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Showing posts from September, 2008

itchy and scratchy

... seeing how my paperwork blues post garnered lots of comments and questions, I will be responding to them in a separate post rather than having it buried in the comments section. This will happen in a day or two, so stay tuned, k?

In the meantime:

I occasionally have these welts appear on my forearms near the elbow, we've always figured it's some sort of low-grade contact irritation. Back in high school, I remember occasionally getting them, and assumed I was reacting to a particularly nasty mosquito bite. Then one day my parents decided to try and make me more of a girl, and bought me some sort of toiletry set from Marks & Sparks; in order not to waste it, one day before school I put some of the scented powder on my face. Halfway through school I was scratching and scratching at my cheeks, feeling these huge raised welts. I remember a friend of mine asking what was wrong. Me: "Oh, just reacting to a mosquito bite lah." She: "Ummm... it looks much mo…

paperwork blues

As I mentioned earlier, it's been just about 2 years since Kosh and I got hitched.

The paperwork culminating up to that point was immense.

Since Oct '04 I'd been in and out of the U.S. on a tourist visa; getting married during that time would have been a violation of the tourist visa conditions. So in November '05 Kosh applied for permission to apply for a Fiancée Visa. Among the submission requirements was of course proof of relationship. The engagement ring receipt, photos of Kosh in Malaysia "meeting her parents", photos of me in the U.S. "meeting his parents", and personal statements from the both of us were among the items provided.

Once that was approved (~March '06 - I was back in Malaysia by that time in order to not overstay!), I then could apply for the Fiancée Visa itself. From Malaysia. It ended up being a long 6 month separation :( Again, proof of relationship had to be provided. Taking into consideration what had been submitted …

My head feels lighter...

Before: After:
... and Kosh says I look younger, LoL!
(The "before" pic is cropped from a pic by Dave taken during Davecago3 early August 2008)

... and while we're on the topic of hair ...

1991: Me. Seated at my desk in my dinky little dorm room, studying. My roommate is also seated at her desk, also studying. Our backs are facing each other. My attention wanders off, and I play with my hair while trying to read the words in front of me. My eyes travel to the hair I'm playing with. I notice hair of different thicknesses: small medium large, or light medium and dark colored, and wonder about them. Then I notice split ends - aarrgghhh! I reach for the pair of scissors, and start snipping away at the nasty ends. A few minutes later I realise I hear the same snip! snip! from behind me - my roommate has also been distracted the same way, LoL!


~1998: Me. In front of the mirror in the ladies' bathroom in the project site office. I'm supposed to…

Foody Friday

One unforeseen benefit from joining Entrecard: stumbling across lots of food blogs that share simple yummy recipes!

Benefit #1:CHEDDAR BROCCOLI SALAD by Mira at My Kitchen Table.
(image taken from here)
Please click to see the recipe. Very simple. I tried a half-portion, using about two stalks of broccoli to make 3 cups, and that was a good size for two people plus leftover for another day. Kinda miraculous to have had leftovers tho, because o.m.g. Kosh and I couldn't stop eating it, it was so good! It helped to have sugar in the mayo: it could have passed for a dessert, LoL!

I didn't have the presence of mind to take a pic of it though, hence the "stealing" from Mira's site. (I do hope you don't mind!)

= = =

Benefit #2:SOPAPIA CHEESECAKE by Shawn at Live Laugh, Blog

So we're supposed to be watching what we eat, and all that good stuff. But the call of crap (read: GOOOOOD but bad for ya!) is heard all too clearly in our household. Rather than buying them…

... these feet are made for walking ...

Depending on incline and speed, I take between 52 and 60 steps in 30 seconds while on the treadmill. I usually do 30mins, which brings my total steps to 3120 - 3600 steps for every gym session.

Today, in addition to the above (*gasp!!* yes we actually hit the gym today!!), Kosh and I spent about one hour walking this evening.

The "excuse": reduce the turnaround time of Netflix DVDs by dropping them off at the 9pm pick-up Post Office, resulting in their arrival at the DVD facility tomorrow, resulting in next-in-queue DVDs also getting sent out tomorrow, resulting in their arrival in our mailbox on Thursday! [Yes, sometimes we really want to squeeze our money's worth out of Netflix, can you tell?? LoL!]

Rough estimate of steps taken today? Looks like I hit the recommended 10,000 steps!!

Unfortunately, today is NOT normal :(
I do not foresee us putting in this amount of walk time every day:
we don't have THAT many Netflix DVDs to return,
... I wouldn't want to have th…

... let's change the mood up a little, shall we?

... after a few geek, 9-11 and heartsick posts, let's move on to a book/author-related post instead!

FREE LAUGHS!
Patrick Rothfuss (only one of the best new fantasy writers since forever!) was goofing around at the recent DragonCon with gear he'd actually bought for his g/f ... risqué pictures were taken ... and now there's a contest for best caption on Tobias Buckell's blog. Do check it out, I let loose a few LoLs myself!

FREE E-BOOK!
What's the catch? Well, it expires 30 days after you get it. And it's available for a limited time only. But hey, for those who have been meaning to read Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere", you might want to take this opportunity! Interested? Click here. And make sure you download before September 23rd! [otherwise... I *think* you can read the thing online without a time limit...]

NEIL GAIMAN LIVE!
But if you want the real thing, Mr G is doing a book tour for the soon-to-be-released The Graveyard Book, and will be in Ch…

heartsick

No matter where my life journey takes me, where I'm from will always be Malaysia.

... although I told myself I just didn't want to know anymore about what was going on, politics-wise, recent events were ridiculous enough to make themselves known to me. Then in the past few weeks, the sh*t really seemed to hit the fan. Inflammatory racist remarks and actions. The dude refused to apologise; surprisingly he was "punished" - suspended from UMNO for 3 years & stripped of all posts. Good, right? Ummmm, yeaahh... except that the reporter who reported it has just been arrested under the catch-all Internal Security Act. Three newspapers issued show cause letters for reporting the incident (but not Utusan Malaysia? Not NST? I bet they reported it too?). Then a 3-term Member of Parliament and State Exco *and* Raja Petra (RPK) are also arrested under the ISA - why? I can guess, but you know what? The government doesn't have to say anything, it *is* the ISA!

.…

the wheel of life

... death is a necessary part of life.


[image derived from here]
but that doesn't detract from the horror that happened seven years ago.
may all innocent lives that perished,
as a result of this dark day
rest in peace

... on a much smaller scale,
on a more personal note,
the wheel of life continues to turn,
and now an elder of the family has passed away:

may you too rest in peace, grand-aunt G.
[1924 - Sept 2008]


... but there is no need to be sad ...
the wheel of life may take, as is its nature...
... but it also gives,
as is its nature
too

presenting, at long last,
my new niece "Rosie"

[look at the hero-worship in her eyes...
methinks she's going to grow up to be a daddy's girl!]

... geeky movie lists - how many have you seen?

... continuing in the "geek" theme ... I visit Wil Wheaton's blog every once in a while (check out "Ensign Crusher!" on my Famous Folk blogroll), and yesterday's visit was a very productive one (see Netflix additions!). He pointed me to an article at The Movie Retriever entitled Ten Truly Underrated Sci-Fi Movies. I then visited its follow-up, Underrated Sci-Fi Movies: Five We Missed, Five We Didn't. Please go visit if you're interested, the write-ups are very informative. But in case you don't want to bother with the clicking, here are their 15 underrated sci-fi movies: [*drumroll*]
Primer (2004) : NVH, NQAeon Flux (2005) : HNIBody Snatchers(1993) : HNITron (1982) : NQ (added by Kosh a while ago)Sleeper (1973) : NVH, NQeXistenZ (1999) : NVH, NQA Boy and His Dog (1974) : NVH, NQEnemy Mine (1985) : HNI (Caught bits of it on TV, just didn't call out to me)Gattaca (1997) : S+Silent Running (1972) : NVH, NQDark City(1…

... has marriage made me more of a geek?

This is the month of our second wedding anniversary! Yay!
[if you're new and you want to read about it all, you can start here]

... so ... I noticed that someone in Amherst, New Hampshire searching for "episode family guy stewie walks away like david banner" was pointed to an old post of mine, which prompted me to revisit & reread it, and retake the Nerd? Geek? or Dork? quiz that was part of the post.

Here's the result:
Sept 2006Sept 2008


"pure nerd""joe normal"


52% Nerd 48% Nerd


26% Geek 48% Geek


30% Dork 30% Dork


Heh. I musta still been a blushing bride when I first took the test. Since then, my dorkiness has stayed the same, my nerdiness dropped a little but wow I've almost doubled my geekiness!! But that makes me now a joe normal as opposed to a pure nerd? You scored less than half in all three, earning you the title of: Joe Normal.

This is not to say that you don't have some Nerd, Geek or Dork inside of you--we all do, and you can see …

yummy, a list for breakfast!

For the weekend, figured I'd supply reader(s) with random items discovered while surfing the 'net recently: many, but not all, the result of following the Entrecard rabbit down the yellow brick road (more on that in another post).

1. From Dawn at The Quiet Whispers Of A British Angel, I got sucked in to the 100 Most Common English Words challenge. There's also a 50 largest countries challenge - I did better at that than the words one, strange... warning - addictive!

2. From Acadia at Superficial Gallery: Want your computer screen cleaned? Here's an excellent tool to help you out :) [A similar but slightly less effective one here. Click!!] warning - hilarious!

3. Also from Acadia: The Duck Game. (Dave, I immediately thought of you & your artificial duck!) I made it past Level 14 but was then stumped. If *you* do better, tell me! warning - music lulls you into spending MORE time than your realise!

4. From Melissa at Your Fun Family: A Vision Test that t…

transparency is key!

A common healthy eating tip for those who fight losing battles with their inner Snack Monster is for us to try substituting the unhealthy tortilla chips, chocolates, pastries, etc with healthy fruits or veggies instead.

If you're like me, however, all too often when I open the fridge looking for something to eat, the apple just doesn't call out to me, and I end up doing a few rounds of opening & closing the fridge and various cabinet doors searching for something, anything, that isn't the nuts, zone bars, ice cream or chocolate, but in the end I'd settle for one of those items, only to find myself at the exact same place 30 mins later.

Wanna know how to fix this? eeeeeasy! :) Here's what I now do:
ALWAYS HAVE FRUIT SALAD IN THE FRIDGE!

I usually use a combination of the following: one apple & mango, two or three gold/green kiwi (all diced), some watermelon (also diced - not too much, but they provide lots of juice!), a bunch of grapes (halved/quartere…

of candles, more candles, and bling!

so over two years ago I blogged about recycling a candle [see reduce, reuse, recycle! ... and other stories for background]. As pictured here, we salvaged about 1/3 of the original wax for reusage.

Surprisingly, we've re-recycled the wax twice more since then, using the same method & container.

The first (or second?) time, I tried putting in two wicks in an attempt to get *all* the wax to get used - unfortunately there wasn't enough oxygen for both, so that was a lesson learned.

Heh.

Maybe not. Read on.

The second (third?) time around, the wax showed signs of fatigue or something - only the wax an inch around the wick got used (the jar is like 3 inches across).

So *this* time around, I figured we'd just use a smaller, narrower jar. "This bottle that used to contain sun-dried tomatoes will do the trick!" I said to myself. And it seemed perfect! The wax filled it up nicely, the wick just the right length, everything was a go. It took its new place in the …

throwaway - Part 3

... being part three of an ongoing series on wastefulness and frugality: see parts One and Two for previous posts ...

... ... ... so what set me off on this warpath against wastefulness??




This > > >



(sorry, took this pic on the sly in the local White Hen / 7-11)


This, to me, is the ultimate in waste. This is an affront to all of my senses.

What is "this", you ask??

... no-return rental DVDs ...

... and what makes them no-returns? They become unplayable after 48hrs ... and are then to. just. be. thrown. away.

Yes - the ultimate in this throwaway society - watch and throw!!


The culprit? Flexplay.com (I am so NOT linking to them!)


Their business model is certainly ingenious, adding yet another spin to the innovation brought about by Netflix. This time it's not just "no late fees", "arrives in your mailbox" and "no need to return to the store" ... it's "no MONTHLY fees", "get one by mail, or in a kiosk, or at a convenienc…