Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today has been a good day

Why? Because CC is over and the pain in my wrist has gone away and I have caught up with my sleep and the year end mega sale has started today. Yay!~




But on a serious note, I've been following the news on CNN for the past 2 days about the Mumbai attack. It's really bad, horrifying and senseless. :(

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mindy needs to...

Mindy needs to learn to be patient

Mindy needs to learn that some things are not personal

Mindy needs to learn how to disconnect

Mindy needs to learn not to care about some things

Mindy needs to hide in a cocoon until CC is over

Mindy needs to clean her cubicle

Mindy needs to breathe in and out

Mindy needs to take acting classes

Mindy needs to go home and sleep

Mindy needs a hug

Mindy needs to stop writing rubbish here.

2 days to go...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Frustation building up

Today I was so frustrated at work, I had to take a walk to cool down. Came back, squeezed my squeezable aeroplane but that didn't take my frustration away (the aeroplane wings are gonna come off soon).

Put on my headphones and tuned into the Christmas channel. Who can stay angry after listening to Frosty the Snowman, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, and little sweet Jesus laying in a manger. :)

4 more days to go.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I hate those sunglasses

I'm a huge CSI fan. I love CSI New York and CSI Las Vegas. But i absolutely hate CSI Miami because i can't stand Haratio and his tacky lines and his cheesy sunglasses scene. There must always be a Haratio sunglasses scence in every single episode and you'll know when it's coming. Haratio will solve the case, stand it his "I'm the man" postion, put on his sunglasses and walks off towards the setting sun. I hate it hate it hate it, but I still watch it. :P

I was so excited today when Haratio was shot in season six's finale, maybe they finally got rid of Haratio. And even with him dying on the floor after getting shot, the very last scence was still focused on his annoying sunglasses.

But then if Haratio dies, then i'd have nobody to hate anymore. There will no longer be anymore cheesy sunglasses scences to complain about. When I watch the show, I no longer will be able to say, "Oh... the sunglasses scene is coming, oh it's coming... and Haratio has put on his sunglasses.. Woohoo!".

Anyway, I googled it and Haratio doesn't die... sigh.. I still hate Haratio...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Goodbye :(

Today I had to say goodbye. He is an engineer whom I respect the most for his knowledge, patience and dedication. Under his guidance, I learnt a lot. When I first heard that he was going to leave, I panicked for a while because our team would lose our mentor. But after it sank in, I thought I would feel ok because since he’s not physically working in Penang I wouldn’t feel much difference after he leaves.

To my surprise, I found myself very sad on his last day. It is hard knowing that I can no longer email him when I have problems or I can’t report my findings to him anymore during our weekly meetings. And when I wrote him a goodbye email, I found myself getting teary. I’m sure gonna to miss him a lot. I shall always remember him as one of the best engineers I have ever worked with.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's CC season, tra la la la la

CC is coming... and as usual, there's the mad rush to get everything done.

Have you ever had a situation where you have so many things to do until you don't know which to do first and you just waste your time staring at the list just trying to pick one thing to do?

Or have you ever had to do several things at one time, have multiple windows open running multiple different things and you keep switching between different windows at such speed until you just suddenly stop because you forgot which one you're doing and you stay in blur mode for the next 10 seconds?

Or have you had a situation where you've got so much to do, even toilet breaks seems a waste of time and you'll wait until you just can't stand it anymore and rush like crazy to the toilet before your bladder burst?

Or have you ever cracked your head trying to solve something but can't solve it, then go home feeling unsatisfied and moody, then suddenly at 2am, you wake up and the solution suddenly pops into your head and you feel like dancing but are too sleepy?

Or had you ever had to put back your fix and you see lots of people editing the same file, so being the kiasu person you are, you quickly try to get your fix tested and done to put back the file before everybody else?

Or have you felt proud of yourself because you finally managed to clear all your pending SPRs/task just a day before CC, and when you come to work the next day, your inbox has been flooded with lots of new incoming tasks?

Or do you find that everything is going fine all this while but suddenly 1 week before CC anything that can go wrong does go wrong?

Or maybe you've been working like crazy trying to finish everything to the point where you know it's hopeless and suddenly you feel everything is so funny...

If you have said yes to any of the above, then you need to stop what you're doing, write in your blog, relax for 5 minutes, squeeze your stress ball, do some stretching, breath in... then out....

Ok done? Then you are ready to jump back into the mad CC rush, tra la la la la...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In The Simpsons......

This is what I would look like if I lived in the world of The Simpsons.


And this is what Yin How would look like



Wanna know what you would look like? Then go to http://simpsonizeme.com/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random stuff

This is something i copied over from Wai Ying's blog. :P


Name:
Mindy
Sisters: 1
Brothers: 0
Shoe size: 6
Height: 5 ft 2
Where do you live:
In a place which i can call my home

Favourite drinks: soya bean
Favourite breakfast: toast with butter and sugar.. yum yum...

Have you ever
Been on a plane? A long time ago
Swam in the ocean: Was forced to, during teambuilding
Fallen asleep at school: Hehehe, you know I know la
Fell off your chair: i think i might have
Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call: oh yea
Saved emails? Yup, my mailbox is ridiculously full


What is your room like: dirty cos of my doggies, but the bed always neatly made
What’s right beside you: Beside my bed? The Bible.
What is the last thing you ate:
Black pepper chicken rice

Ever had
Chicken pox:
When I was four years old
Sore throat:
Having one now
Stitches:
I used to get that always during PJ (I hated PJ)
Broken nose: My nose is to flat to be broken.. seriously, that's nothing there to break!

Do you
Believe in love at first sight:
Not really
Like picnics:
Nah... it's too hot

Who was, were
The last person you danced with:
Yin How at our wedding
Last person who made you smile:
My dogs, begging for their dinner
You last yelled at:
Russell, get down from the sofa!!!

Today did you
Talk to someone you like:
It's natural to only talk to ppl you like
Kissed anyone:
Hmmm... when was the last time I kissed Yin How? I can't even remember
Get sick: I have a sorethroat and am still dizzy from the fever yesterday :(
Miss someone: not really
Eat: of course I eat, how can one not eat?

Best feeling in the world: Having a wonderful day with my hubby and my dogs

Do you sleep with stuffed animals: Not anymore because Russell keeps chewing them up :(
What’s under your bed: Russell and Sparkle
Who do you really hate: Hate is a strong word, but if I had to choose, it would that the annoying weird guy wearing goggles who collects illegal parking money at Gurney Drive (i used to live there and had to drive pass him everyday)
What time is it now? 9.40pm

Random:
Is there a person who is on your mind now: No, I'm currently distracted trying to get Russell off the sofa
Do you have any siblings: My sissy wissy, Genny Wenny
Do you want children: Yup, two and not more than that
Do you smile often: Depends of my mood
Do you like your hand-writing: I still have kindergarden writing, does that answer this question?


Are your toe nails painted:
I'm too lazy
Whose bed other than yours would you rather sleep in: I love own my bed too much
What color shirt are you wearing now: Brown.. I love brown, I'm a brownie girl
What were you doing at 7:00 p.m. yesterday: Sick with fever in bed :(
When did you cry last: 2 hours ago, needed to release some stress

Are you a friendly person: I used to be... no longer am
Do you have any pets: 2 cocker spaniels, 2 goldfish, 1 guppy
Where is the person you have feelings for right now? Beside me
Did the last person you held hands with mean anything to you now: Of course
Do you sleep with the TV on? Nope, that's wasting electricity

Have you ever crawled through a window?
No, why would I when there's a door.
Can you handle the truth? Not really, but i still want to hear it
Are you too forgiving? No, though i wish i were
Are you closer to your mother or father? i do not have parents
Who was the last person you cried in front of? Yin How

How many people can you say you’ve really loved?
Yin How, Genny, Russel (love hate relationship), Sparkle, Bonnie, my childhood friends - Mun Yi, Soma, Jasmine.
Do you eat healthy? I can't say yes because I don't eat enough veggies
Do you still have pictures of you & your ex? I don't have an ex, Yin How is the only love in my life :P
Have you ever cried because of something someone said to you? If I received a dollar everytime this happened, I'd be a millionare by now
If you’re having a bad day, who are you most likely to go to? Depends, at home, Yin How. At work, Ian.

Are you loud or quiet most of the time?
Depends on my mood

Are you confident? Depends on my mood

3 things I was doing 10 years ago: Sweet 16, going crazy with my friends, studying, dreaming of the future
I enjoy: spending time at home with my hubby and dogs
3 of my bad habits: drooling while sleeping, leaving dirty tissues everywhere when i'm sick, not cleaning my messy cubicle and dirty car
3 places I have lived in: England, Penang, KL



It's that time of the year

This is the time of the year which is the most torturing for Yin How. Why? Because my birthday is coming. I’m someone who loves surprises so even if I wanted something for my birthday, I wouldn’t tell him. Instead I’ll drop him all sorts of hints. Then Yin How (being the unobservant guy he is) will have to crack his head trying to figure out what is it that I want for my birthday.

Usually around a month before my birthday, I start asking asking him, “Watcha gonna buy for my birthday?”Then around a week before my birthday when he knows time is running out, he’ll start pestering me, “Wei… what do you want for your birthday?” and I’ll reply, “Nothing la”. Yin How will then have to interpret this reply using his male brain…. does “Nothing la” really mean nothing at all, or does it mean “I’m saying nothing but actually I want something and if I don’t get something on my birthday, you’re gonna pay for it”. ;) Then he'll use his same old strategy on me, "If you won't tell me what you want, I won't buy anything for you." and I'll reply, "Don't need la". Then he'll be back at the same dilemma, does "Don't need la" mean there's really no need to buy a present or you better buy a present?

So Yin How will have to go on with this guessing game until my birthday comes. And on my birthday, he will wait anxiously while I open my surprise birthday present, hoping that I will like what he bought me. To me, it’s the thought that counts, and not the actual birthday present and so far every year I’ve be happy with everything he bought for me… well… almost everything (see the 23th birthday).

This is a list of what Yin How bought for me over the years.

  • 18th birthday – A gold ring
  • 19th birthday – A handphone. This was my first handphone and Yin How started saving his allowance months before my birthday to buy this RM630 handphone for me (that’s quite a lot for a college student living on a weekly allowance)
  • 20th birthday – We were in KL studying and he wanted to surprise me with a birthday cake but my housemate saw it in the fridge and asked me about it, ruining his surprise. :P
  • 21th birthday – Still studying in KL and he was dead broke. While I was still sleeping in the morning, he snuck out, drove to Watsons to buy a doggie soft toy which I said I liked, came back and put it on me. I woke up finding the soft toy and I always tell him that even though it was the cheapest present he got me, it was the most meaningful present to me.
  • 22th birthday – At this time, he starting working in Dell, and he wanted to get me an expensive present to make up for the years in KL when he was always so broke, so he bought me a Vanessa diamond bracelet.
  • 23rd birthday – Lingerie. I felt like this was a present to himself and not for me
  • 24th birthday – Something personal :)
  • 25th birthday – White gold earrings

So what do I want for my birthday this year? Actually nothing la… I’ve reached the stage where birthdays are not that exciting anymore. It’s just a reminder that I’m getting older (but hopefully wiser). So does “Nothing la”, really mean nothing at all this time? I’ll let Yin How guess for himself. ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's time to open up

I created this blog because sometimes I watch or hear something which I find very interesting. Or sometimes it’s about some random stuff I think of. Or it could be something I did or something that Yin How did which I just want to jot down. Today my sister emailed me about something which triggered some thoughts again. So I decided to write this post.

I have not told this to many people. Even close friends know very little about this because I don’t talk much about it. And this post is not to tell the whole story, just what it is about.

My mum has recently cut ties with me. And I have not really spoken to my dad for almost two years (my dad coming to my wedding was just an act, close friends were suspicious that something was wrong). My family problems are not the typical average family problems. There’s something wrong with someone in my family and I shall not say more. But I am very BITTER about everything that happened and I have become a very BITTER person who does not believe in depending on parents and for some time I became very withdrawn.

I have not told many people about this because I was trapped in some kind of emotional blackmail and also this is not something I enjoy talking about. When I first started working, while my friends were using their paychecks to enjoy life, I started saving furiously so that I could buy a place which I can call my home to escape from it all. After my sister entered university and I moved out, and after my mum recently cut me out of her life, I feel that I have been freed in some sense and I’m starting to open up a little. My sister and I always joke that we would write a book about what we went through and we even came out with the book title.

Reason why I’m writing about this is so that you will not ask me about my parents anymore. Usually when I meet up with friends, they will ask, “How is your dad? When is he coming back from Brunei?”, or “How is your mum doing?”. These are typical questions that old friends would ask each other to catch up with one another. But for me, these are the most dreaded questions ever. Usually I will muster up a fake smile and say, “Oh, they are doing fine” and quickly avoid any eye contact, when in reality, my parents have cut me out of their lives and everything is not fine.

I hate lying and I hate feeling so uncomfortable when I’m asked about my parents, so this is the real story. Why blog about it? Because when I tell friends about this face to face, they get shocked, which makes them uncomfortable, which makes me uncomfortable, which creates an awkward situation.

Maybe I will not be so bitter in the future. Maybe one day I’ll let go of everything. Maybe everything will be ok. But until then, the next time you meet up with me, let’s talk about anything from the sun, to the moon, to the pretty blue sky. :)

Anything except my parents.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chicken Varuval recipe

Since i moved to my new home, I usually cook dinner everyday after coming back from work. Usually I cook chinese food because it only takes a 10 minute preparation. But lately I've been trying Malay and Indian food. The latest recipes i tried are Fried Chicken 65 and Chicken Varuval. My Chicken 65 turned out ok, and my Chicken Varuval was yum yum yummy.

I can tell whether my cooking good when I ask Yin How about it. When ask him, "Is my cooking nice or not?" (with a slight threatening note at the end hinting that if you say it's not nice, then I won't cook for you again), he'll usually say "Nice....." meaning it's just so so. But when the dish is really nice, he'll say "Nice!! Ho Chiak!! Cook some and let my mum try".

Him asking me to cook for his mum means that the food is worthy enough for my mother-in-law's taste buds. My parents-in-law made a living by cooking at their restaurant packed with customers, and my mother-in-law is very judgemental on what food is good and what is not. Yin How told his mum that I wanted to challenge her cooking which made her laugh (i just meant it as a joke but he told her and I was horrified!) . No way am I going to let my mother-in-law try my cooking. I don't dare. :P

Yin How is a mummy's boy who loves his mum's cooking. When I first moved in with Yin How, his mum got so worried that he'll starve because that at that time, she knew i couldn't cook at all. During the first week after Yin How moved in with me, she fried around 5 fishes, and a few different meat dishes, took the bus to the Jetty to come to Penang (they stay in Butterworth), then took the bus to my place to bring us the 1 week supply of food for us to freeze in our fridge.

After that, I was determine to learn how to cook. So i went online to look for recipes and self taught myself how to cook. I think i'm doing ok though sometimes i still burn my garlic. :) And I insist on using measuring cups and spoons to measure everything in the recipe which makes Yin How impatient. Sometimes I purposely do things very slowly so that Yin How will get impatient, and he'll take over.

Anyway, this is the Chicken Varuval recipe i used. I'm gonna cook it again this weekend. Yum yum...

http://www.spiceindiaonline.com/chicken_varuval
Ingredients
1 lb Whole chicken cut into pieces
2 nos Onion (diced)
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
2 nos Dry red chilli
½ nos Cumin seeds

6 nos Curry leaves
2 tsp Red chilli powder
2 tsp Corrainder powder
2 tsp Black pepper powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp
Salt (or to taste)
3 tbsp
Oil


Instructions
Wash and cut chicken into pieces, heat oil in an iron kadai and splutter cumin seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Saute onions until golden brown along with ginger garlic paste. Add chicken along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, corrainder powder, black pepper powder and salt. Cook on medium flame until the oil separates making the masala slightly thick and dry. Good side for any rice dish.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Retirement plan at 26 years old? Hmmm...

Today I met up with a friend who talked me to about retirement plans. Yea, I know, I'm only 26 and retirement is 30 years away so why would I care right now? Futuremore, using a EPF calculator, with my current salary and a yearly increment of 5% every year for 30 years, I'll have more than a million in my account. So I was thinking, wow, that's more than enough for me to happily retire in comfort.

After talking to my friend, I realized that I'm so wrong. First of all, i would be really lucky if i can secure a job with a yearly increment of 5% for 30 years. With lots of news about companies laying off people, there's no guarantee that my job is secured for the next 30 years.

The second eye opener for me was i totally forgot about inflation. The average inflation is 4% yearly. Using an inflation calculator, I calculated that RM1 million 30 years later, would only be worth RM350k. The average lifespan of a woman is 80 year old. Means after retiring at 55, RM350k/25 years would be RM1k to spend every month. RM1k after deducting fuel, bills, etc. is not much to spend. After another 20 years after retirement (i'd be 75 years old by then), the RM1k after 20 years of inflation would have a value of only RM442. I haven't even taken into account money needed on health care.

In conclusion, our EPF retirement fund is not enough. My friend did a calculation and I need another RM1 million on top on my EPF retirement fund to retire with just enough money to live moderately. To do that, I would have to save at least RM750 per month into something that will give me a compound return of 8%. And this is if i start from age 26 onwards. I'm not a person keen on investing, so I tried to calculated how much I need to save monthly without investing in anything. It come out to RM2.2k every month for 30 years in an FD returning 3%. So my husband and I would need to have RM4.4k per month. Currently, that's not possible.

So I guess I do have to start thinking about investing. But not now, since I've got so many commitments and a really agressive housing loan plan. Since I started working, I've been saving non-stop. I bought my first property when I was 22 years old, saved for the 20% downpayment then for renovation. When I started saving up again, I had to spend it on my wedding (which i do not regret because it was a very memorable wedding worth everything i paid for) . So basically, i've been saving ever since i first started working. Sometimes it's really tiring, but at the end of the day, i'm happy.

However, when I'm more financial comfortable, i have to do some serious financial planning. I know that the longer i delay this, the more I have to save in the future. My husband says he may not even live for so long but what if we do? Is RM442 per month enough? I don't think so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Malaysian Politics?? Sigh....

I heard on the radio that Obama won the elections and will be the first black US President. I don't really follow American politics but hearing about his victory made me happy. It represents a change in mindset regarding racial barriers. I watched Obama's victory speech online and I can sense such patriotism from the thousands who gathered there. If US can make history like this, voting regardless of race, why can't Malaysia do the same?

It saddens me that Malaysian politics is still very race centric. The problem with Malaysia is that we do not have good politicians. Malays politicians are too sensitive about protecting their Malays rights. Chinese politicians are too sensitive when they feel that their Chinese identity is threatened and try to make themselves feel better by insisting to put up road signs in their own language. And now there's a silly fight that those road signs will threaten the Malay language as the national language. Politicians get so worked up over little issues like this, but are they sensitive to the rakyat's real needs?

Honestly, if it weren't for Malaysia's sucky politics, I would think Malaysia would be a great place to stay. I love the fact that we are a country of many cultures. I enjoy going over for "rumah buka" during Hari Raya and Deepavali where all my friends of different races will gather to celebrate the joyous occasion. I enjoy learning about my friend's different cultures. I love eating Chinese, Malay, Indian food. We are spoilt for choice.

However, due to racial politics, we are always reminded by our politicians that Malays are the privilege ones and Chinese are the "squatters" in this country. Why can't Malaysian politics reach a more mature stage after half a century of independence? Why can't we put aside our differences and just accept that no matter our race, we are all Malaysians.

Even though I'm Chinese, I don't always agree with some the Chinese politicians. Neither do I agree with some of the Malay politicians. Both are too race extreme. I'm hoping that my generation, the younger more educated internet generation, will be able to see pass racial differences and see the real issues in this country. Though I do realize that even those of us who are educated still hold on furiously to their own race.

I went to a national school of Malays, Chinese and Indians and I've formed very close friendships with people of all races, which is something which I'm proud of. However, when I left school, I realized that not all people share this same opinion. When I entered college, majority of the students were Chinese educated and when they saw photos of me and my Indian friends, they were shocked that I my close friends are Indians and I remember one guy making fun of it. I feel sad for this kind of people because they are blinded by the love of their own race and are missing the chance to get to know all the different cultures we have here.

If I have children someday, I would want to send them to a multi-racial school. I would want them to be friends with all races. I would want them to judge a person by the person's real character and not by skin color. And I believe this is something which they need to learn from a young age. A 3 year old will see another kid of a different race as a potential playmate and wouldn't even notice the difference in skin color. In that sense, I wish we all could see through the eyes of a 3 year old. I'm hoping that when the younger generation eventually takes over Malaysian politics in the future, then maybe we could have an Obama victory here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My first entry... hope it lasts

I think this is my third attempt of creating a blog. My first blog has one entry which I created a year ago. My second blog is my secret blog which I use to pour out my feelings regarding a bad past (if you find that blog, let me know). And this will be my third blog, which I'm not sure how long i'll maintain :P

This blog is just to record anything I feel, read, or experience lately. Just some random stuff which if i have time, i'll just like to jot down.

I did something stupid today. When I woke up, I wondered why my vision seemed so clear. I looked at my alarm clock... clear... looked at my cupboard.. clear... looked at my dogs... clear... that could only mean one thing, i forgot to take out my contact lenses out last night and slept with them all night. Bad thing to do....

Since my eyes were swollen, I had to wear spectacles to work, something that very rarely happens. When my colleague saw me, he looked confused and stared at me for a while. He asked me, "You look different, did you change your hairstyle?". I told him I'm wearing my spectacles and he said, "Oh... almost couldn't recognize you." Trust a guy to be observant. ;)