Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Truth about Cancer- my husband's take

Someone asked hubby about this and he has taken a lot of last nite to reply instead of using that time to talk to his wife that I think this should be forwarded to a lot of people :-)

Enjoy..

Subject: The truth about cancer..

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.
Not true.
Everybody has cells.
Congenital (i.e. born already suffering from cancer) is rare.
Early childhood cancers still obey the same rules for carcinogenesis.
Some people or families carry inherited genetic makeup to develop cancer, such as the Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) gene on chromosome 5, or retinoblastoma (you may Google these) which will eventually cause the target tissue (colon and retina respectively) to turn cancerous.
These same defects can also be developed through mutation (true for the vast majority of cancers, the so-called sporadic ones i.e. non-familial)
This is one 'hit' in the way to cancer development i.e. those with genetic predisposition were born handicapped already i.e. programmed, but without a single cancer cell yet.
You still need other triggering factors.
Google also Knudsen two hit theory, Vogelstein theory on carcinogenesis or try Wikipedia or
Answers.com.


These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached thedetectable size.
Somewhat true.
Cancer starts from a single cell which has mutated (even so-called multicentric ones).
You can have an unstable field of tissue with a predisposition to turn malignant though e.g. breast tissue in patients with previous breast cancer or have the so-called carcinoma-in-situ, or multiple carpetlike colonic polyposis in FAP patients - time bombs)
You won't know if one single cell has turned cancerous.
Not yet, until you either develop symptoms (your complaints e.g. rectal bleeding) and/or signs (clinical features the doctor has found e.g. a palpable tumour or mass on rectal examination, or anaemia) or you decide to go for a test (such as if you have neither symptoms nor signs but have a strong family history of colorectal or breast cancer and decide to have a colonoscopy or mammogram and presto! suspicious precursor or frankly malignant lesions are found)
These take time to develop.
We're talking many months to years
From a single cell to a mass 1cm in diameter which has just under a billion cells.
Imagine if it is 5cm wide.
Which has the higher likelihood of spread then, huh?
Firstly it takes time to multiply.
And in this time, the cells might escape i.e. metastasises either by direct adjacent spread, via the lymphatics (to lymph glands) or into the bloodstream (manifesting as lung/liver/brain/bone deposits).

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Tests are only as good as its degree of sensitivity and specificity.
There is no absolute tests.
There are no scans to completely exclude cancer.
Tests which are negative do not necessarily mean the cancer isn't present i.e. what is the rate of false-negatives or its specificity (unlike tests for specified parameters as renal function, blood pressure, glucose level etc)
Tests which are positive may not point to cancer alone i.e. there may be other explanation as to why the levels are elevated i.e. what is the rate of false-positives or its sensitivity (e.g . elevated levels of serum prostate specific antigen PSA can be due to prostate cancer but are also elevated in smokers, patients with prostatic infection, after prostatic massage etc)
Routine testing of tumour markers are near useless and create anxiety and uncertainty in the main, but are of value with advancing age, with symptoms and after intervention e.g. surgery/radiotherapy/chemotherapy in order to detect and identify recurrent disease earlier for further intervention e.g. 2nd line chemo or further surgery. Even then the majority of these tumour markers have modest degrees of sensitivity and specificity. Mass testing or screening based on these tests is not recommended.


2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.
Not true.

3. When the person's immune system is strong, the cancer cells will bedestroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

Somewhat true.
Immunological host response certainly plays an important role in regulating (read combating) cancer.
Killer T cells for example kill non-host cells or mutated ones e.g. cancer - one form of research currently done.
But since cancer develop from native cells, they may share the same identification tags as normal cells (similar if not identical coat-of-arms, if you like) hence can prove elusive for destruction.
They even produce normally-produced chemicals to induce a healthy bed for them to start multiplicating, spread and take root e.g. angiogenic factors to enhance blood supply locally for the benefit of the cancer deposit.
You may Google on these.4. When a person has cancer, it indicates that the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies.
Not true.
For example, the malnourished in Africa and elsewhere do not develop cancer. They die of malnutrition, starvation etc but cancer? Unlikely.

These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
As mentioned before - trigger/causal factors. In medical parlance, aetiological factors.
But not nutritional.
Genetic factors - yes. Either inborn with defects or mutated with either turned on or turned off genes ('oncogenes').
Environmental - yes. Smoking, radiation, high fat diet, germs e.g. Helicobacter pylori for gastric cancer, Epstein-Barr virus for nasopharyngeal cancer, Herpes simplex virus for cervical cancer, Hepatitis B and C for liver cancer etc.
Lifestyle - yes. Smoking, early onset of sexual activity for cervical cancer etc.
Food - yes. Preserved foods with nitrosamines or aflatoxin-contaminated grains for gastric cancer but decreasing worldwide due to utilisation of refrigeration, high fat diet association for colorectal and breast cancer; protective effects against colorectal cancer with high intake of fruit and vegetables. Globalisation rather homogenises the diet of the people of the world hence partly explains the rising trend of the incidence of colorectal and breast cancers ('Western cancers') and cardiovascular diseases in just about every country worldwide.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet andincluding supplements will strengthen the immune system.
Not necessarily.
Unless you have pre-existing dietary deficiencies; otherwise no.
Some supplements e.g. selenium can be useful, but most of us receive enough nutritional goodness in our normal diet.
Encourage healthy living rather than supplement fads which fatten the wallets of others. Most of these sellers are not in it for the sake of the products' perceived health qualities. Stress on the word perceived.
Best to take a healthy balanced diet, plenty of fruit and vegetables to provide Vitamin C and E as anti-oxidants, lots of exercise and reduce stress.
And yes, stop smoking.
Don't worry about the viruses. If you get them, you get them. Well, avoiding high risk behaviour should also help.
And go for simple steps to reduce personal and community likelihood of contracting them e.g. get your children to be immunised for hepatitis B. This is to treat the next generation to reduce/minimise/eradicate hepatitis in the population so as not to develop its late complications. Just look at the effectiveness of polio vaccination for example. See any polio-crippled children lately? Our generation is done for already. Few of those with hepatitis will 1. know they have it 2. manifest symptoms early 3. have cheap effective medication to treat carriers of hep B and 4. if they develop liver cancer, few are curable.


6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly growing cancer cells. Italso destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow,gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
Not untrue.
Sure, chemotherapeutic agents are poisons but this can be said of most if not all drugs.
Drugs have known effects some of which are desirable ('cancer-busting chemotherapy') some others are not or side-effects (diarrhoea, hair loss, vomiting, low white blood cells, nerve damage, heart, liver, lung complications etc).
Most chemotherapy drugs are given systemically i.e. into the bloodstream either directly (intravenous) or by oral ingestion and changed within cells to the active agent e.g. Xeloda.
Hence, the treatment is crude to say the least.
It is hoped that the more rapidly dividing cancer cells are wiped out more compared to the much slower ordinary growth of normal cells, but these normal cells get hurt, too. Stress on the word hope.
Until lately, chemotherapy efficacy rates were relatively pathetic in real terms, but then again are usually offered to those with more advanced cancer so were pre-selected to fare worse anyway
.


7. Radiation, while destroying cancer cells, also burns, scars anddamages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
Not untrue.
As above.
Another crude form of therapy.
However medical science realises that and strive to get you magic bullets in the future.
The goal is to manufacture highly selective drugs/treatment/therapy with maximal efficacy rates with minimal side-effects.
'Surgical strike' or 'smart bombs' if you like. Much like what the Dr in Star Trek would prescribe.
At best for the moment you get a compromise.
But one day we will.
Hence, support medical research.
Don't support supplement peddlers with little if any scientific data. Challenge them. Are their claims reproducible. If they spout rubbish like ' orthodox medicine doesn't know everything' yes, medicine continues to evolve and never claims to have become complete but at least it is based on sound principles of biology chemistry physics etc and is reproducible. And is constantly improving. Daily. Little bits yes but most certainly.
Or they claim 'this has been proven to work' By whom? Who is the authority? What research has this/these person(s) done? Which journal? Peer-reviewed? Be inquisitive and be cynical of claims. Even and especially of doctors or those with fancy titles or long strings of letters behind their names. These are the worst con artists hiding behind a facade of respectability and academia. Purportedly. Yes, some medical doctors sell supplements too.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do notresult in more tumor destruction.
Not untrue.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are just like drugs - they have efficacy rates and maximal doses too.
Your oncologist (medical cancer doctor who dispenses chemo and radiotherapy) will be the best person to judge this.
It's a question of balance - tumour bulk vs bodily tolerance for increased survival and/or better quality of life.
These treatment modalities are far from perfect but there has been considerable progress as compared to 50 or 30 or even as recently as 10 years ago.
Extra chemo and/or radiotherapy is justified if the initial response was poor but can only be given to their respective maximal doses - thereafter increasing side-effects sharply for little gain.
Not much different from other drugs then, innit?

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy andradiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.
Not untrue.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate andbecome resistant and difficult to destroy.
Not true.
However, radiation can cause cancer.



Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.
Not true, unless you have a hopeless surgeon.
Refer to the above Part B of the answer to Question No.1.
Cancer spreads directly to adjacent structures and organs and/or through the lymphatics and/or through the bloodstream to distant sites.
Perforated cancer or a bad surgeon who spills cancer and does not take the correct precautions during surgery or leaves cancer behind or cuts through cancer-laden tissue without carrying out the so-called radical surgery with curative intent carry a more grave, poorer prognosis.
Unless the cancer has already spread at presentation, or presents with perforation - by definition surgery of this type is palliative, not curative. The surgeon is not the cause of the spread, rather caused by advanced nature of the disease process itself.
Choose the most qualified surgeon for the job. :-)

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells bynot feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.
NOT TRUE.
CANCER CELLS FEED ON: a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder.
Not true.
Well, a tiny modicum of truth. ALL cells need sugar, not just cancer. Especially brain cells (unable to utilise anything but)
And if you assume the more rapidly multiplying cancer cells consume more sugar, I suppose that's not wrong either.


By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells.
Not true.
And what will you eat then? Carbohydrates are just chains of sugar
.

Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful.
Don't know. Probably in high doses over prolonged period to lab mice. But surely the FDA has checked all these out.


A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molassesbut only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to makeit white in color. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.
Don't know.
Have yet to check out the claims on the virtues of Manuka or other honey. Manuka is not cheap! The Prophet SAW believed in honey. I'm sure honey has some medicinal properties. Can also double as a wound salve. Pretty good, too. But the 20th century has produced refined active ingredients from or based from natural substances so use them
.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in thegastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk andsubstituting with unsweetened Soya milk cancer cells are being starved.
NOT TRUE.
Mucopolysaccharides are produced in most airway and gastrointestinal tubes and orifices for lubrication, and on all cell membranes for communication, identification etc.
Colorectal cancer and adenoma do produce mucus. But feed on mucus? Hmm.
Some patients who have had colorectal surgery cannot tolerate milk and milk products. Early in the post-operative period fibre-rich foods are also advised to be taken in moderation. Words from the Soy Farmers Lobby Group, maybe? Maybe PORIM and their tocophenols have a few words to say too.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.
NOT TRUE.

A meat-based diet is acidic
Not true.

and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.
Fish and skinned poultry are certainly better digested and less fatty than red meat.
But the link to cancer remains a long-term association.
For those already diagnosed to have cancer, eating red meat will not cause worsening of cancer.


d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds,nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juice provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellularlevels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells, try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat someraw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).
Not true.
I say go eat more fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
Raw vegetables have more vitamins and perhaps retain more minerals, that's all. Some vitamins perish with cooking.
Doesn't mean raw vegetables are better. The mineral content should remain pretty much the same but some taste better cooked.
Nothing to do with enzymes - certainly not vegetable enzymes.
What you eat goes into your intestines - a highly inhospitable environment for the food you consume. Proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals and vitamins are absorbed leaving you to excrete waste. Enzymes are mere proteins or polypeptides which will simply be denatured first in the highly acidic hydrochloric acid-enhanced stomach then churned into little bits of amino acids by gastric pepsin followed by intestinal peptidases. Too bad. The gut only recognises it as 'protein'. Thanks very much.

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green teais a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water - bestto drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.
Not true.
Caffeine ain't great, but there is scant data that it causes cancer or is worse for those who have cancer.
Coffee has been associated with pancreatic cancer, but that's all, folks.
Sure, drink plenty of water. Not in itself prevents or inhibits cancer. Eight glasses a day.
Distilled water should be neutral with a pH of 7. Try a litmus test (anything other - check the impurities in the container).

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestiveenzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.
Not true.
We are omnivores after all.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining fromor eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls ofcancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
Not true.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence,Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable thebody's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, thebody's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.
I like the data pinched from medical research. But not necessarily with supplements.
Vitamins C and E are anti-oxidants which help prevent cells from being damaged.
But take them at their recommended dosages.
They are also far cheaper if purchased from high street retail stores. With definite quality control. You get what you see as per what you read on the label. Not fattening the wallets of up/downliners.
But the best is to take your daily ration of vitamins and minerals from fresh and freshly prepared food. Much more palatable and enjoyable, don't you think?


15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger,unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.
No comment.
Not true for acidic environment.
Certainly, keep stress levels to a minimum.
But if you are the one diagnosed to have cancer...

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment.
Not true.
Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellularlevel. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells
.
No comment.
Exercise is good. Not as a cancer buster, maybe not much of a cancer preventer but great for your cardiovascular system and probably will work off all those enjoyed calories of the rich food you are consuming daily.
Claims probably untrue (too simplistic and too superficial).
Might make you hyperventilate with tingly sensation at your fingertips and feel a bit drowsy, but that's about all. Maybe in years to come, science can demonstrate this somehow but I have my doubts.


My advice?

Be happy and contented.

Lead a healthy lifestyle. Stop smoking. The new D-G of the WHO champions this and she's right.

Eat a balanced diet.

Perform regular exercise and keep trim. Reduce central obesity / paunch.

For those who are overweight, lose some weight.
Remember that it is purely arithmetic - calories in vs calories sweated out. Calories in tends to win, whatwith the lack of exercise in these sedentary urban jobs we hold. There is no quick painless route to weight loss. If you have money and can join a fitness or weight watchers club, fine. Otherwise there are cheaper or free alternatives. Am reminding myself again and again.

Get advice from sensible qualified people, not quacks.

Beware of nice peddlers of supplements - consult those you trust.
Well, they are not all bad but be sure the item is kosher, medically recommended and represents good value for money.
Must say very few of those being peddled fall into these categories. If at all.
And do your own research. The Internet and other resources are all available in this e-world (or is it k-world?). We are all on an even footing now.

It's healthy to be a cynic.
Ask questions. Don't just accept claims.
Get yourself more educated.

Medical knowledge is ever-evolving but at least the bulk of it is honest and likely to be reproducible (well, the majority are but be careful of advice given, even mine - go to the last few lines of the paragraph before last).

Executive health checks are OK but results require careful and considerate interpretation. For those approaching 40 as moi , regular blood pressure, glucose and lipid levels should be monitored. The incidence of all these in Malaysian adults over 50 is more than 30% of at least one of them.

Those with symptoms and signs or a strong family history of cancers or other killer diseases, please seek medical attention early.

The mortality for most cancers in Malaysia is high as compared to Western figures. Why? Malaysian patients present late. For example the average breast cancer lump size for US women is 2cm but it is 5cm for Malay women. Why? Multifactorial probably but imagine the duration of carriage of cancer for these women. The role of chemo will be much more limited once spread hence a shorter lifespan. And to think these women have small or schoolgoing children. (sigh) The answer is a paradigm shift in mindset and education.

Get your doctor to become more educated as well. Too many of them (not all, bless 'em but even one is one too many) do not interact, converse, inform, educate, tell, advise, follow-up, even treat their patients. The best way is to, yes, you've guessed it, ask them a lot of questions to things you have read up and know something about. Or know nothing about but as soon as you've listened to his/her version of the answer to your question, tell him/her you want to check it out on the Internet/encyclopedia/medical books later at home and come back to the doctor in a day or two.
(NB. Applies to other professions too).

One more thing - doctors who merely listen and do not even pretend to examine patients then prescribe expectant medication are not doctoring. Do not accept this.

Finally,
Be nice to your loved ones - after all, they are the ones who will look after you if you fall ill. They remain your loved ones. And you theirs. Forever.



(NOW PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Awards Ceremony


Must be my old age.

I can't bear to watch an awards ceremony show- eg tonite's Screen actors' Guild .

I cringe everytime someone starts giving out their acceptance speech. No doubt they are genuinely touched, happy etc but then again, these guys are professional actors mah.!

I also feel embarrassed for those not winning- and who expected to win. Their valiant "good on you " expressions just is heartbreaking for me!
(Imagined dialogue: I really can't be bothered to be honest with you but can you BELIEVE that they didn't give it to me???)

Yeah i have got to stop being emotionally attached to these award shows..remind self: they make more than us, they make more than us, they make more than us.

:-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jojo's favourite song

is "I dont want to miss a thing" by Aero*smith.

Seriously,he would make us repeat that song countless times in the car. It's "sad" he said. He thinks its about a man who does not want to miss his girlfriend. Hubby nearly traumatised the boy when he said it is about a man who died rescuing the earth. Johan would sing along - especially to the chorus. My son the rock star. (who alternates between being the rock star and the racing ace)

Coincidentally , I like this song too.

..I could stay awake just to hear you breathing...watch you smile while you are sleeping ..while you're far away dreaming...

awwww...

Work-kids-ego

Work: Have been receiving calls from this one particular borrower every ten minutes. Remind self to be patient and put yourself in their position. Hence my still chirpy voice answering yet the same question.

Kids: Have discovered kids' "rule" more or less of ownership. It seems that if any of them has said that the particular item is hers, before any one else, everyone else will have to defer. And if they say "guard my spot" then its sacred. However apparently Dahlia has a different rule. If she says "its mine" Its hers, however she can be bought out. Heh heh heh..typical Daya. She has 'sold' her stuff before.

Ego: Sigh...am learning that sometimes should shut up and give a person who is obviously wrong, some face , instead of lecturing that person on how he is so clearly and obviously wrong.

Just realised that its been a whole year since hubby and I got away to anywhere just the 2 of us. Must remedy this. El pronto. But where can I go for less than a hundred eh? (duduk rumah je lah ek? hee hee)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Our version of a bbq...

Yesterday we had some guests over.
Remember 6 months ago this Uncle died of 60 percent burns from minyak goreng pisang? He has 4 grown up sons- 2 of them and family are actually living quite close by so I had called them over ages ago. Actually they are ranked as my "nephews" so they took great pleasure in calling me auntie- these big strapping lads. Also invited my nearby uncle and my parents too who have not seen these boys for a long time(and was bestfriends with the late father) -although my parents were the very last to arrive.

This was also a good op to invite my NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR who, the last time they stepped into the house, it was probably before EID , of Last year. Heh heh heh..betul tak? (Though I hope they did not feel neglected- sorry ah).

Sigh..if any of our old friends (and DadofFour probably) can testify we did the dinner in typical "us" fashion, ie LAST MINUTE.

Half formed idea of having a small barby but no set. So, after dad came back from the hospital, set off at about 2 pm. To shop for the barbecue and er.the food. We saw a barbie for RM200 (good value) and a grill for satay for RM20 (even better value). No prizes for guessing which one we cheapskates got heh heh heh. Also managed to get the chicken coop wire to put on top of the satay grill.
Went shopping for barby stuff at GR*EAT E*ASTE*RN MALL. the best mall ever. Quiet and not crowded! Realised that we have probably spent 50% more on tomatoes etc than we would have had we gone to the local G*iant but hey what the heck hee hee hee. Too lazy to go anywhere.

In typical malaysian fashion, came home at 5, marinated at 6, borrowed neighbour's oven to half bake the meat by half seven, dad came home with Dahlia (from dentist- wobbly tooth)by 8, started the barbie at half eight, guests came at 9, there you have it. Last minute .Neighbour,thanks for your oven, and also the banana and icecream..eh why you left so early lar.

But. It was nice catching up. Now, lazying around to wait for dad. Another busy day ahead later.....

Morning after..

This morning the kids are sighing as again as per every weekend morning:

1. Dad has gone to the hospital to see his post-op, pre-op, looks like going to have to go for op, patients.( I called and asked how the ward looks today and he said "some of the patients are sick". I joked.."You don't say!". I guess he means, sicker than normal. )

2. Mom is back at the computer. (well I did tell them they can have a go if they're dressed and ready. Now they are rushing to have a bath and gulp down their breakkie)

Morning after the Barbecue...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ponda&n

The other day, we got Po*ly Poc*ket dvd to watch on the way back from Kluang. There were other cds too and we had gotten thru most of them and now the kids were discussing what they wanted to watch. When it was time for Johan to say what HE liked he said "I wanna watch Poll*ly Poc*ket".

Immediate teasing from the sisters! Sophia said "Johan you ARE pondan"

Which woke ME up. Mana belajar ni? Pondan means sissy I guess and pondans are also called "mak nyah" referring to transvertites. Johan is being called a pondan as he likes to watch a girly dvd. I don't want my kids to stereotype at this age~! So I said girls can do what guys can and guys can do some of what girls can do.

Dad can't contribute as he was busy laughing.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Today...

Today am going to read:

ORHAN PAMUK THE SNOW.

(This is a Turkish Author who has just received a death threat by the guy who incited the murder of another renowned turkish writer. So renowned that I won't bother putting his name here heh heh)

Today I also:

Called up Alliance Francais to register kids into frenchie lesson thingy.

Also I discovered: Loads of doctors who blog. I note though that most of them are NOT surgeons except for one retired surgeons. Moral of the story- Anaesthetists have too much free time . Hee hee hee jangan marraaaaaahhhh.

And I also:

checked some more sofas at CAVE*NZI- aiyaaah nothing i like lar.(who has the free time now eh)

And AlSO!! I went with a friend and we valet park at KL Pla*za - har har har..what is so funny is that this is a stone's throw away from the office. We actually drove out, went to the furniture place behind the office, drove into KL Pl*aza and then valet park. I always thought valet parking was very for the tai- tai..

Guess Im moving on heh heh heh!!

Toilet Noises and Kids!

Last night Hubby and I went sofa hunting. Our old leather sofa is as old as Sara and is begging to be put to death. I actually painted over it to give it a "new life" and discovered this- leather sofas do not take kindly to being painted! So now, cracks are showing and people are coming so emergency shopping. Of course none of what I like he likes, and none of what he likes I like and the only thing both of us do like is - still leather. and still cream, So how? So much for change of image . By the way AE*ON allows you to use up the chair until luncai before you make full payment of it yah, in case you were wondering.

Anyway what I wanted to relate is how , when we got back, the kids immediately swarmed us to tell us about the buku teks Arab which daddy has to go to Carrefo*ur to get, the birthday party that Nadine was invited to, that Johan is going to school early tomorrow as he has "hariraya" , that Dahlia has something that Daddy HAS to sign being an order for something. (TERUK LAH target little kids esp Daya who is a shopaholic) ...

Somehow the stories turn into sounds of the bodies, which just is such a huge source of amusement for my children. They were telling me how their little cousin TIna would say "kentut...put put put..!" and then they'd fall over themselves laughing. Then they would say how one of them LOVE to make that sound etc etc etc...You know what I was laughing too but I was laughing at how much they were tickled by the noises..They'd imitate each other doing it...Is this normal for kids ???

Dad was unfortunately not a part of this because he fell asleep on the sofa while taking off his shoes. Hee hee hee.....

Thursday, January 25, 2007

..If I were a tai-tai...

yesterday at lunch we walked thru Starhill and there were a few well dressed women lounging about having coffee and draped in designer items. Those LV bags aint from Petaling St*reet ok!

Which got us talking about what WE would do if we are tai-tais:

1. Wake up around 6 am for morning prayers. Yell at (our one out of 17 maids to prepare our rose scented bath hehheh)

2, Get in the car with driver to send kids to school (still government of course - have to have faith in own system right??)

3. After sending kids, straight to salon (do hair maaaa)

4. Then go to bookshop and sit with the other gals discussing books over coffee and croissant (must take care of brain too right)- now we'd be reading all sort of posh books by authors whose name we cannot pronounce.

5. go see hubby for lunch

6. ask driver to send us to get kids from school

7. personal trainer come in the pm, also personal religious teacher for the kids

8. do craftwork/read magazine/ write a book/ sew /take kids to the library/swimming- all for fun, mind

9.......waaaaaah sound so lovely actually although you know, I don't see any space in there for shopping. maybe btw personal trainer and dinner eh?

Sigh dream dream dream...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Funny Calls

Been receiving funny as in strange calls as in bizzare (to me lar) .

First, from this woman from the United Nations Human Centre for Refugees. Wanting to know whether I would be interested to work with them. Based on the CV I sent them like 3 years ago. When I was full of dreams of making a difference in the world. And when I hated the corporate world slightly more than I do now heh heh heh. Gaji more than what I used to make but less than what I am making now. Not that salary is what you think of when you join the UN (although I thought it's in USD? :-)) .

I declined , you! I discussed with hubby and he said - you nak ke kerja dengan refugees? You will be dealing with cambodians and vietnamese and laotian refugees -laratke? Yeah yeah but at least you feel you are helping humanity... Tak taulah..will the job load be heavy? I read the specs- needing to interview people about their life, able to deal with vulnerable and traumatised people, write reports - MY FORTE Helloooo!!! Interview people?? Be nosy and get PAID for it?? hee hee hee...sounds so made for me...BUT .... I told them maybe later..when interest will come first before making a living....right between managing the fabric shops, translating and writing scripts for tv har har har..oh yeah did i mention tutor the kids, learn french mandarin and arabic (and korean if I can get away with it) as well as learning to swim, horseride and scuba dive?? Hee hee- check this space- I probably would still be saying the same thing when I'm 80 hee hee.

Second call was from a friend asking if I know T.M. Waaakaka have not heard this name for ages! Masa 5 years old we were "bofren gerfren" ..yes 5. years old. Johan's age. Anyhoot found out this guy is now a doctor- probably a consultant, single and looking for lurve. Only thing is he sounds like he has grown up to be a swinger! Oooo-er I don't think I will be recommending him to any of my pals,thanks, although I'm sure he still is the nice,sweet guy he was supposed to be years back. . Funny how the world is really small.

Met up with Uncle T and Auntie M, former dentist of mine and also army buddies of my parents...they do not seem to age at all except Auntie M who is suffering from the big C - is a lot thinner. Can't believe that when we last saw them, Nadine was 2.

Ok ok ok...im back to work now..

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

19 years ago..

view of portland building where the law faculty was .

The lake is where we used to take a boat for 2.



cripps health centre- was admitted for german measles and I remember someone coming to visit me with half eaten grapes- ! (sekarang the kids would beat him to it)


The view from the main road- cantik kan.


The sports centre - where I was persuaded to arrange kids sports at one of the famous Malaysian sports festival- I arranged musical chair without quite remembering the rules heh heh heh. Heard the then social secretary of the Malay society recently telling one friend that he "chose" me to do that to see my potential with kids. Is it?? I thought you could not find any other sucker..heh heh heh.now organising loads of kids sports for said social secretary.

Kids....walk down memory lane.[1]

I thought when they said seven working days they actually meant it. But it seems that they suddenly want it tomorrow morning, so here I am.. just finished it. Its 4 am. I'm going to go to bed.

Oh yes dad is back (striding into my office just now with his colourful phuket hat and big bag- my big boss must have thought waaah this girl no need job or what so daring to bring hubby over into office? heeh hee) , with suitable choccies for kids and tales of not eating chicken and meat (for fear of being non halal) for the past 3 days and brushing teeth with mineral water and swearing he'd never leave us again - yeah yeah that's what you said after your conference in Barcelona dear..heh heh heh...anyway, surely Phuket cannot be that bad right. I mean I went to India and I didn't have to wash with mineral water..!

Kids happy (god they have been calling me since noon asking where exactly their father was) but surprisingly , still clustered around me until bedtime upstairs. Sara was regaling to us her tale of finding a cook book at Bord*ers with Camillia and Dahlia basically imitating a cat against her mommy. Sophia busy telling me about her book of fairy tales that she was going to bring to show her teacher. Johan was the only one downstairs boxing with Daddy. Nadine suffering from tummy pain, hubby wondering if its puberty but is shy to ask. Puberty????!!! Allready???

Hard to believe...we are parents of kids who are growing up faaaar too fast. Hey Nadine! You were the one with the umbilical hernia when you were born, your belly button was so far out and the docs said you had to be operated on if it does not resolve within 2 years or something. I was a stay at home mom for your early life... How creative I was with my explanations about the world then- I told you that thunder was the clouds coughing and rain is when they cry, I told you that there was a fairy living in the tree behind our house then - Twinkle . When daddy sang lullabies you said "No song daddy!"heh heh heh..Now you can't stop singing! I remember you the most...You were the one we worried about if you did not know your alphabets by 2 plus ! Heh heh the curse of being the firstborn.
And Sara! The way you came out- almost on the doorsteps of the hospital..! I was so shocked I could not sleep all nite! I needed chocolate and sweet tea to revive me !:-) You were so dark when you were born you were actually gray. No kidding! You had the glue ear remember? And I thought you could not breathe cause your nose was so flat it did not look possible that you could actually breathe.! You were forever constipated !!! you had this huge gland thing on the side of your neck when you were 2! (how come I only remember those stuff) You adored Nadine. On the plus side, you loved the keyboard thingy. And you loved your Uncle Bad.
You both got all the UK thingy that would require a mini mortgage over here now, like Tum*bleTots, GYm*boree etc etc. Mothe*rcare? Tsk- normal lah. Heheheh..Now..Jaya jus*co is good enuff for me.)

Sophia..you were soo cute and fair when born (no name for a week as we thought u were a boy!)- 6 months into your life you had to be uprooted and taken home...you quickly became the apple of your grandparents' eye until now! You scared the heck out of us when you were 2 plus as you did not interact with anyone- you only spouted B*arney songs and words you hear from cartoons! My fault- I finally went to work (why again?)and was so worried abt you being upset that I fed you with R*chard S*carry, Sesame Str*eet and Ba*rney..too much input but no output! We thought you could be autistic and started to look for the appropriate resources until we all left for Au*stralia and you had both your parents' full attention for a whole six months and by the time we came back , with God's help and grace, you were ok and chattering away until today! And now you can tell me that you HAVE to have the party at Mc Don*ald as you have told all your friends. The party you are throwing for yourself in March. Heeeheee. You are the most like your mom in what you suffer from (itchy eyes) , what you don't like (any form of physical exercise whatsoever) and what you do like (drawing girls and other girly stuff- although I was not that girly though- I was often the goalie for the local footie team when I was 5!) . Sophia, you are NOT fat.

Dahlia ..born in the new millenium...surprise baby (but weren't they all?) ..very stroppy toddler..! She was the one you would not mess about hee hee. She was also the fattest when born. Fair with slightly slanted eyes. Believe it or not. Spoke the earliest - very clear single words at the age of one plus. Always curious too- remember the pearl in nose incident?? Also so brave- when suspected got dengue , she did not cry when the drip was put in her. (it was not dengue thank goodness) .

Johan...was very difficult to wean off mother's milk. He would not take the bottle at all! The weekend before he arrived I moved house ! And he had to be fed with a spoon he would just NOT take the bottle no matter what teat he was given! Broke his arm , for the first time one of my kids broke something..! And ate macaroni bits and rice bits at age 8 months- they CAN lah...no need porridge all the time.

Sigh...I have forgotten a lot , a LOT of their growing up years esp Dahlia and Sophia as they are the closest in age.I wish I had recorded what they read, what they liked to eat, etc etc....Once back in KL, I went to work and against my wishes, took a helper...so the mother child bond is - with modifications now. Is it worth it, to lose these memories?? Can I borrow your memory? What do you remember?
(where it all began..........)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Jam in KL

Sent kids to school today! What is the big deal- cheh! (smugness!)No one was shouting, everybody got their duit belanja (is RM2 too much??) and no shoes were lost (due to me nagging the nite before)..See?? Mommy should take charge more often. AND! Everyone did their morning prayers! Hurray!

Asked Sara to ask her teachers if she can change her "House" from blue, to red, so that she can train on the same day as Nadine. Ie., so that the 2 of them can go together and come back together. Their "training" takes place once a week on different days, 3 hours after they leave school - so they actually have to come back, and go back again. Nadine has been catching her van on its way out to send the kids who go to afternoon school, which means she has to be in school by half past 2 and wait until 4. Sigh...if only I can get a driver.

Am thinking more and more of asking the Big Boss if can work from home, or at least come in the mornings only, at least on those sports day. After all, it's not like I am less distracted in the office- where do you think I am blogging from after all? Heh heh heh...kantoi!!!

Talking about kantoi- did you catch ER*A this morning??Hee heee hee...Saiful Apek was so funneee..he recommended that we greet the tourists very warmly and try to help them whatever they ask. If they speak in English, and we don't understand, he suggested that we say "Yes". as in

Tourist: "Do you know where I can catch the bus to so and so?"
Us: "Yes." .

.and if the questions get more complicated, we should say whatever English phrase we are familiar with , such as:

Tourist: "Where is the administration building of TDC?"
Us: "Er ..No Smoking!"

Har har har! If you saw a woman-driver grinning stupidly in her car, that would be me. Unless you caught me at the time I discovered that I could not turn right into the UThant area because unannounced, a big burly cop stood in front of the turning (my favourite short cut) and forcing me to again weave into the main traffic....while cursing the lack of sign posts earlier....!

But generally. I would be grinning.

Ok, break over!

(Lunch was Bangkok Jazz- eh sedap lah and tak mahal sangat lah- under RM20)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mystery Solved! (:-)

(old pic of us-we need a diet- sorry lah he went and took the camera with him so i got no new pix to post up)


hee hee heee...who feels like an idiot, raise your hand...(me basically)..Hubby called, and apparently got the name of the hotel wrong and is in an entirely different hotel. and has been since day 1...so all my PI efforts wasted! Oh well...anyways glad to hear his voice, mostly due to my need to talk to whoever who'd listen and him being the poor bloke who married me (and therefore, the obvious choice), we've never actually gone more than er..a day? of not talking ,be it by phone or face to face, so the silence all of yesterday and most of today was rather significant lah. Is this a bad thing..?

Ok ok now you really know what a weirdo I am...heeh hee. However! Before you throw up , let me say that our conversations are not the type where you whisper sweet nothings or say "you hang up," "no YOU", "No, you hang up first" etc etc etc.. ! Nope, never ever had that with him! If I say "you hang up" - he would.


It's usually rather mundane -what I did, what he did, etc, and then him going "er ok lah ek? I'll call you tomorrow." When he was still in the UK and me in KL it was like that. And still like that. I guess romance comes in different shapes and form eh. He used to say "Ditto" whenever I say I lurve yoooouuse. Ditto, you.
Today has been quiet. Kids missed daddy as mummy refused to budge out of the house, and insisted that they do their bags, look at their homeworks etc which daddy would maybe "close one eye" in favour of swimming. Weather not so good anyway- very hot and then humid and then rain. Now that the kids are bigger, and they play with each other I don't feel like I'm as harrassed as I used to be anymore ...- even managed to get some kip in the afternoon! With a Hello mag that neighbour kindly lent me! Who cares about Listing requirements of the exchange when there's Shiloh Jolie Pitt to stare at heh heh heh!
Johan and Sara made houses out of blocks. Dahlia was counting her money and got upset if she had to count them again. She stacked all her coins up in neat piles. Sophia read her fairy princess book today- I'm thrilled! It had words instead of pix! Sara read about blood platelets etc in her My Body book. Wah interesting gak that book. Nadine spent her time doing her Maths book, in between playing with internet. Focus Nadine Focus! (my biggest prob is focusing). Nadine, Sophia and Sara helped Dahlia prepare her bag for tomorrow's school. Dahlia insisted on bringing all her books as she "may want to read them". No use telling her that she is not meant to bring everything.
Dijah came over with a lovely sago pudding she made..with dad's help. I put lashings of evaporated milk on it and yummmmmmmski. Tomorrow I will go on a diet of water.
[BYJ - I was watching this clip of YJ reading a paper with his pix plastered over it. He was attending something and the cameras were on him. He's sitting there and reading it . What goes thru a celebrity's mind when they read about themselves? Do they wonder- oh will this ever STOP? Or do they think- god I look so fat? Or do they think - I wish my fans would not think I'm a cutie and take me only for my work? Oh well, in YJ's case I guess he's used to it. And I'm sure, with his successful restaurants behind him, he's a shrewd enough businessman to make the most of his not inconsiderable good looks .. I have a feeling though that if ever his looks goes and he succumbs to the paunch that most men get...(can't imagine that!) - he would still be followed everywhere he goes! ]
Why am I so free to write and why can't I comment on intelligent things....say the frequency of earthquakes and natural disasters lately??? Read that earthquake measuring 7.2 occured near Sabah. Hope there won't be another tsunami. Do we need anymore newsflash from God that we need to take better care of Mother earth? Haha- talking about that, you got to love the Brits- read that the Prince of Wales has to reduce his number of flights and produce a carbon usage record or something. The Brits really hold their celebrities and royalties to account. Over here you can be shamed to death but the next day you are back at work no problem.
Maybe I'm not challenged enough. This year I will go and seek other challenges. Enter kids for more events. There are free acting classes offered by FINAS. Maybe I'll get them into that. I have not been reading lately...any good books to recommend?? I finally read to Johan the illustrated "I love to have a bath" book where a little boy steps into a bath tub and later joined by among others, a whale, a hippo and a seal! I was reading this to Johan and he sat still for it- although I had to zip fastforward thru some paragraphs.

I used to have my nose in a book ALL the time. It'll be nice if the kids cultivate the love for reading too.
Oh yes, I did bring back some work to finish.....so here I go!

American Culture

Americanoo..blue jeans and chinos....remember that song?
Ya know..this Disney channel is a lot of fun, but ever noticed that they Americanised every thing? Mulan, (one character said he wished he did not cut gym in class- got gym ah in China?- and Mulan hugged the emperor in the end- can ah?); Aladdin was Americanised Arab (not too sure which culture he is supposed to have). Anastasia- not Russian except for the accent. I guess it only makes sense- their major market is the Americans anyway. And the Americans in us. Harmless enough ?

American culture is universal now. The city people I know, (and I believe even some longhouse people of the younger generation) have all accepted a part of American culture as their own, and even over and above our own Asian culture. Actually, a big part of the Asian culture now is American culture - everyone eats Mc*D, everyone wears jeans, everyone drinks Co*ke. Music too- Malaysia has some great bands- Ruffedge etc. They however, sound black ,soul, R&B or rap. Er..American. (don't have ghetto or bronx over here so how come a lot of nu yawk accents haa? Hey how yoooou doin?) Although must say Too Phat do Malaysianise their songs - "Anak Ayam" and "Alhamdulillah" come to mind. We love Rain but he's not singing Korean style music is he? Put english words, have another Mat Saleh guy sing it, you won't notice it (except he's not Rainlah)
Or is this not defined as "culture"? Food, clothing, music and style of living?
In the context of my kids , they are very familiar with the set-up of an American highschool- courtesy of Disney Channel among other things. We know of proms, of first dates, of cafetaria, of nerds and popular gals and jocks, of baseballs and of footballs ! Of calling people older than you by their first names, of having sexual relationships with people you don't marry or intend to build a family dynasty with (my secret mission) all in the name of love.
Someone has commented that all this Bangsa Malaysia is moot- go to the local club and everyone dresses the same, dances to the same tune, and drinks the same thing! - American ! Even the Brits are American hehehe.
Is this a bad thing though..I myself grew up with Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead- American highschool has permeated into my home since babyhood and , passed on to my kids who also love these bunch.
As long as we realise that it is not our culture , and that we are blessed to have yet another source of heritage, that's ok I think. Can imitate, but take only the good parts lah. I love that American school system seems to encourage kids to speak out, do science projects, run school papers, take such active parts in sports, and have social events. But!! I would not want my kids to have to worry about being popular, dressing up for school, using makeup, to be rude to their elders.
We shall make it up as we go along. American culture. can't avoid it, love it. but don't forget our own la!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dear Daddy (letter from Sophia)

Dear Daddy,

We have not heard from you today, and its allready 12 midnight. Mommy thinks your phone had died and you had forgotten to pack the charger. Mommy thinks you should have let her pack for you as she always does anyway. Mommy has been calling the hotel you said you were staying in. Is it true that you had to be moved Daddy? From Banthai to Karon Beach? Where is the conference anyway Daddy? Mommy said the people at the hotel were very vague about the conference. Mommy found out that your tour group had not checked in yet at 11.35 p.m..Don't you think that mommy will make a very good private investigator?

We wonder what you are doing now. Did you have a good dinner Daddy? Is the hotel nice? The hotel looks really nice from the internet.

Anyway we had a good time today. Mommy rocks! (ok mommy said that) We went to Atok Atikah in the morning for Nadya's aqiqah and cukur jambul. We forgot to wake up in time to visit Sara in the Dataran Merdeka. Mommy remembered but did not wake us up early enough. Hope Sara had a good time at the Dataran Merdeka!

At Atok Atikah's place, we played with Camillia and her sisters. We invited her and her mom to come with us to Berj*aya Tim*es Squ*are as there was the Cheetah Mobile. The Cheetah Mobile was big!!!!!! It look pretty! (Mommy: It was a portacabin which the outside can see in, and there are three sections to it, on the left is a recording studio, middle was an accessory place and the right was a place to pose against- we registered the kids, Zu and I and then we waited in line to get to the truck)

We had to wait in line for so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Camillia's group number was 131. Our group number was 132. Kak Aminah was there too.While waiting in line - it was sooooo boring- there was this girl that asked us questions with the microphone. She asked ME a question. She asked Sara something earlier and Sara got a CD of the songs in Che*etah Girls! Then she asked ME! She asked me if I knew ALL of the poses. I did my own pose and it was lovely! I won a CD of the songs too! Mommy gave one CD to Camelia. Nadine, Dahlia, and even Camillia and her sisters won prizes!!!! She also asked other girls to come on the stage where they have to sing or walk like models .Dahlia was asked to say "Cheetahliscious!" and she got a prize.

When it was our turn, we went into the mobile. We had to wear some clothes , cheetah fashion, and take pictures, then sing! (Mommy: In the recording studio the girls sang the words to the first song in Cheetah Girls, which was going to be turned into a cd with their pictures on it)

We also had goodie bags! In the bags, we got our CD, Our prize and a "Cheetah Girls" purse. My friend was there with her sisters. (Mommy: this friend was an annoying brat who followed the girl with the mic and kept nagging her for more presents despite winning twice allready. I tell you some kids are really KIASU!) .

While waiting for our CD to be ready, we went to Borders. It's a book shop and we bought books. My book is called "R*ainbow magic. H*eather the v*iolet fairy. By: Da*isy Me*adows", Tina's book is called "Barbie and the 12 dancing princesses", Nadine and Sara had a cookbook, Dahlia had a rhyming book by Dr Seuss and Johan had a CD.

Mommy treated us to McDon*alds after that. She didn't get me my apple pie though but that's ok.

Ok Daddy. Please call us tomorrow. We wish you can come home soon. Sunday not Monday ok daddy?

Love,
Sophia (with a bit of help from Mommy)

Malaysia Boleh!


...as in Malaysia boleh start a landmark case against Bloggers . I supposed everyone has heard about the NS*T's case against certain bloggers with wellknown sites. Me being such a boring bimboforbrains lately with interests not venturing further than family kids and replacing old leather sofas, I have not managed to visit these sites lately. Most days I'd read my mainstream press quite happily and believe the goverment is doing a fair job . Some days - especially when there is a fiasco in local government and the head honcho displays absolute lack of shame in blaming his subordinates and showing total disregard to the principle of "the buck stops here" (hey even Garfield knows that) - I would rant and rave with the next guy.
If I want to see what the "next guy" think , there are certain sites to go to- they act as an alternative newsline, giving you another, sometimes more detailed, sometimes cynic, sometimes refreshing, sometimes so sarcarstic you'd think they were aliens gracing Malaysia who should be grateful for their patronage, view on certain things the world and this country and what its politicians are up to.
You do not need a phD to realise that these are no what-I- did-today or look-at-my-kids kind of blog. A lot of people out there with points to put forward and knives to sharpen you know.
Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I don't. So now Nestum is suing. Full details I have not read yet. But the suit is against 3 individuals. Call a spade a spade, and they sue you. What can you do. Hence the button here. Never fear, bloggers unite. I put it on as I agree that , although should be carefully and responsibly used, the right to free speech is and should be sacrosanct. As should be the right to free lawyer when you get sued. Hee hee !

Ah..freedom of speech. Sometimes, it allows Ahmad Arumugam and AhChong to express their fedup-ness with the bullying tactics of the authorities. Sometimes its allows us to highlight to the local public the big con that their local councils are pulling re: signboards, deforestations and come ON, theme park without permits now?? What the FUDGE?? (or what the Phuket?) Hee hee.
However, freedom of speech may allow authors of foul and insensitive and plain rude writing,to escape accountability..Not just authors..also cartoonists who cannot draw but want to draw Prophet Muhammad PBUH (they were offensive in that they were total and utter cra*p!)
My views remain the same as at the time of those cartoons. (No, not Cow and Chicken cartoon , which I still hate with a vengeance)- freedom of speech has got to be used with a huge dose of tact and responsibility. Alaaaahh use common sense lar.....why so difficult ahh??
If your action hurt someone, are you not going to be made accountable at ALL just because of freedom of speech? If you have shamed someone or caused one person offence but you managed to get your message across, does the end justify the means then?
Notwithstanding all of the above, the right to freedom of speech, must never be taken away..hence the button. Wonder how this will turn out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Scenes at Breakfast on a schoolday

Pagi pagi masuk kerja je..dah kena "basuh" dengan client. Yang tak berasaslak tu. I feel compelled to defend my position and I think my refusal to completely submit to them pissed them off somewhat. Next time I will just say "yes ma'm" , perhaps that way will make this particular person feel superior ...

Anyway as the headache is slowly coming back...I will focus on something happy..like my lunchdate with my friend at Etoile Equatorial. This being the 19 of January I will probablyhave soup! Hee hee hee. Another 23 mins to go..yes I am taking work time to blog people shh.

We left the house rather early today. Kids are sooo chaotic in the morning. Nadine has become the new seargent -

*.....Dahlia have you eaten breakfast EAT BREAKFAST DAHLIA-
*.....Daaaaaaaadddy its seven ten!!! Come on come ON!!!
*........And where is the hairtie? Lost AGAIN??? How many times must I buy the hair tie??
*.........Daddddyyyyy what are you doing upstairs laaaa??? Hurry hurry hurry! Can you put your shoes on IN THE CAR????
*........Mummy ...my teacher wants you to sign the telecommunication book. What? Now? Why didn't you tell me yesterday?
*Daddy you forgot to give me money yesterday....!

But when its time to go, everyone would only start putting their shoes, Dahlia will discover that one shoe is missing and actually is residing next to the flower pot, and Sara will forget stuff. Yesterday had to go back to her school as she forgot her pencil box. How did she do that as I had put it on top of her bag??

..kids lose erasers, pencils, rulers, scissors, so regularly that we bulk buy..

ta !!

Phuk- Et!


This is where my husband and three colleagues are heading tomorrow(today actually)...for Friday. Saturday. and Sunday. A conference, they say. No, I'm not coming along. No wives allowed. Four guys going to Southern Thailand without wives...? Hmm....If I did not know what an angel my husband is I'd be nagging him on a daily basis to take me..

Ok confession - I have been nagging him on a daily basis to take me ! Heh heh heh! A chance to spend the weekend away? Stay in a posh hotel? Why not eh? And do I trust him? Oh pul-leez what has trust got to do with paper dolls, exotic shows etc which, if I were the organiser of the trip and I've got men on my hands , is exactly what I would take them to see. (not suggesting this to hubby at ALL though). I want to come I want to come I want to come hee hee hee.

..His excuse- None of the other men are bringing their partners (despite one of them actually having his anniversary this weekend- are you MAD man!). I have a feeling these 4 blokes are all telling their wives how they wish they could take them but no one else is bringing their wives. Sometimes our men can be such plonkers.

Ok Im a moaning minnie right? The sane part of me would not go anyway if he is uncomfortable with the idea, and I've been to Phuket before after all (also some conference- preggers with Johan at the time). The other part of me (you know, the part where Im a female?)- Sometimes all a girl want is to be asked to come along ...heh?

(this is what he says he'll be doing- conference)

BUT! This weekend chockafull of plans- hubby or not. Nadya is having aqiqah on Saturday and in the afternoon I have got to take them to Berjaya times square to see Cheetah Girls something or other . I did say that your daddy won't be around lah to take us and they started talking about hiring a CAB so I think I'd better drive them..heh heh heh. Then they have gone and planned nites away with their grandparents so I had better tag along.

Hubby has no idea when his flight is going to be. So casual he is. I checked out the websites of the airlines and have some clue of when he is scheduled to go. If I was still the mad impulsive person of years ago I would jump on the plane and surprise him on Saturday,you know. I'd do that. I love gestures like that. I think they are romaaaaaaantic...My friend had 4 dozen roses delivered to her by her husband on her anniversary and I love that!
Problem is all those gestures have been coming from me hee hee. He's completely not like that- not impulsive and not into big gestures ...he's totally ok with being away from us or each other and completely not into formal long teary goodbyes etc etc. After all not like he is not coming back right (insyallah) . But his wife- total mush. One time he had a locum weekend away from us. I was preggers with Sophia, and had 2 toddlers with me. I could not stay away for the entire weekend so I took a cab with everyone and a TV to see him. We slept on the floor of his (single) hospital room. I took along the TV guys. Me waddling, 2 kids in tow, a bag and a tv. He was only gone for the weekend! He could not believe what a mad woman he had married . Why did I do that , upon reflection? Simple ..Mush!.:-)
Hmm...shall I still book that secret flight to Phuket?? No wonder he is vague about his travel plans har har har....
Hope you'll be safe dear! Hope you get back safely and soon!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sara the Loner or the Lonely

Am in a dilemma- (maybe should call ERA radio about it - they do dilemmas every wednesday morning). Not so much a dilemma but worry lah.

I was chatting with Sara our second born tonite. Before they go to sleep I always interview them about their day. It's compulsory with their goodnite kiss. (Sophia's case- goodnite slobber) -Anyway Sara has been recessing alone every day this year. Her friends all have "recess buddies". I asked her why she did not join the others? She said that so and so likes to recess far from class (I guess she means they like to eat or walk on other parts of the school's rather big compound) and she did not want to walk so far.

I asked her whether she minded. She said no. I asked what she does when she's alone. She said she eats and then just sits waiting for the bell to ring. And she is not alone she is with her shadow.

On the one hand I am concerned that she has issues with making friends, on the other hand, I guess it's good that she can be alone. I for one prefer to have companion. Maybe she takes after her father who is just telling me now that he has lunch on his own every day and he prefers it that way some days. She tells me she sits next to the wall and one girl who does not talk to her. She tells me there are this couple of girls who whisper about her when she hums as she work. Or that so and so thinks she is weird because she speaks English or not covering her hair or because she wears pinafores rather than the traditional Baju kurung which she said all in her class wear.

She tells me Camelia her cousin is her best friend and Yana her other cousin is her second best friend. Disturbing that her friends list does not include her friends at school. When I suggested that she moves to Dahlia's school she was adamant not to and said she likes this school.

How? I'm just over-reacting right. She seems happy enough, should just leave her alone.

Sophia on the other hand, has friends. But today pun she reported she went alone.

Maybe it's normal?

It's not easy being in school eh.

HOTL*NK

Yesterday we had our first hand experience with gasp! Prepaid.

A bit embarrassing actually..we went to the booth and said we want H*Tl*nk and that is purely because we hear their adverts on the radio every blinking morning on the way to work and other packages just did not cross our mind, really. Also it helps that M said it was the "best" prepaid out of all prepaids, and that an informal study had been done by a blogger.

Anyway there we were at the booth, and you know, it was me and hubby, both of us, I would say not uneducated lah, but totally BIUL with this prepaid thing. The sales girls and the man at the booth terlopong sebab we asked soo many questions- how does this work, how long does this last, what does "top up" mean, what happens to our "credits", what is your name and where do you live , heh heh heh. I guess they were not used to so many questions, either that or their normal clientele are young kids who know this stuff inside and out. I did hear some exasperated sighs from them. One of them actually sniggered at us.

So now I am a proud owner of a prepaid card. Paid RM20 for RM10 worth of airtime- that's another thing..why not RM20 for RM20? Came home and smsed people (today actually as I forgot to use it yesterday) and guess what?After all the smses- my balance is- RM4! Wah so fast ah?

..I think Ma*xis is going to LIKE me....what do you think heh heh heh.

Shotlike sounds from Next Door

Hubby is on the line with the local cops. It's 2 am, and we just heard 6 loud shot-like sounds. At least we think it was shot-like sounds. Hubby is asking the cops to come and check what the sounds are. He is telling them that it may come from next door's house. A cop's son lives next door. Or it could come from houses higher up the street. I did check the back and front (timidly from the windows) and heard and saw nothing.
Oh dear...is this going to have what they call, "repercussions"?? Are we snitching on our neighbours? should we mind our own business? What if it were innocent sounds (but so LOUD?) - if it was shots in a criminal setting wouldn't there be er..screams? (been watching too many tvshows)? I confess that I did say "never mindlah" to him and I was worried that our neighbours may get annoyed if they find out it was us! What a WUSS I am! Of course he should call! And who cares if the neighbours know. Whoever made the sound it is damn inconsiderate considering its 2 in the morning. Still....maybe should just kept quiet, sure it was nothing..?
What would you do????

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Types of Blog [Blabber Blabber]

I have been given PONSTAN - local GP said to go check the cholesterol levels etc. Maybe migraine at this stage? Or the eyesight getting poorer? (Still think its the cavity). Ponstan takes so long to work doesn't it. Was still rubbing neck to ease the pain 30 mins ago. Asked hubby to help picit but he is snoring away. He did try though.While asleep . With one hand.

Got a letter from hubby's old school , inviting us to go over for a reunion this June. Nice idea except its in UPP*INGHAM, ENGL*AND. Giler punye mahal lah nak pergi. Hubby said never mind we can try to go. Eh ye ke ni.. It'll be nice if we can , and jalan jalan sikit...maybe bring kiddies.. But makan maggie lah kot. He's really excited to meet his friends - they still keep in touch to this day. When I first went out with him he started to take me around to meet his friends, after awhile it did feel like he was asking for approval ..there was his Oxb*idge group, his Upp*ingham group of friends, his Kol*ek mates, etc etc. The most nervewrecking was his Oxb*idge group - cause they were girls! (Fussier) And "happening" girls too! I'm sure they thought "he's going out with HER?" (er..some inferiority issues) Sigh..those were the days. We still keep in touch with them.

Anyway was going to blabber today about the types of Malaysian blogs that I came across last nite - wah impressive Malaysians out there who can really write. Mak Andeh and Brood, and one "ayah" - they write about their kids...going through the same thing, more or less, although I don't see me and Nadine ever talking about a Playstation, heeehee. Their posts are in Malay and are thoughtful and poignant and makes me feel like I'm wasting cyberspace by putting inane-ness online. Hey, its my inane-ness though heheheh. Then there is the Malay Male who I really hope is really a demure and good boy in real life and uses his blog to express his inner self because mate, if you are real, I am scared. Heeh hee..No lah he is really rather funny but er..as I said, ye ke reflective of our Malay Males? Brutal lah sikit. Then, there are genuinely funny blokes who write about their observation of life such as Wong Ah Beng. Ada yang serious commenters on government and politics (Hanturaya is one) - A Kadir Jasin another one- makes you think.

Someone we know commented that the blogging world and the people who read blogs are generally like minded so if you rant and rave about stuff on say, the new malaysian etc, it would be like preaching to the converted . True I guess..but not so much with the preaching nowadays as the internet police do keep a tab on the blogs!

If I were to use this blog to rant and rave I would go on and on about how we need more parks in this town..and how every little green lung in this city should NOT be turned into more office buildings, and how frustrating it is to live in Ampang area because instead of using up the factory land etc over across the river, the authorities insist on allowing the hills to be ravaged in the name of development. But since this blog is family friendly, such rants will be kept to a minimum. Oh yeah ! Another blog I like to visit is Afdlin Shaukhi's...bersahaja je dia...

I tell you ..if one day Blogger crashes, there will be a lot of work wasted and a lot of memories lost....

Ok nite nite...

Monday, January 15, 2007

MC TODAY

It must be the trip to IKEA with the world and his wife last nite, or could it be the rain ? Anyway since last nite I had this thumping headache that just would not go away. Suspect its the cavity that I have been living with since the last 2 years- amazing how I can tolerate delivery pains five times over but be an amazing coward with dentists? I thought that sleep would do it but this one is a stubborn one! I am squinting as we speak.

Johan of course refuses to go to school the minute he knows I am at home. On the work front a mini disaster of course occured necessitating the boss calling home. I have been emailing frantically since 3.

Heard from contact from old place that they are looking for corporate lawyers and therefore would I like to come back? Er...tempting . I do miss the corporate work. I do miss the people and the partners, and I did not leave because I had a mega fight with anyone although towards the end there were people fighting heehee. I thought it over and discussed with hubby...and decided that I am better off where I am now. I know it is not an instantly recognisable name but I have made friends here and they are nice enough. The working style is different a bit but at least the work is manageable.

Plus! Who can resist being next to Starhill? heeheehee....!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Are we Broody? Heck Noooo!!





We were at my brother's place last Saturday and took some pictures with the newborn nephew : YUSUF ELHAN. Boy he has grown! Look at those cheeks !! Loyot semacam je!! Gerraammmmmm..(and the mom is so tiny)


He loves to be held and would sleep ages if held. If put down kejap, akan bangun. And he drinks a lot. And he manages to get changed the time we were tehre.


"Five is enough"?


Hmm...I saw a couple of old baby toys that the kids put aside to give away and in the end I told them to keep them as you never know when a baby may come over and need to play with the toys, kan? kan? Kan?


:-)


Johan's school





Jojo is pretty much settled in his school, so most likely we will leave him there. However will still go and see Kak Liza's school. Anyway these are a few pictures of Johan getting ready and going to school.


Another Hectic Saturday

The kids went to KEPONG Park this morning. Apparently they had a load of fun. They did not take their mom who, having stayed up the nite before trying to get free tickets to fly, snoozed on well into the morning. Got up to find house very quiet and everyone gone. Sigh.. this is what happens when your husband is also superfather. He took everyone jogging and to play at the park. When they came home they told me how much fun they had and how Sophia got stuck on top of the "spider web" and had to be rescued down heh heh. I want to comee....!

We need to do this everyweekend (although next time I am coming along don't fear) - need to get outdoors more and less on the computer.

Today seems a bit of a mummy indulge herself day.Aside from sleeping in, I went for a bit of singing with some friends over lunch and had a good time.


Kids had fun at the race track - RM3 for 3 minutes per car. We spent RM12- good fun though.

Then we had to rush off to a birthday party - which turned out to be a kenduri almost there were that many people over. Met a lot of husband's old friends although from how much I nattered on and on you would think they were my friends. I just manage to find most people's career and life very interesting and I am not faking it! There was this youngish guy who was my hubby's 2 year junior at college and he was an ESQ trainer. He had brought his Indonesian couterpart along with him . I interviewed him about the programme and this was what I gather- that this programme is about gettin you to use up your "spiritual" as well as your intellectual and emotional quotient in life - they hold workshops over 3 days (not cheap though as it is RM1000 plus) although it is cheap if you consider that once you attend one training presentation you get any other presentation or training for free for life.

The amazing thing about this guy is that he is a father of SEVEN!!!! Age 10 to 2 months! And he looks so young! And he is my age!!! Wow. He later reveals that his wife writes dramas for telly. This was such a remarkable thing to say as just the day before I was discussing with husband what we all really love to do and I said be a kain loving, tv /magazine producer ! I have some ideas /concepts which I have seen in other neighbouring countries but yet to arrive here- for all you know its being planned as we speak eh. But I kept mum about my own angan angan and just asked about his wife and her working hours (she works from home - now that's a plus!)- she writes famous dramas ok.

Hubby is supportive no matter what I do (I think if I tell him I want to open a roti canai shop pun he would be gungho about it) and guess what ?? He had already told this fella that MY WIFE WANTS TO WRITE SCRIPTS! I over heard this fella giving my husband tips to give to me and I was horrified and I said - heeh hee and here I was trying to play it cool, hoNEY. hee hee.

Of course, everyone I know think I am fickle...hee hee. I have been writing (rubbish) since 17 though so why not write for telly eh?? Hee hee. Nantilah I jadi tai tai I can indulge.

Party ended around 7..after which home..planning to go for coffee with another couple of good friends but hubby was called out ..last minute take over from someone.

Entahlah rasa macam tak buat apa sangat but hectic. why ah must be the age....

My Mumbai Blog has moved!

See www.mumbaiwedding.blogspot.com or click on the link next to this. I have actually amended the posting and added more pictures (and made it bigger) ..I really really hope that N and family does not mind...I have asked them if ok and I have tried not to make it so obvious who is who..although you know I am horrible at that. I did want to share how much fun it was and how nice they were to us though. I think the world need a lot of love and less aggression and would get along much much better if everyone could only realise that we are all essentially the same!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Stuff memories are made of..

Kids are so hyper these days. School must agree with them Or else its time for me to prepare to send them to art and drama school . Today they were playacting that they are an Indian Family. Don't ask me why or how it got started, I only realised when I looked up from dinner and saw Sara in my pashmina telling Johan in a fake Indian accent to go do something (Johan was her "son"). Nadine corrected Sara's accent as she remembers it from her trip to India. Interesting that she chose to say "Eat some more, yaa" when she was doing it. She must have remembered N's mom telling us to eat ! :-)

Pic is of them playing at Auntie Rokiah and Uncle F's house over the raya haji.


Hubby told me that while I was up praying they were pretending to ride on a bus. They sat on my backless couch in a row with Nadine at the front with the hulahoop as the wheel. He told me this just now and I said, I want them all together with me and with each other for as long as possible that's why I am not too keen on the boarding school idea. He agreed with me! Yay!

I don't suppose Nadine will want to join in the fun soon, teenage years approaching and all. We now have to prepare to look for teen undergarment (!) . At the moment though she is having as much fun as the rest.

At the moment also, mummy's word is law. Just now they were sitting on the trampolene just 6 inches from the telly and I said sit further away - as they did not move I asked Nadine to pull the trampolene further to the back. Nadine relished being able to boss her sisters about and said "Mummy's orders!" when they started to moan..! Hee hee. I love this time! Soon enough they will think that their parents know nothing etc. I hope we all get along and stay close forever. You can have money and you can have material wealth but lets hope we can also have the family closeness and bonding.

Anyways they slept early today- nagged them effectively. Nadine is my classmonito, who will repeat what I say, as in : " Go have a BATH, Dahlia! Mummy said!"

Dahlia fell in school today. Although the plaster looks small, she must have been in enough pain to warrant the teacher telling her that she need not have any homework and she could go to sleep. I will peek under the plaster soon.

Johan sang to us just now. "I'm a little teapot" and "You are my sunshine"- Dahlia wanted to sing too as these are songs from her old kindie (and Johan's new one). Plans to send to the other one with Ib and Umar ? We will go and see tomorrow or Sunday but now thinking maybe should just leave him there as he appears to have settled. He told me that he has a friend who "also speaks English". I have to remember to "melayunise" him in terms of speaking BM.

(Pic is of the kids with Ustaz- dahlia not in picture as she merajuk and was sulking upstairs )The Ustaz is no longer teaching them..his luck changed for the better and we are all glad for him. Kids will miss him though. He has invited all of us to stay at his village in Kedah sometime in June. Are you sure your village can cope heh heh heh! Good luck Ustaz.

Need to go off to sleep soon. Besok meeting 3 ppl from new office who have left the firm for a round of singing. Hubby planning to go watch CICAKMAN with the kids. Without ME???
BTW B and N, it was great catching up with you- 2 hours not enough. Pity CoffeeB*n kicked us out. hee hee. You look good.


See you soon.

Air Auta?

Have been trying since the day before this airline announced to the hoipolloi of the availability of 1 mill seats FREE - nooooooooooooo seats on the days that I want. Which, on the first day, was any random weekend. That nite I stayed up with hubby to figure out how we can go to Bali as a family but did not get anything on the free side. Mind you this is not the airline's fault 100% as

1. Hubby refused to take the kids on a school day ie must be school hols or weekend
2. Hubby has exams and talks etc in the meantime and some weekends he is on call

Since we are not that flexible I am not that surprised that we did not get anything really.
But! My single friends report that they have been having a hard time too. Some said that if they are lucky enough to get the free, then, they could not proceed to book. Some traffic congestion or something. We were talking about it at the office just now and really, 1 mill is not that many really once you take into account that the offers online is available to everyone from Macau to HK to Indonesia (and they alone have how many billion people!!)

On the other hand, I have heard of some lucky people who managed to get 7 tickets to Bandung or somewhere as nice as that. I guess it's also luck. Although hubby was ranting at how insincere this offer is and why do they bother etc etc..

So I have stopped checking and stopped hoping. Anyway maybe its better if we all go by the other, national airline. Atleast you get food and the experience of flying which the kids will love.

Still...it would have been nice if we can get those free tickets, eh?

Update:
Slept at 6 am this morning. Went through the Air Auta's website and discovered that I could take 7 of us to Palembang for free or to Medan for free. But what is in Palembang? I could also go to Kuala Terengganu very cheaply. There is a flight to Surabaya that is for RM99 and I thought maybe the maid could go onto but she said that the baggage allowance is not that much so she'd rather take other airlines.
S

Friday, January 12, 2007

Welcome Home Auntie Yot and Uncle Wahid

My mom's sister came home from the Haj the day before yesterday. We thought it'd be nice to visit her a day after , when the dust has settled down so to speak. So off we went with 4 kids to her place. Nadine opted to stay home to finish her gazillion homework. Dahlia promised that is she comes she'd sleep in the car so that she won't be sleepy for school.

Auntie Yot and Uncle were not in their house, we found out. They are camping for a while at my grandmother's place, to whom Auntie Yot is a rock. We were all worried how Opah was going to react to Auntie Yot's 45 day absence. Auntie Yot talks a lot and nags a lot but has a heart of gold.

Auntie Yot was out (buying us satay it turned out) but when she returned she shared with us the tales from Mekah. She said she was amazed and thankful to God that, as noisy and as critical as she was normally, during the times she was there she managed to keep schtum ! Boy, that was a real blessing I tell you- it's scary to be in the Holy Land as you hear so many stories about how this person or that person made a comment about something and he/she would get an instant retribution or response from God. Ie, some one would say how many flies there are in that place and soon enough he'd get a face full of flies. Eeee....And they say your true nature will be shown there so if really you are a petty person, everyone would know that you are petty.
Auntie Yot said that for her, she had a lot of encouters with elderly ladies. She had had to help a lot of old people.This was amazing seing as how she is very close to Opah. She recounted tales of having to help an old lady who did not speak a word of English and who was searching for aplace to take wudhu and was left by her son in the mosque - and for a while she thought the lady was Opah. And she said not once did she felt the need to visit gold shops - which she loves to do over here. I jokingly said thats not just due to your prayers auntie, that's due to Uncle's! Har har har. Another thing is that she did not get her "best friend" (ok ok period) for the entire time, despite not taking any medication to prevent it. Allah swt is the greatest. Auntie Yot looks happy, less stressed and is a calmer person altogether.

In which case I need to go NOW! Haji Mumbai dah buat , heh heh heh..time to go to the Holy land...but its compulsory for those who can afford it and that means no debt (save for house and car debts) and sadly I have not reached that stage yet hee hee - but maybe we can start going to the courses (hubby said just read first) and register with the appropriate authorities.

Time to do the Haj is really when you are strong. I don't know, really I feel a bit apprehensive thinking about the whole thing, I am not THAT pious to begin with. I feel I have a lot of flaws. And I never shut up. And this and that and this and a thousand reasons why I am apprehensive. And there are 20000000 ppl there - however a lot of people tell me:

1. Its not that hot
2. its not that crowded
3. they want to go again.

So we should really give it a shot, eh.

Winter Sonata sure is different at 49 years old!

Believe it or not I am rewatching Winter Sonata.. ee geram betul I dengan si Yujin tu lah... she really was a wutz wasn't she? and...