Friday, July 30, 2004

Tight Fit

According to, Baby Jesse (see, I'm using his name already) should be about 18 inches now. He should also be about 2.5 - 3 kgs now. As you can imagine, it's a tight fit in the womb right now.

So whenever the little guy moves, you can actually see the impression of a stray elbow or knee. And it's supposedly quite visible. Think Aliens. :)

Mae's been telling me about it but I haven't seen it for myself. "Oh, he just moved his arm," she'd tell me. "Where? Where?" I'd scramble for a closer look but everytime that I did he's stay very still, the little rascal! I even set up the camera to snap it should it happen again, but so far, no such luck. Trying to capture Baby's movements on camera is proving quite difficult. He's almost as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster!

After a week of trying, I'm so desperate that I'd even settle for a feel of his movements. So, I place my hand over Mae's belly and talk to the little guy. Oh, he'll give me a condescending little nudge or maybe a complimentary roll every now and then but no real big moves. But no big moves.

Then last night at about 2am, while I was drifting in and out of sleep, Mae suddenly woke me. "Honey, he's moving!" I jump out of bed.

She puts my hand on the exact spot just beneath her ribs and there it was. I could feel his little hand. Maaaaaan!!!! His tiny little hand was in my own hand. I cannot explain what a rush that was, but man, was it ever a rush! Fuuh....

Then again, that might have been his foot. Oh well...

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sembunyi Spa

hidden pleasures

I'll admit it, I'm not much of a spa goer. In fact, our little getaway last week is only the second time I've ever been to a spa. I guess I'm just not that much into pampering myself. Mae, on the other hand... :)

The nice gentleman at the front desk had asked us to book early cos "weekends are packed". Or so he said. Anyway, our massage appointment was at 2:00pm. We were encouraged to get there a half hour early to enjoy the rest of the spa facilities.

At 1:30pm, we hauled our lazy butts out of the room and got to Sembunyi (which is Malay for "hidden"). Although we had heard there was a section for couples, we were not offered that. But at that point we were practically bursting with anticipation, so we didn't really care. And so, beyond Sembunyi's reception desk, Mae and I went our separate ways.

A young lady leads me to the men's locker room and explains to me all I needed to know about the towels, the robe, the slippers and the shorts!

"You can change here."

"Right here?"
Okay, so I'm a prude. What can I say? :)

"Don't worry, this is a men's-only area," she smiled condescendingly. Then she left. After making really sure she had gone, I got down to business.

The whole place was empty. No one. I expected some company in the wet area, but nope. Not a soul. So there I was, with the entire spa to do as I pleased. I could try everything!! Muahahahah!!!

I got into the jacuzzi first. I think there's something about bubbling, warm water that's so enticing, I just couldn't resist. The wonderful terracotta-heavy decor helped me get into the mood. After awhile, I got out and went into the steam room. And then I got adventurous. "Heeyyyy, why don't I try out the cold dip," I thought as I made my way to this small pool of still water. Bad mistake. I got out as quickly as I got in. Any longer and I would have turned into a popsicle.

After a half hour of making an ass of myself, I changed into the dry clothes and made my way to the massage room.

I got to the room where this small Balinese woman awaited - with her oils and her fancy little cup of ginger tea. Feh! This petite little thing is gonna massage me? I wasn't expecting much. But boy, she made me eat my words.

At one point as she was rubbing my back, I was convinced I was never gonna make it out of the place alive. I gritted my teeth to hide my pain and stayed very still to retain what little composure of manliness I had left in me. She paused. "Sir, not strong enough? You want harder?" she asked innocently. "Oh God, no!" I whimpered.

After 45 minutes of a great Balinese massage, I came out of there very relaxed and very rejuvenated. I changed. Then I waited at the reception for Mae. I waited. And waited. They serve me another ginger drink.

I noted a signage above the reception counter. One of the rules spelt it out. "Not recommended for pregnant women". But they took Mae in anyways. Made her lie on her side and gave her a much needed massage.

Mae finally came out grinning from ear to ear. Something tells me we'll be back.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Two Years

Two years ago today, Mae married me. Her family had wondered when it would happen. My family, on the other hand, just wondered how it happened. :)

Even today, my family are baffled as to why she would agree to marry me. Damn traitors! Four years ago, when we first started going out, I brought Mae to our family gathering. After an exchange of pleasantries, my dad turned to Mae and asked, "Is there anything wrong with your eyes, girl?" Heh!

So, as far as my family is concerned, I pulled a fast one on Mae. Either that or she's nuts. I'm leaning towards nuts.

It's not easy to spend more than two days with a nutjob like me, let alone two years. Yet, Mae can. Which says a lot about her mental well-being. Imagine it, with two nuts in the house, and a little nut in the making, our home is almost an insane asylum.

Ours is a-laugh-a-minute household. We're always laughing and doing some crazy shit. Which probably explains why we never have many guests. :)

Happy 2nd Anniversary, honey. I love how you can always laugh at yourself. Don't ever change. :P

Monday, July 26, 2004

Eggs Benedict

egging to be eaten

Fuuh! What a weekend we had.

Cyberview Lodge was everything it promised to be. The room was comfortable. The place was beautiful. The spa was luxuriant. And all we did was bask in the wonders of it all. Just the kind of holiday for Mae and me. We just goofed off all day lazing around, almost festering in our wood-panelled room on our four-poster bed. Aaahhhh... I'd recommend it highly - for loafers, of course!

I'd also recommend the buffet breakfast here. It came complimentary with the room, of course. And it served pretty much the standard fare just like most good places in Malaysia. But it did have a little extra - Eggs Benedict.

Not a lot of establishments do this, at least not at a buffet anyway. For one, Eggs Benedict is quite a feat to make. Poaching the egg is always a pain. And halving the English muffin by hand is just as bad, if not worse. Also, the things takes a while to make. Nobody wants to see a line build up at the eggs counter! But here at Cyberview Lodge, we have Eggs Benedict. Yes, believe it!

It was a nice change from Omelette, Scrambled-Eggs, or Sunny Side Up's!

We had it for the two mornings we were there. Okay, I'm really just recommending the buffet breakfast here because the serve Eggs Benedict. Otherwise, it's just another breakfast. Hehhheh.

Anyway, having seen the chef in action, I think I can do this myself. Looks like pretty soon, James and Mae will be having Eggs Benedict for breakfast a lot!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Cyberjaya, Here We Come!

We're going away. Yaaay!!! Finally.

Even as I blog this, Mae is packing our bags. Tonight we leave for Cyberview Lodge, Cyberjaya. Okay, I know how silly this must sound to some of you, but we do need a vacation that isn't too far. Just in case Baby decides to show up. :)

On the way home from office, I suggested to Mae that we have our dinner there as well. But five minutes later, I get this sudden craving for Hainanese Chicken Rice - the one near the EPF in PJ.

"Honey, how 'bout we eat Chicken Rice?"

"WHAT??" Mae exclaims at the preposterousness of my request. I guess it's understandable. We did have Chicken Rice for lunch. And we had Chicken Rice earlier in the week. And then there was that same EPF Chicken Rice last week. Hehh!

"No! We're eating in Cyberjaya, and that's that". She didn't bop me on the head this time but I'm sure she meant to.

Goes to show that you can take a boy out of Hainan, but you can't ever take the Hainan out of a Hainanese boy. Well, at least not the part about the Chicken Rice.

But still, I'm grinning like a Cheshire Cat. We're going to Cyberjaya! Yaay!

Missing In Action

Yesterday was our weekly appointment with the Gynaecologist. Yup, it's become a weekly affair now that Baby is just 36 days away! The appointment was anytime from 3pm to 4pm. But instead of being at the Gynae's with Mae, I was in the other part of town sitting in a customer's office.

I deal with some of the most painful clients. And LankyHank was one such pain.

LankyHank is one of those young, bloodthirsty execs who, out of sheer determination (and probably some ass-kissing) had made his way to a job with a corporate giant here in Malaysia. But since he's at the bottom of the food chain in his company, he has no one on whom to exert his authority. No one, except us poor vendors.

So there I was with my colleague Brownie at his office at 2:15pm meeting up with him and his boss. Boss is done with his brief in less than 20 minutes. Brownie and I were expecting to make a quick getaway, but that was not to be. LankyHank drags our sorry asses into an empty cubicle and proceeds to explain in great detail Boss' brief which we had just hear from the horse's mouth a short while ago. It was something he could have done over the phone in all of 15 minutes. But no, this made him feel important.

At 3:30pm we were still there.

I call Mae. "Sorry honey, you'll have to go alone". It tore me apart. Due to my flexible working hours, I had not missed a single Gynae appointment with Mae. But thanks to LankyHank, I would miss my first one. I was seething, under my glossy veneer of calm and charm. *ahem*

Brownie and I got out of there by 4pm. Mae was already in the examination room. Alone. I was still halfway across town.

Depressed, I dragged Brownie off to the Best (click second best for context) Paanmein on the Planet. It would help ease my pain.

Meanwhile, LankyHank is probably tormenting another vendor somewhere. He needs it. It reaffirms his existence.

And the Paanmein wasn't all that tasty.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Nicole Kidman

Today, as Mae drove me to work, we heard an interesting comment over the radio. The DJ reported that Nicole Kidman feels most "at home" in New York. She went on to add that Nicole would feel at home in KL too, in the homes of Malaysian men. Ehhehheh!!!

So I asked Mae, "What if Nicole Kidman came up to you and said, 'Mae, can I stay in your house?'"


"Why not?" I said as I stepped out into the thin ice.

"Because my stupid husband will have an affair with her". Hahahhahhaha!!!

Women feel threatened by Nicole Kidman. Nobody cares if Penelope Cruz came over to stay. But not Nicole.

Tom Cruise is such a dumbass.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Name

Mae and I have been racking our brains to find a good name for Baby. We had been toying with a few names. Aidan, Little Fiery One; Dylan, From The Sea; Julian, Youthful and finally, Obadiah. Hahahh! Okay, I was kidding about that last one! Still, we were never completely happy with these.

Then one night it came to me; Jesse. Like an epiphany.

I fell in love with it immediately. But Mae was worried, "It sounds girly". She was right. Like all good names, Jesse (actually Jessie) had been adopted by girls. When once Jesse used to be a masculine name, these days the lines are blurred with the little Jessicas calling themselves Jessie.So while many did like the name, just as many thought we were crazy.

But it's such a wonderful name. It was the name of King David's father, according to the bible. It was the name of the coolest outlaw ever, Jesse James (ahem)! So we scoured the internet to find the meaning of Jesse.

"Wealth". One website proclaimed. But here was the one that convinced me. "The Gift of God". Wow! It was almost like a name bestowed upon Baby, by God Himself. The mere thought of it overwhelmed me.

You see, Baby's entry into our lives has been the most wonderful event ever. Despite the fact that Baby is still in the making, he has enriched us in so many ways. And yes, we truly believe that Baby in indeed a gift of God. He is, to us, a testimony of God's goodness.

Jesse is a modern version of the Hebrew name, Yishai. In yet another baby names website, Jesse is said to mean "God exists".

Jesse. God exists. Indeed He does.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Cost of Parenthood

Having a baby is an expensive proposition. Before this I never imagined how much money it would cost to have a baby.

First, there's the consultation fee. We pay RM 65 per visit. By the time Baby arrives, we would have had 15 of these, bringing the total amount to RM 975. Add to that the cost of medication, supplements and milk, I'd say we've spent approximately RM 1,500. And this is before Baby is even born!!

When it's time for Baby to actually get here, we'll be spending quite a bit more. Friends tell us to prepare approximately RM 3,500 for a natural birth. Is this cheap or expensive?

Still, other friends tell me that we can actually have a baby for all of RM 12 at a public hospital. But daddies are not allowed in the delivery room.

Let's not forget the stuff Baby needs. Diapers, clothes, bed and bedding, stroller, playpen, toiletries, etc. So far, I think we've spent approximately RM 3,500, if not more. Add to that the stuff that Mae has to eat to regain her "health" (we're Chinese - we have all sorts of pesky beliefs) and we're expected to spend another RM 1,000 or so.

That's almost RM 10,000! *ack* Is everyone spending this much??

RM 10,000 is a lot of money. But thankfully, so far it's been worth every cent.

Note: I think I'll start keeping an account of the whole affair. One day when Baby grow up and decides to pain in the butt, we'll show him the bills. Hehheheh!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Almost A Eulogy

Your life is, to others, the memory you leave behind. The effect that you have on others is the only truthful measure of your existence. I met Anuar 12 years ago. He was one of those charismatic ones who would leave in indelible mark in the people he met.

He went to design school with my brother. Thanks to his boyish charms, his wicked sense of humour, and his constant presence in our home he soon became part of our family. And when he had a family of his own, we accepted them too, as family.

I went to work for him fresh out of college. At that time, he had a thriving little business and a bubbly little girl. Through months of blood, sweat and tears, a payoff would come in just one short year. He was approached and offered a partnership in the struggling business of cash-rich entrepreneur. Life took a turn for the better for Anuar and he took me along for the ride.

But fame and fortune is not without its snare. With his newfound status and salary, he would epitomise the image of a rich, young playboy - an image he eagerly embraced. And then it happened. An affair. It was inevitable, for one such as Anuar, and circumstances at home did not help.

His life would go downhill from here.

He tries to pull a fast one on his business partner to support the two household he was now keeping. When he was discovered, he disappears, leaving me to face the music of his misappropriation. But fortunately for me, I was not implicated in any way. But for him, his family fell apart as did his finances.

My family helped patch things up for Anuar and his family. And they helped him back up on his feet again. And for awhile, things were okay once again. But 3 years and 3 kids later, he would go back to his wily ways.

And then one day, he would go to work and never return. No explanation. No goodbyes. And as he started life with his new family, his old one would be left to fend for themselves. And he would continue to disappoint his family and friends with his lies and deceit.

That was seven years ago.

Last week, his brother called up at his former family. Anuar was dying, they were told. It would be the last they would ever see him, they were told. But they didn't want to have anything to do with him. This must be one of those sneaky maneouvres he was so fond of pulling. Seven years of hurt was far too painful to buy into his little tricks now. His family didn't believe him.

Last Thursday, Anwar passed on. At 12 in the afternoon, at the age of 38 he left for good without ever reconciling with his family. And he left, with a lot less friends than when he started off.

But death is never easy to accept. Despite his shortcomings, and despite his failing, I can't help but feel a deep sorrow in his passing. Perhaps it was that he wasted his life on his excesses. Perhaps it was that he never learnt to appreciate his family until it was too late. Perhaps I feel for his kids who never got to say goodbye.

Anuar is gone now. Hopefully, all the hurt and pain he left behind would go with him as well. Hopefully, in the end, people might remember him for his boyish charms and his wicked sense of humour. Hopefully, one day, we will all remember him for how he used to make us laugh. And perhaps we will remember too that once upon a time, Anuar was a good friend.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Standby For Launch

Today as Mae paid a visit to our good friend Helena (not her real name, duh!). As she stepped into the house, Helena's sister Hermia noted Mae's shape. "Your baby has engaged," she remarked.

If you've never heard the term, it mean's Baby has positioned himself for exit. Basically, this means the little guy is now upside down. In other words, he's at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off. Baby is at the launchpad, waiting to take off. He's about to be born soon!!! Whoa!!!

Hermia has had some experience. "You shouldn't be moving around," she advised. "It could be anytime now."

I'm gonna be a Daddy so soon. 42 days, according to the countdown clock I have on the right hand of this page. That's just a little over a month.

Fuuh! This is all very surreal.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Baby Dreams

I've been dreaming about Baby lately. I've been having so many dreams about Baby, it's weird. Mae's been having dreams of Baby too. Must be all that anticipation. :)

Last night I dreamt of the little guy again. He had these huge, round, beautiful brown eyes. I cradled him in my right arm, my forearm supporting his body and his head resting on my upper arm. I was feeding him. I popped the bottle in his mouth and he drank happily staring back at me playfully, his eyes almost smiling at me.

But somehow, the feeding seemed to go on and on. I was thinking to myself, "Oh boy, this is taking really long!" As my mind drifted away (as we sanguine-types are wont to do), I began looking around for anything interesting. Then Baby began making these gurgling noises. As I looked upon his face I realised that I had let go of the bottle and it had slipped off and had fallen onto the floor.

That's when I thought to myself, "Dammit, I should have held him in a football hold." It was one of those cradling methods we learnt in those Pre-Natal classes.

I then picked up the bottle from the floor. After looking around to make sure no one was watching, I popped the bottle back into Baby's mouth. I popped the dirty, germ-infested bottle back into Baby's mouth! Hahhahah!!! Oh boy!

That was so funny. It's even more funny since it seems like something I'm liable to do. Hahhahha!

Poor kid. I hope I don't actually do that.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


We're contemplating on a little renovation. Basically, we're considering putting in a built-in wardrobe in the guest room of our house. This will eventually become Baby's room.

Our problem is that we bought an overly small home. On top of that, we were too poor to afford proper furniture so we left all the other rooms bare. We do have one of those El-Cheapo Gigantico wardrobe that we bought from Ikea for RM 599 when we first moved in. Then Mae's wonderful auntie and uncle gave us a nice bedroom set and so we moved El-Cheapo into the guest room. But because of the akward design of our house, it doesn't quite fit anywhere without getting in the way. And due to hopeless furniture-relocation skills, El-Cheapo looks like it might collapse. So the only solution we could find was to have a built-in done.

A built-in would be perfect. It would fit quite nicely, maximising the space in the room. It would look neat. And we wouldn't run the risk of having El-Cheapo the behemoth fall over and turn Baby Noodle into Baby Fettucini. Heh!

We got a quote today. Built-in plus some grilles for our apartment would set us back RM 5,000. My eyes jumped out of its sockets and rolled around on the floor before I regained composure. Wow! RM 5,000! What kind of honest working stiff can afford RM 5,000 on a whim? Okay. I'm sure some of you can, but I can't. At 5,000 buckeroos, I'll have to decide if I want the wardrobe or if I want Baby delivered in a proper hospital.

Mae and I decided we'll get the wardrobe. And I now have 45 days to learn how to deliver Baby. Hahhahha!

Nah. Looks like we'll be keeping El-Cheapo for a while longer. *sigh*

Monday, July 12, 2004

Cord Blood

Mae and I have been considering Cord Blood Banking for Baby. I can imagine how yuppie we must sound right now, but going along with a fad is the last thing on our minds.

Basically, cord blood or stem cell blood is the blood that is collected from a baby's umbilical cord on the day he's born. This is stored in a medical facility for future use, supposedly for treating the child in the event that the kid develops cancer, leukemia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes and a lot of other medical afflictions. I suppose you might consider cord blood banking as a sort of insurance policy for Baby.

Here's the problem - it's expensive. RM 2,500 pays for the kit that collects the blood. Subsequently, there's a small annual storage and maintenance fee or RM 250. The other problem is, we have only one chance to collect this blood - during Baby's birth. So there's not a lot of time to think. *ack*

But still, we might go for it. We'll just have to tighten our belts a little and eat only bread for the rest of the year. :(

Currently there are two companies doing this in Malaysia. There's CryoCord and StemLife which are basically offering the same package. We'll need to decide between the two.

CryoCord has a cool name. Anything with the word "cryo" or "cryogenics" is cool. But it has a really sucky logo. StemLife, on the other hand has a really kick-ass logo which is important to me.

I know I sound really superficial but as far as I am concerned, any company with a well designed logo, website and literature is a company who saw it fit to go the extra mile. An organisation with a conviction to its customer. Besides, a company with a professionally designed logo is a company who hired people like me. So if I support such an organisation, I am essentially supporting the graphic design and/or advertising fraternity. I'm watching out for the brethren of communications. *ahem*

But dammit, StemLife got Alex Yoong to be their poster boy. It's so cheesy. *sigh* Decisions, decisions... whaddya think, folks?

Saturday, July 10, 2004


poster girl for Pepsi

Today was our movie day at the House of Joy orphanage. We got there just before 9:00am armed with a DVD player, a projector, cartons of canned drinks and chocolates.

The kids "ooh-ed" and "aah-ed" at Spiderman's antics and it was great. They were enjoying the treat. But nothing prepared me for what happened next.

Most of the kids enjoyed the movie but I would never have guess which scene drew the most response from this crowd. It was the scene when they all sat down for thanksgiving - Peter, Mary Jane, Harry and Norman Osborn and then Aunt May brought out the turkey. All the kids melted at the sight of that turkey. Never mind the amazing special effects. Never mind the choreographed fights. It was a turkey that drew the most response.

It broke my heart.

Sometimes I forget how bad these kids have it. To be without their parents. To never have a mother's love or a father's guidance. And to never have the luxuries that some of us take for granted. Like a turkey meal. Or a box of chocolate. Or even a Pepsi.

Some of the kids didn't even open their drink can. Instead they saved it to savour it on their own time.

A Pepsi is never gonna taste the same to me ever again.

Thursday, July 8, 2004


doc ock's webshooter?

What in the world is Doc Octopus doing with a webshooter? He's got the bloody cybernetic arms, for crying out loud! Not web. What's the world coming to? Yes, you read right. Doc Ock webshooters! This is the travesty that greeted me when I popped open my box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The box was promising enough. "FREE INSIDE," it read. "Web Shooter," it read.

We were at Tesco. I was so ecstatic I couldn't contain myself. Finally, my childhood dreams of owning Spidey's webshooter would be realised. "It's for Baby," I told Mae. "Every kid should have a Spiderman webshooter."

Mae doesn't buy it. Doesn't matter. It's gonna be okay.

"Baby will love this," I declared loudly at the cashier, making sure everyone would hear. Maybe then they won't think I'm a freak. Or worse, a pedophile. I rubbed my hands in glee as we made our way out of the place with our spoils. I was finally gonna have my very own webshooter. But a Doc Ock webshooter? After all that effort? Damn Kellogg's cheated me!!! They took my childhood dream and crushed it like a... erm... spider under their feet. There is no justice in this world.

Mae said I could buy another box. But I don't think I can live with the disappointment should I get yet another Doc Ock webshooter. *sigh* KFC's got a neat webshooter with their kiddie's meal. But that would be too embarrassing.

Meanwhile, Baby's got a new toy waiting for him when he gets out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

End Of The World

Thursdays is Guy's Night Out. Some people call it Animal's Night Out, and for good reasons. It's the day of the week that I leave Mae at home to embark on a night of drunkenness and debauchery with the boys. Muahhahhahah!!!

Okay. It's a lot less sordid than I make it sound. In fact, it's pretty sanitised. Just a dinner, usually a large one, and drinks after. Of course, admittedly, Thursdays also come with a generous amount of testosterone-laden fantasies of picking up chicks, or having chicks pick us up. But it never happens. We are, after all faithfully married. *ahem* Besides, we're just too chicken to pick up chicks - and this is even before we got married. On top of that, I suspect we're not exactly pick-up material. Heh!

Last Thursday, I was feeling kind of lazy and I almost cancelled. Then my buddy Cokehead set me straight, "You better savour the moment. This will be the last few weeks you join us for a very long time!"

As that piece of info hit slowly home, strains of REM play in my head. "It's the end of the world as we know it..."

For the next half year, Thursday nights, like every other night will be unconditionally dedicated to Baby. All the action I'm gonna get will be confined to feeding, burping and cleaning shit. Mae's gonna kill me if I even consider going out. And if I even dare to sneak out, heck, who knows what kind of propaganda she'll be feeding Baby. Hmph. Looks like I'm gonna be homebound for awhile.

It's the end of the world as I know it. And yet, as one world ends, a great new one begins.

I can't wait.

Monday, July 5, 2004

Who Watches The Fatmen?

Over the weekend I received a call on my mobile phone. It was a telemarketer. I get quite a bit of these, every now and then selling the standard stuff - insurance, time-share vacations, credit cards, etc. But this call was different.

It was a call from a fitness chain. A lady on the other end of the line wen't straight to the point, "Hello Mr. Tan. We hear you're a fat bastard and we think it's best you join our gym." Okay. So she didn't actually say that, but she might as well have.

"How did you get my number?" I enquired. "Your friend just joined our gym recently and he put your name down in the referral list." What a steaming pile of bullshit. I probed further, "Which friend?" She hadn't expected that. "Erm... ahh... well... it was a Mr. Ang."

I don't know any Mr Ang.

What's going on here? Is there suddenly a list of all the fat guys in town? Are we being monitored? Or is someone just calling us up for kicks? "Hey, let's call another fatty today!"

Anyway, I have been invited for a full day workout at a gym in KL, free, of course. I haven't actually decided to attend just yet. But I have been meaning to enrol myself at a gym nearby. I may be fat, but I'm certainly not disillusioned - I am in dire need of a healthier lifestyle. I know it and my body certainly knows it. Hehheh. Meanwhile, I'm still wondering where they got my number.

This is the end of privacy as we know it. Yes folks, Big Brother is watching. And he's watching all us Big Fat Brothers. (Gina, this better not be your doing!!! Heh!)

Rubber Ducky

do you feel ducky, punk?

Today, Mae and I walked into Safe n' Sound in 1 Utama and we spotted this cute little fella sitting there on the shelf just waiting to go home with us. Baby would enjoy this, I'm sure. And if he doesn't, mommy and daddy surely will. We're easily amused these days. :)

Quacky here reminds me of my childhood. It's a long story, but a good one so bear with me.

We were poor folks. In fact, we were so poor that we couldn't afford to keep pets. It also didn't help that my dragon-lady of a grandma didn't like animals. There was just no talking to her. She hated cats. She hated dogs. In fact she hated just about any animal you couldn't eat. And so we didn't have pets around the house.

For entertainment, I used to follow mom to the wet market. (Did I mention we were poor?) Anyway, in one of our trips to the market, I caught sight of the poultry seller. We had always bought something from him. A chicken. Some eggs. But that day was different. He had this huge box of little ducklings for sale. And in that box, I found my first love.

Mom saw her little boy staring longingly into that box and she knew immediately.

"You want one, huh?" and I nodded sheepishly. "A duck's not really a pet, son," mom warned me against having any affections towards poultry. But it was too late, I had fallen. And deep. I promised mom that I just wanted to keep him for awhile, until it was time.

We went home with a little duckling that day, and I was the happiest little boy on the planet.

Ducky (I wasn't all that imaginative as a kid, ok) and I had some of the best times in our lives. I chased him round the yard. I played ball with him. Heh! And on weekends, mom would let me fill up a hug basin with water and we'd put Ducky in. And Ducky loved that. He took to it like... erm... duck to water! :) But all this while, mom tried to me in perspective with regards to Ducky's future.

And then, some months down the road the inevitable happened.

Ducky had grown into a tall and handsome duck. And as he did, I saw the shadow of death looming over his horizon. I tried to talk mom out of it, but I knew I had this coming. And mom's words kept playing back in my 7-year old mind, "A duck's not really a pet, son." I was heart-broken, but I accepted it.

Apparently, Ducky was good till the very end. But I wouldn't have any of it - literally. I sulked for days and I swore then that I would never eat duck for as long as I lived. And till this day, I still don't.

Alright, alright, so I do. But grudgingly! Hahhahhah!! Truth is, I don't really like duck. It's the damn smell. But if it's crispy and crunchy, I'll do it. If not for my love of food, then for the memory of Ducky. Hehhehheh!!!

Anyway, after a week of sulking, mom took pity on her broken-hearted little boy and bought him a couple of tortoises. We were still poor but they were cheap. And so, I was a happy little boy all over again. That is, until my tortoises met with an untimely and tragic demise. But that's another post altogether. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2004

I'm Turning Japanese

an appetising appetiser

Mae and I love Japanese food. Actually Mae and I love just about any kind of food. We're gluttons. But these days, Mae blames it on Baby. "Baby wants Japanese."

Last week we decided to check out this place near our office. Umai-Ya is a new joint here in Damansara Perdana. Located on the ground floor of Perdana the Place, Umai-Ya is a small but fairly swanky restaurant.

Mae orders a boring Teppanyaki Chicken. It's a thing she does. It's like this mysterious gift she has. If anyone can pick out the worst item or the most boring dish in a menu, Mae can!

I order the Fusion Set. Served in a Bento Box (btw, is 'Bento the meal or the box?), my dinner is a compendium of the best of Japanese cuisine. I have a fried rice in there. A few pieces of sushi, a skewer of grilled fish, some fried chicken bits, some choice rolls, octopus and the highlight of the evening, a great tuna sashimi.

Sashimi, is sashimi, is sashimi. It's raw fish, for crying out loud. But here at Umai-Ya the tuna is presented in cubes and garnished with slices of Lady's Fingers (or Okra). First, let it be known that I hate the stuff, but in this dish (actually it was served in a cocktail glass), the normally horrid veggie lent a delightful texture to a typical tuna sashimi. The slime of the Okra made for very messy, yet very interesting eating.

As I relished in the wonder of this amazing little dish, music filled my soul. It was that Vapors classic, "I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so..." Hehhehh! What can I say, I grew up in the 80s!!

At times I felt like one of those silly judges in Iron Chef, gushing over another masterpiece by Iron Chef Roksaburo Michiba. It's a little pricey though - our meal came close to RM 100, but I think it's money well spent. Aaaahhhh...

Oops, there's that song again... "I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so..."

Friday, July 2, 2004

Stand By Your Wife

My colleagues are going on a company trip to Phuket for some sun, sea and sand. I, on the other hand will be going to Kuala Selangor. Or Tapah. *sigh*

While I'd like very much to be going to Phuket, I'd have to give this trip a miss. With Baby's fast-approaching arrival, I just don't feel comfortable being away from Mae. My wonderful colleagues suggested I bring Mae along, but I think at this stage, no airline will fly her anywhere. But I asked her anyway.

"The guys suggested that you came along"

"You know I can't," she said, almost wistfully, "But you can go if you want."

I recognise it immediately. It's the classic trap-the-weasel-of-a-husband manoeuvre. A lesser man would have walked right into it. But not I. *ahem*

"No, honey," I said in my typical, melodramatic, over-the-top fashion, "My place is right here, by your side."

She's a sneaky one. Thank God I'm sneakier.

But erm... joking aside, my place IS right here by her side. *ahem*

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Dismal Daddy

I realised today how ill-prepared I am for fatherhood.

I'm not a big fan of sports. I think F1 is boring, unless someone crashes. I never watch WWF. And I don't like football. Heh! I don't even like virtual games. I never got into the Playstation thing. I also don't have too much of a thing for cars either. So, no, I am not determined to own a Beemer someday! I'm just not your typical male, fatherhood-type guy.

And oh, did I mention I also don't like football?

I know this is sacrilegeous to many of you out there, but I just never got into the game. I might watch a little when the World Cup comes around, but generally, I'm not a fan. I don't know the rules too well and I don't know the players. Back when I used to watch football, Pele was the guy to watch. And Platini. Socrates. Lineker. Grobbelar (I not even sure if I spelt it right). Back when I watched football, the guys wore tight jerseys and short shorts. Hehhehh!!! These day, I'm clueless. Heck, Mae knows more football that I do.

"Daddy, daddy, what's an offside trap?"

"Erm... ask your mother, son."