Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cert 5 Outing 3

I can't really recall what outing number it was, but I think it is ... 3. Yeah, 1 and a half months after exams and we reunite again. Not all were there, but I understand. My fault for the last minute plans .... but the restaurant wouldn't extend their buy 2 free 1 promotion ... EVIL!!
But it was a pretty  good outing. 7 people turned up and laughed the night away. Food was good too.... and its my first time trying Ratatouii (or how do you spell it?) Not nice, period. Who would ever pay to get poisoned by capsicum? But the other stuff were good, like my mushroom and cheese chicken chop. Oh, I love that place. The lady boss threw in 2 free desserts for us. The were brownies and ice- cream, which sadly I did not try as it was finished before it came to me. Then there was the heavenly tiramisu. ooh, it was so bitter sweet and I loved the coffee emulco in it! Yum Yum ... excellent marketing skills. And they had all sorts of weird drinks served too. Some kedondong stuff, some ribena sprite and of course, my very own Vanila Kiwi blend ... yummy yummy! Tastes like melted ice- cream, but still super good!
Greenwood Restaurant in SS2 is a must go. Not only for the good food and ambience, but the great fun as well. They actually provided games for us to play. Had a game of Jenga before our food came, and our tower was going higher and higher, but we had to stop as the food was calling out for us. Then after dinner we played UNO, non stop till 12am. haha, we were even noisier than the bunch of high school kids celebrating a birthday at the next table. haha, how to be quiet when we kept forcing on +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 card to our beloved tutor. Wahaha ... Even Uno can get pretty nasty.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The journey down south

It may not be a big break, but its a worthy break. Its not that I haven't been away before, but this is different. Its not my first trip overseas nor my first trip away with my friends ... but what marks the first is that this is my first trip out for work. Yup, LCCH does cover Singapore as well and I was priveledged enough to go down to represent LCCH Malaysia. Is it the war of the worlds? You decide ... but its not as bad as it seems.

It was a very last minute decision. In fact, it was totally un-planned for. It all happened just because of a silly plane ticket, so I suggested why not have a workshop in Singapore. So bam .... me and my big mouth. But it was fun ..... organizing everything from scratch ... from the venue to the participants to the promotion. hmm, perhaps I should venture into the field of Event Planning. hehe , better not, lots of screw -ups here and there! But I vow to be better next time.

I guess I have to be harsher and more assertive when it comes to things like this. In fact all of us should adopt this value, to not let others take advantage of you.

But seriously, I am indeed proud of how things have turned up. The workshop marked our first and it was a success. I am indeed happy for having such a supportive bunch in the office. My boss gave me the green light to run this workshop, she gave me the freedom and the trust to do anything I want. She urged me to take Singapore as a challenge and fortunately, things worked out well. My colleagues helped give a push on Sunday in UM when I wasn't there. I am amazed at how the interns managed to run the show without me. I am so glad that the colleagues helped me run the everyday work in the office and not call me too often. Well, it is sweet that you guys gave me a nice 3 day break, but to see the pile on my desk this morning ... was enough to scare me away from taking long breaks.

I am thankful for my friends who supported me these few days. Without help, I would not have been able to do it. Their time, their effort, their commitment ...... they are all very valued. But every one did everything with a smile. Not only a smile on the face, but a smile from the heart. This is the smile that you don't see, but a smile that you feel.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cool air of Genting

It was a long needed break, not that I don't go out and have fun always, but I needed a change of environment. Sometimes, you might be at a loss at work or life issues. You might be taking a nice sleep or a lazy afternoon lounging on your sofa. But what is needed is a nice get away. A change of environment, but of course the same friendly people that you love. 

So off we went to the cool peak of Malaysia. After our weekend class, we took a nice long drive up to Goh Tong Jaya. Somewhere at the foot of Genting for a nice dinner. So our guests from UK was there too ... and we had our famous Malaysian durian, accompanied by mangoesteen. Ah, it was cute to watch their faces. Cringing and squirming ... was it that bad? Well, we were bad too .. I can't imagine if we were to go overseas and they feed us with their weird food. So, treat your guests well.

It was drizzling after dinner and we took a nice drive up the peak. The air was so cool.... felt like I was in some winter countries (not that I have been to any) . We had laughs and nice chats all the way. Ahh, once at the top, it felt so good to stretch your legs and walk around in the cool moist air. Almost didn't want to go in to the buildings.
But it was for exploaration anyway. So we walked around and finally went into the casinos. Well, I have to say that one of the biggest reason why we went up is because a friend wanted to see the happiness in people's faces when they won money. Wahaha .... and my friend got to see it on my face! Yay! I did win money! Just enough to buy this! 
It was euphoria winning money, even if its just popping money in the jackpot machine and pushing buttons. Well, small bets small money. I am not promoting gambling here .... but its bad. Worse than drinking. Can yo[u imagine throwing away money? Every round 1,000 goes, then another 1,000 and another. Think of all the usages of that money. The kids might be home waiting for you to pay their school fees with that.

Once in a while, if its just for fun, its alright. Just small bets to give you the adrenaline rush. Or as the Chinese says, 'Small fortune don't go out, big fortune don't come in'. Well, if it wasn't for that too, we won't get to enjoy a nice cup of Dark Mocha Frappucino in Starbucks amidst the mist and cool breeze of Genting. You'll never imagine how enjoyable a trip up to boring ol' commercialized Genting would be. It all matters on the company, your mood and also the emotions of those around you. hmm, tiring but all the worth it. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Black Tie

Its always good to reward yourself once in a while after a long week or even 2 weeks or more of hard work. Yes, the pressures of organizing workshops, of press deadlines or logistics and all can actually bog you down alot. And thats only 1 aspect of it .. how about your daily tasks and recruitment and research and other events. So now you see how important time management is? If you can't add hours to the clock, learn how to adjust your own internal clock!!
After workshops, a few of us went down for a night in town. Had dinner at this restaurant called Palette Palette. Its so colorful and bright! Anyone who is gloomy or sad would be brightened up by the ambience of this place. Set in one of those old bungalows, this place is great for just drinks and chats. Well, fo
od wasn't that good .. not much choices too ... but presentation was great. I loved the paintings on the wall. So abstract yet modern. Black and stylish! I love the colors on the steps. So vibrant and bouncy. A truly happy place!

Then we stepped next door to No Black Tie. Its a jazz bar, just big enough for a small party of people. Not much room though, but just tight fitting tables and chairs for the patrons. Some how or other, it looked different from the night where my pals booked the place for a pre- wedding wedding. I guess that night was SPECIAL. This time, we got a table right at the front of stage and got the best feel of the music. Yes, you could feel the beat of it.

Nice Jazz music, nice wine, nice company and nice conversations. And the best way to end the night? Getting your request played, performed by a friend! ... and you're such a star! Thank you so much for playing the Patchelbel's for me. Meant a lot to me. And we thought it was a great finale to the night.
And at 2pm, we headed to the mamak for even more chats. I never knew that the people around me could really talk. So its true, never judge a book by its cover. If you don't ask, you won't know. If you don't hear, you won't listen. If you don't see, you won't feel. There is just so much you can discover from the people around you and from the things around you! So love your life !!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cosmic bowl

Its a gathering, no matter big or small. Well, of course there is the frustration of organizing and aeroplanes. But what is most important is that the people who go are happy and have a good time. Its quality, not quantity.

So of we went to MidValley for our Cert 5 gathering. And as usual, the fickle minded us couldn't figure where to eat. We didn't expect that Bakerzin would change its food, change its menu and not serve dinner. Bad luck eh? So we went to Amuleto for some good food. Nice decor, nice ambience and even nicer food. ooh .... I would recommed the potato rosti to all potato lovers out there. Its fried till its crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. And its served with creamy sauce and sausages. I ordered blended Black Forest. Well, I guess I am naive as I thought it was pure fruit juice ... but they blended it with coffee ... argh ... though I love coffee, I can't sleep when I drink them at night. Thus, my journey of a sleepless week end begins.

Then we proceeded to Cosmic Bowl for some fun. Well, for me its cosmic throw or cosmic roll. I can never make a good athlete. No consistency man. I swear I did bowl straight .. but the ball always ended in the gutter. Seriously, I think they slanted the alley so we will game over sooner .. and thanks for the advice, NO .. I won't request for them to raise the security banners.

Sigh, not even 10% of the total achievable score man. This time its really quantity and quality.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not Tall enough

For my four year experience as a Toastmaster, I did lots of stuff. Speak in front of an audience, compete in normal contests, be an emcee, organize events etc.... But this is another FIRST!

Not common is Malaysia is the Tall Tale contest a.k.a the bull shitting contest. When my friend told me about it, I immediately snapped on it and said that I would join. Its a chance of a lifetime! In Malaysia, I've only heard of 1 or 2 of such events. Great opportunity huh?

When I went to the venue! OMG... I was shocked. What I expected was a small event maybe about 40- 50 people in those regular meeting room. But I was geeted in a huge hall with a stage and more than 100 people! Argh! I wasn't prepared. And definately not dressed for the event. But anyway, its all for the fun of it! And it was fun......

You really get the adrenaline rush once you are up there. With all eyes looking at you at happy smiling faces, you are bound to perform at your best. No wonder I speak super loudly. At an auditoruim ofthat size, the one in Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam, I wasn't given a micropone ... good trainig eh? So don't make me angry as I will scream your head off.

The topics were super hilarious. Mine was on my artificial age and what I worked as so far. I started as a personal food taster for Madonna and mentioned my job as travel host for MTV. It was different fron the other contestants as I was the only female contestant so I had the edge of the whole'bimbo' humour. But of course I didn't win ... but thats ok as it was for the experience.

So one guy spoke about flying and how he gave CPR to his dog. One on 'ghost busters' and his journey with a possessed person. One on 'soya bean' and one on 'the making of a Tamil movie'. Then there was another about how this guy got killed in a freezer and was preserved then saved. Another guy spoke about his job as a private investigator and the last guy was so physical with his 'falling'. Hilarious night!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I only have 24 hours, not 36

Yes, if you noticed, that was my MSN nick for the past few days. I only changed it because friends started thinking I was depressed ... and thats so sweet. But don't worry, I am not. Life is great for me .. I am enjoying my life ... doing lots of stuff, maybe too much stuff.

And thats what leads to this all .. With only 24 hours, do we have enough to spare? I know there are books out there that can help you achieve the most of time and there's even a theory that says, if you manage time well, you can get 27 hours! But seriously, do the math ... with all the balls that you have to juggle, is there enough time?

With work, family, friends, commitments, clubs (not pubs), daily stuff and all ... does it sum up to 24? And imagine ...  I am not in a relationship nor do I have my own family. If that came, I would need 48 ...

Beauty sleep (I need loads of it)              ...      7 hours
Work (Its a rat race out there)                ...      9 hours
Commuting (fortunate I don't live far    ...       1 hour
Toilet/ changing/  bath  bla bla               ...       1 hour
Reading news paper/ magazines  bla      ...       1 hour
Visiting Toastmasters clubs                     ...       3 hours
Catching up with friends/ family             ...       2 hours

Total                                                           =      24 hours

Ok... just nice. How about time for yourself, watching TV, baking, going for parties, lazing on the couch, MSN- ing, blogging, miscelleneous stuff. Have we all lost the time to pamper ourselves?

hmm... maybe I was provoked to writing this as I saw this recipe for choc chip and raisin muffin that I so wanted to bake but did not have the time too. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lovely photos

Yesterday someone asked me, am I from Deloitte? haha, I took that as a praise as that means I have the brains for maths. But its true. HELP and Deloitte has been pretty close, but now its not so much of the bonds of clubs, but the bond of friendship. 

We've been to Penang on a holiday ... oops, I mean convention. We've been to each other's installation nights and of course regular meetings too. Long overdue photos but ever so fresh in my memory ... Thanks Selina!

(Some of the gals at the Gala Night of Penang Convention 2008)
(We all know who were the life of the event in Penang)
(Sigh, our hotel room became 'The Den'. Oops! Overdose of blusher)
(Deloitte's installation in Izzi. Quick snap the photo! We want food)
(Forever, the odd one out ... sigh, Ernest)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Elcerdo, nose to tail eating

Ok, while typing this, the Elcerdo webpage is open and my Mac is oinking non stop. You've guessed it? I went for a porky dinner last night? Who would have thought that pork could be the theme for a restaurant. And when I say theme, its not only the food ... but the decor as well. There were photos of pigs all around, a wind chime of pig, piggy banks, pig figurines ... super cute.

(Monapiggy .... you don't look the least like me)
(Me with the lovely Ang family girls)

It was Yee Ping's birthday! Happy Belated Birthday! And today is Li Ping's birthday! Happy birthday!! And its so sweet that we go out with your family too ..  So we went over to Elcerdo for some fine food ... and the servings really surprises you. 

First up was some tomato soup. If you know
 me well, I don't eat tomatoes but this is different. It is not too strong with some celery taste in it. Perfect combination and perfect soup to warm ur tummy up for the fare that is about to come. (Sorry I didn't take food pictures as we were to busy stuffing our faces). Our first main dish was 'Jamon Serrano'. Air dried ham served with melon and balsamic dressing. ooh .. goes so well with bread too. The sweetness of the melon complements the rough texture of the smoky rough taste of the ham. 

Then we had the 'Thuringer Rostbrawtwurst' served with 'Sauerkraut'. It was like mini sausages wrapped with bacon and served with pickles. And the taste was so crunchy. Chewy yet fresh. Its hard to believe that it was meats as you feel as if you are biting into bacon biscuit? Yum yum! Then there was lamb leg. The way they cooked it with herbs and potato was unique, and topped with their special sauce? It was really worth a try. We also had one dish that resembles Chinese 'siew yok' but I can't remember its name. It had the crunchy skin and loads of lard. But surprisingly it didn't taste heavy and 'oily'. You had to eat all its layers together and it tasted sweet .... with a touch of balsemic vinegar. Of course, the white asparagus was nice as fresh. A refreshing taste to go with the heavy meat.

Finally we had the 'Cochinillo Al Estilo Segoviano' which in common english is roasted suckling pig. And the whole piglet was served. Its German culture that the guest chopped the pig up with a plate. Pretty violent ... Anyway, after chopping, you had to make a wish, be it relationship, money or health. Then you had to break the plate .. this is to ensure good luck. Weird eh? But thats their custom. So our birthday girl did the honor and will be in for lots of good luck! haha the whole night long there were lots of plates breaking ... lots of luck for every body. 
(Time to show us how you break all bad luck)

Dessert time! Yummy tiramisu ..... ooh .... the presentation was so nice. The cake on a frosted glass decorated with icing sugar. Sparklers were lit and it added the touch of magic! And shot of tequila with lemon were served to ease our digestion ... Tradition once again, the birthday girl had got to hand it out for good luck. Oh! Did I mention the birthday girl got a little pig for a present too? haha, not a live one but a little wooden one... sweet. happy birthday to you.. oink! oink! Great sound effects. 

(Not my birthday but its the cute piggy and much needed savior in a cup. 
Note that we don't look alike)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Deloitte's Installation Dinner

Its always lovely to attend Deloitte's toastmaster's meetings, I really mean it. The people are hilarious, some are super sweet, the environment is fun and the quality is good ... a good platform for improvement. So on Saturday was Deloitte's Installation night. And it was priviledged to be invited ... missed it last year so got to go this year !!! 

Taa dah.. Dinner at IZZI KL! I love that place. Its so colorful, so modern so chic ... food was good too. There was Italian and fusion, not to mention my favourite creme brulee topped with berry sauce (wahaha and it tasted better since it was served by the president himself ... thanks KY!) There was ultra rich cabonara with linguinni .. creamy and cheesy .. a few bites will make you full. Pizza was good too .. cruncy and chewy crust .. garnished with lots of pineapple and cheese. Then the Asian fare was unique as well. Sweet and sour fish, kuey teow, veggies, dunno what kind of chicken, mushroom soup, buns ... and the not- to- sweet chocolate cream puff .... argh ... sinful dinner ... but I guess we burned it off with non stop laughter. ... and posing.

Yes, I love it when you are at a function where people love to pose for photos. hehe, actually anywhere Ernest goes .. we'll have fun cam- whoring. The Deloitte girls too love to snap away, actually their guys too. But its a great memory. Short period but lots of photos. Will post them when I get the photos .. Selina!!!!!! Well, a note to KY, dun la post all the photos from Penang convention, especially those from 'The Den'. Malu- fying .... haha I wanted so much to stand right in front to block the LCD.

But the event was great. It was a ceremony to appreciate the exco committee and to install the new ones. Congrats to you guys! You really proved yourselves and showed me the true meaning of teamwork. From a small group, perhaps almost drowning group, you manage to grow so big and make your name in the arena. And I can see the great leadership among your team! I know each of you have contributed in each way ... so congrats once again! 

Don't let this spirit die .. perhaps its one of the greatest flame that I have seen. In a way to Deloitte has been a great inspiration for me. It helped me grow faster (thanks to Dennis too), helped motivate my exco at HELP, helped me in my personal life journey ... and not to mention the countless advice from the ever friendly Deloittians. Good luck guys and you can always count on me when you need help!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence day

As the USA celebrates their independence, so do we here at LCCH. YAY! MERDEKA!!! wu-ahaha ... sob sob its our intern Chian Shen's last day in our office. And he has been sniffing the whole day.

I know we've touched you and that you miss us so much. I know you didn't have a chance to spend us ice blended coffee yet, or even make coffee from the pantry. But its ok ... humans have to part in one way or another. When you return from the states you can always buy us back Snow Blended Cappucino. Yay! Its independence day! hehe .. just joking though.

Try not to learn the bad things from the office. Not all places have crazy people as staff. Not all staff super duper poke each other. Not all colleagues force you to eat stuff or not all colleaugues have complementing skin tone.
(You've been POKED!!)
(YOU!! You eat this or else I'll throw my mac at you) (Guess who is the drunk one?) (Whee!! I love you guys for spiking my drink!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wish list

On an early Saturday morning when a girl hasn't had her breakfast, her wants are unlimited. But to not look so greedy, (which actually I am), I will just write down 10 of the items that are easily accessible but not within my reach.

  • Starbucks ice- blended java chip frappucino (sweet, thick and rich with choc chips to bite! The perfect cuppa over a chat with friends)
  • Miki oji san no Mise cheese cake (this baked version is only available at Isetan stores. Its so light and fluffy that you can finish it in one sitting)
  • Foh San lotus paste pau (from the original store in Ipoh, there is a salty egg yolk inside the pau. The sweet and salty taste is to crave for)
  • Toast bread (ala Old Town style, with butter and kaya ... ooh ... crispy and sweet)
  • Cream caramel pudding (this dessert is slightly chilled. Its soft and smooth texture just slides down your throat and the sweetness of burnt sugar makes it so fragrant)
  • Tea and scones (just reminds me of my vacation in Fraser's. Having a nice cup of hot English tea and raspberry jam with the scones. Heavenly!)
  • Black sesame ice cream (Its not too sweet, in fact a little bitter .. and the little grinded sesame gives it the taste when you bite in it)
  • Warm choc cake (ooh .... this bitter sweet variety is so satisfying. Imagine a crunchy crust with sweet filling? The warm cake is topped with ice cream and sprinkled with nuts, not to mention sour berries all around)
  • Polo bun (hmm, reminds me of the morning in HK, going together with HK cofffee in a small little corner shop, sitting in a booth with HK- ers chatting away in their perfect Cantonese. This thick bun with a crunchy top looks hard but its so soft that it melts in your mouth)
  • McD's hash brown (though soaked in grease, its hot and really really crispy. The potato is so soft yet firm on the outside. 2 might not even be enough for me)
wahahaha ...... any one of these right in front of me now will really make my day!