Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kiss Chase my new favourite book

Ahh...... I am basking in the glory of a real good book. It was Kiss Chase by Fiona Walker. I love Fiona Walker and I have all her books. I am re-reading all her creations now and Kiss Chase is the 3rd one I read. Funnily, I couldn't remember the book. Although I recognise the cover, but the contents was most unfamiliar. It was like reading a new book.
I looked to see when I bought it and I had written 2001 in Leicester. I am sure that I must have read it then in 2001 but like I said, the book was a new experience for me. And as I read the book, I was everwhelmed by its ingenuity that I keep asking Dan how could I have forgotten this utterly wonderful book.
It was such a sexy book. The characters were totally well developed and consistent. I totally loved it. I am glad though that I have forgotten it the first time, like I was given a second chance to totally enjoy and absorb the book.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Team Rashdan

What a day yesterday for Dan and me. Yesterday really showed what kind of a husband/wife team we make, which is the very-unsure-disorganised-if-you jumped-off-a-bridge-I-will-follow-you team. It is also, I have to say, team orang yang akal pendek dan yang panic tak tentu pasal.

I looked up my Bonuslink statement on the net yesterday and found that I have enough points to redeem RM 100 vouchers from Tesco. I thought that is a very good deal. Instead of redeeming my points for things that I do not need, it is better to get an almost money thing that I could use to buy more important stuffs like groceries. Or so I thought.

To make the story short, we went to Tesco yesterday, redeemed the points for the sought after vouchers and discussed the best way the spend it. Then we fought over it like our lives depended on it. Then we strategised and came to an agreement. The boy at the counter cautioned us that if we spend less that RM 100, no balance would be returned to us. So he said make sure our groceries cost more than RM 100. Okie dokie.

On top of the list, Elsa’s night disposable diapers. Then the industrial size and expensive children soap and shampoo. Wet wipes came next. “ Everything is for Elsa and Umar je. We should get what we want, “ said my husband. And what do you want, I asked and there was a gleam in his eyes. Junk food.

In came the biscuits and the crisps and juices, yoghurt for the kids and cans and cans of drinks. I told my husband the expected draught is in March, not January. In went more drinks. Hmm…. Men. If he was a Brit, I knew it would be cases of beers and lagers.

“ So.., “ I observed, “ this is how we spend our so called free money, on stuffs that could clog our arteries and sweeten our pee ? “ However on closer inspection, our would-be purchases didn’t look like RM 100 to me. Dan agreed. Our discussion apparently did not include looking at the price of each item and mentally estimate the whole amount. We looked to the left, to the right, not sure of our next move. The queue was long and we did not want to loose our place. But what if the final tally is less than the vouchers ? Sayangnya. We were literally jumping up and down as our turn at the cashier loomed nearer.

He eyed the boxes of Cokes near the counter and said if it is really less than the amount of the vouchers, he is just going to grab the Cokes. I looked at him in horror and said not when I am around. I told him to man the fort and ran to the beauty aisle. I grabbed shaving razors and cream and a huge supply of sanitary pads.

“ That should do it, “ he said and smiled and ruffled my head. The bill ? Well, it came up to RM 161.07. Dan and I laughed and laughed at the check out counter to the bewilderment of the cashier and people behind us.

“ Itu le you, tamak sangat… “ I said.

“ You yang pandai maths, tak tahu kira ke ? “ he accused.

As we put all the things away together at home, he held my hand and said, “ What an adventure…. “. I looked at him and said, “ Baby, how sad are we ? “

And he agreed. He he……

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reading Yasmin's blog

I read my dear friend's Min's blog just now and it brought a lump to my throat. Miss you Min. Wish you were here.
And eventhough I still live in Shah Alam and not missing it anymore, it nearly brought tears to my eyes as I know what she meant. I am experiencing it right now. All my friends know that my family live with Dan's parents. It is high up on a hill and my little room faces the Shah Alam mosque. I thank Allah for giving me the chance to wake up to the sound of Azan and hearing His verses being read everyday. I sometimes follow the prayers in the mosque from my own room because I could hear their prayers. Every Allahuakhbar, every al-Fathihah is delivered to my room. Sometimes loud and sometimes as soft as the breeze....
Most days, I will open up my windows, bathe and don my telekung and sit on the bed. Before azan there will be mengaji and sometimes there is even a little tazkirah. My own masjid facilities in my room.
Nanti bila anak2 dah besar, I will take them to the mosque. We will make a point to join the prayers and activities. Insya-Allah.
That is why I so love Shah Alam. A real Muslim areas where you can hear 3 azans continuously, where you have the luxury to pick and choose any suraus to pray and where you have some sort of Islamic values still intact ( although I do fear it is slipping bit by bit ). Where friendships are forged and still hold on strong after 20 years and still counting. Where new friends are made because some Shah Alam people couldn't bear to leave it and therefore bring ( either by persuasion, intense cajoling or even force ) their spouses to join in the community.
A kampung at heart...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tengok Wayang with my bestfriend

What a pair Amelia and I was yesterday. We met up and turned up wearing the same shoes from Clarkes. Hers is in white and mine is in black ( we have 4 pairs of shoes from Clarkes that are identical except for the colour. We have 1 pair that is of the same colour - red, but hers are flat mary janes and mine are sandals ).
After an hour, it gave us blisters and we were limping and wincing at the end of the night. We decided to watch Kuntilanak at the movies yesterday, to much disbelief of our colleagues and loves ones as we are known to be lily livered when it comes to cerita hantu, and the prospect of hantu. However we braved it yesterday, rather unbravely... he he.
First of all we were late. We entered the cinema 20 minutes late due to Maghrib prayers commitment. Then, we covered our eyes with our tudungs 3/4 of the time. We hunched and contorted to the left and right and at one point berlaga kepala.
My RM 7 was wasted and she wasted her free ticket. Before we went in the darkened room, she told me that we should've car pooled. I told her I deleted my sms to her yesterday suggesting the same very thing and totally regretting it now. We both wished fervently that there will be no car scenes. Ha ha... unfortunately, there was 1.
I drove her back to her office, and accompanied her to her desk. Then I drove behind her the whole way home until we split at the Istana Kayangan Roundabout. During the drive back home, at Bukit Bintang, she sms'ed me to say that she had lost me and informed me of her location when I had been behind her all the while. She then sms'ed advicing that I keep my eyes on the road and not to look at the empty passenger seat. He he... I know it is something that she is trying very hard to do.
All in all what do I get from yesterday ?
a) The knowledge that uncannily, we still have the same taste in shoes and wardrobe
b) We still haven't grown out of our absurd fear of ghouls and haunts ( although I have to say Amelia is braver than me as she actually saw the kuntilanak yesterday. I didn't at all, just a blurry vision of a figure swathed in white )
c) It is not easy watching a movie behind a veil, albeit one fashioned out of one's tudung

Monday, January 22, 2007

Our Sick Environment

I shudder to think the past events that has been happening since the tsunami. Strong winds, more earthquakes, heavy rain and floods that we just watched on the telly without experiencing it. We thought we were lucky. Then our turn came.
Floods. Terrible floods in our southern state that devastated many. Johor hasn't yet recovered and Pahang is already getting the same fate. Kuala Selangor was asked to be prepared. It is creeping nearer and nearer to us. Selfishly, I quickly assessed the situation for my family. I live on top of the hill. So does my mom and my sister. My brother lives on the 5th floor at Bukit Jelutong. His new house however is beneath a hacked hill. My new house is somewhat in the middle of a hill. There are houses that are above mine but there are houses that nestled below us too... So probably my new abode will be safe.
Now throw away my selfish need to save my loved ones first, I am thinking about those that are in real threat of their livelihood being literally, swept away.
As in the Quran, all catastrophe bears a story and warnings from Allah. Let's not dwell on the moral warnings as that is what most of us thought of first. Let us talk about what have we done to preserve this world that Allah has given us ? What have we done to say thank you for this home that we have so selfishly used as a mere tenant ? We destroyed it through industry and our great need to live in comfort.
I quote a climatologist David Pierce of San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, " If carbon dioxide has a colour, if people saw the sky getting darker, people would have no problem recognising what is going on." What is going on ? The world's daily output of manmade carbon dioxide, from burning fossil fuels, is 11% greater today that a decade ago. The planet is warming. NASA reported that the global temperatures rose almost 1 degrees Fahrenheit from 1981 to 1988. ( quoted from
If greehouse gases aren't cut back soon, temperatures could rise, expanding oceans, causing drought, intesifying storms and altering climates. Our own scientist reported that due to melted icebergs in Greenland, Johor is flooded. What melted Greenland ? High temperature. What causes high temperature ?
To make things worse, pokok bakau from the swamps that has been fencing Johor has been cleared for development. In Penang, after the tsunami, the same trees that they deemed improper was planted back as a fort to guard Penang. Haven't we learnt anything ? Will we start learning after this ?
Kyoto Protocol doesn't really help without the participation of US as they are one of the biggest manufacturer of C02. Their reasoning ? Higher energy cost ( from imposing energy taxes ) would seriously damage the economy. But surely, as they always pompously reminded us in "third world country" of their importance and ingenuity, they could think of something to offset the economics damage ?
The Malaysian government is looking to impose car entry fee into KL to curb traffic congestion. I agree to it as it will help to make KL greener with considerable lesser amount of C02, but please upgrade the public transportations first. More buses and trains. Please have some sense to build trains that run on the same kind of tracks so that they can intertwine and weave and we, your lesser subjects can have easier time hopping from one public transport to another, to and from work. We will be generating income that is taxable which the corrupt politicians can steal from. See, it is a win win situation for all.
Make the tracks longer so that it could reach all KL satellite cities, including Shah Alam. Please remember your own "Sayangilah Keluarga" campaign, as how can we be with our families if it takes us 4 hours to travel daily. Please ensure your campaigns coincide with each other, that is all. How can I sayang my family if due to the inept bus and trains services that break down often, too full I can't even squeeze my hair in and have to wait for the next one ( if I am lucky ) and jarang - jarang ( please think of PRamlee in Nujum Pak Belalang when you say jarang - jarang ) ada, when I get home my babies are already sleeping and my spouse is already seeing someone else due to my absense ?? How can I not be absent when I spend more time in a vehicle more than I do in my own home ?
Right now, eventhough our ( me and Dan ) offices are like 5 minutes apart ( I could walk to his office from mine ), it is difficult for us to carpool as our jobs require us to travel during working hours. So then the government should make company cars tax deductable or a law. If we have enough company cars, I do not have to drive my own car to work.
Help !! Government of Malaysia, please grow some brains !! Mana Allah tak turun kan bala ? Please remember the people of Sodom and Gonorhea. Listen to what Allah SWT is trying to say.
What am I grumbling about ? I thought I was talking about the floods in Johor and how we are not taking care of the environment which is really amanah Allah ?
Hmm.......... ( it was the carbon dioxide talking... )

Trip Down to Memory Lane 2

It was a truly lazy Sunday yesterday. We went out for lunch ( and bumped into our good friends Kamalia, Sheik and Ayesha ) and again went out for dinner ( Sunday dinners have to be a really quicky affair as I have a date with Mark Harmon at 9 pm ). It rained heavily and had to use brollies for the short dash from car to restaurant door.
At the door, the restauranteur had thougtfully provided umbrella stand for our dripping brollies. Dan gestured me to leave my brolly there and as we did, we looked at each other and beamed. " Do you trust the people here ? " he asked and I laughed. It brought us back to one rainy day in 2002, Regent Street, London.
We were walking in the rain, I was pushing Umar's stroller and Dan was shielding me and him from the rain with our trusted black brollie when we got into Esprit on Regent Street. We deposited our very wet brollie at the stand, smiled at the attendant who greeted us hello and chatted with her a bit.
Then we went in, had a look around, found nothing interesting and turned back to leave when I couldn't locate my umbrella. Dan sifted through the other umbrellas and none looked familiar. I asked the very friendly attendant if she had seen our umbrella and she said, " I thought that guy was dodgy, ". She explained that a guy came in without an umbrella, did a 1 minute turn in the shop and took our umbrella before he left. The cheek !!
Dan and I was upset but of course couldn't blame her as there is no tag to say which umbrella belongs to whom. Then she asked if we could give her a minute. She went to her boss who was conveniently standing near rows and rows of Esprit brollies and informed her of our misfortune. She took pity on us, grabbed one delicious looking brollie and handed it to me for free. I was so grateful, I hugged everyone there. The supervisor, the girl standing at the door, the cashier... well not the customers though, although there was a very dishy model material guy that was beaming and smiling at us and I was sure if I had hugged him too, it would appear normal under the circumstances.
Anyhoo..... there we were on a very wet afternoon, walking through London with a brollie that signified charity and compassion of the Londoners. I loved that umbrella. I broke it sometime in May 2004 of overused as I was taking the public transport then. I replaced it with another delicious red Esprit one that is now lying side by side my now retired London one.
To tell you the truth, if we had to buy a brollie, we would always go to Esprit. Even Dan has a long black one in his car !! Hmmm.......

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mengorat husband ku

Dulu Dan loves to make prank calls on me. He would call, altered his voice a bit ( and for some reason I couldn't recognise it is actually one of the 3 people who shares my bed ) and pretended he is somebody who is interested in me and wants to ask me out.


For some reason today I wanted revenge. We car pooled today because we are on a hot date and I get to keep the car. As he was walking down to his office, I slowed down the car and asked, " Boleh berkenalan ? "

He went " Ha ? "

I went, " Bang boleh berkenalan ? " The traffic light turned red. Yahooo.... !!

He looked at me in bewilderment especially as a few walkers started to look at me and him.

I said again, " Boleh berkenalan ? Bagilah nombor telefon... "

He gave an embarrassed laugh and said " Isshh... awak ni... "

The guy in front of him turned to look at him and he said " My wife.... "

The ladies behind giggled. The older ones shook their heads in disapproval.

Eii lantaklah... my hubby maaa....


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My singing brother

My brother Mail is a wonderful singer. By Malaysian standard, to me he is far superior than Anuar Zain. Below is the youtube address where you can har him sing at some sort of a concert at his university.
Recently he told me that he won a singing competition. Me, anxious and worried as ever told him to be careful as I do not want Shah Rukh Khan to whisk him away to be the singing voice Shah Rukh Khan can mime to. Why Shah Rukh Khan ? Well he is the only Bollywood name I am familiar with apart from Amitabhachan and Amir Khan.
Mail, I told him, you should concentrate on getting your degree first. Please, I begged.
Happy 21st Mail. Ala loves you very much.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Channel 26 on Astro

Almost midnight yesterday, I was already off to SlumberLand when I was shaken by my husband.
Dan : Yang sorry Yang, but you have to see this.
Me : What ? ( not bothering to open my eyes as my glasses were not on my nose )
Dan : Bukak mata. It is The Vicar of Dibley !!
That cleared my muddled brain immediately and I grabbed my glasses. Sure enough, on screen, Channel 26 BBC Entertainment, was the Vicar of Dibley, my favourite show ever !
Thank you Astro as I thought it would not make it to our shores.
The new Channel 26 put a new meaning to our lives ( how pathetic that is ? ) as we have been bored channel surfing lately. Nothing stirred our interests anymore, except you know specific shows on specific time and day. Monday 10.30 House. Tuesday, yelek ( except probably re-runs of Haunting ). Wednesday, CSI. Thursday 10.30 Wire in the Blood. Friday, tak dak. Saturday pun hampeh. Then Sunday, 9.oo NCIS. So with the arrival of BBCE, there is always something nice on the telly !!
It was just like university days. Dan and I were watching Home Invaders one day around 12 pm when he suddenly nudged me and asked, " Kelas you pukul berapa ? " and I instinctively terus malas nak pi kelas... ha ha. Well yes, one thing returned with the arrival of BBCE, my feeling of guilt because I am watching telly and should have been studying. That dissapeared like last year with sporadic returns but now it is back inside my gut again.
Anyway, you can hear roars of laughter from our room now when last time it was more subdued. Thank you My Family, Absolutely Fabolous, My Life in Film, As Time Goes By and many more for entertaining me. And now !! Now... I am further entertained by the arrival of The Vicar of Dibley. It is really hilarious about a lady vicar with her small parish of varying degrees of stupidity. He he.... The vicar is played by Dawn French who with Jennifer Saunders ( from Absolutely Fabolous or Ab Fab ) owns French Saunders Production and produced these two lovely comedies. They are really lovely. Ab Fab is a favourite of mine and Dan's too.
More reason to snuggle up at night while our eyes are glued to the telly, devoid of intelligent conversations ( that is a very cynical way to mention the downside of good telly ).
I wonder if I have the will power the actually detach myself from it and continue reading bed time stories with my babies. I mean I have never been a tv buff anyway. While Dan watches tv I will be reading and my kids will be reading and then we will read together. But now... well I just bought 4 fabulous books from Times sales yesterday and will I ever read them on bed anymore ? He he... I foresee that after awhile I will get bored too and only watch the best programme Channel 26 can offer. But which one ? Hmmm....