Monday, January 30, 2006
So.. I couldn't resist but to `steal' some of them and post them here..
Isn't she adorable? So expressive and very photogenic too.. hehe, may be she will grow up to be a model or Miss Hong Kong!
Really miss her and her brothers... can't wait till they're back in April! But meanwhile, will just feast my eyes on those pretty pix! ;)
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
As I'm posting this, we're just at the brink of entering into the year of the `Fire Dog'! Yeah, dog, my favourite animal in the zodiac. Or rather, my favourite animal of all! :)
The new year eve reunion dinner was a result of `division of labour'. Dad cooked the CNY soup - our family's secret recipe passed down from generation (basically it's lots of pork, Chinese mushroom, cuttle fish and dates); mom prepared a drunkard chicken dish based on recipe in the newspaper, I cooked up a dish (first time experiment - see pic below); the maids prepared the fish, prawn and vegetable. Uncle meanwhile brought roast duck and char siew.
Spot the difference? Enter the roast duck on the right!
Sea cumbeber, mushroom and dried oyster pot - the dish that I made. It tastes much better than it looks! :p
The guys relaxing after dinner having eaten too full...Jelly joined in too.
Thought I would be having a nice easy long break in KL as we didn't plan to travel. Then over reunion dinner, uncle mentioned that he and my cousins (not his children but that of another aunty) would be going to Koh Samui on Monday evening. A cousin of mine runs a travel agent and he's always taking out-bound tours during festive seasons, and his families would go along too.
Checked with him and indeed there are some seats left on the chartered flight and the best thing is I don't have to pay for the flight but only for accommodation and meals! Pretty good deal. Since I'm pretty much free..and I also have not been to Koh Samui before, I decided to join them!
So yes, I will be on a vacation from Monday evening till Thursday evening. Probably will miss a few angpows though. :p To think of it, this is probably the most `last minute' trip for me.. less than 48 hours `notice'. :p
Have been hearing quite a lot of fireworks in the neighbourhood since evening time..and I know it won't stop till wee hours in the morning! This is a real `Cina' area and last year, many homes even defied the law and burned the banned fire crackers!!
My poor dogs, especially Jojo.. He's most terrified of fire crackers and fire works.
And considering this is his year.. (so to speak lar), yet he's not really enjoying it!
A Happy and Blessed Chinese New Year to one and all! :)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Or rather, my battered bulky Compaq Armada that the company has loaned to me (every reporter had this privilege) about four years ago - free of charge - is gone!
I don't know whether it was due to the not-so-high-standard durability of the laptop or the way I (mis)handled it, the poor laptop was in a pretty bad shape. Some pieces had fallen off and the cover was quite loose and `senyik', on top of that, many of the letters on the keyboard have been scrapped off from my fingernails.
I had even dropped it a few times (well inside a case lah)!!
Yeah, that's how much I used this trusted old laptop to do my daily work. You see, we don't have enough terminals for everyone in the NST and MM newsroom.
I've digressed. Back to the story of the day.
Ok, I must confess: my laptop wouldn't have been stolen if not because of my risk-taking attitude or sheer `stupidity'. Or put it in other words: I invited theft myself..
Because I have been using the laptop in the office only and hardly anywhere else, I found lugging it into my car and back home and then back to office daily to be cumbersome job. Somemore this was quite heavy as it was not a slick and light laptop.
So after doing it for a year or so, I decided to just leave the laptop in the office. BUT.. because I do not have my own room and the laptop can't fit into my tiny locker, what I resorted doing was to `hide' my laptop (in a case) on top of a open box of books and stuff, and then covered it with some old broadsheet newspapers (Berita Harian now).
Some trusted colleague who knew about my `daring' habit had warned me against doing so as things do get missing in office.. It's a sick thing but unfortunately we often have internal theft (since newsroom is open 24 hours). Some people's valuables including wallets, phones and electronic stuff got stolen now and then. For myself, I had my tissue box, calendar and some stationeries stolen before. But all my reference books and files and more important stuff had luckily been spared all this time.
So i thought I would be that lucky throughout.. Until now.
Yesterday, I was out of office by 4pm for an assignment and didn't come in till almost 4pm today due to another long interview. When I routinely reachd for my laptop case under the pile of old newspapers, I saw something was not right...the laptop was GONE!! And even the power adaptor had been unplugged and taken awayll!
For a while i didn't know how to react. I didn't exclaim or curse. In fact I was pretty calm and later told a few colleagues what happened. I was met with sympathetic reponses. No one said: `It's your fault!' or `See, I told you so." I was quite touched...
Thank goodness we use an in-house editorial system which means I didn't lose any of my work. I could retrieve my articles from any other PC. And there were no documents stored in the laptop hard disk.
I thought of the scum bag of a thief. He/she must be quite frustrated when he/she saw the deplorable condition of my laptop. It practically has no value, The thief might as well give it away as charity! or more likely, he/she would dispose it off!
Now, the only thing that bothers me is how am I going to report the theft to the admin. and whether I am liable to compensate for the laptop. Although I heard from some that the company had intend for us to keep it after a certain number of years. I have yet to find out.
Although I've never been very attached to my laptop, somehow when I used another terminal to work today, it was not the same. I had to `tumpang' another colleague's desk. Sometimes when work gets busy, I might be without a PC to work on.. (sigh)
Maybe it's time to invest in a reasonable laptop of my own. I have actually been thinking of it for a while..I will be carrying my slicker, lighter notebook (no longer laptop) to Starbucks and use its wireless service...and to other places.
I'm sure because it is purchased with my own money, i would not be so disregardful and heedless to let anyone have a chance to steal it!
But deep down I still harbour that wishful thinking that perhaps after discovering the pathetic condition of the stolen good, the thief would dump it back below my desk..
Fat chance. It's more like `goodbye, my trusted old Compaq Armada..'
Monday, January 23, 2006
Some of the dogs when let out of their cages
Three adorable pups in a cage..
A friendly smiling dog
Later.. at the Rally
United for animals
Ling and I
Singing for the animals together
Gloria with her pretty pooch/bag
Freddy and SPCA's Sabrina with the smart border coliie
THE ROCKY ROAD OF AN ANIMAL
"How many roads must an animal walk
To find a place to call home
How many seas must a seagull cross
To find an ocean pristine
Listen, how many cases must be brought to our courts
Before our hearts learn to bleed
The answer my friend, is in your hands,
the answer is in your hands
How many years can an animal exist
Before it's allowed to be free
How many wails must pass through our ears
Before we actually hear
How many times can a man turn his head
And pretend he just doesn't see
Let the answer my friend not come too late
Let the answer not come too late."
- sung to the tune of Bob Dylan's `Blowin' In The Wind'
That was the rally theme song which we sang at SPCA at the Remembering Sheena Campaign Rally. We joined hands and sang together.. and indeed the simple lyrics.
It was a hot Saturday afternoon. Ling Feng and I were punctual - we met at ISKL and walked 10 minutes to SPCA (then found out others just parked along the raod) Anyway, we were `early' as only few had come on time. So I took the opportunity to visit the compound of SPCA. Ling had been there a few times and she took me around.
I had always tried to visualise in my mind what SPCA is like.. and although I was mentally prepared for what I would see, still it was heart-rendering to see SO many abandoned dogs (and cats but they're less).. most of them were so friendly and they actually came to us, wagging tails and wanted to be friends.. or rather, be taken home.
Was impressed that as I was snapping photos of some puppies, a girl (who was there as a participant) took up the job of a volunteer and cleaned up the soiled newspaper. Although I am a dog lover but I must be honest and ask whether I will indeed do all these `dirty jobs' for them.. indeed at some places, it can get really smelly.
Anyway, about half an hour later, we gathered at the main entrance where a large banner (see pix) had been hung. The media was there! And I saw our NSTP photographer but the MM news reporter was not there.. another reporter from NST was here but she (a Malay) refused even to enter to see the dogs saying she didn't like dogs. Well.. how clever of the ed? send a wrong person to such an assignment?
We posed for photographs - holding placards which Ling made, and some posters. We chanted a few times `Justice For Animals!' and raised our hands just for the shots. For once I was at the other side of the coin so to speak.. So happy that I met a reporter from a Chinese press whom I knew from newsdesk time and she was the one who took all those pix for me!
We had a few celebrities there - besides REDfm deejay Ida Mariana and 8TV Quickie host Adam Carruthers, Susan Lankester is an avid supporter who helps actively in the campaign and Miss Malaysia/World 2004 Gloria Ting showed up with her pooch (a Shi-tsu mixed) in a designer dog bag! With make-up, Gloria attracted attention looking every bit a star, unlike Susan who was dressed more like a NGO volunteer!
We also had Jojo's former trainer from MKA - Freddy Lim and wife - giving us a demonstration of obedience training on their dogs - a Border Collie and a Miniature Shnauzer. How I wished my dogs could have half their skills - maybe one-quarter is sufficient! ;)
To me, the singing of the song was the most memorable moment, because you could really hear everyone was singing and from the bottom of their heart and believing in the message it conveys.
Just read on the blog that the rally managed to collect 4,589 signatures. I must confessed I signed twice - first it was when I got my Dog Calendar and then I signed again on Saturday!! :p
I was hoping to read about this in MM today but there was nothing! Also nothing in the NST! How disappointing.. which proved the pint in my earlier post correct. The Star Metro meanwhile carried a story (i'm in the photo :p) although I didn't remember meeting their reporter there. So, although one day later than The Star, I wanted this to be highlighted on my paper so I approach the ed and he was ok about it. I wrote it in a first person point of view.. thus a different style from The Star.
Read about the rally in the paper tomorrow (Tues) as I doubt the news would make it online..
update: oh, it did come out online! without pictures though.. here's the link!
Friday, January 20, 2006
Like many animal lovers who were outraged by this incidence, it prompted me to blog about it last October.
Sheena had not died in vain, for she has become a symbol to remind us how we must stop owners from mistreating their pets. And because of her case, animal lovers and NGOs have been actively campaigning against animal abuse and neglects for a few months now.
Yesterday, I received a email from the person who created the Malaysia's First Dog and Cat Desk Calendar and was told that there will be a `Remembering Sheena Campaign Rally' at the SPCA Selangor this Saturday afternoon at 4pm!
I've copied and pasted the first post from the Remember Sheena blog as I do not want to misrepresent what the rally stands for.
RALLY ON JANUARY 21, 2006
The rally is to be held outside SPCA Selangor, Jalan Kerja Air Lama, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, MALAYSIA on Saturday, at 4 pm, January 21, 2006.
We appeal to all of you to please be present at sharp 4:00 pm as we will only gather for a short time just to show support. We don't expect to be there longer than 30 minutes.
This is not a fiesta or carnival but a serious stand by members of the public to cry out for justice for all animals. Hence we appeal to you, even if it rains, even if the sun beats down on your heads please stand for justice. Don't let rain or sunshine beat us back into our comfort zones. Wear hats, bring raincoats if necessary, but come. Please come.
The rally is for the purpose of :
1. Supporting SPCA in its drive to obtain 100,000 signatures to Petition The Prime Minister to amend the Animal Ordinance 1953.
Among the things we are seeking are:
a) We want to see mandatory one year jail sentences pronounced upon animal abusers.
b) We want a lifetime ban on convicted animal abusers from keeping animals
c) We want the courts to stop returning the abused animals to their abusive owners.
d) We want the fine raised to RM10,000.
e) We want all domestic animals to be given the right to exercise and medical treatment. Caging them and tying them for long hours is cruel and inhuman.
f) We want those drafting the new laws/amendments to consult NGOs and well-known animal rights activists instead of handing over this duty to legalists who have no knowledge of animal behaviour nor any compassion for them.
2. We want to launch an education drive to create awareness about all animals and the environment.
Let 2006 be a year where Malaysians came together for a selfless cause. A year when we stood up for something that did not personally benefit us but we did it because it was the right thing to do. I believe there are still people out there like that.
I will be going with my cousin sister Ling, another dog lover who is back from Australia for year-end break. I am really happy that she was so excited when I told her over chat on this rally and she was all gamed to go. I have also sent out emails to animal-loving friends whom i think might be interested. But so far, no replies except from Lynn who couldn't go as she has to work.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. At least I know I could do something in action for a cause I believe in. Animals are also God's creations and they don't deserve to be ill treated by their owners who have chosen to adopt them in the first place!
If you can't go for whatever reason, please do show your support by signing the petition at SPCA webpage.
I will definitely be blogging on it on Saturday evening! :)
update Sat midinite: yep, it was indeed a good and memorable experience! And it was my first visit to SPCA! (yeah, should have done it earlier as I thought it was difficult to go.. :p) Took many pix...! although the number of people who turned up were less than what I expected, Much to tell, but too tired and too late now..been out the whole day! Will blog on tomorrow..
Didn't see any PDA couples this time round. Maybe I was quite late - I was there from 8:30-10:30pm) and for once I didn't feel castrophobic. And I felt good after exercises. Indeed I should make an effort to go more regularly ie. twice a week.
Exercise diary: (that's the reason I wrote this post so I can have a record of my exercise regime.. err.. what regime?)
1. 33 minutes on the treadmill - burnt 245 calories
2. Precore stretching
3. 20 abduction/ 20 adduction
4. 10 eagle chest press
5. 70 sit-ups on the sit-up apparatus
Oh, i am capable of writing a short post! :D
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The timing was a candid coincidence for it was the premiere of a Hong Kong CNY movie `The Shopaholics' that night. In between the meet-the-media session and the movie premiere, we had more than three hours to `kill'. Don't expect us who live far off to rush back home or go back to office during peak hours and then to come back all the way again for the movie at night.
Since we were at Sunway Pyramid. Wasn't it a god-given opportunity to shop? Somemore CNY is just around the corner!
That was exactly what I had in mind already, and it happened that fellow journo Jessabell also had the same `great idea' in mind (hehe, great minds think alike). So, after the press conference and a satisfying Chinese `high tea', we both went on a shopping spree!
Lets see.. we started off looking at some earrings at some small kiosk-like shops which had a myriad choice of beautiful dangling earrings (yearh, I'm into that recently) at good bargain prices. I ended up buying three pairs and Jessabell bought one.
But soon, she caught up with me.. and soon, I realised that I've met my match! Here is one true swift and smart shopper! She knew all the shops with the nicest stuff and nicest prices! And when she enters a shop, she can pick up the most attractive products in the shortest time. Like me, she follows her hearts desires if the price tag is right. She ended up buying three pair of shoes - of which two pairs are of the same design but differnt colours!
Lets see..in less than three hours, among the shops we thronged and browsed through included MNG, Espirit, Miss Selfridge, U2, SEED, MCKY, Nose, Vincci, Nike, another sports shop which I don't remember the name.. and maybe a few more which we stepped foot in and out again.
Gosh, I was so `ulu'. My impression of Sunway Pyramid was something like a slightly upmarket Sungai Wang with all local fashion for the young ah-lians and ah bengs.
Finally I didn't manage to get my CNY outfit - it's not easy to find nice clothes that flatter and fit me. But I got my earrings, a stylish purple hat (yep, a hat but not the rimmed type), a gorgeous pair of shoes for formal occasions - picked up by the sharp eyes of Jessabell, a Nike water bottle, a cute owl t-shirt (my suitable mascot ;))... I think that's it.
I think Jessabell spent more than me as she also got a nice Nike bag (on discount) for her brother. Not forgetting her THREE pairs of shoes and a few other small items.
Jessabell and me happily clutching our shopping bags while having a rest..
And guess what? we went into the cinema carrying several huge plastic bags - how appropriate for the movie theme! But of course our so-called shopaholism pales in comparsion to Cecilia Cheung's chronic shopaholic syndrome in the movie. It is quite scary actually..
I would recommend anyone - especially shopaholics - who wants a good laugh to go watch it. It's creative, simply fun and hilarious though quite over-the-top (like most HK comedies) Read more about it in my article in MM on Thursday! :p
So it was a fruitful and satisfying shopaholic experience (but of course we did exercise restrains or else the things we bought would be much more!) It was fun shopping with Jessabell the `shopping sifu', and we agree that we would do it again next time when we have nice assignments like this!
My hair was getting on my nerves... ever since I daringly went to an unknown new (but slightly cheaper) hair stylist who exuded much confidence in making my hair nicer; but his heavy layered cut made it more frizzy and big!
The next day - Sunday - since I had the afternoon free, I went for a pedicure session. The foot treatment itself took a much longer time than colour application. As CNY is not far away, I decided to be `bold' and go with the festive colour (I usually stay away from red varnish) I also got nail art done on the big toes-! Had tried twice before and loved it! :D
Toe Nails Make-Over
Monday, January 16, 2006
Wow, time flies. It's January 16th already and it's the two Js turn to be featured on `The Malaysia's first 365-day Dog Calendar'! The calendar has been making its sales - for a good cause of helping to minimise unwanted pets - around the Klang Valley the last two months. So, the many dogs lovers who have a copy of this calendar would have Jojo and Jelly staring at them on their desk for about 24 hours or so.
Yep, the two Js are calendar pets for the day in Malaysia! Hehe! D
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Ok, enough of my illness.. I went back to work today after resting at home yesterday with M.C. The first news that greeted me was that I've missed a `compulsory briefing' from our CEO and GEIC (group-editor-in-chief).
Oops! I heard about the meeting on Monday but have just totally forgotten about it! Anyway, since almost everyone was talking about it at 2pm, I found a trusted colleague and got more info from her. Yeah, it is about the Malay Mail's future. And if you want to know, it is been updated in Jeff Ooi's post , an interesting blog that serves as a political and media watchdog that NSTP server has barred.
Being in the entertainment desk, guess I'm not really affected by this change since what the `new Malay Mail' will focus on is entertainment and sports. But I'm not so keen on the idea of a newspaper for the 15-29 age group. How much is it going to be different from others existing entertainment/sports publication targetted at the young market?
It is kinda sad too.. Only recently our desk (Buzz/Entertainment) has an internal revamp and things are looking more bright as more articles from us reporters have been churned out rather than using foreign wire features. We have been working well as a team and in the latest appraisal, my ed even verbally said he would recommend me for a promotion. But now... with this massive change in management a totally new `revamp' to the paper, I really don't know what is going to happen..
One thing we - employees of NSTP - can all do is to apply for the VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme) which the company is offering. But then, like the same situation about two years ago, only very few who applied actually got it because the bosses already had a list of the people they wanted to `get rid of'. This time, rumours said that it's gonna be senior staff (read: editors and higher-ranking editorial staff) that will be welcomed to leave.
Personally I am more keen to be offered the VSS than to work with this new, young, entertainment and sports newspaper. Also, now that MM is going to be a company by itself, if the `new paper' doesn't do well, there is every chance for it to be sold out or be folded. The security just aint there..
To think of it, it's probably worth it (monetary wise) to go as I would have been in the company for more than 11 1/2 years come end of April. Gosh, it is that LONG already. May be it IS about time to move on....
You know, it has been a dream at the back of my mind these few years to go to study in a seminary (in Malaysia, not overseas) In fact that was what I had in mind when I applied for the previous VSS. But then I didn't get it so the `dream' was put on hold...
Now, it looks like another chance is at hand.. And to be honest, I always wonder how long I would want to continue the fun but frivolous career of an entertainment journo.
Whatever it is, I know I have to seek God's direction first. I need to pray hard on what He wants me to do in life now that this whole thing is coming up...But I would not worry or fret, and just leave everything into His mighty hands.
Do pray with me too...
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
By late I don't mean 1am or 2am. No, not even 3am. I have been sleeping no earlier than 4am everyday for the past five nights!!
Why? I don't know. Not that I've been out painting the town red until the wee hours of the morning. So, what do I do? Errr... mostly in front of the computer - checking emails, reading blogs, just generally surfing the web. I would shower at 3am and then read the papers before calling it a night.
Ok, I am quite lucky in that I can actually walk into office after lunch if there is no early assignment. May be that liberty of flexi-hours at work had spoil me in my lifestyle and discipline especially when it comes to the sleeping hours.
And somehow, I love the quiet wee hours of the morning when the whole neighbourhood is asleep and only me and my two Js are awake. Yeah, my poor dogs are now nocturnal creatures (like their mommy), especially Jelly which gets put to sleep in her crate only at 3am. Jojo too, would be awake to play with me or get fed with treats sometime near 3am.
Fun? well, not really... today I think I am feeling the toll of it... (sounds like de javu as I've blogged about this before some time last year) Today is a public holiday and I decided to give myself a break as I have completed two deadlines yesterday. So I took it easy. Decided to just accompany dad to do some furniture and electrical items shopping (or more like browsing) but by the time we got home at five something, I felt really unwell... tired and worse of all, my runny nose was getting from bad to worse.
I planned to take the two Js for a walk but couldn't even do but luckily my dad took Jojo and i asked my maid to take Jelly. Sigh..
Although sleeping earlier was not stated under my New Year R&R (reflections and resolutions) but it falls under the `SPG challenge' - ie. having self-control and not over indulge in whatever I do.
In this case, letting the COBS set in and living a `noctunal lifestyle'.
I decided that I will go to sleep latest by midnight tonight, and get up at 9:15am to get ready to watch the press preview of Memoirs of the Geisha. (update: didn't get to go as didn't feel well at all in the morning... though I slept before 1am. Finally slept again till 1pm!)
I actually sacrificed Oliver Twist yesterday morning because I simply could not wake up so early when I went to be at 4am. And I really wanted to go and planned to sleep by 2am at least however, I just didn't manage, somehow...
Gosh, before this COBS becomes ingrained in me (it is almost there!) I have to curb it....!!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
No kidding.. I have like four stories to complete between now and Tuesday or so.. and more to come. Take last night's `The 3rd Generation', billed as Malaysia's first art film in Cantonese. Gosh, it was a LONG assignment - from exclusive interviews to movie premiere and the latest press conference I've been to at 11:45pm. Ended up coming home at 2am because I had rush back to office after that and do a newstory as well and they didn't even credit me. :(
It's weekend but there will be no rest. Another busy one that is filled with social commitments and work assignments. Looks like this will be the order of the day till CNY.
However, just now I had a meaningful time at the CCF thanksgiving night.. its our annual combined meeting for fellowship and yes, thanksgiving to God - where we had some dinner, worship, some sharings and prayer together. It was good to see the gathering of many of members and new friends - it was a time to reflect what the past year has been, renew resolutions for the new year and above all to be reminded of God's faithfulness in ourlives.
From the sharings, looks like many people are convicted to have a fresh start this year, and to be convicted of a closer walk with the Lord in the year to come.
On a more serious note, our newspaper is now facing a lot of uncertainties. The rife rumours that we had been hearing on MM being sold to another media group now looks mostly a fact, even half-confirmed by the GEIC (group editor in chief) But what I just heard today was the paper might be shut down and some editorial staff will be absorbed into NST while others might face VSS (voluntary separation scheme) options.
But the thing is no one knows what is happening, even most editors are kept in the dark and there are many speculations. There are various reacitons ranging from defiant to anxiety to nonchalant. Just signed a petition campaign against the `sell-out' mooted by some NUJ (National Union of Journalists) committe.
However, like one colleague put it, we should just continue to do our job and no point getting worried over something we can't do anything about. Guess i should be praying about this and commit my future career to God, although I normally don't pray that much over my work situation...
On a happier note, I am simply thrilled and excited that I am planning to go on a trip with World Vision to visit my sponsored child in Yunnan, China. Ever since adopting the boy about six years ago, it has been my `secret wish' to meet him one day. We have been communicating at least once a year and it was a joy to see him grow physically from a small, wimpy looking four year old to a tall, strong 10-year-old boy.
So, when I received an email today saying that WV child-sponsoring group is organising a five-day`sponsor trip' to theYunnan Yunsheng project area in March, I knew I definitely want to go! I was planning to travel in that month anyway, thinking of going to Hong Kong to see my niece but since they will be back for Easter, it is like God giving me the opportunity to go to see my sponsored child Zhang Jian and the visit the community he lives in! It would be a great experience and an enriching trip.
I did enquire further and to my relief, unlike the rough travel condition of some mission trips, we will be put up in decent hotel but the only thing was we need do quite a bit of walking. Mom is keen to come and she was the one who first suggested we should go visit Zhang Jian one day. However, I don't know whether she could cope with the physical demand of the trip. We'll see but I'm definitely on! :)
Before I sign off, just a little update on the Js. They have been more active today since thier `gong gong' and `por por' are home. And tomororw, they will be going for their first `dental appointment' finally - as the vet has been busy.
Yeah, since birth, this mommy has neglected their oral hygiene! The two Js have never gone for teeth cleaning so now they have tar on their teeth that need to be removed. They will have be put under anaesthesia and they need to miss their main meal in the morning. So just now I fed them and they seemed hungry. Hope the procedure will go smoothly.
Time to hit the sack to get ready for more busy (and exciting) days ahead....
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Yes, with the fitness center boom that KL is experiencing, now gyms are the hip place for the young and happening. When I started joining gym two years ago and it was still Sweat Club, the people exercising there mainly were there by themselves and all just minded their own business doing one thing - working out .
Sometime last year, Sweat Club Mid Valley Megamall had been bought over and now it has evolved and and been `upgraded' to what's called California Fitness Jackie Chan Sport. Not only it has a total face lift in its facade and facilities, but the demography of its members have changed dramatically. With a huge recruitment drive, now, the club is filled with many younger members, at least half or more I dare say are Chinese educated - I was hearing many Mandarin and Cantonese. And they always come with friends - Girl-girl, guy-guy, a girl-guy group AND also.. couples!
Not that I have anything against couples joining gym together. But today, in just that 40 minutes or so when I was working out on the bike and treadmill machines, I was kinda taken aback when I saw some PDA* going on in the exercising area!
Ok, before your imagination runs wild.. what I saw were these:
1. A girl - a SYT* - walking up the stairs and then a guy was running after her. She turned, smile and the guy grabbed her waist from behind and they held each other for about five seconds before walking up the stairs hand-in-hand.
2. A young couple, walking hand-in-hand, leaning closely to each other as they giggled and walked towards the cardio exercise area before choosing two machines next to each other.
The scenes just happened in front of my eyes when I was stuck on a machine, not that I wanted to be a KPC*. It was obvious that there many other couples aroud too but most more discreet in the PDA part.
What does this mean? Well, looks like the gym could be the latest `hang-out' place for young couples to `pak tor', in addition to the normal haunts like shopping centre, cinema, fast food joints..
I also observed another trend. May be I'm slow but my fitness centre is really becoming a place for social gatherings! Many of these young people especially the girls were hardly exercising. They spent lots of time chatting with one another, strolling and just sitting around. They they tried out some cardio or weight-training machines but the way they did it was so leisurely and only for a short while... All the time with their make-up (for girls) and hair in place and hardly a drop of sweat!
Is this just the trend of a Hong-Ki fitness club in KL I wonder? What about the others like Fitness First, True Fitness, Clark Hatch and others? If you're a gym-mer, let me know for I'm curious.
I still miss my `old gym', where members went there with only ONE mission in mind and not definitely not to pak-tor or catch up with friends..
Anyway, will do a chipmunkrock today and may be if I perservere, I will continue with a exercise account on my blog..
20 minutes on the exercise bike
25 minutes on the threadmill
stretching on Precore
60 sit-ups on the sit-up apparatus.
Total calorie burned: 275 (from cardio machines)
*PDA = not your Palm, but public display of affection (if u don't already know that)
*SYT = sweet young thing (normally refer to nubile, pretty girls in their teens or early 20s)
*KPC = Kepochi, meaning busy-body in a Chinese dialect
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Before the mundane begins... glad that I had another wonderful day - thanks to the replacement new year holiday. Our BS group had a `makan' outing to Klang - what else but for its famous bak kut teh! It was also dubbed `Cheryl's Going Away Porkfest' as it is a farewell meal with one of our dear members who has been posted to Sarawak for her teaching job.
We met at Tzu Anne's place and then car-pool up the highway while Cheryl& Yen, and the `hosts' Mark and Elaine waited for us at the toll and brought us to a bustling coffee shop called Lai Chun (which is just near Klang Parade) Because there were 14 of us, so we had to wait a while for tables and our patience paid off as finally got three square tables on the pavement - which was a relief as most people were sitting on the road which was wet with puddles.
Standing around waiting for tables (and giving pressure to the diners) and then finally got places to sit down and.. let the feast begin!
The tea came first then soon the rice and the piping hot pork ribs in herbal soups arrived. Almost all of us - besides Mark and Elaine - tasted DRY bak kut teh for the first time! It was really yummy, in fact I think it was nicer than the soup one. But of course I still loved drinking the hearty herbal soup and the Klang one is normally thicker than those you find in KL. Carmen and I who share a bowl ended up having many refills!
What we had: the soup based bak kut teh (top) and the dry type
After a satisfied meal (the only regret for me was the restaurant ran out of intestines!) we made our way back to T.A.'s house and proceeded with dessert! Ice cream to go with our host's homemade `accidental' spice cake - which has a rich chocolate flavour. It was a novelty to me, tasted quite nice actually. The baker was honest and said it was NOT meant to be like that cos she accidentally put spice in instead of cocoa power. Well, T.A. I think u have just created a new cake recipe that might work.. ;)
Then we had the `Dirty Santa game'. It is a bit complicated to explain in detail the technicalities, but basically it is a gift exchange with a difference - a greedy and `dirty' streak. All the gifts are placed on the table and each person has a choice to take a gift or take some one else's already opened gift if it catches his/her fancy. Then the person without a gift can choose again or grab another person's gift. So, several `hot' items went round a few times before a person finally `retires' after owning it for three times.
It was pretty fun.. and I was happy to get (literally) a picture book entitled `Where Dogs Dream' that Pat bought from London. :)
Some of us stayed back to watch a vcd - `13 going on to 30' before calling it a day and bid farewell to our dear sister.. :(
I wanted to take a nap when I got home but Jelly won't let me to - kept jumping on my bed! So I decided to spend some time playing with the two Js. Trying to get some good photos of them in the garden but ended up snapping many shots in their wrestling and tussling sessions again.
First, it is over a mulled-up soft toy....
Then, it is fighting over a piece of dried leaf!
Later.. the two gets even more rough..
As the weather was fine, even grandma came out to the front garden and sat at the garden chair. The two Js, normally would just leave grandma alone, decided to be `friendly' with her as she happened to be in their territory. Poor granny was terrorised by Jojo's sudden over passionate reception! I didn't keep Jojo away cause I know he is harmless but she kept saying that a male dog is always sooo `hamsap'!
Well, actually I was too busy snapping pictures and they turned up so candid and funny that I think it would be a waste not to post them here! LOL!
Jojo trying to kiss granny!
Then he just jumps on her and Jelly looks away....
Finally Jojo decides to just sit next to granny, who now looks relief