Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Apple Rules the World

Pulled this out of a website sent by a friend. H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S.

"What does it mean when you really, really want to lick a new MacBook, and swoon?

I have right here in my hot little hands that actually aren't all that little and are only slightly warm at the moment a brand new lick-ready smooth-as-love Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo Super Orgasm Deluxe Ultrahard Modern Computing Device Designed by God Herself Somewhere in the Deep Moist Vulva of Cupertino Yes Yes Don't Stop Oh My God Yes.
I believe that is the actual name of the product. I might be wrong. I do not really care.

This machine, this silky hunk of aluminum and wire and divine Chinese factory-made love, was recently delivered into my hands by a squad of naked cooing angels who all happened to look exactly like Jenna Jameson or perhaps Eva Green and who also gave me a free foot massage and four hits of premium Ecstasy and a complimentary 3-hour tongue bath, all at the same time".

Hmm... I think that's what happened to me when I received my love machine too.

Romance Never Dies

On our first anniversary, the hubbie made me cry. He remembered, but lacked the planning effort to romance his *fantabulous* wife. His contingency plan included a sobbing wife in the nearest cozy little steakhouse he could find, which he claimed made him felt like the worst man on earth. Thanks for screwing up our first anniversary which I happened to place an utermost importance on. But the best thing about feeling hurt a few hours is the days and days of apologetic affectionate stunts that followed and the joy of smirking.

This year, his beloved mother left us, on our anniversary. I've cried on my anniversaries consecutively. How cool is that. There was a moment when I felt angry. From now on, a supposedly happy day filled with warm loving memorable thoughts will always be shared along with sad ones. Sigh, call me a perfectionist.

Last night, the hubbie made me smile. I came home to a pleasant surprise in the form of a dinner-for-two lamb chops.

Actually, the sweet juicy honey tomatoes made me smile.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Maternal Instinct & Reaction

On one of the days during my MIL's wake, I demonstrated a mere maternal instintive reaction that was deemed negatively by my sis-in-law, H, who loves kids but does not have her own yet.

The baby and I, hubbie, H and her bf were at the table, just chilling out and snacking, when I noticed Daniel holding a small clear bottle containing a few tablets that was my father-in-law medication. He was screwing and unscrewing the cap, like he usually does with anything screwable. THEN, to my horror, I saw his mouth moving as if he was chewing on something. At that time, he also had swollen and sore gums, of which could be the reason he was trying to sooth himself by moving his tongue around in his mouth.

Now, if he was your flesh and blood, what is your first reaction?

Like duh... search his mouth right? I bloody know for sure that I did it as gently and swiftly as I could because of the fact he was having a sore mouth too. But the essential life-or-death point was to ensure he had not swallowed any of the pills. NEVER ever underestimate what adult medication can do to a small child.

So, our lovely H commented that I gave him a big scare. Maybe I did shocked the little one, who wailed after my finger-sweep-in-the-mouth stunt, but HELLO? Did I not mention life and DEATH consequences? And by the way, during the wake for 3 days, Daniel was not himself, he became this totally different baby who wails even when you make funny faces at him. So, as expected, he would definitely wail after my good-intention act of love.

There was a hint of insult that I did something wrong to my child, like I don't know how to be a mother. Like I scared him intentionally. Like I enjoyed it. F.

What's worse than being judged by other mothers? Being judged by a NON-mother. F.

Being a gracious person, I soon forgotten about it, until last weekend. When I arrived home (Seremban),

FIL: How is Daniel? Is he OK now?
Me: Yes, better and back to his usual happy self.
FIL: That's good. He must've been disturbed a lot during the commotion last week.

H: Ya la! Frightened him summore by 'korek-ing' his mouth!
Me: (Super-stunned and silent)

I never did managed to regain my composure to defend myself. I was literally on fire. I MUST BE THE DUMBEST MOTHERLY ASS ON EARTH.

Again, being the dumbest gracious person, I dimissed it and didn't have any grudge towards her at the end of that day.

I hope some day, when she brings it up again, I will be calm enough to stun her the way she stunned me.

I also believe that what goes round, comes around.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My New Toy

Nothings beats a sleek, shiny, spanking new Macbook, armed with 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB RAM, 80GB space available for my porn collection,Superdrive for me to burn my porn collection to DVDs or CDs, and in-built Bluetooth and Airport Extreme for wireless networking.

Photo Booth is one of the new feature which vain people will absolutely love. Unfortunately, I'm not... THAT vain. But it is a load of fun I tell ya. There's some little holes above the monitor/screen if you zoom in to the Macbook, and that's iSight which is like a webcam. What's fun about Photo Booth is, that it not only allows self-potrait, it has got all these fun effects that you can view as you pose!
Mirror effect
Pencil Sketch efect

Fun stuff aside, I am actually using it for work. Faster speed, enhanced performance means a more enjoyable experience with data analysis.
Mummy doesn't want to play with me anymore. SABOTAGE MACBOOK!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Hakka Funeral

This is the most elaborate traditional ritual I've ever been involved in, more dramatic than my Cantonese grandfather's wake several years ago. Amidst the chantings and kow-towing, I was fascinated at how rich our Chinese traditions are and how lost I was during the entire event.

Firstly, let me say that this post is mostly for educational purposes rather than entertainment or intentions of mockery.

The ritual took 3 days. 3 days of hustle bustle in a home full of relatives and friends... and a toddler who became my worst nightmare. Daniel ( and mummy indirectly ) suffered from anxiety attacks, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, mouth ulcers and on-off fevers. He became this totally different being I knew... insecure, unhappy and very disturbed. The only way I could get him to nap during the busy day, was cuddling and walking. And he'd wake up crying a few times during the nights as well. Poor boy.

So, apart from the typical sessions of 'sitting-in' while the priests chants and strikes his cymbals, there were several interesting rituals, some of which are rather hilarious. The entire ritual was conducted in the Hakka dialect which was foreign to me, so all I did was follow what Paul and my sis-in-law did. Though I couldn't understand what the priest said and did all the time, I kinda gather what the purpose was. I presume we were paying respect to the many Gods and celestial powers to bless and guide her spirit into the kingdom of heaven.

Two sand-dragon was made side by side, outside of the house, with a large bowl of oil in the middle and burning 'hell papers' beneath it. In front of the dragons' heads is a circular sand-platform scattered with coins. Two priests chant and walk around the formation chinese-opera style. And in between their melodic chants, the bowl of oil is lit up in a flame that reached the nightsky. We were then asked to pick up as many coins as we can on that sandy platform. That represents the wealth we gathered.

Here comes the comical relief. The priest had to 'bless' the paper house, paper car, paper maid and butler and paper driver to be burnt for her. Paul, being the eldest son, had to negotiate a 'salary' for the celestial maid, butler and driver. Here is what took place (in Hakka):

Priest: How many jossticks for maids... 2, 3 or 4?
Paul: 3
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks for indicative yes or no) .... Not enough
At this point, the crowd burst into laughter.
Paul: 4 sticks
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks again) OK
Crowd still laughing.
Priest: How much for bonus?
Paul: 13 month
Priest: (tosses his holy blocks again) OK

Talk about globalization and modernity.

I can't really remember the rest of the ceremony from then on, but it did came to a part where we stood around her coffin to see her for the last time and say goodbye. That was when it hit us hard. This is it. For real.

We proceeded to the gravesite which was a 15 minute drive or so. Along the way on public road, the priest flings 'hell papers' up in the air. It reminds me very much of Tsui Hark film scenes... hauntingly abstract. Standing on freshly dug soil, we paid our last respect. Rice and coins were thrown at us. And the rice is to be mixed with our existing rice supply at home. The coins are wealth blessed by her spirit. And that wraps it up.

I still think she's not gone.... just absent.

May her soul rest in peace.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Tribute To My Mother-In-Law

My beloved MIL drew her last breath last Tuesday. I'm still not used to the fact that she's no longer around. We were still hopeful when she stabilized after a marathon of organ failure complications, but I guess we were fooled. She is gone now, forever and will be deeply missed.

It is going to be very hard for my father-in-law, because my MIL literally did everything for him. In fact, the entire house just remind us of her because she manages everything, from the kitchen to the praying altar. This is the woman who worked her entire life, for her children, for her husband, for her home. And it's so unfair that she had to leave without having the chance to enjoy her golden years. On the brighter side, she had the chance to see her first grandchild.

The wake lasted for 3 days and was based on the traditions of the Hakka Chinese, the first I've ever seen and it left a deep impression on me, most of which are rather hilarious.

Still can't believe it.

Monday, November 06, 2006


It felt like a lifetime since I touched My Preeeccioouuus (my ibook, not something else of the place-the-sun-never-shines kind).
The latest cause of death is: Denied of Internet Access

The words death and die are very sensitive lately. Some people don't like to say those words at all, they always substitute it as "If SOMETHING happens to him/her" or "If he/she... *silence and the you-know-what-i'm-trying-to-say look*" It's like a taboo, if you say the word, it'll happen! Or maybe it just hurts a lot to associate death and a loved one.

First of, my MIL's condition is under control. There were many challenges and hurdles that kept coming the past few days that it seemed like the end was coming. But fortunately, she fought on. Lupus is one of those rare condition that you hardly hear of, but if you have it, treat it VERY seriously. Like heart disease, it is a silent killer, because there is no apparent signs until it hits your kidneys and lungs, the two most commonly affected major organs. At the initial stage, lupus may manifest itself as arthritis-like symptoms, aches and joint pains that may be thought as unevitable old-age condition. And if left untreated, it can lead to many complications, kidney failure being one of them. Bad news to women, 99% of lupus cases are usually suffered by women.

When I was stepping into the Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban for the first time, I felt nervous, like the time I had to sit for my ABRSM piano examinations, or the time I was waiting in the labour room for The Moment. I was preparing myself of what I was about to see. I had to control my emotions. I was imagining a typical ICU scene like those you see on TV, and trying to make it as dramatic as possible so that when I do see the real thing, it won't feel so bad. Also, another thing was the smell. The smell of a hospital. The horrid smell of pain and sorrow.

I almost burst into tears when I held her cold swollen hand. This is something you don't ever want to see happening to your loved ones and friends. Ever.

It was a rather painful and scary sight. And it's very real. There's literally tubes everywhere, and I don't think I'll describe in detail here. The first thought was "How the hell did it get so bad like this". The other patients in the ICU are either major accident or cancer cases, but lupus?! So like I said, treat it VERY seriously. She was given sedatives as a normal procedure for using the ventilator/respirator machine, so most of the time, she is 'sleeping'. But we were encouraged to talk to her because she could still hear. Isn't the brain an amazing organ or what? I once heard somewhere that there are 7 levels of consciousness. I am probably at level 1 because I don't know what I'm doing most of the time!!

I chatted and sang to her, rubbed her feet and watched her vital readings. Usually after 10 minutes or so, the nurse reminds visitors to keep to the visiting time limit. That was all we could do. In and out we went, taking turns to watch her, the entire day. And Daniel could only hang out at the corridor outside the ICU because misi said "Ini budak kechik tak boleh masuk ya"

Daniel was there as a hugging cushion. This was the time everyone needed a hug or something to rest their weary head on, or just someone to kiss and coo. He also took away their worries and painful thoughts now and then. This is the joy a child brings to the world. That same evening, he whacked my knee with a cane accidently, that resulted in a painful swollen knee for 2 days. Oh yes, painful swollen unbendable knee+squat toilet=M I S E R A B L E urine-shooting-everywhere encounters.
I should've taken a picture to show you how bad it was... but nothing could be as bad as what my MIL is going through now. So I'm not going to be a crybaby.

I cooked dinner on two consecutive nights. I used her kitchen like it was my own, for the first time. But I can never replace its mistress. The soup I make is never as good as hers. Nothing I do will be the same as the way she does them. Well, this is what I think my father-in-law probably thinks. But I held my head high, and I served my dishes with pride.

To be continued...