October 29, 2011

A birthday letter from a friend

Dear Alice,

As of today you have spent 33 years on this planet. I know you totally don’t feel like you’re thirty three and I'm here to tell you that it's perfectly normal. I also know that you're very confused as to why you still feel like you're in your mid twenties. Again, this is not unusual. I don't think anyone out there can give you a straight answer as to how a 33 year old should feel or behave.

I wouldn't say that you're in denial cos that means you're pretending that you're not aging. You don't deny your age. In fact, you concede to the physical changes caused by aging. So what's wrong with you? Well, the thing is, your emotional maturity doesn’t match your chronological age. I believe a lot of women suffer from this. Those species from Mars are even worse. They refuse to act their age until they are nearly 60.

Despite not having sufficient emotional maturity, you seem to be doing fine so far. You're married to a man who adores you. You have two wonderful kids who amuse you, a loving and supportive famiy,  loyal friends who'd help when you need them and this blog which helped forge so many virtual friendships. What else could you possibly want? Okay, so maybe you don't have that fancy schmancy walk-in wardrobe you've always dreamed of but that can wait. You just got to be patient. For now, you should count your blessings and thank God for everything.

To be honest with you, I think you still have a lot to improve. One of them is to  learn how to relax and go with the flow. I know you're uptight about your paper work every day, so much so that it impedes your ability to function in society. Like, when you meet new people at a barbecue party and they ask you "So what are you studying?" you'd give them a long chronological report of your research. You'd get so engrossed in explaining how some of your samples almost screwed up Study 2 that you don't notice the look of disdain on their faces. Stop it okay. Not everyone likes to hear about your thesis. Next time, just say hi and talk about the weather. That always works.

The second thing I'd like to point out is your habit to procrastinate. As your friend, I'm begging you to kill this habit once and for all. Seriously. You'd get so much writing done if you'd just stop wasting your time doing other stuff or watching that silly drama called Pretty Little Liars. Come on la, you're not even the target audience. The only reason you watch that show is because you love its wardobe. My advice: don't dilly dally anymore. There's no time like now.

My third advice is don't fret over the small stuff.  One thing you should learn is to pick your battles with the kids. Before reacting, assess the situation and then decide whether it's worth getting mad or not.  For example,

Situation A: Alden doodles on the wall using unwashable crayons. Red crayons. The verdict? Petty. Don't get mad. Just walk away and let your husband deal with it.

Situation B: Alden empties a bottle of eucalyptus oil by pouring it all over the soft toys and then he takes your lipstick and smears it on the doll's face. What do you do?


At the top of your lungs.

Although daily babysitting isn't a bed of roses, you should enjoy the wondeful time you have with Alden and Alva. The kids will never be this age again. Before long, Alva won't be able to fit herself into that tiny toy box anymore. When Alden turns 13, you will never hear him say "Wanna lie down on your tummy mummy." When they both enter their teen years, you'll never get to play hide and seek with them anymore. Cherish these adorable moments for they will become wonderful memories in the future.

I know at the moment you feel as if time just whizzes by and that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything. As I said before, relax. Some things are beyond your control and if you can't get it done, never mind. Don't let  it bother you. Eventually, all will be well.

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Happy birthday my dear.

Yours truly,

That little voice in your head

October 28, 2011

Friday Fingers: Pink October

I couldn't decide on one design so I made these.

A little messy

Design from left: a bra, polka dots, pink ribbon, more polka dots and a flower

Love your boobies ladies :)

October 26, 2011

Something About My Hub

Two months ago, I moved into my new prefab office. I was placed in Hub DB04, together with 5 other privileged post grad students. I use the word privileged here because we share the hub with our very own Dean and administrator who each has their own offices in the big room. Next to DB04 is DB02. That's where Yoda and Obi Wan are placed.

Despite being under close scrutiny of two jedi masters, I loved my new hub because 1.  I scored a nice window seat at the corner of the room and 2.  There are two printers in this hub which makes printing jobs very convenient. For several weeks, everything seemed perfect.

One day, one of my senior colleagues, Mr X, saw me at the cafe. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while so we started talking. When he discovered that I was placed in DB04 he said “Wow. Together with J? How did you end up being in that hub?” I felt confused when he admired my good fortune, feeling a little smug but at the same time suspicious that it was too good to last.

“I don’t know. J decided on the placing. She was the one who put me there,” I said.

He raised one eyebrow, “Well, good on you Alice.”

A few days later, things started to change. More and more people began to occupy the other hubs and when this happened the frequency of visitors increased too. DB04 became the centre of attention cos that's where the admin office is. Heaps of students came to see the administrator regarding all sorts of matters such as  facilities, claims, building access, etc. Before long, I couldn’t focus on my thesis anymore.  The noise wasn’t so bad but I am easily distracted so the slightest interruption can disturb my train of thought.

Motivated by this issue, I decided to move to DB06, the hub next door. DB06 looks exactly like DB04, minus the two small offices for the Dean and administrator. It's also a bit further from Yoda and Obi Wan's hub so they can't peek to see what I'm doing. Hehe.

This time around, I scored a window spot at the right corner of the room. This suits me perfectly cos I love a window seat, be it on a plane or in an office. Every day, I come to work happy, eager to write thousands and thousands of words on the spreadsheet. I normally come in around 9.00 in the morning and leave by 12.25 to pick up Alden from school. I don't get a lot of work done in the span of 3 hours so when hubby comes home around 3.30pm, I'd continue my work at the office till 8 or 9 pm.

My research assistant normally comes with me in the morning
I love coming in after  4 or 5 cos the hub will be totally vacant by then. It's not that I don't like having people around. I just like having the freedom to do whatever the hell I please when I'm working. While writing my thesis, I can talk to myself out-loud, sit with crossed-legs, munch on a bag of chips noisily, surf social networking sites without guilt and scratch that terrible itch on my back without being discrete. That's what I call office bliss.

I am most productive between 4.30 to 7.00. When I say productive, I don't mean a flawless 10 pages of academic awesomeness. It means that within this period, I am able to produce something coherent and readable. 

My problem starts at 7.45 pm. Why? Because it gets dark by then and this changes the whole ambience of the room. My hub has a lot of tinted windows and when it gets dark these windows look like mirrors. It's so creepy. Have you seen a scene in a scary movie where  a timid heroine sees a reflection of a ghost in the window? That's what freaks me out.

The lighting sensor in this hub isn't helping either. The motion sensor light will only turn lights on when the room is occupied. When I'm moving around, the sensor recognizes thatsomeone's in the room. When I'm sitting quietly or when I'm just typing on my computer, the lights go off cos there's no movement. What happens then? I have to stand up and jump around like an idiot to get the light back on.

It's going to be Halloween soon and these past few days they've been showing sneak peeks of the scariest movies on TV. The last sneak preview I saw was The Grudge. Damnit! I should've changed the channel when I had the chance to. Now that I think of that, a creepy figment of my imagination is starting to get a hold of me. Just imagine tinted windows - reflection - the Akkkkkk sound- Ju-On - Scream 4. CREEPY! Thank God I have my rosary with me.

It's now 8.45 pm. I think I'll stop right here before the lights go off again. Happy Deepavali everyone.

October 21, 2011

Friday Fingers: Monet's Blossoms

without glitter

with glitter
I know it's not as perfect as Chegu's blossoms but that's as far as I can go. Like Monet's paintings, my nails look beautiful and complex from far away, but up close, it's a bit of a mess. 

Anyway, these are the tools I used to recreate Chegu's design. The sponges will be used for next Friday's nail art and the blingy beads for the week after next. Am I painting my nails on a weekly basis? Yes I am!

I guess this nail art thingy isn't just a fling. We're going steady now :)

October 17, 2011


Dad and sis left Christchurch at 1.00 am today. Although I know it won’t be long before we are reunited again, the separation feels unbearable right now. It wasn’t so bad when mom left in July cos I knew dad was coming over for a visit. True enough, when dad came in August, I was back to feeling high.

The whole time he was here, it felt like I was back at home. It has nothing to do with the home cooked meals I had every day. Rather, it's the warm, fuzzy feeling I get when he's around. I have hubby and the kids with me 24/7 but from time to time, I miss being with my family.

When sis, Carol and her mum came over to join dad in September, I was ecstatic. Sis and I were both so psyched about this trip cos we've been talking about it for months. Although she only stayed for 3 weeks, we had an awesome time catching up. What I enjoyed most was having our midnight chats, talking about our childhood and just goofing around with the kids. She’s only been gone for 17 hours but already I’m missing her.

These are some of the pictures I was looking at while trying to pull my heart out of this gloomy state. They were all taken yesterday while we were at John and Kathy’s for lunch.

There’s a huge contrast between what I felt yesterday and today. Funny how I get to experience the same emotion every year. I cried when Alden, hubby and I left for Christchurch in 2008. In 2009, I cried when my family went back home after staying with us for a month. In 2010, the same thing happened when I had to return to CC after spending two months in KK. And then there was last night. It was so sad saying goodbye to dad, sis and Carol. I really felt like asking sis to stay for a while longer. 

Last night's farewell is probably the saddest I've ever felt. But never mind. I'll recover from this momentary depression sometime soon, if not later.

October 12, 2011

Waiting in Wellington

Because of the February 22nd earthquake, I was granted an extension of studies from the university and my sponsor. With this extension, my family and I are required to extend our stay in NZ and submit a visa extension for another 7 months. The application for Alden and Alva is quite straightforward but for me and hubby, the process is quite tedious.
We have to provide a medical report from an authorized NZ medical examiner, support letter from my sponsors, a new financial affidavit, my study progress report, hubby’s job offer letter, a statutory declaration for spousal support and last but not least, a certificate of good conduct from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When did I find out we have to provide a certificate of good conduct? Two weeks ago, when I made a call to NZ Immigration. The ones we submitted 3 years ago were considered obsolete so a new police certificate was needed for our visa extension. Now if we were in Malaysia, we can easily get this document in a month. But because we’re overseas, the process could take up to 3 months. That’s what the staff at the Malaysian Consulate told me.

Let’s not get into the “kenapa la kau tidak check awal-awal?” bit okay? I am quite exhausted at the moment. Anyway, the only possible way we could speed up the process is by doing a declaration at the Malaysian High Commissioner office in Wellington. My response to this was “WHAT???Wellington? We NEED TO FLY ALL THE WAY TO WELLINGTON??!!”

If you recall, a year ago, I had a similar problem with Vava’s travel document. So you can imagine my panic when the consular mentioned the word W-E-L-L-I-N-G-T-O-N. I couldn’t believe I was going through the same crap all over again.

That happened 10 days ago.
At the moment of speaking or in this case, writing, hubby and I are in Wellington city in pursuit of this certificate of good conduct. We have already submitted the declaration forms etc but it takes 5 hours for them to get the cert done. Why does it take 5 damn hours to get the cert done? Beats me. I guess it has something to do with getting a certain VIP’s signature on paper.

Anyway, my stay in Wellington has been okay so far. The weather is surprisingly warm but I haven’t been able to loosen up as much. All I think about is our visa application and this certificate we need so badly. Few nights ago, I dreamt that hubby and I missed our flight to Wellington because we got the dates all wrong. Apparently, in this dream, it was all my fault. The moment I woke up, I checked my hand phone to see what day it was. It was Monday. Phew!

Last night, I had another nightmare. It was our appointment day with the consular and we were supposed to meet her at 9.30 am. Things went horribly wrong when the hotel receptionist gave us a wake up call at noon! I was devastated. Thank God it was just a dream.

This visa thing is really driving me nuts. Until I get it done, I don’t think I’ll stop having nightmares. Another 40 minutes before hubby and I can finally get the stupid cert from the high commisioner office. When that happens I think I can relax a little.
Hubby doesn't seem to mind the chaos. At the moment, while I am pouring all my frustrations in this entry, he is enjoying a nap at the hotel's lounge. Nap yang berbunyi ah. Hehehe. I really envy him. I am tempted to wake him up by pinching his nose, but nah, I don't think I'll be cheeky today.

I have 35 more minutes to kill before the cert is done. How time flies when you're blogging! I think I'll end this entry and start packing my stuff now. Wish me luck with the certs! :)

October 7, 2011

Cath-j.com giveaway : The Recipe book

On the scale 1-10, I'd say I'm a 6 when it comes to cooking. That's my biased opinion of course. Hubby does most of the cooking at home so I don't really spend much time in the kitchen. I mean I can cook a decent meal like fried eggs, corn soup and fried chicken nibbles but fine cuisine is beyond me.

Having said that, I believe that with a good recipe, anyone can cook. That Gusteau guy in Ratatouille said so too. Cooking is a skill not a talent. Hence, it is learnable.

Although cooking is not my passion, I am more than keen to learn. Someday, I'd like to try cooking some great meals to impress my family and friends. That is why I am writing this entry - in the hope that I could win Cath's awesome 500-Italian-recipe cookbook :) 

* Harap si boboi cabut nama sia hehehe 

Guilty Pleasures

Have you heard about the latest BSTC virus? I read about it on my friend's FB WALL a few days ago.

*WARNING!!! WORST VIRUS EVER TO HIT FACEBOOK! The BSTC Virus (Butt Stuck To Chair). The virus glues you to your chair for several hours at a time! No housework will be done, children will starve, the cat will not eat, and the dog will not get its walk. You lose contact with the outside world; your butt goes numb! Put this on your status to warn all friends ~ it's too late for me ~ SAVE YOURSELF!!!!*

Sounds familiar? Hehehe. Because of this message and the fact that I have less than 3 months to complete my thesis, I  decided to deactivate my Facebook account 2 days ago. That's the time I've set for myself, not the official submission date.

It wasn't easy clicking the confirm button but in the end, I managed to go through it.  

Now, my only form of virtual contact with the outside world is this blog. And oh, email and twitter. But anyway, I don't tweet that much. When I told hubby I don't facebook anymore he started applauding and said "Baguslah, cepat siap tu thesis". I knew he'd be ecstatic cos he always said I spend too much time on the net.

A few months ago, he gently suggested that I spend less time blogging. I responded by talking about how women lead more stressful lives compared to men and how talking about their lives reduces that stress. I went on babbling about how women are emotional and how they don't have a filter. Because of that, women tend to throw everything out. I need to throw eveything out. After hearing my melodramatic debate, hubby said I over-reacted blah blah blah.

He also said I  love you to shut me up.

So. For the time being, blogging and blog-hopping remain my guilty pleasures. That plus watching Pretty Little Liars, reruns of Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girls and SATC on Channel C4.  Oh! Before I go, I've got something to show you.

Presenting you my polka-dot nails!

My dad borrowed my camera so I had to use the PC cam. Now that I don't snoop around Facebook anymore, I've got more time for my nails. I owe this new-found therapy to Chegu.

Looks like I'll be blogging more about nails now :)

October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Chegu's Influence

That's the best I could do after two hours of trial and error. I'm not showing the other hand cos it looks like Alden's painting. So what do you think Kay?