Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Run Forest, Run!!

Trouble ran away yesterday. We only realised he was missing when Jason came home from work and saw the back gate to the yard wide open. I usually let him out into the yard in the afternoon. And I remember seeing him when my mother-in-law came by around 4pm. And I saw him again when I pushed the garbage bin back into the yard. Somehow, the latch on the gate must've come loose after I pushed the garbage bin in.

So he probably has been loose for about an hour. Can't blame him for wandering off. I'm sure he was tempted to have a go at freedom. Who wouldn't?

As much as I often say I hate that obnoxious cat, truth is, he is a part of my life. And for one minute there, I just could not imagine what it would be like not having Trouble around anymore. He has been a consolation when Jason is out of town. Heck, I even talk to him, and crazily enough, I think he understands.

So Jason and I spent atleast an hour walking around the neighborhood in the scorching hot sun looking for that cat. We asked neighbors, and even trespassed into their backyards to search for him. No sign.
Almost giving up, we decided to have one last try and decided to drive around this time. Still no sign. My heart dropped. Oh why didn't I check to make sure the gate was latched properly??

Then as we were pulling into the driveway, we saw him sitting in the center of the garage. The same obnoxious look on his face. I jumped out of the car. And he trotted to the backdoor, as if to say "Let me inside. I'm hot"

I almost strangled the cat.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A little about my home country

I have an urge to post about my home country, Malaysia. Maybe I am homesick, or maybe because I often receive blank looks when I tell people that I am from Malaysia. They usually ask... Is it in China? or Indonesia? India?

Answer : Neither.
Malaysia consists of two geographical regions divided by the South China Sea.
West Malaysia (or Peninsular Malaysia) shares a land border on the north with Thailand and is connected by the Johor-Singapore Causeway on the South with Singapore. Peninsular Malaysia consists of 11 States.

East Malaysia occupies the northern part of the island of Borneo and consists of the federal territory of Labuan islands and the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Perhaps, there may be people who still think Malaysians live on trees.
Here are some photos of the "trees" we live on :

The KL City skyline. Traffic is chaotic. It is advisable not to drive into the city. Much easier and safer to hop onto a LRT (Light Rail Transit) or Monorail.
If you decide to drive, plan to give yourself an hour or two hours of buffer time. Malaysians have a bad habit of blaming the traffic when they are late for appointments. I have had to wait for someone for an hour, and I know it has nothing to do with traffic. He lives 15 minutes down the road.

This is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur's signature landmark. It was built in 1897 to house the various administrative departments of the British Government at that time.

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Twin Tower, no longer the tallest skyscraper in the world, probably 2nd by now. This is where they shot the movie "Entrapment". Me and a bunch of coworkers tried for an audition for extras. But we didn't get it. They did pick my ex-boss and she had to sit for hours eating a bowl of noodles in a market scene. She told us Sean Connery looks really good for his age.

If you get tired of the city, just drive a few hours to the beach or hop on to some of the islands on the East Coast. If you visit during the right season, you may chance upon turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. The numbers are slowly depleting.

This gold plated reclining Buddha, sits calmly in Wat Chayamagkalaram (a Thai Buddhist temple) in Penang Island.

And this is Malacca, the little historical city which the Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and English played their roles in shaping its history. The place where I spent 13 years of my childhood. Nothing much has changed except the traffic .

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Big things come in small packages

Jason brought home a Disney Pixar Cars poster the other day and we wanted to give it to Cooper, our 3 year old nephew. He's been talking about wanting to see the movie with his daddy. So, on the way home after Carowinds, we stopped by my sister-in-law's place to give Cooper the poster. The little guy was thrilled! He kept saying " I Love it, I Love it" and wanted it stuck on his bedroom wall right away. And he gave us both a big hug before we left.

This morning, my sister-in-law said she woke up at 6am and found Cooper awake in his bedroom looking at his poster on the wall.


I'm glad we stopped by yesterday. The little gesture which made his day, made my day even bigger.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Adrenaline rush

We went to Paramount Carowinds finally!! It's located on the North Carolina/South Carolina border.
I was a little apprehensive at first, not knowing how I was going to feel since I started on my medication. But oh well, we bought Season passes so if I feel sick, we'll just go on home and come back again another day.

We arrived there on time to catch the Nickelodoen Celebration Parade. I pointed Dora out to Jason so now he knows who Cooper (my 3-year old nephew) gets his "Swiper no swiping" phrases from. Besides SpongeBob and Dora, I do not recognize any other characters in the parade.

Then we stood in line for the Scooby-Doo's haunted mansion ride. I didn't know it was a kiddie ride. I think we must've looked like two big buffalos riding in the mystery machine shooting at ghosts and watching animated props jump up. Cheap thrill.

From there, we graduated onto the 30 year old Thunder Road. The 93-foot tall rollercoaster classic. Since I started getting panic attacks a few months ago, I have been nervous about standing in lines, being in a car or in crowded places. So today, I was taking the plunge and possibly asking for trouble. Jason reassured me that this train ride would just go up a hill and plunge down. No spins, no upside downs, no spiral twists. Ok, I think I can handle that. Besides, what's the point of going to an amusement park and not riding on a rollercoaster, right?
Well, turns out that it wasn't just one hill and one plunge but several high drops. In the process, I lost my scrunchy, my sunglasses ,my cap and my brains. But it was one good adrenaline rush. Needed it. Haven't been on a rollercoaster for 5 years now. And I'm giving myself a pat on my back for not having any panic attacks today.
T'was a Good day.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday heals

It's the end of the week and Friday is the best cure of all ailments. Woke up feeling much better. Last night I thought I was going to die or wished I had. I had the Mother of all migraines ripping my skull apart. I thought.. Oh Gawd.. maybe this is what the mouse felt like when it went down the garbage disposal or when it was skinned. All those decapitating comments in Jessey's and Chris' blogs were going through my mind. Release the mouse! Release the lizards! Oh no, not the lizards. The lizards can die. No lizards.
My poor Jason was the doting husband. He stayed up and brought me an ice pack for my head. And I could only mumble "Ouch".
And my mother-in-law spent the afternoon with me to give me emotional support. Bless her kind soul.

Since Jason took the day off today, we went to watch Xmen - The Last Stand. Absolutely awesome. If you're going to watch it, don't leave the cinema until the very end. There is a surprise awaiting after the last credits.

It will be a wonderful long weekend. Hopefully.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Feeling not so pink

I feel whoosy, nauseous, lightheaded.
Need rest.

P/S: No, not pregnant.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Poofed and stuffed

The garage sale left us both exhausted and weary. Strange coz there wasn't really much physical labor involved. And we've done more physical work the past few months and weeks moving and getting things organized in the house. I'll just blame it on old age and bad eating habits.

Well, talking about bad eating habits, it was hard to say no to Fudddruckers this afternoon. Sundays always makes us feel hungry, lazy, sloppy with a craving for a hamburger or hotdog. So we ended up at Fuddruckers. The burgers are huge! You order your style of hamburger and put your own fixings on it. I order mine medium rare and I put plenty of warm melted cheese, tomatoes and lettuce on mine. Jason takes all the onions.
And these Fuddruckers people are smart. They put their dessert counter right before the exit.
How can one say no when all these huge delicious cookies and brownies are staring at you. So we had to get a bunch of macadamia nut, peanut butter, M&M and double choc cookies on our way out. And they are just too good!

I'm stuffed. I don't have to eat for a week. Might be time for a vege juicing diet!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The sale in our garage

The alarm clock goes off. It's 6am.
I hear thunder. I see a flash of lightning. Then it starts to pour. Heavy.
Something is not right. The weatherman said it was going to be sunny today.
It must be my husband's bad luck charm.
I sink back into my fluffy pillow and want so badly to go back to sleep. Heck, it's Saturday. It is a sin to get up this early on a Saturday, especially if it's gonna rain so wonderfully like this.
About 15 minutes later, Jason nudges me, "We have to wake up. Garage sale today"
I say " What sale? It's raining".
He says "Put inside the garage"
I say " Oh".. and sink back into my fluffy pillow again.
Jason nudges me again, and Trouble jingles his collar.
Okay. Sigh. Garage Sale. Wake up. Get up.

After arranging everything inside the garage, the rain stops and the sun came out. And people start coming in. The neighbors behind and adjacent to us also participated in the neighborhood garage sale and we would walk over to each other's garage and chat when it was quiet. It was a good way to get to know our neighbors.

It was interesting to watch all the different characters who came by today.
Manly man with sunglasses came in.. and bought the little PINK vase with plastic leafy plant.
Elderly 70-ish lady wanted the ladder.
Bimboish 40-something woman buys the entire stack of Sega game cartridges.
3 Mexican guys bought the Trivial Pursuit set, and left us the instruction booklet.
Atleast 20 people touched and admired the clay pot, and nobody bought it.

Good news is that we managed to get rid of most of the bulky items. We sold the lawn mower(the eager beaver who would not start), the big carpet, some game sets, a blender, a whole set of Sega game cartridges, some VHS cassettes, and we gave away an office chair and a wooden ladder. And one guy bought the entire box of Jason's shorts.
Bad news is.. we are still stuck with all the books.
And one man stole the Swiss Army Pocket tool which we tagged for $20.

Still, it was a good day. We can buy some sushi now.

Our First Garage Sale!!

We are having our Neighborhood Garage Sale!!
(More details on Jason's blog)
More than 10 homes will be putting their stuff out for sale.
Look out for Purple and Yellow Balloons on mailboxes. (We did not choose the colors)
Everything must go!!!

Come early!! (That reminds me I'll have to set my alarm clock)
7am - 2pm, Saturday, May 20th
Chestnut Oaks
North Carolina 28104

Hmmm... maybe I'll tie a cardboard around Trouble's neck "Kitty needs a good and kind home" :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The grass gets a haircut

The tall straggly grass in our side yard is beginning to worry and annoy me. Trouble loves to sit on the grass and goodness knows what's lurking beneath it. Today, I decided I cannot wait for my husband to come home from Georgia to mow it. So I shall do it myself. I haven't had much, or should I say ANY, experience in mowing grass. Mowing grass in Malaysia is indeed very rare. I used to live in a condominium with no grass to mow. The grass you see in this picture belongs to the park behind my condo. where I used to go and feed the fishes in the pond. Gone were the days when I took nice green grass like this for granted.

So I pulled on the string and prayed it would start. It did and I mowed away..Well, it wasn't so bad as I thought. I may not have done a perfect job but atleast the yard is not an eye sore anymore.
I have just proved that petite Malaysian girls can handle a Troy-Bilt push mower. It did worry me a little initially because should the lawn mower eat me up or should it pull me under its blades, no one will hear me shout for help and I'll just die in my own yard. (Not such a bad idea actually). But I am still alive.
This does not mean I shall take sole responsibility for mowing grass in our yard every week. Gotta leave some chore for The Man to do!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Who's going home now?

I liked Elliot's performance a lot. I think he did justice to the songs that were chosen for him but the song he picked was only so-so. Wished he had picked a better song. But I must say when Katharine sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", it gave me goosebumps. The good kind of goosebumps. That was an awesome performance and she was lucky Simon picked the perfect song for her. It gave her the perfect opportunity to show-off her vocals and the arrangement was really good.
As for Taylor, same ol'..same ol'... Sorry but I am getting kinda bored with his performance. I know somehow, people out there will continue to vote for him.

The show just isn't the same without Chris Daughtry!!

It will be a tough call.

Monday, May 15, 2006

California Raisins anyone?

So nobody wants my yellow clothes peg.
I found these three cute guys while clearing our attic and getting stuff ready for the neighborhood yard sale this weekend.
They may look wrinkly like a prune but they have an ability to bring a smile to your face. They have groovy sneakers and nice eyebrows.
You want? :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Being single on a Saturday afternoon

I feel single again today. Being single and alone in a foreign country can be either depressing or exhilarating. So I chose not to let depression concur me. Hell, it's Saturday! The much awaited day of the week!!
I drove to the nursery and pottery center 3 minutes from home. Lately, my panic attacks has revisited, but I know I can deal with a 3 minutes drive. I didn't find the clay cherub I was looking for and ended up buying just a bag of top soil.
The day was still young and I wanted to do something that I haven't done for a long time. So I took out my paint brushes and painted.

Ahh...I feel good.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

We shall have a Palm tree

Last night, Jason and I was browsing on eBay and decided to bid on a Majesty Palm tree. We are toying with the idea of turning our little fenced-in yard into a tropical rainforest. Well, ok.. not so tropical and definitely not forest-like. But close. The idea of a palm tree sounds nice. Whether or not it will survive in our climate, that's another question. It would be nice to give it a try atleast.
We heard of a nursery in Waxhaw selling palm trees for more than a $100. We ain't gonna spend more than $50 on a tree so eBay it shall be. And this morning, we had won the bid at $5.50. Well, ofcourse shipping will cost four times more, but still, it's cool.
We will just keep our fingers crossed that it will arrive in one piece. In the meantime, I shall sit pretty and wait for the mail man to bring us our tree.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Customer Service

We usually do our groceries in Food Lion nowadays because it is the closest grocery store to our home. Last weekend, we were there as usual and I walked over to the Customer Service counter at the front of the store to apply for a new MVP card because Jason's existing MVP card was tattered and the bar code on it is almost unreadable.
The same grouchy sullen face Customer Service lady was there. The same one whom we had to bear with when we exchanged our CoinStar receipt to get our money a few weeks ago.Well, I was wondering if she'll be in a better mood today.


Still sullen.

Maybe she has her period. (again?)

She was grouchier than the last time. Not only grouchier, but RUDE.

It was a "What do you want Ma'am"? Instead of a "Can I help you, Ma'am"
And then... "No, we DO NOT have a MVP card"(in raised voice), and she WALKED away before I could say anything else.
(Blink, Blink) Me confused. Still holding MVP membership form in my hand.
So, if the Customer Service Counter does not have a MVP card, who does? The Butcher? The Bakery? The sushi-maker?

I came home. Went online to their website to apply for a MVP card. After filling up the form online, it said :
1. Fill out the membership form.
2. Take your completed form to the store office in the front of the store.
3. Receive your new MVP Card and 2 Key Tags.

Maybe I'll bring this printed form back to Ms Sullen Face and see what she says.

Kudos Food Lion! Excellent Customer Service. NOT.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle

Jason and I tested some bicycles in Target on Thursday to find out what size fits me best. Spring is here and we've been dying to go riding in the neighborhood and maybe on some nature trails.
On Friday, we were casually talking over dinner and I said "Let's do away with buying each other gifts on our Anniversary and just go out and have a nice dinner or have a little getaway".
Jason was silent. No expression. Nothing. Zilch.
After a few minutes, he said "What if I want to get you something anyway?"
I said " Nah, then I would have to buy you something too. And you already have everything"

So since we could not find any good movies to watch and neither of us wanted to watch MI-3 because Tom Cruise has turned into weirdo, we decided to go over to my in-law's place and watch Narnia on their DVD.

We pulled into their garage and he said "Well, since you said you didn't want any gifts for our anniversary.. so I shall not have to wait to give you this..."
And he pulls out a spanking new blue bicycle from out of nowhere.
I was flabbergasted. Where and when did he get that bicycle and how did it end up in my in-law's place?
Apparently my sneaky husband had gone to Walmart on the way home from work on Friday, bought the bike and drove over to his parent's place to hide it there.
I should've known he was up to something when he wanted me to try on bikes on Thursday.

That explains why he went silent for a minute when I said "Let's do away with buying each other gifts on our anniversary"... because he had just gone to buy one.
Love my husband! Can't wait to ride my bike!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The wave, the cat and no sleep!

Trouble decided he had to wake us up at 6.17am today!! And he was persistent about it. I mean, REALLY persistent. He would not stop meowing and prancing around like a crazy horse. Then when he saw how oblivious we tried to be to all his antics, he jumped on the bed and literally stepped all over me, giving me a cat-like shiatsu massage. I do not know why he chose me instead of my sleeping husband. Probably he knows I'm a softie and will provide him with servant-like service. And my husband can sleep through all that nuisance behaviour.
So the softie in me made me get up and the crazy cat led me downstairs. I checked his bowl - Got food. Got water. So what does he want?? I looked back and saw him patting the french doors, asking to be let out. So that's what he desperately wants at 6.30 this morning. To go outside for some fresh air and get his morning yoga stretches. Well, part of the reason we built the fence was so that the cat can go outside, so I can't blame the cat for wanting to go out can I?

Ironically, I just read about how Jessey's cat brought home a "dinosaur". Maybe building a fence wasn't such a good idea after all!! I have a fear of lizards. I mean a HUGE insanely irrational fear of lizards. I cannot even stay in the same room with a lizard.

Anyways, Trouble did wake me up and saved me from a tiresome dream where I had to ride the waves by walking on water as fast as I could to stay afloat and holding a cast iron wok in one hand. I had to "walk" to another island to escape. It was a live or die kinda dream. If you are reading this and can interpret dreams, drop me a comment.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Scary moments in life

A few days ago, we saw an EMS ambulance and a firetruck parked outside our neighbor's house. We thought something had happened to John, our neighbor, because he has had some health problems and can barely walk. But they took Daphne, his wife, on the stretcher instead. It took us all by surprised.
I asked John the next day how Daphne was doing. She was still in the hospital and they were doing some tests on her. He said that last night was the worst in his life as he was scared for Daphne and also the thought of living alone is terrifying. He said he has never felt so alone before and the silence at night was unbearable.

I can understand how he felt.

I, too, have a fear of losing loved ones, and I am sure many of you do too. As a kid, maybe 4 or 5 years old, I would wake up at night just to check to see if my parents were still breathing and then climb back into my bed. I know I would be devastated if anything were to happen to them. I worry constantly for them especially now because it would take me 2 whole days to fly home to Malaysia should anything happen.

I also worry everytime Jason travels, which is like almost every week. Living alone when you are single and living alone when you are married feels a whole lot different.
Even having control of the remote control will not make me any happier.