Monday, July 31, 2006

tune in chicago!

yep, i am back in the u.s. now! Chicago, to be exact.

... and the city has shown its pleasure by giving me a warm welcome. So warm, in fact, that today might just be the hottest day of the year. Yup, that heat wave that was hitting California last week? It's kinda moved on to the midwest right now. With everyone advised to stay indoors and drink plenty of water today, I ain't gonna be walking around or exploring the area just yet.

Was up and about having breakfast before 6am: will be having majorly early wake-ups what with Kosh having to be at the hospital rounding on patients well before 630am.

Went to the gym / fitness center downstairs for a light workout. The air conditioning was on so high that there was no way i could break out into a sweat! grrrr it was totally unsatisfying 30min workout. I suppose next time I'll have to drink plenty o water beforehand, and wear sweatpants or something.

Tried unpacking my suitcases, but not quite sure where to unpack the contents to! You know, before I was just kinda "tumpang-ing" Kosh's place, but this time it's more like an "ours" place... so I may just get him to clear half of the closet space for MY stuff :-) or a quarter. Not like i have *that* many things. yet. ;-) The entire apartment needs some rearrangement anyway - Kosh kinda moved in and immediately started work,, so he's unpacked and setup the essentials, but I'd told him to leave the rest to me. of course, that will involve getting hold of a compass to confirm the exact/accurate directions of N/S/E/W within the apartment... kinda want the place to be fung-shui friendly! No, this time I'm not being a freak - I just wanna know what the "ideal" placement ofd things should be,,, but I won't go out of my way to accomodate something not practical lah. Anyways, Rail is more than happy to give an assessment, but not without a proper floor plan and compass directions. Gimmie a few days beb then i'll email ya, k?

Ah, remember the psycho kitty? Yeah, she remembers me :-) (she's standing on my lap as I type this - took me how many months the last time to get her this comfortable with me!) And she's been extra-psycho these past few weeks. It seems Kosh was having loads of trouble with her recently: she'd decided to start using the bathroom mat as her pee place instead of the kitty litter box, probably as a feline protest at being left all alone in a new place most of the time. Hopefully with me around she'll be back to her normal levels of psycho-ness :-)

Was starting to shut-down in the afternoon, so took a nap till almost 4pm, heehehe! Hopped out around 645pm to visit Kosh at work - he'd called and said he was free for the moment and wanted to show me around. Of course, he was free until about 2mins before I got there, so we couldnt hang out, and no tour of the place for me. yet. Won't see him till past 1pm tomorrow, cos he's on call tonight. But he's equipped with power food to keep him going, delivered by yours truly: a zone bar, a hard-boiled egg, mountain dew and diet cherry vanilla coke.

And yeah,,, stepping out of the apartment block was like walking into a wall of heat... but thanx to it being the Windy City and all, it helped make it fell less hot than it really was.

Now it's getting close to 830pm (and it's still light outside?!! Oh, did I mention it was also nice and bright already at 6am?!), and I did mean to give a few people a call to tell them I'm back on this side of the world. There's at least CLB, KTN and VMA... shall I do all or one? I guess we'll see who's home now lah. I don't think I have contact info for elisette apart from email... so will drop her a line maybe tomoro.

More catching up later...

ciao!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

just a few hours!

yikes!

packed my stuff... looks like I've got 24kgs of luggage, and i *think* the limit is 20kg. and i hear the airlines are quite strict about excess luggage weight now what with the high price of fuel. urrgh.

to repack and reduce... or to risk it.... hmmmmmmm.... got about an our to decide plus shower plus get ready ... leaving the apartment about 8pm.. getting to the airport around 9pm... check-in... then will have p.l.e.n.t.y. of time to waste spend with parents and aunt - will have dinner, i suppose... not that there's anything nice to eat at the airport... i suppose by 11pm I'll waltz thru the immigration... then hang around till my flight.

please pray for no delays or worse incidents, k?

it's going to be a journey of just about 24hrs.

HEY! 24 kg, 24hrs! hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

:p

so much has been happening this week... most of it as mentioned in the earlier post, so need to reiterate. summary: meeting LOTS of people!! But unfortunately lots of other people i *should* have met during these past 5 months that i. just. never. got. around. to. meeting. :-( oh well. sorry, y'all! :-(

k.. a few more loose ends to tie up online, then i am outta here.

byyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

"see" ya in Chicago!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

packed!

... no.... not my luggage... my SCHEDULE!!

Wednesday:
gotta juggle cars (mom's car being treated for shudders - timing belt changed. should be ready sometime wednesday) and duties (dad needs to be at golf in Shah Alam at noon; mother at doctor's at 11am; and mother needs a car to get to the airport to pick up my aunt her sister who's gonna be here for a couple o' weeks' vacation). Oh and a pseudo-bachelorette party type thing at Planet Hollywood for me starting around 930pm.

Thursday:
Lunch with Als @ KLCC. And if I find someone to go with, DRSG is performing at No Black Tie, 9pm or so. I'm not a jazz fan tho... wanna go but only if there's someone to share the experience :p

Friday:
Torture Massage at 1130am - 2pm; then depending if Sunny is back from Singapore, she's gonna take me to an aura-reader type person. Friday night is also just about the only window for me & Rail to meet up.

Saturday:
While I have nothing specifically planned for the DAY, seeing as it's my last day in KL/malaysia I should probably take the opportunity to spend token quality time with the family, eh? And pack my luggage. And get to the airport by 9pm or so.

Like I said.. p.a.c.k.e.d.!

Of course, the week started off that way too: Friday nite was an outing with Baby Angel and KS to BA's friend's housewarming party that turned into a babysitting KS session :p Saturday was tea with Sunny [where I discovered she knew of this aura-seeing person and I wanted to check it out, if Sunny decided to get back from Singapore before I left] and dinner with Als and gang [wow, her kids have grown!]. Sunday was the mini-pseudo-farewell for me & Allie with 5 other St Marians - 4pm till 8pm, LMAO!!. Took me most of Monday just to recover from all that!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

countries i've visited

got this from Dawn.


create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands


It's a bit misleading for those big countries like Canada (have only been to whatever big town that was north of Sioux Falls), Indonesia (only been to Jakarta and Bali), China (Beijing), Philippines (Manila), Thailand (Bangkok).. but hey, if nothing else, it shows many places i've YET to go... ehem, Kosh, when ah? :-)

I *have* to get to Iceland one day.

All other places, negotiable :-)

[update: just remembered i've also been to the then-USSR: Moscow]

Oh - there's a more detailed option for the U.S.... here's what I think i've done (i exclude the places i've "transitioned" i.e. didn't do anything except change planes in that particular state, or drive through it without spending any significant time there). Still a ways to go to get it all red :-)


create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

numb3rs

Okay so the other day when my father was in hospital, his tag caught my eye. You know, the tag they attach to your wrist, which states the patient's name, age, doctor, etc? Well, from my angle, it looked like it said "GAY" ... a closer look showed it actually said "64Y", heehehe!

This morning, I chortled out loud when I saw this number plate:
MAF 1051

I wonder if the owner has another car with the singular MAF 1050?

That reminds me of the vehicle i've spied occasionally on the roads in KL - the owner must be someone called Natasia: NAT 4514

********
it's been an exhausting weekend.

will catch up on the audience participation thingy tomorrow (haven't forgotten ya, malapetaka & umi!), k?

gnite!

Friday, July 21, 2006

countdown: EIGHT DAZE!

Okay so i am about RM560 poorer, but i've sent off 3 boxes of books and one box of other miscellaneous stuff; they should arrive in Chicago in 2 months or so.

And i'm getting MY butt over there in about 8 days. Well, i *leave* in about 8 days, my butt and the rest of me will get to chicago about 24hrs after that. Sunday, noon-ish. Whoohooo!

Have no idea of any loose ends to tie up this time around before leaving. Maybe that's good, considering ...
  • Am going out with Baby Angel and KS tonight.
  • Saturday night is a potluck dinner with a bunch of ex-colleagues from Als' side of the work
  • Sunday afternoon is tea with a small bunch of St Marians - a farewell for both me and Allie (she's off to Oz).

On another note: thought I'd share something i totally burst out laughing at while reading Jim Butcher's Dead Beat (the 7th Harry Dresden book).
"Hey, are your feet wet? Do you see the pyramids??"
"Why?"
"Looks to me you're knee deep in de Nile!"
nvm... u had to be there. Or you had to read there? yeah. whatever.

okay, i gotta go nap .. and figure out the plan for tonight too!

ciao!

Monday, July 17, 2006

.. a little laugh ...

got this in the inbox today and thought it was blog-sharable ...

Figure out this scenario:



You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a valley and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you. In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a helicopter flying at ground level. Both the giant pig and the helicopter are also traveling at the same speed as you.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

See below












Answer:

Get off the children's "Merry-Go-Round", you're drunk.

Yep, THAT got me to LOL. Hope it at least got a smile to YOUR face!

Right now i am starting to stress/freak about SHIPPING stuff I ain't even started packing yet. ugh!
The maximum measurement for parcels is 1.05 meters in length and not exceeding 2.00 meters in combined lengths and circumference.
Can anyone translate that into something useful, say, "normal" dimensions of a typical box????

Will get to more "audience participation" responses in a day or two, stay tuned, ya?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

audience participation required, part deux

As i type this, i've responded to TWO commenters [adam and SG]... any more takers? go drop a line HERE and i'll respond there too.

Thought I'd highlight what Dariush responded for me in his blog. and add my own responses :-)
"something random"
1. You are a rat. Just like me.
kewl! i looked at yr age: u r one cycle younger than me, and Baby Angel's age :-)

"challenge"
2. If you do end up in Chicago, you HAVE to try the Iranian food at Reza's. And barring that, post a picture of yourself, even if it's an artsy one that doesn't really ID who you are.
I'll have to take note of Reza's [KOSH!! TAKE NOTE!! hehehee!!]; i am ROTFLMAO at the not IDing who i am heeheheeeee! check this out - artsy enough? or too "safe"? heeheehe!

"color"
3. Jungle green, since Malaysia has jungles.
AWESOME! my fellow popians would be so happy too :-) note the color i'm choosing to use for my responses too! :-)

"like"
4. You re-read books, and then you find something different in them and something different in yourself.
wow that's deep.. but kinda true :-)

"first/clearest memory"
5. You are a fellow Lost Blogger, which is how I "met" you.
yep! glad i participated and "met" a totally different set of bloggers to get to know better.

"animal"
6. A tarsier (jungle theme continuation). Inquisitive, curious, all eyes and ears.
grrr had to look this up, believe it or not :p reminds me of a lemur... thaaaaanx! heehehehe! i like this little blurb tho: "When caged, some tarsiers have been known to injure and even kill themselves because of the stress"

"something always wanted to ask"
7. Where are you from and what's your background?
Dunno how coherent this nutshell is gonna be: I'm a half-breed Malay [which is equated to being a Muslim here] and Swiss; born and bred in Malaysia: Grew up pretty much an "outsider" because I didn't look [and certainly didn't act like a] Malay, but technically i *was* Malay and therefore "enjoyed" the "benefits" of being of the "right" race in Malaysia. One benefit was winning a scholarship to study Chemistry in the U.S. and those 5 years were fundamental in getting me "free to be me". I've oscillated between hating everything about this country to accepting it for all its flaws... i'll always be a Malaysian at heart [just don't ask me about being a Malay lah!]. Does that cover it?

"song"
8. Bear Necessities - That song from The Jungle Book. Again, the jungle theme, but it also is very laid back, as I get the impression you are.
heehehe i'm thinking nekkid ["bare" vs "bear"] stuff now, silly! heehehehe! but yeah, i'm laid back.. probably TOO laid back / liberal for this part of the world. kinda glad i'm heading back at the end of the month.

So... if anyone else intrigued yet? drop me a comment HERE, k? Then tell me how u like my responses lah :-)

Urgh's, part deux

dunno full details (tough when doc just mumbles stuff PLUS dad is practically deaf i mean hard-of-hearing), but seems MRI confirms existence of a blockage/narrowing or an artery in the brain / leading to the brain... so dad is stuck in hospital while they put him on some sort of drip 3x day for 5 days (nurses say it's an antibiotic.. doc says it's an anticoagulant... wtf?). Looking at him you wouldn't think he's had a stroke.. in fact he's chafing at being "bound" to the hospital and is longing for the golf course.

reminds me of the tale 14 years ago when he was in ICU refusing to accept that he'd had a heart attack, and signalled to my mother to smuggle in some smokes for him.

anyways,

then this mid-morning his cardiologist waltzes in saying "you're diabetic; we'll have a dietician come in and talk to you on Monday" wtf? tried to get a *bit* more intfo, turns out they'd run him thru a GTT (glucose tolerance test) in the morning and his "results" "went up 4 - 8 - up to 12! that's diabetic!". yeaaaaahhh gimmie just a wee bit more info lah doc... grrrrrr! anyways, diabetes runs in the family, so it's not a total surprise, but so far my dad's managed to keep whatever readings on blood glucose barely within "normal" levels... see lah how now...

so yeah... a reminder for me (not that i've ever forgotten) that i probably carry a high diabetes risk, seeing it rear its ugly head in most of my father's immediate kin. More impetus for me to lose those extra pounds and move on to a slightly heathier lifestyle. Fun.

oh yeah and those bombs in mumbai

and the war that's just escalated between Israel and Lebanon

... all i can say to all that is ... "urgh"

Friday, July 14, 2006

audience participation required!

Got this from Dariush Shafa:

It's an unusual meme in the sense that it needs audience participation.

Here's the deal. If you comment here:

1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll challenge you to try something.
3. I'll pick a color that I associate with you.
4. I'll tell you something I like about you.
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you.
8. I'll pick a song that reminds me of you.

And how does this propagate?

Well, u drop me a comment, I'll respond with those 8 points, and in "payment" YOU post this same deal on YOUR blog.

Kinda cool, eh?

I'm wondering how this will turn out.. so come on, get those comments in!

cheers!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Urgh's for the day

Urgh.. the haze is back... i'm lookin out the window and i see white air. no sign of the petronas twin towers or the telecom tower! smells smokey too. urgh.

Yesterday was an interesting day... woken up at 645am by my mother who could barely speak, saying my dad "wasn't doing very well", they were going to the hospital; i said i'd come along...

.. thinking we were going to the nearby hospital,, after all, that's why they bought the apartment so close to a "bad chi" location... but no... at 7am we were going to battle the morning rush hour to get to a hospital across town.. because that's where they took him 14years ago for his heart attack, and that's where his cardiologist is, and that's where his records are...

good thing at 7am, the traffic is usually already heavy, but still flowing.

we got there, he was feeling much better already... later his cardiologist came in and checked him, said it didn't sound like a heart attack, but he didn't like the dizziness symptom; ordered chest x-ray and a CT scan; results would be in later.

long story short : it had been a stroke. a relatively mild one, affecting his left side of the brain that deals with balance. very fortunate.

they'll do an MRI and whatever else they need to do to check the impact of the stroke on the brain itself, and will be keeping him in hospital for 5 days' worth of treatment.

Most of the "clan" swooped in last night once we'd announced what had happened - yep, the very Asian thing to do - the obligatory hospital visit! Silver lining - they were so occupied with him that i was spared interrogation about oh pesky things like being engaged, departure date, etc etc. heehehehe!

Speaking of departure date: i've booked a flight outta here arriving in Chicago 11am on sunday 30th july 2006.

See? end on a positive note :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

At least he denied FedEx *one* record!

Nadal lost! :(

I actually watched the match. This is the first time I have actually watched tv since i got back to KL over 4.5 months ago! And I broke that "record" in order to root for Nadal...

Can't rationally say why I *so* wanted Federer to be denied both the "not dropping a set throughout the tournament" record (last achieved by Bjorn Borg) AND the "winning 4 Wimbledon Championships in a row" record, joining the ranks of Borg and Pete Sampah Sampras. [so what if FedEx is Swiss!]

So Nadal denied him the undropped sets record.

Yay.

Anyways - this was the first time I'd actually had a good look at him - omg he looks like a petulant kid! heehehehe!

(p/s - the match was over just about 30mins ago... and already wikipedia has the updated info at least on FedEx's page. amazing!)


**********

In other news...... Zouk this Friday, anyone? :D

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Blistering Barnacles!!

Okay so I've lost momentum on that "cataloging every book" thing I had going for a while... but today I *did* finish up all of the "upstairs" stuff I wanted to take note of.

Which included the "comics" that as kids me & my brother were allowed to read.

No Beano or Topper for us, oh no, not allowed,...

We had much more "intelligent" (?) comics like
- Lucky Luke
- Asterix & Obelix
- Tintin
- Les Schtroumpfs (The Smurfs to you English-speaking folk)

Yep, not all of them in English maaah... we have some of them in French... and for Tintin, even in Malay!

Tried flipping through some Tintins but just couldn't get into any of them - wow, I remember a time when I consumed them voraciously! ... then again - what DIDN'T i consume voraciously?? I know I REALLY liked the Tintin in Tibet one when I was young(er) - maybe I related to the lonely abominable snowman?

And for those clueless to the title of this post, it's one of the common "exclamations" by Captain Haddock (pictured). Other Tintin characters include Professor Cuthbert Calculus and the Thompson & Thompson (the source/inspiration for the 80's group The Thompson Twins).

***
on a different note:
had my interview at the US Embassy last Thursday - all seemed to go well, and unless some skeleton in some closet pops out over the weekend, I should be able to pick up my passport AND VISA this Monday!

Yahooooooooooo!

And once that is in hand?
  • Figure out when I can/want to leave (by the end of the month!!)
  • Get plane ticket (parents have said they'll sponsor, yay!)
  • Pack stuff for sea-shipping
  • Organise a farewell do or three...
  • ... and mayyyyyybe show my face to the relatives I've been totally avoiding since I got back?? haahahahaaaaaa....
I have a feeling these next few weeks will pass in no time at all...

And guess what song/scene keeps running through my head? Dr Frank-N-Furter singing about going home at the end of RHPS. Yep, fishnet stockings, garters and all. LMAO!

Cheers!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Yahoo!Groups

For those St Marians of 1989 - I've created a Yahoo!Group for us.

If you're not in the 43 people I sent the first invite out to, drop me an email and i'll make sure to invite ya.

cheers!

The Weekend Getaway

Picking up da gurls
    I had three girls to pick up from KL Sentral.
    Guess how many different locations I had to go the pick-ups? THREE!!
    Yeah, that's how confusing KLSentral is. And how confusing my directions were :p

Getting there
    I L.O.V.E. having the Touch&Go card - escaped the queues of the cash payers. whoohoo! Traffic was pretty okay until a few km before the lanes narrowed from 3 to 2 - bottleneck = friggin jam! But at least we didn't c.r.a.w.l. lah.

Arrival
    reached there around 330pm.
    Put everyone to work dusting, sweeping, mopping the place.
    Sweaty!
    Then we rested :)

    Around 6pm went out for supplies, but ended up visiting the pasar malams in "town" and at the "beach", scarfing down pseudo kebabs while walking around, buying food for later, then had dinner. Then got the ICE and snacks.

Da night
    Out came da booze. Down went da booze.
    It was REALLY obvious that I *so* enjoyed NOT having the responsibility to drive everyone home the same night!
    Thing is, it was all so great that I probably took a bit too many too fast, because I was the first to crawl onto the couch and surrender to sleep, despite the others going "Hey! It's way too early to be passing out!! The night is still young?!!"

    Then Baby Angel hit the hay soon after.

    I woke up about 2 hours later, and rejoined KS & Rail; they were still going strong with stout & white wine :-p

    I stuck to water. Lots o water.

    I think we all hit the hay around 6am :-)

The morning after
    Everyone woke up at different times, and I ended up doing a sorta taxi service.

    First, breakfast just me & Baby Angel
    Then, lunch with KS & Baby Angel
    Then, a second lunch with Rail & Baby Angel
    All at pretty much the same gerai makan, heeheehe!

    It was just too friggin hot to even hit the beach.

    Packed up, left around 4pm. But not before KS went shutterbug crazy taking pix of the house, and the monkeys in the trees nearby, heeheeee!

    Took forever to get back into town - there musta been 4 stretches of crawling, tho had no indication of any accidents. Again - LOVE the Touch&Go card! :-)

    Dropped off Baby Angel.

    Had dinner at Steven's @ Pandan Indah. Had cheese & Garlic naan (KS loved it so much she bought FOUR to takeaway, LMAO!).

    Dropped off Rail.

    Dropped off KS.

    Didn't feel like going straight back, so hung out at the PJ Hilton Beanie till around 9pm.

    Went back.

    Showered.

    OMG it was SO GOOD to be all clean again (not that I didn't shower while there, but, well, i'd just start sweating all over again as soon as I stepped out of the shower!). And SO GOOD to step out of the bathroom into an air-conditioned room, whoohoo! I really can't imagine how people survive without air-conditioning anymore.

All in all, was a fun time.

And no, I was never tempted to even LOOK at all those boxes of books stored there. My momentum's kinda shot anyway, so I may just leave 'em for another time. In a few years or so maybe? heehehe.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Quickie

Posting this via flickr, because blogger sucks. :p This pic isn't from this past weekend, but, well, it fits the topic at hand :-p

QUESTION:

You have a 750mL bottle of vodka (VK). You plan to mix it with tonic water (T) and slices of lime to make your new fave DIY drink of vodka tonic. You also know that you'll probably have the VK:T ratio of 1:1 (possibly 3:1 by the time you've knocked back a few, LOL!). How much tonic water do you need?

Unfortunately, I didn't pause and ask myself that question during my quest for tonic water: ended up buying like TWELVE cans of various brands.

If one can = over 300mL then 12 cans = 3600mL. If I were to use ALL that tonic with the vodka, we'd have a VK:T ratio of 750:3600 = 1:5 = yeah right!

So, guess how many cans I brought back from the boozefest?

TEN cans, LMAO! We only used like 1.25 cans.

In THIS case, VK:T = 750:375 = 2:1 = now THAT's more like it, LOL!
(of course, that's not really accurate cos the VK was mixed with some other stuff too, some had it on the rocks, etc etc... but still....)

anyways - yeah so i am back from the weekend boozefest. Will post an overview of the event tomorrow, once I've kinda caught up with some sleep.

Cheers!

(posted 2nd July 2006, 1050pm local Malaysian time)
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