Saturday, October 27, 2007

1st Anniversary of My `New Life'

Amidst the busyness, I suddenly remembered that it's been ONE YEAR..!

Yes, it was exactly one year ago since I quit (although I already resigned two months earlier) from a newspaper company that I've worked with for 12 years. And it has been a year since I have been `free' and on my own - working as a freelance writer.

If I thought time passed fast while going through the routine while employed with a company, time flew by equally if not faster when I worked as a freelance as well.

Well, when I quit I didn't have any concrete plans as to what I was going to do. Actually I thought of just taking a break for a couple of months and then will `look-see' around for a new job.. and in between perhaps I would do a bit of freelance writing..

The thing was shortly after I quit, I had a few odd jobs here and there.. by then I was verbally offered a job which eventually did not materialise and it was around after CNY which I decided to stick on and be a freelance writer and to also write my book. Alas, the book-writing plan did not go very far as I became more and more busy with writing assignments.

And then sometime in the middle of the year, I was beginning to struggle over a decision I (thought I had) earlier made.. but thank God I managed to cross the cross road and even as another potential job offer fizzled out, I wasn't upset because I knew He knows best.. and yeah, since then on, my freelance work has increased in volume and also in remuneration although it wasn't much.. But again, I wasn't working exactly that same hours I did while in full-time employment.

Lets see, so far I have been writing stories on Chinese entertainment, fashion, beauty, social issues, personality interviews and a wide variety of lifestyle-related topics. Oh, and not forgetting the recent bridal shoot co-ordinating and writing that is so demanding and in a way I feel more like a wardrobe mistress than a writer.. but a totally whole new thing. That's definitely a much wider scope of writing compared to what I was doing as an entertainment journalist. And my articles have so far appeared in newspaper and various magazines (won't name them here.. :p)

Many people (especially journalists/writers) have asked me how it's like being a freelancer. Well, I have to be honest to give an accurate picture. First and foremost, the greatest part is of course the flexibility and freedom you get. Also, as a freelance writer, you have greater exposure and get to work on a variety of stuff.. and of course, you get to choose who and what you want to work for too (if you're not desperate for money) But on the other hand, the money isn't great to start with.. and you need much motivation and discipline in order to get steady work and income.

For me personally, too much freedom may not be a good thing.. already quite used to an owl-like lifestyle, having no regular work-hour meaning it's even harder to curb and let this habit go on..! Gosh i did a search and in this blog there're close to 10 posts about my owl-like sleeping habit..

Well, I don't know what will happen in the future.. and whether I'll be marking my 2nd year as a freelancer, or as God wills, go back to full-time employment. But at the moment, I am getting more and some new work assignments and I'm really not very ready to give up all this although for the pragmatic, it lacks stability and other job benefits eg medical etc..

I'm grateful for this whole new experience.. In fact, just a few years back, being a freelance writer was something I hoped to be doing. And I've now achieved that so to speak.. And I never had a tinge of regret leaving the company a year ago (although I heard there had been salary increase etc..)

So, I look forward to more interesting freelance work to come in the new year... :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

no more anonymous comments

I will have to wait till the weekend at least to blog about my `exciting' shooting assignments.. gosh never been so hectic and stressed!!

In the mean time, just want to say that an annoying episode has caused me to decide to change the comment status. Not that I have that many comments to start with ..and I have always welcomed friends and other bloggers to read my blog as well as to comment.

And this `open system' has been working ok for the last 2 1/2 years.. (the only episode I got abusive and obscene messages on my tag board - which no longer is here - 2 years ago which i suspected was someone I knew..)

But when someone hides behind `anonymous' so that he/she thinks no one knows his/her identity so that he/she can write whatever nasty things.. then I think it abuses the system. And it's also unfair to the blogger..

Also, i reply to most of my comments.. and I don't like replying to a unknown `entity', ok person.

For the first time I must confess that I deleted one comment.. but that comment came after a series of judgmental allegations from an anonymous who does not even know me. (I left the earlier ones there but the last one I must show this person it is MY blog after all)

So following this, I changed two things. 1. No more anonymous commentators. 2. Comments moderation is on - I do check my blog daily (a few times) when I'm at home but I sometimes travel so I guess I just want to be more cautious.

I hope this move won't deter my blog friends commenting in the future...

Update: after a couple of weeks, I decided to allow back anonymous comment because if not, non Blogger members would not be able to comment. Mainly because my sister falls into that category! Anyway, I still leave the comments moderation on, just to be cautious.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

For God's (and my health's) sake.. MUST kill the owl!

I feel better today..

Maybe because I slept a bit earlier.. (as in earlier than my terrible owlish hours!) and it's also Sunday. Can't deny the spiritual dose I experienced at church service did have a kind of calming effect. And singing in choir also helped.. So i can feel more peace and joy inside..

For a couple of days I was in kinda tense and irritable mood, and it's not that time of the month so.. (no excuse really!) I guess the bad sleeping hours really took a toll on me.. on top of that I was still having the horrible cold..

Praise God though today my cold has much improved..I was still a bit snappy even to some of my church friends.. I think by the time I drove home after choir, I felt lighter.. Actually there is no reason to be stressed for I've more or less done up the first draft of my two articles.. I just needed to shorten them! And for the shoot.. well, have done all the more difficult parts and by God's grace, things should proceed smoothly..

So now, it's up to me and my own will power. I am going to have a time of prayer tonight and commit my whole lifestyle to the Lord again...I must start doing my devotion regularly as well..

To think of it, there are so many more things I should be channeling my thoughts and energy into.. like how I could be the salt and light and bring people to Christ in my daily life.. and definitely should NOT be sitting here moping and descending into self-pity.

Ok. That's it. I shall sleep in an earthly hour today so I can start the busy week afresh.. will have to be firm and positive and yes, wait for some good news..

p.s. sorry for these ranting posts but I'm sure there'll be more exciting posts coming.. just bear with me :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Curse of the OWL

This is not good... no, not talking of the cut of my finger which has more or less dried up..

It's the curse of the owl, which has plagued me big time! and no thanks to a lingering flu that saw me consumed up a big (200 piece) box of tissue in just three days... i feel quite horrible. Both physically and mentally... hopefully not spiritually.. sigh.

The average time that I go to bed this week has been 4:15am. (gets worse when my parents not around). No wonder I feel lousy right? And there was just so much co-ordination to do for the shoot. I lost count of the no. of calls and e-mails I have made.. not fun really.. And then there are two more deadlines coming and one of them still requires a lot of writing.. and I am having writer's block.. :(

I shifted my `office' from my room to downstairs today - using my laptop. A change of environment hopefully will do me good but right now I am snizzing (today the cold got really bad maybe because I had the air-con on but with windows open too!) and feeling really groggy..

Must confess and admit that i'ts my sheer lack of self-control and discipline and the `addiction' to the Internet especially Facebook! Yes, i know i'm ranting and repeating myself as i've already blogged about it. But I have to let it out somehow.. so just pardon me or ignore this or if you're kind enough, say something motivating...

Sigh.. there goes another week and weekend.. Looking forward to my holiday to HK early next month but before that, must live through this coming week!! God help me...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A freak bloody accident...

Dang! I should have showered earlier!!

Had a painful and quite bloody accident just now. I wanted to cut a dental chew stick into two for the two Js as I didn't want them to have too much snacks! So I took one of the large bread knife (it's sharp) and tried to `saw' the stick into two.. It's pretty hard so I was using lots of strength and then I didn't know what happened but my left index finger got in the way and I just cut it deep!!

OUCH!! It wasn't a slight cut but quite a deep one as well.. a big slice of flesh was almost coming out - ok, exaggerated a bit but it's deep! Blood immediately start to ooze out, and it won't stop. (pardon the rather graphic description). I screamed and then rushed to the first aid box..

But dang! We hardly have any good remedy for cuts - no yellow solutions nor bandages. I scuffled through the boxes and settled for a Chinese powder medication `yunan baiyau' which was supposed to be good for cuts.. i know it has been there very long but there's no expiry date so I guess ( I hope) those powder could last. And yeah, by the time I applied the stuff to the wound, my finger had already dripped quite a lot of blood and I had to clean the floor and the kitchen counter!

I used some cotton wool to cover the wound and use a plaster to stick it in place.. Finally no more blood can be seen.. But dang! I hadn't had my shower and surely I have to wet my finger and surely it would be painful!! :((

Sigh.. I hate it when such accident happens and it's actually avoidable if I was more careful when handling the knife! Not like I never used a knife cutting dental sticks for my dogs..

Arghhh! just hope the pain will not be so acute and the wound will dry up soon. :(

p.s. decide I won't put a pix of my cut finger as it looks pretty gross..

Update (1:30am)
HELP!!! I removed the plaster and cotton as i needed to shower but blood kept oozing out non stop.. Gosh the cut is really quite deep.. and it's painful! (i am typing with limited fingers) I think I need to go to the 24-hour clinic for proper dressing... 2 emergency cases in 3 nites.. sigh :(

Update 2 (2am)
Drove around the neighbourhood and realised there wasn't any 24-hour clinic! Dang! But the blood had ease by then so i dropped by 7-11 hoping to get some proper bandage or medicine but no, they only had plasters. Managed to find a solution at home called poviderm, for minor cuts and burns. Well better nothing so I cleansed my wound, applied the lotion and put on plaster.. now it looks `stabilised'. Maybe it's not emergency after all but it did feel like it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jelly's Emergency Treatment

Jelly gave me the fright of my life last night!!

It was the fifth day after her operation and everything seemed fine. Then suddenly at about 11pm, I saw her getting more restless and she was trying to scratch herself.. I took off her e-collar and to clean. Instead of eating a chew stick I gave her, she was incessantly biting her front leg, and then scratching her right (the ok) ear! I let her do so thinking that it was just a normal itch. But then even after I put the collar back, she became even more agitated.. she was breathing heavily and was not her normal self..

I felt worried and thought that she may have gotten some bites from her walk earlier.. but as she kept on wanting to scratch that right ear, I thought I better have a look.. I screamed out loud and almost cried! The inner ear was all swollen red!! It looked like she had some terrible infection or something.. and gosh, I allowed her to scratch it earlier!!

I was helpless so I woke up my maid who helped me take care of her when I'm out.. She was clueless of course and I was almost in tears. Then I know I just had to bring her to see a vet. She was clearly suffering! :( Good thing I do have a 24 hour vet contact that's not too far from my house.

When I called, I was told they would charge extra for emergency treatment but I didn't even bother to ask how much. So with my maid as company, I drove Jelly to Segar Clinic. It was a woman vet on duty and after hearing her operation history and examining Jelly, she thinks it could be some form of allergy, it could be from a medication but when she examined further, she said Jelly had some nasty yeast infection! I think we neglected cleaning her ears properly!! :(

The vet assistant cleaned her ear, applied some medication and gave her a jab. And I could see that she has calmed down a lot and the itch and the redness has reduced.. Altogether we spent almost one hour at the `emergency room'. The bill came out to be pretty hefty, more than what I anticipated. They charge RM100 flat for just consultation as opposed to RM20 during the clinic hours. And the medicine and treatment etc.. cost another RM118.

It's expensive, but I had no choice.. I definitely couldn't leave Jelly suffering the whole night! At least when she came back, she seemed to be back to her normal self and slept quietly in my room till the next morning...

And now, she is back to her normal self.. sleeping on my floor.. (sigh of relief)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

of busyness, family and personality types...

It's a long weekend thanks to Hari Raya, but for a freelancer like me, it doesn't really make a difference.. In fact, i should be working now but I'm totally exhausted from lack of sleep a busy day at church.. so I guess it's easier to blog than to work!! :p

The second half of October will be quite a gruelling time for me.. besides the bridal assignment which many aspects have only been confirmed just, there are still so much more to do!! And then I have two feature articles due by end of the month as well. Thank goodness I'm now quite good at multi-tasking but sometimes it's not easy especially when the assignments involve more than just writing...

Dad and mom are leaving tomorrow for their China `balik-kampung' trip with some relatives.. yeah, they are going to visit our ancestor's home in Taipo in Guangdong province. I had the privilege of going there 10 years ago during Chinese New Year and it was a really memorable trip.. This time round, dad and mom will be joined by other relatives who have not been back to their `kampung' before..

So the next fortnight I have been `charaged' with the responsibility of taking care of the household and also looking after grandma - well, not literally since our maid Wati is the one who has been taking care of her. I would like to spend more time at home really but looks like I got to be out and about quite a bit especially during the day time..

It's kinda strange... now that I'm much older and supposedly more independent, I feel I have grown much more attached to my parents. I was telling dad that when I was studying in the U.K., yeah although I did miss home from time to time, I was ok not to see my family for months and month.. (cos I usually just came back during summer) But now that I've been home and living with them for more than 10 years, I have been so used to their presence.. and I actually miss my parents when they go on holiday!

And this time even before they leave I already feel I will miss them...the house just doesn't feel the same when they are not here.

Which is quite an irony.. because normally I like to go about by myself and enjoy my own company in doing many things.. I would even travel by myself on a holiday..I'm independent in that sense.. But on the other hand, at the end of the day.. I think I'm still one who likes company, especially people dear to me. I don't like the idea of living all by myself.. like some of the friends I know. Ok, it maybe more bearable if I have my two Js with me of course..

Which reminds me of the conversation some friends and I had at supper on Friday. It's funny but kinda sad that our topic of conversation was on nothing else but Facebook, which most of us were quite active on and taken by. (Well, I have been trying to `cure my addiction' on it but no one believes I could do it!!) Remembering a personality test that me and a friend had done, I was curious to find out who were extroverts and introverts among us... Then I realised that friends who I thought were extroverts were actually not, and the only extrovert - and according to them, true blue one - was me!!

Well I never denied I am not one but it's interesting that I found out more on how personality is defined as an extrovert or introvert. Wikipedia puts it quite nicely. Although I like my time alone but to think of it, I do get energised being with people... and this was something I didn't really realise.. as i thought i actually like solitude more!?

So looks like there is no escape then.. I'm like an `open-book' extrovert. Six out of six friends who did an `i-describe' of me on Facebook all used the word to describe me!

But among my circle of friends, seem like introverts far outnumber extroverts. U-hoo, any extroverts out there?

p.s. Oh, if you're not sure, try this interesting personality test to determine whether you're an introvert or extrovert, and much more!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fabulous FOURsome - a meme

My online friend Paris Beaverbanks has tagged me for not just one, but two memes in a row! It has been a long time since I got tagged, so I thought why not just do it for the fun of it. I chose the easier one first!

It is a FOUR BY FOUR meme which you can call it anything you want I reckon. I am still not very good with this tag/meme thing. But I'm sure I can't get it wrong with such straight-forward questions! Here it goes..

4 Jobs I have had in my life :

  • Burger King - a holiday job in University in U.K.
  • Field Interviewer - 2-month stint after graduation
  • Journalist - worked in magazine and 3 newspapers for a total of 14 Years
  • Freelance writer - my current `dream job' ;p

4 Places I have lived :

  • In boarding school in Singapore
  • Hall of resident in Reading University, UK
  • An apartment in Russell Square, London
  • Various suburbs of Kuala Lumpur

4 Countries I have been to on vacation :

  • China - at least a dozen destinations!
  • Cambodia - Angkorwat
  • France - Paris, Lyon, Nice, Cannes
  • Italy - Venice, Rome, Florence
4 of my Favourite Food :
  • Salmon Sashimi - all time fav!
  • Asam Laksa - esp. the one at Jusco
  • Roast Lamb
  • Ice-Cream - esp. Belgian Chocolate and Rocky Road

4 Places I would rather be right now :

  • Pampering myself at a spa in Bali
  • Gallivanting in NYC shopping and sightseeing
  • Watching a fine performance in an opera house in Rome, Italy
  • Sipping wine in a vineyard in South of France

4 Friends I’m going to tag : (as long as you’ve not done this too recently)

p.s. Such a coincidence that the 4 friends I am tagging have names beginning with `L'!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Poor Post-Op Jelly

Post-op Jelly has to wear an E-collar until her stitches are dried up!

Poor thing, she looks a little comical but mostly pitiful. Coz her field of vision has been limited.. she walks slower than normal and she has much difficulty climbing up steps - my mom, maid and I took turn to carry/assist her. She used to just skipped up!

The operation went smoothly. It lasted about an hour and the vet successfully removed all the clotted blood inside.. Jelly had seven stitches which need to be removed after 10-15 days.

Recovering from the op and with a cumbersome E-collar on, she is feeling rather miserable and uncomfortable.. She has this sad and dazed expression on her face, kept shaking her head as the wounds must be itchy as well.. and then she let out those whimpering moans when she lies down..

Awwww.. it breaks my heart seeing her like this.. :(

But.. but.. the feisty nature of her still shown. When she saw a cage containing three cats in the vet's place, she was so fierce and wanted to pound at them. And just now when she was aimlessly wondering in the garden - a bit difficult too to do her business cos the collar impeded her nose touching the grass - she was the first who rushed to the gate and barked loudly when two neighbours strolled by.

O Jelly, quickly get well... we miss the chirpy and energetic Jelly!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jelly to be put under the knife :(

Poor Jelly! She has to go for an operation tomorrow.. :( She is suffering from`Aura Hematoma' and it caused her left ear to swell!

It must have been happening already for a few days.. but only this morning my maid found out when she bathed Jelly. I had quite a shock when I felt the inflicted area! it wasn't noticeable as she is quite furry.. but when you feel around the area, the lower part of her ear near to the head is so swollen and feels like liquid inside!

if you look closely you can tell her left ear is `bigger' and a bit jutting out!

I called the vet and described the situation and he seemed to know what it was and said normally an operation is needed! But I told him he has to see my dog first so I drove Jelly there.

Actually I wanted to seek a second opinion regarding the operation. But it was another vet who attended to Jelly, and somehow instinct told me I can trust this lady vet. She explained in detail (but my medical knowledge is too bad to repeat what exactly she said) Jelly's condition. And she reassured me that it is not uncommon for dogs to have that, especially for active dogs! But the only way to get rid of the swelling is through operation.. or else the swelling would increase and one day the swelling (filled with blood resulting from a break in a blood vessel) may burst!

There seems to be no option but an operation. But since it was already late in the afternoon, we have scheduled to bring Jelly back tomorrow morning for the ops. Poor thing.. she has to undergo general anaesthetic. But good thing is she doesn't need to be hospitalised overnight. I should be able to bring her home tomorrow afternoon.

Poor thing, maybe that's the reason why she has been behaving `difficult' lately and wanted company at night! Although she still seemed to be quite normal otherwise. And in hind sight, she has been shaking her head a bit and scratching her ears! I had been a bit careless...sigh. But luckily it's not too late!

On another note, after the op, I have to put Jelly on a serious diet! She now weighs 16.7kg! And that's quite exceptional (obese?) for a miniature schnauzer! In fact typical miniature schnauzer should weigh around 9kg and 12kg max I was told!

Jelly looks so un-miniature that the girl at the vet thought she was a standard schnauzer while a few other customers also gaped at her size!!

This little glutton has to eat less and exercise more.. maybe I should join her too.. :p

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Shopaholic's Dream Job?

I spent 4 hours `shopping' at Mid Valley - Megamall and The Gardens this afternoon. No I've not gone on a shopping spree.. in fact, I was working!!

You see, I took up a new assignment to contribute to a local bridal magazine. Basically my job is to co-ordinate the product shoots, and that means to scout out nice and interesting stuff ranging from bridal gowns to shoes to accessories to lingeries!

There are LOTS to do. All in I have to help input for 14 pages! In order to scout for and to borrow and to return all the products means it requires LOTS of legworks - driving around town! And of course some discernment and good eyes and taste in fashion. Ahem! ;)

Actually was a little surprise that I was offered the job as i have only met and talked to the contributing editor (also a freelancer) once! But fortunately I do have some products and fashion shooting background from my magazine (and a bit in newspapers) days, so I was confident enough to do it, although with a little apprehension..

When I told a few friends about this new `job', a couple of them responded by saying it sounded so `fun' as I am actually paid to `shop'! :D

Well, I won't complain cos I do enjoy shopping.. except it requires much more than just `shopping'! But first thing first.. I needed to check out shops for suitable products. So for the spreads on shoes and lingeries (I will call on the bridal galleries separately), I decided to visit Mid Valley since there are two malls there. And next stop will be KLCC.

I guess I over-estimated myself cos I thought I could even go to the gym and kill two birds in one stone! But no, by 7-ish I was only just completing my `shopping'.

Guess what? I got side-track from time to time! Yes, I would say 80 per cent of the time I was `working' - ie. sourcing out some stores and then making notes on their products and getting the contacts etc.. but alas, I succumbed to my shopaholic nature and ended up buying things for myself!

I bought a pair of shoes from a new Italian brand from Robinsons, and then something from the lingerie department (no, not disclosing the details) in Isetan. Well, it seems inevitable cos I was looking at nothing but shoes and lingeries the whole afternoon.. ! :p

I must be careful when I go to KLCC.. but good thing that the next few stops would be bridal galleries - they have nothing that I would need nor want! Or else, I might end up spending more than what I would be getting paid for this job! :p

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Women Bloggers United! ;)

Being a blogger, I know the joy when your blog is being publicised!

Last month, I had the pleasure of interviewing five women bloggers.. They may not be the most high profile bloggers but I think they have their own forte and their blogs are interesting. All the interviews were conducted via e-mail so making things much simpler.. I had some pretty good answers.. after all they're all good writers!

So, the article appeared today, and I'm quite pleased with it. Nothing much was changed and the layout nice.

I can in a way relate to them for I am a blogger too. These women are definitely proud to be a blogger and are passionate in doing so whether it is political commentaries, food reviews, musing on languages, talk about the latest beauty products and malls in town or just a journal or sort..

I must say that of the many many people I've interviewed, I got most `thanks' from these bunch of interviewees! ;) Not only that, they posted on their blog about the article, mentioned me and even linked my blog url! How cool is that.. hehe, I get more than monetary rewards from this article!

And another good thing that came out of it is I've made a few more new friends!
So, it kinda prompted me to blog about this although you know I hardly write much about my work/articles I write.

Oh, if you're wondering where the article appears? It's in Clove, The Star today (Wed Oct 3). But if you miss it, there's still the online version

Check it out and also check out my fellow women bloggers' blogs! ;)

Jelly needs company to sleep...

For about a week now.. Jelly has turned into a highly-clingy and attention-craving dog!
Why, she wouldn't sleep by herself! For three years plus since I got her, she has been sleeping in her crate. But now, she refuses to do so!

I really had no idea why suddenly she became like that.. I also found her becoming more picky on her food although she used to like that dog food. Of course she still craves for snacks.

She usually follows a routine to `go to bed'. Till early hours in the morning, she would be in my room and when I am going to sleep, I would lead her down and out into the garden for her to pee.. and then i will take a few snacks to lure her into her crate. She would happily take them and then it's good night.

But these days, after just 15 minutes or so that I utter `good night', she would start barking, or is it crying..? I can't ignore her cos she actually goes on and on although there is an interval between the bark. For the first two nights, i didn't realise my maid took her into her room because she could not sleep with that bark.

She was in my room for two nights already and last night, with my maid..

Sigh.. anyone has any idea what I can do? Looks like she really wants company and can we/shall we allow that?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

a Happening Weekend

It's already the 2nd day of October!!

The end of September ie. last weekend had been great but tiring, so much so that I'm still recovering from it.. also because i have not been feeling well.

I'm a bit behind in my posts. And although I could put a few posts of the things that had happened over the weekend, I think I shall just do one `monster' post to chronicle the `highlights'. It certainly was a pretty eventful weekend - as opposed to my usual mundane ones. It was so packed and hectic that I needed to take Monday to recover.. though I also went and watch `Lust Caution'.

Ok, so here's what had happened..


On Friday afternoon, I submitted my last article for the month (it all starts again this month) in the early afternoon and decided to go and check out The Gardens at Mid Valley which just opened two days ago. Well, I would love to check out the swanky Pavillion KL but it's right in the heart of town centre and I only had two hours.. also I planned to take sis there when they're back on Sunday!

I won't say I was either impressed or disappointed with the shopping mall.. but it's definitely more spacious than Megamall and more up-market of course.

Due to time factor, I just breezely browsed around the store - which has two anchor tenants at either end - Robinsons and Isetan. I was quite pleased with myself that despite many new and chic labels (for handbags and shoes esp) I didn't buy anything! But still ended up buying a couple of skincare items but they're consider essentials anyway..

Still, I was stuck in quite a bad jam at the MV ringroad when I left - there were those leaving home to buka puasa as well as those coming into the shopping malls for their Friday evening leisure! Thank goodness the highway back home was clear so I hurried get ready and have dinner and drove back to PJ for our peer group meeting.



Got up a bit earlier than usual for brunch with some friends, a reunion of sort for Mr&Mrs Ng from Hong Kong. Actually they're Malaysians but now residing in HK. We went to a Jarrod & Rawlins, which features quite an impressive deli-counter. So while some went for the set breakfast, a few of us including myself chose the items from the deli.

I think there were close to 20 of us.. and it was great catching up with one another. I guess the chit-chat saved the day as the food took AGES to come!! It's good thing that I seldom eat until lunch time so the hunger pang was still bearable but maybe some of my friends were starving!

You can see some of us are still waiting for the food while some luckier ones are already eating (having also waited for some time!)

And I couldn't say much about the service either.. in fact, i was quite disappointed! I ordered bottled fruit juice and had drank less than half of it with a glass still full.. and then a fly dropped into my drink! So when I notified the waiter and asked him whether he could get me another juice, he said he couldn't! But he could replace me with bottled water.. I mean, it wasn't my fault at all that the fly dropped into my drink.. more over the fly was at their premise! I think the least they could do for the sake of good service (which they lack of obviously) was to replace me a drink. That's why I'm impressed with Starbucks which has no qualms replacing me a new cup of coffee when once I accidentally spilt it! And that was my fault! unlike the stupid fly..

Anyway, enough ranting.. to show my `protest', i told the waiter in a calm and smiling voice that I won't be recommending any of my friends there cos they have bad service! :p

That aside, it was the fellowship that counted and the food was pretty ok too. We were there like three hours!

And then I went to do some errands and then come home to rest a bit before sis and brother-in-law arrived! They have specially flown back from Hong Kong for the weekend to attend the Double Celebration dinner of my grandma's 90th birthday and my uncle's wedding.

While the rest of my family could take a longer rest before the dinner, I had promised uncle to be at Hakka Restaurant at 6pm. I was to be the emcee so had to sort out a few things esp. on the P.A. systems and the overall sequences of events. But mind you, I have no experience really on emcee-ing! But well, I guess I can't say I get `stage fright' either thanks to the experience of song leading at church services.. but seriously, I had not really figured out what I would say, but I know it would be quite minimum!

We had around 130 odd guests, and almost half of them were uncle's friends and staff while the other half were relatives. Some of the guests were already there early, in particularly the Muslims for buka puasa.

(As it was a double-celebration, the bill for the dinner was split - half was footed by my uncle for his wedding and the other half split among all the working grandchildren of my grandma.)

Almost all of the Chow-clan relatives were here, including some who happened to be back from overseas! Most of my cousins from Singapore also came so it was quite a nice reunion except that half the time I was busy going up and down the stage.. it was kinda stressful for me (a novice!) but at least the atmosphere was informal and relaxed.

The first part of the party was the wedding celebration.. so the usual cake-cutting and champaign pouring was done.. and then we had some entertainment! Cousins Vivian and Mandy did some pretty amazing modern dance.. I also sang a song dedicated to my uncle and Annie. Yeah I kinda volunteered my `service' :p But alas, my voice was in quite a bad condition due to a prolonged flu and also had been talking too much! So while the first part of `Power of Love' went ok.. gradually I knew my voice had gone strained and the result wasn't good.. :( Could have done much better on another day and time! But I did try my best and the response was pretty encouraging..

It was a moving moment when a slide show containing photos of grandma was played. It felt kinda heart-wrenching to see how beautiful, happy and strong she was in the past.. and now because of stroke and also aging, grandma has been bedridden for almost a year.. and also suffers from Alzheimer. She was sitting on a wheel chair throughout the evening, almost oblivious to everything going on in the party..

I've ordered a 6.5kg birthday cake - Espresso banana gateau from Celicakes. It looked very presentable and tasted good too! But because some of the guests had left, we actually got to tapau home.

After the cake cutting, the dance floor was open and uncle's dance classmates all sportingly took to the floor. They danced for quite a while - from cha-cha, rock&roll and even Latin style.. So my duty was officially over.. and finally I could relax and also got to socialise a bit more!

(left) Grandma with her children and their spouses; (right) and surrounded by her grandchildren

(left) The radiant bride and groom with mom, sis and me; (right) `the girls' at the end of the party.


My mind was still too active from the event of the dinner that I had difficulty sleeping.. but I knew I had to sleep early cos I needed to get up early to church for the choir presentation. We were supposed to be at church at 7:45am thus I set my alarm clock at 6:45am.

But guess what? when the alarm went off and I opened my eyes, I sensed that something was not right as it was bright already! I looked at the clock and it read `7:45!'!! My gosh I have inadvertently set it an hour late!

Knowing that I would be megalate but still could make it before the service start (8:45am) I got ready at full-speed and grabbed a few pieces of bread and drove like a mad woman.. setting a new time record from my house to church! I know this is bad but.. so I managed to reach the hall by 8:25am.. explained and apologised to the conductor in front of everyone but he didn't seem angry (phew). So I missed the warm-up but at least I got to sing and didn't waste all the weeks of practice!! Praise God everything went pretty well too..

After singing for the 2nd service, I left to meet up with dad, mom, sis and B-I-L for lunch. Yes, we went to Pavillion KL! Ate at Madam Kwan's which food was not that good anymore and then spent the whole of the afternoon browsing the new mall and shopping! Well, more like dad and I accompanying sis and mom to shop. B-I-L very smartly went his own way to Sungei Wang, and even had a massage!

Pavillion is pretty large and has an interestingly lay-out. A little like Suria KLCC but even more spacious and modern in a way. We checked out Tang's, which interior decoration is very chic with slight Medditaranean feel. It's quite small though, just two storey of fashion mainly. But I am particularly impressed by Parkson which is really quite upmarket! We ended up having afternoon tea and its delicious chocolate banana cake at the Zang Toi cafe inside Parkson.

I was upset that I've left my camera inside my other bag in my car, which was parked in Bangsar.. so no photos of the day but here's just one that shows the interior of the mall, photo credited to another blogger -

We only had half-an-hour to shower and get ready for dinner with the newly weds, ie. uncle and Annie at Unique Seafood in Cheras.. Well, uncle said he wanted to treat all us for our help. We had Nyonya fish, clam soup, steam prawns, fried crabs etc... yum.. the food was very good.. and the price reasonable too!

When we reached home, sis and B-I-L packed and had to sleep early as their flight was very early the next morning..

I heard sis was really tired when she reached HK.. I don't blame her, I myself have yet to recover from it too.

Or maybe I should just sleep earlier tonight :p