Looking for the silver lining

With all the nonsensical drama that has been bugging me recently, I cannot help but feel helpless and being depressed about things. Although I must admit that there are a few good things that I can hold on to and count on to bring me back to a better place. I should call these people/things my wooden plank and pretend I'm Rose from Titanic. Even when all hope seems lost and my Jack has frozen to death, I still have a wooden plank to lie on until I'm rescued. Lately I'm getting tired of holding on to things that make me unhappy and have started questioning my own thoughts. Why can't I start focusing on things that I'm lucky enough to have, instead of dwelling on things that make me feel miserable? Yes, they're miserable and are still in my life but since I have to live with them then I shall put in extra effort to focus on things that make me happy. I'm going to leave them negative thoughts at the dumpster tonight and enjoy my not-too-bad life. Tonight is my friend, Joanna's hen's night and I'm looking forward to have a great girls' night out. Hope there aren't too many indoor smokers around to spoil my mood (and vision). If I manage to capture some nice sassy photos, I'll be happy enough to share some in a next post :)

Que sera sera

When I was just a little girl, I never asked my mother what will I be. I never paid attention to whether I'll be pretty, if I'll be rich and she never said anything to me. 

But as I hit puberty, I started wondering why my mother still wouldn't invest in proper teenage skincare products for me while I envy other girls who at that time seemed to have smoother faces than I did. Despite not being the rose that every bee would buzz around at school, I was going about fine and enjoyed my carefree days as a teenager. I successfully transitioned from a child to an emotional teenager.

Then came the proper growing up phase as I marched into my 20s. The responsibilities of becoming an adult seemed all too real just a few years ago and thankfully I turned out to be a responsible adult. Sometimes maybe a tad too responsible (translation: boring!!). It sure wasn't easy moving on to becoming an adult. Right now it seems like the world is on my shoulders where I stand. Kind of makes me wish for the end of the world this Friday to be true, just so I can escape from the rut that I'm in. 

I'm at lost thinking if I should wait and see if things take a better turn, or take matters into my own hands and go on a new path. It's not like I didn't give it time. It's been a year and whenever things seem to be getting better, it all turns out to be the same and I'm getting tired. But a part of me wants to stay and watch it grow. 

Is this what adults deal with or am I going down the path of a mid-life crisis too soon?

How are things up there?

Hey Aimz,

In just a few days it would be your death anniversary and I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry that I couldn't attend the 30 days prayer. I'm playing bridesmaid to a school friend and had to skip going down to Seremban. I hope you know that I'm missing you from time to time and you'll be in my thoughts. 

To be perfectly honest with you, I do wish that we kept in touch more often before you left this mortal world. But I'll have you know that you brought Edwin, Esther and I together when we went to see you to bid our final farewell. Did you see us there at your house? I hope you liked the flowers we brought you. The florist didn't have many choices for flowers but they did their best. I know you'll get me if I could share the story of the 'artistic' Bangladeshi workers who put the wreath together. You wouldn't have guessed if I hadn't told you that they put it together, would you?

It wouldn't be easy for us to forget you, especially for Edwin. He did say out loud that you chose a date that he'll never forget. Well, not loud enough for everyone at your house to hear but just enough for me and Esther. No one knew you had a photograph of Esther and yourself by your bed and when your dad brought it downstairs to show us, it made us all sad for a little while. But in the end we're glad that you're no longer in pain. I hope your parents and Ben can heal from the pain of losing you too. 

You know, I went through my photo archives and managed to find a few photographs that we took together. I wished we had more. You may not agree with my choice here, but please know that it wasn't easy for me either to decide to let the world view my juvenile attempt of looking cool and fashionable way back when. Hope you're well and happy wherever you may be now and be good.

17 November 2006

Keys to my crib

It's finally happening. I'm getting the keys to our first (and new!) home this weekend!! Things have been slowly creeping up on me and I just realized that I'm about to be a mad new house owner for the next couple of months! I'm already worrying about potential problems with the contractors, what colour should I paint my walls, what colour should my kitchen cabinet be in, yadayadayada... How lovely it would be to have Mr Bun back home sharing this milestone with me but alas, he needed to be away to bring home the bacon and so be it.

Thank goodness for my habit of saving beautiful photographs of other people's homes and now I am set to make my very own inspiration board. But first I'll have to filter out what I really want and then work from there. This will not be easy.

I'm kicking off the process with meetings with contractors this weekend, screening them based on their characters and responses as well as the quotations that will come later. Coming from the middle income bracket, I'd definitely need to look for the best price but I'm trying hard not to focus too much on the price. The workmanship and reliability plays a bigger role in this process. 

I guess the house will keep me busy for at least 6 months. Obviously I'm hoping for the best and will try my darnest not to lose it. I need to keep my bridezilla mode for my wedding. I hope my house doesn't give me a meltdown before that.

Never take things for granted

How does one feel when a mere task of walking at a normal speed suddenly turns into the last leg of a full 21km marathon? Or standing in front of the cash deposit machine for an extra 10 seconds makes your insides feel like they are being ripped apart? If you are curious enough to find out, I might be able to let you in on the details. 

It's been exactly a week since my surgery and I feel much better compared to the first two days out of the operating room. But I still remember how cold it felt in there, and how badly I was shaking when I started regaining consciousness. The nurses must have been accustomed to half-awake patients who signal to them with a weak wave for an extra piece of blanket, and a low grunt of approval when they ask if you would like the heat on the heated blanket to be turned up higher. I don't miss the few pumps of morphine I allowed myself to have while I was still battling my way to full consciousness. But I can testify how powerful it is, and how painkillers do not impress me at all. Morphine is the way to go, baby!

It can get quite depressing if I place my focus on how much it hurts when I try to sleep on my sides, how hard it is to fall asleep when my body is dead straight, how much my stitches feel like bursting whenever I sneezed or coughed and how hormonal I've been as a result of my medication. But the good news is, I've started moving my thoughts into a more positive and optimistic space. It's nothing much but at least I'm trying. Now I hear a voice telling me, "at least you discovered it early, you didn't lose a limb, you're still here and full of opportunities to try" and yada yada.

One month of recuperation sounds just right. Not too long or short. I just hope my stitches get healed in time so they can withstand the impact of sitting hours through the traffic. Or else I might have to resort to driving a race car because that's the only angle I can get comfortable with. What's most challenging for me now is to get through to the day my Mr Bun comes home. It certainly isn't the best feeling in the world when my queen-sized bed transforms into a vast, vacant grassland whenever I sleep on it alone.

Here's to getting well and looking at the glass as half full.

My first surgery

This past week has been such a roller coaster ride. My Mr Bun left for Hong Kong two Sundays ago and that turned my life upside down. He'll be away for work for at least three months and during the whole time before he left, I thought three months was going to zoom past us and before we know it, he'll be back home with me. Little did I know that I started to crumble as soon as I turned my back at the departure gate, walking alone back to the car and driving back to the city with tears in my eyes. It was hard for him too, with this being his sophomore trip out of the country and first one without me. Now I know I was wrong when I said, "It's only three months, not three years". Because it definitely feels like I have to wait for years right now.

Things took for a more challenging turn when I had pains in my lower abdomen just days before the departure to Hong Kong. So I got myself a colonoscopy just to have things checked out and never would I guess that the doctors indeed found something, but in another area which I didn't suspect. They found a growth near my right ovary and after further screenings, I had to get admitted to have it removed as soon as possible. Which in my case, was quite immediate. After the surgery, the gynaecologist confirmed it was an endometriosis cyst which thankfully was quite fresh, but considered large in size. From what I remember, it was probably the size of an egg. It baffled him at first why it didn't protude and look visible from the outside because it was considered big and I felt a sharp pain when he examined me. But anyways, it was quite a fresh growth so it hadn't attacked my ovaries yet so that means I should try to get pregnant as soon as I can, while everything seems to be in working condition.

This has also resulted in me being on a month's medical leave and the days seem so long and lonely, especially with my closest companion being away and both of us dealing with long distance relationship for a short period of time. Sure, my mom's around to help me out with things but even she's leaving for her big Canadian and Alaskan holiday this weekend and I'll be left lonely at home. My brothers will be home but not much help there, unless it's something to do with transport or anything related to that. I use the word 'lonely' a lot because usually I like being left alone but I hate being lonely. The hormone medication that I'm on now to suppress the risk of the cyst's regrowth is not helping either. I hate it when my emotions and thoughts are so driven by hormones. It's driving me nuts.

Although this post sounds a lot like a post surgery rant, I felt it was important for me to share this episode of my life here so that other females can take note as well. It's also certainly helpful to be able to let it out because I've been so emotional lately. I didn't want to be one of those attention seekers to be posting updates about my condition on Facebook and then expect an outpour of comments. This is a good space to let off some steam and spread the message at the same time. So girls, go get yourselves a good gynaecologist and frequent check ups. You may think things like period pains are what comes with the package every month, but it could very well be your body trying to warn you about something. I know that now. You wouldn't to wait till it's too late to find out.

Snappity snaps 2

1. Cute furry flower with pink ends. I see them at the park that I go running during the weekends.
2. Munching on M&Ms while reading a book = Absolute bliss.
3. Revisiting childhood memories.
4. A kinda new purchase, sequined collar blouse. I've yet to find an occasion to wear it.
5. Red velvet cake for lunch. Other places never seem to top Ben's/Plan B.
6. Pastel coloured macaroons from Butter Tree. Sadly they're only available as made-to-orders now.
7. Bubbly at the office. Yes, miracles do happen sometimes.
8. Right after we got some pretty balloons for our 'couple's shoot'. I look grumpy but it was just the glaring sun.
9. Trying out the new air-conditioned walkway from KLCC to Pavilion KL.

Markets @ Jaya One

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit yet another installation of Markets @ Jaya One. I've been wanting to go to this one because I wanted to get my hands on some of the goodies that were being given out. Thank my lucky stars that the freebie booths were already open even though we reached about 30 minutes earlier than the official starting time.

First stop was the Markets booth to redeem a free Topshop tote bag and I headed straight to Tongue in Chic's booth next because I wanted these supercool DIY tote bags... and the Bobbi Brown loose powder that they were giving out.

No hands got dirty in the making of this tote bag. If you've seen my earlier post, you would've guessed which one I went with. I was told that I was the first person of the day to go for Proenza Shoulder. Guess Malaysians didn't really quite get that. The two Ah Lians who queued in front of me didn't know what Can't Clutch This meant but they chose that anyway. And one of them stamped it upside down. Go figure.

Tadaaahhhh!!! Opps, I look as if I have no pants on. Hold on a sec...

Here you go. Much more decent and family-friendly.

Can you believe I went to a shopping event and ended up only buying one of the tags above and three cupcakes? Yes exactly, WTF?!

By the way, they only look good. They were more like muffins than cupcakes. Meh.

Sneak peek

A sneak peek of what I was up to last weekend!

Complaining is stupid

“Complaining is stupid. Either act or forget.”
- Stefan Sagmeister

I love this quote from The Sagmeister. It's what I'm trying to do at the moment - ACT on it. But unfortunately I seem to be stuck for now. I hope things get a good turn around soon or else I might resort to stupidity.

Working Weekend in Penang

I had a slightly longer-than-usual weekend in Penang last week due to a road show that we had in Gurney Plaza. We left for Penang last Thursday before the break of dawn and got back to KL earlier this week on Monday afternoon. I was alright stepping into the office on Tuesday but the bugs had to prove that they owned me. And owned me they did. I'm only well enough to be back at my desk today after a two-day sick leave. I still feel sick if another bastard/bitch turns on the air-conditioner (I've just switched one of them off right after I got back from lunch). Why do Malaysians love to freeze themselves in the office? Is this another one of life's mysteries that we'll never be able to solve?

I've always had a soft spot for Penang, since 2007. My love story with Bun kinda started from there but I'll leave that for another time. Maybe during my wedding? Since this was a work trip and we had to stay in a shopping mall the whole time, we barely had a chance to go around to sample Penang's famed local delicacies. Thank goodness we had a one-hour window while we had to wait for our hotel room to be ready and off we went to the streets of Georgetown, in search of some yummy grub.

The view while we passed the Penang Bridge. I think this was sometime before 10.00am.

We had char kuey teow with big, fresh, juicy prawns. But they don't come cheap at RM8 per plate.

It's already hard enough to find a stalls that sells orh chien here in KL, and they make me regret ordering every single time. Why can't they be even half as good as those in Penang??!

Here's the signboard if you're ever curious enough to find the stall. I may be mistaken but this should be Jalan Anson.

I bunked in a room with my colleague. This is our city view. Check out the rainstorm on the far end of the left. Pretty cool stuff.

What I would like is a sea view like this but who cares since we're not on a holiday. This was taken from the lift lobby on our level.

Check out this mansion that is sandwiched between two hotels. I'm not sure if it's a private residence but the pool is surely one to envy!

We tried walking from the hotel to Gurney Plaza on the second day. The distance wasn't too bad, just a little over 1km. But the hot sun in the morning and our sore feet at the end of the day resulted in us driving for the rest of the days.

You'll find lone fishermen like this uncle in the photograph, or a group of uncles hanging out on the sidewalk of Gurney Drive in the daytime. Tourists are mostly visible after the weather is less punishing.

I managed to meet up with a few friends over dinner and post-dinner as well. Tze Chin and his wife is the lovely couple behind www.tasteiest.com and they took me to Mizi Bistro for dinner. I have no photographs from the place, so feel free to read up on their reviews of the place. I will ask to be taken back there the next time I'm in town to try out the steak selection. Their food portions are humongous!! The set meal is only RM25 and you can take a pick out of a selection of mains, comes with a soup and free flow of ice cream. The soups were thick (yummy!) and I would've had more yam ice cream if I hadn't been hearing my Chinese physician's voice nagging in my head. They recommended me to go to a quaint little cafe in Gurney Plaza, it's called Winter Warmers. I was told to try their rose cheese cake, waffles and flower tea.

This was my colleague's tuna waffle.

My chicken waffle. The waffles here are soft and moist, absolutely putting the waffles I've been having at the hotel's buffet breakfast to shame. I would've loved to try the green tea ice cream waffle but I suspect my Chinese physician was spying on me because I started hearing her voice again *shivers*

We shared a pot of tea. I couldn't remember what it was but it was nice. Check out the heart-shaped thingymajingy below the pot. So cute!!!

Check out the matchy matchy chinaware and tablecloth. They even have a display cabinet at the side with the rosiest chinaware collection - for sale, if you're wondering.

It's not everyday you stumble upon a rose cheese cake on a menu. This is certainly a piece of cheese cake that I wouldn't mind having more than a slice.

We had originally planned for a dimsum stop in Ipoh before heading back, but we figured that we'd run really late if we tried to venture into unknown territory. So we settled for Restoran Zim Sum instead. Again, you may head over to Tasteiest for their review.

We shared all of these, including a fish head meehon that didn't come to our table before the photo was taken. I had to take it fast before my colleague finishes half of everything. See, one of the fishballs behind the fried yam ball was already gone? Too bad I only got Tze Chin's message about their char siew pao being a 'must-try' after I left. It's okay, there's always next time!

I'll leave you with an amusing shot of this one booth that was opposite ours. I'm not quite sure of what services they provide, but I do hope they serve those lambs on a plate if I sign up.

Make a choice

“We often feel paralyzed by choice and make no choice. But the thing is, no choice is a choice. If you’re not doing something about it, you’re doing something about it.”
- Chris Guillebeau

I found this quote online and couldn't help but think of how apt it is to describe my thoughts right at this moment. I need to take a moment, calm down, analyze my situation and think clearly before making a decision on my next game plan. I feel like I should do something and live with the consequences, rather than waiting for something to happen and left to regret the outcome. Wish me luck. Lots of it.

Abby's birthday

It's my darling Datin Abby's birthday today and I'm so happy that we got to spend some time together, catching up on our girly talk over brunch. We initially had the idea to meet at Publika and I've been wanting to go check out the place after 9 out of 10 people I know who have been there gave me rave reviews. But then I remembered the very reason why we could catch up today was because it's a public holiday for the installation of the King and it would be the dumbest idea to head down to where the new palace is O.o

So we decided to meet at this Italian place called Casa del Cocco at Taman Danau Desa. I found this place with Mr Bun the other day, after realizing that a Korean place that we never tried before but wanted to, has already closed down. I usually shun places that has a limited menu but I actually like this place because the food's kinda great and the prices are super affordable. Not that I keep tab on the price of every dish, but both my visits thus far has not gone over RM60. My first visit with Mr Bun had two mains and a pizza, and today we had three girls with a main course and drink each, plus a pizza. How can you not love that?!

Check out the logs behind me. They're for the pizza oven. This place has a huge oven that takes up almost 1/3 of the open kitchen.

My pork herbs burger. My only gripe was that the buns were actually panini bread and they were kinda too hard to get away with being called a burger.

The birthday girl with her pork chop, which she deemed 'too porky'. Don't ask me.

Elvina decided to join us after waking up from her long, deep beauty sleep.

Her garlic pasta. It's not too big of a portion, I feel it's just nice. But this woman got hungry after just over an hour and wolfed down a slice of cake when she got home. She complained that the pasta portion was too small. I think she just has a case of the worms in her stomach because she had two slices of pizza to go with the pasta.

Our mushroom pizza. T'was nice. I love their thin and crunchy crust. I had the porky pizza with Mr Bun the other time and that was good too. They have a couple of dessert pizzas on the menu but I don't think I'll be brave enough to try those. 

I bought Abby some macaroons and it totally made her day. It's nice to see how friends appreciate and get excited over little things you do.

This is how they looked like when I got them home from The Gardens Mall yesterday. I took out Delectable's ribbons and replaced them with cute ribbons with 'Happy Birthday' printed on them <3

Trust me when I tell you she wasn't faking it. This woman had a massive sugar rush by just looking at them huge macaroons. I don't know what happened after she went home to her boyfriend lol.

Happy birthday Datin Abby!! Aren't you honoured that your birthday this year is declared as a public holiday and it's also an earth-shattering occasion? I came home after our brunch to an endless stream of tsunami and earthquake updates and it's hard not to get worried about what's going to happen to the affected areas. I guess we'll have to stay tuned for these couple of days. I remember it rained almost close to 24 hours back when the tsunami hit Japan. It was strangely sunny and warm today even though it's happening closer to home in Indonesia.

I was wearing a brand new mullet dress that I picked up at Cotton On while I was out getting Abby's macaroons. I couldn't help it!!!! Oh, please don't tell Mr Bun that I've been a naughty girl, out shopping when he's away ;)

Splattered all over

I've been feeling rather lazy uninspired lately, but I got a bit of my groove back today and hence the outfit post. I'm also thankful for the sun to stay shining after I got home to snap these few shots.

Wearing my awesome Jusco-found pants. At first I was trying to evade obnoxious relatives after I spotted them in the store. So I had to wander around another section and as fate would have it, these pair of pants called out to me while I was mindlessly flipping through clothing racks, waiting for annoying relatives to get out. I couldn't resist the temptation. They also look kinda like Diane von Furstenberg's paint effect skinny jeans. But mine aren't jeans. They're just really tight pants that put me at the risk of flashing my butt cheeks to the world if I'm not careful.

Here are my Chloe-esque ballet flats. Chloe released their designer version for their S/S 2011 collection, so that's about two years ago. These were also accidental finds. Life is good sometimes.

What else would go with the whole outfit but my baby on my wrist? I love it to bits but I cannot stop wondering where those mysterious stains on the strap come from (you can't see from this photo). I might suspect fake tan but I'm not a starlet from Hollywood so that's one suspect down.

Sit down and breathe

I feel like I've been on a complaining streak lately so I must sit myself down and think of the things that I need to be thankful for. 

I got a new job for the new year
I read this article by The BrandBuilder and it inspired me a lot. It's not like I got fired from my last job, but it made me feel good about taking a chance while I still can. It's been less than a month at my new job and I'm still feeling my way through but I have a feeling that it'll all be alright if I worked hard at it.

My in-laws like my cooking
Can I pour in a whole load of self-praise and say that they LOVED my cooking? Well, I don't know for sure but they did wipe everything clean when I went home with Mr Bun for Chinese New Year and spent three days cooking. It wasn't the grand Chinese dinner I had envisioned in my head but I sure did cook a whole lotta food to stuff everyone to the brim. I also found out that I need to learn more fatty pork dishes because ain't no Chinese dinner is complete without some good fatty oink.

I settled my problems like a real adult
You know how people always moan and bitch about their neighbours when some misunderstanding happens, and the situation usually ends up with them not speaking and silently cursing each other for whatever reason? I have this neighbour who lives on the same street, and they left their dog tied outside at the porch the other night. I don't have to tell you how bad that night was for me, with the dog barking throughout the goddamn night. To top it off, I drove for three friggin' hours on the same evening from Johor back to Cheras, with a long crawl at before every Seremban exit! (Wassup with you Seremban folks?!) I tried to knock on their door the next morning but there was no answer. I had to leave to work feeling supermegapissedoff and lethargic but I found solace in the awesome traffic while everyone else is still away from the city. Once I got to the office, I made a call to MPKJ, filed a report against this neighbour and hoped that they came to kick their sorry asses. But after I got home from work, I sat down and did some thinking. I came to realise that I was overreacting. So I hauled my ass over to talk to my neighbours and told them what their actions did to me. They apologised for it and explained why they left the dog tied outside and they were away when I came over to knock on their door. I felt sorry too and said that I will cancel the MPKJ report and hoped this will not happen again. I'm pretty positive that we ended the conversation without any bad feelings. That's what I tell myself anyway. But I'm super proud of myself for acting calmly and solve my problem. Thumbs up for me!!

I'll stay for free when I visit the USA
If I ever get around that, I can shamelessly visit and stay for free at Deb and Ed's place. That is, if Deb doesn't get super famous after launching 'The Real Housewives of Oregon' and forgets this friend. In all seriousness, I'll miss you Debs and have a great new life in the Gold Mountain with your gimshunhock. Click here if you have no idea what I'm gibbering about.

People like me
That's my shy optimist side speaking. People still talk to me and stuff, so they like me, don't they?