About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

31 March, 2007

D-day

Pretty tiring day for me yesterday. Drove to Langat at about 6.50 pm and man the Friday traffic as usual was horrendous! The drive was brilliant through the hills; the mist and not so dense fog was a sight to welcome (it's not the haze ok.....!).

Reached there at about quarter to eight and immediately performed dusk prayer (Maghrib). I was quite impressed with how the place was lit up at night....exudes a romantic charm which I like!

Pictured above is the building where we are going to have the activities during the dinner bash - bersanding, karaoke etc..

Ironed out some issues which we need Mr PR man to address...Like re-arrange the canopy length wise rather than breadth-wise...in order to get a symmetry to the building (above pic) where the dais is placed.


This is what the canopies erected by the resort look like. I'm quite happy with them....They came for free! Once the table and chairs are laid out with the decor, the total ambience should be just perfect for me (you can't ask for more with a minimal budget). In any event, it's the crowd which makes the difference.


We had dinner after discussing with Mr PR man and one of the dishes we chose was deep fried fish in their three-tastes sauce(i.e. sweet sour and hot sauce). Ordered a medium sized siakap (Barramundi) but was told that it's sold out for the night. Chose tilapia instead - the sauce is rather on the "hot" side but overall - 5 out of 5 for me.
Drove back at about 10 p.m. and zonked out after a tiring day.
BTW....slept about 12 mid night.....had jitters throughout the sleep...And here I'm trying to distract from anxiety attack posting this...! Feel like I'm having a stress-induced gastric attack now...Need to eat something!

30 March, 2007

Final 7th


Mad about Potter? Khadijah and I are no. 1 fans of Potter. We have each installation of the chronicles of this young wizard (erm...not so young anymore). We are so looking forward to the final 7th installation of his adventure. We have pre-booked a copy! So 21st July here we come - a loong night for me, then!


The latest teaser is the release of the cover of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" yesterday. Wonder who's the important character whom Rowling has terminated...She's not giving any hints!

Pictured above is the US edition for children (for the uninitiated, they have different covers to suit the US and British children and adult market (yes adults get a chance to read it without the embarassment of having a children-looking-illustrated cover!).




UK adult cover

UK Children cover

High handed tactics

My sister wanted some haberdasheries for the anniversary bash from Jalan TAR and I offered to buy for her since I needed some stuff from Jalan TAR too!

I have not had my dose of Nasi Kandar (mixed rice which trace its origin from the Pearl of the Orient, Penang) for quite some time and the place which sells quite close to the original version is Ibramsha and located at Jalan TAR! Once in a while I do take a break from healthy eating. I am human after all....succumbing to decadance!

Wonderful!

Walked all the way from Semua House where my car was parked to Ibramsha first....By the time I reached there the main dishes were gone as usual. The food there is good but the "forced" selling tactics employed can be annoying...Then only I remembered why I have not been back a long time. It's like they just shove whatever there is into your plate before you could say no. I was firm that he had to take the fish head and chicken back from my plate much to his annoyance. In the first instance I didn't ask for it! He just chucked whilst suggesting I had them....Imagine someone who's afraid to stand up for his or her rights (i know of people like this, you'd be surprised) and just allow to be bullied being put in that position! How much money have they made from these innocent customers! I shudder to think!

Apart from that incident, I enjoyed my lunch and may go back there once I forget this incident.....May be next year.

Any other exceptional nasi kandar outlet(s) which you know?

Oatmilk and Black Bean Drink

Justlife is our family favourite organic shop...We have been slowly changing our foodstuff to organic ones for the past three years...Yes it can be pricey but the benefit far outweigh the cost you incur. Somehow organically grown produce tastes a lot different. For lunch I'd pack sandwiches with organic cherry tomatos, sprouts/cress and lettuce - even my sons can vouch that they taste a lot better than the not-so-labour-intensive-grown veg (in other words with the help of pesticides). Read this blog for more on organic living.

Two of the items which I never fail buying is the black bean milk (tastes better than soy bean milk) and the oatmilk (packed in a glass bottle)! The two Justlife stores which we normally frequent is the ones at Ikano Power Centre and Queen's Park.

29 March, 2007

Update


Sister came up with a Menu cum Agenda card as in the picture above. I thought it's lovely. Thanks sis! The menu and agenda has jawi (arabic letters) versions next to the romanised words to keep in line with the 60s theme ( jawi prints were widely used in the 60s).

Met up with cousins and my brother separately yesterday to brief and delegate work.....And guess what? Still a lot needs to be done! (sigh)

The PRO of the resort called asking us to fax the agenda to TV9...Huh? Apparently they are interested to cover the event...I don't think it'll past the producer of the intended show....

Wish us tonnes of luck with the event!

28 March, 2007

27 March, 2007

Salt Design, Persian dinner and Norouz


Had to leave work slightly early yesterday, about 7 pm to meet up Elaine who is the co-owner of Salt Design (an ex-graphic designer who was sick of staring at the computer every day and started Salt Design making handcrafted stuff) at City Square (the other half is Queenie whose sample art work I posted as the first picture above). Queenie's focus is now in fine art and cats and children are her subject interest. I had the opportunity to view her art work at Bon Ton Resort in Langkawi early this year where she is currently the resident artist.

Wifey and I have been sourcing for a guest book for my parents' anniversary bash and practically painted the city red the last couple of weeks, what in the end proved to be a futile foray. Tired of guest book hunting, last Saturday I texted M**g, my friend, who ordered tonnes of handcrafted note pads, albums and guest book from Elaine for her wedding in Bali last year to get Salt Design's phone number. (BTW Salt Design products are sold at X-tra in City Square and were sold at the now defunct Aseana, KLCC).

I was 45 minutes early for the appointment as the traffic was exceptionally ok. Decided to have dinner first at an Iranian restaurant called Aria on the ground floor of Ampang Plaza aka Yow Chuan which I have spotted for years but always slip my mind whenever I'm there. I love middle eastern food! Just the day before wifey and I had Lebanese food for lunch! To digress a bit, you should try Maandhi briyani at Sahara Tent (near the once controversial Arab square).

Ordered lamb Koobideh (Persian kebab) set which came with two pieces of lamb Koobideh, Saffron rice served with butter (huge portion which I could not finish) and Barley and Chicken soup served with lemon juice. The Koobideh was moist and the lamb tasted fresh!

As I was paying, I noticed a display of plates of garlic, grains, berries etc at the counter table which apparently is set up for the Iranian new year, Nourouz and the display is called Haft Sin (i.e. the seven 'S's items). Communication was a problem as they only could speak smattering of English. Had to leave for the appointment whilst they, 5 of them, were trying very hard to explain.
Elaine showed me five guest books which she made and immediately liked one which has a tie-dyed cover (hand made nonetheless). Salt Design can custom made stuff but they take seven days to make one, the luxury of time I have none!


Barley and chicken soup.


The Haft Sin table (each item symbolizes differnet things like love, affluence, age, patience etc)

Aria Restaurant located at G43-49 Ground Floor Ampang Plaza

25 March, 2007

Blessing in disguise


Drove all the way to Hulu Langat again Saturday evening to discuss and finalize on the layout of the tables etc for my parent's ruby anniversary dinner. I was told to collect the floor plan from Iskandar who mans the information counter and cashier's booth. I sort of suspected that something was amiss when he said the Marketing people did not leave the floor plan for me....but I just dismissed my suspicion! He promised to contact the Marketing people immdiately and would meet me at the restaurant once he got some news.



And off I went excitedly to the restaurant showing my best friend and his assistant, Yeh, the venue of the bash. Whe he saw the restaurant, from his face, I could tell that he wasn't all too happy! I just ignored and explained to him what we really want and ran the event sequence with him!

Whilst discussing animatedly, this PR person from the resort interrupted us saying that there's a huge problem with our booking.....WHAT? With one more week to go and he said there's a mistake? I almost blew my top........! Luckily, my parents always taught me to be patient and not jump to conclusions.. Listened, I did, to his side of the story...



Apparently, there is a certain political party group of people who had booked the restaurant before us....and even paid before we paid ours! That's a load of bu**! I had cleared with the Marketing people before we paid and the Marketing people has the booking diary with them! Yes they told us that there was another booking by another group but not firmed. I was further told that if we paid first, we got the place...And paid we did! But now.......?????


He suggested I look at the other possible venues within the resort which I flatly rejected as I didn't quite like the rest of the places (e.g. the main hall which has low ceiling and no windows). The only place which I immediately liked when I first recce the place is the lawn which has a pavillion cum stage. But there's extra cost to it like tables and chairs, canopies etc.....if we had boked the lawn. He then suggested that we used the lawn!


He assured me that the resort will subsidize the cost......I said no. It's either full costs to be borne by them OR the restaurant it is!


I was then ushered to see the MD cum owner of the resort who diplomatically said that it'd be nice to have the bash at the lawn area and can have a garden dinner concept etc....I told him, yes of course it'd definitely be nice to have it in the garden rather than the restaurant BUT what about cost? He wanted 50/50 but I said no......Finally he gave in and offered to pay for the 2 canopies, throw in banquet tables nad chairs for free, PA system for free, a couple of staff to hold bunga manggar, a gong (whatever for?), an Imam to recite the du'a, call in journalist from a local wedding magazine to cover the event ( which I doubt.....) and the list goes on.....I have to see their floor plan and what they are throwing in for free tomorrow!


It's really a blessing in disguise, don't you think?


Did a trial run for the main table today, with my daughter, and the above picture is what it's going to be like roughly (without the flowers and tall candles)!


24 March, 2007

A week to go


I was driving along some where in PJ after a meeting that I spotted this place which sells porcelain, bone china and synthetic bone china called Vantage.

I was supposed to source for a nice plate so that my sister can print (per the design above - done by Sheryne of Vantage) my parents' pic at Mid-Valley to give my parents during the anniversary bash. I felt like I was in Stoke-on-trent for a moment when I entered the outlet - they have a factory outlet at the back of the premises (check out for bargains). And what do you know Vantage does print on porcelain and the like! It's as cheap as RM89 for a 10" plate (on bone china that is!). We chose an intricate fine porcelain plate which costs RM96 (inclusive of printing) - definitely heavier than bone china!

Vantage, apparently, according to one of the staff who attended me, has a china factory in PRC. Printing and firing the design is done behind their outlet premises, yes right in PJ ( a cheaper alternative to Spodes, Alberts and Doultons!).

Yes with 7 days to go.....we are all stressed up! Got the gifts for table games, karaoke competition, best dressed male, female, couple and children - the headache is to wrap them up! And to make it worse my best friend, Nasa, who's emceeing the night and managing the "show" wants little gifts so that each and every one who participates in the games etc will get a consolation prize each - that's a lot to pack, dear Nasa!

Flowers have not been ordered but the centrepiece designs (lifted from the internet- what would we do without internet!) for the main table and guest tables have been finalized, sort of (no approval though from wifey who's the florist of the family)!

As to music, I have given about 5 cds of 60s music (about 100 songs) to the music man! Meting up with the emcee and music man cum lighting man, this evening at the resort since they couldn't make it last week!

Wish us luck!

Umar my puddy tat


Also known as soon-going-to-be-the-ex-youngest, Umar has grown in all aspects. The first indication is that he no longer calls Ibraheem - "Ibush". Looking back, I don't remember how he came up with the nick "Ibush" for Ibraheem. Most probably was due to the fact we kept switching calling Ibraheem "Ib" and "Ibraheem" and perhaps he got a tad confused and came up with "Ibush". I miss hearing him call Ib "Ibush"; it's just soo cute - picture this :- he pouts his lips when pronouncing the last syllable!

He can spell his name and recognize all the alphabets...he doesn't wear disposable nappies at night (of course there are accidents ocassionally...may be once a month), he fights back when punched or boxed or kicked at etc....

The only remaining babyish thing he does is drinking milk from bottle....

Mmm...no more baby in the house until October!

23 March, 2007

FNUNY - Part Two

Ah well.....I honestly thought that it was some kind of a joke....Gahooyoogle is a combo search engine and you get results from both search engines at the same time (two windows open on the same page!) - try it! Or am I way behind time to know this?

Kewl or what?

FNUNY?


Lifted this from a blog whose author will kill me if i reveal him here.....Quite creative huh?

Cantonese Noodle craving








Had another bout of cantonese noodle craving yesterday lunch. It was about this time last month I had the same craving (read here).

It's funny that I'm the one with the craving when technically wifey should be having it! But then again, when she was pregnant with our daughter, I was the one who had to constantly have fruit preserves within my reach all the time. I was spared though during the subsequent five pregnancies. You must be perplexed now - that should add up to child number 7 this pregnancy but I am a dad to only four offsprings! Well, wifey had a missed abortion last year and our third child, Siti Kauthar - who would have been eight this year, only survived one month after delivery).

Oh man..it's happening again albeit of a different kind! So off I drove out to the Lodge Poolside to have their cantonese noodle - mine should always be a mix of kuey teow (flat rice noodle) and beehoon (vermicelli) AND pickled chilli is a must for me! But guess what? The waitress wrongly took my order and gave me a mix of yee mee and beehoon. They replaced one quickly!

The Lodge Poolside's cantonese noodle is just about right for me and the taste is always consistent! Ordered iced lemon tea to wash down the noodle with and it totalled to close to RM19.00 - not cheap for an open air dining! But it's worth every sen.

Lodge Poolside is located at the intersection between Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan (next to Menara Promet).



Pickled chilli is a must



A once in a blue moon iced lemon tea for me as I normally prefer mineral water or unsweetened fresh juices.



The entrance to the poolside



The pool filled with leaves....They conduct scuba diving courses here, if you are interested!

22 March, 2007

"Ampang Daily Photo" by Siti Khadijah

My daughter has finally decided to join the ranks of other photographers around the world via the Daily Photo Blog camaraderie....She is truly inspired and encouraged by Oya (a photo blogger from Istanbul) who regularly reads my blog and hers (and tiny weeny bit of support from yours truly).
Above is her first photo posted. Do visit Ampang Daily Photo Blog! Give your support will ya....LOL! I'm really a P R O U D D A D today!

My daughter's journal


I was running through my daughter's school books when I came across a journal which her English teacher had asked all her classmates to keep. A lot of nice compositions written by her but the one which caught my attention (not because that this is amongst her better compositions but the fact that I was the subject of the composition) is the one entitled "Me and my dad's similarities" which goes as follows:-

" We have many similarities eventhough I look exactly like mom. One of them is that I love reading and so does my dad. We both enjoy reading fictions. When we read the newspapers we are always in the same position which is sitting on the floor, where there is bright light like near the sliding door and when we read we always bend towards the newspaper. I realised that the way we read the newspapers are the same when my grandmother saw me reading newspapers and she immediately said that I read the newspapers like my dad. The other similarities is that we both play piano, we sing to our favourite songs (in the car only!) and we sometimes agree to a song we heard on the radio or on the internet. It sometimes amazes me how I have the same similarities with my dad. "

Witnessing her grow up is like reading my diary entries when I was her age....! She secretly reads in the dark (when asked to turn off the lights), books books and more books fill her room, she can just finish a book which she really likes at one go, she reads at the dinner table (which I totally can't tolerate - now I know how my mom felt..LOL), she tilts her chair, bookshops are her heaven on earth (Borders and Kino are her faves)- she can spend hours and hours there, she turns on the radio 24/7 (much to my annoyance - my mom must be laughing if she reads this), she can finish a book on the way back from the bookshop to home, she prefers bread to rice, she's into photography (I may not be a serious one, but my interest is there), interior designing appeals to her etc etc etc.

Oh man..the list is endless....!

21 March, 2007

Theatre for Kids




(NB:pics taken from ACT 3 website)

Just sharing this currently running children's theatre performance by circus artisans from Argentina (click here for details) for kids between 4 to 8. I personally have brought my kids to 2 of theatre performances brought in by ACT 3. Incredible shows I must say; dads mums and kids were asked to participate too....What fun we had!


I don't think will be able to bring my kids to this one as we are a wee bit tied up on the dates. Why don't you give it a try; it's normally interactive theatre and this one is also too (as per the website)!

Damage Control to the maximum

My sister frantically called me yesterday whilst I was busy at the office....I just had to take the call despite the chaotic state I was in.

She was panicking..."Mak dah tahu pasal anniversary dinner tuh...!" (Mom knows about the surprise anniversary dinner!)...I felt briefly like my soul was being sucked by Dementors. Our family friend, Auntie Y*n, had called my mom to apologize that she can't make it for the bash as she has to chaperon her daughter whose band is touring Bangkok etc during the fateful weekend.

The conversation went on something like this......

Aunt : Yam, I'm sorry that I can't make it for your anniversary dinner.

Mom : What dinner?

Aunt : (after realizing that we told her not to tell my mom) Owh...you're not supposed to know about the dinner!

At this point of time my other two aunts who were with my mom, Busu and Uteh, stared hard and blankly at each other. And when my mom asked them about it Busu was quick to say "Tak de dengar apa2 pun?" (I have not heard anything about the dinner).


Sis had to make a round of phone calls to warn my cousins, aunts and uncles about the possibilty of a-probe-call by my mom..LOL!

It happens that we were considering the possibility of engaging Auntie Y*n's son to be the official photographer for the night. So the damage control story will be (for Auntie Y*n and all of us siblings) - We invited Auntie Y*n out of courtesy because his son, Ez*d will be taking piccies for the supposedly anniversary dinner (which my parents know about- Background : The only way we could get my parents to drive up from Muar up to KL over the 31st weekend is to tell her that I will be throwing a private dinner party only amongst my siblings and issues at this exclusive place which booking was made ages ago and since this is a popular and exclusive place, it'll be such a waste if we had cancelled it. Of course they had to say yes and had to cancel their plan to celebrate their 4oth anniversary with their siblings in Muar!).

Hopefully she will believe this.....Knowing my mum who's very persistent and who can make anyone break down and confess - the calls may be sooner that one can expect!

What a DRAMA!

20 March, 2007

Further update - Ruby Anniversary

11 days to go


Total guest almost-final-count - 90 pax (about 20 children inclusive)

Dinner Menu - Thai buffet

Rice/Chinese Fried Rice
Mushroom Tomyam
Beef ginger
Chicken padprik
Dory in special three flavoured sauce
Mixed vegetable
Jelly & Mixed fruits

Entertainment - Music machine and karaoke booked

Lighting - Booked

Accommodation - a total of 8 chalets and a villa booked

Dinner favours - Potpourri and telur pindang (egg boiled in herbs and spices)

Deco and fresh flowers - Agreed

Pelamin (dais) - Arranged

19 March, 2007

The day dad became a child too.....

It was Superwomanwannabe's daughter's eighth birthday. A costume party organized by the birthday girl herself and it was a fun one! I rushed from Ulu Langat after meeting the resort staff for the Ruby Anniversary bash discussion and made it to McD @ MRR II albeit half an hour late.


Harry Potter, Cheetah Girls, lil fairy, spidey, batman, pirate, belly dancer, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and mermaid (to name part of the guests) graced the event (not forgetting moi as the clown sans painted face). You could see that the kids (parents inclusive - more of an excuse for a get together) were extra excited admiring each other's costumes. Of course there were parents who were a bit shy (one of 'em is wifey). My daughter was supposed to be Mrs Adam of Adam's family or Elvira or Gothic Girl but chickened out last minute. Yusof was grounded for misbehaving....otherwise he would have been a parrot!


My kids' birthdays have always been a private affair save for when we moved to our new house 7 years ago when we had a big joint-do for Yusof and Khadijah. They (Ib especially) have been pestering for parties but I'm too lazy to organize. Last year I organized a small do for Ib (invited his 6 close friends - I was knackered at the end of it! See pics below) with Power Rangers as the theme! He wants another one this year..We'll see.....!

Love Princess Genevieve's blonde locks. Superwomanwannabe , the talented one, made the dress from scratch overnight! Well done!

Umar, Ib, Superwowanwannabe's son, Jo and his cousin the mermaid having fun at McD play area!



Ib my batman.......


Umar had a field day drinking fizzy drinks. Left his spidey mask somewhere!


Moi the clown......



Ib's 5th birthday party

Party favour

The supposed sit down party which never materialized! You know how boys are....

18 March, 2007

Nadia and Anis' recommendation

I was terribly incensed over how my boys behaved at wifey's brother's house when we visited Fawwaz. They were all over the house playing footie alongside the rose amongst the thorns, Anis. Despite several warnings....they continued playing!

Little that I realized that it was a cry for attention...READ - they were hungry! It's funny how kids don't really tell you what they really want (a bit like women, perhaps?) - they just do things which will get on to your nerves when it is really your attention is required and you are supposed to read their mind! Geez....!

Luckily I have wifey who's a soothsayer - she was the one who said "The kids are hungry!". Immediately huddled them in to the mpv and hurried to SACC Mall in Shah Alam from USJ. Nadia and Anis were raving and ranting about a food outlet at SACC, "ONLY MEE".

I asked whether they only serve noodles like the name suggested. I have to cater to 4 different tastebuds everytime we have meals out..! Khadijah is into western food and noodles, Yusof loves Tomyam, Ib is a rice person and Umar is gamed for anything!

Apparently not, they also have dim sum and rice! And with this I agreed to try out ONLY MEE.

The girls ordered Hongkong Wantan Noodles each and Yusof said he'd have one to share with me. I ordered four mini-sized steamers of dim sum and a plate of deep fried dim sum.

Ib had to make a scene as nothing in the menu appealed to him and I suggested that we bought something from Coffee Bean next door and he agreed. I wanted to try the Opera cake as recommended by a fellow blogger in her entry a few days back but Ib insisted to try a choc fudge cake. Everytime I go to Chef Jerome's, the sales assistant would always recommend Opera cake which I never heeded as there are a lot of other cakes which I much prefer (BTW Chef Jerome's ckaes and pastries are also sold at Hock Choon supermarket, Jalan Ampang now)! In the end we bought both the choc fudge and Opera cakes - SINFUL!

Verdict :- the dim sums are nothing to shout about. They taste like the frozen ones you get from any supermarket. The noodles - didn't taste fresh per their tagline and the broth tastes like it has loads of msg in it...

The steamed dim sum

The gurlz with their wantan noodles.

My opera cake....Love the buttermilk layer and the coffee infused mousse. I must try Chef Jerome's soon!

Ib bought Power Rangers SPD (Khadijah bought two books, Yusof bought a book on England footie team and Umar bought a book on Cars with a car horn in the middle of the book) which I had to assemble. The manufacturer gave two wrong coloured parts but I did't bother to return as it was a hassle. it didn't affect the full assembly of the PR SPD - only aestethic aspect of it was slightly compromised (no body would notice the difference between black and grey for a part less smaller than a lentil bean?)!
He! He!...Power rangers SPD

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly