Friday, October 28, 2005

All-hallow's Eve

Happy Halloween guys!

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I've just been real busy with trying to find a new job (looking at St Louis or KC), getting readjusted to Columbia and my puke my brains out-most hated-dig my eyes out work has been killing me as well with one project after another.

As you know, I am trying pretty hard to secure myself another place of employment but with my current immigration status it's just a tad more complicated. I have also thought about it all and to tell you the truth, I am a little reluctant to leave Columbia. That's because I LOVE everything outside of work; I mean I'm partying, dating again, meeting new people, have great friends, working out, losing weight etc etc etc generally just having a good time BUT (this is a big butt oops i mean but) I'm just really, really, really, really (ok u got my point) unhappy with work. I mean it's a big part of my life, I have to be here 8 hrs/day, 5 days/week, 52 weeks/year!! It's just really bad so I HAVE to do something about it. I have sat back and done nothing for way too long.

Not much has really been going on the last couple of weeks so I'm just going to post these funny pictures in conjunction with Halloween. Enjoy...

PS - Now that I've put a smile on your face, if you know of any suitable jobs in St Louis or KC or San Fran or NYC or any good job in a good company in a cool city I'd really appreciate it if you could hook me up. You will be promptly rewarded, I promise =)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wednesday Oct 12, 2005

It's my birthday, it's my birthday!!! Woohooo what a day it has been.
Actually, let me rewind to this past weekend because I celebrated a little early (I know, I know but who can blame me). I just couldn't wait to see my pals in KC (**wink, wink** riiiight) especially since I haven't seen them in ages. We (Tze, YS, Elaine and H2) celebrated at the Cheesecake factory, ate some good food, took tons of pictures (we're asians, enough said) and they got me a Coach GC which is what I totally wanted for I'm in need of a new wallet BAD.

Me, Tze, YS, Elaine and H2 at cheesecake factory and my Godiva Chocolate cheesecake yum :P

So back to today, I went in to work as usual which kinda sucked coz back when I used to work for Dillard's, you'd get the day off. But anyway, Cheryl at work was really nice to make me a triple chocolate brownie icing cake which was real yummy (there goes my diet to lose the 5lbs I gained in Msia). After work went over to Joe's and hung out for a little and then went home chilled and got ready for my birthday dinner at the Pasta Factory ;P

Pasta Factory with Em & Dave and Dave & Joe

The dinner started at 7:30pm but as usual I was 10 mins late (I really need to get this punctuality thing down) and almost everyone was already there. It was great to see everyone again (Joe, Dave, Em, Joel, MexMatt, Steph, Patrick, DrMatt, Lim, Clint and Don) and we just sat back chilled and had some really good and funny conversations. Dinner was delish but somehow it took almost 1.5 hrs to get our food. They all got me this great DQ Blizzard Cake with 1/2 Reese's and 1/2 Chocolate, which was soooo freakin good (now my diet's totally shot!). I got a bunch of gifts, calls, voicemails, emails and SMS's from friends and family from all over the country/world, it was really cool. In retrospect, I'm just really glad to have such a good group of friends/family to have made my birthday into such a special day.

Thanks Y'all!!!

Blowing out my delicious DQ reese's chocolate cake, yum...

Group pic and all the stuff I got yay :)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Happy Birthday Papa!!

Just a quick note, it's Dad's Birthday!!!
I know I just saw Dad like a week ago but I already miss him :( I've gotten a few very sweet text messages from him. Here're a few of them:

  • "By the time you receive this you will be having dinner, take care and love you-Dad" (Awww....sent right after I boarded the plane from Malaysia)
  • "Hope you enjoyed your stay in KL and hope to see you in a few years time Love-Dad"
  • "Thanks for the message (Birthday SMS from me) I really enjoyed when you were here (Malaysia) hope we can do it more often Love-Dad"

Aren't they just so sentimental? It's even more so if you knew my Dad better. He's never the type to send letters, care packages etc, never received any of those in the 8 years I've been in the USA. So getting little notes like these from him means even more to me. Also it's really weird to think of my dad as a 64 year old person. I don't know but to me he seems like he'll forever be in his 40's. I know it doesn't make any sense but it just seems that way to me. But just hope he had a great Birthday, knowing my brothers, I'm sure they took him out for a nice dinner :)

In a couple of days it'll be my birthday!!! YAY!! I'm so excited, have to definitely do some partying this week.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Around the World and Back...

My trip's's OVER!! *snif* *snif* After being gone for 4 incredible, amazing, fabulous, speedy weeks I'm finally back. I saw so many people, ate so much food, took so many pictures and had so much fun that it's humanly impossible to do so again. I also managed to survive my 36hr journey from Columbia to KL and another 36 hours coming back (sit until my backside pain) but what can I say, it was all well worth it! Amen =) I will be posting some of the pictures I took in the next few days but for now I just want to recap my trip. Warning: It's gonna be loong, the trip was a freakin month! What did you expect? It's actually really short considering this article constitutes an entire month of my life! So get yourself comfortable, grab a cup of coffee and read on...

First Week
Woke up super excited on Sat morning, H2 and me travelled from Columbia to LA and met up with KK. From there we boarded Malaysian Airlines MH 95 to Taipei where we took a break and ate some delicious Taiwanese Pork Ramen and continued our journey to KL. Watched Mr and Mrs Smith on the plane and enjoyed the MAS cuisine.

H2 and me at Lambert Int'l Airport in St Louis on the way back to M'sia YAY!!

I was soooo excited when the plane touched down on M'sian soil. KLIA still looked great and washappy to use my new high tech passport with imbedded chip (Malaysia boleh!) for the 1st time. Walked out and saw Michelle waiting for KK, she looked good but somehow different which I later realized was her without glasses and a different hairdo, duh! H2 soon spotted her Dad and I was still desperately searching for a familiar face which was a little disappointing but later realized that Dad was outside waiting by his car smoking (which means he lost his bet, never mind understanding it's an insider story).

The first week I met and spent alot of time with my now sis-in-law. She was very helpful as to drive me around town getting my US visa, the new MyKad (Nat'l Identity Card with imbedded "smart" chip, again Malaysia Boleh!) and some legal documents completed. One of the things I noticed most about KL was the incredible growth and because of that the air was incredibly dusty and it caused me to sneeze non stop, I swear I sneezed so much, I almost blew my head off. KK and me had dinner with our old Hostel buddies in Puchong and then later partied at Sunway. It was really good meeting up with the old gang again, they all looked like they were doing pretty well. Later that week I went to see my niece (that's right, I'm now a proud Uncle so shut it) for the 1st time and she's gotta be the cutest baby alive ;) Just sad that I'm not able to hang out with her as she grows up. Ean, his fiance and me left for Penang on Saturday.

Cute little Naomi and a shot of progressive KL from the sky bridge of the Petronas Twin Towers

Stayed in Penang for 4 days. The first thing we did on Sunday morning was to visit the temple that houses Mom's remains, we spent a couple hours praying a reminiscing about her. I truly do miss her, this is the first time I've returned home and not see Mom and that felt a little strange. We later visited all our relatives and ate till our hearts content. I swear we were eating like very 2 hours. We had the very delish Curry Mee in Air Hitam where the very old sisters (whom we dubbed Old Ladies of the Hill) serve the noodles sitting on the floor and scooping gravy out of charcoal pots, it was very authentic. They were Mom's favourite. Not too far away, also in Air Hitam, we had the famous Penang Asam Laksa at the wet market. We also had the fantabulous Ais Kacang with attap chee at Sua Tow Lane accompanied with some refreshing fruit rojak served in spicy "hako" sauce. Wan Kor2 also took us out for Seafood at Batu Feringgi in a small but scrumptious restaurant that was near the "Beginning of the World/End of the World" restaurants. We had among other things fish, huge prawns and best of all crabs! We managed to cramp in some Padang Ha Chi (Indian rojak) and on the final day we had some very good beef noodles.

Amazing view from Air with my Sis-in-law, Ean and Aunty Bee (left)
In front of Aunty Wan's (middle) house (right)

It was good to see that majority of my relatives were doing better and progressing in life. The Eggs on Mom's side however seem to still have a really hard time financially. I felt really bad and gave them some money but there's really not much I could do to get them out of this hole in life. While in Air Hitam, we visited the Kek Lok Si temple which houses the new Goddess of Mercy statue which stands a few hundred feet tall. It was spectacular. I found out from my Aunt later that this is in fact the 2nd statue, the first was ordered to be removed by the govt because it stood taller than the national mosque, what bullcrap. I also truly enjoyed talking to my Aunts about their lives when they were 20 somethings asking questions about Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. I don't know why but I really enjoy hearing these stories, I later asked Dad the same questions and heard many more interesting stories, especially one very dramatic one about Aunty Bee ;) We returned to KL on Tuesday and on Wednesday KK, Michelle and myself left for Bali.

At KeK Lok Si with the Statue of the Goddess of Mercy in background (left)

Bali was awesome! We booked through the Air Asia website where the entire trip (3 days/2 nights) including Hotel, Air fares and breakfast was a reasonable US$338. I spent US$100 on souvenirs and food the entire time I was there. We stayed in Kuta's Hard Rock Hotel which was rated at 4 stars. The rooms were amazing, we got "loft styled" room where there were 2 queen beds downstairs and 1 up in the den. After we checked in, we went to Jimbaran for a romantic (unfortunately I was with a straight guy and a girl darnit!) seafood dinner by the beach watching the most spectacular sunset ever! Later that evening we walked to Mbargo (straight bar but ironically KK got hit on by a guy) and partied till 3am. Next day we lazed by the pool where 2 smartasses (KK and myself) neglected to apply sunblock and was terribly burnt. We also spent time at the beautiful Kuta beach where KK and myself were pummeled by huge waves and we suspected that's where we got burnt the most. We got all cleaned up and headed out for shopping and dinner at Batam Warung, the food was so-so and was rather expensive. Later that evening we were going to head out to some fab bars but we were too worn out from our sun burn and shopping which I later regretted because the guys at Bali, I swear were all hot, majority of them were hot surfer dudes ;P On the final day we checked out and then had lunch at the delicious Ketupat Restaurant and spent the rest of the day shopping. I bought some framed art which was great but heavy :( We got back in to KLIA on Friday around midnight.

Amazing picture I took in Kuta, Bali and in Jimbaran with KK and Michelle

At the Bali bombing memorial and HRH Bali with KK and Michelle

Third Week
This is the week for me to shop till I drop. I took full advantage of KL's partially new mass transit system. Every morning from Monday through Wednesday, I had Ean drop me at the KTM Komuter station where I'd take an electric train down to KL Central and then take the monorail to KL's golden triangle for a whole day of shopping. I visited Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot10, Starhill then later took the Star/Putra line to KLCC, Central Market and Chinatown (Petaling Street). I bought clothes (which was not as cheap as I'd expected), bunch of bootlegged DVDs, souvenirs and went up to the sky bridge of the Petronas Twin Towers (the ex-tallest buildings in the World).

Atop the Petronas Twin Towers in the sky bridge and a picture of the buildings from outside

On Thursday, after much missed appointments, I visited my company's M'sian operations. I was obligated to my boss for letting me take 4 whole weeks off so I had to do it ok, so no more questions. If it wasn't for that, I would've screwed this whole idea and enjoyed one more precious day in KL. But nonetheless, some good did come out of this. In one of the plants, I bumped into an old college friend and she was totally surprised to see me. We took a really cute picture with both of us in work "uniforms". I also chatted with my boss's boss's boss's Boss (pretty much the big enchilada) for 2 whopping hours. The funny thing is I pretty much figured he was a dumbass after about 10 mins in his office. That night I had dinner with my friend and then met up with David and Kok Yu whom I've not seen in donkey years. Came out to them and had a good time hanging out and showing them pictures of my life in Columbia. Later that week, we celebrated Michelle's birthday at Madam Kwans and after that KK and myself ventured to Liquid, one of KL's best gay bars, and had an amazing time. We paid the cover, drank the complimentary Kampai (pretty good beer, similar to America's smirnoffs) and pretty much danced the night away. We were grindin and shakin our booties to some really good music, kudos to the DJ.

The bride and groom in front of their house and the wedding car. Nice!

Sunday was the big day. It was my 2nd bro's wedding day and I was expected to help out. I had a terrible headache from the previous night's crazy partying till 5/6am and had approx 3 hrs of sleep but I did not complain one word, aren't you just proud of me? We started early, going to the bride's house for the formal groom meet bride event. My brother croaked out some love song before they'd open the door to the bride's room. I recorded him on video, hehehe (I'm sure this will be very good blackmail material in the future, muahahaha) . We also had the traditional tea ceremony for the bride's side of the family. There were so many unfamiliar faces which I'm now strangely related to. After that I got home and totally crashed but I was only able to take a short nap. After the nap, I had to put on my fancy shmancy shirt & tie and travelled down to Cyberview Lodge with the rest of the family. We performed the tea ceremony for our side's family at the hotel. The wedding was a success, I took alot of pictures, Ean gave a really good speech, collected a bunch of $$$ for him and ate a pretty decent 10 or was it 12 course dinner.

Family picture before and after the wedding.

Fourth Week
This is the final week of my trip. I cannot believe it, the entire trip felt like it went by in 2 days. We rested on Monday and left for Port Dickson on Tue and stayed at Guoman resorts which was owned by my company so I managed to get a corporate discount, yay=D I was disappointed that Ewe flaked out on this trip, I really felt like it would have been nice for the family to go on a getaway together but what can I do? Like someone smart once said, I can bring the horse to the water but I can't force him to drink! The trip was great nonetheless with Dad, Ean+wife, grandma and Aunty Bee. We took a bunch of very memorable and funny videos of Dad, Ean and myself fooling around in the resort pool. You would think that I would've learnt from the Bali trip but again I had forgot to apply sunblock so again I got burnt while kayaking with Ean.

Picture by the beach (L) & Guoman PD Resort in background w/ Ean+wife, Grandma, Aunty Bee, Dad and me.(R)

Got back to KL on Wed evening. Went to dinner with Aunty Paulina (Her family's been great, she's hosted countless dinner parties for me while I was back, Winnie and KH were great supports to Ean during his wedding, I really need to get them more stuff the next time I go home, that's the least I could do) and ate again a ton of seafood. We had so much food, it was fit for a king. The next day, I did some last minute shopping and went to Lunar bar with WH, Sani and gang. It was really good partying with my old college buddies again. I truly miss those times and know it will never be the same again. We talked alot about old times and you could see it in everyone's eyes that they would give just about anything to go back to that time of their lives.

Old college buddies (L) & Aunty Paulina and our family's picture (R)

Saturday was it, it was the last day. Had lunch with my family and they all saw me off at KLIA along with KK and H2's families. It was a happy but subdued time, everyone smiled but you could tell everyone was sad too. We took the escalators down and wave to everyone one last time and that was it. My trip was over. I must say, I truly enjoyed this one month being home and away from work. I made a promise to myself to visit home more often. It's different now with dad being 64 and grandma being in her 80s. Every year means more now. I told myself the next trip home will hopefully be Chinese New Year of 2007 so till then...

Family pic at the airport b4 I leave :( & KK and my family also at airport

Arrival at LAX, it's officially the end of our trip waaaaaah!!!

KK, H2 and me at LAX about ready to part ways. So sad trip's over :(