This is what I'll be doing in the next ten days starting today.
Taufik will be bringing his laptop coz he's going to work, but I doubt I'd have time to use it.
So you guys take care of yourselves while I'm away.. :)
p/s I can't believe that towards the end, the thing I'm most worried about is having to forfeit my scrabble game!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This is what I'll be doing in the next ten days starting today.
Concocted by elisataufik at 8:50 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I tried out the D40 at the kids' sport day on Sunday (Anis') and Monday (Ihsan and Ilham's). Just set the dial to the running man and shot away.
The results were .. bleagghhhh.
Most were blurr.
Original pictures on my flickr
p/s Auntie rozie, do you recognize Izani's yellow shirt? He finally could fit into it! (after almost one year)
Concocted by elisataufik at 3:08 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I forgot to tell you what happened last weekend.
Thursday is usually the day we do major house cleaning. Taufik and kids would help me vacuum the carpets and mop the floors and wash 2 of the 3 bathrooms (I wash the 3rd), while I would clean the whole kitchen.
I would usually 'close the kitchen' and would only make breakfast and we'd go out for lunch (but I'd still make dinner).
So last Thursday was no exception. After breakfast of sausages and scrambled eggs and toast, we started cleaning the house.
It wasn't long after we started that I got a call from Kak Nora from r1yadh. I met Kak nora when we went to the Edge of The World last year. I knew her husband, Arimi, from when he was working with M0torola. She said she's in d4mmam. Of course I asked her to come over. She said she wasn't sure where we were and I gave her Taufik's number so that her husband can talk to my husband about directions. I asked her if she's coming for lunch and she said "datang singgah aje" (we're just going to drop by).
In Malay terms, there is no such thing as 'just dropping by'. There has to be at least tea and some finger food.
So while scrubbing the stove I had to wreck my brain for what to cook. Looking at the ingredients that I had (we were planning to go grocery shopping after lunch), I had decided to make a pandan sponge cake and fried meehoon (rice vermicelli). I didn't even prepare lunch for us coz I was thinking we could go out after they left to have our lunch. Furthermore, there was nothing to prepare lunch with.
I had put the pandan cake in the oven and soaked one packet of meehoon when Taufik came to tell me that they'd arrive in one or two hours (they wanted to drive around and sightsee first) and get this: there were 4 cars!
4 cars = at least 8 adults and if these were families, there'd be at least 8 children too! My pandan cake and a packet of meehoon won't feed an army of 16! *panic*
So we decided we'd go out for a quick lunch and buy more stuff to serve our guests. It took me almost an hour to finish up cleaning from the time we decided to go out , so by the time we were on our way, we got a call from our guests telling us that they were on their way to our house.
oh horrors of all horrors! how embarassing! We had to ask them if they could come an hour later instead, dengan sungguh tak malu nya.
So we had the quickest lunch we could at the only restaurant here that is equivalent to a banana leaf rice restaurant (Lollies, where we ate puri for breakfast the other day), and I scooted to the nearby indian food store and bought some banana chips and nuts. On our way back we got a call that our guests are already waiting near the entrance to our compound.
We arrived at the entrance to see 5 cars all lined up in a row, waiting for us. It was a good thing though, because then they could just follow us in without having to go through security interrogation.
In just a short time from their arrival, my house was literally filled up to the brim.
The husbands occupied my small living room, the wives and babies (there were 3 cute fat babies!) in my equally small dining room, and the kids were spread throughout the house, including the play area, the TV room upstairs and my kids' room where the computer is.
I boiled 3 pots of water for tea, brought out all of my teacups, used all of my jugs and serving plates.
I didnt fry any meehoon coz they said they were still full from their lunch. Even then, my pandan cake was swiped clean and Ita, one of the r1yadh ladies, even brought in her banana cake to top it up.
I didn't get to take any pictures, Nonah, because I was too busy serving drinks and food and chatting chatting chatting. The house was filled with sounds of laughter and chatting (and exchanging of recipes) and occassional shrieking of little girls playing. It was the most havoc and the most festivity that my house has ever experienced! As we teranung folks like to say, "Kalu dok gegae, dok soh!" (something like, It's no fun if it's not noisy!)
I am really thankful for their visit. It was a lot of fun!
Kak Nora, Yan, Ita, Ramey and Nor, if you're reading this, Jangan serik datang lagi, ya?
Concocted by elisataufik at 9:43 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Following the trend of blogging about your current music obsession,
yeah, I'm predictable.
but he's so dreaaammmyyyyyyyyyy!!!
p/s i just realized that I wont be able to catch the top 20 next week coz my flight is on wednesday and I dont know if I Cairo airs American Idol. I also wont be able to catch the top 16!!
I dont know if I'll have internet access (or even access to the computer).
(oh wait, taufik is bringing his computer, so there's hope for me yet).
But thank god there's rickey.org. and TWOP.
Concocted by elisataufik at 8:29 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
aiyoh so sorry.
Thursday is a weekend over here and weekends are usually busy for me. I only managed to watch the repeat of the show and even then I missed the first 2 girls.
So this will be really short:
I thought Alaina's version of Love You More was a better one compared to Chikezie's but I found she shouted too much.
Amanda Overmier is so awesome. I never knew anyone who could use 'even-keeled' in a sentence. I loved he quick comeback to Simon's comments too. But I thought the lead guitar overshadowed her singing at certain moments.
Amy Davis sounded a little pitchy and whiny.
I preferred David Cook's version of Happy Together than Brooke White's.
Alexandrea sounds and look professional and so did Ramiel Malubay, though ramiel was a little theatrical. She's so cute though what's with the hair??
Kady Malloy has a good voice but she looked kinda crossed eyed most of the time.
And I love love loved Asiah Epperson's voice even though she's kinda gedik at times. I thought Shayesha mercado tends to over-shout her singing, and Carly ... like Michael Johns.. is waaaay too professional to be amateur.
Who I think will be out:
based on what I managed to see, Amy Davis and Kady Malloy.
we'll see !
Concocted by elisataufik at 11:53 AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Here we go again...
I thought that after 6 years of watching this show, the contestants would know by now that to win, you have to shine and show that you're special. You have to wow and just vocal acrobatics wont cut it. And song choice is SO very very important.
David Hernandez sang Midnight Hour, and I thought that though he has a good voice, I found his performence uninspiring.
Chikezie sang a diana ross song that goes "love you more today than tomorrow" and I'm afraid I liked Diana's version better. It had more punch. He got quite good towards the end of the song though.
I really really liked David Cook's version of Happy Together. It was rawkin!
I think Jason Yeager has an awesome voice and I could hear him singing this song on some children's animated movie soundtrack, but i dont know.. it was kinda bleagh.
Robbie Carrico, who sang One is the Loneliest number looked more like a rocker than david cook, but I think his performence missed the mark. I totally understand what Simon meant about not being convinced about his 'rawkness'.
David Archuletta was cute as always singing Shop Around. It was obvious that he stole the audience's heart tonight. I really liked that he always looked so comfortable and sound so passionate. My throat hurts everytime I hear him sing though.. like his stressing it a bit or something.
I think Danny Noriega made a bad decision by singing Jailhouse Rock tonight. He did more shouting than singing, and somehow I got the impression that he was channeling more of a queen than a king. *double snap*
Luke Menard, the carpet cleaner, sang Echoes of My Mind and was very very very weak, IMHO.
Colton Berry (I always find blonde lashes a little freaky) did Elvis more justice with his performence of suspicious minds, but I thought he was just okay.
Garret Hailey (from a place called 'Elida'!) was a little boring with a really slow version of Breaking Up is hard to do.
I remember Jason Castro from the auditions because of his dreadlocks, but I didnt remember that he was *that* dreamy! Oh. My. God! This guy is , like , *sigh* *swoon*! How appropriate that he sang "What a day for a day dream". I thought his syncopation of the high note (which randy said was off key) was so endearing. Gosh this guy is shy but charismatic, tender yet bad boy in his jeans and those blue eyes!!! I want him to win.
Michael Johns sorta paled in comparison to Jason.. he delivered Light My Fire well, but knowing that he's not really an amateur sorta dimmed my admiration for him.. :P
Who I think will be out:
Garret Hailey, Luke Menard
also in trouble but I hope wont go: Jason Yeager, David Hernandez, Robbie Carrico
Castro Castro Castro!!!
Concocted by elisataufik at 3:23 PM
Here's the reason behind the purchase of a new camera:
We bought this N1k0n C00lpix 5100 before we moved here. So that makes it almost 4 years old. 2 years ago, somebody (I dont know who, coz nobody wanted to own up) broke the mechanism-thingy that closes and covers the lens when we switch the camera off.
Though 'broken', the camera was still working fine, so we did not feel the urgent need to buy a new one. It still took okay pictures. They're not professional looking, but good enough for undiscerning people like us. We just needed to make sure we wipe the lens clean before we take pictures, is all.
Can you imagine, we went to Italy with this broken down camera?
I had always marvelled at the clarity of the pictures my dad takes on his dslr camera, and had always dreamt of owning one, but we've always thought it was too expensive for us. Anyways, we already have the c00lpix, it's still working, plus it fits in my handbag.
When Lollies came to visit us, I copied some of the pictures she took with her D70 into our computer and Taufik was amazed at the difference in quality, in terms of clarity, focus and also color. It just so happens that a few weeks after that, one of our friends over here bought himself a D80 and told Taufik that the shop was having a sale. Motivating us further was the prospect of taking pictures of the pyramids.
So we went to check the shop out and Taufik tested out the D40 and D40x and we still thought the D80 was out of our league (dayummmm you could buy serious bling-bling for that amount of money!)
After a few more days of mulling and pouring over user (professional and amateur) reviews on the web, Taufik finally settled on the D40. (If it were not for the impending trip, I think we would have waited for a few more months/years before we got one)
He is now hooked!
The first thing he grabs when he comes back from work (after kissing the kids and I, of course) is the user manual, and the camera. The other day he even came home a little early to test out the camera in daylight.
Even I was not as enthusiastic about it as him.
The first picture I took with the camera was the one above.
Picture of the Nik0n D40 below, taken with Nik0n c00lpix 5100.
Can you see the difference in picture quality?
We can't take pictures like Grom yet (and I doubt we ever will), but I think we are getting a little closer :)
I still think it's bulky though.
Concocted by elisataufik at 11:48 AM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
For the past few weeks (and for the weeks to come leading to February 27th) I have been (and will be) playing travel agent.
I have been browsing for hotels and things to do, checking out websites and travellers' reviews and testimonies. I have been comparing prices and amenities and looking at maps and pictures of all sorts of hotel rooms. I have been arguing with Taufik about where to stay, what his budget is, is he willing to walk a bit or take the metro/taxi, what expenses the company will cover, what he wants to see (so that i schedule those items during the weekend) and what things he doesnt care to see (so that I schedule those items during the weekday when i'll go with the kids). I have been dilligently updating my Yah00 trip planner page with every new discovery and change.
Oh so pening and exhausting!
Well, at least we've got the hotel settled.
Taufik's training will be held in Sherat0n, and rooms there cost at least USD180. The company would of course cover his hotel room, but we would have to pay for the extra room. Staying for ten days there, would mean having to pay almost USD2k just for accomodation! NO WAY!
Furthermore, I want to experience the city. I want to feel like Ian Wright, not D0nald Trum-p. I want to travel like in the Lonely Planet, not the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
We are limited by location - it has to be close enough to Sherat0n so that Taufik can get to his training easily. But it has to also be close to everything else so that I can transport my kids to interesting sites as easily too. We are also limited by budget (aren't we always?) - ideally, we would want one huge room that could fit 2 adults and 3 children and one infant for less than USD180, so that it would be covered by the company. We would also like to be in a nice clean room, not some dingy motel, and ideally in a hotel with character, that makes us feel like we're in Cairo, and not in just any other hotel in any other town.
So after days of browsing and pressing Taufik for a decision, we finally settled for the W1nds0r Hotel. If you look at the pictures I think you'd agree that you can't ask for more character than that. Plus point: Michael Pal1n used to stay there!! woo hoo!! Someone who's stayed there before said it could get real noisy at night, but I'm planning to tire ourselves out during the day, so hopefully the noise wont bother us that much. Furthermore, if we survived sleeping in front of Fontana Trevi, and also in front of Masjidil Haram (which never sleeps), I'm sure we could survive this. Worse comes to worst, we'll just get some earplugs!
Location is perfect - It's close to the metro line that goes straight to the side of town where Sherat0n, and is in the middle of almost everything else.
But the piece de resistance must be the price. It is *so* cheap (and we will get one HUGE room for everyone instead of 2 seperate rooms), that I wish that I could get the balance from the USD180 that the company wanted to pay for originally. Whatever, the way I look at it, I had saved at least USD1.8k (which I now can afford to spend on something else... yay!).
okay so now I've got to get back to planning and scheduling and plotting out transporation and finding out entrance fees and such.
I think after all this effort I put in, I deserve the vacation ;)
p/s Scrapbook is finished, but I bought the biggest envelope I could find and it wouldnt fit!!! So how? I have to be creative with some tape.. :P
Planning to go to the post office tomorrow.
Concocted by elisataufik at 9:24 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
slow day, nothing major to write about.
so here's bits and pieces from my jam collection:
I found a website that is selling Laur3n by Ralph Laur3n!! I am *so* stoked. I was so loyal (and still am) to that fragrance since I bought my first bottle in 1990 after several months of saving up my monthly allowance from my college scholarship. I was so sad when they discontinued it. Then I started wearing Glamorous, but now I can't even find that in the stores over here. I really hate trying out new perfume..
So I am so happy I found that website, but I'm not gonna buy it yet coz I've gotta save up for something else first. (but if somebody wants to buy it for me, they're more than welcomed.... *shameless grin*)
I watched Juno.
I didnt think I would cry, but yeah, I did.. *hangs head in shame*
I like the dialogue. So 'bersahaja', erm.. 'relaxed'? And I am thinking of getting the soundtrack. I especially like that "Anyone Else But You" song.
oh and I also watched Into The Wild.
I found it kinda weird, yet liberating, yet disturbing. I wished I hadnt known so much about the movie, coz in supposedly solitary scenes, I kept imagining Sean Penn sitting there in his baseball cap with his hands on his chin and his crinkled forehead, and eddie beside him strumming his guitar. That sorta killed the mood for me. That aside, I thought Chris was a brat at first, but then as he 'grew' in the movie, so did my understanding of him. I hope his okay with himself, wherever he is.
I'm definitely getting the soundtrack. I felt like Eddie Vedder was singing to me the whole time I was watching it.
I watched American Id0L.
What happened to Leo??? He didnt make it, I gather? oh well.
And I'm sorry the Lampken siblings didnt make it either.
I like Asi'ah. and that Aussie guy. and that 16 year old (michael?). I'm a little iffy about Josiah. I liked his version of GraceKelly, he's full of passion, but not much in the vocal prowess department.
We are going to Cairo. *jumps about*
Taufik has a one week training first week of march, and he has decided to bring us along. yay!!
I think I mentioned somewhere that I am washing and ironing all my white shirts and brown pants in the hopes of emulating the "English Patient" look. HA HA HA.
We're planning planning planning. Hotels are so expensive! (USD200 per night, and we'll be there for 10 nights. You do the math ... adoiii!!!) I hope that we can get an apartment instead, so that we can afford a guide/driver.
The school had a bake sale yesterday so I made Red Velvet cupcakes using the Spongy Cake recipe and adding 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and red food coloring.
I am trying to figure out who you are. I think I am getting close, mwahaha.
Melayu, Bekerja (untuk Kerajaan?), Bujang, Fasih dalam dua bahasa, Perempuan atau Lelaki? (besar kemungkinan perempuan). Betul?
My kids have this obsession with Man Of The Hour. They sing it in the shower over and over again.
Ilham came up to me one day and said,
"You know that part that goes 'and the bells ringing now and the door's open wide'? I think it's about Halloween"
I could have explained to him about the complicities of a father and son relationship, but I chose to giggle instead.
They really love Big Fish, by the way. But I think it's more due to the fantastic characters than the underlying story. They dont understand why I always cry when I watch it. I may have to buy the DVD.
Concocted by elisataufik at 3:59 PM
Monday, February 11, 2008
A few friends and I have started a mommy blog :)
It's basically a blog where we can ask for and share parenting tips.
It's only in its infancy, but I expect it to contain more posts in the near future :)
Do give Bonda Blabber (http://blondablab.blogspot.com) a visit, and leave your comments, questions, advice, stories !
Edited to add:
Our first topic is about how to handle picky eaters. (http://bondablab.blogspot.com/2008/02/how-to-handle-picky-eaters.html)
But somehow this post is not showing in the main page, unless you click on 'February'. Dont know why.. some quirky thing on blogspot I suppose.
Concocted by elisataufik at 1:18 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Kris's recent post (after a long absence, I may add) inspired me to write these down:
Things I want to do/see/visit before I die (in no particular order):
1. Perform hajj and truly repent (end of the year insya-Allah, and I will work hard on the repent bit)
2. Road trip through either Italy or Spain (quarter done)
3. See a live volcano (done, it was a sleeping one, but I guess that counts)
4. Swim with whales or dolphins
5. Go to Bali
6. Learn to play the guitar
7. Watch my kids graduate from college
8. See Jordan, lebanon, syria, morocco, turkey oh heck travel the world.
9. watch F1 live (done! yay)
10. Make a painting worthy of being put up on a wall in my house
11. Get a motorcycle license
12. Learn how to make mama's nasi dagang.
13. Climn a mountain (kinabalu?)
14. Sell durians/rambutans/local fruits by the roadside.
15. See the pyramids and sphinx (coming soon! tee hee)
16. Travel in a caravan or RV (inspired by chandramoon)
17. Publish a book
18. Meet the Tuaregs
19. Go on an african safari
20. See Pearl Jam, live. and, and, maybe shake Eddie Vedder's hand. (if that's not too much to ask)
err I'm sure there's more.. but can't think of them at the moment coz Izani smells.
Concocted by elisataufik at 10:20 AM
Thursday, February 07, 2008
They lay there entangled in each other.
One of his arms sandwiched between the fatty folds of her tummy and his.
She kissed the side of his face, right near his ear.
"I love you", she whispered, softly.
She heard him whisper "I love you too", but he didn't move.
Right response, but she felt unsatisfied.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave it a good squeeze.
"I lurrrrve youu" she said, just like she would if she was saying she loves chocolates.
He didn't answer, but she felt him pull away.
She opened her eyes to face his grinning eyes.
That's the reaction she wanted.
Concocted by elisataufik at 3:46 PM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Every year sometime in february, my kids' school has a book week. At the end of the week, the younger kids get to go to school as a character in their favourite book.
And every year, I will forget, and have to scramble last minute to look for an appropriate costume.
The first year, Ilham chose The Frog Prince, so I made him a frog prince hat using green, red and yellow paper. Ihsan chose to be the boy in "Have You Seen My Cat?" and I just made him wear normal clothes and pasted a sign with "Have you seen my cat" with a drawing of a cat on his t-shirt.
I can't remember last year, but I think we chose characters that wear normal clothes (no special costumes)... heh heh.
This year, Anis told me on Monday she wanted to be a lion. Ihsan wanted wanted to be a mouse. Not from "The Lion and the Mouse", but from two different books, "Snappy count book" (A pop-up 1,2,3 book with animals in it) and "Bodge Plants a Seed" (A book about a mouse who learnt how to plant a seed properly). On top of that, Anis has to bring some food for a class party.
So yesterday I had to figure out how to dress up the kids.
We found cream pants and a yellow shirt for Anis, green-brownish pants and a grey shirt for Ihsan. And I managed to make a Lion and a Mouse masks using plastic plates I had in my storeroom, some colored paper, rubber bands and ribbons (to tie the mask) and a black marker.
taken last night, not in full costume
tee hee. I think they look pretty cute despite the obvious amatuer-ness of the masks.. My kids were extremely happy with it, coz they are very easy to impress :)
Oh, in between preparing dinner and cutting up plastic plates, I managed to make cup cakes for Anis. I used the spongy cake recipe and spooned about 3 tablespoons into "American muffin" (that's what the box said) sized paper cups. It makes exactly a dozen!
Concocted by elisataufik at 10:48 AM