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Showing posts from December, 2008

looking book back on 2008

[pssst! check out my other blog for a retrospective on 2008, and a pic of my niece!]

So, if I'm seeing my list on GoodReads correctly, I (only) made it through 49 books this year. Coincidentally, that's the same number as last year. Heh, if nothing else I suppose I'm starting to read at a consistent rate?

2008 was the year I actively hunted down vampire-related books, or at least some sort of "darker" angle to the fantasy I usually read. I really enjoyed the Noble Dead series by Barb & J. C. Hendee, where a half-vampire and her elf companion, accompanied by an elemental reborn "dog" form, start out being fake vampire hunters, then real ones, then finding themselves enmeshed in a much wider web of deceit... On a totally different angle, I found Vicki Pettersson's Sign of the Zodiac series promising: its romance elements were not overwhelming, and did not detract from the plot (unlike Lois McMaster Bujold's foray into the romantic fantasy are…


h/t: Ian @ My Big World of Crap

... click here to read this news article on what can only be described as an incident of Movie Rage...

ok, you've read it?

here's what I keep stumbling over: the dude went back to watching the movie!


Remind me never to go to a movie theatre in Philly... or never go unarmed, at least.


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and checking out my other blog: a malaysian abroad

humped and tongued on Christmas!

Things that happened to me on Christmas:

1. Got humped by a dog. This was at a yoga pal's house, it was their pet. At first I thought Wolfie was really excitedly sniffing at me because he smelled evidence of the psycho kitty,, but then he "hugged" my arm... and when I pushed him off and stood up, he proceeded to "hug" my thigh. Thankfully the critter was a small breed, because at least I could push him away pretty easily. But ugh. I guess *those* jeans go straight into the laundry basket! Didn't have the opportunity to ask his owners if this was a common behaviour of his, or if I was his type :p

2. Bit my tongue. Hard. What distracted me, I don't know. But this is a reason I rarely chew gum - when I did, the insides of my cheeks were a mess because I'd keep accidentally biting them! Getting the tongue is a less common occurrence, but hey, it happened. And right now I feel as if I should be talking with a major lisp, because, gah, that one…

have a merry maury christmas, y'all!

Remember, it's not about materialism or commercialism, but about celebrating an important birth (even though we all know Jesus wasn't born at this time of year, and this event was hijacked from the pagan winter solstice celebration, etc etc etc).

H/T: Ritualistic (image source)

To those who believe/celebrate, I wish you a Merry and Peaceful Christmas. And to all, have a great rest-of-the-year! May 2009 be a challenging yet fulfilling year for us all :)

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my feed,
and checking out my other blog: a malaysian abroad

three FAIL!s in one product!

.. continuing along the theme of windshields ...

The inside of Kosh's car is a tad grungy (I won't ask how many times it's actually been properly cleaned since he bought it back in '97!), and during wintertime the windshield tends to get a little fogged up with condensation. I don't like it, it interferes with my view of the road.

So quite a while ago, I saw this product at a local Target, and got Kosh to buy it.

The first FAIL! occurred when trying to open the Moisture Lock Snap Pack: the little ring you're supposed to pull to get to the wipes? It came off. Just the ring. No way to get to the wipes.

So back we went to Target, and got a replacement.

A few months later, (we are nothing if not procrastinators), it's cold, the windshield is threatening to get foggy, so we finally open the pack and wipe down the insides of the windshield and front windows. The wipes were very wet, so we could cover a huge surface area with it... but it turned the glass all fogg…

does your car freeze on the inside?

Okay so technically winter doesn't start till 22nd December.

But if it's not yet winter, explain why it's been snowing steadily all day today?

If it's not yet winter, explain why it was so cold yesterday that ice formed on the inside of the car?

Yeah, this is the picture I snapped yesterday while waiting for the poor car to warm up in the sub-zero (Celcius) temperature. All that "fog" is ice, on the inside.

The lines you see were made by me trying in vain to use the ice scrapers: they didn't do diddly.

So, ummm, does your car get ice on the inside too?

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to my feed,
and checking out my other blog: a malaysian abroad

This one, this swan!

"Have you ever?" - as found at MsRay's Woman On A Journey blog.

Have you ever been on TV?
Ummm, no, I don't think so.

Have you ever sung in public?
Numerous times! It's all karaoke's fault! :) Totally out of practice now, though, don't think I could tarik those high notes anymore... no more Fantasia Bulan Madu for me! :(

Have you ever dyed your hair blond?
No. Light copper goes well with my complexion; but haven't dyed my hair since 2004.

Have you ever eaten frogs' legs?
Yup. Then I find out I'm not supposed to because it's haram. Yay!

Have you ever received a present that you really hated?
"Hated" is such a strong word.... nothing comes to mind, but I'm sure I've received gifts that might have disappointed me before; however, I make it a point to appreciate the thought more than the gift itself.

Have you ever walked into a lamppost?
Lampost, no. Bedpost, yes.

Have you ever cooked a meal by yourself for more than 15 pe…

Blast from the Past: Boney M!

Music has always been a HUGE part of my life, especially in my early childhood and teenage years. I grew up immersed in the sounds of The Beatles, ABBA and Boney M, the latter two being quite different yet the same in terms of disco Euro-pop bubblegum sweetness. Surprisingly to me, Kosh hadn't heard of Boney M.

No Brown Girl in the Ring,
... no By The Rivers of Babylon,
... ... no ra-ra-Rasputin,
... ... ... no Daddy Cool,
... ... ... ... no Bahama Mama!
OMG has he been missing out!! :D :D :D

I've been craving Boney M recently, no idea why.

Rhapsody helped a bit, but I notice I've got a total of 25 free plays. Blah. Besides, they didn't have one particular song I remember from the Boonoonoonoos album, the one vinyl my parents have of them, that stood out in my head and gave me goosebumps every time I heard it.

Thank goodness for YouTube!

I'd recommend you not pay attention to the visuals, and just close your eyes and let the music take you away. Kinda like what I did pe…

a broad malaysian?

... as I've mentioned off and on over the past four years [HOLY COW it's been FOUR years??!!], Life After Work was created as a means of staying in touch with friends and family after I upped and left them for the U.S. ... I later realised most of my target audience wasn't cooperating, but I went on blogging anyway, soon turning this blog into a real mixed bag of topics, which was fine with me, but sometimes I felt it could do with a little bit less fluff and a bit more meaningful content.

Thus the birth of a malaysian abroad. Here, I intend to focus on observing, comparing and ultimately celebrating the differences and similarities that exist between Malaysia, Switzerland, and the USA.

I talk about my reasons for wanting to do so here.

I think I've made this topic broad enough that I shouldn't run out of topics anytime soon, yet narrow enough that I hope I can lend a unique voice to a focused perspective.

So please swing on by and check out my other digs! And if…


Anyone got suggestions as to where I can get my bag fixed?

Okay, so Kosh calls it my purse, and I suppose that is what it is called in the US. In Malaysia, it is usually called a handbag. I, however, don't like either term. What I have is essentially a rugged yet delicate small leather backpack-like thing, bought in Switzerland in 2003. It's a bag. Nuff said.

Thing is, one of the thingamajigs broke (circled in red - click to embiggen).

What's broken isn't obvious in the photo right now, because we have tried to fix it. You see how there's a male and female component? Well, the female component, the ring, had a little piece break off. So we glued the piece back on (with male component in place within it), made sure it dried properly, all that jazz. I used the fixed bag once and ooops whaddayaknow, "he" slipped out of "her"!

I have no idea how to replace the thingy, even if I knew where to source a replacement. I don't even know what t…

... will we never learn?

Sorry, this will be a short and incoherent post.

Yet another landslide in the Bukit Antarabangsa area.

The knee-jerk reaction? Banning new hillside developments. Wow. That is something that should have been done at least fifteen years ago, after the Highland Towers landslide.

But you know what has got my blood pressure up? Reading that Pak Lah has the gall to say "Malaysians never want to learn from past experiences. They want good views while developers only seek to profit ... no one takes safety and soil stability into consideration."

ummmm... wait a minute... there's at least one other player in this fiasco... or are you telling me that there is no government agency that is in charge of town planning and development? None that is in charge of checking, vetting and approving the profiteering developers' proposals, including looking at pesky little details such as safety and soil stability? That has the authority to can projects that are unsafe, or force projects…

Foody Friday: mega-pumpkin bread!

A few weeks ago, as I was strolling up and down the aisles of the neighborhood grocery store, it was full of specials relating to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. For some reason -- probably due to subliminal advertising or something, wouldn't put it past stores these days -- it popped into my head that I wanted to make some pumpkin bread.

But, I don't *like* pumpkin! Okay, not really. I don't mind it. But I've never been a fan of pumpkin pie - it's just way too slimy, and overwhelmingly pumpkin-y and spicy.

So I picked up a box of Pillsbury's pumpkin version of their Quick Bread... but almost immediately started thinking about how to jazz things up a bit. I mean, just plain old "bread" would be a bit boring, right?

I noticed that they suggested adding either cranberries or walnuts into the mix. "Hey, I have both at home, how 'bout both?" I said to myself.

And yet, I still felt like there was more I could do.

"How 'bout…


I'm baaaaccckkkk!! Survived the in-laws despite a four-day exposure, LoL!

... my waldorf salad was a hit, as was my pumpkin bread :)

And got back in time for snow to finally hit Chicago, and STICK.
Out come the snow boots!

I need to get caught up with what's been going on in the world. I know something really bad happened in Mumbai, gotta read up on that. Putting that off a bit though, I know it's going to be grim.

So in the meantime, here's a nod of thanks to my top Entrecard droppers of the last month or so, made especially more meaningful considering I had been rather lax this past month, what with naNo and all...:
Is 8 Enough? (31)Journal of our homeschool family's daily activities and general happenings.
Lofty Matters (31)A general collection of what I find interesting
MJG's Rambling Thoughts (31)My rambling thoughts and stuff. Such as Music Videos from You tube, Photos, Awards, Prayer Requests, And my rants.
On The Bricks (30)People, Places, Things, Ne…