Friday, February 26, 2010

12-days away!

No, I'm not going away for vacation for 12 days.. that would be nice. It just happens that my schedule has happened in such a way that three events have fallen back-to-back!

In early Nov last year, I have already booked my `coming-of-age' first solo-trip to Bali -the beautiful island i've already visited twice and still longed to go again.. I thought early March would be a good date and after trying to get the cheapest available flights, I would be flying off on March 6 morning and back on March 10 night - 4-nites and 5 full days.. And as of early this year, I have been busy surfing and hunting the Internet for suitable accommodations (ie. nicest within my budget) and was quite pleased with the choices..

I've digressed.. so why 12 days? It so happened that end of last year, I was contacted by the organiser of the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) to be their show newsletter writer. Actually I was supposed to be part of the team last year but couldn't do it due to my involvement with another project. This time, the working date happened to be March 1-5, ending just the day before my schedule Bali trip! As i really do need extra and fast income, this job is ideal BUT although it' based in KL, we are to be put up in a hotel near by the exhibitions for the whole five days.. I heard we will be staying at the Grand Seasons - which is not bad. :)

And then just a few weeks before CNY, i was offered a short-trip assignment by a new magazine I'm contributing to - to Westin Langkawi Resort to review the food and spa. And the date happens to be Feb 27-28 - just one day before my job with MIFF. First i wasn't sure whether I should take it but after meeting with the marketing people and understanding the `light' nature of the assignment - I need to write two short pieces. And I get to enjoy free accommodation, food and spa in a five-star resort. No reasons for turning it down!

So I'll be flying off tomorrow tomorrow morning and would get to stay one night, and then another night back home in between the MIFF stint and my Bali holiday! Well.. at least it will be work first, and holiday later.. and I'm really looking forward to my 4-days escapade in Bali.

In the mean time tho, I am a bit worried about next Mon to Fri - as I have not done a 9am-5pm (well actually it would end later) for eons!! I would have to get up at 7-something each morning -which is really quite a daunting thing for this owl. My normal sleeping time is from 4am-noon...

Oh well... it's good to be out of the comfort zone sometimes.. and after all, I have Bali to look forward to!

So I will be packing in and out of suitcases. Just for the sake of frivolity, here are two photos of the suitcases I plan to bring for the 3 `trips' - and it will be in the order of the smallest to the largest.

And here's Jelly trying to get into the photo! :p

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ban the fireworks and firecrackers!!

Ok, i may sound like a CNY scrooge but i think i am not alone on this..

Even Facebook statuses and comments by friends/relatives indicated many of us in the Klang Valley (and I'm sure in other cities/towns with Chinese populations) were bothered by the incessant and loud fireworks and firecrackers that went on in the last couple of hours!!

Apparently we just ushered in the Hokkiens' BIG day - 拜天公 (Bai Tin Gong) which falls on the 8th day of CNY.. and since I moved to this neighbourhood almost 7 years ago, I have experienced this crazy outburst of `celebration' which was even madder than CNY eve itself!!

But I won't really complain so much if I didn't have Jojo. You see, my dear Goldie is quite a coward dog who is frightened by even an umbrella or even the slightest unusual noises.. You can imagine how freaked out he has been with all these loud noises!! In fact, he was already so disturbed since CNY eve, and had been behaving quite abnormally. He lives outdoor but because of the fireworks/crackers, he had been pounding the doors every night and seeing him so frightened, we let him in.. But he would just dash upstairs into my room and hide himself in his `safety abode' - underneath my bathroom basin. He would refuse to come out and even coaxing him with food and using all kinds of method proved futile..

Two nights ago, even after the fireworks stopped, when I took Jelly out for a walk (which is his favourite actually) he still remained upstairs.. and yes, he would tried to come down but retreated again..

Sometimes we put him in his other safety abode - his house. But when I touched him, I could feel his heart beating so fast so I just had to let him in again..

Tonight, he got so scared that he began chewing things in my room and bathroom, something he usually does when he's nervous.. He also looked so paranoid and pathetic.. when I called him, he normally would come but now he just hid himself.

Just now, mom has to use a `cruel' method to get him out from hiding under my sink - after I tried so many ways to coax him out and fail. Mom took an umbrella and shoved it near him.. and he finally budged.. by that time, the fireworks/crackers had ceased.. thankfully, though once in a while, we could still hear it..

I just don't understand.. that type of grand/loud fireworks do not come cheap! And so many people are willing to throw away so much money just to `celebrate' in such a way.. that contributes to air and noise pollution and even danger!! Why doesn't our government ban it like they once used to? Are they allowing it to woo the Chinese voters or..?

And it's actually early Monday morning - people have to work and schools re-open, yet these crazy `chinamen' (ok i'm stereotyping but chances are they are!) don't give a hoot! Their own merry-making comes before considerations for others. And they probably believe doing that would bring them prosperity?

I'm not a `banana', in fact, i'm Chinese educated and well verse with Chinese tradition and culture. My parents are traditionally and culturally very Chinese but thank goodness that even they do not share that kind of mentality.

At least now at past 2am, it's finally quieten down.. but here's a photo of poor Jojo sitting in my bathroom, under the sink, having chewing up papers and boxes!!

So pitiful.. :(

Mom, being the tolerant one, said it's just once a year and let it be... but I say, those of us who share my sentiment should petition to the government to ban fireworks/firecrackers once and for all!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

In memory of Grandma and Grandpa

Time flies.. It's grandma's first year death anniversary today. She passed away shortly after CNY last year from stroke and old age..

It was also grandpa's 16th year death anniversary last month - I couldn't believe it has been 16 years already after `ye ye' succumbed to cancer. He was a heavy smoker and drinker..

Dad placed a `in memory' ad in Sin Chew daily to commemorate their death anniversaries..

In the afternoon, we paid a visit to their resting place.. where their ashes are placed. When grandpa passed away, grandma had herself `booked' a place next to him. The urn was wrapped with red paper until last year.. I always thought it was a bit morbid.. but well..

I think it was uncle who put the liquor and beer there - they were grandpa's favourite sins.. we haven't put anything there for `ah nei'

I know it seems weird to take photos there, but it's kind of like a memory for myself/my blog. I also took one that showed some of their `neighbours'...

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Time flies.. the Year of the Tiger has dawned on us!!

As I'm typing this, still with a full stomach after a heavy reunion dinner feast, fire-crackers have been resounding loudly and unceasingly from around the neighbourhood! The Chinese customs and traditions are well alive at least in this part of the Kuala Lumpur suburb..

Maybe I'm getting old and jaded, I don't feel at all excited even no matter how beautiful the fireworks are.. In fact, I hope they will stop soon as I need to sleep real soon to get up early to church - will be leading songs tomorrow, on the 1st day of CNY!

The few days that followed will see quite a lot more feasting.. gosh I must have some restraint and not let myself put on weight after all the hard work! It'll also be a time of fellowship with relatives and friends, but I can't really be taking a proper break as some deadlines are looming!

Well.. here's wishing one and all a happy and blessed lunar new year! May the Year of the Tiger be a roaring good one! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jojo can't do `up' anymore!! :((

I feel sad...:( My Jojo is an old dog now..!?

I know Jojo is not getting any younger.. he'll be seven-years-old in June. However, I couldn't believe his legs and joints are getting so weak that as of these two days, he could no longer leap up!

For the longest time, every evening when I come home, he would greet me and leap on me on his hind legs. Usually I would gesturel him to the pillar cos instead of scratching my clothes, he could just leap and scratch on the pillar of the porch. Then I would pat and play with him a bit. This has been like his routine..

But last night and tonight, he just greeted me without jumping.. and when I signaled for him to jump at the pillar, he struggled to attempt it but failed! He could just jump very low and immediately back on all fours.. he couldn't do the `up' command anymore!!

:(( I was devastated. I had been giving him expensive joint supplements but on a low dosage - mainly because it's very expensive and also the vet said I could start slow as a `maintenance' supplement since he isn't that senior in age yet..

But now.. I think I need to increase the dosage.. as he obviously showed obvious signs that he is getting weak in his joints.

Oh Jojo.. I can't believe age has taken a toll on you.. I think I really need to bring him for walk even more regularly and take care of him better. I feel so bad.. I think his lifestyle is probably too sedentary and he's getting heavy too...

I really pray his condition will not worsen and can be improved with the help of supplements..

The photos show Jojo, lying outside my study just now. Ya, looking lazy but he still looks so handsome, doesn't he?