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Lilypie - Fourth Birthday

Lilypie - Kids Birthday

Lilypie - Kids Birthday

Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup 2006 - What A Month It Has Been!!

What a World Cup it has been!! As we all already know, the Italians are the Champions, beating France 6-4 on penalties. I hated the fact that the match had to be determined on penalty kicks because it just brings down the excitement to a low level. But that's how championships go sometimes.

The game was extremely nail-biting. Too many incidences where there should have been a goal but was denied because the angle was a little bit off, or the goalkeeper was just too good (Buffon!!). Too many fouls, dives and instances where each team pushed the other to the limit. There was a moment where Italy could have won it 2-1 if not for one of the strikers been caught off-side just 6 inches.




But the image that would probably stay in everybody’s mind would be that of Zidane head butting Matterazi in the chest, prompting the referee to give him a red card. It was a sight that not even the Italians could cheer to, seeing the Great Legend taking off his captain’s band and walk slowly off the pitch, pass the World Cup trophy that he would never get to raise again, even if France had won the match. I was silenced and baffled by the act of violence shown by Zidane; so unlike him. Speculation says that Matterazi called Zidane a racial slur. Maybe he did, even so Zidane should have kept his cool. It’s such a pity that his professional career had to come to an end on such a sour note.




All in all, the World Cup has been a joyous occasion. I can’t wait for 2010, World Cup in Africa.

**Picture taken courtesy of JOHN MACDOUGALL / Getty Images.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Guess The Color Purple Doesn't Really Do It For Them

Yesterday we took the kids to Jaya Jusco Equine Park to see Barney and his friends. The kids love watching Barney and even though they don’t memorize all the songs, they do love singing the “I Love You” song. God, I used to hate that song with ALL MY SOUL but somehow when my kids sing it, it’s like hearing birds sing on a sunny Sunday morning.


The appearance was scheduled at 7pm, hubby and I headed back from the office on time. After freshening up and getting the kids ready, we drove over to the mall at around 6.30pm. Being a new mall, there weren’t many shops open yet. We walked a bit then decided to head to the concourse area for the show.

There were already many kids and their parents there. The personnel there announced that only kids were allowed up front while parents had to sit at the back. I brought the girls to the front and told them that I would be waiting for them at the back. As I turned and walked to the back, I felt someone tugging on my jeans. Hahahaa, I guess watching Barney from the back with the girls would also be ok.

The show was entertaining enough. There were loads of songs sung and the kids who decided to participate and join along were plenty.
My girls weren’t among them.
As you can see, they’re more of the passive type. Dina spent most of the time wondering about, starring at the other kids. Like Taiko tak, the picture? Dania concentrated on the show from the back. Only towards the end did they start going to the front and start dancing along.

Dania lined up to take pictures with Barney but at the last minute she freaked out, so I took pictures of other peoples’ kids. Ah bein! I guess she was a bit nervous seeing Barney being so big. Usually he’s just a small purple blob on the TV.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Random Notes in the Wee Morning Hours

Thanks to the abundance of mosquitoes in my room, I’m up blogging at 3.50am. Seriously, I was up for 30 minutes and within that time, I killed 9 mosquitoes, 6 of them were full with blood. Urghh!!

Thank god the World Cup is on. Italy vs. Germany. The game has been very exhilarating so far. Both teams have made fantastic tries for goal, the best so far from Germany; just inches away above the top beam. It’s half time right now, so I have 15 minutes until the excitement begins again.

Good God!! Why is the commentator from TV1 speaking like such a robot? Giller formal!! Loosen up man, its football!!

Wah!! Haji Zainal Abidin is in Dortmund watching the game right now. What I wouldn’t give to be where he is right now.

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I have 10 minutes left. I think I’ll jot down a few advice notes for friends and readers who might like to visit Bali.

TRANSPORT

Airport Taxi: Prices are usually fixed, but you can try to negotiate for better rates. You can tip the driver. Remind him not to drive too fast.

Bemo: Local basic transportation. If you want a taste of the local life, the bemo is the way to go. Cheap but crowded and noisy. Not to mention sometimes smelly. You’ll most probably be charged 5 to 10 times the local’s rate. Try to negotiate the price to 50%.

Bicycles: Cycling can be a cheap and enjoyable way to get around. Not sure about the rental. Remember, you DO NOT have the right of way. This is a very different driving environment than US or Europe.

Driving: Some people like to rent cars and drive themselves to tourist sites. Not advisable as road signs are a rare sight. You’ll probably get lost and spend too much time trying to get directions. Best to rent a car with a driver. Depending on the driver, you can pay him according to distance or pay him by the hour. Motorcycles are for those with an immortality pact with God!!!

Taxis: Make sure the driver resets the meter before you start off. You may negotiate on the price beforehand. Remember, if you want the driver to wait for you while you go shopping or have a meal, negotiate on a flat rate as the meter will be kept running.

HEALTH CARE

Bali Belly: Anyone not accustomed to the difference in cleanliness and bacteria in Bali should check out the “looks” of the restaurant carefully before sitting down. However, even the clean looking places can give you a problem. Sometimes Bali Belly is something you can’t avoid. If you do have a health problem, there are many pharmacies (called Apotik) that can provide you with medicine or help.

Drugs: Indonesia has very strict laws when it comes to drugs. If found in your procession, you may be facing prison or the gallows. Be careful, sometimes people selling drugs do not may not be who they appear to be.

Malaria: Bali is considered Malaria free but dengue fever is still a problem. Guard against mosquitoes and bring insect repellant.

Medical: Instead of calling for an ambulance, get a taxi instead. There are several western standard clinics in the Kuta area: BIMC (Bali International Medical Center) 761263 and SOS Medika (International SOS Clinic) 755768. Ask your hotel if you need help.

Tattoos: Temporary tattoos maybe harmful as many use a chemical textile dye that is not for human use. Henna tattoos are problem free. Chemical tattoos are very black while henna tattoos are not so black.

Water: Unless you want to be vomiting every hour or so, DO NOT DRINK THE TAP WATER!! Drink only bottled water and bottled drinks. Most ice is considered safe.

MISCELLANEOUS

Attending Ceremonies: Remember, these are very serious occasions and should be treated as such. Always wear a sarong and a sash, or at the very least cover you body when attending the ceremonies. Do not walk in front of people praying. Never sit higher than the priest. Women are not allowed to enter a temple during menstruation, same goes for anyone with a bleeding wound.

Culture: Try not to step on the offerings in the street. Yes, they will be everywhere so be aware. Walk around them. Do not beep your horn when you come to a religious procession. Be patience and wait.

Leaving: Reconfirm your flight at least 72 hours prior to flying. Airport Departure Tax is Rp. 100,000 for international flights (per person) and Rp. 20,000 for domestic flights, so don’t finish all your cash shopping. Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.

Moneychangers: There are two kinds of money changers: one that charges commission and one that doesn’t. The ones charging commission usually give a higher rate but the commission is taken off the total. We feel it is best to deal with the no commission charging moneychangers. Loom for a sign that says NO COMMISSION. Always count your money before you leave the place. Bring your own calculator if you can, sometimes the ones used at the places are “fixed”.

Petty Crime: Bali is relatively safe. However use your hotel safe if you have one. If not, carry all your valuables in a front pouch. On the street, you’re mostly safe but you should beware of people stealing stuff from your hotel room.

Shopping: Always bargain the price, starting at 50% or more. Department store prices are fixed, though.

Street and Beach Vendors: DO NOT LOOK! DO NOT ASK HOW MUCH. If you look or ask, you’ll be followed for miles. If they approach you, just say firmly you’re not interested. Some may be persistent, stand you ground.

The Beach: Surf and under currents are very dangerous along the Kuta Beach. Swim between flags only. Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.

Tipping: There’s no hard rule on tipping in Bali. However a minimum of Rp. 2,000 per person for a meal is much appreciated. Some hotels and restaurants already add on service charge amounting to 21% on top of the bill, so best check your bill before you add on any extra tips.

Tours: Many agents offer a variety of tours with guides, including a half-day trip or daylong tours including lunch and visits to shops, temples and performances. Try to skip the shops; the prices will be jacked up way high.

Walking: Be sure to look and listen while you cross the road. Crosswalks are pretty lines on the road with no actual meaning. Motorbikes never stop; they will weave around you so be careful if you’re crossing in a large group.

**********************************************

The match is back on. 79th minute and still no goal. Some substitutes have been made by both team and some fabulous tries have also happened. I predict the game will go to a penalty shoot out, how boring.

Ballack is going to take a free kick in front of the goal. Alamak!! Too high!!!

Yawwwnnnnn…..I’m gonna be totally dead at work later on.

**************************************

Edited: OH MY GOD!!!! Italy just scored at the 118th minute!! Fabio Grosso just scored a beautiful goal.

OH MY GOD!!! Italy just scored again!! Allesandro Del Piero!! 120th minute!!! Italy is through to the finals!!!! Germany is in tears.

Oh my God!! I'm screaming and laughing all alone in the living room. For some bizzare reason, tears are running down my face. What a climax!!! Marvelous game!!!

I have 1 hour of sleep before I have to wake up and get ready for work. I'm too pumped up, there's no way I'm gonna sleep. Damn World Cup.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Coz I Know You All Can't Get Enough Of Me...

This is a rare occasion; I’m home, alone. The kids are at the playground with Nisa and hubby is at a meeting in KL. I figure I have at least 30 minutes of peace and quiet. I could;

a) take an early, extra long shower and belt out Kelly Clarkson songs at the top of my voice.
b) Sit on the couch in my underwear and watch Seinfeld reruns.
c) Surf for porn.
d) Blog

I would do (a) but I doubt my neighbors will approve. (b) sounds too tiresome, having to take off all my clothes by myself. Hah!! (c) doesn’t sound good, only because I’m afraid that I might download a virus instead. Therefore, I vote for (d), even though I haven’t got much to write about. I could tell you about my weekend; 2 weddings and no funeral. Hahaha, lame one, I know. But I didn’t take any pictures at the ceremonies and what good is a blog entry about a wedding if there are no pictures.

So, what to write? What else when I’m lazy but need to update my blog. Memes!!!

This one I stole..errrr, borrowed, from Mr. Fabulous.

Sixty-Two Question Meme

1. How old do you wish you were?
You know, I can’t remember a time when I was truly, truly happy. There was always something worrying or bugging me; when younger, my brothers, exams, peer pressure; getting older, the opposite sex, peer pressure, exams, dire financial state; now I’m working it’s the kids, the house, work, my boss from hell, etc. So I guess there isn’t an age I would rather be than what I am now. Which is 30, by the way.

2. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Hmm..I think I was at home. I didn’t hear about the planes until the next day. I spent hours watching the news after that.

3. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Depends on whether I was freaking hungry or thirsty at the time. Most likely I would give it a violent kick, but not so violent that I would hurt myself.

4. Do you consider yourself kind?
Yes. Most of the time. Are you gonna challenge me on this?

5. If you had to get a tattoo, where and what would it be?
Had to? I guess it would be something cool like a dragon or a scorpion. Maybe on my biceps. Hahaha, like I even have biceps.

6. If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be?
Chinese. Because it would help me understand what all the Chinese hawkers are talking about in front of me.

7. Do you know your neighbors?
Not intimately. When I get home, I just wanna unwind with hubby and the kids. We usually go out for family outings during the weekends. Hardly any time to socialize with the neighbors. But I do buy them stuff when I go for vacations, some small souvenir.

8. What do you consider a vacation?
Any day not spent at the office. Which would include days I’m sick and lying in bed, recuperating. What does that say about my job?

9. Do you follow your horoscope?
No.

10. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yeah, of course. I can’t imagine being far away from hubby for too long.

11. Are you touchy feely?
Only with selected people. Most of the times I hate the hug-and-kiss-cheek routine. Especially with people I hardly meet or don’t care about.

12. Do you believe that opposites attract?
I’m living proof. But after time, hubby and I have learned to accept our differences and appreciate them.

13. Dream job?
Becoming a well-known and respected wedding planner. Insya’allah…

14. Favorite channels?
AXN. Star World. Disney-playhouse channel. Hah!!

15. Favorite place to go on a weekend?
Lately, I love going to my parents’ new house. But anywhere with hubby and the kids is a good place to be.

16. Showers or Bath?
We don’t have a bath tub at home, so mostly showers. However I like to take baths when I stay at a hotel.

17. Do you paint your nails?
No. But I won’t judge you if you do.

18. Do you trust people easily?
No. My job requires me to be wary of people, especially those who come with proposals that promise the sky and the moon. I’ve even perfected a cynical smile, used during such meetings.

19. What are your phobias?
Dogs. Rats. Anything bad happening to my family.

20. Do you want kids?
Are you kidding me? If I didn’t suffer from chronic morning sickness, I would be pregnant right now.

21. Do you keep a handwritten journal?
Used to. Now I find blogging more fulfilling.

22. Where would you rather be right now?
I’m at home with the kids and hubby (they came back early!!). So I guess I love being where I am right now.

23. What makes you feel warm and safe?
A hug and kiss from my kids and hubby. People saying really nice things about me, behind my back.

24. Heavy or light sleep?
Depends on whether I’m really tired or not. So heavy, most of the time.

25. Are you paranoid?
Huh? No. Maybe. Depends. Am I being tested on this question?

26. Are you impatient?
Yes, if I need something done right now and the outcome affects me. No, if someone else’s butt is at stake. Hahahaha..

27. Who can you relate to?
No one. I am my own person.

28. How do you feel about interracial couples?
I believe in love. I believe love can conquer many obstacles. Being of different races, that so small of an obstacle.

29. Have you been burned by love?
Yes. Do I regret it? No.

30. What’s your life motto?
Just as Earl believes, Karma works. Do upon others as you would like others to do to you.

31. What's your main ringtone on your mobile?
Unforgettable by Nat King Cole.

32. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping.

33. Who was your last text message from?
Hubby.

34. Whose bed did you sleep in last night?
Do you need to ask? Unless I’m on holiday or working during the weekends, it’s my own.

35. What color shirt are you wearing?
I don’t wear shirts.

36. Most recent movie you watched?
In the theatre? Can’t remember, Narnia maybe. DVD? Nanny McPhee. Don’t snicker!! It’s a fun movie. Plus I luurrrvveee Colin Firth.

37. Name five things you have on you at all times?
My necklace. My earrings. My handphone (unless it’s charging). My sense of humor. My sexy vibe.

38. What color are your bed sheets?
Either green, blue, white or cream.

39. How much cash do you have on you right now?
RM2.++. Hubby used my money to renew his driver’s license.

40. What is your favorite part of chicken?
The thigh. Probably explains why mine is as big as an elephants’.

41. What's your favorite town/city
It’s a toss between New York and Paris. Brisbane was nice too.

42. I can’t wait till...
I’m released from my scholarship bond. I’m financially independent. I have my own wedding planner business.

43. Who got you to join MySpace?
MySpace is eeevviillll!!

44. What did you have for dinner last night?
Rice. Chicken. Some vege. Mangoes. Yummm.

45. How tall are you barefoot?
153cm.

46. Have you ever smoked crack?
Nope. But I’ve acted like I have.

47. Do you own a gun?
No. I don’t believe in guns.

48. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Depends on what time I wake up. A cup of milo, if it’s early enough. If I wake up late, then it’s straight to tea.

49. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
Men are gullible. It doesn’t take much. You tell them they look handsome and you’ll have them eating out of your hand.

50. Do you have A.D.D.?
Can you have minor ADD? I can write an email, reply to an email, chat, write an approval paper, listen to music and have a telephone conversation all at the same time. I call it “multitasking”.

51. What time did you wake up today?
7.30am. What time did I get out of bed? 7.55am.

52. Current worry?
Work. Certain people.

53. Current hate?
Work. Certain people

54. Favorite place to be?
Anywhere with my family.

55. Where would you like to travel?
Russia. China. Exotic places.

56. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs?
I can’t plan that far ahead. But I do hope to be more financially secure and have more kids.

57. Last thing you ate?
Rice. Chicken. Chocolate.

58. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Depends on my mood. And whether I’m in a hurry or not. Nowadays its either Kelly or Pussycat Dolls. Hah!!

59. Last person that made you laugh?
Hubby.

60. Worst injury you've ever had?
When I was 8, I was skipping (why do little girls like to skip?) while throwing and catching a coin in the air. I slipped and fell chin first on hard concrete. Split my chin open. I remember loads of blood. I had to get 6 stitches. Thank god I hadn’t bit my tongue.

61. Does someone have a crush on you?
Not that I know of.

62. What is your favorite candy?
Any dark chocolate. The darker, the better.