Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Apology
I do not like the uneasiness triggered from the sight of them. The sight, the conversations, the questions surrounding the entire experience. I apologise for not being able to feel the happiness which they're experience at the moment. I am happy for them, but I'm unable to show it at the moment. Seeing them brings back a lot of memories. Memories which I want to forget.

I've already let go most of it. There's still a little bit more left which is lingering, and it's disturbing and annoying that it's still lingering like a worthless parasite (&@#$!). I want to completely obliterate it. I want to apologise to them. This is how I deal with my issues. I'm not in denial. But I am dealing with the demon within me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Financial Planning
We've all heard this term before: Financial planning. It pays to do some homework and have proper financial planning these days, as we will always have uncertain days ahead of us. What is proper financial planning and what is not? Hence the role of a good financial planner will come in, to assist in money management.

Hubby and I have always believed in proper financial planning. We have always believed that with wise spending and proper investments, eventually we would see our money grow. Whether it will be our retirement plan or for some other financial reasons, it pays to have some sound knowledge in financial planning. Nobody wants to be stuck with debts their whole life, right? So over the past several years already, we've consulted people who have in return, assisted us in making some money making decisions. We've also made some investments in unit trusts, got ourselves some policies and coverage.

A friend of ours came over the other night, and shared with some information which we were seeking. Hubby and I have been doing some research on our own, to try to find ways to make our money work for us. With the interest rates in banks so bloody low, it only makes money sense to seek for other alternatives to park some money elsewhere and make it work for us.

While on the topic of savings, our friend offered to do a quick financial study on the both of us, just to see where we stand and how we're doing with our finances. I can't remember the actual name of the study already, but it's basically some questions and figures, which the programme will then generate out a gross layout of our finances (debts, liquid assets, surplus etc).

It was quite interesting to do such a study, as we haven't really done it before. Even though it may not be 100% accurate (as some figures were rounded up to make it easier for calculation purposes, and for some we can't really remember the exact figures), it does give us a rough idea on how we fare in our finances and whether or not we're on the right track (which by the way, we're doing ok ;D).

This year, hubby and I are looking into a plan. And we hope to be able to see it materialise by the end of this year, or early next year.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eggxperience
I heard something really funny today, and I just had to share it in my blog (with permission that the person involved is to remain anonymous, HAHAHAHAHA!!!)

Anoni wanted to have hard boil egg, but the stove ran out of gas. So, Anoni took a Pyrex bowl, filled it with water, placed the egg inside the bowl, and placed the bowl into the microwave. After a few minutes, the egg exploded.

KAPOW!!!!

Lesson learnt. Never put en egg in the microwave. Not only does this method NOT WORK, you have a heck of a time cleaning up the microwave too!

Now, I am going to laugh out loud....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

WTF!
A cat with over 500,000 Twitter followers @sockington. He has an arch nemesis by the name of @RudyTheParrot.

I'm telling ya... This Twitter trend has really gone to the zoo!

Maybe I'll start a Twitter account for my fridge...~~~

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rakuzen @ Plaza Damas
A group of us were treated to a nice Japanese lunch recently, as a token of appreciation on working on a *PITA project. This particular project had an extremely tight dateline, coupled with the fact the client keep changing things right up till the very last minute (everything on the fly~). Which of course, resulted in us spending extra hours in the office (and some of the team members having to work over a public holiday too).

So we went to Rakuzen @ Plaza Damas. Rakuzen has a chain of restaurants in Klang Valley, and they are quite popular. Besides Plaza Damas, their other outlets are at Subang Jaya, Desa Parkcity and KL.

Some of the lunch sets available from Rakuzen.

The lunch crowd can be really crazy, so if you're thinking of going there, I would recommend that you make reservations before hand. Their lunch menu has quite a wide variety for you to choose from, and prices are reasonable. Another plus point is, they serve grated wasabi (along with processed wasabi). Now grated wasabi is actually quite pleasant in taste, and you could probably see some fibre in it. It doesn't really shoot up to your nose like processed wasabi. In fact, some processed wasabi might not even have wasabi in it.

Shoyu and processed wasabi.

The 3 different maki we ordered. The Spider roll is in the foreground.

The first few items to come were the rolls. My colleagues ordered 3 different types of maki to be shared among us. One plus point for Rakuzen is that, despite their lunch crowd, they still ensure quality to their food, which is a very good practise to keep their customers happy and satisfied (and coming back for second rounds).

The caterpillar maki.

Sashimi and unagi zen.

This is my lunch set, sashimi and unagi zen. I can't exactly recall the exact price of this set, but I think it's about RM 40. A very generous portion of unagi (that's only half of the serving in the photo) and 7 slices of sashimi. Like most lunch sets, it comes with rice, chawan mushi, an appetizer and fruits. Rakuzen is noted for their generous servings in their lunch sets, so if you have an appetite, this is a good place to satisfy your palate.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7! Now eat us!

One of my colleague ordered his favourite, zaru soba (buckwheat soba) & saba shioyaki. The condiments are in the foreground, but I like how the quail egg looks so massive in this photo :P Kinda like a dinosaur egg, eh?

Saba syioyaki, grilled mackerel.

There were several other sets which my other team mates had ordered, but since everyone was so famished, I didn't take any pictures of their food, hehehehehe! Also, 3 of the remaining sets came without chawan mushi because, due to the lunch crowd the chawan mushi was to be served later. We then reminded the water that there were 3 outstanding chawan mushi to our table. After a while, the waiter informed us apologetically that they would replace the chawan mushi with green tea ice-cream instead, because the new batch of chawan mushi came out too hard (failed QC). At least they (Rakuzen) had the courtesy to inform us about their blunder, instead of serving lousy chawan mushi (which may have ended up with us kicking a fuss and causing their rep to drop).

*PITA - pain in the ass
*Note: I think I've been having a lot of Japanese food lately, ahaks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekly Ramblings
1) Restaurant City
I've been playing this game for weeks :P It's an app in Facebook, and so many people are in it. The game is pretty much like SimCity. You are given a restaurant to run. You manage it, manage your employees, get ingredients for your dishes by answering the daily quiz as well as trade with your friends and level up. Because this game is in beta mode, the maximum level is 27. But you can still continue to play it, earn more moolahs and decorate and redecorate your restaurant. It's quite fun because there's some strategic thinking to how you want to maximise your employees as well as customer patronization. The highest rating you can achieve is 50.0, which is indicated by the green thumbs-up sign your customers give your restaurant. The higher your rating, the more people will patronise your restaurant.

My restaurant layout at the moment.

2) American Idol - Kris Allen
The whole world is making such a big hoohaa over Kris Allen now. Many are disappointed at America's choice this year. Like, chill people~ America has made her choice, so be it. In fact, American Idol is only a stepping stone for the participants. Many of today's top singers are in fact, American Idol finalists. And I think we should remember that. I also think that both Kris Allen and Adam Lambert were just as good as each other. They both picked songs from genres which suited them nicely, thus creating a whole new world for them. I reckon Kris is like John Mayor style, while Adam is more the classic rocker style.

Kris Allen belting a tune. Photo from here.

3) Twitter Anthem
This topic is probably being retweeted all over the internet now, hehe! The tune's pretty catchy and funky. Listen to it here. (you follow me~~~ I'll follow you~~~)

It's Friday, I'm so looking foward to the weekend! Whee!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hanazen @ Jaya One
A friend of mine told me about this Japanese restaurant, and I decided to give it a try this weekend with hubby. Since recovering from viral fever, it took almost a week for my appetite to return to normal. And yes, I lost a wee bit of weight because of the fever, shucks!

Hanazen set lunch menu.

Hanazen is located on the ground floor of Jaya One (Block C), which is possibly the most current happening spot in PJ now. The restaurant has a simple minimalist deco to it, which is nice and comfortable.

Hanazen set lunch menu.

Flipping open their lunch menu, we were quite impressed with their wide selection of lunch sets. Their pricing is similar to that of Shun (one of our favourite spots), which starts from approximately RM 30. Their set lunches comes with the main dish, rice (in some sets, it's sushi variety), chawan mushi, an appetizer, miso soup, and fruits.

Cold soba and sushi set (RM 33).

This is my lunch set, cold buckwheat soba and assorted sushi. When I dine at Japanese restaurants, I normally can't stay away from sashimi sets, so ordering soba is actually quite an unusual step for me hehehehehe!!!

Hotate (scallop) and a thick juicy slice of salmon sushi!

The quail egg and radish for the cold soba dipping. At the background is the appetizer, some cheesy peppery macaroni.

Chicken teriyaki and sashimi set (RM 38).

This is hubby's set, chicken teriyaki and sashimi set. The set came with thick slabs of salmon and some other raw fish, and teriyaki chicken drumstick. Yummy~

A close-up shot of the teriyaki chicken, although I must admit, the best teriyaki chicken we've ever tasted is from Hokano @ Uptown.

Generous slabs of salmon sashimi (hurray to omega!).

Service here is prompt and polite, but that's probably because we went on a weekend. I heard from my friend that the lunch crowd during working days can be crazy :P Hanazen closes for a few hours during the afternoons, so the waiter would politely ask if we had any other order before the kitchen closes.

Overall, we liked the food at Hanazen, and would definitely make another trip back here in the near future (Yea! Another Jap spot to add to our growing list :P). Like Shun, there's no charge if you order hot ocha (green tea). Hanazen also does not practise the 5% government tax.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Crocs
Hubby and I were at Jaya One a few hours ago for lunch, and we stumbled upon the weekend flea market there. We didn't know Jaya One had a flea market there too. The first stall that we stumbled upon was one that was offering Crocs.

Now we all know Crocs is like a growing fad here. It's light weight and it's expensive sandals, haha! Ever since Crocs was introduced to our shores, I've seen scored of people clamouring for a pair. And if you want the cheaper imitation, there's always Asadi :P Material may differ, but it's just as light weight and cost 10 times less, hehehehehehe!

So, back to the Crocs stall at Jaya One. A young chap by the name of Khairul runs the stall, together with some of his family members, I reckon. And the Crocs were going for between RM 80 and RM 100 (depending on which style you choose) and they are all original. He says he can offer to sell them at a lower rate because he gets them direct from the supplier. Khairul also added that some units may have small defects, hence he's letting them go cheaper. Kinda like a small scale Crocs warehouse sale if you ask me. Who cares!

After trying a few pairs, I got myself a pair of pale blue Malindi (RM 80). They are pretty comfy for my feet, and the colour was quite sweet too :D Comfort is the main factor for me when it comes to buying sandals/shoes.

Malindi, up close and personal.

Athens, which didn't have hubby's size.

Hubby also tried a few pairs, and he actually liked the model Athens, but unfortunately they didn't have his size available. Hubby needed one size larger (he has big feet, hehehehe!), but Khairul wasn't able to find a larger size. However, Khairul gave us his contact as well as his blog, and asked us to check it out, and even told us he would be expecting some new stock in about 2 weeks time. He took down hubby's contact, and promised to contact us when the size is available.

If you're interested to get some Crocs at a cheaper rate, head over to Jaya One over the weekend and look out for Khairul's stall :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

AirAsia's Customer Service is Complaining
A friend pointed this post out to me today, from AirAsia's blog. Their own customer service has been lamenting about their tough life as Customer Service and the weirdos they have to layan in regards to a whole lot of matters. Well, life as a Customer Service as we all know it, is really tough as you have to deal with reasonable and unreasonable people a lot.

If you remember about my complaints about AirAsia's on-time guarantee, you would also realise that we're one of the many thousands who have written in to complain as well. Of course in the end, AirAsia decided to just ignore our complaint lor. Now, if you had followed our complaint from the start, you will realise that we're not being unreasonable. In fact, we actually have a strong case in regards to the complaint. We're not one of those that would simply write in to complain just to get something out of it. We're educated people, and we go with the facts to build our case.

Our flight was delayed for 4 hours, and we were, like many others on the same flight, were left in the lurch as to why the flight was delayed and we were given assurance that we were entitled to the RM 200 voucher. AirAsia's on time guarantee promises a 3 working day reply, so if you can boldly announce such a promise, by all means keep to it. I don't care how difficult it is for you on the Customer Service end to keep to that 3 working day timeframe, or the amount of influx you have to deal it. You can so proudly give the assurance of 3 working days, then it's your freaking problem how to keep to the guarantee.

The worse part is how you guys on the Customer Service side dealt with our case. Merely calling to inform us that we're not entitled because of 'bad weather'. It's always easy to blame the weather for everything. And it was a very smart move to call us instead of replying our emails, because that would mean no black & white. Clever, but we saw through your tricks.

We've flown with AirAsia several times, and it's quite common for their flights to be delayed/retimed anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Yes, it does get pretty annoying and it's quite a common thing with a lot of no-frills airline as well. But that doesn't mean an airline should take things as a norm, right? "Oh yes, it's normal la, AirAsia delay"... Things are only like that because people made it that way. Just like wedding dinners, constantly starting an hour late. Why? Because people made it that way. It has become a norm. And when things become a norm, naturally, things are taken for granted.

It takes effort to make a positive change. But it takes even greater effort to make the first steps and break out from the norm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Of Viruses And Hygiene Steps
I was recently down with the viral fever, and with most of my workmates as well, heh! One by one, we tumbled down, like a stack of dominoes. No thanks to one person who brought the virus in, duh~

You know how it is in offices. All it takes is one person to fall sick, and one by one, you see one person falling sick after another. Bummer. And you now what's worse... Being stuck in the office for 8 hours or more sometimes, it's a germ factory. The virus is trapped, hence it will go around and make its way from one person to another person.

Ever since I got back from my medical leave, I've been wearing a mask as well. I'm being considerate as I do not wish for my other healthy colleagues to get my cough, so I chose to don a mask on working days. If I had my way, I would even open all the windows here for a few hours, just to let the air circulate a bit. People are literally sick because of the office~

I also bought a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me. A family friend had advised us to wash our hands more often as well, to curb the common flu virus. Our fingers especially, are constantly exposed to dirt and bacteria everywhere we go. Hence she advised us to wash our hands properly. Even in Singapore, hubby said the government has been encouraging and educating the people there to proper hand washing. I'm even contemplating of getting a can of air sanitizer too, to spritz around my cubicle and get rid of whatever flu viruses lingering around. Yea I know, paranoia setting in, heh!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The End Of It
Hubby's been traveling back and forth to the nearby republic for work since mid-April. He's got a project going on there, and it's gonna last until end of May. So he's been making weekly trips there, and making his way back to KL/PJ every weekend.

Sigh~~~

I've been alternating between home and my parents house, as my mum doesn't want me alone in the house cooking nothing but instant noodles (which is not true at all, I actually prepare real food for myself).

I wish hubby's project would end soon. The end of it is near... Curse the republic for taking so much of his time from me...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Viral Fever
I know I know... Where has Oli been eh? She was down and out for a few days due to viral fever. In fact, I've still got the lingering cough and a slight runny nose still *sniff*, but no more fever.

I was actually feeling unwell on Saturday, during the recent long weekend (Labour Day, Saturday & Sunday). I went to see my regular doctor at Damansara Uptown, and because it was just a mild fever, he didn't want to prescribe antibiotics just yet. By evening, my fever had subsided.

The next morning when I woke up, I was feeling warm again. But after popping my medication, I was feeling better. Initially I had decided to stay home instead of going out with some friends to a buffet at Sunway, but hubby convinced me to just go if I'm feeling ok. So I went ahead to the buffet, but didn't really eat much. Mainly took some finger food, warm soup, bread and fish. By Sunday evening, the fever had subsided again.

Early Monday morning, just as hubby was about to leave the house to catch his flight to a nearby republic, he felt my hands and exclaimed "Dear, you're warm again. Shit!" The fever was back. Darn. Hubby didn't want to leave me alone, but he has a plane to catch. So I said I'll call my parents to take me to the clinic, and I'll stay with my parents for the week until he returns. I didn't want to be alone at home, feeling sick and suddenly fainting, only to be discovered several days later lying motionless on the floor!

My parents whisked me to the clinic where I requested to see the same doctor. I told the doctor that my fever is recurring, so he checked my pulse and breathing and took some blood samples (was afraid it might be dengue fever, even though I didn't have rashes). The doctor said he will inform me of the results once he gets them, and in the mean time prescribed some antibiotics.

I totally crashed and zonked out at my parents house. Didn't even realised I was sweating like a cow. My mum was using a handkerchief to wipe the sweat off my face and back, helped me change my shirt to a fresh one and made barley for me to drink (thanks mum, I *hearts* you lots). Even my dad's temperamental cat somehow could sense I was sick, and jumped on the bed and accompanied me for a while (he's probably rummaging through my bag of clothes now).

The nurse called a few hours later, and fortunately the results were nothing to be concerned about, she said. It's a viral fever, she added, so just take the medications the doctor had prescribed and I'll be fine in a few days *phew*. It was quite a relief to know there's nothing major.