Monday Blues

Way behind with work and clients are literally breathing down my neck!

20 emails remain unanswered – that is a catasthrophe. 

5 phone messages perched from every corner of my messy desk.

Court dates go topsy-turvy in my diary; a sign that I will soon be shot dead in court.

In-tray overflows for as long as I care to remember.

Office needs sorting out badly; an air-cond’s blower gone bonkers again.

My trusted aide, Fahmi, left  for a greener pasteur and I am still mourning his presence in the office.

I don’t have files on my table, I have mountains of the same.

Sigh.

Why can I just want to write and blog forever?

Untitled

This morning, eight years ago, Ayah was called up to Rahmatullah leaving me all alone to fend for myself in this big-mean world. He left me – among others - his books, his music, his compassion and his  priceless advice. I wish I could have more time with him, but God has a different plan for both of us.

As wisely phrased by my friend, Hi & Lo, Ayah didn’t go anywhere, he just went to the next room. Every time I think about that, I am immensely comforted.

While it is impossible to replace Ayah, I am blessed with plenty of fatherly figures – Zorro, Captain Ancient Mariner and Abang Ruslani (husband of the famed “Tok Mommy“) - who just accept and embrace me as if I am one of their own. Jefree is also sharing his Papa with me since the marriage. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Semoga Ayah ditempatkan di Syurga Jannah among his many books and musical instruments. Al Fathehah.

Kak Long sayang Ayah…

Apple MacBook Air

 

No, I do not want a Gucci handbag.

No, I do not desire for the blinding South African’s diamond.

Neither do I wish for a pair of the latest Manolo Blahnik.

And sorry Rocky, I will not be joining the BlackBerry club either.

I don’t want anything BUT the new Apple MacBook Air.

The Sun reports that the slick machine is rumoured to be retailing from RM5,936. However, yours truly spoke to the Apple outlet’s assistant at Pavilion; he informed me that the price is going to be from RM6,000 before tax. Sigh.

Sadly, as wisely put by my dearest friend Shib, dreams are free but the machine isn’t! :(

[Pictures stolen from here]

Sleepless in Setiawangsa VII

Bapak Luqman (the term I use whenever we have conflicting opinions) suffers from obsession to decorate our new house. The problem is we have a small budget but expensive desire. Last weekend was dedicated to searching for hob, hood and oven for the new kitchen. Mind you, these are foreign vocabularies for yours truly. I haven’t the faintest idea what these items are for except that they are meant to produce a meal. One thing I do know: the prices for these items are “sky-rocket high!”

So off we went – Luqman, Bapak Luqman and I – to the shop in Damansara Utama. Bapak Luqman strode ahead in confidence armed with his knowledge in house decor to meet the shop assistant, who could not speak Bahasa or English. I know for a fact that he was pissed off with my lackadaisical attitude on matters at hand. In my defense, I think, it is best to remain silent when you have scant knowledge in this department.  

As my husband conversed in earnest with the shop assistant, I feigned craziness by chasing Luqman around the shop. Honestly, what is up with this child? He can’t walk, I tell you, he can only run. If you asked me, mothers don’t need to sign up for gym-membership. They exercise fine by chasing their children around the clock.

Back to this kitchen thing; the shop assistant, somehow, found it imperative to include me in picking up the right oven for us. She looked at me straight in the eyes before asking me sweetly, “kakak nak guna apa dengan oven nih, nak buat roast chicken ker, nak grill ke atau nak masak kek atau biskut jer? Itu timer you nak ke?

[Translation: “What do you need to cook with this oven? Do you want to make roast chicken or grill something? Or do you just want to bake cake and cookies only? Do you want the timer?“]

My whole world came crashing down before me. Prior to this awkward moment, I never needed an oven in my modest life. Heck, the farthest I have gone since marriage and motherhood is to buy a decent set of plates for the family. I sometimes buy pieces of cutlery and glasses “out of sheer nothing to do” while in the shopping malls. And now, this sales person wants to know what I want to do with my oven? Oh dear…

I was speechless. Silence echoed in the shop. I swear to God I could see Bapak Luqman chuckling in amusement at my uneasiness. The nerve of this man! Shortly thereafter – perhaps out of pity – he saved me by picking the oven himself. Phew! That was rare being asked such a tricky question!

The whole episode dawns on me as my utmost flaw in life. I can’t cook. Period. I lack both interest and skill in the kitchen, so why bother? I cast a glance at my young son who was blowing bubbles from his mouth at me. I am beginning to feel real sorry for the little fellow; he sure wants his mom to cook something for him, if not now, in the future. I want him to be able to bring his friends over the house to enjoy good home-cooked meal. I also want him to brag to his friends about his mother’s culinary skill the way his father does.

There you go; I find my 2008′s resolution now – that is to learn how to cook a decent meal for Luqman and his father. Now if you excuse me, I am going to watch Asian Food Channel just like Bergen.

Oh, but I sure want that Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. It’s so gorgeous…

Untitled

 

Ouch! The silence is defeaning here. Sigh. 

I am too distraught with Sharlinie’s abduction, the ailing Pak Suharto, the infamous Lingam tape and work.

Oh, fine! I confess that I can’t possibly put down this literary fiction by Ms. Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss. Desai is a winner for Man Booker Prize in 2006. Be right back with a review.

Image stolen from Barnes & Noble and, of course, without their permission.

Help find Sharlinie!

 

A child, Sharlinie Mohd Nasar, disappeared on the eve of Awal Muharram near her house in Taman Dato’ Harun, Petaling Jaya. She is five years old and she answers to “Ninie”. Ninie is 3 feet & 2 inches tall, of slight build and round face, tanned complexion and short hair.

For further info, please click 3540 Jalan Sudin and Tok Mommy

Let’s find her.  

In the meantime, do look around for the person in the photofit above and upon sighting please contact the nearest police station or Rakan Cop at 03-21159999.

Of Ratatouille & Tony Roma’s

Luqman squeals with delight the moment I fish out a copy of Ratatouille DVD from my bag. Oh! For crying out loud kid, it’s a story about rats! He goofs around merrily while I juggle to slot the DVD into the player. For the next one and half hour, he stays glued to the screen – eyes as big as saucers – watching the movie to the exclusion of his mom who is watching him in utter disbelief.

Ratatouile is a movie about a rat, Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris. No offense to my cousin, Remy, if you are reading this crap; a rat named after you Abang? (Evil laugh echoes). Ah, Paris – the city of lights, the city of love. Trust Walt Disney to make a movie about rats living in Paris. Hold on to your horses folks, I am getting somewhere with this rat story.

The dead Chef Gusteau’s restaurant has been subjected to poor review about its dwindling performance by Ego; the mean but widely-publicised food critic. I love this Ego character to bits. His appaling demeanor sends the best of cooks in Paris scattering around in desperate attempt to please his, oh well, impossible-to-please taste buds.

I thought to myself – in my 32 years of living – I haven’t been adventerous with food at all. After years of eating tasteless food in boarding school tops with years of bake potatoes and fish & chips in England; I lost interest in the quest of finding good food. Pathetic, aren’t I? Books I can tell; books I can criticise or laud from the introduction right up to the glossary. But I am no Einstien in food. My vocabulary range in culinary equates to those in pre-school.

However, on January 3, things changed. Jefree and I went out on an impromptu date that day. After the movie, we dined at Tony Roma’s despite our hearts wrenched in guilt for leaving Luqman behind. We thwarted that little nagging feeling and stepped into the semi-darkness of the restaurant in Pavilion. The over-cheerful waiter, Adi, placed the thick menu in front of us. At this point, I would not hide my disdain with food menu; it is often overrated and the picture is a complete different version from what being served on your table.

But the food connoisseur in my life, Encik Jefree, urged me to have Bountiful Beef Ribs. After frowning at the exorbitant price of the dish, I readily agreed to his suggestion. Adi appeared back at our table after sending the orders to the kitchen with four types of Tony Roma’s sauces to go with my ribs. While I strained to make head and tail of his peculiar English’s accent; I appreciate his enthusiasm in serving me a decent meal. Kudos Adi!

My plate arrived shortly thereafter. The first chew of the rib transported me to nirvana of taste like never before. The chef tenderised the meat to perfection amidst heaven of flavours. The ribs were precisely served to my request of medium-well like no other American’s joints I frequented before. Juices and flavours oozed out from the meat the moment I sliced my huge knife through the ribs. The meal was served with 2 additional side dishes of my choice. I opted for sweet corn on cob and – my favourite comfort food of all time – mash potatoes. The mash potato was a bit starchy but dollops of cream on top of it made me forget the starchiness.

I devoured everything on my plate in record time and started poking on Jefree’s chicken. His chicken was, undoubtedly, mediocre as opposed to my awesome ribs.

Go ahead then, give Tony Roma’s a try. But if you order anything else than the ribs, please don’t hold me responsible. I told you I am no Nigella Lawson.