Thursday, January 31, 2008

random ramblings

i've been quiet coz my internet connection expired.I thought that I had forgotten to pay the bill (again!), and I was trying to remember how much a whole year's subscription cost the last time I paid, and then I remembered that the subscription was supposed to be included in the house rent and that Taufik had just renewed the contract for the house so it wasnt really my fault .. heh heh. So I called the guy in charge of the internet, but as usual, over here, it takes a few days to settle things so I only got my internet connection late yesterday afternoon.


Dont audition for amer1can id0l if -
. People tell you you should audition and it's followed by a laugh.
. When you sing, people turn and stare.
. Only your mama tells you that you are a good singer.
. You feel the need to put on a costume.
. People say you sound like Eddie Vedder when you sing "Moses Let my people go".
For gawd's sakes, take a tape recorder and listen to yourself before you go!

Having said that, I really really like Leo I-dont'-know-his-last-name. I hope he goes far in this competition.


The L0st Room has ended. I dont know if there's gonna be a second season. I dont know why it's so short.. maybe because of the writer's strike? *shrug*The ending was okay.. some loose ends, but he got his daughter back.


I have a barbecue today.
I made pandan sponge cake.*grin*

Now I have to go shower and make breakfast.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Good Vibrations

wow.Some good vibes must be going my way today.

It started early in the morning while I was frying up some noodles for breakfast/lunch with last night's leftover sambal tumis sotong (squid in spicy sauce). I got a call from Flora, a neighbour who I've not met up for quite a while coz she had been feeling under the weather. She asked me whether I wanted to go out shopping with her. I hesitated (coz I am currently obsessed with completing a(nother) 'project'), but said yes in the end coz as I said, I had not seen her in quite a while.
One friendship renewed!

As I got out of the house (after having like 45minutes to get ready), I bumped into my new next door neighbour. I introduced myself and found out her name was An-sun (spelling might be wrong, but that's what it sounded like) and we chatted for awhile and found out she's from korea (Lee dong wook!) and she has lived in riyadh before. Then I had to say see ya later and rush to catch the bus.
One new friend made!

When I got back from shopping, I got a call from someone asking for 'Mrs Taufik' and found out it was Madeeha, Taufik's colleagues' wife. She called just to get to know more ladies and we chatted for a bit and I told her she could come over anytime, just give me a call first coz I would need to clean up my messy house ha ha ha. Later in the evening I got another call from her inviting me over for tea with some other ladies this coming saturday, and we ended up making a date to go out tomorrow for a short shopping trip (I have to exchange a pair of pants I bought today) and lunch.
Two new friends made!

After I got the first call from Madeeha, I got another call from a lady who introduce herself as Bella from 248 from across the street from my house. At that point I started feeling really popular tee hee.She called to ask me about what the arrangements are for children going to Reception in Dhahran academy. Her daughter had just started school today and she was confused about the bus arrangements and so I explained to her what Anis went through and what the bus monitor duties were and then we got to chatting about other things coz I tend to ramble and ask curious questions like where are you from (she's from nigeria) and is this your first expatriate post (she was in australia before) and how many kids do you have (she's got 2 other boys, same age as Ilham and Ihsan!).When my kids got home from school I was at the door and saw that my kids had made friends with her kids and she was at her door too and we waved at each other.
Three new friends made!

Tee hee.So I guess you could say it had been quite a productive day as far as friendships are concerned.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Easy Peasy Garlic Fried Rice

When I was in UIUC, I had an american friend named Jennifer Cassidy. We had a lot of classes together, and we were about the same height (she's considered short, and so was I). On some days, I would hang out at her place in between classes (coz her apartment was only 2 blocks or so away from the ME building) and we would grab some lunch. She really liked Fried Rice, and since I was the only asian she knows, she would ask me to fry up some for her.
During that time, I wasn't so good at cooking fried rice coz I didnt have lots of experience (yet). I remember the first one turning out okay, but a little sticky. Actually most of my attempts didnt turn out like the ones sold at the chinese restaurants or the ones my mom makes. They all turned out a little too sticky. It took me awhile to figure out that to make the best fried rice, you'd have to use last night's cooked rice, coz then it would have dried up abit.


A few days ago I ran out of shallots, so I decided to make fried rice with only garlic. Hey hey it turned out yummeh :) Reminded me of the garlic fried rice that you could order at the japanese restaurants. My kids loved it so much, they asked me to make it for lunch, 3 days in a row. I stopped making it coz my husband finally bought some shallots.

I'm going to give you the basic recipe, which results in plain, white fried rice, but you can jazz it up with soy sauce or chilli sauce or whatever seasonings you prefer, and play around with the vegetables. The ones I used were whatever I had in my fridge.

Easy Peasy Garlic Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice (preferrably last night's)
as much garlic as you like, roughly chopped (I used half a head)
one carrot , cut into tiny cubes
one celery stick sliced into tiny chunks
1/4 red and yellow pepper diced small
1/8 cabbage sliced into thin strips like for coleslaw
4 tablespoons cooking oil (I use sunflower)
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat up oil over medium heat in a pan/wok that is big enough.
Saute garlic till half cooked
Add in the vegetables, fry till garlic is roasted and fragrant
Add in the rice and cabbages, stir to mix well.
Season with salt and pepper, taste till to your liking
Push rice aside in the pan/wok, break eggs and scramble till fully cooked.
Mix well into rice.
Serve warm.

Sorry, no pictures this time. My camera's lens is a little wonked up. Perhaps it caught wind of my desire to purchase a new camera.

As usual, suggestions for variation:
To pre-season your rice, cook it in stock, or use leftover chicken rice or briyani.
You can add color by adding soy sauce (brown), chilli or tomato sauce (red), a pinch of tumeric (yellow).
You can add taste by using the things mentioned above, or ground up (or not) ikan bilis, anchovies (saute it together with the garlic), broken up ikan masin (salted fish).
Of course you can add meat. Saute them together with the vegetables. make sure they are fully cooked before adding the rice.
Cikgu Munah, my mom in law, would ground birds eye chillies together with the garlic. Spicy as hell, but yummeh!

It took about 10-15 minutes to cook up everything, not including preparation. I think this could easily be made for the lunchbox if you cook the rice and chop up the vegetables the night before *winks at aliya*.

Happy trying and tell me how you made yours and how it turned out! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The L0st R00m

You can tell that nothing exciting is happening in my life when I put up a lot of Transmission Jams.
My current viewing obsession (aside from Amer1can Id0l) is this sci-fi series The L0st R00m.
I usually avoid watching series because as I mentioned before, I can get quite obsessive and would get easily frustrated when I miss episodes and such. This one I stumbled upon when there was nothing else to watch one night. Lucky (or Unlucky) for me, they were showing the first episode, and watching the first episode is usually a sure fire method to get me caught in watching the next and the next and the next.
I found the series to be extremely intriguing. It's fantastical and conspiratol elements reminds me of X-f1les, but instead of random unrelated extraordinary phenomenons, this series revolves around a 'magical' room and the objects that came from it.

FBI Detective Joe Miller stumbled upon a key that could open any door and lead him to the 'l0st r00m'. From this room, he can go anywhere he can imagine. He and his daughter, Anna, also discovers that the room 'resets' everytime the door is opened/closed, anything inside the room that was not originally in the room and is not holding the key would dissapear. They also discover that a lot of people want the key, and that there are many other objects from the room that has their own 'powers', like a pen that microwaves people, a nail file that makes you go to sleep, a bus ticket that instantly sends you to the middle of nowhere (or so we thought), a comb that temporarily stops time, a clock box that stops decaying, a deck of cards that makes you crazy, etc etc. There are some people who think that the objects are from God and builds religions and organizations around the objects and makes it their sole purpose in life to retrieve all of them.
Joe got himself immersed into this mess when during a tussle with a 'bad' guy who wanted the key, Anna ran into the room without the key and the door was closed, resetting the room. This series revolve around Joe's effort in getting his daughter back, but to do that he needs to decipher the room, the objects in it and what happened to make the room and the objects in it so powerful.

Watch the trailer here:

This series have made me glued to the edge of my seat for a whole hour in a day, and wondering around the house in anticipation for the next episode for the rest of the hours and days.
If you're into fast paced sci-fi series, I would recommend it. If you're not or wouldnt want to be sucked into its vortex, be forewarned.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Someone YM-ed me and asked whether I've seen Cl0verfield. Apparently that someone have forgotten that I live in a kingdom that does not have public movie theatres.
Curious, I g00gled the title and found the official site and watched the trailer. All I can say is "WOW!".
I also went to Cl0verfield's imdbpage. Reading the user comments were very interesting indeed (Watch out for spoilers though).
The movie looks exciting and awesome, but I get motion sick very easily so I don't think I'll be able to watch this movie on the big screen. I'll just wait for the DVD to come out and watch it on a small screen.
If you have seen this movie or is planning to, can you tell me if it's appropriate for kids? It's rated PG-13, but I just want to make sure my kids won't have nightmares or something. Just to give you an inkling of what I'm worried about, they watched Transformers and they're okay with it, but I didn't let them watch Ap0calypto or horror movies like The Grudg3 or The R1ng (even I dont watch those movies). They even covered their eyes when V0ldermort came back to life in The G0blet of Fire.
This movie was released in US theaters yesterday.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Swiped this from kelly.

What Elisa Means

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

I'm not sure about
whether "many people wonder what (my) secret to life is"
or whether I "have the whole world under (my) spell, and (I) can influence almost everyone (I) know"
or whether I "dont resist (my) urges to crush the weak" (? what the eff??? I dont think I ever did that. Have I?)
or even the "suave, sexy, smart, and strong" bit.

But I know these to be true:
- I can get a little flaky and irresponsible. (especially when I'm in a hurry or distracted)
- I am easily excitable .. tee hee (just read any of my posts)
- I dont stick to one thing for very long, but when I do get excited over something, it's almost to the point of obsession. (read : korean dramas). The few things that I have been consistently obsessed about are Pearl Jam, my husband and my kids, and my family (itu pun kekadang intermittent.. heh heh)(not necessarily in that order k)
- my biggest problem *is* trying to finish projects that I start.
(Case in point - it took me 5 years to complete my Master's thesis, It took me a year to finish one of my sewing projects, and now I am starting to get bored with a current cross-stitching project.. *sigh*)

So yeah. This test is eeerily quite accurate. I wonder if these people read my blog or something.

p/s Happy Birthday Firhad!!!! Go to rotidua's blog to wish my brother happy 33rd(?) birthday.

Friday, January 18, 2008



Ingat tak lagu ni ?
Papa ku pulang dari kota, papa ku belikan ke-re-ta..

well, versi saya -
Papa ku pulang dari Dubai, papa ku belikan ku ...-...

cuba teka.
Rasa guilty lak shopping sakan.. :P


Oh No...

Do you remember this nursery rhyme?
Daddy came home from afar, daddy bought me a car

well, my version would be -
Daddy came home in a plane, daddy bought me a ...

Now I feel so guilty for having that shopping spree :P

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Du8a1 Damage

What my husband's trip to dubai cost him:

SR404 worth of kids clothes (Mothercare + Bhs is on sale!!!)
A corduroy jacket (brown of course, just like Eddie's), a blue corduroy dunggaree, 5 pairs of socks and a winter hat with 'superman' on it for Izani.
A pair of denim dunggarees with flowers on it, 2 matching long sleeved t-shirts, and some flowery rubber bands for Anis.
A black jeans with Transformers on it for Ihsan.
A khaki-army printed pants for Ilham which turned out to be too short for him, so it's going to be Ihsan's.

SR250 worth of clothes for me.
2 spaggeti straps to be layered with one long sleeve t shirt.
And one black wool jacket that now I think make me look pregnant and fat so I'm prolly gonna return tomorrow.

Still much cheaper than what a plane ticket and a hotel room would cost.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Taufik is leaving for Dubai this afternoon. He has a meeting tomorrow and it ends so late in the afternoon that he will miss the last flight out, so he would have to stay another day and could only come home on Friday.
I am pouting because:

1. He's not bringing us along.
But actually that's not such a big deal. Coz I dont think a 2-night stay is worth the flight ticket, the hotel room, the cab fare. Plus I wouldnt know what to do. I dont want to be stuck in the hotel room with the kids. Furthermore, I'm going to save the trip for when Nazrah is there. At least ada gang.

2. He'll be gone for practically the whole weekend.
Last 2 weeks he had a product launch with clients. That meant the week before he had been coming home late preparing for the launch. Then the week of the launch, he had been coming home late coz he had to do his regular work after office hours coz during office hours he is doing the launch, on top of bringing the big bosses out for dinner and such. Then this week a guy from Italy was here and he was busy with that guy and preparing for the meeting this weekend. This all amounted to him having hardly anytime at all for the kids or me. *pout pout pout*

3. I will be stuck with the kids for the whole weekend!
I'm stuck with the kids for the most of the week already. Weekends are usually a respite for me. Weekends are when I could have a few hours to myself and have him entertain whatever the kids are whining about for at least a few hours or even a few minutes. Weekends are when I can let my brain and emotions rest so that I don't explode.

He owes me BIG.
I'm going to bring the kids to the mall on Thursday and I'm going to have me some retail therapy.

tee hee.

p/s Now i feel kinda bad.. ada orang tu, husband dia takde rumah berbulan-bulan, takdelah complain camni, kan? Ni husband takde 2 hari pun , complain lebih-lebih lak... :P

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Tiga Tag

Tiga (tee.guh or also like 'tigger') = Three
the wonderful thing about tigger, is tigger's a wonderful thing...

I was asked to put up pictures of three things that recently made me happy, by Lollies, who recently put up hers.

Here are mine:




Not necessarily in that order, but ultimately preferrably in that combination. ;)
I don't think I need to explain why...

Kira ngelat ke? tee hee

I would like to tag:
1. Idham
2. Neeza
3. Swahili
Coz I have never tagged them before


Chocolate cake -
Follow recipe for spongy cake but add 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder to flour. Bake in a flat rectangular sheet, cut in half.

Cream filling/topping -
2 cups liquid whipping cream, whipped till soft peaks. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 6 tablespoons icing sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, mix well with spoon, then whip cream till stiff peaks form. Use half for filling, half for topping.

Decoration -
H3rshey's Milk Chocolate Chips (the yellow packet), arrange to your liking.

and a bonus : one other thing that's going to make me happy today - American Idol is starting!!! YAY!!!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where's Your Nose?

This is a game that Izani loves to play :)

tee hee !

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Spongy Cake

I like this recipe because:
a. It doesnt use any butter, so it does not require any waiting time for the butter to soften.
b. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes in the oven, so it's perfect if you're in a hurry.
c. It's not too sweet.
d. It's spongy and springy and yummeh.
e. because it's spongy and fluffy and springy, it's very versatile. You can choose to make one bulky round cake (just bok sebijik) or a flat sheet cake, or a thin flat sheet cake that is cut in half then made into a sandwich cake with cream/fruit/cream+fruit filling, or made into a swiss roll with cream or jam filling. Once, I halved the recipe and used it as the base for a no bake cheesecake - yummeh!

I am reluctant to categorize it as an 'Easy Peasy' recipe though, because it does require a little bit of effort in seperating the eggs and beating the egg whites till stiff. But believe me, it's worth the effort!

Spongy Cake

4 eggs, seperated
1 cup castor sugar
1/3 cup water (or milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 180deg C (350 deg F).
Line baking tray with ungreased parchment paper or greased waxed paper.
Beat egg whites till stiff.
Beat together egg yolks and sugar till creamy and pale yellow.
Beat in water and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt, then gradually beat into yolk mix.
Carefully fold in egg whites till well mixed.
Pour into baking tray (spread evenly to edges if making a flat sheet cake).
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (up to 20 minutes if making a thick round cake), or until cake is firm to the touch or toothpick comes out clean.

The one pictured above was a flat sheet cake, which I cut into 2 squares. I whipped up about 2 cups of cream with 5 tablespoons of icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, mixed half with sliced peaches (from a can), sandwiched them in between the cake, then covered the cake with the leftover cream. I also put some peaches on top as decoration.
I made it for a guest who didnt appear, but the cake didn't go to waste coz my kids ate the cake up within 24 hours. (okay okay, I confess, I ate some too!!)(okay okay, I confess, 'some' is actually an understatement!)

Note: You can add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the flour if you want to make it a chocolate sponge cake. Or add any kind of flavour or coloring as you like. I'm thinking, pandan (screwpine) would be nice, kan? Hm.. maybe I should bring back some pandan essence the next time I go home.

Monday, January 07, 2008

choo.choke oh.tuck

Yesterday was the last day of school holiday and during lunch of kuey teow goreng (inspired by one of aliya's posts) Ilham did not heed my advice to duduk diam-diam (sit quietly) and he ran around the living room and fell and hit the back of his head on our coffee table (hard, solid wood). The cut was about an inch long and it bled profusely, so I had no choice but to call Taufik to come home (he was at work!! in a huge meeting with big bosses and clients!! I felt so bad) and bring Ilham to the hospital. Ilham was conscious and he didn't complain of headaches or blurry vision (he was actually praying out loud to God to not let him die. Such a drama queen! *rolls eyes*), so I proceeded to scold him for not listening to me when I told him not to run around the living room. I told him I was not mad that he cut his head, I was mad at him for not listening to me.
He got a patch of his hair shaved and 2 stitches. I told him to remember the pain the next time he feels like not listening to me when tell him not to run around too much. (Too cruel, ke? Maybe I've become jaded because this is the 3rd time he's fallen and cut his scalp). When we were all done, I asked him if he had learnt a lesson from all this and he said he will not run around the house anymore.

So last night in bed I was thinking about the fall and how we didn't go through a cat scan and wondered if a cat scan could detect a blood clot and it got me thinking about strokes which got me thinking about paralyzation and it reminded me of that time when I was in highschool and dory woke up with half of her face paralyzed. (You see, dory and I went to boarding school together).
It was quite an odd incident, mainly because it was the first time any of us had seen such a thing happen so suddenly. She didn't fall or hurt her head (kan, dory?) or anything. It just happened. I saw her that morning and she looked slightly lopsided and her mouth didn't move right when she talked. The warden brought her to the hospital and when she came back she told us the doctor said it had something to do with her nerves and that was the first time I looked up the word "neurology".
A few days later she got better bit by bit and I think by about a month she was back to her usual smiling self, and people eventually forgot it even happened to her. During the first few days there were a lot of theories of how she got sick, though. The common one was that she kena buat (hexed), perhaps by someone jealous of her luscious lips, soft almost brown hair, percelain flawless complexion and gorgeous bod. (:D)
The weirdest one I heard, however, was the theory involving the cucuk otak (choo.choke oh.tuck).
Cucuk Otak is what we call the pins that we use to hold our headscarves in place. It's usually about 1.5inch long with a pearlized bead on its head. We usually position the pin a few inches above our ears and pin the scarf so that it doesn't move about as we move ourselves about the school. Sometimes all you can see is the pearlized bead pin head on the side of our heads, which gives the illusion that the pin goes straight into our brains. Hence the name cucuk otak - cucuk = poke, otak = brain.
So the theory was that, while getting ready for prep (study hall, between 8pm to 10pm) the night before, Dory had accidently swallowed a cucuk otak (because we have this habit of holding the cucuk otak in our mouths while putting on our headscarves). During her sleep, the cucuk otak had travelled through her body and thus had affected her urat-urat (nerves), thus creating the paralyzation. She finally is cured after the cucuk otak had done all the travelling it could and is finally expelled from her body.
It's absurd of course, but hey, we were about 200 teenage girls held up in brick buildings, what else is there to do but make up silly theories?
That thought made me grin before my brain officially shut down for the night last night.

Funny how the actual thought took only like 5 seconds and it took me like half an hour to type this up.
How long did you take to read this?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

last few pictures of 2007

These are a few of the last pictures that were taken in 2007.

Izani relaxing by the pool. The water was too cold to swim in, so he decided to just chill...

Taufik and his 2 new girlfriends. I have to admit, they were more docile than me! :)

Me, shivering inside Bahrain Fort. Read lollies' post for more information on the fort.

Family picture in my living room, just before we said our goodbyes. All of my kids tak mandi pun lagi.
Note: look look.. I finally got my Kilim rug!!

Here's wishing for more pictures in 2008 :)

In Loving Memory, 2007

Don't mean to start 2008 on a sombre note, but I just want to acknowledge my friends who had lost their loved ones in the past year.
Not to remind them of the pain of the loss, but to remind them of the joys of their loved ones' lives, no matter how brief.
And perhaps to remind myself that amidst all my planning, there is a higher power that determines everything, so I need to be thankful for every little bit that I do have, especially every single person who are close to me. (That means, you! *hugs*)

Let's observe a moment of silence and respect for these loved ones lost within this past year (in no particular order):

Nazrah's mom
Lollies' brother
Dory's dad
Nutty and Syira's grandma
Ood's mom
Mosh's father
Kimmi's love of her life, her husband
Wal's newborn son

May they all be placed in their rightful spots in the afterlife. Insya-Allah.

I apologize if I forgot anybody. My memory is a little swiss cheese like. I keep forgetting to take my omega-3 pills to improve my memory.

*hugs you all*