Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mari mari, try my Tandoori!

So cooking isn't exactly my forte. I can make a decent meal if i really, truly have to and, you'd be surprised to know, I actually enjoy being in the kitchen. The cleaning up bit kinda sucks though. On Saturday I was offered a chance to 'brush up' my cooking skills at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort. And not just ANY cooking class mind you - i was about to discover the world of Indian fare at the award-winning Naan Restaurant.

We started off with an introduction to India's many spices. And BOY OH BOY do they have spices. I kinda lost track after spice number 623.

They mispelled my name not once but twice (see last photo for evidence).

Super Chef Rajju of the day who hails all the way from India, briefing us on cooking do's and don'ts. "This is a knife. Please do not be putting your fingers between board and blade."

Getting down to basics. I was given the task of dicing up tomatoes for the day.
Chef: Just cut here, and cut here. You think you can do that?
Me: *there goes my French manicure*

Azlinah, bless her soul, stood beside me throughout the process, making sure my fingers stayed intact.
Me: Slice, slice, slice...Hey I'm getting the hang of this!
Azlinah: *this is going to take forever*

Hooray, Mel can dice up tomatoes! The world is alright again!

One of the reporters, Joe, taking a whiff of the delicious chicken which has just popped out of the tandoor (the huge coal-burning cooking thingy). Ok Joe, step away from the chicken...
The best part: Chowing down! The chicken tikka was my favourite. We made several dishes, including chappati from scratch. Impressive eh?
Indian cooking is no walk in the park. One dish uses at least 6 spices, half of which I could not pronounce. There was also loads of oil, butter (mmm), yogurt and cream. Not for the cholesterol-conscious, I can safely say. But the explosion of flavours and the heavenly aroma are out of this world. Do you know what torture is? Standing in the kitchen, sniffing away the delicious scents and realising we have another three dishes to go before we get to eat ANY of it. Sigh. Just to let you guys know, the cooking class is an ongoing thing organised by the resort and anyone can join. It's RM120.00 per head and includes the three-hour cooking class, lunch and a certificate.
So did Fridaycat have a good time going Indian?

I think so.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mel's Marvellous Massage

It's been a while since I last went to a spa to do a review. Last Friday, while everyone was slaving away at the office, I was 'slaving' away at Jari Jari. I'm very fussy when it comes to massages and I made it VERY clear to my masseuse, Wendy, what I wanted. It was going to be a traditional massage (seeing that Jari Jari specialises in traditional Sabahan massages - nothing like it in the world!). For the record, Jari Jari (located in Tanjung Aru Plaza) recently won an award for Best Traditional Massage in the whole ofMalaysia, awarded by the Ministry of Tourism. Quite an honour (Sabah boleh, heh heh). Anyway back to my massage. I told Wendy that it had to light pressure (i'm a wimp) and to be verrry careful around my hip area ( i had a bad massage experience when it comes to my hips) . She was very patient and understanding and nodded politely to my mad-woman ranting. She was probably thinking, "Maybe she'll be less anal after the massage..."

So here's a shot of the spa. It's a cozy place, dimly-lit, Balinese music in the background and the scent of lemongrass in the air. Sublime.

First, you get treated to a foot bath (so princess-y!) and a foot scrub. My feet were so damn smooth after that. Didn't last long though, heh. Check out my French-manicured toes, compliments of Puei's wedding.
Wendy, my masseuse. You don't want to mess with HER. I never thought i'd say this about another woman but she has great hands...

My treatment room. I actually fell asleep 25 minutes into the massage. It was painful in the beginning, when she was getting rid of the 'wind'. You could actually hear your body 'popping' and eventually, it stops and feels utterly fantastic. My hip area is the worst. I don't know why it hurts like hell everytime I get massaged there but Wendy said its the consequence of taking late night showers. Hmm, I'll remember that...

So here are the basic essentials: The sarong to keep you from flashing the masseuse, disposable undies (punya kicil...) and the shower cap.
Undies unravelled! Not exactly the sexiest piece of lingerie but it does the job. One size fits all, haha!

There you have it. I didn't take an 'after' photo of the massage - I was too dazed! Needless to say, I had the best sleep that night. For the weak and weary, get a massage. It'll do wonders.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday's tag.

Can't post photos (I realise I usually have this problem in the office)...So gonna to do this meme, compliments of Jac.

# Are your parents married or divorced?
Married. 39 years and still getting along fine.

# Are you a vegetarian?
I'm a meat and potatoes kinda girl...

# Do you believe in Heaven?
Everytime I take a bit of Benito's chocolate muffin...

# Have you ever come close to dying?
Maybe but I don't think too much about it.

# What jewellery do you wear 24/7?
A white gold chain and heart-shaped pendant - A gift from my parents when I graduated from uni.

# Favourite time of day?
Right before sunset. It's not too hot and perfect to go outdoors.

# Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Er, yes.

# Do you wear makeup?
Soalan bonus ka ni? Yes.

# Ever have plastic surgery?

# Do you colour your hair?
No, I'm born with natural blonde highlights...U think?

# What do you wear to bed?
Depends how warm it gets. i like to lounge in cotton pajamas or just sleep in a big t-shirt.

# Have you ever done anything illegal?
Yes, heh heh.

# Can you roll your tongue?
Yes. But i can't whistle (extra trivia)

# Do you tweeze your eyebrows?
I get it done professionally every couple of weeks (when i'm not lazy la). Tweezers are for touch-ups.

# What kind of sneakers?
Nikes. Perfect for long walks and doing serious shopping.

# Do you believe in Abortions?
I believe in free choice. But it's an option I'd rather not resort to.

# What is your Hair color?
Ash brown with highlights. For now.

# Future child’s name?
I am SO not giving away my secret baby names...

# Do you snore?
I wouldn't know but sometimes when i'm utterly exhausted, I think i do.

# If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
any picture perfect beach paradise in the Caribbean without a care in the world and with my Cubby in tow. Oh, and Ireland :)

# Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Used to but over the past year, I've finally started giving my stuffed toys away. Time to let go of so many things.

# If you won the lottery, what would you do first?
Clear all my outstanding loans (so boring, i know). Well, if it's like a gazillion dollars, I'd quit my job and just go travelling to my heart's content.

# Gold or silver?

# Hamburger or hot dog?
Hamburgers. No, hot dogs. Wait...hamburgers.

# If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What kind of NIGHTMARE question is this?!?!?

# City, beach or country?
Beach, for sure.

# What was the last thing you touched?
a tissue paper.

# Where did you eat last?
Last night, at the Japanese restaurant in Centre Point with Sellie.

# When’s the last time you cried?
Sunday afternoon. Weekends make me miss Haw even more.

# Do you read blogs?

# Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
T-shirts and jeans are pretty safe for both genders dontcha think?

# Ever been involved with the police?
Yes. I was a reporter before and when I was based with the crime division, I had to spend 2 hours at the police station EVERY freakin' day.

# What’s your favourite shampoo conditioner and soap?
I dunno...I'm polygamous when it comes to toiletries! But i do love the smell of Johnson & Johnson's body wash. Reminds me of babies.

# Do you talk in your sleep?
Pretty sure that's a 'no'.

# Ocean or pool?
To swim in? Pool.

# Window seat or aisle?
Aisle - easy access. I hate waking people up when I need to use the loo.

# Ever met anyone famous?
Yep. Most memorable would be Ian Wright, the Globetrekking dude. Also Gloria Estefan when I was 13, heh heh.

# Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
I'll let you know in another 30 years.

# Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
Twirl like a girl!

# Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?

# Basketball or Football?
Football. Arsenal is the way to go.

# How long do your showers last?
bout 15-20 minutes.

# Automatic or do you drive a stick?
Manual. Keeps me awake.

# Cake or ice cream?
Not too fond of either UNLESS its cheesecake or chocolate ice cream.

# Are you self-conscious?
I can be.

# Have you ever drank so much you threw up?
For detailed accounts, please refer to unfortunate witnesses.

# Have you ever given money to a beggar?

# Have you been in love?
Yes. And then he crushed my heart over and over. And then, I got my act together and found
the courage to take risk all over again. It's been worth it.

# Where do you wish you were?
With Haw.

# Are you wearing socks?
with my heels? i think not.

# Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

# Can you tango?
Haven't tried.

# Last gift you received?
I bought myself shoes...Does that count?

# Last sport you played?
Probably futsal.

# Things you spend a lot of money on?
I've spent a bomb to ensure Haw and I are just a click/phonecall away. It's worth every penny. Oh, and my skin care.

# Where do you live?
KK, good 'ol Sabah.

# Where were you born?
See above

# Last wedding attended?
Puei and Bala's.

# Most hated food(s)?
I don't like veggie, esp the leafy greens.I don't eat duck. Clams.

# What’s your least fav.?
Sila rujuk perkara di atas.

# Can u sing?
I can carry a decent tune but i would never claim I could sing. Maybe when I'm drunk la.

# Last person you instant messaged?

# Last place you went on holiday?
Holiday...hmm. Manila, Feb 2006.

# Favourite regular drink?
Iced lemon tea. Coke.

# Tag 3 friends:

# Current Song?
You by Rascal Flatts (duh)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My one true north.

Every now and then, a song pops into my head/radio and it conjures up thoughts of my Haw. When there are days I'm feeling completely lost, I know I have him right there with me - and everything's good again.

You - by Rascal Flatts
Every road that I've been down
The only truth that I have found
There's only one thing I can't live without

I was searching for something
I thought I would never find
Losing my mind
In and out of bad love,
I thought I was born to lose
Then came you
I thought I knew what the real thing was
But nothing shakes me like your love does
I've been hypnotized

Now I realize
Every time I get lost in a temperamental mood
You still stay cool
Just when I think that this life's about to drive me insane
You take the reins
Every time I feel I'm drifting off course
You're my compass, you're my one true north
In a mixed up world
You make sense to me

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hello and goodbye

A good friend and my ex-boss, Collyn, is leaving good 'ol KK for Beijing (she's just left, to be exact). Her husband is a golf pro who's been offered a contract there and although we'll miss her lots, greener pastures are too good to resist! Photos from our farewell lunch last week at Toscani's (where else?).

With cheeky Thomas. This is the happiest baby I've ever met!

And surprise surprise, look who dropped by unexpectedly? An old friend from my uni days, Dinesh. He was in town for only a day but he's promised to swing by again, this time with Mrs. Dinesh. He's one of those friends who can make me laugh till my sides ache and is a dying breed of decent males out there - as Murphy's law would have it, he is very much taken, heh heh. Wei, you better come back as promised.


In other updates, I haven't been feeling well. A lovely dose of headaches topped with a sprinkle of nausea. I had a few sips of my noodle soup during lunch and could feel it rising, so i stopped. True enough when I got to the office, I got cozy with the sink. Blergh. I left the office and collapsed into bed for three hours. Tomorrow will be a better day. I hope.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pu and Bala's Great Big Adventure

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Puei, tied the knot last Saturday. It was a flurry of excitement, combined with jitters and loads of laughs. It's been a while since all six of us got together and what better occassion than a wedding. Photos as promised! Calvin - the official photographer - took loads of gorgeous shots but we'll have to wait till those are ready. In the meantime, through the lens of Fridaycat we go...

The bride's shoes. So pretty kan?

Pu bought her seven bridesmaids the same material and we could design it as we please. This was mine.
Dresses galore at the bride's residence.

Pretty maids all in a row, haha! Carol, Mia, Yolanda, Selina and yours truly.

In church (duh). Flanked by the bride's sisters, Meriel and Pu Nie.

"It's done. Let's drink and be merry!" - Pu and her groom, Balamugilan.
Back at the suite - Bala realises that his bride comes with a whole set of wacky girlfriends. Uh oh.

The beautiful bride and Sel yang sangat santik

The Pussycat Dolls gone bridal.

Bollywood moment with Mia.

The dinner reception was held at Pacific Sutera. And as fate would have it, the three Melissa's are sitting in a row. Mel Nicholas, Mel Cham, Mel Leong.

Met so many long-lost links. Francis and I were classmates back in primary school and the last time I saw him was about 10 years ago.

Well, there you have it. Love you loads, Pu. We wish nothing but happiness and more happiness for you and Bala.

Bala, take good of our Puei. Or else. heh heh.

PS: Mia caught the bouquet. Heh. I'm just itching for another wedding.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Back to school.

I've been spending the last two days at Cosmopoint, a local college, to attend a 3-day course on Photoshop. There are three of us in a class and I must sayI've been enjoying it. It's a nice change from the office routine and it brings back memories of my college days. Definitely better times. The last-minute assignment rush, the 1am mamak stall visits, the anticipation of coming home for the holidays...

But broke as hell lah.

Life is more 'grown-up' these days but I think the best part (if i had to think of one) about being an 'adult' is having my own money. Instead of asking from my parents for moolah, it's nice to be giving them a little something now and then. The problem is, as we start to make money, we begin the trend of 'It's-never-enough'. The person bringing home RM1K is envious of the person who makes RM2k, who then wants to make at least RM3k but even then, wishes his/her payroll was around RM4k. Can't win, i tell ya.


Two more days to the wedding! No, not mine la. My dress is ready (me likey it very much) and the rehearsal is tomorrow evening. This weekend is all about the bride and groom and I'm very honoured to be a part of it. OMG Pu,you're getting married. So big girl oredi...haha!

In other updates, my internet connection at home has been sucky. How sucky? Put it this way: Chatting with Haw via smoke signals would be faster. Fingers crossed. Macam ok sudah today. Alright peeps, I must go for now. My aunt and cousin from Sydney are arriving today. Time to play the 'grown up' niece!

"Sun is in the sky
Oh why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?"
- Lily Allen, with the very catchy LDN. And yes, the sun is FINALLY in the KK sky again!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Geram pt....Ok you get the point.

Hello semua. Pardon the font. And lack of photos. Blogger still being bodoh. So in the meantime...

It's Tuesday already. Half of January has flown by (yay!) and it's only going to get busier from here on (boo!). Apart from my monthly deadline, there are events (first up, Kudat for the Sunset Symphony at the Tip of Borneo in March) and places to visit for my articles. Time to get packing. Chinese New Year is around the corner and i STILL qualify for ang pows, heh heh. The Joy Luck Club can nag all they want about 'settling down' bla bla bla but hey, CNY is the one time you actually get paid for being unmarried! All hail the Chinese.

This week, I'm off to a 3-day course on how to use Photoshop. Finally can tamper my photos so i look 5 kilos lighter, haha. And on a more exciting note, one of my best friends is getting hitched this Saturday! I will be one of 8 bridesmaids. Will try to get photos up after this weekend (pending blogger's bitchiness ratio...). I've also been busy with some freelance work so it's taking up quite a bit of my evenings. Rome has indeed taken a backseat.

Apart from that, it's the usual daily grind for yours truly. Ok, more updates soon.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Geram, pt.2.

What the hell is wrong with blogger now? I can't post photos nor change the font of my text. Anyone else with this problem?

I'll be right back once i get this sorted.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Today I am geram.

Geram - exasperate(d), annoy(ed) greatly
*Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford Fajar Melayu-Inggeris (Third Edition)

First, three years of MP3s compiled by me and Haw have mysteriously been wiped off his old hard drive here in the office (they reformatted it and conveniently, only the MP3s were not backed up. grr.) Sigh. And now, I cannot find the photos (neatly compiled) for my monthly magazine for the year 2006 in the hard drive neither.

Someone's gonna get hurt real bad.

I'm just hoping that it's hidden somewhere, like inside a folder of a folder of a folder of a folder. I was so tempted to call Haw to ask him the exact location of the folder but it's like 3am in Toronto. Grumpy Cubby. Not a good idea.

Bad news: I have a headache coming on.
Good news: I go home in 9 minutes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Writer, right here.

Time check: 7:30 pm. Here I am, listening to Panic At The Disco on some online radio, finally sent out several articles to my proofreader and tidying up my office desk. It's dark outside. I really should get going. I meant to leave an hour ago but it's amazing how once you get going, you just keep going. And moments like these are rare for me. My muse finally decided to give me a hand and God bless her (yes, I'm pretty sure it's a 'her'), I got a lot of work done.

I don't know about you guys but for me, writing is all about being in the right state of mind, at the right time, right place. Sometimes the inspiration might hit me but I'll be in the middle of flossing so...wrong time. Or I could be seated in front of the pc, with the cursor blinking back at me, no interruptions but nothing hits me so...wrong state of mind.

But today. Ah today. Everything just fell into place. I'm alone and inspired. No phone calls, no faxes to deal with, no annoying demands...Bliss. Anyway, as i said, it's getting dark and I think i've finally drained myself dry. No more writing for tonight. Save this blog...

Rome, here I come.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I now pronounce you...legally divorced!

My mum pointed this out in the papers today:

“One in five UK couples on verge of break up: Polls”

Ah, more happy stories in the news. The more you read, the more incredulous it sounds. According to a recent poll (they always say that, don’t they?), sex, infidelity, abuse and falling out of love are the primary reasons for a divorce.

And in true male fashion, guess what the boys are saying about the biggest factor in a marriage breakdown? Lack of sex.


I find this a really disturbing trend. One in five? I bet 40 years ago, it was something like one in 50. And the reasons for a marital breakdown are getting pettier. “He doesn’t buy me flowers…”, “She doesn’t understand why I need a guy’s night out…”, “He’s so boring!”, “She’s put on so much weight.”

I’m not married myself but I do believe in the sanctity of marriage and during a time where marriages come and go as quickly as my ex-boyfriend (haha), I still have faith that these unions can last. My dad says that my generation gives up too easily. “Divorce is so easy these days,” he laments. I agree. We DO give up too easily. Nobody fights the good fight anymore. However, let me make it clear the one ground for divorce I do support is abuse – no qualms on this. But even then, I know of couples who have actually pulled through an abusive relationship through therapy and reconciliation. Hats off to them because truth be told, I probably couldn’t do it.

But back to the news report. One in four divorcees admitted they had doubts about the solidity of the coming union as they walked down the aisle. Let this be a lesson, ladies. Please don’t confuse the excited butterflies in your stomach with the sickening realization that you don’t really love that man standing at the altar.

And the poll also found some evidence of the notorious ‘seven-year itch’: The average length of time for people to realize whether their marriage works or not was seven years three months. Now, this scares me. Seven years to figure out ‘gee oh my, this isn’t working out’? Still, I have to admit, sometimes only time will tell. But nothing is going to work out without a little bit of effort from both parties. If at the end of the day I did my best and the shit still hit the fan…What more can I say?

Love is a gamble. Heck, LIFE is a gamble. Everyone has their fair share of chips. You choose your table, place your bets and cross your fingers. Sometimes you win, other times you watch someone sweep your life savings away. Then again, the higher the stakes, the bigger the win. And sometimes, it’s a chance you have to take.

"God bless you. You make me feel brand new."
-You Make Me Feel Brand New, Simply Red. Great song.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Building Rome in a day...or two.

Since Streamyx is moving at this pace:

I've had to resort to other things apart from blogging, downloading songs or surfing the net from random whatevers. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm back to my favourite Roman addiction: CAESAR III!

Ah yes, Empress Moo Moo is slowly building her empire. I'm currently ranked Quaestor (I think I've got four more levels before I finish). What can I say...I'm a sucker for building cities. But this one beats SimCity any day. Caesar (who else?) will instruct you to build cities at each level, each one with different requirements (higher peace rating, more citizens etc.) First, you choose what kind of gameplay interests you:

I'm wimpy so I always choose a relatively peaceful region but with more demands on other ratings ( a higher population count or more favours for Caesar). But as you go further into the game, 'relatively peaceful' is just a nice way of saying 'You don't get attacked as much'. So you still have to get your troops ready. But you really can't expect much if your Prima Legion is called The Rabbits. Seriously. I hate doing this bit. I get all panicky.
And while you're busy protecting your fellow citizens, don't forget to worship the Gods: Neptune (Sea), Venus (Love), Mercury (Commerce), Mars (War) and Ceres (Farming). Woe upon he who forgets to build a nice temple or throw a festival for EACH God every few months.

Ha. See? If you piss Neptune off, He'll give you a nasty storm and your fishing villages will suffer as will your trade routes that rely on the sea. Tsk tsk. But when you make 'em happy, Mars, for example, will crush your enemies the minute they arrive at the gates. Hurrah!

The game, needless to say,is really addictive. You just keep building and building, while making sure your people don't get sick or move to another city. And you get to build theatres, Colisseums, lion houses, warehouses, bath houses, schools, perfectures, olive farms, barracks etc. And make sure people pay their taxes. Oh, and keep sending Caesar gifts every 12 months. So much to do...So few hours in a day! Sigh. Maybe I'm a bit of a control freak: Finding simple pleasures in running and managing a city, with every man at my mercy, muahaha. Syok oh. And the best bit is, when something goes wrong...Restart! I know I'm addicted to something when I kill the last few moments before I drive off to work by turning on the PC and telling myself, "Just five more minutes..." In fact, I can't wait to get home to complete this level. After Rome...THE WORLD!

But can someone tell me why the Romans have a British accent?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Malam Di Muzium

The critics almost panned this movie and the average rating hovers around a 'C'. Ok, so it's not Stiller's best work (I can't decide between Zoolander and Starsky & Hutch) but I stand my ground when I say 'Night At The Museum' is one of the better movies I've seen in a long time.
The Village People hoped the new line-up would create a more diverse fan base

In all honesty, the movie poster alone was enough to get me curious: A security guard standing in a museum hallway and a T-Rex peering from above along with a bunch of other historical figures (Robin Williams was unmistakable though). I knew we were looking at something along the lines of 'Jumanji' and some fantasy brain candy - which is exactly what I wanted.
"I think your uniform is so much hotter than mine...And I don't even get a horse!"

So Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley - a sorta-loser who can't keep a job, divorced with a 10-year old son who just 'can't take another disappointment'. Enter job at the museum. Desperate Larry takes it and voila! The magic begins. Turns out the museum comes alive every night due to an ancient Egyptian curse found on a golden plate located within the museum grounds. Larry's job? To make sure everything's in order each night and nothing/no one gets out (sunlight turns them into dust apparently).
"My, how waxy your hands are..."

Sounds basic except it gets quite interesting when this involves entertaining a T-Rex that likes to play fetch and handling a bunch of miniature cowboys (headed by the excellent Owen Wilson who has a serious tiny-man self-esteem problem) and Roman soldiers who can't seem to get along. Oh and dodging Attila the Hun who keeps hunting Larry down so he can tear him limb from limb.

All in a day's work, eh?

The plot thickens (it had better. Digital animation can get you so far...) when the older night guards (Mickey Rooney, Dick Van Dyke and Bill Cobbs are pretty springy for their age) rob the museum. Or should I say attempt to. Yep, you guessed it, Larry to the rescue. With the help of his newfound museum pals, the last 20 minutes of the movie becomes a full-flung adventure. Fantastic animation and I love how the 'miniatures' get over-melodramatic. There's even an Armageddon-like scene at the end where Owen and Roman dude walk up the stairs in slow-mo.

"Ok children, stand back. The wax figures are about to come alive!" - Carla Gugino as the sexy and brainy museum guide person thingy.

All in all, the movie kept me fascinated the whole time and there were plenty of laughs. What can I say: Simple pleasures for a simple mind. I'm hardly in the mood for cry-me-a-river dramas or secret agent stories with 25 plots unravelled every 10 minutes. Give me Ben Stiller, a dose of Robin Williams, 2 inches of Owen Wilson (wait a minute...) and a bunch of historical characters come alive - I'm one happy cat.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Random Tuesday

I have not been able to blog into ANY website nor Yahoo IM for the last four days. Do you know what a nightmare it has been???

Thank God for Skype (it was the only one i could log into, strangely) - or else I'd have a ridiculous phone bill coming my way.

Ok, it's Random Tuesday - a day where i will blog whatever comes to mind. Tomorrow I go back to work. Mixed emotions on this one. On one hand, I dread meeting deadlines again. And i really dislike going to last-minute events or evening functions with a bunch of strangers where I have to smile all night, ask "How do you like Sabah?" five million times and pretend I 'really love' the predictable buffet spread. But on a brighter note, I feel well-rested, miss my workmates and am quite inspired to write again. And I bought a new pair of black heels perfect for the office.

They hung Saddam Hussein. Boo to mankind. He wasn't going to win the Noble Peace Prize but to murder a murderer doesn't make the rest of us any better. And what's with showing the sickening footage over and over on tv? Do i really want to see a dying man's last moments as they place the noose around his neck? We have a long way to go.

I worked on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day. The ministry had a party and we were the organisers. I was one of the masters of ceremony for the night and after a few glasses of Chardonnay, I must say everything went quite well (either the crowd was drunk or I was. Ah well). It was a pleasant way to welcome the New Year but i admit somehow i felt a bit lonely - no points for guessing why.

Moo moo and Blanket are sick. I had to take them to vet two days in a row and tomorrow is their last day for shots. They seem to have some blood parasite infection - doesn't sound pleasant does it? - but their fever's gone down and they're finally eating again. My poor babies.

Tonight I'm having dinner with Haw's parents and some of his sister's friends who are visiting from Melbourne. Gotta make sure the hemlines are down and necklines are up, heh heh. Mental note: no tasteless jokes on religion, politics and ethnicity. Wish me luck.

I spring cleaned my bedroom and car. A task that took a little over three hours. I have SO MANY magazines. Yet i cannot find the heart to throw them out. Especially my US, UK and Australia editions. I threw out a bunch of 'bad vibe' junk though - old photos, love letters, useless gifts from Christmas/birthdays past. A girl can only have so many stuffed toys.

I got a wonderful phone call from an old and dear friend who's back in Malaysia for the hols and is heading back to Europe (where he's been backpacking/working in over the last three years). He leads one of the most fascinating lives I know. More about him later :)

Ok, time to get ready for dinner with The Parents. Conveniently, my boyfriend isn't in town so I'll have to brave this on my own. Baby, if this ain't love, you can slap my ass and call me a monkey's uncle.