Archive | November, 2013

Let’s Eat Something Nice!

29 Nov

Saturday nights are our eat-out nights and it is always a challenge to find something nice to eat. This has become our pattern ever since the extra music classes and busy Saturday chauffeuring duties ended several months ago. And now that the school holidays have started, it is a must to eat out.

“Let’s eat something nice!” M2 enthused.

“Have we ever been to a place that serves food that’s not nice?” Hubby asked.

“Have you ever seen places advertising that they don’t use the freshest products?” He went on.

Put it this way, well, most of our gastronomic experiences have been nice. If it wasn’t, I’d think it’s personal. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

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Hah! About Time

28 Nov

Last night when we got back from dinner at a friend’s place in the city, I found that Candy Crush finally has the long awaited update for the iPad. Hah! About time, I thought and clicked on it.

Waiting, I mused over the casual dinner, smiling over the remark of the mismatched wine we all had. But does it matter? Food was hearty and delicious, company was great and ambience delightful, one can’t have it any better. Even M1 and M2 enjoyed themselves thoroughly. I suspect both have comatosed over dinner (and dessert) as they were very quiet in the car on the journey home. All in all, it’s a nice change to routine for a weekday.

And speaking of routine, not crushing candies on the laptop was suddenly an acceptable act. Honestly, I was getting tired of waiting for the update and having been stuck at Level 480 for sometime, the lengthy period has made the game lose some of its charm. Plus the fact that I only play it before going to the office and returning home does not help matter.

But oh! They are so smart this time, updating with two chapters instead of typically one! Yay. Maybe there is hope to reignite the challenge in me. Instead of just adding Sugary Shire (which I completed), Cherry Chateau (where I am stuck) has also been included. I guess I don’t have to rely on the laptop so much now until of course, I overcome 480 and come to the end of the Cherry Chateau chapter (Level 485).

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Stuck at 480 for sometime now

So let the crushing of candies continue. About time too, don’t you think?

Irks Me to No End

26 Nov

Last week, I decided to go buy a replacement pair of golf shoes, having had mine stolen from the recent smash and grab incident. So I went to the mall. The salesman was trying to push various brands to me but I declined because aesthetically, the shoe designs did not appeal to me.

In the end, to save time, I showed him a picture of my lost shoe and said that if available, I’d like to buy the same again, Footjoy’s Greenjoy model. (I had taken a picture when I got the shoes for my birthday in April. Six months down the road, how could I know what happened to me can happen?)

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“Ahh. This is a Greenjoy model,” he exclaimed.

“We used to have it but now, no stock! But I can check for you,” he went on.

Amazing how a sentence can create two differing emotions at the same time. Popular models move very fast I guess. He was very helpful and suggested I leave my mobile for him, and he promised he will call—in two days’ time—whether the model is available or not. Too good to be true, I asked him again if he will call in two days and he reassured me, yes, two days, he will call. Definitely.

Such good service, I thought. Okay, two days is good before I make a decision.

Two days later…

The call never came. Then I happened to be in the neighborhood of a sports superstore and the lure of buying a new pair of shoes was just too tempting. So I checked out the superstore. My Greenjoy was available but one size bigger. Aarrgghhh… The frustration of it irks me; so close yet so far.

In the end, I bought something else that I could be comfy with, and at half the price of the Greenjoy pair, you could say I was happy with the choice.

Yesterday and that’s six days’ later from the word of promise, I finally received a text message from the salesman. It read as such: “Afternoon Angie, this is suresh fr golf house. rdgar”

An incomplete message… eeesh. Irked (again), I messaged him back, saying the message was incomplete and went straight to the point to ask if the shoe was available or not. He replied: “Sorry mistyped. no. stock. with. supplier. tq”

Wow. That sums up the whole thing! Is that a good follow-up after all that reassurance to call? Are the full-stops supposed to emphasize his point? Gee…. why didn’t he just capitalize all the words?

What irks me here is the promise (is this a standard salesman’s talk?) that he will call at a given specific date but never did. And ended the whole experience with just a text message; not even a phone call to soothe an irate (and disappointed) customer. I’m thinking if one cannot live up to the promise, one shouldn’t be making promises. It just leaves a bad impression at the end of the day.

So Far So Good

25 Nov
Proj4

M1 did the Bahamas

The globe trotting project proved to be a hit! We decided that it should be in alphabetical order to make things easier; they just have to choose a country each. The second presentation was with more enthusiasm and even us adults learnt a few new things on the two countries, Bahamas and Belgium.

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Bahamas: a quick glance, thanks to M1

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M2’s contribution on Belgium

Sunday night, I reminded them on the project for the coming weekday and without hesitation, both girls discussed with much interest on the countries they’d like to do. Countries were rattled off… Chile, Canada, Cuba, Djibouti, Denmark, Egypt and until letter ‘N’!! Wow. In my mind, I was thinking, if the project was just 5-days for the weekday (resting on the weekends), this week, we would just end at letter ‘G’ but they went on and beyond that.

Never thought that this could be so engaging for them. Yes, I am pleased.

Globe Trotting without Leaving

22 Nov

I was catching up with an old friend two days ago. She shared with me how her little boy has grown and how amazed she was at his ability and enthusiasm in learning new things. I thought her little game with him was a brilliant idea!

Then I thought, there’s six weeks of nothing doing for M1 and M2 if I chose to stay put this holidays. A typical day for them would be to wake up late and mess up their meal times, followed by couch potato acts with either the TV, iPod or laptop. Not very productive I must say.

What my friend did was to teach her son, each week, about a country in this world. He would learn the geography and landmarks of that country, and identify the country on the map. The fun part that she instilled upon him during the weekly project was to greet each other in the native language of the country, cook (or eat out) the food of the nation, listen to the songs and so on; basically immerse themselves into the culture and understand the country in question.

Now, if a little boy can do that, why not my two computer savvy girls? We could traverse the world and learn so much more without leaving the country!

So yesterday, I started the project albeit with some modifications for the girls. I reminded them before I left for the office in the morning. But I didn’t want to come across as a nag by calling them, so I messaged them about it. And last night they presented their findings to us. Although hubby was skeptical about it when it was mentioned, I think he was impressed too.

The country in question was Australia and this was what M1 and M2 presented to us.

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M1’s efforts

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More from M1

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M2’s version

 

It would be a daily thing instead of weekly to keep the interest up. Initially, both chose the same country but I think after the first presentation, both decided to choose different countries for the next day. Looking forward to their next effort!

Not Quite an Addict

21 Nov

Candy Crush has not been updated for the last few weeks and these days, I find myself only playing it on the laptop at home – before heading to the office and when I return home. Somehow this arrangement made me realize I am not quite the addict I thought I was.

Lately I do not play the game at the office on the desktop although I must admit, I had played on my iPad Mini when the game was still playable then. But as I have progressed so far (at Level 476 now in Facebook on the laptop) and the update on the iPad has yet to happen, there’s no candy crushing in the office for awhile. But Zookeeper Battle still occurs… Heheheh.

To say that I will retire from the game are big words and quite a significant status change despite the discovery of not being quite the addict I thought I was. After all, I am a full-time candy crusher, semi-full time golfer and occasional graphic designer. What am I gonna do, addict or not?

Recovering

19 Nov

Somehow I was sapped of energy last night after the (smash and grab) ordeal that happened, followed by the debate whether to laugh or cry over the matter, especially when the stolen bags were recovered. Thank goodness both girls were being their silly self and entertained us with their bubbly laughter and antics. Even official pet number one, Roo, was soothing.

Nothing but a good night’s sleep to ease and clear the mind. I believe once the car is fixed, the recovery will be complete.

Should I Laugh or Cry?

18 Nov

Hubby came home with the bags san some items. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. On one hand, I am glad my orange ONOFF bag has been rescued but on the other hand, I am peeved that my Footjoy shoes are gone. I am pretty sure his sentiments are just about the same.

What’s left in hubby’s bag are just his (dirty) underwear, toothbrush, one sock and a golf rule book. The shoes, pants, shirt, belt and toiletries bag were missing. I faired a bit better, with my sweaty undergarments, pants, another clean (gym) pants, a towel, some toiletries, papers and a wedding invitation. Gone were my shirt, socks, shoes and toiletries bag.

I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously the perpetrator is male, taking mostly hubby’s things. We decided to give the two bags a good wash, throw away whatever small items that’s left behind and I will probably Clorox my clothes to sanitize them (or maybe just throw them away too).

I don’t know. Should I laugh or cry…

Is There Hope for Our Society?

18 Nov

We live in a dangerous city. Everyday we hear and read news of unfortunate mishaps to innocent victims and the perpetrators get away with it. Gone were the days where I could just walk on the streets without fear. Nowadays, even when I drive, I have to be constantly alert, what more driving my big continental car.

Hubby and I have become another statistic to the ever increasing crime of smash and grab in our city. Only that this time, the car was parked whilst we were having dinner inside the restaurant after our golf game.

It was Sunday and there was a downpour after the usual monthly golf game. The group was to proceed to the restaurant about a half hour drive from the golf course. Rain had stopped by then and parking was sparse within the compound. We had no choice but to park outside, in front of the premise though. As there were parking attendants, we didn’t think twice about it.

Dinner was typical after a golf game, with hungry mouths chowing down on warm food on a cold night. The mood was also jovial with laughter and prize giving to the winners. After everyone dispersed, we stayed on for a bit longer, chatting with the remaining friends. But soon, we decided to leave.

Midway walking to the car, hubby said he had to go to the bathroom before the journey home. So I walked on to the MPV since I also had a set of keys. I opened the door and got it. Normally, the car lights are not turned on when the doors open. We just happen to set the car this way. I didn’t realize anything until the traffic drone was louder than normal to the ears.

I turned around, squinted my eyes and to my horror, saw the back window (behind the driver’s side) smashed! I looked down and felt my heart dropped. Both the Boston bags were gone. Shaken, I got down and checked the boot. Luckily both golf bags were still there. Phew!

Then I saw hubby approaching and waved frantically at him to alert him to the situation. I could sense him being very upset yet remained very quiet. He doesn’t rant like I would if I was riled. Perhaps I was too stunned to do so at that point in time. We summoned the parking attendants who then alerted their boss. The useless man was, well… useless. Not offering any apology or comfort, he just stood there and remained being useless.

We gave up. There’s nothing we could do but to hurry home before the threatening skies open up again with another downpour. While I am thankful both of us were not harmed, I seethed with annoyance that my orange ONOFF bag was gone; in it, my birthday present Footjoy shoes and team uniform! The same for hubby. Silently, I cursed whoever took our bags to hell twice over.

We got home and I got the duct tape while hubby went in search for a giant trash bag. He dusted away the glass shrapnels on the carpet as best as he could. It was obvious that the job was a professional one, with suction caps to physically remove the window once it cracked upon contact with whatever they used to break it. Why I say it was a professional job because there was very little evidence of a hard hit as glass pieces were not shattered and littered everywhere, inside or outside of the car.

That night was the quietest ever. Grim and upset, I felt violated. Thank goodness the night passed quickly.

Today I went about with my things, breaking away from routine a bit to clear the mind. It was after lunch when hubby received a call from a Good Samaritan! The lady said she found our two bags at a factory nearby. Details are sketchy but she said, there were stuff inside the bags and she found a business card (hubby’s) and called.

Maybe there is hope for our society. I hardly hear or come across someone like her who would go through the trouble like what she did for us. Maybe our stinky after-game clothes put the perpetrator off; maybe the things are really of no use to him/them; certainly the things are of no value to anyone in particular. Whatever it is, the fact that the lady called gives hope that society is sensitive enough to the victim(s).

Hubby is on his way now to collect the bags.

Things to Do During the School Holidays

18 Nov

School holidays are always tough to manage when we have to work and the girls don’t have school. The year-end school holidays has started and hopefully, both M1 and M2 will find things to occupy their minds until school resumes in January. After all, they are now older and technology is at their disposal. But it will be a different story if we go on a holiday.

When they were 6 and 10 years old, we used to send them over to grandma’s daily when we did not have a lived-in maid (then) to care for them while we went to the office.

Being girls and hanging out with their cousin sisters, they did this to M2…

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M2 subjected to the new hairdo!

And got carried away and ended up with this!

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Another angle…

I don’t think they will resort to this these days though…