Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is wrong with this picture?!

It has been a good day today. For one, Teresa and I managed to catch some time to go swimming at TNGC. In making up for lost time, we swam for 2 hours (minus the chit chat, it would be 1 hour).

After which we went to get some rubber stamps done near our office in town followed by invitation cards survey. Thanks to Mrs Lenny Wong at Rich Wisdom, we're able to find ways to have 1,000 pcs of cards printed with envelopes at a budget of RM500 in total.

Now, what could be wrong with the picture above you may wonder. Yes, you can see it's Teresa walking away happily from her car having parked it nicely in front of Southern Station, Lintas (K. Kinabalu). I shouldn't say "What's wrong?" rather, it should be "What's amazing?"...... If you don't get it....... the answer is: Teresa managed to successfully REVERSE PARK her car in a crowded street. Here is a woman who makes everyone nervous (for around 3 - 5 minutes on average) with her as she parks her car in wide open spaces. And today of all days, she was able to reverse park.... Miracles do happen!!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Can you find the hidden Mickey?

Last Monday, I came downstairs and found a neighbour’s cat sleeping peacefully under a chair on our back porch. This is the second time I caught this same cat sleeping on that spot. The cat seems to find peace here. Maybe it’s the kampung feel of our porch, maybe it’s the feeling of a safe haven here (we don’t have a dog at our house – yet).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love is ...

My nephew Adam, at only 6 years old has received his first love letter. At 6 years old I was still struggling to learn my ABCs, and my 123s. Today, kids in kindies seem to not only know how to compose sentences but they seem to be able to express their feelings to others in black and white. Of course, my sister Joyce (Adam's mum) nearly had a heart attack when she found the dreaded love letter. With his first love letter, Adam also received his first "You're supposed to be studying not busy looking for girlfriends" talk from his mum.
I was very eager to have a look at this lovestruck-Alicia. Lucky for me, Joyce managed to get pictures of her with Adam and Avie at their school's 10th Anniversary celebration:
Alicia is the one wearing the pink Mickey & Minnie Mouse top.

Some say it's puppy love!

While big brother Adam is being chased by Alicia, his little sister Avie is content with having fun hanging out with her friends. I decided to put another picture of Avie here as she complained that my blog normally has more of Adam's pictures just because I put a video of him there!
Avie (second right) & friends

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Style Dumplings for an Old Soul

Last night, I threw my diet out the window (again) and ordered RM10 worth of pan fried dumplings at a coffeeshop near my office. It was 9.45pm and I had with me a good friend who was still in shock after realising that she was conned out of RM3,560 through someone she briefly met through WAYN. For me, food is always a good companion for the ear and the heart in times like this. Besides, it helps me to stop talking and instead listen to others plus think while busy chewing on food.

The story goes like this. My friend (hmmm, shouldn't reveal her name here for privacy sake) went to the WAYN site and somehow a guy called "Will Smith" from England who works with Shell, pops up on screen wanting to chat with her. At this point I was thinking Will Smith? That should ring a warning bell. Anyway, after some chatting sessions, Will asked her for address, phone no and what flower she liked. Though hesitant, she gave these details to him. Soon he called her on her handphone and the number was an international number starting with +44 which is UK's country code. He told her that he'll be sending something over to her. She thought it'll be flowers. The next time he called, he gave her a tracking number for the parcel which was being sent through Multi Link Courier UK. He said the courier company will contact her in the next few days regarding the package. She checked the web, and found that there is a website for the courier company. She also found that they had a branch in Sarawak. Hello, if its an international company, I think they'd have better looking websites and the Malaysian office/HQ would not have been set up in Mukah, Sarawak. No offence meant here, but shouldn't the Malaysia HQ for such a company be in KL?

Sure enough, in 3 days, a local lady called her regarding her package and told her that the package is held up by Customs as they've found currency in the package together with a laptop. The lady explained that in order for the package to be released , my friend had to pay for some clearance charges imposed by Customs ie RM3560. Shocked, my friend contacted so called Will and asked him about this. He informed her that he wanted to give a gift to her and yes, he did put in the money there because he didn't have her account number. My friend didn't want to reveal to me how much he said was in their but I'm guessing he said three thousand pounds. So this friend of mine, thinking that the package being so valuable, and had better be claimed. She paid the RM3560 into the account that she was instructed to pay without checking with anyone first.

After making the payment into a CIMB account, she scanned and emailed the bank in slip to MultiLink Courier and asked when could she be receiving the item. Their Operations Manager said that they will get it to her soon. Then she gets a call from them again asking her to pay another RM5000 plus as it was found that there was a lot of money inside there. This is when it hit her that she's being conned by the courier company, never suspecting that "Will" was also part of the team. She kept blaming the courier company and even called up Will to ask him to contact the courier company to release the package.

Cut the story short, there never was a package sent. Will is not who he said he is. My friend's hard earned RM3560, she's considered it burnt. "No point crying over spilt milk," she said.

She admitted that she was in the wrong to be so trusting of people she met on the Internet. I mentioned to her, not only on the Internet but everywhere. We have to be wary of others, even so called 'friends' whom we may have known for some time. That is why trust is tested and built over a long time.

After listening to my friend pour her heart out over the incident, I advised her to make a police report. Let the police know that there is such a scam out there, investigate the case and warn others. As for her money, it's lucky that it was only money.There are more precious things out there than money eg health, sanity, life. Money you can find again. She's lucky that the 'package' did not arrive. What if it was drugs in there and she was the registered receiver?!

Now that you know of this case, spread the word around to your friends and family of this scam. Be very careful of promises made to you which are too good to be true. Sometimes, they're not true. I'm no pessimist. I'm a realist.

It was a long consoling session last night. By the end of our chat, I realised that I have successfully gobbled up RM8.00 worth of the pan fried dumplings and then felt really, really bad. My friend was understandably not in the mood to eat much. Oh well, no point crying over spilt milk. Will need to exercise more.

[FYI: The police report has been made today. The latest update is that there is also another similar case reported to the KK Police Station earlier today. The other young lady has been conned of over RM7,000 to a dubious courier service by a guy she met on the Internet who also promised her marriage.]

Thursday, October 2, 2008

To Janet: A Walking Miracle and 1 Super HOT 41 year old.

Today is the1st day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the 41st birthday of my bestfriend Janet. That’s right she’s 41 and still a hottie! Somehow, both Janet and I ended up celebrating Raya differently this year - we did not go to any open houses. Instead, Fred and I opened our house to Janet's birthday, which to all of us is better than going out.

Janet said something to me the other day in preparing for her soiree: No problem announcing the age number. We should be more grateful the bigger the number, right??

I agree with her. There are so many people out there who are still adamant in keeping their age a secret fearing the worse if their real age is known. What is the big deal? We should be proud that we’ve been around longer than people think. It’s a compliment if others think of us as looking younger than our years. We should be fortunate for every day that we are able to experience life

In 2005, Janet, Rosie, and I found ourselves to be single at the same time and flew off to Bangkok on Valentine's Day. Instead of moping around KK gawking at the celebration of the over commercialised non-holiday, we took another single friend (Winifred) and had a fantastic time absorbing another culture, language, food and great shopping experience. It was a blast.

The following year, Janet served as the Area Chairman for JCI Malaysia and together we continued to travel nationally and internationally meeting JCI members and other people outside of the JCI circles.

In Labuan (June, 2006) where Janet chaired the JCI Malaysia Area Sabah Convention

In Manila (Philippines) in August 2006, where we attended the ASEAN Senate Association BOD Meeting

Fast forward to the end of September 2008, Teresa, Rosie and I made plans for a get together to celebrate Janet’s birthday and decided to go ahead with Rosie’s idea of having a Sex and The City Marathon (Part 2) at our house, followed by a cosy dinner for us at our back porch.

I invited Nora to our party via sms. She only read the Sex Marathon part. She must have freaked out thinking that our group has really gone off track this time. Anyhow, she had to go “balik kampung” for the holidays. So final turn out for the Marathon were Rosie, Linda, Janet, and myself; Teresa & Mum joined later as they had a wedding to attend.

We had every reason to celebrate Janet’s party with her this year. In the past, we never really did party but this year was significant. After all the challenges that she's battled through, she is indeed our walking miracle who continue to surprise and inspire us every single day. While I let off steam by swearing, shouting and now blogging, Janet on the other hand when angered just says "unnecessary stress" and move on.

Now, let the party begin. We’re such horrible friends that we got Janet to bring wine to her own party! I broke off my affair with alcohol years back (sigh) so had to be contented with Sparkling Juice with compliments from Fred.

We sort of wanted to do pot luck - everyone had to contribute something. So my contribution were:

Janet, wow... she cooked Chicken soup (though we did come to a dilemma of when to actually put in the chicken stock cube - is it before the soup boils, or once the soup is boiling hot and cooked. Rosie said the former.) Besides cooking, Janet also ordered Sushi for us. That's Rosie and Linda down there admiring the sushi.

As for Rosie and Linda. Oh yes, they brought along with them dessert and vegetables to go in line with our healthy eating theme. The honeydew and coconut pudding were so refreshing after a heavy meal.

Being the undomestic goddesses that we were - we ended up cooking too much food for our little party! By the way, Teresa and mum did bring along dessert in form of ice-cream as well. BUT, they melted so we couldn't eat them straight away. Into my freezer they go (yeahhh .... free ice cream for next time!)
After munching down as much food as we could, it was finally time to eat the cake - Oreo Cheesecake. YUM.
Looking back at the video recorded of the party, I think we sounded and looked like the outcast of Akademi Fantasia doing their best to sing a birthday song for Janet. Even though we knew we've had enough food already, the cake was just too tempting to be left alone. Our cameraman decided to play creative director for this video clip.

Birthday Cake Cutting.

While Janet and Teresa were slaving away in the kitchen washing dishes, Rosie, Linda and I got her presents ready. Can't wait, can't wait for her to open her presents!

Finally, here's a run down of what we got for her:

Then Janet - ever the sweetheart, sprung a surprise on us. She bought us silk purses from Vietnam!
To Janet: We hope you enjoyed your many surprises at your birthday as much as we love the surprise you gave to us. Here's to many more birthday celebrations big and small in the future. May God bless you always.
Cheers 'Net!