Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cupcake Virgin No More....

Like everything else, I finally succumbed to the bite of the cupcake bug. 

It was a rare occasion to see Bulgemeister at home during the weekend, so I took the opportunity to do something that I have always wanted to do: baking! 

After a few words of encouragement from CL, whom I deem now a Master at baking (these words should get me some of her nice cheesecake!), I finally took a plunge and baked my first cupcake. Lasy Sunday, I started off with peanut butter cupcakes, which turned out to be quite good. Everything was polished off almost immediately! I don't have any pictures to show though.

I then tried to bake chocolate fudge cupcakes for my sister's birthday. They turned out to be just alright; I did not think I made good chocolate fudge for the icing. 

And on Saturday, I baked carrot cupcakes, which turned out to be nice. I was pleased with the end results: the mixture of carrot, spice and nut was perfect and the icing was spot on. I was hoping to bring some for work colleague during the departmental event on Sunday, but all were gone.

My makeshift piping bottle!

And yeah, cream cheese are quite difficult to find in Brunei lately. Let me know if you know where I can get them.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just another rant....

Recently, our next door neighbour passed away. This neighbour also happened to be my sister's father- in-law. As with Muslim and Malay culture, seven nights of tahlil would follow. Because tahlils were not planned in advance, like what people normally do with weddings, everything, from food to clearing up and washing up after the tahlil, were done by the family and relatives. Or, at least that what should happen. 

However, during the seven nights of tahlil, I was annoyed that none of the closer relatives helped out with the washing. Every night the same group of people was left to do the washing up, while the others, including the children, children-in-law and grandchildren of our neighbour, went upstairs and did God knows what. The same group that did the washing up consisted of my sisters, my nieces and the two maids that our neighbour had. There were times when I could not just stand around and had to roll my sleeves up and helped out. I was made even more annoyed when some from my neighbour's family would look from upstairs and watched us doing the dishes. Didn't they have any shame letting other people doing that? The tahlil functions were theirs to do and we were just helping but it would be nice if they joined us and helped out with the dishes. 

I was brought up in a family where we do things together. Whenever we had a function at home, all the preparations, clearing up and washing up were done together. I would be embarrased to leave people doing things for us. If we see anyone, be it siblings, nieces or nephews, not helping out, we would tell them off and ask them to help. I was glad to see this important life lesson was taught to us by our parents. But sadly, it is one many families seem to be missing.

Ringan sama dijinjing, berat sama dipikul......

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Sis!

Here's a birthday wish to my younger sister, whose job is something that I admire. As a teacher, among her responsibilities are to educate the young ones and shape the future of the country.

Happy Birthday Sis! Bah, belanja breakfast tomorrow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Boy!

Here's a birthday wish to this nephew of mine, who is the only son of my eldest sister.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Am I all that??

to whine: to complain or protest in a childish manner or about trivial things.
to moan: to complain.
to rant: to criticise by ranting.
to complain: to express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.

I was speaking to one of my friends a while ago when she asked for the address of this blog. I thought I was expanding my readership and was quite happy to share it. However, I was taken aback and gutted when she said, "I heard from XXX about your blog and I heard that you complained a lot in your blog, so I wanted to read what you complained about".

Am I really that? Well, I might have 'commented' about something before, but I saw them as harmless comments. They were not meant to be malicious or offensive. However, there were times when some people got offended but hey, you can't please everyone all the time, can you?

Since I have been labelled a whiner, I might just as well rant more :)!

1. Why do slower cars drive on the right lane, move over to the left when a faster car comes along and then move back to the right lane?

2. I can't understand why people drive around the shopping mall and waste time and petrol just to find that elusive parking space near the entrance, when you could park easily somewhere?

3. What's up with putting numbers on your name which you then use to request or dedicate songs on the radio? Baby90210? Macho007? I understand why you put numbers on your email address, but not on your name.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Man Utd: BPL Match No. 13

The top four teams in the Barclays Premier League failed to score any goals in their match. Manchester United played away at Villa Park, Chelsea at home against Newcastle United and Liverpool hosted Fulham at Anfield. As a result, the league standing for the top four sides remain unchanged.

Arsenal's woe continued as they lost 3-0 to Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. After beating Manchester United three weeks ago, they have gone from heroes to zeroes as they lost to Aston Villa and Manchester City and conceded 5 goals in the process. Arsene Wenger practically conceded that Arsenal would not be challenging for the title as losing five games so far is not a sign of a champion. Trouble also brewed offpitch with William Gallas spilling the beans on the bust-up in the Arsenal camp and it resulted with him being stripped off his captaincy and not being played on Saturday.

It was interesting to note that in the bottom half of the table, there are only six points separating the 11th team and the bottom team. If it continues this way until the end of the season, any three of the ten teams can be relegated!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Double Happiness.....

Apparently, it was my sister-in-law's birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Sis!

And earlier this week, she and her husband celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary and Congrats!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Remember these advice....

1. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine. 

2. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind;

3. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. 

4. Don’t waste your time on jealousy.

5. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults.

6. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life

7. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

8. What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

9. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. 

10. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. 

11. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. 

12. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. 

13. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young. 

14. Respect your elders. 

15. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

16. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things to do when stuck in a traffic jam......

Yesterday, during Kristal FM's Breakfast Show, DJ Tini asked her listeners to sms her and share the things that they have done while getting stuck in a traffic jam. Some sms'ed with the pretty normal stuff; sms'ing, calling friends, reading papers or books, touching up on make-up and snacking. 

I have done most of the things above (well, touching up on make-up would mean putting moisturiser on my face and doing my hair). Sometimes, I would play arithmetic game, where I would try to make mathematical equations from the numbers on the license plates. For example, 5546 would mean 5+5=4+6, or 329 would mean 3 squared is 9. It was said to be a good way to exercise the brain. 

I also have the mobile broadband and there would be times when I would switch on my laptop and, as I am a fan of Facebook, check on my Facebook! There was one time that I actually sent an email from my laptop while stuck in the traffic jam.

There was also a time when I was late for sports after work and I actually got changed in the car. It was quite a feat to actually getting changed in the small, tight space but I managed to somehow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trust No One!

Without realising, we often have to learn life lessons the hard way. I just learnt the above that way.

Why is it when we think we can trust someone to confide in, the person stabs in the back? Why is it when we confide in someone and the person you confide in tells you that the story should remain between the two of you, somehow the story mysteriously comes back to you and the whole wide world seems to know the story too? Why do people betray trust so easily that your perceived opinions of them changed quickly? Why do people encourage you to say things and then use the information against you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

World Toilet Day....

Apparently today, 19 November, is World Toilet Day. It was first declared in 2001 by the Singapore-based World Toilet Organisation.

I am yet to see one public toilet in Brunei which is clean, well equipped and well maintained. I have to exclude the toilets in hotel lobbies, as hotels would normally keep their toilets clean. Well, I think my last statement excludes the two hotels in Gadong owned by this Brunei family. Have you been to the one in the hotel lobby next to the famous Chinese restaurant? Anyway, I can't understand why building owners could not keep their toilets clean and well equipped. How many times have you gone to a toilet, only to find toilet papers were not available, the floor was flooded, the toilet seat has gone missing, the soap dispenser was empty and hand dryers were not available? 

I am always impressed with the toilets in Singapore. Regardless of the place you visit in Singapore, you could always never fail to find a clean toilet. I have a phobia against doing a no. 2 in public toilets. I really hate having to clean up after the person before me, just to do my business. Why can't we learn from the Singaporeans about toilet etiquette? I thought toilet etiquette was taught in schools, but why do still see dirty and filthy toilets everywhere in Brunei?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Man Utd: BPL Match No. 12

In the weekend BPL match, Manchester United beat Stoke City 5-0 at home, with Ronaldo grabbing a brace and Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and BPL debutant Danny Welbeck each scoring one goal. Incidentally, Ronaldo's first goal was his 100th goal for Manchester United.

Wayne Rooney was rested due to chest infection and it was Carlos Tevez's turn to partner Dimtar Berbatov at the front of the Manchester United line-up. By the 50th minute of the game, Manchester United was three goals up and Sir Alex Ferguson took the opportunity to show the Red Devils' faithfuls what the future at Manchester United would look like. Three young players (Danny Welbeck, Manucho and Darron Gibson) made their debuts, in addition to another youngster (Jonny Evans) making up the Manchester United defence. Welbeck made it a debut to remember by scoring a glorious strike from 30 yard out.

The other matches involving the Super Four were West Bromwich vs Chelsea (0-3), Bolton Wanderers vs Liverpool (0-2) and Arsenal vs Aston Villa (0-2).

The BPL table now looks like:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Niece......

Here's another birthday message to yet another niece...... That happens when you have more than 20 nieces and nephews, 15 sibling and a number of brothers/sisters-in-law!

Today's celebrant was born while Brunei was hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2000. Naturally, her nickname is Apec. 

At that time too, this Astro Ria program had this catchy catchphrase (Wachaaaaa.....) and she liked it, so we also call her Wacha from that time.

So here's to Apec/Wacha, Happy Birthday. Hope you have an enjoyable birthday. 

Don't you just love her hair?

Also, in the next few days, two couples from the family will be celebrating their wedding anniversaries. So, Congratulations!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pictures from Prez's Birthday

We got him a Kung Fu Panda-themed cake..... 
Notice the integration of Prez's name into the Panda's name? Clever, huh? (errr.... ok....)

Prez was in the middle of a meeting when we barged in and surprised him with a cake.....

The now-customary group picture (+1). Ok, no sniggering at the back...

A collage of the card and books that we got him for his birthday.....

Just another grop photo op. Complete with the Prez's pose.

Batman eared Prez with his books.
Enjoy them Prez (and don't forget to pass us the books when you're done with them!).

Now Prez, you know you've been Twingo'ed!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I am obese, me......

Every three years, everyone in the company that I work for goes for a medical health checkup during the Healthy Lifestyle Programme (HLP) Week. Among the things that we have to do are weight check, blood test, urine test and diet consultation.

I had mine last done three years ago and this year I had to do it again. And from my weight check and body mass index (BMI), I fall into the obese category. Can you really believe that I am obese? Apparently, to return to 'normal', I have to lose at least 9kg! 

This is me in June this year and don't think I have changed much since.....

So now, I have to start my strict diet and exercise regime. No more fried stuff for lunch. No more secind helpings for dinner. No more snacking in the middle of the night. I need to do more than badminton. I must start running again. 

This week is (hopefully) my final week of indulgence. So wish me luck.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Prez!

Here is a birthday wish to our own Mr. President.....

Happy Birthday!! Have a smashing day and enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm rich......

Woke up on Tuesday morning to the ring of my phone as I received this message......

"Your mobile number won 950,000 dollars in the Universal SMS Promo, your money is ready to be sent to you, for details contact"

The message was sent from a +31 number, which meant it originated from the Netherlands.

I am tempted to email them, just to see their modus operandi. I would obviously not use my real email address.

There are also scams via emails, phone calls, websites and letters. Read Jan Shim's encounter with a telephone scammer from Hong Kong here.

Despite the many warnings that we received on the scam, there are still many gullible people out there who would fall for this. Just remember that if it appears to be too good to be true, it is probably too good to be true.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Niece.....

Here's a birthday wish for a niece.

Happy Birthday!

And good luck with your exams!

(look at the date and time of posting!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Disappointing MU......

After a good run of six wins and two draws since the last loss (to Liverpool), Manchester United suffered another loss to one of the 'Super Four' teams. A 1-2 loss away at the Emirates Stadium meant that Arsenal leapfrogged Manchester United to rest at the third place, while Manchester United slipped to the forth place. Albeit having one match in hand, Manchester United now trailed the league leaders, Chelsea, with eight points.

In a game many predicted to be easy for Manchester United following a terrible week for the Gunners, Manchester United could not seem to find the way past the Arsenal backline. Nothing seemed to work in Manchester United's favour. It only took 2 goals from Samir Nasri to deny Manchester United the chance to close the gap on the league leaders.

In the other two matches that featured the other 'Super Four' teams, Chelsea beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 and Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0.

Lets hope that Manchester United could bounce back from this defeat and come back more determined to win.

The next Manchester United's BPL game is a home game against Stoke City on Saturday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Limping legs....

On Thursday, I had a minor medical procedure done to me. I had some sort of infection removed from my left thigh.

Back in March, I took part in a company event on the Lumut beach. I must have been bitten by an insect. It never went away, even after applying some cream that I got from the clinic. It got worse in the past three weeks and it started to itch too. The wound never healed properly and eventually I seeked medical assistance.

I was given localised anesthesia and I was awake during the procedure. I was even chatting with one of my doctor friends, while another was removing the lump from my thigh. The whole procedure took thirty minutes and towards the end, the anesthesia must have been wearing off and I could feel the surgical thread being pulled through my skin. When the procedure was complete, I was able to walk and drive, tho I felt pain came and went. The lump was to be analysed and the result should be out next week. 

I never told my family about the medical procedure until the night before it was to be done. I was given an earful by one of sisters as I called home to tell the family that I had it done. I have my reasons why I did not tell them. I did not want to alarm them with this as I saw this procedure could be described as a minor procedure. I was also assured by my doctor friends that the procedure was simple and there should not be any complications from the procedure.

Anyway, many thanks to the surgical team for doing this on me. And many apologies to my family for not telling them much earlier.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Champions League Update

Last night, Manchester United maintained their unbeaten run in the Champions League as they held Celtic United 1-1 at Parkhead. 

Celtic scored an early goal in the 13th minute. In the dying mnutes of the game, Ryan Giggs, one of the still-playing legends of Manchester United, scored an equaliser.

Champions League Group E table:

It should be easy for Manchester United and Villareal to qualify for the next round. Both need to win just one more game or draw the remaining two games to do that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So he won.....

As expected, Barack Obama won the US Presidential Election. He gained well over the required 270 Electoral Votes to become the first African-American President.

Congratulations Mr. President!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

American Presidental Election

So will be it President Obama or President McCain?

President Obama has a nice ring to it......

Follow the American Presidential Election here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Return of Jester

Today was Jester's first day back at work, after being away for the past year doing his Masters degree in Manchester.

We welcomed Jester back with a cake and also gave away presents for his birthday which fell early last month. 

The cake actually said Salut! and Wilkommen!.

The Lunchgang, minus Ollie, who is away for a business trip, and NH, who works at the Refinery, making silly faces.

Jester's presents: a universal dock for his iPhone and a box of colouring pencils. 
Why colouring pencils? Ask Kakarrot!

Jester was 'surprised' and happy to receive his birthday presents!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Review of Weekend's BPL Games

Football is a funny game.....; one week you could be the Invincible team, but another you could lose to the team least expected to beat you.

Before the weekend's round of BPL games, Liverpool was basking at the top of the league table after the famous win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, which also meant that Chelsea lost their unbeaten record at home which went as far back as four years ago. Tottenham Hotspurs were at the bottom of the league, despite having the first win of the season last weekend and a draw in the midweek game.

In the weekend games, Chelsea beat Sunderland 5-o, which Nicolas Anelka scoring a hat-trick; Manchester United beat Hull City 4-3; Manchester United had a nervous last 10 minutes as Hull City pegged the score from 4-1 to 4-3 and three yellow cards were brandished, Arsenal lost the away game to Sunderland 2-1 and Tottenham Hotspurs surprisingly won its home game against Liverpool 2-1. 

The league table at the end of the games is:

It is really nice to see that Manchester United is now in the top three!

Follow the Barclays Premier League here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another Birthday For Another Niece.....

Here's wishing another niece on her birthday which falls today, just a day after her elder sister's yesterday.

Bah Gurl, get away from those Indo Mie......

Happy Birthday Gurl!