Thursday, December 31, 2009

Long Wait @ LAX

We are now @ LAX...waiting for our 11 pm Continental flight to Newark. It's only 8.50 pm and we were here at the airport at 7.30 pm after returning our rental car. So early!! And I was happily shopping at Michaels (art/craft store that also stocks scrapbooking materials), and H kept hurrying me. He thought that the queues at the airport would be long (due to heightened security measures) but instead there was practically NO queue. Also, he thought we could have a shower at the lounge. Unfortunately, no showers in the lounge. Luckily there's Wi-Fi...otherwise will be bored to my bones waiting for our flight.

Anyway, what have we done since my last post?

Christmas Eve
This morning, we went to pick-up our rental car from Hertz....Other than going to the Fisherman's Wharf for about an hour, we didn't really go anywhere with the car. We drove it back to the hotel carpark (had to pick the car up on Christmas Eve as Christmas Day was closed), and because it was cheaper to walk to wherever we want to go than take the car. Parking in San Francisco is pretty expensive! Even parking at the hotel costs USD 25/- per day....and this was considered cheap. The other rates that I saw was upwards of USD 29/- plus tax! GILA!!!!
Anyway, we had lunch at a Korean restaurant as I was craving for some noodle soup. H had the Pork Bulgogi. Gosh! Not only their portions were huge, the side dishes that were provided were more than what we were used to.
After lunch, we went to Union Square for some shopping. Errr...bought another winter jacket (as if I live in temperate countries and not tropics!) from Macy's. H bought some i-Tunes cards from the Apple store. We hung around near the Ice-Rink at Union Square till early evening before going back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. Instead of a traditional Xmas Dinner, we opted to go to a Jazz Club. We ended up at Yoshi's San Francisco for Christmas jazz performance. Can't remember the performer's name....

Christmas Day
We checked-out pretty early on Christmas Day....and headed out to Monterey/Carmel. But we did stop at the Cliff House on the Pacific Coast for breakfast first. H and I shared a Eggs San Francisco, which is kinda like Eggs Benedict except that it had Dungeness Crab and some brandy added. It was quite yummy..but expensive. I supposed one has to pay for the views out to the Pacific Ocean. Took some pictures of the coast....will post them when I get back home.

After breakfast, we headed out onto the Freeways for Monterey. Somehow, our drive was longer than anticipated....perhaps because we salah-jalan. I was the navigator utilising the maps on H's i-Phone. Our rental car did not have a GPS. On arrival at Monterey, we went to have a late lunch. Not many places were open (since Christmas Day), and we ended up at The Fish Hopper. H insisted that I have the Monterey Bay Abalone/Scallop dish as I like abalone. But I have to say that nothing beats the Chinese-style of cooking abalone! H had a mussels/clam dish which was not so tasty. The clam chowder was pretty good though. We also had a free fried calamari dish which we had to Ta-pau (too much!!!!). After the heavy-meal, we took a drive down Ocean Blvd....but H was just too sleepy to continue (Still jet-lagged!). So we parked the car near Lover's Point, and I went down to have a stroll while he napped in the car!

We continued on to Carmel after he has his 10-minute battery recharged. We gave 17-mile Drive in Pebble Beach a miss this time round (we did this last October already, and I didn't fancy paying the tolls again...). I have to say that Carmel is a really quaint little village that is really really UNLIKE the rest of the US cities. It's nice, and I do like it. Clint Eastwood was the mayor once.... Anyway, we stayed at the Carmel Mission Inn for the night. The next morning, we went to the Cottage Restaurant for breakfast..... What did we have? Eggs Benedict, of course. Somehow, I think Eggs Benedict is THE breakfast for Carmel. Most restaurants here have different variants of Eggs Benedict.

Boxing Day
After breakfast, we were on our way for our looooooooong drive to LA. We arrived at our hotel near LAX at about 2.30 pm. Why stay at a hotel near LAX???
It's cheap, and it's close to all major Freeways.
We stayed at the La Quinta Inn & Suites LAX. It's alright. Rooms are decent and clean. Best of all, there's free WI-FI. There's also free breakfast but we didn't eat though. After check-in, guess where we headed out to???
Shopping, of course!!!
And where did I go?
A Joann store..... to get Scrapbooking Stuff! I was like a little kid in a toy store. There was a sale on DCWV premium papers, and I almost went berserk. The only thing that stopped me was the WEIGHT!!!! And then there were the albums and stickers!!
I have to say that I was a little exhausted after all this. Hehehehehhehe.
We had dinner at Benihana Restaurant... by mistake.

Okay. Got to go.... to board our flight!!

Are you a Dummy?

Are you? .....A dummy when it comes to life insurance?
I confess. I am a real dummy.
Not to defend myself. But don't you think that life insurance products are so confusing? There are so many different types, limits, coverages etc...... And from so many different insurance companies. But thankfully, I have a sister who is in the insurance business, and she has been educating me on the various insurance policies from her company. If you are not as fortunate as I am, I supposed you could always obtain life insurance online quotes and see for yourself what is the best insurance for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lazy Holiday....

We arrived in SFO an hour early.... on Tuesday, 22nd December. Took a door-to-door van to the hotel. Booked into the Cova Hotel on Ellis Street. Got a really really good deal over the internet. About USD 60/nite including tax. The only thing is that it is slightly further away from Union Square than the hotel we stayed last time. But for such a good rate, walk abit lah. Hotel also has free Wi-fi (thus the blogging now) and breakfast. Plus was pleasantly surprised when we got a room with two double beds. Told H to take another bed...and he said that we might as well not come on holiday together if I banished him to another bed...heheheheheh. The hotel is actually nicely furnished with modern bathroom. The reviews did mention that it's at the edge of the not-so-good area... But so far, seems okay.

Anyway, slept like a baby throughout the nite....no real signs of jet-lag. In fact, if it wasn't for my friend HT 's phone call at about 9.30 am, I would still be zzzzzzz. Spoke to her on the phone for about an hour. Don't think will be able to meet up with her as she & her family are driving to Lake Tahoe tomorrow to join her brother's family.

By the time we left the hotel...it was close to noon. Walked to Union Square as H wanted to go to the bank, then took the historic cable car to Fisherman's Wharf to have lunch. Walked down Pier 43 where loads and loads of crabs were freshly boiled. Though I like crabs, somehow the aroma was not too appetizing. I supposed it's because it's just too much ...and the smell just envelopes you. We decided to eat at Scoma's down at Pier 43 1/2 (I think). We had lobster bisque (H), butternut squash with crab (me), a sampler plate (crab cakes, scampi in wine sauce & fried calamari) and a whole roasted dungeness crab....washed down with Pinot Grigio (H) and Prosecco (me). And guess what we did after lunch... We went back to hotel for a rest. A rest turned out to be a 3 hour nap for me!!!!

And we went out to Union Square again....went to Borders and some jalan-jalan. Then had dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express at Macy's.... Clam Chowder and a Warm Turkey Melt..finished with a Haagen Daz bar. Came back to hotel to check on my emails, and to book for our Xmas Eve dinner for tomorrow... and NOW Back to lounging in bed........

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And Away We Go....

...without both our boys. When we left at 7 am this morning for the LCCT, boys were still in bed. They did bade farewell to us... and with the same breath uttered "Don't forget to buy my Halo 2!". 

My dad drove us to the terminal. Actually, our flight was at 10 am but dad said the traffic might be bad. We reached LCCT in pretty good time. Checked-in, and still had lots of time for a cup of coffee and a read of yesterday's FREE Malay Mail. Flight was on time, and we reached Singapore at 11.10 am. 

I'm sure you are asking why on earth did we take such an early flight to Singapore when our SIA flight to SFO is only at 5.50 pm???? Well, initially H was supposed to meet me in Singapore. But because of some last minute changes, he flew back to KL as well. (Wah! All these last minute AirAsia flights are ridiculously EXPENSIVE leh!!!!!) In fact, he was in KL a day earlier than boys and I. Anyway, we were afraid of delays on AirAsia which might result in us missing our SQ flight, plus we thought of going downtown to Takashimaya for lunch and some jalan-jalan for a few hours. In the end, too lazy to go all the way to town lah. We just went to the Crystal Jade here at the airport to have our lunch. Now just hang around lor...surf the net, read the magazines, shower, early dinner and then go on the flight. Actually, I might go for a shoulder massage before the flight. Will be more expensive than Jakarta or KL...but what to do. My shoulder and arm still painful. How to tahan the long flight to SFO? There's also the short stopover at Hong Kong.... H said that we shouldn't sleep at all on the flight...until we reach San Francisco. Aiyo. Can meh??

If I don't get to post before Christmas....

WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Still not too late...

We all know that it is important to have life insurance. But there are many people who wait, procrastinate till their golden years. Some might find that by then, their choices for affordable insurance have dwindled or be totally out of reach. However, fret not. All may not be lost. There still are specialty companies that can provide best affordable rates for life insurance for senior citizens. You just need to know where to look.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Cha-pa-lang Post

Punishment
Remember my last post about my irresponsible kids? As a result of the FLUTE incident, I have taken their weekday TV privileges away. I really think they watched too much TV until their brains are all mucked up until they cannot store any other information.
S1 came home the other day (I was out), and as usual turned on the TV...which of course couldn't work (I took away the connecting cables). Then he proceeded to S2's room. TV also not working. Only then he realised that mommy had done something.
With no TV today, I see more reading and other activities. So my decision or removing this privilege is really quite justified. Don't you think?

Painting Exhibition
Okay. None of my paintings were sold. I didn't feel disappointed. Didn't expect to sell them anyway... But was just pretty excited to have my paintings displayed.
I asked H if I should be disappointed....and he said "if all the paintings were sold except yours, then clearly you should be disappointed. But since not many paintings were sold, nothing to be disappointed. In fact, I think the whole exhibition is a lost-making for the organizers"...and then he proceeded to calculate the costs of having the exhibition. Actually, we kepoh-ed on early Sunday morning. We walked around and looked how many paintings were sold...and we counted 2. This was after two full days of exhibition and out of over 100 paintings. As there were many good paintings around, we think not many people actually come with the intention to buy. And some might not know that there are paintings around... this friend went all the way there, and then didn't manage to view my paintings. She went to the exhibits that were near the Prada/Bulgari areas, whereas mine were near Roberto Cavalli.
Oh yeah. I only managed to exhibit 4 of my paintings as I only booked 4 panels. Initially, I thought I'll squashed all 6 paintings into 4 panels. But the organizers said it'll look too ugly. So, The Kiss and Thommanon was out.

One thing I learnt from this exhibition is... do NOT have too many paintings!
Why?
Aiyo...must CARRY them all the way to the venue. Not easy lah.
And then CARRY all the way out after the exhibition.
Next time, better just exhibit a max of 2 pieces lah.
There's another exhibition coming in March...which I want to participate. :-) but this time, I will just exhibit 2 small ones lah.

Busy Baking
Yes. I've been busy baking for the last 2 days...despite my back pain (yeah. Stupid pain is back!). Not because I want to, but because the boys have end of year Xmas Parties at school. S1's party was today, and S2's tomorrow....

Going Home
Yeah. Yeah. I fly back to KL this Saturday....that's less than 3 days away. So many things to do....have to do S2's passport, have my eyes checked, eat my Chue-Yoke-Meen (hahahahha) before I fly to San Francisco on Tuesday, 22nd December.

Okay lah...better go rest my back now. Otherwise all the chiropratic adjustments are not going to help!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HIGHLY Irresponsible Kids!!!

Whose?
Mine!!!!
I am soooooooooooooooooooooo mad that I have to vent somewhere.
I was "ngam-ngam-chamm-chamm" and H kept saying why early in the morning like that.
BUT how can I not?

Let me tell you why I am soooooooooooo mad. Well, today is the School's Christmas Concert, which S2 will be playing his flute in the Primary School Orchestra. There would be FULL rehearsal after school right till the concert start at 6.30 pm.
So last evening, I told S2 to keep his things in his bag so that he won't forget anything.
Said so again later...and specifically to put his FLUTE in his bag. Then I asked if he had his attire for the occasion, and asked if everything was in order.
This morning, again, I reminded him to have everything together.
And guess what? At 8 am just now, I got a call.
It was S2. Asking me to tell the driver to bring his FLUTE!!!!
You say lah. ANGRY or not???
If the concert is not today, I will just let it be. But now...I have to organise for the driver to bring the flute all the way to him. And the journey is not exactly down the road!!

I tell you...I have such irresponsible kids that it is beyond belief! Can't trust them to do anything right for themselves. Don't even let me start on my S1. Another irresponsible bugger....with no care for anything at all. I bought him a pair of glasses which costs about USD 150/- about a month back, and he comes back 3 weeks later, beating around the bush for 3 days, then told me that he lost his glasses. How lah! Not to mention the lost mobile phone, gameboy and what-nots!
It's not that I don't make them pay for lost things. I do deduct money from their allowance/birthday money...but that doesn't seem to do any justice. It seems like everything I say just falls on deaf ears.

What about wasted food?
Uneaten food in their lunch boxes is a norm. And what can be done other than disposing the food when they come home in the late afternoon? It'll be too yucky to even give to the maid.
And there's the yogurt and such that they love to bring to their rooms, and then not eat it, and I'll find the tubs the next day. How to eat them again? Have to throw, right? And mind you, these are not cheap yogurt either. I've seen S1 done this soooooooooooooo many times. I am just so fed-up.

I really have tearing my hair out. Nagging and sitting them down nicely is not working,
Just soooooooooooooooooooooo fed-up.

Friday, December 11, 2009

TODAY is THE Day!

Yup. Yup. Yup.

The Painting Exhibition starts TODAY!

Exhibition Invite


Nope. I have not gone to see it.

Yesterday, we had to deliver the paintings to the exhibition venue - Pacific Place Mall. We were told to come in from 11 pm onwards as we had to wait for the mall to close. When we arrived, the organizers were just starting to set-up. We registered ourselves, and then had our paintings tagged.

My Paintings getting tagged


And then we waited and waited....and waited.
Even at midnight, the carpets at the area where the panels were to be set up were not yet completely laid. We just could NOT stand-around and wait for the workmen to finish.
So what do we do?
Go home lor ....

Can't wait to see how my paintings look under the spotlight!!

Actually, whilst waiting....I saw some other paintings, and then thought "perhaps I have under-priced mine!". Hahhaha. Regardless. I will be mighty happy if any of my paintings is sold!

BTW, check-out my latest painting - Snooty.
(Nope. This one is not in the exhibition...not in time for it)

Ping Pong Table?

Do you remember my old pool table? The one that I sold a few months back?
With the pool table gone, I was pretty glad to 'reclaim' that part of my living area.
But guess what my boys said..."Now we have the space, can we have a ping pong table?".
Boy! Were they fast!
Did they get one?
Well, NOPE!
I know my boys...they just want to buy buy buy, and not really want to play.
Heck! If they are really interested to play, I would even buy TWO ping pong tables! Afterall, it's not that expensive.

Tropical Holidays

The holidays are near... and many expats here are thinking where to go.
A Winter Holiday? Or a Tropical One?
Those who miss the cold wintry white scenery over Christmas will opt to go for a Winter Holiday. But many still choose a Tropical one. Hey...in fact, we wanted to take a cruise around the Caribbean, visiting Bahamas, St Martin, the us virgin islands and more. But Christmas is PEAK season. Thus H and I decided to do it some other time.

A MUST in Every Home!

"What is it?", you ask.
The toilet. Of course!
Can you imagine living in a home without one?
I certainly can't. Can you imagine trotting out into the bush in the middle of the night?
Eeeeks!
And don't let some people fool you with their definition of a toilet... I remember when I was younger, there were these "hole in the ground" that they call toilet. Hey. I don't need American Standard toilets but at least something made of porcelain will suffice!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

More Photos of Roemah Djawa

Managed to upload a few more photos of Roemah Djawa. See the other photos here.


The houseowners loves bright colours...as can be seen from the purples, blues, oranges, reds on the walls. Even their air-cond units are painted as per the wall colours!


Entrance of a Hallway
(Paintings of the ASMATs)

Artefacts from Archeological Digs
(Some of these items are over 2 million years old!!!)

Remember I said in my previous post that the houseowners run a specialty tour company? Well, I am pretty interested to go on this particular tour which includes one full day of archeological digs at the site of JavaMan. That reminds me, I need to email them for the information. They only do it once a year in mid-May (Shucks! but that is the time my MIL will be in town... let's see if I can squeeze in between!)


The Main Living Area
(Again, I shouldn't have squashed 6 photos in
)
Mask and Puppet Room
(One should not buy a Mask anyhow. A Mask must "call out to you"!)


Batik Room
There's still the Bead Room, The office, the West Kalimantan Room, the Master bedroom... and all chockablock with collectibles.
And what do you know? I managed to get invited to visit this Treasure Trove again last Friday for a Wine and Cheese do. Dragged H with me then. We were the first, and naturally he started drinking at 6 pm....and all the way till 11 pm! And all with just cheese to fill in the gaps. Needless to say, he was a bit weird at the end of the evening. :-)
H commented that he has never ever seen a private home with a collection such as this! He was totally amazed with the 2.5 million year old HomoErectus skull on display. Just that would worth a tidy sum!!!

May Wedding...

Another sister getting married!
And who other than the bride and groom is excited?
Well...don't think you can guess that it would be my S2.
That boy is thinking of what to wear for the wedding..and he is thinking of a full tuxedo. It would be nice if both my boys could wear tuxedos....BUT realistically, it might not be a good idea. After the wedding and with the tropical weather, the only thing that they could probably wear again would be the tuxedo shirts alone. Don't you agree? Maybe I should just get the formal tuxedo shirts and forget about the rest of the ensemble.

TV Addicts

Who?
Our whole family, that is.
There's only 4 of us, but there are 6 TVs in our house, 2 with home theater systems. I'm fine without the surround sound etc. But my H? He needs to have the whole theater package. In his "Selfish Room", there are like 9 speakers for his home theater system. Yes. You read correct. 9! I hear things like woofer, sub-woofer so-on and so-forth and I'm thinking "a dog of some sort??"....... Shhhh.....don't let my H hear me say that!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Photos of Roemah Djawa

Only managed to upload some photos. Don't know what happened. Either my PC has gone whacko or the internet connection or blogger. One of those days when everything seems to go wrong...

The Entrance to the House
(bottom right photo depicts the "Pendopo" in the main living area)
The house has 14 rooms (I think) and each room has it's own theme/function. There's the Chinese Room, Batik Room, ASMAT Room, Puppet Room, Beads Room, etc etc.
The Chinese Room
(Maybe I shouldn't have squashed 10 photos into this collage)

The HomeOwner's Bathroom
(The amount of jewellery can make any girl envious!)
ASMAT Room
(filled with Primitive Art from ASMAT tribe. Apparently the collection here is better than the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York!)
Stairway to Upstairs Area

There were many many more photos that I took. But just have so much problems uploading them. IT is indeed a very interesting home to visit. And despite having 14 rooms, the house is deemed too small for the vast collection of antiques and art. A new house has just been completed...and the move has already started, and anticipated to be ready to receive visitors mid-2010. I'm told that there would be a performance hall to showcase the rich culture.

What's the Problem?

I really do NOT understand what is the problem with my blog.
When I tried to view it, it just says "LINK is BROKEN" or "Website cannot be found"...
BUT BUT and yet. I can log in and post. But cannot read.
WEIRD!!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Some Updates - 1 Dec 2009

Wow! It's DECEMBER already. Time really flew by this year. Don't you think??
I know that I have been really lax in both reading your blogs, and also in updating mine. Anyway, here's some updates.

Back to School
Boys went back to school yesterday...after a week long break. Stayed put in the city. Initially wanted to go Singapore...but back problems and the absence of our passports made this option impossible. So this was what we did:
- Immigration Office to sort out our passports
- Waterbom (waterpark)
- Watched 2012, Michael Jackson's This Is It and New Moon.
- S2's friends and their mommies over to our house for playdate and chit-chat respectively
- S1's friend Sleepover on Friday Night
- Boys continued with their twice-weekly Mandarin Classes

Movies. Movies. Movies.
I have to say that if Michael was still alive, his This Is It concert would be a GREAT one. S2 was the one who wanted to watch it. He and his pals is crazy over the songs. We bought him the CD and he nearly made me go crazy with its REPEATED playing. When we went to watch it, the theater was really empty. Halfway through, he went to the front and I'm sure he must have danced and sang along. :-)
As for New Moon. We got conned into watching it. S1 assured us that this 2nd movie would be more on vampires and werewolves...and not a love story like the first show. WAH! It's a LOVE story to the MAX. Not your ordinary LOVE story BUT one with the "I will die for you" kind of love story! Waaaaaay too much of lovey-dovey ...even for me!

BAD Parents
Who?
Both H and I.....as we are dumping the boys with my parents in Malaysia, and then going to the States for Xmas and New Year. I fly out to KUL on the 19th of December with the boys, and I fly down to Singapore on the 22nd to meet up with H for our flight to SFO. From there, we will make our way down to Los Angeles. And we fly out to New York to be in time for the New Year's countdown in Times Square. My girlfriend C commented "How cheesy can your H be? Countdown at Times Square!" Hahahhaha. But I guess it's a once a lifetime thing.
I tell you...all the hotel rooms are cheap around this time of the year.... EXCEPT New Year's Eve in New York. Our 3 nights in New York still cost much more than our 8 nights on the West Coast. Anyway, I will get back to KUL on the 6th of January 2010.....to pick the boys up for our flight back on the 8th of January. They start school on the Monday after.

Roemah Djawa
I had a great time visiting Roemah Djawa this morning. It's a private home which is filled to the brim with antiques and art from the Indonesian Archipelago. It's a museum and art gallery! I tried to upload some photos but somehow there is a problem. I will try to do it tomorrow. Anyway, the home has been showcased in Architectural Digest, Financial Times etc. If you wanna read a little bit about this place, go here . The homeowners run a specialty travel company Remote Destinations...and Mick Jagger is a key client (seen from photos of Mick with the owner). The husband was away...so it was his American wife that gave the tour this morning.

Painting Exhibition
Will be participating in an art exhibition in less than two weeks! My FIRST! Am kinda excited and don't know what to expect. Just imagining my paintings in the exhibition catalogue is thrilling enough. Wah! But if somehow buys my painting, I will be really OVER THE MOON! (I've priced my painting from USD 300 upwards. :-) )
Will update on this event later.

Okay later...