Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Besides my two Js, guess something that i'll be missing when i'm holiday is... blogging! Err.. hopefully not though. :p
Almost done packing. In less than seven hour time I have to be awake.. don't know whether I can sleep this early.. but my flight the next morning from Xiamen to Xian is even earlier! Help!
Am telling myself shall just relax my mind now that I'm on a holiday! Had been pretty tensed lately...hope this break will do me good. But on the other hand, already feeling a bit sad to be away from Jojo and Jelly for so long..well 8 days. Poor dogs would be so bored as my parents will also not be home..
Anyway... see u next month, Jess' two Js!
Monday, October 24, 2005
You are a...
You are best described as a:
You see, my parents have planned to join my aunt/uncle and cousin for a trip to the historical city of Xian, China. All of us had not been there before (though parents have been to many other parts of China) Since was invited to go with them, I won't let this opportunity slip. It was one of the `must-visit' places on my list of China's destinations. (check fellow blogger Chipmunk's blog for his series of posts on his recent trip there)
Now the `problem' was the trip would coincide with Deepavali and Hari Raya hols, and to be fair, normally I only take leave for CNY and Christmas so that my Muslim colleagues (many of them!) should have the priority for Raya. But my dear editor was so kind that he signed my leave form, upon a promise that I would send in as many stories as I could before I go on leave!
So that's what I've been doing. For the last two weeks or so, I had never worked so hard - submitting at least one story a day - (mostly full-length features, bearing in mind also the time/effot I go out to get these stories). Since the revamp, Buzz (the entertainment section of MM that I write for) has increased the local pages so my stories have been out really fast. Ok, should not complain on this I know but it means I have to work faster and harder!
Anyway, now I have two more stories to write up (keeping finger crossed that no last minute stuff will crop up) which I think I could handle for the next one-and-a-half day. I hope to come home early on Wednesday as I am leaving on an early flight the next morning. Still haven't started packing while my mother began a week ago! I just digged out some woolen sweaters as I heard it's quite cold now in Xian.
I will fly alone to Xiamen in Fujian province and joined my dad there. Staying over night there, we will fly to Xian the next morning (even earlier flight!!) and join my mom and relatives who would be flying directly from KL. Yeah, its a long story why my flight is a day earlier. In fact, my trip wasn't confirmed till last week as MAS had all those rules and restrictions for bookings especially during this holiday peak period. I needed to come back by Nov 4 (some commitment that weekend i don't want to miss) My mom and relatives will stay till the following week and they are flying Business Class!
Then there'll more traveling to do after tha. I begin work on Nov 7 and on the next day, I will be going to Chiangmai for a two-day-trip under invitation of HBO, for its new HBO Original Series called `Rome'. I was wondering why choose Chiangmai as a media trip but obviously it would be too big a budget for HBO to send us journos from this region to Italy, where the series was filmed. But nevertheles I'm pretty excited since I've never been there before.
Apparently HBO is known to be a good host who pampers the media. Already we're promised 5-star hotel and single room! We are bought travel insurance and the PR called to ask for details like whether I don't eat certain food or prefer smoking/non-smoking rooms. She will be coming to office to meet me tomorrow.
Gosh.. looks like the busy year-end schedule has already begun - work, church activities and personal stuff. But I hope to take it one step at a time and not be overwhelmed by it...
p.s. Forgot to mention that Jojo's 2nd stage of training is not to be allowed into the house. The trainer has created a new `toy' for him. It's just an old table cloth which he loves to chew. So now when I play with him and when he won't let go of the cloth, I am to use some treat to make him drop the cloth for the treat. So far, he is doing quite well. The trainer thinks Jojo is a smart dog. :)
Sunday, October 23, 2005
As I wrote in a post some months back, I have submitted a photo of the two Js for the dog calendar, so I just couldn't wait when the organiser inform us that all those whose pets are featured could get their free calendar today from Pets Wonderland, 1 Utama.
I also found out that Sherrina K, the brainchild of this projec that she has join forces with the SPCA to use the calendar to raise awareness for a `no more homeless pets' campaign. As it is a worthy cause to animal lovers like myself, I decided to volunteer and write a story on this event for my paper.
So after collecting my calendar, I had a good chat with Sherrina and SPCA Selangor chairman Christine Chin over indoor teh-tarik ice and get to know more about what SPCA is doing for their pets rescue program. Although I've heard about how the SPCA is overwhelmed with the number of strays and unwanted animals that have been dumped on their doorstep, but the statistics are just staggering.
It all boils down to our attitude towards owning pets. By right there should not be any unwanted pets.
It's good to know there are individuals like Sherrina and Christine who are so passionate about the cause they believe in - not only volunteering their time and services but have personally rescues and adopted many strays from the streets.
Back to the calendar. To be honest though, I was expecting something more. Somehow I had the impression it would be more glossy and has thicker paper quality. But I guess it is pretty well designed and produced (although the pages tend to come off a bit easily) considering that this is a non-profit making project and the net proceeds are to be channeled to the campaign.
If you'd like to do your bits to help unwanted dogs and cats, the calendars, priced at RM39.90, are available at all the Pets Wonderland outlets in Klang Valley. More information can also be found at http://www.mystycat.bravehost.com/
Yeah, its end of the year soon. The calendars make good and meaningful Christmas gifts! I've ordered a few more too..
p.s. my story on this will be out in MM news page on Monday (Oct 24, 2005)
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Decided to do away with my normal frivolous posts and put something serious here that led to the outrage of many people, especially animal lovers .
Unless you don't touch newspapers, we Malaysians would have read about the poor German Shephard Sheena's case. It came out as a front page article in the Malay Mail (the newspaper I write for) yesterday. (click on it for story for background if you have not read).
Today, there were more follow-up, including a report in the NST quoting the neighbour who reported the case to the authority. You will shake your head in disbelief. That jerk (pardon my language but he is!) literally planned to kill the dog in a slow, suffering way.
Cruelty to the dog is already bad enough and we thought justice would be carried out when the owner was arrested. But guess what? the sentence that was meted out on this sickening owner was RM100 fine! RM100 to an engineer who lived in USJ was nothing! What a joke?
Had been chatting online with my fellow bloggers and we were so outraged about this. Here is part of my conversation with Chipmunkrock (yeah, we have different identities on yahoo and MSN chat ;)
Bumble Bee says: the sickest part is the cheap fine
Bumble Bee says: with that i can buy 2 bags of dog food that last 3-4 months
ET says: tell me about it!!
ET says: they must come out with more stern punishment! - change the law!
Bumble Bee says: i know!!! 100 bucks? hello????? one can easily spend a lavish meal with that
ET says: Its soooo stupid and pathetic!
Bumble Bee says: (actually you can cut and paste this conversation edit it and put it in your blog!)
ET says: (hehe.. quite interesting idea)
ET says: actually when my colleague pointed it out to me, both of us were so outraged and said simultaneously `the owner should be hung!'
Bumble Bee says: it's ironic isnt it, that how some stray pups like Caramel are blessed to have a home and yet some pedigrees like Sheena suffer under the hands of her owner..
ET says: i know. and the irony is that owner was a former member of MKA! (in today's MM)
ET says: and the MKA ppl was also shocked and outraged.
Bumble Bee says: is it??? let me have a look..
ET says: how can someone be so utterly cruel.. if u dont want to dog, try give her away or at least to SPCA.
Bumble Bee says: but i cant get over the rm100 fine
ET says:He was torturing her to death!
ET says: yep, that's what shocked everyone!
Bumble Bee says: poor thing, you can see all the faeces on the floor
ET says: so pathetic and an insult. btw, NST report had the neighbour who reported the case to authority, saying that the `penalty was an insult' to her..
Bumble Bee says: it's an easy escape for the owner
ET says: i know.. and the nails.. so long that she couldn't walk anymore also..
ET says: actually i read about the case (mom pointed out to me) in a chinese paper a few days earlier..
Bumble Bee says: oh i see..i only saw the BIG PIC on MM front page
ET says: but at that time the owner was just arrested. It made headlines coz of the type of penalty meted on him!!
And then we digressed and talked about other animal-related stuff..
I wonder, is this a Malaysian thing? Why are there people who treat animals and pets like this? Apparently more than 2000 of animal abuse cases, mainly involving dogs, are reported annually. But this are just REPORTED figures. Imagine the real situation?
So they're JUST animals, and some think we have more important issues to worry about. But animals are also God's creatures, and animals do have feelings. Of course you can argue that how can we kill and eat animals then? That I don't know how to answer for now.. But Sheena's case, it is just plain heartless and evil. The owner adopted the dog as his pet in the first place and then decided just to let her die by grossly neglecting and starving her just because it was no longer convenient to have her around.
Can't he give her away? If no one wants the dog, at least give it to PAWS or SPCA which I know does not guarantee another happy home or long life.. but surely NOT like this?? What's wrong with this man?
And then our law! Hello? a fine of RM100, what type of punishment is it? Even someone who steals something out of hunger is fined more than that.. To me, this is a mockery to our judicial system and yes, this particular legislation needs to be changed and there're a few groups lobbying for it.
So on one hand, we need to raise the sentence to deter more animal abuse happening. But I still believe that it is far more effective in the long run when we raise awareness and educate our society on animal treatment and welfare.. (think campaign on AIDS awareness or the TakNak campaign against smoking)
Of course everything won't change over night. But we need to start somewhere. I hope that Sheena's death can be a wake up call.. and her suffering and `martyrdom' is at least not in vain.
This is how you do it:
1. Delve into your blog archive
2. Find your 23rd post
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the title and the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions: Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas...
5. Tag five people to do the same
Here it goes:
My 23rd post: Dog Psychologist, Anyone?
The 5th sentence: Everything was fine at first.
Ponderings: I started the post comparing the very different characters of my two dogs and then lamented on the weird and naughty behaviour of Jojo which I just could not comprehend. Yeah, that time it was only the start.. months later Jojo is still a problem though now showing signs of improvement - in certain areas only..
(Actually last night I was so upset with him 'cos he chewed up my nice shawl which my sis gave me - her friend bought it from India! )
Oh, i digress. But with a sentence that said: `Everything was fine at first', you can guess later things wasn't so fine.. It's true, Jojo can be a darling at times but a devil another. That's why I cried help for a dog psychologist!
To think of it, this was more than 5 months back! But like what boo_licious put, it seems like ages I've been blogging!
Here are the 5 bloggers to tag: I hope they are as sporty as I think they would be.. hehe ;)
1. Adrian of Against the Grains
2. H-L of All Aboard
3. Chipmunkrock of Run For Your Life!
4. Sush of My Milestones
5. fatboy of Tempest of a Midlife Crisis
Try it friends. Anyway, it's good to dig out some memories for nostalgia sake.. ;)
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Last Saturday, Muni (the instructor) told us to change Jojo's feeding habit and place with the aim that he would be more obedient to enter his house willingly.
We did as told. After changing the feeding time to the morning, Jojo actually ate much faster. In 5 minutes, he would have finished at least 3/4 of the food. Normally he didn't do that.
But best of all, now that he knows he only gets food and snacks inside his house, he is much less resistant to go in. Sometimes when I just go `In' and stand next to the cage, he will automatically go in!
Great! :) it's only like 8 days and it is already working. I can foresee that soon, Jojo would listen to the `in' commandment and go into the cage without us having to coax or force him to.
Will have to continue the same method of training till Muni comes next Saturday.
Jelly meanwhile, is not so happy being fed in the morning inside her crate. She actually protested and made that growling `wooooo!' sound a few times. So finally we had to drag her inside and lock her in but give her longer time to finish.
After all, it is very easy to get Jelly to go inside her crate. Just use any kind of food/snack as bait and she ALWAYS falls for it. And sometimes I'm so mean I pretend to take the snack and pretend wanting to feed her, and then she would automatically go in.. but actually I have nothing in my hand!
And she does look confused and disaspointed. However, I do this not to be cruel to purposely trick her but because she needs to control her diet!
Saturday, October 15, 2005
I think this is the first time I blog about food. And it's mainly because I prepared this delicious-looking salmon dish for dinner tonite! hehe
Dad bought two thick slices of salmon fillet today and asked me how to cook it. Well, I normally don't cook but when I do, usually I know what I am doing (ahem! ;)) and most of the time, the food have turned out pretty tasty.
But this was not the first time I'm cooking salmon. Dad asked whether we should steam it but I suggested to grill it in the oven. I don't have a recipe to follow. I prefer to experiment using my own creativity. So what I did was after cleaning the fish, I merinated it for a while with salt, Japanese soy sauce, rosemary, pepper and lemon seasonings; and fresh ginger. Later I added cooked oil with garlic.
It's actually rather simple. The trick is, besides the seasnoning, is the TIME factor. Salmon cooks fast and you have to be careful not to overcook it. The last time I cooked salmon, it was a bit overdone.
Praise God, this time, it was just perfect! The nine-minutes in the oven was a perfect timing. The salmon had just cooked only and tasted tender and juicy. It had the right amount of seasoning and tasted pretty delicious. Dad and mom enjoyed it very much and so did I.
It was a very gratifying feeling - cooking and eating it :)
After dinner, I proceeded to tidy up my shoe cabinet. Well, more like giving my shoe collection a spring clean, since mom was doing hers and urged me to do so.
I took out all my shoes which mainly were in old boxes and although I knew I have a lot, it was still quite shocking to see them lying over the floors. Especially the many pairs I had not touch in years. Some, especially those cheapo ones, had been left too long that they had gone bad - yeah, literally had fallen apart
Before I re-categorise them to put inside the cabinet, I laid them on the floor. But what you see here is NOT the total. I couldn't capture all of them in a photograph. I also did a rough count.. excluding slippers and those that I had decided to either dispose off or repair, there were 49 pairs..!
I know this is a bit too much. But more than half of them were purchased more than six seven years back at least. No excuse though I know, for I admit I AM a shoppaholic for shoes.. oh, not forgetting handbags too.
I wonder whether I should do a count on bags next... this feels kinda sinful :(
Haven't posted my adorable niece Alexis' pix for a while.. How her hair AND herself has grown! This is such as cute series of photograph, themed `dancing queen' series. Mui Mui (her nickname) must be in a real jolly mood! For those who are interested.. check out more pix of her and her bros at my brother-in-law's blog.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I watched two movie premiers two days in a row (yeah, the perks of my job ;)). Tonite (or rather Thursday nite) was the premier of `All About Love' (in Chinese the literal translation would actually be `Say I Love You Once Again')- this is Andy Lau's latest art/romantic film, not to be confused with the current release `Wait 'Til You're Older'.
Well, the ever-oh-so-dashing `Heavenly King' himself was here for a whirlwind promotion and came with director Daniel Yu and cutie Charlene Choi who plays his wife in the movie. Never mind they have a 20 years age-gap!
At the PC which only allowed four questions (of which I asked two), Wah-chai (Andy's Chinese nickname) said that the most challenging thing for him in the movie was to look matched with Ah Sa (Charlene's nickname) and even oked that he has to put face mask and sleep early always one day before filming a scene with Charlene.
Even the Singaporean media was here and since I was kinda late (but still had to wait) I got the back row to sit and it was not a close encounter at all compared to a couple of years back when he was here for `Mr Fit: Running on Kharma' and another movie/album which I forgotten now.
Anyway, back to his movie. It is a true romantic flick and personally I thought it was just too over romanticised and the plot itself was quite unrealistic although both the director and Andy claimed it was. It does contains a rather deep and sad message that touches on life and death, regrets and second-chances. I like the way it was shot- creative and arty. Still, my friend and I was thinking a typical man will be bored to death watching it. But if one is a die-hard Andy's fans, then it's worth a watch and the acting of Andy and Charlie Young (another female lead) were pretty convincing.
Now I'm curious to know about this medical/scientific question. Can it be tht if a heart is donated to another person (who receives it via heart transplant),the new heart owner can have some memories and feelings of the donor (whio is obviously dead). You see, in the movie, Charlene's heart was donated to Charlie and Andy sees the latter as if it is his wife. Hmmm...
I didn't have an invite for Goal!'s premier so I pestered my movie-writing colleagues and thankfully a colleague who had the invite but was too busy to go passed his to me. Although I won't claim to be a football freak but I've been following international football esp. the World Cup closely since 1986. And some how this movie is one that I really wanted to watch!
I was not disappointed and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Before I go on, I must say that even those who don't like football or watch the game would still enjoy the movie. It is a very human kinda movie - about personal struggles, dreams and aspirations and the human spirit. It covers family relationship, friendship, a nice little love story and of course, the focus of the film - that is the world of football!
The lead actor is not well known but he plays the role of a young Mexican immigrant to U.S. and then chased his dreams to Newscastle United with aplomb. In fact, he physique and mannerism is quite convincing as a real footballer. And it helps he's kinda cute (think young Michael Owen) too! ;
Hmm.. I wonder what Newscastle United got out of it (as part of the deal) as the Club is being used as the background of the movie. And yes, Alan Shearer was there, didn't have much of a speaking role and looking more bald!
Watch out for the special cameo appearances of Beckham, Zidane and Raul. Again, I wonder whether they get paid for those `split second' roles.
Anyway, I am not giving away any spoilers except to say, cliche and predictable it may be, it was still thrilling and maybe a little grudge is that there could longer time shown on the football pitch. (but in that case, non football lovers may get bored) Anyway, personally I highly recommend this show for ALL - football fans or not.
Read that this Goal movie would be a trilogy - the next two sequels will see the protagonist transferred to Real Madrid and finally making it to the World Cup! The last film is supposed to coincide with the real World Cup 2006 in Germany next summer!
Can't wait - for both the sequels as well as the REAL THANG - the once in four years mega sports event!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
You Are Independent Sexy
You drive men crazy with your "playing hard to get act"
Except, it's really not an act at all.
You're a strong, sexy woman with her own life and interests.
And makes men even more interested in you!
What Kind of Sexy Are You? Take This Quiz :-)
Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.
I know, you would think it's no big deal for every Malaysian above 12 has to apply for one - and preferbly by end of this year so we can get it free of charge.
Well, because I am such a procrastinator these days and on top of that, an `owl' who has problems getting up earlier than 10am, imagine the mental struggle I went through pondering and planning when would be that one good day I would get up and make my way to a JPN branch to apply for the card.
So I let time slipped and finally it was now less than three months to the deadline (after that we have to pay some hefty amount just to apply for it can u imagine?), and both my parents and myself were reminded we have to do it like real soon. First we planned to go together but I found out that they have preferential treatment as they are senior citizens.
I printed out the whole list of branches in F.T. and Selangor from the Net so we know where we can go. And we decided we would do it separately since they could afford to go late.
A cousin-in-law had advised i should get up at 5:30am and be there by 6:30am so i can be the first in the queue. Which means i needed to wait standing for 1 1/2 hour before the office open!! I thought it was a bit too crazy/kiasu! Well he reached there 6:45am and was second to get the number.. Good for him!
We wanted to go last Wednesday or Thursday but we procrastinated again... anyway, to cut the story short, WE DID IT FINALY! My parents went on their own on Monday, leaving the house at 10:30am and managed to come home by 11:30am! They only spent 20 mins there!
Inspired by their `feat', I decided to do it the next day since Monday night I came home earlier and could sleep earlier. Well, this `owl' still ended up sleeping at 1am (which was really early) but set my alarm clock at 7am.
But I did wake up (about 10 minutes after the alarm went off) and got ready to go. Since I wasn't sure how to get to the branch, my dad an early riser was kind enough to accompany me and be my driver. Well, what we DIDN'T expect was the heavy traffic at that hour.. I mean i never drove to work THAT early.. it was 7:45am and the highway was totally congested! (duh! I heard some of u sniggering)
Anyway, so we spent one hour and five minutes on the road just from my place to Maluri. We reached at 8:55am and lo and behold, still got number and I was 75 numbers away. So we had breakfast nearby and then waited for another hour or so, sms-ing and reading newspaper.
The actual application process was so quick! Within minutes everything was done, including a photo shoot which I peeped at the computer and was satisfied with what I saw :p Oh, my brownish coloured hair was not an issue at all. ;)
If I would have driven to work after that, I would have reached office earlier than usual. Yeah, EARLIER.:p But we went home, dropped my dad of course and I took a shower and rested a bit before driving out to work again and met with ANOTHER massive jam due to a road block causing traffic going to KL being diverted to Federal highway. And met a crazy and rude bus driver behind kept honking and aggitating me for me not letting him cut in like a mad driver. I felt like taking a big hammer to smash his head up but all I did was grit my teeth and endure... (and prayed)
But it has been a fruitful day though long and tiring. At night after work and a short 1/2 hour heavenly massage, I joined the International Student Ministry's English class celebration dinner at Sunway. Well, I was asked to help to coordinate some games for them which I thought of two at the last minute. It was really good catching up with some of the Chinese students whom I knew and also meeting new friends. I hope more ppl from church and our peer group would reach out to them for they really like to speak in English!
I also met a fellow blogger Yvonne and gave her my blog url. Hope she remembers to visit Jess'2 Js. ;)
Monday, October 10, 2005
The Js had a happy evening! I bought Jojo and Jelly two toys and a bone each, as well as snacks.. as usual, Jojo likes to take Jelly's stuff and Jelly will go one step further, getting Jojo's as well as grabbing her own. Here, the two Js are fighting for the big long bone meant for Jojo - no prize guessing who won eventually!
Poor Jojo - lost out his bone to Jelly who eventually chewed it to half the size!! Here an envious Jojo next to Jelly with the bone..