the line, breaking family ties, but I'm hoping it would not, considering that the adults have a more rational thinking than we do. Oh well, might as well let it be what it is. Or maybe it's just in my nature that gambling and drinking doesn't appeal to me? I'd like to think that.

But anyway, they've all gone back - they still have jobs to attend to and for sam yi, being a teacher, she still has examinations going on - and the house only remains my initial temporary tenants. There is, of course a certain level of peace and quite that was longed for for the past couple of days, left for me to enjoy. Hell, that's the only reason why I could even write this without the constant blabbering of questions from one of the little cousins of mine or attempts of tiny little hands to master the keyboard! Certainly no more gambling and no more huge masses of hungry people to feed. I guess when you have a huge family, tolerance really do come into play a lot. Patience is a virtue. I still love having relatives coming around! Just that, I'll have to be more prepared the next time they decide to drop a bomb! Maybe I might have to run to the nearest pharmacy to get my supply of A.D.D pills?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Temporary Tenants.

Poh poh got discharged on Tuesday and after what seemed like an argument heated discussion between mom's siblings, they decided that it was the best for poh poh to come live with us - at least for a couple of weeks before she goes back to her place. Damn, they must know I'm getting good at this househusband thing! So as it appears, I have to see to her medication, her herbal tea, bathe time and her other needs while balancing out the mountainous heap of laundry apart from everything else. Not that she's incapable of any of those above, it's just that mom thinks it's best she has someone to be disposed at any time to aid her in whatever it is she does. Not to the extend of tailing her back everywhere she goes, though. After all, it's just appendix and the doctor only restricted her from lifting heavy things.

Either way, poh poh isn't really the type of person who only tinkles the bell while everyone runs around the house like headless chickens making her wishes their orders. At least, not with me. Or she just simply doesn't like to think of herself as the disabled one, asking her children (and grandchildren) for little favors, although mom has given her full authority to boss me around. I mean, she kept saying, "No need lah," in Hakka while brushing the idea off with her hand when mom drilled me on what needs and need not to be done while I stood there and took in the orders like a little housemaid before she went for work. In layman terms, poh poh staying with me isn't exactly a pain in the neck. She doesn't require a lot of attention or anything for that matter. She's practically, dressed in her sleeping gown the entire day and only wakes up during meal times and bathroom breaks and when people come to visit. I'm just and extra hand lying around.

Which reminds me. I had an impromptu visit from sam yi - 3rd maternal aunt who's married to an Indian man whom we address as Uncle Rao (don't ask why) and has three children, aged 12, 7 and 5, lives in Kuala Kangsar, Perak and works as a teacher. She came back to Penang for a certain function and didn't have the chance to visit poh poh at the hospital, so she decided to drop by and trash the place before heading back home for Kuala Kangsar. Her visit with her entire family kind of took me aback as I wasn't informed or anything. I used to love it when distant relatives come for visits or sleepovers but I can't say the same this time. I was the one to entertain them and when they suddenly decided to stay for the night before heading off, I had to make the beds, take out the extra pillows and blankets and ensure the comfort. Mind you, I'm not complaining, but all these little things that I once took for granted certainly does make me miss having akak around.

Anyway, poh poh won't be the only temporary tenant around. Sam yi decided to let Danushya - her 12 year old daughter who looks way too big for a 12 year old and who happens to be my (official) godsister - stay with us, with the plain excuse of helping me around with poh poh. I assume she had discussed this matter with mom beforehand, when I didn't see mom's surprised expression or when she didn't stop to think about for a moment when sam yi informed her. Hey, I definitely do not need an extra hand if it was her real reason for staying! I've got everything under cover. She'll probably be here till Christmas, seeing that sam yi still has her examinations going on and the next time their family's going to make another trip back to Penang will be somewhere near Christmas. Don't get me wrong. Not that I don't appreciate an extra hand, if the extra hand was really handy in the first place.

Danushya is pretty much still a small girl, albeit her size (not fat or plump, just big frames) who still has her whole life depending on her parents and her akak. From what I hear (family gossips), she doesn't even clean her own plates at home not that I do when akak's around, but I still know how to do it! Her independence level is still low and basic homemaking skills are a far cry when it comes to her. I mean, c'mon, she's 12, going through puberty and experiencing a lot of hormonal changes! Believe me, she could be a little too obsessed in her things like her mobile phone (tender age to get a mobile phone, don'tcha think?) which is, of course, totally made up. Sadly, her exaggerations are only practiced around the younger cousins (think of Edmund). Probably explains why I unintentionally let out a sarcastic laugh when dad told me she was coming over!

I think, the only reason she exaggerates about everything is to get the elder cousin's attention. See, among us cousins, different groups of different ages do different things. Let's say, Grace, Carina, Adrian and I don't go running around chasing each other with the plastic ninja swords during family gatherings while Edmund, Nic and Divya tries to assassinate each other with the toy gun (although there are times when we get really crazy and join in the fun!). Danushya is technically stuck in between, not knowing which groups to go to (but I swear she fits in better with the latter!). Added with her shyness, she's always left out in any games or outings (like Rudolph!). Not that we exclude her or anything, she's always refusing with every invite! And now that most of us has past those years where mobile phones were the thing we can't live with most, she's only getting on the wagon of sheer teenage stupidity. Oh well, the girl's gotta learn!

By the way, the renovators on the floor below mine are still drilling their walls and cutting tiles with the ever continuous annoying sounds of melodious music smashing and cutting! It only means, I still can't clear the dust-covered storeroom. If only it was that simple. It's not. When the storeroom can't be used, all the big kitchen utensils (think woks, pots, pans and chopping boards) will be left lying around the kitchen top, making the entire kitchen look downright turbulent! Everything is misplaced and everything looks very disorientated, leaving my visitors with the impression that the place turns into a madhouse without akak and making us all look plain bad. I've requested that I clean up the storeroom, whether or not they're done with their renovation but dad managed to stop me in time before I went on another cleaning rampage!

Speaking about the kitchen, the kitchen itself has invited some unwelcomed new tenants as well! I was going around with my daily routine, cleaning the kitchen today when I spotted the unmistakable line of moving tiny black ants! Damn it, pests! I was cleaning one of the top cabinets, wiping the exterior doors and handles before I realize all those creepy crawlies were all over the rag I was using which lead to me spotting the actual line of black house ants, making their way in between and into cabinets! I figured that I was too much of a detail oriented person to let these things pass me by when I opened the cabinet (use to keep extra light bulbs and batteries). So I got the insecticide and started wiping out all of those uninvited visitors! I couldn't spray the insecticide freely because below that particular cabinet was where we dry the plates and cups. I had to use it with extra precaution, spraying only a little bit at one time to avoid poisoning the rest of the family with insecticide!

Well, so much for my good news. Now I have an extra person to see to, although it seems that she's big enough to take care of herself, it's still my responsibility to see after her, ensuring she doesn't die of starvation or any of the likes, considering how shy she is. Still, I'm not saying she's another pain in the neck (I'll see that she isn't!). At least I know now that both my grandmothers aren't fugly wicked old witches with bad breath and horrifying teeth that bosses their grandchildren around, scaring the shit out of them! They most certainly are not. Oh well, I still have the whole house to clean tomorrow, to welcome Grace's homecoming. Probably my last time cleaning the house before I surrender everything to akak once more! Until then...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Good & The Bad.

The Good
I figured I can use a little good news to cheer me up here. After surviving last weekend, things are finally getting better. Poh poh was transferred to a private hospital (Loh Guan Lye Specialist Centre to be exact) on Friday itself after the doctor from Balik Pulau hospital was unable to figure out what's causing her stomache ache. It turns out, it was her appendix. It was inflamed and there was something about the word gangrene in her appendix. It proves that Balik Pulau Hospital is idiotic and poh poh's condition was classified as "emergency". She was rushed into the operating theater after diagnosis without the family member's consent. Fortunately for poh poh, her appendix was on the verge of bursting and the doctors managed to save it before the toxic spreads all over her body. Poh poh's currently recuperating in her ward and is looking forward to be discharged soon.

Speaking of which, my dear friend, Edward has finally been discharged from the hospital today, after 5 days of admittance, not to mention, 5 days of no bathing, hospital food and cold lonely nights! I visited him (twice) on Friday and Sunday.
When I went on Friday, he didn't even bother to sit up and he was still on drip and he looked awfully pale and meek. On Sunday, judging by the way he smiled that he could already sit up, he's getting better by the day. Or maybe it was because he finally got his wish fulfilled (his dad fulfilled his wish for him)? Either way, it did put a smile on me to see him get better! The good thing is, he's going home today, in fact, I just got a text from him that he's already home! I can't wait for him to get back online, considering he's practically the only one whom I speak to.

Enough hospital talk. Grace's examinations ended on Friday as well. And she's coming back by the end of the week! Oh, I can't wait! She'll be home for a month, till Christmas, I supposed. Unless, of course, if she decides to return to KL suddenly. Grace has told us to wait for her to put up the Christmas tree and being the obedient little brothers as we are, Edmund and I are waiting patiently for her return. Can't actually remember when was the last time she ever helped us with the tree. But she promised us this time! The only reason why she's only coming back at the end of the week is because she's following Joe's ride - Joe, who is currently pursuing Engineering in Johor Bahru and is still on a relationship (a relationship that I doubted will last at the beginning) with my sister. Going strong, I suppose? =P

Another thing also, akak's coming back at the end of the month! Last time, it was 10 days before her tearful departure. But this time, it's 10 days before her long awaited return! Damn, time does fly! I'll be saying goodbye to my housewife routine soon! That is IF she comes back. Oh, trust me, we do have our doubts when it comes to this matter. After all, she's only human. I guess most of us just wish to shut it off and look at the positive possibilities. Only time will tell. But I was only beginning to get used to waking up at 8a.m. (sometimes later) to empty the laundry basket into the washing machine and then cleaning and dusting the furnitures, and later, fluffing all the pillows and making the bed before I settle down with some toast and chicken soup for breakfast, before I continue with more cleaning and later, inserting the laundry into the dryer and after that collecting it to be folded for ironing. Busy busy life of a housewife househusband, isn't it?

Still I'm able to find time to attend meetings and for my computer. What can I say, I'm a good homemaker. The best thing about akak's return is that I can say goodbye to a diet of economical rice, fast food and instant noodles (and anything else that only requires 2 minutes of cooking time for that matter!). I just can't wait to taste something that isn't Ajinomoto filled or preserved before cooking! I'd rather not eat! Now that she'll be back (I assume) I can go back to the proverbial Chinese family meal that consists of 3 dishes and 1 soup (sam ko choi, yat ko tong in Cantonese) and rice. Unbelievably enough, I'm missing it. Believe me, burgers and fries won't take long before you start getting bored. Darn, it does get old sometime later!

Oh and did I mention? It's the first day of the school holidays! A whole month and a half book-free! Maybe not for some who are practically studying their ass off for next year's SPM. But not for me!

Moving on.

The Bad
So maybe this isn't that much of a bad news but... I've just finished the 3rd season of The O.C. and I'm absolutely speechless to see Marissa die in Ryan's arms! It was such a it-was-not-supposed-to-end-in-such-a-way ending! I mean, I knew she was going to die from the O.C. forums I joined but I didn't expect her to die in such a tragic way - dying from the car falling off a cliff onto another road with a head injury right after her graduation, on the way to the airport to start a new life with her dad! *sobs*. This cannot be happening. And to see Ryan's expression on his face to see her slip away in his arms was such a teary moment. Finally when things were going to get better between all of them, she dies! Damn it! Why does The O.C. always ends its season with deaths? Anyway, I deleted the show from my system this time without much hesitation and now I'm left with 11gb worth of space, which I'm waiting to fill up. Any suggestions?

The other thing is, the drilling of walls and mixing of cement is back! It's really annoying and irritating with the continuous sound. The worst thing is, it's dirtying the whole storeroom again! Back to square one! It has left everything covered in dust with a little content of cement and leaving the floor in the house powdery. I suppose dad and I will have to take sometime off somewhere between this week to get it cleaned again - going through the trouble of extracting every damn thing in there, giving it a thorough brushing and rearranging them back again! Only this time, I'm not putting back the box which contains the Christmas tree and the decorations that comes together in it!

I'm A Survivor!

It's surprising and profound how I actually managed to survive Christmas this weekend. I haven't got the chance to mention this before, thanks to all the numerous meetings I had to attend. I was the official (my name was printed as the photog in the itinerary) photographer for my school club's one-day camp (more like an activity day) and gathering. I had to cover for the whole day's event which started at 9a.m. and ended at 10p.m.. I was dreading this whole thing since the beginning of the week, when I was told by the club pompous president with his ridiculous sardonic tone! I wasn't sure if I could do the job well and you know, the self-esteem issue. To top that, the club took the liberty to hold numerous meetings all over the week, disregarding the fact that it was the final week of school!

So this entire has been a stressful one for me, juggling between house chores and club meetings, battling for time, almost everyday. You should know me by now that I get worried very easily - especially over small matter that doesn't require any second thoughts. I think I got this from mom! Damn it. As I've said before, I used to be the sleeping member (and still am) of every club and every society I joined in school. I was never bothered to attend any events, meetings or activities held by the club or society. Except for the scouting movement I joined when I was in Form 1 till Form 3. I was active in that. But other than that, I'd only make up lies to squirm my way through these feeble occasions. In shorter terms, I suck at my extra curricular activities (not that my academic is doing any better).

Today, I'm glad (and a little proud) that I didn't eve
n try to skip any of the events. It kind of proves that I was able to face through all the things I used to dread. It's like facing the music - only this time, it's not trouble. It's just extra work on a Saturday. Spent the entire Saturday firing my shutter in school. I had to run all over the different parts of school, covering different games at different times. Later, I had a short break from 5p.m. to go back and have a quick shower to make it for my lector's photoshoot. Initially, I was allowed to go back for that which was after mass, but since I was allowed home at 5p.m., I managed to attend mass as well. Killing two birds with one stone! I went back to school, after the short photoshoot, to cover for the night's gathering.

Apart from the sore feet I got at the end of the day, I realized that shooting in low light conditions aren't easy (I worked with an ISO of 200 and above!). Given that I do not have any external flash or anything else for that matter, I had to walk right up to the performers to take pretty unsightly shots of what's happening. Not to mention the awkward stares I get from the stands (my ears were practically burning hot!). Other than that, I was quite satisfied with an honest day's work. Well, I'm just happy that I pulled through the entire week without much complaining!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rude Awakening.

Would you look at the time. Although my eyes are searing in pain, I can't seem to get hold of the idea of sleeping. I've tried multiple times to go back to sleep, shutting my eyes tightly as if I was afraid of something but I just can't. I woke up at 3.21a.m. to be exact and I still have my whole day ahead of me. I have school to attend in a couple of hours, school club meeting to attend after that till late in the evening and church camp meeting to attend also after the school club meeting. Damn it! It's the last day of the school term before the month long holidays start and I'm as tied up as I would probably be at the beginning of the term. Usually, I'd make up lies (or you can say manipulating truth to make every event to seem to clash) to get out of these unruly teenager-managed meetings. But somehow, this time, I'm not. I don't feel like I've got the guts to do all that fidgeting in front of my superiors anymore.

Life is probably at its lowest point for me (I repeat, for me!) right now. My 2nd term examination results definitely don't look promising - or even near acceptable for that matter. Don't judge me here, just yet. When I complain about school, examinations, results and everything else that comes in that category, I do mean it. I don't complain just for the sake of complaining when my results are as good as everybody else's and if I was a diligent and obedient little student in the first place. Well, I'm not. Let's put it this way, the only thing I aim to score (or aim not to fail) in school is English. Anyway, mom still has no idea that this year the examination results are going to be mailed to our houses. It's the first time the school has ever implemented this ridiculous idea of informing the student's parents about their results through mail. Before this, it was us bringing the annual report book back for our parents to get their signature to approve that they've seen the book. Well, I think after years of dealing with forged signatures, the school decided to copy some foreign idea instead.

The only reason I'd say this whole system is ridiculous what it is is because the school management are requiring payment for the envelopes! How absurd. I mean, if you were going to do in the first place, might as well do it professionally. I guess not. They're even wanting us to pay for the cost of the stamps! Well, who am I to object and refuse to pay say no? So lately, mom has been pressing me on my examination results - slipping in sarcastic comments and snide remarks here and there in our daily conversations, pushing me to tell her my results, which she knew was going to suck. I haven't know all my results yet, but there have been a few subjects that the teachers have taken the liberty to spill the beans. And judging from those few, I'd say the whole examination was messed up. And when I told mom about how bad the situation was going to be, she never stopped nagging me from then on - telling me how I should be turning things around seeing that I have my (big) finals, next year. Let's not go deeper about that. It's already depressing enough that I have to attend school tomorrow.

You should know, I'm the kind of student who dreads the idea of school, every single day. It's surprising how I can still hate the idea of waking up at 6a.m. to get ready for school which starts at 7.25a.m. everyday despite the fact that I've been doing it for my whole life! I think it's something similar to adults dreading work. I'll never leave an opportunity lying around which allows me to skip school - wedding, party, church, you name it. I'll always take up any chores to skip school. Even when there's nothing for me as an excuse, I'd request to skip school when I feel like it. Yeah, a spoiled brat, I know. But I don't exercise it regularly or abuse the credibility, just so you know. Just when the occasional wave of laziness in me that makes me wish like I'd rather be a kid once again when life wasn't really all that hectic. So you can probably guess how much I skip school after the end year examinations, as there's nothing more to study till next year and attending school would be a waste of precious time, clicking away mindlessly on my computer. But this time it's different.

On Tuesday (or Wednesday, I can't remember), Edward texted me to say that he has got himself landed in the hospital. Which reminds me, I haven't even visited him yet! I knew he was sick a couple of days ago when I called his house and his mom picked up to tell me what was wrong with him. And now, he's in ward 304 in Island Hospital because of dengue! Other than his coarse voice over the phone, I suspect that he's fine. Due to that, he needed me to finish his assignment for him and pass it up - the incredulous and unimportant Additional Mathematics assignment that everyone has to complete before the school ends. I did nothing much, actually. Just tweaked a little here and there and printed another copy of my assignment under his name and I need to get it to school by tomorrow. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't even bother to think about school tomorrow. As they always say, a friend in need is a friend in deed!

Speaking of hospitals, poh poh has also landed herself in hospital yesterday with her lower stomach aching. The only reason why she's still lying in the old hospital bed, not knowing what's the cause of her ache is because the doctor in Balik Pulau Hospital (one of the most remotest and depressing hospitals I've ever been to in one of the most remotest town in Penang) is highly insufficient. Damn it! The place is so old and badly equipped you can barely call it a hospital! There's not even a multi storey building resemblance of a hospital at all, apart from the white uniformed nurses and the sick patients. Really strange. Poh poh being admitted into the hospital has caused everyone to worry. We still don't know what's the cause of her pain!

Another thing that's been killing me is the pure fact that Adrian, the rebellious, annoying, mischievous, yet easily missed 13 year old cousin of mine is in Australia (Sydney or Melbourne, I can't remember) enjoying his holidays with his relative. Crap. I'm still stuck in little Penang with the most uninteresting events taking place while he's in Gold Coast sightseeing or whatever he's doing there. It's 8.15 a.m. there, I think. It's 5.15a.m. here and the sky is as dark as it was 5 hours before and I'll have to go wash up in another hour. Not only that he's on a holiday trip, his uncle got him a new mobile phone as well, adding up to all the pressure in me. He seems to be getting everything he wants for Christmas. Am I jealous? Maybe. But I'm still on the process of detachment. The phrase applies, "The man with the best gadgets wins." At one point, yes. But not now!

Oh well, I guess that's it for now. I can definitely feel the sense of relief after writing this. It's simply inexplicable how putting in a few words together to describe the state of life I'm in can help me feel better. The wonders of blogging? At least my night wasn't a total waste with the download of Jim Brickman's Christmas Romance album completed accompanying me throughout the night.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I Made Cookies Myself!

Feeling depressed over how unproductive I was for the past two days - seeing how I skip school and coop at home doing house chores like an obedient little housewife and nothing else, I decided to do something that required me to get out of my room (away from the computer) and time consuming as well. Flipped through the recipe books that was lying on my bed and seeing a really simple recipe for normal cookies, I decided to bake some. You know, to past time and be productive. Cookies are productive right? No? Never mind.

In the past (when akak was around), I'd get into deep trouble if I was to go around reigning in the kitchen, messing up the entire place like I did today - leaving oily fingerprint marks around the handles of drawers and the numerous utensils, not to mention, the flour all over the place. It'd be rare to see me running around in the kitchen like a headless chicken in panic with the knobs and buttons of the oven. Well, not today. I took charge of the kitchen and did everything my way, without the nagging nanny or mom. It was like having the whole world beneath my feet when I know I was free to use anything I wanted thought that was needed without being told or sighed profusely at. But that's the thing in the past.

After much contemplation, I dragged dad from his afternoon Hokkien dramas to the nearest store (Cosmart to be exact) to get my supply of cornstarch, vanilla essence, flour, grated cheese and etc.. Forgot to get any chopped cherries or edible pearls for the finishing touches, though, with explains the blandness of the cookies. I hurried home and with a little more contemplation, convinced myself that I was able to do this alone, without the help of anyone, I carried on with my initial plan, filling up my entire evening, smothering the butter and the icing sugar, inserting the dough into the cookie gun and pressing them out and then baking them. The entire process was a leap of faith for me (getting all my hands dirty without any prior knowledge about kitchen skills). But I forced myself into it, believing in myself that I could. C'mon, 16 years in life, this is my FIRST time baking all by myself. The least you can do is give me a break.

And I've got to mention, the adrenaline rush when I saw that my cookies were actually coming out, was intense! Even the mere thought of me being able to handle the cookie gun without making a mess was so immense that I was screaming in excitement when I cut out the first shape! Now I seriously wonder if this sense of euphoria to bake cookies is inherited (I'm having mom in my mind!). Surprisingly, though, I didn't make much of a mess in the kitchen, except for that one bit where I spilled some flour during measurement. Other than that, the place was perfectly clean and spotless when mom came home. Kind of showed when she didn't start yelling her head off, pointing at different spots of the kitchen. Maybe it was also because dad called her to ask the difference between cornstarch and cornflour and I called her to ask her how to operate the oven. Hey, we're guys!

So the final product was good for a beginner/amateur, according to mom who happens to be my first guinea pig. Heck I'm already glad that there's a final product! It didn't quite tasted the way I thought it would be, probably because it lacked 50g of grated parmesan cheese (100g costs RM8w which is so damn expensive!). It was also supposed to melt into bits when put into the mouth, but my cookies turned out harder than usual (it didn't cracked a bit when I accidentally dropped one back onto the tray after picking it up). I guess I need to put on a little extra effort when beating the eggs or something (I'll figure it out). But overall, I agree with what mom said. Did you know she used to bake and cook too? I'll leave that for sometime later. Now, I've packed/assort the final product into a few transparent containers and will be distributing them to those I think who might give their two cents worth of ideas and comments appreciate it, or at least, give it a try. Kai ma, are you interested?

Although it didn't quite turn out like what I've had in mind, it still gives me the joy of knowing that I could do it. It was successful to me. I've known what I've done wrong and am looking forward to the next time. Plus, now that I can handle the oven (with the help of manuals, of course) I'm going to try something new and will mark it when I do it. Until then, I'm going to try more cookies for Christmas. Oh, and these aren't meant for Christmas, just in case you were wondering. I was just experimenting (half wanting to prove my intuitions right) out of boredom and also an outlet for my festive mood. Trust me, reading a book with Christmas carols all the day long can get old and tiring. At least this is productive! Isn't it?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Homemade Sushi-s.



Reading Habits.

It never fails to make me feel small and insignificant when I'm around people who can blurt out the names of famous authors and numerous titles of books without any complications or mispronunciations and then offering their humble opinions about the book without even being asked too, making themselves look like some scholar. In other words, bookworms. Seriously. I've always thought that these people are probably the smart ones in a community that they can remember what they've read so clearly, without having to pause and think about the title or author (even pages!) in a book-ly conversation. And it pretty much seems to me that they've probably read all the books (or the important ones) that has ever been published out there - or as they make them look as though they did.

How do they keep up with that?

Do I need to say more? I'm obviously not one of the huge masses of bookworms. But there are times when I wished I was even half like them - being able to recite Shakespeare quotations with poise and dignity (and pride?). Well, not even close. Could barely find any suitable quotations (or anything smart or witty) to say when the situation arises. Now, is that considered stupid? Probably. It seems so easy for them but it takes me a good 2 minutes stuttering nervously while I panic-ly rummage through my mind and still come up with something lame that no one has ever heard before. Usually at the lost of words when the occasion arises. Kind of thanking God now that I don't get into entanglement with scholars and bookworms all the time. But it still kills when I'm putting up with them.

Maybe it's because I don't read that much and I should probably do.

That's what I thought. But... to look for a right time to start a book is hard throughout the whole year. Especially when examinations (monthly or termly) are running for four times a year! I don't know. Is it just me or does anyone find the difficulty to even start a new book when we have exams to study for all year round, not to mention the homework and assignments all throughout the terms. And what about TV or computer? My free time's basically filled with channel surfing and doing things involving the internet. So does this mean that the ones who are able to memorize the list of books that they've read over the past 6 months, do not do all the stuff I do? The only time when I find it extremely free to read a book is during, ahem, shitting.

I've practically given up reading before bed, every night, because the process was too slow and I don't have a suitable lamp to read with. Same goes to shitting (can't think of a nicer word). It only takes me a few minutes to get it over with (put aside the 'special' cases) and knowing how slow I read, that's probably going to take me as far as a couple of paragraphs. How long would it actually take for me to finish the entire book? A year? I guess that kind of explains my lack of reading. I can still count the amount of books I've read throughout this year (Suzie Wong, Unhurried Thoughts at My Funeral, Harry Potter, and recently, Tuesdays with Morrie). And the only reason I can still name these books is because I've searched through my blog archive! Or else, I might never had any recognition! Seeing that, I tend to raise eyebrows when I'm seen delved into the book in my hands.

Since that my finals were just over, I headed over to Grace's room (a couple of days back, I think) and checked out her library-like shelves, hoping to find some good read. Obviously, she doesn't read all the books in her room but she just keeps it there, arranged horiz
ontally and neatly, since it was passed down to us by my late godfather. Standing there with both my arms around my waist, giving the entire book collection a good quick glance through, I suddenly realized how much it felt like a library with all those pages in the books turning yellow as the smell of old pages greeted my nostrils. I'm just oddly attracted to it, I guess. With one of my finger on my chin, the book that looked newest among the others with red letters across it attracted me and naturally, I picked it out with another finger.


Studying the appearance of the book and giving the back cover summary a quick read through and immediately decided to read it, considering how Christmas-sy I was feeling at the moment! It's basically 4 short love stories revolving around Christmas, written by 4 different authors, compiled into a book, entitled, Christmas Journeys. Freaky, isn't it? I go on a reading hiatus for a couple of months and decides to pick up a book, unknown to the world and unavailable online (I tried!), when I finally decide to read. All I can say is that, it's just who I am. Certainly not the kind who rushes to the nearest bookstore to grab hold of the current bestseller to pile up in my already towering amount of books. Not that I have a tower of books with the word 'bestseller' printed over its front pages in the first place.


I've just finished the first story today and it has got me giggling to myself in delight with every twist and turn of the story. I don't know how old this book is but the pages have all turned yellow and some were even torn around the edges. I couldn't help but get more attracted to the aroma of the book with every turn of the page, going in deeper into the snow-covered forest of Christmas with this book. Enchanting? Not exactly. Down to earth? Maybe. Christmas? Definitely! Believe me, I'm taking my time on this book. Savoring it bit by bit.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm not the only one who has started new books this holiday season. Edward has been wanting to buy a book from Dan Brown (Digital Fortress, I think?) and he's currently worked up on the (movie) Stormbreaker's book (Alex Rider is it?). Don't know what it's called but he sounds very excited about the book over IM. He's been trying to get me out to MPH to get his books since he's holidays started but I have been ever so busy. Though, I do have my eye on '5 People You Meet In Heaven' by Mitch Albom.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Good 'Ol.

There is no other time like a good quality time spent with my old man. Not exactly a planned fishing trip or a night out in the woods, just father and son, but things do happen naturally. And I'm honestly glad it did. When I finally decided to take my hands off the keyboard and help him out, I started out thinking that it wouldn't take long before we both started quarreling over the smallest matter. But it turned out to be better than I expected. Didn't really expect anything, in fact.

Remember that time when I complained about the new tenants living below me, having their renovation and how I used it as an excuse to my laziness? It left our store room (and everything in it) looking like the place had just survived a snow storm or an avalanche, if that matters. Their renovation has got the most of us at home, deliberately trying to clean the dust off our furnitures by wiping them at least twice a day for almost everyday or madly warding the dust off by sealing all those cracks and holes in the house by stuffing them with newspapers! At least, that's what dad did.

Their renovation works started on that week when akak left - when her departure hasn't really sank into us yet. Maybe it was due to that that we didn't believe any of us could actually manage anything as big as cleaning out the whole store-room by ourselves (see how much we've become dependent on her?) by saying that it'd be useless because they're going to continue their work tomorrow. And of course, there's always the 'busy schedule' excuse. Everytime we opened the sliding door, we moan and grumble at the mess the workers have left us and cursed them under our breaths but close it back in disappointment and just simply choose to ignore it.

Thus, the place was left, blanketed in cement powder and thick dust for a couple of weeks now, unattended. Finally, today, dad decided to clean things up by himself. As usual, he didn't even ask me for my help, although fully knowing I was just chilling in my room. Dad never liked to involve his children in stuff like these, although he has all the rights to boss us around. He never favored asking any of us 3 children to help him in anything. That explains why we never had one of those I-helped-dad-wash-the-car moments. He's too particular with his car anyway - all that waxing and polishing! Kind of trained us to be spoiled brats, if you ask me! Or maybe I was always complaining about getting wet in the process of car washing? Perhaps.

I was in my room the whole day, out of boredom, hunted down for various online recipes and getting all worked up and hungry the whole time. It was a Friday and the weather seemed perfect (clouded with the occasional drizzle) for a day of lazying around at home. I put aside all the house chores and just spent the entire morning waltzing around the home, playing Kenny G's The Greatest Holiday Classics over and over again in the boom box, occasionally picking up a magazine or a book lying around to flip through. Well, that was before I decided to text Grace to ask where did all her cookie recipes were. I rummaged through her things in one of the cupboards in her room and found it after she called me. Overwhelmed by all the illustration and determined that I was going to do something by this Christmas, I went out the living room to tell dad to take me to the store. Crazy, huh?

I couldn't see the man sleeping on the couch with his Hokkien drama airing on TV. Seeing that the door was unlocked, I went out out to look for him. Shouted, actually. Since we're living in a 5 storey apartment, it wasn't hard to hear my voice if he was anywhere downstairs. I hoped down a flight of stairs to see him spraying half of the items from the storeroom with the pipe when he answered. I took the elevator down to see what he was up to. He was still spraying the shelf and a bunch of other things (I wondered how he got all those things downstairs by himself) when I asked him if he could take me to the store to buy some ingredients. He laughed at the idea and said that he needed to finish cleaning the storeroom by 5p.m..

I went back up the house, back into my room to do a little online searching. Searched a couple of other recipes and found out how things like oregano and sage looked like. Then I realized how much of a useless son I was to dad. True, that he never asked for any help but it was still my responsibility to OFFER my assistance. The thought how this might affect our relationship and even the future bugged me so much that I dragged myself away from the computer and immediately went to help him. I didn't offer. I just asked him what he needed to be brought downstairs and I got to washing all the pots and pans and clearing out everything.

At this point, I have to say that the gene of wanting to see something clean or being cleaned must be inherited. Mom had it and now, dad's showing me he has it too. I guess it's natural that the family has this (I don't know what you call it) desire to see everything sparkling clean, which includes self cleanliness. This family has been a true believer of appearance - even if it's ugly inside, making it look pretty in the front definitely makes us feel better. It's like the elation I get at the end of each cleaning seems to be so overwhelming and I couldn't help myself from going, "Damn! Am I good at this!". Honestly, I think I might become a pretty good househusand or a maid, for that matters.

So dad and I spent the entire afternoon, clearing out all the junk we have in the storeroom, taking the bigger things like plastic shelves, ladder and plastic pales downstairs to have it sprayed with clean water by dad while shifting the smaller things like a collection of empty bottles right outside the front door to have it wiped by me and have their plastic bags replaced. Speaking of which, it really makes me wonder why Chinese women (especially) have this addiction to collecting odd things in the kitchen. You should've seen what sorts of things that are kept in all the various plastic bags stuffed at every corner of the storeroom. Empty bottles, empty boxes of electrical items and even old mini stoves are wrapped neatly in plastic bags and left in the storeroom to rot.

Don't even try to say that they're keeping it for recycle or reuse... because they never do! Half of the things in there are of no use (do we really need so many empty bottles?) and are kept there to rot. And eventually when things like metals begin to rust and when we throw them away, they start wailing about the misfortune of the item, slapping their foreheads like they've just lost their child! I'm not saying akak's a Chinese woman. But she might as well be for she has picked up the annoying habit of safekeeping almost everything you can find in the kitchen! Or is it just their habit of wanting to fill up space? I really don't get it. Dad and I probably discarded a quarter of all the junks in the storeroom, giving everything a second (and third) thought about how they woman would react!

After finishing all those necessary dusting and wiping and after putting everything back to the way it was, I took the liberty to replace everything that mom has taken from the storeroom and have never gotten the chance to put them back. The cooking wok, pan and several other plastic bottles and containers were all stuffed back into the storeroom. See, the storeroom's just hanging outside the kitchen so it's use to stuff most of the kitchen utensils.
Not being able to stand the misplacing of objects I could easily tell in the kitchen (it's natural!), I decided to do a little more retouching. Kept the things that were meant to be in shelves and cupboards and arranged everything neatly and also throwing away plastic bags and other sorts of rubbish around the kitchen top. Decorated the reflective white marble dinner table with a basket of fresh fruits and that's it!

Let's just say, mom came home delighted and was almost afraid to even use the sink. I, on the other hand, couldn't help but admire my own ability (to keep everything clean and simple and also apply a little decorating skills)! Now I'm not sure if I still need akak. Whoops! I might take that back for now. Wouldn't want to go on a full time job as househusband now, would I? Or should I say, house-child? Nevertheless, I was happy that I was able to work with dad without stepping on each other's tails. Though I must say, I'm better at ordering people around, giving instructions to what needs and need not to be done rather than doing it myself. Probably got that from mom.

Oh and did I mention that I had Kenny G's Greatest Holiday Classic playing the whole time?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Over The Rainbow.

"So your exams are over. Going to have a relaxing night tonight?" said mom while driving as I looked dully outside the speeding cars and motorbikes with my left hand clasped over my forehead. "Hmm... I suppose it's just the same as every other night," I shrugged back at mom with a little sigh. The examinations ended today with an objective History paper which didn't require much of revision since things were still fresh on my mind since day one. Honestly don't know why I wasn't fleeting of the ground but I hoped I would've. I mean, it's been so long since I wanted this day to come but when it actually did, it wasn't as anticipated as I thought it would. Didn't even feel the need to throw a celebration or the likes.

Obviously, not the kind who goes for grand parties with banging music and a flood of steamy (not to mention stinky) bodies. I think I'll just pass on that offer to go underage clubbing. More of the kind who prefers to stay at home alone and spend the night quietly catching up on episodes of Grey's Anatomy or The O.C. or just simply listening to some good music with a cup of cold yogurt and and a beef bacon sandwich in hand. That would be nice. Nevertheless, blogging and channel-surfing would be two good alternatives. Either those, or starting a new book from my library-like shelves would also help me occupy the night peacefully.

Anyway, during the last few hours before the examinations ended today, where the class atmosphere was as quiet and as dead as keeping a wake probably due to the fact that everyone were secretly thinking of ways to welcome the holidays as they pretend to read they History note books, I felt a little heavyhearted. Strange enough, when there was still an hour left for us to chit chat revise our books before the History paper started, I felt heavyhearted, thinking that this whole thing would be over in two hours time. This thing that we've been waiting for to end since the past week and this thing that everyone worked for throughout the entire term would be over in the next couple of hours.

It was as if I was reluctant for the thing to end, yet, on the other hand, I was practically jumping on my feet in rejoice that examinations were finally going to be over! Then it struck me, that the examinations period was the period of pure torment and at the same time, pure fun! It's true. If you think of it, examinations period is the only period when we're exempted from all extra curricular activities. No sickly club meetings or tiring sports practices! Examination period is also the only period when we're actually exempted from certain school rules. Take eating in the canteen, for instance. We're allowed to eat in the classroom during examinations period during recess without being fined by the school prefects.

What about light bags? Hell yeah! Examinations period is also the only time when we get to carry the least amount of books to school - particularly for the subjects that we're having the papers on that day. A week of no slouching or bending over, giving in to the weight of school bags twice our sizes! Examinations can also be easily used as lame reasons to skip boring wedding dinners or uninteresting family gatherings. But I obviously never use that as excuses to skip any family gatherings, whining and complaining away like an annoying brat! Oh well, I guess examinations do bring its benefit after all - despite the horrible and hair-pulling moments during the few last minutes before each paper starts! Don't even get me started on examination results.

Either way, whether I like it or not, the examinations are over - unlike poor Grace who's examinations ends on 17th Nov! This only means that Christmas is drawing ever nearer! This is going to be the time where I'll have to stack up on my Christmas CDs, which includes the classical CDs we have had over the decade, and place them by the DVD player. Time for a little decorating also! And since akak won't be around this time (no nagging about leaving dough fingerprints on her kitchen top!), I was thinking of getting my hands dirty in the kitchen with the dough and sugar and perhaps the mixer and the oven? Who knows what I might come up with? No idea. Just wanting to be in the fun of merrymaking, you know.

Anybody want to donate cookbooks?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Over The Weekend - With The Oyogs.

Friday
Knowing the fact that an exam- free weekend was waiting ahead of me and the pure fact that 5 days of examinations were over, I felt a little lighter and relieved than usual. Didn't take me long before I decided to go for a movie on a Friday. Didn't hesitate to bring Edmund along since the school was closed that day and taking my brother (and cousins) for movies has become normal for me. Dad told me Edmund was at kai ma's so I IM-ed Adrian and Carina and invited them as well. Unlike Adrian, Carina couldn't make it because she had movie plans with her other friend also.

I've been dying to watch The Covenant since I saw the trailer. No specific reasons why actually. Just thought that it'd be a more interesting show compared to The Prestige that would be suitable for Edmund and Adrian. I didn't even bother to look up about the movie before watching it, thus, the relentless effort to convince Edmund into watching the show with us, thinking that it was a horror movie in the first place! LOL. We did manage to get him into the cinema without much complications, though.

The movie turned out to be better than I expected. I mean, the least I expected was good effects when thrown into a cinema watching a movie starred by new and young actors and actresses. Pretty much entertained the other two boys also with the strange liquid produced from their hands as powers being tossed around at one another and the eyes turning black effect. Heck, it amused me too! The storyline wasn't disappointing at all either. Definitely was worth my RM6 as a stress outlet.
Adrian called it 'snort'...

Saturday
Ahh.... Saturday. The only day in the entire week when I ge
t to wake up a tad bit later than the usual 6a.m. wake-up call by dad's harsh yelling. Was kind of relaxing for me to wake up with the soft warm ray of sun shining on my cheeks (albeit a little eye-blinding) through the window that I left the curtain open throughout the night. Waking up fully knowing that I needn't get ready for school carved a smile on my face as I squirm and stretch in bed lazily, rubbing my eyes.

However, the relaxing morning was cut short with
house chores. Since akak wasn't around mending and keeping the house sparkling clean, I had to do it myself. I just couldn't bear the sight of the thick layer of dust blanketed all over the shelves and cupboards at the living room (result from the renovation below). Pushed myself into grabbing a pale of water together with the piece of rag and started cleaning the furnitures - which included doing a little rearranging to the altar stuff alike. Couldn't resist having things look the way I want it, I guess.

Reluctant with the idea of completing the house chores and getting all wet in the process, I did it anyway. I managed to clean the bathroom outside, the one that I use. I must say, I'm impressed with myself when I saw how clean and sparkly the bottom of the toilet bowl was, considering that it was the first time in my entire life I scrubbed a toilet, after I was done with it. Though, when it comes to me washing, there might be a little over-usage of detergents. Afraid of the bacteria and dirt, I guess. Wouldn't be surprised if the detergent which usually lasts for 2 months needs replenishment by the time akak returns! Kind of a great feat for me.

There's just something about seeing something turning from dirty to clean that turns me on.

After shoving yesterday's laundry into the washing machine and turning the dial to Synthetics mode (hey, I'm getting the hang of this!), I got a call from dad who took his car for monthly service that he'd be here to pick us up for lunch at kai ma's. Probably decided to cook for us out of pity that we're practically surviving on an 'economy rice' and 'fast food' diet.

That night, out of the blue, during dinner (at kai ma's also) after mass, Adrian suddenly asked me if he could come over for a sleepover like the way w
e used to before Carina launched herself into her PMR cocoon and decided not to come out for a little taste of enjoyment till now. Surprisingly, Carina was also interested in tagging along, leaving kai ma with no choice but to follow us also, when mom said it wasn't a problem if they wanted to come to sleepover. This pretty much explains how Adrian helped me with my reformat till 3a.m. in the morning (I carried on till 4a.m.).

Sunday
Since the Oyogs were over at our place for the night, I got woken up by kai ma yellinga t Adrian to wake up. Obviously, seriously lacking of sleep and eyelids feeling extremely heavy, I had to get up anyway because I had to my monthly appointment with the orthodontist. If you actually notice, it's been (or going to be) a year already since I had my braces on! The Oyogs certainly didn't mind following me to clinic after breakfast and later proceeding to choir practice. Bringing Adrian into one of the cubicles proved useful when he got a pretty cool shot of my teeth being tweaked and tighten with his camera. Still haven't send me the picture yet! We even stopped at Gama for a brief moment for mom to get her facial supplies while the four of us (Edmund, Adrian, Carina and I) stormed the Four Leaves bakery at Gama, seeing that it's been a long time since any of us had tasted the bread from Four Leaves.
Crammed altogether in the backseat...


Speaking of which, despite that I was having my exams, I was still able to participate in family normal family activities like attending choir practice. I even attended the men-only sectional practice on Friday with Adrian without complaining or whining or trying to squirm my way out of it, like any other normal teen would during examinations period. No wonder mom said, "I don't see the difference in you during or even after examinations! You don't seem serious at your studies at all!" when I happily announced that my examinations were going to end in two days time! Sucked the fun out of me, she did.

Anyway, after choir, we headed back to poh poh's as usual. It so happens that Amelia was celebrating her full-month of birth (err... I don't know what it's called). Technically, it wasn't even a full month since her birth yet but the Chinese usually celebrate it prior to the actual date from her birth. Don't exactly know the reason behind this custom but it's usually marked with the distribution of red colored hard boiled eggs, red colored kuih and yellow glutinous rice with curry, packed neatly into a box (from Eaton) to close relatives and friends. No idea what significance that brings but I'll tell when I do find out!

Coincidentally, it was seh yi's birthday on Sunday as well. She had dad bought some KFC before we went to poh poh's. We also managed to pick up a cake for her on the way. The same cake shop we went exactly a week ago. We got bored while waiting for seh yi to come back from distributing the package of foods. So we did something craz
y (just for pure entertainment). See, kai ma bought a bag of honey dews from the nearby market while waiting for me at the clinic. Out of boredom, I challenged Carina and Adrian to a honey dew eating contest.



Boredom got to us again after having lunch and cutting the cake (this is beginning to get normal) for seh yi. I suggested that we go to the river again where I promise them I'll get wet this time. I realized that going to the river is equivalent to going to the beach here in the small town of Balik Pulau. I dragged mom and dad to get the car to drive us up again. It just rained and the water was kind of muddy and ice cold! With less cousins this time, we made the best out of it also. Mom even brought the mashed potato to the river. Didn't feel like taking photographs at all, but I did manage to get a few shots. For some unknown reasons, I was more keen on shooting videos that day and I got a video of us, sitting at the back of Unser with the door opened because of our wet bum bums riding through the countryside.

I have a couple more of videos to post but that might take a while.

By the time we got back at poh poh's, I was dead tired and I couldn't help but fall asleep on the couch. Adrian and Carina just wouldn't give up irritating me to wake up - Carina boldly tried to pull out all my leg hair while I was asleep! "What the hell is wrong with the both of you," I asked annoyed, "Aren't you afraid that I'll get mad or something?" "We know you won't get mad at us and we're the only ones who dare to disturb you!" was Carina's prompt reply! You can guess what happened when I reached home.
Barely touched the books at all!