Saturday, December 25, 2010

Season's Greetings

Our Christmas tree this year

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Borrowing the words of my primary school days idols,  Donny and Marie Osmond: May tomorrow (and everyday) be a perfect day, may you find love and laughter along the way, may God keep you in His tender care.....

Happy New Year 2011 and very soon, Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit!

ACE

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Story

This is very cute and original.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Speechless

I know of a boy who is probably 19 or 20 years old. He is a medical student. From what I can tell, his parents are successful career people whom I believe pampered their son (only son and younger of two children) too much. He is the main tenant of my apartment. For the past 15 months of living in my apartment, I don't see him showing any responsibility for himself let alone his fellow housemates. 

I gave him a brand new mattress (queen-sized one for the queen-sized bed he requested) but he complained to his mum who then informed me that her son is complaining of backache from sleeping on the mattress, and she requested me to provide a better mattress. Sheesh....

There's a leak in the ceiling and a broken toilet flush in the common bathroom (which his housemates share while he has one to himself since he occupies the master bedroom) but he did not report to me or get it fixed, although I was told the others had reminded and requested him numerous times to contact me. I found out months later from another boy when I visited the place, and only after that, this spoilt kid's mother informs me about it, saying her son had told her about the problem, obviously asking mummy dearest to solve it for him. So she requested me to get it fixed quickly for the other boys, who have been 'inconveniencing' her son by borrowing his bathroom.

The fridge I supplied them is an old but functioning one which requires defrosting regularly. Despite instructions and reminders, it's not defrosted so one day the ice got so thick in the freezer compartment that the door was stuck shut....

Today, I find out from another boy who lives there that the washing machine I provided them has broken down. Last week I had tried contacting this main tenant pampered kid but he did not reply my SMS or answer my call. For a particular reason, I wanted to find out if he had coordinated application of some new security passes the building management is implementing soon, since he and his housemates would need the passes to enter the apartment block. I find out today that he hasn't done so. Is he taking it for granted that his mummy or I will do it?

Why I'm venting here is because I question what his parents have done or not done to produce a child like this, who has no notion of what he needs to do for himself and others. It's basic living skills for goodness sake! It sure looks like he's been pampered and spoonfed all his life.

His parents are Malaysians but work in Singapore. He got his education in Singapore. They've had a maid (or maids?) all their lives. His parents sent him first to Australia for medical studies but due to some technicalities, brought him back to Malaysia to a private medical college in KL,  and were the ones who checked out my apartment to rent for him. They bought him a brand new car (with a single-digit plate number!) although college is five minutes' walk away, and at our first meeting, his mum voiced her concern if her son knew how to take care of himself. She told me she might have to bring her maid from Singapore to KL to help him clean the apartment....gosh...

One day about six months ago, the immediate neighbour of the apartment called me complaining that someone was keeping a puppy caged up all day and left out in the sunny balcony without food and water. And the condition of the cage was anything but hygienic for the dog. And the dog was yelping all day, out of distress for sure. So I called the boy and he admits he's the one who adopted the dog from a pet adoption service. Great, adopt or so call 'rescue' a  puppy only to torture it while you attend medical school all day long. What kind of professional adult do think he'll turn out to be -- one that probably knows how to diagnose, treat and prescribe (I hope at least), and earn tons of money so that he'll continue to live a life of comfort and luxury, paying maids, drivers, secretaries and personal assistants to do even the simplest things for him simply because he can afford it and does not  know how to do anything other than eat, sleep, and enjoy life!

Since pets, especially dogs, are not allowed in apartment living, I told him to fix the situation but he lingered and I got another call from the neighbour. After that episode, he left the balcony still in some awful state and ventured into 'caring' for a pet rabbit which eventually died (hmm, what was the cause of death?)

I call his mother and she expressed surprise and agreed that he's not capable of taking care of anything else other than himself (yeah, right) but adds that he 'reaally' loves dogs....ooo, loving and understanding mummy...

Aaargh! I blame his parents for how this boy has turned out. I'm not to judge other parents on their parenting skills but I just wonder .......I shall reserve my other comments and feelings....Sigh....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Exotic

This is yet another one about Caitlin and her cheekiness.

I was driving, she was seated at the back. We were both silent listening to the car radio and probably our own thoughts as well.

She says: I think I smell a fart. (She usually is the first one to point it out in such a manner if she were the culprit, thinking that it would throw suspicion off her)

I hadn't smelt anything (yet) so I said: Really? It's not me.

C: It's not me. (of course, she was lying)

Me (smelling it now ): Yuks, it's sooo smelly...

C: No, it's exotic.

Me: What?!

C: It's like an exotic perfume, a nice exotic perfume...

I almost cracked up. What an adjective to use......

Despite us having taught her to say 'excuse me' in such instances, she only does it when she passes wind audibly and sometimes when she can't escape being obvious during silent ones...tsk, tsk, tsk!

Nobody

South Korean girls popgroup Wonder Girls have been making some waves globally. One of their most popular hits is 'Nobody', a very lively and catchy song. Caitlin learnt of this song when her drum teacher played it for her to drum along.

It's funny how some songs stick in your mind and they just pop up at rather appropriate moments at times. I've had many such experiences when I had said or thought of something and a song related to it just surfaced. And it's been some time since I last encountered other people who share this 'phenomena' until yesterday when I had a casual conversation with C.

Me: Why don't you like (a person)?
C: I just don't like (that's her usual answer when she's not interested to give reasons or details)
Me: Then who do you like?
C: Nobody...nobody...and she broke into the Wonder Girls' chorus "Nobody, nobody, but you..."

I found it quite amusing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We're back


We have returned from a rollercoaster trip to Hong Kong! It was truly 'rollercoaster' in more ways than one with some ups and downs - we rode the rollercoaster at Disneyland, we had loads of fun (C had the most fun since the main features of the holiday were Disneyland and Ocean Park), C got exhausted and slept almost the entire day after Disneyland and couldn't keep much food down. We wondered if it was a delayed effect of the rollercoaster ride since she insisted on riding the Space Mountain rollercoaster a second time!

I declined the second ride after emerging from the first one with a slight headache so E went with her. I didn't want to risk getting sick or dizzy and not enjoying the rest of the day. I didn't remember feeling that 'old' when I rode it the very first time in Disneyland Anaheim 10 years ago. Oh well, I guess I'm really older now since that was 10 years ago. Even altitude drops when the aircraft is descending to land gives me headaches what more rollercoasters....

Last Thursday, we arrived home at KLIA to face delayed baggage claim, rainy outdoors and rather disorganised taxi system compared to great weather, orderly transportation system and smooth check in/out at the HK International Airport during arrival and departure.

We spent two whole days at Disneyland and Ocean Park but had to sacrifice our free half-day city tour (harbour, peak, fishing village and jewellery factory) which came with our flight-accommodation package. One day was spent transferring from the Disney hotel to another in Kowloon while dragging a groggy, slightly sick kid along, afterwhich she continued to sleep in the Kowloon hotel for the entire evening.

We had wished to extend our stay for another day but the available return flight was limited to only one in the early morning, making it not worthy of another night's hotel cost and little extra time for the other things we had wanted to do.

The next day after returning we made a day trip back to my parents' place to pick up Rusty boy. Since we didn't have the opportunity to eat any nice HK food, I satisfied my cravings with the famous Seremban beef noodle at Yee Kee, and later some down-to-earth yet tasty Chinese food in a restaurant in Rahang for dinner.

Saturday saw us combing the crowded mall in search of suitable Christmas presents for family. The highlight of Sunday was dinner at a newfound place in USJ Subang. Roasted pork knuckle with black pepper Mongolian-styled sauce and steamed 'loong dan' fish were the features. They served tempting 'sauna prawns' too. This dish is one with fresh (live?) prawns thrown into a pot with hot rocks and Carlsberg beer poured over them and covered for a while, and went the lid is lifted, an aromatic beer-tinged cloud of steam is released, permeating the restaurant. Other diners had ordered that dish but we didn't -- next opportunity when we have more seafood lovers eating with us perhaps.

Monday was back to work for E while I tried to get C to practise her piano for her lesson that evening. Tuesday (yesterday) was a public hol so we did some more Christmas shopping but still couldn't complete it (sigh...).

Today, E is at work while C and I are unproductively lazing about at home - me with the computer and C with books and tv. I'm wondering if the heavy rain and thunderstorm right now will delay E's return from work. We plan to put up the Christmas tree after dinner tonight.

Caitlin is attending a fun workshop tomorrow entitled Jurassic Adventure that includes 'fossil' artwork, learning about dinosaurs, making a diorama, games and camping overnight in the compound of a kindergarten where the activity is held. They'll be involved in setting up tents, campfire, cooking and setting up tables outdoors.

Before bedtime, they'll have story telling, treasure hunt, singing and toasting marshmallows. The next morning they'll have some exercise, discover 'fossils', make popcorn and end with a movie. All these are on paper and I hope the weather will hold up for them.

And this weekend, I guess we'll do more shopping and I just hope we'll complete it. I don't like shopping, especially in crowded malls and not knowing exactly what to buy due to several factors such as suitability for the recipient, availability, choices or the lack of it and budget...

That pretty much sums up how ACE spent last week and this.

Here are some of the 450 shots I took with my camera over the four days in HK. These are the ones of Disneyland.